I fucking hate turbulence.
Just as I begin to swipe my red lipstick on my lips, the plane rumbles, and crimson is now on my goddamn cheek.
Huffing, I grab a baby wipe from my carry-on bag and swipe it off.
Xavier flew into L.A. last night, so we’re on Zade’s private jet and about halfway there. We have intel that he’ll be attending an exclusive underground club tonight, so looking expensive is required. I’m anxious about seeing Xavier again, so I decided to occupy my time by getting ready during the flight rather than drowning in the anxiety and sweating off my makeup.
Makes me wonder if Xavier has ever felt that way. His arrogance is a testament to how stupid he is. He’s gone several months without hearing from Z, and he thinks he’s safe enough to come out of hiding for a weekend.
Honestly, I find it fitting. If he thought he could buy me and keep me as his personal sex slave without Zade finding him, surely he’d be confident enough to walk into a club and think he’ll come back out on his own free will.
The club he’ll be frequenting is geared towards those with dark desires. According to Zade’s research, all the women are there of their own free will, which will allow us to focus solely on Xavier.
That is nothing short of a blessing. It would be that much harder for the both of us to walk into a place where women are being trafficked or abused, and not take the entire building down.
And honestly, I would be worried for Zade if that were the case.
He has positively burnt down the world to find me, and he hasn’t stopped since. He tracked down Rocco’s friends, and several of the guests who attended the Culling and sent them all six feet under. Well, technically, they’re dust in the wind now.
Between training and keeping watch over me, to hunting down Claire, Xavier, my captors, and anyone that stepped foot in that house—I don’t know how he has any headspace left to think.
He tried to take down a few more auctions too, but I drew the line there and demanded he brings in his other mercenaries to take his place in the meantime. It didn’t take much to convince him, which only proved how exhausted he was.
He’s a machine, and lately, I’ve been having to coerce him with make-out sessions to get him to relax. The asshole succeeded in getting me addicted to his lips since the car chase, and I can’t even be mad when it’s the only thing that seems to keep either of us sane.
“You look beautiful,” a deep, baritone voice says from behind me. I turn to find Zade leaning against the doorframe to the mini suite, staring at me like I’m a glass of the finest whiskey, and he would kill for just a sip.
“Thank you,” I murmur, swiping my hands nervously over my dress. It’s a blood red strapless number, cut below the curve of my ass on one side and then dramatically tapers down, the silk flowing to my ankle on the other.
It reminds me of the dress I wore when he took me to Mark’s estate last year. Pretty sure I’ll never look at a red dress and not think of what he did to me in that movie theater.
Especially now, when he’s prowling towards me with my black and purple blade and a strap in his hand, accompanied by a devilish glint in his eyes.
I’m wearing five-inch black heels, yet still, I feel like a little girl standing next to Zade. He has to be pushing six-foot-six.
“Don’t forget these,” he says, holding up the knife and lacy strap. “You’re not going unprotected.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it,” I murmur, enraptured by him. My heart clogs in my throat when he lowers himself before me.
“What are you doing?” I breathe, watching his long fingers reach out and grab my ankle. His touch feels electric, my leg twitching from the feel of his skin slowly grazing my skin. I hold my breath, my heart speeding as his hand disappears beneath the silk and travels farther up.
“Placing the crown on my queen,” he croons.
“What do you mean?” I mumble distractedly, shivering from the electric currents traveling up my leg.
“A crown symbolizes power. That’s what this knife is for you.”
I’m trembling, and liquid heat is pooling low in my stomach. Something I’m still getting used to feeling again whenever Zade is brave enough to touch me.
He’s grown more daring the past month, brushing up against me any chance he gets, and taking advantage of any excuse to touch me, his fingers always lingering longer than necessary. At night, when I’m lost in a nightmare, I let him hold me for a little while, feeling safer with him than I do in my own skin.
Sometimes in those moments, he’ll place soft kisses along my jaw, never pushing it too far, but familiarizing me with the feel of his affection. More and more, I crave it and seek it out. And lately, I’ve begun to feel like it’s not enough. Like I need more.
