I’m solo at a wedding. Not just because I don’t have anyone I cared to bring, but being a bridesmaid means I’m too busy to be a good shepherd.

The upside is I have all evening to let my imagination wander. 

I am reputed to be cool, unapproachable. Aloof. Gods, if only the people around me could see how shamelessly I use them in my daydreams. The filth.

I trail through the ballroom, my wine glass held against my lips, a talisman to shield my thoughts from the public. I stop to join conversations, but they are mundane enough to allow room for scenarios to unspool in my mind. Five-second clips of glorious obscenity. This man’s hand splayed over my breast, pressing divots in my flesh. That man bending me over the back of a chair, his fingers discovering that I’ve been fantasizing about him.

The opportunities are endless and distracting. Men in well-fitted suits, men in tuxedos. Hiding so much, and yet so very available for my private story-spinning.

I move on from one group and, in the space of a turn and a step, I feel as though I’ve touched one of those plasma balls, created a lightning bolt inside the orb. Awareness whispers down my spine, making the fine hairs on my nape rise. Someone is not just watching, but studying me. I don’t turn my head to look for the source. Instead, my eyes sweep the room in a slow, wide arc. 

When I land on him, there is nothing benign about the pulse of energy he emits. It is electro-magnetic, and I feel it in every cell in my body.

If I am aloof, he is forbidding. His stare is dark and direct, leaving no question that he sees past my talisman to the desires I harbor in the back alleyways of my deepest self. He does not smile, does not flirt. Does not even give me the smallest opening to make my way toward him. 

I don’t know how he sees past my defenses, but I am certain this is a man who could bring every scenario I have ever imagined to life. And I want him to. As I’ve never wanted anything before. 

But I am forbidden from making an approach. The way he stares at me, his chin down, his gaze blunt, makes it clear. His eyes do not leave me as he waits for my submission. 

I know he expects it, but I cannot make my eyes drop away. My heart thunders in the hollow of my throat. My challenge of him isn’t intentional. It’s a matter of physical inability. I can’t look away while the scene unwinds in my head.

He wears only his tailored slacks. His upper body is bare, his muscles shaped and delineated by strain, his skin dusky red with exertion and gleaming with sweat. Droplets gather and trail through the hollows of his abdomen. 

His hair is no longer under control. He steps back, combs his fingers through the mass of it, dragging back the wide curls that have fallen along his cheekbones. His eyes, though…they are the same. Dark. Penetrating. 

And now appreciative. 

I am bound. A piece of art made from red rope and human flesh. 

He is happy with his work. Happy with me.

The dinner chime interrupts my reverie, and when I blink myself back to the present, he has vanished in the sea of attendees moving into the ballroom to dine. I don’t see him at all during the meal, but my thoughts are filled with him while I elaborate on my fantasy, piece by piece.

I’m too warm. It’s impossible to cool off in the ballroom, and even the grand old hotel’s lobby is overheated. I step outside and he is there. Perhaps waiting for a car, perhaps having a smoke. I neither know, nor care. I am more concerned that there is only one direction I can walk to get a sip of the cool night air, and it’s past him. I hesitate, knowing he has drawn a boundary, but I need the air and so I move.

His footsteps follow me as I step past the pool of light from the hotel’s entry. In the covering dark, he takes my hands and turns me to face the wall. He raises my arms overhead, flush against the cold brick of the building. His hands spread atop mine, his forearms parallel mine, his body presses mine. He is an inferno. An access road funnels a draft onto the street. It drifts across my skin, a cool relief. It is the only thing that keeps me from turning to ash. I feel the fire of his breath, moving with his lips near my ear. He is speaking, but there is no sound. I don’t need it. I know what he is saying. 

I nod and agree to anything. Everything.

I stand to one side with the other bridesmaids while the toasts are offered and our glasses are raised in cheer. After this they will cut the cake, and after the first dance, my absence, if I choose to leave, will no longer be notable. 

The man I cannot stop fantasizing about flashes into view across the room, a tumbler of brown liquid in his hand. He raises the glass when the best man concludes his toast, but he is not looking at the bride and groom. His eyes are on me. I drink my champagne and lick the effervescence from my lip. He is too far away, and the light in the room is too low for me to see anything more than that he is staring in my direction. But in my imagination, his gaze falls to my mouth and then rises again. Slow, heavy, as if I have intoxicated him.

