Chapter 17

Edward's chest was constricting so tight and spasming out of control as he walked up to Jasper's place to retrieve her, he was afraid he might not make it without looking like a total ass.

God, he'd missed her terribly, and she had only been gone a few hours.

This was too much.

No more separating. Not unless it was necessary.

He couldn't take this.

His fist balled up and he pounded on the door harder than necessary, but dammit, he needed to see her.

Did she have fun? Did she miss him at all?

The door swung open, and there stood his radiant girl, all gorgeous and smiling with wet lashes.

"You've been crying," he said.

"I have, and, Sir, it was wonderful!" she said and flung herself at him.

"God," he moaned and inhaled, burrowing his nose in her hair right away. "You smell . . . Christ. Need this." He pressed several kisses into her head.

"Not as much as I need and missed you," she responded. Her arms tightened around him.

"You didn't text me, so it must not've been that bad," he said, chuckling.

He picked her up off her feet and had her up against the wall outside Jasper's door. His lips were on hers instantly, and he was breathing the air coming directly from her lungs. "Don't make me wait. Come home with me now."

"Yes, Sir. I want that, too."

"You'll stay the night," he said.

"Thank God." She smiled wider.

He smacked her ass, groped it and then dragged her to his car. His arms were keeping a fierce grip on her so she wouldn't get away.

"And, may I tell you something, Sir?"

"Please," he said, helping her into the car.

"I love looking at you, and having you here next to me; my God, it's better than good," she said, squeezing his forearm and then letting go with a giddy giggle.

"Fuck, you're too damn cute; love hearing that laugh of yours. Now, that's better than good," he said and shut the door.

Once he was in the driver's seat, she leaned toward him and inhaled deeply.

"Best. Smell. Ever," she said and bared her teeth at him.

Fuck. Harder than steel. She wasn't playing fair. And where was his self-control? His grip on the wheel was shaky already. She needed to shut up before he fucked her in Jasper's driveway.

"Thank you, but you need to be quiet now. No more talking 'til we get to my place."

"May I at least say thank you again, Sir?"

"No."

He started the car and shifted in his seat to get comfortable. There was no relief. Not from her when she smelled this good and kept giggling. Might as well fuck her now, get it over with.

He looked over at her, and those deep, soulful eyes of hers shined with nothing but mischief.

"Do you need to go home and get a bag of stuff to stay over?" he asked, cutting straight to what mattered. She was going to be near him at all times the rest of this evening.

She sealed her lips shut and giggled even more. The damn woman shook her head with a smirk affixed in place.

He reached over and pinched her thigh.

"A whipping. You're getting one tonight, and I won't stop 'til I'm satisfied."

She stifled a loud laugh and her abs contracted as she pushed herself further back into her seat.

When they got to his house, his legs were coiled so tight, he sprung out of the car at lightning speed and had her car door wrenched open so fast, she flinched and blinked like she'd missed it being pried apart.

"Get in these hands now," he growled.

She leapt to her feet and wrapped her arms around him. "Mmm . . . These hands, Sir?" She hummed and chased his hands down with her look of desire.

He pulled her into him, pinned her arms behind her with one of his hands. "No more going away. I can't stand it. You're mine—understand?"

She nodded, he kissed the corner of her mouth with a slight nip and he released her. He locked up the car, took her by the hand and all but dragged her inside by the hair.

When did he become such a caveman?

Her hair fell down her shoulders around her breasts, and he gave her a heated look.

Who fucking cared what he acted like? She was back, wasn't she? And she was soft, and beautiful, and all his for the night.

No one else was going to take her away.

Once inside, he said, "Tell me everything there is to know about your adventure tonight. I can handle it now that I'm not in a tiny enclosed space, inhaling your hypnotizing scent."

Her left brow popped up and her lips parted. "Oh, Sir, I almost forgot; before I tell you about tonight . . . I have something for you."

She dug her hand in her right pocket and held something concealed in her fist.

His heart hammered in his chest so hard, it rushed up to his head and he could hear the blood pounding in his ears.

"I hope it's not rude to do this, Sir, but I really wanted you to have this." She stepped toward him, held her fist out.

He opened his palm in front of her and she slowly released it into his hand and then closed his fingers over it so he couldn't see what it was.

"It's nothing worth any kind of money, but it has some sentimental value to me. I think you'll understand why I'm giving this to you," she said.

