The very first time Virginia spent a night withthe vampire Anando, she couldn’t have begunto imagine all the sensual and sexual games shewould experience with him. She also couldn’thave imagined that she would fall in love withhim, or he with her. As she moves in with him and they find theirplaces in each other’s lives, the discoveries startagain. A few of them happen through oldgames revisited: roleplay, public sex or afamiliar dildo in a different hand. Otherdiscoveries come through new toys, somebattery-operated, others custom-made to fitjust right. And yet more discoveries come fromplaying with old and new partners. But in the end, the one lesson that remainsthe same might be the most important of all:love.
“What is he like?” he asked when he reentered the apartment moments later. “Hmm?” “Your friend.” He picked up a box, set it on another one, and turned a questioning look toward me. “The one you’re moving in with. What is he like?” I wasn’t sure whether he was asking about personality or physical characteristics. I went for the easier of the two possibilities. “He’s… very good looking.” I couldn’t stop myself from grinning. “Tall. Strong. About the same complexion as you. Beautiful eyes. Like you.” So maybe subtlety isn’t my strong point. I never claimed it was. He didn’t seem to mind my bluntness and gave me a beaming smile. His eyes were sparkling, tiny fires glittering intheir dark depths. “Thank you,” he said, his voice low and almost purring. I didn’t trust myself to reply, so I only nodded. He looked around until he found a smaller box to put atop the two he had already stacked. “Does he treat youwell?” he asked with forced casualness. The question could have been intrusive, but I didn’t really mind. I answered without a sliver of hesitation. “Hedoes.” Anando and I had come out of rough time, but I knew he had never intended to hurt me. He had just been trying tokeep both of us safe, albeit in a somewhat misguided way. I was sure that he’d never run away from me again, not afterwhat we had shared with each other. I didn’t say any of it, but maybe something showed on my face because he put down the box he had picked up andobserved me with piercing, almost challenging eyes. “Always?” he asked, the slightest hint of doubt edging the word with frost. “Always,” I repeated, and I meant it from the depth of my soul.
“What about being watched?” he continued, still as low, still as wicked, causing my heart to stutter again. “Did you enjoy that?” I opened my mouth, closed it again, and had to struggle to say a quiet, “I…” In truth, I didn’t know what to say. That one time at On The Edge, he had made me ride him in one of the booths in the back, the joining of our bodies hidden by my long skirt but the meaning of our movements unmistakable. At his request, I had kept my eyes closed, and only afterwards had I known for certain that someone—a woman— had been observing us. I had been surprised at how much that realization had excited me, but since then I hadn’t given it much thought. Now that he mentioned it, however… “There are cameras above us,” he murmured, his lips brushing against my temple. “Maybe someone is watchingus at this very moment.” I wasn’t sure what caused more sparks of desire to flash through me: his words or his hand as it cupped my leftbreast, his thumb swiping over my hardening nipple. I tried to bat his hand away, but it was already moving down, across my stomach, down my hip, and finally undermy skirt. “Anando,” I said urgently. “What are you…” I lost my voice when he pressed me back against the wall. His body shielded me from anyone who might comedown the aisle behind him, but anyone in the side aisles would see that his hand was under my skirt, and thosecameras, wherever they were, would certainly reveal what we were doing.
