“I’ll go get you some ice. And you could probably use some aspirin too.”

They both started at the sound of a key being turned in the lock.

Jair casually entered the room and Caleb made no effort to disguise his anger. “What the f**k are you doing in here?” Jair was obviously drunk and that made him more dangerous. Jair’s eyes flashed with anger before striding toward the girl cowering on the bed. His eyes raked over her naked body and his lips curved in a covetous smile. “I see the little slut is awake.”

The girl was scared, really scared. She’d huddled all the way to the top of bed, covering herself with her hands and hair – trying to pull the comforter up from under her body. He was struck by the fact that she hadn’t reacted to him that way while they were on the bed together.

She had seemed more pissed off than frightened of him, but only after the blindfold came off and she realized who he was. It could mean one of two things: one, she felt like she knew him based on their very brief encounter, or two, she didn’t find him threatening. Either way, her thought process seemed asinine.

Caleb glared at Jair who was eyeing the girl as if he wanted to simultaneously kill her and f**k her. Given what he knew of Jair, it was possible that’s exactly what he wanted.

There was a test here.

Caleb forced himself to regard Jair as if he mattered, “Well, I’m not sure that’s the name I’ll go with, but yes, she’s awake.” Caleb glanced coolly at the girl over his shoulder, just the barest of looks. He quickly noticed her pleading expression, and added, “And quite spry.” He smiled.

Need and lust were unchecked on Jair’s face, and Caleb knew all too well what men like him fantasized about doing to scared girls. Without hesitation, Jair staggered toward the bed and wrapped his filthy hand around the girl’s ankle and pulled. The girl screamed and clung to the bedpost.

Caleb turned swiftly, grabbing her around the waist as she was dragged across toward the foot of the bed. He pulled her into his arms and sat casually, his back against the headboard, his left foot planted on the ground. The girl scrambled into his lap and buried her face in his shirt. Against his chest her frantic, pleading sobs vibrated his entire body. She was using him as protection? Interesting.

Caleb winced as her fingernails dug sharply into his ribs. Swiftly, and deftly he pried her fingers from his shirt and captured her wrists.

“No, no, no, no, no…” tripped over her lips repeatedly while she attempted to once again gain sanctuary in his arms. Caleb, suddenly irritated by the thought, spun her in his arms using her own momentum. After securing the girl’s wrist between her br**sts, he held her tightly against him.

Jair made another grab for the girl’s ankles.

“No,” Caleb said calmly. “You’re job was to get her for me, not to hit her, or f**k her.”

“This is bullshit, Caleb!” Jair shouted angrily, his thick accent made him sound barbaric. “That little bitch kicked my face, and I could have done more than slap her. I should get something for that.”

At the sound of his name, Caleb’s grip intensified to the point of strangling all the sobs out of the girl in his arms. The ensuing silence effectively punctuated the rage in Caleb’s stare. It took Jair a moment to realize what he’d done. The glaze over Jair’s eyes cleared in full realization, and the drunken stupor, for a fraction of a moment, cleared. And that was enough. Caleb could see the Arab understood his mistake at declaring his name to the girl.

Suddenly remembering the gasping girl in his arms, Caleb loosened his grip. She sucked in breath after breath, so concerned with getting air in her lungs it seemed that for the moment she had forgotten to resume her crying. Within Caleb’s tensed arm his captive made hoarse, mewling sounds, but he made no effort to reassure her of her safety.

With his free hand Caleb reached for her chin and tilted it up for Jair to see. “It could take weeks for this to heal.” His fingers dug into the girl’s face as his temper rose.

The room was filled with tension and then the silence broke with the sound of the girl’s sobs.

“Fuck,” he sighed, “You’re right.” He paused, adding through clenched jaws, “Don’t tell Rafiq. It won’t happen again.”

The man wasn’t as stupid as he seemed. He knew hitting the girl was the least of his transgressions. He’d offered the girl his name. Names had power. Jair had to know what he’d done would cost him. If not, Caleb would have to make sure of it. As a mercenary available to the highest bidder, Jair’s bread and butter were earned in the acquisition and safeguarding of high-end pleasure slaves. One word about these juvenile mistakes and his contracts would dry up. And one word about Jair f**king with Caleb, and Rafiq would see to it that Jair dried up, preferably in the desert somewhere. Still, the very idea that Caleb needed protection from anyone was an insult he didn’t take lightly. “I’m my own man Jair,” he spoke the name with venom, “Why fear Rafiq from thousands of miles, when I could kill you in just a few steps?”

