She sat back with a short huff of breath. So that’s what he had been doing, all those nights when he came to bed late. She’d heard the clattering keys, assumed that he was writing emails for work, had never seen anything to suggest–EVER–that he had that inside of him.
How did a man live with all of that inside of him?
The burning dark need was hot enough to burn, as her eyes involuntarily returned to the screen. He had monsters inside of him, to write this sort of …dirty horror. Again she reread the final story from beginning to end. She wanted to cry, did cry, a single tear slipping down her cheek. It fell to the floor unnoticed as she rose, and sought out pen and paper.
She wrote fast, with a ferocity she’d never felt before. She left the note on the kitchen table before gathering her keys and purse, and headed out the door.
He came home from work to a house in full dark. The sun had set an hour or more ago, damned standard time, the wind was cold against his back as he moved up the front walkway, unlocking the front door and letting himself in.
He thumbed on the light, dropping his keys into the bowl on the narrow hall table. Methodically he hung his coat on the rack, then turned to drop his wallet on the table next to the bowl. He’d thought she’d be there tonight, didn’t remember that she’d said she had a client today, but, perhaps something had come up. He turned, stepping down the hallway to the kitchen. Turning on the light, the note on the table caught his eye immediately.
His heart beat hard in his chest. Her words made his breath catch, and a faint tremble in his hands shook the paper.
I saw what you wrote. You must have forgotten to quit your secret program. . . when I was dusting the table, the computer came on and there it was, that…what would you call it? A beast? That beast that lives inside you was right there for me to read. You’re very clever at crafting your tales, you know. But that beast…he’s a terrifying creature, isn’t he? How do you live with yourself?
He paused, took a breath. He’d always worried about this. He’d been so fucking careful for so long. He looked around. No dinner scents came from the oven, nothing to show that she’d been here at all since she left the letter behind. He’d not opened the garage, thinking he’d run down to the hardware store after dinner, so he wasn’t sure if her car was here or not. Would she leave him for such a thing? They were only words.
But never had he acted on them with her. He kept the beast on a tight rein, always.
A shower would clear his head. He’d call for Chinese or pizza after, but for now, a shower to wash away the drek of the day, give him time to think, to figure out where she might be, how to get her back. Love was a powerful thing, and he loved her with all his being. Love was the rope that held the beast in check.
Stepping into the room, he didn’t even bother with the light. He was about to toe off his shoe when he heard a sound, faint, from the bed. He flicked on the light, and stared.
She wasn’t totally sure about this. But she had nothing to lose. Her heart was about to beat out of her chest when he flicked on the light. The corset pressed her tits high, snugged her waist tight. The stockings were fishnet, the heels, high and thin. Surrounding her on the bed were coils of rope, an array of paddles, a pair of crops. She sat, a slave, a concubine, a toy, in the middle of the bed, surrounded by depravity.
She held up a sheaf of papers.
“I like this one the best.”
He took it, dropping it to the floor.
“What is…this? What…have you done here?”
Her response, loud and furious, startled him. Her finger rose to point at him, her brows furrowed in the deep scowl of pissed-off-wife-face.
“How could you? How could you have that … animal inside you and never let me see him? You treated me like a princess but you wanted more. But you never thought to ask me…if *I* wanted more. Not even if I could take your more. I love you. I promised to share my whole self with you. You did the same, but kept this,” her hand waved over the array of things on the bed, “all of this, hidden from me. I don’t want you to hide that part of you from me anymore. I may not be good at dealing with it, but at least give me a chance.”
She paused, catching a breath that threatened to break into tears.
“I want you to want me like your beast wants those girls in those stories. Fucking them roughly. Spanking them. Tying them up. Using them.”
She paused again.
“And then after I want you to hold me. And remind me that you’re also you, not just the beast you’ve been hiding all these years.”
He stepped close to the bed, cupping her chin in his hand, as he did when he was soft and tender. His lips met hers, she felt them curve into a smile. As his tongue traced along her lower lip, she yelped. His fingers had found her nipple, and begun to squeeze.
“Hello, Beast,” she murmured, smiling back.