Note: I combined chapters in this piece to get it to you all faster, (and to save some reading for the Lit editors). After this I’ll submit another combined chapter piece for the final installment in Elly & Vivian’s story. Thanks to all for reading it and giving me feedback that is much appreciated!
It was around four am when Elly sneaked back into their apartment to find Tony fast asleep, blissfully ignorant of extramarital betrayal. In her sensual revelries, she hadn’t really thought about the consequences of her actions, a slow panic building over the following day. Tony said nothing about her coming home late, and probably didn’t even notice since she normally worked late on Saturday nights and he usually fell asleep before she came home well after midnight. However, his unawareness didn’t relieve Elly of her growing guilt about what she’d done.
By Tuesday, Elly had received a benign text from Vivian asking how she was, and Elly didn’t reply. She briefly considered telling Tony when he saw her staring at her wedding ring and kissed her tenderly on the cheek. But those types of moments were so few and rare that she knew deep down inside that she didn’t love him anymore. And like all her best choices, Elly ignored her feelings and suppressed her unhappiness with pent up hostility she could channel into cleaning their crappy apartment and doing all the laundry, cooking, and dishes as usual.
After many moments of alternating anger and sadness over her behavior, over Tony’s lack of interest in her or their marriage, she decided to contact Vivian again. There would be awkwardness, but she needed to talk to her, she needed to see her and face her feelings. Vivian probably had no intentions towards Elly other than a steamy night of sex, but that was her prerogative. She figured at the least Vivian might know a good lawyer that could give Elly some legal advice if she wanted a divorce.
When she texted Vivian, she replied right away. Elly asked to meet somewhere for coffee, but Vivian stated she was still finishing a photo shoot and invited Elly back to her place for a “chat”. Elly was a little skeptical that going back to her place was the best idea, but it was also private and what they had to discuss was not for public ears.
Elly dressed as casually as possible in jeans and old sneakers to make it clear she was not there for a hook-up. Yet as soon as Vivian opened the door dressed impeccably in a white dress shirt and, for once- pants in a form-fitting black, she immediately wished she’d at least worn nicer shoes.
She stood aside as a small entourage of people exited carrying cases and stacks of clothes, an Amazonian looking model waving good-bye to Vivian as she doled out air-kisses to the group.
Closing the door behind the exodus, Vivian turned to Elly, looking a little fatigued for a change.
“Would you mind if we talk in my studio? I must still shut down my lights and upload the images,” she asked, tugging her hair out of a loose ponytail.
“Sure,” Elly replied.
“This way,” Vivian gestured then walked back towards the far wall of windows and turned a sharp left into a wide set of double doors that had been closed during the party, but were now swung open. It was a fairly large room, mostly because of a high ceiling that stretched up probably 20 feet, accentuated by the long sheet of white background that went down one wall, cascading onto the floor. It took Elly’s eyes a moment to adjust to the many bright lights aimed at the white background, while the rest of the room was painted a dark gray. An assortment of chairs, stools, boxes, step-stools were circled about the white background. It felt stuffy and warm in the room.
Vivian walked noisily in her not-quite stilettos to the center of the room, stopping behind a towering tripod mounted with a camera.
“Welcome to my office,” Vivian gestured to the open floor around her.
“It’s big,” Elly remarked, gazing up and around.
“It has taken me many years to develop a space that would suit my needs,” she stated, removing the large camera from its tripod and setting it down into a large padded case.
Elly strolled closer to the white background, keeping her back to Vivian while she busied herself with taking apart her equipment.
“How have you been?” Vivian asked nonchalantly, her usual charm showing a bit of strain.
“Ok,” she replied. “Just working, except today. It’s my day off.”
“Ah,” Vivian replied, walking over to an elevated stand of lights and flicking it off. “And how is Tony?”
Elly was temporarily blinded by the sudden darkening of the room, her eyes trying to track back to where Vivian had been standing, wanting to see her face when she could hear just a smidge of an edge to her voice.
“He’s…fine, as usual,” she answered, hearing Vivian’s clicking footsteps coming back closer to her side of the white background. “I didn’t tell him.”
Vivian was focusing on her equipment, her hands poised to unplug a light stand from an extension cord. She kept her face still, not looking at Elly balıkesir escort when she spoke.
“Did you intend to tell him?”
Elly felt her chest getting tight, but forced herself to be truthful. “I don’t know.”
