Authors: S.E. Chardou
“Mmm, something tells me you are also a follower of Nietzsche as well and adhere to his ‘God is dead’ doctrine,” I replied in a snarky tone.
“No, actually, I don’t. That’s more of my brother’s domain. He’s the family philosopher, not me. I think Nietzsche was a sick twisted fuck who was in love with his sister and spouted off the kind of hardline dogma Atheists and Fascists like to hear. I’m an equal opportunity offender, my dear, and although I adore certain facets of the BDSM lifestyle, you will find out soon enough everything with me is about control not extremity.”
I was quiet and didn’t say anything else until we reached Southampton and drove up to his vast waterfront mansion. What else had I expected from someone who had nothing but money to burn?
Though we were arriving in the dead of night it was hard to miss the unique, one-of-a-kind mansion that was painted a white so stark, it seemed to glow. Everything about the place was very modern and art-deco but cold and devoid of life.
Rory drove us into the garage and I stepped out of the Porsche Cayenne before I closed the door behind me. I couldn’t pretend my feet didn’t hurt. Yes, I was used to wearing heels, as it was a requirement from Grayson that I do so at all times. He was a “legs” man and liked the way they looked on me. However, high heels, regardless the price, were never truly comfortable and one had to get used to the pain of being on stilts all the time. Not to mention the grace required not to fall on your ass after one too many alcoholic beverages.
It seemed forever since I’d eaten and I was starving but I didn’t want to tell Rory for fear of a “cock” joke though he certainly wasn’t the easy going or laidback type. He wasn’t a prankster like his sadist brother which shouldn’t have surprised me in the least. They were truly as different as night and day.
I followed him inside and he led me through the house. After we stepped in, he programmed the alarm and we crossed from a dimly lit hallway into a wide expanse of a kitchen with an island, stainless steel appliances and everything else blinding white with granite countertops.
He opened the fridge and removed a glass bowl filled with fresh exotic fruit and a bottle of chilled Cristal champagne.
I took the moment to step out of my shoes, and take off my coat before I walked over to the fruit bowl where I began to dig in with my hands. He seemed to watch me quietly and contently while he grabbed two fluted champagne glasses and opened the bottle before filling each glass almost to the brim.
I still didn’t know what to make of him but could I truly handle how easily he’d read my mind? Or perhaps he was an expert with body language. I didn’t think I’d made it all that obvious how hungry I was but somehow he knew.
I chewed on a piece of papaya and followed it with a sip of champagne before I sighed with contentment.
“I take it you’re okay with my selection of food and drink?”
“Mmm, yes. I’ve never had Cristal before. Grayson’s family refuses to buy it because it is too ‘ghetto.’ They prefer Dom Perignon or Krug to Cristal so I had no idea it tasted so . . .”
“Delicious,” he said though it was more of a statement than a question. “I find wealthy people like the Compstons tedious to deal with. To boycott a product that is highly superior to every other champagne on the market just because hip-hop artists have good taste in alcohol is plain stupid. Cristal didn’t get its reputation in the past twenty years—it has been around since 1876.”
He leaned casually against the island and stared deeply into my eyes. “My family has bottles of Cristal going all the way back to World War II in their wine cellar at their estate just outside of Munich. It was the first alcohol beverage I tried when I was fourteen. Granted, I was curious because I’d heard it mentioned in so many hip-hop songs but once I tasted it, I fell in love with it. It’s the only alcohol I allow myself to indulge in hence the reason why there are bottles of it on tap at all the clubs we own.”
“I’ve always been a vodka girl myself,” I replied in a soft tone before I began to eat a slice of pineapple.
“Do you know how beautiful you are right now and how much I ache to tear your clothes off and fuck you right here?”
I’d finished my champagne and between the fruit which did nothing to soak up the alcohol, I was feeling no pain. “When do the whips, chains and paddles come out?”
Rory smiled at me in a devious fashion. “Oh, eventually, if that is what you want…but unlike my brother, I
bondage though I don’t
it to get off.”
My heart thundered in my chest so loudly I was sure he could hear it too. I bit my lip. “I don’t think I understand.”
He smiled again and his teeth were brilliant, white and straight of course. “I love women and I respect them. Bondage is an itch I like to scratch but I can be as conventional as the best of them. However, my vanilla is more of a French vanilla than just plain old vanilla per se. I prefer to explore a woman’s body and no part of her is off limits. I would like to fuck you every way there is to fuck a woman but I won’t ever force myself on you.”
“Ah, I get it now.” I raised a perfectly shaped eyebrow. “You are more of the ‘kill them with kindness’ types? My God, I can see how Trésor fell for you. Unfortunately, I’m already in a relationship but if I wasn’t, I would definitely take you up on that offer.”
Rory became serious again and his blue-green eyes turned cold, icy. “A relationship that makes you so incredibly unhappy and yet you stay. Is it the money?”
It was my turn to grow distant because I wasn’t angry, not really. “Yes and no. My family is comfortable and I knew all the right people when we were growing up but we weren’t wealthy or even rich. Merely middle-class. My father certainly couldn’t afford the platinum Oyster Rolex you’re wearing on your wrist or a fifty thousand dollar cell phone.”
“My model was slightly more since there were some adjustments made to it but yes, I can see your point. Is money your sole purpose for finding a mate in life? Is that what will make you happy?”
I shook my head reluctantly. “No. I’m not sure I deserve to be happy. I was in love with a man and he wasn’t rich, merely middle-class, just like me. His name was—well,
, because he isn’t dead; rather he’s located in France—Renaud and he’s a brilliant human being, extremely intelligent and we got along and understood one another, you know? Unfortunately, he
need money to make him happy. He left me for an heiress whose family has nothing but class and wealth. I couldn’t stay there, not after they married one another. I guess you can say I was forced to flee here back to my mother’s home country. I could have moved to a different region I suppose but I liked Paris and Versailles. I really couldn’t imagine living anywhere else there so I just left and came to New York.”
