Possess Me Ch. 10bytitania123©
Thank you so much for all the comments on the previous chapter. So, here is possibly my favorite chapter to date. It's long, and I debated quite a while whether to break it up, but I figured you would want more rather than less. Please, please send feedback about what worked well and what didn't, I always appreciate it. Also vote if you liked it!
In the lightless night, Malik sat quietly trembling. His being vibrated with dark excitement incited by the promise of seeing the woman whose being stole his thoughts and desires. Out the window of his carriage, passed the many grand houses of the capitol city along the path from his own home there to the Thomball's. Thirteen. It had been thirteen long weeks since he had last seen her. Thirteen, long, excruciatingly painful weeks of torture, of not knowing whether she lived or died, was well or ill. It had been hell.
Atop the uncertainty of her whereabouts and general well-being, laid the shame and disgust with his behavior towards her. Though he was driven to find her and secure her to him once more, he had no expectation that she would forgive him, that she could or even should.
But Lady DeWal says she is recovering. She has her spirit back, he consoled himself, though he felt a pang of guilt at knowing he was the cause of her broken state. But if she is correct, that Brynna still may not be able to withstand further trauma...Will taking her home be so bad? But he knew the answer without the word 'yes.'
His entire energy had been so absorbed into questing for her, that he had given little logical thought to his deeply hidden fears that by bringing her back he would break her yet again. But now that the event was on the horizon, the fear began to grow, threading its cold fingers around his heart, pulling at his gut.
I cannot live through that again, he swore to himself. He paused as he looked at his limited options.
If she is not with me...well, I shall not live. But if I take her back and she withers and dies, I absolutely cannot live. The only option is to make her choose to return, make her understand that I...that she will not be hurt again. Then, perhaps in time, she will forgive me, she will love me again... He frowned at that thought, but the carriage pulled to a stop before he had time to analyze it.
He pulled his large, black mask over his face and stepped out of the carriage. The excitement of seeing her again returned, trilling brilliantly through his stomach. He stood to the shadows, watching for her arrival. And then he saw her, cresting at the top of the stairs that led down into the great hall. Vella had dressed her as promised, in the blue she looked so beautiful in. Tonight, she was his present, but to unwrap only with his eyes.
He watched as she drifted through the crowds. He noticed the moment she became tense and looked about her with more purpose. Who is she looking for? And then his body tensed as well when a tall, young man grabbed her. Clearly frightened, she slapped his shoulder before the two exchanged pleasantries. So you must be young von Shlay, Vella warned me of.
To watch his beauty stroll in the arms of another man, to dance and laugh lightly, filled Malik Blackwood with a dark envy that he had never known. First, Brom eats all his meals with her, and now another walks by her side, draws out her laughter and dances with her. He became aware of a sensation of great loss, of the desire for a life he would never live.
The bubbling excitement he felt upon arriving had evaporated, only to be replaced with a darker brooding that robbed him of his sleep. He awoke before the sun and paced in his study, analyzing and scheming. He arrived at the DeWal house at Vella's suggested time and was shown into the drawing room. The two spoke until it was time for the tea to be served. Malik took his place in a small nook to the side of the double doors, out of sight from anyone entering, and in good place to block a rushed attempt at exiting. Vella told a servant to send Brynna in with the tea.
The tightening excitement had returned as he waited still as stone, and just as cold. He heard the soft treading of feet, the knob turning and unclutching from the latch. The air moved with the opening door, and then the footsteps again. She walked into the room, carrying a large tray, his roses in the vase, just as he predicted.
Ah, the roses that had captured his eye the moment he saw them. The gardener that grew them had created their unique color and was reluctant to part with them. But everyone has their price, and Malik was able to secure the two bushes the man had grown. Vella had laughed at him when he said he wanted Brynna to go to the flower shop for them. She had wagered she would not come back with his roses. The crafty old bird apparently doesn't know everything, he smirked to himself as he eyed her, silently telling her he won.
He watched Brynna's thinned figure move about to pour the tea, again reminded that she was recovering from his actions.
"-would you not say so, my Lord Blackwood?"
