My jaw hurts from clenching it. The same goes for my fingers, which are wrapped around each other in my lap. The man seated directly in front of me adjusts his tie. I hope it’s a sign he’s uncomfortable and feels the hatred in my gaze boring into the back of his perfectly coiffed head.
I imagine his head exploding all over the courtroom, spattering his boot-licking attorneys too.
Knots tighten in my stomach and I stare at the door behind the bench. The judge enters, everyone stands. She takes her seat. We do too.
“I understand the jury has reached a verdict,” she says. “Let the record reflect all pertinent parties are present. Defendant Romeo Fiacco, his attorneys,” she nods toward the table where my attention is focused, “and prosecutor, Sheila Murphy, on behalf of the government.” She nods to the other table where the prosecutor and chief investigator sit.
The judge instructs the bailiff to bring in the jury and we all stand again when they enter. I stare at their faces in an effort to glean a hint of their verdict. I know it will be announced in moments, but even that seems too long.
Everything has taken too long. I’ve waited three years for this motherfucker to get what’s coming to him.
But I know the deck is stacked in his favor. He’s rich. He’s connected. He’s powerful.
And to many people, he’s scary as fuck.
I used to be one of those people, but when you have nothing left to lose, there’s not so much to be afraid of.
The bailiff carries the verdict from the jury foreman to the judge. The judge’s eyes flick over the paper and she reveals nothing in her demeanor before the document makes the return trip to the foreman. The judge nods and the foreman stands and begins to read the words on the all-important piece of paper.
The knot in my stomach tightens further.
“We, the jury in the above-entitled action, find as follows. On the charge of vehicular homicide, we find the defendant, Romeo Fiacco, not guilty.”
I gasp and the bailiff cuts his eyes in my direction. I draw in a shallow breath and remind myself there are two more charges. Surely one of those…
“On the charge of negligent homicide, we find the defendant, Romeo Fiacco, not guilty.”
Fiacco’s face is turned toward the jury, giving me a view of his disgusting profile. A slow smile begins to spread over his face and before the verdict on the final charge is announced, I know what it’s going to be.
The foreman’s words confirm it. “On the charge of vehicular manslaughter, we find the defendant, Romeo Fiacco, not guilty.”
The courtroom erupts and the judge pounds her gavel for silence. The prosecutor’s face is impassive. Same with the chief investigator. Obviously they are professionals who show no emotion, but I get the sense they expected this, despite the strength of their case.
The judge thanks the jury and announces that the defendant is free to go. Of course, he’s already standing, shaking hands with his attorneys and grinning for the cameras.
He scans the courtroom and his gaze lands on me.
Do not react. Do not let him get under your skin. Do not…
Mantras are worthless once incandescent rage takes over. As though I am demon-possessed, I lunge across the rail separating the courtroom participants from the spectators and launch myself at the asshole who ruined my life. Decimated my family and is directly responsible for the fact that I am now an orphan. I don’t care what the stupid jury says, he’s guilty. Guilty as hell.
Guttural screams emanate from my body and my hands dig into his face, nails scraping along his tanned flesh.
For a fraction of a second as I’m flying toward him, I see a hint of fear in his eyes. It is only there for the time it takes to blink, but I saw it and it fuels me. Arms and legs flail and the rage within me, which I’ve been holding in for months and months, unleashes and I claw and slap with abandon.
In the distance I hear the judge pounding her gavel as well as shouts and people running, but I’m so focused on hurting this man who has caused me such pain, I don’t notice anything else but the animalistic urge inside me to destroy him.
Powerful arms wrap around me and I’m pulled off the bastard. I’m swearing and spitting. I’m sure my eyes are wide and wild.
The prick takes out a crisp handkerchief and wipes a blob of my spit from his cheek, then turns away as though I am of no importance to him.
“Come back here, you motherfucker!” I scream. “You know what you did, you son of a bitch!”
Chaos. Everything around me is in motion while I kick and scream and officers carry me from the courtroom and into a side door. In my mind I remember that I’ve wondered where this door led since the judge and jury had other entrances to the courtroom.
Turns out, this room contains a cell. The bars clang shut with me on the other side.
Two years later
“I just need you to sign here acknowledging that I’ve read the rules of your parole to you and you understand and agree to comply with the terms.” Jackie Curt, parole officer and humorless human being, pushes the paper across the messy desk to me.
I want to ask what will happen if I don’t agree, but after two years in prison I know better than to ask questions or be a smartass. All you get for that sort of thing is bruised ribs and extra maggots in your lunch.
