Truly helpless, p.13
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       Truly Helpless, p.13

         Part #10 of Nature of Desire series by Joey W. Hill
 

  "I changed my mind. I want a Diet Coke instead. Over ice, no lemon."

  Marius stared at her, but she turned away from him. Taking off the leggings beneath her micro skirt meant she gave both men a brief glimpse of red satin creasing over her ass before she readjusted the micro skirt and settled back on the throne. Hooking one of the stools with her shoe, she drew it close so that she could prop one foot on it, tilting her other knee back against the arm of the throne to spread her thighs.

  "You pleased me, Rob. Come closer to get your reward."

  The man immediately moved into a kneeling position where he'd be able to put his mouth on her cunt over the panties. Being the good sub he was, he didn't make contact. He stopped close enough his breath touched her through the fabric, but his mouth didn't.

  If it had been Marius between her legs, he would have taken Come closer as the starting gun. He would devour, bite and demand. He'd grip her thighs, shoving them wider. There would be growling.

  She suppressed a hard shiver of lust. If only she could achieve the connection they needed with a snap of her fingers, where she could unleash his animal instincts for their mutual pleasure without worry that he would twist it to fuck with both their heads. But he'd shown up late and his attitude so far sucked. She couldn't let any of that go.

  She could have allowed Marius to see that shiver of reaction but let him think she was responding to Rob. It wouldn't be difficult, since she'd had Rob's mouth between her legs before and he gave damn good oral. But while jealousy and competition would add a kick to the mix, it wasn't the right bait for Marius. Plus, dishonest manipulation wasn't her style.

  "Get my drink or take off, Marius. You're either here to be a sub or you're not." She stroked her long fingers through Rob's hair as he remained still, waiting on her, his gaze focused on her cunt with the gratifying eagerness of a quivering Labrador ready to lunge into action. Slipping off her shoe, she placed her bare foot on his shoulder, curling her toes into the muscle. "Or maybe we're approaching this all wrong."

  She tilted her head, ignoring the flash of puzzled surprise in Marius's gaze. "Are you sure you're not a top playing the wrong side of the fence? You seem to fight this pretty hard. If you think that's the case, we can knock off the Mistress and sub shit between us right now. Grab yourself a drink, pull up a chair and we'll talk about it. There are some good topping opportunities here tonight."

  She nodded toward a trio of female subs. They were sitting on the floor, playing jacks. All three were dressed in ruffles, simple cotton panties under the short skirts, their hair done in pigtails. "Daddy's girls are always fun and playful, a good way to start. A little slap and tickle, some spanking. But Liza over there is a jack-of-all-kink. Likes bondage, impact play, electrical..."

  "Not interested." His expression had gone cold.

  "Not interested in either preference? Or topping?"

  If Marius had a drop of topping blood in him, she'd go jump in the bay in the dead of winter, but maybe it wasn't her who needed to be convinced. Trying to figure out where one fit in the BDSM world wasn't unusual. Some men came into it trying to be Masters, not realizing that what had drawn them to it was the desire to submit. It took time to set aside societal expectations and tap into a soul's true needs.

  Once most people were in it long enough, they felt more comfortable trying on the different roles until they found the one that fit the best. Maybe he hadn't found that comfort zone, for whatever reason. Did he need a reset, to remind him where he really wanted to be?

  "Have you ever done it before?" she asked. "Topping?"

  His steel gaze was on Rob's head, particularly her fingers, stroking the submissive's hair. Was he thinking of how her fingers had stroked him last night, when he'd become her mount?

  She expected his palm was starting to ache from gripping the ice-cold glass of her first drink order.

  "I'll come back when you're done with him and we'll talk." His voice was wooden.

  "Okay." She spoke to him as an equal, as if it was already a done deal, any pressure on him to behave as a submissive removed. "Feel free to wander around. As my guest, you're not authorized to play with anyone but me, but if you see something you want to do, come back and hang out at the bar until I'm done and we'll figure it out. This won't take long."

