I stared at him incredulously for a moment, waiting for him to say something further – though what I expected him to say, I didn’t know. Strangely, the longer I looked at him, the more I became aware I was doing so without his permission. I also felt, as I often did, he could read my mind. I took a deep breath and looked away quickly, in the hopes he had not read too much. Out of the corner of my eye I saw his hands slowly reaching for his belt. A sense of impending doom spurred me into action and I reflexively placed my right hand over his.
“You aren’t going to whip me, are you?” I didn’t look up. My fingers trembled. If he wasn’t already, then I probably planted the idea in his mind. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
“Would you like me to?” he asked. I shook my head emphatically: No, I did not. “Then get your hands off of me. I didn’t give you permission to touch me.” I retracted my hands and waited for him to speak. “Good. Now get down on your knees and put your hands in your lap. You’re not allowed to touch me.”
I swallowed hard and fortified myself to do as I was told. Avoiding his gaze, I attempted to lower myself from the table onto my shaky legs. My legs gave out, but Caleb reached out to steady me. I almost grabbed hold of him to stop myself from falling, but I managed to prevent the reflex and hung in his arms like a rag doll as he lowered me onto my knees.
“Thank you,” I whispered.
He stood. “You know what, Kitten?” he said, “I think I will whip you. Ask me what for.”
My eyes were already misted over with fresh tears when I looked up at him. “Why?”
He smiled and shook his head, just before he grabbed the back of my head and pulled my hair hard enough to let me know I was in trouble. “How about for talking when you weren’t asked to speak, touching me as if you have the right, looking at me without being told, and most importantly, for consistently addressing me improperly.” He gripped my hair tight. I whined sharply behind my closed lips and my eyes reflexively shut. “Now, you tell me, Kitten, do you deserve to be punished?”
There could not possibly be any good answer to his question. Even silence would be thought of as another infraction. My mind raced to find a way out of the situation, but I knew the damage had been done.
I cried miserably, but I opened my mouth and replied, “If it’s what you want, Master, then, yes.” I kept my eyes closed, mindful not to look at him unbidden, and he released my hair.
“That’s a good answer, Kitten. Later, I’ll show you exactly what I want. In the meantime, show me how much you want to make me happy.”
He made me walk – with traces of his semen on my chin and neck, naked, sobbing, and on shaky legs, up the steps of the dungeon and out into the civilized surroundings of the mansion above. I hesitated strongly at the top of the steps when I heard the unmistakable murmur of people in conversation. Caleb pressed his hand firmly against the curve of my bottom and urged me forward, but I only leaned back and tried to step down. Propping me up with one hand, he delivered a powerful, ringing slap, across the delicate flesh of my ass and I couldn’t help but cry out loudly and lurch through the door. Six sets of eyes turned toward me at once. They were a mixture of surprise and amusement.
The strong desire to run surged through me, but Caleb held my hair cruelly in his grasp, forcing me to kneel at his feet, where I instantly grabbed hold of his pant leg and hid.
“Well, this entire day just became more interesting,” said an unfamiliar voice, with a southern drawl. His comment was met with resounding laughter.
“I apologize,” said Caleb. “She’s not quite house broken yet.”
I was too scared to be outraged. Above my head, sitting at a table, were a group of men and women. They didn’t seem to have a problem with a man dragging in a naked, and crying woman. I couldn’t imagine a more horrifying scenario.
When the laughter subsided, a familiar voice spoke. “Will you both be having breakfast with us?” It was Felipe – there was no mistaking the strong, assured inflection of his voice, and of course, there was the Spanish accent. My heart skipped a beat. What would happen if he told Caleb about last night? Had he told Caleb about last night? What if it was a test – and I was supposed to tell him?
“No, not this morning – but perhaps for dinner. I need time to make her suitable.” He finally let my hair loose. I made no attempt to move; cowered against his legs I felt oddly protected.
“Of course,” said Felipe, “Celia will help you.”
Caleb made me travel the rest of the way upstairs on my hands and knees, while the others looked on and remarked on how obvious it was I was new, and how fun it would be to get a hold of my sexy ass.
Heat crawled all across my body but I kept my head down and focused only on getting as far away from this emerging situation as possible. Somewhere in the back of my mind I also worried about what was going to happen to me next. I realized my deepest hope was for Caleb to take me upstairs, bathe me, feed me, and hold me as he filled my ears with reassurances. I wanted him to remind me he would never let anyone hurt me, but as he forced me past the door to my room, my hopes seemed more and more unlikely.
A little further down, we rounded a corner and my knees were finally given respite as they met with a small, carpeted alcove. Caleb stepped in front of me and opened the large wooden door. I hesitated for only a moment, not knowing why, but then crawled across the threshold. The room was not what I expected. If ever I imagined a room for Caleb to call his own, it would have been this one. It seemed inundated with his ominous taste.
The carpet was a deep burgundy. It was so dark I almost mistook it for black. The bed sat high, covered in the blackest of spreads, turned down to reveal crimson silk sheets and pillows. The headboard was black as well, a large, tall, square thing. It gave the bed an obviously masculine tone, and attached to its center, was two thick metal loops. The door shut behind me and the room was drenched in darkness. I swallowed hard.
