“Why do you look so frightened? I haven’t done anything yet.”

“I just … You’ve never …”

“Look at me.” He held her under her chin so she had no choice. “What did I say I was doing with the wax play, the time I first collared you?”

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The calmness she found in his eyes helped ease her anxiety. “Proving you’re the best.”

“And in the years since then, do you think I’ve grown better or worse?”

“Better, Master.”

“And my feelings toward you, are they stronger or weaker?”

“Stronger, Master.”

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“Anything you’d like to say?”

“I’m sorry I doubted you.”

“Apology accepted. Now, on a scale of one to ten, with one being mildly frightened and ten being scared shitless, what number are you?”

“Three, Master.”

“I can live with that.” He let go of her chin and moved behind her.

He started with gentle taps of the switch along her upper thighs, interspersed with gentle passes of his fingers between her legs. Gradually, he increased the taps so they became like little licks of electricity dancing along her legs and buttocks. Still he kept stroking her, sliding fingers in and out of her and teasing her clit.

“What number, Angel?”

“Mmmm … Negative ten, Master.” She tried to rock her hips, but he’d bound her too tightly.

“Very nice. Perhaps I should actually start now?”

Her eyes flew open. “Master?”

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The switch whistled through the air and landed with a sharp line of pain on her right butt cheek. Before she could say anything, his hand was back between her legs, stroking the fire within her again.

“Oh, yes,” he said. “That’ll leave a nice mark. That was one. I’m going to give you ten. You are not allowed to come until I’ve finished all ten. If you do, I’ll add ten more.”

She figured there was little chance of that happening. “Yes, Master.”

But by number four, she discovered she’d vastly underestimated him. Between his fingers, the delicious pain, and the wicked things he whispered in her ear, she was dangerously close to coming.

“Please, Master, let me come,” she nearly shouted, trying to stand on her toes.

“Poor Angel. You have six more before you can come.”

Number five landed precariously close to her pussy, and she moaned as his expert hands transformed the pain to pleasure.

“I’m trying to decide,” he said, “if I want to fuck your pussy or your ass.”

Numbers six and seven fell on her sweet spot, right where her ass met her thigh.

“I love sinking into your pussy, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had your ass. It’s so tight, the way it clutches my dick. What do you think?”

Number eight hit right above the back of her knee, and once more he circled her clit. She bit the inside of her cheek to keep from coming.

“Angel, I asked a question.” Three fingers pushed inside her pussy.

“I don’t care, Master, please.”

“I didn’t bring any lube, and I’m not going back inside to get it.” There was a rustle of clothes, and she knew he was naked. “Two more and then I ride you hard and make us both happy.”

Nine and ten were quick and hard, but she barely knew they were over before the head of his cock was driving into her. With one swift thrust, he buried his length inside. He reached above her head and pulled loose the quick-release knots so she fell back into him.

He held her steady, one arm around her chest while the other held her hips in place. And though she couldn’t move, he worked himself in and out, taking them both to the edge. His thrusts were relentless, and when he dropped a hand to rub her clit, she let herself go.

He gave a grunt of satisfaction. “Love the feel of your release when I’m buried deep inside you.” He circled his hips, grinding against her in a way that allowed him to hit new spots. “I want you to come again.”

Somehow he moved faster and deeper, and within seconds, she was coming again. This time he followed, holding still and releasing inside her with a grunt of complete pleasure.

He held on to her, not letting her go because her feet were still bound. “Hold on to me,” he whispered. “Lean on me.”

She let herself relax against him, and after she assured him she was good, he let go of her just long enough to unbind her ankles. With his customary gentle strength, he lifted her in his arms and carried her to the blanket.

For a time they stayed in each other’s arms, watching the stars come out and speaking in whispers. They spoke of their future, their hopes, and their dreams.

And when it was fully dark, she leaned closer, placed his hand on her belly, and whispered a secret.

Epilogue

Nathaniel

One week later

“Mr. West,” my admin, Sara, said when I picked up the ringing phone. “Mr. Parks is here to see you.”

“Send him in,” I said, standing up to meet him. I’d been awfully curious as to why Jeff wanted to see me when he’d called the day before to schedule a meeting.

As the door opened, I crossed the floor to shake Jeff’s hand. “Come on in. It’s good to see you. What brings you into the city?” I waved toward a small sitting area. “Have a seat.”

“Thanks.” Jeff sat down. “Dena wanted to do some shopping.”

“Sounds like another woman I know. Speaking of Abby, she told me your news. Congratulations.”

He smiled, and I noticed how different he looked. Nothing like the guy I’d first met, with his always-stern expression. He looked happy now.

“Thanks,” he said. “We’re trying to settle on a date.” He leaned forward. “I know you’re busy, and I’m sure you want to know why I’m here.”

“I was surprised when I got your call.”

“It’s about the group. I know you and Abby are joining when you move, and the senior members would like for you to take an active role as soon as possible.”

“What kind of role?”

“You know what happened with Dena?” At my nod, he continued. “She’s not the first submissive to be mistreated by a Dominant in the group.”

I had heard murmurings the few times we’d been with the Delaware group. I knew a friend of Julie’s had been badly whipped. “Sounds like there’s a problem.”

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