Her heart fluttered and her breaths sped up, puffing erratically over her lips. Now it became clear just what those posts were for. She would be spread and bound securely so he had access to every part of her body.

When she was positioned to his satisfaction, he began winding the satin-covered rope around her wrists. When they were firmly secured, he turned his attention to her ankles, tying them tightly to the legs of the bench.

Then he caressed her bottom, spreading and petting the globes. Would he f**k her ass? Her pussy? Both? Her mind was alive with the possibilities. Desire buzzed in her veins like a potent drug. She was sluggish and high, already well on her way into the dreamlike plane she entered every time Dash dominated her.

But then she remembered him asking for a flogger. She sucked in her breath, realizing that he intended to spank her. And she was in the perfect position, her ass, her back and the backs of her legs vulnerable to his strikes.

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He walked around in front of her, ducking underneath one outstretched arm that was tied to the post, and then unzipped his slacks, pulling his erection from his underwear. It bobbed in front of her lips and then he palmed the top of her head, forcing it upward so her mouth was open to his advance.

He slid in roughly, plunging deep on the very first thrust. It was clear that he was as aroused as she was and that he wouldn’t be gentle tonight. She didn’t want him to be. She wanted his dominance. His strength. His absolute power over her. She liked how vulnerable she felt with him. Gloried in the fact that he could—and would—use her mercilessly. Rough. Hard. She wanted it all.

For several long moments he f**ked her mouth with ruthless, exacting precision. Precum leaked into her mouth and dribbled onto the floor before she could swallow it all. Then he pulled away, stiff and distended, and caressed her cheek in approval.

“Very good, darling. You please me very much. Now I’ll take you further. I’m going to flog you, Joss. And I’m not going to be easy. Remember your safe word. I won’t gag you because I want you to be able to say that word if necessary.”

She nodded her understanding but she’d already resolved that she wouldn’t use the word no matter what. She’d pass out before allowing her safe word to cross her lips. She wouldn’t disappoint Dash or herself that way.

He picked up the crop and trailed it down her back, caressing the length of her spine with the leather tip. Then he smacked the fleshy part of her bottom, eliciting a gasp. She tightened her lips, determined that no further sound would escape. She would bear stoically everything he dished out.

Another blow fell and she bit into her lip to stanch the cry that threatened to burst free. He hadn’t lied. He wasn’t being the least bit gentle. His blows were harder than they’d been before. Sharper, with a burn that faded and was replaced by glowing pleasure.

By the sixth lash, she’d entered a dreamy state, sluggishly reacting to every strike. She tried to arch upward, seeking the sweet heat caused by the repeated blows.

He struck harder, as if sensing she’d already slipped into drugged unawareness. The eighth broke through her reverie, bringing her sharply back into focus. He peppered her back, her behind, even the backs of her thighs until she was certain her entire body was ablaze with color, rosy from his marks.

She was gasping now, her breath hitching as he showed her no mercy. Up to her shoulders, the sensitive skin on fire as he covered her entire back. There wasn’t a part of her body that wasn’t tingling. She twitched, unable to keep still, trying anything to alleviate the exquisite burn.

Her head drooped lower, sagging when she could no longer hold herself up. But his hand twisted ruthlessly in her hair, yanking her head back up to slide his c**k into her mouth.

He f**ked her for several long moments, the sucking sounds she made the only noise she could hear. She had no awareness of what went on around her. Had no idea if others were watching, observing Dash’s mastery over her body. She didn’t care. For her there was only him and her. And this moment.

He slid in, pressing his groin to her chin, and remained there until she struggled for breath. But she forced herself not to panic. She trusted Dash. He knew her limits. He wouldn’t go too far.

Then he eased out, pulling the rest of the way from her mouth, and the fire of the lash returned as his blows grew more intense. She was barely conscious, not because she was overcome with pain but because the world had ceased to exist around her. There was a heavy fog of pleasure surrounding her, invading her veins. She craved more. Begged for more. She could hear herself as though she were a distant voice through the heavy haze.

