Companion Story to
Rob breathed in and stared at Kat strung up on the post in front of him. It was strange playing with someone other than Cara. He rolled his shoulders. He flexed and relaxed his hands. It was strange. Definitely different.
When Peter had first asked him to do this, Rob had told the man that he had to think about it. Had to talk to Cara about it.
Not that he thought she’d be upset by it.
No, she’d been thrilled.
She’d pushed him to do it.
“Try it,” she’d begged him. “It’s fun. You’ll see.”
He studied Kat, her shorter, slimmer, amber-toned body so different than his wife’s long, voluptuous, creamy form. A pixie instead of his goddess.
He studied her body, taut and tense. Fearful, maybe. Definitely nervous.
Not like Cara, who was always confident and brazen. Who enjoyed being tied up, but who—he’d always feared—never enjoyed it as much as he did. Who did it because he wanted it so much, and she knew it.
But here he was with someone who wanted to be tied up. Perhaps wanted it more than he did, if the scent of her arousal wafting up hot from her bound body was any indicator.
He pouted his lip thoughtfully and walked about Kat, thinking, imagining. He reached out and grabbed the long lengths of rope that fell from her wrists like tendrils of possibility and smiled.
They’d said this would be fun. He took a deep breath. Okay. Let’s have some fun.
From the stage’s wings, Cara watched her husband work, watched his hands weave the rope about the nubile body before him.
She loved watching him work. She so very rarely got to see it—really see it—since she was always the one being tied up. Unless his ties were in the front or photos were taken, she never really got the chance to truly appreciate his mastery, his artistry.
She leaned in while Rob twisted the ropes all down Kat’s arms, crisscrossing them intricately behind her head, trapping her like Andromeda against the large metal pole.
Cara could almost feel the tight embrace of the ropes against her own skin while she watched him wrap Kat in a pretty chest harness that crept over her shoulders and neck, over her breasts and stomach to wind around her waist and hips. It was beautiful and laid her back bare.
Cara gripped the fur flogger—more of a pretty, decorative piece than a hardcore, honest-to-Domme toy—readying herself. She looked up at Max, who carried her own tenderfooted tool.
Elin leaned around the curtain, clutching her headset that was connected to the stage’s light booth, and whispered, “Okay, you’re on, ladies. Let’s warm her up.”
God, this was weird. Max wiped her hand against her leg before taking hold of her blue leather flogger again and heading on stage.
Don’t get her wrong; she’d Dommed before. Loved doing it too. She was even getting pretty good with a flogger these days.
But this was Kat.
Her best friend.
Practically her baby sister.
Max shook her head a bit.
When Peter had come to her and Hayato about his plan, she’d thought it a fantastic idea. Had actually hugged the man.
And, while there wasn’t a force on earth that could have stopped her from taking part in the plan to bring balance and happiness back into her friend’s life, it was her specific part that gave Max a bit of pause.
More than a bit, really.
Her steps slowed as she crossed further and further over the stage to stand on the far side of the post so she, Kat, and Cara made a neat triangle.
It’s just a warm up, she reminded herself. She drew the thick-cut tails of the flogger into her fist. She nodded to Cara and pulled back her arm, like an archer notching an arrow. She waited until Cara did the same before taking a deep breath.
At the snap of Cara’s flogger—the tails making a dull thwack across Kat’s back—Max let hers echo with a sharper crack before they settled into a nice, rhythmic beat—their toys timed to tick in sync like a man-made metronome.
She grinned at Kat’s inhale, full of more shock than pain, before her breathing settled into the easy rhythm.
Max knew her friend—had seen her play many times now, knew her limits well—and while she had no desire to test those limits, that slightly sadistic, gleefully mean part of herself wanted more of a reaction.
So, this time, she stepped closer and wound her wrist a bit—not unlike a pitcher winding up for the throw.
When she struck next, Kat’s back bowed a bit as her breath rushed from her. Max grinned at the good-sized red mark now marring Kat’s back.
She held her hand up to Cara to stop her. Max pressed her palm against the blood-warmed skin. She felt Kat arch up into the touch, eager for the connection.
Max’s eyes lit with a devilish idea as she waved her hand out for Cara’s flogger. Cara gave it over easily before stepping back.
Max stepped back too, to give herself some room. She’d only done this twice now, but she’d been practicing her form and technique.
She started with one flogger, twirling it in the air in a controlled arch, before she added the other in a figure-eight pattern. She let them twirl like that just behind Kat, letting herself get used to the rhythm while letting Kat listen to—anticipate—the sound.
And then she stepped forward.
