The queen, p.4
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       The Queen, p.4
 

         Part #8 of The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz

  of some of it. It will be hard work. You’ll be tempted to return to him. Better to face that temptation head-on instead of running and hiding from it. Tu comprends?”

  “Je comprends.” He was right although she hated to admit it. No way could she avoid Søren forever.

  “Don’t be afraid. You won’t have to see him right away. He doesn’t know you’ve returned. No one outside this house does, and Calliope and Juliette will keep the secret.”

  “What’s the plan? How do we ‘depose’ this Milady of yours?”

  “In six weeks’ time, there will be a party at The 8th Circle. The summer solstice party—the Midsummer Night’s Fling. Everyone will be there. I will let it be known that I have a new domina who will make her debut that night. I will warn the world that she is the most dangerous, most sadistic and most beautiful domme they’ve ever seen. A domme who will put the great Milady in the shade. She will come, of course. If she doesn’t, she’ll be seen as a coward.”

  “Six weeks? You think I’ll be ready in six weeks?”

  “We’ll start your training tomorrow. I’ll work on a plan of attack, and we’ll build your dungeon.”

  “I get my own dungeon? At the club? Seriously?”

  “You will have the best dungeon in the house.”

  Elle couldn’t repress a grin at that thought. Her own dungeon—she’d dreamed of such a thing but never spoke that fantasy aloud. That alone would be worth all the work Kingsley would demand of her.

  “Okay. Six weeks. Milady shows up to this party. Everybody’s there. I turn up. And then what?”

  Kingsley looked at her without smiling and the look on his face both scared and excited her.

  “Then you will do what you do best.”

  “What is that?” she asked.

  “Hurt men.”

  Elle laughed, her first real laugh since she’d set foot in this house.

  “Hurt men? With pleasure,” she said. “Theirs and mine.”

  “And mine,” Kingsley said and he knelt on the floor at her feet, sitting between her knees. He cupped her face with his hands and brought her mouth to his. A kiss... The very last thing she expected him to do was kiss her. And not a simple, benign, friendly kiss between ex-lovers greeting each other after a year living separate lives. No, this was a kiss that meant something. His lips pushed hers apart, his tongue slipped between her teeth, his thumbs brushed her cheeks. She returned the kiss, pushing close to him so that her legs wrapped around his back and her hands found their way to his hair. She dug her fingers into the soft dark waves and pulled, tilting his chin up, taking control of the kiss.

  “I’m glad you came back,” Kingsley said between kisses, his voice low and intimate, his French accent thick and his erection pressing against her thigh.

  “Why is that?” she asked, aching for more than a kiss.

  “Because,” he said, kissing her neck under her ear and breathing the words so that she felt them brush across her skin like fingertips, “I’m your first client.”

  5

  Flogging Lessons

  “HARDER,” KINGSLEY SAID. Elle did it harder, hard as she could. “You call that harder?”

  She threw the flogger down and turned to Kingsley.

  “How do you know how hard I’m hitting when I’m not hitting anyone?” She pointed at the towel on the wall. “That is a bath towel, not a person. No matter how hard I hit it, it’s not going to scream.”

  “It’s still hanging on the wall. And if it’s still hanging on the wall—” Kingsley picked up the flogger, threw it once with a practiced snap, and the towel fell to the floor landing in a soft pile at their feet “—you aren’t hitting it hard enough.”

  Elle exhaled heavily and scooped the towel off the floor to pin it back in place. They were in Kingsley’s playroom. It boasted a red St. Andrew’s Cross, a leather kneeling bench, two dozen floggers, canes and enough rope to truss up an entire herd of cattle. From the ceiling hung an elegant glass chandelier, which gave the playroom that touch of class everyone expected from the King of the Underground. For the past two weeks Kingsley had brought her here for four hours a day, training her in the various arts of pain. Caning was a breeze. Clamps were a blast. Flogging, however, had proven to be more difficult than it looked.

  Once the towel was back in place, Elle held out her hand. Kingsley gave her the black-tailed elk-hide flogger, slapping the handle into her palm.

  “I could knock it off with a whip,” she said.

  “No whips. No single-tails. You could kill someone with one of those. You get to touch the whip when you’re ready and not a moment sooner.”

  “I like whips.”

