She stood alone at the rail, enjoying the solitude for the first time in her life. It was always the company of others that brought her security but at this moment, she knew the impending visit was the most dangerous act of her whole life.
The sky was the color of a lightly bruised peach, ranging through corals, reds and fading out above her to a deep purple. The sea before her blended seamlessly into the sky on the horizon, calm as far as she could see except for the narrow frothy fringe that caressed the sand.
She took a long, relaxing breath - the salt air a tingle in her nostrils. There was no place that brought her more peace than standing beside the ocean. As her eyes closed, she smiled vaguely, thinking that it was the most powerful natural force on the planet. The concept of power made her feel safe. Power outside of herself.
The breeze was light and almost chilly. The girl's hair was very long, cascading down her back and below her waist. The wind whirled it like liquid whips around her smooth face and pale bare arms.
She glanced again at the horizon where the sun had just disappeared and wondered how long it would be before he arrived. Her watch, along with her earrings and even her wedding band, were locked in the hotel room back up the beach. She'd dressed as he'd asked, wearing a long white sundress and nothing else. The wind off the water continually threatened to lift the skirt of it and expose her to the world, the cool air swirling between her legs kept that pleasant quiver active in the pit of her stomach.
Finally the sound of footsteps on the pavement behind her tugged her attention away from the sea. The urge to turn and assuage her curiosity fought inside her with the knowledge of how wrong this all was and also with the fear that he might not give her his approval. It had never made sense to her why she should care so much whether he did or not. Maybe it wasn't even him back there. Maybe if it was, he'd not like her and just walk on by.
She kept asking herself why she had come. It was wrong. She knew she would feel guilt as soon as it was over. She felt guilt for just being here now. It was too hard to say no anymore when her whole body betrayed her. Maybe the footsteps weren't his, maybe she would turn and run and not look back. But the footsteps slowed as they drew nearer, then stopped directly behind her.
She closed her eyes again and gripped the railing to steady herself. It seemed as though her knees would buckle and she'd fall to the pavement, trembling. His eyes burned into her flesh - she could feel them rove over her body from her head down to her feet. Her breath had already quickened and she was certain he could hear her heart pound over the hiss of the surf.
It was an eternity that she was held this way - so long that she felt she would burst if she didn't turn and confront him. Just before that point, she heard him move closer.
The unexpected pressure and warmth of strong hands on her hips made her gasp.
"Ssh," his voice soothed her, but the trembling did not subside. Strange how the very same voice could cause such anxiety and such peace at the same time.
He pressed her against his body and through the thin fabric of the dress, she felt how strong and solid he was, warm and safe. She sighed as her body relaxed against him.
His hands moved to her arms. The fine blonde hairs stood up as more chills spread over her. It was as if each individual hair tried to reach out to him on its own.
He touched her in a way that implied he was more interested in what he was feeling than what she was. That vague callousness was comforting in a way - if he remained detached from her, maybe she could stay that way too.
She couldn't stifle the intake of breath when he brushed her hair to one side of her neck. The trembling grew in intensity when she felt his breath just below her ear.
"Relax, miss," he whispered as the heat of his lips met her skin.
A sound like the perfect mixture of terror and contentment came from low in her throat. She was melting and unable to save herself. She wanted to cry out, "Stop it! Let me go!" but she knew that even if he did, she was unable to walk away from him.
"Mmmmm," he murmured, "You are just as I imagined. Sweet to my eyes, sweet to my nostrils, sweet to my lips. But I imagine there are even sweeter tastes to be had?"
He asked the question, knowing that she was already so wet that it had dampened the top of her thighs. He caught the hot scent of her arousal and she felt him growing hard against her back.
"Is there anything you want to say?" he asked, circling her completely with his arms.
She looked down at the arms that held her - how strong, how sure he was of himself. Her sense of self was fading quickly, just as she knew it would. She couldn't think clearly, she couldn't even speak now - only feel. But the way she felt! It was as if all her nerves were directly exposed to him - there was no protection from him now, no more hiding. At this moment, there was only overwhelming pleasure, but just as she felt unprotected from him now, she felt exquisitely separate from the rest of the world.
Her head bowed and turned as if she was trying to shake herself from his spell, but her action only caused her cheek to brush against his arm, almost affectionately. She smelled his personal smell. Clean, slightly scented with soap, musky with pheromones. She felt faint and she'd never even seen his face.
"Walk for me, " he told her, pushing her a bit ahead of himself in the direction of the hotel. "Don't look back, miss."
Vaguely she wondered if he meant that literally or figuratively, so she naturally turned to look at him for confirmation.
Immediately her cheek met the firm resistance of his open palm. Not a slap but a gentle correction, forcing her to only look straight ahead. She began to fear that he meant for her not to see him at all.
She wanted to speak up now, to protest. She'd drawn so many lines and he'd crossed so effortlessly over each one. Her last line of defense had been to tell him she'd never meet him without seeing his picture first. And that had come after the line she'd drawn saying she'd never meet him at all. She said no to him often... but it never seemed to make any difference.
