Chapter 4 – Valhalla & Niflheim

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Kirsty floated on billowing clouds of bliss ensconced in the warm, comforting embrace of her husbands. She tried to remember a time when she was this content and happy. But she could not.

Bjⱷrn was gently nibbling, sucking, and licking her nipples, re-igniting flames which after that massive orgasm should have been dormant or at least dulled. Svein, too, was fanning those embers as he kissed along her shoulders, neck, and ears. His breath was scorching as he whispered things in her ear that were beyond her comprehension.

Perhaps if her mind was more clear, she could glean enough to get the gist of it, but the feel of rough denim and his hard cock throbbing between the cheeks of her ass gave a pretty decent translation in its own right.

Mikael chuckled as he entered her bedroom, carrying a tray with water, juice, and her favorite: Bjⱷrn’s homemade chocolate chip cookies. Even Petrine admitted that her youngest son was a better cook than even she was. Cordon bleu chef, Oxford scholar, sexy as hell male model, and a damned good lover, the man was the total package.

“You out for the count already, elskling?” Mikael teased.

She chuckled, well, maybe not. Her sweet Master worried way too much about hurting her. Something that for a masochist, which she was coming to accept as part of her nature, was as necessary as air, food, and water. No, for her almost daily dose of pain, she must turn to Mikael. The man had no compunction about hurting her and was more than happy to test the depths of that need too.

Her fingers ran along the callouses on Svein’s fingers. What need did he fulfill? Because after the distance of the past three months, there could be no doubt that she needed him every bit as much as she did his younger brothers.

A secretive smile formed at the corner of her lips, control. Mister Cool, her Atlas, brought her mind calm and the perfect balance, even in the whirlwind of lust and need every single time they were together. She had hungered for the man so deeply that she had been willing to risk the sting of rejection on the hope of reconciliation. She was glad she had too.

She laughed as she rubbed her bottom against Svein and thrust her breasts even more into Bjⱷrn’s face. All three of them moaned in pleasure and need. “I don’t know. I might be able to stay awake. Just long enough for cookies and milk, of course.”

Mikael laughed at Svein’s solid slap on her outer thigh. “Oh, I think that is big brother’s way of telling you to be good, my precious brat.”

Kirsty was tempted to give another smart-mouthed response just for the sweet taste of pain, but then she felt Bjⱷrn’s hard cock brush against her bare cunt. No, she had tasted pain, though she could always find room for another serving of her favorite dessert. But she had only sampled pleasure briefly this night.

How many nights had she lain in this bed alone while they were at sea imagining this very thing? All three of her husbands. For a time, it had seemed an impossible dream. Even when Bjⱷrn and Mikael had finally put their differences aside enough to see to her needs first, it had never seemed complete. Not without him. But even Svein was here this night, and she would not waste another moment of it on silly games — only adult ones.

Thanks to Raquel Graffen’s naughty novels, she knew just which one too. She shoved at Bjⱷrn’s shoulders until he grumbled, but eventually, the genius got the idea and rolled onto his back. That was all it took as she sank fully onto his cock.

Mikael roared with laughter, “Seems it only took Svein one barehanded slap to get your ass moving. Why does it take the tawse with me, lilla gumman?”

She stuck out her tongue, “Because you like brats.”

All of them chuckled deeply as she began to move sensually on Bjⱷrn. Mikael held out a bottle of water, “Here, drink this. I think after that explosion earlier, you need to replenish your liquids.”

But she was in too playful a mood to be distracted by Mister Caring Sadist as she reached out and jerked at the top button of his jeans. It gave way with little trouble as she ripped at the zip, but he shook his head and pushed her hand aside firmly. “I’ll feel safer if you let me do that. You may be a masochist, but I am not, especially when it comes to certain sensitive places, my sweet wife.”

“Then hurry, damn it,” she looked over her shoulder at Svein. “You too. Both of you are overdressed.”

The sound of Svein’s chuckle buried deep in her heart. They were so rare. She treasured each one more than gold. “I see the toffelhjälten have allowed you to forget your place, young lady.” His fingers laced through her hair as he came up onto his knees next to her. Icy blue eyes met her, “No more. I will teach you to respect your husbands.”

She smiled, “I respect them. But if you don’t like my smart mouth, might I suggest a way of putting it to better uses, Sir.” To emphasize her point, her fingers danced across the front of his jeans until his hand covered hers.

“Do not think I have forgotten your impertinence, Kirsten. I will not, but your suggestion has certain merits to it,” he unfastened his jeans and pushed them down his legs, kicking them to the floor next to the bed.

Kirsten ground her pelvis in slow circles on Bjⱷrn’s cock, taking him as deeply as she could as her fingers wrapped around the heated steel of Svein’s erection. She stroked him slowly and sensuously to prolong this moment for as long as she possibly could, just as she knew her erotic dance on Bjⱷrn’s cock did more to torture him than to give relief. No, relief was not what she had in mind at that moment. 

“What, Mikael, did you miss your invite to this party? I am sure it did not get lost in the post because I prefer to hand-deliver them,” her fingers trailed down Svein’s cock, then gently caressed his balls until he moaned and thrust into her touch.

Mikael finished pushing his jeans off and stepped from them, leaving them to lay on the floor at the foot of her bed. “As much as I like your hand jobs, sweetheart, I seem to remember that someone needs her mouth put to better uses.”