We are in a hotel suite, my face to the wall again, but this time my wrists are bound with one end of a necktie. The other end is knotted to the arm of a sconce light. I could pull the sconce from the wall, but I won’t. I am a willing captive. With my cheek pressed against coarse fabric papering the wall, I watch us in the mirror. His lips are moving as they skim along the side of my face, whispering directions. Spread your legs. Arch your back. 

Don’t move. Not a sound.

He crouches, rings each of my ankles with his finger and thumb, pauses. There is something almost spiritual about his body language. Something solemn. And then his hands are moving, skimming upward along my silk stockings, taking the skirt of my gown with them. I am holding my breath, frozen in anticipation of the moment he reaches the apex, but he is slow. Tortuous. His tongue swirls over the sweat-salted spaces behind my knees. His fingers follow my outer thighs in a straight line. His thumbs press and circle on their inner surfaces. The erogenous places.

His breath comes in a predictable cadence until it halts unexpectedly. He takes my skirt in one hand. The other runs lightly over the tattoo of lotus flowers that winds out of the lace band of my stocking and up my thigh and hip. And then his hands are both moving again and the air he exhales is a balmy warmth in the ever-narrowing gap between my legs.

I don’t move. Can’t move. Everything he is doing—the edge of his thumbnails drawing over the naked curves of my labia, the brush of his lips on my ass, the hum of his thoughts: wet, needy, be good—winds me like a lute string. I am too tight, under too much pressure. His fingers slide through me, seeking out my taut clitoris. When he strums, I vibrate. When he pushes his tongue through my dark spaces, I sing.

The assembled friends and family break into applause and loud laughter, but I am slow to join in, momentarily confused by the abrupt recall to the present. I glance toward the bride and groom, both of whom have frosted noses and wide smiles. I smile, now, too, but the innocence of the moment is a terrible contrast to the tenor of my fantasies, and the aching pulse between my legs threatens to unmoor me. I crave relief, and I can do nothing except flex my thigh muscles and ride out the frissons of desire that flow down my legs like icy water. 

My breathing is erratic and another of the bridesmaids asks if I’m well, offers me cake, a chair, a glass of something. But I decline it all, claiming it’s just the warmth of the room. In truth I am too rattled to hold a plate or a goblet, too jittery to sit, and too in need of a fuck to turn my mind back to the innocent enjoyment of the wedding. The room is full of potential and I glance around, looking for a willing someone. Anyone. A way out. 

The first notes of a song rise into the ballroom, reminding me I am obligated to stay for the first dance. Partners congregate on the fringes of the floor while the bride dances, first with her father, and then her new husband. I am joined by the groomsman I was paired with on the walk down the aisle. He does nothing for me, but I need nothing more than a cock, and I assume he is in possession of one. 

I smile at him. Nothing friendly, rather a smile I know by experience sends the message of my intention. His eyes widen in boyish surprise and I immediately regret myself, but a hasty survey of the room reveals that the man I would prefer is still nowhere to be seen. 

And so, when the music changes, and the DJ invites the bridal party to the floor, I step onto the parquet with the one I have hastily chosen, rather than the one I want. 

We revolve in an awkward embrace, his hand falling lower and lower until it rests well on my ass. I let it stay. Punishment for my impulsivity. We turn, and turn again, faster, until I press my toes down hard and refuse another. The groomsman mumbles an apology, but it is not the spinning that has brought me to a standstill.

The man I will do anything for has returned. He has stationed himself on the edge of the floor, and his stare is glittering with disapproval. 

Perhaps it’s the lighting, or the movement around him, or a product of my fanciful mind to see it that way, but I swear I can feel the ripples of disappointment emanating from him, lapping against me like waves against a boat parked on a pebbled shore. Like the boat, I tilt and bob, but I stay aground. For now. Honesty compels me to admit I want the typhoon he represents to break over me.

He is a dominant, undoubtedly, but I am not his submissive. He has no right to disapprove, no right to make demands of me.

Yet I crave it just the same.


I am wearing nothing but black stilettos, a black lace bra, and a rope of pearls. Shameless and pure, at once. He has blindfolded me, bound my hands in front of me, and guided me to a small divan in the suite. My knees dip into the cushions and I use my forearms against the back of the sofa to balance myself. Being deprived of one sense throws off some, enhances others. I smell the warm wool of his jacket, and feel the coolness of his commands.



