“How so?”

“I’ve been given an extended leave of absence.”

I raised my brows at him. “What did you do?”

He smiled ruefully. “Apparently there’s a pretty long list.”

“Enlighten me.”

“Hmmm, I already forget a lot of it. I recall something about collateral damage being mentioned. Willful destruction of property, maybe? The term trigger happy was thrown around a lot. Very very trigger happy was mentioned once or twice. Carrying illegally enhanced weapons on the job? Carrying several illegally enhanced weapons, even. Apparently when enforcing the law, they expect you to abide by it. What the bloody hell is with that?”

My eyes widened. Someone had been misbehaving. Which didn’t really surprise me. I was more surprised that he’d allowed himself to get in trouble for it. “How long of a leave are we talking?”

He shrugged. “Forever?”

“Wow. What are you gonna do?”

He shrugged, not looking at all concerned. “Play around for a few months. After I get bored, I was thinking fireman. Maybe. Who wouldn’t love a flame-retardant fireman?” I laughed. He really was flame-retardant. What else could he be when he existed to fight dragons? He needed a few tricks up his sleeve for such deadly creatures.

“Well, at least I’ll always have some good connections on the force,” he said, sighing. Law enforcement was a popular vocation for druids. Christian got all of his inside information on the Other community from some druids he had become close friends with on the force over the years. He, like myself, didn’t hate all druids. Just the vast majority of them.

“Now that we’re done talking about my jobless self, would you like to tell me about that thing on your wrist?” Christian asked, his tone concerned. I’d had little hope that he wouldn’t notice the geas.

I sighed, shaking the thing like I might get lucky and just make it fall off. “It’s a mess, of course. Collin found me yesterday. I’m supposed to go see Dom soon.”

Christian whistled softly. “Found twice in two days. Looks like your luck has run out, girl. How can I help?”

I grimaced. “I’ll let you know. I think I have it under control, though, for now. I have an idea. I may have a way around this geas.”

He cringed comically. “Famous last words. Don’t hesitate to call me in on the fiasco, whatever it is, I beg you.”

I wished I could argue with him that my idea wasn’t a fiasco, but he wasn’t wrong. Trying to get out of a geas was only the act of a desperate person. Still, I had to try…

“I’ll let you know,” I assured him.

CHAPTER NINE

Mistress Jillian

 Lynn’s pitch-black tent stood out like a sore thumb amidst the other pastel ones. A long line stretched out from the gothic, fortune-telling attraction. We waited in line gamely, trying to overhear any gossip about what was going on inside. Only one person was being admitted at a time. At this rate, we’d be here for hours. We killed time by thinking up pranks to pull on Lynn and her followers. When we got bored with that, we just bypassed the line, ignoring the jeers from the crowd.

We loomed over the skinny black-haired boy guarding the door. He looked up at us, wearing the perpetually tormented look on his face that Lynn’s emos favored, the one that always made me laugh. “We’re here to see your mistress,” Christian told him after he’d stared him down for a good minute.

The boy shook his head firmly. “Mistress Noir is only admitting one truth-seeker at a time.”

I smirked at him. “We aren’t seeking the truth. Move aside, son.”

He pursed his lips at me. “Are you acquainted with the mistress?”

Christian and I nodded. “Tell her Christian and Jillian are here.” He disappeared inside the tent for a moment. He came back out, waving us in. “She will deign to see you,” he sniffed. Christian messed up his stiffly coifed hair as he walked by. The boy gasped in outrage. “Good boy,” Christian told him as we walked inside.

The inside of the tent was, of course, as black as the outside. It was broken up into sections by thick black curtains. The first room was, predictably, the fortune-tellers room. Complete with cheesy crystal ball. A young goth waited behind the ball, face aged with bad make-up effects. An old/young goth/gypsy? Whatever. We passed by her, entering the next curtained area. This room was much bigger, and obviously where the real party was going on. Lynn held court at the back of the room, dressed as a pirate now. I nodded in her direction, but quickly got distracted by the tableau being acted out in the opposite corner of the room.

A tiny dominatrix was putting on quite a show for the room. She couldn’t be more than five feet tall, with curly black hair down to her waist. She had the perfect face of a doll. It’s expression, however, was far from doll-like. She wore a savage look as she glared down at her feet. Her five inch stilettos looked razor sharp, and were currently digging into the prone back of a man easily twice her size. He was moaning pitiably. “You ask permission to speak, worm!” she was barking at him as we entered the room. She used her whip on him with every word she spoke. She didn’t even look up as we entered.

“Yes, Mistress Devour,” the poor, submissive man moaned. His back was bloody.

I glanced back in Lynn’s direction briefly. “That’s f**ked up,” I told her. She smirked at me.

I wasn’t ignorant about such things. I’d been hanging around Lynn long enough to see my fair share of it. But I didn’t like the look of this little spectacle.

I approached the kinky couple, kneeling down beside the bound man. He lifted his head the barest amount. His long, curly, auburn hair nearly covered his eyes. I brushed it away with one fingertip. His dark blue eyes met mine reluctantly. I was sure eye contact wasn’t something his vicious lover encouraged. I could tell with one look that he was truly submissive. “You ok?” I asked him directly. “You’re consenting to this?”

“Yes.” His hoarse voice was soft. Mistress Devour started whipping him in earnest. “I didn’t give you permission to speak!” she screeched. Her voice sounded petulant and childlike. I grabbed her whip easily with one hand, not taking my eyes off of her tortured lover.

“What’s your name?” I asked him.

“Luke.”

“Well, Luke, my name is Jillian. Your friend here is a little overzealous. If she ever gets to be too much for you, let me know if you need a hand getting loose.” He could always overpower her physically, so that wasn’t really what I was worried about. But a bound sub with little to no boundaries in the hands of the wrong dominant could always use a friend. He nodded slightly, lowering his gaze.


Tags: R.K. Lilley Heretic Daughters Vampires
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