Rand proudly watched Max work Kat with both floggers. Girl’d been practicing. Good.
Maybe all those hours of him doing it to her sweet, little, freckled hide had paid off.
Not that they both hadn’t enjoyed it at the time, but an almost paternal pride swelled while he watched her work Kat over.
Next time, he thought, I’ll get her to add some punch to the end of those swings. Really make it sting. Rand never much saw the use of wielding a tool if he wasn’t going to really use the shit out of it.
Rand laid his massive paw around his own implement sheathed ready at his hip. A cane. Special made. Whittled bamboo, the cane had intricate designs carved into it, the deep, sharp grooves making for fucking magnificent marks.
“Sir,” Reena—sweet, little, obliging Reena—whispered deferringly to him, “they’re ready for you now.”
He smiled as he made a twirling motion with his hand. Dutifully, Reena turned and bent, presenting her rump up at him. Good girl.
He drew his cane like a sword and reared back to give her a quick slap across her ass. He smiled as she bit back a muffled squeak and her ass bounced. He leaned over to pat her cheeks affectionately before whispering in her ear, “We’ll finish this later, won’t we, girl?”
Reena nodded against his stubbled cheek, making his cock swell. Hot damn, it was going to be a hell of a night!
Turning, he left Reena to her girlfriend, Elin, and their duties and picked up his own. Striding out onto the stage, he let his heavy boots clomp onto the shined wood floor; the hard sound echoing in the cavernous space.
His eyes flicked, spotting the guy with the camera moving slow and steady toward him. Cute, in a pretty-boy, model kind of way. Rand smirked into the camera, flashing it and the cameraguy teeth bared in a sadistic smile.
He chuckled as the guy froze for a moment, his feet tripping over themselves under Rand’s gaze.
He let himself be distracted by the beauty of the pretty boy’s cowering stance before turning back to the task at hand.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk,” he growled, “someone’s been a very bad kitty, hasn’t she?”
His body puffed when he saw her body tense immediately. Yeah, she knew it was him. He wanted her to know. She’d seen him work a sub over and, she knew, he never played around.
Feeling almost giddy when she instinctively cringed away from the sound of his approach, he swung the cane in a harsh arc. The sharp swish of the bamboo was audibly cutting as it sliced through the air. He caught her gasp as some of that lovely amber color of her cheeks drained.
Reaching out, he trailed his hand down her back, following a shiver that chased down her spine.
God damn, but he’d been waiting for this—wanting this—for a while now. He’d seen Kat Valdez play with her boy so many times at this club. Seen him take her over his knee and spank that sweet, heart-shaped ass of hers. Seen him use crops and slappers and floggers against her small, compact, little bod. Seen him fuck that sweet ass of hers until she sobbed with relief and pleasure too great for her tiny form to contain.
For years, he’d tried to take his turn. Asked and bartered and offered for a chance—just a taste—of Peter’s little pain-slut submissive.
Girl could take a beating, Rand knew it—had seen her do it on many occasions—but he’d never seen her break. No, Peter knew his wife’s limits well and could read her well enough to always stop just shy of them.
Rand grinned toothily. He had no intention of stopping. Had been given permission—the order—to not stop. If this little Kat wanted the scene to stop, she was gonna have to scream red.
“What’s your color, Katherina?” Rand heard Peter ask over the theater speakers.
“Green,” she answered dutifully even though her body shook. With nerves. With anticipation.
Rand leaned in, his fist grabbing at the ropes that held her to the pole. He pulled, straining the ropes all along her arms. “Let’s see if we can’t do something about that,” he growled against the back of her head as he felt her heart thunder against his chest.
Dare flinched behind his camera as he watched the huge mountain of a man—Rand—aim his cane at Kat, each strike sounding with a cruel crack.
Her body writhed, twisting and twitching under the torture of the rod. Under the zoom of his lens, Dare saw vicious, red welts rise on her skin. He could hear her muffled gasps and grunts that seemed to rip from her throat behind gritted teeth each time a lash landed.
He shifted to one side to get a better angle.
How had he gotten here? How was this his life now? Watching a woman getting beaten by a man more than three times her size. He shook his head, his mind boggled by it.
If he were honest, he just didn’t get the appeal. Didn’t get what Kat got out of it all. Who wanted to get pounded on like that?
Dare didn’t like to think of himself as weak or a wuss about pain, but—damn—watching tiny, little Kat take this level of abuse felt...wrong.
Like someone—maybe...not him—should stop it.
With a frown, he shot a quick, almost accusatory glare up at the control booth where Peter waited and watched, his own video camera filming the scene. Dare shook his head, wondering how the man could allow this. How her husband could have arranged all this.
