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|Rapture(Shadowdwellers #2) by Jacquelyn Frank|
She snorted out a sarcastic laugh.
“No, thanks. Already seen you do that. Not my idea of something I need to relearn.”
Magnus sat down and casually crossed his legs, making her realize there were chairs across from the alcove and bed.
“I meant for you. Although I have to say I am surprised you haven’t figured that out. What has Brendan been teaching all week?”
“Well, you saw,” she replied uneasily. “Tactile foreplay. Yesterday it was foot rubbing. The day before was this whole thing with a feather. It was odd.”
He was silent for a moment. “Tell me you didn’t volunteer for any of those demonstrations,” he demanded quietly.
“No. The hair was the first. What do you care if someone rubs my feet? They’re just feet.”
“That question is exactly why we do intensive touching courses before we allow students into the relations lecture. It’s also why we have private sessions like this. Get on the bed.”
“How about…umm, no.” She went to walk around him and went for the door. She threw the bolt and tried to open it, but it wouldn’t budge. She looked down at the knob after the first few tries and saw a key lock.
“It’s a double lock. Locks from both sides. You need a key to get in and to get out. It keeps students from doing exactly what you are trying to do.”
“Get away from a maniac?” she snapped.
“Run away in fear without discussing it or facing that fear. Throw the bolt again, please. I wouldn’t want someone walking in on you.”
“I could scream, you know,” Dae said.
“And you would ruin my reputation as a trustworthy teacher and priest for the rest of my life. Please be certain your fear is worth that,” Magnus said calmly.
Daenaira hated to be trapped and she was furious with him for this, but he was right. She couldn’t do that to him.
“Give me the key,” she said, holding out her hand as she stepped up to him.
“Lock the door, Dae. You aren’t going to win this.”
“Give me the thrice-damned key!”
“Take it from me and you can go. But,” he added when she moved forward, “you have to figure out how to do it without touching me, because if you do, I get to touch you in defense of myself. Once you cross that line, Dae, all bets are off. I will use every tactic at my disposal to keep you in this room, and trust me when I say I have a great many of them. Now, throw the bolt and get on the bed.”
What choice did she have? She had run out of ideas and arguments. Magnus was so…quiet. His calm was twice as intimidating as his anger, while at the same time it conveyed the impression of a dispassionate instructor. She didn’t know if she trusted that. She certainly didn’t trust him. Just the same, she threw the bolt as requested and returned to the bed to sit down with a huffy flounce reflecting how peeved she was with him.
Magnus smiled softly. Had she had any experience, she could have charmed that key off him in dozens of ways, but it didn’t occur to her that she had that power. Once she did realize it, he was in a lot of trouble. She had used what she had seen somewhere else against Killian, a flash of her sexuality and the knowledge of men that she had learned, he was assuming, at that bar her mother had owned that he had just heard about. It had literally allowed her to drop-kick a man who was all but impossible to defeat in a battle of strength and skill. Killian would have made an excellent penance priest, if not for his appetite for women.
“Take off your sari, K’yindara.”
“I’m not getting naked in front of you.”
“I said the sari, honey. You can keep the rest.”
“Oh.” She reached up and slowly pulled the sari from her shoulder. She toyed with the velvet cloth of it before she started to pull the pleats from the underskirt just as slowly.
“I have all the rest of the night, baby,” he all but purred to her as he leaned forward and put his elbows on his knees. “And Alaskan nights in winter are so very long.”
Daenaira shot him a look that wished it could kill him. She whipped off the sari and threw it into his lap. Then she thought better of it, went to retrieve it, and pushed him back in the chair by his shoulders. Looping one end of the sari around the arm of the chair, she caught his wrist and quickly tied it down. When Magnus cocked a brow in query she said, “I’m not going to go for the key. I just don’t trust you.”
“What makes you think I would trust you after you lied to me before?”
“I didn’t lie. I said religious instruction. Technically, all the instruction here is religious. It’s all taught by priests and handmaidens.”
“That is splitting hairs,” he said.
