Note: this is an epilogue to the Hell's Bedroom series. Read this last.
Harrison hadn’t ever expected to be interested in watching one woman top another, but here he was—standing in the walkway between the inner and outer circles of Hell’s Bedroom with Cash wrapped around him in a typical octopus pose and smiling at the scene in front of him.
Kimi was taking Ilona through her paces, having her kneel in various postures or crawl around to fetch trinkets she threw. It reminded Harrison of the day he’d tried to play service sub for Cash, back before either of them had fully understood how wrong a role that would be for him. But it suited Ilona, as it always had. She was beautiful today in a frothy bit of pink lingerie, graceful on her knees. Her gaze never rose above floor level, and a gentle, contented smile played over her painted lips.
Next to Harrison, Francesca was watching the scene with a less contented expression.
“Does it bother you having Ilona sub for someone else?” Harrison asked her.
“It’s not sexual,” she said quickly. “If Kimi’s going to switch, she needs practice topping, and Ilona wanted to help.”
“I didn’t say it was sexual. I asked if it bothered you.”
Francesca turned to him with the glimmer of a smile. “A little. Though I’m happy to see how well Kimi’s progressing. She’s so much stronger than she ever realized.”
Harrison nodded. Kimi lived separately from Francesca now with a vanilla roommate she called “the whiner,” supporting herself with a job she called “the trudge.” She didn’t always act like her new life was a total upgrade from her old one, but they all knew it was. Tonight’s performance was proof of that. Kimi was finding her way sexually, learning to embrace her interest in exerting control as she began to feel more in control of herself and separating out those parts of her that enjoyed sexual submission from the parts that had simply been grasping for a lifeline.
Well, she would have plenty of time to figure things out. She was young, and Hell’s Bedroom had gifted her and all the other subs involved in the investigation with lifetime memberships in recognition of the sacrifices they’d made. Tripp would never have to beg random men to sign him in again—not that Sebastian would allow that anyway—and Brixby didn’t have to worry about how to pay for a membership. He came as Arlo’s guest now.
One of the club’s other lesbian dominants had drifted over to watch the scene. She and Francesca exchanged tentative smiles. Francesca was still feeling her way back into the relationships that’d been severed by her role in the investigation because good news traveled more slowly than bad and Francesca was too proud to actively defend herself. But the conversation that started up between the two Dommes indicated progress was being made.
“How about we give these guys some space?” Cash said into Harrison’s ear.
Harrison agreed. No doubt Kimi would be less nervous without as many people watching, but he could guess Cash’s primary reason for wanting to move on was because the scene in front of them really wasn’t sexual. Cash came to the club to feed his voyeuristic appetite for other people’s arousal, not that he didn’t have plenty of opportunity to feed off Harrison’s at home these days.
Cash had almost resigned his membership, but when everything had come crashing down—when Hell’s Bedroom’s fate in the light of DDD’s collapse had been unclear—they’d agreed they didn’t want the club to fail. Though Hell’s Bedroom had played an unfortunate role in what’d happened, that’d been the fault of the owners, not the club itself. People were going to play, and that meant safe play spaces were needed.
The whole gang put their heads together, and in the end, Sebastian bought the club. It was governed by a steering committee now, made up of Cash, Francesca, several other long-term members, and Arlo, of all people, because Cash thought it was important to have representation from subs as well as Doms. Harrison agreed with him, but when he’d been offered the opportunity to serve himself, he’d turned it down. Committees were a lot of blah blah blah, and he was more of an action guy.
Leaving Kimi’s Domme-debut behind them, he and Cash wandered around the circle, looking for a scene more Cash’s speed. Sebastian had Tripp up on the St. Andrew’s cross because Sebastian wasn’t happy if he wasn’t attracting attention and no one liked causing a scene better than Tripp. The two of them made both a strange couple and a perfect one, and now that they all knew Sebastian was a huge softie who spoiled as hard as he hit, they had plenty of ammunition to lob at him when he backslid into taunting Cash about being a Kitchen Sink Dom or Brixby about being a Chicken Soup Dom. Someone would say “upsy-daisy” in a lilting voice or just mimic the act of tossing a child in the air, and Sebastian would settle down.
