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Trigger Happy Jack II

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1 Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:39 pm

By the time we've arrived in Orlais, it feels as though the life has been sucked out of me. Any hope or confidence I've managed to cultivate during my time away has all but vanished at the sight of the intimidating presence that is the Braddock Estate.

It takes every ounce of remaining courage I have not to melt down in tears at the sight of Richard standing on the vestibule, clearly locked in a heated debate - or what might count for heated amidst the wealthy upper class that he chooses to associate with. I'm almost relieved when I'm pulled from the back of the car only to receive a withering look from him.

"I don't have time to deal with you right now," he says scathingly before nodding at the guards. "Take him to his cell. And inform Ivan that his favorite plaything has returned from his 'vacation'."

And just like that, the relief is gone. Panic floods in at the accusing tone of his voice, my legs folding underneath me as I become dead weight in the guards' arms.

"No, no!" I'm flailing and struggling against their grip as they drag me away without question, Richard's sneer only all too familiar as he returns his attention to the dignitaries he's speaking with. "Richard, please!"

My heart hammers inside my chest as we disappear into a side door. Begging is pointless now, but it doesn't stop the blubbered words from sobbing out of me. I'm praying, out loud and internally, that it's all for show - to scare me and to make it clear to the dignitaries that Richard is ruthless. If he could treat his husband this way, they would be wise not to cross him. He's done it before - usually without warning so it's more convincing. And if that's the case, he'll come down in half an hour or an hour - maybe two if the meeting runs into lunch - and I'll be praised for helping him secure a new ally.

But he never comes. For hours I hold out hope that he will, but the sun eventually dips below even the barred window peeking out from the grass, taking my hope with it. Ivan has traded out his shift with his brother - the one small reprieve that's given as Victor is less fit and takes longer between strikes. It's a small reprieve, however, as I've been hanging from the ceiling since sunrise. Each breath is agony due to the strain on my already cracked ribs, and the sweat pouring from my pores with each raspy gasp stings my whipped and beaten skin.

I'd given up begging sometime around noon, my voice hoarse with crying and finally giving out. However, the moment Victor puts his cigarette down on the edge of the table, his hands moving to unclasp his belt, I find it again. I hate that it's Richard I'm screaming for, my voice cracking with overuse as I struggle to keep Victor's hands off of me. Every kick I land on the man only makes him laugh louder, though, the sound a twisted perversion of glee. And I knew it was coming - it always comes when I grow too exhausted for him to elicit the response he wants - the moment he grows bored with my feeble yelps and weak attempts to swing away from his blows. Suddenly, I miss Ivan's brutality - he at least knows how to keep his dick to himself.

"Richard!" I scream again, the name coming out nearer a sob than anything. I can't even begin to put my relief into words when the door finally cracks open, a soft knock from one of the guards signaling an end to my torture. Or so I hope. I can never be sure what awaits on the other side of the door, but the sob of relief is still very real as Victor sighs and pulls his pants back up before retrieving his cigarette.

"Thank you," I sob out as the other guard pulls me down from my shackles, the sentiment earning me a sharp slap for speaking out of turn. Still, I say it again and again as he drags me to the door, my legs too weak with relief to support my weight.

The sheer joy I feel at being dragged into one of the bathrooms to find Richard sitting on the edge of the tub is absolutely perverse, but I can't help but cry with gratitude at his presence. His voice washes over me as he dismisses the guard. And his smell. God, I missed his smell. I nearly heave at the wrongness of the thought, another sob choking out of me as he comes over to run his fingers through my grimy hair and I find myself burying my face against him, my whole body trembling at the comfort.

"I'm sorry!" I rasp into his clothes, clinging to him as he shushes me, the words coming out over and over again until he tilts my head back to place a hand over my mouth.