She shrugged. “Anyway, you and I both know you are strong enough to rip the arms off this chair. Just give me this.”
Magnus dropped his free hand onto the opposite arm of the chair. Dae strung her sari across and tied him tightly. She bit her lip nervously as she backed away from him and stopped against the bed when she hit it with the backs of her legs. Her hands were suddenly cold and she rubbed them together to warm them even though she knew it was a terrible tell. She couldn’t help herself. She was actually surprised he was being so compliant about being bound. He didn’t seem the type to tolerate it. Even though she was right and he could break free if he wanted to, it would take time and effort that a man of his sense of control would dislike. Vulnerability for even a second was still vulnerability.
“Get on the bed, K’yindara,” he said softly.
Magnus very artfully walked himself into summer daylight.That was what the end result of this lesson would be, after all. He acknowledged that. The sheer insanity he was going to work upon himself filled him with reluctance. But what choice did he have? To turn her loose on another instructor? Brendan? Shiloh? Gods, no. Never. Never. If he refused to let anyone else instruct her, then that meant he had to swallow the beautiful agony of teaching her himself. She deserved the knowledge she craved, and she deserved to feel trust with her instructor. He would prove that she could trust him if it was the last thing he ever did.
He absently twisted a wrist against her significantly tight bindings as he watched her obey his last command and sit on the bed. She tucked her legs under herself and smoothed her skirt over them so only her feet and ankles could be seen.
“Are you wearing panties?” he asked.
She opened her mouth to retort, probably to say it wasn’t his business, but she realized it was a silly argument given the situation. She nervously brushed back the heavy fall of her well-brushed hair and licked her lips slowly.
“Yes,” she said. “Should I…uh…?”
“No. I was asking for instructive purposes. Are you comfortable sitting like that? You may shift at any time, by the way. I actually encourage it. I want you, ideally, to feel what your body wants and to flow with it instantly. If I tell you to stop, I want you to stop just as instantly. Okay, K’yindara?”
“Do I have a choice?”
“I could do it for you,” he reminded her, grinning when he got a nasty look for his troubles. “You see, there’s always choices.”
“Yeah. Unless you’re chained to a wall,” she responded wryly.
The remark bled the humor right out of him, making him realize just how difficult it must be for her to be in a locked room like this. There was suddenly much more impact to her need to bind him, and he felt a little sick from the powerful depth of her mistrust of him. It made what he was doing right then very wrong. He was the wrong person, from her perspective, to be teaching her. A private sexual instructor should be one of the priests or handmaidens a student trusted most. But selfishly, he couldn’t bring himself to guide her elsewhere. Not even to Hera.
She was for him.
The gods had sent her to him, and she was for him.
“Lie back. Relax.”
She responded, reaching to spread her hair back behind her. She lay in profile to him, streams of gorgeous hair and swells of generous curves accented by her clothing.
“Start by touching your own body, K’yindara. Your face. Your throat. Your shoulders and arms. Bypass your breasts for the moment and touch your belly, your thighs.”
Magnus swallowed his growing tension as, after a long hesitation of looking at him distrustfully, she started to obey.
“Do you recall your lesson earlier? Men are very enamored by the images of a woman in their bed. Watching you touch yourself is something that will be deeply arousing. However, it needs to be deeply arousing to you first. When you are alone. When you learn this, you will be able to use it as a tool for relaxation or release when sex is inconvenient or impossible. It is also an excellent tool for seduction.”
“Just…touching myself?” She drew slow fingertips over the flat of her belly.
“You’ll see,” he promised. He was already seeing. She had no idea how sexy she looked to him, so serious and distrustful, yet touching herself so naturally. He let her continue quietly for a few minutes. “How do you feel?”
“I—a little silly. It feels a little like taking a bath, only without the water.”
“Someday, if I can gain your permission, I will bathe you as you did me, and I will show you exactly why I had the reaction that I did.”
Dae remembered that reaction, and he could see her entire body flush hotly with the memory. For the first time, her breathing altered pace.
