Jodi surveyed the final result of an entire afternoon’s hard labor in the mirror and wrinkled her nose. Ty was crazy, and she was crazy for going along with this. But it had been so long...she’d called him a few times since that night in the barn, but he’d been quiet. And he’d always been busy when she wanted to go out. She’d thought he lost interest, until he’d called with instructions for tonight, and while she knew something was definitely wrong, it hadn’t occurred to her to say no.
Not that she had much of a choice. From the beginning, she’d been virtually unable to say no to the man, and now, after all these months, she couldn’t have refused him if she’d tried.
Though any woman who could resist those big eyes and charismatic smile was probably either dead, or a zombie.
Wiggling the glittering plastic tiara one last time, she turned to go and promptly stepped on the edge of the floor-length skirt with one narrow plastic heel. Losing her balance, she fell forward and just barely caught herself on the edge of the door frame, twisting just enough at the last minute to avoid making impact with her face.
Narrowly saved from having to explain a poorly-placed bruise with a truth no one would believe, Jodi carefully pulled her heel out of the hem and righted herself, then made sure to lift the front of her ballgown before trying to walk again. Her feet already hurt, and she couldn’t really breathe all that well in the tight, strapless bodice, but by golly, she looked like Cinderella. She wagered Ty’s prince charming costume was probably about a million times more comfortable than the one he’d picked out for her.
Thankfully, Ty had been thoughtful enough to provide a limo to take her to the bar. She’d asked if he wanted to just come with her, but he’d refused, saying he wanted her to have time with her friends first.
Which made her heart melt just thinking about it as she carefully extricated herself and the dress-from-hell from the car, tipping the very patient driver well for the trouble of standing at the door and lending a steadying hand.
Ignoring the pointed glances and lewd stares, she pushed her way through the crowd, relieved when she finally saw Melanie at a table near the back.
“Well, well. Did Mr. Large-And-In-Charge pick that out, or was it your idea? Because I’ve got to say, I never thought I’d see you in a formal.”
Jodi shot her friend a glare as she sat down, tugging at the full skirt as it threatened to strangle her legs.
“I don’t want to talk about it. Did you order me a beer?”
“I did,” Melanie said, her lips twitching upward. “Though if I’d known the plan, I’d have gotten you a glass of champagne instead. How did you get into that thing by yourself, anyway?”
Jodi wrinkled her nose as the waitress sat their drinks on the table - beer and an odd look for her, martini for Melanie and margarita for Laura, if she decided to show up.
“It wasn’t an experience I care to repeat.” Jodi tipped the bottle up and took a long drink, the smooth, cool liquid going a long way to soothing her pain, though it couldn’t quite counteract the too-tight hug of the corset.
“Think Laura will show?” Melanie asked?
Jodi shrugged. “After the way we treated her last time, it’s anyone’s guess. I wouldn’t, if I were her. But she’s always been nicer than either of us.”
They sat and drank in silence, sharing Laura’s drink after theirs were gone and watching the clock and the party going on around them. Jodi wasn’t sure what to talk about. Last time she’d seen Melanie, the woman had practically threatened Laura’s boyfriend’s life. That was the night he’d disappeared.
She was pretty sure she didn’t want to know whether Melanie had anything to do with that or not.
“I don’t think she’s coming,” Jodi said, growing tired and more irritable by the second. “Ty will be here soon. Should we text her and tell her we’re leaving, or do you want to wait?”
Melanie scanned the room, and then pointed.
“There she is.”
Jodi waved, relieved both that Laura had shown up, and that she wasn’t alone with Melanie any longer. A thought she didn’t really want to analyze too closely just now.
“We thought you were standing us up,” Jodi said as Laura slid into the seat next to her.
Laura shook her head. “Had to work late, is all. Grunt work is paperwork, just like everywhere else. But hopefully I’ll be done with my classes and on to better things soon.” She looked Jodi up and down, and grinned. “Nice costume, by the way. Never would have guessed you’d wear something like that. Things must be serious with Ty?”
“You could say that.” Jodi lifted her beer again, not wanting to discuss her man in front of Melanie. Not that Ty couldn’t take care of himself, but David was - or had been - FBI. And if Melanie had done something with him...
“So you’re really going through with this, then?” Melanie asked Laura, who nodded.
“I told you - I needed a change, and this is it. This is what I want to do with my life.”
Melanie nodded, looking down at her hands. “Okay then.” When she looked up again, Jodi frowned. That semi-sweet smile was never a good sign, and her heart sped up as she waited for the worse.
“I’m going away for awhile,” Melanie said, leaning back in her chair. “This year is about change, and I’ve been changing. I met someone, actually. We’re going to do some traveling, and I probably won’t make it back for Thanksgiving. Christmas is iffy.”
