The Softer Side
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I'm back at his doorstep. This place I've sworn I'll never return to. Many times.
I feel dirty, ugly, as I ring the bell, and uglier still when he answers the door wearing nothing but a pair of baggy trousers. His feet are bare, his hair disheveled, he hasn't shaved in a while. He's not handsome, or well built, or even particularly well hung. Worst of all, he has a laugh that makes me cringe. I do my very best to never make him laugh.
"Hey, you," he says, and gives me a grin I know doesn't represent anything terribly witty or wry.
A slow nausea brews in the pit of my stomach. The better part of me tells me to smile, apologize and walk back down the street as fast as I can. I should go, but I never do.
He pulls the door open wider. "You look like you need a good, hard fuck." The tone is casual, like anyone else might say: 'you look like you got caught in the rain,' or 'you look cold.'
Knowing I won't answer, that I can't admit to it, he does what he always does; he shrugs, reaches across the threshold, grabs my wrist and pulls me into the damp, dingy hallway that smells of cat's piss.
He kicks the door closed and turns, pushing the air out of my lungs as my back hits the shabbily plastered wall, and he's on me like something hungry. Hands tug my coat open. One paws at my breast through my shirt and the other makes a wedge-shaped indent in my skirt. That's all it takes to ensure I'm not going anywhere, or changing my mind now.
"Been a long time. You had me worried there for a while," he growls, pressing his forehead to mine. "But I knew you'd be back. Cos you need it, don't you? Greedy little pain slut."
It always starts like this: so fast, so direct. There's no chatting about the weather or offers of tea or a drink. The ferocity of it floods my cunt. I worry about it soaking through the wool of my skirt and leaving a stain, but I press myself into him anyway.
He's instantly hard, grinding his erection against my hip. Sometimes he doesn't wait for an answer, but this time he does. He wants something in lieu of the service he's about to provide.
"Say it. Come on, you fucking little slut. Tell me how much you want it."
All I can manage is a croak, but I touch the side of his face, and move my head, sliding my cheek against his. The whiskers scrape against my skin as I nod.
He's not settling for that. He pulls away, and the slap that hits my face and makes me gasp resolves into a mean, painful hold on my jaw. "Say it, bitch."
The slap wasn't hard, but it stings and I already know that I'll have faint bruises where my skin stretches over my jawbone. I've left this man's house with a lot of marks. Not scars, just proofs of a well-tended garden.
"Better," he says, releasing his hold on my chin, only to catch me around the neck and shove me, bodily, through the open door off the hallway.
It's a bedsit with nowhere to sit. There's only a bed - which I've never seen made - and a table and a TV. I have no idea what he does for a job or how he lives. I've never cared and I don't care now. Shrugging off my coat, I drop it on the floor on top of my bag, and turn to unbutton my blouse.
Today he doesn't want to wait. The grip at my neck is gone and he pushes me hard, the flat of his palm planted between my shoulder blades, face down into the bedclothes.
They smell of him and sex: his, perhaps, or another woman's - maybe both. I wonder how long she's been gone, and feel for the presence of lingering warmth without really thinking about it. Before I can roll over, he's wrenching up the back of my skirt.
"Don't fucking move," he says, and then inhales. A few moment of silence thicken the atmosphere. "You smell like cunt."
His hands make a warm survey of my ass cheeks and skim down the backs of each thigh. I'm wearing stay-up stockings because, the last time I was here, he destroyed an expensive pair of 10-dernier pantyhose. This time I've planned ahead.
Outside a car goes by along the wet road, its engine echoing through the canyon of white painted townhouses. The street is mid-morning quiet, and the sound of his uneven breathing fills the room: that's how I know he likes the stockings.
"Next time, don't bother with the knickers. Alright?"
The bed jostles as he climbs onto it, pressing one knee between my legs to part them. I lift my head to look back at him. I want to tell him there is going to be no next time. That this is the last time.
"Alright," I whisper instead.
His hand shoots out, grabs a handful of my hair and forces my head, my face back down into the rumpled linen. "Don't," he growls, suddenly angry. "Don't look at me."
Even as the words have left his mouth, his other hand has pushed between my thighs, and his fingers are digging into the sodden fabric at the front of my panties. He knows exactly how to make me raise my hips in avoidance of the pain, and he persists until I have to use my knees to gain some relief. Only when my ass has risen to the height he requires, does he relent. The cruel fingertips that have been digging into tender flesh are suddenly replaced by a cupped, closed hand that smoothes and squeezes me until I start to gasp.
"You're so fucking ready for me, girl."
"I know. I am." I consciously make myself say the words; the least I can do is avoid hypocrisy.
"Fuck, yes." He groans a knowing approval.