“Of course,” I say, picking up the pen next to the piece of paper and scribbling Quinn Storm on the proper line.
Curt, an infinitely appropriate name for this ball of fun, nods and confiscates the paper. She spins in her desk chair and makes a photocopy on the machine behind her. The cramped office is reasonably efficient since it’s so small everything can be reached from the desk chair Curt occupies. I wonder if she ever leaves or if she’s just some sort of alien creature who exists in this government-issued space for the sole purpose of making newly released prisoners almost wish they could go back to their cell in order to be away from her.
But she means nothing to me. All I need is to appease her for a few more minutes; she’ll give me the key to my room in a halfway house, a bag of donated clothes, and forty dollars in cash, along with strict admonition not to spend the money on booze or drugs.
“And one more thing,” she adds before I leave with my post-prison pittance, “you’re not to have any contact, in person or electronically, or to be within twenty yards of Romeo Fiacco. Ever. Any violation and you’ll be returned to prison to finish out the balance of your sentence.” She looks down at some papers. “Two more years,” she says, reading from my file. “You don’t want that. Neither do I.”
She’s lying, of course. She doesn’t give a crap about me, but I just nod, take my stuff, and get out of there.
It’s been a week since my arrival at Good Samaritan Halfway House, nicknamed Good Sam by the residents. I don’t call it anything but a shithole holding area where I can execute my plan.
With execute as the operative word.
Two years. Two long fucking years I spent in prison for attacking that prick Romeo Fiacco. Obviously he pulled strings and greased palms in order for me to be charged with a felony instead of a basic misdemeanor. I’ve seen worse fights over a sale at Target.
I suppose kicking one of the bailiffs didn’t help my case. Not to mention how mad judges can get when you don’t respond to them pounding their gavel and calling for order.
Regardless, I got a bad deal. That’s what happens when you have to go through these things alone against a guy who always gets his way.
But I’m out now. The parole board thinks I’m rehabilitated. I should get an Oscar for my performance.
How I managed to keep my seething rage in check long enough to sweet-talk those people, I have no idea, but I’m grateful.
Grateful I can lock the door to my room and sometimes I even sleep for a few hours. Grateful to go outside and put my bare feet in the grass, even if Good Sam’s lawn is made up of thistles and crabgrass. Grateful to walk around and breathe fresh air.
Grateful for the chance to kill the motherfucker who ruined my life.
I did make some important contacts while I was locked up. Fiacco isn’t unknown to the prison population. I kept a low profile, but when I overheard a couple of women talking about him, I made a point of befriending them a few days later. It’s amazing what a couple of Snickers bars will get you in the slammer.
Now, armed with inside information, I’m ready to put my plan into action.
Then I’ll take off and never look back.
When Romeo ‘The Lover’ Fiacco’s car crossed the center line and slammed head on into my parents, he walked away and they were taken out in body bags. I left college to bury them and never went back. In prison I managed to complete my degree in just two years. Classes are easy to finish fast when you’re not spending your weekends going out to bars or football games.
Thanks to my mad computer and graphic design training, I’ve been able to create a whole new persona for myself. Impressive, actually.
I suppose I ought to use those skills to take Fiacco down with some sort of bank fraud scheme or hacking into his accounts and giving the information to the feds. Or draining his accounts into one for me. But I still remember the way it felt to grab at his flesh and inflict pain.
I want more.
I want to see the fear in his eyes, even if only for a moment. The same terror I imagine my parents felt when the headlights of his giant car headed straight for them.
It’s T minus twenty-four hours and I’m in the public library using their computers. I don’t want to leave any trace and who would ever think to look at the library for the work of an ex-con?
I’m at a terminal toward the back of the stacks. I don’t want to be seen. I don’t even have a library card. I stop in each day and get a guest pass. I show up at different times so I don’t run into the same librarian more than once a week. You can’t trust those nosey librarians.
They probably think I’m a homeless person coming in for the air conditioning and clean restrooms. I do enjoy those things, but mostly I am researching every aspect of Romeo Fiacco and his scummy business dealings.
I’ve learned about his family… wife dead, questionable circumstances. Daughter, whereabouts unknown, but the internet conspiracy theory gurus believe he’s got her in hiding to protect her.
I already know, thanks to my Snickers-loving prison mates, about his sexual proclivities.
