The Arrangement (An Alternative Love Romance)

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It Only Takes One

They did use the swing the next night, and the harness the night after. Selene relished the experiences, trusting Nick would ensure she was safe and enjoyed the experience. Of course, the things were all things he wanted to do and enjoyed. Her bravery increased as she more and more wanted to please him. Their day-to-day became increasingly intimate as well. The two were always touching in some way, looking at each other, or smiling at each other with love shining in their eyes. A blind person could have seen the love between them.

However, all was not well. They had noticed that the security seemed to be ramped up around the house and everyone was on edge. Selene, who picked up very quickly to other peoples emotions, had become tense and anxious as a result. Bothered by how their behavior was affecting her, he cornered Rosa to find out what the hell was going on.

“You guys are upsetting Selene. She knows something is wrong. Tell me what’s going on, now,” he demanded calmly.

Rosa looked toward the exit, then sighed and nodded. “Fine. We found the car of the agents who were originally assigned to you.”

“And,” Nick prompted when she hesitated.

“Both were dead. Their credentials and weapons were taken, as well as the file they had on Selene, along with the contact information of Ahmed, yours, hers, and this address.”

Nick swore under his breath, putting his hands on his hips and pacing several steps.

“Do you know who did it?”

Rosa shook her head. “Nothing was left behind. They’re going to try to identify the gun that fired the bullets. One of those men left a pregnant wife and two small children behind.”

Nick was crushed. Selene would be devastated. He rubbed his fingers across his forehead, as if to smooth the deep lines that had formed.

“Fuck… Fuck… ,” his head was spinning as he realized just how dangerous the situation really was. “If… I… “

“I understand,” Rosa said quietly. “It’s not your fault; it’s not Selene’s fault. It’s a the risk we take to do a job we love.”

“It’s just…,” Nick stopped, at a complete loss. He took a moment to collect his thoughts. “I want to help her. The other man’s family, too. How do I get them money to help them with anything they need? Do they have a mortgage? I’ll pay that off, too. Whatever they need.”

Rosa was a bit taken aback. “That really isn’t normal, but I’ll check around and see how that would need to be done,” she assured him. “I don’t know if there are regulations on that or not, but as soon as I find out, I’ll let you know.”

Nick nodded. “So, is there anything else I should know?”

Rosa’s eyes darted toward the door, then looked back at him and lowered her voice. “Selene’s father escaped. We are trying to locate him.”

“When did this happen,” Nick asked with alarm.

“Two days ago.”

“Fuck! Why weren’t we told?”

“We didn’t want to upset her in case he was apprehended quickly.”

Nick sighed, then took a deep breath and nodded slowly, calming down. “I get that. They are usually caught fairly quickly, though, right?”

“He um… someone helped him,” Rosa admitted hesitantly. “We think he was out of the area within a few hours.”

“So you think he might be coming here?”

Rosa looked out the window. “Maybe. If he’s learned where she is. We also don’t know who he’s been in contact with, so we’ve been monitoring several individuals that he had previous regular contact with. We are also watching the toll booth for the interstate. He would have to go through there to get up here. We’re also watching the airports and bus terminals.”

“Alright. Thank you.”

“Look,” Rosa said, putting her hand on his arm, “we are doing everything possible to keep you both safe.”

“Both?”

“Well, you are the wall between her and them. They would kill you to get to her.”

Nick blew out a harsh breath. He’d known it was possible, but it made it more real to hear those thoughts spoken aloud by another.

“I will die before I let them take her,” he stated firmly. “I’ve already arranged my will and everything is planned out. If that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes.”

Rosa’s brows rose, but then she nodded. “Let’s try to keep that from happening.”

Nick spent the next few hours debating what to do and how much he should tell her. In the end, he decided she needed to be as aware of things as he was. If she later found out he hid something from her, it would wound their entire relationship. He’d worked too hard to lose her over something, especially as important as this. As much as he didn’t want to, he sat her down and told her everything as gently as possible. He watched the flurry of emotions crossing her face as everything came to light.