Svein smiled as his finger laced through her hair, turned her head, and he drank from her lips, “You heard my brother. Show us why we should not punish you for that big mouth of yours, Kirsten.”

Kirsty took up the challenge with a saucy smile as Mikael joined them on the other side of the bed. “Because, Sirs, big mouths can do things like this,” she ground her pubic bone against Bjⱷrn’s rock-hard cock and softly tugged Svein’s balls as she bent forward and swallowed most of Mikael’s.

“Fuck, woman, where the hell did you learn that?” he cursed as his hips thrust forward, burying another inch in her throat until she began to gag.

Bjⱷrn shook his head as his hands on her hips began to increase the pace just a bit. Svein chuckled, “It most definitely was not me.”

Her lips let go of Mikael’s cock long enough to smile innocently as she replied, “You would be surprised what you can find if you type ‘how to deep throat’ into a search engine.”

Bjⱷrn laughed, and it drove his cock deeper inside her, making her gag once more on Mikael’s cock as her hand continued to stroke Svein. “Oh, I know. Why do you think I fell in love with the world wide web the moment my father gave me a computer? Bless him; the man had no idea how to set the security for teens. You can learn just about anything on the damned thing. Anything except how incredibly hot, wet, and tight your cunt feels wrapped around my cock, baby girl.”

She smiled around Mikael’s cock in her mouth, so that explained how the hell the man had been such a fantastic lover even though he was a virgin when he came to her bed. Not that she had that much more experience than he did at that point.

And not that she could say much about the internet. Most of what she learned had come from her raunchy ebooks…porn for women. Soldiers, cowboys, aliens, and, of course, her all-time favorite: Vikings. She had devoured them all. Never believing that she would have the opportunity actually to practice all those things she had learned in books. Certainly not on three hot husbands.

But damn, Raquel Graffen made it sound so much easier than it was – pleasuring three men at once. She had to continually remind herself to stroke Svein’s cock while she sucked Mikael’s. Thankfully, Bjⱷrn seemed to have taken the lead with his hands on her hips, guiding her movements at the perfect pace to keep them both on edge without going over.

It felt good, damned good, fabulous, in fact. Bjⱷrn’s cock buried deep in her pussy, tasting Mikael’s, and feeling Svein’s. She knew this was an experience of a lifetime, one that most women would never have. So, why did it feel incomplete somehow? As if there were more, something was missing.

Svein bent forward; his tongue licked and swirled around her ear for a moment before his fingers pinched her nipple hard just as the other hand slipped between her ass cheeks. “Something is not quite right, Kirsten,” he whispered as he slipped a finger inside her ass. She fought back the orgasm as her pussy got even tighter.

“Please,” she whispered, “yes, please, Sir.”

Svein worked his fingers deeper inside her ass, adding a second one now. His mind battled. It had been the fantasy they shared. How many times had he teased her with the image of Bjⱷrn’s cock in her cunt, Mikael face fucking her, while he slipped his cock deep in her ass? He wanted that so fucking badly.

But did he deserve it? After how he lost control that first time. How he had abused her trust and humiliated her that night. How he had abandoned her for months rather than finding the courage to face the feelings that this woman evoked in him.

What’s more, did he trust himself? Not to lose control again. He was confident that his brothers would not allow him to hurt her. It was not that. But if it came to that, he would spoil her special night. Why the hell did this woman have his guts in knots? She was the only person ever to make him feel…this strongly anyway.

What was he going to do? He looked up at Mikael to discover his brother watching him. He withdrew his fingers reluctantly, which caused their wife to whimper as she rode his little brother’s cock even harder. “Please…please!”

He swallowed at the tightness in his throat before speaking to Mikael, “I think our wife needs a cock in her ass too.”

Mikael shook his head, “Then what you waiting for, Old Man. I’m enjoying the blow job of the century. Lube is at the foot of the bed.”

Svein sighed; was he really going to pass up this opportunity? He had wanted this very thing for so long. When he considered sharing her like this, as they all knew they must eventually, it was always like this. Anal had always been among his favorite fetishes but never once had he tried double penetration.  

Svein reached for the lube. He would just play a bit while his mind worked it over. Give her more pleasure, and he knew it did. Even as rough as that first time had been, she had been so fucking responsive. It was as if her tight, virgin ass had been milking his cock then. Gods be damned, he wanted to feel that again as he poured the warmed oil down the crack of her ass.

Kirsty arched her back and moaned as he went back to gently stretching her with first one, then two fingers as she rode Bjⱷrn. He massaged her shoulders with the other hand and whispered every dark need he had in her ear. So low his brothers could not hear. In his language, so she could not know his depth of need for her.

This time he did not rush, just enjoying playing with her, watching and listening to her reactions. Her whimpers told him that they held her incredibly close to the edge. Of course, three little words from any of them would send her over.

Orgasm control and conditioning had never been something he would have considered with his subs. All that he was inside warned him of the depths of commitment and responsibility required of the Dom and its dangers to the sub. There were stories of women who were unable to orgasm again after their relationship with the Dom, who trained them, ended. Of course, that did not happen all the time, but he had heard enough of those cases to be leery. Especially with women who had been temporary at best.

