It was raining hard outside. Inside, music was playing, as was the case when they were hanging out in her house. Victor preferred coming to Nedra’s apartment, as it was far more comfortable than his place. He didn’t have a problem driving the hour it took to get there, for it was always worth it. Nedra’s home was warm, inviting and she made concessions for his frequent visits; there were certain foods and other items she kept on hand for his consumption and use. They agreed to take tonight off, as Victor wanted to engineer a particular encounter with Nedra; one he’d been planning ever since they agreed to take their relationship to the next level.
Nedra was in her workout room, fetishized according to Victor’s wants: done up in a red two-piece latex outfit; a halter and a piece of a skirt. She wore fishnets and red patent stilettos. Her arms were bound behind her back and secured to her pole. Victor had her blindfolded with one of her silk scarves, and there was a collar around her neck that affixed her head to the pole. She had a ball gag in her mouth and couldn’t move anything above her waist. It took Victor an hour to get her ready and trussed up on the pole, as he insisted on blindfolding her first and then dressing her. She remained calm throughout, even as he tied her up and to the pole. The last thing he put on was the ball gag. It wasn’t tight; she could push it out and call the safe word if she wanted to. But it remained between her lips; there was the barest hint of her teeth on the top of the ball. Nedra had a tiny gap between her two front teeth and Victor loved it masked by the ball.
She stood there in silence and Victor stood in front in her, naked. He took several pictures of her and informed her he was doing so, assuring her that they were for his private collection. Nedra, of course, was unable to reply, but it didn’t matter. They stood like this for what felt like hours for her, but minutes for him.
He had a silk whip in his hands, but wasn’t exactly sure what he was going to do with it. For now, he just walked carefully and quietly around the pole, staring at her from every angle; aching in mind, body and soul for what this represented. She couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, and couldn’t do anything without his permission. Nedra was totally and completely at his mercy, and he was raw about it. There were words he wanted to use on her, to her; words that died in his throat whenever she tossed him a side eye or a snarky comment…words that couldn’t find voice, meaning or mark when she was…unbound.
Their affair was three weeks old at this point, and not one went by without some sort of engagement, especially trips to random motels in and around the city. She let him finger-fuck her while she drove like a maniac at the abandoned runway; he recalled having all four fingers buried inside her jeans and her laughing and squirting uncontrollably at 170 miles per hour. After braking, she jumped into the passenger’s seat, he opened the door, and they fucked like rabbits before driving to a nearby Motel Spin to continue fucking.
Victor really liked their motel encounters; the sleazier, the better. Nedra didn’t know about him, but she was having a blast with their affair. She took comfort in the fact that she kept a smile on Victor’s face whenever they were merely together and not having sex.
Nedra remained content to let Victor dictate the encounters; she had never once expressed distress or dismay, or used the safe word. She never questioned his methods, motives, or madness…she submitted to the man so easily that sometimes, in her secret heart, she had to question a few things. While she was left physically strained and uncomfortable sometimes, Victor would care for her sore limbs and muscles until she hurt no more. He had tied her up before, but he had never dared to bind her like this. She stood perfectly still, unbothered, unworried, her trust in him unwavering. There was something here he needed, something buried in her being bound that he had to address. She recognized that much, even if she didn’t understand it all.
The room was cool enough to make her nipples hard. He, on the other had, was burning up and felt like the only way he could get comfortable was to remove his clothes. Being naked before her felt right. He stepped close to her, pressing his chest against hers and remained perfectly still. Nedra shifted her focus to the immediate stimulus, taking in his warmth but then she felt it…the rapid fluttering of his heart. He put his arms around her, not touching her, but gripping the pole between her elbows and hands and pressed harder.
He watched her swallow. She shifted her feet, but a quick pop with the whip and she was back in formation.
Victor felt exposed, emotions out on display for the all the world to see. But it was not everyone, just her…but there were many days when it felt like she was everyone. He had been building toward this encounter for days, planning it all to the last detail. At the end of it, they would fuse and he had already told her he didn’t want to wear a condom because he needed to finish inside of her. Nedra agreed but only after he got tested, and the clean bill of health allowed his planning to continue. She understood his primitive urge—which couldn’t be put into words—to be one with her at that singular moment. She recognized that much, even if she didn’t understand it all.
