tagNonConsent/ReluctanceSee Through Me Ch. 14

See Through Me Ch. 14

byjoodle©

Notes from the author:

Hello all. Well you wanted longer chapters with more substance, and I think I delivered on both. But of course I had to throw some naughty in with the nice. It's just my way. Warning: If you were squeamish during certain scenes in chapter 10, brace yourself. Let me know what y'all think. Loves, J.


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Chapter 14

The sun drew me out of my slumber. I had crashed hard after Joe had taken me in the middle of the night. He had ravaged me for the umpteenth time, and showed no sign of stopping. And I loved it. I needed it again and again. Joe knew what I needed, and as shameful as it was, I was starting to slowly accept it. Accept him.

It was hard for me to say whether I had feelings for him as a result of conditioning, or if this was a one-in-a-million love at first sight kind of deal. I wanted to believe the latter, but I wasn't that naïve. I was past caring. My body wanted Joe. That was it. And with all the tenderness he had displayed in the past 24 hours, I had to wonder, did he really want me? Truly, to keep? It could be a mind fuck. God knew he was a master of manipulation. Only time would tell, and it was driving me crazy. As if I needed any help with that. This entire cruise had been one batshit crazy moment after another.

Shaking my head, I turned my attention to Joe, and was startled to find him staring at me, his eyes unreadable.

"What are you thinking Darling?"

What was I thinking? That was the million-dollar question, but I couldn't possibly share my current thoughts with him. It would freak him out and he would get rid of me with the utmost efficiency I had no doubt.

"Nothing," was my dumb answer.

Joe raised an eyebrow. He wasn't buying it and I couldn't blame him. I was the shittiest liar in the world.

"Alright Kate, I'm going to pretend you didn't just lie to me, and move on to another question. Are you hungry? I can order breakfast for us, maybe a bearclaw for my baby?"

My mind raced. I was his "baby" now? Not just "baby". MY baby. The tone with which he spoke the words was tender, but possessive. Like he had staked his claim and would cut off the head of anyone else who called me "baby". I loved it. I loved the thought of him staking his claim, bundling me into a wagon and dragging me home with him. It was a long harbored fantasy that had worlds to do with my current predicament.

"That sounds good," I mumbled, still groggy from sleep. I struggled to find anything cleverer to say, what with all the unrealistic hopes and fantasies running through my head that I couldn't share with Joe.

"Good. I'll make us some coffee while we wait," Joe added, turning to exit the bed.

Coffee. Coffee. Why did it feel like I was forgetting something?

I gasped aloud suddenly, causing Joe to whirl around, concern in his eyes.

"What is it Kate?" Joe demanded in a deep voice.

"Michael! I forgot my date with Michael!" I cried.

Suddenly, Joe stormed back to the bed, pinning me with his harsh stare.

"Kate, who the fuck is Michael?" he asked in a tone that reminded me of distant thunder.

"Michael! He's my friend. I told you about him remember?"

Clearly he did not. Of course. When I had briefly mentioned Michael, Joe's eyes were on the prize. I didn't recall him demanding any details then.

"Friend?" Joe repeated, clearly confused.

"Joe, he's gay! Not that it's any of your business!" I admonished. "Michael and I agreed to meet for breakfast the other day, and apparently I completely forgot about him yesterday morning. You had me a bit distracted. I need to go see him and tell him I'm okay."

I looked pleadingly at Joe, who had an intense look of suspicion on his face. He did not like the idea of me leaving. And while I knew I shouldn't need to ask his permission, I wanted to appease him.

"Your going to meet another man is not something I take lightly," Joe stated firmly. "Even if he has no romantic interest in you, he could easily be a pawn in your plan to escape me."

His expression was rife with suspicion and malice. How quickly Joe could go from tender and affectionate to harsh and controlling.

"Joe, I am not trying to escape you!" I declared, exasperated.

And then I paused, replaying my words in my head. I had spoken my mind, and very adamantly stated that I wasn't trying to get away from him. Ergo, that I wanted to be with him. I knew that Joe would be connecting the dots in his head, just as I was.

At least he appeared a bit more relaxed, and I breathed a sigh of relief. But he still had not given me his approval. Not that I needed it, I reminded myself.

"You are to be back here in two hours," Joe dictated. "If you are not, and you make me come find you again, you will be sorry."

