It smells like varnished oak and slightly of musty cloth inside the confessional. The burgundy leather that encases the padding on the kneeler is cracked and peeling in several places, and the space is dim and confined. "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been... likely several decades since my last confession."
"And of what sins do you accuse yourself, my son?"
Dennis begins to sweat as he steels himself for his next words. He considers copping out and confessing some random, mundane offense, but that's not why he's here. "I fingered a girl."
The priest nods on the other side of the lattice that obscures him from the man's view and that obscures the man from his. "Lust is a sin, that is true."
"No, Father, I don't think you understand. She was a girl... Not a woman. This wasn't lust. This was a felony."
"... How young?"
"And... how old were you?"
"This was five years ago. I'm... nearly fifty."
"Okay..." Should he ask this man's name? He has a duty to report him, doesn't he?
"I didn't want to," Dennis says hastily. "She kept egging me on - Not that I'm blaming her! I just - I got fed up, and I - I should've just left or taken her back to her parents, or - or done anything else, but I fingered her, I fingered her until she came and I was mean about it, but she liked that, she told me she liked it, and I was aroused, too, but I didn't want to do anything with her, and - and she groped me, she touched me after I specifically told her not to, so, really, she had far less regard for consent than I, and that was when I fingered her in retaliation, and when I asked her how she felt after, she said she felt great, but the thing is on Friday she told me that she used to have nightmares about it - Well, she said just one or two, but I think she was downplaying it. She said she had a lot of good dreams about it, as well. And now I'm dating her and I - I don't really know how to feel about it, to be honest. She was the one to push for a relationship after we reconnected recently, but I really like her. She told me she doesn't want me to go to jail, and honestly, Father, I don't want to, either. I know I deserve to, but I have a little six year old boy at home. I'm not attracted to children, I swear. I wasn't attracted to Ab- to the girl. She's an adult now, but when we first met, I swear I wasn't attracted to her. I know I said I was aroused, but that's only because she kept steering the conversation to sex. I tried to tell her it was making me uncomfortable, but I really shouldn't have engaged her at all. It wasn't nonconsensual, but she couldn't have foreseen how it would affect her psychologically at that age. I should've known, though, since I lost my virginity to a woman who was pretty much the age I am now when I was fourteen. I don't think it traumatized me, but it felt wrong and, honestly, Father, I think it might've made me a bit less empathetic than I should be, a bit colder than most people."
The priest is silent for a few moments as he processes everything this man has said and ponders what his response ought to be. "Say three Hail Mary's and you shall be absolved of this sin" just doesn't seem appropriate. "... Did you ever confess? To the authorities, I mean."
"No. I would, though, if I didn't have a family. My son's mom doesn't work, so I have to support them, and I don't want to miss his life, either."
The priest sighs. "I understand." This would appear to be one of those instances where justice for past evils must be sacrificed for the good of the future and present. "Say three Hail Mary's and four Our Father's and you shall be absolved of this sin." What else can he say? This man came here to confess, didn't he? He clearly is not evil or without conscience, and he did seem genuinely remorseful in his somewhat panicked rambling.
"Thank you, Father."
"Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Amen." And don't fucking finger any more kids.
"Amen." Dennis exits the confessional and takes a seat on a pew to begin his prayers. He closes his eyes and leans forward to rest his forehead on his fingertips, hunched over with his elbows just above his knees. He quietly mutters every word of every prescribed prayer. The rote nature of the speech allows his thoughts to roam elsewhere. He thinks about Abigail during the first Hail Mary, about how he hopes he can help her heal any untreated wounds. He thinks about Brian during the second Hail Mary, about how innocent and pure he is, about how Dennis would be heartbroken and enraged if anyone ever touched him as he is. He thinks about Mandy during the third Hail Mary, wonders whether she would leave with their son if she ever found out. Dennis wishes so badly that he could tell her, for they share their lives together. He decides it isn't worth the risk. He thinks about Ms. Klinsky during the first Our Father, wonders if she ever felt guilty, wonders if she ever even knew that it was wrong. He thinks about his former co-workers, his friends and the family into which he was born, during the second Our Father, wonders what they would do if they knew. Would they disown him or would they console him? Dennis thinks about the metaphysical nature of the universe during the third Our Father, about the uncanny symmetry in life, about karma and whether it exists, about luck and justice and misfortune. He thinks about himself during his final prayer, about how this doesn't feel like enough penance, but prison feels like too much. "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," Dennis mutters as he crosses himself. "Amen."