But she was different. She always had been from the first time he sat messaging her at that damned computer. She was such a fucking elixir of innocence and wanton responsiveness. And such a willing pupil, he had never trained anyone as open and teachable as she had been from that first challenge. Had he ever stood a chance of keeping this one at arm’s length?

Had any of them? They owed her so fucking much for the changes in Mikael and Monica alone. But it did not stop there. She had awakened their mother from her decades-long trance, brought the woman back to life, pulled her from the depths of her grief and depression as nothing any of them had done ever could.

The simple, hard truth hit him then. They needed her. He needed her. It was the strangest sensation. Utterly frightening as hell that he who had never really needed anyone for as long as he could remember anyway, he needed this woman. Her smiles. Her laughter. Her moans.

His fingers worked deeper inside her tight ass, eliciting another of those moans as she ground back against his hand. Her whimper was so fucking sweet as she turned her head and looked up at him with those big blue eyes that were deeper than the oceans he fished…and just as full of life. “Please, Sir. Please, Svein.”

His fingers laced through her hair, pulling her head back, angling it perfectly as he studied her face for any sign of fear, of reservation. “Are you sure, Kirsten?”

“Damn it, what do I have to do or say? Fuck my ass, Svein. Fuck it like you promised all those times you teased me. Quit playing and fucking do it,” she demanded.

His lips captured hers in a brutal kiss. She would pay for this. Later. She had broken so many protocols. The cursing. Using his name instead of Sir – something no other sub ever dared. But none of that fucking mattered at this moment. All that mattered was her, her need, and fucking yes, his own.

He withdrew his fingers, but only for a moment. He poured more of the oil on his hard cock as his hand on her back pushed her forward onto his baby brother’s chest. He lined his cock up and was about to enter her when Bjⱷrn shifted, pulling her away. Before he could say a word, it was Mikael who spoke.

Mikael was on instant alert even before Bjⱷrn could move. He recognized that angry, crazed look in his baby brother’s eyes the instant that he had become genuinely aware of the conversation between Svein and their wife. Some part of him even agreed with his brother, but he bit that concern back.

This was their big chance. Not just with her, but for her. If they could for a couple of hours put all their differences aside and think only of what she wanted…what she fucking needed, then they could begin to form the deeper bonds that would hold their unusual family together – come what may.

And he could not allow his worries or Bjⱷrn’s to destroy this opportunity. He placed a restraining hand on the man’s shoulder as he struggled to lift himself and her body weight. Mikael was glad that his brother had been lying on his back, otherwise, he might never have been able to stop him. As it was, his baby brother turned those flaming green eyes towards him with the same vitriol that he had with Svein.

“It is her choice to make,” was all he said.

Bjⱷrn shook his head and made to rise again. Mikael pushed harder against Bjⱷrn’s shoulder. “She damn well knows that we have her back if or when she needs us, but this has to be her decision.”

He could see that even that was not registering with Bjⱷrn, and Mikael knew that they were on the very edge of disaster. “Don’t spoil this for her,” he whispered in a low voice so that Svein and Kirsty, who were otherwise occupied at that moment, could not hear. He saw his baby brother hesitate and knew that he had broken through to him.

Mikael smiled and pushed Kirsty forward just a bit further on Bjⱷrn’s chest, lifting her ass enough that Svein could easily slip his cock inside it. He gloried in his role as the director of this little scene, especially as he watched the ecstasy on all three of their faces.

He could almost read their minds. Though with Svein, he did not have to use much imagination. HHe knew personally exactly how tight Kirsty’s sweet ass was with their baby brother’s cock buried in her cunt. Bjⱷrn usually preferred to be the anchor. Mikael smiled as he reminded himself to switch things up a bit. Let baby brother fuck her ass or mouth next time. He certainly would not mind a chance to fuck her pussy while one of his brothers took that ass.

But it was her face that he cued upon. He had never seen her more beautiful. Her face radiated sheer joy…and contentment. He knew then that she was theirs – totally and completely. Theirs to have and to protect.

He loved her with a depth he had never imagined at that moment. He bent down and kissed her lips as he whispered, “Jeg elsker deg.” The look in her eyes and the smile on her face told him that she knew exactly what he had said. That there was no need to translate those words.

She opened her mouth perhaps to return his words of love, but he would never know as Svein surged forward and her eyes closed, her back arched, and the only sound escaping her sweet mouth was an incredibly loud moan.

Mikael shook his head and smiled. He was not going to miss the fun as he instead slid his hard cock between those open lips and enjoyed the feel of the vibrations at the back of her throat as his older brother began to thrust deeper into her tight ass.

He tried to concentrate, to savor each and every moment of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. A first that none of them would ever forget. But that was not possible with those sweet moans scattering along every nerve ending in his cock to a befuddled brain that begged to plunge even deeper into her throat. He was not sure if it was minutes or hours, only that it was heaven itself and over too fucking quickly.

Mikael laced his fingers through those flames of glory and tilted her head just perfectly as he watched his baby brother’s face tighten in what he had learned was the final throes of his ecstasy. He was determined that Bjⱷrn would not be alone in his pleasure, “Come for us, our sweet Freya,” he commanded.

Those intense blue eyes widened, and her moans turned to screams. His cock would have popped from her mouth if not for him thrusting his hips forward and burying another inch in her throat. He felt her explosion along his spine as his own began to boil up from deep within his soul as much as his balls.

