Authors: A. A. Dark,Alaska Angelini
The slight smile on West’s face led me to continue.
“There’s a slave—my old roommate. You met her. Her name was Julie before she was brought here. Anyway, Mr. Whitlock was talking about the movie theater and I asked her if she’d ever been to one. I haven’t since I was a little girl and I really don’t remember.”
“Wait.” West pulled us to a stop. “Your master never took you to a movie?”
My head shook and I looked down. “City Center isn’t to be trusted. There are men there that would taunt him. We stayed inside most of the time.”
“You were with an old man. I will take you. And often. We will shop and see the shows. And the concerts. Did you know Master Blaze plays here a lot? He’s very famous on the outside.”
“He’s the rockstar?”
“He’s come to see my old master before, but I never met him.”
“I’ll introduce you. This place really isn’t so bad if you know the right people.”
Fear had me stealing glances at him as we walked up the stairs, but I couldn’t deny the intrigue. Could he really keep me safe? Given what I could see of his body, I would think so. He wasn’t as wide or as tall as Bram, but he was still muscular looking. I scanned over his light brown hair and brown eyes, going lower. I could see where men may fear him. He was a good foot taller than me. Taller than most men here. And wider.
“You’re sizing me up.” He smiled. “What do you see? Do you think I’m attractive? Can I protect you?”
“I believe so.” He paused and I wanted to bite off my own tongue. “I think you’re very attractive as well.”
“Good. You’re going to love me as your master. I promise.”
My head shook. “May I ask you some questions, Mr. Harper?”
“Ask me anything.”
“Alright. It has to do with you as a person … here. Do you like to cut away women’s skin?”
His head reared back. “That wasn’t the sort of questions I thought you meant. But, no. I don’t.”
“Do you like to beat women?”
We entered the opened hall and he glanced into the distance at City Center. “No. I don’t enjoy it at all. Would I beat you if you weren’t listening? Yes. It would have to be done. It doesn’t mean I would enjoy it.”
I twisted my lips, letting more questions filter in.
“Master Harbone once told stories to my old master about sticking weird things inside of his slave. Do you plan to do that to me?”
West jerked to a stop, turning me to face him. “What kind of weird things? Toys?”
“Food. Objects. His foot, once.”
His head shook and he slowly continued us on. “Food and feet, no. Toys, you will use in front of me, yes.”
“What kind of toys?”
“Did your old master make you use toys? Dildos, vibrators?”
“Hmm. You will with me, and there’s nothing wrong with that so don’t think there is. What else?”
“He once peed on his slave. I heard him say so. You’re not going to …”
A loud laugh echoed through the halls. “Your innocence is shockingly refreshing. No, I will not urinate on you, nor will feces be involved at any point of our relationship.”
“Will you choke me during sex?”
The smile melted from West’s face and we slowed in our walk, again.
“That I may do, and you may come close to passing out from it. You have nothing to fear, though, I won’t hurt you.”
Some of my relief wash away. This man had secrets, I could feel it. There was something about him that I just couldn’t trust. And I still didn’t forget what Bram said about him possibly holding darkness. What was he hiding? I didn’t expect him to be honest with me about everything, tonight. Some things I wouldn’t discover until the time came. A time I prayed didn’t happen.
I like popcorn.
The damn phrase would not get out of my mind. It was the entire reason I was eating it by the handful. The reason I had a full bag in my goddamn hand and was heading to Slave Row. I was spoiling the damn girl when I should have been beating the ever-living hell out of her for her disobedience.
No. It was all a lie, wrapped in a pretty little excuse. I wanted to see her. Heaven help me, I need to smell her again. To fuck her until this suffocating feeling of losing her was gone. What was I doing? I needed to turn around right this minute and head back to my apartment. Tomorrow was a big day. Twenty-four-six-ninety needed her rest.
Fuck … me … I had called her that. Not to her face, but in my dreams. There, in my private little space, she was Everleigh, my slave. I’d woke up pleading to her. Begging her to come back. She kept running away. Running back to something or someone I didn’t know. But it wasn’t her running, it was me.
The guard nodded in respect and I handed over my half-eaten bag of popcorn as I passed. He smiled, taking it, and following me down the rest of the way to her door. As I held to my slave’s bag, I could feel my pulse increasing. The keys jingled in the guard’s hand and he opened the door. Everleigh sat up in bed, staring at me, confused. I kept quiet as I stepped in and shut the door.
“What are you doing here, Main Master?”
