Authors: Claire Thompson
Romance Unbound Publishing
The Inner Room
Cover Art by Kelly Shorten
Fine Line Edit by
Copyright 2014 Claire Thompson
All Rights Reserved
The naked woman in the video was on her hands and knees, a bucket of sudsy water beside her, a large sponge in her hand. Marissa sucked in her breath as she watched Master Mark lift his heavy black boot and bring it to rest on the woman’s back. The woman’s face was obscured by her long blond hair. Marissa could sense the sudden tension in the woman’s body, though she continued to move her hand in wide circles over the stone floor. Master Mark pressed down with his boot until the woman collapsed onto her stomach on the cold, wet floor.
“Why are you here, slave L?” Master Mark asked in his deep, sexy British accent. He moved his boot along her back until it rested on the nape of her neck.
The camera moved in for a close-up of slave L’s face, capturing what seemed to be genuine fear in her wide blue eyes. “Because I was a dirty little slut, Sir,” she replied in a tremulous voice.
Master Mark laughed. “We already know that, slave. What precisely did you do that resulted in this particular punishment?” He slid his boot to her cheek and then lifted it, leaving a wet streak of dirt behind. Crouching beside her, he tucked strands of blond hair behind her ear and Marissa was struck by the tender expression now on Master Mark’s face.
“I was touching myself without permission, Sir,” the girl whispered.
Marissa sighed and shifted on the bed. She slipped her hand between her legs, her fingers seeking her throbbing clit. Though intellectually she was repelled by the man’s treatment, emotionally she thrilled to it. Defenses lowered by her arousal, Marissa had to admit in her heart of hearts she yearned to be that naked girl lying on the wet stone waiting for her stern master’s retribution.
Master Mark wrapped his hand in slave L’s thick hair and twisted it back from her scalp. She winced but remained otherwise still. “That’s correct,” Master Mark said. “You touched my property without my express permission. Get up.” He tugged her hair to pull her upward.
As the woman struggled to her feet, he continued, “Time for part two of your punishment. Stand at attention, hands locked behind your head, legs shoulder-width apart.” The camera pulled back, revealing the long, whippy cane Master Mark now held in his hand. “Twenty strokes,” he intoned. “You will maintain your position, and you will thank me for each stroke.”
The slave cast a fearful glance at the cane. “Yes, Sir,” she breathed. Marissa could see the tremble in her limbs and the faint sheen of sweat on her face. Master Mark’s cock bulged in his leather pants. If these were actors, they were doing a hell of a job.
The camera angle shifted again, giving Marissa a good view of the woman’s back, ass and long legs that ended in very high, shiny black heels. The cane hissed in the air. Marissa winced as it struck the backs of the woman’s thighs. “Thank you!” the woman yelped.
Marissa rubbed herself with fingers lubricated by her desire as Master Mark struck the woman over and over, leaving red, angry stripes on her thighs and ass. When the camera moved to her face, it was twisted in an expression that could have been agony or ecstasy.
“Oh, thank you, Sir. Thank you! Oh!” slave L cried.
Marissa’s mouth was dry, her breath a rasp in her throat, her fingers flying in the wet heat between her legs as the Master with the hard eyes and cruel smile struck the willing masochist on the screen again and again. A warm tingling sensation rose deep in Marissa’s belly, culminating in a shivery burst of sensation as her cunt spasmed in release.
Her hand fell away and she closed her eyes with a sigh. She lay limp, no longer focused on the scene still playing on her laptop screen. When she could rouse herself sufficiently from her orgasm-induced lethargy, she reached for the laptop, where slave L was now on her knees slurping and sucking Master Mark’s huge cock with enthusiastic abandon.
Marissa clicked away from the site and closed down the laptop. Her immediate urges satisfied, the usual vague feelings of shame and dissatisfaction began to reemerge in her psyche. Why was she like this? She was a medical doctor, a professional who had always held her own in her romantic relationships. What was wrong with her that she got off watching women be degraded and sexually tortured? Even worse, why did she long with such a deep and abiding intensity to
one of those women?
