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The nature of trust

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Buffy glanced upwards at her hands, testing her bonds carefully as she caught her breath. He had done a good job; she didn’t think she’d have an easy time getting out of them. She’d already been in this position for what felt like hours and her shoulders were starting to hurt. She shifted her body slightly, trying to ease the ache and surreptitiously testing the strength of the rope suspended from the ceiling again.

She could get out eventually, of course. That mattered, and not just to her. To both of them. He had only agreed to this on that condition. She was here willingly. She was so much stronger than him, but her power was contained. A coiled viper. A tamed beast. Completely under his control, but only for as long as she allowed it. She could tear this whole building down if she really needed to.

She could leave at any time.

She was in control.

She could handle this.

She liked to remind herself of that periodically.

There were already too many ambiguities in her life. Here, in this place, she needed absolute clarity.

“Are you ready to resume?”

His quiet voice came from behind her and she drew in a startled breath as he passed close by her but not touching. Not yet.

She tried to turn her head to look at him, but he evaded her easily.

“Are you ready?” he said again, more insistently.

He would not do this without her explicit consent. That mattered to them both, as well.

“Yes,” she whispered. “Please.”

Faster than she could anticipate, the paddle came down hard on her ass. She sucked in a shocked breath and strained briefly against the rope keeping her in place. She bit her lip in an effort to remain silent and braced herself for the next blow.

“Why are we here, Buffy?”

She closed her eyes as he gently traced his hand down her spine. After a moment of silence, the paddle came down again, harder than before. She gasped.

“Answer me,” he said calmly. “Why are we here?”

“I don’t know,” she whispered.

“You don’t know?” he said, still strangely calm. “Are you sure you don’t know?”

She opened her eyes as she felt him move around until he was in front of her. He let his eyes trail over her naked body slowly and she felt something in her stomach tighten at the sight. He was still completely clothed, dressed in his usual dark layers, impenetrable and remote. There was something thrilling to her about being exposed to him like this, something she didn’t want to examine too closely. He raised a hand to her face to gently trace his fingers over her cheek and down until they were resting lightly against her neck.

“Why are we here, Buffy?”

“Angel, please—”

“You know why we’re here, Buffy,” he whispered, leaning in closer until his lips were against her ear. “I just need you to tell me.”

She shuddered as he sucked gently on her earlobe before moving his attention back to her neck, sucking with slightly more pressure but not enough to leave a mark.

“You’re so beautiful, Buffy,” he said reverently. “All tied up with nowhere to go.”

He moved his mouth down her chest, ignoring her nipples in favour of pressing light, teasing kisses all around them. She squirmed, trying to get closer and instead he backed away, smirking.

Damn him.

“Angel, please—”

“Please?” he prompted when she didn’t continue, stepping back so that she couldn’t possibly reach him. At least not without some complicated gymnastics on her part that would be less than dignified, given the circumstances.

“Angel,” she moaned. “Touch me.”

“Where?” he said quietly, dropping to his knees in front of her. Her eyes widened slightly at the sight and he smirked again. “Here?” he asked, resting his hand against her foot. “Or maybe here?” he continued, dragging his hand up until his rested behind her knee.

“No,” she ground out, frustrated. “Higher.”

“Higher?” he asked innocently, removing his hand from her leg and placing it on her stomach. “Here?”

“Angel,” she moaned again.

“You just need to tell me what you want, Buffy.”

“I want—”

She broke off, embarrassed and averting her eyes. Angel waited patiently as she struggled to find her voice. She knew it was ridiculous to be embarrassed, given their current positions. But she still couldn’t just outright say what she wanted. That was the whole problem.

“Buffy?” he prompted gently.

“I don’t know what I want,” she said miserably.

He nodded in understanding and slowly stood up again.

“Close your eyes.”

She let out a breathy laugh and looked at him curiously before she complied, choosing not to comment on their history with that particular phrase. She could barely hear him as he moved away from her again and was startled when he lowered a blindfold over her eyes.

“Shh,” he said soothingly. “Just relax.”

“Somehow I don’t think this is meant to be relaxing,” she said wryly, even as she tried to do as he bid, slowing her breathing with an effort and ignoring the pounding of her heart.

“No,” he conceded. “It’s meant to be freeing.”

“Strength through submission?” she said mockingly.

“Something like that.” He dropped the paddle to the floor, and she flinched at the sudden sound, her other senses heightened now that the blindfold was in place. “Spread your legs,” he said quietly but with unmistakable authority. “Wider. Good.”

