The drive from the party was excruciating. We didn’t speak a word. While at his uncle’s house, I was sure I played my role exactly the way he wanted me to. I smiled, pretended to be immersed in the conversations, and acted as if I ruled this kingdom alongside him. And for a while, it felt like I did—the way everyone treated me with respect, admiration, as an equal. For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel like I was being looked down at like I wasn’t worth the clothes on my back. Instead, I felt like a real person, someone whose worth was immediately recognized with a mere glance.
The experience was better than I imagined, and I loved walking through the doors at Alexius’ side, having all eyes on us. I saw how the women looked at him, their eyes melted chocolate of decadent desire, while men envied him with their bitter glares.
It was indescribable. I felt invincible, untouchable by his side, as if we could rule the world together. It was my first taste of…power, influence, and I fucking loved it. During that time, the little girl sleeping on the bathroom floor was gone, the girl forced to live with the horrid reality that she had to work so her mother could continue poisoning herself. I was no longer that girl.
But it was short-lived, the tormenting silence in the car sucking the life out of every good feeling.
As soon as we arrived at the house, Alexius got out of the car and stomped inside without even waiting for me. His silence hurt. It still does, even now, hours after the party. A warm shower and comfortable clothes couldn’t even lessen the sting. It’s a slow ache that grips and squeezes, making it hard to keep the tears from slipping down the sides of my face as I lie on the bed, staring up at the high ceiling.
God. I can’t stay here. I’d fucking suffocate in my misery alone in this room. I need fresh air.
I grab a hairband and tie my curls into a high ponytail, and slip on a pair of tasseled, mid-calf boots. I don’t take the time to look at my reflection in the mirror. It’s one of those moments I just don’t give a fuck what I look like in a pair of black tights and an oversized top. After grabbing the first coat I find, I yank the door open and storm out.
I need to be outside, in the rain, in the cold, shock my system into not feeling anything else.
My boots hardly make a sound as I walk down the hall, the gray skies casting shadows through the windows.
My heart stops, and so do my feet. “Alexius,” I murmur then turn to face him.
“Where are you going?”
“I need to get some fresh air.”
“It’s practically a storm outside.” He points out the obvious.
“I know. But I’m suffocating in here, so I’ll take my chances out there.” I turn to walk away, but I stop and glance at him, frowning. “What did I do wrong?”
“What do you mean?”
“I thought I did everything right. At the party. I acted exactly the way you wanted me to.” I shrug, my hands in my coat pockets. “But you’ve been angry with me ever since you rushed me out of there.”
He rubs the back of his neck. “I’m not angry at you.”
“Well, you sure as fuck aren’t acting like you’re happy about it either.”
“Watch your mouth,” he warns, his voice a dark thrum of authority. But I walk up to him, determination fueling every step, making it possible for me to look him in the eye without cowering under his dominant gaze.
“I will say whatever the fuck I want because clearly nothing I do is good enough for you. So, I might as well stop fucking trying.”
With one swift move, he snakes an arm around my waist and tugs hard, forcing me to the side and out of the hall.
The feel of his arm around me sends a rush through my bloodstream, and I inhale a double breath when he lets go and closes the door behind us.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” I snap, spinning around only to be met with flaming blue eyes hungrily glaring at me.
“That dirty mouth of yours is practically begging for me to fuck it.”
“Give me twenty seconds, and I’ll make you come, get that pussy of yours slick enough to do just that.”
“Jesus, Alexius.” Placing a palm against my forehead, I feel defeated and frustrated. Everything is chaos with him. Fucking mayhem. “You can’t just ignore me for fuck knows how long, pretend like I’m invisible to you and then suddenly you’re…you’re…God, I don’t know what you are right now.”
“Do you not think all this isn’t fucking with my head as well? You weren’t supposed to happen, Leandra. You weren’t supposed to be this…this…fuck!”
“What?” I press. “I wasn’t supposed to be what?”
“This…this fucking beautiful creature who manages to get under my skin every goddamn time I’m close to you. Do you know how many throats I slit inside my head at that party today? All of them,” he spits out. “I mentally killed each and every fucking man who merely looked in your direction because all I could think about was how you’re mine. How no one else can ever have you. How no other man has the right to even fucking look at you because you. Belong. To me.” Every word is a growl, a possessive snarl that echoes with a fierce fortitude that is the witchcraft that makes me want to surrender to him, do and be everything he wants me to. But I can’t keep playing these games. I’m too fragile, too weak to spar with him and win.
Alexius takes a step forward, and I inch back, needing distance. “I’m not yours,” I murmur, slowly dragging my gaze up to his. “I don’t belong to you. I’m not something you can own, a fucking painting you can hang on your wall to look at whenever you feel like it. I’m a person. A human being.” Tears start to pool in the corners of my eyes. “I’m not your plaything, Alexius.”
