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beauty in the breakdown

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When he walked into the lobby of the Starling Grand Hotel, Oliver wondered, yet again, why he was doing this. He was Oliver Queen, a man who had never had any problems finding a beautiful woman with whom to spend the evening with. Why was he coming to this hotel to pay some strange woman for her . . . services?

It had all been Tommy’s idea. Last week during their weekly lunch, he had looked at Oliver and said, “Bro, you need to let go.”

He had frowned and taken a sip from his bottle of water. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, you’re so caught up in doing everything right, everything by the book, you’re ready to snap. It’s too much pressure. You’re living in a powder keg and giving off sparks.”

“Isn’t that from Total Eclipse of the Heart?” Oliver had asked, grinning a little.

Tommy had grimaced. “That’s not important. You need to release that tension, find a way to relax.”

“I’m seeing Helena tonight--”

“No, not just sex. You’re way past the point where a romp in the sheets will be enough.” Tommy had looked around and leaned in across Oliver’s desk. “Look, I know this woman--super discreet, very talented.”

“I’m not paying for sex, Tommy,” Oliver had said, his voice firm.

His best friend had shaken his head. “This is so much more than sex. This is what you need. Look, just consider it,” he had urged, taking a business card out of his wallet and sliding it across the desk to Oliver.

The only reason he had taken the card was because he trusted Tommy and wanted to respect his friend’s concerns. He had glanced at the card, noting the thick, dark purple cardstock, and the single word, printed in light purple block capitals with a phone number underneath.

FELICITY

It was undoubtedly the classiest calling card he had ever seen, considering it was for a prostitute.

Oliver hadn’t planned to call the number. But after his date with Helena, he had been trying to sleep next to her in his bed, but he just couldn’t. As soon as he had laid back, his mind began churning over the Applied Sciences Division and his mother’s concerns about Thea and the demands from various charities and a dozen other concerns. And his ever-present headache returned with a vengeance, and his jaw tightened, and it felt like the walls of the room were closing in on him.

And so, he had found himself in his study, holding the card he had pulled from his wallet, and staring at the word. Felicity. Happiness. Was that what this woman promised to her clients? Was that what he could find with her?

Without conscious thought, he had picked up his phone and dialed the number.

“This is Felicity.”

The woman’s voice was low and soft. Gentle. Not at all what he had expected.

Oliver had cleared his throat. “Hello. Um, my friend gave me your card.”

“And who is your friend?” A hint of amusement had come through, but not like she was laughing at him. More like she was including him in a joke.

“Tommy Merlyn.”

“So you must be Oliver.”

Her response had taken him aback. “What? How do you know my name?”

“Because your friend cares very much about you, and he asked me if he thought my services would be helpful to you,” Felicity had said calmly. “When Tommy explained what you’re facing, all I could think was that I wanted to help you. To make you feel better. So I told him to give you my card.”

He had squeezed his eyes shut, his muscles tensing at her words. At the promise she had represented. Because . . . what if she could help him?

“What--what do I need to do?” he had gritted out, taking a leap of faith.

“I have a suite at the Starling Grand. And I am free . . . Wednesday night. I would very much like to see you, Oliver.” For some reason, he had thought she was smiling as she spoke. Something that he had suddenly wanted to see. He had wanted to know what this woman looked like.

Clearing his throat, he had paused to look at his calendar. “I have a charity event that evening. I wouldn’t be available until around eleven.”

“That’s perfect, Oliver. I’m looking forward to meeting you,” she had said. “I’ll text you with a few details, and if you have any questions, just text me back.”

“Fine,” he had replied, wondering how many times he would change his mind between now and Wednesday.

“And Oliver?” She had paused, like she was choosing her words carefully. “I have a question I want you to think about until Wednesday.”

He had huffed out a hard laugh. “What, like homework?”

Her answering laugh was soft, like bells. “Yes, you could call it that. I want you to ask yourself this: if you could lay down all your responsibilities, put aside your burdens, what kind of man do you think you would be?”

