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Serena's landed herself the perfect man. He's wealthy, powerful, and an unrelenting Dom. Everything a smart girl with a penchant for kink could want. But a year into their relationship and she's doubting what they really have together. When she confronts him, she's devastated to discover she had the wrong idea from the beginning.
Ethan is back in town to help out his friend manage his BDSM club. The short respite from his life across the country is just the break he needed. But when his troubles end up following him, things become even more complicated than before.
When Serena and Ethan meet, it isn't perfect timing. Serena finds it hard to trust again, but then Ethan shows her what it's like to be cherished. Can they let go of their baggage long enough to find real happiness? Or will their complicated past relationships catch up with them?
Serena took a deep breath and blew the hair out of her face. She was giving him exactly two and a half more minutes and if Alex didn’t come to get her by then she was leaving. She had pushed herself, rehearsing longer than she had meant to last night, which is why Alex was pissed at her, again. And why she was standing with her nose pushed into the corner. Again.
Between her late rehearsal and her shopping spree with Jess this morning, she felt like she hadn’t been off her feet for any length of time. They throbbed beneath her. Her stomach growled, she wished now she had taken up Jess’s offer to split her muffin when they stopped for coffee. A girl could not exist on caffeine alone. She needed food. And a cigarette.
She really needed a fucking cigarette.
Pushing her shoulders back, she flexed her neck, rolling her head from side to side. Alex had been waiting for her when she got back to her apartment this afternoon. Apparently she needed to be available every fucking minute of her life. It was no use arguing, he wouldn’t listen anyway. Her options were to come with him back to his place, or to let whatever they had between them end. She didn’t want it to end. She loved Alex, and she was sure he loved her too—in his own way. It had been a year, you couldn’t have a relationship with someone for a year and not have any feelings for them. That’s what she kept telling herself.
“Are you ready to come out of your corner?” Alex’s deep, rumbling voice made her jump. She’d been so lost in thought she hadn’t even heard him come into the room.
She spun around to face him, tamping down her disappointment that he stood before her holding a cane and not a sandwich. Not for the first time, she wished he could read her mind. “Yes, sir. I’d like to come out of my corner now.” She dropped her eyes, not looking him in the face. She kept her tone quiet and repentant. She had a part to play and she knew it well. The naughty sub. The un-trainable sub if you asked Alex. He was kidding though, at least she hoped he was.
Alex settled into the leather armchair in front of the fireplace. He called this room his library, but he didn’t have any books in it. The built-in shelves were filled with abstract art pieces she assumed cost a lot of money. They didn’t impress her, but she was sure they were there to impress someone. Steepling his fingers, his eyes raked over her body. She could feel him silently assessing her as she stared at the expensive oriental rug beneath her feet. Her fingers itched to straighten out the fringe.
“Put your hands behind your back,” he barked at her. It was only then that she realized she had twirled a lock of her hair into a knot around her index finger. A nervous habit leftover from childhood. It got worse when she was craving nicotine. It drove Alex crazy.
Pulling her arms back, she linked her fingers and fought to hide a smile when she twirled a piece of hair around her finger behind her back. Take that, angry Dom.
“Come over here,” he directed. Another order, another direction to obey. They hadn’t had a real conversation since yesterday. Didn’t he want to know how she was? How her night went?
She took tentative steps toward him across the massive space. The cool temperature in the room raised goosebumps on her skin. She wore a short, flirty, yellow sundress. Alex kept his air conditioning set to Arctic. She’d forgotten to grab a sweater at her apartment. Stopping in front of where he sat, she waited for him to address her. When she finally peeked up at his face he raised his eyebrows and pointed at the floor.
She sunk to her knees without a word. If she shuffled a little closer she could have rested her head on his muscular thigh. Once she had the thought, that was all she wanted to do. Her body longed to touch his. She wanted him to wrap his arms around her and hold her close.
“I called you, twice,” Alex started. “There are rules for a reason.”
Glancing up at him she caught his creased forehead. Rules, again with his rules. She clenched her teeth.
His eyes narrowed and his jaw twitched. “I texted you and told you where I was,” she appealed. She had. It pissed her off that he kept calling her, it was more than twice, but she wasn’t trying to get him mad at her. She hadn’t wanted this in her day.
“A text,” he said, unlacing his fingers and bringing his elbows to his knees to lean closer to her. “Is that all I deserve? A text?”
Serena fought the urge to roll her eyes. Sometimes she wasn’t sure if he was for real. Was this all a part of the “Dom act”? A reason to act like a dick and punish her? Because, really? “I was in a fitting room. I was shopping,” she answered with more than a hint of exasperation.
