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Woman In Chains

By Bridget Midway



Description

Former BDSM Dom, Dakota "Dak" Ricci is a part of a BDSM group called S.A.F.E., which means Security Away From Extremists. The group concentrates on saving abused slaves and submissives from their Doms and Dommes. After an emotional save, he decides that that's it. However, his friend and fellow Dom has another plan for him. He wants Dak to do one last save.

Brea Oliphant pushes her Dom to the limit to get the abuse she thinks she deserves. When a Domme sees what she perceives as abuse during a BDSM luncheon, she contacts S.A.F.E. to help this submissive.

Dak decides to help her when he finds out that this submissive is with the Dom who his former submissive goes to after leaving him. He's going to make this save be about revenge.

As soon as Brea and Dak get together, they find that they help each other more than they thought. And the sexual tension between them is so palpable that they both rethink their BDSM roles. But when the truth about Dak's involvement in her save and Brea's past comes to light, will their connection be enough to keep them bound together?

Interracial Romance (BW/WM)
Happily Ever After Ending (HEA)
Predominately Heterosexual
Anal Sex
Bondage
Spanking, Pain, Etc
Domination & Submission
Violence


Ratings


Excerpt

Chapter One

Dakota Ricci hesitated before patting the hand of the woman sitting across from him at Gertie’s Diner. Dak hated this part of the assignment—the handoff.

“What’s your name?” He scanned the nearly empty diner while making sure his rescue remained calm. The habit of being aware of his surroundings would never break. Once a SEAL, always a SEAL.

In a whispered tone, she started to say, “I was called—”

“No!” Dak didn’t mean to snap at her, but after everything he’d gone through in the last couple of hours, and after what this woman had experienced, she didn’t need to hold onto any former labels. When he saw her jump at his exclamation, Dak softened his tone. He had to remember that he didn’t have a captured enemy in front of him. “I want to know your real name. What name did your parents give you?”

“Julianne.” She wrapped her small, pale hands around the coffee mug sitting in front of her and hung her head low enough that her chin touched her chest.

Dak sighed in relief. At least this one acknowledged her real name. He’d saved some submissives and slaves who weren’t ready to give up the BDSM names associated with their abusive relationships. Thankfully the responsibility of retraining them went to another group.

Steam rose from the mug as Julianne struggled to bring it to her mouth. Dak didn’t have to sit next to her to notice her hands shaking. Coffee splashed outside of the cup and onto her fingers and the table.

“Sorry. I’m so sorry, Mast—”

“It’s okay.” Dak cut her off before she called him something that no longer fit him. He pulled out a couple of napkins from the dispenser and helped clean up the mess.

As though he’d chopped the heads off kittens and set them in front of her, Julianne stared at him with her mouth agape. Dak had to show her that she didn’t have to be stuck in her role. She could break free like he had. She could be her own person.

“I should wipe up the mess, Sir.” With her slender fingers, she attempted to take the soiled napkins from him.

“It’s not a big deal. You just relax and drink your coffee.” He held onto her hand.

As soon as he touched her, Dak noticed how cold she felt, despite it being a fairly warm September night. In the sweatshirt and plaid flannel jacket he’d brought for her, Julianne appeared tiny in the oversized clothes.

Dak could bring all of the provisions in the world, but there would always be an aspect that fell through the cracks. Even with clothing two sizes too big, Dak still considered the recovery effort a success.

He set her hand back on the tabletop. She rolled one of the sleeves of her jacket up, exposing her wrist. Seeing the black and green bruises, and the cuts that ringed her bony wrist, twisted Dak’s gut into a knot.

Discipline and bondage he could understand. Hell, he’d doled out enough of both in his lifetime. He’d left some cuts, welts, and bruises on the submissives and slaves he’d played with in his past. He couldn’t condone or support torture in any form.

When Gordon contacted him about Julianne, about the abuse she’d endured from her former master, Dak had, as usual, felt compelled to do what he did best, swoop in and rescue her.

Luckily for Julianne’s Dom, the man hadn’t fought when Dak took her away. Usually confrontations like that didn’t go over very well. Then again, the Dom stood a good foot shorter than Dak’s six-foot-six inch height. Backing down had been the wisest thing the Dom had done.

As soon as he thought about short Doms, Dak glanced at his watch, wondering what kept Gordon from getting to the pickup place on time. He’d called him almost forty-five minutes ago to let him know he had completed the assignment. Then again, after this handoff, Dak would go back to an empty home...alone.  

