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Hotel California Part 9: Bad Boys

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When I finally open my eyes, I find myself alone in my Mistress' bed, the faint sound of running water explaining her absence. Rolling onto my back, I stretch gingerly, testing muscles and skin still aching from last night's session in the play room. But it's a good ache, the kind that brings back sense memories of the source of my minor pain. I don't remember much of what happened after Julia let me down from the winch, and the images in my mind of my flogging aren't too clear either, but the sensations of pain and relief skitter over my skin, and I twitch.

I went places I hadn't been in years last night, saw into the depths of my soul and soared through heavens with the stars. Nirvana, I would have called it, if I'd reached it through meditation, or in the vernacular of today, in the zone, where mind and body move as one. At its apex, it felt like every cell in my body had its own little orgasm, when in truth, I don't think I climaxed in the sexual sense at all.

I scrub my hands over my face and through my short curls, exhaling slowly. Rolling onto my stomach, I curl my arm under the pillow, snuggling into the soft sheets, inhaling the mingled scents of Julia, sweat and arousal. Yawning, I make a mental note to add laundry to the list of things to do today.

The gentle brush of a kiss between my shoulder blades wakes me some time later. "Morning, sleepyhead," Julia breathes in my ear. Smiling, I turn over, lifting my face for the sweet touch of her lips against mine. When we part, she asks how I'm feeling.

Shrugging, I answer, "Tired, aching, fabulous...horny..."

"Hmm," she answers, her fingertips tracing over my chest, tweaking each nipple gently, then sliding under the covers to stroke my swollen cock. My hips rise to meet her hand, my breath catching in my throat as I moan. Flipping the blankets down, exposing me, she runs her fingers up and down my thighs, over the sensitive skin of my pubis, and up my cock again to grasp the head between her thumb and the side of her forefinger, squeezing firmly until I shudder and plead, "Please, Mistress!"

Releasing me then, she rubs the salty drops of my pre come over my lips, and my tongue darts out obediently to lick them up. "I'm sorry I can't play with you longer this morning, pet, but I've got 3 clients before lunch, and one after. Think you can occupy your time wisely until then?"

My mind jumps back to laundry, and I nod. "I have several chores I can do, Mistress."

"Good." She pats my thigh, then picks up my cock harness from the bedside table. "Just so you'll be thinking about me," she says as she fastens it on me. "On your stomach now."

I roll over, folding my arms under my head, and closing my eyes, listening to the familiar snap of latex as she puts on a glove. Her fingers stroke slowly down the crack of my ass, one pressing lightly against my anus. A moan escapes me, and she bends over to kiss the small of my back, her finger returning a few moments later well coated with lube. This time she presses until my body admits her entrance, my legs spreading wide of their own volition as she adds a second finger to the first.

I bite my lip to hold back the begging, but a disappointed groan slips out as her fingers are removed. Julia smacks my ass and I yelp. "You ought to know by now that anticipating what I'm going to do only gets you in trouble, Blair."

Sighing, I answer, "Yes, Mistress."

Her hand smoothes over my stinging cheek, then I feel the cool, firm pressure of a thick anal plug being inserted. Teeth clenched to keep from crying out, I fist my hands in the sheets, gasping as my anus snaps shut around the base of the invader. I wiggle my hips as she peels off her glove, grunting as the slight shifting of the plug sends sparks shooting though my groin.

Laughing, Julia brushes my hair back from my forehead and kisses me there. "That ought to keep your interest all day. I'll come find you after my last client, and we can have our session then, all right?"

I nod as she rises from the bed, admonishing me not to "be a slug all day. Get up and get going, Blair."

I lie in bed a few more minutes, just enjoying the different, yet arousing sensations of the plug and the harness. Tentatively, I touch myself, fingertips skimming across my taut stomach muscles to my chest, circling my nipples slowly, entranced by the difference between smooth and taut, pebbled skin. I rub my thumbs across the hard nubs feather-light, then grab my nipple rings and pull. Lightning rockets from my chest to my cock and back again as my spine arches off the mattress, my ass clenching around the plug, making it bump my prostate. I see stars and nearly come, panting, my blood roaring in my ears. I lie still until the ripples fade away, my traitorous hands clutching the sheets.

Wow...last night's experience did more for me than just renew my spirit; it seems to have kicked my sensual receptiveness into overdrive. It's going to be a good day, I think when I finally get up and head for the shower. A really good day....


I'm a vacuuming fool today. After starting the laundry, I get out the Hoover with all the attachments and go to town. Living with Jim for four years, I learned how to clean. Carpets first, then under the furniture, upholstery, drapes, and those pesky little cobwebs hiding in the corners and inside lamp fixtures. All the bending and stretching amplifies the effects of my harness and anal plug, and soon I'm erect. Enjoying the delicious torture, I work hard, until I've finished cleaning the living room and Julia's bedroom, fresh sheets on the bed included.

At lunch time, I head to the kitchen to prepare tuna salad on mixed greens for Julia, Patrick and I. I'm tossing the lettuce when she enters in a rush, dressed in a short leather skirt with a studded belt and matching halter top. Coming up behind me, she slides her arms around my waist, giving me a hug. Her hand finds my still hard cock. "What's this precious? Happy to see me?"

I feel my face burning. "It...um...vacuuming..." I stammer helplessly.

She turns me around and one eyebrow raises. "You have a vacuum fetish?"

I must be bright crimson by now. "N-no, Mistress. It's the back and forth movement, and crawling on the floor to get under the furniture. It makes me really aware of my plug and..." My voice trails off as I wave my hand at my slowly deflating penis.

"Ah, too much stimulation, then. Bend over the counter, pet."

I obey, but protest. "Please, Mistress, don't take it out. It feels so good..." As soon as the words are out of my mouth, I realize that was the wrong thing to say.

"A little too good, perhaps. It would be very tempting for you to just go with that feeling, wouldn't it?"

My thoughts skip back to touching myself this morning, and I hang my head. "It is very tempting, Mistress."

Grasping the base of the plug, Julia twists and turns it, making me whimper, before pulling it out. She rubs the small of my back then, saying, "I love that you're so responsive, Blair. I love getting you aroused, because that's a huge turn-on for me; it's why I do this, why I'm a Domme. But when you get turned on when I'm not there, there's no benefit for me." She kisses my temple. "So you see why I had to remove the plug."

