The two men were nose to nose, the very air in the room turning hostile between one breath and the next.

“You will not come between us. It is not your place to step in here, Stephan. I let that happen once, but I will be damned if it happens again. No one stands between me and Bianca, and that includes you.”

“That’s not up to you. I’ll be here for Bianca whenever she needs me.” Stephan looked at me, having to crane his neck to do so. “You okay, Bee?”

I nodded, hoping that would be enough to defuse the situation. It wasn’t.

“Walk away, Stephan.”

Stephan shook his head. “No. I can’t do that. I don’t feel comfortable with this. You look like you’re ready to kill somebody, James. I’ve never seen you like this, and I’m not leaving my girl alone with you until you’ve calmed down.”

“Your girl?” James growled, gripping the other man’s shirt in his fists.

I saw that things were going to quickly get out of hand. I laid a hand on Mr. Cavendish’s back. It wasn’t comforting that a tremor ran through him at my touch.

“James. Take me upstairs. Please.”

It did the trick, thank God. James released the other man, taking a step back.

I looked at Stephan. “We’re okay, Stephan. He’s upset, but he has impeccable self-control. You never have to worry about me with James, and he and I have some issues that we need to work out on our own.”

Stephan studied me carefully, trying to figure me out, but he took my words in and finally just nodded. “I’m here for you if you need me. Always.”

I nodded. “I know it.”

James hooked a finger into my collar, gripped the back of my neck lightly and began to lead me upstairs without a word. He was in a state, and every obstacle between us and privacy was just antagonizing it.

He shut and locked the bedroom door behind us with a sharp and very definitive click.

I watched him loosening his tie as he strode directly to the elevator. He pressed the button and it opened instantly.

“Get in,” he said brusquely.

I slipped out of my shoes and walked inside. He followed me in, and we descended to the fourth floor.

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

Mr. Reticent

He hooked a finger into my collar when the car opened, leading me down that long hallway. He stopped short of the playground, instead opening a door just before it on the right.

Even feeling nervous and anxious, I was beyond curious to see what was in there. It didn’t bode well though, that he was only taking me there now that he was in this mood.

It was a rather small and nondescript room, holding nothing but one twin bed.

“Get on the bed,” he said in that worrisome voice. “On your stomach.”

I did it, turning my head to look up at him as he approached my prone figure.

“Don’t look at me,” he said.

I turned my head away quickly, feeling stung.

“Arms above your head,” he ordered.

I complied.

He secured my hands and feet together and to the small bed. I tugged experimentally, and saw that he’d left me quite a bit of slack.

I tensed when I felt him pulling at my clothes. A loud tearing sound told me that he was cutting them off. I was bare when he was done.

“James,” I began again. Maybe now that I was restrained he would feel calmer.

“Don’t. I don’t trust myself right now,” he said in a gruff voice.

He adjusted my head, wedging a soft pillow there. “Go to sleep. You were up all night, and I need to go get myself in hand. We’ll talk later.”

Before I could respond he was turning out the light, shutting the door and a loud lock was clicking into place.

I couldn’t believe it. After all of that rage, he’d just left me. He knew that this was the punishment I hated the most, with the suspense and the unanswered questions, and he’d left me in the dark. In a cell. The bastard.

I had some dark thoughts about him for quite a while in that pitch-black room before I was able to relax my mind enough to let sleep take me. He hadn’t left me so much as a light under the locked door. I was shut in tight.

I awoke as the door opened and a stream of light from the hallway fell across me. I turned my face away. The overhead light switched on. My restraints were already loose, but Mr. Cavendish added some slack to the rope, pulling me up by the shoulders until I was sitting up.

I squinted at him, my eyes still adjusting to the sudden light. He was shirtless and sweaty, his hair tied back. He held a plate of food on his lap.

He untied my hands, put the plate in my lap, and turned away. I watched his stiff back for a while, wondering what to say.

I ate. Because I was hungry, and because I was hoping that if I ate that James would start talking when I was done.

I ate maybe half of the seasoned chicken, brown rice, and spinach before I handed it back to him.

He took it without a word, stood up, and left.

He had turned off the light then shut and locked the door before I realized his intent.

“James!” I shouted.

He didn’t respond.

I was so frustrated that I screamed.

I was so furious and anxious that it took me even longer to relax into sleep that time. Eventually my body just gave into the relentless darkness.

When I woke again it was still dark, but there was the faintest line of light showing through the side of the door. It was ajar.

I sat up, testing my wrists and ankles. I was free. I moved slowly to the door, pushing it open.

I had to squint against the bright hallway light. I blinked away the darkness for long moments while I took in the hallway.

James sat in a chair that was set against the wall, wearing nothing but his boxers. He was slumped forward, his head in his hands, his elbows on his knees. It was such a defeated posture for him.

