As She's Told
Winner of the
National Leather Association: International
2008 Pauline Reage Novel Award
Take two caring, thoughtful individuals with some highly unusual sexuality, let their paths cross, and watch how far their obsession takes them. That's the essence of this story about an intense bdsm relationship: extreme, loving, creative, steeped in imagination, embedded in the real world. What emerges is a passionate, private sexual reality, in which the balance of power tips only one way.
Maia and Anders want nothing less than total power exchange, without games, negotiations or safewords. Any pretence is out of the question; for both of them the power relationship has to be as genuine as it is absolute, but Anders is more than aware of the risks to inexperienced Maia if she should be wrong about what she can handle. Early on, he steers a careful line "between games and gobbling her up." His ownership is established step by step through conditioning, painful consequences and constant bondage, and before long, Maia finds walking away has become inconceivable.
Anders keeps his slave increasingly "like an animal on a very short tether." His love of technology takes some interesting turns, particularly around orgasm control, teasing and denial. The intensification of Maia's enslavement is balanced by the pair's affection, sense of humour and intelligent conversation, and by the real world of work and friends. Some of these friends become integrated into the ménage one way and another, and help Anders create the setting in which Maia's uttermost submission can flower.
An excerpt from As She's Told...
Even when he'd said he wasn't coming I kept listening for his truck. As the neighbourhood was well studded with massive four-by-fours, I spent far too much time looking out the window, disappointed, as some muscly black macho symbol growled by with its empty truck bed. Hoping instead to see well-used burnt sienna beneath my window, brown in shadow but glowing like sunset when it caught the light. The truck was old but cared for, the finish softened and smoothed like a well-used pair of jeans. It got so whenever I saw that colour out on the street, my heart lifted like a balloon.
It wasn't that my ambivalence was gone. There were still voices asking what the hell I thought I was doing. Some of them were even outside my head; Nikki called and scolded me frequently, nagging me to start discussing some limits before it was too late, a safeword at least. It was like hearing instructions on the flutter kick when white water has you in its grip. I did my best to keep my head above the surface, wired on adrenalin, eager anticipation, and constant fear.
On the surface, Anders was kind and very patient. He always told me when I did well. But there was a tone in his voice when I fell short: a firm, slightly Danish-inflected reprimand with a hint of gravel in it, that made me shiver.
The power relationship wasn't the only thing lurking beneath the surface. "Soft porn," Anders glinted as he touched the new little waist cincher he had laced up tight around me, just tight enough to make me pant. His big hand was around my leg, the new garter belt stretched against my thigh. He had casually forbidden pants and tights. I gathered that this wasn't an important enough rule to be laid down with any emphasis, although there was no doubt in my mind that he expected me to obey him. In his truck, or in the unlit spaces between the streetlights next to the bulk of dark vans, he slid his hand beneath my dress and made me moan. Then he put his fingers in my mouth and made me suck them like lollipops.
The night we went to the folk club he wouldn't let me wear panties either. I shivered as the night air touched me, felt my pubic hair ruffle in an updraft, and climbed, painfully self-conscious, into his truck. My thighs opened to his nudging fingers and I whimpered, head back against the seat, feeling the pressure of the cincher around my ribs as I tried to breath. At each red light the fingers were back. My eyes stared at the red in the darkness, glowing red dominating my visual field as he took over below.
He parked the truck and I sucked his fingers avidly, then followed him and his violin case into a warm, crowded room with a little stage and people tuning up. There were some curious looks directed my way; I shrank, wishing not to be noticed; it was the last thing I could handle, feeling naked as I did, my cunt swimming. Anders sat down by the stage with me and the first set started. Jigs, reels, hands and feet pounding. Someone sang a ballad, someone else a sly Irish ditty. Anders explained the different styles and I made links to the older music I knew, but after a while I got lost, and just let the bright music take me. Then he got up to play.
He dominated the little stage, his big shoulders relaxed, the fiddle looking small in those big hands. Straight pale hair gleamed under the lights. Well-worn jeans on narrow hips, long thighs that I wanted between my own.... His bow moved and I raised my eyes to watch.
I hadn't heard him play before, had no idea what he could do. Those long fingers moved with authority, subtlety, sweetness. The fiddle seemed not so much an object in his hands as an extension of his body. Vibrations stretched, reached out for me, found my frequency, tightened and loosened my strings. The song started slow, his firm hands on the instrument confiding something. He met my eye for a moment. Then he moved into a faster jig, and then a wild reel that had the room jumping.
I didn't dare dance. By the time we left I was jumpy and revved up, wanting to be grabbed and touched all over. I hummed the last song and swung a little at the end of his hand, and he looked down at me in amusement, keeping a tight grip on my wrist. His case settled in the back, he unlocked the passenger door for me. In its shadow he scooped me up, one hand deep in my crotch, and lifted me onto the seat. I gasped, and his tongue was in my open mouth, his fingers hard inside me. Then he swung my knees around and shut the door. I sat there gasping like a fish thrown on shore, waiting for him to get in the other side and finish what he'd started. But he just put the truck in gear and started off. He glanced over at me sitting there with my mouth hanging open, smiled, stopped the truck and fastened my seatbelt, tight.
