tagNonConsent/ReluctanceBass-Ackwards Ch. 03

Bass-Ackwards Ch. 03


Author's Note: Welcome to Chapter 3! This is as far as I have written for now, and CH4 will now begin competing for my time with my revisions for the last few scenes of the updated Eighth House. I'll have updates in my bio on my progress on the rest of this. Thanks again AwkwardMD for your beta-reading, and Itzy_Strange for your encouraging comments when I was down and needed all the love I could get.

Happy reading!


* * *

For all of Wednesday and Thursday, Bill had left her alone, and whether that had been a relief or even more nerve-wracking, Christina still couldn't say.

Rather than try to analyze it, or any of her other problems, she lay on her side in bed, every last thing taken care of for the night—supper, shower, laundry put away—and escaped into the world of trashy romance novels.

She didn't even bother with the modern ones. Those were too close to real life, and Christina Lee Dodd had put up with just about enough of that. The light of her phone, the only one in her bedroom now, was a tiny bright window, six inches from her face, into another time, another world.

She was a fly on the wall as some luckless widow had ended up on a pirate ship, and now the captain—naturally, it was never a deckhand, was it?—and the quartermaster were subjecting her to Very Bad Things. It was ridiculous, of course. Totally implausible that a woman could forgive behavior like that, but she knew she'd read on with rapt attention to see just how these fool characters came together in the end.

Those were her favorites, she found. The stories where the heroine hated her love interest at the beginning. It was oh-so-satisfying to read, but that shit didn't happen in real life. Personalities in Assholedome tended to remain in Assholedom. It was Newton's little known First Law of Fuckboys, she was pretty sure of that.

Dear god, this widow was going to let both of these pirates do her at the same time. Christina read the scene way too fast, her mouth open by the time she got to the end of it. She went back and read it again, trying to slow down, to really picture everything. To just give in that way, to shit that was wrong wrong wrong ... what in the hell could that even be like?

She stared at the screen at the end of her second read-through. Her first step back into reality was the awareness of her nipples, tight and tingling, just above the edge of her sheets.

Well? Fuck it.

The phone went face-down on her nightstand and Christina straightened onto her back. Her hand slipped under the covers to confirm ... Yup. Wet. A complete mess. What was one more trip to wash her hands before she fell asleep?

She disappeared into the cabin of a ship as her fingers played. She wasn't naked in her bed in East Texas, but wearing layers of long skirts some scoundrels had to push up, a bodice her breasts had to heave over at all the scandalous attention hundreds of years ago.

But it was just one pirate her mind conjured, not two, to bend her over. To take what he wanted. Her fingers plunged as she saw compass and charts flung aside, along with the fastenings of breeches and her objections. When he pushed her down, she wanted to squeal.

"I said be quiet."

One good throb out of nowhere, and Christina almost came, but that voice had been no pirate captain.

No. No, no, no, you are not thinking of that right now.

She made a face and found that sweet spot again, fixing the eighteenth century knave in her head, the swinging oil lamp overhead as his cock found her ...

But the fucking ship was gone and it was porcelain under her knee.


There were panties in her mouth and a rough hand stifling her noises.

What the fuck is wrong with you?

One leg was hooked over that muscular forearm and he was filling her full of cock in that bathroom. Her fingers flew, horrified, angry. Greedy.

Hot breath and male grunts of effort were in her ear.

"You let me have this ass, you can go home."


She came, pissed off at generally everybody, clit throbbing without shame at a real life clusterfuck of a situation. The walls of her pussy clutched at nothing, milking a cock that wasn't there. A specific cock that had no business showing up in her fantasy world.

Her heart rate slowed after, and Christina worked on the motivation to go wash up.

He was not doing this to her. This was a practical arrangement. He busted a nut, and now she had money to take care of her issues.

She shut off the tap in the bathroom and dried her hands on a towel.

Twelve minutes.

He was going to split the hour up however he wanted? Pull her into the back half whenever he felt like it? Push her skirt up and take her panties and say all of half a sentence while he spread her out and—

And how long could this shit last? If this was the level of stupidity to which it had escalated in less than a week? She couldn't even run from it into her books?

