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       The Queen, p.31

         Part #8 of The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz

  mistake. But Kingsley had trained her well as a dominatrix. It went against her nature to hurt someone who didn’t ask for pain. Søren not only hadn’t asked for the pain she’d given him, he hadn’t paid for it up front.

  “I love touching you,” she said. “I didn’t get to do this very often when I was in your collar. You always tied me up and touched me while I lay there dying to touch you.”

  “You should have begged a little more, and I might have let you.” Of course he would tell her this now, years after it mattered. Such a talented sadist, he could torment her in the past by giving her secrets in the present.

  “If I stopped touching you now, would you beg?”


  “What would you do?”

  “Finish with my left hand.”

  She laughed and felt his smile against her skin. She wrapped her foot around his left leg for no reason other than she wanted to be closer to him while she touched him. Now she concentrated on the head, the thick tip, rubbing her thumb over the little slick indentation at the top. Her hand roved down against him, clasping him firmly at the base before dragging her hand all the way to the head again. She did it again, pulling harder this time, making Søren shudder slightly. She gripped him tightly but moved slowly. He wasn’t the only sadist in the room.

  And because he wasn’t the only sadist in the room, right when she had him, when she knew he’d come any second, she stopped.

  She stopped and smiled at him, leaning back on the bathroom counter onto her hands.

  “Okay,” she said, “finish with your left hand.”

  He narrowed his eyes at her.

  “If you insist.”

  With his left hand he grabbed her by the arm and drew her roughly to him. Even with his right arm remaining mostly out of commission, he was still stronger than Nora. In an instant he had her turned around. He grabbed the back of her neck, pushed her onto the counter and held her there. She heard the sound of fabric moving only seconds before she felt him inside her. Touching him had made her wet, and he entered her easily. With cruel thrusts he slammed into her as she lay helpless, pinned to the tile countertop by his left hand on the back of her neck.

  Nora should have known better than to think she could get the upper hand with him. As roughly as he held her down, there was no chance for escaping. Unless she said her safe word. But then he’d stop and where was the fun in that? His thrusts were deep and long and in this position she felt exposed, open, helpless. She loved it. She hated it. She hated that she loved it and loved that she hated it because hating it meant she wasn’t completely his yet. There was still hope she could escape him completely. Someday. Eventually. But not yet. Not while he felt this good.

  Delicious tremors passed through her hips and up into her back and down her thighs as he fucked her. She felt filled by him, stretched open, owned and mastered. When she came she did so silently, a final last rebellion against him. When he came in her, she sighed, grateful for the warm wet heat she’d missed so much. She made her other lovers wear condoms. Not Søren, though. She could never be with him with something between them.

  Søren pulled out of her and let her up. The back of her neck ached where his hands had gripped her. Without a word to him she walked out of the bathroom, heading to the bedroom to put on her clothes leaving bloody footprints behind her.

  “Where are you going?” Søren demanded.

  “Getting out of the ocean,” she said. “I’m done swimming.”


  A New Client

  MISTRESS NORA’S DUNGEON is a happy dungeon. That was her motto. Men came to her broken in all the wrong ways and she sent them home smiling, broken in all the right ways. But in the days after Søren told her his news, Mistress Nora’s dungeon wasn’t a happy dungeon because Mistress Nora wasn’t happy. She told Kingsley to send her masochists that week and only masochists. With a scalpel she carved her name into the back of a handsome world-famous violinist, her penmanship careful and elegant as she knew her name would remain in his skin for months before it healed and faded. In an upstate home that was more fortress than house, Nora whipped a retired four-star general into near-unconsciousness. He tipped her a thousand dollars for being the first woman to beat him as hard as he’d dreamed of being beaten. The next day Kingsley sent her to a hotel suite, all gilt and red and velvet, a Rococo monstrosity from a Sacher-Masoch fever dream. In the suite she presided over a rite in which the client was tied to the bed on his back spread-eagle and branded with a branding iron on his biceps and inner thighs. Four dominatrixes. Four brands. Permanent scars. He wept with gratitude after the scene as Nora cleaned the deep wounds. In the absence of pain, the client was impotent and he’d had his first orgasm in a year when they’d branded him. The client was the wealthy twenty-five-year-old son of Hungary’s ambassador to the United Nations. Nora had kissed his forehead and called him a sweet little boy. He kissed the soles of her boots and called her his queen for life.

  After four days Nora was spent. She had no more pain to give and still no peace in her heart. She lay on her back on the bed in her dungeon, her black-and-white braided riding crop in her hand. Lazily she twirled it like a majorette with a baton. If her hands went idle for a single second she knew the devil would use them for playthings. He’d use them to make her call Søren or worse, go to Søren. She had no right to ask him not to take his Final Vows. None. She’d left him. She’d also told him to stop waiting for her time and time again. She’d begged him to find someone new to love, someone new to fuck. Go back to Kingsley, she’d said to him on more than one occasion. Sleep with Simone, she adores you, she’d said on another. Find someone else to fuck. Stop playing martyr, waiting for me to come back to you. It was a selfish request on her part, wanting him to move on. She couldn’t move on completely until he did. When they were together they’d been like a couple holding hands, tightly clinging to each other in a viselike grip. She’d left him but his hand still held hers even as she struggled to pull away from his fingers. At last he was letting her hand go and as soon as he let go, she’d realized his hand was the only thing holding her up.

