Chapter 11 – Blushing Cheeks

Brent was relieved to see that Samuel was already unloading a rather good-sized moving truck with several teens’ help. At this point, there were few able-bodied men in the compound, just Samuel, Daniel, a handful of science nerds, a couple of retirees, and himself. Most younger families and single men would be filtering in over the next few days, maybe weeks and months.

That had been one of his concerns about the risks of going public. Once everyone was here, well, Daniel’s and Samuel’s friends alone would make this place virtually impregnable. But right now, it was mostly the retired, women, and children among their ranks of fifty-odd souls. But if Daniel felt they could handle things, that was good enough for him. He truly did trust them to know their business as well as he knew his.

He waved for Samuel to join them. From the way the man nodded and spoke to Sammy, perhaps Daniel had alerted him to the situation. A moment later, his friend joined their small crew as they entered the bunker once more.

Daniel had already pulled up a couple of chairs and crates as extra seating, but the tiny space was more than cramped. This facility always would be, though. Designed primarily for storage, it would become the short-term fallback shelter if an attack did come. But it was only meant for a short time, a couple of days max while they came up with a plan of attack or until re-enforcements arrived.

It would serve his purposes now and provide a private place for him and those closest to him to develop a plan of action. One that served the greater good and did their best to protect those they cared about.

“Okay, I want to hear everyone out here. But yes, I agree we have an obligation to do something. To give people the best chance possible to makes plans, prepare, and protect their families. What that something is though I don’t know yet,” he looked around the room at each of them. His eyes came to rest on her, the one he could not afford to lose again. “I want all of you to help me make that choice. Together.”

As he knew she would be, Monique was the first one to speak. “As I have tried to tell you all morning, I can be on a plane to Los Angeles in fifteen minutes. My friends can get me on the news tonight. By tomorrow the whole world will know the truth.” She shook her head, “I don’t understand what the delay is.”

Brent closed his eyes, ran his hands through his hair, and inhaled, preparing once more to defend his decision, but it was Lauren who spoke up before he could. “The delay is that it serves no one’s best interest to incite mass panic that way.”

She looked directly at Brent as she spoke this time. “Besides, there is the issue of credibility here.” She turned back to Monique, “No offense, but neither you nor Brent have much left.”

Lauren paused and bit her lower lip as she did when she tried her best to formulate a polite way to say something. It made Brent smile, “Go ahead and say it, sweetheart. The only people who would listen to us are a handful of kooks.”

“I was trying not to be quite so brutal, Brent.”

They must be making progress then because brutal was the only language she had spoken for the past eight or nine years at least. “And your alternative?”

“Let me go. Back to London, if that is still possible. But if not, then Washington. Let me meet with colleagues at the Met Office, USGS, FEMA…”

“Like the alphabet soup bureaucrats are going to believe us. And even if they did, they aren’t going to do anything. They can’t even save a few thousand people in New Orleans. How are they going to manage a global disaster of this scale?” Monique stood her ground.

Brent had to agree with her assessment of the situation. But he too feared unnecessarily inciting panic in the masses. Innocent lives could be lost just as easily in riots and looting that might follow Monique’s announcement.

Lauren looked right at him, addressed only him this time. “You know I’m right, Brent. You know that we have to try at least.” She turned back to the other woman, “You may be right. It may come to that. But we can’t just jump right over proper channels without giving them a chance to respond, to manage the situation in a more organized and productive way.”

“We’d be no better than them if we did, Brent,” she pleaded.

He shook his head, “Honestly, I don’t like any of our options here.” He stood up and walked over to the crate that Lauren was sitting on. He held out his hand to her, uncertain she would even take it. He was both relieved and a bit shocked when she did.

He drew her up and made no bones about where he stood, where his loyalties lay and who held his heart as he wrapped his arms around her waist and drew her into his embrace. “I know what you say makes logical sense, babygirl. But I can’t. I can’t risk it. Can’t risk you. The girls and I need you too fucking much,” he laid his soul bare for not just her but all of them to see.

