Sorry for the long delay, folks. Here you go. This beauty comes with trigger warnings for graphic violence, consent violation and object rape.
Marc stared at the brand on his inner arm. The complex spiral of knotwork and teeth hadn’t been there the day before. He was nearly out of time.
Giving up all his hopes of finding a willing sacrifice, the blood mage reached for his black phone book. He had three days to stop the demon from rising, and he needed a sacrifice now.
So he’d take what was available.
Cat was finishing up dinner when the phone rang. She nearly ignored it in favor of the text book she was studying. Going back for her master’s degree had seemed like a good idea… She had to admit the distraction was welcome.
“Hi, Cat? It’s Marc.”
“Hey Marc, what’s up?” She had fond memories of the play dates they’d shared. Marc was one of the few tops in town who was willing to push her limits, but he seemed to like playing the field. They’d been seeing each other every few months for a year or so. “I wasn’t expecting to hear from you for a few weeks yet.”
“Well, I had an idea for something special. Definitely on the extreme side. If you don’t have anything going on, would you like to come to my place this weekend?”
She closed the text book and glanced at the calendar. “I have a test Monday, but nothing this weekend. Just how extreme did you have in mind?”
“Nothing that would give you an excuse to miss your test, but you’d probably want to wear long sleeves. Basically a bit of role play.”
Cat grimaced, “I am NOT playing doctor with you.”
He laughed, but it was a nervous sound, “How about virgin sacrifice?”
She blinked. “Tell me more.”
The next evening, Cat pulled up in front of Marc’s house. She still wasn’t entirely comfortable with his request for no safeword, but he’d earned enough trust that she was willing to give it a try.
Before she finished unbuckling, Marc was waiting next to the car. She raised an eyebrow at him, and he had the grace to look sheepish. As she climbed out of the car he said, “Any delay and I’m afraid I’ll chicken out. This is… an old dream I’ve never been brave enough to try to make real.”
Well, she could certainly understand that. With a nod, she offered him her arm. He led her, not up the steps to the beautiful Victorian house, but around to the back.
“I probably should have showed you this months ago,” he said, opening the door to the old root cellar, “It’s perfect for a dungeon, if you go for that kind of thing.”
“We do tonight, apparently.” The cellar was cool and dry. Rough cut stone walls and an uneven dirt floor were illuminated by a single flickering oil lamp hanging on one wall. A doorway led deeper underground. She shivered. “For this role play, you’re right. But let’s not make it a regular thing.”
“No.” His voice sharpened. “Not a regular thing.”
The third and last room of the cellar had the floor dug out enough that it was several feet deeper than the others, and required steps. Compared to the rest of the cellar it blazed with four oil lamps. A length of chain and a pair of cuffs hung from the ceiling, and four stakes had been driven into the floor, perfectly spaced for tying someone spread eagle. Otherwise the room was empty.
Cat licked her lips and nodded.
“Then strip down, and we’ll get started.”
Her clothes came off quickly and easily, but she wasn’t sure what to do with them. “Give them here,” Marc said, “I’ll put them somewhere they will stay clean.” Then he led her under the chains.
She had to stand on tiptoe for him to put the cuffs on. When she relaxed her feet, rather than settling to the floor, her weight landed on her wrists and she hung just above the ground. She scrambled to get her feet under her, and after a moment stood again, holding herself up by her toes.
Marc grabbed her hair and yanked her head back. “You have been captured by a proscribed cult known for practicing human sacrifice. You do not know how long you have been here, but you know the next time they come in, it will be to torture you to death.”
She nodded. “Alright. I hope they don’t leave me waiting too long.”
He just grinned. Then he went around the small room, blowing out the lamps.
“Marc? Hey! Damnit,I need to see!”
The last lamp went out, and a voice that sounded nothing like her friend replied, “The only thing you have to do, is die.”
Marc moved as quickly as he could, Cat’s curses echoing in his ears and he left the cellar and grabbed a large black duffle bag from the shrubbery. He would get one chance, and only one chance, to pull this off. He put on the ritual robes, white to show the blood more clearly. Gathered his implements, the tools of the sadist he played, and the sacred implements of the mage he was. His athame was clean and untouched. He would sanctify it tonight.
The brand on his arm burned. The door would open tonight, if he couldn’t stop it.
He took a precious few minutes to meditate, to clear his head. Then he shouldered his bag, and re-entered the profane sanctuary.
