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       The Saint, p.43

         Part #5 of The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz
 

  cloth in his hand. He wiped blood and glass off her feet, a move so careful and tender she could scarcely believe that he was the same man who moments earlier had nearly ripped her open with his fingers.

  You have only seen him by day. She remembered Kingsley’s words. All light and shadow. But the night will come and you will see the darkness.

  So this was the darkness? Then may she live the rest of her life by night.

  After binding her to the bed with leather cuffs and black rope, Søren stared down at her helpless body.

  “Mine,” he said and met her eyes.

  “Yours, sir.”

  When he’d finished binding her, she lay on her back unable to move her legs or her arms. This was how it would be. This was how it would happen. This was the beginning. This was the end.

  Søren stripped out of his clothes. She had dreamed of his naked body and now she saw it bathed in moonlight and candlelight and his own light that came from within him. Even naked he still seemed clothed with dignity and strength, and he wore his strength like a shield. With his body, he covered hers. His thighs felt like marble against her thighs. His skin shone like polished gold. His lips tasted as sweet as the wine and she drank deep of him.

  “Why did the king tie Esther to the bed?” he asked.

  “Because he loved her.”

  32

  Eleanor

  SØREN LINGERED AT HER MOUTH. HE KISSED HER AND she returned the kiss with equal and even greater fervency. Their tongues mingled and she drank of the wine on his lips, swallowed the heat of his mouth. Eleanor winced as Søren nipped her bottom lip.

  Søren dusted kisses across the sensitive skin of her chest. Under his mouth her heart pounded, her blood throbbed. She ached to touch him but every time she tried to move her hands the bonds held her. Kingsley had warned her about the bondage. Søren needed to stay in control as much as possible. The more helpless she was, the more he would feel compelled to protect her.

  She inhaled as Søren licked the tip of her right nipple. He brought his mouth down on her breast and sucked gently as he teased her left nipple with his fingers. Tied down as she was, she couldn’t do much but arch her back to offer more of her breasts to him. He moved his mouth to her left nipple. Heat gathered in her breasts and melted through her stomach, settling into her hips. She wanted him inside her. No, not wanted, needed.

  “Please, sir …” she begged.

  “Please what?” He raised his head and cocked his eyebrow at her as if amused she would even dare beg for anything.

  “I want you.”

  “You have me.”

  “I want you inside me.”

  “I’m always inside you, Little One.”

  Eleanor entertained a brief fantasy of stabbing him in the neck. But then he moved his lips to her mouth again.

  “Patience,” he whispered against her skin. “I have waited years for this night. I won’t rush it.”

  “Did you really want me from the day we met?”

  “So much it scared me.”

  He ran his fingertips down the center of her body until he rested his palm against her clitoris. It pulsed against his hand.

  “I want you to come for me. I need you as wet as possible before I enter you. Understand?”

  “Yes, sir.” She started to breathe heavier as Søren pressed the heel of his hand in deeper. He dipped two fingers into her vagina before pressing his now wet fingertips against her clitoris. Desire engulfed her as he made tight circles on the swollen knot of flesh.

  Her hips rose off the bed and she went still underneath him. Her entire body locked up before exploding with pleasure. Her vagina clenched and released rapidly, fluttering inside her and pressing against nothing. She couldn’t wait to come around him, to let him feel her own pleasure on his body.

  “Good girl,” he said, brushing a lock of hair off her forehead.

  He kissed her nipples again as she recovered from her orgasm. He sucked leisurely, lazily, at them as if he intended to spend all night lying between her breasts. She had a vague memory of Wyatt kissing her nipples like this. When he had done it she’d watched him and felt tenderness toward him like a mother to a child. They might have been the same age but she felt so much older than him. But with Søren she felt like the property of a king, like Esther in a harem, captured and conquered. And like Esther, she knew she had conquered the conqueror with the greatest of all powers—love.

  Søren kissed the valley between her breasts and his lips traveled down her stomach and over her hips. He nipped her hip bone with his teeth and the moment the pain registered, Søren moved between her thighs. Eleanor stiffened as he licked her, kissed her, made love to her with his mouth.

  “Fuck …” she groaned, unable to contain herself. She hadn’t expected him to go down on her. He’d said he would pleasure her but this act seemed almost submissive to her as he knelt between her legs. But then he increased the pressure on her clitoris with his tongue and he pushed in two fingers and rubbed that soft hollow on the front wall inside her. He mastered her with his mouth. With his fingers he spread her folds so wide, exposing the entrance to her body. She couldn’t hide from him. He saw all of her, all her most secret places. He licked her clitoris again and again, and when she came, she clenched at his lips and fingers.

  He rose up and kissed her. She tasted herself on his mouth and couldn’t get enough of it. Had she imagined anything so erotic before? His hand traced a line down her body from her collared neck to her thighs. He slid his thumb into her and she winced at the strange sensation. The wince turned into a gasp of pure pain as he pressed down hard against her hymen, not hard enough to tear it but hard enough that tears sprang to her eyes. He inhaled sharply as if he registered her pain inside his own body. He experienced her pain as his pleasure. Let him hurt her, then, so he could feel the pleasure of it. Let him destroy her so she could be reborn.