Which meant they could all enjoy dinner in Cash’s garden or brunch at Sebastian’s condo or high tea in whatever mini-mansion Francesca and Ilona were squatting in without anyone getting too riled up. Friends being friends. Which was something Harrison hadn’t had enough of before this case. The case had brought so much to his life he’d never had enough of—warmth, laughter, comfort. Pain.
“Excited about later?” Cash asked as they paused in front of the stockade where Wade had Emmett locked up and howling. Wade and Emmett had only joined Hell’s Bedroom a year ago, but they were regulars now, and Emmett was impossible to miss in those furry wrist cuffs he rocked. He was one of the subs on the steering committee—a smart, contained man when he wasn’t screaming. But when he was screaming? Cash got hot.
Harrison pushed his ass back to bump it into Cash’s erection without answering the question. Of course he was excited about later. A little freaked out, but mostly excited. He and Cash never played publicly. When he came to club, he did it dressed in jeans and walking upright. They saved their playtime for home. But that meant he’d been missing out on something he’d always wanted to try.
The crack of Sebastian’s whip was a visceral reminder of what he’d been missing out on. He turned to take in the scene behind him. Tripp was naked, which made him iffy about watching. Seeing his friends do sexual things was still kind of weird for him, and not wanting them to watch him in return was part of why he didn’t play at the club. But he’d never stopped coveting that bullwhip, and there just wasn’t room for it at home, so tonight…
“Soon,” Cash said into his ear. The club would close in an hour, and then it would be his turn. One of the benefits of knowing the owner—private, after-hours playtime.
How much was the bullwhip going to hurt? No more than he could bear, right? If Tripp could stand it, he certainly could, and Tripp didn’t appear to be suffering despite all that flailing and screeching. His shrieks were playful, excited, and he was humping his hips like he was searching for something to fuck.
“I’m going to make you scream red so loud the whole place will hear it,” Sebastian teased.
“I’m not calling red tonight,” Tripp insisted with a toss of his head to get the bangs out of his eyes.
“Doubtful,” Sebastian responded drily as he flicked the whip forward again. “But we’ll see.”
Harrison’s money was on Sebastian. Tripp would call red. He always did. And then Sebastian would bundle him up in his arms and coo over him. No security guard would tear them away from each other, though guards did still prowl the floor. They got involved if anything appeared to be dangerous or nonconsensual, but calling red no longer triggered an automatic intercession. Sebastian owned the club. He got his way.
Harrison didn’t want to be thinking about Sebastian and Tripp when it was his turn on the cross, so he prodded Cash on, heading for the demo spaces where there was sure to be something Cash would enjoy. They found Arlo and Brixby over there—watching, not playing. Arlo looked adorable in shorty-shorts and a harness, and Brixby was dressed in what was almost certainly a real cop uniform minus the badge. He even had his hat and sunglasses on, purely for effect. The lighting in Hell’s Bedroom was bright, but it wasn’t that bright.
Brixby unwrapped an arm from around Arlo’s waist long enough to give them a salute. Arlo almost didn’t notice them he was so caught up in the demo.
“What is it?” Harrison asked, squinting at the man who was writhing on a bench despite the fact that no one appeared to be touching him.
“Figging,” Brixby answered. “That’s where—”
“I know.” He knew. Since that day Cash had first shown him what raw ginger looked like, he’d become more closely acquainted with it. He’d been where that guy was—tormented by an inner, unquenchable fire that had made him want to be fucked harder than anything had ever made him want to be fucked before. Cash had worn a condom to do it, the weenie. Apparently it was fine for Harrison’s ass to be on fire but not Cash’s dick.
“Are you thinking about trying figging?” Cash asked Arlo.