“Am I making you late for something?” Julianne flattened the palms of her hands onto the table and kept them there.

“No. Just wondering where your ride is.” Dak had chosen the table where they sat because it allowed him a great bird’s-eye view of traffic going by the diner.

Traffic. More like two two-lane roads that met at the corner stop sign in front of the restaurant. The far out country section of Virginia Beach tended to be almost Mayberry-like. Living at a slower pace suited Dak and his new lifestyle.

“Are you a Dom?” Julianne chewed on her lower lip as she peered at him from under a veil of her dark brown wispy bangs.

Hoping she asked simply to know how to address him, Dak answered, “You can call me Dak.”

Julianne stared at him, her large brown eyes drawing him in and making him feel guilty. He had seen this woman naked when he’d rescued her from Master Iron Hand. Maybe she expected Dak to open up to her a bit, too.

“I’m not a Dom.” Anymore.

Not since he’d released Lil’ Mary, his last submissive. Releasing her had bruised his ego. She’d desired a type of discipline that he couldn’t accommodate. He could wield a whip and handle a cane like other trained Doms and Dommes. When it came to dishing out verbal humiliation, he couldn’t and wouldn’t do it.

What had started off with Lil’ Mary as names said in the heat of passion, like calling her his little slut or whore—her idea, not his—quickly became her need for further humiliation.

The more humiliating the names, the happier Lil’ Mary became, and the more repulsed Dak had become. He blamed his aversion to the derogatory name-calling on his time in Naval Academy training and hearing his commanding officer calling him worthless and stupid.

When Dak realized that he couldn’t fulfill Lil’ Mary’s needs and they couldn’t come up with a compromise, he’d released her. Last Dak had heard, she now served Master Blade, a Dom known for being mentally and physically rough with his submissives.

Blade kept a low profile around the local BDSM scene, but if Dak ever caught up with him in a darkened alley, or even in a well-lit, full city street, he would have to shake some sense into the man.

Dak never thought that releasing Lil’ Mary would make him want to turn away from the Lifestyle completely, the one thing in his life that gave him comfort, control, and satisfaction. He’d never quit at anything. Her release screamed of failure. If he couldn’t give this one submissive what she wanted, how the hell could he be any good to anyone else?

“I would have pegged you as a Dom.” Julianne twirled her mug around on the table. “How did you know, um, about me?”

The waitress stopped by the table. Flashing a pleasant smile at both of them, she topped off both coffee cups and asked if either wanted the pie of the day, cherry. Dak shook his head.

Once he answered, Julianne brought her gaze up and stared at Dak as though waiting for him to give her permission to respond. Old habits, he surmised. Dak sighed. Had she been his submissive, he would have been proud of her response. Since she didn’t owe him her servitude, her hesitation felt more like a punch in the gut rather than giving him that familiar jolt of lightning through his body from watching a properly trained submissive.

He raised his eyebrows, and the gesture prompted Julianne to respond. She shook her head. Then she went back to staring at the table again.

After the waitress walked away, Dak continued, “A Dom, Sire Steel, heard from another Dom about you. I guess you and your former Master attended a play party recently.”

The mention of the party Dak had been told about made Julianne wince as though the rough memory haunted her. Dak had heard about just one instance of this asshole’s abuse of his submissive.

Although some submissives and slaves liked their faces slapped, a hard punch to the face that rendered a person unconscious qualified as a sign of abuse, especially since other party members had heard her uttering her safe word for the play to stop.

Dak took a sip of his hot coffee before continuing his explanation. “Someone at the play party informed Sire Steel. Steel contacted me.”

“Why you?” The more Julianne spoke, the stronger her voice sounded.

Dak hoped that it wouldn’t take the pale beauty long to find her voice so she could tell her next Dom or Domme exactly what she liked.

“Sire Steel and I started an organization called SAFE. It stands for Security Away From Extremists. We all understand that BDSM is a lifestyle that can be demanding on a person’s body and sometimes their mind.”

“Demanding?” Julianne smiled and snorted a laugh.

Seeing her smile finally made Dak grin like a kid finding the last colored Easter egg.

“Okay, rough, hard, painful. Overall, though, everything should follow our credo: safe, sane, and consensual.”

Julianne cringed again and slumped down even lower. “My Master will be so upset.” She fidgeted on her bench seat, wringing her hands and alternating her gaze from the window to the front door and back down to the table. “If I go back, maybe Master will allow me to continue serving him.” She stood, and Dak bolted to his feet, jarring her so that she jumped.

