Brenden's eyes went wide for a moment, and then they narrowed.
"What the fuck do you know about Doms, Chiara?"
I just shrugged and kept eating my ice cream. "Enough. She obeys you without question, calls you Sir and Master, and is very submissive. It just stands to reason."
Angel flinched again at my words, and his arm tightened around her. "She's my wife, Chiara."
"I know that, Brenden, but that doesn't mean she's not also your sub."
He just stared at me for a moment and then looked down at Angel. "Why do you want to know?"
I shrugged. "Because I could use some pointers."
Brenden almost choked on his ice cream. "What the hell does that mean?"
I pointed my spoon at him. "It means that I have my own sub, dickhead. Online only, but I'm running out of ideas for him. I think he's getting bored with me."
A slow smile crept onto my friend's face. "Really? What's his name?"
Brenden pressed his lips together to hold in his laugh. "Sigmund? What kind of name is that?"
I frowned at him and thought about throwing my bowl at him. "He's Swedish, okay? Sigmund Hansson."
"Okay, okay. Tell me about him and what you've already done."
Glancing around the little shop, I said, "Not here, you big oaf. It's not like anyone in White Brook knows about me. Can you imagine what Mrs. Woodruff would say if I told her I have a sub who'll jack off on video because I told him to?"
That brought out a laugh from Brenden, and I grinned at him. "She'd probably haul your ass to the loony bin in Weston. Fine, where should we talk?"
"How long are you in town?"
"A couple of days. I've got to get my dad's final arrangements taken care of."
"You're not doing a funeral, are you?"
"Fuck no! Just a cremation. The crematorium can do whatever they want with the ashes. Sucks to high heaven that I have to pay for it, though. The bastard left nothing but that shit trailer."
"Where are you staying?"
"The Red Bridge Hotel off of 79. Why?"
"I could save you some money. I've got an extra bedroom at my place that you are welcome to use."
Throughout all this, Angel had sat quietly, but when I suggested my place, she bit her bottom lip hard, and her entire body tensed. Brenden frowned as he glanced at her. "Sure," he said stiffly, "that'd be fine. We'll swing by the hotel on our way and pick up our stuff."
One thing you have to understand about White Brook, West Virginia. It's small, tiny even. I could walk from the east end of town to the west in less than twenty minutes, so it didn't take long to get to the hotel, cancel the rest of their reservation, and make it back to my house. I had sold the townhouse where my mother was murdered as soon as I turned eighteen, and there had been enough money for a down payment on this place. It wasn't much--nothing in White Brook was--but it had a couple acres of land, two bedrooms, and privacy, which was what I wanted it for the most.
When I showed Brenden the spare room, he said in a tight voice, "If you'll excuse us for a moment, Chiara, I need to speak to my wife."
He walked in the room, and she followed with her head down, but her lips were pressed together tightly, and he practically slammed the door. I unashamedly pressed my ear to the wood, but there was no need to do so. Brenden obviously had no intention of keeping their conversation private.
"What the fuck is wrong with you, Angelina?"
I couldn't hear her response, but Brenden's was immediate and loud.
"God damn it, Angelina! I told you this before we came here! No, I don't love her anymore!" My heart clenched a tiny bit at that. "I love you! What do I have to do to prove that to you that I haven't already done?"
Again, her answer was too quiet to hear. What happened next wasn't, though.
"I don't give a fuck if she hears. I'm sick of you whining about this and arguing with me. Over the bed. Now."
A few moments passed, and the next sound I heard was that of leather meeting flesh. A shiver ran through me when Brenden said, "Count them out, Angelina. Loud enough for her to hear you."
"One, Master," his wife said, quietly but still loud enough to be heard through the closed door.
He continued applying what I assumed was his belt to her ass as she counted out each stroke. He didn't stop until he reached twenty. Then I heard a clatter on the hardwood floor, and the next thing I knew, something slammed into the door, and I jumped back, my eyes wide.
