With that, she turns and steps into Mr. Clank’s car as he invites her out to dinner.
“Now, there’s an odd couple,” I say to Mark shaking my head.
“Everyone is an odd couple, when you think about it,” he muses philosophically. “Look at us, a handsome, well-off, highly respected businessman dating some ragamuffin jailhouse wreck who actually ran through a courthouse barefoot.”
He crosses in front of me and opens the passenger door to his car in a grandiose fashion.
“Care for a ride, M’lady?”
“With thanks, kind sir,” I respond. “But what I really need is a shower, and some food.”
“I know just the place!” He smiles and gently closes the door behind me.
An hour later I’m nestled in the lap of luxury on Mark’s couch. I’ve showered, and we had some of the best salmon I’ve ever tasted. He pours me a perfect glass of Riesling and takes me into his arms. We sit in silence a long time, just enjoying the peace of each other’s company.
Naturally, it’s me who shatters the quiet.
“What’s going to happen now? With Blake, I mean. Are we really done?”
“Far from it.” Mark sighs. “Now the real dirty work begins. Word will get around quickly and I’ll be spending long days and nights explaining to investors that Sandstone is still a viable venture firm and it was Blake who ran aground, not the whole ship.”
“That’s not hard to prove,” I add.
“Blake will get bond from someone, even if Robert won’t do it. You’ll have to give depositions, make court appearances, and answer a lot of questions before the blessed day they haul him to jail. Financial crimes don’t create high sentences, but he’ll be away long enough for me to push him out of Sandstone for good.”
“So, it’s really all about you?” I tease.
“Then there is the question of you.” He smiles, putting his hand on his chin. “I was so proud of you today, Julia. You kept a cool head even in a chaotic situation. You allowed Robert to help you, Val to advise you, Paul to speak for you, and me to defend you. You didn’t have to do everything yourself and you opened up to all of us showing your love and gratitude.”
“This is a question?” I ask, basking in his praise.
“Our deal is done. Your month of submission is over. I have no more arrangements to make for you. But, I think there still may be some rough edges that need smoothing. Only now you’ll have to do it simply because you want to, not because you have to.”
“And if I do?”
“The world of dominance and submission is deep and wide. There is plenty more to learn, see, and do. I’d say it’s time for you to move to the next level.”
“I’ve been chastised and punished, taken over a desk, against a wall, and in a pool. I’ve been tied up, bent over, spanked red, and stretched in my most intimate places. Frankly, Mark, I have to say the thought of the ‘next level’ scares the living hell out of me!”
“So are you ready?” He stands holding his hand out to me. I think for a moment, toss the blanket off and set my wine down. Trembling I reach out and take his hand.
He guides me toward the hall containing the bedrooms and I instinctively turn toward the door of his “playroom”, but his hand pulls me in another direction. We go down the hall to a final room at the end. Opening the door, I see it is his bedroom, the one he sleeps in every night. The one place I’ve been dying to go, but could never manage to get myself into because I had to wait for him to invite me.
The room is elegant in Mark’s simple, straightforward style. An antique dresser with one of those men’s watch and cuff drawers built into the top lines one wall and the closet’s sliding door takes up most of another, revealing a walk-in roughly the size of my living room. His sheets and window treatments are a beautiful blend of browns, golds, and highlights that make the room seem to pop with possibilities and satisfaction all at the same time.
“I like your decorator,” I say appreciatively.
“I like the decoration,” Mark replies, leaning down to kiss me deeply. He opens the robe I borrowed after my shower and lets it drop to the floor. I stand there naked, open, and unguarded as he wraps his arms around me. I let myself go as he lifts me and places me on top of the bed.
I feel this moment’s peaceful pulse and do nothing but watch as Mark unbuttons his shirt and discards his clothing. This time it’s he who seems in a hurry to get things done. He joins me on the bed and holds me in his strong arms.
“You’re so beautiful, Julia,” he says again and again, like a mantra. “So beautiful, so beautiful, so beautiful.”
My mouth silences him as I turn over to kiss him. It’s a deep kiss so full of longing and desire it seems our very souls are flowing between our two bodies and I nearly cry when he pulls his mouth away. I’m appeased when it leaves me and makes its way to my br**sts which he fondles and nuzzles and licks, his hand finding a path to the wanting slit between my legs.
Our bodies move together in a supernatural accord. He shifts, I open. He licks and I rise. He lines himself up in the entrance of my core and I am wet, waiting and wanting his shaft to push forward–filling and fulfilling me. Our lovemaking takes on a life of its own with a heartbeat that accelerates as he slides deeper into my body, the folds of my flesh gripping and flittering against him. He moves slowly but intently back and forth creating a beat my body follows willingly and easily.
I wrap my legs around his, pulling Mark further inside me as my hips surge and follow his thrusts. He continues kissing and whispering to me as I feel his shaft inside me, throbbing and ready to release. But he holds on, waiting until he can see by the look in my eyes and the snap of my hips that I am almost there with him. My hands grip his back and I am lost in the thrusts that rock my body and soul so steadily. I see myself on that cliff again, my arms open and with no fear, no push, no thought at all, I lean into Mark and fly.
I gasp as the deep tremors shake my whole body. Then the gasp grows deeper and more urgent and I realize it’s his pleasure moan, with mine, making a unified sound that echoes through the golden room. I feel his seed buried deep in my body just as his heart becomes attached to my soul. We cling together riding out the wave of our pleasure until he must withdraw. He kisses and holds me until we both succumb to the power of the moment and the exhaustion of the day.