His Burden

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Chapter Twenty-One

Being inside Spencer’s home offered more comfort than expected. The kitchen smelled amazing– thanks to Mary and her chef-like ways– and the sight of Gatto had me in a state of emotional imbalance. Never would I have thought I’d miss that ginger cat but here I was, desperate to stroke his rugged fur and kiss his button nose. In the living room, the fire was in full swing and heated my skin perfectly. Its radiant glow offered the surrounding area a substantial amount of light and threw vibes of relaxation all around. I was just removing my coat to settle down on the sofa when Spencer entered with two steaming hot plates in hand.

“Mary made lasagne,” he revealed, dumping both meals on the table. “I know you won’t be hungry but you need to eat, baby.”

“I’ll try.”

Satisfied with my answer, Spencer pulled out a chair and sat himself down, gesturing for me to take up residence on his lap.

“Sit with me?” His enquiry was warm and welcoming, seeing me oblige no questions asked. His chest felt warm against my back and acted as my own personal radiator. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t see him. I knew he was evaluating me.

“Are you angry at me?” I asked, approaching the issue with open arms.

I felt him shake his head. “Not angry. Hurt.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologise. You didn’t hurt me. The situation did,” he ensured, making little to no sense. “The fact that you felt you couldn’t come to me makes me sad.”

“I needed you so much,” I admitted, finally turning in my position. “But Leila needed you more. I’ll always put her before me.”

“And that’s why I love you, topolina mia,” he stressed, cutting up some food.

He stabbed at the lasagne with his fork and brought the Italian goodness up to my lips.

“Blow,” he instructed, firm yet sweet.

I did as I was told and blew away the steam before taking it into my mouth. The tantalising flavours landed on my tongue and teased my taste buds; first with tomato, followed swiftly by cheese sauce. Each combination was delicious and kick-started my non-existent appetite.

“Good?” he asked, preparing another bite.

“Hmm.”

He continued to feed me this way until I stated my fullness, then began eating his own meal. I stayed seated on his lap the entire time and watched as each mouthful he took made his Adam’s apple bob up and down. It was a captivating thing to witness and strangely enough, erotic.

“I tried contacting Isabelle,” he admitted, finishing up.

“And?”

“She’s changed her number. If I want to reach her, I have to go through her lawyer. It’s new protocol.”

“This has Alister written all over it,” I replied, growing furious at the thought.

He pushed both plates away and wrapped each arm around my back, encouraging me into a straddling position.

“I don’t want to risk him finding out. If he knows I’m trying to contact her, god knows what he’ll do.”

“You do right. The last thing we want is for him to grow suspicious. There has to be a way we can contact her without him finding out. Does she have any friends? Family members?”

“They all live in Italy,” he sighed. “Besides, I can’t go to them. As far as they’re concerned, I’m the opposition.”

This was true. No one would gift Spencer the time of day and without an explanation as to why we needed to talk to her so much, they’d surely refuse to help.

“We’ll figure something out soon,” I ensured, lightly tracing his jawline. “I met an old friend at Mum’s funeral. He works for a private investigator.”

His eyes lit up with intrigue. “Yeah?”

“He’s running a search on Alister’s name for me. He’ll be in touch soon.”

“Well, that’s something. Let’s hope it brings back positive results.”

I snaked my arms around his neck, desperate to feel his heat beneath my fingertips. In response, he dug his nails into my thighs, portraying his utmost need,

“How about I go upstairs and run you a bath?”

“Will you join me?” I asked, dragging my hand through his hair.

He shot me a smile. “Of course. Be my eyes?”

“Always,” I replied, taking on the responsibility of getting us safely to his bathroom.

We managed the process fine and worked in conjunction on getting the bath just right. Spencer was in charge of the water’s temperature whilst I collected the bubble bath and shampoo. Once done (and seemingly satisfied) we each undressed and took to doing so in dead silence. His glorious body was a magnificent sight and one I would never tire of. Each dip and curve of his toned stomach was carved to perfection and blessed with a sun-kissed glow that left me weak in the knees. His happy-trail started just below the bellybutton and stretched all the way down to his impressive cock. It stood at attention and beckoned me closer. Daring me to touch it. Taste it.

“We don’t have to rush into anything,” he whispered, somehow sensing my thoughts. “You’re grieving, Jess. I don’t want to make you feel obliged.”

“I don’t feel obliged,” I ensured, stepping closer.

I purposely rubbed my breasts against his chest, loving the sharp inhalation he underwent. Both brows pulled tightly together and he couldn’t quite help the slight jerk his erection underwent.

