THREE years down the line, and he was still my everything.
And I was still his.
Things had changed, of course; he’d quit his job at his father’s firm in order to pursue his own career, on his own terms, where the name Anderson would only mean Will and his own achievements, not those of his father before him. His new role was developing software for emerging communication devices, mostly for the military. It often meant signing nondisclosure agreements—he couldn’t tell me about his contracts, and I just had to accept that sometimes he was stressed and couldn’t tell me why.
I had completed my MA in history in just over two years, during which I’d lived off my sponsorship and a scholarship and worked like a madman to finish in as short a time as possible. I was motivated by the knowledge that my funding wouldn’t last forever. In my graduating class, I was one of the lucky ones: I took my interest in modern history and used it to secure a job at Seattle’s EMP Museum. Although I started off right at the bottom of the career ladder, I had a fantastic boss who encouraged me to take on my own responsibilities, and slowly but surely, I managed to creep my way up in the museum’s hierarchy.
It was sometimes a point of contention between us—how much time we both spent at work. I was used to fairly regular shifts at the museum except when a project took over my life, and Will had to work weekends when the company demanded it of him. Things started to settle down after the screaming, plate-smashing argument we had a year ago. Sometimes little things like lunch together on Fridays, or neither of us working on Sundays unless it was really, really important, helped maintain a happy equilibrium. We also stuck a calendar to the fridge where we could mark important dates; that way there was no comeback to the argument “I told you about it!” “No you didn’t!”
We talked and talked and talked about moving away from Seattle to a bigger city, one where we could pursue something different…. To New York, where I could take the next steps in my career, or to Washington, DC, where Will could further his. But Seattle was our home, where we’d fallen in love and where his family was. So we stayed.
We held hands in public from time to time and dealt with the inevitable consequences of that choice. People invited us to family gatherings—weddings, barbeques, parties—as a couple. I called his mother Mom. She called me “that pain in the ass who eats all the food in my house.” I loved her to bits.
Will’s father had a harder time coming to terms with our relationship than Cara. Although he still loved his son, it took some adjusting for him to rearrange his expectations of Will’s future. I respected that, just as I did him as a man. I wouldn’t have blamed him for resenting me, but he never did. He was stern but fair and, with time, came to accept me as Cara had.
We took rather infrequent trips down to Georgia to see my big annoying fucked-up family, the infrequency mostly due to the fact that they were fucking crazy and drove me crazy every time I saw them. As expected, Will was never “Jesse’s partner” or “Jesse’s boyfriend” in polite company. He was my companion, or my housemate, or (the best one yet), when we introduced him to my eighty-five-year-old grandmother, my “man friend.” Will had to excuse himself after that one to go outside and die laughing.
It always amused me how unequipped Will was to deal with the heat in my home state. I purposely timed our previous visits around the cooler holidays: Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving. Fourth of July weekend was going to be a challenge for him, but he had agreed that this year, we’d spend that particular holiday down south. I, for one, was looking forward to it. He looked incredible in a tight T-shirt and shorts.
One of the best things that had developed in our relationship was that Will had become quite the horny little bottom. It was really adorable, actually; he would fuck me into oblivion, so hard it would hurt for days, but when he bottomed for me, he liked it to be sweet and slow and romantic.
I always knew when he wanted me to make love to him. He’d grow quieter, almost as if he was scared of asking me for what he wanted. Not that I ever said no.
Some of the best moments in our relationship were when I’d gently lay him down on the bed, our lips fused together and moving slowly, my hands roaming over his skin as he unbuttoned my shirt, kissing my neck and throat as we rocked together.
I would light candles sometimes, and the flickering light made strange shadows dance over our skin and the walls. Or sometimes it would be late in the afternoon when the sun had turned the sky pink and orange—just enough light to see by.
His fingertips—oh fuck, his fingertips. I could, and would, watch his hands for hours, but when I made love to him, he would trail just the very tips of his fingers all over my skin, but particularly up and down my sides, and look up into my eyes with a vulnerability that was real only in that moment. Will was still the least vulnerable man I had ever known. But when he was underneath me, with his wide brown eyes so open and honest and loving, I had the power to break him.