“Don’t leave.” Dak held her small hands in his. “You should want better for yourself.” He paused, trying to think of the other pat statements he and Gordon had memorized to tell these troubled and abused submissives and slaves. “You deserve to be treated in the way you want to be treated. Did you really like what your Master did to you?”

Julianne struggled to look Dak in his eyes. Instead she dropped her gaze back down to the floor. Within seconds, he heard her sniffling. She pulled one hand out of his grip and wiped her face.

“I don’t know what else to do. I don’t have anywhere else to go,” she said between gasping cries.

A good former Dom would have told her to hold her chin up and be assertive in what she wanted out of life. Being a submissive didn’t equate to being someone’s punching bag.

A good man would have told her she could be more than someone’s property. She could have her own life and still be a submissive. Even as a slave, it didn’t mean she’d lost her ability to say “no.”

Instead Dak gave her a pat on her shoulder. Julianne, however, surprised him by pressing her face right into his chest while she sobbed. Dak kept his arms by his side. Scanning the diner, he noticed the two waitresses watching their display. A lone customer at the bar turned to stare at Dak and Julianne.

Stares like those that made Dak appreciate his solitary sanctuary, away from intrusive people. While she cried, he thought about what he could say to comfort her.

“Someone is going to take you to a safe place.” Dak swallowed. “There will be other Doms and Dommes there to help you in this difficult period.” To show his support, he patted her back again. “You’ll be retrained. And, when they think you’re ready, they’ll help find a suitable Dom or Domme for you.”

Julianne sniffed again and peered up. Pink colored the whites of her eyes. In a move teeming with desperation, she grabbed his jacket and moved closer to him.

“Why can’t you just take me to your house? I could serve you. I could be happy serving you.” She took a couple of steps toward him, and it made him retreat.

Just few seconds too late, but arriving in the nick of time, Gordon barreled through the front door. Dak released a long, ragged breath.

“Your ride is here.” He pulled her hands off of his jacket, turned her around to the door, and guided her toward Gordon.

As usual, Dak’s out-of-shape friend huffed and puffed as he waddled toward him. Gordon adjusted his black horned-rimmed glasses, then smoothed his hand over the few sprigs of hair on his sweaty head. Good thing dominance in the BDSM world had everything to do with state of mind rather than body.

“You’re late.” Dak positioned Julianne in front of Gordon.

“I know. I was tied up.” Gordon smirked, showing off his newly-capped teeth. “Actually, I had someone else tied when–”

Dak held up his hand. “I don’t want to hear it.” He pointed to Julianne. “Julianne, this is Sire Steel. He’ll help you get situated and find you a safe house while you recover and retrain.”

Julianne had a look in her eyes like she wanted to hug Dak. He interpreted appreciation from her wide gaze. She started to raise her hands in the air and walk toward him. The smile that curled at the corner of her mouth clued him in to the impending embrace. To deter her, he headed to the front door and swung it open for them.

When Julianne walked by him, he said, “Good luck on your journey. Today is your first step.” More trite words, but he felt relieved she would be out of his hair.

“Thank you for taking care of me, and for–” The words choked in her throat.

Dak nodded, not wanting or needing further explanation.

“If you aren’t one already, you should really think about being a cop.” She offered a sweet smile as payment for the work he’d done for SAFE.

The intended compliment instead felt like a slap in Dak’s face. He didn’t need to hear any comments about a real goal he’d had since leaving the Navy. Dak had felt cold feet about his goal. Just like with Lil’ Mary, he felt he couldn’t be great at being an officer of the law, then he knew he shouldn’t pursue the dream. Why bother going through the disappointment?

His feet would have to stay frozen for a while. Now that he’d finished his save, he could crawl back to his cave.

When Gordon walked by him, Dak grabbed his arm. “This is it. Don’t ever call me again to do a job like this. I’m done.”

 

****

 

Feeling the pat on her head, This Slave knew the next step. Master Blade’s toughness matched his predictability, which suited her since she had to serve him. She knew exactly what to do, right and wrong. Today she felt obligated to push his buttons.

“So I told the jerk-offs at work that if they wanted the report done by Friday, then they needed to get off their asses and do it.” Her Master, Master Blade, laughed the loudest in the room full of other Doms, Dommes, submissives, and slaves.