Sensing my growing arousal, he turns his head and places a soft kiss on my knee, peeking up at me through thick, black lashes. My teeth trap my bottom lip between them, and his eyes blaze in return.
Dropping his burning stare, he brushes the material of my dress to the side, both legs now bared. I decided to forgo panties with this dress, the silk too thin to conceal panty lines. If he lifted the material another inch, he’d be able to see between my thighs.
His nostrils flare, and I feel my face grow hot, flushing hotter when he leans in closer.
I can smell you.
Something he said to me so long ago, when he told me to run and hide in Parsons Manor, promising a punishment if he found me.
I have a feeling he can smell me now, and just how much my body weeps for him.
“Lift your leg, baby,” he orders roughly, voice hoarse with desire. I listen, watching him loop the lacy strap around my foot and raise it to my upper thigh, his knuckles coming dangerously close to my center.
“Do you remember how to use this?” he asks, flipping the blade in his deft fingers. For the life of me, I can’t fathom why that was one of the hottest things I’ve ever seen him do.
“Uh-huh,” I squeak. It takes effort to drag my eyes away from the twirling blade to meet his gaze. There’s a hint of challenge swirling in his
mismatched pools, and I feel myself rising to meet it. “Do you know how to use it?”
I’ll never know why I instigate him, even when wariness lingers behind the cloud of lust.
The smirk that curls his lips is wicked, causing my body to flush. I’m overheating, and he’s hardly touched me.
I’m not sure what he intends to do, but that look on his face tells me it’s going to be something nefarious.
“You can’t cut me with it,” I say seriously. For a moment, I see a flash of rage in his eyes, gone before the fire can spread. And I know he knows the reasoning behind my request. There have been several nights where I confessed the things that had been done to me in that house, including Xavier’s kink with slicing me open while he raped me.
For a moment, I panic, fearing he’ll stop at the reminder that other men have used my body. Tensing, I wait for the disgust. I wouldn’t blame him if he was repulsed by me, but it’d tear my heart out anyway.
Instead, he flips the blade until he’s gripping the sharp edge in his hand. Then he slides the handle against my thigh, gentle and teasing. The fear begins to dissipate, relief soaking my bones. But even that quickly fades when the handle caresses my pussy, just a whisper of a touch.
Now, I feel nothing but anticipation and that lingering wariness.
Turbulence rocks the plane again, a physical representation of how my heart feels.
“Did you know that reclaiming something that was stolen from you can help with trauma?” he asks.
“Yes,” I murmur.
“And if something hurt you before, giving it a new meaning can help.” His eyes lift, focusing on me intently.
“Do you want me to show you a new meaning to this knife?”
I hesitate but then nod my head. A different kind of fear is seizing my body—the kind that I’ve always been attracted to. And I’ve missed it so much.
“Pull up your dress,” he demands roughly, his voice deep and raspy. Quickly, I do as he says, bunching the material up just high enough to bare the apex of my thighs.
His nostrils flare, and he clenches his jaw briefly before ordering, “Now wrap your hand around mine.”
Furrowing my brows, I do as he says, grabbing ahold of his hand that’s curled tightly around the blade. “Wouldn’t want to cut up those pretty hands of yours. So, you’re going to guide me.”
I shake my head, feeling myself start to retreat.
“I won’t touch you,” he promises. “You’re in control, little mouse. I’m only here to protect your hand. Instead of allowing this knife to cause you pain, use it to give yourself pleasure instead.”
My throat constricts, and I have the strongest urge to run away. But that feeling is what keeps me still. I don’t want Xavier to win. To haunt my life so terribly that an inanimate object has the power to control me.
Nodding my head, I guide his hand up, my breath hitching when the handle slides along my slit.
Zade watches my movements closely, his teeth clenched and the muscle in his jaw pulsating. Blood begins to trickle down his wrist, and for reasons I can’t explain, I squeeze his hand tighter, eliciting more trails of blood. He growls deep in his chest but doesn’t stop me.