Brynna's low voice quaked, "What did you say?" Their conversation pulled him from his thoughts.
The moment, it was here, it had traveled so far, and now was here. He saw her stand rigid, like a frosted banner in the air, too stuck to move, frozen in time. Aware of his presence, he watched her turn, turn slowly around, her eyes wide, her skin pale.
That she should ever hold such fear of him...his heart ached.
Brynna gave a helpless cry, and her body began to quake visibly. She shook her head against the sight of him, denying the nightmare made manifest before her. She began backing away, thoughtless to her surroundings, until she felt a hand on her arm.
"Brynna, my child, you look positively dreadful, as though you have seen a ghost instead of your old master. Do sit down and rest." Brynna's eyes darted from the gray woman back to Blackwood. Though stunned, her mind began working. She knew she could not act hastily, but needed time to calculate the safest route of escape. If she sprung forward to run out the door, he sat too near it and would catch her. No, she needed all her wits about her, all her summoned strength to carry her to freedom.
Brynna did as asked, her cagey eyes never leaving the dark figure, her body as taut as a thread pulled too tight. "Lord Blackwood, will you not join us for tea? Brynna made it herself, did you not, dear?" Vella continued on her civilized manner, ignoring the look of barely contained terror on her young ward's face.
Brynna watched as he stood from his hidden corner and stalked nearer. He sat in a chair opposite her, a complacent look upon his face. But it was his eyes she studied, as a sailor looks to the sky, searching for the sign of what weather is to come. His eyes, the deepest blue she'd ever known were rich and boundless. Once, they had been cold and calculating, but had transformed until she shivered in his gaze, captivated by the dark promises there.
And now, she searched them to know the extent of her danger, to see his malevolence burn and rage. But that was not what she saw. None of the fury she was expecting echoed out past his blue windows. None of the warning of retribution to come could be found. The intensity there revealed only the strength of the feeling, not which one it was.
This is happening. He found me, she thought foggily. The initial fear had eased, and her mind was stumbling to think. Can I be free? Run again? Even though she listed several options for escape, they were none of them to her liking. She would have to stay. She would have to fight.
She would not run away as she had before. She lifted her quiet, determined eyes to his, stiffening her spine in defiance. She silently issued her challenge, an unspoken declaration that she would not break so easily again. She knew not where the storehouse of her courage and strength would come from, but she vowed that it would be limitless. It would have to be.
She noted the equally hardening of his expression. "Brynna, will you not pour our guest some tea?" Vella asked, breaking into her thoughts. Though reluctant to serve him at all, she was resolved to appear unaffected by his presence and so set about the task of pouring his tea. Her motions were clipped and perfunctory as she reached for the teapot and poured the fragrant golden liquid. The steam billowed up past her fingers and dissipated as though it had never been.
She stood to hand him his cup and saucer, willing her shaking hands to glide smoothly through the air so as not to disturbed the calm with the rattling of nervous dishes. He took it, his eyes upon her. Brynna returned to her seat, uncertain who would make the first move. She regarded him warily, waiting.
It was Vella who prodded the interaction on. She smiled gently at Brynna as she spoke. "Have you no greeting for your former master?" She turned to look at Malik who kept his gaze on Brynna. "After all, he has spent the greater part of two months searching for you, and in such terrible weather as this," she said between nibbles of the scone on her plate. "Surely you can muster some form of civil greeting."
Brynna turned her eyes back to him. What was one to say? What was the appropriate greeting a heartbroken, runaway slave gave their cruel and seductive master?
"No, I have nothing to say to him."
"That is unfortunate, as I have quite a bit to say to you." He finally spoke, the richness of his voice spilling out, breaking the dam of tension in the room.
"It is very unlikely that you could say anything that I would possibly want to hear."
"That is very narrow-minded of you, to judge the worth of the words, before you have heard them."
"I judge the speaker, sir, regardless of the words, for I know your worth very well." Her eyes began flickering with spite flamed by her pain.
"Lady DeWal, at the risk of interrupting your tea, would you be so kind as to allow Brynna and me a few moments alone?" he asked, his eyes never leaving her defiant-set face.
