Teaching Maya, страница 1
Teaching Maya (A BDSM Romance Novel)
By Tara Crescent
Text copyright © 2013-2014 Tara Crescent
All Rights Reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
I had planned my seduction carefully. It was late at night. Ryan was alone at the pool - the rest of the clan had all gone their separate ways for the evening. I put on a bikini that was neither slutty nor unduly modest, but one that was both classy and that showed off my body to its best advantage.
Unlike most women, I had no issues with my body. Unfortunately for me though, I had issues with sex. I didn't know whether my first boyfriend Anthony was a skilled lover or not, but when we made love, I felt nothing. I'd make the right noises, and move the right way, but inside... nothing. I felt like a freak, not knowing if it was him or me, and debating various ways of finding out, all of which involved breaking up with him, and taking another lover.
In the end, we did break up. And it was okay. I was young and resilient, and he had never managed to reach that inner core in me. He was nice, but he wasn't necessary.
However, I didn't take another lover. I couldn't really articulate why. I was young, rich and attractive; it wasn't like there was any shortage of available men. But the lacklustre sex had freaked me out. I didn't want to find out that it was my fault, and that there was indeed something seriously wrong with me. I hemmed and I hawed, and I threw myself into my work.
In the year after I broke up with Anthony, I started hearing the stories. Women would walk up to me and ask if I knew Ryan Clayborn. I heard the giggles, the hushed chatter. Ryan was evidently very, very good in bed. Rumours would swirl about who his latest lover was. The tabloids would speculate, but nobody ever talked. Ryan never had any comment, and neither did his supposed dozens of lovers. Everyone speculated and gossiped, but no one knew.
I don't know at what point I decided that I wanted Ryan to be my lover, and to coach me in bed. Without ever realizing it, I had become more and more anxious about my supposed sexual inadequacy. In my head, Ryan was the magic silver bullet - the lover who would cure my ambivalence towards sex, and make me whole. Post Ryan, I'd be normal, I could restart dating, and all would be well again.
Fast forward to the annual Martinez clan retreat. Ryan had always been invited, and he'd been there most years. I hadn't run into him the previous two years though. One year, he was in the middle of a book tour, promoting his latest best-seller, and another year, I had to manage a last-minute work crisis. But we were both going to be at the retreat this year, and I was determined to seduce him.
Ryan had arrived late the previous evening, but I'd been out with my sisters, and had missed seeing him. I hadn't seen him in two years. He was a world-famous author who lived in glamorous Paris, and I was working my way up the ranks at the family firm in San Francisco. But I did see him at breakfast, and I'd surreptitiously checked him out. Truth be told, I always had had a bit of a crush on him - he was an older teenager when I was a child, and even then, he'd always been surrounded by girls. To me then, Ryan had represented the all the promise and freedom of adulthood.
As a teenager, he had no time for an annoying little girl. Now though, I was determined that things would be different.
Once I put on my bikini, I went downstairs, and grabbed a bottle of chilled white wine and two glasses. The night was dark and still. The air was redolent with the smell of jasmine; vines of it grew all around the garden. In the background, I could hear the distant but hypnotic sound of ocean waves. Everything was oddly hypnotic. I felt removed from my body; I was almost on auto-pilot.
I made my way down the curved pathway that led through the gardens to the pool. As I had guessed, Ryan was alone, swimming restless laps in the pool. His swimming had masked the sound of my steps, and I stood watching him for a silent minute, until he turned and saw me.
“Maya. How long have you been there?”
His voice was light and friendly.
“I just got here,” I lied. “Wanted to chill out in the hot tub for a bit. Want to join me?” I raised the wine bottle so he'd see it. “I brought two glasses.”
“So you did,” he said easily. “Sure, wine sounds pretty good right now.” He pulled himself out of the pool as I waited. It was hard not to stare. Ryan was lean, hard and utterly sexy. Drops of water ran down his body, past sculpted abs, and made their way lower. He really did have the perfect amount of chest hair. My gaze followed that strip of hair lower until it settled on that spot where the hair disappeared into his trunks.