He kneels close behind me. The fabric of his trousers is rough and scratchy on the exposed skin of my left upper thigh. Pressing closer, I can feel his erection against my ass cheek as he teases himself, fully clothed, against it.
His hand slews sideways, and his fingertips curl under the inside leg of my panties, pulling the crotch aside. Thick, blunt digits skim into my cunt, parting the swollen, wet lips.
It becomes impossible to stay still or quiet. Growling like an animal, I push my hips back. Want to feel something, anything inside me. But even as I do it, I know he won't give me that right now. This is the game we play: I beg and he refuses.
While one hand torments me, the other follows the line of my spine, from my tailbone up the center of my back, dragging the hem of my silk blouse with it. I know what's coming. Even before his dripping fingers have withdrawn, I steady myself and tense my muscles.
When the first blow comes, it's so fast, so sharp, I don't have time to make a sound. Instinct locks my hips so my knees won't give out and my jaw clenches tight. I've paid for my eagerness; his hand is wet and the sting is worse. If the smack hurts him, he doesn't let it show. Instead he pauses, watching my skin turn crimson. Only when it does, does he hit me again.
The second slap is as hard as the first, and this time I yelp. The sound pleases him; the covered cock pressed against my unslapped cheek twitches. A few more hard spanks and the tears start, hot and wet, soaking into sheet under my face.
I don't hold back. Sobs ascend from some riotous place in my belly, at first stale and hesitant like something shut up in a closed place for too long. But then they emerge louder and freer with each successive burst of pain, as if every blow scythes away another choking tendril.
This is our transaction: the culling of my creeping, strangling vines of confusion for his love of the pain he inflicts in the process of culling them.
When he's heard enough, he stops. His breathing laboured, he bends over my upturned ass and presses his lips to the burning skin. The heat of his mouth intensifies the sting, but the same hand that has beaten me returns between my legs to revel in the strange quirk of my nature. My cunt has also wept, so freely that the inside my thighs are slick and the juices have soaked into the tops of my stockings.
"Want my cock?" he murmurs against my seared flesh, lifting his mouth only to pull my sodden panties down my legs
I take a staggered lungful of air and nod. "Yes I do."
He backs off to unzip himself. That's all he ever has to do because he doesn't bother with underwear. Then he's back between my legs, sliding his thick, pulsing cock along the moist skin of my inner thighs.
"Well, that's good. I want your cunt. Or should I fuck your ass?"
This is always the question he asks while guiding himself between the lips of my pussy. I never answer him and, for some reason, he never chooses my ass. Perhaps because that's the location of pain and now he's focused on pleasure? I've never understood it, but I know, with absolute certainty, that it wouldn't matter what I said anyway; he'll choose the orifice he wants.
And so he does, easing into me with surprising gentleness considering what has just passed. Still, the penetration makes my cunt ache. I'm wound up, tight from the pain and it takes my muscles a while to accommodate him.
Instead of holding my hips, he reaches beneath with both hands, gripping the tops of my thighs in a way that forces my pelvis to spread. My inner architecture is changed, and as he begins to thrust, the head of his cock pushes hard against the end of my passage. And again there's pain, deeper now. It gives birth to guttural, strangled noises that escape my throat, even when the hurt leaves me breathless.
My mind is solely focused on the way he swells inside me, the way his fingers dig into my thighs, the way his hot skin presses against mine, still smarting from the spanking. When I'm empty of all thought, when he's fucked the last existential, angst-ridden worry from my skull, my body takes over.
Chemicals stream from synapse to synapse and trigger a storm of mindless pleasure. My muscles obey, contracting like anemones in a warm current. I flood around his punishment and begin to orgasm.
He speaks as I come, but the words are just so much noise. The mechanism that makes meaning is broken and in its place is a gripped fist of blind, stupid bliss. And when the words fail him, too, he grunts at my contractions, forcing his way through them, past them. Hilting himself in the spasming flesh, he erupts with a jagged exhalation.
"Slut," he whispers, once he's caught his breath. He reaches down and tries to brush the hair off my upturned cheek. Strands of it are caught in the streaks of tears; he picks them away with a strange, precise delicacy.
Even as he does this, a few thorny tendrils of abstract anxiety slither back into my consciousness. I give a hollow laugh tinged with weary triumph. Today they can't win. He'll cut them all back to the root, one by one.
When he pulls out of me and lets me curl up on my side, still mostly dressed, he asks the question he always asks: "More?"
It will start again, in some new place. He always finds the best locus of torment for the occasion - he's an expert. I don't love him or even like him and, for many weeks, I can pretend that my interior garden is beautiful and colourful and doesn't need weeding. But it never lasts.
He tends my dark garden with a skill like no one else. That's why I promise myself, each time I leave, that I'll never return. And why I always do.
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