He opened his hand to reveal her cross necklace he'd seen her wear a few times.

"You're giving this to me?" He gaped at it.

"Yeah. I want you to have it. You can throw it away if you'd like; I don't need it anymore. My dad gave that to me forever ago, and he demanded I always wear it so I could remember how unworthy I was to be his daughter. I don't care what he thinks about me in that way anymore, or at least not enough to think about it when I'm here with you or during my regular workday. You've helped me feel like I don't have to wear it like a weight around my neck, dragging me down to hell." She smiled but it was wary with an edge of hopefulness.

"My God," he said in a hushed, gravelly voice. "I can't believe you're giving me this."

"It's not a . . . Well, Sir, I thought maybe . . ." She turned away from him and her hands balled up in fists at her sides. She scuffed her right foot on the floor. "Shit! I shouldn't have . . ."

"Don't you fucking dare," he said, grabbing her by the arm and spinning her around to face him. "This is breathtaking, I'm just an idiot because I lack the words to express how floored I am by this gesture. You're too good to me." He leaned over and kissed her softly, but with so much feeling she looked like her knees were about to buckle on her. He gripped her tight for support.

"I . . . Wow," she whispered. "I'm glad you like it, Sir."

"I fucking love it," he gritted. "And I love that you did this. It's a big deal."

"Not that big a deal," she said, her eyes moving to his lips.

"You want more—that's what you're telling me. If you trust me enough to give me this, then you want more," he said, stepping closer into her. His hips shifted into her.

Tonight—he could do it tonight. Finally fuck her. It seemed like she knew more who she was now, but . . .

No. First she had one more emotional step to take. And it already seemed like he'd given her so much more than any other sub he ever had. Making love to her would only complete it. He could wait just a little bit longer . . . He could hold out for her.

"Bella, I know what this means, and I do know what you want. You want me to fuck you—I know how you think. And I want that too—more than you know, but there's one last thing I want to happen first. I don't want you to feel sad or think you're doing something wrong. But there's one last circumstance I need to square away before we get to that point."

She blinked and her lips parted open, her face paled.

"Please, trust me, little one," he said, brushing the back of his right fingers down her cheek.

He held up the hand with the necklace in it. "This is amazing—and I won't ever forget this stunning, intelligent," she leaned into his touch, "caring woman gave it to me. I'll keep it safe with me at all times."

She exhaled and the faint curl of her breath pushed back his fingers, making them flex and want to burrow and bunch into her hair when he finally plunged his dick inside her.

He removed his hand off her then tucked her necklace in his pocket.

She smiled with her eyes glazed over.

A thrill of satisfaction burned deep inside him—she trusted him, or she wouldn't be able to look at him that way.

Fuck. He groaned at himself.

His mind was starting to go nuts on him, telling him he was a stupid bastard for waiting for this one last piece to be in place before finding his way inside of her, so he shut it up by thrusting his tongue inside her mouth, picking her up and carrying her into his bedroom.

He set her down on the edge.

"Bedtime," he told her. Tomorrow he could set this all in motion quicker.

She pouted immediately. "But I . . ."

"No. Bed. Five minutes to get ready, then you get your naked ass in my bed. You'll let me hold you how I see fit, you'll tell me about how tonight went, and there are some things I want to discuss with you, too before we can move forward."

She blinked, tugged at her shirt in a methodical way, and he reached over and yanked her hair.

"Hey!" she said, laughing.

"Hey, my ass. Do as you're told, bratty, or I'll have to punish you, and I'd rather have your naked body all over me tonight," he said, smirking.

Her cheeks flamed in an instant, and suddenly, her ass was flying around the room, disrobing, getting ready for bed.

"Better," he muttered, and he set to work, too.

They were both in bed, tucked up together in less than three minutes. Their legs were entangled, and he was breathing in the all-consuming scent of her. My God, she smelled exactly how a woman should—none of that spicy, flowery shit that made his nose itch.

"I'm going to touch you the entire time you're talking, so no complaints, and feel free to talk for a really long time," he said. "My hands wanna be busy with you." He cupped her breasts and swiped his fingertips lazily across her nipples.

They hardened, and he burned.

His hips ground into her and he nibbled at her neck.

She giggled softly. "What's gotten into you, Sir?"