Thankful it hadn’t been a confession of murder, Jodi shook her head, feeling lighter. Of course Melanie hadn’t hurt David. But to just run off with some guy...
Jodi set her bottle of beer down with a heavy thump. Melanie might be the odd duck out, but she was still part of their friend circle.
“Oh no,” she said, wagging a finger. “You are not just going to disappear with some guy we’ve never met off to who knows where. You wouldn’t put up with that shit from either of us, and we’re dammed well not letting you get away with it either, right Laura?”
Laura hesitated, and Jodi held her breath, waiting to see what she’d say. Was this it? Were they breaking up, so to speak?
Was she going to pass out from the damn corset digging into her ribs?
Finally, Laura shrugged. “Do what you have to do, Melanie. It’s not like you’ve been all that supportive of us this year, and you’re just going to ignore us anyways, so go. Find yourself. Maybe when you get back, you’ll be more appreciative of what’s important.”
So this was it. Jodi took another swig of her beer, wishing desperately that Ty would just come and save her, like a real prince.
She wasn’t sure which would be better - being saved from the situation or the dress-from-hell.
Laura looked away from Melanie. “I have to go. Jodi, good luck with your date tonight - I assume you’re meeting Ty?”
Jodi nodded, avoiding eye contact. Where the hell was Ty? He wouldn’t make her get all dressed up and then just not show...would he?
Laura turned to Melanie, but the woman held up a hand before she could speak.
“You’re mad, I get it,” Melanie said. “And I probably deserve that, more than you know. But before you go, there’s a present for you in the back room over there. I even wrapped it, something I rarely do.” She got up to point, and Jodi swiveled to look at the plain doorway near the bar.
“I hope you both find what you’re looking for,” Melanie said. “I’m sorry it had to end like this.”
Laura frowned as Melanie walked away. “That was weird - even for her. What do you think she left me?”
Jodi shrugged, relieved to see Ty finally making his way through the crowd, but curious to know what it was Melanie had done now. She had a bad feeling about the whole thing.
“Only one way to find out.” She turned to Ty. “Melanie left something for Laura in the back room - mind if we go check it out with her?”
He shook his head, his eyes roving up and down her dress. “Not at all,” he said, his expression serious. “Let’s go.”
They followed Laura through the crowd and watched as she entered the small room. There wasn’t much, and for a minute, Jodi thought Melanie had pranked them, odd though it would be. Then something near the couch moved and Laura started toward it, but Ty held her back. Jodi held her hand while they waited.
Ty bent down to look at something on the floor. He paused for a long moment, reaching out with one hand, and rubbing the side of his face with the other. Finally he turned, holding a square envelope out to Laura. She didn’t even look at it, just tucked it in her purse and went to kneel down by the still figure.
“We’re gonna need an ambulance,” Ty said. Jodi pulled out her phone and started to dial, her pulse speeding up. Whatever it was, it couldn’t be good. She stepped out of the room for a moment, giving the operator a description of Melanie and the general direction she’d been headed when she left as well as the request for an ambulance. Melanie had admitted to leaving Laura a surprise - basically a confession. Jodi’s stomach turned as she disconnected the call.
The paramedics arrived quickly, and Ty pulled Laura out of the way as they started to work. Jodi caught a glimpse of the man’s face as they put him on a gurney, confirming her suspicions.
It was David.
“Melanie,” Laura whispered as they watched the paramedics roll him out of the club. Jodi nodded.
“Go with him. I already called the cops, and I’ll tell them what we know.”
Laura started to follow David, then turned back. “Be careful,” she said. “She...we don’t know...”
Jodi felt Ty’s hands settle on her shoulders. “I’ll keep her safe,” he said, in his calm, controlled Dom voice. Laura nodded, giving them an odd look before running to catch up with the paramedics.
Several policemen were already on scene, and Jodi spent the next hour giving a statement and answering questions about Melanie and their friendship. Ty was there the whole time, a welcome, comforting presence as she basically handed over the woman who had once been her friend.
When it was all over, Ty helped her into his car without a word, making sure she was as comfortable as she could be in the dress-from-hell and then slid behind the wheel.
Exhausted, Jodi waited for the questions, but they never came. She glanced over at him once, wondering if he was mad but his expression was calm. As if he sensed her question, he shot her a quick smile, and then reached out to take her hand, giving it a light squeeze as he pulled up to his house.
Jodi was torn as Ty killed engine and got out, walking around to help her out of the car. On one hand, she really wanted to be with him tonight. The whole naughty Cinderella fantasy was really working for her, now that they were alone. Even the idea of keeping the corset and shoes on for awhile longer so he could see her in them made her hot between the legs.
