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       The Saint, p.42

         Part #5 of The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz
 

  “So are you.”

  Eleanor took a deep breath.

  “Can I ask you a question?”

  “Of course, Little One.”

  “Are you as nervous as I am?”

  He exhaled heavily. “I haven’t done this since I was eighteen years old.”

  “So you are nervous?”

  “Not at all.”

  “Me, neither,” she said and meant it.

  Søren dipped his head and her lips trembled against his. She hadn’t lied. She didn’t feel a moment’s nervousness. Only peace and desire as if this moment had been waiting outside her door her entire life and at last she could let it in.

  She reached behind her head and pulled out the pencil she’d used to hold her hair back in a loose knot. Søren smiled at the pencil lying on her palm.

  “You’re so certain you’re going to pass this test tonight?” he asked her. She laid the pencil on the piano by the candle, thrilled Søren remembered their long-ago talk about how she’d take only a pencil to the tests she’d knew she’d ace.

  “I plan on blowing the curve.”

  They kissed again, kissed through their smiles.

  “Stay,” Søren said as he pulled away from her.

  She waited on the piano bench as ordered. From now until the end of time this would be her life—Søren giving orders and her taking them. She would wait when he said wait and where he said wait and she would not move until he told her she could move.

  Søren returned to the living room carrying a large ivory basin, a glass pitcher of water and a small white towel.

  Her heart caught in her throat when Søren knelt on the floor in front of her.

  “Søren, please don’t—”

  “It’s Holy Thursday. This is what priests do on Holy Thursday.”

  “Why?”

  “Because Christ washed his disciples’ feet on the night of the Last Supper.”

  She’d struggled with what to wear tonight, struggled until she remembered it wouldn’t matter. If she’d shown up in torn rags, Søren would still love her, still want her. And she’d be naked any moment anyway. She’d dressed in jeans and a sweater. Underneath she wore white lingerie that Kingsley had paid for and Sam had picked out. As weird as it was to get lingerie from Kingsley and Sam, she couldn’t fault their taste. Even if it was weird, she liked that. Life would be weird from now on. She was the mistress of a Catholic priest who was the best friend of the king of an S&M empire. Life was weird and wonderful and all she could say to it was Amen, Amen.

  So be it.

  Søren took her right foot in his hand and she shivered at the gentle touch. As he poured warm water over her feet, she sighed from the heat. So this was love? She tucked this feeling in her heart and hid it there. Someday she would write about this moment. She would write a book about a girl who fell in love with a god and then, to her complete surprise, discovered the god loved her back. Since he couldn’t be a man she would be a goddess and leave the mortal world behind for him.

  He poured the water over her left foot and dried both her feet with the towel. Not even kneeling at her feet diminished Søren in her eyes. His long eyelashes cast shadows on his cheeks. One mutinous strand of hair wanted to fall over his forehead. She pushed it back and Søren pressed his cheek into her hand. As much as she railed and fought against waiting this long, she now understood why it had been for the best. They met each other as equals tonight. Her submission meant more because she chose it freely instead of letting the law or their age difference or anything in the world impose it on her.

  Søren stood up and took her in his arms. He lifted her off the piano bench and carried her upstairs. She’d never been in his bedroom before, and it didn’t disappoint. It seemed a sacred space to her, the room where Søren slept. The white sheets covered the bed like a new-fallen snow. The dark wood of the four-poster bed appeared to her like the trunks of trees—strong and eternal. She felt like a virgin sacrifice brought to an ancient forest. Blood must be spilled for the gods to be appeased. She offered her own blood tonight and would pour it like wine on snow.

  A glass of red wine sat by the bed. Søren raised it and drank from the glass. He handed it to her.

  “Drink. It will relax you.”

  She drank as ordered.

  “I will be as careful as I can be tonight.”

  “The more pain I feel, the more you enjoy it, yes?”

  Søren opened a box on the bedside table and pulled her white collar from it. He stepped behind her as she kept drinking the wine.

  “Yes. But I can still enjoy myself without torturing you.”

  “You don’t have to be careful with me, sir.” She inhaled as he locked the collar around her neck. She breathed into its grip.

  “You are my most precious possession. I will guard you with my life.”

  He took the glass from her hand and sat it on the table again. She stared at it, taking her eyes from it only when Søren sat on the side of the bed facing her.

  Without a word, he ordered her to remove her clothes. She could do that now, read his wants and desires without requiring his words. He’d trained her well, trained her for this night. And so she obeyed without hesitation, pulling her sweater off and dropping it to the floor. Her jeans she slid off next. She unhooked her bra and stepped out of her panties. It had been like this once upon a time in Eden. A man and a woman in paradise with nothing between each other, nothing between them and God. It had been like this once, and tonight when they made love they would step one foot back into Eden and see what had been lost and what could be found again.

