An Offer Is Made
“I’d like that, thank you.” Kate knew her smile was a little too enthusiastic.
Marcus grinned, but possibly more to himself than at her.
He turned swiftly and pressed a button at the side of the fire. Almost immediately the French maid appeared and curtsied to an unfeasibly low level. Kate stared on as she realised that the button was a bell to call the staff. She shook her head slightly and wondered what this man’s game was; the scantily clad maid that was beyond subservient, the Victorian bell system still in ‘modern’ working order, the arrogance, the commanding aura surrounding him and the fact that her head was telling her to run like hell and admit defeat to Moira, but she wouldn’t, couldn’t because another part of her was intent on seeing this through regardless of what damage it might do.
He ordered the maid to bring them coffee and Kate noticed that she never looked at Marcus, not once, and as the girl turned to leave, Kate felt herself staring at the raised red welts across the girl’s exposed upper thighs. She knew they had not been there when she’d arrived at the house earlier. What the hell was going on here? Clearly this girl was a sex slave first and foremost and she had been punished. Bastard! She cursed in her head; she hated bullies and she loathed domestic violence
Marcus broke her thoughts as he sat opposite her and leaning back in his seat stared at her studiously. “So, Miss Milner, tell me what you want from me?” He ran his fingers through his hair slowly.
Kate was unable to respond immediately as she watched his long fingers snaking through his hair slowly and tried to decide if she would describe them as thick or thin, but truly couldn’t as they were both and neither at the same time. How would it feel if it were her own fingers running the fair strands? She couldn’t take her eyes off his hands and wondered how they would feel gripping her own, stroking her cheek, running and roaming across her body, touching her, holding her, penetrating her. Suddenly she was hot and clammy. Marcus stared at her, waiting for a response. She coughed nervously but regained her composure quickly as she realised that this man, this very attractive man was no more than a lead, a source to her story, no more. He couldn’t be any more than that, she didn’t approve of him, she didn’t like what he stood for or practised, no matter how attractive he might be.
“Miss Milner, you are the least inquisitive journalist I think I have ever met.” He allowed his lips to curve slightly.
God! It was like he was in her head, like he knew what she was thinking and was now laughing at her.
“Sorry.” She hated herself for apologising to him, again. “Right what I want from you is truth and frankness. I am writing a piece on the kinkier side of sex for my magazine and it would seem that you are the only person involved in the more extreme side of sex, the more perverse side, who is willing to talk to me.”
“I see, although I take exception to the terms, kinky and perverse.” His reply was cold, maybe even angry. “Sex is a little like food or wine, everyone has likes and dislikes, tastes, but nobody has the right to judge someone else’s preferences, not even you.”
“Sorry,” she murmured for the third time that night. “But some of the things people get involved in seem distasteful, undignified at best and if I understand correctly you could be perceived as abusive and violent.”
She let out a long breath she hadn’t realised she’d been holding in, but the words, her feelings were out and she was relieved, but the sense of victory and gratification she’d expected to feel were absent leaving her with just confusion now.
“Let me stop you there, Miss Milner.” There was a knock on the door, Marcus opened it and the maid placed a tray of coffee down on the low table between the seats that Marcus and Kate occupied.
Kate tried to avert her eyes from the maid as she bent to lower the tray to the table. She was unable to as she found herself face to face with the girls behind that was visible due to the length of the skirt and lack of underwear. Kate gasped. She had to stop herself from reaching across and tracing the line of the welts that were across her behind as well as her thighs. They were red, raised and looked very sore, but Kate was transfixed by them. She knew Marcus and the girl were aware of her fascination, she could feel Marcus’ eyes on her, boring through her, burning almost. In her peripheral vision she saw him gesture to the girl who lowered herself, bending farther to allow Kate greater access to her as she poured coffee.
Kate couldn’t believe this girl was allowing this to happen, to be subjected to this, any of it. It was unacceptable, yet still, she couldn’t avert her gaze. She could see this girl’s hairless sex, glistening with arousal. She could smell her arousal, a musky scent filling her nostrils. She had a strong urge to reach out and touch the girl, touch her there, to feel the wetness and warmth around her fingers, but why? Kate had never been attracted to other women, not sexually and had never considered fingering one, other than herself and with that thought she realised that she was squeezing her own thighs together tightly. There was no relief from her own arousal that coating her slick and pulsing sex now.
