Things get steamier!
|Illustration Credit: AliceKuroCross on DeviantArt.
Author's Note: In the kink community, we have these things called safe words. Some people have personal safe words, but if you're playing with someone you just met who might not know/remember your personal safe words, it's best to stick with the standard ones based on stoplights. Red means stop. Yellow means slow down. Green means keep going. These can be used outside of the bedroom as well or in vanilla scenarios if the stimulation is simply too intense or whatever.
Chapter 16: Name Your Price
They fucked again. Brutally. This time Seto remained on top. He'd donned a condom out of pure habit, but it took all of his willpower not to remove it before he finished inside her. It tormented him even after the fact. Wasted opportunity.
Seto didn't know about Joan's copper IUD. He didn't know that even if he'd succeeded in breaking the condom, it wouldn't have mattered anyway, but he needed the illusion that something could come from this.
Joan knew better than to tell him about the IUD. She'd felt his urgency, his frustration with every thrust. She half-hoped to see him claim victory, useless polyisoprene dangling from his penis as he withdrew. But they were both too slick for that to happen.
After Seto rolled off her, Joan rolled halfway onto him. She kissed the ridges below his eyes, consolation for tears he refused to shed. He held his silence for what seemed like a century, just breathing. Feeling her weight on his chest. Knowing it would be gone tomorrow.
"When can I next book you?" he said at last.
"My weekend just freed up, but-"
"I want it all. I don't care what you're charging."
Joan finished what she was about to say despite the extra money on the table. "But I'm having lunch with my mother on Saturday."
"Mother?" The concept, though foreign to him, ignited longing.
"Yeah, um . . ." You know, the woman who fucked my father without protection, gestated me for nine months, and then put up with my demands for sustenance for the next eighteen years, Joan thought but held her tongue. Then she remembered Mokuba's use of the word guardian. She didn't know what happened to their biological mother, but it had to be a sore spot.
"Name your price," Seto demanded.
Joan had to check, just to make sure, before she agreed to anything. "What exactly are you getting at?"
"Lunch with your mother."
Relief splashed Joan's skin, leaving goosebumps. Her next words tumbled out of her mouth. "Bring Mokuba and I'll give you a discount."
The offer took Seto completely by surprise. "Mokuba? What does Mokuba have to do with this?"
"Didn't anybody tell you?" Joan straddled Seto's navel and ran fingers over his chest, making his loins ache for attention. "I have a brother fetish."
Seto's eyes widened as he processed the information. He'd been under the impression that it was entirely Mokuba's idea to hire Joan, but he should have known better. Mokuba had never taken interest in his whores before now. Joan must have approached Mokuba with a deal he couldn't refuse. Seto wasn't accustomed to thinking about his whores' desires. All women, he believed, only wanted money, money he preferred to give them directly instead of enduring the hassle of endless dates and mind games. "Just like that? You tell this to everyone you fuck?"
"Pretty much. If I don't tell men what I want, how is it ever going to happen? Even when I tell them, not everyone wants what I want. I've been trying to seduce my husband's brother for years with no luck."
Her honesty floored him. "The man's a fool."
"My husband or his brother?" Joan's curtain of hair brushed Seto's face.
"The brother at least. Perhaps both. But I won't know for sure until you show me how you fuck him."
Joan's lips grazed Seto's ear. "No."
"What?" Rage climbed the walls of Seto's heart.
"I'll get you close, but you're still using a condom."
"Name your price." Seto gripped her wrist. Crushing. Painful.
Joan had to admit that his persistence intoxicated her. She liked this aggressive side of him, of any man for that matter, but he was taking it too far, both physically and emotionally. "Yellow."
Seto's pressure abated, but he still held her. He hadn't realized how hard he'd been squeezing until she said the safe word, but the softness in her voice told him this was about more than that. Of course she wouldn't take him bare. He'd been foolish to hope that this was anything more than a job, a game to her. But why had she agreed to let him meet her mother, with Mokuba of all people? Why only yellow and not red?
Joan studied Seto's face and took note of his confusion. "Patience. If you really want this, it's not going to be pump and dump. It's not completely out of the question, but Michael will have to agree."
Seto's energy drained and his grip loosened. Joan rolled off Seto and lay silently by his side, her arm draped across him, letting him think in peace. So her husband wasn't a fool. Michael could trust her. And even if Seto could force his seed into her, she'd manage to ditch it somehow. Sooner or later would make no difference to her. Seto shivered at the thought of her walking into an abortion clinic, holding hands with Marc or another intimidating man he'd never even seen and having some faceless doctor scoop his child out of her.
