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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sanguine - Part 4

Part 4

All packed!” Soumettre announced with a satisfied grin. She swept her hands past each other three times as if she had just cleaned up a particularly difficult mess.
Now... all we need to do is wait for our carriage to get here,” Panique added, sitting on her trunk as Misere latched it shut.
Sandra!” Lucy called up the stairs to the attic. She was the 11 year old who had politely refused to go with Sanguine and be a Mistress in training. The week had softened all the siblings towards their strange older sister, and now they were sad to see her go.
Sanguine poked her head out the door of the attic to look down at her. “Is something wrong?”
Nope!” Lucy replied, bouncing with excitement. “Come see!”
Sanguine made her way downstairs, followed by her sisters. “Ah... It smells fabulous in here!”
Lucy actually jumped in excitement. “Since you won't be here for Solstice, we decided to have our traditional Solstice breakfast today!”
Abattre followed her nose to the table and got a really up close look at the various cakes and pastries covering it. “That looks positively mouth watering!”
Sanguine laughed. “I haven't had Solstice cakes in years!”
Douleur chuckled. “I'm not sure we even realized when it was Solstice last year.”
Yeah, it was strangely busy for winter last Solstice,” Misere added.
There was a soft knock at the door. Trenton rushed to answer it, which made Sanguine laugh at his exuberance.
Danny!” Trenton exclaimed, and then glanced toward Sanguine and her sisters. “What brings you here today?”
Danny intuitively knew why Trenton didn't immediately let him in, so he stepped aside to let his mother hug the boy.
Ah! You've grown so much since I last seen you!”
Trenton blushed. Amos grinned as he stepped up behind his son and then clasped Danny's father's hand.
The newcomers took a few moments to remove their cloaks and stomp the snow from their boots. Danny's younger sister stared at the Mistresses curiously. She was 14, and Sanguine realized that this girl embodied everything that had been torn from her.
Mareth kissed Danny's mother on the cheek, and she returned the greeting. “My son has been in a snit all week, and all he would tell us is that Sandra is visiting. I finally insisted that we come see her before she left today, and... I rather assumed that you'd be having Solstice a bit early this year!”
Mareth laughed. “Astute as always, Shelly.”
Sanguine took a small steadying breath, and then stood to greet the neighbors she'd used to consider as good as family. She hugged Shelly, but then purposely did not let the woman hold her hands.
Sorry, it's just that I have sharp claws, and I don't want to scratch you,” Sanguine explained.
Goodness gracious child!” Shelly exclaimed, gently holding Sanguine's wrists so that she could inspect the metal claws that always adorned Sanguine's fingers. All 10 of them... “What in the world are these for?”
Sanguine simply smiled. Turning, she swept her hand to indicate her sister Mistresses. “These are my sisters now. Panique, Douleur, Misere, Abattre, and Soumettre.”
Danny frowned. “Don't they have real names?”
The ladies all responded by growling. “Those are our real names!”
Christopher decided to change the subject as they seated themselves around the very crowded table. “So, Amos, what's this I hear about a vicious wild animal attacking people on your property. At least half the men in town have nasty scratches or wounds and a crazy story to go with them!”
Amos tilted his head to the side in confusion and then glanced at Danny. “Didn't Danny tell you?”
Christopher shook his head. “No, all he would say on the subject was that Lord Wolf came over here to collect his tribute and was taken into custody by representatives of the crown.”
That'd be us!” Panique informed him with a grin.
Douleur poked Sanguine with her pain stick for half a second. “I bet you must be the wild animal!” Sanguine grunted from the pain but then laughed in agreement.
Seriously?” Misere demanded. “After everything that happened, all they talk about is you and your claws?!”
Panique sent a small jolt of electricity to shock Misere. “Do you forget, you wounded a bunch of men too. My guess is that they considered your whip as the tail of the beast!” Misere rolled her eyes and smoothed her now wild hair with one hand.