I nod, straightening up and turning to face her. "By agreeing to be your slave, I've turned my body, my pleasure over to you. And I don't regret that, Mistress," I emphasize, meeting her gaze. "Because nothing I could ever do to myself would make me feel as wonderful as you do when you touch me."

She smiles at me. "Flatterer." But she hugs me again, and kisses me, and everything is all right.


After lunch, I'm back at it, cleaning my room, Julia's office, and the kitchen. I figure I should probably ask for Patrick's permission before entering his room, so the vacuum and I work our way down the back hallway toward the computer room. As I thought, he's there, working on something on the computer. Shutting off the vacuum, I knock on the open door.

He swivels his chair around to face me, a smile crossing his face. "Hey, Blair, I was just working on you."

Puzzled, I step into the room and peer at the image frozen on the computer screen. Julia's kneeling between a man's legs, the dildo she's wearing deep in his ass. My sphincter muscles contract in response to the arousing photo, and my cock twitches in its harness. Then I realize the man in the photo is me--only the face has been "pixelized", made unrecognizable. "How come my face is gone?" I blurt out.

"Julia's idea, and I agreed with her. It's a little more work but it's worth it." He clicks the mouse, and the image on the monitor moves to the upper left corner, revealing a second video from the same scene, only from a different angle.

"What do you mean, 'it's worth it'?"

Patrick pauses the feed once again and leans back in his chair. "Julia told me you didn't know whether or not your stay here was going to be permanent, and that the people you used to work with don't know about your preferences. She figured it'd be a good idea to hide your identity, just in case you decided to go back to your old life. She said your friends probably wouldn't understand about you starring on a bondage website."

I lean against the door jamb, staggered. I thought I knew what I was doing when I signed those release forms, but now I see that subconsciously I was burning my bridges with Jim and the Cascade PD. Julia's insight saved me from making a decision I now know I'm not ready for. "You did...you did that for me?"

Patrick looks at me like I'm mentally deficient. "Of course. You're family, Blair, and we protect our own." He gives me a grin and turns back toward the monitor before I can embarrass myself. "Besides, our web hits are up 80 percent since you started airing. You're the hot topic on the forum."

For the second time today I'm blushing. "Um, look, Patrick," I begin, attempting to change the subject. "About what Mistress Julia wants us to do Friday..." I picked the wrong topic if I wanted to feel less embarrassed. Running my hand through my hair in frustration, I stutter out my problem. "Uh, I'm not exactly sure...I mean, I've never...you know, with a guy...before...."

He gives me a reassuring smile. "You'll be fine. I know what I'm doing, even if you don't. And Julia will be there to coach you, you won't get hurt."

I chew my lip, then reply, "That's not what I'm worried about. What if I get so tangled up over this in my head that I can't perform? Or worse yet, can't get you...aroused." I can't believe I'm talking about this with him.

"Do you trust me, Blair?" he asks, his gaze searching my face.

"I...I trust Julia, and she trusts you with me, so yes. Sorry, man, I've never been with you like that, so I only have her opinion to go on."

Nodding, Patrick gestures for me to come into the room. "Come here and sit down on the floor in front of me, and I'll see if I can allay your fears."

Crossing the room, I kneel in front of his chair, my back to him. "That's good," he says and I feel his hands come to rest lightly on my head, his fingers threading through the curls. Slowly, gently, he begins to massage my scalp, and within seconds my eyes close in bliss. He's very good at this, his hands moving down to my neck, thumbs digging into the muscle where my head joins my spine, easing the tension there. Relaxing even further, I lean into his hands, his fingers kneading my trapezoids. He works out from my neck and spine to my shoulders and biceps, and by this time I'm sighing and mmming, my back resting against his leather-clad legs.

I'm halfway expecting it when his hands slide over my shoulders and down my chest, his fingertips brushing over my nipples, then teasing my piercings. The delicious sensation radiates down to my cock, and I'm a little startled to find out I'm already erect.

"Blair," he says, his mouth close to my ear. "Turn around and look at me." Rising to my knees, I do as he asks. Patrick's on the edge of the chair, his eyes bright, his thick member standing rigidly at attention though the open front of his chaps, a bead of pre come glistening on the tip. "You don't need to worry about getting me turned on. I get hard just thinking about you, remembering what that gorgeous cock tastes like." His thumb and forefinger close on my right nipple, rolling it, teasing it. I gasp.

"Feels good, doesn't it? It doesn't matter who's doing the touching, Blair, your beautiful body reacts the same way." His right hand strokes lightly down my stomach, stopping just short of my aching, leaking erection. His hand lifts away, and I mourn the loss of contact. The fingers playing with my nipple move to caress my cheek as he lays the palm of his other hand against the underside of my cock, not gripping me, not stroking, just pressing gently. My hips push forward as I moan.

"Boys, boys, boys," Julia's voice chides quietly from the doorway. "This was not what I meant when I said to have a thorough discussion."

I scoot away from Patrick as if I've just been branded, prostrating myself at my Mistress' feet. I sense Patrick sliding off the chair and doing the same.

"It was my fault, Mistress," he immediately says. "I wanted to make Blair feel comfortable with me, and I got carried away."

"Is this true, Blair?"

Raising my head enough to look at her, I answer, "I'm partially to blame, Mistress. I knew when I began to get aroused I should leave, but it felt so good..."

Julia just shakes her head, an amused smile on her lips. "I thought that might be the case. I can see I'm going to have to remind you both who is the Mistress and who are the slaves. Heel!" she barks, and both Patrick and I fall in place behind her. She strides off down the hallway, the two of us crawling as fast as we can to keep up.

She leads us through the house to the playroom, not stopping until we've reached the corner with the whips and straps on the walls. I kneel beside Patrick, waiting to find out our fate, feeling him shivering next to me. Recalling the whipping I received when I failed to use my safe word, my stomach knots.