Seto toyed with the idea of locking Joan up, of shoving her into a crate and shipping her back to his mansion in Japan. He'd been with one whore who'd been through something similar, but she was empty, worthless holes, no better than a blow-up doll. He'd sent a staff member to give the police an anonymous tip about that prostitute's pimp but otherwise stayed out of the mess. He couldn't risk turning Joan into that. Besides, even if he hacked into Joan's phone and told Marc and Michael to buzz off, Mokuba would never stand for it. Mokuba. The prospect sounded better than Duke, but she wasn't making babies with Mokuba either.
Seto took comfort in the fact that she remained by his side for now but worried that the coming few days would pass all too quickly.
Chapter 17: Take it or Leave it
Morning came before Seto could figure out if he'd slept or not. He found the sheets beside him empty and panic shot him to his feet. He yanked on briefs and opened the bedroom door.
Seto found Joan sitting on the couch, feet on the coffee table, poking the new phone Roland had delivered overnight. Her cleavage peeked out of the same navy blue floral dress Seto had first seen her in.
Joan looked up with a casual, genuine smile. "Heeey!"
Seto's staff had logged and reported all the death threats and blocked the senders, leaving Joan only a few congratulatory messages from fellow whores. The other whores had even given her several tips on how to get him off. Though she'd already figured out most of them on her first night with Seto, she appreciated the solidarity.
Seto stood transfixed for a moment, her relaxed demeanor so different from how he'd seen her last night, so at ease, so wifelike. Seto remembered that she was a wife, not his wife, but a wife nonetheless. He let himself pretend for a moment and warmth poured into his smile.
"Good morning, Mr. Kaiba." Seto whirled around to see a woman in a stark black suit and natural blond hair pulled into a neat bun. "I'm Tamara, Joan's new bodyguard. Roland hired me last night."
Seto circled Tamara and appraised her slender form. "What makes a little Girl Scout like you qualified?"
Tamara displayed no offense at the remark. "I was a Girl Scout over a decade ago, but these days I train at Marc's dojo. I beat him in fights all the time. I was between jobs and Roland asked Marc if he knew anybody. Roland said a male guard would—"
"Spare me your life story. I'm not paying you to talk, though if you'd like to use that pretty mouth in other ways, we could work out at deal." Seto watched Joan for a reaction, but only a tiny smirk curled her lips. Damn it whore, could you at least pretend to be jealous?
"I'll pass," Tamara said.
Seto turned on his heel and stalked into the bathroom to shower.
"Is he always like that?" Tamara asked Joan.
"Consider yourself lucky." Joan went back to poking her phone. Strange. Her friend requests had dropped to zero. Not that she had time for new friends anyway, but still . . . it seemed a step too far. Joan glanced up at Tamara. Roland's doing. Roland had a knack for acting in Seto's best interest. He may not have dismissed the friend requests himself, but he'd probably sent detailed instructions with her login information to someone in Japan.
Seto stomped back in wearing a collection of belts with silver buckles and his studded white trench coat. "Whore, you're staying by my side today."
Joan continued casually tapping her phone. "You realize my fee is for the evening, right? Day will cost you extra."
"Does it look like I give a fuck? Roland, see to it that she gets paid."
"Yes, sir." Despite the exhaustion, Roland had woken and prepared to serve as usual.
Joan stood and slung her purse over a shoulder, slipping her phone inside. She walked up to Seto and kissed him to seal the deal. His demeanor softened a little as he felt her warmth.
They set off arm-in-arm as before, down the elevator and into the banquet hall. A few eyes followed them, but no snide comments erupted. Once their plates were full, Seto picked an empty table. A few executives from small game companies joined them and rambled while Seto looked bored.
Joan played along as arm candy until the CEO of Hentaistic said, "We're trying to make more porn games for women and, after all the buzz we've been hearing on social media, we're starting to think we should license Seto Kaiba's image."
Joan burst out giggling.
"Whore," Seto growled, "what's so funny?"
Joan caught her breath and tried to think of a delicate way to phrase Seto's shortcomings before opting to address a different issue entirely. "The only artist who can portray Seto properly is Marc Aurelio, and there's no WAY you could afford his salary."
His ego properly stroked, Seto said, "The whore's right."
The Hentaistic CEO's face fell.
Joan dug a mother of pearl business card case out of her purse. "If it's any consolation, I could provide you with some assistance for your other projects." She held one card out to the Hentaistic CEO.
Seto snatched the card out of her hand and examined it. Lead Editor. For some small press he'd never heard of. The card had a phone number and email address but no physical address. A list of book titles and authors crowded the back. Questions bombarded his mind. Was whoring her side job, or did she perform both jobs equally? Was she seeking new clientele only for editing or for all her services? Either way, filling her schedule with additional work would mean less time for him.
Joan slipped another card out of her case and found more hands reaching. She passed them around the table.
