Fifteen Whacks, by Thomas O’Hand

Wrists bound to ankles, face down on the bed, her knees spread and stretched apart, hear back cruelly arched, she waited; exposed, naked, helpless; her most tender flesh still stinging from the last wicked blow of the paddle.

 She gritted her teeth against the great, silent hiccuping sobs that struggled to work their way past the wadded handkerchief in her mouth.  Tears soaked the blindfold that covered her eyes.  Her body tensed, anticipating the next blow.  Fifteen, he had said.

 “Four,” he said in a steady voice as the paddle honed an even finer edge to the pain that seared her already-bruised and quivering flesh.

 Her breath seemed caught between sobs, wedged in her chest like a cat fighting its way out of a sack, a madly thrashing thing that could not be controlled.

 “Five,” he said, bringing the paddle down again.  Bright constellations of stars swam across her blinded vision, symphonies of shrieks echoed unvoiced in her ears.  She would not cry out, not show her pain nor let him know her fear and regret.  She would endure.

 “Six.”

 Her breath tore free in a shuddering exhale that left her empty of anything but pain and remorse.
A slow count of ten between blows, enough time to let the pain sink in but not enough for it to dissipate.  That was his method.  She tensed.

 “Seven.”

 She threw her head back in anguish, the urge to howl out her agony and plead for forgiveness mixed with the stubbornness of her soul and set like mortar between the stones of her breasts.  She would not.  She would not.

 Knowing too that the gag would prevent her from uttering anything but a guttural grunt of pain, she wondered if it was a kindness to prevent her from speaking, from pleading.  Or was it a trap to let her think that she could howl and plead and whimper unheard while, all the while, he would know she had broken?

 “Eight.”

 Her lips pressed closed with a fury, her teeth ground into the fine linen of the handkerchief, her tongue pushed against it in a futile attempt to dislodge it.  If she could focus on that, she thought, she could turn off the pain, turn off the humiliation, turn off the tears.

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 “Nine.”

 Her body shuddered and surged involuntarily against the bonds.  She knew it was useless to struggle.  He was too good to let her have even an inch of freedom.  It was not just the pain from the paddle that wracked her now, it was the strain on her groin from her legs being stretched so wide, in her back and neck from the tension of the position, in her shoulders from having her arms pulled down so her wrists would reach her ankles.  She was on fire with pain.  But she would not cry out.

 “Ten.”

 That was what he wanted.  And it would be so easy to give it to him.  A single sound, a weakening of the wall between her mind and her flesh.  A crack in her reserve.  But it was the one thing she could not give.  It was the one thing that defined her, that made her whole and real against the madness of the world.  Her self, her control, her identity.  She could not relinquish that.

 And it angered her that, of all the pleasures she could offer him, of all the acts he could require and which she would willingly perform to please him, of all that she would suffer for him, the one thing she could not give was the one thing he desired.

 “Eleven.”

 The pain was rising to a crescendo, and that four more strokes were forthcoming was a reality that was too terrible to imagine.  Despite herself, she struggled against the ropes, thrashed her head from side to side, ground her teeth into the handkerchief, let the tears soak the blindfold.  She would not.  She had to get away.  It was impossible but she had to.  Somehow.  She would.  But she would not cry out.

 “Twelve.”

 Her breath came again in ragged gasps, trapped as surely as her body; she was unable to draw and unable to expel.  Her mind raced dizzyingly, as if she were falling from a great height and had the leisure to watch her approaching demise in exquisite detail.  She could not bear the next three strokes.  She could not cry out.  She could not.  She could not.

 “Thirteen.”

 A sob wedged itself in her nose, almost betraying her.  She thrashed and flailed hopelessly against the bonds.  Her muscles spasmed wretchedly.  She drove her face into the mattress to prevent further betrayals but his hand tangled in her hair and pulled her head backwards again.

 “Fourteen.”

 One more…just one more.  She closed herself off to everything but that one thought.  Just one more.  Her body screamed in agony.  Over soon.  It will be over soon.  Just one more,  I can take one more, she though.  The pain was unbearable but she could take one more.   Choice was not an option.  She would take one more.  And she would not cry out.

 She tensed for the final, terrible blow.

 It did not fall.

 She maintained her readiness, writhing in slow desperation, waiting for it to come.

 It did not.

 Silence.

 She struggled to hear over her own shaky breathing and thundering heartbeat.  She could not hear him.  Was he there?

 She dared not let down her guard.  As soon as he saw her relax, it would come.

 She held herself tight, her teeth grinding into the linen that choked her mouth.

 She felt a tingling in her hands and feet and cautiously relieved the strain she’d put on her bonds.
Listening again, she still could not hear him, could not sense him.

 What was he doing?  Watching?  Waiting?  Was he enjoying her agony?  Was he smirking at her obvious anticipation of that final blow with the paddle?  Or had he left her?  Gone to sit on the couch and read while her body shook with tension and determination?

 Her flesh still sizzled where the paddle had savaged her, her muscles ached, her breath came in shallow gasps.  The gag was soaked and the blindfold was a sodden mass against her face.
And she was alone.

 Her mind refused to run in straight lines.  It kept veering back to what he’d said as he’d carefully bound her.

 “Until you can admit pain,” he had said in his slow, calm voice, “you will not know pleasure.  Until you can admit surrender, you will never know freedom.  Until you acknowledge fear, you can not know joy.  And until you can embrace your submission, you will never master yourself.”

 She had let him bind her, heedful of the coming torment.  “I trust you,” she had said, as if that might somehow make a difference.

 “Yes,” he had replied.  “I know you trust me.  You know I would never knowingly cause you harm.  But you do not trust yourself.  You cannot allow yourself to surrender to that one last forbidden desire you harbor deep inside…to lose control of yourself completely.” 