Cat nearly sobbed for real when she saw the warmth of the flickering oil lamp again. She had never been in such utter blackness before. She would have sworn there had been something there, something watching her. Something hungry.
Marc’s appearance was not nearly as reassuring as the lamp he carried. He was dressed in some strange white robes and carried a familiar duffle bag. But it was his face. The way he looked her over like she was nothing but a slab of meat.
It’s a game, she reminded herself. You’re SUPPOSED to be scared.
“Please.” She whimpered. “Please, why are you doing this?”
He didn’t respond. Didn’t seem to hear her.
“If you let me go, I won’t tell anyone, I promise, I–”
Without warning, he backhanded her across the mouth, stunning her. She tasted blood.
Wide eyed, she watched in silence as he laid out the contents of the bag, many of them familiar to her. Somehow, they were much more sinister here and now, then in the well-lit ‘dungeon’ they normally met at.
She flinched when he finally turned his attention to her. “What are you going to do to me?”
A knife she had never seen before appeared in her hands. It sliced across her breasts. She cried out. It was to fast. To sudden.
“Marc, what the hell!”He grabbed her hair and yanked her head back. It unbalanced her, forcing all of her weight onto her wrists.
“If you speak again, I will gag you.”
She whimpered. She hated gags. He knew she hated gags. She was starting to think she had made a mistake agreeing to this. But if she had, it was far to late to back out.He let go of her hair and knelt on the ground. Using the knife, he began drawing in the dirt, sketching some kind of circle all around the small room.
When he was finished he stood and smiled. It made her shudder, that smile.
“Now, we can begin.”
He started with a cane. Warming her up. With the circle scribed to catch the energy of her pain and suffering, he could relax into his role. The slim wood whistled through the air with each swing, landing on her body with a satisfying ‘thwack!’
He took his time. The precision of neat parallel lines marching down her back pleased him. The way she twisted and turned, trying to evade each blow added to the challenge.
It was hard to hold his tongue. Normally he enjoyed speaking to a bottom, using his voice and words to encourage them, elicit new reactions. But Cat knew that about him, so silence was better. More frightening.
He lost track of how long he used the cane, how many blows. Enough that sections of her back and ass were turning a lovely purple. He regretted that he wouldn’t be able to get pictures of these bruises.
With one hand he grabbed her hair to yank her head back again. Then he placed the cane against her throat and pulled, cutting off her air. She went wild thrashing against him, desperately trying to throw him off. To break free.
When her struggles began to weaken he released her. Her body shook with great racking coughs as her lungs grabbed for air. While she was distracted he retrieved a spreader bar from his tools and strapped her feet in. By the time she was aware enough to try to fight him, it was too late.
He took a moment to examine the cut on her chest. It was still bleeding, but not quickly enough to be dangerous. He nodded to himself and let it be, taking up instead a bag of sharp-toothed clips. Her eyes went wide when she saw them, gleaming in the lamp light. But she bit he lip and didn’t say anything.
He bent slightly and suckled on her nipple. Delicately and gently drawing it to a tight and hard peak. She moaned and shivered under his mouth.
When she was ready he stood up and placed the first clip on the nipple. A thin trickle of blood oozed out from under the gripping teeth.
She jerked and yelled. Then froze, panting, as his mouth reached for the other nipple.
Two lines down her body, the clips went, converging on her mound. She gasped when he knelt down between her legs. He knees tried to squeeze together, but the spreader bar gave him the access he needed. Slipping a finger along her cleft, he gently teased her inner labia, already swollen and wet.
She tried to jerk her body away.
“I suggest you hold very still,” he said, “You do not want me to slip.”
She shivered under his hand. He bit his lip and savored the fear. He waited, eager tension building in his middle as she began to pant, little hiccupy-sounds. He looked up at her and smiled when he saw she was facing forwards with her eyes scrunched closed. He reached behind him and grabbed a special toy. A thin dildo covered with narrow spikes, each 1/4 inch long. Glancing up to be sure she still had her eyes closed, bracing herself for what she thought was coming, he slammed the dildo up into her cunt.
Her eyes popped open and she screamed. She kicked her feet, pulled, writhed… and with every movement caused herself more pain, as the spikes scraped and tore at her insides.
“Marc! What the fuck is wrong with you! Let me down! Let me down now!”
He sighed and stood. He’d hoped she’d last longer. Grabbing her hair he yanked her head back again.
“We had a deal. No safewords.”
