Master of the Mountain by Cherise Sinclair


  She studied his handiwork. “You're pretty good at that. It looks almost pretty.”

  “Sports, military, wilderness training. I've had a lot of practice.” He picked up the pillowcase that he'd filled with plastic bags of ice and draped it over and around her ankle.

  A staccato rap sounded on the door, and without waiting for a response, Jake strolled in.

  Logan scowled. “You ever consider I might be busy?”

  “Later, I'm sure, but you won't jump her ass when she's hurting.” The glint in Jake's eyes showed he knew what Logan planned to do to that pretty ass. “Here's some soup. It'll probably go down better than anything else right now.” He handed Rebecca a steaming mug and a plate of toast. Buttered, even.

  One of the most popular Doms in the area, Jake could be hard as nails, but for a hurt female, he turned as soft as the butter on that toast.

  “Thank you, Jake,” Rebecca said, taking a sip of the soup and giving a sigh of enjoyment.

  “My pleasure.” He nodded at Logan and left, his boots thudding loudly on the stairs.

  Logan turned and looked at Becca. Foot up and iced, water on the nightstand, food in hand. Pink colored her cheeks again, and the lines of pain had eased around her mouth and eyes. As his fear for her died, the urge to yell at her grew. He needed to leave and let her rest. For a bit. “Foot feel better?” he asked, just to check.

  She wiggled her ankle slightly. “Just some throbbing now. I'm sure it'll be fine in the morning.”

  “You'll stay off your feet for a couple of days. And we'll get it x-rayed tomorrow if it still hurts at all.” He could take her down the mountain in the morning, have it checked out. “Finish your food and take a nap. One of us will be downstairs, so if you need something, you yell. Don't get up.”

  She nodded, apparently willing to obey his orders.

  That would be a change.

  * * * * *

  As Logan left the room, Rebecca felt tears prickle at her eyes. It had taken all her resolve not to break down and drench the man in tears again. He'd rescued her. And then he'd actually carried her every time she started to give out. Carried her. And taken care of her like she was his…his girlfriend or something. Surely he wouldn't have climbed into the shower with any of the other guests.

  She sighed, knowing her emotions were messed up from exhaustion and fear. Her body felt like she'd run a marathon, so she did what Logan had ordered. Finished the food, drank the water, and took a nap.

  Tapping at the open door wakened her. “Yes?” She blinked and looked around. Logan must have been in earlier, since all the bedroom lights were off. She glanced at the glowing clock. Ten thirty. She'd been asleep almost three hours. “Come in,” she called.

  She could hear footsteps, and then Matt appeared in the doorway. “Hey, babe. How are you doing?”

  “Better.” She grimaced. “I wrenched my ankle good, though.”

  “So I hear.” He ran his hands through his hair. “I didn't realize you'd gone off by yourself. Why didn't you come and get me?”

  “I didn't think I had time to run around looking for a hiking partner. I was too worried about Thor.” And rightly so. He had been hurt and needed her. “Did you see him? Is he all right?”

  “Yeah, Logan doctored his foot and wrapped up his paw.” Matt grinned. “Thor had the gauze off in minutes.”

  Rebecca laughed, and the worry knot in her stomach loosened. Thor would be all right.

  “Anyway, I wanted to ask you about tomorrow. I'd planned to leave right at dawn. Is that still going to work for you?”

  Leave? The unexpected reminder hit her like a kick in the stomach, stealing her breath. They were leaving tomorrow. I'm not ready. She wanted to grab on to the bed and yell, I won't go.

  Unrealistic, Rebecca. True, she'd never felt like this about any man before, but her home was in San Francisco. Unhappiness settled inside her chest as she realized that Logan had never said anything about her staying or even about seeing her again.

  Maybe he felt shy?

  Logan? Get real. Maybe she could bring the subject up? Somehow?

  But Matt needed an answer now. Make plans now, they could always be changed later. “Dawn is fine. I'll meet you on the front porch.” She nodded at her suitcase. “Can you leave me some clothes for tomorrow, and take the suitcase now? With my ankle screwed up, I'm not sure I can haul it down the stairs.”

