Authors: Robin Roseau
This story follows the last chapter from
, and I wrote all of this while writing
. At the time, I didn’t want to include it with the novel, and so I stripped it out to offer as a separate story. The events in this story are written for a year after the bulk of
but immediately prior to
After writing this, I have since written more Fox and Wolf stories, but there are details from this story that I decided I didn’t wish to retain. And so, this story tells you what happened during Michaela’s bride ransom rematch night, and then a little past that. But there has also been a small “rewind” of some of the events from this story. I will leave a second note at the end, telling you which details I haven’t kept moving forward in the Fox stories.
I didn’t get away. The numbers against me were overwhelming, and Karen and Elisabeth guarded the door. There was absolutely no getting past Elisabeth, and I didn’t even try. I did manage to kick her as firmly as I could a few times, just to see what would happen, but she didn’t even budge. Unarmed hand to hand combat was not something I was ever going to be good at, and I had relinquished all my weapons.
Angel and Elisabeth had picked the kidnap location exceedingly well.
I struggled as much as I could. I wasn’t completely without weapons. Scarlett received a stiletto heel in her thigh. Ava took a scratch to the face. And I broke my hand on Angel’s jaw. I screamed when the bones broke. She rocked her head back, but a wolf jaw is a lot firmer than a fox fist.
After that, they piled on, pulled me to the floor, and pinned me, face down, my arms and legs pulled roughly away from my sides. They held me like that while everyone caught her breath.
“No tattoo,” Elisabeth said. “Damn.”
I tried to laugh, but I ended up coughing and groaning instead.
“May I heal my hand before you touch it again?” I said. “It’s crushed.”
“Do you agree to cooperate while I look at it?” Elisabeth asked.
She moved to me and knelt down where my right hand was held out, and we looked into each other’s eyes. Then she looked at my hand.
“Michaela, do you wish to beg the alpha to ransom you?”
She lifted the phone back to her ear. “Alpha, are you sure? Twenty million is a good deal. She broke her hand. The bones are not aligned. I think I best align them.” She handed the phone to Angel, then took my hand and began pushing the bones into place.
I screamed and screamed, and then she was done.
“You may heal that,” Elisabeth said quietly. “They will heal straight now.”
“They would have healed straight without that,” I said, panting. I concentrated on my hand, although it was difficult through the lingering pain.
Elisabeth took the phone back. “We’ll call you in a few hours, Alpha. Expect us.” Then she hung up. “Michaela, I did that so Lara would know we were serious with you. We are going to start trussing you while your hand heals.”
I nodded and felt my bones knitting slowly.
I didn’t pay much attention when they cut my clothing from my body. I had liked that dress, too. I lay on the floor, naked, ignoring them while I concentrated on my hand.
“Michaela,” Angel said. “Michaela, come back to us.” She waved her hand in front of my eyes.
“Sorry,” I said.
“How is your hand?”
I flexed it. It was tender. “Elisabeth, please check it. It feels okay.”
Elisabeth poked at my hand. It was sore, but not bad. “Everything feels like it’s in the right place.”
“Michaela,” Angel said. “We are offering to tape your arms to your sides with your hands taped to the outside of your legs. If we do this, we have to do it before we tape your ankles. The price is your complete cooperation while we do. Otherwise we’re taping them behind your back, and we will not retape them.”
“Agreed,” I said immediately.
They pulled me to my feet. I was utterly naked. They held me firmly and moved my hands where they wanted them, then they wrapped me with tape, pinning my arms to my sides, wrapping me as completely as they had the first time, then taped my hands to each leg separately, the tape passing between my legs with each pass.
They picked me up and thoroughly wrapped my legs tightly together, then set me back on my feet. Angel stood in front of me. “You will be gagged, blindfolded, and have some nice music to listen to. We’ve already agreed to protect your hair.”
I sighed. “All right.”
