A/N: Hope you realize Leila is guano loco. And quite truly, definitely dead, though she still has a voice and a presence in this story. She stands between Christian and Ana, along with his other unwanted cast of extras. If you have questions, return to Chapter 0.

Why are some of you being so mean and uncharitable to Taylor? While 'tis true Taylor has many unsavory duties to perform, he's not even as bad off as most CPOs. There are many far worse protectees.

Hi Thirst! Hi Nadia! Hi everybody who reads and reviews!

Inspiration Song(s): Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know


After I woke up to my marital disaster, I could've kicked my own ass. Fresh out the gate, I'd broken one of Sir's more stringent rules and the consequences were a bitch. I had awakened sick and sticky, next to an appalling specimen of manhood. It all came rushing back to me… The ambient lighting, elegant wall sconces, oxblood leather banquette, black lacquer tables, vertical strip lighting like fireflies in the night sky with enough sour cherry old-fashioned cocktails to kill a horse. Sir always called my eyes bourbon brown…

Last night, Russell Reed resembled Sir. Tall, red-head, light-colored eyes, suit. But sadly, the morning revealed a thinning, receding auburn mane, pale, freckled ass cheeks, and rather disheartening paunch. While he wasn't quite coyote ugly, he was nothing to write home about. I was horrified to realize I wasted the night on him, instead of hitting the casino to perhaps get a view of the private, high-stakes poker tournament in the penthouse as I'd intended. However, as one drink became a half-dozen, common sense fled to greener pastures.

At least I was still protected from pregnancy, as the sloppy, cooling wet patch between my thighs also bore witness to the fact that I'd once again had unprotected sex with a stranger. Hopefully, this one hadn't also given me the clap. Matchmaking prevented one-night stands and indiscriminate sex. At least if the parties didn't know one another, the matchmaker did, and had already screened partners for health and compatibility and rooted out the undesirables. This was a fuck-up of massive proportions. It also meant that I wouldn't be able to have sex again until I sought out a medical professional for testing.

My pussy was slick with cum that wasn't mine, so the sex must not have been too earth-shattering. With Sir, I always knew when I had cum. Every time he allowed. Any time I sought extra punishment. My core would be left pulsating with aftershocks. The first few times he fucked me, I hobbled for an hour afterward, even though I'd taken soaks in the hottest water I could tolerate. And I could finger myself to orgasm two more times, just from the memory of it.

Pulling away from this stranger, I caught a gander of his dick and prayed he was a grower because if this was all he had to show for himself, I'd not have been able to show my face in public. I glanced around, relieved because at least I wouldn't have to take the walk of shame in my cocktail dress. We were in my hotel suite. Fuck! This bastard didn't even take me to his room?! This led to the question, did he even have his own room in which to take me?

"Leilani, uh. God… you can suck a cock!" the fat bastard muttered in his sleep, turning over and farting, to my utter mortification. How much did we do? How fucking drunk was I? A pounding headache hammered at my temples, a sour taste in my mouth. Fuck, did I waste a swallow on this fucker, too? I sure as hell hoped not. And the asshole butchered my fucking name. Wasn't Leila exotic enough for his ass, or had he been desensitized by that Eric Clapton song? He'd dived directly from Arabic to Hawaiian.

Suddenly, I wanted this rude, ignorant sonuvabitch out of my room, and out of my bed. I shook his shoulder roughly, which resulted in a belch and a flabby handful of clammy skin. Where the hell was my hand sanitizer? I felt dirty just sharing a bed with him! I rolled out of bed, intent on having the hottest shower imaginable, but as I crossed the room, the bastard said the words that spelled the beginning of the end. "Where are you goin' wifey?"

Wifey? Wife? This crazy fucker thought we were married? Nope. Not happening. I never wanted to get married. These days you can fuck over a man indefinitely without putting a ring on it. The key is to fuck the right man. I had Master Right but what did I go and do? I admitted that I'd caught feelings. What happened? Swamp Thing happened. I swear this asshole looks like a human jar of mayonnaise. After its expiration date.

"Look, dude. We're not married," I said and just as I motioned with my left hand to tell chunky Chief Mini Cock where he could go, I noticed a glint of metal on my ring finger. It was a cheap ass piece of jewelry, a white gold band without even one fucking stone! Had I stepped into the Twilight Zone? Or having a stroke? I let my hand fall in shock.

"No! This is not happening! What happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in fucking Vegas! We're getting an annulment," I stated grimly. "Get your fucking clothes on. Chop chop!"

I thought that was the end of it. I had used Sir's commanding tone and everything, but the ass just laughed at me and sat up, leaning against the headboard.

"You know what, Sweet Cheeks. I don't think I will," he drawled. "I married you in good faith. You're the love of my life. I've never had my cock ridden like that before, and I doubt I ever will again. Besides, I'm Catholic, we got married in a church and I don't believe in divorce."

Trust me to end up in a covenant marriage with the scum of the earth. We could probably get a quickie divorce if he had been cooperative. A lot of people get married drunk and divorced sober in Vegas. I wished we qualified for an annulment, but it was glaringly obvious that our union had been copiously consummated. All it took was once. Fuck my life!

