What Do You Want?
“What do you want from me?” He stepped back and the chains grew slack.
Follow me. Step into my reach.
But she merely lifted a brow and didn’t move.
She knows what I’m doing. Damn her.
“I want you to suffer as a captive. You’re my prisoner here. These shackles.” She pointed. “Will be like the invisible walls you bound me with in WaterRose.”
“Fine.” His mouth whitened.
“Fine is, it?”
“I said it’s fine.”
“Let me explain to you how this will work. Then you can tell me how fine ’tis.” Her blue gaze narrowed on him. “You’ll only come out of these chains when I wish it. Just like aboard the FireStar. And you will go back in them when I say. Or there will be hell to pay if I have to call them back in here.” She indicated the door.
“I’m not afraid of them.”
“No, you’re not. You fear perilously little. Even your own safety doesn’t matter to you. So no amount of torture would ever break you. There’s only two things you seem to care about.”
His gut wrenched. How could she know?
“Two?” He acted as though he knew not what she spoke of.
“Me.” She rounded and gestured to herself as she walked. “And I’m disinclined to harm myself.”
“And?” He was scared. Truly scared. For the first time he could ever recall.
They couldn’t have gotten into WaterRose?
“You know I’d never seen the creatures come out of you like that.” She murmured as she strolled back to the side of the bed he couldn’t see. “I’d only seen the one peek out that one day. I could never have imagined the brutality of what it’d look like when they went back in. So much worse then when they emerge.” She shuddered slightly. “It does look painful.”
“I watched them, once you fell to the floor, half-dead. They climbed back in. Clawing through then sticking their little heads through and chomping away and breaking bones to get back inside. A monstrous sight indeed. And I wondered.” She reached next to the bed and lifted a giant metal cage. “How connected to you they really are.”
A small black and gold dragon twisted in circles in the small space. Hissing in its agitation. Frantic to escape.
Bast’s eyes narrowed on her.
“Look how mad it is. But when I reach in…” She flipped open the door and stuck her hand in.”
“No!” He warned.
But the beast in the cage only laid down on the far side. Blinking huge dark eyes at her. Unwilling to hurt her. And not entirely afraid of her.
“And when I did this.” She stroked her fingers lightly over the spines on the little dragon’s back.
Bast made a guttural sound very close to a purr and arched slightly as though she caressed her fingers against raw nerve endings in his back. Pleasurable.
“You did that.” She looked from the cage to him. “And when I did this.” She curled her fingers and the black talons jutted from them before she reached back in.
“Don’t hurt him.” He said. “Your point is made.”
“It takes very little.” She drug one claw barely across the dragon’s side. Not even enough to break skin but like with the stroke it was a touch on raw nerves.
Bast hissed in pain and twisted sideways trying to escape the invisible touch.
“You feel everything he does. And I think in some ways you care for him.” She closed the door and latched it. Setting the cage back on the floor.
“I don’t need a dozen Firoque.” She thoughtfully turned a blade on her bedstand above the cage. “Do I?”
“Elsabet… What would you have me do?” He asked cautiously. Tone chastising.
“Anything I want. When I want.”
“Are you intending I hurt someone for you? I’ll never do it.”
“No. You’ve hurt enough.” She said waspishly.
“I want you to do as I say.”
What exactly is this going to entail? It can’t be as simple as that?
“Do you agree to be docile?”
“Docile!” He objected.
I’m the furthest thing from docile.
“I’m not a ‘docile’ type of man.” He added.
“Will you obey me, Sebastian?”
His eyes zeroed in on her. “For a woman who vowed never to say my name you certainly seem to enjoy seeing it today.”
“It’s a nice substitute for slave.” She strolled to him with a shrug. “It even has a similar ring.”
No. It doesn’t.
“Fine.” He growled.
“I’ll obey.” The word nearly sickened him to choke out.
“No.” She leaned close by his shoulder to peer up at him. “No, I will obey you.”
“Say it.” She saw the annoyance flickering on his face.
“I don’t believe I ever had you vow to obey me.”
“It would’ve never worked. But then you’ve not the leverage I do.” She sniffed haughtily.
“You’re really enjoying this aren’t you?” He said dully.
She smiled brightly. “You’ve not the faintest idea how much.”
“Fine.” He blinked down at her expressionlessly. “I vow to obey you, Elsabet.”
It stuck on his tongue like a rotten bit of food.
“Did it hurt?” She feigned a sympathetic pout.
“Something is going to eventually. You won’t be able to keep me forever.”
“Won’t I?” She lifted blonde brows. “It seems quite amusing thus far.”
“Either I’ll eventually get free or Radix will gut me. Either way I won’t be your toy for long.”
“You think he would?”
“I know it.” Bast grunted.
“You don’t know much.” She whispered. “Perhaps I’ve him wrapped about my little finger.” She wiggled her pinky meaningfully.
“Only if you’ve turned on us.” He looked at her steadily.