Oliver had frozen. Because her question was so evocative, so precise, that he hadn’t been able to not imagine an answer. Imagine being a man who didn’t feel weighed down, who didn’t feel like all his choices had already been made down to the color of the suit he had to wear each morning. What sort of man would that Oliver Queen be?

“Think about it, Oliver. See you on Wednesday.”

And with that, Felicity had hung up.

Ever since that phone call, he had been debating what he was doing. On more than one occasion, he had picked up his phone, ready to cancel, but then that damn question of hers would appear in his mind and he would put down his phone.

Now it was Wednesday night and he was in the elevator to one of the upper floors of the hotel, still dressed in his tuxedo from tonight’s charity event. And the butterflies in his stomach reminded him of being a teenager, of the night when he had lost his virginity. Or the night when his father had given him an ultimatum: start working at the family company or be cut off. He had joined Queen Consolidated, stepping into the role his parents had wanted him to take, and he had never looked back.

Until now. Until Felicity had asked him who he would be if he could let go.

The elevator doors opened quietly and Oliver took a deep breath and stepped out. His shoes made no noise against the thick carpeting. The suite Felicity was using was at the end of the hall, and with each step he felt more and more nervous.

When he reached the door, he lifted his hand and knocked twice. There was a quiet rustle, and then the door pulled open, revealing a delicate-looking, petite woman. Wrapped in a long black silk robe, her blonde hair hung around her shoulders in soft waves. Her lips were painted a deep, rich pink, and her eyes were as blue as crystal.

Oliver’s mouth went dry. He rubbed his tongue against the roof of his mouth, trying to find his voice.

And then she smiled, and all thoughts of speech fled his mind.

“Good evening, Oliver. I’m Felicity. Please, come in.” She stepped back, allowing him to come into the suite.

It wasn’t as lavish as he would have expected--he thought she had made changes to the suite’s usual decor, to make it less like a hotel room and more like a home. There were pillows and candles, potted plants and even clutter. Messy piles of magazines and an empty bowl on the coffee table, two pairs of shoes on the floor by the table . . . he should feel like he was intruding, but instead he felt welcomed.

“May I offer you a drink?” Felicity had moved over to a small cart, equipped with clear bottles filled with clear and brown liquids.

“Scotch, neat, if you have it.”

Her smile was soft and relaxed. “Scotch? Not what I would have picked for you.”

“It’s what my father drank. What did you think I would like?” he asked, curious about what she thought of him. With Tommy talking to her about him, Oliver felt somewhat uneasy at what her opinion of him was.

“It’s such a manly drink. Given that you’re Tommy’s best friend, I was expecting something like tequila.” She shrugged one shoulder and walked over to him, holding two cut-glass tumblers in her hands. She held the one without ice out to him. “I usually can guess what a man will drink. You surprised me.”

He took the glass from her, his fingers brushing against hers and sending a tingle down his arm. “Why do you try to guess?”

“It’s part of what I do,” she said simply. “I read someone to anticipate their needs. Big and small. And then I know how to give them what they need. Whether it’s emotional support, sexual release, physical exertion . . . I give people the comfort they need.”

“Physical exertion?” he asked, tilting his head to the side as he ran his eyes over her. She looked slender yet curvy, from what he could tell. But she was so tiny, barely coming up to his shoulder even in her heels.

Her smile was slow, easy, and seductive. “You might find out.” She lifted her glass, taking a sip as she gazed at him over the rim.

Holy shit. His body stiffened, but not from stress or anxiety. As come-ons went, it wasn’t that original. But it was all in her attitude. The confidence . . . it was intoxicating.

Oliver took a long swallow of his Scotch. “I guess we’ll see.”

Felicity nodded and gestured behind him. “Would you like to take a seat? And feel free to get comfortable.”

“Thank you,” he said, moving towards one end of the sofa. He wasn’t sure what she meant by comfortable, but he was damned if he was going to keep this bow tie fastened tightly against his throat any longer than he had to. He tugged on the silk and let the ends dangle against his chest, before undoing his collar button and taking a deep breath.

“Why don’t you take off your jacket, too?” Felicity suggested, kicking off her heels and sitting on the cushion next to him, one side of her body leaning against the back of the couch and her legs tucked underneath her.