“Music at your preferred volume, but loud enough you can’t hear is a new dress for Ava. Otherwise we will play it at full volume, which we know you can’t tolerate, and I know what music you hate.”
She smiled and held the iPod in front of me. “This is mine. You know what I have.”
“If you haven’t changed it, I like your retro list.”
“I’ve added some, but it’s similar to what was there already,” she said.
“All right,” I said.
Scarlett wrapped my hair in the scarf. Angel held a cloth in front of my lips, and I opened to let her stuff my mouth with it. She gently closed my chin, then they taped my mouth closed. The blindfold was next, taped in place.
“You are riding in the trunk,” Angel said. “If you want to ride in the car with us the way we did last time, that is two medium favors. Two total, not too each. If you ride with us, we will treat you kindly during the drive. Will you pay it?”
“Michaela, are you all right?”
The ear buds went in like last time, then Angel said, “I set the volume to the same level as last time. We are trusting you. Nod if it’s fine, shake your head if too loud.” She hit play, and it was fine. I nodded. They taped the iPod to me, and then they picked me up and spirited me away.
* * * *
They turned the iPod off. “We’re here,” Angel said. “You are going to receive your first punishment. We’ll talk again soon.” The music turned back on.
They placed me on my feet then bent me over something sturdy. Someone held my legs, two other wolves held my upper body in place, and then I felt a firm strike across my bare bottom. I yelped into the gag.
It wasn’t a hand, and it didn’t just sting, it hurt! I could feel a welt rising, and I concentrated on healing it. Then there was another strike, and I healed that one. Then two more, and I healed them, but I was starting to tremble. Two more, and I healed them. They stopped. There was a long pause before the music was turned off.
“Stop healing them!” Angel said. “We are trying to get a picture. We are going to keep this up until we have ten nice welts. If you heal them, we’ll keep this up.”
The music went back on, and then I felt them strike me. I counted to ten, squirming after each one. They really hurt, especially when one welt crossed the next, and soon I was hissing into the gag.
They stopped and I lay there on my stomach, my bottom in flames, and I waited.
I hand caressed my bottom, and I took that as permission to heal. I did so, but it took time. They continued to hold me like that until I nodded that I was done. I was picked up and placed on the sofa.
The music stopped, and the ear buds removed. Two wolves sat next to me. I leaned over and sniffed Scarlett on one side, Angel on the other.
“Two medium favors to remove the gag,” Angel said. I nodded. They cut the tape, yanked it from my mouth, then pulled the cloth out.
“Thank you,” I said.
“You are welcome,” Angel said.
“May I have something to drink?”
“Water for the duration is one medium favor for each of us. If you want your choice of any beverage we can provide, that is one major favor each. Beverages do not include things that could be counted as food as well.”
“So no ice cream drinks.”
There were chuckles. “Correct.”
“I wish to ask questions, and I am not trying to be insulting. Will you forgive me if I am?”
There was a pause. “Yes,” Angel said. “If you are at least polite.”
“Angel, are you allowed to lie to me?”
“No. Everyone else can. Elisabeth is going to be taking over soon though.”
“So that means Elisabeth can’t lie?”
“No, it means it will be difficult for you to wheedle information from me.”
I laughed. “All right. I presume you all cleared your schedules for this. How long did you clear?”
“I arranged a week. I believe everyone else did, too. We think you are going to be difficult to crack.”
“I am concerned about the number of the favors you are requesting. I am willing to pay of my own doing, but I am concerned you will ask to cash them in for favors on pack business, and I can’t do that, and I’m not even comfortable with favors that might affect Lara.”
“She’s right,” Elisabeth said. “All favors we accept from you will be personal favors. Nothing that affects pack business.”
“Thank you,” I said. “I will pay the major personal favor, each, for unlimited beverages, although right now I would like cool water.”
It took a minute, and then a straw was inserted into my mouth, and I drank slowly. “Thank you.”
