I was wholly unprepared for meeting Jaxon Gray. Aaron’s best friend since high school strutted into the den like he owned the place.
Agreeing to go on vacation with my best friend Zoelle to a luxurious lake house when I was such a workhorse left me itching at the idea. I’d attempted to wiggle out of going, but her boyfriend Aaron, my boss, practically demanded it. The truth was I’d been so overworked and overwhelmed for so long that I needed a break. I’d protested in the beginning, of course, but some growled threats from Aaron settled my misplaced concerns. His lake house was a reward all on its own.
Hanging out in the den eating snacks and babbling on about nothing but fun topics renewed my sense of vigor, lifted my spirits out of the humdrum of my typically mundane days. Jaxon’s presence left me speechless.
When it came to the human body, I was an expert, thanks to graduating from the nine levels of hell known as nursing school. Life and death situations were an everyday occurrence for me, and I excelled at handling them. But when it came to matters of the heart, I was too often woefully ill-equipped.
The devilishly handsome man crossing the room was going to do a number on my heart.
His sable locks, trimmed neatly at the sides, had me longing to run my hands through them. I was already wondering what his deep dark goatee would feel like rubbed between my fingertips. What it would be like to stare into those green eyes of his.
Shit. Stop staring at him!
His long sleeve t-shirt just hinted at the outline of a six-pack underneath the thin fabric. Dark jeans, a black leather jacket, and boots completed his outfit. Watching him greet Aaron with a handshake and a ‘bro’ hug left me floundering. I’d bet my favorite pair of panties that Jaxon was the king of smolder.
Be cool. You got this.
His overall demeanor screamed ‘bad boy’ but he’d graduated from Harvard Medical along with Aaron. How rebellious could a prestigious doctor be? My heart galloped in my chest when he reached my side and held out his hand. It took all of my composure not to choke on my pretzels.
“Hey, I’m Jaxon.”
I accepted his hand but I already knew who he was. “Hey, I’m Jaxon,” I parroted back at him, stupidly repeating what he said.
Jaxon beamed, a warm smile that reached his eyes and showcased a dimple in his chin. “What’s your name?”
I felt awkward keeping my hand on his but he was rubbing his thumb across my fingers and I didn’t want him to stop. His light touch sent sparks of pleasure through my body. It had been too long since I’d been attracted to someone at first glance. If I’d been wearing panties they would have likely exploded into a million tiny pieces.
“Becca Madeline Pierce.”
Chuckling, probably from me throwing my middle name in there, he released my hand. “What a lovely name. It’s so nice to meet you.”
“Thanks, I figured you’d need to know my full name in case you’d like to scream it later.” I don’t know what came over me and shoved a bunch of pretzels into my mouth in a desperate bid to stop flirting with the man.
“I think that’s my line, Becca.” He leaned in close, his mouth almost touching my ear. “My middle name is River, and the last name is Gray.”
Men did not typically unnerve me, but he was smooth. So smooth that when I attempted a sassy reply, the salty nuggets I’d been shoveling into my mouth got stuck in my throat.
Placing my palm against my throat with my thumb and fingers in a V-shape, I tapped several times.
“She’s choking,” Aaron announced from his spot a few feet away, but Jaxon had already swung into action, wrapping his arms around me and moving them upward. It was a basic first aid move meant to dislodge food. After a few tries, he succeeded. As embarrassment burned through me; I envisioned crawling out of the room and never speaking to him again.
“Are you okay?” Jaxon asked, concern clear in his voice.
“Yeah,” I croaked. “Just helping you perfect your Heimlich maneuver.” I held up both of my thumbs. “Five stars. Great execution.”
He cocked an eyebrow. “I’m glad I was here, but let’s keep the life-saving to a minimum this week, okay?”
“You got it.” Spinning on my heel, I saw Zoe chewing on her bottom lip. She was probably worried about me. “I’m going to go make dinner. Bye!”
I squeezed her shoulder as I hurried out, hoping she would follow me and praying I wouldn’t trip over my own feet. I couldn’t handle another round of embarrassment.
Fighting the urge to run after Becca as she fled the room like her tail was on fire, I forced a pause since we were strangers. Just because our best friends were together in a relationship didn’t mean she knew anything about me. Still, I wanted to check on her and make sure she was okay. From the moment I’d entered the living room, Becca’s come-hither stares had left me with a hard, throbbing cock. I sent it kill signals when it pressed against my thigh since now was not the time.
I didn’t want a relationship at the moment, mistakenly telling myself that overworking was a better course of action. I loved my career, but the corporate bullshit and politics at the hospital left much to be desired.
I wanted more than just a few romps in the sheets, but smearing Becca’s bubblegum pink lip gloss across her face as I claimed her mouth with my own made for a hot-as-fuck mental image. I didn’t even know her, and yet, I wanted to make her mine.
