A Rude Beginning
Five AM. The sun had hardly risen and the street below still had that blue morning look. I was still tired and disoriented as I shimmied my pants up my hips.
My phone went off with a ping! I froze, my zipper wasn't even up yet but I knew better than to ignore it. He was an impatient toddler.
I snatched up the phone from my bed and opened the text.
You should get curtains. I don't want anyone else peeking at you through the window.
At first I was worried, then my brow set in anger as I zipped myself up and threw on a shirt.
You're the only one who wants to watch me dress, you gross pervert, I texted back.
His response was so immediate that it startled me.
I'm the only one allowed to watch you dress. Get curtains.
He was right I guess, it wasn't like anyone else wanted to watch me dress anyways.
My fingers moved on their own, I hate you.
I bit down on my lower lip. Of course I hated him, he was a control freak that had complete authority over my life. I wanted to be free. I wanted to have a boyfriend and pick out my own clothes and choose who I wanted to talk to. Unfortunately, this was impossible since Warren had me in the palm of his hand.
He was powerful, manipulative, cruel. He could have anyone wrapped around his finger with a single command and I was his. He owned every part of me and I was absolutely trapped.
It didn't matter anymore. I might have liked to act out against his wishes every now and again but it would always end up in a punishment. I narrowed my eyes as I brushed my fingers over my collarbones.
You're mine. He wrote back. I blinked angrily.
You don't own me, I answered quickly.
You are mine, Paige.
And that was the end of our conversation.
After classes and work I wanted to go home and fall asleep but I had to look through the bills first.
I had a tiny kitchenette connected to a small room with a table where I ate. I sat under the yellow light and yawned as I slid through the ads and promotions. Bills went in another pile. I didn't get any sort of personal mail.
The bills were kind of depressing but nothing prepared me for the absolute panic and crushing disbelief when I saw an envelope licked in red ink.
I had a week to pay up or move out and I found it very unlikely that I would be able to pay up on my own. I couldn't take out any more money from the bank. Maybe I could pick up another job? I could do a late shift.
I shook the thought away. I had to focus on school. Another job wouldn't leave me any time to study or do my homework. My grades weren't amazing at the moment but at least I was passing. I could only hope it would stay that way.
Good luck studying when you're homeless. Maybe I could take online classes? That would spare me more time to find another job to cover my expenses.
I'd have to ask Warren about it and he'd want to know why I was doing it. At this point I didn't have it in me to lie to him anymore because he knew when I was being untruthful anyway. There had to be something else to do about it.
Maybe I could pay half-rent? The land lord had let me do that before when he knew money was tight. Would he do it again?
That was the most attractive option. If I didn't get groceries tomorrow then I could scrape up just about half and drop it off to him and explain that I just needed some more time to get it together.
Then after that I could see about getting a cheaper apartment. There was no way I could keep sacrificing food. I'd have to move to the worse side of town and the apartment would be even more crappy but at least I wouldn't have to worry any more than I was now.
Mm... then I'd have to clear the move with Warren. He wouldn't want me living in a bad neighborhood. Maybe I could convince him somehow- a deal or something. He liked those.
I nodded to myself. It could work. I could do it.
The next morning I knocked on my land lord's door. He lived in the neighborhood and I usually dropped off rent in person. The door opened and Dan looked at me. He was a man in his late thirties with graying black hair and a curly beard.
"Paige," he raised his brows, "here with rent?"
I nodded quickly and fiddled with the envelope in my hands, "I have- I don't have everything right now but this is half. Exactly. I counted it all up. But I get paid on Friday! You don't have to worry, I'll-"
"Paige," his voice was serious, "I know I've let this slide in the past but I can't let you get away with it anymore. You pay full rent like everyone else or find somewhere else to live. I know that sounds harsh, but it's time to face the reality."
It was impossible to hide the disappointment in my expression. I stared blankly at him for a moment before tucking the envelope in my bag and nodded mutely.
What the fuck was I going to do now?
Tears were brimming in my eyes when I sat down on my bed and pulled my knees up to my chest. Heavy thoughts stormed my addled brain. There had to be some way to scrape up a couple hundred extra bucks. A loan was out of the question- I already had to pay off my student loans.
