Read Beneath the Burn Online

Authors: Pam Godwin

Tags: #Romance, #Music, #Adult, #Thriller, #Contemporary

Beneath the Burn (7 page)

Dread slithered over her and she shook it off, steeled her backbone. She would
not
let Roy break her. She needed to keep a measure of herself locked away from his keen eyes so when she did escape, she would have something left to help her mend.

But what did she have that he hadn’t already taken?

She had a memory of a man with back full of scars. Beneath the superficial damage was a devotion to survival, an instinct to dominate his future. Most probably didn’t see that when they looked at him, but she hadn’t just recognized it, she’d felt it and wanted it.

She would lock his strength deep inside her, would mimic his steel undercarriage and make it her own. She recalled the unrefined charm in his retorts, the raw beauty of his expressions, and the way he looked at her when she turned to leave. As she replayed their hour together over and over, the pain dimmed, the bedroom bled away, and her eyelids sagged.

8

Charlee woke to the Craig’s voice.

“Get up.” He ripped off the covers. “Mr. Oxford is back, and you are requested in his office.”

She wrapped her arms around her nudity. “Now?”

“Shower first.” He wrenched the chain attached to her leg, and she tumbled to the floor.

“Dick.”

The air hissed and a strike hit her back, ricocheting from her tailbone to her knees. She gasped. Fuck, her body would never hold up at this rate. She twisted her head and found him flexing over her and swinging a section of the chain folded in half.

He could go to hell. She pulled in her legs as if to stand, then reared back and shot a foot into his groin.

A grunt pushed past his lips, but rather than dropping the chain, he raised it for another strike.

“Hurt me again and I will beg Mr. Oxford to remove the rest of your ear.” She matched his death glare with one of her own.

He worked his jaw and flared his nostrils as if sniffing for a bluff. Begging Roy would come with a high price, one she wasn’t sure she’d be willing to pay.

The chain lowered. Sure, he was afraid of Roy, but he was more fearful of losing his grand salary, his swanky penthouse living, and the power that came with being the right-hand to one of the world’s wealthiest men.

She hobbled to the bathroom, the twinge in her back adding to her frustration. In the brightly lit room, she found everything she needed to prepare for his summoning. Towels, shampoo, soap, lotion, toothpaste…a tactical folding knife to conceal in her ass? Well, almost everything.

The Craig leaned outside the door-less shower stall with the end of the chain handcuffed to his wrist. She turned her back to him under the spray of water and rubbed in shampoo. Even the follicles of her hair hurt.

Footfalls approached behind her. The steady, confident pace sent a shiver down her spine.

“Drop your hands.”

Dread surged in her chest and ruptured into a struggle for breath. She lowered her hands, and her neck sank into her shoulders, unable to force her legs to turn. She didn’t want to look in his eyes and see what was coming.

Water pelted her head, and the air thickened and charged around her. His chest slid over her back and his hands cupped her breasts, shifting lower and slipping through her slit. She held her breath. Maybe if she held it long enough, she would pass out.

He bit her shoulder, his teeth digging into bone, and a cry fled her mouth.

“Oh Charlee.” He stroked his fingers between her legs, entering her. “I give you exactly what you need.”

He didn’t
give
her anything. He took. She shuffled toward the tile wall, wishing she could crawl inside it.

A smack scorched her ass, and his body wrapped around her, crushing her against the cold tile. “You like the pain. You need it, and I want to give it. See how perfectly matched we are?”

Hot acid hit the back of her throat. Fuck him. She twisted and swung her fist at his face.

He caught it and slammed her arm against the wall. “Salvador,” he said softly, his tone at odds with the hard glass of his amethyst eyes.

The chain tugged at her ankle as the Craig gathered it and prowled to the shower stall. “Yes, Mr. Oxford?” His eyes wandered over her body.

“Hold her,” Roy said, his voice relaxed, chilling. His stuffy suits tended to camouflage his physique, but it was in moments like this, when his naked body bore down on hers, that she was reminded just how strong and muscular he was.

And now it was two against one. She closed her eyes. Their weight alone quadrupled hers. But she had strength. Jay’s strength. She gathered it from within and took refuge in the company of his scars, his pain. He would guide her, show her how to survive.

The Craig pinned her arms above her head and steam from the spray saturated his black pants and shirt, the chain swaying from one hand.

Roy lowered to a crouch, shoved her legs apart and traced her folds. His exploration followed the sensitive skin past her vaginal opening.

She clenched her butt.
Oh, please, no. Not there
. The ripped tissues in her rectum flared, throbbing. As if reading her mind, he shoved two fingers in the sore hole. The sting fired spasms through her insides, lifting her on tiptoes.

“No, please. It’s too much. Please, stop.” Her eyes burned, and she writhed against the hands trapping her arms against the wall.

Roy gripped her thigh, worked more fingers in her ass, and clamped his teeth around her clit. She gasped, shuddered.

The invasion pushed deeper and she cried out, tears mixing with water. “Please, no more. No more.” She sobbed and bucked uselessly.

“Your sweet pleading makes me so fucking hard. Ask for an orgasm. Beg me.” He licked her clit and stretched her ass.

The agony of his pumping fingers eddied with a despicable surge of arousal. Her body remembered his ruthless touches, the way he could force her to orgasm. How could she come for Roy and not for Noah? She got off on brutality and not on tenderness? She was damaged. So fucking broken.

