Sex stories

Short sex stories




Finding You Bk. 02: Paradigm Shift

CHAPTER 1

Marcus stalked the network of walkways that crisscrossed the ceiling high above Elysium's floor space, the restless need to move forcing him out of his office. Mostly hidden in darkness, the walkways allowed the club's owners and security personnel to supervise almost every square foot of the massive club without disturbing the patrons below. The bar, dance floor and massive dungeon areas could all be overseen from The Heights, as the employees had dubbed the level of overhead walkways. There were only two areas not visible from The Heights: the exclusive VIP section of the club and the private playrooms.

Though shielded from view from above, every room in those two areas had a network of discreetly placed CCTV cameras installed that constantly monitored the activities for breaches in legality or safety. At Elysium, privacy was only an illusion; one that could be bought from the general masses, but not from the watchful eyes of the security team who were there to ensure that all members obeyed the club rules, even behind closed doors.

As his boot heels rang out along the suspended, metal grates, he should have been watching the various scenes and activities taking place below him, but he couldn't focus through the turmoil in his brain. A craving he was unable to satisfy distracted his mind and occupied his full attention, such that he barely noticed the cacophony rising up from the club floor.

The private BDSM social club was full to capacity, as was normal for a Saturday night. Naked, writhing submissives occupied all the play spaces with their leather clad Dominants holding court above and behind them. The huge, horseshoe-shaped bar was crowded with patrons whisking drinks away as fast as the bartenders could pour them. Even with the two-drink maximum, the bartenders were in a flurry of motion to get everyone served. The sunken dance floor was a seething mass of moving bodies, gyrating around the raised DJ pedestal. Even the expensive private playrooms had all been booked out for the night, with people left disappointed on the waiting lists.

None of this mattered to Marcus; there wasn't room in his brain to rejoice at his club's success, not with every brain cell dedicating itself to thoughts of her.

He moved without purpose along the walkway until he found himself overlooking the alley that housed the voyeur theatres. Looking down, he paid no attention to the various scenes of debauchery playing out in each of the rooms below, entertaining the crowd of avid spectators packed on the other side of the one-way windows. Even the VIP club was full to capacity with the upper echelon of the rich and kinky, spending obscene amounts of money to partake in carnal delights that only Elysium could provide.

People swarmed like ants on a picnic below his feet, but her face was the only one his dark eyes could see...and her ghost was everywhere he looked.

...A squealing sub bound to the St. Andrew's cross, writhing under the flying tails of her Dom's flogger.

...A pretty brunette wailing, getting her round ass spanked with her head locked in the stocks.

...A naked, Rubenesque woman, moaning through countless orgasms with her Dom's face buried between her plump thighs.

Every one of these sexual creatures had her face superimposed on theirs and no matter what he did; Marcus couldn't clear her image from his mind.

Wherever his gaze roved, people grouped into pairs, trios and more, were all having a good time and the only thing he could see, was the one thing he couldn't have. There were a thousand reasons for Marcus to be happy, the proof arrayed like a banquet below him, but the gnawing emptiness in his gut made him feel as destitute as a beggar.

Marcus should have been deliriously thrilled with Elysium's popularity. They were thriving in a harsh economy that had sunk many a start-up business before they ever got off the ground, but Elysium had defied the trend and was growing, with plans for expansion looming on their horizon. Money was flowing into his and his partner's pockets in insane quantities and their notoriety had spread such that they could barely accommodate the volume of interested people on their intake tours. In addition to the regular folk who frequented the club, their reputation had attracted wealthy members from all parts of the globe who travelled to the city just to be able to play at Marcus's dream club.

He should have felt proud that his club attracted the elite, both in the BDSM lifestyle and in the financial world - people who could afford to buy anything, go anywhere and do whatever their deviant hearts desired - they chose his club to come play at. This fact alone should have provided a sense of satisfaction for the accomplishment he, and his partners, had achieved.

Elysium was a rousing success and Marcus should have been ecstatic.

He had every reason to be happy...and yet he wasn't.

Somewhere on the level below, the sharp snap of a whip cut through the buzz of noise, creating a momentary vacuum of sound, only to be filled a split second later by the high-pitched shriek of the submissive on the receiving end.

Marcus didn't even flinch.

The air drifting up into The Heights was redolent with the heady scents of sex and sweat as Dominants and submissives of all ages and sizes worked themselves into a sexual frenzy. The sounds of pleasure, pain and the smells of debauchery filled the air, but Marcus was numb to it all. His heart had become a stone - heavy, unyielding and bristling in burrs that grated in his chest, turning every heartbeat into an agony he couldn't ignore. Focusing his attention on the actions below him was pointless, no matter how hard he tried, his mind kept circling stubbornly back to one name and a pair of stunning emerald eyes.

Supervising the patrons using the dungeon area was a wasted effort. Whom was he kidding? He'd dragged his ass in to work every day for the last month, but his mind and heart hadn't come with him. Instead of actively running his business, he'd turned most of the day-to-day operations over to his partners and had resigned himself to haunting the club like a ghost trapped in limbo, lost in his thoughts and going through the motions of living.

Tonight was no different. Marcus prowled the upper deck, his agitation making him as unpredictable as a starving grizzly. He suffered from a toxic frustration that chewed at his guts like a horde of ravenous parasites, watching but not really seeing the action on the level below him. His mind was a chaotic mess of emotions swirling around the desperate anxiety that something crucial, something vital that he needed to survive, was slipping further out of his reach with every passing day.

The reason for his turmoil was painfully simple.

Tabitha.

...She was the angel who had stolen his will and woken his inner beast with nothing but a broken smile...

...She was the beautiful siren whose cry for help had enslaved his imagination and tormented his dreams...

It had been four, long, torturous weeks since Marcus had last seen his green-eyed angel.

...Four weeks since her demented boss had tried to rape her, thrusting her into Marcus' life.

...Four weeks since Tabitha had bewitched him with her vulnerable beauty and sweet innocence.

...Four weeks since he had chosen to give her the space she needed to heal and then walked away from her.

Four fucking weeks... and he had felt each hour pass by like a razor sharp knife slowly whittling away pieces of his soul.

As much as he abhorred what that sick bastard had tried to do to her, he felt a twisted sense of gratitude to him.

Without his attack, Marcus would never have found Tabitha.

He owed the man a debt that he intended to repay with his fists.

The need to see her, to touch her, consumed him. His brain dwelled constantly on her: when awake, he saw her ghost from the corner of his eye, when he slept, all his dreams were pornographic wishes brought vividly to life. Every blink brought flashes of her face, her smile, her eyes, so that he couldn't escape his obsession with the enchanting young woman.

His memory taunted him with echoes of her enticing scent, tricking him into believing that she was standing right beside him. Even his own hands added to his misery, the memory of the feel of her soft skin lingered in his fingertips, reminding him of the unusual, electric connection he had experienced every time he had touched her. The constant deluge of erotic fantasies blending with his vivid memories had brought him to the point where his dick was hard nearly all the time - awake or asleep, it didn't matter.

There was no respite, no safe place, where he could go to escape her. She was with him wherever he went because she lived in his mind.

He had lost track of the wasted hours he had spent with his fist wrapped around his cock, coming with Tabitha's name scorching his lips. The blinding hunger that drove him to seek release, immediately morphed into a gnawing loneliness that strangled him as his balls emptied themselves into the shower, or onto the floor, or into his hand.

When it was over, in the place where all that lust had burned so hotly only minutes before, was an angry, hollow feeling of being cheated - as if fate had pulled the ultimate bait-and-switch on him, leaving him destitute and wanting. Then an errant thought - the memory of her sweet scent or the soft, lovely curves of her body - would pop into his head and the vicious cycle would start again.

His own brain tormented him in the most exquisite form of self-torture any man could concoct, but he was powerless to stop because, no matter what he did, he couldn't hide from his own thoughts.

It had driven him to the point where he dreaded every minute of the time he spent masturbating. What had once been a pleasurable pastime had been perverted and twisted into a vulgar compulsion that stripped him of the ability to resist. His body desperately needed the release to ease the painful arousal, but the accompanying depression that followed, attacked his mind like a caustic acid that slowly ate holes into his sanity.

He was damned if he did and double damned if he didn't.

His hand would never be the warm embrace of his angel's mouth or replace the silken depths of her sweet pussy. It was just a stand in - taunting him with a pathetic imitation of the real thing that his body was yearning for.

He had thought that distance would have cured him of the insatiable need for her. Out of sight, out of mind as that bullshit saying went. He had learned during the course of the last four weeks that out of sight definitely didn't mean out of mind.

Out of sight had only flung him head long into obsession.

As much as he wished that he could forget Tabitha, his greatest fear was that he would do exactly that. He clung to those memories, cherished them, protected them and craved them because they were all that he had of his angel. They were just as much a source of happiness as they were of madness. It was unthinkable to him that he could lose those precious memories...yet it would save his sanity if he only could forget her.

Now, he was about as stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place as he could be and it was making him lose his mind.

Petra had kept him up to date, feeding him bits of information on how Tabby was doing, but it wasn't enough.

In some ways, the tidbits of information only made his situation more unbearable.

It had bothered him to know that she still suffered from reoccurring headaches as a result from the concussion she had sustained in the attack.

It had ripped his heart from his chest to hear that she woke up screaming from nightmares almost every night.

It had almost destroyed him to find out that in the depths of those terrors, it was for him that she screamed for, and he wasn't there to save her from the demons that haunted her dreams.

Yes, Petra had tried to keep him informed, but instead of reassuring him that Tabby was okay, as she had intended, the shreds of knowledge had only crippled him.

He knew that she was still suffering but couldn't do anything about it because when she was awake, she didn't want to see him.

CHAPTER 2

Petra pried and prodded, trying to find out what the reason was behind Tabby's refusal to see or speak to him.

"She is definitely interested in you, Marcus, because she asks about you, not directly, but in a roundabout way. It's as if she doesn't want anyone to know that she is curious about you, but she does ask." Petra had told him when he had spoken with her at the club a week ago. She had meant the information to be comforting but instead, her words had spilled a jar of angry bees inside of his chest, the stinging pain coming from everywhere at once.

Why won't she speak to him? Why won't she see him? How the hell, was he supposed to live like this?

A sharp cry from somewhere on the dungeon floor caught his attention and wrenched him from the agony of his thoughts. The strained tones hadn't sounded quite right to his trained ears and his eyes roved the crowd below looking for the possible source. The crack of a whip split the air and a second later, the submissive on the receiving end cried out in pain again. Marcus pinpointed the location and jogged along the maze of walkways suspended over the dungeon room until he was over top the whipping section where a young Dom was wielding a bullwhip.

As the young man flexed his arm for another strike, Marcus took time to study him carefully. He scowled at the man's sloppy, amateurish technique and winced when the lash landed badly, obviously causing the submissive more pain than she could handle.

Palming his cell, he quickly dialled the number for Callum, one of the Dungeon Monitors patrolling the floor that night. As the phone rang, the Dom let loose another poorly executed strike that set his bound submissive crying out and pulling against her restraints. Over the din of the crowd, Marcus clearly heard her sob, "Red! Red!"

Her Dom was either oblivious or sadistic, because he ignored her use of the club's generic safe word and sent another vicious lash licking fire over her reddened back. Marcus' blood boiled over with fury, just as Callum's voice came over the speaker. "What's shaking, boss?"

"Where are you now?" Marcus demanded.

"Uh, over by the med play rooms. What's up?"

"Get your ass over to the whipping area. There's a motherfucking moron over there that just ignored his sub's safe word. There's no way the asshole went through our training program for whip proficiency, he's behaving like he's beating an ox."

Peering over the guardrail, Marcus scanned the crowd, relaxing as soon as Callum's blond head appeared, weaving through the crowd with two other monitors in tow. Marcus grimaced as the asshole Dom unleashed another savage strike and his submissive's body went rigid with the biting pain, a fresh line of bright red welts erupting on her back to join the others that Marcus could easily see even from his raised vantage point.

Callum reached the man just as his arm reared back for another strike, grasping him by the wrist and twisting his arm until the whip dropped to the floor from his useless hand. While Callum dealt with the angry Dom, the other two monitors went over to assist the submissive, who hung limply from her bound wrists in shock.

"We got him, Boss."

"Good, take him to the security office and make sure he doesn't try to leave. Have Dillon and Mace take care of that sub and find out if she needs medical attention. Ask her if she wants to press assault charges on the asshole."

"You got it. You gonna come down to deal with this guy?"

"No. Cooper's in tonight. Have him review the security footage and impress upon the fucker that his membership has been officially revoked, effective immediately. If she doesn't want to press assault charges, kick his abusive ass out the door. I don't want to see him anywhere near my club again."

"Aye-Aye Captain." Callum replied, a hint of query in his tone.

Normally Marcus would have handled disciplining misbehaving members himself, but tonight he just didn't have the stomach for it. He ignored Callum's unspoken question, disconnected the call and stalked back to his office. With his temper so volatile, he didn't trust himself to deal with the Dom personally. He was liable to beat the shit to a pulp; he sorely deserved it just for ignoring his sub's safe word alone.

If Marcus could have his way, the jerk would find his sorry ass bound to that same whipping pole and treated to a real whipping. Unfortunately, the law would frown upon that and the best Marcus could do was to revoke his membership and kick his miserable ass out of his club.

Safe.

Sane.

Consensual.

Those three basic tenets formed the cornerstones that governed responsible play in the BDSM world and separated the kinky from the abusers. They were ones that Marcus strictly adhered to in his club and adamantly weeded out any who violated any of those terms.

He and his partners had decided to take matters to the next level and added education on top of those basic precepts. Elysium differed from most public BDSM clubs in that for any member to use any of the dungeon's equipment or scene areas, participants had to prove their proficiency and knowledge beforehand and earn approval. Making sure that all participants had, at very least, basic training, helped to cover the club's legal backside against accusations of negligence and keep their reputation unsullied.

He and his partners had decided to take matters to the next level and added education on top of those basic precepts. Elysium differed from most public BDSM clubs in that for any member to use any of the dungeon's equipment or scene areas, participants had to prove their proficiency and knowledge beforehand and earn approval. Making sure that all participants had, at very least, basic training, helped to cover the club's legal backside against accusations of negligence and keep their reputation unsullied.

Marcus and his partners wanted their club run in the safest manner possible, especially in light of the inherent risk involved in some of the activities that members engaged in on their premises. Training and education helped to reduce that risk and prevent accidents caused by ignorance.

Elysium ran regular training classes from everything from beginner play all the way up to advanced techniques in areas such as rope work and impact play; so that all members could learn the correct way to safely play with their partners. Workshops, classes and social groups brought the members together to learn and share information in an open and inviting manner and their membership fee covered it all.

They did everything possible to safeguard against situations such as the one Marcus had just witnessed. Unfortunately, the program wasn't perfect and sometimes an inexperienced member slipped through the cracks, and injuries were usually the result. As much as they strived to keep everyone safe, all players were still required to sign hefty liability waivers protecting the club from blame should something ultimately go awry.

Applicants went through a rigorous screening process and background checks before being accepted and had their qualifications posted in a public directory that was available for all registered members to see. Dominants and submissives could log in to Elysium's Dungeon Role website, or use one of several terminals provided in the club, to research prospective play partners to see if their needs matched with the other's skills.

Each member could also leave feedback and comments, good or bad, relating to their experience with another member. A rating system had turned it into a veritable who's who in the BDSM community, both locally and internationally, and currently hosted over two thousand entries. The website also allowed private messages to flow between members, setting up meetings, just like a regular on-line dating site and had become a vital way for single members to find casual or serious partners.
The system worked well, preventing members from exaggerating or fabricating their qualifications. Elysium's experienced trainers were the only persons capable of altering that information, giving submissives some peace of mind into the Dominant that they were considering. When a sub went before a whip, they could rest assured that the person wielding that instrument had the proper training to do so, and could double check to see how much experience said Dominant had under their belt without having to take the word of a stranger.

Marcus was willing to bet that the naïve sub, that his staff had just rescued, hadn't bothered to check up on her partner's qualifications before agreeing to bottom for him. There was no way that asshole had had any training in whip technique and had been well on the way to causing her serious harm with his arrogant and callous behaviour.

Dangerous idiots like him only proved that abusers existed everywhere - even their exclusive community was not immune, in spite of the rigorous screening Elysium did on its members.

He pushed angrily through his office door and slammed it shut behind him. His frustration level had redlined at lightning speed thanks to the asshole with the whip and he needed to take a minute to calm down before he went rampaging like a demented elephant. The constant, high level of testosterone in his bloodstream was scrambling his brains and Marcus honestly didn't know how much longer he was going to be able to keep a lid on his violent mood.

Closing his eyes, his brain immediately displayed the mental picture it had filed away in Marcus subconscious. Tabitha's sensual, red lips flashing a shy smile and soulful green eyes sparkling from under long lashes as she stared at him. His pulse stuttered, and then began to race as beads of perspiration appeared on his forehead and slicked his back. He licked his lips nervously, knowing what was coming but was unable, or unwilling, to stop it.

Suddenly, he found himself imagining her sweet taste and the soft mewls of pleasure she'd make as he nibbled on those lush, cupid's bow-shaped lips. His brain dived south and he saw a vision of Tabitha bound before him and the lips he was feasting on transformed into the delicate ones hidden between her parted thighs.

She'd taste like honey. He groaned, losing him in the grips of the erotic fantasy.

Instead of relaxing, his breathing had turned ragged as raw lust and unquenchable need surged through him like a narcotic. His cock turned into granite in an instant, pulsing with an angry, insistent beat that made him grimace in discomfort.

Tabitha! Goddammit! Why can't I forget about you?

One hand fumbled behind him for the door lock while the other deftly popped the button on his leather pants and he yanked the zipper angrily down. His fully erect penis sprung forward and Marcus' hand clamped around it like a vice, sliding in the pre-cum moisture that had already leaked out and slicked the throbbing crown. His back sagged against his office door, he squeezed his eyes tight and held his breath as pleasure shoved him off the ledge of reality and sent him diving head first into a jade green pool, the colour of Tabitha's eyes.

He sunk farther down, losing touch with himself, as desire ignited flames that licked over his skin and desperation brought him to the brink of tears. He gripped his cock so hard, hating what he was doing as much as he needed the release. He wanted to stop, if only to prove that he was stronger than the lust that had usurped his control. However, his hand wasn't his to command any longer and his fist remained in a stubborn strangle hold around his throbbing cock, stroking it as if he was trying to rip the offensive organ from his body.

"Fuck. Fuck. Fuck," he hissed, feeling the tension building in his thigh muscles and spreading fire into his balls. "I can't...fuck...do...this...oh fuck...anymore!" he ground out through gritted teeth. Tension turned volcanic, burning through his belly and zeroing in on his testicles. They drew up hard against his body and Marcus threw his head back and came with a violent jerking of his hips. "Fuck! Tabitha!" he roared, releasing onto the floor in spasms that left his knees weak and his vision blurry.

I need you angel!

After his orgasm subsided, he gagged on the despair that rushed in to cool the lust that had fired his blood. He had to find a way to see her. He was going to lose his mind if he didn't.

Lose his mind...or end up killing someone.

When he could finally move again, he tucked himself back into his pants, grabbed some tissues and quickly cleaned up the mess on the floor. He'd repeated this action too many times to count in the past month and had surpassed embarrassment; now all he felt was disgust. Jerking off was probably the only thing keeping him sane, but the loss of control, every time the need caught him in its clutches, was leaving him emotionally and physically wrung out.

The insatiable need had reduced him to being a slave to his cock, which was resolutely fixated on having Tabitha all to its greedy little self.

CHAPTER 3

He was just tossing the evidence of his weakness into the wastepaper basket when a hard rap sounded from his door, instantly irritating him.

Can't he have five fucking minutes without someone needing him?

Blowing his load might have reduced the sexual frustration burning him up from the inside out, but it had only made his mood blacker. The knock sounded again, more insistent this time and Marcus gritted his teeth as he reluctantly unlocked the door, opening it to find a concerned Cooper, staring at him with an odd look on his face.

"What's with the lock down, brother? Is everything okay?"

Marcus shrugged and waved him into his office. "I just wanted some peace. Got a problem with that?"

Cooper sniffed, wrinkling his nose at the scent of sex that greeted him. "Smells like you got it. As I don't see a delightfully naked, just-fucked subbie in here, I'm going to assume that it was another solo act."

He shook his head sorrowfully. "That's just sad, brother." He sauntered past a scowling Marcus and dropped himself onto an old, beat-up leather sofa. The thing had seen better days but was still the most comfortable sofa Cooper had ever had the pleasure of planting his ass on. Marcus must have thought so too because he refused to bin the ugly piece of furniture.

"You sure you're chill?" Cooper asked him, narrowing his blue eyes skeptically. "I hate to say it, but right now, you're looking pretty jacked up to have just jacked off." Cooper couldn't help needling his friend and gave him a knowing smirk.

Marcus glared daggers at him and for a second, Cooper thought that he was actually going to take a swing at him. "Fuck off Coop. I'm not in the mood." He snarled, and then stalked to his desk and dropped heavily into his chair.

Cooper sighed, stretched back, extended his long legs and let his six foot two inch frame sink into the lush cushions.

"Just make yourself at home, why don't you? Don't you have an office of your own to go loiter in?" Marcus snapped irritably.

"Yup. Unfortunately, mine doesn't have a sofa that feels like my ass is sitting on a cloud. One day I'm going to drag this piece of shit over to my hole in the wall and leave you a ransom note. You just don't appreciate it like I do." Cooper grinned, using humor to defuse Marcus' irrational anger and to hide the worry that he was feeling on behalf of his closest friend.

Marcus looked tired, worn out and stressed. He'd never seen him so distracted and unsettled by anything, let alone a woman before, but then Tabitha wasn't just any woman. One look was all it had taken for Marcus to become hopeless ensnared by the beautiful, young woman.

Hell, even Cooper had to admit that there was something special about her. He had felt the connection too, not as strongly as Marcus had, but enough for him to have taken notice of the girl. Marcus' possessive behaviour towards her had Cooper stepping out of his way and letting his brother stake his claim on Tabitha, even though he had been interested in her as well. All he could do now was stand in the shadows, worry about his best friend's sanity and dream about what could have been.

Fed up with Marcus' bad mood, Cooper threw caution to the wind and broached the touchy subject. "Call her."

Marcus startled, raised an eyebrow in surprise then narrowed his eyes into a menacing glare. "Shut it, Coop," he growled in warning. "Don't fucking go there with me. Not tonight. I'm not in the mood."

"You're never in the mood lately, unless 'murderous rage' is an acceptable mood nowadays. Fucking call her or come down to the club floor, find yourself a willing subbie and relieve some of that toxic stress. You've been acting like a colossal asshat lately and it has to stop. Lydia is here tonight and she's asking about you." Cooper sat up and pinned his friend with a hopeful stare. "She's asking about us, man. It's been a month and people are starting to ask questions."

"Are you seriously suggesting that we play with that crazy bitch?" Marcus said incredulously.

"Yeah, if that's what it would take to get you back to your fucking senses...which you seem to have lost, by the way. You don't have to ride off into the sunset with her. Just fuck some of that frustration out with her before it kills you."

Marcus ran an agitated hand through his shaggy, black hair. He blew out a breath that turned into a snarl, grabbed his empty coffee cup and hurled it at the door. It burst into a shower of ceramic shards, littering the floor like jagged leaves.

"Feel better?" Cooper asked quietly, hiding his surprise at the out of character outburst.

Marcus looked like he was about to explode, but suddenly deflated, his face going slack with exhaustion. "Not really, no," he replied, shaking his head sadly.

"It's a pity about that cup. That was one of my favorites," Cooper sighed.

Marcus looked at him as if he didn't quite comprehend what he had just said, and then he scrubbed his face and growled in frustration. "Fuck the cup, Cooper! I'll buy you a dozen if it'll shut you up." Marcus closed his eyes and slumped back into his chair. "Sweet Jesus, I don't know what to fucking do, Coop," Marcus admitted, unable to hide his despair from his best friend any longer.

Cooper stood up and pulled a chair in front of Marcus' desk, sitting down directly across from him. "You'd better figure it out soon, brother. You're the face of Elysium and you've been practically M.I.A. for the last month. People have noticed you lurking in the heights and rumors are flying."

"Let them talk! Do you think I give a rat's ass about what they think?" he barked.

"You should!" Cooper shot back angrily. "At least half of those people come just to watch you - watch us - perform. Not only do we stand to lose thousands in membership dues if they don't renew, but fuck, man - I miss it too! It's not the same, topping a sub without you."

Marcus raised an eyebrow at Cooper. "You're not going all bromance on me are you? Because I hate to disappoint you, but I don't like your ass that much."

Cooper pretended to gag. "Fuck off, Marcus. You know what I'm trying to say. We make a good team and, as much as I love topping a sub, it's nothing compared to the rush when we work together." He paused, unsure of how Marcus would take his next words. "I like her too, brother, a hell of a lot," he ventured hesitantly, gauging Marcus' reaction.

When his friend remained calm, Cooper threw caution out the window and forged ahead. "I think...I think that she could be the one that we've been searching for." Cooper's muscles tensed, bracing him to bolt just in case Marcus went psycho in response to what he had just had the audacity to suggest.

Marcus sagged even further into the depths of his chair, a feeling of utter hopelessness washing over him. His subdued reaction surprised the hell out of Cooper, who half-expected a beating for his temerity. Blowing out a breath, Marcus looked up at Cooper, his eyes dull with fatigue.

"I can't even figure out how to be with Tabitha on my own. Christ, I don't even know if she'd even be open to the lifestyle, for all I know, she is as vanilla as they come. How the hell, am I supposed to bring up the fact that I'm not only into her, but come with a sidekick as well?"

Cooper burst out laughing. "Sidekick? Fuck you, asshole! I'm way too good looking to be anyone's sidekick! I think you got the roles confused, buddy."

"Whatever, you idiot. What the fuck am I...are we...going to do?" Marcus honestly hoped his best friend had a viable solution to the problem of Tabitha.

Cooper's brain did a furious job of scrambling to process the fact that Marcus had just included him in his potential relationship with Tabitha. He had honestly never expected him to be so accepting, and been prepared to run for his life when his friend flew into a possessive rage. Now, all of a sudden, Cooper had the potential of finding a mate as well, and his stunned brain was still several laps behind, trying to catch up.

Think, man! His subconscious coached himself. Run your mouth with something witty to say before he realises that he's included your sorry ass with him and Tabitha.

"I dunno, but whatever we do, it's not going to happen with you holding yourself in self-imposed exile. Not to mention, by the time you work up the courage to go after our woman, you're going to be blind from the constant wanking."

Cooper stood and extended his hand to Marcus. "Come on old man. Come downstairs, at least show your ugly mug to the masses and have a drink. Let the hoi polloi know that you haven't given up your evil ways to become a boring vanilla. We'll come up with a plan to tackle the Tabitha problem, brother."

"Right...because pouring alcohol on the problem is going to solve it?" Marcus grumbled skeptically.

"Probably not, but it'll ease the ache for a time and might loosen you up enough to let a sub blow you before carpal tunnel steals your grip. Take my hand and I'll help you to your feet."

"Fuck off, Coop. I'm not that much older than you." Marcus chuckled and swatted away Cooper's hand. "Okay, you win, but keep Lydia away from me. She annoys the hell out of me and I'm in no mood for her type of crazy tonight."

"Don't worry about her; I foisted her off onto one of the junior Doms and told him to keep her busy."

"You're a sick bastard, you know? She'll eat him alive," Marcus replied, mildly horrified at the thought of a hard-core pain slut such as Lydia, paired with a fresh-faced newbie. "The poor bugger's going to be traumatized for life."

Lydia was infamous amongst the experienced Doms at the club, for her habit of topping from the bottom - or taking control of a scene through manipulation or outright harassment. She regularly chewed up unsuspecting Doms just for shits and giggles, and then spit them out and went on her merry way, looking for her next victim.

She had been after Marcus for five years and though he had played with her on and off over the years, her brand of pain seeking pushed past his limits. She was a masochist of the extreme variety and required a sadist at the same level. Playing with Lydia was always a dangerous proposition, as she had a habit of misbehaving in such a way, that her behaviour would goad inexperienced Doms into losing control, just so that she could receive the kind of punishment that she needed to get off.

Marcus found that he enjoyed dolling out pain but with pleasure being the ultimate goal behind it. He didn't do pain for pain's sake and that's all that Lydia craved. Something was so fundamentally broken inside her that she associated extreme pain with love and needed one to feel the other. There were only a handful of Doms that would even consider playing with her and only because they'd set strict limits on what they were willing to do and not do beforehand. Lydia needed a firm hand but once a Dom proved that he could control her and not give in to her manipulative ways, she actually submitted in a most sublime manner.

Unfortunately, for Lydia, she made the effort required to get to that point so great that most Doms gave up trying. The only way she gave her submission, was to have it beaten out of her, and that turned off the majority of potential partners for her.

It didn't take long for Marcus to see her for what she was: an addict, for pain, alcohol, sex and drugs. She was also vain and childish, stooping to whatever level she needed to in order to get what she wanted. He didn't trust her any farther than he could throw her, but had known her for a long time and, as self-destructive as she was, Marcus couldn't help trying to protect her from herself. He even managed to get her into rehab not once, but three times in the course of their friendship but it had yet to stick.

Lydia always relapsed.

Things with Lydia had always been intense and that's why Marcus had been trying to distance himself from her. It didn't help that he had met his ex-fiancé through her and that she had known of Daria's infidelity and schemes and had said nothing to Marcus. Lydia would have been more than happy to watch him marry her gold-digging friend just so that she could swoop in and pick up the pieces later for herself.

If he hadn't accidently walked into a room in the church on their wedding day and discovered Daria with her wedding dress hoisted over her back and his groomsman balls deep between her legs, he would never have been the wiser. The pain from that betrayal was still a raw, open wound and he had not forgiven Lydia for withholding that knowledge. He rebuffed her advances, but she was persistent and didn't take no for an answer, always trying to wheedle him and Cooper into doing a scene with her. He shuddered. Lydia was no Tabitha and the thought of touching her actually repulsed him now more than ever.

He needed his angel. Marcus had a feeling that even if he wanted to take another submissive, his cock would remain stubbornly limp. He was surrounded by the most hedonistic displays of sex but the only times he had gotten hard in the past month was when he was thinking about Tabitha.

She had ruined him and didn't even know it.

CHAPTER 4

"I thought Lydia was back in rehab?" Marcus called after Cooper, wanting to shift his thoughts away from Tabitha before he found himself dealing with an embarrassing problem...again.

He was following Cooper down the stairwell that would lead them out to the main floor of the club. The administration offices occupied the same side of the gigantic, converted warehouse where Elysium had its bar, dance floor and restaurant so they didn't have too far to go. When Cooper pushed through the security door, the noise and commotion from the crowds of patrons rushed in to greet them making Marcus wish that he'd stayed in the relative quiet of his office. He really wasn't in the mood to face all the people and their inevitable questions.

Spacious as it was, the nightclub section only occupied about a quarter of the available space in the entire warehouse, but well designed, wide-open spaces situated around the bar coupled with the numerous, intimate seating areas, gave the impression of the space being much larger than it really was. The remaining three quarters of the building were filled by the massive dungeon space, the VIP suites and a partitioned off section that was currently vacant. Marcus had plans for that space to become a proper, fine-dining restaurant sometime in the future, but was still hammering out the details with his partners.

The front section of the club looked like an upscale nightclub, complete with velvet-cushioned booths, high tables, and secluded rest areas for those not partaking in the dancing. To anyone not familiar with the intrinsic sexual nature of Elysium's business, it wouldn't have been obvious that one of the country's most prestigious BDSM dungeons lay on the other side of the big wall, separating the two parts of the club. The only give away was the dress, or lack thereof, of the patrons; remove the people and the club could have passed for any normal nightclub.
Full and partial nudity was the norm for Elysium and it wasn't unheard of to find members engaged in acts that would have had them arrested for public indecency if they had been in a regular nightclub. In fact, the designers had skillfully planned the seating areas to provide some semblance of privacy for those that wished it. It wasn't unusual to take a stroll through the lounge and witness numerous acts of intimacy occurring in the semi-secluded groups of sofas hidden behind artfully placed potted plants and decorative screens.

Elysium celebrated sex, in every variation possible and just about every aspect of the club encouraged and promoted it. So long as the participants adhered to the club rules, they were free to seek their pleasures wherever or however they wished. For those that didn't, monitors routinely patrolled all areas of the club, ready to enforce them.

Groups of happy patrons parted to let the two men pass and Marcus found himself thronged by enthusiastic people and friends that were thrilled to see him back amongst them. He smiled and shook hands, hugged a few of the female submissives and generally pretended to be back to his old self. A few unattached subs tried to get his attention but he ignored them, having no interest in touching another woman sexually, except for his angel.

They reached the bar and Cooper flagged the busy bartender over and ordered a whiskey for himself and a beer for Marcus.

"Lydia got out of rehab last week," he said, picking up their conversation where they had left off. "Claims she's sober but, as you know, with Lydia "sober" has a very flexible definition." He slid the open bottle along the bar top, into Marcus' waiting hand. "Get that down your neck and then we'll go formulate a game plan."

Marcus scowled at Cooper and took a swig from his bottle. "You're hanging around Jaz too much. You're picking up on his English slang."

Cooper laughed. "What do you expect? You've been holed up in your office or at home, spending your time with your hand wrapped around your dick."

Marcus glared at him and debated whether slugging him would make him feel any better. Cooper caught the dirty look and just grinned back, reading his thoughts. "You could hit me, if you really wanted to, but then you'd risk busting up your hand and there would go your sex life."

Marcus burst out laughing. "Fucker."

The cold beer tasted wonderful to Marcus as he took another long pull from the bottle. Cooper had moved off, heading for an open booth and Marcus trailed after him, curious to see what ideas his friend was hatching in that active brain of his.

They got comfortable and indulged in people watching, both content to sip their drinks and let their minds wander. Marcus had to focus on the semi-clad crowd on the dance floor because if he started thinking about Tabitha, he'd find himself in trouble and he'd had enough of the empty orgasms to last him a lifetime.

Cooper's mind was busy churning on how to deal with the problem that was one, unpredictable, unknown woman named Tabitha. He needed to figure out how they should approach her and how to introduce her to their kinky lifestyle, without scaring her off. He was still feeling a little dazed by how easily Marcus had accepted his interest into the mix.

He had been hoping that he'd be willing to turn his duo into a triad but wasn't sure after the possessive, obsessive way he'd been behaving where Tabitha was concerned. Broaching the subject of sharing Tabitha had been a risk that could have ended up with his ass beaten to a pulp if Marcus hadn't been surprisingly amenable to the idea. He shuddered. Cooper had seen the damage that Marcus could inflict with his fists and thanked God, repeatedly, that Marcus hadn't reacted badly.

What to do? He ran through numerous ideas and possible scenarios in his head, almost every one ending in dismal failure. This was bad because since the moment that Marcus had included him in the potential relationship, Cooper had felt the need for Tabitha growing in strength in his heart. Marcus' unexpected approval had given Cooper permission to acknowledge the attraction to Tabitha that he had felt and then denied, out of deference to his best friend.

If it had gone the other way, once he had finished bleeding on Marcus' office floor, Cooper would have backed off and stayed out of their way. It would have killed him, and been the first time in their lives that the two men hadn't shared something - or someone - but he would have bowed out gracefully.

Marcus could practically hear the gears grinding in his friend's head and sat quietly enjoying his beer, watching Cooper ponder the problem. He was the analytical one of their small group, talented at figuring out a mess and finding a solution; Cooper loved nothing more than to have a puzzle to figure out.

Jaz was their action man, if something needed doing, he was the one to get it done; he had charm and wit and could out talk a politician to accomplish his goals. The last man in their posse was Diego. He was their elder, the one who could always think clearly, when all was going to hell. Diego was their conscious and their voice of reason. His calm, steady temper and cool rationality had kept their collective butts out of jail on more than one occasion.

Marcus acted as their leader and motivator; he was the glue that had pulled four men into a functional unit that became a force to be reckoned with when they worked as a team. He had faith in Cooper. If a solution existed to their problem, Cooper would be the one to find it.

Cooper sighed and finally seemed to come to some conclusion, sitting forward and steepling his hands together with a serious look on his face.

"I think that there is only one way to tackle this, bro."

"And that is what?"

"There are too many unknowns in this equation that need to be sussed out. You like her and from what Petra has shared, it can be assumed that Tabitha feels something for you too, though I can't figure out for the life of me why," he added cheekily.

Marcus let the good-natured insult slip by as he was curious as to where Cooper was heading, trusting that he had a point to his teasing. Marcus smiled and played along.

"Okay. I'm with you so far."

"You don't want to scare her off by introducing too many variables at once - namely BDSM and multiple partners. You have no choice but to take this one very slowly, I think."

Marcus nodded and took another swallow of his beer. "So approach her as a single and introduce her gradually into the lifestyle, unless she's already into it. Petra never mentioned whether Tabitha was into kink or not."

"I think that's our best course of action. Let her get comfortable with you first, if she's amenable; train her to be your sub. Once she bonds with you, you can slowly introduce the possibility of a second Dom into her life.

"And if she's not into it? How are you going to be with that?" Marcus asked gently, suddenly feeling like they were playing hot potato with a live grenade.

"I don't know, but I think that we'll have to cross that bridge if we come to it. I have a feeling that she'll give us both hints long before we get to that point."

Cooper hoped like hell that Tabby would accept him. Poly relationships weren't for everyone and he and Marcus had been searching for a permanent sub for them to share for years. Lydia had been a prospect until her instability and insecurity had turned both of them off her. Since then, they had had a string of casual encounters, but no one who had the potential to become their permanent submissive.

Then Tabitha entered their lives and everything changed.

Marcus already had an undeniable attraction to her and, now that Marcus had opened the door for Cooper and invited him in, he could finally acknowledge that he felt the same way. She would be perfect for them, if only she could overcome society's preconceived ideas on what composed normal relationships.

Would Tabitha be able to accept, not one, but two strong Dominants in her life?

That was the big question that they needed an answer to, and only time and great care would get it for them.

CHAPTER 5

Marcus narrowed his eyes speculatively and regarded his best friend. He could see the uncertainty warring with hope in his expression and had sympathy for Cooper. If they proceeded as he'd stated, Cooper would have to watch Marcus get closer and closer to Tabitha, not knowing if he'd ever be included in the payoff. They would be taking a hell of a risk. Once the subject was out in the open, Tabitha could refuse both of them. He just didn't know how she was going to react to their proposition.

"Shit," he breathed, a great weight settling on his shoulders.

"Yeah. Shit," Cooper echoed with a heavy sigh. He fixed Marcus with a stare. "I won't stand in your way, if she only wants you, Marcus. What we want may be too much to ask from her. The fact is, she may not want either of us, especially once she finds out about the lifestyle. Who knows where her head really is at?"

"I want her, Coop. I want her so fucking badly that it is eating me up inside like a fucking cancer."

"I know. You have to go after her and see what happens. All we can do is take one step at a time and see where the road leads." Cooper tipped his glass and let the burn of the whiskey soothe the anxiety brewing in his gut like a bitter soup. His mind kept circling back to the same sentiment: She'd be perfect...absolutely, fucking perfect.

"Hey guys," Diego's voice came from behind them just before he slid into the booth beside Cooper. A naked, leashed and gagged Petra sunk obediently to her knees and bowed her forehead to the carpet.

Cooper chuckled and peeked under the table. "Looks like someone's little subbie must have gotten herself in trouble tonight."

Diego grunted and waved a server over, ordering a beer and a bottle of water. "She had a little trouble controlling her bratty attitude earlier today, so I decided that a lesson was in order." He leaned over and stroked his hand over her upturned ass before giving her a sharp smack that made her utter a muffled yelp. "The only time that gag is coming out of her mouth, is when my cock is replacing it. We'll see how much sass is left by the end of the night."

The server returned with the drinks but Diego ignored them, focusing all his attention on the beautiful woman kneeling at his feet instead. He was irritated with Petra tonight, something he wasn't used to being with her, and it had soured his mood. He hated having to mete out a punishment, but she had been argumentative during the day with him and he'd had finally had enough of her stubbornness.

"Sit up," he ordered and undid his fly. "I think we'll get started on your attitude adjustment, sweets." He reached around Petra's head and deftly unsnapped the clasp on the strap that held the gag in place. He slipped the rubber, penis-shaped plug from her mouth and his cock stiffened as he watched the silvery strings of drool escaping from her ruby red lips. She glanced at his growing erection and shot him a dirty look, her pretty lips parting as if to speak.

He grabbed a fistful of her hair and pulled her head back so that she had no choice but to look him in the eye. "If you speak, it had better be to give your safe word because if it isn't, I will beat that beautiful ass of yours so hard that even the thought of sitting will hurt you for the next week." He lowered his face until he was inches from hers and fixed her with a hard look. "Nod if you understand, Pet"

Some of the defiance left Petra's eyes as she slowly nodded in his grasp. Diego gave her a dispassionate smile then closed the distance and kissed her lightly on the lips. She closed her eyes and tried to deepen the kiss but he held her head firmly and pulled her away. "None of that now." His eyes darkened with arousal and he guided her under the table. "I have other plans for that saucy mouth."

She shuffled between his legs while Diego used his free hand to stroke his cock until it was fully erect. He lowered her head, pressing the fat crown until it rested lightly against her lips and ordered, "Open."

Petra obediently opened her mouth and Diego guided her head down over his dick, sliding along her hot tongue until the head bumped against the back of her throat. He could feel the quivers of her gag reflex trying to kick in and held her still for a moment, impressing the point of who was in control, before allowing her to pull back and take a breath. She looked up at him with watery, questioning eyes.

"Remember who you chose to serve, Petra. Now, suck me while I enjoy a beer with my friends."

He pushed into her mouth again then settled back, widening his thighs and relaxing while Petra began licking and teasing him. Pleased that she was applying herself to the task, he shifted his attention back to Cooper and Marcus. Both men looked tense and he meant to find out why.

"So, you two were deep in conversation when we walked in. What's going on?" God the woman could suck a dick. Diego wanted to groan as she slowly slid down over his shaft, fluttering her tongue along the vein that ran along the underside, using just the right amount of pressure to make his heart stutter in his chest. He wasn't about to give her the satisfaction of hearing his enjoyment though. He wasn't pleased. He was annoyed. The tip of her tongue swirled around the sensitive head and he supressed the shudder that made his belly clench in desire.

Annoyed. Remember, you're supposed to be annoyed.

Fuck, it was hard to remember anything when she grazed her teeth along the underside of his shaft like that. Diego lifted his beer and took a sip, but just as the cold liquid splashed into his mouth, Petra's warm hand wrapped around his scrotum and gave his balls a firm squeeze. The jolt of arousal that blasted up from his testicles caught Diego by surprise and he inhaled his beer. Coughing and spluttering, Diego remembered fully, why he was perturbed with his submissive; it was behaviour exactly like this, which had pissed him off today.

The little minx, she did that on purpose!

He glared down and wound his free hand into her blonde hair, roughly pulling her off his cock. His actions were precise and tightly controlled betraying his level of annoyance. Petra's nervous, wide-eyed stare told him that she had finally realised that she may have gone a step too far in pushing his buttons.

Angry as he was, Diego would never touch her with violence in his heart so he bottled his temper and gave her his frostiest smile. Her eyes went even wider and she began to tremble. Temper she could deal with, but the calm, calculating Dom staring down at her terrified her.

"Pull a stunt like that one more time and I will tie you to this table and let the boys have at you! This is your last warning, Pet. Accept your punishment with grace, or safe word and I'll put you in a cab home right now."

He let go of her hair, unwrapped the hand still clutching his balls and moved it to the center of her back. Unclipping her leash, he reached under the table and deftly bound both of her wrists behind her back with it and threaded the rest of the leash between her legs. He looped the slack around his hand and with an evil smirk at Petra, gave it a hard tug.

The leather strap went taut, slicing into the crack of her ass and pussy and rubbing against her clit, making her gasp and wince at the same time. She glared at him, seething and aroused, but holding her tongue.

"That's what happens when you don't play fair, little pet. Now," he guided her head back to his glistening erection. "Suck."

Marcus and Cooper both chuckled, enjoying the unexpected distraction from their problems. Petra was good match for their rigid friend. She pushed him with her demanding, bratty streak, but he'd been happier since meeting her than they had seen him in a long time. Not one for public displays, Petra must have really pushed his buttons to earn such a punishment.

"You're a mean, mean Dom, Digs," Cooper laughed. "What did your little subbie do this time to get you all riled up?"

"Just the usual bullshit. Someone needs to learn to accept 'No' as an answer and not push, tease and try to guilt her Dom into changing his mind." He was looking down at Petra's bobbing head, making sure to catch her eyes while he listed off her offences.

The stubborn glint in her eyes told him that Petra was not even close to being repentant. He sighed, pushing up into her mouth until her throat convulsed around his cock. She may not be there yet, but by the end of the evening, she would be or would be too exhausted to give him any more sass.

Marcus ducked beneath the table. "You'd better listen to your Dom, sweetheart. Your man is the last person that I'd want to get into a battle of wills with." She shot him a filthy look and he sat up laughing. "You've got your work cut out with that one."

"Don't I always?" Diego groaned and dropped his hand onto Petra's head, caressing her in a manner that betrayed the depth of his true feelings for her. She might have pissed him off and disappointed him, but it was obvious that he was a man totally in love with his woman. It was also obvious that having to discipline her was hurting him almost as much as he was getting off on it.

He took a deep breath and couldn't stop the smile. Wafting up on waves of body heat, he could smell the unmistakeably musky aroma of Petra's arousal. He had suspected that his little subbie secretly enjoyed being on display and playing the slut for an audience, and the smell of her arousal only confirmed it. He would have to find more opportunities to push this particular boundary with her, now that it didn't seem to be as rigid as it had in the past.

Perhaps an evening in a voyeur room to explore her limits would help him find out exactly how flexible this soft limit had become for his girl.

Excitement supplanted the irritation that had been grinding away at his nerves and he suddenly felt lighter and happier. Instead of dreading this evening, he was now rather looking forward to the rest of their night together.

"So back to my original question...What were you two looking so grim about?"

CHAPTER 6

Marcus and Cooper suddenly looked uncomfortable, each darting guilty glances at one another and remaining suspiciously silent.

Diego wasn't an idiot and had a suspicion as to what his two best friends could have been discussing to paste those sheepish expressions onto their faces.

"Let me guess," he drawled, leaning into the back of the booth and glancing down to watch as Petra slid her tongue along the head of his cock before enveloping it into her hot mouth again. He gazed tenderly at the top of her blonde head and felt a little guilty, she was probably getting tired by now, but he decided to push her a little farther. The purpose of this exercise wasn't for her to enjoy the task, but to do it without question until he told her to stop.

"Tabitha." Two pairs of guilty eyes zeroed in and locked with his.

Bingo! Diego thought smugly.

Below the table, Petra stopped at the mention of her friend's name. He gave the leash a sharp tug and Petra crumpled forward into his lap with a moan. "Did I say you could stop, Pet?"

She had the sense to look ashamed, though only barely, and shook her head, remembering her ban on speech for that evening. Diego gave her a hard smile and waited a beat for her to resume pleasuring him.

"So, judging by the hands-in-the-cookie-jar looks on both your mugs, I'm going to assume that I'm correct."

Marcus ran a frustrated hand through his hair. "We were just discussing what to do."
Diego gave a little laugh. He'd been watching Marcus tie himself into knots for a month, wondering when he'd get the balls to do something about his fascination with Petra's friend. His need to give the girl space was literally driving him around the bend and now, with Cooper involved, the problem just became infinitely more delicate.

"I'm going to do you two jokers a favour because if someone older and wiser doesn't step in, you're both going to cock this up."

Marcus and Cooper both looked like deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming semi and Diego couldn't stop the belly laugh for rolling up his throat. "Fuck! You two are acting like teenagers. It's cute...kind of pathetic, but still cute."

Marcus glowered and set his hands on the table. "I suppose you have the perfect solution, oh great Guru?"

Diego smirked, giving Petra a little tap on her cheek to stop. He made her slide up from under table and had her straddle his lap facing Marcus and Cooper. He lowered her, guiding his erection into her wet opening and pulled her down until her warm ass pressed against his leather-clad thighs.

"As a matter of fact, I do." Petra began gliding in short strokes up and down his shaft, making it hard for Diego to think. "And my little sub here is going to help."

Once again, Petra lost her focus and stopped. A sharp smack on her ass got her moving again, but Diego could tell that her attention was on their conversation, not on her duty. He grabbed her hips and jacked up hard into her, grunting as his cock hit her cervix, eliciting a surprised yelp. She refocused and ground her hips onto his shaft, panting with desire as the angle let his cock stroke her g-spot.

He pulled her to him and hissed a warning into her ear. "Just in case I wasn't clear before we left the house, you cum without permission and there will be consequences, little one."

Petra immediately slowed down and readjusted her position, her displeasure clearly displayed on her scowling face, making Marcus and Cooper chuckle in amusement.

"What's your great idea, Digs?" Marcus asked. He was watching Petra, but seeing Tabitha instead. Chestnut waves fell over her bouncing breasts as she rode his cock...the soft sounds she'd make as he drove up into her...the begging and the pleading for him to let her cum...her cries of pleasure as he eventually gave her what she needed. He could almost feel the warmth of her pussy on his erection and had to close his eyes for a moment to calm his pounding heart and to help diffuse the vision.

Diego's gruff voice brought Marcus out of his fantasy and not a moment too soon, his cock had begun weeping its bitter tears and Marcus had almost cum in his pants like a horny teenager. Whatever Diego had to say had better be good because Marcus was ready to drive over to Petra's condo and kidnap Tabitha. For good or ill, he was prepared to keep her chained to his bed if it brought back his fucking sanity.

"Next weekend is Elysium's 10th Anniversary shindig, right? I think Petra here should invite her friend Tabby to come."

Diego was only half-paying attention to the two men sitting at his table. His cock was somewhere warm and inviting and he pitied both of the other men for their lack of what he had all to himself. His hands caressed up Petra's stomach, finding their way along her ribcage until he found the delicious weight of her breasts. He lifted them and bent around her so that he could suck one of the hard, pink nipples into his mouth. She threw her head back and ground down hard on his shaft as he applied gentle, but insistent pressure with his teeth. A long, low moan escaped her mouth and she shuddered as the pressure reached the point of erotic pain, spiking her arousal even higher. Diego groaned as a rush of moisture seeped around the plunging shaft of his cock and tiny muscle spasms in her pussy told him that she was close to coming.

Her breasts were so soft and firm in his hands that Diego was sorely tempted to abandon his stern attitude so that he could moan in pleasure. The effort she was using to hold back her orgasm was beginning to show in the quivers in her legs and the rapid panting of her breath. Although she hadn't spoken aloud, Diego could hear the whispered pleas of "please, please, please" coming out with each labored exhalation.

He was so proud of her for holding back as long as she had and he figured that it was time to put an end to her misery. Diego hurriedly untied her wrists, placed her palms flat on the table in front of her and then grabbed ahold of her hips. Using his grip to give him leverage, he jacked his hips up, thrusting his cock into her with so much force that the wet sound of their bodies meeting could be heard over the techno music playing in the club.

He was too hard to keep up the pretense of indifference now. He'd been holding himself on the edge for too long and the orgasm that had been simmering in his balls was minutes away for boiling over. It only took a handful of hard thrusts before his cock exploded, his climax hitting him like a sledgehammer. He pulled Petra to him, sinking himself in as far as her body could take him, held her tight, and gasped as he emptied his balls into her slick heat.

When he could speak again, he turned Petra's flushed face to him and kissed her deeply. "Good girl," he murmured. Petra turned pleading eyes to him silently begging him for a release of her own. He knew that she hadn't orgasmed, had obeyed his command not to come without his permission, but he wasn't ready to grant her that pleasure yet. Keeping her on edge would only make her release, when he finally allowed it, much more intense.

"Hmm, I know that you want to cum, little one, but, I think you can wait a little longer." He kissed her nose, smiling at her even as she frowned in frustration back. He chuckled at her and handed her the bottle of water.

"Drink up, pet. Don't want you getting dehydrated." He lowered his mouth to her ear and nipped her earlobe. Still buried inside her, he felt the strong muscles squeeze and flutter around his softening dick; she gulped and panted in a desperate attempt to avoid climaxing without permission. It had taken all her concentration to keep from coming and Diego knew he was being an evil bastard by teasing her that way.

"This was only the beginning, love," he promised and kissed the hollow of her shoulder, making her shiver in his arms.

CHAPTER 7

While Diego occupied himself with his submissive, Marcus mentally smacked himself for not thinking about the Anniversary event sooner. It would be the perfect opportunity to get Tabitha to come to him instead of the other way around. He had been focusing on trying to figure out how to get to her for so long, that he'd overlooked the obvious solution. Sometimes he could be such an idiot. All he needed for the plan to work was for Petra to work her magic and somehow convince Tabby to accompany her next Saturday.

At least I'd get to see her, Marcus thought. With any luck, I might even manage to find an excuse to talk to her, if she doesn't run away from me that is.

The same server that had brought Diego his drinks earlier returned with a clean, folded, white towel that she placed on the table before picking up the empty bottles and departing.

"Up baby," he said with regret as his cock slipped out of the haven of her soaked pussy. Diego was ready with the towel and gently cleaned Petra before she climbed off his lap and knelt beside him on the carpet. She took the towel from him and proceeded to clean their combined juices off him before dropping a light kiss on his softened cock and tucking him back into his pants.

He slid a hand into her hair and pulled her up for a passionate kiss. "Good girl, pet," he whispered with a satisfied smile and Petra laid her cheek on his knee and relaxed against him.

Cooper chuckled, feeling more than a little jealous and turned on by the pair's passionate display. "Think she's learned her lesson, Digs?"

Diego burst out laughing. Petra was looking up at him with mischief twinkling in her eyes. "Fuck no! Not even close." He grinned down at her and caressed her cheek. "That's what makes this so much fun doesn't it, pet?"

She gave him a little snort of derision and nodded her head.

"That's my girl!" Diego said and turned to Cooper. "It would be boring if she gave in too easily. Where would the fun be?"

Marcus couldn't wait any longer. "Petra?" he called out, attracting her attention.

She moved so that she could see him and raised her eyebrows in a silent, "Yes?"

"What your Master suggested...about getting Tabitha to come with you to the party next Saturday...do you think she would?"

Petra thought for a second then gave him a hesitant shrug of her shoulders.

Marcus nodded, expecting that answer. "Could you...would you be willing to try to convince her?"

Petra's face lit up and she nodded enthusiastically. She didn't need a voice for Marcus to understand the "Hell yes!" blazing in her eyes like a neon sign.

A weight lifted off Marcus and for the first time since Diego had suggested the idea, he allowed a sliver of hope to ignite in his heart. If anyone could convince Tabitha to come to Elysium's party, Petra was the one to do it. Tabitha trusted her and Marcus knew that Petra was routing for the two of them getting together. She was as close to a guide that he could hope for to help him negotiate the minefield that stood between Tabitha and him.

"Thank you, little one," he murmured, emotion turning his voice rough.

"Yes, Petra, what he said," Cooper added, hiking a thumb in Marcus' direction. He knew that they would need her help if their ultimate goal was to be achieved. Her eyes widened in surprise and she swung her gaze, curiously between Marcus and Cooper.

Marcus nodded. "Not right away, but one day...yes, we want to her to be our third." He felt suddenly nervous, but forged ahead with the question that had been burning in his head for weeks. "She's not into BDSM is she, Petra?"

Petra shook her head then gave him a small smile and held up her thumb and forefinger separated by half an inch.

It took Marcus a minute to figure out what she was trying to say but when he did, that spark of hope flared hot and bright. "But she's interested?"

Petra nodded, emphasizing the gap between her thumb and forefinger with a little shake.

"A little bit?" Marcus grinned at Cooper when Petra nodded. "That's better than nothing. We can work with a little bit, can't we, bud?"

"Yup. It will be up to you to introduce her to the lifestyle, but I can't think of anyone better to do it." Cooper looked between Diego and Petra. "Can either of you?"

Petra shook her head, smiling brightly and giving Cooper a raised thumb in agreement.

"Marcus, you are the best Dom that I have ever had the privilege to watch work and the best trainer that I have ever seen. You are also a good man. If anyone can be trusted to teach Tabby, it's you, my friend." Diego's face went solemn. "What are you going to do if she doesn't accept the lifestyle, or doesn't want two Masters? That's a big unknown, boys."

Marcus nodded, feeling his fledgling hope lose some of its lustre. "We know, Digs. Right now we are standing on the tip of an iceberg; there is just so much depending on how she reacts to me, to be sure of anything."

He sighed and slumped back in the booth. "It's all going to depend on Tabitha. Whether she knows it or not, she is the one in the driver's seat here. All us two idiots can do is follow her lead and try to guide her in the right direction."

Petra had sympathy for the two Masters. Though it had initially shocked her, now that she'd had time to process the newsflash, it didn't surprise her at all. Marcus and Cooper had always preferred to co-top a submissive, that's what made watching their scenes so erotic and popular. They worked beautifully together and their scenes never failed to halt play in the club so that everyone could watch.

Petra had, on more than one occasion when she was still unattached, wished that she had been the lucky woman chosen by the pair of gorgeous, creative Doms. She had spent enough time around both of them now to know, without a doubt, that they were both good, decent men. They deserved to find happiness as much as Tabby did. They would be good to her, if only she could accept them. She would have to cross her fingers and pray that things worked out or else there were going to be three broken hearts to deal with if something went wrong.

Marcus' hope was flagging as he contemplated the scope of what they were hoping to achieve and how many pieces had to fall into place for them to succeed. A small, warm hand wrapped around one of his palms and gave it a comforting squeeze. He looked down and found that Petra had scooted over and was looking up at him from her position on the carpet. He drew strength from the acceptance and encouragement he saw shining back at him.

"Do you think we have a chance, little one?" He squeezed her hand back and held his breath while she contemplated her response. When her face lit up with joy and she nodded back, Marcus gave a mental whoop of relief. The hope she offered was tremulous at best, but he clutched onto it and drew strength from it.

He stroked her blond curls and leaned over to place a chaste kiss on the top of her head. "Thank you, Petra. For this and for all that you have done to help her. I can't..." He looked at Cooper's hopeful expression. "We can't ever thank you enough."

Petra crawled back to Diego and was pulled up into his lap and hugged tightly to his hard chest. "Damn girl, you sure make it hard for me to stay mad at you for long." She nodded knowingly, giving him a flirtatious wink. He laughed and looked over her shoulder at his two friends.

"On that note, boys, I think I need to find somewhere to give my girl the spanking she earned and then fuck her senseless." He slid out of the booth with Petra clinging on to him then set her on her feet and strode away with a wave to Marcus and Cooper, Petra following like an obedient pet behind him on her leash.

"Lucky fucker," Cooper muttered, watching Petra's pert, naked ass wiggle out of sight.

"Yes he is. With any luck, that will be us...with Tabitha on the end of our leash, Coop."

Cooper laughed and pretended to pray. "From your mouth to God's ears, my friend, because I, for one, was not made to stay celibate. Waiting is going to kill me."

"Amen brother. I hear you on that one." Marcus stood up. "I better head back to my office, there's a stack of requisitions for supplies for next Saturday's party that I have to sift through and approve. Wouldn't do to run out of condoms and lube on the big night!"

Cooper laughed and followed Marcus to the stairs that led up to the admin level. "I'd better head back to the security office too. I promised Owen some time to go play tonight. Apparently he's had his eye on a cute, unattached subbie and she's here tonight."

The two men parted ways. Cooper disappeared down the hall to the security room and Marcus took the stairs to his office, his mind completely preoccupied with visions of his angel.

She had to come on Saturday.

He honestly didn't know what he'd do if she didn't.

Pushing through the door of his office Marcus took one look at the pile of folders on his desk and sighed. Instead of paperwork, he saw a vision of Tabitha: naked and stretched out on his desk, her mass of thick curls falling provocatively over her breasts and her legs spread like the wings of an angel, her delicate pink, heart exposed for his eyes to feast on.

His cock stiffened and throbbed painfully behind the leather of his pants. Marcus groaned and squeezed his eyes tight then blinked them until the erotic vision disintegrated and the plain, white folders sat once again on his desk. He strode over and sat awkwardly, adjusting his erection. He needed to concentrate, not fantasize for fuck's sake!

Determined to ignore his excited dick, Marcus shifted the folders on his desk, opening them up and leafing absentmindedly through the papers inside until the pressure between his legs began to subside. Expense reports, price quotes and pending orders filled his mind, slowly pushing thoughts of Tabitha to the side and giving him a temporary reprieve from the near constant arousal that he'd had to contend with for the past month.

Petra had to convince Tabby to come to the party...or else he was going to go get her himself. He clung to that vow like a lifeline, finding comfort in his resolve. He didn't want to acknowledge that it was probably the only thing keeping him sane now.

CHAPTER 8

"I'm sorry, Miss but the position has already been filled."

Tabby felt her hopes plummet and a sick feeling churn in her stomach. "Can I leave my resume anyway, just in case something opens up?" She tried to sound confident, nonchalant, hoping to leave a good impression. Inside, she wanted to scream and cry with the desperation she felt.

Four places. She'd been to four places, scattered all over the goddamned city, to apply for openings that were non-existent by the time she arrived. This scene had played out almost every day for the past two weeks. She'd leave the house early, hit the coffee shop with her newspaper and stack of resumes then head out, in hopes of landing a job...any job that would have her.

So far, she'd passed out so many resumes that it was a wonder that the city wasn't blanketed in white papers with her work history on them. There just wasn't anything suitable available. In fact, the only prospect she'd had was at a bar, stripping for the drunk losers sitting semi-comatose by a shoddy stage. Desperation for work had left her with little options, Petra was generous but it bothered Tabby not to be supporting herself.

Steeling her resolve, she took the bus across town, found the bar and went inside. All it took was one look at the manager for her courage to crumble and her legs couldn't get her out of the place fast enough. The way he had ogled her, undressing her with hungry, shifting eyes, had immediately reminded her of Jerry's pig-like stare and she had bolted. The minute her feet hit the sidewalk outside of the sleazy bar, Tabby had doubled over and lost her breakfast.

Today's host of no-go's included cleaner at a no-tell motel, fast food clerk, grocery store cashier and the last one: a data entry clerk. All had the same response: I'm sorry, Miss, but the position is no longer available. The last rejection was enough for her, she gave up and slumped her way onto the bus and rode home, trying very hard not to breakdown and cry in public.

By the time the crowded bus reached her neighbourhood, Tabby's bitter disappointment had settled into the dull ache of resignation. Tomorrow will be another day, she thought. Maybe luck will blow her way, she just had to keep at it. Feeling a little better, she decided that some exercise would go a long way in improving her depressed mood.

She got off the bus and lifted her face into the late afternoon sun, enjoying the warmth while she could. She'd purposely gotten off the bus a couple stops from her apartment just so that she could enjoy the walk home. September was almost over and soon the weather would turn chilly as autumn set in.

Her stomach grumbled, reminding her that she hadn't eaten since breakfast and she was trying to decide what to do for dinner when her phone chimed in her pocket.

A text from Petra popped up on the screen.

...Where are you?...

Tabby shifted her satchel so that she could text back her reply.

...Just walking home, why?...

...Awesome. Wait for me out front and I'll pick you up...
Pick me up? Tabby wondered what Petra was planning. She tapped out her next message.

...Ok. You better not be texting and driving!...

...lol. 'course not silly! I just stopped for gas. Be there in 10...

Ten minutes was plenty of time for Tabby to get home and she tucked her phone away and enjoyed the rest of her walk. Distracted by Petra's message and by the lovely weather, Tabby wasn't paying as much attention to her surroundings as she should have been. Lost in her thoughts, she didn't notice the nondescript mini van parked across the street from her building and she didn't notice the man inside, taking pictures of her as she waited for Petra on the sidewalk.

Petra's Prius pulled in beside the curb and Tabby climbed in. "What's up?" she asked after buckling her belt.

Petra moved back into traffic and smiled brightly at Tabby. "It's been a crazy week and this is the first chance I've had to come back and see you! I've missed you, girlfriend."

Tabby laughed. "You know you could have just called right? Where are we going, by the way?"

"I'm starving and if I know you, you haven't eaten all day. I thought we could grab dinner and catch up."

Her stomach rumbled at the prospect of food and Petra chuckled when she heard the embarrassing sound. "See, I knew it. I'm in the mood for a burger. Sound good to you?"

"I could murder a plate of french fries," Tabby agreed, suddenly starving.

CHAPTER 9

The man in the van watched as the Prius disappeared out of sight. He removed the data card from his camera and plugged it into a reader attached to a laptop computer. A few clicks later, dozens of pictures of Tabby filled his screen. He selected several good shots and attached them to an email. In the body, he typed a simple message: ...What do you want to do?" and hit send.

The reply came almost instantly.

...Do nothing. Just watch for now...