Soumettre laughed. “Oh, I get it! They can't accept that we are nothing more than women, so they called us an animal!”
I'm surprised that they didn't call us a demon!” Abattre snorted in delight at the thought.
Danny harrumphed. “That would be a more accurate description.”
He happened to be sitting closest to Misere, so she responded by growling and glaring at him menacingly. “Do you have a death wish?”
Not particularly,” Danny stated evenly.
Ladies...” Amos chided them gently. “Please remember how I expect you to treat my guests.”
Please pass me another cake,” Sanguine asked sweetly, changing the subject. Danny handed her the full plate from across the table. Her eyes flickered to his arm. “How are you? Have your scratches healed yet?”
Mostly,” he nearly grunted his response.
That's good,” she replied with a smile. He understood that she was subtly reminding him to mind his manners.
Shelly frowned, glancing from Sanguine to her son and back. “Danny never did tell us how he got those...”
Sanguine smiled, shaking her head slightly. “It's my fault, I sometimes forget to watch my claws.”
Douleur – who was sitting next to Sanguine – laughed. “Liar!”
Sanguine poked her pointer finger into the back of Douleur's hand. “Quiet you!” Her eyes flashed merrily as she sucked the blood from her nail. Douleur prodded her with her pain stick again, as if inviting a sparring session.
Lucy groaned. “Ugh! Can you please stop doing that? It makes me nauseous!”
Sanguine looked at her curiously. “Doing what?”
Hurting each other!” Lucy exclaimed.
The Mistresses all laughed. “We're not hurting each other! This is how we show our love for one another!”
Panique rolled a tiny ball of lightning around her fingers. “We can show you if you're curious.”
No thank you!” Lucy nearly shrieked. Panique shrugged as if to say your loss and then tossed the ball across the table to Sanguine who caught it rather than risk letting it hit anyone else. Her nails sparked brightly for a moment, and her hair puffed up.
See Lucy? We never actually hurt each other,” she informed her little sister.
Sure looks like it hurts to me,” Mareth remarked dryly.
There was another knock at the door before anyone else could say a word.
Excellent!” Abattre cheered happily. “Trenton, would you be a dear and get the door. That'll be our servants, I expect.”
Trenton nodded and rushed to comply, partly because he was usually asked to open the door, and partly because he didn't want to risk offending any of the Mistresses.
Two burly men stepped into the house, and Danny suddenly realized that they must have been criminals at some point. They had the look of belonging to an organized crime clan about them. Like they had been enforcers...
They politely waited for the door to shut, cleaned their boots, and then knelt just two feet inside the entrance to wait for instructions. Soumettre sighed.
That time already?” She pointed up to the attic. “Get our luggage and load it onto the carriage.”
Yes mistress!” They replied obediently.
Abattre pointed to the two men as she looked Danny in the eyes. “You see that? That is an example of proper manners!”
Danny flushed. “No... that is an example of someone too afraid to speak his mind!”
Abattre turned to cast a pointed look at Sanguine. Sanguine held up her hands soothingly. “Just ignore him... We will be leaving soon enough.”
Panique smirked at Danny. “I hope you go home tonight and lie in bed thanking every God you know that Sanguine seems to like you! Only her sheer generosity has saved you from being strung up in our dungeon!”
I've done nothing wrong!” Danny protested.
So you say!” Panique exclaimed, chorused by Misere, Abattre, Douleur, and Soumettre.
Sisters...” Sanguine admonished softly. “I think my mother might be right. I think we have forgotten that not everyone needs to be treated like a criminal in need of reform.”
Misere sighed. “I miss our dungeon... at least there, I know all the rules and don't need to worry about dealing with idiots who don't know when to keep their mouths shut!”
Soumettre laughed. “You know... maybe that speaks volumes about how long we've been in service to their Majesties! We literally don't remember any other way to act!”
It's only been two years for you,” Panique pointed out. “Have you really forgotten what it's like to be a slave?”
Soumettre's expression darkened. “No...” she growled. “No one could ever forget something like that!”
