Sometimes people need to go back when it all started…
Mariana Harlow knows she needs to work on rebuilding the trust within her boyfriend, after a steamy photo shoot with his nemesis. She knows just the thing that would help him trust her, but she wonders if a fantasy she has might cause irreversible damage to them both.
Scott Reed is considered to be one of the best Doms in the world, often referred to as the Gentleman Dom. Upon reconciling with his girlfriend, they put a stop on all BDSM play until they could sort out their relationship. When Mariana brings up a peculiar fantasy of hers, Scott wonders if her previous hard limit is a sign of something else brewing between them.
Every relationship has its limits. What is theirs?
Unravel Me is a short erotic novella that deals with trust, BDSM, and if love can truly conquer all.
Cathedral Springs was a foreign place like no other. The homes looked modest, but they were all worth well into the millions. Families were diverse, and the neighborhood was quiet. It was a secluded place, just miles away from Los Angeles, yet close enough to be near the hustle and bustle.
It was her second home.
The cacophony of downtown Los Angeles sounds was heard a brief distance away. The air was as clean as it was going to get in L.A., but she didn’t feel like she was choking. Instead, she took a deep inhale and exhale, letting the wind circulate through her body.
As sunlight crept into the blinds inside the posh residence, Mariana Harlow slowly opened her eyes and yawned inside the California King bed. She didn’t bother to turn over to see if her boyfriend was in the room. He was already awake and closing deals before she had her morning coffee.
She slowly rose up from the bed and stretched. She took a shower and dressed for work before she went searching for him. She chose tweed gray slacks and a pink blouse. Her standard heels were always in the car and she often went to work wearing her Sketchers.
She missed the days when he would carefully pick out her wardrobe, making sure it complimented her body the best. She knew she had to earn his trust again, yet she wasn’t sure how. The therapy sessions they both took part in were intense, yet needed. No more pretenses. No more wondering. No more accusations.
Raw and ethereal, just like how they both were.
Mariana went searching for her boyfriend in the midst of his sprawling estate. Five bedrooms, and four bathrooms, with a Jacuzzi and pool. There was a newly added basement just for the fellas to come over during game day, with a monstrous flat screen TV and wet bar.
The very back of the home was where the master bedroom was. It was open and wide, with lots of natural light. An expensive, imported rug laid beneath the bed, which was covered in Egyptian cotton and satin.
In the corner of the room, on the bedside along with other books, was a picture of the two of them together. She smiled at the Valentine’s Day memory, when he’d surprised her with a Mariachi band and heart-shaped petals. They were wrapped into a loving embrace, and she could still remember the emotions of that day.
The home was modern, yet the extravagance of the owner clearly showed. It was clear good money was spent, yet he also found a good deal in many bargain items. When it came to her, and to them, then she realized he would spend every last dime to make her happy and keep her there.
She found him in his usual space, staring out the window in his home office. He was negotiating a deal and she was careful not to interrupt. She knew how precious time, business was to him, and she dared not waste a second of neither.
So, Mariana just stood and watched, in complete amazement of the man everyone knew as Scott Reed.
He was an advertising wunderkind, a philanthropist who donated millions of his money, and a calculating executive who didn’t take no for an answer. Incredibly ambitious, drop-dead gorgeous, and the man who’d fucked her into submission the week before, Mariana was forever in awe of him.
Scott held out a finger behind him, silently requesting she gave him a few more minutes and Mariana quietly obliged. She tiptoed her way to the corner sofa and laid down. The last few days were a rollercoaster of emotions and Thanksgiving was just around the corner.
She made a mistake becoming intimate with another man, though no sex had occurred. It didn’t matter. Mariana had crossed a line and she wasn’t sure if all was completely forgiven between her and Scott. He purposely stayed away from her during his birthday weekend, and she suffered with little contact.
The therapy session proved to be just as intense as they both accused of each other of purposing hurting the other, yet they both knew it wasn’t true. Still, it wasn’t fun to listen to how she’d almost destroyed the trust they’ve worked so hard to rebuild over the year. She would have to try harder now.
Mariana watched Scott’s body flexed underneath the sharp business attire. He never wore suits unless he absolutely had to. Instead, he preferred to wear dress shirts and slacks, with his choice of expensive designer shoes.