“Sexual memory and fantasy are often integral to the pleasures of masturbation,” he told her. “Close your eyes and draw up images and moments where you felt aroused. Delete anything negative, filter it away, imagine it the way it could have been if everything had been perfect for you.” Magnus watched her lips part and saw heat simmer across her breasts just as her nipples became pronounced beneath her blouse. He would have sold his soul right then to be a telepath; to know what she was thinking. He sat forward, just as far as was comfortable within his bindings, but still a few inches closer.
He watched as she relaxed and focused on what she was thinking and feeling, his hands gripping tightly to the arms of his chair as she unwittingly drew closer and closer to her breasts and the areas inside of her thighs.
“You create the sensation of your lover’s hands on your body. He isn’t there in the bed with you, but you can create him using your mind and your hands.”
Or you can damn well get up and untie him, Magnus thought hotly as he watched her natural sensuality awaken with a vengeance. Her body shifted and slid in a luscious undulation of awareness, and she hiked the slender fabric of her skirt high on her thighs.
Gods, she had beautiful skin. Her legs were so long and well shaped, bringing attention to her round hips and, he knew, delectable ass.
“Put a hand under your blouse, K’yindara. Feel how soft and warm you are between your breasts. Begin to shape yourself.”
She looked at him then, a little questioning.
“I know. I didn’t take the time to touch you like that when I should have, but if I had it to do over again, I would feel your shape and weight in both of my hands, learn where you are sensitive; but I wouldn’t touch your nipples just yet. I’d want to tease you a bit first, make sure I had every nerve beneath your skin paying full attention.”
Magnus was already starting to feel the pressure of his building erection when she sighed and moaned in a single breath. The instant she did that, his entire body flashed volcano hot, molten and raw, and he hardened with a vengeance.
“Drenna, you are so tempting, K’yindara,” he uttered. “A saint would sin to have you.”
Dae looked at him, taking in the straining tension of the way he sat and the covetousness he couldn’t hide in his eyes. The little minx smiled slyly, so very pleased with herself for getting to him. What was more, she took pleasure in it that heated her already hot little body.
“Take off your blouse, Daenaira,” he ordered her, hearing the roughness in his voice and not even caring how obvious it was. “Let me see your beautiful breasts. Let me see those dark and lovely nipples you’re going to be playing with very soon.”
She looked at him again as she took the bottom of her shirt between her fingers. When she slowly inched the velvet up, he realized she was gauging his reaction with intense interest, her tongue appearing in the corner of her lips as she did so.
“Do you have a question, Dae?” he asked, making sure she could see everything she wanted to in the covetous burn of his gaze.
“This excites you even though you aren’t being touched?”
“Yes. Very much so. Does that bother you?”
She seemed to think about it. He knew his reactions excited her. It was obvious. However, he also knew she wouldn’t be willing to admit that too easily.
Daenaira sat up, simultaneously drawing off her blouse. She not only bared her breasts, but she sent her hair flying around her in a cloud of darkest red. The silken network of strands feathered against her shoulders and breasts and ribs, and Magnus felt the gorgeous agony of wanting something so very badly, but knowing he couldn’t have it. He hadn’t earned it. He didn’t even deserve it.
“Dae, you’re so beautiful,” he exhaled quickly. “Please tell me I’ve told you that.”
“You have.” She smiled at him and he felt gifted for it. He had missed her friendly cheekiness and honest smiles.
“Good. Now pull back your hair, honey. I really want to watch you do this. I know this isn’t about me, but I need you to know exactly how powerful you are as a woman. I would love to see you learn it and, though it might just kill me, I want to be victim to it.”
Daenaira felt every single word he spoke go through her as if someone were dumping buckets of molten metal over her. She drew back her hair as requested, watching the tension crawling through him as she exposed herself to him. He was gripping the chair so tightly she heard the wood creaking softly on occasion. The way he was losing control of his calm fascinated her. It reminded her of when she had caught him in the bath in the throes of an orgasm he couldn’t stop, looking like he’d been hit by a train even as he gasped in pleasure. This was the power he was speaking of, and the understanding made her flow with a liquid burn that damped her panties.