Fuck Bill Marshall. Why had she thought she could handle something like this? He knew what he was doing and she clearly didn't.

Sleep was the only escape left for tonight. Come Sunday, when she had to work again?

God only knew.

* * *

Seven-thirty in the fucking morning, he had a toothbrush in his mouth and a problem on his hands. Bill spat the rest of the toothpaste into the sink, gulped and swished some water, and spat again.

He had just gotten his standard morning hardon to go away, and now here it was again, tenting his shorts and bumping into the vanity like a blindfolded guy on a porn set.

His deodorant was in the drawer beneath the sink, and he fished it out, determined to keep his focus on getting ready for work. He still needed to put gas in the truck on his way down there.

But you felt her, right? Pussy wet for you right when you bent her over?

Bill slammed the drawer shut with a growl. His prick was jumping up and down, asking him to remember her body's responses. The feel, the smell of her.

It was too goddamned early for this.

He rubbed at his jaw in the mirror, assessing the level of stubble. Christina wouldn't be in today or tomorrow. He could probably skip it.

You're shaving for her now? Gimme a break.

But he wasn't the only one shaving. Totally bare under those panties—he'd wanted to bury his face in it. Both times, too, which meant that was just the way she kept it. God damn, Christina Lee Dodd had been walking around the Haul Ash this whole time hiding a shaved pussy under her jeans. Standing right next to him at the counter with it.

He had a handful and was tugging through his boxers.

Both times. He'd had sex with Christina twice, now.

And was she fucking with him? First the yellow underwear and then that tight yellow shirt?

She can't know. You're being paranoid.

It didn't matter what color her panties were, though, when they were in her mouth.

His dick was out through his fly now, and he'd given up the idea he could avoid jerking off. He didn't want to think about how many times he'd done it since their first encounter last Friday.

It was surreal. She'd just put her knee up on the sink. Just let him ... let him fuck her. Right there, with Travis in the other room. She'd let him gag her, for fuck's sakes. Didn't even fight it.

His cock swelled under the pull of his fist.

He'd been waiting for her to tap out, to say, 'You know what, I can't do this,' and she never did. It was like he was playing a game of chicken with himself to see at what point he would just stop and admit he was being a creep.

And all those little whimpers as he'd rooted up into that tight body, her panties muffling the sound ... What would those mewling noises feel like if they came from around his cock?


He was splattering an orgasm down the front of the vanity. Over his pumping knuckles. Breath hissed in and out through his teeth.

Shit. Here was another mess to clean up before he could leave.

Bill ran the water again and got himself straightened back out, obsession relieved again for at least a few more hours. The mirrored medicine cabinet gave up a nicotine patch to his rummagings, and he slapped it high on his left arm, damn sure he was going to need it today.

Back in the bedroom, he found and pulled on a clean undershirt. Started digging in his dresser for socks.

Today was Friday. He wouldn't have to see her again until Sunday.

Good. You need to calm down.

He was going to have to find things to do outside when she was there. Maybe try to clean up the shop, like he'd been talking about and never getting around to.

He didn't know if he could trust himself not to just hover around the front office and stare at her. Or do something reckless now that their bargain had him high on possibilities. Just what he needed, Jonah or Travis to come walking in from the back right when he's copping a feel.

That would be a bad move, dude.

Work boots laced, he headed to the kitchen to scoop up his keys from the counter.

There was no way he'd keep any sort of order around there if those two guys figured out he was banging Christina. As soon as one sideways look happened, one smart-ass comment ... And if either of them said one word to her ... He let go the fist he was making.

What? 'Cause you're the only one can talk to her now?

But he sure as shit didn't want anyone else saying the kinds of things to her he wanted to say. Not if he could make her moan like that again.

Bill got in the Ram and fired it up, checking the clock on the dash. He still had plenty of time to get ga—


The driver's side door hung open while he cursed his way back into the house to get his wallet. On the outside of the cheap, brown leather, his own warning from two years ago in fading permanent marker reminded him, 'IF YOU BUY CIGARETTES I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU'. He stuffed the thing into his pants.

