The brief moment between the swing and the sting of the dressage whip seems to span eons. Sometimes he’s a bastard and swings it so I’ll hear it and think the pain is coming, just so he can watch me wince. Like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown at the last instant.
But not this time. I feel the whip contact my skin, sending hot searing pain through my body. I can feel welts already starting to rise at the point of impact, heat swimming to the surface. The very first time he struck me with this particular toy, I thought for sure he’d broken the skin, that I was bleeding. It always feels that way. As the pain courses through my body, I focus my willpower on grabbing it as though it were a helium balloon flying into the sky and redirecting the sensation to skewer my solar plexus until my blood responds and warmth dribbles into my pelvis. Converting pain into pleasure.
He hits me again, this time harder. I shake with laughter, every muscle clenched until I shudder and moan, straining against my restraints.
“Motherfucker,” I gasp.
He grabs my face, looks me in the eyes. His eyes are dead and cold, entirely unsympathetic. He smirks. “How many letters in ‘motherfucker?’” he asks me.
I am disoriented, dazed, not in any state to be answering trivia questions. I quiver and shrink from him.
He slaps me across the face. “How many?”
I fight the surge of panic, struggle to collect my thoughts. “Twelve,” I answer.
He smiles, walks behind me. “Count,” he says.
“One!” I yelp.
By the time, we are to 10, I am running on fumes. He’s pushing me past my abilities to convert, spin negative into positive.
“Eleven,” I whimper.
I feel wetness gushing down my legs, a mixture of sweat and my own excitement.
He sets the whip down on the table, strokes my face, kisses me softly. “Good girl,” he says. He unlocks my restraints, guides me to a chair, requests one of the spectators to get me a glass of water. Another tender kiss. “You did wonderfully.”