The master, p.25
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       The Master, p.25

         Part #8 of Submissive series by Tara Sue Me
 

  The thought made him more forceful and he wasn’t going to be able to hold out much longer.

  “Are you close?” He didn’t wait for a response and because he couldn’t risk moving his hand to help if she needed it, added, “Get there.”

  “Harder. Mark my back.” Her lips parted and for a few precious seconds, they shared the same air.

  He felt her start to tighten around him and her eyes beseeched him. He wanted to hold out a little longer. She felt too good. But her whispered request unleashed him and he gave her what she wanted, slamming her against the tree.

  “Almost. Please,” she whispered.

  “Yes,” he replied, feeling dangerously close himself.

  Her release followed with her breath hitching in the most sensual way and the moan that came from her throat pushed him over the edge of his control. He pushed into her one last time and covered her lips with his in a kiss that came nowhere near expressing what he felt at that moment.

  But his sadness at not being able to show or tell his feelings was overshadowed by one crushing thought.

  This was only temporary. She wasn’t really his.

  • • •

  Sasha moaned as Cole gently helped her to her feet. For the moment, she ached all over. Not that she was complaining. Emotionally, she felt better than she had in a long time. Something about Cole set her at ease, even when he was being so commanding he drove her mad.

  “Are you okay?” he asked.

  “Just pleasantly sore, Sir.”

  He nodded. “Let’s get you inside so I can take proper care of those pleasantly sore spots. You remember what I said about the brick patio?”

  “Yes, Sir. You said by the time you finished, your submissive wouldn’t remember her knees.”

  “Let’s see if I’m right.” He lifted her into his arms, ignoring her squeal of protest.

  He carried her across the yard and into the house, not stopping until he’d placed her on the bed. He was still naked, but he pulled on a pair of shorts as soon as he put her down.

  “On your stomach, little one. I need to take care of your back first.”

  She rolled over, slightly miffed that she couldn’t watch him, especially when she heard him walk away. Where did he go? She thought about lifting her head, but she was suddenly so tired after the intensity of their sex, the way he’d looked at her and made her look at him. Her eyelids grew heavy. It seemed so surreal.

  “You have some scratches.” Cole’s voice woke her. “Nothing that really broke the surface. Hold still, I’m going to wash your back.”

  Ever so gently, he pressed a warm, wet cloth to the nape of her neck and slowly slid it downward, pressing and patting.

  “Does that feel okay?” he asked.

  “Wonderful, Sir.” She was tired before, but now with him touching her in addition to the warm washcloth, there was no way she could keep her eyes open. Still, it didn’t seem right to just fall asleep on him.

  She was supposed to be serving him. She couldn’t just take a nap. Could she? He’d made his way to the lower part of her back and took a warm towel and laid it across her shoulders.

  “Still okay?” he asked.

  “So sleepy.” It took a lot of effort to get the words out.

  “Close your eyes and rest.”

  “Feel bad.”

  His lips brushed her lower back. “No need to feel bad. I need a slave who’s well rested. Take all the time you want.”

  Satisfied, she allowed her eyes to drift closed and when she dreamed, she dreamed of Cole. Though it really seemed lifelike when he climbed in bed with her and put his arms around her.

  She woke to find her head on his chest. She stretched as her eyes blinked open, but the movement hurt her back. “Ow.”

  His hand stroked her shoulder. “Back hurt?”

  “Yes, Sir. But not too much. I just wasn’t expecting it,” she said. He didn’t say anything. She hoped he wasn’t second-guessing the scene. “In a way, I like it.”

  “How is that?”

  “It’s like you obliterated my scars. Or at least covered them with your own marks.”

  His laugh made her feel warm inside. “I like the way you think, Sasha.”

  “Maybe we should do that every day. Have you cover my skin.”

  “It’s a tempting thought.”

  “Now, my legs are a different story.” She wanted to tease him, to draw out the playful man she knew he kept hidden. He was so complex and the realization struck her, she liked each facet of his personality. Each one so different and yet so perfectly Cole.

  His fingers skimmed her upper thigh. “What’s wrong with your legs?”

  “They’re a bit sore, too. I doubt I could do that every day.”

  “I bet I could convince you otherwise.”

