Catherine (Echoes of Ossiria #1)

BOOK: Catherine (Echoes of Ossiria #1)
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CATHERINE

 

When one monster
kidnaps college girl Catherine, her only chance at freedom is to trust a
different one.
 
If she can’t discover a
way out in six weeks, she’s dead.

This story is
intended for readers over the age of 18 due to adult language, sexual content,
and adult situations.

The
Echoes of Ossiria
series is contemporary
fantasy.

 

eBooks are
not
transferable.
 
They cannot be sold,
shared, or given away, as this is an infringement on the copyright of this work
.

All Rights Are
Reserved.
 
No part of this book may be
used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except
in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

By Vivian Lane

Based on a
character created by K.C. Taylor.

Published by
Phantom Ridge for Willowick
Publishing

Copyright

2014 Vivian Lane

The right of Vivian Lane
to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by her in
accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

First Edition

This book is a
work of fiction.
 
The names, characters,
places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been
used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real.
 
Any resemblance to persons, living or dead,
actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.

 

Chapter One

1986

 

A young man
entered the café wearing a black sweater and dark jeans and ordered a black
coffee.
 
Catherine felt his gaze, and
looked down, blushing.
 
“Hi. May I sit
here? Seems to be busy tonight.”

She pushed her
books to the side.
 
“Oh, sure! I guess
with the sudden cold turn, everybody wanted something warm,” she said quietly,
and glanced down at the open book before her, unsure whether to close it or go
back to reading.

“What are you
studying?”
 
His eyes were green.
 
She liked green.

“History. With a
minor in British Lit, just because I like it. I’m a bit of an overachiever, I
guess.”
 
Her cheeks reddened further.

“We can learn a
lot from the past,” he said.
 
“I have a
passion for art, myself.”

“Really? I
wouldn’t have guessed, I m-mean, you look more like a…”
 
Her voice trailed off in embarrassment.

“A jock? Well,
there is a thrill to a good chase. My father would have preferred I go into the
family business, but, I’m here. Do you like L.A., Miss…?”

“Catherine
Mitchell. Yeah, I guess… I’m used to it, I mean. I’m from the ‘burbs.”

He managed to coax
everything out of her after that: how her grandmother raised her after her
parents died when she was twelve, that a college education had been a parting
gift from her parents, and the grandmother was now in a nursing home with
Alzheimer’s, and freshman year had been a bit lonely so far with the exception
of her roommate.
 

When the café
announced it was closing, he walked her home to the dorm.
 
“This is probably going to sound weird, but
could I sketch you sometime?”

Her eyes widened
to comic proportions.
 
“Me?”

“I’ll understand
if you don’t want to, it’s just…you’re so pretty, and I need to practice my
life sketches. Forget it; you don’t even know me…”
 
He started to walk away.

“Wait. Um… I guess
I could meet you in one of the art rooms…”

“Thanks,” he said,
sighing in relief.
 
“Everybody already
has a subject, and the assignment’s almost due. You saved me, Cate. Can I call
you Cate?”

She stroked her
long hair behind her ear and blushed again.
 
“I guess. I can meet you at the café tomorrow evening?”

“Great,” he said
with a smile.
 
“I can’t wait.”
 

He walked off,
whistling to himself as he turned a corner.
 

Catherine couldn’t
believe she agreed to sit for some art project, but he’d sounded…desperate, and
she knew what it was like to face a deadline here.
 
He’d been nice and sweet and listened a
lot.
 
She was only a freshman, but there
was already a lot of pressure.
 

Setting her
backpack on her bed, she looked at the mirror attached to the closet door.
 
Pretty?
 
She was okay.
 
A nice enough figure for dressy clothes, if she could be bothered.
 
Long, straight brown hair that she usually
braided.
 
Blue-gray eyes often hidden
behind reading glasses since she was always studying.
 
Five-foot-four was good enough—short enough
to wear heels around men, tall enough for clothes to fit with ease.
 

But pretty?
 