  “Don’t we all, but you’ll use floggers more often than whips. No whipping until you’ve mastered flogging. Then I’ll find you a whip master. Now do it again,” he said, his voice calm and steady. “Make it hurt.”

  “I’ll make it hurt.” Elle narrowed her eyes at the towel. “I can make it hurt. Who knows more about pain than the submissive of a sadist?”

  “You are not a submissive. You never were.”

  “Then what the hell was I doing the past decade of my life, King?”

  “Wasting everyone’s time?”

  She glared at him. “Look, I want to do this right. I loved topping you. I loved hurting you. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t love submitting, too.”

  “You have to let that part of your life go. You aren’t her anymore.”

  “I’m still Elle Schreiber. No matter which end of the whip I’m on¸ I’m still Elle Schreiber.”

  Kingsley narrowed his eyes at her.

  “That’s it.”

  “That’s what?”

  “You need a new name,” he said.

  “What?”

  “A new name. A scene name. Everyone already knows you as Eleanor Schreiber. Everyone already knows you as his submissive, his property. But you aren’t his anymore. You need a new name.”

  “Like what?”

  “I don’t know. I’ll figure something out.”

  “You’re going to give me a new name? Do I get any say in this?”

  “You can pick out the font on your business cards after I decide on your new name. Now flog.”

  Elle took a few steadying breaths and focused her attention. She could do this. How many times had she been flogged in her life? First time when she was twenty, eight years ago. She’d spent at least one night a week in the company of the most infamous sadist in their vast kink community during all those years. Sometimes two. Two times fifty-two times seven equaled a lot of fucking floggings. And that didn’t include all the ones Kingsley had given her.

  With one more heavy breath she placed her feet in position and raised the flogger over her head. With her right hand she held the handle, with her left hand the tips of the tails.

  She pulled the tails taut and then let it go with a flick. It was a good hit, a strike right down the middle. And yet, the towel stayed pinned in place.

  “Fuck.”

  Kingsley gave a low chuckle, and she nearly flogged his French face.

  “You’re finding out that being a dominant is more work than you ever imagined, aren’t you?” he asked.

  “I need more practice. These floggers are heavier than they look.”

  “And you’re a woman and you’re five foot three, and you don’t possess one-tenth of the upper body strength I do.”

  “I swim laps.”

  “Not enough.”

  “Fine. I’ll join a gym.”

  “Yes, you will. But you’ll never be as strong as I am, or as strong as he is or as strong as the average healthy man on the street is. This job isn’t about muscle strength. The physical part of dominating someone is the smallest part of it. Your clients will be men, and they will be bigger and stronger than you are. You’ll never outweigh them, and you’ll never be able to beat them at arm wrestling.”

  “So...shoot them?” she asked.

  Kingsley smiled.

 
; “They want to submit to you. They want you to hurt them. They won’t want to hurt you, because that’s not their nature. They want to be dominated by a woman because they don’t feel alive or sexual or aroused until they’re beaten, used and treated like objects. But if you want that respect, if you want their lips on your boots and their souls at your feet, you have to earn their respect. And you earn it by showing them you aren’t afraid to hurt them. Milady hurts them. You’ll hurt them more. Now do it again.”

  She did it again. And again. And again. She did it until her back burned and her muscles screamed and she thought she’d die if she had to lift her arms over her head again. But she did it again, and she didn’t die. She wanted to die, but unfortunately she didn’t get her wish.

  After half an hour Elle dropped her arms to her sides. Sweat poured from her forehead and down her back. Her heart pounded and she gulped down an entire bottle of water in a few swallows.

  She pulled the towel down—she still hadn’t managed to knock it off the wall—and raised it to her face.

  “Why are you doing that?” Kingsley asked.

  “Wiping my sweat off? Because I’m sweaty.”

  “You have a man in this room. Why not use his clothes to wipe your sweat off?”

  “You want me to wipe my gross sweat on one of your Signore Vitale custom-made shirts? You’d kill me.”

  “Would I?” he asked.

  “I would if someone did that to me.”

  Kingsley smiled at her and her stomach tightened in unwanted wanting. Every night she waited for Kingsley to come to her bedroom like he used to do, but not once had he slipped under her covers and whispered sexual orders to her like he had so many times in the past.