I should have been angry with him. I should have told him to go fuck himself, and that I could leave and return whenever and if ever I damn well pleased. But the look of conflict, of vulnerability in his eyes gave me pause.

He was scared. Scared of me running, of losing me. Perhaps it was my own wishful thinking, a childish sentiment that Joe cared for me in the way a prince should pine for a princess. My instinct told me Joe did care, and that he was about more than ruthless domination. More than an arrogant insane bastard who raped me. Whether or not either of us intended it, perhaps we both were falling for each other. Could it be possible? I couldn't help but wonder, in the back of my mind, if this actually was a thing between us. A legitimate bond, beyond sex and domination.

"Okay," I conceded.

Joe's mouth formed a firm line, and it was obvious that he wanted to say more, but was trusting me to keep my word. I knew that for a man like Joe, it had to be very difficult to let go of control. He had no way to know if I would return. He was letting his guard down, however reluctantly, and I found myself grateful, actually grateful, to Joe. This whole thing was nuts.

"I should get ready," I whispered, my eyes falling down to stare at the sheets. I couldn't bear his look of defeat any longer. It did not become him, at all.

Naturally, Joe's finger lifted my eyes to meet his again. He leaned in, and kissed me softly. There was something about his kiss that conveyed utter vulnerability, and resignation.

"Yes you should, Darling," Joe whispered before rising from the bed. "I'll leave you to it then."

I blinked in surprise. Joe was obviously trying to give me the benefit of the doubt. It felt so strange. I rose quietly, and proceeded to the bathroom alone.

Taking a minute to relieve myself, I stared at the doorway, waiting, dreading, hoping, for Joe to emerge. My tummy had butterflies at the thought of Joe once again witnessing me on the toilet. I recalled the look of absolute domination in his eyes as he watched me...the torturous feeling of embarrassment when he forced me, or commanded me rather, to look him in the eyes as my stream hit the water below. It was mortifying. But to be so dominated, so controlled, so owned...it was an experience I had coveted my entire adult life.

Joe was denying himself at this very moment I knew, and as shocking as it was, I myself felt denied. It was ludicrous. Denied of what? Humiliation, degradation, and ruthless domination?

Shaking myself out of it, I flushed the toilet and started up the shower. As the water began to warm, I stared at the door frame, expecting at any moment for Joe to appear, but he did not. He was really going to let me leave? He was. For two hours. I felt something akin to relief at the thought that Joe wanted me here. He wanted me enough to put a limit on how long I was allowed to be gone.

There was something flattering, endearing even, about the order Joe had issued. All I could focus on was that he wanted me back. He wanted me back. It was romantic and possessive all at once. Or maybe it was just a selfish bastard trying to control a naïve young woman. Whatever.

I sighed, and entered the shower for a quick shampoo and scrub down. I had been perfumed with essence of Joe. Literally. And I had a brief feeling of remorse as I lathered myself free of his addicting musk. It seemed that all I could ever think of when I was in the shower now was Joe. It was maddening and sinfully erotic at the same time. And the more I was with him, the less I wanted to fight those feelings. He was breaking down my barriers, as I had known he would. I knew, and he knew, that it was just a matter of time.

Shutting off the shower, I stepped timidly out of the tub, and quickly wrapped myself in a towel. Despite Joe's obvious desire for me, I was still self-conscious about my body. Perhaps I always would be. I was very tempted to shut the door and assure myself privacy while I dried myself, but I resisted. I had promised Joe I wouldn't close the door. He had resisted this long, why would he come in now? Satisfied that I wouldn't be interrupted, I rubbed myself down.

I had just finished drying my hair and putting some light makeup on when Joe appeared in the doorway. I shrunk back from him, still completely naked and vulnerable as ever. I would need to get past him to get to my clothes. God, what clothes? What did I have to wear that wasn't outright whorish? Never mind the fact that I'd be going commando.

As if he'd read my thoughts, Joe produced a soft pink sundress, and held it out to me.

"I figured you could use something a touch more conservative," Joe explained. "Especially since I won't be there to protect you."

Protect me? From whom? Sexual predators? Crazy assholes with giant egos? Joe was a walking contradiction. As was I, I supposed.

"Thanks," I whispered as I accepted the dress from him. It was the one he had picked up at the gift shop yesterday, along with all his fucking Joe-Approved scarves. It was admittedly more conservative, but still pretty lightweight. Well at least it wasn't skin tight. I'd just have to be careful that the ocean breeze didn't betray me.

