***Monroe Dirt Farm***
Abby’s world went black. As dark as the depths of the universe. But at the same time, the light of a million stars burst through her. Her body was alive. She wanted more. She wanted him. She wanted Andrew Jackson Greywolf. Always Jack. How could she have been so drunk that she had not known it was real? What if she had? Would that have changed anything? When she reached for this man in the fog of her drunken fantasies, hadn’t it been him she wanted?
She sighed as her body began its slow descent into the real world. Would it be so bad? This lunacy, he proposed. Married to the man that she had fantasized about her whole life? What was her problem? Why couldn’t she reach out and grab what she always wanted?
Because she was afraid. Afraid that Jack would find her lacking, reject her as her mother had. Her father’s words, ‘If it weren’t for you,’ before his fist would descend. What if Jack walked away and abandon her as that little girl had been. Only Nana’s steadfast love had drawn her back then, taught her to trust again. But even that was only partial.
Even with her beloved grandmother, she had always been afraid to show her what raged inside of her. The whirlwind of emotions and thoughts. Instead, she had adopted the ‘good girl’ façade, doing precisely as everyone expected and doing it better than anyone else.
Books were her only escape. The only place where those darkest parts of herself could be freed. Could run barefoot through erotic fields of floggers, collars, and Saint Andrew’s cross. What would this man think if he knew, really knew, the dark fantasies that lurked in the virgin school teacher’s mind?
She opened her eyes and looked up at him. Arrogance and power clung to him like a second skin. She bit her lower lip as she pondered it. The truth was that this man was as dominant as she was submissive. He had shown that several times already. But domineering and Dominant were two different things. Would he be willing to try any of the very naughty things that her dark soul cried out to experience?
Before she had time to answer that one, she was flying through the air. Her arms wrapped about his broad shoulders to steady herself as he carried her across the hall and kicked open the bathroom door. The bear claw tub was full to the brim with steaming hot water and bubbles. She was reminded of her earlier thoughts about needing another cup of coffee and this bubble bath.
As he lowered her to stand in front of him next to the tub, she acknowledged just how much her aching body needed it. And why. She reached for the hem of her slip, but his hands were there already. He pulled it over her head and, in a single motion, turned to toss it in the laundry basket. She shook her head. It was almost as if this man knew her home as well as she did. But she did not have time to ponder that thought as he made quick work of her bra, tossing it too across the room.
Her throat tightened, and she sucked in air or tried to as he knelt on the floor in front of her. He was on one knee, and she was reminded of his proposal. The stark practicality of it left her yearning for more, for him to take to bended knee for something besides just removing her stockings. But that was what he was doing with surprisingly deft fingers. John had always complained that these ‘ancient contraptions,’ as he called them, were too complicated, meant to keep men out. Yet Jack liked them or at least said he did.
He lifted her leg and placed her foot on his knee as his big hands rolled the stockings slowly down her legs. When he was finished, he did the same with the other leg. The only thing left on her then was the tiny scrap of silk that was her garter belt. But his fingers made quick work of that too.
Naked. She was naked. Completely naked. With a man. Not just any man, but the man. Andrew Jackson Greywolf himself. She started to lift her arms to cover herself, but it was too late. She was once more lifted into his strong arms as he lowered her into the water. The warmth of it surrounded her, welcoming her. “Hmmm,” she sighed as she gave her troubled thoughts over to the comfort of the bath.
Jack looked down at the woman/child who would soon be his. He shook his head at how completely open she was. Then he frowned. How had someone like her managed to survive in this fucked up world this long? How had she managed to remain so unspoiled and innocent in the modern world? The games that people played, mind games, seeking to control and use one another. Everything had become like the balance sheets he went over once a week at the casino. And everyone sought to make sure that they came out ahead, that the tally was in their favor.
But not this one. There was no artifice about Abigail at all. She was practically as innocent and carefree as that little girl he had pushed in the swing that afternoon. Did she remember that? He shook his head. What the fuck was he thinking? He should be running as fast as he could from this woman. Instead, he was doing everything in his power to bind her to him. He was trying to do the impossible – capture a rainbow and hold it forever in his hands. That was the simple truth of it. She was the pot of gold he had been secretly looking for his whole life. The one that he would not even admit to himself that he wanted.
