The days continued on, as did the regular and routine punishments. Knox had only fucked me one more time, and it was not the same as before. He had simply pushed me against a wall and quickly took me from behind in an animalistic way before he tanned my ass with a strap. I had longed for even a quick glimpse of that connection we had when we first had sex. I hungered for it as I had once hungered for his cock to be inside of me. I wanted all of Knox. I wanted to know what was behind the tough exterior of my assigned Monster of Mercy. I knew there was more. So much more.
I had seen small glimpses. He was still strict as ever, but I also received tender touches. He would carry me to bed after a session, and he had even held me as I fell asleep several evenings. He had bathed me, brushed my hair, and had started taking every meal with me in the dining room. He wasn’t as cold as he had been. Yes, he was still a severe disciplinarian, but when I was his perfect shattered sparrow and had submitted like the good girl he wanted me to be, he usually rewarded me with kindness, even if it was just in small doses. Because I hungered to see and to feel more of that connection, I constantly searched for it in his eyes and in his actions, and I knew without a doubt that I could see it. I most certainly could feel it. Not all the time… but the times did exist.
Yes, I was still earning my credits.
I was still a prisoner.
But there was something different in the way Knox watched me. In the way he touched me. And even in the way he punished me.
There were still constant reminders of my reality, however. Oz had requested other enema sessions, which Gage always recorded for him. Oz also demanded often to have a close-up recording of many spankings where I had to hold my butt cheeks spread wide so he could see my anus as it too would be spanked and prodded for his viewing. Knox was always far harsher with me when the camera was rolling, and I knew that it was expected for me to have the tears flow. Even if I didn’t particularly feel like crying, I knew it would please Knox. I think he knew it was what Oz wanted to see—my pain, my suffering, my miserable penance. And whenever I performed for Oz as I knew Knox wanted, he would reward me with a caress, or a touch that made my heart soar. But Knox wanted Oz to see me as a captive hating every single minute of her stay in the manor, and I played the part perfectly.
If Oz only knew.
If he only knew just how much my body craved the penance. Knox wasn’t the monster. I was the fucking monster. I wanted and actually liked every single lick of pain. I ached for the next fix. I absolutely writhed in agony when I was without Knox and his touch. I was an addict, and Knox was the only one who could deliver the drug I craved.
“You only have a five more credits to earn,” he said after my evening belting. “Five more until you are free to go.”
It was as if ice cold water had been thrown on my quivering body. My heart froze as my knees buckled, and I fell to the floor. I looked up into Knox’s stunned face with wide eyes and shook my head in denial.
With furrowed brow, he kneeled down and took my hand in his. “What’s wrong? Are you sick?” The look of concern on his face was foreign, and I took a moment to absorb a new element of the man I longed to know more about.
“I’m not sick.” Although I couldn’t breathe normally, and my body grew clammy.
Knox wiped a loose strand of hair from my face and placed his palm on my forehead. “What’s going on, Esme? Do you need a doctor or something?” He pulled my shivering body against his and cradled me.
“What happens then?” I asked in a whisper. “When I earn the final five credits?”
“I told you. You will be free. Oz is a man of his word.”
“What about the police? They will still want me to testify.”
Knox surprised me when he kissed the top of my head and still held me securely in his arms. “Is that what has you like this?” He kissed my head again. “Oz will take care of everything. It will mean you having to leave your life you once knew and being placed in hiding, but it’s either that or prison. I’m assuming you would never betray Oz again because no Monster of Mercy would be assigned to you for second offenses.”