At this luncheon, submissives and slaves sat obediently by their owners’ sides. Although she and Master Blade were the only African-Americans there, she never felt out of place. The other guests made her feel like a part of the group. She’d never had that feeling of inclusion growing up. The familial feeling warmed her insides.

Master Blade picked up his glass and shook it, making the ice cubes clink. The signal came through loud and clear.

“This Slave will get you another drink.” She reached for the glass, then waited, holding it aloft while staring at him. “Master does want another drink, correct?” She watched the vein throb in the middle of his forehead. Her father’s vein used to do the same thing. This Slave fought not to smile.

“Yes,” he answered between gritted teeth.

She nodded. “And Master would like more ice?”

“Yes.” He grabbed her wrist and pulled her toward him. “Why are you doing this?”

She blinked. Her heart raced knowing discipline would be coming. “Doing what, Master?”

She knew he wouldn’t fall for her innocent act. Lately, she’d found it harder to provoke him into disciplining her, not like in the very beginning when they’d first come together. After almost a year of being together, he’d become wise to her tricks.

Master Blade tightened his grip around a thin dowel he used as a disciplinary cane. The sound of his leather glove-clad hand squeaking around the stick sounded in the quiet room. If he used the cane, she knew where he would hit her: on her hand.

She could almost feel the sharp, stinging pain going up her arm from the expected blow. She found that if she looked pained, Master Blade inflicted more punishment. For that reason, she grunted and groaned even more.

She could withstand anyone’s physical punishment. She couldn’t be broken.

After a tense second, he let her go and ordered her to go to the kitchen. Once she kissed the tops of Master Blade’s booted feet, then the hand that held the cane, she stood and went to the kitchen.

She poured iced tea into his glass. Just before going back to the living room, she stared at the rust-colored drink. Her incessant questioning hadn’t stirred Master Blade. She needed to do something else.

Glancing around the room, she found a sugar canister. She knew Master Blade liked unsweetened iced tea. With the ease of a cat burglar, she removed the ceramic lid without clinking it against its sides, then poured a spoonful of sugar into his tea.

She peered around as though someone had seen her devilish act. She mixed the drink with her index finger, then sucked off the excess liquid.

She returned to the living room and sat the glass on the coffee table in front of him.

“This Slave has brought you your drink.” She lowered herself onto her knees next to him.

Staring forward, she caught a strange expression on the face of their host, the Mistress of the house, who had always offered to train her. When This Slave turned around, she met her Master’s boot.

Master Blade knocked her to the floor. She didn’t know if the gasps she heard had come from the people around her or from herself. When her face crashed against the hardwood floor, she saw stars flashing in her eyes.

Master Blade had reacted faster than she thought he would.

“You know better than to walk around without permission.” Master Blade put the sole of his boot right on her face, keeping her pressed down to the floor. “You were supposed to crawl to the kitchen and crawl back, right?”

She pretended to struggle for air, but under his small, size seven shoe, she had no problem breathing. “Yes, uh, Sir.”

“Stupid bitch. I don’t know why I keep your ass around. Do you?” He pressed down harder.

A fireworks display burst in her eyes from the increased pressure, still nothing she couldn’t handle. “Please give me another chance.” Another chance to push your buttons.

“What did you say? I know I didn’t hear you correctly.”

She swallowed, knowing he’d picked up the intended error in her statement. “Please give This Slave another chance. This Slave longs to serve you and only you, Master Blade.” Aside from not following physical protocol like crawling around the floor, This Slave knew Blade hated when she used the wrong forms of address or none at all.

“Blade, please, we’re having a pleasant afternoon.” Mistress Siren’s strong voice resonated even down to the floor. “I think you’ve disciplined your slave enough.”

“You don’t understand, Siren. This one needs a firm hand.” Master Blade grunted. “If I don’t do this, she’ll be like a wild, ravenous dog, undisciplined and rough. Besides, I’ve never perceived you as the squeamish type.”

“You know better than that.” The indignation came through clearly in Siren’s voice.

“She’s much better than that last slave I had, Lil’ Mary. This one knows how to take the discipline. She practically begs for it daily.”

“Then maybe to punish her, you don’t discipline her.”

This Slave gasped. Siren shouldn’t be giving him that advice. This Slave could handle the little bit of punishment Blade dished out. She could manage the beatings. The verbal abuse got to her sometimes, but she had learned to tune him out…at least, she tried to ignore him. Sometimes the words hit harder home to her than expected.

