A House Divided.
I read one of those social forums a while back that turned into a massive time-sink. The header was something like 'where's the most dangerous place you've ever had sex?' Total click-bait, but I ended up taking a long look; me and about a million other voyeurs. The thread started out pretty tame, but after awhile it turned really salacious. By the time I reached the end of the list of illicit intimate moments, I was tempted to add my own ‘most dangerous’ to the mix but I just couldn’t get my fingers to cooperate. They hovered over the keyboard and just kind of trembled.
I hesitated; among the churches, factories, even a missile silo– my bedroom felt more than a little anti-climactic. What I wanted to share though wasn't as overt as all the close calls with security cameras, pontiffs, and friction burns. I felt like I topped them all just by checking into a hotel room.
Total side note here: the ‘good-guy’ detectives in the TV shows are always insanely beautiful or ruggedly handsome. Too often they have a streak of brilliance coupled with a healthy disregard for the rules. They work within the system and take minor clues to solve major cases. I think that's why I've always been so drawn to them. They walk that razor-thin line between right and wrong. In my mind, they're almost as bad as the criminals they're trying to capture – flawed in the best possible ways. It doesn’t hurt that they look great in a tight pair of pants.
Detective Fields put that stereotype in its grave the moment I met him. He looked more like Columbo than Booth, and he drank his coffee from a blank ceramic mug instead of a personalized travel cup-- hell, even a Styrofoam cup would give him the impression of a man constantly on the move. Instead, he looked worn thin, impatient, and lazy.
It was mid-morning on what could have been the worst downpour in commute history when I met him in the lobby of the twenty-sixth precinct. I shut off my phone while I followed him through the maze of corridors to an interview room somewhere up on the third floor. Each step was a literal pain in the ass, and I kept wondering why he asked me to meet him in the first place.
The chairs in the interview room were hard plastic, connected to the floor on these slider rails so they could move back and forth from the table but also anchored so you couldn't go all Terminator and start throwing things around. The table matched the walls and our reflections made us look like ghosts against the giant mirror they must have lifted straight out of every noir movie ever made. The light was on, so I could tell the observation room was empty. Not sure why that disappointed me.
"Mrs. Peterson?" His voice jarred me out of my daze. He sounded tired and looked worse. I tried to imagine him coming down off a late shift, overworked and underappreciated while he tracked some cold case serial killer, but it just didn’t take. The only thing it looked like he was tracking were frequent-diner points.
I cleared my throat and I shifted in the chair. The cheeks of my ass were still in recovery mode. "I'm sorry, what was the question?"
He sighed heavily. "I just asked if you wanted a cup of water."
I glanced at the generic mug and shivered internally. "No, I think I'll be fine."
"Suit yourself," he sat down across from me and flipped open a folder with my last name printed on a sticker label. It was layered over the top of a few other names I couldn't make out. "You've been married fifteen years?"
I cleared my throat again. "Sixteen. Our anniversary was two days ago." I felt a stab of pain shoot up my arm and I smiled a little. It wasn’t a massive jolt of agony or anything, just a little reminder of being down on my knees in the coat closet, my wrists tied to the wooden rod. I was right next to my overcoat.
"And how long has your husband been beating you?"
My throat closed on a breath, and I blinked stupidly. "What?"
"It's okay-- you're safe." he said, completely misreading my stunned silence. Definitely not Colombo.
"These are pictures of you, aren't they?" he turned the folder around, and I saw a dozen crystal-clear photographs of my naked body. My skin was cane-reddened by a quarter-inch rod. Rosewood. My breasts had been tied with hemp-seed rope, and those indentations were visible for almost an hour after I was cut loose. Cut loose, not untied, mind you. The knots were so constricted after I was suspended they weren’t ever coming undone again. I remembered posing for those pictures, but just barely. I was so high on endorphins that night I don't think I would have noticed if my body caught fire.
Instead of ‘what the actual fuck?!’ I decided on "where did you get these?" I sounded hoarse, and I even started to reconsider that drink of water. My phone suddenly felt like a brick in my purse, too. I wanted to snatch it up look to see if my husband had tried to call or text. He had to be close to the end of his shift.
