“All The Queen’s Men” Info
Release Date: 15 February, 2013
Length: 27,700 words
ISBN: (Smashwords Version only) 978-1-3017-8277-2
Edited by: Emma Reynolds
Cover by: Joy Warrender
“All The Queen’s Men” Purchase Launchpad
Also available in the Fantasy Heights Season One Box Set (digital and print)
Coming soon to Audible.com
“All The Queen’s Men” Excerpt
“Spoiled rotten,” Ben muttered. “I didn’t get my own set until I’d been here a year.”
Ben took a sip from a water bottle and tossed his script onto the greenroom’s coffee table.
Amanda shrugged a non-committal shoulder in response. Her first threesome clients, Kevin and Lisa, were back. This time, they had booked the throne room set. With the entire staff spooked and scrambling to cover vacant roles, Ben would do double duty today as observer and performer.
Eric, her usual observer, was busy with Thomas. They were up to no good.
Amanda reached over to pluck a stray blond hair from Ben’s black silk shirtfront. She had become very skilled these last four days at suppressing panic to appear cool and calm, no matter what. The only time she could relax was on set, and she could hardly wait to get there.
Ben asked, “You sure there’s nothing you want to talk about?”
“Sure. You’re fine. It’s been four days since Ridley and Derek were found, and everyone’s fine. It’s a freakin’ epidemic of fine.”
“No offense, but the last time I got chatty, it didn’t end well.”
With a wry look, Ben got up and held the door for her.
Amanda peered around a column to have a look at the set. Today, everything would center on the large padded platform and the throne display. Kevin sat in the throne. Lisa perched beside him. Both were decked out in velvet finery. Kevin wore a quilted tunic with breeches and boots. Lisa wore a deep blue gown Kara had deemed too boring for Amanda to wear anymore.
Amanda’s courtesan getup was definitely not boring. The mulberry corset and bustle made her legs look miles long, and her skin a rich gold in contrast. Kara had piled her hair into a complicated curl pattern strung with pearls. She could feel one long spiral curl tickling between her shoulder blades while Ben led her to stand before the throne.
Seeing her clients up close, she picked up all their unconscious, aroused signals. Two dots of heat formed high on Amanda’s cheekbones. This was the raciest custom fantasy she had ever taken part in. Her body would provide the evening’s entertainment. According to the script’s storyline, she was a pricey acquisition from a rival kingdom. She was a symbol, a rite in a ceremony of surrender and possession.
Her clients made a show of inspecting her. When they gave Ben a signal, he unfastened the back of Amanda’s corset and stripped away the costume. Ben, who had a healthy respect for—and fear of—Kara, placed the heavy brocade fabric costume carefully upon a nearby stretch of clean rug. He returned while Amanda stepped out of beaded high-heeled slippers.
Now standing completely nude before the court, she felt the first rev of arousal. She knew her clients’ appetites, and this script was not tame. Minutes from now, she would be bound and penetrated and writhing in pleasure.
Lisa stood and came down the stairs, completely in character, looking cool and remote. She circled Amanda, eyeing her. Stopping finally, she reached out to lift the weight of Amanda’s left breast with her palm.
Lisa brushed her thumb over the nipple. Her playful, possessive gesture sent a dart of sensation to Amanda’s belly.
Lisa issued her verdict in two words. “Bind her.”
The bulk of the fantasy would play out on the padded square fitted with an eight-point restraint kit. Amanda had never been bound in anything like it before. Equal parts of excitement and nerves steamed her belly as Ben led her to the table. At its edge, he stopped to blindfold her. She wouldn’t see anything for quite some time, until much nearer the final act.
Ben next pressed something gently against her bottom lip. She opened up enough to take in a ball gag. This, too, was new to her. Had she been less familiar with Ben and her clients, she might not have been completely easy with the idea, but she understood how the couple worked. Lisa enjoyed overpowering another woman in front of her husband who was happy to do or try anything. Part of the couple’s payoff was the power they felt when they made their third come.
Blinded and silenced, Amanda turned herself over to Ben. He guided her onto the platform where she lay face up, arms over her head. The first restraint consisted of two leather cuffs with a chain between them. Ben fastened them near her elbows to keep her arms together and her breasts and belly entirely accessible. Simple wrist restraints trapped her hands.