You gotta calm down.

* * *

Another day, another skirt, another opportunity for a nervous breakdown at the Haul Ash.

They closed earlier on Sundays, so there was only one shift. Bill's truck was already there when Christina pulled onto the lot. Jonah didn't appear to be there yet, but she was ten minutes early.

Purse on her shoulder and lunch in hand, she went for the door. Bill approached from the other side, keys jangling. She had her own set—they all did, in case someone needed to open or close the shop alone—but waited for him to twist open the lock. The door was never open to customers until the very minute indicated by the Business Hours sign hanging on the back side of the glass.

"Morning," he said holding open the door. It came almost a grumble, compressed into a single syllable.


They made no eye contact. She heard the lock again behind her, to stay that way for an entire eight and a half more minutes until the official day started.

Timeclock. Purse under the counter. Lunch in the fridge. Asshole Boss sensors on high alert.

When she came back into the front, Jonah's Civic was rolling up, and Bill was sliding the stool away from the counter with a boot.

"I'm gonna go get the shop opened up," he said. "I left your paycheck under the keyboard."

He gave her his back and unlocked the front door for the day, just in time for Jonah to come shuffling into the building. " 'S 'ere coffee?" the younger man said through a yawn.

"No," said Christina, fighting off the contagion. She lost and blamed him around a yawn of her own. "Dnocka-off."

He hit the timeclock and then the door to the back half, the call of caffeine guiding his steps. Bill was already outside.

The envelope holding her paycheck was a terrifying white rectangle under the front counter keyboard.

Bill usually handed them out every other Friday, but she'd been off that day. She could've just driven down here and picked it up, but Christina was not going force herself to look at him on her day off. Not now, anyway.

She flipped the envelope over in her hand and jammed her pinky under the corner of the sealed flap, tearing the paper with it in a crude pass. By the time she pulled out the perforated check and stub inside, her pulse was racing.

It was not her normal paycheck.

Christina looked up, eyes darting around as though just holding the thing would be enough to start trouble if she got caught.

She checked the amount again.

Fuck me.

There it was. Her hourly rate inflated, just as much as he'd said. The black text tried to swim around on the white background of the stub, and she blinked, settling the numbers again. She mouthed the word 'what' as she squinted at the record.

He'd made the raise retroactive to the beginning of the pay period, even though their 'agreement' had begun more than halfway through it. She snorted, tucking the check into her purse with a shake of her head.

Part of her had never really believed he was going to do it. That part of her had spent the last few days cursing the rest of her for letting Asshole Bill start taking advantage of his side before she'd caught even a fleeting glance of hers. What would she have done if he'd just decided to screw her over? In more than one way at a time?

But he hadn't. He was good for his word. So far.

Don't you dare give him credit. He gets zero points. If this shit makes you a whore, then he's the kind of guy who treats women like whores. He's the one who made the offer in the first place.

It didn't matter, though. Christina could put whatever name she wanted on it. She could decide he was a bad guy or he wasn't. Or that she was this or that thing for agreeing to it.

What mattered was, she had the money. She could start making phone calls tomorrow. Getting some help. Her eyes closed and she sighed. Intangible weight tumbled from her shoulders.

Gravel crunched outside and she looked up again to see a white Suburban rolling in off the highway. The top sheet of paper in the outbox told her they were probably here for the twelve footer.

Time to get to work.

* * *

Sundays at the Haul Ash were either a ghost town or a madhouse. That day turned out to be the latter. Trucks and dollies came and went from the lot. Customers wanted more boxes than they ended up having in stock. The guys got overloaded in the shop. The phone wouldn't stop ringing. At least the credit card system was working again.

And at least Bill was leaving her alone.

Whether it was the nonstop parade of things to do, or her boss was back to pretending everything was normal, Christina didn't see him except in passing for the bulk of her shift.

Not that it helped. Every time he needed something behind the counter, she was jumpy as a cat. He only spoke to her in short sentences, not one word more than he had to, but every one of them might as well have been, 'Put your knee up on the sink', for the way her gut reacted.

