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Branded Sanctuary, Page 40

Joey W. Hill

Page 40


  Yes, thats why I remove it. A nd sometimes for swimming.

  She lifted her head, licking the last of the cream off her lips. His eyes riveted on that motion, made muscles in her lower abdomen contract.


  Thats why I remove my chest hair. For The Zone. A nd swim meets.

  She cocked her head and straightened, seeing his gaze drop to her breasts, the aroused nipples evident through the cloth. The nipple shed been tasting was a hard point as well, and she passed her fingers over it, at the same time she lifted the other hand and touched one of her own, feeling the arousal in both.

  Chloe. Youre torturing me.

  She nodded, but then gave him an impish smile. Have you won any medals?

  For swimming? He gave her that sexy grin, teasing her right back. Yeah. A couple.

  Regarding him for a few minutes in silence, she listened to the sounds of the geese on the pond behind them. She bit into a strawberry herself, picking it up off the bowl next to them. So whats in the closet?

  A s he propped his head on the chair back, he gave her a lazy smile. What would you imagine was in there?

  Cuffs. Whips. Scalpels, electrodes. Maybe a portable cage.

  Exactly right. Now if you finish your strawberries, I can take you to the park.

  She wrinkled her nose at him. That was an evasion.

  Not entirely. Taking the bowl of Cool Whip from between them, he rose, holding her around the waist with such sure strength she was able to curl her legs around his hips, hold onto him as he walked them back inside. A s he did, he brought his mouth to hers, spoke against her lips. Im concerned that if you dont get dressed, Im not going to do anything more than fuck you, all day long. Ive already had a hard-on longer than they recommend for Viagra.

  You say that like its a bad thing. But she smiled and looped her arms around his shoulders. Pressing her face into the heat of his neck as he carried her back to the bedroom, she knew she didnt really care which he chose to do, as long as she could hold onto this feeling.

  * * * * *

  The park had lots of sequestered places to spread a picnic blanket and enjoy privacy, as well as the water view the park offered. Despite her earlier energy, when they reached the park shed lain down on the picnic blanket, her head on his thigh as he talked about the waterfowl, the campers they saw, a quiet run of words that sent her off to dreamland. Waking some time later, she was amazed to find he hadnt moved, making sure her rest was undisturbed, her cheek pillowed on him. Hed slid down so she could rest her neck more comfortably, with her head on his abdomen. It was a particularly aggressive growl from that stomach that she thought had woken her, but the waking view was a pleasure. Denim covered thighs, ankles crossed to cradle the groin area in that nice curved way that jeans did. His feet were still in his hiking boots. Just past them, she saw the water, rippling with wind and the air traffic of herons and seagulls and the occasional boat passage.

  When she turned her head, the upward view wasnt bad either. He had an arm propped under his head, and was gazing up into the trees. There was a worn paperback next to him. The stage play Camelot.

  I dont think Ive met anyone as comfortable with himself in my whole life, she observed in a groggy voice, not wanting to disturb the peaceful hush over their world.

  He slanted a glance down at her, his hazel eyes showing pleasure at her being awake, though no impression that hed been impatient with her sleep. I have. It was this really hot girl I met at a wedding last year. Lucky me, she finally took pity on me and decided to give me a call.

  She smiled, curling her hand in his shirt over his stomach. You sound hungry. You should have eaten, or woken me.

  You needed the sleep to keep up with my voracious sexual appetite. A re you hungry?

  She snorted, but nodded. He sat up, putting his arm around her back to hold her close, help her as she rose as well, running a hand through her short curls to loosen them from the compression of her nap. She hoped she hadnt drooled on his shirt, but thankfully a discreet glance showed no evidence of that.

  A s he unpacked the sandwiches theyd picked up, along with the assorted tidbits of chocolate and crackers, chunks of fruit and cheese hed thrown in from his house, she studied his profile, thought about that night at the carnival. A question was still hovering in her mind, but she found she wasnt yet ready to ask it. Instead, she pointed to the paperback. Theres a playbill for that up at Tea Leaves, on the community board. I think Marguerite plans to take a group of the neighborhood kids. A re you in it?

  No. Im the coach and helping with the production for the students who are.

  Did you ever act yourself?

  A ll the time, growing up. I enjoy it, but Im better at teaching people with a real talent for it, bringing that talent out. I also do a couple night classes for people who dont want to perform in public, but like to tap into that part of themselves. It gives you skills a lot like Toastmasters, self-confidence, public speaking, etc. His eyes sparkled. Of course, I eventually talk a lot of them into auditioning for the community plays.

  Youd be a great Lancelot.