The next set of restraints was applied just above her knees. Each cuff anchored her knees to the side, flat to the table, trapping her legs in a widely spread position. Last, Ben added ankle restraints, holding her feet fast. She couldn’t move them more than an inch in any direction. Unnerving, yes, but she also felt a powerful surge of arousal, being spread so wide open at her clients’ mercy. She knew what Kevin and Lisa were capable of, pleasure-wise. Even thinking about it, she could feel her clitoris begin to swell.
She was left in that helpless, aroused state for minutes, bound and blindfolded and silenced. She could feel her juices begin to leak from her pussy while she listened to Kevin and Lisa undress one another. Ben stayed typically silent throughout. He kept one hand on top of hers in a simple protective gesture.
Someone—Kevin, she realized—came to sit beside her on the platform. He lowered his head to suck a nipple into his mouth.
Behind the blindfold, Amanda squinched her eyes closed tight. Kevin was not gentle. The suction stung, and sent a blazing message to her already enflamed pussy. It struck her all over again that she could not stop them from doing just whatever they pleased.
Not that she hated the idea. In fact, she decided she liked it a lot when Kevin abandoned her breast to apply the tip of his tongue to her clit, taking a long lap at it, stroking her into an even higher state of arousal. His was a hard, intimate touch meant to arouse and enflame. Her back arched involuntarily, trying to prolong the contact.
She felt his touch everywhere. Clear out to her knees, up her spine. She felt the surge harden her nipples into clenched, stinging nubs. Lisa’s mouth took over to torture one tight peak, and Amanda let out a muffled squeal as fingers captured the other nipple.
Gloriously nerve-wracking, not to know what was coming next while Lisa worked hard at her nipples, and Kevin focused his attention between her legs.
He withdrew a moment later. She jumped a little when someone began to drip lube onto her navel. She could feel it running down her sides before hands began to smear it over her labia and between her buttocks.
She writhed. She couldn’t help it. Chemical fire burned along her nerve-endings, all of the sensation gathering between her legs. No hope of controlling anything. She was so aroused, she was pretty certain she would come if anyone so much as looked at her clit.
She moaned around the gag as a finger slick with lube poked into her ass. The stinging was brisk and painful at first, but her tormentor held mercifully still long enough for Amanda to adjust. The finger began to pump in and out. Small finger. Knobby knuckles. Amanda felt a boost in pleasure every time one slipped through her sphincter on its way in or out.
Definitely Lisa’s finger. Amanda knew the moment a mouth closed over the tip of her pubic bone to latch onto her clit. Such a soft mouth, sucking gently, tongue pressing against clit the way only a woman could. Playful, affectionate, in contrast to the finger now pushing deep and hard into her ass.
Amanda came. Her exposed position in the restraints along with Lisa’s skillful suction had ensured an unstoppable release. The gentle laughter against her clit didn’t help. What began as a simple orgasm raged into an inferno of ravaged, pulverizing power as Lisa, feeling Amanda’s sphincter tighten with each pulse, began to pound the finger in and out, laughing at how hard Amanda was coming.
When Amanda had hold enough of her senses again, she heard Lisa give an order. “Ben, keep her warm while we get the strap-on ready.”
Ben bent near her ear to whisper. “You’re okay?”
She nodded. Yes, she was okay. A little embarrassed at the strength of her appetites, perhaps, but otherwise fine.
Ben reached down and began to pet her clit with a fingertip, gentle up-strokes that filled her senses like passing streetlights, brightening on the way up, darkening again as the pressure momentarily lapsed.
“Your clients are completely out of control,” he said. “If you could see yourself, you would understand why.”
Maybe next time he could just inject gasoline into her veins. It was as if the orgasm had never happened. Ben had successfully sent the arousal rocketing even higher, enlisting her imagination into the fantasy.
Stroke, stroke, stroke. She began to move her hips in time with Ben’s finger, wishing he would let it dip into her pussy.
He didn’t, and she decided she hated the ball gag in those moments. Without it, she would be begging him, pleading for him to fuck her.
The stroking and the arousal lulled her out for a time. She floated on a chemical storm of wants and needs and imperatives. She only swerved back toward awareness when the cool tip of a silicon dildo pressed against her pussy lips. The strap-on. Lisa was using it on her while Ben continued to stroke lightly at her clit.
Ben leaned down to whisper again. “Ready for Kevin?”
Amanda nodded, though she felt a surge of annoyance. Relieved though she might be when Ben removed the ball gag, she wanted her hands free to be more aggressive. The blindfold needed to go, too. She wanted to see her clients.
