Truly helpless, p.20
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       Truly Helpless, p.20

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

  He might leave her there. She had a phone and knew how to call a cab, so that didn't concern her. She wouldn't get in a car with him if he was making a shift to a more volatile mood anyhow. Disappointment lurked in her lower belly, but she pushed it away. Whatever happened, happened.

  It took him about five minutes. As he'd progressed down the Riverwalk, his movements became more jerky and angry, as if he was having a fight with himself. She didn't watch him for long, preferring instead to enjoy the night scenery and listen to the brief snatches of conversation from people strolling along behind her.

  She'd closed her eyes and lifted her face to the touch of the breeze, when she felt the rail vibrate from his weight settling against it.

  "I can't be what you want," he said, his voice wooden.

  "Yes, you can." Opening her eyes, she lowered her chin. This time she put every bit of a Mistress's challenge in her expression and voice. "I can prove it. Give me something real, Marius. Tell me something you want, from your gut, your balls and your heart. Better yet, show me. Put all the bullshit aside and just show me."

  She saw the flash in his irises, a storm lit by lightning. Then he straightened, pinning her against the rail. She closed her hands over the metal bar on either side of her; he locked his hands over her wrists, holding her there. Her eyes never left his as the two of them stayed motionless a few charged moments. His groin pressed against her pelvis, his erection growing harder with every breath she took.

  Since she hadn't worn heels, she had to raise her chin about an inch. It made her aware of how close their mouths were. She didn't flinch or retreat, letting the energy build. His gaze swept down, where her breasts were against his chest, the position giving him a more revealing look down into the lace cups of her bra.

  As he studied the flesh cradled there, something flashed across his expression. For a second, she was almost sure he would bend and put his head there, nuzzle and lick. If she'd been sitting, he would have knelt between her spread thighs to do it, cradling the curves, handling them with gentle fingers and a relentless grip.

  But he lifted his gaze and fastened his attention on her mouth. Her lips would be full and wet-looking, thanks to her gloss.

  "Something real, Marius," she said, a husky whisper. "Don't drag your ass."

  "I'm not even kissing or fucking you, but I feel like I am." His voice was husky. As if he expected her to fight him, his hands slid up to her biceps and gripped. He used his strength to bring her up on her toes and his mouth to hers. He did it like an avalanche, deceptively slow and ponderous, and then all that brutal power, the ability to bury everything in its path with its weight, was upon her.

  Careful what you wish for. Wasn't that the saying?

  This embrace was raw, animalistic, like the night of the fight. It was as if he was locked in combat with her, though she was giving herself to his embrace, her hands sliding up his abdomen to his chest, pressing against the hold on her biceps until he let her reach his neck. She gripped and held on, feeling his pulse hammering against her palm. He didn't let go of her upper arms, though. If anything, his grip became more bruising.

  Hard, hungry, painful. He needed to make it hurt, because he was hurting. It was too much light for a denizen of hell, as he'd said. When she parted her lips under the demand of his, his tongue slid in as he tried to dominate the kiss. She evaded him with slippery, wet heat, tangling and embracing his mouth instead of letting him fight with hers. His body was pressed as insistently against her as was possible with them both clothed. He hiked her up on the rail, her feet leaving the ground as he pushed himself between her legs, grinding against her core and banding his arms around her, one hand gripping her ass and the other flat against her back.

  Her back was to the water and they were in a brace of shadows, but there was no mistaking this was over the line of socially acceptable PDA.

  He didn't care. She could feel it, and a reaction shuddered low in her belly, strumming through her upper thighs. He wanted to take her down and fuck her right here. The thing that lay at the core of Duncan Marius Walczek was untamed and uncivilized. Rabid.

  The night of the fight, she'd seen a lot of men don personas to add to the drama. He had unmasked himself. By doing so now, he resurrected a primal throb she'd been carrying deep inside her, ever since seeing him fight.

  He wanted her to fight him. She refused, for entirely selfish reasons. She was too busy enjoying all that male heat, unleashed and uncontrolled. Not practiced or charming at all, praise God and Goddess both.

