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Evil lurks within all of us. For some, domination is the answer…
Dr. Destiny Blade, a renowned psychologist, is experiencing a dominating voice, one of desire and ownership. When several of her patients are murdered, she’s drawn into the world of BDSM, awakening her primal needs. Unwanted psychic abilities test her strength, if not her sanity.
Club Noir caters to the rich and famous, those hungry to feed their dark proclivities. Intent on finding answers, Destiny visits the by-invitation-only society, only to be intrigued by the offers within.
Detective Montana Givens has seen many brutal murders during his career. He realizes that the mutilated bodies of several professional women may uncover secrets protected by anonymity as well as money. The only connection? A psychiatrist treating the victims. Lured by his own intense cravings, he formulates a plan, one that might cost him his career, if not his life.
Christopher Worth is rich, powerful and very much alone. A patron of a special BDSM club, he uses his prowess to secure what few are allowed to taste—a submissive for hire. Determined to find the one who will release his personal demons, he’s locked into a battle of wills. Nothing will stop him, including enemies utilizing secrets and lies to destroy all that he has.
As the murders continue, the clues and an unholy bond link all those involved, setting the stage for a horrific event. Will the murderer end the life of the true intended victim or will the truth betray the city-wide cover up?
Publisher’s Note: This erotic murder mystery contains dark BDSM themes and explicit sex.
“Yes?” Trixie answered the phone with little inflection.
“Is this Trixie?” His words were almost inaudible.
“It is.” She kept the tone of her voice guttural, sensual in a way every man appreciated. She loathed the stage name, reminiscent of a call girl or floozy, but the pseudonym had stuck from the first time she’d entered a well-known kink club.
“Excellent. You come highly recommended. Your skills are legendary.”
“Yes, they are. Are you looking for anything in particular?” Sighing, she filled her glass of wine, taking a sip before walking toward the window. She knew the hesitation well. The majority of her clients, at least the new ones, debated what they were getting into. She set her glass down on the coffee table and waited. Patience wasn’t her virtue.
He laughed. “Anything and everything.”
As she eased her finger under the blind, lifting until she could clearly see the dimly lit street, she debated whether she was in the mood to work. She’d grown weary of various clients and their sadistic desires. However, she had a reputation to uphold, one securing her time spent with very special clientele, men whose needs few could tolerate. For this alone she was paid extremely well. Money she needed. “I am the best at what I do and I’m paid handsomely. I hope you understand. I refuse to tolerate any bullshit.”
His laugh was husky. “They also mentioned you were formidable. I appreciate the attitude, although when in my realm, you’ll be expected to follow orders.”
Trixie’s eyes grew accustomed to the darkness. For a few seconds, she remained quiet as she scanned her surroundings. The neighborhood was pristine in nature, rule’s infractions simply not acceptable. She’d selected carefully, preferring to come and go without notice. She hadn’t made friends, never attended a neighborhood gathering or ridiculous barbeque, but the serene setting allowed her anonymity. No one knew about her nightly activity. No one ever would. “Who is your contact?”
The man certainly had connections. He’d passed various requirements so he had money, clout and was known in very exclusive circles. “Very well. My fee is ten thousand dollars for three hours. I trust you’ll have cash.”
“Thirty minutes. Do you have special instructions?” She could hear his rapid breath sounds and managed to keep from cursing. Men who had little control she had zero respect for.
“Wear a red bra and matching thong, stilettos and a black rain coat.”
“Done. What is your name?” Trixie could care less. They never gave their real name or any correct information. Anonymity was also important for her clients. Of course, she knew who the majority of them were, their positions in society. She never divulged information, which is one of the reasons she was so highly recommended. She raised the blinds until she had a direct view of the street.
“Give me your address, Master Wally.” There was no need to write anything down. Her memory was perfect, allowing her to recollect every Dom as well as his or her particular proclivities. She spoiled them and in turn, they paid her well for her complete submission.
“Come prepared, sweet slut.”