Lisa made the most provocative sounds while thrusting with that dildo. She’d used the tandem strapless kind. Every time she thrust in, her own end would press deep into her cunt. And now Kevin got into position. He straddled Amanda’s ribs. She opened her mouth, eager and ready to take his cock. While she bobbed her chin and let him thrust through the tight O of her lips, she could feel his rhythm falter now and again. Lisa was still fucking her with the dildo. At the same time, the script called for Lisa to smear lube over Kevin’s anus and balls. Amanda could feel it every time Lisa rubbed her husband’s balls. His gasping sounds and faltering rhythm likely meant Lisa was being as rough with him as she was with that dildo.
Half lost to it all, Amanda floated in a daze of physical pleasure until Kevin warned he needed a breather. He took his cock away, and Lisa stop thrusting for a moment.
Amanda heard a couple soft gasps, and then louder ones as Lisa said, “Hang on. I want to put my fingers inside him.”
Kevin hovered above Amanda for a time. Ben took mercy and stopped stroking her clit. Either that or he was so busy watching Lisa work to stretch her husband that he forgot all about her. Entirely forgivable, Amanda conceded, though she envied his ability to watch while their clients played on and on. They plugged Kevin, who had to withdraw even longer.
“Time out,” he said. “I need cool off. Lisa’s turn.”
Amanda, feeling slightly vindictive by this point, was more than ready for the next step. Lisa removed the dildo to straddle Amanda’s face, cowgirl style. While Lisa got into position, she gave Ben another order. “Fuck her. I want to watch you fuck her while she eats my pussy.”
The request was way off script, but there was no reason for Ben to refuse. He reached back to take hold of her hands once more. The gesture was a silent request for permission, she knew, and she squeezed back. Hard. Not only did she want him to follow Lisa’s order, she wished he’d hurry up and get his cock inside her.
Ben moved and began to stroke her again. Hypnotic. When she felt the hot tip of his penis against her pussy lips, she pressed her knees back, spreading herself wide as she could in invitation. He was surprisingly gentle, moving slow, taking his sweet time to lubricate his shaft and press it in, bit by bit.
Lisa, in position now, lowered her pussy over Amanda’s mouth. She tilted her head back to be safe while she suctioned her mouth onto Lisa. Amanda began to mimic Ben’s strokes with the tip of her tongue. Had her hands been free, she would have penetrated Lisa’s ass. As it was, she provoked with her tongue while Lisa rocked her hips gently in rhythm.
Ben had slowed down, not quite halfway in yet. That damn stroking. So overwhelming.
Lisa made a small sound, betraying a peak in arousal. Amanda hummed against her, eliciting a louder, more frantic-sounding cry. The rocking sped up.
Ben took total advantage of the upswing, pressing himself the rest of the way into Amanda. He doubled the pace and pressure of the strokes with his thumb.
Again Amanda translated it onto Lisa’s clit, feeling her client begin to buck just a second before the pressure of Ben’s cock drew her into orgasm again. Her inner muscles went crazy with one of those jittery, stuttering releases that bloomed through her like a rinse of pure, warm water.
She heard Ben breathe out a note of strained resistance. He pressed his thumb against her even harder, deepening the force of its strokes. The contact restarted the orgasm with a vengeance. Then he groaned out a frustrated note as he tried to still his thrusts.
“No,” Lisa told him. “Don’t you dare stop. If it feels good, come. I want to see you come.”
Amanda moaned her agreement against Lisa’s pussy, and the woman cried out a sharp note of laughter followed by a long, throaty, delightfully devious-sounding giggle.
God, she wished her hands were free. She wanted to grab onto Lisa and force her farther down. Penetrate her ass and her pussy and grind against her clit until she screamed for mercy. But she couldn’t move. She was powerless to do anything but renew her efforts with her tongue while Ben drove into her with that beautiful cock. Amanda hummed against Lisa, the pitch climbing until Ben strained into orgasm and his cock began to pulse.
Maybe it was the pitch that did it, or possibly the sight of Ben finally coming. Lisa squealed out a high note of pleasure that only subsided once Kevin approached to pull her away.
Amanda relaxed and grabbed the opportunity to catch her breath while Kevin dragged them all back onto the script. He ordered Lisa to put the strap-on back on while he got onto his hands and knees beside Amanda.
