Black and white photograph of vintage decadence at a black tie party for The Gift post by Malin James

Photograph by Marco Sanges (2014)

On the evening of her birthday, Sabine’s husband gave her the gift of a slave.

So kind, you might be thinking. So generous to give his wife another man to fuck. Sabine’s husband was, after all, several decades her senior, and the possessor of certain appetites that did not suit his foreign wife. The gift was surely a generous act, especially at that time, when flesh cost more than gold.

Generous, so generous….

Generous. But not kind.

Sabine’s husband trafficked in humans, a practice she abhorred. The gift, presented with torturous ceremony before a roomful of guests, was an insult—one so subtle that her husband would look like a king while delivering a barb she couldn’t ignore.

Unhappy but silent, Sabine watched a handler lead the blindfolded slave to the center of the room, trailed by a clutch of cilevore—sentient bonds that resembled the vines of a thick, tenacious plant. Another cilevore bound his wrists, making itself both the manacle and the leash by which he was led.

Sabine eyed the creatures, which brought to mind a cluster of eels with their slithering, muscled strength. Swallowing her disgust, she turned her attention to the slave, who was tall and blond, like the men of her faraway home.

They had brought him in naked, of course. A leather cord—the sign of his station—encircled his scrotum and cock. It was a pretty picture he made. Against her wishes, Sabine’s body quickened. The slave was beautiful and masculine—the most masculine thing she had seen since she’d come to her husband’s house. Her husband liked boys and soft, young girls. This slave, with his hard, uncompromising frame, would never have been bought if not for her.

“Well, my darling,” Sabine’s husband said, pitching his voice to the room, “care to try your new toy?”

The guests tittered. A slave such as this was only meant for one thing. Who wouldn’t want to watch?

Sabine lifted her head, winter pale and calm, as the handler sat the slave down in a carved wooden chair. Then he signaled to the cilevore, which slithered up over the slave, coiling around his ankles and wrists and binding him in place. Unable to see through the blindfold he wore, the slave flexed against his bonds. The cilevore tightened in response. Noticing the shift in the bonds, the handler slapped his cock. Once. Twice. The slave’s jaw tightened. Satisfied, the handler stepped back.

The slave’s breathing was deep and even; his face calm beneath the mask. But to the watchful, (and Sabine was watchful), the man was in distress.

The cilevore flexed, addressing the strain his body could not hide—pulse, heart rate, nerves…. He vibrated, clearly longing to rip the creatures off. And yet he continued to sit, unchallenging and calm. Disciplined, she thought. Or experienced. He was either very skilled or used to biding his time.

“Come, my dear,” her husband continued. “He is fresh from the auction block.”

“Disciplined, then,” she murmured, as her husband’s voice echoed, bluff, indulgent and utterly false. Still she did not move. Her husband’s face took on a look of gently wounded pride. He is losing patience, she thought.

“Well,” he said, as if he were coaxing a cat with cream, “I suppose if you don’t like it we’ll have to send it back.”

The handler stepped forward, unsheathing a knife.

“No,” Sabine said, surprising herself.

The guests went silent as they watched the awkward tableau. She could almost hear the slave’s pulse. It would be stressful. Very stressful. The knife was very near. One needn’t see to know. That, at least, she understood.

“I accept your gift,” she said, denying her husband the reaction he’d paid the flesh-price for.

His smile faltered but did not fail. Sabine approached the slave while the guests clapped politely, like the spectators they were. Sensing the change in the room, the slave’s fingers twitched though he did not challenge his bonds. The cilevore tightened regardless, rustling organically as Sabine came near. She ignored them. She wanted to see his face.

His white-gold hair curled softly, like feathers. Silky. Like her own. Suddenly, almost violently, she wanted the blindfold gone. Reaching out with a cool, steady hand, Sabine removed the mask, revealing an angular face with a scar along the jaw. Then the slave opened his eyes. No blinking. No panic. Just a pool of angry blue.

I am sorry, she wished to tell him. You were not meant for this.

The slave narrowed his eyes and nodded, as if he’d heard her thought. All the while, his cock rose thick above the leather thong.

To her shock, Sabine’s nipples peaked and she grew instantly wet. Without removing her gaze from his, Sabine acknowledged his nod. Then, lifting the heavy silk of her dress, she mounted him, gracefully, without revealing her arousal to anyone but the slave.

Sabine’s body flushed as she slid her swollen cunt along the length of his shaft. Her breath caught. His jaw tightened. She struggled for control as the scent of him went to her head. Then, thighs trembling, Sabine sank down, taking him into her body as her fingers knotted in his hair.

The slave’s body tensed and the cilevore shifted, sensing his impulse to touch her. She could feel his need to touch her vibrate through his skin.

“Release his arms,” she whispered.