“I know that.” He pulls his hand through his hair, frustration rippling from his broad shoulders. “You were—” He sucks air through his teeth, rubbing his fingers across his chin. “You were supposed to stay the wife I didn’t want until the day you walked out of this fucking house for the last time. But now—” He bites his lip. “Now you’re the woman I want in my bed, in my arms, everywhere. I want you to be where I am all the fucking time.”
I turn away from him, needing a second without his eyes burning a hole in my soul, desperate to sever the chains that keep reeling me closer to him. Every word he speaks hammers one more nail deep inside my heart, and I don’t know how many more it can take before it bleeds dry.
My thoughts go silent while I observe the room, taking it all in. The rich colors and bold textures create a feel of power and elegance. The floor is covered with a velvety carpet, heavy and plush, as if it could easily swallow your feet. The king-sized bed is covered with dark burgundy satin sheets, the posts of the bed a glinting chrome.
“Whose room is this?”
An electric current surges up my spine as I hear the click of the lock, anticipation blooming in my core. I can’t stop it. It’s not something I can control with him. There’s this invisible force that ignites whenever he’s near.
I close my eyes and suck in air when I feel him step up behind me, so close his breath caresses the side of my neck.
“Why can’t I stop wanting you?” he murmurs, his voice a melody that sings to my blood. His hands are on my hips, and he jerks me against him, letting me feel his hard length against my ass. I close my eyes as a rush of wetness spreads between my legs. “You think I’ve been keeping my distance because I want to?”
“Why else?” I breathe out, hating that it’s so easy for him to manipulate my body—to smother my anger with desire.
He brushes the hair from my neck, leaning down, pressing his lips below my ear, and I shiver. “Because all I want to do when I’m around you is spread your legs and wreck your cunt.”
“Jesus,” I mutter, my mind fogged and body on the verge of bursting into flames.
“See,” he murmurs. “That, right there, you like it dirty and filthy.” Abruptly, he squeezes his fingers into my hip, and I gasp. “You like it to hurt. You want it to hurt.” One hand lets go of my hip and eases up my back, weaving through my hair before tightening, pulling my head to the side, shooting pain across my skull. “And that makes us poison together, Leandra. Because I like hurting you. Your pain makes me hard. So fucking hard.” He sucks air through clenched teeth. “My cock could tear you apart from the inside.”
“Then why aren’t you in my bed every night?” I challenge, and he rolls his hips, pressing his hard length against my ass.
“Because I hate that you think our desires and fantasies are vile, twisted because of how others fucked up.” His teeth graze along the skin of my neck, and I moan as he nips my flesh, the sting ricocheting between my legs. “I want to fuck you knowing that there’s nothing but ecstasy running through your veins. I want you to come around my cock knowing your pleasure is unstained.” With one hand gripping my hair, his other moves down my front, cupping my sex, earning a desperate whisper from my lips. “I can’t give you the pain you crave when I know you resent yourself for wanting it.”
My pussy aches as he strokes along my creases through the fabric of my leggings. “I don’t know what you want from me, Alexius.”
“I don’t want you to stop.”
He jerks my hair hard, and I wince. “I don’t want you to stop being so fucking twisted. Don’t stop wanting the things I’m so eager to fucking give you.”
“I don’t…Jesus,” I moan, his fingers tracing along the shape of my pussy, my core tightening. “Why would I stop wanting it?”
“Your demons, Leandra. They’re keeping you from surrendering completely. Your past fucks with your head, and I want it to stop.”
Flickers of memories drizzle through the haze of desire. The bathroom. The sounds. The screams. The sex.
“Stop,” he whispers, palming my sex tighter. “Do not go there. Stay here with me.”
“I need you to trust me.” He eases tender kisses along my neck, gripping my hair tighter and pulling my head to the side even further, the muscles in my shoulders stretching and aching. But I relish the pain as it forces desire to go from a flicker to flame. “I want to make this right for you, Leandra. I want to open your eyes so you can see how freeing it is to embrace your desires, your fantasies, no matter how wicked. How twisted. But I need you to trust me first.”
“You’ve given me no reason to trust you.”
“You know as well as I do there’s no rhyme or reason for this insane fucking attraction between us. It’s driving us crazy, and we have no idea why.”
“That’s probably the most truthful thing you’ve said to me.”
“Want to hear something else that’s true?”
I nod, humming a moan between my lips. He lets go of my hair, swiftly getting rid of my coat and top. I didn’t bother with a bra, and a growl ripples from his chest as his hands reach up from behind me, palming my naked breasts, my pussy tightening. Letting go of my tits, his hand wraps around my throat, his thumb pressing against my jaw. “I’m going to fuck you until every piece of resistance shatters, until the only thing you ever want to be is my dirty. Little. Slut.”
