Truly helpless, p.37
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       Truly Helpless, p.37

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

  If he thought back through almost every exchange they'd had about it, he was the one who used The Zone issue as defense and conflict point most often. She didn't; had even suggested a couple times that things were obviously about more than that between them. So who was he really fucking up with that shit?

  He washed his hands and ran damp palms over his face, because it felt needed to wake him up, or wipe away...something. He hadn't cried--God, he would have just thrown himself off the plane if he'd been that much of a pussy, but he had that kind of drained feeling that came to a kid in his bed after crying his eyes out.

  He hadn't cried since he was nine years old. But he'd needed her to put her arms around him afterward, hold him. Jesus. He didn't do aftercare. Not like that. Plus, this had been punishment, not a session.

  "Fuck it," he muttered, and left the bathroom. He strode across the conference room, noting the pointer lying there, all neat and aligned with a control box on the table, probably for the videoconferencing capabilities a couple monitors suggested the room had. Fucking cool, having all that up in the air like this.

  He stopped abruptly, head whipping toward the window as something dark caught his eye, just a flash. All he saw were blue sky and clouds, but he moved to the window anyway to look. Maybe they'd passed one of those birds they were outdistancing. Or maybe Regina's dragon had passed them.

  The thought gave him an unexpected smile. Not on his mouth, just a small one inside. He bet she'd been a strong-willed child, because the woman was indomitable.

  The sound of three voices chatting amiably struck the hollow pit in his stomach. Was he nervous? Crap, he was. He was used to being an asshole, and apologizing only in fake kind of ways. Being genuinely contrite wasn't his comfort zone.

  Regina hadn't left him a choice. With her combination of gentle firmness, ruthless punishment and straightforward logic, she'd made him truly sorry he'd been an ass. Afterward, maybe he could slink back into the conference room, because they wouldn't really want to be around such a jerk anyway. He wondered if he might be hitching back from New Orleans.

  Don't be a fucking coward. He stepped out of the conference room, and the conversation ceased. Peter's gaze turned toward him. Cool and steady, his jaw set. Full Dom mode. Male Doms usually raised Marius's hackles, and he could feel his fists starting to curl, but he saw Regina's glance go to them and he forced them to loosen. He cleared a throat that was suddenly dry.

  "I'm...uh, fuck." He closed his eyes. Boy, did he suck at this. He forced himself to open them back up again and met Peter's gaze head on. "I apologize. There was no excuse for that shit. I...uh...I didn't mean to disrespect you or your sub."

  His gaze shifted to Regina. As hard as it had been to look at Peter, that had been a testosterone conflict. It was hard to look at her because he felt ashamed under her steady regard. He walked several feet into the room and dropped to a knee, bowing his head to her. "I particularly didn't mean to shame my Mistress. She didn't deserve that. No punishment would be sufficient, but however you want me to make amends, I'll do it."

  "Did she punish you?" Peter asked, voice neutral.

  "Yeah." If the guy asked him to take down his pants and show him like an errant schoolboy, he would belt him. He wouldn't be able to stop himself. Given Peter's size and military background, that probably wouldn't be a quick or easy fight. Fortunately, Peter didn't.

  "With what?"

  The question hadn't been directed to him. A little smile flirted around Regina's full lips, though her eyes remained serious and kept Marius within their span. "The pointer, on his ass. Makes a great switch."

  "Ouch," Dana said, mouth twisting in a wince. "If you need someone to rub that to make it feel better..." She bit back what she was about to say as Peter's hand fell on her thigh and squeezed hard, her Master following up the gesture with his own warning.

  "I'll apply double the same punishment to your sweet little butt if you don't behave," he said, his eyes glinting. Then his attention returned to Regina.

  "Your sub's apology is accepted," he told her. "My compliments on your methods. And thank you for not asking me to watch."

  Regina chuckled. "You and the rest of Matt's boys are about as straight as straight gets. Dana is the only one who would have appreciated the view I had." She gestured to Marius. "Come kneel by me again, sweet boy. Peter brought out some more snacks and there's beer. We're talking about some good places for you and me to eat while we're in the city."

