Authors: Julia Sykes
By Julia Sykes
fabulous author and fabulous human being.
Thanks for being the best Convention Husband a girl could ask for!
Drawing on years of practice, I mastered the anger that burned within me. It sizzled through my veins, threatening to surge forth and consume my careful control. But I had learned how to curb my more volatile emotions a long time ago, ho
ning and channeling them so they could be released in purposeful bursts of measured violence. The anger became a low thrum, sharpening my focus as I harnessed it rather than being ruled by it.
My rage was bred from disgust at what was being allowed to happen at Decadence, the BDSM club my fellow FBI agents and I were raiding. With the help of owner Derek Carter, the Latin Kings had been trafficking drugs through the club. Agent Sharon Silverman had been investigating the place undercover for a month, but she had gotten in over her head. Now the FBI finally had the information we needed to move in on the Kings, and we were ending this op tonight.
I took a deep breath and summoned up my control. I had a job to do, and I couldn’t let my own emotions rule me.
Finding BDSM was what had saved me from falling prey to my own addiction twelve years ago. The sense of control – not only over a willing submissive but also over
myself – that I got from being a Dominant had been the antidote to the powerlessness I had felt when it came to the allure of drugs.
The people who frequented this club warped everything that the lifestyle was supposed to be about. The fact that some of the assholes here dared to call themselves Doms filled me with fury. They were supposed to be responsible for the well-being of their submissives. How could they possibly exercise the necessary control when they were intoxicated? Even worse was the fact that they allowed their subs to use. The trust a submissive placed in her Dominant was a beautiful thing, and the idea that a “Dom” would violate her trust by jeopardizing her health was loathsome.
We had the patrons lined up against the back wall. Anyone who was intoxicated or had drugs on him was going to find himself – or herself – facing some very serious charges.
I coldly surveyed the people I was about to question, taking note of the ones who looked especially nervous or unsteady on their feet. My eyes were drawn to a woman who was standing in the darkest
corner of the room, and my anger threatened to overwhelm me. She was frail, thin to the point of being almost emaciated. Her sunken cheeks and the dark shadows under her eyes were all too familiar to me. She bore all the hallmarks of an addict.
But what really goaded my anger was the fact that she bore all the hallmarks of a submissive as well. She was dressed in nothing but a sheer black lace dress that did little to conceal her gaunt figure, even though its long sleeves covered her arms and the hemline came halfway down her thighs.
Even more so than her revealing clothes, her stance identified her as a sub. She stood rigidly, her arms held behind her back in a way that thrust out her small breasts. Her head was held high, but her eyes were downcast.
And a heavy iron collar encircled her slim neck.
I was struck by the strong desire to brutally mangle the man who dared to call himself her Dom. But no one was standing near her. I was going to find out who she was and who her asshole Master was so I could be sure to put him through hell.
My heart twisted as I approached her. I was going to have to arrest her, but it was clear to me that the woman was a victim. If she was involved with the Latin Kings in any way, it had obviously been to her detriment.
She didn’t look up at me, not even when I came to a stop directly in front of her, invading her personal space. Now that I was closer to her, I took in her appearance more carefully. Although her skin was sallow, the delicate lines of her face gave her an almost elfin appearance. Her full lips were dry and cracked, and her eyes – although downcast – were obviously large, with dark, thick lashes. A mass of wavy, light brown hair framed her face and hung almost to her waist. It might have been lustrous once, but now the color was muted and dull. Despite the way her addiction had cruelly marred her, she was still beautiful. She must have been absolutely stunning when she was healthy.
With great effort, I kept the ire from my voice as I addressed her gently.
“What’s your name, sweetheart?”
She didn’t respond in any way; she maintained her stiff stance and didn’t look up at me. It was as though she hadn’t heard me.
“I’m Smith James. I’m a Special Agent with the FBI,” I said, my voice a bit more formal as I flashed my credentials. I didn’t want to frighten her, but she needed to take me seriously. “If you cooperate, I’ll make sure the Bureau goes easy on you. If you resist, things won’t be so pleasant for you.” I glanced at her skimpy outfit. She obviously didn’t have any ID on her. “I need your name.”
Her brows drew together, and she bit her lip. The dry skin cracked open, and a crimson line appeared on her nearly colorless lips. I hated the sight of this beautiful woman who had
been destroyed by her addiction. And now she was forcing me to treat her more harshly than I would like.
If the broken woman wouldn’t respond to kindness, then maybe the submissive in her would respond to the direct order of a Dominant.
