New York City
I stood in front of the large picture windows in our New York City penthouse bedroom and gazed outside. It was eleven at night and the outside lights illuminated the room. From behind the glass, everything appeared so peaceful and calm.
Footsteps echoed in the hallway, and I turned to watch Nathaniel come in. I’d left him talking on the phone earlier. Probably that Charlene woman again.
I was trying to trust my husband with his choice of employee, but it proved difficult when that employee clearly wanted a different sort of relationship. My fingers drifted to my neck, and I traced the platinum collar I wore. I smirked. Charlene could never even begin to imagine the type of relationship Nathaniel needed.
Nathaniel cleared his throat and inclined his head slightly toward the center of the rug.
Shit. I scurried to the middle of the floor and knelt.
“You left,” he said. His voice held no judgment and he wasn’t angry, but I thought I heard a trace of disappointment in his words.
“I wanted to give you privacy, Master.”
“The call concerned you, so I would have preferred for you to remain. Next time you will wait for my dismissal before leaving.”
The call concerned me? That meant it probably hadn’t been Charlene after all. “I’m sorry, Master.”
“Nothing to apologize for. I didn’t give you any instruction regarding your behavior while I was on the phone.”
I waited for him to explain how the call concerned me. Instead, he walked to me and held out his hand. Surprised, I let him help me to my feet and we went to sit on the bench at the foot of the bed.
“It was Jeff on the phone,” he said.
“Jeff Parks?” I asked. From Delaware? I wondered. Why would he be calling?
“When we were in Delaware, you had a talk with Daniel’s submissive, Julie.”
“Yes.” We’d actually talked twice: the night I met her at the cocktail party and days later, when I interviewed her for my blog, The Secret Life of a Submissive Wife. I’d typed up the interview notes a few days ago. I couldn’t imagine anything we chatted about being interesting enough for her Dom to ask Jeff to call mine.
“Julie told Daniel that she wished their BDSM group had long-term couples like us.”
“Ah.” Yes, I remembered that. I stroked his cheek, the skin scruffy under my fingertips. “She said we gave her hope for her relationship.”
His eyes grew dark with longing and he leaned in close. “I would like nothing more than for us to be an example of a committed, long-term Dominant and submissive couple. Beating the odds. Staying together.”
I tried to bring his head down so I could kiss him, but he didn’t budge.
“Wait,” he whispered.
I swallowed my sigh, trying not to show how impatient I was for him, but he saw right through me anyway.“In a minute,” he said. “Jeff wanted to invite us to their next group meeting and play party. He thought we could lead a discussion and do a demo scene.”
We had just started meeting again with our own group, but that didn’t preclude us from meeting with another.
He ran his fingers through my hair, and his lips brushed against my cheek, sparking my arousal. “Is that something you’re interested in?”
“Yes,” I said, not even needing to think about it. “I really liked Julie and Daniel and Jeff. And you know I like doing demos.”
He starting working on my buttons, undoing them one at a time until my shirt hung off my shoulders. “I’ll call him back and tell him we’ll be there.” He pushed the material of my bra aside, exposing a nipple, and I groaned as he gave it a slight pinch. “Later, though. Much, much later.”
Jeff Parks knew it was taking all of Dena’s willpower not to look his way. And since he had once had that willpower bend to his command, he was well aware of the strength involved. On any other given night, he’d be using his own willpower not to stare, but in light of his recent decision—
“Have you been listening to anything I’ve said in the last five minutes?” his friend and fellow Dom, Daniel, asked.
Jeff looked back to the man standing at his side. It was late on a Thursday night and their local BDSM group meeting had just ended. No one was in a hurry to leave, though. Everyone wanted to stay around and talk with Nathaniel and Abby. At the moment, Nathaniel stood beside Daniel, grinning. The guest Dominant had led a discussion about keeping D/s relationships from getting stale. Considering the two scenes Jeff had participated in a few months ago with the married couple, staleness wasn’t an issue between Nathaniel and Abby.
“Sorry. What?” Jeff asked Daniel.
“Nothing important. Just going over plans for the play party tomorrow night.”
“Your house at ten.”
“At least you remember that part,” Daniel said in his not-quite-teasing voice.
“I’ve got a lot on my mind.” He might as well go ahead and tell Daniel everything. He’d find out eventually and the two of them had been friends for long enough that he deserved to hear the news from Jeff himself. “I’m moving.”
“You’re what?” Daniel asked in shock.
“Why?” Nathaniel asked at the same time.
Jeff’s gaze automatically found Dena again. She was talking with Abby and Julie. Daniel’s submissive must have said something funny, because Dena snorted with laughter, shaking her head. Her long blond hair swayed with the movement.
“Ah,” Daniel said.
“It’s not what you think.”
Daniel cocked an eyebrow and crossed his arms. “Julie told me about watching you two play.”
Jeff had imagined as much; in fact, he would have been more surprised if Julie had not told Daniel. That night, months ago, he and Dena had played for Julie while she was trying to decide if she could accept her submissive nature. Though that night had helped Daniel and Julie, for Jeff it’d served only as a catalyst for his decision to move. He gave a nod in reply.
Daniel watched the two women. “It slips my mind sometimes. Your history with her.”
“Nothing slips your mind.”
Daniel tipped his head. “Does her work within the group bother you?”
Dena was the most experienced submissive within their local group. As such, she was often called upon to participate in demonstrations. She also worked with Daniel and other senior Dominants when they had mentees.