“Watch your tone,” he snapped.
Oh, for god’s sake.
“I’m sorry, sir. I guess I just don’t understand what it is you wanted. I responded to your call and I called you as soon as I got back to my apartment.” He’d already been there to fetch her, so it hadn’t mattered anyway. But she refused to be chastised like an errant child for having a fucking life.
“We’ve been over this,” he said with a sigh as if she were a hopeless case. “I should have been made aware of your plans before you went out. What if I had needed you?”
Needed her for what? She’d been in this position before, it was useless to argue. She was never right.
“And last night, how late were you at the dance studio? You know what time you’re expected to be home,” he went on.
Another rule. Another reason for her to be in trouble. Eyeing the cane he had laid across the ottoman she tensed her buttocks. She was tired and her nerves were frayed, she could do with a spanking, but the cane seemed like a harsh choice today. Knowing she’d never be able to talk herself out of this situation, she spurred into action.
Coming straight up on her knees she boldly looked him in the eye and tried her best at sultry. Cocking her head to the side she raised her hand and trailed a finger down the front of his pant leg. “Do you need me now, sir?” she asked in a husky whisper.
Alex’s eyes widened. He would say she manipulated him. In fact, he probably would complain and punish her—later. But as soon as she saw his eyes darken she knew she had him. Was it wrong for her to take some time for herself? Maybe he was feeling neglected and this was his way of telling her. Alex was her first serious boyfriend and she was still navigating the ins and outs of their D/s relationship. At least, that’s what she thought they had. She’d been meaning to talk to him about dialing it back. Sometimes all of it seemed too much. It was like he watched and criticized her every move. In the beginning, it had been different and exciting. He appealed to her kinkier side, her need for rough sex, discipline, even punishment.
But lately it was like he never shut it off. They never did average date things. Occasionally she longed to lay around in her yoga pants and watch a reality show marathon. She could just imagine Alex’s reaction if she suggested that.
Walking forward on her knees she reached for the button on his pants. She never took her eyes off his face, at the slightest look of disgruntlement she would stop.
“Do you know what you do to me?” Alex breathed out.
Heat flooded her pussy. She loved that she could do this to him, completely derail his plans. If she were honest with herself most of their relationship was spent sparring for control. At this moment, she definitely had the upper hand. Popping the button, she yanked his zipper down. His cock strained against the front of his boxer briefs. Her mouth watered in anticipation. She lowered her face to his crotch blowing a hot breath she knew he could feel through the fabric. Raking her nails up his calves, she took the fabric of his boxers between her teeth and pulled back.
“Mmm.” Alex let out a strangled sound of approval and slid back in the chair, his legs opening wider, giving her better access.
Serena slid her hand up and pushed his boxers out of the way. His breath quickened as she uncovered his hardened length, she was feeling very much like the sex slave. Alex’s cock stood straight up, ready for her attention. As she lowered her mouth to his head she slid her thighs together. She hoped he’d be in a generous mood after she made him come.
Flicking the tip of his penis with her tongue, she cupped his balls and squeezed. Alex groaned and threaded a hand through her hair, holding her in place. She swirled her tongue down and around, lubricating his length with her saliva before she closed her lips around him. Wrapping her lips around her teeth, she applied gentle pressure, biting down as she worked his length.
Alex grunted and hissed a curse. She was bringing out her A-game. She smiled to herself that she could bring him to his knees like this. Well, technically she was on her knees, but she was definitely the one in control. As Alex moaned, she moaned in return, sending a humming vibration over his cock. She closed her eyes and imagined his hands all over her body. He tightened his hold in her hair, making her scalp prickle, but she breathed through her nose and continued on.
She imagined Alex pulling her off of her knees. In her fantasy he laid her back across the leather ottoman, the same one where he had laid he cane. He pushed her legs open and tore her panties off. Just ripped them straight down the middle. Then he thrusted into her with such a ferocity she had to hold onto his forearms just to keep herself in place. Her moans deepened and she wrapped one hand around the base of his cock. Pumping while she sucked, she slid her other hand under the front of her dress.
Placing two fingers over the gusset of her panties she pressed down. She wasn’t really playing with herself. Opening her eyes, she glanced up. Alex was way too involved in what she was doing to him to notice. She edged a finger up and slipped down the front of her panties. The instant she made direct contact with her pussy lips her body jerked. Alex pushed her head down against him, he must have felt her distraction. She spent a few seconds giving him her undivided attention, getting him back to the edge of orgasm, and then she delved her fingers deeper. She trailed a finger over her clit, passing over it lightly as she caressed her own silken slit. Pressing her fingers against herself, she listed her hips to the side, bringing her thighs together and crushing her hand.
