Page 5

By My Side Michele Zurlo 2022/8/3 13:56:49

Color stained her cheeks. “I’m sorry, Sean. I just meant we’d raise more money if we showcased a variety of toys.”

“I know what you meant. We’ll try them out, but I’ll be the one deciding which get used and which don’t. Speak now if you want out of this. I won’t force you to do anything you don’t want to do.” He held his breath and counted the long seconds that ticked past as she studied his face.

He wondered if his face pleased her. After he’d made his first million dollars, he had stopped accepting compliments from people. Most of them said what they thought he wanted to hear. Not Marcella. At her interview, she had straightened his tie without asking for permission, taking him to task when she found out he never untied the knot. He just loosened it to fit over his head. The sparks that flew from her hands through his chest had made him want to strip her naked and bend her over the back of the nearest couch. Later she’d told him to get rid of all his red ties. They didn’t suit his coloring.

The way she sat, knees turned modestly to one side, turned him on more than if she’d knelt naked in front of him with her knees spread to reveal the soft folds of her pussy. Would it be light pink or dusky rose? How responsive would she be to his tongue and fingers exploring her wetness?

With her feet under her ass, the fabric of her skirt pulled snugly against her curves. He wanted to dig his fingertips into her hips as he sank his dick into her tightness.

“I wouldn’t have suggested it if I wasn’t willing.” She dropped her gaze and stared at her notebook. “Round two features whips. That’s the only one that worries me. I-I do okay with a flogger, but I didn’t care for the cat or the single-tail at all.”

Sean’s attention jerked from carnal thoughts and landed on her embarrassed revelation. Earlier she’d mentioned needing to practice with a whip. “Everyone has different levels of pain they enjoy, Cella.”

“I know.” He had to strain to hear her. She drew a slow line in her notebook. “I’m just worried that I won’t be able to endure enough. I’ve never been with anyone who used a cane or a tawse on me. I can’t say I’ve ever wanted to try those things.”

A fact filtered through Sean’s consciousness. He’d kept his hands off her for more reasons than simply because he didn’t want to chance driving her away. “Marcella, shouldn’t Eric be here? Shouldn’t you ask him if he’s okay with this first?”

Her brow furrowed, and her mouth puckered into a frown. “Eric?”

“Your boyfriend. Your master.” He had to force the last word out. If he were her master, he wouldn’t loan her out to anyone. He wouldn’t allow anyone to put their hands on her. He wouldn’t allow her to work insane hours for another man. Or woman. He would want all her attention focused on him, much as it was now.

She lifted her pretty brown eyes and brushed her bangs away from her thick, full lashes. “Eric and I broke up almost a year ago.”

He felt like an ass, and not just because he welcomed the news. How had he not known? “Because you work for me?”

“That was the final nail in the coffin.” She shrugged. “We wanted different things out of the relationship. It wasn’t going to last, no matter what.”

“What different things?” Though he knew damn well it wasn’t his business, he couldn’t stop himself from asking. She knew every detail of his personal life, but she’d engineered it so that he knew only select things about her. And he’d let her. Oh, he had rationalized it by telling himself he respected her privacy. Facing the truth meant admitting cowardice. He hadn’t wanted to hear her talk about her boyfriend.

“He wanted a full-time sex slave, and that’s just not me. I don’t mind kneeling naked at my master’s feet during a scene, but expecting me to cook and clean the house naked is too much. Hell, expecting me to do all the cooking and cleaning is too much. Plus he didn’t seem to care about me, only my obedience. He punished me for the smallest infractions.”

She trailed off and shrugged as if she hadn’t said something that opened up a vast list of questions. Her pen flew over the lines in her notebook.

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“Marcella, is Eric the reason you don’t like the whip?”

Her momentum faltered. She tapped the pen against her teeth. “Maybe a little, but I’ve always had a low threshold for pain. He preferred to deny me attention and affection. I’d rather be whipped than be hurt emotionally.”