She hardly noticed the people in the lobby... she thought they must be staring at her... at how wide her eyes were... at how she gnawed her bottom lip nervously. What must they be thinking of her? Could they see her body through the sheer dress? Could they smell how moist her thighs had become?
At the door to her... their... room, he surprised her by pulling out his own card for the lock. Evidently he'd been there even before she'd arrived and showered.
He urged her purposely into the room and alarms went off in her head. Before when she'd come here to change, she'd not been afraid... she'd been excited, maybe a little nervous. But now real fear flooded her, clearing her mind just a little bit. Her main thought repeatedly was "What did I get myself into?" It would be no problem for him to erase any trace of her from the room... she'd straightened up and put her things away before going to meet him anyhow. The room was sterile.
She tried to turn again, but this time he held her shoulders forcefully.
"Please just let me look at you," she pleaded. "Please give me that."
He didn't answer with words but by holding a silk scarf in front of her, folded to a dark blindfold. He drew it slowly towards her face.
"No!" she cried and made a step forward to escape.
"Do not move," he told her, his voice very low, very serious.
That should have terrified her, kicked in her fight or flight response. However, she froze in place and felt her breath catch in her throat. The warm electric rush in her midsection and lower was not unpleasant at all.
Her vision was taken from her, heightening her other senses. She could hear him close the door and in that moment, she could've reached and removed the blindfold and leapt away from him. She felt unable to move though. She stood like a statue... trying to judge everything he was doing with her ears alone.
It seemed that he was moving around her, and as she heard his footfalls, she felt his gaze on her shoulders, breaking her skin out in goosebumps as if he'd caressed her lightly with his fingertips.
"Please," she whimper-whispered.
"Hush," he told her, his voice warm and falling on her skin like silk. "No more words unless I ask you to speak. Is that understood, miss?"
She nodded quickly, fear painting her skin.
"Pull the straps of your dress down," he directed, his voice strangely close to her ear. She had not been aware of him moving closer to her.
Again, she bit her lip, not knowing whether she was more afraid to obey him or to disobey.
As if he expected nothing but her complete obedience, he said in a very calm, very even voice, "Don't make me tell you anything twice." She felt it was more of a clarification than a threat.
For the first time, she was actually glad for the blindfold. She didn't have to meet his gaze this way. She could try to convince herself that no one was there watching her... that she was hearing his voice across miles of phone lines... that she was safely alone. She was grateful to him.
She tugged the straps down hesitantly and pulled her arms free of them, holding the top of the dress up with one open hand pressed against her chest. She heard him move, shift position, breath deeper.
"Slowly, pull it down to your waist."
Her own breath came quicker now, almost as if panic held her, but she obeyed without question.
"Ah, yes," his voice low and dusky now. "Beautiful!" He stared at the exposed skin, his mouth watering to taste those nipples that were so pale they didn't even stand out against the surrounding skin. But he would control himself and not strike until the right moment. He watched the nipples grow hard, like two flesh-colored pebbles and he saw the aureola crinkling responsively.
"Now push it the rest of the way down," he directed.
Inside herself she felt the struggle. There was a part of her that didn't want to do it, of course. Unfortunately, the part of her that he touched was much larger and stronger. Feeling dizzy with her humiliation, she let the dress slide to the floor.
"Mmm, pet, you are wonderful," he breathed. She thought she heard true admiration in his voice but there would always be doubt until she could look into his eyes.
Had she been able to see, she would have found what she sought. His eyes were half-lidded with lust, examining every inch of the body he was being given. From the full, firm breasts, down the warm, flat stomach to the closely cropped light brown hair hiding the engorged lips down below, he was fully pleased with everything he saw.
"Remember how I told you that you would present yourself to me, miss." It was not a question.
Terror struck her now, burning embarrassment that took her breath away. She turned her head towards the sound of his voice and begged, "No, please not that. Please."
He didn't reply to her. She heard no sound at all except the pounding of her own heart. But the force of his disapproval - or more likely his supposed disapproval - hit her as hard as any fist. And inside, the part of her that wanted... no, needed... to please him sent warnings through her. It drew all her thoughts down into tight focus, all centered on what he wanted; what he expected.
"Under what circumstances did I tell you that you were most beautiful, pet?" he asked, his tone letting her know she was to answer.
"When I obey you," she whispered.
"Yes, miss," he answered, giving her confirmation and permission to proceed.
She knew this scene by heart. He'd described it to her, planted the image in her head long ago... an image she had always feared. It was a highly symbolic gesture meant to bring her into the state of mind they both desired.
Walking away was impossible for her. There were too many ghosts from her past surrounding her now, making her unable to do anything except what his will commanded. She was beyond knowing why... beyond caring why.
She leaned back slightly, pushing her hips forward. She could feel him in front of her now and hear the sound of his clothing as he moved.