Authors: Julia Sykes
My mind conjured up images of how I might draw that blood red shade from her body in other ways. Something unfamiliar stirred low in my gut in response, and my pulse jumped past its normal tempo.
I had intended to use sexual torment against her. Sex held little appeal for me; it would simply be a means to an end. But in that moment, I understood its allure. When used as a weapon, sex might be pleasurable. The sudden stiffening of my cock told me as much.
I clenched my fingers into hard fists, willing their increased trembling to stop.
Control yourself. Control the darkness.
Soon, I would control
, and the darkness would never rule me again. I would be alive. More than that, I would revel in the heady power I had experienced as my father’s life slipped away under my hands. She would give that to me daily.
She turned from locking the library doors, and I caught sight of her face. It was lovelier than I had realized. She wasn’t perfect by conventional standards, but the hint of a contented smile that played around the corners of her mouth gave off a sense of innocence that was undeniably appealing. Her deep green eyes were large, only further lending to that vision of purity.
When I had watched her over the last four years, her beauty had been obscured by unconscious nervous habits. Usually, a small furrow persisted between her brows as she bent over a book, and her full lips were thinned while she chewed at a pencil.
I had chosen her for that very reason. Drive and determination were evident in every line of her body as she studied furiously every day. She thought she could shape her own destiny if she just worked hard enough.
But her fate was no longer hers to govern. What she surely considered her greatest assets – her tenacity and intellect – were the very qualities which would lead to her ruination at my hands.
There would have been no satisfaction in breaking a weak woman. Kathleen Marie White was exactly what I needed.
No, it was more than that. More than need.
I wanted something. The realization was jarring, the sensation utterly new. My lips curled upward in a semblance of a smile, and my hand was rock steady as I reached into my pocket to retrieve the ether-soaked rag.
I would take what I wanted.
Want to know what happened to Carl Martel? Check out Lydia and Smith’s story in
Drugged. Broken. I became a plaything, a possession. If I did ever have a name, I don't remember it now. Slaves don't have names.
My new Master stole me away from the man who tormented me. He saved me and took me for himself. I've found my salvation in his obsession, my freedom in his captivity.
Will his brand of rescue leave me more broken than ever?
I used to think pain wasn’t real.
At least, not in the sense of being a tangible thing. It was just the result of my primal brain’s in-built response to inform me that damage was being inflicted on my body. If I trusted the person who was giving me pain, then I knew he wasn’t going to damage me. If I understood my pain, it stopped being something to fear and became something… interesting. I could master the hurt and ride the high of the adrenaline that flooded my system. I could enter subspace, that gloriously blank place where nothing existed but the sweet endorphins released by the pain that I embraced.
But then He came along and turned that all on its head. He enjoyed administering pain to torture, not to pleasure. And I couldn’t trust Him not to inflict damage. He claimed He didn’t like it when I forced Him to damage me; He didn’t want to mar his property. But that didn’t mean He wasn’t willing to do so in order to get what He wanted.
I had tried to fight the pain for so long, to hold on to my conviction that it wasn’t real. It couldn’t hurt me if I didn’t let it. But He gave me so much that it overwhelmed me, claiming all of my senses until my whole world was agony. I was perpetually trapped in some twisted, inverted form of subspace where nothing existed but the pain, but it gave me no pleasure.
My only reprieve was the sweet reward that came with the merciful sting of a needle. If I was good, if I obeyed and screamed prettily enough, then He would give me my reward. I lived for it; that was the only time I
But I had become so dependent on it that now the denial of my reward was just as terrible as the agony He gave me. It had been so long since I had gotten my last fix.
Tonight, Master was testing me. He wanted to see just how obedient I was. He wanted the satisfaction of seeing just how thoroughly He had broken me.
was broken. And I didn’t even care. All I cared about was my reward. Right now, my need for it was so acute that my insides were twisting and my skin was on fire. I was desperate to give Him whatever He wanted so I could get my fix. If He hadn’t ordered me to stand in the corner quietly and wait for Him to return, then I would have been curled up on the floor sobbing.
But I wasn’t ensconced in the stark loneliness of the pitch black dungeon that had become my home, and I didn’t have the luxury of going to pieces. His order for my silence denied me even the right to voice my agony. He had brought me out in public for the first time, and I recognized the place where He had brought me as a BDSM club. He would be able to torment me here in front of dozens of strangers, and no one would stop Him.
The thought of shouting out a safe word or screaming for help didn’t even cross my mind. All I could think about was when He would come back and doing my best to please Him so that He would grant me my reprieve. He had been gone for so long, and I was starting to panic.
