The Marquis may have been a man of control, and an experienced sensualist, but it had been a long time since he had felt so impossibly close to the edge. His head swam dizzily with lust, pulsepoints located all over his body, blood searing through him and pulsating in his ears. His eyes were glazed, but not quite enough to hide the predatory glint that shimmered menacingly. The garments that Madeleine had innocently loosened about him exposed the top of his chest, and the skin was flushed.

The only sound in the room was Madeleine's hasty, shallow breathing. His eyes narrowed as they feasted upon her, his pupils dilating like a drop of ink spreading in cool waters. His heartbeat slammed in his throat, but with gritted teeth and baited breath, he regained control.

He recognised the fear about her. He knew that she was fighting inside - the cold posturing of fright, and the melting core of lust. As much as he adored the quivering and the cries, he could not do this to Madeleine. Yet.

The Marquis stood before her, back straight and noble.

"Madeleine." She jerked her unseeing head up. "Now, I want to guide you, so it seems sensible that I must forewarn you of what I am to do, yes?" He didn't expect her to answer.

"I know that this next prospect will be completely unfamiliar to you. I know that you are truthful with me about your private behaviour, so there is no need to assume false confidence in what I am asking you to do."

The meaning behind the Marquis' mannered and sculptured words was that if she did blush and become self-conscious, he would adore it. He would love to see that delicious mouth of hers form a perfect 'o' and those slender arms cross proudly over her body.

He moved before her, his lean frame looming over her. Her hands were encased in the folds of her skirt, hidden away. He prised her fingers from the fabric, holding them away from her body, outstretching her arms.

"The sacrificial Lamb," he murmured wickedly, leaning in intimately to breathe the scent of her hair and graze his lips against her own. Once he released her, Madeleine's arms flopped to her sides, and the Marquis covered her body with his own as his fingertips brushed against the back laces of her corset. Her sudden jolt pulled his mouth into a smirk.

"Madeleine. You must understand that it is not just your soul I want you to bare."

She inhaled sharply. The Marquis smiled. Surely she hadn't expected him to take her fully clothed?

"Lie down."

He saw her hesitate. The Marquis was savouring every moment, every one of his senses brimming with delectation. He could see the goosebumps break along her skin; could smell the icy fear that made her shiver; taste her sweet mouth on his own; feel the silken glide of fingers along porcelain flesh; hear her barely-restrained gasps and moans.

Madeleine, with awkward caution, began to rise in order to turn. De Sade swooped down and took her wrists into his hands.

"No, no. The first rule of being a good teacher is to aid your pupils, is it not? You may be a gratifyingly eager student but…" he tightened his grip, …"never forget who is in charge, Madeleine."

She gasped as he lowered her onto her back, nestling his head in the curve between her neck and shoulder, one of his legs resting over her skirts and between her knees, nudging them apart. He was so enticingly close to her throat that he could hear every brewing groan. He elevated himself slightly, looking down at her, propping himself up on one elbow. Arching her back like a contented feline, Madeleine automatically tried to merge her body with his, head lolling in disappointment when he moved teasingly away.

"Now…onto your front."

He pushed himself slowly off her, rising thoughtfully to his feet. Madeleine moved as though in sleep, unfurling her arms invitingly above her head. The Marquis quirked an eyebrow. This was going far better than he had thought.

The contours of her clothed body fascinated him. Madeleine was not only fair of face, but delightfully attributed with a soft and voluptuous form. Of course, the Marquis up until now could only consult his fertile imagination, but his eyes had undressed her so many times that he was almost disappointed that he had rid himself of the surprise.

The mattress protested quietly when he knelt beside her. For a few moments, he merely stroked her neck and bare patch of skin that her corset exposed at the top of her back. Her skin felt like petals underneath his fingers, sending bolts of pleasure all through his body before focussing with painful rhythm between his thighs. After years of abstinence, the Marquis felt that sickening contrast between losing all control and being accommodated to isolation.

He was so lost in his thoughts that when de Sade cast his eyes back at Madeleine, her body had become lax with relaxation. His eyebrows knitted into a frown. He was not here to relax Madeleine.

He yanked suddenly at her corset strings, causing her to cry out. The Marquis ran a tongue over his lips before planting a kiss at the nape of her neck.

"Surprise, my lovely, often goes hand in hand with pleasure." His breath was cool on the moist patch his mouth had left behind.

It was quiet enough in the room for the sound of the rough laces crossing over each other to be heard. The Marquis was deft, but leisurely, occasionally pulling hard on the strings. He wrapped them around his fingers as he went along, and by the time he had come to the bottom, his fingertips were scarlet. He winced when he unfurled them, hissing through his teeth. He gently pulled the bodice apart, finally showing the milky flesh of Madeleine's back. She was like a blank parchment, just aching to be turned into art. The Marquis momentarily reveled in the fact that Madeleine had not said a word. Normally, she was sharp and witty of tongue, but now…now she seemed muted. The Marquis snaked his hand about her neck, arching her back so that the corset fell away from her and the shell of her ear touched his lips.

"I have deprived you of one sense, Madeleine, and one sense alone. When one is deprived of a sense, as in the case of the delightful Madame LeClerc, the other four are heightened." The palm of his hand remained about her neck as his fingers traveled intently towards her mouth, parting her lips. "You have a brilliant tongue. I'm demanding that you use it."

