“Hey, Alvis,” Dutch greeted him as he answered the comm-link. “I seem to be in the midst of a spiritual crisis. Think you can help?”
“Is this the kind of spiritual crisis that involves both of us naked?”
“Got it in one,” she answered, and he could hear the leer in her voice.
“My favorite kind,” he said honestly. “Be right there.”
The fact that Dutch’s ‘spiritual crises’ were a lot like booty calls didn’t make them any less real. And Alvis’ sacred duty as a monk had never kept him from enjoying them.
Dutch answered her cabin door already naked. He knew that she had clothing, and lingerie, designed to seduce. She’d tried dressing him up in them, once before, and had taken pictures. But that wasn’t what she needed from him tonight.
He walked in and stripped off his robe. She looked him up and down, hungry and silent.
“A shower first?” he suggested.
Dutch nodded, and he started unbraiding his hair.
Her hands began stroking his ass, and then up his back, tracing the scars of scripture. A warm, wet mouth sucked his nipple.
“That’s, oh, that’s nice, but I can’t concentrate while you’re doing it,” he told her.
The mouth lifted briefly from his nipple. “Don’t care,” she purred.
A nip of teeth. “Mmmm.” He yanked the rest of the braids out, impatient, not minding losing a few hairs if it meant getting into that shower with Dutch right now. He led the way, turning the water on hot and stepping inside.
Dutch shoved him backwards into the wall of the shower stall and pressed up against him, one hand around his neck pulling him into a fierce, demanding kiss. He yielded easily, mouth opening to her. The kiss gentled, became soft and teasing.
“Close your eyes,” she said.
He did, and she began washing his hair, massaging his scalp and neck. It felt incredible with the flow of hot water over his body. It was Dutch who had taught him what a sensual delight a shower could be. Alvis had been ordered to wash up before, a dirty little tunnel rat selling his body before he was old enough to work the mines; this was as different from that as could be imagined. He’d never asked where Dutch had learned this particular skill set. Someday, if she needed to talk about it, she would.
Dutch had finished washing and rinsing the rest of his body now, and was focused on his groin. She stroked up and down his shaft with one hand while the other played with his balls. Quick, unpredictable pulses of pleasure-pain brought him to the edge, hurting more as his hips thrust forward into her soapy hand.
“I’m close,” he gasped.
“Well done,” she praised, rewarding him with a swipe of her thumb across the head of his dick. She stepped away and turned off the water, grabbing a towel from the side.
He shivered as she dried him off, less from the cool air than in reaction to his near-orgasm.
She took his hand and led him to the bed. Alvis lay down on his back, legs spread. At her gesture, he closed them. She climbed onto his thighs, pinning him down, and showed him what was hidden in her hand. It was a type of knife he hadn’t seen before. Short and leaf-bladed, gripped between two fingers, she wielded it like an artist.
Dutch’s blade left long cat scratches across his torso, branching up and out from his hard prick. He watched avidly, barely resisting the urge to arch up into the edge. The knife rode up and down with his panting belly.
The next slice went deeper. It took a moment for Alvis to feel the sharp, welcome bite of it. A few red drops of blood welled up.
Dutch’s eyes were fixed on the canvas of his skin. She huffed out a breath. “You can still bleed,” she said, sounding almost surprised.
“I can still bleed,” he reassured her. “I can still scar. But that knife’s so sharp, I barely felt it,” he said, a tease, an invitation for more. “You haven’t used this one on me before. Is it new?”
“No, I’ve had this blade for a long time.” She turned the knife so that the flat of it pressed against his skin, holding him down. “I’ve tortured people with it. I’ve killed people with it. I’m a weapon, a killer.”
He tried to make eye contact with her, his body perfectly still. “Any animal will kill. To know it’s a sin is what makes us human. And to seek redemption – that’s divine.”
She laughed, harsh and ugly. “This isn’t about seeking redemption, Alvis. This is just me getting off on hurting you.”
“You could've hired a joy-boy to bleed for you,” he said. “You chose a Scarback Monk to hurt, instead. ‘Our pain is your redemption. We suffer for your sins.’ It’s kind of our thing.”
Dutch sneered down at him. “Joy-boys have too much sense of self-preservation. But you, you’ll invite a monster into your bed, put a knife in my hand and beg me to cut you.” She flipped the blade back and forth between her fingers and began slashing at him with it, combat-fast, a dozen, a hundred near-misses, a cage of dancing steel that would cut Alvis if he so much as flinched.