Nedra had asked that something play lightly in the background, and Victor’s choice for the evening was Bach’s Goldberg Variations. It was one of his favorite pieces of music and for him, appropriate for this evening’s events.
“I’m so hot,” he said, his voice just above the music, near her ear. “I feel like a live wire. Feel me thrum. Feel my heartbeat. Bite down on the ball if you can feel me.”
Nedra moved her lips, baring her teeth and she bit down on the ball.
“I feel feverish but it is psychological, in my mind…a bubble of heat and desire in my secret place. I feel things, I feel something pulling at me, but the words…I can never have the words when I have your eyes or your mouth. You belittle them or remind me of why they shouldn’t have meaning…you say that I am not enough or incapable of how fast my heart is beating or how raw I feel, how much closer I am to the previous species and not the wise man I’m supposed to be. I don’t understand everything that I feel but know that I feel them deeply; in my arteries, my veins, my deep tissue, within the walls of my heart. I am not easy; you know this, but I am free to be myself with you. You give me liberty to be who I am but it scares me how much it hurts to allow you even that, especially when all I can have is a piece of you. Feel my heartbeat. Feel me thrum, feel me vibrate.”
Nedra bit the ball again.
“I…am terrified of you. I want to hurt you; I have a need to hurt you because you have the ability to hurt me…you have hurt me. I laid myself bare at your feet and all you wanted was my body, my physical being…that what lies beneath it is inconsequential and can be ignored or dismissed. I give control of it to you and you do what you will do, so I have to hurt you if only to soothe my pain, my desire…so I can sleep at night.”
He let go of the pole and put his hot hands on her latex-covered nipples. Blindly, he began to massage them, letting his thoughts flow into words.
“You want me but you don’t want me. You keep me at arm’s length; you instruct me on how to pleasure you but not how to love you. You let me be rough with your body; you let me defile you with words, desecrate you with acts and cover you in my sins. You let me hurt you and you have never said why it is acceptable for you to want—or need—that kind of treatment. Dare I think we are more than kindred; that what I feel for you is not one-sided, that the heat of me and the heart of me is more than enough for you? Is there room in there for me and him?”
“I’m scared of this. I don’t know how far I will go or what you will allow. I’m scared of what I feel, of what you feel, of wondering what you think. Feel my heartbeat. Feel me vibrate. Tell me you vibrate too; that you are right now…that if I penetrated you, we would achieve resonance. Are you vibrating? Are you thrumming right now?”
Nedra bit the ball gag. Victor sucked two of his middle fingers and touched her happy clitoris and saw her breath catch before veeing her lips. Her labia were fat and swollen with heat and he touched the tip of his erection to her inner lips, lightly drawing it back and forth; the skin there sensitive. Nedra gasped, keeping the gag in place, but her feet started to twitch. Victor didn’t hit her with the whip, as his hands were occupied.
“Are you raw? Are you trembling? Is there room in there for me?”
Nedra bucked her hips as Victor moved the useless piece of latex to one side. Carefully he inserted the first two inches of his dick between Nedra’s lips and squeezed her hips so that the fit was tight. A sound escaped the ball gag, like a rough exhale and Victor saw a tear leak from under the blindfold.
“Is there room in here for me?”
He hooked her thighs up to the height of his hips before forcing his way completely in. Nedra had to angle her pelvis outward to receive him and Victor stood for a moment, eyes closed, savoring all of it. She was vibrating. He could feel it. There was a moment, then another…and then there was resonance. Nedra’s breathing became ragged.
“You vibrate for me; you tremble for me. I can feel your pulse; it’s beating as rapidly as hummingbird wings flutter. You curve to me; your juicy, hot cunt covers me and devours me. I am all the way inside of you and I feel your heartbeat all over, Nedra…oh God, I can’t hold still like I want and savor…I can’t hold still…oh God, oh baby…”
His thrusts were slow and even; he was not going to rush this in spite of every alert nerve and neuron telling him to. He moved his hips to the side as he thrust, and faint mewling sounds escaped the ball gag, which was becoming slick with saliva. Victor held her thighs, burying himself each time, squishing his balls against her opening, wishing he could get all the way in so that she would never forget him or slight him ever again.
