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A gilded cage is still a cage.
From the womb, she was owned. Shula Kelley was signed away before her first breath, just like everyone else in secessionist Texas. She was called beautiful like it meant something important. Like it would get her a kind husband, or one less cruel. She hoped Jared Agnesson was kind.
And the devil you know is still the devil.
As punishment for his son's rebellion, the patriarch of the Agnesson clan claimed Shula for his own. And she saw only one way out. Shula had a plan, but she didn't realize it would require a savior.
Suffer not the sins of the father.
First acts of rebellion open doors that are best left closed. Until Jared walked through it. Her savior. But how can she truly love when she only knows obedience?
“I‒” She removed her hand from her knickers.
“Don't do that, my love. Pretend I'm not here if you must, but I'm going to watch you, and you will continue.” His need was just at the surface, but he found he wanted to hold on to it, just a bit, no matter how unsettling it was to him. He was quite spoiled by his bride, and she tended to his every desire, whether she realized it or not.
But this was different. This was unexplored territory. He hadn't realized desire could be on a spectrum and that revelation made him want to feel everything all at once. Do everything all at once. The thought of untapped desire was distressing. Intoxicating.
Oh God. He wanted to watch her? She couldn't. She just couldn't. She arranged her night dress and sat up, deeply ashamed, but found herself quickly on her back with her husband over her, palm pressing the center of her chest. “No, Shula. I said you will continue.” He barely recognized his voice. He grabbed her right hand and pressed it to her damp panties. His zipper rubbed against the back of her hand, and she could feel he was hard.
He was going to make her. He'd never made her do anything she hadn't wanted before, so why was he making her now? To punish her? Surely not. “I don't think I can, Jared. I don't want to displease you, but I'm terribly embarrassed, and I don't want you to think‒” That you're not enough, she thought miserably to herself.
“Think what, Shula? Tell me.” Her panties were moved to the side and his thumb a centimeter from her clitoris. It was maddeningly still. His mouth spoke into hers after a thorough kiss. “Tell me, and I might help you out.”
Shula was relieved. Not for the help, but because she hadn't wanted him angry. “I've just done this since I was young, and I don't know. I just enjoy it.”
“Well, then. Let me make it better for you.”
“You do‒Oh!” His face was between her legs, lapping fully at her labia. “Now. I want to watch very closely.” He circled her clitoris with his tongue before moving back out. “Do it.”
And she did. Her fingers moved rapidly, while his tongue and mouth tasted and explored everything else. His tongue would work its way in beside her fingers and she would buck against his face. He didn't bother dissuading her.
He felt slight tremors against his face and decided he wanted to draw this out a bit more. “Stop.”
It took her a few seconds to comprehend it, but she did. She removed her hand and clutched it to her chest. She didn't know what she was doing wrong. She was afraid she would cry if she spoke.
Jared saw. He saw how he scared her, and it was intolerable. “Shula, love. Slow down. That's all.” He kissed the skin of her thigh closest to his mouth. “Slow, slow, slow,” he begged. He kissed her fingers once they found their way back.
He watched her. He saw how her body adapted to a slower pace. He saw how she would quicken, then slow again as she was getting closer.
He could watch this for hours.
Arden Aoide lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and three cats. Turn ons include men who cry during sex, long walks on the beach, and talking about herself in the third person. Turn offs include mean people and trying to figure out how to write an interesting author bio.
She doesn't write about the typical men you normally read about in erotic romance novels. She likes her men brainy and just this side of manic.
She's an introvert, she loves coffee, Internet, British television, and pot stickers. And pie. She loves pie.