There are three of us crammed into Michael’s twin bed.

Anya is on my right. We are naked, holding each other. Michael pounds into her, hard. He looks deep into my eyes while he fucks her. Her tits are creamy pale, bigger and rounder than mine. As I feel them, I think “Tits! Holy shit!”  Working in health care, I see breasts every day, but that’s clinical and this certainly is not. She kisses me so softly it’s like being kissed by sweet air.

I want to go down on her, but Michael won’t let me. He wants to save something for next time. Michael spanks my pussy, I squirt so much I soak the bed through. He tells her to try it, but she’s afraid to hit me hard enough for it to work.

Gently, he scoops Anya into his arms, cradling her, works her fast and hard with his fingers. They’ve been friends and lovers for a long time. I’ve only known Michael a couple of months, Anya a couple hours.  I love the familiar way their bodies nestle together, everything fits so easily, like lovers in a painting.  I watch them fuck for a long time. They whisper things veiled in kisses to each other so that I cannot hear.

After Anya leaves, Michael ties me to the bed. He beats me black and blue then fucks me hard. We shower together then drive to the diner for pancakes. I drink tall glasses of cold orange juice because I am dizzy and dehydrated. I keep my sunglasses on and the bruises make me feel safe and beautiful.

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Mister slaps me a second time.

I’m drifting again and I don’t care. Morphine isn’t this good.

“How many left?” Mister asks. The Val-U Pak of one hundred wooden clothespins is nearly empty.

I can’t even guess. I breathe slow and deep. I feel like I’m underwater. The clothespins rattle with every movement, a domino effect ripples from my underarms to my inner thighs.  Mister flicks one dangling  from my nipple. The pain blossoms into a crisp white light behind my eyes.

“Three. Never lose count again. Count these down.”

He pinches a clothespin onto each labia. I call out numbers in a ragged gasp. The last one clamps my clitoris, sharp and definite.

“One,” we say in unison.