Moondust Hollow Ch. 06: Friend

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[continued]

Cool night air bit Elsie as she stumbled out the door and into the empty street. Chase, the village blacksmith who had just ravaged her, did not follow her into the darkness; for this, Elsie was profoundly relieved. He’d offered to walk home with her but the idea horrified her and she begged off as politely as she could. She’d not even bothered to tie the laces on her shoes before heading out, her clothes askew and her hair a mess.

She was too numb to cry as she walked the deserted streets. How could she process what happened?

She’d gone to Chase’s house as part of a work-payment program to manage her debt to the village. Yet the ‘work’ he’d given her to perform had devolved into a role-played sexual attack on her, for which she had no script and had not consented. This hadn’t been like Rachel’s seduction or Charlotte’s haughty wooing; nor had Chase given her an open choice for cash the way Kevin had. He’d simply assumed she was on board with his fantasy and driven full speed over her, treating her every objection like it was part of his game.

Elsie’s foot sunk into the ground and she realized she’d taken a wrong turn and ended up at the little beach south of the village square. Sand poured into her shoes, rough and uncomfortable. Kneeling, she pulled off the shoe and beat it against a nearby rock to empty it, but the action turned into a quiet repetitive slap of shoe against rock as she sobbed quietly. Fuck this town and its residents. Fuck the way they used her like a toy for their bodies, throwing her out after without care or thought for her own pleasure and comfort.

Fuck most of all the way she enjoyed the abuse, her thighs burning as she remembered the rough way Chase took her body as though she, Elsie, were nothing to him. She was broken-she had to be!-if she found any pleasure in his cruel treatment of her. She choked back fresh sobs of helpless anger at herself.

“Miss?”

A gentle voice made her start in place where she knelt; she looked up, panic making her heart pound. A slender young man with long auburn hair and wide eyes stood bent over with his hands on his knees a few feet away, anxious concern on his face as he kept a respectful distance. “Are you okay?”

Elsie had no idea who he was or why he was on the beach at this time of night. His clothes were nice but faintly old-fashioned and shabby, as though he’d bought them all at a secondhand shop. He was in his late twenties, she guessed, maybe a year younger than her; it was hard to tell in the moonlight.

“I’m fine.” She barked the words quickly, not wanting him to come closer. She didn’t want him to touch her, though the thought was hilarious to her in her current mental state; all anyone in this village had to do in order to touch her was to wait their turn. Then she’d strip on command, perpetually unwilling to deny them.

“You’re crying.” His voice was gentle as he pointed this out but he didn’t step closer or try to reach for her. He looked genuinely concerned, like a Good Samaritan passing by and unsure how to help.

“It’s nothing, I…” Elsie wracked her brain seeking a plausible explanation for her to be crying on a beach in the middle of night, when she realized with surprise that she couldn’t; there was no sugar coating for the ugly truth of her situation. Looking him directly in the eye, she allowed bitterness to creep into her voice. “I’ve just been out whoring for the village blacksmith tonight and now I’m a bit emotional.”

Whatever she had been expecting from him he did not now provide; her answer didn’t make him recoil or wash his gentle face with contempt. Instead, his features softened with sympathy. “Oh, god, he’s a difficult one to work for, I know. Do you want to clean up in my cabin? I’ve got over-the-counter stuff for pain, and you can beat the sand out of your shoes.”

He extended a hand and a smile, offering to help her to her feet but not forcing his touch on her. “My name’s Leo, by the way.”

“Elsie,” she said automatically, but she hesitated to take his hand. Looking up at him in the moonlight, she gave him a hard look full of skepticism. “Trying to jump ahead on the schedule by being Tipobet nice to me? It won’t work; I don’t pick where I go each night. So you’re just wasting your time.”

Only his eyes flinched, his smile as solid and reassuring as ever. “I, uh, don’t think I’m on your schedule. But, no, you don’t need to do anything you don’t want. Free offer, no strings. I promise.”

“Everyone is on the schedule,” she muttered, but relented and gave him her hand so he could help her up. “I’m in debt to the whole village, down to the poorest family. Didn’t they send around a memo?”

Leo chuckled, his wide eyes faintly sad. “Well, I’m not part of the village,” he explained, leading her up the beach to a tiny shack nestled back against a thick tree for shelter from ocean rains. “Not exactly, anyway; I’m a newcomer like yourself. I moved here about a year ago to write. I’m a bit of a starving artist in the literal sense.” He gave her a brief sidelong glance, seeming unsure how much to explain. “I suspect my, ah, arrangement with the village is very similar to yours. Envelope under the door every weekend?”

“M-mornings. Mailbox,” she stammered, staring at him harder now. He was a pretty boy, with long straight hair down to his waist and full, kissable lips. Still, she was shocked. Somehow she’d assumed the village residents would not be using her the way they were if she hadn’t been a girl. The casual cruelty of her assumptions-that a boy would not be abused in this way-shamed her and she blushed fiercely.