  “I bet you could.” She propped up on an elbow and looked down at him. The words she’d planned to say left her when she saw him looking at her. In fact, she had the strongest urge to pinch herself. Was she really in Cole’s bed?

  For the next week and a half.

  This was temporary. She was only in his bed because she’d asked to be trained like this. It wasn’t as if he’d asked her or that they were permanent.

  His forefinger traced her lips. “Why the frown, little one?”

  “Nothing.”

  He raised an eyebrow, but damned if she was going to tell him what she was really thinking. She almost told him she was thinking they’d left their clothes outside and she thought it was going to rain later. But she couldn’t lie to him like that. Besides, he’d know and they’d had such a great day, she didn’t want to ruin it.

  “If you must know,” she said. “I was thinking how I wished your marks were permanent.”

  He traced her collarbone and brushed the training collar. His mouth opened like he was going to say something, but he closed it.

  Damn, now she’d made him uncomfortable. She swirled her finger on his chest. “I mean, in place of Peter’s. You know?”

  “Look at me, Sasha.” His voice was rougher than normal and his eye held a strange expression. “I know exactly what you’re talking about.”

  • • •

  She was straightening up the bed the next afternoon when she heard his footsteps coming down the hall. Her body froze and she tried to tell if he was walking her way or not. He’d received a phone call earlier in the day and though she didn’t listen in, she’d been able to tell he was agitated.

  “Sasha?” he asked, peeking into the room. “Oh, there you are.”

  He didn’t look aggravated; maybe she’d misread something. She walked up to him and knelt at his feet. “Do you need me, Sir?”

  It was a requirement he’d added today. She rather liked it, though she could see how it could be an issue if she was in the middle of doing something.

  “I wanted to let you know we’re having company for dinner tonight,” he said. “A good friend of mine who happens to be working temporarily in New York is stopping by.”

  “I look forward to meeting them, Sir.”

  She said the words, but truthfully, she was disappointed she had to share Cole. Their time was limited enough and now this friend was coming over and cutting in on it?

  “It’s been a while since we’ve gotten together. I’m looking forward to it as well.”

  “What type of work is your friend doing in New York, Sir?”

  What if his friend was female? What if it was the woman he’d done the demo with months ago?

  She really, really, really hoped it wasn’t her.

  “He’s a contractor. Right now he’s working on a project for someone Nathaniel and Jeff know.”

  She almost missed the part about the job because she was too busy rejoicing it was a man.

  “I’ll warn you ahead of time. He’s a very large guy. He’s intense, and he’s a Dominant.”

  No big deal. If she could handle Cole, she could handle Mr. Large and Intense Dominant.

  “How do I addres
s him, Sir?” she asked.

  “He prefers submissives address him as Herr Brose.”

  “What?”

  “He’s German. Still lives there when he’s not working in the States.”

  “How do you know him, Sir? If you don’t mind me asking.”

  He reached a hand down. “Stand up and come with me to the kitchen.”

  They made their way down the hall and she’d finally accepted that it obviously wasn’t any of her business how they met when he spoke.

  “Fritz Brose and I met about ten years ago. He was my mentor.” He flashed her a smile. “You could say everything I learned about BDSM, I learned from him.”

  “I thought you said you researched it while at university.”

  “I did. He was my main source of information and when I decided to take a more hands-on approach, he said he’d make sure I learned the right way.” He came to a stop outside of the kitchen. “You’ve heard people say there’s no one true way?”

  She nodded.

  “Fritz doesn’t believe that. There’s his way and there’s the wrong way.”

  Those words still echoed in her head when the doorbell rang a few hours later.

  Cole instructed her to wait in the living room and though he didn’t specifically tell her, she knelt by the couch. She wore a green dress that came to her knees when she stood. She thought it brought out the green in her eyes, and that the plunging neckline showed off the collar.

  Funny, she didn’t own a lot of dresses, but they were Cole’s number-one item for her to wear and she’d grown to like them. She could only imagine the look Julie would give her if she started wearing dresses to work. At the moment, work and Julie seemed so far away, like they belonged in a different world.

  From the hallway came the sound of male laughter. She double-checked her posture in her mind to make sure she was perfectly positioned and took a deep breath.

  Cole’s voice seemed to be filled with pride when he spoke from the doorway. “Come on in. There’s someone waiting to see you.”

