Authors: S.E. Chardou
THE FOLLOWING AFTERNOON WAS SPENT
at my laptop in my private office. My day was only broken up by a quick forty-five minute speed-walk on the ten-thousand-dollar treadmill Grayson had bought the previous Christmas. It gave me time to think and listen to a bit of music. I chose Thirty Seconds to Mars and it was during “Was it a Dream?” I thought about my sister.
Trésor loved Thirty Seconds to Mars. Hell, she loved music period. Was that part of her punishment? I hoped not because it was one of the major reasons why she had chosen to become a model. Models were often used in music videos and music always played during photo shoots and fashion shows.
She loved all kinds of music. She could get down and dirty with Kanye West or live it up with Rihanna; cool it down to Carrie Underwood, bump and grind to Drake or just have crazy fun with Beyoncé. She was a true musical connoisseur who loved hip-hop, alternative, adult contemporary, jazz, classical, pop, soul, and everything in between. Her favorite country and western artist was k.d. lang and she loved Melissa Etheridge. However, I always knew she was depressed when I heard these two artists because it was the music she chose to sink to the lowest depths.
“It soothes me and makes the pain that much smaller,” she’d told me one afternoon when I asked her why she had gotten into a kick of playing them both incessantly.
“Are you sure that’s not the self-harm talking?” I’d inquired in a snarky manner.
I would never ever understand what people got out of cutting themselves.
“You’re one to judge. At least I can feel pain instead of just burying it in that hollow place you call a heart. That’s why you can’t and the precise reason why Renaud left you.”
I couldn’t remember what I said to my sister then and it was even more of a blur at that moment. I stopped the treadmill and got off before I collapsed, sweaty but thoroughly satisfied at my work desk. My MacBook Pro was still open and in sleep mode. I wiggled the mouse to bring it to life and the screen illuminated along with the keypad. First I had to re-type my password back in before the page I was looking at stared back at me.
It was the webpage for Club X-Tasy, the famous BDSM club supposedly owned by Rory Krieger though on closer inspection, his twin brother, Severin, owned it under the Business License Records I’d managed to procure. According to all the legal paperwork filed with New York County that was considered public record and completely accessible to anyone willing to search the Assessor Records for property and the Court Records, Rory had been added as a co-owner later through additional legal documents filed with the County.
Since I was a journalist, it would have been completely negligible on my part if I didn’t have access to government records and Court websites, which were considered public. I often needed the information for investigations but unfortunately, this club hadn’t done anything to me though someone who frequented it might have had a hand in my sister’s death.
These thoughts fueled my anger and had a direct impact on how I conducted research about the Krieger family in general and the brothers’ specifically. It took all afternoon but the Internet was awash with information and the determination to read as much as possible acted as adrenaline, which kept me going.
It turned out my parents’ and the little information Grayson gave me about the family were grossly understated at best and downright misleading at worst.
Was it no wonder both brothers were sadists and Severin was one to the most severe magnitude he would have made Joseph Mengele proud. There were several questionable deaths in Germany during the early part of the twenty-first century and in every one of them, Severin Krieger was a person of interest.
However, the police could never prove anything. I looked at countless articles about the Krieger family on
English language website and other sources. Unfortunately, I had to rely on Google’s shitty translations because I couldn’t read or speak German, at least not the proper kind. My father was Alsatian but Alsatian German was like Swiss German and bore very little resemblance to “real” German dialects used in the country as it existed in the modern world.
By seven that evening, I was exhausted and my eyes hurt after viewing the sick depravity I’d forced myself to endure reading about. The Krieger family was far from normal but I didn’t understand whether I was thinking that about them because they were Germans or because I was just pissed off about my sister’s murder. Then again, what family was exactly normal? Grayson’s sure as fuck wasn’t and he was mostly Scottish with Welsh, French and a bit of German in his family so this wasn’t an ethnicity issue.
I knew it wasn’t fair or politically correct but I didn’t like or trust German people. That might have come from spending my childhood in France and most of my adulthood in the States. The French had no love loss for the Germans after what they had put them through during World War II under the Vichy Government. As a matter of fact, I would wager they only thought the English were worse than the Germans and that, in itself, was pretty bad.
Although to be fair, most French people I knew disliked the English because they believed them to be uncouth and without manners while most French disliked the Germans because they were too orderly and everything had to be just right. We French liked perfection and orderliness too but we also believed in a certain
joie de vivre
and preferred not to take all of life so seriously, we forgot to have fun.
At the end of the day, perhaps distaste and hate were too strong of words. Maybe it was more of simple cultural differences than anything else.
If I remembered correctly, the love of my life, Renaud, had a German grandfather and hid the fact with swift resignation. The only reason why it didn’t bring him any more embarrassment what so ever was because the gentleman in question was his maternal grandfather therefore he never had to grow up in France with a German last name. Though, like me, he could have dismissed it as being Alsatian and no one would have questioned him further or been the wiser for the matter.
That part of France had been German land over one hundred years previously and most of the residents had German names and spoke both French and Alsatian, a kind of German stuck forever in a time and place that no longer existed.
I shut my MacBook Pro off, stood and quickly showered before I settled on a Hervé Léger black strapless bandage dress and matching Yves Saint Laurent patent leather Tributes. I wasn’t going to allow a bunch of freaks to scare me into not being the person I was and who I always would be, regardless the circumstances I faced. I also wore a silver choker with a large onyx set at the base of my throat. It almost kind of looked like a dog collar but the difference was it had a mini camera inside. I snapped photos with the matching upper arm bracelet. I merely had to press my arm to my side and a picture was taken. It could hold up to four hundred photos so that would eliminate any accidental photos or bad photos.
