When Eddie returned from the bathroom, wearing only his pants and the chain around his neck, his skin still shining from the water he had splashed in his face, Octavia lounged on the bed, staring at the ceiling with a dreamy smile.
"You look happy." He said as he perched on the edge of the bed.
His tone roused her from her reverie and she looked at him. He was not relaxed or pleased, he had that air about him of a big, strong man being very careful with his surroundings. Holding back.
"You don't." She replied, sitting up to look him in the eye. "Tell me what's wrong."
"No, it was great." He looked down at his feet. "You were amazing. Legit."
"But you wanted something else." She reached out to touch his arm. "Something harder. More painful."
"It was fun." His voice was muted and he shrugged. "It's nice to just have fun sometimes."
After a moment of hesitation, she crawled closer to him and grabbed his chain to pull him towards her. "Do you want me to hurt you?"
He swallowed as the chain tightened around his throat and he closed his eyes. There was something about the way he allowed the chain to dig into his skin before he yielded and leaned closer, something about the conflicted expression on his face, it made Octavia think.
She wrapped her arms around him and gave him a kiss before she asked: "What do you like about choking?"
He shook his head without looking at her. "I didn't say anything about choking."
"You didn't, but I heard you anyway." She hugged him as she mentally went over the props and tools she had available here in her studio. "I don't usually choke people, but I can do this for you. How do you feel about chains and cuffs?"
He turned to look her in the eyes. "You don't have to…"
She put her hand over his mouth. "I want to."
Eddie nodded. There was anticipation in his eyes, he sat there with her hand over his mouth, waiting for her next move.
"That's right. Look into my eyes." Her voice became soft and smooth so it could slip past his defenses. "By now, you know how this goes. I talk, you listen. I lead, you follow. I control and you obey. Isn't that right?"
As he nodded again, a sigh escaped his lips and his big shoulders slumped. When his eyes dulled and widened, she knew she had him.
"Take a deep breath. Close your eyes as you breathe out. Breathing is such an interesting process, isn't it? Focus your attention on your breathing now. Your chest expanding as you breathe in. And that release when you breathe out. Just focus on breathing in… And out…"
She moved her hand to cup his jaw as she watched him sink into trance. His body slowly sagged against her and his head tilted against her hand.
"And I wonder if you can recall for me…" She continued in a dreamy tone. "A memory of being choked that you enjoyed. That stifled feeling of suddenly, forcibly being unable to breathe. The helplessness of feeling the life being squeezed out of you. The delicious pressure. Feel it now." She grabbed his throat, tight enough to be uncomfortable, but it was nowhere near really choking him.
He froze and clenched up, his jaw, his neck, his shoulders, the muscles tightened and his brow furrowed as his eyes squeezed tightly shut.
"And when I let go, you feel that release. That relief of air flowing again. The thrill that tells you that you're still alive." And she moved her hand to tenderly caress his beard.
Eddie blew out his breath with a big sigh, relaxing in her arms.
She kissed his cheek. "I think you understand perfectly well what happens when I hold you like this. Every time I hold you like this today, you'll feel it immediately. This is how I choke you." She grabbed his throat again, her fingers digging into the stubbly skin under his chin.
His mouth opened as he clenched up again, as if he tried to breathe but he was unable to, no matter how hard he tried. His eyes screwed shut and he jolted, fruitlessly trying to free himself from her hold.
When she released him, he immediately deflated and she shushed him as she stroked his face. "Very good, Eddie. That's exactly how it's going to work. Now, just lie down here and relax for a moment. Wake up at your own pace. I'll get some things ready."
She helped him lie down on the bed and when he looked comfortable, she went over to the chest at the foot of the bed to find the cuffs and chains she wanted for this scene. The chains rattled as she lay them ready on the floor and Eddie sat up on the bed, looking at her with his bright eyes.
"Octavia? What was that?"
"I'm almost ready." She replied. "Do you want to go to the bathroom or have some water before I chain you up?"
