Work Header

Hotel California Part 3: It Should Have Been Me

Work Text:

I awaken the next morning disoriented. I'm in a real bed, not my slave pallet, and fear of punishment races through me. Rolling onto my back, I open my eyes to find Julia gazing down at me.

Picking up on my anxiety, she puts a hand on my chest, keeping me from scrambling to the floor. "Easy, pet. It's all right; I let you sleep here." I relax, and she kisses me. "How are you feeling this morning?"

I test my limbs gingerly. "Sore, Mistress," I answer.

She nods. "That's to be expected, after yesterday. On your belly," she orders. I turn over, and she pulls the blanket down, exposing my very sore buttocks. I choke back a groan as her fingers probe my injuries. "Hurts, doesn't it?"

I nod against the pillow. "Yes, Mistress."

Her hand moves up to lightly stroke my back. "Well, we're going to take it very easy today. Nothing more strenuous for you than chores. Definitely no spankings." She lies back down next to me her fingertips caressing my cheek, her gaze catching mine. Her hazel eyes are almost golden, and so intense I get the feeling she's studying my soul. She blinks then, and the moment is gone. Smiling softly, she presses her lips against mine, in possibly the tenderest kiss I've ever received. Finally pulling away, she says, "Come on, pet. Let's get you in a hot shower to loosen up those muscles, then I'll put some more of that cream on your welts."

Julia lets me soak under the hot water for a good fifteen minutes before she enters the shower and begins to wash me. Today it feels more like I'm being pampered than punished, and I revel in it, my eyes closing in bliss. They snap open as she squeezes my balls.

"I think you're enjoying this too much, slave, " she tells me, but she's grinning as she says it.

Out of the shower, Julia tosses me a towel and I'm forced to dry myself off. As I do, I catch sight of my backside in the mirror and pause, the towel dangling from my hand. The bright red welts criss-cross the pale flesh of my ass and thighs in an abstract pattern. I'm attracted and repulsed by them at the same time. I can't believe I willingly allowed her to mark me in this way, and yet there's a comfort in the stripes, too. I know my limits now, and I know I can say 'stop'. That had been my biggest fear in coming here, that my guilt, my self-hatred, would drive me to self-destruction by Julia's hand. That's not the case, and I'm glad. Somewhere inside me, I must see something worth redeeming.

I feel her at my side, and she lightly traces a crimson line with her finger. "It has a perverse beauty to it, doesn't it?"

I nod slowly. "I can't explain it, but it does. I feel..." I search for the words, then shrug.

She wraps a hand around my newly erect cock. "Aroused?"

I bite my lip, then say, "That, and more."

She puts a finger under my chin, turning my head to the side, inspecting the love bite she left on my throat. Leaning in, she marks me again at the point of my collarbone. She studies the rapidly purpling bruise for a moment, then ducks her head again, her lips closing over my left nipple. She sucks hard enough to bring tears to my eyes. Pulling away, she rubs her thumb over the now very tender nub and says, "That'll have to stand as my mark until I put a ring through it."

Heat flares in my groin at her words. "How soon, Mistress?" I hear myself ask.

She smiles at me, her fingers catching my cock just behind the tip and rubbing across it. "Soon, pet. Maybe next week if you're good."

A shudder runs through me. "I'll be good, I promise."

Julia picks up the salve for my injury. "I know you will. Now let's get this done, and you can get started on your duties for today."

She wasn't kidding about the chores. Make breakfast, do the dishes, make out a grocery list, then clean my Mistress' bathroom. Sheets are changed on all the beds, same with the towels in the bathrooms. Laundry is hauled from each of the bedrooms to the utility room, and I spend the rest of the morning washing, drying and ironing.

I'm just pulling the last load of towels out of the dryer, when Julia appears in the doorway. "How's it going?"

I drop to my knees and lower my eyes. "Fine, Mistress. The laundry is almost done.'

She approaches, and I feel her hand running though my hair. "Good." She pats the top of the dryer. "Stand up." I do as she says, leaning over the machine. "How's the pain?" She lays a hand lightly on my left butt cheek.

"Bearable, Mistress," I answer.

"Very good." She plucks a hand towel from the dryer, and begins to slowly rub the warm, soft cloth over my skin. A sigh escapes my lips as she runs it from my shoulders to the small of my back and up again. She brings it around to the front, caressing my chest, making me whimper as she teases my nipples with the warm terry-cloth. Then it's slowly down my stomach in tight, sinuous S-curves, and over my bare, sensitive pubic bone, circling but not touching my straining cock. The hot cotton is cupped around my balls, and she massages them deeply, thoroughly, making me moan and close my eyes in ecstasy.

The fingers of her other hand trace up the crack of my ass, stopping to rock the plug inside me. I hiss, and my palms squeak across the metal lid of the dryer. "Easy," she murmurs as she shifts the hand with the towel to wrap around my cock. She teases me expertly, playing with the plug, moving it in and out, as she strokes my erection in a slow counterpoint, the cotton fabric providing gentle friction.

