To Live and Die in a Man’s Arms

AUTUMN 1998
    Manhattan

It was nice. Actually, it was really nice.

“You didn’t come,” Nigel said flatly as he levered himself away from between my legs and dropped beside me in bed, both of us naked and sweaty.

“What?”

“You didn’t come.” He said it as if I had offended him, yet he pulled me to his chest.

“I don’t know what that means,” I said, never before having had the comfort of resting naked against a man I trusted.

He groaned. “An orgasm, Cassie.”

Ah, yes. I’d heard of those.

“God, Cassie, was your life that barren?”

“Um … ”

“Never mind,” he sighed as he pulled off his condom and threw it in the trash. “At least, when I finish training you, I won’t have to train Gordon.”

“Speaking of, how’s he doing in prison?”

Nigel grunted. “Hell if I know.”

I pulled away from him. “I thought you were in love with him?”

“Doesn’t mean he gets any coddling. He did the crime, he can do the time.”

“Does he know that you … ”

“Hell if I know,” he said again. “Nor do I care.”

“So … when he gets out, you’re just going to … ”

He chuckled that evil chuckle that turned me on. “Yes. I’m just going to. He’s a bottom, probably a submissive, possibly a slave. Always has been, always will be.”

And now I knew what a bottom was, though I believe I missed the sexual nuance of the “submissive” part and … slave?

I had a lot to learn.

I sighed.

We lay together for a long time. I had to have slept because I lost time. I only remember awakening on a broad, heavily muscled chest, its hair silver to match the distinguished color on Nigel’s head. He was fifteen years older than I, five years older than Gordon, and at that moment I felt only extraordinarily fortunate that this silver fox was my friend.

He moved and suddenly there was a big hand pressing a Kleenex against my cheekbones. “Aw, Cass,” he sighed.

“Don’t you dare feel sorry for me,” I muttered, pushing his hand away from my face.

“Hrmph.”

“Thank you,” I whispered, hoping he hadn’t heard me. I’d had no reason to thank anyone in years. The words stumbled on their way out of my mouth.

“You might want to take that back once you’ve fucked a few men you don’t know. And women.”

“Women?” I squeaked.

“Oh, yes,” he purred, enjoying my shock. “There are a lot of wealthy women out there who’d kill for a chance to fuck you. A few million won’t be a drop in the bucket. Fortunately for you, my dear, I have a friend who’ll be happy to teach you. You’ll be thoroughly bisexual by the time she gets through with you.”

Oh, God.

“So,” Nigel said briskly. “Now that you’ve at least had the only halfway decent sex of your life, the first thing you’re going to learn is how to suck cock.”

“Uh … ”

“Yes, Cassie. Remember this: Your client’s pleasure comes first. Don’t ever make the mistake of expecting reciprocation. You demanded that I teach you how to be a million-dollar whore, and that’s what I’m going to do. Whether you get off or not is irrelevant—do it yourself or find a lover for that.”

His voice dropped. “Although,” he purred. I shivered. I wanted him again. “Now that you’ve coerced me into bed, I find I may be perfectly happy to be your lover as well as your instructor.”

My breath caught. “I thought you didn’t fuck women,” I whispered.

He swept his hand down my body, lingering at my breast, using his thumb to flick my nipple. I groaned. Then his hand softly, so softly, caressed my belly and on down until he was pressing his fingers between the folds of my vulva.

I gasped as this … thing hit me. This thing I couldn’t describe that pushed me onto my back and forced my knees open and shoved my hips in the air and made my vagina clench at Nigel’s fingers going in and out and his thumb playing with my clit. This thing that made me clench my eyes shut, that tore a guttural, animal sound out of my chest. I was panting as it subsided and I slowly opened my eyes to see Nigel over me, smirking at me.

“You’re not done,” he muttered, then kissed me like I had never been kissed, deep and dark and rich, his hand still in me, pressing at the front wall of my vagina and massaging—

Oh my God!” I almost screamed into his mouth when a different thing happened to me, no less devastating to my mind, my muscles, my soul than the first thing. Then he was there between my knees, pushing into me, lying on top of me, his tongue fucking my mouth while his hips moved, and I almost cried with joy, clenching around his thickness, pulling him into me, meeting him stroke for stroke as we kissed frantically.

