When she’d first met Jonas, she’d told him that she had no interest in pain. It seemed so silly now. Six months later, she’d learned that not all pain was a bad thing. She could even admit that there was a certain delicious eroticism to being spanked…flogged. Even the mere thought of the flogger coming down on her bare flesh made her ache with need. It wasn’t just her nipples and clit that responded to sex since meeting Jonas…and of course, Michael, but her entire body.
But she still had her limits.
Two months earlier, Michael was setting up to do a scene with her; Jonas was filming. God, it felt like yesterday…the fear-pumping adrenaline of being tied spread-eagle. Waiting…
The anticipation would kill her, she’d thought at the time.
Michael had blindfolded her before he’d even tied the first rope, and that part was luscious, a sensory overloading jolt: textures that she could feel, scents that were new and exotic, and the sounds…soothing. Some frightening. One sound in particular made her skin crawl. At first it was just a clunk
, but then she could hear a sound that she couldn’t identify, but she somehow knew. Swish, swish, swish.
But it hadn’t been a soft swish
; it was loud. At least, louder than the sound of her own blood pulsing through her brain. She knew she’d heard that sound before, and from that time in her past, the sound should have been comforting. She remembered peeking around the wooden doorjamb that led into the bathroom. She remembered she’d always loved watching her father shave. He’d always hummed as he swirled a brush in a bowl of foam, whipping it up, and then slathered his face. He would always see her peeking and touch the end of the sudsy brush to the tip of her nose, making her shrill with delight.
But before all of that. Before the humming and whipping, and her squeals there had been a sound that had drawn her to the bathroom to watch.
Swish, swish. Swish, swish.
Her father would be striking his straight-edge razor against a sharpening strap. She’d thought to herself that surely, that was not the sound she was hearing as she’d lain tied in the bed…waiting.
?” Swish, swish, swish. Swish, swish, swish.
The rhythm was different, but in her mind it seemed so similar.
“I want to see what you are doing
.” It wasn’t Michael who answered. It was Jonas. His brogue was thick, thicker than his everyday accent, and that only happened when his buttons were being pushed too. She heard the
whir of his Polaroid camera, which proved he was controlling his nature. Michael was bringing out the sadist in him. That was why the scene was taking so long to get started.
But then it dawned on her
. This is the scene. We’re in the thick of it.
?” She waited an unseemly long time for him to respond, the entire time having to listen to that sound
: Swish, swish, swish. Swish, swish, swish.
She felt a warm hand run along the edge of her jaw before he tipped up her chin. Michael asked
, “Is there something I can do for you
“I-I want to see
.” She hated it that her fear was showing so obviously in her voice, but then she realized that her entire body was shaking, her teeth chattering, and knew that trying to hide her fear was impossible. Was that what was triggering Jonas? Or was it what Michael was doing that she couldn’t see?
She shook as Michael drew away the blindfold, letting her see what he was up to. The lights were dimmed; candles flickered shadows against the walls, and in the shadows she saw the shape of what he was holding in his hand. A knife. A very long knife.
She’d stopped the scene.
She’d never stopped a scene before, but she had, without any thought as to why she should or shouldn’t. She’d just stopped it.
Seeing the disappointment in Michael’s eyes was the worst. She’d hurt him badly…because she hadn’t trusted him. She hadn’t even given him the chance to prove that he could be trusted.
And he’d become distant ever since.
Or maybe it was just her. My schedule is so crazy right now
. At least that was what she told herself when she started thinking about it too much.
She did think about it. Not about Michael and his distance. About. The. Knife.
She dreamed about it, waking up shaking and sobbing in the middle of the night, but not because of dreamed pain, because of dreamed desire. Desire! Which was unthinkable.
The unthinkable, which brought her to this moment: one instant she was on her knees, and the next she was being dragged down the hallway. Jonas wrapped his fist around her hair and pulled her by it. She didn’t scream or struggle. She knew that there would be plenty of time for both. She relaxed into submission, allowing him this power over her, and her reward was an instant peace. Her mind went quiet; the song in her head became quiet. Gone. If not forgotten. She closed her eyes as he stood her up in the bathroom. She’d called the monster out to play, but that didn’t mean that she was brave enough to look him in the eyes.
She didn’t dare acknowledge her fear or let him see it. She knew his triggers. She didn’t dare let him see her fear. She didn’t dare let him lose control completely, and she didn’t risk even thinking that it might already be too late.
She trusted him.
He could take her to the edge; he would bring her back.
He helped her step out of her heels, and her stocking feet were jolted into awareness by the cold tile of the floor. She felt his hands smooth over her shoulders in a tender caress. She imagined the look in his eyes: awe…knowing that she had given herself to him completely. She hoped she’d see awe; she hoped she’d see a modicum of control, but fear kept her from looking as he helped her slide her arms from her suit jacket.
He unzipped her skirt next and held her elbow, steadying her, as he helped her step free of the fabric. She didn’t have to look to know that he had folded the jacket and the skirt before stacking them neatly on the low, padded stool next to the tub.