I'm worked into a mindless frenzy in moments, keening and begging for release. Julia's kissing my back, my shoulders, praising me. When she finally lets go of me and moves away, my whole body is aching with desire. She rubs the still warm cloth over my face, and I can taste and smell my need. She tosses the towel into the washer as I whimper.

"Leave that one for later. Finish folding the laundry, then come to my office," she orders as she leaves the room.

"Yes, Mistress," I whisper. As her footsteps retreat, I lean heavily on the appliance, drawing in a shuddering breath. Three days. I've been here three days, and I'm completely under her control. The heady mix of pleasure and pain, pain and pleasure, has left me floating, reeling, in an almost drugged state. I'm more open emotionally than I have been in five years. The way I feel right now, I would do anything to be allowed to orgasm.

My breath finally caught, I pick up a towel and start folding. The sooner I'm done, the sooner I go to the office. And after the office comes the playroom, and--I'm getting hard again. Just fold the damn towels, Sandburg, focus on the towels.

Ten minutes later I enter Julia's office. She's sitting on the sofa, one leg tucked under her, the other dangling, my list in her hand. I crawl to her, and bow my head to the floor, kissing the top of her bare foot. She laughs, and reaches down to unfasten my leash from my collar. "That's sweet, Blair, but unnecessary." Patting the sofa cushion, she says, "Come, sit."

I do, wincing slightly as my behind contacts the leather.

"You okay to sit up, pet? Or do you need to lie down?"

"I think I'll be okay."

She scoots back into the corner of the couch same as yesterday. "Okay, but you tell me when you start to get uncomfortable."

I nod and snuggle up against her, her arms going around me. It feels wonderful, and I'm beginning to realize how emotionally starved I've been for the past few years. I'm soaking up her physical attention like a sponge.

Julia seems to sense this, and her hand gently strokes my hair. She lets me just enjoy the peaceful feeling for several minutes before she asks her first question. "So you want to pick up from yesterday afternoon? The events leading up to your press conference?"

Chewing my lip, I nod against her shoulder. "Jim was as furious as I've ever seen him after the reporters cornered us, and then it's like he just flipped a switch. He shut everything off and became ice. He wouldn't listen to me. He didn't believe me when I tried to tell him it was an accident, that I never meant for my paper to be published. He didn't believe it was a mistake, that I wasn't pretending to be reluctant to sell to Sid to drive the price up. He was right. If I really hadn't wanted it, I could have said 'no' more forcefully, threatened to sue Sid if he didn't burn my manuscript. If I hadn't really wanted it, I wouldn't have let it drag on so long, let Simon and Megan get shot. I would have called the press conference the moment Sid talked to the media. But I was selfish. I thought somehow I could have my cake and eat it, too, that I could figure something out to protect Jim, and get the fame and the money." I pause to take a breath, and she interrupts me.


"No. Don't try and tell me that's not me. It was me, it is me." I try to sit up, to move away, but her embrace is like a python's. I struggle for several moments, then sink back against her, breathing hard.

Her grip relaxes a fraction, and her hand rubs up and down my arm. "So you screwed up," she says. "Something people do every day, Blair, in a million different ways. The difference is you tried to fix it."

I shake my head. "It was too little, too late. The press hassling Jim kept him from catching Zeller. He almost had his hands on him and then they were shoving cameras in his face. Jim was so off balance he couldn't focus his senses. That's how Simon and Megan got shot." I fall silent.

Her lips press gently against my temple. "And how is that your fault? Jim might be able to see and hear better than other people, but that doesn't make him Superman. Even he can't stop a speeding bullet."

I close my eyes, remembering.

...the sound of shattering glass, of Megan's choked cry, and the tiny displacement of molecules as the bullet whizzes past me and embeds in the door jamb, sending a shower of splinters into the air. I bend over Megan, pressing my palm to her shoulder, trying to stop the bleeding, clutching her hand, listening to her sobs of pain. I can hear Jim yelling in Simon's office. Looking back over my shoulder, I see Jim bent over Simon as I am across Megan. He glances up for a moment and our eyes meet. Accusation, anger, betrayal are written on his face.

"It should have been me," I whisper. Tears burn the back of my eyelids. The bullet had missed Jim by the merest fraction of an inch, had nearly killed my friends. I don't know who Zeller had been aiming at, but it should have been me.

Her voice, her touch are gentle. "What should have been you, precious?"

The term of endearment that's given me such comfort over the past few days now grates on my ears. I'm no one's "precious". I don't deserve to be. "Stop calling me that. I hate when you call me that!" Now I'm lashing out at her, goading her, wanting her to get angry, to hate me the way I hate myself.

It doesn't work. Julia only holds me tighter and asks, "Why do you hate it?" Perversely stubborn now, I refuse to answer. She persists. "Okay, so you don't like 'precious'. How about sweetheart, or beautiful?"

