They sat on the floor; cuddled together, drowning in the plush, downy, white carpet, content to be nestled in front of a roaring fire. His head was in her lap; her fingers tunneled through his rich, dark hair while he smiled dreamily at his beautiful, young wife.
“I love you, Riley.”
“I love you too, Caelan.” She returned his warm smile.
The two had been married less than thirty-six hours before in a little chapel near Riley’s parents’ home. But right now, they were far, far away from her parents. They were far, far away from everyone and everything, snuggled in a tiny cabin in the mountains, in a small town that Riley couldn’t remember the name of, but knew it was a place she would never forget. She and Caelan were on their honeymoon.
Riley tucked her long, curly, black locks behind her ears and leaned over to give her new husband a tender kiss. As her tongue danced in his mouth, her wandering hand crept down his chest, over his belly and underneath his plaid boxer pants.
Caelan smiled into the kiss as his wife’s searching fingers found their goal. “You ready for more, already?” he mumbled against her lips. “My, my . . . I do know how to pick ‘em.”
Riley giggled as Caelan reached for her. She pulled out of his reach and stood, looking down at the man she loved. My goodness he was gorgeous. He looked up at her with eyes as green as oak leaves in summer, and they danced with a hint of mischief. His lips were swollen from her kisses, and his skin had taken on the glow of a healthy male ready to mate . . . again. His upper body was covered by a thin white t-shirt and his long lean legs were hidden by – what Riley thought was – the most hideous boxer pants she’d ever seen. But she knew his hard, toned body as well as she knew her own, and every inch of him now belonged to her.
“Oh, you playing hard to get, now?” Caelan crouched into tackle position and lunged playfully at his wife, knocking them both onto the huge, deep-cushioned sofa. Pinning Riley effortlessly, he rained nibbling kisses all over her face and neck while she wriggled and giggled beneath him.
“Stop, Caelan!” she shouted as she turned pink with laughter. “Stop!” she tried again, “I want to play a game.”
“Mmm, I’m playing, I’m playing,” he murmured as his nipping kisses turned gentle and lethargic against Riley’s energized skin.
“No, silly.” She pushed teasingly against his shoulders. “A different kind of game.”
Caelan relented and sighed heavily. “Do I have to move from this spot?”
Riley glanced up and down the sofa, and a grin slowly spread from one rosy cheek to the other. She shook her head. “Nope.”
“Okay, so what might this game involve?”
“Well, bondage, for one…” She wiggled her eyebrows.
Caelan’s interest piqued. “Are we bonding you or me?”
“You first.” She kissed the tip of his nose. “Then me.”
He grinned. “Ah, but I am a chivalrous man and chivalrous men always let ladies go first.”
“Not this time, pal. My game, my rules, and I say you go first. Now let me up so we can get started.”
Caelan considered for a moment, then shrugged and pushed himself up off of his wife. “So, exactly what kind of bondage game am I getting myself into?” he called to Riley as she walked into the nearby bedroom. He was a bit skeptical of Riley’s newfound interest in bondage games. They’d dated for almost a year and a half before getting married and never once did she suggest any type of games such as this. Not that he was complaining. Riley was awesome in the sack, and Caelan was hoping something like this would take their love-making to the next level. God, he married a jewel.
“It’s a how-well-do-you-know-your-spouse game,” Riley explained as she re-emerged from the bedroom carrying what looked like very long, silk, black ties. She had secreted them into her luggage bag by chance this very special occasion might happen.
Caelan’s enthusiasm deflated at her words. He rolled his eyes and nearly pouted. “C’mon, Riley. We’re married now. I don’t wanna play any lame get-to-know-you kind of dating game.”
She stood in front of him and tsk-tsked, wagging a perfectly manicured finger. “I married such a baby. It’s not a dating game, ace. It’s a how-well-do-you-know-your-spouse game. Get it straight. It’ll be fun.” She leaned over and pressed her lips against his. “Trust me.” She smiled brilliantly. “Now, assume the position,” Riley said as she pushed against his chest. “Lay down on your back, hands above your head.”