  He lifted a brow. I was always partial to Percival. His interest was serving the king and the ideals of Camelot, not achieving greatness. Lancelot seemed torn. He wasnt ambitious, but he had a great need to be the best. He saw that as service to the king, and it was, but it diluted his focus on his primary duty.

  A nd hence, his love for Guinevere, as much as he didnt want it to happen. Chloe smiled. Course, I think they should have become a threesome.

  I mean, A rthur loved Lancelot as much as Guinevere, just in a different way. It would have been hard for Mordred to claim theyd betrayed the king if they were all sharing a bed together. If theyd been a little more sexually enlightened, Camelot might have persevered.

  I think the idea would have given T. H. White and Lerner and Loewe a heart attack. Sandwich or chocolate first?

  Both. Well, Loewe was gay.

  Gay doesnt mean a predisposition to a threesome. Brendan laughed.

  How about you? How do you feel about sharing?

  His eyes sharpened on her, considering. That depends on the lover. Ive had some that prefer sharing, some that dont. I do what gives them pleasure.

  What about me? What if I wanted to share you? Or have another guy, both of youwith me?

  For so long shed been so focused on herself, shed forgotten how good she was at reading faces. That skill came in handy now, because the look she saw was so quick, she would have missed it if she hadnt been looking for it. A s he began to open his mouth, she put her fingers on it.

  No, dont say anything. You wouldnt like it, but you were going to say youd do what makes me happy. You know, youre not exempt. Youre one of those lovers whose desires should be taken into consideration as well. If I fell in love with you If, my present dysfunctional behavior aside, I am in love with you A tremor, not unpleasant but definitely scary, went through her stomach at the look in his eyes, but she pressed on. What you want would be as important to my happiness as what I want is to yours.

  What you want is always going to be more important to me, Chloe.

  Maybe. Because youre wonderful and unreal. But even superheroes should have a line. Despite her humor, her brow creased, noticing how he broke the link between their gazes to arrange the food on the blanket. She reached out, put a hand on his wrist, stilling him. Look at me.

  A tiny muscle in his jaw twitched, but then his gaze flicked up, showing her those hazel eyes had become far more guarded. Shed seen traces of it since theyd met, but if there was a fortress inside Brendan, protecting his deepest needs, she was pretty sure this subject kept bringing her right to the locked drawbridge.

  I dont know a lot, she said quietly, but I do know that being a submissive doesnt mean you have to be okay with everything your lover wants to do. If that was the case, all those program designations wouldnt have been necessar
y. A nd youd have let me go down on you without a seatbelt.

  Maybe youve had some really inconsiderate assholes in your life that made you feel like youve failed if you dont give them everything they want. But I think Im different for you, Brendan. I think you want specific things with me. Things that would be limits, conditions. Like wanting me only for yourself.


  I think I said not to talk, she said mildly.

  Whoa. Shed surprised herself on that one, as much as him. But she tried not to let it show in her face as she took her fingers up to his lips, caressed them. His attention was riveted on her, the increased focus shed noted he demonstrated when a woman took the reins, so irresistible in its flood of power. She pushed that back, though, keeping her concentration where it would do more good for both of them. She hoped. Have you ever thought that your possessiveness toward me, your desire for exclusivity, might be something I want from you? That it makes me feel special?

  He closed his hand around her wrist as if she were made of glass. However, as her pulse ratcheted up, she had a feeling if she tried to withdraw her arm just then, he might have resisted. Just for a moment, giving her the thrill of confirming her theory.

  He seemed to be struggling with his own thoughts, so she decided to let him off the hook. For now. Someone promised me lunch, she said.

  He nodded, kissed her palm, and then let her go. She stayed in that quiet space for a few minutes, enjoying the view as he reached over her legs to open the wine cooler. It shifted him to his knees, and she put her hand on his side, thinking of a horse, the living, fluid heat of muscle under the powerful beasts flesh, just like this one. She moved her hands down, one over the other, as if she was brushing him, until one palm rested on his hip. He glanced at her over his broad shoulder, his hair falling like a silky mane in truth.

  Those Mistresses. Have they ever spanked you?

  His brows lifted, a slight tug at the corner of his mouth as she cupped his buttock, followed the curve of it. His eyes darkened as her fingertips found the center seam and descended, her thumb caressing the curve of his testicles beneath denim.

  Yes, but not so much the Mommy, I need a spanking because Ive been a bad boy psychology. He lifted a shoulder. That area has a lot of nerve endings, connected directly to the cock, and Mistresses like getting those worked up, connected directly to the cock. They like giving pain as well, and the ass is a good place for that, harder to do permanent injury but still possessing the necessary psychological impact, the connection of punishment with authority and safety. Love and dominance both.