“Maybe.” Arlo closed his mouth, which had been hanging open.
“It might be kind of intense for you,” Brixby warned.
“Maybe I’ll just draw a picture of us doing it. Not for school, just for us.”
“There you go.” Brixby kissed his cheek. “I worry about ginger,” he said to Cash, “because it’s not like I can stop it once it starts.”
“Uh huh,” Harrison agreed. There’d been no stopping it. But of course Brixby needed to have complete control over Arlo’s experience, while Harrison didn’t mind taking a leap of faith. He wasn’t as reckless as Tripp—not determined to have a bad time so he could get kissed better—but he could handle whatever was thrown at him. Including a bullwhip.
“I don’t think that guy wants it to stop,” Cash said.
Harrison could hear the arousal in his voice, which matched the arousal of the sub in front of them. He’d long since stopped worrying about the way other people’s excitement got Cash hot. Everyone had their kink.
By the time the sub’s tormented pleasure had faded, the club was starting to empty. Guards swept the floor, urging people to finish their scenes. Brixby and Arlo went home to their attic for snuggles and sex. Francesca reclaimed her sub from Kimi and took her back to wherever they were staying these days. Cash complimented Kimi—who looked absolutely high—on the scene she’d run, allowing her to rehash it until she’d settled enough to take herself home on the T. Sebastian and Tripp were already gone. They’d disappeared after their scene on the cross and hadn’t reappeared. Sebastian probably had Tripp up against the plate glass window in his living room right now, which Harrison didn’t need to think about too hard.
“I guess it’s all yours.” Knight had come in to verify everything had been shut down properly. He stood with them in the bizarrely dim and empty room. Most of the lights had been turned off, leaving only the emergency exit lights ringing the outer wall and a single bright spot in the center highlighting the cross. “The doors will lock behind you. Which means make sure you’ve grabbed everything you need before you leave. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” he added with a laugh intended to convey that he knew they were going to do a lot of things he wouldn’t do.
And then they were alone. Cash went over to the bag he’d dropped near the cross and took out a bullwhip. He unfurled it with a sharp crack.
“You ready for this?” he asked pleasantly, like he was offering Harrison a slice of his decadent German chocolate cake.
Harrison shivered. “Yes and no.”
“Don’t worry, babe. There’s going to be a lot of warm-up.” Cash wrapped him up, literally warming him, though the air wasn’t cool. “And you can let me know if you’re not enjoying it. This isn’t like the ginger. I can stop at any time.”
Harrison nodded. He eased himself away from Cash, needing the strength of independence—of wholly choosing this himself—and reached for the hem of his shirt. He stripped methodically, grateful the lights had been dimmed so the vastness of the space surrounding them was hidden. Here at the Center Ring of Hell, it was only him and Cash. No spectators, no judgement. Cash was going to whip him because he wanted Cash to do it, not because Cash was stronger than him or better than him. Cash was serving him. As he always did.
And after, Cash would fuck him—the Prince Albert piercing he’d gotten the day Mike had tried to mow Jones’s door down with a cascade of bullets stimulating Harrison in yet another new and unexpected way. There was nothing Cash wouldn’t do to please him, which meant there was nothing he wouldn’t do to please Cash in return.
“I love you,” Harrison told him, meaning it as much as he ever had. “Let’s do it.”
Cash loved the extra weight the captive ring added to his cock—the way it rolled to remind him of its presence and the way Harrison reacted to it. Wearing the ring was like carrying a memento of Harrison’s arousal with him everywhere he went. Especially when he was hard, which he was now.
He shifted his dick, guiding it into a more comfortable position inside the constricting leather of his pants. He didn’t wear leather often anymore—no longer needing to put on a tough-guy persona to attract play partners—but tonight he would be wielding a bullwhip, so donning his leathers had felt right. And Harrison’s appreciative appraisal of his physique when he’d come out of the bathroom earlier had made shimmying into the tight pants worth it. Harrison found him attractive, and Harrison’s attraction got him horny. The two of them were just amazing together.