  She said the last four words in a sultry tease to Rob, letting him know how fine a job he'd done prior to this, pleasing and arousing her. She settled back and cupped the back of his head, a mute command to proceed. A smile curved her mouth at the first touch of his lips against the crotch of her panties. This was going to be relaxing and therapeutic, easing the burn higher in her gut the proximity to Marius was causing. So what if Rob wasn't the demanding beast she wanted between her legs? She'd never been one to trade out Mr. Right Now for the elusive Mr. Right.

  Even if the sullen cloud four feet away from her was Mr. Right, he wasn't offering to be Mr. Right Now, and her pussy wanted a release.

  Marius stepped forward and threw the drink in her face.

  She'd told Rob things might get ugly. She'd known there was a lot brewing under the surface, but she'd underestimated how close to that point Marius had been. But that didn't piss her off nearly as much as him ruining the olfactory pleasure of the shirt she'd wanted to take home with his scent firmly imprinted upon it.

  Rob leaped to his feet. Anger suffused his features as he planted himself between Regina and Marius. To an honorable male like him, this was probably equivalent to Marius punching her. She gave him credit for self-control, however, because he limited himself to providing a human barricade between Marius and his Mistress.

  She'd never had anyone dash a drink full of ice in her face before. It had stung and was cold, but it was hardly catastrophic. He'd soaked the front of the T-shirt, so her nipples were even more noticeable dark points against the translucent fabric. Rob had been splattered, because the drops ran down his back and his hair was sprayed with a light dew. She laid a hand on his tense shoulder, the pressure of her grip a mute command to move to her right and clear the field between her and Marius. While he was initially unresponsive, his desire to protect her struggling with the promise he'd made, eventually he complied. He remained close, a vibrating current of electricity at her elbow.

  She wasn't surprised that Marius hadn't moved an inch. Until Rob shifted, Marius had been almost eye to eye with him. His fists were clenched, his gaze pinned on her chosen sub for the evening, but she reached out and tapped Marius's jaw, making his eyes snap to her.

  "Your fight begins and ends with me, not him," she said coolly. "And that's not because he wouldn't like to deck you. It's because he knows how to respect a Mistress."

  Energy rippled through Marius. "He respects her by being a pussy and letting her be attacked?" he spat.

  Rob made an aggressive noise. When Regina shot him a quelling glance, he subsided with effort, but she kept her pointed gaze on him until he backed up another couple of steps, giving them all more breathing room. Regina brought her attention back to Marius.

  "He's not the bastard who attacked me," she said mildly.

  "You know what you were doing," Marius gritted out. "Fucking with my head."

  "A thief always thinks he's being robbed," she observed. Schooling her expression to dispassion, a far cry from how she was feeling, she turned her back to him and faced Rob. "Get me a towel to dry off. Then you can finish what you started."

  "With pleasure, Mistress."

  No more scathing looks were sent toward Marius, though from his expression, Rob vehemently disapproved of Marius's behavior. But he'd picked up on her dismissive cues, proceeding as if the drink had appeared upon her magically, as if Marius didn't exist. As if his act was as insignificant to adult matters as a naughty child's.

  Rob retrieved a towel from the bar, speaking a low word to Leonard that she knew would assure the staff member everything was under control. It wasn't a lie, though she didn't exactly know how this was going to go.

  M
arius was standing behind her still. As she turned, she saw his fists remained half curled. But he wasn't moving. Was he waiting to see what she would do next, what switch she would flip, what string she'd pull? Or was he uncertain what to do next, caught in some kind of stasis, an internal loop?

  The scene with Siren had built into a disaster. This time he'd taken it to DEFCON level with almost no build up at all, which confirmed what she already knew. He'd been on slow burn ever since their pony play scene, and come spoiling for a fight.

  Rob returned with two towels and offered one to her. As she patted her face and throat, ignoring the tower of quivering heat that was Marius, Rob dried the throne and the floor around it. He gestured her politely back toward her seat, though she saw the spark as he anticipated getting his mouth between her legs again. And this time there would be a component of fuck you to Marius as he did it. She'd let that pass, since a man had to be a man, after all. Keep a stranglehold on a male sub and he became too much of a pet for her liking.