He quickly got up and came towards her. "No, I'm ready. But what was that?" He pointed with his thumb over his shoulder at the bed.
"Preparation." She smiled at him. "I'm not strong enough to put you in an actual choke hold. But this will work fine."
He took her hand and looked at her with his big eyes. "If you can't do it, you don't have to…"
She pulled her hand free and clenched it around his throat. "I said, this will work fine."
He gasped and staggered backwards, shocked by his sudden inability to breathe. When he backed out of her reach and she let go, he gasped loudly and doubled over in a coughing fit. "What the fuck…"
Octavia waited patiently with one of the cuffs in her hand. "If you need to safeword, I want you to tap out. If you want to do this, I need you to kneel here. If you don't, that's fine. I'll get us a drink."
He stared at her in disbelief as he took a moment to catch his breath. Then he went down on his knees for her in the indicated spot. She put cuffs around his ankles and his wrists and then connected them all with the chains. Eddie tested the restraints, the chains rattled and he could pull his hands forward to his hips but no further.
"Now what?" He looked excited and it warmed Octavia's heart.
She smiled at him, pleased. "Now we bring out Eddie Kingston. Do you need my help with that?"
He furrowed his brow and shifted on the floor, making the chains rattle. "Normally I don't. But seeing as I'm stuck…"
"Ah yes, good excuse." She chuckled.
He looked up at her with one arched eyebrow. "How did you plan to help me?"
She stepped in closer and started to massage his temples in little circles. "Does this feel familiar at all?"
His head swayed on his neck and he blinked heavily. His mouth opened and he stuttered, but no words came out.
"It does, doesn't it?" She brought out that melodious voice again to coax him into trance. "It reminds you of that time when you couldn't think and you could hardly stand up because of what I had done to your head. And here I go doing it again. Give in to it, Eddie. Let me do things to your head. It will be so good, I promise."
The sound of the chains made his slumping into trance more dramatic. He swayed and his mouth sagged open as his eyes rolled up.
She shushed him and helped him sit with his hands on the floor and his head down on his chest. "Take a deep breath, my dear. While you still can. It's easy to reach inside and find Eddie Kingston there. His boldness and his rage. It's easy because you remember the arrogance and condescension I showed towards you last time, I called you childish. And now I seem to have chained you up somehow and that makes you really mad doesn't it?"
His fingers curled up into fists and she backed away out of the line of fire. He shook his head and swore under his breath. The chains rattled as he tried to raise his hand to touch his face, and the noise grew when started to really test the strength of the chains. For a moment, Octavia worried about the quality of her chains. Then Eddie looked up at her with his teeth bared and fire in his eyes.
"What the fuck, you crafty bitch!" Metallic jangling punctuated the deluge of profanity out of his mouth.
With her arms crossed, she waited until his voice died down before asking: "Are you quite done?"
"You're a coward!" He roared at her, still trying to break free. "Do you need to chain me up to face me?"
"Yes." She gave him a smug grin. "I'm glad I did."
He laughed at her. That was not the answer his opponents in the ring would give. "How the fuck did you manage to get the restraints on, anyway?"
"I thought you'd never ask…" She stepped forward and grabbed him by the throat. "I choked you out to get the restraints on you."
His mouth opened into a futile, silent gasp and his eyes grew large. No matter how much he shook and struggled, making horrible clanging noises, he couldn't breathe. His face reddened and that vein started to throb on his temple again.
There was a sense of victory in making this big, boisterous man unable to even draw breath with just a squeeze of her hand, but she was also apprehensive about it. A hypnotic suggestion was an illusion as fragile as a soap bubble and if it popped, she might not be able to use it again. She let go of him and backed away, glad that she chained him up first. He might have really hurt her in his struggle to breathe without the chains.
Coughing and wheezing, he doubled over, and she waited apprehensively for him to catch his breath. Would he get more angry than before? Would this become another scene she felt bad about?