Oh, get over yourself.
Marissa could almost hear her friend Dana’s voice in her head.
It’s a consensual act. They both like and want what’s happening. Stop beating yourself up for your feelings.
If only she could be more like Dana, who was completely comfortable in her own skin and fully accepting of her masochistic tendencies and sexual needs.
Maybe if I found the right guy,
Marissa thought, not for the first time.
Someone who would just know what I want without my having to spell it out.
She snorted at this line of thinking. If there was a Prince Charming, or rather a Master Charming, out there somewhere waiting to sweep her off her feet, he sure was taking his sweet ass time about it. Or maybe he just couldn’t find his way to the hospital where she spent most of her waking hours.
Pushing these unproductive thoughts from her mind, Marissa reached for her smart phone and set the alarm for five a.m. That should give her time to get to the gym for her workout before hospital rounds at seven. She reached for the lamp and turned it off. Pulling the covers to her chin, she closed her eyes.
“Hey, Dana, I didn’t see you out there this morning.” Marissa reached for a second towel and wound it around her head. Her workout had been good, and she’d already decided she would permit herself a muffin later that morning.
Dana, who had been coming to the same Manhattan health club for the three years Marissa had been a member, stepped from the shower stall beside Marissa’s. They had become friends, and they met for lunch whenever their busy schedules permitted. Though they only managed to get together a few times a month, Marissa had found herself opening up to Dana in a way she rarely had with anyone else.
“Oh, hey there, girlfriend,” Dana replied. “Yeah, I got here early so I could soak in the hot tub after my workout. How’re you doing?”
“I’m good,” Marissa said automatically. “How are you?”
“Great,” Dana said with way too much enthusiasm for six in the morning. She turned away to reach for her towel and Marissa’s heart did a little flip in her chest.
Dana’s ass and the backs of her thighs were striped with brownish-red welts. Dana glanced back. “What are you looking at?” She followed Marissa’s gaze and shrugged. “Oh, that. We had a totally hot session last night. Tony got a little, uh, overenthusiastic. I loved it.”
Dana had always been open with Marissa about her lifestyle, as she called it. In fact, once Marissa had finally gotten up the nerve to admit she was curious, Dana was the one who had turned her on to the BDSM training sites that now provided the secret fodder for Marissa’s late night masturbatory activities. Dana was unapologetically submissive and masochistic, and claimed she was “owned” by her husband, Tony, a concept that at once baffled and deeply intrigued Marissa.
“Are those cane marks?” Marissa whispered, though the other women in the locker room were busy dressing, blow-drying their hair and applying makeup. No one was paying them the slightest bit of attention.
Dana grinned proudly and nodded as she reached back with one hand to touch her welted thigh. “I earned each stroke, thank you, and the orgasm Tony gave me afterward would have blown my socks off, if I’d been wearing any.”
Marissa felt suddenly hot. The skin on her own thighs and ass actually tingled with sympathetic longing. What would it be like to experience the sharp cut of a cane, the stroke a whip, the feel of a heavy boot pressed against her cheek?
To distract herself as much as anything from the turmoil raging in her brain, Marissa said, “Come over here. Let me examine your skin.”
“Yes, Dr. Roberts.” Dana gave her a mock salute, but she moved obediently to stand with her back to Marissa, who was seated on the bench between the lockers. Marissa gingerly touched the skin on Dana’s thigh, which was welted but not broken. She could feel the slight heat radiating from the affected areas as Dana’s skin rallied to heal itself.
“What do you use to care for the wounds?” Marissa asked.
“They’re not wounds,” Dana retorted, flopping down to sit beside Marissa. “They’re marks of courage and honor, and I cherish them.” The flippancy was gone from her tone. “But to answer your question, we treat my marks and bruises with arnica cream. It’s part of Tony’s aftercare ritual.”
“Aftercare?” Marissa was always fascinated by the glimpses Dana gave her of their lifestyle, and, if she were honest, not a little jealous. The way Dana talked about BDSM made it sound like the most romantic thing on the planet, which confused Marissa, but intrigued her nonetheless.
