Beating the Gothic Out of Her

“My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I AM Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.” —Catherine Earnshaw, Wuthering Heights

“Repeat after me, ‘Heathcliff was a fucked up character.'”


“Annabelle. Repeat after me, ‘Heathcliff was a fucked up character.'”

She could tell by the tone of Roman’s voice that the punishment was going to be severe but she couldn’t say it, wouldn’t say it. Wuthering Heights was her favourite book of all time. She understood it had been a mistake to constantly seek men with Heathcliff’s dark and brooding temperament throughout her adult life. But she had this longing for intense, passionate men. Not just a longing, more like an addiction. She wanted divine intoxication, to lose herself in the depths of a man’s desire for her, his need.

As a child, Annabelle devoured gothic novels. It wasn’t just the remote castles by the sea, the underground passages, or the sudden and untimely appearances of ghosts, serving staff or the discovery of skeletons of dead wives in attics, it was the sexual tension created by the vulnerability of the young governesses in the throes of passion over the impossibly beautiful but darkly malevolent anti-heroes, who pursued the innocent maidens with uncontrollable fervour. Annabelle romanticized these men and fantasized about them, most especially Heathcliff.

She had read the book so many times, she’d had to replace each dog-eared, tattered copy with a new one. She even rubbed its spine over her clit when she was too desperate to find her vibrator. She imagined herself as Catherine being chased over the misty Yorkshire moors by the dark anti-hero, caught in the rain during a storm, being forced to accept his kiss. She had masturbated more than once to the fantasy of herself as Catherine confronting Heathcliff in all his trembling fury, trying to comfort him…having that comfort turn into a good hard fuck on the floor of Thrushcross Grange.

After she had confessed her Heathcliff fantasies and told Roman about her history with real life anti-heroes: an insecure rock star wannabe who took his assertiveness issues out on Annabelle by thumping her with his guitar; an aging, tattoo-covered glam rocker with an addiction to pain killers; and a rich moody manchild with mommy issues and a sophisticated sense of fashion, who preyed on naïve young women willing to act as doormats to his domineering personality, Roman suggested to her that she had wounded bird syndrome, the need to repair damaged men. Some men were simply incapable of redemption, he told her. Subjecting oneself to their mercurial will was self-destructive and dangerous.

Annabelle had tried various schemes to satisfy her desires. Finally a friend had suggested BDSM. Perhaps there she would find a strong man capable of sharing her intensity but without the fucked up personality. She wasn’t naïve, she knew about bondage and domination. She loved the film, Secretary, had imagined herself under E. Edward Grey’s hand, lying on the desk with her bare bottom reddened. So it wasn’t a stretch to think she might be attracted to some form of sadomasochism or even able to surrender to a strong man’s will. She decided to attend a munch, a gathering for BDSM lifestylers and enthusiasts.

She was turned off. The dominants at the munch seemed like poseurs. Annabelle’s brief impression of the group was that the doms expected their submissives to bow down to them, keep their eyes cast down and wear their collars or act as their servants. It was useless to her. She was a spirited, intelligent woman with a backbone, not some spongy doormat whose sole role was to soak up some guy’s power trip. Annabelle wasn’t unlike many who had a tendency to rush to judgement about BDSM or any other activity that made them uncomfortable. She didn’t question why she was uncomfortable.

She bumped into Roman when he was on his way in and she was on her way out. Her face was red as she flounced out of the restaurant. Avoiding a collision, Roman put his hand on her shoulder; she looked into his deep brown eyes, and her anger dissipated.

They ended up at a nearby café where she told him her life story. To Annabelle, Roman seemed to be the kind of man who she could say anything to. He looked to be in his late forties. His hair was already beginning to silver. He recounted tales from his own life too. He was an antiquarian book dealer, selling books on the Internet from his home. He seemed steady, intelligent and rational.

So when he told her she had the wrong idea about BDSM, while her first reaction was to tell him he was crazy, she listened. Yes, there were some poseurs, some people more interested in the drama than establishing and maintaining a power relationship but not everyone was like that. He took her hand in his. Her pulse quickened as his fingers circled her wrist.

Over e-mail he suggested books she should read, a local support group for submissives, and other resources. The idea of submission held increasing appeal for Annabelle. Roman loaned her erotic BDSM fiction that sent her into a frenzy of self-pleasure.

He’d made one condition when he loaned her the books. He asked that she e-mail him to tell him about her reactions, what turned her on, what turned her off. The heat between them built over e-mail and on the telephone. She asked if she could meet him again in person.

They met in a bookstore. Annabelle was wearing the outfit he’d asked for. At this point she felt a reasonable amount of trust toward Roman. He wasn’t asking her to do anything dangerous, just wear a loose skirt with a slit in it and a blouse with buttons that could be easily undone.

