Chapter Four

At that inconvenient moment, I remember our agreement, no consummation, no penetration, although I admit, I have to rely on his promise. He could do anything he wanted to me, anything at all, and I would be helpless to stop him now. The suspense is killing me. Is he standing behind me, studying my bright red ass cheeks, my subservient position? I’m wild with hunger and need.

Moments ago, his long fingers were inside me, scraping, probing, moving like a well-schooled piano player. I want them to possess me again. No, that’s a lie. I yearn for his cock to lay claim to any orifice he chooses. My pussy aches with desire and a flood of moisture slicks my hot tunnel.

I will the thoughts away and think of Michael. My love for him dispels any thought of having sex with this stranger. It’s raw, primal want, I tell myself, nothing else.

He brings the whip down on my bottom, this time, giving little regard to skill and accuracy. I brace for the next whack, but hear his words instead. “I think you want to be punished, don’t you, Princess? Tell me the truth.

My ass tingles with pain, enhancing the pleasurable rush of anticipation pedaling through my blood. “Yes,” I whisper.

“Good, because you’ve left me with no choice. There is no gray in my world, only black and white. I’m an expert at meting out pain when necessary. I’m the very best when it comes to delivering pleasurable punishment. A good Dom excels at both. Are you ready to cry and whimper, Princess Ariel?

Every muscle in my goes taut. You can do this, Clare, withstand the pain knowing pleasure will follow. “Yes, Master, punish me.

Cold metal brushes against my ankle and the clink of chains causes me to flinch. A spreader bar. I’ve seen pictures of the instrument in the chat room, wondered what it would feel like to be subdued by one. Butterflies dip and swirl in my belly. Oh God, soon I’ll know firsthand.

“Almost ready,” his smooth voice murmurs as he spreads my legs and fastens the chains.

“Ten lashes with the flogger and I want you to count them off out loud. You miss one and we start over.

I draw a deep breath and nod, “Yes, Master.

“After you’ve counted off ten, you’ll feel my weight on the bed beside you. I’ll release your arms from the restraints and pull you onto my lap.

I think I moan but I might have stifled it.

“I want you to think about what comes after the ten lashes, think about your punishment because it heightens one’s senses—mental and physical.

“Please, Master, what will you do after the ten lashes?

“Spank you with my hand until there isn’t one spot of white flesh in sight. Do you understand, Ariel?

“Oh, God,” I whisper and hope he didn’t hear me. “Yes, I understand.

“Do you want me to spank you?

“Yes, Master.

“Have you needed this for a long time, yearned for it?

“A long time, yes, Master.

Liquid oozes from my pussy, runs down the inside of my thighs. My clit throbs and aches. Beyond thinking, I don’t want to talk about my husband . . . Michael. I shouldn’t be here. This is wrong, and yet I’ve never wanted anything as much in my life. My entire being, every cell and pore, aches for fulfillment.

The flogger whistles through the air. The shock of the contact with my bottom sends a shiver of pain throughout my limbs. “One,” I say and brace for the next strike. “Two.” I draw a deep breath of panting breath. “Three.” A whimper falls from my lips and my pelvis shifts to the left. “Four.

With a moan, I wait for the next blow, but Master D hesitates. Not a word fills the silent room. I realize he’s paused to allow the full effect of the pain to snake through my body before continuing.

“Five! Six!” I moan like a wounded calf and no longer care. “Seven, eight. Oh, God, more,” I hear my voice through a strangled cry. “Nine, ten.” Digging my hips into the mattress, I embrace the pain.

Time hangs on the edge of reality. A cloudy mist sheathes the inky black behind the blindfold. I realize the covering has augmented the punishment, heightening my senses.

Without speaking a word, Master D loosens the restraints on my wrists and releases the spreader bar. I feel his weight on the bed and next he drags me across his lap to begin the second phase of my punishment.

A mixture of emotions strike me—relief, remorse, and regret. Toss in anger and bitterness too. Where will I go from here? Does this mean my marriage is over? Will I leave from this room and suffer fathomless guilt or will I spend my days and nights longing to return to Master D again? Damn Michael and his cavalier attitude about the vows we took. Damn him and his unquenchable thirst for wealth and material possessions.

Smothering a sob, I turn my head to the side and wait for the spanking to begin. When my Master finishes with the punishment, I wonder if he’ll break his promise to me. I hear primal desire in his rapid breathing, feel the hunger in the taut muscles of his forearms.

