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'Top or Bottom?' by Desiree Holt
Keith Richmond glanced sideways at the displays on the far wall of the store. Yup, she was still there. Little more than a pixie, her height boosted by sexy stiletto heels. Her short coat, which barely brushed the tops of her thighs, was belted tightly at the waist. He wondered if she was wearing anything beneath it.
When she reached a small hand up to pluck a short switch from its hook, his groin tightened and his cock tried to push its way through the fabric of his pants.
But she drew him, nonetheless, the magnetic field almost visible. His sub was away for a week. The house felt empty without her and he was seized with a grinding need to satisfy his desires. He'd ditched work for the afternoon, thinking a trip to their favourite adult store to buy her some surprises might help. Besides, he knew they were at some kind of crossroads—both of them were questioning their individual roles. He'd thought about this for weeks, talking himself out of it, then into it again.
He'd seen sex from one side for so long that he wasn't sure if he was capable of being a good Dom anymore. Was he still in tune with his submissive? Had habit taken over their relationship? Was he still as completely intuitive as he'd always been? The quality of a good power exchange depended completely on the Dom and the sub understanding each other's needs, both physically and emotionally. Lately, he'd been questioning his ability to give as well as take.
He'd walked in and there was the pixie, almost as if she'd been waiting for him.
He gave himself a mental shake. He hadn't come to the adult merchandise store to while away the afternoon lost in thought. He'd come here for a reason. And maybe that reason was the tempting piece standing across the store from him. She had 'submissive' written all over her. It was in her posture, her gestures. Definitely in her eyes. And certainly, the thin choker gracing her neck was an unmistakeable sign of ownership.
He watched the way her slender fingers brushed over the length of the switch, which was actually a length of birch wrapped in clear, damp cloth. He knew this store well, knew it took a fresh delivery every day. Birch and hickory were the most flexible woods to use for switches. For optimum effect, the birch should be fresh, peeled before the sub, all twigs and detritus efficiently removed. Keith liked to have his sub run her fingers over the freshly denuded wood before he brushed it across the entire length of her body, giving her a light taste of the feel of it before he applied it to her delicate skin.
Was the pixie thinking of her Dom while she caressed the length of wood? How it had felt in the past when he'd wielded it on her body? The sharp raps with it, the stinging pain cutting into her pleasurably, a pause between each so that the pain ebbed just a little until the next bite into her flesh? Liquid trickling from her cunt as her arousal grew in strength? Or did she prefer him to split the tip of the rod into many thin strips and apply it rapidly, raising streaks on her body from shoulders to thighs?
At the thought, Keith wanted to shove his hand inside his pants and grab his cock, to masturbate right here in the store to relieve his need. That brought him back to reality in a hurry.
'Mastering Maya' by Lisabet Sarai
"Who the hell is she?"
The crack of the Domme's single-tail whip punctuated Stephen's question. Raven hair cascaded to her waist, swinging in time with the steady strokes she layered on her bound victim's naked back. She danced around the flogging bench like a ballerina, bringing the leather thong down on the still-unmarked areas of skin with astonishing grace and precision. The brawny blond man stretched lengthwise along the padded trestle jerked each time the whip found its mark. The sub's gag effectively muffled any vocal reaction, but Stephen had a clear view of his engorged cock poking through the hole in the bench. Pre-cum slicked the shaft. Meanwhile, the blond's buttocks clenched around the plug embedded in his anus each time the Domme's lash struck. Obviously, the sub was enjoying the woman's expert beating.
It was the woman who held Stephen's attention, though. Her simple, severe outfit—a white crÃªpe blouse, narrow navy skirt and broad belt—highlighted her lush curves. The half-buttoned top revealed the shadowed valley between her breasts. As she travelled from one side of the bench to the other, seeking the optimal angle for her next stroke, he noticed the slit in her skirt, facilitating her movements but also offering glimpses of creamy thigh.
