“What should I be wearing?” I ask. I carefully keep my eyes lowered. I know he’ll want at least that much.
“Safe word —”
“Byron, it’s you,” I say. “Do we really need a goddamn safe word?”
“Is ‘red.’ You always need a fucking safe word, Kit. I don’t care how much we trust each other. I’ll never do anything you don’t want me to. If you tell me to stop, it stops. I need to know you’ll tell me if you need to me to stop.”
“Of course I will, Byron. God. It’s you.”
“You’re safe with me, Kit. You know that. You’re totally safe. If you want something, you need to tell me. Don’t hint at it. Don’t beat around the goddamn bush. You do that. Tell me. You got that part? And always, always be honest. Don’t give me the answer you think I want to hear just because you think I want to hear it.” He sort of grins. “Burroughs Principle still applies.”
I give him a half-smile. My nipples are already hardening in my bra. “I get it, Byron.”
His voice drops. “Then strip, pretty. Now.” Pretty? From Byron? The fuck?
“It’s like, five in the afternoon and we’re in the living room?”
His voice drops deeper. “I told you to strip. I don’t ask twice. You get away with it because it’s the first time. You won’t do it again. Do you understand, pretty? Say ‘yes, sir’ if you understand.”
“Yes, sir.” I don’t look up this time. But I do begin taking off my clothes. Tank top. Cutoffs.
“You address me as ‘sir.’ Do you understand, pretty?” He pulls my hair out of its tie. “I like it better down.”
“Yes, sir.” My black bra hits the floor. Oh god, he can see my nipples and he knows I keep the house at like, seventy degrees. I start to take off my black lace panties but Byron stops me.
“No. Leave those. I like black lace. Now, dark makeup. Red lipstick. Red nails. Stilettos. I assume you own black stilettos?”
“Come back when you’re finished. And I want everything bare between your legs. I don’t care how it happens.” He puts his index finger under my chin and lifts it to make me look into his dark eyes. There’s something in them I’ve never seen, something profoundly arousing. “Don’t take off everything. I always liked the red. Leave some on the front for me to look at.”
Thank god I get regular waxes, and in the style Byron likes, apparently. I do exactly what Byron asked. Dark eyeshadow and red lipstick. I paint my nails with quick dry polish and dig out my stilettos. They clack on the hardwood hallway as I walk back to Byron. He sits on the couch, watching my TV. I rarely turn it on. He flips it off and stands.
“Let me look at you,” he says. “Very good. On your knees. What’s the safe word, little slut?”
“Red, sir,” I say. God, I’m soaking this lace. Byron just called me a slut — and it’s making me wet. This is ridiculous. I should stand up and kick him out.
“I’m going to be nice to you today, pretty. We’re going to make sure you get used to this. Have to go slow for you.” Byron takes a thick silk square from the box, pulls my wrists behind my back, and ties them loosely.
“Byron, this is ridiculous. I can totally get out of this,” I say.
“Number one, silk is about the worst thing to tie someone with and I don’t want to deal with knotting and unknotting it. I’d rather put you in dedicated restraints. Two, you’re not used to being restrained, and I want to be able to get you out of it very, very fast if you panic. Three, I told you to call me sir at all times. Did you misunderstand something?” He sounds businesslike.
I drop my eyes. “No, sir. I’m sorry, sir.”
He sighs. “And I just tied you, misbehaving brat.” He leans down, and I feel the silk come off my wrists. “Stand up,” he orders. “Drop that lace. Lean over and put your hands on the couch. I told you, I only say things once.”
I have an idea of what’s coming next, and I love this part. My thighs will slick by the time he finishes. I don’t know if it means he’ll never do it again, or he’ll do it more. Suddenly his hand rests on my pussy. God, it feels good, his big, hand with its long fingers holding me, palm against my slit. He doesn’t stroke or pet like I want, and I resist the urge to move on him or whine. “You’re already wet.”
