BONDS Two: Claim

They’d never officially broken up. Then again, they’d never officially been together. The reality didn’t match with the image she’d been carefully constructing.
“When you’re ready, there’s someone I want you to meet,” Alma said.
“No need to date again anytime soon.”
“Oh, pish.”
“Pish?”
“Nicer than calling you a liar. You’re better in a relationship, Kennedy. No matter what you think. You need to be settled.”
“You could date me again.”
“Ha. I’m a sub, not a sadist.”
“I’m that bad?”
“For the right woman? No. For me? A disaster.”
“What the hell does that mean?”
She touched his cheek in the oddly impersonal way only a former lover could. “I’ll introduce you to Dar, if she shows up.”
He started to protest, but Alma interrupted him by asking, “What do you think of Marcel and Wren?” She pointed to a rigging station where a small crowd had gathered. “They came up from New York for my party. They’re quite good together.”
A technician was checking their microphones while Marcel readied his equipment. The middle-aged Dom—if the gray hair was anything to go by—was slender and fit. Kennedy imagined the camera loved him. Wren, his model, was Asian with long, thick hair that had been pulled back into a ponytail. She was clad in lacy black panties and a matching bra. Marcel was securing her onto a suspension ring, this one slightly different than most riggers used. It was divided into three sections. If Kennedy remembered correctly, it was called a triskelion.
Marcel had selected an eye-catching bright blue hemp for the demo.
A photographer asked Marcel to halt the rigging while he repositioned some lights. After looking through the lens and snapping a couple of shots he then reviewed, he signaled the pair to continue.
“Damn, that rope hurts, Sir,” Wren said as he wrapped beneath her breasts.
“Are you complaining?” Marcel asked. “You’ll be okay.”
She moved around and wrinkled her nose, seeking relief.
He adjusted the rope, then gave her a sharp slap on the ass. She squealed.
“Deal with it next time,” he told her.
“They’re married,” Alma said.