The words pinned me in place, more than her surprising strength, producing little compound fractures in my chest so that each breath grew more labored than the last.
There was underlying confusion, a subtext of meaning that had no reference point because we weren’t a “we” or an “us” in any sense of the term. From the outset, we were incidental and tangential, occupying time and space for the sole purpose of no purpose whatsoever.
I didn’t do confusion well. I liked it clear and uncomplicated, which is why Richter and his particular brand of entanglement so appealed. He’d stripped me, metaphorically and literally, into my component parts, then put me back together in his own image: soulless, loveless, fearless.
Nik had tithed my body in search of its tipping points, cosseting each as he discovered them, then toppling them, one after the other. He reduced me to a level of want that had nothing to do with need.
It had everything to do with like…
Fuck me first.
What the hell did that mean? Why were there no questions, no polite inquiries as to who or why, just acceptance and a nudge to be first in line.
Like at the counter. She’d set the pattern without me even knowing or recognizing it, set it like she knew me. Almost in a biblical sense, from the inside out. Fucking me with Dark Eyes, one cup at a time, until the suit had reminded how much control I’d sequestered and squandered.
Was she looking at a once and done, a try before you buy, or was she just loosening boundaries around respectability? Did she think I was a bi?
What did she think anyway?
I knew so little about her. She wrote books. About what I had no clue. I read dossiers, researched, but reading … for pleasure? Not happening. But it paid her bills, seemed to make her happy. I did a mental shrug. That was resume stuff, public knowledge.
What was more interesting was the private Anna Maria Sanchez. She cooked with spice and abandon, somehow reawakening taste buds I’d forgotten I had. I licked my lips. The enticements to my belly had worked to a point. It kept me interested and distracted. I needed hunger to understand craving. Without it, without that gnawing at my nerves—well-fed and plumped with motherly affection—I was content enough to veg out until the summons arrived. It always did so I took my downtime seriously, conserving what bits remained I could call my own.
Annie took those bits and re-sauced and re-plated them to palatable standards. She’d added me to a menu of options for a customer of one. It was the kind of exclusivity that terrified me. And I’d missed it, damn it to hell, missed it right up to her placing those strong hands on my shoulders and commanding me…
Fuck me first.
Get in line, Sanchez. Get in line.
“That’s a bad idea,” tripped the light fantastic across my lips, spoken as more a question than an admonition. Another indicator of how she’d snared me, stirring up a stew of physical interest and emotional distance.
Saying “no” always, always, always got me wet and juiced for Richter’s invading weapon, wielded with careless disregard for mortal flesh and female sensibilities. He’d breach every defense, ripping me asunder until his blood and my blood bonded, and the channels of my soul charred with the acid of his assault.
Oh Christ, Fi, gods damn, holy fucking hell, it’s good, it’s so fucking…
He could have possessed me any way he wished—physically, psychically—but he’d allowed a boon, letting me keep the remaining vestiges of what little self I retained. He possessed and penetrated and manipulated, dispensing pain and pleasure at will, yet at the final moment, at that last intake of breath… A nanosecond before his nerves fired and ecstasy flooded him, spilling over into the empty hollows in my heart, filling me up with cum and blood and the gods-blessed maleness of his entitlement, that moment, that final filament before succumbing… that was the moment of choice.
It was his gift to me. Not his love. Not his unfathomable obsession with the shell of Finna Skaftadóttir, not even his own admission that flesh and bone and hate got his rocks off, none of that mattered.
Because in spite of all the postering, the pain, the implosion of nerves that shot heaven and hell in branching strikes of sheer exquisite pleasure, in spite of that, I still held back the one thing he needed most. Not wanted, not desired or craved or lusted after. Needed.
Nicolas Richter would have my surrender, unconditional and without coercion. He owned me body and soul, he possessed me, his thick cock impaled me … and all on a “no” that he could not breach except through dominance.
It was the ultimate rape fantasy, knowing I’d bring him to his knees, panting and sweating red rivulets, howling his agony as the dam released. Every. Fucking. Time. I had the point of no return in my sights. I had control.
He craved sacrifice, the final act of betrayal of my own self. I gave him pleasure instead.
He hated me for that.
I think that’s why I loved him.
She allowed me to wriggle free, pulling the chair away as I rose, ungracefully. Stomach in knots, my sense of duty weighed on my shoulders at the same time my panties sopped up juices that rendered me incapable of making excuses.
Fuck me first.