She was beautiful, with tiny, delicate features, a petite figure, and a mischievous smile that reminded me of a naughty pixie. Her hair was cut short with pastel colors swirled throughout evoking the look of a feisty mermaid. Almost from the first second I saw her, I couldn’t help but think about how those gorgeous blonde locks of hers would be so much hotter clenched in my fist as she sucked me off. I indulged in thoughts of picking her up, slinging her over my shoulder, and finding a room to act out her naughtiest fantasies. I’d slide those tight, cut-off denim shorts over her sexy legs, admiring the way her skin felt under my hands before trailing up to the hot pink crop top and lifting it off of her. If she refused to stay still, I’d use her shirt to bind her arms, granting me full access to her body.
Rein yourself in, man.
Then the little pixie had choked on her damned pretzels. My medical instincts had kicked into high gear as I’d stepped in to assist her. It was only afterward, when I knew she was safe, that I thought about how good her body had felt in my arms.
Zoelle drew closer, holding out her hand. “It’s so nice to finally meet you in person.”
“Nice to meet you too.” I shook her hand, but when I let go, she opened her arms for a hug. Picking her up, I twirled her in a circle, her high-pitched giggle almost melodic. Then I set her back down. “I think your friend is embarrassed.”
“Yeah,” Zoe said sweetly. “Becca doesn’t usually get like that.”
“Don’t worry. We’ll get her mind on other things,” Aaron assured Zoe. “Why don’t you go help her with dinner?”
“Yes, Daddy.” Zoelle grinned. “Becca and I will have something whipped up in no time.”
Aaron tapped her nose. “Sounds good, kitten.”
Moving toward the kitchen, Zoelle glanced over her shoulder. “Jax? I forgot to tell you. There’s no work while we’re at the lake house. Only fun stuff is allowed.”
“Bossy little thing.” I shook my head. “You’re smart to be all the way over there where I can’t reach you.”
Zoelle pouted. “I’m sorry, Jax. Will you pretty please promise to relax while we’re here?”
“I’ll make an effort not to work, unless it’s absolutely necessary.”
“Thank you.” She smiled. “And can you forgive me for being bossy?”
“Yes, you get one pass.”
“Yay!” Giggling, she scampered out of the room.
Directing my attention to Aaron, I nodded toward the kitchen. “Does Zoe need me to help her mind your rules this week?”
“Yes, the more eyes on her, the better. Becca also has shown her wild side since arriving. Two brats need double the minding.”
“You should show them both how you handle sass.”
It had been far too long since I’d indulged my kinkier side. Aaron and I had stumbled upon the lifestyle back in med school, but I’d denied my urges for a while. Mistakenly believing the rhetoric my parents drilled into my head that if I wasn’t good enough to get into medical school, I wasn’t good enough to take care of someone else. This meant, of course, that I couldn’t possibly be a good partner either. It had taken years to tune out the insecurities their words had engendered within me and embrace my daddy dom side. Though I was more confident now, my schedule hardly allowed room for playtime or relaxing at all.
Relaxing? What the fuck is that?
It was likely the last time I’d seen Aaron. Our friend Caleb’s second wedding had been at least three years ago, so we had to have seen each other more recently than that. My bachelor party and disastrous almost-wedding had happened two years ago. At least I’d avoided marriage after Candice, my bride-to-be, confessed she was sleeping with most of the groomsmen. Candice had cursed everyone from the priest to her own mother, French-kissed her best friend, and puked in the vestibule all the while screaming at the top of her lungs about how much she hated me.
Pushing the memories away, I still couldn’t remember when Aaron and I had last hung out in person. It didn’t matter, since we were finally going to relax for a whole week without interruptions.
I eyed the bottle in Aaron’s hand. “We’ll see if my title returns, and I’m happy to discuss it later. Can I get a beer?”
“Of course, but I wanted to talk to you for a minute. How’s North Star?”
I gave Aaron a wary glance. He always headed straight to the point during a discussion. On the surface, his question appeared casual, but I knew he would probe deeper. “It’s fine.”
“How many hours did you work last week?”
Aaron cocked an eyebrow.
I couldn’t help but think that Zoelle likely answered whatever questions he asked when he gave her that look. “Your dom face isn’t going to work on me, bro.”
“Sixty hours? Seventy?”
“More than I can count.” Holding my phone out so he could see, I grumbled. “Fourteen text messages from work. They need me already.”
The truth was I practically lived at the hospital. I had no real outside connections in Chicago, other than a few acquaintances due to my overworking. The niggling fear in the back of my brain that I wasn’t good enough to be someone’s partner or worse, finding someone else like Candice, halted my dating life.
“I thought you secured coverage before you left.”
Aaron’s voice deepened just a bit. “So let them handle it for a week.”
“Ooh. I bet Zoe likes when you drop your tone,” I teased. “I bet it turns her into a melty pile of goo.”
“You need to recharge. I’m just telling you what you already know.”
Aaron was right, just like always. “I hear you, man. When I’m at work, at least I’m helping others.”
“You’re not at work right now.” Aaron clapped my shoulder, and we headed toward the kitchen. “Let’s focus on fun this week. I think you and Becca will hit it off if you give her a chance.”
