“I will to teach you how to suck my cock. Lick the head. Run your tongue all over it.” He took his cock in hand and pointed it toward her. It teased her lips, his salty masculine flavor hinting at what was to come.

She peeked her tongue out, licking at the tiny slit. A pearl of fluid pooled there. Lapping it up, she swallowed, glorying in the deep groan that erupted from his chest. She’d done that to him. Before he’d been angry, every muscle in his body a study in tension. Now he was tense, but for another reason altogether, and she was pretty sure he wasn’t thinking about business or his kingdom. He was focused on her.

Primal instinct took over, leading her to suck the entire head of his cock into her mouth. Even that bit filled her.

“Yes. Good. You’ll have to practice.” He moved his hips. Little thrusts that gained ground with each twist. “Your sweet mouth is very small, but before long you’ll take every inch of my cock. Oh, my concubine, I’m going to fill every fucking hole you have. Your mouth, your pussy, your ass. In this room, they are all mine. When you enter this space, you’re my slave. Take more.”

He pressed in, forcing her jaw open. Her lips curled around the thick stalk. Her tongue played around the ridge where the head gave way to his long shaft. Smooth. The skin covering his cock was like warm velvet, her tongue moving over the rock-hard flesh underneath. She was lost in the sensation, smooth against hard, submission yielding to dominance. It was a sexy little game Tal liked to play. She was the one on her knees, following his commands, but she’d never felt more in control. This was her choice, to give him exactly what he needed.

He pulled out of her mouth abruptly. “I don’t wish to come yet. That hot mouth of yours won’t win this time. Stay in position. You want to be my slave, you’ll have to dress the part.”

His feet echoed across the marble floors as he kicked off his pants and shoes, discarded his shirt and made for the jewelry case she’d been looking at before. Piper turned, watching his muscled backside. He hadn’t bothered folding his own clothes, tossing them aside while hers were neatly arranged. He moved briskly, opening drawers and pulling out items.

Abruptly, he turned, meeting her curious gaze with a censuring stare. A frown crossed his face. “I told you not to move.”

Yikes. She’d wanted to watch him. She’d been mesmerized by the way he moved, and she’d forgotten he’d given her a very direct order. A flush of embarrassment went through her and she turned back around, taking up her previous position, eyes on the floor.

“It won’t work. Present yourself for punishment.” His voice was a low growl that managed to both scare her and arouse her.

She got to her feet, her muscles shaking. He was right. She would have to practice. After only a few minutes in slave pose, she was sore and a bit stiff. She was almost relieved to move back to the spanking bench. Leaning over, she made sure her backside was high in the air, her legs spread wide. This was what Tal wanted, and she was surprised to find herself sinking into the role. He needed this to take him away from the stresses of his life, but she was finding respite, too. Suddenly she wasn’t worried about what might happen tomorrow or the day after. She simply felt, allowing herself to drift whichever way Talib took her.

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“Do you know what happens to bad slaves?” Tal asked, his hand on her cheek, cupping her softly.

“They get punished.”

“No. They get tortured.” His hand landed on her ass, but she was ready for it. She knew it would hurt at first before the pain sank in and throbbed its way to pleasure. She gripped the plush leather of the bench under her as Tal slapped her ass. Once, twice, three times he spanked, moving his hand all over her flesh, spreading out the pain and heat. Again and again until he’d reached twenty and tears pricked her eyes.

“Stay in position, Piper. What do you say to me now? Do you want to leave? Do you want to run to my brothers and their tender care? They will cosset you, treat you with the gentlest of touches while I will always want this. What do you say now?”

This was her test. He’d pushed her, thinking she would break, would run right back to Rafe and Kade, and then he would have exactly what he wanted. She wasn’t stupid. He wanted her in a nice safe box where he could have sex with her, but he never had to really give anything of himself. She had no doubt he would come to her bed, but without this core piece of his soul, anything between them would be a simple, friendly exchange. Piper wanted—needed—more.

Rafe and Kade gave her acceptance and affection, taught her things about herself, about love and sex and intimacy. They were tender yet manly in their own ways. But she was rapidly discovering she wanted the sheer dominance only Talib could provide.

“I love you, Talib al Mussad. In this room, I belong only to you, my sheikh, my Master.”

Tal had to take a step back. He was damn glad she was obeying him because he couldn’t look into her eyes.

I love you.

She wasn’t fucking supposed to love him. His heart raced. He knew that was wrong. He’d always known she would believe that she felt the emotion. Women needed such sentiments, but it was supposed to be an easy thing. I love you was something she was supposed to say because it was what a husband and wife said to one another over breakfast before going their separate ways.

But Piper meant it, and those words seared straight through his soul.

She held her position. It wasn’t perfect. She hadn’t spent hours training to make exceptional lines of her body. Unlike his other submissives, she hadn’t been selected for her grace. So why did this woman move him in ways the others could not? Why did his heart ache the minute she walked in a room? Why did he get hard at the mere thought of her?

She stayed in place, though he could see her beginning to panic. She wasn’t in a mental place where she could be serene yet. He hadn’t gotten her there, hadn’t truly earned the trust it would take. His silence was making her nervous. He could tell by the way her skin flushed. Her gorgeous ass was red from the spanking, but the rest of her fair flesh bore the mark of her fear. She’d said she loved him, and he was silent.

And brave because she didn’t move a muscle, simply waited for him.

Tal didn’t feel brave. His stomach tightened in knots. He couldn’t love her. And he couldn’t let her go. He knew he should walk away. He should order her to put her clothes back on, then show her the door. By this time tomorrow, he could have the whole dungeon dismantled and he would never rebuild it. He could shove this need down so deep it would never surface again.