“Ah.” He nodded sagely as he opened the door to his shack and helped her inside. “You’re on an evening schedule. Mine was daily like that for a while, then I switched to weekends. Otherwise, I couldn’t concentrate to write during the daytime. Takes longer to pay off my debt, of course. Sit here? I’ll get you something to drink while you empty your shoes. No, don’t worry; I needed to sweep the floor anyway.”

Elsie sat on the very edge of the bed-the only thing available to sit on in the shack-and looked around her. The tiny building was little more than a rickety shed, just barely holding its own against the ocean winds. Breezes trickled through the walls and moonlight streamed through a slit hole in the roof. Her dilapidated farmhouse was paradise compared to this, yet Leo seemed content. She beat the sand out of her shoes and took the glass of water he offered, as well as (with some reluctance) the little pill he handed her.

“Thank you.” She thought he might sit next to her, but he took up a broom and began sweeping sand away from her.

“You’re welcome. It’s not very strong, but it’ll take the edge off. Chase isn’t gentle, I know.”

Elsie palmed the pill, holding it as he worked. “Um.” A thousand questions crowded to the front of her mind, jostling to be asked first. “This is maybe too personal, but… how do you know?” She gave a little laugh, the sound raw and high in her ears, trying to clear the awkwardness away. “Like. I can’t think he holds you down and calls you ‘slut’ while he wrecks your vagina.”

Leo looked up from his sweeping, his lips curling up in a wry half-smile which held very little humor. “No?”

She laughed again, sipping nervously at the water. “Well, you… don’t have one.” He leaned on the broom and his grin widened, becoming less grim; his clear eyes danced. She blinked at him. “D-do you?”

“Usually I make someone take me out to dinner before I answer questions like that.” His tone was light and teasing as he turned back to his sweeping, giving her space to re-assess everything she’d taken for granted about him. He was transgender. He had to be; she couldn’t see a cis boy owning up, however obliquely, to possession of a vagina. Which meant, among other things, that she’d just been incredibly rude. Again.

“I’m so sorry.” Normally she would’ve beaten about the bush, been less direct, but now she was too drained to socialize properly. “I feel like a heel for assuming.” Then the full implications of his confession sunk in and she closed her eyes. “Chase hurts you like he hurt me. My god, I’m… are you okay?”

His smile was warm as he swept the last of the sand out the door. Tipobet Giriş “Yes, I’m fine. No, I don’t like the way he misgenders me when he wants to play, but I manage to cope; I assume that’s the next logical question. No, I’m not upset with you. Under the circumstances, I think you’re allowed to be a little frazzled.”

Elsie studied him as he moved about the shack tidying his handful of belongings. He was slender and boyish, with good skin and glossy hair, but there wasn’t a hint of femininity about him such that she could ‘guess’ he was trans; he looked like any other boy to her. Then again, it wasn’t her business. She dropped her eyes to her glass and focused on a bead of condensation running down the side. “Does it… get any better?”

Leo hesitated before answering, biting his lower lip. Eventually he came to sit on the floor in front of her, cross-legged and trying to look relaxed even if he wasn’t quite so. “I might not the best person to ask, because I don’t absolutely hate everything he does,” he admitted, looking up at her with a sheepish grin.

She blinked at him, astonished into silence, and he continued in a rush. “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like being misgendered for his role-play. I’m not a high-society girl, or a call-girl with a heart of gold, or any kind of girl whatsoever; I’m a boy and I wish he could deal with that. And I don’t like the lack of freedom; I’m looking forward to the day when my bills are paid off and I can choose how to spend my weekends. But having him talk dirty in my ear while he, uh, ruins my ass?” He shrugged and looked away, cheeks burning. “Kinda hot, even if the circumstances around it aren’t what I’d like. I guess I found a silver lining.”

Elsie swallowed hard and looked in the other direction, wondering if he could read the thoughts on her face. “I thought it was just me,” she whispered, her voice low in the dark shack. “I mean, I… with Darryl and Charlotte bossing me around, anyway. I don’t know how I feel about Chase. The actual stuff he did hurt. But the way he just… did it without asking permission?” She wrapped her arms around herself and shivered. “I’m only just now realizing this week how seriously fucked up I am in the head.”

“Hey.” Leo reached out as if he’d like to take her hand but he left a layer of air between them, unwilling to touch her without permission. “There’s no morality to liking something someone did to you. Maybe you’re submissive like me. Or maybe a masochist. There’s one billion words, each with its own unique shade of meaning. You ever think we must be pretty prolific, people like you and me, if there needs to be so many words for our flavor of kink?”

She blinked down at him, touched by his earnestness as much as by the actual comfort offered. “No, I… hadn’t thought about that, actually. I didn’t even know I was a… ‘submissive’ before I moved here. I’d had sex plenty of times before and enjoyed it fine, I guess, but never had people ordering me around like I was a toy or a sexbot or something. Then people started doing it here and my head has been a hot mess.”