His own cock swelled in his tight leather trousers, but not because of her extraordinary body. Stephen—Master Shark, as he was called by others in the lifestyle—had known many beautiful women, in the most intimate of senses. No, her face—her expression—was what transfixed him, making his balls ache and his palms itch to stroke and slap that ripe flesh. She wore a look of utter calm and total concentration, even as she brought the lash down with increasing ferocity. Only her eyes betrayed her excitement. As she applied the whip to the submissive's reddening backside, she did not smile. He saw none of the manic glee he felt when administering a flogging. Her self-control was absolute.
"The Ice Queen," his friend Tom—Master Thomas—replied to his almost-forgotten question. "Amazing, isn't she?"
"The Ice Queen? That's her scene name?"
The woman paused to murmur in the sub's ear and gently knead his crimson butt. The blond shook his head, clearly indicating that he wanted more. For the first time, her lovely mouth curved into the ghost of a smile. Stationing herself where the sub could see her, she unfastened her blouse one slow button at a time and slipped it off her shoulders. Now Stephen could see the rise and fall of her breathing—so her exertion had taken some toll, at least—and the dark nipples peeking through her white lace bra. The Domme was aroused after all, despite her impassive demeanour.
Her mini-striptease had the desired effect. The naked yearning in the shackled man's face made Stephen grin. His own imprisoned erection throbbed, mirroring the sub's urgency.
"No, no, that's just her nickname. No one would dare call Maya that to her face. But you can see where it comes from."
Stephen inclined his head in silent assent, watching as the kinky scene continued to unfold.
The black-maned beauty stepped closer to her bound victim and fondled his cock. The man writhed against the padded horse. "You're such a pain slut, James. I imagine you want me to use the cane now, don't you?" Her voice was a low alto, smooth and warm as single-malt Scotch.
'Wagers of Sin' by Elizabeth Coldwell
"But the truth is, Selina, you'll never really become a true mistress until you learn what it means to submit."
Marcus grinned at me over the rim of his wine glass. We'd had this conversation many times before, but never in such plush surroundings as the restaurant at Fenton Park racecourse. A black-uniformed waitress appeared discreetly at the table to take away the plates that had contained our desserts, slices of a delicious chocolate mousse cake.
"Would you like any tea or coffee?" she asked.
Marcus shook his head. "Not here. We'll have it in our box, if you don't mind."
"Not at all, sir." The waitress appeared slightly flushed as she took a sly look at Marcus from under her lowered eyelashes. His silver-haired good looks and deep, commanding voice had that effect on most of the women he met. It always amused me to see how they lusted after him silently, hoping he'd favour them with a smile or a compliment.
I drained the last of my chardonnay, patted my lips with the napkin and rose from my seat. The waitress' arrival had distracted us from our earlier conversation, but now, as we walked from the restaurant—with its panoramic view out over the racecourse—to the private box Marcus had rented for the afternoon, I picked up on his comment.
"So what makes you think I'm not a true mistress?" My tone was teasing, but beneath it I bridled at the assumption. Once and for all, I was determined to get to the bottom of Marcus' reasoning.
"None of my boys have ever complained."
"Because that's all they ever are, Selina's boys. How old was the last one?"
"Chris?" Now it was my turn to blush. "Twenty-one." Memories flooded back. Chris, kneeling at my feet, naked but for the wide black leather collar around his neck. I recalled the smooth young planes of his bare back and arse, the hardness of his proudly erect cock, the adoration in his eyes as he'd gazed up at me. Adoration that hadn't been strong enough to keep us together beyond the first giddy rush of excitement and exploration.
"So, an age difference of what, twelve years? And you sometimes wonder why you can't find a lasting relationship?"
"That's a bit rich, coming from someone who's been on his own for the best part of a year now."
"Hey, not fair. You know Lydia had to go back to Greece, otherwise we'd still be together."
