I loved you with the good and the careless of me.
The swirl of whiskey around and around and around left a ringed stain of alcohol on the sides of the cup that once held her coffee and she couldn't quite pull her eyes away. Her fingers held the delicate porcelain as she watched the liquid churn, like her thoughts. Upstairs in her makeshift nook in the attic, a small space carved out away from the kids, away from Bill and Olive, away from the domesticity of her life now in the too-small suburban town, Elizabeth Holloway Marston pondered what she had and what she lost.
She had an ever-growing family, children who brought an unexpected maternal side out she thought she never possessed. She had Bill, ever her rock and ever eager to explore the world with her, the intellect that captivated and the newly identified id that fed the soft and hungry animal inside them both. And of course, she had Olive. Olive Byrne, former student, former research assistant, current puzzle that kept Elizabeth guessing and thrown off by her sincerity and her trust and her...willingness. They were a house of love, all of them cozied up together with warm rooms and full hearts, but Olive was still a conundrum to befuddle her. Being perplexed by someone or something was and remained a foreign feeling for her, one she indulged in when the house was quiet and the sky was dark and her thoughts turned cloudy.
"Can I get you anything?"
Elizabeth let a small smile cross her lips as she pulled her eyes from the eddy in her glass and turned them towards a soft voice calling from the doorway. Olive was leaning against the frame of the door, her blond hair wisping around her shoulders and the cotton summer nightgown she wore. She held her wrist and looked at Elizabeth with those eyes, so open and unafraid and hopeful. When Olive came to her like this, on late nights when Bill was away on travel and when the children were sound asleep, something inside Elizabeth rumbled and rattled her cage.
"I think the better question, darling, is what is it that you want?"
This was their way, this was how it started. Olive would ask this question to test the waters, to signal, to offer if such things were desired. Elizabeth leaned back in her chair and crossed her leg, sipping the fire that burned in her cup. She watched Olive glance down before she eased into the room a few steps and quietly closed the door behind her, thumb locking it with a loud click they both heard.
What Elizabeth Marston had lost was the ability to deny what she felt and wanted when it came to Olive and their relationship. She and Bill both had given up their dreams of academic pursuits in favor of matters of the heart, much to Elizabeth's own chagrin. She swallowed those disappointments, lost careers and lost opportunities, to devour something and someone that nourished and fed the dark inside of her. She had always considered herself practical. Logical. Pragmatic bordering on the cynical. And yet, here she was and here they were. The wish and the hope and the caution they had thrown to the wind had turned into something solid and real and unexpected and Elizabeth had come to accept that such choices could turn out to be the right ones, despite how unconventional they were to the world. Pioneers were always the first to taste the freshest fruits or fall from the tallest heights.
Here, Olive's voice faltered and she paused, her eyes glancing to the small desk Elizabeth sat at before returning to look at her. Only a few candles lit the room, a typewriter and pages of an unfinished manuscript were strewn across the desk, the illegal whiskey bottle glowing gold next to Elizabeth's glass. They both knew prohibition did not exist in this room.
“Yes, you want, but what is it you need, Olive?"
Elizabeth felt herself falling into something other, shifting away from office assistant role she had occupied earlier during the Friday workday. It was like peeling away the skin she wore on the outside to expose something more raw. She could feel her own eyes narrow, her jaw set, her teeth grind a little at the thought of Olive standing there with those eyes, looking at her like she did, open and exposed. They were still navigating some waters when it came to what was desired and what could be demanded, but Elizabeth had a pretty good idea what Olive came looking for.
At this soft confession, Elizabeth smiled and nodded, her fingers opening the drawer to her desk and carefully pulling out a coil of rope from the special curio shop Bill had taken them to in the city not long ago. To her, it represented something untamed and powerful and forbidden to the outside world. To Olive, she now knew it represented freedom. It had taken that night in the shop for her to first realize this, after harsh words with Bill and her own reconciliation of the unspoken. When they had returned, rope nestled in a velvet bag, they all had treated it as a foreign object in their home, something that required the right setting and circumstance to uncoil. It was still new, still exotic. Now, when she watched Olive looking at it on the desk, the way her lips parted, the blood running through Elizabeth turned swift.