 She clenched her hands in frustration.  She could please him, she knew that.  She would bend to his every wish, his every whim, his every desire.  She was not unskilled in the erotic arts when he had taken her the first time.  And he had trained her well in his particular passions and pleasures.  She had been an eager pupil, always striving to please and rarely requiring discipline, except when she saw it would give him pleasure.  She reveled in his expression of pleasure when she mastered each new trick, each new task, overcame each hesitation.

 She had given herself completely to him.  Yet he was not satisfied.  He had to push for this one ridiculous point, this one thing that she could not give.  Why couldn’t he be satisfied with making her his willing whore?

 It had been hard for her, but she had done it, when he asked her to meet him in the bar wearing nothing but a small black mini dress, thigh-highs and heels.  And she had been embarrassed when his hand slid the hem of her skirt up an inch at a time while she sat on the bar stool until anyone who cared to look could see that she shaved her pubic hair.  It had been difficult but exciting.  He had shown her that.

 Like the time they were downtown and he shopped for things for her to wear: scant lacy bras and panties, a bustier, several revealing form-fitting dresses, see-through tops, a leather skirt that barely covered the top of the stockings he bought to go with the garter belt, gossamer nightgowns and robes.  The clothes and lingerie were sensuous and erotic yet somehow tasteful; gift-wrapping he had called it.  And when they were walking between shops, he pulled her into an alley, pushed her against a wall behind a fire escape, barely obscured from view, pulled aside her panties and had taken her there, standing up, her face pressed into the bricks as his hard cock rammed into her, filling her with his hot cum.  He had not given her time to recover or to cover herself with her panties before pulling her back onto the street, his cum slicking her thighs as she walked, sure that every passing pedestrian was staring knowingly at her.

  She had not even said a word when he buckled a collar around her neck, snapped on the leash, and led her blindfolded around the room on her hands and knees.  It had been humiliating at first but she did it to please him.  And in time, she came to enjoy the feeling of being so utterly in his control, even when he shackled her hands and feet, making it difficult for her to crawl.

 She had played the roles he chose for her though, she admitted, those were not difficult.  She found it exciting to step inside the skin of another person for a little while.  Pretending to be a streetwalker as he cruised downtown late at night (letting her into his car moments before a police car drove by), the captive at a slave auction, the prisoner at the mercy of a warden, and a dozen other roles.

 Thinking about the pleasures she had given him both aroused and angered her.  Her anger added an edge to her arousal and she could feel herself getting wet against her will.  She did so want him, wanted to please him, wanted his cock in her mouth or pussy or ass.   She wanted to be his fantasy in every way.  But he insisted on this thing she could not, would not, give.

 Tears began again, quiet and gentle this time.  Outside of bed, when sex was not the focus, he was funny and intelligent and kind. They would talk for hours and hours, not touching, just reveling in each other’s company, each other’s thoughts and ideas.  And every time he saw her, she could see in his face an unmasked joy at her presence.  His eyes would caress her body as she approached before feasting on her face, before locking with her own eyes.  And his smile would light up her heart in ways she hadn’t felt since her first Junior High School  crush.  Her heart would flutter and skip like a songbird in a cage.

 And when he touched her, his hands were strong and gentle and reassuring.  She wanted to sink into him and become one with the beating of his heart.  It was not just a matter of trust between them, she knew unquestioningly that he loved her, that he wanted to care for and protect her, that he would never willingly cause her sorrow.  He had given himself to her as completely as she had given herself to him.
That thought struck through her like a knife, leaving a thin shiver of guilt and pain more awful than the sting of her flesh.

 She had not given herself completely; she was still holding back, afraid, unsure, selfish.  He had given more than she.  He had committed himself utterly to her, unerringly guiding her to the secret places in her own sexuality, to an eroticism she had only dreamed existed.  He had at times put aside his own needs to see to hers.

 But despite all he had brought her to see and experience, she kept it at arm’s length, taking her pleasure solely from pleasing him, allowing herself satisfaction only in her mind, never in her flesh.  She had denied him the pleasure of seeing her writhe in ecstasy, of hearing her cry out in passion, of allowing him to bring her body to the crescendo of the sexual act.

 She had kept all that securely bound within herself because she knew that in the ultimate pleasure of the flesh her mind would be stripped bare and she would be exposed and vulnerable in a way far more revealing than mere physical nakedness .  The fear of that within her was greater than the fear of pain or sorrow or loneliness.

 There was a icy clarity in her thoughts, a jagged realization that tore at her heart more savagely than the paddle had torn at her flesh.  Of all the pleasures she could give him, she had denied him the most important, the most personal, the most precious.

 And suddenly she felt his hands on her, releasing the ropes that bound her, removing the blindfold and the gag, gently unfolding her body and massaging her cramped muscles.

 Her mouth worked soundlessly for a moment as she searched his face.

 “But you said fifteen.”

 He looked at her sadly.   “If fourteen weren’t enough, then one hundred would have been too few.  It would have been unnecessary pain.”

 He pulled her close to him and she nestled against his chest.  She could hear his heart beating steadily, sorrowfully.  A heart that was completely hers.  A heart that wanted nothing but her to achieve her ultimate happiness.  A heart that could not bear causing her pain if she could not learn from it.

 Tears came again to her eyes, freely, openly.  She began to cry as she had not cried since she was five years old.  She cried out all the fear and hurt and doubt that filled her, that she had learned every day of her life before this.  She cried for his love and for his pain.  And for herself.

 “Please,” she said finally between sobs, “please?  You said fifteen.”

 His hand softly caressed her sore and swollen flesh.

 “Fifteen,” he said and kissed her gently.

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