Read The Contract Online

Authors: Lisa Renee Jones

Tags: #Romance, #General, #Suspense, #Contemporary, #Fiction

The Contract (3 page)

BOOK: The Contract
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Monday, March 7, 2011

Nearly lunchtime . . .

A
fter a sleepless night, I headed to the coffee shop before work. Ava was chatty. She wants to talk men and personal lives every time she sees me, and I’ve never felt less like connecting with someone else about my personal life than I do now. I prefer to write down my thoughts. Writing lets me think out what I feel without anyone else influencing me, and that isn’t likely to change. I’m beginning to want to avoid the coffee shop. In a space of ten minutes, Ava has asked me about Ricco, Mark, Chris, and another artist who apparently comes into the gallery sometimes, but hasn’t since I arrived.

While I was still there, the client I took to Ricco’s private gallery called my cell phone to see if she could take a relative by to see a work she was thinking of buying. Ava was all over my reaction, which was pure dread, and wanted to know what was wrong.

I didn’t tell her. She truly was nothing but friendly, but I don’t even share my worries and concerns with long-term friends. Besides, she’s gorgeous and composed, ten years older than me, and apparently from a wealthy family, from what she said today. What do we have in common?

Oh, right. The men in our lives that she knows well and I don’t. Finding out that she has bedded, or could bed, all of them won’t help me. In fact, it might really mess with my head. I’d rather not know.

When I arrived at the gallery, it took me half an hour to make the dreaded call to Ricco to ask to drop by with my customer. I kept thinking about Mark telling me that Ricco never does private showings, and how this would probably feel very intrusive to him.

What if he refused? I’d have an unhappy customer and an unhappy artist, which meant an unhappy Mark. An unhappy Mark isn’t on my list of things to do, any more than wasting Ricco’s time again is. I was actually relieved to get Ricco’s voicemail and be forced to leave a message.

But what made me open my journal right now to write is Mary. She’s bothering me beyond her basic bitchiness, and something very odd happened today with her. She was in Mark’s office for about fifteen minutes and then stormed by my office in an obvious hissy fit. Apparently she left the gallery, and no one knows where she is. I’d thought from the beginning that her job was on the line, but since then I’ve gained respect for how well she handles the special events. I’m just not sure she wants to handle them. Maybe the new intern who started today was brought in to replace that part of her job, and I’m handling the sales aspect?

I have a customer. More later.

Evening . . .

I
’m still in disbelief. I can’t believe I did what I did today. In a public place! After I finished with my customer, Mary returned to the gallery all smiley and happy, in a way she never acts. I’m not sure what that means, but when I volunteered to pick up sandwiches for me, Amanda, the new intern, and Ralph, she not only wanted to join us, she offered to pick them up. A very odd offer from her, and way too nice to fit her personality. Somehow, though, the sandwiches turned to pizza, so I headed to the sandwich shop on my own.

Truth be told, I needed some fresh air. All morning I’d been thinking about Saturday night, and how I’d actually said “Yes, Master” in hopes of being rewarded with another lick or flick or touch, when I should have been focused on work. And when I wasn’t thinking about sex today, I was overanalyzing everything in my life in a way I’ve never done before.

I have my dream job, and I’m distracted, which I would never have thought possible. Everything used to be so simple. I wanted to work in the art world, and I drove my life toward that. Then my mother died and I had to pay the bills, so I drove my life toward that. I was in control of what I was doing, even if I wasn’t happy about the direction I was headed. Now, I’m in this complicated web but still living a dream, and it’s unfamiliar and strange, but exciting. And control? After today, I can say with certainty that it is lost.

Which brings me back to the crazy thing I let myself do. I braved the chilly San Francisco weather to walk the several blocks to the deli, all bundled up. Everything was so normal when I entered the small restaurant. I ordered an egg salad sandwich and sat down at one of the small tables by the door with my food and my journal, intending to start this entry. That’s when my cell phone buzzed with a text from him.
Go into the bathroom
it read.

Adrenaline rushed through me to the point that I could barely catch my breath. He was here? How was that possible? No, I told myself; he didn’t say he was here. He just ordered me to the bathroom. Who knew what kind of mind games he played as “Master”? I was in new territory. Knowing this, I pulled myself together and calmed down. But I was eager to discover what he wanted.

Quickly, I stood up and headed to the bathroom, leaving my lunch on the table. The sign led me down a narrow hall to the left where there were two unisex doors. I took a guess, opened the first door, and went inside. He was there, looking deliciously him. (How else do you describe perfection?) Heat poured through me and settled in my belly.

He stepped forward, removing the small space between us, towering above me. “Put your purse on the counter,” he ordered softly.

I shoved it onto the counter I hadn’t even looked at. Who cares what the bathroom looks like when he’s in it?

“What were you supposed to reply to my order, Rebecca?” he asked, and there was no missing the warning in his voice.

It took me a moment to process, but I remembered what I’d been taught Saturday night, how I’m to reply to everything he commands. “Yes, Master.”