Angel cried out, but Brenden rasped, "That's it, baby. Let her know what I'm doing to you. Let her know how much I love you. Let her know that I'm fucking you right now. This is for me, though. You pissed me off and may not cum." The door shuddered once, and then he continued, "Fucking shit, Angel! You feel so fucking good." The banging on the door increased in speed and volume, and I closed my eyes as one of my hands slid under my shirt to play with my nipples and the other disappeared into my jeans. I imagined his cock, the one that had taken my virginity when we were both sixteen, buried deep inside his wife as he pounded into her. I imagined that my fingers were that same cock buried deep inside me as I fucked myself. The noises from the other side of the door continued as my legs started to shake with my orgasm, and I slid to the floor with my back against the opposite wall with a loud cry. I sat there, slowly rubbing myself to another orgasm, and he kept fucking her while I wished she was me. I managed to bring myself to three orgasms before I finally heard a roar of bliss from the room.
"God, baby," Brenden said afterward, breathing hard, "what you do to me." Then there was silence for a long while, and I barely heard him when he said, "I love you, my Angel. Never forget that. You and only you. Not Naomi, not Cynthia, and certainly not Chiara. It's been ten fucking years since I've seen her. I was sixteen when I left this shitty little town, and I never looked back. You know I didn't want to come back now, but it was necessary. I hate this place with everything in me, and after I'm done with the arrangements, I'm never coming back. Ever."
That hurt. He obviously hadn't thought about me at all in the past ten years, but I had dreamed of him often. He had been the only thing that had made my life bearable in this town, and I had loved him with everything in me, but he had disappeared without a trace shortly after he fucked me for the first time. I had no idea where he had gone, but now I had the chance to find out. I stood up as their door opened, and he stepped out, his hair tousled with that just-fucked look, and his wife's hand in his. When he saw me, he grinned, my heart fluttered, and he picked up Angel, held her with his hands on her ass, and kissed her soundly as her legs went around his waist.
"You're such a fuck, Brenden," I snarled at him.
He whispered something in Angel's ear. She nodded, and then he put her down and followed me when I spun on my heel and stormed into the living room. She went back into their room and shut the door.
"That I am, Chiara," he answered. When I stood in front of my couch, I whirled toward him.
"Was that all for my benefit? You could have just told me you didn't love me anymore. You didn't have to do that." Tears were threatening to fall again, and I hated myself for it.
"Hey, baby girl, come here." Brenden held his arms open, but I stood my ground with my own arms wrapped tightly around me. He sighed and dropped them. "Chiara, that wasn't for your benefit. She's been bitchy and argumentative since I told her I wanted to find you. She needed to be punished, and I needed to fuck her. This had nothing to do with you."
"Bullshit, Brenden! I heard what you told her about me." He took a step toward me, and I retreated from him. "What the fuck, Brenden? Why did you bother to find me?"
He ran his hand through his hair and looked at me as if I were an alien creature. "I missed you, Chiara. I really did, but I couldn't come back here. Not while my dad was still alive. He would have found some way to make me feel guilty enough to stay, and I wasn't about to let that happen."
"You could have called! You could have emailed or written or communicated in some way!" My voice cracked, and I stopped talking and took a deep breath in a vain attempt to keep from crying, but a traitorous tear made its way down my cheek. I wiped it away forcefully, but more followed, and I just hung my head. "You just left me, Brenden! How could you do that to me? I thought you loved me!"
His arms came around me, and he held me close to his chest as sobs were pulled from me unwillingly. "I did love you, baby girl, but I hated this place and my daddy more. I couldn't stay, you know that. I would have followed him into the mines, and that would have killed me faster than anything. I didn't want to be him, and now I'm not. I have a good job in New York, a beautiful wife, and a fantastic life. If I'd stayed, you would have been pregnant within a year, we would have moved in with my dad and been miserable. I didn't want that for you or for me, so I left."
"But you didn't even say goodbye. You just left me all alone."
He sighed heavily. "I was sixteen, baby girl. I was stupid and fucked up and selfish. I hated my life, and I wasn't thinking of you when I ran away. I was only thinking of myself and getting away from that bastard and this fucking town. I'm so sorry. I should have told you I was leaving, but the opportunity came, and I took it."
I pulled away from him and looked up into his beautiful blue eyes. "What opportunity?"