She smiled softly as her hands cupped his face. “Honestly, I don’t want to leave them…or you.” The admission was half whispered as she dropped her eyes and bit that oh-so-kissable lower lip once more. Brent’s heart and hopes soared at her words.

“But you know it is the only way. You know I’m right, Brent. We have to try. We can’t just be cowboys from your wild west and go off rogue. We must try to work through the proper channels. Do it the right way. I know your moral code, Brent Jacobs. You won’t be able to live with yourself any other way.”

She had him there. She knew him just as well as he knew her. It was not only his moral code. It was theirs. This was one argument for which he had no answer. And she knew it too as she brushed those soft lips across his for a mere second, “You know I’m right, darling.”

He nodded reluctantly and held her even tighter. He always did hate when she burst his bubbles. The only solace was the gentle way her love cushioned his fall.

“I might have a partial solution, Doc,” Daniel cleared his throat to grab their attention.

“Good thing too. Before we need to get these two a room,” Samuel teased as Monique snickered along with him.

Daniel sent his friend a look that silenced them. “I might have a friend in Washington that could do a bit of security for your Missus.”

“I thought Travis and the others would be too occupied with their own…”

Daniel nodded his head, “They are, but there might be someone else.”

“Who?” Samuel was the one to voice Brent’s question.

“Zane,” Samuel nodded as Daniel turned to Brent. “Commander Zane Rogers was on our team for a couple of years, but the boy genius ended up stationed at the Pentagon.”

“He’s a scientist too. Masters in Statistical Analysis. So he might be able to help you make your case, have a few contacts of his own as well as make sure you get back safe and sound to Doc and those babies,” Daniel spoke directly to Lauren this time.

“If you’re sure you can trust him, then that’s all I need. I’d appreciate any help the man can give,” Brent told Daniel. He was not happy with the situation, but it was better than nothing.

He inhaled, taking in her sweet smell, no one would believe him, but he knew he could find this woman blindfolded in a room of them by her scent alone. “What you say, sweetheart?”

She nodded her head and surprisingly wrapped her arms around his waist. “Sure, like you say, we’ll take any help we can get.”

Lauren squeezed him tightly, then drew back and turned in his arms, looking at Monique this time. “That includes yours too, Monique. I do agree that you should go to California. Just give me a couple of days in D.C. to try things this way first. But if I fail, you’re right; people have the right to know what is at stake here. They have the right to make the best choices they can for their families based on the facts.”

Monique jumped up from her chair and rushed over, encircling them both in a hug. “See, I always knew this one was smarter than just her books, formulas, and poitrine généreuse, mon ami.” His friend kissed him on the cheek.

She turned to Lauren, who was blushing at the reference to her breasts. “And you don’t be stupid again. Get the job done or leave. Come back to this man and those babies. That is all that truly matters, mon cheri. Family is everything.”

“We can second that one,” Daniel added with a smile. “But if you, folks, don’t mind, it’s lunchtime, and my wife is a damned good cook. Let’s all get some food, then get our butts to work. It seems that our nice and easy cushy job guarding some hippie eco-village commune has suddenly turned into a real one of saving lives and protecting people’s ass.” He clapped Brent on the back, “People we care about.”

“If your wife’s cooking is involved, then I second the motion. Meeting adjourned,” Brent groaned as he felt a sharp elbow to his stomach. He frowned down at Lauren, “What’s that for, baby?”

He loved the way her bottom lip poked out. It made him want to kiss it until it was swollen and red. Then soothe it with softer ones.

“Are you saying that you prefer Jill’s cooking to mine?”

Brent laughed, “Darlin’, as much as I love you, we both know that it ain’t because of your skills in the kitchen.” He bent down and fed his obsessions just a little as he suckled on that lip and gave it a quick nip with his teeth as he whispered in her ear, “The bedroom? That’s another matter.”

Samuel clapped him on the back. “The rest of us are heading out for some food. You two just don’t leave any stains on my desk,” he chuckled as he looked back from the doorway with Monique and Daniel on his heels. “Now Daniel’s dat’s a-nutter madder, as my wife would say.”