Later, I still thought I'd have a chance to offload the asshole, but he was on me like a bad rash or an evil fucking barnacle. He had soon insinuated himself in most aspects of my life. He'd gone through my contacts and alerted my parents to our marriage and had even updated my relationship status on all of my social media sites.

Reed had used the smartphone Sir had purchased for me to reveal my dumbass mistake to the world. Sadly, my family was thrilled, as they'd considered me their lost wild child, and their relief at me settling down led to another rift in our relationship.

Just when I thought it could get no worse, when I left him, he found me… no matter where I went. No matter what I said or did, he 'forgave' me. I'd cheated. Stayed out all night. Once I brought a 'friend' home, and the fucker had ordered takeout for the three of us, using my credit card. Chinese. I hate that shit.

I couldn't figure out how Reed kept finding me. I'd assumed he had some semblance of a life. But no! His life consisted of keeping me on an electronic leash like a dog. He admitted that he'd lost his job before he came to Vegas and he blew his entire 401k and severance package trying to get rich quick. Then he saw me and his stars aligned. He thought I was a wealthy deb, sowing some oats. When I came on to him, he'd believed his ship had come in.

Well, this ship was sinking. The fifty grand I'd started with had decreased by at least a third and was dwindling fast. I still had some other funds, but most were tied up in long-term investments and the penalties for early withdrawal would've been severe. In a burst of inspiration, I'd decided to reach out to Sir, to test the waters.

What a fucking mistake that had been! He replied to my email, and he already knew I was married. He joked that I'd never seemed the type. He was pleased I'd gotten my 'more' but showed mild surprise at what my idea of more was. From time to time, I'd email him, making sure to keep it light; I wasn't up to hearing his voice. He'd contracted a new sub a couple of months after I'd left. Knowing how seamlessly he'd moved on while I was trapped in a nightmare of my creation, blasted away much of what was left of my hopes.

From time to time, I'd see Sir's name in the news. Another gala. Coping Together. Feed the Nations. Shipbuilder's Guild. Canned photos of him or GEH whenever he traveled for business. London. Paris. Tokyo. A couple of places in Russia and China. Good thing he owned a plane, but he could've made a mint on the frequent-flyer miles.

I eagerly fed my obsession with Google alerts and newspaper subscriptions. Hubby was curious why I subscribed to the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. I'd laughingly confessed that I was protecting my interest. It was the only thing that kept me from killing him in his sleep. Thankfully, he didn't attempt to sleep with me. Or fuck, which probably kept him amongst the living.

Reed was impotent and being cuckolded didn't faze him. The stars were aligned in his favor when we met. He was an alcoholic with erectile dysfunction. Between problems with his liver and his heart, no doctor worth his license would be prescribing him any blue pills. By this point, I'd lost my apartment by failing to renew my lease, so we were staying in his small house in Spokane. I was taking some art courses at a local community college.

And that's where I met Geoffrey. My Geoff. He was an investment banker who taught color theory part-time and I was a student in his class. He was a lot of fun. He was in his early thirties but didn't look it. He claimed sex with beautiful women kept him young. I could believe it. He was a beautiful man. His hair was blue-black and his eyes were this aquamarine color that seemed almost unreal. And his body was well-proportioned. What started with coffee in the quad and a few enrichment activities, ended up in his bed, in his car, and on the roof of his building.

Unlike the other men, I didn't want my husband to know about him. I wanted to keep Geoffrey to myself. Something just for me. Which worked out just fine as my husband didn't realize that I had left him and moved in with him. He could no longer find me to hassle me. I had effectively escaped part of my predicament at least physically.

I arranged to change all my account information, leaving my husband out of it this time. He would no longer be able to nickel and dine me or rely on my finances. At least this way I wouldn't be a pauper within a year. I was shocked at how long the money lasted considering what a spendthrift he was. The idea of being used as Reed's sugar mamma was especially galling.

Even this small slice of joy was threatened, if as I suspected, despite my best efforts, Russell had found me again. Was he a wicked wizard, scrying for me? I'd done everything short of offing the man. I need to look into getting a gun. Maybe then he'd understand to stay the fuck away from me.

Master knew a woman's body and realized some of us required dominance to get off. Extreme stress and brutal stimulation had become my drug. I've begged permission to cum so many times throughout the years, that my mind requires a command to achieve ultimate release.

But Geoff loved me. He knew I was married but felt it wasn't a real marriage. He knew my husband didn't care for me and he expressed sadness that I'd let myself get to the point of accepting that type of negativity into my life. Geoff was good to me, but he was too gentle. I craved the bite of the belt and strokes of the crop. He was thorough and passionate in his lovemaking, but I was always left somewhat unfulfilled no matter how many orgasms he gave me. I yearned for a heaping helping of pain with my pleasure.