The midday sun blazes off the pavement when Dennis steps outside into the parking lot. It's unbearably bright, but not too hot. Dennis gets in his car and drives back to his house. Well, really, it's Mandy's car, but Dennis uses it far more often. "Hey," he announces as he steps inside and locks the front door.
"Daddy!" Brian exclaims as he jumps up from his seat at the kitchen table and makes a beeline for Dennis's arms.
Dennis laughs as he scoops up his son. He doesn't know where the heck the kid gets his energy, but Dennis knows he'll never tire of it.
"You're just in time for lunch," Mandy calls from the table.
"Oh, sweet," Dennis says as he carries Brian back to the table and takes a seat between him and Mandy. "Whoa, pancakes!"
"I helped Mommy make them!"
"Did you?" Dennis smiles as he spears a couple from the pile in the centre of the table and brings them to his plate.
"He mixed the batter," Mandy says, smiling.
"Wow, good job, buddy." Dennis pours some syrup over them and takes a bite. "They're really good," he says to Brian.
Brian giggles at the compliment. "Is Abby coming over today?"
"You like Abby, huh?"
"Yep! She's my third best friend," Brian beams.
Dennis giggles. "Should we invite her for dinner?"
"That should be fine. I was gonna make pasta and chicken. Did you want to spend some time alone with her after Brian goes to bed?"
"... Here? How would that work?"
"I could sleep on the couch in the living room."
"No, don't do that." Abby's too goddamn loud, anyway. "Maybe I'll spend the night at her place after you guys are asleep." Or in a hotel again. Shit, this is starting to become a bit of an expensive relationship.
"Alright. I guess we hadn't really thought about how we'd coordinate dating other people. What does she think of our situation, by the way? Does she know we share a room?"
"She knows we share a bed. I told her the whole story, pretty much. She's okay with it; she knows it's platonic."
"What does "platonic" mean?" Brian asks.
"Friendly," Dennis answers. It's close enough to the truth.
"I like platonic people."
Mandy and Dennis both laugh.
"What?" Brian asks, visibly confused by his parents' reaction.
"It's a bit of a grown-up word," Mandy tries to explain. "Don't try using it at school, honey."
"Is it a bad word?"
"No. It's just hard to use properly. It's not the exact same as "friendly." It's a little more complicated."
"Oh," Brian says, understanding dawning in his expression. "Is it only for Mommies and Daddies?"
Dennis chuckles softly. "For this Mommy and Daddy, yeah."
The three finish their meal, and Mandy takes the dishes to the sink to begin washing them.
"Oh, let me do that," Dennis says as he carries the few remaining dishes to the sink.
"No, it's alright, I've got it this time. Why don't you give Abby a call?"
Dennis chuckles at Brian's enthusiasm. "Hey, do you want to invite her over?" Dennis asks as he pulls up Abby's number and holds the phone towards Brian, who's still at the kitchen table finishing his cup of milk.
"Sure." Dennis hits the little green phone icon beside Abby's number and hands the phone to his son as it rings.
"Hello?" comes a woman's voice on the other end of the line.
"Hi. Who is this?"
"It's me! Brian, your third best friend, remember?"
Abigail laughs. "Oh! Hi, Brian!"
"Me and Mommy and Daddy want to know if you want to come over for dinner."
"Really? I'd love to. When?"
Abigail giggles. "What time, I mean."
"Oh. Um... Right now," Brian decides, grinning.
Dennis laughs. "Okay, gimme the phone, buddy. Hey Abby," he says as he takes the rather sticky phone from Brian. Ugh. Should've just held the phone himself and put it on speaker.
"Hey, Dennis," Abby says, clearly smiling.
"What do you think, baby? Wanna join us for dinner?"
"I like it when you call me "baby,"" she says in a noticeably quieter tone.
Dennis's dick twitches in his pants. He clears his throat. "So, um, I'm with my family right now," he says, hoping he's being sufficiently clear, "and, um, we're hoping you can join us for dinner. Does 5:30 work for you?"