Julia walks over to a rolling cabinet set against the wall and opens a drawer. Taking out two items, she approaches us. Patrick makes a noise low in his throat, and I realize he knows what's going to happen. I, however, have no clue. She holds the objects out for my inspection. They're identical, each two curved pieces of smooth, polished wood held together with hinges. The two pieces are flush along the twelve inch length, save for a small gap in the center.

Seeing the confusion on my face, Julia explains, "It's called a humbler." Taking a small key, she inserts it into a lock set into the wood and unlocks the device so that it opens on its hinges. She sets the unopened one down on a table and says, "Patrick, take those chaps off, then head down, ass up, legs apart."

With a whimper, he does as she commands, leaning on his forearms. Moving behind him, Mistress reaches between his legs and grasps his balls, bringing them toward her. She forces them through the gap between the two halves of the humbler, then closes and locks it. Patrick's testes are now held behind him, the curve of the device fitting snugly against the back of his thighs, effectively keeping him on his hands and knees. If he tries to stand, or even straighten up while kneeling...ouch.

I wince in sympathy, then the realization hits me that in a few moments, I'm going to be wearing one as well.

Julia approaches me, the second humbler in her hand. I start to copy Patrick's position, but she stops me. "Need to take your harness off first, pet." Rising up on my knees, I hold very still as she unbuckles the straps from around my cock and sac. In spite of my nervousness, the touch of her hand produces its normal reaction in me--I get hard.

She shakes her head, laughing softly. "Isn't there anything that isn't a turn on for you?" I shrug, and she sighs. "All right, same position as Patrick, head down, ass up."

I comply, resting my forehead on my folded hands, spreading my legs wide. She strokes her hand over my lower back, then grasps my balls, squeezing hard and twisting. Tears spring to my eyes and I cry out, but the pain has the desired effect of erasing my erection. I'm whimpering as she feeds my testicles through the center of the humbler, then closes it. I can feel the tension immediately, a strong pulling sensation in my groin much more uncomfortable than any ball stretcher I've ever worn.

"Now for your discipline. Since you both agree you're equally at fault for what happened, you'll get the same punishment." Returning to the wall of implements, she looks them over for a moment, then selects the nasty stinger. She goes to Patrick first, standing behind his raised buttocks and slightly to the side. Catching me looking, she commands, "Eyes down, slave, this is between myself and Patrick."

Swallowing hard, I turn my face away, closing my eyes. I still can't stop the shudder that goes through me at the loud *swish/CRACK* and Patrick's howl of pain. Ten times the stinger smacks down, each blow resonating in my chest, my gut, cold sweat trickling down my back. It's horrible listening to Patrick crying, and knowing I'm responsible for what he's going through.

Then it's my turn. Displaced air whistles as the stinger descends and I brace myself, but nothing I do prepares me for the sharp burst of agony that radiates across my ass and down my thighs. My body's first reaction is to straighten, to move, but the humbler prevents that with a wrenching yank on my balls. Now I know why Patrick was screaming.

Sobbing, I dig my fingers into the mat underneath me, somehow managing to hold still for the second stroke. Some part of my brain reminds me that I should be counting, but all I can force out is a mewling wheeze. Three and four make my vision blur, and I close my eyes, red sparks exploding against my eyelids at five and six. Seven, eight and nine are quick and hard, the pain rolling in a seemingly unending wave through my body. Ten finally rips a shriek from my throat, and then the final blow is fading away to a hot throbbing that pulses through my ass, my cock and balls.

Julia kneels next to me, her hand gently stroking my curls. "It's over, pets, all over." I turn my head to the side to find her touching Patrick in the same manner. She gives him a hug, discreetly wiping the wetness from his cheeks. "Who do you belong to?" she asks.

"You, Mistress," he answers, his voice cracking on the words.

"Very good. I trust you to keep your hands to yourself from now on." Kissing his temple, she says, "You can go back to what you were doing, Patrick. Three hours from now, at six o'clock, I'll take the humbler off."

"Yes, Mistress," he answers in a hushed tone, then crawls slowly out of the room.

Julia turns her attention on me. "You all right, precious?"

I nod, slowly raising up on my hands and knees. "Yes, Mistress."

Her fingers brush away the remnants of my tears, then she tilts my chin until my gaze meets hers. "Do you remember who you belong to now?"

"I belong to you, Mistress" I whisper.

"Very good. Come, I think some quiet time with me will be good for you." Getting to her feet, Julia leaves the playroom. I follow carefully, discovering that any attempt to move quickly makes the humbler cause discomfort, if not outright pain.


Julia leads me through the house to her office, grabs a pillow off the couch, then takes a seat behind her desk. "Come on back here, pet." Once I've joined her, she puts the pillow on the floor next to her chair, then pats her lap. "Can you bend over my legs?"

After some maneuvering on both our parts, I'm kneeling on the cushion, my upper body lying across her lap. Unsure of what to do with my hands, I place them at the small of my back, right hand grasping my left wrist. She strokes my back, saying, "That's it, precious. Just lie there and relax." Once I seem to be settled, she begins to work on her computer.

Closing my eyes, I try some yoga breathing to attempt to relax, but I can't. It's not that I'm uncomfortable, well, I am, but I'm not in any pain. I just can't get my damn mind to shut off. It keeps going round and round like a rat in a cage, playing the forbidden moment with Patrick again and again. What does it mean that I was turned on by his touching me? Does it mean I'm gay? I can't believe I'm actually thinking that, it's so fucking cliche. I have no emotional feelings for Patrick whatsoever. I've never found men arousing in any context that doesn't involve Julia. Could it have been the anticipation, the thought of her watching Patrick and I together that I was responding to?

Perhaps thou doth protest too much? another part of me asks. I squeeze my eyes shut and grind my teeth. It's a damn learned response, Blair, nothing more, nothing less. It's just like pain for pleasure. You have to be trained, conditioned, to make pain arousing. If I was blindfolded and had no clue whether it was Julia or Patrick touching me, I still would have gotten hard, would have wanted whoever it was not to stop.

"Is there a problem, pet?" Julia asks, my minute shifting and squirming and thinking too loud annoying her.

"Sorry, Mistress. I can't stop the thoughts in my head. I want to calm down, I do, but I can't..." I choke out, my inability to obey upsetting me even further.