  “Sure.” He knelt by the suitcase and pulled out a bra and panties first, added jeans, and held up a top. “Will this shirt be okay?”

  A painful pang shot through her. No more of Logan's flannel shirts. “Sure.” She didn't even bother to see which one. “Works fine.”

  “Good.” He set the clothing in a stack on the dresser, then picked the suitcase up. “I'd better go, so you can get some sleep.

  She dredged up a smile. “See you in the morning.”

  * * * * *

  After Logan returned from making the rounds of the lodge, he checked the main room. With Thor at his feet, Jake sat by the fire, talking with Ted and Vince. The two were managers of a recreational sports company, and his brother had wanted to get a good deal on new equipment for the lodge.

  Logan nodded at Ted and Vince, then asked Jake, “Everything all right with the crew?”

  “They're good. Most of them are in the game room; three headed for a cabin.”

  Logan had heard the bed creaking in cabin three.

  “Want a beer, bro?” Jake asked.

  A beer would go down good, but no. Logan's jaw tightened. “I have things to do that require a clear head.”

  “Ah.” Jake gave him an understanding nod. “Don't be too hard on her. She meant well.”

  “She almost got herself killed.” Bad enough that she'd be leaving to go back to the city. The thought of finding her body…all the stubbornness, the humor, the warmth gone, her eyes blank. He knew just what traumatic death looked like. His gut twisted, and he turned on his heel.

  Once upstairs, Logan walked into the bedroom to find Rebecca reading a book that would have had to come from the bookshelf across the room. She'd been up on that ankle. Trying not to growl, he leaned against the door frame.

  So pretty. Her hair waved over her shoulders in the colors of the sunset. Her flannel nightgown reminded him of the ones his mother wore, yet the outline of her full breasts under the soft material made his cock harden. He shoved his lust to the background of his mind.

  First things first.

  The master in him was furious that she had disobeyed him, disregarded safety rules, and endangered herself. Over the past few days, he had been a Dom to her, and he would continue to teach her, even though the relationship would end soon. Temporary. The word tasted bitter in his mouth. He shoved the feeling of loss to one side.

  So far, she had learned the easy, fun stuff and had received a taste of light discipline. Would she still submit when he took it a step further? “Becca.”

  She started; then her sweet lips curved up, her eyes lighting in a way that made his heart melt. “Logan. Did you get a chance to eat and rest?”

  “Enough.” He'd grabbed some food but had been too pissed off to rest. “How's your ankle?”

  “It's much better. No pain unless I try to walk on it, and even then, I can put some weight on it.”

  “Didn't I tell you to stay in bed? To yell if you needed something?” He walked over to the bed and stared down at her.

  Chapter Fifteen

  The growl in Logan's voice sounded more menacing than Thor's best effort. Rebecca set the book on the nightstand, then gave him a wary look. “I wanted to—”

  “Now there's the problem, Becca,” Logan interrupted. He sat beside her hip, the mattress compressing under his weight. His eyes, more gray than blue in color, sent unease trickling down her spine. “If I give an order, I expect it to be obeyed.”

  Her eyes narrowed. “If this is that domination stuff, you said it applied only in the bedroom.”

  He tilted his head, his e
yes never leaving her face. “True. In a way. I'm a dominant, Becca, and my nature doesn't change. Outside the bedroom, you can disagree with me, and we'll work out a compromise.” He took her hand, and the calluses on his fingers felt almost threatening as he rubbed his thumb across the back of her hand. “What happened today, more than once, is that you agreed to obey my orders, and then you disobeyed.”

  Disobeyed? “Logan, I'm not a child,” she said, shocked when her voice came out hoarse. A shaking started deep inside her.

  “No. You're very much a woman,” he said with a faint smile. “And you're also a sub. My sub—for the moment—”

  For the moment. Why did that phrase hurt so much?

  He continued, “Which means I have certain obligations to you, ones that preclude letting you think you can get away with disobeying your Dom.”

  His firm words, the look in his eyes, increased the shaking until her fingers trembled in his grasp. She stared at her hand in horror. What was happening to her? She wasn't scared—not exactly—

  “Becca, look at me.”

