Authors: Sherri Hayes
He looked at me for several minutes and then nodded. “You’ve never been good at lying to me.”
I smirked. “True.”
Richard’s attention went back to the x-rays. I felt the air around us become somber again. “This girl has been hurt. A lot.”
Then he proceeded to explain to me just how much. His fingers glided over the picture of bones that meant nothing to me but told him stories I needed to know. Her ribs had been broken and then re-fractured before they could heal properly. There was also evidence of a broken arm. All of the injuries appeared to have happened within the last six to twelve months.
“I didn’t exam her chest too closely. She seemed very protective of that area,” he said as he removed the x-rays and placed them in a large yellow folder.
“I know. I noticed that, too.”
He raised his eyebrow in question. “You don’t want to know.” The truth was I didn’t want to tell him. I was still trying hard to forget my “inspection” of Brianna last week.
I thought for a moment that he was going to push for an answer, but instead he tucked the folder under his arm and strolled back down the hall. It had been at least ten minutes since we’d left Brianna.
Before he could go in, I reached out my hand to stop him. He turned back, looking at me curiously. “There are deep bruises on the inside of her thighs. I put something on them but . . .”
He nodded and then knocked on the door lightly before entering. This time I remained outside.
When the door closed, I changed my clothes as fast as I could, making sure to stack my things neatly in the corner on the floor. Master said the doctor would be nice to me and so far he had been, much nicer than the other one. But then again, so far I had been clothed.
That was about to change. I knew what was coming. And even though Ian had passed me around to his friends whenever they asked and sometime when they didn’t, I still felt the panic building inside me.
Would my new Master watch? Ian liked to.
I lay back on the table and tried to keep myself calm with steady deep breaths. It would hurt less. At least that’s what I had to keep telling myself.
When the door opened again, only the doctor entered. So my new Master wasn’t going to watch.
Dr. Cooper smiled at me, and I hoped that meant he wouldn’t be too rough.
He walked over to the counter and put on two latex gloves.
I felt all the panic I’d been trying to get a hold of rip through me.
Oh please, please no.
Gripping the side of the padded table, I tried to calm down, but it was useless. I hated anal sex. It hurt so much. Ian said if I’d relax it wouldn’t hurt, but I could never manage it through my fear.
That’s when I realized I’d begun to feel safe or safer in my new home, at least. Why had I been so stupid? It wasn’t a home. I’d never have a home again.
I felt his hand on my leg helping me to slide forward to the edge of the table. I pinched my eyes shut trying to block it out, trying to prepare myself for what I knew was coming. Each of my legs was lifted, spread, and placed back down, leaving me completely exposed.
His hand fell away, and I began counting the seconds before he took me. Would he use lubrication or take me raw? One of Ian’s friends had done that once, and I’d bled. I squeezed my eyes tighter, not wanting to relive that memory.
Then someone was prying my hand from the table. I opened my eyes just as my Master’s hand came to rest on the other side of my face. “Shh, Brianna.”
It was then I felt the tears. I was crying. He must be so disappointed in me. Even though he didn’t sound angry, I knew he must be.
What if he took me back? What if he gave me back to Ian, or worse, sold me to someone else?
I felt the panic rising again. “I’m sorry, Master. Please, forgive me. I’ll do anything you want. I’m sorry. Please, please don’t send me back.”
His hand was caressing my face now, and it was then I noticed his eyes. They were the most striking color I’d ever seen; green, but with just a hint of brown. “Shh. I’m not sending you anywhere, okay?” Then he leaned down and placed a soft kiss on my lips.
I opened my eyes, and he was still there. No one had ever kissed me like that before, and although I knew I should look away, I couldn’t. The look in his eyes wasn’t sexual at all. It was . . . comforting.
Then I felt Dr. Cooper between my legs again and felt my body stiffen. “Shh,” said my Master. “No one is going to hurt you, Brianna.”