A picture shows up on the screen, one I haven’t seen before. There’s a hulking man in a dark suit standing behind Fiacco. He’s new, though Fiacco likes to keep a low profile, so there aren’t many pictures of him available. Just because I haven’t seen this new guy with him doesn’t mean he hasn’t been with Fiacco for a while. The reporter has kindly provided the new guy’s name in the caption of the photo. Thomas Baine, chief of security.
My fingers fly over the keys searching for information on this man who appears to be sticking close to Fiacco. I wonder what happened to his last chief of security, a massive man known as Hunk, though his real name is Pippo Mallo. I can understand why he’d go with Hunk.
No information on Pippo ‘Hunk’ Mallo. Not that I expect him to have a Facebook account. Maybe he’s on TikTok.
I crack myself up sometimes.
More like tick tock, his time was up and he’s gone. Probably best I don’t know. I certainly don’t care.
Interesting. Thomas Baine has only been with Fiacco for about a year. Most likely he arrived when Hunk left.
I need to know more about Thomas Baine.
I crack my knuckles and return to the keyboard. This bitch is going to give me the information I want and I know just how to find it.
“Wow,” someone says. “You’re fast.”
I try to ignore my new fan but when she leans over my shoulder and tries to read my screen, I close the window and turn around, schooling my features so I don’t punch her.
“Quinn?” she says, tilting her head and studying my face. “Quinn Storm?”
Shit. What do I say? Obviously she’s recognized me and it’s not like I’m doing anything wrong. Or anything too wrong. Still, I’ve learned to keep myself to myself.
Before I can answer she says, “It’s me. Shelly. Shelly Briggs? We were in Spanish class together. Remember? Hola, Quinn, como esta?”
She laughs as she repeats the well-worn phrase and for a moment I’m a carefree ninth grader trying to get my tongue around simple Spanish phrases. Oh, God, my heart aches. If only I could go back to that time and change the course of history.
“Hi, Shelly,” I say. “It’s been a long time.”
“Yeah,” she says and then she gets that awkward look on her face where she’s not sure what to say, though she obviously knows how things have gone for me and my family over the last few years.
“Um. I’m sorry about, you know. Everything that happened.”
I’ll give her credit. She looks sincere.
“Es nada,” I say with a shrug.
I stand to Fiacco’s left. He’s sitting behind his massive desk while a hapless minion stands opposite him, begging for mercy. It’s disgusting to see and Fiacco doesn’t hide his contempt.
“You have shamed me. Worse, you have shamed yourself and now you come here to beg and snivel like a little girl.”
“But, sir,” the man says.
Fiacco holds up his hand for silence. Then he looks over at me and nods imperceptibly.
Message received. I step forward and take the sniveler by the arm. “It’s time to go,” I say. His face turns ghostly white and his knees buckle. I drag him from the room and turn him over to a couple of thugs who take care of these matters for Fiacco.
I keep my hands clean. Okay, maybe not spotless, but no blood if I can help it. Not any more. That’s rule number one.
As I make my way back to the door of Romeo Fiacco’s inner sanctum, Todd, the doorman, stops me. “Baine, there’s a girl outside. Says she’s here to see the boss.”
“Good for her,” I say.
“Yeah, but I wasn’t expecting her. How do we know she’s legit?”
“Where is she?”
“Got her waiting in the front office.”
I nod and change directions. Sure, someone could send a female assassin masquerading as a call girl, but what are the odds of that?
I open the door to the front office and she turns to look at me.
Jesus. She looks so young.
Everyone looks young to you. Because you’re old as dirt.
Besides, I don’t live a life conducive to feeling fresh and youthful. Late nights. Drinking to keep the boss company. Constant vigilance. Yeah, it’s no wonder I look at least ten years older than my thirty-four years.
“ID,” I say, holding out my hand.
She looks at me then digs in her purse and produces a driver’s license. Marguerite Lawson. I turn the license over in my hand. I’m pretty sure it’s fake, but it’s a good fake. It would fool most people.
And honestly, what hooker would carry their own ID with them?
I study the photo and then look at her. Her gaze holds mine. Despite being all dolled up like some sweet young thing, there’s steel in her eyes. Lots of us are living rough lives.
Ya do what ya gotta do.
“We weren’t expecting you,” I say.
“I’m not here for any ‘we’ action,” she says. “It’s extra and it needs to be cleared through Alex. Thought you knew that.”
“Nice try, pumpkin, but I ain’t interested. I was using the royal we.”
“Well, you and your ‘royal we’ can kiss my royal ass.” She glances at the clock on the wall. “I’ve got another date in two hours. So if you’re not going to let me get on with things, I’ll just be on my way and you can explain to your boss why no one has licked his balls this afternoon. Or maybe you’ve already taken care of that?”
