“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” Charlene moaned to her friend, Lissa, as they entered the hotel and headed for the desk. “I’ve never done anything like this before in my life.”
Lissa gave her a disdainful stare and rolled her eyes. “I know. And look how exciting that life has been.”
“At least it’s been peaceful.”
“More like boring.”
They checked in at the desk. A red-haired bellhop took their overnight bags and escorted them to their rooms, rooms that wouldn’t be used if Charlene managed to contain her nerves and get over her jitters.
Lissa knocked on her door a few minutes later. “Ready?” she asked.
“You said you trusted me,” Lissa answered. “And it’s all arranged. You’ll be disappointing him if you back out now.”
“I can’t do this.”
“I’ve been here before. They’re very careful about this. And I’m careful, you know that.” Lissa saw her arguments weren’t breaking through. “Fine,” she said. “Stay in your room. Spend the rest of your life hiding out. Be lonely. Be bored. All because you’re too chicken to take even a small risk.”
Charlene sighed and clenched her fists. She’d let Lissa talk her into coming because she’d just turned forty and was getting restless and bored with her safe, insulated life. She’d had a few relationships with nice, safe men, but they’d left her unsatisfied, yearning. A million scary fantasies hinted at what she really wanted, but all the scenarios seemed too risky.
When she’d realized Lissa shared some of her most secret desires, they’d begun to confide in each other. Lissa, always more adventurous, had discovered this place and found one man in particular. The stories she’d told about Mike and what they’d done set Charlene’s pulse racing and roused a secret jealousy. But when Lissa had come to her and said Mike knew a guy who was on his same wave-length and looking for someone to play with, she’d resisted. Out of fear, mostly. Even Lissa’s arguments that Mike’s friend was nice-looking, friendly, kind of quiet and maybe a bit down on his luck failed to reassure her.
She wanted adventure, but she wanted safe adventure. On the other hand, how much safer was it likely to get?
“All right, let’s go,” she agreed.
Lissa grinned at her. “And remember, you control how far it all goes. You get to choose what chips you play.”
An hour later, they’d chosen their chips and been escorted to the private game room Mike had reserved. Two men lounging in armchairs stood as they entered. Lissa immediately went to the big, dark-haired man. He wrapped his arms around her, resting his hands on her buttocks, and kissed her with devouring greed. Charlene turned to the other man.
He was medium height with blonde hair and brown eyes. She guessed him to be about her own age until she got a closer look at his eyes: they were old and weary. His clothes were shabby, his hair raggedly cut, but he held himself with a natural dignity that either belied or ignored the appearance of poverty.
He extended a hand toward Charlene. “Tom Brown,” he said. He had a faint British accent that bore no trace of Cockney.
Charlene introduced herself but couldn’t think of anything to say beyond that. They ended up staring at each other in uncomfortable silence. She blushed as she sized him up, unable to avoid thinking about what this man could become if the day went as scripted. His face was a few shades of pleasant from being handsome; the body was lean, and fit beneath the worn shirt and unpressed khaki pants. She met his eyes as his gaze returned from a tour of her figure and was surprised by the sharp glitter of interest.
Fortunately, Mike and Lissa broke apart then. They all sat down at the table to begin the game. They played poker, with chips representing things they offered to do for each other. Charlene wasn’t very good at poker, but quickly realized she wouldn’t have to be. With careful play and more than a little collusion on the part of the other three, the chips mostly ended up where they were supposed to. The game lasted a couple of hours, during which food and glasses of wine were delivered and consumed, jokes and teasing were thrown around.
Mike had a broad, effusive sense of humor, while Tom’s was sharper and more barbed. As the game progressed and Tom accumulated more of her chips, Charlene found herself studying him and liking what she saw. When their eyes met, she found a glint of humor and satisfaction in his, and he’d give her a small wink or crook of the lips that suggested what he saw pleased him as well.
Several times throughout the game, he’d pick up a chip he’d won from her, glance at it, and turn a wickedly promising, possessive grin on her. She should have been afraid of him as she handed more and more control over to him, but she wasn’t. Not much, anyway.
Lissa and Mike were making love to each other with their eyes. Their bodies shook with anticipation. A subtle perfume of desire and need began to permeate the room, and Charlene wasn’t immune to it. She watched Tom’s hands as he dealt: strong, square hands with long, lean fingers. Her mind drifted into fantasies of what those fingers might do with her.
Lissa couldn’t contain herself any longer. She tossed all her remaining chips into the pot, including the big “payoff” chip. Tom immediately dropped out, Charlene followed his lead, and to no one’s surprise, Mike won the hand.
They stood up. Lissa handed Charlene the few chips of Tom’s she’d won and Charlene turned over a couple of Mike’s to her. From the corner of her eye, she saw the men making the same exchange.