“Your name, girl,” I demanded, my voice sharp and authoritative. “Tell me. Now.”
Fear flashed across her features.
“F-fucktoy,” she whispered tremulously.
I let out a low growl. She thought she could play games with me? Well, I wasn’t about to let her get away with that.
She had no idea who she was trying to fuck with.
I used to think pain wasn’t real. At least, not in the sense of being a tangible thing. It was just the result of my primal brain’s in-built response to inform me that damage was being inflicted on my body. If I trusted the person who was giving me pain, then I knew he wasn’t going to damage me. If I understood my pain, it stopped being something to fear and became something… interesting. I could master the hurt and ride the high of the adrenaline that flooded my system. I could enter subspace, that gloriously blank place where nothing existed but the sweet endorphins released by the pain that I embraced.
But then He came along and turned that all on its head. He enjoyed administering pain to torture, not to pleasure. And I couldn’t trust Him not to
inflict damage. He claimed He didn’t like it when I forced Him to damage me; He didn’t want to mar his property. But that didn’t mean He wasn’t willing to do so in order to get what He wanted.
I had tried to fight the pain for so long, to hold on to my conviction that it wasn’t real. It couldn’t hurt me if I didn’t let it. But He gave me so much that it overwhelmed me, claiming all of my senses until my whole world was agony. I was perpetually trapped in some twisted, inverted form of subspace where nothing existed but the pain, but it gave me no pleasure.
My only reprieve was the sweet reward that came with the merciful sting of a needle. If I was good, if I obeyed and screamed prettily enough, then He would give me my reward. I lived for it; that was the only time I
But I had become so dependent on it that now the denial of my reward was just as terrible as the agony He gave me. It had been so long since I had gotten my last fix.
Tonight, Master was testing me. He wanted to see just how obedient I was. He wanted the satisfaction of seeing just how thoroughly He had broken me.
was broken. And I didn’t even care. All I cared about was my reward. Right now, my need for it was so acute that my insides were twisting and my skin was on fire. I was desperate to give Him whatever He wanted so I could get my fix. If He hadn’t ordered me to stand in the corner quietly and wait for Him to return, then I would have been curled up on the floor sobbing.
But I wasn’t ensconced in the stark loneliness of the pitch black dungeon that had become my home, and I didn’t have the luxury of going to pieces. His order for my silence denied me even the right to voice my agony. He had brought me out in public for the first time,
and I recognized the place where He had brought me as a BDSM club. He would be able to torment me here in front of dozens of strangers, and no one would stop Him.
The thought of shouting out a safe word or screaming for help didn’t even cross my mind. All I could think about was when He would come back and doing my best to please Him so that He would grant me my reprieve. He had been gone for so long, and I was starting to panic.
And now a strange man was talking to me, threatening to hurt me if I didn’t tell him my name. But I didn’t have a name. If I did ever had a name, I didn’t remember it now. I was a slave, and slaves don’t have names.
“Your name, girl.
Tell me. Now.”
I recognized that authoritative
tone, and I knew better than to refuse a direct order. This man wasn’t my Master, but maybe Master had sent him to test me. Fear gripped me. Master had ordered me to remain silent, but if He had sent this man, then I would be in trouble for defying him. And the stranger had threatened to hurt me if I didn’t obey him. I already hurt so much. I didn’t think I could take any more without screaming.
He wanted a name.
“F-fucktoy,” I whispered. That was what Master called me sometimes.
The man growled his displeasure, and I suppressed the urge to flinch. I wasn’t allowed to move.
“Whore,” I tried again. “Slave.”
“Don’t play games with me, girl. You won’t like the consequences. Tell me your real name.”
Hot tears stung at the corners of my eyes. I didn’t understand what he wanted from me. Sometimes Master toyed with me like this, asking me questions for which there were no answers, giving me tasks that were impossible to carry out. He enjoyed punishing me when I couldn’t comply. I had to do whatever I could to earn this man’s forgiveness. My back was on fire from where Master had reminded me of the consequences for disobedience before bringing me to the club. He actually had damaged me this time. But that burning paled in comparison to the inferno that was consuming me from the inside out.
I dropped to my knees before the strange man, my shaking hands fumbling at his belt. It wouldn’t be the first time Master had shared me with another man. I prayed I wouldn’t be punished for acting without permission, but if I gave this man enough pleasure, he might tell Master that I deserved my reward.
My fingers had hardly touched the leather of his belt when his hands encircled my wrists, stopping me short.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” He snarled, fury bleeding into his tone.
