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       The Queen, p.16

         Part #8 of The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz

  What few people realized about Søren was that he possessed a wicked sense of humor. Nora, when she’d still been Eleanor, awoke on a Valentine’s Day years ago to find a card on the otherwise empty pillow next to her. The front of the card bore the words “The club, my room, tonight at 9:00.” That was all. When she opened the card she found a simple hand-drawn heart on the inside pierced by an arrow. But on closer inspection she saw it wasn’t an unfletched arrow as she’d assumed.

  It was a needle.

  That night she arrived at the club on time. She knew better than to keep Søren waiting. Outside his dungeon door she took off her snowy, sludgy boots and knocked once before slipping inside.

  She shut the door but didn’t lock it. No one would interrupt them tonight, not even Kingsley unless he was invited, and then of course it wouldn’t be an interruption—Kingsley was always welcome in Søren’s dungeon. In addition to all the usual furniture in the room—the bed, the cross, one chair—she found a table covered in a white sheet between the foot of the bed and the St. Andrew’s Cross on the opposite wall. Next to the end of the table sat a black lacquer box, closed, lying on a small metal table with wheels, the sort she’d seen in doctor’s offices to hold medical instruments.

  She went to the bathroom where she found Søren at the sink, the sleeves of his white button-down shirt rolled up to his elbows while he washed his hands. Not washed, scrubbed. He scrubbed his hands with the dedication of a surgeon.


  He turned his face to her but kept his hands under the steaming water.

  “Happy Valentine’s Day, Little One.” He kissed her forehead.

  “You’re in a good mood, my sir,” she said to his bright smile, his bright eyes. He looked almost feverish. “Should I be worried?”

  “I would be if I were you,” he said with a wink.

  “My pussy just whimpered.”

  “I wondered what that sound was. Now go change. There’s a shirt on the bed. Then sit on the table at the end closest to us.”

  The instructions were simple enough. The shirt on the bed was one of his, a black Oxford shirt he must have been wearing earlier today, as she could smell his scent on it. She might have been cold wearing nothing but his shirt, except Søren had turned the heat up in the room. Even when torturing her, he thought of her comfort.

  Sitting on the end of the table as ordered, she felt like a child with her naked feet dangling, not able to reach the floor. Soon Søren came out of the bathroom, drying his hands on a small white towel.

  He tossed the towel aside and stood between her knees. He kissed her.

  “Nervous?” he asked between soft, gentle kisses.

  “A little,” she said. “What’s going on, sir?”

  “Do you remember a few months ago when Kingsley was reading to us from Story of O?”

  She nodded and said nothing. Of course she remembered it. Both of them had taken their turns with her that night and when the kink and the sex were over and done with, none of them could sleep. Kingsley had offered to read a bedtime story and had procured from his library an English translation of Histoire d’O, the most infamous erotic novel in the history of the French language. Was there anything in the world more erotic than to be in bed with a beautiful man who’d beaten and fucked her while another beautiful man who’d also beaten and fucked her lounged in a chair by the bed, wearing nothing but fitted trousers and reading French erotica to them?

  “If I recall correctly,” Søren continued, “you were particularly enamored of the scene when Sir Stephen has O pierced.”

  “A genital piercing seems more intimate than a collar,” she said. “Something that can’t be taken off easily. Something that you can wear in public that no one can see.”

  “Exactly,” Søren said. “Which is why I’m going to pierce you tonight.”

  “Pierce me?”

  “Don’t be afraid. I learned from the best. Mistress Irina took me through all the steps. I’ll do a simple clitoral hood piercing. A ring. Something you’ll wear always, in public and private. Something, like you said, more intimate than a collar.”

  She could have asked questions. Søren often allowed her to ask questions before he hurt her.

  She could have asked, Do I have to? Or Will it hurt? But instead she asked, “Can I see the ring?”

  “Of course, Little One.” He opened the lacquer box and removed a small plastic bag.

  “Mistress Irina has already sterilized everything for me. Don’t touch the ring.”

  She looked at the ring—a silver steel circle with a ball for a clasp. Couples exchanged wedding bands when they married. A diamond ring on her finger seemed a hollow symbol compared to this ring. She would wear it not on her body, but pierced into her body, and she would bleed for it. And it would be her own lover who put it in her.

  “I’m ready,” she said, returning the ring to him.

  “Lie back,” Søren instructed.

  She rolled down onto the table and heard the sound of metal moving. From under the white sheet, Søren had pulled out stirrups like those she’d put her feet in every trip to her gynecologist’s office. Her knees fell open wide as she moved into position. Because he was Søren he also cuffed her ankles to the stirrups. No running away now—not that she wanted to. Much. Søren angled a light at the most intimate part of her body. And yet she wasn’t embarrassed, wasn’t ashamed. Her body belonged to him. She wouldn’t hide his own property from him.