Instantly, I regretted my jibe. I'd liked Lydia, Marcus' last live-in girlfriend and lifestyle submissive. She'd been intelligent and feisty, with long, dark curls that fell halfway down her back and chocolate-brown eyes that had captivated Marcus from the moment they'd met. Whenever I'd seen them together, either at his home or out in one of the fetish clubs, the chemistry between them had been obvious. When she'd told Marcus she had to return to Athens to look after her frail, elderly mother, their break-up had hit him harder than he cared to admit, even to me. At times like this, it was easy to believe he still wasn't entirely over her.
"I'm sorry. But I still don't see why I need lessons in submission."
We were passing the parade ring, where the horses that were about to take part in the two-ten race were making one last circuit before being led out to the all-weather racetrack. Marcus paused to watch his own horse, Montecristo—the reason we were here today. His chest swelled with obvious pride as the big, sleek bay trotted past, the jockey riding him wearing silks in Marcus' trademark colours of black and gold. Even I—who knew next to nothing about horses—couldn't help admiring the magnificent beast, fighting my urge to reach out a hand and pat Montecristo's flanks as he passed us.
'Still The One' by Wendi Zwaduk
For once I'd like things to go according to plan. Eric Trask gritted his teeth. If he kept up the nervous gesture, he'd break his teeth and bite clean through his jaw. He wiped his hands on his shop towel and measured the B-post on the race truck once more. The thing should've fit the templates. Damn. He glanced up at the flags hanging from the ceiling. Each flag highlighted a win for Blitz racing—the racing team he loved and worked for.
His phone buzzed in his pocket. Oh, fuck. Not another thing.
He flicked on the screen and set the call to speaker. "Trask."
"I'm glad I caught you. Are you on your way to the airport? You do remember it's Tuesday morning, don't you?" Megan Poston, the team owner, asked from her end of the call. "You're supposed to be here, helping to get the truck around for practice tomorrow."
On his way? Practice? Eric glanced over his shoulder at the wall clock. Eleven-forty-five a.m. Shit. He should've been cleaned up and at the airport fifteen minutes ago. Hell. He'd just got back from Michigan.
"I'm still at the shop. The B-post on the Atlanta truck isn't fitting the templates right. Give me another fifteen and I'll be out the door."
"It's a quicker turnaround in your schedule, but this isn't like you." Megan went silent for a long moment. "Tucker wants to talk to you."
The connection snapped and crackled as Megan handed the phone to Tucker. "Eric?"
"You called me." Eric groaned. "I'm sorry, man. What's up?"
"That's what I wanted to ask you." The line snapped again. "I had to get out of Megan's earshot. She's worried because you're not here."
"The B-post is fucked up. I don't know how it was fabricated wrong, but it was."
"Shit happens. Look, you've been freaking out about everything. You're the calmest guy I know. Why are you chewing everyone out? I wouldn't have nominated you for the crew chief position if I'd thought you couldn't handle it."
"I can handle it. There's just a lot of crap happening and this quick run of races over the weekend. I got behind but I'll get the rest of the way caught up."
"Broken spark plugs on the backup truck. I've spent four hours going through the box. Half of them are screwed up. We never have that issue."
"Have Delaney work on it. He's in the engine shop for a reason."
"I can't figure out what the hell you stuffed in the radiator before you slammed into the wall in Pocono. It's shit like that."
"Okay, I'm going to get a little emo on you, but tough titties. You're my best friend and like my brother. You're going to have to chill out. Your blood pressure has to be through the roof and, yes, before you butt in with it, I know you're healthy as a horse. Guess what? I don't want my best friend to kick off because of hypertension."
"Hypertension won't kill me."
'Switching Off' by Amy Valenti
Nina was seething. More than seething. She was stressed, tense and so restless she could hardly drive her little red Mini through the rush-hour traffic without bashing the heel of her hand down on the horn.
"For fuck's sake!" she muttered as a Jeep careered into the spot just ahead of her, forcing her to slam her foot down on the brake. After the day I've had, it should be illegal to piss me off.
As yet another light turned red just as she reached it, her cell phone rang. She snatched it up off the passenger seat, knowing she shouldn't answer but not really caring. "What?" she snapped, not having bothered to check the caller ID.
"Is this a bad time?"
