The day after the pictures arrived, Selene and Nick sat down with their lawyers to discuss the situation. The woman he’d hired for Selene would have looked as comfortable in the kitchen rolling dough as in the courtroom with her motherly appearance, a bit overweight with graying hair that she pinned up neatly. Everything about her made her both formidable and a rather comforting presence.
After a long heart-to-heart the night before, Selene spent nearly three hours telling her story to their council and answering the gently presented questions. His own lawyer remained mostly silent, allowing hers to run the show as he looked at Selene with sad, watery eyes. Nick simply held her hand, unable to do or say anything useful. It was hard to even breathe.
“Sweetheart, are you ok for a minute so I can fix us all some drinks,” he asked quietly when he could finally find his voice.
Selene looked up at him and nodded. “Can I just have Coke? I think I need to go smoke a joint soon.”
“Well, let us go outside and the men can join us with the drinks, ok? I think I have the notes I need and the recording will refresh my memory as needed,” Evelyn Montgomery said. “I could use some fresh air and I think you deserve that joint right about now,” she added with an encouraging smile as she stood.
“Make mine a double,” she told Nick before she went with Selene to break into her stash.
Nick looked over at his own attorney who was now rubbing his eyes.
“Jesus Christ, Nick. That poor girl,” he said sorrowfully. “I can’t even imagine. I have heard of some fucked up things in my life, but this…,” he said with a helpless wave. “This isn’t even human. And the pictures…,” he shook his head and looked at Nick.
“I know,” Nick acknowledged as he rose to his feet. “I want this put to n end. I don’t care how much it costs – I want these people dealt with. Is there a way to deal with the images or videos? Can it be taken down?”
“No. There’s no way to have it removed. That shit is all on the dark web. The police can’t even find the websites where these sick people put this shit up on.”
“So, what’s next,” Nick asked while making the drinks for him and their lawyers.
“I will have to get a hold of someone in the FBI. This has to be federal jurisdiction. With the multiple state lines, extortion attempt, the child porn.. the locals won’t even have the resources to investigate it properly,” he surmised. “Not to mention, this could be big. The talk about the parties, the fact that her parents indicated there had been cops and judges as her ‘customers’,” he said angrily, “would also mean the feds should be involved.”
Nick handed him the booze, then retreated into the kitchen to pour Selene her soda. Since his friend had suggested it, Nick had bought Selene some that he was told would help relax her and give her that little bit of numb that seemed to help reduce the risk of flashbacks until he could convince her to see a doctor. That was soon on the list, but she wasn’t ready to do it yet, and he knew not to push. It was another thing she would have to be ready for on her own.
The men joined them outside on the balcony. They had a bird’s eye view of half the city and nothing between them and the sun. It was a bit on the cold side, though the steel and plexiglass barrier managed to block the worst of the wind. It wouldn’t have mattered, though, Nick thought as they sat around a table. There wasn’t a person here willing to leave her side right now.
An hour later, however, and Selene was dozing on the couch, completely wiped out. Nick called Paul to explain she wouldn’t be in tonight and a brief run down of why. Today, neither were leaving the house. He wanted her to rest and recover. The last 24 hours or so had been too draining, and he was worried about her. He stuffed his phone in his pocket and stared out of the window. He’d never felt so helpless before. She was suffering and he couldn’t fix it.
“Nick,” he heard Selene call out from behind him.
He turned around and was at her side in a few quick strides. “What is it, Selene?”
“Do you… I.. should I…,” she began nervously in a small voice. “I don’t want you to send me away. Please don’t hate me.”
Nick’s brow creased. He crouched down next to her and gently took her hand. “I don’t understand, Selene. Hate you for what?”
“Be-cause I did all those -”
“No,” he quickly interrupted. “No, Selene, you did not. That was not a choice you made,” he told her firmly. “None of that is on you. Not a single moment of it.”
Selene looked at him wide-eyed at the anger in his tone.
Nick sighed and looked upward briefly as he tried to calm himself. When he looked back at her, his expression had softened. “Sweetheart, I will keep you here as long as you’ll stay. I want you here. I enjoy having you around. And you have nothing to be sorry for or ashamed of, you hear me,” he added, lifting her chin with a finger to make sure she looked him in the eyes. “It’s not who or what you are; it’s what happened to you.”
Selene nodded in response, seeing and hearing his sincerity.
“In my eyes, you are amazing. I am in awe of you. You are so strong,” he said softly, brushing her hair back from her face. “You have endured so much. But now, I want to be here for you and help carry some of this burden, ok, Selene? Will you let me?”
Selene’s fingers wound into his and she gave him a pained smile. “I’m scared.”
“So am I, baby. But I’m in this all the way. You tell me how I can help and it will be done,” he said urgently, needing to impress on her how strongly he felt about it. “If you need me to send out a hitman, I’ll do it. If you need me to hide you far away somewhere else in the world, I’ll do it. I’m not going away.”
Selene nearly lunged at him, wrapping her arms around him. Nick quickly pulled her closer, rising enough to sit on the couch so he could pull her across his lap.