“I’ll always want you, Spencer.”

My statement was met with a firm kiss; bruising, brilliant and binding. He took my mouth in a claim of ownership and ravished me with one final nibble before pulling away.

“Ladies first.”

He motioned to the lightly scented water and held out a hand in offering. I took it willingly and slowly lowered myself into the very definition of relaxation. Lavender rolled over my skin and wafted up my nose, leaving me completely sedated and extremely satisfied. Spencer stepped in from behind me and encouraged my back to his front, kissing my soaked skin whilst doing so. For a moment, his hands explored my every square inch. Perhaps he was making up for lost time or maybe he simply needed a reminder. Either way, his touch was intoxicating and I never wanted him to stop.

“Do you think we’re strange?” I asked, struggling to remember a time I was this relaxed. “For liking things a little differently.”

“You mean because we’re kinky?”

“Hmm.”

He thought for a while, continuing his caress on my body. “I think we require a certain level of control but that doesn’t make us strange.”

I let his words settle before I carried on. “There has to be a reason why we like control, though,” I argued, reaching for his thighs. “Something must’ve happened for us to crave it.”

“I suppose so.”

“For me, it was my mum. When she became ill, I felt so helpless. Nothing I did would change the outcome and I hated that. I hated not having control over her deterioration. I thought maybe if I did good, she’s get better.” I paused, gathering breath. “When I was sixteen, I developed OCD. I couldn’t leave the house without doing certain rituals. I was so sure it would work.”

“But it didn’t?”

“No.” I sniffed. “Nothing did.”

No more was said, plummeting us both into a moment of silence with only the sounds of rippling water and the hammering rain against the window keeping us company. Both were relaxing in their own right and sent my mind into a further state of satisfaction. Not that I needed it. My body was already tranquil thanks to Spencer and his accommodating touch. His soft fingers glided along the sensitive skin on my stomach and his lips–so pillowy–dragged delicately across the shell of my ear. At first, he took to pleasuring me with his thoughtful kisses but soon turned his attention elsewhere. “Why did you choose to lose your virginity to Alex?”

His question came as quite the surprise.

“I’m not sure. Why?”

“You said it was an agreement. No romantic feelings were shared?”

“That’s right.”

“It’s just sad, that’s all. Your first time is supposed to be special,” he insisted, kissing my head.

I disagreed. “I didn’t want it to be special. I wasn’t interested in falling in love. I didn’t want to depend on anyone.”

“Why?”

“In case I lost them. Even now, I sometimes fear what will happen if I lose you. I’m terrified of that happening.”

My feelings for Spencer were strong and that frightened me. When I first fell, I was awfully unprepared. Burdened, even. The idea of losing him often kept me up at night and I understood my need to push past that. I still had demons that needed chasing away and would no doubt do so in time. Neither of us were looking for love when it hit us square in the face but that didn’t mean we were resentful. I was simply new at this and needed time to adapt. Slowly, I was learning what it meant to be loved and to love.

“That won’t happen.”

His determination was solid.

“I just feel like the universe is against us sometimes,” I sighed, resting my hand on top of his. “I’ll always fight for us, Spencer. I’m just saying, it won’t always be easy.”

“When have I ever done anything for easiness?” He laughed, kissing each of my knuckles.

That much was true. I envied his passion and drive when it came to business. He knew what he wanted and never stopped until everything was achieved. Even when pursuing me he was persistent.

Stubborn arse!

“I think you’re right,” he admitted, rubbing his roughened cheek against my own. “About something happening to make us want control.”

“Really?”

“Hmm. From the moment I was born, my entire life was planned out for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely grateful for my upbringing. Not everyone gets handed a business in their early twenties.”

“But?” I asked, sensing his resilience.

“I never had the chance to explore other options. I was always going to study business at University, graduate and work for the Estate chain. That was the plan. No negotiation.”

I hadn’t taken that into consideration before.

“Did you want to do something else?”

Imagining him in another profession seemed strange, yet not impossible. Spencer could do anything if he put his mind to it. Anything at all.

“Not necessarily. I never allowed myself to think like that because I knew it wasn’t a possibility. I suppose I had no control over that aspect of my life so I sought it out in other areas.”

“In sex?”

“Yes. Although believe it or not, I lost my virginity when I was twenty.”

Wow!

“Was it special?” I questioned, referring back to his earlier statement.

He laughed. “I’m not sure about special but it was certainly memorable.”

My intrigue increased tenfold.

“How so?”

He didn’t answer right away and instead, left me in limbo with regards to guessing. “She was a dom.”