I roused myself, mortified. I'd been staring like an imbecile. “Sorry,” I mumbled. “Got distracted. Long day. Hot tub.” My cheeks were flushed with embarrassment. I was babbling. I quickly walked towards the hot tub that was next to the pool, and lowered myself into the water, setting the wine and glasses on the edge of the tub.
Ryan followed me, and settled himself across from me. ”Shall I pour?” he asked, and got up, reaching for the wine. His thigh brushed against my knee, and the contact sent my pulse racing. “You okay?” he asked, handing me a cool glass of wine.
I nodded, not really trusting myself to speak. I took a sip of the wine, hoping for the courage I needed to make my move. The wine was a cool contrast to the heat of the water, and the heat pounding in my veins.
“So, Maya... I didn't really get a chance to speak to you at breakfast. I haven't seen you in years, how have you been?”
“Good,” I said, striving to keep my voice as light and casual as his. “Work's been busy, mostly. I read your new book, by the way.”
“What'd you think?” Ryan asked.
“I loved it,” I answered honestly. “It was brilliant. It made me cry a bit though.”
He smiled. “Writers love when their readers tell them they cried, you know. Our job is to make you feel.”
Yes! He'd fed me the perfect opening. I gathered all my courage; it was now or never. “Really?” I purred, as I used my right foot to very lightly stroke his leg. I looked at him, the need in my eyes obvious.
The mood changed instantly. He stilled. His eyes were expressionless, but his hand tightened just a little bit around the wine glass.
“Growing up quickly, Maya? This is an adult game you are playing.”
“I'm twenty-one, Ryan,” I responded. ”All grown up.”
His eyes slid mockingly up my body, lingering on my breasts, not quite covered by the water in the hot tub.
“I don't play games, Maya. I play hard. I expect my lovers do as I tell them. This isn't a young girl's game, okay?” His voice was harsh, casual no more. His eyes met mine. They were still expressionless.
“What does that mean?” I asked softly. Need was coursing through my blood and my heart was pounding.
He looked at me. “I like to play hard, Maya. Whips. Canes. Handcuffs. If you want to play, you play by my rules.”
I gulped. I don't know what I had expected this encounter to be, but this wasn't it. I guess I had thought it would be easier. That's we'd sleep together one night, maybe two, and abracadabra, like some kind of magic switch, I'd feel sexual. Instead, this sounded... intense.
And yet. Need was coursing through my blood, my heart was pounding in rhythm with the sound of waves in the distance. Jasmine scent
I raised my head. I looked into his eyes. I took the step forward from which there was no going back.
“Let's play,” I said clearly.
The words lingered in the air. Let’s play, I had said, moments earlier. I sneaked a look at Ryan, trying to gauge his reaction.
There was a tightness around his eyes, and his grip on the wine glass had not eased. But mostly, Ryan just looked amused. “In that case, have dinner with me tomorrow night, Maya? 6 pm.” It wasn't an order, not just yet. But it was clear to me. Dinner at six tomorrow, and we would play this crazy little game I'd set in motion. But he had given me until six tomorrow night to change my mind.
There was still the better part of a bottle of wine left, and the heat of the water in the hot tub was a perfect contrast to the very slight chill that had invaded the air. I didn't know what to do next, whether to stay or go. Ryan took matters out of my hands though, by leaning forward once again, and re-filling my glass.
“Tell me about yourself, Maya. I haven't seen you in what, two years? Fill me in.” His voice was, once again, light and casual. Having arranged the next step in our little sexual interlude, Ryan was evidently once again in full control of himself.
I wasn't quite as successful, but I did my best to calm down. Even when I was a young child, Ryan had always made me a bit nervous. But his gaze across the hot tub was both sincere and warm, and I found myself starting to relax.