Brent shook his head at his friend’s not-so-gentle ribbing. “I want to know where you keep the handcuffs.” His pronouncement was met with another elbow to the ribs, but he figured he might as well join their little ‘pussy-whipped’ husbands’ club officially by giving as good as he got.

“Third drawer from the top, last cabinet on the left, and there’s other fun interrogation tools in there too,” Samuel added with a perfectly straight face. “But I suggest you nip that one’s penchant for inflicting pain in the bud now. Before Jill fills her head with all kind of switchy shit.”

“Hey, nothing wrong with letting the little one have her turn on the other end of the ropes every now and again,” Daniel winked at him. “Give it a try, Doc, you might like it.”

“I have a lovely black leather bustier I can loan you, mon cheri. The cowboy won’t know what hit him. Just who,” Monique winked at Lauren, whose face was flaming red by then.

“You three go eat, and we’ll catch up in a bit,” Brent shook his head.

Daniel laughed as he ushered the other two out. “I’ll have Jill put some back for you, Docs. And no bodily fluids on my desk either,” he said as he pulled the door closed on them.

Brent nodded as he pulled her even closer, “So, where were we, Mrs. Jacobs? What say we raid that third drawer from the top?”

“Only if I get to use the handcuffs on you this time, Dr. Jacobs.”

The wicked look in those deep green eyes made him swallow reflexively and give it some serious consideration. “What the fuck, like the man says…give it a try, I might like it,” he teased. “But no telling the others, I’d never hear the end of it from Samuel.”

Lauren stared up at Brent. She was more than a bit shocked that he had agreed to this. And the truth was…now that he had; she was not sure exactly what to do.

Brent took her hand and dragged her over to the cabinet. His blues eyes sparkled as he lifted a set of handcuffs from the drawer and handed them to her. “For you, my lady. Now let’s see what other treasures those two keep hidden in here.” He chuckled as he dug deeper.

He pulled out a length of chain with what looked like roach clips on either end. “What’s that?” Brent held them up, this time to be parallel to his chest, and the chain hung between them. She quickly shook her head, and he went back to his treasure hunt.

What he pulled out next was a total shocker. It looked like a fishing hook for whales, but instead of a sharp spike at the end of it, there was a small shiny ball. He frowned and shook his head this time, “What is that?”

“You don’t want to know.”

“That bad?” she giggled. “What? I assume you use it to ‘hook’ someone up like a fish. Not my thing for sure, but I don’t see the big deal.”

“Sort of, darlin’. But this hook doesn’t go in the mouth. Another end, babygirl.”

“No! Just no. That’s disgusting,” Lauren cringed.

“I wouldn’t go that far, but since I am playing the sub this time, this definitely makes my hard list.”

“Hard list?” The term vaguely rang a bell with Lauren, but it had been years since she read that damned book, and even then, she had spent more time laughing than anything else.

“Hard limits…things that you absolutely don’t want to try,” Brent explained.

“So, is this place some kind of kinky sex colony or something?” Even though being tied up had not been as bad as she thought it would be, all of this seemed much more beyond her comfort zone — way beyond actually.

“Not really. Of course, both Samuel, Daniel, and their wives make no bones about their kinks, but it is not a requirement. I guess it is more a case of just being more inclusive, more open-minded than society has been.”

Lauren considered his words. She supposed that if Brent did believe that he was re-building civilization here, that was a good thing. She knew that he had always chafed at the strictures of polite society. She chuckled, more like took delight in thumbing his nose at it. It had not been an asset in his time as a guest lecturer at Oxford.

They always had been oil and water. But with the right spices, the combination made a sweet salad dressing, and goodness knew there was still plenty of spice when it came to the two of them.

“What’s so funny, Lauren?”

“Salad dressing,” she started to crack up with giggles.

Brent shook his head and gave her some kind of firm glare that only made her laugh all the harder. Before she knew it, she found herself pinned to the floor with her hands above her head as he tickled her mercilessly. She thrashed about trying to break free, but it was no use. Brent had the advantage not just size-wise, but that look of determination was back too.