I bite my lip, a whimper breaking free when I slowly insert it inside of me, my legs trembling.
Normally, I don’t think I could ever get enjoyment out of fucking myself with a knife handle. But using Zade’s hand to do it adds a layer of pleasure I wouldn’t be able to find on my own. Seeing his blood drip from our hands instead of my own—it does something to me that I can’t explain.
My breath escalates when I slide the handle inside me to the hilt, Zade’s fingers pressed up against my flesh. A groan rumbles deep in his chest, but he keeps his promise, his hand not even twitching against me.
“Tell me how it feels,” he rasps, enthralled by the sight of me tugging our hands down just to drive it back up, eliciting a sharp jolt of bliss.
“S-so good,” I breathe around a moan, my eyes fluttering as I continue, finding a pace that threatens to make me forget my own name.
“Go slower,” he urges, his hand flexing beneath mine. I force myself to listen, keeping the pace gradual and drawing out the pleasure.
“Now watch yourself. Look how pretty you are when you fuck yourself.”
Mouth parted and chest heaving, I look down between my slick thighs, the euphoria heightening from the sight.
“See how you’re dripping all over our hands, baby?”
Both of our hands are covered in his blood, my arousal mixing in and carving paths through the crimson staining our skin.
My stomach tightens, an orgasm building low in my stomach. “Yes,” I moan.
“You know what I see? I can see how tightly your pussy is clenching the knife,” he growls, face strained with need. “Like it’s just begging to be filled.”
“Do you wish it was your cock instead?” I pant, enjoying the way his eyes flare. Absolutely loving that he can only dream of fucking me, forced to watch a knife handle do it instead. A rush of power flows through me, and I can’t contain the smile.
His eyes lift to mine, something dangerous whirling in his irises. My stomach clenches, the orgasm cresting higher. But I don’t fear him. I pity him.
“Does it hurt knowing that you can’t touch me?” I ask, another moan slipping free when I hit that spot inside me. “Does it cut deeper than this knife?”
“Yes,” he confesses, his tone low and dark.
“You can’t have it,” I taunt. He eyes me closely, understanding what I’m doing and not liking it. Yet, he’ll never disobey me, knowing that the trust I’ve placed on him will be shattered.
Giving respect hurts like a bitch when your hands are tied.
I drive the knife deeper and faster, reaching that peak, and I decide that giving him a small taste will deepen the agony.
All I need is a little nudge, but this time, I’m not the one that will be begging him to let me come.
He will be begging me.
“Do you want to lick me, Zade?” I ask, eyes threatening to cross. “I’m so ready to come.”
He drops his gaze to our hands, baring his teeth from the restraint. “Yes,” he chokes out.
A flick of his dangerous gaze and savage curl to his lips that promise retribution, but he doesn’t hesitate. “Please, little mouse.”
“One lick,” I allow. “Make it count.”
Giving me one last weighted look, he leans forward, and I shiver when I feel his hot breath fan over my core.
And then his tongue is sliding against my clit, slow and firm. He groans around me, and I can no longer hold on. I shatter around him, crying out as my world breaks apart. My free hand flies into his hair, grasping for something to hold on to as my knees buckle.
He quickly stands, catching me and holding me up against him, our hands pressed tightly against my pussy as I ride out the waves.
I press my forehead into his chest, squeezing my eyes shut as the remnants of the orgasm slowly fade.
Both hands cup my face before sliding into my locks, pulling my head back and nudging his mouth against my cheek.
“Give me them,” he demands sharply.
With aftershocks still attacking my nerves, I let him in, turning my mouth towards his. His lips capture mine immediately, and it rivals the pleasure radiating between my thighs.
He kisses me deeply, drawing out a small, husky moan before pulling away, only to brush his lips across my ear. Surprise renders me still when he reaches into his pocket, pulls out a rose, and slips it behind my ear.
“One day, you’re going to feel safe with me again,” he whispers, his voice dangerously soft. “And when that day comes, you better pray I’m feeling generous.”
