He leaned in close, inhaling the light scent of her skin beneath the lavender. “Would you like some ice for your face?” he asked. She tensed sharply at the sound of his voice; soft and low.
For a moment, it was comical. She shifted around from foot to foot, nervous, blind, and incapable of choosing a direction. Her hand floated up to her face and he knew she itched to remove the blindfold. He made a sound of disapproval and instantly her curious fingers went back to clutching her robe.
Caleb, feeling what passed for pity, sought to guide her once again toward the bed. She gasped the moment his fingers curled around the lapel of her robe grazing hers in the process. “Easy pet, there’s something behind you and I’d hate for you to get hurt again.”
“Don’t call me pet.” Came the shaky, yet firm command.
Caleb went absolutely still. No one talked to him like that – least of all, blindfolded, nearly naked women. Instantly, he pulled her forward until her soft cheek pressed roughly against his own. He growled, “I’ll call you whatever the fuck I want - pet. You belong to me. Do you understand?”
Against his cheek he felt her infinitesimal nod, and against his ear, heard her small squeak of capitulation.
“Good. Now, Pet,” he urged her back a few inches, “answer my question. Ice for your face, or not?”
“Y-y-yes,” she answered in a tremulous voice. Caleb thought that was better, but not yet settled.
“Y-y-yes?” he mocked. Caleb pressed into her assuredly, dominating her with his size. “Do you know how to say please?”
Her head craned, as if she could see him through her blindfold, and a grimace contorted her full mouth. He would have laughed, but the moment was abruptly no longer comical. Her knee collided with his groin, hard. What was it with women and kicking men in the nuts? Throbbing pain crept upward, knotted his intestines, hunching over his body. Whatever food he’d eaten threatened to come back up.
Above him, his captive continued to fight like a hellcat. Her fingernails dug into his hands as she tried to pry him loose from her robe. When that failed, her frantic elbows landed repeatedly between his shoulder blades. He managed to suck in a breath, though to her ears, it probably sounded like an animalistic growl.
“Let me go, you fucking asshole. Let go.” She yelled between frantic sobs and screams. She twisted and turned in his grasp, weakening his hold on her robe. He had to get her under control, or she was going to run herself into a much worse situation than his retribution.
Thoroughly riled, Caleb forced himself to stand. Towering over her, his angry eyes met hers. She’d removed the blindfold and now she stood completely still, eyeing him with a mixture of horror and shock. She didn’t blink, didn’t speak, didn’t breathe, she simply stared.
He stared back.
He spun her around and pinned her arms to her sides. Anger raced through him as he tightened his arms around her, forcing the air from her lungs.
“You?” The question slipped past her lips in a rush of expelled air. The single word seemed to ride on a wave of despair and an undercurrent of raw anger. He’d known this strange moment would come. He was no longer her hero. He never was. She struggled for air, panting like a dog, and the idea mildly amused him.
“Fuck!” he exclaimed as her head collided soundly with his nose. He released her on instinct, his fingers pressed to either side of his nose.
She moved quickly, a flutter of long dark hair and bathrobe flying toward the bedroom door.
Caleb growled deep in his chest. Lunging toward her he held a fistful of her robe, but as he pulled back, she simply spilled out of the fabric. Nubile flesh assaulted his senses.
As her hands reached the bedroom door, finding it securely locked, his fingers speared into her hair and made a fist. He pulled back sharply, causing her to tumble backward onto the floor. No longer taking her vigor for granted and no longer amused by her flailing limbs, he sat squarely on top of her.
“No!” she screamed desperately, knees once again seeking his groin, nails fixated on digging into his face.
“You like to fight don’t you?” He smiled. “I like to fight too.” With more effort than he would have thought necessary he wrapped his legs around hers and trapped her wrists above her head with his left hand.
“Fuck you,” she panted, chest rising defiantly. Her entire body was tense beneath him; her muscles fought, unwilling to give up, but that burst of energy had cost her. Her eyes were wild, crazy, but she was weakening. He held her easily now.
Slowly, the realization of her warm, trembling body pressed so intimately against him flooded his senses, intoxicating him. Her delicate pussy was pressed against his belly, with only the soft fabric of his shirt separating him from her. Her full and decidedly warm breasts heaved under his chest. Just beneath them he felt the hammering of her heart. In her struggles, her heated skin moved against him with greater friction. It was almost more than he could stand. Almost.
Holding her wrists in his left hand, he reared up and slapped the underside of her right breast with his palm, then the underside of the left with the back of his hand. Instantly, choked sobs erupted from her throat.
“Do you like that?” Caleb barked. Again he slapped her breasts, and again, and again, and again until her entire body let go, until he felt every muscle beneath him slide loose, and she simply wept into the crook of her arm.
“Please. Please stop,” she croaked, “Please.”
She was warm, undone, and afraid beneath him. Her lips moved quickly, silently, spilling words not meant for him to hear. Caleb swallowed thickly, old memories gaining purchase. He blinked, pushed them back under lock and key. A reflex, usually quick and easily done after all these years. But he felt it this time, as her fear and his passion battled as much as mingled, congesting the air and filling the room. It seemed to create a new person, breathing along with them, and watching them, invading the moment.