“I always do, Sir.” When she hung up the phone she palmed the glass, exhaling slowly. The nights were becoming endless.
Thirty minutes later she eased her Mercedes into the driveway where Wally lived. Massive brick columns flanked the aggregate stone, ancient trees lining the long pathway. She hesitated before continuing on, her gut churning. Normally she’d have spent a solid two hours on the Internet, affirming what she could of the identity of the person to whom she would hand over a heightened level of trust. This time she wasn’t afforded the luxury. Mistress Jade was the single reason she was here.
Rounding a corner, she wasn’t surprised at the house or the surroundings. Her clients were all wealthy. Their worth, clout and special hungers prevented them from securing normal relationships. Then again, none wanted formal attachments, preferring to hire a professional in order to feed their desires.
As she climbed out of her car she studied the perimeter. Even in the darkness she could tell the lawn and surrounding landscape were meticulously groomed. No one knew what went on behind closed doors. The thought gave her a smile. She adjusted the collar of her coat and slipped her car key fob into her pocket before walking to the front door. The moment she stepped onto the landing the door opened.
“You’re right on time, Trixie. You’re a very good girl.”
His face was obscured by the shadows, but she could tell he was a formidable man, standing at well over six and a half feet tall. “I’m a professional. Of that you’re well aware, Sir.” She would no longer refer to him by his fake name. For the next three hours, she was required to show him utter respect. She was his submissive, his slave for the evening.
“Yes. Something I admire. Come in.” He remained behind the door as he invited her inside.
Hearing the click as the door was locked was to be expected. She shoved her hands into her pockets and waited, entering her role. Tonight she belonged to him.
“Walk into the den. Remove your coat and face the fire.” His command was sharp.
She obeyed instantly, moving toward the warm glow at the far end of the hallway. When she walked into the room she instantly admired his choice of art adorning the walls. He was a consummate collector. Impressed, she slowly unfastened the belt and removed her coat, placing the slick material over the arm of the couch.
“Magnificent. You are everything Mistress Jade said you’d be.”
“Thank you, Sir.” She lowered her head. The sign of reverence was just the beginning of her duties.
“Turn around. I need to see all of you.”
She did as she was told and when she’d turned in his direction, she was surprised at the face peering back at her. Her Dom had chiseled features, high cheekbones. His aristocratic look was personified by the black silk shirt and charcoal pants he wore. She rarely cared about the person who would tie and flog, beat and fuck her during the course of their limited time together. For some reason, she was drawn to him. Instantly she looked down at the floor.
He moved toward her, lifting her chin with a single finger. “You’re very beautiful.”
“Thank you, Sir.” His eyes were mesmerizing, almost haunting. There was no kindness, no sense of love. He was merely admiring his prize.
Taking a step back he nodded before shifting to his left.
Trixie’s instincts were honed after dozens of experiences. She could sense what every Dom yearned for even before they gave instructions, issued commands. Hearing a clinking sound, she exhaled. Three hours. She was ready for the sting of a whip, the anguish of tightened clamps.
“Perfect. Absolutely perfect.” In his hand he held a glass, the prisms glistening in various colors given the flickering flames of the fire. He took a sip then held out the goblet, as if paying homage. “I can see why you’re considered the best.”
“Thank you, Sir.” Her eyes darted to the whip attached to his belt. Nothing surprised her in the world of BDSM. Both men and women had given in to their personified darkness, an inner cry to release tension. Many were unable to have sexual relations without including various aspects of pain. She tingled in anticipation. Her needs were secondary, but she certainly appreciated the rush received during various sessions. Tonight, she would leave bruised and bloody. Weary of wearing the mask or not, she was a pain monger.
“Remove your bra and panties. Remain in your shoes. I very much appreciate a woman in high heels.”
She lowered her gaze as she removed her underwear. He demanded consistent reverence. Every move was perfunctory. He didn’t care about passion or sensuality. His only desire was the use of a pain slut and she was one of the best in the business. Standing naked, she held her arms at her side, waiting for his direction.