Though Geoff was a truly giving person, very open-minded, I could never tell him my darkest desires. It just wasn't his thing. He'd married before college to his high school sweetheart. But once they'd both graduated from college and started their careers, she was diagnosed with leukemia and died soon after. I guessed this is what drove him to study art (she painted landscapes), anything to be closer to her.

He'd had several affairs as he was an extremely virile man, but he could never find what he was looking for. He said that when our eyes met, he knew we would be part of one another's lives forever. He tried to help me with my divorce, but my husband hired a cutthroat attorney that must've specialized in motions and continuances because it was a very long process that seemed to have no end in sight. During the arbitration, I was encouraged to reconcile with my husband, but there was nothing for which to reconcile. We'd never truly been together. I couldn't move forward and I wasn't gonna go back. I was in hell.

Sir was right when he mentioned perpetual bondage without reprieve because it perfectly described my predicament. Falling prey to alcohol-induced foolishness. My prison cell was a cookie-cutter house in a slightly rundown bedroom community that I shared with a man who married me for the lifestyle he thought I had and decided keeping me unhappy was the only way he could exert any type of power in his life.

It had been years since I'd stupidly left Sir, asking for things I knew he couldn't give instead of showing gratitude for what was. He was on his fifteenth sub the last I checked. Soon, there would be another and another. No matter what, my life still seemed to consist of life before Sir and life after. Even basking in the steady warmth of Geoff's affection, I missed the blazing heat of Sir's dominance. I loved Geoff. I loved him for himself and the way he made me feel. Damn, how I wished it was enough.

The day was sunny and beautiful. Rarely was the weather so wonderful in Spokane. After a long night of love-making, we'd just had a late brunch, making silly toasts with our iced teas. We were on our way to the college. I was no longer his student and we felt free to be together, no longer under scrutiny from other instructors or students who felt Geoff had given me an easy ride. The fucking course was over a year ago.

Late in the afternoon, we passed a local newsstand and my eyes fell upon a huge photo of Sir. Pictured were Sir and a young unnamed brunette who appeared as if she was attempting to break away, but he was holding her still. The look in his eyes was filled with admiration, pride, and another potent emotion I couldn't quite describe yet permeated through the page. What did she have that I didn't?


I almost stumble at the thought as my world seems to tilt on its axis as I consider his girl with the expression of a deer caught in the headlights as Master clutches her to him with a white-knuckled grip. Are they playing a game? Is she his new sub? But Sir isn't one to be photographed with young women. This photo wouldn't exist or be published if he had not deemed it so. What makes her so special?

It seems like an hour but it must have been minutes as Geoffrey reaches out to grab my hand and I give an involuntary shudder. Only my extensive training helps me repress another flinch at his touch. Before his features, so vivid seem to have faded into obscurity like a black and white movie and everything else takes on a sepia tone as if all the color in my life is washed away.

I'm overcome with a sudden wave of hopelessness. I've been treading water. I'd left Master, got miserably married, and now have a boyfriend. I'm stuck in purgatory and my life is a fucking telenovela. All of my dreams and hopes are shattered.

As I let Geoffrey guide me down the sidewalk, I can't help thinking all I'd needed to do back then was keep my mouth shut. If only I would have waited. As evident from this image, Master is ready for 'more' now. Perhaps the sixteenth time was the charm.

No! I'd lasted longer than all the others. I'd been warned by a few of his former subs that Sir only wanted submission and nothing more. That he preferred his meticulous and orderly life. Sterile like his apartment. But I was his favorite. Special. And I'd waited longer than the others to ask him to meet my needs.

Sick from my stomach to my soul. Has the air disappeared? I begin to hyperventilate.

"What's wrong, Lee?" Geoff pleads as he tries to uncurl my body from where I've fallen to the ground.

I wanted. I needed. I couldn't feel my center. The laws that governed my world repeated in my head like a litany.

I must obey,

I must surrender,

I must serve,

I must accept discipline,

I must accept punishment.

Was I being punished for not accepting what Master had so generously offered? Geoff gently caresses my arms when all I want is to be bent over and forcibly fucked. I need to feel. I'm not a spun-glass figurine. Had the bite of Master's cat ever felt this painful?

Geoff holds me in his arms in the middle of the sidewalk as people pass by looking at me as if I was deranged. But it's the whole fucking world that's gone mad. He's steadily rubbing my arms, checking me for fever. I am ill, no doubt about it.

A dark-haired little boy passes by with a hotdog and a balloon as if there's anything to celebrate while his mother whisks him away from the crazy lady. I feel nauseous.

I'm cold, clammy. My chest is torn open, all my love, desire, and hatred spilling out in equal measure. I wanted to be that girl in the photo. Innocent, fresh-faced, wide-eyed, and totally unaware she has the whole fucking universe within her grasp.

E/N: The next full-length story I'll be releasing from the vault will be either Watermark or Guardian. If you like angst, drama, timeless romance, and second chances, I think these fanfiction novels will be for you. If you leave me reviews on FFnet and belong to FB, please drop your handle in your review. If you leave feedback, I may reply in an author's note.

Thank you for reading.

Nichole Stewart FB