Harrison was ready to get right to it, like always, but Cash took a moment to kiss him, to run his hands over Harrison’s firm and furry planes and think about how all this was just for him. No more watching the man he’d chained and coddled last week in the arms of another man this week. No more trying to figure out how to be more of what he could never be. Harrison loved him so exactly for who he was it took his breath away.
Then Harrison gave him a shove and he remembered that Harrison was also an impatient motherfucker who needed to exert a certain amount of control.
“Yes, sir,” Cash said with a wink.
He brought Harrison over to the cross and attached his wrists and ankles to it—more tightly than he normally would because it was important that Harrison stay reasonably still. Too much movement at the wrong time could cause the whip to strike somewhere Cash hadn’t intended it to. He left a little wiggle room because he loved seeing Harrison wiggle, then stepped back to survey the spectacle of his boyfriend spread-eagled on a St. Andrew’s cross without a stitch of clothing on him.
“I’m starting with the flogger. You’ve felt this before.” Not only would the flogger warm up Harrison’s skin—and Harrison’s libido—but the short throw distance allowed Cash to be in close where he could watch Harrison’s skin go warm and his cock go hard.
He applied one soft stroke after another until Harrison started to fidget. That was a “get on with it” fidget, so he swapped out the flogger for a carriage whip that was one of their favorites. It was short and stingy, offering a bite without much weight behind it, and it made sharp lines Cash could feel with his tongue when he pleasured Harrison after. Harrison arched into it now, already excited. He liked whips, which was why Cash had high expectations for the bullwhip.
“Not too much of this,” he warned. He could see from the way Harrison was rocking his hips that he was already pretty far gone, in that space where he would be demanding a climax soon because he never could wait for it to get even better. Luckily for Harrison, Cash knew a lot about waiting.
He put down the carriage whip and picked up the bullwhip. It’d been a while since he’d used one, so he took a few practice swings, letting Harrison cool off while he built up confidence that he could swing it accurately.
For all the screeching Tripp had been doing earlier, Sebastian had mostly been playing with him—teasing him with the tip of the whip or wrapping it around his wrist or ankle in a move that was impressively hard to pull off but didn’t hurt if done right. The crack and snap and all that noise Tripp had been making had made the scene seem vicious—and no doubt Tripp had felt like he was in danger—but Sebastian was a pro. When he’d pulled Tripp down from the cross, Tripp had been sporting no more than a few red marks that had probably already faded by the time Sebastian finished fucking him.
Tripp enjoyed drama—the illusion of danger without too much actual harm. But Harrison’s kink wasn’t psychological. Harrison wanted to feel. For him to get the experience he was chasing, Cash would have to hit him exactly at the moment when the whip cracked, when it would feel like a fiery sword slicing Harrison’s skin open. Which meant Cash’s whip work needed to be just as precise as Sebastian’s.
He let the whip fall to his side as he approached the cross. The break had given Harrison time to turn commanding again. He cranked his head around to favor Cash with a scowl.
“Just making sure you’re ready,” Cash said.
“I’ve been ready.”
“I know.” He kissed Harrison’s cheek, then stepped away. His cock was insistent in his pants because it’d seen Harrison’s cock, how hard and red it was, the long strand of pre-come dripping toward the floor. They were both more than ready.
He cracked the whip forward and landed a perfect strike across the top of Harrison’s back. A bright line of red rose as Harrison gasped.
“Okay?” Cash asked.
“Come on,” Harrison said. “You know I hate talking.”
Right. Harrison preferred minimal checking in, even if the checking in didn’t involve using the word sir, and Cash didn’t need to check in because Harrison would let him know if he wasn’t happy. Loudly.
Cash grinned to himself as he sent the whip snapping forward again, raising a second welt just below the first one. He continued down Harrison’s back, not overlapping his strokes but trying to get them as close to each other as possible as he painted Harrison’s back red. His arm was remembering how this went, and his cock was happy to have Harrison twitching and moaning.