It was a good suggestion. It would certainly make him feel less tense. So Oliver set down his glass and leaned forward, pulling his arms from the sleeves of his jacket. He tossed it over the back of the sofa and then leaned into the cushions, sinking down against the dark, velvety fabric.

“Not leather,” he remarked idly. “I’d expect it to be leather.”

“Nope,” Felicity said, taking a sip of her drink. “Bare skin sticks to leather. And if sweat’s involved, too, there’s funny noises.”

His head whipped around to look at her, finding her cheeks had gone a pale shade of pink. But she just shook her head, smiling ruefully. “Wow. I haven’t let myself slip like that in years.”

He turned to face her. “Slip?” he asked, stretching his arm out along the back of the couch. Feeling like he had been given the smallest of glimpses into who this woman was--and being incredibly intrigued by that glimpse.

“I used to have the worst problem with babbling,” she said, still smiling. “Partly because I got nervous very easily and partly because my mind worked so fast, I would just say whatever I was thinking. I had no brain-to-mouth filter.”

Imagining this calm, confident woman as one to fall all over her words was hard to believe. Yet . . . it felt like he had been given a puzzle piece. He had no idea what picture the pieces formed, and he sensed that she was a puzzle made up of many, many pieces. But he had more than he did when he had called her last week.

That question of hers rattled around in his head, and he wondered when he was expected to answer her. Since he hadn’t come up with anything--at least, not anything he thought was possible and practical--Oliver wasn’t ready to bring up the subject. So he let himself focus on Felicity. On just talking to her.

“But you learned to control it?”

She tilted her head to the side, her hair swishing around her shoulders. “Yes, for the most part. It was holding me back. And making it harder to help people. So I learned to count to three before I began speaking.”

“And now you’re . . . Felicity,” he said slowly.

“I’ve always been Felicity,” she countered, smiling a little. “In my line of work, like anything else, it’s all about branding. A dominatrix whose name is Felicity? That’s different. Plus, it’s rare for anyone to ignore the play on words.”

Wait . . . dominatrix?

“I thought you were just a--” Oliver stopped when he wasn’t sure what term to use. Hooker? Call girl? Escort? Prostitute?

Felicity lowered her glass and looked at him. “Oliver. Do you really think I’d charge the fee I do if I was only providing sex? You’d be getting ripped off. Not that there’s anything wrong with prostitution. But I grew up in Vegas and I heard all the horror stories. Prostitution should be legalized, so that women can be protected and receive benefits at least. So no, I’m not ‘just’ a prostitute, although I do have clients that only want sex.”

“But . . . you tie men up and all that?”

It wasn’t that he was against domination himself. Hell, Helena liked to rake her nails down his back and beg him for release. But . . . Felicity was just so elegant and small. She was classy. What was a woman like her doing in a job like this? How had she stayed safe? How did she seem so . . . clean? There was something about her that shone like the sun, even though she had to have seen the darkest of natures. How had she stayed so bright?

“Yes, I do. I’ve been doing this for three years and I’ve become one of the best because I’m very good at this.” She gave him a smile, like she knew where his mind had gone. “I’m stronger than I look. And, not to make you feel self-conscious, I have a very dedicated bodyguard watching the surveillance cameras right now.” She gestured towards a round mirror on the wall across from them. “Wave and say hello to John.”

Strangely, the thought of cameras filming him now--and filming whatever happened here tonight--didn’t freak him out. He only felt relieved that she had protection.

So he lifted his hand and gave a small wave to the mirror. “Hi, John.”

Felicity laughed--that same bell-like laugh he had heard last week over the phone. Only this time, it was clearer and richer and even better in person. “You’re the first man who’s ever actually said hello to John. He’ll be thrilled.”

“I can’t believe Tommy sent me to a dominatrix.” Oliver leaned forward and let his head drop, his arms stretched out and resting on top of his knees. “I know he’s been worried about me, but . . .”

“You’re lucky to have him in your life,” Felicity said softly. “Not many men would be willing to pay for a session with me, only to talk about their best friend.”