I'm clenching my teeth now, fighting back tears. Struggling, kicking, I arch my back and break her grip, tumbling off the couch onto the floor.

Julia dives after me, pinning me to the carpet. "Oh, no you don't. You're not getting rid of me that easily, precious."

I sob and try to crawl away. I don't have a clue as to where I'd go, or what I'd do once I get there. All I know is I hurt inside, so terribly that I know nothing will ever take the pain away.

She wraps herself around me, her arms pinning mine to my torso, her legs locked around my thighs. "Talk to me, Blair. Why don't you want me to call you precious? What should have been you?"

I struggle a few minutes longer, but she's got the upper hand now, and I know it. And part of me doesn't want to fight, part of me wants to be held, to be comforted, to be told that everything will be okay, that I'm not as horrible as I think. Going limp, I let the tears come. "I'm...I'm... not precious, " I stammer. "People died because of me. Yes, Simon and Megan are okay, but Zeller came back. He...he shot up the precinct, and people died...because of me...because of what I started..." I'm sobbing so hard now I can barely speak, but Julia understands me. She holds me closely, tightly, and I cling to her, caught in the throes of emotions I hadn't known were inside me.

Pressing her cheek against my hair, she murmurs, "It's all right, precious, it's all right. It's not your fault, Blair, no one blames you." She keeps talking, the words all running together, but it doesn't matter. Her tone is soothing, her arms warm, and her hands gentle. Slowly, slowly, I crawl out of the pit of despair I created for myself. She senses me calming, and asks, "How you doing, baby?"

I sniffle, and press my face into her soft neck. "Better. I'm sorry..."

Her hand moves to rest on my head, holding me closer. "Nothing to be sorry about. This is why we're here. " She's silent for several minutes, letting me rest. Then she says, "Can you answer my question now? What should have been you?"

I curl my fingers, gripping her T-shirt. "It should have been me, when Megan and Simon were shot. It would have been better if it had been me."

She pulls my head up, forcing me to look at her. "No, oh, no, honey. It's terrible that anyone got hurt, but having it be you is not going to make anything better." Julia strokes my face, gently wiping away my tears before she kisses me. "I know it hurts. I know you want to go back and make things different, but that's not possible. When it comes right down to it, Blair, you are only truly responsible for your own actions. You can't blame yourself for whatever this Zeller person did. His finger was on the trigger, not yours. You came here wanting to be punished for what you've done. I'll help you with that, but only for the things I feel you're responsible for. And you have to accept the punishment, and in accepting it, let go of your guilt. If you can't do that, then we're wasting our time."

I swallow. "I can do that, Mistress," I breathe. I have to. I have no clue what I'll do if she sends me away. "Please, let me stay."

She nods. "That's better." She sits up, then pulls me up as well. "You think we can finish this?"

I nod. "I need to, Mistress."

Leaning back against the sofa, she tugs my upper body across her lap, wrapping her arms around me. "So, your friends were hurt, but they would be okay. But you had to make it stop, make the press go away, so you held that press conference."

I shiver, suddenly cold. "I couldn't think of anything else to do, and now I knew I didn't deserve any cake, that the publication of my thesis could only bring pain to the people I cared about. So I called the press conference and told the world I was a fraud, that I'd used Jim to further my own career." I curl up tighter, the thought of those agonizing minutes in front of the camera making my stomach hurt. "It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, giving up the dream I'd had for so long."

She strokes my hair for several moments, apparently considering my words. "What happened after that? How did you end up here?"

Taking a deep breath, I say, "They fired me from the university. Jim told me I was the best cop he'd ever met, the best partner he'd ever had, and Simon offered me a job." I feel a tear roll down my nose and drop onto Julia's arm.


I grip her hand tightly. "I think that was worse than getting fired from the university, having Jim think he could make it okay by giving me a badge and a gun. I didn't understand it, I still don't. How could he think I betrayed him one minute and want me as his partner the next? I didn't do anything different; I didn't change overnight. I'm still the same person, the one who spent most of my time with him screwing up. It just felt wrong, so I told him I needed time to think it over. I went to spend a couple weeks at a monastery, but the longer I was there, the worse I felt. So I decided to come here. I didn't know where else to go."

Julia hugs me tighter, pressing her lips against my temple. "Well, maybe when we're done here, when you feel like you've paid for your sins, then you can ask Jim those questions."

I shrug. "Maybe. That's assuming I'll want to leave." I lean back to look at her. " wouldn't mind if I stayed, would you?"

She cups the side of my face with her hand, her thumb rubbing my cheek. "Of course I don't mind, Blair. But only if you stay for the right reasons, because you want to, not because you're hiding from the world." Leaning in, she kisses me tenderly. "You ready to go play? Or do you just want to sit here a little while longer?"

I opt for the staying awhile longer. She just smiles and holds me, rubbing my back slowly as the leftover adrenaline fades. We've both been quiet a long time when she asks, "Do you have a girlfriend?"