“That wasn’t a question. It was a statement. You were wet before we started this, weren’t you? Tell me the truth,” he warns.
“You fucking tease, pretty. You knew exactly what you were doing.”
“I am not!” I flare. “You were the one who —”
His other hand smacks down on my ass, open-palmed, with a sharp slap. He waits a beat. I squirm, tempted to taunt, Didn’t hurt! His hand comes down on my other ass cheek with the same sharp sound, startling me. This one stings; I hadn’t braced for it. “That was for back-talking once,” Byron says. He pauses. “Hands on the coffee table instead. I can’t see enough of your pussy.”
Something has permanently shifted between us, I know, as I obediently click-clack around to the table and lean lower. “No, legs further apart than your shoulders,” Byron orders. “I like to look at you, pretty.”
As I willingly move my legs, he walks behind me, and I can feel him staring at my pussy. I realize several things. This is Byron. This is one of the hottest things that has ever happened to me. And if he keeps using that deep, commanding voice, I’ll do absolutely anything he asks. He stares between my legs. “You always did have a gorgeous pussy,” he comments. “Even when I didn’t much know better, I thought you had a gorgeous pussy.”
I hope Byron’s going to spank me again. The waiting has become part of the game. I hate waiting for anything — I’d rather wheel out of traffic and take the long way than patiently watch for a lane to open. Byron knows it, goddamn him. Maybe playing games with one of your best friends actually works against you. A more distant partner would have to play trial and error.
But Byron already knows. He’s had fifteen years. Fifteen years of drinking together. Fifteen years of unloading emotional baggage on one another. Fifteen years of paying attention, and you can say a lot of things about Byron Falcon, but he always, always pays attention.
So he stands behind me, and I know he’s making me wait for it while he stares. He probably also knows that not seeing his reaction to me naked and spread makes me crazy. I want cooed over and told how pretty I look — in more than a matter-of-fact, offhand comment. Byron knows it. He refuses to give it to me. I wonder if I’ll get it when I’m good, or if that part of our relationship won’t change, even if he is calling me “pretty.” This silence stretches on and on, warps. I don’t know if it lasts one minute or five.
“You’re soaked. Your pussy’s bright pink and swollen,” Byron says. “I could fuck you right now and you’d love it, wouldn’t you?”
I figure it’s rhetorical.
“Answer me, or you know what’ll happen, pretty. I asked if you’d love for me to fuck you right now.”
‘Yes, sir.” Just admitting it makes me wetter. I hope he doesn’t notice. Of course he does, and he laughs.
“I thought I remembered that you liked being talked to, pretty slut,” Byron comments. “I wasn’t sure if I remembered that right or not. But you do, don’t you? You love it when I talk.” He palms me again, but this time, Byron strokes briefly, finds my clit and pets with his thumb. “You love being called a slut. I still owe you something for back-talking,” he comments, still stroking. I arch back at him. “But something more creative, I think.”
Byron pauses. “I should just take you home.” He says the last part almost to himself. “I hate improvising any of this. Yeah. Come here and kneel down.” The last part of it takes on that ringing tone of command. He stops petting. Goddamn him. I resist whining or asking for it.
“Excuse me, sir?” I say, and wait.
“What didn’t you understand, pretty?”
“Where should I kneel, sir?”
He points directly in front of him. Ohmygod. I don’t remember much about fucking Byron, but I remembers that he has a gorgeous cock: smooth, with a head made to wrap your lips around, a wide shaft, the biggest I’d seen then and still one of the biggest I’ve seen since. I kneel at his feet.
“Hands behind your back. I’m too lazy to tie you again.” Obediently, I clasp them behind me at the waist. Byron unzips and takes his stiff cock out. “I want some of your mouth before I take you over to my place. Don’t try to make me come , pretty— I do remember what a good mouth you have, that detail’s hard to forget. I’m going to tell you exactly what to do and you’re going to do it. Do you understand?”
“Yes sir.” I don’t look up.