  The important part was that he could follow her direction and take care of her. As she took the throne once more, she lifted her chin. "I have some soda here. On my throat. I'd like you to use your mouth to handle that, Rob."

  She had enough multi-tasking ability to anticipate the pleasurable sensation of Rob's mouth and keep Marius on her radar. Rob put his heated lips to her throat, sucking off beads of moisture. As she made a noise of encouragement, he moved down toward the rise of her breasts, a man's literal wet dream under the cling of the soaked T-shirt.

  Marius still hadn't moved. It was unsettling, if she allowed herself to feel that way, which she didn't. He put off vibrations like a ticking time bomb, but he'd be reviewing his options in his mind, stewing in the vacuum where she'd left him, because she'd provided him no further direction.

  He wasn't a newbie sub. She didn't need to handhold him through the different options to resolve a self-inflicted fuck-up. She projected nothing but indifference to his presence. However, since inside she was far too curious about what he'd attempt next, Rob provided a very pleasant and creative distraction with his lips and tongue.

  He'd only reached her cleavage, his tongue sliding in to enjoy the deep valley the damp T-shirt molded, when she heard something very much like a snarl come from the densely-packed zone of heat and muscle to her left.

  "I still have some water on my arms," she said casually. "Dry that with the towel, Rob."

  As he straightened to do so, Marius at last moved. He muscled in, hauling Rob to his feet and putting a palm on his chest to press him back. One step, two step, taking him out of her personal space and putting Marius squarely before her. He did it with such brutal efficiency, Rob had no time to resist until the second step. He bristled and pushed forward against Marius's straight arm, but he fortunately shot her a glance at the same time. She shook her head, quelling the spike of alarm. Rob was capable enough, but she'd seen firsthand that Marius was a street fighter, a violent brute.

  A good club was worth its membership fee. She noticed Leonard was bussing a nearby table, a strategic decision that put him closer to the situation. The Dungeon Master that patrolled the several public spaces of the club also had his eye upon them.

  She wasn't going to let this get any further, but she appreciated the backup. She didn't usually bring problems into her chosen clubs, so she'd have some latitude in this situation.

  She'd noted something else important. The moves Marius had used were not what he'd employ in the ring, but the quelling, neutralizing moves she'd use as a C.O. Or that he used as Zone security.

  Yes, there was violence vibrating off him, which had contributed to her alarm, but his choice of that tactic helped keep her voice steady, her posture relaxed. She rose from the throne.

  "Rob," she said. Just one word, the command implied.

  The man's jaw flexed hard enough to crack at Marius's transgression, but he inclined his head in a respectful nod and gave way. She really was going to owe him and Thea dinner. An expensive one.

  What was vibrating off Marius was a web of anger and confusion, but she wouldn't get snared in it. Instead, she rested on the strands like an alert spider, anticipating what the vibrations through the threads might mean.

  As he lifted the towel to press it against her skin, she didn't move, except to lock gazes with him before he made contact. "If you touch me," she said coldly, "You will not touch me again. This will be over."

  Not a dare, not a taunt. She meant it. She had to. No matter the clamor of her Domme senses that told her this was the sub who could kneel in the hidden depths behind her heart and stay there indefinitely, she would walk away if he defied her in this key moment. This was a game where every move could be the final move, and she couldn't back away from that. The question was, would he unwisely assume she was bluffing?

  If he could get enough space from his emotions, he was smart enough to figure it out. But she knew it was equally possible the demons inside him might say fuck it, make him reach out and rudely tweak her breast like some stupid frat boy playing a prank. Was he stronger than his demons? Could he leash them before they took him past the point of no return? They hadn't the other night with Siren. Had he regretted or learned anything since then?

  Don't do it, Marius. Take control. You know you need a Mistress. No matter how fucked up your head is, somewhere in your heart, you know it.

  She was in a hard battle of her own, not to betray any tells of anticipation, like a held breath or an increased pulse.

