“You okay, baby?”

“Do it, just fucking do it,” I croaked, my voice jagged with the need to cry.

He hesitated a moment, then slapped the belt with measured precision. Again and again, he spread the sharp licks over my ass and my thighs. Somehow, the pain cut right through the shadow of misery that had fallen over me. I sobbed into the pillow. The tears spilled over, saturating the fabric, cleansing me, breaking me down.

I relished the punishment, welcomed the physical manifestation of everything brewing inside me. Everything was releasing. My body went lax, even as he continued, as if I’d been broken down completely, stripped down to the most bare, raw state I could imagine. I couldn’t possibly understand why, but something felt terribly right about all of it.

When my sobs slowed, he stopped and tossed the belt off the bed. He kissed my back gently, his fingers feather-light against my skin, soothing the pain. The warmth of his body covered the back of mine. His erection lay heavily on my bottom, the weight of it almost too much on the pained flesh there. The pleasure and the pain. He was a master at delivering so well on both. Now I needed pleasure. I was ready for it.

“You took that really well. I know it wasn’t easy. I’m proud of you.”

My heart ached at the comfort that washed over me at the sound of his voice. Soft with affection, his tone was a welcome shift from the commanding character who’d just thoroughly punished me. “I’m going to fuck you now, and you’re going to come when I tell you. If you don’t, I’m going to punish you again. Do you understand?”

I whimpered an affirmative. Though softly rendered, his threat was heard.

He kissed between my shoulder blades, his teeth grazing my skin. I shivered, my nipples tightening at the sensation. He turned me back over again and nudged my legs apart so he could nestle between them.

Lowering down over me, his hand went to my hip, the other brushing the tear-soaked hair from my eyes. He wiped away the tears, and the lust that hooded his eyes changed. The corners of his eyes wrinkled with concern.

“I’m so sorry,” I choked, so overwrought with emotion I thought my chest might burst from it all. He’d never know how sorry I was.

The tight lines around his eyes released and he caught my mouth in a slow, deep kiss. He pressed the flared crown of his erection into me, barely penetrating.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want you to be sorry, Erica. I can’t tell you what it does to me to see you like this, giving yourself over to me.”

“Please,” I moaned, arching into the contact, desperate for him.

My breath caught as he rooted himself fully and abruptly. The sensation was searing and overpowering, a potent rush of pleasure over my pain.

“Oh, fuck,” I cried.

“Erica,” he murmured. “I need this. I need you.”

Something snapped, between his words, the restraint, and his thick penetration. A consuming hunger overwhelmed me, and I clenched around him helplessly. He withdrew to the tip and shafted me fully again. I wrapped my fingers around the rail he’d tethered me to and a hoarse cry escaped my lips.

“That’s it, baby. Let it all go.”

The low rasp of his voice coaxed me to the edge. Except the cliff had turned into an avalanche and I couldn’t escape now. A few more thrusts and I was gone, helpless to fight the feeling. The orgasm was coming for me, like it or not. I was lost in the world he’d created for me, as drunk on the pleasure as I was starving for more.

He buried himself deeper, his hips slamming into mine with forceful drives. He pumped into me, his cock growing impossibly larger as he did. He nipped at my earlobe, sucking it, then grazing it again with this teeth.

“Mine. You’re mine. Just like this. Your body, your heart. Every part of you.” Whispering in my ear, he never let me forget it, not for a second.

“I’m yours.” The tears came again as my body gave up the last of its resistance.

“Come now, baby. Give me everything.”

The leather of the cuffs bit into the skin at my wrists as I struggled against them. Stretched tight and spread wide, I was completely at his mercy. Every muscle strained and I came apart. My thighs hugged his hips as my sex spasmed in climax. I fell hard, shaking uncontrollably, tensing as the orgasm ripped through me, his name on my lips. For a split second, a heaviness lifted and nothing else mattered.

“Erica,” he groaned.

His body jerked against me. His hands gripped my hips fiercely as he found his own release.

He tensed, then sagged against me. His body was slick against mine as he exhaled roughly.

He untied my hands and massaged the reddened skin of my wrists. Then he captured my mouth in slow, breathless kisses, brushing away the last of my tears. We were both spent, stripped down by the experience. With my last shred of energy, I wrapped my arms around him, hooking my leg over his hip. I needed the reassurance of our closeness. I couldn’t let him go yet.

We lay that way, wordlessly, for a long time. The intensity of what we’d done settled over me, and my mind spun over what it all meant. In the face of what tomorrow would bring, maybe it didn’t mean anything at all.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered finally.

“I love you,” I breathed, before falling into a deep, dreamless sleep.


Come up for breakfast when you wake up.



I dropped the note back onto the pillow and fell back on the bed. I stared up at the ceiling, wishing the answers were written there. I still had time.

I made my way to the bathroom and tried to tame my totally fucked hair. Fingertip-sized bruises marked my hips. My ass was covered with dozens of tiny little red dots, broken capillaries from the serious lashing Blake had dished out. A deep blush colored my cheeks.

Bound and at his mercy in the darkness of the night, I’d survived Blake’s unexpected return, overcoming my panic and fears. More than that, somehow I’d needed it, to break through all the craziness in my mind. My fears had seemed so small and insignificant in the face of impending tragedy.

I showered and dressed. I glanced out the window. Blake’s Tesla sat out front. A few cars down, a black Lincoln was parked on the street and I swore I caught a glimpse of red hair moving in the driver’s seat. A clatter in the kitchen tore my attention away.

I stepped into the living room tentatively, my nerves on edge. Sid was making his breakfast at the toaster. I relaxed slightly, relieved that Blake hadn’t come back. At least he hadn’t been there this morning. I didn’t have the energy last night to anticipate how I’d deal with waking up to him. I hadn’t planned for any of that. None of it.

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