Renata caught Garrett’s frown, and the way he cut his gaze toward the rearview mirror for a second or two. If he noticed the icy coldness, at least she knew it wasn’t her imagination. She swallowed hard. Six weeks of silence was long enough. Either he really hated her and she hadn’t known it until now, or there was another reason he was acting like such an ass. Either way, she was sick of it. She’d admitted her mistake and asked for forgiveness from Garrett. If that’s what she had to do with Javier, then she’d do it. And if he still acted like a jerk, then obviously breaking up with him had been the right decision, after all.
With a quick glance toward Garrett first, she moved closer to the space between the front seats. “Look, I’m sorry for the way I treated you in school. I’ve been waiting nine years to tell you that. It was shitty. And I know this has to be awkward for you both since I broke up with you to go out with Garrett. I was wrong to treat you that way. I was just a kid, but that’s not an excuse for bad behavior. However, we’re all adults now, so I’m hoping you’ll forgive me and…and give me another chance.”
He stared at her with such a neutral expression that she wondered if he’d heard her. Her heart pounded in her ears while she waited, and she swore that Garrett had slowed his speed. Maybe he was waiting, as well?
“A chance to do what?” Javier’s question was so soft she barely heard it.
“I don’t know, exactly. To talk again, for one thing. To see where this evening leads us. To be friends again, at the very least.”
“You’re okay with talking about what happened in high school in front of Garrett?”
“All right then.” He leaned forward and moved so close to her that if there had been more light inside the car she’d have been able to count his eyelashes. His very long eyelashes. “You hurt me, Renata. A lot. I told you I was in love with you and I meant it. It wasn’t just something a horny sixteen-year-old boy said to try and get into your pants. And then you dumped my sorry ass for the quarterback.”
“Hey…that’s totally not fair.” Garrett’s voice was angry, and Renata didn’t blame him, but she spoke before he could again because she had to get this out or she never would.
“I’m sorry, Javier. I don’t know what else to say. But just for the record, my decision to go out with Garrett had nothing to do with him playing football.”
“Oh, right. Like a girl who looks like you do would prefer a cello player.”
“A girl who looks like me? What the hell does that mean? And for your information, I thought it was sexy as hell that you played a musical instrument. I still do.”
Clearly, he hadn’t expected that answer from her. He looked a bit confused for a second, and then his expression finally softened. “Okay. So why did you break up with me?”
“I don’t know. I was a kid. I’m sorry. I can’t offer you anything better than that. I had my head up my ass on the best of days. But I’m not that person anymore. I’ve missed you. Both of you. I’ve missed my home and I’ve missed this island. That’s why I’m back here, using my very expensive degree to design better bondage cuffs.”
He narrowed his eyes. “So, your decision to take the job in R&D had nothing to do with Garrett running the department?”
“Javier, for God’s sake…”
She cut Garrett off again. “No, it didn’t. It’s what I’m trained to do. My doctorate is in biomechanical engineering. I wrote my dissertation on the fetish industry. Did you know that? They almost didn’t let me finish it but I fought them, and I won. It’s as valid as the safety concerns for any other kind of equipment, after all.”
“I didn’t know that. About your dissertation, I mean.” The admiration in his voice was evident.
“I worked for a medical equipment house after I earned my PhD, and I hated it. I didn’t want to design wheelchairs, splints, or more user-friendly IV pumps. I wanted to come home and work for Phoebe’s Playthings. I’m a lot like both of you and your relatives in that respect. This is where I want to be. The job I wanted was open, it was perfect for me, and it wouldn’t have mattered who ran the department. I still would have gone for it.”
“Satisfied now?” asked Garrett as he pulled into a parking space on the street where Asa lived.
“Yeah. I guess so. I’m sorry.”
“Apology accepted under one condition,” she said. “That you accept mine as well, and that we bury the hatchet and start over.” She stuck out her hand. “Oh, and that you tell me what you meant by a girl who looks like me.”
Garrett chuckled and opened his car door. “I’m going to wait outside while he explains that one.”
She watched Garrett leave the car, wondering why he’d done so, and then instead of shaking her hand, Javier placed a finger on her face and gently turned it toward him again. Her breath caught in her throat as she looked into those eyes. His features, too, had angled a bit since his teen days, and just like Garrett, it made him even more gorgeous. She brushed the hair off his forehead now, and his gaze softened.
“You always did that.”
“I know. I remember.”
“What I meant was that you were out of my league. Too damn pretty. You still are.”
“Javier, I’m not out of anyone’s league. And I happen to think you’re drop-dead gorgeous, so if looks determine who is or isn’t out of anyone’s league, I’m the one who is on dangerous ground here.”
