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Love, cherish, obey

After a year of married loneliness, a wife finally sees her husband's true face.

 


Ada Verraine wrung her hands and fiddled with her hair, then scolded herself silently for being so unstrung. Her husband’s door, large carved cedar decorated with floral and oceanic patterns, was closed as always, yet today it seemed more forbidding than ever before. For all its solidity, she could almost see through the wood and spy James sitting behind his desk, absorbed in his work.

Ignoring her, as he had done for a whole year – ever since their wedding.

Charles Verraine was a handsome man, only seven years older than her, a rich businessman dealing in cloth and spices with the West Indies. His first betrothed died of a fever before their wedding day, a tragedy that was certainly responsible for his twenty years of abstinence, an exaggerated focus on his work, and the harsh sadness Ada had seen in his eyes from time to time. Even the marital bond between himself, 38-year-old merchant Charles Verraine, and her, the 31-year-old daughter of a jeweler Ada Rouvroy, that had its first anniversary today was deeply rooted in Sophie’s unfortunate fate.

Ada was sick to death of it. The lifelessness and indifference of it were driving her insane in increments. The day she had vowed to love, cherish and obey, she had not expected blushing love and romance. She was not a dreamer, had seen too much and lived through too much and was entirely too old for that sort of naiveté. But she had expected some kind of closeness. Contact, if not intimacy. She had assumed Charles had married her to produce an heir, yet he had maintained his own bedroom at the northwest end of the mansion while accommodating her in the southeast quarters. As far away from him as possible.

365 lonely days – and nights – were more than plenty. With the sum total of every single lonely moment in mind, she raised a fist and tapped her knuckles against the door.

Charles’ voice rang out, so Ada entered his office and closed the door behind herself again. It was a spacious, light-flooded room with two large windows, walls full of books, and the bulky work desk that almost vanished underneath all the paper, books and ledgers piled atop it in neat stacks.

“Good afternoon, Charles,” Ada addressed her husband when he did not look up. “How do you do?”

“I am busy, Ada,” he said, not unkindly but sternly. “The reason for your visit?”

Ada drew a deep breath. “Divorce,” she said and straightened her spine against the dark gaze that immediately landed on her.

Charles considered her for a long moment, then put down his fountain pen and slid the ledger he had been working on to the side. The weight of his full attention was tangible on her shoulders. “For what reason?” he asked evenly.

“Disinterest. Negligence. Parasitism on my part,” she replied truthfully. “I have lived on your expenses for a whole year now, and you have not demanded of me anything in return. It makes me feel useless and barely tolerated.” I might as well have stayed at my father’s house, she didn’t add. “I cannot abide this status quo.”

“And the charges of disinterest and negligence you lay at my feet, I presume?” Charles demanded to know. “You feel I am not invested in you?”

She suppressed a disbelieving snort, barely. “Indeed, I do. It could hardly be more obvious. We live in the same house yet hardly even meet once a week. You are busy,” Ada grimaced at the odious word, “day and night. We never talk, never… spend time together. We are strangers, Charles. I do not want to live this life any longer. It is empty for all its comfort.” Void of heart. Of life, heat or passion. It was a life not worth getting up for in the morning.

He seemed to absorb her reply for a minute, then nodded acquiescence but did not comment. “Please, sit.” He gestured for her to take the seat opposite him, in an elegantly carved upholstered chair with a low backrest made of gleaming wood. “This conversation may become a little long, and intense. Sit!”

She did, wondering what a ‘long and intense’ conversation might entail. Did he assume their divorce negotiations might be intense? “Charles, let me be clear. There is no need for this matter to turn to hot-headedness and scandal. I do not want a single liard from you. I am glad to return to my parents’ estate with nothing more than that with which I arrived here-“

“You will not leave,” Charles interrupted. “We will not dissolve this marriage. I refuse.”

The way he said it, so full of certainty and calm, caused a burst of anger in Ada’s breast. “Yes, I will, and Yes, we will,” she said, biting off the words. “Unless we can change our ways with one another – and pardon my observation, but you do not seem particularly interested or inclined to do so – I will absolutely depart from here. I have checked our marital contracts. They say that from this day forward – the anniversary of our wedding – an amiable dissolution may take place with no loss of reputation.”

“I am aware of that clause, “ Charles nodded. “That does not change the fact that we will not make use of it at this point.”

“At which point, then, Charles?” Ada heard her voice rise. Short temper in the face of adversary had always been one of her problems. Just one of the flaws her parents had always bemoaned. “How much longer do you wish for me to wait and slowly wither until you think we should part ways?”

