Whenever I found myself in London, one place called to me, chanted my name over and over, enticing me to its belly.
Labyrinth was an establishment where membership was exclusive, and patrons had to fully trust one another. It catered to a specific clientele, to the people who enjoyed another side to eroticism, many of whom chose to remain anonymous.
Dress code consisted of whatever cocktail attire one owned and a mask. Whether made of lace, metal, cloth, or resin, a mask had remained mandatory since the beginning of Labyrinth’s reign.
I was not a member in the official sense. I couldn’t afford the fees, but the owner allowed me a free visit whenever I was in town, so long as I sang for my supper. And sing I would.
Music had been a passion of mine since childhood. The genre changed often, but my love for it never would. Music had the power to alter people’s moods, be it uplifting or heartbreaking. It could trigger memories or help create new ones. It meant the world to me, and singing in Labyrinth was the closest I’d ever get to being a part of that world.
When I’d finished my short set to a room filled with mysterious men and women, I left the small stage, met an instant later by a man in a suit with a black resin mask. Intense eyes stared at me, so dark that they blended effortlessly with the rest of his attire.
He offered me his hand, which I accepted and used to descend the rest of the stairs. My leather dress, fitted enough to have been painted on, creaked and groaned with each step. It clung so tightly to my legs that I welcomed his help.
The stranger brought me to him, our chests together. We each remained silent, even as he hooked his index finger beneath the lime-green bracelet I wore. Raising it high enough for us both to see, there’d been a hint of green peeking out from beneath the cuff of his suit jacket as well. We were a match, something that made my heart race.
Labyrinth had a system in which members could wear a paper bracelet, not unlike those at concerts, of varying colors. Different colors meant the wearer was into different things and cut out needless chit-chat.
“Interested?” he asked.
Hmm-mm, European, but not English. What is that?
His deep, alluring accent tickled something within me, a desire I hadn’t realized I’d had. I liked it and wanted more.
“Lead the way.”
He smiled at me, his full lips curling at the corner and begging to be nibbled on.
The stranger took my hand and together we retreated down a long hall of doors. Some were open, revealing their scintillating secrets to the world.
In one room stood a man with a hand braced against a piece of furniture, the other entwined in a woman’s hair while she bobbed up and down the length of his cock. The joy on his face told me all I needed to know.
In another room, a large, burly and hirsute gentleman donning a pair of impressive heels stood over a young man much thinner in frame, who placed multiple happy kisses to the toes of the stilettos.
Other doors had been shut, closing everyone out so that those inside could have the privacy they desired.
After a few moments, we came to an unoccupied room. He stood aside and motioned for me to enter before him, which I did.
Deep-colored walls surrounded me, lit by dim sconces. Each wall had been lined with racks of toys tastefully displayed and illuminated by beams of light as though they were modern pieces of art.
To the left rested a bed with cuffs in each corner to hold the player down, and not far from that sat a chaise lounge, a prime place for someone to sit while another individual groveled. But the suspension rack near the center of the room held my attention.
Cuffs and chains hung from each corner, but I had become more interested in the pair that dangled from the center beam, the wrist restraints that would bind one’s hands together above the head.
When I was situated far enough from the wall that nothing would impede whatever hung from it, I stood within the frame and turned to the stranger. He remained near the door, hands in his pockets while he sported a wicked grin. With my gaze locked to his, I gripped the restraints and lifted myself off the ground. They were very sturdy.
His smile broadened and, with the unspoken understanding that I’d found what I wanted, he closed the door to give us much-needed privacy. Hearing the latch engage caused my skin to prickle with excitement.
The stranger removed his jacket and laid it across the chaise. His cufflinks were next, which allowed him to roll the sleeves of his white button-up shirt, revealing thick, strong forearms beneath. Tattoos dotted his caramel-colored skin, though I didn’t bother identifying what they were.
As he prepared himself, I turned my attention to the walls of toys. One rack held whips, some with tips so thin they would break skin. Another held floggers like cat-o’-nine-tails. One held paddles, another slappers and from the last hung multiple riding crops.
Labyrinth catered to many preferences and, had I known the stranger better, I might have gone for something more adventurous. Seeing as I didn’t, I went with a selection that would be fun, but safer.
