“Darling, will you lace me up?”

She lifted the pale gold waves of hair at the nape of her neck and shivered as his fingers wound around the velvet ribbon crisscrossing up her back. She adjusted the front of the corset, breasts almost toppling out, and exhaled slowly as she felt the definition of the garment shape her torso under his diligent tugs. She could hear the focus in his breathing.

“Are you nervous?”

“About the show? A little.” His voice trembled slightly, betraying his anxiety.

“You’ll be great, you look amazing. So dapper!” She smiled at him over her shoulder and caught his eye.

“All done. You’re well secured, you could dance all night.”

“Oh, I don’t plan on dancing …” Turning, her hand instinctively moved to straighten his tie, but his hand caught her wrist.

“Not tonight …”

She retracted her hand and smiled, nodding, her lower lip caught between her teeth as she watched his dark eyes.

It was a big event, possibly the biggest of the year in their city in terms of the who’s-who of the kink and fetish communities. They had attended the year before, not to perform, but as honoured guests and it had been his first time at an event of that scale. He had dutifully served and represented her, his only goal to please her. He had flushed deeply when at a smaller event weeks after he was praised by a Domme in her peer circle, told that he had made quite an impression on their social group. Remembering that compliment filled him with pride as they sat quietly in the car en route to the evening’s show and after party. He watched her in the relative dark of the back seat, her face periodically illuminated by passing street lights and neon signs. She was poised and pensive, which he knew meant she too was nervous. He squeezed her gloved hand and felt her squeeze back, a bolt of affection flowing through him. He wanted the night to be a success, for her to be happy and to serve her as well as he could. He also felt a growing urgency to touch her, kiss her, smell her and draw her in against his body. He fingered the velvet of her elbow length glove and tentatively touched the fishnet stocking on her exposed thigh. She placed her hand on his and smiled demurely.

“You’d better stiffen that upper lip, Boy. We’re here, and this shall be the performance of a lifetime.”

They stepped out of the polished car and into the gleaming lights and camera flashes. He followed her, grateful that the tide of fans and press people were focused ahead of him, on Her, on Her hair, on Her dress, on Her smile …that smile. He shook his head and set his jaw in a dimpled grin and followed her, as was expected, on a delicate silver lead that closed around her velvet gloved wrist. Once inside they were ushered backstage. They were the last performance of the night after intermission, after Blue Velvet rode Black Beauty and after The Dance of the Seven Veils.

“Do you have everything you need? Our gear is all here.” His voice was tender, he could see her focus growing needle sharp. She waved him off, ever the diva, and blew him a kiss as she poured them glasses of the champagne sent by the show’s sponsors. They drank, they finished dressing, they walked hand in hand to stand in the wings as the theatre filled with applause and the house lights went down, stage hands dashing out in the darkness to collect the notorious seven veils, the heavy zip of the red curtains closing, muffling the crowd. She squeezed his hand and gave him a little push. He strode across the dark stage, towards the coil of silver chain, hearing the applause diminish. He stood, head bowed, chest flexed, leather harness tight but supple across his torso. His feet were on his mark. The theatre fell silent as the curtain pulled back. One beat, two, three, and the spotlight hit him. No one clapped. They weren’t there to see him. They were there to see Her, to see what She would do to him, how captivating and dominating She could be. He swallowed hoping the crowd would get what they hungered for tonight.

His eyes still on the stage before him, he heard the music swell, and took his cue to crouch and draw up a length of the heavy chain, in time with the music’s abrupt stop he affixed the end to the ring that hung at the middle of his chest. Silence. Then the slow clatter of chain being pulled across itself, faster and faster the puddle of metal links at his feet disappeared to some fixed point off stage. The crowd began to understand and began to whisper and clap and whoop as the chain pulled faster and faster until it was suddenly taut. Darkness. The crowd roared and Her name rose to the rafters in an ever quickening chant. They knew the Queen was there, the Goddess had arrived.

When the spot light hit the stage again it was a shaft of gleaming silver showing only Her, poised, chin up, eyes steeled, one hand on her hip holding a gleaming bull whip, the other wrapped in the same chain that bound him. He could feel his breath coming ragged in his throat, exaggerated for affect, showing fear and desire and expressing what the audience felt – sheer lust and trepidation. What would she do to him? How much would they get to see? How far would she take him? Teasing him, which teased the crowd, she tugged the chain, bringing him closer one step at a time. She hammed it up for the crowd when a voice came from the back of the theatre, “Do him in, honey! Finish him!” He knew what they expected, and he braced himself for what was coming next. Their eyes met, every move practiced until it was as natural as anything, he followed her movements, stepping closer, letting her reel him in, much to the crowd’s delight. When they were within arm’s length she paused. This was it, the moment that no one expected, the twist that would make or break their performance.

He waited, the music holding on one shrill violin string, tense, Hitchcock-esque in its intensity. And then …

She, the Queen, the Domme, the Goddess they had come to see break a grown man down to nothing, She … fell to her knees. The bullwhip glistening in her hands she raised it over her head in offering to him and poured the length of chain out at his feet. He took the whip, she bowed, lips pressed to the glossy toe of his boot. Then the show really began.

Violet Fawkes

Violet Fawkes (she/her) is a freelance writer and sex blogger focusing on pleasure education, erotic fiction, and the intersection of identity, kink and mental health.