  But in time, she did start to soothe the beast with a quiet noise against his mouth, with the stroke of her fingertips along his neck and shoulders, and by easing her body off the rail so she stood against him. She wasn't sure what helped him power down, but if she had to make an educated guess, she'd say the unbelievable potency of that kiss had freaked him out.

  Gradually, control of the kiss moved back into her court, though the weakness of her knees and a million feathers brushing inside her thighs and stomach said his aggression hadn't been unwelcome. When she broke the kiss, she kept her mouth close, brushing it against the corner of his, along his cheekbone. His fingers flexed on her hips.

  "Let me take you somewhere and fuck you." He said it in a hoarse growl. "That's as real as I know how to be."

  "This is enough. This is everything." She stroked his jaw and drew his eyes to hers. Still wild and filled with animal heat, but he was getting a grip on himself.

  She'd like to take a grip--of the hard, impressive shaft pressed against her pelvis. She'd guide it into her cunt and let him pleasure them both, but it was all too soon. She had to rein herself back as much as he did.

  "I want you to know something, something that might trigger your asshole reflex," she said softly. "But I'm saying it anyway so you can think about it later. I wasn't kidding at the concert. This is the best date I've ever had."

  He stared at her with that searching look that was confusion and anger, and so many mixed up things. He parted his lips to speak, but he was interrupted.

  "Some spare change for a flower, son?" A wizened, dark-skinned man carrying an old fishing bucket had stopped behind them. The flowers in the bucket were created from the type of reeds used to make baskets. He'd twisted them into spiral roses. "You can have two if you want," he added. "They're not hard to make."

  He wore clothing in a nondescript meshing of colors and which had a loose fit on his aged frame. His thin face was cloaked by a shaggy beard, and his fishing cap had seen many better days. If he wasn't homeless, he was close to it.

  "Live flowers are pretty," he told Regina. "But they fade. These never do."

  Regina managed a smile. Marius dropped the rest of his change into the man's hand, chose a flower and nodded. "Thanks, old timer," he said.

  "Hang onto her," the man said, moving on down the Riverwalk, the bucket clasped in one hand. "Else you'll be like me, even if you're in a fancy suit and office somewhere. Alone is alone, no matter where it is." He turned the last comment into a blues riff and scatted it out, earning smiles from other people as he passed them doing soft shoe.

  "Curious bastard," Marius commented. Meeting her gaze, he offered the flower. "I had a good time tonight, too."

  Regina smiled and took the offering. "He's right. As pretty as a real rose might be, I like this one better."

  "Of course you do. It was made by a lost soul."

  And offered to me by one.

  A decision formed in her mind. It would take things deeper than she'd intended tonight, but it felt right and she was going to run with it. It wasn't a late-night booty call craving. She knew the difference between that and this.

  She put her hand on his face. "Normal date is over. We'll pick up my car, and then you'll follow me back to my place."

  The look she gave him told him what she wanted. His own reflected heat and more confusion, mixed with some residual anger he hadn't been able to let go. But she knew he received the message from how he responded.<
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  "Yes, Mistress."

  Chapter Nine

  Regina lived in a waterfront bay community near the Tampa airport. She told him the address in case they were separated, but he kept pace with her car, pulling into her driveway after a fifteen-minute drive. During that time, she caught glimpses of his face at stoplights, but couldn't read much from it. From the neck up, the boy was a hell of a poker player. Other body language gave her far more insights into what was happening in his head.

  "This is probably stupid," she told herself for the second time. Or maybe the third. She'd been technically alone with him at the stables, but she knew that was a rationalization. A pair of security guards monitored cameras throughout the grounds from an office in the clubhouse, where they stayed discreet and invisible. They didn't disrupt scenes in process unless it looked necessary.

  She didn't have that safety net in her home. But there was a reason it was called Risk Aware Consensual Kink, right? Yep, they could put that on her tombstone when she pushed him too far and he was in prison for murdering her in a fit of rage.

  Stop it. If you're really worried about it, call it off. If not, keep following your gut.