I followed Annie into her bedroom. It was surprisingly utilitarian, not at all girly. There were no mounds of decorative pillows. The quilt was standard dorm room issue.
That gave me pause. I knew she was fresh from academia, with an advanced degree diploma holding pride of place on the living room wall. Honors. MFA. Ergo, the writing. More firsts. First in her family to go to college. First to have a degree of any kind. First Hispanic woman to achieve academic excellence at a tony college for entitled women.
First, first, first.
Fuck me first.
Annie took point, she broke new ground. She did it with the kind of quiet confidence that brooked no opposition.
Fucking hell, Annie’s a dom…
Dark Eyes assessed me, head-to-toe. I was nothing to look at. A strong wind could blow my five-eleven skeleton away. My body was Norwegian wood: pimped out like a minimalist’s wet dream. All angles and planes and hip bones that could do serious damage. I wore runway ’tude and padded my assets with leather holsters and strap-ons for when Nicky’s prostate felt lonely and abandoned.
She had slut hips, squeezed into low-riders a half size too small, with a wide belt sucking gut and leaving an overhang of fleshy temptation. Annie wasn’t skinny and she wasn’t fat. She was … fleshy, in a womanly way that, before that day at the coffee shop, would have dodged my radar. My preferences were for pendulous packages, and well-rounded asses, and cocks that bobbed and engorged and jiggled and were fucking happy to see me.
Apropos of nothing, I wondered what kind of toys a good Catholic girl from Spanish Harlem might entertain in her nightstand drawer. I returned her gaze, doing the same lazy sweep, lingering at will, mapping the landscape, though for what purpose I’d yet to understand.
In truth, I was hoping for guidance. Annie might be the poster girl for firsts, but I was the real deal—the virgin chronicles of you’re fucking kidding me when it came to the feminine mystique. My oral fixation required solid muscle jammed halfway down my throat, or skimming inside my cheek as I vocalized along Nik’s frenum ladder of stainless steel.
It wasn’t a matter of willingness, or interest, or skill. I could do the job, handily, but without indoctrination, I doubted either of us would come away sporting a post coital glow.
I looked to Annie for help. I saw lust. I saw determination. Was she waiting for me to make the first move?
The problem, as I saw it, was women had no tells. At least there was nothing obvious I’d ever discerned. Men might detect pheromones or some such shit, but that sense of smell apparently wasn’t in my DNA. Or maybe I was hooked on testosterone and musk and the scent of copper-iron infusing the salty explosion of cum on my tongue.
Fuck me first.
Breaking the stalemate, she drew the tee-shirt over her head, the static causing strands of platinum-streaked dark brown hair to cloud about her face. It was long and straight and fine as silk, and it framed her round face and soft contours in geometric apposition.
There was something cold and precise about the way she disrobed, never taking her eyes off me, never letting me doubt for a minute that she would have me any way she wanted me.
Swallowing the bile threatening to coat the inside of my mouth, I slipped my jeans off. They puddled at my feet and I stepped out of them. Annie allowed a glance down, her palms doing long slow strokes along dusky thighs, spider-webbed with thin veins, as if she’d born a pregnancy or had carried excess weight in her youth.
The trimmed dark vee was unsettling. I was too used to strident, demanding cocks rising from nests of tight curls or waxed silky perfection, that to see that lack was like viewing an amputation. It felt wrong on so many levels and there was no way to filter that out of my consciousness.
She advanced, I retreated. My body embraced the impound of quilt and blanket and sheets, and I lay back, subservient, thighs pressed close together, so tight I smiled because it sent waves of pleasure up and down my entire length.
I started with a word I understood. I started with body language that screamed “no”.
Annie murmured, “Wrong answer.”
I wasn’t aware the issue of right and wrong was on the table, so I cocked an eyebrow and countered, “What’s the question?”
She straddled my hips and leaned forward, her plump breasts nesting below my own sad excuses. She leaned in close, close enough to suck the air from my lungs without touching me, and asked, “Am I your first?”
First, first, first.
The sound escaped my lips, sibilant with embarrassment. “Yesss.”
“There you go.”
What’s that line about being in my bunk?
This is gorgeous perfection. No romantic, hissy-breathy hesitance here. Just a take-and-give that’s hotter than hot, demanding, perfect, mingling the disgust born of the unknown with the fear we use to guard ourselves. This is going to be incredible. No, I take that back. It already IS incredible. I don’t think there’s a word invented yet that encompasses the definition of just how AWESOME this is going to be.