He grasped her nipples between his thumbs and forefingers, rolling them until they were as hard as marbles. In spite of herself, Shea moaned softly at the pleasurable sensation and the thrill of her situation.
Then he twisted them suddenly, and a burst of pain hurtled through her nerve endings, making her cry out. Instinctively she took a step back, but Steve was behind her, blocking her movement. “Stay in position,” he murmured in her ear, his voice deep and commanding.
Zach continued to twist her nipples, the pain nearly unbearable. Shea began to pant in her effort not to cry. Then Steve reached around her body and pressed his palm against her mons. He cupped the smooth skin, his fingers hooking between her legs and sliding into the slippery wet cleft.
Shea began to tremble, fear, pain and desire warring in the battlefield of her mind. The pain at Zach’s hands and pleasure at Steve’s tossed her like a Ping-Pong ball between them. This was both far better and far more terrible than her most intense masturbatory fantasy. Most importantly—it was real. These men were real, and not just figments of her dirty mind.
Then—all at once—as if they had planned it, both men stepped back, their hands falling away from her breasts and sex. Shea, who hadn’t realized she’d closed her eyes, opened them in surprise. Her mouth, too, was hanging agape.
“Very nice,” Zach said, something unreadable in his expression. “You’re very responsive. That’s an excellent trait in a submissive.”
Steve appeared in front of her. He was fixing her with another of those intense gazes that made her look away, but not before she saw him lift his fingers, the fingers that had been buried in her pussy just a moment before, to his nose. Closing his eyes, he inhaled deeply, a strange smile moving over his lips.
The blood pulsated into her face as she whipped her head away.
“I agree with your assessment, Zach,” she heard Steve say, though she couldn’t bring herself to look at him. “She’s very responsive, but she’s also uncomfortable with her body and her own reactions. Those are issues we would definitely need to work on if we decide to train this sub girl.”
She couldn’t deny the truth of his words. But it was the last phrase that really caught her attention: if we decide to train this sub girl. Until then she had thought it was all up to her. She had believed the interview, if that was what the hell this was, was being conducted so she could gain an understanding of what was being offered. Now she understood this was also a test. They might decide that she was not proper sub material, not worthy of training.
The realization both stunned and galvanized her. If this was an audition, well then, she was going to get the part.
“Now it’s time to assess your masochistic tendencies and tolerance levels,” Steve said.
Shea lifted her head. She saw that Zach had taken a seat on the couch.
“I already got a little sense of this during the brief spanking at the club,” Steve said. “I’d like to take this opportunity to do a proper workup. Let’s use the St. Andrew’s cross. We’ll start with a nice, sensual flogging.” He held out his hand.
Shea lowered her arms and placed her hand in his. His hand was cool and firm. Hers, by contrast, was sweaty with nerves. As they walked to the cross, she hoped she wouldn’t make a fool of herself.
Shea stepped up to the cross. It was made of dark, polished wood with leather straps set at strategic intervals. “Lift your arms to the cuffs at the top of the X and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart,” Steve instructed.
Shea did as she was told, extending her arms fully along the smooth wood. A jolt of excitement coursed through her body as he closed the leather and Velcro cuffs around each wrist. Though bondage had not figured largely in her fantasies, she couldn’t deny the sweet, dark thrill of being held captive in this way, bound and at the mercy of another.
She swiveled her head to follow Steve as he walked away from her and toward a long rack filled with various whips, floggers, paddles and canes. He selected a very large flogger with dozens of long, thick leather tresses.
“This one is suede,” he said as he ran the tresses through his fingers in a seductive way. “It doesn’t sting as much some of the others. I think you’ll like it.”
He stepped beside her, and she turned to look at him, trying to focus on his face instead of the huge flogger in his hands.
“For this exercise, I want you to close your eyes and relax. I want you to focus on the sensations of the leather against your skin. I know your safeword is zirconium. I don’t expect you to use it, but I want you to know that I’m aware of it. This is really just an exercise. As I did with the spanking the other night, I’m going to start lightly and then slowly increase the intensity of my stroke. All I want you to do is accept the lash. Embrace whatever you’re feeling. Don’t try to censor yourself or stay quiet or tough your way through something that doesn’t feel right.”
He touched her shoulder. “You’re doing really well so far.”
“Thank you, Sir Stephen,” she whispered, her heart hurtling against her ribcage.
He stepped behind her. Using both his hands, he massaged her shoulders, kneading away some of the bunched tension in her muscles. Then he leaned closer, his mouth near her ear. “Close your eyes. I’m going to whip you now, Shea.”
She made an involuntary sound, something between a moan and a squeak. She closed her eyes.
The tresses landed lightly against her ass. They were soft, the stroke just a caress—it felt good. The second stroke landed a little harder, a slap of silky leather against her skin. He did this several times in a row and Shea relaxed, un-curling her fingers and taking deep breaths to slow her rapidly beating heart.
The flogging began to intensify, the leather striking with a distinctive whacking sound that was at once arousing and unnerving. She was being whipped! It was like those online videos on the training site, except those weren’t real, were they? This was real. Authentic. Maybe the most authentic thing she had ever done in her life.
He began to flog her up and down her back, stroking between her shoulder blades, thwacking her lower back, whipping in a stinging caress along her sides. Then came a thundering crash of leather against both ass cheeks.
Shea emitted a startled cry, her body tensing for another blow. It came quickly, a dozen stinging leather snakes striking her skin and leaving lines of fire in their wake. Sweat broke out on her upper lip and beneath her arms. Her heart was beating in triple time, her breathing ragged and uneven.
She felt a presence in front of her. Opening her eyes, she saw Zach standing there, his expression kind. He stroked her cheek, pushing the hair out of her face and tucking it behind her ears. “Slow your breathing,” he counseled. “I want you to embrace the pain instead of fighting it. Take it inside of you. Make it a part of you.”
Steve struck again, a stinging fury of tresses over the backs of her thighs. What the hell did that mean to embrace the pain, to make it a part of you? A human’s natural instinct was to avoid pain. And yet, on some level, on the level that bypassed her intellect and training, Shea intrinsically understood what Zach meant.
She managed to whisper breathlessly, “Yes, Master Zach.”
The flogger moved up and down her back, the focus primarily on her ass. Each stroke was hard now, stinging against increasingly tender flesh. It hurt. Oh, oh, oh, it hurt. She wanted to be good and strong and brave, but it was too much. It was just too much.
“I can’t,” she cried suddenly. “It’s too much.”
“It’s just enough,” Steve said from behind her. “Five more, Shea. Take five more for me. I know you can do it.”
Just five more.
Yes. She could do it.
The flogger exploded against her ass in a shower of pain. One.
She began to dance involuntarily, twisting her body in a vain effort to avoid the lash. Two.
Her safeword formed on her lips, but she pressed them together. She would not give up. Three.
“Ah!” she cried out as the flogger struck between her shoulder blades. Four.
The last stroke curled around her side, the tips cruelly striking her right breast. Five.
She was trembling from head to foot, tears rolling down her cheeks, her chest heaving. But something else was happening too—a kind of wild, crazy, careening joy was lifting her nearly off her feet.
This was it. This was what had been missing all her life. This moment, the stinging, perfect stroke of the leather, the cuffs embracing her wrists, keeping her centered, the heady scent of her own arousal mingled with bay rum, lime and male musk.
She was connected—she was alive—she was no longer alone.
Editor’s Note: Claimed by Two Masters is a M/F/M ménage. Book Three of BDSM Connections is a full-length, stand-alone story. The series may be read in any order.