Charles opened a hand. It was a point in his favor that he did not adopt a condescending voice at her display of annoyance. “To be clear, Ada. I am not holding you captive here. You can leave whenever you like if you so wish. As it is stated in our contracts – no loss of reputation or income. You can even retain my last name if it suits you.”

Ada was speechless with the swirl of emotions. Anger, heartache, disappointment, even hatred mixed together in her soul. Being dropped hit her harder than she had imagined it would, seeing that this had been her desire. Maybe she was still naïve, maybe she had hoped he would not let her go without at least a little fight.

“But,” Charles continued, clearly aware yet not the least cowed by his wife’s inner turmoil, “you will not leave, because your reasons to do so are not valid. I have, at no point, been anything but… deeply invested in you, my dear wife.”

“What-? Charles, I-“ Ada frowned, confused. Her Charles was many things, but a liar he was not.

“I confess I have avoided you for your own safety,” Charles said, getting up from his chair and buttoning his jacket as he came around the desk and towards her. “I needed you to be free to run if you chose to do so. Now, as per our contracts, you can leave without repercussions. But you will not.”

For my own safety?  “Charles, you are speaking in riddles,” Ada protested and got up herself.

“Sit. Down!”

Her husband’s order, the loud vibration of his deep voice, slid down her spine like an ice cold electric shock and made her knees buckle. Slowly, she sank back down onto her chair. “Charles…”

Charles now stood behind her, his hands on the backrest of the chair, and leaned down just a little.

“I have watched you from afar every day since our wedding,” he told her. “Occasionally, I even watched you in the weeks before that. You were on my mind every minute of every hour, awake and asleep. I have had every inclination and every interest to ‘change my ways’ with you for so long, Ada.”

Sweat prickled out of her every pore at that declaration.

“I wanted to own you, Ada. From the second I first laid eyes on you in Calais, I wanted to have you for my own. The fervor of this desire scared even myself for a while.”

Ada licked her lips. Yes, she had hoped for passion, secretly, but she had not expected it, let alone to this overwhelming degree. She had not seen even a spark of it in Charles – he certainly held one for his business, but not for her – yet here he was. Burning.

His breath and his voice both stroked her, each in different ways. “But simply sticking you in a cage and using you up was not what I wanted. I wanted you to come to me, or stay with me, willingly. To allow me to have you on my terms.”

“Using… Using me up?” Ada hushed and swallowed. His words and his nearness made her mouth water. Her heart seemed to pulse both in her chest and at the apex of her thighs which she pressed together surreptitiously.

“I am a demanding man, Ada. Very demanding,” he replied and transferred his right hand from the backrest of the chair to her right shoulder. The warmth of his skin seeped through the muslin of her neckerchief. “To start with, we will make an additional contract to ensure that we are clear about the nature of this exchange.”

“Contract,” Ada repeated dumbly, giving in to the irresistible urge to lay her own hand on top of his. At the touch, his grip on her shoulder tightened to the point of pain. She only leaned into it and stroked his skin with the pads of her fingers, feeling the bones and muscles of his strong hand, the fine hairs on his skin there.

“You will sign yourself over to me. I want you to know what I demand of you, and what you are giving up to me.”

“I do not follow.” Her voice was thick. Single spots of fear appeared on the lust glowing within her, like blades of grass sticking out through a blanket of snow.

“Firstly, my dear wife, we need to adjust the imbalance you have caused in our marriage.”

Ada blinked out of a haze and half-turned and craned her neck to look her husband in the eye. “Charles, I have not spent any of your money or squandered any.“

“I am not talking about money, love,” he soothed, easily turning her back around with the press of his palm and fingers. He leaned down again to speak into her ear. “I am talking about the orgasms you have stolen from me.”

“I-“ She did not know what to say to that.

“How many orgasms have you given to yourself without your husband’s consent, Ada? Since we have been married, how many times have you touched what was mine and taken for yourself what was only mine to give?” When she did not answer, he laid his other hand on her other shoulder, not-so-gently pressing down on her. “A rough estimate? You know I am a businessman, Ada. Numbers are important.”

“I have… I mean-“ She licked her lips. “Maybe… Maybe one or two each week? But I was not aware…”

Charles tisked and began massaging the muscles of her shoulders, digging into the column of her neck with his thumbs. “Come, now, Ada. You are a grown woman, with mature needs. I know for a fact that you, despite all your demure, civilized manners and the modest clothes you profess you prefer, are a creature of fierce passion and carnality.”