Then the energy changed as his fingers went from tickling to caressing. As quickly and without warning as Mount Saint Helens had blown, her body was burning for him. “Please, Brent,” she whispered as she felt his hand slip beneath her t-shirt.

“What, Lauren? I thought you wanted to be the one in control this time,” he teased as she felt the cold metal of the handcuffs close around one of her wrists.

“Later,” she rubbed against his hard body.

“You sure, sweetheart? I’d hate to rob you of the pleasure of your revenge. Having me at your mercy,” he buried his head in her neck and nibbled softly at her shoulders.

She whimpered as she sought more skin-to-skin contact. “Damn it, Brent, I probably wouldn’t even know what to do if you let me. So, quit playing games and fuck me.”

He pulled back for a moment, an action that brought his hard cock into direct contact with her jean-clad hips, causing her to whimper even louder, “Good because I do.”

The other cuff snapped into place with a loud click that echoed in her mind as his other hand cupped and squeezed her tit. Her nipple hardened as she twisted beneath him, “Brent.”

“So impatient, aren’t we?”

Lauren wanted to wipe the smug look off his face. To break free, straighten her clothes and walk away without looking back. Except even if her hands were not bound by the cold metal, her heart was. It always had been – to deny him was to punish herself.

“I need you, please,” she could not make herself look at him. Did not want to be taunted with even more of his smugness as she kept her eyes centered on the tuft of chest hair that peeked around the top button on his shirt.

But Brent’s finger beneath her chin forced her to look up into those dancing blue eyes. It was not mirth that she saw there. She did not want to admit the truth, so she settled for the word passion.

“Sweetheart, don’t you know you have me bound to you more securely than handcuffs ever could?”

He bent his head and captured her lips. The kiss was all of Brent’s best rolled into one: passion, tenderness, seduction, teasing. It seemed to go on for an eternity until she was rubbing against him like a kitten seeking its master’s total attention. She was on fire, consumed by his flames, and unable to quench her most profound need.

When he finally broke the kiss, he leaned his forehead against hers. Those eyes seemed to caress her face. She could almost feel them moving over her skin, fanning the flames. Then he captured her gaze, “I love you, Lauren.”

Her heart stopped at the intensity of his words. Over the years, he had probably said those three little words thousands of times but never had she felt them to the depths of her being the way she did at that moment. Her heart stopped as she realized she could no longer avoid the truth. “I love you too, Brent. I never stopped.”

She jumped as she felt the sting of his hand making firm contact with her outer thigh. “Now you finally admit that, woman? As you’re getting ready to leave me again? I swear you deserve to be put over my knee and spanked until your ass is red for that.”

Lauren was shocked to discover that rather than being angry at his macho response to her confession of undying love, her body craved the erotic picture his words drew in her fertile imagination. She felt the heat rising in her cheeks as her eyes drifted back to the top button of his shirt once more. She bit her lower lip until it hurt, until she was afraid that she would draw blood. But it was the only choice if she did not want to confess her secret, her dark need for him.

She felt Brent shift his weight off of her a bit. His hand moved between their bodies. He slipped it between her closed legs until he cupped her wet cunt. She inhaled, petrified that he would discover her secret, that the wetness would leak through her knickers and pants, betraying her body’s needs.

His words only confirmed that, “The idea of my bare hand on that soft bottom turns you on, doesn’t it, Lauren?”

She bit her lip harder and tried to shake her head, but she had never been much of a liar. Silence was her best option.

She moaned, but it was not in pain as that hand came down again, harder on her thigh. “Answer me, woman. You want me to spank that sweet ass, don’t you, baby? You want me to put you over my knee and turn your butt red.”

The last was not a question but a statement. One that she could not deny. Especially when Brent suited actions to words, rolling over and sitting up so that she found herself on her stomach across his lap. She cried out in shock as a surprisingly sharp slap echoed off the walls of the tiny space. His hand had landed squarely in the middle of her jean-clad bottom. She did not have to protest as more fell.