On the other hand, she was tired. Mentally, emotionally, physically worn out. And if she was honest, she wasn’t really sure she could take much actual punishment tonight.
“Hey,” he said, drawing her back from the fog she’d slipped into. He was squatting down beside her open car door, holding her hands in his. “I know it’s been a rough night. Let’s go get comfortable and have something to eat, okay? Then we’ll decide where to go from there.”
Reaching up, he caressed the side of her face and she closed her eyes, leaning into his touch with a sigh.
“Thank you,” she said, looking at him again with a smile. “It’s just...so much...”
He nodded, rising to help her out of the car. When she put one foot down wrong and stumbled, he swung her up into his arms and she laughed.
“My Prince,” she teased, stroking his chest as he carried her into the house. A flick of her fingers undid the top button, and when he put her down, she reached up to free him of the silken cravat tied loosely around his neck.
“There. That’s better, right?” She tilted her head and looked up at him, batting her eyelashes like the innocent she was supposed to be playing. When he nodded and rewarded her with a small grin, she didn’t feel quite so tired anymore.
It occurred to her that she should ask him where he’d been the past six weeks. Why he’d been so distant. Even now, there was something between them that hadn’t been there before, and she wasn’t sure what to do about it.
He stepped back with a thoughtful look, tapping a finger against his chin. “That dress needs something.”
Jodi looked down, swishing the full skirt left and right. “I’m not sure what. I’m pretty sure the fabric store is empty right about now...”
“Something like this.”
She looked up to see Ty holding a wide, sparkly collar in his hands. The clasp was a hinged clasp with a tiny silver padlock to hold it closed.
“Wow. That’s...amazing.” She imagined how it would feel around her neck, hugging her skin and twinkling in the light.
But she couldn’t wear it. Not now. Not like this. When Ty stepped forward as if to put it on, she stepped back, holding up one hand, the other going to her bare throat.
“Ty - wait. Don’t you think we should talk first? I mean, we haven’t seen each other in six weeks, and you barely took my calls...” She wanted to weep when he dropped the collar back into his pocket and stepped back.
Away from her.
“Please, tell me what’s going on. I just want to understand.”
It was a long moment before he replied, and she was considering kicking off her plastic slippers when he finally spoke.
“I want more than I think you’re ready to give,” he said, meeting her gaze with an intensity that made her quiver. “I realized it when we were in the barn. Seeing you tied up, gagged, helpless, completely at my mercy...I realized then that I wanted something I’ve never wanted with another woman.”
Jodi swallowed hard. “Ty, you should know that I lo--”
He held up a hand, silencing her. “I want your complete submission, Jodi. I’ve never asked that of anyone before, not any of the women who have been my subs. I’ve always been content with a vanilla relationship in public, and Dom/sub dynamics in the bedroom. But God help me...I want to own you, sweetheart. Twenty-four seven.”
She broke eye contact, needing to retreat for a moment while she processed what that meant. Nibbling her bottom lip, she thought about the books she’d read. The little she knew from their discussions.
Meeting his eyes again, she frowned. “I don’t really know what that means, to be honest. I mean, I understand on a big picture kind of level, but...I have questions.”
Something changed in his expression at her words. His lips curved up slightly, and his stare lost some of its intensity. He moved to stand in front of her, one hand coming up to cup the side of her face, and she nuzzled into his touch, returning his smile.
“You’re not running away?” The disbelief in his voice told her just how scared he’d been, and she moved closer, pressing close to his body and wrapping her arms around his waist.
She shook her head. “You should listen closer. I love you, Ty. And I’m not promising I can give you what you need, but I’m not going anywhere until we talk this through and see what we can come up with.”
He leaned down to press a long, soft kiss against her lips. “No matter what happens, I am the luckiest man alive. And I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have, and probably some you don’t. But first...” he stepped back just enough to look pointedly at her dress. “Let’s get you out of that thing, and into some sweats. We’ll do the cosplay thing some other night.”
Jodi pushed out of his arms, raising an eyebrow as she reached behind her.
“Are you sure you don’t want to take a little play break? It would be a shame to waste this, don’t you think?”
She pulled the zipper down and let the dress fall down around her feet, the fabric billowing out before settling in a poof of white satin around her clear heels.
Ty’s gaze followed it down and she could almost feel him touching every part of her body as he took in the tight corset, the garters and white thigh-highs, those blasted shoes...and then came back up to rest on the bare apex of her thighs.
Nodding slowly, he shrugged off his jacket and sank to his knees. “Yes. Yes it would.” He caressed the outsides of her thighs, his hands warm as they moved across her skin. Sliding them under the elastic garter straps, he reached around and cupped her ass as he leaned in to lap at her clit with his tongue.