“Take off your panties.”

The order aroused me like I’d never been aroused, but then, I say that about a lot of things with this man. I also do a lot of things willingly I’d have never thought I would. “Yes, Master,” I replied again, and the heated approval in his eyes was like a stroke of his hand over my already aching sex.

I tugged the skirt of my pencil-cut black dress up to my hips and slipped my tiny black thong down my legs and over my high heels. When I started to tug down my hem, he ordered me to leave it up so that I was bared for his viewing. I complied and gave him another “Yes, Master.”

Then I dared to dangle my panties by my finger, because, well, what else was a girl going to do in that situation? He took them from me and, without touching me, stuffed them in his pocket. I knew I wasn’t getting them back. He’d have that little part of me with him the rest of the day and I’d be bare, thinking of him and what we wouldn’t have time to do in a public bathroom. The panties ensured that he would, too.

“Unzip your dress and let me see your nipples,” he ordered next. Someone knocked on the door and he added, “Ignore them. Do as I said.”

I can’t believe, knowing where I was, how busy the deli was, that I didn’t hesitate. I reached for my zipper. “Stop,” he said, and he did not sound pleased.

My heart lurched at the hard-spoken word and I froze, staring at him an instant before I knew what he wanted. “Yes, Master,” I said quickly.

He inclined his chin and I tugged down the front of my dress, then shoved my bra out of the way. His gaze swept downward, over my aroused nipples, and I reacted so completely, feeling him all over and burning for him to touch me and be inside me, that he might as well have physically touched me all over. I’d never wanted any man like I wanted this man in that bathroom.

His gaze lifted from my breasts and held mine. “Touch them,” he ordered as someone jiggled the door handle behind me.

This time, I ignored the person trying to get in. “Yes, Master.” I touched my nipples and teased them and his hot stare was my reward.

“Good,” came his approval (another reward), but it was followed by what felt like punishment. He stepped back, putting more space between us, then leaned on the wall and crossed his arms over his broad chest. “Make yourself come.”

“I can’t here,” I gasped, and the floor just about fell out from underneath me. “People want the bathroom.”

“You can and you will.”

The door jiggled again. “I’ll be out in a minute!” I snapped impatiently. He arched an amused brow at my outburst, seemingly unaffected by the intrusion. But then, he wasn’t the one who had to make himself come while people demanded entry.

“The sooner you come,” he told me, “the sooner we walk out of here.”

I’d never masturbated for a man before and surely not in a public place, but as panicked as I felt in that moment, I never doubted I was going to do what he wanted. I’m not sure what that says about me or how about he affects me. Not only did I know I was going to do it, I was so damn aroused by the idea that I was burning up, hot and weak in the knees all over again. I knew we couldn’t get caught. We might get yelled at for being in the bathroom, but no one could prove we had done anything but talk. That comforted me. I could be naughty with him, for him, but I wasn’t going to get in trouble.

I drew a breath, issued my “Yes Master,” spread my legs wider, and slid my fingers down to my clit to stroke. I watched him watch me, encouraged by the darkening of his eyes, as I explored the silky wet heat of my arousal. His watching me made me wetter, hotter, more needy. Pleasure overtook me, lowering my lashes, and I let it, ripples of sensation weakening my knees, and I orgasmed with amazing speed. When I finally opened my eyes again, he was standing in front of me.

“You’re meant for this, Rebecca, and you looked exquisite, coming like that.” He slid a finger between my legs and then sucked it into his mouth. “And now I’ll have you on my lips the rest of the day.”

He reached for the door and I quickly pulled my clothes together, but by the time I did he was gone. I snatched my purse up as a woman walked in and gasped when she realized I’d been inside the room with a man. I hurried out into the hallway and to my table, expecting my “Master” would be waiting. But he wasn’t there.

I gathered my coat and sandwich and quickly headed for the gallery, where I spent the afternoon excruciatingly aware of my pantyless state. That was what he’d planned, what he wanted.

I don’t buy into me having all the control just because I have a safe word. I have no control where this man is concerned. That should make me run for the hills, but I know I’m not going anywhere except where he leads me. I hope that isn’t a mistake, but I can’t find the will to care.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lunchtime at my desk . . .

R
icco was not only fine with the private showing, he didn’t seem upset at all, which is a relief. I hope the client calls me back soon, because I’ve left Ricco in limbo about when we are coming by. He is tolerant now, but how long will that last?

Okay . . . Mary just popped into my office and asked if I needed anything while she was out. This can’t be the same woman who all but called me a whore. Have I entered an alternate universe where she got some sort of fairy wings handed to her?

Almost time to go home . . .