The man read it and pressed delete. He didn't know what his employer's intentions were for this young woman, but he had a feeling that things would be getting much more interesting in the future.

~~~~~~~~~~

Gerald Moran stared at the pretty face of the fucking cunt who'd robbed him of his manhood. He traced a thick finger over her image on his computer screen, this one was taken a week after he had to disappear. It showed the lovely black eye he had gifted her with and his anger rose hot and vile inside him. He should have hit her harder, knocked her out first. If he had, he might have avoided the crushed testicles, broken nose and broken wrist she'd given him.

He wriggled the fingers on his right hand, extending out from the plaster cast that immobilized his injured wrist. Having to wait for the bones to heal filled him with violent rage, but cool sense had forced him to see that he needed to be whole if he wanted to get his revenge.

The man he'd hired to monitor the bitch had sent him hundreds of photos. He scanned through them, letting his anger turn vicious with the need for payback.

Soon, you miserable little cunt. We'll be seeing each other very soon and then we'll finish what we started a month ago. The promise warmed him with pleasure and he smiled happily.

The toilet flushed in the bathroom of the rundown motel room the prostitute had rented for the night. He'd made sure to give the woman cash for the room so that no trace of his presence would exist - if nobody saw him, there wouldn't be any witnesses to tip off the cops when his handiwork was discovered tomorrow. The last thing he wanted was for someone to give the cops his description and tip the miserable bitch off that he was still in town.

When he met up with his former employee, Jerry wanted it to be a surprise.

The door to the bathroom opened and the woman half walked and half staggered over to him. He shut the computer's lid and eyed the whore from her bulging fake tits to the tight scrap of skirt that barely covered her snatch.

Maybe this bitch would be able to get his dick up. She'd better, he thought cruelly, or else he'd have to take some of his frustrations out on her. He laughed inside his thoughts, even if she did, he still intended to vent a little stress on her, and it would only add to the fun for him.

"What'll it be today, honey?" she drawled, her voice slurring from the Jack she'd guzzled before going for a piss.

"Get naked," he commanded.

Stupid bitch! He'd purposefully left the spiked whiskey on the vanity by the bathroom, knowing that the whore wouldn't be able to resist the liquor. She'd chugged the whiskey without ever stopping to consider the possibility that it might not have been safe for her to drink. Which, thanks to the GHB he'd put in it earlier, it wasn't.

He watched in disgust, as she swayed around the room, teetering on her high heels and removing her clothes. She climbed onto the sagging bed, trying to imitate a sexy crawl that failed miserably.

Jerry almost laughed aloud at the pathetic woman and thought that he was actually going to be doing her a favor by helping her to leave her miserable life. He reached out a hand to grab at her huge tits, but she pulled back, almost toppling over.

"What the fuck?" he snarled at her. "You playing me, bitch?"

"Sorry, baby, but I need the money 'fore we start."

Jerry pulled his wallet out and handed over the hundred they'd agreed upon when he'd picked her up. She tucked the bill into her purse and dropped the heavy bag on the carpet beside the bed.

He didn't care about the money; he'd have it back in his pocket, plus whatever she had on her, in a few hours anyway. As soon as the bill hit her palm, the look on her face changed from mild distaste to a cheaply affected, porn-star wannabe mask - as if his money had switched her on into the role for which he'd paid her to assume.

He was already naked so she began fondling his inert cock, attempting to suck, stroke and tease it to some semblance of hardness, but nothing happened. It lay as limp and lifeless as a deflated balloon, just as it had since the day that miserable little cunt had kicked him in the balls.

Jerry's anger made him snatch the woman by her hair and he wretched her head up, forcing her to stare with frightened eyes at him. "I ain't paying you for nothing, bitch. Get me hard or you're going home empty handed."

"I'm trying, lover. It ain't working," she whined, too stoned to really comprehend how much danger she was in.

Jerry let go of her hair, squeezed her mouth open and fed his limp dick into her mouth, holding her tight against him until she was pushing frantically to get away.

"You bite me and I'll fucking kill you!" he threatened, choking her with his cock until he felt her muscles losing strength.

She continued to struggle weakly, eyes bulging from lack of oxygen, but her attempts to escape his hold were ineffectual, as the GHB finally kicked in. The drug drained away the strength she needed to fight him off and replaced it with lassitude until she went limp in his arms.

The fiasco with Tabby had taught him a valuable, if painful, lesson. A little GHB made playing with these stupid cunts way easier and less of a risk of injury to himself.

He threw her aside and she landed heavily onto the mattress, sucking in gasping breaths like a fish dying on a beach and stared at him with glazed, terrified eyes, unable to move. He laughed at her and slapped her hard across the face. She let out a pathetic whimper that made Jerry laugh even harder. She must have had a high tolerance for the drug because she was still clinging to consciousness, aware enough to be afraid, unlike the others that had passed out by this point.

He was actually kind of glad, having her feel and know what he was going to do her made this so much more interesting. It was just a shame that he'd have to silence her so that her screams didn't give him away and spoil his fun.

He left her on the bed, drooling into puddle of spit and blood from her split lip, got up from the bed and slid out a couple of cable ties that he had stuffed under his pillow.

Stupid, useless bitch.

The truth was, she disgusted him...hell...all women disgusted him. They were only good for one thing - well, two if you counted dying - and he was glad that he'd decided to give in to the sadist urges that had plagued him all his life. He could thank the cunt for that, if she hadn't crippled him, he would never have had the balls - no pun intended - or the rage to embrace his dark side.

The whore let out a weak whine, refocusing Jerry's attention back to present and he grinned at the nameless prostitute on the bed, imagining that it was Tabitha lying there waiting for her comeuppance.

God he loved GHB! It made playing with these women a piece of cake. Not only did it make them easy to handle but it also removed their will to fight back, making them the perfect playthings for him. It wasn't until he really started hurting them that their crippled survival instincts stuttered back to life...unfortunately for them; it was always way too late in the game to save their worthless skins.

He grabbed the semiconscious woman by her hair and hauled her limp body up to the top of the bed, discarding her head onto the pillow as if she were a sack of garbage. She barely moved, just fluttered her eyelids, moaned pathetically and tried to thrust her pelvis up in a sad attempt to grind on him while he straddled her in order to tie her down. He sneered down at her, encouraging her efforts by rubbing his groin over her to distract her from what he was doing.

As if that could save her now, he snickered to himself. The drug had made her so confused that she'd completely forgotten her fear and the fact that he'd remained impotent. He couldn't have penetrated her with his useless cock even if he had wanted to, but the drug had numbed her mind to the point where she kept trying any way. She was close to passing out from the effects now and it took no effort for him to bind her wrists to the headboard, even with his broken wrist making things awkward.

Once he had her bound, he got off the bed and walked over to a black duffle bag that was waiting for him on the dresser. From inside it, he pulled a harness and fitted an obscenely large, metallic dildo on to the front of it. Next, he withdrew a roll of duct tape and then pulled the leather belt out from his pant loops. The woman let out a slurred whimper from the bed and he looked over his shoulder with an evil smirk on his face, her eyes were half closed and she was nearly out of it completely. He grabbed a washcloth off the dresser and tossed the roll of tape playfully into the air, giddy with anticipation. He knew from previous experiences that he'd still get a few good screams from the bitch when he tore her up with that dildo, but a convenient gag would ensure that their privacy was not disturbed.

No...he might not be able to have the cunt that had crushed his balls yet, but that didn't have to stop him from practicing what he was going to do to her when he finally got his hands on her. His dick might not work - he flexed his left hand and grinned with evil anticipation - but his fist? Well, his healthy fist worked just fine, thank you very much.

He'd be long gone by the time the housekeeping staff found the mess he intended to leave behind. Just as he had done twice already, because as the old saying goes: Practice makes perfect, doesn't it?

He chortled with glee at the thought. "You ready for me, baby? It's time for Daddy to come play," he sing-songed as he turned and strode back to the helpless woman tied to his bed.

CHAPTER 10

"Where are we going anyway?" Tabby asked, looking out the side window and enjoying the ride.

"The Sandpit. It's close by and I'm starving," Petra replied. "Plus, it's a great place to sit and chat."

She seemed unusually chirper, and for Petra, that was saying something. Her best friend was acting weird and Tabby didn't miss the furtive, sidelong glances she kept sneaking her way. Something was obviously on her mind because Petra rarely looked nervous about anything, let alone a simple meal with her best friend, and Tabby got a funny feeling that she had an ulterior motive for their impromptu get together.

Tabby was just about to speak up and ask her what was going on, when they arrived at the restaurant, parked and hurried to the entrance. The greasy smell of fried food stopped Tabby in her tracks at the door and she froze with her hand on the door handle, her heart racing a mile a minute while the blood drained from her head. Petra placed a warm hand on her arm and gave her a little squeeze.

"It's okay, Tabs. He can't hurt you anymore," she said quietly.

Tabby focused on her breathing, tightened her fingers around the brass knob and turned it in slow motion. Every instinct told her to run away, that it wasn't safe, but she knew that it was only her fear talking. They were just going into a regular restaurant, like normal people did all the time; there was no reason for her to panic. The panic attacks had lessened, but occasionally, something she didn't expect would trigger one and take her right back to the awful night that her boss had tried to rape her.

"I know, Pet, but sometimes my head forgets that it's safe, you know?" With shaking hands, Tabby pulled the door opened and stepped aside so that Petra could go in before her.

With a kind smile, Petra took the door from Tabby and ushered her inside the restaurant. "You're doing great," she whispered.

They had arrived before the dinner rush and the restaurant wasn't too busy. The hostess greeted the two women and led them to a cozy booth in the corner. She took their drink orders then departed, leaving them the menus and giving them time to decide on what to eat.

Tabby scanned the offerings and finally settled on a Caesar salad and a side of fries. She didn't really want the salad but felt guilty just ordering the fries, which was what she really wanted.

Petra called her on her dubious food choice right away. "Token greenery?"

Tabby laughed. "You got me! Maybe the lettuce will offset the empty carbs."

"Yeah, and maybe the lettuce and tomato on my bacon cheeseburger will make it a health food."

Tabby joked with her friend for a few more minutes, but the feeling that Petra was hiding something was getting worse. "Everything okay, Pet? You're giving off some weird vibes tonight. What's up?"

Petra blushed and looked shyly at Tabby. "You always could read me like a book. I need to ask you for a huge favour and I'm hoping that you'll say yes."

"Go for it. What do you need?" At this point, Tabby was willing to do anything for her to pay her back for saving her butt and giving her a place to live. "I've got a kidney that's in pretty good shape if you need it!"

"Ha! No, thank god, but I'll keep the offer in mind, just in case. It's nothing quite as dire but I'm not sure if you're going to go for it, but I really, really need you to say yes."

"Well, spill it then. I can't say yes if you keep beating around the bush."

"Okay, it's something much more fun than surgery and I know that it's short notice, but there's this party on Saturday and I'd really appreciate having some company," Petra blurted out without taking a breath.

A party? That's what she's freaking out about? Tabby looked at the super cheery smile on her face and suddenly got suspicious. "Where is this party, exactly?"

Petra's sunny expression fell and she suddenly looked worried and mumbled her reply. "Elysium."

Her sheepish reply made Tabby's eyes widened in surprise. "Come again?"

Petra grimaced. "You heard me, it's at Elysium"

"Elysium...as in the ultra-private, kinky sex club?"

"Um...yeah...that Elysium. Come on, Tabs, it's their 10th anniversary party and Diego's going to be busy for most of it, leaving me hanging around twiddling my thumbs, watching everyone else have fun while I'm bored and lonely. Please say you'll come, Tabby, and keep me company."

Tabby leaned across the table and lowered her voice. "But it's a SEX club, Pets. What am I going to do in a sex club?"

Petra gave Tabby a mischievous smirk. "Besides the obvious?"

Tabby gaped in surprise. "Petra!" she said in a low whisper. "Seriously though, what would I do there? I've never been to a place like Elysium."

She shuddered as a sudden realisation arrowed through the jumbled mess of her nervous thoughts, towing a sensual heat behind it that flowed into her veins, raising her body temperature and making her flush.

Marcus.

He owned Elysium.

If she agreed to go with Petra, how would she avoid him? Could she avoid him? She'd tried for a month to ignore the bizarre attraction she had felt for him, an attraction that she didn't understand or want. They were too different and too much had happened in Tabby's life recently that she was still trying to get past. Marcus would only complicate her already screwed up life and Tabby couldn't cope with the added stress.

Then there had been the way he had made her feel, as if molten lava flowed in her veins whenever he had touched her and the way his voice had instantly soothed away her fears, calming her when all she wanted to do was scream. She remembered how safe she had felt in his arms, a stranger's arms, yet familiar and comforting at the same time, and a part of her desperately wanted to feel that again.

She had ignored his calls, his attempts to see her but the attraction hadn't died down. She had tried to wipe him from her memory because thinking of Marcus invariably led to remembering the reason why he had entered her life and she did not want any reminders of that horrible night haunting her.

She had spent the last month trying to erase everything associated with that night, but the one thing she couldn't erase was the way Marcus that had burned away the horror with only a smile and a kind touch. She also couldn't forget the way her traumatized body had responded to him, defying logic.

She had pushed him away when everything in her body screamed to pull him closer.

He stopped trying to contact her a week ago; maybe he'd finally given up and moved on. What would he do if she suddenly appeared in his club with Petra? What would she do if she could have just one glimpse of him again? Just the thought made an explosion of butterflies take flight in her chest.

Was she brave enough to find out?

Petra saw the conflict play out on Tabby's face and knew exactly what she was thinking. "Why don't you want to see him, Tabs? He's so into you and going by that blush, you're into him too. It doesn't make sense that you keep refusing to see him."

Tabby sighed. The conversation that she'd been trying to avoid having, had finally arrived and Petra had her cornered. She couldn't evade her friend's honest question without looking like a jerk.

"You wouldn't understand, Pet," she mumbled dejectedly.

"Try me, sweetie. Let me help."

She started slowly as if she was opening a box full of cobras, afraid that her words would turn on her and bite her. "I like him too. A lot. But I feel like...I dunno, I feel...damaged in some way, you know? I can't shake off that scared, humiliated feeling that Jerry left me with...like he left a dirty stain on me that everyone can see and won't go away. Plus I still haven't found a job. How can I face an accomplished man like Marcus in this state? He's rich, gorgeous and successful and I'm broke and sponging off of you..."

"Let me stop you there," Petra interrupted, real anger making her irises spark with indignation. "You are not sponging off of me. I invited - well...kinda bullied you, if I'm being honest - into moving in with me and I love having you live with me."
"I don't care if you never find work or pay me a dime, my parents give me ridiculous amounts of guilt money to spend, so it isn't a problem and Diego owns the condo and he doesn't care that you are living in it. And let me tell you something about Marcus, he doesn't give a two-penny shit that you're still unemployed, sweetie, or that he sees anything broken or tainted. He just wants to see you...like in the worst way! He's been as friendly as a bear with a thorn in his paw for a month, but stayed away so that you wouldn't feel pressured. Trust me, honey; he wants to see you...more than he wants to take his next breath."

"I don't know, Petra. I'm a little freaked about going to a sex club and just the thought of seeing Marcus again makes my stomach churn with nerves."

"Just your stomach? That blush on your face says other things are reacting as well."

Tabby felt the heat in her cheeks spike. "Shut up, Pet."

Petra laughed and took Tabby's hand in hers. "Yes, Elysium is a sex positive establishment but it's also a really cool nightclub with dancing, a bar and a restaurant. You will undoubtedly see couples engaging in BDSM play or having sex outright, but everyone is very, very respectful. Nobody is going to force you to do anything that you do not wish to do. Trust me. The first time you go, it's like seeing a circus for the first time in your life - really, really cool and really, really mind-blowing, but in an exciting way." She paused to give Tabby a minute to process.

"Please Tabs, I don't want to sit around by myself like some sorry idiot. If you're there then Diego will let me dance and wander around with you, having fun while he's working. Plus, you haven't been out, except to go job hunting, since...well, since Jerry attacked you. Don't you think it's time to get back into your life again, sweetie?"

Their conversation halted when their food arrived. After thanking the server, Tabby picked up a hot fry and bit into it all the while, keenly aware of Petra's questioning gaze on her. She dropped the half-eaten potato back onto her plate and sighed.

Petra was right. In her heart, Tabby knew that what her best friend had said was the truth. Even though she had convinced herself that she had put the attack behind her, she knew that she was still hiding, still scared. The first time she had left the apartment, a few days after the attack; her knees had been shaking so badly that she had barely made it to the coffee shop a block away before the panic had gotten the better of her and sent her running back with her tail between her legs.

The next time she forced herself to venture out, almost a full week later, she had made it to the bus stop but her anxiety had turned her into a nervous wreck. She didn't make it to go job-hunting that day and ran back to the apartment in tears.

Needing a newspaper had given her a purpose to leave the safety of her apartment every morning. If she wanted a job, then she needed the classified pages to see what, if anything was available. It became a little easier every day until she was able to actually get on the bus and start her hunt for employment. As each day passed and nothing bad had happened, her confidence grew and the fear receded, but she always made sure to return home before dark and lock herself safely behind closed doors.

To go to the party with Petra, meant venturing out in the dark and Tabby was almost more afraid of that prospect than of going to the BDSM club and facing Marcus.

It's the next step. You can't hide for the rest of your life and Petra's right; you need to get your old life back!

Her inner voice had stepped up and helped Tabby to swallow her fear. Jerry was gone. The police were looking for him but so far, there hadn't been a single sighting of the vile man. She needed to put his evilness behind her and move on with her life. Besides, she wouldn't be alone, Petra would be with her and it had been a long time since they had gone out and had fun together.

Coming to a decision, Tabby nodded and gave Petra a conciliatory smile. "Okay. You win. I'll come." She picked up another french fry and pointed it at Petra, who was practically bouncing in her seat with happiness. "But you have to lend me something to wear! I have nothing suitable for a place like Elysium."

Petra winked at her, immensely relieved and excited. "I was hoping that you'd agree! You're gonna love Elysium, Tabs! I have the perfect dress guaranteed to set Marcus' pants on fire, girlfriend," she giggled.

Her brain and libido clashed like invading armies. "Let's not rush things, okay?"...is what came out of her mouth but she was intimately aware of the dampness gathering between her legs at the thought of seeing the tall, dark, excruciatingly handsome man whose image was burned into her memory. It was more than likely that it was going to be her panties that were going to up in flames when she saw him.

The two women enjoyed the rest of their dinner, gossiping happily and catching up with the happenings in their lives. Tabby excused herself to go use the ladies' room and Petra hurriedly took her cell phone out of her purse. With a beaming grin on her face, she typed out a simple message.

...Better get ready, Sir. Tabby said yes. She'll be at the party tomorrow.

CHAPTER 11

Sitting at his desk, trying to concentrate on the paperwork that needed dealing with, Marcus couldn't help shooting anxious glances at his silent cellphone. He had resisted the urge to pester Petra with repeated requests, but the suspense was eating away at him. It was Friday and he still hadn't heard whether she had managed to convince Tabby to come to with her tomorrow night.

He picked up his half-empty coffee cup and then placed it back down on his desk. The coffee had gone stone cold and his stomach wouldn't appreciate the harsh brew adding to the acid already churning it's merry way into giving him an ulcer.

He just happened to glance at his phone when the display lit up a split second before it blurted out a chime announcing that a new message had arrived. He grabbed it and hit the messaging icon, his heart dived bombed into his boots when he saw Petra's name appear as the sender. With a hesitant finger, Marcus touched her name and opened her text.

He read her message. Then he read it again. On the third reading, his brain finally processed the meaning of her words and a feeling of effervescent joy lifted the depression from him and warmed him from the inside out. He could feel the ear-to-ear grin split his face and wanted to whoop with excitement.

She was coming! His angel was actually coming. He'd be able to see her in less than 24 hours! Marcus felt like a little boy on Christmas Eve. Excitement bubbled and a profound sense of relief calmed the turbulent seas of his thoughts, leaving him lightheaded with happiness. He couldn't tear his eyes from Petra's words, thanking all that was holy that the wonderful woman had succeeded.

Cooper strode into the office holding two cold bottles of beer and did a double take at the expression on Marcus' face. "Hey man, you okay?"

Marcus looked up from his phone and for the first time in over a month, Cooper saw his old friend grinning back at him like a dumbstruck fool. He was holding his cellphone up in a way that reminded Cooper of a hockey player hoisting the Stanley Cup.

"She's coming! Petra actually did it, Coop!" Marcus' voice was rough and thick with emotion. "Tabby's coming with her tomorrow night."

Cooper took in the joy in his friend's face and, for a moment, let himself share in the shining hope that had washed the stress clean from Marcus' bright eyes. It only lasted a moment because the crushing reality that he was going to have to sit on the sidelines while Marcus got to be with Tabitha, slammed down onto him like a block of concrete. He wanted to feel that joy too and he wanted to be there, from the start, in making Tabby love and accept him as well.

Marcus may have had to wait a month for his moment to arrive, but Cooper may have to wait much, much longer and his prize at the end of that time just might be a broken heart.

"I'm happy for you, man. I really am." Cooper handed Marcus one of the bottles and then dropped heavily onto the old sofa.

Twisting off the cap, Marcus took a sip, his expression sobering upon seeing the fake happiness painted over Cooper dejected face. "You gonna be okay?"

"Do I have a choice? Does it matter that I want her almost as badly as you do?" he snapped, his frustration turning into anger.

"Fuck, Coop. This is the only way. You know that. You're the one who suggested it, remember?"

Cooper launched himself to his feet and began pacing, feeling like a caged tiger - a caged tiger that was about to be handed his testicles in a brown paper bag. "I know! Fuck me to death! I know it's the right thing to do, brother. However, knowing and living with it are two vastly different things. It's going to kill me to watch you with her, but I know that that is what I have to do for this insane idea to even have a fraction of a chance of succeeding."

Marcus stood and went around his desk, perching on the edge. "I'm sorry. I truly am. If she had any experience in the lifestyle, we could approach her together but I'm afraid if we did that now - or try to rush it - we're just going to freak her out."

Marcus blew out a breath and hung his head. "I need her, man. I don't think I can exist in a world where she's not a part of me. Fuck if I know why and fuck if I know how, but her tiny, perfect hand is wrapped around my fucking balls and a huge part of me couldn't be happier."

He jumped to his feet and strode across the office to where Cooper was standing. He pulled the big man close to him and rested their foreheads together. "Trust me, Coop. I saved your ass when we were kids and got you home safe from Afghanistan. Trust me again to bring her to us. You won't be on the outside for long, brother. Can you do that? For me?...For her?...For us?"

Cooper squeezed his eyes shut and remembered the many times that Marcus had had his back. Though not related by blood, the bonds that tied them together went deeper than any familial ones could ever go. Theirs was a bond forged in blood, war and trust. He did trust Marcus - with his life and with his heart.

"Yes. It's going to suck worse than a whore with a chipped tooth, but yes, I trust you. It was never a question of trust, Marcus. You gotta know that right?"

Marcus smiled and released Cooper. "Of course I do and don't think that I'm going to be keeping you at arm's length. She needs to get comfortable with you and get to know you. It will make what we want from her so much easier if she becomes accustomed to your presence before we get to that point."

"Is it gay that I'm excited as well as scared shitless right now?" Cooper gave a self-deprecating chuckle.

"Fuck! I'm right there with you. I've fucking cum so many times with her image in my head that I'm afraid that I'm going to blow my load as soon as I see her."

Cooper punched him in the shoulder. "Better wank off before you go to the party tomorrow...just to make sure."

"Fuck off, asshole!"

"Back at you, brother." He clapped Marcus on the shoulder and let the smile drop from his face in mock sternness. "Seriously though, better wank twice. We can't have you coming in your pants like a desperate teenager. You'll scare her away for sure."

Marcus barked out a laugh and pushed Cooper off him. "Get lost and let me finish this paperwork you idiot."

CHAPTER 12

Jerry got out of the shower and stretched the ache of exertion out of his back and arms. After drying himself off, he sat on the closed toilet seat and pulled out a roll of gauze tape from his shaving kit. He applied antibiotic ointment to his torn knuckles and awkwardly wrapped his left hand with his casted right. When he finished tending to his knuckles, he dusted his hands with baby powder and snapped on a pair of latex gloves, flexing his hands and admiring the strength and power in his muscles.

Despite his aching back and mashed knuckles, Jerry felt good...he'd even go as far as saying he felt fucking awesome. There was nothing like violence to invigorate a man.

"I guess the morons on TV are right," he said to his reflection in the steamy mirror. "Exercise does do a body good."

Laughing, he finished taping up his hand and resolved to protect his knuckles before going to work next time. A little bit of tape first would have saved him a set of busted knuckles. He grimaced. Now he'd have to wait at least another week before bagging himself another cunt to practice on; served him right for being an impatient idiot.

He'd made mistakes with the bitch, Tabitha, and it had costed him a functional dick. The other two whores he'd worked over were too stoned for him to bother hitting, so he'd saved the damage on his knuckles. This one tonight, though, she was the lucky one because his rage was running hot by the time she had gotten naked. Looking at those pictures of that miserable bitch had really lit a fire in him. Jerry decided to look at them more often, especially before a practice session - they gave him a huge boost in energy and incentive.

Every man needed a goal...didn't he?

Hitting the whore had felt good. Each punch had made him think of Tabitha and it had numbed the pain, allowing him to hit her even harder. A pang of regret robbed him of some of his pleasure. He really wished that he'd been somewhere where he could have heard her screams. The washcloth stuffed into her mouth and duct taped to her face, had muffled the pathetic animal sounds she'd tried to make and eventually, her own blood had muted her even more.

Pity, he thought. Maybe if he could have listened to her screaming, his useless dick would have perked up. No matter, he was going to make sure that when he finally got his hands of that conniving bitch, she and he were going to spend quality time together. It would be somewhere where he would be able to hear her scream until he beat her to death and fucked her while she drowned on her own blood.

Paybacks are a bitch baby and he was looking forward to collecting.

Jerry got himself dressed, collected up the bloodied towels from the bathroom then pulled on a pair of rubber gloves; he used a clean towel to wipe down every surface he could find in the motel room, removing any trace of his presence. He gathered his things and stuffed everything back into his black duffle bag, double-checking everywhere to make sure that he hadn't missed anything.

At ten after midnight, he walked past the bed and stopped on his way out to admire his handiwork. The body lying on the bed was unrecognizable. All that was left of the prostitute was a mass of wet meat, torn, bloodied and gurgling on its last breaths as she slowly drowned on her own blood and teeth.

"Thanks for the good time, bitch," he sneered as he walked out the door and locked it behind him. He strode into the parking lot, threw his gear into the car he'd stolen earlier that morning and drove out of the motel's driveway feeling happier than he had in days.

Yup, he thought. There's nothing like some vigorous exercise to put a smile on a man's face.

CHAPTER 13

Saturday passed by in a blur of activity as Petra and a dazed Tabby made the rounds of appointments she had booked for them. They went from the salon to the spa where attendants primped and fussed over them in preparation for the big party that evening. There were manicures, pedicures, haircuts and parts of their bodies waxed bare that Tabby would rather forget...as soon as the damned stinging stopped. How she had let Petra convince her into getting a full Brazilian wax, she had no idea but once the woman had spread the hot wax on, there was only one way that sticky mess was coming off.

In the course of its removal, Tabby discovered that she had a whole host of curse words in her vocabulary that she didn't even know she knew. Petra had never laughed so hard and one of the makeup technicians actually gave her hell in rapid fire Filipino because her tears of amusement had made her makeup run.

Tabby inspected her newly bared pussy as soon as they got home. It looked odd to her but now that her skin had stopped smarting, she had to admit that she rather liked the feel. She ran a curious hand over her mound, loving how soft and smooth the skin was now. It had felt weird when she had put her panties back on; cotton sliding over her hairless skin had made her shiver with the sensation.

She wondered if Marcus would like it bare.

Her startled eyes darted up to meet her mirror image and she blushed.

As if he was going to see it! She chided herself and turned away from the mirror feeling embarrassed and worried. A secret weighed heavily on Tabby's conscience, surrounded by a web of dread of what would happen if Marcus found it out.

He wouldn't want her when he discovered how truly inexperienced she really was. All Tabby could do was hope and pray it would never come to that...even though it was all she could think of since learning that he was still interested in her. He'd think her as childish as her newly waxed pussy and would laugh as he ran as far as he could from her.

One thing that Tabby was good at, was acting. She'd fake it until she could make it...as the saying went. As much as she was terrified of Marcus finding out her secret, every fiber in her body craved seeing him again.

He was the flame and she was the moth, defenceless to prevent getting her wings burned by his deadly attraction.

Tabby slipped her robe on just as Petra knocked on her bedroom door.

"Come in," she called out, tying the sash around her waist.

Petra's blonde head poked in through the half-opened door. "You decent?"

"Just. A minute earlier and you would have gotten an eyeful of my ass."

Petra stepped in, holding a garment bag and a shoebox in her arms. "Shame," she pouted. "You have a fantastic ass, girlfriend!"

Tabby raised a questioning eyebrow at her, making Petra giggle. "Don't give me that look. I can appreciate a fine ass, whether it's on a man or a woman."

"Just when I think I have you figured out..." Tabby laughed, shaking her head.

Petra winked at her and dangled the garment bag enticingly in front of Tabby. "You ready to make Marcus drool?" She spread the garment bag out on the bed and unzipped it. Tabby peered around Petra trying to get a look at her mystery dress, hoping it wasn't going to be too risqué. When Petra opened up the bag and lifted out the dress, Tabby sucked in shocked breath.

"Oh...wow!" She breathed, staring at the beautiful, red silk dress in awe.

"Do you like it?" Petra asked, as if the wide-eyed look of delight on Tabby's face wasn't answer enough.

Tabby nodded her head, speechless at her friend's gift. "It's...it's gorgeous, Pet. I can't believe you're lending this to me." Her words were no sooner out of her mouth when she caught sight of the white tag dangling from the side of the dress. Petra noticed the puzzled crease that appeared on Tabby's forehead and quickly surmised what had happened.

"Please don't argue about this, okay? None of my stuff would have suited you and I really wanted you to have something special to wear tonight." Petra grabbed for the tag and gently snapped the thin plastic hanger. She cursed herself for not remembering to remove it before and hoped that Tabby wouldn't let her damnable pride prevent her from accepting the present.

Embarrassed at being the recipient of Petra's charity once again, Tabby opened her mouth to protest but shut it when she saw the raw sincerity on her friend's face. Instead of ruining the moment, Tabby smiled graciously and hugged Petra tightly.
"You're too good for me, Pet," she whispered, "Thank you."

Giving her a one armed hug in return, Petra sniffled back the wave of emotion that hit her and drew back. "You are very, very welcome. Now, let's see how it looks on. I had to guess at your size because you don't bloody have a single dress that I could sneak a peek at the label! We are going to go shopping next weekend and you are going to help me blow more of Daddy's money on a new wardrobe...for you!"

Petra's proclamation shocked Tabby but she was quickly learning that arguing with her generous friend was useless. If Petra wanted to buy her new clothes, then Petra would buy her new clothes whether she wanted her to or not.

"Okay. Even though you don't have to, you know?"

The joy that filled Petra's blue eyes was worth every ounce of the pride Tabby had swallowed to agree to the shopping spree. She flipped her perfectly styled, blonde curls over her shoulder and grinned. "I do know and don't care! Until tall, dark and gorgeous starts spoiling you, I'm just going to get you used to the feeling, baby."

Petra hung the dress on the back of the bedroom door and returned to the garment bag. Tabby heard the sound of tissue paper rustling and Petra pulled out a soft bundle wrapped in pale pink paper. Before Petra broke the seal on the bundle, Tabby caught the name La Perla embossed on the sticker.

Oh my god...she didn't!

However, the cheeky little smirk on Petra's face, told Tabitha that, of course, she had. The paper fell away and Tabby found herself gawking at the most gorgeous red bra and panty ensemble she had ever seen. "You need to be as beautiful under your clothes as you are on the outside, girlfriend," she said as she passed the lingerie to a dumbstruck Tabby.

The silk felt smooth and cool in Tabby's hands as she caressed the fine material.

"C'mon! Lose the robe and put them on! I'm dying to see you in them!" Petra's infectious excitement was bubbling over like a pot left on high heat and she bounced on the spot, unable to stand still. Tabby burst out laughing, too overwhelmed by the show of generosity to do anything other than give in and enjoy the experience.

She shucked off her bathrobe and sat naked on the bed, not caring that she was naked in front of her friend.

Petra handed her the pair of panties. "These are going to look gorgeous on you!"

Tabby took the lingerie from her, realising that there really wasn't much to the panties, once she had them in her hands. She pulled them on; loving the feel of the cool silk as it slid up her legs, the luxurious way the material hugged her hips had Tabby smoothing her hand over the fabric in wonder. The silk warmed quickly, absorbing her body heat and conforming around her curves beautifully, hints of pale skin peeked through the intricate lace panel on the front, acted like a teaser to the bounty hidden behind it.

She put the bra on next, settling her breasts in the demi cups so that her areolas dipped below the lacy edge, but only just. Petra helped her with the hooks and then showed her how to arranged herself so that the surprisingly supportive garment enhanced her natural cleavage and vaulted her rack into the realm of bombshell.

Petra whistled in appreciation. "Wow! I pity Marcus when he catches sight of those puppies. Poor fool doesn't stand a chance!"

A fierce heat warmed Tabby's cheeks, making her feel self-conscious. "Do you...uhm, really think so?"

With a hand on her hip, Petra cocked her head at her as if she couldn't believe how dense Tabby was. "Uhm, hell yeah! Sweetie...You. Are. Gorgeous. Get used to it because I think you are going to attract many, many admirers tonight!" With her hands on Tabby's shoulders, Petra turned her to face her reflection in the full-length dressing mirror by the closet.

Tabby gasped in surprise and awe when she saw the sultry and very feminine woman reflected in the glass. It actually took her a moment to recognize herself, but when she did, she couldn't believe her eyes. The fine lingerie had transformed her from a plain twenty-five year old woman, into a seductress oozing sex appeal. She had never worn anything even close to the quality of the under things she now had on and the more she regarded her reflection, the more feminine she felt inside.

She saw Petra appear beside her, grinning with pleasure. "You ready for the dress?" All Tabby could do was nod, her emotions had simply left her completely speechless.

Petra helped her get into the dress and zipped it up. The red silk was an exact match to the colour of her lingerie. The low cut bodice showed the delicate lace trim of her bra while putting the spotlight onto her cleavage, leaving Tabby feeling more exposed than she was. Petra fussed and arranged the dress so that it sat perfectly on Tabby's body. She shivered as air tickled her exposed midriff and back through the diamond shaped lattice that connected the bodice to the short, softly pleated skirt making her realise that there really wasn't very much to the dress at all. It covered enough of her to satisfy decency while leaving lots of tempting skin on display.

"I debated whether to get you a sexy garter belt but figured you'd be too overwhelmed by this point and opted for stay-ups instead," Petra grinned at her cheekily. "But, we are definitely going back to that lingerie shop and getting you some slinky things to wear for Marcus!"

Tabby inspected her reflection in the mirror again, twirling slowly so that she got a 360-degree view of her new outfit. She caught Petra's ear-to-ear grin and she nodded happily, giving her the thumbs up. She had to hand it to Petra; the woman had amazing taste and a good eye for picking just the right dress for her. If she ever decided to give up her interior design business, Petra would make one hell of a personal shopper. She spun back to the mirror, unable to believe how good she looked. Tears stung her eyes and Petra rushed in and hugged her.

"The dress and everything are all so amazing, Petra. Thank you so much!"

"You're welcome, sweetie. I just wanted you to have something pretty and sexy. I'm so glad that you like it." She laughed and winked at Tabby. "Though I think you could arrive in a potato sack and Marcus would still fall at your feet drooling. That dress is going to reduce him to a gibbering idiot."

Petra caught sight of the time on the bedside clock and squealed. "Oh shit! Is that the time?" The display showed 7:10. "We need to be out of here by eight. Diego wants us there by 8:30 and if we don't get a wiggle on, we are going to be late."

By some miracle, Tabby and Petra managed to finish dressing, touched up their hair and makeup and walked out of the apartment by five to eight. Both rode the elevator down to the car park, breathless and giggling like schoolgirls as they gossiped like old times...before Tabby's confidence had taken a hit after Jerry's attack.

For the first time since that awful night, Tabby forgot to be afraid and bubbled with excitement. They climbed into Petra's Prius and pulled out into the night ready to dance and laugh the night away.

CHAPTER 14

He saw the black Prius pull out of the underground driveway and hastily threw the sandwich he was eating into the foot-well of his truck, adding to the mass of litter already accumulated there. He'd almost missed that his target was riding in the passenger seat and was now about to drive away from him.

"Fucking hell!" he swore as he fumbled for the keys with greasy fingers. He managed to start the engine on the Ford F-150 pickup that he'd stolen for that evening's surveillance, pulled out into traffic and raced up behind their car as unobtrusively as he could.

What the fuck was the bitch doing? Four weeks he'd been watching her and she'd never once gone out this late before.

He'd only caught a glimpse of the two women before their car had turned onto the street, but could have sworn that she and her blonde friend were all dolled up for the evening. He smiled with a calculating, predatory flash of teeth. If they were going clubbing, it would make his job easier to snatch her once the boss gave him the go ahead.

Let the bitch get drunk and stupid. Her diminished capacity would easily provide the opportunity he needed, practically gift-wrapping her for him to take, and saving him a ton of hassle. He might even get the chance to slip some roofies into her drink, making getting her into his car a walk in the park.

They headed through the business centre of downtown then turned east to the outskirts, where the industrial area sprawled like an open sore by the river. As they chatted and laughed, neither woman was aware of the black pickup truck following at a discreet distance behind them.

As they drove through one industrial park to another, the man behind the truck's wheel was confused. There weren't any clubs or bars out this way, only factories and warehouses for miles, and most of those had shut down for the weekend.

Where the hell were they going?

Tabby asked Petra the same question, curious as to where Elysium was.

"You'll see," she grinned, turning left and right so many times that Tabby felt like they were driving through a rabbit's warren.

"How do you find your way around here?" Tabby looked out the side window, trying to catch business or street names in case she had to drive them home later.

"I hope you don't plan on getting wasted, Pet. I'm totally lost and will never find my way out of this place!"

Petra pointed one perfectly polished nail towards a massive warehouse complex at the end of the deserted street. "We're here!" Tabby looked at the three-story, nondescript, industrial building surrounded by a high, chain-link fence and her brows furrowed skeptically.

"We're where exactly? That place looks abandoned."

"That's what they want you to think. It keeps the curious away," Petra giggled and drove onto the property and headed around to the back. Out of nowhere, a long, lit up driveway leading underground appeared and Petra drove down the ramp until they stopped at a closed gate where a uniformed security guard waited.

Rolling her window down, she flashed the large man a megawatt smile. "Evening Charlie, how's tricks?"

He laughed at her and pressed a button to raise the gate. "I'm good, Petra. Your Master reserved stall 12, by the entrance for you tonight. He didn't want you two pretty ladies having to walk any further than you had to in those skyscraper heels you like to wear." He waved them through. "Have a good night, ladies," he called as they drove past him into the brightly lit underground parking lot.

Petra found their assigned spot, parked and then turned to Tabby, her eyes sparkling with excitement but trying to be serious at the same time.

"Okay, here's the basic rules for Elysium: everyone is allowed two drinks only, they don't do drunk in the club; if you see anything that concerns you, do not interrupt the players - go find a Dungeon Monitor and they'll look into it; never touch anyone or anyone's gear without permission and always be respectful. It's okay to watch, but don't be rude or intrusive. I know that this is your first time but there is a saying in the BDSM community that goes something like: Your yuck is my yum. If you don't like what you see, move on and leave them in peace." She took a breath and waited for Tabby to process the information.

"Okay...so basically, look but don't touch or interfere, right?"

Petra undid her seatbelt and got out of the car, laughing. "Exactly!"

They walked up to an imposing set of double doors outfitted with shining gold frames and opaque, black glass. Elysium's logo shone in gold script above a smaller sign that declared:

Members Only. No minors admitted.

When they approached the doors, they slid silently apart automatically revealing an opulent entrance hall, reminding Tabby of art deco style theatre lobbies from the 20's and 30's. Beyond the entrance hall, Tabby could see another pair of identical doors waiting behind a set of red velvet crowd control ropes opposite of the entrance. An expanse of thick, red carpeting led to a coat check room and a long front desk with the largest man she'd ever seen standing watch behind it.

Petra squealed in delight. "Saul!" and left Tabby standing alone as she ducked under the rope and rounded the desk to throw herself into the big man's waiting arms for a huge bear hug. He set her down with a gentleness that belied his immense size and his craggy face split into a grin that would've looked perfectly at home on the face of a mountain troll.

The image of Andre the Giant flashed before Tabby's eyes and she realized with a shock that that was exactly who Saul looked like. His beaming face, booming laugh and genuine affection for Petra reassured Tabby that he was in fact, a gentle giant.

"Miss Petra, it has been too long, little one." Tabby winced a little at the deep, boulder-grinding sound of his voice.

"When did you get back, Saul? I wasn't expecting you to return until the end of the month. Master didn't mention that you had come back early or else I would have brought you a batch of those cookies you love!" She pouted and Saul chuckled.

"I only returned two days ago. My family was driving me nuts so I cut my vacation short. Plus, I missed being able to see the pretty submissives here."

Petra ducked back under the ropes and returned to Tabby's side. "We missed you too, Saul. It's just not the same without you here." She pulled Tabby to the counter and introduced her. "Master should have left word that I was bringing my friend with me tonight. Saul, I'd like you to meet Tabitha. She's here as Master Marcus' guest."

That tidbit of information caught Tabby by surprise and she shot Petra a glare, suddenly realising that this whole evening may have been a big set up and her sneaky friend was in on it.

Petra gave her a wink. The mention of Marcus' name set Tabby's nerves churning with anxiety. In the excitement, she'd forgotten that he would be here too tonight and now it looked like he was going to be expecting her.

Saul extended an enormous hand across the counter, cutting off the angry words that were on the tip of Tabby's tongue and, not wanting to act rude, graciously went to shake it. When his massive hand swallowed hers in his palm, she almost pulled away in fear but all he did was lean down and placed a soft kiss on the back of her hand. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Tabitha."

Suddenly shy, Tabby forgot her irritation with Petra and blushed, stammering, "T-thank you, Saul."

He released her hand and passed Tabby a white, silicone wristband. He then ran two magnetic strip type cards through a reader and tapped a few keys on a computer keyboard before passing them to Petra. "There, I have you both checked into the system." He raised one bushy eyebrow questioningly at Petra. "I assume it's white for your friend tonight?"

"Yes, please, Saul." She saw the query in Tabby's face and explained. "They use a wristband system in the club to show potential partners what your status is - um, sexually, I mean."

Tabby almost dropped the rubber band. "And white means...?" She said, holding out the wristband looped around her index finger as if she were holding a dead animal.

"Vanilla!" Petra giggled. "Basically, it's used for non-playing guests, that way you won't be harassed by others looking for a play-partner."

Tabby sheepishly slipped the band onto her wrist. "Oh, that's okay then."

Saul beetled his brows into thick caterpillars and fixed both women with a serious stare. "Have you informed your friend of the club's rules of conduct, Miss Petra?"

"Yes Saul, plus, she'll be with me or Master Marcus tonight, but I did give her the general run down of what not to do."

He beamed at her. "Good girl. I knew you would have, but I had to be sure." He came around to the barricade, moving like a mountain, and unhooked the rope to allow them passage. Three more couples entered the hall just behind them and Saul looked up to greet them.

"Be with you in a moment folks." He turned back to Tabby and Petra, "Have fun and play safe, girls."

CHAPTER 15

The doors slid open and a thumping mass of music and voices spilled out. Petra waved goodbye and blew a kiss to Saul before towing Tabby into the throng of people milling on the other side of the big doors.

Tabby's eyes went wide as saucers at the scope of the club that lay spread out in all directions before her. There was a huge, sunken dance-floor to the left, with a DJ perched on a raised pedestal in the centre. Thousands of multi-coloured led lights carpeted the column and pulsed in hypnotic, twinkling patterns in time with the music. It reminded Tabby of a living heart made entirely of sparkling gems beating out the techno rhythm.

A moving sea of humanity gyrated and spun around the base, a single living organism pieced together with hundreds of bodies. Lights flashed, the music pounded, and all around, people cheered and danced, losing themselves in the pounding cadence of the bass pouring from the speakers.

"C'mon!" Petra said excitedly.

She grabbed Tabby's hand and led her through the crowd directing her to the right side of the enormous room.

Tabby followed along but her attention was...well...everywhere. She didn't know what to look at first, her eyes tried to absorb the spectacle of Elysium in full party mode and there was just so much to take in. The place was so large that she couldn't even see across the wide expanse of the club. The outskirts all disappeared as the artfully designed lighting illuminated individual sections of the club, while leaving others in shadow, keeping the discreet atmosphere in tack. There was just enough light to see as she and Petra moved through the crowd but it quickly dissipated as they passed secluded seating areas designed with a modicum of privacy.

Tabby was honestly surprised at the normal appearance of the patrons, if she didn't know that Elysium was a BDSM club, she wouldn't have guessed it by how people were dressed in this part of the club. It looked like a regular - if over the top - nightclub. It wasn't until she looked closer - at the clothing some wore and into the dim corners - that the sexual nature of the club became more evident. There was a lot of leather and skin on display, with the occasional intimate body part out in full view for all to see.

Tabby blushed as a tall, elegant woman in six inch, black stiletto boots walked slowly by. A skin-tight, black cat suit encased her body from the high-necked collar and disappeared into the calves of her knee high boots. The material shone in such a way that it had to have been made of some sort of plastic or rubber.

Did they even make clothes out of rubber? Tabby thought to herself as she stared in curiosity. Her eyes travelled up the woman's shapely legs and over the sensual curves of her hips until she had to look away suddenly, her face burning with embarrassment. She had inadvertently gotten an eyeful of the woman's large, and very bare, breasts as they protruded through holes cut into the front of her garment, tiny silver bells tinkling musically from twin barbells piercing each of her thick nipples.

The lights dimmed briefly and Tabby risked another quick look, her inquisitive nature overcoming her shame at being caught staring. The woman noticed her sneaky glance and her lips quirked up in a smile, the blood red lipstick flashing in a burst of light from a strobe. She made eye contact with Tabby and cocked her head behind her, a perfectly sculpted eyebrow raised in question.

Though she spoke no words, Tabby easily understood the, "What do you think of him?" question in the woman's twinkling eyes.
Trailing behind her was a gorgeous young man who looked to be in his early twenties, he was all smooth plains of chiseled muscle, hairless skin glistening with a sheen that could only have come from body oil. To Tabby, he looked like a sculpture, perfectly proportioned and hard as granite. Her mouth fell open in a silent oh as she gazed in appreciation at the handsome man who was totally, unashamedly, naked except for a shiny steel collar around his neck, attached to the leather leash held in the woman's hand.

He didn't take any notice of Tabby; his attention was riveted on the mysterious woman, patiently awaiting her next command. He stood still and obediently kept his eyes averted, barely moving a muscle despite the fact that a metal cage-like device encased his erect cock. The unforgiving device trapped his straining shaft, keeping it locked into a downward pointing direction. The flesh that bulged through the upper ribs of the device looked purple and swollen from the pressure of its confinement as his cock attempted to defy the cage-like contraption that kept it from rising.

Tabby felt a pang of sympathy for him, thinking that it looked very painful, yet the man barely gave a hint of his discomfort.

The strain he was under, showed slightly in the tight expression he tried to hide on his beautiful face but the only real outward sign giving him away, was a scattering of pearl-like beads of sweat that made his forehead shine when the lights from the dance-floor shone onto his skin.

The woman gave Tabby another inquiring look and not knowing what else to do, she gave her an enthusiastic smile and thumbs up that made the woman laugh merrily and nod in agreement. She cast an admiring glance on the silent man behind her, letting the full power of her stare linger on his swollen shaft, licking her lips hungrily and making the poor man shudder in excitement. She gave him a regal smile, stroked her hand over the ridges of the cage, and then tugged the leash with a quick but gentle pressure to get him moving again. With a wave, the woman glided past Tabby and Petra, her pet walking with an odd shuffling gait to keep from jostling his tortured cock.

The look of utter devotion on his face as he trailed behind her like an obedient animal, ignoring the obvious pain that he was in, amazed Tabby. The effect that the smile the woman had given him, transforming his pinched, distressed expression into one of pure adoration, had captivated Tabby with wonder. She couldn't imagine being so devoted to a person that just a smile from them could negate personal discomforts as if they had never existed.

That thought stopped her and a revelation made her eyes widen in shock.

On the other hand, maybe she could relate.

A flash of memory reminded her that Marcus had done exactly that for her, more than once, on the night that her attack had happened. With nothing more than a touch of his hand or a smile, she had felt the connection between them swell and gain power. She recalled the sense of calm that had filled her, every time he had stroked her cheek, and how the pain had receded, if only briefly, in its wake.

She shivered, remembering Marcus' sexy smile and the legions of butterflies it had unleashed in her chest. At the time, she had wanted nothing more than to do whatever she could to keep that expression returning to his handsome face.

She had wanted to please him on a level that her conscious, rational brain had not understood. Yet it had existed, nonetheless, a need so primal that it had seemed prewritten into her genetic code, for her to want to make this one special human being...happy.

Tabby searched her own feelings and was startled to discover that that need persisted inside her - living quietly like a banked fire just waiting for someone to give it oxygen. Thoughts of the mysterious Marcus fanned over it, making it glow brightly as her attraction to the man flared hotly.

Okay...maybe she could understand what that man had been experiencing...if only just a bit.

She watched the pair move away with a new sense of understanding dawning; the intense bond, which existed between a Dominant and a submissive partner, which Tabby assumed the pair must have been, was a much more powerful one than she had ever suspected. It was obvious from their interaction that the connection went deeper than anything she had ever experienced or comprehended in her life so far.

Petra had been watching the exchange between Tabby and Mistress Daphne with interest. The way Tabby went from bashful and embarrassed to a guarded appreciation heartened her with the possibility that Tabby could accept the lifestyle. That personally witnessing people active in healthy examples of BDSM would help her understand its allure. She decided that it had been a good idea to bring her to Elysium to see that kinky people, and the things that they loved, weren't something to fear.

Tabby suddenly remembered the cards that Saul had given Petra before they had entered the club. She had forgotten them while distracted by the woman and her partner.

"What do we do with those?" she shouted to Petra, pointing at the black plastic cards in her hand and trying to be heard over the heavy beat of the music blasting from the dance-floor.

"These are our drink cards." She handed one to Tabby. "Don't lose it because you won't get another! You'll need it to buy the two drinks you're permitted tonight." Petra grabbed her hand again and excitedly pulled her in the direction of the huge, U-shaped bar that occupied the centre of the sprawling lounge area.

"C'mon, let's get a drink then we can wait for Diego to come find us," she said as they weaved through the crowd. They passed through a barrier that separated the lounge/bar area from the noisy dancefloor, composed of a six-foot high concrete wall that doubled as a long, continuous water feature.

Led lights in various shades of blue, gave the water a tropical look, and the gentle splashing of the water seemed to absorb some of the volume of the music, giving patrons an oasis to escape the noise and a place to be able to talk comfortably. It was still loud in the lounge, but at least Tabby could hear herself think again.

Scott spotted the pair of women approaching his bar and instantly recognized the bubbly blonde, Petra, walking beside the dark-haired beauty of her friend.

Marcus had told him to keep an eye out for the girls and to let him know when they arrived.

Scott decided to do one better; he grabbed his cellphone, and shot a short video of the two women coming his way, while they were too distracted to notice him recording them. He made sure to get close up images of the mysterious young woman accompanying Petra as he had a feeling that his boss had a personal interest in her.

He let the video run for two minutes, catching their laughing faces and curvaceous bodies swaying unconsciously in time to the music as they approached. He hit stop and grinned down at the screen of his phone. He wondered how fast Marcus would appear once he sent him the tantalizing video. The girls were suddenly at the bar so Scott stowed his phone without sending the video right away. He could do it after he served them.

"What're you in the mood for?" Petra asked as she caught the attention of the good-looking bartender and he strode over to serve them.

"Little Petra! So you've come out to play on our special night, have you?" He grinned at her. "Give me some sugar, darling."

Petra arched up on her tiptoes and dropped a kiss on his stubbled cheek as he leaned his large frame over the bar towards her. "Thank you, sweetness." He winked at Tabby and sighed dramatically with pleasure. "Kisses from pretty ladies do make being stuck behind this bar a little sweeter. Now, what can I get for you ladies?"

"I'll have a G&T please." She turned to Tabby and introduced her to the bartender. "Master Scott, this is my BFF, Tabby. It's her first time here tonight."

The man chuckled knowingly and nodded. "I could have figured that one out for myself. The 'deer-in-the-headlights' expression kind of gives her away."

Tabby felt her face warm. "Is it that obvious?" she muttered self-consciously. "There's just so much to see. It's all a little overwhelming."

Scott let out a deep laugh. "Oh sweetie, you haven't even been over to the dungeon side yet. If you think this part of the club is overwhelming, just you wait until you experience the three-ring circus that is our famous dungeon. On a night like tonight, it will blow your mind!"

He sat Petra's glass on the counter, dropped in several ice cubes and quickly poured the gin overtop, making the ice crackle and snap as the liquid warmed the cubes. He finished by topping up the glass with a spritz of fizzing tonic water and garnished it with a thin slice of lime.

Pushing the glass to Petra, he swapped it for her card and ran it through a reader. "One down, one to go, sweetie," he said, handing her the card back. "And what can I get for you, Tabby?"

Tabby pondered her choices for a moment, but decided against having anything alcoholic. She had a funny feeling that she was going to want to keep a clear head this evening. In addition, she could feel a headache coming on and alcohol would only make it worse. She didn't want anything to cut this evening's adventures short.

"Uhm, can I just get a bottle of water?" she asked hesitantly.

"Smart choice, little one." He pointed to a row of vending machines lined up against the wall to the far right of the bar that Tabby had not noticed. "Help yourself, Tabby. Water is free."

Petra went to slide her money to Master Scott for her drink, but he placed his hand over hers and gently pushed it back. "No charge tonight, Pet. It's been covered for you and your friend."

"Thanks, Master. Do you know if Master Diego or Master Marcus is around?"

He wiped the bar with a clean rag that glowed eerily, catching some of the black light from the dance-floor. "They're tied up right now in a meeting, but left word that you and Tabby are to hang around here until someone comes for you."

Petra pouted then fluttered her eyelashes at him. "They didn't happen to say whether we could go dance while we waited, did they?" she asked coyly.

Scott narrowed his eyes at her, wise to her manipulative tricks. "Diego warned me that you'd try to wheedle your way onto the dance-floor, little minx."

"And?" she drawled sweetly. "Can we?"

"If I said 'no' would that stop you?"

Petra's face lit up with mischief. "Probably not!" she chirped happily.

He laughed and shook his head. "Now I know where all the grey hairs Diego has been sprouting have been coming from. You are a handful and a half, Petra." He waved his hand towards the packed dance-floor. "It's a good thing that he left permission for you to go ahead then. Though I would have loved to watch you endure another one of his punishments," he added with a knowing wink.

It was Petra's turn to go bright scarlet with embarrassment. The memory of the last time she had been at the club flooded back, along with Diego's very public punishment. Tabby just gawked in confusion, not understanding the reference or the reason behind its obvious effect on Petra. She narrowed her eyes suspiciously at her friend, who had obviously been holding out on her. They would be having a conversation on the subject as soon as she could pin her friend down and wheedle it out of her.

"I think he promised me a rather pretty little decoration for my bar the next time you act up." Scott reached over and flicked one of the brass rings that were attached to the front edge of the bar, they were mounted at even intervals from one end to the other and reminded Tabby of the kind of thing you'd see outside of stores to tie up dogs.

He made an exaggerated show of wiping the bar's surface and then grinned at Petra, patting the spot with his palm. "There, I've got a spot all cleaned up and ready for your pretty little ass. I have a feeling that you'll be keeping me company soon enough...knowing your tendency to rile your Master, it's only a matter of time." He laughed as Petra grabbed her drink and made a hasty exit, towing a stumbling Tabby behind her.

As soon as they were out of earshot, he retrieved his cell phone from under the bar and, still laughing, sent a short text message with the video he had recorded.

...They're here. Come find them on the dance-floor...

CHAPTER 16

Petra pulled Tabby's hand and ushered her away from the bar and its laughing bartender. Without saying another word, they headed over to the vending machines, got Tabby's bottle of water, then found a vacant table, and sat down.

"He wouldn't do that would he?"

Petra looked back at her with all seriousness. "What? Make me sit naked and tied up on top of the bar? In a freaking heartbeat! He's been threatening me with it for a while, so I don't doubt that he would do it the second I gave him the opportunity."

Tabby shivered, but it was from a strange mix of curiosity, arousal and trepidation. The curiosity and arousal caught her by surprise, the idea of being on public display, sparked something darkly sensual inside her to sit up and take a sudden interest. Not ready to contemplate the fact that she might just have a streak of exhibitionist in her, Tabby distracted herself from her crazy thoughts by idly spinning the white band around her wrist. While twiddling with the glowing rubber bracelet, it occurred to her that Petra hadn't received one as well. "How come you don't need a wristband too?"

Petra smiled proudly and pointed a finger up at the leather collar she wore around her neck. "Because I have this."

Now Tabby's curiosity was piqued. "Your collar?" Tabby posed it as a question to encourage Petra to explain. The analytical part of her personality geared up with the promise of new input. It was time for her to start gathering information on this lifestyle, learning and assessing, if this is what Marcus was going to want from her then she wanted to educate and prepare herself.

"Yup." Petra took a sip from her drink, making a funny face as the bitter spirit slid over her tongue. She sat the glass down, making the ice cubes clink musically against the sides. "I don't need a wristband because my collar tells every Dominant here that I am owned. It is a physical symbol of Diego's protection and keeps me safe from attention from Doms looking for a play-partner. If anyone touches me without Diego's permission, they will have to deal with a very possessive and pissed off Master."

"Is that what Marcus is going to want, Pet? To collar me?" She sounded a little anxious but inside her chest where that spark of interest had begun glowing, the heat had intensified at the idea of being under Marcus's protection. It was an unfamiliar sensation for a person who had always prided herself on her independence and freedom, yet the more she pictured herself wearing Marcus' symbol of ownership around her neck, the more intriguing the idea became.

Petra squeezed Tabby's hand. "Maybe...eventually...but that's not something he will rush into or try to pressure you for. If he does offer his collar to you, it will be because he knows that it is something that you want and are mentally and physically ready for it, sweetie. A Dom's collar is so way more than a piece of frivolous decoration, there are serious promises and commitments that come with accepting and wearing it."

Tabby sighed, her spirits falling and the knowledge of a secret that she held weighing her down even more. "I have a lot to learn, Pet. It might be too much for a man with his experience."

Petra's face turned hard. "Now stop that right now!" she scolded Tabby. "You are not going to ruin this by overthinking yourself into a panic attack and then running away. I won't let you blow this amazing chance at happiness, Tabs. Just relax and let things flow naturally. Okay? Remember that Marcus is one of the good guys...next to my Diego, of course," she added with pride.

Tabby drank half of her bottle of water and contented herself by scanning the crowds, people watching with avid curiosity. An older man, dressed all in black leather slowly approached their table, eyeing them appraisingly. His gaze quickly shifted from Petra the second his eyes fell on her collar and he refocused his attention onto Tabby. She saw the disappointment in his eyes when he caught sight of her white wristband. With a dismissive shake of his head, he veered off and headed for another group of women milling by a cluster of high tables. As he passed by, Tabby spied the black wristband he sported around his wrist.

"What does a black band mean?" she asked.

"Black is for male Doms," Petra answered, happy to share her knowledge.

Tabby scanned the crowd again, this time looking purposely for different wristbands. She spotted another on the wrist of a plump, intense looking woman, a few tables away. "Okay, what about red ones?"

"Red is for Dommes - female Dominants. What's next?"

Tabby searched for another, craning her neck around a group of people who blocked her view. "Yellow?"

Petra cringed, a look of mild distaste scrunching up her pretty features. "Watersports, or urine play. Kind of gross, but some people are really into golden showers. And before you ask, stay away from anyone wearing a brown band."

Tabby had a feeling what the answer was going to be, but couldn't help herself from asking anyway. "What's that one mean?"

"Scat play...as gross as it gets in my book. All scat play is restricted from the public play areas, thank god, and that fetish is rare - even in a community that goes to some bizarre extremes. Trust me; avoid the brown-banders at all costs." She shuddered and took another sip of her gin, as if to wash the bad taste from her mouth. "Okay, what's next?" she said, enjoying the game.

It took Tabby a couple of minutes, but she finally found another band. "Pink?"

"Oh that's easy. Pink is for an unattached submissive - male or female. Attached submissives have their collars instead of wristbands."

"How about a rainbow coloured one?" Tabby asked as a woman with a buzz cut passed by their table, she was actually wearing two bands - the other being a red one, which Tabby already understood the meaning.

Petra grinned, seeing the multi-coloured band on the woman's bared wrist. "That one means that the wearer is Gay or Lesbian - in her case, she a lesbian Domme."

Tabby spied another different band, prominently displayed on a burly man's hairy arm. "Black with red diamonds?"

"Oooh, those are bad ones," she whispered with a shiver. "Those are for Sadists. Unless you are really into pain, they are another type that you'll want to give a wide berth. The female version of that band is red with black diamonds, by the way. Those guys are definitely not for the beginner or faint of heart."

"Ouch. Good to know!" Tabby muttered and immediately caught sight of another band, wrapped around the wrist of a lithe blonde woman who was talking with two imposing looking men, a few tables away from them. "Okay, what about striped ones with black on top, pink in the middle and black on the bottom? What's that one mean?" Tabby took what she had learned already about the differing colours but wasn't sure about the meaning of that particular combination.

Petra had been secretly hoping that Tabby would see one of those bands. It was her first opportunity to gauge her reaction to the preference it indicated. "That's a good one!" she said with enthusiasm. "That's for polyamory - that particular combination means she's a submissive looking for two male Doms to top her. You'll also see red, pink, red. Only submissives wanting to attract Doms of either sex to them wear those ones. You might also see pink, with black or red in the middle, and pink, meaning a Dom or Domme who is looking for a pair of subs."
Tabby's eyes went wide at the thought of having two strong, beautiful men all to herself. Marcus' entrancing eyes and, surprisingly, Cooper's playful, surfer-boy smile drifted into her mind's eye and heat surged through her chest and settled like a pile of hot coals in her core.

Petra caught the dreamy expression that washed over Tabby's face and had to restrain the urge to jump up with a whoop of triumph. She stared at her friend with a cheeky, knowing grin splitting her face from ear to ear in delight until Tabby suddenly noticed and blushed. The pink colouring her cheeks told Petra all she need to know: Tabby wasn't adverse to the prospect of having two men in her life...or in her bed.

"What?" Tabby said sharply, embarrassed by being caught daydreaming, the delicious, deviant thoughts still swirling in her head. Two men? Holy cow, what was she thinking? Nevertheless, the idea had settled on her like planting a tiny seed into the fertile ground of her imagination - it had rapidly sprouted roots and anchored itself so securely, that she couldn't shake it loose.

"You like that idea, don't you?" Petra surmised from the look of arousal and interest that had made her quiet friend's face glow. Her reaction came as a surprise to Petra, a totally awesome surprise, but completely unexpected. She couldn't believe that her reserved best friend had kept her kinky side so well hidden all these years. Petra couldn't wait to report to Marcus that maybe getting Tabby to accept Cooper into their relationship wasn't going to be the minefield that he had feared. There was definite interest shining in Tabby's eyes, even if she was trying to hide it from Petra.

"No! Uhm...I'm not sure, Pet." Tabby gave her a shy grimace. "Does it make me a pervert if I said maybe?" She laughed uncertainly.

Petra reached for Tabby's hand and noticed the tiny tremors shaking it. Her poor friend was having her preconceived ideas of relationships and sex seriously shaken and rearranged with all sorts of new pieces added into the mix. She gave her a reassuring squeeze. "Oh sweetie, not at all! Threesomes are...well...pretty fucking awesome actually!"

Tabby gaped in shock. "You? Have you and Diego..."

Petra sat back looking smug. "Oh yeah," she drawled slowly. "We don't do it often, but once in a while, Diego likes to invite another Dom to come and play with us. It was a little intimidating the first time, but I quickly relaxed and enjoyed it. One guy is amazing, two is fun on a whole different level that you can't imagine. Just think...four pairs of hands, two talented tongues and two glorious cocks, all for you."

Tabby's mouth dropped open in wonder and she turned to look back at the woman. Both of the men had stood up and each took one of her hands and helped her to her feet. They both enveloped her in a hug and then they walked out of the lounge, the woman sandwiched between two slabs of male muscle. Tabby couldn't ignore the happy smile or the excited flush on the woman's face as her pair of men escorted her out of sight. Nor could Tabby ignore the way her imagination pulled a body switch and showed her a vision of herself leaving with Marcus and Cooper holding her hands.

Petra sighed. "Victoria chose well. Trevor and Taylor McManus are amazing Tops. She's in for a wild night."

"They're brothers?" Petra's words yanked Tabby back to reality and her daydream evaporated into mist.

"Fraternal twins to be precise, but they have always shared their subs. It's a shame that they haven't found their forever girl yet." She picked up her glass, thinking about two other Doms that were dear to her heart and their similar plight. She drained the last of her drink, said a silent prayer on their behalf, and then hopped to her feet. With any luck, the one that they sought was sitting right across from her and their search will finally be over. "C'mon! I need to dance! You ready, Tabs?"

Tabby finished her water and followed Petra through the crowd. She dropped her empty bottle into a recycling bin as they exited the bar area and made their way to the packed dance-floor. Petra's hand wrapped around hers and led her down the steps and into the writhing mass of bodies. The irresistible, thumping beat of the music took hold and before she knew it, Tabby's worries vanished as she began dancing to the music and laughing with Petra.

CHAPTER 17

Marcus sat behind his desk conducting a last minute review of the evening's schedule with Diego, Jaz and Cooper, trying not to let the promise of seeing his angel distract him from his job. Unfortunately, that simple feat was proving more difficult than he could have expected; the more he tried to focus on the details for that evening's celebration, the more his mind insisted on wandering back to its favourite subject...Tabitha.

She had to show up. She just had to or else Marcus didn't know what he was going to do. He'd been patient, waiting for her to recover, but it was taking every ounce of his willpower for him to keep the driving need to hunt her down and make her his, under control. He would have her - one way or another - and once he had her in his arms, he vowed that he would never let her get away from him again.

It would break him.

"The demonstrators are all preparing for their displays. I left Bram and Trina setting up their Kinbaku suspension, he's already started tying her and we will highlight the finale. Ethan and Marcia were getting their station ready for their fire play show - people are already talking about that one. Those two always put on a good show. Jackson will be doing a whipping demo and brought a new face with him." Cooper glanced down at his notes. "Her name is Shirina - Saul's got her papers and waiver signed and filed so we're covered. And I've got Trey handling the flogging demo. Everyone else knows where they need to be and when. It should go off without a hitch," Cooper announced dragging Marcus' attention back to the men assembled in his office. Cooper shifted his weight on the sofa, making the springs whine alarmingly, and rearranged his kilt over his bare knees.

All four of the men were dressed in similar fashion - light-weight, white cotton tunics and kilts made from heavy, cotton duck cloth. The patterns on three of the men's kilts were generic, solid dark colours but Marcus' was made from wool in his family's hereditary tartan - dark blue with greens and reds - a tartan made specially to reflect the mixed Irish/Scots origins of the Callaghan family.

Their archaic choice in attire served the need for practical, non-restrictive garments rather than to make any fashion statements. The loose fitting tops allowed free movement of their arms and were breathable to keep them cool during strenuous scenes. The kilts served similar purposes; they were cool and permitted freedom of movement, in addition to convenient access to their cocks. No time needed to be wasted undoing restrictive pants and an erection in a kilt, wouldn't cause the unnecessary discomfort that trousers did.

That they also made the large, muscular men look oddly sexy in a medieval barbarian sort of way had absolutely nothing to do with their preference of attire.

None at all.

And who said men couldn't be practical?

Jaz spoke up, possessing information that he knew Marcus and Cooper needed to hear; a look of regret shadowed his handsome face as he began to talk. "FYI, Marcus...apparently that slag Lydia is floating around. You might want to avoid her if your Tabby shows up. You don't want to risk setting that powder keg off."

"Shit!" Marcus swore. Lydia was a complication he did not want to have to deal with tonight. With any luck, she'll find a Dom to torment and he won't have to worry about her. He wanted to focus his attention on Tabitha, not keep his guard up for a sneak attack by that vindictive bitch.

Marcus' listened to the banter between his partners, confident that the night's festivities were in capable hands. His cell phone startled him when it issued a little chirp as an incoming text message arrived. He tapped the screen and his heart took off like a frightened jackrabbit when he saw Scott's name as the sender. He pressed the message to read it and his stomach hit the deck, rebounded and felt like it ping-ponged in his chest.

...They're here. Come find them on the dance-floor...

Marcus' brain short-circuited as he absorbed the meaning of those words. Excitement zinged across his synapses as if he'd stuck a fork into an electrical outlet, and he was hard within seconds of reading Scott's text.

Tabitha was in the building!

His eyes stared hard at Scott's message; the intensity burning an image onto his retinas that he didn't even notice that beneath the text was a video. He pressed play and his heart and lungs froze in his chest.

There she was...his precious angel.

With her face healed, she was even more beautiful than the last time he had seen her. He brought the phone closer to his face, drinking in and committing every curve of her lovely body to memory. He intended to explore each of those curves with his mouth as soon as possible, just to see if they were as soft as they looked under that amazing dress.

The dress she wore was form fitted and the colour of sin itself. Seeing it called to something dark and possessive inside his soul that roared so loud in his mind that his ears rang from the imaginary sound.

Everyone would be looking at her! Other men would be looking at her...touching her. She was HIS.

He'd kill anyone who laid a hand on her.

He fidgeted in his chair suddenly anxious for the meeting to be over so that he could rush downstairs and seek her out. He was so engrossed in thoughts of Tabitha that he didn't notice that the other three men had stopped talking and were staring at him in amusement.

"Look how doe-eyed he is. You think he's okay?" Diego whispered sotto voce to Jaz.

Jaz chuckled. "I dunno, maybe he's had a stroke or something?"

Cooper hooted a laugh, recognizing the dumbstruck expression on Marcus' face from the last time he'd seen him with Tabitha. "Hell no! We are witnessing a man handing over his testicles, boys."

That comment percolated through the excitement and arousal simmering in Marcus's head. He held the phone and waggled it at Cooper. "If you could stop being a prick for a second, I might just tell you what the message was."

Diego chuckled. "No need, Sarge. The gobsmacked look on your puss says it all." He paused for dramatic effect. "The girls have arrived, haven't they?"

The reality that Tabitha was in the club and close by suddenly sunk in and had Cooper's face mirroring Marcus' expression as desire caught up with his brain. Diego and Jaz took one look between the two stunned men and burst out laughing.

"Fucking hell! Not you too?" Jaz laughed. "Blimey, I'm glad I'm married and don't have to go all doolally in the head over a bird anymore."

"Okay, okay...shut it already! Some of us aren't as lucky as you to have found our mate." Cooper snagged Marcus' phone and went wide-eyed when he saw the video.

"And there she is," he breathe in awe.

He traced a reverent finger over Tabitha's image, willing the expanding hope in his chest to stay locked down. It didn't matter how badly he wanted her, at this point, nothing was guaranteed...especially for him. All that could be waiting for him in the future was a massive heartbreak if Tabby couldn't accept the kind of relationship he and Marcus so desperately wanted with her.

Please God...let her want me too, he prayed silently.

In the video, she smiled at something Petra had said and Cooper thought that he had never seen a more beautiful expression on a woman's face before. He vowed at that moment, to make sure he put that look on her face as often as was possible.

It had just become his new goal in life.

Marcus was so right in calling her an angel. He couldn't think of a better description of her...she seemed to be made of sunlight and joy and Cooper wanted to bask in its warmth. Naked. With her wrapped around his body.

Marcus's patience abruptly ran out and he stood up and ended their meeting. "We all good here? Everyone knows what they need to be doing?" Three heads nodded in acknowledgement at him. "Alrighty then, the show starts at ten. That gives us an hour to bugger off and play."

As they filed out of Marcus' office, Diego stopped and grasped Marcus and Cooper by the shoulders, giving them a squeeze. "Good luck." He gave them a fatherly look.

"Try not fuck this one up, boys."

CHAPTER 18

Outside the club, the man in the truck drove slowly around to the back of the massive warehouse. He couldn't figure out why the fuck the girls had come out here, but in the half hour he had waited, a steady stream of vehicles had been arriving. There was obviously something going on in that building and he meant to find out what.

He scanned the exterior, looking for a sign or something that hinted at the building's mysterious purpose, but there was nothing. He finally made it to the rear and saw the lit driveway descending below ground level.

"What the fuck?" he muttered. A Rolls Royce passed by him followed by two Mercedes. He had seen dozens of high-end luxury cars and limousines arriving, so whatever was going on inside, it was attracting big, big money. He needed inside that building, but this beat up Ford F-150 stuck out like a herpes sore on a dick.

"Oh hell, what's the worst that could happen?" he said and threw the truck into gear. He needed answers and it seemed that the direct approach was the only one left to him.

Pulling in behind a Porsche, he followed the sports car down the driveway. A guard checked the driver's ID against a list, nodded to the driver and pressed a button. The wooden gate arm rose, allowing the Porsche to pass into the underground garage.

~~~~~~~~~~

The man pulled his truck up to the guard and lowered his window.

"Good evening, mate," he called out and then adopted a sheepish look. "I think I might have gotten my directions crossed. Can you tell me where exactly I am?"

The guard gave him a wary smile in return. "Where were you hoping to be?"

"I was supposed to meet my girlfriend at a club but I forgot the instructions at home. I sort of remembered the address and ended up here. What's the name of this place?" Bluff. The man hoped the guard would fall for it.

"I'm sorry Sir, but without a member's card, you cannot enter Elysium. Perhaps you could contact your girlfriend and have her come out and vouch for you?"

Bingo! Now he had the name and could do a little digging. The guard raised a hand to halt an Audi at the top of the ramp. "You are going to have to back out, Sir. You can return once your partner comes out and vouches for you. Now, please clear the ramp."

Not wanting to cause a scene, the man put his truck in reverse and slowly backed up the driveway and into the lot behind the warehouse. He drove back out onto the street, parked and pulled his laptop out of his bag. He ran a search for the name "Elysium" and sifted through the results until he hit pay dirt...Elysium had its own website. He couldn't have asked for a better source.

The standard age restrictions popped up and he clicked okay and entered the site. His eyes went huge with delight when he saw what the nature of Elysium's business was.

"It's a fucking sex club! Holy shit!" He couldn't believe his luck. The potential fun they could have with the girl in a BDSM club was limitless. All he needed was to get him and his boss into the place. He looked up membership and choked when he saw the exorbitant cost of a membership. That put a damper on his hopes until he saw the "Guest Admittance" icon and clicked on it.

He read the blurb, which allowed interested parties to apply for a guided tour held during the club's off-hours and they offered limited drop-in passes for a reduced rate.

Exiting back to the homepage, the club's Events calendar caught his eye. There was going to be a huge Halloween masquerade party held on the 31st. The gears in his head started spinning with plans. A masquerade party was the perfect cover to get his boss inside without being recognized.

He hurriedly filled out the application form for the tour, using one of his bogus identities and sent it off. All he could do now was wait for the response. Opening up his email, he sent a quick email to his boss.

...Followed her to a private BDSM club. I'm working on getting us in. Is this acceptable?...

He hit send and waited. The response from his employer appeared seconds later.

...Perfect! Keep me apprised...

The man powered his computer down and started his truck. There was no sense in him sitting out here in the dark. He decided to head back into town and check out a pub he'd driven by on the way here.

He'd catch up with the girl tomorrow.

CHAPTER 19

Cooper followed Marcus down the stairs and into the club proper. They waded through the masses of friends, acquaintances and strangers, all vying for their attention; politely excusing themselves from the well-wishers in their haste to search for Tabitha.

At the bar, Marcus flagged Scott down and waved him over.

"Howdy boss," Scott said cheerfully.

"Petra and her friend...where are they now?" Agitation and lust had Marcus' nerves strung tight as a bowstring and he practically jumped down Scott's throat with his barked request.

One of Scott's eyebrows shot for the ceiling in surprise. His normally cool-headed boss had a frighteningly feral look on his face. "Whoa," he pointed to the crowded dance-floor. "They're over there. Been dancing for about fifteen minutes." He gave a low whistle. "That friend of Petra's sure can m..."

Scott didn't get a chance to finish his sentence. Marcus lunged at him and would have had his hand wrapped around his throat if Cooper hadn't quickly stepped in between and blocked his access.

"Holy fuck, Marcus! What the hell?" Scott exclaimed, jumping back so fast that he rammed his back into the counter behind him, rattling the shelves of bottles.

Cooper glanced over his shoulder and growled at Scott. "Go. This is nothing to do with you but if you value breathing, I would suggest you refrain from commenting about Tabitha in Marcus'...or my hearing again."

Marcus was still growling threats and struggling in Cooper's grasp, trying to get to the retreating bartender. "Will you fucking cool it?" He hissed through clenched teeth. "Think, you idiot. Do you really want her to see you like this? Do you?" He gave Marcus' arms a hard shake, his fingers digging into the tense muscles of his biceps.

The possessive fury that had clouded Marcus' eyes slowly lifted and Cooper breathed out a long breath and waited for sanity to replace the primal madness that had gripped his friend.

"You good?" he asked, unwilling to release Marcus until he was positive the man wouldn't try to have another go at Scott.

The tension left Marcus' muscles and he gave Cooper a sharp nod. "Yeah. Thanks for keeping me from making an asshole out of myself."

Cooper snorted and turned Marcus to face the dance-floor. "That would be a full time job and you, buddy, don't pay nearly enough for me to take on that fool's errand." He dodged Marcus' fist, grinning cheekily at him. "Now, Mr. Drama Queen, how about we go find our girl? Preferably before you kill somebody."

They weaved through the crowds until both men stood at the top of the wide steps that led down to the dance-floor. They scanned the mass of humanity, looking for Tabby's face but the dim lighting and flashing strobe lights made the task nearly impossible.

After a few minutes of searching the sea of faces, Cooper slapped Marcus' arm excitedly. "I got her. She's over there, to the left of the podium. She dancing...oh shit!" he groaned with dread. Here we go again, he thought seeing the young man dancing with Tabby.
"I see her...and him," Marcus snarled the word with deadly venom dripping from his tongue.

"Don't do anything stupid, brother. Save the alpha male routine for when she's naked in your playroom. Right now, you need to embrace your calm or you will scare her off."

"I hear you." Marcus said, trying to rein in his temper. He watched her for a few minutes, waiting for the possessive rage to calm down and was doing okay until the asshole she was dancing with slid behind her and had the gall to put his hands on her stomach.

Marcus saw red. One minute, he was standing beside Cooper, the next; he had launched himself like a ballistic missile, locked onto the dancing pair. Cooper sprung for Marcus but was seconds too late, his grasping hand closing on a fistful of empty air. Marcus' broad back disappeared into the crowd as he stormed through the startled dancers, parting bodies like an icebreaker cutting through sea ice.

Tabby and her partner had their backs to the carnage that Marcus was leaving in his wake, so were blissfully unaware of the approaching menace. He came up right behind the man and tapped him hard on the shoulder to get his attention. What he really wanted to do was sucker punch the idiot to the floor, but didn't want to scare Tabitha...or end up in jail that evening.

The man threw an irritated glance over his shoulder an angry curse freezing on his lips and he blanched when he found a very irate Marcus glaring down at him with murder in his eyes.

"Go. Now." Marcus grated, his blue-green irises having turned almost jet black with barely suppressed rage.

The young man's hands sprung off Tabby as if she had burned him. Tabby, on the other hand, didn't notice the drama happening behind her and continued dancing, lost in the infectious beat of the song that was playing. The minute the man hastily vacated the area, Marcus slid smoothly into his spot; his huge body surrounding Tabby's much smaller frame like an impenetrable castle wall.

Tabby froze, every nerve sparking with electricity as a familiar, spicy, men's cologne invaded her air space a moment before a furnace of heat pressed against her back. Her heart began tripping over its own beats as arousal shifted it into high gear caused by the sudden surge of adrenaline that dumped into her bloodstream. A pair of warm, large hands caressed her midriff and settled low on the front of her hips, snugging her tightly against his front.

Hot, breath ghosted up the back of her neck as he leaned down and dropped featherlike kisses in a shivering trail up to her ear. He nuzzled the side of her face with his bearded cheek before nipping her earlobe, the resulting blast of desire almost made her knees forget which way they were supposed to bend to keep her upright.

"Dance, angel," he breathed, kissing the hollow of her shoulder and pressing his hips into her lower back. This close together, Tabby couldn't mistake the hard length of his cock rubbing into the base of her spine as he began to sway his hips against her.

Tabby forgot how to breathe. She forgot how to think. She didn't know what to do, so she did nothing and just stood rooted to the floor unable to move.

Marcus.

He held her so close, covering her back and towering over her. His sudden proximity causing a conflagration of conflicting emotions to collide with the sensations her nerves were urgently sending into her brain and it quietly short-circuited from the overload.

God, he was so warm and hard.

She shivered; an involuntary response that her frozen muscles couldn't resist. Her body felt like a volcanic mountain had grown up around her and was holding her in its solid, boiling embrace.

The way he was moving, made the ridge of his erection rub against her, tripping switches that she didn't know she possessed, driving her towards a madness that she didn't understand. That telltale bulge left nothing to her imagination. Through the thin silk of her dress, she felt every contour of his cock, but mostly, her mind focused on the shocking size of it.

Were all men that freaking huge?

The logical side of her brain screamed: "Holy shit, that thing is supposed to fit where exactly?" while another part of her subconscious, from down lower, was doing a happy dance and rolling out the red carpet, screaming, "Hallelujah!"

He pressed against her, urging her to dance with him to the music, but her locked muscles wouldn't budge. With his arousal grinding into her back, she just couldn't think past the huge, expanding ball of arousal that was engulfing her as rapidly as fire consumed oxygen. Heat burned low in her belly, turning into dew that soaked through her pretty, silk panties.

Marcus chuckled sexily into her ear, wrapping his long arms around her middle and fitting her ass firmly into the cage his hips made around hers. "Forgot how to dance, sweetness?" Holding her captive with just his godly body acting as restraints, Marcus kept moving to the music, guiding Tabby and giving her no choice but to move with him.

CHAPTER 20

Dancing in this way with Marcus triggered a bittersweet flash of memory - her as a young child, standing on her daddy's feet, holding his hands, dancing and laughing with him. Her happiness gave way to sadness at the years that she had lost with a loving father, taken much too soon. Marcus sensed the change in tension in her body and bent close to her so that he could bury his nose in her sweet smelling hair.

"Shhh, little angel. Whatever that thought was, it has no place here with us right now." He murmured into her ear. "Trust me, Tabitha. Trust me to show you how good we can be."

Every time he spoke, the effect his voice had on her was like splashing gasoline onto a fire. She'd never felt an attraction as strong in her life, as the one raging through her body for Marcus. None of her fears or doubts seemed to matter in that moment; every nerve, every brain cell was tuned in to Marcus' frequency, overwhelming every coping mechanism she had with primal, sensory input that she didn't have the experience to process. Something gave inside her and instead of trying to think through the haze, Tabby chose to surrender and let go of the internal conflict that was keeping her locked in place.

He had asked her to trust him and it shocked Tabby at how badly she wanted to do just that, because fighting him was taking too much energy.

Marcus rejoiced when Tabitha began to move with him, her arms folding over his and her hands clasping around his forearms. He buried his mouth in her hair, humming with pleasure. "That's my angel. Now dance."

They were moving faster now, Marcus' hips guiding and bringing hers with them until they were moving in synch with each other - their two bodies fused together into one unit.

The song that had been playing ended and the DJ cued up another. The irresistible, thumping beat of J.T.'s "Sexy Back" pounded through the club, causing an excited rush as dancers flooded the sunken dance-floor to gyrate to the popular song. Marcus held Tabby, his hands skimming up the front of her dress, enjoying the teasing feel of her soft, warm skin through the lattice-like lace at her midriff. He wanted to slide his hands up her skirt and see for himself if she was as wet as she smelled. Her scent was ambrosia that had his cock aching to find the source of the entrancing aroma.

Freed from the constriction of underwear or pants, he worked his hips against her, sliding the front hem of his kilt up until it gathered between their grinding bodies. With the heavy wool out of the way, he tilted his hips just enough to allow his jutting erection to catch on the underside of Tabby's deliciously, rounded ass and from there, it was an easy slide that put him between her legs.

She gasped and jumped at the heat of his hardness gliding along the silk that protected her sweet spot from the bold invader. Marcus knew that he was taking a hell of a risk. He had no idea how she'd react to him, but it was time for him to find out. She would either allow his actions or he'd get a slap - either way, he'd have an answer.

Marcus shuddered, overcome by the hot, dampness caressing the top of his shaft and it dawned on his lust-addled brain that she hadn't tried to pull away. Instead, she'd shifted and brought her thighs closer together, squeezing him against her and trapping him in place as she moved to the music in such a way that encouraged him to keep sliding his cock back and forth along the soaking wet strip of silk.

For a second, Marcus was unsure of what to do. Of all the reactions he had been expecting, this had not been one of them. Not only was she permitting his brash act, but also seemed to be actually encouraging it.

Holy shit! It seemed that his angel had a little touch of the devil hiding beneath her halo. He grinned wickedly at the revelation - he was definitely prepared to handle her naughty side and to help her explore that side of her nature. The more he found out about his sweet, dirty angel, the more irresistible she became for him.

Swivelling his hips, Marcus began pressing his cock along the crotch of her panties in a slow drag that made her breath hitch and her thighs clamp around his dick, inadvertently providing the friction required to drive him insane. The hot, sodden silk felt so damn good pressing down onto his sensitive skin and he could feel the slip and slide of her moist folds above the thin layer that separated them. He had wanted to tease her a little and she had turned the tables on him. With one small move, Tabitha had dumped him into a hot frying pan and all he could do was try to focus on dancing in order to avoid the scorching flames of his own burning desire pushing him to misbehave.

They swayed in time to the music, blending into the crowd of people, grinding together in another intimate dance, losing themselves to the thumping beat. Both of them were breathing rapidly and it had nothing to do with the exertion of their bodies, it was all due to the exquisite sensations that only they could feel, transporting them away from the packed dance floor. In a pocket of reality where only they existed, their bodies moved together, imitating a primal, biological dance hardwired into their DNA, the truth of their union kept discreetly hidden from sight by the drape of Marcus' handy kilt.

Unable to resist the opportunity to explore her body, he decided to test her boundaries and drifted one hand up her stomach until he reached the soft weight of one of Tabby's breasts. The minute he cupped her and gave the flesh a gentle squeeze, she shuddered and moaned, pressing her back into his chest, unconsciously offering him access. Her subconscious act of submission floored him and he almost came with sheer, unadulterated joy.

His angel was proving to be a natural submissive! Not one of the cardboard cut-out subs that overpopulated the BDSM world, play acting the role for fun but never truly understanding what it meant to submit. Tabitha's type of submission was hardwired into her DNA and couldn't be faked or forced because it and flowed from her soul - all she had needed was the right Dominant to entice it out of hiding. He intended to be that Dominant - and perhaps Cooper too, if she allowed it.

Please God let her accept his partner. The things they could teach her together would seal her to them in a heartbeat, if only she'd give the unorthodox relationship a chance.