“Do you think she might be interested in a scene?”
“If you give her some of that smolder, I bet she’ll fall at your feet and beg for one.”
“Okay, I’ll give it a shot, but it’s not like your cute friend will entice me to move to New York.”
We reached the step to enter the kitchen, but Aaron put his hand on my shoulder. “Where did that come from?”
Aaron could read me better than anyone I knew, except for maybe Caleb. “I don’t know, man.”
“I was going to ask you and Caleb to partner with me. It took a lot of planning, but I figured out the logistics. You jumped the gun.”
Years ago, when we’d laid around the dorm rooms of Harvard thinking about what it would be like to be ‘real’ doctors, we had tossed around the idea of owning a practice together. Aaron followed his dreams—one of the many things I’d admired about him. When we were done with medical school, going into business together never really seemed to be more than a passing thought. But now, the potential prospect of starting our own practice was mind-blowing. It was exactly what we needed.
“Nothing new there.” I chuckled despite the seriousness of our conversation. “I’ll have to think about it.”
“Are you happy at North Star?”
I wanted to lie to Aaron and pretend that everything was fine, but it wouldn’t serve either of us. He knew me. He’d never judge anything I said, and he always supported me. Aaron had been there through some of my best and worst moments. He’d seen me cry when my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and again when she kicked its ass. Aaron had encouraged me to apply to Harvard. He’d never steered me wrong, and I owed him a lot. Though I didn’t always agree with his tactics, I could count on him. So, then what was my issue? But I knew.
It wasn’t Aaron I’d considered lying to—it was myself.
Letting out a long breath, I shook my head. “Nah. I’m not fucking happy, man. I haven’t been in a long time.” I rubbed the back of my neck. “Don’t get me wrong, I love my career, but there is nothing for me in Chicago except the hospital. And lately that place feels more and more like a prison.”
“Consider it before you flat-out refuse.”
Swallowing around the lump in my throat, I stepped over the threshold. “I will, but that beer is now singing to me.”
“You better say yes. Caleb can’t stand to be left out. It’s a guarantee he’ll be in too if you accept.”
“Caleb succeeds when he’s in control. Massachusetts General is at risk of closing their trauma center. They don’t give a shit about him. Not like we do.”
Shit. Aaron’s idea has already wormed its way into my brain.
Aaron gave me a sly smile. “Sounds like you’re heavily leaning toward yes.”
He always had my best interests in mind. He knew it and I knew it.
Something needed to change. Maybe it was finally time to choose my happiness over everything else?
I had announced my intention to fix dinner, but instead of actually cooking, I stood in the kitchen replaying in my head every mortifying moment I’d had with Jaxon. From him sauntering into the room, all the way to him saving my life.
You’re so stupid!
“What’s wrong?” Zoelle asked as she rushed into the room. “Did something happen?”
“I don’t know!” I opened up the fridge, intending to scour the contents for dinner, then shut it without looking at the options. “Jaxon is the most handsome man I’ve ever laid my eyeballs on.”
“He’s been friends with Aaron since high school. Jaxon’s family hosted him in Boston.” Zoelle jabbered on about their time in high school and then med school milling around the kitchen with me. Then her hand shot out, clamping it around mine. “Aren’t you supposed to be making dinner and not idly staring?”
Opening the fridge for the fourth time, I tossed her a bunch of ingredients. “Do you have any idea how embarrassing it was to choke in front of Jax?”
“I get it. One time Aaron…” Her face blushed crimson. “Uh, yeah, embarrassing.”
“What did he do?”
“Oh, come on, Zoe. It can’t be worse than being saved by a perfect stranger.”
She dragged the toe of her sparkly ballet slipper across the floor. “He checked my temperature once when I was sick with strep throat.”
“I literally do that all day long.”
“Um, not orally.”
I opened my mouth, then closed it again. Zoe’s cheeks blushed pink, and now I understood it. I had to say something. “Okay, I don’t do it that way as often.”
Her comment elicited yet more questions though. I wanted to grill her, to find out why the memory of Aaron doing a pretty standard medical procedure embarrassed her. It could be that she and Aaron were into medical play, but I didn’t want to push her to share more than she wanted to.
Returning to the task of making dinner, I grabbed pots and pans and a small cutting board. It was easier to focus on chopping and slicing food rather than reliving awkward moments in my head.
“Aaron has a whole exam room in the basement for… medical stuff.” Zoelle fiddled with the charm on her necklace. “Things that don’t happen in a real doctor’s office.”
“I don’t care what you’re into. You’ve shared a lot with me.” I squeezed her hands. “I’ll tell you one fantasy though.”
Her eyes sparkled in amusement. “Oh! What is it?”
“I’m a total rope bunny. I love the idea of being tied up and restrained.” I sighed. “Something about that physical control being taken away from me helps me sink into this, I don’t know, warm happy place.”