  Søren had found a new love and it was his oldest love—older than his love for her, even older than his love for Kingsley. He was leaving them both for God. And how on earth or how in the hell was she supposed to compete with God?

  Nora’s hotline phone rang but she didn’t answer it. Either it was Kingsley calling about scheduling another client or it was Søren, the only person other than Juliette who had her hotline number. She didn’t have the mental energy to talk to Kingsley right now.

  Had Søren told Kingsley he was taking Final Vows yet? Possibly. The minute after Kingsley learned of Søren’s accident and injuries, he’d hired a private nurse to tend to their wounded priest twice a day. A relief for Nora. It gave her an excuse to keep her distance from him, gave her time to recover.

  When near Søren, she felt too much. He exhausted her the way she imagined the people who lived at the foot of a sleeping volcano were exhausted from pretending they didn’t live at the foot of a sleeping volcano. She’d seen a volcano once, long ago, during a trip out West. At first she thought it nothing more than a snow-capped mountain until someone had called it what it was, and she knew the fear of it then for it was as fearsome as it was beautiful. Finally she understood why Søren’s skin smelled of snow and yet his touch was warm. At the volcano’s core lurked a buried sleeping fire, a channel direct from the molten center of the earth that rose to the coldest corners of the sky. When the volcano erupted—and it would someday—not all the ice and snow in the world would be able to contain the conflagration.

  But the snow had to try.

  And yet Nora would rather go on living in fear at the foot of that volcano than live in safety anywhere else in the wide world.

  Reluctantly Nora glanced at her phone. It had been Kingsley calling. She’d call him back in a few minutes. Or maybe she’d go over to the town house and crawl into bed with him.
Not for sex. She just couldn’t stand the thought of spending the night alone in her house with this news, this news hanging over her like a poison cloud. She’d sleep at Griffin’s tonight. Or King’s. Or a total stranger’s. She wished Talel would show up on her doorstep to take her away from her life for a day or two. Or anyone...

  With a heavy sigh, Nora walked over to a coffin sitting on the floor of her dungeon. She unlocked the brass latches and opened the lid.

  “Time’s up, Troy,” she said.

  “Already?” the man in the coffin said. He was naked apart from his black socks and the smile on his face.

  “Already. I even gave you five bonus minutes.” She held out her hand and helped him from the coffin. “No charge.”

  “You’re wonderful, Mistress. I feel like a million bucks.”

  “I wish lying in a coffin for an hour made me feel better,” she said. “I’d sleep in one every night.”

  “Nothing like being locked in a coffin and facing your own mortality to make you feel alive.” Troy pulled on his jeans and T-shirt and slipped on his shoes. He did look annoyingly refreshed and happy. “Thank you very much.”

  “I still can’t figure out why you pay me for this,” she said as Troy handed over a two-hundred-dollar tip. He was a Wall Street hotshot who regularly made six-and seven-figure commissions. He’d told her once that sensory deprivation helped with his focus and he credited his success at the brokerage to his sessions in his closed and locked coffin. “All I do is lock you in and let you out an hour later. Can’t you get your own coffin and do it at home?”

  “I can’t lock myself in. It doesn’t work unless I’m actually locked in and can’t get out. My last domme would open the box every ten minutes to make sure I was still breathing. Ruined my focus. Killed my Zen. Killed my boner, too. Horrible. You leave me alone in there and that’s all I ask. Same time next week?”

  “You’re welcome to pseudo-kill yourself in my coffin anytime. Or actually kill yourself.”

  “See? This is why you’re the best domme,” Troy said. “You can pull off the whole ‘I don’t care if you actually die’ routine so well. That’s part of the release, the excitement, knowing I could literally die and you’d let me. I face death and conquer it. Then I hit the trading floor like Godzilla, totally immune to fear.”

  “Of all the Wall Street guys I know, you are by far the most Wall Street,” she said, opening the dungeon door for him.

  “Mistress, I will take that as a compliment,” he said, grinning.


  “Yes, Mistress?”

  “It wasn’t a compliment.” She slammed the door in his face.

  Through the door she heard a muffled “Love you, Mistress.”

  She picked up her red leather day planner off the side table and flipped through it. She thought she had another appointment today but couldn’t remember who it was with or where it was. Juliette had taken over scheduling Nora’s clients while Kingsley was giving her the silent treatment. Juliette was so much better at it Nora almost wished Kingsley hadn’t forgiven her for Talel. Juliette actually scheduled her days off and other wonderful things like that. And whenever scheduling a new client, Juliette would work up something like an intake form for Nora so she would be better prepared for the session.