Vivian snapped off the lights on the stand, sending them into further darkness. As her eyes adjusted, Elly could feel Vivian staring at her, she could feel heaviness in the air.
“He didn’t even realize that I’d been gone that long, and when he woke up the next morning, I just…didn’t want to hurt him,” Elly admitted, feeling like a coward.
“You think you will hurt him?” Vivian asked, “With the truth?”
There was a greater emphasis on the word truth, something that hit Elly square in the gut. Vivian let Elly silently berate herself as she went over to the far wall and started coiling up an extension cord.
“And what of your pain, your unhappiness? Have you told him of this?” she asked with steely curiosity.
“No,” Elly replied, garnering a quiet scoff from Vivian. As she came closer to Elly, winding up the cord, the look of disdain on her face was apparent.
“I think my husband doesn’t care that I exist and I don’t feel like making him care anymore,” Elly stated with resignation.
Vivian stooped to toss the cord into a small crate. “And have you said this?” she asked with taciturn judgement.
“No I haven’t. I haven’t told him that I think we made a giant mistake and maybe I don’t love him anymore, and maybe, I never even loved him in the first place,” Elly declared facetiously, feeling her face get warm with frustration. Vivian remained silent, crossing her arms as she stood staring at Elly.
“Many people will do anything to avoid pain,” Vivian offered sagely.
“Because it hurts,” Elly tried to joke unsuccessfully.
Vivian took a few steps to the side, considering her statement. Slowly she walked over to one of the chairs in the room, a padded dining-style chair with decorative gold detailing going around the back and arms, and picked it up. She carried it over to the center of the room, dropping it close to where the camera had stood on the bare cement floor.
“Elly, may I show you something?” she asked calmly.
Still lost in her anger, Elly nodded without much thought.
“Please, sit,” she requested, gesturing to the small chair.
Elly walked over and sat down on the springy chair and kept her face forward. Vivian was speaking calmly, but she could feel the tension brewing in the silence between her words. She took a step around and turned to face Elly, keeping a prudent distance.
“I would like to demonstrate something that I believe would help shed light on your situation.”
Elly felt a little uneasy with her last statement. How would she help her, in here?
Vivian took a step closer and knelt down, making herself eye level with Elly.
“If you could trust me again, I will ask you to do something that will not be easy. Progress is not without pain.”
Oh, there was the word she was dreading. Vivian was gazing at her intensely, the brown eyes filled with a mixture of concern, affection, and its own hurt that was just below the surface.
Elly softened, seeing her soften. “I trust you, but should I ask what or just close my eyes? “
Vivian smiled. “You always make me laugh. Take off your shirt.” She held her hand out expectantly.
Elly held her gaze a beat, trying to figure out the point of her undressing, other than the obvious. Vivian’s serene face revealed nothing. Elly took off her jacket, which was fine as the warm room was already making her sweat. She then pulled off the old knit shirt she’d paired with her unsexy ensemble and handed them to Vivian.
Vivian then walked away to retrieve a little velvet step stool from behind the white background and carried it back over to where Elly sat, then placed it on the floor in front of her. So far nothing too horrible looking Elly thought.
“Please kneel on the cushion, but facing the chair so that you will place your arms on the seat. Like this.” Vivian genuflected with her elbows up like she was praying at a confessional.
Elly got up and kneeled in the same position, facing the back of the chair. The stool and chair were both made of a cushy material that was at least soft to the touch. Not so bad.
Vivian walked away and Elly heard her opening a cabinet or case of some sort. Her heart rate started to tick up as she remembered how the cat o’nine tails had been hidden in her dresser drawer. Against her better judgment Elly turned to peek over her shoulder and saw Vivian carrying another black leather item- a coiled up whip. This one longer than the one she’d used in their bedroom tryst, the traditional style that Indiana Jones might have wielded at evil Nazis. Oh fuck.
Elly’s heart pounded as she heard Vivian’s clicking heels pause behind her.
“First, I want you to know that this is not punishment. This is for you. I do this because I want you to feel something. Something that will frighten you. And will set you free.”
As balıkesir escort bayan she spoke, Vivian had unclasped Elly’s bra.
“Next, please know that I will stop if you cannot bear it. You may simply say STOP and I will. If you say anything else, such as no or please don’t, I will continue. Understand?”
“Got it,” Elly squeaked.