"These were recovered from your husband's cell phone. He's already admitted they're of you."
I felt like the room was filling with water and I couldn't breathe. I kept trying to blink the stupid out of my eyes, "wait, Jackson's here?"
"Try to relax, Mrs Peterson. Like I said, you're safe--"
"Safe from what? What the hell did you do with my husband?"
It was his turn to blink. "A uniformed officer brought him in last night after his skid was found disabled on the shoulder off I-16. There were a few suspicious comments made, so the patrolman called in a bot. There were domestic violence triggers in his subconscious that he was trying to suppress. When the officer confronted him about it, he handed over his mobile."
I felt a stab of panic race through me. I put my elbows on the table and rubbed the heels of my palms into my eyes. The detective cleared his throat gently and waited for me to compose myself. "It wasn't Jackson..."
"Beg your pardon?"
"I said, it wasn't Jackson." Louder this time.
"Care to enlighten me?" He leaned back in his chair and had his pen between his fingers, poised to magically scribble notes onto thin air.
I sighed and stared at the table between my hands. My wedding ring looked dull under the fluorescent light. "My husband and I have an... understanding."
He tossed the pen aside and closed the folder as he moved to stand up. "Mrs Peterson, there's an arraignment in two hours. You're just one of fifteen DV cases I have to prep for..."
"We fuck around, okay?" I looked up at him and held his gaze.
He cleared his throat again, a little less gently this time. I could see him trying to plug my numbers into his mental calculator. It took a while. He finally took a deep breath and settled back into his chair. "Okay, I'm listening."
"This goes back maybe two years," I said, and I felt like my mind was racing to stay a half-step ahead of my mouth. If Jackson was sitting in a cell somewhere in the precinct, it was because of me, and because he didn't say anything to out us. God, I loved that man.
"We were looking to spice up our marriage, you know, get out of our rut?" I noticed the detective rub his thumb against his left ring finger...if there ever was a wedding band, it was long gone now.
"We started out by role-playing, you know, pretending to be single in bars, hit on each other, that kind of thing..."
I sighed. "But... Jackson wasn't any good at it. He said it made him feel stupid, and he basically just shut down. After that, we started renting movies, streaming... you know, porn. We'd get a babysitter for the kids and rent a hotel room once a month and basically watch people fuck. It was simple stuff at first-- and most of it was pretty bad. We'd laugh at the shit dialogue or the way the fake breasts never bounced. Then one night we were frustrated about not finding anything good, so we just hit something random..."
The detective looked down at his watch and I felt a swirl of thoughts cyclone behind my eyes. "The video was of rough sex-- hair pulling, spanking, that kind of thing. We both just sat there and watched it in silence. When it was over, we fucked like animals. After a couple of days, we started talking about it. That was when we realized we both really liked the idea. So the next time we went out, we gave it a shot. It sparked something in us, and it became a regular part of our lovemaking."
He pinched the bridge of his nose. "You just said the marks from the photographs weren't from Mr. Peterson, and now you're telling me they are."
"They're not!" I blushed as I shifted in my seat. "So after a while we started looking at other things online. We started trolling the subnet, looking for that same brand of movies, then we slowly drifted into kinkier things than just a hissed word in bed. Threesomes, anal sex, orgies..."
The detective's pen was back in his hand and he looked like he was ready to take down a list of names. "But we never went that route-- well, once, but it was a coworker of mine, and she lives halfway across the system now. She had a few drinks one night, and then she and I ended up at my regular hotel. We sent Jackson pics until he met us there."
I watched the detective scribble a few lines into my file. Looking back, that really was the start of it. I'd always wondered what it would be like to be with another woman, or to know how I would feel if Jackson played with someone else, and I realized it was just sex. It wasn't any different than watching him jack off in the shower when he thought I wasn't looking. Bottom line; it didn't change our marriage at all. If anything, it brought us closer together.
"That was our turning point, I think.” I said once his pen stopped moving. “We realized we loved each other, but wanted to make love to other people, too." I glanced at the empty observation room and caught my reflection in the glass. I looked so much stronger than I did two years ago, even haunted with the ghosts of healed bruises.