“What about their families,” she asked after she’d had a few moments to process everything going on. “When were they killed?”

Nick shook his head. “I don’t know. It sounded like they only just found them. Rosa is checking to see how I can donate for the family’s support. They shouldn’t need to have that worry on top of their grief.”

Selene nodded slowly, rising to her feet. She walked over to look out the window, wrapping her arms around herself along the way. Her shoulders were slumped, as if she had a massive weight pressing on them.

“He didn’t kill those agents. I’ll bet they were dead before we even got here. There’s someone else involved,” she said quietly.

“Any idea who it could be?”

She shook her head slowly. “There were so many men… judges, lawyers, police… I don’t even know. Lots of rich guys. I don’t know what most of them did or who they were. There were always code names.”

Nick leaned forward. “Did they use the same code names each time? Like, did they each have their own?”

A frown marred her features as she tried to think. She chewed her lower lip a few moments before she answered. “Mostly. There were a few who seemed to make it a point to use a different name every time, though he was memorable enough it didn’t matter.”

Nick frowned and sat back again, thinking. “Did Holloway or Mills ask you about that?”

“I… I don’t think so.”

“Did you ever look through pictures of people to see if you recognized any of them?”

Selene shook her head, turning to look at Nick. “No, Master. How would we even find them? Where would we look?”

“Maybe Rosa or Devon would have an idea. Surely they could help us come up with something. It might help… maybe one of them is responsible.”

Selene nodded before turning back to look out the window. “That sounds like a plan. It will help keep my mind occupied.”

Nick lifted his phone and just before he hit the button to cal her, he heard a click behind his head. He saw Selene turn around and the color drain out of her face.

“Put the phone down,” he heard a man’s voice say.

Nick froze, then slowly lowered his phone, placing it on the table.

“You must be the new owner – giving her ideas of independence, as if she’s worth more than just a fuck.”

“She is worth more than a fuck,” Nick answered calmly, looking around without moving his head. “Selene is also my fiance. I don’t own her – she’s with me by choice.”

“Then she’s going to leave you by choice or I’ll be splattering your brains all over this room,” he said coldly.

A fearful whimper slipped from her as she looked at Nick for guidance.

“Get over here, whore. It’s time for you to say good-bye to your little friend, here. You’ve had enough time to play,” the man continued, reaching out toward Selene. “You know you aren’t good enough for all this. You’re all fat, too. You’ve made a mess of yourself. Come on, now,” the man said urgently.

Selene reluctantly began to walk toward them, lowering her head and fixating on the floor. He could see her shoulders shaking as she did so.

“No, Selene,” Nick answered firmly. “Don’t.”

Selene shook her head, looking up at him only a second before she ducked her head back down. “I’m sorry, Master - “

“He’s not your Master,” the man growled, yanking her toward him before he began to back up with her. “You are another man’s property, whore.” The man wrapped his hand around the back of her neck and squeezed. “Stand up, you. Come look at the toy.”

Nick stood slowly and turned around. The terrified look on Selene’s face, tears streaming in rivers. He wanted to reach out, but the gun pointed at his chest held him back. Dying before he could even reach her would do nothing.

The man squeezed harder, causing Selene to make a sound of pain. “Tell him, whore,” he spat in her ear, then shook her roughly. “Tell him or I’ll blow him away before we leave.”

Selene trembled, but what truly disturbed Nick was watching a light fade in her eyes. “I am not yours. Good-bye, Nick.”

“Tell him the rest. Be a good girl and do it all proper,” he hissed.

Selene’s head lowered, and in a shaky voice, she repeated words she had said a million times. “My name is Whore. I exist to service men. My purpose is to provide holes for cocks.”