S
even o’clock and it’s time to pack up to leave the gallery. No call from my client about visiting Ricco’s gallery. To top that off, there has been no erotic “Master” encounter today and I am disappointed. But then, I guess he’s not my Master yet, so I shouldn’t expect a daily demand from him. Should I once he’s my Master? I mean IF he’s my Master. The contract makes me think he pretty much intends to dictate to me daily. Hmmm . . . this makes me think, and I don’t like where my head is going. Does he have another submissive right now? Will he have more than one when he’s with me? The contract does talk about sharing me with others. Oh, God. This idea upsets me. I have to text him. Or should I call him? Texting is less intimidating. I’ll text. Maybe. I need to go home and think about this.

At home now . . .

T
hinking has made me certain I need an answer. If I am one of many submissives, then this is over. I’m going to text. That way, if I find out I’m one of many, I can flip out in the privacy of my apartment.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

W
ork came early today since I basically didn’t sleep last night. So much has happened since I sent that text to my would-be “Master.” He replied immediately and told me he was sending a car to pick me up so we could talk. He didn’t ask if he could send a car. He just told me he was.

I remember sitting there reading the text, and it wasn’t the order that bothered me. It was the fact that he hadn’t simply said that I was the only woman he was with at present. I’d considered texting again and asking, but my gut said he wouldn’t reply until I went to him. I replied that I’d be waiting for the car.

I didn’t change clothes or pretty myself up while I waited for my ride to arrive. I left on my navy blue sheath dress from work. I wanted answers, not sex, and that was the message I set out to deliver. The possibility of being one of several women had really changed everything for me. I don’t know why, but that idea had hit me far harder than the idea of being shared. I didn’t like either, but I
really
didn’t like being just a number and a contract.

When the car dropped me at his home, I headed down the walkway. The instant I lifted my hand to knock, he appeared in the doorway. Seeing him sent a rush of heat through me and froze me in place. I always react to that first instant I see him, but for some reason it was more intense than usual. Maybe because I’d decided that I might walk away from what he’d been offering me.

I searched his expression, but if he felt what I did, it didn’t show. His face was impassively beautiful, as usual, and I wondered how many times he’d had to calm a potential submissive. What number was I for him?

He surprised me by taking my hand, touching me easily, when his touch always feels like a reward to be earned. Guiding me into the foyer, he shut the door and then turned to me, wasting no time answering my question from the earlier text. “The contract states exclusivity for both of us, with the option of bringing others into our play as I see fit.”

My stomach knotted at the confirmation that he intended to invite others into our play, and I tried to pull my hand back.

He held me easily and I found myself molded close to him, the hard length of him pressed to my body, our legs entwined. His hand had settled on my back, possessive and firm. “What did I say that upset you?”

My fingers curled on his chest. “Exclusive and sharing. How do those two things go together?”

“Everything we enjoy, we enjoy together. And ultimately, everything I do with you is about your pleasure.”

“And if I don’t think sharing is pleasurable?”

“How do you know if you don’t try?”

“I know it bothers me.”

“And I ask you to try everything once. If you don’t like it, we won’t repeat it.”

Once
?
I wasn’t sure I could say yes. I don’t think I would have, if things had been different, but I had no idea what I’d walked into.

“If this is your worst fear,” he said, “then it’s better that we deal with it now, not later.” He released me, the warmth of his body leaving mine, his fingers twining with mine. I let him lead me to the bedroom when perhaps I shouldn’t have. It was there that I quickly learned what I had in store.

There was another man there—tall and gorgeous, dark where my “Master” was light, wearing jeans and a T-shirt that molded a perfectly sculpted body. To say that my heart lurched is an understatement. I could barely breathe.

My Master stepped behind me, his hands settling possessively at my waist, his lips lowering to my ear. “Try it once. Do this for me.”

“I don’t know,” I whispered, surprising myself. I hadn’t said no—I’d said maybe.

“You have your safe word,” he immediately replied. “Use it and we stop.”

Thinking back now, the most profound moments of the night followed that promise from him. Everything had gone into slow motion. My Master’s hands on my body, caressing my sides, my breasts. The other man, whose name I still don’t know, watching me with a heated, anxious expression on his face.

“One time,” my Master whispered. “I just ask for one time.”

I remember wanting to please him, or telling myself that was what I wanted, and then saying yes.

“Good girl,” he murmured, and the other man had smiled and stepped forward. Before I had time to back out, the stranger was sliding his hands to my waist, his thighs melded to mine. It seemed like in a blink of time all three of us were naked. I have these random memories. Me on my knees. My Master behind me, holding my breast. The stranger licking my nipples. The stranger pressing fingers inside me. Both men inside me at the same time. I’d never dreamed that was possible, or that it could be pleasurable. Those two men together . . .

I can’t deny it
was
pleasurable, yet I’m still bothered by how easily my Master allowed another man to touch me. I can’t be special to him, or he’d want me all to himself, right? I don’t want to share him with another woman. It’s all so very confusing . . . and though I have time to try new things while I decide if I am going to sign the contract, I don’t like this state of limbo, or the way exclusivity begins only after I sign the contract. I need closure and certainty sooner rather than later.

BOOK: The Contract
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