  “I want you to hurt me,” she said. “As much as you want, sir.”

  “You say that, but you don’t mean it.”

  “I mean it.”

  Søren slapped her.

  Eleanor started. In openmouthed shock she stared at Søren. She raised a hand to her cheek. It burned.

  “Now do you still want me to hurt you as much as I want?” Søren asked. The question wasn’t a question but a gauntlet thrown down. This is me, Søren was saying. Take me or leave me.

  She took him.

  She held out her hand, and Søren took it. For one second she thought she saw relief in his eyes.

  He led her to the bedpost. A large trunk sat at the foot of the bed next to her calves. Søren turned a key and opened the box. Inside it she first saw nothing but more sheets. He lifted the sheets and from underneath them pulled a set of white leather cuffs. He stood and took her right hand. He pressed her palm to the center of his chest as he locked the cuff around her wrist. He did the same to her left wrist. After she could only marvel at the sight of her hands in the cuffs. So this was what love looked like? Now she knew.

  “Say your safe word.”

  “Jabberwocky,” she said.

  “Good. At any time you can tell me if you need to stop. Tell me what you need and your request will be honored. Say your safe word only when and if you need me to stop everything. You give yourself freely to me. I would never force it on you.”

  “I know, sir. All I want is to please you tonight.”

  “You will. You already have. I will flog you first, cane you after. I won’t slap you again.”

  “You can,” she said. “I think I liked it, sir.”

  Søren dropped a kiss on the back of her neck.

  “If you’re good. I’ll tie you to the bedposts after. I want you faceup during sex tonight for the first time. I will give you as much pleasure as I give you pain, perhaps more.” He pressed against her back. She felt him unbuttoning his shirt. She pushed back into him, needing his skin against hers.

  “What is your favorite sort of pain to inflict, sir?”

  “Cutting. Nothing arouses me more than someone who will bleed for me.”

  “I’ll bleed for you, sir.”

  “On the bed, when I’m inside you, you will, yes. That is enough blood for one night.”

  Eleanor knew he referred to her virginity. She wanted to give him more.
She would give him more.

  He pulled a short length of rope from the trunk and weaved it through the buckles on her cuffs. He turned her toward the bedpost and secured her arms high over her head. She stretched out, breathing into the position, feeling exposed from her ankles to her neck. She couldn’t move her hands, couldn’t run away. Leaving him was no longer a choice. She couldn’t if she wanted to. She never wanted to.

  Søren ran his hand over her back, touching every inch of skin. No one existed but her and Søren. The world had begun the moment she stepped into his bedroom. It would end when she left it. Everything outside his bedroom door disappeared into nothingness. She didn’t miss it at all.

  The first blow of the flogger landed between her shoulder blades. Her back exploded in pain. She almost laughed from the shock of it.

  He struck her again. Breath exploded from her lungs. Then again and again the flogger landed, sometimes in the same spot over and over again until tears filled her eyes. She could never guess where the next blow would fall. After fifty she stopped trying to guess. After a hundred she didn’t even care. It stung brutally, and her skin burned like fire. More, she wanted. More. Let him burn her to the ground. Let her rise again from the ashes.

  The flogging ceased and Søren pressed his chest into her bare back. She cried out as his heat scalded her raw skin.

  “Too much?” He slid his hands up her sides and cupped her breasts. He teased her nipples and now she groaned in pleasure. He’d become the master of her body already. Tied up like this she could give herself neither pleasure nor pain, nor any sort of release or relief. All sensation came from him and him alone.

  “No, sir.”

  “You want more pain?”

  “I want all the pain you want to give me, sir.”

  With her arms tied to the bedpost she could only see in front of her. Søren pulled something else from his trunk. She couldn’t see it, but she could guess from the sound of the air being sliced in two. When the cane contacted with the back of her thighs, she screamed. She didn’t mean to, but the pain pushed the sound out of her. Søren paused as if waiting for her to object, to ask him to stop. If he waited for her to ask him to stop he’d be waiting all night.

  He struck her again.

  A third time.

  A fourth.

  She’d never known pain like this pain. She’d never known strength like the strength she summoned to endure it. And soon she no longer endured it, she enjoyed it. The pain became a game to her. How much could she take? How much could Søren give? He enslaved her with the pain. No one would suffer this willingly, so if she suffered it, it must be because he owned her and could hurt her like this. And yet she’d come here of her own volition. And a single word could stop him. He owned her for the same reason. It made no sense, none at all, and yet her body understood. She knew her body understood because Søren dropped the cane onto the floor and wrapped a hand around her hips. He pressed two fingers into her and sank deep into her wetness. She’d never been this intensely aroused in her life.