The Marquis shuddered, his eyes fluttering closed, as Madeleine rubbed her tongue against his fingertips, the ridges of her teeth scraping gently over them. He probed her mouth ever further, penetrating and withdrawing from her, lips parted in wonder as this ardent pupil willingly succumbed.

He pulled away suddenly, feeling distracted. With fingers slick from her mouth, the Marquis clamped his hand over her shoulders and turned her onto her back. He drank in the look of shock on her face. Even with her eyes covered, the momentary change in pallor and of course the delightful slackness of that delectable mouth indicated that Madeleine had no idea what was coming next. Her arms were bent at the elbow, hands at either side of her head, resting on a bed of chestnut hair.

His fingers curled about the edges of her corset, the Marquis pulled it away from her, leaving her chest covered merely by the flimsy shirt she wore underneath. A sound somewhere between a sigh and a growl rumbled from his throat. Madeleine was breathing heavily, and with each breath the fabric would part further and further across her breasts. He could just see the shape of them beneath, rising and falling, rising and falling.

The Marquis was alarmed to see that he removed her shirt with trembling hands. Gods, this was his area of expertise, why on Earth was he shaking like a virgin? Perhaps it was because the thoughts that had seared through his mind with fiery intensity were now materialised. Whatever the reason, de Sade could not deny the beauty of what lay before him.

Madeleine, for all her purity, was blessed with the body of a seductress. Even beneath her skirts, which she still wore, the curve and fullness of her hips were visible, leading up to that irresistible dip into narrower waist. Her breasts, usually so tightly bound by that damned corset, were ample and ripe, and even more porcelain-skinned than the rest of her.

"Madeleine…" he breathed, before noticing the blush creeping up her cheeks. He leant forward, kissing along her collarbone.

"Shame, Madeleine?" He watched, fascinated, as she nodded, and crossed her arms over her breasts. He felt a cold lump of horror form deep in his belly.

"Please…no."

"No? You cannot expect me to teach you such things beneath the shadow of clothing. You would not expect a man to learn Latin without first knowing his mother tongue, would you?"

Her arms stayed crossed. The Marquis slithered off the bed and reached onto his desk where his 'tools' were placed. He pulled two cravats from the pile, placing a knee on either side of Madeleine, straddling her. She writhed underneath him, and de Sade groaned as her hips bumped into his hardness.

"Do not make this difficult for me, Madeleine," he muttered as he spread her arms out, lacing the silken material about the wooden bedposts. Straining against her binds, Madeleine thrashed suddenly, a glacial iceberg of fear rising above the hot, lustful sea. Her soft, young, pliant body collided with the Marquis, and it jolted it him back. He was not teaching - he was commanding, and he inwardly scolded himself. He lowered himself to her ear, the nails of his other hand running lovingly up and down her arms.

"Hush now. You know I will bring you no harm, Madeleine. But you must understand that you cannot afford to be ashamed. You will never progress. And of course, I will reward you for your compliance…"

He moved down her body, tongue darting to taste the salty flesh at the hollow of her throat, lips worshipping her. He felt her stiffen slightly as his mouth grazed the underside of her breasts, and a shudder coursed through her. The Marquis stole a glance at her face, and by the way her teeth had clamped down on a full lower lip, he could decipher that her shame had melted. The heat that bloomed within him scorched his insides, and he could barely contain the joy at the fact that he was the first person to ever see Madeleine disrobed, albeit partially, and taste her flesh. She tasted clean, fresh, and he breathed in her scent of bath herbs and clean laundry. His mouth caressed the delicate rise of her belly, and her hips bucked as he ran his tongue along the waistband of her skirts.

In one swift movement, barely leaving her, the Marquis plucked a quill from his bedside table, next to which sat a half-full jug of wine. He placed his entire body over Madeleine's, dipping his head to feast upon her mouth. Her response was too languid for his liking, and with his free had he held her jaw in an impossible grasp, tongue demanding entry into her mouth. He swallowed her moans and traced the quill from her hips to her neck, deliberately hesitating over the sensitive skin of her nipples. The feather danced over her skin as though on a breeze, and Madeleine threw back her head and sighed. The Marquis' eyes glittered as he saw her fingers tighten on the binds.

Still tracing the quill over her, the Marquis sat up and dipped his fingers in the jug. Savouring the sight of Madeleine, he ran a wine-slick thumb over Madeleine's lips, watching as she blindly realised what he was doing.

"Do you recognise that taste, Madeleine?"

She nodded, her tongue moistening her lips. De Sade nodded satisfactorily as he picked up the jug, smiling devilishly as he splashed the cool liquid onto Madeleine's abdomen. She gasped richly, the muscles twitching beneath her skin. Quill in hand, the Marquis sucked gently at the skin of her belly, drinking up the excess wine. The warmth of her flesh enflamed him beyond all belief, and he ran a hand over the firm flesh, leaving her only with the liquid gem of her navel.

"Not only are you my muse, but you provide me with an inkwell," he purred, dipping the quill into the small indentation, tracing watery scarlet lines over her belly. "Realise, Madeleine, that not only do I have the intention of deflowering -" with one free hand, he caressed her thighs over her skirts - "your body, but I intend to stain that virginal skin of yours with my latest work."

"Prepare to become my latest masterpiece, Mademoiselle…"