The second I walk into the club, Supple, it feels like a sinister entity reaches out and wraps itself around me.
A black studded half-mask rests over my eyes, concealing the upper half of my face. While they’re not required in this club, more attendees wear them than not, preferring to keep their identities anonymous. Which translates to keeping their reputations intact.
A heavy bass vibrates the black and gold marble that stretches across the main floor with two bars on either side and a stage straight ahead with seating surrounding it.
Instead of the typical club bangers, slow and heavy music plays, the woman on stage performing a sensual dance to the heavy beat. She’s wearing a black bra and panty set with a diamond-encrusted mesh dress over top of it. A red mask covers her face, dark hair spilling out from around it in waves.
For several moments, I’m entranced. Her lithe curves roll and move to the music with perfect precision, drawing onlookers in like moths to a roaring flame.
She keeps her clothes on, but she doesn’t even need to undress in order to perform the sexiest dance I have ever witnessed.
“Focus, baby,” Zade whispers from the Bluetooth in my ear. His voice is deep and lined with gravel, sending a shiver down my spine. Most likely from watching me watch her. He’s hacked into the cameras in every corner of the room, and even through grainy footage, he must’ve seen how enraptured I was.
I feel my cheeks flush, spreading down to the pit of my belly. This place is already sinking its claws into me, and I’ve barely made it past the front door.
“She’s a good dancer,” I defend, refusing to be embarrassed over appreciating another woman’s beauty.
“Didn’t notice,” he replies.
Oddly, I believe him, and something about that deepens the heat swirling in my stomach.
Several people line the barstools, though the room is far from crowded. I spot an empty seat in the middle of the left bar, so I beeline for it.
I need a drink before I make my way downstairs—where all the real debauchery takes place according to Zade.
The bartender is a young man wearing a suit and bowtie with a sleek black vest. His glossy black hair is slicked back, and only a thin mustache covers his upper lip. He reminds me of what Edgar Allan Poe would’ve looked like in his younger years.
“What can I get for you, miss?” he asks politely, his dark eyes pinned to mine.
“A martini, please,” I answer.
He’s sliding over my drink a couple of minutes later, accepting my cash with a pleasant smile. Thankfully, he doesn’t try to engage in small talk and focuses on his bar and the other patrons.
I subtly glance around while I sip my martini, the burn of the alcohol sliding down my throat soothing to my nerves. I can’t help but feel like I’m being watched, though I suppose that’s the purpose of this place. Apparently, voyeurism and exhibitionism are a given here. There’s only so many places to go for privacy, and most patrons don’t bother with it.
It’s not exactly uncomfortable as it is unnerving. It makes me wonder what the woman on stage must feel, with so many sets of eyes tracing her every curve. Does it make her feel good? Or does she tune out the weight of people’s stares and lose herself in the music?
Finishing off my drink, I slide the glass away and slip off the stool before I’m tempted to order another. As much as I’d like to succumb to the pleasant buzz a few drinks bring, I want to have all my wits when dealing with Xavier.
I prepared myself to see him again as much as I’m capable of in such a short amount of time, but I’m not delusional enough to believe that he’s not going to rip open old wounds in a matter of seconds. But I’m stronger than I was, and I will never bleed for him again.
Once I make my way downstairs, Zade will follow soon after. While he trusts me to handle myself, he still refuses to leave me on my own.
I can’t deny that his presence brings me strength, and when facing one of my abusers, I’ll take as much as I can get.
Releasing a slow exhale, I find the curtain that leads downstairs, where men and women come and go. Ducking my head, I follow behind a couple, their hands roaming all over each other with every step.
The smell of sex permeates the air when I emerge from another curtained entryway.
Down here, a significant number of bodies occupy the space—at least half of them is in a state of undress. Several women bare their breasts for others to touch and kiss. A few men have their hands up dresses or deep inside another man’s trousers.
Nothing is off-limits down here, and I have to remind myself that this is consensual. This isn’t like when me and the other girls were punished
together, a room full of naked bodies but several of us unwilling.