Instead, I loved him.
When we made love with my chest to his back, my cock buried deeply inside him and his face in a pillow to muffle his cries, I’d take both his hands in mine and hold them tightly. I would kiss the back of his neck, his shoulders, lick from the first bump of his spine as far down as I could, arching my own back upward until the pain of not being pressed up against every inch of his skin was too much.
What I liked best was having his ankles over my shoulders when he was on his back, or his feet braced against my chest as I bent him in half, the position spreading his cheeks wide for me. When we made love like that, I could see him. See all of him. He was the most beautiful thing in my world when he lifted his hips to my thrusts, never able to be the passive lover. Never submissive.
Like that, I could watch my name fall from his lips when he came, his throat bared to my teeth, his eyes screwed tightly shut from the deep, intense emotion that threatened to overwhelm us both. He would grip my biceps as he came, gasping and sobbing. I had moments where I almost lost my own orgasm while I was so absorbed in him; it would throb through me in gentle pulses that went on and on and on instead of one hot burst of pleasure.
“Will,” I would whisper over and over again, as if it were the answer to everything. “Will.”
Sometimes, it was.
WE’D made some changes to the playroom over the past two years, getting rid of certain pieces of apparatus that we rarely used anymore, like the spanking bench and the padded table, and replacing them with new equipment. While being snowed in the previous winter, I’d stripped the black paint from the walls, sanded them back, and replaced them with dark wood paneling.
The hardwood floors had always been one of my favorite things about the attic space, and in the same long weekend, they’d been restained. The glass boxes holding our equipment had gone, too, and now where there once were mirrors, a long, shallow cupboard held whips, riding crops, paddles, and thin, whippy canes.
The overall effect was that of warmth. Our old playroom had been harsh: black walls, silver mirrors, glass and metal and chrome. And that worked for us in the first few years of our relationship, when our roles were much more defined as those of Master and submissive. The new room reflected our changing positions. I still served him, but there was an undertone of love and respect and commitment between us that had undoubtedly shaped who we were.
Now when I knelt for him, the smell of wood was reassuring, along with the warmth and the music that was still pulsing rock. Some things didn’t change.
“Good evening, Jesse.”
“Good evening, Master.”
He walked past me, gently brushing his hand over my head as he did so, crossing from the door to the wall where my collar and cuffs were hung. I lifted my chin so he could secure the beautiful tan leather sheepskin-lined collar around my throat, then held my wrists out so he could buckle them to the cuffs. When he was done, I moved my arms back behind me and held each elbow with the opposite hand.
“How energetic are you feeling tonight?” he asked. “What I’ve got planned for you will require plenty of stamina.”
“I’m ready to serve you,” I said, keeping my eyes low.
He hummed low in his throat, disbelievingly. “Follow me.”
Master hadn’t indicated that I should stand, so I crawled after him to the other side of the room, where our rigging equipment was set up. I hated crawling, but it was one of the few things that sent me straight into a submissive mind-set. It was precisely because I hated it but did it anyway that it reminded me I was beneath him. He owned me. I did what he told me to do. And with realizing that, I was ready for whatever he had planned for me.
I knelt at his feet where he’d stopped, and resumed my previous position. When I was once again still and silent, he moved to the wall and selected several lengths of red climbing rope. I rose to my feet when he snapped his fingers at me, and he walked around me to begin enclosing my body in the ropes. I braced my feet so I wouldn’t stumble.
Master had a collection of different ropes, mostly either red or black, which complemented my softly tanned skin and blond hair. Sometimes he used plain hemp, which seemed to blend into my skin tone but itched and left red marks where it chafed against me. Sometimes that was the point.