“You’ll do perfectly.” Gulping the remainder of his drink, he growled as he placed the glass on top of the coffee table. He unsnapped a fastener holding the whip in place. “Turn around. Spread your legs wide.”
Air rushed into her lungs, excitement building.
“There are few women who understand the joys of anguish inflicted on perfect porcelain skin, the way welts crisscrossing their bodies heighten their beauty. I believe you understand.”
“At attention, slut.”
The whip was slammed against the floor, the thudding sound powerful. She didn’t react. She merely placed her hands behind her head, her full attention given.
“Very nice. You’re unafraid,” he hissed. “And you’re in need. I can soothe your inner beast.”
The sound of the whip as he coiled the leather around his hand was distinguishable. “I fear little, Sir.”
Blinding pain rushed into her system. She bit back a moan as the force of the strike pushed her forward. She caught herself before falling and regained her position. He had control of the whip. His technique was practiced. His needs were brutal.
“Nice. You understand.”
“Then you’ll be happy to know you’re the one.”
This time his words caught her attention. She heard a change in his voice, the tone growing ominous in nature. Many Doms enjoyed playing games, but there was something about his demeanor that gnawed at her gut. He was a true sadist. “The one, Sir?”
“Yes. Perfect in all ways. You’re the kind of woman the majority of men prefer, docile and prepared for anything on the outside. A fighting tiger on the inside, yet you know your place. However, there will be no additional questions asked. Am I clear?”
“What a good slut.”
A single sensation of real fear trickled down her spine. She shifted, tipping her head until she was able to see his face.
This time the whip curled around her neck, digging into her flesh. She tore at the leather as she gasped, her air supply cut off. This was unexpected. This was… Oh God. Oh God!
A smile curling across his face, he twirled his hand around the end of the whip, yanking her toward him.
She stumbled backward as she wheezed. Stars floated in front of her eyes. This wasn’t about sadism.
“Perfect indeed and you’re going to stay this way, exactly as I declare.” He laughed as he closed the distance.
Terror raced through every cell in her body, her mind wrapping around the fact she was in grave danger. She was beginning to lose focus, her heart rate slowing. Struggling, her eyes opened wide in horror, a petrifying realization settling in. She wasn’t going to make it out of the house alive.
He reached out, his thumb brushing across her lips, her lipstick staining his fingers. Smearing the crimson color over her cheek, he grinned. “You may not understand, but I’ve been looking for a submissive I can spend the rest of my life with. I think you might just be that woman.”
He was crazy, demonic in his quiet actions. Her body reacted, shaking involuntarily as he curled his hand around her neck. His hot breath cascaded down over her face. The sickeningly sweet stench of alcohol mixed with something retched. Blood. He reeked of blood. She opened her mouth in a silent scream as a haze formed around her eyes. She fought him, slapping her hand against his thigh. She managed to twist her body enough that she could see what he was doing.
“Forever beautiful.” Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a knife, flicking open the blade. “And forever mine.”
As the tip of the weapon slashed into her neck, she managed a single moan. Pain tore through every pore in her body as he slid the blade down, cutting through tissue, digging into her muscle.
He moved in front of her, cupping her chin. Lowering his head, he pressed his lips across hers. “All mine.” His eyes dilated as he wrenched the knife. He threw his head back and howled.
A warm gush of blood poured from the gaping wound and the lights dimmed. She studied his soulless eyes as her body began to slump. In the last seconds, she heard the lilting strings of a song, one she’d loved since childhood. Oh promise me that someday you and I…
* * *
Only in your dreams can you see yourself, the woman you truly are. Only with my design will you become a queen.
Queen. The word reverberated in the back of her mind.
Destiny Blade could see his face in the back of her mind, his carved features and a nearly perfect mouth. Given her southern heritage, the majority of women from her hometown would say kissable lips. For her, the mere expression of blatant ugly desire garnered a myriad of raw emotions sweeping a raw sense of foreboding deep into her mind. Visions of blood and gore danced in front of her like puppets, the strings crimson and covered in slime.
