“Off with your shoes.”
He pushed her away, causing her to stumble. Determined not to show fear or any other emotion, she kicked off her sandals then wrapped her arms around her middle. Her fingers closed over proof of what had happened when she’d tried to fight someone who was larger and stronger.
“Do the same with your clothes. Everything.”
It was her body. He had no right to force her to expose it to him, but hadn’t he already seen, touched, and spanked her ass? Hell, he’d done more than that as her pussy repeatedly reminded her.
Because she hadn’t thought she’d see anyone today she hadn’t bothered with a bra. Not looking at him, she lifted her shirt over her head. When he held out his hand, she gave him the shirt.
There she stood, exposed from the waist up with her nipples tightening and a flush on her throat and between her breasts. He’d probably seen countless naked women, some of them stunning. It went without saying he’d never wanted for bed partners. She couldn’t help but wonder how she stacked up next to them.
Despite her growing awareness of herself as a sexual creature, she unfastened and unzipped her shorts. Obeying called for bending over and pushing the shorts down over her hips. A little wiggling brought the garment around her ankles. She stepped out of it and looked up at him.
His gaze plowed into her. When he shifted his attention from her throat to her breasts, her belly clenched.
More disconcerting, unwanted dampness sealed her practical white briefs to her crotch. She didn’t want this arousal. Didn’t want his power over her libido.
“You haven’t finished.”
“Why are you doing this?”
“Don’t push me.”
Modesty, such as it was, no longer mattered. He could already see so much. Determined to hold onto as much dignity as possible while not giving away her body’s betrayal, she slid her briefs over her hips, down her legs, and over her feet. She dropped the garment on top of her shorts. If he wanted the damn things, he could go after them.
He pointed at a waist-high shelf with a toolbox on it. “Take hold of that and lean over. No matter what I do you are not to straighten or let go, understand?”
Not bothering to respond, she obeyed. A part of her stood off to the side questioning whether this was really happening and insisting there must be a way to get out of it before the spanking started. She had no answer for that shadowy part of her, no explanation for why she hadn’t protested. He’d undoubtedly use his greater strength to bend her to his will, but someone with a shred of self-respect wouldn’t go down without a fight.
But this wasn’t a battle she could win. He’d decided she done something that warranted punishment. Because of who they were, he was within his rights.
Her mind on overload, she clutched the metal shelf, lowered her head, and bent over until her ass was on display. Her breasts hung, the nipples hard.
“Your first spanking was to establish the power structure in our relationship,” he said from behind her. “This one should need no explanation.”
In other words, if she didn’t completely understand his thinking, that was her problem. He saw her as his property, maybe his pet.
The first blow caught her in mid breath. Even though she’d braced her arms, the impact threw her forward. Her chin nearly struck metal. He hit her again. Harder than the first time.
Not acknowledging her outburst, he delivered one blow after another to both ass cheeks. Her breasts bounced about, distracting her a little from trying to keep her arms locked. At first she tried to keep her head high as a sign that she refused to give up, but as he kept at her, she stopped thinking or caring about anything except the pounding her ass was taking. He was so damn good at it, the rhythm consistent, no slackening to the blows’ impact.
Her head down and her attention on her shuddering breasts and throbbing butt, she tried to dismiss the strain in her thighs, knees, and calves. If only she could relax.
If only she could ignore her too-alive pussy.
“What I say goes.” He punctuated his words with twin slaps. “Lives depend on what I accomplish, lives that are a hell of a lot more important than ours.”
She wanted to hold onto what he’d said about both of their lives but couldn’t. Pain traveled in waves over her spine and down her legs. Something different was happening between her legs, a growing hunger she hated acknowledging.
She’d always loathed feeling helpless. This should be no different. It was embarrassing, damn it. She had to remember that, hold tight to her resentment, not let this heated loosening keep growing.
Not want him to touch her there.
“What’s with the silence?”
He sounded so calm, his tone a world apart from the still-landing smacks. It was as if he was deliberately using his voice as a counterpoint to punishment. Let her deal with the polar opposite sensations he was probably thinking. Let her try to make sense of what she’s feeling. When she can’t I will have won.
Except he already had.
But I haven’t been defeated, she railed. Not that, please.
He stopped, just like that. His hands had completed their task. She lifted her head but didn’t try to look back at him. He hadn’t given her permission to change positions so she stayed in place feeling more like a disobedient pet than a woman.
Or maybe he was making her into more of a woman than she’d thought possible. Fueling the storm raging through her body.
“Enough.” He sounded as if he was speaking to himself. “Don’t dare go too far.”
Had he come close to losing control? How would she defend herself or reach him if he did?
But he hadn’t. Hopefully he was back in charge of his emotions.
The burn radiating down her spine increased, prompting her to start to straighten.
“No. Not yet.”
“Do you think you need or deserve another lesson?” He swatted her sore bottom.