The worst, though, was when they stopped. She found herself achy, needy, and almost ready to beg for more. What had barely piqued her interest in that book was turning her insides to mush with this man. But she was determined she would not accede to him on this one. She would keep her dignity…somehow.

“I asked you a question, Lauren.”

She shook her head and stubbornly bit her lip. Brent stood up, holding the handcuffs’ chain in one hand as he brought her with him. He half led and mostly dragged her the couple of feet back to the desk. Without a word, he unfastened her jeans and pushed them along with her knickers down to her knees.

Lauren wiggled, trying to get out of her shoes and the pants the rest of the way off. Brent was having none of it as he spun her around to face the desk. His hand in the middle of her back, he pushed her down so that her upper body was sprawled across the cold, hard surface.

“Your last chance, babygirl. I asked you a question, and I expect an answer.” She heard an edge to his voice that she never had before. It sent butterflies swooping in her tummy. She felt the wetness begin to drip down her inner thigh.

But she was not letting him know that, “Brent, this is not funny. What do you think you’re doing? We don’t even spank our girls.”

His deep rich laughter caressed her mind, and those butterflies did a few more loop-de-loops, “That’s because little girls aren’t meant to appreciate them the way big girls do.” As if to prove his point, she felt his fingers run along her cleft.

Lauren closed her eyes in utter embarrassment as Brent’s thumb circled her throbbing clitoris, and a couple of fingers slipped inside of her wet cunt. She knew her secret was out as he began to move his fingers inside of her. She bit down even harder than before to hold back the moans as she felt a powerful orgasm building when he homed in on her g-spot.

As she felt the tension about to burst, his other hand came down hard on her bare bottom. She could not stop the scream that the sweet duo of pain and pleasure tore not just from her throat but her soul as she crested the peak and glided for several long moments suspended above it all. One orgasm rolled into another as his fingers continued to plunge deeper and deeper inside of her and the stinging blows fell on first one cheek and then another.

Her screams turned to loud moans, then to mindless whimpers. She was not sure how much more her body could take, and that was saying something. “Brent, please, Brent…” she muttered mindlessly. She was not sure what she was pleading for…him to stop or more.

“You like it, don’t you, babygirl? You like being helpless with me. Like me warming this sweet ass,” he moaned as the blows were replaced with tender caresses, but even those stung a bit. Her butt felt like it was on fire, and she did like it.

She bit back another whimper as he withdrew his fingers from her pussy, but she need not have worried as a moment later, they were replaced with the one thing that she loved even more. His thick, hard cock. And she was soaring and screaming again. She did not even care if he heard her pleas this time.

It was hard and fast. Each thrust was more of that sweet combination of pleasure/pain as even the hairs on his thighs and stomach abraded her already sore bottom. It was over way too quickly but not before she enjoyed another dozen or so orgasms, or maybe just one very long one. She was not certain.

Her mind and body were both buzzing with sensation and completely, totally relaxed, devoid, and overflowing at the same time. She could not have moved even if Brent’s weight was not pressing her into the hard desk.

She felt bereft when a moment or two later, he gathered the strength to move off of her a bit, but still, his cock remained inside of her. She moved helplessly against the desk as his hand slipped around her hips. His fingers brushed over the swollen bud of her clitoris, and she felt the sweetest of aftershocks.

His fingers continued to caress, spreading their love juices as he toyed with her, keeping her just on edge. Her eyes widened as a single finger took a different and unfamiliar path this time. She shivered as it circled and toyed with a place that had never before been touched.

She felt him lean forward once more, his breath caressing her cheek as he applied just the lightest of pressure there. “There’s still one of your virginities I have not claimed yet, sweetheart.” His finger strummed and tapped against the opening, but never enough to breach it. “Soon, babygirl. Soon. This time I want all of you. Everything you have and more, Lauren.”

