They choose hotels that are a little seedy, a touch scruffy. Worn carpets to chafe at her knees and grubby corners for her to pout into, hands behind her head, arse cheeks stinging with corrective discipline. Hotels that look and feel cheap; lessons in humility start with an appropriate environment.
I like to feel chastened she’d said all those years ago, over Earl Grey and spelt cookies; a lunchtime summit for their third date. I want to feel used and despoiled. I want to play a princess dragged down into the mud, held in contempt at the village stocks, fucked and flogged and made to pay for her privileges.
He’d laughed delightedly, then pinned her in place with the look that makes her knees weak and her cunt throb. Commanding, demanding, penetrating. The same look he wore when she bared her arse for him at the play party two weeks earlier, and asked, so prettily, for a thrashing.
Let’s talk about how that could go. He’d covered her hand with his, a gesture of solidarity, and I would love to give you what you want. You deserve your heart’s desire.
This time, their tryst will be held in a shabby concrete bunker at the edge of a half-hearted retail park in the back end of nowhere. Bright corporate colours sit incongruously on the gum-chewing teen at Reception, her badge says “Welcome” but her glower is 100% ‘fuck off’. They exchange covert grins above her sullen indifference; happening upon the perfect setting for their play brings them both great amusement. This is such a place.
The room is spacious but sparsely furnished in low-rent landlord’s chipped wood laminate. A flat-pack desk, twin beds posing as a double under king-size duvet camouflage, one conference centre-reject chair, hangers fixed to the wonky rail by the door. Nothing but the floor is sturdy, cold concrete with a thin layer of scuffed and stained nylon carpet. Brown, of course.
He ushers her inside ahead of him, closes the door behind them, locks and chains it shut.
Their ritual always begins in the bathroom, among wafts of budget bleach and mildew that now produce a Pavlovian response in them both. It smells of degradation and the sluicing-away of sins.
“Undress,” he says softly, and watches with satisfaction as she flinches at the cold, cracked ceramic against her bare feet. She folds her clothes carefully, hands them to him, eyes lowered. He checks his pockets. Cable ties, condoms, lube. Unbuckles his belt, slides it from its loops to wrap around his fist in one practiced slap.
“Do you want me to hurt you? Make you cry? Make you plead for mercy?” Just saying the words to her makes his cock twitch, his pulse pound.
She sinks to her knees, meets his eyes, cracks a wicked grin.
“I’d like to see you try.”
There’s a reason they choose unpopular hotels, aesthetics being one; practicality being another. Muffled screams and the crack of leather on skin. Sounds of a struggle. Someone might get the wrong idea.
Or the right one.