“I could slice you open right now, watch you bleed out in my bed, and I wouldn’t care,” Dutch said as the knife point flickered past his eye. “I wouldn’t feel a thing.” Her voice was distant, cold; Alvis had never heard that from her before.
Alvis forced himself to relax every muscle as he looked up at Dutch, ignoring the knife, searching her face for clues like a monk groping for waymarks in a dark mine. There were tears in her eyes. Alvis followed his instincts.
“Stop,” he whispered.
Dutch recoiled off the bed, all the way against the far bulkhead. “I didn’t cut you,” she said. “I didn’t - I swear, I didn’t mean to. Is it bad?” Her eyes were huge in her face. “Lucy, get Johnny. Tell him to bring a med-kit.”
“Lucy, cancel that request,” Alvis said.
“Confirmation?” the cool voice of the computer requested from the ceiling.
“I’m fine,” Alvis told Dutch, sitting up in bed. “See? The blade never even touched me. I stopped you to make a point.”
Her eyes scanned his torso. She let out a gasping breath. “Yeah, okay. Confirmed, Lucy. Cancel the request for medical assistance.” She sank to her haunches and glared up at him. “What the Hells kind of point were you trying to make by scaring me like that?”
“That I’m here because I enjoy this. You would never hurt me any more than I wanted, and I can trust you to stop the moment I ask you to.” Alvis shrugged. “I always feel safe with you.”
“Even when I’ve got a knife in my hand, stained with your blood?” she asked bitterly.
Alvis grinned at her. He lay back down and stretched luxuriantly, enjoying the feel of the cool silk sheets against his skin. “Oh, especially then,” he called out.
Dutch rose to her feet, rolling her neck. “Well, you certainly know how to kill a mood.”
“Some moods deserve killing. Can we try again, without the psycho role-play shit this time?”
Dutch hesitated. “It’s late.”
“Come back to bed,” Alvis urged her. “We’ll start slow, and work up to me begging you to cut me. I hear you might be into that.”
Dutch’s lips quirked up into a smile. “Cheeky,” she said. She laid that small, deadly blade down on a sterile wrap on the bedside table, and joined him on the bed.
They did start slow, with long, drugging kisses, exploring each other’s bodies with hands and mouths. Eventually Dutch urged him onto his back, hovering over him and then sinking down onto his cock, riding it, using him for her pleasure.
He did beg, then. Begged Dutch to cut him, to make him bleed.
“I’d like to cut deep enough to scar,” she said breathlessly. “Carve my name into you. Scripture across your back, my name across your front. Is that blasphemy?”
“No,” he gasped. “Sacred.” And suddenly he wanted it, wanted to wear Dutch’s name on his skin, as much a symbol of his devotion as his robes. “Please, by the Mother Tree, Dutch, oh, please!” His hands clutched helplessly at Dutch’s hips as he thrust up into her and came.
When his eyes could focus again, he watched Dutch trace the line of bloody cuts she’d made with one finger while she rocked on him, the other hand pressed to her clit. He trembled at the burn of the cuts, the sensation of her squeezing his over-sensitive cock, the tiny, hurt noises she was making.
“Please,” he whispered, and she shuddered, muscles tensing in a silent orgasm that looked almost painful, before slumping down onto him.
Dutch cleaned the cuts and insisted Alvis drink a full glass of water before getting under the covers with him. She held him and petted him, chatting about nothing in particular. Eventually she drifted off to sleep.
“Dutch?” he said quietly.
There was no response. Alvis slipped out of bed and got dressed. The cuts across his chest were obvious, even with his robes on. It looked like he’d given blessings to a temple full of worshippers. He smiled at the thought and scratched with his thumbnail at the scab covering the deepest until it bled. He transferred the blood from the cut to Dutch’s eyelids, gently, careful not to wake her.
“And when we rise her branches hold us,
And when we tire her trunk shelters us,
And when we die her roots will carry us home.
Praise the trees."
Alvis stepped out of Dutch’s cabin, blinking at the brighter lights of the hallway, and found Johnny sitting on the floor, leaning back against the bulkhead, PDD resting on his knees.
Johnny looked up, and then did a double-take. “Ooooh,” he said, clearly trying to keep a straight face. “Lucy warned me there might be a problem, but it, ah, it didn’t sound serious enough to override Dutch’s lock code,” he explained.
Alvis knew he looked well-fucked. He’d done many things in his life he was ashamed of, but giving Dutch what she needed would never be one of them.
“No problem at all,” he answered cheerfully, and walked back to his bunk.