It's so out of the blue that I laugh, and then say "No, not really, not in a while. Why?" I feel her shoulders raise and lower in a shrug.

"You seem like you've been starved for affection, for touch, for hugs, for something as simple as a back rub. And when I asked you the first night you were here when the last time you'd been penetrated was, you told me it was when you were here before. You never told any of your lovers what you liked?" Her hand slides down the small of my back and very lightly across my ass.

Inhaling sharply, feeling the stirrings of desire, I have to stop and think about her question before I answer. Why couldn't I voice my needs to my lovers? "I...It just didn't feel right most of the time. And it seemed like whenever I would start to think about it, we would break up." I think back over the women I was with the longest, and can't really think of one I would have dared ask to spank me. Chris would have slapped me and called me a pervert. I can't even imagine ever getting to that point with Maya, hell, I couldn't even get up the nerve to sleep with her. Mollie wouldn't have understood at all, and Sam...let's just say that if I'd asked Sam to spank me, I'd have been afraid she'd never stop.

Julia's fingers slide down the crack of my ass, and she begins to slowly work my plug out. I groan.

"You couldn't tell any of them you like this? That having your sweet ass played with drives you wild? That being spanked turns you on?"

"No, Mistress," I sigh.

"You didn't think your lover would want to see you like this, all hot and aroused and willing?"

"I...I don't know, Mistress."

She stops what she's doing for a moment and twists around to pull open the drawer in the end table. When she turns back to me, she has a tube of lube and a latex glove. Putting the glove on, she removes my plug from my ass. I clutch at her arm as it leaves my body. She puts me across her lap then, my butt at the perfect angle. I shiver as her fingers enter me, and the cry that escapes me is raw and primal.

"Tell me what you want, Blair. Do you want me to fuck you with my fingers?"

I shiver again. "Yes, Mistress."

"Then say it."

Air rushes out of my lungs in a sob. "I...I...want you to fuck my ass with your fingers..."


"I want to...I need to...come, Mistress. I want you to make me come." As long as I'm telling her what I want, I might as well ask.

She removes her fingers for a moment, and rolls me over on her lap. Spreading my legs, she reinserts two tightly knitted fingers and begins to slowly fuck me. The sensation is incredible, and I claw at the carpet.

"See, precious, see how good it feels when you ask for what you need?"

I make an incoherent noise in reply.

"Think you can come from just my fingers inside you?"

This time my answer is a little clearer. "Ungh...yes...yes...Mistress." I feel her insert another finger into my tight hole. "Oh...god..." She brushes my prostate, and I howl, arching my back and trying to force her fingers deeper inside me. Due to the awkward angle, I can't, and I swear in frustration.

She tweaks my nipple in retaliation. "Watch your language." I wriggle, trying to get her to touch that thrill spot again. "Easy, easy, precious. I'm not going to leave you hanging here." Her hand resumes its motion, her fingers working rapidly, varying her touch from hard to soft, from a flicker to a rub. Almost all my attention is focused on my ass; the tiny bit not occupied by the waves of sensation Julia's skilled fingers are producing can feel my pulse throbbing in my cock.

So close...I'm balancing on the razor's edge....

"Open your eyes, pet. Look at yourself, see how beautiful you are."

Gasping, I do as Julia commands, staring down my torso at my rigid cock, the swollen head a dusky rose glistening with pre-cum. She pushes the magic button at just that moment, and I scream as my orgasm rushes through me like wildfire. It goes on and on, until I'm left sprawling and breathless.

Time passes me languidly; Julia cleans me up, then cuddles me close. I lean my head against her shoulder, absorbing the gentle kisses she feathers across my face.

"You falling asleep on me, precious?"

I blink, but don't bother with trying to sit up. "Maybe..."

"Too sleepy to come play with me?" Julia's voice is teasing, as are the fingertips circling my nipple. "All you have to do is watch...."

Watching sounds about my speed right now. "Not too sleepy, Mistress," I answer.

"Good." She hooks my leash to my collar and leads me out of the office.

When Julia and I enter the playroom, Patrick's already there, hooking a spreader bar to a chain that hangs from a winch in the ceiling. Even though I know it's not for me, I shudder. Julia drops my leash a few feet away from him, and I take that as my cue to stay put.

She approaches Patrick, encircling his waist from behind with her arms, running her hands under his vest and up his torso. "Getting everything ready?"

"Yes, Mistress," he replies, his whole body stilling as she pinches his nipples.

"Good. Pet over there is going to watch me humiliate you."

Patrick moans, and sways slightly on his feet.

Julia's hand grips his ass, and her fingers press against his anus as he moans again. "I know how much you like an audience. Now go get clean for me, inside and out."

Nodding, Patrick drops to his hands and knees and crawls out of the room.