“Tommy did that?” He lifted his head and looked at her over his shoulder.

She nodded. “He said he didn’t want to talk about this over the phone, so my only choice, for my protection and his, was to charge him for a session. If you’ve paid, we both know it’s about trust and respect. Freebies blur the lines.”

Nodding a little, Oliver reached out and picked up his Scotch, taking a sip. “So . . . Tommy came to you and talked about me.”

“Mmm, yes,” Felicity said, drinking a little of her own Scotch. “He said he was worried about you. About the stress in your life, about the responsibilities you carried. That you were desperate for control, when in reality, you need to lose that control. You need to let yourself break, in a controlled way, so you don’t completely shatter when you do break down. Because that is in your future, Oliver, if you don’t figure out how to relieve the tension.”

Frowning, he threw back the last of his Scotch and rose to his feet, going to the bar cart and pouring himself another. “I’m fine.”

“I’ve only known you for a half hour, Oliver, and I can see you’re not fine. What do you think your friends and family are thinking?”

“They need me to keep everything together!” he snapped, turning to face her.

“They need you to be happy and healthy,” Felicity corrected. She lightly patted the sofa cushion he had been sitting on. “Come sit back down.”

For a moment, he considered resisting. Staying right where he was. Or even better, just . . . leaving. Let her have the money, the very hefty fee she had charged--he had plenty of money. He didn’t need this, didn’t need her.

But even as he thought that, he knew he was lying to himself. Because her words had touched a chord within him. The idea that he could find a way to let go, safely, carefully, in a way that wouldn’t hurt anyone . . . that damn question of what kind of man he would be without all the pressure . . .

“Did Tommy tell you how it all started?”

Felicity’s eyes, so soft and blue, were full of sympathy. “Yes. There was an accident, and the woman you were dating was killed. Which was the last straw for your parents, so they gave you an ultimatum: clean up your act and work at the family company or be completely disinherited.” She shook her head. “That was the wrong thing to do.”

“You’re the only one to think so. Everyone applauded my parents for ‘taking a stand’ and ‘making me see reason’.”

“They treated the symptoms, not the cause.”

Oliver looked at her, his hand gripping his tumbler tightly. Felicity patted the cushion again. “Come sit down before I drop some more truth bombs on you,” she cajoled, her voice light and gentle and softly teasing.

His feet moved against the carpet, bringing him back to the couch. He sank down heavily into his seat, trying to understand why he seemed to do whatever she asked.

Her long, pale fingers brushed down his arm, making Oliver’s body feel so much lighter--and warmer. “Your father was a good man, and your mother is a good woman,” she said, her fingers rubbing up and down over his bicep and shoulder. “I read up on you, on your family. So I know how important they both are to this city.”

The sudden, unexpected death of Robert Queen, only four months after his ultimatum to Oliver, had completely changed his life, even more than agreeing to accept his parents’ demand. Because before, he had only been learning the ropes, and suddenly he had to perform on the high wire, with no net. And failure was not an option. Plus there was the need to be the protector of his mother and his sister--a task he could never shirk from, but one that added to the already-substantial load on his shoulders. It had been five years since his father’s death, and Oliver still wished he was here, running Queen Consolidated and allowing him the freedom to explore his interests within the company. He wasn’t half the CEO his father was, yet he had to do it.

“Your parents were worried and scared and they just wanted you to be safe. They didn’t stop to ask themselves why you acted the way you did--they only wanted you to stop putting yourself at risk. And they found a way to do that, but it’s backfired. Because you are not safe, Oliver. You are so far from safe, and I just want to help you find a way to let it all go for a little while. To give you room to breathe and figure out what makes you feel safe and happy and good.”

Her hand felt so good against his arm. Her touch was soothing, thorough, warming. With each stroke, he felt a little bit better. And he didn’t understand why--she was just touching his arm.

No, she was massaging his arm. Like there was a cramp in his bicep that she was loosening. A cramp he didn’t even realized he had. Or maybe it was her words as much as her touch.

“Mmmm, that’s better,” she said softly, smiling at him. “You’re all hard, but now you’re becoming ‘really nice muscles’ hard, not ‘stressed to the point of exploding’ hard.