He fought back his pleasure to enjoy theirs as Svein buried his cock fully inside their wife and threw back his head with a loud groan at the same time his baby brother joined the symphony of pleasure. But it was her that held his interest. Words could not come close to describing her then.

Only one seemed to fit this moment…complete. Somehow this felt so incredibly right. Together they had put their differences and own needs aside to give her what none of them could alone. And it felt perfect, the way it should be.

Mikael fought the lump in his throat at all the years he had fought this very thing. Not that he would have wanted this with Greta. His ex-wife was much too selfish for intimacy, especially this level of intensity. But with her, with Kirsty, it was like really living and loving for the first time in his time. She had given that to him. To them, he realized as he looked at his brothers’ faces, which mirrored his sense of completion and love.

For perhaps the first time since he stepped abroad Njörður’s Captive as a little boy, he felt like he belonged. Belonged to her, with her – just as she did with them. Them. That was not the bad thing he had imagined it would be. In this place and moment, there was no room for insecurity, doubts, or jealousy…only love. Her love made them all whole and complete.

There was so much he wanted to tell her, but only one word would come out, “Takk.” It was totally inadequate and as right as the woman staring up at him as he caressed her cheek and slowly drew his half-hard cock from between her lips.

Bjⱷrn held his wife in his arms as he relished the final tremors and aftershocks of her powerful orgasm. Her cunt still periodically spasmed around his cock as Mikael withdrew from her mouth and caressed her cheek. ‘Takk,’ the word seemed so fucking inadequate for what had happened this night, but he could not think of a better one. Not in any of the almost dozen languages that he knew.

And even if he could, he was not sure that he could force it past the tight lump in his throat as he watched his oldest brother bury his head between her shoulders. He realized what Svein was doing – hiding from the intense emotions that she seemed destined to stir in all of them. For once, he could empathize with the man.

He lifted his head and pressed a kiss to her forehead for a long moment as he held her tightly. No, words were utterly inadequate for this moment. But he used the only ones he could think of, “I love you, princess.”

Even though her eyes never opened and she said nothing, he could see the secretive smile that curled on her lips as she squeezed him just a bit tighter. Not even her weight or the partial weight of his older brother registered as he gloried in this moment.

His mind, though, would not rest for long. The conflict and darkness that he hid from everyone, even her most of the time, began to assail him. He wanted to wish them away then. Just hold and protect her alone as his jealousies began to assault his senses.

Over the last few weeks, he had barely managed to control them with Mikael, the man who had been not just his big brother but his protector and almost surrogate parent as a child. A man who, after that rough couple of weeks in the beginning, clearly loved and adored their wife with the same ferociousness that he did.

But Svein? Having him here was a different matter. Despite Mikael’s words, it had been an intense battle with his demons not to beat the shit out of his oldest brother. As far as he was concerned, Svein had no right to be here at all. Nothing had changed. He had not proven himself. The way Mikael had over time.

And especially not that. When he had realized Svein’s intent, he had almost lost complete control as he had only once before. He knew the blind rage that had sent two older boys to the hospital when he was barely six. He knew what his strength was capable of doing when fuelled by that kind of hatred. But this was not distant cousins cornering him in an alleyway; it was his brother. More importantly, it was in front of her.

She had invited Svein. That was the only thing that had stopped him in the end. Kirsty. The look on her face. Her breathy words, pleading with his brother. Those had held him back, kept his anger in check long enough for Mikael’s words to register. Her choice. He hated that too. But Mikael was right. This had to be her choice.

And he had to respect it. Even as much as he wanted to take control from her. Make the decision for them all. In the name of protecting her. Protecting and caring for her was the strongest instinct he had ever had, stronger even than the blind rage and darkness dwelling inside of him. Tonight proved that.

Still, something inside of him fought it. His. He had chosen her; it screamed.

But the tightness in his chest and his intellect belied that point. He may have chosen her, but it was Svein, the man who was more stranger than a brother, that had made the final decision. That had decided to bring her abroad the Njörður’s Captive. Had taken her.

Hell, even Mikael had claimed her before he had. Mikael, who could give her what he could not bring himself to…the pain she not just craved but needed. He sighed, and it was Mikael, who in the end had carried the mantle he had tossed aside in his own selfish need to possess their wife. Mikael, who had fought alongside her to bring them all together. To make their family whole, the way that he had once dreamt they could be.

He felt petty and small then. He had let her down. He had come close to failing them all…out of his insecurities and selfishness.

But he could do something about that now as he watched Svein recover enough to slip from her tight ass. Bjⱷrn winced and gritted his teeth as he felt his brother’s movement, making just a bit more room in her tight cunt. He frowned as Svein bent and kissed the side of her neck. He strained to hear as he whispered, “Thank you, Kristen,” in their wife’s ear. The fact that his brother chose to use English told him as much as the words themselves ever could.

She rose off his chest enough to open her eyes. “My pleasure,” she replied with a snarky grin that earned her a slap on her ass from Svein. A slap that made him growl as it drove her further down on his cock that was still nestled inside her.

This was always the awkward part. Even worse than the beginning. Even when it was just him and Mikael, once the ‘main event’ was over, well, it just was not the same as when they were alone with her. Afterglow and cuddles were not a group activity. Somehow it just felt more intimate than the act itself.