She shifted in her seat, cognizant of her swelling nipples, panties damp to the point she was uncomfortable. He was watching, always studying her when she wasn’t fantasizing about a man whose face remained hidden. She wanted nothing more than to succumb. Without a doubt, she was losing her mind. She’d never been prone to experiencing fantasies of any kind, especially sexual in nature. ‘Practical’ was the word most often used when describing her. Boring.
When I touch your skin, you’ll know… You’re perfect.
Perfect? The words lingered, a mere hint of things to come. He isn’t real. He isn’t real. Swallowing hard, she tapped her fingers on top of her desk. The air was humid, almost stifling. Her throat closed off, an intense sensation of being held under water forcing her gag reflexes to the surface. Faces peered through a mist manifested from sleepless nights, haunting visions of arms reaching out for her. The violence was a sickening draw and yet she remained exhilarated.
What do you see? His voice was like smooth velvet, wrapping around her in a sensuous manner.
Monsters. Her whisper was harsh.
Laughing, his voice rumbled in the dense space. You see yourself.
Exhaling, she struggled to push the rambling thoughts out of her mind, but she was lost in the moment, her skin prickling as if on fire. Giving a cautious look toward the darkened corner of the room, she whimpered. She was not alone.
He sat in the corner, the man who had haunted every night with his blatant commands, yet he waited patiently, as if claiming her was a prize. She’d refused to succumb to his intense needs, desires so dark she awoke breathless. He was all consuming. Anticipation fueled the vivid images and even in her daylight hours, she was finding it difficult to concentrate. Was he really here? He can’t be. He can’t…
Touch yourself . Show me how much you’ve learned.
“No.” Had she said the word out loud? Of course, she’d learned so much about the electrifying surges burning within during the course of the last few months. The nights alone, staring at her computer, had left her exhausted. You want his firm hand. There was no denying her dark cravings. She inched forward, placing her hands on her desk. Her vision remained clouded, her thoughts filled with longing. Masculine fingers reached out, fingertips brushing across her heated skin. His hot breath was a magnet, drawing her to the only man she’d ever craved. Shuddering, she rubbed the back of her hand back and forth over her lips. Her heart raced, the wetness between her legs tingling her inner thighs.
Soon you’ll obey my every command, no matter what I ask. Then I will own you.
Her nerve endings were on fire, desperate for the taste of his lips. She wanted him. She had to have him. She…
Remove your skirt.
The command was not to be questioned. Destiny rose to her feet. She walked around the side, fingertips dragging across various files and papers. Obedience wasn’t her strong suit, but today she was at peace. “Yes, Sir.” When she was in front of her desk, she reached behind her, unfastening the single button. As she unzipped and pushed the tight material down her hips, the sound seemed exaggerated. The back of her neck remained damp, skin prickling with goose bumps. His scent was full of testosterone. Wiggling out of the pencil-thin skirt, she kicked it away. She should feel embarrassment, but she didn’t. She breathed in his scent and had never felt more alive.
Good girl. Let me see your sweet pussy. Take off your thong.
She did as was required.
Toss them to me.
Destiny nodded once and balled the panties, throwing them in his direction.
He caught them with one hand, bringing the slip of lace to his face. Inhaling, a guttural sound slipped past his lips. After shoving them into his pocket, he opened his legs and leaned forward. Sit on the desk. Open your legs wide for me.
Excitement soared. She stole a quick look toward the office door before sitting on the edge of her desk, spreading her legs and easing back onto the top of the cool wood. When she placed her elbows on the surface, various objects were pitched to the floor.
She inched her butt to the edge of her desk, lifting and opening her legs.
Beautiful pink pussy lips. You’re required to remain completely shaved. Do you understand me?
“Yes, Sir.” She could swear he’d inched closer, but he remained stoic, completely shadowed by the diffused light.
Tell me, sweet slut. Do you enjoy having a man suck on your clit?