Oliver let out a quiet bark of laughter. “Another slip?”

“No. Because everyone likes compliments. And I’ve been wondering what these arm muscles of yours would feel like ever since you walked in the door.”

Open flirtation was something he was used to. Something he was actually good at. But this felt like much more than flirting.

“Is that why you told me to take off my jacket?” he asked, feeling pleased he had managed to match her tone.

“Uh-oh, you caught me. I’m a sex worker who likes men. Especially hot men. I am just a contradiction in terms,” Felicity teased, her eyes sparkling.

God, she was beautiful. If he had seen her out in the streets of Starling City, he didn’t know if he would have noticed her. No--no, he would have noticed her. Maybe only for a split-second, but he would have seen her.

“So . . . you do this because you like sex?”

“I do this because I like to help people,” Felicity corrected. “Sex is just one of my tools. Sex can’t cure you--but I can. I’m the real weapon against your problems.”

Swallowing, Oliver looked into Felicity’s eyes. That confidence . . . it seemed unshakable. Like she really believed that she could help him--that she could heal him.

He wanted to be whole. To set down his load for a little while, so he could pick it back up again without dropping it.

“What--what are you going to do?” His voice was low, quiet . . . and a little raspy. He almost missed the way her eyes flared, like she felt something at his tone. Something sensual.

But he didn’t miss it.

We are going to relax you, Mr. Queen,” Felicity said, lifting herself up onto her knees and putting both her hands on his shoulders. She turned him so he was leaning back against the arm of the sofa, and then her hands gently smoothed over his shoulders. Her fingers trailed over the ends of his bow tie, lazily dropping to his chest. And then her hands began smoothing over his torso in long, firm strokes, and it was all Oliver could do not to moan.

It wasn’t the first time he had gotten a massage. He usually got a rubdown at the gym every few weeks, to keep him limber. But this felt very different. He had no idea that he carried so much of his tension in his chest. As Felicity’s hands moved over his pecs and shoulders, he felt strange. It was so good, yet also uncomfortable. Like moving your foot when it was numb and getting those pin and needle sensations.

When her hands slipped down to his abs, her movements became more exploratory, lighter, almost teasing. She casually straddled his knee, leaning in towards him and letting her face hover over his. “Oliver?”

“Mmmm?” he asked, his eyes heavy-lidded as he looked up at her. Watching as her eyes roamed over his face and definitely lingered on his lips.

“Do you remember what I told you last week? About the rules?”

Giving his head a small shake, Oliver did his best to pull himself back into focus. “Um . . . I don’t remember . . . ?”

Felicity’s smile was soft and warm. “That’s all right. There’s only two rules: consent and a safe word. As long as you’re okay with this, I’m okay. And if you--or I--stop feeling okay, we’ll have a word to serve as a stop sign. Okay?”

“Okay,” he said, taking in a breath. Inhaling a sweet citrusy perfume that must be coming from Felicity.

Her fingers drifted lazily up his abs, back to his pecs. “So what’s your safe word, Oliver? Something you wouldn’t normally say. I always suggest food if you’re stumped.”

“Oh . . . um . . . orange?”

“Perfect,” she said, her eyes sparkling. “Like the knock-knock joke. Aren’t you glad I didn’t say orange?”

A laugh bubbled out of him and Felicity’s hands dropped back to his abs. “Mmm. Nice,” she commented, looking at him through her lashes. “Now that we’ve got the important stuff taken care of, we can play. Because you can do whatever you want with me, to me--and I have the same choice. So don’t hold back, Oliver, if you like.”

He licked his lips. “Anything?”

“Anything. If I do something you don’t like, say ‘orange’ and I’ll stop. If you go too far, I’ll tell you. And if you don’t listen to me, John will make you.” Her fingers spread wide across his abs, helping her balance over him. “But I don’t think that’s gonna happen. I think you know how to treat a woman, and I want to show you how a man should be treated.”

She moved close enough to him that her breath washed over his lips. His eyes were riveted to her mouth, taking in how precisely the color was applied to her very sexy mouth. The whole time they had been together so far, she had been talking and smiling. He had been watching her lips move and wondering what they felt like.