Huffing, he turned back to the stage. Wasn’t really any of his business, he supposed. All he was here to do was take some pictures. Like Peter had asked. That was all.
But it was hard not to feel tacitly responsible while he listened to Kat’s cries, when the sight and sound of her pain surrounded him.
Dare held the camera steady while he forced himself to fire off a few shots despite the clawing guilt tearing through him. Tense fingers tightened his shot to focus on Kat’s reddening flesh, closing in on the now tender curve of her ass.
Looking through the limited view of the lens, Dare paused with his finger poised.
Divorced from the actual act—from the actual people involved—there was something...intriguing about soft, honeyed skin being held still by thick, unyielding rope while hard, unforgiving wood was wielded upon it, leaving its unmistakable mark upon it.
Dare aimed his camera and took the shot, wanting to remember—to capture—that thought, that moment, forever.
He zoomed out, widening the shot to her torso and thighs. He could see the marks again—the twisted trails left by the carved wood. Her back, ass, and thighs were crisscrossed with stark, striking lines and welts, like a patternless painting. Like a picture only Rand could see as he relentlessly struck her in deliberately placed strokes.
He listened to Kat’s guttural grunts and groans. It struck Dare as a kind of metamorphosis. It was almost like watching art in reverse; taking something so beautiful and perfectly put together and taking it, twisting it, transforming it into something raw and base. It was like stripping a person down to their very core and laying them out bare.
Dare widened his field of vision further and walked around the stage, around Kat. He bent his knee to gaze up at her face. Dare wanted to—needed to—see her. Really see Kat. To look into her core—raw and base and bare—and see her soul.
Through the thin space between the post and her arm, Dare could see her eyes, wide and unseeing, as she blinked rapidly like a believer in a trance. Her cheeks were flushed and her mouth parted in an ecstatic “o.” She looked lost in sensation, adrift in a pleasure that bordered on unbearable.
Shivering, Dare sat back on his haunches, marveled. The whipping sound of the cane cracked harshly behind her. He peeked over Kat’s back, watching—up close—as the long, thin switch hit.
Dare’s eyes widened when it struck her with a thunderous smack. Her whole body went rigid as all breath left her. His eyes burned, unwilling to blink in case he missed even a second.
She was beautiful.
So small and yet so strong. A resiliency shone through the ropes and trappings, through the darkening bruises and harsh marks. Her tense body was held tight with such a sense of pride, of dignity. Even as she wheezed, as her wracked form fought for air, she looked stunning. Galatea brought to life.
Dare held his breath, his dry eyes painful as they strained to stay open wide. His own body tensed when the man reared back for another vicious blow, feeling Kat’s anticipation fill the room, touching everyone.
Just as he started his swing, Kat gave out a whimpering, almost inaudible cry. It was such a small, halting squeak—her voice hoarse and breathless—yet silencing as it seemed to almost echo through the space.
That fast, the whole scene froze. The man’s arm dropped limply to the side and his other came up to softly stroke her back.
Dare watched them whisper to each other, their voices mere wisps of sound while the man’s huge, hard hand gently touched her raw, tender skin.
The image was so incongruous, so unlikely—given what had passed—but endearing. It was sweet, really.
He had to take a picture.
He just had to.
Dare lifted his camera, aimed, and stared through the lens at Kat. She looked so open, so vulnerable, yet protected, sheltered, by the man.
Dare’s finger hovered over the shutter release. The muscles in his arm tensed. He pointed the camera.
He wanted that shot.
But something was off.
He sighed, wondering what was wrong, when Kat looked up. Their gazes met and Dare felt struck as they stared at each other through the lens of the camera.
The dark, watery depths of her large gibbous moon eyes held an intensity in them, a deep, swirling, unreadable sky of emotion.
His breath caught, choked. Dare’s hands gripped the camera hard and his heart pounded almost violently.
Kat tried to sniffle back tears through closed eyes. She told herself to concentrate on the soothing strokes of Rand’s hand.
God, she never cried anymore. Hadn’t cried during a scene in a really long time. And she’d never—not in all the time she’d done this—ever called out red.
But she had this time. She had found her limit and met it. Might have even surpassed it.
Definitely feeling the effects of how far they’d gone, Kat felt as if she could barely breathe. Felt overwhelmed by the emotions clamoring and competing inside her as she shook, still strung up on the post.
She felt limply tired.
She felt startlingly alive.
She wanted to thank him. And wanted to apologize. She was proud of how far she went. And she was ashamed of having stopped.