Her innocence called out to him, ignited the protector inside of him, demanded that he lay it all aside to serve her. And serve her, he would. He knelt at the side of the tub and reached for the washcloth. He smiled as he found the bar of soap on a tray at the foot of the tub. It was pink, of course. And who still used bar soap in this world of body wash? He smiled as he felt himself slip a little deeper into her web.
He began by lifting an arm. He ran the washcloth gently up its length to where it met her shoulders; then, he ran it back down the underside. She sucked in a deep breath as it brushed against the side of her breast. Oh yes, his baby girl was naturally responsive, and he was looking forward to showing her all the joys that could bring them both.
He repeated the process with her other arm, and yet again, he heard that quick intake of breath. He smiled as he lowered her arm into the water. He lathered the cloth with soap once more. “Sit up,” he commanded, although it sounded more like a throaty plea. Either way, she obeyed as he ran the cloth across her back a few times before she leaned back and sank beneath the bubbles once more.
He reached for the soap again. But this time, he was not content to let her remain hidden behind her closed eyes, “Look at me, Abby Jean.” He wanted to beat his chest like a fucking caveman, let out a war cry like one of his ancient ancestors, at the speed with which she obeyed his command. Their eyes met, and he held her gaze as he began to rub the cloth from one shoulder to the other. Then his hand moved lower.
Her eyes went wide as he brushed across her breasts. He felt them pebble instantly. They were so fucking sensitive in a way that the silicone monstrosities that so many of his lovers had favored never would be again. He cupped them, and they perfectly filled his hand. He watched as her face pinked once more, and he knew it had nothing to do with the warm water.
“I know they’re…” she began.
His finger against her lips silenced her as he realized once more that his woman had not survived the harsh realities of modern relationships any better than he had. But that was all over now. She was his to protect and cherish – and heal. Or she would be damned soon.
“They are perfect. I never want to hear you say another negative thing about yourself, Abby. You are perfect just as you are. And anyone that cannot see that is either blind or a damned fool, or both. Do you understand me?”
She nodded her head slightly but kept her eyes lowered. There would be times he craved that type of submission, but not now. Now he demanded to see it in her eyes. He lifted her chin and forced her to meet his gaze. “Whatever that man said to you, forget it. He lied. He lied because he knew that he was not worthy of you. He lied because he was a selfish bastard. He probably lied because he wanted to possess you but knew he never really would. So, he would rather destroy you than allow another to have you. But whatever reason, believe me, he lied.”
He saw the sheen of tears gather in those eyes that could hide nothing from him. “I’ll try,” was only a whisper. Jack knew this one was not over yet, but it was a start. That would have to do for now.
He reached out and grabbed one of the stiff peaks that poked out of the water. He pinched it, “And if those voices start in your head, you will come to me, Abby Jean. You tell me what they say, and together we will conquer them. Is that understood?”
Her breathing was raspy as she nodded once more. “Yes, Sir,” she whispered, and a thousand suns burst inside of him. Why the fuck had she chosen those words, he did not know. Yes, he did. Because she was a natural. Naturally submissive. This was no more a role-playing game to her than it was to him.
So, he rewarded her as he always would with the perfect mate to those words, “Good girl.”
Those words had haunted her whole life. They were the one thing she strived with every ounce of her being to fulfill. And the one thing she feared she never could truly be. But when he said them like that, they became so much more. A reward. A promise. A benediction almost.
Of course, she had read them thousands of times, and each time it was the same – butterflies and tingles as the Dom rewarded his sub. But she had never thought actually to hear them. Not like that. Oh, she knew that John liked to play those games. He had tried with her. She had ended up in a mass of giggles.
But with Jack, it was different. It was not a game. It was who he was. And she had to admit she was responding to it. He had taken charge of everything since the moment he walked over to her in the bar last night. She had given him control. Her unspoken consent and submission. And this is where it had gotten her – deflowered and naked in a tub with her darkest fantasy.
The question was: was this really what she wanted? She could almost see the sands of time flowing through that tiny opening in the hourglass. Honestly, it was probably too late already. She had given over too much control to his manipulation. It would be impossible to wrest back any of it now. The truth was that she did not want to.
But she knew too that she could not go through the rest of her life…their lives…seeing it as him taking these choices from her, him forcing her to do his will. If they were indeed to make this work, and she was coming to accept that was what she wanted, had always wanted, then she had to surrender fully to him. She had to give her true consent. Because the truth was that no one could genuinely take what was not freely given.