The majority of his clothing usually came from Target or some mall department store, and he preferred it that way. No one could tell if he wore a Gucci shirt or something from JCPenney’s. It made him more relatable to his employees, and those he’d inspired on a daily basis.
His voice was low and clipped, and a little of his Georgia accent came out. He wasn’t the type to yell or get angry at his employees. All he had to was to change his tone, choose short, staccato-like sentences, and everyone knew he meant business. Scott never tried to change who he was. He recognized his faults and his strengths, and simply told everyone around him to keep up or get left behind.
Scott finally turned his attention towards his girlfriend; his lips curving upward into a delicious panty-wetting smile. He took long strides over toward her and hovered over her as she glanced up at him. She hadn’t done her makeup yet, but it didn’t matter. She was the most gorgeous woman he’d ever seen and she wanted to devour her.
He nestled himself between her thighs and Mariana accommodated him by spreading them open and wide. It was a position they’d done many times over the years and it still felt new every time. He stared down at her soft brown eyes and felt his breath caught at her stunning beauty.
“I’ll see you next Tuesday,” he spoke into the headset, “I can’t wait to see the RFP.” He discarded the headset and caressed his girlfriend’s face. “Good Morning, baby.”
Mariana looked up at him and smiled. Scott Reed was a truly gorgeous man. Sculpted cheekbones, shoulder-length brown hair with sun-kissed blond highlights. His lips were full, kissable, and very sensual. Mariana’s thighs tingled just thinking about how Scott had his lips everywhere on her body the week before.
A week. A full, whole seven days since they last made love. Both knew it was because of scheduling conflicts and just pure exhaustion. At least that’s the lie she told herself. Mariana knew it was because of her betrayal; Scott wasn’t sure if he wanted to touch her without visualizing her with another man.
It was a mistake Mariana felt she was going to be in debt for the remainder of the relationship. She had to keep earning her trust with Scott, and he was reluctant to give it due to being burned on an international level from a previous girlfriend. Now Mariana just did the one thing she vowed she would never do – humiliate Scott in a similar way his ex-fiancée did before.
Guilt rose up in Mariana’s throat like heavy bile and she swallowed it back down. The comparisons to her and Scott’s ex were inevitable. Now she had to fight for his trust again, though she was never quite sure if he’d ever given it to her from the start.
She pushed all insecurities and doubt aside as she studied his face. A light beard covered his face, but it made him look polished, and not rugged. Mariana mentioned in passing how much she’d liked men with beards and Scott grew one shortly afterward.
It was a small but powerful gesture. He would do small things to show he cared and she was always number one to him, even if he didn’t think she would notice. She always did and she was always thankful.
“Good Morning, honey.” She lazily smiled. “Good meeting this morning?”
“It was something all right,” he kissed her, nibbling on her bottom lip before he swirled his tongue inside. He licked inside her mouth with a sweetness she hadn’t known before. “When your international clients call, you have to answer.”
Scott’s ambitious thirst for success was unmatched. He lived, breathed advertising, and was regarded as not just one of the best, but perhaps,thebest in the industry. He’d received numerous accolades over the years but the awards never meant anything to him. It was changing how people perceived a product. It was righting the wrongs in the world. It was giving people who weren’t WASPy, a fair shot at being seen.
He hired more women and people of color, putting them in managerial positions. He didn’t subscribe to any political beliefs but always felt the old way of doing things was well, in his words, bullshit.
He turned a company struggling to gain a foothold in the ever-changing market to being the standard for everyone. And he did it all before he blew out the candles on his 35thbirthday.
Mariana’s body went limp as she felt Scott’s erection press into her sex. Her body was so attuned to his, like a pianist to a piano. He knew what chords to play and how to play them. Scott Reed knew how to fuck, point blank. “I don’t know how you do it,” her voice was low and lazy.
“When you want to be on top, you will do everything you can to stay there.” He kissed her nose.
Mariana softly smiled. “Double entendre, much?”
“I’ve always encouraged you to be on top in many ways,” he adjusted his position, and Mariana moaned at the friction, “even when you didn’t want to be.”
