CHAPTER ONE My Body Mine
he crazy odyssey I had come to know as my new life had quieted down somewhat, but I knew the hiatus for what it was, a mere reprieve. I had healed, mostly, from my recent ordeal and settled peacefully into Marcello’s comfortable home. Janice, Marcello, and I had found an easy daily rhythm, and they both allowed me the space I required to repair the damage to my psyche and soul. However, my time for coasting was coming to an end.
True to his word, Marcello persisted in prodding me to move forward into a more submissive relationship with him. So far I had held him off, but he had begun to show his impatience in the way he raised his voice before quickly regaining self-control. Not unlike Luke, my previous Dom, he intended to possess my body, control my sex, and rule my life by his own erotic urges.
Marcello loomed taller and broader than Luke, overshadowing us both in contrast. He captivated me with his thick black hair, olive skin, and deep-set dark eyes, but it was his wide mouth and full lips that really drew me in. His capacity for cruelty seemed at times greater than Luke’s, but I had ultimately found him to be much more reasonable. Like Luke—until things went awry—Marcello showed his generosity by buying me whatever I needed or wanted. He owned a successful Italian restaurant in Hollywood—one of the most highly rated in South Florida.
“Jane, pick a safe word,” Marcello said as if we had sorted everything out between us. He took a seat next to me on the brown leather couch closest to the front entrance.
“I could leave …” I said, using my trump card again. The last thing he wanted was for me to move out from under him, literally and figuratively.
Even though our sexual encounters had become more aggressive, I had yet to allow him true dominance. There had been no bondage or discipline between us, short of the spanking I had received the day before. The only fallout from that had been a mildly inflamed ass. I had giggled and squirmed and resisted, causing his large phallus to poke against my stomach.
His hospitality had run its course and now I needed to decide whether to move out or submit. Could I give Marcello the submission he hungered after and still keep my psyche intact? I existed in constant fear of losing myself again. I longed to be more like Janice, who really owned the person she knew herself to be and fully embraced the choices she’d made. I, on the other hand, constantly second-guessed my decisions and lived in dread of repeating my recent mistakes.
In my own way I loved Marcello and a part of me wanted to give my body over to him. Another part of me—the survivor—argued that my sanity hung in the balance.
Once again I introduced a topic we had discussed several times over the past few weeks. “Janice told me a while ago that you don’t use safe words.”
“We’ve been through this, Jane. I haven’t, so far, but you and I need to start from the beginning, just as Luke should have done with you from the onset. We need it for the contract … which you will ultimately sign.” His penetrating stare was meant to compel me into submission.
Dancing my part in the repeat performance, I said, “I’ll consider signing when you show me that you understand the concept of negotiation and compromise.”
“I’ve already given up control over when you eat. That’s a huge compromise.”
“We disagree on that point. As you already know, I prefer no contract between us.”
Marcello sauntered over to the bar to pour a scotch. “Our type of relationship must have rules and boundaries and clearly defined expectations. You need to know what to expect from me and what I require of you.”
“I’m having a déjà vu, Marcello. I’m not ready for what you want from me.” Confronting him directly, I added, “Why does our relationship have to be like the one you already have with Janice? You can take her to your S and M parties. She’s accustomed to that.”
I had first encountered Janice through Luke’s photographs. Janice, bound and displayed in the throes of passion and submission. I had been so jealous of her history with Luke. Her lush Mediterranean beauty put mine to shame. She had a curvaceous body, silky straight black hair that hung to her waist, deep mystical dark brown eyes, thick black lashes—the kind of exotic good looks that make men lose their moral compass. I had more of a runner’s body and had always thought of myself as Plain Jane, until Luke had made me love my fit physique and appreciate my unadorned, girl-next-door prettiness.
“It’s time for you to let go of what happened with Luke,” Marcello said. “I think it would be best for you to get a divorce and move on. My offer still stands. My attorney is at your disposal.”
“I don’t want a divorce and I’ve been very clear with you about that. I don’t intend to marry again so there’s no point.” I knew I should listen. No one could understand why I wasn’t running to get back the money Luke essentially stole from me. Somehow divorce symbolized an end that I wasn’t yet strong enough to face.
“Divorcing Luke symbolizes your willingness to move on. It will allow us to really begin our life together.”
I had a sudden flashback to walking down the aisle, naked, my body gleaming with gold body lotion, my new nipple piercings on display, my mother and my friends in shock that I had agreed to marry with only jewelry and cuffs adorning me. Luke had insisted on the demonstration of his ownership, on his terms, and at the time I had thought his conditions reasonable—or at least I was too besotted to resist his will.
I shook off the memory and asked, “What’s wrong with what we have now?”
“You know the answer to that question, Jane.” Marcello started to raise his voice as he approached the couch. “How many times have we been over this?”
“Let’s finish this tango later, shall we?” I said, rising to my feet. “I need to get my run in.”
“Later, Jane,” he said, the intensity of his regard daring me to look away.
I did turn away, with an audible sigh. Realizing how tense my shoulders had become, I consciously relaxed them.
“We can speak of this later,” he said. “Ciao.”
“Goodbye,” I said with a conciliatory wave. Frustration was taking its toll on Marcello. I could see it in the hard set of his features.
A part of me agreed with Marcello, that because of Luke and the leap of faith I had taken by marrying him, I had sold my apartment, quit my job, and ended up with nothing. I deserved at least enough compensation to get back on my feet again. But I could not yet contemplate divorce, no matter how much my rational self demanded it. I didn’t want to admit any reasons beyond my unwillingness to think too much about the life I had left behind when I uttered those so-called “safe words” and exiled myself from Luke’s life forever.
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