Undertow: A compilation of short beach stories, page 14
* * *
Seeing Aeron immediately lifts my mood. Packing up Mum’s things today has been harder than I expected. It seems fitting to end the week as we started, even if it is painful to admit that this is the last time I’ll see him.
He’s the perfect dashing gentleman as he meets me at the entrance to the restaurant. He’s looking smarter than I’ve seen him all week with his tailored charcoal grey waistcoat over a black shirt and trousers. This man is far beyond my initial judgement: good looking beyond measure and someone I would happily have my first one-night stand with. When I look at him now, I see the potential for everything I haven’t yet achieved in my life. He still burns me up when he looks me over with those intense eyes, but it’s deeper than that. He’s more. The ideal I didn’t realise I wanted. Behind his smouldering looks is a patient and passionate man. He has drawn my emotions to the surface and shed light on the woman beneath my career. For tonight, he’s all mine. For tonight, at least. He moves closer to me, placing his palm on my back. Such a simple gesture but one that has me wishing he could do it forever. “I’ll show you to your table, Ms. Abbott.”
“A bottle of the Sauvignon Blanc?”
“Thank you, yes.”
We sit at the table that has been mine all week and glance over today’s menu.
“They have Welsh lamb. Tempted, Aeron?”
“Oh, I’m definitely tempted.” He lifts his eyes to mine before he wets his lips with his tongue. Lust burns through me as I picture his tongue doing sinfully good things to my body. Food is the last thing on my mind as I sit panting opposite him. He knows his effect on me as he raises his eyebrow before taking a long sip of wine.
“Are you ready to order?” The waitress coos at Aeron, and my hackles rise. After tomorrow he can see whoever he likes. This girl is clearly local. What’s to stop him from seeing her? I look back at Aeron. He hasn’t stopped watching me. My jealousy recedes and I stretch out my foot to slide up his calf. His jaw tenses and I can’t hide my giggle.
“Um, yes, I think we’re ready. Aeron?”
“I’ll have the lamb”
“And I’ll have the lemon sole.” The waitress leaves Aeron and I to play.
“Don’t start something that you can’t finish, Tori.” As he says the words, my decision is made. I slip my foot out of my shoe and inch it up to rest between his thighs. He shifts his position but doesn’t push my foot away.
His eyes narrow, scrutinising me, asking what I’m doing. I answer by pushing my toes into his crotch. I feel quite pleased with myself. I top up my wine and sit back in my seat while my foot stays planted between his legs. The hard length of his cock presses against my toes.
“Have it your way then.”
My brow furrows as his hands move under the table. They wrap around my ankle, drawing my foot to rest on his firm thigh. Sure thumbs press into the flesh of my foot and run along the arch, eliciting a sexual moan from my lips. He continues to knead my foot in a highly erotic pace - slow and sure. Who would have thought my feet were an erogenous zone? As his fingers and thumbs continue their massage, the room and where we are fall away. I’m alone with Aeron, lost in our own bubble. Grey sparks fire in his eyes as I slip under his spell. I want to be in the privacy of a room where Aeron can continue to explore me.
“Excuse me, the lemon sole and the lamb?” I bolt upright.
“Yes, the sole, please.” My flustered response gives Aeron all the ammunition he needs to claim victory in this game. The smile now beaming on his too handsome face tells me so.
We enjoy the sublime food, but the conversation is sparse. I reach for the wine and am surprised to find the bottle empty. I open my mouth to order another but remember the drive to London tomorrow. I take a small breath and sip my water instead. Aeron’s quiet is growing ominous but I don’t want to tempt fate and prompt him to voice what he’s thinking.
“Will you let me drive you back to London?”
I can’t keep the shock from my expression as I look up over the empty wine glasses. “Thank you. That’s a very gallant offer, but do you think it’s a good idea?”
“Clearly, or I wouldn’t have offered.” He’s on the defensive, and as much as it would be nice to spend more time with him, it will make things more strained between us. I need to put my armour back on. I can’t do that around Aeron.
“It won’t change anything, Aeron.”
“I know, but would it be so terrible to be driven home?”
I am being a bitch. Surely a little more time can’t hurt? The damage to my heart is already done.
“I’m sorry. Yes, I would like it. Are you coming to London for business as well?”
“Yes.” From his frosty tone, my initial rejection has soured Aeron’s playful mood. Can’t he see this is hard for me as well?
Being with him is as natural as breathing. Automatic. Something between us has clicked from the first glance and has grown with every encounter since. But the inevitable parting from this holiday fling looms like a storm cloud. Tension is a palpable presence. From Aeron’s brooding looks across the table, he feels it, too.
“I’d like to take you somewhere when we’re back in London. For the evening. And before you tell me it won’t change anything, I’d like you to indulge me.”
“Where do you want to take me?” I can’t help my interest and again, my heart flutters harder at the thought that he wants to spend more time with me.
“It’s a club. I’m a member at a private club where you can fully appreciate my voyeuristic side.” A fiendish smile spreads across his face and it sets my nerves alight. He wears the same look when he’s stalking me, before I end up under him. Heat erupts between my thighs and I shift in my chair, imagining the possibilities of what he’s suggesting.