"You. You're what's gotten into me," he answered. "You're what always gets into me."

He flipped her over so she was lying on his chest off to the side.

"I wish," she muttered under her breath, tucking her chin into the side of his pec.

"I know you're waiting for me to . . . But not yet. Soon. You said you'd trust me, so do it."

"But what are you waiting for, Sir? Can you please tell me? It's making me crazy," she said, slapping her right palm onto the center of his chest.

"I think you already know why."

"No, I don't. And I want to know, Sir. If you value my sanity at all, you'll tell me." Her eyes burned into him.

He sighed and put his right arm behind his head. How to say this so she didn't take it the wrong way? "You remember that night I was in your bed after the whole Tim incident, and you were trying to be sneaky about goading me into fucking you?"

"Of course I do, Sir. How could I forget? It was a long, god-awful night."

She tipped her head back like she was trying to get a better view of him.

"I knew then that you were only doing this because it meant sex to you—exciting sex. And that's not why I got involved," he began.

Her face paled.

"See, I knew I'd say it wrong and fuck this up." He exhaled and pushed her off for a moment so he could sit up against the headboard then he pulled her onto his lap. She wiggled for a moment then settled in place. "You're not just about a quick fuck to me, Bella. You're more than that. You're a bright, sweet, sensitive woman, and I enjoy being with you. I wanted you to see those things about yourself as well and quit selling yourself short. If I'd fucked you right away, you would've thought you'd gotten what you wanted and moved back to your destructive way of life with men. In order to keep you around to explore further, push deeper into who you really are, I had to give you incentives to stay."

"So, you manipulated me," she intoned.

"No. I found what you wanted, and worked with it to help you find what you really needed."

She frowned. "That sounds like you're twisting the truth around."

"You can think what you want, but tell me this—I read all your journal entries tonight—"

"All of them?" Her voice went up along with her skyrocketing eyebrows.

"Yes, all of them. I had to know what you were feeling, if I was getting through to you, past your shield since most of the time you're too embarrassed to tell me the truth without me exhaustively digging for it."

She exhaled and her head tipped forward. "I feel . . ." she averted her eyes ". . . kind of used now, and almost violated."

He pinched her thigh.

She rolled off his lap and landed on her side. When she tried to turn away from him, he stopped her from going any further. He whispered into her shoulder, "Whose journals do you think those are? They belong to me. Don't do this—not now. Not after all we've been through already and how hard we both worked to get you here. I did it to help, not harm you. You're thinking like the old you—that you're supposed to be upset about this, but you know me. You know I did this so we could move forward, and I did it because I care about you—about us. There's no reason to be upset or feel hurt. Look deep inside yourself, and you'll realize you're not really hurt like you think you are."

"What am I supposed to feel, Edward—huh? I mean, you warned me you'd probably read them, but I guess I trusted you wouldn't." She rolled her shoulder back to get him off.

He flipped her over so she was facing him once more. "Stop this, now. You're acting like a spoiled child."

"Am not!" She said and actually stuck out her tongue. "You don't get to dictate how I feel."

"Okay, have it your way." He stood up then sat on the edge of the bed. "Over my knee, now."

"No."

"It wasn't a request, little one. You're acting out, trying to get fucked again, and I'm not going to tolerate it. We have a lot to discuss, and my dick being inside you tonight isn't part of the plan for a very good reason. You're proving it right now. And obviously, being away from me was as hard on you as it was for me," he said. "So time to correct this."

"I'd rather leave if it's all the same to you," she said, getting up and moving toward her clothes.

"You can do that, yes, but you'll go back to what? Think about it, Bella. I read your innermost thoughts, and not once did I read about heartache or regret over being with me. What I saw was astounding. I saw you clawing your way straight to me because you know I have the power to free that soul inside you. You've been happy with me, and it's been the same for me with you. I'm not going to allow you to ruin this because you're having a momentary lapse in judgment you think requires you to act bratty."

"You have—you've been happy with me?" Her hands went lax at her sides.

"Yes, very much so." He nodded and smiled.

"I . . ."

"Over my knee," he said, pointing at his lap.

"You're still going to, after all you just said, Sir?"

"Yes." He bit the corner of his lower lip and smiled with a deviant, devilish smirk. "If you think I'd let you get away without punishment, then you clearly think you've been dealing with another man entirely."