Standing behind her, he kissed her neck as he unbuttoned her shirt, so slowly. Methodically. Carefully. The room seemed unseemly cool as the fabric separated to reveal her bra, her midriff. She shivered, then realized that she was shaking like a leaf, not cold, terrified. He slid the silk down her arms, pulling her shirt off to fold and stack with her other garments. His touch returned, his fingers hot on her shoulders. His lips followed his fingers, a soft kiss. She knew he was kissing the freckles sprinkled over her shoulders. He loved to kiss her freckles. He whispered, “You’re trembling.”
“Yes,” she acknowledged, matching his soft voice.
“That excites me. I love to make you tremble. I love knowing that terror is racing through your veins…that I frighten you.”
A thrill went down her spine, and she hated the perverseness of it, hated and acknowledged it. His excitement, triggered by her fear, was an intense turn-on.
A drawer opened and closed, a clank
as metal hit the marble vanity top. She peeked, but too late to see anything; his body had already shifted, hiding what he had pulled from the drawer. She kept looking, taking in the rippled smoothness of his chest and belly. He wasn’t bulked with muscle, but he was lean and so very, very pale, like his skin had never seen sunlight. Her skin next to his seemed so dark even though she was considered very light for a mixed-race girl. She’d seemed downright milky white next to her very dark-skinned mother, when her mother had been alive. She reached out to touch him and barely stroked the shadowed furrows of his rib cage when he smacked her hand away, saying, “No!”
She jumped at his sudden harshness.
“Keep your hands to your sides until I am ready to restrain you.” His voice was a dark, rough version of his normal brogue.
She dared to meet his gaze and saw that some of the shadow had receded—enough to tell her that he was in control of his actions. She decided she might actually survive.
“Are you certain?” he asked.
“Yes,” she whispered. “Please, cut me.”
He unsnapped her bra with practiced skill, and the fabric fell forward as her heavy breasts lost their support. She reached, unthinking, to hold the cups in place as he pushed the straps off her shoulders, using something hard and cold. Steel. But was it scissors, which she knew were kept in a drawer? Or had he hidden a knife for just such an occasion?
He commanded, “Let it fall.”
She did as he asked, letting her breasts spill free of the fabric as the bra fell, the straps catching at her elbows until she straightened them and then falling to her wrists. He took the bra, and she watched him fold it and add it to the rapidly growing pile of clothing, leaving her wearing her garter belt, stockings, and a G-string. She felt the cool metal on her thigh just before she heard the snip. Scissors. She cried out as what was left of her panties cascaded to her ankles. “That was a matched set; I’ll never find another thong to match that bra!”
In a flash of movement, Jonas pushed the point of the sharp scissors under her chin. She shut her mouth quickly, feeling the sting as the metal pushed into her skin. Her gaze caught his; he was so very on the edge of no control, and she kept pushing. She could feel his need as a thick electric current on the air. He wanted to control her. He wanted to make her suffer and cry out. And he would have both before they were done. She knew that. She also knew the thin line they were walking together, a tightrope of danger. One false move and she could tip the power exchange irrevocably into his direction and ultimately risk her safety. Neither of them knew how far he could take their limits, or if she might pay the price in death. That was why they’d agreed to a ménage. Having Michael present to witness would help keep Jonas in line.
She remembered their first time playing. Before she ever knew about his problems with control or about his diagnosis. He’d only taken a belt to her thighs and pussy, nothing edgy, just an introduction to the concept that all pain wasn’t necessarily bad. Some pain could be very, very good
. She hadn’t understood then why he’d taken Polaroid shots of her. Only later did she understand that it helped him to slow down the pace, kept him from losing control, gave him time to think through what he was doing. She asked with a shaky voice, “Do you have your camera?”
Their gazes caught, and he slowly withdrew the scissors from under her chin. “I’ll go get it.”
“It’s in the bedroom…by the nightstand,” she said, as he turned and abruptly left the bathroom.
“I know where it is,” he answered, and all trace of any growl was gone from his voice. It was just his voice. Jonas was back in complete control.
. She knew their chance of this scene happening now was getting further and further from actuality. She looked in the mirror and saw a small stream of blood going down her throat. She leaned into the mirror, looking closer at the small nick, small but deep. She didn’t touch the wound or disturb the small trail of blood as it slid down her throat and onto her chest. A click
behind her startled her, followed by the comforting whir
of the Polaroid. Jonas had taken a picture of her examining the wound.
He tossed the unexposed film onto the counter. “Your first cut.”
She turned and challenged him. “I think it’s too small to denote a first anything.”
His eyes narrowed. “It bleeds. It counts.”
“It doesn’t hurt.”
“Most cuts don’t. I could bleed you to death and you would never feel a thing if I did it right.”
She shivered. He was right. She was goading him with reckless abandon. She was the one out of control, not him. She buried her face in her hands, breaking, crying, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be doing this to you. You’re right. It counts.”
His voice seemed sinisterly cold as he announced, “I didn’t say we were through.”