  Inside her planner Nora found the envelope Juliette had clipped to today’s date. She opened and read the form.

  White male, American, age 29.

  Client requests a one-hour weekly session for pain and release.

  Release? Basic code for “beat him until he comes.” And if he didn’t come from the beating he would be, if he earned it, allowed to masturbate while she watched and made commentary.

  Client has a strong tolerance for pain but requests no broken skin. A sustained beating is preferred as client wishes to achieve and remain in subspace for the duration of the session. He has been to several dominas before. His experience level is high.

  Okay. No whippings. Whips did too much damage. The flogger then, the thick elk-skin one. Those marks healed fast. And candle wax, too. The wax left red marks, but they faded within a day.

  One hour of flogging? Easy money.

  Nora kept reading.

  Medical warning: client has an inoperable brain aneurysm. In case of confusion, strange behavior, fainting, stroke or sudden illness, cease play immediately and call 911. Client has no immediate family with whom he is in contact.

  “Knock, knock.”

  Nora turned and saw none other than Thorny himself standing in the doorway to her dungeon. He held what looked like at least two dozen red and white roses in his hand.

  “You,” she said.

  “Me?” He pointed at himself.

  “You’re my new client?” she asked, pleasantly surprised. She’d had enough bad surprises lately. She was due for a good surprise.

  “Is that a problem?” he asked as he stepped inside.

  “Not a problem. Just unexpected. I haven’t seen you in two years.”

  “Been busy,” he said. “Busy bee with busy beavers. These are for you, Mistress.”

  “Thank you, they’re beautiful.”

  “Watch out. I ordered roses with extra thorns.”

  “You would, wouldn’t you?” Smiling she set the roses on her nightstand. “Thorny, what are you doing here?”

  He looked good, healthy despite the aneurysm. He had on tight black jeans and an artfully torn T-shirt, no sleeves to show off his elegant full sleeve tattoos.

  “The usual reason—I need to be flogged, often and by someone who knows how.”

  “I haven’t seen you in two years and you all of sudden need a flogging from me?”

  He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back against her bedpost.

  “Bad week,” he admitted.

  “What happened?”

  “Consult with a hotshot surgeon who was convinced he could take care of this,” he said, tapping his forehead. “Long story short, he can’t. My fault for getting my hopes up.”

  “Oh, Thorny, I’m so sorry,” she said.

  He shrugged and didn’t meet her eyes. He looked defeated, scared, almost feverish. Bad week. She knew how he felt.

  “I needed a pick-me-up. You’re the best domme in town, so the story goes. I wanted the best.”

  “I don’t know,” she said. “I don’t feel comfortable taking money from you.”

  “Please, I don’t want pity. Anything but that from you.”

  “It’s not pity, I promise. I have a client with terminal cancer and another with chronic pain, and I take their money without batting an eyelash. But you... I knew you before you were a client. And I liked you. Plus you warned me about Milady, which you didn’t have to do.”

  “You stepped in front of a whip to protect me from a beating. You didn’t have to do that, either.”

  “I wish you hadn’t booked me. I would flog you for free, for the fun of it. I like you and I’m not allowed to be intimate friends with a client.”

  “Or more than friends?” he asked, giving her a look—that look. That more-than-friends look.

  “Or more than friends,” she said, remembering how much she wanted him the night she saw him at the Body House. Her heart broke for him. She couldn’t imagine what he lived with day in and day out. It would be like being locked in a coffin every single day and not knowing if anyone would come along and open the lid. “We already have a prior existing relationship. If Juliette had known that she never would have booked you with me. She would have scheduled you with Mistress Irina or somebody else.”

  “I don’t want somebody else. I want you.”

  “Yeah, that’s the problem. Dominatrixes and clients are supposed to have distance. Boundaries. I sort of crossed a line with a client a few weeks ago and Kingsley nearly fired me over it.”


  “Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to flog you.”

  Thorny sat on her bed. He looked good there.

aybe we could arrange a trade then,” he said. “I can call and cancel my appointment, right? Tell Juliette that I chickened out. She’ll give me my money back, right?”

  “Of course. I just have to tell her we didn’t have the session.”

  “Then I’m not a client anymore. And you can give me a flogging. And I can give you...well, anything you want, Mistress.”

  “Anything I want?”

  He batted his eyelashes at her.

  “You want me to beat you and top you in exchange for you fucking me?”

  “Not just fucking,” Thorny said. “Women don’t pay me two grand a night for a vanilla fuck. I give the whole shebang.”

  “What is the whole shebang?”

  “It’s when I bang she hole.”

  Nora narrowed her eyes at him. Thorny laughed and took her hand into his and kissed the back of it.

  “Mistress, I have a gift. And so do you. You give me your gift and I’ll give you my gift. I’m clean. I’ve been tested. I’m a condom maniac. There is no escort on the planet who gives a better
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