"Great. See you then, baby." Dennis quickly hangs up before she has a chance to get him any hotter, and then immediately feels slightly shitty for being rude. He's somewhat consoled when his phone dings with a text: "Abby: See you then! 💖"
Dennis plays with Brian after he finally finishes his milk as Mandy takes care of the dishes and the kitchen. He pairs Leonardo up with Donatello to fight Raphael and Michelangelo, who're Brian's favourites. He's slightly distracted, though. He wishes he had never met Abigail as a child. No, that's not true; then he wouldn't know her as an adult, for she wouldn't have recognized him in that coffee shop. He sure as hell wishes he'd never touched her as a child. But... would she have remembered him otherwise, if she hadn't had all those dreams starring him? Does she still have dreams about him? Nightmares? And she told him she loved him... What the hell does that mean? Maybe it's just 'cause she's young and full of hormones. Plus, he was her first. Okay. Dennis supposes it's not that weird. It's a bit soon, but, all things considered, he supposes it's actually sort of natural. He doesn't want to say it back to her yet, though. He wants it to be meaningful and sincere when he does, for he has a feeling he will, at some point.
"Ha! I got you! Michelangelo killed Leonardo, Daddy!"
Dennis laughs. "Wait, aren't these guys all supposed to be on the same team?"
"Yeah, but there's no Shredder, so they have to fight each other instead."
"Ah, like Captain America: Civil War. Do you want me to get you a Shredder doll?"
"A doll? No way! Dolls are for girls."
Dennis laughs. "What do you call these guys, then?"
"They're pretty much the same thing."
"Yeah, except dolls wear makeup because they're for girls and girls wear makeup."
"I wear makeup."
"Really?" Brian looks closely at Dennis's face as he leans less than an inch away from it. "I don't see any lipstick."
"Look at my eyelashes." Dennis closes his eyes as he feels Brian pinch one set of eyelashes between his tiny fingers.
"Ewww!" Brian says, withdrawing his hand. "It's all black and sticky!"
Dennis laughs. "That's mascara. It's eyelash makeup. I wear foundation, too."
"It's makeup that you can't really see."
"Then why do you wear it?"
"It makes my skin look smoother."
"Instead of wrinkly, like a turtle's?" Brian asks, holding up his action figures and grinning.
Dennis laughs. "Yeah, exactly."
"When do I start wearing makeup?"
"I thought you said makeup's for girls?"
"Well, are you a girl, Daddy?" Brian retorts with no small measure of sass.
Dennis chuckles. "So, you want to wear makeup because Daddy wears makeup?"
"Yeah," Brian says like it's obvious.
"Hmm... Well, I think you're a bit young at the moment. I didn't start wearing it 'til I was a teenager. At first it was just to cover my acne, but then I kept wearing it as an adult because I liked it."
"Do you want to watch a movie?" Brian asks, apparently too done with the game and the conversation to bother with a segue.
Dennis laughs softly. "Sure. Which one?"
"Hmmm... Ninja Turtles!"
Dennis laughs. "Of course. I think you've chosen that one the last... oh, A BILLION times."
Brian giggles. "Hey, it's not MY fault! Michelangelo wants to watch it!" he says, holding up the turtle.
Dennis giggles, as well. "Alright, Mikey. Go sit with Brian on the couch." Dennis crawls over to the TV and turns the DVD player on, which still has the requested movie in it, as Brian jumps up onto the couch.
Mandy begins preparing the dinner while her son and his dad are snuggled on the couch with their action figures watching Brian's current favourite movie. She smiles as she glances over at them. By the time the movie ends, dinner is almost ready, as well. The doorbell rings just as Mandy finishes setting the table.
"Abby!" Brian jumps up from the couch as his dad shuts off the TV and DVD player. Brian sprints to the door and unlocks it, then swings it wide open and immediately wraps his entire body around Abby's legs.
"Whoa!" Abby giggles as she steadies herself on the doorframe. "Hey, third best friend!" she greets with a smile as she ruffles Brian's hair with her free hand.
"Dinner's ready," Mandy announces as she carries the food to the table, smiling at the tableau in the front door. "Dennis, would you mind getting drinks?"