For a moment, I stop to take it all in. Familiarize myself with sex that creeps along the edge of innately wicked yet brings nothing short of pleasure and desire. For everyone involved.
Truthfully, I’m envious. I miss the freedom of sex, and my comfort with it. Even when a dangerous, imposing man forced it on me, my body still crowed for it, even if my head screamed otherwise. Now, the thought of it feels like taking a strong drug and getting too high. It’s a nerve-racking feeling because control is unattainable, and it becomes a constant battle of talking yourself down from panicking.
Forcing my shoulders to ease, I glance around the room, looking for anyone who resembles Xavier. Most are wearing half-masks, leaving their mouths uncovered for… purposes.
Heart pounding, I weave through the bodies, searching for him and coming up empty.
It isn’t until fifteen minutes later that Zade directs, “Found him. He’s down the hallway in the viewing rooms.”
I spot the hallway to my left, swallowing when I find how dark and uninviting it looks. Holding my breath, I sidle past writhing bodies, ducking away from a few wandering hands.
My heart hammers in my chest when I enter the hallway. Neon red lights line the ceiling on either side, illuminating the space in the color that represents debauchery. It reminds me of a haunted house in a way, but instead of screams of terror, it’s screams of pleasure.
“You can do this, Addie,” Zade encourages, voice soft. He must be able to hear my heavy breathing. Perspiration coats my forehead and the back of my neck as I walk into a room I would’ve thought I’d only see in movies.
There are three massive glass windows in each wall surrounding me. Behind each window is a room, a couple in various stages of sex. Straight ahead, a woman is on all fours while a man stands behind her and whips her ass with a cane.
The couple to my left is trading oral sex. The man stands with the woman in his arms, flipped upside down. I cock my head, a little curious how hard that would be to do.
To my right, the woman is chained to the bed, writhing as a man in a leather suit whips her.
There must be speakers in the rooms because their moans are just as loud as they would be if I were standing next to them.
Several voyeurs stand both in and outside the rooms, watching the couples while subtly touching themselves or the person next to them.
I shift apprehensively, beginning to feel way out of my element.
“Incoming, baby,” Zade warns, but I hardly hear him. I’m so hypnotized by what’s happening in front of me that I don’t notice the person approaching, not until their voice is in my ear.
“Which one intrigues you the most?”
I startle, unable to contain the gasp. My heart pounds in my chest, and my stomach flutters from the fright.
I’d recognize his voice anywhere. I hear it so often in my nightmares; I fear I’ll never forget it.
Xavier stands next to me, hands casually in his pockets as he watches on. Half of his face is covered by a black mask with a silver diamond painted over one eye.
“Terribly sorry to scare you,” he murmurs, the smirk on his face indicating he’s not sorry at all.
He doesn’t recognize me yet. I’m wearing a dark brown wig to help conceal my identity, but I imagine he’ll figure out who I am the moment he hears me speak. My huskier voice has always been easily identifiable.
Xavier’s presence is suffocating, and it takes several more seconds to drag my gaze away, fighting to wrestle my heart back down.
Swallowing nervously, I face the couple straight ahead where the man is now fucking the woman from behind, bright red welts across her ass and thighs. Her hands are cuffed behind her back while the man uses her locked hands as an anchor. Her screams are high-pitched and sharp with pleasure, and once more, I feel a stab of envy.
“Too shy?” he prompts. Rolling my red-stained lips, I nod, hoping that’ll satisfy him.
Don’t be shy, diamond, let me see how good you suck cock.
I squeeze my eyes shut, tilting my face away, so he doesn’t see how hard I have to fight to pull myself together.
“I’m right behind you, baby,” Zade whispers. I don’t turn to look, but I feel him anyway. He’s a force far stronger than the man standing next to me.
Instantly, I relax. Zade may be Hades, but the dark God has never been known to bow for anyone but his woman. It gives me a small dose of power, enough to reignite my confidence.