"Yes, of course. I shall go to ensure your quarters are adequately prepared for your stay." Brynna's eyes grew wide with terror at being left alone with the man, and so Vella cast her a reassuring smile, communicating all would be well. As Vella disappeared from the room, Brynna turned back to her harrower. The security she felt slip with Vella's departure returned somewhat as she trusted that Vella would protect her if need be.
For a time, he only stared, causing her stomach to knot tighter and tighter. She was out of training to uphold strong under his scrutiny, and so broke the silence with a petulant rant. "Well, I thought you had much to say, but if you are only going to sit there, like some bothersome ogre, and stare at me, then I am inclined to leave you alone." She stood to go, but his voice stopped her cold.
"Sit down." She slowly did as he bade, though with an unhappy scowl. After a slight puff of frustration, his hard features eased, a soft pleading in his eyes. Collected, he began. "You are to come back with me. However, given certain histories between us, expectations of your duties will change. I am disposed to allow you to choose which you like. And, there are...other things to discuss, but perhaps that can wait until the journey back-"
She stood suddenly, cutting him off. "You think to make me go back with you?" The fear was unmistakable.
"You have no power here. You cannot force me back as your slave," she said, more to convince herself than him.
He stood so his gaze bore down upon her. "Regardless of what has happened, nothing has changed the very simple fact that you are my slave. Not only through your father's debt, but by your own declaration, many times over," his voice said, low and heated, pulling forth her pain and shame.
Brynna burned with rage. She bared her teeth and growled before she paced away from him, flinging her arms wildly, yelling. "I said those things because you made me! I had no choice! You used me! Used my body, and I had no power to say 'no.' You made me think I cared for you, that I should be willing to do whatever you wanted in hopes it would gain some amount of your affection! But you didn't! You never cared for me!
And when I wouldn't give in, when I wouldn't do as you wanted, what did you do? You proved to me I had no ability to stand against you. You RAPED me, didn't you! Did you really think that would improve my attitude? That I would become the happy little slave and do your bidding in the simple hopes you wouldn't tear my flesh again? Or was it just to prove you were stronger? That, as the master, you can do whatever the fuck you want!"
She stopped her frantic pacing and turned to him, tears wetting her cheeks. "And as if that was all." She paused as more tears flooded her eyes. "I was nothing to you. Nothing more than a hole to cum in, right? And when you were tired of me...to the stable buck?" her voice cracked, a shadow of her broken self flickering through. "Not only had you brought other women to...but to give me to some other man? To watch-?" She shuddered in horror of the image of another man touching her while he and his whores looked on in lascivious amusement.
"Why?" she asked through sobs, backing away, an arm coming up to wipe her vision clear of the flood of tears. "Why are you here? You didn't want me anymore, so why couldn't you let me alone? Why do you hate me so much?"
"I do not hate you."
"Then how could you do those things to me? To nearly destroy me?" she gasped between sobs. The anguish of her face pierced him. He took the three steps between them and grasped her arms in his hands. He looked at her with a hard expression, anger boiling at his inability to change his vile past.
"I did not want to destroy you. I wanted-" but Malik did not know the word to describe how he wanted her, the name of the demon that possessed him and drove his rage-fueled insanity.
He wanted to swim in her veins. He wanted to feel her heart beat in his hand. He wanted to enfold her into his arms until he felt her disappear into his body. He wanted to breathe her scent with all the breaths of his life. He wanted her voice in his head, her fingers on his chest.
But she was right. All he had done had destroyed the very person he wanted to possess and be possessed by. "Brynna, for that night, for what I did...for both nights," he could only look into her tear-filled eyes, no words large enough to stamp out his past, no sentiment grand enough to erase his evil. "I was angry and desperate to make you...you belong to me," he growled, his passion rising, "and I hated how you could deny it. What I did," and here he touched her cheek, wiping it dry, willing the pain to disappear, "I was wrong. I was a monster and I was wrong. To see how I hurt you," but he could not finish, a catch in his throat cutting off the sound.