Jair stiffened, but he kept his mouth shut.

Oh yeah, Caleb thought, you’re my bitch. Caleb’s voice was sugar, laced with arsenic, “Now, please…go get our guest some aspirin and an icepack. It seems she’s got quite the headache.”

Jair left the room without another word, tension lined his body, and Caleb smiled.

Once alone, the girl in Caleb’s arms broke down completely. “Please, please, I’m begging you, don’t let him hurt me. I swear to God I won’t fight anymore.”

Exasperated, Caleb let out a wry laugh, “Now, you don’t like to fight? What makes you think I won’t hurt you?”

Through distorted sobs he heard, “You said you wouldn’t. Please don’t.” She added emphasis to the word ‘please’. Caleb hid a smile in her hair.

No longer willing to expose her beautiful curves to Jair, he leaned across his captive to retrieve the end of the comforter. In doing so, he pressed her face-down into the mattress and his unbelievably hard c**k pressed against her bottom. She shook so fiercely, Caleb wondered how her body could endure it. He released her wrists and covered her body. “You need to calm down pet. I don’t want you to go into shock.” She only whimpered in response.

Caleb laughed and stroked her hair, “I promise you pet, if you do what I say, you will always come out better than you think.”

Jair returned holding the items Caleb asked for. His captive’s shaking intensified.

Obviously still angry, Jair tossed Caleb the aspirin. “Anything else?” he said bitingly. Catching the bottle in one hand, Caleb shook his head and made a tsk-tsk sound. He removed one aspirin and another similar looking pill from his pocket. He made a gesture for Jair to come closer, and handed over the pills.

“Don’t be so sensitive Jair. It only makes you more unattractive.” Jair snarled. “But I’m sure our guest thinks you’re lovely. She’s agreed to play nice so long as you don’t hurt her.” Beneath the blanket she stopped shaking all together, her body suddenly tight as a bow.

He stood up from the bed. “Go on, make nice. Offer her the gifts you’ve brought.”

Jair gave Caleb a suspicious look, but approached the bed and held out the glass of water. Her eyes were wide, filled with an anguish Caleb no longer understood.

“Go on, pet.” He made a point of using the moniker, not surprised to find that when her eyes shot to his, her expression was no longer one of anger, but appropriate fear.

When he made no further comment, her trembling hand finally reached for the pills and glass. She was extremely mindful of not touching Jair. That was smart. The glass rattled against her teeth as she swallowed, but she managed not to spill any.

When the glass was empty, she handed it back to Jair, careful again not to make casual contact with his fingers. Her eyes stared past him toward Caleb. They were quite pitiful.

“Give thanks you whore,” Jair spat when she simply curled into the fetal position. Caleb frowned, but he let the remark pass.

Her eyes once again searching Caleb’s for direction, she finally mumbled feebly, “Thank you,” before pulling the comforter more tightly around herself.

At Caleb’s dismissive look, Jair left the room. And once again, Caleb was left alone with his puzzling acquisition. He carefully approached the cotton covered mass on the bed, sat, and leaned in close to her face. “You’re very proud,” he whispered. “As kind as I have been, you’ve been a brat. But for the man who would rape you, you show nothing but obedience…that says a lot.”

“Go f**k yourself,” was her small, raspy reply.

He let out a burst of laughter. “Well, you’re nothing if not interesting.” And that was the truth. For some reason, he’d known that from the beginning, and yet, he had not expected this. His laughter ebbed away slowly and when next he spoke, his voice was cold but velvet, “But you know… I’d much rather f**k you.”

The cotton mound twitched, and then contorted violently as she turned over and scurried backward, gripping the comforter to her chest as if it would be enough to stop him. He couldn’t help but laugh. Her eyes shot daggers at him, but he could already see her pupils were dilated. Her stomach was empty and the drugs were working fast. Considering the dose he’d given her, she was high as a kite. But cute.


Tags: C.J. Roberts The Dark Duet Series Romance
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