The first strike of the flogger landed on her right shoulder blade as the thought went through her mind, chasing it away.
Max quickly fell into a comfortable rhythm using a moderate flogger with restrained strength to warm her up. He gauged her comfort level well, gradually upping the intensity, staying just ahead of her endorphins, and thoroughly thrashed shoulders, back, ass, and thighs before moving to her front and flogging breasts, stomach, pussy, and thighs. When her front was on fire he switched to her back, changing floggers as he stepped around her. The world went hazy, and her body began trying to move into the strikes instead of away. She wanted more, forgot she could ask.
The rhythm stopped and he circled to her front again – her breasts hot and swollen, as if they’d grown twice their size, but she couldn’t wait for the first strike to fall. She was lost without the relentless pounding of the flogger, a ship on the sea with no wind.
The music changed to nineties techno, an insistent beat coming through the drumless instrumental, and her world erupted in wind and sensation. The hits came to the beat of the music – a strike to her left shoulder blade and left breast at the same time, quickly followed on the other side. Right-Left-Right-Left. A continuous loop. Her body tried to react, even though her mind welcomed it, but she was restrained in so many places she couldn’t move away from, or towards, the constant sensation of impact. She tried to keep up with it, but with four floggers moving so rapidly all she could do was let go and feel.
She felt her consciousness grow bigger than her body, at one with The Universe; and sensed the delineation between soul and body, could see them as two separate units.
Her body was being flogged, not her soul.
The wind stopped and she opened her eyes and howled as her spirit merged back into her body, the sounds and smells of the club assaulting her.
Max was in front of her, his face inches away. He moved in, his lips on hers, giving her another anchor. Not the leather of the floggers, not the wind, but his presence, his warmth. He pulled back and she opened her eyes again, still in her comfortable fog, but more aware of her surroundings. Brent was walking towards the cage, and Jacob had finally stopped holding himself up. His elbows were slack, head resting back against the statue, eyes closed. Dana thought he must be in that beautiful millimeter of space sandwiched between heavenly bliss and excruciating torment, where you could simultaneously experience both.
She heard the snap of a single tail, didn’t feel the pain. He hadn’t hit her. She tried to relax, realized she hadn’t tensed.
The snap and the pain hit her brain at the same time as the center of her right ass cheek blossomed in delicious agony. Her body strained, tried to run, struggled to move; her muscles writhed under her skin as her heart slammed in her chest, and the throbbing between her thighs became more insistent.
Left ass cheek. Not a blossom, but a pinpoint of magnificent anguish. She heard herself say, “Yes,” very low, and opened her eyes in shock at the sound of her voice.
Her right shoulder and then her left, only seconds apart, and both were on fire. The inferno always raged more on her back, the focused strikes going from skin to bone, without the muscles in the ass to absorb the impact, and she needed that intensity. She remembered she was supposed to tell him, it wasn’t Topping from the bottom. Not today.
She licked her lips, tried to make her tongue work. Finally got her brain firing the right way and said, “Yes, more up there.”
A voice repeated what she’d said, and then Max was behind her, his hands lightly resting on her upper arms. “Talk to me. What do you need?”
She struggled to put it into words, into a sentence. “Shoulders, where you hit… more intense. Need that. Stay there.”
“I’m going to keep moving around, to draw this out for you. Do you not want more on your ass, or are you saying you want the level of pain your shoulders are getting?”
“Need the intensity. Feel it more. Want to hurt. Please.”
“Okay. I’m going to move back and forth so I can make it last, but I’ll give you plenty on your shoulders, okay?”
She tried to nod her head, wasn’t sure there was enough movement for him to see, and said, “Yes.”
She wasn’t expecting the floggers, but he began the relentless Florentine pattern on her shoulder blades, striking over the single-tail marks, and Dana heard herself howling, the merciless pleasure/pain of the continuous blows pulsing through her body, catapulting her to dizzying heights.