“There’s a whole rope collection in the closet. Maybe in every room.” She winked. “Aaron could show you some of their knots.” Zoe giggled as if imagining it. “I, um, have also been thinking about Aaron spanking me in front of other people.”
The bell pepper I’d been slicing flew across the counter. I retrieved it, rinsed it off, and waggled my knife at the green vegetable. “You can’t get out of this one, pepper.” I continued chopping as if nothing had happened. “That’s so fucking hot, Zoe. Do you think he’d do it tonight?”
“I’m not planning on asking him,” she huffed. “Sometimes it’s more fun to think on the fantasy than to have it played out.” Zoelle rinsed the rice a few times in the sink before filling the cooker.
We had terrible timing. Aaron and Jaxon entered the room together likely hearing the last part of her comment to me.
“What fantasy is in your head, kitten?” Aaron wrapped an arm around Zoe’s waist.
Her cheeks pinkened, highlighting her adorable freckles. “I was sharing with Becca, not you.”
“Mm-hmm.” Aaron turned his attention to me. “What fantasy, Becca?”
“Don’t!” Zoe stomped her right foot against the kitchen tile. “Please don’t tell him.”
“Sorry, Aaron.” I waggled my eyebrows at him. “Clucks before ducks.”
Jaxon cracked up. He had sidled onto one of the stools at the breakfast nook while we were talking but now he was doubled over from laughter. “Don’t keep us in suspense. Tell us.”
“Dates before mates,” I insisted, playfully mocking Aaron’s Australian accent.
Aaron stole a few red pepper pieces. His tone grew cool. “Out with it.”
Placing my hands over the chopped bits, I glared at him. “These are for dinner.”
“You can always fix more.” He popped another one in his mouth. “I’d like one of you to tell me what you were talking about.”
Zoelle grabbed a piece of ginger root off the counter, peeled it with the back of a spoon, and handed it to me. “You can, um, say it.”
Mincing the ginger kept my hands occupied. “Zoe might have found a new kink. Our intrigued little exhibitionist wants you to spank her in front of people.”
Flicking his gaze to Zoelle, he moved closer to her. “You’ve thought about that, kitten?”
“Yes, Daddy.” She gave a breathy moan. “Tonight?”
“We’ll see,” he replied, his voice growing husky.
“I’d be down to watch a scene,” Jaxon added as if anybody needed his agreement.
I glanced over at him casually as if I wasn’t about to hang onto his every word. “What else did you have planned? There’s nothing out front but a lake.”
Tilting his head to the side, he locked his eyes on mine. “Engaging in my own scene afterward?”
A naughty thought played through my mind. “Huh. So, you want Aaron to spank you, Jax?”
“You are a feisty brat, aren’t you, Beck?”
I liked the way he mirrored my use of a nickname. I didn’t let most people shorten my name into something else but the way he used it was endearing and flirty. I almost combusted from the weight of his stare, and the air around me grew stifling. “Nope. I’m just hungry.”
And not just for food.
Jaxon took a swig from his beer bottle. “Food prep would go faster if that ginger was put to better use. If you need motivation, let me know.”
Zoelle groaned. “You don’t want ginger in anything other than your food!”
His threat did funny things to my belly, but after Zoe’s declaration I wondered where he meant to put the ingredient. I stuck my hip out and propped a hand on it. “Don’t threaten me with a good time.”
The ring of an incoming call interrupted them, both Aaron and Jaxon reaching for their cell phone, the sound seeming to ease the tension in the air ever so slightly.
“It’s me,” Jaxon said, striding toward the living room, his phone at his ear. “Be right back.”
Zoelle knocked my hand off my hip. “You probably shouldn’t taunt someone you don’t know very well.”
I poked her tummy right back.
“Don’t rile up Zoelle,” Aaron warned, his Australian accent suddenly thicker, the sternness causing butterflies to flutter through me. He had already made it very clear in our car ride up here that each of us would be getting our needs met at the lake house. Anything I wanted to explore would be safe as long as I communicated. Aaron explained patiently that his friends were experienced in the lifestyle and they were onboard with doing the same if I wanted it.
“What happens if I do?”
He quirked an eyebrow, studying my face. “Then you’ll be in just as much trouble as your friend.”
We weren’t in a dynamic of any sort. After our arrival Aaron reiterated his point. He told me he was willing to keep me in line, all I had to do was ask, something I had trouble voicing. I held my finger in front of his belly poised to taunt him.
He clasped his hand around my finger, his sparkling blue eyes darkening. His response made me wonder if I was in trouble.
Before I could offer an explanation, Zoelle leaned into me, murmuring, “Just because I’m in hot water doesn’t mean you have to join me.”
“I love hot water, Zoe,” I whispered back, hoping she would also read into what I wasn’t saying out loud. I longed for someone to dote on me, prioritize my needs, and discipline as necessary. I’d been too afraid to ask Aaron to do those things during our vacation.