Julia turns her attention back to me. "Okay. He'll be gone at least thirty minutes." She grabs a straight-backed wooden chair and a coil of rope from a hook on the wall and brings them both over to me. "Stand up," she commands. As I follow her order, she says, "I'm going to try some rope bondage with you tonight. I don't think you'll have a problem with it like you did the straps yesterday. Putting the hood on you was what caused the problem. I sent you too deep, too fast."

Shivering, I nod. Julia picks up the rope and approaches me. She starts by taking a length of it and rubbing it all over my body. It's cotton, and well broken in by the softness. She passes the end of it under my right arm from the back, brings it behind my neck, and under my left arm. She kisses the top of my shoulder as she knots the rope, then feeds the ends around to the front and does the same thing. Each time she passes the rope around me, she kisses and strokes my skin before placing the cord over it. She sucks and licks my nipples, making me moan. The tension of the rope around my body, coupled with her touch, is a heady aphrodisiac. By the time she reaches my waist, my torso is bound in a spider web of ropes, and I'm fully aroused.

Kneeling, Julia adjusts the bonds at my waist then gazes up at me, a wry smile on her face. "I see someone isn't frightened by this." She presses her lips to my pubic area, a scant inch from my eager cock. I close my eyes as she kisses me there, then sucks hard, grazing with her teeth, leaving a bright purple mark behind. It's all I can do to stay standing.

I feel her arranging the two ends of the rope into a V on either side of my cock. Then she reaches between my legs feeding the rope through to the back. Moving behind me, she fusses with it for a while, then pulls the ends under the loop encircling my waist. She tightens it, the strands going up the crack of my ass, and I gasp. A hard knot is applying delicious pressure to my anus.

She tugs it a bit snugger, and I cry out, my hands clenching into fists. "That feel good, pet?"

My voice is strained when I answer. "Incredible, Mistress. When...when I breathe, I can...the pushes against me..." I'm almost dizzy with the sensation, and don't resist when she presses me gently down into the chair. My sore ass cheeks are grateful for the thick padding she's placed on the seat, but it has an added bonus of forcing the knot even tighter against me.

"Hands behind your back, precious."

I do as I'm told crossing my wrists at waist level. She loops the cord around them several times, after first threading it through the slats in the chair back. "Give that a little pull, pet."

I lift my hands slightly. A startled yelp escapes me as I nearly come. Movement of my hands rubs that wonderful knot back and forth.

Her breath tickles my ear as she speaks. "That didn't hurt, did it?"

I shake my head. "No...oh, no.... "

She nips at my earlobe, then turns her attention back to tying me up. "Spread your legs, pet, and bring your ankles back toward me."

It's uncomfortable, but not too bad, and it does push my hips, and thus my leaking cock, forward. Julia doesn't pay any attention to that, though, and ties my ankles to the back legs of the chair. She crawls around in front of me and sits back on her heels, giving me an appraising look. "Yummy," she announces with a smile.

I feel a flush creeping up my cheeks.

"Oh, pet, that's so adorable." Leaning forward, she kisses me deeply, her tongue exploring my mouth. Her fingers close over the head of my cock, pinching and teasing. I'm breathless when she breaks the kiss to rub her fingers over my lips. I suck them in, stroking them with my tongue. She moans softly, saying, "You have a very talented mouth." She finally pulls her hand away; reluctantly it seems to me.

Getting to her feet, she walks over to a cabinet and opens a drawer. She returns holding a scarf and a rubber ball. Holding the ball up, she squeezes it. It squeaks loudly. "This is going to be your safe word. If you feel something going to sleep, or you feel dizzy, or have a flashback to something traumatic, you squeeze this. I'll be here in a flash to let you out." Moving behind me, she places the ball in my hand, and I squish it experimentally. "That's good." She brings the scarf down in front of me, twisting the large square of silk into a roll. "Being gagged isn't going to bother you, is it?"

I shake my head. "No, Mistress, I don't think so."

"Good, because a piece of rope art isn't complete without a silk tie between my slave's teeth." I open wide for the gag, and she ties it tightly behind my head. She circles me, her expression thoughtful. "One more thing." She moves behind me, and when she returns, she has a short piece of rope in her hands. Bending over me, she grasps my balls, pulling them toward her as she wraps the rope a couple times around the base of them. Eyes wide, I watch as she runs the rope under the front rung of the chair, pulling it snug then tying it off. My balls are now stretched away from my body, the tension more intense than what I feel when wearing the cock harness, but not painful.

Breathing hard through my nose, I lean my head back, trying to get some distance, to disconnect a little from powerful sensations coursing through me. Every breath, every twitch, every shift of my body pulls the rope in a hundred different directions. The thought crosses my mind that this must be what the world feels like to a sentinel every day, a thousand different sounds, sights, scents, tastes and touches all vying for their attention.

Patrick entering the room derails my train of thought. He's naked, save for his collar, and on all fours. Julia's attention shifts to him. "Ah, Patrick. What do you think of my pet? Beautiful, isn't he?"