The flogging stopped and she moaned in disappointment, but soon felt the single-tail on her ass again, the most violent strike yet to her right ass cheek. She finally screamed, shocking herself with the sound. Max was behind her again, his hands stroking her arms, sides, hips. Coaxing her into taking deep breaths, reminding her to relax and not fight the restraints. She hadn’t realized she was struggling – she didn’t want to be let loose.
“Good girl. Stay relaxed, it’s time for the next.”
Her left ass cheek received the same intensity, and she was screaming again, felt herself fighting the restraints as the adrenaline spiked through her body.
Max’s voice was back, and his hands. The mask was wet, she hadn’t known she was crying.
When she could breathe enough to talk she said, “More. Oh god, please more.”
“You’ll get more. Do you trust me to draw this out and make it last another thirty minutes? Or would you rather I make it super intense for the next five minutes and not have a spot left to hit?”
In a moment of clarity, her mind put a full sentence together, though her lips had a hard time saying it. “Make it last, but I want the intense five minutes at the end.”
He chuckled. “I’ll see what I can do.”
She felt him move away, waited for the next strike, but he returned with a bottle of water and a straw, holding the straw to her mouth. “Drink.”
She did, realizing her lips weren’t working because they’d been stuck to her teeth. She drank slowly, wetting her mouth without putting too much into her stomach. “Thank you.”
“You’re very welcome.” He smiled softly, caressed her cheek over the top of the hood. “Ready for more on your shoulders?”
Sir Max went back and forth from flogger to bullwhip to single tail. She opened her eyes once to see Brent doing something that made Jacob struggle and fight his bonds. The next time she looked, he was gone.
Dana lost all sense of time – there were only the whips, the pain, the pleasure, Dana’s screams, and Max’s voice and hands.
Max was behind her again, his hands on her hips below the waist strap. “You know this can’t last forever. I’m running out of blank canvas, so this’ll be your final couple of minutes.”
“Will you draw blood? I want… feel the whip, break skin? Shoulder blades. Please?”
“I’m sorry, but no. I’ll make it hurt worse than I have, but I won’t tear you open with the bullwhip on top of what I’ve already done.”
“Do it. All of them.” His hands disappeared and then he was in front of her, holding her gaze until she fell into it. His eyes were intense, analyzing her, feeling her out.
“Make it hurt,” she said. “Like you’re drawing blood. I like asking, thank you.”
“Okay, but you’ll get a few on your ass in between the ones on your back.” He finally released her from his gaze and kissed her on the forehead, over the leather. “Enjoy it while it lasts, we’re just about done.”
The next two lashes were on her back, not too far below the previous strikes, and came as a one-two punch. Her ass blossomed in pain again not long afterwards, and then he returned to her upper back. The hits were coming fast and furious, without much time to deal with the heat and torment of one set before the next arrived.
She could see the pain in layers around her, the most recent strikes purple, the ones before that red, then orange, and yellow. She was so close to an orgasm, she kept thinking she just needed a little more to push her over the edge, but it never came.
There were two sets of hands on her. One taking off her hood, another removing the spreader bars. As more of her attachments came loose, strong arms held her up, and when the last chain dropped she was tenderly lifted and carried across the floor.
Dana has spent the last year and a half learning how to live again after she loses her other half, her husband Garnet. As a masochist and a submissive Dana feels the loss even more deeply in some ways since it is a loss of, not only a partner, but someone who was her Dom. There are occasions when submissives who lose their Dom find it very hard to function in life and struggle immensely just to go on living. When she meets Zach as a client of her business she is immediately drawn to him and intrigued. He lost his wife around the same time she lost her husband so they have much in common. As it turns out they have more than just that they share; they are also both into BDSM. Zach's wife was a 24/7 slave and part of him hiring Dana to do the redo his decorating was to create a space that is respectful and honoring of his wife but put together so he can move on and not mire in the past.