  And that was the end of it. When he came and settled at her feet, he was unsure of the atmosphere. But Regina pushed a platter at him that had a red-pepper and almond scented cheeseball surrounded by a variety of crackers. Dana offered him a soda when he declined anything harder, and the conversation resumed as if nothing had happened. Dana slid down to sit on the floor across from him and pressed her leg companionably against his as she slathered cheese on the crackers. When Regina and Peter returned to conversation, she touched his knee and spoke to him in a low voice.

  "I'm sorry I hit some bad stuff," she said seriously, and now he heard the minister, not just the sub. "Here, have this cracker. You okay?"

  She meant it sincerely, kindly. It made him feel like more of a shit, but also better, too, the two emotions not necessarily conflicting. "Yeah," he said. "I am sorry. Don't know why all that came flying out of my mouth."

  She shrugged. "Sometimes, when we're working through things, we're like a soda under too much pressure. Shake us up and we'll spew. Regina is a great Mistress, and if you've got shit weighing you down, she'll shake it out. I've been there." Her smile was quick, with shadows around the corners. "Thank God for my Master, or I might have exploded with all my personal shrapnel. Are you eating these crackers? I'm making them and you're not keeping up."

  "I'm eating, I'm eating. Pest." He flicked her knee and she kicked at him, grinning playfully. Then she sobered.

  "I think however long it lasts, you'll be good for one another. So maybe you should focus on that, more than anything else."

  Marius grunted through a mouthful of cracker. After a time, he was surprised to find himself starting to relax. When Dana drew him back into conversation with their two Doms, debating the pros and cons of seafood in Tampa versus New Orleans, it was four people keeping one another company, no longer Doms and subs.

  Well, except when Regina's foot pressed against his side, her hand falling casually on his neck and shoulder. Or when she offered him a cracker, making him take it from her fingers and watching him with her beautiful brown eyes as he ate it.

  At such moments he knew the truth. Even if he became just one of her subs at The Zone, she was his Mistress. One and only.

  He would accept that, make that be enough. Because to want more would be to ruin what he had today.

  Chapter Fifteen

  Her presentation was scheduled soon after they landed, so Regina had them do a quick check in at the hotel to drop off their stuff, and then Marius accompanied her to the offices nearby where she was doing her workshop. After she disappeared into the building, he walked a couple blocks to Harrah's Casino.

  He studied the opulent logo lit up in neon outside the Roman-looking building and wandered into the casino. The flashing colors and incessant noise reminded him of a fight crowd, one he couldn't tune out by immersing himself in preparation for combat. He liked the intricate sculptures hanging from the ceiling, though. One looked like a sea king's chariot, surrounded by mermaids.

  He headed out of the cacophony and toward the riverfront, where he bought himself a sandwich and listened to some live music.

  He didn't let himself think about too much. His ass hurt every time he moved, since the denim chafed against the raw flesh. Since he'd still managed to get a hard-on numerous times since this morning, he was certain the straps of the cock harness would leave a permanent impression when it was removed. He was ready for that. His gaze slid to his wrist. He wasn't ready for the bracelet to be removed. He hoped she required him to wear it for the whol
e trip.

  Eventually, he returned to the big office building, sitting down on a bench in a landscaped area. He watched a mix of panhandlers, tourists, business and street people. The sunshine made him sleepy, so he dozed off and on until she emerged.

  When she did, everything else around her disappeared. Well, in a way. It did something powerful to a man's insides, seeing a woman he felt was his--at least for the moment-- out in public, dressed up for business, the whole world seeing only one side of her, when he knew so many more.

  She'd removed her blazer, so the silky thin blouse molded to her curves with the fluttering breeze, the hint of her bra showing under the thin fabric. Her slacks outlined her hips, long thighs and incomparable firm ass.

  But as good as all those things were, it was her face, the eyes hidden behind sunglasses, that held him. The auburn and black locs danced along her shoulders in shimmering ripples as she walked.

  She'd seen him, her lips curving as if in genuine pleasure at seeing him waiting for her. When was the last time a woman had felt that way about him? And she'd made it impossible to tear himself down by saying she didn't know him well enough to know better. Because she did know him. Sometimes better than he knew himself.