“No.” Please no.
“I’ll decide that.”
She didn’t want to talk about what he’d done to her, didn’t want to talk about anything. Mostly she longed to ease into a cool shower. But before that she’d stay here until she’d regained some control over her body and mind. Unfortunately that would take a long time.
“You’re bright red as are my palms. I considered using something less intimate but sometimes it’s all about intimacy.” He took a harsh breath.
Pulled out of herself by the sound, she chanced looking over her shoulder. She wasn’t that different from the dogs locked in their individual pens. Whether they spent the foreseeable future within four walls or were granted the freedom to move freely about was up to Pace. She knew all too well about a man who demanded obedience but that man hadn’t known how to garner compliance from the women in his life. Pace was different—or maybe her response made all the difference.
The way he returned her stare made her wonder if he was reading her thoughts. She was locked within the power in his eyes, the strength in his hands, his commanding voice.
“You aren’t cowed,” he said as she lowered her head to take some of the strain off her spine. “Good. I don’t want that from you any more than I want the dogs to fear me. What I need is total compliance. Fortunately I know how to accomplish my goal.”
She couldn’t focus on anything but her body. Her ass still throbbed, and the strain in her back was becoming more intense. The muscles in her calves threatened to cramp.
But those sensations paled next to her pussy’s need.
“You’re trembling.” He stroked her spine.
Oh, my god! “Yes.”
“That’s all, just yes?”
“I don’t know what you want me to say.”
“Maybe I don’t want a word from you after all.”
Much as she needed to understand him, it took everything she had to keep her legs under her and not beg him to fulfill her need for sex. He was within his right to touch her everywhere, explore every inch of her, repeatedly bring her to the edge of a climax only to deny her.
“I’m going to check something,” he said. “See if I’m right.”
One masculine hand landed heavy on her spine. Giving her no time to anticipate or throw up her defenses, if she had any, he slipped his other hand between her legs. Eyes closed, she followed the slow journey to her pussy. With every passing second she felt less human, more animal. Her nipples were so hard they hurt, the sensation bleeding into her ass and keeping it on fire. She no longer felt strain in her back or legs, lost touch with her limbs. There was nothing to her except his fingers closing in on sensitive, vulnerable flesh.
Then he reached her core, his fingertips connecting with what was swollen and hot. Mewling, she arched her spine and spread her legs, an animal in heat.
“Experience,” he whispered. “That’s the only thing you have to do.”
This man who believed she needed to be punished had turned gentle. Taking long moments, he explored her sex lips while her head bobbed and her legs shook.
“Discipline has taken you deep inside yourself,” he said as a finger entered her. “Turned you into something primitive.”
She didn’t care whether he continued to speak or fell silent. Only his hand mattered. She gave fleeting thought to protesting he had no right to that part of her body. Maybe he didn’t, maybe he did. What mattered was her ever-growing hunger. He’d claimed her ass. Now he was doing the same to her pussy, except this time there was no punishment.
Had she begged and if so, what was she asking for? The hand at the base of her spine was heavy and possessive while the finger inside her was gentle, teasing. Taking her to a place where sanity didn’t matter.
“What is it? You don’t want to say the words?” A second finger joined the first, spreading her, owning her. “You’re putting me through hell, but I’m putting up with it because I need all of you.”
Despite the warning tone, his words faded from her consciousness. All that mattered was her reaction to the growing invasion. Two masculine fingers were now deep inside her, becoming part of her. Claiming her.
“I need…” She struggled to push back at him while praying he’d start thrusting.
“Not me.” He withdrew a little then plundered her even deeper. “I figure you want nothing to do with me. If you had a say in it you wouldn’t be here, like this, but I’ve given you no choice.”
Was that true? He’d wrestled control from her and intended to turn her into his what, his sex slave? If that was his intention, she should hate him, but her body had caught fire.
“Damn you. Oh, ah!”
No climax had felt like this. In the past she’d always sensed when one was coming, which allowed her to ride it to the end, even controlling its course. In contrast, this was an explosion, an earthquake. Stripping her of everything. Turning the world red, making her skin scream. He’d thrown her into a raging river where energy pulsed, grew, faded, grew again. Killed her.
“Damn you,” she managed as sanity returned.
“Yeah, damn me.”
He wiped his hot, sticky fingers on her hip then forced her to stand upright. Still too gone for anything except relishing what he’d gifted her with, she paid no attention to what he was doing. She sensed the change in the air when he walked away, didn’t try to understand what he was doing.
Then he returned holding a leather dog collar and chain leash.
Silently, he placed the collar around her neck and used a lock to anchor it. He’d left enough room so she had no trouble breathing—or she wouldn’t have if she wasn’t trying to wrap her mind around what he’d done. No way could she remove it. No way did she fully comprehend what was happening to her sense of self. The solid leather spoke of possession and lack of freedom. Of being owned.