“From here on out, Becca, if you taunt me I’m going to respond. Maybe I’ll just give you a few minutes in the corner, or I might take a paddle to your ass.” Aaron squeezed my hand. “Agree to my terms, or stop the behavior. Which is it going to be?”
“I’m being myself for the first time in a long time. So, can you clarify? I’m not attempting to be disrespectful.”
“You and Zoelle discussed her rules on the way here. The more tempted she is to break them, the harder it’s going to be to get her back on track.” Aaron let go of me. “If you’re acting up and I can’t respond, it could make our vacation less fun. Does that clarify?”
My head swam with the possibilities. “I think so. Are you asking to be my dom for the week?”
The thought of my handsome boss keeping me in line and responding to my flirty, bratty banter had butterflies fluttering in my belly again, a sensation I was wholly unaccustomed to.
“Zoe?” My voice was little more than a squeak. I cleared my throat several times trying to regain my composure.
Zoelle handed me a water bottle.
Taking a few good swallows, I collected my thoughts. “Are you okay with Aaron being my dom while we’re at the lake house?”
“Sure, bestie. It’ll be more fun getting in trouble with you if we’re both sore afterward.”
Her ready agreement was definitely not the answer I was expecting, but it filled me with eagerness nonetheless. Nodding slowly, I returned my focus to Aaron. “Okay, fine. Can I go back to making dinner now?”
“Ohh!” Jaxon called as he strutted back into the room. Shaking his head and muttering, he waggled his eyebrows. “Someone’s got quite the ‘tude.”
“This has nothing to do with you, so stay out of it.” I glared at him. “It’s not like you’re going to do anything about it.”
Jaxon bridged the distance between us, stepping to my feet and I glanced up into his face.
Why did you challenge him, knowing that you can’t possibly win?
Because two stern men making me abide by the rules and dishing out punishments sounded better than one. As he drew even closer, the scent of Jaxon’s cologne enveloped me. I’d smelled it earlier when his arms were wrapped around me but hadn’t appreciated it. The crisp, clean scent had me almost drooling.
“Do you need an adjustment right now, Beck?” His soft yet authoritative cadence stroked parts deep inside of my body.
“Umm…” Words seemed to be failing me at that moment
“That pretty cutting board hanging over the stove is actually a fancy paddle. We can clear your head so you can get back to making dinner.”
“Thank you for your kind offer, Jax.” I swallowed half the water bottle as his stare pinned me in place. “I-I’m okay at the moment.”
“If that changes you let me know.” He winked. “Seems like you could really use another dom for the week. How’s that sound to you?”
Sandwiched between him and Aaron, it seemed as if the air had been sucked out of the room. I fidgeted with a lock of my hair, twisting it around my finger. “It sounds… okay.”
“I recommend you and Jaxon talk a bit more,” Aaron offered sincerely. “Have fun by all means, but there are better ways to get a reaction other than bratting.”
“Where’s the fun in that?” My tone came out sassier than intended, and his eyes flashed.
I took a step backward, but he caught me before I could retreat. He reached behind me, slapping his palm against my right ass cheek and then my left, several times in fast succession. The sting lit up my nerves in the best way possible. I bit my bottom lip, staring at him.
“Watch your tone, Becca. You get one warning. Mind yourself until dinner is on the table.”
“Once dinner is served I can act up as much as I want?” Even without having been in a committed relationship or a dominant and submissive dynamic, I knew better than to throw fire on gasoline. But I just couldn’t help it.
Aaron bent me over his arm, cradling my torso while my legs lifted off the floor. He cracked his palm against the creases where my buttocks met my thighs.
“Ow!” I tried to squirm out of his grip, but I had no chance. Aaron was much stronger than me and close to a foot taller. “I’m sorry!”
He ignored my protests, landing several more harsh slaps along the lowest curve of my ass down to my upper thighs. “I told you how I’d respond.”
A few more targeted smacks of his palm against my burning globes punctuated his words. Finally, he set me back on the floor. He hugged me and I felt very small against him. “I’m sorry, Aaron. I’ll… I’ll behave.”
“If I’ve just spanked you, sweetheart, you can call me Sir.”
My lower lip trembled. “I’m sorry, Sir.”
“You’re forgiven.” He rubbed my head and the gesture soothed me. “From here on, I’ll do my best not to leave any wiggle room. I’m going to watch a show with Zoelle, but you and I can talk later tonight. Deal?”
Selfishly wanting both Aaron’s and Jax’s attention, I pouted. “Yes, but I don’t want to be alone right now.”
“Hey!” Zoelle stomped her foot, drawing everyone’s attention. “Why does Becca need you both minding her? She doesn’t even got rules, and I only got one person paying attention.”
Since both men had their attention focused on me, it sounded like Zoe had sunk into her Little mindset. Her tone sounded like a much younger version of herself and her word choices cemented my observation.
“Well, princess, Daddy was going to talk to you about that.” Aaron lifted her up onto the counter. “Jaxon agreed to help you follow your rules this week.”
