Van Zant Siblings 5: Shibari Presence

Roxy Harte

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When Alexandra’s sister calls her fiancé in the middle of the night frantically in need of a Shibari Master, Alexandra learns yet another secret about Gabe and falls headfirst into his kinky past. Not realizing the emotional tu...
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When Alexandra’s sister calls her fiancé in the middle of the night frantically in need of a Shibari Master, Alexandra learns yet another secret about Gabe and falls headfirst into his kinky past. Not realizing the emotional turmoil she is about to propel herself into, Alexandra insists Gabe be Jessica’s rigger since he learned Shibari from Jessica's husband and has bound Jessica in the past.

Gabe isn’t thrilled with Alexandra’s plan, since his and Jessica’s shared secrets go farther back than anyone realizes. Knowing it’s about to get real, he brings in a back-up rope master, Francisco Emanuel to top Jessica. With Alexandra’s high-risk pregnancy and bipolar disorder leaving her teetering closer and closer to the abyss, he fears wrapping her sister in his rope may be the last straw.

Alexandra has her own ideas, demanding Gabe not only use the opportunity to share his love of Shibari with her but demands he dominate her as well. Will their relationship implode as secret after secret comes out? Or is their ménage too tightly bound for anyone to fall?

Excerpt
Gabe left the bedroom and stood in the hallway. “Jessica, slow down. What’s the favor? I can’t agree to a favor until I know what you want me to do.”

He paced the length of the hall while she begged, “Please, Gabe, I’ve never asked for anything over the years.”

“Now I’m worried. If you don’t want me on the next plane to North Carolina, you better spill your guts. What is going on?”

“I don’t know how after all these years, but I was triggered. I need to be bound,” she replied, aggravation heavy in her voice. “Do you know any rope masters who live in North Carolina who would be willing to pop over to the beach house and tie a complete stranger up? But no extras, no sex, just rope, that would have to be the agreement.”

“A stranger? Have you completely lost your mind?” Gabe demanded.

She shouted back, “I know there are ethical people you trust. Just pick one you would trust with Alexandra.”

That’s the problem. I wouldn’t trust anyone with her. This is such a bad idea. Yelling at her across the ocean isn’t making the situation better.

“When do you want this event scheduled for?” he asked softly, and he was glad when she answered in a calm voice.

“It doesn’t matter. I just need at least twenty-four hours’ notice of when he will be arriving because I’ll need to make arrangements for Rebekah and Jeremy Jr. to spend the night somewhere.”

“Honestly, off the top of my head, I’m drawing a blank. I haven’t been in the active scene for a few years, but if you can give me a few days…” He closed his eyes, hoping she didn’t hear the lie on his lips.

“The weekend. Please find someone by the weekend.”

“Nothing like short notice,” he teased.

“I don’t want to change my mind. I don’t want to chicken out. There’s been no one since Jeremy.”

“No one since Jeremy because you couldn’t find anyone who understands the fetish?”

“No one since Jeremy because there has been no one since Jeremy, and now there is a man who I’d really like to have sex of any kind with, regular or kinky, but no, he said he can’t be my first after Jeremy. He’s being a complete asshole. He doesn’t want to be a rebound.”

“Jesus.” Gabe swallowed hard, connecting the dots in his mind. “You haven’t had sex, any kind of sex, since Jeremy, and you want your first encounter to be a kinbaku session with a complete stranger? Did you ever think maybe a round or two of good old-fashioned missionary with a normal vanilla guy might be a better way to start out?”

“Did you not hear a fucking word I said? I found a normal vanilla guy, Joe, my boss, he triggered me, and when I made an advance on him, he rejected me. Do you understand I see him every fucking day?”

“I think you should wait a few days, if you still feel the same way—”

“Fuck it, Gabe; there’s a fetish site online. I’ll just post an ad.”

“Goddamn it! You’ll do no such thing!” he shouted into the phone. If she didn’t have his complete attention before, she had it in spades now. He ran his hand through his hair, having no idea what to say. He pushed his forehead against the wall and closed his eyes, reining in the emotion suddenly riding him hard. “I’m sorry I yelled at you. Please don’t cry.

“Seriously? Damn it, sweetheart, you’re killing me.” He turned to pace the opposite way and saw Alexandra holding on to the door jam and seething. He spoke softly to Jessica. “I’m worried. Impulse leads to cancellation, and if I make the appointment, you better be absolutely certain you are willing to go through with it. Don’t do anything rash; do not take out an ad. It will take a few days, but I swear I will find you someone.”