As he drove he hummed in a deep, dark baritone that filled the night inside the truck. It wasn't a song from that evening; the tune rang much older bells. Something traditional that I hadn't heard since my mother had played us her old folk albums, back when we were kids. What was it called? Anders was singing the words now.
And her cherry cheeks and her ruby lips,
They lost their former dye,
And she fell on her knees before him,
All on the mountain high.
He glinted at me briefly, then went on,
He had not kissed her but the once or twice,
When she come to again,
And most eagerly she asked him,
Pray tell to me your name.
There was some traffic now, and the song was down to a wordless hum again as he negotiated it. Scraps of the other verses were coming back to me, though the title still eluded me. Something about how the girl, aloof at first, had been felled by the irresistible sexual magic of this rake, and ended up following wherever he led. I could relate.
We were crossing a bridge. I caught a glimpse of dark water and a line of bright headlights below us, and realized we were crossing the Don Valley, heading east instead of west. Not to my place, then. Where was he taking me? Still downtown, rows of Asian shops, then houses. My knowledge of the city was all centre core and downtown west; this side of town was terra incognita. Anders was silent now. His face looked remote, alternately lit and in shadow. I wanted him to speak and reassure me. A lurking paranoia crept in, lurid visions of kidnappings, headlines gloating over unidentified remains. Could I trust him?
I watched the hands that had held the fiddle hold the wheel with the same deft authority. I thought of the care he was taking with me, and relaxed. He was singing again.
And if by chance you look for me,
Perhaps you'll not me find,
For I'll be in my green castle,
And enquire for Reynardine.
Reynardine. That was it. We were turning into a quiet street with a few widely-spaced street lights and a No Exit sign - I envisioned a camera panning on the sign and some creepy music, and almost giggled - and I saw the silver glimmer of a high fence across the end of the road. Something industrial? Or maybe railroad tracks. The last house on the left was not green but grey brick; detached, with a driveway separating it from the house next door. It looked like a typical downtown Toronto house: two stories and a peaked roof, long and narrow.
Inside, a strong smell of cut lumber, and a trace of that metallic power saw tang. Anders turned on a light and I saw heaped two-by-fours, insulation, loose angles of black plastic pipe, but a functional living room set up in the space on my right with a couch and television and a stack of books on a low table. The drywall wasn't up yet; there were twists of cable in the dark wall spaces. Anders put his violin case down. Then he had me in a tight grip from behind, and was biting at my neck.
"Reynardine was a vampire, did you know that?" he murmured. My giggle turned to a gasp as his tongue slid from my shoulder to my ear. He crossed my arms in front of me, lifted me up and set my feet on the first step of the stairway in front of us, my back to him. The jacket slid off my shoulders. Then my dress was over my head and off. My bra next. Shoes. I thought the cincher was coming off, but he tightened it instead, drawing hard on the strings, and I exhaled to accommodate it and whined a little. For a moment he caressed my naked ass and my thighs above the black stockings. "Up you go." Then he smacked me, hard enough to sting. A surge of heat flashed across my loins; for a moment I couldn't move. He smacked me again on the other side, a little harder, and I forced myself to run up the steps, feeling cunt lips slipping against each other, breasts bouncing. At the top he grabbed my waist and turned me around, studied my face; slowly he smiled. Then I was herded into the bedroom at the front of the house. With fingers deep in my cunt and his other hand on my ass, he lifted me off my feet and took my mouth over with his own. My blood was turning to thick, hot magma, weighing down my limbs, slowing my thoughts. And yet I was being handled as if I was no weight at all: a duality strange enough to give me vertigo.
He put me down and took a step back. I was breathing hard, my knees giving way on the way to prostrating myself at his feet. He let me sink to my knees, pulled up a chair and unzipped. I struggled to catch my breath, and then I was kissing fervently at him, trying to make up in enthusiasm what I lacked in skill. I'd had hardly any practice in the past; a few licks and a little timid sucking, a scary experience of gagging and nearly drowning, that was all my experience to date. Anders gripped my head and forced me to pay attention to instructions. At every sign of pleasure on his part my heart pounded and the magma channels surged.
He got huge and I tried very hard not to gag and almost managed it. There was a hard hand on my neck and I choked and swallowed, and swallowed, and held my head still and waited for him to release me.
A minute later I was sitting in his lap and he was stroking me firmly along the back and legs, calming me down a little. He ran a finger along my eyebrows and across my lips.
"What happened when I spanked you?"
Oh god. I ducked my face down against him, and felt him stroke my hip gently, six, eight slow strokes. "Come on," he said.