“Oh, yes Sir.” Her mouth was dry.
Do you want your ass opened wide, a fist buried deep inside?
Destiny swallowed hard and hesitated until he exhaled, a sign of his displeasure. “Yes, Sir.”
Tell me you’d like my fist in your ass, my whore.
“I-I want nothing more than to have your fist in my ass.”
Excellent. You’ll have everything you’ve craved your entire life. Now, play with yourself. Show me how much you desire my touch .
His words were chilling, yet she was wet with desire. Closing her eyes, she swirled the tip of her index finger around her clit, shocked as a series of tingles skittered down her spine. She threw her left hand back onto the desk, arching her back. Sweat beaded above her lip.
Continue, he whispered, his voice reverberating throughout the room.
She bit back a moan as she flicked her finger back and forth. Her body undulated forward as she toyed with her cunt, enjoying the sensation. After several seconds, she knew she was going to come.
Hold it for me.
Destiny opened her eyes, her breath sounds strangled. She shook her head as she tried to stay the orgasm. While he was shadowed, the dim lighting only accentuating the lower half of his face, she was mesmerized by his good looks. Concentrating, she shoved three fingers inside her pussy, flexing them open as she thrust in and out. Her pussy muscles clamped over the invasion and for a few seconds she was unable to concentrate.
Very nice. You have control. You’re going to learn more. Now shove your wet fingers inside your sweet asshole.
His words echoed in the room.
Panting, she did as she was told. A slice of pain rushed into her belly. She jerked up from the desk, beads of perspiration slithering down both sides of her face.
That’s it. You’re going to be my little ass queen. This time his laughter floated toward the ceiling.
You’re going to be mine, forever mine. Never forget who you belong to…
Destiny heard the insistent tone. Swallowing hard, she blinked several times before easing back in her chair. After a few seconds the fog slipped away. She scanned the perimeter of the room. There was no mysterious man invading her privacy or controlling her actions. Dear God, I’m losing my mind. His face, the man she hungered to find, remained in the forefront. She shook her head and glanced down at her skirt. The rumpled material had crawled up to her mid thighs. She stifled a gasp. Her panties were missing. No. This is insane.
“Doctor? Are you all right?”
I will taste you. I will own you and when I do, you’ll understand pure ecstasy…
Seconds later, she shut down the fantasy. She was a strong person, capable of protecting the woman buried deep inside. She’d been damn good at doing so for almost thirty years.
Glancing at the oversized, old-fashioned clock, she grimaced, unable to remember the majority of the conversation. A patient. She was a doctor. She was…
He cleared his throat. Only this time, the sound was no apparition, no formidable monster, hungry to chain her in his basement, performing unspeakable acts. The man seated in front of her was desperate for help, lost in a system she claimed to understand. Go away!
A strand of dark hair fell to his lips. He was a patient. Still, she continued to read her fantasy man’s lurid thoughts, sensing his required possession of her. Why? Why was she so special to him?
A blip coming from her phone brought her up from the foggy haze. Biting her lower lip, she fingered her iPhone. Two messages. Okay. Break free of this. He’s not real. Sadly, no man was coming to claim her.
She forced a smile and pushed a file across her desk, breaking the psychic connection. “I’m sorry and of course I’m just fine. What were you saying?” She wasn’t certain she’d asked the question loudly enough. As she centered her gaze past her desk, her thoughts cleared.
The chair was planted in the middle of the room. Her patient was only comfortable if he was surrounded by air and nothing else. The poor man had fallen into an abyss. For a few seconds she thought about ending the session, but his imploring eyes and slacking mouth reminded her that she was his only hope. He was a loner. Then again, so was she. Concentrate. Her patient needed her expertise to pull him back to reality. Hell, they all did. Lately she’d felt like nothing but a farce, a woman incapable of helping anyone. Michael. You have to help Michael.