The thought had made her wet. She felt desired. She found Roman in the erotica section juggling a pile of smut in his hands. He smiled when she arrived.

“Maybe you could help me with these?”

Annabelle chortled a bit as she picked up a book that was threatening to topple to the floor. Its cover depicted a cartoonish picture of a wide-eyed blonde with a man’s hand around her neck. She found herself bristling right away and yet she felt aroused at the same time. She raised her eyebrows at Roman.

“I know it looks cheesy, but the stories inside may just ring your bell, Annie Bell,” Roman said. He’d taken to calling her a nickname that she had never been fond of, but for some reason with him it seemed fun, made her feel girlish. She wasn’t some shy young virgin, she was a grown woman in her mid thirties who’d seen her fair share of life. She’d made some bad decisions about men but her eyes were wide open the whole time.

As they waited in line at the cash, he put his hand between the parting made by the slit of her skirt and gently caressed her leg. Annabelle trembled. She liked the way that hand felt on her skin. The wait was interminable. There were many people buying books on a rainy night in October. A woman behind them glanced at the books she and Roman were carrying and gave them a look of disdain. Roman gave Annabelle a saucy wink. Annabelle looked him straight in the eye and winked right back. She had no idea what Roman planned for them that night but she wanted to give it a try, was excited about the possibilities.

She thought again of their recent telephone conversation about Georges Bataille’s The Story of the Eye.

“Did the thought of the girl’s humiliation titillate you, Annabelle?”

“Yes…I have to say,” she cleared her throat.”… I was excited.” Annabelle was wet just listening to the sound of Roman’s voice. The story had made her squirm in a confusing way. She knew she wasn’t supposed to be turned on by the idea of a young man and his girlfriend taking advantage of another young girl. She wanted to be clear. “But…I wouldn’t want that sort of thing in real life…you know…I wouldn’t want some jerk to take advantage of me. I’ve had enough of that.”

“Real life is a different matter, isn’t it, Annie Bell. You do understand the difference between fiction and reality, don’t you, girl?” His voice was low and sexy.

“Yessss..I…uh…I guess so…”

“We’ll have to work on that.”

She didn’t know then what he meant. In the bookstore the line up continued its slow and inevitable pace to the checkout.

“Honestly Roman, why don’t you just buy e-books?” Annabelle was being feisty and she knew it. An antiquarian book seller wouldn’t have much use for e-books, she realized. He’d want to smell the old paper, enjoy its texture, appreciate the beauty of letterpress type set into the paper, he’d want to touch it, run his fingers along the binding. She thought of his fingers trailing their way along the heavy paper, and it made her wet.

Roman laughed. “You’ll see, my girl…you’ll see. It’s hot in here, don’t you think? Why don’t you unbutton the top two buttons of your blouse?”

Annabelle looked around at the crowd, especially the disdaining old woman. ‘Well, why not,’ she thought, ‘why not let this man lead her into temptation. Perhaps he had a devilish streak…just like Heathcliff.’ She met his eyes and nodded. Her body responded to the mischievous twinkle in his eyes and the persuasive tone in his voice.

She unbuttoned the blouse as he asked. He gave her a leer. She felt sexy all over. Her stomach muscles coiled with desire and anticipation. She wondered if Roman was finding the wait a strain. She turned toward him and dropped one of the books she was holding. As she rose, her hand briefly glanced over his crotch. Yes, there was a slight bulge. As she got to her feet, her eyes met his. He raised his eyebrows and whispered in her ear.

“I’m going to deal with you soon, Annie Bell. Brazen, forward Annie Bell.”

That night she saw Roman’s house for the first time. It wasn’t fancy. He didn’t make a lot of money as an antiquarian book seller. His kitchen was a mess with dishes stacked all over the place. The living room was cluttered with books everywhere: on the couch, on the stuffed armchairs, on the fireplace mantle. Clearly he had no servants as her previous suitor Chris had. It had been unnerving to visit the manchild’s penthouse only to find he had a few minders to cook and clean up after him.

Roman lived alone. His home reflected his worldliness and his sophisticated tastes. She imagined he’d make a good old man. The thought of sitting on the old man’s lap made her libido come to life once more.

Roman apologized for the mess and ushered her into his library. In this room all the books were in their places on floor-to-ceiling shelves. A black leather chair was placed in front of a formidable oak desk that was empty of objects except for a wooden yard stick, a pipe, some matches and a cake of tobacco.

“One of my vices,” Roman said, as he took the cake of tobacco, rubbed it between his fingers to make it loose enough to pack into his pipe, pressed it into the bowl of the pipe with his thumb, lit a match and waited briefly for the sulphur to burn away from the tip, then moved the match clockwise over the bowl to light the tobacco. Annabelle realized she was dealing with a very methodical man and she liked that.

“Why don’t you hop up on the desk, Annie Bell, let me get a closer look.”