She studied the man before her. The one who was reaching for the soap once more. Not the one that she had built up in her fantasies. Not the one that was an amalgamation of all the best parts of her favorite heroes in her books. Not some fantasy. But the reality. And she judged him on his actions of the past twelve hours.
Twelve hours. Fuck, she felt the panic rising inside of her. Her whole life had changed in what amounted to a single grain of time in that hourglass. She had gone from a virgin school teacher crying in her beer after being tossed aside by one fiancée to the verge of marrying a man she barely knew. She choked on the thought.
“Breath,” he brushed the rough washcloth across her breasts.
Fire sprang to life, threatening to overpower the fear. She held his gaze as his hand and the washcloth traced gently back and forth patterns across her stomach. His eyes were dark, almost black, and she was losing herself in their depths like an astronaut floating through space tethered by only a thin oxygen cord. She was at the end of that cord now.
She had a decision to make. Was she going to try and fight her way back to the safety of the spaceship, almost swim her way through the darkness, or was she going to cut that cord that had tied her to the past? Could she honestly reach out and embrace a life that she had only dreamt about? How could she not?
Her legs fell open when his hands reached their juncture. Jack smiled and shook his head as he reached for the soap again. He went to the end of the tub and lifted one leg out of the water. He began the slow torturous path back up.
“Damn it,” she moaned.
He laughed, “I would be careful about what foul language came from that pretty little mouth of yours, Abby Jean. Remember, I have a bar of soap right here, sweetheart.”
How could she keep fighting? It made no sense to resist that which you had always wanted. He let that leg drop back into the tub and reached for the other. He repeated the process until he once more reached the apex of her thighs. Those eyes flamed to life then.
“When we get to Vegas, before we get married even, you are to go to a spa. I want this waxed, do you understand me?” His fingers firmly caressed her mound as she nodded. “And you will keep it that way from now on. Is that understood? I like my cunt nice and bear when I eat it.”
Abby froze, unbreathing, at the naughtiness of his words. She might have read worse, much worse, but never had she heard them. And heard them with such authority. She nodded her head. And he reached between her legs and pinched her clit between his fingers. Pain shot through her.
“That is not the right answer, Abby Jean.”
She could feel the burning in her lungs, but she had forgotten how to breathe, it seemed. She tried to nod again, but his fingers only pinched her tender flesh harder. She tried to think of the ‘right answer,’ but her oxygen-deprived brain was spinning. In desperation, she gave the only one that seemed natural, “Yes, Sir.”
And once more, she was rewarded with those words. “Good girl.”
At that moment, she cut that tether. She gave what Jack, or anyone, could never really take – her consent. She handed over more than the keys of her grandmother’s car. She handed over her trust to this man that she had known forever but knew not at all. She embraced the unknown and grabbed for her dreams with both hands.
Jack saw it in her eyes. Her surrender. All the reluctance he had fought since she awoke that morning quite literally flew out the window. He smiled as he recognized Abby giving herself into his care. He let the washcloth drop into the tub as he wrapped her in his arms and lifted her once more out of the cooling waters. He grabbed a towel and wrapped it about her tiny shoulders. He rubbed her softly, drying the water from her skin before lifting her and carrying her back into that room.
He sat her on the end of the bed as he threw open the closet. He smiled at what greeted him, more of the same. Soft pinks, pastel blues, sunny yellows, even a fiery red. But all the same feminine full cut of the dress she had worn last night. He studied them and chose a dusky rose with blue flowers. He turned and laid it on the bed next to her. “Wear this one. And pack a couple more for the trip. The red one for sure. And remember no panties, is that understood?”
She started to nod her head again but then thought better of it. “Yes, Sir,” her eyes dropped to the floor.
He smiled as a lifetime he had never thought to have stretched out before him. This was going to be fun. As much fun as training a wild mustang or executing a battle plan with the adrenaline rushing through his body. “That’s my girl,” he said possessively. “I will be back in half an hour. Be dressed, packed, and waiting on the front porch. Do you understand me?”
“Yes, Sir,” flowed more quickly this time. The battle of wills was over. While he might like to claim victory, he knew the truth – it was she who had chosen to surrender that which could never indeed be taken, not even by force. That most precious gift of all – herself.
He wanted to stay and show her exactly how much she pleased him. But more than that, he needed to seal this deal. He wanted his finger on her finger. Well, not his ring exactly. But he knew the right one, the only one that made any sense. And more importantly, he knew just where to find it.