I don’t take the bait, but I bite back a smile. Not much wit in my daily tasks around here and she’s caught me by surprise.
“Take your jacket off. I need to frisk you.”
She shrugs out of the garment and hands it to me. I check the pockets and feel around for any hidden recording equipment or weapons. Both are dangerous for a man like Romeo Fiacco.
The jacket is clean so I lay it on the back of a chair. “Turn around and put your hands up against the wall.”
She quirks a brow at me but does as I’ve told her. When she lifts her arms, the dress she’s wearing rises up and reveals thigh-high stockings. I look at her thighs and ass a bit longer than I should and my cock starts to react.
Can’t have that. Can’t have her. Can’t have anyone.
Rule number two. No entanglements. And screwing the girl who’s here to screw the boss is an entanglement.
She glares over her shoulder at me. “You look any longer, I’m gonna have to charge you.”
I slap both my hands onto her ass cheeks and she jolts. “Hey,” she says.
“Just need to make sure you don’t have any weapons,” I say, though I’m enjoying the feel of her rounded ass in my hands. I slide my palms down her legs, over the silk of her stockings.
An image of myself peeling them from her shapely thighs flashes in my mind and I shake it away.
Once I get to her feet and remove her shoes, one at a time, I run my hands up the inside of her thighs. When I get close to her pussy she turns. “That’s close enough,” she says. “Whaddya think? I got a knife hidden in there?”
Her eyes flare with challenge and the temptation to bend her over the big desk and spank her ass until she cries for mercy is strong. I imagine the way she’d wriggle and try to get away, but there’d be no avoiding the punishment she deserves.
Swat after swat would land on her pert ass, turning it pink then red. I’d spank until the flesh was hot against my palm and she begged me to stop.
Then I’d spread the cheeks of her ass apart and admire her pucker.
If anyone needed a finger, or two, in their ass, it’s this sassy girl.
But then I remember my job. My task. My purpose.
I take her by the shoulders and put her hands on the wall again; pressing my chest to her back, I lean in. “You’re a sassy one,” I whisper in her ear. “Romeo will like that. I don’t.”
She inhales sharply and I finish running my hands over her upper body. I manage to just skim her breasts. Her nipples are tight and burn against my palm.
I step back and return her jacket to her. “Let’s go,” I say. “We don’t want you to be late for your next ‘date,’ now do we, sweetheart?”
“I’m no one’s sweetheart,” she says and then stomps ahead of me like she knows exactly where she’s going.
I can’t believe I got past that guy. Thomas Baine. The mystery man from the photo.
Well, why wouldn’t you? You’ve been plotting this for two years.
And soon my plan will be complete and so will my vengeance.
My pulse races and I’m sure it’s because I’m so close to finally accomplishing my goal. Of avenging the deaths of my parents. Meting out the justice the court system failed to do.
The hulking goon follows me and I feel his eyes on my back. Intense eyes that take in every little thing.
My confidence builds. If I can fool him, I can fool anyone.
We walk through the warehouse and, as instructed by my prison mates, I keep my eyes straight ahead and show no reaction to the things happening around me. Men in dark suits move from room to room. In theory, there’s nothing nefarious that meets the eye.
But behind those doors…
Yeah, that’s where all the secrets are kept. Romeo Fiacco is rumored to run a variety of criminal enterprises. Drugs, women, loan sharking. I’m curious about what might be happening in those rooms.
Not your goal. Keep your eyes on the prize.
I firm my jaw and continue moving. I’ve been thoroughly briefed and know the way.
“Hey.” Baine grabs my arm and halts my momentum. I nearly fall off my heels. “You walk behind me. Get it?”
I shrug and he steps in front of me. Caveman.
We stop outside a door and he turns to face me head on. “Have you been told about Mr. Fiacco’s… um… preferences?”
I nod slightly. “Yes.”
I’m not planning to be there long enough to find out anything about the prick other than that he’s dead. The last words he hears will be me saying, “Compliments of Beth and Robert Storm.”
A thrill runs through me. I’ve spent hours and hours envisioning the whole scene. If you can see it, you can make it happen. Visualize the goal. Feel yourself accomplishing your deepest desire.
I read a lot of self-help books in prison.
The big man in the dark suit studies me for a moment, shrugs and opens the door.
I take a deep breath.
This is it.
I walk into the room and for the first time in over two years, I’m face to face with the man whose destruction has been the sole motivator of my every thought and action.