Michael’s expression was pensive. He tapped his foot as he wrung his hands. “Okay. Okay. I just thought…”
A full minute ticked by. Destiny glanced at the clock as she pressed down her skirt. She wiggled and slipped her fingers inside her waistband. Where the fuck had her panties gone? Had she actually taken them off at some point? She patted her hand on the desk and plastered on a smile.
“Michael, we have just a few more minutes in our session. Is there anything else you can remember about your dream?” Her professional training made certain her expression was comforting. Her patient was even more of a nervous wreck then he normally was during their typical hour-long sessions.
Michael’s eyes shifted, his gaze unfocused. He picked lint off the sleeve of his dress shirt and hummed. The heel of his foot continually tapped against the tile floor. Every body movement exuded raw emotion, complete discomfort, yet he’d only offered four full sentences during the last fifty minutes. She adjusted her suit jacket.
Even from where she was seated, she could easily see the sweat beading across his forehead. He reeked. His body odor was a putrid combination of garlic, stale cigarettes, urine, and vomit. She’d never seen him this anxious in the nearly two years she’d been treating him. “Michael. Stay with me. What’s going on? Why are you so distraught? Did something happen at work?” Back on track, she breathed a sigh of relief.
He shook his head and leaned forward in his chair, clasping his hands. “No.” There was zero inflection in his tone.
“With your lovely girlfriend? Did you guys have a fight?”
He’s lying and you know this. A demon lives inside of him. He’s being eaten alive as he should be.
The voice filtered inside her brain. Go away. Go the fuck away. She heard him laugh. His scent remained and the combination of the two men was nauseating. She shifted again.
Laughing, Michael shot her a quick look. “Do you really think a model is going to stay with a beast like me?”
“You heard me, doc. I’m a puss sucking slug.”
The demon rises…
Destiny exhaled and stole another glance around the room. Her legs shaking, she rose to her feet, moving slowly to the other side of the desk. Michael certainly had his insecurities, but he’d never spoken this way. Confidence bordering to the point of pure arrogance had been a downfall his entire life, a statement he’d made on the first day. This was unexpected. “You’re not a beast. You’re a professional with an excellent career in a well-known accounting firm. You have a better than average salary, an apartment of your own, and a brand new sports car.” Through various trials and tribulations, he’d maintained a fair sense of self-worth. The majority of people would be jealous of the amazing accolades Michael had obtained in his life. She wanted to hate him for his pompous bullshit, but she couldn’t. She’d seen inside the man, straight to the dark side.
We all have a dark side, especially you, darling Destiny, my good little slut. Soon you’ll learn your power, understanding my command. Listen and learn…
Fuck you! Hissing, she willed her midnight lover back into the trenches.
As Michael snorted he shoved both hands through his hair. “No woman will stay with me because of who and what I am. Bitch. Bitch. Bitch!” Enraged, he shoved back in his chair with enough force the metal legs slammed against the edge of the glass coffee table.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered.
“Okay. Just relax. You’ll love again one day.”
“Sorry?” Michael laughed. “Wait a minute. No, I’m not.”
“What do you mean?” The tone of his voice was decidedly different. Even the twang she’d grown to love was gone, replaced by a clipped and deeper tone.
Snapping his head up, he grinned, his eyes sliding down the length of her body. “Not sorry at all. I prefer real women.”
She broke into a cold sweat and gripped the edge of the desk. The expression on his face was determined, malevolent. This wasn’t the same man who’d walked into her office two years ago. Hell, he wasn’t the same one as an hour before. Michael Cavanaugh was recently divorced and with his incredible looks, could have the arm of any woman. This man was angry, bitter, and horrifying. Jesus Christ. He’s coming onto me. “Stay focused, Michael.”
He wants you like all men do.
Every muscle in her body was tense. Her tendons were rigid and her dream lover’s words echoed in her ears. Her extreme workload was creating manifestations, nothing more. She was a woman with an extraordinary imagination.