“Thank you,” she whispered.
“Anything for you,” he told her, pressing a kiss to the top of her head.
“You’re the first man who’s ever touched me where I didn’t feel dirty,” she revealed.
A mixture of emotions flooded through him. Shame for having touched her to begin with considering what he knew, sadness at the aftereffects of the years of abuse, and elation at having been able to show her that she could be touched without all the negativity.
“I am glad that it doesn’t make you feel that way, Selene,” he told her in a voice full of barely restrained emotion. “I don’t ever want you to feel like that again. You always have a choice with me. No matter what is going on, if you need me to stop, I will.”
Selene nodded against his chest. “Thank you. That really means a lot.”
“You should always feel able to say no and have it stop, sweetheart. No one has the right to do anything to you that you don’t want.”
“Can we lay down a while? I don’t want to sleep alone. I’m afraid the nightmares will come back,” she told him in an almost childlike voice.
The vulnerability was raw and tugged at his heart. Nick squeezed her again. “Of course.”
He slid an arm under her legs and rose carefully, holding her light frame against him. In the bedroom, he helped her out of her jeans, then removed his own and his shirt. In a few minutes, he had her comfortably nestled against him under the covers. In a matter of a few short minutes, Selene was sound asleep.
Nick’s mind ran over everything he’d learned. He thought of the girls he’d known in school and how most had never suffered any significant hardship beyond being grounded. The parties, the events, the dances, dating… Selene had none of that. Her parent’s idea of a party was seeing how much they could make on her in a night. She’d been repeatedly drugged, filmed, and had things done to her that were simply pointlessly cruel. Treated like an object, she wasn’t even fed properly, taken to the doctor, or allowed to go to school. Nothing had been remotely normal for her from the beginning of her life.
She’d never been given a chance.
To him, it made her all that more special. Selene had endured horrors no child should ever even hear of, yet somehow she’d held on and survived, even maintaining her humanity. Not one person in his life that he could think of could be considered anywhere nearly as strong. He imagined most would simply give up, yet she’d persevered.
Could he have survived it?
He fell asleep while mulling over the thought.
Nick began to stir at some point later, feeling highly aroused. It took a few moments to realize that Selene was kissing along his neck and chest with one hand palming his rigid member. The moment he realized what was happening, Nick gripped her wrist to pull her hand away and leaned away from her.
“What are you doing,” he asked sleepily.
“I… I wanted you to…,” Selene stumbled, her eyes averted.
“You wanted to what,” he asked, taking hold of her chin to make her look at him. “What is it, Selene?”
“I want to know what it’s like… when you want it,” she finally managed, her face heating up in embarrassment.
“Selene… I can’t have sex with you right now,” he began. “You just..”
“Please, Nick,” she insisted with tears welling up in her eyes. “Please. I want to know what it’s like not to feel dirty.”
Nick closed his eyes and pulled her in close, holding her tightly. “Oh, sweetheart. I am so afraid of doing something that will make you… remember things,” he admitted quietly. “I don’t want to see you go through all this again.”
“Please. You’re the only one who I don’t feel dirty when you touch me,” she pleaded, taking one of his hands and sliding it down to cup her breast. “I need to know what it’s like to be with someone when you choose to be.”
Nick sighed, then opened his eyes and looked at her again. He studied her for a few moments, searching her eyes before he nodded slowly. “Alright. But I’m not going all the way with you,” he began, holding a finger up when she started to protest. “Let me show you pleasure without the intercourse,” he told her. “Then, later on, we can do the other if you still want to.”
Selene nodded slowly, though he can see her uncertainty.
“Do you trust me, Selene?”
She nodded again. “Yes. A fair bit.”
“You can always stop me if you feel uncomfortable, ok,” he questioned, wanting to reiterate the point. When she nodded, he asked the crustal question. “Are you absolutely certain you want to do this?”
“Please,” she whispered gain.
For Nick, hearing a woman beg was almost the single most arousing thing that could happen during play. But this wasn’t the same. She wasn’t begging from a state of arousal, she was pleading for an act to help her heal. That make her plea so much more powerful.
“If you need me to stop...”
“I’ll tell you,” she reassured him.
Nick pushed her onto her back, covering her mouth with his own even before he’d moved to lay fully over her. He kissed her passionately, stealing her breath as he filled her with the passion she drew from him, the affection he felt for her, and the need he had for her. The noises began while they were locked in that kiss, his tongue exploring her mouth, hands flat on the bed to help hold his weight off her. She, however, held onto his shoulders, trying to press as close to him as humanly possible.
Nick pulled back and looked down at her. “Slow down, sweetheart. This isn’t a race. Let me lead, ok? I promise you will enjoy this.”
Selene relaxed a little and nodded, easing her grip on him. “I don’t really know what to do,” she admitted. “Just what I was taught.”
Nick gently smoothed her hair off her face, gazing into her eyes. “I’m going to teach you a new way. Forget everything else. Focus only on me. Nothing else exists, ok? Can you do that?”
