He stood before her in all his confidence and glory, skyclad and beautiful like a golden god in mortal form. Black tribal symbols encircled his muscular arms, trailing around his shoulders and down his back. His sharp eyes pinned her down and she shifted uncomfortably on the mattress, wanting desperately to bury herself beneath the sheets, to hide from the embarrassment that displaying her bare skin tended to bring about. But this was what he wanted, and she willingly obliged. His hard features drew together in a look of primal desire, framing the face that she had come to fear.

It wasn’t his demeanor that frightened her, or his demanding ways. She had known from the day she met him that he was crass, sarcastic, and judgmental—but he was also intelligent, sensible, and extremely perceptive. All it took was a few raw, sexist comments from him—always followed by a smug grin and a devious glint in his dark-green eyes—and a few occasions where he’d catch her staring at his perfectly sculpted figure. He knew as well as she did that he had her in his grasp.

It all started so innocently. Harmless flirting, stolen glances, and a light caress up her spine soon became rough hands entangled in her long, brown hair. It became pulling, scratching, and biting. The gentle strokes that a man might graze across the skin of his beloved quickly escalated into bruises, teeth marks, and shameful acts of regret.

What frightened her the most was the emotion he ignited within her. She hated herself for enjoying the pain and the insults and the brutal honesty that he lovingly offered her. She knew it would never last and that she deserved so much more from a lover. But her lust and self-destructive tendencies begged her to stay, and she didn’t have the sense to say no.

And so, it had come to this.

Here she was—again—in his bed, obeying his every command, betraying her innocent heart with wanton rage for fleeting ecstasy. His greed alternated between calculated ambition and passionate fervor. She prayed to her golden god for freedom from his merciless wrath. Her reward was a despondent hallelujah in an anticlimactic release, and as she finally grabbed for the sheets that she had longed for, she thought only of his reaction to her imperfections. Her hate permeated to her core. Not hate for him; for herself.

Well…a little for him.

It was just another long, heated night passed in worship and sin. Another confession to be made—another round of praise for a job well done. She dreamed of the day she would stop loving him and stop hating herself; that would be the first true hallelujah she would ever utter.


This short story was inspired by a writing prompt. The prompt was:


If this story or prompt inspired you, let me know in the comments!


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