unraveling

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Chapter 2

MADDEN

I didn’t know what I was supposed to do.

My grade online hadn’t changed and I didn’t know whether to feel annoyed, cheated, angry, or happy that I got an excuse to see Castien again, just to complain. Happy. That’s the answer.

Of course, I didn’t have to. Before I could work up any kind of courage to go inside his office, the door opened and I came face to face with Castien’s chest. So not technically face to face.

I internally groaned. What was I doing? Seriously. “Are you just going to stand there?” he asks dryly. “Get out of my way.”

I didn’t want to look up. “I-I...I...could I...” I didn’t know where I was going with this sentence and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t have been able to say it. Wow, it was like twenty years of my confidence slip away slowly.

It was like I could physically hear his eyes roll. To my surprise, he didn’t push past me and just ignored me. He opened the door to his office wider as if to let me in. I blinked before carefully stepping inside. He shuts the door and leans back against his desk, arms crossing over his chest.

He was waiting, I realized. “Well, if you’re simply going to stand there, I’d prefer it if you did your standing outside my office and stop wasting my time, Sylar.”

“I’m confused,” I pushed out.

“I know,” he said mockingly. “Otherwise you wouldn’t be failing my class.”

“Yes, but-”

“I’m going to ask you to hurry up with this and stop irritating me or get out of my office.” His tone was indeed irritated.

I lifted my eyes just a bit and peered at his face. He stared back at me, face stoic and flat. Then, as I studied his face, I could detect just a hint of something that reassembled mirth in his eyes and I paused.

Oh my fuck. He was enjoying this. Watching me struggle. “You know why I’m here,” I mutter quietly. This son of a bitch was more twisted than I originally thought.

“I do,” he confirmed, sounding like that was obvious.

“Then can you stop being such a dick and just....” I started exasperatedly.

I regretted my words almost immediately. Castien’s hand shot forward, grabbing my face and tilting my head up so I was forced to look into his eyes. The touch sent pinpricks spiking down my skin. I shivered.

“You won’t say that again,” he warned, his voice sharp and cold. “Are we clear?”

I tried to remember how to breathe properly. “Yes...sir.”

His eyes flashed and I watched as he swallows, almost uneasily. He released his hold on me and I did my best not to take a step back from him. “I hope you aren’t nearly as stupid or naïve as to think that what you did yesterday was by any means deserving of a reward.”

I flushed. Reward. I made a noise of protest but thought better of it. “But why?” I ask softly, frowning.

Castien’s head tilts slightly. “You’re going to have to do a lot more than that. Do you think I just give grades in my class away so easily?”

Do you ever give grades away in your class? I wanted to ask. “No, sir,” I answered, keeping my eyes cast down.

He smirks. “Good.”

“Then what am I supposed to do?” I said softly.

“Do you recall what you said to me yesterday?”

“Um...” I said a lot of things yesterday. “Which part?”

“You’ll let me do whatever I want to you,” he replies monotonously.

“Oh,” I breathed. My pulse quickened and my stomach flipped anxiously with anticipation as my mind started running wild again.

“And the part when I said you would regret it?” I didn’t think my voice was working properly so I just nodded. “Tell me,” he drawled. “How desperate are you?”

I didn’t even care how obvious it was that he was taking advantage of me right now because he was right. I was desperate. Not just for my grade. But for him. “I stand by my word,” I whispered. “I’m all yours.”

He was silent for several seconds and I peeked up at his face. He was impassive as always but a little more annoyed than usual. After a long silence, he gives a clipped nod. “Very well. Are you free tonight?”

What the fuck was happening right now? “Yes, sir.” If there was one thing that I learned from this conversation it was that ‘sir’ had been the right decision. His jaw clenched and he scowls.

“Where do you live?”

My eyes widened and I was confused for a second. “W-what?”

“You’re going to have to get much better at listening,” Castien remarked dryly.

I opened my mouth to ask another question, but I bit my tongue. I rattled off my address he blinks, seeming to have gathered all the information he needed. “Get out of my office. I have something else I must attend to and you’ve wasted a great deal of my time already,” he mutters irritably.

I left his office feeling like I had just signed away my soul.


-

"I'm sorry, you agreed to do what now?” Liam asks incredulously. “And you gave him our address?”

I winced. “Sorry?”

“But why?” he groans. “What the fuck were you thinking?”

I hadn’t really been thinking. “I...”

Liam rubs his temples. “You can’t become Professor Castien’s sex slave,” he hissed. “Are you crazy?”

“I’m not going to become his sex slave,” I rolled my eyes.

He holds his hands up, stopping me before I could say anything else. “Are you doing this because he’ll change your grade or because of your ridiculous crush on him?”

That was a very, very good question. What was I doing? Why was I doing this? “My grade,” I answered. “I’m not that crazy.” Right? Now, knowing how fucked up Castien was, there was no way I still liked him.

He frowns. “There are other ways to get your grade up, Madden. Don’t do something reckless.”

“I’m not,” I assure him. I knew he was just worried about me, so I wrapped my arms around him. “I’ll be fine.”