She moaned again, lassoing Marcus' wandering mind and hauling him back to the present. She had stretched her arms up, hooking them behind his neck, and was slowly pulling his head down to her mouth. Her lush lips shone like ripe cherries, parted ever so slightly, he could see a sliver of her pink tongue peeking out from under her white teeth and the sight made him suddenly ravenous for a taste.

He crushed his mouth onto those soft, lovely lips, sucked the bottom one into his mouth, gently trapping it between his teeth and nibbled on it before he released it. She closed her mouth and he traced the seam where her lips met with the tip of his tongue; she tasted sweet, like strawberries from her lip-gloss. Using gentle pressure, he encouraged her to open for him, which she did, meeting him halfway with her tongue, twisting it with his like two copulating snakes.

He deepened the kiss, alternating between warring with her tongue and nipping at her lip until she gave him what he was truly after. A shiver ran up her back and her body capitulated, moulding against him and into his arms like a missing piece to a puzzle that had just slotted itself into place. She opened fully to him, allowing him to plunge his tongue deep inside her mouth without any resistance, claiming every inch of the space for his own. Her sweet moans of desire spilled into his mouth, nourishing his soul with joy. The vibrations from the desperate sounds she was making, took the express route straight to his balls, making his cock buck and pulse against the soaking wet strip of silk that separated their two sexes.

It was Marcus' turn to let out a soft groan as he slowly massaged her breasts and pressed his cock harder against her pussy, increasing the friction for both of them. Releasing her swollen lips, he forged a trail of kisses down her neck and over her bare shoulder, while Tabby ground down hard on his length, shifting the angle of her hips so that the fat crown hit her throbbing clit with each thrust.

Marcus was on fire, his desire had become a five-alarm blaze that was rapidly consuming him. He wasn't even inside her and he felt like he was about to spontaneously combust. The breathless gasps that Tabitha made each time the swollen nub of her clit bumped over the head of his erection were only fanning the flames burning like napalm on his skin. The fires of Hell had nothing on the heat currently searing Marcus' body into ash.

It was getting harder and harder for him to think clearly, to act rationally and to keep himself under control with her moist heat, honeyed taste and strong, musky feminine scent invading all of his senses. Every second that he was in contact with her body, another layer of his humanity stripped away, driving him closer to his primal, alter ego - a beast, hell bent on ravishing the angel in his arms.

CHAPTER 21

Another hard thrust against Tabby's sheathed pussy made her shudder and she pushed back against his chest to give her pelvis more leverage to push against him. Marcus' eyes rolled in exquisite agony as she bore down so hard, that his shaft slipped into the embrace of her supple folds, stretching the delicate silk of her panties to their limit.

For the first time, he felt the hot, velvety softness of her bare skin slide wetly along the sides of his cock, gripping and caressing it as he stroked it through her slit. Somewhere, inside his flagging brain, a nuclear bomb detonated and reduced his grey matter to a steaming pile of sludge.

He was so close to where he'd longed to be...so fucking close that every second felt like torture.

The sensation of skin on skin overwhelmed Tabby with a flood of sensations that burnt out what was left of her functioning brain cells. She was helpless to stop the electrical storm that swept through her and if she had still been capable of thinking clearly, she might have realized the dangerous game that she was playing. Realized it, then discarded her qualms because the truth was, she wouldn't have wanted to stop even if she had been able.

Nothing should ever feel this good, she thought. She had never experienced pleasure this intense in her life and knew, from that moment on; nothing was ever going to be the same for her again.

Marcus hung on to her as her whole body convulsed in ecstasy, the fleshy lips of her labia fluttering with tiny muscular contractions, teasing the length of Marcus' erection. The realization that one slight readjustment in the angle of his hips and he could be where he so desperately wanted to go - buried deep inside her - tempted him like the apple presented to Eve.

All he had to do is make one small choice and he could find himself embraced in heaven or the consequences would toss him into the abyss of Hell.

Marcus grappled with the quandary, trying to decide whether to do what was right and resist, or to give in to the demanding need to have her.

His beast was all for taking her right here, blasting his system with a dose of raw lust, in the attempt to goad him into embracing his dark side. When the head of his cock dipped slightly over her opening, where the only barrier to her entrance was a thin slip of silk, he almost threw his morals into the flames to burn.

He managed to catch himself just as he was about to manoeuver himself into position. She'd never forgive him if he gave in and he was certain that he'd never get a second chance to make it up to her. She would be gone from his life and Cooper would lose her before ever getting a chance to be with her. He'd never forgive Marcus and Marcus would stand to lose his best friend as well as the one woman who could possibly be his soul mate.

Sobering rationality and strong moral convictions overrode his more base instincts and prevented him from making an unforgivable mistake. To take her now, without her express consent would be akin to what that fucktard of a boss of hers had tried to do.

Fucking her like this would be tantamount to rape...or at least it would be in Marcus' mind.

He wouldn't disrespect his angel like that. Doing so would kill him. Marcus knew without a shadow of a doubt, that the day his cock finally found its way into her body, it would be with her full knowledge and consent in what was about to happen.

Not this way.

He'd never be able to live with himself if he just took her like a rutting animal.

Tabby was writhing in his arms, incoherent with desire and beyond the ability to give him the consent he needed to take their game to the next level. The maelstrom of sexual stimulation that he had been providing, had essentially strapped her to a runaway train with only one goal in sight...reaching orgasm, regardless of the consequences to pay later.

Thinking about making his angel orgasm, caused his aching balls to tighten and draw up, the unbearable tension acting as a forewarning to Marcus that he was fast approaching his own point of no return.

Fuck no! He was seconds away from coming and needed to put the brakes on that lame shit. There was no way in hell that he would dishonour his angel by spurting his load down her legs in a crowded dance club. She deserved so much better than that.

She deserved a clean, soft bed.

She deserved tenderness and kisses.

She deserved his single-minded attention focused entirely on her pleasure.

He wanted to spend hours stoking her desire, tempting that spark into a blazing bonfire and bringing her to the edge so many times that it reduced her to a quivering mess. He wanted her tears and to hear her beg him to make her cum. Only then, would he grant her wish and send her rocketing into outer space, screaming out his name as she soared.

No. When he came, it would be with his cock buried deep inside his angel where he could feel her come all around him. Their first time would not take place on a grotty dance floor, being dry humped by the adult equivalent of a horny fucking teenager. That wasn't the impression he wanted her to have of him.

What the hell had he been thinking to let the teasing go so far? It had taken him too long to see the danger lurking in his irresponsible actions.

In order to thwart his burgeoning orgasm, Marcus broke contact, spun Tabby abruptly around in his arms and let his kilt drop back into place, hiding his straining cock from sight.
Stopping now just might kill him but it was a necessary risk he had to take. A severely stiff dick and a pair of blue balls served him right for losing control so badly.

But...fuck! He couldn't think when he was so close to her...actually, that wasn't entirely true. He could think, but every thought he had involved his cock somewhere inside a very naked Tabitha.

Not helping, Marcus. You stupid shit! His voice scolded from inside his head. The pressure mounting in his aching balls from holding back the orgasm, was making his eyes bulge. Time was running out and he had to get his mind refocused. Think about something else!

Yeah right...he took one look at Tabby's lust glazed eyes and damn near blew his load.

He was so fucked.

Tabby was breathing in fast little pants, relying almost entirely on Marcus' support to keep her upright. Her body was on fire and for the first time in her life, she wanted nothing more than to allow a man to plunge inside her and take away her dirty little secret. She wanted to be rid of that piece of tissue once and for all...and she wanted Marcus to be the one who took it from her.

Forgetting the sea of people surrounding them, Tabby lost herself in the sensual feel of Marcus' body all around her. Wanton desire had her reaching down with the intention of slipping her panties to one side, giving him unfettered access to her throbbing pussy - the place where she suddenly needed him most - when he had abruptly spun her around.

Without warning, his delectable hardness had disappeared and she had found herself facing him and gawking up into his handsome face.

What the fucking hell? She swore, trying to reorient herself, but the haze of desire was muddling her mind. She met his eyes and in the flashing lights, she would have sworn that his beautiful blue-green irises had turned black as coal.

"I needed to see you, angel." He murmured sexily. He noted the surprised look that quickly morphed into one of annoyance. He almost laughed. His angel had almost been as far gone as he and now she was pissed off at being denied her own orgasm.

"Don't worry, angel. I promise you'll have your orgasm, just not here. Not like this."

Fucking fuck fucker! Tabby was beyond annoyed. She was seething. The sadistic bastard couldn't have waited a few more seconds! Even in her head, her voice sounded petulant. She had been on the verge of the first orgasm that she had ever had, not caused by her own hand, and the sexy, irritating man had pulled away!

She wanted to scream in frustration but the ache between her legs kept distracting her, an insistent pressure that demanded to be relieved. Tabby felt like a pressure cooker left on the burner way passed the safety limit and she was in danger of blowing her lid straight through Marcus' handsome face.

She wanted to cry.

She wanted to beg.

She wanted to smack him upside the head, grab his cock and force him to finish what he started.

Instead, she settled on scowling at him, taking perverse joy at the confused expression on his face. Her hips brushed against the front of his kilt and bumped right into the steel of his erection, still standing straight and proud from his groin. He sucked in a breath and she gave him a sweet little smile, an evil idea taking shape in her head.

She wasn't the only one who was going to leave this dance-floor frustrated. Serves the asshole right, she thought with a calculating smirk and put her plan into action.

CHAPTER 22

Sexy Back was still pounding out the bass and Tabby decided that two could play the game Mr. Smarty-cock had begun. Just as he resumed dancing, she whirled out of his grip and began her own dance - this time, not with him...but for him.

Tabby allowed the rhythm of the song to find its way into her bones, loosening up her joints until she was moving like water flowing over a riverbed. She swayed and shimmied, writhed and spun in an amazing show of talent and sensuality. If he wouldn't fuck her, she would give him a taste of what he was missing.

Marcus had stopped moving, dumbstruck at the beautiful, mesmerizing way that Tabby danced. In fact, all the people dancing next to her had stopped and moved to the side to give her space, watching in amazed appreciation as she turned the act of sex into a sensual ballet.

Even Petra, Diego and Cooper had paused to watch Tabby's show. Petra's face was alight in pleasure, it had been a very long time since she had seen her friend put her years of dance training to use and never in such a blatantly provocative manner.

Tabby was seducing Marcus with her dance.

She teased him by brushing up against him and letting her small hands caress his chest and face, turning him into the focal point for her dance. All Marcus could do was stare, absorbing the sinuous way her body moved and imagining her moving in that exact same way as she rode his cock. His head was a confusion of emotions, incited by the way her body moved around him. An intoxicating dose of lust burned through his veins filling him with awe at the show of artistic talent that could only have come from years of study.

There was also a grinding frustration because he wanted her in his arms so that he could whisk her away somewhere private and she was teasing him by sliding against him but not letting him catch her.

It was probably for the best, if he moved a muscle right now, he'd grab her, bend her over and sink his cock into her in front of all these spectators, consequences be damned. It was either that or else he was going to end up coming all over himself. The latter might just happen anyway; his rigid control was at its maximum tolerance and he didn't know how much longer he could hold it off, especially as the temptress continued weaving her spell and bewitching him.

The song finally ending saved his dignity. As she wound her dance down, Marcus reached the frayed end of his tether and finally lost his grip. His beast was lunging on its chains, frothing at the mouth and snapping his jaws behind the cage of rib bones that kept him prisoner...kept him separated from his angel. Lust-fueled desperation sent tremors ricocheting through Marcus' muscles making him twitchy and frantic beneath his controlled exterior.

She came to a halt, bowing into a ballerina's curtsy at his feet and his beast crowed in triumph. She didn't know it yet but she had instinctively found the one place where he had longed to see her this past month...kneeling in submission before him. The only difference was that in his daydreams, she was gloriously naked and ready to serve his needs.

Electricity flashed from his balls and nearly blew out the head of his cock with the fierce, possessive rush of desire. Drops of moisture hit his thighs and he knew that his swollen, aching cock was dripping pre cum like a leaky faucet. He took one look at his Tabitha, still with her head lowered before him and something primal snapped inside him.

He practically pounced onto a very surprised Tabby and in a blink of an eye, had her scooped up and thrown over his shoulder. A startled squeak was the only sound she made as he marched through the throngs of people, back held straight like a proud warrior returning home after battle with the spoils of war.

He didn't hear the applause from the spectators or Petra's shrill shout for him to put her down. All Marcus could hear was the rush of his blood and the growling voice of his beast urging him to take her. Take her. Take her. He reached the steps and took them two at a time, eager to leave the boisterous crowd behind and find somewhere private to claim his angel properly.

Too tired to struggle, Tabby relaxed and took his caveman act in stride, lifting herself up and waving to the cheering crowd as they left the dance-floor. She could see Petra trotting after them, a panicked look on her face and Tabby shot her a smile to let her know that she was okay. Her friend calmed and gave her hesitant thumbs up and Tabby nodded in reply. Diego and Cooper materialized out of the crowd and soon all three were trailing behind them, trying to catch up to a fast departing Marcus.

Petra ran up beside them and caught Marcus by the arm, pulling him to a reluctant stop.

"Put her down, you big oaf!" she said, half in jest and half in concern. "She's not a toy you can steal away from the party...not yet any way! You have to at least buy her dinner first!"

He glared at her and she backed away hastily, bumping into the slab of muscle that was Diego standing behind her. He wrapped his arms around Petra and hugged her tight to his chest, turning his scowl of displeasure onto his irrational friend.

"You need to dial back the aggression, Marcus. I won't tolerate you scaring my sub." Diego moved a quivering Petra behind him and slowly approached Marcus. "Put her down, man. This isn't the time for this. C'mon...think before you do something you'll regret later."

Marcus wanted to be irritated with them, wanted to growl and snap like a rabid dog defending its kill, but they were right.

What exactly had he been planning on doing with her?

Some of the possessive haze cleared from his brain, but he still struggled with the need to keep her to himself, to do exactly what his alter ego was whispering into his head. His beast was urging him to take her up to his office, strip her and claim her and was snarling at his delay in acting.

The absurdity that he was essentially cock-blocking himself had him questioning his own sanity.

Tabby could feel the tension flowing between Marcus and Diego and knew that something was wrong, the wary looks on Petra's, Diego's and Cooper's faces told her that he wasn't acting in a manner that they were used to seeing. The funny thing was, she didn't feel threatened by him at all.

Yes, he had practically abducted her off the dance-floor and slung her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Except, the gentle way he held her, as if she was something precious that he was afraid of losing, or having taken away from him, reassured her instead of terrifying her. His firm grip around her made her feel wanted and protected, oddly comforted by his possessiveness in a crazy way she didn't want to consider.

A deep, dark part of her had actually been hoping that he was going to take her somewhere and fuck her. God knows she was wet enough to take him, her panties felt clammy as they cooled in the air, and the rumbling sound he was making was only made her wetter.

"Are you...growling?" Tabby asked in amused disbelief, hiking up and twisting so that she could see his face. She smirked. "Sounds like the big bad wolf is hungry."

Tabby's voice sent a thrill through him and cut through the sexual insanity that had co-opted his brain functions.

Shit! Did I do that out loud? I didn't mean for her to hear that, but on the bright side, she seems to like it!

His thoughts spun happily, drunk from the high levels of arousal. His beast snorted unhappily, impatient with his deviation from the plan. Marcus winced as his balls clenched painfully, in a way that gave him the unmistakable impression that there was a paw with an impressive set of talons wrapped around his sack, coercing him to get his libido back with the program.

He ignored the pulsing ache and grinned wolfishly at his angel.

CHAPTER 23

"Mmmm, I am hungry, angel, and I have a pretty good idea about what I want to eat."

He ran his fingers over the curve of her ass and suddenly wondered if she'd ever had a man inside that tight, little bud. He growled again and stared into her wide, green eyes. He selfishly hoped not, he wanted to be her first, to train her and then to claim that prize for himself. A tremor ran through his muscles, his tired body feeling the strain from the constant denial.

Squeezing the supple flesh of her ass was an act of pure self-torture, but he must have tapped into some hidden masochistic tendency because he couldn't help himself. The more he touched her, the harder it became to resist the desire to slide his hand under the barrier of her thin panties and probe her rear entrance just to see what would happen.

I wonder what she would do if I slid a finger into her ass, right here in the club? He dropped his hand away from temptation before his curiosity turned into an action that he wouldn't be able to stop.

He had a good idea of what she would do and he wasn't about to risk everything he and Cooper were working towards on an impulsive act that would end in disaster. Even for experienced submissives, approaching anal sex was a delicate subject that required a great deal of trust to exist between the sub and the Dom. Marcus wanted to make sure that they had that foundation in place before venturing into the realm of what most people considered taboo.

"What exactly are you going to do about it?" he gave her upturned bottom a hard smack and she yelped. "Are you planning to feed me something delicious, angel?" His lip curled up in an evil smirk and he slapped her ass again, just to hear that delightful little sound come from her lips once more. More moisture dripped onto his thighs and everything in his head turned into buzzing static. The need to be inside her pounded at his resistance like an rampaging hoard using a battering ram to crash through the castle gate.

"Hey!" She protested, slapping him back on his shoulder blade. "Shouldn't I be asking you the same question? I mean, you're the one who abducted me and now you're growling like a hungry bear. What exactly are YOU planning to do with me?" Her voice dropped low, turning sultry and she wiggled her ass under his chin in a way that almost made his throbbing dick explode. Her provocative shimmy brought a gust of the sweet aroma of her arousal assaulting his nostrils and a flashing "tilt" sign blazed in before his eyes.

Jesus! Was she trying to kill him?

She stared in rapt amazement as Marcus's eyes widened and then narrowed shrewdly, his nostrils flaring as if he'd just run a marathon. Without breaking eye contact, he lowered his face close to where her hips rested on his shoulder and took a long, slow inhalation, his eyelids hooded with lust. His scorching gaze held hers captive as he made a show of savouring the smell of her, letting his tongue run the length of his top lip with his mouth watering from anticipation.

The raw, naked hunger blazing in his dark eyes made Tabby weak and quivery inside, it was as if all her nerves were firing at once and out of sequence, throwing her off balance. She caught a waft of her own musky scent and realized with a shock of self-consciousness, that she had damp trails of moisture trickling down the insides of her thighs. She blushed and the temperature in her core went nuclear, only making the problem worse. Knowing what the smell was that he was savouring, Tabby didn't know whether to be embarrassed or turned on by the effect it was having on him. He seemed positively entranced and fixated on her and his attention wasn't helping her body calm down. In that moment, Tabby honestly didn't trust herself to behave in a respectable manner. In fact, respectable was the furthest thing from her mind when he looked at her like that.

She wanted him just as badly as he wanted her.

Somewhere along the line, Tabby seemed to have lost all her inhibitions and her newly awakened libido had kicked her modesty out the door, and jumped into the driver's seat. She let a small smile turn the corners of her lips up and shivered as Marcus's pupils dilated, turning his eyes into simmering black holes, giving her a glimpse of the beast that lived inside him. He growled, the deep vibration passed between them and she startled when an answering purr emanated from her own chest in response. Her own alter ego was calling to Marcus', bypassing the need for her human vocal cords.

Tabby felt like she was having an out-of-body experience or had split into multiple identities. Whatever was happening, she and Marcus had essentially become vessels for the sexual creatures that resided inside them and she was watching herself from different point of view.

Tabby's mind had become a pornographic penny theatre, starring her and Marcus in every sexual position that it could dream up. The more the images assaulted her, the more she wanted Marcus inside her in a ways she'd never wanted a man before.

Hard.

Raw.

Desperate.

She needed him to become the beast he'd been teasing her with and take her virginity, to fulfill the craving that she was positive had always been waiting for only him to satisfy. Only, she wasn't sure if those needs were hers or coming from something else inside her. She didn't really seem to be in control of her body when she was around him and her next words only confirmed her suspicion.

"I've got something you can eat... if you're really, really hungry," she murmured casually, stroking his strong back with one hand. The words were out of her mouth before she had had time to think about what it was that she was saying. It was too late by the time Tabby's brain filter caught up with her mouth and she almost fainted from the shock of her brazen statement.

Her innuendo had surprised Marcus too, so that when she began struggling to be let down from his shoulder, his arms let her slip from his grasp and he almost dropped her to the floor before he realised that she was sliding off him. Her face was flaming red and Petra had doubled over, laughing hysterically behind her palm, having overheard their entire exchange.

"Oh god! Please forget I said that," she begged, not meeting Marcus' eyes. "I...I don't know where that came from. I don't...usually talk like that." It troubled Marcus to see her so terribly flustered and almost in tears from her embarrassment. He shot Petra a stern expression and indicated with a nod of his head to Diego and Cooper, to clear off and give him some privacy. When the trio moved away to the bar, Marcus placed a knuckle under Tabby's quivering chin and tilted her face up to him. She still wouldn't meet his eyes.

"Shhh, little one. Look at me," he commanded gently and waited patiently until those orbs made from liquid jade rose up to meet his from under her long, dark lashes. He smiled and stroked her cheek with his thumb. "Listen to me, angel, you never have to be ashamed of embracing your sexuality with me. Not ever. Do you hear me?"

She tried to shy away from his penetrating gaze, feeling exposed and vulnerable. He wouldn't let her escape though and cupped her chin in his palm, keeping her eyes fixed on his. Marcus' irises were still jet black and seemed to bore into her soul, giving her the odd sensation that it wasn't entirely the Marcus she knew looking at her at that moment. His pupils contracted and a ring of his familiar sea green irises emerged, glowing with reflected light at her. His sincerity was evident in his voice, but she felt too raw to be able to hear the truth in his words.

What the hell did you think you were doing? Her voice scolded her. Were you actually trying to act like a slut? Or was it your pathetic lack of experience that just turned you into one? Grow up Tabby; once Marcus sees through your lie, he's not going to want a baby like you!

The barrage continued, her subconscious hurling the doubts and insults until she felt small, weak and very, very embarrassed.

First the sexy dance and now a wanton invitation to eat her out, she was fighting to understand all of the new desires and impulses that Marcus had incited in her. She was confused, aroused and humiliated by her own behaviour, but even with all the mental turmoil tearing her apart, the intense attraction wouldn't die down. She felt like she was being herded towards a cliff and she was powerless to stop her footsteps.
Tabby could try, but she couldn't escape the inevitable truth that she needed him just as much as she feared her feelings for him. She was terrified. Events had pushed her right to the very edge of that cliff and she now faced the choice of either jumping of her own free will or having forces that she couldn't resist, shove her off.

Either way, she was going over.

"Stop!" he barked sharply, startling her out of her spiralling thoughts.

"S..stop what?" she stammered, unable to quiet the trembling in her limbs.

He kissed her forehead and bent down to rest his on the spot where his lips had just touched. "I can see those wheels turning, spinning around and getting mired in self-doubt and recriminations. The only place those kind of thoughts will ever get you, angel, is stuck. You. Did. Nothing. Wrong. In fact, you did everything beautifully. I like that sassy, sexy side of your personality. I like the brat and the naughty temptress, just as much as I like the sweet angel. I want to see more of those versions of you, Tabitha and I want to discover others that you hide inside." In a voice meant only for her, he kissed the upper curve of her ear and whispered, "Preferably when you're naked and in my bed, angel."

He felt the shudder that ran through her and the heat of her blush scorched the skin on his cheek where it rested against hers. He tried to look into her eyes, needing that connection, but she avoided his gaze, keeping her eyes focused on a spot on the carpet.

"Don't ever hide your eyes from me, angel, it's the only way I can see what is going on in that busy head of yours. You might as well get used to accepting compliments from me. You will be getting them so often that your pretty little cheeks will perpetually be red if you don't." He smiled and bent down, kissing her softly and hugging her to him.

"And I AM hungry, by the way. Thanks to your beautiful dance, angel." He wrapped his hand around hers and brought it down to the front of his kilt, letting the throbbing length of his cock press into her palm. "See what you do to me? I am so very, very hungry...for a taste of you, that when I finally get you alone, I'm going to consume every part of you." He released her and backed away, loving the desire he saw turn her eyes to a deep blue colour. His hand stroked down her cheek and he chuckled almost absentmindedly. "God, I can't seem to keep my hands off you. What is it about you, angel? Help me understand."

"I don't know...but I feel the same way about you, Marcus. Everything...wrong or right, I want it all with you and I barely know you. I feel it all and am just as confused as you are."

Chapter 24

He sighed. "What we need now, my sweet, is time. Time to talk, time to get to know each other and time to explore whatever this is that has drawn us together. However, Petra is correct. You deserve to be treated to a meal before I get to eat mine." His hand drifted up her thigh and under the hem of her dress, cupping the sodden silk between her legs. Keeping his eyes locked on hers and before he could stop himself, he pushed aside the crotch of her panties, exposing her to the cool air wafting under her dress. Tabby caught her breath, a wave of desire sending all sorts of fireworks exploding in her brain.

Marcus kissed her lips as his finger pulled her panties to the side. "Next time, angel, leave these at home. No more panties when we are together, understand?" That solitary finger traced the contours of the fleshy, outer lips of her sex then trailed up the seam before stopping at the very apex of her pussy. "I don't like barriers between us."

He lifted the tip of his finger, breaking contact. "Sweet angel, if you don't want this, tell me now and I will stop."

She nodded her head but whether it was "yes" to stopping or "yes" she wanted it, Tabby wasn't entirely sure. Making him stop now would be the sensible thing to do, but her body's need for him was stronger than her willpower and she wanted whatever he was offering with an insatiable greed.

Marcus smiled and kissed her again and Tabby felt dizzy with anticipation. "I need to hear the words, love."

"I...I want this, Marcus," she breathed, her skin feeling suddenly tight and hot. She had said the words and committed herself, now the glutton in her wanted her reward. "Please...please touch me again, Marcus."

"Good answer, angel."

The sexiest grin that Tabby had ever seen lit up Marcus' face with a dark, lusty glow and a rush of desire sent shivers racing all over Tabby's body. His finger dropped back onto her sensitive skin with an electric jolt and Tabby forgot everything except the urgent need to get more of his touch. She sucked in a breath, another tremor running through her small frame as he slid one, bold finger easily into her cleft and swirled it in the wetness, working its way slowly to the swollen nub of her clitoris.

"Let's call this an appetizer, shall we?" he murmured as he began stroking her in the centre of the bar. "Hold onto to me, angel and move closer."

Tabby took one shaking step towards him and moaned as he slid his finger through her slit and circled her opening, pressing lightly on the spot but not penetrating her. "My cock will be the first thing in there, not my finger," he promised, seeing the question in her expression and dragging his finger back up to her throbbing clitoris. "Do you want my cock in your wet little pussy, angel?"

Tabby's eyelids were fluttering and she was moaning in short, panting gasps. Marcus's face grew hard and he applied more pressure on the sensitive bundle of nerves.

"Answer me, angel or I will stop," he demanded.

Tabby couldn't get her mouth to work or her brain to function.

"Last chance," he warned, easing his finger away. She panicked and grabbed his wrist, pressing his hand back against her pussy.

"Y..yes!" She whimpered. "P..please d...don't stop."

"Yes...Sir," he commanded, attacking her with relentless pressure. "Say it, Tabitha."

"Oh god," she whined, bucking her hips into his hand. "Yes, S..s...sir."

Marcus felt his balls contract sending jets of molten lava spearing through his abdomen. His finger rubbed and flicked her clit until she buried her face into his shirt and cried out her orgasm, her clawed fingers digging into his shoulders to keep herself upright. The second he felt the strong ripples of her vaginal muscles clamp down under his finger, Marcus could no longer hold back the tsunami brewing in his balls. With his hand still buried between her legs, he added a second finger and kept up the pressure on her clit. Using his free hand, he grabbed her by the ass, yanked her up, and smashed his hips into her. She screamed again as another explosive orgasm shook her apart and Marcus took one last breath before joining her in a rush of blinding ecstasy, bucking his spurting cock against her belly.

They stood like that for several minutes, panting and waiting for their brains to begin functioning again. Tabby could still feel the pulsing rod of steel pressed against her as Marcus' cock twitched and jerked and his ragged breath gusted over her face.

Marcus' legs wobbled, having turned to Jello, the only thing that had kept him upright had been the knowledge that Tabby needed his support or else his knees would have folded faster than a crappy poker hand. His fingers were still nestled in her wet heat and he gently slid them out of her panties, eliciting a small whine of protest and shiver from Tabby. She was beautiful, glowing from the orgasms he'd given her and still holding on to him. Too many emotions were trying to cram themselves into his heart, making it hard for him to breathe and he had to look away for fear that the poor organ would burst from the pressure.

He couldn't believe what he'd just done...what she'd allowed him to do. Humbled by the trust she had placed in him, he bent down and placed a tender kiss on her head.

Mine, his heart declared, getting an enthusiastic veto from his beast. Ours, it growled back.

Dampness against his thighs reminded him of what had just happened and he thanked God for the thick, woollen fabric of his kilt. His come had smeared on the inner side of it, the wool absorbing it, but it had at least prevented him making a visible mess. The dry cleaners were going to have fun cleaning it, but the strange looks were totally going to be worth it.

"Good girl," he murmured into her hair.

Tabby glowed with pleasure. Two simple words had made her feel like she had just won the lottery. Radiant joy warmed her and she looked up into Marcus' smiling face.

He winked at her and brought the hand that had just been between her legs, glistening with her juices, up to his mouth and slowly sucked on his long fingers, licking his lips when he was done. "You taste so sweet, precious girl. I can't wait to taste you with my tongue."

Tabby blushed, her shy smile filling Marcus up with male satisfaction and pleasure. It was nice to see that although she had experimented with her sexuality, it wasn't something she was so accustomed to doing that her modesty had suffered. His Tabitha was still more angel than devil and he adored that innocent quality about her. He was going to have a whole lot of fun enticing his good girl to misbehave for him.

"Come, you need to be rehydrated after all that dancing and it's almost time for the party to get started."

He led her to the booth where Petra and Diego were talking and cuddling quietly. Petra's face burst into a huge grin the second she spied Tabby and Marcus coming towards them. Tabby could see all the questions bubbling in her friend's delighted face, she had seen what had transpired between her and Marcus...hell, everyone in the bar had seen what had happened, and Petra would be dying to have a girl's catch up with her. It would have been hard to miss the gorgeous, hunk of a man putting his hand up her skirt and touching her most intimate place until she had orgasmed in a very public manner. Thankfully, other than a few winks directed at Marcus, nobody was making a big deal out of it.

Everything that had occurred prior, had felt surreal as if the intense connection that had joined her and Marcus had somehow created their very own private bubble where only the two of them had existed. That bubble of paradise was rapidly disintegrating as reality tried to elbow its way back in and Tabby was struggling with the transition. She wanted to hold onto the dreamlike quality of before, but her rational brain was shaking off the stupor, forcing her to face her actions with Marcus, and uncomfortable feelings and questions were beginning to emerge. As Tabby let Marcus guide her to the table, she actually began to wonder if the past hour had even been real, or if her imagination had conjured up a very vivid, erotic daydream based on her insane attraction to the man.

Her body still sung from the feel of his fingers between her legs and she could still taste him on her lips, but the real evidence, that everything that had happened had been real, was the moisture slicking the insides of her thighs as she walked. He had done that to her and that was proof enough that, at least some of it, hadn't been a daydream - in case the smug smiles on Petra's and Diego's faces weren't confirmation enough.

CHAPTER 25

Marcus slid into the horseshoe shaped booth and pulled Tabby in beside him. Cooper arrived with with an unopened bottle of water, cracked the seal and passed it to Tabby with a handsome smile on his face, before sliding in to sit on the opposite of the booth. Tabby didn't miss the way his eyes tracked her every movement with unusual interest and his scrutiny made a blush creep up her neck.

Petra squeezed Diego's hand tightly in hers, knowing that they were about to have a front row seat to either the birth or the death of the infant union of their trio of friends. The air practically vibrated from the attraction passing between Tabby and Marcus alone, and the addition of Cooper's attraction to Tabby, Petra was surprised not to see lightning arcing crazily between all three. She glanced up quickly at her Master and he gave her a reassuring smile before shifting his attention back to the two men on opposite sides of him.

Stay quiet and watch, little one. Let's see if they can figure this out for themselves. Diego didn't need to speak the words; Petra could read the warning in his eyes. She snuggled closer to his big body and crossed her fingers for Tabby.

Come on Tabs! You want them and bloody hell; even a blind man could see that they sure as heck want you too! Stop worrying about the fall. You just have to jump and have faith that they'll give you wings when you need them! Petra silently cheered for Tabby, sending all the positive vibes her way that she could, hoping that it would be enough to help her nervous friend make the right decision.

Damn, Cooper really was good looking! Tabby thought as she thanked him for the water and took a sip. When she had been dancing for Marcus, she had caught glimpses of him watching her, but Marcus had consumed her attention at the time and she hadn't paid it much mind. Even now, he was studying her with an interest that resembled the way Marcus stared at her when he thought she wasn't looking. There was a yearning in his eyes that went beyond a platonic interest, as if she possessed something he direly wanted. She liked the man but would have to tread carefully around him. She couldn't trust her own body right now and she definitely felt an attraction to Cooper that unsettled her.

The irony wasn't lost on her that, in the past, she hadn't been able to find one decent man to start a relationship with, and now fate had thrust two sexy, intimidating men directly in her path.

Yes. She would have to tread very, very carefully around both of these two men because she could already feel a tug-of-war starting up, pulling her in opposite directions and she was afraid that it got any stronger, it was going to end up tearing her heart in two.

Marcus had caught her quick glances in Cooper's direction and had noted how her pupils had dilated and her nostrils had flared slightly. Her blush was back, colour high on her cheeks from a connection to his brother that she didn't understand. They were all very promising signs that maybe; just maybe, she might be receptive to the proposition they had waiting for her. That there was an attraction already blooming was half the battle already won. Convincing her to take on two men would be that much easier if her body already wanted Cooper, despite what the conventions in her brain were telling her.

Marcus grinned and caught Cooper's eyes, he saw hope burning there and gave him a quick nod in approval.

Soon buddy, you won't be on the outside for long, he thought, hoping that Cooper could read the message in his expression.

"I saw your dance. It was amazing."

"Thank you, Cooper." She suddenly felt very shy and glanced away. A long arm reached across the table and gently turned her back to face him.

"You have beautiful eyes, Tabitha. Please don't hide them from me." Cooper stroked her cheek, sending shivers racing across her skin. His simple statement brought back a rush of pleasant memories of when Marcus had said something similar and a strange familiarity lulled her into accepting the command from Cooper without question.

Her body was still vibrating from the orgasms that Marcus had given her and all it took was the feel of Cooper's fingertips to rekindle the buzzing in her pussy. Forgetting herself, she was just about to lean into his touch when she realized what she was doing. Hastily, she pulled back, flustered and embarrassed, nervously seeking out Marcus' hand.

He was sitting close to her, watching her intently and wrapped her shaking hand in his, giving her a reassuring squeeze. She had expected anger or at least a sign of jealousy from him, but instead, he had an introspective smile on his face when he reached up to caress the other side of her cheek.

"Did you like it when he touched you, angel?" He asked quietly.

The unexpected question threw Tabby off balance, her brain immediately defaulted into defensive mode, sensing that she had stepped on a trap and she didn't know how to answer his question without springing it.

She thought about lying and telling him that she didn't like Cooper's touch, but the truth was that she had liked it, almost as much as when Marcus had touched her. Admitting that aloud to him was a different story, even as she tried to formulate the words, she felt as if she were betraying Marcus somehow. Panic twisted her gut and she debated her options.

Lie or tell the truth?

Lie or tell the truth?

What was the correct answer?

"Shhhh, little rabbit. You look so scared and there's no need to be. Relax, angel."

Taking deep breaths to calm her racing heart, Marcus just kept stroking her cheek until the worst of the panic ebbed away and Tabby's churning stomach settled down.

"That's my good girl. Now answer my question, please. Did you like it when Cooper touched you?"

She briefly considered lying, but when she flashed a glance at Cooper, his face looking so hopeful, she didn't have the heart to hurt him.

"Yes," she replied quietly, dropping her eyes in shame.

"Yes, what?" Marcus repeated.

Huh? Tabby wracked her brain, searching for whatever it was that she had missed, but her mind was too full and she came up empty.

"Yes...I liked it?" She ventured, hoping that that answer would satisfy him.

He smiled. "Yes, I liked it, Sir." He emphasized the final word, reminding her of what she'd forgotten. She may not have agreed to be his sub, Marcus thought, but it wasn't too soon to start her down the road learning the proper protocols.

"Yes, I liked it, Sir," Tabby repeated, silently chastising herself for letting his title slip her mind.

Marcus beamed at her, put his big palm on the back of her head and pulled her in for a kiss. "Good girl," he murmured, setting Tabby's insides aflame.

She just couldn't understand how such a simple sentiment could make her feel so damned happy. Whether her brain understood it or not, the compliment had sparked the beginning of a craving in her heart. She wanted to hear him called her good girl repeatedly, just so that she could feel this same rush of elation and satisfaction each time.

He sat back and looked across the table to where Cooper was waiting patiently. "Touch her again," he said to Cooper, startling Tabby. She darted a startled gaze between the two men, unsure of what was happening.

Did she hear that right? Was Marcus actually inviting Cooper to touch her again?

She gawked at Cooper who quickly hid a flash of apprehension behind his sexy grin. It appeared that Marcus had caught him off guard as well, Tabby surmised.

Cooper's mind tumbled into chaos at Marcus' brazen suggestion, and for a moment, he didn't know what to do.

What the fucking hell was he playing at? Was he actually going to push this onto Tabby so soon? Had he completely lost his fucking mind?

Cooper scrambled, confused at the sudden uprooting of their plans. There was no way for him to find out what Marcus' intentions were, except to go along with the shift in tactics and pray that his friend hadn't just made a colossal misjudgement.

Mistake or not, Cooper couldn't wait to get his hands on Tabitha again, it was only the way that Marcus had sprung it on both of them that had him worried. He did the only thing he could do, without raising Tabby's suspicions and held out his hand to her in spite of his reservations.

"Come to me, Tabitha." Tabby shivered. Cooper had used the same type of commanding voice that Marcus had used with her and something inside her, instinctively wanted to obey. She hesitated though and looked uncertainly at Marcus for his permission. He gave her a quick nod.
"Do as he asks, angel. It's alright." He helped her stand and gave her a gentle nudge to move.

Her legs trembled, a flurry of butterflies brushing thousands of feathery wings inside her chest, making her feeling slightly queasy. Taking the few steps to Cooper's side of the booth, she stopped in front of him, unsure of what to do next. He turned on the bench seat so that he was facing her and took her hands into his. An unexpected shock of electricity sparked when their hands made contact, making Tabby suck in a surprised breath.

"Oh!" she whispered, swaying on her wobbly legs as if she were intoxicated.

Cooper let go of one of her hands and reached up to stroke her cheek. "I want you to kneel for me, Tabitha," he spoke quietly, tugging her hand down gently until her knees folded and she rested on the soft carpet at his feet. Cooper shot Marcus a look that Tabby couldn't interpret - it was a mixture of lust, pleasure and something akin to anger, directed at Marcus and not at her.

Cooper masked it well behind his surfer-boy smile, but Tabby had the distinct impression that Marcus' ambush had rattled him, creating the uncomfortable tension between the two men that she was noticing.

CHAPTER 26

"You're so beautiful, you know that?" he murmured absently, running his fingers up her neck and into her hair. Tabby didn't know if she was supposed to answer so she remained silent and enjoyed his praise. Her mind might be ablaze with conflicts and questions, but her body was responding to his touch as easily as it had to Marcus.

"Look at me, Tabitha," he commanded, thrilled when she did so. Looking into her eyes was like looking into a kaleidoscope full of shifting colours. Fresh spring green morphed into the blues of a summer sky and back into deep jade - it was a reflection of her nervous emotions, unable to settle on one or the other.

He was happy not to see fear amongst them, there was excitement and arousal aplenty but the shadows of anxiety, that kept dulling the lustre of her irises, worried him.

Tabby turned her face up to look directly into his deep, blue eyes and found herself instantly mesmerized by the desire and tenderness she saw reflected back at her. His gaze held her fast, softening her will and calming her worries until nothing else existed besides him.

Cooper marvelled at how quickly she descended into a submissive mind set. Her breathing calmed and the shadows disappeared as her luminous eyes settled into serenity. He took advantage of her placid state, pressing a kiss onto her lips and her eyelids fluttered closed in pleasure. She felt his tongue brush against her lips and then slip between, seeking an entrance, which she willingly gave.

Cooper's silky tongue swept over hers in a kiss that had started sweet, but emboldened by her submission, quickly turned into a heated caress that he was unwilling to break. He held her there for several minutes, kissing her as if it was the last time he'd ever get to do so, and for all he knew, it could very well be. They had strayed so far away from their careful plan that Cooper was venturing in uncharted territory now.

So far, Tabitha had proved to be amenable, but he knew that that could change once the haze of hormones dissipated. He wanted to savour her for hours, bonding her to him such that she wouldn't want to run away.

Unfortunately, he didn't have the luxury of that much time right now. Instead, he'd have to make do with these precious few minutes to show her how much he wanted her, with the hope that his message got through to her.

He finally broke the kiss and stared at her in awe, the words tumbling from his lips before he could censor them. "I can smell you, angel. You're wet again aren't you?" he asked, his eyes burning a path down her front to the hem of her short dress. He cursed inwardly at his blunder, his libido making him take a dangerous risk.

Both he and Marcus were pushing her when they were supposed to be easing her into their lifestyle, allowing her to get accustomed to him before introducing anything sexual into the mix. Cooper had just opened up that subject with his ill thought out observation.

Tabby said nothing; arousal was surging through her body fogging her brain. Cooper quirked up a corner of his mouth in a mischievous smirk, his eyes sparkled darkly with desire as he placed a finger on the hollow spot where her collarbones met. He trailed that finger over her dress and between her breasts, grazing them with his knuckles as he followed the valley where her breastbone lay down to her abdomen. When he reached the end of her dress, he ran his fingertip just beneath the hem. "No answer? Shall I check then?"

Tabby shuddered, not sure what to do. She looked over across the booth to where Marcus had moved to the edge of the seat, resting his bent arms on his knees and watching them intently. An unmistakable bulge pushing up the centre of his kilt broadcast his current state of mind. "It is your choice, angel, but it would please me for you to permit it."

Tabby really didn't understand what was happening between all three of them but her body didn't care, the memory of her recent orgasms was still too fresh in her mind and she'd be lying if she said that she didn't want to feel that kind of pleasure again.

"As you wish, Sir," she replied to Marcus before facing Cooper. "You may do as you wish, Sir." Diego and Petra echoed the sharp intake of breath from Marcus and Cooper. Their collective shock made Tabby think that she had done something wrong and she began to shake with humiliation, crumpling in on herself with shame.

Backing slowly away, tears stinging her eyes, she bumped into Marcus, who had dropped to his knees on the floor behind her unbeknownst to her. His arms wrapped around her and he pulled her to his chest, holding her tight, his ragged breathing rasping in her ear.

Cooper looked dumbstruck, his jaws agape. "Why...why did you say that, Tabby?" The humility in his voice combined with the feel of Marcus' lips on her neck, badly confused her.

Did she do something wrong? Is so, why was Cooper and Marcus acting so weird?

"I...I don't know. It seemed like the right thing to say." She glanced uncertainly between the two men. "Did I do something wrong?"

Both men groaned. She couldn't see Marcus but Cooper's face was shining with wonder. "Not at all, Tabitha!" he enthused eagerly.

Marcus turned her to face him. "You said the perfect thing, sweetness." He kissed her deeply. "You've made me very, very happy...and Cooper too."

Random pieces of a bizarre puzzle were starting to come together and the picture that was forming set Tabby's head spinning like a broken compass. Too much information and too many sensations were pushing her past her ability to deal with the reality of what her brain was trying to tell her.

A cyclone of thoughts and feelings raged around her, sucking her up into the vortex and tumbling her helplessly - happiness, lust, fear and attraction hit her all at once and her emotional control crumbled. Hot tears formed in her eyes and began rolling down her cheeks.

"Hey...shhh, there's no need for that," Cooper said soothingly, brushing the drops away. His eyes softened and he gave her a sad, sympathetic look. "It's too much too soon for you, isn't it, Tabitha?"

She nodded, a sob bubbling up her throat. "I don't know what's happening. My head is all over the place and I'm so confused," she whispered, her voice thick with emotion.

Cooper shot Marcus a pointed look, his face hard with suppressed anger.

This is your fucking fault! You had to push her, didn't you? The message in his furious eyes blazed.

Marcus gave him a curt nod and returned the glare with one of his own, warning him to back off.

Not the time or place, brother. Later.

Cooper helped Tabby to her feet and gave her a gentle kiss on her cheek. Marcus had stood up and was hovering just behind her, his body heat penetrating her silk dress as if she had her back to a blast furnace.

"You okay?" Cooper asked Tabby gently as she struggled to gather up the tattered remains of her control into one functional piece.

She nodded and turned sideways so that she could look at the pair. "I think we have a lot to talk about, don't we?" she surmised. The surprised looks on both their faces told Tabby that her suspicions had been correct. She shot Petra an accusatory glare. Her best friend at least had the decency to look guilty at being caught withholding vital information from her.

Cooper extended his hand, intending to grasp Tabby's but she stepped away, evading both his and Marcus' attempts to touch her. "Don't. Please. I...I can't...not right now." She said, her voice quavering on a choked sob. If they touched her now, she was afraid that she'd dissolve into tears and she wouldn't be able to think straight. She didn't miss the panicked, pleading expressions on their faces as she held her hands up and backed away. "I need...I need...time to wrap my head around this."

Marcus nodded his head solemnly. "You got it angel, whatever you need. But we will be talking about this later." He gave her an apologetic smile. "I know we should have discussed this with you earlier but things happened really fast. It was never my...our... intention to spring this on you like this, Tabitha."

Tabby caught the furious glare that Cooper aimed at Marcus. He looked like he wanted to strangle his best friend. The toxic animosity boiling like a mushroom cloud between the pair, only added to the depth of the confusion swamping her.

"We fucked up." Cooper said ruefully, feeling his hope diminish as Tabby put more space between them. "Please, Tabitha. I know that you're scared, but please don't give up on this until we have had time to talk...to explain." His eyes narrowed and he scowled at Marcus. "We're idiots. We know that, but...we're idiots that truly care about you. This can be good, Tabby...we can be good, if you could find it in your heart to give it a chance. Just, please, hear us out before you walk away."

Walk away?

Cooper's words hit her like the shock wave from a nuclear explosion. It blew through her soul, leaving a devastated wasteland of loneliness in its wake and she gasped from the force of the emotional backlash. Her interactions with the two men had been intense and overwhelming, but she hadn't realised how attached she had already become to them. Just the possibility of never seeing them again, sent tendrils of cold fear winding around her chest, making it hard for her to breathe. She may have been afraid of what they were proposing, but she was positively terrified of the prospect of living the rest of her life without them in it.

How could this have happened so quickly? No one had ever made her feel the things that Marcus had and then Cooper had entered the mix, making that attraction even stronger.

Could she be with two men...at the same time? Was that even possible?

Everything she knew about relationships all revolved around the time honored formula of 1+1=2 not 1+2=3, yet Marcus and Cooper were acting as if two men and one woman could actually work.

Believing them would take a huge leap of faith on Tabby's part and she searched inside her for the strength and the will to make it.

Pushing her fear aside for a moment, allowed the potential of what being with them would be like and it revealed true feelings to Tabby that were undeniable.

It didn't matter that what they wanted wasn't conventional.

She wanted both of them.

She needed both of them.

Dear God...she might actually be falling for BOTH of them already.

One thing was for certain, Tabby couldn't bear the thought of losing either of them. Doing so now would devastate her.

Tabby turned her head to face Cooper and then to face Marcus, regarding both men with new eyes. They flanked her, muscles corded with the tension of holding their big bodies rigid as statues. She gave them a contemplative look and before she could think about what she was doing, she tentatively reached out her hands and slowly worked them into a hand from each of the anxious men.

Marcus' fist swallowed her tiny hand, closing around it like a vise, holding her with careful but undeniable possession. Cooper's hand slowly wrapped around her other, disbelief making his muscles tremble as his fingers pressed into her flesh and his thumb immediately began to stroke the back of her hand.

"I don't really understand what I'm feeling right now," she began slowly. "This...this is all too new and too overwhelming for me to process right now." Their grips tightened around her hands as their worry spiked and their handsome brows furrowed. Real fear paled each man's features as they held their breaths waiting for her next words, while their piercing stares locked onto her like heat seeking missiles.

Tabby felt a sharp pang of regret for being the cause of the obvious pain the pair were experiencing.

Poor guys, she thought. They looked like condemned men walking to the electric chair. Her heart clenched and she took pity on both of them and decided not to prolong their agony. "But I'm not willing to throw it all away either," she blurted in a rush before her own fears could swallow the words and prevent her from saying them.

Relieved explosions of breath gusted over her face, sending shivers racing down her spine that turned into a glowing ball of warmth in her belly. Huge grins split their faces and they quickly closed the distance between her and them, sandwiching Tabby in a protective wall made from muscle and the enticing aroma of each man's individual scent. In an odd way that Tabby didn't understand, they smelled familiar and it soothed her erratic thoughts.

Her mind drifted into a pocket of doubt and she briefly wondered what exactly it was that she was doing. Was she actually contemplating starting a relationship with both of them? Just as her resolve began to wobble, the thought of losing them resurfaced and filled her with a sorrow so vast and bitter that her heart felt crushed by the prospect.

She didn't know how this strange relationship would work...or even if it could. All she did know was that Marcus and Cooper had irrevocably changed her life. For good or ill, she owed it to them and herself, at the very least, to hear them out before possibly making the worst mistake of her life.

Marcus dipped into an elegant bow, his burning eyes never breaking contact with hers. "Thank you, angel."

She shifted her gaze to Cooper, who repeated Marcus' heart-felt statement. "Thank you Tabitha."

Both men stood, placing soft kisses on either side of her cheeks and settling their free hands onto her back. The way their palms seemed to radiate heat into her body made her shiver and a tingling buzzed from between her legs. Suddenly feeling protected and wanted helped some of her confusion and worry ease. Her body softened and leaned into the warm touches of their lips and the weight of their hands on her.

CHAPTER 27

At the bar, a brassy haired, whip thin woman sneered over the rim of her drink as she spied on the trio at the table across the room. Lydia seethed with jealousy and envy, almost hurling her empty glass at them to break up the sickening scene. She had been watching Marcus...well, stalking him actually...since the moment he had appeared with Cooper in tow. She had intended to go sweet-talk them into doing a scene with her when it became apparent that they were looking for someone in particular.

Following them to the dance-floor, she had to witness the disgusting show that the insignificant little trollop had put on for him. As if to add insult to injury, she almost barfed when Marcus - her Marcus - had finger fucked the bitch in the middle of the lounge.

As the girl came on her man's hand, Lydia's stomach had churned with a toxic hatred. Who was this little Miss Nobody who thought she could steal Marcus and Cooper away from her? She could tell that the girl had no idea what to do with Marcus, let alone Cooper as well. She uttered a wry, ugly laugh and tried to imagine the fumbling girl trying to satisfy both men at the same time. She probably couldn't even suck a cock...Lydia wondered how she'd react when she had two huge cocks trying to fuck her at the same time.

She shuddered, remembering the last time she had had the pleasure of serving both of them. It had been a long time ago, but it was something she intended to enjoy with them again and had been working towards convincing the pair to play with her again. There was no way she was about to allow a nothing, slip of a girl to steal the two best Doms in the city, away from her.

She needed a plan.

Lydia chuckled happily to herself. At least she was good at eliminating the competition.

Little Miss Snow White isn't going to know what hit her.

CHAPTER 28

Diego cleared his throat, breaking up the touching scene. "I hate to be the party pooper here, but we've got about ten minutes to get to our asses to the main stage before the opening ceremony is supposed to begin."

Marcus looked at his watch and saw that Diego was right. It was almost ten o'clock! "Shit! Where did the time go? C'mon Coop," he said, releasing Tabby. "We gotta jet." Unable to leave Tabby, Marcus leaned in and dropped a kiss on her cheek. "Stick close to Petra until the opening ceremony is done. I'll come and find you after. Okay, angel?"

Tabby couldn't speak so she just nodded her head.

The trio of men sprinted for the entrance to the dungeon, joining the flow of people moving in the same direction, leaving Tabby and Petra alone at their table in the rapidly emptying bar. As she watched them disappear into the migrating crowd, Tabby felt an emptiness gnaw at her ribs, as if the two men had taken something vital from her, leaving her with a hollowness that only their comforting presences could fulfill.

"You wanna go watch?" Petra nudged her. "There are going to be all sorts of cool demonstrations after the opening ceremony." Tabby nodded distractedly, curious to see the dungeon room but preoccupied with her chaotic thoughts and feelings.

Petra went to take her hand after they had stood up, but when she went to take her first step, Tabby stayed rooted to the spot, refusing to move. She turned back to her friend, raising a questioning eyebrow.

"What's up?" Petra asked, though she had a good idea of what Tabby was thinking.

Tabby regarded her, a hint of accusation and disappointment dulling her eyes to a flat green. "You knew?"

Petra let go of Tabby's hand and averted her gaze. "I did," she said quietly, her voice full of apology. "I found out a week ago. I'm so sorry, I didn't tell you."

"Why, Pet?" Hurt made Tabby's voice sharp and bitter. "Why would you keep such a huge thing from me?"

"It wasn't my place, Tabs." Petra looked up, wringing her hands worriedly. "I had only just found out what they wanted...what they were hoping for. They promised to take things slowly. I don't think it wasn't supposed to happen like this, this fast." Petra sighed. "I'm so sorry, Tabs."

Tabby gazed over to the end of the room where Marcus and Cooper had disappeared. "Would you do it?" she asked absently, understanding the difficult position her friend had been in and letting go of her anger with her.

"Do what?" Petra replied, confused by Tabby's sudden shift in their conversation.

"Marcus and Cooper...if you were me, would you...would you want to be with them...together?"

Petra didn't hesitate and answered excitedly. "Absofuckinglutely!"

Tabby's eyes widened at Petra's enthusiastic response. "Seriously?"

Petra stepped closer and pulled her into a conspiratorial hug. "Oh honey, right now, you have no idea how lucky you are." She cocked a thumb in the direction that the men had gone. "Those two? They have never chosen a submissive to claim for their own and god knows, many have tried to sink their hooks into them. If they want you, then you must be very, very lucky and very, very special to them." Petra could see the hesitation in Tabby's face. "Give them a chance, Tabs. I can guarantee that they won't disappoint you...and, if you allow it, they might even make you happy."
Tabby nodded, a flicker of excitement glowing inside her despite her qualms. She knew that her life had suddenly arrived at a place where her path diverged. Down one path lay the routine she had gotten used to, full of loneliness, boredom and strife - but safe and predictable. Down the other fork, two dominant, sexy men waited at the entrance, like a pair of imposing sentinels guarding the secrets hidden behind them. She couldn't see what lay beyond the two guardians, only their outstretched arms begging her to take a leap of faith and grab hold.

Did she have the courage to take their hands and walk with them, or would she choose the coward's route and stick to the path that offered predictability? Tabby felt the pull from both directions, unable to choose which she option she truly wanted.

CHAPTER 29

Cooper, Marcus and Diego hurried through the crowd angling for the private hallway that would take them behind the scenes into the dungeon space. As they passed through the security door and it locked behind Marcus, Cooper spun on his heel and exploded towards him. Before he had time to react, Cooper had him pinned to the metal door with his forearm pressed against his throat.

"What the fuck was that out there?" Cooper was livid, growling into Marcus' face like a rabid dog. "We had a fucking plan! Remember that, you selfish asshole!" He slammed his palm into the door beside Marcus' ear and the resounding thud reverberated into his chest.

Diego attempted to put a steadying hand on Cooper's heaving shoulder, but he shrugged it angrily off. "Take it easy, Coop. Let him go."

"Not this fucking time!" he shouted at Diego. "Thanks to this jerk wad, Tabitha is freaked out." He turned back to Marcus. "Why? Why couldn't you just stick to the plan? If she runs now, it'll be your fucking fault." Cooper's anger was quickly morphing into the frantic worry that he had been trying hard to keep at bay. Since the moment Marcus had abandoned their careful plan and had asked him to touch her, Cooper's anxiety level had skyrocketed.

He hadn't been prepared for the intense reaction he had felt the moment his hand had touched her warm skin, nor could he deal with the rage and fear that had come with Marcus suddenly thrusting him into the fragile equation. Now, having had a taste of Tabby's sweetness, Cooper was terrified that they'd pushed her too fast and traumatized her. He was just getting an idea of what it would have been like to have her in his life and, in one stupid moment of haste, he was going to get to feel what it was like to lose her.

For the first time in his life, he hated his best friend.

He was so tired of being alone, of envying Doms like Diego who had found their forever subs. Thanks to Marcus, Cooper wanted Tabitha just as badly as Marcus did, and the thought that they could lose her now, due to Marcus' impatience, was shredding him up inside.

His arm fell away from Marcus' neck and his muscles deflated as some of his anger dissipated.

Marcus rubbed his throat and stared into Cooper's sad eyes. "I'm sorry, man. I...I never planned on things going as they had. It had seemed like a good idea at the time. I thought that she was ready."

Cooper started to back away but Marcus grabbed his shoulder and prevented him from turning away. "You have every right to be angry. I fucked up but I'll fix this. I promise."

Cooper turned numb, blue eyes up at him. "How, Marcus? How the fuck are you going to fix this mess?"

Marcus shook his head. "I don't know, buddy. One way or another, I will figure it out."

"And if she runs? What then?" Cooper couldn't keep the bitter disappointment out of his voice.

"She's not gone yet. Remember, she promised to talk with us."

"She's terrified, Marcus. Not only are you proposing bringing her into a BDSM relationship, you sprung the fact that she would be serving TWO Doms on her, instead of one. Did you not see the fucking fear in her eyes, or feel the way her body was shaking itself apart? Because I sure as fuck did!" Cooper's hands balled into fists so tight that his nails bit into the soft flesh of his palms. He needed to hit something and Marcus was looking like a prime target for his rage.

Marcus was willing to absorb his best friend's disappointment and fear but only to a point, he'd be damned if he was going to shoulder the entire blame. "I didn't see you holding back, Coop. You didn't have to touch her. You could have refused or made an excuse not to. When she appeared receptive, that's when I pushed her, but only because she seemed to welcome your touch!"

Diego had heard enough and grabbed the two males, halting them and spun them so that they were facing him. "To be fair to Marcus, you did open the door for the bullshit that followed, Cooper." He shook his head sadly. "You are both at fault so dial down the aggression before I knock you both onto your idiotic asses! You screwed up, deal with it and move on. Punching each other's lights out isn't going to bring your girl into your arms. You need to present a united front and swallow your goddamned pride if you're going to have any hope in salvaging anything from this debacle."

Confident that they weren't going to start pounding on each other, Diego released them and softened his tone. Sometimes you just had to shake some sense into the younger generation. "You both keep overlooking one important factor and it fucks you in the ass every time."

"And that is?" Marcus asked, feeling drained and weary.

"That beautiful, sweet girl is no dummy. She had you two figured out before you'd even realised that you'd given yourselves away. She's smart, quick and fucking wants both of you more than she realises." He chuckled. "She just has to get her brain to follow her hormones lead."

Cooper wasn't quite ready to release his anger with Marcus and glared at him. "And if she bolts...what then, asshole?"

Marcus' brows furrowed. "I'm not letting her get away from me, from us, again. I can't wait in the shadows again, hoping that she'll come to us, brother. If she runs, I can guarantee that I will be fucking chasing her to the ends of the earth to bring her back."

Diego was satisfied that he'd diffused their irrational tempers enough that their common sense could reboot.

"That's more like it. I was afraid that I was going to have to knock your fool heads together and ruin your shirts with blood. Now, can we please get to the stage and get our dog-and-pony show finished? I have a beautiful little sub that is wearing entirely too many clothes waiting for me and my dick wants me to rectify that as soon as possible."

With a hand on Cooper and Marcus' backs, Diego herded them down the dim corridor until they reached another heavy security door. Marcus scanned his electronic key card by the reader and the door unlocked. As he pushed it open, the excited buzz of the crowd spilled into the corridor drowning out the possibility of any further conversation. Jaz was waiting on the other side, anxiously staring at his watch and seeing the minutes tick down while wondering where his partners were.

"Thank fuck! Cutting it a bit fine, don't you think?" he shouted, the minute the door opened and his missing partners emerged. "We need to get our collective arses up onto that stage before the crowd goes mental."

As soon as the crowd noticed the four men making their way up the stairs to the round stage in the center of the room, enthusiastic cheers and applause erupted in a roar of noise.

Petra towed Tabby through the outskirts of the mob, but bodies where packed into the room so tightly that they couldn't get anywhere close to the stage. They had to content themselves with hanging around the fringes, standing on tiptoes to see over the taller people in front of them. This worked well for Lydia, who had been shadowing the pair since they had left the bar. She was curious to overhear what they were talking about; filing every tidbit of information away, that she could gather in order to use it against the little whore when the time was right.

She edged closer to the girls, making sure to keep out of Marcus' line of sight. The last thing she wanted was for him to clue into the fact that she knew about his little fascination with the newcomer. She needed intel and if skulking around was the way to get it, well...Lydia was not beneath playing dirty.

She'd have to keep a close eye on the Masters though. All it would take was one of them telling Marcus that she was getting too close to his newest toy to expose her interest. It wouldn't do for him to ruin her plans before she had a chance to eliminate her competition.

CHAPTER 30

"Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and all those in between." Marcus' deep voice boomed through the speakers as he welcomed the partygoers. After the raucous round of applause, cheers and whistles, the crowd settled down and he continued with his speech.

"Welcome to Elysium's 10th anniversary bash! It is because of loyal patrons such as yourselves that we have made it this far and tonight is our thank you to you all." All four men bent in a deep bow to the crowd that erupted in another blast of cheers.

Tabby's gaze was fixated on Marcus and Cooper to the exclusion of everyone else. She couldn't stop staring at them and she couldn't deny the attraction that coursed between her and the pair of sexy men on the stage.

"Did they really have to wear kilts? My blood pressure can't handle the hotness!" she laughed at Petra.

"I know, right? There's something about Diego in a kilt that just pushes all my buttons." She gave Tabby a filthy grin. "It makes him look all medieval and masculine, and so damned sexy!"

Tabby peered up at the stage, her face and core heating with arousal as she watched Marcus give his speech. "God damn, Pet...what the hell am I going to do? I'm so out of my league with Marcus, let alone adding Cooper into the mix"

Petra gave her a sympathetic look. "Oh sweetie, stop over thinking this. Just go with it and see what happens."

Lurking a few people behind them, Lydia grinned like a snake stalking an unsuspecting mouse. She'd heard what Snow White had confided to her perky friend and had a good idea of how to use it against her. Satisfied that she had what she needed, Lydia drifted casually through the crowd and over to the refreshments table.

Callum was handing out soft drinks and water as caterers set up finger foods and nibbles for the guests when he spied an unwelcome face approaching his station.

"Lydia," he greeted her politely with a nod of his head. "What can I get you?"

Lydia pretended to be interested in the selections arrayed on the table and pointed to the bottles of water. "One of those would be great."

Callum pulled a bottle of water out of a tub of ice, dried it and passed it to her. "Can I ask you something?" she asked, accepting the cold bottle from him.

He narrowed his eyes warily. "Depends."

She gave him a sweet smile that looked about as genuine as a three-dollar bill on her conniving face. "Oh come on, Master," she purred. "Don't be like that. You and I have had some good times together...could again if you can get away from working for a while tonight..."

Callum gave a bark of laughter. "No thanks, Lydia. Not interested."

She pouted and arched her back so that her large breasts practically thrust themselves into his face. "Meanie." He took a step back and moved out of her reach. She just laughed and ignored the look of mild revulsion on his face.

Asshole, she thought to herself.

"Who's the newbie? I saw her dancing with Marcus earlier but don't recognize her," she asked idly, as if making casual conversation.

No idiot, Callum saw right through her pretense it immediately put his suspicions on high alert. "What are you up to, Lydia?"

"Nothing!" she huffed. "Is it a crime to be curious?"

"Is that a trick question, considering the source?"

"You're an asshole, you know that?" she spat at him.

He almost laughed at her, but leaned across the table so that his face was inches from hers. "And you're a conniving bitch, Lydia. You stay away from Tabby. Consider this your warning. If Marcus or Cooper sees you sniffing around her, they'll ban you for good. Understand?"

Lydia hid her delight at the bit of information that Callum had let slip. Now she knew the tart's name. "Okay, okay! Sheesh, I was just curious that's all!"

"I suggest you go find some Dom dumb enough to play with you and stay out of Marcus' way tonight. He won't put up with your shit, Lydia."

Lydia's mask of politeness cracked and fell away, revealing her rotten interior. Her temper flared before she could stop it. "Go fuck yourself, Callum." She grabbed her bottle off the table and turned to leave. "You can be such a fucking douche!"

He gave her a wolfish grin. "Only to you, Lydia. Now get your ass out of my sight before I have you thrown out." He glared at her menacingly. "And don't forget my warning...steer clear of Tabby or there will be hell to pay."

Lydia flipped up her middle finger and strutted away, burying her anger behind her swagger. She hoped he enjoyed the sight of her ass as she walked away. It was going to be the closest he ever got to it again, the dickhead. She moved off and lost herself in the crowd, knowing that she had one more pair of eyes on her to worry about now.

~~~~~~~~~~

"So without further ado, please enjoy the demonstrations and refreshments that have been arranged for your enjoyment. The dungeon will be opened for play once the shows are completed." Marcus concluded his speech and the four men left the stage as the crowd applauded and cheered for them. He couldn't wait to find Tabitha and hold her in his arms again, the need to have her was making it hard for him to think straight and he barely got through the speech without tripping over his own tongue.

"Where the hell is she?" Cooper had come up beside him, just as eager to find Tabby as Marcus was.

"I saw her with Petra earlier, but I've lost sight of both of them in this bloody crowd," he growled back. "I think they were somewhere at the back but can't see them now."

CHAPTER 31

Tabby watched the big men descend the stage and her stomach suddenly squirmed with anxiety. The way Marcus' eyes were roving the crowd told Tabby that he was searching for her with an intensity that frightened her. She quickly ducked behind a group of taller patrons, hoping to buy herself a few more minutes to sort out her feelings.

The way Petra was bouncing, trying to make herself visible over the heads of the crowd gave Tabby a sinking sensation in her stomach. It would only be moments before Marcus and Cooper spotted her, and Tabby was not ready to deal with the overload of emotions that she assaulted her every time she got close to them. There was still so much for them to discuss and Tabby was in no frame of mind to listen objectively. It was more than likely that her chaotic hormones would take control and get her into trouble...again.

"Where is the bathroom?" She blurted out to Petra, feeling a wave of panic make her nauseous.

"Over there by the entrance to the dungeon," she pointed to the darkened alcove that hid the restrooms. "You okay?"

"I'm fine, just drank too much water." The lie rolled off her tongue and Tabby felt badly for telling it, but her need to avoid the two men for a few minutes longer was urging her to go.

Petra gave her a skeptical glance, sensing the falsehood but letting it slide. "You sure?" She asked, concerned at the nervous way Tabby was behaving.

Tabby glanced longingly at the alcove then gave Petra a forced smile meant to be reassuring, but failed in the attempt. "I'm fine. I just really need to go," she mumbled and started to walk away.

"Okay. I'll wait for you here. Come and find us once you're done."

Grateful for Petra's discretion, Tabby nodded and angled away, heading for the bathroom and some much needed thinking space. The excited crowd, the noise and commotion that filled the noisy Dungeon Room was overloading her already overtaxed brain, making it easy for panic to settle in. Tabby needed to clear her head before facing the problem of what to do about the two sexy, gorgeous men who would both be waiting for her when she returned.

Lydia watched as Tabby split away from her friend and disappeared into the restroom. She almost pumped her fist in the air at the lucky turn of events and quickly slipped through the moving mass of bodies, using the people to hide her movements while making her own way to the restrooms.

The roar of voices and music immediately cut off the second Tabby shoved through the heavy wooden door of the women's restroom and it closed silently behind her. She strode to a long, lit up bank of mirrors, rested her weight on her arms and hung her head in relief. That the room was currently unoccupied was a tiny mercy that Tabby was imminently grateful for, she didn't think she could handle even polite conversation at that moment.

For a few, blessed moments, Tabby stood with her eyes pinched shut and just focused on breathing. She tried to blank her mind, to calm her racing heart, but images of Marcus and Cooper kept popping in, invading the emptiness she was trying to achieve.

What was she going to do? In the heat of the moment, when her body was still riding the high of the orgasm Marcus' expert fingers had given her, she would have given them just about anything they had asked for, hungry for more of that intense pleasure. Now though, once her hormones and arousal had had a chance to cool down, the seriousness of what they were proposing was engulfing her and making her doubt everything. She felt like a bystander watching a train wreck in slow motion.

One woman with two men? Who did that? Even as her pussy tingled with interest, her brain was hanging off the Emergency Stop handle, yanking it for all it was worth. She still couldn't figure out how she had gone from having just Marcus interested in her to the revelation that he came as a pair. How would that work? Would they draw straws or something to see whose turn it was to spend time with her or would there be some sort of schedule?

All the unknowns were making her head pound with a dull pressure. She needed answers but didn't have the courage to seek them from the only two people who could provide them. In truth, she was afraid that the excitement of finally shedding her virginity would cloud her ability to make rational decisions. Every time that she had needed her wits about her, a pair of dark, broody eyes and a certain carefree boyish smile kept distracting her.

How was she supposed to think clearly with all the male yumminess surrounding her with their sexy hotness?

Distracted by her thoughts, Tabby didn't hear the restroom door open until someone place a cool hand on her shoulder startling her.

"I'm sorry dear, I was only wondering if you were alright. You didn't answer me when I asked." Tabby looked up to see a tall, beautiful woman smiling at her. She was almost too thin and had flame-red hair, she looked at Tabby with an odd expression that unsettled her.

"Sorry. I was miles away."

The woman chuckled, but there was little humor in the sound. "That was obvious. I hope I didn't scare you too badly."

Tabby shook her head. "No harm done."

The woman gave her an inquisitive look then her face brightened into a wide smile. "You're Tabby aren't you?"

Caught off guard, Tabby searched her memories for some knowledge of the woman. "Do I...do I know you?"

"Oh no, my dear! However, I know you...or at least I know of you! You're the Dynamic Duo's newest flavor of the week!"

"P-pardon?" Tabby stammered, confused at the woman's reference.
"Marcus and Cooper's latest plaything," the woman clarified as if she were speaking to an idiot.

Tabby turned, ready to leave. "I think you have me confused with someone else."

She was almost to the door when the woman called out in a nonchalant voice. "So you're not the Tabby that Marcus dry humped on the dancefloor?" Tabby's feet froze in mid-stride. "And you're not the Tabby that Marcus finger fucked to a screaming orgasm in the middle of the bar shortly after?" The woman had a sly grin on her face as she pretended to inspect her perfectly manicured nails. She peered up and fixed Tabby with a predatory glare.

Lydia was thrilled to see the blush of embarrassment flood the girl's pale face with brilliant colour. She almost chortled with glee at the shadows of shame that darkened her green eyes. This was going to be too easy, she congratulated herself.

"You can deny it all you want, but everyone saw and you, my dear, are the topic of much gossip right now."

Swallowing sour bile down, Tabby gathered the shreds of her confidence together and pretended a disinterest she definitely wasn't feeling. "What do you want from me? I'm sorry, but I never got your name," she replied, waiting for the woman to provide her name. She just smiled and waved a hand dismissing Tabby's question.

"My name's not important." Her greedy eyes roved over Tabby's body, inspecting every inch, appraising and finding what she saw, lacking in some way. She sighed and feigned a confused expression. "I just can't figure out what they see in you."

"Excuse me?" Tabby blurted, the insult burning in her ears.

"You poor thing! Look at you...fresh and pure as newly fallen snow. I'll be willing to bet that you have no idea how to please a man, let alone two very demanding men like Cooper and Marcus." She strutted slowly over to Tabby, circling her and trailing a pointed fingernail along her arm and across her shoulders. She leaned in and Tabby almost gagged on her perfume.

"Do you have any idea of the fire you are playing with, little girl? Of what those two will do to such an untouched little morsel like you?" She tittered and stopped directly in front of Tabby.

"I'll bet you've never taken a cock in that tight, little ass before have you?"

Tabby gasped and moved a step a back.

The woman shook her head ruefully. "Oh you poor little thing. They like that sort of thing, you know. It's too bad you're not ready because I'm afraid to tell you that the first time is going to hurt like a flaming bitch."

"W-why are y-you saying these things?" Tabby stammered, feeling dizzy and sick.

"Oh sweetie, I'm just trying to let you in on what to expect. I've seen how these two operate in the past, and I'm just trying to save you the heartache that's to come."

Tabby shook her head, hoping to clear the fog of confusion and worry. "I don't understand."

"That much is obvious!" The woman guided Tabby to a sofa that sat in the waiting area of the restroom and encouraged her to sit down. "I'm sure they were both charming and sweet, promising you all sorts of attention. I hate to be the one to burst your daydream, sweetie, but it's all an illusion. They are just looking for someone new to fuck and then you'll find yourself cast away as soon as they get bored." She paused and gave Tabby a sad smile. "And my guess is that they are going to get bored with you really fast. You're a little too naïve and inexperienced for their more...demanding...tastes."

"Who...who are you?" Tabby implored feeling like she'd just been shoved into the path of an oncoming bus.

"I'm just someone who wants to help you avoid being made a fool of, dearie. You are a little, tiny mouse that's trying to play with the lions." She gave Tabby's quivering hand a commiserating pat. "It won't end well for you. You are so badly out of your depth here and that's what they want. They'll use you, break you and put you out for the trash like the broken toy you'll be."

She stood and looked down her imperious nose at Tabby. A single, glistening tear had begun to slide from the girl's eye and Lydia's heart filled with delight. "Go home, Tabby. Go home and forget them, or you'll regret it."

A sob caught at the back of Tabby's throat as the woman strode out of the restroom, leaving Tabby drowning in confusion and shame. The moment the door shut behind her, Tabby leapt to her feet and bolted for a stall. She dropped to the hard tile floor and vomited until her stomach had nothing left in it.

CHAPTER 32

Lydia exited the alcove, feeling happier than she had in days. She caught Callum's suspicious gaze as she sauntered away and gave him a saucy wave. She didn't care about him anymore; she'd accomplished what she'd needed to do. Little Miss Snow White wasn't going to be a problem anymore going by the pale, green tint on the bitch's face when she'd left her in the bathroom. Picturing her taking Marcus and Cooper's cocks at the same time had Lydia chuckling to herself at such a ridiculous image, at least she didn't have to worry about the little tart any more. Snow White will be running home to her momma with her tail between her legs and good riddance to her!

Pleased that she accomplished her goal, Lydia decided that it was time to have some real fun and went in search of a willing Dom to entertain her for the rest of the evening.

Tabby slumped against the wall of the stall until she heard the door open and several people entered the restroom. She pulled herself to her feet, flushed the toilet and wiped her mouth with a handful of toilet tissue. When she heard the doors of the stalls close behind their occupants, Tabby opened hers and went to the sinks. Splashing some cold water on her face helped to wash away the grimy feeling of humiliation and disgust that tainted her after her conversation with the mysterious woman.

Where there had been excitement only a few moments ago, now all Tabby felt was shame and emptiness. She felt like a fool...a naïve, gullible fool...just like the woman had accused her of being. She'd fallen for the lies Marcus and Cooper had told her, had even started to believe in the fantasy that they had spun, thinking that they were being honest with her. She should have known that it was too good to be true. What an idiot she had been!

The toilets began flushing behind her and Tabby suddenly needed to be gone. She couldn't bear the thought of facing the women when they emerged and could at least get lost in the crowds in the club. Nobody would notice a pathetic white-bander in that crazy menagerie. She took one last look at her red-rimmed eyes and tear-stained face but couldn't do anything about either now. The dim lights in the club would hide her as she made her walk of shame away from the place and the two men that had shaken her house of cards to the ground.

Away from Marcus.

Away from Cooper.

Damn them both to hell.

She hoped that she never saw them again, even as that thought ripped something deep inside her heart. Damn them for making her believe and damn them for making her hope. Tears began to burn her eyes again and she forced herself to stop thinking about them before she started sobbing all over again. She wiped her face and left the restroom, heading for the exit instead of going back to meet Petra.

Callum caught the tiny form of Tabitha darting from the alcove, the mascara streaked down her cheeks and the way she was avoiding making eye contact told him that she was upset and had been crying. Alarm bells began clamoring in his skull as he pieced together the image of Lydia coming out looking all pleased, only to be followed shortly after by a distraught Tabby.

Christ! What had the bitch done? Tabby looked shattered, so it was a good bet that Lydia must have said or done something. That vindictive cow! Marcus is going to be pissed off when he finds out that his little subbie just pulled a runner on him. Callum scanned the crowd, looking for either Marcus or Cooper, but there were too many people milling around, that even with his impressive height, Callum couldn't spot them from his vantage point.

"Shit!" he swore, startling the pretty little submissive that was assisting him that evening.

"Sorry, Sarah," he apologized. "Do you think you could do me a favour?"

"Of course, Master Callum. What did you need?"

"I need you to go find Master Marcus or Master Cooper and tell them I need to talk to them urgently. I've left my damn cell phone at the bar and can't get ahold of them. Can you do that for me?"

She bobbed her head happily. "Sure thing, Master."

He smiled gratefully at her. "Thank you, Sarah."

She took off her apron and scurried into the crowd. Callum cast a worried eye at the exit where Tabby had disappeared through and hoped that Sarah would find the boys in time.