And yet, you make such an excellent Mistress because of it,” Sanguine reminded her.
Soumettre grinned at her. “You're right! I think only one who has been utterly subjugated can truly understand it!”
Amos finally decided to ask something that had been bothering him almost since their arrival. “If you're all so strong, why did you ever let yourselves be used and abused in the first place?”
The Mistresses all stared at him, incredulous.
Father...” Sanguine replied softly. “I don't think you quite understand... It's not a question of allow. When a child, especially a girl, is told what to do, she does it... or suffers the consequences.”
Panique scoffed. “Especially a street rat! You've never starved and wondered where your next meal was going to come from!”
The two servants finished delicately balancing all the trunks between them as they descended the stairs. The probable weight of all the trunks combined gave everyone a clue as to how strong the pair must really be. It sent shivers up Christopher's spine when he realized that these two feared these girls despite their obvious ability to fight back.
Trenton graciously volunteered to open the door for them, and soon they were outside loading up the carriage.
Amos flushed from their explanation. “You're right, I don't understand, but I still don't... If you can calmly defeat a mob, why didn't you simply fight back when you were younger?”
How to explain...” Douleur murmured pensively. “I suppose you could say that none of us knew how to fight back until Lady Desespoir took us in and taught us everything she knows.”
I see...” Amos nodded, realizing that not even the mightiest warrior was born knowing how to fight. He turned to his daughter. “And what did this Lady Desespoir do to you that turned you into... this?”
Sanguine wrinkled her nose for a moment, wondering how to answer him. “Hmm... I guess you could say that she gave me my claws and then taught me how to use them.”
She taught us courage!” Abattre exclaimed.
She taught us to use our natural talents... Talents we didn't even know we had,” Misere added.
And you truly prefer reforming criminals to the life you have waiting for you here?” He pressed, concerned. The thought of her breaking and remaking anyone frankly made him shudder!
Sanguine very carefully placed her hand over her father's. “Yes, I do... I feel like it's what I was born for...”
I see...” Amos murmured, depressed and yet accepting that he couldn't change her mind.
The conversation changed, and at least an hour passed happily and peacefully before Trenton reminded his older sister that she had two men waiting for her out in the cold. She smirked at him.
Let 'em wait!” Sanguine turned to her mother. “I want you to know that the moment we get back to our castle, I plan to write up an incident report to send to their Majesties. With Lady Desespoir's seal on it, it'll be delivered straight to the King and Queen, likely reaching them far sooner than the King's man's report – which may never deemed important enough to be passed all the way up to the King. I'm certain that their Majesties will send someone out to investigate Lord Wolf in depth before passing judgment on him.”
Panique snorted a short laugh. “Assuming he survives our dungeon!”
Don't be silly, sister!” Soumettre grinned at her. “I'm certain that Lady Desespoir has already broken him and made him into an new man!”
True...” Abattre mused. “She probably relished having something to do!”
Anyway,” Sanguine regained control over the conversation. “Please have faith that their Majesties will correct the situation.”
Must be nice,” Christopher muttered. “Having the ear of the King like that...”
Their Majesties charged us with an important job,” Misere responded. “We do our job well, and they trust us implicitly for it.”
Mareth frowned. “How many criminals marked for death can there possibly be in our Kingdom?”
Sanguine shrugged. “We are sent an average of 4-6 per month. Considering the size of our Kingdom, I'd say that's probably far lower than it should be.”
Panique looked at the ceiling thoughtfully, then added. “We also frequently get criminals from other Kingdoms, and often customers come to us when they feel they need to make a drastic change in their lives.”
Then why have we never heard of Lady Desespoir or you girls before?” Mareth asked.
You've obviously never been sent to prison!” Douleur answered with an encouraging smile.
Certainly not!” Mareth exclaimed.
Sanguine laughed, stood up, and walked over to kiss her mother on the cheek. “I think it's time we left.”
So soon?” Mareth protested.