“You are welcome,” said Ava. “Michaela, thank you for doing this. You should know, I have my eye on a really nice sports car.”
“Michaela, we’re going to ramp this up slowly,” Elisabeth said. “You know how to make us stop if it gets to be too much.”
“You must not let this hurt our relationships.”
“I won’t, Elisabeth.”
“All the food you want until noon tomorrow is a medium favor each. We don’t promise to cook whatever you ask for, but we will be reasonably accommodating. The price tomorrow will be significantly higher, and we will not be telling you the time.”
“Agreed.” I sighed. “You already know it takes energy when I heal, don’t you?”
“Yes,” she said. “And we’ll stop feeding you eventually. You’ll lose the ability to heal if this drags out more than a few days, especially as the punishments ramp up. That’s why we’re not just giving you unlimited food.”
“None of the rest of us can heal without shifting,” Angel said. “Anything we might do to Lara would be cumulative unless we let her shift, which of course we wouldn’t. We think you’re going to go a long time. Aren’t you?”
“Yeah,” I said. “At least until you stop feeding me. After that, I don’t know.”
Someone caressed my face. “The pack is going to be so proud of you, Michaela.”
“Are hugs free?” I asked.
“Yes, honey,” Angel said. “Hugs are definitely free.”
* * * *
They set up a full time video feed, streaming to anyone in the pack who wanted to watch. Gia managed security and assured me only the pack could watch. It cost a favor to have it turned off for five minutes but they agreed not to film bathroom breaks. The current ransom demand was listed on the same web site.
At first, after the initial punishment, they alternated the rules. Either they did something unpleasant to me, and the level of unpleasantness increased each time, or they offered something playful. When they offered something playful, they told me they would all pay the same price if I also accepted an unpleasant punishment, and they wouldn’t always tell me what it would be.
The first time, it was a waxing. We all got waxed, and I also got ten firm swats across the bottoms of my feet. I was still blindfolded, and couldn’t see them coming. I flinched after each one, but I didn’t stop smiling.
The second time it was pedicures with bright pink nail polish, and everyone vowed to wear it for a week. There wasn’t a person in the room who would normally have worn pink, and Karen was especially unhappy about it. She delivered my punishments that time, and she wasn’t kind. I heard Elisabeth later telling her to be a good scout or leave. She stayed and was fine after that.
They kept me blindfolded for a long time. When I asked the price of having it removed, they told me it wasn’t on the table yet. Then they finally offered to remove it, they asked a major favor each. I offered a medium favor each, and they accepted but told me they reserved the right to re-blindfold me for short durations during some punishments.
“But don’t get used to it,” Elisabeth said. “We just wanted you to see what we’re going to do next.”
“Next” it turned out was Elisabeth setting onto the coffee table the belt and the chopsticks I’d been wearing. “These are pack secrets,” she said. “You will tell us what they are.”
She held up the wooden chopsticks. “Why did you ask us to remove these?”
I smiled sweetly, and she slapped me hard enough to knock me onto my side. I lay there, stunned for a moment, until Karen, leaning over the sofa, sat me back up.
That’s when I looked around the room and realized the teenagers were all missing. I was alone with Elisabeth and Karen, our top two enforcers.
“Did you send them away? Or did they leave on their own accord.”
“They left. None of them want to watch this. Angel looked a little sick.”
I nodded understanding, then wondered if she was trying to psych me out.
“Why did you ask us to remove these?”
* * * *
I was woozy when they gave up. I had healed myself so many times, my blood sugar was gone. As soon as Karen said, “Enough,” I begged for food.
“If we hadn’t stopped, would you have told us?” Elisabeth asked.
Karen went upstairs while Elisabeth bathed my sweating face. Angel and Scarlett came down almost immediately and went straight to me, checking on me. “I’m fine,” I said. “Weak. Food?”
“Sophia and Ava are on it,” Angel said.
I looked at Elisabeth. “How long was that?”