He saw another tear slide from under the blindfold and saliva drip from the sides of her mouth. “Do you feel me, Nedra? Do you understand the translation…the words I can’t speak because I’m afraid of your response? You can’t acknowledge any of what I say once I remove the ball gag. You just need to absorb it, feel it, hear it. You need to know my secret and keep it locked in your heart while we are involved and if we evolve. You have to do that. You owe me that.”
He pressed his cheek against hers, lifting her lips higher and she moaned. Victor knew he wasn’t hurting her; the Marine had a very high threshold for pain, but emotionally, he could not say. Were his words hitting the mark? Did she truly understand every aspect of this particular night? He continued to thrust slowly and deeply, eyes closing even as they were cheek to cheek.
“I don’t know if this is love,” he whispered in her ear. “I don’t know what it is…”
“Mmmmph,” Nedra said. She could have easily spit the gag out but chose to keep it as a muzzle. Was she actually trying to speak or was it the physics of the sex they were having? He didn’t know.
“Am I hurting you?” he asked? She wasn’t in the most comfortable or comforting of positions, but he wasn’t going to change a thing unless she called the safe word. Nedra gripped the ball with her teeth; Victor took it as a challenge. He increased the pace and the intensity and she made another incomprehensible sound. The tension on her lower back increased as he began to jerk her forward. Saliva was running from the corners of her mouth and her cheeks were now slick. If they were not slick with tears, then definitely with sweat.
“Mmmmph!” she said again.
Victor stopped trying to control his thrusts and just let go. This wasn’t about her; it was about him. He moved his hands to her ass, lifting her even more while relieving some of the pressure off her lower back and suddenly, without warning, he exploded. His climax surprised him at its intensity and ferocity; he felt weak, but he pushed her against the pole and crushed her under his weight. She made another sound; it might have been a whimper, but Victor held on until he stopped shaking. It took a few minutes. Then, as he came back to himself, he released her legs one by one. He took a short step back, keeping an eye on her to make sure she didn’t stumble or slide down. While it looked like her lower body was wracked with tiny tremors, it appeared that Nedra was able to keep her feet.
Victor stepped back and stared at her. Thick semen ran down the insides of her legs, covering the fishnets…some of it dripped on the floor. She was out of breath and he imagined her shoulders and neck ached. He hadn’t gone easy on her, but there was nothing easy about his feelings.
He left her alone in the workout room and went to her bedroom. Victor ran a hot bath, adding salts, thick cream, a sponge and a bath scrunch. While the water ran, he took out several towels and stacked them on the toilet lid. Then he went into the kitchen, opened the freezer, and took out a large lidded cup with a straw and a napkin. Then he returned to the workout room where Nedra stood, clearly in a different headspace than she was an hour ago. The room smelled heavily of sex and he looked at her closely and realized that sometime after he left the room, she managed to have an orgasm. Nedra’s scent was as familiar to him as his own. He removed the ball gag and wiped her face with the napkin. She closed and opened her mouth several times before he stuck the straw in. “Sip…slowly.”
She obeyed. It was a thick, fruity milkshake—mango pineapple strawberry, something like that. Clearly he had made it beforehand, and it was delicious. Nedra took a long pull and started coughing.
Victor wiped her face again. “Slowly, baby…sip slowly. I don’t want you to throw up.”
Nedra swallowed. Victor put the cup down and walked around the pole. Then he began undoing the ropes that bound her upper arms and her wrists. Her arms went slack and then he released the binds that secured her to the pole. Victor picked up the cup and caught Nedra before she lost her balance. He scooped her up. She was still blindfolded and he put the cup in one of her hands. It took some effort, but Nedra managed to get the straw near her lips so she could sip. Her arms and wrists hurt. She was going to bruise.