Ada pressed her lips together and held the noises of dismay inside. The demure manners and the ability to wear those modest clothes with conviction had been hard-won. She had spent years – decades – of her life creating a persona that was compatible with society and acceptable to her parents, in particular, a sufficient peace offering to them for her indiscretions at a young age. It had taken an eternity to own and comfortably live within this persona. It had taken much energy to maintain it.

And just like that, her husband had seen through it, had apparently spied her buried underneath there.

Was it just her wishful thinking, or did he like what he was seeing?

“Well.” Ada tried to think about the issue mathematically, pragmatically, ignore the throbbing between her thighs as well as the mounting need to pull his hand down and put it right there, onto the pain point. “Well. A month is made of four weeks. During one of these it… is… not practical.”

“You feel no desire during your menorrhea?”

Charles’ blatant question caught her off guard. “Well, I mean, yes. But touches of any kind are not… pleasant during those days. Not to mention the hygienic aspect of it.”

“Not pleasant?” His massage had softened a little.

“I am too sensitive, and moreover, I—“ She hesitated, then decided to be honest no matter how shameful the subject. “I dislike my own smell. The odor changes and becomes stronger. It is not… not pleasant.”

“Hypersensitive and odiferous,” Charles mused as if to himself. “I am looking forward to that.”

Ada frowned and let go of him, folded her hands in her lap. “Well, that makes three weeks. Within these three weeks, I… maybe I…”

“Every night,” Charles whispered. His breath tickled the shell of her ear. “Sometimes twice. Sometimes in the morning, too, and during your bath. Am I wrong?”

How did he know that? Her pulse spiked in her veins. She felt the flush of embarrassment creep up the back of her neck and a bead of sweat formed between her corseted breasts. “I- Charles, really-“

“You are a lecherous woman,” her husband mumbled and slid the tip of his right index finger up the side of her neck, up to the soft lobe of her ear, following the goosebumps. “Wanton. Dissolute. Undisciplined, most of all. One of these will change from now on.”

“How?” Ada barely dared ask.

“Two orgasms each day, three weeks every month, makes forty-two, times twelve makes five hundred and four. This past year, you have stolen five hundred orgasms from me. Five hundred cries of ecstasy. Five hundred moments in which I would have gazed upon my wife’s face and seen the blush and the tears of climax on her cheeks.”

Ada locked her jaw to hold back choleric words. It was not like you volunteered to join me. You ignored me. You actively shunned me, leaving me alone in your comfortable, boring mansion with nothing to do except-

“How many strikes do you think you deserve for each theft?”

“Strikes?” Ada sat up straighter. “You mean-“

“I will discipline you, Ada, and I will get my satisfaction.” He said it with such conviction it was like a biblical commandment. “I will put my hand to your back, buttocks, thighs, your weeping cunt and whichever other body parts I wish, and I will hurt you until you cry and pay me for my loss with your tears.”

She had never heard words that obscene. The odd playfully erotic descriptions in the odd romance novel she had read did not hold a candle to the overwhelming, soul-shaking declaration her husband had just casually made. A declaration of war against her.

Still, her core clenched at the thought. I will hurt you until you cry. Why did this not send her bolting out of her chair? Why did it also feel like the sweetest declaration of love when he said it? Was there something more lurking inside her than just the ‘fierce passion’ he had attested she held, something much darker?

“How many strikes?” he probed, grabbing her by the throat and touching his lips to her temple ever so gently. “I demand fifteen at least.”

“Fifteen strikes for each orgasm?” Her head reeled and her bladder clenched in fear. “That is... seven thousand five hundred strikes-!”

“I would take twenty in the morning, and twenty in the evening. Your punishment would last one hundred and eighty-eight days.”  He stroked her chin with his fingertips. “Unless that is, you add to that number by having more orgasms without my consent.”

How strange. A moment ago, being hit over seven thousand times by her husband had sounded impossible and forbidding. Now, the prospect of not having another orgasm for five months was the much more drastic punishment. The prospect of not having another orgasm within the next ten minutes seemed unthinkable. “Fifteen is too much,” she stammered, desperate to shorten the period of abstinence. “One strike for each, at most.“

Charles chuckled and nuzzled her ear which had grown red and hot with shame and lust. “That is not nearly enough, Ada.”

“Five.” She was aware that it was a bad strategy to cave so easily and make a counter-offer hastily, but she was sweating through her garments and had the urge to use a chamber pot. “Five, then.”

“Ten.” Charles stood straight again, letting both his palms rest on her upper arms, making her feel small. “Ten, and not a stroke less for your mindless indulgence.”