If we wait too much longer, it'll be dark before we even get halfway home,” Abattre stated.
I love you so much!” Mareth informed her oldest daughter, standing to hug her tightly.
I love you too,” Sanguine stated as she returned the happy embrace.
Must be nice to have parents...” Panique murmured.
Mareth made a sound as if scandalized. She pulled Panique to her feet, careful not to touch any part of the electrical bracelets. “You girls said it yourselves, didn't you? You said that you are Sandra's sisters now, and so that makes her parents your parents too!” She hugged the startled young woman wearing dark blue.
Panique held herself stiffly for a moment, and then returned the hug, careful not to actually touch Mareth with her bracelets. Misere leapt to her feet eagerly.
Me next!” She insisted, not having to worry about accidentally injuring the woman with her weapon, which was rolled into a circle and hooked to her side.
As Mareth, her children, and even Amos after only a moment's hesitation, took turns hugging the informally adopted orphans, Danny gently pulled Sanguine off to the side near the door for a bit of privacy.
Will you please come back for a visit soon... by yourself?” He whispered in her ear.
Sanguine closed her eyes to think this over for a moment. “No...” she replied softly, and then an inner imp made her add. “Not unless you come visit me first.”
Sandra...” Danny murmured her name softly, brushing her cheek with the back of the fingers of his curled right hand. He leaned closer to her to kiss her.
Don't,” she warned him in a quiet voice.
He knew that no one could see them clearly, which inexplicably gave him courage to kiss her despite her warning. She let him because she was curious to see if she would feel the same way she had before, then pushed him away when she realized that she did.
She stepped back then placed all the nails of her right hand against his cheek. “Don't make me hurt you!”
Shelly gasped, having curiously come to find out what they were doing. “What's going on?”
I was just saying goodbye,” Danny stated only half truthfully.
Liar...” Sanguine muttered with a pleased smile despite herself. She removed all her nails but one, and then lightly scratched his cheek almost lovingly. “Hand me my cloak?”
Danny felt a tiny drop of blood fall from the scratch, but ignored it. Keeping his eyes locked on hers, he grabbed her cloak and held it out for her.
Everyone was more or less silent as the rest of the ladies donned their cloaks, and then the 6 of them walked out to their carriage. Sanguine waved goodbye to her family one last time as she walked out the door.
Amos stood next to Danny, placed an arm around his shoulder, and then sighed. “Son... I think you may need to give up on her.”
Danny didn't reply; he simply shook his head.


Danny stared at the door knocker for a long time before gathering up the courage to use it. To his great relief, there weren't any naked living statues in the yard – which was still covered in snow despite being so close to spring. Even so, the way the door knocker was shaped like a man bent in half ready to have his backside beat against the door was unnerving.
Taking a deep breath, he used the knocker to rap on the door three times. A few moments passed strangely. Danny was so nervous that time seemed to stretch out until eternity, and yet simultaneously, the seconds raced by. The door cracked ominously, and then opened.
Danny was suddenly reminded just how thick and heavy the door was. Unless a person was used to opening it, it would be near impossible to move quickly enough to escape if necessary. He shook his head to cast away all thoughts of escaping.
A maid – a different one than before – smiled at him. “May I help you?”
He momentarily wondered how all of the maids managed to look and act so innocent when he knew for a fact that they were trained to be merciless and cruel. He cleared his throat.
Yes... I'm here to see Mistress Sanguine...”
She frowned, obviously confused as to how he already knew any of their names. “I... see... follow me.”
Lady Desespoir happened to be preparing to leave for a bit, and stood not too far inside the door as Danny entered the castle. She scrutinized him closely, a faint grin on her lips.
What have we here?” She asked the maid.
A customer for Mistress Sanguine,” the maid replied.
Lady Desespoir purred as she walked a circle around him. She wore an inky black dress that was decorated with an abundance of red lace and embroidered in a pattern that vaguely looked like blood dripping.