It took a while for Master to work the rope in a diamond pattern across my torso and knot it in various places. When my upper body was enclosed, he threaded the long ends through the D rings attached to my cuffs. With sure hands he helped me lean back into the sling that had replaced nearly all uses of our old padded table. I settled into it comfortably, knowing where to position my weight so that I was evenly balanced as he suspended me from a beam in the ceiling. As soon as I was settled, he tied off the ropes behind my back, ensuring I couldn’t move.
There were a few positions I could be manipulated into while lying in the swing; the main straps supported my spine, but my shoulders, arms, and legs could be tied off in different ways. Tonight Master pushed my knees almost to my shoulders and tied them to one of the support ropes.
Positions like this made me uncomfortable and he knew it. I could handle having my body stretched out, but being curled in on myself increased my sense of claustrophobia. I felt aggrieved for a moment, that he would choose this position when he knew I didn’t like it.
I shut those thoughts down.
This was what serving him meant.
It wasn’t what I wanted, but it was what he wanted of me.
Like this, I was spread for him, my legs obscenely wide and the backs of my thighs presented to his touch. I expected the whip and was pleasantly surprised when he chose a soft leather multitailed flogger instead. He trailed it over the curve of my ass, gently stroking my balls with the falls, then whipping my thighs and calves.
I caught his eye and he gave me an extra-hard smack for that. I cried out and grasped at the ropes at my wrists as I writhed away from the pain.
“Relax,” he told me as he returned the flogger to the wall. “It’s going to hurt a lot more in a moment.”
I believed him and shut my eyes, taking long, deep breaths while pulling experimentally on each of my bonds in turn. I couldn’t break free, of course, but this testing of my restraints and relearning of my own limitations helped me absorb the pain in my ass and thighs. From the initial sting, the pain had dulled to a gentle, warm throb. It was just enough to keep me floating happily in my subspace.
The sound of a match striking made me jump. Fire play was definitely something in my Red zone—I wasn’t comfortable with that sort of stimulation at all. Both my Master and I had decided a long time ago that we weren’t going to leave permanent marks on my body, be that by needles or knives or fire. I forced myself to keep my eyes closed, even as my heart rate accelerated, and demanded that my rational mind remember that he would never do anything like that without my express permission beforehand.
“Good boy,” he murmured from between my legs. So he’d returned. “You can open your eyes.”
Master had turned down the overhead lights but was lit up by the soft glow of a white candle he held up to my line of sight. I swallowed.
“Do you know what I’m going to do with this?” he asked.
“I have a good idea, Sir,” I murmured.
“You’re a clever boy,” he said, smirking. “I’m sure you’ve figured it out.”
Several other candles were lit around the room, their hot wax melting slowly. Master ran his free hand up and down the inside of my thigh, slapping lightly in a few places to arouse me further. My cock was still half hard from his earlier flogging; now, with this new treat to look forward to, it was filling again.
“Different colors burn at different temperatures,” Master said softly. “I have a few to experiment with. These are BDSM candles, so they won’t burn you.”
I nodded and took another deep breath.
He didn’t ask if I was ready, just ran his hand down my flank and tipped the candle until a single drop of pearly white wax landed on the back of my thigh. I had braced myself to scream and was pleasantly surprised when the noise that my throat emitted was actually a long groan of pleasure.
The heat was concentrated for a moment, burning against my already reddened skin, but it soon cooled, setting hard and trapping the fine hair on my legs. Master let the next drop fall on the other leg, then trailed a long line from the sensitive skin on the inside of my knee to the equally sensitive skin on the inside of my thigh.
Then I did howl. The hot liquid ran for just an inch or so before solidifying, abstractly tickling the hairs on my legs and burning my skin at the same time, pain and softness and pleasure all rolling together.
Master had used all of the melted wax from the first candle and set it back down on the floor to burn down some more. He chose a red candle next. I was panting for breath, the sound loud in my ears as I watched with equal trepidation and anticipation for the next hot spill.
Red layered over white with little splashes no bigger than the size of a dime, each a little pinprick of hot pleasure that stung and warmed my skin. After red came black, then back to white as the natural color of my thighs was overlaid with layer on layer of soft wax.