  The pain passed and Søren settled in between her thighs, the tip of his length pressing against her clitoris. She pushed her hips hard into his, opening herself to him, offering herself to him.

  She looked up and saw Søren’s eyes were closed. His long, unnaturally dark eyelashes lay against his cheeks. The veins in his strong arms and shoulders quivered as he held himself over her. He started to speak but not in English. It was Danish, his first language. She knew some Danish, enough for her and Søren to tell each other “I need you, I want you” without anyone understanding them. But in her fevered state she could recognize nothing he said, not at first. He murmured the words like a prayer. She raised her head and pressed a kiss against his throat, her most favorite part of his body, the part hidden by his collar. The final words of his prayer she understood.

  Jeg elsker dig.

  I love you.

  “I love you,” he said, in his first language, and the words rose like a banner over the bed.

  With her eyes half-closed, she felt the world falling asleep around her. She heard music somewhere in the distance, a haunting solo voice almost inhuman in its beauty. Did she hear this? See this? Or did it all come from within herself like a dream half remembered only hours after waking? She buried her head in the hollow between Søren’s chin and shoulder. She breathed in and inhaled the scent of snow, new snow, clean and cold. And then she knew the truth.

  Søren didn’t smell like winter. Winter smelled like Søren.

  Jeg elsker dig.

  She heard Søren’s voice through the mist.

  With one thrust, he pushed inside her.

  Pain like she’d never imagined rent her in half. Rent her in half, split her in two, burned her like fire, tore her like paper.

  Beneath Søren she struggled and cried, her face buried against his chest. He cradled the back of her head as she wept tears of agony and surrender. He didn’t pull out of her, didn’t apologize. He held himself still, but inside her he pulsed as her vagina stretched and strained to take all of him into her. This was the price she had to pay for the kiss that couldn’t be
unkissed, for the apple that couldn’t be unbitten, for the road she had taken. They had gone too far now. They could no longer go back.

  She never wanted to go back.

  The pain suffused her entire body. It burned like the hottest fire and if she had the use of her arms she would have tried to push him off her. One word could stop her suffering. She said nothing.

  Slowly she emerged from the haze of pain and heard Søren’s ragged breathing in her ear, the slightest catch of his breath, the subtlest moan in the back of his throat. Had there ever been a more beautiful sound than this—the sound of the pleasure he took inside her?

  Instinct told her to shrink from him, to pull away. But she fought that urge and instead raised her hips again into his. He penetrated her until it seemed as if his entire body filled hers to the breaking point. Each slow, controlled thrust stretched her open wide, tearing the gate that would keep him out of her. She wanted it gone, wanted everything between them gone forever. His hand found her hand and he locked their fingers together as he rose up and pushed in again. She braced for pain but instead felt a deep stab of pleasure. Her eyes flew open at the shock of it, so carnal, so animal. With a cry she pushed her hips into his again and again. A rush of fluid between her thighs eased his passage even more. Blood, perhaps? Her own wetness? It didn’t matter. All that mattered was that he impaled her, invaded her, took ownership of her with every controlled yet merciless thrust.

  She focused on his face, on the long dark eyelashes resting on his cheeks, on his partly open lips, on his blond hair that she ached to run her fingers through, on the sheen of sweat that covered his forehead, his shoulders and the vein that pulsed visibly in his neck. It must have taken all his strength to hold back and not lose himself inside her. Sixteen years since he’d last done this. His self-control could shatter at any moment. She wanted it to shatter.

  Raising her head off the sheets, she kissed his shoulder. She whispered, “You own me.”

  Søren opened his eyes and gazed down at her.

  He thrust so hard into her she stopped breathing. He thrust again just as hard and she exhaled once more. It had to be like this, it had to be brutal. It wasn’t enough to take her virginity—he had to obliterate it.

  For an eternity she could do nothing but breathe through the pain, breathe it into her and breathe it back out again. But as he moved in her, the pain waned and something else took its place. Something … desire, hunger, greed for more of him. Søren slid a hand between their bodies and kneaded her clitoris, stroking it as she ground her pelvis into his hand. A deep and primal need overtook her. She writhed underneath him, writhed and thrashed. Her inner walls throbbed against him. He pulled out and pushed in again as he teased her clitoris, dragging her close to a climax again.

  The moment she saw him the first time all those years ago, she’d felt as if a golden cord had encircled her at the sight of him and tightened with each step toward him. Now she felt the cord again tight around her hips and her heart. As he pressed deeper and deeper into her, she felt the cord lifting her, carrying her higher and higher until her heart scraped the sky. The cord broke at its apex and she crashed to earth. She came apart, crying out as her climax crashed through her. This was it, the moment she had lived for and longed for since she’d first seen him. Communion was theirs at last.

  Søren pushed faster against her and with a final thrust that left her gasping, he came inside her, driving into her, pouring into her endlessly as she shuddered around him and shattered beneath him. He lingered inside her after coming, devouring her mouth with his. At last he pulled out and blood and semen rushed out, pooling underneath her.