He ended the call and met Alexandra’s gaze.

“I swear I can explain.” He tried to figure out how much she’d heard so he could give her an explanation that made sense because the conversation he’d just had really didn’t. He exhaled as he strode forward.

Alexandra went back into the bedroom, and he followed close behind. She turned on him. “Who the fuck is ‘sweetheart’?”

“You should sit down.”

“Jesus, Gabe.” Conor shook his head as he molded behind Alexandra’s back and rubbed her shoulders. He whispered against her face. “Doctor’s orders were to stay in bed.”

“It was your sister.”

“Jessica? What’s wrong? What happened? Is she all right?”

“She’s fine. She asked a favor; that’s all.”

Alexandra narrowed her gaze. “A favor that required calling at five twenty in the morning?”

“It’s a little after midnight in the US. She probably isn’t even aware we’re out of the country still.”

“Fine,” she said shortly, crossing her arms. “What’s the favor?”

Gabe closed his eyes and took a deep breath. How do I explain any of this? Jessica had never called him—in all the years since Jeremy’s death—not once. “It wasn’t anything important. Let’s go back to bed and in the morning we can discuss—”

She strode toward him, poking him in the chest. Her voice was graveled with tightly reined fury. “You forget how well I know you. Don’t even think about trying to hide anything else from me, especially if it involves my family.”

He nodded. “Can we sit?”

“I’m not sitting!”

“Should I leave?” Conor asked.

“Please, stay,” Gabe said as he sat on a padded chest at the foot of the bed. “I’d like to keep this conversation from turning a bit violent.”

“Holy Mother of God, Gabe! What have you done now?” Conor asked.

“Violent, is it? You think I might get violent or you’ll get violent? Because the only thing pissing me off is your evasiveness, and the only time you’re evasive is when you’re trying to keep the secrets of the past decade hidden. So are you going to tell me you fucked my sister?”

“The answer isn’t so black and white as that, I need to explain—”

Alexandra wrapped herself in her arms, gasping. “Explain? No, no, the question’s fairly easy to answer, did you fuck my sister? Yes or no? Simple. No explaining required.”

Conor cautioned, “You’re jumping to conclusions, and your heart is racing, which means your blood pressure is going up. You have to calm down, Xandra!”

“I don’t want to calm down!” she growled.

“And I don’t want to take you back to the hospital, but you’ll give me no choice.” Conor picked Alexandra up and hauled her to the bed against her wishes. Once she was settled, he demanded, “Say what needs to be said, Gabe; delay won’t make it better, only worse.”

“Yes, Gabe, chop-chop.” Alexandra jeered. “Explain.”

“Relax, give the man a moment to explain.” Conor kissed her face and rubbed her arms.

Gabe pivoted on the chest to face her. “Jessica asked me to arrange for a shibari master to go to her house this weekend. That’s all. No big deal.”

Alexandra stared at him and after a long moment blinked.

“I’ll go through my contact list and try to find someone near North Carolina.”

The room was deathly silent. Alexandra resumed staring at him.

“Are you going to say anything?”

She didn’t speak.

Gabe moved to the bed and sat beside her, taking her hands in his. “Alexandra? Please.”

“You really don’t want me to speak right now.” She jerked her hands from his and pulled the face mask over her eyes. She lay down on her side, facing Conor with her back to Gabe.

Oh God. Gabe pushed his hand through his hair as he met Conor’s gaze. Conor shook his head and rubbed the crease between his brows.

Gabe left the bed and went over to the desk by the window. It was still hours before sunrise. He opened his laptop and started scanning through contacts, believing the sooner the task was done, the sooner life could go back to normal.

Alexandra sat up, pushed the mask up onto her forehead, and demanded, “What are you doing?”

“Scanning through contacts.”

“You didn’t tell her no?” She threw the sleep mask onto the bed.

Gabe’s mouth opened and shut. There is no right answer.

Alexandra left the bed, and even though she was wearing cotton jersey pajamas, she pulled on the matching robe. “My sister Jessica called you in the middle of the night to request you to make an arrangement with a complete stranger who will come to her house and tie her up, making her completely defenseless, and you think the correct response is to do as she asked? Are you fucking insane?”

Gabe shook his head, having no idea what to say.

She demanded shrilly, “You would risk her getting robbed blind? Raped? Killed?”

“It’s a small community; none of those things would happen.”

“You have no way to guarantee that. So tell her you couldn’t find someone.” She paced in front of him, but at least she wasn’t screaming or throwing things.

“If I don’t find her someone, she plans to take out an ad on a fetish board.”