She pinned her lips and bottled the scream in her throat. She didn’t want this. She didn’t…Oh God, the sensations built in her groin and the stimulation from his tongue rushed the terrible desire higher and higher. Her body trembled, betraying her, and her eyes caught fire with the outpouring of her weak fucking tears.

Twisting her hands in the grip of the Craig’s, she bowed her hips back, tried to escape Roy’s mouth. All of it ineffectual. Her orgasm broke free, flooded every nerve in her body, ripping away her will and buckling her knees.

He removed the pressure of his fingers from her backside and cradled her pathetic body along the length of his. “That’s a good girl. Your boyfriend couldn’t give you that.” He shoved her chin upward, his gaze boring into hers. “No, he couldn’t make you come, but I can. You’re fortunate I took you back. Don’t worry, beautiful girl. I’ll give you want you need.”

Grief squeezed her throat with invisible straps. His mouth covered hers, and she yanked her head back, smashing it against the tile. The grip around her hands vanished, and the Craig slinked out of the shower. She flattened her palms against the clammy flesh of Roy’s chest and pushed with no success.

He circled his fingers around her throat and pressed his weight into her hands. “I’ve tried with others. Four years of fucking trying. They’re weak. All of them blubber and pass out from the lightest strikes. Their minds shatter within hours, and they never come.” He stroked her face, and a sob dammed her throat. “I control you, dominate you, and your eyes spark for more as your juices run down your legs. You fight me because you know I love it.”

She would not accept that, refused to consider his delusional psychobabble. Gathering the saliva pooling in her mouth, she spit it in his face and raised her chin above the collar of his hand.

A laugh burst from him. “Point made.” His tongue darted out and caught the spittle sliding down his cheek.

Defeated, she slumped against the wall as he conditioned her hair and soaped her body. That done, he held his hand outside the stall. “Razor, Salvador.”

Her spine stiffened. Could she wrestle it away and flay his pretty face?

He returned with a feminine razor, the blades shielded by pink plastic and moisturizing strips. Fuck. Impossible to do any damage with that wimpy thing, let alone gather enough courage to overpower him long enough to use it.

The Craig once again held her hands above her head as Roy shaved her underarms, pussy, and legs. Her skin crawled everywhere the razor touched. She fixated on a tile square, no longer able to watch.

She retreated into her head, marveling at how much she’d changed between captivities. She’d become Wendy, Tess, Sarah, always someone else and always acting. Her act had been a sticking point in her relationship with Noah. He never knew
her
.

But she hadn’t acted with Jay, had she? How would she know? Held captive from sixteen to eighteen, on the run until twenty-two, she’d changed identities the way normal girls her age changed fashion styles.

Before Roy, she’d been a free-spirited liberal who hungered to help people, burned to take risks, and found pleasure in pushing buttons. How many times had she been issued a detention for sketching images of her high school math teacher’s genitals? Yeah, Jay had unearthed the real her. How had he done that?

Finished with the shaving, Roy rose to his feet and pressed cold lips to hers. “Got to go, beautiful girl. Come to my office when you’ve finished priming yourself for me.” He stepped out of the shower, taking the razor with him. A moment later, the whir of a hairdryer hummed through the room.

She twisted the tap to increase the temperature. The scalding water did nothing to burn away the previous minutes, but she lingered under the spray until his presence disappeared from the room.

When she finished drying off, the Craig stripped the towel from her grasp and tossed it on the floor. “Mr. Oxford requires your teeth brushed, hair dried, and every inch of your body lathered in lotion. Shall I assist you?” His leer sent her teeth crashing together.

He knew as well as she did he wasn’t allowed to touch her intimately. As nonexistent as Roy’s compassion was with regard to her, it was something.

She went about the tasks, taking her time. What did Roy have planned next in her never-ending nightmare of horrors? More caning in the stockroom? More forced orgasms? Maybe he would take her out of those rooms and into another part of the penthouse. Hope surged. Another room might present an opportunity for escape. The kitchen alone would be a warehouse of potential weapons.

At the office door, the Craig snapped the leash, and she skidded off balance, naked and irritated. “He’s hosting a live teleconference. I don’t need to remind you not to fucking breathe.”

Her tongue darted to the porcelain crowns fused to her front teeth. No, the punishment from her last conference call misstep left a permanent reminder.

The door opened. With the Craig’s shove at her back, she moved over the plush carpet in a soundless stagger. She understood then why the chain was wrapped in silk.

Surrounded by monitors on the walls and desks, Roy smiled at one of the screens. “You call it freedom, Nancy, but arming our civilians…our youth? That isn’t life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Not when they’re turning those guns on each other.”

The leather-etched wallpaper created an ostentatious backdrop for his pinstriped Amosu suit and ebony hair groomed in thick waves off his face. His shoulders were loose, his smile charming, and his timbre was as smooth as his bullshit.

His billions per annum didn’t come from his legit conglomerate of aerospace, defense, and software companies. She’d overheard enough of his conversations to deduce that arms-trafficking was the real money maker.

Not that he needed the money. She suspected his control of the underground firearms trade helped him strengthen his international connections and broaden his power in the defense business. Maybe his anti-gun falsehoods kept his political adversaries at bay. He seemed to thrive in deception and immorality.

The widescreen on the wall facing him broadcasted a CNN interview on mute. The separate locations of the people on camera were displayed side-by-side. A blonde woman, Nancy Davis, smiled in one of the picture-in-picture views. In the other view, Roy Oxford, Chairman of Oxford Industries, straightened his red tie…three seconds after he straightened it real-time.

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