I came for the third time in a row, not quite as devastating as the first and second, but—

“That,” he whispered as he nuzzled my neck, panting, “was an orgasm.”

I couldn’t speak. I was too breathless, too weak, too … euphoric to do anything but hold him close and sob into his shoulder. I didn’t care. Any man who could do that to me deserved to see his handiwork to its full and thorough completion. I ran my fingers through his hair and kept his mouth on my neck, my cheek, my throat, my ear.

Even though I knew what this was, remembered all too well what I’d asked him to do, I had never felt so loved and cherished in my entire life.

This time, when I could speak, the words didn’t stumble. “Thank you,” I wept.

“Lesson’s not over, my dear,” he grunted and heaved himself off me to fall on his back next to me. He was still hard and I marveled at that.

“You didn’t—”

“Not because I didn’t want to,” he gritted as he ripped off that condom and pulled on another. “I’m going to teach you how to give exquisite head.”

He nudged at me almost frantically until I was sitting up beside him. He held his erection in one hand and wrapped my hand around it. “Squeeze,” he breathed. “Move your hand up and down.”

I did as directed, then he reached up to run his fingers through my hair to gently pull my head down to his still-hard cock.

I tentatively pressed my lips to the glans. Licked a little. “Open your mouth. Slide me in. Watch the teeth. Suck.” He gasped.

I had no idea what I was supposed to do, and the taste of latex was a bit annoying, and I found myself wishing I could feel his skin on my tongue, but— I had nothing but instinct to go on.

“Yes, like that. Do it again. Keep sucking. Swirl your tongue around my head, dip into the tip. God, yes.”

I felt him when he came, pumping up into my mouth, his hand in my hair, and I did the best I could, which, considering I’d just made a gay man come, might have been actually halfway decent.

When his breathing had stilled and his erection faded, I let him pop out of my mouth. I arose just enough to straddle him and lie down on his chest, my mouth at his ear. He wrapped his arms around me and caressed my back.

“You’re going to be asked to do everything under the sun,” he murmured, and I could feel the vibration of his deep voice through my body. “If you want to command the kind of prices you want, you’ll do it.”

But now I didn’t know if I could, now that I knew how it was supposed to be and wanted more. From him.

“I’ve fucked a lot of women in my time, Cassie,” he said, running his fingers through my hair. “I prefer men, and I’ve always preferred low-key ones. No drama. I don’t want to get mixed up in Gordon’s drama, which is why I’m willing to wait until he’s at peace with himself. I haven’t wanted a woman in years.”

It sounded like an accusation. “I’m sorry,” I whispered, but I didn’t know why and now I wanted to cry for a different reason.

“Cassie, look at me.”

I didn’t want to. He’d see I was crying. Again. But I did, and his warm blue eyes held mine. His mouth twitched wryly. “If I didn’t want to be here, I wouldn’t be.”

I was shocked. “But you—”

“I’ve wanted you since I met you, but it gets a little messy when you’re in love with the husband and the wife.” My mouth fell open. “And so here we are. Cassie, I need you to make a decision. Right here, right now. I do not want you to do this and I do not want to teach you, but I will because you’ll get yourself in trouble if you find somebody else.”

I felt like I had to justify my decision. Again. “But I don’t know how to do anything else,” I said weakly. “I have no marketable skills. No assets to invest. The only asset I have is my beauty and I don’t know what else I can do with it. I need the skill to go with it and I need it fast and I can’t get that any other way.”

“Be my mistress and you won’t have to worry about anything ever again.”

I had felt so loved, so cherished. He’d admitted he was in love with me, so those feelings hadn’t been my imagination. But if ever I had the notion that I was or could ever be in love with Nigel Tracey, it had just gone down in a ball of flame. He was no better than Gordon or my father-in-law or my father, and suddenly I hurt so badly I could barely stand it. Was I so starved for affection—for love—that I was willing to whore for the one man who would just be marking time with me until my ex-husband got out of prison?

I’d rather whore myself out to any number of rich strangers, men or women or both, than put myself through that agony.

“No thanks,” I said with a watery smile, because I wanted to kick him out of my house—out of my life—but I still needed him. “My mind’s made up.”

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