Buffy could sense him move silently to face her again and she tried not to panic at how vulnerable she was.

She was in control of this.

She could stop at any time.

The silence stretched for a minute more as Buffy waited to see what he would do.

“You’re so wet, Buffy,” he said quietly. “Are you enjoying yourself?”

“Yes,” she gasped, trying desperately to control her body’s reactions. Her inability to see was driving her to distraction in a way that being bound never could. She knew she didn’t handle submission particularly well. She’d known that before they started this little experiment. But right now it was taking every ounce of self-control not to wrench herself free from her bonds and rip the blindfold off.

“Are you ready to resume?”

She recoiled when his hand brushed her nipple and heard him sigh softly.

“You need to be able to trust me, Buffy.”

“I do,” she said quickly. “I trust you.”

“But?” he prompted as he started to gently circle her nipple with his fingers.

It wasn’t enough and the tiny hint of pleasure had her straining against her bonds again, desperately seeking more.

“I trust you, Angel,” she whispered.

“So why are we here?”

She would have rolled her eyes if she could, instead she settled for an impatient movement of her body, drawing herself away from his teasing hand. With lightning speed, he roughly grabbed her ass and she squeaked in surprise and pain, the skin still tender. He drew her body carefully back towards him, perfectly in control and not at all rushed. He raised one of her legs and hooked it around his waist, anchoring her in place and forcing her to balance on her toes.

“It’s a simple question, Buffy. If it’s not about trust, what is this about?” He dragged his free hand down her stomach until his fingers rested lightly against the damp curls that covered her folds. She squirmed awkwardly against him. “Is it just release for you? Is that what you need?” Angel whispered against her cheek. “Because if that’s what it is, all you have to do is say so. Tell me what you need from me.”

She whimpered as his fingers dipped briefly lower, just enough for him to know exactly how wet she was already.

“Angel,” she moaned. “Please.”

“Tell me what you want me to do, Buffy,” he said gently, now allowing one of his fingers to draw lazy circles around her clit. “I’ll do whatever you say, but you have to tell me.”

She didn’t respond, only tried to move against his fingers, seeking the friction she craved.

“Do you want me to keep doing this?” he asked, increasing the pressure of his fingers against her clit and making her moan in pleasure. “Or would you rather I did this?” he continued, gently easing a finger inside her. “Or is there something else you want? All you have to do is tell me.”

“More,” she said desperately. “Angel, please, more.”

“More what, Buffy?”

She groaned in frustration again and then yelped in surprise when he pressed a sudden sucking kiss to her neck.

“Take off the blindfold,” she gasped. “I want to see you.” He moved quickly to comply, and she blinked in the sudden light.

Angel regarded her with a small smile, and she regained some of her lost confidence. She grinned at him and said, “Fuck me.”

Angel didn’t say anything, just moved his hand to his belt.

“No, not like that,” she insisted. “With your fingers.” He raised his eyebrows and she licked her lips. “Fuck me with your fingers.”

He smiled at her in understanding.

“Why are we here, Buffy?”

“Because I want to be,” she said harshly.

“Yes,” he agreed, taking a step closer.

“Because I asked you to do this,” she continued as he lifted her leg again to wrap it around his waist. “We’re here because I want this.”

“Yes,” he whispered, finding her clit easily and starting up a distracting rhythm.

She looked up at her bound hands again, knowing that she could leave at any time.

Angel shoved two fingers roughly inside her and all the breath left her lungs in a rush.

“We’re here because I trust you,” she gasped, and his hand faltered slightly as he met her eyes. “I trust you to do this for me,” she continued breathlessly. “To give me what I want. What I need.”

He nodded again but didn’t speak, focused again on pushing her as close to the edge as he could, watching her intently the whole time. As she felt her orgasm building, Buffy started to moan. She tipped her head back and lifted herself slightly against her bonds, straining towards her release.

And then Angel stopped.

He removed his hands from her and backed away entirely. She nearly screamed in frustration, every part of her desperate, aching for release.

He raised his fingers to his mouth and sucked her juices from them, maintaining eye contact all the while.

She could leave at any time.

He circled around her until she could no longer see him as she stood, trembling with unsatisfied desire, trying to catch her breath.

She was in control.

She heard the slight scrape of wood and knew that he had picked up the paddle again.

She could handle this.

“Are you ready to resume?” Angel asked calmly.

She closed her eyes and braced herself.

“Yes,” she whispered. “Please.”

Angel raised the paddle again.