Blade removed his boot from her face. “Fine. I’ll stop here.”

This Slave rose to her knees, not even daring to wipe her face. Times like these, she wished she had on her full head mask. At least his boot wouldn’t have touched her bare skin.

She watched Master Blade pick up his drink and take a sip. Although she didn’t want to stare, she ached to see his reaction when he realized she’d sweetened his tea.

As soon as she positioned herself in the correct spot, Master Blade grabbed a handful of her hair and pulled her to her feet. She guessed he’d discovered her intended blunder. Even his small hand yanking on her hair didn’t hurt her as much as it looked. This Slave put on a front like his grip could rip her scalp from her skull.

“We’re going home.” Master Blade dragged her to the closet door.

Except for the black leather collar and cuffs, This Slave wore nothing else. She knew he wanted her to put on her coat first. Instead she opened the front door, not caring that neighbors could see her nudity. If it pissed Master Blade even more, then she would be nude in public.

“Blade, please, at least let her get dressed. I have neighbors watching everything that goes on here.” Mistress Siren stood and attempted to block Master Blade’s path.

“I did push her to the closet. You see. She’s doing this on purpose. She wants me to punish her.” He nudged her shoulder to spin her around so that she could look at him. “You want my attention? Fine, you got it. Looks like you’re going to get some time in the drawer.”

More than the boot to the face and the hair pull, she couldn’t do the drawer. Blame it on her claustrophobia. Maybe it had something to do with her father locking her up in a small closet to discipline her. Either way, that small, tight, cramped space could not fit sweaters, let alone a full-grown body.

The news of the drawer made her drop to her knees. “Please, Master Blade. Please don’t put This Slave in the drawer. This Slave promises to behave. This Slave will do whatever you like.”

“You’ll do what I like anyway. You’re wasting time. Get your coat and let’s go.” Master Blade walked out of the house.

She opened the closet to retrieve her coat. Her clothes, which consisted of a pair of panties, a shirt, and stretch pants, all managed to fit in her inside pockets.

Don’t cry. Don’t cry. This is what you wanted, right? The rougher the better, right?

She wiped her face before slipping on her coat. Before going through the front door, she dropped down to her hands and knees and crawled to the door. Although she wanted to push Blade, she hadn’t meant to push him this far. She could withstand anything but that drawer.

With her head hung low, she heard as she got a foot away from the door, “Slave, if this is not the treatment you want, please tell us so that we can help you.”

In her life, she’d heard that before. People always offered to help, but no one ever did anything. As always, she would take care of herself.

Mistress Siren said, “Nod if you want help.”

This Slave waited by the door, torn between what she thought she deserved and what these other folks felt she needed. She’d pushed Master Blade to do this. She could take anything he dished out.

“Slave?”

A car horn blared, making her jump. She turned to Mistress Siren, then lowered her head again before crawling out of the door.

She crept over the gravel sidewalk and driveway, the small rocks and pebbles cutting and embedding in her palms and knees. At the truck, she climbed into the backseat and positioned herself on her stomach as she’d been trained.

“You know I don’t want to have to discipline you like this all of the time,” Master Blade began. “But you leave me with no alternatives. Why do you force me to be rough with you?”

She swallowed. “This Slave is sorry for pushing Master’s limits. Master is supposed to push This Slave’s limits, right?”

“Did you just ask me a question?” He sighed out of exasperation.

“No, Master Blade. My master will tell This Slave whatever it is This Slave needs to know. This Slave would never question you.”

Although she’d kept her head down, she could almost guess how Master Blade looked at her when he asked his question. With his shaved head, she could never pinpoint his age. They had signed a contract almost a year ago that she would serve him. Shorter than her five-foot-ten frame, Master Blade had demanded that she either crawled around on the floor when he stood or that she kept her head down so that she never appeared taller than him.

Blade screeched his truck to a halt in front of his home and demanded she get out. As she’d done to get in the truck, she scuttled out of it and to the house.

“Take off your coat.” Blade slammed the door behind her.

She removed her coat while remaining on her knees. In a crouching position, she hung it in the closet.

“To the dungeon. Now!” Blade barked.

She jumped, but without hesitation scurried to the dungeon in the den downstairs. Once she assumed her usual position in the center of the room, she wondered what punishment she would endure today. Then she hoped beyond hope that whatever occurred in the dungeon would take the place of being put in the drawer.

