It’s Excruciating. Thank You.

Illustrated by: Anna Sudit
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Now, here they were, alone in Kingsley’s bedroom. And she was going to hurt him. And she’d never done anything like this before in her life. Where did she start?

She took a step back and looked Kingsley up and down. He needed something. Not a collar, but something, something to make everything different between them.

“How do you feel about blindfolds?” she asked.

“I don’t mind them, but I’d rather see you.”

Stepping back in front of him, she started to unbutton his vest. She’d undressed him before, at his command, but never of her own volition. He stood there, still and submissive, letting her pull the vest down and off his arms. She thought about folding it, thought about hanging it up. This was part of one of Kingsley’s sexiest Regency-style suits, after all. And likely, one of his most expensive. Instead, she paused, looked at it, and then dropped it on the floor.

“You’re more like him than you can possibly know,” Kingsley said.

To which Eleanor replied, “Don’t speak until spoken to.”

Kingsley bowed his head in apology. She felt something new surging through her veins, something sweet and spiked and utterly intoxicating.


Kingsley remained still as she unbuttoned his shirt and pulled it out of his trousers. He had such a beautiful body — all lean muscle and old scars — that she couldn’t stop herself from kissing his naked shoulder as she pushed his shirt down his arms. First, a kiss on the naked shoulder; then, on the naked bicep. Then, the naked forearm and the naked wrist.

The naked wrist.

She left him standing there while she went down on her hands and knees by the bed. She pulled out a suitcase and opened it up. Inside was bondage equipment — ropes, adjustable spreader bars, cuffs, and collars.

And gauntlets.

She took out two black leather gauntlets and laid them on the bed. She’d seen male submissives at The Eighth Circle wearing various sorts of leather. Bicep cuffs, chest harnesses, but her favorite were the gauntlets. They looked so medieval, like something a knight would wear under his armor. And after a battle, he’d strip down to nothing but the dirt and sweat and the leather braces on his wrists.

Eleanor lifted Kingsley’s arm and held it against her chest. She wrapped the brace around his forearm and laced it.

“You like leather?” he asked. His voice was soft and the gentleness of his tone made her even more nervous.

“Yeah, I do. On men, especially.”

“Why did you never tell me?”

She glanced up at him. “You never asked.”

Kingsley narrowed his eyes at her. “I should have asked. What other secrets are you keeping in here?”

He touched her temple and let his fingers trail down until they rested on her chest, under her shirt and over her heart.

“Lots of secrets,” she whispered.

“Tell me all your secrets. Tell me everything you want.”

“You,” she said. “Like this.”

“Like what?”

“Submissive to me.”

“You’ve fantasized about this?” he asked. “About me submitting to you?”

Finally, she had the wrist brace on his left arm. Lacing the brace onto his right arm went much more smoothly. She could do this. She could.

It scared her to answer the question. The question wasn’t a question, but a box. If they opened the lid to this box, god only knew what would come out.

“Please tell me, Elle.”


And with that yes, she yanked the laces on the gauntlet and tied a neat, quick bow.

When she had the braces on his arms, she looked him up and down.

“Almost perfect,” she said, appraising her handiwork. She unbuttoned his trousers, pushed them down and told him to step out of them.

“Perfect,” she said with a smile. “Absolutely perfect.”

Eleanor had only ever been on the receiving end of a beating. She had no idea how to throw a flogger, wield a single-tail. She certainly wasn’t going to try to figure it out tonight. But there were other ways to hurt someone, ways she did know.

“Lay on your back,” she ordered, and Kingsley did as he was told.

Wild. For years, she’d been doing everything Kingsley and Søren told her to do.

Go here. Do this. Spread for him. Suck me here. Stand there and take it and take it and take it...

Time to give as good as she got.

Kingsley was lying naked on the bed, naked but for the elaborate leather arm braces laced from his wrist halfway up his forearms.

Eleanor took one more long breath. What to do...what to do...she’d been hurting herself since she was a teenager. She knew how to give pain, right? She’d been the first person to hurt her own body.

Then, she had an idea.

She opened the drawer in his nightstand and pulled out a scalpel from a leather case. Then, she picked up the lit candle.

“Blood-play or wax-play?” he asked. Both seemed amenable to him.

“Neither,” she said.

She crawled onto the bed and straddled Kingsley’s hips. She pushed herself against his erection, but didn’t let him inside her. His cock pulsed against her wet seam. She wanted him in her, yes, but she wanted to make him wait even more.

“I did this to myself when I was a kid. Except I used a curling iron. My curling iron’s all the way in the other room, so we’ll have to improvise a little.”

She brought the blade of the scalpel into the flame of the candle and watched while the fire heated the metal. When it turned a glowing red, she lowered the scalpel and pressed the flat of the blade against Kingsley’s stomach.

With a gasp of pure pain, he closed his eyes tight and arched underneath her, arched so hard his cock went inside her. She shuddered as their bodies joined. She settled in on top of him, moving her hips to take him as deep as she could.

“Vicious bitch,” he hissed through his clenched teeth. She’d given him a first-degree burn.

“Did I hurt you?” she asked, worried she’d crossed a line already.

“God, yes. Do it again,” he said between harsh breaths. “Please.”

Eleanor laughed. “Well, since you asked so nicely.”

Then, she brought the blade into the flame again, heated it once more and brought it back to his stomach.

The red-hot metal left half-moon shaped burns on his stomach. Every time she touched him with the flat of the scalpel blade, he shuddered as if in agony, grunted in the back of his throat and pushed his hips into her.

After the fifth burn and the sixth, sex and pain became the same thing to them. Their bodies were joined. Only when she pressed the blade against his stomach, his hips, his chest, against the tender flesh of his inner bicep, did he thrust up and into her.

Her own wetness poured out of her and coated him, sealing them together.

“How are you feeling?” she asked, more curious than caring.

“It’s excruciating,” Kingsley said. “Thank you.”

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