Nina felt her shoulders relax slightly at the sound of Jon's voice. He was one of the calmest people she knew—it was impossible to make him lose his cool, no matter how fraught she got. "To be trying to get onto the freeway? Yeah."
He laughed softly, the masculine sound sending a shiver down her spine despite her irritation with the world. "Yeah, I heard it's jammed today. Bad luck."
"What, did you call to gloat at my misfortune?" she asked, annoyed at herself for wanting what she could never have. Jon was a friend. Just a friend. Nothing more. And that was the way it worked—right?
"Actually, I called to ask if you were doing anything tonight, besides pacing around your house and sticking pins in voodoo dolls."
The lights changed and Nina drove on, hoping no law enforcement equipment or personnel would catch her on her phone while she was behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. "I don't own voodoo dolls. Yet. What did you have in mind?"
"I'm in the opposite direction of the rush-hour traffic if you want to come over. I have a pasta bake in the oven I don't mind sharing..."
Nina's mouth watered but, as another asshole tried to cut her off, she swallowed a string of expletives with an effort. "I'd love to, but I'm really not fit for polite company tonight."
"I can handle you," Jon said, and his casual confidence made her want him to do just that—or else let her handle him. "The offer's there, if you want it."
Staring at the long line of cars ahead of her, then glancing over to the practically clear lane heading in the opposite direction, Nina felt her determination to get home crumble. "I'll be there in fifteen."
She hung up, tossed the phone back onto the passenger seat and reversed a fraction, flipping the bird to the guy behind her as he leaned on his horn. Peeling away from the line of lemmings heading for the freeway, she accelerated with the first genuine smile she'd been able to muster all day.
'Who Compels my Strength' by Lauren Gallagher
"I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman." -Anais Nin
Telling the Rickmans we're kinky has to be the biggest move my husband and I have ever made.
You would think a couple who've been swingers for the last ten years or so would be cool with something like this. Most people we've encountered in the lifestyle are open-minded. Even if they don't share someone else's kink or quirk, they don't judge. And Chris and Janet, while probably a little naive for people who've been swinging as long as they have, have never struck me as prudish—by conventional or swinger lifestyle standards. You would think they could grasp the fact that I like Ian to beat my back raw, or that he likes to make me beg for my orgasms.
You would be wrong.
They didn't outright call us sick freaks, and they didn't throw us out, but the wrinkled noses and wide, horrified eyes said it all. We changed the subject, but the damage was done. None of us suggested going up to their bedroom like we'd all planned to do tonight, and they didn't try to stop us when we bowed out early.
"I can't believe Janet said those things to you." Ian's knuckles are white on top of the steering wheel, but the car stays straight and at a reasonable speed. At least he's not prone to road rage, though tonight I wouldn't put it past him. It's been years since I've seen him this pissed off.
"I can't believe what either of them said." I stare out of the windshield, absently thumbing the shoulder strap on my seatbelt. "You know, I half expected them to say they were into kink. Blew my mind that they're so..." I trail off, shaking my head.
"I know," he mutters. "God, they're just...argh." He smacks the wheel with his palm and, when I jump, he rests his hand gently on my knee. "Sorry, babe. Didn't mean to startle you."
"It's all right. Just wound up, I guess."
"Yeah, me too."
Wound up doesn't begin to describe it. Of course, not everyone is into the things we are, but we thought we could be open with Janet and Chris. In fact, it bugged both of us for a long time that we were keeping this from them. It's uncomfortable to feel as though we can't share something about our sex life with two people who have, themselves, been a huge part of our sex life for so long.
We've all been friends for almost half a decade, ever since the night we met them at a swinger party. Janet and I have been intimate with each other's husband more times than I can count, and we've even done a little experimenting together. She's like a best friend, a fuck buddy, a confidante—yet I never knew she was so adamantly against kink. We simply never talked about anything beyond occasionally playing with handcuffs or doing some light spanking. I guess I should have known, since she thought those were incredibly naughty, but I just didn't have a clue she'd be so hostile about this.