Read The Copper Horse #2 Pride Online

Authors: K.A. Merikan

Tags: #erotic, #crime, #Gay, #victorian, #BDSM, #bondage, #pony play, #Slavery, #animalization

The Copper Horse #2 Pride (9 page)

He was broken in.

“Copper?”

“I’m sorry,” he tried
to mumble between sobs. He still
wasn’t
sorry, but at this
point he would say anything to stop Erik from continuing with
this.

“Did you say you’re
sorry?” Erik asked, and when he touched Reuben’s burning buttocks,
Reuben instinctively flinched away from the pain but nodded curtly.
Reuben’s hair was drenched with sweat and plastered to his face
like an ugly curtain over a whore’s door.

“Good. I’ll see you
later, but you will take dinner alone, so that you can think about
what you have done,” Erik told him, walking towards the cupboard
where he kept some of the supplies.

Reuben just sobbed
again, and his sniffing echoed in the room as if it were a proper
torture chamber. He slowly collapsed onto the wall, still holding
the shackles as hard as he could. He couldn’t bring himself to look
at his master, with his ass throbbing with numbness. How could Erik
be like that? Build up all that trust between them, just to take it
away after one time Reuben misbehaved? And he hadn’t even asked
what went wrong. Reuben would have told Erik the truth. How Jacob
had tricked him, humiliated him, hurt him... But the thought that
all his pain didn’t mean anything to Erik tore another sob out of
Reuben’s chest. Too caught up in his grief, he didn’t notice when
the door opened, but soon Hans was there, unshackling him.

“Jack, bring some
ice,” Erik muttered from somewhere in the room. He sounded like
someone much older.

Reuben tried to voice
his protest. He didn’t want anything from Erik now, even if it
would soothe his pain. Crawling under a blanket and crying seemed a
lot more appealing than lying down with packets of ice on top of
his abused buttocks. He didn’t like being manhandled by Hans
either, but as soon as the man let go of Reuben, his knees gave up
and he slumped to the floor with a pained sigh.

“We’ll see each other
later. Come, Hans,” said Erik blandly, from somewhere very far
away.

Reuben whimpered and
let his forehead touch the floor. Erik’s words sounded like a
threat, and Reuben hoped ‘later’ would never come. Just when he
thought his master really cared for him, today had been a reminder
that his opinions and feelings didn’t matter to Erik at all.
Everyone had seen him in the street. Everyone! Even if Erik got
bored with him and let him go, anyone could recognize his face now.
Reuben never felt so humiliated in his life. What was he to do if
one disobedience could earn him so many strikes with a fucking
cane?

Jack gently pulled out
the bit and covered Reuben with a blanket. “You poor thing,” he
whispered, sounding like was close to crying himself. “Do you want
to stay here or go to your stall?”

Reuben managed to draw
a full breath. “I’ll go. It’s softer there.” He tried to stand up,
but it hurt too much to stretch the skin. Every single move hurt.
His ass was on fire.

“Don’t worry, go on
all fours, I understand,” Jack whispered and petted his hair. “I’ll
be right back,” he promised before quickly slipping out of the
room.

Reuben sobbed with
each agonizing move forward but he finally made it to his soft hay
bedding and tightly wrapped himself in a blanket. How could anyone
put another person through such misery? And he didn’t understand
how a stupid change of route could put them in danger. His skin
stung worse with every second, and because of what? He was afraid.
Wouldn’t Erik be in his place? Of course he would, that was why he
always kept Hans around. All the promises Reuben made to himself
were now broken. He was useless. Sobbing like a little girl.

“Oh, Copper... that’s
just too cruel! You’ve been such a good boy recently!” Jack dropped
to his knees beside him and lifted the blanket over Reuben’s
burning ass. The shock of icy cold touch made him jump, but it was
gone within seconds, replaced by a pleasing numbness.

“He wouldn’t listen,”
Reuben complained while trying to steady his breath. Somehow, the
familiar scent of hay was more soothing than gin could ever be.

Jack used a separate
blanket to cover his legs and sat next to him, gently stroking
Reuben’s head as if he were comforting a frightened dog. “What
happened? Why did you disobey him?”

“I saw... someone...”
Reuben whispered, “in that alley. And I panicked, I didn’t want him
to see me like this. Master Erik didn’t care.”