“Why don’t you have an accent?”
“I was reared bilingual. I spoke as much French as I did English. My sister and I would often speak in Franglais to annoy people or so people wouldn’t know what we were talking about. It didn’t take much to get a job a CNW and I worked my way from the bottom up by working smarter than any of my colleagues around me. I may be one of the youngest investigative reporters on television at the age of thirty-two but believe me when I say it is well-deserved.”
Rory was silent for a long time before he grabbed the bottle of Cristal and began to leave the kitchen. “Come along. I want to show you something.”
Our friendly banter had ended just like that and all the sudden, the same old fear returned to my frightened body. I knew he wasn’t capable of hurting me like his brother who would have rather enjoyed it so why was I still so nervous around him?
I grabbed my empty champagne flute and followed him albeit reluctantly. We walked together down a long hallway and he turned on a light before he opened a doorway. It led down and I realized with dread it was another basement. It must have been some kind of requirement when he was shopping for various residences around the world.
“What the hell? Does every one of the residences you own have a bondage basement?” I inquired off-handedly.
“Most do but not all. My Lake Las Vegas home has a room similar to this but it is on the third floor where I can assure what ever guest I have and myself privacy. Basements are extremely rare in Southern Nevada for instance—”
“I think that has something to do with all the nuclear testing they did just fifty miles north of the city. They probably aren’t sure how far into the ground it affected so it isn’t something you see out there,” I explained as I looked around in a curious state of anxiety.
“How do you know so much about Nevada?”
I turned suddenly and realized he was standing right behind me. “I lived there for a while in Las Vegas when I first moved back here to the States.”
Rory held up my hand with the champagne flute and refilled it for me. I smiled in reply and took a slight step back.
“That isn’t what you said upstairs.”
I sipped from my Cristal champagne. “I didn’t realize I was supposed to tell you everywhere I have lived here in the States.”
“What did you do in Las Vegas?”
“I worked in the Public Relations Department at Vogue Casino, Hotel and Spa.”
“You’re fucking with me, aren’t you? I find it hard to believe you actually lived and worked in Las Vegas.”
I glared at him. “No, I’m not. I was in the PR Department. Then the recession hit and I was laid off. It was an unneeded position at the time or at least that is what I was told by the manager in Human Resources. I had made good money and I didn’t have any ties because I only rented. I hadn’t bought any property yet so I purchased a one-way ticket to New York.”
“The person in HR, do you remember her name?”
“Yeah, her name was Astrid Schmidt.”
“Don’t you think that’s odd? She laid you off all those years ago and now she’s buying my apartment in New York. Yet…you acted as if you had never heard of her before when she was mentioned last night. Why?”
I laughed out loud. “You should have been a cop if you weren’t so filthy rich. I honestly didn’t put two and two together at the time. I’d just found out my sister was dead. Remember? I wasn’t exactly thinking like a reporter last night and if truth were to be told, I’m not thinking much like one now either. It is considered extremely bad taste to go home with someone you are potentially investigating. You lose credibility big time especially if and when it comes out. It colors the investigation and makes it seem like your story is more a witch hunt than a search for the truth.”
“Then what are you doing here?”
I swallowed the rest of my champagne for liquid courage. “To be honest, I don’t know.”
RORY STRODE OVER AND TOOK
the champagne flute from my hand before he set it on the floor and stood in front of me. I had to look up to him to meet his eyes but I only met them for a short time before he led me to an ottoman and sat me down.
I don’t know if it was the effect from the champagne or if the basement was heated but it felt overly warm and soothing. I was in over my head and we both knew it but I couldn’t begin to fathom what I could possibly do to escape. I was a bit disconcerted Grayson hadn’t bothered to call yet. Wasn’t he worried about me? I was overly vague with my message and I thought he might get the hint something was wrong but I wasn’t saved by the bell or a cell phone call.
He knelt down in front of me and only then did I notice the black cuffs in his hand. They weren’t like the law enforcement issued ones that had been placed on my wrists earlier that night but they were just as foreboding. I didn’t want to be involved in any of this but how far was I willing to go to find out what happened to my sister? How deeply into this depraved world was I willing to enter before I’d had enough and decided it wasn’t worth it? Trésor was dead and no amount of investigation would bring her back but if someone had killed her, I would make him or her pay.
I didn’t say anything as he cuffed my wrists. My hands were placed in my lap but I was more or less helpless at this point. They clicked into place and as if sensing my unanswered question, Rory showed me a formidable looking key. They weren’t play cuffs after all but the real deal and I couldn’t just shrug out of them.
“You can get up now,” he commanded.
“What do you think you are doing? I’m not my sister, you know. Like you told your brother, I’m not some fucking novice and vanilla sex is fine for me. I don’t need extra kinks thrown in to orgasm, you know.”
“Unfortunately, I think you do. However, you are free to go back and tattletale to your fiancé if you like. I’ll send him the video of you getting off at my club. Do you think he would like that as a pleasant email in-box surprise on Monday morning?”
I glared into Rory’s blue-green eyes. “You wouldn’t.”
“Yes, I would. Did it ever occur to you my brother was thinking of stealing you for himself? He always wanted Trésor but I was adamant she was mine. Now, here you come along, fresh meat and you’ve never been in the life. Your eyes, they’re so bright and innocent yet you’re also curious and I would like to ease this curiosity for you but you must
me to do so.”