Butterflies & Bruises

A re-post.

His thumb traces the bruise on her lower right cheek. He lifts her bottom and kisses the red stripe that ends in a blossoming purple.

She folds the pillow under her head and weeps.

Her hair smells of him, the other him, not the one who kisses her marks. Tangled sheets remind her at the foot board; on the dresser are her panties. Beside her is another man, her man, waiting to hear the story.

“Well?” He asks expectantly as his hand moves up her naked back.

“It was wonderful,” she sobs.

“Then why are you crying?”

Because it wasn’t you, comes her silent accusation. It wasn’t her lover who cultivated the butterflies and pushed them to the precipice. He didn’t peer inside her, see her nerves and determine what she needed. It was another man who layered the evening so that she could take it longer and harder than ever before.

“He used a paddle,” she begins.

“Ah. Is that what this is?” He circles a tender area on her left cheek.

Shrugging, she cannot see it.

“I didn’t complain,” she says in wonder because she always fights the paddle. “Then he used his belt.”

“I bet you liked that, didn’t you, naughty girl?”

Closing her eyes, she nods and remembers. With doubled leather in hand, he steered her bottom higher, pushed her legs apart and began. For the first half, she watched him: the rise and fall of his untucked dress shirt; the way his shoulders engaged in the task; the growing bulge encased in denim at eye level, foreign but familiar.

How she focused on her white knuckles while gripping the head board, ignoring the surge of moisture between her own legs.

“It went on and on…”

Her lover presses a kiss just above her bottom before hugging her around the waist. “I can tell. Your marks. And then…?”

He’d helped her to stand. She was dizzy. She was euphoric. She didn’t know herself but she knew him. He guided her to the living room, embraced her on the couch. The hug turned into a tug over his lap and his hand finished what it began, a slow cadence against welts. She ended in a wet and raucous kaleidoscope as his hand hit lower and with purpose.

“We hugged, and he went home,” she says, feeling tears begin again. Her voice cracks, “It was…wonderful.”

“Then why are you crying?”

“Because it wasn’t you,” she whispers.

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