Rebecca crumpled up the last bit of newspaper and tossed it into the box she was using as a makeshift recycling bin. “Last box, all empty.”
“Nice job, love,” Nick said, slipping his arm around her from behind. He kissed the back of her neck, his beard tickling her skin, then rested his chin on her shoulder. “Let’s haul this out, then I’ll order dinner.”
She leaned into him and surveyed the unpacking debris that had taken over one side of the living room. “How about you haul it out, and I’ll order dinner?”
“A traditional division of labor?” he mused. “Very Donna Reed of you.”
“Donna would make dinner, not order in,” she reminded him, and tried not to giggle when he gnawed playfully on her neck. “And anyway, I did most of the unpacking.”
“Because you didn’t trust me to put your stuff in the right places.”
“True.” She turned her head to smile at him. “But it still counts.”
“Hmm.” He narrowed his eyes, the bright crystalline blue darkening slightly. “I’ll take out the recycling, but you have to eat dinner naked.”
She forced a frown, even though her pulse began to pound in anticipation. “That’s not one of the rules we agreed on.”
His lips twitched in a smirk. “It’s not a House Rule, it’s a Now Rule.”
“A Now Rule?” she parroted, and frowned harder to keep the smile off her face. “What is that, something you get to invoke anytime you want something not covered by the House Rules?”
“It’s a spur of the moment negotiation for a specific situation. If you want me to haul all that away by myself, you have to eat dinner naked.”
She eyed the broken-down boxes and wadded-up packing material that covered half the room. After a day of unpacking and arranging her belongings in his—now their—loft, she was ready to sit down and relax, and eating naked didn’t sound like too big a price to pay to do it. But she wasn’t going to tell him that. “Eating naked is dangerous. What if I drop hot food on myself?”
“Order sandwiches,” he suggested.
She looked at him with a horror that wasn’t entirely feigned. “Have you ever had breadcrumbs in your crotch?”
“I can honestly say I have not.” He arched an eyebrow. “Have you?”
“Well, no,” she admitted. “But I’ve had sand in there, and I’m guessing crumbs would be just as bad. I want a napkin for my lap.”
“For a napkin, you’ll have to wear a butt plug.”
I’ll need a napkin for under me, too, she thought. Her pussy was wet just thinking about him plugging her ass. She sighed heavily, the picture of a beleaguered, long-suffering submissive. “Fine.”
“Fine,” he echoed, and bent to capture her lips. The kiss was quick, with a just a teasing hint of tongue. When he lifted his head again, his gaze was bright with amusement. “You’re not fooling anyone, you know.”
She forced her eyes wide and blinked, projecting innocence for all she was worth. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Uh-huh.” He slid his hand from her waist to her breast, where her nipple was trying to poke through her T-shirt. He gave it a firm tug, sending a quick bolt of sensation straight to her pussy. “You’re sure that’s the story you want to go with?”
“Give me a minute to think of a new one,” she managed, and he laughed.
“Order dinner, then take a shower,” he said, his hand light on her breast. She wanted to lean into him for firmer contact, but that would give him the advantage. Not that he didn’t already have it, but still. “When you come back, bring the blue butt plug and the alligator clamps.”
She was nodding before she caught the last part. “Wait. You didn’t say anything about clamps.”
“That was before you tried to fool me,” he said, and squeezed her nipple hard enough to make her squeak. His grin was pure perverted delight. “Infractions require corrections, baby girl.”
“I don’t think that’s fair,” she said, breathless from the spike of pleasure-pain.
“Want to make it a butt plug, alligator clamps, and a vibrating egg?” he asked, his fingers still tight on her nipple.
Shit. She shook her head.
“Then say, ‘yes, Daddy’,” he advised, his eyes gleaming, “and do what you’re told.”
“Yes, Daddy,” she parroted, and bit her lip when he released her nipple. She couldn’t decide if she was relieved or disappointed, and gave him her best pout.
It just made him grin. “Good girl,” he said, and kissed her one more time before striding to the pile of boxes.
Rebecca shook her head and walked around the free-standing wall that served to separate their sleeping space from the rest of the loft, her body humming with arousal. It was amazing what that man could do to her with those two magic words. Sometimes she wondered if he could good girl her to orgasm, using nothing but his voice and the approval she craved to get her there. She didn’t think it was possible, but she wouldn’t bet against Nick, or the powerful, incendiary effect he had on her.
It might have been embarrassing if she didn’t like it so much. But she did, and so did he, and knowing that made everything okay. Besides, she had the same effect on him—he was just better at controlling his responses. Hell, he was better at controlling everything…including her.
She wondered just how he was planning to control her tonight, and pulled out her phone to order dinner.
With the sandwiches on their way—estimated delivery time, twenty-two minutes—she stripped out of her moving-day clothes of yoga pants and a T-shirt and headed into the bathroom. There were a lot of things to love about the loft—the high ceilings, spacious rooms with plenty of natural light, and secure, covered parking were all great—but her very favorite thing was the bathroom.
It was the size of the bedroom in her old apartment, and almost embarrassingly luxurious. There was a soaking tub long enough to fit Nick’s lanky form with room left over for her, or she could just swim laps in it by herself. Two sinks on opposite sides of the room meant she didn’t have to share counter or cabinet space, and while it didn’t have a place for her to sit and do her makeup, she liked to do that in natural light, anyway.
There was a shower with rainfall showerheads in the ceiling that she could turn off with a touch of the state-of-the-art instrument panel when she didn’t want to get her hair wet, and more shower heads set into the marble-tiled wall. There was even a bench, wide and deep enough to seat two people side by side—or two people with one on the other’s lap—and massage jets set in the wall behind it.
