Home > The Story of Son(11)

The Story of Son(11)
Author: J.R. Ward

"Why were you intimate with them, then? If they didn't return your love?"

"I wasn't in love with them, either. It was just sex." In the silence that followed, an odd kind of chill set up shop in her spine. "Michael? Michael?"

"I'm afraid I feel rather foolish."

"How so?" she asked cautiously.

Somehow she knew when he left the bathroom; it was as if her body sensed his or something. She fumbled her way back out into the bigger space. "Michael?"

"I've behaved in a childish manner, haven't I?" His voice was calm and level now. Horribly so. "To have cried over something that was . . . quite normal for you."

"Oh, God, Michael, no." Normal? That hadn't been normal. Not at all. "I feel like crying right now myself because—"

"So you pity me, do you? You shouldn't. There is no crime in not feeling as I do—"

"Shut up. Right now." She wanted to point her forefinger at him, but wasn't exactly sure which direction to target. "I'm not into pity and I don't lie. Those other men are not you. They have nothing to do with us."

So they were an "us" now, were they? she thought.

"Michael, I know this is all so hard for you, and probably throwing in the sex on top of everything wasn't such a great idea. I can also understand why getting out of here is scary. But you're not alone. We're going to do this together."

She had no idea how it was going to work out or where they would go, but the commitment had been made. With their minds. With their bodies.

Well, wasn't she a romantic all of a sudden. All her life she had mocked the whole consummating a marriage thing. Sex, to her, was just sex. Now, though, she knew differently. She felt for no good reason that they were tied together. It made no sense, but the bond was there and the physical intimacy had been part of it.

His arms came around her from behind. "It does make sense. I feel the same."

She held on to his hands and leaned into him. "I don't know where we'll end up. But I'm going to take care of you."

His voice was low, his vow grave. "And I'm going to do the same for you."

They stayed that way, linked in the darkness, embracing. His body was warm against her back, and when he shifted closer, she felt his arousal. She moved her hips, rubbing against him.

"I want you," she said.

His exhaled breath shot into her ear. "You would be . . . ready again so soon?"

"Usually the guy is the one who needs to recover.""Oh. Well, I think I could do that all night long . . . . "

And as it turned out, he could.

They made love so many times, the sex blurred together into one seamless erotic episode that lasted . . . God, hours and hours. Through the second dinner. Into the night.

Michael's body was capable of orgasm again about ten minutes after he came and he was driven to explore all the carnal joys of sex. He took her every way possible, and as he got more and more comfortable, that domination strain came out in him to a greater extent. No matter how he started them off, he always ended with her on the bottom, either face up or down. He liked to hold her in place with his weight, and sometimes with his hands, making her submit to him. Especially as he drank from her throat.

And she loved it, all of it. The way he overpowered her, the feel of him thick inside of her, the clamped seal of his mouth on her throat. It wasn't until the penetrations became painful for her that she could bear to stop him and she was frustrated that she couldn't keep going. She wanted more of that sweet suffocation underneath his surging body, more of his power.

In some ways, although she hadn't known it until Michael, she'd felt like a man in a woman's body. Her attitude, her drive, her edge, all those warrior components of her personality, had never really fit the body she was in, and her interests had never been of the female variety, even when she was young.

But with Michael's massive body on her, his sex pushed deep into her, his hard muscles straining, she gave way and, in doing so, came together within herself. She was strong and weak and powerful and submissive; she was all the yins and yangs, just as everyone was. And the warmth she felt for him was transformative, changing the way she saw things: those happy, mothering women with baby food on their blouses who she'd never understood? Those men who still got a dopey expression on their faces when they talked about their wives—even after having been married for fifty years? Those people who had so many children their houses were demilitarized zones—and yet who couldn't wait for Christmas so they could spend time with their families?

Well, she got it now. Chaos and love went hand in hand and oh, the glorious grace of the world because of it.

The thought had her frowning. How would the outside treat him? How would he fare out of this prison? Where would he go during the day? What would he do?

Her penthouse apartment with all those windows was a no-go. She would have to buy them another place. A house. In Greenwich or somewhere close to the city. She would make him a bedroom in the cellar where he could stay.

Except. . . wasn't that just another cell? Wasn't she just trapping him in her own way? Because what she saw on the other side was him sequestered away, waiting for her to come to him. Didn't he deserve to experience life? On his own? Perhaps even with his own kind?

How would he find them?

Michael stirred against her na**d body. As he kissed her collarbone, he said, "I wish you . . ."


"I wish you fed as I do. I would like to give you something of myself."

"You have given me—"

"I shall treasure this night always."

She frowned. "There are going to be others."

"This was particularly special."

Well, of course it was. It had been his first time, Claire thought with a heated face. "I think it was, too."

That was when the final meal came. Breakfast.

Michael got up and brought the silver tray to her. As he set it down, the bedside candle flared, and in the soft light, she watched him run his fingertip over the silver fork's ornate handle.

It was close to breakout time, she thought. And he knew it, too.

Claire stood, took his hand, and led him into the bathroom. After she turned the shower on, she spoke in a hush.

"Tell me the procedure. What happens when he comes for the women?"

Michael seemed confused, but then got with the program. "After the meal, I go to the corner and secure myself. He checks through the hole in the door. The woman is on the bed, just as she came. He rolls the cart in, moves her onto it, and then departs. Later, I am drugged. He releases the chains. And it is done."

"What do the women look like?"

"I'm sorry?"

"Are they out of it? How aware are they? What's their affect?"

"They are still. Their eyes are open, but they seem unaware of their surroundings."

"So the food is drugged. That food is drugged." Which was fine. She could pull off the out-of-it thing with no problem. "How do you know when he's coming?"

"He arrives when I put the tray back out and secure myself."

She took a deep breath. "Here's what we're going to do. I want you to chain yourself up, but leave one of the wrist locks loose—"

"I cannot do that. There are sensors. I'm not sure how, but he knows. Last year one was loose because part of my sleeve got caught in it. He knew it and made me fix it before he came in."

Damn it. She was going to have to do this on her own, then. Her advantage would be the fact that Fletcher had to come over and pick her up.

Claire waited a little bit longer then shut off the water. After she flapped the towel around in the darkness, she led Michael back out to the bedroom.

She took the silver fork off the tray and put it in the pocket of her robe—then thought better of it. If she were Fletcher, she would count the silverware to make sure none of it would be used as a weapon.

Claire glanced over to the drawing table. Bingo.

She picked up the tray and carried it into the bathroom where she shoveled most of the food into the toilet and flushed. Then she headed back over to Michael. On the way past his table, she took one of his sharpest pencils and put it in her robe's pocket.

She stopped in front of him and held out the tray. "It's time."

His eyes lifted to hers and they shimmered for a reason other than their extraordinary color. Tears hovered at the base of his thick lashes.

She put the tray on the bedside table and wrapped her arms around him, but somehow he ended up holding her. "It's going to be okay. I'm going to take care of you."

As he looked down into her face, he whispered, "I love you."

"Oh, God . . . I love you—"

"And I will miss you forever."

One of his tears hit her cheek as she started to push free in a panic. But then he passed his hand before her face and all went blank.


Three weeks later. . .

Claire stared out of her office window at the painfully clear autumn sky. The sunlight was so bright and the air so dry that the hard edges of the skyscrapers were honed to something like optical knives, the buildings cutting into her sight, giving her a headache. Man, she was tired. "What the hell are you doing?"

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