Cantara looked pale, but composed. Raoul recognized the glint of determination in her eye competing with the satiated expression he was more familiar with. She took the chair they had left for her, directly opposite them, and swung her feet up, tucking them beneath her butt. She winced, presumably because her heels made contact with a fresh bruise, but otherwise showed no reaction. But Raoul could tell she was nervous. The wariness in her expression gave her away, as did the fact that her hands weren’t entirely steady.
“Why didn’t you speak with us before agreeing?” Raoul asked in a mordent tone.
“You don’t consult me when you go on missions.”
“That’s different, and you know it,” Zeke said. “We’re soldiers. We have no choice but to follow orders. You do get to choose.”
“You know why I have to do this.” She looked down at her hands and laced her fingers together. “And if I’d mentioned it to you first you would only have tried to talk me out of it.”
“Damned straight, we would,” Raoul replied, his jaw clenched, square and unmoving, madder than he had been in a long while. “It’s dumb-assed, ill-thought out, and plain suicidal.”
“Colonel Pool doesn’t seem to think so.”
Zeke scowled. “Pool wouldn’t know his ass from his elbow. He’s just out for personal glory and doesn’t care about collateral damage.”
“Which is all you will be if you do this,” Raoul said, team-tagging Zeke’s objections.
“It’s the best opportunity we’ve had to talk with the militants for a long time. They’re on the back foot right now, their position weakened through recent losses, and they need to negotiate. I can see why Pool and Hassan are so keen to go for it.”
“It’s not their asses on the line.” Raoul growled.
“I can take care of myself. Besides, we knew what I was coming here to do.”
“You agreed not to engage with extremists,” Zeke reminded her.
“Yes, I know, but…this opportunity might never come around again.”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake!” Raoul stood up and paced the room. “If that’s your attitude then you’re dead before you leave this compound.”
“I don’t plan on dying.”
“Why do you think they’ve asked for you?” Zeke asked.
“Well, I suppose, because I’ve made no secret of the fact that I want to broker peace in the region. I am Palestinian, so I understand the issues.” She looked away. “God alone knows, I ought to.”
“Then you’ll know they don’t take women seriously,” Raoul said, swinging around to face her again. “Has it occurred to you that they might want to take you out of the equation? You’re a thorn in their side, a traitor to the cause in their eyes, an embarrassing female who has forgotten her role in life. Your entire family was wiped out and yet instead of wanting revenge, you work for our side, trying to broker peace.”
“I work for both sides.”
Zeke flexed a brow. “You think they’ll see it that way?”
“It’s up to me to make them.”
“And what about us? The three of us?” Raoul placed his fists on his hips and fixed her with a searing look. “You don’t think what we have is worth preserving, worth fighting for, worth putting first?”
“Of course I do, but—”
“We love you, babe,” Zeke said bleakly.
“We never thought that would happen, that we would be able to commit to one woman and be happy, but it has.” Raoul raked a hand through his hair. “Shit, if anything happens to you, it would crucify us both.”
“Now you’re being unfair, trying to blackmail me.” Anger flared in her eyes. “How do you think I feel when I see you two going off into dangerous places, never able to tell me where you’ll be or what you’re doing? I never know when, or even if you’ll come back, but I don’t try to stop you going.”
“We’re soldiers,” Zeke repeated with exaggerated patience. “It’s what we do. We don’t have a choice, but you do.”
“No.” She shook her head. “Actually, I don’t.”
Only angry breathing on the part of Zeke and Raoul, and anguished sighs from Cantara, broke through the ensuing brittle silence. Raoul knew they shouldn’t have lost their tempers, but it was damned hard not to when she insisted upon being so stubborn.
“Are you telling me not to go?” she asked in a small voice.
“You have disappointed me, babe,” Raoul said curtly. “Take your clothes off and go crouch in the corner facing the wall while we decide upon your punishment.”
“Yes, Master Raoul.”
They watched her shiver with anticipation, captivated by the slow sway of her slender hips as she moved to soundless music and did a slow, sexy striptease for them. Her army combat pants and tank-top-covered pretty pink lingerie had both men testing the zippers on their jeans as they growled with appreciation.
Raoul unsnapped his jeans, pulled down the zip and let them hang around his snake hips. He wasn’t wearing underwear and an angry erection sprang free, a thick blue vein standing proud down its length. Cantara’s gaze briefly dwelt upon it with evident approval before she remembered she was supposed to be playing a submissive role and lowered her eyes again.