Usually, that meant Mikael making an excuse to check on Monica and slipping from her bedroom, just as he saw his brother reaching for his jeans on the floor next to him now. But this time, that did not feel right. It was Mikael who had kept his anger in check. Mikael, who had joked, kidded, and goaded them through every awkward moment. Mikael, who, in the end, had never given up on the idea of them being united as a real family. No, he had to face the truth…it was his brother who deserved to hold their wife, care for, and commiserate with her.

He reached out his hand and grabbed Mikael’s wrist as his brother picked his jeans up off the floor. “No, you stay.”

Mikael’s face scrunched into a frown, “No, it is fine. I should check on Monica anyway.” But Bjⱷrn heard the longing in his voice, knew the truth. Hell, only Svein would want to run and hide now. Then again, his oldest brother always did when emotions were involved. But Bjⱷrn knew Mikael wanted very much to be the one this time to hold her in his arms as she fell asleep.

And he was not taking ‘no’ for an answer this time. Bjⱷrn brushed a kiss on her cheek as she started to lay her head back on his chest as usual. “Don’t get comfortable just yet, princess.” He forced himself to lift her lethargic body off him. He groaned a bit as his cock slipped from her welcoming warmth, but he persisted and rolled her onto her side.

She roused then enough to question him. “What? Where are you going?”

“Back to my room tonight, sweetheart. I think it’s Mikael’s turn to share your bed.” He saw by her soft smile that their wife would not argue the point with him as she pressed a sweet kiss to his lips and whispered her goodnights.

He sat up on the edge of the bed and looked for the towel until he remembered that Svein had used it earlier to clean up when her orgasm exploded all over the floor. Never mind, his room was not that far as he stood. “I don’t need to tell you, take good care of her, big brother.”

Mikael smiled and ruffled his hair in the same irritating way he had when they were kids, though admittedly, it was less troublesome now somehow. “No, you don’t, kiddo. And thanks.”

Bjⱷrn shrugged, “You deserve it.” As he headed towards the door, he saw Mikael take his place in the bed and scope her into his arms. He watched as his brother forced their wife to take a drink of the water he had brought up earlier. He smiled at the concerned way his brother fused over her, as much as he did his daughter.

“She’ll be fine,” Svein said as he held open the door, clad now in his jeans.

Bjⱷrn nodded and walked through it first. He turned to face his oldest brother as he pulled it closed behind them. He squared his shoulders and rose up to his full height, which gave him a few inches advantage over Svein. Other men might have been intimidated facing down an opponent naked, but he was not. He stared directly into his brother’s icy cold blue eyes, “Do NOT ever hurt her again.”

That was all he said. He did not wait for a reply because honestly, at this point, there was none that Svein could give, which he would believe. Instead, he turned his back and walked to his room. Butt naked and proud. He opened the door and stepped inside his sanctuary before closing the door behind him and collapsing against the door.

Damn it! This night, this whole fucking day, had been a total mind fuck. His body was exhausted, but his mind was running at the speed of light, trying to process it all, make sense of even some of it, figure out where he stood now. He forced his feet to cover the few feet to his bed. The bed he would sleep in alone this night. Fuck, he should not have been so damned noble. This would be so much easier if he were holding her in his arms right now.

But he was not. That would have to wait for another time. He laid down and stared at the ceiling for hours, seeking answers that only Fate would provide.

Kirsty smiled as she snuggled closer into Mikael’s arms. Her body ached in the most delicious of ways. Every single tiny movement was a reminder of the gloriously intense experience that she had shared with all of them the night before. She had no idea exactly what time it was since her room had no windows, but her mind told her it was later than usual. Her body told her it was rested. And ready for…more.

Her hand slipped beneath the quilt as she caressed the firm muscles of his abdomen, moving lower and lower so slowly that it was torture to her as much as him. Her fingers were a hair’s breadth from the soft steel that was her ultimate goal when his hand covered them and stopped her progress.

His silky smooth voice caressed her mind as he pressed a tender kiss to the top of her head. “Behave, lilla gumman.”

She looked up into those silvery depths that glistened with mirth, “Where is the fun in that, Sir?”

He laughed, and it tinkled like Christmas bells in her mind. “Do I need to use the tawse on that bare cunt?”

She shook her head as her fingers stretched just enough to brush the very tip of her goal and make her husband tremble as he released a long sigh. “Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of some of your vanilla lovemaking, Sir.”

“What sacrilege, woman,” he teased as he rolled her beneath him. His hands slowly began to caress and cup her breasts. His thumbs brushed across her nipples, and she sucked in a deep breath. “Still sensitive from the clovers, elskling?”

She nodded, “A bit, but you know I loved them.”

He bent his head and licked them tenderly as flames licked upwards, consuming her mind and sending tendrils of heat branching lower across her stomach and wrapping about her core until she arched upwards, brushing against his thigh. She moaned when she did not find the relief she sought.

“Impatient again, væsla?” he teased as he continued the gentle torture as she whimpered and moaned. Her hands gripped his shoulders until her nails buried themselves in his skin. He nipped at the end of her nipple, holding it tenderly between his teeth as he shook his head, “Twenty-five with the tawse for that…but not this morning.”

He released her sensitive flesh and raised his head, staring into her eyes as he shifted his hips and gave her the relief she needed, sliding deep inside of her as she whimpered in need. “Someone said they wanted vanilla lovemaking, didn’t she?”