He kneels at her side, running his gaze over me. It's not my imagination that his cock appears to get harder. "A work of art, Mistress."

She runs her fingers idly through his hair, then goes to get restraints for him from the wall. It's behind me, and I can't tell what she's doing, but when she returns, she's nude, save for a pair of thigh high leather boots, and what I recognize as a strap-on harness around her waist, sans dildo. She fastens the wrist and ankle cuffs on Patrick, asking him if he did as she ordered. He answers in the affirmative, even bending over for her inspection. She slaps his ass lightly, and hands him some lube, telling him to prepare himself.

She crosses to stand behind me. "Over here, in front of Blair." As Patrick kneels, his back to me, she whispers in my ear, "Humiliation is a very powerful punishment for him." Louder she says, "And you need to be punished, don't you?"

Patrick groans out, "Yes, Mistress," as he's bent double, two fingers inserted in his ass, stretching himself.

She lets him do it for a few minutes, then snapping on a glove, she goes to inspect his work, turning him so he's facing me. Tapping his ass with her hand, she nudges him forward until his head is a few inches from my knees. Hooking her hand under his collar, she pulls him up so that he's between my legs, leaning on the chair. "Put your tongue to work, slave," she commands.

Patrick doesn't npeed any further encouragement. He dips his head down, his tongue lapping at my tight, red balls. A wild cry escapes me, and I nearly knock the chair over backwards. Only Patrick's weight on it keeps that from happening. He pauses in his task to let out a long moan. I raise my eyes to see Julia behind him, her fingers in his ass, working him hard. Noticing Patrick has paused in the task she set him, she slaps his left buttock. "Did I say stop? Lick his cock, slave. And if you make him come, I'll make sure you don't."

"Yes, Mistress," he whimpers. He leans down again, running his tongue from the base of my cock to the tip, swirling it over the swollen head, lapping up the fluid leaking copiously from it. I'm rocking in the chair, the knot in the rope pressing hard against my anus. I'm so close to close. A ragged keening noise fills my ears, and I realize it's me, vocalizing as much as I can through the gag.

"Suck his cock, Patrick. Take it all in." With a groan, Patrick's lips part, sliding down my cock, his mouth enveloping me in a hot, wet embrace. Julia's eyes meet mine. "Isn't he the best cocksucker? Bet that feels wonderful, pet."

Patrick's licking and sucking at my shaft, his cheeks hollowing as he bobs up and down. Trying to distract my mind from the orgasm I'm teetering on, I watch Julia. She reaches for something out of my line of sight, and when she draws her hand back, she's holding a long, thick anal plug. Pulling her fingers out of Patrick, she presses the tip of the plug against him and slowly works it in. He makes a strangled groan around my cock, and his head motion stills, his body shuddering. He's stopped all the way down on my shaft, and I can feel the convulsions of his throat muscles against the head of my cock as he swallows a scream. It's too much for me, and I come, yelling, my body thrusting helplessly against the restraints.

Patrick's lips release me as my erection slowly deflates. Neither of us dare look up at Julia, knowing we've both failed. There is a long moment of tense silence, then Julia grabs Patrick's collar and pulls him up until his face is next to mine. Looking at him, not at her, I see that his eyes are closed tight in anticipation of pain, and some of my come marks his lips and his chin.

"Lick it off, slave."

I have no doubt she means me. Sticking my tongue out as far as I can past the gag, I clean the salty fluid from his face. Patrick makes a little squeak, and I hear Julia's hand connect with his ass, then she drags him away, quivering.

He's still shaking when she pulls him to his feet and leads him under the spreader bar. She hooks his wrist restraints to it so that his arms are slightly more than his shoulders' width apart. He spreads his legs as she slaps his ass again, and Julia fastens his ankle cuffs to rings set in the floor. Moving to the wall, she operates the winch's controls, raising the spreader bar until Patrick is on the balls of his feet.

He's breathing unevenly now, sweat glistening on his skin, his cock so hard it's almost purple, and she hasn't even touched him yet. His reaction reminds me that 90 percent of what Julia does is all mental, and she's an expert at getting the desired reaction from her slaves, current company excepted.

Walking over to the display of whips and paddles, Julia selects a light-weight flogger, made of thin strips of softened cowhide, perhaps even suede. Approaching Patrick, she doesn't immediately strike him. Instead, she runs the flogger's tails all over his body, caressing him. She uses the handle to prod and lift his cock and balls, inspecting his dripping erection. Finally she moves behind him and begins to hit him in light, measured strokes, first his back and shoulders, then his thighs and calves, his chest, and back around him to his ass. After a brief pause, she repeats from the beginning, hitting each area several times before continuing to the next.

The sound of the leather striking his skin becomes louder, deeper, and I know Julia's hitting harder. I watch, fascinated, my traitorous cock beginning to harden again. Each snap of the whip stirs something inside me, and I'm twitching in sympathy as Patrick tries and fails to avoid the lashes' sting. His skin is beginning to turn a light shade of pink.