I returned to the stranger with a riding crop in one hand and a three-strip slapper in the other. One would offer a more concentrated snap while the second created a slightly duller thud. His eyes sparkled as he looked them over.
After a moment of consideration, he chose the slapper. My eagerness intensified. I quite liked slappers.
My stranger set the instrument aside and stepped behind me. Slowly but surely, he tugged the dress’s zipper down, loosening it around my body. When it reached the end, he slid his hands beneath the garment and proceeded to peel it away.
He dug his fingers into my body, along the curve of my waist and the slope of my hips while he pushed the dress down.
Within seconds, it rested in a pool of fabric at my feet, leaving me in nothing more than my lacy lingerie and four-inch heels.
He took my hand and guided me to the rack where he promptly secured my wrists, staring deep into my eyes as he did. My heart raced, lodging itself in my throat. The anticipation coursed through every inch of me, priming my nerves for what was to come.
In spite of how it appeared, I didn’t feel in danger. There was plenty of slack in the chains that would’ve allowed me to uncuff my wrists myself, and Labyrinth had a rigorous vetting process for their clientele. Regardless of how it may have appeared to someone on the outside, I was safe with the stranger.
“Bellisima,” he said.
Oh. So this sexy bastard is Italian. Even better.
My core ached.
Smirking, he draped my dress over the chaise with his jacket, took hold of the slapper and stepped behind me.
The first moment it touched my skin, I flinched. The cool leather and shock of it caused me to gasp. He chuckled.
He teased me for a while, running the slapper over the curve of my ass, along my spine and even down the backs of my thighs. He’d been tender, delicate, allowing each passing second to heighten the tension, and just before I could speak, before I had the chance to urge the stranger along, it happened.
A loud crack echoed through the room, shortly followed by my lustful gasp. He left the slapper in place for a breath, as though allowing the welt beneath it to form on my ass. The pain radiated through the whole of my body, infecting the smallest atom and causing me to vibrate.
It was just the beginning.
For what had to be nearly an hour, the stranger played with me. He would lull me into a sense of calm before bringing the slapper hard against my ass or the backs of my thighs. He knew what to do, how to tease every iota of pleasure out of me.
At one point, he stepped in front of me, looming tall. His eyes had turned black, any hint of brown choked out of existence with growing lust. I dared a glance down. His erection strained against his slacks. Their dark color helped hide it, but I wasn’t blind, more than able to see the line of his cock struggle to break free of the fabric. He was impressively sized, and images of me on my knees taking him into my mouth or him bending me over something and thrusting coursed through my head on an endless loop.
Sweeping my tongue across my upper lip, I stared at him through my lashes. He arched a thick brow. I doubted my intent had been unclear.
By that time in our play, my nipples had become painfully hard, rubbing against my bra and more wanting than before, while my clit throbbed and ached. I had no doubt that, if he chose to remove my panties, my excitement would’ve been visible. I couldn’t remember the last time anyone had turned me on like that from nothing more than some paddling.
My stranger stared down at me. His jaw tightened, the muscles rolling beneath his olive skin. His chest heaved with each breath, and I knew I looked the same. Fire burned in my cheeks and between my legs. I wanted so badly for him to take me.
The image of him wrapping my legs around his waist and fucking me while I hung from the beam filled my mind. There was no hiding the shiver or the gasp that parted my lips. Sex wasn’t part of the deal with a green bracelet, but God save me, I wanted it.
He looked me over, and while I was desperate to come through my skin, he reached forward. My stranger ran the back of his curled index finger over my nipple. Pleasure tore through me, intensified when he pinched the sensitive bud. He groaned, running his full bottom lip through his teeth while he massaged my breast.
“If only we had more time.” He turned his attention to my other breast and gave it the same adoration. “I am certain we could have a lot of fun.”
I have no doubt.
He shifted his grip, running his hands up my arms and massaging my biceps. He met my gaze, his eyes burning black.
“This would be perfect for it, yes?” His hands trailed back down, over my breasts, along the curve of my waist and my hips.
“Yes.” The word had been little more than a whisper.