Annabelle placed her posterior, which she knew to be generous enough for a good ride by any gentleman, on top of the desk. Her partially undone blouse revealed more cleavage as she sat. Roman fingered the buttons, causing them to undo. He put his hand in her hair, which had been tied neatly in a bun. Roman undid the ribbon and her heavy brown locks tumbled to her shoulders.

“You should wear your hair down more often, Annie Bell. You look like a siren ready to seduce a sailor.”

“I hope we don’t crash on the rocks,” said Annabelle, causing Roman to laugh.

“You have a delightful sense of humour,” he said, as he took slow, deliberate puffs on his pipe.

Annabelle thought about the places that pipe could go, how warm it would feel on her naked skin and shuddered.

“Where’d you get that pipe? It looks expensive.”

Roman’s eyes darkened as he looked down at her. Annabelle wondered if he could read her thoughts and blushed.

“It is. It’s a calabash, Sherlock Holmes’ favourite pipe. I inherited it from my father and that was the only thing I got from him. I left home at sixteen and never looked back.”

Annabelle wondered why the men she chose were always parentless.

“You don’t have parent issues, do you?”

“Goodness, Annie Bell, I dealt with those years ago. The only issue I have right now is getting you out of that damned skirt and blouse and ravishing you on this desk.”

The woodsy aroma of the pipe filled the air. Somewhere a grandfather clock ticked in the background.

Annabelle trembled, tried to get hold of herself.

“No hearts hiding under the floorboards, are there, Roman?” Annabelle said.

“You vixen!” he said, “are you trying to thwart my attentions, you impossible woman? And you don’t know how pleased I am to know that you’re a Poe enthusiast.”

“Not at all,” Annabelle leaned in for a kiss. Roman didn’t hesitate, he put out the pipe and moved toward her, pressing his lips against hers while reaching in to take her breasts out of her bra. Annabelle sighed as she felt the tugging of his fingers on her nipple.

“One day we’ll have to clamp these, you know,” Roman whispered. The effect was like a hum over Annabelle’s flesh, causing it to tingle. Her nipples hardened between his fingers as he stroked them.

He pulled the blouse off her body so that it formed a prison of her arms.

“Now you’re trussed up, Annie Bell, what are you going to do about it?”

She thought she must have made a fetching picture with her shirt open and binding her arms, her breasts overflowing from her bra and her nipples stiff as pencil rubbers. The thought of the tiny teeth on the clamps biting down on her needy little teats. She squirmed on top of the desk to accommodate her tingling cunt.

“Trying to lure me, are you, Annie Bell, with those seductive thrusts,” Roman said as he yanked the skirt and blouse off her. “Stand up,” he said quietly. This time he didn’t use the nickname.

His voice sent shivers skyrocketing through her body, onto her clit, on each tiny pinpoint of her nipples, releasing a heady shock of adrenaline to her system, causing her legs to tremble as she struggled to obey the dark-eyed man in front of her. Annabelle took a sharp intake of breath and rose.

She started to move toward him.

“Be still.”

Annabelle shut her eyes against the onslaught of need that washed over her.

“Now turn around, lean over the desk, Annie Bell, bend over. Let me see that fine rump of yours.”

Annabelle felt sexy as hell as she did what he asked. She saw him reach over for the yard stick. He was going to spank her ass with it. Chris had tried something similar and it was a complete disaster. She’d ended up running out of his red room of whatever.

She started to rise, but Roman put his hand on her back.

“Relax, Annie Bell, you have to pay for being a minx, you know,” he said and lightly slapped her with the yardstick. It sounded loud, but the yardstick itself didn’t cause much heat on her ass, just made her cunt quake with desire as it rubbed against the desk. He insinuated a finger into her cunt and let her hump against it for a few minutes.

“Not yet, Annie Bell, not yet,”

Roman turned her to face him and proceeded to touch every part of her body. He caressed her hair, rubbed his thumb over her forehead, her cheeks, her lips, parted them and put his thumb into her mouth.

“Suck,” he ordered.

Annabelle took the thumb gently into her mouth and licked it for a few seconds. Roman nodded. He stroked her brows with one hand while his other hand roved down her body, into the little divot made by her protruding collarbone. He dipped his head down and tongued the space.

Annabelle moaned as she felt the heat of his breath over her body, on her breasts.

“Spread your legs,” he told her and she did, letting herself open for him as she leaned against the desk. She imagined she looked like a strumpet, some back alley whore waiting to be used and the thought excited her.

He removed his shirt and carefully folded it, placing it on the chair. She marvelled at his bare chest with its small amount of fine grey hairs. She would have loved to press her lips against his chest but she was letting Roman guide her and it felt wonderful to do so. He undid his leather belt and held it up to her nose. The scent of leather overcame her. She opened her lips and licked along the belt, letting the dark taste enter her mouth.