Ben came around to undo Amanda’s wrists and elbow restraints. She wished he’d take the blindfold off, too, but no such luck. At least her hands were free now. She reached underneath Kevin to play with his cock.
She heard Kevin’s breathy moan of pleasure when Lisa took his butt plug out. Amanda clutched and stroked, ardently listening to the sounds they made. She could feel the halting rhythm while Kevin tried to control his body as his wife began to penetrate him from behind.
Ben spoke softly, soothing Kevin, telling Lisa when to move and when to be still. “Put your hand right here on the small of his back,” he directed. “Get some lube on your thumb. Yep, there you go. Now put the tip of your thumb here where you can feel his muscles stretching around the dildo’s shaft. That way you can tell when he tenses up or relaxes for you. Just go slow. Give him plenty of time to adjust.”
Amanda could feel the penetration if not in actuality, in the sudden increase in Kevin and Lisa’s tension. There was a delay while Lisa unexpectedly veered off into a loud, prolonged orgasm. Lisa, who usually had no trouble telling them exactly what she wanted and when she wanted it, suddenly couldn’t manage more than meaningless, breathless stammers.
Ben said, “It’s okay. Catch your breath for a second. When you’re ready again, press it in, then pull it out. Real slow.”
Amanda felt Kevin’s cock harden and swell the more Ben talked that way. He liked the anticipation. And Kevin, like Amanda, enjoyed being the prop. She could hear the soft edge of a moan on his every breath. He was completely at the mercy of sensation.
He held out like a trooper. Lisa came once more before Kevin finally asked, his voice a low gasp, for Amanda to knead the tip of his cock. She and Lisa worked in concert to prolong the play, drawing his climax out into one of those breathless, locked-muscle clenchers that left him shaky and silent except for the panting.
Then it was only soft murmurs as they unbound Amanda. She was very careful to keep things cool with Kevin and Lisa. Both of them wanted to kiss her, trade affectionate touches, and she went along carefully. For once, she didn’t feel that clinging, mindless need to linger. She worried that Lisa might try to keep her in play while the pair stayed on set to give Lisa a turn in the restraints.
Lisa did ask if Amanda could stay. Ben was firm, but not unkind. He would stay behind, but it was time for Amanda to go.
She hurried to shower and dress, wishing needs hadn’t dictated what she would wear next. The black capris and fitted t-shirt hardly lent her a professional, invulnerable appearance to hide behind.
The moment she stepped into the hallway, Thomas materialized at her side.
Even though she had seen him in the Fantasy Heights security uniform earlier that day, he still looked out of place. He was standing in for Jerod Hughes, who had inexplicably resigned the day before.
Thomas’s black eye, too, was a jolt. Not that it mattered, really. The man was still gorgeous, all lean muscle and dark, hot appeal.
He propelled her into motion and she fell into step as he spoke quietly. “He’s ready for you.”
Amanda felt her stomach roll over. This would be her fourth time in questioning regarding Derek, Nicole and Ridley. She couldn’t say she’d enjoyed local law enforcement’s interrogation. Or the police from Arizona, or the Washington Bureau’s field agents, either. Yet today’s contender would be the worst by far. This time, District Attorney Gregory Hughes—father of Jerod Hughes, Fantasy Height’s former security chief—waited inside the Accord’s conference room.
Mr. Hughes might not be the enemy, but he was still extremely dangerous: He was a father who believed they were hiding something about his son. They were unsure in which capacity—father or lawyer—he had come today. Having failed to pry anything out of Thomas or Josh earlier, he meant to take a run at her instead.
She could see the flicker of strain overshadow Thomas. He said, “No matter what, remember he’s one of the good guys. A friend. Are you sure you can handle him?”
Despite the mountain lion chewing away at her gut and nerves, she borrowed one of Josh’s favorite tricks and managed to sound bland and self-assured. “Stop worrying.”
“Don’t underestimate him. He knows all about this place and everyone in it. Including me. And don’t assume he can be reasonable or even rational when his son is AWOL.”
She stopped walking to take hold of Thomas’s upper arms. She pulled him close to whisper. “Why won’t you tell me where Jerod is?”
“I swear to you, I don’t know. All I know anymore is at the end of the day, that little shit will always be looking out for number one.”
She leaned back to look at him. He didn’t move. Only his eyes tracked her, though the rest of him remained tuned into her as if she were his true north.