  With one hand still inside her, Søren reached up and unknotted the ropes. He turned her and pressed her back to the bedpost. With an arm under her left knee, he lifted her leg, opening her up so he could explore inside her more easily. She felt nothing but pleasure as he probed her with two fingers, moving in and out of her slowly. Her wetness eased his passage as he pushed deep into all her hidden places. When he pushed a third finger into her, she winced.

  “I know it hurts, Little One,” Søren whispered as he kissed her and pushed into the band of tissue at the entrance of her vagina. “Let me do this. It’ll be better this way.”

  “Not with your fingers, please,” she begged.

  “It will hurt less this way. I’ll have more control.”

  She shook her head.

  “Please …” she begged and Søren pressed his forehead to hers. “It’s how I dreamed of it. Please …”

  “You do beg beautifully.”

  “I’ll beg more if you want me to.” She wanted him to break her hymen not with his fingers but when he penetrated her the first time. It had to be that way. She needed it that way.

  “You’ll beg for mercy when I’m inside you the first time.”

  “I don’t want mercy. I want you.”

  He kissed her mouth as he lowered her leg to the floor. The entire back of her body from her knees to her shoulders throbbed from the beating. Why did people flee from pain and avoid it like the plague? Yes, it hurt, but so did everything that mattered. Love hurt, life hurt, birth hurt, changing hurt, growing hurt. The dead didn’t hurt, only the living. She had never felt so alive.

  Søren kissed her again, but only long enough to wet her lips. When Søren gripped the back of her neck, she had an idea of what might be coming next. It didn’t surprise her when he forced her onto her knees. She opened his pants and remembered that she’d fantasized about doing this to him since she was fifteen years old. But she wasn’t fifteen. She was twenty now. A grown woman. No reason to be nervous. He’d grown hard while beating her and she licked her lips in anticipation. Wrapping her mouth around him, she sucked deep, relishing the taste of him. Søren dug his hand into the back of her neck with bruising strength. From his lips escaped the slightest of groans. The sound of his pleasure emboldened Eleanor. She sucked harder, deeper, licked him from the base to the tip over and over again.

  This was what she’d wanted since the day they met. She’d wanted to serve him, to kneel before him, to offer herself to be used by him. Every day he sacrificed himself on the altar of the Catholic Church—gave up his time, his wealth, his freedom. That she could give this one thing to him, the pleasure of using her, and she would give it with all her heart, body and soul.

  She winced as Søren dug his fingers even deeper into her skin. She knew she’d have a black bruise from his fingers tomorrow.

  “Stop,” he ordered and Eleanor sat back on her knees.

  Søren cupped her chin and ran his thumb over her lips.

  “I think you enjoyed that.”

  She smiled up at him.

  “I live to serve.”

  “You do now.”

  With his hand on her chin, he guided her off the floor and back onto her feet.

  “Wait by the bed.”

  Søren left her standing at the bedpost while he pulled the top sheet of the bed down. He took more rope and another set of cuffs and laid them on the bed.

  As he prepared the bed, Eleanor stared at the wineglass on the table. She walked to it and drank the last few drops of wine. She took a step back and then another.

  When Søren turned back to her she held the glass out in front of her.

  “Eleanor?”

  She dropped the glass and it shattered on the floor at her feet … her bare feet.

  “Eleanor—”

  Before he could order her to do otherwise, she took a step forward onto the broken glass.

  “You said nothing pleases you more than someone who will bleed for you.” She took another step. The glass cut into her heel, into her toes. Søren inhaled sharply as she walked to him—bare feet on shattered glass. She hardly felt a thing. The only sign that glass had cut her were the bloody footprints she left behind her. She looked into Søren’s eyes. His pupils had widened hugely and his bare chest moved in shallow pants. She crossed the four feet to the bed.

  “If it had been fire, I would have walked through fire,” she whispered.

  “If it had been fire, I would have carried you through it.” He lifted her and laid her in the center of the bed.

  She wound her arms around his neck and he dug his fingers deep into her hair, bending her body back, baring her neck. He kissed the hollow of her throat, bit her collarbone and shoulder. With his knees he forced her thighs apart. He grasped her clitoris between his thumb and forefinger and she flinched from the marriage of pain with pleasure. He pried the lips of her vagina wide open and hooked his fingers over her pubic bone, pushing the tips into that soft
hollow an inch inside her. Low moans escaped her lips as he took possession of her body. The pain in her feet was long forgotten as her inner muscles pulsed around his fingers. Before she could come, however, he released her from his grasp and pushed her hard and fast onto her back. In seconds he had her wrists and ankles cuffed to the bedposts, and left her lying there as she breathed and waited and wanted. She closed her eyes as he returned to her, a wet
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