“Jase, I’m sorry.” Bethany’s voice wavers as she speaks, showing her fear. I wondered which side of her would take over. I was hoping it wouldn’t be this one. It makes everything more difficult, but she must be punished. This has to stop.
“You aren’t. If you were sorry, you wouldn’t continue to defy me.” A deep inhale barely keeps me grounded as my temper flares. “You are the only one who has ever made me lose control like this. Do you know that?”
“Jase, I don’t mean to,” she nearly whimpers with more than a hint of fear and finally glances away from me, toward the door.
Her breathing is erratic and her fingers wrap around her silverware as if she’ll use it against me. She may do just that, my fiery girl, if I give her a reason.
“Jase,” she says and whispers my name.
“You’re scared?” I ask her.
She hesitates to answer before closing her eyes and nodding. The fear is a constant. I’m not sure it’ll ever leave her and I can’t blame her.
“You just said you trusted that I would never hurt you.” The pain inside of my chest is sharp like a knife, piercing and twisting, never stopping to offer a moment of relief. I’d bleed out here if I had to watch her paused in this moment, truly afraid that I’d hurt her. “I’m not going to hurt you, Bethany. This is a punishment that you can take. One that you obviously need.”
“I’m scared,” she whispers.
“Don’t be. Parts of it you may even enjoy.” That comment gets her attention. I keep her gaze to tell her, “I’m not going to let you get away with this shit any longer. You will be punished. Whether you’re upset or scared or otherwise. I should have already punished you.” At the word punish, she licks her lips. Her body will always betray her regardless of the brave front she puts on around me.
“You’ve run from me, lied to me, stolen from me, raised a knife to me… And you thought I’d do nothing?” I question her. “How much did you think I’d let you get away with, cailín tine?”
Using her nickname is what does it. I can feel the tension break, I can feel it warm and I notice how it melts around her. Her bottom lip drops, pouty and trembling, but her breathing has changed. No longer tense, but still quick with anticipation.
I give her a moment, letting everything settle for her.
“Still your cailín tine?” The Gaelic phrase sounds foreign on her tongue.
“Of course,” I answer, reaching across the table to offer my hand and she still hesitates to reciprocate, but she does, setting her small hand in mine. Brushing my thumb across her wrist, I try to keep it soothing to calm her before the inevitable will happen. “I hate that it comes to this before you’ll let me in. Do you know that?”
She exhales deeply before telling me, “I’m not exactly used to this. And I don’t exactly like it either.”
“You don’t like what?”
“Having to be accountable to someone like…”
“To someone like me?” She only nods at my question until I narrow my gaze and pause the motion of my thumb against her pulse. “Yes,” she answers verbally.
“Well I enjoy your company, Miss Fawn, and from what I gather, you enjoy mine.” Again she nods and this time whispers her yes along with it, nearly defiantly.
“When you’re with someone, you have to make allowances for them. I have done my best to make allowances for you given this… situation.”
“And I have not,” Beth speaks before the judgment can fall from my lips. “I realize I am difficult and…” she pauses, swallowing thickly before adding, “I do appreciate some things… I am just very aware of others that…”
“That you will have to make certain allowances for,” I say, finishing her sentence for her with the only outcome I’ll allow. “Is that understood?”
She nods and speaks simultaneously, “Yes.”
Pulling my hand away from her, I let the warmth of her words – that she appreciates me, no matter how small a part of me — flow through me, feeling my cock harden as I think about what I’m going to do to her. “This situation being new for you is no excuse. It’s new for me too.”
“What are you going to do?” she asks breathlessly.
“You’re going to need the rest of your wine.”
I’m careful and calm as I stand up, pulling the chair back and unbuttoning my jacket.
Her fingers linger on the glass but she doesn’t pick it up until I pick up my own glass, downing the full-bodied red I know she loves. It’s sweet and decadent, like her when she lets go and gives me control.
I set the empty glass on the table behind us. The aftertaste is smooth and I focus on that as I calmly remove everything from our table one by one. The candle, the vase, the small plates and then the large one still littered with hors d’oeuvres I thought she’d enjoy.