Coercion:Curio Vignettes 01(9)

By: Cara McKenna

Sometimes I see her touch her hips when she dresses, as though wishing there were curves there to accentuate. But with her angular body and her unusual face, she could buy the clothes off a couturier’s rack and be mistaken for a model. So utterly photographable and yet so terrified of being photographed. True, she is no classic American beauty. She is a single black pearl in a strand of the expected white, and so much lovelier for her difference.

I blow out the match, staring at her over the flickering flames. There’s fire burning in my belly as well, and I hope she can see it in my eyes. Sentimental thoughts leave me, darker ones taking their place. Our two bodies fucking on that bed, in this light, as we’ve done dozens of times. I’ve watched us in the wardrobe mirror and put myself to sleep nights later, recalling how we looked together.

More often I conjure other memories—moments of deep intensity, the two of us discovering what gives her pleasure. Her body is an exotic instrument in my hands, one I hope to never finish mastering. To never cease to find new, thrilling, heartbreaking notes to coax from her with my fingers.

But I push the romantic thoughts away. I’ve forgotten my role, lost in my head as I so often become.

“You look lovely,” I tell this woman. “In this light. On my bed.” I smile as the final word leaves my lips.

“Thank you.” She runs her hands over the blanket, as though confirming the mattress is still there, supporting her.

I round the table and for a moment I cast her in my shadow. Our game clicks back onto its track, and the real Didier falls away like a shed garment. My gaze drops to the shadow between her legs, a reward that must be claimed at any cost.

“Lie down with me.” I wave to the pillows and she reluctantly reclines, careful to keep her skirt in place. I join her. My face is shaded, hers golden in the warm light. Her wary gaze flits back and forth but her lips part when mine do, and she accepts my kiss eagerly enough.

I slide my hand lower to cradle her ribs, thumb tracing the curve of her breast through her blouse. With my other hand I graze the skin at the base of her neck, as soft as the silk collar that seeks to hide it. She is just as soft elsewhere—her belly, her wrists, the tops of her feet and her inner thighs. I nudge her legs with mine, edging my knee between them. Her legs clamp tight, stopping my mischief just as the hem of her skirt begins to rise. Her resistance triggers a change in me.

My arousal turns sharp and selfish, the sheer challenge turning me on as nothing has in months. We’re competing, and one of us must lose for the other to win.

And I want to win.

This man’s borrowed desires burn hotter and darker than my own, and though they disturb me, I can’t deny how intoxicating it is, to want a woman so badly all reason and civility abandons you. All empathy.

I push with my knee, quick and sudden, and I gain another inch before her legs tense once more.

Below the open tie, tiny fabric buttons trail down the front of her blouse. It is so tempting to savage them, but I know Caroly’s tendency to spend so much on a piece of clothing that she can eat nothing but soup until her next paycheck arrives. After all, I used to be one of her indulgences. I smile to think that at least I always fed her well—she never went hungry the nights she treated herself to my company.

She grabs my wrist as I touch the topmost button. “Don’t.”

Her hold is a warning, not a restraint, and I ignore it, freeing the closure. Her hand tightens but her legs have let down their guard, and my knee pushes ever deeper between her thighs. My cock throbs as I imagine forcing my other leg between hers, rolling her onto her back, freeing my cock and taking her with no more than a gruff tug to move her panties aside. Will she go reluctantly? Or will she fight? I know Caroly better than any man can claim, but I don’t know that—how coerced a victim she may want to play, and how cruel a villain she might wish to bait.

“I want you,” I whisper. “You have no idea how badly.”

“Not tonight. Maybe some other time, if we see each other again—”

“You came to my bed. You must want this too.” I twist my hand free from hers, switching who holds who. Her body stiffens as I lead her fingers down my chest and side. “Touch me.” My grip on her wrist is tight, her struggle meek. I draw her hand along my hip and she tugs it back, though not hard enough to escape.

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