"Then we moved out here to the Rim, and we started looking for something new again. I mean, I guess I've always wanted Jackson to be more aggressive with me. I'd scratch him whenever he'd pull my hair. I’d bite his shoulder whenever he tried to put his hand on my throat, I’d bite hard enough to draw blood sometimes. No matter what, Jackson would never raise his hand to me. It took me a long time to get that through my head. I felt empty about it at first..."
Detective Fields leaned forward, "wait, you felt 'empty' because your husband wasn't hitting you back?"
I could see the mental handcuffs clicking around my own wrists in the detective's mind. Like I was some kind of abuser. Hell, maybe he thought we both were. "My point is, Jackson and I both wanted him to be more aggressive, but he just couldn't bring himself to do it with me." I smiled at the thought. It was cute in retrospect. Almost chivalrous. "He said he couldn't hit the mother of his children..."
"So he found other women to hit?" The detective turned a page in my folder and a fresh new set of marks adorned some skin that clearly wasn't mine. I stared at the lines made by the tails of Jackson's flogger.
I sighed. "Yes."
The detective blinked, "wait, you knew?"
My shoulder's stiffened. "Rene’s been part of our life for about a year now. They met through a social function, started flirting casually, then fell into their own natural rhythm..."
Detective Fields bristled, "okay, I'm having a hard time believing you were just suddenly okay with your husband preying on other women."
"Who said I was okay with it?" I stared at the photographs and felt a pang of jealousy. No, not jealousy – envy. It took me a while to bridge that in my mind, but I eventually did. "I still want Jackson to make me feel like I do with--" I suddenly clenched my teeth.
"With who?" The detective said, leaning forward. "The man who did this to you?" He shufled back to the pictures of me in his file.
I had my own copy of all those pictures in my phone too, but it was so surreal to see them outside my world of immediate control. It left my head feeling dizzy. "Yes."
It started innocently enough-- in anger. "One night we were in a hotel room on Barris for a string of business meetings. I went along to play hostess, and well, the alcohol flowed, and Jackson started flirting with some blonde who lingered after her colleagues left. Sir stayed late, too..."
I blinked and looked at the detective, really looked at him this time: mid-forties, divorced, alimony, and syndicated streaming television shows. Worse? He was happy about it. He was happy not knowing about the myriad other levels of social strata that existed. The fucking ecstasy I've tasted, the sting, the bruises, the scar on the back of my thigh...
"That's his name. The one who did that." I said and nodded at the detective's file. "Obviously, he has a real name, it just doesn’t apply to me. Jackson has his own little world to play in, and I have mine. They only intersect when we're alone. Together. So, when the blonde left that night, Sir laid me down on the bed while Jackson watched. We didn't have sex, but I wanted to... He held open my thighs and I came for him-- well, both of them..."
The detective cleared his throat and drained his mug. "We built up from there. It took months of generating the trust I needed to be where we are now. It wasn't easy to rationalize how I could submit to him without hurting Jackson, but I found I could hand off my guilt by giving Jackson got a green-light from me to do whatever he wanted with Jocelyn."
We watch the kids on alternating nights out, each of us covering for one another. Jackson would come home with a sore hand, emotionally drained, or he'd have rope burns from where Rene slipped in the harness. I'd come home with deeper bruises than we planned for, ones that spider-webbed out from the globe of my ass because I didn't want Him to stop. "I told my Aunt once that I slipped getting out of the pool at the gym..."
"And Mr. Peterson is okay with all that? Because I sure as hell wouldn't be...”
"No, you wouldn't. Because you don't get it. And you won't. Two days ago, I went out and met Sir at a hotel out past Tiberon. I wore the red dress Jackson bought me. I wore the sexiest clothes I own, because we knew I wouldn't be wearing them for long. Do you get that?"
Jackson told me he had a surprise for our anniversary. We went shopping and he bought me everything I'd need-- dress, bra, panties, garters... The whole time we were in the store, he had his damn phone in his hands, texting. I thought it was with Joss, because he had that fucking smirk he always does when he chats with her. It wasn't, though. It was Sir. They’d arranged the hotel, the room number, the logistics of balancing work and families-- all for me. While I was standing right next to him, oblivious.