If I sold some of my stuff it might be enough, but what if it wasn't bought in time? I rolled my lower lip between my teeth and chewed on it harder. Warren had the money- he definitely did. He'd offered to buy me a bunch of expensive things: houses, cars, et cetera. I'd always said no, however. He would take advantage of me if I accepted those kinds of gifts.
Therefore, I was definitely not asking him.
Speaking of the actual devil, my phone began to buzz. I blinked down at his contact and picked up my phone.
"Yeah?" I whispered, my voice was unusually timid. I didn't want to cry when I was on the phone with him.
"Hey, baby," he replied in that sonorous baritone of his. I pulled the blanket up to my shoulders and laid my head on the pillow.
"Hi, Warren," I mumbled and rubbed my eyes.
"How was your day? You had a lot to do," he remarked as I listened to the sound of fluttering pages the tapping of keyboard keys.
"It was an easy day at the cafe but urban design was a bitch," I yawned and tucked my knees against my chest.
"What a naughty mouth, Paige," he cooed playfully, "does my babydoll want a punishment?"
All the blood in my body rushed to my cheeks, "n-no! It's just a word, Warren. I thought I was allowed to swear."
"Mm, I'm just teasing you, little one," he chuckled and I relaxed my tense muscles in relief. "So that's all that happened today? Nothing else?"
I swallowed hard, the eviction notice immediately coming to mind.
"No, Sir. Just the usual," I shrugged, "but I got an A on my project for architectural history. It brought my grade up a little bit so I don't have to worry about failing so much anymore."
"That's good, babydoll. I'm proud of you, when are midterms?" He asked and I let his voice wrap around me as a distraction from my current woes.
"Next Friday, but I have a big test in urban design on Wednesday- that's why the lectures are so grueling right now," I groaned and pressed my face into the pillow.
"If you need anything you can ask me. I could have someone tutor you," he offered in a soothing tone. It almost made me accept but I knew deep down that he never did anything nice unless there was something in it for him.
"It's okay, Warren. I don't have much time anyways especially now that I-" I stopped myself and mentally slammed my face into a wall. Now I had to tell him, "well I mean, I was thinking about getting another job? Pay off my loans quicker."
He was silent for a minute.
"Paige," he said slowly, drawing my name out, "that sounds suspicious, doesn't it? Are you telling me the truth?"
I swallowed and my eyes watered a little bit. Should I lie again?
My voice was uncertain when I spoke again, "it's nothing, Warren," I sniffled, "there's just been a lot of s-stress lately, but I'm managing just fine."
My heart beat quickly in my chest and I breathed a little harder in fear that he might do something.
"Paige," he said in a hard voice and I curled further into a ball.
My lower lip wobbled and my eyes brimmed when I realized that I had o tell him, "it's the rent," I whimpered, "Dan is going to evict me if I don't have my rent by next week."
He was quiet for a second.
"Let me take care of it for you, baby," he hummed and I wanted to let him. I wanted to let him take care of everything.
I couldn't though.
"N-no. It's okay, Warren, I'll figure it out somehow," I swallowed as tears began to come forth.
"No. I'm going to settle it right now." He announced and I heard the scraping of his chair as he stood up, "I'll head over to your apartment after, okay? Make yourself some tea."
I trembled like a wet kitten.
"Please, Warren. You don't have to," I pleaded with him.
"I'm not negotiating with you, babydoll," he scolded me, "just relax and let me take care of everything."
I was sitting on the couch; my feet tucked beneath me. I stared blankly at the wall with a cup of hot tea in my trembling hands. He was coming over soon.
I flinched when the knob turned and the door opened. Warren was the only other person I'd given a key to. He'd insisted upon it. My heart caught in my throat when he emerged from outside and closed the door behind him. He looked too big for my small room.
His shoulders were broad and he was about a foot taller than me. I was small and skinny, much to my displeasure. Maybe if I was as big as him he wouldn't pick on me.
Doubtful. He was persistent.
I looked at him with wide eyes when he turned to me. He wasn't hideous or anything as far as assholes go, far from it actually. I just hated him with every fiber of my being.
"I paid your rent a few months in advance and settled your past debt with him," he said and stood over me. I shifted uncomfortably.
"You didn't have to do that," I said flatly and squeezed my mug in my hands.