Again, Julia pauses, this time coming over to me as Patrick catches his breath. "How's my pet doing?" she asks in a low voice, her hand going to my tortured balls. They're tight and swollen, and a nearly translucent magenta. I shiver as she runs a fingernail over them. "I think that's enough for now." She pulls the quick release knot and unwraps the rope from around them. Massaging them gently for a moment, she gives them a pat, then returns to Patrick after selecting a different flogger from the wall.

The tails on this one are longer, thicker, and heavier, and I know this is the heart of his punishment, the other flogger was just to get both of them warmed up. She stands a little further back from Patrick than before and swings. The tails strike his upper back in a tight bunch, the noise more of thud than the snap the lighter flogger made. The whip falls away from his skin, leaving a bright red patch. She continues in the same manner she did before, ending with his ass.

During the pause between sets, Julia walks around in front of Patrick and takes hold of his chin, looking into his eyes. "You doing all right there, slave?" She runs the tails of the flogger over his chest. "Think you can handle more of this?"

He moans and nods, kissing the whip when she offers it to him. She starts the next set in the front, slapping his chest until it's covered in red strap marks. Moving on, she completes the circuit, ending this time by flipping the tails across his genitals, which she hadn't done before. Even through the stroke is very light, Patrick trembles and twists, then screams as she hits him again.

A shiver runs down my spine, and I realize I want to be in Patrick's place, so completely under that all that matters is the space between the pain. I sob behind my gag. Julia looks over at me, but since I haven't squeaked the ball I still hold, she doesn't approach. Instead, she removes the plug from his ass, then rubs and squeezes his crimson cheeks. She goes to the winch controls on the wall, and lowers him enough that his heels touch the floor, though he's hanging on the spreader bar for support.

Julia moves past me to the wall of weapons, and when she returns a few minutes later, she's attached a dildo to the harness she's wearing. My buttocks clench at the sight of it. It's smooth black rubber, long, thick, and spaced evenly down the shaft are molded raised rings encircling it. I swallow hard at the thought of what that would feel like, my sphincter muscle opening wide and snapping shut around each ring. Julia applies a generous amount of lube to it, then picks up a type of whip I've never seen before.

Seeing my interest, she holds it out for my inspection. It's a bunch of thin, flexible 12-inch plastic rods held together at one end by a handle. Molded along each rod are tiny bumps, or beads. Without warning, she flicks it against my chest, and I wail. It hurts! Looking down, I can see that instead of straight lines, the beads have left an abstract pattern of red dots across my chest. "It's called a stinger, for obvious reasons," she tells me with a grin.

Turning her back on me, she approaches Patrick. Taking aim, she smacks the stinger hard against his ass. His head comes up, his expression startled. She hits him again, on already tender flesh, and he screams. "Count it out this time, slave. I want you to work for your punishment."

Somehow he manages to count out the next ten strokes, his voice cracking and breaking with each one. On number eleven, he screams again, and Julia drops the stinger to the floor, reaching up with one hand, unhooking his wrists from the bar as she wraps her other arm around his waist. As he slumps back against her, she enters him, gravity sinking him to the hilt on the dildo. His mouth opens in a silent cry as his orgasm rips through him, sending come spurting into the air. They both go to their knees, Julia pumping his cock, making his climax last as long as possible.

When it's over, Patrick crumples forward, his breathing loud and strained. Julia rubs his back with one hand, the other unfastening the restraints on his ankles. Once that's done, she massages his back and sides in long smooth strokes, until he seems to calm. Then she places a palm on the small of his back, keeping him still as she withdraws from him. I can hear him whimper as each of the rings exits his body.

She removes the dildo and the harness and bends over him, pressing her naked body against him, hugging him from behind, rocking him gently. Finally she murmurs something to him that I can't hear, and he nods his head. She gets to her feet, and he manages to support himself on all fours, listing against her leg slightly, his eyes half-closed, and I realize he's barely coherent.

Julia catches my gaze and smiles at me. "I'll be back in a few minutes, pet. I'm going to put Patrick to bed. You okay with that?"

I nod. Even though I'm guessing I've been tied to the chair for an hour, I'm not anything more than uncomfortable, and that's mostly due to my unrequited arousal. She hooks a leash to Patrick's collar, mostly for support, I guess, and they leave the room.

And I'm alone to process what I've experienced. If I had any doubts that Julia is in complete control here, they're gone. Patrick might be her business partner, and a dom in training, but he will always be her slave. I whine in my throat, wanting that kind of absolute trust in my life, needing it in my life. To know someone would always be there to catch me when I fall, to comfort me when I'm hurt, to push me past my limits to a potential I never dreamed of...At this moment, I would give anything to have that.

I blink, feeling a tear roll down my cheek. Maybe I can have that, maybe I do have that here. I certainly didn't have it with Jim. I close my eyes, trying to force the memories back. ...To me it was a real breach of trust...I've got to have a partner I can trust...Chief, tell me you didn't...