I feel nothing. If I learned anything in prison it was to tamp down and then kill off all emotions. I stare at him as if he’s nothing more than dog shit on my shoe.
There’s only one emotion I haven’t been able to eliminate. The all consuming, all pervasive gut-wrenching rage that overwhelms me when I see this man in the flesh.
The urge to grab something heavy and bash his face in is so strong, I have to fight it back with every ounce of determination I can muster. There’s a bronze bust of someone sitting on the edge of his desk and I imagine the sound it would make smashing into his nose.
Thanks to my stint in prison, I’m familiar with the sights and sounds of a broken nose. Not my own, but I’ve had the spray of blood on my jumpsuit. The red doesn’t blend in with the orange as well as you might expect.
Giving myself a mental shake, I get my head back in the game.
This is for Mom. And Dad. And every other person whose life this piece of shit has ruined.
He makes me stand there in front of his desk for a full minute while he looks at something on his phone. I know it’s nothing important. He’d never be so foolish as to do business on his phone anyway. He’s probably playing Candy Crush.
Mostly he’s playing the game of seeing how uncomfortable he can make me. Mind games.
I expect this and I keep my face neutral.
But when black suit bozo with the big hands moves to stand to Fiacco’s right, I’m surprised. And it must show on my face.
Shit. My plan is based on being alone with the man I want to kill. How could I make such a rookie mistake?
Well, I’m here and this is my shot. I’m taking it. No matter what.
Finally, Fiacco puts his phone down and looks up at me, though his gaze doesn’t reach my face. He starts at the hem of my very short skirt and works his way up, stopping at my cleavage. His inspection is sickening and I battle the revulsion of knowing he’s looking at me. Thinks he owns me. Believes he owns everything he wants.
“You noticed Baine,” he says. “I suppose he is more to your liking?”
I lick my lips and think fast. “No, I am here for your pleasure, sir.”
Please don’t puke. Do not puke.
“So you’re saying you do not find my chief of security appealing? Was your reaction because you are disgusted by him?” The corners of Fiacco’s mouth turn up in a mean smile sort of thing.
“I thought we would be alone,” I say. “That’s all.” I give him a smile like being alone with him is the only thing I’ve ever wanted in my whole life.
His creepy smile turns menacing. “You think I’d ever be alone with a skank like you?”
Despite my hours of preparation, I’m taken aback by his tone and I gasp.
He turns to Baine. “Oh, I think she thought I’d fall in love with her.” The two of them laugh and humiliation burns inside me.
You’d think I’d be used to these sorts of mind fucks after being locked up with sadistic guards and psychotic criminals for two years. Apparently I’m not.
I recover and smile at him again. “You might,” I say. “I give head like a dream. Or so I’ve been told.”
Jesus. It’s a bold move, but I need to get back on top of the situation.
Romeo ‘The Lover’ Fiacco considers me for a moment, then his demeanor softens a tiny bit. He’s almost human. Almost. He pushes back from his desk and widens his thighs in the big leather chair. “Let’s see if I propose.” When he laughs it’s filled with derision and Baine joins in.
I keep my jacket on and walk around the desk. Baine, the beast of a man, shows no reaction when I pass by him. Not that I thought he’d smile and wave, but it’s as though I’m invisible.
Does he like watching, I wonder. And then I’m disgusted with myself for even caring one iota about either of these assholes. Plus, distraction leads to destruction.
I know lots of clever sayings. The prison library is full of them.
Yeah, I’m motivated.
I stand over Fiacco. I clench my fingers into fists until my nails mark my palms. I’m eighteen inches away and it would be so easy to put my hands around his throat and strangle the fucker.
Follow the plan.
I unclench my hands and continue to stand there, waiting for him to tell me what to do. I hate giving him power over me, but I know it’s what he expects. What he demands.
Standing around expressionless and silent is a skill I learned in prison. I guess there was one good thing I got out of my two years in the shithole.
“Kneel,” he says with a grin that makes my skin crawl. His fingers fumble at his belt and by the time I’m on my knees on the floor he’s got his loathsome cock out, stroking it.
Bile works its way up my throat.
Bile rises in my throat. I fucking hate this.
I hate the way Fiacco treats women. He calls himself The Lover but I call him The Fiasco.
Everything and everyone he touches turns to shit.
Maybe I’ll be the exception, but I doubt it.
I especially hate the fact that he expects me to watch. It’s a mind-fuck power play for him and, to be honest, I think he gets off on knowing I’m watching.