  Getting out of her car, she motioned him to follow her inside as she unlocked the door and left it open behind her.

  The two-story sand-colored stucco home butted up to the deep-water canal that led to the bay. The water views made the sun porch and back patio endlessly enjoyable for relaxation. Inside, it had all the amenities she wanted. The four bedrooms and three baths had given her an adult playroom, spacious enough to host the occasional small party with kink friends. Her upstairs home office offered her an impressive view of the bay beyond the canal. Her bedroom was a first-floor nest on the western side of the house, where morning sun wouldn't wake her. When she'd traveled more often, her hours had often been irregular.

  She dropped her keys on the granite countertop in her kitchen. She enjoyed cooking, though living alone, she didn't always take the time to do it. That made the conveniences of the modern kitchen a nice-to-have, but not as important as the features offered by other spaces. Like her playroom and the outdoor living areas.

  Unzipping her ankle boots, she pulled off them and the stockings beneath, sighing with her usual contentment as she stepped onto the living room carpet and let her toes curl into the softness. One lamp was on, a golden glow contrast to the silvery illumination coming through the bank of living room windows, thanks to the lights lining the canal boardwalk.

  She was aware Marius had come into the kitchen and stood behind her, saying nothing. As she pivoted, the lack of light in the kitchen put him in the shadows.

  "Take off your shoes. Socks, too." Her gaze slid over him. "Actually, take it all off."

  "Sure you want the normal date to be over?" His expression might not reflect his thoughts on the matter, but his words offered her the chance to keep this a simple late night fuck, rather than complicating it with the Dom/sub stuff. That would keep it easy for him. Easy for them both.

  She wasn't in the mood for easy.

  Moving to him, she cupped his nape. He was more than ready for her, meeting her mouth with an abundance of banked hunger. She braced her feet when he would have pushed her against the counter, instead holding him with one hand on his neck and the other against his chest. His fingers curled into her waist and hips like talons, holding her belt loops. She teased and tangled with his tongue, slowed them down. Putting a palm flat on his chest, she broke the kiss.

  "Take all of it off and stay here until I come back."

  She would have enjoyed watching him remove his clothes, but she gave up that pleasure to invest in another form of indulgence. Going to her playroom, she set out what she wanted and covered the items with a towel so he couldn't immediately see them when she brought him there.

  Returning to her kitchen, she found he hadn't obeyed her. He stood fully dressed on the tile, fingers half curled at his sides, his eyes broody and mouth set. The expression coupled with the darkness in the kitchen caused a ripple in her vitals and took her back to her internal debate in the car.

  Yes, he wasn't entirely safe to bring home. Tyler would have snarled at her for it, but sometimes a Mistress or Master had to follow instincts and rely on emergency services to do their job if the worst happened.

  The spurt of grim humor came with the memory of the night Tyler had agreed to let Marguerite top him in a semi-public session. He'd tapped a bad internal trigger, one that made her lose control and beat the hell out of him. But whatever breakthrough they'd had that night had made him say, more than once, that it was the best error of judgment he'd ever made. So if he wanted to lecture her, she'd just remind him of that. Though Tyler being Tyler, an old school Southern male, he'd say without an ounce of shame that it was different, because he was male and Regina was female. Yeah, right.

  "Problem?" she asked, her tone neutral.

  Marius shook his head. "I think I'm going to go. Shifting gears like this. I wasn't expecting it." He stopped, obviously struggling with what he was really trying to say. Or how to escape without actually saying it.

  "Okay. Fair enough. You want to split some of the spinach puffs I had them box up, and take them home with you?"

  His gaze lifted to hers, slowly. "I'm not invited into a woman's house often." He moved another step toward her, fingers flexing at his sides. The shadows cloaked his eyes now, making them impossible to read. "Not alone, like this."

  The alarm tingle got a lot stronger. She moved forward, so she could see his eyes. He had a cool, detached stare, but a lot was happening behind it. He was fighting on a battleground far from here, and this golem left in his stead might still spill blood in her kitchen. If she left him here, and walked calmly into her living room, she could make it to the rear patio door and be outside in a blink, within calling distance of plenty of help. And--

  Stop. Fuck that.