"Would you rather I take it back?" He said in a musing tone and I leaned back against the couch as I shook my head. His expression softened as he slid his fingers through my hair and made me look up at him. "Good boy, come here."
I stood up tentatively before him and hardly came up to his shoulder. Our knees knocked together as he cupped my cheek.
Warren's fingers stroked my jaw as he slid his palm around my throat. I sucked in a sharp breath as he pulled me against him and lowered his mouth onto mine. An involuntary whimper escaped me as he squeezed my neck gently.
His lips were warm and aggressive, if he wasn't him then I might have liked it. I pulled my arms against my chest- just to keep some space between us. He stroked my Adam's apple with his thumb; reminding me of the hand around my throat.
When I began to lose breath I pushed against him and he reluctantly released me. Warren continued to kiss me though, bruising my pink lips with his mouth. It was too much for me and I stumbled against the couch a little bit.
He dragged his palms down my hips and lifted me up against him. I trembled partially in nervousness and partially in... well, arousal. My legs squeezed around his hips as his hands settled under my ass and he carried me to my bedroom.
Warren laid me down on my bed and slid on top of me, pinning me down with his body. I pressed my face into his neck to hide my blushing cheeks.
"Warren-" I gasped and and placed my hands on his shoulders, "please."
"Shh," he whispered and kissed down my neck. I resisted the urge to squirm beneath him and instead twisted my fingers in his button up. His lips and tongue were hot on my skin as he sucked and nibbled along my throat and collar bone.
I whimpered softly as his hand slid up my shirt and he continued to mark all over my neck. My body wasn't exactly relaxed but I also wasn't completely scared of him. I knew he would never press my limits to the extremes- he knew there'd be no way I'd forgive him.
My mind blanked when his knee slipped between my legs and his thumb ran over my nipple. He was trying to distract me from everything but I knew that he also wanted nothing more than to touch me.
I was completely at his mercy.
"Warren," I began, I didn't want to try to lead him on. Both his hands were sliding over my chest, "we're not doing anything tonight. Take it easy on me."
He nipped at my earlobe and rubbed his knee between my thighs. I whined at how he pressed against my privates He moved against me and I could feel his growing erection pressing into my thigh.
"Warren, I'm fucking serious, you asshole," I whimpered and pushed at his shoulders. He leaned back but remained situated between my legs. "I know before... but I can't go back to that yet. I'm not ready to b-be-"
"Fucked?" He offered and tilted his head to the side as I nodded slowly. I brought my arms around myself and felt my cheeks slowly turning red. "I want to take your mind off of everything," he hummed and cupped my cheek.
"You do know that sex doesn't solve everything, don't you?" I narrowed my eyes as he kissed the top of my head.
"Nothing feels better than holding you down when I screw you and listening to you beg and moan for me though," Warren hummed and I found myself resist the shudder that went down my spine.
"We haven't done that kind of thing in years and I'm not going back to it," I said firmly and leaned against the headboard.
He pursed his lips and narrowed his eyes, "I don't see why you're so ashamed- I know you like it."
I clenched my jaw and folded my arms over my chest, "and I don't see why you're not. It's fucking wrong."
His eyebrow twitched in irritation, "you never had a problem with it before."
"I was a rebellious teenager that had no semblance of shame. I also used to be a touch starved virgin and I was very desperate for affection," I shrugged it off as he rolled over and laid beside me.
He snorted, "as if you still aren't desperate for affection."
"As if you aren't a touch starved... um, not virgin," it sounded better in my head.
He laughed softly, "at least you don't disregard my skill."
I blushed harder, "what skill? You're just a brute in bed."
"I still remember seeing you smiling at every little mark in the mirror the morning after," Warren remarked and placed his hand on my knee as he slid his eyes shut.
"I've changed since then," I shrugged and he leaned over me again.
"Not that much," he narrowed his eyes and gently took my wrists in his hands. My breath hitched when he began to slide them over my head, "you like this don't you?"
"N-no," I breathed even though I obviously did. He smiled and held my arms up with one hand as his other slid around my throat.
"And what about this?" He hummed and squeezed gently. A fluttering moan slipped from my mouth and immediately I regretted it because of the smug fucking look on his face.
"I'm telling you that I'm not into that kind of thing," I hissed even as he slipped his knee between my legs and I whimpered softly.
"Then tell me why you're hard right now."