"So that whore thing . . . that really is just a joke?" someone asked.
"Entirely," Seto cut in before Joan could answer for herself. "So don't get any ideas."
Joan stood. "Excuse us." This time, she pulled Seto away from the table, albeit more gently than he had pulled her away from Duke. She led him outside the banquet hall to an alcove window looking out upon the bay. Roland and Tamara stared down passers-by, silently bidding them to keep walking rather than gawking. "Seto, we never discussed an exclusive contract. I don't even know if I'll have my editing job after you go back to Japan. I need to keep my options open."
Seto couldn't lose her. He didn't know where yet, but after seeing that job title, he was certain he could find a position for her. "Come work for Kaiba Corp."
"Fuck no. I hate big offices."
Her resolve shocked him. Nobody had ever turned down a position at Kaiba Corp. without a better offer from a rival company such as Industrial Illusions. "Name your salary," he said, not ready to believe it.
"I said no. I work from home and I like calling my own shots. If, and that's if, I lose my editing job, I'd much rather freelance than have to deal with bitches around the water cooler."
Seto thought fast. "It won't be like that. You'll be in my office, with a private water cooler."
She'd already been through this with her husband Michael before they'd moved their desks to separate rooms. The dynamic between them caused too much distraction. "Nice try. We'll get sick of each other within a month that way. Even if we don't, just wait until your secretary gets jealous and poisons my coffee. Besides, I'm sure as hell not leaving Marc and Michael behind."
They stared at each other, arms crossed, at an impasse. If only Seto could make Joan forget about everything that tied her to this place.
Seto grabbed Joan and kissed her. Joan let it happen. He had paid for her time today. He could use it how he wanted. He could believe what he wanted to believe about her as long as it didn't affect her time off the clock.
Joan felt an ache throbbing through the kiss. Seto couldn't accept her false surrender. Nothing had been settled.
Seto broke the kiss but held on to the back of her head. Their foreheads touching, he spoke low so only she could hear. "Whore, I need you."
Goosebumps shot down Joan's arms. Seto needed the real her, not the one that bent to his demands. As long as Seto got what he needed, she could have what she wanted. "OK, but you've got to cut this possessive shit."
Possessive shit. Seto had said the same thing to a whore in Japan not too long ago. Shame crept into his features.
Joan continued, "If you fly me to Japan two nights a week, I won't need to seek new clients, but you still have to accept everyone I'm already with. Michael. Marc. Mokuba. Take it or leave it."
"I'll take it." Seto wrapped his arms around Joan and held her. Just held her.
Tamara cleared her throat. "Hey, does this mean I get to go to Japan too?"
"Only if you can keep your trap shut," Seto snarled.
"Give her a break. It's her first day. But seriously," Joan turned to Tamara, "try not to interrupt when we're having a moment."
Joan realized as the words fell from her lips that the moment had stirred something in her. They still had a lot to work out, but the tension had dissipated. Joan interlaced her fingers with Seto's as they moved on to the next Summit activity.
Author's Note: This chapter is mostly fan service, but there's some pivotal stuff in here too. If you're not a Duel Monsters fan but reading this for the romance, please hang in there. Monsters of the Duel is not a canon game but a game I made up by blending other games such as Heroes of the Storm, and I explain it as best as I can.
Chapter 18: Demo Tournament
Joan had more fun than she expected. It was esports day, and that meant a demo tournament for Monsters of the Duel. Mokuba brought "that stupid banner" featuring Marc's rendition of Seto along with half of his "vibrant and diverse" office staff.
Seto had initially planned to show off his gaming skills and let Roland announce but, under the circumstances, Seto wanted Roland on the lookout for nefarious activities. Duke Devlin readily volunteered to compete in Seto's place, gaining more exposure for his own company in the process. Seto announced the arrival of each player as they walked down a glowing aisle and took their seats on a stage with cyan and magenta spotlights. Joan stood in the position of arm candy as Seto spoke into a cordless microphone, wondering if she should consider herself a lollipop or a gummy bear.
"Our first contestant on the Blue Team is no stranger to Duel Monsters spinoff games. In fact he invented one when he was still a teenager. It didn't catch on nearly as well as my duel disks, but that's beside the point. Let's welcome the master of disaster, Duke Devlin!"
Duke blew kisses to his shrieking fangirls as he swaggered down the aisle. He tossed his black locks and the die dangling from his ear swung in seductive arcs. Once onstage, he paused to blow a kiss at Joan in particular.
"Do that to my whore again and you're disqualified," Seto growled.
Joan pinched Seto's arm, just above the elbow, reminding him that he'd agreed to cut the possessive shit.