She’d assumed the bonds would ignore her, but they dropped away, only to wrap around his waist. Wrists or no wrists, he would not be permitted to move.

Sabine grimaced. Even the manacles in her husband’s house were perfectly trained. But then slave’s hands gripped her through her dress and she fell into her body, light as snow. A sigh escaped her and gentle laughter filled the room—teasing laughter at her husband’s expense. Her thighs grew slicker at the sound.

Sabine began to move, slowly at first, then more quickly, working his shaft as she rose and fell, loosening her limbs and warming the body her marriage had turned cold.

Her focus narrowed. The room, the guests, the handler disappeared. Only her husband’s image remained sharp in her mind, and even that wavered when she looked at the slave. He was silent, watching her, hands just beneath her breasts as his thumbs rubbed her nipples through the bodice of her gown.

He is not a slave, she thought. That was not something that slaves did. Slaves followed instructions. They did what they were told. But this slave was watching—watching and responding. He did not need to be told.

Sabine rocked her hips, taking pleasure in her body as she took pleasure in him. And all the while he watched, muscles working in his jaw as his hands cupped her neck and steadied her waist. He was taking his pleasure in her. Her lips parted, lush and hungry, as her head tilted back. He was taking his pleasure in her.

Sabine moaned as he strained against his bonds, seeking her mouth with his. Had they left him his tongue, she wondered. Please, let him have his tongue. They muted slaves so often…she had not kissed him yet to know.

But she wanted his mouth. She wanted his kiss even though she feared the hollow she might find. It was defiance – of her husband and his culture and her own shameful fear – that drove her to his mouth. But all that fell away as he touched her tongue with his.

She lifted herself, rising up above his body until the tip of his cock rested at the opening of her sex. Her cunt clutched and ached, desperate for his girth, but she held herself suspended as the slave bared his teeth, squeezing her waist so hard she feared she would break.

He could crack her in two with those strong, scarred hands. He could snap her like a stick. Thoughts of her husband filled Sabine’s head. His cruel tastes. His lie of a smile. Her husband who trafficked in flesh. What might he do if confronted with such large, disciplined hands?

It was that thought, as much as the strength in his hands, that pushed her over the edge. Her legs buckled and Sabine sank back down. For the first time in her life, she gave her body free rein and she writhed like a whore, but Sabine was well beyond caring. She writhed and savored as the slave beneath her moaned. It was a sibilant sound, low and sweet—a sound for her alone. It shuddered over her skin.

Sabine arched her back and came, filling the room with a shriek so rich and obscene the slave’s handler flushed. It’s me, she thought. I am making that sound. Her cunt clutched harder and she came again, imagining herself soaked in his seed.

“Come,” she whispered into his ear. But the slave shook his head.

It was only then that she remembered he was not allowed release. She could fuck him all she liked, but he could never come. Slaves didn’t. Not male ones. It was taboo. She looked into his eyes, into his anger and need. Then she reached down between them and unknotted the thong that constricted the base of his cock.

“Come now,” she said. Her voice filled the room. “Come now for me.”

There were gasps of genuine shock. Ignoring the guests, Sabine began to move, splaying her body as he bucked and thrust against the cilevore at his waist.

Sabine’s husband said something. The handler shifted. They were running out of time.

Sensing the handler’s approach, the slave crushed Sabine to his chest, pressing her down and securing her with every single thrust. For a moment, all she heard the rush of her pulse. Then the slave’s breath hitched and he groaned as he soaked her with his cum.

Slowly, their breathing evened and their bodies calmed, and Sabine became aware of a buzzing, like wasps, in the room. No, not wasps. Nothing so dangerous. Just her husband’s guests.

Swallowing her apprehension, Sabine brought her mouth to the slave’s. She lingered a moment, drinking in the taste of ice and snow and home. Then she rose and straightened her skirts as the cilevore slivered back to his wrists.

“No,” she told the handler, who stood awkwardly near.

The handler looked to her husband, eyes weak and small as a pig’s. Her husband did not respond. Her husband, she thought with his grim, angry face, lined hard like the cracks in a bowl. Before either could respond, Sabine cut them both off.

“I will not have him bound.”

The cilevore receded, curling up on the floor as docilely as cats. The slave watched them settle and then looked at her. She nodded. He rose and crossed the room until he stood just behind Sabine.

Sabine thought of the slave’s deceptive calm and the crush of his hands on her waist. She’d have bruises the following day. A smile curved her lips. Gifts have power. By the rules of her husband’s culture, the giver cedes control of an object the moment it is given. The slave, one of her countrymen—was just such a gift, one that was part of a larger game. For the first time since marrying, Sabine felt that she might win.

“Thank you, dearest,” she said to her husband, who appeared to shrink and age. “Thank you for your generous gift.”