Just as he was about to speak, to muster all that was within him to compel her heart towards forgiveness, the double doors to the room flew open, and an angry Frederick von Shlay entered authoritatively.
"Get your hands off her," he ordered.
Malik growled, furious at the interruption by the would-be usurper, before he sighed in temporary resignation. "Ah, Mr. von Shlay, how very timely of you," he said with a drawl, his eyes cutting to Vella's mischevious face as she entered behind him. His arrival was no doubt of her clever design for intrigue. He looked down at Brynna who was trying to dry her face, though tears still clung to her dark lashes. He sighed again and backed away from her, knowing the moment for amends had passed.
Brynna stared up at him with a pained and confused expression. She stepped around him to dry her face with her back towards the others. Her body still trembled at the energy her emotions produced, but she was determined to control all outward appearances. After a few calming breaths, she turned and stood serenely, though her appearance remained frail and drained.
It was, of course, Vella who spoke first, breaking the silence. "Frederick, would you care for tea? Brynna made it herself. My dear, will you not pour our guest some?" Brynna's eyes flitted to Malik's face, as if seeking approval, but then she caught the feeling and stuffed it away. She instead pushed down the teary-eyed girl inside and gave him another challenging glance before turning to serve tea. She poured the remaining cup and quickly scanned the table, uncertain where to seat Frederick.
All came to the sitting area, and Frederick chose his own seat, next to Brynna. She turned to hand him his tea, their knees bumping briefly. She quickly adjusted her seat, gaining more space between their bodies, and once again chided herself at how her every move was done in the boundaries of what he would find acceptable.
Frederick leaned over to whisper, "Are you alright?"
Brynna could only nod as she looked at Malik through her lashes. She was still undetermined as to what her safest course of action would be. Though she wanted to stand against him, she knew he had every right to drag her kicking and screaming back to his keep. Could she beseech either Vella or Frederick for assistance? Would it be enough? Would Vella even help? Given her amiable interaction with Blackwood, she was uncertain where her loyalties laid.
"So, you're the man that held Brynna as a slave, are you not? And now you are here, trying to steal back that which does not belong to you?" Frederick squared his shoulders, his disdainful look marring his otherwise handsome face.
"My plans are none of your concern," he replied coolly.
"Mayhap, but Brynna does concern me."
"She shouldn't, for she is also none of your concern.
"I would-" but Brynna interrupted Frederick's indignant reply.
"As Frederick is my friend, a man who respects and cares for me, it is his right to concern himself over me, if he so chooses."
"Once again, you forget that I decide these things."
"No, it is you who forgets that I am no longer under your rule. I left, dismantling your authority over me," she said with conviction, though she didn't quite believe it herself.
"It was never within your power to do so," he ground out, increasingly frustrated at her obstinance, and when he could do little about it while others watched on.
"My dear Lord Blackwood," Vella chuckled, "I would kindly ask you, that while you are in my home, I would appreciate you not upsetting my young ward. She is easily, riled, is she not? And I fear there is little peace to come, if you do not change your ways." She smiled sweetly as he darkened in fury at her. But before he could open his mouth further, she stood and addressed Frederick and Brynna. "I know the two of you have particular business to attend to. Brynna, why do you not escort Frederick into the parlor? There is a fire there, I believe. It should be private enough." She smiled encouragingly at them, but put a quieting hand on Malik's shoulder when he tensed up, as if to move forward to intervene.
Frederick, happy to be onto his own business, and quite certain of the answer he was to receive, bounded up. He turned to Brynna offering a hand. "Shall we?"
Suddenly uncomfortable, Brynna once again darted her eyes to Malik, watching his reaction to the unfolding events. He sat, like a coiled snake, ready to pounce. Let him suffer. She took the proffered hand and stood to lead the way.
"What the hell was that?" Malik nearly shouted when the doors were closed by the retreating couple.
"Tsk, tsk, tsk, my dear sir, language."
"What do you mean by sending her out with that man?" Malik sprung to his feet and paced to the door. "What if he convinces her to leave, escape again? Even marry him?"