Drawing back she flicked her tongue over Alex’s tip again. He grunted at the loss of her mouth on him. Glancing down his eyes widened. “Are you playing with yourself?” His heavy lidded gaze fled as he looked at her incredulously.
“You’re making me so hot,” she pouted, arching her back and trying to appeal to him. Alex forbade her from playing with herself and made her beg to come. She had thought she was into edging and orgasm denial until it became her everyday life.
He rose to his feet, forcing her to sit back on her heels to give him room. “Give me your hands,” he demanded.
She reluctantly pulled her fingers from her panties and raised her hands above her head.
Grasping her wrists in one hand, he pinned them at the back of her head. He tilted her face up with his other hand. “Open,” he said, his cock millimeters from her lips.
She licked her lips and then opened her mouth, keeping her eyes on his the whole time. He thrust into her open mouth with a growl. Holding her immobile by her wrists and a hand in her hair, he fucked her mouth. Her pussy pulsed around nothing as he used her for his pleasure.
She concentrated on breathing through her nose and not gagging when he hit the back of her throat. Her eyes watered as he pumped his hips. The wood floor beneath her knees became unforgiving, she closed her eyes, unsure of how much longer she would be able to keep this particular position. Trapped. He had a death grip on her hands and she couldn’t speak as he plowed her mouth. Glancing up, she watched as his face contorted, his orgasm imminent.
Alex let out a shout and drew back. Dropping his hold on her he grasped his length. “You want me to come on you?” he asked, his voice raw and feral.
She didn’t have time to answer before his molten seed shot across her chest. She arched her back and drew her chin up, but his hot cum still managed to hit her in the face.
He sighed and dropped back into the chair. The warm liquid ran down the front of her chest, quickly cooling as it dripped down her body. It had surprised her the first time Alex came on her. And something deep within her was a little ashamed that she didn’t hate it. She liked being treated like his object, his fuck toy—when he released on her it was the ultimate degradation. In the beginning, Alex would demand she service him with her mouth and then he would mark her with his seed. But then, slick from his juices and her own, he would make her come again and again. He became a drug she couldn’t live without. She could never come as hard just from her own hand.
Her stomach growled again, drawing Alex’s attention back to her. “You better hurry up and shower if you want time to eat something before we leave,” he said.
“Leave?” Her brain was foggy. She needed to come more than she needed food. She wanted him to scoop her up and hold her at least if he wasn’t going to fuck her.
“Yes, we have that party tonight at Fetishes. Members only.”
Of course, Alex liked anything that was exclusive. “So, I should just go shower?” she asked, trying and failing to keep the disappointment from her tone. She was still dressed. He hadn’t done anything to her.
He raised his eyebrows at her. “I won’t be forgetting your punishment. You should get double now just for manipulating me,” he said.
Her stomach fluttered at his words. She bit her lip to stop herself from begging.
“Maybe, if I’m feeling generous after we get home tonight I’ll let you come,” he added. “Maybe.”
Pushing herself back she used the ottoman, leaning on it as she tried to stand on shaky legs. Her feet were pins and needles from holding the position on the floor for so long. “If I promise to be very good, will you make me come now?” she appealed to him. She would go crazy if he left her in need.
Alex was already setting his clothes to rights. He stopped at her words and put his hands on his hips. “You know the rules, you don’t get to come when you’re being punished. And you will be on your best behavior tonight. Don’t embarrass me, Serena,” he warned.
She swallowed and blinked back at him, finding it hard to look at anything else while he had her locked in his gaze. “Yes, sir,” her reply was automatic, even though she wanted to rail against him and call him a self-centered asshole.
Walking from the room, his semen soaking into her dress as it dripped down her front, she grabbed her purse off the kitchen counter before climbing the stairs to the second level.
She would take a nice long shower, and open the bathroom window so she could have a quick smoke. Then later, after the party she was finally talking to Alex. Tonight was the night.
~ ~ * ~ ~
Ethan slung his carry-on bag over his shoulder and stretched to his full height as he disembarked the plane. He hadn’t anticipated that the news of him leaving would be so poorly received. As a result, he had not slept at all before catching his flight from Los Angeles to New York. An all out screaming match—he hadn’t had one of those since the crazy girl he dated in college. It wasn’t how he normally operated, he could usually keep his emotions under control. But something about Lexi, she knew exactly how to unravel him. It also confirmed his decision to leave. He needed this, they both did. She just didn’t want to agree with him.