“It’s essential for you to fully comprehend what I’m determined to accomplish. I’ve decided to treat you like I do the dogs. Hopefully that way you’ll put yourself in their place, understand the difference between master and—I was going to say pet, but it’s more than that. A hell of a lot more.”
He snapped the leash to a ring under her chin and positioned it so the links dangled between her breasts and over her belly. If she took a step, it would stroke her mons and slide along her inner thighs.
Caught between seeing the leash as unwanted proof of his dominance and, surprisingly, acceptance, she fingered the collar. It was the only thing she had on. With it in place, he could do anything he wanted to her.
“What—what do you mean by saying I’m more than a pet?” Damn it, she had to make her voice stronger.
Stepping back, he regarded her. With every heartbeat she felt as if she was becoming smaller and less significant. If this strange connection between them continued, there might be nothing left of her.
“What my cousins refer to as pet play is part of their parties. Play is the operant words because it’s done for the enjoyment of every participant, but I’m deadly serious.”
He shook his head. “You think you understand me, but you don’t—yet.”
Knowing the same was true when it came to his comprehension of her, she tried to take her mind off leather and metal, to imagine herself fully dressed without arousal clinging to her inner thighs and keeping her nipples hard.
“You’ll become what I need you to be.”
He grasped the leash and drew her toward him. He didn’t let up until she was so close she could easily touch his swollen cock. She wanted to, damn it, not in a useless effort to try to tip the power balance in her direction but because—hell, because he was making her feel things she’d never thought she would.
“How long will you have to wear this?” He pulled up, forcing her onto her toes. “Until you get it.”
“I do.” The collar pressed against her chin.
“No, you don’t.” He pulled down, forcing her onto her knees. “Not yet.”
If he realized how close her mouth was to his erection, he gave no indication. One of the dogs whined. Another yawned. She was beyond caring if anyone was watching. Only he mattered—and the things he’d done, was doing, and would do to her psyche and body. Strangely, she didn’t want to be free. She wanted him.
“Is this—” she stroked the leash, “because you need it to feel in control?”
The corner of his mouth twitched. “Good try. You wanted to see how far you can push me. For the record, it isn’t working.”
Hooking a finger through the collar’s ring, he brought her upright. Their bodies touched, connected, threatened to fuse.
“I should keep you naked. Hell, I’d love to but much more of this and I’m in dangerous territory.”
“What about me?”
“Not my problem.”
He let go of the ring and leash. She should take a chance on putting distance between them, but she didn’t want to. Much more of this togetherness and she’d climax again. Not lowering her gaze, she stroked his erection with the back of her hand. His eyes widened then narrowed.
“You’re playing a damn dangerous game.”
“It isn’t a game.” Not believing this was her, she ran her knuckles along his length. “I’m serious.”
“Not as damn serious as I am, pet.” He pushed her back but grabbed the end of the leash to keep her in place. “Chew on the word pet and what it means. And when you’ve done that for a while, replace it with another one. Possession. I possess you.”
“You don’t have anything to say?”
“I’m trying.” Darn it, she was back to sounding like she seldom used her voice. “You’re right. Right now, you have one hundred percent control over me.”
“Do I? In some regards—” He reeled her in inch by inch until his heat reached every part of her. “Yeah, I call the shots, but that puts all responsibility on my shoulders. I have to decide what to teach you when and how, make sure you understand every damn lesson so you can pass it on to the dogs.”
She didn’t care about lessons or the dogs. Hell, her ass no longer demanded attention. There was just the two of them and the chain between them.
Heat. Wanting. Confusion. So much confusion.
He again positioned the chain so it bisected her breasts, kissed her belly, and slid between her legs. She longed to feel it along her pussy. “You’re going to wear this—” He tugged on the collar. “Until I decide otherwise.”
“What about clothes?”
“You don’t need them where you’re going, which is to your room. You’ll stay there until I’ve decided you’ve learned your lesson.”
“I’m not a naughty child.” I’m not sure I ever was one.
“Did I say you were?”
“You said a lot of things.” Shut up. Why are you doing this? “Pushed your weight around.”
He pushed her away. “What is it? You get off on pushing my limits? Maybe you’re into pain.”
“No, of course not.”
“I’m not sure I believe you. In fact, yeah.” Twin lines appeared between his eyes. “Run your fingers over your pussy. Show me what’s there. Then try to convince me getting spanked didn’t turn you on.”
It didn’t, she wanted to insist as she reluctantly complied but maybe he was right. The only thing she was certain of was she’d never forget today.
He nodded when she held up glistening fingers. “There’s a hell of a lot going on inside you, but you’ll have to deal with it on your own time. When we’re together, I expect obedience, get it?”
The collar warmed her everywhere it touched, and even when he didn’t have hold of the leash, she was still his. Owned.
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