“Fine,” she conceded through clenched teeth. “Ten each. Five thousand strikes. Forty each day. That is… one hundred and twenty… twenty-five days.” She gulped. Still a long time.

“Each unsanctioned orgasm you experience from now on, either during the spanking or in unsupervised moments, will result in thirty additional strikes,” Charles added.

“During…?” Ada bit her lip and shook her head, disbelieving.

Her husband chuckled again. “You will get used to the pain,” he promised with certainty, arousal thick in his voice. “Then, you will start to enjoy it. Eventually, you will crave it and beg me for it, for more of it, harder and faster. Before long, the tears you shed will be tears of pain and of frustration because you will fight against the unbearable need to give yourself over to the climax. But do not worry,” he said, leaning down and laying a single kiss on the back of her neck where a few curls of her hair stuck to her sweat-dampened skin, “I will always come up with new ways to inflict pain on your body.”

She shuddered, half afraid; half delighted, wondering if she had lost her mind to seriously entertain the thought of staying with this sadistic tyrant who had cruelly eschewed her for a whole year. Of bowing to him and his obscene demands. Pressing her thighs together and feeling the wetness that had spread on her skin, into the cleft of her behind and into the chemise below, she had to admit defeat, however. She had never been one to lie to herself. Her blood was humming in her veins.

Passion. Her husband was giving her his passion, pure and vile as it was, and she would love him, cherish him, and obey him as she had vowed she would.

*

“I will know. Do not test me, Ada. You will regret it.”

His voice echoed through her lonely bedroom, from one wall to the next. She buried her head in the pillow and blankets but could not keep the warning out.

A low fire seemed to be licking at her insides. Her flesh was hot and throbbed with it.

She sneaked a hand down her body, on top of her nightgown, and pressed the heel of her thumb against her pulsing mound for just a little relief – in vain. She pushed a little harder… harder still… rhythmically, until her pelvis rocked forward as if on its own accord. Her body was coiled impossibly tight, her core painfully hollow as if in the middle of a yawn that had to come out, her head was full of imaginations, the pressure of her husband’s hands, his words, the promises of pain and denial-

Ada held her breath as the climax washed over her, causing her eyes to roll back and her whole body to bow and twitch.

Once it was done, trepidation took over, wiping away what little satisfaction there had been.

I will know. Do not test me. You will regret it.

It was a long, tense night, and the sun was almost rising again when Ada finally slipped into a shallow sleep.

*

“Ada, my love.”

She turned her face into the pillow and buried deeper.

“Ada. Wake up.”

His voice and the touch of his hand on her neck registered at the same time. Ada opened her eyes and immediately knew that he knew what she had done. She did not know how, but he did.

“Come on, get up. It is time.”

She lifted her head and spied her two housemaids, Marie and Madeleine, by the door, standing by with the usual utensils that were needed in the morning.

“Twenty, Ada,” Charles said and stood up from where he had been perched on the edge of her mattress. “You may hold on to the chair for support.”

A cold breath of anxiety slid down Ada’s spine. Yesterday, the denial of any and all orgasms for a good portion of a year had been so drastic a prospect it had entirely eclipsed the punishment he intended to hand out – literally. But now, it was imminent.

Ada felt her core clench and unclench as she sat up, feeling naked in her long nightgown. “I need to-“

“No. You will take your twenty now. Right now.” Charles, fully clothed in his usual unadorned dark vest, breeches and stockings, loomed large and dark in Ada’s night chamber.

His demeanor, his posture, and gestures seemed so cold and practical, but Ada saw a glint in his eyes that betrayed his excitement. Only for that glint did she get up and stand by the chair. To Marie and Madeleine, she said, “I will not need your assistance presently. You may leave us.”

“No,” Charles spoke up yet again. “They will stay here and watch.”

All at once, the room felt like a cave made of ice. “But-”

Before she could utter another word, Charles surged toward her and grabbed her middle with one hand through her nightgown, pressing his palm into her pubic mound, his fingers against her folds. She shied back but was held by his other hand that drove into her hair at the back of her head and balled into a fist there until it hurt a little. “My wife,” he said, voice low and as dark as his eyes, “I told you, you would regret it.” He rubbed his fingers against her and made her shudder. It had been far too long since she had been touched by anyone but herself. “The humiliation will remind you not to steal from me again. Be grateful I am foregoing the thirty strokes I announced I would take from you as a penalty before, but be sure that this will be the one and only time. Now pull your nightgown up to your waist.”