Joe sighed, "Kate, I..."

He trailed off, and I waited for him to finish. That look of conflict seemed etched on his face, and it was terribly unsettling.

Shaking his head, Joe leaned down and kissed me on the forehead.

"Better get dressed Darling. Don't want to keep your friend waiting."

And before I could respond, Joe had exited the bathroom, leaving me confused and wondering what the hell had happened. Was this a mind fuck? Was he trying to manipulate me into staying by using whatever imaginary guilt I could conjure up?

It was my turn to shake my head, and I quickly pulled the dress on. It was cute. It had pink flowers on it. Like the first scarf I bought on this cruise. Giggling softly, I realized that that very scarf was probably still on the floor of my suite. My sorely under-utilized suite.

After applying some light lip-gloss, I hurried to find the sandals Joe had purchased, and slipping them on, proceeded to the door.

I should have just left, but I felt the need to turn and acknowledge Joe. I wasn't quite prepared for the look on his face. His expression was grim, a mask of indifference. But his eyes betrayed what seemed to be a mixture of pain, resignation, and fear. It took my breath away.

"Thank you Joe. I'll be back soon," I assured him.

Joe was silent, but managed a half smile. The sadness never left his eyes. He didn't approach me or try to touch me, and I was infinitely grateful. Had he touched me, I would likely have fallen back under his spell, and never made it to Michael.

I quickly exited the suite, not wanting to give myself the chance to chicken out and succumb to Joe. I was proud just to have made it through the door, and rushed with heavy feet to the elevator. I felt so alone. Everything seemed so quiet, so dead. Like I was leaving my world behind.

----

"Michael!" I called, happy to see my friend was exactly where I expected. Hitting the buffet before the rush.

Michael looked up, and seemed a bit miffed, but still smiled warmly at me.

"Hey Katie, where you been?"

It was a casual generic greeting, but when I said nothing, he looked up at me questioningly. It was hard to put anything into words. Why hadn't I planned out what I was going to say? My thoughts had been so consumed with Joe that I hadn't even considered what excuse I was going to give Michael about my absence for the entire day yesterday.

"Okay sweetie, let's get our plates. And then, you will dish," Michael ordered.

What was this? 'Everybody dominate Kate' week? I couldn't help but smile though, and helped myself to a fruit salad and fresh omelet. Michael was insistent that I try the omelets, and I hadn't the heart to refuse him. I would get a bearclaw later.

"So, your date went...well?" Michael queried, eyebrows raised in anticipation. He was fighting a grin, and as usual, it was contagious.

"Umm...I guess," I shrugged.

"What are you talking about 'guess'?" Michael scoffed. "You missed our date yesterday missy, and I want details."

He must have meant business, because he dropped his fork and folded his arms expectantly.

"Okay, okay!" I laughed. "Geez Michael, so pushy!"

Michael raised an eyebrow, indicating I had better spill soon.

"Look, it's hard to explain. I hardly know where to begin."

"How about the beginning?" Michael suggested.

I sighed. Thinking back to the beginning, I was certain the sordid tale was too much for anyone to handle. It was so wrong. So out-of-a-movie wrong.

When I sat there silent for a couple minutes, Michael became concerned.

"Sweetie, what's wrong? I'm sorry I pushed. You know you can tell me anything, right?"

Suddenly, my eyes were filled with tears.

Looking up at him, I whispered, "I can't tell you this. It's too awful."

Suddenly, Michael shoved his tray to the side, his breakfast virtually untouched, and grabbed my hand.

"Honey, what is it? I don't want to push, but please tell me. It's obvious that you need to tell someone. It's written all over your face!"

Knowing he was right, I felt myself cave. The tears were stubborn, and I fought them off as long as I could, but they silently spilled over my cheeks.

Michael emitted a noise of frustration, and I was startled as he quickly stood and yanked me up, steering us both away from the buffet, our plates untouched. I didn't know what he was doing, but I allowed myself to be led. It was the only option aside from breaking down in hysterics right there in front of all these people.

Silently, Michael led me down one of the corridors towards the gift shop. There was a secluded bench in the shadows, and Michael steered me toward it. He gently set me on the bench, and plopped down next to me, putting his arm around me in comfort.

And I bawled. I lost it. I ruined Mike's shirt. And through it all, he held me, stroking my hair, telling me it was okay, which served only to make me cry harder. My obnoxious wails betrayed the fact that I hadn't cried like this in years. I cried until I couldn't anymore, which took a while.