~~~~~~~~~~

"Where the hell is she?" Marcus growled, impatiently. "I thought you said she'd be back in a minute?"

Petra shrugged, her face pinched with worry. "She said she needed to use the bathroom, Master. She was supposed to be back in a minute." Petra leaned into Diego's hard chest, clasping his hand for moral support. "I don't know what could be keeping her."

"Master Marcus!" a female voice called out and Marcus searched the throng for the source of the call. A minute later, a young submissive named Sarah weaved between several groups of patrons and came trotting up to him. She bowed her head respectfully and waited for him to address her.

"Sarah? What is it, little one?"

She was breathless as she relayed her message. "Master Callum sent me to find you, Sir. He needs to speak to you urgently. Will you please come with me?"

"Of course," he said and turned to Cooper. "You coming?"

He nodded. "You bet. I wonder what's got Cal so worked up."

Marcus had a bad feeling in his gut. "I don't know, but I don't like it."

Thankfully, the crowd parted to allow them to pass easily by, though in the worried frame of mind that Marcus was in, he was prepared to remove people out of his way by brute force, if necessary. They made it back to Callum in a matter of minutes and the stony look of concern on his face that greeted them, told them that he didn't have good news to share.

"Thank fuck she found you. You guys have a problem."

"What?" Marcus and Cooper barked together.

"It's Tabby. Lydia got to her. I don't what she said or what she did, but Tabby took off out of the bathroom looking like she couldn't get away from here fast enough. She looked really upset."

Marcus ran a hand through his tousled hair and struggled to keep his temper from exploding into an all-out rage. "Fuck! I was afraid that bitch would cause problems. How long ago did she leave?"

"Five minutes, more or less but she was moving fast. If you hurry you might still catch her."

Petra and Diego appeared and caught the last part of the conversation. "She has no way to get home, Master. She'll have to call a cab because she came with me."

"Good. That should stall her long enough for us to catch up with her. You guys stay here in case she comes back. Coop, you're with me. Let's go find our girl."

Petra watched helplessly as the two men tore out of the Dungeon Room and vanished from sight.

"Oh Master," she moaned.

"Shh, little one. They'll sort out whatever has happened, you'll see." He stroked her bare arm and placed a kiss on the top of her head.

She molded herself to Diego's chest, desperately needing the comforting feel of his body against hers; his arms came around her back and he held her close. "It's not fair. She deserves a break, Master...they all deserve a break."

"I know, sweetheart. I believe that if they are destined to be together, things will work out...eventually. You'll see, my sweet, but right now, they have to endure these annoying growing pains so that they learn how to fight for their relationship. How hard they fight will show Tabby how committed they are and whether she realizes it or not, her brain will take note of that. They need to build the trust between them, they just don't know each other well enough for that grounding anchor to exist yet. When storm winds blow, they drift into troubled waters because there is nothing to keep them in place yet. Until that bond is formed, it is much too easy for disruptive influences to stir up shit between them."

Petra sighed and rubbed her cheek against the warm pectoral muscle of Diego's hard chest, her chest aching for her friend. "I hope they catch her in time, Master," she whispered.

He lifted her chin and captured her lips with his in a kiss that stole some of the anxiety and sadness from her heart. "Me too, sweet girl. Me too."

CHAPTER 33

Tabby hurried through the bar, desperate to get out of the club that had suddenly become unbearably oppressive. A weight made of humiliation, disappointment and sorrow, compressed her lungs making it impossible for her to breathe without wailing in despair. She finally made it to the big, entrance doors and pushed through, exchanging the mad cacophony of the club for the relative quiet of the main entrance.

Saul was busy sweeping the marble tiled floor behind his counter, and looked up with concern as Tabby fell back against the doors, choking on her sobs.

"Tabitha?" He set the broom aside and walked slowly to the crying girl. "My dear, whatever has happened?"

Tabby hastily swiped at her wet cheeks and gave him a weak smile. "I'm...I'm okay," she lied. "Could you please call a cab for me, Saul?"

He regarded her with a critical eye, taking in her obvious distress and concluded that leaving the club alone would be a bad idea for the upset girl. "Why don't I have Petra paged instead, or perhaps Master Marcus? He would be very concerned to know that you are so upset, little one."