So he reached out for her, his hands landing on her hips. She took the tiniest of breaths and Oliver wished the robe wasn’t in the way. He wanted to touch her bare skin. But she must be wearing the robe for a reason, and right now, he had something else he wanted to do besides wonder what Felicity was wearing under her robe.

Like pressing his lips against hers.

Her lips were so soft. Just like the rest of her--he could feel something under her robe, something firm and inflexible, but the moment their lips met, she melted against his body, covering him in a blanket of warmth.

Oliver closed his eyes, concentrating on just how good this felt. It was a slow, unhurried kiss, just lips moving against each other, but he felt sparks move through his whole body. Felicity’s hands moved over his arms, up to his shoulders, and then slid into his hair. Her nails scratched lightly against his scalp and he sighed against her lips.

She let out a small pleased noise and gave his lower lip a soft suck, making his eyes pop open. Her eyes were open, looking at him. She smiled at him when he looked at her. “Hi.”

“Hi,” he breathed out.

“Okay?” she asked, brushing her nose against his.

He nodded quickly. “More. Please.”

“Yes,” she said with a smile, leaning back in and kissing him. This time, there was a bit more pressure, a kind of affectionate teasing. She sucked on his lower lip again, harder, and Oliver opened his mouth and let his tongue brush against her lips. He couldn’t remember the last time he had kissed a woman like this. Taking his time, not thinking ahead to what came next. All that mattered was his lips and Felicity’s.

When his tongue made contact, her lips parted and let him in. And he had to close his eyes as he felt overwhelmed by her taste. Sweet but also spicy, and so warm and wet. Her tongue lightly stroked against his and her hands played with his hair, making him feel like his bones were dissolving, like his muscles were finally loosening.

The kiss slowed into a series of soft little pecks. Felicity shifted against him and his hands gripped her hips reflexively, looking back up at her.

“I’m not going anywhere, Oliver,” she whispered. “Okay?”

“Yeah,” he said, letting his thumbs rub against her sides in slow circles.

Her eyes fluttered, her face going soft for a moment, before she smiled at him. “Can I unbutton your shirt?”

“Yes,” he replied quickly, feeling his heart pick up.

“Yay,” she said cheerfully, her smile bright. Her nimble little fingers unbuttoned the top two buttons, and then she pushed the fabric aside to lean in and kiss the side of his neck. Automatically, he tilted his head back, giving her more room. There was a soft hum against his skin as she murmured her approval.

Her lips kept pressing kisses against his neck as she unbuttoned his shirt. After the last button had been undone, she sucked lightly on his skin, making him half-sigh, half-groan. Then she detached her lips and sat up, straddling his thigh. “Let me take a look at you,” she said, spreading the sides of his shirt wide and letting her eyes trail over him.

For the last three years, the only outlet he had allowed himself was his daily workouts. Even in the midst of his busiest days, knowing he had forty-five minutes to work on his body had been something to get him through the hard times. He couldn’t deny that there might be a touch of masochism to the pursuit--that he pushed himself too hard too often.

But as Felicity’s eyes roamed over him, Oliver was grateful for every painful minute. Because her eyes, her face, gave him all the validation he had ever wanted.

“Wow,” she said softly, her eyes fixed on his abs. Her finger lightly traced the lines of his six-pack and Oliver bit his lip so he wouldn’t flinch. Or moan.

“Don’t hold back,” she murmured, her eyes flicking up to his. “Do you need to say the safe word?”

Oliver shook his head quickly and let go of his lip, his breath escaping him in a whoosh. She smiled and kissed his neck again. “Now, I’m going to show some appreciation to your very nice body. If you need a breather, just tell me. It’s okay to stop, for as long as you need it.”

“Don’t stop,” he rasped out.

“Then I won’t,” she said, lowering her lips to a spot just above his collarbone. “Not until you tell me to.”

And with that, Felicity began lavishing his chest with kisses and licks, with firm pressure and lazy touches. Her tongue swirled around each of his nipples, she dragged her lips over his skin, she took a deep breath and sighed. “You smell so good.”