“I’ll try,” Selene told him.
“Good,” he told her, then kissed her again, this time, starting it more slowly this time time, wanting to show her what it was to be more than just not dirty – he wanted to show her what it was to be cherished.
The kiss slowly heated up and Nick shifted to slide one hand down her side, briefly squeezing her hip before his hand slid upward again. He allowed his thumb to brush the side of her breast through her shirt, causing a shiver to run through her. He slipped his free hand under her head and shifted them slightly sideways so he could slid his hand up her back and down again until he hit the top of her underwear. His fingers paused, then slowly drifted town until his palm covered her ass.
He gave a gentle squeeze, his fingers brushing near her entry without adding any pressure. Just the sensation there caused Selene’s breath to catch and her hips to move just a little to seek out further contact, but Nick wouldn’t allow it. His hand slipped back to her side. He broke the kiss, pushing her back down on the bed. His mouth sought out her neck and her ear, teasing the flesh and taunting the nerves. He cupped her breast and kneaded it gently, now and then parting his fingers to pinch her nipple and make it harden.
Selene moaned, her head tilting back and Nick took the opportunity to begin kissing and nipping the flesh under her chin. Her back arched, pressing her breast harder into his hand, so he pinched the nipple a little harder and was rewarded with a throaty moan. He reached down and slid his hand against her stomach, then drew up her shirt, baring her torso. He pulled away enough to pull her shirt all the way off, tossing it to the side before drinking in the sight her. He began to kiss along her collarbone as he cupped her now bare breast and squeezed gently. Slowly, his mouth traveled downward until his lips began teasing the sensitive skin under her breast. Selene’s hands wrapped around his head and she moaned deeply.
Her body had begun to writhe as he’d begun drawing out her need for release. She gasped when his mouth finally latched onto her nipple. Her hips began to rotate, trying to create friction between her thighs. Nick shifted and put his knee between hers, pushing it upward to part her thighs. She tried, but was unable to grind herself against him, causing a soft whine of frustration to slip from her.
“Mmmm,” Nick hummed against her breast. “You make such wonderful little sounds,” he murmured against her skin before switching breasts. He removed his hand and placed it on the outside of her hip.
“Please,” she whimpered. “Touch me, please.”
“Oh, honey,” he groaned. “You don’t know what you begging does to me.”
“Please, Nick. I need you to so bad,” she pleaded, taking hold of his hand and trying to push it between her thighs.
“Fuck,” he hissed when his fingers brushed along her slit and realized her panties were quite damp.
Nick looked back up at her and into her eyes. Then, he pressed his fingers into the slit through her panties and watched her eyes close briefly. He slid his hand up, then down into her panties. As his finger brushed her clit, he rubbed the edge of his teeth against her nipple. Her hips jerked and her breath caught almost simultaneously.
Now, Nick used his teeth and tongue on her nipples as he massaged her clit. He watched her face, enjoying the way her eyes would roll upward when he hit a particularly sensitive spot. He slid up and took her mouth again, then plunged a finger inside of her while pressing his thumb against her clit. Selene’s entire body tensed and she screamed out as her orgasm hit, coating his hand as her inner walls clutched and sucked on his finger.
“That’s it,” he hissed as he watched her facial expressions.
It was far more intense than the one in the car, but Nick didn’t let up this time. As soon as she came down, he was at it again, working her body into a frenzy. This time, he broke the kiss so that he could remove her underwear. He moved to kneel between her thighs, sliding her legs over his arms. When he lowered, his mouth latched on her clit, holding her hips in a way she could not move them. Selene’s reaction was surprising; alternately pushing and pulling on his head as she seemed to fight with whether or not she was ok with this.
Then Nick slid his tongue inside her, simultaneously moving his thumb to her clit. Selene’s breath caught at the sensation, releasing his head and hair. She looked down to see him watching her with hooded eyes, every bit as turned on as she was. He reached up with his free hand to toy with her breast as he thrust his tongue in and out of her in rapid strokes. The more he worked her, the more Selene lost herself into a world of pleasure. When he finally felt her body begin to tense, he lifted his mouth away to speak.
“Cum for me, Selene.”
He immediately thrust his tongue back inside her, pinching her nipple when she practically lifted off the bed. She screamed his name, then all she could do was make sounds as her body shook and trembled. Nick almost came himself when Selene’s orgasm turned in to one of three in a row. His tongue and fingers continued to move to draw it out as long as possible until she collapsed. Nick pulled back and licked his lips.
There she lay, completely bare, sprawled out in front of him and spent. He began kissing along her inner thigh, massaging her lower belly with his thumbs.
“Oh, Selene, you are so gorgeous when you cum,” he murmured. “I could do this all night, I think,” he teased, nipping her flesh and causing her to twitch.
“That’s mean,” she whispered.
“You – me – all night. You have to get off, too,” she protested weakly. The orgasms had really taken a lot out of her.
Nick smiled. “I will worry about that later. This is about you, sweetheart.”
With that, he lowered his head and plunged his tongue back inside her.