Tabby shook her head in panic. The last thing she wanted was to have to see that lying jerk again. "No!" She pulled herself away from the support of the heavy doors and marched past Saul. "Never mind. I can call from the parking lot." Before he could stop her, Tabby darted for the front doors, which obediently slid apart to allow her to escape.

~~~~~~~~~~

Marcus sprinted through the bar with blind panic nipping at his heels; every second that Tabby was out of his reach, stretched into an interminable eternity of torture. He ran without breathing, afraid that if he did, time would cruelly speed up and she'd get away before he could get to her.

He could fix this...if only he could find her before she left.

What had that poisonous bitch said to her to make her run? At this point, it didn't matter; he'd find out and deal with Lydia later. What did matter was getting to his angel before she could leave so that he could rectify the situation. The fear that Lydia's vile meddling had just succeeded in putting the last nail in their chances with Tabby curdled in his stomach making him feel sick.

God damn that woman! He cursed as he and Cooper bolted through the club. She couldn't have picked a worse time to try to fuck with Tabby. Her emotions had been so fragile when they'd left her, that it wouldn't have taken much to break her. From what Callum had seen, it appeared that Lydia had done just that, she must have put her thumb into the right wound to make Tabby run from them.

The doors leading to the main entrance finally came into sight and seconds later, Marcus burst through them in time to see the outer doors closing behind Tabitha.

"Tabitha! Stop!" he bellowed, barreling past a startled Saul with Cooper right behind him.

Saul jumped out of his way and cringed when Marcus slammed into the glass doors. He hammered on them with his fists, willing the automatic doors to open faster.

"Tabitha!" he roared as soon as the cool air of the underground parking garage hit him in the face. He quickly spotted Tabitha heading for the exit, but in her heels, she wasn't making as much ground as she would have if she'd been in footwear that was more appropriate for running.

Thank God for those sexy, insane stilettos! Marcus thought and ran after her.

For a spilt second, his shout almost made Tabby stop in her tracks. She stumbled and almost fell when she turned her head to glance back and found Marcus and Cooper chasing after her. Lydia's harsh words chose that moment to resurface and pain cut through her heart.

They'll use you...break you and then throw you away when they get bored of you!

Her heart contracted so fiercely that she feared it would never be able to beat again. Without thinking, Tabby ran even faster, running awkwardly in her on the balls of her feet and praying that she didn't end up breaking her ankle. It was enough that she was taking home a broken heart as a souvenir from her first and last visit to a BDSM club.

Where the hell was that exit ramp? The parking garage hadn't seemed this big when they'd arrived, but then she hadn't really been paying attention.

"Tabby, wait!" Cooper yelled after.

"Shit! Stop, Tabitha!" Tabby heard Marcus' curse over the pounding footfalls of their boot heels slamming into the concrete behind her. Tabby was no match for their long legs in the stupid heels that Petra had bought for her, and the echoing sounds were getting louder as the two men quickly closed the distance between them.

A hand on her shoulder gripped her tightly, bringing her to a sudden stop and almost pulling her off her feet. She landed heavily against Marcus with a scream of surprise. His arms clamped around her and she thrashed in panic, trying to break free. "Let me go!" she shrieked, blindly lashing out with her fists.

He spun her around in his arms, trapping her wrists at her sides before she could land more than a glancing blow on his chest. Cooper's big body pressed up behind her and he added his own arms to the cage Marcus' had created to keep her contained. She howled and writhed like a wild animal but they held on until her struggles exhausted her.

"Tabitha, listen to me," Marcus spoke sharply, his voice rough with emotion.

"No!" she spat angrily, not able to hold back the tears of humiliation that were streaming freely down her cheeks. "I don't want to hear any more of your lies." Her breathing had turned ragged and stuttered over her words. "You had your fun...now let me go." She shrugged her shoulders but Cooper held her tight.

Marcus' brows beetled together in genuine confusion. "Lies? What are you talking about, angel?"

Tabby slammed her back against Cooper, her sadness doing a one eighty into outrage. "Don't fucking call me that! I'm not your angel! I'm not your anything! Go find another toy to play with because I'm not interested in being a part of whatever sick game you and him were playing!"

Marcus stared down into her eyes, those beautiful orbs blazed back at him, full of green fire that arced and flashed as if they had lightning held captive in their emerald depths. There was no fear or shame visible, a shell had hardened around her distress, keeping her vulnerability in a safe place so that her anger and indignation could burn brightly...and all that energy focused itself on Marcus.

Sudden pride for his angel's fortitude swelled his chest until he thought he would burst from the pressure of it and desire flared hot in his groin making his balls ache with need for her. That same indomitable spirit, that had helped her survive the attack by her boss, had kicked in and had taken precedence over her hurt feelings, giving her the backbone to stand up for herself and fight. Marcus thought it was the sexiest thing he had ever seen.

And fuck him, if it wasn't turning him on.

Gone was the shy, naïve girl he'd seen so far, in its place was a beauty, who when threatened, turned into a force of nature. Even as she kicked and scratched at him like an enraged mountain lion, Marcus found himself falling deeper in thrall with her. The corners of his lips turned up slightly as the pleasure he felt warmed him and replaced the frantic fear of losing her. He just needed to calm her down and make her listen.
Tabby saw the grin on Marcus' face and it threw her off guard, for its unexpectedness and for the sheer sexiness of it. She found herself caught between the urge to kiss his delectable lips and the irrational desire to claw that smile right off his face.

Why was it that every time that infernal man smiled at me, my brain turns to mush? In spite of her anger and indignation, a hot bolt of arousal managed to worm its way through her body, leaving a burning trail straight down to her core.

"Care to tell me what the fuck is so funny?" she yelled at him, hoping to hide how much he had unnerved her by using her anger as a shield.

Marcus just stared at her, unable to break the hold her dazzling eyes had on him. His cock was throbbing between his legs and it was getting worse the longer he looked at her, but he ignored the annoying pressure and refocused on dealing with an enraged Tabitha.

"You're so...fucking...beautiful." His voice was gentle and reverent and he wanted so badly to caress her flushed cheeks and show her how much he'd come to worship her in such a short time, but he couldn't risk releasing her just yet. "Even filled with righteous indignation, angel, you never cease to amaze me."

The raw emotion in his quiet voice effectively pulled the plug on the rage that had been sustaining Tabby's defiance. Her muscles loosened without warning and she sagged into the safety of Cooper's embrace, relying on his strength to keep her upright. "Please...don't call me that," she whispered in a lost, childlike voice, shaking her head to ward off the placating effect he was having on her. "I can't bear to hear it from your lips, knowing that it's all a lie."

I'm not going to cry. Dammit, I will not give them the satisfaction! Tabby chanted in her head, trying to hold onto the anger so that she wouldn't feel the stinging pain of their betrayal.

Releasing his hold on one of her unresisting wrists, Marcus reached up and captured her chin in one of his big palms. "It isn't a lie, angel. That is what you are to me. That is what you will always be to me...even if you hate me. You are my angel and I'm not letting you go without a fight. Lydia has filled your head with her twisted delusions. I know that she cornered you in the bathroom, Tabitha, and that something that vile creature said to you scared you off."

Tabby startled at that revelation. How had he known? Understanding dawned that someone must have seen her leave and had told him. How else would he and Cooper have known to come chasing after her as they did?

Marcus didn't need her words to see the confirmation in her surprised eyes. "You don't know my history with that woman, or her reputation, or else you'd have known how narcissistic and vindictive she can be. One day I'll sit down and tell you the sordid story, but this isn't the time or place for that. Suffice it to say, angel, Lydia's motives for talking to you were anything but pure. In her deluded mind, she sees you as competition for mine and Cooper's attention, and she used lies to get you out of her way." He finally gave in and stroked the soft skin of her cheek feeling small quivers under his fingertips as he soothed more of the tension out of his ferocious little tigress.

"I'm so sorry that you got caught up in her bullshit." His contrition sounded so sincere that Tabby really wanted to believe him, but doubt caused by Lydia's hateful warning held her back like a thorny barrier. She tried to force her way through, to find her way back to the fragile trust they had been building, but found that she was too weary to keep hacking through the branches. She'd had too much to assimilate and process and her mind had reached maximum saturation.

Unaware of the internal battle that was raging in Tabby's head, Marcus leaned forward, bowing his head until his forehead rested on Tabby's forehead. She didn't flinch away, only closed her eyes and Marcus took her acceptance as a positive sign when in actuality, it was Tabby capitulating from sheer mental fatigue.

"Give us a chance to explain," he whispered to her.

"Please Tabitha, don't believe her lies. We can be amazing together," Cooper crooned from behind her.

Swaying on her feet, Tabby barely heard their voices through the hissing sound of static in her ears. It was getting louder, sounding more like angry bees and drowning out everything else, their voices became muffled then were swallowed by the roaring that was filling her head. A strange sense of detachment separated her mind from her body and took the pain with it, leaving her weightless with a blissful sense of serenity, then a void opened up under her feet.

By the time her eyes had rolled into the back of her head, Tabby was completely at peace and gratefully surrendered, letting herself drop into the silence.

CHAPTER 34

"Marcus!" Cooper shouted a second after Tabby went boneless in his arms and almost slipped through his arms. He bent, following her path to the ground and quickly scooped her up just before she would have landed on the hard pavement.

"Shit, that was close!" Marcus swore as Tabby suddenly dropped away from him and into his partner's waiting embrace.

Cooper stood up and Marcus stepped to her side and quickly checked her pulse, letting a sigh of relief escape once he'd reassured himself that her heart was beating strongly beneath his fingertips. "She's okay. She's just fainted. Let's get her upstairs to my office."

Cooper held Tabby's inert body out to Marcus. "Do you want to take her?"

He wanted nothing more, his beast had been trying to claw its way through his chest to get at her, but the longing in his friend's face made Marcus take a step back and force his need back into its cage. "No, buddy. You got her." He grasped Cooper's shoulder and gave it a squeeze. "You go ahead, take care of our girl. I'll grab some water for her on my way up."

Cooper looked uncertain for a split second, not quite believing in the gift Marcus was giving him. "You sure?"

"You bet. She's ours remember?" Tabby made a soft whimpering sound, and as if sensing the heat radiating off his body, turned her head and nestled her cheek into the soft cotton of Cooper's tunic, emitting a happy sigh as her body relaxed against him. Cooper's face split into a stupid grin of pleasure and Marcus chuckled at him, despite feeling slightly envious of his friend.

Let him enjoy her, he thought. After the stress of the evening, Cooper deserved a little happiness.

"I never knew how good it could feel to hold the right woman in my arms," Cooper said quietly, more to himself than for Marcus' ears. He turned his awestruck eyes up to Marcus and they were shining with unshed tears. "How did you ever let go of her, brother?"

Marcus reached over and gently brushed a lock of dark, curls off Tabby's face. Her little nose wrinkled in displeasure and she snorted softly in her sleep. "With great difficulty. For an entire month I walked around painfully aware that something vital was missing." He laughed quietly. "If she ever figures out the power she has over us, we will be completely screwed!"

"Amen to that." Cooper closed his eyes and took a deep draw of air through his nostrils, humming in delight. "God damn, she smells fucking good. Have you noticed how good she smells?"

"Better than fresh baked bread, apple pie and coffee! My fucking cock gets hard every time I catch her scent."

Marcus held the door for Cooper who carried the unconscious Tabby into the main vestibule.

Saul took in the scene and scowled at the two men. "Boys, I hope you had nothing to do with the condition of that little one."

"She just fainted, Saul. No cause for alarm. It's been a very trying night for our angel here and she just had one too many shocks to cope with."

"Hrumph, you best go take care of her then." Saul pulled a large ring of keys from his pocket, walked over to the side of the room, and unlocked the access door to the hidden warren of passageways.

"Thanks, Saul," Cooper said as he passed into the dim corridor.

"I'll meet you up there in ten minutes. I'd better go update Petra before she goes on the rampage looking for Tabby," Marcus called to Cooper, received a nod of acknowledgement, and then closed the door behind him. Saul immediately relocked the door and returned to his place behind the long counter.

"If you don't mind me saying, it looks like she's not the only one who's had a hard night, Boss," Saul quipped, noticing the lines of stress and exhaustion creasing Marcus' forehead.

"I'll be fine, Saul. I've been walking on egg shells all night, trying to do the right thing and having it blow up in my face," he shook his head ruefully.

Saul beamed a knowing smile. "Nothing worth having comes without a fight and the mistakes you make now will help you learn for the future."

"You think?"

Saul nodded his big head. "I know. How do you think I've stayed married for forty years? However, we didn't get through it without many missteps and misunderstandings along the way. Be patient and be kind, that's all you really need to know. Remember, that little one is as skittish as a newborn kitten in this world. She is going to need much reassurance from you both until she learns to trust you."

"Sometimes I wish she was more experienced. It would make things easier..."

Saul held up his finger and waggled it at Marcus. "Ahh, but then that little flower would not have held the same appeal, now would she?"

Marcus thought for a moment. Was that what had attracted him to Tabby so strongly? Her goodness shone like a beacon through a storm, directing him through the dangers to the safe harbor she promised and when he was near her, a light so pure poured into his world, that was almost blinding to behold. The funny thing was, he hadn't realized how dark and lonely his life had been until that one moment when he'd lain eyes on a broken shell of a girl and felt her light transform him forever.

The rumble of laughter from Saul sounded like pebbles tumbling in a rock polisher. The harsh sound pulled Marcus out of his thoughts and he nodded at the old man. "You just might be on to something there, Saul!"

"I thought so. The dumb puppy looks on yours and Cooper's faces pretty much tells the tale. You two are in deep trouble."

Marcus chuckled. "True and yet, there isn't anywhere else I'd want to be."

"Go. If I know Petra, she'll be organizing a search party...or sending out a lynch mob to find you. You'd better go and reassure her."

Marcus put his hands on the doors leading into the club proper, paused then threw a grateful look over his shoulder at Saul. "Thanks for the advice, Saul."

"Anytime, son."

CHAPTER 35

Petra was busy pacing back and forth, fretting about her best friend. Diego let her be, hoping that she'd tire herself out and come and sit, but instead, she seemed to be getting more anxious. He stood up, intersected her path and before she could anticipate his actions, picked her up and tossed her onto his shoulder. She gave a startled squeak as her world turned upside down, giving her a perfect view of her Master's kilted backside.

"Uhm, not that I'm complaining about the view, Master, but what are you doing?" She stretched her arm down and gave Diego a friendly pat on his butt.

In return, Diego flipped the skirt of her dress up, exposing her naked ass and gave her a hard swat.

Petra yelped and thumped his back with angry fists. "What the hell, Master?"

He kept silent, marching her through the bar until they reached a seating area composed of partially secluded sofas. Petra found herself dumped unceremoniously onto one of the plush sofas, with Diego glaring down at her.

"Sit and stay. You will wait patiently until I give you permission to get up. Nod if you understand?" He smiled as Petra meekly nodded, her eyes downcast but fuming at him.

"Good girl," he said with a gentle pat on her head. He could see the way his little submissive bit down on her lower lip in an attempt to keep her mouth shut and his cock hardened at the display of defiance. As much as her bratty side tried his patience at times, it never ceased to turn him on. He gazed upon the top of her blonde curls fondly, his chest tight with the love he felt for her.

He pulled his cellphone out from the leather sporran that hung from his waist and was just about to dial Marcus' number when he caught sight of the man in question weaving through the crowd towards him. Petra followed Diego's line of sight and almost jumped to her feet once she spied whom he'd seen. A sharp glare from her Master kept her rooted to the sofa, but not before she returned the dirty look with a huff, expressing her displeasure.

"Hey," Diego greeted Marcus, clasping hands with him. "Did you find her in time?"

Marcus nodded. "Yes, that's what I came to tell you."

"Where is she?"

"Cooper's taking her up to my office. She fainted while we were talking in the parkcade."

Diego sensed Petra's agitation and reached out a hand, catching her mid-way to her feet. "Did I give you permission to get up, Petra?" he growled at her.

"Master..." she whined.

"Answer my question, pet."

Her head dropped and she sunk back down onto the cushion. "No Master."

"That's what I thought, yet you chose to defy me anyway."

"I'm sorry, Master. Please forgive me," she begged softly, looking up at him with eyes shining with unshed tears.

Diego wasn't trying to be an asshole; he knew from experience that Petra didn't handle stress well, especially when people she loved where involved, often letting her overactive emotions get the better of her judgement. He could see the worry for Tabby and her own guilt at her part in keeping Marcus and Cooper's secret, pushing her into a spiral that would have ultimately resulted in an emotional meltdown if he hadn't stepped in and taken control. By keeping her seated and firmly in her submissive headspace, it refocused all the volatile energy onto him, calming her impulsive tendency towards chaotic behavior..

"I know you are worried, little one, but panic isn't going to help this situation is it?" he asked gently.

She shook her head and wiped at her damp eyes. "No, Master."

Marcus spoke up, needing to relay his information so that he could hurry back to his angel. "She's fine, Petra. I think she just got overwhelmed. Cooper's looking after her and I'm going to take her some food and water to help her recover."

Petra glanced at her Master, silently asking for permission to speak. Diego smiled and nodded.

"Thank you, Master Marcus. She's probably going to want to go home; I'll grab my stuff and get ready to go." She ignored the scowl of displeasure that darkened Diego's handsome face.

"There's no need. If she wants to go, Cooper or I will make sure she gets home safely." He turned to address Diego. "You two can go and enjoy the rest of your evening. Tabby's in safe hands."

"Sounds good, give me a shout if anything changes," Diego replied, sensing Marcus' impatience to leave.

"You got it. I'll text you when she's ready to go home," he paused and smiled pointedly at Petra. "Just so you know what's going on." Petra gave him a grateful smile and nodded back at him.

"Thanks, Master."

His message delivered, Marcus gave them a curt nod and departed. He made his way to the Dungeon room, where the evening's festivities were in full swing. Noise, cries of pleasure and the smoky smell of candle wax, sex and leather greeted him the moment he stepped into the dimly lit area. Ignoring well-wishers and friends, he headed to the refreshments table, piled a few nibbles onto a paper plate then strode over to speak to Callum.

"Hi Boss. Seeing as you look pretty rational, I take it that you made it in time to catch her?" he commented.

"Yeah, just in time too. Thank you for giving us the heads up. If you hadn't sent Sarah to find me, Tabby would have left and it would have been too late to repair the damage Lydia did. I owe you one."

Callum chuckled and passed Marcus a cold bottle of water. "You can add it to my next pay cheque. How is she?"

"Tabitha? I think this evening proved to be too much too soon for her. I still don't know what lies Lydia filled her head with, but will be getting to the bottom of that cesspool soon enough."

"Speaking of which, I haven't seen Lydia since. She may have hooked up with someone and headed to a private room. What do you want to do if she resurfaces?"

Marcus' features hardened and his eyes turned jet black with rage. "Nothing. Just keep her away from me. I'll deal with her tomorrow."

"You got it, Boss."

Marcus headed for an access door that would take him to the stairs that led to the second level. The sound of the crowd had turned into an annoying pressure in his head that he didn't want to have to deal with anymore. All he wanted was to see Tabby and hold her until his temper calmed down and he could think again...that is, if she would even let him touch her again.

"God damn you, Lydia!" he swore the minute the heavy, steel door clicked shut behind him. He didn't want to admit it, but Marcus was terrified that her malicious words had destroyed the delicate trust that had been growing between them. First, he had fucked up by rushing and then Lydia had dumped a load of her poison onto Tabby. He wouldn't blame her if she ran as far away from them as she could.

The walk to his office had never felt so long, when in reality it had only taken Marcus less than two minutes to climb the stairs and traverse the steel walkways to his office. The door was shut, but not locked and he quietly opened it and stepped inside. Some of the tension he had been holding inside ebbed the minute he saw Tabby cradled safely in Cooper's arms. A weight eased off his chest and he took his first deep breath in what seemed to be forever, a sense of rightness settling over him like a comforting blanket.

CHAPTER 36

"Tabitha." Someone was calling her, but the voice sounded so far away that she couldn't be sure and it was easy to ignore as she drifted back down into sleep.

"Tabitha. C'mon beautiful, time to open those gorgeous eyes," Cooper crooned; stroking her cheek as he gently urged her to wake. Her red lips parted and a light, breathy moan escaped on her next breath, but she didn't wake. Instead, her small hand grasped a handful of his tunic and she snuggled in, pressing her cheek to his chest and sighing. The soft, feminine sound brought a smile to his face and he pulled her closer, tightening his hold on her, grateful to have this precious time with her.

Marcus walked in, set the water and food on his desk then strode over to the sofa and knelt down. He caressed Tabby's cheek with the backs of his fingers. "How is she?"

"She's good, starting to show signs of waking, but I think she's fighting it." Cooper laughed and shifted Tabby in his arms. Her eyelids fluttered briefly, before she took a deep breath and cracked them opened to thin slits.

"There she is!" Marcus said happily, moving into her field of view. "Welcome back, angel. Did you enjoy your nap?"

Tabby blinked a few times, trying to orient herself, but her brain felt thick and sludgy. "What...what happened?" she mumbled, licking her dry lips with an equally dry tongue.

Marcus grabbed the water bottle, cracked the seal and put it up to her mouth. "Take a drink," he said, tipping it slightly so that the cool water splashed against her lip.

Cooper sat her up so that she could drink, while Marcus inspected her with a clinical eye. "You fainted down in the garage. How are you feeling?"

Tabby put the bottle down. "Embarrassed, mostly," she replied, blushing shyly. It was then that she suddenly realized where she was sitting, or more like on whom she was sitting. She moved to get off Cooper's lap, but he twined his arms around her and held her in place.
"Don't get up," he said quickly. "You're fine where you are." It was selfish, but Cooper wasn't ready to give her up quite yet.

"Are you hungry, angel?"

At hearing Marcus's endearment for her, a knot tightened in Tabby's stomach and the events of the past few hours flooded back to her in a sickening rush of memory. "You're still calling me that," she accused Marcus. "Please don't."

Marcus sat back on his heels. "I won't stop, angel, because that is what you are to me. Whatever Lydia told you was a lie. You have to believe that."

"I don't know what to believe anymore." The despair in her voice pierced Marcus' chest like hot poker.

"I know. Remember how you felt when I had you in my arms and you begged me to make you cum?"

Tabby's cheeks glowed like ripe apples as that memory replayed in her mind.

"There, that feeling right there. Believe that, angel. I - we - will never hurt you. Despite what that bitch told you. You are precious to us, Tabitha. Please believe that."

Her breathing hitched and the sting of tears pricked at the corners of her eyes. "She said...she said that you would both use me then...toss me away once you got bored. She said that that's how you both operate. I'd be another one of your broken toys that you'd lost interest in." Tears escaped down her cheeks and dripped onto Cooper's hand that lay against her stomach.

Rage made Marcus' vision turn red. Of all the evil cards that Lydia could have played, she had picked the one thing guaranteed to play on Tabitha's insecurities.

Cooper could see Marcus gritting his teeth in an attempt to hold back the vicious snarl that wanted to escape and distracted Tabby while his brother got himself back under control.

"I'm so sorry that she said those horrible things to you. For the record, yes, Marcus and I have played with many submissives over the years and have not had long-term relationships with any of them. It's not because we didn't care for them, we always treated our playmates with respect, Tabitha, but none were the right fit." He paused and wrapped his hand around Tabby's, threading his fingers into hers. "Not like you. There is something between us - it started with you and Marcus but I think you can feel it growing between you and I as well, can't you?"

Tabby glanced away, her thoughts colliding with the arousal that simmered inside her, just from being in their proximity. She lowered her gaze to where Cooper was holding her hand as if he was trying to keep her from falling into an abyss. Her response came unbidden, slipping past her lips before her brain was aware that she'd spoken. "Yes."

His hand tightened around hers and his other pulled her against his chest. She fell upon him willingly, accepting the comfort he was offering.

"Yes." He whispered into her hair, kissing her forehead. "Believe that, angel. Please, please give us a chance to prove it to you."

Grateful for the Cooper's intersession, Marcus stood and paced the room, his beast wanted nothing more than to hunt Lydia down and make her regret her spiteful words. In his agitated state, he was having a hell of a time keeping his temper reined in and the last thing that he wanted to do was frighten Tabitha. The red stain slowly dripped from his vision as he calmed and disappeared altogether when he'd heard Tabby's soft, "Yes."

Pulling a chair in front of the sofa, he dropped himself into it and looked longingly at this best friend, his brother, holding the woman that they both cared for and reassuring her where he could not.

She sat up and looked between Marcus and Cooper, searching their solemn faces for any hint that they were lying to her. All she could see was sincerity and raw need, they believed what they were telling her and she could see the desperate hope that she would believe them too. How had she gotten so lucky as to find two beautiful, strong men who both wanted her? She had been a fool to believe Lydia's hurtful words but had been too confused to see them for the manipulative lies that they were.

"She still wants you, you know," Tabby said with resignation.

With a nod of his head, Marcus leaned back in his chair and sighed deeply. "I know. There is a lot of history between her and I - most of it bad - she isn't going to let go easily. She's...she's very damaged, Tabitha...emotionally. You are going to need to be very careful around her. We will try to protect you as much as we can, but I need you to promise never to be alone with her or to trust anything she says. What was between us was nothing more than casual at best and has been over for years, but she persists in holding on to the fantasy of becoming our submissive. That was never in the cards for her." The note of finality and disgust in his voice went a long way to reassure Tabitha that he was being truthful with her.

"She's going to hate me, isn't she?"

Cooper stroked her back and turned her to face him. "Yes," he nodded in commiseration. "And that's going to make her very unpredictable." He brought her hand, still clasped firmly in his, to his lips and kissed the back of her knuckles. "But I promise you that, if you allow it, we will love you more than she could ever hate you, little one."

CHAPTER 37

Cooper caught Marcus' flinch at his last statement, but as quickly as the reaction had appeared, Marcus smoothed out his features and picked up Tabby's free hand.

"Will you give us a second chance, angel? Let us prove to you how wrong Lydia's words were." Marcus would get down on his knees to beg her if he thought it would help.

While she contemplated her answer, her gaze switched back and forth between them and Marcus' sense of desperation rose. He spoke silent prayers repeatedly in his head, pleading with whomever was listening, to grant him this one thing and he'd promise never to ask for another thing in his life.

If only she'd agree.

She was holding their lives in her tiny, delicate hands as they balanced on a precarious ledge, waiting for her to tally up whatever pros and cons she was sorting through in her head.

A welcomed nod announced that she'd made a decision and both men released huge gusts of breath that they had been holding, as relief blew through them like a fresh, spring breeze. Marcus could have cried for the sheer joy he felt as she gave them both a shy smile.

"Ok," she said, giggling sweetly as Cooper folded his long arms around her and pulled her into a bear hug.

"Thank you, Tabby." His voice was hoarse and rough with emotion as he held her and breathed in her scent into his nostrils. His body responded to the relief and the hope she had presented them by switching gears into full arousal and his cock began to thicken underneath his kilt.

Tabby caught a glimpse of Marcus watching them with a soft, wistful expression on his face. She wiggled on Cooper's lap until he released her then she slid from his lap and turned to Marcus. He looked faintly amused and opened his arms for her and she climbed into his embrace and settled on his lap.

"You looked lonely over here. Sorry to have left you out," she murmured and cuddled into his chest, letting his spicy scent warm her from the inside out. She suddenly felt happier than she'd ever been. Here were two amazing men and she didn't have to choose between them. The wonder of that hit her like a thunderbolt, electrifying her and igniting a glow in her heart.

She didn't have to choose...she could have them both.

His brain had gone offline the second Tabby's warm body had inserted itself into his arms. All manner of bodily functions had ground to a stop, his brain abandoning them entirely, to make room for the flood of emotions and sensations that swamped him as he wound his arms around his angel and held her against his chest.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. He repeated like a mantra in his head, burying his face in the hollow of her neck and kissing the sensitive skin along her jaw line. She shivered in his arms and hot blood rushed into his cock at light speed, the sudden pressure temporarily blinding him.

He had never wanted anything as badly as he wanted Tabitha in that moment. If the Devil had appeared, he would have gladly sold him his soul just for the chance sink his cock deep into her and stay there for an eternity. Old Scratch could do with him as he chose after that, he'd die a happy man.

Tabby felt the rock hard shape of Marcus' erection pressing against her bottom, just as Cooper's had when she had sat in his lap, and their responses told her how much each man truly wanted her. The evidence of their desire also reassured her that they were being truthful; their mouths could lie but their bodies could not. It made her feel strangely powerful and very turned on, but her inexperience hindered her.

She didn't know what to do with one man, let alone two and her nerves got the better of her. A pang of dread caught her as she remembered the secret that she held, one that she knew that she should share with them, but her old fear of ridicule and rejection surged back and stopped the words before she could muster the courage to utter them.

She wanted to enjoy them a little longer before losing them when they found out how pathetic she was. Pulling out of Marcus' embrace, Tabby sat up, closed her eyes and tried to breathe through the panic attack that was threatening to take hold.

"Hey! Hey! Angel, look at me," Marcus commanded, concerned by how pale she had gone. "C'mon Tabby, take some deep breaths." He rubbed her back like a small child until the shaking in her muscles calmed and then finally stopped. When she could be sure to take a deep breath without crying, Tabby inhaled and her exhale turned into an unexpected yawn.

"You're exhausted, little one. I think it's time we took you home. It's been a very eventful evening for you, hasn't it?" Cooper said, sitting up and leaning forward so that his face was closer to hers. She nodded and made to slide off Marcus, but he stood up with her cradled in his arms, turned and set her down in his chair.

"You're not going anywhere until you've eaten something. You're still pale and some sugar will do wonders for perking you up." He gave her a wink and retrieved the napkin wrapped plate sitting on his desk. Peeling back the layers of linen like petals of a flower, he exposed half a dozen, fancy, chocolate truffles. Tabby peered with interest at the candies, her mouthwatering in anticipation at the sweet treats. She extended a hand to take one, but Marcus moved them out of her reach with a tsk.

"Patience, angel," he smiled at her. Selecting a round candy, covered in white chocolate with a small pink rose in the center, Marcus brought it to her mouth and rubbed it lightly along the outline of her bottom lip. Tabby could smell the sweetness and longed to take a bite, but something told her to wait and see what Marcus did.

He teased her with the chocolate for a few seconds longer, just enough time to allow the chocolate to soften and smear lightly on her lip. The tip of her tongue peeked out to take a taste and Marcus swooped in with his own mouth, covering hers and licking the sweetness off her before plunging his tongue into her mouth in a soul-reaching kiss.

"Mmmm, you taste lovely, angel," he murmured before turning to glance at Cooper who had been watching them with avid interest. "How about it, brother? Do you want to come taste her?"

Cooper growled and sprung towards them, falling to his knees in front of Tabby and taking the candy from Marcus' hand. He repeated the teasing, smearing a thin layer of white chocolate on Tabby's lips before claiming her mouth in a passionate kiss, sucking and licking all the chocolate off her as he worked his mouth over hers.

When he was done, Tabby was breathless and flustered. Her pulse was racing and she was sure that she was going to leave a damp patch on Marcus' kilt; she was dripping wet with excitement. Both men were staring at her as if she was the candy that they couldn't wait to eat. Cooper seemed transfixed by her lips and held the bon-bon just out of her reach. She pouted and crossed her arms, hoping to break the trance-like state that held both men mesmerized.

Marcus was the first to notice her pout and burst out laughing. "What is it, baby-girl?"

She looked pointedly at the candy in Cooper's hand. "You promised me something sweet to eat. You two got your fill, so where's mine?" she grumbled.

Cooper stared at the candy in his hand then at her lovely mouth. He wanted more of those lips and the arousal he could smell wafting from her made his cock crave lips of a different sort. "Was it this you wanted, sweetness?" He waggled the chocolate in front of her.

CHAPTER 38

Her eyes followed the candy hungrily, but instead of demanding he give it to her, she bowed her head and her demeanor softened. "Would you give me a bite, Sir?" she asked demurely. The raw rush of power that surged through both men nearly had them coming with the fierceness with which it struck. Cooper's dick gave a hard jerk against his belly, splattering droplets of precum on his skin and a quick glance at Marcus showed his brother to be in the same predicament - his face was a mask of ecstatic pain as he tried to tamp down his violent reaction to Tabby's show of submission.

He brought the candy to her lips with a hand that shook with tiny tremors. "Open, little one and take a bite," he commanded, his voice rough with arousal.

Her eyes flashed up, brilliant, sparkling pools of green that reminded him of summer leaves falling onto a pond. Her lips parted, her mouth slowly opened and both men held their collective breaths not wanting to break the spell that had been woven around them. Tabby leaned forward and sunk her teeth into the soft candy, closing her eyes in delight as she took the sugary confection into her mouth and savored the buttery, sweet taste of the treat.

Marcus' cock was weeping profusely, the moisture rolling down his shaft and dripping from his balls to splash onto his calf and it was only his years of training that kept him from orgasming. He had never seen such an erotic sight as the one that had just played out in front of him and the image of Tabby's kiss-swollen lips closing on that candy was going to be one permanently etched into his memory forever.

Knowing that Cooper - his brother, his partner - had fed their woman the treat, had somehow elevated the experience into something deeply spiritual. The impact of such a simple act of caring had struck Marcus hard and his protective instinct flared hot and bright in response.

It occurred to him, as he watched Cooper feed Tabby the rest of the candy that this was the true meaning of being a Dom. Beneath the kink, the roleplay and the power exchange...this simple act of taking care of one's submissive, was the fuel that powered the heart of Dominance. Everything else was just window dressing. He felt weak as the epiphany changed him on a subatomic level, rearranging all his priorities as it reordered his DNA.

He had thought that he was prepared to take on the responsibility of a full time submissive, but it wasn't until this very moment that he understood what that meant. In the blink of an eye, he no longer lived for his own benefit - he existed solely for taking care of the beautiful angel that had given him permission to hold her wings in his hand.

His imperative now became all about protecting and pleasing the wonderful treasure that had chosen him. He would care and protect her, with his life if need be, for as long as she allowed it.

That would be forever, if he had anything to say about it.

The awestruck expression on Cooper's face told Marcus that he was undergoing the same rewriting of his DNA as Marcus had. He was staring at Tabby as if she was the most precious gem he had ever seen and the dark shadow of his protective side lurked behind the summer sky blue of his irises.

Between the pair of them, God help anyone who dared to fuck with this woman. The sorry idiot would be blundering into a world of pure, male aggression and it would end badly for them. Very, very badly.

Tabby was still enjoying her second bite of the candy when Marcus selected another from the napkin. This one was the same shape but dark chocolate with the same, tiny pink rose at the top. He waited until she had swallowed her mouthful and then offered her his candy.

"Open for me, angel," he commanded in a sultry voice that sent vibrations running riot through Tabby's body. Her irises darkened with arousal and Marcus caught just a glimpse of their moss green colour as she dipped her head and lowered her eyelids halfway.

"With pleasure, Sir," she replied, opening her mouth and covering half the candy, and Marcus' fingers, with her lips. As she bit into the raspberry truffle center, she sucked at his fingers before separating the candy in half with her teeth.

Marcus' pupils dilated, eclipsing his irises until there was only a thin ring of blue-green glowing like a halo around the black pits eyes had become. His breathing had turned into a low, throaty growl as he battled his inner beast for control. Underneath the sweet chocolaty aroma of her breath, was the damp, musky scent of Tabby's arousal. This close to her, it filled Marcus' senses and lit up all his receptors, announcing his mate's readiness for sex. He had to squeeze his eyes shut and hold his breath until his own arousal dialed down enough for him to retain control, but when he open his eyes, there she was, smiling seductively at him and he knew that he was close to breaking.

"Angel, you are playing a dangerous game with a dangerous animal right now," he warned his voice little more than a silky growl. "Keep that up and I will take you here and now. Is that what you want?" He grabbed her wrist and placed her hand on his massive erection. "This is what you are tempting, my sweet. The beast in me doesn't care that we don't have a bed, he wants into you so badly that it is taking all my strength not to throw you on the desk and fuck you so hard that you'll feel me in you for weeks after."

Heat blossomed deep in Tabby's core and she almost begged him to do just that. Cooper's breathing had turned ragged and she knew that she would be contending with two very aroused males if she submitted to Marcus now. She didn't think she could handle two rough rounds of sex for her first time so she lowered her head and apologized. "I'm sorry for teasing you, Sir. I...I don't know why I did it."

A palm cupped her chin and lifted her eyes to meet Marcus' coal black ones. "What did I tell you about being ashamed of expressing your sexuality, little one?"

"Not to be, Sir," she replied, remembering the conversation they had had in the bar.

"That's right. Not to be...not ever, and especially not when you are with Cooper and myself. Embrace your sexuality, angel, and let us enjoy you. Do you understand?"

Understand? She couldn't even think with the way he was stroking her cheek with his thumb, but she nodded dumbly any way.

"Good. Now, I think it's time I drive you home, angel, before this evening takes us into territory that you are not yet ready for."

Tabby nodded and accepted the last bite of the candy from Marcus without teasing him again. When she finished, she looked both men in the eye and bowed her head. "Thank you, Sirs, for...taking care of me and for the treats."

Marcus and Cooper both groaned and shifted themselves in order to find a position that relieved the pressure on their swollen cocks. Cooper leaned in and captured her mouth in a deep kiss, tasting raspberry and bittersweet chocolate mixing with the scent of her arousal. As his tongue glided along hers, he briefly wondered if her pussy would taste as sweet.
Probably sweeter, he thought as he greedily inhaled a lungful of her feminine scent and letting it imprint upon his memory. He knew, without a doubt, he would resurrect that memory later, with his fist around his cock. He would orgasm reliving her scent and imagining how her honey would coat his tongue as he licked her into ecstasy. His aching cock reminded him that he wasn't alone and if he didn't halt the erotic daydreams, he was going to embarrass himself.

"Remember that kiss, angel. The next one I give you will be between your legs as I taste you." He winked at her, pleased that he had shocked her, but her surprise only lasted a few seconds before she turned the tables on him. Her dark eyelashes descended, casting her shining eyes into shadow and she eyed him with a sultry, speculative look, her tongue flicking out to lick a small smudge of chocolate from her bottom lip.

Their little angel was a quick study and Cooper was suddenly very curious to see how dirty she was going to be once they got her naked on a bed. He had a feeling that once unleashed; Tabby was going to surprise them.

CHAPTER 39

Standing up, Marcus set Tabby gently on her feet and straightened her dress out for her. His attention made her feel like a princess and she beamed happily at him.

"Are you coming, Cooper?" Marcus asked over top of Tabby's head.

Cooper was about to say "hell yes" when he caught the look on Marcus' face and the slight shake of his head. His offer had been for show only and it was obvious from Marcus' expression, that he didn't want him to accept. He gave Marcus a glare, letting him know that he thought he was being an asshole, but Marcus stubbornly refused to budge.

He was planning to fuck to her.

Cooper couldn't help but feeling like the only boy who didn't get a gift at Christmas. Marcus was going to fuck Tabby and all he was getting was hand lotion and his fist to help ease his ache. That's why the greedy bastard didn't want Cooper to come with them.

The upset on Cooper's face was plain to see and Marcus willed his brother to think before he reacted. He was planning to take Tabby, he needed to have her before he lost his mind, but if Cooper was there too, Tabby might be too intimidated to consent.

Cooper nodded slightly, hiding his disappointment; he'd gotten Marcus' message and accepted the necessity of being left behind.

Damn it! Cooper swore to himself. He understood Marcus' reasons, but that didn't mean he had to like it.

Goddamn it, he wanted her just as fucking badly! It wasn't fair!

Marcus mouthed one word to him: "Soon."

He was right. Cooper knew it in the logical part of his brain, but his cock was ready to throw an all-out tantrum. For the first time in his life, Cooper was actually jealous of Marcus and the feeling didn't sit well with him.

"No, you guys go on ahead. I have some work to take care of and one of us should be here to help Jaz and Diego supervise the party." He tried to sound nonchalant, but some of his disappointment oozed into his voice anyway and Tabby gave him a quizzical look. She could tell something was off with him, but couldn't figure out what.

"Good night, sweetness. And remember my promise. I am looking forward to giving you my next kiss."

Reaching up on her tiptoes, Tabby stretched until she could place a kiss on Cooper's stubbled cheek. "Good night, Sir and I look forward to receiving your kiss," she said with a cheeky smirk on her pretty mouth.

Cooper laughed and felt some of the bitterness ease. She was just such a joy to behold that he resigned himself to being patient. Marcus needed to do this for both of them; he would lay the foundation, begin training her and getting her ready to accept both of them. Cooper just had to find the strength to wait. His turn would come.

At least he had a good, strong grip and a head full of memories filed in his spank-bank to call upon. Once he relieved the sexual tension in his balls, he'd be able to think straight again and the urge to punch Marcus in the face would go away. He hoped, anyway.

Marcus ushered Tabby to the door and before he left, he cast a questioning glance over his shoulder to Cooper. "You sure you're okay?" he asked quietly.

"Yes. Go. I'll be fine," he replied with a sad smile. "It's you she'll need to do this, brother. Take care of her for both of us."

"I will, Coop. It will be your turn soon enough. Just have a little more patience."

With a nod, Cooper followed him out and turned the opposite way, heading down to his own office. The sooner he got his hand around his cock and jerked off, the better he'd feel.

Tabby didn't hear the exchange between the two men. She leaned over the railing, fascinated by the sights and cacophony of noise going on below her. Everywhere she looked, naked people where bound to strange pieces of equipment having all manner of things done to them.

One scene in particular had caught her attention. A thin, naked woman was bound to a bench-like contraption that elevated her rear while keeping her legs spread; black leather cuffs bound her wrists and ankles to the bench, trapping her at the mercy of the two Doms playing with her. Standing in behind her, a large man was vigorously fucking her, making her free-hanging breasts swing like ripe melons on a vine. Standing in front of her, another man was mimicking his partner's actions, using her mouth instead. Every so often, the man in the rear would swing a wide, leather strap across the woman's ass or back, making her squeal around the other man's cock.

Tabby couldn't tear her eyes off the scene and couldn't help but wonder if that's what being with Marcus and Cooper would be like. The more she imagined herself in the woman's place, the wetter she became. She was so engrossed in her voyeurism that she moaned in pleasure when Marcus' big body pressed up against her and his arms wrapped themselves around her waist.

"Find something interesting to watch, angel?" he murmured, nipping her earlobe and sending a violent shudder straight into her core. He tracked the direction of her gaze searching for and easily finding the scene that had captured her attention. "Does that excite you, little one?" He slowly trailed his palm along her abdomen, glided it over her hip and stopped and the hem of her dress.

Pressing herself against his solid bulk, Tabby felt the hard ridge of his erection settle into the cease of her ass. The scene she'd been watching had aroused her to the point where she could barely think straight and the erotic thoughts of her own two men had only pushed her closer to desperation.

Marcus toyed with the hem of her dress. "Answer me, angel. Does watching her serve two Masters excite you?"

"Yes, Sir," she panted.

Fingers found their way under her skirt and his large palm cupped her soaking mound.

"Oh god," she moaned, instinctively thrusting her hips into his grasp and closing her eyes.

"Keep your eyes open, angel. I want you to keep watching." He began stroking the scrap of silk that covered her pussy, sending electric jolts sizzling into her belly. "Watch how their cocks disappear into her body." He pressed a finger over her entrance and Tabby's knees wobbled.

"Hmmm," he hummed. "I think I should check to see if you really like what you're watching. You could be lying to me."

She felt the sodden fabric of her panties slide to the side and suddenly his long fingers pressed into her soft flesh. Tabby moaned and quivered in his arms, barely aware of the gush of moisture her body released at his intimate caress.

"Oh yes, angel," he chuckled. "Your pussy can not lie to me. I think you like what you see. Are you imagining us taking you beautiful?"

His fingers kept stroking the length of her slit, making it impossible to think about anything other than the tension building in her abdomen.

"Y-y-yes, S-s-sir."

Marcus kissed the back of her neck. "Hmmm, good answer, little one."

His thumb found its way onto her swollen, sensitive clit and pressed down on it with a hard rub. Tabby bucked against him, her whole body going rigid.

"Oh fuck!" she cried.

"Do you want me to make you cum, angel? Beg me for it," he commanded, circling her clit with just enough pressure to drive her crazy for more.

"Please! P-please, Sir," she whined, grinding her pussy onto his hand, hoping for more friction.

He withdrew his hand slightly and Tabby mewled in frustration. "Uh uh, angel. I'll only make you cum if you stay still. I'm in command here, not you, little one."

"Oh God! Please make me cum, Sir," she begged, doing her best to obey his demand and stay still. Her shaking legs were making it hard, though. "Please, please, please," she panted as he tormented her with more feather-light touches to everything but her clit.

"Such a good girl," he rumbled in her ear and moved his thumb back onto her clit. "You beg so sweetly that I'd be an asshole to deny you, wouldn't I? Now watch that woman, angel. Feel my cock sliding into your sweet pussy, filling you until you can't take anymore." While his thumb ran circles over her aching clitoris, two fingers traced her opening and penetrated her to his first knuckle.

"Can you feel me inside of you, sweetness?"

Watching the man's cock pounding into the woman below her, Tabby groaned, believing she actually could feel Marcus inside her. "Yes!" she blurted. "Please, Sir, I need...I need you."

Marcus snaked his free arm under her waist and pulled her tight against him, she would need his support in a minute. He began to use more pressure on her clit, rubbing over the nub with the roughened pad of his thumb until Tabby's muscles began fluttering all around his hand. He didn't try to penetrate her deeper, he just wanted to give her the feel of something inside her...a tease to make her desperate for more.

"I want you, angel," he growled as he continued to drive Tabby closer to the edge.

"I-I-," her brain was stuttering as pressure grew in her belly, becoming unbearable. "want you too."

"Cum for me, angel." He commanded, attacking her clit with his fingers, rubbing her vigorously and sending so much stimulation into the sensitive nerves that it set off a bomb in Tabby's pussy. She convulsed around his hand and screamed as her orgasm ignited a firestorm in her nerves. A blast of her sweet scent engulfed Marcus and his hand got soaked from the juices that sprayed out of her to puddle on the floor between her legs.

Tabby's vision went white as the orgasm detonated inside her. Her knees buckled but she didn't fall thanks to Marcus' iron grip around her waist. It seemed like the spasms went on forever as her muscles clenched around his fingers that kept up their slow movements between her legs. The stimulation they provided extended the shockwaves coursing through her until she had tears streaming from her eyes. When he finally withdrew his hand, Tabby was ready to collapse from exhaustion and relief.

CHAPTER 40

"Look at me, angel," he ordered after her body had stopped quivering in his arms.

She turned glazed, green eyes up at him and he kissed her soundly before bringing his glistening hand up for her to see. "You've made a mess of my hand, sweetness." He grinned, inserting two of his fingers into his mouth and sucking them slowly. "Mmmmm, you taste so fucking amazing," he groaned. Tabby just stared at him, wide-eyed as he licked her juices off his fingers. He pressed his finger against her lip and pushed it past her lips until she could taste the salty, musky taste of herself on her tongue. "Clean my hand, beautiful."

Without thinking, Tabby began to suck and lick each of his fingers, sliding her mouth over each digit and swirling her tongue around them. Marcus' breathing turned raspy, the air sawing in and out of his lungs as if there wasn't enough oxygen in it to sustain him. He was holding himself rigidly still, afraid that if he moved, he have her bent over the railing and his cock would bury itself inside her in a blink of an eye.

Unaware of the battle of wills that Marcus was fighting, Tabby's mind drifted from thought to thought, floating on a current of pleasure so profound that her body was functioning on autopilot. She wasn't bothered that she was licking her own juices off Marcus' hand, as if she were a kitten lapping up a bowl of cream. In fact, it rather turned her on and she was enjoying the thrill of desire that was building as she listened to the sexy grunts and groans he made as her tongue worked its magic on him.

The small part of her brain that was still functioning, analyzed her taste with a clinical curiosity and was surprised not to find it objectionable - slightly salty and mostly bland, but nothing to make a fuss over. Content with that peculiar result, it chalked up the experience as one less thing to worry about in her great new adventure in the kinky world of sex.

She continued licking his palm, keeping her eyes fixed on his, loving the way his pupils expanded to engulf the colour in his irises. She was quickly coming to understand that when his eyes went black, he was either very angry or very horny. Right now, he was definitely the latter of the two.

Watching her pink, little tongue glide against his hand mesmerized Marcus. Every stroke of its velvety surface sent streamers of white-hot sparks racing straight into his cock and the precum was flowing in almost a constant stream of drips. His own imagination put her mouth on his erection, sucking on him instead of his fingers, and the vividness of that mental picture was driving him fast towards his own orgasm. He pulled his hand away, knowing that if he didn't, he was going to do something that he'd regret. The intense need for Tabby had him smashed up against the barrier of his self-control and he could feel it eroding with every touch of her warm, wet mouth on his skin.

He needed to stop her now, before he couldn't stop himself from taking that which she wasn't ready to give him.

"I want you so badly right now, angel," he groaned, threading his fingers into her hair and tugging her gently away from him. "You keep that up and I won't be held responsible for my actions."

Her eyes travelled down his chest, taking in every contour of his hard muscles under his tunic, and smoldering with unguarded lust at the jutting silhouette of his erection pushing out the wool front of his kilt. "Would that be such a bad thing, Sir?" she asked in an innocent, playful voice, a coy smile playing at the corners of her lips.

Marcus' entire body jolted, her words delivering a thousand volt, electric shock to his balls. "Don't, angel," he warned, growling through gritted teeth, the hand in her hair tightening into a fist and pulling on her scalp. "Don't tease me now, Tabitha, or you might find yourself in a situation that you aren't prepared to handle yet."

Her face darkened into a stubborn, angry expression. She shrugged back, shaking her head and trying to dislodge his hold on her. "How do you know what I can or can't handle?" She was suddenly livid with him, her frustration boiling over into fury. "I'm not a child! You're not the only one who has been teased this evening...or that has needs that want to be satisfied."

She pushed hard at his chest but it was like pummeling a brick wall. He didn't flinch as her small fists beat ineffectually at him. His hand released his grip on her and one minute she was standing in her own space, the next, the railing was pressing painfully into her back. He moved in a flash, exploding toward her in a rush that left her no time to evade his approach. He held her there, pinning her with his weight, his face transformed into something animalistic by the rampant lust taking control. With a predatory grin, Marcus spun her around and pressed her stomach into the railing, grinding his wool-covered erection between her legs. Hot breath heated the bare skin below her ear and he grazed his teeth along her shoulder and up her neck, the dangerous sensation sent shivers scurrying like frightened mice throughout her body and she shuddered as a rush of moisture soaked through her thin, silk panties to slide down the insides of her thighs.

"So...if I bent you over this railing and fucked you hard right here, right now...? What would you do angel? Would you want it or would you fight me?" he snarled at her, unable to control the blast of ferocious need that blew the door off his beast's cage. He was perilously close to doing exactly what he'd just threatened to do to her.

Her body trembled as she turned her head and looked over her shoulder, into the face of the fully aroused alpha male bearing down on her. It wasn't fear that made her shake, she instinctively knew that Marcus would never hurt her, but there was something inside her that had been liberated the moment he'd released his dominant animal and captured her, making it abundantly clear as to who had the power. He was bigger than she was and could force her to do whatever he wished, but unlike Jerry, she knew that he never would. Even half crazed by lust, he was still giving her a choice - to accept his dominance over her or to deny him.

And she didn't want to deny him. Everything inside her wanted to give him exactly what he was demanding. For once, she wasn't afraid of him finding out that she was still a virgin, with him so aroused; he'd be in her so fast that he wouldn't notice the thin barrier that guarded her virtue. He'd take her and erase the secret that weighed so heavily on her conscience; she would finally be able to move past her fear.

Submitting to him felt natural and simple in the same way that breathing did. It didn't matter that they were in public. It didn't matter that she'd never had sex before. It didn't even matter that she barely knew him. All that mattered in that moment was that she wanted him just as much as he wanted her, and she knew that giving herself to him would please him. She would do whatever he asked, just to make him happy.

That fundamental shift inside her was what was making her shake. She had stumbled upon the revelation unintentionally, it had lain hidden amongst the hints and suspicions she'd had since the day she first laid eyes on Marcus - small bursts of insight that hadn't made sense until all the pieces came together in a blinding flash of awareness.

Pleasing him, pleased her - there was pleasure to be found in serving another and Tabby knew that she had barely scratched the surface of what awaited her. Understanding flooded her brain, her body, filling her with a radiance that felt like heavy chains unspooling and falling away; massive weights that she had been unknowingly dragging all her life, leaving her unencumbered and weightless.

Tabby was experiencing her first taste of what true freedom felt like.

Freedom from her fear of intimacy.

Freedom from her mistrust and fear.

Freedom from having to be in control.

With Marcus, she didn't have to be afraid. She didn't need to have all the answers because he already did and she trusted him to guide her.

The freedom that true submission brought in the presence of the right Dominant...that was what she was experiencing for the first time in her life.

She had found the right man that she could give herself to without fear and every fiber in her body sung in joy at the precious gift she had been given.

Her eyes dropped away from his and her body softened beneath him, silently showing her acceptance.

Words formed in her head and before she could understand where they had come from, her mouth began to speak what was in her heart. "If it is your will, Sir, then it is my wish as well," she spoke quietly and respectfully, offering herself to Marcus in a way that seemed right. It was time to put her doubts and fears aside. She wouldn't fight her feelings any longer. If he truly wanted her, then he could have her - in any way he wished.
CHAPTER 41

Pushed out of a moving plane without a parachute, that was how dramatically her words had affected him. Marcus was hurtling through the atmosphere, the ground was rushing up to greet him, and all he could do is stare at her with his jaw hanging slack, waiting for the big splat.

The impact of her submission had blindsided him. Her beautiful words had stunned him like a sucker punch to the jaw and it almost driven him to his knees. His brain was flopping on deck like a fish trying to figure out where the water had just gone.

He couldn't believe what he had just heard. There was no way in hell, that he was that lucky. No fucking way.

She wasn't trained, had no experience at all as a submissive, yet she had chosen to speak the words that handed her to him on a silver platter.

Trust. He could do anything that he wished to her and she had given him her complete trust.

Holy fucking shit. Marcus felt like the king of the world.

Did she know what she was offering? Could she know what those words had just done to him? They had shaken him to his very core; from her lips, she had set off a ten on the Richter scale, decimating his soul and leaving his defenses in piles of rubble. With a handful of precious words, she had unraveled him and opened up a brand new world of possibilities that he hadn't dared to believe could exist.

The beast inside of him reared up on his hind legs and roared in triumph, making Marcus' skull reverberate with the sound. He stumbled backwards, retreating until his back hit the door to his office blocking his retreat. She had just offered herself to him and a part of him wanted nothing more than to take her up on it. His cock was impossibly, painfully stiff and was behaving like a dowsing rod, pulling him to her with only one imperative attempting to override his conscious control.

"You...you can't mean that, angel," he stammered, violent tremors wracking his body.

Tabby wasn't finished with him yet, the next thing she did surprised him to the point of tears and Marcus came as close to an emotional breakdown as he ever had in his adult life. She regarded him, with glittering eyes so full of trust and adoration that the air disappeared in his lungs and his tongue jammed itself in his throat. With a demure smile curving her luscious lips up in a perfect arc, she slowly descended to her knees, the short skirt of her dress pooling around her like the petals of an exotic flower.

When she finally broke eye contact, it was so that she could bend her body forward, placing her forehead to the floor before his boots, Marcus had to plant his palms against the cold metal of the door just to keep upright and to resist the urge to pounce on her. He almost came when she crossed her slim wrists at the small of her back, symbolically begging him to bind her.

Marcus felt woozy, he'd somehow forgotten how to breathe, but it didn't matter because someone had glued his lungs together anyway. He swallowed hard against the fluttery feeling of millions of butterflies colliding in frantic flight in his chest, making it so that his heart couldn't beat for all the vibrations they were causing.

Kneeling before him, with her red silk dress draped around her hips and spreading out to her sides, she looked like she had blood poured over her back and it was now slowly dripping off her curves. The surreal scene formed a tableau that Marcus knew he would see in his dreams and nightmares for years to come, striking him as both mildly horrific and intensely erotic at the same time. He couldn't tear his eyes from the clash of the vivid, red silk against her pale skin and he suddenly could envision how beautiful she'd look after he'd spanked or flogged that flawless skin to a similar hue.

"You said that you wanted me, Sir. Then make me yours. I am ready to be yours." Her position slightly muffled her voice, but Marcus heard every word through the blaring in his head as if she had shouted them directly into his ear with a megaphone.

"Tabitha," he choked on her name, so many emotions were crowding into his chest that he couldn't speak properly or think clearly. It was taking every shred of his control not to rip that lovely dress from her body and claim his prize. "Dear God, are you sure? Do you know what you're asking, angel?"

She sat up, her body flowing with a dancer's grace, going from prone to upright in a single, fluid movement. She settled her round ass onto the tops of her heels as if she had had years of training in adopting submissive positions. Every move she made was perfection, seducing his beast and driving him mad with possessive desire.

Her sparkling eyes lifted and met his coal black orbs staring down in lust and disbelief at her and she gave him a soft smile. "Yes, Sir, I think I do. I know that I have a lot to learn...but I'm also sure of what I want. I've been trying to deny it, but I can't fight whatever is happening between us anymore. You..." she looked shyly down at her clasped hands in her lap. "...and Cooper...are the ones I want."

Happiness flooded into Marcus like a potent narcotic injected into his veins. He felt giddy, dizzy, and slightly nauseous all at the same time. The massive implications of the precious gift that she was offering to him - to both of them - were too much for his stunned brain to process. Seeing her with new eyes, waiting so gracefully at his feet, Marcus felt like she was offering him a golden ticket into heaven.

All he had to do was take it from her.

Hiding the tremors that wanted to shake his joints loose, he bent over, gripped both of her wrists with gentle hands and raised her to her feet. A wave of light-headedness temporarily blurred his vision, but he ignored it and kept his focus on his angel.

God, Cooper should have been here and shared in this with him, Marcus wished, feeling guilty at having pushed him away now. He deserved to be here too, but Marcus wondered if Tabitha would have felt confident enough to release herself to both of them together.

"Then I accept your gift, little one, but I will not take you here. You deserve better than that for our first joining." Marcus placed a chaste kiss on her forehead, seeing the confusion and disappointment dulling the sparkle in her mischievous eyes. "You honor me, my sweet, sweet angel and I promise to strive every day to deserve that honor. I am going to take you home..."

"No!" Tabby shouted and pushed at him. "No! I want this, Sir. Please." Stupid, embarrassing tears stabbed at her eyes again.

"Tabitha, you didn't let me finish," he scolded her sternly. "I am going to drive you home. During that time, I want you to think about what you are asking for. Really think, angel. Right now, you are excited and your brain is riding high, full of endorphins from the orgasm I just gave you. I want you to be clear headed when you make this decision because it is going to change the course of your life."

He caressed her cheek and gave her a sexy smile. "Don't think for one second that I don't want to take you right here, for all to see, and in the future, that will happen. You need to prepare yourself for that. Once you are ours, you will serve me and Cooper wherever and whenever we wish, be it in public or behind the privacy of closed doors. However, I won't have your claiming happen like this, against a railing like some common slut. You deserve better than that, my precious angel."

"But..." He silenced her with a stern look and a solitary finger pressed to her lips.

"Interrupt me one more time and I will take you over my knee and punish you. Nod if you understand?"

Tabby stilled and nodded very slowly.

"Good girl. When we get to your apartment, if you still wish to offer yourself to me, you may do so again and I will consider your request at that time. Understand?"

He removed his finger so that she could speak. Properly chastised, Tabby bowed her head. "Yes, Sir," she replied.

He pulled her into a hug and rubbed her hair, laughing softly. "Oh angel, don't look so disappointed. You'll get what you want, I just want to give you time to slow down long enough to reconsider. Once we do this, there will be no turning back so I want you to be 100% positive that this is the right decision for you."

She sniffled and nodded. "Thank you, Sir. Can we go now?"

He couldn't stop the belly laugh that burst out of him. "Yes, angel. I think that would be a good idea."

As they walked out, Marcus realized that every time she had called him "Sir", his heart had translated it as Master. An excited flurry of anticipation stirred up those butterflies in his chest as he contemplated all the things she needed to learn and experience before that title could come into effect.

If she accepted their offer, his angel was in for a hell of a ride.

CHAPTER 42

Lydia had hidden herself in the alcove when she had seen Cooper carrying the bitch into Marcus' office earlier. When Marcus had shown up a few minutes later, Lydia had cursed and wished that she could have been a fly on the wall inside that room so that she could know what was happening, what they were doing. They were in there for almost half an hour and Lydia's agitation grew until she was prepared to barge into the office and find out for herself. She was just about to head for the stairs when the door opened and the girl emerged from the office. Behind her, she could see Marcus and Cooper hanging back, talking quietly amongst them while the curious little thing leaned on the railing and gawked at the scenes playing out below her.

Cooper walked off, anger evident in his heavy footfalls and tension in his muscles. That he didn't look back spoke volumes as to his level of irritation and Lydia smiled in pleasure to see that not all was harmonious in their little world. Discord between the partners would make an effective lever that she could exploit to pry them apart when it suited her later.

Her jealousy turned virulent when Marcus stepped behind the girl and began fondling her. The Dungeon room was noisy but Lydia could tell by the expression on the girl's face that he had made her orgasm while holding her in his arms. Hatred for the girl boiled in her veins and she renewed her vow to get rid of the bitch before she could cause any more problems for her.

The girl dropped out of sight, frustrating Lydia that she couldn't see the rest of the exchange after that because the railing had hidden her, but the fevered expression on Marcus' face had her imagination filling in the blanks of what the little slut was busy doing out of sight.

Marcus pulled her to her feet, with the look of a satisfied man all over his handsome face and Lydia had felt like puking in disgust and rage. He'd laughed, hugged and kissed her, probably tasting his own cum in her mouth and then they walked away together. Glaring at them as they walked away, it made her sick to know that he was probably taking her somewhere private to fuck her.

That that miserable bitch was about to take what was rightfully hers.

Incandescent rage burned hotly inside Lydia, as the thief stole her man right in front of her eyes and in that moment, she knew that she had never hated anyone as much as she hated that little bitch.

She was the one that should have been kneeling at his feet, not some Snow White, nobody of a pathetic girl. Her plan to scare her off might have failed, but Lydia wasn't so easily discouraged. She'd bide her time and wait for another opportunity to sabotage the little trollop's plans to steal her men away from her, and then she'd make her regret it.

Lydia's skin itched and she quickly opened her purse to reassure herself that her kit was in there. She needed to find some place private to shoot up and take the edge off, and then she'd take her frustrations out on one of the newbies she'd seen wandering around the club earlier. With Marcus gone, it was safe for her to get high. She could hide it from just about anybody, except for him and Cooper and Cooper had holed himself up in his office and hadn't come back out.

Just a little taste to take the edge off and then she could function...and plan.

CHAPTER 43

Marcus led Tabby down the stairs and into the maze of hidden passageways that ran behind the walls and under the floor of the club. He knew these corridors well and swiftly negotiated the confusing turns until they reached a black metal door. Pulling his key card out of his pocket, Marcus swiped it across an electronic lock, heard it ping and saw the light turn green. Pushing on the bar, he opened the door and led Tabby into the reserved section of the underground parkway.

Tabby blinked a few times in the sudden bright light of the overhead fluorescents, letting her eyes adjust from the dim light of the corridor. Once she could see clearly, she gawked in wonder at the array of expensive, luxury vehicles and limousines parked in this section of the garage.

"Wow," she breathed, not realizing that she'd spoken aloud.

Marcus chuckled and turned to her. "You ready, angel?"

God knew he was. His cock was hard as diamond and had refused to settle down like a good boy. Gazing hungrily at the tiny O of wonder her pouty lips had formed, had him wishing that he could have that delectable mouth wrapped around his erection. Knowing that there was a high probability that she was going to offer herself again to him once he got her home, had his balls threatening to climb up into his gut and explode.

When Tabby smiled and nodded at him, Marcus almost lost control. Would it matter if he got her home? They walked past a black limousine and all Marcus could think of was ripping her beautiful dress off, throwing her onto the broad hood of the vehicle and fucking her until neither of them could walk. His hands fisted at his sides as they approached his Escalade, to prevent himself from grabbing her and making his wish a reality.

Using his key fob, Marcus unlocked the doors and opened the passenger side for Tabby. He helped her into the SUV and went to buckle the seatbelt around her, but her small hand stopped him from completing the task.

"You don't have to do that, I can do it myself," she said, trying to take the buckle out of his grasp.

He plucked her hand off the buckle and placed it back by her side. "As a Dom, it is in my nature to protect what is mine. You are mine, Tabitha, and it is imperative that I ensure your safety at all times." He wrapped the belt around her and clicked the buckle into place, making sure his body stayed in contact with hers. A slight shift of his head brought his lips to hers and he placed a light kiss on them.

"You don't know it yet, angel, but you are the most precious possession I have and I will protect that to the end of my days."

Tabby released a breath that she hadn't been aware that she had been holding. The intensity of his vow humbled and frightened her. He was so sure that she was something worthy of his protection, but he didn't know her - not really - and he didn't know the bitter secret that she was withholding from him. Her unspoken deception seemed to blossom to mammoth proportions in the face of his feelings for her.

How had he become so emotionally invested in her in such a short time? How had she? With her secret hanging between them, Tabby was treading on very dangerous ground that could crumble away from under her feet in a blink of an eye.

She knew that she had to tell him before they went any further, but the courage to admit the truth eluded her. The words she needed to say became jammed up in her throat, choking her with their awful truth. He'd think her a child once he discovered how inexperienced she really was, which made her feel even more pathetic, considering her age.

God, what was she going to do?

If she told him the truth, she'd risk losing him and Cooper, a prospect that made her feel sick to her stomach. She was so sure that neither would want anything to do with an inexperienced virgin that she couldn't see how the hurt feelings from the past had blown the whole situation out of proportion. All she could remember was the ridicule her virginal status had earned her from a past boyfriend and that poison had seeped into her and had filled her with a shame that was now tainting her future.

She never once stopped to consider that Marcus or Cooper might not care that she was a virgin, that they might even like the fact that she was untouched in this world of promiscuity. Keeping her status hidden had become such an obsession that Tabby was beyond the ability to comprehend that there could be any favourable outcomes to revealing her secret.

All she could do for now was to continue keeping her humiliating secret and hope that it would soon become a non-issue, gone and forgotten, just as soon as she could convince Marcus to fuck her. The stress of hiding her virginal status from him made her sick with anxiety though, and she couldn't wait until she didn't have to carry the burden - or the stigma - any longer.

Marcus strode around to the back of the SUV, licking Tabby's taste off his lips and wishing that they were already at her apartment. He needed to give her time to think, but goddammit, he just wanted to take her somewhere, get her naked and feast upon her body like a starving glutton. He paused at the rear, leaning heavily against the vehicle and glaring down at his stubborn erection that was still refusing to subside. He'd lost track of how long he'd been hard for, probably since the second he laid eyes on Tabby that evening, and the constant throbbing pressure was verging on becoming truly painful.

He gave himself a tentative stroke, keeping his dick covered by the wool of his kilt, and the shocking force of the arousal that scorched through him had him biting his lip to hold back the groan that threatened to escape. He needed to relieve the tension before he could get into the truck and drive. Hell, right now he could barely think past fucking her, let alone concentrate on getting them to her apartment in one piece.

Thinking quick, Marcus pulled out his cellphone and pretended to make a call. "Stay in the truck, angel, I just have a quick call to make before we go," he said, catching her gaze in the side mirror and seeing her nod in acknowledgement.

He walked a short distance to a wide concrete support column and using it for cover, quickly thrust his hand under his kilt and grabbed a hold of his swollen cock. A few fast strokes, he thought. That's all it'll take and then he could function again.

His fist flew up and down his shaft but the orgasm that had been imminent for hours had suddenly disappeared, though the roaring arousal only increased.

Tabby glanced out the rear view mirror, curious at Marcus' odd behavior. When he had slipped out of sight behind the column, she quickly discovered that she could see his reflection in the side window of the car parked across from where he was standing. Though she couldn't see him from below the waist, she could see the rhythmic way his arm was pumping and knew instantly what he was doing. She'd been aware that he'd been aroused every time he was near her, the erection tenting his kilt had been impossible to miss. He'd teased her and made her come twice that evening, but Tabby suddenly couldn't recall if Marcus had orgasmed at all during their interactions.

He had to be hurting to resort to masturbating now, she thought.

Watching him work his hand up and down his shaft, his frustration growing with each stroke had her feeling guilty. He was in that state because of her, and the look of agony etched on his face told her that he was not only in pain, but was getting mightily pissed off at the same time.

She may never have had actual sex before, but Tabby had had boyfriends in the past and this was something she did know how to do. She undid her buckle and, defying his request to remain in the truck; she eased herself out of the vehicle and walked quietly to where Marcus had tried to conceal himself.
CHAPTER 44

Marcus had his eyes squeezed tightly shut and his breath was rasping in and out of his lungs in a series of harsh curses. She gazed down at his furiously pumping fist, he had a death grip around his cock and the friction had turned the skin an angry crimson. She moved in closer, enough that she could smell the musky scent of the liquid beading out from the purpled head of his cock.

Consumed in his private hell, Marcus was oblivious to Tabby's presence until a warm hand fell on top of the fist clutching his cock and halted his fevered stroking.

"Stop," she said in a quiet, commanding voice that instantly cut through the lust boiling in his brain.

He jumped, his eyes flew open in horror and he barked out a curse. "Jesus fuck! Tabitha! What..you..." Every muscle in his body had petrified, including the hand now strangling his cock. His mouth had ceased working or maybe it was his brain, because the second he had opened his eyes and saw his angel standing there, his world had imploded. Movement came back in a rush of panic and embarrassment and he tried to speak again. "Please...angel...go back to the truck," he croaked.

Working her fingertips under his, Tabby eased his clamped fist off his shaft and placed his unresisting arm by his side, letting the fabric of his kilt fall back into place. "Stop, Sir," she repeated with sympathy.

"Angel...I can't...I need...please...god, go back to the truck." The pain in his rough voice drove needles of guilt into Tabby's heart.

"Whatever it was that you were hoping to achieve, isn't working. Is it, Sir?"

Marcus couldn't speak, someone had shifted his reality and he was floundering for a foothold on which to ground himself.

Tabby glanced down at his prominent erection and put her hand gently on the tented wool of his kilt. "Let me help you, Sir," she said softly making to drop to her knees. Marcus grabbed for her arm, halting her.

"Angel," he said in a choked groan, "Are you sure?"

She nodded. "Your discomfort is because of me. I can help you, Sir. Besides, it's the least I could do after all the pleasure you've already given me tonight." She smiled at him.

He ran a hand through his hair, his rational mind trapped in a violent clash with his inner beast. Tabby saw the conflict playing out in his agonized expression and took matters into her own hands. She sunk carefully to her knees, settling her weight carefully onto the cold, concrete pavement. Gripping the hem of the thick wool of his kilt, she pulled it up and tucked it into his waistband, leaving his jutting erection exposed.

She swallowed the gasp of shock as she gazed upon his naked manhood for the first time. Compared to her previous experiences, Marcus' penis was an impressive specimen, to say the least. Taking a moment to study him, Tabby couldn't believe how large he was. She'd had an idea that he wasn't a small man during their interactions in the club, but her imagination couldn't compare to the reality of seeing it with her own eyes. He had to be a good nine inches hard and several inches in girth. She raised her eyes up to him, silently asking permission to begin, and found his hooded, dark eyes gazing down at her, smoldering with lust and need. He gave her a curt nod and settled his weight against the column at his back, never taking his penetrating stare off her.

Tabby shifted her attention to Marcus' hips and tentatively wrapped her small hand around the pulsing heat of his shaft. A deep, groan emanated from Marcus' throat and his eyelids dropped closed, his body going tense then relaxing into her grip. His cock jerked in her hand and the force of the sudden movement almost made her release him. His hand clamped around hers and drew her fist up his length until her grip tightened again.

She stroked him slowly, watching how his chest rose and fell in erratic bursts as she caressed him.

"More," he rasped. "Angel...fuck, I need more."

The plea had her gripping him harder and she raised his shaft, exposing the sensitive underside to her mouth. The moment her tongue made contact with the burning flesh just above his heavy testicles, Marcus' body shuddered and he uttered a coarse moan.

"Fuck!"

Her tongue found the throbbing vein that bulged through the thin, velvety skin and she licked and teased a torturous path, letting its meandering shape guide her upwards. Her hand held his twitching cock still, while she drove him crazy with her tongue, so that it didn't beat her in the face. The force at which it jumped and jerked beneath her palm surprised her, his cock had become an angry snake that had no interest in staying still.

Marcus was mesmerized as he watched Tabby explore his erection. As much as he wanted her mouth on him, the curiosity that shone in her eyes as she played with him struck him with a sweet innocence that was directly at odds with the sinful nature of the act she was committing. Something was off with her actions, but it felt too damn good for him to waste any of his attention to try to figure out exactly what it was and watching her was too erotic for him to spoil it with questions.

Tabby was too engrossed, exploring the way his soft, smooth skin stretched tightly over an inner core of steel, to notice that Marcus was staring at her. All her attention focused on the way his cock pulsed in time with his racing heartbeat and moved as if it had a life of its own. It was the first time she had been able to really appreciate what a wonder of biological engineering a man's penis really was and studying the contours of Marcus' had her deciding that his was the most marvelous one she had ever beheld.

She experimented with altering the way she licked him, nipped him and squeezed him, loving the various grunts and groans and other curious noises she could make him utter.

"Having fun, little one?" he growled at her, his sexy voice washing over her like a physical touch that made her shiver.

She lifted her eyes up to his and gave him a cheeky, seductive smile as her free hand found his heavy sack and began to play with his testicles. Marcus sucked in a breath, closed his eyes and thrust his head back until it bumped against the concrete column at his back. Conscious thought fled before the tidal wave of pleasure that flowed up his body like molten lava.

Satisfied that the big man was suitably distracted, Tabby continued her explorations. Up, up, up and around, her inquisitive tongue went until she finally found herself at the mushroom shaped, purple crown. She gave the moist head a tentative lick, pleased at the way Marcus's hips bucked when she did, so she did it again and got a guttural growl to go along with another involuntary thrust. Several beads of clear fluid appeared, balancing like glistening pearls just above the tiny slit in the smooth head of his penis. She lowered her mouth and with the flat of her tongue, gave him a slow lick, lapping them up and then returning to collect others that immediately bubbled up to replace them. A strange, salty/sweet flavor spread over her tongue and intrigued her.

In the past, Tabby had never had a chance to taste a man's fluids before. The boys she's been with had been too immature to get aroused enough to start producing pre cum and she'd gotten really good at breaking off contact before they came in her mouth. At the time, the thought of swallowing their semen had made her want to gag, but with Marcus, it suddenly didn't seem so repulsive anymore. He tasted...good in an odd sort of way, but there was something in the tiny droplets that she found herself craving and licked him again, catching the droplets that appeared. She knew then that she wouldn't pull away when he came, she wanted to taste everything he had to give her, taking it into her body and keeping it for her own.

Marcus' hold on reality completely dissolved the second her hot, little tongue began licking the head of his cock. Pleasure and the most exquisite pain flared white hot from his balls to his belly and his patience evaporated, swallowed by a storm of pure lust. His hand found the soft curls of her hair and he fisted a handful of them to grip her head. He positioned her mouth where he wanted her and pushed the head of his pounding cock to her lips. "Open for me, angel," he commanded.

She did as he demanded and parted her flushed lips, allowing him to slip inside the warmth of her sweet mouth.

Finally! His brain screamed in relief. For the first time in weeks, Marcus felt like he was home. Her mouth around his dick was pure ecstasy and he almost wanted to cry from the sheer joy of finally having his angel right where he needed her and where she belonged.

Her lips closed around his girth as he fed his cock into her wet heat. She took as much of him as she could, and what was left, she wrapped her hand around the base to pump him while she sucked and licked him into a state of bliss.

"Just like that, angel," he panted, feeling the familiar burn of an impending orgasm tighten the muscles in his thighs. Marcus used both hands now to steady her head, letting his hips set the pace.

"I'm going to fuck your pretty, little mouth now, angel. Hold still and keep sucking like a good girl."

The smile he gave her dripped with pure sin from his lips. He looked like a demon or a fallen angel to Tabby, eyes so black that they burned like coals and his mouth - god those lips - filled her head with all sorts of deviant ideas. All he was missing was a pair of black wings to complete the vision, and it wouldn't have surprised her to see them spread from his back and engulf her in his wickedness.

CHAPTER 45

Marcus' first few strokes were slow and gentle, despite the raging need pushing at his self-control. He slid along her tongue, pushing to the back of her mouth until he felt the muscles quiver, triggering her gag reflex. "Relax your throat, angel and breathe through your nose. It will get easier with practice."

Tabby struggled to do as he instructed, relaxing her muscles and fighting the panic at not being able to breathe. He didn't hold the position for long, sliding back and allowing her to take a deep breath, but before she had a chance to recover, his cock was back pushing at the entrance to her throat. He began to move faster now and all Tabby could do was try to seal her lips around him and snatch for breath each time he withdrew. Silvery trails of saliva dribbled from the corners of her mouth and dark streaks of mascara melted from her watering eyes, she locked her grip on his thighs to steady herself and let her mouth take the brunt of his passionate onslaught.

To Marcus, she had never looked more beautiful than she did at that moment.

He couldn't tear his gaze off her face and watching his cock disappear into her waiting mouth was one of the most erotic sights he'd enjoyed in a long time. The only thing better would have been watching her pussy or ass swallow him instead. A violent shudder shook through him as that particular image coalesced in his mind.

Her mouth felt so damn good around his cock and Marcus lost himself in the ecstasy of the hot wetness enveloping him. The convulsing of her throat only added to his pleasure, the rippling of the muscles providing addition stimulation, until the sensations reached critical mass and his balls suddenly drew up tight in his scrotum. It was the only warning he received because seconds later, a massive orgasm struck with blinding force, surprising Marcus before he could warn her that he about to come.

All the tension that had built up in him over the course of the evening, blasted out from his cock and poured down Tabitha's throat. Pulsing jets of thick semen coated the back of her tongue and slid into her esophagus, forcing her to swallow or risk choking and still more came, overwhelming her ability to cope. She gagged and attempted to pull away, but Marcus was too far gone to realize the distress she was in and held on too tightly. Tabby kept trying to swallow around the thick shaft of his cock, but most of his semen oozed out of the corners of her mouth in thin streams of creamy fluid that dripped onto her dress in white splotches.

Marcus groaned, riding out the last of the waves from his climax, he let go of Tabby's head, still unaware that he had nearly suffocated her, and groped behind him to grasp the column for support. The second that his balls had finished emptying themselves into Tabby's mouth, his knees had begun to wobble, his legs threatening to dump him onto the ground, but he somehow managed to keep himself upright by sheer force of will.

Feeling himself slide from her slack mouth, Marcus doubled over, breathing hard, unable to stand upright without passing out. Tabby crumpled at his feet, exhausted and shaking, gasping for breath and coughing to clear the thick fluid from her airways.

When Marcus' brain reactivated, his first sight was of Tabby, quivering in a ball at his feet. Panic welled up and choked him. What had he done?

"Tabitha?" he called, frantically reaching down for her. "C'mon, angel, open those eyes for me."

Tabby lifted her head slightly and tried to sit back up, but her muscles wouldn't obey her brain's command. "S...s...sir?" she whispered weakly and coughed again.

Relief flooded through Marcus and he almost collapsed beside her. "Thank god. Are you okay, angel? Did I hurt you?"

Please God, don't let me have hurt her.

She shook her head. "I'm...okay." She sounded out of it to Marcus and concern turned his gut to a block of ice.

Tabby took quick stock of her body, other than her voice being a little hoarse and her throat sore, she was unharmed - shaken up, but otherwise okay. "I'm sorry..."

Marcus scooped her up in his arms and cradled her to his chest. "Sorry? For what?" he asked in confusion.

"That I wasn't very good," she said thickly and Marcus could see disappointed tears rolling down her cheeks. "I'll get better, I promise, Sir."

He hugged her and kissed her wet cheeks. "Oh baby, you have nothing to be sorry about. You were amazing. I'm the one that needs to apologize. I shouldn't have taken you so hard. I didn't realise that you didn't know how to deep throat. I got...I got carried away and wasn't paying attention. I'm so sorry, angel." He kissed her again, practically choking on the bitter remorse that clogged his throat.

They reached his SUV and Marcus sat her in the passenger seat. "Please forgive me, angel. My behavior was out of line and I am truly sorry."

Tabby reached up and caressed his rough cheek, loving the raspy feel of his short beard on her skin. "Just answer me one question, Sir," she replied, smiling as she played with the stubble on his face.

Marcus gave her a quizzical look, returning her smile. "Shoot."

Brilliant jade green eyes locked with his and all he saw was mischief and happiness swirling in their jewel coloured depths. "Feel better?"

A roar of laughter burst out of Marcus and the heavy, guilty shroud that had settled on him disappeared instantly. He crushed her to him and hugged her so tightly that Tabby thought she heard her bones creak from the pressure of his arms. When he could talk normally again, he stroked Tabby's cheek and dropped a kiss on her lips, grateful for her forgiving soul. "Absolutely, angel. Shall we go?"

Tabby nodded and Marcus buckled her seatbelt then headed around the vehicle. His eyes strayed to the spot where he and Tabby had been just a few minutes ago and he knew that every time he came into the garage now, he would remember how she had looked on her knees taking his cock in her mouth. A huge smile spread on his lips and Marcus climbed into the driver's seat feeling as giddy as a teenager does after his first blowjob.

He drove them up the exit ramp, giving the guard a quick wave before taking them out into the night. Passing through the chain link fence and onto the city street, Marcus couldn't stand not touching Tabby any longer, reaching for her hand on her lap, wove his fingers into hers, and engulfed her hand in his. His restless beast calmed the moment they made contact and Marcus settled into the business of driving while Tabby sat quietly beside him, her mind awhirl with all the thoughts and emotions brought on by everything she had learned and experienced that evening.

They drove in silence, Tabby gazing out the window, deep in thought and Marcus content to let her be, so long as he was touching her - reminding her of his presence. He wanted to talk, if nothing more than to hear her voice, but it had been his command that she use this time to contemplate what she really wanted and he didn't want to disturb her. Occasionally, he'd give her small hand a gentle squeeze and rub his thumb over the back of her hand and she'd glance at him, giving him a thrill of pleasure.

She kept her face turned away for most of the drive, but he'd watch for the smile that squeeze would cause to appear on her lips and she'd return the squeeze with one of her own. That small gesture eased his anxiety, fearful that her silence was a sign of her withdrawing from him after his heinous behavior in the garage, but she was only letting him know that she was still with him, just miles away in her thoughts.

All too soon for Tabby, Marcus was turning into the driveway in front of her apartment building. He pulled up to the curb, stopped and turned off the engine. Nobody spoke for a few minutes, a pregnant silence expanding in the gap between them. Tabby waited for Marcus to speak and Marcus waited for Tabby to speak, but neither could work up the courage to be the first. The question he was waiting for hung like an executioner's blade over his head.

Would she ask him to take her or had she changed her mind? His curiosity was killing him.

He pulled their clasped hands up to his lips and kissed her knuckles. "Have you had time to think about what you truly want, angel?" Marcus broke the silence, unable to stand the suspense any longer.

She nodded slowly, bowing her head respectfully. "I have, Sir."

"Good girl. Do you have something to ask me then? Or shall I drop you off and go home?" His heart clenched and stopped beating, waiting for her next words.

"I don't..." Her whispered words caused his stomach to drop through the seat of his truck and splatter on the pavement beneath the vehicle.

"I don't want you to go, Sir." She raised her head and he saw the need in her eyes. "I want...I want to be with you, to learn about being a submissive." She paused and stared down at their still clasped hands. "I want to be your submissive and Cooper's...if you'll have me, Sir?"

The tension that he'd been holding released, allowing his heart to resume beating and oxygen to inflate his starved lungs. "Are you sure that that is what you want, little one? You realize that you are agreeing to serve two Masters with your request. Are you sure that is something you can accept?"

"Yes Sir. I trust you and I really like Cooper. I can learn to trust him just as much as I do you. I just need time to get to know him better. I am nervous and do worry about how this kind of relationship works, but in my heart, I know that this is what I want, Sir."

Marcus started the engine and put the truck in drive, startling Tabby. "Where are we going?" she blurted as they pulled back out onto the street.

"Your request honors me, Tabitha and I accept. You will have to ask Cooper when you see him next," he gave her a wink. "But I can't see him saying no."

"Thank you, Sir, but...where are we going?" she asked again, confused.

"I'm bringing you to my home, angel. I will not claim my submissive in any bed other than my own, not for the first time. The moment we step through the door, your training begins, Tabitha. Are you ready for that?"
A little late to ask now, Tabby thought wryly as he sped away. "Yes, Sir."

Marcus smiled and reached for her hand again. Tabby slipped hers into his huge palm, happy to have the connection between them back. "Good girl."

Now if only his damned truck had warp engines. It still couldn't have gotten him home with his angel fast enough for Marcus' liking.

CHAPTER 46

They drove for almost forty-five minutes in companionable silence. After passing through the city center, Marcus left the bustling streets of downtown behind and drove into the countryside until he hit an exit ramp that took them into the quiet, tree-lined streets of a suburb. It was after midnight now and most of the modest houses they passed were dark. Kid's bicycles lay abandoned on driveways and the occasional dog barked but other than that, all was serenely quiet.

Marcus wended his way down one street and another until finally slowing down and turning into the driveway of a mid-sized, two-story house. To Tabby, the style reminded her of something probably originally built in the late seventies but Marcus' home had been lovingly restored and updated. Automatic lights flashed on as soon as the SUV came into range of the motion sensors, illuminating the gorgeous, wood trim painted a dark, hunter green that offset the stark white of the stucco.

The garage door raised and Marcus parked his vehicle inside the garage. Turning the engine off brought back the silence and Tabby's nerves began to flutter with anxiety. She didn't know what was going to happen once she left the safety of the truck and suddenly felt out of her depth, wondering if she had made an impulsive decision based on hormones rather than logic.

Marcus exited the vehicle, strode around to the passenger side, and opened Tabby's door. He reached around her, unbuckled her seat belt and helped her climb out of the truck. When he led her around the SUV, she saw another vehicle parked on the other side of the two-car garage. It was low to the ground and covered with a black cover so that only the bottom halves of the tires were visible. Going by the size and shape, Tabby assumed that it was some kind of sports car.

"One for work and one for play?" She cocked her head between the two vehicles.

Marcus gave a rich laugh, gazing fondly on the covered vehicle like a little boy looking upon his favourite toy. "Something like that." He gave her a wicked smile. "Be a good girl and maybe I'll take you for a ride in the Audi tomorrow."

That caught Tabby by surprise and she halted, pulling her hand out of Marcus' with her sudden stop. "Tomorrow? I can't stay the night, Sir. I don't have any clean clothes or toiletries with me!" She glanced down in horror at the embarrassing white spots dried into the silk of her dress.

Marcus slapped his forehead and rushed back to the Escalade, using his key fob to unlock the rear. He reached inside and pulled out a tan coloured duffle bag. "I almost forgot!" He carried the duffle to Tabby and showed it to her.

Her eyes went immediately to the black Gucci monogram on the front and she narrowed her eyes suspiciously at him. "Petra?"

He nodded in conspiratorial amusement. "Petra."

"She knew?"

"Not the details, angel." He shook his head. "Don't be angry with her. I asked her a few days ago to put together an overnight bag for you." Marcus looked sheepish. "On the off chance that you came to the club and things...um...went well."

Tabby glared at Marcus and put a hand on her hip. "I don't know which one of you to be more pissed at, right now. I'm feeling a little bit played here."

Marcus set the bag down quickly and hurried to her side, pulling her to him and holding her face in both his hands. "You have to believe me, angel, when I tell you that none of this was planned. Well...there was a plan...but it all went to hell right at the beginning. Trust me."

He indicated the bag on the floor. "That. That was me hoping that one day, you'd agree to be with me, us, you know what I mean." Marcus was tripping on his words, feeling flustered for the first time in his life.

"I never assumed that I have you here, angel. I just wanted to be prepared in case...you know?"

He sighed and kissed her forehead. "I asked Petra to throw some stuff together for you. I didn't want you to have to do the walk of shame, on the off chance I got lucky enough to have you spend the night."

"Hmmm, so you're a cross between Mister Thoughtful and a horny boy scout?" She was having fun teasing him. In all honesty, she thought the gesture was sweet, even though she was irritated that Petra hadn't spilled the beans. The girl normally couldn't keep a secret to save her life, yet she never even hinted at what Marcus and Cooper had been planning. Somehow, Tabby thought, it was going to take more than tea and cookies to atone for that oversight.

"Oh, I can be very, very thoughtful and am always prepared." He pointed to the door into the house. "Are you ready, angel?"

That brought Tabby back to the reality of what was about to happen and her eyes snapped to the innocuous looking door with a rush of trepidation. The quivers started in her body before she noticed how she had begun shaking, but Marcus felt the shivers right away.

"Hey, hey, you're not afraid, are you?" he crooned, pulling her close to his chest and holding her.

Suddenly, Tabby couldn't stop the flurry of nerves from making her shake. "Not afraid...nervous, S-sir."

He moved her away, enough so that he could look in her eyes and tried to reassure her. "Angel, there is nothing to be afraid of. I promise you. Nothing is going to happen that you don't want to have happen. Tonight is about introducing you to being a submissive and helping create our bond."

Tabby saw his eyes beginning to darken and felt the lust emanating like heatwaves from his body. Her body responded by warming and her skin prickled with sensitivity. Other parts of her began to tingle and heat in anticipation and she pressed her thighs together in an attempt to relieve the sudden ache that pulsed there.

"I can help you with that, angel." Marcus murmured in her ear. "You just need to walk through that door and you'll never be without relief again, my sweet."

He released her and walked to the door. Using his keys, he unlocked the door and opened it, stepping inside and waiting to see what Tabitha did.

She stared at Marcus, standing so tall in the doorway that he looked like a sentinel standing guard. Picking up the bag, she took one hesitant step towards him and shuddered when a hungry look darkened his face. Her next step brought her before him and she stopped.

"Good choice, angel. Once you enter my home, you belong to me. I expect obedience from you when we are here. Do you understand?"

Tabby felt something shifting inside her, a loosening of tension and a calm taking its place. She averted her eyes and nodded. "Yes, Sir. I will obey your wishes."

He stepped aside and motioned for her to pass. "Then take my hand, angel, and get ready to being this new chapter in your life."

She reached out and grasped his outstretched palm. His fingers closed on hers and he gently guided her into the hallway, closing the door behind them and locking it.

CHAPTER 47

He immediately tugged her to him and the kiss he gave her now was anything but gentle. His lips crushed themselves against hers in a meeting that was hungry and possessive and Tabby melted into his embrace and opened her mouth to accept his demanding tongue. When he was done, Tabby's head spun with arousal.

"I've been dying to do that since we left the club. Come, Tabitha, I'll show you where you can freshen up."

He led a stunned Tabby through his home and guided her into a huge master bedroom. Her eyes fell upon the massive bed in the center and she once again felt the quiver and squirm of nerves.

"Come, angel." He called out, distracting her from thoughts. "You can clean up in here." He turned the light on inside the bathroom and led her inside.

"Can I take a quick shower, Sir?" She looked at the huge walk in shower longingly, feeling grimy and sweaty from the club.

"Of course you can angel. When you are done, you are not to get dressed. I will be waiting in the living room for you and want you to come to me naked."

Tabby's eyes flashed with apprehension. "N-naked, Sir?"

"When you are here, angel, you will be naked most of the time. I want to see your beautiful body." He caressed her arm with a light touch of his fingers that raised the hairs on it and sent a rush of goose flesh along its length. "I expect access to you at all times, angel, and clothes will only get in the way. Understand?"

"Y-yes, S-sir."

"Good girl. Now go wash up and then come see me. I'll be waiting for you, sweetness." He kissed her and exited the bathroom leaving Tabby to contend with her chaotic nerves.

With shaking fingers, she slipped off her stained dress and removed her underthings until she was standing naked in front of the bright lights of the vanity mirror. Her face was a mascara-streaked nightmare and her hair was a mess from having Marcus' hands in it.

Opening the overnight bag that Petra had put together for her, Tabby hoped that she thought to include some makeup remover wipes. Sitting on top of another smaller case inside the bag was a white envelope with Tabby's name written on it in Petra's handwriting.

Intrigued, Tabby flipped the envelope over and ran her thumb under the flap to open it. Tucked inside was a cream coloured piece of stationary, which Tabby slid out and unfolded.

...Dearest Tabby,

Please don't be angry with me! If you are reading this note

then somehow, someway, you must have agreed to Marcus and

Cooper's proposal...or are at least curious enough to find

yourself at Marcus' home and that is awesome-sauce times

a million, honey. It wasn't my place to interfere or spoil this

for them or for you. Plus, I knew it was a good thing and

didn't want to scare you off. Aren't you glad that you have a

fantastic friend like me to look out for ya? Kiss kiss.

If you can't wrap your brain around anything else right now,

believe this...they love you. Yuppers, girlfriend! You've hit the

jackpot. Trust me! It's the real kind and the funny thing

is...neither of them realize it yet. However, I can see it in their faces

when they talk about you and I can hear it in their voices. They're

guys though so it might take a while for that hammer to drop, but

when it does, it's going to blow them away! Be patient with them,

they'll fuck up, but their sweet, Domly hearts are in the right place.

If I know you, you are probably freaking out about so many

inconsequential things right now, right?

Stop it!

Trust them.

You couldn't be in safer hands, luv. I know that all of this has

probably hit you like a freight train but you are on the verge

of an amazing life that you can't even imagine right now.

Trust your heart...not your head and you won't go wrong.

Love Pets

P.S. - Prepare yourself, the sex is going to ruin you for

other guys! Hugs. XOXOX

Tabby wiped a stray tear from her eyes as she folded the note back up and slid it back into the envelope. Petra's love and support shone through every word on the paper as if she was standing there saying them in person and once again, Tabby found herself thanking god that she had such a wonderful person for a best friend. Her advice and reassurance did help to calm some of her nerves but did nothing to solve the worry spinning around the issue of her virginity.

Looking at herself in the mirror, Tabby felt like a fraud. There was a big thing she was hiding and she knew that Marcus deserved to know, but no matter how she tried, she just couldn't bring herself to tell him. Time had almost run out for her to come clean but the fear of losing him had turned her into a coward and she had to avert her gaze, shame making it impossible for her to meet her own reflection in the mirror.

The only thing she could do now was pray that when the time came, he didn't notice that the woman he'd chosen to take to his bed had no more experience than a child did.

Tabby removed the smaller case from the bag; this one had Chanel's interlocking C's on the front. Petra must have had a blast shopping, Tabby thought, pushing her worries to the back of her mind. The two bags alone must have cost at least two grand!

This second case turned out to be a makeup bag, complete with an assortment of all of Tabby's favourite cosmetics - only upgraded to designer brands courtesy of Petra's shopping addiction and unlimited bank account. She found the makeup remover wipes that she needed, thoughtfully tucked into one of the pockets and Tabby went to work removing her smeared mascara. It was a shame that she couldn't remove the stain on her soul as easily, she mused.

Routing around in the bag, Tabby found travel sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body soap. Grabbing her supplies, she stepped into the glass enclosed shower stall and proceeded to scrub herself until she felt clean enough to face Marcus.

She finished her shower and wrapped a soft towel around her, feeling a little better. She had managed to convince herself that Marcus was going to be too preoccupied with his own lust to notice anything unusual inside of Tabby. His cock would take care of the problem before he realized that she had withheld vital information about her sexual status.

Keep telling yourself that enough times, Tabby, and maybe you just might start to believe it. Tabby grimaced. Sometimes her subconscious really needed to learn to shut the hell up.

Toweling herself off, Tabby brushed out her hair and decided to braid it into a queue that fell almost to the middle of her back. It would keep her unruly tresses out of the way and prevent the curly hair from becoming one huge ball of frizz. She didn't look forward to trying to brush that snarled mess out in the morning if she left it unbound.

Tidying up her things, she placed her hand on the knob of the bathroom and all her courage left her in a rush. It was time to face Marcus and she couldn't bring herself to let go of the towel still wrapped protectively around her. She turned the knob, pushed the door open a crack and peeked out, scanning the big room for any sign of him. Finding no one, she slowly opened the door and stepped out, padding soundlessly across the carpet to the open doorway. Once again, she peered out into the hallway and could see light coming from the opening at the end. She tiptoed down the hallway, keeping close to the wall.

She stopped just before she reached the end and tried to get her pounding heart to slow down enough so that she could get a deep breath in. Her head was woozy and her legs felt weak; just around that corner, Marcus would be waiting for her.

"I can hear you breathing, angel. Come to me," his deep voice rumbled from the space beyond the corridor.

CHAPTER 48

Tabby's hands shook nervously as she tried to get her hands to release their death grip on the towel.

You have to do this, Tabs! You agreed to obey him and you're going to flake out on his first real command? C'mon girl, he's going to do much more than just look at you soon enough!

One by one, she coaxed her fingers to relax enough to let the towel slip from her grip and fall to the floor. The cool air that brushed her naked skin made her shiver and she automatically wrapped her arms around her breasts in a vain attempt to shield her body from exposure. Counting silently in her head, when she reached three, she took a tentative step away from the wall and stepped out into the open.

Sitting in a deep armchair directly across from her, Marcus leaned back into the cushions watching her like a hawk. He'd unlaced the top of his tunic and it lay opened, showing hints of a tattoo on his chest. His kilt sat over his thighs but did nothing to hide the erection pushing the center of the fabric up. Tabby gasped at the heated rush of arousal that scorched her belly and dampened her pussy. His eyes were black and blazing with need and he crooked a finger at her, beckoning her to come forward.

"Drop your arms, angel. Never. Ever. Cover your body while in my presence. You are my property to enjoy and display as I please." Marcus growled at her, indicating at her arms angrily with a pointed finger.

Her arms slid to her sides and her face heated with a blush that must have lit up the room with its ferocity.

"Come here, angel," he demanded, pointing to a spot on the floor in front of him.

Moving with leaden feet, Tabby walked to the spot he indicated and stopped. She was close enough to smell his aftershave and soap. His hair was damp so he must have taken the time to freshen up as well.

"Beautiful," he breathed and sat forward, moving close enough to touch her, but refraining to do so. "Turn...slowly." He twirled a finger in the air and Tabby shifted her feet so that she did a slow circle in front of him, his gaze leaving ghostly trails of fire on her skin.

"Exquisite," he said reverently.

When she returned to her starting position, Marcus gave his next command. "Face the other direction and kneel."

Tabby turned around and sunk to her knees. She jumped when the heat of his palm caressed her shoulders and pushed her forward. "Put your face to the floor and rest your cheek to one side. Spread your legs for me." His hand stayed in the center of her shoulder blades, applying pressure until her head touched the floor. Then his hands moved to the small of her back and pushed down there. "Raise your lovely ass in the air, angel."

She did so and he grunted in approval before grasping her thighs and moving them further apart. "This is the inspection position, angel. Remember it. It will be one used often in your training." Marcus let his palm caress the rounded curves of Tabby's ass, squeezing them and spreading them apart to expose her pussy."

She heard him take a deep breath and growl with pleasure. "You smell wonderful, angel. I wish you could see how delicate, pink and wet your pussy looks. In a moment, I am going to take you into my bedroom and you will serve me as I see fit. This is your last chance to say no. I intend to fuck you, my precious girl and I can't guarantee that I'm going to be gentle about it." He warned, trailing a finger through her slit and pressing on her tight rear hole.

She flinched and whimpered in fear. Lydia had warned her that Marcus was fond of anal sex and had made sure to gloat about how much it was going to hurt.

"Shhh, little one. I will use this entrance too, all your holes are for my pleasure, but I am not a sadist, my sweet. This," he pressed his finger against the puckered muscle until just the tip entered her body. "...needs to be trained slowly and carefully before you'll be able to take a cock without harm."

Tabby moaned and clenched her ass around his fingertip. It was the oddest feeling, yet pleasure radiated from the intrusion. Some of her fear eased, the anxiety replaced by a burgeoning curiosity. Marcus didn't remove his finger right away, instead he slid it slightly deeper, letting his finger disappear to the second knuckle. Tabby shuddered and her arousal became obvious from the increase in moisture slicking her wet pussy.

"I promise you, angel. I will make it feel a hundred times better than this. All you need to do is trust me to take care of you." He crooned, pumping his finger slowly in and out of her asshole.
"Yes, yes Sir," Tabby stammered.

His finger disappeared and his palm stroked her ass. "Good girl." He stood and walked in front of Tabby. "Stand up, pet."

Tabby lifted herself up from the floor and got slowly to her feet. Marcus stepped closer; one hand tilted her chin up so that her lips met his and his other hand descended between her legs, fingers slipping easily between her folds to caress her most private spot. She was panting, quivering and breathless by the time he finished kissing her and fondling her, stopping just as she was on the verge of orgasming. She gave a disappointed moan and he chuckled at her.

"Don't be sad, angel. You'll get your reward soon enough. However, I am big and you are small, I need to make sure your sweet, little pussy is ready for me. Now go into my bedroom and kneel on the floor by the bed. I want your ass on your heels, back straight and wrists crossed behind your back. You are to wait there until I come to you. Understand?"

"Yes, Sir." Tabby nodded.

He beamed at her. "Off you go then." He gave her ass a smack that made the most glorious sound as his palm struck her pale flesh. His cock gave a healthy jerk in response, pulsing in excitement and Marcus couldn't wait to introduce his angel to erotic spanking. Tabby gave a little squeak of surprise then scampered off to the bedroom, giving Marcus the unexpected pleasure of seeing her ass wiggling and her full breasts bouncing as she ran.

As soon as she disappeared out of sight, he pulled his tunic up over his head and tossed it onto the chair. His belt came off next and he looked at it fondly, eager for the day when Tabby was ready to accept his strokes with it. Next, he removed his kilt, boots and socks until he was standing naked in the center of his living room. He strode over to a sideboard that held a decanter of whiskey and a couple of clean glasses. He poured two fingers worth of amber liquid into a glass and swallowed it in a single gulp.

He needed to calm down before going to his angel. Unfortunately, his dick did not agree with him. That impatient bastard knew that he could be plunging into the depths of her pussy right now and Marcus was fucking delaying his gratification. It kicked, throbbed, and generally distracted Marcus from the scene he was trying to play out with Tabby. He did not want a repeat of the fevered face fucking he'd given her in the garage. This needed to be controlled, at least at first, or else he was going end up hurting her and he'd cut his own dick off if that happened again.

Marcus paced for ten minutes, letting the expensive alcohol mellow out his agitation enough for him to remain in control. When he was sure that he could retain his cool, Marcus gathered up his clothes and walked softly down the hall. When he reached his bedroom, he quietly peered into his room. The sight that greeted him, undid his carefully won calm.

CHAPTER 49

Tabitha looked angelic, kneeling as instructed with her head bowed and her eyes closed. Her chest was rising and falling in rhythmic waves that lifted her breasts in such a way that they seemed to be begging him to come and suckle her rose coloured nipples. She was facing the door with her knees spread apart just enough, that he could see the dusky pink of her labia and the moisture that glistened on those delicate folds.

He'd soon taste those folds for himself and licked his lips in anticipation. He'd get to hear all the little, sexy noises she'd make while he drove her to heights she'd never dreamed of. In the quiet of his home, there was no blaring club music or noisy crowd to drown out the sounds of her moans and screams and he resolved by the end of this night, she would be screaming out his name in pleasure so many times that it will be the only word that she'd have the energy to speak.

He stepped into the room, dropped his clothes onto a chair by the door and strode slowly to where his angel was waiting for him. He slowly circled her, just drinking in the sight of her and appreciating her beauty, then settled himself on the edge of his bed.

Tabby felt the change in air pressure and knew Marcus had finally arrived. The masculine scent of his aftershave and the sharp tang of alcohol swirled around her as he circled her. Her eyes wanted to open, to see him, but she kept them closed and her head down, making no indication that she'd heard him.

The springs on the bed gave a soft squeak as he sat down. "This position is called the Waiting position. It is another that you will be instructed to assume frequently." He said from behind her. "Open your eyes and crawl to me, angel."

Tabby dropped onto her hands and knees and crawled across the thick carpet, stopping in front of Marcus.

"Closer, pet," he instructed, guiding her to him until her nose was an inch from his erection. He gripped his cock and lowered it to her lips. "Kiss the tip and ask to serve me."

Tabby leaned forward and placed a kiss on the slick, splayed head of his cock. "How may I serve you, Sir?" she asked obediently, keeping her eyes down.

He hummed in pleasure. "Very nice, pet. Normally, I would have you pleasure me with your mouth before we did anything more and you should expect to do so without warning at all times. But I think your performance in the garage was sufficient for now, this is for you tonight, my angel." He patted the bed. "Climb up here and lie in the center of the bed."

Tabby's legs shook as she did as he asked. She crawled to the center of the bed and turned to lie on her back, settling her head on a soft pillow.

Marcus stood and gazed down upon her naked body, his cock twitching and bouncing against his abdomen as he stared. She was perfect - flawless, pale skin stretched over toned muscles on her arms and abdomen. She had just enough body fat to give her sensual curves but it was obvious that she worked out, as there wasn't any excess to spare. Her body looked soft but he could see layers of strong muscles that lay just beneath that thin sheath. His forehead wrinkled in concern when he got to her thighs and saw a faded mass of scars running over her knee and part way up her thigh.

Something had happened to his angel. He traced the longest part of the scar, from her knee to her inner thigh and she flinched when he touched her. "What happened, angel?" he asked compassionately.

Her breath hitched with emotion as she tried to speak. Her eyelids squeezed closed and for a moment, Marcus didn't think she was going to answer him. When she did, he almost wished that she hadn't. Her sweet voice was toneless and devoid of emotion, chilling him with the anguish lying beneath her emotionless words.

"The death of my dancing career, Sir." Marcus felt sorrow for her but could not allow her to close herself off from him; she needed to learn to be open and honest with him. He could not permit her to be evasive.

"Explain." He pitched his voice into a commanding tone that he hadn't yet used with her. Her eyes flew open and he knew instantly that he'd touched upon a sore subject. She begged him silently with pleading eyes, not to force her to open that wound but he pressed her. "I want to know what happened, angel. It is my job to carry your hurts as well as to provide your pleasure."

Tears glistened in her eyes but she gave him a nod and sucked in a breath to calm herself. "I was home on a summer break from studying ballet in France. I was fifteen, young and stupid. A bunch of friends organized a barbeque to celebrate my birthday out at the potholes near the town where I grew up. It was hot and everyone was swimming and having fun. There were a bunch of rocks, high above one of the pools that the locals used to dive from and I got talked into to jumping with a few of my friends."

She paused and looked away from him. Tears ran from the edges of her eyes and fell to the pillow, leaving damp spots on the pristine, white cotton. Marcus turned her head back to face him and wiped a tear away with is thumb. "It was the stupidest decision of my life."

"Continue," he urged.

"The summer had been really hot that year, the river was running too low and we should never have been diving. I found out later that there were warning signs but someone had knocked them down so we didn't know that it was too dangerous. I-I picked the w-wrong spot. When I jumped, I went in feet first and hit a rock in a part of the pool that was too shallow. If...if I'd dived head first, I'd be dead or paralyzed now. My left leg took the brunt of the impact. My ankle and knee were torn apart and my femur twisted and shattered."

Marcus sat beside her and lifted her against him, holding her while she relived the terrible accident.

"They were going to amputate my leg but my mother fought them. It took three years and more surgeries than I can count, but eventually, my bones healed. However, that was the end to my dance career. One stupid mistake and all my dreams vanished into thin air."

He held her while she sobbed, rubbing her back and whispering how proud he was of her for sharing her story. "I am so sorry that that happened to you, angel. Thank you for telling me, even though it was painful, at least I can carry part of that for you now." He kissed her and lay her back down. Grabbing a tissue from the nightstand, he lovingly dried her eyes and let her blow her nose.

"Part of being a submissive is total honesty and openness with your Dom. It's not always easy but absolute honesty is one of the fundamental building blocks that a D/s relationship is built upon. Something like this," Marcus touched her scars. "I need to know about so that I don't inadvertently hurt you when we progress to bondage." He leaned over and kissed the silvery spider web of lines the lay over her knee. "It would kill me to hurt you, angel," he whispered thickly.

Now was the time for her to tell him the secret that she'd kept from him. All she needed to do was open her mouth and say. "I'm a virgin." That's all it would take.

Her alter ego scoffed and laughed at her. "And then he'd toss you out on your naked ass," its nasty voice taunted inside her head. "Look at him. He doesn't want to play with a little girl. He needs a woman. Tell him that you've never had sex before and he's going to die laughing, just before he calls you a cab."

The words were right on the tip of her tongue, but instead of speaking them, she swallowed them back down, sending them back into the dark place where she had kept the secret hidden, and she stayed silent. Her guilt must have shown on her face because Marcus gave her an odd look.

"What is it, angel?" he asked, scrutinizing her face for clues.

"Nothing, Sir," she lied. "I've never told anyone that story besides Petra. It makes me feel...I don't know how to explain it."

"Naked," Marcus supplied for her. "You feel exposed even more than being physically naked makes you feel."

She nodded her head, feeling the weight of her secret pulling at her like a boat anchor dragging on the bottom of the seabed. "Yes, Sir. That is a good description."

Lie upon lie. Tabby was digging herself into a hole that was going to collapse and bury her.

CHAPTER 50

He chuckled softly, stroking her stomach and marveling at the tiny ripples his touch caused on her skin. "Get used to it, pet. I wasn't kidding when I told you that I wanted you naked before me at all times."

Shivers radiated from the ghostly light patterns he was drawing on her stomach. Heat flooded into her core and her stomach muscles fluttered as goose flesh broke out all over her body. His hand got more adventurous and migrated upwards to her breasts. He'd been dying to fondle them since he'd seen her but a layer of clothing had stood between his touches and her skin. Now, her supple mounds were exposed and waiting for him to play with them. He cupped their weight in his palms, taking measure of their firmness and size before gently massaging his fingers into her flesh.

Her nipples darkened to a dusky rose, hardening before his eyes and he couldn't resist their allure any longer. His mouth watered as he latched onto one and sucked the nub hard between his lips. Tabby gasped and her hands flew up and pushed at him as the shock of the intense sensation caught her by surprise.

That wouldn't do, thought Marcus. She needed to learn to submit without resistance.

He released her nipple and sat up, scowling with displeasure at her. "Did I give you permission to touch me, pet?"

His admonishing tone startled her. "No, Sir." She withdrew her hands to her sides looking embarrassed.

"I don't want to bind you tonight, angel. Considering your history, that is something we will approach slowly. Nevertheless, I also can't allow you to disobey me. Reach above your head and hold onto the bars in the headboard, if you will."

Tabby stretched her arms over her head and groped for the vertical, iron bars inset into the heavy wood of his headboard.

"You are to hang onto to those until I give you permission to let go. If you let go before I say, I will stop what I am doing and you will receive five, barehanded spanks to your lovely ass. They will be punishment spanks, so I guarantee that you will not enjoy them. I know that we haven't discussed punishment but consider that your first lesson and warning. Nod if you understand."

Tabby nervously nodded.

"If something gets to be too much or is causing you real discomfort, you can use a safe word. Do you know what a safe word is, angel?" While he instructed Tabby, his hands had found their way back to her breasts and had resumed their massaging.

"Yes, Sir," she breathed heavily, the motions of his hands distracting her. "It's a word that I wouldn't normally use in the course of sexual activity. It's a safety word for me to use to halt the scene."

Marcus was impressed. "You've been doing some research, haven't you, pet?" he asked with pleasure.

Tabby blushed. "A little, Sir. I was...curious."

"Never be ashamed of being curious, love. Intelligence is a very sexy trait in a submissive. Ignorance is dangerous, so always be sure to educate yourself. For now, we will stick to Red for your safe word."

"Okay, Sir," she nodded in agreement.

He dropped his mouth back down onto her nipple, plucking at it with his teeth and making Tabby gasp and squirm beneath him. She loosened her grip on the iron bars and his gaze zeroed in on her hands. "You weren't thinking of letting go now were you, angel?" he murmured sexily.

Her grip automatically tightened and she shook her head. "No, Sir!" she blurted.

"Hmmm," he sucked at her other nipple. "Good girl."

Tabby moaned deeply as he put pressure on her nipple with his lip-covered teeth. He pinched it tightly and held the pressure, the stinging pain morphing into liquid heat that somehow shot directly to her clit, making her cry out in pleasure.

He released her and laughed. "Weren't expected that, were you?" he teased.

"No, Sir. It hurt at first, but then it didn't? I don't understand."

"Done correctly, angel, pain can transform into pleasure. The body is a very strange concoction of chemicals and hormones, but a wonderful toy to play with as well. You are going to learn first-hand, what an amazing a machine it is." He smiled wickedly at her and dropped kisses on the smooth planes of her belly until he reached the apex of her thighs.

"God damn," he groaned, breathing in a lungful of her powerful feminine aroma.

Her scent acted like an aphrodisiac on his brain, rousing his beast to full wakefulness. She smelled like sin. Hell, she smelled like all the sins that he ever dreamed about! That he was going to have a chance to make them all a reality excited him like a boy on Christmas morning. Now that he had her in his clutches, he knew with perfect certainty that he was never going to be able to let her go again because once his cock was inside her, she'd own a huge portion of his soul.

His gazed lingered on her thighs, squeezed together and hiding the treasure between them from his sight. He caressed the soft flesh and then wedged his hands between them and pushed outwards. "Open for me, angel. Show me what you hide from the rest of the world. I want to look at what belongs to me now."

Slowly, Tabby parted her legs, moving them with assistance from Marcus. He kept pressure on her until she had spread her legs wide enough to meet his approval. He leaned down and kissed the top of her bare mound then sat back and stared in rapt amazement at the precious thing he had been dreaming of for weeks. Seeing his focus glued to her most intimate place made Tabby blush a bright scarlet. In her embarrassment, her legs began to close and Marcus reacted swiftly, slapping her on her thigh and startling her.

He covered her pussy with his hand and glared at her. "This is MINE now. Do you understand? You are never to deny me access to what is mine, angel. If I want to do nothing more than look at you, then you will allow it and do it happily."

Marcus really wasn't angry, he was too fucking horny to be angry, but he needed her to understand the depths of the commitment she had entered into. She needed to understand that this wasn't a game. For Marcus and Cooper, this bond was a vital component to their life and that intense, all consuming commitment was the lifeblood that would sustain and nourish their relationship. Tabby was very new to their world and still had a lot to learn, but if she didn't get this basic tenet right away, then this lifestyle would not work for her.

Her legs slid back to where he had originally positioned them and he smiled at her. "Good girl. Now, where was I? Oh yes, I was about to have a little snack."

Her eyes went wide as his head descended between her legs and she felt the moist heat of his slippery tongue slide along her outer folds in a long, luxurious lick. He looked up long enough to give her a greedy smile and parted her folds to exposure her juicy center. His tongue dived in and Tabby threw her head back into the pillow and let out a strangled squeak as pleasure exploded in her core.

Marcus hummed in delight. She tasted phenomenal; earthy, and salty, with a subtle sweetness that he couldn't quite define, but reminded him a bit like summer peaches. He decided that he could get happily drunk on her flavor and attacked her with his tongue; lapping up all the honeyed nectar leaking out of her.

Tabby moaned and cried out uncontrollably in between her frantic gasps for air but all Marcus did was give her an evil smile and redoubled his attack. Marcus watched her closely, bringing her to the very edge of orgasm, then backing off and letting the release slip away. He did this repeatedly, systematically breaking down her resistance and leaving her open for the next stage of his seduction.

Unable to speak coherently, Tabby thrashed her head and tried to grind her pussy on his mouth. She was seeking the friction of his tongue or his raspy beard, or anything that would trip the switch and allow her to cum before her brain exploded but Marcus annoyingly stayed just out of her reach. He laughed at her efforts, loving the way her pussy followed his mouth. Sufficiently aroused, he wasted no time taking his erotic torture to the next level, sealing his mouth over her swollen clitoris and making her shriek in surprise.

Her back arched off the bed, trying to escape his devilish mouth but he held her down and relentlessly nipped, sucked and licked the sensitive nerve bundle. Tabby writhed underneath him, her knuckles showing white from the tension that she was using to keep her hands in place. He made sure to graze his teeth over her clit while he flicked it with the tip of his tongue until Tabby finally gave him the thing he was trying to coax out of her.

She began to beg.
"Please! Sir. I can't...oh god! Please," she wailed.

"What do you need, angel? Tell me," he said, sucking her clit into his mouth and flicking it hard with his tongue. She bucked up underneath him, grinding her pussy into his mouth and making the stimulation worse.

"I need...please, god. I can't take it anymore." She was twisting and shaking so violently that Marcus was amazed that she hadn't let go of the headboard yet.

"I need to cum!" she screamed.

CHAPTER 51

He pulled away; satisfied that he had driven her to the point where he needed her to be. "Tsk, not yet, angel. This time, your orgasm belongs to me and I want to feel you cum around my cock." He looked down at her flushed face and stoked his erection thoughtfully. He didn't need the extra stimulation. He was already so hard that there was very little sponginess left in his shaft. Rock hard, was definitely the appropriate description in his case; he could have easily hammered nails with his cock.

He ran a finger around her opening, checking her level of lubrication, was pleased to find her pussy slick and ready for him. "Are you on birth control, Tabitha?" he asked.

She nodded. She'd been on the pill for years to control her irregular cycle, but he didn't need to know that.

He smiled. "That's good. Any STD's I should know about?"

"No, Sir." As if? She scoffed in her head. She could be positive about that one thing anyway.

"Very good. I was tested last week. The results are there on the nightstand. I'm clean, angel. If you still want me to use a condom, I will, but with you protected and me verified safe, there really is no need."

"I believe you, Sir," she replied, glancing at the sheet of paper with a medical symbol on it.

"Perfect answer, pet."

He moved closer to her and Tabby unconsciously held her breath. The decisive moment was finally here. She flinched when he rubbed the head of his cock slowly up through her slit, coating it in her natural lubrication. He felt huge to her and he wasn't even trying to penetrate her yet. Fear began to bubble in her belly and Marcus caught the apprehensive frown that creased her forehead.

"Shh, little angel. I can see the worry in your eyes. I'll fit. You'll see." His confident tone soothed her but when he pushed the tip into her opening, Tabby gasped and tensed.

"You need to relax, angel. Your pussy will stretch to take me, but not if you tense up." He dropped his thumb onto her clit and began massaging it until her eyelids grew heavy and fluttered shut. He expertly brought her to the point of orgasm, all the while, sliding just the first inch of his shaft in and out of her entrance to get her used to the feel.

When her breathing shifted into panting, he pushed in another inch and allowed her time to get accustomed to the additional girth. Going so slow was excruciating for him, his cock throbbed with the need to be inside her and his beast howled and pounded on the inside of his skull, demanding that he hurry up. When he had pushed in further, Tabby's pussy had quivered and tensed around his shaft as it forced her muscles to stretch and accommodate him. Tabby couldn't stop the whimper that escaped her lips at the sharp, burning pain that radiated from her pussy into her abdomen.

Oh god, oh god, oh god! Her brain rambled. Please stop. Please stop.

Tabby focused on gripping the iron bars so hard that her fingernails dug into her palms and she used that pain to distract her from the agony of his intrusion into her body. She had to keep her hands locked on the bars because if they came free, she would push him off her in panic.

He leaned over her, keeping his cock engaged in her canal and sought her lips out, kissing her to distract her from what he was about to do. He could feel her body resisting him and believed it to be only because of his size, but she was stretching around him so he felt okay to continue. Once she was engrossed in kissing him back, Marcus tilted his pelvis and with one fast thrust, sheathed himself fully in her tight passage. As he surged forward, he had felt a momentary resistance but it disappeared as he pushed past it and he had thought that it was only a temporary muscle spasm from the shock of his entry.

Tabby cried out into his mouth as he continued to kiss her, while a fireball of white-hot pain erupted in her pussy. She suddenly felt impossibly full; she'd never experienced anything like it before, didn't know how to process the sensation, and didn't realise what had happened. She panicked, her body convulsing around his cock, which only made the stabbing, burning pain even worse.

Then it dawned on her.

He was inside her! His huge cock was completely in!

The blast of pain she that she had felt, and the unbearable burning sensation she was left with now, was because he had torn through her virginal barrier when he had plowed into her.

Oh god, it hurt. She wanted to beg him to pull out, but she couldn't without revealing her deception. She wanted to cry, but had to pretend that her scream was one of pleasure and not due to the sharp, rending pain of losing her virginity.

Through the lust haze in his eyes, Marcus had stopped and was giving her an odd look. Tabby had enough sense left to realise that she needed to keep him from thinking and asking questions that she didn't want to have to answer. She did the only thing that she could and started to move under him in order to distract him. Using her hips and making her whimpers sound like moans, she encouraged him to ignore her strange reaction and keep going, even though she felt like his massive cock was ripping her apart.

Her ploy worked and Marcus' confusion cleared the instant his cock began sliding inside her velvety slickness, immediately shifting his focus back to the act of fucking her. Despite his over average size, her small body had surprisingly accepted all of his cock, snugging him inside her in a perfect fit, as if she had been custom made for him alone. A biblical flood of pleasure bombarded his brain and clouded his ability to think beyond the overwhelming sensations broadcasting throughout his entire body.

He had finally found the heaven he'd craved for the past month and he could die a happy man now.

In the back of his addled brain, he knew that something was off with her reactions but he ignored the warning bells, distracted by the intense pleasure that he was feeling. When Tabby started to undulate beneath him, moving his cock inside her for him, he surrendered all conscious thought and happily drowned in the storm of arousal her movements caused.

He was so lost in the pleasure of having her all around him that his rational brain ceased to function. Her internal muscles where clamping down and releasing all along the length of his cock and the exquisite sensation triggered some deeply primal instinct to fuck his woman. His beast took over and a ravenous hunger for the woman beneath him consumed him.

"I'm going to fuck you now, angel. Prepare yourself," he growled into her ear and then propped himself up on his elbows and dug his knees into the mattress to anchor his hips.

Tabby shuddered; mentally bracing herself for the pain that she feared was coming, knowing that she had no choice but to allow her ruse to persist. She couldn't stop him now, not without admitting to the secret that she had kept from him.

Trapped by her own foolish lie, Tabby only had herself to blame for what was about to happen to her.

Marcus withdrew slowly, dragging his immense cock along the walls of her raw canal, pausing with only the head of his penis engaged. She glanced up and locked gazes with Marcus' jet black eyes. Something animalistic flashed in that darkness and with something akin to a snarl quivering his lips, his hips snapped forward, propelling his cock deep inside her.

Tabby bit down on her lower lip to stifle her sobs. The pain was slowly receding, but not nearly fast enough now that Marcus was hammering his cock into her. She held onto the bars and wiped her tears into the pillow when he buried his head in the nape of her neck. He was moving so fast now that the burning was changing into something new, a different sensation was taking the place of the pain.

As his cock stimulated the nerves inside her, Tabby's whimpers turned to moans and soon she was moving in time with Marcus, trying to get more of the friction in the right spot to increase the bursts of pleasure that pulsed inside her.

Marcus raised his upper body on his arms and gazed down into Tabby's bright green eyes. "You feel...so...fucking good!" he grunted, thrusting hard into her. "You're so fucking tight!" He groaned, breathing hard, the ends of his damp, black hair hanging down and brushing Tabby's face. "It feels like your sweet pussy is fisting my dick." Marcus arched his neck and caught sight of her raised arms. He suddenly wanted to feel her small hands on his body. "Let go of the bars, baby. Hold onto me instead."

She brought her hands down, grateful for the reprieve and latched onto his massive shoulders. His skin was scorching hot and slick with perspiration, but she clung onto him as he shifted position. He hooked his arms under her knees and lifted her legs over his shoulders. The new position allowed him to penetrate her much deeper and soon her moans turned into mewls and panting pleas for him to go faster because the angle he was entering her at had him hitting that magical spot every time.

Marcus was rapidly nearing orgasm; he had abandoned his rigid control and had given himself over to surging into Tabby like a man possessed. He was hammering into her with so much force that he was pushing her up the mattress and if he hadn't had such a firm grip on her hips, she would have ended up having her head beaten into the headboard of the bed.

The harder he fucked her, the harder he needed to fuck her as if he was in a race for his very life. The sexy sounds she was making only pushed him further to the edge and just before he fell, he found her clit with his thumb and made sure that he pushed her over first just so that he could see the way she looked as she came for him.

She screamed and her canal squeezed him like a vise, triggering his own orgasm. He roared and forced his cock past her contracting muscles until he smashed against the barrier of her womb. There, buried as deep inside her as he could go, he finally found the peace he had searched for and all the tension in his body released in a massive orgasm, bathing her insides with his seed.

When it was over, Marcus collapsed to the side, pulling Tabby over with him so that he could stay locked inside her for as long as possible. She was limp and exhausted, barely noticing the shift in position and Marcus held her tightly to his chest, breathing hard underneath of her. He couldn't take his hands off her and when his cock finally softened and slipped free, he mourned the loss of their intimate connection.

She had drifted to sleep and was breathing softly, her warm breath coming in rhythmic puffs against his neck. He watched her sleep, stroking her hair and wishing that he could get back inside her again. In sleep, Tabitha really did look like an angel, sweet and innocent and he almost felt guilty for wanting to corrupt something so pure. The things he wanted to do to her, to teach her would definitely take some of the polish of her halo, yet he couldn't wait to get started. She sighed and snuggled into his chest like a sleeping baby and her vulnerability made his protective instincts roar to life.

She was his and he was just as much hers.

Yes, he would share her with his brother but no one else. Between himself and Cooper, Tabitha would never have to worry about the likes of Gerald Moran again. They would keep her safe.

A persistent pressure from his bladder told him that he had better get up and go relieve himself. He placed a light kiss on Tabitha's forehead, wrapped his arms around her naked back and gently rolled them to his side, lowering her to the bed without waking her. He released her and sat up. Marcus was just about to pull the covers over her when something on the sheets caught his eye and made icicles of dread stab him in the gut.

CHAPTER 52

He stared at the stain on the white sheets beneath the spot where Tabby had been lying when he had taken her, his sluggish brain unable to comprehend what his eyes were seeing. The dark stain stood out like a neon sign against the stark whiteness of the cotton and the dim light from his bedside lamp had turned the colour to a sinister black rather than the crimson that Marcus knew it should be.

What the fuck?

Had he hurt her?

He gently checked between her thighs and then inspected his cock, finding both slicked with blood. His first thought was that the rough sex might have triggered her period, but then he remembered eating her out earlier and there hadn't been any trace of blood, not even a hint that she was close to that time of the month.

He wracked his brain, sifting through the lust-hazed memories looking for some hint that would explain what had happened when understanding flashed through his head like a lightning bolt. With grim reality, all the scattered pieces fell one-by-one into place and Marcus suddenly saw the vital piece of information about his angel that he had overlooked in his frenzy to bed her.

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! How blind had he been to miss all the signs? The contented, post-coital happiness that had warmed him only minutes earlier, curdled in his stomach as horror supplanted it. The sound of the pained scream she had uttered when he had fully entered her, echoed in his mind like an accusation and if he'd been standing, he would have collapsed from the shock.

Could I?...Oh fuck! Please tell me that I didn't just fucking ravage a virgin!

Why hadn't she told him? If he had known, he would've taken her slowly, warning her when his thrust was coming so that she could prepare for the sting and then he would have comforted her after he had broken through her hymen. He would have waited; soothing her until the pain had ebbed, but instead he had blindly fucked her like some rutting beast while she was in agony!

Marcus sprung to his feet and stalked angrily into the bathroom, his temper boiling out of control and turning into self-loathing. Restless fury had him pacing the tiles, his sanity unraveling as he processed what had happened...and what he had done.

All of his anger coalesced and directed itself at him, the impact hitting him like a physical blow that knocked the breath out of his lungs. Yes, she should have told him but, as an experienced Dom, he should have been paying better attention.

In hindsight, all the signs had been there: her nervousness, her apparent innocence and naiveté, her awkwardness around Cooper and himself. It had all been there for him to see, and if only he'd been using his brain instead of thinking with his dick, he would've easily seen through her pretense.

Her natural submissiveness had acted like a smoke screen, masking her true inexperience from him and clouding his judgement. She had intoxicated him with her beauty and willingness to please and he'd fallen head over boner for it. If she had been any other submissive, he would have picked up on the odd vibes she'd been giving off right away, and would have asked the right fucking questions in the beginning, ferreting out the truth, before his impatience and rampaging libido had driven him to steal away her innocence like a careless thief.

Guilt and remorse boiled in the cauldron of his soul, like a bitter soup that he had to keep down. He had planned for her first time with him to be one of tenderness and pleasure and now, all she had was the memory of pain and fear. He was an animal and didn't deserve her and his ignorance had just destroyed the fragile, beautiful trust that had been growing between them.

Marcus gritted his teeth, muting the vicious growl in his throat so that he wouldn't wake Tabitha. He looked at himself in the mirror, taken aback by the wild-eyed rage he saw contorting his features. Running a hand through his mussed hair, he closed his eyes and took several slow, deep breaths, willing himself to calm down and get a grip. The last thing he wanted was for Tabitha to wander into the bathroom and find him in this state. It would terrify her and she was probably already scared enough after the way he had...

His train of thought abruptly derailed as his mind automatically completed the sentence for him.

...Raped her. He gagged on the word, refusing to acknowledge the hateful deed, even in his own thoughts. In essence, he had just raped his precious angel.

For Christ sake!

Even though, his rational mind knew that what they had just done had been consensual, his heart couldn't shake the appalling feeling that he had just assaulted her.

Why hadn't she said something?

His stomach rolled over alarmingly and Marcus choked on the sour burn of bile surging up his throat. He panted, struggling to keep from vomiting and resigned himself to dry heaving over the sink until the nauseous feeling eased and he could risk backing away.

He couldn't have...would never have, committed such a heinous act...yet with her help, he had.

Dear god, how was he going to fix this? Could it even be fixed?

The huge, old-fashioned, claw-footed tub reminded Marcus that Tabitha needed taking care of and he needed time to think. They needed to have a discussion, an unpleasant one for both, but one that he couldn't avoid for long. A hot bath and spending some time caring for Tabitha would help calm his frame of mind so that he could act rationally when he sat her down and confronted her. She had withheld a vital piece of information from him and he wanted to hear the reason why she did so and then he would decide what he was going to do about it.

Marcus started running the water into the tub, squirting a healthy dollop of scented bubble bath into the water, before wetting a cloth and wiping away the streaks of blood that had dried onto his cock. He kept his gaze stony and emotionless, refusing to give in to the rage that bubbled just below his calm exterior. He was a Dom and, now more than ever, had to be the one who remained in control - of the situation and of himself. As he rinsed the cloth in the sink and watched the pink tinged water circle the drain, he reminded himself that it was his job to teach Tabitha, not terrorize her.

He had to make sure that he had his collective shit together before he went back into the bedroom and woke her. Allowing his anger to colour his actions would irrevocably thrust him into the realm of abuser and he'd be finished, there would be nothing left to salvage if he lost control. He would not cross that line willingly.

Once the tub was brimming with steaming white, bubbles, he went back into the bedroom and carefully lifted the still sleeping Tabby off the bed and into his arms.

"Sir?" she mumbled in confusion, blinking sleepy, beautiful eyes at him.

"Hi there," he replied softly, kissing the end of her perfect little nose and hiding his agitation from her behind a welcoming grin. "We need to get you cleaned up, angel."

Still naked, Marcus stepped into the big tub and slowly sank into the hot, sudsy water with Tabby cradled in his arms. He deftly turned her and reclined against the sloped back of the tub, pulling her to rest her back onto his chest. Marcus let himself enjoy the soft, solid weight of Tabby's body on him, already dreading what he was going to have to do once their respite in the tub was over.

Tabby sighed and sunk into the hot water. She had muscles aching that she never knew she had and a new soreness throbbed deep in her core making her wince every time Marcus jostled her. She swore that she could still feel him inside her, that his huge cock had left a permanent impression that didn't want to go away.
Would sex with Marcus always hurt this much? She wondered, relieved at the way the heat of the water soothed her sore muscles. She sighed in pleasure when Marcus' wet fingers trailed up her slippery belly and held her breasts, rolling her nipples and gently kneading the supple flesh.

"I love your tits, angel," he murmured in appreciation. "Next to your pussy, I think they are one of my most favourite things to play with." He gave one of her stiff nipples a pinch that sent shockwaves of arousal directly into her clit. The muscle spasm in her pussy made her bite down on a whimper as the abused tissue inside her protested with a sharp stab of pain.

He hummed and played with her breasts for a few minutes more before letting one of his hands drift under the water to cup her bare mound. "But this...this was worth the wait." His finger easily slipped between her folds and zeroed in on her clit. A simple rubbing motion with the calloused pad of his index finger soon had Tabby quivering with the need to cum.

Marcus' hot breath tickled her ear as he nibbled her ear lobe, making her moan and writhe under his hold. "Do you like it when I touch you here, angel?" His finger slipped to her entrance and dipped inside. Marcus groaned as her pussy contracted around his fingers and squeezed him, reminding him with both a flash of desire and a stab of regret at how tight she had been when his cock had entered her.

Why hadn't he noticed?

He should have stopped and questioned her before plowing ahead like a battering ram. His anger swam dangerously just beneath the surface of the calm mask he wore and cracks were beginning to appear. Marcus pulled his hand away, shutting his emotions down in hopes of retaining his control. Suddenly the idea of the bath didn't seem like such a great idea after all. Having her so close threatened to break him - he needed her like he needed oxygen to survive, but what she had done and had left a deep wound and there needed to be an accounting for it.

Marcus had no choice; he had to confront her with what she'd done and offer her a choice. Either she accepted a punishment or he would drive her home and they would be over before they had begun. It would kill him to sever ties with her, but if he couldn't make her see the damage that her lie had done, then there was no foundation to build a serious Dominant/submissive relationship. Without complete trust and openness, they had nothing.

Punishing her or releasing her - Marcus wanted to put his fist through a wall just so that he had a physical pain that he could understand, to distract him from the emotional wrenching twisting his heart into knots.

Tabby floated in the hot water, supported by the solid bulk of Marcus beneath her, carried away on waves of bliss caused by his touches. Oblivious to the decision Marcus had just come to, she lost herself in the wonderful sensations until his hand disappeared and she found herself abruptly sat up.

There was a new tension in his voice when he spoke. "Let's get you cleaned up."

"Is everything alright, Sir?" she asked hesitantly, confused at his sudden change in mood.

Marcus didn't answer, only lathered up a washcloth and began to clean her body. When he finished her upper body, he had her stand and cleaned the rest of her, barely touching her pussy except to give the surface a quick, dispassionate wipe with the cloth. Tabby submitted to his ministrations, confused and alarmed at the way he had disassociated himself from her. He didn't make eye contact or speak, except to tell her to sit, stand and rinse. When he had finished bathing her, he stood up and helped her out of the tub before stepping out after her. He quickly yanked the plug up to let the water down then wrapped her in a towel and dried her off.

The entire time, Marcus had not said a word to her or barely looked at her and it unsettled Tabby greatly.

Wrapping his hips in a fresh towel, he opened the door. "Go into the living room and kneel by my chair in your Waiting position. I will attend to you shortly."

Tabby gave him a questioning glance and Marcus' face darkened with anger. "Do I need to repeat myself, angel? There will be a consequence if I do."

She flinched at the aggressive growl in his voice and bowed her head meekly. "N-no, Sir."

"Then what are you waiting for? Go and do as you were instructed."

Tabby scampered out of the bathroom, relieved to be out of the oppressive atmosphere. She tore past the bed and in her hurry to exit the bedroom, didn't notice the blood stained sheets that still lay on the bed. If she had, perhaps she would have had a clue as to why Marcus was so upset with her.

She ran, barefoot and naked, down the hallway and into the living room, dropping to her to her knees in front of the leather chair, her legs shaking with apprehension and her heart racing a mile a minute. Her nervous eyes kept darting over her shoulder looking for Marcus, and her ears strained for the sounds of his footsteps. Her nerves had her jittery and on edge, to the point where she felt sick with the fear brewing in her stomach. She couldn't figure out what she had done to change his mood so drastically. He had been so gentle and loving when they had first gotten into the tub, caring for her and touching her with such tenderness that she had completely relaxed.

Then something had changed after he had touched her pussy. Maybe the sex with her had been disappointing and he was regretting it? She thought.

Maybe she'd done something wrong and made him angry, but it had really looked like he had enjoyed himself.

Tension had stiffened his muscles beneath her back a split second before he had sat her up and began to treat her like a stranger. She shivered, now worried about what was going to happen when Marcus came to her and realised with a shock that she hadn't gotten into the proper Waiting position as he had requested. Not wanting to give him another reason to be angry with her, Tabby straightened her back, spread her knees apart then crossed her wrists at the small of her back, she closed her eyes and trying to calm herself enough to wait for Marcus without giving in to the urge to flee before he arrived.

CHAPTER 53

In the bathroom, Marcus paced and fumed, not wanting to have to discipline Tabby so soon in their fragile relationship. If she was going to progress as a submissive, she needed to learn about consequences and the value of trust in a D/s relationship. The punishment for an infraction as serious as the one she had committed, had to be swift and decisive. He wasn't going to enjoy punishing her. His cock would, being the deviant bastard that it was, but Marcus was already bracing himself for the emotional backlash that he would suffer because of it.

He dried himself off quickly, strode into his bedroom and pulled on a pair of black denim pants without bothering with underwear. A thick, black, leather belt hung off the back of the chair and Marcus picked it up with his fist clenched around it. He could feel the vines that he had hand tooled into the leather press against the flesh of his palm and had a feeling that once this night was done, he would never want to wear his favourite belt again.

He threaded the tongue of the belt through the loops on his pants, buckled it around his waist and adjusted the fit. His eyes strayed to the light glowing in the doorway from the hall and he took a deep breath. What he would give to go back to the moment they had first entered this room.

He had planned to make love to her all night. Showing her the depths of his feelings and claiming her as his own. Now, in order to teach her, he was going to have to hurt her, knowing that she leave him, probably hate him, and he'd never see her again.

He felt sick to his stomach.

There was no choice for him; he couldn't afford to listen to his heart right now. Tabitha needed to understand the severity of what she had done and pain would help reinforce that lesson. He turned to take one last look at the bed where he had finally found a shred of happiness, knowing that it would be the last time he'd feel that peace.

The dark stain on the sheets caught his eye and the sight caused knives of loss to cut through his chest. With swift, angry motions, he tore the soiled sheets from the bed, removed the stained mattress protector and balled everything up in his hands. He wanted to burn them, to destroy the evidence of her lie so that he could pretend it had never happened.

His heart felt as bare as the mattress looked. If, by some miracle, she remained after he administered her punishment, she could help him remake the bed.

He stalked down the hallway, stopping so that he could see into the living room and his breath caught at the sight of her pale back and tiny wrists crossed at its base. His eyes tracked downward to the fleshy globes of her ass and his cock twitched in notice.

She was so fucking beautiful and he was going to ruin everything.

Turning left into the kitchen, Marcus passed through into the laundry room and dumped the stained sheets into the washing machine. He added soap and an enzymatic stain remover in hopes of salvaging the sheets. After setting the temperature to cold, he left the laundry room and lingered in the kitchen, surreptitiously watching his angel from the doorway.

Every so often, a shiver would travel up her back but that was the only movement she made. He was impressed with her posture, knowing that she was probably scared out of her wits. He couldn't help but marvel at what a truly amazing submissive she would make, if only they got through the rest of this night together. Sighing, Marcus' hand unconsciously went to his belt and grabbed a hold of it.

Tabby felt him enter the room and her pulse immediately increased. He passed by her and the leather chair creaked as it accepted his weight.

"I wish you could see how beautiful you look right now, angel. My cock aches to be inside you again. But there is something wrong with this picture, isn't there?"

Tabby's eyes flashed open and she chanced a quick glance at him, eyes wide with alarm.

"Nothing to say? I would have thought that you'd have something to tell me, angel." His voice turned hard and he leaned forward. "Perhaps something that you should have told me earlier?"

A shudder ran up Tabby's back. He knows! "No, Sir," she said, her voice quavering and refusing to meet his intense stare.

"Don't make this worse by continuing to lie to me, Tabitha!" he bellowed. "Did you think that I wouldn't notice? The blood on the sheets told me everything that you failed to do so."

Faced with the truth of her deception, Tabby withered in front of his anger. "I-I'm sorry..."

"Sorry?" he barked out, incredulous at her answer. "That's all that you have to say for yourself? Did you hear nothing of what I tried to tell you about how important it was for there to be complete honesty between us? You had ample opportunities to tell me that you were still a virgin!" Marcus practically spat that word out at her as if it disgusted him, his anger and disappointment lashing her like a whip. "Why, angel? Why didn't you tell me?"

"I couldn't!"

"Why!" he roared. "Did you not trust me?"

"I was afraid and embarrassed...and she told me that you wouldn't want someone who wasn't experienced. I was afraid that I'd lose you if I told you." Tabby sobbed.

Marcus was confused and gaped at her. "She? Who told you that?"

"Lydia."

"Fuck!" He swore and pounded a fist into the arm of his chair. "I told you not to trust anything that shrew said. She wanted to fuck with your head, Tabitha!"

"I was already embarrassed about it, Marcus! You and Cooper...you were both experienced way beyond anything I could have comprehended. I didn't know how to tell you. Please believe me, I never wanted to hurt you by keeping that information secret, but I've carried it for so long that I didn't know how to tell you."

"But you did hurt me and because I didn't know," his voice broke and he choked on regret. "I ended up hurting you! Something that I swore to you that I would never do!"

"I'm so sorry, Marcus," she whispered through her tears. "I didn't want to disappoint you."

Marcus stood up, strode behind her and paced out of her sight. "If I'd known, I would have gone slower, angel. Made sure you were ready and I would have warned you before I took your virginity. I would have held you tight and comforted you through the pain and then I would have made you feel so good afterwards, that you would have forgotten how much it had hurt. But you deprived me of that."

"Fucking you was the most amazing thing I had ever done. Being inside you, angel, feeling how perfectly we fit, I've never felt anything like that before. After, watching you sleep, I thought how lucky I was that you'd accepted me." He sighed and came around to sit back in his chair. "Then I sat up and saw the blood and figured out what you'd kept from me. Do you know how I felt then, angel?"

Tabby didn't answer. With her eyes averted, she couldn't see the pain twisting his features, but she could hear it twisting his voice.

"Answer me!" he roared.

She recoiled. "N-no."

"I felt like a fucking rapist, Tabitha! That's what keeping your secret cost me! What happened in that bed wasn't a joining of two people...it was fucking rape! I fucked you while you were in agony and you didn't stop me. I fucking came inside you while you were bleeding! What kind of animal does that make me? Explain that one to me because right now, I can hardly stand myself for what I did."

"You didn't do anything! It was my fault and my choice. You didn't rape me, Marcus. It wasn't your fault."

"But that's how it feels, angel," he shook his head sadly.

Tabby panicked. "Please, Marcus! This was on me, not you. Blame me. I'm so, so sorry. I should have trusted you, but I was too scared and too ashamed to tell you."

She tried to catch his eye, but he wouldn't look at her. When he didn't say anything more, Tabby got to her feet and began walking slowly away from him.

"Where do you think you're going?"

She turned soulful eyes at him, her cheeks soaked with her tears. "I'm going to go get dressed and then I'll leave. I don't want to cause you anymore pain."

"I won't stop you if leaving is what you truly want to do, Tabitha. But if you walk out that door now, there is no coming back," he warned, with his heart lodged in his throat, knowing that his ultimatum could end up biting him in the ass.

"How can I fix this then?" she dropped back down to her knees and put her head in his lap. "Please, Marcus...tell me what to do to make this right."

He covered her hair with his hand. "You made a serious mistake, pet. In a D/s relationship, there are consequences for our actions. Are you prepared to accept yours for not trusting me with your secret?"

Without thinking, Tabby looked up at him and nodded. "Yes, Sir."

"Punishment won't be pleasant, Tabitha, and once begun, there is no using a safe word to stop it. If you bail on a punishment, you are essentially ending our relationship. Are you sure that you really want to do this? It's not too late to leave." He had to give her the out even though he would die inside if she took it.

"I can't take back my actions, Sir. If submitting to your discipline will somehow atone for the mistake, then I am prepared accept my punishment." Even as the words flowed past her lips, Tabby's nerves began to jump with anxiety, and doubts hidden under her brave words forced their way into her mind.

What the hell had she gotten herself into?

How bad was Marcus' punishment going to be?

Was she strong enough to endure it?

When it was over, would he still want her?

CHAPTER 54

"So be it then, angel." He removed her from his lap, stood up, and looked down on her. "Tabitha, you've kept vital knowledge from me, that as your Dom, I was entitled to have. Doing so has caused harm to both of us. Because of the serious nature of your infraction, you have earned yourself a punishment. As this is your first infraction, you will receive ten strokes to your ass with my belt. Are you prepared to accept your punishment?"

The cold, official way Marcus pronounced her sentence, chilled Tabby to the bone, ratcheting up her fear. She was paying attention to his words, until he reached the part as to what form her punishment was to take, then her brain stuttered and froze.

Ten strokes of his belt! Oh my god! Her mind railed and she began trembling.

Ten. With a belt.

Could she endure ten strokes with a leather belt? Tabby honestly didn't know and that terrified her. Not because it was most assuredly going to hurt, but a sinking feeling of dread told her that she had to endure it or else she would lose Marcus...and Cooper. The dreams that had just begun to become possibilities would evaporate all because she didn't have the courage to tell him the truth in the first place.

Her lie would cost her everything that she'd never dreamt she could have.

Faced with what she had to lose, Tabby knew that she had no choice. She could endure ten strokes...would endure it...no matter what. For the sake of her future with these men, she had to.

She bowed her head solemnly. "Yes, Sir. I am ready."

Marcus was surprised. He had honestly expected her to balk once he told her what he was going to do to her. Once again, he stared in awe and amazement at the tiny woman at his feet - she was facing her punishment with her back straight and a subtle strength in her posture. He could see the determination in the set of her shoulders telling him that she had chosen to fight for their relationship instead of taking the easy way out.

She was willing to accept the pain in order to heal the rift in their bond.

He wanted to hug her to him, never letting her go, and tell her how proud he was of her, but that would have to wait until after he had administered her punishment. He scanned the living room, looking for an appropriate place to do it.

Over his knee would be too personal and the position wouldn't give his arm the leverage he needed to swing the belt with suitable force. His eyes drifted to the hall and the room with the black door that waited at the end. There was a spanking bench in his playroom, one he'd built with his own hands, but he didn't want to introduce her to his private haven in this fashion. He wanted to keep it as a place of decadent pleasure and the punishment would taint her memories and destroy the allure of that sacred place forever for her.

The playroom was definitely not an option.

The back of the sofa was the only thing in the living room that would support her body and position her ass at the right height, so it would have to do.

"Stand up, Tabitha," he commanded and stepped aside to give her room to get to her feet. "Follow me."

He led her behind the sofa and stopped, pointing to the floor. "On your knees, Tabitha."

At the sound of her name, Tabby flinched. It wasn't lost on her that Marcus had stopped calling her angel and had reverted to using her full name. She hated it, surprising herself with how much she'd come to love the endearment. Every time he had called her angel, she'd gotten a thrill that had felt like a secret kiss coming from him. That connection was missing and now he felt more like a stranger to her than he had ever done in the past.

Whenever he spoke her name, she could feel him distancing his emotions from her, removing his comforting presence from her soul and leaving a vacuum in its place. It hurt in a way that no physical punishment could ever hurt. She'd broken the fragile link between them and her heart wept for the loss.
Sinking down to her knees, heavy with the weight of her shame, Tabby kept her gaze lowered so that Marcus couldn't see the fear in her eyes.

"Remove my belt."

His cold command made Tabby tremble as she raised herself up on shaking knees and reached for his buckle. The silver buckle seemed to mock her as she tried to work up the courage to touch it. Her fingertips brushed the metal, warm from his body heat, and she recoiled as if it was scorching hot. She tried again, this time placing her hand on it and clumsily feeding the tongue of the belt through the buckle and releasing it. Once freed of the buckle, Tabby tugged the leather belt slowly through the loops of his pants, shivering as it hissed like a snake as it slid over the denim, until she held it in her hands, uncertain of what to do with it next.

Marcus watched, transfixed by her movements. The feel of her hands fumbling at his waist had sent jolts of dark arousal flooding into his cock and it pulsed painfully behind the stricture of his jeans. His anger, hurt and disappointment had melded together to form a primal lust and he had to struggle not to act on the violence percolating in his bloodstream. She wasn't ready for the kind of rough sex his body was demanding and this wasn't the time for such to happen anyway. Right now, he had to tamp down those animalistic urges and focus on remaining calm and in control, no matter what the cost was to him. He had to approach her punishment with a clinical detachment or else his raging emotions would drive him to do something he'd regret.

The moment he had set her punishment into action, she had stopped being his angel in his mind and had become Tabitha. If he had continued to see her as his angel, he'd never have the courage to discipline her.

"Fold the belt in half and place it on your palms. I want you to offer me the belt and tell me that you are ready to accept your punishment." It took a massive amount of effort for Marcus to keep his voice steady and to ignore the incessant throbbing in his pants.

Tabby sucked in a deep breath, bowed her head and held the belt up to Marcus with arms that visibly trembled. "Please, Sir, I am ready to be punished." She wasn't as successful as Marcus was; her voice shook as her nerves betrayed her and fear bled into her words. The weight of the belt disappeared as Marcus picked it up.

"Stand and bend over the back of the sofa, Tabitha. You would normally be bound for this kind of spanking but we'll forego the restraints today. You are to reach forward and grasp the edge of the cushion. If your hands leave that position, I will add five strokes to the ten you are about to receive."

Tabby did as he instructed. Marcus came up behind her and nudged her ankles apart, spreading her legs wider. A heavy hand fell onto her back and he pushed her down further, arching her back and elevating her hips higher into the air. "You are to stay in this position until the all ten strokes have been administered. Keep your feet on the floor and your ass in the air."

She closed her eyes, as if shutting them would transport her to another place. "Yes, Sir," she responded.

His hand caressed her ass, kneading the flesh and squeezing the muscles, getting the blood flowing. In the position she was in, Marcus could see the glistening slit of her pussy and it surprised him to see moisture slicking her cleft. That revelation was unexpected. She was obviously afraid of what was coming, yet her body was well on its way to becoming aroused at the same time. It was an interesting piece of information that he'd file away from future use, but couldn't indulge himself in exploring her unexpected masochist side at this time.

He hefted the belt and wound the folded ends around his palm until he had a foot-long loop extending from his fist. With his free hand, he began giving Tabby's ass a series of quick swats on each of her ass cheeks.

Tabby gave a startle squeak and jacked her head up to stare over her shoulder. The spanks kept coming in rapid succession, making her flinch with the stinging pain and she dug her fingers into the soft foam of the cushions in an attempt to hold herself still. She was confused. She had thought that he was supposed to use his belt; she was expecting to feel the bite of the leather, so why was he using his hand?

Marcus caught her looking at him, eyes full of questions and shock. "Eyes down, Tabitha!" he barked, not breaking the rhythm of his strikes. She shivered at the dark glare he gave her and she immediately turned her head back, burying her face in the soft cushions.

When the pale skin on her ass glowed with a rosy shade of pink, Marcus was satisfied that he'd warmed her up enough to begin the strapping. He brought the belt around to her face and let it drag against her lips.

"Kiss the leather, Tabitha," he commanded.

Tabby turned her eyes up at him and gingerly kissed the strap he offered her.

"I'm going to begin your punishment now, Tabitha. I want you to count after each strike. If you lose track, the count will reset and begin at one until I reach the allotted ten. Understand?"

Tabby nodded, disturbed by his formal manner of speech, but she didn't have long to ponder it before his hand fell upon her ass in a wicked slap. She jumped and cried out in pain. "When I ask you a question, I expect a verbal answer, not a fucking nod. Use your goddamn words, Tabitha!" he roared at her.

Struggling to keep the terrified sob out of her voice, Tabby replied, "Yes, S-sir."

"Thank you. I would suggest that you remember that for future. Now, prepare yourself," he warned in an almost pleasant tone of voice.

CHAPTER 55

He raised the belt and, before he could have second thoughts about what he was about to do, brought his arm down in a fast arc. The leather strap connected with her ass with a resounding crack and Tabby's body instantly stiffened in shock.

Her breath whooshed out on a soundless scream that strangled in her throat and her brain blanked of everything except for the burning sting where the leather strap had snapped across her bare ass.

"Count, Tabitha," he demanded, preparing for the second strike.

"O...o...one," she choked out, unable to breathe properly.

Dear god that fucking hurt! How the hell was she going to get through ni...

The second strike fell upon her ass cutting off her thoughts. The strap blazed a path across her ass cheeks and she felt like someone had poured lighter fluid on her skin and set it on fire.

"Ow, ow, ow!" she cried out, wriggling against the edge of the sofa to ease the sting. In between gasped breaths, she remembered to call out the count. "T-t-two!"

Marcus didn't waste time unleashing the next biting lash, sending the strap whistling through the air to explode onto her rear.

"Fuck!" she shrieked, slipping her body to the side to evade the next hit.

Marcus' hand landed heavily on her back, returning her to her previous position and pinning her in place. "Move again, and you'll regret it," he growled dangerously.

She stilled, breathing hard through her sobs. "Three!" she shouted defiantly at him, tears leaking from her eyes.

Number four found the fire-blasted skin of her ass and added a new layer of agony on top of her already sizzling flesh. Tabby screamed in pain and sobbed out the count.

"F-f-four. No more, please!" she begged. She'd never get through six more.

Marcus' heart clenched at her agonized plea, but the punishment would be meaningless if he didn't follow through. She needed to learn that he meant what he said or else the exercise would be a waste of time. He held her down with one hand and whipped the fifth strike with lightning speed. The force of the impact raised welts on her reddened skin.

She bucked and howled out the count, dissolving into fitful tears afterwards.

"F-five! I fucking hate you!" she shrieked angrily at him.

"I know," he whispered and delivered the next blow.

"Ow, fucker!" she screamed. It didn't just sting anymore, now each stroke felt like sandpaper rasping over her raw skin, leaving a new layer of welts in its path. "Ow, ow...please Marcus!"

"What number, Tabitha?" He had to make himself deaf to her pleas. The sound of her begging him to stop had a two-fold effect on him: his heart wanted to give in and comfort her, but his beast...his beast was getting more aroused by the minute, filling his head with dark, erotic visions and pushing his control to its limits.

She'd lost count and Tabby panicked. No, no, no! How many was that? Her mind raced frantically, trying to remember how many spanks she had received.

"What number, Tabitha?" he demanded harshly again, growing impatient.

"Six!" she blurted out, taking a guess and praying that she was correct.

It must have been, because seconds later, another blistering strike fell upon her ass and Tabby almost bit through her lower lip with the white hot sting. "Seven!"

Bastard! She screamed in her head. You motherfucking bastard!

His hand glided over her ass, making her suck in a pained breath that came out as a deep moan. The feel of his touch did something odd to her. Prickly shivers of pleasure pulsed from where his hand caressed over her skin, going straight to her clit, and transforming the bite of the pain into a liquid heat that flowed into her veins.

"Please, Marcus..." she sobbed. "I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry for hurting you."

He continued rubbing her skin, soothing himself with the contact and wishing that he didn't have to hit her three more times. "Me too, angel. Me too. Three more to go."

She didn't even have time to prepare herself before number eight fell upon her, leaving her shaking. She shrieked her pain through gritted teeth, then shuddered at the sudden rush of heat that flashed through her, dulling the sting and making her pussy clench. "E-eight," she wept.

Number nine hit her with shocking force and the resulting jolt of desire had her moaning through her sobs. "N-nine." Her body accepted the blow with only a flinch and a whimper. It was almost over.

Marcus adjusted his grip, his palms were sweating and the belt had slid from his fist. He was delaying the final stroke because his arm was shaking almost as badly as Tabby's body was. He didn't miss how her body had relaxed with the last strike and a quick glance between her legs confirmed his suspicions. Her pussy was soaked, dripping moisture to land in a spattering of drops on the floor between her legs. Her brain didn't know how to process the pain that he was dealing out, but her body did and was releasing endorphins into her bloodstream - helping her to convert the pain to pleasure.

Too caught up in the shock of the spanking to realise the magical, chemical transformation that was occurring inside of her, Tabby hadn't learned to expect the high her hormones where trying to provide for her. His angel was not only a natural submissive, but also a natural masochist. Marcus felt a thrill of desire rush into his already straining cock as his mind dreamed of all the ways he could help her explore this new found aspect of her sexuality.

Could he finally have found the other half to his deviant side?

Was his angel the one who could tame his inner beast?

With any luck, he'd have a chance to find out later...if she stuck around after the punishment was over. However, he had to finish it before they could have any hope in finding out.

He readied the belt and brought it down on her ass in a swift, hard strike. The crack of the leather against her skin echoed in the room like a gunshot. A deep groan soon followed that immediately caught Marcus' attention. He watched in amazement as she shuddered involuntarily with the sensations coursing through her body, her pelvic muscles jerking spasmodically as an orgasm toyed with her. The flow of her nectar had increased, streaking down her thighs in damp trails.

His cock flexed and pushed out against the rough fabric of his pants, making him groan inwardly with the desperate need to release the pressure on his shaft.

"Number, Tabitha?" he asked, and she blinked her unfocused eyes, trying to remember.

"T-ten...I think, S-s-ir" she slurred, closing her eyelids. Her pelvis writhed against the edge of the sofa, seeking something it couldn't find to ease the tension that had built up and been trapped inside her.

He dropped the belt, rubbed his hand over the welts that prickled her skin noticing that a few had broken the skin and were bleeding lightly. He would need to care for them, but before he got a chance, Tabby moaned and pushed into his touch, grinding herself wantonly and maneuvering her pussy into his palm.

"Please, please, Sir." He almost missed the desperate, breathy pleas as her hips undulated in a way that had him completely fixated on her body.

He caressed the smooth curve of her ass, grazing his palm over the angry, raised lines crisscrossing her skin and she mewled and shuddered.

"What do you need, angel? Tell me," he murmured, making another pass over her ass.

"Oh god!" she moaned. "Please...I need...I need to cum!" She shoved her pussy into his grasp, slicking his palm with her juices. "Please Sir, make me cum!" she cried.

Marcus grinned. He was a sucker for begging.

He stroked his fingers through her sopping folds, found her swollen clitoris and, without warning, pinched it hard. She screamed and came so violently that her back arched off the sofa and Marcus caught her in his arms and settled them both onto the floor. Wave after wave shook her body as aftershocks rolled through her, making her quiver and whimper in his arms. Moisture splashed and dripped onto his bare feet, filling his senses with the intense, earthy-sweet scent of her juices. So close to her, the aroma was so strong that he swore he could taste her coating his tongue and powerful rush of arousal roared through Marcus, blinding him with need for her.

He didn't think that he'd ever been this painfully hard in his life and considering the hell he lived through in the past month that was saying something.

His cock jumped and throbbed, angrily demanding release from its prison so that it could dive into that glorious wetness. With a herculean effort, Marcus ignored his own needs, cradling Tabitha's body until she went limp with exhaustion in his arms. He gently picked her up, stood, and set her on her feet. She wobbled unsteadily, but Marcus supported her until she was aware enough to regain her balance. When she finally looked up at him, her hooded eyes, still glazed with arousal, lit up with recognition and grew sultry as their eyes met.

"Hi," she smiled softly, acting as if the punishment hadn't happened.

He couldn't help himself, Marcus grinned back at her. "Hi yourself."

"I feel funny," she murmured dreamily.

"You're in subspace, angel. Enjoy it."

She swayed a little and giggled when she had to shift her feet to keep from toppling into Marcus' chest. "Mmmmm," she raised her hand and traced the outline of his dragon tattoo. "I like you."

He laughed at her. "I like you too, angel, but we are not done here yet."

She scowled at him and stuck out her tongue. "Buzz kill."

What treasure he had found himself! She pouted at him and he adopted a stern expression until she bowed her head respectfully at him. "Sorry, Sir," she muttered unhappily.

"On your knees, angel."

She wobbled slightly, but obediently dropped to her knees in front of him.

"Can you tell me why you were punished, Tabitha?"

"Don't you know?" she quipped cheekily, and gave a little giggle.

Marcus choked on a laugh. The endorphin high that his angel was currently riding had loosened her tongue and she was behaving as if she were drunk.

"This is serious, angel. As it happens, I do know why you were punished, but I need to make sure that you understand the reasons, so that there is no misunderstanding later."

Tired of holding herself up on her knees, Tabby plopped her ass down onto her folded legs and sighed. "O-kay," she harrumphed. "You punished me because I withheld important information about myself from you, Sir."

Marcus ignored her bratty behavior, honestly too amused to want to correct her. She was too cute, in an I-want-to-take-her-over-my-knee kind of way and Marcus was enjoying it. He needed the levity to help dispel the lingering unease from having had to punish her so severely so early in their relationship.

"And why was this wrong?"

She sighed, her shame edging into the high she was on and sobering her. "Because it prevented you from taking appropriate measures when you fucked me, Sir. If you had known that I was still a...a virgin, you would have behaved differently."

"That's right, angel. Do you understand why I had to punish you?"

Please let her understand, he begged silently.

"I deprived you of the ability to care for me, Sir. My lie circumvented your duty as my Dom to protect me and that caused hurt to both of us in the end," she said quietly. "Losing my virginity should have been a special moment between us, but I was too ashamed, and ultimately, too selfish, to share that with you." Her head tilted upwards and she gazed into his eyes, seeing her own regret for having lied, reflected back at her in his tortured expression. "I am so sorry, Sir...and, I don't hate you. I shouldn't have said that."

Her heartfelt apology helped to absolve some of the self-loathing he was feeling and he gave her a grateful smile. "I'm sure that in that moment, you probably did, little one."

"Still, I wish I could take it back. I...I just wanted to hurt you back and it was wrong."

He raised her to her feet and enveloped her in a hug. "It's over, angel. You endured your punishment and now it's time to move on. Last question: what have you learned from this?"

She snuggled against his bare chest and Marcus sighed in pleasure, wrapping his arms around her small body and hugging her tightly. "I learned that I need to trust you...with everything...because not doing so can have consequences that are unforeseen and hurt more than one party." She took a shuddering breath and pulled away so that she could look him in the eye. "I promise to try harder, Sir. It's not easy for me to trust, but I will do better next time."

He kissed her pouty lips and wiped away a stray tear that lingered on her cheek. "Good girl, that's all I ask from you. In return, I can promise you that that trust will always be cherished and never violated. You are safe with me and you will be safe with Cooper."

He picked her up into his arms, needing to feel her body against his and Tabby allowed him to carry her into the bedroom. She hissed when he sat her down on top of his discarded clothes on the chair by the door. Marcus chuckled as she shifted uncomfortably, trying to find a position that didn't make her abused ass smart like a bitch.

She glared at him. "It's not funny! It hurts."

God, how he loved that fiery stubbornness in her, it made her beautiful light flare like a beacon in a lighthouse. Just when he thought that she couldn't be anymore sexy, she does the impossible and becomes even more so, dazzling him.

Marcus lifted her chin up and kissed her lips. "It was supposed to, angel. Every time you try to sit, you are going to remember why you got spanked and hopefully, won't repeat the transgression that earned you your first set of stripes." He kissed her again, slowly, savoring her softness and sweet taste. "Now, let me get that bed remade so that we can go to sleep."

He tapped her lightly on the nose, strode over to a tall cabinet, and pulled out fresh linen for the bed. Shaking open a clean mattress protector, he began stretching it over one corner of the mattress when Tabby came over and grabbed the opposite corner.
She gave him a sweet smile, pulled the pocket over the corner of the mattress, and tucked it under. "This will go faster with two of us."

He nodded and with her help, had the bed remade and ready for them to go to sleep in no time at all.

CHAPTER 56

"Lie on your stomach, angel. I need to tend to the welts on your beautiful ass before we go to sleep."

Tabby was more than happy to crawl onto the bed and stretch out on her stomach; she relaxed with a contented sigh, and let her body sink into the soft, cushioned top while Marcus disappeared into the bathroom. The more she relaxed, the more she became aware of a host of various aches and pains that she'd managed to ignore until now.

Her body hurt in places it had never hurt before and the discomfort coming from her abused butt made her imagine that a blowtorch was hovering over her skin. The sizzling heat danced and prickled across her skin, making her wince every time she moved. The numbing effect of the endorphins that had been masking the pain was beginning to wear off and Tabby was starting to feel every stroke of that blasted belt as if they were fresh.

She yawned; exhaustion pulling her closer to sleep, but it couldn't alleviate the sense of relief that made her feel buoyant and bubbly inside. She was so tired, but that didn't stop her from wanting to jump about, as Petra did when she was excited, laughing until her sides hurt. Not even the pain from her strapping could dampen her happiness.

She didn't have to worry about carrying her secret anymore. Marcus knew and he hadn't made her leave. Yes, he had beaten her ass with a belt, but seeing the hurt it had caused him, she agreed that she had deserved it. In hindsight, she did regret keeping the knowledge from Marcus and now that she thought about it, she felt silly and childish about making such a huge deal about it. Her face heated in a blush of shame. She'd screwed up, but she was still here and that was what she needed to focus on. Everything was in the past and now and undoing the misguided decision she had made was impossible.

Her tired brain drifted to a much more pleasant memory. Marcus had started calling her angel again and her heart had leapt with joy at hearing the pet-name roll off his tongue. The awful distance that had separated them had disappeared and she felt their bond beginning to reassert itself, pulling them together again. Its reappearance had immediately calmed her and the tension and anxiety had eased. Marcus had been correct when he had said that by accepting her punishment, it had set things back to rights between them and Tabby was just beginning to understand a small part of the intense dynamics that made up a D/s relationship.

She had many questions that she wanted to ask him about her odd reactions near the end of her punishment and why the last few strokes had almost felt good. It didn't make sense to her at all, considering how much that fucking belt had hurt at first. Tabby had a strange feeling that if he had continued for a few more strokes, she might have actually orgasmed from the pain from the belt alone. How could pain make her cum and feel so good? She was very confused at that, but too tired to want to discuss it now. She yawned again, stretched, and closed her eyes to wait for Marcus, falling asleep to the memory of his talented fingers inside of her.

Marcus searched his bathroom for the arnica salve and finally found it hiding at the back of the medicine cabinet behind a box of bandages. When he returned to the bedroom, Tabby was sprawled on the bed looking like a sexy starfish, sound asleep. He had to steady himself on the doorframe, overcome by how beautiful she looked relaxed into sleep. The angry red marks on her rear seemed to glow in comparison to the pale, creaminess of the rest of her skin and Marcus felt a flash of regret before a heated wave of desire consumed his guilt and instantly stiffened his cock.

Those were his marks on her skin, he thought with a possessive ownership that made his beast want to strut with pride at his handiwork. The more he stared at her, the harder his cock pulsed and Marcus almost dropped the jar of cream with the fierce need pounding at him.

Walking quietly over to the bed, he sat beside her and twisted the lid off the jar. He spread a dollop of cool cream onto her skin, gently massaging it into the welts and bruises that were just starting to develop into dark stains. The arnica would help with the bruising and provide some pain relief. His beast grumbled at that. If he had his way, he would parade her proudly in the streets so that everyone could see his marks and know that this woman was his.

He worked some more cream into a particularly dark bruise. It must have been sore because Tabby whimpered and shrank away from his touch.

"Just a little bit more, angel," he murmured. She grumbled something unintelligible and Marcus leaned over and kissed her shoulder.

"Shhh, angel. Let me care for you now," he said, rubbing her back until she calmed and settled. "Sleep, little one. You've earned it." Marcus was glad that Tabby was asleep so that she couldn't see the way his hands shook as he cared for her. Touching her warm skin brought him such a sense of peace that the strength of the emotion was unravelling his carefully erected defenses. It was only when she was like this, unaware in sleep, that Marcus even dared to show the depths to which this beautiful, fragile, angel was affecting him.

She'd be the ruin of him and he wasn't entirely sorry about that.

He finished tending to her bruises, picked her up and carefully placed her under the covers without waking her. With a light kiss on her cheek, he left her to sleep while he returned to the bathroom. After washing his hands and face, Marcus dropped heavily onto the covered toilet and laid his head in his hands.

In the quiet solitude of the bathroom, all the emotions he'd had to deny came rushing back at him, leaving him trembling and weak. His mind was a chaotic stew of guilt, arousal and a need so intense that it robbed the breath from his lungs. He had hated punishing Tabby, yet at the same time, her tears and cries had aroused him to the point of pain.

Seeing her pussy swollen and ripe, his beast had wanted nothing more than to fuck her senseless, driving home the point that he was trying to make her understand in a way she'd remember. The incredible effort it had taken to hold that urge at bay had left him drained and still painfully erect. He had wanted to hurt her, to make her beg and cry out his name as he turned her pain into a pleasure that would have sent her soaring into the atmosphere.

He'd felt like a monster, hearing her beg for him to stop, when all he'd wanted to do was destroy her so that he could be the one to build her back up. Now that it was over, all Marcus wanted to do was hold her, chain her soul to his heart and...fuck! That forbidden "L" word hovered in the shadows, battling through the thorns of his defenses, trying to elbow its way into his heart.

He shook his head in a vain attempt to clear the dangerous emotion from his mind. He would give her everything, but not that. He would never be able to leave himself defenseless again. She could take everything he had, his battered, worthless soul included, but love would not be part of the bargain. Regret and a profound sense of loss chilled him. He'd work hard to make sure that she didn't notice the lack, burying it under his consuming need for her, keeping her satisfied so that the issue never arose.

Once again, Marcus had the sinking feeling that he was attempting to sprint in a pool of quick sand. Tabitha had already proven that she was intuitive and smart. His ruse would work for a while, keeping her distracted with exciting, new experiences and kinky fuckery to occupy her attention. Eventually, she was going to realise that something was missing, that he was holding back a piece of him that was vital to their little triad having a future. When she did, Marcus knew that he'd lose her forever.

He felt like a fraud and worse, a hypocrite. Hadn't he just spanked her for withholding similar information?

He was such a bastard.

What was he supposed to do...tell her that he was never going to be able to love her completely and unconditionally, because he was terrified that she would betray him like Daria had done? Fuck no. She'd run and losing her would be the death of him. He'd just have to make sure that she never got the chance to question him or his motives.

Unable to ignore the relentless, throbbing pressure from his erection any longer, he reached for the button on his jeans, slid it free and yanked his pants down over his hips. Purple and swollen, his cock sprang free and bounced angrily against his abdomen making him wince with discomfort. He couldn't sleep like this and if he got into bed beside his angel in this state, he'd be inside her in a heartbeat.

There was no help for it, he wrapped his fist around his shaft and began to stroke upwards, groaning as his palm slid over the damp crown. He stared out the open door to where Tabby was blissfully unaware of what he was doing and kept his gaze glued to her sleeping face as he worked his hand faster and faster on his erection. He felt the orgasm surge a split second before his warm semen splattered onto his naked thighs and belly bringing such an intense feeling of relief that Marcus almost slid off the toilet seat and onto the floor in a boneless heap.

This time, masturbating had felt fucking awesome.

Gone was the depression that used to follow.

Gone was the gut wrenching despair.

The knowledge that Tabby was right there in front of him and that he could have her at will, made up for all the empty orgasms he'd suffered while waiting for her to recover.

She was his and he was never going to give her up, at least not willingly.

He wouldn't survive losing her a second time.

CHAPTER 57

A soft sigh from the bedroom had his heart taking off into flight. An explosion of butterflies drowned out his heartbeat and filled him with a strangled, effervescent joy that edged aside the dark thoughts tormenting him. Not for the first time, Marcus found himself awed by how lucky a man he was since finding her...and how that glorious stroke of luck had essentially condemned him to a hell of his own making.

He quickly cleaned himself up and headed to the bed. Climbing in between the cool sheets, Marcus felt the exhaustion from the night's endeavors settle heavily in his muscles as he relaxed into the mattress. Tabby must have sensed his movements and turned onto her side, facing away from him. He smiled and moved closer to her, spooning up along the length of her back, pulling her to his chest and falling asleep with her cradled to his body.

Tabby shifted in her sleep, her ass rubbing against a part of Marcus' anatomy that had had no plans of resting so easily. A stab of arousal penetrated his sleep and roused him with a painful throbbing coming from his ready-to-rock erection. He tried to ignore the pulsing pressure, but then Tabitha's sweet fragrance found its way into his nostrils and all thoughts of sleep vanished as a wave of lust heated his blood.

He pulled her tighter to him, burying his nose in her hair and kissing the nape of her neck so softly that she remained asleep while he indulged himself. His hand brushed over one firm breast and the heat emanating from her skin, scorched his nerves with a need so raw that he had to grit his teeth to keep from biting down into the soft flesh of her neck.

With his chest feeling as if barbed wire twined around his ribcage, Marcus couldn't deny the pressure his beast was exerting on him.

He wanted her.

Now.

Every second that he wasn't inside her had become intolerable. He was suddenly ravenous to have her and could barely think about anything else. One hand strayed down between her legs and found her bare cleft. A finger slid inside told him that she was nowhere near wet enough to accommodate a cock of his girth without serious risk of injury. He wasn't so far gone as to force himself onto a sleeping woman without ensuring that the experience would be pleasurable for her as well as safe.

Rolling onto his back, Marcus reached over to his nightstand and yanked open the drawer. Lying in the clutter, he found a tube of lubricant and coated his straining cock with a liberal layer of the thick gel. The lube would ensure that he could penetrate her easily and not hurt her in the process. He tossed the tube over his shoulder, hooked an arm around Tabby's middle and angled her rear towards his hips.

She muttered and squirmed in his grasp but calmed when he hushed her. With one arm keeping her in position and the other grasping his cock, Marcus sought her entrance and pushed gently against the opening. Tabby moaned sleepily as the tip penetrated her and Marcus inched his erection forward. She shuddered and Marcus pushed in a little further, feeling the walls of her canal stretch and tighten around his shaft. He groaned and buried his face in the nape of her neck.

"M-Marcus?" she murmured, disoriented by being woken up so soon after falling asleep.

"Shh, angel. Forgive me, but I needed to be inside you."

She yawned and mumbled, "Mmmm. 'kay."

He advanced his erection further and she gave a long, low groan. "Feels good."

"I know baby. Your pussy is so fucking tight. Going this slow is killing me."

She gave a little giggle, more awake and shifted her hips, giving him better access. "Then go faster, Sir."

"Minx," he replied and with a quick thrust, sunk into her depths fully sheathing himself inside her body.

She gasped and a wild shiver ran up her spine. A momentary burst of pain shocked her, but it passed quickly, leaving a growing heat simmering in its place.

Marcus halted as soon as she stiffened in his arms. "You okay, angel? Am I hurting you?"

"No," she panted. "I'm okay. Great even. You're so big, Sir. I couldn't appreciate that fact before."

Marcus slid back and Tabby moaned. "Oh god!"

"I love your pussy, angel. Let me stay here forever," he begged. He pulled back until only the crown was left engaged in her canal. "You ready, angel?"

"Yes, fuck yes. Please."

The way her voice shook with need only fanned the flames of Marcus' lust brighter and hotter. He pivoted his hips and surged forward, melding their two bodies into one unit. He repeated the motion, slowly pulling out, letting friction drive both of them wild and then pounding into her, making her cry out for more.

What had begun as leisurely, sleepy sex had quickly turned into a passionate mating of two souls. Not happy with the angle that he was entering her, Marcus rolled onto his back, bringing Tabby with him. She yelped at suddenly finding herself sitting in the reverse position with his giant cock still impaled inside her.

"Oh fuck!" she groaned as her new upright position forced his erection even deeper inside of her.

"Ride me, angel. I want to watch my cock sliding in and out of you."

He gave her a light slap on her thigh and Tabby leaned forward, testing out her balance. She wasn't quite sure how to do as he asked and raised herself tentatively up, feeling him sliding inside her.

"Put your hands on my thighs and take your weight onto your arms. Use your hips to raise yourself up and down, angel," he guided her.

She did as he had instructed, giving her ass a wiggle. She laughed. "So basically, you're asking me to twerk on your dick?"

Marcus burst out laughing, caressing her back. "Yeah, baby, pretty much!"

Tabby's first few bounces where awkward, she rose too high and Marcus had to reposition his shaft a few times, but as she got the hang of her balance, her movements became more confident. The view Marcus had was spectacular and the sight of his cock disappearing and reappearing all wet and glistening with her honey held a sorcery all of its own. He reached a hand forward and began to rub the stretched skin of her opening as she bounced up and down on his dick, finding her rhythm.

"God, yes, yes, yes," she moaned, coating his fingers in her slippery juices.

Preoccupied with what she was doing, she wasn't paying attention when he slid his slick finger up the crease of her ass, stopping when he found her tight rosebud entrance. The position that she was leaning in gave him perfect access and he began massaging the puckered skin to get her used to the feel. Slowly, he applied more pressure, dipping his fingertip into her as she came down on him. Tabby was quickly losing herself in the sensations electrifying her body and didn't notice when Marcus' finger entered her other hole completely.

"Stop moving for a minute, angel," he said, grabbing hold of her and preventing her from moving. "I want you to just feel for a second."

Tabby halted and looked over her shoulder at Marcus. A strange sensation gripped her and she quivered and closed her eyes at the powerful surge of desire that flooded her core from her...ass. Her eyes snapped open and she gave Marcus a shocked glance.

"Feels good, doesn't it, sweet baby?" Marcus grinned at her and pumped his index finger into her ass, making her weak with the feelings he was generating.

"Y-yes...oh fuck..." she shuddered and unconsciously ground down on his finger.

"Do you want more?" he asked.

She nodded. "Please, Marcus."

He coated his middle finger in more of her nectar and gently pressed it to her rear entrance. This time, there was more resistance as he slid it along his other finger. Tabby whimpered and he stopped.

"What are you feeling, angel. Tell me."

"I-I don't know...really. It hurts but it feels good too." He wiggled his finger inside her, she gasped, and her muscles clamped down around his digit.

"It's normal for it to sting the first few times. I'm only going to use my fingers tonight but next time, we will begin proper anal training, angel." He edged his second finger further inside her and her hand whipped back to grab his wrist.

"It hurts, Marcus!" she whimpered.

"Trust me, angel. The sting will fade once my finger passes into you."

He gave her moment to adjust and then smiled at her nod of acceptance. "Good girl."

With a quick push of his finger, it slipped past the tight inner ring of muscles to rest beside the first finger. Tabby gave a little cry and her ass shook in the palm of his hand, but she didn't try to pull away. It had burned when his finger had gone in but, Marcus hadn't been lying, the burn was subsiding into something weirdly pleasurable.

He was stroking her back, letting her get used to the sensation. "How does it feel now, beautiful?"

"Weird, but good, I think," she gave a self-conscious laugh.

"Do you want to see how good it can feel?" he asked.

"Yes, Sir. I think I do," she looked back and gave him a shy smile.

Marcus slowly pulled his fingers back and Tabby collapsed on his thighs, overcome by the electric jolts of arousal that the movement caused. He pushed back in and began stroking in and out of her ass, angling his fingers so that they rubbed against the bulk of his cock pressing through the thin membrane that separated the two passages.

Tabby couldn't breathe; her brain was losing cohesion as the arousal built at a frantic pace. Marcus began to thrust up into her pussy, driving into her with bone shaking impacts that had her uttering a constant stream of moans, curses and cries.

"Tell me when you're going to cum, angel." He ground out, intent on chasing his own orgasm.

"Oh god, oh fuck! Now! Now! Now!" she managed to pant out as her vision blurred and a tremendous wave of pleasure rushed towards her. Marcus' fingers pummeled her ass tipping her over edge into the grip of an explosive release. Moisture sprayed out from around his shaft, soaking his belly as Tabby screamed and convulsed, her muscles clamping down with crushing force around his cock and fingers. Her grip curled her fingers into claws that dug her fingernails into his thighs, but Marcus couldn't feel it, the overwhelming scent of her arousal and the vise-like grip that her muscles had on him, catapulted him into the path of an oncoming train.
Tabby was still shaking through tremors from her own climax when Marcus belted out a strangled curse, arched his hips up and drove his shaft into her with one final, brutal thrust. She cried out in pain as his cock collided with her cervix, but he was deaf to all but the roaring of his blood in his ears. His body went rigid beneath her and in the space of seconds that stretched into hours; Marcus thought that he was going to die.

Sound and sensation returned with jarring speed and all of the tension coiled in his body released with volcanic force, sending warm jets of semen shooting up inside her as his cock pulsed and jerked like an angry beast. His fingers slipped and shuddered in her ass and the wave of pleasure triggered another orgasm to rip through her, making Marcus utter a deep groan as her canal rippled and clenched around his sensitive cock.

"Jesus fucking Christ, angel." He growled, removing his fingers from her ass and wiping them on the bed sheet. "You're going to be the death of me!"

Tabby had collapsed onto his legs, her breasts squashed against his thighs such that Marcus could feel the hard nubs of her nipples pressing into his skin. She just panted for a few moments, barely moving, and then she started to giggle.

CHAPTER 58

"Something funny, angel?" he asked, his mind having a WTF moment. Marcus was definitely not used to women giggling after having mind-blowing, out of this galaxy type of sex with him.

"We're even then because your cock is probably going to be the death of me too, Sir," she laughed, giving her ass a pert wriggle and feeling him twitch inside her pussy.

He gave her ass a light slap, taking care not to spank her on the bruises he'd left earlier. "Cheeky." He rubbed his palms over the globes of her cheeks then circled her rear entrance with a fingertip. "With training, you will soon be able to take this cock into this tight little hole, angel. Does that scare you?

He felt her nodded against his legs. "Yes, Sir. It does, a little. Your cock is much thicker than your fingers and it hurt just taking two of them."

"Will you trust me to properly train you, angel, knowing that when I do fuck you here," he pressed against her asshole and the muscles quivered and flexed under his touch. "...the only thing you will feel is unimaginable pleasure?"

His mind completed the rest of the unspoken thought: and one day, you'll take both of us into your body, my sweet angel and your life will never be the same again.

She propped herself up on shaky arms and regarded him solemnly. "Yes, Marcus, I will trust you to train me. I want to learn to please you, Sir."

He pulled her up, turned her around and laid her across his chest, letting his softening cock slip from the warmth of her body. "That's my good girl," he said, kissing her soundly.

"Now, how about we get a few more hours of sleep, angel? I think I'm finally tired out!"

She snuggled into his neck and kissed him, feeling the rasp of his beard scratch her forehead. "Somehow I doubt that you'd ever be too tired to fuck, Sir. But I definitely need to rest before we go again," she yawned sleepily.

"A bit presumptuous to expect more, don't you think, my greedy little angel?" he chuckled, kissing her again.

"Yes, but not untrue. Good night, Sir."

Tabitha would be terrified if she knew just how close to the truth she was. Marcus intended to wear his cock out fucking this woman and then he'd still probably find a way to keep going. In fact, if he could have his way, he would keep her naked and leashed to his side for every minute of the day. It was going to kill him when he took her home in the morning. Even the thought of being separated from her, now that his cock had gotten a taste of her, make his gut churn with anxiety.

He would have to make sure that he found ways to bring her to him and Cooper, whether it be at the club or at his home, it didn't matter, so long as he had access to her. She was going to have to get used to having him inside her most of the time that they were together and once Cooper got involved, she'd be contending with both of them. He had a feeling that once his brother got a taste of her bit of heaven, he'd become just as addicted to Tabitha as he was.

As he fell asleep with Tabby's small body covering his, Marcus' last thought was that every time his cock entered her body, it was going to put another nail into his coffin until he found himself trapped inside that pine box.

