And when I finally came back to myself, we were still staring at each other. For a second, I thought I saw my horrified face reflected in her dark, glassy eyes. Sam wasn’t looking at me; she didn’t seem to be looking at anything beyond the dust floating lazy and free through the air to my right. I knew that blank look. I’d seen my mother wear it years before.
Q pushed his chest out, curling his fists on his thighs. Fast and hard, esclave.I nodded and lunged. The symbol melted through his skin in a second. The smell of acrid hair singeing filled the room. A second later I withdrew, relinquishing the terrible brand back into the fire.
Q grunted as he stood and his shirt swung forward, sticking to the raw skin. I twirled around to collect the salve and bandages, before tending to Q. Pushing his shirt gently off his shoulders, I winced.He never took his eyes off me as I massaged the cooling balm onto his wound. The design was flawless, every bar of the cage etched deep into his flesh; the T a perfect feminine cursive.Tears fell unbidden as I covered up the mark, sticking the bandage into place.
He’d given me himself. Forever.Q pulled me into his arms. Already I can feel the darkness coming back to life. Knowing you’re mine. That you willingly gave me your pain once again. He buried his nose in my hair, inhaling deep. I thought I’d lost that urge. Lost that part of myself.
I didn’t need to ask what part Q had lost. I always knew he lived with demons in his soul.
Q shifted, walking me backward to the bed. The mattress no longer rested on the floor—it had been designed as a miniature cage. Hanging from the ceiling with bars and chains. Swags of material cocooned the space like a perfect trap—a trap to keep us safe together.The woman scowled and disappeared into the back of the restaurant, reappearing and dragging an elderly chef. Both of them wore yellow uniforms with white pinafores, and the same ‘what the hell’ expression.
I bounced, waiting for the phone to connect. My time was running out.Hi, you’ve reached Brax Cliffingstone. I’m unable to get to the phone, but you know the drill. Leave your details, and I’ll get back to you. Or, if it’s life and death, please contact my girlfriend, Tess, and she’ll help out. Her number: 044-873-4937. Cheers!
Something snapped in my chest. I hadn’t heard my name in so long. Hearing it in Brax’s voice robbed my fight, and I shrunk into the tame little girl I’d been before Mexico, before Q, before I knew what I was capable of.I crumbled, sobbing. Brax’s voice resonated around my heart, vibrating with longing. Why wasn’t he picking up? Was he dead, or just busy? So many questions and I wouldn’t get answers from a machine.