"For a long while, she stood there and silently observed the suspended spectacle of my degradation. She knew full well the degree of apprehension that I was suffering at that moment – after all, it was after the first time that she had done with me when I was a young man that I had developed my morbid fascination for the smell and sight of horses, stables, and anything that remotely brought to mind the sensations of that experience. I cannot even recall exactly what my crime that first time had been – the idea of something trifling, a stolen book or a stolen ribbon, comes to mind, but I am not certain, for the enormity of my punishment blotted the crime utterly from my memory. It was not the first time that I had been beaten by previous masters, but it was certainly the worst – and that long summer afternoon, my mistress had spent several hours together in bringing me closer to Hell than I had ever come in all my eighteen years. I was still visited with nightmares made up of half-memories from that day – a barn filled with an oppressive heat and light, the smell of leather, the occasional sip of wine that my mistress held to my lips when I came close to fainting…"
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