When I didnât say anything, he took a step toward me and held out his hand. âGet up,â he said, waiting. His posture stiffened and his voice lowered. âI said get up. I donât like to repeat myself.â
It was only then that I noticed he was holding something in his other hand. Two things, it looked like. A folded-up rope and a knife. I waited for the pang of fear to hit me. It was subtle and I didnât let it show. I also didnât obey him.
He quickly reached down and grabbed me by the arm, yanking me up to him until I was pressed against his chest, crushing the front of his suit jacket.
âYouâre a light little thing, arenât you?â he asked in a bemused voice, his breath smelling faintly of cinnamon and tobacco. âDelicate and easy to break.â
Weâd see about that.
I acted instinctually. With my free hand I jabbed my palm into his nose. He yelped in surprise, maybe even in pain, and momentarily let go of me. Thatâs all I needed.
I pushed past him and went for the door. I put my hands on the knob and turned, pulling it toward me. There was a wonderful feeling of freedom for just that one moment where the door opened and the light from the hallway spilled in. The feeling of power that came from fighting back.
Nothing in my life had felt as good as my hand connecting with his face.
But the feeling was fleeting. All at once the door slammed shut and Javier was behind me, the rope going around my chest. He hauled me backward into him so that he was holding me tight from behind.
âDonât you know it turns me on when you fight back?â he whispered in my ear, his voice ragged. âThough it turns me on when you donât fight back, too. I guess you canât win.â He sniffed. âI think you bloodied my nose.â
âThen I guess youâll have to bloody my face,â I taunted him, my veins on fire with the strange adrenaline that was running through me.
He sucked in his breath. âNo, my darling. I would never do that to your face. Just your back. I have a lot of respect for beautiful things, you know. They are usually the most dangerous.â
Oh, how I wished I could be dangerous to him, to anyone.
âYou know, Luisa,â he said, holding me tighter now. I could feel his erection pressing into my ass. âWeâre going to be doing this dance with each other until we give you back to your husband. You could make things easier on yourself. I donât like to play rough with you.â
âNo,â I said quietly. âYou just want to cut me up.â
âIâm merely branding you,â he said. âDonât make it sound so ugly.â He lifted his arm so that the knife was shining in front of my face. I could almost see my warped reflection staring back at me. âMy penmanship with a knife is very delicate. A hard-earned skill. If your husbandâs name was Javier, I think you would be quite pleased with the finished result.â
The man was completely crazy. He planned to carve his name in my back, as if he was doing me a favor.
âCome on,â he said, and quickly wrapped the rope around me so my arms were held tight to my sides. He made a few knots and then shuffled me over to the bed before he pushed me onto it, face down. I turned my head to breathe and he pressed down on the side of it, to keep me in place. âNow stay.â
He straddled me, legs on either side of my waist, and his hands stroked softly along the back of my neck until he grabbed my collar. âMy shirt looks good on you,â he commented. âBut it looks better off.â He reached underneath me, grabbing me by my collarbone, and ripped the shirt open before pushing it to the side and sliding most of it off until one shoulder was bare.
âHeâs not going to want me when he sees what youâve done,â I managed to say.
âHeâs not going to see what Iâve done until I have what I want. What your marriage can and cannot handle is not my problem and none of my business.â
âIâm many things but disgusting isnât one of them.â
âWell, thereâs no argument there. Good or bad, there is great power in knowing who you are and owning it. So, tell me, my beauty queen â¦ who are you?â
He leaned down so those blazing eyes of his were visible to mine.
âNo one you will ever know,â I told him, relieved at how strong I sounded.
âWe shall see about that.â