His anger evaporated. He stared down at the girl’s beautiful breasts; they were deeply pink where he had struck her, but it wouldn’t leave a lasting mark. Gingerly, he released her wrists. His thumb unconsciously sought to smooth the red mark of his grip. He frowned down at her.
He hoped she was out of surprises.
The moment she felt his grip loosen from around her wrists, she crossed her palms over her breasts. At first he thought she was attempting modesty, but her kneading fingers suggested she was more concerned with alleviating the pain.
She kept her eyes closed too, unwilling to acknowledge him straddling her thighs. Most people didn’t want to see the bad thing coming. The moment was perhaps unbearably worse because she recognized him. He had recognized the look of betrayal in her eyes. Well, she’d have to get over it – he had.
His captive subdued, Caleb slowly removed his weight and stood above her. He had to be firm, there could be no indication that such an act of clear defiance would be met with anything but swift and thorough punishment. He pushed the beautifully rounded and supple curve of her bottom with the tip of his boot. “Get up.” His tone was commanding. It brooked no argument or misunderstanding. Her body recoiled at the sound of his voice, but she refused to move.
“Get up or I’ll have to do it for you. Trust me, you don’t want that.” Her will to resist notwithstanding, she removed her right hand from her breast and attempted to push herself up. Slowly she pushed her weight onto her arm, but her struggle was obvious as her arm shook under the strain causing her to collapse.
“Good girl, you can do it…get up.”
He could help her, but the lesson would be lost. Four months was not a lot of time when it involved training a slave. He didn’t have time to coddle her. The sooner those survival instincts kicked in, the better – and he didn’t mean the kind where she kept trying to kick him in the nuts. They had six weeks together in this house. He wouldn’t waste them on fending off childish antics.
She scowled at him, injecting as much loathing as was possible into a look. Caleb resisted the urge to smile. He guessed she no longer thought he was cute. Good. Cute was for pussies.
Summoning her strength, she pressed the heel of her hand into the carpet and straightened her elbow. Her breath was labored, her eyes winced with pain, but her tears had dried up. Forcing herself onto all fours, she attempted to stand. Fully upright, Caleb reached for her, ignoring her staunch protests. She tugged her arm loose from his grasp, but kept her eyes trained on the ground. He bristled, but let it pass and guided her without touching toward the bed.
She sat precariously on the edge of the bed, her hands covered her breasts and her head tilted forward hiding her in a veil of tangled ebony waves. Caleb sat next to her. He resisted the urge to push her hair away from her face. She could hide from him for now, just until she calmed down.
“Now,” he said pleasantly, “would you, or would you not, like some ice for your face?”
He could almost feel the chilling anger rolling off of her. Anger, not fear? He could barely reconcile it in his mind. While he did expect some anger, he did find it particularly odd that she had yet to acknowledge her stark nudity. Shouldn’t she be more frightened than angry? Shouldn’t she be begging her way into his good graces? Her reactions to him refused to fall between the usual and predictable lines. It was as bemusing as it was intriguing. “Well?”
Finally, between clenched teeth she forced herself to say the words, “Yes. Please.”
He couldn’t help himself, he laughed. “Now, was that so hard?”
Her jaw visibly ticked, but she remained silent, her eyes fixed on her bruised knees. Good, Caleb thought, he had made himself perfectly clear.
Standing, he turned toward the door, though no sooner had he taken a step than he heard her strained voice at his back.
“Why are you doing this?” she asked hollowly.
He turned, a wry smile playing across his lips. She wanted a reason. Serial killers had reasons. Reasons made no difference.
She continued, “Is it because of that day on the street? Is it because I…” She swallowed hard and Caleb knew it was because she was trying not to cry. “Because I flirted with you? Did I do this to myself?” Despite her noble effort, a fat tear slid down her right cheek.
In that moment, Caleb could not help but regard her as he would any strange creature – objective but insatiably curious.
“No,” he lied, “it has nothing to do with that day.” She needed him to lie; Caleb understood. Sometimes a gentle lie was enough to remove the weight of a harsh truth. It’s not your fault. Perhaps he needed to lie to himself too, because he remembered wanting her that day, and not for reasons having to do with his mission.
“I’ll go get you some ice. And you could probably use some aspirin too.”
They both started at the sound of a key being turned in the lock.
Jair casually entered the room and Caleb made no effort to disguise his anger. “What the fuck are you doing in here?” Jair was obviously drunk and that made him more dangerous. Jair’s eyes flashed with anger before striding toward the girl cowering on the bed. His eyes raked over her naked body and his lips curved in a covetous smile. “I see the little slut is awake.”
The girl was scared, really scared. She’d huddled all the way to the top of bed, covering herself with her hands and hair – trying to pull the comforter up from under her body. He was struck by the fact that she hadn’t reacted to him that way while they were on the bed together.
She had seemed more pissed off than frightened of him, but only after the blindfold came off and she realized who he was. It could mean one of two things: one, she felt like she knew him based on their very brief encounter, or two, she didn’t find him threatening. Either way, her thought process seemed asinine.
Caleb glared at Jair who was eyeing the girl as if he wanted to simultaneously kill her and fuck her. Given what he knew of Jair, it was possible that’s exactly what he wanted.