“It’s not dangerous ground.” His gaze slipped down to her sweater and back up again, and Renata had to bite back a moan at the dark lust in his eyes. He looked like he wanted to devour her in one bite, and she shivered. “Unless you consider my overwhelming urge to kiss you dangerous.”
“Any absolute limits we should know about?” he asked.
“I wouldn’t even know what to tell you. I’ve never given it any thought.”
“All right then. How about this? If we do anything, and I mean anything, that makes you afraid, uncomfortable, or that you need to talk about first, you safeword. Otherwise, we’ll just keep going.”
Oh God! “That sounds so incredibly decadent I can’t even think right now. All right. Yes. I agree.”
“Good girl.” That voice! What was it about this night that had rendered it so deliciously seductive? Had he always sounded this way?
She caught Garrett’s scent as he moved toward her, and when she glanced at his reflection in the mirror, he held up a long, dark piece of fabric. They were going to blindfold her. Renata could hardly catch her breath as Javier moved away from her and Garrett stepped up to wrap the silk around her head. As soon as he tied it, she felt her muscles relax. This was perfect. How had they known?
“Are you okay with this?” he asked.
“Yes. I love it.”
“Walk with me. We’ve got you. You won’t fall.” She anticipated being turned around and led toward the mattress, but instead Garrett’s hand on her elbow led her forward, toward the windows. She felt the coolness on her face, and was suddenly very aware of the slate beneath her bare feet, and the feel of the air up here. The room was quite large, and she swore with the blindfold on she could feel the expanse.
“Lean against the ledge here.” He guided her hands to the windowsill, and then she waited. “This faces south. Not too many homes on this side, so try to pay attention only to the sound of our voices, not where we are. We won’t let anything happen to you.”
“I trust you both.”
“Good girl.” She shivered at those words. Garrett’s voice, too, had taken on a sultry quality she’d never noticed before.
Soft leather brushed her back and ass cheeks, and then the back of her legs. Renata drew in a sharp breath, but not because it hurt. The sensation was exquisite, as if the leather caressed away her cares and worries each pass of the falls. All memories of what Petra had told them tonight melted away, and there was only the flogger against her skin, and the soft shuffling of Garrett’s and Javier’s shoes on the floor as they moved around her.
“Do you like that?” asked Javier.
“Yes. Very much.”
He brushed the falls over her breasts, and Renata moaned. Would they strike her with it? She’d never been so much as spanked, but her fantasies had always included kinky sex. She’d never told them that. Did they know, anyway? Could a Dom sense that in a woman?
“How about this?” asked Garrett. He moved what she swore was the edge of a wooden paddle over her arms and legs, then against her ass cheeks. “Do you know what this is?”
His voice was teasing, full of lust, and it was all she could not to turn around and just start reaching for them. But she knew why they were doing this. It was to prolong the sweet torture and introduce her to play, and she loved them both being so attentive to her needs. They had never been immature high school boys, at least in her mind, but both had grown so much since then, regardless. It was amazing just to be here with them, and she wanted to relax into this moment and enjoy everything they wanted to share with her.
“It’s wooden. I know that much.”
She caught the soft chuckle, and it was so damn sexy she almost came. “Very good.” He brushed the length of it against her ass cheeks, and Renata moaned. “It’s a paddle. Like they use in fraternities. Any of those frat boys up there in Alabama ever use one on you?”
She had to bite back a laugh. “Ah, no. And I never hung out with any frat boys, regardless.”
“Good to know.” He smacked her ass with it, not even close to hard, but the endorphins rushing through her were ridiculous. She readjusted her stance and clung to the windowsill. When the flogger falls snapped across her ass, she moaned again.
“I think she likes this,” said Javier. “We’ve hit the jackpot.”
“Oh God…” Renata tried to keep breathing as they alternated the paddle and the flogger on her ass and breasts. None of the strikes were hard enough to actually hurt, but that was okay for now. It was the sensations she loved, and the fact that she couldn’t see who was doing what. She loved being at their mercy, knowing she faced a wall of windows, naked. It was such a turn-on, and she hoped someone out there was watching.
“Spread your legs a bit,” said Javier.
Renata stepped wider, and then the flogger was aimed between them so it stung her pussy. She tossed her head back and moaned loudly. “That feels incredible. I had no idea.”
“Neither did we.” He nuzzled her neck, and when he cupped her pussy, she nearly came again. She wanted their hands all over her. She needed their cocks inside her. Every hole, all night long.
“This is a very pleasant surprise,” said Garrett. The paddle smacked her ass again, not gently this time, but Renata didn’t mind. She loved it. The harder he hit her, the more she wanted. Whoever wielded the flogger now changed to something sharp and small. It stung like crazy but that only increased her arousal. The pain and pleasure became all mixed up into one exquisite sensation, until Renata could no longer distinguish between the two. She merely knew she didn’t want it to end.