Xavier can’t hurt me anymore. He can’t touch me, cut me, or use me. He’s a pitiful soul posing as a powerful being. Soon, I will remind him that he is only a man, and I am the reaper forged beneath his own hands.
“I can help relax you if you’d like,” Xavier suggests from beside me, his voice deepening. “There are private rooms to your left.”
“Okay,” I agree quietly.
He grabs my hand, the touch of his skin sending a cold chill throughout my body. I’d forgotten how dead he feels. He pulls me toward a double set of doors in the corner of the room. Subtly, I glance back to Zade, finding him in a full-face mask. All black with geometric points, a dramatic frown, and a slash through the eye. His yin-yang eyes are hidden, only bottomless pits where they should be.
Admittedly, he looks terrifying. And I’d be lying if I said that didn’t spark something low in my stomach, sinking between my thighs.
Turning away, I focus as Xavier leads us into a hallway full of black doors. It’s deathly silent in here.
“Soundproof rooms,” Xavier supplies, glancing back at me with a wicked smirk on his face.
I bite my lip, my nerves running wild as he walks us into a private room. The white walls are tinted blue from the LED lights surrounding the ceiling. A single black bed sits in the middle with handcuffs on the headboard and footboard. And a dresser is next to it, likely filled with different kinds of toys.
“Should I be worried that these rooms are soundproof, Xavier?” I ask, no longer concerned with him recognizing my voice.
He slowly turns his head to me, his blue eyes widened with surprise.
Even beneath the mask, he can’t hide his reaction.
“I see my diamond has come back to me,” he drawls, his lips curling into a smile. His eyes drop to my body, taking his time as he slowly takes me in, pausing on the rose tattoo on my forearm.
“My god, you look fantastic. Must be why I didn’t immediately recognize you.” His eyes kick up to my hair. “And your hair is darker. Can’t say I’m a fan of that.”
“Truly, I’m hurt,” I respond dryly.
Anger flashes across his irises. That reaction makes the smile impossible to contain.
He nods his head, seemingly to himself. “I suspect you’ve come back to kill me.”
I cock my head. “You think I could?” I query, though I’m not the least bit interested in his approval.
He laughs, tipping his head back and exposing his throat. One slash to the jugular. That’s all I’d need. But I don’t want to kill Xavier.
Not tonight, I don’t.
His laugh tapers, and if I were breathing any louder, I wouldn’t have heard the subtle click from behind me.
I turn, my heart dropping when I tug on the handle, finding that he locked the door. Which means it’s automated.
“I’m good friends with the owner here,” Xavier explains darkly. “If we want a little extra time with the girls than they’re willing to give, we have… means to get them to stay a little longer.”
I face Xavier again, noting his hand in his pocket. He must have some type of button in there to engage the locks.
My pulse is hammering, but I force my chin high, exuding a confidence I’m having trouble feeling.
This… was not something Zade, or I, was aware of. One of the biggest rules in this club is no locks to offer security and comfort to the women. Seems the owner is a slimy bastard and knows how to hide it. Makes me wonder how many women have gotten trapped in these rooms, and how they were kept silent. The reputation of Supple is impeccable, which means their scare tactics are effective.
“You locked the doors,” I say aloud so Zade can hear me.
“The fuck did you just say, baby?” His voice comes in a second later, and I just know he’s rushing toward my door.
In order to protect the privacy of those who use private rooms, they don’t allow cameras in here. And surprisingly, there’s not even a shady camera hidden in the room like Zade would have thought. Which means now that I’m locked in here, he won’t be able to see a damn thing that happens.
Adrenaline pumps into my system, and dread pools in my gut.
I may be stronger than I was, but that doesn’t mean that PTSD doesn’t have me by the throat still. Trauma isn’t something that just poofs away. I’ve been improving, but it’s a work in progress, and I have a sick feeling Xavier will roundhouse kick me back into that dark place it took me weeks to crawl out of.
He’s the boogeyman in my nightmares. The face I can’t get out of my head. The things he put me through were far worse than any of the things Rocco and his friends did to me. What he did to me was fucking personal.