The matching tile covering the bathroom floor was heated, the lights under the cabinet edges were motion activated so she never stumbled in the dark, and, best of all, the toilet was in its own separate frosted-glass-enclosed room. Not that she was particularly embarrassed by bodily functions, but sometimes a body needed to sit for a spell.
And on those occasions, it was really nice to be able to close the door.
She handled those bodily functions first, then stepped into the shower and tapped the wall panel to activate the rain showerheads. Moving day had left her feeling grimy, and even though it still felt like winter outside, she’d worked up a sweat. She might have lingered in the shower, letting the jets and hot water wash away the dirt and soothe sore muscles, but her stomach felt like it was trying to eat itself. Lunch had been several hours of physical labor earlier, and she was hungry.
She cleaned up quickly, washing her hair and scrubbing the sweat from her skin, then grabbed a fluffy towel to dry off. She wrapped it around her hair to soak up the excess water and keep it out of her way while she slathered on moisturizer, then hung it over the heated towel rack and dragged a comb though her dark locks. Her hair was getting to the long-enough-to-be-annoying stage, and she made a mental note to schedule a trim. She’d taken Monday off, assuming she’d be tired from a weekend of moving and organizing, so maybe she’d see if her stylist could squeeze her in.
She left her hair down to air dry and pulled on her robe. A moving-in present from Nick, the thick cashmere was soft, warm, and killer, fuck-me red. He’d said it had caught his eye because it was the exact color of her favorite lipstick, the one she always wore when she wanted an extra boost of confidence. She’d worn the lip color a lot in the three years she’d worked for Nick, and apparently, he’d become somewhat obsessed with it.
She didn’t work for him anymore, and she rarely needed a boost of confidence these days, but she still wore the lipstick. It had a delightfully predictable effect on her lover, one that usually ended in multiple orgasms for her.
She debated putting some on now, but decided it was too much trouble. She left the bathroom and crossed the bedroom to Nick’s side of the bed. He kept the toys they used most frequently in his nightstand, the butt plug and nipple clamps she sought sharing space with leather cuffs, dildos and butt plugs in a variety of sizes, a rechargeable wand vibrator and a leather paddle.
There were other toys in the hope chest at the foot of the bed, just transported from her old apartment that morning, and in Nick’s fully stocked toy bag in the walk-in closet if he wanted a more involved scene. But he liked to improvise, so he kept the basics close at hand.
She tucked the plug and clamps into the pocket of her robe, then shoved a small bottle of lube into the other. He hadn’t asked for it, but maybe she could score some points by anticipating his wants.
She’d take all the good-girl points she could get.
She walked into the living room just as Nick was opening the door to the food delivery, and the open floor plan of the space meant that both Nick and the young man in the open doorway saw her. She kept her hands in the pockets of her robe, fighting the urge to draw it more tightly around her. The fact that it covered her from neck to toes didn’t make her feel any less exposed, and the objects she carried only added to the feeling. Nick knew, of course. It was in the gleam in his pretty blue eyes, in the quirk of his lips as he smiled at her. And, being Nick, he took advantage.
“Hey, baby,” he purred, reaching out a hand in a silent order to come to him. She obeyed it without hesitation, her pulse pounding in her throat. “You remember Adam?”
“Sure,” she said with an easy smile, her fingers tight on Nick’s. “How are you?”
“Good, thanks,” Adam said, his throat bobbing as his cheeks flushed. He was young, in his early twenties, working as a driver for several food delivery services to help meet his college expenses. Their neighborhood was his territory—if they ordered food, there was at least a fifty percent chance that Adam would deliver it.
He had a small, harmless crush on her, which Nick found amusing. Rebecca found it sweet…and when she was wearing a bathrobe with sex toys in the pockets, awkward.
She squeezed Nick’s fingers again in silent admonishment before reaching for the bag Adam held. “Thanks for coming so fast. I’m starving.”
“I had them throw in an extra pickle, just for you.”
“Thanks.” She smiled at him, holding the bag to her chest. “I love pickles.”
“I know,” he said, and flushed tomato red.
She cut her eyes to Nick, who winked back and pulled a couple of bills out of his pocket. “Thanks for the speed, Adam.”
Adam took the tip, his eyes widening a little at the amount. “Hey, thanks, Mr. Saint, Ms. McBride.”
“See you next time, Adam,” Rebecca said with a little wave as Nick closed the door. As soon as it was shut, she shook her head at Nick. “You’re terrible.”
Nick merely grinned. “Seeing you in that red robe probably made his day. If you’d come out naked, he’d have passed out.”
She rolled her eyes and headed for the kitchen. “Good thing I’m not going to do that, then, isn’t it?”
He took the bag from her and unpacked it, setting the sandwiches, chips, and pickles—two for her, one for him—on the plates she laid out. “And if I told you to?”
She pulled a couple of bottles of beer out of the fridge and met his raised eyebrow with one of her own. “Involving other people in a scene who have not explicitly consented to being involved in said scene falls under the heading of Things I Will Use My Safeword For.”
“God, I love it when you get prissy.” He grinned and smacked her ass. “Reminds me of all those times I wanted to bend you over my desk and fuck the sass right out of you.”
She resisted the urge to rub her stinging butt and scooped up her plate. They didn’t have a dining room table yet, because Nick had never seen the need and her old place hadn’t had room. They were going to go shopping for one together, but in the meantime, their dining options were the living room or the breakfast bar. “Where do you want to eat?”
“Living room,” he decided, and followed her over.
She was lowering herself to the sofa when he said, “Don’t sit.”
She glanced down, thinking she might have been about to sit on the television remote, but there was nothing there. “Why?”
“Because.” He set his own food on the coffee table, grabbed one of the pillows from the corner of the sectional, and tossed it on the floor at her feet.
Her belly fluttered as she contemplated the cushion on the floor. “This is new.”