"Come here and put your hands out in front of you."
She said this with enough quiet force that Olive just stood there for a second and looked at her. There were many reasons why she loved Olive and many reasons why she couldn't deny her. One of those reasons was the way Olive walked slowly towards her and held out her hands, wrists turned up, breath catching, and the utter trust that she had in Elizabeth. It was written across her face and across her delicate wrists, circled in bracelets and waiting for a stronger hold.
Elizabeth looked up at Olive from her chair, reading the look in her eyes and feeling the surge inside that made her clinch her hands around the rope and begin wrapping it roughly around small wrists. Olive's gasp at being handled in such a way brought the blood to the surface of both of their cheeks and necks, heating them and the small room quickly. She practically growled out her next words.
"Is this what you want?"
There was an out, a chance to say no, a chance to stop what was about to happen before she tied the knot tight. Elizabeth was always living on the cusp of a yes and a no, her whole life had been one big yes until the ways of the world, until society with all its traditional, conventional rules, had said no to her. They had lost their careers, but had gained in other ways, a different path and a full house of their hearts. That was why it was so important for her to know Olive wished for the same, that Olive consented willingly, that Olive gave because she wanted and not because Elizabeth took without asking. It was why they worked and how the three of them fell into something whole and complete. She could feel herself struggle with the wait of an answer and the pull of something darker. As if by magic or design, Olive read her like an open book, her once blank pages now full of words only Olive could understand and she watched as Olive knelt in front of her and held up her wrists, tangled in rope but unknotted.
This was what truly tested her mettle and resolve: Olive looking up at her, willing and trusting and waiting. If Elizabeth were not careful, if she wasn't fully in control of herself, she truly felt like she would plunder and ravage for no other reason than how soft Olive had become, how acquiescent. Such submission inspired a primal response and Elizabeth had slowly begun to realize where the true power resided. Her hands may be tying the rope and knotting it, but Olive, with her brown eyes and soft gasps at each tug on the rope, had her wrapped up tighter than any binding ever could. This was why she drank whiskey and brooded late into the evening and why the woman kneeling in front of her held so much more command in her bound hands than Elizabeth realized.
"I love you."
Elizabeth said those words softly, in an almost whisper as she pushed blond hair from Olive's face, because if she said anything else or said it louder, her own hands would shake and rip and lash and seize rather than caress. These words she said, the way she said them caused Olive to press her bound hands against Elizabeth's knee, establishing initial contact until their eyes locked. Olive softened even more, saying nothing with words but everything with her eyes. It's okay. Yes I want this. Yes I want you. Please. Elizabeth exhaled a breath and spoke again.
"Bend over my knee."
Pupils widened. Pulse points throbbed. Breath caught. She watched Olive's lips part at the words, enough to see just a hint of white teeth behind plump fullness. Elizabeth sat back in the chair and waited. Olive regained a little of herself and nodded, putting her bound hands against the floor to push herself up from knees resting on wood. The rest of the rope curled around the floor at Elizabeth's feet while the rest wound around wrists and was knotted with just the right amount of force to hold Olive's hands in prayer. Elizabeth took a deep breath when she watched and felt Olive lean over, settling her weight across Elizabeth's lap, the light blue cotton nightgown pulling tight against a bent back and the curves of her ass.
"That's right, darling. Just for me."
She was talking to herself now, it seemed, in reverie and wonder, her eyes devouring while she felt the weight of Olive's submission. Images from that night long ago, in a Radcliffe sorority flooding back to her quickly. They had not spoken of it fully since then and certainly had not revisited the experience they had all shared that night of bearing witness to a silly ritual laced with much more than that under the surface. With Olive now across her lap, Elizabeth felt her own arousal, the shaking in her hand only stopping when she put one on Olive's back, fingertips along her spine.
"You want this..."