"I felt. It was - so fast, instant - " I swallowed, couldn't say it.
I nodded slowly. "And more than that," I whispered. "It was the first time you - the first time - "
"I hit you."
"Yes. I was so scared, I'd been so scared, and there it was. The
first - "
"Yes." I burrowed into his arms, shook with the fear and arousal he made me feel, tried not to cry.
"So much more to come, Maia."
"I know." The words muffled by his shirt.
"Let's add a little to your experience, then."
He stood me up, then arranged me face-down over his lap. Strings of words were running through my skull like beads on wires: please don't hurt me, yes hurt me, don't hurt me, please, anything, please. His big hand stroked my ass; it was gone a moment and then it smacked down, stinging. Like hot sauce on the tongue. Another on the other side. More. He forced my legs apart and stroked my pussy lips for a moment, then slapped me again. I was moaning now. My pelvis, angled over his thigh, began to climb him, try to touch myself to his leg just a little.
"Ah-ah, no you don't." His leg shifted and he resettled me, taking his thigh out of range. My breath was pressed out of me in a sudden huff; he had yanked the cincher yet tighter. I panted, squirming, as he retied the knot. Then my right wrist was pulled firmly behind my back, and the light spanking continued, ass, thighs, spreading heat. I didn't know if it hurt; yes, it hurt, yes. I writhed and could move only so far, and the feeling of restraint kicked me off the edge of thought; sensation swamped me and my body struggled and strained in helpless abandon.
He stopped then, pulled my wrist even higher up my back, and waited. I whimpered, squirmed. I felt his grip change hands, and then he was squeezing my breasts, flicking the rings, pulling my nipples until I cried out. He waited some more. Slowly he stood me up, still holding my wrist, and brought me over to the bed. "Lie down," he said, watching me as he took off his clothes. "Don't move."
I lay with wet thighs trembling, stinging ass hot against the cool sheets, breathing fast against a waist held tight. Watched as he bared those big pale shoulders; the lines of muscle on chest and abdomen; hard, reddened cock. Bit my lip and repressed a moan. Watched as he rolled the condom on. He pinned me down, arms and legs; the moan ripped out of me, and my hips lifted to him, reached. I wanted him inside me like I wanted not to die.
He looked down into my eyes. "Can you come without being held down?"
I looked at him, half startled out of my trance. "What? I -"
He shook me a little. "You know what I'm talking about." He smiled, almost laughed. "Can you?"
He'd held me down each time, a substitute, I suppose, for the bondage he wouldn't use yet. I tried to look away, dug the side of my face into the sheet. "I - yes." I squirmed under him. "It takes - much longer.." His grip tightened and my taut thighs strained. Then in one stroke he was inside me and my voice was loose, climbing.
He rolled onto his back, bringing me over with him. A moment later I was straddling him, all my limbs free, confused. I watched his long fingers at the cincher; he unhooked it completely in front and tossed it away, and suddenly there was nothing restraining me. Eyes on my face, he grinned and began to play with my tits. "Come on," he said. His hips rocked gently, and I groaned, and moved against him. He stroked me softly here and there, guided my hips, pinched my nipples. "Come on," he said again. "You can do it."
I tried. I raised myself the length of his penis and back again, felt my nipples burning. I gasped and bit my lip and tried for a long time. When he took hold of my hips and thrust harder I almost felt myself getting close. Beneath me he shuddered, his thighs like steel cables, and then he came with a shout from deep in his chest, his head thrown back, hands gripping my flesh.
Very slowly, his head rolled forward again, his eyes opened and focused on me, and he let out a long, long breath. Then he grinned again and pulled me down next to him. "You can't come at all in that position, can you?" My face buried in his chest again, I shook my head. "That's useful to know." He turned my face so he could see it, and he laughed. "Would you like to come now?"
My entire pelvis was radiating heat; it was the Amazon basin in the midst of mating season. I could hardly hold back the animal noises. "Yes, please," I whispered.
He closed his eyes for a long moment. Then he sat up, and his eyes travelled slowly down my body and up again to my face. A wicked light grew in them. "No, not just yet." He turned away, dealt with the condom, turned back.
I lay there, wide open, stunned, stupid with arousal, waiting to see if he really meant it.
He mused, "So all I have to do to keep you from coming is to put you on top and not tie or hold you.."
I shuddered, and felt crazy drumbeats within.
"I'm just kidding," he said. I looked up at him, feeling what? Relieved? Disappointed? "You'll be tied down all right. I just won't let you come." The noise I'd been holding back got past me. My breath caught in my throat and I felt close to tears.
He closed his eyes for a minute, and then yawned and stretched. "I'm going to get something to eat. Are you hungry?"
I shook my head.
"You'd better come with me anyway."
Copyrighted © 2008 by Anneke Jacob, all rights reserved.