Truly Helpless, Page 1Joey W. Hill
A Nature of Desire Series Novel
Joey W. Hill
Author's End Notes
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Also by Joey W. Hill
Being truly helpless is the only thing that can save him. But it's the one thing he's not willing to do.
Marius has all the things a Mistress could want in a one-night-sub encounter. Hot body, loads of charm and a willingness to get her off in any way she pleases. That's his reputation at The Zone. But Marius has a dark side. When a Mistress pushes him for something deeper, he'll push back, mess with her head. When he takes it too far one night, The Zone management has had enough. He's kicked out of the club and there's only one way back in--Lady Regina.
Regina's been studying Marius for a while. She enjoys her submissives in all flavors, and she likes them challenging. Admittedly, not the "knight-in-distress" type, so screwed up she'd need a backhoe to dig him out of his dysfunctions. But on that pivotal night, she sees something in Marius. He doesn't know what it means to be truly helpless to a Mistress, but he needs it, more than any sub she's ever encountered. And that's a challenge this Mistress can't resist.
Copyright (c) 2017 Joey W. Hill
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Cover design by W. Scott Hill
SWP Digital & Print Edition publication April 2017
This book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the publisher, Story Witch Press, 6823 Neuhoff Lane, Charlotte NC 28269.
Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be scanned, uploaded or distributed via the Internet or any other means, electronic or print, without the publisher's permission. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000. (http://www.fbi.gov/ipr/). Please purchase only authorized electronic or print editions and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted material. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.
This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author's imagination and used fictitiously.
The publisher and author(s) acknowledge the trademark status and trademark ownership of all trademarks, service marks and word marks mentioned in this book.
The following material contains graphic sexual content meant for mature readers. Reader discretion is advised.
Digital ISBN: 978-1-942122-55-5
Print ISBN: 978-1-942122-56-2
Often the research I need to do for my books is like a scavenger hunt. So I'm blessed, after fifteen-plus years of professional writing, to have readers and authors to assist me with their eclectic skills and resources.
A big thank you to Lisa for her help understanding the protocols related to maximum security prisons. And to the Florida Department of Corrections for their insights as well.
Thank you, fabulous author TJ Michaels, who helped me get Regina's "locs" right. TJ has this gorgeous hairstyle herself and noted her own preference was to call them "locs," rather than dreadlocks. When she told me one of the heroines of her books had demanded to know "what's so dreadful about them?" when a hero called them "dreadlocks" instead of "locs," she sold me on the term. So I primarily refer to Regina's hairstyle as "locs" during the course of this story, with only a couple references to dreadlocks to help readers understand a term that might not be so familiar.
Another reason I made that decision had to do with a college memory. My first encounter with "dreadlocks" was a boy at the school who had these nasty ropes of hair matted with dirt and other horrible things. Yuck. It was a nice surprise to find "locs" can be quite beautiful and not like that at all!
Thank you to another fabulous author, Desiree Holt, and her son, Steven, for wandering around Tampa to help me find the right neighborhood for Regina's home and clarifying some issues related to the Tampa Riverwalk.
The usual but always heartfelt thanks to my current team of critique partners. A special thanks to Lauren and Judy, because they saved the opening and ending of this book, literally. Their suggestions for improvement also kicked off other observations from the team members that elevated the quality of the entire story.
Every book comes with a tremendous thanks, whether stated or not, to my wonderful readers. Thank you for taking yet another journey with my characters!
A last-but-not-least thank you to my husband, who has done all the other necessary things to get this book out to you. All while continuing to love his moody and disagreeable wife, despite her horrifying music preferences and unreasonable demands related to the publishing process.
And it's a very sheepish one...
The Nature of Desire series was started way back at the start of this millennium. Since then, there have been a lot of books, in and out of this series, with plenty of overlap. My characters do not confine themselves to just one book or, for that matter, even one series.
If I had been a smart and forward-thinking author all those years ago, I would have been laying out timelines with every book to ensure things didn't get twisty and knotty. I've avoided a couple embarrassing snafus, thanks to my critique partners. Like correcting an error when Violet from Natural Law appeared as a side character in two books after her own. She was pregnant with the same child in both books--and the timeline between the two stories was about three times the normal term for carrying a human child. Violet would have been REALLY cranky with me.
I am not a math person. Despite my best (yet admittedly limited) efforts, I am positive I've made some timeline errors with Regina and Marius's story in terms of other Nature of Desire series relationships. Just roll with it and pretend it's a fictional world where timelines can magically be folded and shook out until everything falls just where it should for the best story possible (beaming). Forgive me for not having the patience to sort it out the way I should. I much prefer the idea of the magical timeline adjustment. That would be useful in so many ways...in real life as well as fiction!