"It's okay, baby," she reassures me as I hear one of the desk drawers being opened and closed. Then her hand is smoothing over my still tingling buttocks, her fingers gently parting my cheeks, the cool slickness of lube being rubbed into the tight ring of my anus. "Relax for me, precious, let me give you something else to think about."

And with a sigh, my body responds to her, the muscles I'd been unconsciously clenching ever since the humbler was locked on me opening up, allowing her fingers easy entrance. She inserts two, then just holds them there, the palm of her hand flat against the curve of my ass, her thumb lightly rubbing my cheek. I close my eyes again, letting the sense of belonging, of calm wash over me.

"That better, pet?" she asks, her lips nibbling at the curve of my ear.

"Much better, Mistress," I whisper, letting my worries, my fears drift away.

I lose all track of time lying there, my senses concerned only with the feel of warm leather under my cheek, the slight pressure on my balls, and the wonderful knowledge that it's my Mistress touching me so intimately. Her fingers finally slide out of me, and I mumble a protest.

She helps me to the floor, then leads me over to the couch. Taking a seat, she pats the space next to her. "Think you can get up here?"

I find I can with only a minimal amount of pain by getting to my feet while remaining bent over. Putting one knee on the sofa cushion, I lean over it, then draw the other leg up and sit back carefully on my heels. It's not the easiest position to maintain, and Julia suggests I lie down on my side, my head in her lap. Once I'm settled in that position, my legs curled up in a semi-fetal position, she begins rubbing my back, my side, stroking my hair.

"Can you tell me why you're being punished, pet?"

I take a long moment to think about it, to reflect on the house rules I've not had much occasion to dwell on during this stay at the Hotel. "I did exactly what we talked about before lunch, Mistress. I sought pleasure without your permission.

"Very good. And?"

"And I broke the no fraternization among slaves rule." That particular order had come to pass during my last time with Julia. Two of the slaves became involved with each other, and they spent more time pleasing themselves, than obeying their Mistress. It caused all kinds of problems with the other members of the household, because it undermined the Mistress' authority. She had tried to find a solution that would restore order, but ended up telling the two slaves to leave, and drafting the no consorting rule.

"I'm sorry, Mistress. It won't happen again."

She scratches lightly between my shoulder blades. "I'm certain it won't. I want you to come to me if Patrick makes any advances toward you again, not that I think he will. You belong to, and answer only to me." That was another rule. When there was more than one dom living in the house, they had their own slaves they were responsible for. Patrick was somewhat of an exception, in that he was Mistress' slave, but worked as a dom with clients.

"So what do you feel like talking about today, Blair?"

Everything and nothing collide inside my brain. I don't know why I feel so rattled, so out of sorts ever since Julia removed my plug at lunch time. Maybe I just need to get off. My cock twitches at that thought, and I try to think of something else, anything else, but it's damn near impossible.

A gentle tug on my hair forces my attention back to my Mistress. "It's obvious something is going on with you today, pet. Is it something you can find words for?"

I sigh and wrap my arm over Julia's thigh, hugging it. "I don't know...I can't...nothing is making sense to me today..." Her hand glides down my back again, her fingers teasing the dimple at the top of my crack. Inspiration strikes me. "Mistress...could you...could you please do what you did before, with your fingers...inside me? Please?" Turning my head, I gaze up at her, hoping she can see the need in my pleading expression.

She seems to think it over for a moment, then says, "Sure, precious," as she reaches for the supplies I swear are in every drawer in the house. I'm still slick and relaxed from before; she simply gives her gloved fingers a light coating of lube then eases them inside me. A shiver goes through me, starting at my head and ending at my toes. I let out a low moan as all the tension seems to rush out of me. Her other hand combs through my hair, and she waits until I'm nearly hypnotized by the combination of her hands' actions before she speaks again.

"You been very fixated on anal sensations today, pet. You have any idea why that is?"

The quick, the easy answer is because I'm horny, but in my heart, I know that's not the case. Besides, my cock is just as relaxed as the rest of me, if I didn't have any other clues to go on. Julia's patient with me, letting me mull things over before I try my theory out loud. "I think...I think it's like my collar, only more so."

"You'll have to explain more than that," she laughs, when I don't say anything else.

Smiling as I snuggle closer to her, I answer, "My collar marks me as yours, as belonging to you. You're the only person I've ever let touch me like this..." I breathe a soft "ohhh" as she presses her fingers deeper. "...and when you penetrate me, when you're inside me, the most intimate, private part of me...you accept me for who I really am. Sometimes, like today for some reason, I just need to be reminded of that." Tears spring to my eyes and I blink them back.

Julia bends over, kissing my cheek. "Oh, precious...I'm honored you trust me that much, to be who you really are with me. You're a beautiful person, Blair, inside and out, and you ought to let that person shine more often, not be afraid to let him out."

"I'll try, Mistress. It's...it's easy with you, I've always felt comfortable with you, never felt I had to prove anything to you. Other people, it's harder."

Back to stroking my hair, she asks, "How come?"

Chewing my lip, I think back over my life, finding events from years ago falling into place now with startling clarity. "Because," I finally whisper, "because I've always wanted to fit in. Every time I moved, changed schools, I would take on a different personality, trying to be included, to be liked. If the jocks were the cool people, then I played baseball, basketball. If I thought the science kids were cooler, I'd become one of them. Maybe that's what made me such a good anthropologist, I could fit in anywhere."

"A chameleon," Julia says. "But I get the feeling 'fitting in' didn't make you happy."

Shaking my head against her leg, I tighten my insides around the familiar, comforting presence of her two middle fingers. "No, because I knew the truth, that the person everyone liked wasn't the real me."

"So, this is the 'real' you? This naked man lying in my lap, the one with my hand up his ass?" Her tone is light, gently teasing, and I know she's trying to keep me from descending into a deep funk.

I twist myself around so that I can look up at her. "This is me," I tell her calmly, for once in my life certain of my own truth. "You've always seen me."

Her eyes widen slightly, as if that surprises her. "To what do I owe that honor?"