“You’re okay?” Lissa whispered.
Though she wasn’t entirely sure she was, Charlene nodded.
Lissa and Mike left the room, their eyes locked on each other.
When they were gone, Tom looked across the table at her. Her expression must have shown more of her doubt than she realized.
“You don’t have to continue with this, if you’re not of a mind to,” Tom said.
“I want to. It’s just that I’m kind of… I’ve never done this before.”
“If I promise you can tell me to stop, to call off the whole bloody thing, at any time, will you believe me?” he asked. “Will you trust me?”
His brown eyes held a potent mixture of appeal and promise. Charlene swallowed hard and agreed. They continued the game for another ten minutes, until, beguiled by the wicked glint in Tom’s eyes, Charlene tossed off her scruples and threw all her remaining chips into the pot. He won the pot.
He stood, held out a hand, and said, “Come.”
She followed him across the hall to the elevators, up to the tenth floor and along the corridor to his room. Her nerves screamed all sorts of protests. His room was equipped with a four-posted double bed that featured interesting carvings, dangling metal loops and even a niche in the footboard where one could stand and… She drew a deep breath for courage.
He offered her a drink and she accepted, not bothering to ask what he was giving her. She sipped at it, recognizing an exceptionally smooth Scotch, while he sorted through the chips and drew out his equipment.
He came to her and ran the tips of his fingers down the sides of her face until he cupped her cheeks in his big palms. The skin tingled where he touched and sent waves of electricity flashing through her body. When he kissed her, it was slow, thorough and druggingly sweet.
“Slip out of your jeans,” he whispered, running his tongue along her cheek and over to her ear. He supported her while she shed the pants.
“Unbutton your blouse.”
She shivered at the hypnotic tone of command in the words. Her fingers shook so hard she almost couldn’t get the buttons undone. Fear mingled with breathless excitement. Charlene wasn’t sure when or why she’d decided to trust him, but there was something dazzling about putting herself completely into his hands.
A breeze from the air conditioner raised goose-bumps on her bare flesh as she slid the blouse off and stood before him in bra and panties. He ran an assessing gaze down her less-than-perfect figure, but the smile he offered when he completed the tour suggested he didn’t mind the extra padding on her thighs and hips.
He nodded to the bra and said, “Take if off.”
She unsnapped the hooks and let it fall to the floor. He cupped her breasts in his large, warm hands and ran his fingers over the tips.
Charlene moaned deep in her throat as the touch sent waves of sensation cascading through her body. His breath whispered across her face as he leaned over to kiss her again.
Then he led her over to the foot of the bed. “Say, ‘time’ if you need me to stop,” he warned her as he guided her to a raised platform at the foot of the bed. He turned her to face him and they were nearly eye to eye. “Do you trust me?” he asked.
She stared into his brown eyes, warmed by the sparkling light there but saddened by the lurking wariness she saw as well. “Yes.”
Some of the sadness dissolved, but he kept his expression even. He wasn’t sure he believed her expression of trust. She wasn’t sure she believed it herself.
Tom fetched a set of silk scarves and used them to fasten her wrists to the posts of the bed and her ankles to rings in the side of the footboard. Once she got beyond the fear, she was surprised at how erotic it felt to be unable to move, at his mercy, expectant, with an electric anticipation of pain and pleasure tightening her nerves. This was what she’d dreamt about for so long but never had the courage to seek.
He started with a paddle that made a loud splat as it struck the mounds of her buttocks. A little flash of pain followed the noise. He didn’t hit very hard, but after the first half dozen, it was enough to warm her skin, making it sting just enough to send a sizzling heat all through her loins. Knowing she’d given him chips enough for twenty, she tried to count, but after a while she got lost in the unique sensations and gave it up.
By the time he finished with the paddle, her bottom burned in a way that was more itchy torment than pain. He stood behind her. He’d shed his shirt and the hair on his chest tickled her back as his lips ran down the side of her neck, alternately kissing and nipping. His fingers played with her nipples, stroking, squeezing, pinching them, until she moaned aloud. Heat and pressure grew into need. Her cunt swelled as the sensations sent bubbles of pleasure singing through her blood. He kneaded the flesh of her buttocks, relieving some of the itchy burn.
The need built to a point where she wanted to beg him to release her right then and take her quickly. There was more yet to come, however.
Tom moved away and returned holding something else. Her breath caught when she recognized it: a flogger. She’d agreed to this, had given him the chips, but she still wasn’t sure she could handle it. It looked fearsome.
He looked a bit fearsome. His body wasn’t perfect, but it was very, very good, and the expression on his face showed serious concentration edged with triumph.
