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Authors: M.Q. Barber

Tags: #Romance, #Erotic, #978-1-61650-533-2, #BDSM, #Menage

Healing the Wounds (3 page)

BOOK: Healing the Wounds
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Henry emerged from the hall. He might ask now. Or demand. She’d given him that right. Her first real night with them as a full-time, live-in lover should be something to celebrate. She’d never told him no.

A drawn-out hum, descending, proved to be Jay yawning. Ever-fidgety, full-of-energy Jay leaned against the dining room table with drooping eyelids and a sleepwalker’s posture. “Henry?”

“Yes, my boy?” He changed course without pause to stop beside Jay. “Is there something you need?”

“Just sleepy. I figured I’d go to bed early. If that’s okay.”

Henry laid a pale hand against Jay’s tanned cheek. “Of course. You’ve worked hard today, my dear boy. Go on and get ready for bed, and Alice and I will join you shortly.”

Jay squirmed, half nodding.

Henry studied him in silence for a long moment. “Perhaps it’s a good night for story time. ‘To me, you will be unique in all the world,’ hmm?”

Jay’s eyes widened. He grinned, head bobbing. “Yes, please, Henry.” He shot a glance her way, and his smile dimmed. “I mean, if Alice doesn’t mind having story time.”

Pfft. As if she’d deny Jay something he so obviously adored. Besides, story time meant she wouldn’t need to find a polite way to turn down sex. “I liked our last story time. It’ll be tough to beat
, though.”

Jay opened his mouth.

Henry tugged on his hair. “She’ll find out soon enough.
The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat

The words weren’t familiar. They both stared at her.

Jay kissed Henry’s cheek. “Thank you for the wasted time, Henry.”

“My responsibility, brave boy. Forever.” Henry gave him a gentle push. “Off to bed.”

Jay hustled down the hall, and Henry came to collect her from the couch. “Thank you, Alice, for indulging us tonight.” He enfolded her in his arms as she stood. “My lovely roses.”

He’d completely lost her.

Henry led her by the hand to the bedroom before going to collect the book. When they’d all brushed their teeth, used the bathroom, and shucked their clothes, she and Jay cuddled close on either side of Henry.
The Little Prince
. Not a story she’d read before, but Henry’s voice was sure to make it a favorite.

“…All grown-ups were once children…”



Chapter 2


Alice stared blankly at the television.

She didn’t think Jay was watching, either, and Henry sure as hell wasn’t. He held a magazine, an art journal of some kind, and he occasionally turned a page. Sometimes she watched his hands just to watch them. He sat in the chair angled toward the couch, at the far end from where her head and Jay’s lay.

It wasn’t an unfamiliar after-dinner scene for them in the last week. But it was strange. The wrongness persisted despite Henry’s sensitivity to their emotional upheaval. The extremes as Jay cycled between cheerful excitement at having her sharing the apartment with them and uncomfortable distance in bed, even with Henry. He professed to being uninterested, shrugging away anything beyond light kissing, yet he acted desperate for closeness, never more than three feet from her or Henry, both if possible.

Though she and Jay shared the couch, they hardly touched. He hadn’t tried to kiss her. Hadn’t tried to grope her. Hadn’t even wrapped an arm around her, for all that he lay on his side behind her. No, his right hand propped up his head and his left formed an unmoving, featherlight weight on her waist. He acted like a sixth grader at his first slow dance.

Her, too.

Equally skittish, she hadn’t scooted back against his groin or tangled their legs or even rested her head on his chest. The distance grew every time they shifted and accidentally touched. He hadn’t gotten hard all night so far as she could tell, unnatural for him in general but perfectly in line with his behavior this week. She couldn’t understand it, that he hadn’t wanted her sexually all week but could be so desperate for her attention and Henry’s every evening, and yet she felt it, too.

She was starting to wonder if his discomfort was more than encountering his tormenter last Friday. If it was her, somehow. Her thoughts churned in an endless loop of dropping confidence, rising shame, and paralyzing confusion.

She wanted Henry and Jay to desire her. But she didn’t want them to touch her. Not as men, not when that sonuvabitch Cal’s voice rang in her head. No—no, she did want them to touch her. She ached to erase that voice and make them feel good, too, to know she
. Only she needed a way that didn’t bring confusion and shame and whatever she was so damn afraid of. Arousing them. Not arousing them.

