Truly helpless, p.24
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       Truly Helpless, p.24

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

  The growly thought was a little too uncomfortably possessive. The quick surge of relief he felt when he remembered her saying she'd done a lot of traveling before the community college job didn't make him less uneasy with himself.

  Shoving anything away related to why he was having such an idiotic train of thought, he got into the shower. The hot water was sheer bliss and, though he knew he should keep it short, he had to indulge it. He soaped everything up good, though when the friction brought the scent of her climax to his nose, his hand slowed and gripped his cock. It had hardened instantly when his brain identified what he was inhaling. The memory of her pussy required that he stroke, and he did, for about half a minute, long enough for his breath to start catching, but then he stopped. He didn't jerk off in a Mistress's shower if she...if she hadn't said it was okay.

  It wasn't a sub thing, he told himself. He wasn't thinking of her as his Mistress. He just owed her that courtesy.

  Yeah, he was a twisted, screwed-up fuck. He needed to leave. Really, really, really needed to leave.

  Finishing the shower, he toweled off fast and put on his clothes, which were still reasonably clean. He finger-combed his hair, brushed his teeth, and gave himself a look in the mirror. He wished she'd left him a razor. She was probably joking about shaving him herself. He wanted to look a little better for her than this. But it was all he could do.

  He heard movement in the kitchen. That was where they'd come in last night, so he'd missed his margin for escape, unless he just told her he had to go and left it at that.

  She'd let him go. He knew she would. She didn't overindulge in sentiment, but she was ruthless in her determination to have what she did want. It was a combination he wasn't used to handling.

  If he was being brutally honest, he didn't want to leave yet. But lying to himself was his preferred coping mechanism, so he decided to stay because it wasn't worth the hassle of figuring out an escape strategy. Plus the cinnamon buns smelled really good.

  When he reached the kitchen doorway, he had to pause to look at her. Take in as much as he could, another form of hunger, before she told him to stop staring.

  She stood before the stove. She was wearing a sports bra and bike shorts. It wasn't a woman's most attractive look, everything held way too tight in his opinion. Her in his open shirt and nothing else... Thinking of it did odd things to him. Not just arousal, which was a given around her. It made him feel things that had him wishing she was wearing it now. He'd strip it off his back and give it to her. Another part of him never wanted her to wear it again, since he didn't know what to do with that feeling.

  The woman had a superb body, no question on that. Smooth muscle layers on her abdomen, biceps and thighs, but still feminine. A sheen of sweat limned her neck, her locs coiled in a thick twist above it. As his gaze went to the delicate column of her throat--because it was the part of her that always made him feel things he shouldn't feel but wanted to--things came to a full, bone-jarring stop.

  He had no right to be looking at her. No right to her at all. The dark purple-red bruising, clearly marks left from links of chain, said so.

  Yet his feet were moving. They took him to her, one step, one painful breath at a time. When he stopped beside her, he could tell she was aware of his presence, but she didn't seem tense or worried. That didn't erase what he'd done last night.

  Eyes closing, he leaned forward and put his lips against them. Then stayed there, eyes closing. She made a quiet noise and turned her head, her lips brushing his cheek as she lifted her other hand to his jaw.

  Forgiveness. She didn't have to say a word for him to feel it, because it was something he'd always wanted...and never deserved.

  Pain ripped through his chest, down into his belly and made his balls draw up against him like a wild animal facing the crosshairs of a rifle. It startled him enough he snapped up straight and stepped back.

  "I've got to go."

  "I know," she said agreeably. "I have things to get done today. But first you're going to help me eat these cinnamon buns so they don't all end up on my ass, and I'm going to give you a shave. Sit down, shut up and eat. You burned off everything last night. You look gaunt."

  She pointed him toward a table that had two black, green and white striped place settings. A sparkling pitcher of orange juice was surrounded by bacon, eggs, fresh cut fruit and granola.

  His stomach gurgled, betraying his resolve.