“I-I didn’t know that, Daddy.” She blinked her big blue eyes at Jaxon. “I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions…”
“You don’t have to apologize but I forgive you. How about when you’re Little you refer to me as Mr. Jax?” Jaxon held his hand out to her.
Zoelle laced her fingers in his. Scrunching up her nose, she took a few breaths as if processing. “Thank you. What happens if I break one of my rules in front of you?”
“You’ll likely get spanked and put in the corner until you’ve learned your lesson. But sometimes I’m pretty creative with lines. We can talk about your limits later.”
“Yes, Mr. Jax.” She tugged at Aaron’s sleeve. “I’ve got a lot of emotions right now, Daddy. Can we go watch cartoons?”
“Yes, princess. Go sit on the couch in the living room. I’ll grab blankets and your Dr. Aaron bear.” He set her down gently. “I love you.”
“I love you,” she said, giggling. She looked happier than she did a few minutes ago. Zoelle traipsed out of the room.
Aaron walked over to me, leaning his elbow on my shoulder like he did at work when he was in a goofy mood. “This week is for having fun, Becca. Do you need your own set of rules?”
“No. Respect is a given and annoying you or Jax will result in a punishment. I got it.”
“Playfully allowing your sassier side out isn’t annoying to me. I think Jaxon will agree. We both enjoy a challenge, sweetheart. I look forward to spending the week with you.”
“Aaron is right for once,” Jaxon snickered.
“I’m right all the time,” Aaron clipped back. “Do you have a safeword?”
“Orangutan.” I snorted. I didn’t know why that word cracked me up, but it did every time. It was the perfect safeword to me since it wasn’t one I said often.
“Silly little thing.” He rolled his eyes. “We can talk more in detail at dinner. I’ll be in the living room with Zoelle.”
“Sounds good.” I waved as he left the kitchen. The silence he left in his wake made me want to join Zoelle in the living room so I wouldn’t have to face Jaxon after teasing him.
Stirring the food in the pan, I lowered the heat to simmer. The dish only needed a few more minutes and it would be ready to eat. The mere thought of being alone with him filled me with trepidation. I wanted to engage in deeper conversations with Jaxon, but everything he did turned me on and it was harder to stay focused on the kitchen tasks.
“How do you know if you’ve got a Little side?” The question tumbled out of my mouth before I could censor myself.
“Try it out. Then try it again. You’re the only one who matters in this equation. If you love it, keep doing it.”
“Can you tell if somebody is Little?”
“There’s no hard and fast rule. This week you’ll have the freedom to try it out if you want, pixie.”
I blinked, trying to process the loving sweetness of the nickname. “Careful, Jax. Pixies are mischievous little creatures.”
“The name fits you well.” Jaxon’s smile was warm and welcoming, the flash of his perfect white teeth stirring the fluttering of butterflies in my belly all over again.
“Huh. Well, I sort of assumed you wouldn’t give me the time of day. I’ve interacted with a lot of condescending doctors over the years. Sorry for assuming.”
“Don’t you know what happens when you assume things?” He waggled his eyebrows.
“Yes, yes, I’m aware. You haven’t given me a reason to think you would treat anyone like that.”
“Right. I don’t talk down to anyone since so many adults did it to me when I was in high school.” The playful edge of sarcasm crept into his voice. “It was such fun.”
“I wanted to be a doctor. Aaron showed me his medical books and I was hooked. My parents told me I’d never amount to anything. They never believed I could succeed.”
“Look at you proving them wrong, Jax.”
“They credited Aaron when I graduated med school.” He shook his head as if remembering something one of them had said to him. “I’m over it, pixie. But it did bother me for a little while.”
We were close enough to kiss but I pushed away the vision of me threading my fingers into his thick brown hair, pulling him closer and making out with him. “Are you dating anyone?”
“I’m not looking for a relationship right now, Beck.”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
His one-word answer raised red flags, but I seldom paid attention to such warnings. “How come?”
“A list of terrible ex-girlfriends. A crazy ex-fiancée who slept with half my groomsmen. Ridiculous hours at work.” He couldn’t quite hide his wince. “It’s better to tell you where my head is before we’re naked and sweaty. That activity can lead to… feelings.”
I let the mental image fade from my mind and allowed silence to fill the gap.
“Is there anything I need to know about the dynamic I signed up for?” I nearly stopped breathing when Jax locked his gorgeous gaze with mine.
“If you throw your brat at me, I’m going to respond. If you are seeking something more, I’d rather you ask me instead of acting out.” Jaxon swallowed the last of his beer, then turned the bottle upside down in the dish drain.
“I think I’ve got it but if I get confused I’ll ask you.”
“Good. Do you know what a hard limit is?”
“Something I flat-out refuse. I don’t think I have any but I’m brand new to all of this.”
“Is there anything else on your mind?”
Reeling from the directness of his question, but reveling in his attention, I took a small leap of faith. “Yeah. What did you mean about putting the ginger to good use?”