  She went a step closer to him, within reach of his powerful hands that had broken three strong men in one night. A raw energy gathered, prepared to leap. He was going to reach out, grab her, make her startle or flinch, which was what that demon inside him wanted. It wanted to make her afraid. That's how it would take control. So...

  She slapped him, then caught his shirt collar and yanked him back to her mouth for a violent kiss. When his arms went around her, she ripped open his shirt in one pull, summoning a snarl from him. His hands clamped on her hips and she countered, raking her nails down his chest, drawing blood. She'd had the occasional hardcore sub who craved bloodplay, and she knew how to deliver that when needed.

  Gray eyes went back to lightning storm, but she'd startled him enough to get a split-second of advantage. She ducked under his arm, gripped the back of the shirt collar and yanked the whole garment off his broad shoulders to his forearms, restricting their movement. She hit the small of his back with the heel of her hand, pulled him back to his heels and put him on the ground while his balance was off. Shoving him face-forward to the tile, she changed her grip to his neck and planted her knee in his back, digging her nails into his flesh.

  He wasn't the first grown man she'd had to take down.

  "You're under the mistaken impression that there's a rabbit in this room, boy," she said sharply. "And you think you're the big, bad wolf. That may be true, but I'm the she-wolf here, the bitch in charge. If you want to turn this into an all-out fight, you might win the physical side. You're a strong beast. But if you want me to show fear, cower or startle when you whip out all that badness, you've picked the wrong fucking female."

  She backed off him in one lithe move and spoke in the same ruthless tone. "Your hands should still be able to reach your buckle. Strip off your belt and hand it to me. Then open your jeans and push them down to your knees. If you can't handle that, if you're afraid of me, if you just want to be done with this, you can leave. I won't stop you. But if you stay, you do as you're fucking told."

  Slowly, he maneuvered himself to his knees, head bowed. She cou
ld see his profile in silhouette, the rise and fall of his shoulders, the way his fists were clenched at his hips, beneath the folds of the tangled shirt.

  Reaching out, she feathered her fingers over his bare shoulder, the point of his neck, an easy stroke. She kept doing it, a casual gesture at odds with her hard demand and the violence of the past moment. At length, she took the shirt off of him, helping him slide the sleeves over his hands, and stepped back. She masked her held breath and tense center, which didn't release until he unbuckled the belt. Stripping it from his lean waist, he held it out to his side for her. His jeans slid down to his hips.

  "Good." She took it from him and watched the ripple of movement across his shoulders as he unzipped the pants and pushed them to his knees. He wasn't wearing underwear, as he'd said, and his ass was fine and tight, muscles flexing, the neat seam between his buttocks making her want to tease and probe.

  "Rise." She put her hand under his elbow to steady him. "Take off the shoes and socks, then get rid of the jeans."

  When he complied, Marius was naked in her kitchen. As she circled him, she noticed with satisfaction and a nice spear of lust his cock was high and stiff. She looped the belt around the base, cinched it, then brought the tongue up to her shoulder so she could see his reaction as she pulled, so insistently he lurched a step forward. It wouldn't stop the strap from biting into tender flesh.

  He showed his teeth at the pain, but she ignored that. Instead, she dropped her free hand and gripped his cock, stroking the smooth but hard erection with light fingertips. When at last she allowed the belt to loosen and slip away, she replaced it fully with her hand. As his gaze went opaque and lips parted, she gave the belt to him, pressing it into his half-curled palm. "Put it behind your back, and wind it around both your wrists," she said. "Restrain yourself. We're going to take a walk together."

  His brow furrowed but his shoulders twitched as he began to comply. She didn't let herself indulge the victory. She kept stroking his shaft, investigating the glans and slit with a probing thumb, noting the quiver through his muscles as his arousal started to build and pre-come dampened her skin. He was getting thicker and bigger in her grasp, a temptation to which she wasn't immune. Her own body tightened, loosened and liquefied in all the right ways.