Victor carried her to the bedroom and laid her on the bed. Then he went into the bathroom and cut off the water. Nedra’s tub was so large and so deep that it took 10-15 minutes to get even three-quarters of the way full. When he went into the bedroom, she lay with her legs hanging over the side and the cup leaning against her side.
Victor removed her shoes and carefully undressed her, wiping the insides of her thighs with a wet washcloth before rolling down the fishnets. Then he unzipped her skirt, pulling it over her hips and down her legs. The latex top zipped on the side and he removed it, carefully pulling it from underneath her. Then he removed the blindfold.
Nedra’s eyes were bright and damp and she looked at Victor with an expression he couldn’t interpret. He lifted the cup to her mouth and she sipped the shake before he put the cup on the nightstand. Then he began to massage her neck and shoulders, and then her arms and wrists. He scooped her up once more and carried her to the bathroom, snagging the milkshake on the way. Carefully, he put her in the tub and got in with her, positioning himself so he could continue to massage her neck and shoulders. Nedra leaned against him and he handed her the shake. “Don’t drink it too fast.”
She nodded, holding the cup between her numb hands, braced against her chest. Like a baby she sipped, closing her eyes as Victor took care of her aching body. The water was hot the way she preferred, and even though she knew it was hotter than he liked, he had no problems enduring it to care for her. Nedra’s headspace was white noise or like an old rolling TV set where a piece of an image would flash, but she could not decipher it. She couldn’t speak. Although she’d been bound for no more than 40-45 minutes, it felt like hours.
Victor washed her hair, taking as much time and care as she usually did with his. He could still feel her tremors. He wondered if she was as shaken by the encounter as he was. He had never come that hard before or felt like he had that much in him to contribute to the cause. Nedra was finally able to use her hands and cupped one around the milkshake.
“Are you all right?” he asked.
She nodded. Physically, yes. Emotionally…well, that was something different.
“Where do you hurt?”
She pointed at her neck and shoulders. So he used the carafe to rinse the shampoo out of her hair and asked if she would like a heated rubdown on the bed. Nedra nodded. Victor got up and out, leaving her to soak and went into the bedroom to prepare.
Nedra closed her eyes, sipping steadily, wondering if he’d actually made the shake or bought it from somewhere. She didn’t want to think. She didn’t want to process or analyze the events of a little while ago. He gave the order that she could not speak of it and she would not. And even though she wanted to shut down her brain, she knew it would do exactly what highly functional brains do: deconstruct, interpret, analyze, reference, critique, apply, evaluate and conclude. All of that would have to remain in her head and she had to carry it around like a live bomb. Maybe later, he would allow it to be discussed, but now…no way. It was far too close to him. She finished the milkshake.
In time, she was facedown on the bed and he was kneading her muscles. He turned the music up at some point and it was Nina Simone’s “Willow Weep For Me.” It was still raining; it lashed against her windows, lulling her to sleep. She lay there, letting her mind quiet down to Nina’s soulful voice and Victor’s massage. Her hair was going to dry into a crispy Brillo pad, but she’d deal with that later. Victor heated her body oil and it didn’t take long for the dull aches to dissipate to barely-noticeable twinges. Victor put the heating pad on her lower back and pulled the covers up over her. He kissed her shoulder and cheek and bade her a good night’s sleep.
It rained all night. At some point during, Nedra got up to relieve herself. While sitting on the toilet, she absently rubbed her wrists. She stared at them and sighed when her phone rang. Quickly, she went to retrieve it before it woke Victor. It was Jon.
Nedra went back into the bathroom and closed the door before answering. “Baby,” she said in a sleepy voice.
“I woke you up, Roxy. I’m sorry; I thought you’d just be getting home from work.”
“I played hooky,” she said, rubbing her wrist. “It was necessary.”
“Well, this call won’t take long. I’m on break and I know you’re tired. I’ll be home at the end of this week.”
Nedra smiled. She missed him. “I’m so glad to hear that.”
“We need to talk,” he said. “I’ve been thinking about a lot of things since I was home last and I want to make some changes.”
“I miss you, Nedra. I hate being away from you so much. I hate sleeping alone.”