Dana and Zach maintain a great working relationship until Zach's house is done and then they decide to see if the attraction they have been feeling could lead to anything. Dana is understandably hesitant about submitting to another man. She feels what she and Garnet had was so unique and special, as he trained her and guided her in her submission, that it could not be replicated with anyone else. However, she realizes her masochistic needs would really like to be expressed and taken care of so she does agree to dating and scening with Zach. Although she very much enjoys their BDSM play she is still unsure if she wants to commit to one man and to that end she decides she wants to spend time with an old friend and his lover who are active BDSM lifestylers. What follows is explosive and pushes Dana to understanding that perhaps Zach cannot meet her masochistic needs. She considers whether she is submissive or if she is really just a bottom content with the pain part. Yet she yearns for Zach's control. In the quest to find herself again will Dana decide to go all in or will she be too afraid to take the risk no matter what the reward?
Candace Blevins writes amazing BDSM stories that ring authentic and true. These are not your everyday hot submissive meets "Club Owning" Dom novels (though those are good). These are vibrant, realistic, multilayered, and multihued with characters who come alive for you and engage you and make you care for them deeply. I always feel as if I am right there with them watching (and I'm not a voyeur!). Although some of the D/s parts of this novel made me uncomfy (e.g. caging) I never failed to understand that this is what the character wanted and why. In Candace's books you actually see characters trying to have open dialogue, to express, describe, explain what is happening to each other (and by definition then to the reader). It is this communication that exposes flaws and problems and issues which allow for a gradual build up that is as believable as it is understandable. There is no love conquers all attitude here. Relationships require work, they have ups and downs, and if you don't communicate you are dead in the water. It makes it interesting, compelling and complete.
My initial tendency was to say this is for more intermediate to advanced BDSM readers who can understand the dynamics and fit all the pieces into the right place. Then I realized that, by doing so, I would be not giving newer readers or those who like the softer side of Kink an opportunity to expand a bit and discover that there is a whole rainbow of folks who enjoy BDSM activities. This has some pretty severe play (to me) such as electrical and the pain level is fairly high to exceptionally high much of the time. Frankly this is a masochist’s book as much as it is a submissive's. Personally that is the main draw for me to Candace's novels (I've enjoyed them all). In particular this one had a scene focused entirely on S&M without a D/s dynamic. It demonstrated so well the difference in feel you get with someone who wants pain only without power exchange vs. the complete D/s dynamic. This book just does pain marvelously. I seldom find books that can delve into the masochistic mindset like this one can, who can provide that glimpse into the feelings you get if you enjoy erotic pain (no matter the level). If you happen to be a masochist you will immediately fall deeply under this books spell and if you're not, well, you might be by the time you finish reading! In the spirit of honesty I can say I know that whereof which I speak; as a masochist myself I have been there, felt that and feel qualified to say, "Yes yes…that is exactly it!"
I would be remiss if I did not mention the secondary characters Brent and Jacob who just beg for their own story (well Jacob begs at least!). You start the book thinking this is about a couple and end understanding so much more and having been enriched by this secondary relationship which is as rich and compelling as Dana and Zach's. I absolutely adored Brent and Jacob who were just perfect and ideal and whose story so added to my reading enjoyment, especially what they do with Dana. I don't want to spoil the twist but suffice to say I was like, "Oh she did not just do that!"
Of course, it goes without saying the sex is hot and kinky. Safeword: Davenport is everything you could expect and more. To all those enjoying the recent explosion of books in this genre that are primarily D/s focused I say, "Come on and take a walk on the wild side with me," into the world of the masochist. A world where pain is a player every bit as alive as those that give and receive it. Where it lives, breathes, and caresses. A world where timing is everything and limits are pushed. Couched as it is in such a great character as Dana you cannot help but feel, desire, and appreciate all the layers that make her the complex woman she is and give you glimpses into who she is becoming.
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