Addergoole
Chapter 76: Shahin
Another hero
Another mindless crime
Behind the curtain

“Yes,” Shahin murmured, flopping back against the bed, trying not to look at the monster, trying to get a feel for her surroundings: yes, she understood. They were in some sort of hunting cabin; she’d seen that much as he carried her in here. A cabin with very thick, sturdy doors and walls, with no windows. There was a small kitchen area, a couple pieces of rustic-looking furniture, and then this… this dungeon, where he’d chained them. The bed was narrow and hard, the collar around her throat heavy and rough, but Emrys… she’d seen this before, in her visions. Oh, god, let her visions be wrong.

“Good.” She had to look back at him; he was talking to her again, and she didn’t want to give him an excuse to hurt Emrys. He looked so very wrong: mostly human, but the eyes were still draconic, the nose almost a beak. That, she could handle, but he left side of his face drooped a little, like he’d been melted and reformed. “If you behave, I won’t have to hurt either of you as much.” He rested a hand casually on her shoulder while he said that. “I might even feed you.”

Oh, god. She didn’t let her revulsion show, or her fear. She tried not to feel it at all.

“Now,” he purred, and paused to rip the sleeve off her dress in one quick tug, “the easy way to do this-” he grabbed her other arm, and tugged it roughly across her body “-is for you to release the pretty boy from your ownership right now.”

She glanced over at Emrys, squelching a surge of proprietary anger. “No,” she said softly. “He’s mine.”

“Atta girl,” Emrys grinned, spitting in the monster's direction.

The monster scowled. “None of that.” He pricked his claws into her skin at the base of her throat, four little needle-sharp tips. “Same goes for you as goes for her, boy. If you act up, I hurt her.” To demonstrate, he yanked his claws down her chest, tearing her dress open, tearing her skin open. She stifled a scream as he opened up the flesh of her belly.

Emrys gulped and nodded wordlessly, flames dancing bright in his eyes. The monster just smiled. “This will be easy,” he chortled. “I’d heard the ashenevaei were soft on their pets, but I’d never expected it to be this simple. Now… you’ll want to watch this, boy. If you don’t, I’ll have to do it again.” He yanked off the remains of Shahin’s dress one sharp movement.

She didn’t move to cover herself, even as he ripped her panties off. Maybe if she didn’t fight back, maybe he’d leave her wrists alone.

“That’s good,” he smiled. “Be a good girl, and I won’t have to tie you down.” He brushed the remnants of her clothing off of her, and took her arm in his hand. “Pretty gloves. So proper from a little mutt.”

She didn’t cry out, wouldn’t cry out, but was mortified to find she couldn’t stop herself from jerking back, trying to tug her arm out of his grip. Without ever taking his eyes off of her, without ever losing his smile, he sent another bout of energy lashing across Emrys’ chest.

Emrys grunted, but spoke no protest, clearly not wishing to make it worse for her. The monster, meanwhile, smiled broadly, placing his hands on her shoulders and slamming her down to the bed.

She went with it, as silent as she could be. She could take this. She wouldn’t be the reason Emrys got hurt again. She could stand it.

The monster shoved a knee between hers, pushing her legs apart, and loomed over her, grinning lasciviously.

Would he try harder to break her if she just took it? Would it be better if she fought him a little? Not enough to annoy him, or he’d hurt Emrys. She gulped, realizing that the part of her that wasn’t frozen was terrified. She’d never been this scared. She’d never been in this much trouble, either.

She closed her eyes, shutting out the sight of him, trying not to struggle too much. She was rigid, she realized, tense with fear. She shoved her fists behind the small of her back and bit her lip. She couldn’t let him do this. She had no choice but to let him do this.

“What a good little slave you are already,” the creature laughed, “putting your hands behind your back for me. Someone must have trained you well. All the more fun for me.”

She wouldn’t give him the pleasure of a reaction. She swallowed a sob that she couldn’t seem to keep from rising up, and tried not to think of Emrys, tried not to think of anything at all.