His words frightened her with her intensity. It was not even so much the thought of trying anal sex. She did trust Brent. She knew he would do all he could to make it pleasurable for her, even stop if she asked. He would not hurt her. But what he was asking went so much deeper than that. More in-depth than the light bondage and spanking they were experimenting with.

She trembled as she whispered, “And what do I get in return?”

Brent kissed her cheek, “You still don’t get it, do you, sweetheart? There is nothing more of me to give. It’s all been yours since we were just kids, Lauren. But this time, I need us to be even. Equal partners. Both truly committed to this thing.”

He brushed another of those butterfly kiss on her lips as he stared into her eyes, “I need the one thing that is hardest for you to give. I need your trust.”

Her breath froze at his words. That he had known all along. Known that as much as she loved him, she had never entirely been able to trust him. Yet he had loved her anyway. Her eyes clouded over as the realization dawned on her of how much that must have hurt him.

But she had to be honest; he deserved the truth at the very least. “I’m not sure I know how, Brent.” She felt the tears slip from the corner of her eyes as she turned her head to look at him.

“Then I’ll teach you, darlin’,” he smiled. “And you’re doing real good so far.” His visage turned serious for a moment, “You know the silk ties, the handcuffs, the spanking…all of this is about so much more than just role play and kinky sex games. It is about a depth of trust that most couples never reach. I want that with you, Lauren. I always have, and as much fun as all this is, it is a means to an end.”

He reached up and unfastened the handcuffs. His fingers caressed her wrists tenderly as her mind played over his words. Then he smiled at her as he handed her the cuffs and key. “That’s why tonight I want you to fulfill that fantasy, sweetheart.”

“I willingly submit to you – at your disposal…no limits. I trust you, Lauren. With my life and body, as I have with my heart since I was just a hormone-driven, randy teen who didn’t know jack shit about what life had in store for us. And no matter what happens to this fucked up world, I will until the moment I draw my last breath.”

He stood up once more. This time, his cock slipped from her body. He bent and placed a tender kiss on each cheek of her bum, “Damn, your ass is always beautiful, sweetheart. But it is something exceptional when it is a nice rosy pink,” he teased as he pulled her jeans and knickers that were still wrapped about her ankles back into place.

Lauren was speechless as Brent stepped back, trying to stuff his half-hard cock back into his tight jeans. Getting the zipper up without an accident took a moment of concentration as she giggled at the faces he made. On the other hand, she had a much easier time of completing the job he had begun by sliding her zipper into place and fastening the button. She adjusted her t-shirt and the bra beneath it, too, until they both were relatively presentable.

“So, what you say we get something to eat before we head back to the command center and double-check your calculations. Feed the latest data into the simulation.” He held out his hand and drew her into his embrace. “I still don’t like you being so far from the girls and me right now. But I know you are right. We have to try it this way first.”

He beamed down at her as he lifted her chin, “And I know that if anyone can convince those stick in the mud bureaucrats, it’s you, sweetheart.”

Brent placed a sweet kiss on her forehead as he tucked the handcuffs and key into her back pocket, “For later, Mistress.” He teased as he laced his fingers through hers, “Food, woman. I don’t know what it is, but I’m always starvin’ round you.”

“For food or sex, Brent?” She loved teasing this man. Hell, she just plain loved him.

“Both,” he dragged her back out the way, they had come.

Lauren paused as they emerged from the dugout. The hot desert sun blinded her for a moment, warming her skin and filling her with hope. Like this man’s love always had. He deserved so much more than she had been able to give him, but still, she was all he wanted.

It was time for her to grow up. To stop letting the fears of that little six-year-old girl control her. The worst had already happened – she had lost him. She had survived. Now he was back and offering her more than she had ever dared dream of. But she had to figure out how to take it, to grasp the love he provided, and hold on tight this time.

She patted the handcuffs in her back pocket. She might not know what or how, but she had an idea of who she could ask. Maybe she would let Brent head to the command center on his own while she had a little woman-to-woman chat with her new ‘gurlfriends.’

Oh yes, if this was going to be their last night together for a while, she would give Dr. Brent Jacobs a night to remember.

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