I think back to our first meeting, years ago, when I was nervously asking a group of bondage players for help on a paper. She'd been the only one to come up to me afterwards, the only one willing to take the chance that I was who I said I was, that all I wanted was to learn, not to exploit. She'd looked perfectly ordinary then, in jeans and a sweater, her hair in a ponytail, backpack slung over her shoulder. She'd stuck out her hand and said, "Hi, I'm Julia. I'm a dominatrix." The expression on her face had been so open, she was so confident in who she was, that I felt laid bare under her gaze. Somehow she'd already seen through all the bullshit I'd been prepared to hand her to get help with my thesis, and I knew, just knew that if the first words out of her mouth spoke the truth of who she was, then I should be brave and offer her the same. I'd said something like, "I'm Blair, and I'm clueless." The sense of relief I felt was almost overwhelming.

The memory fades as my eyes focus on her again. "You were totally honest with me when we first met, and you believed in me, without even knowing me. I didn't--I don't have to hide anything, any part of myself from you. And the more I came to understand this lifestyle, understand the relationship between a mistress and a sub, the more I realized it's about being free to be who you really are. I knew that the first time we played together, when I was tied down and you so gently spanked me. I got turned on, and it was okay, it was expected of me. And when you pushed me past that point of pleasure, I felt pain, and it was still good, it was still okay. I could hurt, I could cry, and you wouldn't think any less of me..." My voice trails off, and I'm suddenly aware of the tears sliding down my cheeks and into my hair.

Julia's bending over me then, her fingers slipping out of me as her arms go around me, holding me as tightly as she can given our awkward positions. Fortunately, my tears don't last long, and once they're over, she rearranges us so that she's spooned up behind me, curling around me protectively, her hands again rubbing my skin, soothing me.

She nibbles at my shoulder for a moment, then asks, "Anything else you want to tell me?"

I think about that for a while, trying to follow all the paths of insight that have suddenly opened up in my mind. "Be...being what I thought everyone else wanted from me is why I'm here. I've betrayed who I am, not just ignoring my emotional, sexual needs, but my responsibilities to others, my responsibility to my own beliefs."

Julia's embrace tightens slightly. "In what way, pet?"

Searching my brain for examples, I say, "I neglected my responsibility to the university, to my students. I've always loved learning, loved the teachers who sparked my interest, who helped me to understand a subject, not just memorize facts. I wanted to be one of those teachers, and for a while, I was. Then I got so caught up in working with Jim that my teaching came in second or third or god knows how far down on the list. I was no longer there for my students, blowing off my office hours to do Jim's paperwork, begging other people to cover my classes so I could interview suspects or go on stakeouts. There was one time I was out six weeks, recovering from being shot. I think half my students dropped my class that semester."

Julia's hand finds mine, and I interlock my fingers with hers, putting myself in my students' place, feeling their disappointment, their struggle to succeed under a teacher who didn't have time for them. I'd been there. I'd hated it. And I'd sworn never to forget that awful experience, never to repeat it with my own students. Yet I had; I'd let them down in spades. "Edwards was right to fire me. She shouldn't have hired me back after the first time."

"The first time? She tried to get rid of you before the mess with your dissertation?"

I nod. "Yeah. The son of one of the university's biggest donors plagiarized a paper in my class. I wasn't willing to let it drop. Ironic, isn't it?"

"She fired you because you were upholding the university rules?"

"I guess in her mind the rules only applied to those without money. But her actual grounds were all the days of work I missed, and she was right, I broke the terms of my contract to ride along with Jim." I exhale tiredly. "I never should have gone back. If I hadn't, things would have turned out differently."

"Hmm," she murmurs, her hand rubbing my arm. "Are you sure of that? You'd be in the same situation you are now...or would you have decided to become a cop then?"

Shaking my head, I answer, "No...no...I played for too long at being a cop, and all I ended up doing was compromising who I am. Can you imagine me with a gun?"

She hesitates, obviously thinking about it. "No, honestly I can't, precious. You're about the gentlest man I know."

Memories assault me, memories of the too many times a gun was thrust into my hands, a gun I accepted, a gun I used. But before I delve too deeply into those thoughts, Julia asks, "Can you tell me about the time you were shot? I've been curious about it ever since Butch mentioned it. How did that happen?"

God...Dawson Quinn...A shudder goes through me, and I feel her move closer, enfolding me in the safe cocoon of her arms. "There was this guy, a real bad-ass cop killer. He escaped from custody, and took Simon hostage. He escaped into the mountains, really rough terrain. Jim and I went after him."

"Just you and Jim?" she asks, her voice incredulous.

"Well, no, there was a whole task-force, cops, Marshals, FBI, and they were all going in one direction, but Jim knew Quinn had gone in another, because of his senses. He could smell Simon's cigars. So the two of us headed after them." I pause, chewing my lip, then say for the first time what I'd never admitted to anyone. "I should have listened to Jim. I shouldn't have gone with him. I was just a hindrance to him, held him back. I got a concussion, when we had to jump off a cliff into the river to escape some mountain men who were shooting at us. When we finally caught up with Quinn, I ended up shot in the leg and hiding in a cave, unable to help Jim at all."

Julia's silent for a moment, then she says, "Did it ever occur to you that what Jim did was incredibly stupid and dangerous? That he went after an obviously armed killer with no back up, and when his partner, his friend had a head injury, he pressed on, instead of making sure you got medical treatment?"

Her voice is tight, controlled, and I can feel her anger, but know it's not directed at me, but at Jim. And when I take a mental step back and look at it through her eyes, I see she's right.

"You could have been killed, Blair, and it would have been Jim's fault for not following procedure. I only have the most limited knowledge of how a search like that would work, but I know it's a team effort, that cops don't go off by themselves the way he did. Did you ever stop to consider that if Jim had been open with his colleagues about his abilities, that they would have followed his information, instead of forcing him to go off on his own, dragging you with him?"

"Hey!" I reply sharply, "I wasn't dragged, I went willingly..." My voice trails off, as I realize that makes me just as much at fault as Jim. "I had the best intentions," I finally finish. "I just wasn't able to follow through on them." But there's still the unmistakable ring of truth to her words. The more I look back on it now, the more I see that keeping Jim's sentinel abilities a secret was stupid, a liability, where it could have been an asset. How could Jim expect his colleagues to trust him, trust the information from his senses, when he kept the truth about the amazing advantage he had from them?