Maybe his artist’s
eye saw something she couldn’t.

She shrugged and
pulled her history book out.
 
There was
still another chapter to read before she went to bed.

The next night,
Catherine waited with her hot chocolate for him to show up at the café.
 
She was really nervous, and hoped he wasn’t
expecting her to pose nude.
 
She didn’t
have that kind of bravery.

He showed up a
couple minutes later dressed similarly to the previous day.
 
“Hey. I’m really glad you showed up.”

“I’m a girl of my
word.”

“Shall we?”
 
They walked to the Art building to use one of
the classrooms.
 
He opened the door for
her.
 
“After you,” he said, then covered
her face with a cloth as she passed him.

She struggled but
his hold was too tight.
 
Her world went
dark.
 
She felt her body going limp.
 

Arms caught her on
the way down.
 
He caressed her face with
a cold finger, her soft skin prickling with goose bumps.
 
“You’re entering a whole new world, Cate.
We’re going to have
so
much fun!”

What is he going to do to me?

 

****

 


Wakey
,
wakey
, Katie…”

Catherine’s
eyelids fluttered as she neared consciousness.
 
She felt dizzy, even though she knew she was lying down.
 
She tried to lift her hand to rub her eyes,
only to discover her wrists were bound.
 

Her eyes flew
open.

“There’s my girl.
I thought you were going to sleep the whole flight.”

“What…? Where…?”

“On my jet,
somewhere over the Atlantic. I want to
introduce you to a ‘friend’.”
 
He seemed
to find that idea funny, chuckling nastily.

Her ankles were
tied together, too.
 
“Why are you doing
this?” she asked.
 

She took a better
look at him now her eyes had cleared.
 
Everything was different, but it wasn’t the change in clothes that
frightened her—it was his demeanor.
 
Like
Mr. Hyde had won over Dr. Jekyll.
 

“Why? Because I
can,” he answered gleefully.
 
“You see,
sweetheart, you’re no longer in the safe little coed life you knew.”
 

His eyes changed
to red and black veins stood out under his skin.
 
He covered her mouth so she couldn’t
scream.
 
“Now, now, Cate…you really want
to save that for later, when I’ve earned it. I so love a
good
scream.
Here’s the deal: I’ve been bored, you’re mine now, and you’re gonna be trained
to please me.”

She shook her head
in denial, because that was all she could do.

“Cate, you really
don’t have a choice in the matter,” he said with false regret.
 
“I could always just kill you, but then I’d
have to find another girl, and you wouldn’t want me to be so inconvenienced,
would you…?”
 
He shook her head ‘no’ for
her.
 
“Good girl.”

“Please…” she
whispered.

“You hear that,
boys?” he crowed.
 
“I haven’t done
anything, yet, and she’s already begging! Ohhh, you’re going to be SO much fun,
little Cate. Starting now.”
 
He cut a
line into her ankle, making her scream, then licked the blood off his finger
before dragging his nail across the first line to form an “x”.
 
“So much better than those little tattoos the
girls get, huh?”
 
Hard evil eyes bored
into hers.
 
“If you’re naughty, I can
make the scar permanent.”

“I won’t…I won’t…”
she sobbed.

He patted her
knee.
 
“Glad we understand each other!
So, let me tell you a story about a girl…”

He described
horror upon horror in lurid detail, slapping her if it appeared her attention
wasn’t fully on him.
 
He didn’t touch her
hard enough to bruise, but her cheek felt hot from the sting just the
same.
 
The monster delighted in her
tears, licking them off her skin when they escaped, then laughed at her efforts
to not cry anymore.
 

What had she done
to deserve this?

When the plane
finally landed, he loosed her ankles, fastened a tacky rhinestone collar around
her neck and tugged her along by a leash, then made her sit on his lap in the
car.
 
The minions laughed at her humiliation,
barking like dogs and making lewd gestures.
 

Catherine stared
out the tinted windows, trying to ignore it all.

It was soon
apparent they’d landed in London
at night.
 