I approached him slowly, tentatively. I couldn’t tell if he was napping.

“James,” I said quietly.

“Call me Mr. Cavendish,” he said in a low voice. He didn’t move.

I’d been so angry with him, furious really, but it drained from me more quickly than I would have thought possible as I took him in.

He was like a wounded animal just then, and I only wanted to make it better.

I knelt in front of him. I touched his head, and he sat up, giving me a very mean look.

I shifted closer, moving between his legs.

He gripped my throat. “Why?” he asked quietly.

I swallowed, wetting my lips.

He watched the action with rapt attention.

“Why did I go see Sven without security?” I asked, for clarity.

“Yes. That.”

“I was nervous about meeting him. I had a hard time even going. I knew it would be perfectly safe, since we’d be in a crowded public place in broad daylight. I saw no threat, and I wanted to have a normal meeting. My security team makes me nervous. I can’t even imagine what an outsider looking in would think of the whole mess. I just wanted some semblance of a normal first meeting with him. That’s all. I’m sorry I worried you.”

“Worried me? Is that what you call it? I have that team guarding you, Bianca, because it’s the only way that I can bear for you to leave my sight. There is a man out there, a man who has killed at least two women, and he wants to kill you. He is unhinged, and completely unpredictable. The only thing we can predict is his grudge against you. Do you know what that does to me? You are more precious to me than my own life, by far. It’s not even a question. I would do anything for you. All I ask is that you let me protect you from a known threat. How could you be so careless, Bianca? So insensitive?”

I opened my mouth to respond and he covered it with his other hand, his lip curling into a snarl.

“Your father has been missing for weeks. We can only place his whereabouts at one place almost a week ago, and that is because a body marked the spot. He could be literally anywhere. And all he would have to do to see that you were in New York would be to look online. The paparazzi have mapped your weekly route with neon lights. I understand that you wanted to meet your half-brother. I wasn’t trying to keep you from it. All I asked was that you take your bodyguards with you. Your father and brother could have been working together. Your brother could have been luring you there. They could have taken you before anyone could have stopped them.”

I tried to protest even through his hand, but his eyes stopped me.

“Don’t. Just because it didn’t happen doesn’t mean that you were safe. You weren’t safe. A man with a gun wants you dead. It would only take one fucking bullet.”

His eyes were terrible with anguish, and I knew that the fear was getting to him. He was doing everything he could, and I was still in danger. He felt like he was failing me, and it was eating him up inside.

He uncovered my mouth.

I spoke quietly. “I’m sorry. I thought I’d be there and back before you knew. I didn’t mean to do that to you. I swear I won’t ditch my security again. At least, not until my father is found.”

He shut his eyes and nodded. “When I couldn’t get ahold of you, and Blake told me she’d found your phone by our bed, I thought you’d left me.”

My brow furrowed. “Why would you think I’d left you? I don’t understand.”

The hand at my neck moved and gripped into my hair. “No. No answers until you’ve been punished.”

I licked my lips nervously. “That cell back there wasn’t a punishment?”

He shook his head. “That was a nap. And a chance for me to work off some aggression at the gym. No more questions.”

His other hand began to tug off his boxer briefs, and I tried to look down at what he was doing, but the hand in my hair held me fast.

He pushed my head down to his bared erection. He pushed himself into my mouth, and I sucked at him, thinking that this part was no punishment at all.

He guided my head up and down no more than four times before he was coming deep in my throat. I nearly gagged, I was so surprised. It was unusual for him to come so fast. His control over his own release constantly amazed me, though I supposed that it shouldn’t have, since he was so good at controlling mine.

He pulled me off him mid-cum, pulling me up to my feet while I could see his cock still twitching with his orgasm. I murmured a protest.

He slapped my ass, hard, then hooked his finger into my collar. He began to pull me, but not to the playground. He headed in the opposite direction, back to that cell. I had to swallow a protest. I didn’t want to be left in there again, but I knew that it was all in his hands now.

“Kneel on the ground,” he told me as he let go of my collar.

I obeyed, watching him. He moved to the small bed. He had it retracting into the wall with one touch of his finger. I hadn’t known it was that kind of bed.

One touch to the wall and he had something large descending from the ceiling. I watched with wide eyes as a large X lowered in front of me. It was the same height as James, which gave me a good idea what it was for.

“This is what’s called a St. Andrew’s cross,” he told me quietly. That was all.

He pulled me up with a finger in my collar and a fist in my hair. He pressed my front hard into that ominous X. He strapped my wrists and ankles to it nice and quick, before pressing his body hard to my back. I felt his erection against my butt and tried to arch into it. He slapped my ass hard before moving away.


Tags: R.K. Lilley Up in the Air Erotic
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