  “When we were lovers in high school,” he began and she knew who he meant by we, “it was my job to undress him many nights, but his clothes must be folded neatly, precisely, reverently, and then placed on a chair. No mess, no wrinkles. But he...he would strip me naked and drop all my clothes onto the floor. Then he’d walk on them. Not barefoot, either. With his shoes on most of the time. And you know what?” Kingsley asked as he stepped closer to her, close enough she could kiss him if she wanted to.

  “What?”

  “I worshipped him for it.” Kingsley smiled at her, a Mona Lisa smile that hinted of secrets but didn’t reveal them. “He would sometimes pretend I wasn’t there when I spoke to him...and I worshipped him for it. He would tell me he didn’t want me anymore and then at the moment I was ready to kill myself in despair, he’d smile to show it was all a joke...and I worshipped him for it. I mocked him once for what happened between him and his sister Elizabeth, and you know what he did?”

  “I don’t want to know.”

  “He blindfolded me, tied me to the cot and made me say my sister’s name over and over again while he gave me the most intense erotic pleasure of my life with his hands and his mouth. When I stopped speaking he stopped pleasuring me. Then he made me say my own sister’s name when I came. And you know what?”

  “You worshipped him for it?”

  Kingsley nodded.

  Point taken. To show Kingsley how thoroughly she’d absorbed her lesson she walked over to where he stood by the St. Andrew’s Cross, his arms folded over his chest. He wore camel-colored breeches and dark brown Hessian riding boots, a snow-white shirt held together at the throat with a gold pin and a dark brown vest with little gold fleurs-de-lis embroidered on it. Kingsley looked magnificent, like a Regency-era fever dream. If Jane Austen had set eyes on Kingsley, she would never have written her genteel comedies of manner.

  She would have written porn.

  Elle wiped her sweaty forehead off on his shoulder.

  “See?” she asked, smiling up at him. “I can be taught.”

  He looked down at the wet smudge she’d left on his pristine shirt and back at her.

  “I could have you flogged for that.”

  “I’m not a submissive anymore, remember?”

  “I’m glad you’re starting to realize that,” he said and then lowered his voice to a whisper. “Finally.”

  “I know I’m a dominant. I know I am.”

  “Are you sure?”

  “I think I’m sure.”

  “Then you aren’t sure. Elle, what we’re doing here... I need all of you for it. Your heart, your soul, your strength, your guts. All of you. If you can’t give me all of you, then you are, yet again, wasting everyone’s time. Now tell me...do you want this? Do you want to be my Queen?”

  “I want it.”

  “It? What is it you want? Money?”

  “Yes,” she admitted without shame. She needed a good job that didn’t take up all her time if she were going to do something with her writing.

  “Power?”

  “Definitely.”

  “Me?” he asked.

  “You did say you’d be my first client,” she reminded him.

  “I will be.”

  “You said I won’t be having sex with my clients.”

  “Are you asking me if we’re going to have sex again?”

  “Yes,” she said without shame or apology. She wanted him. She knew he wanted her. Why hadn’t they fucked yet?

  “Would you like to?”

  “Yes.”

  “Prove it.”

  “Prove it? How?”

  “By acting like the domme I know you are. Once you are a domme, I will be your client, and you can do anything you want to me.”

  “Anything?”

  Kingsley met her eyes and whispered, “Anything.”

  “You’re going to regret that.”

  “I can’t wait to regret it.”

  “This is a test, isn’t it? You’re testing me?”

  “Of course I am.”

  “And if I pass this test, what do I win?”

  “Me.”

  “Good prize.”

  “When I am done with you,” he said, taking her face in his hands, “there will not be a man in the world who wouldn’t take a bullet to lick your boots.”

  “It’s not my boots that need licking right now.”

  Kingsley smiled at her, a sensual, mysterious smile. It did not bode well.

  “I’ll give you a hint about how to win your prize. Do you know a woman by the name of Theresa Berkley?” he asked.

  “If I met her I don’t remember.”

  “You’ve never met her. She died in the 1830s. But before she died she worked as a dominatrix. I doubt she used that term, but that’s what she was. She invented a sort of standing table she called a chevelet. It was used to torture men on one side of their bodies while another woman could sexually stimulate them on the other side. We have the freestanding St. Andrew’s Cross for that now, but it was quite an ingenious bit of furniture.”

  “Sounds like my kind of girl.”

 
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