Without thinking, I started to reach for the phone, but changed my mind before I picked it up. What would I tell Anando if I talked to him now? Would I call him a tease and protest that he had stopped too soon—or maybe protest that he was doing this to me at all when I was at work? I could already hear him laugh, hear his warm voice remind me that I had picked the toy, I had agreed to wear it today, and I could take it off any time I wanted. I didn’t call. I didn’t take the butterfly off. I stayed at my desk, went back to work, and tried not to wonder when Anando would trigger the vibration again. I did wonder, though, and I watched the numbers of the clock on my computer slowly creep past ten o’clock. Anando had first activated the toy at eight thirty, then at nine thirty, so logically ten thirty should be next. It was. Anticipation had left me on the edge, and heat spread through me like a wildfire. The intensity climbed a notchhigher this time, and lasted a few seconds more. I stared at my computer screen, dimly hoping I looked like I wasreading when actually I couldn’t see a thing. I parted my lips and tried to keep my breathing quiet even as itaccelerated. My hands were clenched on the edge of my desk. I didn’t know whether to press my legs together moretightly or part them, but I was sure, absolutely certain, that this time the vibrations would push me past that ‘almostthere’ point. This time, Anando would let me come. He wouldn’t be cruel enough to stop too soon—and he had toknow when ‘too soon’ or ‘just right’ was; he knew my body to perfection. Of course he knew. And when he stopped, he knew it was too soon for me to have come. I would have bet anythingon it. It was a game; another one. And I thought I understood the rules. Once per hour, a little more intense each time, alittle longer, but never quite enough. The name of the game was torture. Exquisite torture, but torture nonetheless.
“I do have chains, but…” His hands slid down to my wrists, and his fingers danced against my pulse points, causing me to shiver against him. “I thought we’d try something a little different this time. Chains can be a little… daunting, I suppose, for beginners.” The pang of disappointment that struck me was entirely unexpected. I hadn’t exactly fantasized about chains, but I had thought about them a lot, and since I had agreed, I wasn’t sure where he was going with this. “I improvised a little,” he continued. “I think you’ll like it. Do you want to see?” After that opening, I did want to see; curiosity was blooming inside me, replacing apprehension before it could evenreturn. Anando took my hand and led me to the bedroom. He pushed the door open and invited me to enter first. Thelights were off, but he had set floating candles in several bowls around the room, creating pools of light. As the flameswavered and danced, they cast changing shadows on the walls. They were also reflected on the silver links of the chainshanging from metal hooks affixed to the ceiling. The chains, each as wide as two of my fingers put together, were attached to the corners of a sling that hung atwaist height. The sling was made of wide leather straps set in a lattice pattern. Additional straps, folded in loops, hungfrom each of the chains, between two to four feet above the sling. The logistics confused me, but so did the tingles of arousal already running down my spine, awakening every one ofmy nerves. My mind didn’t know what to think of this, but my body, it seemed, approved. “Okay?” Anando asked. I couldn’t do more than nod.
I caught Anando’s eyes after he had dropped a few towels by the hot tub. A crooked finger was all it took to draw him to me. My heart fluttered as I watched him approach. He was barefoot, I realized, and wondered how I could have failed to notice before. The flames from the tiki torches set all around the yard, and the candles around the pool cast a flickering light that reflected off his skin and eyes. His smile was brighter still. “You haven’t asked me to dance all night,” I said, gently chiding, when he reached me. He looked at me with mock surprise. “Neither have you. Maybe I was waiting for you to invite me.” I held my hand out to him. He took it and pulled, spinning me as he drew me closer and into his arms. He settled his free hand in the middle of my back and started to rock to the rhythm of the music. I’ve never been a very good dancer, but following his lead is always as easy as breathing. “Are you having a good time?” he asked me after a few moments. “I am, yes,” I replied at once. “Your friends are interesting.” “So are yours,” he replied, and I caught the glance he was throwing toward the hot tub. Mary and my friends Lea and Jane had their heads together, and Mary was apparently telling them a story. Judgingfrom the glances they kept throwing toward Anando in between muffled giggles, it wasn’t all that hard to guess what—or whom—the story was about. I wondered if Anando could hear them talk. Between the music and the bubbling water,I certainly couldn’t. “Is teasing you one of her favorite pastimes?” I asked, trying not to grin too much. Anando sighed, but he was smiling as well. “You noticed that too, huh? I think she believes it’s her right as my Sireor something. It’s not worth the aggravation to fight her on it.”
