Even worse than the pain is the irrational sense of betrayal. To my horror, I realize that I had begun to trust my captor, to feel like I knew him a bit.

He’d caused me pain before, but I didn’t think it was on purpose. I thought it was just because I was so new to sex. I hoped my body would adjust and there would be only pleasure in the future.

My entire body is shaking, and I can’t stop crying. He’s still holding me down, and I’m terrified of what he’ll do next.

What he does next is as shocking as what he did before.

He turns me over and lifts me into his arms. Then he sits down, holding me on his lap, and rocks me back and forth. Gently, sweetly, like I’m a child that he’s trying to console.

And despite everything, I bury my face against his shoulder and sob, desperately needing that illusion of tenderness, craving comfort from the one who made me hurt.

After I’m a bit more calm, he stands up and places me on my feet. My legs feel weak and shaky, and I sway a little as he carefully undresses me.

I wait for him to say something. Maybe to apologize or to explain why he hurt me. Was he punishing me? If so, I want to know what I did, so I can avoid doing it in the future.

But he doesn’t speak—he simply takes off my clothes. When I’m naked, he begins to undress himself.

I watch him with a strange mixture of distress and curiosity. His body is still a mystery to me because I’ve kept my eyes closed for the last two nights. I haven’t even seen his sex yet, even though I’ve felt it inside me.

So now I look at him.

His figure is magnificent. Completely male. Wide shoulders, a narrow waist, lean hips. He’s powerfully muscled all over, but not in a steroid-enhanced bodybuilder way. Instead, he looks like a warrior. For some reason, I can easily picture him swinging a sword, cutting down his enemies. I notice a long scar on his thigh and another one on his shoulder. They only add to the warrior impression.

His skin is tan all over, with just the right amount of hair on his chest. There’s more dark hair around his navel and trailing down to his groin area. His skin color makes me think he either goes around naked, or he’s naturally darker, like me. Perhaps he has some Latino ancestry, too.

He’s also fully aroused. I can see his cock jutting out at me. It’s long and thick, similar to the ones I’ve seen in porn. No wonder I’m sore. I can’t believe he’s even able to fit inside me.

After we’re both naked, he guides me to the bed. “I want you on all fours,” he says quietly, giving me a light push.

My heart jumps in panic, and I resist for a second, turning to look at him instead. “Are you—” I swallow hard. “Are you going to hurt me again?”

“I haven’t decided,” he murmurs, lifting his hand to cup my breast. His thumb rubs my nipple, makes it harden. “I think it’s probably enough for now.”

Enough for now? I want to scream.

“Are you a sadist?” The question escapes me before I can think, and I freeze in place waiting for his answer.

He smiles at me. It’s his beautiful Lucifer smile. “Yes, my pet,” he says softly. “Sometimes I am. Now be a good girl and do as I asked. You might not like what happens otherwise . . .”

Before he even finishes speaking, I scramble to obey, getting on my hands and knees on the bed. Despite the warmth in the room, I’m shivering, trembling from head to toe.

Violent, gruesome images fill my mind, making me feel ill. I don’t know much about S&M. Fifty Shades and a few other books of its ilk are the extent of my experience with the subject, but none of those romances depicted anything like my situation now. Even in my darkest, most secret fantasies, I’ve never imagined being held captive by a self-admitted sadist.

What is he going to do? Whip me? Torture me? Chain me in a dungeon? Is there even a dungeon on this island? I picture a stone chamber filled with torture instruments, like in a movie about the Spanish Inquisition, and I want to puke. I’m sure normal BDSM is nothing like that, but there’s nothing normal about my situation with Julian. He can literally do anything he wants to me.

He gets on the bed behind me and strokes my back. His touch is slow, gentle. It would be soothing, except I’m cringing, expecting a blow at any moment.

He probably realizes it because he leans over me and whispers in my ear, “Relax, Nora. I won’t do anything else tonight.”

I almost collapse on the bed in relief. Tears run down my face again. This time, they’re tears of relief and gratitude. I’m pathetically grateful that he won’t hurt me again. At least, not tonight.

And then I’m horrified. Horrified and disgusted—because when he starts kissing my neck, my body begins to respond to him as though nothing had happened. As though it’s never known a moment of pain at his hands.

My stupid body doesn’t care that he’s a depraved bastard. That he’s going to hurt me again and again. No, my body wants pleasure, and it doesn’t care about anything else.

His warm mouth moves from my neck to my shoulders, then over my back. My breathing is shallow, erratic. Despite his reassurance, I’m still afraid of him, and the fear somehow makes me wetter.

His lips move to my buttocks, kiss the area that he hurt just a few minutes earlier. His hand pushes on my lower back, and I arch slightly under his touch, understanding his unspoken command. His fingers slip between my legs, and one long finger finds its way into my slippery channel, entering deeply.