I slipped on a black wool coat with flared petticoat detail. Rory’s driver showed up on time and dropped me off at the club. Unfortunately, it was barely after eight thirty when I arrived therefore it would be at least thirty minutes—maybe longer—before Rory and I met up with one another.
The doorman gave me a quizzical look as I looked at the imposing black building. It was all very high-tech, art-deco gloss that fit right into the heart of the trendy Meatpacking District. The sign was so discreet one could pass it every day and never know it was nightclub.
He suddenly grabbed my arm though he was careful not to bruise my flesh beneath the wool coat. “Are you
you’re in the right place, cupcake?”
I glared at the tall, broad-shouldered man who looked like a dead ringer for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He was definitely a Dom and a sadistic one from his demeanor. I could read it in his eyes, as he looked me up and down. All the positions he would love to have my capable body in, my screams filling a room would be music to his ears.
It was probably the up-do but I was just used to wearing my hair in a chignon or a French Twist if I was going out. Better to show off the neck, one of the most erogenous zones on the body.
“I’m here to meet Rory Krieger. My name is Aurélie Segler-DeMarche. Trésor DeMarche is . . . was my sister.”
Dwayne’s eyes only held a hint of sympathy. “Sorry to hear about her
. You can go on in. He told us to expect you.”
“Why thank you. Are you sure you don’t want to make me pay a cover charge?”
Dwayne laughed out loud. “Our guests don’t
cover charges—this is a membership-only club and it’s one hundred thousand per year. If you can afford that on a journalist’s salary then I am sure Rory would love to take your application. Don’t forget to hand over all your personal effects to the slave at coat check.”
I ignored his last comment and walked in as soon as he opened the door for me to enter.
Like most clubs, it was dim though not dark. There was lots of hidden lighting, bulbs that showed everyone in the best light possible and hid all imperfections.
It was all very European in its feel. It was too early for dance music; Mylène Farmer’s
Point de Suture
album played at a reasonably high level. Anyone who understood the French language knew the album was all about pain and pleasure—both infliction and reception so it certainly wasn’t out of place in this club.
I passed a large booth that looked like a mini clothing store. There was indeed a woman in the booth. She wore one of those elaborate Venetian masks most people preferred to wear during Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival celebrations. She was naked with pert breasts and oversized jutting nipples, a flat stomach and a Brazilian wax, which allowed her sex little to no coverage. She wore a dog collar and a man sat on a stool holding the end of a leash attached to the woman’s collar. He wore one of those leather full head masks, which covered all his features except cold, stark blue eyes and slits for both his mouth and nose. Her “owner” wore leather chaps, his angry red cock at attention, and he watched me carefully as I handed my coat and handbag to the coat check slave. She stamped my inner wrist with a florescent number, slipped that same number over my items and began to put them away when her owner dragged her to his side by the leash she wore and whispered something in her ear.
“My Master says you can keep the choker but I need to collect your arm bracelet.” She stared at me with defeated hazel-green eyes before she looked downward quickly.
The young woman was small, slim and looked ethnic in an exotic way though I couldn’t place her mixture.
“It’s a set,” I replied coolly and glared at her owner.
She jumped as he stood and walked toward me. “You’re not in Kansas anymore . . . Dorothy. Hand over the arm bracelet.”
His accent was distinctly Nordic. I guessed either Danish or Swedish though I couldn’t be sure.
I breathed deeply and began to remove it when a voice said, “Let her leave it on, Anders. I like it—it’s an incredibly sexy piece of jewelry, don’t you think?”
“It’s your choice . . . Seven. What I think has little importance to the situation at hand. If photos of the club get out then I will tell Rory it was your fault. I
I turned and nearly gasped.
The resemblance between Rory and Severin was uncanny yet there was something different. Those fucking blue-green eyes were extremely cold, emotionless and virtually soulless. That was the main difference between the two men. There was no spark of anything passionate—only possession, anger and quietly controlled rage.
Despite Severin’s insinuating comments, removed the arm bracelet and handed it over to the Master who grabbed it and placed it with the rest of my belongings.
I tried to swallow but this man frightened me to the core of my very being though I could barely admit this to myself. I maintained the illusion of confidence and control but I no longer felt that way at all.
Rory was different because although he had a commanding presence, it derived from his inner being. There was some real warmth there although it was under a dozen layers of cool indifference. This man was different. He was frozen—completely detached from his emotions—and nothing existed beneath his arctic personality except even more ice. He merely wasn’t capable of caring about anyone as much as he valued his own well being, and he simply was unable of loving anyone as much as he loved himself.
My heart thundered in my chest, drowning out my sense of hearing while my mouth grew as dry as the Sahara Desert. I tried to produce an inkling of saliva but it was an exercise in futility.
All the sudden I felt cold and I knew why. There was recognition there. He knew who I was and he knew I knew who he was. Not only that but at that very moment, why did I suddenly feel like Rory was lying? His brother had been with my sister sexually—this I was sure of. He may not have shared her with strangers but his identical twin brother must have been just too much of an unspoken threat to not share his pet—correction, submissive.
“Follow me.” He turned away from me and I followed him through the club as “Sextonik” played in the background. I tried not to look around but how could I not when people were openly fucking and sucking and doing things to one another in full view of others? We passed a young naked woman who was on all fours like a dog. Two men were taking turns fucking her in the ass as she sucked her “owner’s” cock. At least I presumed it was her owner as he held the chain attached to her studded dog collar.
What disgusted me more was there was actual a look of glazed enjoyment on her face. She kept jutting her ass out every time one pulled out as if she needed to be rutted like an animal in heat.
“Watch your step,” Severin called behind me.
I didn’t understand what he meant until I ran into another scene of depravity. A middle-aged woman rimmed a young woman while the woman being rimmed was sucking another man’s cock as he was being fucked in the ass. I would have broken my leg if I hadn’t stepped down the stairs in time.