Mistress Sanguine is currently busy in the dungeon, as are all the Mistresses... I would be more than happy to reschedule my appointment so that I could tend to you personally, if you'd like...”
Danny took a breath in order to control the urge to shudder. “No thank you,” he stated firmly. “I'm told that my payment shall be my blood, and my blood is only for her.”
Lady Desespoir smiled; a genuine warm smile. She showed how impressed she was by exhaling softly. “I like you. You have... hmm... courage, and... a strong will. I think you may be able to bend without breaking.”
She turned to address the maid. “Bring him to Mistress Sanguine's chambers to wait, but don't disturb her.”
Yes, my Lady!” The maid exclaimed obediently, then curtseyed as she watched the Lady leave.
Danny followed her to a staircase leading up, stopping for a moment to stare down a second staircase as they passed it. Screams echoed up from somewhere far below, causing Danny to shiver with apprehension.
That leads down to the dungeons,” the maid informed him needlessly. “We received several new prisoners just yesterday, and most of them are still... resistant...”
What happens if a man is innocent? Say he was accused of murder, but never harmed a person in his life?” Danny hypothesized.
That has happened in the past, but not very often. The truth always comes out, and in a situation where a man is truly innocent, he is set free and given some money to compensate him for his ordeal.
Are there ever women sent here?” Danny wondered.
The maid was quiet for a moment. “Yes, but most of them do not survive the ordeal, and … ironically – you could say – women have to be almost mass murderers before they are sentenced to death in this Kingdom. Their Majesties feel that since the vast majority of the serious crimes are committed by men, the women that commit serious crimes must be driven to it by extenuating circumstances. Personally, I think it's unfair, but it is a fact that even if women were sentenced exactly the same as men every time, there still wouldn't be more than 1 woman sent to us every month or two.” She shrugged, and then continued walking.
Sanguine's chamber was not right at the top of the stairs as Danny hoped, but rather at the end of a long hallway. This castle had probably once housed a large and prosperous noble family, so each of the chambers reserved for the family members were spacious and bright; a stark contrast to the rest of the dim and subtly menacing castle.
Danny looked around the chamber in amazement. A good half his house would fit in here! It was decorated more or less tastefully, and looked like it belonged to a delicately raised young lady... who happened to have a bizarre love for the macabre...
The maid stared at Danny pointedly, and he eventually stopped looking around to see what she wanted. He looked at her warily.
What?” He asked.
I'm waiting for you to remove your clothes and hand them to me,” she informed him matter-of-factly.
What?!” Danny nearly shouted in surprise.
You've stated quite clearly that you are here to see Mistress Sanguine, and that you expect to pay for the pleasure with your blood. That means that you are a customer and must be treated as any other customer. Therefore, I am waiting for you to take off your clothes and hand them to me.”
Wait... does Mistress Sanguine have a lot of customers?” Danny asked, his aura darkening at the thought.
The maid shrugged, waited patiently for one moment more, and then sighed. “You can either cooperate or I can remove your clothes by force. I'll even call for help if you manage to overwhelm me... Trust me when I say that things will go so much easier for you if you do not fight.”
Danny blushed. He had visited women in the local brothel from time to time, but none of them had ever just stood there expecting him to strip while they stared at him coldly. He focused on his task, pulling his clothes off as slowly as he possibly could.
The maid folded his clothes as he handed them to her, and then set them in a neat pile on a chair next to the door. She pointed at a spot on the wall about 15 feet from the foot of the large bed. Danny noticed a chain attached to the wall that would let him move in a radius of about 6 feet. He tried not to panic as the maid clamped the shackle around his ankle.
When she was done, the maid looked him in the eye, which made him feel a tiny bit better since she could have stared elsewhere or coldly not looked at him at all. “Mistress Sanguine will return when she has finished her duties for the day. I have no idea how long that will take. I will be back with some water and a bucket you can use as needed, but other than that, you will only be fed as the Mistress allows.”