“Fuck, Mikael, please! Please, Sir?” She bit her bottom lip as she fought back the orgasm that loomed like a thunder cloud over the horizon.

He stilled inside of her, fully seated deep in her depths but unmoving even the least little bit. Other than the pounding of the blood through his hard cock, which she swore, she could feel in the quiet of the morning. “No, Kirsty. Not this time. No commands. No control. Just lovers. A man showing his wife how much he loves her.”

He began to move so slowly that she was not even sure he was at all at first. She clutched his shoulders even tighter as he made to withdraw. She felt the muscles in her pussy tighten about his shaft, protesting his betrayal. She ground her hips against him and cried out as her clit brushed against the base sending her over the edge.

He buried his face in her neck as he plunged deeper inside of her. “Fuck, yeah, Kirsty! Just like that. Damn, you feel so fucking good,” Mikael groaned as he took up a rhythm that had them both moaning and crying out in pleasure.

If there had been any doubt that her body could still respond to a lover without the conditioning, without their commands, they laid it to rest then as Mikael took her over the peak time and time again. Loving her thoroughly and so completely that both collapsed back into a peaceful slumber with his body still half entwined with hers and his cock still buried inside her fertile pussy.

Kirsty paced her room. She knew that she could not put this off any longer. It was time. Past time. But still, it was not easy to let go of the career she had once loved. It was not fair, though, to keep Roz and the whole department in limbo. The truth was she had a new life here, and she did not want to go back to the old one. So, why was it so hard to hit the send button on the resignation letter that she had written months ago?

Especially now. The past few days had been perfection. After that morning, Mikael had insisted that she not ‘waste’ her nights calling him. Bjⱷrn needed her reassurance and comfort in a way that he did not. And Svein? Well, he insisted that his big brother needed her too. So he had selflessly taken a back seat to their needs. Not that they had not found time to steal moments away from work and Monica. That damned fort was getting re-built in the spring. She was determined on that one.

Her hand drifted to her stomach with a deep frown. It was the only thing that kept her world from being perfect. A baby. She wanted that more now than she ever had. She had even gotten over her early fears about what ‘people’ would think. The only ‘people’ that mattered to her were the ones right here on the Holding.

Although she did agree with her mother-in-law, a few things around here needed to change. Top among them, primogeniture. Svein could shove his need for ‘sons.’ She did not give a fuck if she birthed nothing but half a dozen girls. Yes, she knew the seas were rough. Yes, she had spent enough nights massaging and soothing away aches and pains in all of them to understand how tough their jobs were. But that did not mean women could not do them too.

The other thing that they could shove was ‘claiming’ her children. She and Petrine had talked long and hard about that one over the months. She was the first of the brides that had the power to end that silly tradition. A painless swab would settle the paternity of any child once and for all. Something that had never before been possible with such a high degree of accuracy when it came to brothers. The question was…did she want that? Did she want one of them walking around pounding his chest with bragging rights every time she gave birth?

She fingered the buttons on her phone once more. No, those were minor enough things that could be ironed out in time. The truth was this was her home now. The only real home she had ever had, honestly. She loved her husbands. All of them. Exactly the same and entirely differently. She was even coming to accept that they loved her too.

Though, of course, her Atlas, Mister Cool, would not bend enough to admit his feelings. But she and Petrine had discussed that one too over tea in the greenhouse that stood as a statement to those struggles. It was the coldest day of the year. The wind howled, and snow whipped about them as icicles sometimes close to a meter long hung from bare tree branches. She had commented on how toasty warm it was inside the greenhouse.

The tears had begun to flow once more down Rachel’s face. It was funny, but even she was starting to recognize the difference between the strong, intelligent woman that was the mask her mother-in-law had crafted to face the harsh realities of her life…and the vulnerable woman-child that still existed deep beneath its shroud. She both admired and pitied her…them both, she supposed.

With those tears had flowed the story of the love she had shared with the man who built this place. The man, with the golden-boy looks that his son had inherited and the cold aloofness of the one he had adopted.

It was a combination that Kirsty knew she could have never broken through. Even as tender and open as Bjⱷrn was, there were still moments when they were lying in bed talking, and she looked up at him and thought, ‘what could a man like this possibly see in someone like me?’ Had those drop-dead gorgeous face and body been combined with Svein’s cool reserve, she would have never for a single moment been able to handle the doubts that would destroy any chance of happiness in the end.

But the one thing that had helped her to understand both Stig and Svein better was when Petrine expounded upon the different cultures. Evidently, the words ‘jeg elsker deg’ bore far more significance than their simple translation of ‘I love you.’ While Petrine spoke of the ease with which the word ‘love’ had been used on the commune as she grew up, Kirsty had tried to remember even a single time that she had ever heard those words…before Bjⱷrn anyway. She could not. But these Nordic descendants of those mighty Viking conquerors seemed even more stingy with those words.

So, it was no surprise that Stig had such trouble with words. It was more surprising that Olaf, his son, and Bjⱷrn did not. Those words held far more weight and were far more precious than in either the US or her British cultures. They were sacred even, not to be tossed about lightly. Even if the sentiment behind them was genuine.

It had been more comfortable for the man to put hundreds or thousands of hours into building his wife an impregnable fortress and filling it with the sweet smell of exotic lilies, roses, and her favorite wildflowers than it had been to say three simple words.