“Would you let me fuck your mouth? Remember, you said you wouldn’t tell me something just because you thought it was what I wanted to hear, pretty.”
“Good girl, telling me the truth.” He gathers up my hair — rather considerate of him. “Take my whole head in your mouth. Lick the underside hard.”
I lean forward slightly and wrap my mouth around Byron’s head. His skin feels soft against my lips; he’s already beginning to drip. I lick up that sinful little drop before I start tonguing underneath him. He pulls my head up abruptly, and I let his cock go with an audible pop.
“Did I tell you to lick precum off me, or did I tell you to suck me and lick?”
“The last one. Sir.”
“You need to listen, pretty.”
“It’s not cold in here, pretty. So why are your nipples so hard? Why is your pussy so wet? I’ve barely touched you. Tell me why.”
I redden; Byron’s still pulling my hair and forcing me to stare up into his eyes. I don’t know what to say. It slams down on me again: this is Byron. “The Burroughs Principle still applies, pretty. Say the thing you’re most embarrassed to say.”
“Because I like it when you dominate me,” I admit. “Your voice makes me so wet. Sir,” I add hurriedly.
He drops my hair. “Now be a good girl and do what I told you.”
Obediently, I take Byron back into my mouth and suck, more lightly this time. Tongue his underside. Rather than continuous hard suction, however, I suckle at him, varying the pressure while I work at him. “That’s better,” he says. “Take all of it.”
I wet my lips as much as I can, open my mouth, and slide down Byron’s length. He hits the back of my throat. “Keep your lips tight on me,” he says. “I want to feel them. Your tongue too. Now move back. Use your tongue hard on me.” I obey him. “In again,” he orders. “Now out. Suck my head.” He pauses and while I suck hard. “Lick it like a lollipop. You were always good at that. Now stop.” He steps back and tucks himself back in. “Come back into your room with me.”
Thank god I just picked up.
“Underwear drawer, pretty. Which one is it?”
I point. He roots through it and selects a black thong. “Those short cutoffs you wore earlier, fucking tease — you thought I wouldn’t look at your legs? Push-up bra. I want those big, pretty tits high. Black tanktop. Put your stilettos in a bag and bring them with you. Do you have black stockings? I might want those too. And a black skirt, one of those little skirts you have for summer. You may be going out to dinner. Hurry up. And once you walk out that bedroom door, we’re done playing until we get back to my house.”
When I return to the living room with a bag, Byron stands up from the couch, stretches his arms and cracks his back. “God, that was good. I haven’t done that in way too long.”
“What?” I asks stupidly. I’m a little stupid right now. I think I can be forgiven that.
He gives me a look.
“All you can say is ‘oh’? I hope that scene wasn’t some of the worst sex of your life.” He helps me crate Whiskey and waits next to me while I lock the door. I’m struck by a sudden desire for his hand to trail down the back of my thigh but of course it doesn’t. He’s just Byron again; I’m just Kit. Regular old Byron Falcon and Catherine Jasper. Situation normal. Except not at all, because he just dominated me and I just sucked his cock.
It’ll never be regular again.
“I think you already know whether or not that was the worst sex of my life,” I say.
He grins. “I think I need you to tell me. You bruised my fragile ego.”
I redden. “It was very, very good, and you know it.”
“Ha, I haven’t even gotten you home yet. You want to just take my car, or you want to drive yourself? I can just drive if you want.”
I nod, and he beeps me into his new black Tesla. Byron does well for himself at Culliver, Culliver, Culliver, and Culliver, which everyone in Savannah just calls 4C’s now, because the name takes too damn long to say. Since one of the brothers has mostly taken over — Wills, good friends with my little brother Lucky — everyone’s salary has jumped, Byron’s said. Good for him.
“Did you like that?” he asks solicitously as he opens the car door for me. This has nothing to do with me sucking his dick. Byron always opens doors for women.
“Yes,” I say. “I felt safe. I also kept thinking, dear god, this is fucking Byron.”