~

He left her there, left them there, when he was done. “Clean yourself up,” he told her. “If I hear you out in the main room, I’ll leave you both bleeding.”

She didn’t move until the door shut behind him, leaving them in the miserable little room. She didn’t want to move then, either, but she wasn’t sure she dared disobey their captor. And she needed to see Emrys. Slowly, she pulled herself up into a sitting position.

“Shahin,” Emrys whispered, so softly she almost couldn't hear him over even the short distance.

“Emrys,” she murmured. She slid off the bed onto the floor, inching to the end of her tether. The chain connecting her ankle cuff to the bed post kept her just out of reach of him, no matter how hard she stretched. She sat back on her heels, looking at him and trying not to cry.

“I love you,” he whispered.

That was too much. She muffled the sob, but the tears started pouring down her face. Mortified, she rubbed her eyes, trying to will herself calm. “I…” She caught her breath and forced her voice back down. “I love you, Emrys.”

“We'll get through this. No matter what he does.”

She nodded, though the wet pain between her legs was becoming unbearable. “We will,” she agreed. “I’ve seen it.” She pulled herself slowly to her feet, trying to ignore the stabbing pain in her wrists and the slow throbbing aches everywhere else.

Clean yourself up. There was, by the foot of the bed, a sink and an ancient-looking toilet. She could probably make it there…

The door opened, and the beast stalked back in. “Up and about, I see,” he chortled gleefully. Before she could get away – and, really, where would she go? – he grabbed by the shoulder and stuck his clawed hand between her legs. “And still dirty. I think you need a lesson in obedience.”

She didn’t mean to whimper, but the little noise slipped out between her clenched teeth anyway. He seemed to drink it up, his lopsided grin only growing wider. “What's the matter, don't like water?”

He hauled her to the sink, yanking roughly on her shoulder. She stumbled along with his pull, trying to stay on her feet without relying on his grip.

“Stay,” he ordered, and she leaned against the sink, being as obedient as she could. At least he was punishing her, and not Emrys.

He filled the sink, dampened a washcloth, and, before she could even think about fighting back, shoved her face into the water, scraping her cheek and forehead against the faucet. “You will obey,” he hissed at her, “if you want to live.”

Water filled her nose, and pain filled her head, where her cheek was bleeding into the water, where he was twisting her hair tight to hold her under. She tried not to gasp, but the reflex was overwhelming. Water filled her throat.

“Hey!” Emrys called out, his voice dimly audible to her. "You said you'd only punish me if she disobeyed.”

The creature’s claws raked down her back, but she could barely feel it for the pounding in her head. Oh, no, Emrys, no… He yanked her out of the water, laughing, and tossed her on the bed. “Stay,” he ordered her again, like some sort of dog.

She stayed, coughing up water and trying to breathe. “I also said I’d hurt her if you mouthed off,” he laughed. “But if you like the water so much, little mutt…” She couldn’t see Emrys from where their captor had thrown her; she could see the foot of the bed, and the sink. She had given up fighting the tears; she was so wet that they didn’t show anyway. “…I’ll give you a bath, too, I guess.” She heard the clank of chains falling to the ground, and then they came back into view, the monster dragging a still-bound Emrys.

He didn't protest, at least, apparently realizing that it was only making things worse, so she coughed more water up to cover her own whimper, unwilling to be less brave than he was. She couldn’t stand watching, though, and closed her eyes as the monster shoved Emrys’ face into the water.

“Watch, girlie,” he taunted her . “You should know how this works by now, stupid mutt.”

She did. He’d made that clear enough. She opened her eyes, fighting the sobs, and watched as Emrys struggled for air… and when he stopped struggling.

“Obey,” their captor told her, as he yanked the limp, dripping Emrys out of the water, and dragged him back to the wall. “It’s that simple.” He came back into her line of sight, his hand on the doorknob. “You can move now. I expect you to be cleaned up and smiling when I come back in, or your boy-toy will have more to worry about than asphyxia.”

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