“What do you want to know?” I asked him.
“Work. Hobbies. Interests. Boyfriends. Pets. It's all fair game, you know.” There was humour in his voice.
Of course an author would be endlessly interested in people. It was probably the first time in my entire life that I'd ever thought of Ryan as a person. When I was a child, he had been the handsome teenager that I had had a painful crush on. In the last year, he'd been the object of an obsession. But at this moment, sitting companionably with him in the hot tub, it dawned on me that I was probably having my first real conversation with him.
“Lots of work, of course. Neither Ivar nor Marco are the type to let me slack off.” Ivar was my uncle, the CEO of the Martinez empire. Marco was my cousin. “There's no such thing as a trust fund kid in the Martinez clan, I'm afraid.”
Ryan nodded in understanding. He'd grown up with Ivar; they were the best of friends. Ivar did not tolerate slacking off. “Do you like working in the family business?” he asked. “Your sisters don't work there.”
“Workload aside, I love it.” I leaned forward, animated. “It's fun, and I'm good at it. Good at math, good at business. And Ivar and Marco - I learn so much from them. It's endlessly fascinating.”
“And San Francisco? Good city to live in?”
“Well, it isn't Paris, of course.” I was curious about Ryan. “Why do you live in Paris, Ryan? Why not San Francisco, or here, or anywhere else?”
Ryan laughed. “Honestly, it's a bit ridiculous. When I was a kid, I dreamed of being a starving artist in Paris, living in a garret somewhere. I'm not a starving artist, fortunately, but I cling to the Paris portion of that dream.”
“Not to mention, French women are really hot.” I wanted to bite my tongue the moment I said it. I sounded like a shrew, jealous and juvenile.
“Mmm.” Ryan made just that one non-committal noise. I couldn't tell what he was thinking. “I notice you haven't mentioned boyfriends. Are you a virgin?”
I choked on my wine. Once the coughing subsided, I thought carefully about how to answer. “I dated someone for almost a year, and we broke up a year ago. And no, not a virgin, I'm afraid.” Was this a deal-breaker? Ryan was certainly no virgin, and I hated double-standards in men.
“Good.” Ryan said shortly. “I prefer sleeping with women who know what they are doing.”
I sipped my wine in silence. With Anthony, it was clear that I didn't know what I was doing, and I was hoping Ryan would teach me. But it sounded like teaching was the last thing Ryan wanted to do. For the first time that evening, I wanted to call the entire thing off. I desperately wanted to measure up to the sophisticated women that Ryan normally slept with, and I was certain I wouldn't.
I rose abruptly. “I'm going to bed,” I mumbled, and fled.
Ryan looked at Maya's retreating figure in some confusion. He wasn't quite sure what he'd said, but it had sent her running.
He took a sip of wine, and thought a bit about the situation. He should have shot her down right at the start, but truth be told, he had been both intrigued and turned on. She was young, but in the two years since he'd last seen her, she'd blossomed into an attractive, self-possessed young woman.
On the other hand, she was a Martinez. Ryan would never do anything to hurt Ivar's parents. They'd taken him in when his mother had died, rescued him from the streets, and they had treated him like one of their own.
Sleeping with Maya was okay, but if she got hurt? That would be unforgivable. He could bed Maya, but there could be no emotional involvement.
I slept poorly that night. My dreams were sexual in nature, something that had never happened before. In them, Ryan leaned forward and kissed me, his hands parting my thighs. I started moaning and pushing myself against him, but then Ryan changed to Anthony, who laughed at my arousal. “No!” I yelled at him. “Where's Ryan? I want Ryan!” I wandered through the gardens, shouting his name, with Anthony following me all the while, mocking my need. It was a terrible night, and by the time dawn had rolled around, I was exhausted and emotionally drained.