“Jonathan, you worry about that more than I do. You know I’ve never had an issue with your schedule. I still don’t. Besides, you make a lot of money and I’m not ready for you to make less.”
He chuckled. “Oh, so you’re with me only for my money?”
“A girl like me needs security.”
“I love you, Roxy. We’ll talk about this when I come home. Go back to sleep. I’ll call you in a couple of days and text you my flight information.”
“I love you, Jon. Have a great day.”
Nedra hung up and put the phone next to the sink. Then she left the bathroom and got back in bed with Victor, who spooned behind her, buried his face in her neck and wrapped his arms around her belly.
Sleep eluded her for a very, very long time.
Nedra was at work the next evening, sitting in her office and examining machine specs. She wanted to go ahead and get the paperwork for her electron microscopes started. Maybe that would get the lead out of Dr. Allen’s ass when it came to her new space. She didn’t know what the holdup was, and she was getting annoyed enough to complain to Franklin. Franklin promised to have an answer for her by next week.
Keria was at her workstation. “Nedra?”
Nedra got up and went to her door. “Yeah?”
She turned and looked up at her boss. “Count Cutie’s here.”
Nedra frowned. “What?”
“Victor von Doom. You know, Count Cutie. I haven’t seen him here since the last time he popped up while you were here. What was that, two months ago?”
Nedra shrugged. “I don’t know. I don’t remember.”
“Well, he’s here. You want me to let him in?”
“No, you keep working. I’ll deal with him.” The day after his impromptu visit that ended in a spanking and sex, Nedra changed the lock sequence.
Keria grinned. “He likes you.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Key.”
“I’m not. Just because you got a man doesn’t mean another one won’t find you appealing. This one clearly does because he keeps on stopping by, mostly when you’re here. Nothing wrong with that; Count Cutie has taste.”
Nedra walked down the stairs and to the door, frowning at Victor, who stood with his hands in his back pockets.
“Would you date him?” Keria asked.
Nedra turned and side-eyed her. “Go back to work, Key.” She unlocked the doors and made a split-second decision to let Victor in as opposed to stepping out. Stepping out meant she had something to hide from Keria, but allowing Victor meant the opposite.
“Can I help you, Victor?”
“I’m actually here to help you.”
Keria, not giving a single damn, popped her head up from her desk. “Really now?”
Nedra waved her hand in Keria’s direction. “Keria, Victor. Victor, Keria.”
“We’ve met. Hi Victor,” she said.
“Hello,” he replied, smiling back at her
“So, how can you help me?” Nedra said. Her eyes said something different.
“It’s about the equipment you want to order and the lab space you requested. Yeah, I overheard your conversation with Franklin and that dipshit Allen.”
Nedra just looked at him for a very long moment and then sighed. “Come to my office.”
As he walked past Keria, she smiled at him. “Allen is a dipshit, though.” Victor smiled back at her. “Asshole, dick, loon, douche, jerk…the list goes on.”
Keria giggled and Nedra turned to stare at her as she walked up the stairs. Keria was not a giggler. “You okay?” she asked.
“I’m great,” she replied and turned back to her monitor.
Once in the office, Nedra closed the door. “Victor, what are you doing here?”
“I told you. I’m here to help you out.”
Nedra pressed her lips together and offered him a seat. She sat behind her desk and looked at him. “Well?”
“How much space do you need?”
“As much as I can get. There are two unused spaces: across from here and further down the corridor. I want them both.”
“I remember you saying you wanted some scanning electron microscopes and some other things.”
“Have you decided on a brand?”
“The one that we’re currently sharing with…everybody…is a GriffTech, which is decent.”
“Guess Physical Chemistry is too good to share the SEM with the rest of us.”
“Bet your ass we are,” she said, sniffing. “We’re practically fighting for time with other departments…and I can’t believe I’ve been here as long as I have and Baxter hasn’t gotten the money to get another one. And besides, we are way the hell over here, so whenever we do get time, we have to travel to the machine. You know most of my staff have some sort of physical disability.” She rolled her eyes. That was a fight she was tired of having with TPTB, but for her staff she would continue to do so.