Another sigh came from him, and he turned from me. "One of the truckers at Danny's said he was on his way to New York, and I talked him into taking me with him. I had nothing but the clothes on my back and fifty bucks in my pocket, but I left and never regretted it until right now."
I had to admit to myself that if I'd had the chance to leave, I probably would have done the same thing, but I never got the chance. I wiped my eyes and sat down on the couch. He joined me and pulled me close again. I relaxed into his strong embrace and thought of everything that had gone wrong in my life since he had left.
We had met for the first time when we were both three years old. Our mothers had taken us to the town's one and only park that day, and Brenden had thrown sand in my hair. I had screamed and hit him, and from that day on, we were the best of friends. When my mother was murdered, his family took me in for the first few weeks until the authorities figured out what to do with me. Eventually, I was placed with a foster family in town. They were good people, but they never adopted me officially. I stayed with them until I turned eighteen, though, and I still thought of them as my parents. They lived across town from me.
Brenden and I went to school together, played together every day when it got out, and we spent about half of our summers and vacations at his house and half at mine. I gave him my virginity on my sixteenth birthday, and he was gone four days later. My heart broke, and I sank into a deep depression for months afterward. I dropped out of school, began hurting myself so that the physical pain overwhelmed the emotional pain, and locked myself away from everyone, dreaming of the day when Brenden Borget would come back into town, sweep me off my feet, and carry me away from White Brook, West Virginia forever. Obviously, it didn't happen that way.
Instead, I never heard from him again, went into Charleston every weekend, hooked up with hundreds of men in the last ten years, somehow managed to not get pregnant by any of them, and drank my way through life. I wouldn't call myself an alcoholic, but between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four, I had rarely gone to sleep without passing out first. The last two years, I had realized that I was fucking up my life and decided to change things, so I got a job at the local grocery store, paid my bills, and waited to shrivel up and die like everyone else in this shithole of a town.
"What's New York like?" I asked softly.
His hand rubbed up and down my arm. "It's amazing, baby girl. You'd like it a lot. It's loud and bright and full of life. It's everything this place isn't."
I saw movement near the hallway, and we both looked there. Angel was standing in the doorway with her head down and her hands clasped behind her back, and as I watched her, I clearly saw tears falling at her feet. Brenden saw it, too, and he released me to stand and walk to her. He wrapped his arms around her and held her just as tightly as he had me, but I could see a difference. With me it had been for comfort, but with her, I could see it was with love.
"Is it done, my Angel?" he asked while tipping her head back.
He wiped her cheeks with his thumbs and then tenderly traced her bottom lip with one. "Good girl," he said softly, and she smiled up at him even though her lips trembled. He took her hand and brought her back to the couch before sitting. He picked her up and set her on his lap, and she laid her head on his shoulder as his arms came around her. Then he looked at me. "You know, Chiara, you could always come back to New York with us. I'm sure you could find better work there than you have here, and if you really want to get into the lifestyle, I could show you all the best clubs and parties."
Angel tensed, but he just kissed her temple and tightened his grip. I watched her for a minute, and I noticed that her tears hadn't stopped completely. I knew the feeling of jealousy that was flowing through her at that moment, for it was almost overwhelming me as I watched them. Then an awful thought came to me, and I smiled. I'd go to New York with them, and maybe, just maybe, I would be able to get him to leave her for me. I'd remind him what we'd had before he left, and let him know what he could have again.
"Sure, Brenden. I'll come with you. Thanks for the offer. I'd love to learn more about how to be a real Domme."
He chuckled. "What about Sigmund?"
I just shrugged. "It's an online relationship, so it doesn't matter where I am. He'll obey me from New York as well as from here."
"Very true. Okay then, I'm meeting with the crematorium official tomorrow, and we'll be leaving the next day. If you can be ready by then, you can ride back with us."
"Yeah. I needed the time to think about a lot of things. A plane trip would have been too short for that."
"Well, then, I'd better start making some plans." I stood up and moved toward my bedroom, but I still saw when Brenden took Angel's face in his big, strong hands and kissed her softly.
"I love you, my Angel," he said when he broke the kiss. "You are mine, and I will never hurt you." He glanced at me as he said that last part, and it was as if he could read my mind, but I just smiled at him and went into my room.