When he slapped the tails of the flogger against her thighs, the sensation wasn’t as bad as she’d anticipated. It was almost like a series of hard caresses with a little more bite. The first few strokes brushed hot kisses along her buttocks and thighs, rousing a fire of need and desire. As she adjusted to the feel of it, he slapped harder, not enough to cause her real pain, but just enough to make her nerves jump and her skin light up.
When the flogger whipped the insides of her thighs, not too hard, but again just right to make the fiery sensation a pleasurable burn, she realized how careful he was being. She turned her head to look at him. He’d removed his remaining clothes. He stood poised for another strike with the flogger, his cock firmly erect, and she couldn’t help but think how magnificent he looked, how very male and powerful.
The next stroke was a little harder and the ends of the flogger bit in deeper. The sting was both pain and pleasure. It set her heart pounding, her breath gasping, the heat blazing through her body. Every part of her throbbed with sensation. Moisture gathered between her legs.
Three more strokes, each just a little harder than the last, had her moaning and craving his touch on her breasts and her clit to relieve the tempest he was raising.
He put down the flogger and wrapped his arms around her from behind. His hands covered her breasts, fingers tweaking her nipples, while his lips caressed her ear and throat. It didn’t relieve her need, just built the craving for more. His cock pressed into the cleavage of her buttocks. She shook with desire rapidly escalating to frenzy. He slipped one hand down between her legs and began to stroke her clit. She almost screamed as flashes of pleasure nearly too strong to be borne crashed through her.
When he backed away, she groaned in disappointment.
“Are you all right?” he asked.
“Yes. No. I need…” She panted so hard words wouldn’t come out.
“Ah. I know. One last task. You gave me chips for five with the cane. It will hurt a bit more. Try to sink into the pain, to ride with it, and let it take you where it will. But if you can’t bear it, say, ‘time’ and I’ll stop.”
Charlene nodded, at that moment wanting only to get the next stage over with and get onto the payoff.
The first lash of the cane was a shock. It landed harder, with a much sharper bite than the flogger. She squealed and sobbed, but following his advice, she tried to absorb it. After the initial flash of pain, it settled into a deep burn that swirled through her belly and curled deeper, making her swell and throb. Each following stroke was a little harder, but never more than she could bear, though she yelped and moaned as each contact printed ribbons of fire across her buttocks.
When it was over, her bottom was aflame. The sensation lifted her into a place of heat and warmth and desperate need. He undid the scarves, freeing her arms and legs, pulled her back into his arms, carried her around to the side of the bed, and laid her carefully down. Her bottom tingled when the welts pressed against the cloth, but it was a pleasant burn that stoked the flames. Her cunt ached to be filled.
Seeing her urgent readiness, he wasted no time. He quickly rolled on a condom he had waiting, then positioned himself between her legs and thrust into her. The first drive of his shaft made her arch and groan so loudly it was almost a scream. He stretched and filled her. Need was a spring, winding tighter and tighter inside her. He tried to take it slow, but her desperation refused to allow it. He acceded to her demand and rocked harder and faster. Each thrust of his cock increased the pressure until she felt no human body could contain it. She watched his face and loved the way it tightened in a pleasure akin to pain as his rhythm sped up.
Her breath came in quick groans and lights blazed at the corners of her eyes as the spring compressed more and more, until it suddenly snapped. Wave upon wave of raw pleasure convulsed her body. With her spasms milking him, Tom gave way, too, freezing in a moment of timeless, agonizing, soul-drenching pleasure before he came in a series of rapid, jerking thrusts.
Afterward, they lay together for a while and dozed. When they woke, he told her to roll over, and he massaged some soothing cream into the welts on her bottom. That led to his smoothing cream onto other parts of her body, which in turn led to them making love again. It was slower this time, with each of them making a thorough exploration of each others’ bodies, trying out the feel, the taste, the smell of the other’s skin. They nosed into hidden notches, fingered exciting ridges, and delved into creases.
Charlene had never met a man like Tom, one who could dominate her so thoroughly, yet give so generously. They ate and showered and slept and made love some more, until their time was up the next morning.
Tom woke before she did, but used the time to study her sleeping face. Not a raving beauty, this new love of his, but she was far more attractive than she seemed to realize. He wondered how often he could induce her to come here. He played with dreams of the future. He couldn’t help but speculate on her reaction when he admitted he wasn’t just a poverty-stricken nomad from the UK, but a viscount. He’d wait a while before he told her that, though he doubted she’d care very much, unlike too many others who’d pursued him for his title and money
Charlene opened her eyes, saw him leaning over, and smiled at him. She sighed. “I suppose this is it,” she said. “I’ll have to go.”
“We’re out of time for now,” he agreed. “But this isn’t the end, unless you want it to be.”
He saw her expression, the sharp shake of her head, and felt joy rush through him. “Ah, good. You’ve got a great deal yet to learn. We’ve barely begun.”
Copyright 2002 by Katherine Kingston