Ada glanced over at her housemaids. Marie was wide-eyed and pale as usual, her glassy eyes fixed onto the floor as if a hole into which she could crawl might open just by looking and wishing hard enough. Madeleine, on the other hand, was intently studying the towels she had brought, but Ada could see a twitch in the corners of her mouth and a rosy hue on her round cheeks. She was enjoying the tension in the room, and the display of dominance and violence. Ada gritted her teeth against a sudden flash of… jealousy. Jealousy that pierced the thick, cloying embarrassment. Madeleine and Marie were both genial girls, hardworking and generally good-natured, but Ada did not want to grant them the participation, however passive, in this moment of intimacy between herself and her husband.

“Pull. Your nightgown. Up. Ada.” Charles squeezed her most tender place again, no doubt feeling the remnants of her illicit climax seeping through the material. She sucked in a fortifying breath, then began gathering up the white gown like sailors might gather up the canvas of a sail. Exposing first her white calves and bony knees, then her soft, rounded thighs, the swell of her hips and the hairy triangle at her groin which he had unhanded, and lastly a sliver of the slightly rounded pouch of her belly. Standing like this, with her upper half still covered, was worse than being entirely naked for some reason.

“Lean forward. Put your hands on the seat of the chair.”

She hesitated but knew that she could not dare to force him to reiterate his order again, so she complied. The chair was low so that her upper body sloped downwards, causing the gown to stay bunched up where it was. Her blank backside and legs pointed up in the air.

Before she could even brace herself, her husband stood right behind her, so close that his breeches rubbed against the soft skin of her buttocks, and kicked her legs farther apart. One hand slid along her spine, causing goose bumps to rise and a shiver to slither up from her backside to her neck. She lowered her head to hide her face between her upper arms, and to be able to keep track of Charles by looking through her own legs at his.

“You will count, Ada.”

That was the last thing he said before he stepped back and delivered a smacking slap on her right buttock. Ada rocked forward on her toes with the force of it. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the two girls jump and lift their hands to their mouths to stifle any sound.

The sting only came a second later, like a flame licking at her skin.

“One,” Ada gasped, more in surprise than pain.

The next three smacks were delivered in quick succession to her left and right buttock alternately, with barely enough time between them for her to hush out their number. The fifth slap was harder than the ones before, the sixth hit the crease of her buttock and thigh and stung badly, as did seven and eight. By the ninth and tenth hit, there were tears in her eyes and clogging her throat so that she could barely squeak, and she hid her face against the seat of the chair.

Charles took a break, then. The soft touch of his palm against her stinging backside was like a lick with stinging nettles. Ada felt her knees quiver and knock against one another. Sweat had broken out in her armpits and on her chest and face.

“Beautiful,” she heard Charles say. “Such a pretty color.” He stroked her backside with both palms, pushing against the fleshy parts to lift them, went to his knees and stuck his face into the triangular space that opened up. Ada sobbed, then, out of lingering pain, and surprise, and humiliation, and arousal. She could feel him inhale deeply against the moist skin of her cunt. “Lovely. So very lovely,” he said, as if to himself, and stroked the knuckle of his index finger against the puffy lips, causing her whole body to shiver. “My wife is my own personal strumpet. Look at that dripping, ruched little cunt and that grasping, puckered rosetta.”

Ada was almost glad when he stopped talking and resumed the spanking, only to hear him elaborate more, with such ardor in his voice it made her nether muscles clench in spite of his words.

“That strumpet is mine. That cunt is mine. That arsehole is mine.”

With each sentence, his hand fell onto her flesh. As if in affirmation, Ada replied “eleven!” and “twelve!” and “thirteen!”.

“I get to frustrate all three of them, such is my prerogative.”

“Fourteen!”

“The strumpet will be handled like the willful mule she is.”

“Fifteen!”

“She will suffer each day for her transgressions.”

“Sixteen!”

“The cunt will be denied and aching if I so desire.”

“Seventeen!”

“It will weep more than even the strumpet.”

“Eighteen!”

“And the rosetta will take my hard cock and suck it like a little mouth.”

“Nineteen!”

“And the real mouth will say nothing except that which I want it to say.”

Ada cried out a “twenty!” and immediately collapsed, half onto the floor, half onto the chair. Her nightgown unraveled from her waist and swished over her sore backside, causing her to cry out again. Her entire body was shaking like a leaf. Blood pounded in her ears. In her chest, her heart was jumping around madly like a bird in a too-small cage trying to escape. She was dripping sweat that mingled with tears on her face and breathing hard.

She had not felt alive like this in her entire life.

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