"May I pick what you use, Sir?"

"You may, but I get to choose how many swats and the intensity it's administered with." He motioned for her to go to the playroom and pick something.

She stood motionless, swaying a little like she was getting woozy.

"I think . . . Just your hand," she said.

"I'll do a few that way, but you're gonna do better than that. And right now." He pointed at the doorway.

She left the room, and was gone a few minutes. He could hear her sighing in frustration from the other room.

"You have two minutes, subbie, and if you're not back with it in that time frame, I'll fetch you and choose whatever I wish, along with adding a few more swats for making me wait," he warned.

She rushed through the door a moment later with a flogger.

"I don't think so," he growled. "No more games. Grab my belt on the floor over there."

She picked it up and held it out to him from across the room as if she wanted him to come retrieve it from her. He chuckled.

Funny. She thought she was in charge here?

"Secure it around your waist, and crawl over to me, wearing it."

"Are you shitting me, Sir?" Her mouth hung open.

"Now. And I'll add an extra smack for that dirty mouth of yours." He beckoned to her with his finger, smiling at her like she was caught and it was nothing but ridiculous how she was still acting childish.

"You're really enjoying this aren't you, Sir?"

"Oh, yes. You need this, and so do I. Then we can get back to where we need to be. And I may have to do something about the way you're looking at me right now, too."

She wiped the naughty, turned-on look off her face, dropped to her knees and fastened the belt around her with shaking fingers.

"Crawl slowly. I need to get something to prepare you for this experience," he said. He got up, walked over to the nightstand and pulled out the lube.

When he turned back to her, those gorgeous, deep eyes lit up and her breath caught.

He sat back down, set the lube aside but within reach and rubbed his palms over his thighs.

"Up, subbie."

She went onto her knees.

"Take the belt off and offer it to me with your teeth. Show me you mean it—that you want this—that you want to continue with me."

Her brows slid together and she gave him an incredulous look, but went about unfastening the belt anyway that was entirely too large for her slim waistline.

He couldn't stop smiling at how sexy she looked, crawling around naked, his belt around her before he spanked her. Jesus, he could look at that all day.

"Now, when I take this from your mouth, I expect you to say, 'Thank you, Sir,' and then you hop right up here on my lap." He eyed her with a look that said she better comply right away.

She nodded, put the belt between her teeth and without him instructing her, she kept her lips off the leather.

"Good girl. Such an obedient little thing," he said, patting her head.

She growled and rolled her eyes.

He took the belt from her, took both ends in hand, pushed toward the middle and snapped the two lengths together to make a lovely, loud cracking sound.

"Thank you, Sir," she said quietly.

"Very nice." He set the belt aside next to the lube.

She shivered and maneuvered herself up onto his lap.

"I don't suppose it would earn me any points to tell you I realized tonight after talking to the girls that I need to be more obedient and stop fighting you?"

He shook his head.

She bit her lip for a second. "I also told them what an incredible, hot body you have," she squeaked.

"No more trying to talk your way out of this." He stroked her ass and she hung limp over his lap. "Each time I strike this tight behind, I want you to tell me a reason you're being punished, and if they start to sound all the same, I'll tack on an extra swat. I want you thinking. And you make sure to call me Sir each time."

"Yes, Sir."

"God, I love this ass. Love how round it is and how soft your skin is here." He drew random patterns with his fingertips and watched his fingers roam around her lush backside. "Love squeezing it." He dug in and then went back to caressing. "Love thinking about fucking it all the time. You'd like that, wouldn't you? Fuck you here first, before I'm in your pussy. So tight and hot, pulling me in with your greedy little opening. "

"Ohhhhh Gaaaawd," she moaned.

"Quiet," he said then ran his finger up and down her crack. "I'm so pleased you trust me to do this for you. Correction's important. It lets you get over mistakes and move on. It helps us be united."

She snorted, and that was when he began.

He gave five warm up spanks, to get the blood flowing, heat the skin and keep from inflicting any real damage.

Once she was comfortable again, he inhaled. "I love smelling your pussy out in the open—inhaling it in my air. And with you over my lap, my dick gets really hard and my mouth waters. What do you think I'd like to do when I invade that ass? Should I use my tongue first to get you real wet? Should I finger you deep, stretch you wide for my big cock as I spread my fingers apart to make room for me? Hmm? Make you gape then slide my tongue in real deep? You'd wanna feel that—all of it."