He sighs, patting my head gently. “Just be careful, okay?”

I beamed up at him. “Of course.”

I could tell he still thought this was a terrible idea but, he shook his head. “You’re way too innocent for this.”

I laughed. “I’m not innocent.”

He was about to answer but someone knocked on the door. He gives me a pointed look. “If that’s him, you’re answering the door.

“Fine, fine,” I muttered. I cautiously walked over to the front door and swung it open, ignoring the fact that my heart had started hammering all of a sudden.

Sure enough, Castien was standing there, looking extremely bored. He eyed me up and down before pursing his lips together, frowning. “Come with me,” he commands.

I look back at Liam, who smiles sweetly at me. Obeying, I carefully closed the door behind me and followed him as he began walking away from me. “Wait, where are we going?” I ask, attempting to keep up with his long strides. He ignores me, still walking ahead.

What the hell is he doing? Where is he going? Why are his legs so damn long? How was he walking so fast?

I follow him all the way to his car, where he swings the door wide open. “Get in.”

For the first time, I actually stopped and thought about what the fuck I was doing. This was a terrible idea. And getting into his car was even more of a terrible idea. I shift anxiously and Castien glowered at me. “Please, take your time,” he said dryly.

“Sorry,” I mumbled, getting into the passenger’s seat. Hey, I never claimed to be smart. I claimed to not be dumb, but not smart.

“Buckle your seatbelt,” he says, seeming bothered. “If you fly out the window, I’m not taking the blame for it.”

I smiled a bit, doing as I was told. “Are you that shitty of a driver? Should I be worried?”

I fully expected him to ignore me or shut me up, but he didn’t. “You should,” he informed me. “You got into a stranger’s car. You should definitely be worried.”

I scoffed at that, despite that having been my exact though only a few minutes ago. “You aren’t exactly a stranger.” Was he? I didn’t know much about him.

There was a small twinkle in his eye that made my heart warm unexpectedly. “And do you trust me?”

What was I supposed to answer to that? Was he expecting a right answer? Was I supposed, to be honest? What was my honest answer? Could I trust him? “I don’t know,” I admitted quietly.

Castien didn’t say anything else for the remainder of the ride. When he did stop though, he pulls past a gate and into the driveway of a very expensive looking house. Wow, Liam was right. He’s loaded. And between this car and his house, there was no way he was doing this on a college professor’s salary.

He continues not saying anything and I realized I just had to keep following him.

When Castien unlocked the door to his house and waited expectantly for me to get in, I tried my hardest not to ogle at the interior design. It was a house worthy of a millionaire. By no means a mansion, but it was huge.

“What?” he asks, looking almost curious but not quite. He looked...amused.

“Nothing,” I rushed to say.

He didn’t push it but his lips pressed themselves into a thin line. “You’ll need a safeword before we start this.” For some reason, he didn’t look happy about his words.

This? Get started? Safeword? What? He had started walking again so I continued following him until he led me to what I assumed was his living room. “Sit,” he mutters, pulling me down onto the couch next to him.

I sat awkwardly not entirely sure what to do to my hands. There had been an underlying threat to his words when he had spoken in his office and honestly, I wasn’t entirely sure what I made of it. But I had been sure I wanted to know why he was so fixated that he could make me regret saying what I did.

What was he going to do to me?

“I’m sorry, sir,” I mumbled, keeping my eyes anywhere but his eyes. “I don’t understand.”

Unlike any other time I’ve seen him, Professor Castien looked relaxed. He arches a perfect brow at me, leaning back against the couch. “What do you not understand?”

“I-I...I don’t know what a safe word is,” I said softly.

His fingers reached out towards my face and I flinched. His touch was surprisingly gentle. He lightly hooks a finger under my chin and tilts my eyes to meet his. They were a warm, melted chocolate shade of brown. I probably never noticed that before because they were usually glaring at me. “Look at me when you talk.”

“Yes, professor,” I said almost reflexively.

His lips twitched. “A safeword is a word that you will use when you want things to stop. Anything that is happening, once you say it, will stop, no negotiation.”

“Why will I want to stop it?” I ask.

“When it’s too much for you,” he said quietly, “you’ll want to stop it, and when you want to, you can.”

I had so many more questions but there was something wrong. Castien was by no means unguarded right now but he was nowhere near as rigid as usual. By the way, he talked about the safeword he seemed so sure that I would use it, just like he was sure I would regret things. And yet, he was making it perfectly clear that I had an out so what was this hint of expectancy and sadness I was detecting?

“Okay,” I agreeed.

“Pick a safeword,” he commanded.

I blinked, thinking of a bunch of words that I could’ve used. Then I settled on one. “Vanilla.”

“Vanilla?” he repeated. Ironic, isn’t it?

“Yes, sir,” I confirmed.

He seemed to square his face back into an impenetrable state and he nods. “Very well.” Then, in a quick second, his large hands wrapped around my wrists pulling my entire body forward and onto his lap.

He slammed his lips down against mine.

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