“A sex club?” I’m desperate to know what he has in store.
“Of sorts. A club that specialises in BDSM demonstrations.” He doesn’t elaborate and I can’t bring myself to ask for more information. I busy myself with the napkin in my lap and try and regain some semblance of order.
“Do you want to say no?”
My eyes fly to his and I’m met with a poker face staring back at me. No humour hides in his eyes this time. I’m as helpless as the first time he uttered those words. I’m still fighting with this man. My mind struggles with an internal tug-of-war. On one side is a return to my job and emotionless safety. On the other side is the risk of losing yet more of my heart. I don’t want to say no to him, but it’s the scariest place I’ve ever been. I can’t see a way out except to leave Aeron behind and return to the safety of contracts and proposals. But... I return my own version of cold and detached. “No.”
“I’ll pick you up at nine tomorrow morning.”
This is going to be a fucking disaster. I turn the key and rev the F-Type Jag to life. The throaty rumble never fails to set my senses alight, but this morning, sleep deprivation clogs my brain. All night I struggled with what I can do to convince Tori not to give up on us. Has it only been a week?
Being stuck in a car together for four hours straight will certainly crank up the tension. I’ve never felt emotions like these. She not only turns me on sexually, but mentally as well. Although right now, I wish she’d just submit like she does in the bedroom.
She’s waiting at the front of the hotel when I pull into the car park, figure hugging jeans the single hint that she isn’t heading straight to the office.
I hop out of the car and reach for her bags. “Let me get those for you.”
“Thanks, I’ve got them, Aeron.” She loads the boot herself, sending a clear statement. ‘I don’t need you. I can take care of myself.’ Fine, have it your way. We climb in and head off.
The minutes creep by as the Jag eats up the miles. There’s little conversation. As we cross the Severn Bridge, Tori finally relaxes in her seat.
“I know it was a huge concession on your part to ag
“I’m trying, Aeron, but surely you can see why this is going to make it harder to say goodbye?”
“Well, what does that tell you?” I know what it tells me. We need to make plans to see more of each other, not less.
She doesn’t answer. I take a few deep breaths to calm my fraying temper. At this rate, I’m not going to hold it together until we reach London. I’m tempted to pull off and find a hotel where I can use the one weapon I have to break down her stubborn isolation and make her acknowledge how good we are together. Sex. It will sure as hell make me feel better. Instead, I concentrate on the traffic and try to ignore the oppressive silence. We hit Reading, signalling our approach to the city.
“Did you bring any dresses with you this week?”
“I have a black dress with me.”
“I’ve seen it. You’ll need something less staid to wear tonight. The club has a dress code.”
“Aren’t you taking me home first? I can get something there. I assumed I’d meet you at the club.”
In her current mood, I wasn’t certain she’d honour her commitment. No way was I dropping her off at her house until after the club. “Sorry, Tori. I’m not quite ready to let you go. We have time to shop. I’ll buy you an appropriate dress before I take you to the club.”
“I can buy my own goddamn dress, Aeron.”
I should have expected some reaction to my comment about buying her a dress. Her ambition and drive have afforded her success in her career but at a huge cost emotionally. It’s her irrational independence and control of her emotions that have led us to this.
“Go to Sloane Square. I can get something there.”
We return to the frosty atmosphere that has followed us from Wales. I hope it changes before tonight.
* * *
Aeron insists on coming with me to each of the shops until we find a suitable dress. My final choice is tighter and lower cut than I’m used to, but seeing the heat in his eyes as I walk out of the changing room has burnt away the strain between us. I will happily pay the exorbitant price if Aeron continues to look at me that way.
The drive back to London hasn’t given me the space I need to set my mind right. Had everything gone to plan, I would have said goodbye by now. Yet I was relieved beyond belief that I still had time with Aeron. I already miss the Tori I left behind in Oxwich—the woman who splashed into the sea to provoke her lover. I wanted to compromise on the stupid deal I made by setting a time stamp on our relationship. But how will that work? I’ve seen my life—my work—compromised. I’ve given my all. I’ve turned down friends so often that they no longer ask. I pushed the man I thought loved me away and watched as he grew bitter and for what? My career. Now Aeron, after only seven days, asks me to abandon the one thing left in my life. I can’t. It’s a huge stumbling block. Despite my deep feelings for him, I can’t break that stupid block.
I lock my thoughts away in my head and centre back on this evening. Aeron is taking me to a sex club. Will we be having sex tonight? In front of others? Judging by his personality so far, watching, rather than being the subject of a voyeur is his preference.
We park in an underground garage, and Aeron removes my bags from the car boot and leads me up to his flat. It isn’t as grand as the white house on the beach, but you can see the similarities in his tastes—minimal furniture, high quality appliances.
“I’ll put your bags in my room and you can get ready later. The fridge should be stocked if you want to grab a drink or something to eat.”
“Thanks.” I offer a tentative smile before he disappears down a hallway. I put the kettle on and set about finding cups for tea.
Warm lips followed by teeth nip at my neck and I jump straight back into Aeron as he wraps his arms around my waist.