“Oh yes, Master,” she breathed, earning an approving grunt in return. She spread her legs for him, reaching down to hold her nether lips open as he nipped and licked her super-charged skin. She wasn’t at all sure how long her legs would hold out, but she rocked her hips back and forth in time with that oh-so-talented tongue.
Her legs shook, her head falling back as he pressed inside her hot sheath. As her back arched, she felt her breasts pop out over the top of the corset, her nipples hard and aching to be touched. Bit. Pulled.
Just as her knees started to bend, Ty hugged her tight to him, rising to turn her around and bend her over the back of the couch. Her legs spread wide and her ass in the air, she felt exposed, open for her Master.
As she should be.
A tug on one garter preceded a tight snap of the elastic against the back of her thigh, and she gasped at the pain. It quickly turned into a pleasant warmth, and she wiggled her butt for him.
“More, Master. Please.”
He chuckled low and deep, and she knew she’d pleased him. The knowledge made her that much more wet, and her clit ached for release.
The other garter snapped against her skin, followed quickly by a smack of his hand against her bare bottom. She moaned with pleasure, wiggling again, begging for more.
“Who knew Cinderella was a little slut under all that fabric?” he said, snapping both garters at once. “Such a good little slut too. One who should be rewarded for good behavior.”
He pushed two fingers into her dripping pussy, flicking them in and out several times before dragging them up to her tight little rosebud. She whimpered as he pushed one past her tight sphincter muscles and then the other soon after, stretching her even as she felt his stiff cock slipping into her molten core.
She met his thrusts with her own as he pumped both her holes hard and fast, her nerves overloaded with heated, tingling sensations. She was at the edge before she knew what was happening, and then he pulled back, the sense of emptiness he left behind almost more than she could bear.
Then she felt his cock probing the entrance of her tight little ass, pushing slowly, relentlessly past her final defenses.
“Can you take me here, my little Cinderella-slut? Will you open wide for your Master tonight?” He smacked her ass and pushed in a little more, forcing her open, and she reminded herself to breathe. Relax. Just let go.
Finally she felt his balls snuggled tight against her core and he filled her completely, the feeling like nothing she’d ever felt before. Beginning to move, he gave her a few slow, gentle thrusts, letting her adjust before pistoning faster, harder, his balls slapping her clit as he took her again and again and again.
Her muscles contracted around him, her body milking him tight as she fought to stay back from the ledge he pushed her toward. One more tight, deep thrust and she felt his hot release pouring into her.
“Come now, slut.”
It was more of a groan than a command, and one with which she happily complied. Tremors shook her body as her core spasmed and she pressed her hips back against him again and again.
It was several minutes before she came down, only vaguely aware of Ty moving behind her as she maintained her position bent over the back of the couch. When she finally started to push up, a big hand in the middle of her back held her down while he unhooked the garters and fumbled with the laces in her corset. She felt relief as the stays loosened, and when he finally helped her up, the tight bit of bone and fabric fell down over her hips and joined the dress on the floor.
“Better?” he murmured in her ear, his arms wrapped around her from behind as he fondled her nipples, one in each hand. He’d taken his clothes off, and his bare skin pressed against hers, his cock still hard against her bottom.
She nodded, leaning into his embrace. “Much, thank you. Permission to take my shoes off, Master?”
“Not just yet, my pet.” He swept her into his arms and carried her to the bedroom, laying her carefully in the middle of the bed. Moving to her feet, he slid one shoe off her foot, and then the other. Running his hands up her leg, he grazed her clit with his fingers before grabbing one stocking and pulling it slowly, slowly, oh so slowly down and off, and then repeating the motions with her other leg.
Moving up between her legs, he entered her again in one long, smooth thrust, his hands locking her wrists above her head, his teeth biting down where her shoulder met her neck as he fucked her hard and fast. She met each thrust eagerly, sensing what it was about. What he needed.
Claiming her body, hoping the mind would follow.
It already had.
He thrust deep with a roar, joining them as tightly as he could as he took her mouth, surrounded her with as much of him as he could. When he finally released her, she didn’t want to let him go.
Rolling to his back, he lay there, staring up at the ceiling and catching his breath. She turned to her side, laying her head on his chest, listening to his heartbeat as she trailed her fingernails over his chest.
“Give yourself to me,” he said, stroking her hair with one hand. “Just until Thanksgiving. If it’s not working for you by then, we’ll talk about it. See what we can come up with. Just...I need you. Even if it’s only temporary. Say yes.”
Jodi didn’t think. She didn’t need to. Just nodded her head against him, pressing a soft kiss to his skin.
Thanks for reading! The next installment of The Naughty List
will be posted on Thanksgiving, November 28, 2013. Interested in what
Laura and Melanie are up to? You can catch up with them at The Variety Pages (romantic suspense) and AlexWesthaven.com (horror).
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