“So . . . so do you,” he replied after a moment to collect his wits. “How come your lipstick isn’t all over me?”

She looked up at him, the bright pink color still perfectly applied to her lips. “Trade secret. Most men don’t want to leave me all covered in my lipstick.”

“Oh,” he said, feeling a strange, fleeting flash of disappointment.

“Later,” she promised, kissing a spot halfway down his torso. “Later, I can put something on that will leave a mark, if you want.” She smiled at him. “You keep surprising me, Oliver.”

“That’s my line,” he couldn’t help saying, feeling his lips tug up in a smile.

For a moment, her smile grew so wide and bright he felt blinded. Then she lowered her head and started kissing his abs. And if he thought she had taken her time on his pecs, it was nothing compared to the time she spent on his six pack.

And for every minute she spent licking and sucking, scraping her teeth over his skin and kissing away any hurt, Oliver felt his cock grow that much harder in his pants.

It had started hardening the moment she had opened the door, and by now, after all the talking and smiles and touches and kisses, he was having to exert all his control not to thrust up against Felicity, as her silk-covered body kept hovering and brushing against his groin.

But then he realized that he could, if he wanted to. That she didn’t want him to hold back. So Oliver slowly, experimentally, rolled his hips and then let out a groan when there was a whisper of friction against his crotch, his body making only glancing contact with Felicity’s.

Felicity looked up at him and laughed softly. “Finally. Ready for more?”

He held her eyes and nodded slowly, letting his gaze drop to her lips. “Yes.”

Her confidence must be rubbing off on him, he thought in a daze as she slowly pushed herself up, her hands giving his abs a few last caresses.

“Then let me get more comfortable,” she said, climbing off his lap standing up, her hands on the sash of her robe. “If you don’t mind, Oliver.”

And just like that, the confidence evaporated and he was nodding like a teenage boy about to see a girl take off her bra.

Slowly, her hands untied the sash. Her hands went to the collar of her robe as she looked at him, keeping him from looking away. Then she slowly pulled the silk apart and let it drop to the floor, revealing perfection.

The black leather corset and fishnets was exactly what he thought a dominatrix would wear. But that didn’t make the image Felicity was presenting trite or uninteresting. Oh, no. His cock was so interested, he felt it jump and he let out a soft moan.

“There’s something to be said for the classics,” Felicity said, tilting her head and smiling at him. She ran her hands down her sides. “Normally I keep my heels on, for the full effect, but I think we’re good.”

“Yes--very good--Felicity,” he choked out.

“Unbuckle your belt,” she said softly, resting her hands on her hips and rolling her shoulders back, making her breasts swell slightly over the top of the corset.

With trembling hands, Oliver undid his belt. He paused, wondering if he should wait for Felicity, but she had turned away from him. She was bending over to reach into a small box on the table, her ass so perfectly on display and so amazing that he just--

Reaching down, he rubbed the heel of his hand hard against his fabric-covered cock and groaned.

“You are so ready,” Felicity said, kneeling down between his legs. “Aren’t you, Oliver?”

Her voice was so lilting and seductive, he could only look at her. She started untying his shoes and nodded to him. “Go ahead,” she directed him in a soft voice. “Unbutton and unzip your pants.”

So close to having something better than his hand, Oliver trembled as he followed her directions. By the time he had gotten his fingers to open his trousers, Felicity had drawn off his shoes. Then she went up on her knees and reached for his waistband, above his hips, and gently pulled his pants and boxer briefs off.

When the cool air hit his cock, it became impossibly harder. Or maybe it was because Felicity’s eyes were on him, studying him, watching as one small drop of precum leaked out from his tip.

God, what was she thinking? Her face had gone blank and her eyes were shuttered, but he thought she was breathing heavier.

And then she used the back of her finger to catch the bead of precum before it dripped on the floor, and she popped her finger into her mouth and tasted him. “Mmmmm,” she said throatily around her finger, and Oliver’s mind flashed to her making that noise again, only with something much larger than her finger in her mouth.