  When she turned back to the stove, he saw she was spreading cream cheese icing on the hot cinnamon buns. She tossed him another quick but distracted smile and set the case knife aside. As she lifted the tray with one hand and took it to the table, he noticed her holding the other hand out to her side, fingers upraised because they were dotted with icing. She probably intended to clean them off in the sink after she put down the platter.

  He intercepted her.

  What was going on with him this morning? He didn't know. There was no calculation to this, no ultimate objective, to bring her closer or push her away. He just wanted what he wanted.

  He'd caught her by the waist, stopping her at the sink. As she lifted a quizzical brow, he brought her fingers to his mouth and began to suck the icing off of them. Her eyes got darker and more intent, and she moved closer. He gave way to prop himself against the counter and bring her between his knees, holding her waist with one hand. But when she took the lead, feeding him her fingers one by one, his hunger increased. His touch dropped to her ass as he followed her direction. He gripped her like he thought letting go of her would result in a fall.

  She made a pleased little humming noise and leaned into him, her mound brushing his pelvis. She was allowing him to hold her and he felt...grateful.

  Recalling himself, he straightened, but she'd already anticipated his retreat and eased back, tossing him a smile as she nudged him away from the sink. "Pretty good icing, right?" she asked, washing her hands. "I could eat a whole vat of it myself. Did it once and made myself completely sick. Now I avoid overindulgence in the things I find irresistible."

  She gave him a pointed look and took a seat at the table, gesturing him into the other one before she spooned out a generous amount of eggs, fruit and bacon for herself. "Take as much as you want and don't hold back. I let myself have as much as I can pile on after a workout, but the rule is I can only have the one plate. And I use a mid-size plate." She winked. "The games we play with ourselves."

  He slid into the chair and surveyed the food before him. At her encouraging nod, he admonished himself to pull his head out of his ass and get a grip on whatever the hell was going on with him. He put double bacon on his plate; no need to tell him twice to help himself.

  As he loaded up, she watched him, eating her eggs in small, polite bites. "Ask me a question," she said at length.

  He grunted, consuming food like a high-powered vacuum. "What do you want me to ask?"

  "Something to start a conversation. You're practiced at getting a woman to talk about herself, so she'll think you're interested in her. Something should come to mind."

  "I am interested in them," he said shortly. "I remember everything they tell me, and lots of stuff they don't but I pick up."

  "Hmm." Her gaze became more thoughtful. "Like my attraction to lost souls?"

  "Yeah." He bit into a cinnamon bun, and died a little death. He could hardly stop himself from shoveling in the eggs like a backhoe. He loved her voice, so he wished she'd just talk and not ask him to do so.

  Fortunately, she seemed to pick up on that. She didn't ask him to talk again. Eating was serious business, so when he got a chance at a spread like this, he didn't like to split focus. Though he didn't mind that he was sharing the meal with a beautiful, hot Domme who smelled like clean sweat, cinnamon and sugar. And bacon.

  As he scraped the last of the eggs from the bowl onto his plate, he realized the bacon was gone, and he'd mowed through half the cinnamon buns. She was still working on her first one, pulling the soft, fresh sweet bread into pieces to put
them in her mouth, licking icing off her fingers after each bite and making him want to do that for her all over again.

  However, her scrutiny distracted him. She'd been watching him closely.

  "When was the last time you ate, Marius?" she asked.

  "Last night. With you."

  "I meant before that. I get the feeling you're used to feeding yourself on the cheap."

  "It's not hard. McDonald's has a dollar menu." Christ, shut up, he told himself.

  "You made money working security, and you make money on those fights, I hope. Where's your money going?" She leaned forward. "Marius, your only contact info is a Zone email account and a burner phone just for Tal. Where do you live?"

  He pushed back from the table. "I got to go. I have to go."

  "Nice grammar correction, but it's not the first time you've slipped. I know you're a rough man. That you have to work at it to sound educated. But you can do it, because you're also a smart man. That's different from an educated man, but valued far less than it should be. I'd hire a smart man over an educated one any day."

