tagBDSMMine, All Mine Ch. 04

Mine, All Mine Ch. 04

byDeathAndTaxes©

Author's Note: Hey awesome readers! This is the last chapter of Mine, All Mine. If you haven't read the other chapters, might want to head to my profile and do that first so you know what's going on. Hope the ending is as fun for you to read as it was for me to write! Thanks for reading. :)

Text copyright © 2016 Eris Adderly


*****

Part IV: Mother Lode

Taylor felt like the walking was good for her. That's why she parked Walt as far out in the back forty as she could manage. Besides, hiking through the campus parking lots in the summer sun went a long way to thawing out her bones from the last hour and a half in the freezing lecture hall.

Her laptop bag bounced against her thigh as she went, while her brain sorted plans for the weekend.

She'd have to get the cameras, review the footage, document it, compile the data ... Somewhere in there a shower and a grocery run would need to happen, and she was going to have to force herself not to procrastinate on that. Sometimes the necessities of life were such a pain in the ass.

Her phone vibrated in her back pocket; the extended vibe that meant a call and not a text. She reached back to grab it.

Ha HA! Didn't scare me today, you little fucker.

The caller ID showed her lab buddy, Reina Ochoa.

"Hey Reina," she answered, puffed with accomplishment that her ringer hadn't given her a heart attack today.

"Hey Taylor, how's it going?" It sounded like she was driving.

"Not bad, not bad," she said, nearing the Jeep. "What's up?"

"Listen," Reina said, "I'm really sorry but I'm not going to be able to help you this weekend."

Aw, come on. Seriously?

"Why, what's going on?"

Reina made some long-suffering noise on the other end of the line. "I got a call last night that my grandma fell. Apparently she fractured a hip. And her hands and arms are beat up real bad."

"Oh my god, is she gonna be OK?" She stopped alongside Walt's green sides, shrugged off her bag.

"Probably." Reina sounded resigned. "But either way, I'm the closest relative right now with a car, so I'm driving up to Lubbock as we speak."

"Wow."

"Yeah. So I'm probably going to be up here for at least a week. I feel really bad. I just ... there's nothing else I can do."

Taylor's jaunty mood sank, but she had to say the right thing.

"No, no. You gotta help your family. I totally understand."

"If you want, I could give you Erin's number. She might be down to go check out the bats."

Taylor knew Erin even less than she did Reina.

"Um, I think I'll be OK. I'll figure something out."

"OK," Reina said. "Well, again, I'm really sorry. Nothing ever goes down the way you expect it, no?"

"You got that right," Taylor said, marveling to herself at how much of her life that observation applied to at the moment. "OK, well. Good luck with your grandma."

"Thanks. Good luck with the bats."

"Haha, right? OK, talk to you later."

"Later."

Taylor stared at her phone, her backside leaning against the driver's seat of the Jeep.

Now what?

She'd wrangled Reina into making the return trip to the mine with her because even though she and Ian had been trying to act like everything was normal, the idea of going back with him to ground zero made her toes curl. And in a cringe-y way, not in a good sexy way.

But now who was she going to ask? She needed those cameras back this weekend. The due date on this project was coming up fast and there still had to be time for data sifting.

Of course she had plenty of acquaintance-level friends, and perhaps Reina had been the closest of them, but Taylor wanted help at the mine from someone she knew well enough to at least be sure they wouldn't do anything stupid. A person she trusted to catch her when she had to jump back down off that ledge, for example. She excluded herself from this criteria, as she'd already proven unable to meet it. Though bro-jobs probably didn't count for the sort of carelessness she was hoping to avoid.

And her inner circle of friends had shrunk by one with the recent ugly departure of Amy. Even Chelsea and Nick were shunning Ian's ex for the crap she'd pulled.

Out of the three left, besides herself, again there was only one option. One reliable, helpful, sanity-shredding option.

You can't just keep it together, woman? Not for half an afternoon?

She could act like an adult, couldn't she? One day of poor choices didn't necessitate a second. And by now, Taylor was sure, the last traces of spontaneity had drained from her system.

Look. You need help. You know where to get it. No more tomfoolery.

He answered on the fourth ring, just when she thought she'd get a reprieve and it would go to voicemail.

"What up, Sharpie?"