“Oh, I am. Fuck the bitch. I can get more. Right?” Licking around his lips in an exaggerated fashion, he made a suckling sound. He winked and pulled the chair further away from the table, purposely scraping the tips across the floor. “Maybe we should talk, doc. Like we used to. Huh? Have you had any good sex lately? Do you have some thick cock servicing you every night?” His look turned into a leer. “You never told me if your pussy is shorn. Better to suck up your sweet juices.”
“Michael. You know that’s not appropriate.” Dear God, the man was losing his mind.
“My, my Ms. Blade. You used to love to tell me how every man you’ve ever known always wanted to tie you spread eagled, flog every inch of your tight body. I bet your skin glistens in candlelight. I can only imagine how wet you’d be as you wait for your Master to strike, inflicting every inch of your body with lashes. I bet you crave pain, don’t you? Mmm…”
The question lingered.
You do crave punishment, my sweet slut. You can’t deny your desires.
“That’s it. We’re not playing a game Michael and you can call me Dr. Blade. Do you understand?” She heard the strangled sound of her voice as fear crept in. He wasn’t merely undressing her. He wanted to devour her.
“Dr. Blade. Of course. I meant no disrespect.”
Destiny had grown very concerned about him during the course of the last three sessions, enough so she’d gone to his home just last week. Seeing the run down area had been eye opening. Darkness filled his soul. Whatever was going on in his mind, the demon was threatening to derail his entire life. This particular twist had her more than just nervous.
You can have him if you so desire. You haven’t had a man in well over a year. Take him. Fuck him. Use him.
Shut up. Shut up! This time Destiny bristled and scanned the perimeter of the room. She raked her nails over the top of her hand in an endless circle. Up to this point she hadn’t allowed her dreams to interfere with any aspect of her everyday life. She’d merely grabbed a glass of wine and moved in front of her computer to hide from the voice. Only after watching several videos had she ever shifted to a place of ecstasy, a single relief. You need a few days off and hours of sleep.
“I can see inside of you. I know what you’re thinking. I know what you want.” Michael’s face held an edge.
“We aren’t talking about this. We’re talking about you and you’re going to stop the bullshit and listen to me. Do you understand me at all, Michael?”
The bravado in the man seemed to fade, his body slumping in the chair. Michael fisted his mouth as he shook his head several times.
“Talk to me. Tell me who and what you think you are.”
His fingers tore at his hair, ripping out chunks.
“Michael. Don’t do that!” She closed the distance, bending down and placing her hand on his arm. “Just relax and talk to me. We can discuss anything, but you will talk to me.”
Instantly he stopped his actions and lowered his head. She wasn’t even certain he was breathing. “Good. Now tell me why you think you’re so horrible.”
She cringed from the special sound on her inner office phone. There were zero interruptions allowed when she was with a patient and this was the second incident of the hour. This was the last appointment of the day, for God’s sake. Whatever seemed to be so important certainly could wait for another ten freaking minutes. “Tell me!”
Michael shivered. “No. No!”
Shit. Her tone was harsh. She certainly didn’t need to take out her frustrations on a man whose entire mental stability might pop without warning. “I’m sorry. I’m not angry with you. This has been a particularly long day.” Long? She’d been working fourteen-hour days for a solid two weeks. Her exhaustion was affecting her practice as well as her rational mind.
“I deserved to have her leave me. I’m a failure in every manner. I’m sorry for taking up so much of your time. You’re an important doctor and I’m just a worthless piece of trash that deserves to be beaten and left in a bloody heap. I’m nothing but scum. I deserve to die. Die. Die!”
Shocked by his overt words, she reared back, releasing the hold. He looked up at her, his turquoise blue eyes clouded over by tears. “Don’t you ever say something like that again to me. Ever. Do you understand? You’re a very special man.” Or at least he had been. Her thoughts drifted to the first time he’d come into her office. Yes, he’d been agitated, unsure of what he called evil lurking inside of him, but he’d come across as highly intelligent and coherent. For the initial nine months of consultation, his discussion on sexuality and his desire for the darker side of sadism had been open and honest. The verve with which he’d enlightened her about his growing needs after having spent time with a Domme remained fascinating.