  When she sat down beside him, he presented her two gifts, a voodoo doll and a strand of sparkling beads. She held up the beads, her lips pursing. "Did they tell you women would flash their tits at you to get these?"

  "Yes," he said solemnly. "I was told it works on any woman in New Orleans. So if I'm giving them to you, at some point, you'll have to show me your breasts."

  "Look. They're right here. For all the world to see." She threw back her shoulders and posed side to side, making him chuckle.

  "So unfair, Mistress."

  "I know, I'm a bitch." She looked more closely at the voodoo doll and started laughing. "Who did this?"

  "This guy up on Canal Street. You give him a few features, and he does the rest. He slaps the nametag on them, though, in case you don't recognize who it's supposed to be. I was pretty sure you wouldn't have that problem."

  The doll's head was a ball of twine, the body of soft cloth. It appeared to have bulging biceps and was well stuffed under the denim trousers. It was also wearing a pair of handcuffs made out of a paper clip. She gestured to the distended groin area. "Someone may have exaggerated their attributes."

  "Or underplayed them," he informed her.

  She smoothed her hand over the paper tag that read Marius. Flipping it over, she noted the back said Duncan. Her gaze lifted to his.

  "A voodoo doll is the ultimate gift for a Domme," he pointed out. "You can stick pins in it, tie it up, twist the dick into all sorts of knots, even when I'm not in front of you."

  "It's far more fun to do it in person." She held the doll up next to him, comparing critically. "Still, the head made of yarn is a close match. And the biceps are pretty good." She tested his with her grip, caressing the muscles since he had his arm crooked on the back of the bench. Then she pinched the doll's. "They should have used something firmer, like concrete."

  It pleased him, stupidly, he knew, so he pretended not to react to her approbation. "Well, he only had cotton."

  "It's a very thoughtful gift. Thank you." She hung the beads around his neck, tugging on them. "Now you'll have to show me your bare chest when demand it. I need to go to the room to change so we can head for Dale's." She nodded in the direction of their hotel. The Belle Maison was only a few blocks over from their current location. "Stay here."

  "I could go with you."

  "No." She gave him an appraising look, and the flash of heat in her eyes startled him. "If I get you in a room right now, we won't leave anytime soon."

  He rose when she did. "I can take care of your needs pretty damn fast, Mistress. And not worry about mine."

  Her gaze heated. "Now that is a gift," she purred. "How fast?"

  He closed the distance between them. "I need to kiss you to say for sure."

  Her lips were curving when he brought his to them, but the urgency he felt upon the contact made him tighten his hold on her waist. It got him going, the obvious evidence she'd been thinking about having him, while in her meeting. He wanted to move his touch all over, up and down, stroke and grip, but he stayed where he was, conveying his desire through his grasp and his, yes, sizeable response to her he had pressed against her hips.

  He drew back his head, keeping his body against hers. "Five minutes from the time we get into the room," he promised. "I could get the job done faster, but I don't want it over too soon."

  She stared at him. "You know, that was probably the worst presentation I've ever given. All I could think about was how much I wanted my sub. His cock, his clever mouth, his rough fingers."

  Her parted lips and the desire in her dark eyes made him take the lead as much as the heady words. Sliding his arm around her waist, he propelled them into motion, pulling her laptop bag from her shoulder so she wasn't having to carry it.

  "Next time, give me a burner phone and send a text," he advised. "I could handle your needs on your break, Mistress. Under the table, if it had a long enough table cloth. Or none. I don't give a fuck."

  Her sultry laughter stroked his cock. As they reached the hotel and crossed the lobby, he was grateful they'd already checked in. Regina managed a cordial nod to the desk staff, while Marius didn't acknowledge them. Everything was about his Mistress and the need he'd promised to assuage for her.

  When the elevator doors closed around them, Marius dropped the bag and seized her, lifting her against the wall and pressing his body between her legs, hiking her thigh over his hip. He went after her mouth with seduction, not attack. Stroking, nibbling, his tongue sliding in to play. His hand moved down her side, thin silk over heated flesh. She let out a pleased sigh, breasts pressing into his chest.