He bent forward, encompassing my ass with his hands. The softness of them did nothing to soothe the pain of his whipping.
My stranger lifted me with ease, guiding my legs around his hips and holding me close. I’d gasped at the suddenness of it, gripping my cuffs as best I could for better support.
He ground against my clit, keeping me at the perfect angle to feel the bulge of his cock millimeters from where I wanted it most. I chewed on my bottom lip, struggling to steady my breathing while my heart raced. He was giving me my fantasy, giving me what I’d begun to long for without me having to ask.
Jesus, was he made just for me?
“If given the chance,” he said, breath gliding across my lips while the spicy scent of his cologne filled my nose, “I could spend the night inside you.”
My pussy clenched on reflex, seemingly desperate to be given the opportunity, but I kept my exterior as calm as possible.
“You shouldn’t tease. It’s not very nice.”
A dark, wicked smirk curled his lips. In it, I sensed he’d made a promise, not an empty offer. Delightful thought, to be sure.
Digging his fingers into my ass harder than before, he began the slow, deliberate action of guiding me up the length of his shaft. I held my chains, desperate for the aid of them while he continued.
“I could spend the night making you shake.” His voice had grown as dark as the color of his eyes, a fathomless void that caressed me, called to me.
What’d begun slow and deliberate, as a teasing gesture meant to heighten the sex-filled atmosphere of our private room, had quickly devolved into something more. Within seconds, he worked harder, faster, eliciting sparks of joy each time my clit scraped along his shaft. It pushed me toward an end I hadn’t expected that night, an end that I had become desperate for.
“Yes,” I said on a breath.
My stranger leaned in, our bodies tight. The muscles in my arms burned. I’d been struggling to reach out for him, to wrap them around his thick shoulders, but the cuffs kept me in place. It remained my favorite part of being bound, the inability to touch my partner when I wanted to most.
He continued to bounce me in place, relentlessly rolling my hips into his unyielding cock. Dipping into the crook of my neck allowed his sweltering growls to glide across my exposed flesh, adding yet another layer to the moment.
The coil in my gut twisted more and more with each passing second. It wouldn’t be long.
“I would worship you,” he rasped, “just to hear your screams.”
His words were fading, drowned out by the thundering pulse in my ears.
“Don’t stop.” The mewling words had somehow managed to escape me.
My stranger drew back. I struggled to keep his gaze, to stare into his beautiful face, but he’d become determined in his action, fucking me like a wild man without penetration, and it was more than enough.
A string of Italian words left his lips, their encouraging tone the only thing that I could discern.
His gaze never left mine, tempting me further into the abyss. In spite of the mask that concealed so much of his face, he was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.
“Come for me, bella,” he said in a deep, rough voice. “I want to hear it.”
I nodded and his efforts increased. I was swallowed up a second later.
When the coil sprang, I didn’t hold back. I cried out, filling our chamber with the sounds of my elation, allowing it to wash over me and release all the glorious tension he’d spent an hour building.
From somewhere in the back of my mind, I might have heard a similar sound leave him, though I was too lost to notice.
My stranger held my ass in one hand while his free arm encircled me. I quivered and shook against him, struggling to draw air into my lungs. He kept me secured to him, engulfing me with little effort and helping to pull my shattered body back together.
I had finally given out, my muscles jellied from the orgasm.
Letting out a stiff breath, my stranger loosened his grip and allowed my legs to slide from his hips until I could stand on my own once more. It’d been difficult to manage, but the cuffs weren’t suspended so high that they took me off my feet. Instead, they allowed me a bit of support.
His eyelids were heavy while a flash of pink swathed his cheeks. His full lips, perfect for biting, were parted with each huffing breath.
“I’m afraid this is the end of our play, my dear.” Genuine disappointment saturated his voice. He reached up to unlatch my wrists, standing so close that the heat of him infected me further. “Truly regrettable.”
I found his accent delicious, the way it affected each syllable and curled the consonants. He had the sort of rich voice that I could listen to for hours.
“Pity,” I said. Regardless of what’d transpired, how exhausted I’d become, I wanted more.