  She rose and went to the counter. "I'm giving you a shave. Then you can go."

  "I'm going now."

  "That would be poor manners for a full breakfast. Or are you scared to let a woman shave you?"

  She pivoted and he saw she was holding a hunting knife. Perhaps five inches in length, the blade flashed, catching the overhead light over the kitchen table.

  The look in her eyes was pure Mistress, and it did something to him, he couldn't deny it. He felt rooted to the chair.

  "I'd think twice before letting anyone shave me with that," he said, to buy himself some time.

  She grinned, and something loosened in his gut at the relaxed gesture. She was going to let the other topic go. For now.

  "See? Smart man. But am I just anyone?" Setting the knife aside, she pulled off the sports bra, freeing her generous breasts. Beneath the sports bra, she had on a scrap of a bra that engaged the male senses far more provocatively. It seemed to be nothing more than a transparent, shimmering black mesh. She shimmied out of the exercise shorts, revealing a matching pair of panties which showed the cleft of her sex. Tiny red bows were at the strap on either hip, which he found absurdly sexy and delicate at once.

  Picking up the knife again, she gestured. "Pull the chair back and straddle it, facing away from the table."

  He swallowed. She had him, she knew it. If she'd kept it casual, just "fine, leave, and have a nice day," he would have left. But she'd shown him the knife and pulled out her Mistress side. She knew how to bait a hook. She was registering his triggers, learning how to stay a step ahead of him. That could get her hurt again, and he needed to go. Needed to go...

  "Duncan." The edge of her voice cut into him like the physical blade. His lip twisted, an automatic reaction of rebellion and defense, but the rest of his body betrayed him, already turning to straddle the chair as she'd commanded. Her gaze slid along the denim creased over his thighs.

  "See something you like, Mistress?" he said, trying to work up the energy for the taunt.

  Her dark gaze lifted to his. "You're the one with a hard-on. Seems I should ask you that question."

  He shifted his gaze to the wall before him without answering.

  "Shirt off," she said. "I don't want to get it wet."

  He removed and laid it aside. He wanted her to keep it anyway. Wanted to think of her wearing it like she had last night.

  She brought a bar of soap and a bowl of warm water to the table. Putting the knife to the far side of them, she cleaned her hands, adding a froth of bubbles to the water, then dried her fingers on a towel. When she moved in front of him, everything inside went on alert, gravitating toward her. Her breasts, the nipples barely contained by the translucent fabric, were before his face. Her fingertips caressed his stubbled jaw, his chest. When he reached for her, this time she evaded his touch. "Just sit there, or I'll cuff you to the chair. Once I start this, don't talk or move unless I say so. Don't want to cut you by accident."

  "How about on purpose?"

  She pulled his face up with enough force to spark things in his lower belly and cock. "Maybe. We'll see."

  He closed his eyes as her thigh brushed his. Moving behind him, she put a knee on the chair, against the seam of his ass and leaned into him. Gripping his throat anew, she tilted his head back. Her nearly bare body was brushing his, her breasts against his shoulder blades. But she hadn't started yet, and he wanted to ask a question.

  "How did you figure out the Domme thing? That you liked being a Mistress, that is."

  "Ah. I knew you'd eventually be curious about how I discovered my super power."

  The dry quip surprised him into smiling. She saw it, her fingertips brushing the curve of his mouth before she started lathering the right side of his face with the soap. "High school. I was dating a football player. I was into sports myself. Basketball, track. Wanted to join the wrestling team and they didn't have one for girls, so I created my own and learned from watching the boys do it. The boys started coming to the matches because, well, girls wrestling."

  Marius chuckled and she clucked. "Remember not to do that when I pick up the knife."

  "Believe me, I won't be laughing then."

  "Don't be a wimp. You'll be fine. I've only had a couple people bleed out when I did this, and it was before I learned how to properly sharpen a knife. That's the key to doing it right. Having a knife sharp enough for the job."

  "Well, if it's only been a couple people..."