  He palmed her backside as he pushed his erection against her core with relentless intent. "Nothing between us, Mistress."

  The elevator dinged, and she started to move, but he kept holding and kissing her. "Not our floor," he muttered. "Two more."

  "Oh--" It had surprised her that she'd been too lost in what he was doing to track it, but he reveled in it. Not because it meant he had power over her. It meant she was trusting him. He'd never received a gift so sweet, because for once, it had been earned. She'd helped him figure out how to earn it, rather than blowing it.

  He didn't care who saw them as the door opened, or who might get on with them. If they were offended, they could get over it. He kissed her mouth, feeling like he could do just this. Much as he wanted to fuck her, this was good. So good. Her arm was around his shoulder, the other gripping his biceps.

  He thought he heard a wry female voice say, "Only in New Orleans," and then the doors closed and they were headed up again. Regina choked on a laugh, breathless with arousal.

  He put her down and flipped her around, pressing her face first against the elevator wall as he went after her neck next, pushing her hair out of his way and holding it in a fist as he bit, sucked, kissed, nuzzling the blouse out of his way to tease her collar bone with his mouth.

  "Marius," she breathed.

  He liked how his name sounded on her lips. It didn't sound wrong, fake. He ran his hands down her sides again, her hips, her thighs, and back up, keeping his body flush against her as he ravaged her neck. The door opened and they were at their floor.

  He picked up the laptop bag and kept kissing her, turning her around in his arms so they did a waltzing kind of walk down the hallway. When they reached the room, he pushed her against the door so hard, it rattled.

  "Open it," he growled. She found the key card, and he guided her wrist, steadying it so they put it in the slot together. The door opened, and they were inside.

  He dropped the bag again. This time she backed away, her eyes bright and sharp as he sauntered toward her. He was good at this part. He'd always been good at it, once he figured out the sub angle in his nature. He loved seducing a woman, loved givin
g her pleasure. But she'd taught him it felt best when it was selfless, no motive, just the need to serve every desire she had.

  Her lips were parted and he came at her again, gripping her face, stroking his hands through her hair in the way she and he both seemed to like. He slipped the buttons of the blouse and slid it off her shoulders, transferring the beads from around his neck to hers, letting them dangle as he unhooked the front fastening bra to reveal her breasts. A smile teased his lips as his gaze flickered up to meet hers.

  "You got your way after all," she said with mock reproof.

  "Only because you let me," he said, and scooped her up to lay her on the bed. He opened her slacks and removed them, then gazed down at her wearing nothing but a white filmy pair of lace panties, the crotch dampened with her arousal. She lifted her legs to place a foot on his chest. He resisted the pressure when she pushed against him playfully, turning his head to kiss her ankle, work down her calf and inside thigh. He nuzzled her pussy, sucking and licking it through the thin cloth, making her buck up against his mouth. Then he unbuckled his belt, opened the jeans and pushed them out of his way. But he took a folded piece of paper out of the pocket first and closed her hand over it, kissing her wrist and up to her shoulder, back to her mouth.

  "What's this?" she breathed.

  "What I said in the elevator. Proof that I can be inside you with nothing between us," he said, lips hovering over hers. "Your choice, Mistress. Hand, mouth, or cock?"

  She crumpled the paper, and laid her arms above her head like a siren who knew her effect on men was irresistible, unconquerable. Because it was.

  "We're near a casino," she said. "So dealer's choice. You have three more minutes."

  "Not doing my job if you're watching the clock."

  "Well, I wasn't going to say anything, but..."

  He grinned and slid an arm around her waist, hiking her up so he could put a knee on the bed. Once poised over her again, he paused. Gleaming brown skin, long limbs, her dark eyes penetrating him in multiple ways, moist lips parted, her sex glistening with arousal. One leg still hooked over his hip, her foot rubbing the back of his thigh.

  "You promised to bring your Mistress to orgasm within five minutes," she reminded him softly. "Do as you promised, Marius. And take off the cock harness."