I sigh. “You’re right. I’ll talk to him about it. But we did make a bet. Matthew knows that, and I want to see that through.”
“Please don’t hurt him, Emma. I’ve been thinking about you two, and I really think you could be good for each other.”
“I’ll do my best,” I promise. “Can we spend some time together, soon?”
“Absolutely! But please, promise me you’ll try to let go. Explore what this is meant to be and not what you think it is.”
I pause, taking a breath. “I will.” I hang up, and fall back on the bed. What am I going to do? I feel like I’m being pulled in two different directions. There’s turmoil in my gut, but it’s not something that’s going to be solved by staying in bed. I sit up and slide to the edge of the bed and gasp. Pain bursts through my ass and I leap up to try to relieve it. I pull open the armoire and turn my back to the mirror.
Already purpling bruises cover me, including a very very distinct handprint. Oh. My. God. I brush my fingers over the bruises and shiver. I should be furious at him for bruising my ass, but what he did brought me more emotional relief—and later pleasure—than I’d been able to find in a long time. If I knew I was going to have sex like that again, I would go through the spanking again.
That voice in my head rebels against this. This isn’t right, that he hit me. But we had agreed that punishment was a part of this. He didn’t cross any lines I hadn’t already agreed to, and if I had used my safeword he would have stopped. My mind goes blank.
I could have made him stop. I knew I could have made him stop, and I didn’t do it. I let him keep going. What does that mean for me? For this?
I look at the bruises again, thinking about the way he grabbed my ass while he was fucking me. How that spark of pain made it so much better, and I’m suddenly wet with the thought that I could have that again. Matthew didn’t leave any instructions, so I’m going to put on something. If he doesn’t like it, he’ll tell me to change.
I flip through the closet, and there’s more lingerie than I could ever wear in three days, but it’s all my size. I settle on a deep purple babydoll dress. It has a halter top and when I put it on, the skirt just barely covers my ass. Thinking about Matthew seeing me in this makes me grin. The halter pulls up my breasts, almost offering them on a platter. I leave my hair down and I find some light, fruity perfume in the armoire that I put on.
Now it’s past noon, and I remember Matthew’s words about not wanting to sleep the day away. It’s past time I find him. I tiptoe out of my room. I don’t know why I think that if I’m quiet that the staff is likely to see me, but it’s still true.
Matthew isn’t in his study, and he’s not in the kitchen. I can’t remember the way to get back to his bedroom. I finally find him on the patio, and the sight makes my heart skip a beat. He’s playing with two dogs, an adult and a puppy, both golden retrievers. He’s throwing a ball for them, and they race to get it and bring it back, both of them practically tackling him when they reach him. The dogs are so happy, tails wagging and smiling wide. He throws the ball again and they run again, the puppy tripping on the stairs going down to the grass. Matthew scoops him up and checks him over while the other dog retrieves the ball.
It’s a side of him that I haven’t seen before. I knew that he was a good man, and that he worked with animals, but even though I’ve seen him laugh, mostly I’ve been witness to the powerful, serious side of him. This soft, goofy, playing-with-puppies side of him is like suddenly seeing who he really is when he’s alone. I push open the door because he’s already seen me at my most vulnerable, and if I’m going to see him at his, he should know.
He glances back towards the door, and does a double take when he sees me. His smile grows and he puts down the puppy, who rushes down to the grass to play with his friend, and he comes across the patio toward me. Matthew stops just short of touching me. “Good morning.”
“Afternoon,” I say, raising an eyebrow.
“How are you doing?”
I stretch my arms over my head, letting the short length of the skirt ride up and show him that I’m not wearing anything underneath it. “I’m okay. I’m…a bit sore.”