"Sheesh. It's not like I grabbed her and sucked on her face," Duke said before plopping into his seat.
Seto took the opportunity to taunt Duke. "Our next contestant actually has my permission to grab her and suck on her face. In fact he's the reason we met. It's my pleasure to introduce the number one artist in the entire gaming industry, who just so happens to be the art director for Monsters of the Duel: Marc Aurelio!"
Marc strutted up the aisle waving and grinning in a simple black "Monsters of the Duel" T-shirt. He stepped onto the stage, grabbed Joan, and sucked on her face — her chin, to be precise. While the audience laughed, Marc switched to a real kiss and the laughs turned to hoots. Marc left Joan dizzy, struggling to keep her balance and taking hold of Seto's arm for support. I think I'm licorice today, she thought.
Seto continued, "Our third and final member of the Blue Team also happens to be worthy of my whore. I invite the progenitor of Monsters of the Duel, the CEO of Super Kaiba Megacorp and my younger brother: Mokuba Kaiba!"
Mokuba strode up with determination, waving and trying to make his smile seem natural. Underneath, however, his insides tied themselves in knots. He was no stranger to fanfare. In fact the size of the crowd paled in comparison to that of the Kaiba Dome where he'd hosted tournaments with Seto. The problem lay in the fact that he had mere seconds to decide whether to follow Marc's example. Every step tossed a handful of sand into the gears of his brain. His mind ground to a halt just as his body ground to a halt in front of Joan.
"Well smooch already," Seto said into the microphone.
Barely recovered from Marc's kiss, Joan stared at Mokuba another two seconds. Red hots, thought Joan, let's make this count. She made the move for him, pulling him close and giving it plenty of spice as catcalls abounded.
Mokuba lost himself in her cinnamon lips. In his world, the sound of the crowd faded to a hum and his courage blossomed. His smile came easily now as he pulled away and gave the audience a final wave before taking his seat.
"Our first Red Team contestant is someone you'll all recognize. She's induced nocturnal emissions and rancid socks ever since she first came into being. I present to you the prom queen of Duel Monsters: Dark Magician Girl!"
Marc's cosplayer friend came up the aisle twirling her pink-striped blue staff with gold ends, blowing kisses, and posing in ways that accentuated her cleavage every few steps. The jewels in her costume glimmered under the flashing lights of the venue. When she got to Joan, she giggled and said, "I like this game."
Joan smirked. She'd kissed other women before and never much cared for it, but it never bothered her either. "Let's do this." She went in for the kiss. The crowd roared. Cotton candy for sure.
Seto did a double take but quickly returned to his announcements. "Next up on the Red Team is a special guest visiting us from the pro leagues. She's currently ranked as the top female duelist in the world. Give it up for Mai Valentine!"
A woman with free-flowing blond hair that rivaled Dark Magician Girl's wig flounced up the aisle. Her tight purple bodice didn't allow her to bend into as many poses, but she made up for it by blowing even more kisses and flipping her luscious curls. "Ready to put on a show, hun?" Mai asked Joan.
Those violet eyes! She has to be Klondike Kate reincarnated! "Sure, why not," Joan replied. Grapehead candy this time.
Mai dove in hard, her hands sinking into Joan's hair. The crowd went ballistic. Mai added some tongue, more outside Joan's mouth than inside. Seto felt a boner brewing and put a stop to the kiss before it could get any worse.
"If you're finished with the slobber fest, I'd like to introduce the third and final member of the Red Team. She knows the monsters better than anyone else. She's figured out what makes them tick. Please welcome Super Kaiba Megacorp's own narrative designer: Laura Aurelio!"
Laura sashayed up with poise, revolving her hands in graceful arcs. She stepped up to Joan and gave her a big, fat high five. Candy corn. The crowd moaned in disappointment. Laura strode past Seto and Duke to lean over Marc, planting an upside-down kiss on him as he sat in his chair. The crowd released a pent-up "Oooooh!"
"Fraternizing with the enemy, I see," Seto commented. "I hope you don't let your domestic ties interfere on the battlefield."
"No more than you let your ego interfere with your fashion sense," Laura bit back. After Mokuba had assured her that Seto treated everyone that way, she'd gotten over his intimidation tactics.
Seto grinned. "I'll take that as a compliment. Players, select your monsters!"
Cameras caught closeups of the players' faces and projected their expressions along the walls as they logged into the game on their tablets and smartphones. As they selected their monsters one-by-one, their monster selections appeared alongside their faces on the walls. Each monster came equipped with health points as well as its traditional attack and defense points. More importantly, the monsters each had special abilities to balance their stats.
Laura picked Kuriboh to take damage as her team's tank. Despite its low attack and defense points, its high health points and ability to clone itself in order to confuse the enemy made the annoying brown furball a popular choice.