“How do you think I felt?” he asks. “I’m ordering you to spread your legs and thinking, fuck, this is Kit. I should probably stop right now — no, I probably should have stopped about twenty minutes before this. I’m about to get divorced and I need her for more than a quick fuck.”
“Byron, you know I’ll always be here,” I tell him. Thank God the Tesla’s air conditioning kicks on quick.The Savannah heat smothers coherent thought at this temperature, rots the city to a deathly sort of torpor, even in the shade of the live oaks, and the night breezes haven’t kicked up yet.
“After that? No. I worry you won’t.” The Tesla coasts down Oglethorpe, stops at a red.
“I will. I mean — I don’t know. I don’t know how it’ll turn out. Maybe it’ll be weird for a while. But I care about you too much to toss it away just because stuff gets weird for a while.”
He nods once, curtly. “Thank you. Likewise.”
“Have you found a lawyer?” I ask.
“Oh. You know my friend Jax, the one I watch samurai movies with? He’ll do divorces as a favor, and I asked a favor. He’s a monster in court.”
“That’s good,” I say. This small talk seems ridiculous after what we just did.
“Are you sure you’re still okay with this?” Byron asks.
“Yes. Do I need to answer ‘sir’ after that?” I tease.
“No. This is serious.”
“So was that.”
“That stays in the bedroom. For now.” That “for now” makes my stomach flutter. “This is about to get a little more — involved. I have toys. I have rope. You need to be honest and tell me if I push you too far. I trust you to do that. That’s one of the reasons I’m willing to play with you like this. You’re one of — fuck, right now, the only — person I’d trust to tell me if I were pushing them.”
“Why’s that?” I ask, more out of curiosity than anything else.
“Because you always tell me the truth.”
I sit in that for a moment. Byron’s right. I always tells him the truth. How rare, how precious, to have a friend you can be completely honest with. No one gets that, unless you have a particularly perfect marriage.
“And no more of this ‘I can get out of this’ bullshit,” Byron says, breaking the silence. “You’ve never really done this before. You’ve just thought a lot about it.”
“The fuck do you know?” I demand. I certainly have been tied to the bedframe, told what to do, blindfolded, and turned over someone’s knee.
He gives me a look. “You’d have told me. You what, had an ex or two tie you to the bed? Order you around some? I had a little more in mind than that, and I think you did too.”
I bite my lip and get a teensy bit wet. “Yeah.”
“Anyway, you’ve never done this. I don’t want to spend five minutes intricately untying you. I’m not putting you in any serious stress positions.” He pauses. “God, I don’t even know how to put this. Even with you. I don’t want to ruin it but I need to know it likely wouldn’t scare you. You liked being spanked. Do you like … other things?”
“Just fucking say it, Byron. God.”
“I don’t want to ruin the surprise!”
“If you don’t ruin it, I can’t consent to it.”
He thinks about it. “You’re right.” He parks in front of a house pretty house off one of the squares, small but jewel-like, all twining mandevilla vines and intricate wrought iron. “Candle wax.”
“Not an issue.”
“Not hard and don’t leave a mark where people can see it.”
“Bondage tape. Like duct tape but it won’t hurt your skin.”
“Any restrictions on sex?”
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“Any squicks? Like no anal or something?”
I drop my head in my hands. “Can’t believe I’m uttering these words to you. And on the street, no less. God, mama’s rolling in her grave. Common courtesy when it comes to rim jobs, please.”
Byron nods and unlocks the door that to the house that, until recently, he shared with Lucy. Half of everything has disappeared. Half the books. Half the furniture. The kitchen table, the dining room set he loved. “Jesus Christ,” I say. “Lucy really moved the fuck out, didn’t she?”
“Yesterday,” Byron says. “I came home from work and everything was gone. I spent last night drinking, woke up hungover as fuck, recovered some, and called you.” He turns to me. We’re standing in his half-empty living room. “Do you want to play again, or would you rather have a drink first?” he asks.
“We can play now,” I say.