I waited with a vaguely masochistic enthusiasm for the candles to be dripped over more sensitive areas of my body; by now Master had coated nearly all of my inner thighs but had yet to let the hot liquid touch my cock or balls.
When Master picked up the black candle again, I was reduced to a whimpering mess, tears streaming down my cheeks, although I wasn’t sure why—this was one of the best sessions we’d had together in a long while. My cock was leaking against my stomach, a sticky mess that was somehow more uncomfortable than the torture he was inflicting on my thighs.
“I should have gagged you,” Master said as he teased me with the edge of the candle, not letting the wax fall. “I knew you wouldn’t be able to keep quiet for this.”
“Please,” I begged. “Please.”
He sighed heavily. “Oh, all right.”
Master walked around the ropes to my left side and poured a large puddle of wax onto my nipple. I screamed then; the sensation was too much like pain for that brief moment before it solidified. He gave my other nipple the same treatment before resuming his place between my legs, looking down on me with an expression of mixed pride and disdain.
I waited, whimpering, for the next stage, wondering if he’d bring me to orgasm or leave me to messily jerk myself off in the corner once he was done. He’d done that the week before, leaving me feeling dirty and humiliated and loving him all the more for it.
For all of my begging for the wax on my cock or balls, I’d never got off on them being tortured, and Master knew this. He replaced the candles on the floor while I was still catching my breath, then opened his jeans and pushed them down off his hips far enough to release his cock.
He smirked at my desperate whimper, pushing my hips up toward him despite the fact that I was already aching. He reached for a pot of lube and smeared it over me, pushing a finger inside to work it around and stretch me a little before rubbing more on his cock and positioning it at my asshole.
“Tell me you want it,” he commanded.
“Please,” I begged. “Please. I want it.”
Master rubbed the head of his cock over my hole, not pushing in but teasing me more.
“I want your cock. I want it inside me.”
“Good boy,” he said, took hold of my ankles, and pushed in with a hard thrust.
I had no idea I was so close to coming, but the entire session, the slow buildup from the ropes, the flogging and the wax—oh fuck, the wax—had brought me right to the edge already. Master noticed.
“Don’t you fucking dare come without permission, Jesse,” he said.
“Won’t, Sir,” I said through gritted teeth.
He pulled out and slammed back in again, grunting with the effort. I forced myself not to arch into his thrusts, knowing that this would only align my prostate with the end of his cock and make it even harder for me to ward off my orgasm.
Within moments his balls were slapping an insistent rhythm against my ass as he pounded into me, and I could feel the wax breaking up as he manipulated my body underneath him. I watched, because he hadn’t told me I wasn’t allowed to, the sweat shining on his torso from both the heat in the room and the physical exertion of fucking me.
“Please, Sir, I need to come,” I begged him again.
“Wait…,” he said. Then: “With me.”
That was the permission I was waiting for; I knew his face and his body well enough to be able to tell when he was right on the edge. When he gripped my ankles tighter and his thrusts grew faster, I allowed myself to arch into the sensation, and moments after he cried out, spilling inside me, I found my own release.
Blood was still pounding in my ears as I came down from the massive orgasm that had shaken me all over, leaving me to catalogue all of the delicious aches and pains that I was able to take away from the session. Within a minute or so, Master had untied my hands and helped me out of the sling.
I fell forward into his arms and found a patch of skin between his neck and shoulder to nuzzle into, then turned my head to find his kiss. He smiled as our lips met and stroked my hair and the back of my neck.
“Can you stand while I take the ropes off?” he asked. “Or do you want to kneel?”
“I can stand,” I told him.
My mind was still floating along the edge of my subspace, giving me lots of warm, fuzzy feelings of being loved and cared for. Master rubbed down my wrists and arms as the ropes fell free, then roughly rubbed at the now dried wax on my legs to break it up a little.
“Um, Will?” I asked in a small voice.
“How the hell do we get this stuff off?”