"Stuff," she said, already gritting her teeth to ask the favor. "Ian, what are you doing on Saturday?"

* * * *

Taylor's boot slid in the dirt and a shower of small rocks clattered down and away toward the black, open pit a few feet behind her. She swore and swiveled the tread under her toes back and forth a few times, carving out another flat spot and reached again, stretching her arm and fingertips to the limit.

The camera she'd nestled in above the wooden tunnel crossbeam touched her hand and she gave her fingers a flick, toppling it forward into a fumbling mid-air catch. With a zip and a tuck, she had it stowed in its padded little case and then further stashed inside her backpack.

On one hand, collecting the cameras seemed to go a lot faster than setting them up. Just grab, make sure they were powered down, and pack. For some reason, though, every part of the process felt like it took an excruciating amount of time, from the drive, to the descent into the mine, to picking their way back to the camera sites. It was just another variation, she thought, on what appeared to be the theme of the day.

Everything was going bass-ackwards.

She squatted and sat down to brood, her back to the tunnel wall, while she waited for him to return. They'd agreed to meet back here, regardless of who finished first. Taylor hated to admit it, but at this point, she might have been better off if she'd just taken Erin's number from Reina. It was all just too uncomfortable.

On the drive to the mine, their normal banter must have had better things to do, because it left the shop in the care of awkward small-talk. Taylor hated small-talk the way cats hate it when anthropomorphizing owners try to put little outfits on them. It felt wrong and unnatural.

She'd attempted to give Ian a friendly hard time about his unprecedented decision to forgo shorts for pants today, but the role of his usual smart-assery had been recast with something sober and irritable. All she'd managed to get out of him was some grumbling about mesquite bushes and thorns and then a dozen or so more miles of silence. Broaching the topic of his job had yielded nothing of any more substance. It felt just like their text conversations, only in person, and with no helpful emojis.

The first trip to the mine had been an adventure; this one was a chore. Ian had even volunteered to retrieve one of the roost cameras, under the auspices of efficiency, but Taylor was beginning to suspect it had been an excuse to be away from her.

If he has such a problem with it, why did he agree to come out again in the first place?

Because he was Ian. He could no more resist a friend needing help than a McFly could back down from someone calling him chicken. She couldn't help but wonder whether she'd been willfully naïve in asking him this time. Would another reasonable person have been able to predict the stormy vibe of this whole outing?

Grit crunched under tennis shoes from further down the tunnel, and a light bobbed into view. Taylor stood, dusting off her hands. Just one camera left, and they'd agreed she should do the ledge again because the stronger person needed to boost and catch.

"Here you go," Ian said, handing her the camera he'd brought back. It joined its fellow in her pack.

"All right," she said, unable to help the way she matched his Spartan tones, "it's just the ledge and then we're done."

"OK."

OK. That was all Taylor was going to get out of him, she already knew. He'd said they were still friends, that day she'd shown up at his apartment, but this sure as hell didn't feel like it.

She moved past him back up the tunnel, her head lamp turning the void into earthen walls. Their footsteps were the only part of them making any attempt to be together.

* * * *

"How long are you going to be?"

Taylor hauled herself the rest of the way onto the ledge and got her feet under her.

"God damn, man, I just got up here," she said, coming to a careful stand to avoid whacking her head on the ceiling. "I can't imagine that long, just give me a few minutes."

The fuck is his problem? This is less work than the first time.

The crankiness in her voice sounded like her mother and she made a face no one could see. Any number of disturbing new precedents were establishing themselves today. Not the least of which was that fact that Ian Killbourne was starting to get on her nerves.

She palmed her way along the rock wall at the back of the ledge, ducking in a few places to save her scalp as she made her way over to the last camera.

A rhythmic plastic tapping caught her attention as she went, and Taylor looked down.

Oh for—

She knelt to tie her boot, entirely unwilling to hover as a ghost over her mom's shoulder, reading a headline like: College Student Trips On Shoelace, Plummets To Death in Friendzone.

"Taylor," Ian's voice called up, impatient "what are you doing?"

"I'm getting this fucking camera!"

Brisk movements took her the last few feet and she snatched the device down, flexible tripod and all, from the tiny outcropping where she'd left it. They were snapping at one another now, and if that wasn't a signal to wrap things up, Taylor didn't know what was.