She turned to leave the room, got halfway to the door, and then stopped to look at him again. “I don't know what you hope to gain, but if you have any sense whatsoever, you'll do exactly as you're told at all times. The more you cooperate, the easier the Mistress will be on you.”
Danny nodded, and murmured, “I know...”
The maid left with his clothes, returned with the bucket and pitcher of water, and then left again. Danny had nothing to do but sit and wait for the woman he loved to return to her room and discover him. Will she be surprised to see me? Will she be happy to see me?
He scrutinized the floor and wall before choosing a place to sit, and realized that the white-washing and the plush cream-colored carpet were both stained with blood. “Great...” he muttered unappreciatively. “What have I gotten myself into?!”
A few hours passed, and Danny grew thoroughly bored. He started hoping that she'd return already and get this whole thing over with! Suddenly, the door to her chamber opened, and a pair of burly servants carried in a large, claw-footed tub. Four maids followed them carrying yokes laden with buckets of hot water. The one that had chained Danny to the wall set down her burden, then carefully placed four six-inch square by half an inch deep wooden blocks on the carpet to protect it from damage from the tub.
The servants set the tub down, and then helped the maids fill it with the water from the buckets. Without a word, they all left to get more hot water, returning a few minutes later to finish filling the tub. Danny expected them to add cool water to temper it, but they left.
Sometime later, a maid opened the door. She carried a tray, and walked backwards as she entered the room. “I have your dinner right here, and there's a bath ready, as you requested.”
Sanguine stepped into her room, her attention on the maid. She was splattered with blood, which was hard to see considering the color of her dress, but clearly showed up on her face and hands. More than half of the blood was flaking off of her, which rather implied that she'd been sprayed by it repeatedly during the course of hours.
Thank you,” Sanguine praised the maid. “Help me get out of this dress before you go.”
The maid set the tray down, glanced at Danny, and then turned to face her mistress. “If I may, I'd like to point out that you have a guest.”
Sanguine immediately looked to where the chain was connected to the wall. “Danny!” She gasped, and then crossed her arms to ponder him. He sat with his legs crossed, which more or less hid his genitals from her view, even so, he blushed at the thought that he was literally chained naked to her bedroom wall.
With a small shrug, she turned her back to the maid. The maid gently unbuttoned the dress, and then helped remove every article of clothing. She kept them in her arms, knowing that she'd need to have them washed as soon as possible.
Thank you, you may go.”
The maid nodded, and then obeyed, murmuring, “Good night, Mistress.”
Sanguine examined her body to see if she needed to bathe before she ate, and then decided that she definitely did. Ignoring Danny, she tested the temperature of the water, and then moaned happily as she climbed in and relaxed.
Sandra...?” Danny was hesitant, not sure whether to interrupt her or not.
Danny...” she responded almost sleepily.
I came to visit you, like you suggested. I didn't expect this...” he stated, referring to his predicament.
I didn't expect you to actually visit,” Sanguine admitted, then sighed in contentment as she used a washcloth to clean her face. They fell silent, neither knowing what to say. After washing her hair, and the rest of her body, she relaxed into the tub again, almost falling asleep.
Sandra... Do you plan to keep me chained to the wall all night?” Danny wondered.
Rather than answer him, she pointed to a robe that was hanging within his reach. “Will you bring that to me? ... As much as you can.”
Danny looked at her for a moment, realized that her eyes were closed, and then stood to obey. He obviously couldn't go any farther than six feet from the wall, and that was at least six feet away from the tub. Not knowing what else to do, he held the robe open for her.
Reluctant to leave the soothing warmth, Sanguine forced herself to get out of the tub before she fell asleep and then woke up to frigid water. She pulled her robe on, fastened the sash, and then uncovered her dinner. It was half a chicken on a bed of vegetables. She tore it's leg off, and then carried the plate to Danny.
I'm more tired than hungry, so feel free to eat the rest of this.”