“But you were wearing
your mask. I put it on you myself.” Jack slowly sank down next to
Reuben.

“He would know it was
me. He sold me off to Blake the Buff. To see him alive like that
after what he’d done... I just wanna die.” Reuben rubbed his eyes
again, turning onto his stomach. “And then Erik took the mask off
and made me stay without it all the way back. He hates me, I told
you.”

Jack’s eyes widened in
horror, and he leaned closer, hugging Reuben’s arms. “Oh my God,
that’s so terrible.”

“He had no mercy,
Jack. I always told him how much I was afraid of it, and he still
did it.” The tears started blurring Reuben’s vision.

“Shh... don’t cry.”
Jack pulled Reuben into a tight hug, curling his small body around
him. “It’s not your fault.”

“I don’t want him to
fuck me when I’m like this, and he said he’s coming back later.
There’s nothing I can do...” Reuben wrapped his arms around Jack,
the only ray of sunshine in this house. The only person who’d never
betrayed his trust.

“Maybe he won’t,”
muttered Jack, though it was clear he only wanted to make Reuben
feel better. The boy was an open book.

“Is there anything you
can tell him so that he leaves me alone?” Reuben pushed his face
into Jack’s neck, trying to forget about the pain in his ass.

The groom sighed,
gently caressing Reuben’s scalp. “I don’t know, Copper.”

Reuben sobbed,
trembling from the aftershocks of the beating. “Jack, you’re the
only one who can help me.”

“Copper, I promise you
I will reason with him.” Jack swallowed loudly, pressing even
harder against Reuben’s body. “I know how much you hate him... I
would hate him too, if he did this to me, and for you to be
pressured into this... I can’t imagine how painful it must be.”

“I don’t want to end
up as another trophy on his wall.” Just the thought of it made
Reuben tremble.

“No, you definitely
won’t just for disobedience.” Jack kissed his temple. “He only does
that to those who are a threat to his life.”

“He left me in the
street, without a mask, tied to a pole. People laughed at me.”
Reuben sniffed, still unable to comprehend that all of this
actually happened.

Jack’s face tensed,
and for a moment he was completely still. “You need to get away,
Copper,” he said suddenly.

“I don’t want to be
here when he’s like this.” Reuben slowly pulled away to look into
Jack’s eyes.

“No, I mean we could
both get away from this house.” Jack’s voice broke. “I don’t think
I can do this anymore.”

Reuben’s lips parted,
and his heart went into a gallop. “Y...you? You said you liked it
here.”

“I like being who I
am, and these walls allow it.” Jack’s lips trembled, and he looked
down, avoiding Reuben’s gaze. “But I can’t assist rape. It weighs
on my conscience so badly.”

“You’re a sweet boy.”
Reuben sighed and kissed Jack’s cheek. But how could he leave Erik?
As much as he hated the man’s guts right now, he knew he’d miss his
touch and smiles, and tender kisses. Then again, if he stayed, he
would lose any self respect still lingering in his mind. He
suddenly became aware of the ruby ear stud Erik had given him. He
wanted to cry.

“I’m not. I should
have made that decision when Chestnut was here.” Jack pressed his
face into Reuben’s arm, shaking slightly.

Reuben sighed and
gently stroked his shoulder. The other horse’s death must have
taken a huge toll on the boy, and he was still so young. “We will
work something out, right?”

Jack sniffled. “I
promise you! I
will
rescue you!”

 

Chapter
4

 

Reuben awoke
with lips on his cheek and an arm across his stomach. Erik’s scent,
somewhat earthy with a hint of ink, was all over him, and he
refused to open his eyes. Maybe if he pretended to still be asleep
the nightmare would go away.

“Copper, did
you miss my touch yesterday?” Erik hugged him closer, trailing lazy
kisses down Reuben’s neck. That was it.

“Are you
fucking kidding me?” Reuben blurted out, opening his eyes wide and
turning to face his master. Erik was so full of himself. Reuben
couldn’t just lay still and take it like a puppet.

Erik’s frown
wasn’t one of anger. He looked disoriented. “Why are you speaking
to me like this?”

“How can you
expect me to forget what happened yesterday?” Reuben pulled away,
trying to keep his sore buttocks from the rough hay, his throat
aching with the urge to scream.

Erik furrowed
his eyebrows. “I punished you for disobeying me. Twice,” he added,
showing him the number with his fingers, as if he didn’t expect
Reuben to understand the concept without a visual aid.