  “Ah, the lovely Kate,” a gruff voice replied and then just as suddenly added, “That’s not Kate.”

  Tears sprang to her eyes unbidden, but even worse, the familiar unrelenting clawing of a panic attack filled her throat. Her body shook. She tried to say something, but all that came out was a squeak.

  “Bloody hell, Fritz.” Pride no longer filled Cole’s voice and suddenly he was on the floor, by her side. “I’m going to touch your back,” he said, reverting back to how he’d talked to her weeks ago.

  She couldn’t even nod, but his hand felt good and his whispered, “Breathe in, little one,” helped ground her. She took a shaky breath in.

  “Good girl,” he said. “Exhale for me.”

  Her body obeyed without effort.

  “There we go. Again.”

  Deep breath in. Let it out.

  His hand rubbed her back in comforting circles. “Again for me. You’re safe. Nothing will hurt you while I’m here.”

  Safe.

  The panic receded.

  “Excellent. One more time.” His hand moved up her back and brushed the training collar. “Who am I?”

  “Cole,” she whispered. “You’re Cole.”

  “That’s right and what are you?”

  “Safe.”

  “You are, Sasha. You are safe and nothing’s going to touch you or hurt you.” He continued rubbing her back while he talked. “And you looked so gorgeous kneeling here waiting for us. I’d never seen a more beautiful sight.”

  “I’m sorry.” She didn’t know why she was apologizing. Maybe because she’d messed up the meeting with his friend or maybe because she wasn’t Kate.

  “There’s nothing to apologize for, little one. It’s my fault.”

  Actually, now that her mind was clearing up, she really thought it was Fritz’s fault. Fritz, who hadn’t said a word during the entire exchange.

  “Can you come sit with me on the couch?” Cole asked.

  She nodded, not sure she was ready to meet Fritz, but she had to try. She took a hasty glance around the room as she stood. It was empty.

  Cole led her to the couch and pulled her into his lap. “He’s waiting in the kitchen.”

  His arms felt so good around her. She didn’t ever want to leave their shelter.

  “I’m sorry,” he said. “It was my fault. I didn’t tell Fritz about Kate and I breaking up, so he assumed it was her waiting in the living room. To be honest, it’s been almost nine months. She’s so far out of mind lately, it didn’t even occur to me to tell him.”

  She snuggled deeper into his embrace.

  “I’m fairly certain Fritz is beating himself up in the kitchen. I know you don’t know him, but that’s not a common occurrence. When you’re up to it, I know he’d like to apologize to you.”

  “Can I sit here just a little bit longer, Sir?”

  “For as long as you like.” And she didn’t think she imagined his arms tightening around her. “God, Sasha. You have to know there isn’t a thing in this world I’d do to hurt you.”

  She inhaled deeply, drawing in the scent of him. “I know.”

  “When I saw you start to shake . . .”

  “You always know what to say to make me feel better and to stop it.”

  “Before today, it’d been quite some time since your last attack, right?”

  “Yes, Sir.”

  “Good. I’ll be thrilled when you don’t have them anymore.”

  “You and me both.”

  He kissed her head and stroked her arm and in that moment, she closed her eyes and let herself get lost in his embrace. Pretended, just for a second, that she was his and he would always be at her side to keep the panic from taking over.

  But as comforting as his arms were and as much as she enjoyed being in his lap, they couldn’t stay like that forever. She pulled back. “I’m ready to meet him, Sir.”

  “Are you sure? If you’re not up to it, I’ll send him away and tell him to come back later.”

  Though she would never ask him to do that, just him saying it endeared him to her even more. “I’m positive.”

  He helped her to her feet and then put his arm around her as they walked to the kitchen. Fritz had been sitting at the table, but he stood when they made it inside.

  He was devilishly handsome with sharp, angular features that spoke of his German heritage. His hair was dark and cut above his collar. His eyes traveled over her in frank assessment and then he looked to Cole. For permission, she supposed. Everything about the way Cole was touching her said, “Mine.” She looked up at him, and he nodded.

  “Sasha,” Fritz said. “I made a horribly incorrect assumption, and I’m deeply sorry if it caused you any pain. That was not my intent.”

  “Apology accepted, Herr Brose. I can understand how shocking it must have been.”

  “Are you feeling better?”

  “Yes. Master Johnson helped me.”

 
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