Kirsty had sipped her tea and pondered it. Could she be happy if Svein never used those words? She certainly heard them often enough from Bjⱷrn…in close to a dozen different languages. Mikael, too, though her sadist tended to use his humor to deflect and lighten the impact a bit, perhaps not as comfortable expressing his emotions as it appeared.

She mulled that question over as she stared at the keypad on her phone. Yeah. Yes, she could be happy here with them. With him. Even if she never heard those words. The past few days had proven that, as she hit the call button and waited for Roz to pick up. Yes, it was past time that this was settled. It was time she moved forward and quit looking back at a place she had never truly belonged in any way.

“Hello, Roz. Yes, yes, I know. I promise you by the end of the week. You will have my reply about the job by then.”

Svein fingered the beautifully delicate necklace. The damned thing was as much a piece of art as her collar. The chain that was shorter and thicker than most necklaces would wrap tightly about her neck.

He had made sure of that when he measured it, sort of anyway. He had used the rope that they had played with the other night as a guide, marking it as he counted off the anchor that fit perfectly about her neck so that the knot rested just on top of the spot where her collar bones came together. That way, she would have no idea what he was up to.

His charm, a length of rope with his birthstone in the middle, would dangle at the very spot his knot had that night. A couple of inches to the left swayed a dagger with Mikael’s birthstone at the hilt of the handle. He had swallowed his anger at his middle brother’s brash use of the damned thing to mark her breast long enough to order the charm anyway. For Bjⱷrn, it had been a flogger also with his birthstone in the handle. There was even a music note with Monica’s.

He sighed as he rubbed the intricate white gold links between his fingers. He hoped with his whole heart that he would be ordering another link within the year. For their child.

He smiled as he placed the necklace in the pocket of his coat. It was absolutely perfect, just like she was. He just prayed that they would have many years of adding new charms before any were lost. His mother’s was almost bare these days. Only her sons’ and Olaf’s remained.

He remembered her face each time she had pressed a charm into the stiff, cold hands of her husbands. Of course, he had not even been born when she had done the same to his father. He swallowed at the pain and fear that always accompanied that thought. But today was not about those ancient hurts. No, it was about love – Valentine’s Day. There could be no more perfect day for her collaring.

Maybe he should have consulted his brothers first, but then too, Bjⱷrn had not asked him before messing in her mind with that orgasm control and conditioning shit. And Mikael had certainly not consulted them before putting his mark on the flawless alabaster skin of her breast. Besides, he seriously doubted either would object to this…his mark upon their wife.

No, it was not the collar that had his stomach in knots and his chest so tight that he was not sure how he could even breathe. It was those words. “Æ ælske dæ.” They had just slipped out that first time. And never once in their nights together this past few days had she mentioned them. Whether it was because, like him, she was not ready to face such complexities or because she had forgotten them, he had not. He could not.

Honestly, they were a complication he had never expected to face. ‘Love’ just was not necessary in his life. Or so he had thought until… Well, he was still not sure exactly when he had fallen in love with his wife.

From the moment she had responded so openly, honestly, and innocently to that first challenge, he had felt an excitement that no other sub had ever elicited in him. And from the moment he had seen her, touched her, listened to her laughter, it had only intensified. Claiming her that first time had certainly shaken him as no other sexual experience ever had.

No matter how fucking hard he had fought it. Fighting loving this woman was like trying to hold your breath. You could only do it for so long until the burning pain in your lungs forced you to gasp and draw huge lungs full of fresh air into them. And that was what she was…fresh air…for all of them.

No, she deserved to hear those words. To know how he felt about her. He may never be fully counted among the toffelhjälten. He might never be the besotted lover like his baby brother. Or even the funny man that Mikael was with her. He was sure that those words would be rare and never come easy for him. But he would not wait for his death bed, or hers, to say them either.

Now he just had to find the courage to deliver the speech that he had been practicing for days, since the moment he had ordered her collar and paid a small fortune to make certain it arrived in time for this day. He smiled as he realized there was a skip in his step as he covered the short distance between the boat and the Holding.

As he climbed the stairs, he found himself humming the tune of a ridiculously sappy love song that had been translated from Norwegian into English. Though the hair color in the music was all wrong for her, the rest certainly fit. He had never felt so connected to her…to his family…to the Holding. For the first time, he truly felt alive without being at sea and battling Njörður.

He was so caught up in the excitement that he threw open the door to her room without knocking. He stopped in the doorway. His heart stopped beating. Air froze in his lungs, “I promise you by the end of the week. You will have my reply about the job by then.”

Svein tried to swallow the foul taste that bubbled up in his throat. He tried to quiet the raging storm that howled through his mind. He tried to still the trembling in his hands that hung limply at his side. None of them seemed capable of responding to his brain. What little was left of the damned thing.

Job? What job? She had not asked any of them permission to take a job here. No, according to his mother, they could not get her into town after that first bad experience with their blasted ‘cousins.’ The men had been their bane of existence their whole lives. So, it did not make sense that she was talking about a job in the village, and it was certainly too far to commute to the city.

Which meant? Well, it damned well sounded like she was planning to go back there. To pick up her career and old life just like Greta had when she abandoned Mikael and Monica. He shook his head as the pain cleared enough to be replaced by anger. She had been using them all along. Some warped holiday to explore her kinky side. That was all they had ever been to her.