Mai chose Harpie Lady, a winged woman with giant yellow talons, as the Red Team's assassin. While Harpie Lady's basic stats were average, it came equipped with high-damage skill shots and evasive maneuvers.
The Dark Magician Girl picked herself and served as her team's support. Despite her high attack and defense points, her low health points made her fragile and vulnerable to attack. However, she came with a major perk. Every time she landed the last hit on an enemy monster, her entire team's attack points increased by 300. Landing the last hit on enemy minions such as sheep tokens and other minor beasts healed her teammates by 300 health points.
On the Blue Team, Marc tanked with Big Shield Gardna, a muscular warrior with long, wild hair behind an enormous bronze and purple shield. Its high defense points made it difficult to kill and its stun ability provided his team with crucial opportunities. On top of that, it could negate spells cast by the enemy team.
Mokuba played Blue Eyes White Dragon. Its long-range basic attack accounted for most of its damage, and most of its special abilities involved increasing its attack speed and adding splash damage.
Duke supported with Strike Ninja. Its special effect drained health points from enemy monsters, transferring those points from Red Team to Blue Team monsters. The red cape and gold accents to Strike Ninja's traditional black garb matched Duke's own favorite color scheme.
As the battle began, a holographic field materialized in the center aisle. An enormous facsimile of Seto Kaiba in his favorite white trench coat with 4000 life points stared down a giant Mai Valentine with the same on the opposite side. Unlike a traditional duel, the duelist's life points could not be lost when monsters attacked each other. Winning the game required breaking through the enemy team's defenses and attacking the duelists directly.
The players started from their respective Mai/Seto spawning locations and made their way to the center of the battlefield. Along the way, they knocked out sheep tokens for experience and spending munny. They exchanged their munny for spells, traps, and equipment before taking the fight directly to their opponents.
Marc charged in with Big Shield Gardna, stunning a dozen Kuriboh clones but missing the real one. Mai's harpie swooped overhead, dropping little bombs from its talons until Mokuba blasted it out of the sky with Blue Eyes White Dragon. "First Blood!" Seto announced as he gave continuous commentary on the match. Mai's face pouted at the side of the room while her Harpie Lady rested in the Shadow Realm and her respawn timer counted down.
Blue team took advantage of Mai's absence to attempt a boss capture. They zipped down to a hulking blue Obelisk the Tormentor at the bottom of the map and fought against it, draining its health points along with their own. Red Team caught on to Blue Team's plan and decimated them in their weakened state, but not before Marc landed the last hit on Obelisk and claimed it for Blue Team.
The ladies desperately fought against Obelisk as it advanced toward their base, giving Blue Team time to respawn and regroup. Blue team gathered a slew of traps, hemming Red Team in while they launched wave after wave of spells. Dark Magician Girl got stunned by Big Shield Gardna and shrieked as Mokuba's dragon pasted her with its white lightning attack.
Mai's Harpie Lady flew into a rage and slaughtered Duke's Strike Ninja. Without his healer on standby, Marc's Big Shield Gardna got mowed down by his wife's Kuribohs. Mokuba launched blast after blast of white lightning, eventually frying Harpie Lady to a crisp. Almost out of health points and staring down an endless army of Kuribohs, Mokuba retreated to wait for Marc and Duke to respawn.
Revived and regrouped, the teams clashed again. Mai had learned from her mistakes and now dodged every onslaught as she bided her time for an opening. Laura had boosted Kuriboh's abilities with various equip spells and could now charge fearlessly into the fray. Dark Magician Girl sent wave after wave of healing magic, spurring them onward.
Kuriboh clones swarmed Strike Ninja and Dark Magician Girl landed a finishing hit on him, boosting her team's attack power. From there, it was all downhill for Blue Team. Mokuba's dragon got cornered and spit one last bolt of lightning at a Kuriboh clone. Mokuba fell back against his seat and turned to look at Seto. "Big brother . . . I'm sorry."
Marc put up one last stand while Red Team mostly ignored him and attacked the holographic Seto. As soon as it fell, the ladies leapt out of their seats and hugged each other, jumping and squealing while the crowd cheered.
Mokuba hung his head and Seto walked over to hug him while the Red Team members hopped into the spotlight to give their victory speeches. Duke joined them to make some gushing statements about Dark Magician Girl's amazing plays.
Marc got up from his chair and whispered, "Your brothers are waiting," to Joan as he passed by her and went to support his wife in her moment of glory. Joan squeezed between Seto and Mokuba, wrapping an arm around each of them.
"First of all," Seto began, "Devlin was your weak link. The dweeb spent so much time rolling dice that he never figured out the mechanics of a simple touch screen. Secondly, you made that shitty pompom too OP. There's no late-game counter for it."