Turning his phone back on, it sprang to life, the screen lighting up and vibrating in his hand alerting him to all of the messages he’d missed during his flight across the country. Scrolling through them he quickly pushed most of them aside to deal with later. The latest one was from Martin. He was waiting outside in the parking lot, ready to ferry him to his hotel. Ethan smiled, it was good to be back and among friends.
A few minutes later, after retrieving his suitcase, he found Martin outside, leaning against his car.
“You look like shit,” Martin commented, reaching for his bag even as he slapped his back in greeting.
“Hi to you too, asshole,” Ethan said as he scrubbed a hand across his tired eyes.
His friend laughed in response and hoisted his suitcase into the trunk. He motioned for Ethan to get in the car and walked around to the driver’s side. Once they were both inside, Martin maneuvered the car into the traffic departing the airport. “I say it out of love, man, but what the hell have you been doing with yourself?”
Ethan shook his head. “I waited until last night to tell Lexi I was leaving,” he replied, then turned in his seat to look at Martin. “Let’s just say, she didn’t take the news well.”
“I didn’t realize you two still had a thing going on,” Martin said, glancing at him long enough to raise his eyebrows.
“A ‘thing’ is one way to describe it. Don’t mention anything to Adam about it, okay? I want to talk to him, but I need to figure out what to say first,” Ethan said, referring to one of their other friends.
Martin nodded. “Sure, whatever you want, I’m not eager to be involved in any of this, so consider your secret safe with me.”
It wasn’t a secret exactly, he didn’t want it to seem like he was hiding his relationship—or whatever you wanted to call it—with Lexi from one of his best friends. But things were complicated. When had his life gotten so goddamn complicated? “Where’s Melissa?” Ethan asked, inquiring about Martin’s long time girlfriend and effectively changing the subject.
“She’s home. Packing. And pouting.” Martin rolled his eyes. “She doesn’t want to go on a trip. She doesn’t know why I’m making this a big deal.” He shrugged. “I think she’s scared.”
Ethan straightened in his seat. “Scared of what?”
Ethan wrinkled his forehead in confusion. “You’ve been together for a million years. She doesn’t already think you’re committed?”
Martin scoffed. “It’s hardly been a million years,” he said. “And according to her nothing is permanent, because we haven’t done anything to make it permanent.”
“What like marriage?” Ethan felt a sweat break out on the back of his neck. Even marriage wasn’t permanent these days. Not that he thought a piece of paper should keep two people together who were otherwise wrong for each other.
“Marriage, or something. I guess anything that would make our relationship look more established from the outside,” he explained. “She’s claiming I tricked her into staying with me all these years.”
“You tricked her?” Ethan asked, his voice laced in disbelief.
“Yeah, you didn’t know? I’m part warlock. I cast a spell on her and this whole time we’ve been happily living together she actually had no idea what we were doing,” Martin replied with a healthy dose of sarcasm.
Ethan shook his head, when did all his friends grow up and stop being players? “So Tom and Sara are officially done I hear?” Tom rounded out their quartet. He’d been the first one to marry after college, the only one for a while. But ten years later and the relationship had finally fizzled. Ethan wasn’t sad to see her go, he never thought Sara was good enough for his friend.
Martin nodded. “He seems to be doing okay for himself. He and Adam found themselves a new playmate.”
“So I heard,” Ethan agreed. Tom and Adam recently started training the same submissive. He wasn’t sure he’d ever be able to share a woman with someone else. It was an interesting dynamic.
“Do you want to come back to the house? Or should I bring you right to the hotel?” Martin asked, breaking through his thoughts and a brief fantasy about playing with a brand new submissive. As tired as he was, he was eager to get to Fetishes tonight.
“The hotel, if you don’t mind. I need a nap and a shower before I’m fit for public consumption.”
“You can stay at our place while we’re gone. The offer still stands. You’re really helping me out and I don’t want you wasting all of your money on a hotel room,” Martin said.
His words were genuine, he wasn’t putting Ethan down for not having as much money as he did. His friends never did care that he didn’t come from the same social stratum as them. Funds could be tight for him from time to time, especially when he was between gigs, but he hoped to meet up with his agent on Monday. “No, it’s fine. I only plan on staying at the hotel a few days. Adam already has some places lined up for me to look at.”
“You looking to make the move permanent?” Martin asked, raising his eyebrows.
“Maybe? At least seriously considering splitting my time between here and LA.” That wasn’t uncommon in his line of business.
“What does Lexi have to say about that?”
Ethan took the good-natured barb in stride. He didn’t answer though, because he hadn’t told her yet that this trip was more than just a visit.