The Knots that Hold

This erotic story excerpt by P. Stormcrow from The Knots that Hold was originally published by Totally Bound Publishing and is the Winner of the Good Sex Awards Erotic Touch Award, sponsored by the Pleasure Mechanics.

The Knots that Hold

Half-formed questions rose then died on her lips as he dropped her hand to open the French balcony doors. A blast of heat greeted them and the sudden contrast in temperature played havoc with her senses.

Eli extended a hand to her. Hesitation warred with curiosity as indecision stayed her feet at first. Perhaps he wanted to take a breather, to cool off a little or warm up in the summer heat? To talk? More flirting and romancing? Well, there was one way to find out. With that thought, she placed her hand in his and stepped out to the balcony.

His suite included a beachside view and the sound of water lapping at the shore provided a peaceful harmony to the night sky. There was too much light pollution to make out many stars, but she could see Polaris twinkling above. She crossed the space to lean against the railing as she strained to spot more of the constellation.

“If you want, one day we can go somewhere where we can see the stars more clearly.” Eli came to stand beside her, head tilted back to follow her gaze upward.

It stabbed at her guilty conscience, but she mustered up a smile as Saskia and nodded once. “I’d like that.” And she would, if she was given half the chance.

“Stay here. Keep enjoying the view.” Eli’s tone had changed as it became firm with command. It pulled an automatic response from her.

“Yes, Sir.”

He petted her on top of her head with a smile of approval and returned inside briefly before rejoining her. Gone was any mirth, and instead, it was with a much sterner expression that he greeted her.



Eli stared at her with the same stern expression as he stood there, framed by the flickering candlelight behind him. He spoke no other words, just waited with patience for her to come to the inevitable conclusion.

The sarong went first, then the bikini top. She folded both and placed them to one side in a neat pile. Stark naked in nothing but the pelvic harness he’d made for her, Saskia turned red, the blush traveling from her face all the way down to her chest, while a bead of sweat rolled down the curve of her back.

“Turn around. Face outside—and don’t dawdle this time.”

She jumped to action in response, but her entire body quivered with nervousness. Or was it desire? “But, Sir, someone’ll see,” she protested in a hushed whisper.

He came to position her, first pulling her arms behind her back then kicking her feet apart. “No one will as long as they don’t look up.”

They were high enough that it was true, but it provided her little comfort.


She spread her legs out and shivered as a sudden breeze from the ocean raised goosebumps on her skin and caressed her hot, exposed slit. An unbidden moan escaped from her lips. Why is this so damn hot? How did he bring my body to such a heightened state of arousal without even truly touching me yet?

He leaned in and she noted that he had abandoned his shirt entirely, as he pressed his chest against her back. From the corner of her eye, she spied his smirk.

“Though with how loud you are, they may all end up looking up anyway.”

Saskia clamped down hard on her lower lip to stifle any more noise he wanted to draw out of her. He chuckled at her predicament as he moved around.

The first kiss of the rope started with her ankles as he bound her spread-eagle to the railing. It left her open and vulnerable, and she struggled to stay still for him as she wanted nothing more than to close her legs.

Next, he anchored her wrists to the pelvic harness. It forced her to straighten and push her breasts out, as if she were presenting them with pride to the rest of the world beyond the balcony. Her nipples hardened into pebbles and she swallowed a groan.

“Beautiful,” he murmured and ran a hand along her arched back. “If only you could see yourself, Saskia, a piece of the very art you admire.”

Wetness had resumed trickling down her inner thighs, her entire body a mass of sensitive nerves. His touch had ignited an inferno inside her, hotter than any heat the summer night could inspire. She’d never thought of herself as possessing an exhibitionist streak, but this night was proving otherwise.

He withdrew, leaving her bereft of his touch. At that, she whimpered and turned her head as far as she could until the strain on her neck was too great. Unable to see what he was up to, she closed her eyes and used her ears.

Eli was inside, but not far, and from the sounds of cases opening and closing, he was retrieving something yet again. Saskia failed to imagine what, and even when he returned, he seemed determined to keep her in suspense.

“Sir?” She opened her eyes once more as he neared.

“Yes, my pet?” Again, he raised a hand and stroked her blonde locks, winding a strand around her finger as if he was toying with it.

“What’s going to happen next? What are you going—?”

His grip on her hair tightened and he pulled her head back by her hair to stare into her eyes. “What’s next is my prerogative to decide. That said”— Eli brushed his lips against hers then lowered until he placed another kiss on her exposed neck, next to her racing pulse— “the answer is ‘everything’.”