We're both silent for a few minutes, then she says, "Tell me about the guns."

"What?" I've lost the thread of our conversation.

"Before we were talking about Quinn, you mentioned a gun. Was that just a rhetorical question, or have you actually used one?"

I swallow tightly. These are not good memories. "I've used one, more than once. I've...I've shot at people with the intent to hurt them." Fear makes people do stupid things, to compromise themselves, to take the easy way out. I could have killed out there on that island with Jim's cousin and those gangsters. Shoot over their heads my ass. I couldn't see a damn thing in the darkness and at that distance. I just aimed in the general direction and pulled the trigger. Same thing with Kincaid and the Sunrise Patriots and their idiotic submarine. Somehow that's worse than deliberately taking aim at someone and pulling the trigger. To just shoot, and not care.... The sob comes out of nowhere, catching me unawares.

Julia's arms tighten as she asks "Precious?"

"I'm so stupid, so stupid...I lost myself, lost who I was...forgot everything I'd ever believed...let fear rule me. Jim said take the gun and I did. I quit trying to find another way, just accepted the violence, accepted his way as my way...and it's not, it's not, it never was!"

I feel her rocking me, trying to calm me, telling me it's okay, that people do things they normally wouldn't when they're scared. But I've always prided myself in using my brains to get out of a bad situation, to think things through before acting, and her words are scant comfort.

"Blair," she says finally, "it's over. You know what your mistakes were, learn from them and move on." There's steel in her tone, and I realize if I can't put this behind me, then I will be punished. Somehow that seems easier than accepting my mistakes, than forgiving myself.

Julia seems to see that as well. "On the floor!" she snaps, "head down, ass up!"

With a strangled yelp, I obey, the humbler tugging hard at my balls as I shift from couch to floor. Peering up at her, I catch a glimpse of her pulling off her belt, and then I'm burying my face in my hands before she sees me looking. I get no warning save the whistle of the strap slicing through the air before it impacts against my still aching buttocks. It knocks the breath out of me, and nearly knocks me to the carpet. I inhale jaggedly, and she strikes me a second time. "I don't hear anyone counting!"

"Two..." I manage, then scream out three, four and five. She stops then, her hand rubbing my throbbing, burning flesh. I whimper. "Please...please..."

"Please what? Please more? Please stop? Please fuck me?" I can hear the grin in her voice at her last question.

"Please...Please...stop..." I whisper, though 'fuck me' had come in a close second.

Her hand strokes over my ass cheek again, then I feel her grasping the humbler, unlocking it, releasing me. With a moan, I curl in on myself, my hand cupping my tortured balls, some primitive part of me needing reassurance they were still attached.

Julia sits down with me, cuddling me close, and I bury my face in her shoulder unashamedly. Everything hurts, body, mind, soul, and I don't fight my need to be comforted. She excels at it, hugging me, touching me, kissing me, murmuring reassurances, until there's a knock on the office door.

"Come in, Patrick," Julia calls, and he enters, crawling slowly across the floor to his Mistress. Letting go of me for a moment, she unlocks Patrick's humbler. He shows a bit more restraint when released than I did, simply stretching his back, then snuggling up to Julia for a hug and a kiss on the head.

She slides her free arm around me and we sit there for several minutes together, reconnecting, reaffirming our relationship to each other, or at least that's what I'm doing--I can't vouch for Julia and Patrick.

Finally, she says, "All right, boys, time to get started on dinner." She gets to her feet, and we follow her out.


Dinner is a new experience. Patrick and I, still being reminded of our places, cook and serve dinner to Mistress Julia, kneeling quietly behind her chair on either side of her as she eats. Once she's finished, we're allowed our meals in the kitchen. When we're done cleaning up after ourselves, Patrick heads off to his room, and I go looking for Julia.

I find her in the playroom, putting together an odd looking piece of equipment, some kind of chair made out of what looks like tubular steel covered in thick, foam padding. "Hello, pet," she greets me. "What do you think of our new toy?"

Sitting back on my heels, I shrug. "What is it, Mistress?"

"Remember when I asked Carrie to send over some electro-stimulation toys? Well, she included this for us to try; it's called an auto-erotic chair. It changes to several different positions, comes with tie-down straps and special mounts for toys." Walking over to me, she combs her fingers through my hair, tilting my head back so she can meet my eyes. "You get the honor of trying it out tomorrow."

I can't hold back the shiver of excitement that goes through me. "Ah, you like that idea? Well, you may not once you find out what your punishment is for not being true to yourself." She laughs softly at my suddenly wide eyes. "But that's tomorrow. Tonight you get a treat." Julia points to one of the cabinets against the wall. "Go pick out the dildo you'd like inside of you tonight."

I'm so easy. The thought of her being inside me makes me wiggle all over like a puppy. She laughs at me, and I play it up, barking and bounding in circles around her on my hands and knees, until she collapses to the floor, giggling.

I lean over her, grinning and panting. Reaching up, she pulls my face down to hers, planting a soft kiss on my open mouth. The world tilts on its axis as I close my eyes, savoring the taste of her lips, what feels like molten lava running through my veins. When we finally part, I'm gasping for air and fully aroused. She cups my cheek in her hand, running her thumb over my sensitive lower lip. Catching her digit in my mouth, I suck on it gently, letting go when she slowly pulls away.

"Go pick out your toy, pet," she says, her voice smoky with desire.

Moving to the cabinet, I open the top drawer. Lying inside on a bed of terry cloth are a large variety of plugs and dildos. Short or long, fat or skinny, ridged, bumped, and veined, just the thought makes my insides flutter. I pick them up one at a time, turning them over in my hands, feeling their texture, testing their weight. Finally, I decide on one similar to the dildo I saw Julia use on Patrick my third day here. It's about as long as my forearm and about half as thick, with a mushroom-shaped tip and three raised rings spaced at intervals down the shaft.

Julia raises an eyebrow at me when I show it to her. "You sure you're ready for that?" she asks.

"You said I could choose," I answer a touch petulantly, irked that she doesn't think I know my own limits. "This is the one."

She gives me a smile. "Fine, come along then." I follow her out of the playroom and through the house to her bedroom.