Vivian kneeled down beside the stool, and gently pushed apart the bra, sweeping it off Elly’s back so that her straps hung loosely from her shoulders.
“Trust, my darling,” she whispered into Elly’s ear and kissed her softly on the cheek.
With that Vivian took a step back and Elly heard the crack of the whip. She closed her eyes and cringed. The whip hit her back with a searing bite. The whip’s longer tapered tip dug into her skin and it felt as if it may have already drawn blood. Just as she was recovering Vivian hit her again. The pain was unbelievable. She cried out reflexively from it. Then a third blow came. This time the wind was knocked out of her so that she couldn’t even scream.
“STOP, stop!” Elly gasped.
“I have stopped,” she heard Vivian say robotically.
Elly tried to catch her breath and looked over her shoulder. Knowing she couldn’t really see her back, she still wanted to know if she was a bloody mess back there.
“Am I bleeding?” she asked.
“Does it matter?” Vivian replied flatly.
“Because if I’m bleeding I don’t want you to fucking hit me anymore,” Elly replied angrily.
“Do you think I would have stopped if you were bleeding?”
What the fuck Elly thought, but before she launched into a more vitriolic response she remembered what kind of person would be into flaying you with a whip.
“No, you wouldn’t,” Elly replied curtly.
“Correct, only if you said stop. Shall we continue?”
“You are not bleeding,” Vivian stated coldly.
“I don’t care,” Elly said, shaking her head.
“Then why can you not continue?”
“Because it fucking hurts!” Elly yelled.
“Many things in life hurt, yet we choose to continue to do them,” Vivian countered.
Oh great, now she’s going to fuck with me psychologically Elly thought.
“Well I choose to not continue to let you whip me,” Elly said with gritted teeth.
“Yet, you knew from the moment I asked you to undress that this would ultimately be the outcome. You saw what I liked and what we did together before. You knew the odds said that I was going to hit you or hurt you in some fashion. Yet you chose to let me do it to you.”
“No, that was not the first thing that sprang to my mind. Considering the last time I let you undress me we fucked for about two hours before you made me whip you, so you can see how I might have interpreted the situation differently.”
“So the whipping would have been ok if I had fucked you first?”
At that Elly’s skin went cold. She saw where Vivian was going with this.
“No, but I suppose we let people hurt us all the time in lieu of a good fuck.”
Vivian chuckled quietly. “I did not want to fuck you in order to hurt you.”
“And yet here we are,” Elly muttered, feeling a sharp sting across her back as she adjusted her position.
“Why did you agree to do this then?” Vivian asked calmly.
“Why did you want to do this to me?” Elly countered in rapid fire.
Vivian paused then spoke with emphasis, “I want to help you Elly.”
Elly had no comeback to the confusion she felt. She felt Vivian’s sincerity, but was lost to her S&M philosophy that was at best a very unconventional way to help someone.
“I was not trying to hurt you,” Vivian said quietly. “Yet I caused you pain. This is not what you wanted, no?”
“I’ve been hit before, I don’t need a beating to remind me how to ignore pain.”
“I do not want you to ignore the pain. I want you to face it.”
“Okay, so you’ve made your point. I will quit being afraid of pain,” Elly said sarcastically.
“You are angry at me?” she stated placidly.
“YES!” Elly shouted.
With that Vivian knelt beside Elly and looked at her. Elly turned to face her, feeling cornered and frustrated despite the sympathy in Vivian’s eyes. She understood the point she was trying to make, but Elly despised being preached to.
She narrowed her eyes at Vivian, speaking lowly. “You think you’re the first person to beat me when they fucked me? You just had the courtesy to ask first.”
Vivian studied her face, her eyes glistening. “I am sorry you have endured such cruelty.”
Elly was touched, but felt so overwhelmed and confused. Her body started to shake as tears flowed down her face.
“Oh my darling,” Vivian whispered and put her arms around Elly, holding her as she cried, saying nothing as she gently stroked her arms. When the tears subsided somewhat, she spoke quietly, cradling Elly.
“The objective is not to ignore pain, but embrace it. To not let pain or the fear of pain control us. If we avoid pain we avoid life. Often we do things that will ultimately escort balıkesir hurt us more in the future if we continue to try to ignore pain in the present.”
Elly shook her head wearily, pulling away. “I’ve had more pain than I care to embrace.”