The last word danced like a feather across her skin, and on instinct, she tugged at the ropes. Of course, there was little give and she only succeeded in rubbing against the knots that were still between her legs—which did not help matters at all.

“Hmm.” He studied the way she writhed against her restraints and only then did she realize that she was making small thrusts with her hips. As soon as she grew aware, she stopped and turned her head away in embarrassment, only for him to growl. “Never turn away from me.”

“Yes, Sir.” How she even managed to find her voice to answer him was something of a miracle. She returned her gaze to focus on him once more.

“Now…” He let go of her hair and smoothed a hand over her arm, down to her rear. After a moment, she felt the knots between her legs give way and she groaned as more of her juices seeped down. The sound led to another loud gasp when he replaced his hands with his tongue and he began to kiss and lick his way up her leg. Meanwhile, he worked his hand up until he parted her folds and slid the tip of one finger over her clit down to her opening. Saskia held her breath as he slipped the digit inside. A part of her almost cried in relief from the new stimulation, but another part wailed at how much he was still withholding. The teasing was killing her.

He withdrew his hand, but before she could protest, he pushed a toy into her in slow, teasing strokes, working it into her one inch at a time. She strained again to look down as it stretched her out but couldn’t quite make out what exactly he had placed between her legs. Whatever it was, she trembled as he looped more ropes around and, with a series of intricate knots, anchored the thing deep inside her.

“Sir, what—?”

“Shh-h.” He was standing once more. This time, he reached across to cup one breast, holding its weight in his hand while he slid the other hand along her rear then away from her flesh. “No more questions, Saskia. Relax. Submit. Let me guide you.” And with that, he turned the device on the lowest setting.

A vibrator. He had tied a damn vibrator in her.

She whimpered as it pushed her arousal further, but not enough to climax. He began to knead her breast.

“What is it? What would you like?”

No, she was not going to beg. She refused to.

He tugged at the rope and it pulled the device a little more into her pussy. She arched her back at the increased pressure and shuddered but held her tongue still.

“Stubborn pet.” He changed his grip and took hold of her nipple between his thumb and forefinger. She yelped out loud as he gave her a hard pinch, making her clench around the toy involuntarily.

When she still refused to talk, he switched the toy to a higher setting, eliciting a long moan from her. She bucked against the restraint, sweat beading on her forehead from the effort.

Still, it was not enough.

He took hold of both of her nipples and began to roll both back and forth between his fingers. She trembled, held at the edge, but he refused to give her what she needed to tip over. Her body tensed and shivered from the exquisite torture.


She couldn’t remember why she was fighting against him anymore, why she wouldn’t give him words or why she was trying to bite back her moans. It was as if pleasure pulsated between her groin and breasts, radiating out to the rest of her body until she could think of nothing else. The need to come crescendoed within her until it became a mindless craving in her head.

“Come. Please, Sir, let me come.” She caved to his will with a small whimper.

Eli sighed. “At last.” He switched the vibrator off and Saskia didn’t know whether to weep with relief or disappointment. Why did I hold out for so long?

“Sir? I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Please.” How easy had it been for him to reduce her to this state?

“I know pet, I know. But punishment must come first before reward. And so, we will begin now.”

Punishment? Fear shot through her as images of floggers and whips came to mind. A whine left her lips and she stiffened.

Eli must have seen the terror on her face as he stopped and tipped her chin toward him so he could catch her eye. “Saskia, look at me.”

Her eyes refocused and she stared as she heaved short breaths.

“Do you trust me?” There was a new tenderness in his voice.

She nodded. They hadn’t known each other for more than a day, but it was obvious he was well respected as a Dom, and he had checked her consent at every step. Maybe she was naïve, but she did trust him, or else she wouldn’t have let him out her in such a vulnerable position.

“Good. Then trust that I will never push you further than what you can handle. And if I misjudge and it gets too much, you will use your safeword. I will not judge. I will not be disappointed. I will not be angry. I will only be grateful that you communicated. Do you understand?”

Saskia nodded again. The reassurance was what she needed to hear, and her body unwound itself.

“Now, by my count, you withheld your words for twenty minutes. At a stroke a minute that’s twenty strokes by my hand. Add to that two stray questions, and that totals to twenty-two strokes.” Eli held up his palm. “Barehanded, understood?”

She sucked in a breath and nodded yet again, but this time Eli didn’t let her get away with it

“I need to hear it.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Your job is to count and not come.”

Not come? Why would I come from a spanking? Her body had stepped away enough from the edge that she tried to rationalize why he would make it sound like a challenge. When she failed, she took a risk to ask. “Sir, a question, please?”

He regarded her then nodded his assent.