  She raised her eyes.

  “We can handle this in two ways. If we are just friends and nothing more, I'll lecture you about safety and go back downstairs.”

  The thought hurt her chest and tightened her throat. “And the other?” she whispered.

  “If I am your Dom for the rest of your time here, then you will be punished as a sub, and we will go on from there.” His free hand stroked her cheek, the gentle touch making her feel as if she were being split in two parts. “A Dom/sub relationship, however short or long, exists only if there is trust and honesty between both parties. So this is your decision, little one. Your answer is either, 'Let's be friends,' or 'I submit, Sir.'”

  His hand on her cheek warmed skin that had gone cold and kept her from turning away. His eyes penetrated her, gazed deep inside. She knew he could feel her tremble. Think, Rebecca. But her ability to think had disappeared along with her willpower. She couldn't tolerate the idea of being just friends. Not at this point. She swallowed, her throat dry. “I submit, Sir.”

  He nodded, no expression on his face. “So be it.” He took her hands and held them firmly. “So I'm clear, this punishment is because you went hiking alone. You didn't even tell anyone where you were going.” His voice roughened. “Another hour, and we wouldn't have found you. More rain is due tonight… You'd have died.”

  “Wh-what are you—”

  “You do not have permission to speak.”

  Oh God, what had she done? Yet the feeling of his hands thrilled her, at least until he pulled her facedown across his legs. She ended up with her head and shoulders hanging down, her hips over his knees, and her feet still on the bed. Head spinning, she put her hands flat on the small rag rug and tried to raise herself. When he lifted her nightgown up and cold air brushed across her bottom, the awful understanding came swiftly.

  “A spanking? No way.” She tried to push herself back on the bed without success, then tried to drag herself forward off his lap. Her nightgown was caught on something—probably his fist—trapping her. A hand pressed down on her lower back. “Let me go!”

  “This will hurt less if you relax,” he said, as if she hadn't spoken, as if she weren't struggling to escape.

  “You son of a—”

  Slam! The blow hit right across her right buttock and stung like crazy.

  “Ow!”

  He paused. “Let me know when you feel sorry for what you did. Otherwise, I'll simply continue until my hand gets tired.” A pause.

  Slam. Slam.

  “Damn you!”

  Slam. A pause.

  “I hate you, you bastard.”

  Slam. Slam.

  “You're sick. Sadistic.”

  With each blow, his hand came down brutally, stinging worse than she could have imagined until her whole bottom burned.

  “B-bast—” Her voice broke as a sob escaped, and tears spilled from her eyes. She hated him.

  His hand stroked over her bottom gently. “You scared me, sweetheart. If we hadn't found you before dark…”

  Slam. Slam.

  She gritted her teeth, trying to keep the sobs back. Trying not to beg.

  He continued as if they were having a conversation. “Even Thor wouldn't have been able to keep you warm enough, especially since you couldn't go searching for someplace dry.” A pause.

  Slam. Slam. Her fingernails curled into the rag rug.

  “Jake and I were terrified, you know. We ran up that trail.”

  They'd run? She'd had a tough time walking up it. And then he'd carried her a good part of the way down. She'd been stupid. And careless. Her anger withered and died, and her resistance with it.

  Slam.

  “I-I'm sorry,” she whispered. “Please… I'm sorry.”

  “There we go.” He lifted her up and settled her on his lap. Pain streaked through her when her bottom rubbed on his jeans. She couldn't stop crying, the deep sobs hurting her chest. Confused and angry, sorry and hurting, she tried to push away from him. “Don't touch me,” she choked.

  His grip only tightened. His hand cradled her head, pressing her face into his shoulder. “All over, little rebel. It's done.”

  When he stroked her hair, she felt comforted and even more confused. He'd hit her and made her cry and now held her. “I'm sorry.”

  “I know, sugar.” He kissed the top of her head. “But damn, you scared me.” His arms tightened until she almost couldn't breathe. “I was so angry, I didn't trust myself to do this earlier. You wouldn't have been able to sit down for a week.”