I’m out of my head, spinning on my axis and imagine the soothing words he speaks are coming from Michael. “I’ve decided you’ve been punished enough for today.

“What-what did you say?

“I said, I think you’ve learned your lesson. Do you really think I love my watch more than I love you?

Who commanded the fog to crawl out of the river and take up residence in my head?

“That’s what you said once when someone asked why you were in the chat room.


A hand removes my blindfold and turns my face to the left.

A shocked gasp echoes in the room. “Dear God, Michael?

I freeze, the air in my lungs, even the words I wanted to toss at his head stick in my throat. Time stills, along with my heart. I blink once, twice.

Those dark blue sapphires meet mine and hold. “Do you Clare, think my material possessions are more important than you?

“Yes,” I say, finding my tongue.

I rip the black hood from his head and another indignant huff of my breath rustles the hair on his forehead. “Why in hell are you wearing a surgical mask?

He smirks. “How else would I disguise my voice?

I pound the mattress with my fists. “You knew! It was you all along . . . in the chat room, pretending to be Master D! Oh, my God, I could throttle you for putting me through all this, for deceiving me.

“Princess Ariel, who do you think set you up for that chat room?

“You? But how?

“I registered for an account on your computer, but I could log in on my laptop at any time.

“So that morning I logged on, the notice came up . . . enter Tie Me Up chatroom now? Of course, I fell for it because, aside from having an affair, I thought you were into porn or something.” I shake my head as the pieces start to fall into place. “What else would explain the way you were never around, didn’t seem to care about us anymore?

“Looking back, it was a stupid idea. I wasn’t mature enough to ask you outright where we’d gone wrong.

“So you felt it too?

“A person would have to be blind not to notice.” He scrunches his lips. “Why didn’t you come to me, tell me about these fantasies you were having?

I shake my head. “The fantasies were born from the problems we were having. I felt unloved, unwanted, didn’t know what to do. Once I got involved with that chatroom, a whole new world opened up to me. From there, it spun out of control.

He stifles a laugh. “I’ll tell you what I think. I think we both needed a wakeup call.

Trying to come to grips with what has transpired, I stare at him long and hard. Long minutes pass before I find my wits enough to form the words. “What now? Where do we go from here?

“If I’m not mistaken, I think we were about to embark on the pleasure part of your punishment.

Tears fill my eyes. “You still want me, knowing that I met another man and engaged in bondage and submission?

“If you would have taken it to the max, had sex with him or caved on the penetration, we’d be looking at a different where do we go from here? I kept reminding myself that I had to be a man, take half of the blame for it even coming to this in the first place.

“Oh, Michael, I couldn’t bring myself to break the terms we set. If you only knew how many times your face rose before me, how many times I silently whispered your name while in this room with Master D, I mean . . . with you.

He cups my chin in his hand. “Do you still want me after I drove you to it, neglected the one thing in the world that means more to me than anything?” He slaps a hand to his forehead. “I might as well have driven up to the front door of a whorehouse in Vegas and dropped you off.

Tears come unbidden to my eyes. “It doesn’t matter now, Michael.” My voice cracks with emotion. “I want you still, more than ever, but I do have a question.

“From here on out, nothing but the truth between us. Ask away.

“How did you learn to be a Dom. I mean the flogger, the skill . . .

“From Hank.

“Your foreman!” I bury my hands in my face. “I’m beyond shamed.

“Don’t be. No one but Hank knows. Men talk a lot about sex while they work. Hank has carried on about his lifestyle for years. When our problem arose, I had to humble myself, tell Hank what was going on between us.

“And being the type A personality Hank is, he offered to help?

“In a heartbeat. All those nights I was gone from home, telling you I had to work late or pretending something had come up about work, I was in Hank’s basement whipping a padded sawhorse. He taught me how to use the flogger so it wouldn’t leave scars. Believe me, I knew nothing about being a Dominant and Hank was more than happy to give me a crash course.

“Oh. My. God. This is all so unbelievable.

He leans down and kisses my nose. “Forgive me, Princess Ariel, I mean, Clare, the most beautiful woman in the universe. Forgive me and I’ll spend the rest of my life making it up to you.

“You will?

He blesses me with an aggressive nod.

I narrow my eyes. “Tell me how.

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