"Of course." Dennis fills three glasses and one plastic cup with water and brings them to the table two at a time. "Abby, Brian, come join us!" he calls as he takes a seat beside Mandy. "Don't want your food getting cold. And shut the door, please; we don't want bugs."
"Alright, Brian, you gotta let go," Abigail says, chuckling softly.
"I don't want to!" Brian giggles.
"Brian," Dennis says sternly.
Brian immediately lets go of Abigail's legs and rushes to his seat at the table beside his mom.
Abigail is both surprised and impressed at Brian's immediate obedience to Dennis. She shuts the door and sits down between Brian and Dennis, across from Mandy. "Mmm!" she says as she takes a bite of pasta and chicken. Once it's down, she says to Mandy, "This is great. You're a really good cook, Mandy."
"Aww, thanks, hon," Mandy smiles.
"I helped Mommy make pancakes this morning!" Brian informs proudly.
"Yeah?" Abigail smiles widely at Brian. "I bet you're a pretty good cook, too, then, huh?"
"Yep!" Brian giggles at the compliment.
The four chat about school and work as they devour the meal, Mandy mostly asking questions. Dennis takes the dishes to the sink and begins washing them once everyone finally finishes.
"Can I help with anything?" Abigail asks.
"Sure," Dennis responds. "Wanna dry?"
"I'm gonna give Brian a shower and then put him to bed," Mandy says as she takes her son by the hand. "School tomorrow. I'll probably head to bed, as well. I was on my feet for most of the day. It was lovely seeing you again, Abigail. Dennis, I'll see you tomorrow?"
"Oh. Um..." Dennis glances questioningly at Abigail, who just stares back at him with an equally questioning expression. "Uh, if Abigail wants to continue the night..."
"Oh!" Abigail says, finally understanding what Dennis was trying to ask with his eyes. "Um... I'd like that. Same place as last time?"
"You don't have any homework or anything?"
"Nope. Nothing due 'til Thursday."
"Then why didn't you clean your apartment?" Dennis asks with his eyes narrowed, mockingly stern.
Abigail giggles. "Sorry. I promise I will in time for our next date."
"Mmhm. You better."
"Bye, Abby! Goodnight, Daddy!" Brian says as his mom begins to lead him to the bathroom.
"Goodnight, Brian!" Dennis and Abigail say in unison as they wave and smile at the kid.
"Or what?" Abigail asks with a mischievous grin once Brian and Mandy are gone from the kitchen.
"I said I'd clean my apartment, and you said that I better. Or what?"
"Oh." Dennis drops his voice to a sexy timbre as he leans in to whisper, "Or I won't fuck you until you do."
Abigail laughs. "That's... not exactly the punishment I was expecting."
Dennis grins and shrugs. "Do you mind if we take your car again?" he asks as he finishes putting away the dishes. "I should leave ours here for Mandy to drive Brian to school."
"Yeah, that's fine."
"Cool. Lemme just grab my wallet. Oh, shit," Dennis says, patting his pockets.
"Ah, I think I left my wallet in the car." Dennis grabs his keys and locks the door as he and Abby step out onto the porch. He unlocks the driver's door and scans for his wallet. "Huh. Weird. Maybe it's in the glove compartment." He closes the door and walks around the car to open the passenger side. "Awesome," he says when he discovers it in the glove compartment.
"Whoa." Abigail's eyes widen to almost twice their normal size.
Shit. He'd forgotten about what else was in there.
"What's all that stuff?"
"Um... Those don't look like tools."
"Well, you know, duct tape's always handy..."
"And... the zip ties and black latex gloves?"
"It's... fetish shit," Dennis mumbles.
Dennis sighs. "It's fetish shit."
Abigail's eyes widen again. "You use that stuff for sex?!"
"Yeah." Dennis scratches the back of his neck. "Sometimes."
"Wouldn't zip ties be, like, really uncomfortable?"
Dennis chuckles dryly. "This stuff's not really about comfort."
"What IS this stuff about?"
"It's... a bit dark. I don't know if you remember... I don't want to scare you."
"Oh," Abigail says quietly, understanding. "Is it for... rape fetish?"
"Yeah." Dennis can feel himself beginning to harden already. Jesus Christ, man, get it together. His libido triumphs over his internal scolding. "Would... you be interested?"
