A young man of religious fervor and self-control, Abel Beiler has every intention of honoring his parents and being baptized into the Amish church. The woman with red curls and flashing green eyes in the back of a convertible, however, makes Abel wonder what life with the English might be like.
He strives to withstand temptation, but the memory of the woman he yearns to dominate, coupled with the explicit images in his cousin’s filthy magazine, threatens his restraint.
Red, his sinful obsession, haunts his shameful dreams and becomes a secret part of his life. When faced with truth beyond faith, Abel must decide where he belongs—with the Amish community, or the woman who owns his heart.
Much later and hoarse from singing for two hours, my curiosity overrode my better sense, and I followed Eli into the hayloft of their barn. While I held the kerosene lamp, he climbed high into the rafters and returned with a magazine clutched in his hand.
“Got this from my new English friend, Toby.” He sat on a bale, opened the magazine, and turned it toward me.
Lust kicked me in the gut, and I couldn’t speak.
A naked woman lay spread eagle and bound by ropes to a bed, a blindfold and some sort of ball gag in her mouth. A man loomed over her, whip in hand. Tear streaks lined the woman’s face. Red slashes marked her thighs. Wetness coated the pink folds of her sex, glistening, and set my mouth to watering.
The image burned into my brain—submission in an entirely different way than the Old Order’s definition of the word. Spirituality is submission, is what had been reiterated in my ears since childhood. Self-surrender. The willingness to give up oneself to the community and Gott’s chosen leaders.
I soaked in the sinful picture, and for the first time in my life wanted power. Wanted control. I wanted a woman’s submission like the man in leather beside her owned. Unable to tear my gaze off the image, I struggled to swallow.
“Didn’t know people actually did this shit.”
Eli’s curse, the first I had heard from him, barely registered past the blood rushing in my ears. My body tensed as longing to be the man standing over that woman, whip in hand raced through me faster than any thoroughbred—or car.
The image of Red flashed in my mind, and suddenly it was her bound to the bed in the picture, breathing heavily, trembling, and begging for me…