And then his body came down over her back, blanketing her with his warmth and strength. He whispered close to her eyes.

“Darling Joss. So very beautiful and submissive. You have no idea how precious you are to me, how beautiful you look with my marks raised on your skin. I’m going to f**k you now and I’m going to f**k you hard. Your pu**y first and then that sweet ass. And I’m going to have another man flog you while I f**k you.”

Her eyes flew open as her body came to life. She was violently aroused at the image he invoked. That she would be flogged by another man while Dash possessed her, claimed her, f**ked her.

How would she survive it? She was already so far gone that she could barely remember her own name. And now Dash was upping the ante and pushing her further than she’d ever imagined.

He grasped her h*ps roughly, pushing into her with a brutality that took her breath away. He was deep, wedging himself as far into her pu**y as he could go. She was ready, more than ready for him, and yet she was so tight around him. He was huge within her. So aroused that he was thicker, longer, broader than ever.

He hammered into her, rocking her against the bench and stretching the restraints to the point of pain. And she took it all. Craved more. Wanted more. And more.

And then the lash fell as Dash pulled back. The two men worked in perfect rhythm. The flogger fell as Dash retreated and raised when he slammed back into her.

She was sobbing helplessly, so far gone in her pleasure that she wasn’t even sure whether she’d orgasmed yet or not. If she had, she was well on her way to another, her need building to a frightening intensity.

And then he pulled out, spread her ass cheeks and quickly smeared a generous amount of lubricant over the seam. He positioned himself at her tiny opening and hammered forward, giving her no time to adjust to his invasion.

She cried out despite her vow not to. She couldn’t help it. His name was a litany on her lips as she sobbed it over and over, begging him for more, for mercy, though she wanted none.

Her safe word never even threatened to burst forth. It was the furthest thing from her mind. She couldn’t even remember it, didn’t want to remember it because she didn’t want this to end.

Over and over he f**ked her ass and then the blows began to fall, peppering her back and ass when Dash pulled back each time.

“I want you to come,” Dash ordered. “With me, Joss. I want you with me. Tell me what you need to get there so I can make it happen.”

Her brain was utterly scrambled. She didn’t know what she needed when her entire body was on fire and aching with unfulfilled need.

A strange hand gently parted her folds underneath where Dash f**ked her hard and furious. It wasn’t Dash’s touch. She knew it intimately. This was the man who’d flogged her. He was gently caressing her clit, trying to bring her fulfillment.

She trembled, turned on by the idea of two men touching her. Dash had said another man would never have her, and indeed, it was Dash possessing her, filling her while the other man merely touched, aided Dash.

Her legs began to shake. Her entire body trembled as her orgasm swelled to greater heights. The fingers became more forceful, circling and rubbing her cl*tand then down to her entrance, the fingers plunging inside as Dash f**ked her ass with all his strength.

She went off like a bomb, her cry loud in her ears. She screamed Dash’s name, bucking wildly against him, nearly unseating him though her movements were confined by the ropes binding her hand and foot.

She felt the hot jets of s**en spurting onto her skin, lashing her buttocks and then filling her opening. Dash pushed into her again, still spilling inside her, thrusting and jetting until cum ran down her legs, dripping to the floor.

Then he blanketed her body, whispering soothing words close to her ear. But she couldn’t make out what he said because of the roar still thudding in her veins. She was panting, her strength completely gone, wrung out from the most explosive experience of her life.

This was what she’d been missing for so long. She didn’t spare any guilt or self-consciousness over the fact that she’d craved what others would find depraved. She was in a public setting where anyone at all could see her and Dash in the most intimate of acts. And yet even though it was indeed public, the intimacy was not broken because those other people didn’t exist for her. Only Dash and the pleasure he gave her.

He kissed her shoulder and as he lifted himself off her, he trailed a line of kisses down her spine before finally easing himself from her still-quivering body. Then he and the other man carefully untied her and Dash pulled her into his arms, supporting her so her knees didn’t give way.