Mariana swallowed the increasing shiver of pleasure that threatened to take over her body. She felt the hunger emanating from his body. His breath was warm, and his skin was hot to the touch. Her body naturally ground against his in anticipation for more, though time constraints forbade them. “I do now.” She nodded.
“Mmm…” His mouth found the crook of her neck and Mariana’s body arched in pleasure. “Are we still talking about work?”
Mariana couldn’t concentrate even if she tried. Her breath was caught and Scott shifted his position where she felt all of him twitching against her sex. Scott was just as passionate about his career as he was making Mariana orgasm in various positions. He knew her body so well, Scott could bring Mariana to orgasm in less than a minute. “Were we to begin with?” She cooed.
Scott kissed Mariana’s neck and another moan escaped her lips. “Quickie?”
“No.” One of the few times she’d declined him. They made love with an intensity that people had for breathing. The only break they took from sex was when Mariana was on her monthly, and even then, she still orally pleased him. “I have to go to work.”
“I’m sure your supervisor would understand why you’re late considering I’m his boss.” He smiled.
“And that’s something I don’t want to take advantage of,” she lightly pushed him off her and Scott eased up. “I worked very hard for my position and I like the fact I got there because no one thinks I’m screwing the head of the company.”
“No one thinks that,” he casually replied.
“No, quite a few think that,” she countered. Word quickly got around that her and Scott used to date, despite their attempts in keeping their relationship private. Very few knew they’d reconciled, but the damage was already done. Jealous women often gave Mariana a smirk whenever they saw her, and some were just flat-out cold.
Being an account manager at the Brand Strategy department at McCormick, gave Mariana the career and money she had always dreamed of. She just received the contract of a lifetime with a natural hair company called Buttered Soul. If she succeeded, a promotion was in her future.
If she failed, however, Scott wouldn’t hesitate to fire her despite their personal relationship; something Mariana was silently reminded about every day. “It’s something I had to fight against.”
“Who said that?” He demanded.
“Scott…” She eased his impending temper. Scott was infamously nicknamed “Ice” because of his colder than a freezer demeanor when he had to put someone in their place. Mariana knew firsthand too well of Scott’s temper. He never yelled or demeaned her, but his eyes would cut to her heart like glass. “…let’s not do this now.”
“No, who’s saying that about you?” He pressed the issue. “I want to know.”
“Why?” She straightened out her blouse and smoothed her hands over it. “So you can fire them?”
“That’s exactly why I’m asking.” He pushed.
Mariana smiled. “I need to go to work. I start at eight and I’m already running late.” She walked up to him and planted a kiss on his lips. “Therapy tonight?”
“No,” he answered and she was surprised, “I have to stay late for a presentation and I don’t want to hold up you and Dr. Burton. I’ll pick you up for dinner when you’re done, though. We’ll go to Sentiment.”
“Sounds good.” She smiled. Scott hated therapy and would rather do anything but be in an intense session to exorcise his demons. He was willing to go to therapy for Mariana because it meant that much to her. “I’ll see you later, honey.”
“Have a great day, baby.” He watched her walk out of the office and loved how her ass jiggled just right with every step. He could watch her walk all day. “Baby?”
Mariana turned around. “Yes, honey?”
Scott licked his lips. “Love you, baby.”
Mariana felt her breath caught in her lungs. Scott knew how to blow her away without doing anything at all. “I love you, too, honey.”
“Christy, you keep yawning over there,” Anika chided her over lunch. She was a biracial woman with a pixie cut and penchant for a red lippy. She always dressed to the nines for work, causing other women to step up. “What’s up? Up late watching your informercials?”
Christy shook her head. She was a blonde woman who perfected the California Barbie look. She was very smart, contrary to what people thought about her. “Daryl came over last night and blew my back out. He fucked me in every hole, in every room, until I passed out. I’m good until the weekend.”
“BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITCH!” Stephanie laughed. She was a dark-skinned woman with flowing hair she made a point to tell everyone it was natural. “I’m jealous as fuck. Shit!”
Mariana quietly sipped her soda. Scott could put it on her like it was nobody’s business. She knew the feeling all too well. “Well, damn.”