Abigail gasps softly.
"No, no, sorry, forget I mentioned it," Dennis says hastily.
"No, I - I want to," she says quietly.
"Yeah?" Dennis grins, making no effort to conceal his excitement. He grabs the roll of duct tape and a fistful of zip ties and gloves, then shuts the door and locks the car before following Abby into her car.
Abby is somewhat pleasantly surprised to notice that she isn't nearly as nervous as she'd been the first time she drove here. She parks and follows Dennis into the lobby, then up to their room on the fifth floor once he pays. The room is almost identical to the one they had last time, except a bit smaller. It's still nice, though. She kicks off her shoes as Dennis does the same, then sits down on the edge of the bed. "Um... I've never done this before."
Dennis nods. "I figured." He moves to stand before Abigail and looks down to lock eyes with her as he says, "If you want me to stop at any point, say "Red." Do not say "Stop." I don't care how much you repeat it, words like "Stop" and "No" and "Don't" have no power here. If you want me to dial it back a bit, but want to continue otherwise, say "Yellow." Do not say "Wait." You can cry, but try not to scream or be too loud, just 'cause there are other people nearby. You can fight back, as well, even if I tell you not to. In fact, I'd really dig it if you fought back, you know, get angry at me, spit at me, really sell me on your opposition to this."
Abby can feel herself beginning to dampen her panties already. "Yes, Daddy," she says coyly.
"Fuck," Dennis breathes. "Do you have any questions, baby?"
She tries to think. "Mmm... I don't think so."
"Great. If you're good to start, then, say "Green.""
Dennis's demeanor immediately shifts, his eyes becoming darker, his expression more stern. He holds Abby's gaze as he undoes his shirt and lets it fall to the floor, then as his belt, jeans, underwear, and socks follow. "Take your fucking clothes off," he instructs coldly as he grabs a pair of zip ties and the roll of duct tape from the nightstand and tosses the items onto the bed.
Abigail shakes her head, even though she's eager as fuck to obey.
"Hm. So that's how it's gonna be." Dennis yanks Abigail off the bed by the collar of her shirt, then strips her of it with practiced speed as she gasps. He yanks her jeans down without undoing them, letting the rough denim chafe her slender legs, then pushes her onto the bed to land on her back so he can toss them onto the floor along with her socks and panties. He grabs both her wrists and secures them together above her head with a zip tie, then uses another zip tie to secure her ankles together.
"Daddy, please don't. I'll be a good girl, I promise." She can feel herself dripping onto the bedding.
Dennis is impressed with how convincing Abigail's managing to make her fear. He doubts she'd be calling him "Daddy" if it were genuine. "Goddamn right you'll be a good girl. I'll make fucking sure of it." He forces his hand into the scarce space between her thighs and roughly shoves two fingers inside her. He chuckles as he begins to move them. "You like this. Sick little slut. You fucking love it when Daddy violates you."
Abigail whimpers and then moans. She shakes her head.
"No," she whispers. She moans again as Dennis's fingers continue to move inside her.
"'Cause it sure as hell sounds like you do. Feels like it, too. You're wet as a whore. Are you Daddy's little whore? Is that what you are? Fucking say it."
Abigail whimpers and squeezes her eyes shut as she shakes her head.
"If you say it, I'll undo the tie on your feet."
She swallows thickly. "I'm... I'm your little whore, Daddy."
"Fucking right." Dennis uses his left hand to unclip the zip tie, allowing Abby to spread her legs, which actually works to his advantage - and he's sure she knows it. He chuckles under his breath as he replaces his fingers with his extremely hard cock, squeezing both her breasts tightly as he sets to fucking her. He loosens his bruising grip on her breasts to cup their outer sides and slap them together repeatedly, which amuses him as much as it arouses him.
Abigail brings her elbows down over her breasts in a feeble attempt to hinder Dennis's manhandling of them. "Daddy, stop it!" she whines.
"Ohhh fuck," Dennis moans as he quickens his thrusts. He pinches Abigail's nipples as hard as he can, grinning at the way she bites her lip against a scream. He can feel himself getting close.
"Dennis, I'm gonna come," she whispers breathily.