  She heard the distinctive snap of latex gloves, and felt the cold touch of the cleansing cloth that he wiped over her clitoris and vulva to disinfect the area. His fingers delicately prodded the tender flesh. He seemed to be measuring, checking position. With the tip of a pen he marked one spot and another. He pressed something small and cold up and under the hood that covered her clitoris.

  “Mistress Irina suggests you blow out while I push the needle through.”

  She nodded, unable to speak. She was mute from fear and arousal. Around Søren they were inseparable sensations, twin strands of the same cord.

  “I’ll count for you. When I say three, you blow out hard. Yes?”

  “Yes, sir,” she said between shallow breaths.

  “One...two...three,” and on three she pushed her air out as he pushed the needle through, and felt nothing more than a quick pinch. He’d hurt her far worse before. This was nothing.

  “Good girl,” Søren said and she rose up and saw his blond head between her wide-open thighs and her feet in the stirrups, a sight that would linger long after that night in her most private fantasies.

  Carefully, not moving the lower half of her body at all, Eleanor rose up on her hands to see him finish the piercing. He took the ring and threaded it through the hole made by the needle. With his dexterous fingers, he fastened it with the small steel ball.

  “It is finished,” Søren said. She looked down at the ring and into Søren’s eyes. He pushed two fingers inside her and her hands clutched the edge of the table as he opened her up. He still had the gloves on. While he spread her wide they kissed again. When he pulled his fingers out of her, they were quickly replaced with his cock deep inside her. He unbuttoned his shirt, the one she wore, not the one he wore, and held her breasts in his hands, rubbing her nipples until they hardened. Unable to sit up any longer she rolled back and arched into his hands, into his penetration. Her clitoris throbbed as blood rushed to the area. She felt everything, every movement. Her clitoris had never been so sensitive or receptive. She orgasmed quickly, suddenly, before she’d steeled herself for it. A second orgasm closely followed the first. The ring throbbed like a beating heart, and her hips felt heavy and tight. She looked down at herself and saw the ring as much a part of her body as Søren’s cock inside her. The piercing was an act of sadism, of course, putting a needle and a ring through her clitoral hood, but the ring itself was a symbol—not merely of his sadism and ownership of her body, but of her trust in him, her devotion. A wedding band could be yanked off the finger
and tossed across the room. There would be no removing this ring in a moment of passion. It was there to stay like an arrow through a heart.

  An arrow or a needle.

  Or a knife.


  Nora slammed the black lacquer box shut and turned around. Søren stood in the doorway of his dungeon looking at her with a question in his eyes.

  “Sorry,” she said. “Lost in thought.”

  Søren stepped into his dungeon and locked the door behind him. He walked to her and looked down at the box in her hand.

  “Good memories in this box,” he said, carefully opening the lid.

  “A few,” she admitted. “One or two.”

  Søren took a sterilized needle out of its plastic, shut the box and set it aside.

  “Or three.” He took her much smaller hand in his large hand and pricked the tip of her index finger with the needle. He did it calmly, deliberately, but she saw his pupils dilate wildly as the needle tip sunk into her flesh. When he pulled it out, a drop of bright red blood pooled on her skin.

  “Oh, no,” she said. “Does this mean I’ll fall into a hundred-year sleep?”

  “I don’t see any spinning wheels anywhere, Sleeping Beauty.” He brought her hand to his mouth and kissed the blood off her finger. He bent his head to kiss her lips and she pulled away.

  “That’s not what I came here for,” she said. “And don’t flirt. I’m still furious at you for almost choking Kingsley to death.”

  Søren sighed. “You call it choking. He’d call it foreplay. Kingsley and I aren’t your concern.”

  “If you do it again, I’m calling the police. You can sit in an interrogation room and explain to the cops why you assaulted your brother-in-law. Maybe if you’re lucky, this time I’ll come to you and offer to get you out of trouble in exchange for your eternal obedience to me.”

  “The police know Kingsley. I wouldn’t get arrested for assaulting him. I’d likely get a medal.”

  “I’m serious. Don’t take out your anger at me on him.”

  “Did you come here simply to scold me for hurting Kingsley? If so, I am duly contrite,” he said without a trace of contrition. “Now, if you’re not here for me, I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave. I’m meeting Simone in twenty minutes.”

  “I know. She told me. That’s why I’m here. I needed to tell someone,” she said, and pulled a piece of paper from her pocket. It was an email she’d printed out earlier today. Søren took it from her, unfolded it and read the words on the page, first with mere interest and then with obvious joy.

  “Eleanor, is that what I think it is?”

  “I sold my book.”