“Why would I come from you spanking me?”

A strange look passed over him and she kicked herself for what must have been a naïve question.

“Because when I gave you a few little slaps earlier while I was tying the harness on you, you moaned like you were in heat.”

Shit. She had forgotten. Saskia flushed bright red, though she wasn’t sure if it was from the memory or his words. All she knew was that she was grateful it was getting too dark for her blush to show well.

“However”—he held up one finger— “if you think that is not enough of a challenge, let’s up the ante.”

Me and my big mouth. She snapped it shut before she could question what else he could do. See? I can learn.

Eli chuckled and kissed her temple as he laid a hand on her rear cheek. “Ready?”

“Yes, Sir.”

The first slap was not much harder than a tap and her body jumped more from the surprise of the blow than any actual impact or sting. “One.” Her voice rang clear but remained low in volume. They were still outdoors, after all.

It started at five. An almost pleasant heat was radiating from her rear when the vibrator in her came to life. It was on the lowest setting and so subtle compared to the spanking that she wasn’t even aware of it at first. But by the tenth stroke, the toy was buzzing away at a much more noticeable speed that had her spasming around it.

“Remember, pet, no coming.”

She almost missed his order as she focused on holding back. His strokes grew harder and her skin burned more and more.

“Eleven,” she gasped out as she curled her fingers into fists.

“Twelve. Thirteen. Fourteen.” The strokes rained down in rapid succession, stinging ones giving way to duller thuds. When one spot would just about desensitize, he would shift to a different place until she was sure she was red all over.

He paused to rub again, this time his hand cool against her heated skin, though she had no idea how. It soothed so much that she let out a soft sigh as she enjoyed his tenderness, only to whimper when the toy sped up again.

“Fifteen,” she howled when he came down with his hand on her once more. Gone was the thought of keeping quiet.

By eighteen, she knew nothing else except for the desperate need to keep from coming, the mix of pleasure and pain driving her mad. “Please, please let me come,” she begged in tortured whispers in between counting, though she barely registered saying those words.

“Almost, Saskia. Almost. Endure for me. Your reward is coming soon,” Eli urged as he rained down the hardest blows yet.

Saskia screamed out the last four blows, her voice hoarse as she trembled with the toy vibrating at maximum speed inside her. Her entire body had reached a limit and her mind floated in a state of euphoria as her world narrowed down to only the raw sensations coursing through her.

“Twenty-two!” She had almost forgotten that was the last blow as her body quivered on edge, her orgasm held back by sheer will alone. She was on fire and it would consume her soon.

A new whirling noise blended into the mix. Bristles brushed against her clit then vibrated to stimulate her already over-sensitized body even more. She wailed in despair. Any time now, she would fail the challenge, fail him.

“Beg,” Eli commanded.

“Please. Oh God, please. Let me come. I need to come. Come, please,” she babbled, her sentences dissolving into single words as she turned into a mindless creature of need.

“Who do you belong to?”

“You, Sir, you.”

“Come.” He pressed the second toy harder against her clit, its head—whatever it was—vibrating in a frenzy against the hardened nub.

The single word broke the dam and she wailed into the summer night, piercing the peaceful silence as at last she was allowed the relief her body sought. The world spun and blurred. Her climax exploded into exquisite ecstasy.

It could have been seconds. It could have been minutes, but Eli kept up with the toys, prolonging her orgasm until it almost became painful. He eased off at the last second and she collapsed, her body slumping over the railing despite her tied-back arms.

She hadn’t realized until he’d untied her and eased the toy out that she was still sobbing with relief. He cradled her in his arms, holding her tight against his hard body until he laid her down in bed. Then he got in and pulled her toward him, pressing soft kisses on top of her head, her temple and her cheeks.

“You did well, Saskia. I’m so proud of you,” he murmured over and over. The reassurance, along with the cuddles, worked wonders to bring her back from wherever she had lost herself—because that was exactly what had happened. She had lost herself entirely to the rawness of the scene. And that scared the crap out of her.

“Drink.” He held a straw up to her lips and she sucked. The cool water trickled down her throat, slaking a thirst she didn’t know she possessed.

“Here.” He pulled the water away before she could drink too much and make herself sick. Next he held a more solid thing to her lips, and she parted them to accept his offering.

Chocolate truffle. He was feeding her chocolate after sex. Wait! They hadn’t actually had sex yet.


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P. Stormcrow is the author of paranormal and contemporary romances with high heat and often with sprinklings of power dynamics. Fierce women and sensitive men fill her stories while she examines social norms and challenges conventional tropes of the genre. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Canada, she enjoys writing about both cultures.

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