~~~~~~~~~~

Tabby slept like the dead until warmth on her face woke her up. She opened her eyes to bright sunshine streaming into Marcus' bedroom from a bay window through a crack where the curtains didn't meet. At some point after falling asleep, she must have rolled off Marcus because she now lay on her side beside him. He was on his back, one arm thrown up over his head and was snoring soundly.

She smiled and felt herself blush, remembering what she had done with him the night before. Having him beside her, unconscious and naked, was the first opportunity that Tabby had to study his huge, gorgeous body. Every other occasion, she had been too distracted or facing away from him look at him beyond more than a few quick glimpses.

Curiosity piqued, she propped herself up on one arm and carefully pulled the sheet off him, exposing his broad chest and the rippled landscape of his abdomen.

She sucked in a sharp breath when the exquisitely detailed tattoo inked onto his chest slowly appeared. She'd only caught hints of it earlier and this was the first time she'd had a chance to see it in its entirety, or mostly, as portions of the scene disappeared around his sides, down past his waist and onto his back. The images depicted on his body were breathtakingly beautiful and disturbingly graphic at the same time.

From the point where the sheet lay, a huge black dragon with green belly scales seemed to be climbing the rungs of his ribs, covering most of Marcus' broad chest with his body. The artist had done such a detailed job that the torn flesh from the beast's claws digging into Marcus' body, was so vividly rendered that she could see muscle fibers and white bone amidst the gore of the simulated wounds. Mildly grossed out, Tabby shifted her eyes to the line of sharp spines that ran along the back of the creature. She lost sight of the trail where the tattoo disappeared under the sheet. She stared at the white cotton, debating if she should risk moving the sheet and chance waking him.

Cautiously, Tabby lifted the edge of the sheet to reveal more of the fantastical tattoo, amazed at how large the piece of artwork was. Raising the sheet revealed more than just Marcus' tattoo and Tabby found her attention suddenly diverted from continuing her appraisal of the ink.

Seeing it lying there, which even in its flaccid state was an impressive sight, Tabby couldn't help gawking with trepidation and curiosity at Marcus' inert cock. It looked so innocuous resting over his heavy sack but a burning heat blossomed in her core as memories flooded back at how much it had grown when he had been aroused and the exquisite damage he could inflict with it.

She tore her eyes away from his manhood, feeling like she was violating his privacy somehow. Shifting her attention back to the tattoo, her eyes resumed following the ridge of spikes along the dragon's tail. Here, part of the tattoo disappeared from her view as the tail of the beast wrapped around his left hip and reemerged, coiling around his left thigh, effectively anchoring the beast to Marcus. She held her palm over the wide, spade-shaped end of its tail and found that they were almost a perfect match in size.

She let the sheet drift lightly back onto Marcus's hips and he sighed in his sleep, startling Tabby. Curiosity overcame her fear of waking him and she moved her inspection to his upper body where the tattoo continued. The artist had inked the dragon in such a way that it looked three dimensional and Tabby had to blink several times to refocus her vision - for a moment, it had actually looked like there was a living beast clinging to his chest.

Riding on the back of the dragon was a figure of a brown haired woman in a white dress, a set of feathery wings folded against her back. She was resting her cheek on the tip of the beast's snout and cradling the sides of its massive head in her hands. Tabby had actually overlooked the woman because the dragon's wings furled around her, embracing her to his back and partially obscuring her. She would have to come back and study the figure better later, wanting to follow the path of the dragon's body first.

The beast's scaly, sinuous neck covered Marcus' left shoulder, and a paw with long talons embedded itself in the muscle of his bicep. The dragon wrapped around Marcus' neck, disappearing underneath of him. It reappeared over his right shoulder, bringing its reptilian head all the way around to slither across his collarbone. The giant head extended over his pectoral muscle and came to rest in reach of the mysterious angel.

A hemisphere of blue-green shone from beneath a hooded eyelid, regarding the woman with a familiar, sultry possession glowing in its depths. Tabby felt the power of that gaze spark something inside her and she shivered with an uncomfortable sense of recognition. Long, ivory fangs extended from a jagged slash of a mouth that could have easily consumed the angel, but instead, the dragon seemed almost drugged into somnolence, tamed by the woman's touch, an unmistakable yearning hiding in the shadows of its one visible eye.

The scene gave her a surreal déjà vu sensation that unsettled Tabby as much as it intrigued her. She moved closer to his chest, hoping to see more detail, but could only see the woman's face in profile. There was something about her small, delicate frame and flowing chestnut hair that gave Tabby the eerie sense that she was looking at a picture of herself.

It wasn't possible she chided herself. Tabby knew that she was just letting her imagination get away from her. The immense size and detail of that tattoo would have taken months, if not years to complete and she had only known Marcus for barely a month. Some sections of the ink had feathered and blurred, giving the colours a faded, blended look that tattoos tended to adopt as they aged. The visual evidence told Tabby that this tattoo had to be a least a few years old, yet the uncanny resemblance between her and the winged woman was just too striking to attribute to coincidence.

The diminutive image of the angel kept ahold of Tabby's gaze and she couldn't peel her eyes off her. She kept catching herself unconsciously reaching out her hand, wanting to touch her and see if she was as real as she appeared, only to pull her hand back just before she actually touched the image.

With her snow-white wings and gossamer dress, she practically glowed in the dark embrace of the dragon's wings. The colour of the dragon was rich and shone like polished ebony on Marcus' skin, extending out from where the glow from the angel's light touched its scales. It suddenly struck Tabby that it looked as if the beast was absorbing that light, feeding off it in some way, as he protected her from danger with his mighty bulk and massive wings.

One kept other captive by a symbiotic need for something that only the other could provide; a feeling that Tabby was beginning to feel with Marcus.

The powerful allure of the dragon called out to her and something deeply hidden in her secret heart, responded. A hum of electricity flowed into Tabby, making the hairs on her arms and neck prickle and stand; the hum turned into a bass rumble that reverberated into her bones, completing a circuit that now linked her to the beast etched onto the skin of her new lover.

She had seen the dragon and now the beast was letting her know that he had seen her too. A single word echoed in the far reaches of her mind and Tabby swallowed hard against the seductive pull she felt.

Mine.

The possessive way that the dragon held his wings around the woman and the gentle tenderness in his expression while she touched him, seemed to call to Tabby.

You're missing something important here! Pay attention!

Tabby scrutinized the scene with more intensity and realized with a shock of recognition that she knew this beast - rather intimately now. She'd seen glimpses of the barely restrained fury and desperate passion in Marcus' own eyes and had personally experienced the heart-rending tenderness and consuming need every time he'd touched her. As impossible as it sounded, somehow the artist-rendered dragon and the flesh and blood man were the same, somehow bonded together through ink injected into living skin.

Did Marcus know what the dragon would come to represent when he had originally had the tattoo done? Tabby suspected that the hands of fate had intervened, leading him to the beast that would not only represent his warrior's soul but had become a familiar instead of just a mere symbol decorating his body.

He insisted on calling her his angel and now having seen his tattoo, she thought she understood why.

CHAPTER 59

Marcus' alter ego, depicted on his flesh, gave Tabby insight into the dark intensity and fierce possessiveness that had attracted and frightened her when she had first met Marcus. That he was all alpha male, dominant and confident, there could be no doubt, but there was always a degree of edginess that ran just beneath his calm surface - a dangerous, volatile energy, composed of raw lust and power that had caught her in his gravitational field.

She had witnessed the battle he had fought not to give in to the dark abandon that pulled at him, had felt it in her most private place when he'd been inside her, slaking his need in her body. She had also felt the wild release in his body when he had finally succumbed to that pressing need. As much as she feared that aspect of Marcus' personality, Tabby found herself craving the beast inside the man as much as she desired his gentle side.

Marcus was a man that loved hard and true and would fight to the bloody end to protect what he deemed his. However, even Superman had his kryptonite and the more Tabby pondered the image of the angel perched on the back of that dragon, the more she feared that she would become Marcus' weakness.

She glanced up and flinched when her eyes locked with Marcus' intense blue-green stare blazing back at her from under sleepy, half-lidded eyes, so like the eye of the dragon on his chest that Tabby felt a frisson of arousal zing through her with a shiver.

"I'm...sorry," she babbled, embarrassment turning her cheeks a bright pink, easing away from him.

She didn't get far. Marcus stopped her by grasping her wrist and bringing her palm down onto the figure of the woman, pressing her hand to his warm skin. Confused, Tabby stared at the back of her hand and thought she could feel movement under her palm. It took her a second to figure out what it was that she was feeling, but once she did, she sucked in a surprised breath.

"Oh!" she exclaimed softly, amazed that she hadn't noticed the correlation sooner. There was indeed movement under her palm, but it wasn't the phantom angel coming to life, it was the strong, steady thud of Marcus' relentless heart beating hard against the inside wall of his chest. She looked back at Marcus to see him smiling introspectively at her.

"She commands both of our hearts, my sweet angel," he whispered and pulled her up to meet his lips. "Good morning, little one. How did you sleep?"

Tabby blushed. "Very well, Sir. I'm...I'm sorry."

Marcus' brows knit together in confusion. "For what?" He thought he knew what she was apologizing for, but he wanted to hear her admit to it.

Her pretty face turned an even brighter shade of pink and she dropped her gaze. "For staring at you...while you were sleeping. I just wanted to see your tattoo."

He laughed and hugged her to him, brushing back a stray lock of hair off her forehead and planting his lips onto the spot. "Oh love, if you only knew how much I adore having your eyes on me. You have my permission to stare, ogle and lust to your heart's content." He tilted her chin up so that he could see her face and his voice grew husky. "Tell me, angel, did you like what you saw?"

She tried to look away, but Marcus held her chin, preventing her deflection. "Yes," she nodded. "It's incredible." Her finger traced the outline of the dragon's wedge shaped head, leaving sizzling trails on the skin around Marcus' nipple.

"Was it only the tattoo that caught your eye?" he smirked knowingly at her and the emerald green of her eyes darkened with lust as she flushed in embarrassment. He'd never noticed the deep blue that crept into her irises when she was turned on, it was an interesting bit of information that would help Marcus learn how to read his new submissive's moods.

Tabby had thought she'd been careful, but now she knew that he'd been surreptitiously watching her the entire time. "You saw?" she whispered and dropped her gaze to focus on his dragon tattoo.

He nodded. "I think I would be able to feel your eyes on me even when I'm dead, beautiful." Her guilt only seemed to make her vulnerable and his beast responded, sensing a weakness in his prey that he could exploit. His cock swelled under the sheet and he growled deep in his chest as burning desire flowed into his nether region and took up residence in his stiffening shaft.

The light touches from her fingertips on his tattoo were driving him crazy and it was taking all his self-control to hold still and feign a calm his beast was not about to let him enjoy. Marcus may have liked having her eyes on him, but his inner beast absolutely, fucking loved having her hands on him and wanted her touch to move further down. The strain of resisting caused tiny beads of sweat to dampen Marcus forehead and he had to squeeze his eyelids shut in an attempt to ward off the throbbing pressure building in his skull. Combining that with the growing pressure in his cock, Marcus was fighting a losing battle on two fronts.

Thankfully, for him, Tabby was oblivious to his growing arousal, too intent on his tattoo to notice the sheet lifting as his cock stood to attention.

The rumble Marcus was making sent a thrill rushing to her core and Tabby shivered as nerves began sending off a flurry of pleasurable impulses to her brain. She felt herself grow wet and her muscles loosened as her body responded on a primal level to Marcus' arousal.

"I'm hungry, angel," Marcus said, staring at her in that all-consuming way a wolf would regard a cornered rabbit.

Before she had a chance to react, Marcus flipped her over and had her pinned onto her back, his huge body forming a cage made of muscle and bone holding her captive beneath him. He lowered his head and kissed her roughly, parting her lips and probing into her mouth with his tongue. He stole her breath and gave her his while he explored and sucked at her mouth.

When he'd taken his fill, he lifted from her and had to admire her deep red, kiss-swollen lips. Her irises had turned a deep blue and locked onto him, making her irresistibly sexy as she waited to see what he was going to do to her next. He wouldn't keep her in suspense for long, besides which, Marcus was eager to claim his prize and wasn't in the mood to wait either. Giving her an evil grin that sent a visible shudder racing over her skin, he slid down her body, licking a path along her curves as he went.

Parting her legs, Tabby held her breath, quivering at the greedy way Marcus' dark eyes roved over her exposed pussy, reminding her of a starving man staring at a feast. He licked his lips and dove down, covering her entire core with his hot mouth, making Tabby yelp in surprise. That yelp quickly became a primal moan as his tongue delved between the folds of her labia and found her entrance. He swirled his tongue around her opening before plunging inside, fucking her with his tongue until she was squirming so much that he had to hold her down with a hand pressed to her stomach to keep her in place.
"Oh god, Marcus!" she cried out. She felt his chuckle vibrate into her pussy and the sensations made her eyes roll into the back of her head. His tongue licked at her labia, sucking one side then the other into his mouth where his teeth lightly nipped at the sensitive flesh making Tabby whimper and moan. When his lips latched onto her clit, Tabby thought her brain was going to implode. As he licked and flicked the nub with his tongue Tabby honestly thought that she got a snapshot of the inside of the back of her skull as her eyes spun like a slot machine in her head.

"Fuck, fuck, fuck! Marcus, please!" she wailed. He didn't let up, but added another level to her torment by sliding two, long, thick fingers into her opening and began to pump them in and out of her. He'd hooked his fingertips up and they were hitting a spot that made Tabby howl and clench fistfuls of the sheets to keep from shoving his head away from her. Her thighs began to shake and she was panting so hard that her breath sawed in and out of mouth so fast that her lungs barely had time to snatch oxygen from the air before the muscle spasms expelled it from her body.

"Please! Ohmigod!" she shrieked, thrusting her pelvis in time with his attack. "Please Marcus! It's too much!" Pressure built in her abdomen and Tabby suddenly got the horrifying feeling that she was about to lose control of her bladder.

"Stop! Stop! I gotta go to the bathroom!"

Marcus's mouth left her clit long enough for him to reassure her. "Let it go, angel. You're going to cum so hard, baby. Let it go."

Fuck him and those devilish fingers. He was trying to kill her.

"I can't!" she cried, frantically trying to escape his grasp. "I'm gonna pee, Marcus!"

"No you're not. Trust me! Let go, baby. I'll be here to catch you!" Marcus increased the speed of his fingers, making sure to keep up the friction on Tabby's g-spot until he felt the first wave of ripples start in the tight muscular walls of her pussy. Fluid leaked and dripped from her but she stubbornly clung right on the edge, fighting the urgent need to release with everything she had. Her body was primed and ready, it was only her fear holding her from going over.

"Oh god! Marcus. It hurts!" Tears dripped down her face and she thrashed under his hold, bucking against his other hand and grinding herself onto his fingers.

"I know, angel, I'm going to help you." Marcus knew what she needed to break her mind's lockdown on her body. He brought his other hand up and struck her swollen clit with a several stinging slaps and the unexpected shock was all it took to detonate the bomb ticking in Tabby's core.

A scream tore from Tabby's throat as the orgasm shattered the last of her resistance and wrested control from her frozen brain. Her hips arched off the bed, her vaginal muscles clenched around his fingers, and a gushing spray of liquid erupted out of her pussy to drench Marcus and the bed sheets beneath her in a warm shower.

Marcus plunged his face down and sucked at her sopping wet pussy, loving the taste of her nectar as it flowed into his mouth. He was delighted to see that she was capable of squirting and couldn't wait to share the revelation with Cooper. He sucked at her until her hands pushed at his head and she begged him to stop.

"Too...sensitive," she whimpered, her muscles still trembling with multiple aftershocks caused by his talented mouth. "...can't take...any...more."

Hearing the exhausted plea, Marcus decided to take pity on her and climbed back up until his face hovered over her damp, flushed one. He fisted his pulsing erection and pressed it to her opening. "My turn, angel," he said and thrust inside her wetness.

Tabby's eyes flew open, going unfocused as she gasped at the intrusion into her body. A brief stab of pain flared and then softened into molten heat as his girth stretched and filled her. Her pussy was so sensitive that the feel of him was almost more than she could take, making her mewl and shudder as he took control of her body.

"Marcus," she hissed.

"Shh, baby. Just feel..." He pulled out and rubbed the tip of his cock against her throbbing clit until he had her writhing and on the verge of tears with desperation. Satisfied, Marcus found her sopping opening and surged inside, feeling Tabby's hands turn to claws on his back as she wailed his name. With a growl, Marcus' beast took over and Marcus lost control.

CHAPTER 60

Damp hair hung down, framing his face as perspiration dripped onto Tabby's skin. Whenever she opened her eyes, she caught glimpses of his shining, black irises staring down into hers as his cock relentlessly pounded into her. He looked like a man possessed as he pushed her closer to another climax and Tabby knew that she was looking into the eyes of the beast at that moment. Marcus the man had receded into the background and it was the dragon driving her to her next orgasm.

His face contorted into a snarl and he thrust with punishing force, making Tabby cry out from the overwhelming pleasure flooding her body.

"Mine," he growled through gritted teeth. "Mine. Mine. Mine."

One of her hands left his back and she stroked his cheek, his clenched jaw muscles feeling like stone beneath her fingertips. "Yours," she murmured back and his eyes blazed back at her.

Marcus was lost in the fury of fucking his woman. He knew that he had to be hurting her, so soon after losing her virginity, and it made a part of him feel like such a bastard, but he was powerless to stop his cock from plunging into her. The pressure in his balls had him groaning, cursing, and driving forward, pursued by the biological imperative to claim his woman.

With a barked curse, Marcus came with blinding force and collapsed onto of her as his balls emptied themselves into her body. "Oh fuck, angel," he groaned, overcome by the pleasure-pain of his violent orgasm.

When the spasms stopped, Marcus rolled them onto his back, bringing Tabitha's limp body cradled in his arms. He stroked her sweat-soaked hair off her face and held her tight to his heaving chest. "Did I hurt you, angel?" he asked, trying to see her eyes and gauge her condition.

She shook her head, unable to do more than to surrender to the continuous shudders that shook her body. She'd lost count of how many orgasms she'd had as they had rolled one into another, catching her up in the storm. Even with his cock gone from her body, the sensations still rocked her and she whimpered as another aftershock hit her.

"Shh, angel. I've got you," Marcus' voice penetrated the whimper in her head as her body seized up from another aftershock. He held her and caressed her back, murmuring quietly to her until her muscles released all their tension and she sagged heavily onto his chest in a semi-slumber.

A ping from the phone on the nightstand beside the bed announced an incoming text. Marcus reached out a hand to grab it, checked the message and groaned as he tossed the phone back on the table with a clunk.

"C'mon, angel. Time to get our butts into the shower." He kissed her glowing cheek and let her slide off him.

Tabby muttered a protest at having lost her warm sleeping place and Marcus had her giggling madly as he attacked her belly with tickling fingers.

She batted his hands away and rolled breathlessly out of his reach. "Stop, stop! Okay, I'm up!"

"As much as I'd like nothing more than to stay in this bed, naked and fucking you, angel, Cooper is on his way over." Marcus' stomach gave a loud gurgle and he gave her a wink. "And I think we need to refuel after burning up so many calories."

"Mmmm...food," Tabby hummed, her own stomach feeling hollow, and got to her feet. Marcus climbed out behind her and she spied the ruined bedding behind him and had to smother another giggling fit behind her palm.

His eyebrow shot up in amused confusion. "You're going to give a guy a complex with that constant laughter. Care to explain what's so funny this time, angel?"

"Sorry," she laughed and cocked her head at the bed. "Looks like we ruined that set of sheets too."

Marcus turned around and saw what she meant. The once crisp sheets were a mass of creases and damp stains, evidence of the debauchery that had occurred there.

"Oh well," he winked at her, his chest swelling with masculine pride. "Good thing I have a large capacity washing machine!" His arm came around her and he guided her to the bathroom. "And lots of extra sheets. C'mon, angel. We reek of sex and don't want to make poor Cooper jealous."

They climbed into the steaming shower and Tabby purred with pleasure as the hot water cascaded down her back. She hissed a little when it hit her sore butt, but the heat felt too good on her aching muscles to move away. Marcus ran his hands over her hair; wetting and smoothing it down under the spray of the shower head. Tabby dipped forward, intending to grab the shampoo bottle, when he wound his hand in her long hair and gently stopped her, then pulled her upright, turning her face to look him in the eye.

"Let me take care of you, pet. It's my fault that you're in this deplorable condition," he said with a cocky smirk. "And it's my job to put you back to rights." In addition, though Marcus would never admit to it, taking care of her afterwards was fast becoming one of his most favorite tasks.

She was his to use and his to tend to afterwards. Soon he'd be sharing her with Cooper and he was feeling a little possessive of this quiet time with her. Not that he was uncomfortable about sharing with his brother, it only made him want to cherish these one-on-one times with Tabitha even more.

With gentle hands, Marcus removed the hair tie from the end of Tabby's long braid and carefully undid the thick plait. He squeezed a bit of shampoo into his palm and began working the soap into her hair. Tabby sighed and closed her eyes, succumbing to the wonderful feeling of his strong hands massaging the shampoo into a rich lather.

Marcus couldn't resist tugging her closer to him as he washed her hair. She was humming with pleasure and he was glad to see her tense muscles relax under his touch. Using the hand shower, he rinsed out all the suds then applied conditioner to help keep her luxurious hair detangled and healthy. Foregoing the use of a washcloth, he poured some body wash into his hand and began to lather it onto the skin of her back. Touching her was almost unbearable in the pleasure it gave him and he took his time cleaning her, enjoying the silky warmth of her skin and the smooth contours of her curves under his hands. When his hands found their way to her front, they went immediately to her breasts, Marcus grinned behind her at the way her heart sped up and her breathing hitched as he kneaded the suds over the soft flesh and teased her nipples into stiff nubs.

Tabby was in heaven. Hot water and Marcus all over her had transported her into another dimension, leaving all her aches and pains behind in a fog of decadent pleasure. Marcus was obviously enjoying himself too, judging by the erection that kept bumping against her rear, but she resisted the urge to tease him - she was too sore inside to want to tempt him into taking her again, even if every cell in her body screamed for more.

When his big hands glided over her stomach, she squirmed and giggled, sliding against his body as he teased her bellybutton. The presence of his erection was difficult to ignore as its length was sandwiched between their bodies.

Marcus bent down and nipped her ear playfully. "Keep wiggling like that, angel and you're going to find yourself bent over with my cock inside you again."

"As delightful as that sounds, Sir," she gave her ass a cheeky wriggle and the sharp intake of Marcus' breath made her glow with feminine power. "Cooper will be here soon, we don't have the time."

A husky laugh filled her ears and sent waves of erotic tingles down her spine. "Love, he'd just strip and join us in here." Marcus' fingers found her cleft and homed in on her clit. Tabby jerked at his intimate touch and shuddered as arousal heated her core. "Are you ready to take on two of us, angel?" he murmured, bringing her to orgasm faster than Tabby though could happen.

"Yes!" she breathed as her knees gave way. Marcus had his other arm around her and held her up until she was able to stand on her own again.

He buried his face in her wet hair and kissed the top of her head. "Good answer, pet. Good answer."

Tabby couldn't remember what she'd just answered to, her brain cells were too busy popping like soap bubbles in her head for her to have been paying attention, but it made Marcus happy so it couldn't have been a bad thing...right? Rinsed off and sent out to get dressed, Tabby left Marcus in the shower to finish cleaning himself. She was rummaging through the overnight bag that Petra had packed her when Marcus' voice came out of the shower.

"No clothes, angel. I want you naked," he called.

With a grimace, Tabby stuck her tongue out defiantly in the direction of the open bathroom door, confident that Marcus couldn't see her. Not two seconds later, his rich, deep chuckle rumbled out over the spray of the shower.

"I may not be able to see you pet, but I felt the vibes you just sent my way. Did you enjoy your spanking last night so much that you're already looking for round two?"

Tabby's stomach churned with a mixture of anxiety and excitement.

Shit! This bond thing wasn't something to screw around with, she thought with a shock. "Um, no Sir. Sorry, Sir," she replied sweetly, sticking her head into the steamy bathroom to find Marcus' dripping face grinning back at her.

"You're so god damn beautiful, angel," he murmured. "That's why I want to see you naked. It's selfish and self-serving, I know, but that is one of the perks of having a submissive." His eyes heated as he ran his gaze over her body. "Your body is for my pleasure, pet. Better get used to it because you are going to be naked most of the time."

CHAPTER 61

Tabby dropped her eyes, her gaze landing right on his swollen shaft. He had one fist lathered up and had been stroking himself slowly while he'd been talking to her.

"This is why I want you bared for me, angel. I'm so fucking hard when you're around me that there will be times when I'll want to take you fast and waiting for clothing to be shed would take too long." His hand was moving faster and Tabby couldn't tear her eyes of the erotic dance his closed fist was doing over and around his manhood.

"Watch me, angel. If you ever doubt how much I want you, remember the expression on my face as I cum while looking at you." Marcus grunted and suddenly creamy streaks of white hit the glass shower enclosure. Tabby's breath had become heavy in her chest and when she moved, she felt trickles of moisture escape her pussy and dampen her thighs.

She glanced up and Marcus stared right back at her, his forehead resting on the glass. "Go now, angel, so long as my eyes are on you, all I can think about is fucking that sweet pussy of yours again. If you stay there much longer, I'm coming after you and hauling you back in here with me."

Tabby jerked herself back to reality and gave him a quick nod. "Yes, Sir."

Once out of his sight, oxygen returned to her lungs and the tightness disappeared. She wondered if she would ever get used to the intensity of being around Marcus. It was like being under a spell, one so deliriously wonderful that she never wanted it to end. It was only when it did, did she realise how much energy their bond took out of her. An image of the dragon tattoo on Marcus' chest flashed in front of her mind's eye and the way she had thought the dragon was absorbing some of the angel's light. That was how she felt right now, as if she had been sharing part of her energy, that the connection she had with Marcus, joined them and allowed him to siphon some of it off, leaving her depleted, yet fed in return.

She shook her head and decided to stop trying to analyze every nuance and sensation; it was an impossible task as she was in uncharted territory and everything and every feeling was brand new to her. She zipped her carryall up with a sigh, saying a silent goodbye to the pretty things Petra had purchased for her to wear.

She left the sound of the shower behind her and wandered down the hall into the sunlit living room. It felt very odd, not only being in a strange house, but also being stark naked in a strange house. Her anxious eyes scanned every nook and corner, looking for eyes watching her. The sensation of being so exposed unnerved her and she instinctively wrapped her arms around her breasts and hugged herself for comfort. It was cool in Marcus' house but not cold, she still shivered, but it was more from the fact that she didn't know what to do with herself than any discomfort.

Spying the remote for the big, plasma TV, she grabbed it up and pressed the power button. The TV flared to life and a second later, sound funneled out from hidden speakers from all directions. Tabby did a double take, gawking at the TV screen then hurriedly looking around for a clock to confirm the time that the announcer had just provided. It was ten past twelve in the afternoon! They had spent half the day in bed!

Aware of the time and the missed meals, Tabby's stomach gave an irritated grumble, demanding attention, reminding her that while sex and sleep were fine and dandy, if she wanted to keep up with Marcus, she was going to need fuel in her tank. Compelled by her very empty tummy to find food, Tabby dropped the remote on the sofa and gravitated into the kitchen. She made a beeline for the huge stainless steel fridge door and yanked it opened to see what Marcus had to eat, not really expecting to find much in a bachelor's kitchen.

Her eyes beamed at the bounty she found neatly arranged on the shelves and was pleasantly surprised to discover a fully stocked fridge full of fresh and gourmet ingredients. As she eyed the free-range eggs, organic meats and veggies, Tabby was in heaven, her busy brain deciding what to make with all the lovely ingredients to choose from. Marcus had said that he was hungry and Cooper was on his way over. If there was one thing Tabby knew about men, it was that they were almost perpetually hungry...or horny...or both.

She grinned and decided to whip up a surprise brunch for both of them. It wouldn't help with the horny part, but at least she could keep them occupied eating so that she could recover a bit.

After pulling out the ingredients she needed, she began opening cupboards in search of spices and seasonings. She was rinsing off some green and red peppers when a bit of water splashed onto her belly reminding her that she was naked. Frowning in dismay, Tabby looked at the bacon and ground pork that she had set on the counter and then gave the frying pan a horrified look. Wincing at the thought of frying fatty, splattering bacon without clothing on gave her pause to think about protecting her vulnerable skin. Her eyes scanned the kitchen, searching for anything that she could throw on to cover herself when her gaze caught a corner of fabric trapped in the pantry door. Rushing over, she opened it to find a black apron hanging on a hook on the inside of the door.

"Hallelujah!" she exclaimed, gratefully throwing the loop over her head. The thing could only have been Marcus' because it was so long that the bottom hem fell past her knees.

Did everything about the man have to come in size humongous? She laughed, blushing at one particularly large thing about him that she quite enjoyed, and readjusted the neck strap so that it shortened it a bit and had to wrap the ties around her waist twice to use up the slack. Once covered up, Tabby breathed a sigh of relief and hoped that the apron wouldn't piss off Marcus. She technically wasn't dressed, as her bruised backside could attest too, but she wasn't completely naked either. Dreading the thought of trying to cook naked, Tabby hoped that he'd see the need for the apron and understand.
Besides, growing up a tomboy had taught her that it was better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission. Cooking naked was fine in romantic movies and books, but the reality would have really sucked.

By the time Marcus appeared, shirtless and clad in a sexy pair of black denim jeans, Tabby already had the makings of a feast on the go. Potatoes simmering on the stove would soon become home-style hash browns, the bacon was sizzling happily in the oven and she was just about to start sautéing peppers and onions for a frittata. Engrossed with her cooking, Tabby failed to notice Marcus standing in the doorway, attracted to the kitchen by the aroma of cooking food.

Unnoticed, he leaned against the doorframe and watched with interest as she chopped, flipped and fussed with the food. He could see her years of dance show up in the effortless grace she had while she flitted between the stove and counter, but it was the confidence in her actions that really intrigued him. Watching her cook, told him that Tabby was no stranger to the kitchen and the way she handled the knives and frying pan showed that she had more than a passing interest in cooking - the girl had real chef's skills under her belt.

Turning to pick up the cutting board loaded with chopped onions and sliced peppers; Tabby caught sight of his huge body and almost dropped the vegetables in her fright. "Holy crap!" she yelped, "You scared the shit out of me!"

He couldn't help it, she just looked so damn cute with her face all scowled up in annoyance, he burst out laughing, then calmed, making a show of noticing her activities. Adopting a stern expression, he stepped slowly into the kitchen, indicating to the array of food spread out on the island. "What are you up to, angel?"

Tabby froze, unsure of whether she'd just made a huge mistake. She stared at him uncertainly. "I..I'm sorry, Marcus. You mentioned that you were hungry. I thought I'd make brunch for you and Cooper." She felt awful, like she'd been caught doing something she shouldn't have been doing.

Please, please don't let him be angry, she prayed. Really dumb, Tabs. You should have asked first!

Marcus couldn't bear the dejected, frightened look on her face and strode to her side. "Oh, angel, I'm sorry. It wasn't fair of me to scare you like that. I was only teasing. I love that you took the initiative to prepare a meal for us." He kissed her and let her get back to her sizzling pan that was just beginning to smoke.

"Oh shit!" she grabbed a potholder and moved the hot pan off the heat before the oil burst into flames. She deftly tipped the ruined oil out of the pan and into an empty tin can that she'd found in the recycling and was going to use to dispose of the bacon grease later.

Tabitha was a different woman in the realm of the kitchen. She was able to put aside her nerves, where Marcus was concerned and function with practiced experience, no hint of her insecurities in evidence. As he watched her add a squirt of fresh oil to the cleaned out pan and reset it on the flame, Marcus made it his goal to bring out that confidence in other aspects of her life, especially in the bedroom and during scenes. He wanted her as confident with her sexuality and submissiveness as she was with food.

"Did you find everything you need?"

Her relief shone like a beacon, lighting up her face and she nodded vigorously. "Yes! I can't believe how well stocked your fridge is!" She tipped the cutting board over the heated pan and the sound of sizzling filled the air as the vegetables hit the hot oil. With a talented flick of her wrist, Tabby flipped the vegetables over several times before setting the pan down and lowering the flame so that they'd sauté and not burn.

"You sound surprised?"

She glanced back over her shoulder and grinned at him. "Honestly? Yeah. I expected to find beer and maybe some leftover take-out that was still edible. Not a better selection than the Benny's Organic Market near my apartment!"

Marcus laughed and sat on a tall stool by the island. "Ten years ago, that's probably exactly what you would have found. Time has taught me the value of eating healthier and easing off the beer if I didn't want to be carrying my gut around in a wheelbarrow by the time I was fifty."

That suddenly brought an interesting question to Tabby's mind, highlighting the lack of information that she had on her new lover. "Um...can I ask you something personal, Marcus?"

CHAPTER 62

"Ask away, angel. Nothing is personal between us anymore, pet. What did you want to know?" The coffee pot pinged and Tabby retrieved a mug off the rack on the corner.

"How do you take your coffee, Sir?" she asked, pouring him a steaming cup.

"Black is fine, Tabitha. Was that your question?" he replied, watching her fidgety movements with curiosity, knowing that she'd used the coffee as a distraction.

Setting the mug down in front of him, he grasped her wrist before she could escape and caressed the sensitive underside with his thumb. "You're shaking, baby girl. Why? Do I still frighten you?"

She blushed and uttered a nervous giggle. "Yes...no...sometimes you do. I'm still not sure how to act when I'm with you, Marcus. This is so much more than finding a new boyfriend and I don't really know anything about you."

He smiled and turned her hand around so that he could trace the lines on her palms with his finger. "You won't find out anything if you're scared to ask. I don't want you to be afraid to ask me questions, angel. I won't hide anything from you."

"I was wondering...just...well...how old are you, Sir?"

"Is that all, pet?" He turned her hand over and kissed the center of her palm, smelling onions and peppers on her skin. She smelled delicious and he licked her skin, sending a shiver up her arm.

"Mmmm, if your food tastes as good as you do, angel," his eyes sparkled darkly. "Cooper and I are in for a real treat." He let her go and Tabby quickly returned to her pan of sautéing vegetables giving them a few more flips in the pan before sliding them into a prepared baking dish.

"For your information, I'm thirty seven. Cooper is thirty four." Tabby remained quiet absorbing the information. Her silence worried Marcus. "Do our ages bother you, little one?" he asked gently.

Tabby was deep in thought.

Thirty-seven.

That surprised her. She didn't think that he was that old, it put twelve years between them and nine between her and Cooper. She didn't hear Marcus calling to her and when he came up behind her and wrapped his long arms around her middle, she jumped back, slamming into the wall of his rock hard chest.

"Oof," Marcus pretended to wheeze, catching her before she could trip over him and fall.

"Sorry, I didn't hear you."

Marcus cinched his arms tighter, pulling her naked ass into his hips and finding himself wishing that he could take her again. If she hadn't been busy cooking, he would have done so and continued their conversation with his cock snug in her pussy. "I noticed. You didn't answer my question, angel."

"Um, what question was that, Sir?" she asked shyly.

He spun her around and gazed down into her brilliant green eyes. "Do our ages bother you?"

She shook her head and smiled brightly. "No. I rather like that you're both older than I am. It's...sort of sexy."

Marcus frowned. "Only sort of?"

Tabby stretched up on her tiptoes so that she could reach his lips and stole a kiss, turning Marcus' frown into a happy grin. "Okay, how about really sexy?" She pretended to check him out and nodded her head with approval. "Yup, I'm going to go with that. For an old fart, you've still got it, Sir."

Marcus let out a guffaw and pulled her in close so that she could feel his growing erection push into her belly. "Not bad for an old fart, little one. I'll be sure to remind you who made you scream for mercy last night when he was fucking her senseless."

Tabby went bright red with embarrassment and turned to take care of the food she was cooking. "I look forward to it, Sir," she replied.

"Oh, angel," Marcus chuckled. "I can see that our lives are going to be very interesting with you in them."

"Hey! Anybody home?" Cooper's voice called out from the living room. "Damn, something smells awesome! Hope you made enough to share because I could definitely eat! Where the hell are you guys?"

"Don't you ever knock asshole?" Marcus yelled back. "We're in the kitchen. Follow your nose."

Cooper's blond head poked into the doorway, sniffing the air with enthusiasm. His boyish face split into a happy grin when he saw Tabby at the stove. "There she is. I've missed you Tabby-cat."

"Hi Cooper. Brunch will be done in about half an hour."

Cooper walked into the kitchen and Marcus met him half way, clapping hands on each other's shoulders in greeting. Marcus immediately noticed an odd tension in his friend. "What's up?"

Cooper gave him a curt shake of his head. "Later. Can I?" he asked Marcus quietly, indicating Tabby with his eyes.

Marcus just smiled and nodded. Cooper shifted his gaze to Tabby.

"Come and give us a hug, Tabby. These arms have been dying to get a hold on you, baby girl."

Tabby was nervous, not sure how to behave now that Cooper was here and real and not just a possibility. She turned off the element and dumped the parboiled potatoes into a colander in the sink so that they wouldn't over cook. As she rounded the island and approached Cooper, he threw his arms wide and enveloped her in a bone-crushing hug, lifting her off her feet and spinning around with her in his arms.

"You have no idea how badly I've wanted to do this, baby girl."

"Put her down, you asshole. You don't know where she's been!" Marcus joked.

Cooper buried his nose into the hollow of her shoulder, smelling her clean skin and fresh, feminine aroma overlaid with a distinctly masculine scent. "Seeing as your scent is all over her skin, brother, I have a pretty good idea where she's been and with whom she's been."

His hand slid down to cup Tabby's ass and she yelped, hissing as he put pressure on the painful welts left by Marcus' belt the night before.

"What the hell?" he cursed, and almost dropped her when she suddenly pushed away from him. He quickly set her down but didn't let go. "Tabby? What's wrong? What did I do?" He tried to turn her but she resisted, backing away, straight into Marcus who had come up behind her.

"Nothing. It's nothing," she mumbled, flustered and embarrassed. Her poor ass still burned as the welts throbbed.

"Show him, angel," Marcus commanded, keeping her from escaping.

Cooper looked confused, glancing between Marcus and Tabby, waiting for someone to explain what was going on to him.

Tabby's eyes dropped to her feet and she could feel heat radiating from her cheeks, matching the fire burning on her ass. Marcus stepped back and turned her so that her back faced Cooper.

"Bend over, pet." She reluctantly did so and Cooper sucked in a curse.

"What the fuck happened?" He took in the dark purple bruises overlaid with stripes of raised, red welts. "What did you do?" He cast an accusatory glare directly at Marcus, his hands curling into fists at his sides.

Marcus ignored the aggression hitting him like waves from a blast furnace. "Tell him, Tabitha."

She shook her head, hot tears of shame burning her eyes. "No. Please don't make me, Marcus," she begged. Her words were no sooner out of her mouth when Marcus' palm hit her squarely on her sore ass making her cry out in both pain and surprise.

"I won't ask you again, Tabitha. Explain to Cooper why you are bruised this morning."

She hated the sound of her full name coming out of his mouth. He had forgiven her, and she had believed him, but the sharp edge of hurt underlying his voice told her that Marcus hadn't forgiven himself as easily.

Swallowing her sobs, Tabby cleared her voice. "I was punished!" she blurted out.

A hand settled lightly on one of her ass cheeks, Cooper traced one of the lines with his index finger. "Why, kitten? What did you do that was so terrible to deserve this on your first night?"

"I lied to Marcus." Her voice was so quiet that it was barely audible. Cooper's finger pressed down on a bruise and Tabby whimpered.