"Shh, I know, dear," he says it so soothingly, so lovingly, you'd almost believe he were an angel. I can't help but quiver as he brushes his knuckles across my cheek - a gesture that still carries every ounce of its weight even after six years. As I knew it would - I still tremble when Ljuba touches her own cheek, just the ghostly whisper of her knuckles dragging across her skin triggering the memory of the praise Richard would give me for bending to his whims. It sickens me that I still yearn for it after all this time.

"I've drawn a bath," he says lightly, my hands scrambling to hold onto him as he straightens up to walk away. "You must be so exhausted after your ride here."

No mention of the abuse, as usual. Still, I nod fervently in agreement, the cold marble of the floor starting to seep into my naked skin as I become more aware of how exposed I am. Richard doesn't seem to mind, he never does, never even minds the blood on the floor or on his nice suit... just so long as I'm cowering appropriately and seeking reprieve from him.

My knees shake as he helps me to my feet, guiding me toward the tub as though I couldn't find it on my own. He knows better, but he does love it when he thinks that I need him. And God help me, I do. As I step into the hot water, I choke out another sob just thinking what the alternative is - Victor. Richard is quick to soothe me as he helps me sink into the tub, the shivers in my body at odds with the warmth of the water as I wrap my arms around my knees and lay my head against them tiredly.

It hurts to breathe, to move, but all the tension seems to melt out of me as Richard hums behind me. He's still seated on the edge of the tub as he uses a silver cup to pour water over me, taking his time as he cleans the grime from my skin and hair. I try not to think about the freedom he's stolen from me, of Ljuba and the friends I've made. Instead, I exist in the moment, as it's always been, drinking up the reprieve that is Richard's company.

In the back of my mind, of course, I know that he's the one that put me in that cell. He's the one who chose Ivan and Victor, the two most skilled at cracking through my shell and applying just the right amount of pain and psychological torment to make me beg for him, for Richard. I know that every move they make is calculated by Richard to make me want him, to make me cry for him to rescue me. It's all part of the Game... but the only way to win the Game is to play just as Richard intends you to play it.

And I do.

By the time all the filth has been washed from my tender skin, the shaking has subsided into something more visceral. Richard's gentle manner elicits every response he desires until I've finally caved. Leaning back, my movements slow and ginger to avoid any unnecessary pain, I rest my head against Richard's thigh as my fingers tangle in his. I hate the way he watches me, silent but hungry, like a shark waiting to devour me - and I hate that I enjoy it.

"Bathe with me..?" I ask quietly, my voice faltering as I tilt my face up toward him expectantly. My heart skips as his lip curls into a sneer. That was not the right question to ask.

"Bathe with you?" he repeats, no hint of affection in his voice as I feel his nails dig into my hand sharply. I wince, a strangled yelp clawing its way out of my throat as I tense and draw my legs up to try to make myself less exposed. "After you've lain with that whore? This isn't a prelude to sex, Marnin, dear. This is me trying to scrub that filth from you so that you're fit for me to be in my presence again."

My eyes burn with wounded tears as he throws my hand back at me, blood trickling down into the already pinkish water as I cradle it to my chest and listen to him move around the bathroom.

"I'm sorry," I say it again. This time it doesn't earn me the praise it had earlier as Richard returns to yank the chain on the drain, his angry movements making me flinch as I shrink away from him.

"You'll be sleeping in your own bed tonight," he says icily, the sentence coming like a slap in the face. I never sleep in my own bed after a day with Victor and Ivan. Before I can protest, he's pulling me out of the tub and wrapping a towel around me, scrubbing the water from my painful skin roughly. "I have a guest sleeping with me."

"What?" I ask sharply, my fear crumbling as a white hot jealousy sweeps into its place. Even when Richard grabs my face roughly, drawing me mere inches from his, the anger still burns through me.

"I thought I might make things even," he snarls.