“You looked extremely sexy in that dress. I can’t wait to see you in it again.”
I drop my head back, allowing his lips to explore my neck. The raspy stubble on his chin sends shivers over my skin as he continues to nibble his way toward my collar bone.
“I don’t want us to fight tonight, Tori. I want you to enjoy where I’m taking you. Understand?”
“Yes,” I purr, basking in the attention that I seemed to have lost since Thursday. I turn in his arms and look up into his eyes. My own dam of restraint is crumbling at his touch. I yield to my heart and allow myself to get lost in us for the rest of the evening. I know there will be consequences but I will deal with them tomorrow.
* * *
My nerves mount during the short journey from his flat to the club. I don’t know what to expect. Aeron pulls up outside an inconspicuous, three-story, Georgian town house. A valet takes the car keys from Aeron and he escorts me up the front steps. On entering, we walk through a busy bar area. Chesterfield leather couches and velvet drapes give the room a distinctly lavish feel. At the back of the bar is a roped off section, which Aeron is granted entry to and we ascend a short staircase to another door. Yet another man nods to Aeron as we walk through. The click of the door behind me makes me jump. Aeron’s fingers rub along the back of my hand to soothe me, but my pulse beats faster. The intimidation I feel being here sets my pulse thrumming.
The room opens out in front of me to a stage at the far end. The lighting is soft, casting shadows and the allure of suspense. Several round tables are set up in front of the stage and it reminds me of a cabaret or burlesque show. An overly muscled man approaches us. Aeron’s body stiffens. His stance becomes hostile.
“Good to see you, Aeron. Who’s your guest?” The man’s gaze rakes me, sizing me up as if he’s looking to buy me, or rip the dress from my body. I edge closer to Aeron.
“She’s here with me. No one is to approach her, understand?”
The man holds Aeron’s stare. I shiver at the ferocity behind it. After an eternity, he blinks.
“Understood. Just watching?”
Aeron’s hold on my hand tightens and I’m dizzy with relief that he warned the other man off. Aeron’s statement to the hulk tells me he will defend and protect me. It is a delicious feeling and I can hear the last defences around my heart crumble. I’m helpless to stop it.
After the testosterone filled stand-off, the other man escorts Aeron toward the stage area. Aeron picks a table to the side of the stage. I know it is chosen for the purpose of watching. He’s given me enough clues that watching is what turns him on.
I sit down and look to the stage. A dark cross dominates the centre with glints of silver at the corners. A high bench encased in leather sits to one side with a wooden chair next to it. More metal and leather implements rest against both pieces. Some look like whips with long tassels. The scene set before me creates a cacophony of imagery to process and the intimidation factor climbs. Control and security seem to be beyond my grasp and I cling to Aeron as my guide.
A tall, trim man comes onto the stage holding a silver chain leash. I follow it down to a silver collar around the neck of a beautiful, slender woman, crawling naked on all fours. He sits in the chair to one side of the stage. He talks to her as she kneels patiently at his feet. Her body softens to his words but I can only make out the soothing timbre of his voice. He caresses her hair and her arms, almost as if he’s lulling her into calmness. Then he takes her hand and pulls her up, positioning her over the bench. Watching the interaction between the two in front of me displaces my nerves and leaves arousal bubbling through my limbs.
“That’s a spanking bench. He’s going to spank her with his hand and possibly flog her,” Aeron whispers to me, and I can’t help the catch in my breath.
I imagine Aeron spanking me, and the wetness between my legs startles me. I shift in my seat and cross my legs tighter. Aeron rests his hand on my thigh to still me. Fascinated, I watch the woman’s face. She faces the audience as her partner positions her just so over the s
The man caresses the woman’s naked skin. He slides a gentle hand over her bottom, her back and trails his fingers down to the tops of her thighs. He slaps her. Hard. I jump in my seat. Aeron squeezes my leg before releasing it. Slaps ring in my ears. They mix with the low moans coming from the woman. Her face contorts then relaxes after each swat and her mouth falls open. Her wanton groans echo around the room. The pleasure and pain enrapture me. Her face wears the same emotion as mine when Aeron fucked me senseless that first morning. She relishes in this act of discipline as I relish being taken and controlled by Aeron. My lungs draw in erratic gasps for breath. My pussy throbs with every beat of my racing heart. I see more than just the woman in the scene in front of me. I see what Aeron and I could have.
The man pauses in his swats to observe his woman. My attention turns to my voyeur, Aeron. Frozen in place since the start, he’s intent on them, much like when we first met. He feeds off their pleasure, their devotion, and draws it into him. My body aches to have his focus on me. I want to feel his gaze caress my skin, my breasts, my pussy, my legs. A jolt of jealousy knocks me off kilter.
* * *
Next to me, her body radiates tension. She’s as enthralled as I usually am. There is something missing for me tonight. Seeing the Dom and his sub connect and watching the power exchange is still completely captivating, but I want to be watching Tori. This club used to be my haven, my time to immerse myself in my deepest desires. Agitation at her ability to consume my thoughts crawls over my skin. I want to turn to look at her, but I don’t want to give her the satisfaction of knowing it’s her I want to watch.