Well, fuck!

“No way!”

“I didn’t know it at the time. Calvin had orchestrated the entire thing. We were roommates at Uni.”

“Why am I not surprised?” I laughed, flipping on my front as to better view him.

His huge smile was blinding and I settled further into my position upon seeing it.

“Afterwards, he introduced me to Red. I was a little overwhelmed at first but eventually got into the swing of things. I soon discovered I was a dom and before I knew it, I had my own membership.”

I stared at his beautiful features and cupped his cheek, feeling the need to initiate contact. His skin was flushed–thanks to the warm bath and his expression, bleak.

“That’s where I met Delilah.”

Oh…

“You’re first sub?” I asked, though why, I didn’t know.

I already knew who she was.

“Yes. I’d been going to the club for six months at this point but I was still inexperienced. Thankfully, she was patient. We had a great dynamic for a while.”

“Did you love her?” I enquired, treating the subject matter with caution.

I didn’t want to seem pushy.

“I cared greatly for her. I didn’t love her.”

“What happened?”

I knew this story didn’t have a happy ending. If I didn’t already have my suspicions, Spencer’s pained expression was certainly enough to give the game away.

“About three months in, she confessed her love for me. I panicked. I was young and didn’t feel the same way. I let her down gently.”

“You ended things?”

“Hmm. I later found out she wasn’t a member. She’d been using someone’s card to gain access.”

“Jesus!” I expressed, a little overwhelmed.

“About a month later, she called me in tears. She kept saying she missed me and that she couldn’t do it anymore. I calmed her down and promised to meet her the next day for coffee. She was clearly distraught and I wanted to help her.”

“What happened next?” I asked, detecting it wasn’t good.

The air felt thick with tension, threating to smother us both.

“That night, she killed herself. I didn’t find out for another week. When she didn’t show up for coffee, I assumed she felt embarrassed about our phone call and decided not to come. I texted her a few times and after a while, I got a reply from her brother explaining what had happened.”

“Oh my God.”

I continued to caress his cheek, both needing and wanting to offer him some comfort. It was obvious he carried the guilt of Delilah’s actions and struggled to accept her death for exactly what it was: a cry for help.

“I’m so sorry,” I soothed, kissing his red hot cheeks. “That’s truly awful.”

“Obviously, I blamed myself and completely shut down. This tattoo here,” he explained, pointing to his one and only mark. “It’s her birth date. I got it as a reminder. A consequence of my careless actions. I cut all ties with BDSM and as soon as I graduated, I moved to Tuscany for the summer. I needed to be alone.”

“That’s understandable,” I imputed, encouraging him to continue.

“Isabelle was visiting family at the time. I hadn’t seen her since we were kids and it was a nice distraction. We spent a lot of time together during my visit and by the end of my trip, I’d convinced her to move to England with me. To speed up the process, we got married.”

I was a little stunned to discover this and didn’t know how to respond. I had no idea their marriage was a result of one summer. I assumed they had reunited somewhere down the line after she moved away but this…

“It was an impulsive decision but I did genuinely love her.”

“I know you did,” I smiled, stroking his jaw. “And I’m sorry she betrayed that love.”

“Don’t be. Without her betrayal, I wouldn’t have you,” he insisted, pulling on my wrists and seating me in such a way that had me straddling his waist. “She was there for me when I was at my lowest and gave birth to my daughter. We were married for nine years, yet it has nothing on our four months. What I feel for you is a different type of love. It’s all consuming and built on trust. I’m myself when I’m with you and I’ve never experienced that with anyone.”

“Spencer…”

“You’re my second chance, Jessica. You bring light into my world of darkness and I can never thank you enough for that. You don’t know this, but you saved me. You and Leila both have and I love you unconditionally.”

Tears spilled down my cheeks, unrelenting in their need to make an appearance. I desperately tried to stop them before Spencer noticed but I was fruitless in my attempts. My man was too damn observant.

“I’m scared.”

“I know you are,” he encouraged, pulling me further into his chest. “It’s okay to admit you’re scared. I’m terrified on a daily basis but as long as I’ve got you, I’ll be fine. I know I will be.”

“I j-just want you to be happy.”

“I am happy,” he insisted, pulling on my chin. “I have you back. I’m fucking ecstatic.”

At this, he landed a firm kiss on my lips, refusing any protests I may have had. This battle was far from over and would potentially push us to our limits but I was prepared. I didn’t sign up for any of this but none of that mattered. I wanted easy, no-strings-attached sex and what I got in return was the exact opposite of that.

I got love. I got responsibility.

I got a family.

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