The problem wouldn’t fix itself. She lacked the courage to address it. God knew Jay wouldn’t. He kept jumping away as if he didn’t want his cock touching her, hard or not. The overwhelming emotional dance made an escape across the hall tempting.

She hadn’t informed the super of her move yet. Even with her stuff here now, her apartment—

“Alice. Jay.” Henry had been tender all week, comforting them with snuggling and story time. Now his voice snapped with command.

“Both of you, into my bedroom.” He laid his magazine on the side table and checked his watch without even a glance in their direction. “You have three minutes to be naked and kneeling on the bed in your waiting pose. Side by side, not touching.”

Terror and exhilaration warred in her, kept her frozen in place until Jay’s breath gusted against her hair. He needed this, too. He wouldn’t find his courage if she couldn’t find hers first.

She swung her legs off the couch and stood.

“Good girl, Alice, thank you.”

Henry’s praise was warm. Maybe he’d seen the nervous tic in her legs. She forced herself to walk to his bedroom, aware of his quiet praise to Jay before footsteps followed her.

She stopped at the edge of the bed and pulled her shirt over her head with trembling fingers. Ridiculous. She’d slept naked in this bed all week without sexual contact. Three months ago she’d believed herself incapable of spending a night in their bed without having sex with them. Now she’d done it seven nights running.

Congratulations. She’d killed the passion in the relationship. What would she do for an encore?

She turned her back to Jay and undressed. He was faster, positioning himself on the bed as she unhooked her bra and pushed her underwear to the floor. She felt exposed. Uncomfortably so. But when she turned to sit, he averted his gaze. He couldn’t look at her. Or didn’t want to. And she didn’t know if she wanted him to.

They knelt in silence. Her heart thumped. Waiting for Henry was torture. Longer than three minutes. Had to be.

* * * *

Henry stalked them, circling the foot of the bed with slow, careful steps. “I’ve been lax with you both this week. Hoping you would come to me with these troubling feelings you mistakenly believe you’ve been hiding so well. But neither of you has done so, have you? No.”

His judgment stung with pinpoint accuracy.

“You’ve chosen avoidance.” Henry nodded toward Jay and turned narrowed eyes at her. “And paralyzing numbness.”

She hung her head to avoid the disappointment sure to be in his face. But his silence drew her in, and his undressing held her there. Henry often emphasized that distance, directing them while he remained fully clothed. Now he folded his clothes neatly on the chair and came to stand at the end of the bed. Nude.

He wasn’t aroused, not yet. Soft, wrinkled skin dangling amid brown hair offered no menace. She rubbed the sheets, the smooth silk a damn dissatisfying stand-in for the vulnerable man who deserved her embrace.

Until his cock rippled and grew and resettled, beginning to stiffen. She clutched at the sheets, folds of cobalt blue bunching between her fingers. Her knees trembled. Her pounding heart urged her to run for no reason at all.

“Alice.” Henry spoke in the coaxing tone he used when he wanted her to try something new. “Up on your knees, Alice.” The gentle one with the firm undertone accepting her fear but telling her she’d take his suggestion anyway, because he had faith in her even when she didn’t. “Come here to the edge of the bed.”

Too high for intercourse. Far out of position for a blowjob. The added height of Henry’s bed, perfect for bending her over, now placed her face nearly level with his.

He cupped her cheek.

“Nice and slow, Alice.” His murmur wrapped her in comfort, cozy and sensual and safe. The low, intimate voice of love she craved. “Jay. Watch, please.”

He kissed her. Searching, molding his lips to hers, mouths opening, his tongue stroking. His kiss wasn’t pushy or demanding, the way she’d seen some submissives treated at the club. But it was intense. Passionate.

Arousal sparked through her nerves like circuits reconnecting after a thrown breaker in a power outage.

Not frightening. And the singular voice in her head was Henry’s.

“Touch, Alice.” He clasped her hands and raised them to his chest, pressing her fingers flat. “Touch me. Here only, dearest.”

She smoothed her hands across his chest. Broad and solid, he grounded her with his steady breaths. His flesh yielded to hers, pressure curving muscle and fat in little furrows. Displacement. He’d granted her the freedom to sink into him, to take up space not just in his bed but in his life. Her slow, teasing scratch raised his chest hair. The dark strands tickled as they curled around her fingers.