He was across the room before he knew it. His hand gripped hers so tightly that she dropped the phone to the ground. He did not even think as his booted foot crushed it into the hardwood floor, shattering the screen, though he could still hear some voice on the other end calling out to her. “Kirsty, Kirsty! Are you all right, honey?”

“MY wife will be fine. But she is not taking whatever job you are discussing. Her place is here. With us.” Svein did not wait for a reply or give the woman a chance to phone back as he lifted his foot again and crushed the phone beneath his heel completely. He fought back the need to destroy her, too, as he battled for the control that had been his way of life. Until she came and screwed everything up.

“What fucking job, Kirsten?” He screamed as he tightened his hold on her wrist even more. If he had been thinking at all, he might have loosened his grip when he saw her draw back in fear. But he was too far gone then.

Anger, hurt, and betrayal were a dangerous cocktail when mixed with newly discovered emotions. Too powerful to be easily overcome. “Answering me, woman. Or I swear I will fucking open that back of yours with the whip.” As if to prove his point, Svein ripped open her blouse.

“You do, and I will fucking kill you,” said the cold, steely voice. Mikael spun him around, his fist connecting with Svein’s jaw so powerfully that both he and Kirsty fell back against the bed.

Before Svein could say or do anything else, Bjⱷrn was in the room and reached for her, drawing her tightly against his chest. “Me, first,” his baby brother declared his intentions as he shoved her behind them both.

But Svein was not to be stopped. Incensed by betrayal and pain that seemed more than he could bear at that moment.

Of course, the toffelhjälten could not see her for the conniving little bitch that she was. Why was he not surprised? It had taken Mikael years to see it in Greta. It seemed not even that had wizened the man up. Of course, what would Bjⱷrn, the virgin, know of women and their capacity for duplicity?

No, only he knew what they were really like, always looking for some excuse to betray the men who loved them, who gave them everything. He, above all others, had seen that over and over again. He, who had played with dozens of married subs.

Well, if she fucking thought that he was letting his wife off so fucking easily, she would learn. So would the little fools. “Don’t you fucking see? She has just been using us. Using us to fulfill her fantasies. Now she is off back to her fucking old life…abandoning us just like…”

“Don’t you fucking say her name, or I swear it will be the last word you say for months until your jaw heals,” Mikael stormed closer to him.

“No, it isn’t like that…I swear,” she clutched at Bjⱷrn’s back.

His baby brother shook his head and pushed her back. “You don’t need to say anything else, Kirsty. Wait for us downstairs while we handle this.”

Svein shook his head at her acting abilities. How many times had he buried his head between a woman’s thighs and tortured her with his tongue as she chatted like nothing was happening on the phone with the husband she was betraying? Not HIS wife. She was not betraying him, them. He would make damned sure that she paid for this.

But one thing was certain – she was not going back. Even if she had killed that silliness and false hope that he had foolishly given into, he was not letting her go. He never would. He did not need to love her to own her.

She might have thought this was some game, a fun holiday, a kinky one. Well, hadn’t their mother tried the same stupid shit with their fathers? And look how that turned out. No, as that silly saying went…she had made her bed, now she must lie in it. Even if he had to fucking tie her to it every damned time they left. His wife would learn her place.

Let the toffelhjälten deal with that too as he came up swinging, connecting with Bjⱷrn’s ribs and doubling his baby brother over in the process. So much for the kid’s size advantage. “Do not coddle the conniving little cunt.” He drove his knee into his brother’s stomach.

He spun around and connected a solid blow to Mikael’s jaw at the exact moment that another landed on the side of his head, leaving his ears ringing and his head spinning. But he was determined to take his toll on them both before going down.

“You never fucking learn what they are like, do you?” he taunted his brother. The look on Mikael’s face told him that his words scored a more powerful blow than even his fists had.

He stepped back then, watching as she ran to Bjⱷrn to comfort him. He had had enough of all of them. “Hear me now…you are not going back there. You belong to me now. You will fucking learn your place.”

He stared from Mikael to Bjⱷrn, “And the two of you will fucking grow a set of balls when it comes to her. She is not going to use this family and then abandon us the way that other bitch did. So, stay the fuck out of my way when I need to correct her.”

He did not stay to hear what they said as he stormed from the room. Instantly, he was across the small distance and standing on the deck of the only piece of solid ground he had ever known. Her name was Njörður’s Captive for a reason. Because the only way to have what you wanted in this world was to fucking take it. She would learn when he took what was his; he fucking kept it too.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out the collar that had cost him over a thousand of her pounds. He drew back his arm and threw it as far as he could into the fjord, the sea that had always been the only true thing. The only thing he could count – his faithful wife and mistress.

He just needed to remind himself of that fact and push the fucking pain that ate at his soul away. The sea. Sons. That was what this was all about. Love had no place in this fucked up world. It was just an illusion for fools like his brothers. He had lived forty years without it. He could live another forty just as easily.

‘Really?’ ‘Can you?’ sang the wind as it wiped about him. Ice and snowing bleating his face as they mixed with hot tears that he would deny until the end of his days, and this fjord swallowed his body just as it had that meaningless piece of gold and gems. He did not need her. Them. Love. Any of it.

He did not.

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