He took hold of the plate, and then looked at the table then down at his ankle. She ignored his silent request, finished eating the meat from the leg, and then tossed the bone back on the plate.
Danny gaped incredulously as she turned her back on him and then crawled into bed! “Sandra! You can't seriously leave me chained to the wall all night!”
She frowned at him, twisting her lips as she contemplated punishing him. Getting back out of bed, she retrieved a thin blanket and a spare pillow from an armoire. She tossed both to the ground next to his feet.
Goodnight Danny!” She growled, and then got back into bed.
Earlier when he had arrived, there was plenty of light streaming in through the windows, but now the only light was from a lamp next to her bed and a small fire in the fireplace. She turned down the wick in the lamp until it extinguished, and then settled herself as comfortably as possible.
Sandra... Please don't make me sleep on the floor.”
She laughed softly. “Did you really think that I would just let you into my bed? Be thankful I gave you a pillow!”
Things aren't going at all how I planned them! He thought as he sat down and then ate the food she'd given him. I thought that she'd at least talk to me... Maybe even eat dinner with me like a civilized person!
Finishing his dinner, he pulled the blanket over his body, and then tried to find the plushest spot available before resting his head on the pillow and trying to go to sleep. It took him forever to drift off! He muttered to himself jealously as her soft snoring proved that she'd had no trouble at all falling asleep.
In the morning, Sanguine woke just as the first rays of dawn were poking through her window. She shifted in her bed so that she could look at Danny as he slept.
You really came...” she whispered with a tone of awe. She felt a tiny bit sorry that she'd forced him to sleep on the floor, but she had literally been too tired to care about much of anything at the time. She smiled at him, enjoying the quiet until a maid arrived with breakfast about an hour later.
The maid woke Danny, who silently watched her set a tray on the table, stir the fire back to life, and then collect the dirty dishes from last night.
Tell my sisters that I am going to be busy all day and do not wish to be disturbed,” Sanguine ordered the maid on her way out.
Yes Mistress,” the maid replied, bobbed a curtsey, and then shut the door behind her.
Sanguine sat up in her bed and stared at Danny as she quietly pondered what to do. He wasn't like a normal customer, so ignoring him until he got fed up enough to start yelling and earn a punishment wasn't really applicable. And yet... neither was simply unchaining him.
With a mental shrug, she decided to start by eating breakfast and wait for the right thing to do to occur to her.
Danny slowly sat up when he realized that she wasn't even going to talk to him. “How would things be different right now if I was any other customer?”
Sanguine smirked. “You'd be bleeding from several wounds, for one.” She wiggled her finger to indicate the blanket and pillow. “You'd also probably be shivering from the cold and highly uncomfortable!”
You mean... you don't...” he fumbled to find the right words.
Don't what? Punish a man until he begs for mercy and then bed him until he ascends to heaven?” Sanguine suggested.
Danny shrugged, and then nodded. She laughed.
No! That's not what we do here! I've told you several times... We break men, strip them of their will, and then remake them into polite and respectful citizens.”
So... you've never...?”
Sanguine glared at him. She pushed her half empty plate aside, got up, and stalked him like a tigress. “That is none of your business.”
Danny met her eyes. He was surprised to feel a little shiver of fear run through him, but even more surprised to feel the heat of desire run rampant over his body.
She slowly grew closer to him, her claws at the ready to scratch him randomly. She reached out and rested her nails against his neck. “What do you want from me?”
I want you to marry me,” he replied honestly.
Even now? Even knowing that I could easily slash your throat and let you bleed all over my floor until you die?”
He continued to gaze into her eyes. “Even so,” he confirmed.
She withdrew her claws and arranged her robe so that she could squat demurely in front of him. “Why?”
Because... I love you and I always have.”
Oh Danny...” She whispered softly, closing her eyes as if seeking strength from the darkness behind her eyelids. Carefully pressing a knee onto either side of the blanket that covered him, she straddled his legs, and then kissed him; exploring his mouth with her tongue.

Go To Part 5 

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