When talked to, I replied in monosyllables. I knew I was being a little rude—or more than a little—but the longer we sat there, the more nervous I became. I had imagined that we would get in bed as soon as we arrived, and this was really throwing me off. Anando had noticed my near silence, and he took my hand, even gave me a questioning look. I answered both with a smile and a nod. I was fine, I tried to communicate without a word. I just didn’t know what to say. I’m not much of a conversationalist in the best of circumstances, and nervousness really doesn’t help on that front. A few moments later, Lisa stood lithely from where she was perched on the armrest of the sofa facing us. “Why don’t you guys show Anando your exercise room?” she suggested to Leo and Brett next to her. The two of them shared a brief, slightly confused look, but they soon stood and invited Anando to go with theminto the next room. As I tried to decide whether to follow, Lisa came over to me, crouching down next to the sofa sothat she was eye level with me. She asked very quietly, “Virginia? Did you change your mind?” I looked at her with some confusion, but before I could say a word, she added, “It’s okay if you did. You don’t haveto do anything more than tell us what you want. Or don’t want. I can keep Brett busy, and we can stay out of thebedroom if you’d like that better.”
“Why us?” I asked after I had finished my eggs. I felt more comfortable questioning him now that I had seen echoes of myself in him. “It sounds like they tried to convince you before, so why did you agree with us?” He gave a short nod at that, as though he had expected the question. “I asked myself the same thing, actually. And to be honest, I’m not sure. I guess…” He shrugged and gave me a sheepish smile. “I like you? And I like Anando, too.” That first ‘like’ sounded extraordinarily different from the second. The first was flat, plain and simple. An offer of friendship, and nothing more. It made me want to reply that I liked him, too. We had talked a little, the evening before Leo had first joined Anando and me. We had even danced together. Add in this breakfast and the revelations that had accompanied it… yes, I could see us becoming friends. Even good friends. The second ‘like,’ however… The second came out in a slightly shaky voice, and that tremor made me notice the edge of heat that colored theword. Also, Brett blushed as he said it. It had been a long, long time since I had seen a grown man blush, and my eyeswidened in understanding as I looked at him. Soon, he cleared his throat. “I don’t mean—” he started, but stopped when I clucked my tongue. “Yes, you do,” I teased. “You totally do.” He shifted awkwardly on his chair. “So he’s attractive,” he muttered, not quite meeting my eyes. “What can I say?I’m not blind.”
I grinned back at him. “Pity. If it’s anywhere near as good as this one, you’re really missing out.” His eyes crinkled when he smiled. He hailed the waiter again, and we finally left with two take-out boxes. “So you can try it with Anando,” Brett explained, and I thanked him again. We were both fairly relaxed when we left the restaurant, but the old tension returned as the club drew nearer. Icaught myself tapping my foot in a fast tempo that Brett matched by beating his thumb on the steering wheel. When Imade a conscious effort to stop, his thumb stopped as well. He glanced at me, and we shared a look and a chuckle. “Nervous?” he asked. “More like, curious.” Looking back at the road, he grinned. We were a block away, and I could already see the club’s sign, unlit butunmistakable. “Well, it’s not like we don’t know what they’re up to.” I tutted, amused despite myself. “We can speculate, but they still have a lot of options. Three people make for a lotof combinations. But I guess you know that better than I do.” The garage door opened as we approached, and we were already stepping out of the car when Brett said in apensive tone, “Well, Lisa can have a slight bossy streak sometimes. How about Anando?” “Not really bossy,” I replied. “But he does like to make suggestions.” “Ah, yes, suggestions.” I could hear the suppressed laugh in Brett’s voice. “Lisa is good at those, too.” By tacit agreement, we both stopped talking while going up the stairs, and we entered the loft quietly. We left ourshoes by the door, and Brett waited for me in the hallway while I put the take-out boxes in the fridge. He held his handout to me when I rejoined him, and at that point it felt natural to take it. We entered the bedroom together—andstopped at the same moment.