Dana pulled on her thigh-high stockings as she spoke, reminding Marissa she needed to get ready as well. She rose from the bench and busied herself in front of the mirror, but she was all ears.
“Well,” Dana said, moving to stand beside Marissa, her makeup bag in hand. “After the intensity of a play session, Tony rewards me for what he calls the gift of my submission.” She smiled dreamily. “A scene can really take it out of you. It’s not just about the physical thing—the whipping or bondage or what have you.” Just these words sent a shiver through Marissa, and she marveled as she always did at Dana’s ease and comfort in tossing around what for Marissa were highly charged words. “Submission can also take a huge emotional toll. When you do it right, you give of your whole self—it’s a complete exchange of power, and it can be incredibly intense, and, frankly, exhausting. Sometimes I can’t even move for, like, ten minutes. I mean, I’m conscious and everything, but I’m off floating somewhere, and I lose the capacity to think or use my muscles or anything. Other times I might burst into tears.”
“Tears?” Marissa echoed, looking at Dana in the mirror.
Dana shrugged. “Not sad tears. It’s more of a release. Tony will just hold me and whisper sweet things in my ear. He tells me to take my time and come back to earth when I’m ready. He’ll do stuff like put the arnica cream on my skin, or wash my body with a warm washcloth, or give me a massage. I love the aftercare almost as much as I love the play, if you want to know the truth. Everyone loves to be touched, but it’s more than that. Tony makes me feel cherished and adored.”
Marissa busied herself with her makeup, trying to recall the last time a man had held her in his arms, a man who made her feel cherished and adored.
she mused as she applied her lipstick,
I guess that would have been…never.
Cam cursed softly under his breath.
, he thought. His aide, Becky, had just called in at the last minute to say she was sick and wouldn’t be coming in. It was the third time in the ten days he’d been in the new job that she’d done that, and always at the last second. Cam knew the
aides were paid next to nothing, and he also knew you got what you paid for. In every hospital he’d ever worked in there was always a problem with aides not showing up or leaving mid-shift or just not doing a good job. As a registered nurse, Cam’s plate was more than filled with direct patient care duties and supervising his healthcare team. W
hile he hated to complain, he flat out didn’t have time to change bedpans and fluff pillows.
Cam finished the chart he was working on and glanced at his watch. If he worked quickly, he’d manage at least to make sure his patients were clean and comfortable, and maybe he could get another aide to cover by the afternoon. Armed with a pile of fresh linens, Cam began to move down the corridor. As he walked past Mrs. Watson’s room, he heard a soft moan of pain and stopped short.
Mrs. Watson had just arrived the day before, brought in by a concerned neighbor who found her lying on the floor of her bathroom, where she’d taken a tumble while stepping out of her tub. Fortunately, the only immediate thing wrong with her was a broken wrist—a broken hip would have been far more serious. But beyond the fracture, Mrs. Watson was elderly, frail and clearly disoriented. She was malnourished and probably barely eking out an existence on her social security check. She had no family to speak of, and, Cam suspected, suffered as much from loneliness as anything. Cam had made a request for social services, but meanwhile he hoped to make Mrs. Watson as comfortable as possible for as long as Medicaire allowed her to be in the hospital.
He stopped at her open door and knocked lightly. “Good morning, Mrs. Watson. May I come in?”
There was no response. Cam stepped into the room. Though her eyes were closed, the old woman’s mouth was twisted into a rictus of pain, one gnarled hand clenching the sheet.
“Mrs. Watson?” Cam said gently, moving closer. “Can I make you more comfortable?”
She moaned again. She didn’t move or open her eyes. Cam lowered the guardrail and sat carefully on the edge of the bed. “Mrs. Watson? Emily?”
At the sound of her first name, her grimace relaxed, if just a little. Cam reached for her hand in an effort to ease her death grip on the sheets. Like a child, she curled her cold, dry fingers around his index finger and sighed softly, though she still didn’t open her eyes.
“Emily,” Cam said again, “can I get you something? Some water? A fresh pillow?”