There were two options. I could try to struggle, which I already knew from experience would do no good, or I could try to relax and just live through this as I had before.
I chose the second option but to my surprise, Dr. Cooper didn’t do anything remotely sexual. There was an odd feeling as he pushed something inside me but that was it and whatever it was disappeared after a few minutes.
Then he was gone.
“You may sit up, Brianna.” I did so and found him minus the gloves and standing across the room by the counter. “You appear to have an IUD called Mirena inserted. Do you know when you had it put in?”
I looked up at my Master to see if it was okay to answer, but he wasn’t looking at me. After considering for a moment, I decided it would be okay to speak since I was being asked a direct question. “About ten months ago, I think, Sir.”
Dr. Cooper glanced up at my Master, and they seemed to share a silent conversation. Then he turned back to me. “Well then, you should be protected for another four years at least. We’ll want to check it each year when you come in for your annual checkup, of course, but everything looks good for now.” He stood and walked to stand directly in front of me. “Do you have any questions for me?” I shook my head. “Very well. We’ll just wait outside while you get dressed.”
I watched them walk out the door while I remained seated. Was I really done? He wasn’t going to do anything to me?
As I began to dress, my thoughts drifted to my new Master. He’d been so nice to me. I hadn’t seen him lose his temper yet, and truth be told I didn’t want to see it. It was then I made the decision that I would do everything I could to make him happy with me.
If there was one thing Ian taught me, it was what made men happy. I could do that. I would do that for my new Master. I would show him I was worth the price he paid.
I followed Richard out of the room, closing the door behind me. When he’d opened the door, asking me to come into the room to try and calm her, I wasn’t expecting to find her in the midst of a full-on panic attack. As I looked into those beautiful blue eyes of hers, I saw so much fear. However, she had calmed with my guidance, and Richard was able to finish his examination.
My uncle was silent as I followed him into his office. He put her chart down on the desk and turned to face me. His look was guarded, and I knew he was holding back what he truly wanted to say.
Leaning back against the filing cabinets lining the wall, I let out a sigh. “You can say it, Richard.”
“Obviously, I don’t need to since you already seem to know what I’m thinking.”
Frustrated, I ran my hand through my hair. “Tell me she’s okay.”
He looked at me pointedly, but I didn’t cave under his glare. Finally he spoke. “Other than the bruising you’ve already seen and a few places where there appear to be burn marks in various stages of healing, she’s basically healthy for an eighteen-year-old.” I nodded. “I want to order some blood work. She’ll need to get to the lab within the next week,” he said handing me a registration sheet with the business hours and contact details.
“I’ll take care of it.”
Then he leaned back against his desk, crossing both his arms and legs. “Stephan, you’re like a son to me, you know this. But are you sure this girl isn’t better off with her family?”
I considered what I should tell him but figured this part of her history would make little difference. “I’m not sure she has one, or at least one that she wants to return to. If I thought that were an option, if I knew she’d be safe there, I’d use all my resources to find them.”
“Do you think they’ve done this to her?” His tone was controlled, professional. I could tell he was trying his best to stay detached emotionally so that he could do his job, but I could hear the undercurrent of suppressed anger.
I shook my head. “I don’t know. And I won’t take that chance with her.”
My father figure tilted his head to the side and looked at me with a queer expression on his face. “You care about what happens to her.”
“Of course I do,” I said pushing myself upright to my full height. “I wouldn’t have brought her here if I didn’t.”
With that, I left Richard in his office and walked back to the exam room to see if Brianna was ready. I saw her jump a little when I entered the room, and as soon as she saw who it was, her head went down. She was fully dressed again. “Are you ready, Brianna?”
Nodding, she followed me out into the hallway. Richard met us by the door. “It was nice to meet you, Brianna.”
She didn’t say anything, just nodded. My uncle shot another glare at me but then softened it when he noticed Brianna had angled her body closer to mine.
I didn’t miss her movement, either. It was a sure sign of trust, the third of the night.