  She tugged his hair. "Anyhow, the football player, Clarence, came to one of my matches. We started talking after it and then started dating. He was in line for full scholarships to major schools because he was a tank on the field. Unstoppable. But in the bedroom, it was a different story. He'd do all the right things, show me a good time, but I kept having this feeling something wasn't quite right. He didn't hook up with many girls, despite there always being a million after him. I'd heard that the rest of his teammates were getting nonstop pussy, and they teased him about saving himself for marriage, even though he wasn't a virgin. But he liked me, liked what he saw when I wrestled, the way I talked to him.

  "So one night, just following an instinct I didn't yet fully understand, I told him to get on his knees, put his arms behind his back like they were tied, and go down on me. He turned into a freaking sexual beast." She paused, fondness in her voice. "It was like I'd unlocked something deep inside him. Taking away his control, making him subject to my commands, we both discovered a drug we couldn't get enough of. Didn't know shit about what we were doing, and so of course we had some near misses as we got deeper and deeper into it with each other."

  Her lathering fingertips were a firm stroke that made his cock harder, but also had him closing his eyes just to enjoy the sensation. He didn't like the warm affection in her voice as she talked about the previous lover, though. Which was stupid. He tried to ignore it.

  "He got his scholarship and I had other college plans, so the relationship went the way most relationships do between high school to college. But we've stayed in touch over the years. He went pro, did several years in the NFL and then became an assistant coach. He married a Domme he met out in a dungeon in California and they have two kids."

  "All thanks to you."

  "Not hardly, but I played a part. Don't be an ass because it bugs you that I'm talking about another man."

  "I'm not," he said reflexively. She picked up the knife and gazed down at him, a faint smile on her mouth, though her eyes were serious.

  "Yeah, you are. Possessive isn't a bad look for you, but keep the sarcasm on a leash. Now be still."

  She gripped his jaw and he saw the blade in his peripheral vision as she brought it to his cheek. Her gaze was intent, her hold on his face firm and steady.

  His eyes closed again, and not because he feared the blade. It did something to him, her holding him still and running that lethal blade so close to his jugular. He could
hear his heart pounding in his ears, a slow thud. He realized her leg was pressed against his knee and he curved his hand around her thigh, needing more contact. He stroked her warm, firm skin, and thought about her pussy beneath the sheer panties, only a few inches above his touch.

  He wouldn't go there, because it would be idiotic to try and arouse her when she had a knife to his throat. She also hadn't said he could touch her like that. She hadn't given him permission to touch her at all, but she hadn't rejected him sucking on her fingers or kissing her neck, and she wasn't objecting to how he was touching her now. She wasn't that kind of Mistress.

  He'd studied her as hard as he'd studied any of them, but he'd done that to figure out advantages, weaknesses. Now he thought about it in terms of the things she liked. When out of scene, she didn't discourage physical affection from her subs, and seemed to enjoy it as much as they did. She was an unexpected combination of hardass Mistress and a softer Domme side.

  She tipped his head up, holding his chin as she worked the blade over his jaw and upper neck, following it with her thumb to ensure she'd left it smooth. Then she turned to rinse off the clippings in the bowl of water. As she continued the cycle, he slid his arm farther around her thigh. When she finished and patted his face with a towel, he circled both her thighs, and pressed his mouth to her abdomen.

  She threaded her hand through his hair, and he sighed, letting out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. He didn't want to go forward or backward, think about his mistakes or missteps, how fucked up he was or what he needed to do to stay on guard against the whole world, and especially against all the flammable shit inside himself. He just wanted to be held in her arms.

  He couldn't ask, because he had no right to do so, and he wouldn't know how to ask anyway. But she kept stroking his hair, and let him put his head there on her abdomen, her soft breasts brushing his crown. He had his arms coiled around her hips and upper thighs, the thin panties and her excellent ass.

  She eased him back, but her hands moved to his forearms to maintain the connection between them. "Come," she said quietly. As she tugged him to his feet, she caressed his now smooth jaw critically. "Good. No missed spots."