“You got sixty million dollars. How many do you want?”
“I want five. I’m happy with three. The space down at the end of the corridor is large enough to hold them, plus some more equipment.”
Victor whipped out his phone. “You don’t want a GriffTech, do you?”
“No,” she said. “GriffTech’s solid, but I’ve been fangirling over the Shixmaru 3KT-2Z and IONICON’s RTES-800 for the past year. And I’ve spent the past four years with the Griff, so it’s time to upgrade, don’t you think? I’ve got the money now.”
“You don’t want the Shix,” he said, scrolling through his phone. “Yes, everything sounds great and buzz is good, but my contacts tell me there is a degenerative flaw in the design of the 3KT.”
“I spent three years interacting with only the online world…surely you know I’ve got contacts everywhere. People who know stuff they’re not supposed to know. Trust me.” He fiddled with his phone again. “All good on the IONICON, however. The RTES-800 is a top-of-the-line machine; no flaws to speak of thus far. Any others you’re considering? I can have them checked out.”
Nedra stared at him. “Really, Victor?”
“I don’t want you spending millions on a scanning electron microscope that will need to be replaced in three years’ time. That’s crazy. And you should diversify. Get the IONICON, but also take a look at the Aeniex 247-ES. If you decide to purchase five, throw a Griff in there as well. May as well maintain your baseline.”
She was touched. He’d actually thought about this. “Thank you, Victor.”
“I also took the time to design some workspaces for you and your staff. Just emailed them to you.”
“I figured you haven’t had time to do it yet.”
She kept her expression even. “Well, when have you had the time?” Whenever they weren’t working, they were together and the most he’d drawn were baths.
“Well,” he said, looking back even though the office door was closed. Keria had her earphones on. “You know I sleep no more than three hours a night. I did them that day we raced your car.”
“Before or after?”
“Before. I was occupied after.”
Nedra opened up the email and then downloaded the images. “I want to study these, but at first glance…how do you know what my staff’s needs are?”
“I’ve come by from time to time. I’ve also checked out the space across and down the hall.”
“But you’ve never come in unless I’ve been here, and that isn’t often.”
“Keria and I have become friendly.”
Nedra stared at him, mouth open. A moment later, she said, “You and Keria are friends?”
“No. I said we were friendly. She filled in some blanks for me.”
“Son of a bitch,” Nedra whispered. “What blanks?”
Victor shrugged. “You trust me, don’t you?”
Nedra had on a scarf and sported long sleeves and in response, she rolled one up, showing him her bruised wrist. Then she loosened the scarf and gave him a flash of her neck before tying it back up and covering her wrist.
Nedra didn’t. “Jon’s coming home Saturday.”
Victor stopped smiling.
She looked at her fingers. “He wants to make some changes. He’s no longer happy with the amount of time he spends away from me.”
Victor remained silent.
“That’s your fault,” she said, looking directly into his eyes. “All. Your. Fault.”
“How do you feel about what he wants?”
“Jon and I discuss everything. We’re a couple. So when he comes home, we’ll discuss this too. I want him to be happy.”
“What about your happiness? I’ve gathered that all of the fun we’ve had lately pleased you. It certainly has pleased me. I never thought sex in a shitty motel could be so entertaining.”
“It did. It does. I’m enjoying you being in my life and to be honest, don’t want to give that up. But you know where you stand, Victor. We’re not going to argue about this, but if Jon is feeling a kind of way about his absence now, it’s because of what you put in his head in China.”
“What will you do?”
“What I always do. Take care of my man.”
A long moment passed. “Would that term now include me?” He looked in her eyes. “It should.”
Nedra looked away. She spent the night in Victor’s arms, recovering from the evening’s events and after Jon’s phone call, didn’t sleep a wink. In short, she’d anticipated Victor’s question hours and hours before he asked it. She didn’t have an answer then and she didn’t have one now.
“I don’t know,” she said.
"Closer" -Nine Inch Nails
“I Love U In Me” -Prince
“No Sleeep” –Janet Jackson
“Goldberg Variations” -Johann Sebastian Bach
“Willow Weep For Me” –Nina Simone