“Mm.” Jaxon leaned against the counter, studying me. “You can cut a piece of ginger small enough to rest on a clit. Or carve a finger into the shape of a butt plug. The juice irritates the surrounding area creating an intense burn. Some like it more than others.”
“I’m not sure how I feel about pain but I did go to nursing school. It can’t be worse.”
He chuckled, a hearty laugh that had me joining in. I appreciated my sense of humor of course, but not everyone did. I loved that he responded so positively to it.
“Fair enough, pixie.” Reaching over to the rice cooker, he pressed the button. “There’s twenty-five minutes until the rice is done. Would you like to play with ginger?”
Rolling my eyes, I huffed. “What do you think?”
“Careful. I’ve earned the nickname ‘brat tamer’ for a reason.”
“You’ve got nothing to tame.”
“You want to battle, Beck? I’m in the mood.”
Out of all of the things he’d said up to that point, that one touched something deep inside me. I pressed my thighs together hoping to keep my arousal at bay, but failed. “I doubt whatever you can do to me will be as exciting as what I’m thinking right now.” I dragged a finger across his collarbone. “Maybe I’ll let it stay just a fantasy.”
“I can top your fantasy.”
I patted his shoulder dismissively. “You can try.”
Jaxon picked up a new piece of ginger. He peeled and whittled it with flair until its shape resembled a butt plug. He wet the root under the water, and I couldn’t help but imagine what it would feel like when he slid the ginger inside of me. I wasn’t a huge fan of anal toys in general but the thought of him teasing me there was more than a little arousing.
“Follow me, pixie.”
“Anywhere,” I murmured.
Dragging over a kitchen chair with his foot, he sat down, tugging me across his muscled thighs in one smooth motion. “Pull down your shorts and panties.”
“Saves you a step.”
Making a show of unbuttoning the intentionally ripped short-shorts, it took me a few attempts to wiggle them down my hips.
“Take them off. All the way.”
When the shorts dropped to the floor, my bare pussy was completely on display to him. I swallowed hard, pretending it was no big deal that all of my naughty bits were open to his scrutiny. The image in my head aroused me even more. Arranging myself across his lap, my head facing away from him, I took the opportunity to rub his thighs. Pretending to get into place, I undulated my hips, grinding them against the bulge of his cock.
“Stay still, Beck.”
“Do as I said, pixie.”
“Should I be calling you some sort of title like ‘Master Brat Tamer’?” I giggled. “How about ‘Dr. Dom’?’”
“Sir is fine.”
“Yes… Sir is.”
Jaxon coughed as if covering up a laugh. “You’ll be less mouthy in a few minutes.”
He parted my bottom cheeks and slowly slid the root into my most private hole.
Burying my head in between my arms, I was mortified by the picture I presented to him. I secretly thanked myself for having a beauty routine that removed all of the hair in between my legs and around my ‘no-entry’ zone. At least, it had been off limits until Jaxon inserted a ginger root into it. A dozen slaps landed against the spot where my leg and thigh met. The pain forced me to clench around the intrusion, the burn growing still more.
“Oh! Oh, what is that?” I squirmed on his lap and he pressed a hand to my lower back.
“It’s ginger oil. The more you clench, the worse it gets.” Jaxon smacked my right bottom cheek several times in fast succession.
I struggled against his lap, but he was stronger than me, his grip keeping me locked in place. Each slap against my naked bottom caused me to clench involuntarily. Soon I was nearly grinding against his legs. His palm kissed every inch of skin from the top of my butt to my thighs, my pussy growing hotter and wetter by the second. Wanting him to focus on my clit instead, I tried to angle my pussy toward him, but he shifted me on his lap, clearly not intending to give me any sort of relief.
“Sir,” I panted.
“What color are you, Beck?”
I whined, forgetting which way the colors went, then remembered it was like a stop light. “The middle one.”
“Yellow,” I confirmed. “Yes, Sir.”
Jaxon removed the ginger root and rubbed his hand over my burning globes but it didn’t do anything to ease the pain. “It’s out, pixie. The effect of the ginger shouldn’t last too long.”
“It’s like you lit a fire inside of me and… spread it around to my ass.”
“Are you uncomfortable?”
“No, but I’m not used to this. It’s… so intense!”
Jaxon retrieved my shorts, tugging them up to my waist and buttoning them. “Let’s finish cooking dinner.”
Pressing my thighs together, I lamented that dinner still needed to be prepared. Simply concentrating on my task while being so aroused was going to be a serious problem. “You’re going to just leave me dripping wet to go scuttle away and make dinner?”
He tipped me into a sitting position in his lap. “Ask for what you want, pixie, but do it in a respectful manner.”
“I want… a release.”
“Then you probably should have led with that.” Jaxon set me on my feet. “Yet you still haven’t asked.”
“So, you’re not interested in any other extracurricular activities with me?”
“Boating? Crafting?” He gave me a cheesy grin. “Baby goat yoga?”
“We’ll discuss it later.”
Rolling my eyes, I crossed my arms, glaring in his direction. “You said I should ask you for things rather than tease.”