  Once more Søren knelt between her thighs. He lapped at her sore inner lips, at her still throbbing clitoris. She rose up again and crashed once more. When Søren kissed her this time, she tasted blood.

  He pushed his fingers into her tender opening. Soon he mounted her again, entered her again, fucked her again. Their first time might have had pretensions of lovemaking. The second time he didn’t bother with any of the niceties of civilized sex. He fucked her brutally, unapologetically, fucked her like he would never have another chance to fuck her again this side of heaven and hell, and he would make the most of it even if it killed them both.

  After he came a second time inside her, he pulled out and stared down at her naked, bleeding body. Welts and bruises scored her back. Cuts covered her feet. Her vagina felt lacerated from his thrusts. She’d come four times tonight and knew one thing for certain from the look in his eyes.

  He’d only begun to hurt her tonight.

  The cane came out again. Then the flogger. He unlocked her from the bonds and brought her to her hands and knees and entered her still bleeding body as she steadied herself with one hand on the headboard, one hand digging into the sheets. His hands roamed over her bruised back, her thighs and hips. He grasped her by the back of the neck and held her still as he rammed into her from behind. She felt like property in his hands, owned, possessed and enslaved.

  She lost herself in the night, ceased to be Eleanor, ceased to be a person with a mind or a will of her own. She was His and His became her only identity. If someone asked her who she was, “I’m His” would be the answer. He pushed four fingers into her, more than she’d ever dreamed she could take. And yet she took them and then him again because he gave her no choice in the matter.

  “How much more can you take?” he asked as he pushed her down to her stomach.

  “I can take anything you want to give me,” she said. The sex and the beatings had sent her into a near-ecstatic state of peace and bliss. The pain had anesthetized her. She barely felt her body anymore. It was as if she floated above the bed. The hardest strikes of the flogger only tickled. The most vicious blow of the cane barely stung. Søren put her on her stomach and pushed into her again. For sixteen years he’d abstained from sex. He seemed determined to make up for lost time all in one night. Let him. Let him fuck her until neither one of them could move anymore. She begged to drink from this cup. She would drink until she choked on the wine of his body and his sadism. She would drink until she drowned in it.

  Søren fucked her a fourth time, pausing every few minutes to bite her back and shoulders. Then he knelt on her thighs and struck her with a thin reed cane that left a line of fire on her skin wherever it landed. Never had she dreamed he would beat her while inside her. She should never have doubted his sadism. She would never doubt it again. As he rode her with long, hard thrusts, he spoke to her and told her how proud he was to own her, how she was his most precious possession, how she pleased him more than she could imagine, how he would love her always and never let her go.

  By dawn she could take no more from him. By dawn he could give no more to her. He gathered her body, bruised from shoulder to knee, front and back, and held her in his arms.

  They didn’t speak of what had happened between them. What could they have said to each other? He had shown her his soul. She had given him her heart. They had joined their bodies and an immutable bond now sealed them together. And nothing could break them apart because nothing could break them.

  When she awoke the next morning, the sun had joined them in bed.

  Eleanor flinched as she stretched against the sheets. The bottoms of her feet throbbed. No doubt she still had shards of glass embedded in her skin. Her shoulders and back ached as if she’d been stretched on a rack. Her breasts and nipples were sore and swollen. Inside she was bruised and raw. She couldn’t recall ever being in this much pain.

  It was the best morning of her life.

  Søren opened his eyes and gazed at her like he was trying to remember where he’d seen her before. She kissed him. He kissed her back.

  “So now what?” she asked.

  Søren smiled and something in that smile told her she was in the biggest trouble of her life.

  “Everything.”

  33

  Nora

  NORA OPENED HER EYES AND ACROSS FROM HER IN the bed was
Nico, not Søren. And she was glad to see him there, glad enough she smiled.

  “Is that the end of the story?” Nico asked. She could see his eyelids were heavy, as heavy as her heart.

  “The story never ends. It’s only the storyteller who grows too tired to keep telling it.”

  “What happened next?”

  “Kingsley came for me at Søren’s house. He came right into Søren’s bedroom and carried me to the car. I spent a week at his house recovering from that one night. Your father …” She paused and conjured the memory. She could still feel it all the way to her feet. “He put me on his bed and sat at my feet and with a pair of tweezers cleaned the shards of glass out of my skin. He said some poor bastard had to pick the shrapnel out of his chest once. This was his way of returning the kindness to the universe.”

  “What happened with you and your mother?”

  “She did it.” Nora rolled her eyes. “She joined a convent. When I was in college she went back to school. The order she wanted to join—the Sisters of Saint Monica—required the postulants to have a bachelor’s degree and no debt. Took her four years, but she got there. She took her first vows when I was twenty-four.”

  “Were you happy for her?”

  “No,” Nora admitted. “We weren’t even speaking then. I moved back in with her after college to try to mend the rift. Didn’t work. Instead she found out about me and Søren. It was a bad time. I didn’t speak to her for three years. So … you should forgive Kingsley and your mother.” She poked him in the chest. “Trust me on
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