But his feet didn’t move for the door. They stayed in place as though his cock and his damn stupid heart had taken over, and his brain no longer functioned. To his horror, his hand moved right back to the globes of her ass, caressing them lovingly. He adored the pink sheen to her skin. “You are mine. Here and now, no one exists but you and me.”

Not his brothers. Not that fuck Khalil. Bezakistan didn’t exist. No countries or people. No responsibility beyond her. He was just a man here. He wasn’t a sheikh. He was simply her Master.

And he had some discipline to deliver. And a sweet little slave to fuck to his heart’s content.

Piper relaxed. He hadn’t said the words he knew she longed to hear, but she seemed satisfied that he hadn’t run. Her spine was still straight, but the total rigor was gone. Her head released, dropping down as though simply waiting for his next command.

Tal caressed a hand down her spine, trailing along, tracing the marks he’d made. Perfectly pink, the imprint of his hand would be there for hours, if not days. He would see them and remember this private time with her even as he watched his brothers fuck her. A piece of him would still be with her.

“Stay in position, concubine. It’s time to start your preparation. This isn’t for discipline, though at times I might use it as such.” He reached for the lube, parting her cheeks and getting his first real look at the beauty of her asshole.

She shivered a little, the sight going straight to his cock. He wasn’t a pure sadist, but the fact that she was on the edge, apprehensive about what he would do to her, aroused him unbearably. One day he would delight in blindfolding her and leaving her on edge for hours, completely uncertain of what would happen next. Pleasure or pain? All roads would lead to ecstasy, but part of the journey would be in the suspense.

But for now, he had to prepare her for his cock. A slow shiver cascaded across her skin as he dribbled the lubricant between her cheeks.

“Tal,” her voice was a breathy whisper. She knew what was going to happen now, and she seemed to want to protest.

Three sharp smacks to her ass silenced her. “Quiet. You will take the plug now or you’ll get acquainted with the flogger and then take the plug.” He fully intended to fuck her ass eventually. There would be no way around it for her, but he intended to make her love it as much as he would. Careful preparation was the key. “You took the small plug. Why are you so scared?”

“Because I saw that plug when I was looking at the clamps. It’s not small, Sir. It’s very big.”

He chuckled a little as he lubed up the plug. “It’s not as big as me, my darling girl. Not even close, and by the time we’re done, you’ll take me just fine.”

His cock pulsed as though the fucking thing was jealous of the plug. Tal placed the plug against the rosette of her ass, just the tip. She clenched down.

Another smack. He wasn’t going to be kept out. “Stop it, Piper. If you want to cease the play, you have only to say so, but my brothers and I won’t take turns forever. We want to take you all at once. All three of your husbands fucking your every hole because you belong to us. If you keep clenching that little asshole to keep me out, I will introduce you to ginger oil and I doubt you will like the way it burns. But you will finally learn that this is mine and I want in.”

Her head came up and she turned just a little, a fierce frown on her face. “You know we use ginger to cook in Texas. Y’all should try it sometime.”

He loved her sass. Still, he smacked her cheek again, a low moan coming from her chest. “You would be surprised what else they do in Texas. I know quite a few people there who would shock you.”

He pressed the plug in, satisfied when she breathed out and tried to accept it. Her back arched, and a deep shudder went through her body. She pushed back. Tal fucked the plug into her ass, gaining ground with each small foray. He gave himself completely to the task, the world narrowing to just her. Nothing mattered except preparing his concubine. Over and over, he circled the tight flesh with the plug until finally it sank deep, easing the way for his cock.

He leaned over, placing kisses along her spine. When he was finally balls deep inside her most forbidden place, would he feel like he’d come home?

Tal stood, brushing aside the thoughts that plagued him. He had other things to do. “Stand up. Arms behind your back. Feet spread wide.”

He walked over to the small gold sink and washed his hands before picking up the lovely clover clamps he’d selected for her. The burnished gold would make her skin glow. He turned and had to catch his breath.

She might not be the most graceful submissive he’d ever kept, but damn she was the most beautiful. Her dark hair tumbled around her shoulders, the soft light picking up strands of red and amber, curling just below the curve of her shoulders. She’d followed his instructions to the letter, her fingers clasped behind her back. Her gloriously full breasts were thrust out, the nipples already peaked. Her legs were spread, and he could see the fine sheen of moisture on her pussy.

She wasn’t shrinking from his darker desires. She wanted it. She wanted him to dominate and fuck her any way he pleased.

Fuck. She trusted him. A dangerous thing since he knew the man he was deep inside. A coward. Very nearly a traitor. He didn’t deserve her, not for an instant. But he would still take her. She might never understand, but he’d decided. She was payment for his pain. She was his prize for surviving that day and every night since. Every ounce of hatred and torment he’d suffered would be paid for with her sweet flesh.

She would never know how he longed to love her, how he ached for something he’d lost and could never have again.

“Is this what you wanted, Sir?” Her eyes were wide, almost pleading with him to tell her she was good at this.

He couldn’t turn her down. Her spine should be straighter, her fingers more tightly wound. Her feet weren’t en pointe as they should be, her back too arched. He touched her cheek. “You’re perfect. Absolutely perfect. Let me dress you up.”

Her lips curled in a satisfied smile. He’d suspected she was submissive from their months of conversation, but the last few days had proven how ideal she was for him. She could hold her own, but preferred to please. If he treated her right, she would be his forever.

“Hold still.” He got to his knees. She was petite, the perfect size for him. When he got to his knees, her nipples were right where he wanted them to be. He leaned forward and licked, a slow stroking of his tongue. Her scent and taste filled his every sense. Clean. Her skin always tasted so fresh, like a cool drink on a hot day. He’d grown addicted to the citrusy scent of her. He’d started getting a hard-on every time someone brought him a fucking orange.