* * *
Barbara was face down on the bed, as calm as ever, with fresh, red welts marking her back.
Huntress stood at the side of the bed, holding the whip. This had been Barbara's idea, but her fantasy. She had learned Barbara's secret identity, but she wanted to know more. What Barbara thought, how Barbara managed, what kind of strength it took to be her. Fainter scars covered Barbara's back and ass. Some were from the shooting, she knew, but there were others... She wondered if strength like Barbara's and being fucking sick went hand in hand.
She said, "I have this urge to beat you until you scream. But you're never going to scream, are you?"
"I'm never going to scream. That's the point." Barbara said, sounding completely in control despite the cuffs on her wrists and the collar around her neck, looped by chain to Huntress's wrist.
"And what's in it for me? Working out aggression against my boss?" She let the whip trail across Barbara's shoulders. Barbara flinched. Maybe gentleness, Huntress thought, would be the most painful punishment.
Barbara said, "This will make you disciplined, Huntress."
"Oh yeah? And what will taking it all make you?"
Barbara smiled and closed her eyes. "Fearless."
Helena pressed her knee hard into the small of Barbara's back. She leaned over, whispered hotly in Barbara's ear, "I could do anything to you right now."
"Then do it."
Huntress struck her. She raised the whip again and again until her whole arm ached, and Barbara had tears streaming down her face, and she almost couldn't look at the torn skin anymore. Someone might have come in, might have seen her beating Barbara on the bed, but no one could, despite her fear. The tower was a fortress, a sanctum of privacy and seclusion, protected by the information superhighway, and only Huntress was here. She could do anything she wanted.
She threw down the whip, and straddled Barbara's thighs. Barbara exhaled. Huntress leaned forward, to kiss the highest welt, a six inch line of pink that crossed from neck to right shoulder. Her mouth pressed against hot skin, and Barbara--not quite cried out--whimpered.
Her lips brushed the next one, a cruel crease against a bony shoulder blade. That must have hurt, she thought, and felt smug.
"Helena," Barbara breathed, as Huntress' kisses traveled down her back.
"Huntress. You don't have to--"
"Oh, but I want to," Huntress said. Her mouth followed raised skin to Barbara's side. She nuzzled.
"What if I'm not after sex?"
Huntress tugged on the chain, and the collar squeezed Barbara's throat. She said, "Then you're getting more than you bargained for." Her hand slipped between Barbara's thighs, and found her wet and swollen with arousal.
The choker took her breath, and so Barbara only let her lips rise into a smile, glad Huntress couldn't see, glad Huntress was having her fun. Huntress kissed her thighs, forgetting Barbara couldn't feel her mouth. Barbara couldn't feel her hand stroking between her legs, either. She just felt the stinging and soreness in her back, and the bruises on her throat, and she knew that Huntress wasn't ashamed of what she'd done.
"You should thank me for this," said Huntress, laughing against Barbara's back. "I'm sure that will happen as soon as you start calling me Mistress."
She kept her eyes closed. When Huntress let her breath again, Barbara whispered, "Thank you."