Gentle hands capture my face, soft fingertips wiping away my tears. "It's okay, precious, I'm right here."

I open my eyes to find Julia gazing down at me, her expression one of genuine concern. "Are you in pain? Do you need me to untie you?"

I shake my head, and she bends over, kissing my forehead, then my eyebrow, the corner of my eye, and finally my mouth. By the time she's done, the memories are fading, replaced by the faith I have in her, and my physical need.

Sensing I'm calm again, Julia steps back a pace and picks up the short rope she used on me before. Once again, she loops it twice around my balls and ties the end off at the front of the chair. Picking up a condom packet from the floor, she tears it open, then expertly covers me with it. I'm breathing hard now, the air whistling through my nostrils. Smiling at my eagerness, she moves forward, straddling the chair, and me. Resting her arms on my shoulders, she slowly slides down my body and onto my engorged cock. Her head goes back as the tip penetrates her, and she moans loudly, pausing for a moment before sheathing the rest of me.

Something akin to a growl makes its way past my gag. She's hot, and tight, and I'm so glad she tied my balls up again. Otherwise there would have been a repeat of my performance with Patrick. She rocks her hips back and forth, taking me deeper inside her. Then she stills, leaning against me, her cheek pressed to mine. "Ohhhh...precious. You feel soooo good. Filling me all up...." Kissing the skin in front of my ear, she whispers, "You're such a good boy, pet, such a good boy."

She kisses the end of my nose, then flicks her tongue lightly over my lips. I open my mouth, trying to catch it, and she laughs and plunges it inside. I suck on it eagerly, tasting her essence over the strong flavor of wet silk. Still kissing me, her hands in my hair now, she begins to move her hips, not in a quick up and down, but in a slow circular rhythm of forward, up, back and down, never rising more than a couple inches off my thighs. At the same time, she's tensing and relaxing her pelvic muscles, massaging my cock.

She pulls my head back, biting at my throat as she increases the pace, her breathing growing irregular. "Come on, precious, come on. I want you with me for this...I want this to be as good for you as it is for me..."

I rock up against her as much as I can, the movement tightening the knot pushing against me as well as the rope around my balls.

"Yeah...yeah...oh, yeah..." she's moaning, and I feel her grow even tighter around me, her motion faster. Her yell mingles with my strangled cry as we climax together. Stars dance in front of my eyes, and everything fades but the feeling of her body melting with mine.

When I come back to earth, she's still there, her hands in my hair, holding me as she covers my face with butterfly kisses. Sensing my mental return, she moves back slowly, her eyes meeting mine. The look on her face is open, soft, tender. Her fingers untie the knot in the scarf and she slowly removes it from my mouth. Again, she studies me, then leans in, her lips feather soft against mine. "You are so beautiful, precious..." she whispers against my skin. For a moment, I think she's going to say more, but she just reaches behind her, loosening the rope around my balls. I sigh in relief.

"That better, pet?"

I nod, unsure of my voice at the moment. I still feel like I'm floating.

Julia gets off my lap and disposes of the condom, then starts to untie me. She works slowly, the removal of the ropes as much a part of the ritual as putting them on. My hands and legs are free when she takes hold of the waist rope and pulls me out of the chair. Clipping my leash to my collar, she leads me out of the playroom and through the halls to her bedroom.

She closes the door behind us, then stops at my slave bed. A gentle yank on the leash, and I kneel there as she unravels the web of rope around my torso, her hands lightly kneading and rubbing as she loosens the cord.

I close my eyes, just letting myself experience the sensations. It's a strange dichotomy; I'm glad to be released, and yet each loop of binding that's removed feels like a loss. Finally all the rope is gone, save for the piece going round my waist, through my legs, and up the crack of my ass.

Julia gently pushes me off my knees so that I'm sitting on the pallet. Getting down on the floor next to me, she wraps her arms around me and I lean back against her. Knowing what I need, Julia simply holds me, lightly massaging the indentations in my skin left by the rope. It puts me back in that relaxed place I was in just after we'd climaxed. Her fingers run under one side of the crotch rope, and I sigh. If I hadn't had an amazing three orgasms already today, the sensation would be making me hard. But now it simply adds to the lassitude I feel.

Kissing my ear, Julia asks, "You want me to take that off?"

I shake my head against her shoulder. It's not uncomfortable, and the thought of removing it right now makes me anxious.

She kisses me again, telling me that my reluctance is a natural reaction, that I want a physical reminder of a pleasurable experience.

I yawn. "I don't know," I answer her. "It just feels good, like my collar feels good. A reminder that I'm yours." I smile at having worked the puzzle out for myself.

Julia ruffles my hair gently. "And I'm very happy you're mine." She slides out from underneath me, and I curl up on the pallet as she covers me with my blanket. "Sweet dreams, pet." She kisses my temple, and a few minutes later, I'm asleep.