"No," I growl, grabbing his arms as I try to force a rough kiss on him. When he hits me, it only drives me further, my nails digging into what skin I can find as I force myself closer so I can bite at his lips angrily. His fingers close over my neck, another familiar gesture that has the desired effect of arousing me further as I fight to get closer to him. The control, however, is stripped from me as his grip tightens, my clawing and struggling toward his lips becoming frantic as I fight desperately to get near him - knowing the only way I'll be allowed to breathe is if I can press my lips to his to gasp in what little air he'll allow me.

He doesn't allow it, though. Within moments the room is growing dark, and the only thing keeping me from crumbling on the marble is the grip he has on my neck, my hands clinging weakly to his wrist. Please, let me die this time, I find myself praying as consciousness threatens to slip away. But the darkness never comes, my body crumbling to the floor as he lets me go, my lungs gasping for air as he heads for the door.

"Your clothes are in the linen cupboard," he says flatly. "You'll bathe again tomorrow night, and then perhaps I'll reconsider allowing you to touch me."

The fury of emotions that tears through me is enough that I manage to break something as I slam my fist into the floor. The pain mixes in agonizing sweetness with the shame and guilt and sorrow that draws another broken sob from me. How dare he say such things about Ljuba! And then to elicit such jealousy from me in the same breath?! I want to claw my own skin off, I feel so mortified that I could feel that way - that I could feel shame for what I'd done with Ljuba...

There's a sick ambivalence warring inside of me as I get dressed. An anger at being forced into my own room as well as an incredible relief because I didn't really want to spend the night with him anyway. Or did I..? I don't fucking know, and that fact has tears stinging at my eyes even as I'm marching down the halls toward my room. I loathe the thought of him with another person, but I feel far more shame at the thought of spending the night with him when my thoughts are so fixated on Ljuba. Ljuba. Can she just be her own emotion? Just her name makes my throat close up.

I'm so lost in my thoughts, I don't even notice that the door to my room is locked. I simply rattle the faulty handle until it opens, not thinking twice on it as I shove the door open and walk in. That's when it registers that there's someone else in the room. For a moment, panic tries to worm its way in, my first thought going to Victor and our 'unfinished business.' But it's not Victor... it's some woman.

"Who the fuck are you?" I demand, quickly taking a survey of the woman and her belongings. Wealth. Confidence, power... she's attractive. Could this be some kind of test? A mistake? No, Richard doesn't make mistakes... a test, then. But what kind of test?

"Apologies," I cough lightly, my back going rigid with the habit of a 'proper upbringing', as Richard calls it. "I wasn't expecting company. Can I help you?"

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2 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:12 pm

My hand rests against the Brailled pages of the book in my lap, my other hand raising to catch the corner of my glasses as I pull them off to gaze at the wounded looking man standing near the door. 

"I'm a guest of Richard Braddock's," I respond, a faint frown pulling at my lips as I set my glasses on the table beside me to grab something to mark my spot before closing the book. "And you must be the husband."

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3 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:19 pm

"Marnin," I say, trying to keep a civil tone, but instead producing a strained kind of noise that's somewhere between polite and angry and indignant. "And what, pray tell, is a guest of my 'husband' doing in my bedroom? Did someone make a mistake and escort you to the wrong room? It's fine if they did, I can show you to one of the proper guest rooms - they're nicer than this anyway."

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4 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:22 pm

"I was shown the room personally," I remark, the frown turning to a slight smirk as I relax again and grab the tumbler of whiskey near the book. "Perhaps it's you who's in the wrong place?"

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5 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:27 pm

"This is my room!" I retort angrily. "My estate! I'm not-," I have to bite my swollen lip to stop the string of profanities from spilling forth, my outrage upsetting the already boiling temper I've been struggling to keep lidded since Richard left me in the bathroom.

"Clearly this is some kind of joke," I say stiffly, my words coming out clipped, but as polite as I can manage them. "Either you're part of it or we've both been had - either way, I cannot leave and it would be considered rude if you requested another room. So we'll make it work."

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