This is ridiculous. Why's he being such a dick?

She had to force herself to take careful steps back to the edge where he'd boosted her up, her ego working double-time to make her see red and be careless.

"All right," she said, crouching in place at last, "are you ready?"

"I've been ready. Let's go."

Taylor ground her teeth. "All right. One. Two. Three!"

She pushed herself over and dropped. Like last time, Ian's hands caught her waist, only now the grip was harsher than she remembered. He grunted.

"Damn. Jump down, not on." With a shake of his head, he hoisted his own pack and turned to leave. Taylor felt her cheeks get hot. Her mile-long fuse had reached an end.

"Hey," she said, adding the last of the cameras to her bag, "what's your problem today, huh?"

He'd started an aggressive hike back toward the shaft, thumbs under the straps of his backpack as though he wanted to keep his gesturing in check.

"My problem," he said, without looking back, "is that there's no way for me to be here without thinking about what happened on our last trip. And it's really kind of pissing me off."

You don't say?

"You're pissed off?" They both ducked under a low ceiling, but kept moving. Brighter light promised escape ahead, but contentious words pulled at their feet like sucking mud.

"Yeah. I am. I mean, I'm not saying it's totally your fault, or anything. You know? I realize I could've said 'no'. But I didn't. And the fact is: that blow-job was a fucking tease."

"Excuse me?" She'd almost caught up, and wanted to grab onto his pack and whip him around to face her.

"No, that's not what I mean," he said, the edge on his tone dulling ever-so-slightly. "I don't mean you were teasing me, per se. I just mean—"he stopped and turned halfway back, trying to make thoughts into words—"it was like a taste of something I'm never going to have. Like ... that is just beyond the realm of things that are possible for me." One hand had come out to flail his frustrations.

Somehow, Taylor couldn't right her frown as he turned and started walking again. "Hey. The only reason that sort of thing is 'outside the realm' for you, is you. I'm not the one who stayed with someone who wouldn't blow me for four years."

She winced at herself. Jesus, you're being just as bad as he was. Worse, maybe.

"And I'm telling you like I told you before," he said as they stepped at last into the falling sunlight of the shaft, "that wasn't the only thing going on between me and her. There were other issues."

"What other issues?" She let her pack down into the dirt and fisted her hands on her hips, exasperation burning on high now that they were a sneeze away from flat-out yelling at each other.

The situation was progressing from bad to worse. The idea of remaining 'just friends' was gut-twisting enough, and it was a turmoil she'd brought upon herself. Now they were riling each other up in an escalating feedback loop of pointed words and harsh tones. 'Friends' was whipping past like a missed freeway offramp.

"Are we really going to have this conversation right now?" His eyebrows threatened to leave his forehead. Taylor folded her arms and looked at him with her own obstinate stare.

"All right," he said, the words coming clipped. "Fine."

His backpack joined hers on the ground. For a long moment, those green eyes of his bored into hers, challenging her to back down in her quest for details. When she didn't, he lifted his chin in fortification, ready to take no shit if she decided to start judging.

"My main problem I had going on with Amy was that I couldn't be myself around her. In the bedroom. And I didn't think I was ever going to be able to. And right up until she pulled that shit there at the end, I was really killing myself over whether I was going to just end it myself. And then you came along and—"

"Wait, what does that mean, you couldn't be yourself around her?"

His forehead went into his hand, and she could see he was reliving old arguments. "I mean, I talked to her about it. A whole bunch of times. I was trying to explain it, but ... every time she'd either laugh it off or act like I was being some sort of misogynist freak. I just ... gave up, after a while."

Ian's beating-around-the-bush levels had flown several thousand feet north of her tolerances. Taylor wanted to deck him.

"Ian, what is 'it'? What is the big fucking deal here?"

He drew himself up, bracing for impact.

"I wanted to be her Dom." Her eyebrows tried to leave and join the rest of her hair, but he continued. "I wanted to have that ... relationship. At least in the bedroom, anyway. Not everywhere else." He raked a hand over the top of his head. "But she just didn't get it. And it's not like you can keep asking someone to do something that's not in their nature to do. But the more I figure out about myself, the more I realize it's in my nature. It's not just what I want to do, it's what I am."

