I listened to his heart beat, felt the rise and fall of his breath in the darkness, knowing he was mine. This man had sworn to protect me, this man who now possessed me, body and soul. This was the man I would own from the moment he looked at me, his gaze angry and unyielding. The first time his eyes met mine, I knew it, deep within me. I didn’t regret any part of the winding journey on which our love had taken us. My only regret was that it was going to get us both killed.
"Oh yeah, Dani, that's good." Billy leaned in close and kissed me. When he pulled back, I saw them- his pupils, dilated as big as saucers. I didn't realize he had taken anything. I guess I should have known something was off when he went to the bathroom after I helped him tie me to the bed. Billy was not one to keep a girl waiting.
"Billy, what did you take?" My words were punctuated with ragged breath as he thrust himself inside me, my body responding to the familiarity of him inside me.
“Shhh,” he whispered. “Don’t ruin it, baby.” He kissed my neck, teeth dragging across my skin, and I felt a rush of pain when he twisted my nipple between his fingers. Heat flowed through me as my body responded to his movements, but my thoughts were racing, detached from my physical reaction.
This was dangerous, being tied up in my apartment, with Billy as high as a kite. Shit. "Billy," I said, trying to make my voice sound lighthearted, not whiny. "We agreed not to take anything if either of us was going to be tied up, remember?" Not after that time in St. Barth’s, the time he had gotten stoned and crazy, leaving marks on my arms where he grabbed me.
"Don't worry so much," he said. "Relax."
His movements grew faster, increasingly intense, and I could feel myself getting more and more aroused. He had a way of bringing me close, so quickly. Our sex had always been explosive, fireworks from the very first time.
Don't be paranoid, I told myself. He won't do anything. It's a little coke, that's all. He may be wild, but he’s not a psychopath.
Even so, I tested the restraints around my wrists, the rope he had ordered from Japan, the most expensive he could find. Only the best of everything for Billy. That's how things went when you were a Randolph, a member of one of those iconic families, like the Rockefellers or the Kennedys.
Billy gathered momentum, and I began to lose myself in his touch. I started to let go, even though I was scared- or maybe because I was afraid. I struggled against the restraints half-heartedly, the ties cutting into my wrists.
He’s a hook-up, not some abusive boyfriend. Everything will be fine.
I was close to orgasm when he put his mouth near my ear, his breath warm on me. "You'll feel more relaxed soon," he said. "I put a little something extra in your drink." Then I started to panic.
"Shit, Billy, what are you talking about?"
It was like he didn't hear me. “Have you ever been choked?” he asked.
“I’m not into that kind of thing, Billy. I think you should untie me.” His being here was a bad idea; doing this was a bad idea.
But he kept going. “Shut up,” he said. “You’re mine, you know. I can do anything I want to you.” Why had I let him use actual cord to tie me up? Why hadn’t we used the silk ties we’d used before, something that had a little more give, something I could slip out of?
“Say it,” he said, slapping me hard across the face, my skin stinging where he struck me.
“I’m yours,” I said.
“You’re mine. I own you.” His eyes were glazed, unfocused, and I wasn’t even sure he was seeing me. That was when I felt real fear, for the first time since I had been out of my father’s house.
“I’m yours, Billy,” I said. He put his hand around my neck, and my mind raced. I’m going to die here, I realized. Stanford Senior Murdered in Apartment: Kinky Sex Crime- that’s what the headlines will read. I'm too fucking young to die.
“Billy, please,” I begged. “Please don’t.” Tears streamed down my face, warm on my skin.
He ignored me, bringing his other hand to my neck, his expression dark.
“You'll love it,” he whispered, hands soft against my skin. Softer than they should be for someone who was about to choke me.
“Billy, don't. I don't like it. Stop.” I could barely get out the words, but it didn’t matter. He didn’t hear me.
“Do you think you might die?" Then he squeezed. Fear coursed through my body, my vision blurring at the edges as my air supply was cut off. I could feel him inside me, his face over me, yet he seemed far away. Before I felt myself slip into darkness, I had a memory of going to a palm reader when I was sixteen, of sitting across from her while she traced her finger down my hand and told me I would live until I was seventy. I guess she was wrong.
Sunlight. It took my brain a minute to register that I was not actually dead. I gulped, deep breaths of air I pulled down into my lungs. I had been freed. The cord was cut from where it was attached to the headboard, but the rope was still attached to my wrists, a kitchen knife tossed carelessly on the floor.
Billy was passed out beside me on the bed, his breath heavy as he slept. I have to get out of here.
I stood and walked slowly to the bathroom. My legs felt like lead. I stopped short when I saw myself in the mirror. My hair was wild and disheveled, like I had been mugged. It was someone else looking back; this girl, the one with the welts on her neck, was not me. My fingers traced the red marks on my neck where Billy's hands had been. Those would bruise. My father will kill him. Then this sense of calm flowed through me, like I'd taken a Valium or something- or whatever the hell Billy had given me last night to "relax."