“But you cannot keep letting the pain dictate how you live. You are afraid to hurt others. Then you resent them for their insensitivity,” Vivian stated, looking at Elly meaningfully when she separated and got up from the stool.
Deep down, Elly knew she was right. She didn’t want to hurt Tony by leaving him, but she was allowing herself to be hurt over and over again. She was being a victim of her own design, and it made her very angry.
Vivian was still gazing at her with concern, wiping away her own hidden tears as she stood up. “May I show you something else?” she asked cautiously, then added. “Something you will do to me.”
Elly frowned, pulling her bra down and around her waist so she could reconnect it. “I don’t want to whip you.”
“But, I want you to.”
Vivian stared at her pointedly as Elly pulled her bra back up and over her breasts, flinching as the material brushed against the point of contact from the whip.
“Why?” she asked tiredly.
“I want you to see it.”
Elly sighed, too tired to really follow her logic, and wishing they could have just done something else with their clothes off.
“Ok,” she sighed. “I’ll probably fling it into my own face.”
Vivian smiled at her, handing off the leather whip. “As long as you eventually hit me.”
Her demeanor became serious as she walked over to the chair, turning away from Elly. Rearranging her hair back up into a ponytail, Vivian started to undress silently. She swiftly unbuttoned her crisp white shirt, tossing it onto the back of the chair, then unzipped the tight black pants and stepped out of them with a flourish, followed by the removal of her sheer lace bra. All that remained was her matching French-cut panties and the black heels that she’d put back on after stepping out of her pants. Vivian stepped in front of the stool and kneeled on it, her voluptuous ass sticking out ready to receive its punishment.
Elly stared at Vivian’s exquisite form, and tried not to be distracted as she tossed the whip between her hands. It was definitely heavier than the other one, making her feel like an inquisitioner.
“I am ready,” Vivian stated solemnly, taking in a deep breath. Elly took a step back, already cringing at the prospect of hurting her.
Elly swung at Vivian’s body and hit Vivian’s lower back with a light thud. Vivian did not flinch or move an inch. Elly swung again, this time with more speed and hit Vivian with a satisfying whack. She could see her skin turn pink, but Vivian remained still. Elly swung harder and this time Vivian fell forward a bit, but she quickly regained her composure, holding her head up high as she set her elbows down to resume her perfect stance. When Elly paused, Vivian turned to glance back over her shoulder with a steely gaze, then turned forward again.
This was different from their first round in Vivian’s bedroom. She was almost daring Elly to hit her harder. It wasn’t as satisfying somehow, almost…annoying. She’d been hit three times and it hurt like hell. She wanted to see Vivian beg for mercy.
Elly wound up and flung her arm back like a major league pitcher before she volleyed forward. It hit Vivian with more force and made the end fling back violently. Vivian remained unmoved, her beautiful body poised gracefully on the chair, taunting Elly with her zen-like resilience. Elly repeated her baseball technique and hit Vivian in quick succession, seeing Vivian’s head snap down. She leaned into the chair, pressing her breasts against it, breathing hard. Elly felt a surge of electricity and heat through her body. She was satisfied with Vivian’s response. But her body wanted to be satisfied as well.
Elly dropped the whip on the floor and came up behind Vivian. She saw beads of sweat running down her reddened back and realized how much she had been fighting her reactions. Vivian turned to Elly, looking weary but confident.
“How was it?”
“Different,” Elly said with surprise.
Vivian gave her a knowing look. “You were angry. You wanted pain.”
“Yeah,” she admitted.
“And I didn’t allow it.”
Elly tried not to respond to the closeness of their bodies, the scent of Vivian lingering in the air, a momentary look between them that knew how much pleasure could be had instead of pain. Vivian stared into her eyes with potent emotion before she turned away and grabbed her clothes off the back of the chair. Elly was silent as Vivian stood up to shimmy back into her pants, then flung on her shirt to cover herself.
“I did not let the pain control me. Do you understand?”
Elly sighed with exasperation. “I know you have more self-control than me. I know that I should not let others control how I feel. But what’s really hurting me is… another thing altogether.”
Vivian took a step closer to Elly as she handed back her knit shirt.
“Do not be cruel to yourself Elly. If I let you hit me, if I consent to the pain without hesitation, that is my pain to bear. To invite pain that one can reject, that one can choose, that one derives no pleasure from is to choose suffering,” she said while bringing a hand up to Elly’s face, cradling it tenderly.