Page 12

Author: Tara Sue Me


Nathaniel straightened. “I see. Felicia, you can stay.” He walked over to me. “I better leave before they call security. I’ll see you first thing in the morning.” He leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Sleep well.”


Things got quiet after he left. Felicia settled into the recliner in the corner of my room and soon I drifted off.


It’s impossible to sleep in a hospital. They’re forever running into the room to check on you or take your blood pressure or something. I dozed off and on all night, but probably slept better than Felicia did. The recliner didn’t look very comfortable.


Felicia looked bad when I woke up the next morning. Her normally perfect hair was tousled and she had bags under her eyes.


“I should have taken Nathaniel’s advice and gone home,” she said.


“You’d have slept a lot better, that’s for sure,” I said, experimentally moving various body parts.


“I mean, it’s not even like it mattered.” She got up and stretched. “He stayed in the waiting room all night anyway.”


I stopped all movement. “Nathaniel? He stayed here? All night?”


“All night.” She walked over to my bed. “He was standing in the hallway every time a nurse came in. I totally misjudged him. I think he really cares for you.”


I was still working that out in my mind when the man in question came in. He glanced warily at Felicia, but she was ignoring him, straightening up the room. A hospital worker entered after him, carrying a tray.


“Breakfast time,” Nathaniel said, pushing the table back into place for me to eat. “Ham and cheese omelet this morning.”


“I’ve got to run, Abby,” Felicia said, coming over and kissing my cheek. “I still have to pack. You take it easy. I’ll call you when I can.” She turned to Nathaniel. “Hurt her and I cut off your dick, and feed it to you for your breakfast.”


“Felicia Kelly!” I gasped in astonishment.


“Sorry, it just came out.” She pointed at him. “But I mean it.”


“I don’t know what’s gotten into her,” I told Nathaniel after she left.


He sat down on the edge of the bed. “She was pretty upset yesterday. She just doesn’t want you to get hurt.”


“Are you going to tell me what you two argued about?”


“No.”


I really didn’t expect him to anyway. I took a bite of the omelet. It was, not surprisingly, very good. “Are other hospital patients eating ham and cheese omelets for breakfast?”


“I find myself rather unconcerned with what other hospital patients are eating for breakfast.”


Linda came in, followed by a nurse. The nurse took my blood pressure again.


“Good morning, Abby,” Linda said. “I’m going to have another CT ordered and, if all’s clear, you’re free to go. You’ll be staying with Nathaniel?”


I nodded.


“Good,” she said. “And to be honest, the sooner I get you out of here, the better. My kitchen staff is threatening to quit if Nathaniel shows up down there again. Let’s get you discharged before lunch.”


The CT was clear and I was discharged before noon, saving Linda the task of replacing her kitchen staff. Elaina dropped off a blue cashmere sweater and soft khaki pants, so I didn’t have to leave the hospital in a backless gown.


It wasn’t until I was settled into Nathaniel’s car that I remembered the accident.


“What happened to the cab driver?” I asked as Nathaniel navigated traffic.


“Minor scratches, he was released yesterday. I don’t like cabs, I’m buying you a car.”


“What? No.”


He looked sharply at me and for once, I didn’t care. This wasn’t some dom weekend thing, this was…well, I didn’t know. This was different.


His grip on the steering wheel tightened. “What’s wrong with me getting you a car?”


I shook my head. “It feels wrong.” I didn’t want to explain it to him, he should understand. I blinked back hot tears.


“Are you crying?”


“No.” I sniffled.


“You’re crying. Why?”


“I don’t want you to get me a car.” Could he not just say okay and drop it? I closed my eyes. No, he wouldn’t. “It’d make me feel…”


“Make you feel what?”


I sighed. “Make me feel dirty, like a whore.”


His knuckles turned white. “Is that what you think you are?”


“No.” I wiped a tear away. “But I’m a librarian. You’re…you’re one of the wealthiest men in New York. How would it look?”


“Abigail,” he said calmly. “You should have thought about how things would look long before now. You wear my collar every day.”


Yes, I did and I’d gotten quite a few stares. “That’s different.”


“It’s the same. My responsibility is to take care of you.”


“By buying me a car?”


“By making sure your needs are met.”


He drove in silence for several miles. I looked out the side window at the passing landscape. After a time, I closed my eyes and pretended to sleep. Why was he so dead set on getting me a car? I lived in the city. I didn’t need a car.


When we finally pulled up to his estate, he walked over and opened the door for me. “The car conversation is not finished, but you need to get inside and rest. We’ll talk later.”


He set me up in the living room, on one of the leather couches. Apollo jumped up and curled around my feet. Nathaniel came in minutes later with a sandwich and fruit.


There was a desk in the living room, and while I rested on the couch, mindlessly flipping through TV channels, Nathaniel worked. I was certain he had a lot to catch up on from the day before.


I dozed off and on. Sometime around three-thirty, I woke up. I looked around; Nathaniel glanced up from his computer.


“Feeling better?” he asked.