Mokuba sniffed. He'd known for a long time that Kuriboh was overpowered and he should have done something about it long ago, such as reducing its health points or increasing the cooldown timer on its cloning ability. "Yeah, it's about time we nerfed Kuriboh."
"Maybe just ban it from tournaments," Joan suggested. "It is kinda nice for beginners to get an easy win."
"Good thinking, whore. We need to get the new players hooked. Ban it from all ranked matches, not just tournaments. Serious players have no business replicating those nasty brown balls of fluff like tribbles." Seto glanced at the women in the spotlight. "Better get this over with." He walked back to the center of the stage to present the ladies with a trophy and close the ceremony.
"What exactly did you do to him again?" Mokuba asked Joan as soon as Seto was out of earshot.
Joan smirked at the younger Kaiba brother. "That would take a while to explain. Maybe I should show you sometime."
Mokuba felt his cock pulse as her intense gaze mesmerized him. "Sometime."
The room's main lights flickered on and Mokuba tore his amethyst eyes away from Joan. He got up and joined his brother in the center of the stage. Seto gave a few last words before handing the microphone over to Mokuba.
Mokuba spoke in a professional tone without the ever-present grandiosity Seto exuded. "Thank you for participating in our demo tournament. When hosting your own Monsters of the Duel tournament, you now have a basic framework to follow. However, we've also seen some examples of what not to do in an actual tournament. For starters, we're all adults here, but keep in mind the age of your audience and watch your language. Parents who bring their kids to these events may be particularly off-put by onstage antics. Furthermore, if you are lucky enough to have a beautiful woman onstage, don't use her like an object. As most of you are already aware: Seto, Marc, and I have a special agreement with Joan, but what we did today would be entirely inappropriate under most circumstances."
Mokuba continued to address the finer points of tournament etiquette before inviting questions from the audience. The game developers stayed away from questions about Joan, sticking to technical matters. Seto and Mokuba shared the floor evenly, each responding as they felt their area of expertise more suited to any given question. When that concluded, Mai took the floor to share her experiences as a professional duelist and gamer.
Chapter 19: The Agreement
Joan found herself in a good mood when she returned to the suite with Seto. The quiet presence of Tamara and Roland had grown on her, making her feel invincible. Tamara, however, headed home for the night as soon as Joan was safely inside the suite.
Joan's phone buzzed the second after she set down her purse. She slid the phone out and saw Marc's name atop the message. Have you forgotten our agreement?
What agreement? Joan texted back.
Marc replied instantly.
Joan mentally kicked herself for forgetting and passed the phone to Seto. "I don't suppose there's any chance you would . . ." Joan trailed off.
Seto replied from Joan's phone, tossed it to Roland, and pulled her into the bedroom. He sat her down on the edge of the bed and placed his hands on her shoulders. "I realized something today."
Joan looked into Seto's eyes and saw pure sincerity. He was about to unleash the big L-word, wasn't he? The one from the headline. Panic struck her. She sensed he was about to go "cowboy" on her too, demanding that she drop her other men. She'd been down this road before. At least the other Michael hadn't tried to pull this crap on her. It had been a fun ride, but it was over now. At least she still might be able to salvage her day job. Maybe she could still milk this escort job a little longer, delay his confession for one more night. "Seto, I know. You don't need to say—"
He kissed her to shut her up, leaving paralyzing flashes of white light oscillating up and down her spine. Joan struggled to understand his next words. "I realized that I should have been on that team with Mokuba and Marc. Devlin was dead weight. I only let Devlin play because I wanted Roland watching out for us. You," Seto kissed her forehead, "could have done the announcing."
Joan spoke through lips that were still numb. "I'm flattered, but I just learned how to play last week."
A tinge of annoyance colored Seto's next words. "My point is that this world is full of knuckleheads like Devlin. When they try to claim a piece of you, it irks me to no end. Marc, on the other hand, has proven his competency countless times. And Mokuba," Seto's eyes gleamed, "has saved face for me more times than I care to admit."
Fuck, Joan thought. This isn't his L-word; this is mine.
"I don't know anything about your Michael other than his name, but since he's somehow managed to win your loyalty, for now I'll consider him on our side rather than the enemy."
"This . . . you're . . ." Joan's ability to put thoughts into coherent sentences vanished.
Marc walked in and closed the bedroom door behind himself. "Is this little slut giving you trouble?"
"You have no idea," Seto replied with a playful smirk.
Astounded, Joan looked from one man to the other. Seto hadn't dismissed Marc with that text but invited him here with the full understanding of their agreement. Only one word formed on Joan's lips: the only word she needed in this scenario. "Green!" Joan hollered as she jerked away from Seto. She perched in the middle of the bed as Marc circled her, forming his plan of attack.