A small clicking sound and the light of a bedside lamp scarcely lit the room. I dared not make a sound or movement, though the urge to turn and look at Caleb was intense. My eyes stared forward, catching sight of a leather-clad bench of sorts. There was no television, no stereo, and no phone, but there were books. I noticed them in a corner bookcase, their spines showing they’d been thoroughly read and enjoyed. I suddenly ached to know their titles. I wondered what he read, what made him happy. There was also an odd piece of furniture standing in front of the stark curtains. I knew from a glance I was best left unaware of its purpose. It formed the shape of a large X and at the top of each corner rest the same metal loops as the headboard. I shuddered in spite of myself.
“You embarrassed me down there.” My entire body tensed at the sound of his angry voice.
“I’m sorry, Master,” I whispered, low. I struggled desperately to stay perfectly still. I treated him as the sort of predator to only attack moving prey. I heard the distinct sound of a buckle being undone and the swish of a belt being pulled from its belt loops. I started to shake.
“You’re going to learn what is expected of you, Pet.”
Everything in my body screamed for me to run, but somewhere inside my head a small voice whispered there was no escape, only obedience. Only obedience will make him happy. I nodded absently.
He didn’t say anything further. He simply pressed my forehead to the ground and laid his belt down across my backside in quick succession.
At one, I clenched my jaw and forced my hands under my knees to keep from trying to take the belt.
At two and three, I was rocking as I wailed into the carpet.
Four, and I attempted to place my hands in the way of his belt by shielding my buttocks. My fingers brushed across raised welts.
Five, six, and seven, he held my hands tight against the small of my back.
Eight and nine left me screaming out loud and panting.
He stopped for a moment, long enough for me to tell him how sorry I was, that I would obey, that I would be good – I promised. A few more and he finally seemed satisfied.
He let my arms go, but I knew better than to follow my instincts to get up. I grabbed my wrists and held them at the small of my back, just as he had them. I heard his soft laugh over my sporadic whimpers and sobs, and for some reason, my body became slightly more at ease.
“Good girl, Kitten,” he said. I sighed deeply with relief.
He dropped to one knee at my side and pulled me back firmly by my hair. I continued crying and fighting the urge to rub my behind as the real pain of the whipping set in, scalding hot and prickly.
“Does it hurt?” he asked.
“Yes, Master.” I whimpered pitifully.
“Will you remember it?”
I managed to respond through my sobs again, “Yes, Master.”
He stood, dragging me up by my hair with the effort. I arched my back and succumbed to my urges and rubbed my behind forcefully with the palms of my hands. I only made it worse. He grabbed hold of my wrists and pinned them to the small of my back.
“Stay still!” he snapped. Instinctually, I pressed my forehead to the front of his shirt. I tried to straighten my legs. The feel of his firm chest pressed against my face did things to me I had come to expect. Why do you always smell so good? After a moment, the pain became secondary to thoughts of my naked body pressed against his clothes. I stood still, but I could not bring myself to pull away from him. He let my wrists go and I immediately wrapped them around his waist and pressed into him. He was hard, and soft, and strong, and he smelled like everything I wanted wrapped around me.
He tensed in my embrace and quickly placed his hands on my shoulders to urge me back. I looked up at him and saw the anger and confusion in his eyes, but I didn’t care. Rafiq was coming for me. Caleb would either protect me, or he wouldn’t. I couldn’t ask him without giving Felipe away, nor could I ignore the feelings stirring inside me. Perhaps it was my exhaustion, or the long night of sexual torture he’d subjected me to, or perhaps it was simply the undeniable power he had over me – but whatever it was; I desperately needed to kiss him. I rose on the balls of my feet and inclined my lips toward his, begging him with my eyes to make this easier for me. If he was shocked he didn’t show it, he simply stayed immobile as I finally touched my trembling mouth to his.
His hands gripped my shoulders tighter when I traced my tongue along his bottom lip, urging him to open to my kiss. He obliged me and I almost wept at the taste of him. He finally softened and inclined his head by the slightest of degrees. I delved deeper into his mouth, shaking in my need to be touched by him.
He lifted his hand to the back of my head and kissed me with all the passion of the previous morning.
I couldn’t stop the moan that broke past my lips. I had never felt anything like this. Never had I wanted to laugh, and weep, and fuck, and devour another human being until there was nothing left of him – until we were one person and I could feel peace. I grabbed his face in my hands and kissed him all over. My loud panting was echoed by his softer sounds. I sought his mouth over and over. I wrapped my leg around him, trying to climb onto him as he straightened his body. Abruptly, he broke the kiss and pushed me to the floor. I stared up at him, my heart laid bare at his feet. His chest rose and fell with anxious breath, but his words were steady and calm.
“That’s the last time you’ll ever do something without being told. And it’s the last time I’ll ever kiss you. I hope you enjoyed it.” Through a mist of my tears, I thought I saw a flicker of hurt in his eyes. I dismissed it as my broken heart trying to reclaim some of its dignity.
“Please, Caleb!” I sobbed loudly. “Don’t do this. Take me and let’s go. Let’s leave!”
He slapped me. Not savagely, but it stung and the heat of my shock crept across my face and down my neck. I placed my hand on my cheek. It was hot to the touch. When the initial moment of shock wore off, I thought it strange I should feel the pain of his slap in my chest, but I did, and it hurt more than I ever thought possible.
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