my choice. He doesn’t get it, though. It wasn’t ever a choice for me.
satisfied with my body alone, though. He wants my soul, too. Wants every part
of me. And even though I can pretend I’m safe when I lie beneath him, this man
does something to me. Something wicked.
what if I changed the rules half-way in? I’m not apologizing for it.
happened to her. Something bad. It damaged her.
That, I can do. I’ll slay her dragons, but it’ll cost her, because in return, I
want everything. And I’ll take it.
romance. Think Beauty and the Beast, but twisted and dark in the best, dirtiest
I know he is. He has cameras everywhere. Why wouldn’t he have one here? In
this, the “special” room? He told me he likes to keep an eye on his things. And
that’s what I am. A thing. A possession.
it out of my skin.
the thought. With the knowledge of what I know is coming.
wonder if he expects me to. Wants me to, even. All I know is I can’t submit to
him. I can’t let him break me.
breaking. Little by little.
that’s why he took me.
him. My life is a game.
myself. This room is so cold, unlike the others.
blanket up around me, as much for the cold as for protection. It’s not like I
can hide my fear. He knows. He knows the real truth. Knows everything now.
and I’m barefoot. He took my shoes away when he put me here. I guess the heels
could be used as a weapon. As if I could somehow manage to overpower him.
but the lump in my throat makes it impossible. I’m scared and I hate it. I
don’t want to admit it. Not even to myself.
but before they have a chance to fall, I cover them with my hands and rub them
away. I don’t want him to see my weakness. He gets off on it.
pushed him. And I can survive this. I fucking have to.
giving myself that ridiculous pep talk that I hear his footfalls in the
hallway. Hear his voice, muffled so I can’t make out what he says. Probably
dismissing Hugo, his fucking henchman. Like he needs one.
body stands on end when he slides the key into the lock. When he turns it. And
when he pushes the door open, it takes all I have not to crumple. Not to cave.
have to stand and ready myself for battle against this beast of a man.
her, but that’s not the whole truth.
choice. She made it.
be punished. It didn’t need to be her. She chose this. Chose to be here.
right here. Not like this. Standing against the far wall, her pretty, jade eyes
wide with fear, the delicate skin around them pink from tears.
she fucked up.
pretty in pink. Pretty Priscilla. Even with her hair a mess. Her mascara a
black smear across her face. Her dress ruined. She’s scared shitless, but she’s
defiant. I like that about her. Like her fire.
but don’t bother locking it. No need. She’s not walking out of here tonight.
I’ll be carrying her when I’m through.
step, she makes a sound, something like a frightened little rabbit would make
if they could make sound. Her hands are flat against the wall behind her. It’s
like she’s trying to melt into it.
always going to end up here,” I say.
response apart from the sudden trembling of her body. She wraps her arms around
herself. I can even hear her teeth chatter. She’s too proud to beg though. Beg
me for mercy. I respect her for that. But I do like the idea of her on her
knees at my feet, clinging to me, pleading with me to spare her this one
suit jacket and hang it over the back of the chair. I watch her reflection in
the mirror as I take off one cuff link, then the other, and set them both on
the table. I’m rolling up my sleeves when I return my attention to her. Her
eyes slide to my forearms. My hands.
bestselling author of contemporary romance, Natasha Knight specializes in dark,
tortured heroes. Happily-Ever-Afters are guaranteed, but she likes to put her
characters through hell to get them there. She’s evil like that.