Blood and War

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Chapter 26 - Toy

Dillon’s expression was almost grim as he scanned the gathered men with his eyes. He knew their strengths and weaknesses. He appreciated many of them would not live to see the end of this, and he would regret their passing as he would that of his family.

“It was brought to my attention that some of you feel uneasy around Catherine,” Dillon could see it in the way they avoided his eyes. He could see it in the way they shifted their weight, the underhand glances at her and the barely hidden aggression.

“Cambridge?” The man was a good hand, but notoriously able to turn something small into an issue. He was a stirrer. One that Dillon applied to his causes and his own detriment at times.

“She’s one of them vampires. How do we know she won’t turn on us?” Cambridge asked. It was easy to see he was the one stirring the sentiments of the others.

All three of them could easily read these men because they were easy to read. Good honest folks, who found it hard to understand what their master was doing with a vampire in their midst.

They wondered why he hadn’t chosen himself a good human girl, one of his own stock. Wasn’t it bad enough that she worked with the women in the castle? They would reason. Did he have to bed her? They would wonder.

“So you doubt my ability to control my property and to handle myself?” Dillon asked with that quiet voice which should be warning enough.

Cambridge fidgeted. He was trapped between saying yes to find himself in trouble, and saying no, which would make him lose face with the men.

“Catherine,” Dillon’s voice carried the ring of authority to it, and she came to him without hesitation.

His hands folded over her throat and Catherine did not resist as he throttled her. In reality, he was doing no damage, but she was playing her role well enough. The men started to fidget when he didn’t stop, and she seemed about to pass out.

“Enough?” Dillon asked as she swayed in his grip and Cambridge nodded almost over eagerly.

Dillon let go of her abruptly enough for her to fall on her hands and knees. For a second he felt concern before he realized she was very near laughing at the almost identical look of horror on their faces.

Dillon did not mistreat his people. They were not comfortable with him mistreating even the vampire they feared and mistrusted.

“Get up Catherine,” Dillon ordered, and she gave a good show of struggling to her feet. He turned her to face the men and then he pulled her flush against his body. It was a shock to her to be so intensely aware of him and she felt guilty for it.

“This woman, this vampire is mine. She’s my toy. She will do whatever I tell her in whatever way I tell her,” his right hand laid possessive claim to her waist and the other to her left breast. He stared at Cambridge with cold eyes.

“Do you believe that?” Dillon demanded of the man, and Cambridge bobbed his head. He was cringing under the unflinching stare of his lord.

“No, you don’t. I can see it in your eyes. Sorry Catherine, but Cambridge doesn’t understand the bond between a master and a slave,” Dillon let go of her and stared Cambridge straight in the eye. Dillon lowered his voice.

“Would Annie take her clothes off before strangers, in public, if you told her to?” He asked of Cambridge. The man paled and turned red.

“N...No, my lord,” Cambridge’s indignation was almost comical.

“Take your clothes off Catherine,” Dillon ordered. He heard the sound of muffled anger coming from Derrick, but the boy didn’t move, and Catherine obeyed.

The men were shell-shocked. Never would they have credited Dillon with doing such a thing. Cambridge looked as if he couldn’t decide between running and passing out.

“Stand your ground Cambridge, your ill-informed tongue caused this. You could have accepted that I am the master of my own household and my own mind. You could have taken into account that I always put the safety and well-being of my people first.

I am no youth to be led around by my nether regions. No child to be blinded by a woman,” Dillon’s voice carried with little effort.

“She is not a woman, she is a vampire. She can mess with your head,” Cambridge blurted out, and Derrick snorted with disdain.

Catherine stood in her full naked glory. Dillon hated himself for doing this to her, humiliating her like this, but what could be more convincing? He continued to play his part.

“Does this not look like a woman to you?” Dillon demanded of the thick built man and Cambridge could not make himself look at her.

Despite his uncouth tongue, he was a henpecked man. Despite the tall tales of his youth, Cambridge was also a faithful and happily obedient man. Some of the others were much less discreet, but he was about to remedy their attitudes too.

“If she could mess with people’s minds, would you all be standing there with hate and fear in your eyes?” Dillon asked, and Cambridge had no answer.

“Maybe it works only with you,” Dillon’s head came up, and his eyes blazed. The man who spoke looked about ready to piss himself.

“Justin, nice of you to call me feeble minded,” Dillon’s voice was quiet and deadly.

“N....N,” Justin started to say, but Dillon cut him off.

“Shut up. Do not speak another word. It seems my leniency and my restraint has given you all the impression that I am weak,” Dillon’s voice lashed out, and it said a lot that none of them were staring at her.

Their eyes were nailed to him in fear yes, but also consternation. Dillon was obviously not often angry at them, and they did not know what to do, or say, to make it right.

Catherine would have smiled if not for the circumstances. These men loved their leader. He was their hero, and she was not used to such adoration for a leader. Fear, yes, respect, yes, but not this.


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