She pats the top of the mattress and I climb up eagerly. Julia takes the dildo from me and sets it on the nightstand, along with gloves and lube. "Okay, pet, this is going to be something a little different. I'm going to watch you pleasure yourself."

I frown, disappointed, as she continues, "I know that's not what you were expecting, but in a way, I think you need it."

"Mistress, I don't understand--"I begin, but the light touch of her fingers against my lips silences me.

"Let me ask you a question, precious. You enjoy being pleasured anally, correct?"

I nod. "I--I like I told you earlier, I love it when you touch me there."

"And I'm honored that you've let me. But I have to ask myself why I'm the only one, why you haven't shared that part of you, that desire, with any of your other lovers, or even with yourself. I am correct in assuming you don't penetrate yourself when masturbating, aren't I?"

I nod, feeling a flush coloring my face. "Yes, Mistress."

"Do you know why you don't allow yourself that pleasure?"

I close my eyes, my hands unconsciously clenching into fists where they lie on top of my thighs. I don't know that I can give her a good answer, save that perhaps I've come to associate that act so strongly with her that the thought of someone else doing it, even myself, never crosses my mind. I tell her as much.

She smiles at me, running her hand through my curls, lightly massaging my scalp. "Well, we're just going to have to change that, starting tonight." So saying, she picks up a lighter from the nightstand, and walks around the room, lighting the candles sitting atop nearly every flat surface, then turns out the lamp. Taking a seat in the comfortable-looking armchair sitting against the wall at the side of the bed, she crosses her bare legs and settles in to watch.

I'm left by myself on the bed, suddenly nervous and uncomfortable, and uncertain of how to begin. Thankfully, Julia's there to help me. "Lie down on your back in the middle of the mattress, pet." I do as she says. "Good. Now just look up at your reflection in the mirror--really look at yourself."

Sucking in a slow breath, I close my eyes and just breathe for a long count of thirty, trying to find my center, my calm. I look up into my own face then; even at the distance from the bed to the ceiling my eyes stand out, a deep, sapphire blue in the candlelight. It startles me for an instant to see what people probably first notice about me.

"Touch yourself, precious," Julia commands softly. I reach for my semi-erect cock. "No, not like that."

I drop my hands to my sides, now thoroughly confused. "I don't understand, Mistress."

Smiling at me, she says, "I want you to pretend you've never had a body before today. Explore what it feels like, how it moves, what gives you pleasure. Start at the top and work down, all right?" I nod, trying to wrap my mind around the concept. "Maybe this will help. Treat yourself like a new lover, one you want to discover and please every inch of. Think you can do that?"

"Yes, Mistress," I answer, still uncertain, but willing to give it a try. As she ordered, I start at the top, running my hands through my hair, feeling the curls wrap around my fingers. The strands are softer than I expect, and thick. I can see why Julia likes touching it so much. Bringing my hands down, I trace over my features silently, running my fingertips over my high, broad forehead, the faint curve of my brows. I feel the tickle of my eyelashes against the pads of my fingers, the slope of my nose, the planes of my cheekbones.

I pause to examine my hands, translucent in the candlelight. I can make out the veins crossing the back of them, the tensing and flexing of tendons as I move my fingers. I curl my hand into a fist, feeling the tension up my forearm. I return my hand to my face, touching the line of stubble along my jaw, fingering the old chicken pox scar on my chin. Finally I rub one finger slowly over my lips, the tickling sensation sending a shudder through me.

Drawing in a breath, I touch my throat, my Adam's apple bobbing as I swallow. Bringing my hands down to my chest, I splay my fingers, trailing them over my skin, barely touching, feeling goosebumps raise. I close my eyes...and Julia's voice says, "No, precious, I want you to watch yourself."

As I look up again, the mirror reflects my image back to me, my skin golden against the creamy white of the bed sheets. I run my hands over the muscles of my stomach, watching them shift and move as I draw in a long breath. My cock is rock hard and nearly flat against my belly, the tip glistening with precum, but I avoid touching it. I caress my pubis, the feel of my fingertips on the bare, ultra-sensitive skin incredible. Letting out a low moan, I shudder, then pull my legs up, spreading them wide as I brush my hands over the inside of my thighs, feeling the muscles twitch and jump.

I don't linger there long, though, the temptation to grab my cock and come is too strong to resist with my hands so close. But I know my Mistress wants me to take my time, so I lower my legs, resting my hands on the bed spread, breathing slowly, feeling my ass clench and unclench, wanting to be filled with the dildo. When I'm relatively calm, I run my fingertips up my stomach, tracing each rib lightly, finally circling my tight nipples, my touch whisper-faint. When I can't stand it any longer, I grab my nipple rings and twist. The sensation hits me hard, and my back arches off the bed, my cock slapping against my stomach as I let out a yell.

Struggling to keep my eyes open, I watch myself writhe under my own hands, pinching, teasing and pulling at my nipples until they're so sensitized I can no longer stand to touch them. Letting out a sob, I claw at the sheets, fighting back the urge to climax.

"Breathe, Blair," Julia advises me. "Breathe and let the tide roll back." I do as she says, digging my hands into my hair to avoid touching myself as the need fades to a dull roar. "God, precious, you are so incredibly hot, you make me so hot..." she murmurs, and I realize for the first time that she's touching herself, her hands mirroring my actions on her body.

"Ohhhh, god..." I moan, rolling onto my side, wrapping my arms around myself, shivering. She's lolling in the chair, her bathrobe falling open, one hand cupping a breast, the other hidden between her legs.

Julia's eyes meet mine, and she smiles at me. "You want that dildo inside you?"

I nod, a whispered "Yessss," falling from my lips.

"Put a glove on, baby, and lube your fingers." I do as I'm told, only dropping the tube on the floor once. "Now lie on your side, pet, and bend your top leg." Groaning, I obey, my hand shaking as I reach behind me, sliding my fingers down the crack of my ass. I stroke over my anus lightly, shuddering, then biting my lip, I press one slick finger into me. It's more difficult to do than I imagined. My muscles are tight, and my nerves and excitement aren't making it any easier.

"Take your time, pet. There's no hurry. If you need to close your eyes, I'll allow it now."