I give him my ass to mark if he chooses. My cunt to finger or to fuck if he wants. I am at his mercy, but he is at mine, too. He is nothing without a woman willing to submit. Just a man in a suit.
I tell him as much. 

His laughter is the velvety blue-black of a twilight sky. I think you are right, he replies, just before his hand lands with the sharpness of shattering glass.

The song ends and the deprivation I have experienced since the cocktail hour is acute. I would rather find restitution by my own hand than with this boy. Once again, I smile at him, this time apologetically. He looks relieved, confirming my instinct. I retreat to the anteroom where I have left my handbag. My fingers scrabble through it, searching for my room key. 

I wonder if I am being tested. Or worse, toyed with. The mania the ruthless man has induced in me is disorienting. I turn one way, toward the cover of coats hung against the wall, and then the other, toward the door. 

The night is a maze—of my own creation, or of his?—and I’m stuck half way between the center and the exit. I consider lifting my dress, getting it over with right there in the anteroom—it won’t take much—but the maid of honor bursts inside. After a cursory hello, she paws aside the coats and comes up with a gift bag. Whatever is happening, it is between her and her best friend, I assume, or she would tell me to return to the ballroom. Instead, she leaves me alone inside.

Time no longer exists. Seconds, minutes, hours, days. It’s all a haze, bound only by the perfect torment of riding the edge. I have said please so many times. Please fuck me. Please use me. Please let me come. Please. There have been tears, and I make ever more depraved offers.

Not yet, he has whispered every time, and now he brushes the backs of his fingers over my nipples to begin the cycle anew. 

My body flares in response. Anticipation. Familiarity. Hope.

Maybe this time, he tells me, his fingertips trailing down my sternum, along my stomach, dipping into my belly button. Or maybe not. 

He continues down and down and through my crease, straight to my cunt. 

I can’t, I tell him. No more. 

His fingers slide inside of me and come back out covered with the truth. 

You can. And you will.

I leave the room after the maid of honor. She turns left toward the reception. I turn right, toward the elevator. Once I press the button, I watch the numbers descend on the lighted panel above the door. It is an old elevator in an old building, and it seems to take forever for the car to arrive. 

Finally, it does, with a quiet chime and the mechanical slither of the doors retracting. I step inside and turn. He is there, his arm outstretched to prevent the door from closing. He doesn’t step inside. 

It wasn’t my imagination earlier. His eyes are dark and glittering. The overhead lights and the reflections from the mirror on the wall behind me spark off of them like light on polished stones. His fingers are long, their tips blunt, his nails well-manicured. There is a faint, masculine scent floating on the air. His hair product, or perhaps a hint of cologne. 

The sleeve of his suit jacket has drawn back just enough to reveal a monogram on the cuff of his shirt. An interlaced IB.

“Do you mind if I join you?” he asks. The words are polite, couched, but the question isn’t perfunctory. His expression is serious, leaving no doubt that consent will be high on his list of requirements. 

“Please do,” I reply.

He holds my gaze as he steps inside and for the briefest moment, he is a panther and I am prey. The doors have yet to close and his eyes skim the length of my pearl necklace, halting at the terminal arc just below my navel. 

“So much potential, here,” he says. His voice is soft, low, and merciless. He reaches for the strand, and with a small tug, the upper loop snugs around the base of my neck. The lower end drips through his fingers to brush against the curve of my pelvic mound. 

My chest rises and falls more than it should as I watch his hand open, and the white beads roll from his fingertips to the expanse of his palm. He will use them in ways they are not meant for. Press them inside me, inch by inch, and then draw them out one bead at a time. 

Or maybe they are meant for that. Maybe they always were.

“Yes,” I acknowledge. “There is.”

The elevator doors slide closed and I imagine myself under his control, his eyes evaluating, calculating. So many routes this could play out. 

His finger hovers millimeters from the button for the top floor, and he cocks his head. 

I nod and agree to anything. Everything.

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Renee Dominick lives and works in the Seattle suburbs, writing stories she hopes will steam your glasses. In her down time, she's walking her terriers, enjoying her garden, or indulging her love of off-beat movies and dark BBC police shows. Find her novella duology at Entangled Publishing, and her erotic short story, Through Glass a Stranger, in the kINKED Anthology.