I walked to the bed, sitting on the edge as I handed her the bag.
“This has to be done before tomorrow. I doubt we’ll talk much afterward and you need to know.” My hand pushed into the top of her bag, grabbing a handful as I forced myself to say it.
“I like you.”
Still, she sat there staring at me. One-by-one she popped them into her mouth and I couldn’t stand waiting to see what her response would be. Not that it mattered. My feelings meant nothing.
“You like me, but we’ll not talk much after tomorrow.”
It wasn’t a question. She was stating back what I had said and I couldn’t stand how this wasn’t easy.
“I like you, but that doesn’t matter.” I paused, taking more popcorn. “West is a good man. He’ll—”
“Will you stop, already? I know he’s a good man.
Or he appears to be a good man.
I don’t like him for some reason, but even that isn’t relevant. None of that changes what is right.”
“And what is that? My overprotectiveness? My temper? My jealousy? I’ve killed for you, slave. I’ve killed for you more times than I’ve ever killed for anyone else. More times than you even know about. If I could do that to someone determined to hurt you, what will I eventually do to you? And before you say, nothing, think again. You’ve never seen the side of me that I hide. You have no idea how much I’d love to hurt you. What you caught a glimpse of with me was the man who has spent years longing to have you. What you didn’t see was the beast lurking in the shadows. He’s there, and he wants to see you bleed. Don’t give him opportunity. Don’t do that to me.”
“Bleed how? What do you want to do to me?”
My forearms came to rest on my thighs while I stared at the ground. To speak the horrors out loud only gave them life, but she had to know.
“Short of sleeping with your mummified corpse in my bed, probably every horrible thing you’ve ever heard that goes on here. Although …” I laughed in disgusting disbelief. “If I did end up killing you, I can see how I wouldn’t want anyone to take you away. Maybe it’s the reason I haven’t rid Master Yahn of his former slave. Call me sick, I’ve seen everything there is. Nothing gets to me anymore.”
“So … you’d come to beat me? Try to kill or torture me? You’d want to cut my skin?”
I glanced over, not able to take the way she was studying me. The uncomfortableness left me pushing back on the bed to rest against the wall.
“Maybe. I don’t know.” I swallowed through the sickness I felt over myself. “Kill you, that I can’t say. But, hurt you, yes. And I’d do more than just cut you. I’d mark my ownership all over your body. Whether it be actual cuts, bruising, marks, I don’t know. Maybe all.
may eventually kill you. I think if I got a taste for it, the action would become more routine. Maybe you wouldn’t even be recognizable after a while.”
I paused, seeing all the demented things flash before me. “Dammit, slave, I’d fuck you covered in your own blood and then bath in it if it didn’t mean I’d lose you. That’s my dilemma. I’ve wanted you so much and for too long that nothing is impossible.”
“What would you cut into me? What would it look like, your name, numbers, just cuts?”
My head snapped to her and I tightened my lips at her even asking such a stupid question. She should have been repulsed. She should have been begging me to leave.
“I don’t know. I haven’t given it serious thought. I won’t. If I did …”
I looked away as she shifted on the bed. I couldn’t do this. I should just go. This was a mistake to think that I could come down here and talk sense into her.
“I’m not normal. I’ve never been. At least not after I came here. I wish I was som—” I hissed, jerking my hand from the mattress. A bead of blood surfaced over the top and a deep rumble vibrated my throat. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Making my mark, first,” she said, holding the scalpel. “Are you going to be a baby about it or do I get to continue?”
“You’ve lost your damn mind. We’re not
each other. You belong to another.”
“And if I didn’t belong to someone else?” She bit her lip, rolling on her knees to lean toward me on all-fours. “If I was yours, would you let me mark you? I’d let you mark me.”
“Would you carve in Bram? Whitlock? Mine? Tell me, Master. No. Show me.”
I flew from the bed, ready to attack her. “You don’t know what you’re doing.”
A smile tugged at her mouth and she reached up, sliding the thin straps of her night dress over her shoulders. The thin material caught on her nipples before pooling in her lap. As I watched her raise the scalpel, my hands started to shake.
“Maybe it’s just the blood you like and not so much the cutting.” She pushed the tip of the tiny blade into her chest, once, twice. The third time she gasped and my legs were moving on their own. Fascination drew me forward. Streams of blood raced over her breasts and toward her stomach, and I couldn’t turn away. I couldn’t stop myself from crawling back onto the bed.