She groaned.

"Or maybe I should use a dildo or a vibe, show your ass what it's been missing? But you have to be a good girl first to receive all that pleasure. Have to earn it—I don't give that away for free." His hands kneaded into her skin, stroked and warmed her propped up cheeks even more. "And you started out the evening so well, giving me that lovely gift, then you tried to take it back by picking a fight with me over something you had no right to. I want to hold my little one, play with her, but she has other things in mind, doesn't she? Well, that's gonna be fixed now."

His hand flew.

Smaaaaack!

"Hoh shit!" she yelped and bounced on his lap.

He tickled his fingers around that reddened spot.

"Reason for that swat? Hmm . . . ?"

"Uh . . . Christ, I don't . . ."

"You want me to add another?"

"No! Fuck, no." She groaned. "I was being bratty, Sir. And I'm sorry. There was no good reason for it. I forgot myself."

"I know you're a good girl. That's why we're doing this—why I'm disappointed. I'm reminding you of who you are and how amazing you've been. If you weren't sorry you really would have left. But your heart is so big and sweet, you won't disappoint me again. You won't do that, will you? You don't want to hurt me, little one. And that would've wounded me deeply if you'd gone home."

Smmmmaaaaack!

"God, Jesus!" she whimpered then gasped a tight breath. "For . . . Shit! That was for trying to get you to f-fuck me. I just want you so bad, and I didn't understand why. I won't do it again."

"That's right. And who's in charge here? Who decides when that happens?"

"You, Sir."

"Good girl. Such a smart one." He caressed her skin. Her cheeks flexed, and he knew it was probably prickling.

He placed one hand on the curve of her cheek, exploring the sweet, tender flesh close to her inner thigh. Then with the other hand, he took his belt in hand and struck again.

"Cccuuuuuhhhhh," she exhaled and her entire body contracted into a fierce spasm.

"Relax into it. I'm only giving you six. You're halfway there. Now, reason?"

"I . . . Uh, fuck!" She took a few breaths in rapid succession and he settled his hands on her lower back.

"I can jog your memory by giving an extra push with my hand," he said.

"No, Sir. I know what I did wrong." She pushed her chest up for a second and acted like she was going to look at him, but didn't. "I was regressing."

"Yes, you were, naughty one. I don't like that." He blew across her ass and then stroked it some more. "It's so much better when you listen to me and keep moving forward."

He reached between his legs, adjusting himself for a second. She was inching up on his cock, crowding his balls.

"Is there a reason you're wiggling around so much right now?" he asked.

"You're hard, Sir." She lifted her chest and head and was staring at his erection.

"I've been hard ever since I read your journals tonight."

"I think maybe you've been hard ever since I agreed to be your sub," she muttered.

"What's that?"

"Nothing, Sir."

"Smart-mouthing while you're on my lap? Not wise, little one. But I know how to punish you for that one," he said. "This ass needs to be explored in more depth."

She stiffened and sucked in a tight breath.

"Spread 'em wider. I need better access to what I want."

She awkwardly tried to pull her legs apart.

"Here," he said, hooking her left leg so it was between both of his.

Before she could protest . . .

Smmmmaaaaack!

The belt lashed out on her thigh, the one spread across his leg.

"I w-was shutting you out, Sir. And I didn't mean to. I don't need any more prompts. I'll behave. I can do this," she said, dragging in long, gulps of air. Her voice was shaking.

"Do you like this?"

"No."

"You're not going to do this again, are you—pushing my buttons, trying to get your way."

"I won't—promise, Sir."

"Good. I know you'll keep to your word."

She nodded and her eyes were full of guilt.

"It's okay, sweetheart. We're almost done. And then you'll get your other punishment," he said.

"But I . . . I'm sorry," she cried and the tears started.

"It's all right. I'm here for you. Two more."

"O-kay," she sniffed.

She settled into his lap, and this time he dropped the belt. Her weight sagged into him and she gave this exhale that finally sounded like she understood—like she was giving in to it—to him.

His entire chest warmed and he could barely contain the elation filling him up inside.

She was his. Finally.

And it only took him helping her face this unspoken fear—the worry of how he'd react if she ever truly tried to push and be a snot. Would he run like the other men in her life had or turn away from her?

