toward the Saint Andrew’s cross. There I release her, holding her upright, pinned between the cross and my shoulders. I tug my jeans, undoing all the buttons, and freeing my cock. Yanking a condom from my pocket, I rip the foil packet with my teeth and with one hand roll it over my erection. Gently I pick her up again and whisper, “Lift your legs, baby, wrap them around me.” Supporting her back against the wood, I help her wrap her legs around my hips, her elbows resting on my shoulders. You are mine, baby. With one thrust I’m inside her. Fuck. She’s exquisite. I take a moment to savor her. Then I start to move, relishing each thrust. Feeling her, on and on, my own breathing labored as I gasp for air and lose myself in this beautiful woman. My mouth is open at her neck, tasting her. Her scent fills my nostrils, fills me. Ana. Ana. Ana. I don’t want to stop. Suddenly she tenses, and her body convulses around me. Yes. Again. And I let go. Filling her. Holding her. Revering her. Yes. Yes. Yes. She’s so beautiful. And sweet hell, was that mind-blowing. I pull out of her, and as she collapses against me I quickly unbuckle her wrists from the grid and support her as we both sink to the floor. I cradle her between my legs, wrapping my arms around her, and she sags against me, her eyes closed, breathing hard. “Well done, baby. Did that hurt?” “No.” Her voice is barely audible. “Did you expect it to?” I ask, and I push stray strands of her hair off her face so I can see her better. “Yes.” “You see? Most of your fear is in your head, Anastasia.” I caress her face. “Would you do it again?” I ask. She doesn’t answer immediately, and I think she’s fallen asleep. “Yes,” she whispers a moment later. Thank you, sweet Lord. I wrap her in my arms. “Good. So would I.” Again and again. Tenderly I kiss the top of her head and inhale. She smells of Ana and sweat and sex. “And I haven’t finished with you yet,” I assert. I’m so proud of her. She did it. She did everything I wanted. She’s everything I want. And suddenly I’m overwhelmed by an unfamiliar emotion that rocks through me, slicing through sinew and bone, leaving unease and fear in its wake. She turns her head and starts to nuzzle my chest. The darkness swells, startling and familiar, replacing my unease with a sense of dread. Every muscle in my body tenses. Ana blinks up at me with clear, unflinching eyes as I struggle to control my fear. “Don’t,” I whisper. Please.