I wasn’t just another body being passed around from man to man. I was a possession that he took his sweet time with. He drew out my suffering for as long as he could, and those are the moments that haunt me most.
I pleaded for a death he’d never grant me, giving him power over a life that was never his to take.
But I refuse to cower now. I refuse to give him any control over me ever again. Tonight, I’m going to take back that power and make him wish he’d just stuck the knife in my fucking throat.
The doorknob wiggles behind me, attracting Xavier’s attention. I seize the opportunity and drive my fist directly into his nose in a snap movement. His head knocks back, eyes bulging with surprise. Before he can recover,
I’m lunging at him, landing another punch to his stomach and then to his temple.
He roars, his arm whipping out and catching me on the side of my head, the gold ring on his finger slicing across my cheek. Blood pours from his nose as he tackles me, a snarl on his face.
We land against the door harshly, knocking the breath from my lungs. He then grips me by the biceps and throws me with all his strength, pure rage on his face.
I fly to the ground, crying out as I land awkwardly on my shoulder, my temple knocking on the tile floor. Stars explode in my vision, drowning out Zade’s now panicked voice in my ear.
He’ll have Jay working to unlock the doors, and it won’t take him long to figure out how, but all Xavier needs is a second to kill me.
Through blurred vision, I see Xavier’s fist fly towards my face. Instinctively, I roll out of the way, causing his hand to bound off the hard floor. He shouts, shaking out his hand to rid himself of the pain.
Gritting my teeth, I kick out my leg, but he manages to catch me by the ankle and drags me towards him.
His face is contorted with animalistic fury. Blood pours from his broken nose, leaking into the cracks of his bared teeth.
I struggle against him, kicking my leg with all my might, managing to dislodge his hand long enough to drive my foot into his face.
He turns just in time, my heel only clipping his temple.
“Fucking bitch,” he snarls, grabbing at my legs again and climbing on top of me. I thrash violently, only assisting him in rolling me to my stomach and pinning my hands to my sides with his knees. He tears at my dress, and for a moment, I lose control and descend into panic. A scream rips from my throat as he lifts my dress up past my ass.
No matter how hard I fight, he only squeezes me tighter between his thighs, and my efforts are useless.
The clang of his buckle is what snaps me out of it.
I’ll be damned if this fucker ever puts his dick anywhere near me again. Panting heavily, I stop moving and lie my face onto the cool tile.
He chuckles, believing I’ve given up just like every other time. I used to lie there and just take it, knowing that fighting would only make it worse.
“There ya go, diamond. That’s a good—”
Growling, I buck against him, catching him off guard and causing him to pitch forward. And then I rear my head back, bashing it directly into his nose.
He lets out an agonized wail, his grip on me loosening. Twisting, I drive my fist directly into his trachea.
His eyes nearly pop out of their sockets, his cries depleting as he struggles for oxygen. Right at that moment, the door bashes open, the sound thunderous.
Zade strides in, the fury on his face so potent that all his distinguishable features get lost in it.
“Zade, don’t kill him,” I shout, a different kind of panic sprouting when he grabs Xavier by the back of his blazer and lifts him like he’s holding up a goddamn cat by the scruff of its neck. He grips him tight enough that it reopens the cut on his hand, his blood beginning to trail down his wrist.
“Zade!” I shout, scrambling towards them when I see him slide his gun from the back of his pants, a silencer already screwed on. He doesn’t hear
me, so I do the only thing I can think of and grab the barrel of his gun, twisting it towards me.
His head snaps to me, his eyes wide with a mixture of rage and disbelief. “Don’t. Kill. Him.”
Breathing heavily, he growls and yanks the gun from my grip, shoving it back into his pants. He punches the side of Xavier’s head, knocking him out cold. Despite that he is now dead weight in Zade’s hand, he still holds him up like he’s as light as a feather.
He’s too busy getting in my face, baring his teeth. “You ever do that again, little mouse, I will bend you over my knee and use that barrel in your tight little ass. You understand me?”