Reuben shook
his head. His ass was sore enough, and this discussion could earn
him another beating.

“Copper.”

“What? You
wanna fuck?” asked Reuben, cursing at himself when his voice
trembled.

Erik stilled
behind him, and Reuben didn’t know whether it was a good or bad
sign. “Copper, I can’t have people laughing behind my back
because—”

Reuben cut him
off with a snarl. “Oh, and I can? ‘Cause I’m less of a man?” He
moved even further away, unable to stand Erik’s touch. It made him
want to gag.

“I gave you a
chance to redeem yourself, and yet you disobeyed me!” hissed Erik
through clenched teeth.

“Maybe I had a
reason, huh?” Reuben moved all the way into the corner of the
stall. “But no, King Erik is upset.”

“What reason
could you possibly have?” snarled Erik, following. “I was under the
impression you like our outings.”

“Since when do
you care about my reasons?” Reuben shook his head but watched his
master like a rabbit would an approaching wolf. Erik’s Adam’s apple
moved when he swallowed, his eyes never leaving Reuben.

“I enjoy your
company.”

That stung.
First Erik caned him and then said something like this? What kind
of delusional mind would find that acceptable?

“But you still
beat me into a crying pulp? Fuck that. You didn’t even consider
stopping in the street. No one would question you if you didn’t
choose to make a scene out of it.”

Erik’s left
eyelid, the one framing the blue eye, twitched.

Reuben sat in
the corner, ignoring the soreness just to prove a point, and
wrapped his arms on his chest. Bitterness wouldn’t stop spilling
out of his mouth. “So what? You came to fuck me? ‘Cause you always
get what you want.”

Erik shifted
into a cross-legged position and leaned forward, studying him.
“What
is
your reason, Reuben?” He rolled the name on his
tongue as if it were something soft and breakable.

Hearing it from
Erik’s lips made Reuben’s mind go blank. He opened his mouth, but
nothing came out. It took another try to form a sentence. “I... I
saw someone I knew in the street... and I panicked... and you just
pushed me...” Fucking eyes. Would they ever run out of tears?

“But you were
in a mask. He wouldn’t know...” Erik shook his head, slowly
crawling toward Reuben in the corner.

“He would,
because he was the one who brought me here in the first place!”
Reuben growled, his arms crossed. “He knew I was stupid enough to
believe his lies about a better life in Bylondon. Yeah? What other
idiot would just believe him like that? Of course he chose
me
. And now he got to laugh in my face...” Reuben squeezed
his eyes hard, praying for it all go away.

Erik bit his
lip. “You are
not
stupid. You’re innocent and naive. That’s
not the same thing.”

“I’ve been
called many things, but
that’s
a first.” Reuben shook his
head so the hair would at least hide some of his face. “Anyone who
did what I did is just too stupid to live.”

“And yet here
you are, well fed and pampered in my arms.” Erik was quiet, his
tone only slightly more than a whisper.

“Dressed as a
horse and beaten if I disobey. You couldn’t imagine the things he
said to me when you left me in the street. Without a mask.” Reuben
sniffed, fighting the wetness in his eyes.

“Do you want
him dead?”

Reuben opened
his mouth in shock, unsure of how to answer a question like that.
Did he want anyone’s blood on his hands? He’d beat the shit out of
Jacob if he could, but kill? It was such an straightforward
question for Erik. He’d just have someone else do the deed and walk
over the puddle of blood, wouldn’t he? Reuben finally looked into
his master’s eyes. Was it the demon eye that was speaking through
him? No, Erik was serious.

“If revenge is
what you want, I could have his head delivered to your feet. Or let
you deal with it yourself.”

Reuben took a
deep breath, unsure what he thought of Erik’s methods, even now
that they were talking about Jacob and not some unfortunate
anonymous man. “Sure, I want to punch his face in. I saved the
fucker from a zombie in the sewers, and he still sold me off to the
Pit of the Dead. But it doesn’t mean you did the right thing back
there. You uncovered my face in public,” he whispered, clenching
his teeth.

Erik bit his
lip, looking away. “I... it didn’t occur to me it was something
like that...”

“What
did
you think it was? That I saw a spider on the wall?”

Erik’s baffled
expression would have been amusing if it weren’t for its cause.
“I...”

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