Reaching for her elbow, I guided her to the car, and we drove home.
It was after nine when we finally walked into my condo, and all I wanted to do was get some sleep. I let Brianna know she was free to go to her room for the evening if she wished. Within seconds she was gone.
Reaching up, I unbuttoned my collar and loosened my tie as I walked into the kitchen to get a glass of water. This last week had been exhausting, and with Brianna under my care twenty-four hours a day, it wasn’t likely to get better any time soon.
Walking into my bedroom, I finished getting undressed. I stripped down to my boxers and got into bed.
Although I was tired, sleep didn’t immediately come. Instead my mind raced with what to do next with the woman in the other room. I couldn’t imagine what had been going through her head tonight to make her so scared.
Going slow was a given, but where to start? I wasn’t sure if telling her she was free to come and go as she pleased was a good idea at this point. If she left, where would she go? There was no guarantee she wouldn’t end up back in the hands of Ian or someone just like him.
These thoughts plagued me as I considered and tossed away several options including just collaring her already to at least give her familiarity, and deal with specifics later. That didn’t sit well with me though. She needed to know she had a choice and that I wouldn’t harm her.
It was a long while before I finally fell asleep, still undecided as to what I was going to do.
Tuesday morning I noticed Brianna watching me more than she had been. It was still covert. She never openly stared or looked directly at me. Her glances were always concealed under heavy lashes.
I did try to talk with her once on Wednesday over dinner, but that didn’t end well. All it seemed to do was increase her anxiety, so I ended the questioning entirely.
By Thursday, I still didn’t have any answers.
After my frustrating attempt at conversation with her, I decided that maybe it was time to stop avoiding my best friend. He’d called twice this week, and each time I’d refused to answer my phone. Logan and I had been through a lot together, but I wasn’t sure how he’d feel about me buying someone. Lily was obviously okay with it now that she’d met Brianna, and although that helped my case with Logan, it didn’t mean he’d be so accepting.
Logan waited for me to fully explain before he began questioning me. He wanted to know everything about her. I could tell he was concerned. The potential backlash from something like this could destroy me.
We were on the phone for nearly two hours before he finally let me go. I knew he still wasn’t happy with the situation, but he would support me as he always had. Logan had been by my side for some of my stupidest mistakes. He wouldn’t back out now, even if this turned out to be my biggest one yet.
Thursday night I contemplated some of the things Logan had told me about Ian, things I hadn’t known. He liked to share. He was also a voyeur. It put Brianna’s reaction to Richard’s exam in a whole new light. My desire to care for her was increasing. Falling asleep that night, I knew that I needed to figure out what I was going to do with her, and fast.
As my mind drifted into the first threads of consciousness, I was lost in a wonderful dream. Warm lips enveloped me. From between my legs, wide blue eyes looked up at me, full of passion instead of fear; her brown hair cascaded around her shoulders as she licked and teased. Every muscle in my body was screaming for the thing that would satisfy. The pull toward my release was impossible to resist with so great a temptation. Reaching down to finish the job my dream had started, my hand was met instead with silky hair.
It took me a moment to register what was going on, but it was a moment too late. As my eyes flew open, my body released with a force unknown to me directly into her mouth.
As I started to regain my senses, I felt her tongue still licking my now very sensitive flesh. This had to stop! Why was she doing this?
Maybe if I hadn’t still been in a sex-induced haze I’d have handled the situation better. At the moment, however, all I could think was to get her out of here as quickly as possible before I did something I’d regret. She wasn’t ready for us to have sex, and that was exactly what was going to happen if she stayed.
I spoke before I could stop myself. “Leave my room.” Her mouth released me but she was still on my bed and that just couldn’t be. “Now!” I ordered.
Never before had I seen a person move so fast. She was out the door in less than five seconds.
Bringing my hands up to rub across my face, I sat up to look down at my naked self still at half-mast and groaned. This changed things. We needed to talk. Today.