Now she knew. He'd always be there for her. He'd accept she'd have ugly moments and want to lash out. His job was to get her back on track, and that was what he was doing right now—all because he couldn't ever imagine turning away from a creature as lovely and as inspiring as she was. She took his breath away, and even in this moment, breathing raggedly, barely holding on, she was more stunning than ever.

He had to finish. Almost there. He'd never take short cuts with her. She was worth too much to him—too precious.

Smmmmaaaack!

His hand went to the other thigh.

"Hoooohhhh," she rasped a deep, scraping breath.

"Feels different, doesn't it? Feels cathartic now that you've let go; freeing, and so fucking fantastic, it's taking you places you never dreamed you'd go. This is what happens when you trust me. This is how you find who you really are, and you're beautiful—all of you."

"I . . . was . . ." She inhaled deeply and her muscles all went lax as she continued on, explaining another way she'd wronged him, "Choosing not to listen to you. I wanted you to just listen to me. I was being bossy, Sir. It was stupid, and I'm ashamed I did that and acted that way. You didn't deserve that when you've been nothing but wonderful to me."

"Oh, such a good girl. So intelligent. And since you shared two reasons with me for your punishment, I'll take away the extra one I was going to add on at the end."

He stared at her crack and imagined rimming the slit of her wet pussy. Her arousal hung in the air. He had gotten through to her, and that in itself was a huge fucking rush. He knew she most likely felt the same way in this instant.

He growled, "You're so fucking good. God, I can't wait to have your pussy on my tongue; love your taste. You taste so delicious, I have no choice but to eat you out all the time, and you deserve it after taking your punishment so well."

She moaned louder than should've been possible with her stomach pressing into his legs.

Her body inched toward his cock again.

"You wanna be fucked. You want this hard dick inside you?"

"Yes, Sir. Can you please punish me some more. I'm ready to be with you—to talk to you and listen to whatever you want to share with me," she said.

God, you know how to make me go all soft inside.

"You think you've learned your lesson?"

"Mmhmm, I have," she answered. "Definitely, Sir." She whimpered at the end.

"Do you think I agree with you?"

His fingers massaged her butt cheeks.

"Yes."

He chuckled. "And why do you think that?"

"Because I promised myself I would stop trying to hide, and I don't lie; neither do you. I won't be bratty again. The best part of me is the part that pleases you."

"God," he whispered under his breath and his dick throbbed.

"So, please, may I . . . Sir, will you finish so I can be in your arms? I think I need that."

"Me, too."

Smaaaaack!

He went hardest on the final one so she wouldn't forget this lesson.

"You took that so well, but stay where you are. You have a little more coming," he said.

She choked on a mewling sob.

"I'll keep you safe—promise. Trust me," he said. "And you're going to show me right now—prove how much you trust me as you lie still and let me do whatever I want to this gorgeous ass of yours."

He pinched softly up and down her cheeks and she went from a step away from crying to gasping for a moment in pleasure.

"Tingles, doesn't it? Your skin's all hot to the touch, and it fucking turns me on so much, just as it does you. I'm leaking for you," he said.

She turned her head, and sure enough, there was pre-come sitting on top of his dick like a treat ready to be sucked down.

"You want it, don't you? You want to lick it, but you can't have it. Not yet. Naughty girls don't get what they want. And I'm not done with your final punishment."

He grabbed the lube, moistened his index finger with it and then slid it between her open legs.

Having her spread wide like this made for an awkward spanking, but this was why he wanted her situated this way—so he could toy with her anus.

"All for me. You've saved this virgin hole for me, didn't you? Because you knew I'd make love to it, treat it right. You knew how much I wanted this, how much I'd love to fuck this tight, unexplored hole."

Her back arched as he pushed the tip in.

"What color are you, my little one?"

"Gr-green, so greeeeen, Sir."

"I knew you would be. Know how I was aware of this?"

"Mmm . . . No," she murmured.

Her hands flew down to the ground. "Sir, may I grab your leg?"

"Yes, you may if you answer my question first."

"I . . . I think it's because you know I'm sorry."

"Close, but no." He paused. "Grab my leg, and hold on because I'm gonna finger your asshole hard in a minute."

