I grin at Shan as she hurriedly makes her way towards me from the halls flushed, dishevelled and with a slight limp in her walk.
“I can’t believe you did it,” I grin like a Cheshire cat as my thoroughly fucked friend stops before me.
Shan rolls her eyes at me fixing her hair and before huffing a reply. “That man is a nymphomaniac. One minute we’re dancing, the next he’s taking me on a wall down the hall.”
I look at her flushed and pleased look knowingly. “Oh come on, you know you enjoyed it...”
“That I did,” she agrees grabbing a glass from a waiter as he passes by. “And would be basking in it right now if you and your father hadn’t walked upon us when I was climaxing!”
I laugh heartily as Shan’s face reddens at the memory and she shoots me a skink eye.
Given when my dad and I had exited the office after our heart to heart, finding my best friend being fucked on a wall by her dashing husband wasn’t what I’d expected to see.
Her tailcoat was spread across the wall like she was ready to soar, her pants were at her ankles and Dimitri was between her legs mining for gold. Shan’s look at that moment was horrified – when she saw us, yet erotic – as she combusted. Dad and I had just slowly walked away with awkward glances, only to burst into laughter a few feet away from them.
I mean it was awkward but Shan’s face was just priceless.
When I’d told Johnattan about it after returning to the ballroom, he too had a field day laughing his ass off... well that was until dad pulled him away to have ‘a talk’ with him.
That was twenty minutes ago and from what I can see from here they are still in the midst of their conversation.
I wasn’t going to get back my man for now.
“... humiliated when I saw you guys saw... I mean your father saw us Izzy,” I hear Shan cry as she sips on the alcohol in her glass. “And my husband had the audacity to grin saying I should chill out and spun me around for a round two... If only I didn’t react to him so well.”
Since when is that an issue?
“Shan it’s okay,” I say waving her off. “You’re married aren’t you? God, I wasn’t even over thinking this much after Johnattan and I had gotten it on, on a statue during a ball once and we were just a casual fling. Given we didn’t get caught but–”
“You little freak,” Shan whisper-squeals as she nurses her champagne. She bumps my hip with a sultry smile and I raise a brow. “I guess we girls do know how to have fun don’t we...”
A smirk makes a way to my face erotic, taboo and sensual images float in my head. “You have no idea...”
We giggle to ourselves then move onto observing the other guests and listening to the music playing around us.
“Chev and Lexi are going to flip when they hear about your hallway wonder...” I grin as Shan chokes on her drink.
She looks me over with lethal eyes before speaking. “I swear Christina if you utter a word to them I’ll –”
My eyes drift behind Shan to land on a familiar red head and I smile.
“Jessie,” I greet as the young lady comes up to embrace me cheerfully.
“It’s so nice to see you again,” she gushes. “You look absolutely stunning!”
“So do you,” I praise as I look her over.
She’s in a red, off the shoulder cocktail dress that clings to her body highlighting her figure with a mid-thigh spilt. Her blood red hair is in a high ponytail with curls raining down her shoulders and a black mask – that matches her heels – covers her eyes.
“Thank you,” she says pulling away and running her hangs over her hips. “I try.”
I grin spinning her around and introduce her to Shan. They hit it off instantly with sly comments about them being ladies in red.
“So, Jessie are you here alone?”
“Are you asking if I have a date? Nah. I’m here with mom and dad. They’re somewhere around here,” Jessie replies with a wave of her hand.
Ironically, minutes later her parents find us in the busy crowd. Josephine is in a sleeveless, champagne gold dress with a train. Nathan is outfitted in a sleek black suit with a gold waistcoat and tie. They both wear gold masks, but Josephine’s is handheld.
“Christina,” Josephine greets with a smile before hugging me. “It’s nice to see you again.”
“Ditto Josephine,” I smile as we pull away. She looks beautiful in her dress and the fish plat braid in her hair, woven with gold beads looks spectacular.
“You look exceptional,” she grins and I relay my previous thoughts to her and she thanks me.
Josephine smiles contently before looking back at her husband with narrowed eyes, her lips thinning out. Nathan stares at her with a frown and she walks over to him giving him a push forward. He sighs heavily before stepping forward and hesitantly taking my hand.
“It’s nice to see you again Christina... under better circumstances,” he says and I nod in acknowledgment. “I’ll like to a-apologize my behaviour a few nights ago Christina. I was way out of line. You were r-right, I had no right to judge you and for that I am truly so–sorry. Will you please accept my apology and may we start over?”
As he says that little speech he struggles to say a few words, he clenches and unclenched his jaw a few times and I can tell he’s not used to apologizing.
“I believe I can Mr Blake,” I reply with a grin putting his mind at ease. “You see I have no intention of leaving your son anytime soon so it’ll be better for both of us if we learn to get along.”
Surprisingly, Nathan returns my grin before kissing my hand. “That’s good to know and you can call me Nathan.”
I nod with a smile and I introduce them to Shan who sparks up a conversation instantly. The couple’s attention is now on the vibrant lady in red before them while Jessie and I whisper amongst ourselves.