"About what, Tabitha?" The disappointment in his tone hit Tabby like a physical blow. Now he was using her full name too and it stabbed her in the gut.

Tabby couldn't speak. She tried to explain how she'd withheld her virginal status from Marcus, but shame closed her throat and all she could do was choke on her sobs.

"Brother?" Cooper looked at Marcus and the hurt and loathing he saw burning in the man's eyes caught him by surprise. What had Tabby done to get Marcus turning his anger onto himself?

"I took her, Coop. Hard. Last night. It wasn't until afterwards that I discovered that I had..." Marcus swallowed hard, sour bile clawing up his throat and scalding the delicate tissues. "Fuck! She didn't tell me that she was still a virgin, Cooper! I fucked her like a rabid dog and she never said a word!"

"It wasn't your fault, Marcus."

Marcus stormed away, running his hand through his tousled, damp hair. "I should have fucking asked! Not assumed." His self-hatred deflated and Marcus' words came out as a choked whisper. "It wasn't until I saw the blood on the sheets that I knew what had happened. I might as well have raped her, Coop."

Tabby couldn't stand to hear the pain in his voice any longer. "No! It wasn't your fault, Marcus." She stood up and marched to face him. "You said that by accepting the punishment, this would be put behind us. Please, Sir," she dropped to her knees and bent forward, placing her forehead on the cool tile of the floor. "You gave your forgiveness to me when you left your marks on my flesh. Now extend that forgiveness to yourself. I am the one that lied...the blame is all on me."

Cooper stared between Tabby and Marcus not believing the drama he had missed the previous night. "She's right, Marcus. I'm disappointed to hear that you lied, little one, but I am proud that you accepted your punishment." He strode over Marcus and grasped his arm, giving him a squeeze. "Our little sub is correct, brother. You need to forgive yourself as well. Don't let this fester any longer."

Marcus gave Cooper a grateful nod. He hadn't known that he had been worrying about telling him what had happened with Tabby, but now that it was in the open, he could feel the weight lifting.

CHAPTER 63

"Stand, angel." Marcus helped her to her feet and tugged her to his chest. As soon as he did, Cooper pressed in from behind, sandwiching Tabby between their hard bodies.

"She wants us both, brother," Marcus said, watching Cooper's face light up with pleasure.

"Is that right, kitten?" he asked, pressing against Tabby's back so that she could feel the bulge growing behind the fly of his jeans. "Are you sure that you are prepared to serve two Masters, little one?"

"I am ready to learn how, Sir."

Cooper chuckled. "Well, it looks like you've already learned about consequences." He rubbed against her bruised ass to emphasize his statement. She sucked in a breath through gritted teeth, but didn't try to shy away. He moved away, releasing her. "I don't want the preparations you've made for brunch to be ruined, so I'm going to let you return to your cooking, kitten."

Marcus turned her around to face Cooper who lifted the front of her apron and cupped her bare mound. "But I will be staking my claim on this later, kitten. You have amends to make to me as well. When you lie to one of your Doms, you are lying to both of us. We are responsible for you and your actions reflect on both of us. Marcus had the right to punish you because your lie directly affected him." Two fingers pushed into her opening in a manner that spoke more to Cooper exerting his dominance over her rather than for pure pleasure. The rough intrusion caused Tabby to shudder, her hips jerking forward into his grasp, driving them deeper inside her.

"But after hearing what you did, I need to see for myself that you are repentant and have learned your lesson. Lies in our sort of relationship will not be tolerated, kitten. Trust requires a solid, unshakable foundation and lies are like water seeping into concrete, slowing weakening and eroding the stability. You've shaken that and need to prove to me and to Marcus that you can be trusted to always be honest. Understand?"

Tabby quivered and nodded shakily. "Y-yes, C-cooper. I, I...oh god!"

The slow slide of his fingers as they dragged against the walls of her canal fanned the simmer heat building in her core and Tabby squirmed and moaned, her need for more friction eroding her will to retain her dignity. Cooper's fingers slipped out of her wetness, coated with her juices and his cock gave an almighty jerk against his abdomen in its frustration to get at Tabby.

How the fuck did Marcus resist this girl?

He brought his wet fingers up to his nose, inhaling the earthy scent of her arousal and tormenting his already throbbing dick. Her eyes were on him, silently begging him for more while the shadows of her shame swirled in their depths. Seeing the honest remorse pouring out of her soul, helped to nurse the tendrils of a fragile bond to strengthen and wind around his heart, drawing him closer to this irresistible woman.

"Please, Cooper," she pleaded, her pelvis twitching towards him in involuntary thrusts. "Please don't leave me like this." She ached with a hunger that had nothing to do with food. Tabby didn't know when she'd become such a wanton slut, but Cooper had started up that craving for release and his stalling was killing her.

Looking into her eyes, he was mesmerized by the way that the luminescent green slowly darkened under the heat of his stare, transforming into the liquid azure blue of the ocean. He would willingly dive into those pools and happily drown, if it meant that he could maintain this connection to Tabitha. The passion he saw smoldering behind those irises burned him as her stare penetrated through him, scorching a path straight to his aching erection. In one simple glimpse, he saw the honesty of her heart and the true desire he was feeling, reflected back at him.

His nostrils flared and his cock twitched and pulsed. This close to her, it was hard for him not to notice that her scent was changing as well, becoming stronger, muskier and much more enticing, indicating that her level of sexual frustration was increasing. Her body was producing more pheromones in the hopes of attracting the means for the release she craved and if he didn't do something quickly, he was going to give in to the siren's call that her body was broadcasting.

It was hard for him to believe that the woman begging him to make her cum was the same emotionally shattered woman he had met a month ago. Somehow, Marcus had tempted her out of her protective shell and he was witnessing her blossoming into a beautiful, sexual creature. In a purely selfish way, Cooper wasn't disappointed to hear that she had been a virgin when Marcus had taken her, the alpha male part of his ego swelled with pleasure from the knowledge that no man had ever had her before him and his brother.

She was theirs and only theirs.

He was only sorry that she hadn't trusted either of them enough to share that secret. If she had, he and Marcus would have collaborated to celebrate her first sexual experience, surrounding her with ceremony and reverence - not the fear and pain that she must have felt. He joined Marcus in feeling the regret for that lost opportunity but the bruises on her innocent ass attested for the remorse she had shown and the courage she had possessed to accept responsibility for the harm her misguided lie had caused.
She may have been new to this life, but Marcus had done his job well. He had opened up their world and inducted her into it and despite not following their game plan; he had succeeded in tapping into her natural submissiveness and had helped her to free her inherent sexuality. All she needed now was patience, love and training and Cooper could hardly wait to see the exquisite submissive she would bloom into under their expert guidance.

There was no doubt in Cooper's mind that Tabby wanted him as well, even as she was being held in Marcus' arms, her attention was all on him. However, a small shred of insecurity wanted to hear her confirmation aloud before his head would be able to believe it.

"Are you absolutely positive that you want this, little one? Both of us? Because once we start, there's no turning back, kitten. It's all or nothing." He wanted to hear her say the words, had to be sure that she wasn't feeling pressured into accepting him as a means of pleasing Marcus.

In his heart of hearts, he wanted her to want him as much as she wanted his partner.

"Yes! I'm sure, Cooper." She flashed a look up to Marcus and received an approving smile and nod from him. "Please Cooper; you are a part of this...whatever this is growing between the three of us. I don't understand it but I know I want it. I know that I want you too."

Cooper nodded. "Thank you, kitten." He gave her a sexy smile, glanced down at his fingers and watched as they disappeared back inside her. Comforting warmth surrounded his digits and the strangest thought entered his head, he found himself wondering if this was how a baby felt nestled in its mother's womb.

They had vowed to protect her, but Cooper had a funny feeling that they had it all wrong. Feeling the way her body accepted his fingers and the peace that filled him with the connection, he knew that it was going to be she that protected them. With her heart and her body, she would welcome them home to the only safe place that truly existed. His blue eyes burned with desire as he lowered his mouth to her ear and growled, "Stay wet for me, kitten. I intend to have your apology for dessert."

Tabby's knees almost buckled when he removed his fingers from her pussy and pushed them into her mouth coating her tongue in her own musky flavor. He removed his fingers and sucked them into his own mouth, shooting Marcus a devilish smile.

"How do you keep your mouth off of her, brother? She tastes like honeyed wine."

"Wait until your face is buried in her cunt. You'll think you've died and gone to heaven." Marcus gave him a wink and nodded to the floor.

"Fuck breakfast!" Cooper growled and dropped to his knees.

Tabby found herself simultaneously lifted up against Marcus' chest and Cooper's arms hooked behind her knees, hoisting her legs up to rest on his shoulders. When his hot mouth fell upon her spread pussy, Tabby groaned and pushed her back against Marcus' for leverage, grinding her pussy against his mouth, while his tongue speared between her folds, licking a path from her opening to her clit and back again.

"Jesus, I'm getting drunk on the taste of her!" he moaned and sucked at the flesh hiding her clit so that his tongue could delve beneath it and flick the sensitive bundle of nerves.

"Holy shit!" Tabby screamed as she felt the scrape of teeth against her clit, setting off a firestorm racing into her belly.

"Be warned, brother," Marcus warned. "She gushes like Old Faithful."

Cooper raised his eyebrows in astonishment. "Seriously?"

"Fuck yeah. I made her squirt so hard that she soaked the bed."

"You get to have all the fun!" Cooper grumbled good-naturedly.

Marcus laughed. "Well, I'd hate for you to ruin your pretty shirt."

Cooper slid two fingers into Tabby's dripping opening and gave Marcus a wicked grin. "Fuck the shirt. I'll borrow one of yours."

CHAPTER 64

The minute Cooper's fingers hammered into her, striking her g-spot with every pass, Tabby unraveled and lost her grip on reality. With his mouth sucking hard on her clit and his fingers attacking her g-spot from within, Tabby didn't stand a chance of resisting when the urge to pee hit her again. She squirmed in Marcus' grip, crying out and gasping for breath.

"Trust us, angel. Let go," he crooned to her, sensing her panic.

The pressure became too much for Tabby and her lower body bucked up hard against Cooper's mouth. That was all the warning he got to back away before the intense orgasm hit Tabby and liquid sprayed out of her, splattering Cooper's black muscle shirt with damp spots.

"That is absofuckinglutely amazing!"

"Isn't it?" Marcus chuckled, his eyes twinkling with amusement and desire. "Taste her again, Coop. She tastes completely different after she cums."

"No, no, no," Tabby whimpered, still coming down from the explosive rush of her climax. Her nether region tingled with oversensitivity and the thought of Cooper's tongue touching her again... "Oh...fuck!" she mewled, her legs quivering like jelly as Cooper took a torturously slow lick of her inner core and starbursts erupted in front of her eyes. "Please...Cooper...no more!" she wailed as he swirled his tongue around her opening.

"Easy, angel," Marcus' deep rumble soothed her. His arms became steel bands, cinched around her waist to keep her from writhing out of his grip. "Baby, stop wiggling or I'm gonna drop you."

Tabby slammed the back of her head into his chest. "Make him stop, please! I can't," she gasped and her muscles tightened, but Cooper kept leisurely licking her as if he hadn't heard her plea. Tabby was insensate with arousal, with Marcus binding her arms in his vice-like hold and Cooper's hand clamped around her legs; they had her trapped between them and she could do nothing to evade the influx of sensations washing over her.

Her sensitivity heightened to the point where she thought she could feel each individual taste bud on his tongue as it slid through her folds, driving her to the point of insanity. Body quivering, tense, and panting so hard that she was on the verge of hyperventilating, Tabby finally gave up fighting the waves of desire pounding at her defenses, and opened the floodgates, submitting to the storm of pleasure.

Sensing her surrender, Cooper blew lightly on her clit and the sudden change in temperature had Tabby exploding like a roman candle. Multiple orgasms rolled one into another as she soared into the stratosphere. Unaware of the tears streaming down her cheeks and with her voice hoarse from screaming out her pleasure, Tabby's body went limp in Marcus' arms and he quickly carried her into the living room and laid her on the sofa.

"Angel."

"C'mon, kitten."

Hands stroked her face while a damp cloth wiped between her legs. She heard their voices calling her back to them but she was too relaxed and exhausted to do more than mumble and turn into the strong arms caressing her.

"Open those gorgeous eyes, beautiful," Marcus teased her, tickling her gently under her chin until she obeyed. Opening her eyes, she found Marcus and Cooper grinning at her like a pair of happy boys on Christmas morning.

Cooper licked his lips. "You were right, brother. She does taste even better after she cums."

Marcus laughed, loving the bright red spots of colour that lit up on Tabby's embarrassed cheeks. "Told you!"

"We'll have to make sure she cums...A LOT because I think I'm going to get addicted to the taste of our girl's pussy."

Tabby groaned and tried to hide her face, but Cooper caught her hands and gave her a squeeze. He leaned down and claimed her mouth, filling her with a mixture of her own taste and his. "You were magnificent, kitten. Absolutely amazing," he murmured in appreciation.

"Oh my god!" Tabby shot upright, nearly colliding heads with Cooper. "The bacon! I totally forgot about the bacon in the oven!" She scrambled to get off the sofa, but Marcus caught her and held her down.

"Calm down, angel! Cooper took care of it while you were floating in sub space."

"I'm afraid I might have been a little late. It's a little...well-done," Cooper mumbled apologetically to Tabby.

"Ash?" Marcus asked, stifling a laugh at the dejected expression on his angel's face.

Cooper nodded sadly. "Yup. Pretty much. Sorry, kitten. It's a crime against bacony goodness, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat."

Tabby sighed and shook her head. "Scratch the bacon then. I can't believe I forgot about it."

"Um, seeing as I was doing my best to distract you, I suppose you could be forgiven this time, kitten." Cooper winked at her.

Tabby gave both men an exasperated glare. "You two are incorrigible, you know that."

"Fuck Marcus, she's using big words. I think we might have just been insulted, but my dick is still saying Yee-Haw!" Cooper whispered sotto voce to Marcus.

Tabby sat up and elbowed her way passed their big bodies. "Men!" she huffed, standing on wobbly legs and almost losing her balance.

"Whoa there, angel!" Marcus' big hands grabbed her by her hips before she could topple back onto the sofa. "Got your balance yet?"

"I'll be fine once I figure out where my bones went," she giggled.

Cooper leaned back into the sofa cushions, looking smug and blowing on his fingernails. "Yup...I'm just that good."

Marcus slugged him on the arm. "Shut up, asshole."

Tabby snorted and took a tentative step away from the ridiculous pair behind her. Once she was assured that her knees where going to keep her upright, she slowly made her way back to the kitchen, haughtily ignoring the low whistle that followed her retreating, bare ass.

"Holy fuck, that is a beautiful sight, isn't it?" Cooper's awestruck voice chased after her.

"The best. And do you know what makes it even better, brother?"

"There's something better than that perfectly round, begging-to-be-fucked, little ass? Fucking doubt it," Cooper snorted skeptically.

"You're missing the best part, you idiot."

Tabby was pretending to ignore their exchange but the dark current of possessiveness that ran under Marcus' words had her full attention focused on what he was going to say next.

"Enlighten me, then."

"That magnificent, soon-to-be-fucked, little ass and the amazing woman attached to it..." he trailed off, pausing for effect. "Is. All. Ours."

Cooper's rushed intake of breath sent a shiver down Tabby's back.

"Fucking right, she is," Cooper fervently agreed. "Marcus?"

"What, buddy?"

"We can't fuck this up. I think that this is it, man. She is it. The one... the one we've been looking for...isn't she?" The wonder and uncertainty in his voice, almost made him sound like a little boy, but the intent behind his words was pure alpha male.

She heard them stand and footsteps approached her from behind. Marcus' strong arms caught her and wrapped around her waist, halting her mid-stride. The cool skin of her bare back met the smooth, heated plains of his stomach and the difference in temperature gave her a shock. When his lips found the hollow of her shoulder, that shock turned into a live wire, shooting jolts of desire into her nerves as he kissed his way up her neck until he found her parted lips.

"Yes she is," he growled and turned her to face him. "And we are never letting her go, are we, brother?" He was speaking to Cooper, but his laser bright eyes never left hers, holding her in thrall to his dominance.

Cooper appeared beside Marcus and took his turn in claiming her mouth, kissing her deeply. "Not a fucking chance," he breathed the vow into her open mouth before sealing his lips on hers again and kissing her roughly. When he was done, he tilted her breathless face up with a hooked finger under her chin. She gawked between both men, each focused exclusively on her, feeling the bond's vibration surge with vital energy between them.

"From this moment on, kitten, you belong to us. Understand?" All the playfulness left Cooper's face and a greedy possessiveness simmered in its place. Tabby felt the impact of that intense desire and dampness pooled between her quivering legs as arousal spread its liquid warmth through her belly.

"Yes," she whispered, unable to form any other words. At her answer, electricity seemed to arc along the invisible bond, flowing from both men into Tabby and pulling her soul closer to them; her simple word of acceptance somehow binding her to them.

Cooper's face brightened and his boyish charm returned. He gave her a cocky grin and a light smack on her bruised ass. "Awesome, now go make us some food woman! Your men are starving!" He and Marcus both tried to keep a straight face but only managed it for a second before breaking out into belly laughs.

She let them wheeze on Cooper's joke, slapping her hands to her hips and feigning an indignant glare, but inside, she was shaking with amusement. She was attracted to their dominant sides but loved the silly, playful boys that hid inside those tough outer shells. As they laughed, she wondered how many people were lucky enough to see this side of them and suddenly pitied those people for what they were missing.

"Funny," she grumped, fixing Cooper with the stink-eye. "And the operative word would be?"

He bent and gave her an elegant bow. "Please, m'lady."

She laughed and spun on her heel, taking two steps before casting a sultry, speculative look over her shoulder that instantly silenced the men. "If I'm yours...then you do realize that means, you two idiots are both mine," she added with a happy purr and a sultry wink, leaving them with jaws agape.

CHAPTER 65

The first thing she did when Tabby returned to the kitchen, was dump out Marcus' cold coffee and grabbing a second cup, poured two, steaming cups of fresh coffee. She returned to the living room and handed each man a cup. "Here, work on these. Lunch will be about half an hour, okay?"

"That's fine. I think we'll go drink them on the deck and leave you in peace, angel."

Tabby nodded and went to leave when both men called out to her simultaneously.

"Kitten?"

"Angel?"

She turned to see them glaring at one another with odd expressions on their faces, reminding her of an old married couple that were suddenly annoyed with one another for finishing each other's sentences.

"Yes, boys?" she replied, stifling the urge to laugh at them.

"You tell her," Cooper mumbled, elbowing Marcus in the ribs and making Tabby smile.

Marcus cast an irritated glare at Cooper before turning his attention back to Tabby. "Thanks," Marcus said quickly to her. "From both of us, angel."

Tabby cocked her head in confusion. "For what?"

"Everything," both men blurted. Each of them wore a similar expression that seemed to be a potent mixture of awe, sincerity and raw need that struck Tabby with a lightning bolt of emotion, immediately warming her from the inside out. She smiled back at them and nodded simply before reentering the kitchen.

With Cooper and Marcus out of her way, Tabby quickly finished her hastily abandoned preparations, getting the frittata into the oven and the home fried potatoes chopped and sizzling in some bacon grease on the stove. While they were cooking, she threw some spices into the raw, ground pork and shaped them into patties. Heating another frying pan, she cooked the homemade sausage patties and arranged them on a large serving platter that she had found in one of Marcus' cupboards. Looking at the charred remains of the bacon, she took a small bite and decided that not all was lost after all. She crumbled the strips and set bacon bits aside to sprinkle on top of the frittata.

Outside, Marcus made sure that he closed the patio door behind him and walked to the rail of the deck where Cooper waiting, sipping at his cup of coffee.

"So...what was with the look you had when you arrived? What's happened?" Marcus questioned him, knowing that something had been bothering Cooper earlier.

Cooper sighed heavily, a dark shroud dimming the pleasure in his eyes and making tense lines groove his forehead.

"Work shit." He took a long sip of his coffee. "We found another body this morning."

"Shit!" Marcus swore, shaking his head. "The same guy?"

Cooper nodded and sat down in one of the lounge chairs. "Yeah, probably. This girl didn't take as bad a beating as the last one but...fuck! Two in as many days? He's escalating. This time, the bastard savagely raped her and then left her with her throat slashed."

"Was she a working girl like the others?"

Cooper tilted his head back and pinched the bridge of his nose in hopes of dulling the ache in his skull. "Yeah. So far, there are no witnesses or fingerprints to give us a clue as to whom this psycho is. Jaz is out canvassing the area where the girl worked, but nobody saw a thing. Fuck, Marcus, we need to catch break on this one before there's another one." He looked wistfully through the patio door, where he could see into the kitchen. A soft smile melted some of the horror and strain from his face as he watched Tabby cooking.

"She helped me forget for a while, Marcus. I want to lose myself in her and I barely know her." He turned questioning eyes to his friend. "How did that happen so quickly? She's...she's...fuck! I don't know!"

"She's ours," Marcus stated simply. "There's no rhyme or reason to it, brother. I felt it the moment I laid eyes on her and the force of it keeps throwing me for a loop. The minute I saw her, something inside me instantly recognized that she was the piece to a puzzle that I never knew was missing."

Cooper nodded his head excitedly. "That's exactly it. I thought I had a good life: friends, lovers, money. Overall, I thought that I was a lucky bastard. That was until Tabitha. She cast her brilliant light into my life, and suddenly everything that existed before her paled and I could see all the holes, patched over with duct tape, but there nonetheless. When my mouth was on her, I would have killed to stay right where I was, because for a shining, beautiful moment, all those holes had disappeared, all the horror of the murders was gone and everything was whole again."

Marcus turned and leaned on the railing, looking into the yard but not seeing the landscaping. All he could see was Tabby and he knew exactly what Cooper was trying to say.

"I've turned this over so many times in my head, questioning, analyzing and I still don't understand it, Coop. I have never, ever felt this strong a pull to a woman before." He shot a look over his arm to Cooper. "If anyone threatened Tabby, fuck, I'd kill them without blinking an eye."

"And I'd be right there to help you bury the body. She's ours and we will protect what belong to us."

"Did you bring the collar?" Marcus asked.

"Yeah. I stopped at the club and got it out of your desk. Are you going to give it to her today?"

"We are going to, after lunch. We need to get our collar around her neck so that everyone knows to keep their paws off her."

"Okay. I'll follow your lead on this. When are you going to start formally training her?"

Marcus turned so that he could watch Tabby's lithe form in the kitchen. He wished she'd taken that apron off so that he could see more of her but understood the necessity for the garment. "We'll start now. When we go in to eat, keep her in the kitchen, while I get things arranged at the table, okay?"

Cooper stood and leaned his hips against the railing so that he could enjoy the view inside. "You got it. I'm curious to see how she's going to take to the training."

"She's going to be beautiful, brother. Her submissiveness shows up unexpectedly, knocking the wind out of me every fucking time. Sometimes she does things or says things that would make you swear that she's had training, but I know that she hasn't. It all natural with her and it's like a breath of fresh air to experience it. She may even have a masochistic streak in her that was a fucking surprise to discover."
"Sweet baby Jesus," Cooper breathed. "Can you imagine doing a scene with her at the club? My dick's aching with the thought of fucking her in front of a crowd."