“I’m telling you that man had me screaming to God, the Holy Fonz, and everyone in between.” Christy yawned again. “He fucked the everloving shit out of me. I had a fantasy to be choked, and just be flat-out disrespected. You know that disrespectful dick will get you every time, right? He fulfilled that and then some.”
“Shit, I ain’t even mad at that.” Anika shook her head. “That disrespectful dick will have a bitch act like a plum fool.”
Mariana remembered how Scott was in their previous play sessions. He would fuck her mouth with his cock, make her wear clothespins on her nipples, and have her beg him to orgasm.
Now he barely did any of that at all.
It seemed they were on track to do BDSM again, until the situation with Mariana’s ad with Caleb and everything was slowed down to an almost halt.
She wondered if there was a way to get it back.
The work day ended just as quickly as it began. Mariana spent much of her day either in meetings or behind a computer screen, barely having time for lunch. When Scott arrived to work an hour later than she did, he briefly glanced at her direction to make eye contact but they didn’t see each other for the rest of the day.
She made her way to Dr. Burton’s office and managed to find parking on the street. A winding staircase led up to the doctor’s office on the top floor of a church; a direct contrast on how sleeved-up and pierced Dr. Burton herself was.
When Mariana first started going to her, she had green hair was faded out due to the natural strawberry blonde roots poking through. Now Dr. Burton’s hair was an ombre blue, in cascading waves down her back.
“Mari,” Dr. Burton greeted her with a hug, “I’m glad you’re here tonight. I’m assuming Scott wasn’t able to come?”
“No, he had to stay for a presentation at work. Everything’s pretty swamped this time of year. The holidays are approaching and everyone is trying to get their projects done before people leave for vacation.” She sat down on a sofa and perused through the rocks to grab one. Dr. Burton always encouraged her clients to hold onto a rock that signified what they wanted to feel by the end of the session. Mariana chose one that said courage.
“So, what’s going on?” Dr. Burton took out her iPad and stylus. “Is everything okay with you and Scott now?”
Mariana had to think about it. Scott’s way of letting her know everything was fine by fucking her brains out. He’d done that several times since he’s been back, but something was missing. He wasn’t still pissed off at her, though she wasn’t entirely sure if everything was okay.
Things weren’t quite okay, though she didn’t know what would make it better. “I guess?”
Dr. Burton’s eyebrow rose. “You guess? You don’t sound convinced of that yourself.”
“Well, I’m not,” she held onto the rock as if it gave her some encouragement, “I think he’s still pissed off at me for the shoot I did with Caleb.”
“He was pretty angry last time he was here,” Dr. Burton looked over her notes. Scott held back what he really wanted to vocalize, but couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do it in front of Mariana. It was an issue Dr. Burton would have to address with him in private. “It went beyond you not telling Scott about the plans. It was a violation of trust.”
“I get that and I regret not informing him, but I don’t regret doing the ad. It’s not like Caleb and I are having secret meetings or sexting each other. Our relationship is very professional. He’s dedicated to his girlfriend as I am to Scott.” Mariana exhaled a deep breath. “I’m just exhausted by Scott.”
Dr. Burton put down her stylus. “What do you mean?”
Mariana held onto the rock a bit more. “Ever since the very first day we met, when I interviewed to be his maid, I had to earn my trust. Even when we broke up, I had to earn my trust with him so I would keep our working relationship professional. When we did the friends with benefits thing, I had to ensure him my feelings wouldn’t get in the way of us dating other people. Now that we’re back together, I have to keep earning his trust. It’s like I’m still paying for the sins of his exes and I’m just…” Mariana exhaled another breath. “I’m just so fucking tired of it.”
“The Caleb issue is a big one,” Dr. Burton noted, “Scott felt very betrayed by that and even you admitted it was problematic if Scott did that with someone he had a crush on.”
Mariana slowly nodded. “I know that and that’s why I’m regretful of the hurt it caused but not the actual ad itself. Scott can always decline it and it won’t be aired at all.”
“He said he wasn’t going to do that. Despite his personal feelings, he thought it was a brilliant ad,” Dr. Burton countered, “and he loved how it looked.” She glanced down at her notes. “But it’s not just the ad that bothers you, Mari. What else is going on?”