Mere minutes later, strong arms wrap around my midriff and I’m pulled flush against a hard chest. A familiar scent engulfs me and I snuggle closer to my man as he litters kisses on my neck. I giggle as his lips tickle me and he grins against my neck.
“I’m back,” he whispers in my ear and I shiver, placing my arms over his.
“That’s calming. What did dad have to say to you?” I whisper tilting my head to look at him.
“The usual... Not to hurt his little Chris and to ensure I treat you like how a goddess like you deserve to be treated. Then he went on to threaten me if I should ever fall short and hurt you...”
“Oh god,” I say closing my eyes, mentally shaking my head at my dad. “I’m sorry you had to go through that.”
“I don’t mind, diosa. I’m just happy you made up with your father and he’s willing to try to do good towards you,” he states, nibbling on my ear awaking those kicking children in my stomach. “You’re happy and as I said before... I love seeing you happy.”
He feels our little angels kicking beneath his hands and he grins widely caressing my bump. I smile at him warmly before capturing his lips with mine. He pinches my chin holding me steady as he deepens the kiss and my head spins as that familiar warmness takes me over.
“Get a room you two. I’d rather not watch my brother getting it on with his pregnant girlfriend,” Jessie states as she chugs her champagne.
“Jessie,” Johnattan says as he pulls away from our kiss, licking his lips.
Johnattan reluctantly releases me to go greet his family. There’s a bit of tension when Johnattan and his father acknowledge each other but after a little coaxing from both his mother and I the tension eases up. Johnattan is relieved that his father has dropped his hostility towards me and I’m happy the Blake men have dropped their pissing match.
“May I have this dance, Chris?” My father asks as he appears beside us and look up at him surprised.
“Sure,” I say and he takes me to the dancefloor after respectfully acknowledging the others. Shan just turns red as he greets her and it’s downright comical.
“I’m sorry for keeping him away from you for such a long time Chris,” my dad says as he dances with me slowly to the instrumental of Colour of My Love by Celine Dion.
“I’m fine with that but was threatening him really necessary?” I ask as he tightens his hold on my left hand.
“I just wanted him to know the consequences if he harms you in anyway. I don’t think it was uncalled for,” he grins mischievously and I roll my eyes.
“Whatever, just don’t try and scare him off.”
“Oh honey, I couldn’t if I tried... He really adores you,” my father says in satisfaction.
“I know,” I smile as dad twirls me.
I feel eyes burning into my skin and I shiver under those questioning, envious, angry and chilling gazes. We dance in a slow circle and my eyes wonder over the crowd behind him. I spot Rachel and Rudana but my heart hammers in my chest as I notice a familiar pair of cold blue eyes.
Dread fills me as I look at him. He’s in a champagne gold suit with a black undershirt and tie. He wears a black mask over those soul chilling eyes and his hair is tousled. On his face lies an arrogant smirk and interest glimmers in his eyes but as I come into his full view his smirk falls and contorts into a hard scowl.
Those eyes make me wheezy, they take me back to that night. I find myself panting in my father’s arms and as his worried gaze falls upon me I shake my head trying to fight the anxiety with me.
“I need to go to the bathroom,” I tell him denying his accompaniment and make a beeline for the halls.
As I enter the modern styled bathroom I breathe in and out deeply trying to calm my nerves. I look at myself in the mirror and shake my head. I can’t fall apart because of him, he’s no one. He’s just a monster. I needed to move pass him. I needed to stay strong and not let him affect me.
A few minutes after drilling myself I exit them bathroom and walk down the hall only to be grabbed by my arms and flung against a wall.
I curse as the breath is knocked out of me and as I look up at my assaulter I freeze.
“Hello toy,” he says through gritted teeth and my heart beats a tattoo against my chest.
“L-Liam...” I say in horror as my eyes widen and he squeezes my hand tighter causing me to wince.
"Sir, Christina,” he spits distastefully. “You call me Sir or have you forgotten that!”
I jump at his tone and I find myself drifting back into my small submissive shell, shaking beneath him. I shake my head trying to fight the feeling, I won’t submit. Staring into those cold eyes and I whisper the one word that makes all hell break lose.
His eyes glaze over in anger as he hears this and his other hand gripped my shoulder, harshly. “You belong to me toy and you know it. I’ve marked my property or have you forgotten those marks on your sole.”
I flinch as I remember the day he had given me those marks. It was a punishment, I’d gotten too close for comfort to a guy in my class and he’d decided using a razor blade to cut his initials on my soles was the best way to reward such behaviour. I couldn’t walk right for weeks, obviously I hadn’t told Lexi this so she’d thought I was just limping from being thoroughly fucked.
His nose buries itself in my neck and I grunt trying to push him away from me. I go to cry for help but he tightens his hold on me instantaneously.
“Scream and you’ll regret it toy. It may be years since I’ve controlled you but I don’t think you’ve forgotten how brutal I am.”
