Sinner's Paradise

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6 - The Purpose of the Paradise

Sin stalks ahead while I listen to his armour that makes a distinct and slight metallic noise as he takes his first steps into my bedroom to look at my Crimson Castle masterpiece. I have resigned myself to being polite and as quick as possible. I’d chat, I’d show him the art work and I’d politely yawn and say I was ready for bed and didn’t want to keep him from his gala.

I am so content with my plan that I’m smiling to myself as we enter my room, however, I’m confused by the way Sin halts only a few feet into my tiny residence.

It’s not until I bend to the side to see what he is staring at that my heart drops into my stomach.

My room was empty but it had recently been occupied. Georgie had clearly snuck a man in not long ago because my perfectly made bed, although empty, was now a mess - again!

I hadn’t seen her all week and wasn’t sure if she’d try to sneak into the gala... but apparently she had and that meant she had the worst timing in all of history.

“So, my... my uh, masterpiece,” I try to keep it formal and ignore my unmade bed - which was against the rules and currently holding his attention.

“Eva,” Sin raises his arm as I try to work past him and I halt right before my chest makes contact with his skin.

I halt and he gracefully turns to me, his hand snapping out and grabbing my chin with two strong fingers, which again, feel oddly like normal flesh when I expected them to be scalding hot or at least come with an ethereal touch.

“Yes?” I ask, looking ahead numbly while any and all hints of a smile are completely wiped off my face.

“Your room smells of another female... perhaps that is why you haven’t wished for what every other female has desired for, when grabbing my attention?” I can tell Sin doesn’t believe his own words, but he says them to simply pry another response out of me.

I look up at him and I hold his gaze, aiming to protect my friend as I try to bluff out as much honesty as possible.

“I am careless and forgot to make the bed, it will not happen again,” I answer, “... and yes, a female neighbour visited me and that is what you smell. Would you like to -”

“Wait,” Sin closes his eyes and inhales slowly while I’m staring up at him, wondering when this predator will snap my neck from my insolence.

I had broken a rule by letting Georgie in. I had broken a rule by having an unmade bed. I had broken a third by lying to Sin.

Oh, Sin... in a matter of minutes, my whole peaceful world of self pity and despair seemed to be unravelling into a dangerous pit of new possibilities I had no wish to encounter.

Yet here I was.

And here Sin was.

His eyes snap open and the steel blue orbs capture my thoughts, my fears, my lies and my terror.

I can tell he has smelt the hint of a male as well.

“I’m s-sorry,” I whisper, feeling that familiar dread hit my stomach and fill me like karma.

Was this what the dread was? Karma, coming around to bite me in the butt. To throw me at Sin’s feet and wait for punishment.

His hand tightens on my chin and then slips from my skin, but his furious eyes do not falter.

“Your fate will be discussed shortly... first I will see your masterpiece,” Sin growls this without emotion, just quietly and with calculation. I nod but he doesn’t see it because he has already spun and smoked his way to stand before my art work, clearly impatient now, “A masterpiece...? Perhaps it was. But the hate you stroked into the final touches has ruined it. A once fine painter even I admired... painting such a disaster... in my castle? Of my castle? Ah, Crimson Castle... the title, about the only thing I find amusing about this piece,” Sin tilts his head and with a smirk he catches my terrified gaze, “I have always been an honest critique... I hope you don’t mind how blunt I can be. There is no room for mercy in my Paradise,” I nod again, speechless, “We’re not done yet, Eva,” Sin shakes his head, “You desired to talk to me and I want to know what you wished to say.”

His admission has the truth my heart never wanted to admit, rising to the surface. Honesty was best. But in this case... it would do me worse, but I say my true thoughts before I can convince myself otherwise.

"That I hate being here,” I whisper, fast and true and striking, “I wish I never bought this ticket into this hell -”

“A hell it is not,” Sin whispers back, a different type of fury in his gaze as he explains passionately, “It’s a place of freedom to feel... whatever you want... Sinner’s Paradise is a place to feel anything. To do whatever you want as long as you follow my meager rules. Have you never realised they’ve never been real rules? Keep clean... do as I say... they are about the only ‘rules’ that exist here. The stupid ones... which are a lot... walk around sad and alone; to my advantage. I can manipulate and get what I want easily. To those who have half a brain they realise in this Paradise you can get what you’ve always wanted. You can be eternally happy. Even free of pain. That’s the grand secret of Sinner’s Paradise; it’s hidden under the lies and the sadness and the grief and the anger. If you look past it you can see the possibilities. Now that I’ve told you it’s secret purpose, do you still wish to leave?” Sin almost sounds... hurt.

It has me both gaping and confused.

“I... I...” I have no idea what to day.

But Sin’s hand reaches out and a light touch from his finger tips, sets my art work on fire and the flames light up his features to show those devilishly handsome good looks.

In the fire light, which sparkles across his armour and seems to show his power of confidence... I am once again in awe while still very confused.

“...is there anything else you wish to ask me... Eva?” Sin asks, slowly raising a brow.

“Can I return to my home to my rental place in the city?” I ask, quietly, “I wish to leave this castle. I don’t believe I have a purpose here.”

“You will not leave,” Sin answers, stead fast and without question, “Nor will you any longer have the luxury I afforded you in having your own residence and free will to paint.”

“...then what will I be?” I ask, quietly and with a silent soul as I wait for his answer.

“You will serve me until I bore of your presence... but for now, I wish to keep you around,” Sin lightens his tone and once the canvas is completely blackened, he clicks his fingers and the flames disappear.

“But, why?” I ask, my frustrations getting the better of me.

“Why, Eva... you’ve broken many rules and you’ve lied to me. Punishments are in order and luckily...” Sin approaches me and I freeze as he leans down to whisper in my ear, “...punishments are my speciality,” Sin then walks right past me and walks straight out of my room.

The sudden distance reminds me to breathe, but as I exhale... my vision distorts.

I am being taken to somewhere he wishes me to be.

I expect a dungeon.

But as my vision solidifies, I see a fire place bigger than someone’s kitchen... and I know I am back in Sin’s chambers.

I spin, 360, searching for him... ready to question and ready to beg if necessary.

But, he is gone.

I wait some more, expecting Sin’s presence - or anyone’s presence. Such as an Enforcer, or laughing little goblins.

But no one and nothing else appears.

I am simply left alone in his chamber while I assume I am here until he is ready to have some fun.

Right now, Sin was busy with the gala - which meant I probably had hours of peace to think about what ways he’d torture me.

My mind floods with ideas that make my hands tremble.

In a way, just waiting with my thoughts meant my punishment had already begun.

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