"She will bring them to their knees and make us the envy of every Dom there. My dick's hard with the thought of fucking her period, all the fucking time. She's like a drug that I can't get enough of," Marcus growled. Lust was pulsing through his veins, burning like lava as he felt himself harden uncomfortably. Every time his thoughts strayed to his angel, his beast muscled in to take over the reins.

~~~~~~~~~~

The ding of the oven timer announced that the final piece to their meal was ready to come out of the oven. Tabby pulled the frittata out of the oven and began placing the food on the table in the dining room. When everything was dished and ready for serving, she walked over to the patio and poked her head through the door.

"You boys hungry?" she grinned at them and they both nodded enthusiastically.

Marcus strode to her first, opening the door and picking her up so that he didn't need to bend to kiss her. Cooper followed and Marcus transferred her into his friend's waiting arms. Tabby found herself kissed again before he gently placed her back on her feet.

"Come in the kitchen with me, kitten," he said as he lifted her hand and led her back into the kitchen. Marcus slipped out behind them and headed down the hall to the black door at the end of the corridor. He quickly unlocked the door and pushed through. Automatic lights flicked on illuminating his playroom with low light and he headed for a closet that held the item that he was looking for. Finding what he needed, Marcus exited the room, but not before indulging in a quick, glance around at the equipment spread around the room and imagining Tabby's naked, sexy body attached and displayed on each piece. His heart hammered in his chest as blood rushed into his cock and Marcus had to force himself to close the door and lock the daydream behind it.

He'd be making that dream a reality soon enough and then he'd have the memory of Tabby's cries of ecstasy to keep him company when she wasn't with him. That thought made a cramp clench his chest into a tight knot. She'd be going home later today and he was already dreading the thought of being without her.

His mind was racing miles ahead and he had to stop the runaway train of his hopes before they derailed his future. It was too soon to be planning her relocation to his home, even if every fiber in his body craved that very thing.

Careful, he warned himself. You need to be fucking careful. Push her too fast, too soon and you'll both lose her.

Cooper would kill him if he screwed this up for them, of that he had no doubt, so Marcus had to stuff his beast back into his cage and put the brakes on his obsessive need to keep her with him.

CHAPTER 66

"First thing, kitten," Cooper said as they reentered the kitchen. He undid the knot the held her apron ties together and slipped it over her head. "This has to go." He tossed the apron on the island then bent down and sucked one of her perfect, pink nipples into his mouth, teasing it with the tip of his tongue. Tabby's arms came up and she wrapped them over his shoulders, holding onto him for support as her legs wobbled with the pleasure his mouth was producing.

He sucked the nipple hard and pulled away, letting it slip from between his lips with a wet pop. Tabby moaned close to his ear and his cock throbbed in response. His dick would have to wait until after they ate. He had promised her that he'd have her luscious pussy for dessert and he intended to make good on that promise.

"Cooper," she whispered, urging him for more.

He transferred to her other breast, playing with her nipple until it perked up and grew stiff between his lips. Marcus mentioned that she might have a little masochist in her and Cooper decided to test that theory. While he massaged her other breast with his hand, Cooper let his teeth close on her hardened nipple, pinching it between his jaws until she hissed and jerked against him.

"Did that hurt, kitten?" he asked quietly, releasing her nipple.

"Yes...no...I...I'm not sure. It did at first but then it...didn't." she babbled, trying to sort out the confusion of sensations.

"Shall we try again and see if that helps you figure it out?" he offered with a wicked smirk, not waiting for her answer before sucking the dusky, pink nub back between his teeth. This time he bit down with his lips shielding the rough edges of his teeth so that he could exert more pressure without risking breaking the tender skin, essentially turning his jaws into natural nipple clamps. He shifted his lower jaw, rolling her nipple while increasing the pressure, listening to her breath as it hitched on whimpers that turned into sighs. He wanted to smile. She wasn't pushing him away and the tiny moans he was hearing told him that she was getting off on the pleasure-pain that he was applying. He confirmed his suspicion with a casual touch between her legs, where he found her hot and wet with arousal.

He released the pressure on her nipple and she gasped as the blood rushed back into it, making it tingle with pins and needles that seemed to prickle her clit more than they did her nipple. She shuddered in Cooper's arms and he caught her eyes flicking down to his groin, where the outline of his erection was hard to miss. He took one of her hands and pressed her palm over his shaft, rubbing it along the hard length.

"Do you want this, kitten?" he murmured, the low rumble of his sexy voice sliding over her naked skin as if he were physically caressing her.

She gave him a light squeeze, letting her fingers explore, gauging his thickness and size. To her surprise, she found that Cooper's cock was comparable in size to Marcus', and she had a vivid memory of how that one had felt when he had filled her, making her palm tremble against Cooper. He felt the quiver and his hand gripped hers, curling her fingers around the bulge under his denim.

"This is for you, princess. I can't wait to be inside you. To hear the sounds you make as my cock stretches that little pussy," he groaned, kissing her hard and grinding his denim-clad erection into her palm.

Sounds from the dining room distracted Tabby and she nervously shifted to be able to look over her shoulder towards the unexpected noise. Cooper wasn't having any of that and gave her a quick swat on her ass, making her yelp with surprise. "Eyes on me, kitten," he demanded and he almost came from the way her eyes widened and her pupils dilated. His command had startled her at first, but a rush of arousal had quickly followed the shock as her brain absorbed the impact of him dominating her.

"Look how flushed your pretty cheeks are. You never answered my question, kitten." He squeezed her hand around his cock, making sure she could feel the throbbing pulse through the denim of his jeans. "Do you want this, baby?"

"Oh god...yes, Cooper. I do," she replied, tightening her grip of her own volition and sucking in her breath as his cock jumped in response to the pressure.

"You're going to get your wish, sweetness," he said, noticing Marcus standing in the doorway watching them with dark eyes full of lust. Cooper lowered his mouth to Tabby's ear and murmured, "But you're going to have to wait until dessert, kitten."

She almost whined in desperation. Cooper had aroused her to the point of wanting to beg for relief from the burning desire smoldering like hot coals in her belly.

He chuckled and gave her a soft kiss on her forehead. "Patience, little one. A little frustration will only make the gratification sweeter."

Marcus strode over to the island and stood beside Cooper, an unreadable expression on his face. "Ready?" He directed the question to Cooper, who nodded in reply. Then he turned his attention onto the glowing face of his angel. The colour in her cheeks and the sweet scent of her arousal made her even more beautiful in his eyes and Marcus had to steel himself against the draw of the pheromones her body was pumping into the air. From the pocket of his jeans, he pulled a black, silk scarf and dangled it in front of Tabby's curious eyes.

"Are you ready, angel?" he asked, watching her stare hypnotically at the scarf and lick her lips in nervous anticipation.

"What...what's that for, Sir?" she hesitantly asked.

"Sensory deprivation allows your other senses to heighten. In this case, I'm going to blindfold you to help you develop a sense of trust. Without your sight, you will have to trust myself and Cooper to keep you safe, while giving your other senses a chance to extend to make up for your lack of visual input. In other words, we will be in control, angel and your job is to obey us. Do you think that you can you do that, angel?"

Tabby gazed at the blindfold, at Marcus' stern face and Cooper's hopeful one. Her brain was cautious, the what-ifs and doubts rolling through her mind like rocks in a tumbler, but her body was on a different track altogether. At the thought of being helpless and at their mercy, her pussy dripped and clenched, her nipples hardened and her skin prickled all over. She felt flushed, a fever of lust heating one area of her body then jumping to another so that she couldn't anticipate where the next jolt would come from. She was scared and excited all at the same time.

Trust.

Could she trust these two huge men? The answer was immediate and unequivocal.

Yes.

Tabby knew without a doubt that neither would intentionally cause her harm and that she already trusted both with her heart and soul, it wasn't too hard to extend that to trusting them with her body as well.

She gave them a nod. "Yes, Sir. I trust you both."

Cooper smiled and Marcus replied, "Good girl, angel." He folded the scarf diagonally, and then folded it twice more, making it into a neat band. With a gentle hand on her shoulder, he turned her around to face Cooper.

As the cool silk slid over her eyes, Cooper traced her bottom lip with his index finger. "And the adventure begins. See you on the flip side, kitten."

The light disappeared as the silk swallowed her vision. A momentary flash of panic struck Tabby as her world went black and she was alone in the darkness, but two large, warm hands picked both of hers up and their comforting touches helped to calm her fears.

"Give me a colour, angel?" Marcus requested.

"Colour, Sir?" Other than using Red as a safe word, Tabby couldn't recall Marcus mentioning any other colours. "I...I don't want to stop, if that's what you mean, Sir."

"Oh! My mistake, angel. I've forgotten that I hadn't completely explained the three-tiered colour system to you. You already know that Red means an immediate halt to all activities, correct?"

"Yes, Sir. You've explained that one to me already."

"In addition to Red, we also use Green and Yellow - like a stoplight system - to gauge a sub's mental and physical state during play. Green is self-explanatory - it means you are good to go and play may proceed. You use Yellow when you are reaching your limit - either mentally or physically - or there is another issue causing you distress and you need to call a temporary halt to bring it to your Dom's attention."

"Consider Yellow a pause button, a good Dom will stop and discuss what is concerning you. He will consider the issue, then either correct the problem, adjust his approach or proceed as before, but it is up to him to decide which to do. A wise Dom will listen and make the proper decision that is best for his sub, but if he does not and the play gets to be too much, you should never hesitate to use Red to call a permanent stop. Does this make sense, angel?"

"Yes, Sir." She bobbed her head and her hands received two squeezes from her guardians.

"Okay...now answer my question properly, little one. Give me a colour," Marcus asked.

Tabby didn't hesitate. "Green, Sir!" she replied.

"Good girl," Cooper said proudly.

"Then let's go eat before the food gets cold."

CHAPTER 67

At first, Tabby stepped hesitantly, disorientation due to her lack of sight making her nervous and afraid. They moved slowly, leading her gently and encouraging her to take steps with more confidence.

"Trust us, angel," Marcus whispered. "Give yourself over to us and let us prove that we will not let any harm come to you."

Tabby listened to his soothing voice, letting Marcus help her to sort out the noise of emotions cluttering her mind. A host of opposing emotions swirled and collided in her head, filling her with a giddy, nervous anticipation and bubbling arousal; her brain instinctively sided with fear, brought on by her lack of sight, while the sense of vulnerability at the hands of the two big men, triggered an arousal that was almost overwhelming for Tabby to bear.

"You can do this, kitten," Cooper murmured, sliding his hand to rest on her lower back. "One step in front of the other brings us all closer together."

They seemed to walk a lot further than the short distance between the kitchen and dining room and Tabby realised that they must have been guiding her in a loop. No harm had come to her. They were keeping her safe just as they promised. With one on either side of her, their big bodies prevented her from knocking into unseen obstacles and she slowly relaxed, trusting them to guide her wherever they needed her to go.

They stopped and two sets of lips kissed her on either cheek. "Good girl," they said in unison and Tabby glowed with their praise. Marcus' hand settled on the small of her back and gave her a small, encouraging push to move forward.

"Right in front of you, there is a cushion on the floor. Take one step up and stand in the center, angel."

Soft velvet tickled the sole of her foot as she did as he instructed. Once her weight settled on the thick, spongy cushion, she brought her other foot up and placed it next to the first. Two hands dropped onto her shoulders and gently pushed her down until she was kneeling on the cushion.

"You may sit cross-legged, angel. I don't want you kneeling and uncomfortable," Marcus said and Tabby readjusted her position so that her bare bum sunk into the plush cushion.

Their hands left her and she heard the scrape of chair legs sliding on the hardwood floor, followed by the creak of their wood frames as heavy weight settled into them. While Tabby sat silently on the cushion, the men talked quietly amongst themselves, their voices blending in with the clink of utensils on china plates, creating a comforting atmosphere of normality. Despite being blindfolded and naked, Tabby felt oddly at ease and let her mind drift.

They talked about the club, the celebration the night before and other mundane things that Tabby only half heard. Her body was abuzz with sexual tension and more than a little frustration at not being included in the meal as well. She was bloody starving and her stomach grumbled, making her wish that she'd had the sense to sneak a few bites of food before calling the men in to eat.

A soft tap on her cheek alerted her to the presence of someone's hand close to her face. "Open your mouth for me, angel." Marcus stroked her cheek again guiding her to turn her head towards him. As soon as she opened her mouth, she felt his thumb brush past her bottom lip with a piece of potato pinched between it and his forefinger. He placed the small piece of food on her tongue and she closed her lips around his fingers, sucking them as he withdrew.

Grateful for the food, Tabby chewed happily and paid closer attention, hoping that more would follow. She wasn't disappointed. As the men continued their conversation above her, another tap on her other cheek had her turning towards it. Cooper stroked her bottom lip and she opened without being told, receiving a piece of frittata as her reward. She went back and forth between the two men, slowly being handfed tidbits of food until she heard their satisfied groans and the sound of silverware dropping onto empty plates indicating that the meal had ended.

She hadn't received a lot to eat, but it was enough to take the edge off her hunger. Marcus and Cooper were silent beside her, the only thing she could hear was the sound of their breathing and her anxiety began to spike.

What was going to happen next?

Even with her enforced blindness, she knew, with a certainty, that both men were staring at her. Her skin tingled with static electricity, goosebumps erupting on the surface where their eyes left hot trails of lust as they travelled all over her body.

The chair on her left suddenly pulled back, startling her and she jumped as Marcus stood up. Cooper followed and without uttering a sound, both men began clearing the table, leaving Tabby to stew in her worries, alone on her cushion.

She heard their low voices in the kitchen and strained to make out what they were saying, but to no avail. They were speaking too quietly for more than just the sound of their voices to reach her ears. The next few minutes ticked by with excruciating slowness as Tabby's imagination and anxieties began to get the best of her.

By the time a big hand wrapped around hers and helped to her feet, Tabby was vibrating with nervous energy. Cooper's warm, coffee scented breath ghosted over her face as he kissed her forehead and guided her off her cushion.

"What..." her voice trembled as she tried to ask what was happening.

"Shhh, angel." Marcus was standing right behind her and slid his palms down her quivering back to reassure her. "This is an exercise in trust, remember?"

Tabby's stomach clenched and she bowed her head in shame, afraid that she'd disappointed them already by letting her fears get the better of her. "Yes, Sir. Sorry, Sir."

"Kneel, kitten," Cooper commanded. His grip on her hand steadied her as she sunk to floor as gracefully as she could, hearing a chair creak directly in front of her as he sat down at the same time. Her knees met the hardwood this time, her comfortable cushion had disappeared and she had to shift to find a position that alleviated some of the pressure on her knees. "Marcus has claimed you as his sub and now it is my turn, little one. Do you wish to serve me as well, Tabitha?"

"Yes, Cooper." The use of her full name, spoke of the gravity of his question.

"Show me, kitten." He guided her hand to his fly, pressing her palm over his erection leaving no doubt what it was that he desired from her. "Show me how much you wish to serve me."

Tabby's nerves burst into a frenzy of activity and she fought the dizzying flight of butterflies that erupted in her stomach as she awkwardly pulled his zipper down, opening his jeans. Spreading the two halves of his pants open, she gasped in surprise when her fingertips grazed over the hot, silky length of his erection, pulsing like a sunbaked snake under her touch.

Without her sight, all that she had to rely on was her sense of touch as she tried to ease his stiff shaft out from the denim, but he was trapped below the level of the opening and Tabby became frustrated as she tried to figure out how to free him without hurting him.

How was she supposed to do this when she couldn't bloody well see what she was doing?

"Don't be afraid to ask for assistance, Tabitha. Here, let me help you, kitten," he murmured and she felt his pelvis lift allowing her to be able tug his jeans off his hips and down his legs. Cooper then brought her hands up to his cock and curled her fingers around the hard shaft.

"One day, you'll have to do all that with just your mouth, sweetness, because your hands will be bound behind your back." His voice was a silky, dangerous purr, coiling through her core and igniting sharp bursts of desire as it went. His hand squeezed around hers, moving his shaft closer to her.
"Kiss my cock, kitten and then put it in your mouth and suck until I tell you to stop."

CHAPTER 68

She lowered her head carefully until her lips met moist, silky flesh and she placed a soft kiss on its surface. Cooper made an inarticulate sound, his cock bucked violently in her hand. Tabby couldn't stop the proud smile from teasing at her lips at his reaction.

"Your tongue, kitten. Lick me," he growled urgently, winding one hand into her hair and sliding the other to the back of her neck and gripping her firmly. With his fingertips pressing into the soft flesh of her neck, he guided her head down until her nose bumped the throbbing shaft of his cock.

Tabby flattened her tongue to the base of his shaft and slowly dragged it up, swirling it around the mushroom shaped crown, tasting salty droplets of liquid that seeped out as she licked. Her anxieties slowly evaporated as she lost herself in the act of pleasuring him, concentrating on learning the shape and feel of his manhood by touch alone and committing it to memory.

So close to him, Tabby's senses filled with his scent, the intoxicating smell of clean male overlaid and intertwined with the unique scent of sex that made Tabby's insides quiver as it enticed her further into the grips of her own blossoming need. The fledgling bond that had slowly been developing between them now pulsed with a vibrant energy, gaining in strength as their connection asserted itself. She could feel its energy lighting up her synapses, warming her from the inside out and she released a happy hum as she took him into her mouth and teased him with her tongue.

"Fuuuck, kitten," Cooper slurred lazily, squeezing the back of her neck. "Your mouth is fucking heaven and hell combined. You're killing me with every swipe of your tongue and fuck me if I'm not happy to die right here and now with your luscious lips around my cock."

His fingers wove tighter into her curls and he tugged on a fistful. The sharp sting in her scalp raced like arrows made from pure pleasure straight into her pussy and she moaned around his shaft, relaxing her throat as the sultry sound escaped. He took advantage and slid his cock in further until her gag reflex kicked in. He held himself there for a few seconds, for purely selfish reasons. The spasms from her throat muscles squeezed and massaged his cock adding a new level of sensation to the experience, but Cooper was no sadist and reluctantly pulled back enough so that she could recover and take a deep breath.

He caressed the side of her cheek as she took him into her mouth again. "That will come with practice, kitten. You'll see...you'll be deep throating our cocks like a champ in no time because, lovey, you are going to be getting a lot of practice."

Tabby heard his voice, but only the sound made it past the buzzing desire clouding her brain. The blindfold made it so easy to block out the real world and surrender to the darkness and the allure of the sensations coursing through her body, that she didn't even register the meaning of his words. The sensuous feel of him in her mouth and the irresistible need burning in her own core had her completely and utterly consumed. He could have threatened to murder her and Tabby would have just smiled blissfully and kept on sucking.

Cooper may have been slightly smaller in girth than Marcus, but he made up for it in length and Tabby struggled to accommodate his presence in her mouth. Each time he slid forward, he easily reached the back of her mouth and pushed at the tight muscles of her throat. The weight of his cock pressed down on the back of her tongue and her gag reflex would kick in.

"Easy, kitten. You need to relax and fight the urge to gag, love," his soothing voice would encourage her and he'd slide back in slowly, allowing her to practice relaxing her throat muscles. He chuckled, looking down at her to see wet trails of tears escaping from under her blindfold and high spots of colour staining her cheeks. She was beautiful.

"I'll bet homework was never this much fun, was it angel?" Marcus laughed and caressed her ass.

Cooper's hot shaft was back in her mouth, their voices faded into the background, and she concentrated on controlling her gag reflex while still trying to make the experience enjoyable for Cooper.

She needn't have worried, Cooper was in heaven and complaints on her performance where the furthest things from his mind. In fact, he honestly thought that he had never had a better blowjob in his life. Who knew training a new submissive could be so wonderful? Every time he withdrew from her hot, wet, little mouth, he felt a magnetic pull to sink back inside; the electric sensations that were jolting up his shaft were quickly becoming a raging addiction that Cooper was more than happy to continue feeding.

Goddamn, he thought, as Tabby took him into her mouth almost to the root. She was getting better and better at swallowing his cock and this time he was sure that he felt the head push into the tightness of her throat. Tabby was a fucking gift from God. If her mouth felt this good, Cooper shuddered to think how sweet her pussy was going to feel wrapped around his dick.

Pleasuring Cooper kept her mind focused solely on him until one sound, sliced through the fog and riveted her attention: the metallic slither of a zipper opening. Seconds later, the deep, sexy rumble of Marcus' groan followed the sound from somewhere behind her. She startled, instinctively wanting to turn toward the sound, even though she was unable to see. She could hear his breath catching in his throat, making him sound like he was growling and the animalistic sounds made moisture drip from her slit.

Curiosity and desire distracted her, she ached to see if he was doing what her vivid imagination suspected, but the blindfold and Cooper's hold on her hair prevented her from satisfying that curiosity.

He was touching himself! Oh my god, she thought. He's watching me suck Cooper's cock and he's stroking himself. Holy fuck that's hot!

Tabby wished she could see him, something about the idea of watching him pleasure himself while she gave Cooper a blowjob suddenly really turned her on.

Cooper noticed Tabby's attempt to turn towards the unexpected sound behind her, and he made a sound that resembled a chuckle blended with groan. "My, my, aren't you the curious little kitten? Did you want to know what Marcus was doing, sweetheart? Keep that dick in your sweet mouth like a good girl and maybe I'll satisfy that curiosity."

Tabby sucked him into her mouth and teased the underside with her tongue, eliciting a low curse from Cooper. "The sight of you on your knees, kitten, with my cock in your mouth is driving him crazy. He was so hard that he had to get his own dick out before he blew in his pants. Now he's stroking that monster cock of his while he watches you suck me."

Cooper winked at Marcus before thrusting into Tabby's mouth. "Enjoying the view, brother?"

"Mmmm...absolutely. I've got the perfect view of our angel's wet pussy and fuck if I don't want to sink into that beautiful pink flower again," Marcus groaned.

"That sounds like a marvelous idea, brother!" Cooper sat up and pulled his cock away from Tabby's open lips. "On your feet, kitten," he said and helped her to stand. The next thing she knew, he spun her around and Cooper's hand landed on the back of her neck. He guided her to take two steps then pushed down so that she had no choice but to bend over. He lowered her until she felt the spongy, slick head of a cock bump against her lips.

Another set of hands landed on her head and Marcus's scent filled her nostrils. "Open for me, angel," he said roughly and pushed into her mouth without waiting for her to comply.

Cooper kept his hand on the back of her neck while using the other to check her readiness. "Holy Christ on a bike, she's sopping wet!" he whistled in appreciation.

"What are you waiting for then, brother? Take her. I'll keep her mouth busy for you," Marcus replied, thrusting his erection into her mouth, making Tabby's jaws ache from having to be open so wide.

The thick head of Cooper's shaft rubbed up and down her slit, spreading her juices and coating him in the slippery fluid. He used just enough pressure to drive Tabby wild with the overwhelming need to feel that pressure fill her from the inside. Her pussy literally ached for it. She made a pleading sound around Marcus' cock and thrust her ass invitingly in Cooper's direction, hoping that he'd get the hint and stop teasing her.

Marcus looked down at Tabby, her need evident from the tension in her facial muscles. "I think she wants you, brother."

Cooper groaned, mesmerized by the sight of his swollen cock gliding between her soft folds. The silky, heated feel of her flesh sliding over the head of his cock was the most excruciating form of torture Cooper could have concocted for himself. He'd hoped to be able to temper his ferocious need to get inside her by taking it slowly, but he was quickly realizing the futility of that idea.

The weight of eagerness, desperation and fragile hope, ever since Marcus had tempted him with the possibility of Tabby accepting him as their third, had built up inside him, turning him into a pressure cooker with a faulty release valve. Cooper thought that he was going to explode if he waited another second.

Tabby deserved better than the rough fucking that his body was demanding, especially so soon after losing her virginity. Tenderness may have been what she deserved, but Cooper knew that once his cock penetrated that delicious, wet heat, a ravaging was what she was going to get.

"Oh, kitten. You have no idea how badly I've wanted to do this, to spend my time making love to you. I'm sorry baby, but I don't know if I can be gentle...not this time. I just want you too much." Remorse dripped from his throaty moan as he tormented himself further by pressing against her entrance until just his tip pushed inside her.

The throaty moan that Tabby made as he penetrated her almost broke him and he shook with the effort it took to hold himself back. The animal inside him wanted to plunge in just to hear her make that sexy sound again, but he managed to hold back and forced himself to pull out instead. She was so small and fragile underneath of him that the fear of hurting her was all that was keeping him under control.

As soon as he slipped out of her, Tabby shuddered and release a plaintive whimper, pushing back to find a cock that was no longer there. He leaned over her and placed kisses along her spine, rubbing his erection in her slit but not trying to enter her again. He didn't trust himself after getting that little taste of her.

Tabby could sense his hesitation battling with his need, the tremors running through his strong body spoke volumes at the restraint he was exerting to stay in control. The low groans of discomfort that he made every time he touched her broke her heart and she just wished that he'd give in and take her properly.

He teased her again, pressing against her entrance and then changing his mind and easing back with another strangled moan jammed in his throat. Tabby couldn't stand hearing his pain another moment. She thought she understood what was holding him back and how to help him. Releasing Marcus' cock, she spoke softly, spreading her legs wider and raising her ass in a blatant invitation, offering herself to Cooper. "Do what you need to do, Sir. My body is for your pleasure."

Her words struck Cooper like a physical blow and he stumbled back a step in surprise, standing dumbstruck with his throbbing, aching cock in his hand.

How did she know how exactly what to say to him? Did she even realize what she was offering but speaking those words? Fuck!

Marcus had warned him that her natural submissiveness would surprise him, but Cooper hadn't been expecting the emotional, gut wrenching impact of it now that it had shown itself.

He had to give her one last chance to rescind her words before he lost control and claimed her. "Are you sure, kitten? Once I'm inside you, I won't be able to stop. I don't...fuck, I don't want to hurt you!" The primal need to claim her, strained his voice to the point where it broke with the emotion he was trying to hold back.

Goddamn it, he couldn't think straight! Her scent was driving him insane!

"I am, Cooper. Please don't worry. You aren't going to hurt me and I have my safe word if I need it. I can feel how badly you need this." She paused; listening to his harsh intakes of breath, his need for her was firing her arousal, burning her so hotly that it made her wanton.

"Please Sir, give me your passion. Use your cock, make me yours and seal our triad," she begged.

CHAPTER 69

Cooper's vision flashed red as hot, raw lust instantly boiled the blood in his veins. The cock in his hand scorched his palm and with a growl, he lunged for Tabitha. In a blink of an eye, Cooper was on her, thrusting his erection into her with a speed that rocketed her forward into Marcus' waiting arms. She cried out and stiffened as his manhood filled her in a single thrust that robbed her of breath and stopped time.

In the back of his addled brain, Cooper knew that he was acting crazy that the humane thing to do was to slow down and give her time to adjust to him. However, those concerns seemed as insubstantial as smoke in a gale-force wind, there for a second and then erased by something stronger and undeniable. She had opened the gate for his passion and the second the words had passed her lips, Cooper's control switch had flipped off.

His conscious mind was only dimly aware that he was no longer in control, smothered underneath the overriding urge to claim his mate. He felt her whole body tense with his abrupt intrusion into her body and the gasping, whimpering cry that she made, sparked an animalistic need to push at her even harder. The predator inside him translated her sounds as those that prey would make and her reactions only made his dick harder and the ferocious drive more urgent.

She needed time but he didn't have a millisecond to spare because slowing down would've killed him. His hips slid back automatically, dragging his cock against her sensitive walls and with a primal growl, he slammed back in, sinking deep into her wet heat. Tabby's body shot forward with a cry and her inner muscles clamped down around his cock, encouraging him to do it again.

A shred of his humanity flared to life. "Kitten, forgive me," he groaned and lost control.

Cooper's hands formed claws that latched onto the sparse flesh at her hips, using her own body for leverage, and he hammered her with a few more bone jarring thrusts, before regaining control long enough to gauge her reaction. "Colour, kitten?" he barked out in a harsh, rasping voice that made him sound more like a beast than a man.

"G-g-green, S-sir," she stammered out, her oxygen starved lungs making it hard for her to answer.

Marcus was actually surprised at her answer. He could feel the impacts of Cooper's thrusts reverberate through Tabby's body and into his where her head had come to rest against his chest. He was hitting her like a battering ram and he had expected her to use yellow, if not call red to stop him. "Are you sure, angel? There's no shame in using your safe word."

"I'm sure, Marcus. I'm green, Sir."

Marcus gave Cooper a curt nod to continue. Cooper's heart had soared when he had heard the word green come out of her mouth. His cock twitched impatiently and he slid back into her waiting pussy. Wetness instantly pooled around his aching cock and dripped from her opening when he withdrew, she was whimpering yet at the same time, not trying to evade his thrusts. Her words could lie but her body could not and her body was telling him that she was highly aroused and into his rough fucking. Satisfied that she was indeed accepting his attack, he glanced up into the black irises of his partner.

"Hold her," he ground out and then unleashed his passion and began to fuck Tabby's squelching cunt with a fervor that left her mindless with sensation and reduced her to a state of utter submission under his assault.

"Fuck. Fuck. Fuck," he swore as he drove his cock into the delicious heat of her pussy. Each time he penetrated her, her tight walls clamped down around his shaft and squeezed him like a vice, pulling at his taut skin as he withdrew with a friction that gave him as much pleasure as it did Tabby. He watched in a trance as his engorged, purple cock was swallowed up by the soft, pink flesh only to emerge glistening and dripping with her nectar.

A storm of lust and pleasure consumed Tabby; Cooper had snatched her from her life and tossed her into a maelstrom and she had lost all sense of direction. He hadn't been kidding when he'd warned her that he wasn't going to be able to be gentle. He was fucking her like he hated her and, after she got used to the initial shock, she found herself loving every brutal second.

He was too long for her body to take his full length and the blunt tip of his cock pounded and jabbed at her cervix with every punishing thrust, making her whimper in pain, but then the sharp bite morphed into a liquid pleasure that gushed through her immediately afterwards, making her forget the initial hurt. The constant shifting waves of pleasure and pain reduced her to a creature made entire of sensation and she felt herself dissolving as if all her molecules had forgotten the laws of physics. Only her desperate cries and pleas for more, reminded her that she wasn't made entirely of air.

"So fucking beautiful!" Cooper groaned, his balls tightening and a familiar pressure building in his belly. "The way your cunt takes my cock, kitten, is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen." He tore his gaze away from Tabby's pussy long enough to see his brother feeding his cock back into her gaping mouth.

"Suck me, angel. I want to cum with both of you," he commanded, holding a hand to the back of her head and thrusting up into her waiting mouth. Her lips closed around him, and she sucked him hard, attacking his straining shaft just like Cooper was attacking her pussy. She used the momentum from Cooper's wild thrusting to her advantage, letting her mouth slide up and down Marcus' erection in time with the rocking motion of her body, releasing her suction only long enough to allow her mewls of passion to escape.

Tabby planted her hands on Marcus' thighs and let her arms take her weight thanking all her years of dance training for giving her superior upper body strength. Cooper had lifted her hips so that he could penetrate her deeply and she'd wrapped her legs around his muscular ass, hooking her ankles together to hold her to him.

On some spiritual level, Tabby understood, and had accepted, that her body had become a vessel into which they were pouring all their lust. With her pussy full of Cooper and her mouth full of Marcus, her vessel was full to overflowing and there was nothing else she could do except open herself up and trust her marvelous men to take care of her.

Cooper's breathing sounded like a blacksmith's bellows, hissing and blowing in his own ears and he knew that he was getting dangerously close to orgasm. He didn't want to cum...well he did, but he didn't at the same time. This was the closest to nirvana that he'd ever been and he wasn't ready for the finale.

The strength of the raw energy flowing into him from Tabby was almost too much for him to bear; it flayed him to the soul and healed him after. The emotions overwhelming him with every thrust astounded him and made him crave the connection with her even more. Like the most exquisite high a drug could give, he sucked it up like an addict and he didn't want the pleasure to end. The burning tension crawling up his thighs and squeezing his testicles told him that the ride was rapidly nearing completion, whether he wanted it to or not.
"You almost there, brother?" he rasped out, wondering briefly if it would have been easier just to stop breathing altogether.

Marcus' eyes flicked to his, their lust hazed gazes locking together. "Oh yeah, just a little more..." he grunted and lowered his mouth to Tabby's ear. "Suck, angel. Bring me with you."

Grimacing with the effort to hold off his release, Cooper freed one hand and quickly slipped two fingers into Tabby's sodden folds. His fingertips found the swollen, pulsing nub of her clitoris and began circling it with hard swipes. She bucked against him, letting out a long, high-pitched moan that Marcus choked off with a well-timed thrust. She came with violent shudders, inner muscles clamping down around Cooper's cock and trapping him inside her with great, sucking spasms that rippled along his length.

Cooper's heart stuttered before a wild rush of heat shot up his thighs and burst into a thousand stars in his belly. His hips convulsed, ramming his cock into Tabby in a final act of claiming that ripped an ear-shattering wail from Tabby's throat as another massive orgasm blasted through her. His entire body shuddered and his fingers dug into Tabby's hip while his cock pulsed, erupting like a volcano and sending jets of his sticky seed to fill her.

Marcus grabbed his abandoned erection, jerking it hard to finish what his angel's glorious mouth had begun. He came with a roaring a curse, spurting warm semen into her gasping mouth and dripping from her lips.

Cooper swayed with exhaustion, his legs doing their best to turn to jelly and dump him on the floor. Tabby's muscles had all gone limp, her arms trembled and the elbows slowly folded under her until she was partially lying in Marcus' lap, utterly exhausted. Cooper wobbled, but managed to sink to his knees before gravity made him its bitch. Tabby slid boneless off Marcus' laps and Cooper caught her, cradling her to his heaving chest like a small child holding a security blanket.

"So beautiful, kitten." He kissed her damp forehead, brushing the hair that was clinging to her sticky skin. Using a corner of his shirt, he wiped her lips clean and then brought her to his mouth and kissed her tenderly. "You were amazing, baby girl. So fucking amazing!"

CHAPTER 70

Marcus tucked his softening cock back into his pants and leaned over; running a gentle hand down the side of Tabby's flushed face. He carefully removed her blindfold and her lids fluttered open to reveal glassy, blissed out irises the colour of a stormy sea, slowly transitioning from blue, back to her normal deep green.

"Holy shit!" Cooper breathed in surprise as he watched the blue transform into teal and then back to her familiar green. "Except for yours, I've never seen anyone's eyes do that."

"Until I saw Tabby's, I'd only heard rumors that some green-eyed people's irises could do that." He gave Cooper a wicked smirk. "When they go blue, get your pants off because it means our girl's horny."

"Or get ready to run." Tabby added sleepily. "Because they also turn blue when I'm super angry...or so people have told me."

"Good to know. What colour are you now, kitten?" Cooper asked, chuckling at the way she couldn't seem to open her eyes more than half-mast. He knew the signs of subspace and their girl was still flying high on endorphins.

"Very, very green, Sir," she said, sounding dreamy and giddy. She cast a sultry look at Marcus and trapped her bottom lip between her teeth. "I could go again if you wish, Sir?"

He laughed and stood up. "As much as I appreciate the offer, my dirty little angel, I think that you've had enough for one day. You're going to be very sore once the numbing effect of those raging endorphins fades."

He tapped Cooper on the shoulder, ignoring the cute pout that dimmed Tabby's enthusiasm. "C'mon, brother. Let's take our girl into the bedroom," he said helping Cooper to his feet with Tabby clinging to his chest like a koala bear.

Tabby snuggled her face under Cooper's chin, rubbing her cheek against the raspy bristle of his trimmed beard and loving the rough feel of the stubble. It vividly reminded her of how the prickly hairs had felt when his cheeks had been rubbing between her thighs while his tongue had teased her to the brink of madness, and she hummed happily in pleasure.

"You're not playing fair, little one," Cooper's husky voice rumbled above her head. "Keep that up and Marcus and I might forget that we are trying very, very hard to be good guys here."

His warning made Tabby giggle and, on a wild impulse, she licked a path up Cooper's throat and toyed with his Adam's apple, eliciting a growl from the man. "But I feel so good right now," she whined playfully, playing the temptress. "I'll bet you two, big, strapping men could make me feel even better."

Marcus choked on a laugh. "Fucking hell, we've created a sex monster."

"Your amazing cocks sure did at least," she nodded in agreement.

"I can promise you more sex than you can handle, but only after your body has had a chance to get used to it. Trust me, angel, in a few hours, you're not going to want us to touch you, let alone fuck you." Marcus kissed her forehead and turned the lights on in his bedroom.

Tabby found herself placed carefully on the bed and she closed her eyes, happy to drift on the currents of bliss that swirled around her. The bed dipped alarmingly causing Tabby to startle back to reality, but before her panicked whimper had a chance to leave her lips, two, very warm, very big and very naked, male bodies pressed in on either side of her.

Having their comforting presences hem her in instantly made Tabby feel safe and protected and she slipped back into her dreamy, post coital bubble of contentment, surrounded by the two men who had very quickly become a vital part of her life.

With a sexy sigh, she rolled onto her side and curled up against the slab of muscle that was Marcus' chest while Cooper's big frame spooned up behind her and one of his arms slipped under her waist, wrapped around her belly and drew her back flush against him. She yawned, drowsy and satisfied, safely ensconced between her two big protectors. Her last thought before she lost her hold on consciousness was wondering if this was what it felt like to fall in love.

Tabby shifted from semi-awake to dead-to-the-world so quickly that Marcus would have missed the transition if he'd blinked. One minute, she was practically purring against him, the next, her soft, regular, puffs of breath were warming the center of his chest, just below the spot where her forehead had come to rest. She'd fallen asleep with both of her hands curled into little fists resting between his body and her chin and Marcus couldn't tear his eyes off her. There was a feeling expanding in his ribcage that he couldn't explain and he thought that if he could have had one wish at that moment, he would have wished for the ability to consume her so that he would always be able to keep her close to him and safe from the dangers of the world.

Cooper's hand rested lightly on her shoulder and her skin rippled at his touch before she sighed and relaxed, pressing her back against him for more contact. He glanced up and met Marcus' gaze, he wanted to say so much, but he just couldn't find the right words to describe the depths to what he was feeling.

"Thank you, brother." Cooper whispered, hoping Marcus would understand the strength of the feelings behind his simple statement of gratitude.

Marcus raised an eyebrow and replied. "For what?"

Tabby shifted, opening one of her fists and flattening her palm onto the figure of the angel on Marcus' tattoo and his skin tingled with a static shock where her skin made contact with his.

"For including me. You didn't have to, Marcus. I know how badly you wanted her...you could have easily have kept her all to yourself, but you didn't and it's for that that you have my eternal gratitude." Cooper lightly stroked Tabby's arm, relishing how soft her skin was. "She's everything I've ever wanted to find and so much more."

"You don't need to thank me, Coop. This was always my hope too...that we would find the one woman we could care for together. When I saw her the first time, she overwhelmed me with the unexpected connection and then, I'll admit, I was afraid of how she'd react to becoming a part of a triad. I almost didn't want to bring up the subject, just in case she bolted."

"She didn't bolt though and look what we have, brother." Marcus stared at her with incredulity shining in his eyes. "She's the treasure we never thought we'd find and she's all ours." He slid his head across the pillow so that he could place a tender kiss on the top of her head. "She's our strength, she's our weakness and she's become the heart that beats in both our chests."

"I still can't get over how fucking amazing it was to be inside her. It's never been like that before. I could feel the energy flowing between us... like she was giving me something I never knew that I was starving for and I couldn't get enough." He shook his head, trying to clear the bewilderment. He just didn't have the words to explain the experience. "Was it anything like that for you?"

"Hell yeah," Marcus replied solemnly. "I've never experienced anything like that before either. It was so much more than just hot sex; it was as close to a spiritual experience that I've ever had. But even as good as the sex was and, trust me, it was fucking mind-blowing; it was caring for her afterward that made me felt like I was fucking Superman."

Marcus paused and smiled at his best friend. "That's what's always been missing. It's not just the sex that joins us together, Coop. That's just an added bonus. The difference is Tabitha. The needing to protect her and take care of her...every breath, every thought I have is with her in mind. She was all I could think about for the last month and that need is a thousand times stronger now that she's ours. She calls to me in a way I can't deny...and it scares me just as much as it thrills the fuck out of me."

Cooper nodded in agreement and chuckled quietly. "I know. I swear, if jumping off a cliff would make her smile, I'd fucking grow wings and throw myself off just to please her."

"Pussy," Marcus teased and Cooper shot him a dirty look.

"Right, because you wouldn't be trying to be first in line if it came to that? Whatever, asshole! One of us has to be the good guy in this relationship. Poor thing is going to need some respite from all your broodiness. At least I get to be the fun one!"

Marcus wanted to laugh and punch Cooper at the same time, but there was no denying the truth. "Okay. I'll let you be the fun guy for now, but you're still a pussy."

"Fuck off, Marcus." Cooper grinned at him before yawning. "Fuck, I'm getting old if that session has tuckered me out this much."

"Let's try to get some sleep. We still have one more thing to do with her before I take her home later on."

Cooper looked confused. "You can't possibly want to fuck her again. She needs some time to recover. Between you and me, we've fucked her raw. She's going to be hurting when she wakes."

"Give me some credit, you ass. I'm not that much of a sadist. We still need to offer her our collar, remember?"

Cooper looked gobsmacked and then grinned like a loon. "Shit! I can't believe that I forgot about that."

Tabby grumbled and shifted restlessly and immediately, both men acted to comfort her - Marcus, by kissing her forehead and murmuring to her and Cooper, by stroking her arm and planting butterfly kisses on her shoulder. The lines of tension eased from her forehead and she settled back into deep sleep.

Marcus grinned, chuckling to himself. "Fuck. We are so whipped, brother."

"I know," Cooper smirked back; looking down on Tabby's sleeping face in wonder. "It's awesome."

"Go to sleep, you idiot."

"Asshole."

CHAPTER 71

The sounds of Tabby's sobs woke Marcus up with a start. He rolled over and found her curled up, weeping quietly to herself.

"Hey, angel, what's wrong?" he scooped her up against his chest and making contact acted like a damn bursting for Tabby's tears. They poured out of her while her body shook uncontrollably.

"What?..." Cooper's mumbled sleepily, waking up suddenly when he saw Tabby crying in Marcus' arms. "What's happening?"

"I don't know." He turned to Tabby, stroking back her damp hair so that he could see into her eyes. "Angel, you have to talk to me. What's going on? Are you hurt? In pain? C'mon, sweetheart, let us help you."

Tabby sniffled and rubbed at her wet eyes with her fists. "I...I don't know what's wrong. I woke up thinking about everything that has happened and my thoughts were all over the place. I don't know how this is going to work. One minute I'm flying high with excitement, the next I'm terrified that I'm getting myself into something that I don't have the experience to handle," she sobbed, her emotions spinning out of control. "Once I started crying, I couldn't stop. God! I feel like I'm losing my mind!"

Marcus felt like a complete idiot. He'd forgotten to warn her about subdrop - a phenomenon that some submissives experience after an intense play session - and here she was in the grips of an inexplicable depression and it was scaring the hell out of her. With everything that they had put her through, it was no wonder that she was dropping hard now.

Cooper sat up and helped to dry her tears with the bed sheet. "You're dropping, kitten. It's normal and will pass." He looked up to Marcus. "You didn't tell her?"

Marcus shook his head ruefully. "I fucking forgot." He hugged Tabby tightly. "I'm so sorry, angel. I should have warned you about subdrop, especially seeing as you went into subspace so easily. It's the downside for all that bliss the endorphin high brings on. Once it dissipates, you're left with this depression until your normal hormone levels stabilize again."

"So I'm not crazy?" she sniffed.

"Crazy? You're with us two, so probably! But this isn't that kind of crazy, baby, and we'll help you get through it, okay?" Cooper chuckled and kissed her. Kissing her had become his go-to solution for just about everything where Tabby was concerned. Whether it was for her benefit or his...well that was something that Cooper would just pretend didn't matter. It worked for him and usually made her feel better, that was all that was important.

"How?" her tremulous voice asked, shivering in Marcus' arms.

"The first thing is to get you into a warm bath," Marcus announced. Cooper was already getting to his feet and heading for the bathroom. When he heard the water splashing into the tub, Marcus climbed out of bed, holding Tabby protectively to him. "I'm so sorry that I didn't warn you that this may happen, baby. Later, we will sit down and work out some coping mechanisms for you, in case the drop hits you when we are not with you to help, okay?" He felt her nod against his chest as he carried her into the bathroom where fragrant steam was already starting to build.

Marcus held Tabby until the water in the bath was half-full. Cooper double checked the temperature and nodded to Marcus. "Put her in," he said, stepping out of the way.

"You ready, angel?" Marcus asked. He hated seeing the dull green show up in her eyes, a sure sign that she was distressed. He was getting better at reading her moods from the remarkable way her expressive irises shifted colours and this was his least favourite of the myriad of shades her eyes could display. Seeing it meant he had failed to do his job somehow and that his angel was hurting because of it.

"Yes." Her answer was barely a whisper, sounding so despondent that it wrenched Marcus' heart to hear it.

"You'll be feeling better soon, angel, I promise." He began gently lowering her into the bath. "Dealing with subdrop is all about pampering yourself until it passes and nothing feels better that a hot bath."

Tabby hissed as the warm water stung the sore skin on her bum and as the heat penetrated between her legs, she became aware of the dull, throbbing ache that had developed there.

"You okay, kitten?" Cooper asked, concerned at the flashes of discomfort he was seeing cross her features.

"Just sore, I guess. You were right when you warned me that I'd pay for the pleasure later." She gave a tired, half smile and settled into the bath, praying that the warm water would help alleviate the pains that she was just beginning to feel.

Cooper dipped a fat bath sponge into the water and squeezed it out over her back, letting the soothing water cascade down her spine and pour over her shoulders and onto her breasts. It felt so good that Tabby shuddered with the sensation and sighed with relief.

"Lie back, angel," Marcus instructed her and she did so with complete trust that her men would take care of her. Sure enough, Cooper was waiting for her and her back settled into his big hands. She leaned into his support and found herself looking up into his handsome, smiling face.

"Hi there," he winked and was rewarded with the sweet smile from her that he had been hoping to see.

"Hi back," she grinned. His cheeky grin was so endearing that it helped to push back the heavy clouds of depression that had swarmed in while she'd been sleeping. She couldn't help smiling back at him, as he tried to cheer her up.

Both men went to work with hands and sponges, washing her hair and rubbing scented body wash into her skin. Marcus' hands were magical, kneading and massaging the ache out of her calves and thighs until Tabby felt as if she could easily dissolve into a puddle. Cooper's long fingers worked shampoo into her hair and she purred in delight at the relaxing feeling of his fingertips massaging her scalp. Her eyelids grew heavy and she let them close, surrendering herself over to the tender ministrations of her loving men.

By the time they rinsed her off and lifted her from the tub, Tabby felt almost as good as she had when she had been in subspace. It wasn't a perfect cure by far, some of the depression still lingered, but at least now, she didn't feel so raw and vulnerable in the face of the black mood. Marcus and Cooper's caring attention had bolstered her energy so that she could fight through the smothering sadness and see it for what it was - just a momentary lapse until the effects of the subdrop dissipated.

Bundled into pre-warmed, fluffy towels, both men dried her off and then wrapped her into a thick, black, terry robe that smelled wonderfully like Marcus. She grabbed the lapels and brought them to her nose, inhaling his masculine scent and letting it comfort her. It was all around her and every breath brought his lovely scent into her nose; it was like being in her own private heaven.

"Happy?" Marcus quipped, seeing the blissed out expression on her face.

She blushed and nodded, moving the robe off her nose enough so that she could speak. "It smells like you," she replied shyly. "I...I really like it."

A bright globe of pleasure oozed warmth through Marcus' chest giving him a rush of pride and possessiveness and...something he refused to acknowledge. That emotion was off limits and not up for discussion, so he ignored it and focused on the allowable emotions that had accompanied the forbidden one. The animal part of his brain rejoiced that his scent was getting all over her body; he wanted her marked so that every male would know that she was his.

He briefly wondered if she'd let them tattoo or brand her sometime in the future. Call him a Neanderthal but Marcus couldn't quash the desire to see a permanent symbol of their ownership displayed on her skin.

Afraid that she was neglecting Cooper, Tabby brought her small hand up and pulled back the overly long sleeve so that she could caress his bearded cheek. "Thank you for the wonderful head massage, Cooper." She leaned over and let her nose trail up his neck, breathing in as she followed the curve up and over his jaw until she was staring into his crystal blue eyes. "I love how you smell too," she whispered and kissed him lightly on his lips.
He groaned and kissed her back, restraining the need to deepen the kiss and claim her mouth. Even in the state she was in now, Tabby was still the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

"Thank you both for the lovely bath, my muscles feel much better." She squirmed on the counter where Marcus had set her down. "My ass on the other hand, still smarts like a bitch." She gave Marcus and accusatory glare.

He laughed and tapped the end of her nose. "You earned that ache, baby."

"I know, but it still hurts," she whined and then shifted hopeful eyes to Cooper. "Maybe you could kiss it better for me?"

Both men cracked up and Cooper shook his head and waggled a finger. "Oh no you don't, you little minx. Playing one of us against the other will only get you more bruises on that pretty little ass," he warned. "But any other day, I'd be more than happy to kiss, lick and fuck your ass, should you wish it."

"Party pooper," she pouted and then smiled. "I was just teasing you. But, seriously, can I stand now? This counter is really, really hard."

Marcus lifted her off and set her on her feet before leading her into the bedroom. "As much as it pains me to say this, angel, but you'd better get dressed now. When you are done, come join us in the living room. We have something that we need to discuss before I drive you home."

CHAPTER 72

Home.

Just the thought of leaving made her stomach drop like a lead weight into her bare feet. She didn't want to leave Marcus or Cooper, even though she knew that she had to go home eventually.

Marcus caught the sad expression that had darkened her features and pinched her forehead. He ran a finger along her jawbone and she turned her face up and stared at him with eyes shiny with unshed tears.

"Why so sad, little one?" he asked gently.

Her gaze alternated between him and Cooper. "I don't want to leave either of you," she replied quietly.

"We don't want you to leave either, angel. Do you think that this is the last that you're going to see of us? You will be coming either here, Cooper's or the club on a regular basis. It's one of those things that we still need to discuss, sweetheart." He leaned down and captured her lips in a passionate kiss.

"Don't think for a moment that now that we have you, that either of us is going to be able to be separated from you for long, kitten. You belong to us now...and we belong to you," Cooper added, taking his turn to give her a kiss that underlined the possessive intent of his words. "Marcus and I will be working out a schedule for you in the next few days." He slipped his hand through the folds of her robe and his fingers found her wet center. She gasped and clutched onto his forearms to keep her balance. "Do you think that I can go a day without tasting this or burying my cock in you?"

"Or I?" Marcus rumbled from behind her, rubbing his erection into her backside as a stark reminder of how much he desired her.

She shook her head, "N-n-no," she stammered. Cooper's fingers were distracting her and when he removed them and sucked them into his mouth, Tabby almost growled in frustration.

"That's just a little reminder for you, kitten, which will keep you wanting to come back to us as soon as possible."

Tabby shifted her weight and winced when an ache deep in her pussy responded. "I already have a reminder Cooper. I can still feel both of your cocks whenever I move."

Marcus leaned in and his hot breath tickled her ear. "Good."

Cooper laughed at the blush that crept over Tabby's cheeks. "Ten minutes, kitten. Then we want to see you dressed and ready in the living room. Oh, in case Marcus forgot to tell you, one of the rules you will now be obeying is that your orgasms belong to us. That means, you are not allowed to make yourself cum without our permission." He winked. "Just in case you were thinking of easing that little ache I just created for you."

Both men walked out, leaving her gaping in shock. That wasn't fair! Of course, now that she knew that she couldn't relieve the arousal herself, doing so was all she wanted to do. Tabby glared at their retreating backs and stuck her tongue out in childish defiance.

Assholes!

"Keep up the bratty attitude, angel and I'll be happy administering a readjustment for you," Marcus called back from the hall.

How the hell does he know? Every time? God! She groaned and envisioned the many spankings to come in her future if she couldn't rein in her temper.

She rummaged through the overnight bag and found new undergarments, a pair of sleek looking jeans and a comfortable TNA hoody. She was loath to remove Marcus' robe, even if the length pooled around her ankles like Princess Di's wedding train. It smelled like Marcus and she considered stuffing it into her bag to take it home with her, but the damn thing was large enough to fit a giant and she'd have to dump everything else out just to get it in.

Leaving it hanging on the back of the bathroom door where it had hung before, Tabby quickly pulled on her new clothes and ran a brush through her damp hair. She didn't have time to do anything fancy with it so she found a package of hair ties in the makeup bag that Petra had packed for her, scooped up her locks into a fist and put it up into a messy pony tail, leaving a few choice curls to hang loose and frame her face.

Satisfied that she'd made herself as presentable as possible, Tabby gathered up all her scattered belongings, including the clothes that she arrived with and all the new ones that Petra had thoughtfully provided, and crammed everything back into the duffle and zipped up the bulging bag with some difficulty.

Taking one last look around the room for forgotten items, she spied the simple cotton tunic that Marcus had worn the previous night at the club and, on an impulse, grabbed it, and quickly stuffed it into her bag. Groaning, she squeezed the heaving bag until she could get the zipper almost completely closed; no matter how she yanked or tried to compress the overstuffed contents, it remained stubbornly opened a couple of inches.

"Damn it!" she cursed under her breath. She could see a patch of white fabric from the purloined shirt and briefly considered taking it out and leaving it behind. The thought made a stab of loneliness pierce her chest; she had an irrational need to have something of his with her just as much as a child clung to a favourite blanket or toy. With the shirt remaining in her bag, she left the bedroom and headed into the hallway.

She walked into the living room, feeling a little guilty for her act of thievery, but also quietly comforted by its presence in her things, reassured that she'd have something with his scent on it to console her loneliness when she was alone at home later on.

"You can put that down by the kitchen and come and sit with us, angel," Marcus said, seeing her exit the hall with her overnight bag. Both men had gotten dressed while she'd been in the bedroom and looked as sexy as devils.

Boy could they ever fill out a pair of jeans! Her face heated with the scandalous thought and she tried to calm herself down so that she could face whatever it was they had to discuss with a clear head.

Cooper's keen eyes had caught the flush and he nudged Marcus. "I think our kitten just had a dirty thought about us. Do you think that there is a little tarnish on her halo, brother?"

Marcus gave her a knowing look and smirked. "Yup, and it's getting dirtier the longer she is with us." He crooked a finger at her and beckoned her over slowly. "Come here, angel."

Tabby hesitated and then began to take small steps across the living to where Marcus sat in the leather armchair and Cooper waited beside him on the sofa. Both men were staring so intently at her that it made her feel even more self-conscious than when she had been naked. She approached Marcus, stopped in front of him and sunk to her knees.

"I will never get tired of seeing you on your knees, beautiful kitten," Cooper said with lust roughening his voice into a sexy rasp. Tabby didn't respond and kept her eyes averted, but she couldn't keep the hint of a pleased smile from teasing the corners of her lips.

Marcus cleared his throat and had to adjust the erection that had sprung up at having his angel kneeling at his feet, silently echoing Cooper's sentiment in his head. "You may raise your head, angel and go sit beside Cooper. We have many things to discuss in the coming days and most will be done with everyone on an equal footing."

Tabby stood and settled on the sofa beside Cooper, who handed her a cup of hot chocolate and a plate with some Oreo cookies on it. "Eat while we talk, kitten. The sugar will actually help with the drop."

"Thank you," she said, accepting a cookie and taking a bite of the sweet confection.

"You'll have to tell us what your favorite snacks are so that we can have them on hand for you, love."

Tabby laughed and almost choked on a mouthful of cookie crumbs. "If it has sugar in it, then it's a safe bet that I'll like it, Cooper. I have a sweet tooth the size of Texas."

Marcus grew serious and regarded Tabby with a critical eye. "We are at the start of a beautiful journey, angel. However, we all need to exercise care and patience as we travel along this path. You've had a taste of some of the good parts of a D/s relationship and, unfortunately, you've gotten a small sampling of the not so good parts as well. Do you wish to continue, knowing that it only becomes more intense and demanding as we proceed?"

How could he even ask her that question? Didn't she endure the belt whipping to prove her commitment to him...to them? Tabby set down her mug and stared Marcus straight in the eye. "I had thought that I had made my intentions clear when I accepted the punishment, but just in case there was any question...Yes, Marcus, this is what I want. I want to be with you and with Cooper as my lovers, my friends and my Doms. Is that clear enough for you?"

He beamed back at her, proud to see that his angel had a backbone under her sweet shell. "Good answer, Tabitha. I had to be sure, sweetness. Tonight, we've established a mutual interest in each other. We want you and you want us...that is enough to initiate the first stage of your journey." He shifted his attention to Cooper. "Cooper, if you'd be so kind..."

CHAPTER 73

Cooper produced a black, velvet bag from behind him and passed it to a surprised Tabby. "Open it, Tabitha. Your future begins with what's in that bag, kitten."

With clumsy fingers, Tabby picked at the silver cord wrapped around the neck of the bag. When she finally had it undone, she pulled the bag opened and reached inside. The first thing she pulled out was a gorgeous, black leather collar with a silver, heart-shaped plate riveted to the front. On it was inscribed the word "Ours" in large cursive script and underneath it, in a smaller font was written: Protected by M.C. and C. D. She knew Marcus' initials stood for Marcus Callaghan but she didn't know Cooper's last name. She traced of the "D" and looked at Cooper.

"It stands for Dawson," he clarified for her.

"It's beautiful," she said to both men, running her fingers over the collar's surface. The leather was buttery soft and had to be made of lamb or kidskin to be so supple. There were twin rows of flat, silver studs that sparkled along the top and bottom edges, and in the space between, butterflies flitted among lilies tooled into the leather.

It was a gorgeous work of art, but what took Tabby's breath away was the weight of possibility that it carried. It felt heavier in her hands than it had any right to be, her heart recognizing the promise and responsibility that the simple collar represented. She was only a newcomer to this lifestyle, but Tabby already knew enough to understand that what she held in her hand was much more than a fashion accessory.

"Marcus made it for you himself, kitten. While he waited for you to heal, he was already planning for the day when he could present this to you." Cooper reached over and settled his palm on her thigh. "I am so happy that you've given us both a chance to offer it to you, Tabitha. It's going to look beautiful around your neck"

"Is this the same as what Petra wears?"

"Not quite. This is the first of three possible collars you can receive as you progress on your journey. This one..." Cooper indicated, taking it from her hand and undoing the silver buckle at the back. "...is called a Collar of Consideration. Petra already upgraded hers for the second collar, which is her formal Training Collar."

Tabby regarded Cooper and Marcus with curiosity. "And the third? What is that one called?"

"The final collar is the Slave Collar."

Tabby's eyes widened in surprise, Cooper's answer had caught her off balance. "Slave? Does that mean what I think it means?"

Marcus chuckled, but underneath the amusement, was a dark edge of longing to the sound that sent thrills of excitement and arousal coursing through Tabby's nervous system.

"That depends on the people involved, angel. There are countless variations when it comes to the individual dynamics to every relationship. Some Doms desire a submissive that is completely dependent on them for everything, where they are in control of every aspect of their slave's life and that slave serves them exclusively - a true slave, if you will, and there are some submissives want or need that level of control."

"For Cooper and me, we prefer a more fluid application. We have no interest in robbing you of your independence or free will and neither of us want the hassle of micromanaging every aspect of your life. For us, the Slave Collar would come hand in hand with a traditional marriage; it is the final stage of a true lifetime commitment. We like to blend our vanilla lives and BDSM lifestyle together, but also understand the need to be able to separate the two at certain times. Should we be so lucky as to reach the Slave collar, angel, you will be very clear as to what our expectations and intentions are by that time."

"That makes sense," Tabby agreed and gave a small laugh. "I've jumped the gun though; maybe you should explain what this collar means first!" She pointed to the collar resting in Cooper's hand.

"The Collar of Consideration is basically an agreement to get to know one another, you will be treated as if you were our collared submissive so that you get an idea of what we want, but there is more freedom to explore. It also gives you time to learn about not only our needs, but also your own as well, and to see if they match up and are compatible. It's generally used for a set amount of time - for us, three months seems to sufficient - and then the parties sit down and discuss whether or not they wish to proceed to the next level and on what terms that new relationship will exist under."

"While you wear the Collar of Consideration, you may choose to walk away from us at any time, angel, no questions or obligations. The other function of the collar is to announce that you are temporarily off the market. When you are with us in private or at any BDSM related function, you will wear our collar. It tells prospective Doms that you are off limits and protects you from unwanted attention."

"So it's like the dating phase of a vanilla relationship then?"

Marcus nodded. "Pretty much. It's a trial period to see if there is chemistry and real interest before taking the relationship to a much more serious level."

"Come kneel in front of me, kitten," Cooper said, pointing to a spot on the floor between his spread knees. Tabby did as he asked, her eyes fixed on the collar in his hand and a hopeful smile on her face. Cooper pressed the cool leather to the front of her neck and slid the open ends towards the back. "Would you care to do the honors, brother?"

"Absolutely," Marcus growled, reaching forward so that he could thread the tongue into the buckle and cinch it so that the collar hugged her skin. "How's that feel, angel? It's not too tight is it?" he asked once he had it secured.

"No, Sir. It feels..." Tabby paused for a moment, trying to sort out her emotions. The collar fit her perfectly and Marcus had lined it with ultra-soft, suede so it was comfortable to wear. Something had changed though, and it was something that she couldn't put her finger on. It took her a moment to ponder and when she finally understood what it was, she flushed with pleasure.

Marcus noticed the rosy hue colour her cheeks and would've paid dearly to have a front row seat to the thoughts running through her head. "What is it, angel?"

She flushed an even deeper pink and averted her eyes shyly away from both of them. "I love the collar, Sir. I-I like how it makes me feel inside," she stammered.

"And how does it make you feel, kitten?" Now Cooper's curiosity was piqued.

"Safe...Wanted...Different," she rambled, wishing she could express the feelings bubbling inside her.

Marcus grinned and clasped her shoulder, giving her a light squeeze. "I think the word that you are searching for, little one is owned."

That was it. With their collar around her neck, she felt like she belonged to someone who cared about her for the first time in years. It made her feel desired and she glowed with a joy that was infectious. Marcus and Cooper beamed proudly back at her as she nodded her head in agreement.

"Owned," she whispered quietly and turned her liquid, green eyes up at them. "I like the sound of that."

"As do we," both men said in unison.

Marcus stood, walked behind her and sat beside Cooper. There was silence between all three as the two men caressed her skin with their hungry gazes. Under the heat of their proprietary stares, a flush surged up from her belly and blazed across her skin, raising goosebumps and tightening her nipples into hard pebbles. If she was ever in doubt of their interest in her before, the greedy, possessive glow in each of their eyes effectively dispelled it. The ferocity of their need was undeniable and it consumed every inch of her body until Tabby felt like she was on fire.

"The only way you could possibly look more beautiful, angel, would be if you were naked while wearing that collar." Marcus picked up her hand and placed it on his zipper. "I'm so hard for you right now that it is taking every ounce of self-control not to rip your clothes off and fuck you until you can't walk. I need your mouth on me, angel or else I'm going to give in and you won't be leaving here on your feet."

CHAPTER 74

His beast was doing the talking and it made shivers of dark desire prickle her skin. A big part of her wanted him to do exactly what he'd just threatened, but the more rational side of her brain had to admit that she really wasn't in any condition to take another sexual pounding.

Cooper was wearing an exact duplicate of the ravenous expression on Marcus' face, so Tabby was positive that she wouldn't just be contending with Marcus's rampaging libido. It wouldn't be fair to tempt either of them when she couldn't follow through.

He guided her fingers to the zipper tab on his jeans, and with his hand wrapped around hers, helped her pull it down. As soon as the restrictive denim parted, Marcus' swollen member immediately stood to attention. He was so hard that his cock had turned a dusky red riveting Tabby's attention by the way it pulsed in time with his thudding heartbeat, seeming to grow bigger in her imagination.

"Your mouth, angel...take me into your mouth now!" he growled roughly, dropping a heavy hand on the back of her head and pushing her down until he could push the broad head past her lips. He was so aroused that he left a smear of precum on her lips as he powered into the wet sanctuary of her mouth.
The instant he slipped inside, Marcus shuddered from the electric frisson that sizzled along his cock and coiled like a live wire in his belly, sparking and crackling with energy. The most bizarre idea occurred to him that his alter ego had suddenly sprung to life and was squirming and writhing in excitement, somersaulting in his chest and slithering through his innards until its mouth lay just behind the root of his cock. As Tabby sucked his shaft deep into the back of her mouth, he imagined a stream of energy, white hot and incandescent, flooding out of her throat and sucked into the gaping maw of his beast, making its eyes glow a brilliant sun-bright yellow.

Marcus' heart rammed against his ribs, he blinked rapidly, briefly unable to discern the vision from reality. Pleasure built around the shower of sparks in his belly, a wild fire that roared along every nerve and jumped from synapse to synapse, lighting him up with pure, male vigor.

"Jesus, fuck, angel. Your amazing mouth will be the death of me." He groaned, thrusting his hips so that it forced her to take almost his entire length. She was already getting better at accommodating his size. As he inched his cock further down her throat he could feel her trying to relax and fight the urge to gag, holding it back for a few seconds longer before her natural reflex overcame her tenuous control. He watched her carefully and when the first signs of real distress darkened her face, he eased back, juddering at the shock as she desperately pulled cool air around his hot, wet cock and into her lungs.

He was so close. "Take my balls in your hand, little one. Squeeze me while I fuck your throat." He hissed as her warm hand clasped his sack and she massaged his testicles with probing fingers. She gazed up at him, eyes watering as he slid his cock along her tongue slowly. Once again, she relaxed her throat muscles and he thrust forward until her plump lips pressed against his abdomen. Marcus inched back and she gulped a breath just before he drove forward faster this time. He was right on the edge and thrust faster and faster, feeling her muscles spasm and flutter around his invading shaft and streams of glistening saliva, that she was unable to swallow, dribbled from the corners of her mouth.

"That's it, angel. Fuck me, you feel so good around me. Suck hard, baby, I'm almost there," he grunted, holding her head with both hands and preventing her escape.

Finally, with a groan that seemed to come from the deepest reaches of his being, Marcus jerked as ecstasy exploded in his belly and his cock began releasing his seed deep into Tabby's throat. Time seemed to slow and Marcus' brain floated in bliss for a few seconds before he felt the claws of another eerie vision sink into him and draw him into it.

Just as he'd seen his beast sucking energy from Tabitha earlier, this time he saw that same pristine, white energy spilling from his beast's mouth, travel down into his balls and blend with a darker, grittier life force - his own, he realised. What emerged from his cock, in the form of his semen, was a more powerful version of Tabby's own energy, combined and strengthened with the addition of his own essence. It flowed into her body where Marcus could see it spread like molten lava into her veins, replenishing the energy he had taken from her. His beast roared with possessive pride, he was feeding his woman with his own energy, marking every cell in her body with traces of him and forming an insubstantial, yet vital link between the two of them that Marcus couldn't understand. It was real though, Marcus could feel Tabby's presence pulsing along that link as if she had taken up residence inside him.

The vision cleared as his balls expelled the last of his semen and he reluctantly withdrew from Tabby's slack mouth. He immediately searched for that vibrant link to her, but all he could find was a dim echo of the powerful connection he had felt.

Had any of it been real?

He honestly didn't know, it had felt so real at the time, even though he knew it couldn't have been. Marcus briefly wondered if he was possibly losing his mind. First, his unnaturally strong attraction to Tabitha had thrown him and now he was seeing, hearing and feeling things that seemed to come from a separate entity inside of him. If that didn't define crazy, he really didn't know what did.

The instant he looked down at his angel, none of that craziness mattered. She looked stunned and a little dazed, as if she were drugged, but then her confusion cleared and that sweet smile, the one that he was coming to crave so much, spread across her cherry red lips and Marcus' worries disappeared. Tabby surprised him by leaning forward and placing a reverent kiss on his softening dick as if she was thanking him for using her so roughly.

"Thank you, Sir." She bowed her head and rested her cheek on Marcus' knee, too tired to keep her head upright any longer. Her adoration humbled Marcus to his very core and he felt a hot surge of emotion hammer at the walls that encased his heart. Something wanted out, but instead of allowing it to flow; Marcus instinctively reinforced his defenses until he couldn't feel the pressure any more. He wasn't even aware that he had just smothered the love that wanted to burst out of him; his fear was just too strong and too ingrained into him to permit it.

Unsettled, Marcus caressed the damp hair on her head and winced as a wave of guilt hit him, making him feel like a complete asshole. "I'm a very bad man, aren't I, angel?" he murmured regrettably.

Tabby stiffened and sat up, staring at him with confusion clouding her eyes. "Why would you say that, Sir?"

"Because we were supposed to be helping you cope with the drop and here I am, taking advantage of you. I am sorry, angel, forcing myself on you wasn't what I had been planning. Seeing that collar around your neck, where I have dreamt of seeing it more times than you can imagine in the past month, had more of an effect on me than I expected. You looked so much like a dream that I needed to feel some part of you around me so that I would know you were real."

Tabby wrapped her arms around Marcus' waist and hugged him tightly to her. "You didn't force me to do anything, I wanted to serve you." She picked up his palm and pressed it to the center of her chest where he could feel the rapid cadence of her heart. "Feel me, Marcus. I. Am. Real. You've claimed me and I'm not going anywhere."

"Thank you, my sweet angel. You don't know how badly I needed to hear that from you," he smiled, stroking her cheek.

She pulled away and looked questioning at Cooper. "Do you want me to serve you as well, Sir?" she asked.

He shook his head. "No need, little one. As much as I'm sorely tempted to accept your offer, I think that you've had enough for one night. What I would love from you though, is a cuddle." He opened his arms and Tabby got off her knees and climbed into his embrace. He closed his arms around her and buried his face into the shallow dip where her shoulder met her neck. "I will never get tired of holding you, kitten," he breathed against her skin.

"I like being held, Sir," she giggled and then sobered as a sudden reality check shook her.

Cooper felt the tremor rock her against him and pulled her back in concern. Her face was tense and she looked lost as her eyes bounced between him and Marcus. "Hey, what's wrong, kitten?"

"I don't want to leave. In here, we are protected from the world beyond that door." She pointed to Marcus' front door with a trembling finger, fighting the burning tears she could feel stinging her eyes. Her emotions were so volatile and swung from one extreme to the next without warning. "I'm afraid of what's going to happen when I leave this bubble we've created. Everything happened so fast that I haven't had time to think or work out the logistics!" Tabby's words tumbled out of her as her panic rose. "I've never done anything like this before. I don't know what to do!"

Marcus rushed to hold her and reassure her and Cooper hugged her tighter to him. "Do you trust us, angel?" Marcus asked her gently.

"Yes," she replied weakly.

"Then all you need to do is take our hands, we've got you and we won't let anything happen to you." Marcus wrapped one of his hands around her left hand, Cooper took her right, and they held her securely. "We will figure out the details, love. All you need to do is come along for the ride."

Though easier said than done, Tabby nodded, choosing to have faith in her two new lovers and forced her worries to fade into the background noise of her mind. In her heart, she knew that she wanted what they were offering; it was just her insecurities getting in the way. She squeezed their hands back and they instantly enveloped her into their arms, surrounding her with the comfort and stability that they offered.

With their arms around her and their masculine scents mingling into a fragrance that her body was already craving like an addict, Tabby was aware that she had already become attached to these two powerful, sexy men - so attached, that she might actually be well on her way to falling in love with them.

Marcus' hands at the back of her neck startled her and she sat up quickly, her hands flying to the buckle of her collar that he was fiddling with. "No!" she panicked, "I don't want to take it off! Did I do something wrong?" The tears she had been fighting broke free and spilled down her cheeks.

"Hey, hey," Cooper soothed. "You didn't do anything wrong, kitten. He is just removing your collar so that we can take you home."

"This collar will remain with us, angel. When we are together, Cooper or I will collar you and remove it when our time is up. It's not something that you could wear out in the vanilla world without attracting unwelcome attention."

The collar slipped from her neck and Tabby felt an immediate hollowness in her chest at its absence. Her fingers traced the skin where it had lain and something inside her grieved for its loss. "I liked wearing it, Sir," she said quietly.

Cooper retrieved the velvet bag that her collar had come in and passed it to her. "Then you should double check inside, I think that you missed something before, kitten."

CHAPTER 75

Tabby took the bag and stuck her hand inside, groping around to find what she'd missed. Stuck into the bottom corner was another, smaller pouch and she pulled it out. It was a twin to the larger bag, but only a quarter of the size.

"Open it, angel," Marcus encouraged, his blue green eyes twinkling with anticipation.

Picking at the delicate, golden string that secured the bag, Tabby unwound it and dumped out the contents into her palm. Silver sparkled catching the light from the lamps and for a minute, Tabby wasn't sure what she was looking at. When realization dawned, she gasped and smiled, picking up the necklace and holding it before her eyes so that she could see the pendant suspended between the two halves.

Three hearts joined side by side - the ones on the left and right were larger, thicker and made of gold while the smaller, more delicate heart in the center was made of silver. The center heart intertwined with the outer hearts in a way that gave the impression that its more sturdy partners were somehow protecting it.

She knew what those hearts represented and it filled her with love.

Marcus - me - Cooper - one heart for each of us.

"It's gorgeous," she said, her face shining with happiness.

Marcus grinned slyly, taking the necklace from her hand and placing it at her throat. Cooper took the ends and secured it around her neck so that it lay like a choker, flush against her skin. "You didn't think we'd send you out into the world without some reminder of who owns you now, did you, angel?"

"I...I wasn't sure what to expect, Sir."

"This is to stay on you at all times, kitten. Unless a doctor orders it off, only Marcus or I can remove it, understand?"

She nodded slowly, infatuated with her new collar. "Yes, Sir."

"Good girl. To the vanillas, that will pass as a piece of jewelry, but to anyone in the lifestyle, they'll instantly know what it means," Marcus explained, tracing the shapes of the hearts and pressing them into her skin.

"That I'm claimed," Tabby finished for him.

"That you are owned, little one," Cooper corrected empathically. Hopefully for forever. He added silently.

"Time to go home, angel," Marcus said quietly, breaking the spell that had befallen the trio.

Tabby grimaced, her disappointment evident in the reluctance of her muscles to want to move off Cooper's lap, but she detached herself and walked slowly to the door. Thankfully, Petra had had the foresight to pack her a pair of cream coloured Keds so that she didn't have to struggle with the heels she'd worn to the club.

She owed her friend a huge thank you for all she'd done as well as a smack for keeping the knowledge of Marcus' plans from her. Considering how the night, and day, had turned out, Tabby figured she could forgive her for withholding the information.

A mere twenty-four hours ago, Tabby had been painfully single, afraid and one-step away from becoming a hermit. Now, she belonged to not one, but two beautiful, caring and amazing men and suddenly her entire future looked completely different. Where there had been a huge void in front of her to look forward to, now that empty space was a riot of possibilities. The thought of being without either of them had her tripping into an emotional pothole, dreading waking up every morning, alone in her bed. In the blink of an eye, she had gone from being lonely to being part of a triad and didn't want to return to her sad existence.

Tabby gave herself a mental shake, chalking up the depression as part of the subdrop she that she still was experiencing. The wild mood swings were giving her whiplash and she couldn't wait for her hormones to settle back to normal. She reminded herself that she had lots of good things to look forward to now, and a bunch of awesome memories to keep her company while she was on her own. She had no valid reason to be depressed. In fact, her life was looking up. Now all she needed to do was to find a job and she'd have no complaints.

"You okay there, angel?" Marcus asked, watching the gamut of emotions play out on her face. Happy, sad, hopeful, determined. All flashed by one after the other as she processed her scrambled emotions into something that made sense.

"Hmm," she replied, distracted. "Oh, sorry, I'm okay, Marcus, I just wish this emotional rollercoaster ride would hurry up and be done."

"Dealing with subdrop is a real bitch, kitten. But now that we know how badly it affects you, Cooper and I will keep a closer eye on you after we play." He ruffled her hair and grinned at her. "I don't suppose that you're going to object to being pampered by us, now are you?"

She started to smile back, but broke out into a huge yawn instead. "No, Sir," she giggled tiredly.

"I think it's time to take our girl home. You coming for the ride, Coop?"

Cooper was already off the sofa and striding to the door. "And miss the opportunity to tuck our girl into bed? I don't bloody think so!" he laughed and grabbed Tabby's duffle bag up off the floor. "C'mon, kitten. Let's get you home, you look like you're going to fall asleep on your feet."

As if on cue, Tabby yawned again and covered her mouth up in embarrassment. "Sorry!" she mumbled, but had to admit that now that the evening's activities had wound down, she was positively exhausted.

Cooper slid his free arm around the back of her waist and escorted her out the front door and to Marcus' SUV. With a click of his key fob, Marcus deactivated the alarm and unlocked the doors so that Cooper could help Tabby into the back seat. "Do you want me to drive?" he offered to Marcus.

That was when the dynamic between the two men became apparent to Tabby. Though they were both dominant males, Marcus was definitely the natural Alpha of the two, with Cooper acting as his Beta - dominant in his own right but deferring to Marcus whenever the opportunity arose. Other than the playful teasing she had witnessed between the two men, Tabby never got the sense that there was competition or jealousy between the two men. What she did see was Cooper's absolute trust that Marcus would always include him as an equal, even when he wasn't.

It helped her to see the pair in a different light and somehow that made her love them even more. It also explained some of the intensity in Marcus' personality. He carried a lot of responsibility on his shoulders by taking on the role of an alpha male, and whether he realized it or not, it affected his demeanor. He could be deadly serious or almost child-like when he allowed his guards to lighten up, but he was always in control.

Marcus may have believed that he had lost control with her previously, but Tabby knew better. Even though she hadn't known the man for long, her instincts told her that he was too disciplined to forget how to behave that easily. He may have thought that he had lost control, and it may have even felt that way to him, but she suspected that it was his inner beast- that primal side of his psyche that he believed to be safely chained up inside of him - temporarily breaking out of its cage and exerting its power. Marcus had simply embraced the wild abandon of his alpha side without realizing it, but his inherent care for her had prevented him from doing anything that would truly have harmed her.

She wondered if Marcus even knew that that was happening or if he was unaware of the other side of his personality. It didn't matter either way to Tabby, she loved both sides of the man, her heart and brain loved his gentle, caring side and her body craved the dragon that lived in his soul. She only hoped that there'd be no eventual fall out from him keeping a big part of his personality repressed.

"Naw," Marcus shook his head, and opened the driver's side door. "I'll drive. You can enjoy her company on the ride." He glanced over the seat and found Tabby looking sleepy and deep in thought. "Though I think she's gonna be lights out long before we get her home."

"We've tired the poor thing out," Cooper agreed. "And fuck, if I can't wait to do it again!"

"Me too, buddy."

"I can hear you guys, you know!" Tabby called out irritably from the back seat. Despite her fatigue, she still didn't want to leave Marcus' house and wasn't looking forward to being alone in the apartment again. It was making her feeling unsettled and grumpy.

Marcus laughed and gave his friend a wink. "Good luck buddy."

Cooper climbed into the backseat and gave Tabby a stern look. "You gonna behave, little kitten, or am I going to have to take you over my knee?"

She shrank away from him and had the sense to look embarrassed by her outburst. "Sorry, Cooper. I'm just tired, I guess."

Cooper kissed her on the lips and gave her a smile that told her that he really wasn't upset with her. "Apology accepted, sweetness. It's been a real whirlwind of a weekend for you and there hasn't been a lot of sleep." He winked at her and she blushed, remembering the numerous reasons why she hadn't gotten the rest she'd needed. "That's why you need to go home now, love. Not because we don't want to keep you with us, but because you need time to decompress and sleep."

She nodded and settled into her seat as Marcus started the engine and backed down his long driveway. Tabby looked out the window for a while as they drove through Marcus' neighborhood when a question that she'd been curious about suddenly came into her mind.

CHAPTER 76

"Cooper?" she ventured. "Can I ask you a question?"

Cooper cocked his head and gave her his full attention. "Always, little one."
She hesitated a moment, hoping that the question she wanted to ask wasn't too personal. "You and Marcus...you guys call each other brother all the time, but are you guys actually related?"

"Not by blood, angel, but we are brothers by circumstance." Marcus was the one to respond, raising his eyes into the rear view mirror so that he could see her.

Cooper picked up the explanation next. "Marcus' family took me in after my parents died in an auto accident when I was five. My family and his were not only neighbors, but our parents were also close friends. When I was orphaned and had no other living relatives to care for me, Marcus' parents stepped in and took me in."

"I'm so sorry, Cooper," Tabby said and squeezed his hand.

He shook his head slowly. "It was a long time ago, kitten. I honestly don't really remember them beyond some vague memories and a handful of old photographs. Marcus' mom and dad took me in as a foster child and eventually adopted me. So, we are brothers, just not blood relatives."

That explained Marcus' protective attitude where Cooper was involved. With the tragedy that had befallen Cooper's parents, Marcus had become a big brother overnight. Instead of being resentful of the family's newest addition, he had stepped into the role of protector for the younger boy and the two had become inseparable.

"Have you two...always shared a...a woman?" she asked shyly.

"Not always, kitten." Now it was his turn to glance up and his gaze found Marcus' intense stare glaring back at him in the mirror, his dark eyes delivering a silent warning in his direction. "We both had our own relationships before discovering the lifestyle. It wasn't until after we'd trained as Doms, that a friend introduced us to co-topping a submissive. That was about ten years ago now. We enjoyed it, but couldn't find the right sub to collar as our permanent partner. It wasn't until you walked into our lives, sweetheart, that that changed."

Tabby had caught the odd look Marcus had given Cooper and she wondered what they were hiding from her. There had been a brief moment of tension that had passed between the two men, but it dissipated when Cooper had avoided whatever touchy subject Marcus didn't want him to bring up. She sensed that there was something else going on, but it was too soon to push them for more information. Besides which, she was too tired and had no interest in stirring up whatever hornet's nest they were keeping under wraps.

They wanted her to trust them and she would do so until they gave a reason not to.

"I'm still so nervous at how a relationship like ours is going to work in the real world. How do I treat you? What do I call each of you? Back at the house, I was operating on instinct and your instructions, the lines just blurred. But now, I feel unsure of myself and torn between what I want and what I know." Tabby squeezed her eyes shut and pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration.

Cooper pulled her head against his shoulder and rubbed her arm. "Oh kitten, my sweet, sweet Tabby-cat. The emotions that you are feeling are completely normal. We've thrown you a curveball, which you've hit right out of the park rather brilliantly. Go with your gut because it will never steer you wrong and forget all the preconceive notions of relationships that you've ever held. The majority aren't going to apply to ours, Tabitha. Just be yourself because that's who attracted our attention in the first place."

"When we are together, your job is to listen, feel and obey, but we're not tyrants. Believe it or not, Doms thrive on giving their subs pleasure...making you happy, makes us happy. You will learn to trust and follow our lead in time. As to what to call us...for now either Sir or our first name is perfectly fine. And stop worrying about making mistakes, they are a part of learning and we expect you to make them." He gave her a mischievous grin. "How else are we supposed to have fun punishing you, kitten?"

Tabby winced at the reminder but couldn't deny the thrill of arousal that zinged into her core at the memory of feeling so completely dominated as she had when Marcus had punished her. She had the discomfort left from her spanking to remind her that even though there had been pain, there had also been a pleasure that she had never experienced before. Fear of the pain had terrified her, but her need to please Marcus, to make him proud of her, had overruled her fear. That desire had been strong enough to permit her to submit to him in spite of being afraid at the same time.

That strange urge to please him, she could understand. She liked making people happy and being of use. That's probably why she enjoyed cooking so much, so it wasn't such a stretch for her to want to make Marcus happy too. The thing that was still troubling her though was the other unexpected reaction that had surfaced during the punishment - the moment when she'd begun to crave the stinging pain just to get that rush of pleasure that followed after. That was something that still had her confused and conflicted.

"I know that look, kitten. We will help you explore your masochistic side in a safe, controlled manner. Don't be ashamed that you got off on the pain. Many people find the right type of pain to be almost as pleasurable as the sex itself. Put the two components together and you have a magic that very few can understand or appreciate."

"I never suspected that I would have masochistic tendencies. It wasn't until Marcus' spanking, that something unlocked inside of me that I never knew existed. I feel like I've stumbled upon a hidden room in my home that had been sitting there in plain sight all along. I'm still trying to wrap my head around how pain could produce such intense pleasure. It doesn't make sense and trying to figure it out is messing me up."

Marcus had been listening as he wended his way through the semi-deserted suburban streets. Cooper had a way of helping nervous submissives open up and he was doing just that with Tabby. Her exhaustion was also helping to lower her natural defenses, allowing her to speak freely while reducing the effectiveness of her natural mental filters.

"That is what the period of Consideration is all about, angel. Together, we will figure out your limits, hard and soft, and help to fill in some of the gaps in your knowledge of the BDSM lifestyle. We will experiment and explore until we have a good idea of where your likes and dislikes lie. At the same time, we will also get to know each other as individuals. It won't all be sex, angel. Sometimes it will be just the three of us sitting on the sofa watching a movie and eating popcorn."

"Except that you'll probably be naked!" Cooper chimed in making them all laugh.

"Yeah, probably," Marcus agreed.

Tabby pretended to scowl at them, but secretly she already loved the idea of being naked around her men. The way she'd catch them staring at her like she was a meal they couldn't wait to devour, coupled with the obvious evidence of their arousal in their pants...that kind of attention just made her feel sexy and powerful in a very feminine way.

These dominant, confident men were miles away from the fumbling, horny boys that she'd dated in the past - they had embraced their sexuality and took what they wanted, but went about it in such a way that she was more than happy to give it to them.

Tabby would have been lying to herself if she denied loving how quickly she could strip away their veneer of civility and reduce them to creatures of pure lust with just the sight of her naked body. Seeing them as affected by her as she was by them, also reassured her that the intense feelings bombarding her weren't flowing one way - their bodies betrayed how badly they wanted her just as hers did every time one of them touched her. They didn't even have to touch her, the fact that they were usually hard around her, hadn't escaped her notice. Knowing that those erections and heated gazes were all for her, made her want to preen with satisfaction.

They may have outweighed her and outmuscled her, but Tabby was just beginning to comprehend that she wasn't completely powerless around her two lovers. In fact, she had a feeling that underneath all their dominance and virility, it was she that held the real power over Marcus and Cooper.

The fragile trust that was developing between them gave her the ability to choose to surrender it into their capable hands.

She didn't need to exert her power in order to possess it; all she needed was to have faith that her two partners would always have her best interests in mind.

Her head spun. There was so much more to BDSM than just the kinky sex that people either glorified or vilified. To those willing to delve beneath the surface, there was a world built on binding emotional attachments, a deep abiding trust and an unshakable sense of responsibility to one's partner that Tabby didn't think truly existed in modern vanilla relationships.

She laughed to herself. She was even starting to use BDSM terms in her own thoughts, to show how far she'd come in such a few short hours.

CHAPTER 77

Cooper couldn't help himself; he stroked Tabby's hair and arm as she lay quietly against his shoulder. He could practically hear the grinding from the gears spinning in his intelligent, inquisitive submissive's head as her active brain processed everything she had experienced and learned. He knew that this was a necessary part of her acceptance of their unorthodox lifestyle and that she needed to come to her own conclusions, but Cooper couldn't wait to see what percolated out of all her deep thinking.

What questions would she have? Conclusions? Fears? These things would come out in the coming days as they initiated her further into their world.

He sighed and relaxed into the seat, letting her settle her comforting weight against his shoulder. She had gone quiet but so long as he was touching her, he was happy. When her eyelids grew heavy and began fluttering up and down, he knew that she was fighting the urge to sleep and it was time for him to step in.

"Close your eyes, kitten. We still have a forty-five minute drive to get back to your apartment and you need the rest." He arranged her seatbelt so that she could lay her head down on his lap more comfortably while remaining safely secured.

"Don't wanna sleep," she yawned, snuggling down and making herself comfortable despite her sleepy protest.

"Then just close your eyes while we drive, sweetness. Let me enjoy holding you for a bit, okay?" he murmured, lightly running his fingers along the ridge of her spine, gently lulling her further into the waiting clutches of slumber.

"Mmmm, m'kay," she mumbled, her eyes closing. Her breathing soon settled into the regular rhythm of sleep, aided by the relaxing encouragement of Cooper's soothing caresses.

Marcus flicked his eyes up to the mirror and smiled at the contented expression on his brother's face. It mirrored the one he carried in his heart. "She gone?" he spoke softly so as not to disturb Tabby.

"Yeah. Out like a light," Cooper replied.

"She's a stubborn one. I figured she'd be asleep before we hit the freeway."

"She was too curious. Are you ever going to tell her about Daria? She knows that I kept something from her and eventually she's going to ask, Marcus."

"Daria is old history. I'm not bringing that whore into our relationship, even if it is just by the mention of her name," Marcus spat bitterly. The sting from his ex-finance's betrayal still stabbed him in his gut when he thought about how she had duped him and how blithely he had believed her act.

Cooper was silent, contemplating his next words because he knew that they were going to touch a very raw nerve in his friend. "How long are you going to let Daria keep hurting you, brother?"

Marcus growled and his dark eyes flashed up to the mirror, spitting daggers at Cooper. "Don't, Cooper. Don't fucking go there. Or if you are stupid enough to open that can of worms, at least wait until we take Tabby home because it's going to earn you a fucking beating."

Cooper sighed, feeling pain for his brother and best friend. He was the only person close enough to Marcus, who knew how he had walled off his heart after Daria had shattered it. Cooper worried that holding onto that old hurt, was going to destroy any chance of real happiness that Marcus could have with Tabby.

"She'll know, Marcus. Not today or next week...but eventually, Tabitha is going to know that you are holding something back. She's not stupid and...fuck!" he swore quietly under his breath, wishing he had something he could punch to relieve the frustration twisting his gut into a knot. "Fuck me if I'm not falling for her already! What's it going to be like in a month? In three? When the Consideration period expires and she has to make a decision, where the fuck is your head going to be? Because if it is half as far up your ass as it is now, we are going to lose her."

"You don't know what you're talking about, Coop. She'll be fine and she'll be ours."

Cooper was starting to get angry at Marcus' stubbornness. "You're fucking delusional, you know that? You beat her for lying to you. How do you think she's going to react when she learns that she can never have your complete heart, Marcus? If you are serious about training her, we are going to strip her to her marrow, expose her beautiful heart and expect her to give us every drop of herself in return. In the process, you know damn well that we are going to make her so attached to us that she will fall in love. It will kill her to know, at least from you, that she's never going to get a fraction of that love back because you are too scared to trust another woman with your heart."

Tabby grumbled and whimpered in her sleep, subconsciously reacting to the tension straining the air between the two men. Cooper quickly hushed her and the touch of his hand rubbing circles on her back, helped her settle back into sleep. Taking a deep breath, Cooper took a minute to calm down as well. He wanted to beat on Marcus until he could make him see the impending disaster that his reluctance to open himself up to love was going to create. However, he needed to keep a cool head because the last thing he wanted was for Tabby to wake up to find herself in the middle of World War Three.

He waited until he was sure that he had his temper back under control before speaking again. "Marcus...I can love her enough for the both of us, but one day, this smart, beautiful, talented woman is going to notice that her love isn't being reciprocated by you in the same way. You can offer her your lust. You can offer her your protection. Hell, you can even offer her more money than she's ever dreamed of, but mark my words, brother, if you don't offer her your unguarded heart, you will lose her and I'm not prepared to stand by and watch that happen."

Every one of Cooper's words peppered Marcus' heart with pinpoints of agony that stuck in him as if he'd just withstood a barrage of porcupine quills, naked. However, the barbs only reached as far as the steel casing that shielded his heart safely away. They couldn't penetrate the stubborn assertion he'd wrapped around himself; that opening his heart up to loving Tabby, to loving anybody, would only leave him wrecked and bleeding in the end.

He was prepared to give her everything...except that. Though he knew the fear wasn't entirely rational, he couldn't let it go and choked on the bitter sorrow that flooded into him, drowning him in anguish.

"I know," he said in an emotionless voice that belied the turmoil raging in his head. He continued driving, suddenly feeling like he was steering a sinking boat down the river Styx, into the gates of his own personal hell.

CHAPTER 78

The man in the truck hardly noticed the big, black Escalade when it pulled into the driveway that sat just in front of where he had parked his truck. His ass was numb from sitting for hours and his back wasn't thanking him either. He shivered in the late September night's chill, but the truck's gas tank was sitting on E from him idling the engine so many times to blast the heater. His bladder was also letting him know that the uncountable cups of coffee and soda that he'd been guzzling for energy, wanted out...badly. He was just debating whether to give up his stakeout for the night, find a gas station and go for a piss before heading home, when the big vehicle had shown up.

The man's gut was a seething cauldron of acid and anxiety. The girl he'd been trailing had fucking disappeared. She'd never returned home after going to that kinky sex club last night and he'd watched all day with nothing but a raging case of indigestion and a sore ass to show for it.

Even her blonde bimbo friend hadn't reappeared. The man initially had been hoping that his mark had just shacked up with a one-night stand and would turn up Sunday morning doing the walk of shame, but Sunday was ten minutes from being history and she was still MIA. His employer was going to have his nuts for breakfast if he couldn't track her down and soon.

He was just about to crank the engine and go when the Escalade had pulled up and parked in the curved driveway in front of the condominium building's main door. The vehicle's arrival hadn't been anything noteworthy and he was just about to ignore it until two big-assed men climbed out of it, seeming to be out of place. He watched curiously, as one of them reached into the backseat and emerged carrying a person in his arms.

Now that development did catch the man in the truck's interest and he perked up, focusing on the body that the one gorilla was carrying. The dark brown hair dangling over the man's arm looked familiar and he excitedly scrambled to find his camera with the long range, telephoto lens attached to it. He aimed the huge lens out of his window, focused in on the woman in the blond man's arms, and almost pissed himself in relief.

There she was, fast asleep like a baby in a giant's arms. At least he assumed she was fast asleep. From this distance, she could have been dead and he wouldn't have known it. He studied the body language of the men with her and decided that they were too relaxed to be dealing with a dead body. She was either asleep or passed out. He let go the breath he'd been holding and relaxed, content to watch the show.

Thank fucking Christ! He had been dreading having to tell the crazy bastard who had hired him, that he'd lost her, but now he didn't have to. He snapped a series of photos, making sure to capture face shots of both of the unknown males that had accompanied her back home.

Fucking hell, he swore, looking out of his window at them. Those bastards were huge!

He hoped that they were just getting a dumb bitch that'd partied too hard home safely, because if not, then they would become a serious complication to his eventual plans to capture the girl and deliver her to his twisted employer. He did not fancy his chances in a physical battle with those two brutes.

At least that's what he figured was going to happen if the sex club thing fell through. One way or another, that girl was going to end up dead or at very least, seriously fucked up once his psycho boss got his paws on her. That much he'd gathered from the man's rabid obsession with her.

Either option worked for him. She was a pretty little thing and the guy had promised him some one on one time with her before he finished her off.

Sometimes not having a conscious worked out pretty well for him and he wasn't above taking a woman against her will as a free benefit of his contract.

He had met his employer in a chatroom for men with, shall we say - interests that deviated from the societal norms - violent fetishes, rape enthusiasts, and worse, they all congregated on super secretive websites to share their twisted desires.
They had chatted, sharing stories, and when the man had mentioned his predicament with the girl in question and he had offered him his services as a licensed P.I.

After verifying the guy's identity to make sure that he wasn't with law enforcement, they had come to an agreement that worked out well for the both of them.

He would find the girl and monitor her, apprehending her when his boss was ready and would give him mate's rates on his fee. In exchange, he would have one hour to do whatever he wished with the girl before turning her over to his employer. The guy had happily agreed with only one proviso, she had to be alive and intact when he got his hands on her.

What happened to her after that was between his employer and God.

The prospect of joining that sex club was appealing to him more and more. The idea that he could find him a bunch of horny sluts that were into physical abuse really turned him on. Once he had them tied up and helpless, he'd be free to fuck and beat on them until he was too tired to hold the whip. He'd have to keep things under control while on their premises but he knew what to say to make the eager little cunts go home with him after and then all bets would be off.

With any luck, he'd get a call or email back regarding his request for a tour soon, and then he could kill two birds with one stone: he'd check the place out to see if it suited his employer's need for privacy and he'd check it out for his own purposes at the same time.

The women were all the same...stupid and so desperate for love that it was disgustingly easy to separate the weak ones from the rest of the herd. He knew how to turn on the charm and get them to trust him and once they did, they were putty in his hands. Once he had them tied up, and revealed his true nature, what could they do? They would soon find out that the unicorns and kittens he promised turned into broken bones and brain damage once he got them in private.

Who knows? Maybe he'd pick himself up a new exercise regime. He chuckled to himself and thought about all the nasty, kinky fun he could have in a place like that. His tastes didn't run quite to the extremes that his employer's did, but he had his own proclivities and it would be fun to be able to indulge in them occasionally.

Fun times, boys and girls, fun times!

He quit snapping photos and lowered his camera once the trio disappeared into the lobby. The driver's seat creaked as he settled back to wait, all his earlier frustration and boredom wiped from his memory. A cramp in his gut reminded him of a more pressing problem and he stepped out of his truck, darted across the street and took a much-needed piss behind a bus shelter. There was no way in hell he was leaving the scene now. He needed to wait for those men to leave and then maybe he'd follow them and see where they took him.

Feeling happy, he returned to his vehicle to wait them out. This night was finally looking up, he thought.

CHAPTER 79

The sound of the elevator's motor humming to life woke Tabby up and she stirred in Cooper's arms. Opening her eyes, she saw the familiar paneling from her building's elevator as she blinked in the glaring light.

"How come I always seem to wake up in one of your arms?" she said, glancing between Marcus and Cooper with a sleepy smile tugging at her lips.

"Because that's one of our most favorite places to keep you, if you don't count being naked underneath one of us of course," Cooper smiled back and gently set her down on her feet, stealing a quick kiss. "You were sleeping so soundly that I didn't want to wake you up."

Tabby stretched; the lithe way her body elongated reminded both men of a cat just waking from a nap. It made the front of her hoody tighten across her chest, making the outlines of her pert nipples and the heavy swell of her breasts, press through the material. Their mouths went dry at the sight and their cocks twitched restlessly, desperately wanting to see more. While Tabby yawned, Marcus and Cooper both discretely adjusted their semi-stiff dicks before Tabby noticed that there was a problem.

"I guess I was more tired than I thought. I don't even remember falling asleep."

Marcus cleared the sudden desert that had taken up residence in his throat. "I think you must have set some sort of speed record because one minute you were purring like a contented kitten on Cooper's lap, the next you were sawing logs."

Tabby blushed. "Please tell me I wasn't snoring?" she asked in horror.

"Only a little," Cooper teased her. "You sounded so cute. Didn't she, Marcus?"

"Yup, like a kitten purring crossed with a hamster sneezing," he replied, trying and failing to keep a straight face. "Just too damned cute for words, angel."

"Oh god," Tabby groaned in embarrassment, as the pair chuckled. "Kill me now."

Marcus sidled up behind her and pulled her back to his chest. He kissed her neck, his warm breath ghosting over her ear, and his hands reached up to cup her breasts making her melt into his grasp. "Now that would be a crying shame, angel." Tabby shivered as his husky voice sent a thrill of arousal zinging down her spine to settle like a glowing coal in her core producing all manner of delicious warmth.

Damn that man and his sexy voice! All Marcus had to do was talk like that and her traitorous body committed mutiny. Bye-bye brain...hello hormones!

The elevator pinged announcing that they had reached their destination and the doors slid apart. Tabby was almost relieved when she stepped out into the hall, if she'd stayed in that elevator any longer; she had a feeling that she wouldn't have been staying dressed for very long. The smoldering looks that she was getting from both men told her that they were thinking of all the things they would have liked to do to her before those doors had opened and cut their fantasies short.

Cooper walked out into the hall followed by Marcus and Tabby; he had readjusted his hold on her so that they could walk out side by side, with one of his arms loosely snaked around her waist. They walked the short distance to her unit with static electricity arcing between them and nobody speaking. The silence wasn't exactly uncomfortable, but the pent up lust supercharged the atmosphere such that Tabby buzzed with a nervous excitement making her hyper-aware of the two alpha males that were escorting her.

Marcus produced her keys from his jacket pocket and unlocked the door so that they could enter the dark apartment. Turning on the lights, it was apparent that Petra hadn't been back since they'd left Saturday night. Everything was dark and the apartment had a chilly, abandoned feel to it. The first thing Tabby did was flip on the lights in the living room and search for the thermostat to turn on the heat.

"C'mon, kitten. Time to get you into bed," Cooper said, coming up behind her and scooping her up into his arms with a startled squeal.

"Hey! I can walk you know!" she giggled, pretending to struggle in his arms.

"True, but then I wouldn't get to feel your round little ass rubbing against me in that intoxicating way that it is doing right now." He leaned over and nipped her lower lip before sealing his mouth on hers. At the same time, a wandering hand gripped her rear and gave it a playful squeeze. He stared at her after he broke the kiss, a faraway look in his sky blue eyes. "You really are becoming my favorite thing to play with, kitten," he murmured, arousal and emotion making his voice rough and sexy.

Heat blossomed in Tabby's belly, fueled by a potent mixture of happiness and desire that swirled together in the most delightful way. The infant connection that flowed between them was weaving their separate lives into something entirely new. The attraction she felt for these two men was already so strong and natural that it was easy for Tabby to forget that she really hadn't known either man for very long. They were essentially strangers, yet her body's reactions to them were the kind you'd expect with long-term familiarity and affection - like something vital in her DNA had been lying dormant all these years, waiting for the day that put Tabby into their sphere of influence and it could finally awaken and flourish.

There would be no going back to the person she had been before meeting Marcus and Cooper, because that girl didn't exist anymore.

She brought her hand up to his cheek and an innocent, boyish smile lit up his face just from the contact. "Back at you, big guy," she replied, threw her arms around his neck, and hugged him tight.

Marcus came up beside them, bringing her overnight bag with him, as Cooper carried her out of the living room. Tabby turned towards him, extending her hand out for him to grasp. When he did, she tugged him in closer, brought his big hand up, and rubbed her cheek against the back of it. "I didn't mean to ignore you," she said apologetically. "It's going to take me some time to learn how to juggle having two boyfriends. I feel guilty giving one of you attention and not the other."

"First of all, angel," Marcus said as they walked down the hall to her room. "You aren't leaving me out when you are with Cooper. I enjoy watching you with him, just as much as he enjoys watching you with me. There is no jealousy between us, sweetness because we know that our turn always comes and that being a spectator is sometimes necessary, and enjoyable. That's what it means to truly share you, angel."

Cooper set her down on the edge of her bed and sat beside her. Marcus placed her bag on a chair by the door, then came, and sat on her other side. Both men each picked up one of her hands and held them in theirs, seeming to need the contact with her.

"People think that a triad is one big happy relationship, but it is actually three separate ones that are intertwined," he explained.

"Three?" Tabby questioned.

"Yes, angel. There is the relationship that exists between you and Cooper."

Cooper held up her hand enclosed in his.

Cooper spoke next. "Then there's the relationship that exists between you and Marcus."

This time, Marcus held up her other hand, his fist securely wrapped around her hand.

"And finally there's the relationship between all three of us as a unit," Marcus finished, reaching across Tabby's midriff and meeting Cooper's free hand at her center. The two men grasped palms, closing their circle.

"There will be times when each of us will want personal time with you, though most times will involve all three of us. I'm not going to get jealous if Cooper wants to spend time alone with you and visa-versa because you belong to both of us equally, angel." He smiled and gave her hand a squeeze. "What I'm trying to say, is that you don't need to worry about splitting your affection equally all the time. Just do what feels natural. The dynamics of our separate relationships will meld until living in a triad won't feel any different than that of a pair."

Tabby nodded and grinned at both of them. "Follow your lead, right?"

"Yeah, love," Cooper replied. "That's pretty much the correct answer to all your concerns. We don't want a preprogrammed robot for a sub, there's no right way or wrong way to act. Just be yourself and the rest will take care of itself. Have no fear, little Tabby-cat, when we want something from you, we will tell you."

"Okay," Tabby agreed, the bands of anxiety wrapped around her chest easing. "I think I can live with that."

Marcus gazed at her and he shot a wicked smirk over to Cooper. "I think we should give our little pet a demonstration on how well we can share, brother. What do you think?"

CHAPTER 80

Cooper returned his devilish look and ran an appraising glance over Tabby, making her insides glow like the heating element on a stove cranked on max. "Sounds like a plan. But I think she's wearing the wrong clothes for our demonstration." His fingers slid under the hem of her hoody and slowly began lifting it up, exposing her naked belly. "I've got the top. You get the bottom?" he asked Marcus.

"I'm all over it," he winked back, dropping himself to his knees in front of Tabby and reaching for the button on her jeans.

In a matter of seconds, Tabby found herself divested of all her clothing and was basking naked under the simmering gazes of two very appreciative males. "Now what?" she asked coyly, biting her bottom lip lightly, pleased at the way the gesture made both men's eyes darken with lust.

They didn't speak, just crawled like jungle cats onto the bed, picked her up between them and lifted her into the center of the mattress. "Now, angel," Marcus said, his voice low and commanding. "Lie back and let us show you what it means to belong to two men."

Hands on both shoulders reclined her onto the bed and Marcus and Cooper stretched out beside her, trapping her between their huge bodies. The fact that she was stark naked while they were both still fully dressed only enhanced the erotic atmosphere they were creating.

They started slowly, running gentle hands up and down her arms, over her belly and cupping her breasts. Their movements were languorous, fingertips making love to her skin awakening all her nerve endings until she quivered in an unending series of tremors. Their whispered endearments and butterfly kisses wove a spell around Tabby, dragging her away from reality and loosening the tension in her muscles, helping her to relax. Her nipples stiffened and she moaned softly every time one of their hands ghosted over the sensitive nubs.

Both men moved as one, kissing trails down opposite sides of her neck, over her collarbones until they reached her aching breasts. Tabby shuddered as twin tongues teased her nipples before engulfing them into a pair of hot mouths that sucked, licked and nipped her into a frenzy of sensation, creating a storm of pleasure that left her confused, weak and squirming with desire.

Tabby quickly lost track of whose hands were touching her as the sensations blurred into one constant stream of erotic impulses that hit her too rapidly for her to keep track of. At first, her mind tried to keep up with their movements, but quickly grew sluggish under the overwhelming onslaught until it had no choice but to surrender itself to the barrage of sensations flooding in. In the space of a few short minutes, her lovers had stripped away her conscious control of her body and reduced her to a wanton creature of desire.

Writhing and whimpering under the wicked torment of their hands and mouths, Tabby's eyelids drifted down as she lost herself in a churning sea of arousal. Marcus glanced up and met Cooper's gaze. A silent "she's ready" passed between them and as one, they each shifted one hand and placed it under her knees, working as a team to lift and spread her thighs apart before finally hooking her legs over their hips to give them unobstructed access to her dripping core.

Tabby barely noticed what they were doing; the pleasure coming from their mouths on her breasts had kept her perfectly distracted until the moment when she felt two large, warm palms come to rest heavily on her exposed pussy. A pair of long fingers slipped between her folds and she moaned through the blast of sensation that hit her.

"Oh god!" she shivered. "That feels so...so...g-good!" Her hands came off the bed and rested on the tops of her lover's heads, tangling her fingers in their hair and pushing their mouths harder against her.

Both men groaned at her breasts, the vibration of their deep voices sent fiery jolts of electricity arcing through her nipples and racing into her core. Pressure at her entrance had her hips bucking upwards, effectively impaling herself on the teasing fingers that slipped inside her.

"Fucking hell!" Cooper swore, releasing his hold on her nipple so that he could look down her undulating body. He withdrew his fingers and they shone wetly under the bedroom lights. "She's fucking dripping, brother!"

"I know." Marcus slid his fingers up her slit until he found the stiff nub of her clit and gave it a quick flick with his fingernail. Tabby cried out and arched her back, shuddering as her body reacted to the sudden stimulus. "You should feel her clit; it's so hard that I could make her cum just by blowing on it!"

"Would you like that, kitten?" Cooper murmured in her ear. "Would you like us to make you cum before we let you go to sleep?" His fingers slipped back into her wetness and stroked her velvety inner walls, knowing the befuddling effect it would have on her.

Tabby was almost incoherent with desire; her brain was filled with a jumble of misfiring neurons that all screamed for the need to release. "Yes," she breathed, her hooded eyes flipping between the two men playfully tormenting her.

Marcus scowled and wrapped the hand that had been between her legs, around her throat with lightning speed. He used enough pressure to capture her full attention, but not enough to cut off her airway. His intention was to correct her mistake, not to actually choke her. Tabby yelped, her shocked eyes flew wide and her whole body stilled. She abruptly found herself rudely thrown from paradise and under the harsh gaze of an angry demon with her scent filling her nostrils.

"Did you forget something, angel?" he growled menacingly at her, flexing his grip around her neck, feeling her gulp reflexively under his palm.

"S-s-sir. Yes, Sir!" she cried out, sucking in a sharp breath as Cooper thrust his fingers back into her pussy catching her by surprise.

"Good girl." He released her, trailed his damp fingers down her neck, between her heaving breasts and rested his palm on her mound. "Now beg us to let you cum, angel," he said in a seductive voice that wrapped around her like silk. "Beg and we might just give you your wish, little pet."

"Please, Sir," she whispered in a breathy voice, finding it hard to get enough oxygen into her lungs.

Marcus smirked and allowed one of his fingers to slip into her cleft. He tapped the swollen bulge of her clit with one fingertip, smiling in satisfaction at the gasps she uttered in response.

"Please, what, my little angel? What do you want?" He teased her clitoris with light brushes of his thumb, while his finger flicked at the hood covering the delicate bundle of nerves. Tabby's eyes rolled wildly as she fought against the overwhelming sensations to be able to think clearly enough to obey his command. Marcus didn't let up, he kept stimulating her, watching in rapt amazement as she struggled to keep herself from coming apart.

Cooper was also paying close attention, understanding the erotic game Marcus was playing and enjoying himself. As soon as he saw her part her lips to speak, he'd hooked his fingers up and attacked her g-spot.

"Pleeeaaase..." she wailed in a long, strangled cry. "Oh god! Oh...fuck!" she cried, writhing against their dual attack. Undeniable pressure was building in her belly and she was losing herself to the sensation. "I'm going to cum," she cried out and both men froze, keeping their hands completely still. She growled in disappointment, her eyelids shooting open with surprise. "Please, Sirs? Please?"

"Please what, angel?" Marcus asked coolly.

"Oh please make me cum. Please?" she pleaded, thrusting her hips so that her pussy ground into their unresponsive palms.

Marcus looked at Cooper, a sly grin on his face. "Do you think we should, brother?"

Cooper pretended to ponder the question for a minute, and then turned to Tabby with a mischievous glint in his eye. "Well...she did ask so nicely. Maybe we should let her cum."

"Hmmm, think about how eager she'll be to serve us tomorrow, if we leave her like this? Maybe we should just go now."

Each made to remove their hands from her pussy and Tabby reacted violently, grabbing their arms to stop them. "No!" she howled in panic. "Please, Marcus! Please Cooper! Don't leave me like this!" Tears of desperation slid from the corners of her eyes as she begged them. Marcus saw the silvery drops slipping away and he ducked down and licked the salty moisture from her skin.
"Please, Sirs," she whispered hoarsely, her eyes unfocused and speaking to no one in particular. "I need you."

"Okay, angel. But only because you begged for it so sweetly." Marcus and Cooper fell upon her breasts, sucking her stiff nipples into their greedy mouths at the same time their fingers renewed their attack on her pussy. Cooper thrust three fingers inside her, stretching and filling her so that she was overwhelmed with the feel of him and pumped them hard in and out. Her whole body shook with the impacts of his hand crashing into her pelvis while Marcus used the calloused pads of his fingers to rasp across the hypersensitive flesh of her clit, making her scream and writhe.

Pinned down by the weight of their bodies leaning on her chest, Tabby heaved up and screamed, but couldn't escape the explosion of sensation that consumed her reality. Her hips bucked wildly, meeting Cooper's plunging fingers and driving them deeper inside her. He'd angled his fingertips so that he could hit her g-spot with every pounding strike while Marcus increased the speed and pressure with which he was massaging her clitoris. A tornado of sensation lifted Tabby right out of her body; she was tossed and tumbled, twisted and turned, until she had no sense of anything other than the immense need growing in her belly.

Tabby was rapidly coming apart. Between their hot mouths and merciless hands, all she could do was try to breathe through her screams as the need to come intensified to the point of pain.

"More!" she demanded, directing the command at both of her men. Her body was poised on the cusp of orgasm, but some vital element was eluding her and she couldn't tip over the edge, it was making her frantic and desperate.

"Cum, angel!" Marcus demanded, rubbing her clit so hard that it felt like it was on fire. "Cum for us, baby girl!"

She tried. God she tried. She held her breath and willed her release to magically trigger as the stimulation they were providing became more and more uncomfortable.

"I can't!" she wailed, thrashing her head in frustration. "I can't. Oh fuck, it hurts!"

"Shh, angel." Marcus soothed, comprehending the problem immediately. "I know what you need, baby."

He caught Cooper's eye and nodded to the nipple currently in his mouth. "On three...bite her," he said so quietly that Tabby couldn't hear him.

Between her legs, Marcus took a hold of Tabby's engorged clit and rolled it between his thumb and forefinger eliciting a strangled moan from Tabby, but no climax. The muscles in her abdomen undulated like waves on the ocean and he could feel the strong contractions in her pussy as she tried to fight through the mental block that was preventing her from achieving her orgasm.

"One...two..." he mouthed wordlessly. On three, Cooper bit down hard onto the spongy flesh of Tabby's nipple while simultaneously; Marcus delivered a punishing pinch to her clit.

The brilliant blast of agony hit Tabby like a freight train and for a split second, her lungs petrified and her muscles went rigid. Her mind blanked and then exploded into a billion stars as the orgasm lit up every nerve cluster in her body. She let loose a high-pitched wail, followed by a groan so deep that it sounded like it shook the depths of her soul. Her vision went incandescent then plunged into a darkness made of pure ecstasy as her body soared over the crest of her orgasm and she tumbled into oblivion.

CHAPTER 81

When she came to, Marcus and Cooper were by her sides, speaking soft, encouraging words and skimming their hands over her skin. They peppered her with kisses, wherever their lips could reach until she moaned softly and her eyelids opened a crack. It took Tabby a few attempts before she could keep her eyes open long enough to focus them and what she saw was her men, both staring at her with concerned expressions on their handsome faces. She gave them both a sleepy smile and the worried lines disappeared, transformed into identical looks of awe, lust and pride as they welcomed her back to reality.

"How do you feel, kitten?" Cooper asked her, searching her face for any sign of distress.

"Like someone just turned all my muscles to jello," she giggled.

Marcus grinned at Cooper. "Looks like our girl enjoyed being shared, brother."

Cooper chuckled and nodded. "Looks like," he agreed. "That was fucking incredible, kitten. You were fucking magnificent!"

Tabby's contented smile fell away and a look of consternation took its place. "What's bothering you, angel?" Marcus asked.

"I don't understand what happened. Why couldn't I cum? When you touched me before, I never had a problem. This time, it felt...I dunno, like I got stuck or something."

Marcus sat up and urged her to climb onto his lap. "That, my sweet, kinky angel, was your masochist side flexing its fledgling wings."

"How would that stop me from orgasming? I mean I really, really needed to, but couldn't get there."

"Your body needed the shock from pain, baby girl. The second we gave it to you, you went off like the Fourth of July," Cooper replied.

"Is it always going to be like that?" She wondered aloud. "Am I always going to need the pain now?"

Marcus cuddled her to him and lightly stroked her back. "Maybe, maybe not, angel. But it isn't something to worry about. We will find out what is best for you and if it is the pain your body craves to take it over the edge, then we will give that to you."

Tabby groaned in frustration and sat up on Marcus' laps. "That's just it! I don't understand any of this right now."

"Okay, let's see if we can help you with that. When I spanked you, how did it feel?"

"It fucking hurt!" she snapped irritably.

"It did at first, but then what happened?" Marcus prodded her.

Tabby hesitated. "...and then it didn't. It...almost felt...good?"

"Your body was definitely into it, angel. What about now? How did it feel when we gave your body what it was seeking?"

A bright red blush highlighted her cheeks and Tabby dropped her gaze, embarrassed. "Needing to cum and not being able to hurt, but in a different way."

"Different how, kitten?" Cooper asked, genuinely curious to hear her explanation.

"It felt like I was filled up with pressure, like a shaken soda bottle, and it had nowhere to go. When Marcus spanked me, the pain was immediate - it flared then morphed into a weird sort of pleasure - like twisting the cap off that fizzing soda bottle and letting a little pressure escape. The more he spanked me, the more pressure released and the better I felt." She shrugged her shoulders. "I guess I'm struggling to reconcile how pain can actually end up feeling so wonderful. It goes against every survival instinct that I have. When you gave me the pain just now, it was like blowing that cap right off that bottle, all that pressure escaped and ecstasy rushed in to fill the void." Tabby laughed. "I don't really remember much after that!"

Cooper winked at her. "You had the most spectacular orgasm I've ever seen. It was so intense that you blacked out for a few seconds. You gave us quite the scare, kitten." He leaned in to kiss her on the cheek. "I'm afraid we've ruined your duvet." He pointed to the huge, damp spot in the center of the bed.

Marcus pulled her back against his chest and crisscrossed his arms over her front. "If it can't be dry-cleaned, I'll buy you a new one. Hell, I'll buy a dozen so that we can just toss them out as we make you cum all over them because, angel, I intend to make you cum like that over and over just for the fucking pleasure of watching it."

A yawn caught Tabby by surprise and she rested her tired head against one of Marcus's biceps. His arm was so warm and solid that Tabby couldn't resist rubbing her cheek against his skin, enjoying the feel.

"Looks like our little kitten is ready for bed, brother," Cooper commented, amused at how much like a kitten she looked at that moment. In fact, if she had started to purr, he wouldn't have been surprised. Despite her exhaustion, Tabby looked contented and well-fucked, a state he selfishly wanted to keep her in forever.

Marcus stood and Cooper pulled the soiled duvet off the bed and retrieved another blanket from the cabinet. Tucked into her bed, Tabby had a moment of panic when both men began to head for the door.

"Wait!" she called out.

Marcus turned and raised an eyebrow at her. "What is it, angel?"

"Would you...could you both stay with me until I fall asleep?" she asked shyly.

"Of course we will. There's nothing we'd like to do more, angel," Marcus replied, returning to her bed and lying down beside her.

Tabby smirked and gave Marcus a wicked, mischievous look. "I can think of at least one thing, Sir."

"Minx. I can too, angel, but I think you've had enough for one night. Go to sleep, little one and I'll take a rain cheque on the offer." He kissed her forehead and the happy sigh she released warmed his chest with pleasure.

Cooper turned off the light and went to lie down on the opposite side of the bed. Tabby snuggled herself into her blankets and they both moved in close, sandwiching her between their big bodies. Once they had her positioned between them, Tabby relaxed, feeling protected and cared for. Their body heat and familiar scents quickly lulled her closer to sleep. Her eyelids soon dropped and she fell asleep, safe in the arms of her two men.

"Goodnight, angel," Marcus whispered, kissing her on the forehead.

"Sweet dreams, kitten," Cooper added, leaning over to kiss her cheek.

Tabby sighed and the slightest hint of a smile tugged at the sides of her lips. Once she was snoring lightly, the two men eased themselves off the bed. On their way to the door, Marcus' gaze accidently fell on the open seam of the zipper on her bag where a tuft of oddly familiar looking cotton fabric had protruded.

Marcus stepped over to the chair and pulled the zipper. "Hold up, Coop," he said quietly.

"What's up?" Cooper asked, curiously watching Marcus open Tabby's bag and pull out his tunic. "How did that get in there?"

Marcus grinned, knowing exactly how and why his shirt had ended up in Tabby's things. He knew he should be annoyed that she'd taken it, but the tenderness and pride in his heart prevented the harsh emotion from taking root. His girl had wanted something of his, with his scent on it, and he couldn't have been happier for her act of thievery. He brought the shirt to his nose and could smell his cologne and sweat mixed into the fabric.

He looked at Cooper and nodded. "Do you know what this means, brother?"

Cooper smirked. "That you have another excuse to spank her?"

"Besides that," Marcus snorted and stepped softly back to Tabby's bed. He placed the shirt beside her on the pillow and watched in rapt amazement as her little nose twitched and her arm pulled it close to her face. She nuzzled the fabric and a contented smile appeared on her lips before they relaxed back into sleep.

"Wow," Cooper breathed, feeling a tug in his chest and an irrational wish that he had brought his own shirt to leave with her too. "If you're not going to spank our little Miss Sticky fingers for her thievery, then what's the deal?"

"Dumb ass," Marcus whispered. "It shows that she is already bonding to us."

"To you, you mean," Cooper replied, wincing at the hint of bitterness in his comment.

Marcus looked at him and shook his head. "No...to us, brother. It just happened that my shirt was the only thing she found that she thought she could take. I'm willing to bet that if there had been one of yours, she would have taken it too."

Cooper stepped closer to the bed and gazed down on the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. Shit, he cursed. He was already falling in love with this delicate creature but still questioned if her feelings towards him were as real as the ones she held for Marcus.

Without a second thought, he yanked his own shirt over his head and placed it close to Tabby's face. "Let's test that theory, brother."

Both watched Tabby and for several seconds, it didn't appear as if she was going to react. Cooper felt his hopes plummet but then, her tiny fist opened and gathered his discarded shirt up with Marcus' shirt. She scrunched up the two garments and snuggled her face into both, sighing with sleepy contentment.

Cooper almost burst out into very unmanly tears he was so damned happy.

Marcus grinned at him and clasped him on the shoulder. "See. What did I tell you, brother? She wants you just as much and she wants me, so relax already."

"She fucking amazing, Marcus...just fucking amazing."

"And she's all ours. Come on, let's get out of here and let her sleep or else we aren't going to be able to leave."

With one last, longing look at their precious girl, the pair walked out of her room, closing the door behind them.

Cooper leaned heavily against the wall in the hall and scrubbed his face with his hands. "I can't believe what we have, Marcus. How the fuck did we get so lucky?"

Marcus shook his head, turned, and stared at her door, wanting nothing more than to go back in, climb under those sheets, and hold his angel until the sun came up.

"Fuck if I know, Coop. I keep expecting the Devil to show up and demand my soul in exchange for being given the gift of her and fuck if I wouldn't rip the thing out of my damned chest and giftwrap it for the fucker."

"I feel you, brother." Cooper was quiet for a moment, and then he turned a solemn stared at Marcus. "Marcus...?"

"What?"

"You had better sort your fucking head out fast, man. I am not going to risk losing her," he warned Marcus, deadly serious.

"Don't start this shit again, Cooper. I'm too fucking tired to get into with you again."

Cooper nodded and pushed away from the wall. "Okay, I'll give you a pass for tonight, but this subject is far from being closed, bro. She's too precious for us to lose because you're being a stubborn asshole."

CHAPTER 82

The sound of the apartment door unlocking, distracted both men from their tense standoff. Diego carried a giggling Petra into the apartment and immediately set her on her feet when they opened the door to find the lights already on and Marcus and a shirtless Cooper striding towards them.

"Uh, hey guys," Diego waved and then scrutinized the pair. "Well I'll be damned! You got her, didn't you?" His impressed gaze swung between the two smug bastards grinning back him.

"Yup. Collared. Fucked and sleeping like a baby in her bed." Marcus winked at him.

Diego gave a long, incredulous whistle while Petra squealed in joy. "It's about fucking time." He strode over to his friends and hugged them one at a time. "I'm happy for you two." He turned his eyes onto Cooper. "Lose something?"

It took Cooper a minute to realise what Diego was alluding to but then remembered that he was bare chested. He laughed and nodded. "I left it with our girl. Good thing I brought a jacket."

"Things went well then, I assume," Diego chuckled and Cooper could only nod as the sudden swell of emotion tightened his vocal cords so that he couldn't speak.

Marcus clasped hands with Diego, his happiness choking his voice off as well. "She's...she's all we've ever dreamed of, Digs. I still can't believe that she's agreed to be ours."

Diego shook his head at the state his two best friends were in. "You two idiots deserve her. Just try not to fuck it up, okay? I'd never hear the end of the grief from this one over here, if you did," he said, laughing at the scowl Petra shot him.

"Listen, man, it's been a long, tiring weekend," Marcus began and Diego smirked at him.

"Yeah, I'm sure it has. Is your dick still functional?"

"Fuck off, Digs," Marcus flipped him his middle finger for emphasis.

Cooper laughed and pulled his boots on. "We have three months to see how long that old man's dick lasts!"

Marcus gave Cooper a dirty look. "You wanna walk home, asshole?"

Cooper just smiled and nodded. "Sure. You leave and I'll just crawl in beside our naked, sexy little pet and spend the night. I can always call a cab in the morning."

Marcus snorted and put his jacket on. "You realise how much it is taking me to walk out of here and leave her behind, right? Don't push your luck, buddy."

"Three months, brother." Cooper said softly. "We need to give her the three months to decide. After that, we won't have to leave her behind again because I want her living with us."

Petra gasped in surprise, covering her open mouth with her hands. "Does she know yet, Master?"

"No, Petra and I would like to keep it that way. A lot can happen during the Consideration period and I don't want to jinx our luck. She may not want to move in and we won't force her. Once again, the ball is in her court and all we can do is wait and see what she does with it," Marcus replied, feeling the weight of exhaustion press down on him like a ton of steel.

"You guys need to hit the road before you fall asleep on your feet." Diego said. "You sure you don't want to just crash here tonight?"

Marcus chuckled and shook his head. "If we stay, we will end up inside Tabby and no one will be getting any rest. She's like a flower to a bee, sweet and irresistible; one taste will never be enough."

"Okay. Point taken," Diego said, pulling Petra to his side and holding her close. "You gonna be at the club tomorrow?"

"I'm on shift tomorrow but will come by in the evening," Cooper replied.

"I'll be there," Marcus nodded. "I've got this weekend's receipts to sort through and I want to plan to have Tabby come to the club in the evening."

"Already?" Diego looked surprised.

"The sooner the better. She's going to be spending a lot of time there with us and I told her that her training had already started. She needs to get comfortable in that atmosphere and learn how to comport herself as our submissive in public."

Diego opened the door for the two men. "I'll see you there then. We have three tours of prospective clients scheduled for tomorrow and Scotty and I will be running them through."

"New blood? We can always use new members. Good luck with the interviews," Cooper said, clapping Diego on the shoulder and stepping out into the hall.

Marcus stepped up and gave Petra a fond look. Surprising everyone present, he dropped onto one knee, took her hand in his and formally kissed the back of it. "I haven't had the chance to thank you, little one. We wouldn't have this chance with Tabitha without your help." He looked up at Cooper, who nodded back with a huge grin on his face. "We are forever in your debt, Petra."

Petra blushed and smiled back as Marcus got to his feet. "Thank you, Master. Please look after her...she's my best friend and I don't want to see her hurt."

Cooper stepped in and gave her a hug. "Have no fear, Pets. Tabby is in good hands."

"Thank you. That's all I needed to hear. Good luck, Masters."

Both men tilted their heads in acknowledgement then stepped out into the hall.

"Good night," Diego called quietly as they headed to the elevator. When he closed the door, Petra clapped her hands and threw her arms around his neck.

"I can't believe their plan worked, Master. I'm so happy for all of them," she gushed.

"Me too, little one. All I know is that the next three months are going to be very, very interesting!"

~~~~~~~~~~

Outside the building, the man in the truck was in high spirits. For a day that had initially appeared to be swirling the bowl, things had really turned around. His missing mark had turned up; saving his ass from the fire, and his email just pinged with a response from the sex club.

He clicked on the email and it opened up with the news he'd been hoping to hear. Elysium would be happy to welcome Mr. Anthony Garver for a tour of the facilities and intake interview at 1 pm on Monday.
He was so excited that he actually got a hard on.

"Fucking finally," he hooted and clicked on the confirmation link embedded in the email. With any luck, he'd find a suitable place within the club for his employer to get his revenge and be able to conclude his business with the psychopath. The guy gave him the creeps, but his money spent as well as anyone else's and he needed the cash. He knew what the bastard was up to, but the women he beat to shit were only whores so the man didn't get too upset at their miserable ends. He almost felt sorry for the pretty, little bitch that the freak was fixated on; her life would most assuredly be coming to a nasty conclusion very soon.

The sooner the better, the man thought. He wanted to put paid to this job and explore the possibilities that Elysium held for him. He was just closing his laptop when the gorillas from earlier finally exited the building and climbed into their SUV. He opted against following them, something told him that it wouldn't have been a good idea to tail those two and waited until they were out of sight to head home himself. While they'd been inside the building, he'd taken a few snapshots of their license plate and would get his buddy in the PD to run them. He wouldn't need to risk following them to find out where at least one of them lived.

He cranked the engine on his truck and the low fuel light immediately came on. Gas and home were on his to-do list. He'd get a few hours of shut eye and then return here for a few hours before his appointment. As he drove away, the man felt quite pleased with the way his shitty day had ended up.

Things were looking up...at least for him...for the girl, though, her luck and her time on this earth were quickly running out.

~~The End~~

shift   paradigm   finding   you  

Jul 10, 2018 in romance

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