The other man flashed in her vision for a brief moment before she fixed her unsteady stare on Dash. He looked at her so tenderly, his gaze filled with so much love, that if he hadn’t held her so firmly she would have fallen down.

He kissed her, whispering his approval, pride and satisfaction. She soaked up those words like a rain-parched desert. She leaned into him, wanting and needing that closeness now that she was so vulnerable after her earth-shattering orgasm.

“Turn around and thank the man who assisted me,” Dash said gently. “Give him your thanks and then return to me.”

“What do I do?” she whispered. “I mean what is expected of me? Am I supposed to p-pleasure him?”

“No, honey. Not at all. He was more than satisfied to take part in seeing you come apart and react so beautifully under the kiss of leather. I’ve said no man will have you but me, and that means your pleasure as well. He shared in yours, yes. But you will thank him and nothing else.”

She turned, still wobbly as Dash supported her. She glanced up at the man, taking in his features. He was older than Dash, perhaps ten years or so. There was just a hint of silver at his temples but he was very handsome. He smiled gently at her as she murmured her thank-you. He took her hand, lifting it to his lips to press a tender kiss to her skin.

“Dash is a very lucky man,” he said solemnly. “You’re a beautiful sight, Joss. There wasn’t a man in this room who wasn’t envying Dash with his every breath just now.”

She smiled. “Thank you. Thank you for your generosity. You brought me pleasure. You and Dash both. For that you have my thanks.”

“It’s I who owe you my thanks for allowing me to have a small part in something so beautiful,” he said gravely.

He nodded his head at Dash and then turned away, melting into the crowd that Joss had just noticed gathered around her and Dash.

Her cheeks warmed as she took in the fact that she and Dash had been the focus of the entire room. Everyone had stopped what they were doing to watch her and Dash. His mastery of her. Women stared, jealousy evident in their gazes that drifted meaningfully over Dash. They wanted him. They made no effort to disguise it. And the men. She sucked in her breath, surprised by the na**d desire she saw reflected in their stares.

She glanced up at Dash, baffled by their reactions.

He smiled tenderly down at her, pulling her into his arms. “You’re beautiful, perfectly submissive and you react to the whip like a dream. What man wouldn’t look at you with lust in his eyes?”

“I only want you to look at me that way,” she whispered. “Take me home, Dash. I want to go home with you.”

He kissed her forehead and then reached for her discarded clothing. He helped her dress after wiping the remnants of his release from her skin. The clothing was uncomfortable against her still-burning flesh and she flinched when Dash zipped up her dress.

He kissed her shoulder and grazed his teeth up her neck.

“When we get home, I’ll take you out of your clothing and draw you a bath so you can have a nice long soak. And tomorrow you’ll wear nothing the entire day. I don’t want to cause you any discomfort.”

TWENTY-FIVE

JOSS was at a booth at the Lux Café waiting for Chessy and Kylie to arrive. For once, she was the first to arrive, but she was anxious to see her friends. She’d shamelessly neglected them over the last few weeks and she felt guilty for not making the effort to see them more. Especially Kylie.

She’d heard reports from Dash about how Kylie was taking Jensen’s position in the company, and he’d said things were noticeably strained at the office but that Kylie was handling it. Whatever that meant. He’d only said that she was quiet but did her job without complaint.

Other than a few phone calls and exchanged e-mails or texts, she hadn’t seen her friends alone at all since their lunch in this same place the day she’d told them of her decision to go to The House.

How much had changed since then! She’d been so utterly wrapped up in her budding relationship with Dash that everything else had faded into the background.

She looked up when Chessy and Kylie came in together and she rose, hugging them both in turn before they sat down.

“I’m so glad to see you both,” Joss said sincerely. “I’ve missed you.”

Chessy’s eyes sparkled. “Uh-huh. You expect us to believe that when you’ve been wrapped up in that hunk of man of yours?”

Joss laughed but she studied Kylie carefully. It was obvious that she was indeed under an enormous amount of strain. There were dark smudges underneath Kylie’s eyes, which told Joss that her dreams were tormenting her again. Still.

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