“Maybe,” I said slowly, becoming more certain with every word that passed my lips, “I liked watching you and him together because… because it’s something I can’t do for you.” I cleared my throat and finished even more quietly, “Being inside you, I mean. Making you feel good that way.” The most peculiar expression settled on Anando’s features. He watched me so intently that I started to wonder if I had said something that bothered him. As it turned out, it was quite the opposite. “You could,” he said simply. “If you wanted to.” Shocked laughter burst out of me. “I seem to lack the necessary… equipment,” I pointed out, grinning. Anando seemed unfazed by that reminder, and he said in a perfectly casual tone of voice, “We have toys.” I was intrigued—and that really is an understatement. We had toys, yes, plenty of them, including a few that mimicked the ‘equipment’ I had mentioned. We had playedwith some of them before, and the most memorable time—the first—had led us to our first threesome with Leo,months earlier. But I guess that even after all the ‘experimentation’ we’d done, I was still as naïve as I was when I firstmet him, because even though I had touched him that way with my fingers, it had never occurred to me that thosesame toys could be used on him as well as me. Now that he had hinted at it, however… Images flashed through my mind, and in moments my heart was pounding, my nipples hard and tight against mysatin nightgown, my pussy wet. “Would you?” I asked, a little breathless. “I mean, would you let me…” I didn’t even know how to finish. Fuck you would have been accurate, but crude. Anything else I could come up withreeked of purple prose. “Use a dildo on me?” he finished my thought, still on the same cool, almost amused tone. “If you want to try, whynot?”
“It’s in the bedroom,” Anando said when I finally put down my empty glass and gave him a questioning look. “Come on.” He took my hand and led me to the bedroom. The box was open on the bed, the toy resting in the middle of tissue paper. I swallowed hard and squeezed Anando’s hand. It looked exactly as I had pictured it, and I couldn’t wait to wear it. “Do you need help putting it on?” Anando asked, looking over my shoulder and whispering the question against theshell of my ear. Another time, I thought, already strangely certain there would be another time, I would let him put it on me. Thatwould be erotic enough in itself. But this time—the first time—I wanted to watch his face when he first saw me wear itfor him, I wanted to see if this was something he wanted for himself or something he wanted only because I did. “I’ll do it myself,” I said, and I was a little surprised at how raspy my voice sounded. “Give me a moment?” He pressed a kiss to the back of my neck. “Anything. I’ll be ready for you when you are.” I took the box into the bathroom and, before anything else, took a quick shower. I was tempted to get myself offand relieve some of the tension that was making my hands shake so much, but it would have felt like cheating. I turnedthe hot water down a little, and it helped cool my body and calm my mind. However, that only lasted until I dried offand was ready to put the strap-on in place. The mere thought of what I was about to do… All night long, Anando had said. I was wet again.
I held my hand out to her, and she came to take it. I tilted my head toward the gas fireplace. Behind the glass, the decorative logs cast an orange and red glow, and the flames seemed to be dancing around them. The fireplace wasn’t designed to warm the house; in this climate, such heating isn’t needed. But as we stood a few feet from the glass insert, the warmth rolled over us like waves. “Is this what you had in mind?” I asked her. I meant the fire, but her gaze swept over all of my preparations: the fireplace, yes, but also the pile of blankets andpillows in front of the hearth, a comfy if improvised bed for us to lie on, the tray next to it with bowls of fruit andcheese, and a champagne bottle with two champagne flutes. “It really is not,” she murmured. Turning to me, she swung both arms around my neck and placed a quick peck onmy lips. “This is better than anything I had imagined. How do you do that? How do you always take what I want andmake it so much better than what I asked for?” I had no real answer for her. I always try my best to please her, certainly, and it was nice to hear that I succeeded. SoI simply kissed her, nice and slow, before drawing her down to the floor with me. I sat first, facing the fireplace, my legsopen in a V in front of me and my back to the mountain of pillows. At my prompting, she settled between my legs, herback to my chest and her head resting against my shoulder. I curled my left arm around her waist, and she covered myhand with hers, linking our fingers together. “Mmm, warm,” she all but sighed, wiggling her bare toes toward the flames. “That’s nice.”
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