By Justine Elyot (Guest Blogger)
Well, it's wonderful to be here and I'd like to thank Lisabet and her loyal readers at Beyond Romance for giving me this space to talk about my story in the Seeing Stars anthology.
Talking of space...
What's your final frontier? Is it the vast outer reaches of the cosmos? Or is it something else?
The theme of my first ever science fiction story is exploration - but not necessarily the obvious kind, of seeking out new worlds and new civilisations, although my characters certainly do that. But my pair of space anthropologists, Paul and Suka, also have a more personal quest to pursue.
They live in a society where kink, especially power exchange, is against the law. Both have learned to sublimate their sexuality, but when a chance to express it, risk-free, presents itself, they are hardly going to pass it up.
What I enjoyed most about writing this was the parallel between space exploration and the journey into their own sexual identities. Well, that and the hot sex. But BDSM in all its glorious forms is riddled with frontiers, boundaries, strange new territories to discover and map. Paul and Suka embrace their opportunity with gusto, boldly going where no citizen of the future has gone before.
I hope you will want to follow them.
The Sevarian Way by Justine Elyot
Commander Azed Paul and Ensign Suka Demontel are space anthropologists in a future civilisation where kink is illegal. Both have learned to repress their natural sexuality, but Suka's undergraduate work on the ancient practice of BDSM has captured Paul's professional attention, and his less academic interest too.
This makes her the perfect crew member to accompany him to the surface of Paladium Three, a dead planet where old-fashioned service and discipline were woven into the fabric of life.
There might not be any life forms left there, but what Paul and Suka discover is fascinating evidence of a culture that both realise might have suited them very well...
The temptation to experiment, risk-free, with the kinks they have been denied all their adult lives, proves too much for the space explorers and they give their fantasies free rein.
But will this be a unique, never-to-be-repeated experience, or will Paul and Suka find a means to fully embrace the Sevarian Way?
Reader Advisory: This book contains BDSM
They stopped at the top left corner of the square, where a small platform acted as plinth to what looked like some kind of sculpture. Crafted from a smooth obsidian-like mineral, it mimicked the crude outline of a humanoid shape, dark legs travelling upwards in an inverse V to a broad flat torso, with arms raised upward. The only thing missing was the head - at neck height, a padded semicircular dip curtailed the body's progress. Suka and Paul, once on the platform to examine the installation more closely, noticed that thin leather straps dangled from the 'knees', 'waist' and 'wrists' of the sculpture.
"You know what this is?" Paul turned to Suka, seemingly expecting her to supply the answer.
"I'm…not sure," she hedged, though actually she had seen a picture of one of these in her copy of Peoples of the Outer Reaches. That chapter had been abandoned half-way through for Suka to dive beneath the covers and think about it in exquisite detail, fingers working busily inside her slicked sex lips.
"Yes, you are," contradicted Paul, one hand travelling down the defenceless left arm of the headless statue. "You know exactly what this is." He turned and grinned, challenging her. "Don't disappoint me. You aren't usually so coy."
"It's a whipping post," said Suka, the thought of disappointing Paul somehow unbearable.
"That's right. The nobility of Sevarium underwent an interesting form of training. They believed that, to demand service, you first needed to experience it. To rule, you needed to understand how it felt to be ruled. Men and women alike, it must be said. They were equal opportunities deviants."
"Judging by the height of this, it was the women's post. Tell me what you know about this aspect of Paladian society, Suka. What have you read?"
"Once a Paladian noble reached majority, they were put into the service of a Sevarian master or mistress. It was quite a harsh regime, I think. Training lasted three or four years…I can't exactly remember. If they didn't please the boss, they were whipped."
"Good thing we don't operate that policy on the Ulysses IV, eh?" smiled Paul. "Or is it?"
Suka's cheeks burned. She was uncomfortably damp between her legs at the thought of standing on the whipping platform as it was, and her trousers felt too tight all of a sudden. If Paul was going to personalise all this, she was going to end up coming then and there, right in front of him. She wondered what the Federation penalty for that was. Nothing as exciting as a whipping, obviously.
Paul began searching the deck, looking for something which he eventually found beneath a loose plank of the platform. It had an ornate, marbled handle and six stiff leather tails. A whip.
"Ah," said the Commander, swishing the thing through the air.
Suka was transfixed. An actual whip. In the Commander's hands, it looked so deadly and sexy that her knees began to feel as if they might give way. She held on to the sculpture, wrapping an arm around its waist for support.
"Commander Paul," she ventured faintly, pressing her body into the cool, sleek embrace of the whipping post.
"Mm hmm?" he replied absently, running fascinated fingers along the whip strands, curling them around and around.
"Are we…observable? From the Ulysses?"
He looked up sharply. "No. This is a low-risk mission. Visual satellite link has not been enabled."
"I see." She fitted her chin over the padded neck rest. Exactly the right height.
"Why?" Paul's arch question hung in the air, seeming laden with hope to Suka's oversensitive ears.
She spread her legs to fit the sculpture's inverse V and raised her arms up, pressed in a close embrace with the whipping post. It felt too good, wickedly good. She knew she ought to take a step back, recover her wits and ignore her senses, but this was too intoxicating to resist. She was a young Paladian noblewoman, in the service of a strict Lord who looked highly reminiscent of Commander Paul…and she had failed in her duties…and now the price must be paid…in front of the populace. There they would stand, all around her, munching on hot snacks from the nearby market, jostling and catcalling, remarking on her physical attributes.
Her master would approach, whip in hand, and then…
She flinched as something - it could only be the handle of the whip - came to rest at the small of her back.
"Suka." Paul's voice, in her ear, saying her given name, was so intimate that she shivered. "I asked you a question. Why did you ask whether we could be seen?"
She gripped the top of the model, where the hands were meant to rest, and thought that, perhaps if she wasn't looking directly at Paul, she might be able to say this.
"Because I can't help thinking…this chance will never come again…"
"You may well be right. But I'm your commanding officer. If it ever gets out that I—"
"It won't. It wouldn't. Ever."
"And I have certain principles to which I must adhere. I can't just go giving in to my base desires."
"Just this once…"
"Especially with an Ensign. It's an abuse of power. An abuse of privilege."
"I want you to abuse your power. I will do anything if you'll just abuse your power, just today, just this once, please."
"Then ask me for it. There must be no ambiguity at all. Tell me what you want me to do."
"Please whip me, Sir. Please tie me to this thing and whip me hard."
"Alright," he whispered, bending to strap her legs to the post. "I can do that."
About the author: Justine Elyot has written extensively in the genres of erotica and erotic romance for publishers including Black Lace, Xcite Books, Carina Press, Total E-Bound, Resplendence Publishing and Cleis Press. She lives in the UK, where she pursues her passions for history, music and hot men (not necessarily in that order).
She loves to tweet and generally blether on and can be found on Twitter and Facebook, as well as at her website, JustineElyot.com.