“Yes, pixie. However, throwing demands in between a few breathy moans isn’t going to get you anywhere.”
“That’s cool. You can’t handle me anyway.”
Jaxon hauled me back across his muscled thighs. Reaching for something out of my line of sight, he tsked under his breath. “So much sass in such a tiny little package. Let’s see if we can change your mind with a paddle.”
As promised, something hard cracked across my bottom cheeks. “Ouch, Sir! Ow!”
Nothing prepared me for the searing heat the implement painted across my flesh. It was so uncomfortable, but it burned in such a delicious way too. I hadn’t thought I was into pain, but the way he handled me left me wanting more. Smack after smack bounced across my aching ass cheeks. Jaxon shifted his target to my upper thighs. I didn’t love the attention there, but the sting only fueled my arousal more.
Struggling to stay still, I bucked upward. “I apologize for being snarky, Sir.”
“I forgive you, Beck. Are you in a better spot yet?”
“Physically I… sort of like this,” I mused, trailing my fingers along his legs. “But I’m still thinking of all the ways you could give me a release.” I blew out a long breath. “Does your paddle have an orgasm setting?”
“No—but my hand does.” Jaxon wrestled my short-shorts down and off my body. His palm struck the sensitive juncture where my butt and thigh met before kneading into the warmed skin there. The pattern repeated with him shifting focus to my bottom cheeks. Pushing into his hand, I arched to meet each blow. He lowered me against his thighs, parting my legs with intention. Stroking his fingers against my sex, he pushed two inside my dripping wet pussy.
“Oh, god, Jax!” I cooed.
“Do you think you deserve an orgasm, pixie?”
“Yes, please,” I mewed, shamelessly begging him. “Please, Sir?”
“Good girl,” he praised. “I can’t deny you after you asked so sweetly.” Jaxon withdrew from my core long enough to position us on the floor.
“We’re in the kitchen,” I whispered as if it wasn’t obvious. Jax ignored my protest, dipping his head between my thighs and licking my clit. Deftly plunging two fingers into my heated core again, he used a gentle ‘come here’ motion while stroking his tongue on my pleasure nub. That combo was going to give me an orgasm on the laminate flooring. Needing something to hold onto, I settled for my own thighs as I trembled from the intensity. It had been too long since someone tasted me there. “Oh, fuck…”
Jax brought me to a screaming orgasm. I shouted his name, not caring that our friends were in earshot. I should have been embarrassed but his combination made me come hard and fast. Catching my breath, I released my trembling legs, placing my hands on the floor. I’d replay that earth-shattering orgasm in my head on repeat forever.
“Does location still matter to you, Beck?”
I shook my head as tears leaked from my eyes.
Ugh. Why do you have to cry now?
“Oh, pixie…” Jaxon moved us to lean against the table, bringing me into his lap with his arms wrapped around me. “What’s wrong?”
Emotions I hadn’t worked through in years flooded through me. I don’t know if it was from his handling or that he was paying attention but it no longer mattered. Memories of my parents’ divorce back in my early teens flitted through my head. Grief sank to the pit of my belly, a feeling that I should have embraced and worked through back then. But instead, I’d pushed it away. No one took care of me the way Aaron and Zoelle recently had. Their friendship was new in my life. They must have cared, otherwise they wouldn’t have offered their time and attention to me. Perhaps, in time, I could add Jaxon to that list too? Sobbing from the sudden realization of how quickly the walls I’d built up around my heart were crumbling added another layer of embarrassment. It wasn’t a pretty cinematic sniffle either, tears and snot dripping into my mouth as I cried. I was absolutely mortified.
“No one cries after the best orgasm of their life.” I hiccupped, trying to calm myself down.
“Let it out, pixie.” He rubbed my shoulders. “All of it.”
My soul purged all of the bad shit I’d been holding onto for so long. Several minutes later, I gave one last shuddering breath. He stood up, helping me to my feet and assisting me into my clothes. “I don’t cry a lot,” I muttered when my head stopped spinning.
“When our bodies hold onto emotions and don’t release them, it can build up either as tension, or stress—or something even worse.” Jaxon blotted my cheeks with a napkin. “Do you feel better?”
“Yeah, a lot better. How did you know what I needed?”
“I didn’t,” he said bluntly. “You mentioned a release and we all get one in a different way. I’m glad you worked through it.”
Still caught up in a storm of emotions, I struggled to regain my composure. “W-will you help me figure out what to do for dessert tonight?”
“Sure. Go wash your face. I’ll ransack the pantry and the fridge.”
“You’re welcome. I hope you let yourself relax this week. Try not to get caught up in your head with things. Just relax. Does that sound like a plan?”
“Yes, Sir.” I flounced off to do as he said, though my burning bottom ensured my steps were a good deal slower than usual.
My heart and my head felt blessedly lighter. Jaxon had warned me about not wanting a relationship, but I was already caught up in the idea of being with him like a fish caught in a net.