“Brenden! Wake up, brother!”
I slowly opened my eyes and then closed them against the brightness of the room. Angel moaned and shifted her position in my arms, but she didn’t wake. I squinted at Andrew who was standing next to me with Heidi behind him.
“What time is it?” I groaned.
“Almost eight. I got your message. I’m happy for you, Brenden, but fuck!”
“How long since you’ve eaten? Or showered? Or, shit, slept?”
I slid out of the bed and gently laid Angel down. She whimpered but stayed asleep.
“I have no idea when I last ate, I haven’t had a shower in four days, and these past five hours are the most sleep I’ve had since we got here. Why?”
“Because you look like a dead rat the cat dragged in. You look like shit, brother.” He sniffed the air around me. “And you smell like it, too.”
Andrew grinned. “Just telling you like it is, Brenden. You actually let Angelina see you like that?”
“I don’t think she noticed. She was too busy crying.”
His grin vanished. “About what? Is she in that much pain?”
“No, it was about something else entirely.”
“Well, you are coming with me to eat and get cleaned up. Heidi!” She instantly stepped to his side.
“You will stay here with Angelina. If she wakes up, tell her I’ve taken her Master home for a little while. We’ll be back in two hours.”
“Let’s go, Brenden.”
I paused and looked down at my beautiful Angel for a moment, and then I followed him out of the room. Before we had gone far, we ran into Angel’s doctor.
“You’ve convinced him to leave? I’m impressed. We’ve been telling him for four days to go home and get some real sleep.”
“You just need to know how to talk to him,” Andrew said with another grin. “My fiancée is going to stay with Angelina until we get back. Is that all right?”
“Of course. She shouldn’t be alone right now, but Mr. Borget needs to take care of himself, too.”
“That he does,” Andrew said, and he led me out of the hospital into the garage. When we got to his car, he said, “Get in. And open the window. You fucking reek.”
I did as he said and was asleep before we’d driven four blocks. I was dreaming of Angel again—she had a brown haired, amber eyed baby in her arms—when Andrew shook me awake. “We’re at your place, Brenden. Wake up.”
I rubbed my eyes and climbed out of the car. “Thanks, Andrew. I appreciate it,” I said through the open window.
“No worries. I’ll be back in an hour to pick you up and take you back to the hospital. Take advantage of the time, brother. Shower and eat and get some fucking clean clothes.”
“Yes, Sir,” I said facetiously, and he just grinned and peeled away from the curb.
“Mr. Borget! What happened to you, sir? Where have you been?” Eduardo’s horrified voice came from behind me, and I slowly turned.
“Nothing happened to me. It was Angel. She was attacked. We’ve been at the hospital.”
He gasped as his eyes went wide. “No! Is she okay, sir?”
“She will be, I think. She’s been in a coma the last four days. She just woke up this morning.”
“Who was it, sir? Did the police catch him?”
“The police don’t have a clue who it was, and she doesn’t remember. I don’t know if they’ll ever catch him.” Of course they wouldn’t even find him if Antoine had come through on his promise.
I trudged past Eduardo and somehow made it to my apartment. I felt like I was in some sort of limbo; I was so tired I couldn’t think straight, the mention of food brought into clear focus how hungry I was, and my heart was breaking for Angel and her sorrow. I thought about the fact that if she’d only asked me, I would have made a baby with her, but then cold logic broke through the haze surrounding me, and I knew that if she had been pregnant, the baby would have died from the assault, so it was better that it had never been created at all. That was not something I would ever say to Angel, but it made me feel a little better.
I dropped my keys on the floor after locking the front door and stripped off my clothes as I walked to my bathroom, leaving a trail behind me. I turned on the water in the shower as hot as I could stand it and stepped beneath the flow. I quickly washed, knowing that if I stayed there too long, I’d probably pass out and crack my head open on the tiles. When I was done, I did feel better, but I wanted to get back to my Angel, so I quickly dressed in black jeans, a burgundy sweater, and black loafers. Then I went to the kitchen and made myself two huge sandwiches packed with cream cheese, bean sprouts, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. I brought them to the living room, sat down on the couch and practically inhaled them, washing them down with two glasses of wine. Then I rested my head against the back of the couch to wait for Andrew’s text.
When I woke up, lying on the couch with a blanket over me, I felt much better, and I wondered how long I'd have to wait until Andrew showed up. I grabbed my phone and saw that it was a little after ten o’clock. I frowned. Andrew had said he’d be back about nine thirty, and I hoped nothing had happened to him. That’s when I saw that I had thirteen missed calls and several texts. I pulled up the first text and saw that it was Andrew asking where the fuck I was. The rest of the texts and the voice messages were all similar; they all asked if I was awake yet and to call him when I did wake up. I checked the date on my phone at that point and realized that I had been asleep for over twenty-four hours. No wonder I felt good. Then I saw a note on the coffee table and picked it up, smiling as I read it.
