It continued as that Call’s donation-perk story-continuation.
Sections of 83 words for the first part, 186 for the second, because it pleased me to do so.
“Come away with me this weekend.”
The words had sounded so innocent, and been so permanent under the surface. Spring Break. No schoolwork to worry about (other schools might try, but a state school knew better than to bother), parents who weren’t going to ask where their kids were going, in case they accidentally found out, and she’d lied to her friends about her secret plans for the weekend. By the time anyone realized they were gone, it would be way too late.
| “With you? Sure.”
That made everything both harder and easier. He’d been working out a plan, but hadn’t expected the opportunity to jump into his lap like this. He didn’t have all of his details in place; he was going to have to wing some of it. He came up with a lie for his parents and another for his friends, and packed his special bag inside his normal suitcase. He really hated winging it. It left way too much up to chance.
“It’s just down this road.”
Away from everything, secluded, private. Far enough away that nobody would hear them. Far enough away that even finding them would be tricky, unless you knew what you were looking for. Her uncle had built the place. She had never asked him why; she didn’t really want to know. She’d bleached it roof to basement when she inherited, and waited for the family to forget about it, and him, and her.
They’d been more than willing to oblige.
|“This place is really out there, isn’t it?”
More than out there, it was the sort of remote he hadn’t known existed this close to the city. They’d been driving for half an hour since the last gas station (she’d filled up there, much to his relief), and the houses were few and far between, nestled into hillsides. Often, all you saw was the mailbox, lone and lonely-looking. He tried to memorize everything; he didn’t want to stand out, lost, when he left.
“Now that we’re all alone…”
With her touch, the cabin had become pretty cozy. She’d pulled all the drapes and lit a fire, leaving them enveloped in wood-paneled hunting-lodge charm. Even a passing hiker wouldn’t nothing anything, which was good, on the rare occasion that things went sour. Uncle Thomas had really planned for everything.
(She’d left the flower bed alone. She didn’t want to know who was under there, any more than her parents wanted to know where she got her money).
| “Quite alone.”
The place reminded him of a couple of his bolt holes. It was well-situated, well-provisioned, and cozy, with what looked from the outside like a full basement. Somebody had put some money into this place. And now, here he was, locked in it (she hadn’t noticed when he pocketed the deadbolt key) with his quarry. Cuddled on the couch like the college kid he was pretending to be.
The only trick was going to be getting out of here with her.
She snuggled against the boy, wishing, for a moment, that she was the college girl she was pretending to be. It would be nice to have a boy to cuddle like this, someone sweet, someone who really wanted to be with her. It would be nice to not think of him as an income source.
Her uncle had left her more than his workshop, however; he’d left her contacts, hungry contacts, who would do her all the favors she needed, if she kept them sated. It was like being left a pack of nearly-tame sharks – keep the water red with blood, and they’d always do what she wanted. Fail them, and they’d eat her.
The boy flipped through channels, pausing on Jaws, and she couldn’t help but chuckle. “Sharks,” she explained to his curious glance.
“You don’t like sharks? There’s tigers on, too.”
“No, no.” Tiger was what her uncle had always called her. “Sharks are wonderful. I love sharks… especially on tv.” Especially fake sharks.
She loved sharks. He smiled into her shoulder. This was going to be fun. He was willing to bet she was a screamer; with a place like this, he could listen to her all he wanted and not have to worry about onlookers. It was awfully considerate of her, really, to bring him out to a place like this. He’d be sure to repay her consideration. Anesthetic, maybe. He had some in his bag, but rarely found cause to use it. For her, though… she was something else.
“Sharks it is.” He kissed her, a Him kiss and not one his persona would usually give, the sort of thing that was half promise and half threat. He loved the moment when he could let down his hair, as it were, and stop pretending. “You don’t like tigers? I always thought of you as sort of a feline sort.” And maybe she’d yowl for him.
“Oh, I am. Doesn’t mean one predator likes another one,” she purred.
She liked this moment the best, when she could stop pretending and start getting down to business. But there was something off, this time, with her prey. That kiss, for one… she kissed him again, to be certain (and because it had been a nice kiss), and then once more. On the third try, she opened her eyes.
His eyes were open, too, and there was a look in them she recognized – not from her prey, but from the sharks. He was every bit as much a predator as she was, and hungry, ready for the kill. She wondered what his MO was, and how he’d scoped her out as prey. She wondered if he had a plan. Most importantly, she wondered if he had figured out what was going on yet.
“You taste delicious,” he rumbled, licking his lips, and she decided he didn’t, yet.
“You have not yet begun to taste me,” she informed him, smirking, and was rewarded by a lazy grin.
| “I look forward to sampling you, then,” he replied. She was going to be fun, wasn’t she, all spunk and arrogance? He liked the arrogant ones the best – they broke the quickest, but the prettiest, and once they were broken, they were so entertaining.