Caelan hesitantly complied, and studied Riley carefully as she tethered his hands to the end of the sofa. Her slight frame was clad in a thin, silky, pink robe. She had milky, pale skin that Caelan knew from experience was petal-soft. As she continued her task, she leaned over his head and he noticed the soft fire-light glinted strikingly over her jet-black hair as it brushed his cheek. Her eyes - the color of golden whiskey – twinkled lovingly as they locked with his, before she moved to the foot of the sofa to secure his ankles. His heart filled to bursting with love for this woman. And she was his.
“There now,” she said, straightening to look down at her captive. “Not going anywhere, are you?”
Caelan pulled at his bonds to test their strength. No, he thought, he wasn’t going anywhere.
“Okie dokie, pal. Let the fun begin!” Riley climbed onto the sofa and stood behind her husband. Then slowly and carefully she inched her way down until she was seated beneath him, his body stretched taut over her lap. Her eyes scanned the length of him as her tongue grazed her bottom lip.
Watching her, Caelan felt his groin tighten. He swallowed, Adam’s apple bobbing. “So, now what?”
Riley jolted as if she’d been in a trance. “Huh? Oh. Okay, now I start to ask you some questions about me.” She placed her right hand onto his abdomen and slowly brushed her fingertips across the thin cotton of his t-shirt.
Caelan kept his eyes on Riley’s hand. “And?”
“And,“ she continued, “If you get the question right, you get a kiss.” She smiled charmingly.
The movement of Riley’s hand traveling up and down Caelan’s midsection never left his sight. He swallowed hard again. “And if I answer the question wrong…?” His eyes darted from Riley’s hand to her face and back again.
Riley reached her agile fingers underneath Caelan’s t-shirt and stroked the bare, smooth skin of his stomach. “If you get it wrong… you get tickled.”
Those were the words Caelan dreaded to hear. He redoubled his efforts to pull at his bonds. “Riley, baby, please, I don’t want to play this game. I don’t—“
“Shh…” She pressed a finger to his lips. “It’s too late now, ace. You’re mine. Mine.“ She lovingly touched his cheek. “You love me; I know you do, but let’s see how well you know me.”
Caelan couldn’t believe he let her tie him down. What was he thinking? How did he get into this mess? And why, oh why, was he still turned on? His wife’s feathery touch could be part of it, but he didn’t like being helpless and he sure as hell didn’t like being tickled… did he?
“For the rules,“ Riley continued, “it’s already been established that if you get the question right, you get a kiss – a reward, so-to-speak; get it wrong, you get tickled. The harder the question, the greater the reward if you get it right; the longer you get tickled if you get it wrong.”
An involuntary whimper slipped past Caelan’s lips. God, he hoped he knew his wife as well as he thought he did.
“Ready, Caelan?” Riley’s nimble fingers followed the thin trail of hair that sprouted on Caelan’s lower belly, slid them beneath the spandex of his boxers, and made sure to tangle them in his short-n-curlies. Caelan felt himself harden.
“Okay,” came his husky reply. How bad could this really be, he thought?
“How old am I?”
“Very good.” She leaned over and kissed him. “How old do I tell people I am?”
Caelan smiled in spite of it all. “Twenty-five.”
“Good boy.” She kissed him again. “Where did I graduate high school?”
Caelan felt his chest tighten in a moment of panic. “Umm, uh…” he fumbled, “Cedar Crest! Cedar Crest High.” He sighed, relieved as her lips met his once again.
“What was my first choice as major in college?”
Christ. Christ! Did he know that? She never told him that, did she? Jesus, he’d met her long after they both graduated college. How was he supposed to know what the hell her first choice as major was?
“Five seconds,” Riley started counting backwards.
“God! Um… Anthropology?”
An evil grin spread onto Riley’s face.
“Geology? Criminology? Shit! Something-ology!” Caelan’s heart sank as Riley slowly shook her head.
“Wrong, ace. That’s one minute of tickle torture for you.” Smiling broadly, she gently pulled Caelan’s t-shirt up to about mid-ribcage and then pushed the top of his boxers down to expose his hipbones and a tuff of pubic hair. For a moment, she was transfixed by the sight of his abdomen rising and falling with his erratic breathing.