Brenden, I tried to call you when I got back, but you didn’t answer. I was worried about you, so I convinced your building super to open your door. You were crashed, brother. I tried to wake you up, but it wasn’t happening, so I left you there. Don’t worry about Angelina. We’ll stay with her until you get back to the hospital. Take care of yourself, and we’ll take care of her. --Andrew
I stood up, stretched, and went to the bathroom to shower again. Then I shaved, changed into clean clothes—the ones I had on were rather wrinkled—and left the apartment. Eduardo smiled when he saw me.
“Feeling better, Mr. Borget?”
“Much, Eduardo, thanks. Amazing what happens when I actually get some sleep.”
He nodded. “Do you know when Miss Wykes will be coming home, sir?”
“No. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow. Hopefully today.”
“I’m glad she’ll be all right, sir. Will you tell her I said so?”
“Sure thing.” I gave him a smile and walked a few blocks to a coffee shop. I ordered the largest coffee they had and three tomato and spinach breakfast sandwiches. Then I hailed a cab and headed back to the hospital. I called Andrew on the way, and he said they’d wait for me before heading home.
When we reached the hospital, I got out, took a deep breath, and made myself assume my usual demeanor. The past four days had been hell, but my Angel would be all right, physically if not emotionally, and it was time for us to get back to our roles. I loved her, but I was still her Master, and she my slave. I needed to make sure she understood that.
I went up to her room in the ICU and was told she had been moved to a different room the night before. I growled softly and went to where she was one floor down. When I got to her new room, I stood in the doorway and watched the scene before me. Heidi was sitting next to the bed holding Angel’s hand, and they were both smiling. Neither of them noticed I was there, so I just watched. They were talking softly enough that I couldn’t hear them.
“She’s doing much better, Brenden. She doesn’t seem as sad as she was yesterday.”
Andrew spoke quietly from behind me, and I glanced at him. He held out a coffee cup to me, and I took it.
“No, Andrew. I mean for everything. You’ve put your life on hold for us, and I can never repay you for that. You’ve been a good friend through all of this, brother.”
He clapped me on the back. “I said it before, Brenden. You’d have done the same for me. I’m glad I could help. I’m glad Heidi could help. She did, you know. When Angelina woke up and you weren’t there, it was Heidi who calmed her down. I made her go home and sleep last night, but other than that, she’s been right there, talking to Angelina.”
I just nodded and took a step into the room. Both slaves’ heads snapped up, and Heidi quickly stood while Angel dropped her eyes.
“Come on, Heidi,” Andrew said, “It’s time for us to leave.”
“Yes, Sir,” she said, and then she bent down and kissed Angel’s head before whispering something to her. Angel nodded and glanced up at me.
“Yes, Sir.” She hurried around the bed, and Andrew took her arm tightly as they left. I watched them leave and saw her shudder once when he said something to her before they moved out of sight.
I stepped up to the bed and sat down in chair Heidi had just abandoned. “How are you feeling?”
“Better, Master.” Angel gave me a small smile, but she seemed nervous.
“The doctor told me something, Master, and I’m not sure how you’re going to take it.”
My eyebrows went up. “What is it?”
“It’s about when we can have sex again, Master.”
I waited, but she didn’t say anything else. “And?”
“Two weeks for oral and digital, Master, and six for anything else. Maybe eight. Doctor Oberson wants me to come back in for an examination before we…”
“Before we fuck?”
“Yes, Master,” she whispered. “Are you angry, Master?”
“Why would I be angry? If it takes that long for you to heal, that’s that.” Her head had stayed down the whole time, and I said, “Look at me, Angel.” She raised her eyes to mine. “None of this is your fault. Never think that.”
“But I wasn’t home on time, Master.”
“I know, and I will punish you for that later. But that fuck would have found you at some other time if it hadn’t have been now. He hurt you to hurt me, and he paid for it with his life.”
A tear crept down her cheek, and I brushed it away. “But now I can’t give you a baby, Master.”
“Don’t be sad about that, Angel. I don’t need a child to be happy with you. I just need you. A child would have been nice, but as long as I have you, that’s enough.” She smiled at that, and I took a deep breath as I decided to tell her. Not the most romantic setting, but I couldn’t keep it in any longer. I gently took her face in my hands and kissed her on the forehead before staring into her eyes. “I have something to tell you, but I need you to understand something first.” She nodded. “What I am going to say changes nothing about our relationship. I am still your Master, and you are still my slave. The rules still apply, and I still expect the same things from you that I always have. Do you understand that?”