He went to his bag, ignoring her curses and demands. He grabbed up two lengths of fabric. Yanking her head back yet again, he stuffed one in her mouth, not being particularly gentle. The other, wrapped around her head, secured the first in place.
“Now be silent.”
She screamed against the gag, but it was muffled and no words escaped. Satisfied, he knelt down again and checked for blood. There was none. Relieved–he didn’t actually want to mutilate her–he set the final clip on her labia, trapping the dildo inside.
After that she did her best to remain still. He felt the tightness of her muscles under his hand as he threaded a string through all the clips. Obviously she was trying to prevent the dildo from moving with in her. But if she thought that would help, she was very wrong. The brand on his arm burned, reminding him that her pain was the only thing that could save them both. Them, and every member of his line.
He tugged and twisted the clips. Forcing her to jump. She growled and (presumably) cursed at him through the gag.
After a time he left the clips alone and took out a flogger. A special toy that ended in hard knotted leather. He used it to make her dance.
She was beautiful. Writhing and pulling. Twisted about in her manacles and throwing her head back and forth. Her own cries created the music that she danced to. The leather cut into her, and blood ran down her body in an intricate tapestry of rivulets. And with his inner eye, he saw the ward, gathering up her pain, finally begin to glow.
Every once in a while the strands of the flogger would tangle in the string threading the clips. Then one of the clips would rip off, and with it a bit of skin and blood, to fly across the room.
He worked his way around her until every inch of her body below her neck was red. Until the muffled screams and curses had turned to whimpers and tears trickled in a steady stream down her cheeks.
Now that she was properly warmed up it was time to get serious.
Cat had never been so terrified in her life. She had hurt worse, on occasion. But this time was different. This time someone she trusted had gone much to far. She wept against the gag and prayed that this really was just a game. That Marc didn’t really intend to kill her.
Finally, finally, he put he whip down. She allowed herself to hope it was over. To hope he was done, and he would let her down and they would both have a laugh about how he had managed to scare her. But he didn’t.
She watched as he attached a chain to the spreader bar at her feet, and then got a step ladder to thread it through the ring her chains hung from.
She screamed as he yanked on the chain, pulling her legs out from under her once again. He kept pulling, lifting her legs in the air until her weight hung from her ankles and wrists equally.
He used a carabiner to latch the chain to another ring, set low on the wall. The room seemed to spin and she swallowed back vomit. Terrified of what was to come.
The dirt floor was soaked with blood when he lowered her to the ground nearly an hour later and tied her spread-eagle to the pegs set around the buried altar. Marc ignored the glowing lines that had slowly grown on the far wall. Ignored the laughing voice and its whispered promises of death and destruction. He still had time. He could still pull this off.
Cat was conscious. Her eyes widened as he knelt next to her, athame held high. He removed the gag. She tried to speak, but only a hoarse choke emerged.
He set the point of the knife against her chest and allowed an ancient chant to fill his mind. The outline on the wall was complete–a door leading into a demon’s personal hell.
Marc closed his eyes and slammed the knife down into Cat’s chest. Piercing her heart, and a good bit else besides.
He didn’t stop. Didn’t dare stop to look, to listen, as she choked and gasped behind him. He pulled out the athame and ritually broke the ward, gathering all its stored power to him.
Then he went to stand before the glowing door. Working quickly, gestures practiced for more than half a lifetime traced power through the air. He poured her pain into the ancient ward. Renewing it, rebuilding it. The door began to open even as he set the final seal.
With an other-worldly scream the door slammed shut. The backlash blasted him across the room and tore the athame from his hands. He scrambled to his feet and saw that he had succeeded. The door was sealed for another generation.
But he wasn’t done.
Grabbing the athame he went back to Cat. She had stopped breathing. Seven minutes, the old health classes said. Seven minutes from loss of breath to brain damage.
He used some of her own blood, plentifully available, to scribe the ancient symbols. Six minutes.
Her pain and his terror powered the spell. Five minutes.
And he watched as her body slowly restored itself. Four minutes.
But only her body, magic couldn’t give life. Marc was praying science could.
Three minutes. EMT certification meant he knew exactly how to use the defibrillator he’d hidden in the next room. He raced through the set up, cutting corners with desperate disregard. Two minutes.
She jumped as he pressed the paddles to her chest, electricity coursing through her. A quick check. No pulse. One minute. He tried again, and nearly cried when he felt the pulse under his fingers, saw her chest rise with breath.
