“You don’t care that everyone saw, do you?” he asks me and the weight of what I’ve done feels heavier.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t want to do it.” I swallow thickly, conflicted by my exhaustion, my pain, my greed for more of his touch. “You left me no choice.”
He pulls away instantly, leaving my body feeling the chill of the air between us. I can hear the metal buckle of his belt clink and see him raise his arm in the shadows that play on the wall in front of me.
I close my eyes tightly but it doesn’t help in the least.
Smack! The belt bites at my left ass cheek, and then immediately moves to the right.
I bite down as hard as I can on nothing and try to hold back my cries as the belt screams in the air and lands blow after blow against my tender flesh.
My arms buckle as the pain rips through me. Tears leak uncontrollably from the corners of my eyes.
Carter fists the hair at the base of my skull and forces me to look at him.
His eyes are dark and swirling with tortured emotion. “I need to see you, Aria. You can’t hide from me.”
My head shakes before I realize I’ve moved, the stinging pain making even the small movement of brushing my thigh against his absolute agony. “I can’t,” I whimper.
I’ve never felt a pain like this. I try to hold back the tears as my shoulders shake, but they come regardless.
“You can take this,” Carter tells me, grabbing the reddened flesh of my thigh and squeezing it. The pressure forces the pain to shred every last piece of control I have.
With his right hand on my thigh, he cups my pussy with his left.
My back bows instantly and I’d collapse to my side if he wasn’t holding me in place. The pleasure is unimaginable. Every inch of my body feels it. My nipples pebble, but my neck arches and my body begs for more.
“You can take this, Aria.” Carter’s voice is gentle, soothing, and deep as he rubs his fingers against my sensitive clit. From the way he sounds right now, I almost wonder if the lust he once had for me is now gone, but I know that can’t be true. That can’t be the case from the way he starts to touch me.
He pinches my clit and a lightning bolt of pleasure thrills every nerve ending in my body. I’m hot and cold at the same time. Quivering beneath the man who gives me pain I can’t bear and pleasure that’s as equally consuming.
And I crave more of him. I need his fingers inside of me.
He pulls away as the numbing pleasure races through me and I see him reach for the belt again.
“Carter,” I whimper a plea. I love the pleasure, but the pain is terrifying. “Please,” I beg him.
He hesitates. With my cheek on the pillow, staring up at the broken man who only knows how to break others, I beg him again. “Please, forgive me.”
“I’ve already forgiven you,” are the only words he gives me before gripping the belt tighter.
I close my eyes, waiting for more punishment, waiting for Carter to take me how he thinks he needs.
Instead, a soothing hand runs along the dip in my waist, and as much as I want to pull away, knowing his gentle touch is going to cause where he’s struck me to flare with pain, I stay still for him. I let him caress where the belt met my skin, and bring the pain to the surface even more.
“I just want you,” I whisper into the pillow. It feels damp beneath my cheek, soaked from my tears. “Please, Carter.”
“This is me, Aria. This is who I am.”
His words are a fire that licks along the wounds of my heart, split into two halves of who I am. The first half of me is a woman who’s broken and in love with a man who’s been hurt more times in this life than I could possibly bear. And the other half is a woman who wants to be strong and refuses to allow her will to be ignored any longer.
“You don’t know who you are anymore, Carter. No more than I knew who I was when I held the gun,” I tell him in a shuddering voice. “Take from me what you want,” I concede. Closing my eyes, I bury my head in the pillow but then remember what he said. And so, I position myself on all fours again, even as my legs shake. “I’ll give it all to you.”
The belt drops to the bed with a thud and before I can turn my head to look over my shoulder at Carter, he plunges deep inside of me, his cock filling me and stretching me without mercy. One of his hands grips my hip to keep me upright as the force of his thrust nearly shoves my body into a prone position from the blow. Fuck! It’s too much so quickly. The scream that’s torn from me is silent.