Hiccuping from all my crying, I took some deep breaths, and finally sat up to look Michael in the face, steeling myself for the judgment to come.

"Michael, it's too terrible. You wouldn't understand," I told him despairingly.

"What wouldn't I understand? Honey, did Scott hurt you?"

I actually laughed, which puzzled Michael even further.

"No, Scott did not hurt me," I stated with finality. "I wasn't with Scott that night, well not all night anyway." I could hardly believe what I was about to say.

"I went to dinner with Scott, but we were interrupted when Joe came barging in."

"Joe? Who the hell is Joe?" Michael demanded.

It was laughable. Michael wasn't jealous. He was genuinely confused. And it would only get worse.

Sighing, I explained, "Joe is my 'mystery neighbor'. Mike, I don't know how to say this, but I was with Joe that first night of the cruise. He...took me. I was drunk, and fainted in the elevator on my way back to my room, and he took me."

Michael was shaking his head, trying to put the pieces together, but he was clearly at a loss.

"Did he rape you?" Michael asked seriously.

It was a loaded question. Yes. Absolutely yes. Joe had raped me, technically.

"No...yes...and no," I replied, the tears threatening to re-emerge.

Taking a deep breath, I continued, "Michael...I liked it. I liked everything he did to me. Every single thing. I denied it at first, but that first night was my fantasy come to life. It scared the shit out of me, and I left his room in the middle of the night, before he woke up."

"What did he do to you? Are you hurt?" Michael demanded, struggling to keep his voice down.

"No I'm not hurt Michael. I can't possibly go into details of what he did. It's too horrible."

"Horrible? Kate, if he hurt you, if he threatened you, tell me, and I will make sure you are safe."

I shook my head, "Michael you don't understand. I liked it. And I hate that I liked it. I left, thinking it was over. A one night stand, plain and simple. When Scott asked me out the next day, I thought I had a chance to move on and forget about Joe. I wanted to forget. But Joe wouldn't let me. He confronted me on the sun deck and demanded that I come to his room that evening. When I didn't show, and went to dinner with Scott, I had no idea that Joe would actually come looking for me."

By now, Michael's eyebrows were nearly free of his face, his jaw slack. I stole quick glances at him, but mostly avoided eye contact. I was surprised I had made it this far without passing out from nerves.

"Scott and I had just ordered our food when Joe showed up. He told Scott I was his, and made him go away."

I was sugar coating the experience to say the least. Joe's performance had been obscene. Insanely obscene.

Forging ahead, I added, "Joe ate Scott's steak and made me eat my dinner, and then took me back to his suite. He punished me for disobeying him, and I've been with him ever since. That's why I missed breakfast with you yesterday."

When I was met with stony silence, I grudgingly looked up.

Michael was blinking and shaking his head with disbelief.

"Kate, this is serious," he muttered.

"Don't you think I know that??" I burst out. "But I liked it! I still like it. Every sordid thing Joe did to me. I wanted him to hurt me! I wanted it so badly that I stayed. I am just as much to blame as Joe, because I allowed it. I allowed it!"

I wasn't yelling at Michael so much as I was at myself.

"Mike, I had every intention of going back to him after you and I finished breakfast."

"Sweetie, I'm just trying to understand, and help you. What did he do to you? What do you mean when you say he hurt you? Did he hit you?"

"Yes," I admitted. "Well, I guess more accurately he...spanked me? Spanking seems like such a pathetically insufficient term. He ravaged me. The pain was what I always wanted, but had always been too ashamed to ask for. It was like he knew...the whole time he knew."

Michael frowned, and I groaned inwardly. He was judging me.

"Look Mike, you are such an amazing friend. Thank you for listening and being there for me, and putting up with my tears all over your nice shirt," I said, reaching over to smooth his collar.

"I am the messed up one. I let him do these things to me. I wanted them, and I want them still. I tolerated all the terribly perverse things he did."

"What things?" Michael pushed.

It was obvious he was not going to let this go, and I would be forced to confess. It was becoming an all too familiar feeling.

"He bit me," I stated, weighing Mike's reaction.

There was no way I would disclose every single perverse act. It was just too terrible. Too far beyond mainstream kink, or what I assumed was mainstream kink. But Michael obviously wanted to understand, and he was one of the few friends I had. What were friends for, if not to understand and accept?

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