She was watching him. She did that a lot of nights. But she hadn't yet approached him for a session, and something kept him from asking. Maybe because he liked the watching.
No way to ruin that.
She came down the stairs from the mezzanine, her tall, lithe body all feminine elegance and strength in crimson corset, black poured-on leggings, and red and black boots. His eyes never knew where to rest because they were greedy. He drank in the quiver of her breasts, the sway of her hips. How her long, supple thighs transformed her stride into a primal dance that called to cock and deeper things.
Sometimes he studied her profile, the full lips and precise nose, the lines of cheekbone and jaw. Her throat was a fragile column
to him. She wasn't a petite or fragile-looking woman, but he looked at her throat and saw that appealing vulnerability. She had a curtain of slim, soft-looking dreadlocks--"locs." That was what he'd heard her and other women in the club call the style. They were black with auburn highlights. Sometimes she strung the ropes with beads that shimmered in the club lights. Tonight she wore silver glitter in them. All of her glittered and shimmered. Her skin was like coal and heated chocolate mixed.
So he guessed he liked watching her, too. He managed to tear his gaze away before she noticed.
He was lying on his back on a bench in an intimate alcove, a good trysting place for club members. He had his feet propped on the wall as he tossed a ball toward the ceiling. He hadn't been picked up by any of the unattached Mistresses, because most here tonight were hard psychological players or had brought their own subs, but he still preferred hanging out here to anywhere else. Especially tonight. He'd left his phone in the locker, not wanting to feel electricity shock his spine and his balls shrink up when it buzzed with a message. Which it would, sometime tonight. He didn't know why he was letting it bother him. Fuck it; the outcome changed nothing.
As he threw the ball toward the ceiling again, with an eye to hitting the same spot as he had the first twenty times he'd done it, Regina snagged the ball on the toss. She was standing over him, and he gave her points for stealth and hand-to-eye coordination. "Tyler wants a demo flogging," she said without preamble. "Says you're nominated because he's tired of you putting your damn feet on the walls like you live in a barn." Her gaze slid over him and rested on his upper arms. "Those are new."
"Just temps." He rubbed a thumb over the tribal tats on his biceps. "One of the sub girls wanted an excuse to play with my muscles and a magic marker." He gave her an easy grin. "You know I'm not into doing anything permanent."
Her lips twitched, but her brown eyes--liquid, soft but also sharp as sword points--were still doing that measuring thing. "Get your ass up, you idiot boy," she said without rancor.
Marius put his feet down. "Where do you want to do it?" This wouldn't be anything serious. A demo wasn't intended to be a session. Even so, it would be the first time he'd interacted one-on-one with Lady Regina. The first time she'd done more with him than look.
"The St. Andrew's Cross will do." She nodded toward it.
"Okay." He rose and gestured to her to precede him, but she shook her head.
"You first. I ogle your ass, not the other way around."
"Got it. Whatever makes you happy, Mistress." He headed for the cross. He was used to women looking at him, but her eyes held things he didn't entirely understand. He was good at reading people, but not good at reading her. His body didn't care about any of it. It responded merely to the idea that she was looking at him. Shoulders, back, ass. Taking him all in, deciding what she'd do with him.
When they reached the cross, he stepped on the foot rests and put his hands out to the sides and up so she could strap him to it if she wanted. Or he could just hold on for the ride. A flogging wasn't going to stretch him too much, but he could play it up, give a good show. He saw some people already drawing closer, ready to watch.
She moved behind him as he grinned and winked at a trio of young female submissives. The one in the center blushed prettily. Then she disappeared, because a blindfold was placed over his eyes.
He bit it off, because it was Regina's call. But he hadn't expected it, not for a demo. She tied it securely and locked his wrists and ankles in the cuffs. As always, a shift happened inside him when restraints came into play, a pooling low in his gut, his cock stiffening. There were other reactions, too, ones that were felt more sharply tonight than he was used to feeling them. She leaned in, her breasts pressing against his bare back. All he was wearing was a pair of tight, stretchy black shorts that left nothing to the imagination, even when he wasn't sporting a hard-on. When he was, like now, it was pretty blatant. He expected the subs were getting an eyeful.
"Should I tell you my safe word?" he ventured, since demos were usually intended to reinforce safety measures at the club, as well as entertain and get more people playing on the public floor.
"I'll keep you safe," she said, her voice a queen bee's command, warm honey on a summer day. She laid her palm on the center of his back.
It was a quelling gesture, telling him to remain silent. But there was more to it. He shifted, uneasy. When first getting into a session with someone new, there was often some self-consciousness on both sides, as they adjusted into their respective roles. With the palm on his back, she centered him. The quiet words pierced him, restraining parts other than his arms and legs. She locked the two of them into the right place with merely a touch and four words. That rarely happened unless there was some serious chemistry happening. That happened to other people. Not to him. He made sure of it.