Seto took off his trench coat and laid it aside. His skin-tight black turtleneck showcased his impressive masculine form.
Marc slid off his T-shirt and flexed even more powerful muscles. Words rippled from his curling lips. "Rumor has it, little slut, that it takes more than one man to tame you."
"Once we're done with you, you'll be begging for me to put my cock in any hole I please," Seto taunted.
"Green," Joan said once more.
Marc lunged and caught Joan's ankle as she tried to scramble off the edge of the bed. He pulled her easily back to the center. He caught her other flailing leg and looked up at Seto. "Don't make me do all the work now."
Seto managed to secure Joan's arms, using his knees to pin down her hands while he slid his hands over her cleavage and into her bra. He'd wanted to do this from the moment he'd met her, to humiliate her in front of her boyfriend for tempting him with her brazen display of skin. However, now he knew her well enough to know that she welcomed the contact. "This is for your own good, whore."
Joan turned her eyes away from the men, but her hardening nipples betrayed her. She writhed under their weight, trying to break free. "Just wait until my husband finds out about this."
"Why wait?" Marc straddled Joan and pulled his phone out of his jeans. He snapped a photo of her helpless, pinned under Seto's lanky limbs. "Hey Siri, text Michael. Your slutty wife is finally getting what she deserves."
Marc sent the message, set the phone aside, gripped the edges of Joan's collar, and tore. The fabric cleaved, exposing a skimpy black bra that barely contained her bountiful breasts.
Marc's phone rang and he paused, picking it up and putting Michael on speaker. "Dude, tell me you're shitting me right now. I swear, if I have to—"
"Green!" Joan interrupted.
"All right, all right. Carry on," Michael said.
"We will be holding your wife hostage until you deliver us the greatest of all treasures: green tea Kit Kat candies," Marc added.
Joan burst out laughing and heard a peal of feminine laughter from Michael's end of the call as well.
"Yeah yeah, have fun. Bye." Michael ended the call.
Seto released his own laugh, a villainous cackle that sent shivers through Joan. "You think that's funny, whore? Sounds like your husband isn't going to any trouble to rescue you. You better admit defeat before things get nasty."
"Never!" Joan shot back.
Marc took hold of Joan's chin and forced her to look at him. His dark walnut eyes drilled into hers. "You better make up your mind, slut. Kaiba may have all night, but my wife is waiting for me downstairs."
Joan's stomach plummeted at the thought of missing this opportunity. "Please," she said softly, "fuck me before you go."
"On one condition," Marc said.
"Anything," Joan pleaded.
Marc cradled her cheek in his hand. "You fuck Kaiba after I go. You fuck him like the slut you are."
"Of course," Joan breathed.
Marc dropped his lips to meet hers. The first kiss was gentle and warm, the second fierce and scorching. Marc drew back and hooked his fingers under the bridge of her bra. He snapped it off in one quick jerk, leaving her breasts exposed to Seto Kaiba's penetrating gaze. Marc dangled the bra above her. "Who gave you permission to wear this?"
Seto watched Marc in fascination as Marc worked his magic on Joan, resolute to glean every grain of knowledge possible from the older man. Marc's artistic skills applied not only to his profession but extended to the bedroom. Joan transformed as clay under Marc's hands, taking the form Marc desired with little resistance and holding there until he wanted something else. Seto needed to take her there, needed to see what they could become together. However, after Marc left, that missing element still eluded Seto. He'd glimpsed possibilities, though. Perhaps, with the right opportunity, he could win her heart. Perhaps Mokuba could help.
Chapter 20: Copper
Joan woke gradually as the sun glinted off the bay outside. Seto's arm encircled her, and she basked in the memories of the previous night. The last time she had participated in a threesome had been on Michael's birthday with his girlfriend Linda, and that had been a gift to him, not Joan. Last night had been a gift to her. Joan wasn't even sure how much Marc and Seto enjoyed the experience themselves. They each got something out of it, obviously, but Joan didn't know if it was enough to make them want another round. At least she could revel in Seto's touch a little longer before the day began.
When Seto woke, he leaned over Joan and drank from her lips. "Good morning, whore."
"Good morning indeed," Joan grinned up at him.
Joan's phone buzzed and she picked it up to check the message. It was from her mother: I think we should have lunch at the brewery. I want to see how Michael is doing too.
With Joan's weekends typically occupied by other men, Michael preferred weekend shifts. Anytime Joan's mother wanted to see the two of them on a Saturday or Sunday, Michael simply claimed that the brewery offered higher wages on weekends and Joan simply claimed that she was hanging out with friends, which was always true in a manner of speaking.