"I kissed my kids goodnight and smiled like a damn schoolgirl walking into the lobby. Jackson took the kids out for ice cream before heading home. I knew in my heart they were happy, and cared for. The whole night ahead of me was mine to have, or give, as I saw fit. I wasn’t a Mom, or a wife, or a daughter or a sister...I was free."
I wanted to give everything I had. I’d fantasized about being forced to the floor, not with a heavy hand or a slap across the face, but with an insistent hand that pushed against the top of my head. I wanted to kneel with my face against his thigh and just know his cock was hard. I wanted to swallow him. I wanted to feel him drip into me.
I felt drunk as I walked down the hallway to the room. The room key and a box of condoms were all I had in my clutch, and even then, my finger fumbled when I reached the door. I wanted to feel his hand cover my mouth again, pinch shut my nose. I wanted to stare into the abyss of his eyes until my ears roared with static. I wanted it so bad I’d already soaked through my panties before the key even hit the lock.
"And I gave myself to my Sir," I said and flexed my ass against the chair. I winced despite myself. "Jackson calls me his little pain slut, Detective. Do you know what that means?"
"Why don't you tell me anyway."
When we fuck, at home in the dark after the kids are asleep, Jackson likes to tease me. We both like it. He presses his fingers into my bruises, and I cringe while I ride his cock. I complain about how bad it hurts, and then pull his hand against my skin even harder.
"It means when I come home from a play session with Sir, I tell Jackson every detail. He licks my wounds-- sometimes literally. I share the details, because it makes us whole. It's the one element we can't have together, and I bring that back home to him. I love the pain. It pushes through my defenses, and I crave more the moment it's gone. Jackson does the same thing when he comes home from his nights with Rene. I almost have to beg him for details, because he teases it out, sometimes for days. In the end, I always get to hear everything that happens. Jackson gets off on it, and so do I."
"You're getting off track--"
"No, I'm not, that's the point! Can't you see? It's all tied together, full circle! No one's being abused, except maybe the housekeeper at the hotel. The way I cum all over the sheets might be illegal, but that's it…!"
"This isn't just a slap on the ass, Mrs. Peterson!" the detective said jamming his finger onto the picture of Rene’s bruises.
"No, it isn't. She would have cried and literally begged for more if Jackson stopped at a slap on her ass. She would have thought she’d done something to make him angry—she’d wonder why he was punishing her..." I leaned back in the chair the moment I realized it was useless. Fields wasn't going to listen.
"When I walked into the hotel room, Sir was sitting on the edge of the bed. I closed the door behind me and locked it. I pushed the deadbolt and waited. It must have been ten minutes before he ordered me to turn around, slowly so he could get a good long look at me."
It felt like an eternity, too. Wetness leaked down the insides of my thighs in a thin sheen. He told me to hang up my coat, and that’s when I saw his rope hanging in the closet. My knees almost buckled as I put the coat on a hanger.
"When he told me to come to him, I dropped to my hands and knees and crawled across the floor like we’d practiced. Once I was close enough, I stripped out of my dress. I left my stockings and garter on, but only because he told me to. I knelt down again, staring at the fucking floor, and I can't remember being more aroused in my life."
Whenever He shifted to take a sip of his bourbon, I’d start to move. I could just make out the outline of his cock, barely visible through his slacks. I wanted to wrap my lips around him so badly. He pressed his hand gently on the top of my head, though, and pushed me back toward the floor. He was in control, and He had all the time in the world to do whatever He wanted, at His own pace.
"...nothing outside that room existed, and it felt so good to not have the weight of real life on my shoulders for a few precious hours..."
Jackson teased me for a week that he wanted to fuck my ass for his anniversary present. He bought me the condoms, picked out the lubricant, teased me with his fingers, even the head of his cock, making me beg for it over and over, but he kept saying he was saving my ass for our anniversary... and now it belonged to Sir. His for the taking – but only if He wanted to. That was the most intense thing: I never knew what would come next.
"His hand found my throat, and he cupped the front of it..." I said and put my hand up to show him. "The vee of his palm fits me perfectly. I could lean back if I needed to, but I didn't. I won't."