For a half a second, Taylor's pupils dilated. Then laughter sputtered up out of her throat.

"You? A Dom?" She almost choked. "Give me a break! You nearly had a heart attack when I wanted to blow you. Who are you taking charge of?"

"I'm serious, Taylor."

The set of his jaw should have been warning enough, but her own amusement blinded her.

"Shut the fuck up," she said, shaking her head in amused dismissal as she reached down for her bag. "You're not anybody's Dom."

A circle of fingers around her left bicep had a different opinion.

Her eyes made the line. From shoes up to the rare pants, from the angle of a thigh up to the hem of black t-shirt. Arm, shoulder, jaw. Green eyes.

Taylor saw it.

The whump of her very first heartbeat could not have been more powerful.

It wasn't unkind, that look. Rather, fierce. Determined. Hungry.

A barrage of images assaulted her at once. Memories of videos watched, fantasies explored. She both did and did not believe it at the same time, past and present evidence conflicting.

The beautiful Ian Killbourne was staring down at her as if he intended to pull her soul up from the very earth and devour it piece by savory piece, and the only flimsy barrier in his way was permission.

This is either going to be the best or worst thing that's ever happened, right now.

Taylor met his eyes. In a voice that would have been inaudible anywhere else but the stillness of the mine, she offered it.

"I fucking dare you."

Some sleeping thing crackled to life at those four little words. Rumbled across his features in a distant thunder. Plea and challenge both filled the silent space until there was no room to breathe.

The gripping hand stole down to her wrist and in two strides they were back at the beam.

In a dizzying flash of motion, her other wrist joined its twin, pinned to the timber overhead, and Ian was in her space, looming. The pace of her heartbeat exploded out of the gate and she became conscious of the way her raised arms made her breasts jut against the wall of his chest.

Oh god. Oh my god.

His eyes were on her mouth, a predator waiting for the first hint of movement before a strike. She swallowed, wet her lips, and he descended.

The infamous New Year's kiss was a chaste, familial peck when it tried to shine its light against this. The flare of heat between her legs hit her like a wave from behind, and was about as wet. If he hadn't been holding her upright, she might have collapsed.

This wasn't a kiss. It was a reckoning.

They were two starving beasts, fighting over scraps. No. Over the only feast they'd seen in winter after long, lean winter. And one of them was out to stake his claim as alpha.

His mouth was on hers, consuming, subduing. The pressure from his grip on her wrists had her wanting to expose her throat, to grind on his thigh where it intruded between hers.

And then, amid demands from his tongue and teeth, there was the unmistakable throb of hard dick at her hip.

Oh fuuuu ...

"You're right, Taylor." He broke from the kiss, leaving her drowning in dangerous eyes. "I'm not anybody's Dom. Yet."

The ground fell away. He shifted his weight from one leg to the other and the tangle of their legs slipped together enough to make her swallow a groan. His free hand came to rest at her throat, the thumb in that fluttering hollow. Ian Killbourne's lips closed the distance again to graze his next words over hers.

"Would you like me to show you?"

Yes. Everything.

She could manage only the tiniest of nods. When several years of repressed fantasies showed up at her doorstep, her tongue spent a minute trying to un-forget how to form words.

His face slid alongside hers, cheekbones whispering past, their upper bodies crowding closer.

"Out loud, Taylor." His quiet insistence fell hot on her ear.

She wet her lips with her tongue. Decided.

"Yes. Ian."

The first word was a response, but the second was pure desperation. Both he lapped up with a growl and another sobriety-banishing kiss.

When he drew back this time, he did it fully, releasing her wrists and parting their bodies with a backward step. She could see the rise and fall of his chest and was sure her own was faring no better.

This is happening.

"Safeword." He was dead serious. Her heart leapt into her throat.

Oh god, oh fuck. Happening.

Her eyes flicked from him, to the walls of the shaft, scrambling. She looked down at herself, lifted her hands. The gold bracelet and its charm caught the light on her still-tingling wrist.

"Pineapple."

She received a single nod to her blurted safeword, and it was her only warning before Ian made the gap between them disappear again. This time his hands found the small of her back. For whatever reason, even more than the kiss, the intimacy budding now felt volatile. On a hair-trigger, a torrent of lust could come rushing down and bury them both; molten, devastating.

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