When my wrists had been freed, he retrieved my dress and offered it to me. I put it on while he righted himself, and soon it appeared as though nothing had happened.
My welts brought me back to reality, however. Each scrape of my dress across the raw skin helped remind me that it’d been real, which only served to breathe new life into those smoldering embers.
Out of curiosity, I peered at his groin. A slick sheen had overtaken the dark fabric and I knew not all the dampness had been mine.
“Will there be another performance tomorrow?” he asked.
“I’m afraid not,” I replied, stomach fluttering at the prospect of spending more time with him. “I actually have to leave Lon—”
My gaze drifted to the clock hanging near the door and my heart dropped. I’d been so invested in our play that I hadn’t been paying attention to the time. At nearly one in the morning, I’d stayed much longer than I’d intended.
“Oh, shit,” I said in shock. “I-I have to go.” I raced for the door and threw it open. “I had fun!” I shouted over my shoulder while I ran down the hall as best as my tight dress and shoes would allow.
* * * *
I’d been lucky to find a taxi unoccupied by a drunk and leaped into it. Within a half-hour, the cabby pulled up to the docks, I paid, and with shoes in one hand, mask in the other, I ran toward the boat.
Shit, shit, shit!
My bare feet clapped against the wooden slats. I prayed there were no splinters waiting to wedge themselves into an unsuspecting passerby.
The Aurora came into view, and I quickened my pace. I had no doubt I looked like an idiot, a woman in a leather tube dress down to her knees, stilettos hanging from her fingertips, a mask and hair waving in the breeze. God only knew what the cabby must have thought.
Before the crew could see me, I jumped onto the yacht as best I could and charged into the belly of the vessel.
I am so late!
Down winding halls, I found my room and ducked inside, but no sooner than I had tossed my shoes onto my bed, I was discovered.
“Well, well, well…”
My heart stopped and my stomach sank. Kennia Freeman, my roommate and best friend, slid into my line of sight, emerging from the tiny bathroom as though she’d been waiting for my arrival. She plopped herself down on my bunk, smirking at me.
“Cuttin’ it a bit close, yeah?” she teased, her Australian accent filling my ears. “Now, either that means you had an encore, or…”
She let her sentence dangle, waiting for me to fill in the blanks, but I said nothing. The moment I removed my dress, she had her answer.
“Oh, wow!” Kennia slid off the bed and disappeared behind me. “Guess ya did find someone. This hurt?”
She poked one of the welts on my ass hard enough to send a shock of pain down my spine. I spun and slapped her hand. She erupted into a fit of laughter.
“You exchange numbers with this one?” She fell onto my bed once again, toying lazily with my heels.
I gave her a look, twisting my features in a way that told her of course not. She sighed and rolled her eyes.
“One o’ these days, you might wanna see someone more than once.”
“What for?” I threaded my arms through a work shirt and pulled it on. “That’s not what these clubs are about.”
“Maybe, but don’t ya ever just wanna have somebody there? Not even a boyfriend, just someone you got things in common with that you can spend time around.”
I smiled softly while I pulled my hair into a tight bun at the top of my head, ignoring the hairspray I hadn’t bothered to brush out.
“There’s no point. We’re always working, and we don’t spend enough time docked for it to matter.” I shrugged at her and tried to ignore the sad look in her eyes. “It is what it is.”
Kennia seemed resigned to the fact that she wouldn’t convince me otherwise.
With a pair of scissors, I snipped off my paper bracelet. It held a surprising number of memories, all centralized around the Italian. In all honesty, if I had a normal life, I might have gone to see him again. He’d managed to touch on so many buttons, so many things I liked without my telling him. That was a very rare person.
I set the bracelet in the spine of a book and left my bunk.
Kennia meant well. She always meant well, but I genuinely believed there was no point in forming a long-term relationship with anyone. As a steward on a yacht, I couldn’t offer anyone enough personal time to be a girlfriend, and I’d hit my limit for boyfriends. Perhaps it’d been a bit cynical, but when everyone I’d ever dated had left after learning what I like, I stopped telling them. I stopped dating.
What was the point? My perfect package didn’t exist. Besides, I was far from the kind of person people wanted to be with. Too much baggage.