Everleigh’s chest rose and fell faster and I could see her fear. She trusted cutting herself, but me … that was an entirely different story. She didn’t know me well enough.
“You like it.”
I tore my eyes from the crimson streams. I didn’t give my answer. It wouldn’t have come if I wanted it to. My hand shot forward, gripping the back of her hair to pull her into my mouth. As if I was afraid this would stop, my other hand came out at exactly the same time. Warm wetness left my palm gliding over her chest while I made my way up to her throat.
Her small sound of pain got trapped in my mouth, but it didn’t stop her tongue from meeting mine with such need that it made my head spin. Up and down I went, letting her blood coat my fingers. I smeared the substance over her breasts and back up to her throat. The essence of her blood, of her life, took over my senses. My cock was so hard that I couldn’t fight the one thing I had fantasized about more than actually just fucking her. This—this is what I wanted. What I craved and dreamed about.
“Why do you do this me, slave?”
I broke away, undoing my belt and the clasp of my slacks. In a hard tug, I brought her up to straddle me. I had her sliding down my cock before she could answer. The sight that met me as she leaned her back and moaned through the rough invasion made everything else but her fade out. Her lips were parted and her lids closed. My fingers were imprinted on the side of her throat, symbolizing something so vast, so great, that I couldn’t move as she slid further down my length.
I’d killed for her. I’d always kill for her. No one else would ever be for me. Slave twenty-four-six-ninety was the one for me, whether I wanted to admit it to myself or not. She’d come this far in trying to prove she wanted me and it was me pulling away. I always had because of the fears. But here was a taste, so vividly before me … and she wasn’t dead or completely mutilated.
My hand gripped to the side of her neck as I pulled her back to my mouth. She was riding me now, taking control of my fantasy as she brought my other hand back to her chest. When her fingers slid through the tips of mine, she let us glide higher. And then … me. The wetness of her blood smeared over my cheek and chin. I moaned louder than I ever had, lost to the spell she was casting.
Faster, she moved along my cock. Words fell from my lips— “Everleigh, Everleigh.”
No. this couldn’t be right. This whole situation was wrong, and it was going to be my undergoing. It would be Whitlock’s undoing. Without her, I had control. With her, I clearly had none.
“No.” My head shook hard, but her fingers were already shooting up to hold to my hair. She gripped tight, meeting my eyes with a force that all but tried to put me in my place. She was the slave, not me. Yet, she was no slave right now.
“You want me. You want this.”
Deeper, she took me into her. The movement of her hips was so perfect that it was almost impossible to fight the fog I floated in. Anger—the true Bram—somehow broke through and red blinded me. I growled at my own fear of her dominance, spinning and slamming her on the small bed so I was on top.
She had to see. She had to know how far I would go.
One of my hands locked on her throat while the other fitted over her nose and mouth. I fucked her mercilessly, pounding into her as the suction from her breathing pulled against my palm. She was trying to scream, or maybe she was. I didn’t know. The blood … she was covered in it, and so were my hands. I was gone. I wasn’t the chained beast anymore. She had unleashed me and with the freedom, I wanted her to see the consequences.
“Do you like your Master, now? Is this what you want your life to be?”
I removed my hand, allowing her to gasp through the panic the loss of oxygen had put her into. Her head was rolling and she had been on the verge of passing out. Brutally, I slapped her, continuing to thrust. Continuing to slam into her as if her small body could take it.
“Speak! Is this what you want?”
I slapped her, again. Once, twice. My hand fitted back over her nose and mouth as cries muffled under my weight. Her head tried to turn back and forth, but I didn’t allow her air. I pushed my fingers into her face tighter, lowering and meeting her eyes as I came to a stop.
“This is what happens when you play with real fire, slave. You don’t just get burned, you get fucking disintegrated. I hope you learned your lesson. Tempt me again and you may not live through the day. If I had my way, you wouldn’t live through tonight. As it is, I made a promise to my friend. One I don’t know if I can fulfill now.” I let go while she inhaled deeply, sobbing as she tried to catch her breath. “Tomorrow you’ll be sold to someone. If you so much as look my way again, it better be because you have a death wish.”
I pulled my cock out of her, pushing to stand. Cries shook her and she curled to the side, burying half of her face in the blanket.
“Coward,” she whispered through her scratchy voice. “Coward!”
I fastened my slacks and belt, feeling sick—feeling like I had made the biggest mistake of my life. Deep inside, I had wanted to end this. I wanted her to not be able to love me. And I’d succeeded. Coward. For her love, perhaps I was.