Master Blade had rarely punished her in addition to locking her in the drawer until recently. He must have recognized her crippling fear and used that treatment to break her. She couldn’t be broken. That’s what she had to prove to him…and to herself.

She kept her head down, waiting, wondering. Her heart pounded so hard it sounded in her head. She swallowed and hoped that the volume of her beating heart wouldn’t drown out Master’s voice.

“Up.” He stood behind her.

Knowing what he wanted, she stood and raised her hands over her head. Her fingers brushed against the fleece-lined cuffs that hung down from the ceiling. Master Blade strolled in front of her and glared at her. The whites of his brown eyes looked red, like blood in a riverbank.

Without a word, Master Blade cuffed her wrists. He made sure to position her fingers onto the panic releases.

“If it gets too intense, you use these.” Blade stared into her eyes as though searching for an answer; not just an answer to his statement, but a reason why she would push him to do this.

“This Slave will not activate the panic releases, Master Blade. This Slave deserves to be punished.” She stared back at him hard enough and long enough for him to break the stare first.

After securing her, he stormed over to the controls on the side of the wall and raised her off the ground just enough so that she had to stand on her tiptoes to keep from swinging back and forth.

Despite her best efforts, Master Blade still pushed her body to put her in full swing. The swinging kept her off balance in every sense. The motion made it difficult to watch what Master Blade did. She twirled around and tried hard to keep her stare on Master Blade. When she saw him walking over to the wall full of whips, she chewed on her lower lip. His whip play resembled a light tickle. At the end of this day, she could use a good laugh.

Her body twirled around away from him as he walked past the whips to the canes and paddles. She tried looking over her shoulder, but in her position, she couldn’t see his actions.

As soon as she felt his hand on her shoulder to stop her from swinging, she gasped.

“If you’re going to act like a child, I’m going to treat you like one.” He slapped her naked ass, then squeezed it to signify that he owned her. “Your safe word is ‘blue,’ understand? I want you to use the safe word if I’m punishing you too hard, got it?”

She didn’t respond.

Blade moved around to the front of her. “This Slave, you answer me when I ask you a question. What’s the safe word?”

She rolled her head back, then returned his stare. “I don’t remember, Master Blade. Is it black, like what we are? We’re both black.”

“Stop it.”

“And you’re older than me, probably the same age as my daddy.”

“Slave—”

“Can I call you Daddy from now on?” She knew that would get to him. 

“That’s enough.” He spun her around again.

She felt his head by her ear.

In a whisper, he said, “Why do you do this? Why do you provoke more of a punishment for yourself? You know I don’t want to do this.”

She nodded. “Yes, you do. You need to discipline This Slave. This Slave needs it.” She cleared her throat. “This Slave deserves it.”

Just like when she had been at home with her father, she would take it. Just like her mother had taken the abuse for so many years.

“Use the safe word.”

The first smack with the wide paddle cut into her thoughts. She yelped and flinched at the contact, even though he had eased up on the intensity.

“You’re going to get fifty hits,” he said. “Then I’ll decide if I’ll cane you afterward.”

“Yes, Master Blade. Thank you for disciplining This Slave.” She gripped the chain above her hands.

“Count them down. I really want to hear you.”

“Yes, Master Blade.”

The next strike came fast, but had been as soft as the first one. The sound of the smack didn’t even echo off of the dungeon walls.

“Two, Master Blade.”

The next few hits started to decrease in force. Maybe exhaustion plagued him.

“Three, Master Blade.”

At the beginning of their relationship, he had disciplined her with much more force. The longer she stayed with him and the more she pushed him, the more he backed off of her. She had to find a new way to incite him.

Her voice remained steady even toward the end of the punishment. She knew he hadn’t given her his all for whatever reason.

At the final smack, Master Blade came at her full force, swatting her so roughly that it put her body into a full swing. That hit got her attention. If the entire punishment had been like that, she would have respected him more.

She’d done it. She’d borne his weak punishment without complaint. Now she could get through the rest of the day, cooking his dinner, drawing his bath, and giving him his ritual hand job even though he could never get it up. He never pushed her to have sex so, if he could achieve an erection or not, it didn’t matter.

Master Blade returned the paddle to its place on his wall of toys. As she swung languidly on the chain, he lowered her and unhooked her wrists from the cuffs.

“You didn’t use the panic releases or the safe word.”

“This Slave didn’t need to, Master Blade. This Slave is tough.” She rubbed her wrists.