Elizabeth spoke quietly, half to herself and half to Olive. She watched as Olive turned her head and brown eyes looked up at her, nodding. With her other hand, she caressed Olive's ass gently as if she actually possessed patience until she heard Olive inhale a breath at the contact. Then she brought her hand down, the contact smacking out sharply in the little private room and both of them hearing it like a shot. Elizabeth looked down and watched Olive's bound hands reach for her bare ankle, find purchase to steady herself and be in contact with Elizabeth. Another glance back from Olive and a nod before Elizabeth clenched her jaw.
"You want this.."
More firmly, her hand came down and Olive gasped loudly at the stinging contact. Elizabeth felt herself burn at the want, her hand pressing down harder on Olive's back as the other trailed over curves warmed by the contact. Her resolve and control was put to the test when she watched Olive adjust, pushing her hips up a little higher in her lap to offer herself to Elizabeth. Olive glanced back at her and nodded, her voice quiet but clear.
"I want this.."
She narrowed her eyes at that as her hand gripped the nightgown at Olive's back and pushed up the fabric around her hips until she was bare. She should not have been surprised, but she was when she realized Olive had no underclothing on, nothing but bare skin waiting Elizabeth. Another harder smack came by her own hand because it was all she could do to maintain, her words growing a little desperate.
"That's right, you want this.."
Olive kept her eyes on her, never breaking contact as Elizabeth’s hand fell again and again, each one eliciting a small cry as Olive’s hips moved back to meet her hand. When Elizabeth tore her eyes away from Olive’s face and the way her mouth was open and needy, she saw the redness that had formed across Olive’s curves. The sight of her work made her breathe out and ball up the nightgown in her fist, knuckles dragging across the ridges of Olive’s spine. It was almost too much. It was too much.
“You’re mine, Olive…all mine…”
Elizabeth found the strength to let her fingertips gently trail along heated skin, dipping into a warm valley as Olive pushed up against her. She glanced down when she felt Olive’s bound hands grasp her leg and her head drop down, panting out as Elizabeth held her down.
She heard the soft desperate words from Olive’s lips and Elizabeth no longer had the will not to harm with her markings. Instead, she dipped her fingers lower and closed her eyes, feeling a pool of slick wetness and open lips awaiting her. She plunged in with little hesitation, taking Olive fully and deeply when she heard that first moan of pleasure filling the room. Olive’s hips rocked back against her hand and her fingers felt the grip of tightness and slick calling her.
“Fuck..you feel so good..”
Her sailor’s mouth followed where her mind went and Elizabeth started to keep a steady pace, fucking deeply and roughly into Olive. Across her lap, Olive moved her feet until her legs were spread wider and she was almost off Elizabeth’s lap in the air, offering herself and accepting the three fingers sliding into her now, filling her up. Elizabeth fell into a rhythm, gliding in and out with each of Olive’s cries. With her head bowed down and bound hands now on the wooden floor, Olive was rocking back against her hand with faster and faster movements, crying out with each deep thrust.
In the haze of it all, Olive’s soft pleas carried up to Elizabeth’s ears and it only served to fuel her hands. She let go of the nightgown and reached under her, fingertips finding the swell of Olive’s arousal and rubbing against it. With each thrusting fuck, Elizabeth circled faster until Olive stopped talking and only strangled sounds and held breaths came from her lips. The wetness covering her fingers increased, Olive’s body pulling her in against ridges and softness inside. She would give the world to Olive, she would give her anything she wanted, and that was the power she held over Elizabeth no matter how hands were tied or knees hit the floor or her body was offered in supplication. She could not rightfully take what is not freely and willingly given and the choice to give was the most powerful of all. Elizabeth was owned just as surely as Olive was.
“I love you..”
She said this as she leaned over and pressed her face against the swell of Olive’s ass and the dip in her back, her hands still frantically working into wet tightness and over a hardened tip. Elizabeth heard Olive try to hold her breath and could feel everything change inside, wetness and ridges and tightness and looseness all at once as she lifted her head up and cried out, the uncontrolled sound filling the room and Elizabeth’s ears and head with a flood of Olive’s release washing over them both. Olive’s body fell back down into her lap and she kept her hand inside, holding on as each spasm was wrung out, the other arm flung over Olive’s back to hold her tight.