Marcus clicked his fingers and the girl was upright and heading towards the door when he called her back.
“Claudia, I believe you have forgotten something,” he said coldly.
Kate turned and watched as the girl nervously approached him and when she was about three feet away, she dropped to her knees and crawled on all fours to him exposing herself to Kate again, but Marcus watched only Kate. She swallowed hard and squeezed her thighs even tighter together and began to squirm in her seat despite being under Marcus’ gaze still.
Once Claudia had reached Marcus’ feet, she lowered her head to them and kissed the black leather shoes he wore. She remained with her lips pressed against one shoe for probably only seconds, but it felt much longer to Kate as she looked on.
“You may leave,” Marcus instructed Claudia.
“Thank you, sir,” replied Claudia, retreating on all fours and once she reached the door she stood.
Before she closed the door, Marcus spoke again. “You should prepare yourself and wait for me outside of my office, Claudia. These lapses are unforgivable and cannot go unpunished. Miss Milner and I should be no more than another hour.”
The girl looked at him from under her dark lashes and trembled slightly, but Kate could see that as scared as she obviously was she was also excited by his threat. The door closed and Marcus looked back at Kate.
“Does she look abused to you? As if I am violent and because of that she is too scared to leave? Or does she appear to be a willing participant here? We both know that Claudia is more than happy to be here. We both saw it and smelt it.” Kate flinched at the accuracy of his words and flushed a deeper shade of red as her eyes dropped down to look at her wringing her hands in her lap. “Drink your coffee, Miss Milner, and let me tell you how this is going to work.”
His words caused her to look up and make eye contact again. “You are very arrogant Mr Reynolds, but I agree, we should discuss the details.” Kate and could see that he was annoyed again at her interruption.
“Miss Milner, let me make this clear for you, I am not debating this or negotiating. You want what I have,” he said and as her breathing quickened at the notion of him giving her what he had he smiled, almost laughing at her. “And I will give you what I have, what you need, but on my terms. I will give you a month of my time and I will show you an alternative view of sex, people and relationships. I will be totally honest with you and give you one hundred percent. You will have everything you need to write your article, if that’s what you want, but you have to accept my terms completely,” he said firmly.
“That is not acceptance. That is negotiation or debating and as I have stated, they are not options.”
Kate swallowed hard, “I don’t think—” she began but was again cut off.
“Miss Milner, unless you can stop interrupting and attempting to make objections that are totally unnecessary you and your story are done. So, you must accept my terms completely, do you understand?” he asked and with a conquering smile watched on as she nodded her agreement.
“What are your terms?” She already knew she was going to agree to them.
“They are quite simple; for the next month you hand yourself over to me and I will show you all that there is to see on what you consider to be ‘extreme’ sex,” he sneered. “You will come here each evening on our agreed weekdays each and we will have dinner together and you can ask me anything you wish. You will have an open mind and not judge until you understand it. You will be mine from six until eleven when I will put you in a cab or take you home myself, but on Friday you remain mine until Sunday night. I will take you to places and introduce you to people who will extend your knowledge and understanding to enable you to write an accurate and unbiased article. Once the month is up you will remain here to write your article and once I have agreed the content of it you may submit it to your editor, but it will not be published before I have agreed it.”
“That’s a lot of my time and my editor is unlikely to agree to your terms regarding the article,” Kate told him seriously.
“You are giving me your time, I am giving you my life and your editor and I are old friends of a friend.” He leaned forward, as if he was about to share a great secret if the universe. “She has already agreed my terms regarding your article.” He smirked at her obvious shock. “So, are you in or not?” His hardening stare forced her to break the gaze they were holding.
“I need to think about it. It’s a lot to ask of me and I have commitments elsewhere,” Kate tried to explain, earning herself another cold stare from Marcus.
“Miss Milner, those are my terms, so is it a yes or a no?” he asked frowning.