She looked confused, but she said, “Yes, Master, I understand. I think.”
I gave her a small smile. “You’ll understand when you hear it.” I trailed my thumbs over her face gently and said, “I love you, Angel.” Her eyes went wide, and she smiled. “I have never said that to any of my slaves before, but I do. I love you.”
Her hands came up to my biceps, and she whispered, “I love you, too, Master. I have loved you since the first time you put me in the corner, Master. That’s when I knew you cared for me enough to correct my behavior.”
I brushed my lips over hers carefully. Her bottom one was not completely healed, and I didn’t want to hurt her. “Remember that when I punish you for your transgressions, Angel. I love you enough to correct you. I love you enough that I can’t let you get away with bad behavior.”
“I understand, Master. Thank you, Master.”
I smiled and dropped my hands. “Did the doctor say when you can come home?”
“Probably today, Master. He said he’d talk to you when you got back.”
“Good. I want you home. I hate hospitals.”
“If you hate them, Master, why did you stay here with me?”
“You have to ask that? I love you, Angel. I wasn’t about to leave you.” I sucked in a shuddering breath. “I thought you were going to die, my Angel. If that had happened, I wouldn’t have survived it.”
She shook her head. “Don’t say that, Master. You’re so strong, you would have been fine.”
“No, you don’t understand. When I say ‘I love you,’ it’s not just words. I thought I was going to suffocate when they told me you wouldn’t wake up, Angel. For four days I sat here and waited for you to open your eyes and smile at me, and when you didn’t, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep.” I begged you on my knees to wake up. I would never tell her that, but I think she knew. “I love you, Angel, and I can’t live without you.”
She was about to say something, but movement at the door had both our eyes looking there. Doctor Oberson came in, a smile on his face. “Are you ready to go home, Miss Wykes?”
“Yes, Doctor,” she said with a return smile.
He looked at me. “She already asked me about sex, Mr. Borget, and I told her—“
“She told me,” I interrupted him.
“Really? Well, good. I want to see her in two weeks before you do anything but kiss her. If she’s healed enough, you can do oral and perhaps digital, but that’s it. Anything more, and you risk putting her back in here. Do you understand me?”
“Then I want to see her a month after that. At that point, you may be able to return to your normal sex life. Now, I’ll get her discharge papers ready. Does she have any clothes to go home in?”
“No. I didn’t think she’d be leaving until tomorrow or tonight.”
“Well, there’s a mall about two blocks to the north of here. You go get her something, and she should be ready to go by the time you get back.”
I nodded, and he left. I turned to Angel. “Will you be all right here alone?”
“Yes, Master,” she said with a smile.
“Good.” I gave her a kiss on the forehead and walked out.
Half an hour later, I was back with her clothes. I had chosen loose clothing even though I hated when women hid what they had behind clothing that didn’t truly fit. I didn’t want to aggravate any of her injuries, so I had a light flowing blouse and skirt, sandals, and a soft sweater. When I entered her room, she had a stack of papers in her hand and a smile on her face.
“Your discharge papers?”
I put the bag on the bed and helped her stand. “Go get changed, and we’ll go home.”
“Yes, Master.” She took the bag and went to the bathroom. I smiled when she kept the door open. I quickly closed the door to the hall and leaned against it as she pulled the hospital gown from her body and let it drop to the floor. Even with the bruises and bandages, she was gorgeous.
“So fucking beautiful, my Angel.”
She smiled at me and dressed quickly. When she was done, she left the bag where it was and walked to me. “Thank you, Master,” she said, and I grabbed the papers from the bed and walked out the door. She followed me just as she should have. I shuffled through the papers and found what I was looking for--her prescriptions. I went directly to the hospital’s pharmacy and we waited while her antibiotics, pain killers, and other medicines were prepared. I paid for them, and we walked out of the hospital to hail a cab.
When we finally reached home, I stepped out of the cab and held my hand out for Angel to take. She did so, and I squeezed it gently as I helped her from the car. She smiled up at me, and we walked to the front door of the building. Eduardo was already holding the door for us.
“I’m so happy to see you home, Miss Wykes. I hope you feel better soon.”
“Thank you, Eduardo,” she said softly, and we walked inside.
As I unlocked the door to the apartment, I said, “You will strip as soon as you get to your room, Angel. Then we will talk in my study. You have ten minutes. And Angel?”
“Don’t make me wait again.”