Reaching for the phone beside my bed I dialed Jamie, letting her know I would not be in today before heading to the bathroom for a very cold shower.
Huddled in the corner of my room I couldn’t stop the mantra playing in my head.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
I thought it would make him happy. Why hadn’t it made him happy? It didn’t matter. Look what I’d done!
What would he do? He was obviously upset with me. How would he punish me?
No, that didn’t matter either. I’d messed up. Brought this on myself. Whatever it was I’d deal with it, try not to cry no matter how painful.
But what if he wanted me to cry? Ian hated crying. He’d always add ten lashes if I cried during my punishments. Stephan wasn’t like Ian though. What would he want? Why did this have to be so confusing?
I felt the tears streaking down my cheeks and tried to wipe them quickly away when I heard the door opening. He didn’t come in, just stood there looking at me. “Get dressed and come to the living room, please.”
And then he was gone. I was more confused than ever. He wanted me to get dressed and come to the living room?
Then I got it.
He was getting rid of me!
Traitor tears fell down my face as I did as he told me and got dressed. There was no way out of this. I knew that. Racking my brain, I tried to find some way to convince him to keep me.
As I pulled my shirt over my head to complete my outfit, I was determined to beg if I had to. It was much better here than at Ian’s, and I wanted to stay. I wanted to be here with him, my new Master. I would do anything. This was what I wanted. He was what I wanted, the one I wanted to serve.
Walking out of the room, I kept my head down. He was sitting on the couch facing away from me. Using the opportunity and learning from my previous mistake, I knelt down before him, head bowed. I waited for him to say something, anything, but he didn’t. Finally I spoke. “I’m sorry, Master. Please punish me as you see fit.”
And then I waited.
He didn’t speak for the longest time, but when he did, it wasn’t in the tone I’d expected. “Get up, Brianna.” I stood. “Have a seat,” he said motioning beside him.
Was this where he told me he was taking me back to Ian?
“Look at me, please,” he said.
I wasn’t about to disobey him again. And then he smiled. My Master smiled at me. There was no hint of anger in his eyes.
His voice was harsher when he spoke again, and the suddenness of it made me jump. “You are not to come into my bedroom again without permission. Do you understand?”
I lowered my head. “Yes, Master.”
“No,” he said, grabbing my chin in his hand. “Don’t turn away from me.”
I met his eyes again, fearing what I’d see. What I saw startled me. There was confusion in them and . . . worry? But why would my Master be worried?
Dropping his hand back in his lap, he said, “We need to talk.”
This was it. I knew it. He was taking me back or sending me away. “Please, Master. I’ll do better, I promise.”
“Stop.” His tone was firm and brooked no argument. I stopped talking.
I watched as he rubbed his temple with his right hand before sighing. He was clearly frustrated, and it was my fault.
Another apology was on my tongue again when he asked, “Brianna, why did you come into my room this morning?”
Starting to look down, I changed my mind when I saw the scowl forming on his face. “I’m—”
“And do not say you’re sorry, Brianna. Just tell me what you were thinking.”
“I wanted to make you happy,” I whispered. “You’ve been very nice to me, Master, and I wanted to say thank-you.” I had to curb the impulse to lower my head. It would only make him angry.
His left hand came up to run through his hair. “You did it to say thank-you?” He shook his head, clearly not liking my answer.
“Brianna,” he snapped. “If you say you’re sorry one more time, I will punish you, do you understand?”
I knew better than to answer. Instead, I just nodded.
Standing, he walked to the other side of the room. Looking out at the Minneapolis skyline, he had his back to me. “You could have just said thank-you. That would have been sufficient.”
A slight sound left my lips before I caught it. He turned to look at me, waiting for me to slip up and say
. I pressed my lips together instead, willing myself not to speak.
He seemed satisfied I wasn’t going to say anything, because the side of his mouth pulled up in a small smile. I suddenly felt shy, which made no sense to me.