And now a strange man was talking to me, threatening to hurt me if I didn’t tell him my name. But I didn’t have a name. If I did ever have a name, I didn’t remember it now. I was a slave, and slaves don’t have names.
Want to know more about Sharon, Reed’s partner in the New York unit? Check out the story of her rocky romance with Derek Carter, owner of Decadence, in
I’ve never been a failure. I don’t allow myself to make mistakes. I’ve lived my life to painstaking perfection.
I can’t seem to get anything right. And when you work for the FBI, mistakes can cost lives.
Busting BDSM club Decadence for drug trafficking is my chance to prove myself. And no pushy Dominant is going to throw me off my game, not even sinfully sexy club owner Derek Carter. I have to keep him close in order to uncover his secrets, but keeping him close to my body while guarding my heart is proving more difficult than I ever imagined.
He might just be my biggest mistake yet.
One corner of Derek’s mouth ticked up as he turned his full attention back to me. With the bar at my back and his large body in front of me, I was struck by the sudden sensation of being trapped. He was so close that the heat of him teased across my skin. I shifted my weight on my stool, angling my body away from his in a futile attempt to escape that intoxicating warmth. His twisted smile became more pronounced.
“I don’t appreciate being labelled as creepy, but I’ll easily admit that I’ve acted like a total ass. Can I buy you a drink to begin to make it up to you? I really can play nice. If that’s what you want.”
The playful spark in his eyes held a darker edge. That lustful light let me know that he would rather not play
when it came to me. And damn it if that knowledge didn’t make an answering darkness coil deep within me.
“As a Dominant, he’s a master manipulator. He won’t need to knock you down to get you flat on your back.”
Smith’s warning skimmed across my mind, but it didn’t fully douse the unhealthy heat inside me.
“You’re being creepy again,” I pointed out lightly. “But I do appreciate a man who can admit when he’s wrong.”
laughed, a rich, breathtaking sound. It illuminated his features, wiping away any traces of cocky amusement or frustrated ire. He looked… free. His melted caramel eyes were golden and almost boyish in their genuine humor.
“You’re a bit of an ass yourself, you know,” he informed me when his laughter died down to a chuckle. “Most people aren’t so brazenly impolite, even if the person they’re talking to hasn’t been so nice.”
I shrugged, but I couldn’t hold back my smile; his pleasure was infectious. I might have been offended if it weren’t for the fact that he was right: I had been acting like an ass. If the accusation had come from Smith, he would have earned himself a slap. But from Derek, it wasn’t an accusation so much as playful banter. He made the insult sound like an admiring compliment.
“I prefer the term ‘blunt,’” I told him with a grin. “Maybe even ‘ballsy,’ if you want to be crass about it.”
“Oh, I can be crass, babe. I like to talk dirty.” He winked at me.
My pointed allegation was ruined by my amused smile.
“Damn.” He smothered his own smile, doing his best to school his expression into something contrite. “I promise I can be good.”
His attempt at wide-eyed innocence didn’t suit him at all. He looked so ridiculous that I couldn’t hold back my laugh, ruining his efforts to keep a straight face.
“Well, if you promise to behave yourself, I guess I will take that drink.”
“I wouldn’t make that promise to anyone else. But I’ll make an exception in your case, as a form of penance. Which is something else I don’t do, by the way.” He eyed me carefully. “Maybe Clara’s right. Maybe you will make a good Domme.”
The way the lines of his face drew downward let me know that the thought didn’t please him.
I did my best to ignore my unease at having disappointed him. I didn’t like disappointing people. It was a reflexive thing, an ingrained response from years spent trying to please my father.
Shaking it off, I grasped at the opportunity to further my mission.
“That’s actually why I came back,” I said quickly. “I wanted to talk to you about what it takes to be a Dominant. Even though you pissed me off, you seem to know what you’re talking about, and I want to do this right.
Safe, Sane, Consensual,
right? It’s my job to uphold that.” My lips took on a wry twist as I added, “No matter how creepy my instructor is.”
Derek’s brows rose in disbelief. “You want to sub for me to learn how to be a good Domme?”
“Maybe,” I hedged, my fears getting the best of me. I knew I should accept immediately, but nerves made me shy away from the commitment. “I’d like to talk about it more before making up my mind about that,” I amended.
He considered me carefully for a moment. Did he approve of what he saw?
My entrenched people pleasing would get me into trouble here if I didn’t focus on holding my own around this man.
Finally, he nodded, and I let out the breath I didn’t know I was holding.
“Okay. We can talk about it over that drink and then revisit my proposal. What’s your poison?” That signature smolder that Clara had warned me about threatened to make me melt for him at the mention of his
Submitting to him.
Shit, I needed a drink.
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