On top of that, her touch pulled other things to the surface. His need to go further, deeper. He wasn't known as a particularly obedient or easy-to-handle sub, but he was fun, charming. He'd give a Mistress a good time, give her pleasure. He enjoyed that. Even if he left most sessions feeling like he'd denied himself something, he knew it was best for him to stay in that safe zone. Too much dark shit in the wilderness around Disneyland. He might not be able to serve a Mistress to the depths of his soul, but he wouldn't let her take him somewhere he couldn't control. Where he could hurt her.
He didn't want to hurt anyone, and he knew the key to that was staying in the shallow end of his submissive cravings.
Regina had stepped back, and he heard the swish as she chose a flogger and tested it out, probably wrapping it around her lush body a couple times. His hands closed, opened, in the restraints. He'd like to see her doing what she was doing. He'd like to see, period, because in darkness, things could rise that might interfere with that good time he wanted to give her.
The first strike was easy, a sensual feathering with a light sting that slid down his back like a caress. He twitched under it.
"Nice. But I want something more."
She moved closer to him, her heeled boots making a click-click noise on the floor. Clasping the waistband of his tight shorts, she took them down with a sharp yank. She tucked them under his buttocks, leaving them only half off in front, his stiffening cock snagged in them. The pull on the elastic framed and lifted his ass, making him feel like a kid having his pants pulled down in front of the class.
She stepped back and struck again. This time she focused on his butt, hitting it in a repetitive, circular motion that built intensity fast, making him twitch under the blows. It wasn't unbearable pain; just a lot of sensation, and it seemed like every blow came with a message that drew a net tighter around him, making the audience disappear, everything disappear. He didn't let himself get lost this quick with anyone. Hell, he didn't do the getting lost thing at all.
She stepped closer again, and tucked the flogger between his legs, between flesh and shorts. He pulled in a breath as she wrapped her hand in the fall and yanked the straps taut against his balls, the handle imprinted against his ass along with the knuckles of her grip. Her forearm pressed against his side.
"Feeling safe, sweet boy?" she said, a husky whisper. Her breasts, clad in a thin, silky tee, rubbed against his back. He quivered.
That need kept rising. He suspected she could feel it, too, like he was a fish caught on a hook. Her hand was on the line, sensing the tension as she slowly pulled him in the direction that, unlike the fish, he desperately wanted to go.
"Yeah," he managed to mumble. Didn't even remember to say "Yes, Mistress," and he never forgot that.
She stepped back, pulling the flogger free, and went after him again. Sides, ass, back, shoulders, thighs. He was moving with her, like dancing, his cock hard, belly tight, and all his nerve endings reaching for her. Lips parted, breath whistling in and out.
He had no wings to fly like this, but she'd taken away his panic. He wasn't thinking about any of the things that had
driven him here for refuge tonight, that had been stalking his mind these past few weeks, waiting for the other shoe to drop in his real life. She really was making him feel safe. Then she did something even worse than that.
He inhaled deep when she stepped close this time, and took in honeysuckle, a haunting fragrance that held him fast on a pin-sized point of nowhere-the-fuck-to-go-but-here. Putting her palm on the juncture between throat and shoulder, she simply stood there, connected to him.
So he breathed. In darkness, with her touching him, with one firm, warm, substantial palm. The rush of feeling in his head muffled the sounds of the club, the way noise was muted when standing in the surf of an ocean. But each breath took him even farther out in the waters. Floating.
She was in those waters, diving deep into him without doing anything exceptional. No, that wasn't true. She picked up on what he needed at the right moment and pulled even more from him, keeping him unbalanced. It took Doms and subs a long time to get that point, even when they were open to one another. They were virtual strangers, and he didn't open up to anyone. Yet her timing with him was a hammer hitting a nail dead on with every stroke and touch.
He wanted to let go, feel more with her. But...he didn't want her to stop watching him. If he let himself go enough to get lost in this, treat it as something real, bad things would happen. Then she'd stop watching him.
It was pathetically ironic, what she'd said to him about a safe word. The way she watched him made him feel safe. Not safe like he was some chickenshit who needed protection. Different kind of safe. Safe from the things inside himself. The things he was powerless to change. For months, he'd known a train was coming. His phone might be in his locker, but that wouldn't stop the message from coming. The train was almost here, but he couldn't get off the track.
She made him believe he could close his eyes, get lost in the bliss and never feel the impact obliterate him. And he shouldn't, couldn't do that.
"We need to stop," he said.