  Good News

  “A PUBLISHER CALLED Libretto is buying it. Two-book deal. It’s for almost no money, and my agent warned me I wouldn’t see a penny of it for about three months, but they’re a solid company with a really good track record for launching authors.” The words came out fast as they’d been bottled up inside her for twenty-six whole hours. Ever since she’d gotten the phone call and the email with the details, she’d been fighting the need to scream from the rooftops.

  Søren raised his hand and touched her smile. “I’m so proud of you.”

  “Me, too. Although I’m terrified. They want another book from me in six months, and I don’t even have a laptop yet. I hope King hooks me up with a rich client soon. I need to get to work.”

  “I have the utmost faith in you.”

  “Thank you,” she whispered. “I don’t know if I’ll ever break the habit of telling you everything.”

  “I hope you never do. When you start keeping secrets from me, then I’ll know something’s very wrong.”

  “I know you won’t tell on me. You’re good at keeping my secrets.”

  “It’s what priests do. Should we celebrate?”

  “How? You want to take me out to dinner?”

  “I wish I could.”

  She wished he could, too. And it grated. It grated right on her heart that he, an unmarried adult man, couldn’t take her, an unmarried adult woman, out to dinner without risking a scandal simply because of the collar he wore around his neck and the initials behind his name.

  “We could celebrate in private,” he said. “Later tonight...if you wish.”

  “If I wish? That’s different. You used to summon me, and I came crawling.”

  “You never came while you were crawling. Shortly thereafter, however.”

  “If Simone’s listening at the door then she really is going to be very jealous. She’s crazy about you.”

  “Simone wouldn’t eavesdrop on us.”

  “Fuck, I would.”

  Søren smiled. A quick smile, there and gone again like the flash of headlights in a darkened room.

  “I should go,” Nora said. She started for the door but Søren grabbed her hand and pulled her to him. “Søren, don’t.”

  “Don’t what? Don’t do this?” He wrapped one foot around her calf to lock her against him. He put his hand under her chin and held it in place while he kissed her. Against her will, she warmed to the kiss, to the touch of his hand on her face, his body so close to hers. Every morning she woke up with a ghost in her bed in the shape of his body. His scent was long gone from her sheets. She almost wished for winter so she could smell him without being near him. Being close to him hurt. Being away from him hurt. Søren had told her years ago that to love him was to hurt. She thought that night he referred only to his sadism. Now she knew better.

  Reluctantly she pulled away from him again, putting two feet between them. Breathing room.

  “Don’t pretend you aren’t tempted, Little One. I know you too well.”

  “What I want to do and what I’m willing to do aren’t the same thing anymore. And I can read you, too, you know. And when I look in your eyes, I read warnings. If I go back to you, you will take everything from me that I’ve gained by leaving you.”

  “We made a deal, remember? You gave me forever and I would give you everything. I fully intend to hold up my end of the deal, no matter what it costs me.”

  “It was a bad deal,” she said. “I made it when I was fifteen. And you haven’t given me everything.”

  “I have given you my heart, my body and every secret about me you would ever want to know. I have put my priesthood on the line for you, my work, my reputation, my happiness and quite often my own sanity. What more do you want from me?”

  “An apology, for starters.”

  “For what? I’ll put it in writing.”

  “I’m sure it will be quite well crafted, written with lovely penmanship and entirely insincere. For what? You order me to marry you, order me to never see Kingsley again, break my riding crop and you have to ask what for?”

  “You knew what I was. You were warned. I warned you. Kingsley warned you. I will not apologize for who and what I am.”

  “Then let’s make a new deal. I won’t ask you to change what you are, and you don’t ask me to change what I am.”

  “What are you? Tell me. I’d love to know what you think you are.”


  Søren smiled at her. “Is that so? Then why are you still wearing your collar?”

  “I’m not.”

  He paused long enough to make her nervous. Then he came to her, pressing her back against the wall with the weight of his body. She hated him for being so tall and strong. He could dominate her simply by standing in front of her. She closed her eyes as he slipped his hand down her side, down her thigh, up her thigh... Nora inhaled as he slid his hand into her panties and pressed his fingers against her clitoral ring. He grasped it and tugged lightly.

  “I marked you with this, and you haven’t taken it out,” Søren said.

  “I don’t want to take it out. It feels good when I’m fucking.”

  “Is that the real reason?” Søren’s fingertip caressed her clitoris. It swelled under his touch.

  “The only reason.”

bsp; “You can lie to me all you want,” Søren said. “We both know the truth.”

  He pushed a finger inside her, and she spread her legs for him, too well trained to stop herself. She could safe out. But then he’d stop. Wait, wasn’t that the point? Nora had forgotten the point. How could she remember the point when he was massaging all those little places in her that made her so wet when he touched them?

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