Before she woke up, he cast a final spell. To ease her memory of the night. No demons, no magic, no memories of cuts and floggings that left no scars. After wrestling with himself, he left her the memory of violation. Of boundaries crossed and safety ignored. Taking away the memories wouldn’t take away the trauma. Better for her, far better to remember why she felt traumatized.
He wished, as he picked her up and carried her into the house, that he’d been brave enough to have been honest. That six months ago he might have shown her some taste of his power, so that tonight he could have asked her honestly to help him. Her or any one of the dozen women he had scened with. But he hadn’t. And he was honest enough to know that she was the one who paid the price for his cowardice.
When she woke up, she fled his home, cursing him. He hoped that she would find a friend to confide in, to lean on. He wished there was someway, anyway, he could make it right.
Marc expected the next play party to be a kind of hell. He nearly didn’t go, but knew he would have to face the music sooner or later. So he dressed up in his usual and headed out. He left the bag at home, though. It would be a long time before he was ready to play again. If ever.
He pulled his car into one of the last parking slots, adjusted his jacket, and headed into the low, out of the way building that was the local dungeon.
Just inside the door a group of the local community leaders were waiting for him. He winced, but braced himself to take what was coming.
“Marc, hey,” Dave smiled, “We wanted to catch you before you went in. Cat’s said some pretty nasty things about you the past month. I’m not sure if she’s just out for attention or has some kind of grudge, but we’ve got your back.”
Marc’s jaw dropped. He knew that there were a few assholes who tended to push boundaries, and yeah, he’d heard rumors of accusations against a few people being swept under the rug, but were they really just going to…
“I mean seriously,” Dave continued, with the rest nodding around him like puppets, “Even if the shit she’s spewing is true, she agreed to go into a scene with out safewords, it’s her own stupid fault if she got hurt.”
Marc couldn’t stand to listen any more. He pushed through the small crowd and into the main building. After several minutes searching he found Cat curled up in a corner, obviously being shunned by almost everyone.
He lost it then. All his careful control, built up over decades and honed to a diamond’s point, fled, as his self-hatred finally found another target.
“You stupid idiots!” His voice echoed off the concrete walls, and everyone in the room turned to stare at him. “What is wrong with all of you. I violated her boundaries, ignored her requests to stop, and fucking hurt her, and you have my back! Since when is no safeword an excuse to do shit like that?”
Looking around the room, he mostly saw incomprehension. “Damn it, I came here tonight expecting to get waled on.” A deep breath. “I figured I owed her that at least. To look her in the eye, admit how much of a bastard I was and give her a chance to get her own back. And I thought all of you would be helping her.”
Lights came on in a few eyes. A few. A few people started moving, hesitantly, to stand by Cat.
“I suppose I should be grateful that you’re too stupid to kick me out on my ass, but what happened to consent? What happened to SSC and RACK and all that shit we talk about?”
Finally he saw traces of some actual embarrassment. And he turned to Cat. “I’m sorry. That doesn’t make it right, doesn’t make it better. But I don’t know what else to do.” He ran a hand through his hair. “I won’t be back for a while, if ever. I need time to get my head on straight. And I think maybe I’m not the only one.” He let his eyes pin a few guys rumors circled about, pretty damn sure at the moment they weren’t rumors. And David. David damn sure needed to figure some shit out, if this was the way he thought a ‘leader’ handled stuff like this.
He didn’t waste his time saying anything else. Didn’t actually expect anything he said to make a difference. But just because he’d done the wrong thing before, didn’t mean he couldn’t do the right thing now.
As he was unlocking his car he heard someone calling his name. Cat was running across the parking lot, dragging someone with her. She pulled up, well outside of grabbing distance. “I don’t want to be alone with you, ever again. I’m not sure I want to ever see you again.” Her turn for a deep breath. “But thank you for that. In there. It doesn’t make it better, but it means something.”
He nodded, but couldn’t meet her gaze again. Looking up at the moon he said, “You realize, they’ll probably just blame you for driving me out.”
She nodded. “Yeah. I guess. I think I’m done with this shit scene anyway. There’s got to be a better way to get beat than putting up with them.”
He opened the door of his car and climbed in. “Try rugby? Or I hear lacrosse is pretty brutal.”
She grinned. It was a small thing, but it was something. It faded quickly. “Don’t ever call me again, Marc.”
“I won’t.” He closed the door and drove home.
Author’s thoughts on The Blood Mage’s Sacrifice