After a moment of silence, the chains rattled as he tried to make himself more comfortable on his knees. He straightened up with his hands behind his back, making himself look as big and tough as he possibly could. "Ok, you got me." He said with his jaw clenched. "Now what?"
Feigning a devilish grin, she stepped closer again. "Now I just play with you until you pass out." She stroked his chin.
He recoiled from her hand and laughed nervously. "Ok, alright…" He was trying to talk his way out of this with his charming smile. "You don't have to do that. I'm sure we can work something out. Tell me what you want."
"Eddie, my dear…" Her smile became warmer and more genuine. "Are you bargaining with me?" She reached out to stroke his cheek and his beard.
He seemed torn as he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He shuddered under her touch but he didn't try to move away again. "There must be something you want…" He grumbled under his breath.
"Oh yes…" She replied, getting more and more excited by the second. "I want to do this." And she clenched her hand around his throat.
His adam's apple moved against her hand and his mouth opened in vain. His eyes opened wide and seemed to be pleading her to let go as he shook and trembled, rattling the chains.
"I want to watch you like this, feel you like this." She said with a sadistic smile. "And I want to hear you admit how much you love it." And she pushed him away so he could catch his breath.
As he took long, wheezing breaths, she watched him curl up, making himself smaller. His bright eyes were watery and they looked thoughtful before they finally looked up at her. "Vicious…" His voice was raw. "Seems out of character, Octavia."
Arousal warmed her from the inside, but she hid it behind a stern face. She crossed her arms and shook her head. "That's not what I want to hear."
After another shuddering breath, he stared at her, his eyes large and shining. "Are you gonna tell me I deserve this? Again? What have I done now?"
"Puppy eyes? Really?" She crouched in front of him to bring her face closer to his. She couldn't hide her amusement. "That's what you're trying now?"
"I'm not trying anything." He muttered as he shrugged. "I'm just sayin'..."
She gripped his throat mid-sentence and slowly said: "You know what I want."
A squeak came out of his mouth as his shoulders clenched up. His face turned redder and he lowered his eyes, shaking in her grip.
After a few agonising seconds, she let go and stroked his beard. "Here's something to motivate you, my dear." She cooed. "If you admit that you want me to choke you, I'll remove the chains."
Breathing heavily, he slumped backwards and he closed his eyes. It was unclear whether he had actually heard what she said.
"Eddie…" Her voice was playful, as if she were talking to a pet. "Are you going to say what I want you to say?"
When he finally spoke, he sounded cracked and broken. "I can't… I just…" The chains rattled as he shifted and hung his head.
"You're so melodramatic!" She chuckled and patted him on the shoulder. "Just say the words and I'll remove those chains and make you comfortable."
His chest and shoulders heaved with his breathing as he tried to sit up straight with his hands behind his back. For a few long seconds, he glared at her as if he was back to his angry self. But then he lowered his eyes and muttered: "Please choke me."
"Thank you!" She hugged him and kissed him before her hands crawled behind his back to unhook the chains from the cuffs. "Do you want to stand up?" She tenderly helped him rise to his feet. The chains rattled one last time as they were discarded on the floor. "That's better, isn't it?"
He was uncharacteristically silent as they stood there together in the middle of the room. His breathing was calmer now and the colour of his face returned to normal, but he seemed tense as he stared at her. There was a longing in that look.
She knew exactly what it meant, so she grinned impishly. "Use your words, Eddie. You're such a great talker."
His eyes went down to her hands and he hoarsely said "You didn't…" before his voice died away.
She approached and ran her fingers up his naked shoulder, up his neck and then stroked his cheek, wallowing in that yearning look in his eyes. She kissed him and replied in a sultry tone: "I want you to ask again. I would prefer you to beg, but I'll take what I can get."
"Stop fucking with me and just choke me already!" The fire in his eyes was back as he shoved her away.
Knowing that she didn't need to be gentle with him, she lashed out and grabbed his throat while she dug the claws of her other hand into his shoulder. As he froze and clenched up in her grip, she gave him a piercing look. "Let me explain how this is going to go. Are you listening?"