I grimace and nod my head, realizing now how close he came to shooting me. Even if it were my fault, he would’ve never forgiven himself.
“Slap me, punch me, kick me in the goddamn balls. But do not point my gun at yourself.”
I nod my head again, reality starting to catch up to me now that I’m no longer under attack. Zade’s voice becomes a distant whisper, and I grapple with the tunnel vision, slowly narrowing my sight.
My system is crashing, and I struggle to hold on to my sanity. Xavier tried to rape me. He came close to succeeding.
Spread those legs, diamond.
You’re so pink. I can’t wait to turn it red with blood.
Jay must say something to Zade because he quickly drops Xavier, his head hitting the tile with a fleshy smack, and slides his mask back over his face.
Security comes barreling into the room a moment later, distracting him before he can see just how panicked I am. Two men wearing three-piece suits are pointing their guns right at us.
“Drop your weapons!” one of them shouts. Zade raises his hands, and mine go up on instinct as well.
“No need to shout, gentlemen. I was simply saving my girl from getting assaulted by this man right here.”
The two guards glance down at an unconscious Xavier, but they don’t seem inclined to drop their weapons.
“Is that Xavier Delano?” one of them asks, trying to get a good look at him.
“No,” Zade lies. Xavier’s face is still covered, but if he’s been coming here often enough, he might be recognizable by his hair or stature. Sometimes something as simple as their hands can be easily identified if you know them well enough.
I know I could recognize those hands from a mile away…
The guards shuffle deeper into the room, attempting to get a better view of Xavier. My heart pounds so heavily that my chest aches, and my vision is blackening.
I’m spiraling, and the knowledge that it could get me shot isn’t enough to set me straight.
“P-please,” I whisper. “He was trying to hurt me.”
The guards look at each other and slowly lower their guns, appearing slightly concerned by my garbled words. It won’t matter in the end. Xavier is too important, and they’re not going to just let us go.
“Addie,” Zade whispers, and at first, I’m not sure what he’s trying to convey, but then he tips his chin up, as if telling me to keep it up.
Distract them. That’s what he wants.
Though by the tension lining his muscles and how he’s stepping in my direction, he’s ready to say fuck them and rush to me. He can see that I’m breaking, and he’s caught between comforting me and getting us out alive.
I dip my chin in acknowledgement. It’s not hard when I’m on the verge of losing it anyway. The tears in my eyes spill over, and my lip trembles. I let out a cry, grip my hair in my hands, and pull.
“H-he was tr-trying to r-rape me,” I sob.
“Whoa, whoa, hey, it’s okay. We’ll get this sorted out.”
I let out a shout and thrash my head, and the guards are so taken aback by my outburst that they drop their weapons altogether. Their wide eyes turn to each other and have a silent conversation, one asking, what the fuck do we do, bro? and the other responding, I don’t fucking know, she’s cracked.
“Hey, uh, just relax, all right?” the first guard says, his words the least calming thing I’ve ever fucking heard. Then he turns to his partner. “Call for back-up.”
But there’s a bullet flying through the second guard’s skull before the first can fully finish his demand.
In mere seconds, Zade has whipped out his gun and shot him; the silencer screwed on the end keeping his crime quiet.
The first guard’s eyes widen, scrambling to take aim, but a bullet is tearing through his forehead next. His head snaps back, and he tumbles to the ground alongside his partner.
Zade wastes no time. He picks Xavier up and slings him over his shoulder, grabs my hand, and pulls me out behind him.
“Let’s go, baby girl. And when we get on our plane, I’m fucking holding you.”
I don’t recall if I answer as Zade tugs me toward the end of the hallway. He mutters under his breath, most likely ordering Jay to do something, but the screaming in my head drowns out his words.
My body is moving on pure autopilot. I don’t remember how he got us out of there. I don’t remember the three-hour flight home. I don’t remember anything at all but the weight of Xavier on top of me, the clang of his buckle ringing in my head.