He pulls out of her, chuckling at the way she groans furiously in frustration. He tilts his cock down until the head brushes against her asshole. He pushes against it. He slaps her hard across the face when he feels her clench. He grips her reddening jaw firmly as he says harshly, "Don't. You fucking. Dare. You can either give me what I want the easy way or I can take it the hard way."
Abigail feels her heart rate accelerate. This is getting to be a bit much... "Dennis," she says in a voice so small it's almost a whisper, "I don't like this."
"Do you need to safeword?" he asks gently, caressing her jaw.
"I really wanted to come..."
"You know I'd never act on anything I'm threatening, right?" Really? You've raped her once. Of course she thinks you'd have no qualms about doing it again. You should be in jail. You sick fuck. Dennis imagines brutally squishing the little Jiminy Cricket that's trying to kill his boner.
"Then... what were you trying to do?"
"I wasn't actually gonna penetrate you dry and without fingering you. I might've just stretched it around the very tip a little bit. It would've hurt a little, but not as much as some of the other stuff we've done."
She doesn't believe you. "Abby... you didn't actually think I was gonna rape you?" Great. And now he's entirely soft. He feels his heart sink at even having to ask the question.
"No! No, of course not. I trust you."
"Really?" he asks, obviously doubtful.
"Yeah. Um, sorry I ruined the game."
"No, it's fine. You didn't ruin it. I would like to fuck you in the ass at some point, though. Done properly, it shouldn't hurt at all."
"I'd be willing to try that."
"Yeah?" Dennis grins as his cock begins to resurrect. "I won't do it tonight since we don't have any lube, but do you want to finish the game?"
"Green," she grins.
He pounces on her, holding her down by the throat with one hand as he gives himself a few tugs to bring himself to full hardness. He buries himself inside her with one smooth shove and sets to fucking her deep and hard.
"Fuuuuuck!" Abigail wails as she clamps down on his cock even more tightly than the plastic tie binds her sore wrists.
Dennis tightens his hold on her throat and bites down hard on her already bruised breast as he shoots inside of her. He suckles her breast a little bit before releasing it and loosening his grip on her throat, allowing her to breathe unhindered. He pants heavily as he undoes the bind on her wrists, then pulls out and flops down next to her, drenched in his own sweat. He looks over at her when he feels her hand slip into his. "How was that, baby?"
Abigail smiles. "I really liked that. Sorry I got a bit scared. I just didn't know what you were doing."
"You don't have to apologize for that. I'm not gonna apologize for scaring you, though, since that was kind of part of it. You'd be down for CNC again, though?"
"Oh. Yeah. It's... energetic?"
"It's an adrenaline rush, yeah."
"Do you always take this role for it?"
"No. I've bottomed for it, as well."
Abigail sighs softly in contentment as she rolls closer to Dennis to snuggle up against his warm, damp body. She closes her eyes as she yawns against his chest.
He brings his arm around her and tucks her body close to his as he'd done the first night they fell asleep together. "I went to confession this morning," he says quietly.
"Oh?" She doesn't open her eyes, but her eyebrows raise slightly.
"I felt like I had to tell someone. Obviously, I can't tell Mandy."
"Tell Mandy what?"
"Oh. What I did to you. When we first met."
"I know it was a crime, but... Dennis, it really wasn't your fault."
"No, it was. I confessed everything, though, including your part in it. I didn't use your name, obviously. The priest absolved me."
"Did that make you feel better?"
"It felt sort of cathartic to tell someone. I don't know if I'll ever be entirely rid of the guilt, though."
"I'm sorry. If I'd known that it would affect you this much, I never would have done it."
"Do you still have nightmares about it?"
"I never really had nightmares. The bad dreams were more... sad."
"Because you thought you'd never see me again?"
"Kind of. Once I dreamt that my parents somehow found out and you went to jail. I guess I was having a bit of anxiety about that for a while."
"Oh. Well, I'm actually sort of relieved to hear this. It doesn't sound like it traumatized you, just sort of stressed you out a bit."
"Yeah." Abigail yawns again. "I'd say that's accurate."
Dennis kisses the part in her hair. "Goodnight, baby," he says gently.
Abigail smiles as she falls over the precipice of sleep with an unspoken "Goodnight" on her tongue.