Mariana rolled the rock within her hand. “I’m part of a sisterhood group online. We talk about relationships and sex all the time, with no judgment. One post was about women sharing their fantasies and what they wanted. Some women mentioned BDSM. Some mentioned threesomes. Some mentioned being with another woman.”
“What was your fantasy?” Dr. Burton asked.
Mariana stared at an empty space for a beat before she continued. “I want to be kidnapped, tied up, and fucked. I want to be humiliated.”
Dr. Burton’s eyebrows briefly rose up before the settled back down. “That’s an interesting fantasy. Have you always had fantasies like this?”
“No,” Mariana admitted, “I never had. It’s a new feeling. I want to see if it’s something I really want or it’s just a fleeting fantasy?”
“Interesting,” Dr. Burton scribbled in her iPad. “Have you mentioned this to Scott?”
“I’m afraid he won’t do it. He has certain limits and he’s not into humiliation.” Scott’s own experiences of being humiliated against his will made him not to pursue that direction again. “It’s never been something he liked but he never knocked anyone’s kink.”
“Where did this come from?” Dr. Burton pressed. “It wasn’t something you previously mentioned before.”
“I just…I don’t know.” She tried to explain. “I guess reading the other women’s fantasies got my juices flowing. I know my fantasy is twisted considering the anxiety and depression I’m going through.”
“Actually, it’s not. You’re relinquishing control and trusting another person to do whatever they want at their bidding. While you feel powerless, you’re actually in power in a healthy way. You’ll enter subspace and it can be very therapeutic and zen-like. You’re meditating, if you will, in a different way.” Dr. Burton wrote a few more notes and put down her tablet. “How is your sex life?”
“It’s…at a standstill.” Mariana reclutantly admitted. “It’s been a while since we’ve had it.”
“A while?” Dr. Burton studied her notes. “How long is a while?”
“A week.” Mariana blew out a breath.
“Oh wow,” Dr. Burton blew out a breath. “Is that normal?”
“Only when I’m on my period, but the moment I’m off it, we pick up as if nothing ever happened.” Mariana also stayed in her apartment during that time, though she and Scott saw each other on a daily basis. The prior night was the first time she spent the night since the fiasco and Scott went to bed well past his usual bedtime. She briefly wondered if he intentionally did that so he would avoid her. “We used to have sex all of the time.”
“Vanilla.” Dr. Burton read between the lines.
“Very.” Mariana sighed. Scott had shown her how much she loved vanilla sex but there was something about relinquishing control in BDSM that she desperately missed. She felt her breasts become heavy with lust and her sex slick with desire just thinking about how dominant Scott was in the past.
He would spank her until her ass was hot and pink. He would tie her up and fuck her with a vibrator until she couldn’t climax anymore. He would fuck her face with his cock until he came hard into her hungry mouth. He would taunt her in bed, asking her if her pussy belonged to him, and to scream his name so all of Los Angeles could hear.
Scott still held back, and Mariana wondered how long it would be before he would find someone who would give him what he wanted. “It’s great. I have no complaints and it’s not boring. I just…it’s just not what it used to be. It’s not even the sex. He used to pick out my outfits. He would tell me how to walk, how to present myself, how to act. But he never controlled me. He let me know at any given time, I could end it. I never felt freer than the time I was his submissive.”
“Hmm…” Dr. Burton folded her arms. “…do you feel lost now that you’re not?”
“No, but I don’t know…” Mariana shook her head. “…he gives me guidance but it’s almost as if he wants me to find my way first.”
Mariana thought for a moment. She was as free and independent as she ever has been, making a ton of money, and traveling throughout the country. Her life was magnificent by most standards and it had the room to get better.
Yet, a part of her wanted to stay home and bake cookies, channeling her inner B. Smith. She would need to be a housewife first and marriage wasn’t on the horizon with Scott. An engagement that never happened, followed by a series of unfortunate events made them both shy away from the topic altogether.
If Scott didn’t want to marry Mariana, she truly wondered why he was wasting her time. “I feel as if I have.”
“And you hope if Scott does that fantasy of yours, it’ll kick start the BDSM aspect of your relationship again?”
“I hope.” Mariana held onto the rock and looked down at it. “I can only hope.”
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