"Oh, this is going to be fun," Joan said as she tapped out a response.
"What?" Seto leaned his head on her shoulder to read the message.
"Looks like you get to meet my mom and my husband today. Hey, is Mokuba coming?"
"I'll check." Seto grabbed his phone. He hadn't brought it up to Mokuba before now, but the last thing Seto wanted to do was face Joan's husband without at least one partner in crime.
They both took some time to settle logistics.
Official Summit activities had been put on hold for the weekend, so Seto ordered room service for breakfast. While they waited for the food to arrive, Joan dressed in a springy butterfly sundress that made her look much younger than her twenty-five years. Seto donned his usual hoard of belts. As they sat across from each other munching on eggs, Seto popped a question that had been plaguing him for years. "What's it like having a mother?"
For a second, Joan thought he had said something else. "What? Wait, oh . . . Having a mother is nice when you're a kid. You believe everything she believes and the world is a safe, magical place. But then you go to college and meet people, and the world is still a magical place, just in a different way than you were taught while growing up."
"Don't tell me you have a Millennium Item up your snatch."
"A what?" Joan remembered Pegasus mentioning his Millennium Eye, but she still had no idea what that meant.
"Some Ancient Egyptian lunatic wasted a lot of gold making obnoxious magical artifacts that drew their power from the Shadow Realm. Millennium Puzzle, Millennium Ring, Millennium Dildo."
It's copper, not gold, Joan giggled at the thought of her IUD. She couldn't tell if Seto was serious about the magical artifacts, but after Laura's warning about that Shadow Realm stuff being a trigger for him, Joan decided not to press the matter further. "No no, when I talk about magic, I'm talking about biology, chemistry, hormones. Anyway, magic is just science that we don't understand yet, or so Arthur C. Clarke says."
"Ooooh, smart whore!" Seto's cock twitched, but the urge to return to the mother topic overpowered his lust. "Honestly though, I've never had someone I could talk to about these things."
"Not even your other whores?"
"I've never had a whore I could trust before you."
Joan recalled the positive messages in her inbox. "I think you could have trusted some of them but never gave them the chance."
"None of that matters now." Seto lifted her hand and kissed it. "I trust you."
Breath left Joan's body as their eyes locked. She'd heard those words countless times from various people, but she knew they meant more coming from him. "What happened to your parents?" she whispered.
They went back to bed – not to fuck, but to cuddle. Seto told Joan the story of how his birth parents died and what little he remembered of them. Despite the faded details, his potent feelings persisted. Seto's adoptive father hadn't provided an ounce of consolation or emotional support, leaving his resentment towards the world to fester. Through Seto's stories, Joan came to understand why he'd jumped at the opportunity to meet her mother: to fill a void in his life. Mokuba probably hoped for the same benefit. However, Joan's reasons for allowing Seto to come in the first place clashed with what Seto hoped to accomplish.
Joan did not voice it in so many words, but she expected a long, drawn-out lecture from her mother. Joan's employment by the Kaiba brothers would serve as a convenient excuse to cut the conversation short, perhaps even provide physical comfort and release after the fact if the conversation went truly sour. "You might be disappointed," Joan warned.
"I don't see how the woman who pushed you out of her vagina could possibly disappoint me."
"Don't get any ideas."
"Why not? I thought you were into that kind of familial fornication," Seto teased.
Joan's face went deadpan. "I don't have a problem with it, but she would be deeply offended by the proposition."
She glanced at the bedside clock. "We'd best get going."
Joan smoothed her dress and Seto donned his studded white trench coat. They left the suite with Roland and met up with Tamara in the hall. The four of them headed down the elevator, ignoring a few amateur reporters who hoped to squeeze a few more drops of juice out of a dying story.
They took their seats in the limo and dropped by Mokuba's high-rise condominium to pick him up before crossing the bay. Impressed by his impeccable taste in clothes and how perfectly his purple shirt and tie matched his eyes, Joan greeted him with an enthusiastic kiss. Mokuba's exotic cologne with cardamom and bergamot whetted her appetite, but the kiss itself left much to be desired.
Joan spent the ride instructing Mokuba and demonstrating kissing techniques. Seto demanded demonstrations as well, and she wound up switching back and forth between the two of them with little time to breathe in between. A little healthy competition drove them into longer and longer kisses with her until she finally called for a break.
As Joan sat back against the luxurious limo seat grinning, Roland took the opportunity to go over some logistics for her upcoming trip to Japan. Joan already had a passport, but Roland had to put in a rush order on Tamara's. He would handle all their other paperwork, arrange immunizations, and cover any incidentals. Joan doubted she would get to see many sights with Seto keeping her in bed all day, but all the same she looked forward to a change of pace.