Then he turned his attention to James. Chessy blinked because Damon had discreetly removed himself from the trio and she hadn’t even seen him leave.

“Undress her slowly,” Tate ordered. “And then prepare her as I already instructed you.”

The command in Tate’s voice sent a delicate shiver of delight cascading over her flesh. Her fingers curled into fists so her trembling wouldn’t be noticeable. Equal parts nervousness and anticipation vied for control.

James tugged firmly at her leash, pulling her away from Tate and closer to himself. Tate took a step back but kept a watchful eye on Chessy as James slowly began to divest her of her clothing.

“Very nice,” James murmured when he was down to just her stockings and stilettos.

He ran his hand over the swell of her behind and then grew bolder, sliding his palm underneath one breast. He brushed over the nipple with his thumb and it puckered in reaction, hardening to a point.

Her breath caught and then she let out a gasp when he lowered his head to her breast and sucked the nipple wetly into his mouth.

“Delicious,” he murmured. “You taste every bit as good as you look.”

Heat scorched over her skin and she lifted her gaze to find Tate, only focused on him even though another man was pleasuring her in his stead.

Her action brought immediate reprimand from James. He yanked on the leash, forcing her gaze back to him. His eyes glittered in irritation.

“I am your master tonight. He is only an observer. You are to look only at me and obey my commands.”

She started to launch an immediate protest because that wasn’t the case. No one but Tate would ever be called her master, and it was a silly term anyway. It wasn’t a word that she or Tate ever used. But something in James’s eyes halted her objection. She shivered and wanted to look to Tate for reassurance, to gain his reaction to James’s forceful dictate, but she didn’t dare look away from him again.

James ran his palm lightly over her jaw and then turned her body so her back was to Tate, effectively preventing her from the temptation of seeking her husband’s guidance. It confused her that Tate was allowing this man such leeway.

James positioned her over the bench that had an inverted, padded cutout that would cradle her abdomen. Then he stretched her arms outward, tying one wrist to one of the two posts situated in front of the bench. After securing one, he then secured her other wrist so she was stretched over the bench, her ass in the air, both arms tied tightly enough that there was no give when she tested the strength of the bonds.

James disappeared from her view and then she felt leather straps circle her ankles, securing them to the legs of the bench. She was spread wide, her most vulnerable areas accessible.

“Start with the leather flogger,” Tate directed.

She took immediate comfort in hearing her husband’s voice and her early apprehension eased and melted away as Tate took control of the situation. She relaxed, mentally preparing herself for the first kiss of fire.

“Administer ten blows, spread out so her flesh is evenly marked and colored,” Tate continued. “When you are finished, offer her the appropriate praise and then bring her close to orgasm with your hands and mouth. Then switch to the leather strap and mark her ass so that when you f**k her ass the flesh will have been scorched by fire. As I said, her mouth is mine, and I’ll f**k it while you f**k her ass. She doesn’t come again until she’s been flogged, untied and is being held down by the men waiting.”

She closed her eyes as his words flashed like wildfire through her mind. She was bombarded by a host of decadent, sinful images, and already she could feel her body climbing to orgasm and they hadn’t even yet begun.

A gasp exploded from her when the first lash landed across her ass. She’d been so absorbed in the dreamy fantasy Tate was describing that she hadn’t braced herself for the first blow.

Her eyes flew open and yet she could see neither man, not James nor her husband. Only the wall stared back at her. She was positioned facing away from the rest of the entire room. For all she knew everyone was observing her flogging. That didn’t bother her. She’d long since gotten over any shyness when it came to being naked in front of strangers. But she didn’t like not being able to see Tate. She knew he was there, but he wasn’t in her line of sight.

She wanted to see the approval and pride in his eyes. She wanted to be able to lock gazes with him and share the intensely personal connection between them. To forget that anyone other than the two of them existed, even if another man was charged with her submission.

Her jaw clenched and she winced when another blow rained down on her. James wasn’t as careful as Tate was in the administration of his lashes. There was something undisciplined about James’s flogging, almost as if he lacked the proper experience for the job. Or perhaps he was merely a sadist who only cared for his pleasure and didn’t concern himself with the delicate line between pain and pleasure for her.

There were no words of praise or approval from James as Tate had demanded. Nor did James offer her the pleasure Tate had instructed him to. Where the hell was Tate? Why wasn’t he admonishing James for not heeding Tate’s dictates?

There was no break between the flogger and the leather strap. Fire spread rapidly over her skin and she bit into her lip to prevent the cry of pain. This was no longer about pleasure. Certainly not hers at least.

And then she felt an insistent prodding at her anal opening and she realized James was trying to force his way in without the aid of lubricant. This was not the way Tate had told him to do things. Why wasn’t Tate putting a stop to it?