“That’s almost enough to make me forgo the condom,” she said, looking at him with eyes that were nearly gray now, they were so dark. “I can do that, if you like. For oral, I’m willing. Since you followed my instructions and sent me your medical history and I know you’re clean.”

“Really?” he panted.

“Really,” she said, her hands dropping to rest lightly on his knees.

He had always been so fanatical about preventing STDs and pregnancies, Oliver had never had intercourse, not even a blow job, without a condom. And it was so tempting. With how amazing Felicity’s mouth felt when he kissed her, the thought of feeling that against his bare flesh . . . but it would put her at risk . . .

“Oliver.”

Felicity’s voice was firm. “Do you want me to put a condom on you?”

“No,” he gasped, feeling a tremor go through his body at the direct question, at the answer he had just let come out, at ceding his responsibility to her. “I want you to do whatever you want to me.”

“What’s the safe word?” she asked gently.

“Orange,” he said, the word escaping with a hiss. “Felicity--”

Her hands rubbed soothingly against his knees, then traced up the inside of his thighs, making him spread his legs wider. “It’s okay, I’m here. I’m going to take care of you.”

A groan slipped out from him at the promise in her words. At the idea of someone taking care of him.

“Shhhhh, I’ve got you,” she whispered, her eyes warm and fixed on him. “Do what feels good, Oliver.”

And then she pressed a soft kiss to the tip of his cock, before taking him into her mouth.

Another, louder groan broke from his lips as he closed his eyes and clutched the sofa cushions. Because the soft, wet heat of her mouth was even better than he had imagined it would be, without any barrier between them. His hips rolled up, his cock going deeper, and he grimaced at the pleasure coursing through him already.

Felicity pulled back a little, her hands rubbing the inside of his thighs and then the crease where his legs met his torso. Her tongue rubbed against the underside of his shaft, pressing against a vein that made his vision white out for a moment. Then she drew her lips down his length, until only his tip was between her lips, and she sucked. Hard.

“Oh fuck,” he yelped, jerking against her.

Her lips lightened their pressure, then she let him drop from her mouth. “You’re so beautiful,” she said softly, her hands moving a little higher and stroking the v-lines that led to his pelvis. “You’re doing so well.”

Oliver slowly unwrapped one of his hands from around the cushion and lifted it up. He slid his fingers through her blonde strands, the softness catching a little against his callouses. When his hand settled in place on the back of her head, he looked at her and saw that there was no need for him to even ask for permission. If he wanted to fist his hand in her hair, she wanted that. He didn’t have to take care of her or worry about going too far, because she would give him whatever he wanted. And yet that made him want to take care of her anyway--but it didn’t feel like a responsibility, like everything else in his life.

It felt like a gift. Like a pleasure.

“Keep going,” he said, hearing the smallest tremor in his voice even as he tried to sound firm and direct.

“Yes, thank you,” Felicity replied, without a trace of sarcasm or reluctance in her voice. She immediately wrapped her lips around him again and let him move her head up and down along his shaft. Her hands went to his balls, cupping them gently, and Oliver breathed out slowly. Feeling like he was taking the first real deep breath of his life.

Her perfect little fingers rolled his balls and then held him in the palm of one hand. Her other hand slipped behind his balls, stroking slowly against the muscles there, and Oliver felt himself tense up. And then Felicity hummed around him and he arched into her mouth.

She let out a little moan and then started humming and kept going, squeezing his balls and rubbing, and it was so much sensation that he couldn’t handle it. His mind went blank and he could only look for something--he didn’t know what--inside her mouth. His movements grew faster, jerkier, his hand gripping the back of her head tightly. His balls tightened, drawing closer and closer to his body, and the pressure in his spine coiled tighter and tighter, until there was nowhere for it to go.

And he came, and came hard, his cum shooting into her mouth, in waves and waves of pleasure that left him screaming and babbling, watching as the white liquid began to drip out the corners of Felicity’s mouth, and it was so incredibly erotic and beautiful and peaceful, in the middle of the most intense and exhausting climax of his life, that Oliver felt his eyes roll back in his head and he slumped back against the couch, passing out.

End, Chapter 1