It was too busy, right? He wasn't going to just drag her back to the bathroom again, not with customers coming and going like this.


In a moment of relative calm, she'd slipped into the back half to wolf down her lunch. Even fifteen minutes with her face in her book had to count as some kind of escape.

By the time she returned to the counter, the lull appeared to be holding. The front office was empty and Jonah had the printer opened up like a cadaver. He was pulling tiny shreds of accordioned paper out from between rollers and making a face.

"Stupid thing jam again?"

"Yeah," he said, "you get down to the last couple pieces of paper and it wants to suck 'em all in at once." He pulled out a last wrinkled sheet. "There."

Christina hefted a new ream of paper out from under the counter and started peeling open the wrapping.

"So, uh, Dodd," Jonah said, slamming plastic hatches back into place, "what's with all the dresses?"

"What?" She handed him about a third of the stack of paper, and he slid it into the lower tray.

"You been wearin' nothin' but dresses for like a week," he said. "It's weird."

Her eyes fell to the skirt she had on today: mostly orange with white and blue flowers all over it. It came to just above her knees. Her face, on the other hand, was hot and mostly red. She could feel it.

"What? I can't look like a girl if I want?"

"I guess." He shrugged, unconvinced.

"I'm not out there slinging wrenches like you and Travis. I don't have to wear pants all the time."

Could you sound any more defensive? Jeez.

"Yeah, OK, shit," he said, scooting the printer back in place. "Wear whatever you want, I'm just askin'. You usually wear jeans." And without waiting for a response: "I'm gonna get some water."

He escaped into the back half and Christina grimaced.

The other guys were bound to notice. She did wear jeans almost all the time. One of them would have said something sooner or later. She needed to get her reactions under control.

Sunday afternoon offered one more avenue for her to ignore her problems: it was time to put together purchase orders to send out on Monday. The task was routine and tedious; just what she needed.

They didn't have much to restock other than some of the boxes, but she went through the motions anyway. Pulling the inventory reports. Checking to see if they could order enough stuff to get the free shipping some of their suppliers offered. Once she had the whole two POs ready, all she needed was an approval from—

The door to the back bumped open.

—from Bill.

He joined her behind the counter, and she couldn't even look at him.

That's your boss, Christina, and you know what his dick feels like.

There was a metallic clinking as she heard him return a set of keys to the board full of hooks on the back wall. She sat frozen on the stool, facing the computer, willing him to go somewhere, anywhere, else.

Anywhere turned out to be two inches from her back.

He didn't touch her, but it didn't matter. The narrow buffer of air between them warmed in an instant.

"You stay after we lock up."

The words were quiet. From more than a couple steps away, no one else would have heard them.

And he stood there. For maybe ten more seconds. It felt like two hours, and why? Did he expect some sort of acknowledgement? Was he just trying to make a statement? That he was the one with the power here?

Yeah, I got it. Asshole.

The door bumped closed again and he was gone. She let out the breath she'd been holding. The clock on the computer told her she had twenty more minutes.

He wanted her there after closing. This wasn't spontaneous; her boss had a plan.


Her normal end-of-day tasks came and went in a disjointed blur. She fumbled the roll of paper for the credit card machine onto the floor. The bag ripped when she was trying to empty the little wastebasket they kept under the counter. She kept putting in the wrong password for the scheduling software.

When Jonah hit the timeclock, she almost followed him. Habits meant safety, and by God, did she need some now. Bill coming in the front door just then and flipping the sign to 'CLOSED' yanked her back to grim reality.

"See you guys," Jonah said. He was through the door, heading for his car.

The lock to the front clacked shut. Bill turned to face her.

... after we lock up.

Christina swallowed.

Why did he always look at her like that? Like he wanted to say something but made himself clamp down instead. Those eyes of his were dark with she-didn't-know-what and his fists clenched and released.

He stepped in her direction. Past her. Opened the door to the back and held it.

"Come on."

Fuck. You don't have to. Just leave. Don't come back.

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