She wished she could wipe her eyes. Hiccuping, she turned her head and wiped the tears stinging her eyes on her arm.
“Shh,” she heard Rand coo, the rough gravel of his voice rumbling as he reached up to loosen the ropes.
The second his big, hard body lay atop hers, she panicked.
She didn’t know why—too much, too soon after having been ripped so raw, maybe—but her body tensed and her heart began to race. With heaving breaths, she pulled and tugged and struggled against the ropes, making them tighten rather than loosen.
She tried to stop—tried not to claw and climb and cling madly to the post—logically knowing that she wasn’t helping herself.
Was in fact making it harder and more painful on herself.
She tried very hard to calm down. To just fucking breathe. But she couldn’t.
“Shh,” she heard him say again, this time more insistently. “Shh.”
She tried—damn it, she was trying—but her body wouldn’t listen.
Reacting on reflex and panic, it all was too much; a loud, uncontrollable storm roiling inside. “I can’t.” More tears began to fall. “I’m sorry. I can’t.”
Kat stopped instantly at the soothing, familiar sound. Falling instantly limp, she felt her sobs stall into a wrenching hiccup.
“Shh, now, Katherina.” A rough hand stroked her nape. “It’s okay. I’ve got you.”
Kat’s eyes snapped open and she forced herself to take big, heaving breaths.
She turned her head as much as the ropes would allow, hope and relief pulling at her.
She felt him reach up, his chest to her back. He held himself as lightly over her as he could manage while working the knots free, so he didn’t brush up against her abused skin any more than necessary. All the while, he murmured sweetly to her.
Telling her how proud he was of her.
How perfect she was.
How much he loved her.
She sighed, deeply if weakly.
When he finally got the last knot loose, he grabbed her hands and lowered her arms, rubbing her wrists and arms gently before wrapping his long arms around her—surrounding her with his body.
Making her feel safe.
She sighed and let herself sink into him. He squeezed, hugging her even closer to him. “Shh.” He lay his head so very close to hers. “I’ve got you, baby.”
Damn it, she didn’t want to cry anymore. Not now. Not while she felt relieved and grateful and happy. Not when she wanted to thank him and love him until they both couldn’t move.
But even those feelings felt strange; too new next to the churning mess already inside her. Tears she tried so hard to hold back crashed down on her. Fighting free, they poured from a body that no longer felt entirely hers.
God damnit, she felt like a wreck.
“It’s okay, love.” Peter turned her, shaky and weak-kneed, around in his arms and held her close. “It’s all right.” He caught her around the waist and lifted her, wrapping her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist.
Kat let herself be tucked safely around him and carried off the stage and into the wings.
She settled weightlessly into his hold, letting herself drift into the comfort he gave her. She closed her eyes and sighed, breathing in his clean, woodsy scent in contently.
She opened her eyes when he sat down in a chair with her straddling his lap, feeling as if she’d just woken up. She lifted loose fists to her groggy eyes, rubbing them gingerly.
Looking about, she saw that they were in the dressing rooms in the back of the theater. She winced when she saw herself reflected in the large mirrors.
Her hair—that had been so intricately styled—was now mussed and falling down. Her cheeks were splotchy and wet from crying, looking swollen and wan. Naked, she felt terribly exposed and she could see the angry marks left by the floggers and cane. Her lips wobbled again as she glared at her recalcitrant reflection and pouted.
Peter leaned back, grabbing some tissues off the countertop, before reaching for her to wipe her face with a frown. “How are you doing?”
“I look like a mess.” She hated that it came out a whine. She felt like a mess.
Hell, she was a mess.
He leaned in and kissed her nose. And then her mouth. “You look beautiful.” She scoffed. He had to be lying because she could see what she looked like.
She narrowed her gaze. But he didn’t look like he was lying. He was looking at her like she were gorgeous.
It felt so long since he’d looked at her like that.
He leaned in again to kiss her, a longer kiss this time. Sweeter. Deeper.
“Here.” He leaned back again, one hand cupping her face while the other dabbed and wiped at her skin. “Let me help.”
She sat back and bit her lip, staring at the concentrated look on his face as he set into his task. She loved that look. Determined. Sure. Capable.
When he was finished, he set down the tissue. “There, see,” he told her, “beautiful.”
Kat peeked over his shoulder at one of the mirrors and her image inside it. While she looked better without the streaks of tears, she still didn’t see it.
She met his gaze again, liking the way he saw her more. Under his gaze, she felt beautiful.
He smiled up at her while he stroked her cheek tenderly. “Better?”
Read Part Two Here