“Riley.” Last chance to beg, Caelan thought. “Riley, please—“
“One minute starting right… now!”
Riley’s fingers dug into Caelan’s stomach muscles without a trace of mercy. Her nimble fingers wriggled and prodded from abs to belly to sides and back again. She delighted in the feel of her mate’s smooth, warm skin as she sat beneath him, playing him like a piano. All the while, Caelan thrashed and arched and laughed like he’d never laughed before. He strained at the bonds with all his might; he twisted and turned, trying to hide his sensitive stomach from the onslaught of his wife’s torture. But still she tickled… and tickled.
And then she stopped. Thank God she stopped. Caelan sucked air in and out of his lungs like they were to be his last breaths. His eyes had watered and his bare skin tingled with the after-effects of Riley’s torturous touch. He’d never been tickled so ruthlessly in his life. And he wasn’t quite sure if he liked it.
“Next question.” Riley was moving on in the game as if nothing at all had just happened. She kept both hands on Caelan’s naked stomach, drumming her fingers, impatient for the next round.
Caelan’s eyes bulged. “Baby, please, a break? I need to catch my breath. I need—“
“What you need to do, my love, is answer this next question correctly. Then you can catch your breath. What is my favorite article of clothing?”
Oh, dear Lord! “I don’t—“ Caelan stopped himself. He had to know. He had to! Think, think! Then, eureka! “Your old Red Sox sweatshirt!” he nearly shouted. But the tickle-free, reward kiss never came as Riley’s hands slid under his shirt, up to his underarms. Caelan couldn’t chase away the panic. He pulled and twisted as he pleaded, “You love your Red Sox sweatshirt! You love it! No… please… don’t.”
“Yes, I love to wear it,” she replied as her fingers inched inside Caelan’s sensitive hollows. “But not as much as I love to wear your craggy, worn alumni sweatshirt.”
Caelan squeezed his eyes shut and whimpered at his own stupidity. Riley had worn his freaking alumni sweatshirt every time they had a day to relax and cuddle. He remembered, now, how often she wore it, but he couldn’t know that it was her favorite. Jeez! What was he, psychic?
“Five minutes of tickling,” she barely got the words out before she attacked his underarms and giggled while her lover writhed and screamed and pleaded for mercy. His entire upper body was her playground, and Riley intended to explore every inch of it. She played him, aroused by the sound of her new husband’s wails of laughter. God, she wished she could tickle him forever.
When the five traumatizing minutes finally passed, Caelan seemed ready to cry for his freedom. “I don’t want to play anymore, Riley.” He sniffed. “I can’t stand to—I can’t stand—“
“Hush now, Caelan. We’ve only just begun. You wouldn’t want to spoil my fun, not on our honeymoon, now, would you?”
So she was going to pull the guilt trip routine. Fine, fine. Let her have her fun. He could take it. At least, that’s what Caelan kept telling himself. He took a deep breath and boldly continued the game. “Next question,” he whispered.
Riley grinned, happy he’d submitted to her cajoling. “Where was the first place we made love?”
A breath of relief whooshed out of Caelan’s lungs. That answer, he knew. “In the foyer of your house.”
“Ah-ah-ah.” Riley’s hands began swirling around his stomach again. “You fucked me against the wall in the foyer, ace. But we made love for the first time in your apartment on your waterbed.” She actually snickered at him.
“No fair! That was a trick question!”
“Hmm, you’re right. It was kinda tricky and it was definitely hard. Hard questions equal hard consequences.” Riley wrapped her hands around Caelan’s waist just above his hips. Her thumbs rested snuggly into the creases where his lower belly met the top of his thighs. “Fifteen minutes of tickling.”
“Fifteen?” Caelan shrilled. “Riley– Ahhhhh!”
Caelan screamed as his body bowed into a tight bridge as Riley screwed her thumbs into the creases, burrowing and twisting them mercilessly into susceptible, yielding flesh. Her fingers joined in on the dancing and Caelan’s screaming laughter rose to a higher pitch. She kept a firm grip on his thrashing body, never letting up, never stopping the mind-numbing, body-spasming tickling.