Although it was a family norm to eat breakfast together, I couldn't face anyone today, especially not Ryan. It was still early, no one was stirring. I slipped my running shoes on, left a quick note excusing myself from breakfast, and went for a long run.
Running always calmed me. In five minutes, my breathing had steadied. In ten minutes, my thoughts stopped swirling around in my head. The plan is still the same; it's the little details that are different, I told myself sternly. You are clearly attracted to Ryan. You just need to know if you'll respond to him sexually. Because if you do, then there's nothing wrong with you, Anthony just wasn't the guy. My feet pounded the curb, as I reasoned the situation out with myself. And the whips and other stuff? I asked myself. In truth, I wasn't concerned. Ryan was never going to do something I didn't want him to. I wasn't sure of many things right then, but that was the one thing I was sure of; I trusted Ryan completely.
I dressed carefully for my dinner date with Ryan. Was it even a dinner date? I didn't know. I had no idea what was in store for the evening. But I wore a pale yellow dress that I loved. The front was plain, but the dress was backless, with a thin gold chain crisscrossing the back to hold the dress in place. Whips and chains, I thought and giggled. I never really used much makeup, just some eye-liner and mascara, a hint of bronzer and some lip gloss, and I was ready.
We hadn't discussed where to meet. I assumed I'd find Ryan in the big family room where most people tended to congregate, and I headed there. Before I got there though, I ran into Ivar, who raised his eyebrow at the sight of me. “Ryan mentioned you two were going to try the new Thai restaurant in town?” he said. “I ran into him just now, he's waiting outside.”
“Thanks, Ivar.” I said. Although Ivar was technically my uncle, he was not that much older, and was much more like a big brother. Ivar was great. He was a hard boss, but he'd never interfered in my personal life. If he was curious about why Ryan and I were going out to dinner, he didn't mention it.
In general, the two weeks of the family retreat were filled with relaxation. We lounged on the beach, played games of tennis, ate meals together and caught up. Since we didn't often leave the estate, most of us didn't bother getting a car. There was always a rental car or two around to be borrowed.
Ryan was waiting outside, standing next to a car. But this car definitely wasn't one of the rentals; it was a beautiful old Porsche 911. Bright orange, in perfect condition, this car had
Ryan smiled. “Nope, it's my car. It's been in the shop for a few months now, lots of body work, new paint job, but it's finally done. Inaugural ride, Maya, ready?”
He held the door open for me, and I lowered myself in. The seats were low to the ground, and my dress slid up my thighs as I tried to get in with a modicum of grace. I don't think I succeeded; Ryan's lips twitched with amusement as he shut the door and swung around to the driver's side.
“Ivar thought we were going to a new Thai place?” I asked. I wasn't subtle at all. I was trying to figure out what the plan for the evening was.
“We are,” Ryan said, as he started the car. I'd never been in a car with him. He drove with the same calm competence that he seemed to do everything else with. I wondered if he'd be standing over me with a whip with the same calm. Would I be moaning in arousal while he watched with his customary detachment?
Ryan was quiet while he drove, and I was lost in my own thoughts. I didn't realize we'd arrived until we turned to pull into the restaurant's parking lot. I shook my head slightly to clear it, and looked around. The smell of ocean salt was in the air, and the sound of the waves much closer.
“You look lovely tonight.”
I looked at him quickly. A compliment from Ryan Clayborn was a rare thing. I mumbled my thanks.
His hand cupped the small of my back, and his fingers brushed against the chain. “Nice,” he remarked appreciatively. “I can think of many things to do with this.” I blushed in the gathering twilight. His hand was warm against my back, and his fingers were now stroking my back very lightly. It was incredibly erotic, and I was instantly wet. Another first for me.
We were seated outside by a young waitress who could not take her eyes off Ryan. To his credit, Ryan didn't appear to notice. We quickly placed our drink orders, she wandered off to fill them, and we were alone at last, for the first time since last night.
“Maya. Ground rules first, okay?”