A kind of mewling sound spills from my throat, and I let my eyelids drop, shutting out the image of Julia sprawled sensuously in the chair. Inhaling through my nose, I let the breath out slowly, trying to visualize my tension flowing out with the air. It works, to a degree, and my finger slips in to the second knuckle. I breathe through it, feeling my body begin to relax around my digit. I wiggle it around, still marveling at how hot, how tight I am. After a bit, I think I'm ready for two fingers, and at Julia's prompting, add more lube to my already slippery glove.

Two fingers is...uncomfortable, and after a bit of scissoring and stretching, I discover that three is painful. A whimper escapes me, and Julia reminds me, "Go slow, Blair. You've got to remember your hands are larger than mine."

Right. Forgot about that. I'm covered in sweat now, my arm starting to cramp from the awkward position, my cock limp as pleasure has been sacrificed for the moment to mechanics. Finally, I decide I'm as relaxed and open as I'm going to get. Picking the dildo up, I apply lube liberally, then shift around on the bed until I find a somewhat comfortable position on my side, with both knees drawn up. Grasping the dildo a few inches behind the tip, I position it against my well-slicked opening and push slowly. My body resists at first, but I apply more force and the thick head penetrates the ring of muscle with a popping sensation. I gasp, squeezing my eyes shut at the sudden burst of pain.

"Breathe, precious," Julia reminds me again, and I try to, shaking, thinking perhaps she was right about me not being ready for this particular toy. But I'm not willing to concede yet that my eyes are bigger than other parts of my anatomy. I twist and turn the dildo, slowly increasing pressure. I'm rewarded when it advances deeper inside me.

This time it feels gooood, and I let out a heartfelt groan of pleasure. "Oh...yeah..." I murmur, turning it some more. Quite by accident, I hit my prostate. That gets a yelp, and wakes up my cock. Rolling partway onto my back, I wrap the fingers of my right hand around my growing erection, using my left to work the dildo further in. I manage to get the toy in up to the second ring surrounding the shaft, but my arm isn't long enough to let me thrust with it if I go any deeper. Panting with the effort, I turn all the way onto my back, pulling my knees up and spreading my legs.

"Open your eyes, precious, look at yourself," Julia commands quietly.

The vision in the mirror startles me. I've always had a hard time seeing myself as a sexual being, strange as that may be to believe, coming from the man Jim accused of humping table legs. But I've never thought of myself as hot, or sexy, or attractive in that "I know I've got it" kind of way. But the man in the mirror...whoa. He's aroused and sweaty, his hand on his dick like he knows what to do with it, his legs open wide for the world to see the long, thick dildo protruding from his ass, his other hand wrapped around it, pushing it deep. It's shocking and raw and touches something primal inside me. With a low growl, I fist my cock in a choke hold, stroking so hard it hurts, plunging the dildo against my prostate again and again.

It seems like both forever and not nearly long enough when my orgasm rolls over me, hot cum spilling through my fingers, my ass gripping the dildo tightly as my body rocks and shudders, a scream erupting from my throat. Tears are streaming from the corners of my eyes across my temples and onto the sheets when it's over.

For several long minutes, everything's hazy, foggy, my skin tingling in the aftermath of my climax. Slowly I become aware of a tongue laving my fingers, my cum-splattered belly, my spent cock. I moan softly, and Julia leans over me, her body cool against my superheated skin. Her fingers tangle in my hair, then her mouth descends on mine, and I taste myself on her. Her lips move to my cheeks then, kissing away the remnants of my tears.

"Want you, baby," she breathes in my ear. "Gonna have you right now..." She sits up then, the candlelight turning her fair skin a tawny gold, playing over the swell of her breasts, illuminating the harness draped around her hips. A sigh escapes me as my cock stirs against my stomach. "Roll over onto your knees, pet," she says, and I do.

Raising up on my forearms is my limit, but it's enough. I sense her behind me, feel the jostling of the dildo still in my ass as she attaches the harness. Then the hot length of her is pressed against my back, and the toy slides all the way home. A startled gasp is all I can manage, the air suddenly gone from my lungs. She pulls back then, slowly, gently, letting me savor the sensation of that huge cock moving inside me, the raised rings forcing my anus to stretch and tighten over and over. "Please," I moan, "please..."

Her arms go around me, one hand cupping, squeezing my balls, the other finding my hardening cock. "Please what, precious? Tell me what you want..."

"Please...please....fuck me..." Julia thrusts forward, a firm, smooth stroke, taking care not to hurt me, then her arms close around me as she lifts me toward her, straightening so that she's kneeling up on the bed and I'm leaning back against her, impaled on the dildo's shaft. The pressure inside me is incredible. "Oh, god, oh god..." I cry softly.

Her lips are tender on my neck, my shoulder, her hands stroking up from my waist to my chest, teasing, tormenting my nipples. "Come for me, baby," she urges. I reach for my cock, but she stops me. "No, pet, no hands." She pulls them behind me and holds my wrists together. "Fuck yourself, baby," she rasps.

With a ragged moan, I begin to move, my thighs pushing me up and down on the dildo, slowly at first, then faster and faster, until I'm tossing my head from side to side, keening with my need to come. Her hand on the back of my neck bends me forward, the change in angle allowing the dildo to rake across my prostate with each stroke. I'm sobbing, begging, my cock thick and painful, my balls aching. "Please...please, Mistress," I plead, other mindless noises issuing from my throat as well.

Her hand is on my cock then, stroking in time with my rhythm, her fingers brushing hard over the sensitive tip, and that's all I need to climax again, my body bucking and twisting against her. I collapse to the mattress, dragging her down with me.

Vaguely I'm aware of her pulling out of me, of something warm and soft and wet cleaning me up, but it's not until she spoons up beside me, that the world comes back into focus. "You doing okay there, precious?" she asks me, planting a kiss on my shoulder.

"Umm-hmm," I manage, rolling over to face her. My eyes meet hers and whatever I meant to say is forgotten as I get lost in that unwavering hazel gaze, seeing myself through her eyes. Pride, affection, trust, love...She blinks, and the moment is gone, but when she kisses me, I know I wasn't just seeing things. I fall asleep, my mind whispering over and over...she loves me...she loves me....