The tendons in her neck stood out and she gripped his leg, but it wasn't as hard as he'd expected her grip to be. It was more like she was kneading her hands into him, making love back, needing to touch him somehow, too.

"You're green, and I knew you would be because you want to please me, and you already do. You know in your heart how proud I am, how crazy I get for you when you try to let yourself out of that cage your head locks you in. You're beautiful," he pushed in to the first knuckle and pumped slowly, "powerful," pump, pump, slide, "in your submissiveness, and I love how you offer yourself up to me. Gets me every damn time."

Her cheeks opened as she relaxed and he inserted his finger from his right hand all the way in. He pushed toward her vaginal wall, finding her G-spot through the fleshy barrier.

She gasped several times, and it would get cut off at the back of her throat.

"Oh. My. God!" she gritted.

"It's supposed to be punishment," he teased.

"Oh, fuuuuuck! Please . . ."

He pushed a little harder.

She exhaled in choppy bursts and then started thrusting her hips backward into his finger.

"You like that, don't you? Wanna be a slut all for me. You like having your ass fucked with my fingers. I know what you like."

She nodded and he could tell she was zoning out on him, able to focus only on absorbing all the sensations.

"You wanna come, don't you?"

Again another slight nod and a whiny moan.

He pulled back and inserted a second finger.

"Oh—I . . . It's too muuuuch," she said.

"You can handle it. I spanked you. Are you telling me this is more difficult to handle than me spanking you?"

"Yes!"

Smaaaack!

It wasn't nearly as hard as the others, but he struck in a spot that had already been hit.

"Shiiiiit! Sir, I need to . . . I . . . Can I come?" she asked, her voice cracking and filled with urgency.

She squirmed in his lap. He pushed hard through the rectum wall and hit her G-spot relentlessly.

She bucked then convulsed for a second. He smiled.

"No, you may not. I'm not done with you."

He pulled his fingers out, propped her up on the bed on all fours as quick as he could, and sucked at her gaping hole before the muscle closed back up.

His tongue delved inside as far as he could get it, and he slipped his two fingers from his left hand into her pussy.

Jesus, she was drenched and so ready to be fucked hard.

His dick pulsed and engorged so thick with blood, a tight aching sound drifted out of his chest.

He took her right to the edge, and just as her pussy was closing in on his fingers, he retracted and stuck with playing right at the entrance.

"Please, Sir . . . Please, I'll do anything. Can I come?"

"No."

"Aaaaaaaaggggaaawdamn!" she groaned and fisted the bedspread.

He slipped his fingers back in, licked, sucked and moaned louder than she did.

Did she have to make him want her so badly? Make him go insane with an undying lust for her?

Once more, with his fingers slipping over that slippery G-spot that was watering for him, he pulled out and pushed her down, flat onto her stomach.

His fingers were out of her, and he pumped himself furiously. In seconds, he was gripping her ass with one hand, making himself squirt all over the markings he'd made on her with the other.

He spread his come all over her, rubbing it into her skin as she shook beneath him with frustration and bursting sexual tension.

"Pleeeeeease!" she almost shouted.

He took a stuttering inhale. "Punishment is supposed to teach you. Have you learned now?" he managed to grit through his locked jaw. "Mmmnnn . . ." He fought off a dying moan. Christ she looked sexy as sin, her glowing ass held down by one hand, his come all over her.

His body was still coming down off that orgasm, struggling to let it go.

That's what she did to him. It was unreal the way she made him feel.

"Yes! Dammit, I hate this!"

"You're supposed to." He finally let go of her, put the lube away and grabbed the arnica cream out of the drawer and tended to the red areas on her ass and thighs.

When he was done, he got her some water and ignored her glares as he gave her some ibuprofen then wrapped her up in his arms.

"Tell me how you feel now,"

"I don't know," she said. "Confused."

"Why?"

"Because I wanted to get off, but I feel like shit, too. I know I screwed up, and I thought the spanking was supposed to make it better." She blew out some air and a few stray strands flew off her face. "I worry you're still upset with me."

"I'm not. It's over. You did it—and I'm so proud of you. It's all erased, and now we can get back to where we were before, where we're supposed to be."

He brushed a few more hairs off her face for her.

"You swear you're not mad?"

He chuckled. "Not at all."

He hugged her into him.

"And do you think you deserve to get what you want now because you submitted to my will?"