Her husband’s face turned beet red, and his endless laughter continued as she moved her fingers north and into his vulnerable navel. “My goodness, my baby is so ticklish!”
“Rile--, Rileeeeee!” he screamed. “No… no…” he stuttered between fits of laughter, “No more!”
But his wife continued – what seemed to Caelan – the most agonizing and exhausting torture he’d ever endured. The tips of her questing fingers scrabbled and scraped and dug into the taught muscles of his midsection. He’d lost all control of the movement of his body as it spasmed and contorted to try to free itself from the devilishly ticklish touches. His laughter was so forceful, it almost hurt.
At last, Caelan felt Riley’s hands leave his aching body. His breath came in short gasps now. His head lolled back and forth on the sofa cushion as he mumbled and coughed.
“What, baby?” Riley leaned forward and pressed her cheek to his. “What are you saying?”
“No more. I can’t take anymore. I—“ He coughed. “God, Riley, I’m begging you. I’ll do anything. Anything!” Caelan strained at his bonds. He just wanted to put his arms around his wife. “Just no more. No more tickling,” he wheezed.
Riley looked into Caelan’s deep, green eyes and ran her fingers through his coarse, dark hair. “Just a couple more questions, honey. You can do it,” she praised when Caelan shook his head. She kissed his forehead and smiled. “For luck.”
Caelan’s mouth formed a silent “no” as he continued to shake his head.
“Now,” She sat up quickly. “Let me think.” She patted her bottom lip with her index finger, eyes toward the ceiling, deep in thought. “Ah-hah! Here’s a good one." She assured, turning her eyes down to look at Caelan. “Where was I born?”
Her captive’s face slackened and his eyes closed slowly. “I believe it was Ireland; Dublin, Ireland.”
“I knew my Caelan would remember! Now, for your reward…”
She leaned in close and worried her lips against his, but Caelan was more aware that one of her hands had found its way beneath his boxer pants again and was busily gripping and rubbing his member. He moaned as her tongue licked into his mouth, and her hand continued to move faster and firmer.
“Love you,“ he groaned.
“I know, baby.”
Just when Caelan thought he’d find blissful release, Riley removed her hand and her kisses ceased.
Now Caelan’s groan was that of frustration. “Finish me, baby,” he pleaded. His hips pistoned rhythmically beyond his power of control. “Please.”
“Next question, Caelan. Answer the next question and I’ll finish you.”
He whimpered for relief. God, just one more question; one more, he repeated over and over in his mind. Then he saw the gleam in his wife’s eyes. Oh, Jesus, he thought. Oh, Jesus.
“How long can you be tickled until you pass out?” were the words that rang hollowly in his ears.
Caelan didn’t groan, didn’t moan, didn’t complain that the question had nothing whatsoever to do with his wife or how well he knew her; he didn’t even make a sound. He simply resigned himself to the inevitable. He’d take it like a man. He’d wanted her to finish him… and his Riley - his lovely new wife - was going to do just that.
“I didn’t hear an answer to my question, Caelan. Oh well, then. I guess I’ll just have to find out the answer to it all by myself, then.”
Her fingers posed onto his ribcage. Caelan braced for the attack. Riley licked her lips and leaned in to kiss her mates quivering belly. Then her eyes locked with his. “This has been the best honeymoon ever.” And the torture resumed.
Forty-five minutes later, the tiny cabin in the mountains was as quiet as a mouse. All Riley could hear was the simmering crackle of the fire – now reduced to only red-hot coals - and her slumbering husband’s soft breathing. Her baby had finally passed out. She’d finished him… both ways. He’d lost consciousness in the throes of agonizing bliss.
Her once tormenting fingers were now gentle and tender as she freed her lover from his bindings. She fluttered her lips over his closed eyelids, his nose, his mouth, then gently rubbed her cheek against his.
“You did good, baby,” she whispered in his ear. “Thank you for playing the game. Remember, when you wake up, it’s only fair that I take my turn. You can find out how much I really know about you. But one thing’s for certain,” she said as she snuggled down next to him, burrowing into his warmth, “I know for a fact that you sure are ticklish.”