But there’s nothing I can do about it. This is what I’ve signed up for and I knew it going in. Okay, maybe I didn’t fully understand his narcissism and sociopathy. He’s one sick motherfucker.
This stupid girl. I should have sent her packing. We weren’t expecting her and being as far as she can be from my psychopath-of-a-boss is the safest thing for her. For everyone.
But it’s too late now. He’s got his cock in his hand and she’s leaning forward. Fiacco has a smug smile on his face and I just want to look away, but I can’t.
I stare at the girl. Something about her doesn’t seem to fit the scene. Not sure what. Yeah, she had a fake ID but that’s hardly noteworthy.
She just doesn’t seem the type, despite her bravado.
Maybe I’m going soft in the head.
Fiacco’s leaning back with his eyes closed, the same gross smile on his face. The girl shifts a bit and reaches up to touch herself. Huh. Maybe she actually gets off on this sort of thing.
She’s got her mouth just over Fiacco’s cock, breathing on it but not closing her lips. It’s not my place to direct this little play and since the boss isn’t complaining, I’m just going to stay out of it and hope it’s over soon and maybe this time he’ll let the girl go without…
The bitch must have had a knife hidden somewhere I didn’t search because I see a flash as the light in the room catches the blade when she raises her hand. Motherfuck. She’s going to cut off his dick.
Fiacco is totally unaware. Dumb fucker.
I grab the girl by the arm and haul her back. The knife falls on the floor and clatters, rousing Fiacco who sits up, immediately alert, and yanks on his pants.
“What the fuck’s going on here?” he shouts.
I have the girl’s arms pinned behind her and she struggles against my grip. “Let me go, you big oaf!”
“Settle down, girl,” I whisper in her ear. “You just fucked up big time.”
“Let me go.” There’s panic in her voice and she writhes against me.
Fiacco puts his pants back together and stands, glaring at her menacingly. “So, you think you can come in here and attack me? Maybe cut off my dick? Who are you? Who sent you?”
I feel her ragged breathing. Though she’s in a horrible situation, she stands ramrod straight. “No one sent me. I’m Quinn Storm, remember me, asshole?” She spits in his direction but it lands on a pile of papers on his desk.
Fiacco’s eyes flare with rage and my mind spins as I try to figure out how to defuse a situation that’s gone straight to shit.
I don’t recognize her name, but it’s sure as hell not Marguerite Lawson. And from the tone, and knowing Fiacco’s usual behavior, I’d say she’s here for vengeance.
Doesn’t she know no one gets vengeance on Satan himself?
A slow, vile smile spreads over Fiacco’s mouth. It never reaches his eyes.
“Ah, yes. The little girl who attacked me in the courtroom.” His gaze roams over her in a new way. “I see prison has done wonders for you.”
She strains against my hold. “Let me at him,” she says.
I yank her back. “Settle,” I say quickly and quietly. It won’t help matters if Romeo thinks I’m trying to calm her. He likes ‘em feisty.
Shit, shit, shit.
He walks around the desk, hands on his belt again. “You know, I think I will enjoy punishing you, Quinn Storm.” Once again he opens his pants. He gestures toward me with his head and I know what he wants, for me to push her over his desk and hold her so he can fuck her.
She must have figured out the basics as well, because instead of pulling away from me, her slim body quivers. She doesn’t say anything. I suspect she’d rather bite off her tongue than beg for mercy.
I admire her stoicism, stupid though it may be.
I’ve got a bit of a stubborn streak myself.
The boss is getting impatient and I’m desperate to change this situation. I do not want to watch him defile this girl or deal with the aftermath of whatever he deems the appropriate punishment for her.
I can’t even think about it right now.
I stare around the room trying to come up with a distraction, but my mind is blank.
The alarm on his phone goes off.
Then I remember. It’s Tuesday. Every Tuesday he visits Julianna, his favorite mistress, for an evening of things I don’t even want to think about.
And thank fuck he never, ever misses it.
He picks his phone up and sees the reminder. His face goes even darker.
“I must go,” he says, glaring at Quinn Storm. “But don’t worry, I will leave you in the able hands of Baine.” Fiacco fastens his pants, checks his appearance in the full length mirror he keeps in the corner, and then exits.
Once the door clicks behind him, I breathe a sigh of relief. The girl does too.
“Is he gone?” she whispers.
“Yes,” I say, but I don’t loosen my hold on her.
“What happens now?” she asks. There’s a telltale quiver in her voice.
“I guess your punishment will be up to me,” I say.
Somehow that pleases me more than I expect.