“Yes, Master,” she said, dropping her eyes to the floor, her cheeks flaming red.
I opened the door and held it for her. She scurried inside and rushed to her room. I went to my study to wait for her. I was pleased when she entered the room with three minutes to spare, completely naked, and dropped to her knees at my feet.
“Good girl. Now, up on the desk.”
“Yes, Master,” she said and clambered up with my help. She immediately put her feet on the top, and spread her knees.
I studied her, my eyes not missing the fact that her nipples and clit were still red and swollen, and she had a few stitches in each where the doctor had sewn up the tears. The backs of her thighs were covered with black and purple bruises, and I knew her back and ass were the same. Both eyes were blackened, her bottom lip was swollen and cut, and her left cheek was one massive bruise. I could only imagine how much she hurt inside.
I reached into my jacket pocket and pulled out her collar and cuffs. I raised an eyebrow at her in question, and she broke out in a huge smile and held out her hands to me. I gazed into her eyes as I locked her cuffs on her wrists and ankles, and as I hooked her collar around her neck, I kissed her temple.
“Tell me what these mean, Angel.”
“They mean I belong to you, Master.”
“And what does that mean?”
“It means you are my Master, and I will obey you in everything. I will take care of your needs and trust you to take care of me. It means you will punish me when I deserve to be punished because you love me and want me to be the best I can be.”
“Good girl. Now, tell me the truth. How do you feel right now?”
“I’m tired, Master.”
“And your pain? How is that?”
She frowned. “I hurt, Master, everywhere, but it’s not too bad. I can handle it.”
“Were you given pain meds before we left the hospital?”
“Yes, Master. Right before you came back.”
“That explains it. You have a lot of medication to take, Angel, but the pain pills are at your discretion. I want you to take them as little as possible. They are very powerful, and I don’t want you getting addicted, but I don’t want you in pain, either. Take them when you need to but no more than that. Do you understand me?”
“Yes, Master. I understand. May I ask you something, Master?”
“When are you going to punish me for being late and talking to you like that in the hospital, Master?”
“When I feel like you can take it. Maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day. Why?”
She pressed her lips together. “Because I deserve to be punished, Master, and I want you to punish me. Please, Master?”
I cocked my head and studied her. “Aren’t you too tired? It’s not punishment if you fall asleep in the middle of it.”
“Oh, no, Master,” she said quickly, shaking her head. “Please punish me, Master. I need to be punished for disobeying and disrespecting you.”
“Yes, you do. I was going to belt you for being late, but that will only happen if you are late again. You are hurting too much for that now. Therefore, you will be punished in another way. For being late, you will kneel in the corner for an hour. For speaking that way to me, you will kneel there with a bar of soap in your mouth. If you drop it, I will punish you again. Go get the soap and come back here. Be quick, Angelina.”
“Yes, Master.” She climbed off the desk and left the room. Within moments, she was back with the soap, and handed it to me.
I led her to the corner. “Face it and kneel, Angelina.” She shuddered as she always did when I used her full name. “Hands on your thighs.” She immediately obeyed, and then I said, “Open your mouth.” She did, and I stuck the soap in. It stretched her mouth to the point I thought her lip might start to bleed again, but she simply bit down and hung her head meekly. “Don’t move, Angelina, unless you truly start to hurt. Then you have my permission to tell me.” The carpet was thick and plush, so I had no fear of nerve damage to her knees, and I went back to my desk and turned on the computer after setting the timer on my phone to an hour. I wanted to be in the room in case she did start to hurt, and I pulled up my email.
There were several from my accounting firm, and I answered them all. Most of them were well-wishes from people I worked with. I had already let my boss know what had happened, and she had told me to take my time getting back and that she would send me some things to work on at home. I opened those attachments and lost myself in the work.
It seemed as if only moments had passed when the timer went off, and I looked up at Angel. She hadn’t moved from where I had placed her, and I smiled.
“You may take the soap out, Angel,” I said. She did so immediately. “Go put it back and meet me in the living room.”
“Yes, Master,” she said quietly.I logged off the computer and went to the living room to wait for her. I started a fire and sat down on the couch. Only a few minutes passed before she came in and knelt at my feet. I held her head to my thigh gently, and she sighed contentedly as her arms went around my lower leg. I caressed her hair with one hand as I turned on the television with the other. I didn’t watch it often, but I just wanted to relax with her for a while. We watched the news for a little bit, and she slowly fell asleep on her knees. I turned the television off, picked her up, and laid her on the couch next to me. I pulled the blanket that was on the back of the couch over her, kissed her forehead, and went to work out.