Nick felt his heart clench. But surely Selene couldn’t break again that easily. Then, he noticed something. Selene had something in her hand. Something metallic. He swallowed hard, his heart beginning to race. He couldn’t let her do what she was thinking about doing. He’d kill her.

“How much would it cost to buy her?”

“What,” the man asked, momentarily confused.

“How much? I’ll pay it,” Nick said, taking a few cautious steps forward. “I have the money. I can even give you enough to start a new life anywhere you want. Just tell me what you want and I’ll be willing to discuss it.”

The man’s lips twisted into a cruel smile. “What I want is to get my prick wet in this cut for the next 8 hours while we get her where we need to take her. After that, we’ll all be passing her around. Unless you’ve got her twin, I can’t help you,” the man said, squeezing one of Selene’s breasts. “Mmmm… though I have to admit these titties are pretty nice.”

Nick raced through ideas on how to distract the man, keep him talking when he noticed the man’s hand traveled down to between Selene’s legs. As per their habit, she was wearing a short skirt and no underwear. Nick cursed himself, even moreso the moment he could tell the man had managed to touch her there… her face crumpled.

Enraged, Nick’s anger blinded him and he charged the man, attempting to knock his hand aside as he reached for Selene. A shot went off, then another, the gun was pointed away and there was a flash of metal. Blood splattered everywhere; the gun dropped. The man was holding his neck, and blood was seeping out. He tried to reach out for Selene, but he fell to his knees.

Nick looked down to see red staining his shirt incredibly quickly. He looked up in shock at Selene. She stared at him in horror, then he noticed the man was also on the floor, eyes open and lifeless. He reached out to her, taking her hand as she knelt before him, making him lie down so she could put pressure on the wound. She began to scream for help, pushing hard and it hurt so badly. He felt as if he could pass out from the pain.

He managed to reach up to grasp her arm. “You’re taken care of. No matter what…,” he faded off, finding it hard to speak for some reason.

“No, no, no, no, Master… Nick, you can’t leave me,” Selene screamed, slapping him on the face. “You stay with me! Stay with me!”

Things seemed to grow gray, then began to grow darker.

“No, Nick!! Don’t you die! Stay with me! Please!! Please, don’t leave me, Nick.. please, Master… please… “

He wanted to reach out and assure her it would be alright, but he couldn’t seem to find the ability to move. Just as he faded out, Nick heard what sounded like a door crashing down, then there was nothing.

Selene screamed when she saw he had faded out, completely panicked and frenzied. She felt hands pulling her away, then she saw someone running by with a bag of some sort. She watched through her tears as he, Ahmed, and another man tried to stop the bleeding to keep him alive. Someone asked her a question, but she couldn’t take her eyes off of Nick. He was so pale – unnaturally pale.

“Please don’t let him die… please… please don’t leave me,” she blubbered. She wasn’t even aware when someone checked her over, or when a blanket was placed over her shoulders. She didn’t even notice them putting a tarp over the man who she’d killed. All she could do was plead in a quieter and quieter voice, until she couldn’t be heard.

At some point she became vaguely aware they were moving her outside and that Nick was on a stretcher. Then she was strapped to a seat, then they were at a hospital. The moment they tried to wheel Nick away, Selene lost her mind and clung desperately to his bed, instead of into the wheelchair like they wanted. She screamed as they pulled her away and took him off to surgery, struggling and desperate to not lose track of him, terrified it would be the last time.

“No, no, no… please don’t take him away. I need him… please,” she cried out, looking up into faces she couldn’t quite make out.

“Mrs. Saber, it’s ok. He’s going to be fine,” one of the male nurses said to her. “Wouldn’t he want you to make sure you were ok while he’s getting the care he needs?”

Selene stopped screaming and her tears dried up. That’s right. She had to do what he would want her to do while he wasn’t around. He would be upset if she didn’t. A shaky nod and an ‘ok’ was her quiet response, sniffling as she was helped into a wheelchair and taken inside.

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