  He still had the towel lifted between them, his arrested movement when she'd warned him not to touch her. She'd told him he had no leave to touch her, but she had no such prohibition. She closed her hand over his, clenching the towel with a white-knuckled grip.

  She'd had her growth spurt in middle school, her tall, big-boned body suddenly endowed with high, proud breasts and an impressive ass. It had inspired more than one high school boy to think that grabbing the booty just because it was out there looking like it needed palm support was the right way to go. Until she'd laid out one of those horny good Samaritans with a solid blow to the nuts, using the handle of a PE class hockey stick.

  She didn't need to be petite or act helpless to feel womanly. Yet she noticed he had a big hand. Long, thick fingers, wide palm, scarred knuckles. He'd have a strong grip, like he had on the towel.

  She curled her fingers over his. "Release it," she said quietly. "Kneel at my feet."

  She wasn't a negotiator. She didn't caress his fingers as she wished to do. She merely held him, reading the energy pulsing through the scarred knuckles. No new scrapes on them, so at least he hadn't been back in the fighting ring since last she'd seen him. Though maybe he would have come here more settled if he had, that was a defusing tactic she didn't want him utilizing.

  She slid her hand to his wrist and held it as she took the towel from his loosened grip and handed it to the tense Rob. "On your knees," she said softly to Marius. "Or get out of my sight."

  When she'd touched his hand, he'd adjusted his attention. He was staring down, at her breasts, at the taut nipples and rounded curves etched out by his wet T-shirt, her dark skin turning the white fabric a gray color, like a dove. Or like his eyes, which were fixated on them. Not in a lecherous way, but as if he was trying to understand something by holding his mind there, maybe following the rhythmic rise and fall of her breath.

  He lifted a hand, his fingers half curled. For a moment, she thought he was going to brush his knuckles against one of her curves, or even her face, but he didn't.

  The switch flipped and the lights went off behind his eyes. Her heart sank three or four floors.

  He stepped back from her. Took a couple steps, his eyes remaining on her face until he pivoted and left the sitting area. He headed toward the exit, not looking left or right. The abrupt decision and departure sent a hard jolt into her chest, which suddenly felt so empty her legs almost buckled from weakness.

  Fuck. The ultimatum had been necessary, n
o question, but where did that leave them now?

  Finished. It was done.

  Chapter Six

  For better or worse, that was the end of it. So there was no reason for her to contact Marguerite and request a meet with her. But Regina had and here she was, at Tea Leaves on an early afternoon. The sun was sending shards of mellow light through the branches of the oak trees canopying the porch at the cafe's entrance.

  She'd been here plenty of times before, and not just because the tea selection and the baked treats were incomparable. Once a year, Marguerite threw a card party for her Domme friends. Dress code was "dressed-up," but the chosen outfit had to come from a time other than the present decade. Regina had worn a 1940s peach-colored dress with lots of gauzy fabric over figure molding satin, coupled with a white hat festooned by flowers and feathers. Donning elbow-length white gloves had made her realize just how erotic they felt, clinging to wrists and finger tips, a feeling increased by the plethora of rhinestone bracelets she'd worn.

  Tea service had been handled by a small team of female submissives hired from The Zone staff. Gen had pitched in to coordinate their efforts. Gen had worked for Marguerite for some time, but when she became Lyda's, she'd left full time employment with the cafe, with Marguerite's blessings. She handled the books and other administrative duties at Lyda's landscaping business.

  Until she'd found her current subs, Noah and Gen, Lyda had been much like Regina, enjoying her submissives but not pursuing much with them outside the club-type environments. Perhaps one of the main reasons she and Lyda were friends was that they held the same viewpoint on relationships. When Lyda found the right one, she'd act on it, but until then she'd made it clear there was too damn much to do and enjoy to spend a lot of time on romantic pining. If she'd had any patience for such nonsense.

  Lyda was even farther on the pragmatic end of the scale than Regina was. But Lyda had revealed a woman's desire to love and commit when she'd found the two submissives she wanted above all others. She was still a hardass and a tough Mistress, but now the extreme end of that manifested itself only toward anyone who didn't understand Noah and Gen belonged to her.