The tears spilled over. I didn’t know what this man wanted. I didn’t want him to hurt me. I felt utterly lost without Master’s commands. I had broken His edict to remain still and silent, and now that I didn’t have any further orders I didn’t know what I was supposed to do.
The fear that gripped me made it difficult to draw breath, but I forced the words out, desperate for instructions.
“Please, Sir,” I said anxiously. “I’ll do anything you want. Tell me what you want.”
The stranger crouched down in front of me, releasing my wrists so he could place his fingers beneath my chin, forcing my head up. I automatically put my hands behind my back, gripping my elbows in either hand and straightening my shoulders. My posture had obviously displeased him.
“I want your name,” he said harshly.
My body began to tremble as fear and pain threatened to overwhelm me. This man was toying with me. He wanted to hurt me.
My mind searched frantically for the correct answer. “I don’t have a name,” I finally replied.
I stared at the line of his strong jaw, and the downward twist of his full lips made my terror ratchet up a notch. He applied more pressure under my chin, lifting my head further. Oh, god. I knew what was coming next.
“Look at me, girl.”
The only times Master commanded me to meet his eyes were when he wanted to see the pain in my own.
But I couldn’t refuse his direct order. That would only make things so much worse for me. Dread pooled in my roiling stomach as I lifted my gaze. I couldn’t help flinching when my eyes met his. They were pale blue shot through with silver, ringed in indigo. They reflected the light like the glowing eyes of a wolf, a predator. Although they were mesmerizing, they were crystalized ice that made me shiver as they cut into me.
I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. He didn’t want me to give him pleasure.
At least, not in the physical sense. I suspected he would take his pleasure from my pain. If only he would give me instructions, then I might learn how best to avoid a more agonizing punishment. I might get my reward sooner.
“Where is my Master?” I
asked, both craving and dreading his return.
The lines around the man’s eyes tightened, and ire flashed in their multifaceted depths. I resolutely resisted the strong urge to shrink away.
“What’s his name?” He bit out the words.
I was beginning to realize I had made a grave mistake. If this man didn’t know Master and I had tried to touch him, I would be in deep trouble. Master might not give me my fix.
He is Master,” I answered tremulously, praying that I was giving him the answer he wanted.
“I won’t tolerate this game much longer, girl.” He nearly bared his perfect white teeth as he delivered the threat.
I was supposed to remain silent, but I couldn’t hold back my desperate sob. The stranger didn’t know Master. He wasn’t going to give me my reward. Every inch of my body twisted and burned; my need was threatening to tear me apart from the inside out.
The wrenching pain was so acute that my stomach convulsed. I jerked away from the man only just in time to avoid getting sick on him. My insides heaved, but there wasn’t much within me to give up.
My stomach writhed, making my vision go red. I felt the coolness of the floor beneath my cheek as I pulled my knees up to my chest in an attempt to hold my body together. My need was ripping me apart. I wanted to scream out my agony, but Master would be angry if I drew more attention to myself. Oh, god. He had ordered me to remain still and silent, and I had defied Him. I hadn’t meant to, but that wouldn’t matter to Him. He had never pushed me so hard before, had never tortured me for this long by withholding what I needed.
“Breathe, girl,” the man commanded. “Breathe.”
I tried to comply, but forcing my lungs to expand was excruciating.
“I need a medic over here!” The stranger barked out. He placed a hand on my back, and more fire lashed at me as he pressed into the open wounds where Master’s whip had bitten into me. I whimpered, and the man jerked back from me with a curse.
Blinking hard in an attempt to clear my vision, I looked up at him beseechingly through my watering eyes. He was staring at the wet crimson line on his hand with disgust.
“Please, Sir,” I begged raggedly. “Tell Master I was good. I tried to be good.” Giving in to the impulse that had been riding me hard, I raked my nails over my tingling arms, longing for the singular kiss of the needle that would cause the pins sticking into every millimeter of my skin to abate. “I need my reward. I need it. I tried to be good.”
The stranger grabbed my wrist, pulling my arm away from my body so he could push back my sleeve. A string of curses erupted from him as he took in the small marks that the pinpricks of the needle had left on my skin. His anger hit me like a physical blow.
The terror finally ripped the agonized screams from my throat that I had so desperately been holding in. Once the first was released, they were impossible to hold back. Pain claimed me.
I had thought that my entire world, my life in my dungeon, had been torture. But this was just as horrific as the beating that had finally broken me.
Reality fell away, the torment blotting out even the terrifying stranger.