His adam's apple moved under her hand as he nodded, his eyes wide and his mouth clenched shut.
She let go of him and composed herself, folding her hands together. "If you ask like this, you get a short, annoyed choke. If you get down on your knees and politely beg for it, I will lovingly sit on you and choke you while I kiss you. The tone of your request dictates the nature of the choke. Do you understand?"
Full of disbelief, he started to laugh but he was too out of breath, it turned into a hacking cough. "You expect me to be nice and polite?"
She shook her head. "Only if you want my response to be nice and polite. But I know you…"
After another wheezing breath, leaning with his hands on his knees, he managed to really laugh. "Oh, you know me, do you?" His eyes were getting mad again.
Octavia leaned on the bed and crossed her arms. With a calm smile, she said: "I suggest you think carefully about your tone."
He paced the empty space in the middle of the room, inhaling deeply before he opened his mouth to speak, and then taking another moment to pace and think about it. He glanced at her as he thought about his words, as if he was anticipating her response.
It was fascinating to watch. Octavia basked in the vision of this powerful opponent carefully planning his move, in his feverish energy, and in this interesting dilemma she had presented to him.
Finally, he narrowed his eyes at her and raised his hand in the air to gesture as he spoke. "Alright, Imma need you to hear me out on this. You see, I don't think you can choke me out. I think you're too soft."
She raised her eyebrows at him in an incredulous look.
"Don't get me wrong. I want you to choke me." He grinned. His voice was loud and he made big gestures, as if he was doing this for an audience or a camera. "But not like some little vanilla with fluffy cuffs and shit. No, put your fucking back into it. Don't stop when you break a pretty fingernail." He approached until their faces were only an inch apart. "And I sure hope you don't stop on my account. Choke me like you're Jon fucking Moxley on a bad day. Choke me till I'm a fucking hot mess. Choke me. I legit want you to. I legit hope you can. But I doubt it." He stared her down with that mad grin, taunting her.
When her hand shot up to close around his throat, his hand grabbed her wrist. She looked up at him with a piercing gaze as her other hand reached out to grab his balls. With wide eyes and a growing look of dread on his face, he staggered backwards, and she followed without letting go.
"Like this?" She asked with a sadistic grin. "Is this what you were asking for?" It gave her thrills to feel this much bigger, much stronger man yield to her touch, to see the awe on his face as she asserted her power over him.
He found his footing in the middle of the room and stopped there rather than trying to get away from her grip. His eyes and his jaw clenched shut, determined to bite down and soldier through.
She dug her fingers into the crotch of his pants in order to get a good grip. Meanwhile, she gave him a sultry look. "I must admit, Eddie, I never thought I would hear those words out of your mouth. I know you talk like this in front of a camera, but that's all for show. That's all just hot air. Isn't it?" She squeezed both her hands.
His eyes opened to give her a willful look. There was a tremble in his arms because of the way he clenched his shoulders and neck.
She gave him a vile grin. "Oh, I know you risk physical injuries in that ring, but you're such a masochist, you don't care about a little pain or a black eye, do you?"
His eyes dulled and his knees gave out. She let go of him and backed away as he collapsed on the floor. He lay on his back, his chest heaving as he gasped for breath. She swooped in to straddle his chest and put her hand on his throat again. In the shocked silence, he stared up at her with his mouth open.
"But in this ring, Eddie…" She smiled down on him and stroked his beard with her other hand. "With me, you lay your soul bare. You open up for me to hit you where it truly hurts. Don't you?"
His face was red and that vein bulged on his temple. His lips moved as he nodded in silent, compliant agreement.
Octavia sighed as she clenched her hand around his throat. "Honestly, I didn't think you'd be able to pull your thick head out of your hypermasculine ass long enough to actually show me your real vulnerabilities."
He trembled and his eyes glazed over as he started to fade. As she leaned down to kiss his face, she could taste a tear. With a pleased nod, she let go and lay down on top of him.
"You've impressed me again. Well done, my dear."