She hadn’t figured out what was going on yet, either, which made it all the better. The longer he could drag it out… he kissed her again, because she not only tasted delicious, she kissed like the tiger she said she didn’t like. Her hands were travelling over his body – the idea of a willing participant, equal partner in his expeditions began to tempt him. He didn’t have to have this one as prey. She could come along, instead, hunting others with him. It would be the wildest ride he’d ever been on. It would certainly be wilder than anything she’d seen before.
“Still delicious,” he opined, and opened his eyes, just as she wrapped something cold and steel around his wrist.
It was more entertaining than normal, the moment when he realized he was screwed. He shook his hand against the cuff – the other end fastened to the very sturdy couch frame – and his eyes got wide, but she could tell he was still plotting, still looking for his advantage.
“Very funny,” he smiled. “I didn’t know you were into the kinky stuff.”
He still didn’t know, did he? Most of them weren’t nearly this slow on the uptake; was he stupid, or just arrogant? Either way, he was reaching for his pocket – no, that couldn’t be good. She kicked his free hand out of the way, pinning it to the couch while she reached for the second cuff.
“None of that,” she growled. “You are going to stay right where I put you, until I’m ready to let you go.” She snapped the cuff around his free wrist while he was still gaping at her. “And if you’re lucky, we might get kinky for a little while.”
If you’re lucky…. He tugged sharply on the cuffs, gauging quickly that yes, they were tight, and yes, the couch frame they were attached to was too sturdy to break. She was going through his pockets; he kicked back at her, trying to stop her, and got bashed against the knee for his trouble.
“I can tell you’re going to be feisty,” she commented, as she grabbed his ankles and looped a length of chain around there. Where was she getting this stuff? Ah, under the couch. Shit, she really did have this all set up. But did she know… best to keep playing along.
“Feisty?” he asked, faking a tremor in his voice. “I don’t understand – what are you doing? Doesn’t kink usually involve less clothes?”
Her chuckle was not reassuring. She was a hunter, for sure. No wonder she had this place, all tricked out in the middle of nowhere. No wonder she’d invited him out here. The question was, what kind of hunter?
“We’re getting to the naked.”
She could see when he understood, even though he was still trying to fake innocence. Good. She was ready to cut to the chase. She chained his ankles to the other end of the couch, and sat down on his thighs while she went through his pockets.
Ah, there, mace, knife, another knife, another knife… latex gloves. Hrm. She wondered what would be in his bag. Plenty of time for that later; she carried the loot to her safe, dropped it and the bag in, and returned with her own knife. “Now,” she said, savoring a line she’d used over and over again, “to get to the naked part.”
He tugged on his restraints. “Easier to do if I’m untied.”
“Considering what you had in your pockets… no, I don’t think so.”
His eyes narrowed. “Would you have untied me without the gear? You didn’t bring me here for fun and games.”
“You didn’t come here for fun and games, either.”
| “I came here to play with you,” he hedged, testing the bonds again. He didn’t like the look of the knife she was holding – short and sharp, it wasn’t intended to kill. She wouldn’t kill him here on the couch, anyway, not if she was reasonable. She’d have another place for that – probably the basement. How was she going to get him down there?
“And I,” she unbuttoned his pants, “came here to play with you. Ironic, isn’t it? A campus full of prey…”
“…and we both picked up predators.” He smiled back at her as she peeled his pants down to his ankles. “You know, we could work together. Hunt together.” He was surprised to find he meant it. She was smarter than he’d thought, sharp and dangerous. He might still prey on her when he got free… but he might not.
“We’d kill each other,” she answered him shortly. “I have a feeling what sort of monster you are. I don’t work with monsters.”
He laughed at her as she pulled his pants to his ankles. “You have me tied to your couch and you’re calling me a monster?”
“I never argued with the label ‘predator,’” she countered, and began cutting his pants off of him. He was flaccid in his shorts, watching her with professional curiosity rather than lust. “But I think we’re in different classes.” Something about his vibe, at least, suggested she wouldn’t have survived the encounter.
“So you think I outclass you?” He was holding very still now, watching her knife.
“Let’s just say I think we have different goals.” She didn’t bother pulling his boxers down before she cut them off, and was rewarded by a small wince. Still, he plowed on.
“Goals. If you have goals, I can help you achieve them.” Monster or not, with a blade to his balls he sounded like all the rest. She laughed at him.
“You’re going to help me. Why do you think I brought you here?”
| Arguing with a woman with a blade to his privates seemed like a bad idea. “You brought me here to help you? Unlock me, and I’ll help you.” Her lines were too much like his own; she’d done this before, and enjoyed it.
The question pressing on his mind, as well as on the rest of him, was what “this” was, for her. If she was like him, he had a very short window in which to escape. If she was, as she thought, less of a monster –likely, for her definition of monster – then he could take his time, look for an opening.
“You know I’m not going to do that.” She stood up, leaving his shirt on, and walked over to the safe, her body blocking the combination. “You know you’re not going to help me like that.”
He stared with growing concern at the oxygen mask and canister she was bringing over. This couldn’t bode well.
“I can…” the mask cut off the rest.
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