He grinned, encouragement suffusing his face. “Yeah, that happens. Small town, lots of kinksters who knew each other through an online community before they moved out here as a group, and then strangers like us move in and go into debt with the locals.” He thinned his lips. “They used to be better about ground rules and consent and clarity, but it sounds like they’re getting lazy if they threw you to Chase without warning. He can’t talk out a scene beforehand or his erection doesn’t erect, if you know what I mean. None of which is your fault to manage! You shouldn’t have been hurt without knowing what the scene would be like.”

“Wait, you mean they’re all this way?” Elsie’s eyes widened, shocked by his suggestion of coordination. “I knew Rachel and Charlotte were… acquainted, but everyone else is going to… do this sort of thing to me?”

Leo shook his head. “Oh! God, no, sorry; I wasn’t trying to scare you by generalizing too much. Some of the folks in town knew each other from an internet kink forum before they moved down here, but not all or even most of them. Tipobet Güncel Giriş For a lot of them, the work schedule really is just boring mundane chores and cleaning. Um, okay for example: have you met Jessie yet?”

Her cheeks burned but she nodded. “Yes. She didn’t seem interested in sex.” On the other hand, Jessie’s husband Kevin had paid Elsie cash to suck him off in his work shed, but Leo didn’t seem aware of this; he nodded as though a point had been proven.

“Right, exactly. And there’s people who like sex and kink and kinky sex but I can’t think will want it with you.” He shrugged, looking sheepish again. “Wyatt, the fisherman who lives by the docks and sells bait? He’s gay as a three dollar bill. He uses me a lot but there’s nothing he’ll want to do with a girl.”

Fresh questions crowded her mind-didn’t she and Leo have basically the same equipment down there?-but Elsie firmly reminded herself it was none of her business. Instead, she gave him a sympathetic smile of her own. “Lucky me, I guess? And lucky us, too, that we don’t hate all of it. Just… parts.” She cradled her water, staring into the clear depths between her hands. “I don’t know how to accept this about myself, though. I don’t feel like someone should want this. Not you!” she added, jerking her head up to meet his gaze and babbling to explain. “I would never judge someone else! But with me, I… I do. I do judge myself.”

There was no offense taken in his face, only kind understanding. “Believe me, I get it,” he said, chuckling quietly. “I really do. It took me a long time, and even then I still have bad nights when I beat myself up for it. But there’s a freedom in submission, and pain can be a pleasurable release-especially if you’re dealing with physical or mental pain you need a distraction from. Try to be gentle with yourself. Your debt won’t last forever and maybe you’ll learn something about your likes and dislikes along the way.”

Elsie snorted, forcing herself to smile. “Well, you’re not wrong about that.” Blushing a little, but wanting to share with her new friend, she admitted, “Tonight, for instance, we learned that I don’t like it when Chase comes but I don’t.”

He cracked up, howling with delight until he remembered to muffle his laughter with both hands clamped over his mouth. “Yeah, no, same,” he confided, his eyes dancing. “There’s the hot shame of it all-why do I want to come from this? how is that the thing I’m worrying about when I’m being actively abused? how little does he value me that he doesn’t go that extra mile? why do I get hot when I realize I mean about as much to him as a used condom?, et cetera-but at the end of the day, you didn’t come and that sucks. With him, you probably won’t. You get good at masturbating, or you find someone to give you aftercare.”

Something flickered in his eyes and Elsie had to ask. “Find someone?”

He shifted and looked away, his smile shy. “Hey, I promised myself I wouldn’t hit on you tonight,” he said, the words light but his tone nervous. “But if you go home and think about it and decide you like the idea of a friend with benefits… well, I’d be your friend with or without benefits, but the offer is open.”

Tonight was just full of surprises. Elsie caught herself staring at him, at the smooth curve of his cheek, at the delicate shell of his ear when he brushed his long hair back behind it. She wondered what his lips would taste like, if there would be a lingering taste of sea salt and freedom. She imagined running her hands over his chest, his shoulders, down those crossed lanky legs.

Elsie shook herself and took another drink of water, pushing the thoughts away. Chase must have left her more horny than she’d realized if she was fantasizing about jumping a total stranger. “I’ll keep it in mind,” was all she said, pitching to match his light-hearted vibe. “I… thank you, Leo. Not just for the offer, but for this. For your hospitality. I need to get back home, but I can’t thank you enough.”

Warm eyes gazed up at her and the knot that twisted in her stomach wasn’t quite arousal and wasn’t quite heat, but it was something she realized in that instant which she desperately needed: safety and kindness and real affection. “Any time,” he promised, unfolding himself to stand and offering his hand to help her up. “I’m always here and usually awake. Writer’s hours, you know? Stop by if you ever just want to talk.”

[to be continued]

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