Warmth surrounded her breasts, firing a startled shiver down her back. Henry caressed her nipples with his thumbs. Mmm. Pressure somehow soft and firm and fantastically comfortable. He deserved his share, too. She mirrored the motion on him.

“This is nice, isn’t it, Alice? Hmm?” He leaned in close, nuzzling her cheek, breathing across her ear. “You want me to touch you. You want Jay to touch you. You haven’t been certain these last few days, but you are now.”

She was. The need to escape and her nerve-racking thoughts of Henry’s touch had been nothing but the fear of fear. The fear that he didn’t want her or she wouldn’t respond to his touch in the same way after her punishment at the club. But her body recognized his voice, his touch, as its cue for arousal.

He kissed her with more force, and she matched him eagerly. The first real stirring of desire made itself known as her body tightened around emptiness and her stomach jumped.

Henry knew where her passion lived. He wouldn’t let her fears kill it.

Ending their kiss, he turned her face with his until their gazes fell on Jay, still in his waiting pose, his head bowed.

“Is watching too much, my boy? Alice does have innumerable charms. But even when you aren’t gazing at her, you can’t escape the way your body reacts to her, hmm? Hearing her moans, inhaling her deepening arousal…Will you touch her next, Jay? Give your fingers the pleasure of her soft skin?”

Jay shuddered. His harsh breathing almost drowned out Henry’s voice.

“You’ve waited very patiently. It isn’t easy, not when you’re stiff and aching to be inside her.”

Jay hunched forward, hiding his erection.

“No, no, fingers won’t be enough, I think.” Henry gripped her right bicep.

A reassuring squeeze, but why he thought she needed reassurance—

“We’ll put Alice on her hands and knees, Jay, and you’ll mount her and take what you need.”

A convulsion rippled through Jay’s abdomen. He scrunched his face up tight and shook his head.

Oh, Jesus. She groped for the trust woven through their lives. Henry wouldn’t cause unnecessary harm.

“Yes, that’s what we’ll do.” Henry squeezed her arm again.

His blood-pressure-cuff routine slowed her racing heart and shoved truth in front of her face, quieting the voice chanting
what the fuck
in time with her pulse. Jay couldn’t see Henry’s motion. Doggy-style fucking wasn’t really on the agenda.

“Get a condom from the nightstand, Jay, and you’ll give Alice the beautiful hard-on you have there.”

“N-no.” Shaking, Jay wrapped his arms around his chest. “I can’t.” He whipped his head back and forth, his flying hair hiding his eyes. “I can’t.”

“Tell me why you can’t.”

“I just, just can’t.” He rocked in slow, broad sweeps, as if he’d topple on his side with the slightest push.

Her happy-go-lucky lover seemed off-balance inside and out. Needing them.

“You’re hard. Alice is wet.”

Henry’s grip kept her from scooping Jay into her arms.

“You’re both quite capable of figuring out the mechanics of insertion.”

Jay bent over his knees, pressing his face to the bed. “I can’t. I can’t, please.” He dissolved into sobs.

Henry pushed with unrelenting calm. “Do you remember your safeword, Jay?”

He nodded, his hair rustling the sheets.

“Do you wish to use it now, my boy?”

“No. No.” Jay treated the suggestion like a threat. He’d tucked in so small. Her strong athlete, her charming sweetheart, cowered alone in their bed.

“Then tell me why you haven’t touched yourself all week. Why you’ve turned away in bed at night and in the morning, hiding your erections from your lovers.”

“I…I haven’t wanted…”

“Have you touched yourself in the shower this week, Jay?”

Naked and sniffling, Jay lay almost prone, a slave prostrate before his master. “No, Henry.”

“No, I didn’t think so. Twice this week you’ve slipped out of bed past midnight to clean up after yourself. Your dreams have been giving you what you claim not to want.”

And she’d been fucking oblivious.

Jay clawed at the bed. No amount of effort would create a hole big enough to crawl into and pull the sheets over him, but his tender heart seemed hell-bent on trying.

“Tell me why you’re punishing yourself, my boy.”

“I was bad,” Jay whispered in a broken voice thick with tears. “I was bad.”

“What does your contract say about punishment, Jay? Who decides if you’ve been bad?”

“You do.”

“And who decides what your punishment will be?”

“You do.”

“Are you me, Jay?”

“No.” He fell limp, terrifyingly still. “No, Henry.”

BOOK: Healing the Wounds
13.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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