His fingers slipped into me and dragged the wetness up over my clit. I mewled like some kind of wounded animal as I pressed against his thigh. I wanted him to fuck me. I wanted it more than anything in my god-damned life. I wanted Him to use everything my body could provide, just so He’s feel satisfied, and He knew it... He felt my willingness on his fingertips.
"I literally felt myself drip onto the carpet when he asked me who I belonged to. My nipples were so fucking hard. It took me three tries to choke the answer out around His fingers, but when I did, He smiled. God, His eyes are like pools of onyx when He's happy..."
The detective leaned back and rolled his eyes. "And next you're going to tell me he walks on water."
I smiled. "Don't know, I've never seen him near a lake." I leaned forward and waited until the detective made eye contact again. "He had me get up on the edge of the bed, bent me over so I was on my hands and knees, and He started to slap my ass with his hand. My Sir started slowly-- not too hard, not too soft. Once I started swaying my hips to meet him, He took a step back and put his full weight into it. With each slap, I felt His ring, a fraction of an inch deeper than the rest of His fingers. That same ring cut me a few months ago. I still have the scar on my thigh..."
The bruises from that night lasted until my anniversary. I watched the color shift slowly from red to purple to green and then finally lighten until they were gone. The marks were badges of honor. They slowly faded away, like soldiers returning home after a war. I was so proud of them when they arrived, and then sad they left again.
"I felt the blood rush to my ears, and my vision blurred. He stopped long enough to get the switch Jackson made for him. God only knows when they met to exchange the keys, or the tools, or any of it. The rod was Lacquered rosewood. Quarter inch. Sir always tells me what He uses..."
Sometimes, He hissed it into my ears; other times, it was dangled like a carrot in front of my nose. More than once, He made me fetch it from my closet at home and bring it to him between my teeth like a dog. God, the number of times I soaked my own bed for Him while the kids were at school, while Jackson was at work, when Sir had the spare time to kill.
"And then he was at my throat again, holding me up while he caned me. He pushed me right to the edge of my limits and held me there. I floated in this kind of exstacy."
I've never been quiet when I orgasm, and that night wasn't any different. I used my fingers to bring myself off. He pulled the cheeks of my ass apart and gently blew against me while my fingers pumped in and out of me like a steam engine. I wanted to come so fucking badly. I got right to the edge, and I hesitated. I didn't stop, and I never slowed down, but something in the back of my mind held me right on the edge...until he told me to come. That last resilience shattered, and I flooded the bed. My hand was soaked; my thighs dripped.
"I felt him press against my arm, and his cock throbbed. I wanted to turn my head and taste him so badly--"
"Okay, that's enough!" the detective said, bolting to his feet so hard it sent the chair shooting back and clanging on the rails. "I don't know what's worse: the fact that you're fucked up in the head, or that you know it and seem to get off on it." He shut his folder and tucked his pen back into his disheveled coat. "You want to be into some kind of degraded kink bullshit, fine, go fetch your fucking husband and get the fuck out of here." He turned for the door and whipped back around and pointed his finger at me. "But let me tell you this, Mrs Peterson, don't you dare come back here in a week crying about how you were beaten in a way you don't like. A thousand women a day get the shit knocked out of them because their boyfriend didn’t like the way she looked at him or lost a tooth because she didn’t have dinner on the table at five on the dot. I deal with husbands who think a wedding band means they can rape their wives every night. I lock those fucks away for as long as humanly possible because they’re a god-damned plague.”
He looked down at the folder in his hands, then dropped it on the table in front of me. “So I’m done with you. You’re on your own.” He headed for the door again and stopped at the threshold. “Don’t come to me looking for protection, not after today. I don’t have the time.”
He left like a hurricane, his plain mug abandoned on the table in front of me. I tucked the photos back into the folder and powered on my phone. While I waited, I ran my hands up and down my inner thighs and felt the sting of my fresh bruises. That’s when I saw a long thin scratch on the inside of my forearm. It was from the pinwheel He’d used on me while I was kneeling in the closet. I grinned like a schoolgirl, and I couldn't wait to show it to Jackson.