God, he was difficult. She could tell he was worried, but she still couldn’t tell whether he was lying when he claimed he knew nothing of Jerod’s whereabouts.
She said, “When you told me I’d have to do things I might not like, I never dreamed it would be anything like this. And we might be doing the right thing, but I hate this plan. What if something goes wrong? If anything happens to you…”
His rigid posture softened. “The worst will be over by the time you leave that interview. Be ready. I’ll send someone to bust you out when it’s time.”
She tucked down into the security corridors, travelling between The Menagerie and the Accord offices. Her fate awaited in a conference room where a lone man sat at the head of a long faux maple table.
Seeing her, District Attorney Gregory Hughes immediately rose to his feet. He must be nearing sixty, and that afternoon, he looked his age. Tense lines etched deep into his skin, giving her a momentary impression that he was slowly shattering from the inside out. Of a studious and world-weary countenance, he regarded her with bright blue eyes that radiated distrust.
Not off to a great start, she thought. And though bothered to know Jerod’s father didn’t trust her, she felt sympathy for the man. His son had resigned yesterday and hadn’t been seen since. No one knew for certain whether Jerod had left under his own steam. In Mr. Hughes’s place, Amanda would be stern and distrustful, too.
“Mr. Hughes.” She shook his proffered hand. “How nice to finally meet you.”
His well-mannered response came out flat, free of inflection. “Likewise, I’m sure. Jerod and Thomas have told me a lot about you. Won’t you sit down?”
He waited until she was seated across from him.
“Here’s my plan,” Hughes said. “I’d like to go over everything that’s happened since Ridley and Derek were found. Perhaps talk about a couple events in the days leading up to it. Understand that you are not a suspect in Derek’s death, nor are you currently under investigation in connection to any other crime.”
On the outside, she nodded her understanding. On the inside, every cell gulped in unison.
Mr. Hughes brought out a small digital recorder. After pressing a button or two, he placed it on the table between them.
Her eyes strayed to the legal pad near the lawyer’s elbows. She saw her name scrawled in the margin above a long list of others: Kara. Brent. Phillip. Josh. Thomas. Yvette. Mercury. Marla. Scott. Ridley. Nicole. Derek. Steph. Jerod.
She took a deep breath and let it out. Formidable list. Fourteen names. Countless landmines and secrets.
Mr. Hughes primed the recording with the day’s date and the time of their interview. Then he began. “We’ll start with the night of the Three Sisters Ball, after you and Thomas were called down to the Accord offices. You had just heard the news about Derek and Ridley. Thomas and Max were about to leave for the airport when Kara came in. I understand she was quite upset. Tell me what happened.”
Amanda leaned back in her chair. She rested an elbow on the armrest and pressed the bridge of her nose. She could feel her face turning red. Feel the sting of Kara’s fingers connecting with her cheek.
Mr. Hughes prodded, “Miss Tate?”
“It wasn’t Kara’s fault.”
“No one’s talking about blame. When I talked to Kara, she mentioned an incident before the Parlor Game. Tell me what happened from your point of view.”
Amanda knew the exact incident in question. “When I was in wardrobe that night, she asked me if I knew why Derek and Ridley had been replaced. I told her I did know why, and asked if I could tell her afterward.”
It had been an instinctual response. She liked Kara and hadn’t wanted to lie, but in hindsight, a denial might have been wiser.
Kara had misunderstood. When word had reached her that Derek was dead and Ridley had been drugged into permanent incoherence, Kara had jumped to the wrong conclusion. She’d tracked Amanda and Thomas into the Accord offices. She’d accused Amanda of being one of the enemy operatives, and went on the attack, flying at her in an outburst of fury and despair.
“Hmph,” Mr. Hughes responded. “That’s funny. Kara’s explanation was much longer. Much more detailed.”
His slippery approach to a touchy subject poked at Amanda’s temper. “Mr. Hughes, I can see Brent’s name is next on your list, and I know where you’re headed. If you want to ask me about Derek and Brent and that stupid interrogation, please just ask.”
“Okay, fine. Tell me what happened on that set, and how Kara might have gotten the wrong idea about you.”
Kara wasn’t the only one who might have gotten the wrong idea, but if the rest of this interview followed this initial volley’s tone, Amanda felt sure they would get to the rest, later. Hughes knew everything already. He was overturning all the most dangerous rocks to see her response to whatever crawled out.