She had no idea what time it
might be or how long she’d been unconscious before.
 
He took her watch.
 

What would happen
to her in the next few days?
 
Would she
live?
 
Would she ever see her grandmother
again?
 
Would her roommate try calling the
cops?

She contemplated
everything as she sat there, rigid and stoic as possible.
 
She wasn’t going to give that bastard the
satisfaction of her fear, though he probably knew just how much she felt,
anyway.

She hated that he
kept stroking her hair.
 

Hated being
thirsty and not able to ask for water.
 

Hated needing to
use the bathroom.
 

Hated the way her
stomach was growling loud enough for
her
to hear it.

They drove for a
long time out of the city on a highway.
 
The lack of food was making her sleepy, but she couldn’t chance passing
out around this bunch.
 
Her bladder
wanted to leap for joy when they finally turned down a private road.
 
The car pulled up in front of an enormous
house that had to be very old.
 
Probably
the 1700s originally.
 

The minions opened
the door for him.

He tugged hard on
the leash as he started for the mansion.
 
She barely avoided falling.
 
Walking now made her acutely aware of the poor shape her body was
in.
 

The big doors to
the place were opened as they approached.
 

A woman with a
shoulder-length bob stood in the entrance.
 

Tallis
! I hope your flight was pleasant,” she
said.

“Alicia. I’d have
one less minion if it were anything less. Where’s William?”

“In the
parlor.”
 
She backed further into the
house, leading the way.

Catherine looked
around.
 
The home she entered was part
Gothic bordello, part Victorian opulence, with everything in shades of red,
gray, and black.
 

Tallis
—apparently Liam wasn’t his real name—tugged her
toward the parlor, which was dark green and cream.
 
A man with medium blond hair lounged on a
settee, a drink in his hand.
 
He rose as
they entered.

“Long time, no
see, Willy. I’d almost think we weren’t family anymore,”
Tallis
said.
 

He sounded pouty,
but she knew by now it was only an act.
 
The two men looked ready for a skirmish to break out.

“We were never
chummy, you ponce. Nor are you my family. This the girl?”

Tallis
let go of the leash so William could walk around
her.
 
Catherine kept her gaze on the
floor, but she could feel the blond man’s scrutiny from head to toe.


This
is
what you bring me? She’s totally green! You expect me to turn out a
human
in two months? No deal.”

“Hundred grand
says you can, and will.”
 
Tallis
wasn’t deterred that easily.
 


If
she was
part demon. For a human? Six months, and no less than five hundred.”

“She’s already
smart, so you only have to instruct her physically,”
Tallis
countered.

William rolled his
eyes.
 
“You’re gonna bloody turn her,
anyway. Just have at it and save yourself the dosh.”

“It’s
better
my way! Two-hundred-fifty for two months. You can’t afford to turn that down,
Willy. Word gets around, you know…”

“Three hundred on
a tentative contract. If she isn’t close in six weeks, then you have to give me
the
appropriate
time,” William said.

“Done! You won’t
mind if I check in periodically, of course.”

William
sneered.
 
“Of
course
. Any subject you want her to focus on?”

Tallis
dismissed the question with a wave of his hand.
 
“Do anything you want to her, I don’t care,
as long as she remains…
untouched
. I prefer to take care of that break-in
personally.”

“Whatever.”
 
William obviously didn’t care, either.
 
“Alicia! Escort the wanker into the office so
he can sign a contract.”

“Happy to!” she
sang.

They left the
room.

Catherine
attempted to swallow the lump in her throat.
 
She’d just been…sold.
 
To
this…whatever guy for “lessons”, whatever that horror entailed.
 

She wanted to go
home and pork out on pizza with her roommate and snuggle into her comfy
bed.
 
But wishing, so far, hadn’t made
this nightmare end.
 

She froze in fear
when the blond man grabbed her chin and lifted it to look in her eyes.

“What’s your name,
girl?” he asked.

BOOK: Catherine (Echoes of Ossiria #1)
3.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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