I steel my jaw, staring at the cuffs on the ends of it, the chains in the floor. I gaze down at my ruined wrists; the cuts that have healed but are somehow still sensitive. Being tied up again, it terrifies me. And not in the good way.
“Draco, you should know that I—”
Before I can finish, he’s gripped me by the braid of my hair and is dragging me to the cuffs and rails. I hiss through my teeth, feeling some of my hair rip at the root as my feet scuffle forward. He jerks away when I’m standing directly beneath the red light.
His jaw is pulsing now, the paddle gripped harder in hand. He places it down on the table behind him and then returns, grabbing my forearm and drawing it up.
Wrapping the leather around my wrist tight, he watches me with hard, dark eyes, buckling it in the process. He reaches for the other and does the same, still glaring me down, breathing heavily.
When he bends down, bringing the cuffs on the floor around my ankles, gooseflesh crawls on my skin. The chains run over my feet, cold like ice, his fingers hot as he buckles each one down.
And then he rises, steps back, and looks at me from head to toe.
“You didn’t fight,” he notes, eyes broiling with desire. He’s still pinning me with those wicked eyes of his, taking steady steps back to get to the paddle again.
“You can’t hurt me, Draco,” I tell him, voice scratchy, almost shaky. Because he can. He can hurt me so much and I can’t do a single thing about it.
He picks it up with a small smile, gripping the handle of the leather paddle, examining it. “You think so?” he laughs. “I thought you fucking learned, niñita. I thought I’d finally—finally—gotten through to you. I see now that I was so wrong, and that you aren’t ready yet. You aren’t ready for me.” He tips my chin with the edge of the paddle. “If you are with me, this is how it will go. My queen will obey and trust me. She will worship me. She will side with me at all times and she will never fucking betray me. Tonight, I will make it so that you are more than ready, and so that you never pull something that fucking stupid behind my back, ever again.”
He circles me again with deliberate steps.
When he’s behind me, I’m afraid of what he’ll do. My heart is still drumming against my ribcage, my wrists already sore. I try and move my feet but I can’t. I’m stuck—completely open and vulnerable to him.
Sweat builds up on the nape of my neck. As he passes, I feel the breeze there, barely cooling my hot skin. My legs are spread just as wide as my arms. Soon, they’ll be tired.
He finally stops walking, and I hear rustling. I glance over my shoulder, but he’s in the dark so I can’t tell what he’s doing. I hear steps again. I feel his breath, the heat of his body. He’s right behind me.
A hand grips my braid and tugs back. Hard. I gasp as my face points up to the ceiling, at the red light beaming down on me.
“I promised I wouldn’t punish you again. But if you don’t keep your promises, why should I?”
“I never promised you anything,” I respond, breathless.
“You promised to be mine. You accepted this life.”
“Yes, I did. I accepted, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a mind or a will of my own.”
He pulls my braid harder, a low growl scratching at his throat. He then presses his hard body against me, knocking me off balance. Fortunately, with the chains, it only causes me to sway.
I feel something hard pressing into my back as he pushes in a little more. It’s him. He’s hard for me. He likes seeing me like this.
“I seriously want to rip you to shreds, little girl,” he snarls, bringing his lips to my ear. “But you know what’s funny?” He drags a hand around and grips my throat tight. I almost can’t breathe. Almost. “We found your armless friend,” he whispers, voice cold, taunting.
Horror strikes me. My eyes grow wide, legs shaking now. “Where?”
“He didn’t get far. And we knew he wouldn’t. He was weak. Hungry. Useless, Gianna. He was garbage, and you sacrificed your freedom for that trash.”
“Was?” My voice breaks. “He’s dead?”
When I get no response, I jerk my arms, but it only causes the chains to rattle. He pulls from me, stepping away and bringing back a cold draft. I twist my head to look for him. I can’t find him.
“Draco!” I shriek. “You killed him!” Anger builds inside me, brewing. I feel it in my core, seeping through my pores. “He was innocent, and you know it! He couldn’t have hurt you! He was only doing his job!”