The sexual overtones hadn’t bothered her during any of the early sessions. She was a licensed sex therapist and a highly respected psychiatrist. During her tenure, she’d heard just about every aspect of kinky desires and intense hungers. Men and women harbored needs she’d never explored herself, but little remained shocking. Until Michael. Today her skin crawled. The man had two distinct sides.
So do you…
She shivered as the words, his words, lingered in the back of her mind. Now, her patient’s mind was splitting apart. She sensed a connection, as if her mystery sadist was controlling Michael’s behavior.
After missing one week of their sessions, something had changed drastically. Michael had become distant, withdrawn. For the last month his personality had become almost unrecognizable. What little she’d been able to glean during their concentrated visits had revolved around the evil Michael was terrified of, but of what exactly, she wasn’t certain she’d find out.
Destiny had come to the realization her skillset as a doctor of psychiatry had little or no bearing on Michael’s private hell.
Hissing, she closed her eyes. Maybe she needed a break, just to get away from her reeling mind. “I’ll be right back. Please relax. Try and focus on the wonderful aspects of your life. Then for our last five minutes we’re going to discuss increasing your self-worth.”
“You see I’ve done things. Bad things.”
Another shiver trickled down her spine. “What things?”
“I’m going to burn in Hell.” Michael’s voice had a giddy lilt.
Turning slightly, she looked at his face and for the first time was afraid of the rather demure man sitting in front of her. She swallowed hard and offered a fake smile. “We’ll talk when I return. Okay?”
“Indeed. I know you crave learning every detail, no matter how gory or explicit. Don’t you, doctor?”
Every hair on the back of her neck stood on end. She clenched her fists as she walked toward her office door, moving out into the hallway and taking a few seconds to gather her wits. Michael’s words weren’t just haunting. They were telling. “Gina, you know better than to interrupt me while I’m with a patient.”
“I’m sorry, doctor, but this couldn’t wait. There’s a detective on the line asking about one of your patients.” Gina’s face was pensive.
“The detective refused to tell me anything.”
She closed the door and leaned against the wall, holding her arms. “Is he on hold?”
“No. I finally told him to bug off,” Gina chuckled. “He’s a tenacious motherfucker.” She slapped her hand over her mouth. “I’m sorry. He called three times and I quite frankly was sick of his attitude. However, he seemed adamant about the need to speak with you. He gave me his number and said its urgent you call him immediately.”
Destiny inhaled. Every man seemed to have some urgent demand. “It’s okay. I understand.” She glanced at her watch. “I’m almost finished with my session anyway. Does this detective have a name?”
“Montana Givens. I wrote down his number for you.” Gina handed her a folded note.
“Interesting.” She grabbed the piece of paper. For some reason, she remained nervous. Why would a detective need to talk with her so badly? Her gut told her his request had something to do with Michael. “All right. I’ll finish with Michael and lock up. Go home. We’ve had a long week.”
“Thanks. I actually have a date tonight.” Gina winked. “Let’s just hope he’s not another dud.”
“You go, girl. Details. I want details.”
She waited until Gina walked away before taking a quick glance at the number. Mr. Detective would have to wait. When she opened the door, she closed her eyes. “Michael. Let’s finish this up. Then I think we really need to schedule another meeting early next week. What do you think?” Opening her eyes, she scanned the perimeter of her office.
Michael had disappeared. A cold breeze floated through the room. She looked at the open window and groaned. While her office was only on the second story, the fact he’d jumped out the window meant he was close to the edge. She was going to have to think seriously about having him committed for further evaluation.
I’ve done things. Bad things…
“Jesus.” She walked toward the banks of windows, peering outside. There was no sign of him. She gazed up at the full moon and for a few seconds could swear she saw her mystery lover watching her from the parking lot.
“You need wine.” The sound of her voice wasn’t comforting.
Only after closing and locking the window did she breathe a sigh of relief, but terror remained, gorging like a hunger feeding on her very soul.
Soon you’re going to belong to me…