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“You’ve been working too hard,” Sam said. “Give us some details. We were just wondering what it was you’re shipping this time around.”

Brendan paused in the act of transferring a steaming steak to his plate. “Is that so?” He gave her an opaque look. “What a curious pair you two make. Sports equipment, if you can believe it.”

“Really?” Sam asked, taking a bite. “Don’t tell me you’ve got a cargo-hold full of basketballs.”

“All varieties of recreational activities, or so I am told. I haven’t inspected the merchandise.”

Sam was looking at her now, head tilted. Probably because Brendan had been focused on her, completely, the entire time he conversed with his brother. Brendan was going to give it away like this.

“I loved going with you today,” she told Sam quickly. “I hope you’ll take me again.”

Sam smiled slightly, though he seemed far from appeased. He wasn’t stupid, and the subtext was fairly screaming. “Sure, subby. I like having you around.”

Brendan needed a full minute to recover his silver tongue. “She speaks. This is new, yes?”

“Since earlier,” Sam said smoothly. “So you see your worrying wasn’t necessary. She’s already getting better here.”

“I still say she should come back with me.” For once he turned and looked quite seriously at Sam. “What about the people she left behind? Her family. For all you know she has a lover waiting for her, and here you are fucking her in a shithole cabin.”

“That’s enough,” Sam said, his voice soft and menacing. “I let you give me a hard time, but I’m not going to let you disrespect her.”

“You’re not going to let me disrespect her? Oh, that’s rich. She’s a dirty little sex doll you found washed up, used up, half dead, and instead of sending her to people who might actually care about her, you dress her up in Amanda’s old clothes and give her commands like she’s a dog.”

“Get out.”

“Brother,” he started.

“Now,” Sam said with more than enough heat to show he meant it. If he had spoken to her that way, she would have cowered. Even now, she cowered.

Brendan took his time getting up. He wiped his mouth with a napkin and looked between her and his brother. She tried to ignore that, didn’t let their gazes his meet. He would leave and she would be fine. He would leave, and she would go back to being Sam’s recycled sex doll. She wanted to die.

“Fine, brother. Choose the girl, again. See if it turns out any better this time.”

The door slammed shut behind Brendan, belying his coolly-spoken parting shot. Sam wouldn’t look at her.

“Sir,” she said. “Master?”

“Don’t call me that.”

She recoiled. He was mad at her.

“Please,” she tried.

“My name’s Sam. That’s what you can call me. Say it. Say please Sam.”

“Please, Sam,” she whispered.

He looked at her then, but she almost wished he hadn’t. She saw in his eyes disgust and fury. She saw herself turned away, cast off once again. The empty plastic doll left on the floor. Then he veiled his expression. “I’m going to go work. I need to just…you stay in the house. I mean it this time. Stay.”

Hmm. Like a dog, indeed.

She stayed in her seat as he left the cabin and locked her inside. She really shouldn’t mind. After all, she hadn’t forgotten what they had done to her, but the more time that passed the quieter her fear.

Her sense of self had returned, but it wasn’t a switch. Not off, then on, but something that stood and stretched and grew stronger with each kind word and gentle touch. She should be content to wait as his feet, to be put away when he no longer wanted her, to be shut out of his thoughts and emotions; she wasn’t.

It was like she had been trapped at the bottom of the ocean in a hellish Atlantis. Then she had broken free and started swimming. Still deep, everything had been muted. She’d swum higher and higher and now she could see the surface, kicking furiously, dying for a single breath.

She didn’t know what was at the top. She only knew that she had to get there.

Tags: Skye Warren Dark
Source: www.freenovel24.com