Alexandra stopped in front of the desk. “A fetish board?”

Gabe typed and turned the screen for her to see. “This is an example of a public BDSM fetish board.”

He watched her pale, and he felt badly for showing her the very worst of the worst. Each ad was accompanied by a profile picture. Dicks and vaginas prevailed, but there were several red and bloodied backs, and a few full body shots either in bondage or submissive poses. Alexandra turned away.

“She threatened to take out an ad on one of those boards if you didn’t help her?”

“Yes,” he answered softly, turning the laptop back around.

“She’s insane,” Alexandra whispered before turning back to him. “You haven’t fucked her, but you’ve tied her up before?”

Gabe didn’t answer right away, afraid once he started revealing any part of his relationship with Jessica, he’d say too much. There was no way to explain their deep connection without exposing Jessica’s secrets, which would be unforgivable.

“Like you tied me up? You did that with my sister?”

“Not what I did with you, I swear it wasn’t like that.”

Alexandra leaned over the desk. “Exactly what was it like with my sister? Did you introduce her to shibari? Is that how she knew to call you? Of course that’s how she knew to call you. I’m not an idiot. When? When were you with her?”

She slammed her fist down on the desk. “Answer my goddamn questions!”

Gabe typed onto the computer.

“Stop ignoring me!” she shrieked.

Gabe turned the screen toward her, and she gasped, pulling the laptop closer. She breathed heavily and rapidly. Gabe immediately regretted showing her. “I was Jeremy’s student, and when I started out, occasionally Jessica was one of the people I practiced on. I told you I’ve taken photos during every session I’ve ever done. I promised you could see the lot of them. The sessions with Jessica are in files by date.”

Alexandra picked up the laptop and sank to the floor. Holding the computer in her lap, she covered her mouth and closed her eyes. The hand over her mouth was trembling.

“I swear Jeremy was always in the room when I was binding Jessica.”

Conor knelt behind her and started to take it from her.

“No! I’m not finished looking.”

He rubbed her back. “It’s enough for now. Come back to bed.”

She looked over her shoulder and met his gaze. “I’ll get back in bed if you carry the laptop there for me and let me continue going through the folders.”

Conor looked at Gabe.

“He’s already given me permission to see them. Will you carry the laptop to the bed for me or not?”

Conor nodded and lifted the case from her lap and helped her stand. Once she was settled with pillows behind her back and blankets covering her legs, he set the laptop on her thighs.

“Will you get me food?”

“Sure, what can I get you?”

“Orange juice and coffee.”

He tipped her chin to make her look at him. “No coffee; it is off the menu for the duration, and orange juice isn’t food.”

She exhaled heavily. “Is there any colcannon left?”

“Yes.”

“Colcannon, heated, and orange juice, please.”

“I’ll be right back,” Conor promised.

“And maybe some toast and jam?”

He nodded and stroked her cheek. “Are you okay?”

“I’ll be better once you feed me,” she answered, returning her gaze to the screen.

From the doorway Conor glared at Gabe, but he really wasn’t sure what Conor expected him to do. He was giving her full disclosure. That’s what she’d asked for, and he was done with secrets between them. Could the timing be any worse? Doubtful. But he had to play the hand he’d been dealt.


ALEXANDRA OPENED EACH dated folder and looked at every photo. A story of sorts was revealed by scanning through the time-stamped pictures. In the very first photos Jeremy was with Jessica. He was posing her, tying the knots, and comforting her throughout. As the sessions progressed, Gabe stepped in along with Jeremy, and it was apparent the knotted patterns became more complex. The suspended poses became more demanding, and it was obvious by her facial expressions that she was being physically and emotionally challenged. It was equally evident Jeremy’s role was protector and comforter.

Even though she felt him watching her, she was glad Gabe stayed in his chair behind the desk.

It was only in the last few folders that the pictures featured only Gabe and Jessica. In each set she wore bra and panties. In some of the more erotic poses she was wearing stilettos, and the shoes were bound to her feet in some of the suspended inverted poses. Gabe was not only tying her, but you could tell by both their expressions he was comforting her. Alexandra processed the photos as analytically as she could, but emotion was beginning to ride her hard by the time Conor returned with a tray.

She closed the laptop.

Conor handed her the bowl of warm colcannon. She whispered, “Thank you.”

He set the tray, with a carafe of hot tea, orange juice, and small plate with toast and jam, on the nightstand. “You doing okay?”

“He’s still alive, isn’t he?”

Copyright © Roxy Harte

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