Zeke sucked in a sharp breath when she reached for the catch at the back of her bra, unfastened it, but held the cups over her firm breasts, teasing them. Raoul knew what the little witch was doing. Her plan was to drive both of them so wild that they’d forget about talking her out of the mission she’d so recklessly agreed to. Well, she’d gotten their complete attention, no question, but her plan would still backfire. By reminding them of what they had going between the three of them, they were even less likely to let her do stuff that would get her killed.
Still, Raoul thought, sharing a look with Zeke that said live for the moment. If anyone had learned the hard way that life was to be snatched by the throat and lived to the full, then it was their wilful Cantara. And right now, Raoul figured she had to be feeling pretty damned empowered as she watched him and Zeke react to her provocation. They were Doms extraordinaire, with the willpower and stamina inherent to that role. One she got into the lifestyle and they promised her monogamy, she bombarded them with questions about her predecessors, insecure because she was convinced she couldn’t possibly measure up. Raoul admitted that none of their previous subs had made them lose control in the way she so easily seemed able to, simply by disobeying the rules.
Zeke had unfastened his jeans too, and was gently rubbing his rigid cock as he watched her play them.
“Let it go,” Raoul told her.
She licked her plump lips, blew him a kiss and let the bra fall to the floor. Zeke’s groans grew louder when she cupped her breasts in her own hands and squashed them together until the beaded nipples almost touched one another. Then she started playing with them, offering them to the guys, but remaining just out of their reach. This was gross insubordination, no question. Cantara knew very well she was not supposed to take matters, quite literally, into her own hands.
“Let ’em go, honey, and lose the panties,” Raoul ordered crisply.
Her breasts fell free of her hands, their weight causing them to bounce against her torso as she gracefully stepped out of her panties and threw them at Raoul. He laughed, held them to his nose, and then slid them into his pocket, focusing his gaze on her freshly waxed pussy. Honey trickled down the insides of her thighs. She ran a finger through it, lifted it to her lips and sucked it slowly into her mouth.
“Shit!” Zeke growled.
Cantara flashed another saucy smile, turned her back on them and finally crouched down on all fours, facing the wall, ass poking provocatively in the air. She trembled with expectation as they moved around the room, chatting to one another, deliberately racking up her anticipation by making her wait. They acted as though she wasn’t there, stark naked, crouching in the corner, vibrating with a need that only the two of them could satisfy.
When Raoul sensed they had exhausted her patience and she was on the point of doing something rash to speed matters along, they stripped off and approached her. Zeke stood with his feet in the periphery of her vision, while Raoul took up a position directly behind her, rubbing the thongs of a Japanese flogger across her ass. An elongated shudder rocked her body and he knew she would be controlling her breathing and her mind, slow and easy, the way they had taught her, as she waited for the first blow to rain down.
Raoul brought the flogger down hard and sharp, knowing the thongs would spread the tingling across the expanse of her buttocks. He seldom flogged her that hard, so he figured it would give her a good idea just how mad he was with her. She inhaled with a sharp hiss, but otherwise held her position. When Raoul felt satisfied that every nerve ending in her body must be tingling, he grabbed her hair, wound it around his fist, and tugged her head backward while he applied the flogger for a second time. His anger and desperation must have communicated itself because he sensed she was on the verge of orgasm.
“Don’t you fucking dare!” Raoul growled.
Zeke fell to his knees in front of her, his throbbing erection grasped in one fist so that it twitched in front of her face.
“Did you mention something about a hum job, beautiful?” Zeke asked.
Raoul released her hair, enabling her to move her head forward, but continued to systematically flog her backside. By canting his head, Raoul was able to see Cantara lick her lips and slide them over the head of Zeke’s cock. From his own experience he knew she would be greedily sipping up the drop of pre-cum oozing from it. She then started making a humming noise in a smooth, steady tone—choosing an old Palestinian lullaby with which to torment Zeke— for a few seconds at a time as she moved her mouth up and down his shaft. Zeke groaned as she varied the pitch to create different sensations, just the way they’d taught her. Damn, but she was a responsive student! Raoul felt his own need steadily building, but tamped it down. It would be a sin to rush such a virtuoso performance.