She blew out her breath. Sweat beaded her head, and she wiped her forehead, then raked her fingers through her wild mane of hair. She would have to tame it after Master Blade slept.

To her surprise, Master Blade grabbed a handful of her hair and pulled her to his bedroom. The pain of him fisting her hair didn’t give her that surge of adrenaline like it had when she’d first met Master Blade. A transformation had occurred inside of her, and something had changed with Blade. Now she didn’t know what to think.

“Because you can’t behave, I’m going to have to retrain your dumb ass.” He let her go long enough to pull open a full-length drawer from under his massive king-size bed.

As soon as she saw the drawer, her heart pounded again in concert with her now throbbing backside, still stinging from its treatment just moments ago.

She’d been in the encasement under his bed several times before. She never got used to the confinement. Her hands trembled, and more sweat formed on her head the longer she stared at the cedar drawer.

As usual, Master Blade undid the cuffs around her wrists and neck. He showed her that one bit of compassion before entombing her in the drawer. She would have felt suffocated if she wore the neck cuff.

“You need help getting inside or can you manage by yourself?” Blade shoved her toward the drawer.

“This Slave thought you would be using the whip. This Slave deserves the paddling and to be whipped.” She hoped asking for the whipping would keep her from being placed in the drawer. Asking the question at least bought her some time.

“Not today. Not right now.” He pointed to the drawer.

Without a response, she climbed inside and positioned herself on her back just like Master Blade liked. With her hands balled into fists, she closed her eyes, trying desperately to transport herself into a happier time.

Hell, when was that? She’d never known any true joyous or happy times. Not in her childhood, not as a teenager, and definitely not now with Master Blade.

“Look at me!” Blade kicked the drawer, jiggling it and startling her.

She stared at him. Her toes felt like ice cubes dangled from each of them. She had to get her legs to stop shaking so that her knees didn’t hit the top of the drawer. Considering she did most of her moving around on her knees, the feeling would be torturous.

“How long you think you should be in there for your misbehavior?” Blade put his fists to his hips, bringing her attention to his protruding belly.

“An hour, Master Blade.” She’d figure an hour for her infraction would be long enough for her to personally take being inside before losing it.

Blade shook his head. “Stupid, stupid bitch. Some days you act as though this is your first time in training. The right and only answer is that the time limit is up to me. Everything is always up to me, right?”

She nodded. “Yes, Master Blade. This Slave apologizes again.”

“Enough fucking apologies. You’ll come out when I feel like getting you.” He kicked the drawer closed with his booted foot.

In the darkness, even with the miniature fan behind her head that whirred, giving her the needed air to breathe, she struggled to maintain her composure. Tears stung her eyes as she considered her situation. Did she really want to be here? Did she truly deserve this?

She tried reaching up to wipe her eyes, but in the cramped space, she couldn’t move her arms up. She couldn’t move her legs. Alone in the dark, she only had her thoughts to keep her company.

She had no one to blame but herself. Physical punishment had no effect on her. Blade had probably figured that out.

“Blue,” she whispered to herself.

Blade opened the drawer so fast that This Slave jostled in the motion.

“Did you say something?”

Unable to speak, she shook her head.

Blade rolled his eyes and rubbed the top of his head. “You’re going to have to learn to trust me. I don’t know when you lost that trust, but you need to find it again. I’m getting tired of disciplining you all of the time.” He crouched down to push the drawer shut, but stopped for a moment. “This is not all of what BDSM is. You know that, right?”

“This Slave knows that she has misbehaved and needs to be corrected.” She opened her hands and pressed them flat against her legs.

“Someday I’ll break you of this violent streak and your need for punishment.”

“Isn’t that what BDSM is all about? Pain being pleasure?” A smile twitched at the corner of her mouth, but Master Blade did not look amused.

“The safe word is blue. Use it.” He slammed the drawer again.

She listened for a while, remaining quiet until she heard footfalls move away from her. To calm herself, she closed her eyes and brought her hands up to touch the wood panel above her body. She imagined sketching a picturesque outdoor scene with trees, deep green grass, a lake behind the tree, and a radiant sun. With getting disciplined daily from dusk to dawn, she missed sunrises and sunsets.

Her hands moved over the wood as though she had paint brushes in them. Just being able to do what she loved slowed her racing heart.

She could take this. If she could endure growing up with the father she’d had, she knew she could last in this relationship. She would have to. Where else could she go?