"Well, I . . . I don't know. I just want to make you happy, and I hope I can do that again someday. That you w-won't be too afraid to trust me." Tears slid down her cheeks, moistening his chest.

"Sweetheart, you're the kindest soul I've ever met. I know you didn't do any of that deliberately, so of course I trust you. This was a bump in the road, and you picked yourself back up, allowed me to help you back to your feet when you fell. I'm honored I got to be on this part of the journey with you." He kissed the top of her head.

She sighed and snuggled into him.

"Why do I feel like I'll never have enough of you?"

"Because you want more. I do, too. We'll get there. Patience." He rested his chin on the top of her head and held her tight.

"I'm scared, Edward."

He shifted then leaned down, tipped her chin up with a hand. "Scared of what? Of me, because I spanked you?"

"No." Her eyes flooded once more. "I know it's odd, but that was satisfying on a lot of levels. I think the anticipation was almost worse than the actual spanking in some ways, because it was with you, and I trust and care about you. You said some of the most validating and sexy things in my entire life, so I can't ever regret it."

"Then what?" He ran his index finger down the bridge of her nose.

Her eyes went heavy.

"I'm scared of how much power you have over me. I want to give you everything, and I think that's why I freaked out. You didn't even have to ask—it was given freely—and when I realized what I'd done, how you'd see right to the core of me with those journal entries, I panicked. What if you didn't like what you read?"

"I loved every last word of it." He smiled.

She burst into tears.

"But that doesn't tell me how you feel about me now—not now that I pushed you so hard, you had no choice but to punish me, and I know you don't like punishing. You've told me before."

"What are you truly worried about, little one, because I can tell you're holding something back?" He rubbed his nose across hers with a few little passes and brushed the tears off her cheeks.

"I love you!" she sobbed.

A flood of emotions rushed through him, drowned all thoughts, stripping his breath from him.

His vision blurred for a moment and he closed his eyes, tipped his head up to gain his bearings back.

Okay, Edward, think . . . Don't rush this. Don't scare her off.

Did she really mean it? Or was this simply her emotions exploding out of her after being through something so intense? It was hard to know. And he would only tell her the same if he knew for certain she meant it. He didn't want it to be coerced out of her and blurted because it was merely how she felt in the moment.

Tomorrow, when she was her normal, day-to-day self, if she said it at that point, then he'd know.

"Sweet girl . . ."

"How do you feel about m-me?"

"I think it's pretty obvious I'm crazy about you," he said, stroking her hair and kissing her temple. "You're in my thoughts constantly."

"Can you tell me why you're crazy about me? Because most of the time I feel like you just put up with me and my insanity."

"Of course I can tell you; I'd love to, but first, I want to tell you something, and then you'll tell me all about tonight with your friends."

She nodded and then stroked his chest, the sheet forgotten and left behind.

"We're taking a trip this weekend. We'll need to be at a scene to support Rose and Emmett this Friday night out in public, and then home and straight to bed. Early Saturday morning, we'll be going somewhere and we won't be back until late Sunday night."

"Where are we going?"

"Somewhere important . . . Somewhere we both need to be, and that's all I'm going to share, so don't ask again."

She sighed and kissed his chest. "Yes, Sir. I won't pry. And thank you for punishing me because I deserved it and needed that."

He sighed. "You're welcome."

"I hope it's okay—but I told the girls I'm in love with you." She blinked and went stiff in his arms.

"It's fine because I'm pretty sure they already know I love you, too." Not the plan, idiot. You should've waited . . .

Oh, who was he kidding—he couldn't wait for anything when it came to her. He was a mess inside when he even thought about her moving on to another Dom.

"You do?" she gasped. She sat up, stared at him with her jaw hanging open.

"I do, Bella. More than you can possibly know."

"But y-you . . . You told me when you'd say this to me, it would be because it was real. So this is real?" Her voice went high and airy.

He chuckled. "I never lie, and you know that better than anyone." He reached around and caressed her ass.

She grinned back. "I do."

He rolled over her and kissed her until she was breathless and begging for more.

A/N:

Whoa, I know it was a long wait once more, but I wrote this chapter a while back and it didn't sit right with me. It was just off. I rewrote almost half of it, and finally found the right balance. Thank you once more to my beta, Shenaniwhatagans and my pre-readers. They do a fabulous job! So helpful.

Chanse