My eyes were watering as she worked, somehow transforming the bloody bird’s nest I’d been rocking into a sleek updo similar to hers. Magic that could remove blood seemed really useful for a villain. I’d been drenched, and now there wasn’t a drop on me.
“Last but not least,” she announced after she’d disappeared into a small closet off the bathroom. In her hands was a collar attached to a gold-colored chain. My eyes widened as I took a step backward.
She smiled at me malevolently. “Please. Make my day and struggle.”
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” I snapped, unable to hold it in.
Her evil grin widened. She blinked and then I was screaming as the full effect of the lashes on my back came roaring back. I collapsed to the floor and she let me suffer for what felt like forever…until suddenly, the pain was gone.
Her laugh assaulted my eardrums and then the collar hit the tile floor next to me with a loud clunk. “Put this on and get your ass off the floor. We’ve got five minutes.”
I grabbed the collar right as the door burst open and a man I hadn’t seen before appeared in the doorway.
“Is she ready?” he growled, his eyes greedily devouring every inch of my skin.
“Almost,” the witch simpered sweetly, her voice completely different from how she’d just been screeching at me.
She grabbed the collar out of my hands and quickly and efficiently snapped it around my neck…she was obviously practiced.
The witch handed the chain connected to the collar to the asshole in front of me, and his lecherous grin only grew, especially when he yanked me forward for the fun of it, and I had a nip slip. Her laughter filled the air as he grabbed my boob roughly, flicking my nipple before pulling the fabric back up to cover me.
My wolf roared inside of me, and a second later she lunged forward, my mouth lengthening into a snout with razor-sharp teeth. And I tore that fucker’s throat out.
The witch cursed behind me, and then I was writhing in pain, my wolf retracting back inside me…but somehow, it didn’t seem to hurt quite as bad.
I was drooling when the pain stopped, wondering if any part of my mind was going to be intact after this.
The man was still lying on the ground, blood all over his front.
And he was definitely dead.
I guess there was a limit to the witch’s ability to heal wounds.
My neck was snapped forward when the witch yanked my chain sharply. “You’re going to pay for that, you little bitch.”
There was a shout from outside the room, and she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “Later,” she murmured, her voice thick with promise.
She kicked the body as she passed, pulling me towards the door and then out into the hallway.
A few turns later and we were going through a door into a luxurious backyard filled to the brim with debauchery of every kind.
There was an enormous pool, loaded down with a crowd of mostly nude swimmers. I cringed, thinking about having to touch that water. There was basically an orgy happening in there, and I needed bleach for my eyeballs.
Loud music was pumping through speakers all over the large open space. Bars and kegs were spread all over the place, as were tables of food. Despite what I was seeing all around me, hot shame still flooded my veins as I was dragged by the witch through the party crowd towards where Brayden was seated with a group of other menacing men. There were girls and guys draped around them. One girl was massaging his shoulders while another was kneeling in front of him, her head bobbing up and down as she…
I swallowed the vomit trying to come up, sweat trickling down my back that had nothing to do with the humidity in the air.
I could still feel his fingers on me and in me, my pulse drumming loudly in my ears—
“Get your shit together,” the witch snapped, most likely smelling the stench of my panic.
For once I was grateful for her bitchiness; she’d somehow successfully snapped me out of a panic attack.
“Here you are,” she said, nodding to Brayden as we got within a few feet of where his group was seated. Brayden kept his eyes locked with mine as he moaned loudly and came down the poor girl’s throat.
I didn’t miss the frown of annoyance from the men seated next to him. Not that what they were doing with the followers around them was any different. They were all disgusting.
My wolf growled inside me, wanting a repeat performance of what she’d done earlier.
Not now, I warned sternly, knowing we’d be torn to bits around this crowd.
The witch handed Brayden the chain and he yanked me forward, wrapping it around his hand as I tried to keep my chin held high.
Once he got me next to him, he licked up my face. I shivered in disgust, locking eyes with the witch who was still right outside of the group, longing and hatred warring in her eyes. I made my own promise to her then: I would make her pay for what she’d done today.
Brayden yanked my chain again when he saw I wasn’t paying attention to him. The girl still at his feet glared at me as he dragged a finger across the top of my breasts.
“Feed me,” he ordered, his head nodding towards the table loaded with food. The men chuckled around us.
For a second, I allowed myself to imagine Hendrix’s monster charging through the crowd, his claws slicing through them all. I imagined how easily he could tear through Brayden’s skin.
“Emersyn,” Brayden snarled, his voice thick with annoyance and warning. I snapped back to the shit show around me and grabbed some grapes, knowing this would be another moment I’d never forget. My hand trembled…with anger…as I took the grape and moved it to his opened mouth.
His tongue licked at my fingers, and I couldn’t hold in my shiver of disgust. He yanked the chain forward and then licked the side of my face to punish me.
My fingers were a much better sacrifice than my face, I decided. When he let me go, I fed him grapes, trying my best to hold in my fury every time his tongue grazed my skin. His eyes were staring aptly at my face, just waiting for me to mess up.
It struck me then, how I had almost forgotten the feeling of sorrow I’d carried around me when Brayden had been in my life every day. I’d forgotten the pit in my stomach of knowing the moon goddess had thought so little of me that this was what I’d been given for my soulmate.
Now that I was in his presence again, it was all back.