  His words turned her attention to her bottom. “I may not anyway, you…” She sucked in a breath. “Sir.”

  “Nice save, little one.” He picked her up in his arms and carried her into the bathroom, setting her on the closed toilet seat. She hissed as fire streaked across her tender butt. “Wash your face and get ready for bed. Call me”—he gave her a harsh look—“when you're ready to come back.”

  “Yes, Sir.”

  After he carried her back to bed, he walked around lighting candles. She watched, her emotions still churning inside.

  He stripped, and she had to close her eyes against the sight of his naked body. He was so, so gorgeous.

  She heard the crinkle of a condom wrapper and knew he planned to make love. Her mouth tightened. After spanking her. God, just the word sounded childish. He'd hit her and now thought she'd want to…to fuck? Not happening. Pulling the covers up to her chin, she crossed her arms over her chest, trying to ignore the way her nipples had bunched into points. When she felt the bed sink under his weight, she opened her eyes.

  He lay beside her, propping his head up on one hand.

  She scowled at him. “I don't want to do anything but sleep. Sir. I have a headache.”

  His eyes narrowed as he studied her face, and his jaw slowly turned to stone. “No, you don't.” He lifted her chin and gave her a look that seared all the way to her toes and made her stomach quiver. “Lying gets punished, little sub, but I believe your ass is a bit tender right now.”

  His knuckles rubbed gently against her nipples, undoubtedly feeling the taut peaks, and his smile was pitiless. “I thought to be gentle right now, but you lost that privilege. Instead, I'm going to take you for my own pleasure, and I'm going to take you hard.”

  Her mouth dropped open, but before she could speak, he'd ripped the covers out of her grasp and rolled her on her stomach. Ruthless hands shoved her legs apart, never bumping or touching her sore ankle. He yanked her up onto her knees, putting her butt in the air.

  She felt a second of coolness when he shoved her nightgown up. A finger touched her pussy, swirled through her folds despite her squirming. He gave a satisfied grunt. “You're wet, sweetheart. Very wet.”

  Something pushed against her pussy, and then he sheathed himself in her so forcefully, she cried out. Her hands fisted on the sheets as her insides quaked around him in shock. His knees shoved her legs outward, op
ening her even farther, and he seated himself so deep, he brushed against her womb. She was still in shock from his entry when he started to move.

  No gentle, sweet seduction, this. His hands gripped her hips, taking all the control for himself as he hammered into her so hard, tiny grunts broke from her. And yet, in spite of the ruthless way he took her, her insides heated. Her folds swelled and throbbed as her need rose. She buried her face in the pillow, turning just enough to get air, realizing that was all she could do. Overpowered, anchored in place, she couldn't even push back. Couldn't do anything except take it.

  The thought made the burning worse. She could feel herself tighten around him as shivers spiraled through her body. Her legs began to tremble. She bit her lips trying to muffle a whimper.

  He gave a short laugh. And suddenly he slid a hand down under her body, stroking through her folds, stroking her clit with a firm, callused finger, the roughness against her sensitive tissues incredibly exciting. Her hips jerked, tried to move, but he leaned forward, pressing his chest against her back, bracing himself over her with one arm on the bed, the other between her legs, stroking, stroking…

  His heavy balls slapped against her pussy, sending shocks through her. The rhythmic thrusting set up a pulsing inside her, each one increasing the seething tension. Her hands scratched at the sheets as she panted.

  He pulled back, almost all the way out, and she whimpered. The return thrust through her swollen tissues brought a cry. Remaining deep inside her, he rubbed her clit, bringing her to the brink, then lifted his fingers and pulled his cock out again. Hard back inside, fingers again. Over and over, until she couldn't think of anything except the feeling of his fingers, of his cock entering her. She tightened further, her legs turned rigid, and her hands fisted.

  Suddenly he trapped her clit between his fingers, using a firm, pinching pressure as he hammered into her.

  “Aaaaaah!” The fierce coil inside her exploded outward, sending pleasure crashing through her. Her hips bucked against his hand, but his fingers only tightened, gripping her as her pussy spasmed around his cock in unending shock waves.

 
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