Roman removed his trousers and briefs. His cock was fully erect, pointed toward her. She wanted it inside her. Roman pushed her onto the desk and pressed his naked body against her own, breast to breast, belly to belly, cock to cunt. He put his finger on the nub of her cunt, stroking her clit, sliding the finger down into the valley of her cunt.

She writhed against his finger as his cock pressed hard into her thigh. She reached down to stroke him, his cockslit already spilling precum. He moved above her, pressed himself down onto her and into her cunt. They groaned as they fucked each other raw, their bodies covered in sweat, their tongues tasting each other’s tongues.

She made a map of his body with her lips, lingering on the strong jaw lines of his face, his full lush lips, stroking his dark brows with her fingers. She stopped at his chest, pressing her hands against his strong shoulders, moving down to his still firm abs and then lower, lingering on his cock, opening her mouth and taking it down her tight warm throat, then sliding down further to lick his firm thighs, his inner thighs, his calves, his shins, to press a kiss onto the instep of each foot, to worship each toe, to throw herself at the ground before him as his slave.

And that was only the first night.

Over time, Annabelle discovered that Roman was a stable man with an even temperament, a well-endowed library, and a fiendish imagination, as witnessed by the scene they were currently playing out in said library.

Slap. Annabelle felt the thud of the heavy tome on her naked derriere.

“No, Master, please stop.”

“Then say it, Annie Bell, or I bring out the cane. Heathcliff was a fucked up character.”

She felt the cold book hit her ass once again. Her lover was going to destroy her prized rare edition. How dare he. It had been a gift from Chris, who was, she’d finally admitted to herself, the epitome of fuckuppery. She contemplated using her safe word, something she’d never done yet. But the thought of the dastardly cane to come made her silent.

“You’re being very bratty, Annie Bell.” There it was, that nickname again, the one Roman used when he was in no rush, when he wanted to tease her, to subject her to sexual torture so tantalizing it was more insistent, more frustrating than a tickle.

She heard the drawer slide open. The cane made a whistling sound as Roman sliced it through the air. Annabelle shivered in dread and anticipation.

“One last chance, Annabelle, say it or I decorate your ass. One…”

Annabelle squirmed, pressing her cunt and breasts hard against the red vinyl bench in the middle of the library.

“Two…” Roman drew a line down Annabelle’s back with the cane.

Annabelle tensed her body, took a deep, cleansing breath, as they’d talked about, and let herself relax.


The cane struck her tender bottom. Annabelle felt a red burst of pain across her ass.

Again it hit. She tensed again, then breathed out and in. Focused on the feeling of the cane. Yielded as it hit her again and again. Her cunt grew wet, her nipples tightened against the hot vinyl.

“Now hump for me, Annabelle, fuck the bench.”

As Roman continued to strike her ass with the cane, Annabelle, had a brief flash of Heathcliff with his stormy eyes, standing over her and punishing her for ridiculing him. She rubbed her swollen clit against the sweaty bench. She felt Roman’s hot breath against her face as he leaned down and whispered in her ear.

“Heathcliff was a fucked up character,” he said. “Keep fucking.”

He dropped the cane and came to the front of the bench. She looked up to see his naked form looming above her, his cock hard and waiting for service.

“Open your mouth, Annabelle.”

She warmed his cock with her mouth. He groaned as she licked and stroked him with her tongue, taking his cock deeper, letting it rest in her throat briefly. She resumed licking, tasting the first salt of his precum. She felt his hands around her neck then sliding down her back as he leaned forward, tracing the marks of his cane on her ass, soothing it. Then he turned her over, spread her legs and fucked her raw.

Afterwards over a cup of tea, they talked about the scene.

“I still can’t forgive you for ruining that book, Roman.”

“Annabelle, my dear, it was just a cheap copy. Your Heathcliff is safely stored behind the glass cabinet along with O, Justine, Simone, Marcelle and all the other deviant fictional characters you love so much. And you still have to be punished for not admitting how fucked up Heathcliff is.”

“You’re such a mind-fuck, Roman.” Annabelle said as she poured another cup of English Breakfast tea from the chipped Brown Betty.

He stuck his tongue out at her and returned to puffing on his calabash as he read the newspaper. Annabelle wondered what their next scene would be. She hoped she would be assigned the role of O again as she arrived with her lover at Roissy. She loved the scene where O was blindfolded, covered only by a red cloak that revealed her naked breasts and shaved cunt. Loved it when O is being told the rules by the severe gentlemen. Perhaps Roman would even bring over other men to put a gloved hand inside her and enter her back passage.

They returned to their day. Roman to the library to catalogue rare books to send to customers, her to her preparation for the day’s lesson. Because Annabelle really was a governess.

© 2013 Amanda Earl. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

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