Elizabeth kept her face pressed against Olive’s back, panting breathlessly herself at the effort and the sheer primal reaction to making Olive Bryne come in the dark of the night. If she were the praying type, she would have sung hallelujah quietly up to the rafters because she loved Olive and Olive loved her, loved them both and their family back as fiercely as they did. Maybe it was the divine, maybe it was the whiskey, but Elizabeth could have stayed like this all night, covering Olive up and feeling the weight of her. But at the edge of her consciousness, she felt Olive’s hands brush against her leg and she moved to gently help her up.
“Hey…hey..I’ve got you..come here..”
Carefully, she guided Olive upright and pulled her back into her lap, this time cradling her into her arms as she gently untied the rope from her wrists. Olive’s eyes were closed as she gently rubbed against the pressure marks from the rope, carefully bringing blood back to flow and pressing her lips against delicate wrists, softly and thoroughly. When she was satisfied, she tucked Olive back into her arms and looked down at her, blond hair mussed and eyelashes holding wetness. Elizabeth let her lips gently kiss against Olive’s eyelids, licking away wetness as she tenderly held her face, smoothing her hair and holding her close.
“Are you okay, my darling?”
At her words, Olive’s eyes opened and she blinked, the softness of her face reflecting back what Elizabeth felt. She felt hands clutch at her shoulders and Olive leaned up, kissing against her lips, opening her mouth to deepen the kiss. When they pulled back, Olive smiled softly and nodded.
Elizabeth reached up and traced her fingers along Olive's lips and over her brows, easily falling into soft brown. Not that she doubted, not that she was concerned, but something in the back of Olive's eyes made her ask.
"Are you happy with us? With me?"
She watched as Olive smiled and nodded, reaching up to put her hands in Elizabeth's hair, messing it up a little.
"Very. As long as I have you and our family, I have everything I could ever wish for..”
Elizabeth smiled at that and pressed her forehead against Olive’s, their eyes lost together and close.
“You once said I longed for an unconventional life. I was never very fond of being predictable and never rewarded for trying to be. If this is what it means to be living my best unconventional life, then I endeavor to be very, very good at it.”
Olive tucked her head into Elizabeth’s neck and sighed as Elizabeth wrapped her up tightly into her arms. Her voice was sleepy and soft and she could feel Olive wanting to drift off.
“You’ve always been very good. It’s as endearing as it is maddening. Don’t ever change.”
Elizabeth smiled and pressed her mouth against the crown of blond hair. This was her life now, this was their choice and they were making it work. Elizabeth, Olive, Bill and the kids. The lot of them together in a world that wasn’t ready for them and wouldn’t be for too long to wait to delay happiness. Pioneers were brave and forged a path for others to follow and she liked to think that they would make it easier for the next Olive and Elizabeth and Bill. The choice to live like they did was never going to be easy, but it would be theirs to make and Elizabeth Holloway Marston was not about to let it all go now.
“I hope you still think I’m as impossibly endearing as I am now when I’m a hundred years old. I can’t promise I won’t be maddening still.”
She felt Olive chuckle against her neck and pondered how she was going to carry the softest part of her heart downstairs to their bed.
“You will be. One hundred years old and stubborn as a mule.”
“I was going to say I love you, Olive Byrne, but now you’ve cast aspersions on my character. I shall not stand for such things.”
“Take me to bed properly and restore your standing in my eyes, Ms. Elizabeth Holloway Marston.”
With a heave and a ho, Elizabeth stood on wobbly whiskey knees and carried a thoroughly ravaged woman in her arms, blowing out candles on the way out and ducking her head through the small door of her attic retreat. She glanced back and smiled to herself as she saw the golden rope coiled on the floor and the truth was she couldn’t be happier than she was now.
“The things I do for love.”