I wasn’t sure if he was talking about the car situation or my various aches and pains.


“A little,” I said, answering both questions at once, and then popped the pain pills sitting on the table beside me. I stood up and stretched. Ahh. That felt good.


Nathaniel turned off the computer.


“Come with me.” He held out his hand. “I want you to see the southern part of the house.”


The southern part of the house? I took his hand. It was warm and reassuring in its strength.


We walked through the main hallway, through the foyer, and into a section of the house I’d never been in. At the end of the hall was a set of double doors.


Nathaniel dropped my hand, smiled at me, and pushed the doors open.


I gasped.


No wonder he never used his library card—he could open the doors to this room and service the people of New York himself. I knew people had libraries in their houses, but I’d never seen anything like this before. Never knew such rooms existed.


The room was large and the late-afternoon sun slanted through windows that ran floor to ceiling along one wall. But the other walls…they held shelf after shelf of books. Nothing but books. There was even a movable ladder attached to one wall, so you could reach the upper shelves.


Two overstuffed couches sat near the center of everything. But in the very middle of the room, in the place of honor, was an exquisite grand piano.


“I want this to be your room,” Nathaniel said. “When you’re in this room, you are free to be you. Your thoughts. Your desires. It’s all yours. Except for the piano. The piano is mine.”


I walked in awe around the room, dragging my hand along book spines. It was an unparalleled collection—first editions, antique volumes—I couldn’t take it all in. The rich wood, the leather-bound books, it was too much.


“Abigail?”


I turned to look at him.


“You’re crying,” he whispered. “Again.”


“It’s so beautiful.”


He smiled. “You like it?”


I walked back to him and put my arms around him. “Thank you.”


CHAPTER FIFTEEN


It had been a long two days.


Not that I was bored or anything. Exploring the library was my new favorite pastime and I spent hours discovering new books and reacquainting myself with old friends.


Nathaniel was considerate. Polite. Perhaps a bit distant. He kept me well fed and rested. He even joined me in the library on occasion, but didn’t stay very long. I rather missed his domineering side. Not enough to purposely antagonize him or anything. I didn’t miss it that much.


The car conversation never came back up. I thought back to what he’d said, how it was his responsibility to care for me. To ensure my needs were met. He was doing exactly that over the weekend. And as much as I wanted to pretend his gestures at the hospital and giving me the library as free space were romantic, I knew better. He was doing what he said in the car—making sure my needs were met. It was a means to an end. He needed a healthy submissive and he’d do anything within his power to make me healthy. That’s all there was to it. Bottom line.


But I was the littlest bit peeved he hadn’t touched me. I’d rested all weekend, I felt perfectly fine.


And I had needs that weren’t being met.


I put the glass I’d been using in the dishwasher and left the kitchen. I glanced at my watch—one o’clock. The football game didn’t start until three. Plenty of time.


I walked past the gym. Empty. No Nathaniel in the living room. I wondered if he was outside or in his bedroom. No, he was working in the library. Sitting at a small desk in the corner.


He glanced up when I walked in. “Everything all right? Do you need something?”


“Yes. You.” I slipped the shirt over my head.


He put down the papers he’d been reading. “You need to rest.”


That didn’t sound like a direct order, so I didn’t say anything. I unbuttoned my pants and slipped them down. Stepped out of them. And it was my library.


He sat looking at me with a blank expression. What was he thinking? He wasn’t going to tell me to leave, was he? I reached behind my back and unhooked my bra. I didn’t think I could handle it if he turned me down.


What if he turns me down?


I pushed my panties down and they fell to the floor. It was my library, but he had free will as well, he could turn me down.


I’d never felt more exposed in my life.


Nothing from Nathaniel.


He was going to turn me down.


Slowly, ever so slowly, he pushed his chair back. Opened the desk drawer and took something out. Seven steps and he stood before me. He ran his hands down my shoulders, along my arms, and took my hands. He placed them on the front of his button-down shirt, slipping something into my hand.


“Okay,” he said.


I looked inside my fist. A condom.


Because antibiotics invalidated birth control pills.


Victory surged through me. Excitement shot from my head straight to the center of my being and down to the aching spot between my legs.


I dropped the condom on the floor. My fingers fumbled with his buttons, but I worked my way through them. Pushed the shirt from his shoulders, yanked it from his pants. I ran my hands down his chest, remembering the feel of him, tracing the planes of his stomach. I walked around him. I loved the sight of a man’s back.


His back was perfect, of course. I circled his shoulder blades and reached up on tiptoe to place a kiss at the juncture between them. He sucked in a breath, but didn’t touch me, allowing me to explore on my terms. I licked down the line of his spine, savoring his taste.


I walked back to the front of him and dropped to my knees. He was erect and straining the front of his pants.


Well, well, well.


I brushed him with my fingertips, eliciting a hiss. Very slowly, I unbuckled his belt and unbuttoned his pants, making sure I stroked him every so often through the material. I went even slower with his zipper, roughly dragging my fingers the entire way.

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