It happens so fast that there’s no time for me to think or speak as he forces me onto the bed with a hard shove, my face flat against the mattress.
“Ah,” I moan, my body screaming for more.
Greedy hands tug at my leggings and pull them over my ass and down my thighs, the cold air harsh against my naked, heated skin.
Alexius groans, dipping his finger inside me with ease, my arousal slick around his finger. “That’s what I’m talking about,” he murmurs, and I’m already squirming, gripping the sheets in my fists. “I’ve barely started, and your cunt’s already making a fucking mess.”
He twists his finger, curving it upward, and I moan, arching my back. The lust, the need, it’s everywhere. In my bones, my skin, my chest, my throat—and I want more. I want it to steal the oxygen from my lungs so I can drown in it.
His palm comes down hard on my ass, and I cry out, the sting of burning flesh taking me by surprise, yet I revel in pain, pushing my hips back, a silent way of begging for more.
“Always so fucking greedy.” His hand brushes along the swell of my ass, his other hand working my pussy, two fingers sliding in and out, slowly driving me insane. “Rock these hips, baby,” he rasps, the hand on my hip curling into a fist. “Fuck my fingers as if my cock isn’t an option.”
“I want your cock.” I lower my head onto the mattress. “I want to come on your cock.”
“You will. But first, I want to watch your cunt swallow my fingers.” Another hard smack, and my flesh erupts, the burn rippling down my core. “Do not let me ask you again, woman.”
I try to move my legs farther apart, but the leggings are only pulled halfway down my thighs. With his palm flat, he rolls my ass, opening my crease more, sinking his fingers deeper. I don’t have to consciously move my hips because my body is already rocking back and forth, needing to feel every inch of his fingers against my swollen center, the pressure mounting in my core.
“That’s my girl.” He sucks air between his teeth, humming his appreciation. “Hmm, I can feel your pussy throbbing. You’re about to come, aren’t you?”
“Hmm-mmm.” It’s there. It’s right there at the point of exploding. But I need more. I need something…
A scream tears from my throat as Alexius bites down on my ass. Hard. The pain is a decadent flame that flares across my skin, giving me the last push I need to cross the edge. “Alexius,” I cry, my climax ripping up my spine, my stomach quivering, every muscle shaking.
His fingers slip out of me, and I’m unable to keep myself up anymore, collapsing onto my front, my face nestled against the cold, soft sheets. Wetness clings to my thighs, and Alexius eases his palm along my ass, smearing my cum from his fingers onto my skin, followed by a slow drag of his tongue, lapping up the trail his fingertips leave behind. “I fucking love it when your pussy makes such a pretty mess for me.”
I can’t speak. I can’t even move. My pulse is racing too fast, my body spent as my eyes flick closed.
A gentle shudder wracks through my bones as his fingers travel back down, snaking in the sides of my leggings, easing them down my ankles, pulling them off.
The mattress lifts as he gets up, and he disappears for a moment, but I can’t find the strength to turn and see where he is, what he’s doing.
Air fills my lungs when I feel him brush my hair over my shoulder. I love how my skin tingles when he touches me. “Do you trust me, Leandra?”
“Yes.” There’s no hesitation. None at all. When it comes to my body, I trust him. Right this very minute, I trust him. Only God knows if I’ll regret it tomorrow. But now is all that matters.
“Lift your head for me.”
I obey—his obedient little slut—and he places a soft piece of fabric over my eyes, blindfolding me. “What are you doing?” I whisper, still out of breath.
“Get on your knees.” Placing his fingers around my elbow, he supports me as I lift myself onto my knees, straightening my back. “Now, give me your hands.”
“What? Why?” I ask as the soft fiber of silk rope is tied around my wrists before his touch is gone.
“Alexius?” I jerk my head from side to side, unable to see anything but darkness.
“I’m right here.” A gentle touch of his finger underneath my chin has me lifting my face. He’s in front of me now, and I moan against his lips as he kisses me—slow, tender, affectionate. With every lap of his tongue, I drift further and further into him, new desire blooming with the colors of the most passionate kiss that wakes a million fireflies in my stomach. I’m lost. Completely and utterly lost within the moment. Within him. And I don’t ever want to be found.
When he breaks the kiss, he palms my breast, and my lips part. Heat spreads from him to me as he leans closer, his chest touching mine. “Are you ready, stray?”
The mattress dips behind me, and a hard body presses against my back.
I gasp, and Alexius’ warm breath coats my wet lips. “We’re about to show you how beautiful your desires can be.”