Striking with exactly the right force to hurt without actually breaking the skin was a skill, one Cash couldn’t keep up forever. His arm grew heavy before he’d reached the bottom of Harrison’s ribcage, and he was starting to wish he were ambidextrous enough to switch hands so he wouldn’t have to pull the plug before Harrison was ready to have it pulled, when Harrison pulled it himself.
“Cash.” His voice was syrupy, heavy with desire and endorphins. Subspace wasn’t the right word for where he went, but he sure as hell went somewhere, and he was there now. Nothing except a body, nothing except desire.
“Right here, babe.” Cash dropped the whip and went to his lover, pressing his chest against Harrison’s back to feel the dry heat of it. No blood. He’d done good. He kissed Harrison’s neck, running his mouth up and down it as Harrison undulated in his arms. “Want me to fuck you?”
Harrison tipped his head back, exposing his throat so Cash could get at more of it. He didn’t say yes, but his body said it for him. Cash got hold of Harrison’s cock. He closed his fist around the hard, damp length, rubbing the tip with his thumb to spread the silky liquid and wishing his own cock would magically find its way into Harrison’s ass, that he didn’t have to release any part of Harrison’s body to make that happen.
But at least Harrison was ready for him. They’d given him some prep at home, greased him up good enough that all Cash had to do was unzip and guide himself in. Harrison hissed as Cash breached him, but the hiss turned into a moan when Cash got his hand back on Harrison’s cock.
“There we go,” Cash said, still sliding slowly inward, giving Harrison a chance to adjust. Harrison’s ass was slick but not stretched, and though he loved getting fucked hard when he was riding a pain high, the Prince Albert piercing called for a more delicate entrance.
“Cash,” Harrison said, a sort of pleading.
“I’ve got you. I’ve got you so good.” He pulled out and pushed in again, synchronizing his hips to the stroke of his hand, working both Harrison’s cock and his prostate. Harrison fucked back to meet him, his head still tipped lazily back so Cash could feed on his neck. His arms and legs were spread wide, every bit of him so easily accessible, and Cash ate it all up as he started moving faster and faster, giving Harrison the roughness he needed. Harrison gave Cash the energy he needed in return, and they exploded one right after another—Harrison first, as always, Cash tumbling after him. As always.
Cash pressed softer kisses against Harrison’s neck as they settled back down to earth. Harrison would be hurting now. He never complained—was stoic to the death—but it was time for some aftercare. Cash got him unfastened and sat him on the floor, wishing he had somewhere softer to lay his hard man. But he’d packed a fluffy fleece blanket, so he spread it out, then stretched Harrison face down over it.
“Your back,” he murmured as he took it in.
“Is it bad?” Harrison tried to turn his head over his shoulder, then apparently decided it wasn’t worth the effort and dropped it back down to the blanket.
“Depends on what you mean by bad.” Cash lay down next to him and pulled until Harrison was sprawled over his chest. “It’s beautiful.”
“You liked it?”
“I think… yes. Ask me tomorrow.” Harrison had his eyes closed, and his hair stood in wild tufts sprouting from the top of his head. His upper back was bright red, and Cash was careful to keep his hands away from it as he cupped Harrison’s ass to hold him firmly in place.
There was food in his bag. Water. Salve. All the things he needed to care for his man, but he knew Harrison well enough by now to know that what Harrison needed most was to know he was still respected.
“You’re a champion,” he whispered. “I love what you can take for me.”
“I love how you deliver it. No one else, Cash.”
“I know. For me too.”
“Then marry me.” Harrison lifted his head to deliver his order, then lowered it again when he saw Cash wasn’t going to disobey him. “Good. Damned if I’m letting Brixby and Arlo beat us to the altar.”
Cash laughed. He didn’t care who in their gang got married first, as long as he got his turn. “I’m going to love you so hard,” he promised.
“Hard enough to hurt,” Harrison agreed. “For today and always.”
For today and always.
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