I wanted to scream out bloody murder to alert anyone of this but that scared little toy in me that feared Liam held my tongue. I’m pathetic.
“I miss you,” Liam murmurs into my neck as he sniffs me. “It should be you I’m marrying not your young, stupid sister. She can never replace you... I’ve spent months moulding you into the little toy you were in college. Obedient, fearful, silent and eager to please... yet you lost your way didn’t you? You made me do it that night Christina. It’s your fault that I had to do that... if you weren’t such a whore–”
“It’s not my fault,” I state in disbelief. “You raped me! You-you fucking monster. It’s because of you I lost my baby!”
He bites down on my neck and I scream only to have him cover my mouth with a hand. “I heard about that toy and it makes me mad just thinking about it! You killed my child and ran away from me for years! Years Christina, you left me for years to what?! Fuck someone else and carry their disgusting child after you cold heartedly killed our child?!”
“I didn’t kill my baby!” I scream but it sounds muffled.
“Yes you did! It’s all your fault! You can never do anything right can you? You just enjoy hurting me don’t you?” His eyes freeze my soul and I whimper. “When will you learn that no matter what you do you’ll always belong to me? You’re mine to punish as I see fit!”
I trash and kick as he tightens his hold on my face and tears stream down my cheeks.
“You are fucking mine, toy! You worship me! You submit to me! The only child you should be carrying is mine and I’m going to ensure that’s the way it is! You killed mine, how do you think it’ll feel if I killed his...”
There’s a dangerous glint in his eyes as he says this and I fist and kick trying to get him off me as core shattering fear hits me. His hand flattens over my chest holding me down while groping me harshly and I cry out.
Not my babies!
His hand over my mouth tightens until his fingers are embedded in my cheeks and the sting brings tears to my eyes. His knees successfully trap my legs and I shake my head as he uses the elbow of the hand over my mouth to press me onto the wall. His other hands reels back to hit me and I shake as shocks ripple through my body.
A menacing curse echoes along the hall and soon Liam is hauled off me and slammed against the wall before me by a raging force.
Arms grab me as I fall to my knees and with tearful eyes I look up at the last person I expected to see helping me.
Rudana cradles me in her arms sobbing as she whispers sorry over and over again.
Why was she here?
The agonizing grunts and painful sound of fists connecting with bones and bones breaking snaps my attention to the scene in front me and my eyes widen in horror.
He’s going to kill him.
“Johnattan stop!” I yell as my boyfriend slams his fist continuously against a now unconscious Liam. “He’s had enough, stop!”
Sobs rock my body as I yell for him to stop but he doesn’t, he’s too far gone. Feet tapping down the hall catches my attention and I whip my head to the side to see my father and Dimitri running up to us. They quickly move towards Johnattan prying him off Liam and I watch with blurry eyes as they struggle to do so. Red flashes before me and soon Shan and Jessie appear looking me over with wild eyes.
They are speaking rapidly but I can’t hear them, the only voices I register are Dimitri and my dad as they try to calm down Johnattan and soon Josephine and Nathan as they too try to sedate their son.
Minutes drag along and soon Johnattan stops struggling but that murderous look is still on him face as he stares at Liam who is badly beaten and on the ground.
He breathes deeply calming his rage and soon his eyes drift to me. He flings the men off him and Rudana clears a path as he kneels to wrap me in his arms. I cling to him as my body shakes and he rubs my back, kissing my face reassuringly.
“...I was just coming from the bathroom and he had her against the wall,” Rudana explains frantically. “He was hurting her... threatening her. I ran out and found Johnattan and told him what was happening. He stormed off fuming...”
I cry into his chest as the girls rub my arms and back whispering soothing things to me. My body starts to sedate but my lips tremble as I withhold sobs.
“Chris, my baby girl,” my father calls as he kneels to me and I pull away from Johnattan’s chest.
“Daddy...” I cry like a five-year-old child as I reach for him.
“It’s okay baby girl,” he says as he wraps me in his arms. “He won’t ever touch you again... He’ll pay for this.”
I hug him relaxing as I feel Johnattan rub my back and I calm down as the two men in my life hold onto me.
The sympathetic stares of the others burn into my skin but I ignore them, focusing on the tiredness falling onto me.
“I’m tired,” I whisper yawning and the hall’s so quiet I’m sure everyone heard me. “I want to ... sleep. Please carry me away... Johnattan...”
Johnattan shuffles behind me and soon I’m being pulled away from my dad and cradled in his arms. He picks me up well, even with his bloody knuckles and I hide my face in his chest my body shuddering.
“You can carry her to her room. Rudana will show you where,” my father advises. “You and your guests can stay for the night.”
I didn’t hear Johnattan’s reply but minutes later I find myself being placed on soft silky sheets. Johnattan goes to move away from me but I grab his shirt pulling him beside me.
“Don’t leave,” I beg, yawning as I snuggle to his chest. “Please...”
“Never again, mi diosa,” he whispers wrapping his hand firmly around my waist and a few minutes later I fall into a dreamless sleep.