Authors: CD Reiss
Copyright © 2014, 2015
This book is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any reproduction or other unauthorized use of the material or artwork herein is prohibited.
This book is a work of fiction. Any similarities to persons living or dead is purely coincidental
Cover Art designed by the author
Photograph by Franggy Yanez
This book takes place around 1999.
If you’ve read KICK, pick up the story at USE
If you’ve read KICK and USE, pick up the story at BREAK
. If it’s been awhile, you can find footnotes in BREAK where I thought my original readers might get lost. If you see a number with a little arrow like this
, you can click or tap it to get the background info you might have forgotten.
I hope you enjoy Fiona’s story.
y ankles were shackled. The chain between them clicked when I rolled over, and the steel bit my anklebones when I rested my feet together.
My brain chemistry had been set for arousal at the touch of hard metal edges on my skin, and even though I felt a growing swirl of lust when I pressed my legs together, I was preoccupied. Deacon hadn’t put the leg irons on me, nor had I squeezed them tighter than I should, just to feel them holding me while he played me like a musician at an instrument.
I didn’t know what had happened.
The last thing I remembered was rain.
No. The last thing I remembered was being in scene with Deacon and entering subspace, outside of myself, where pleasure and pain merged.
Nuzzling Snowcone as he huffed and clopped his hoof on the stable floor, I held his bit. I thought,
he’s slow, it’s over, he’s slow, he’s old, it’s over, he won’t take the bit, he’s slow.
My thoughts repeated as if they were stuck.
The last thing I remembered was hanging from the ceiling, listening to rain on the windows. It never rained in Los Angeles—unless it did, and then it rained like a holy hail of fuck yous.
The last thing I remembered was wet thighs. Feeling so sore I couldn’t sit. Thinking about fucking. Finding someone to fuck.
There was so much fucking.
The last thing I remembered was snorting a line of flake off Amanda’s tits.
Anxiety sat in my chest like a kinetic weight, but I wasn’t scared. I knew I wasn’t thinking right, that I was little more than a jumble of emotions and half sentences. I thought in colors, and saw in bursts of silence. The aggressive white light above illuminated the angles of the corners. The tight space and soft white walls were the product of some kind of regulating entity. Was I in prison? A hospital? Was I even in the United States? When would Deacon come for me?
He’d come soon, and everything would be in control again.
Until then, I’d submit to the fog of my half-formed thoughts and nothing would go wrong.
“Do you know where you are?”
His voice was so gentle in powder blues and jazzy notes, but he was a stranger. I’d never heard a voice like that—thick and soft as heavy cream, a satin sheet on a bed of sand. I opened my eyes to bright white fog and a charcoal blur that must have been attached to the voice. Not a cop. Not a lawyer. Not an ER doc.
“No,” I croaked.
“I’m going to ask you some questions. All right?”
I nodded. I didn’t realize how quiet it was until the noise of the sheet rubbing against my ear sounded like an electric guitar amp set to eleven.
“Can you tell me your name?”
It wasn’t loud, that voice. Like Deacon’s, it had its own kind of authority, but unlike my master’s, it was gentle.
I cleared the frog from my throat. “Fiona.”
“Hi, Fiona. My name is Doctor Chapman. But you can call me Elliot.”
My eyes cleared a little. The charcoal smear turned into a beige oval with two green-grey dots for eyes and non-committally colored hair. His skin wrinkled around the eyes, but his mouth was young. He was either in his late twenties, or forty-ish, like Deacon. Or maybe somewhere in between.
“Good,” he said, crouching to meet my gaze. “How old are you?”
“Where do you live?”
That was a hard question, with its own complexity.
“The first thing that comes to mind,” the doctor said.
“Number three, Maundy Street.”
He nodded, so my answer must have been satisfactory. “Get cleaned up, get something to eat, then we can talk.”
I nodded, and the noise in my ear was less shocking. He stood and went for the white door with the little window at eye level.
“Where am I?” I asked.
They fed me in my room from a metal tray. I didn’t eat much. I was shown to a small bathroom, where I was expected to clean up and change out of one light blue jumpsuit into another. I had never been squeamish about germs or ickiness, but in the soft cotton of my mind, something seemed inherently wrong with the space, the room, the clothes.
Deacon would find me. He was probably in some office right now, demanding my release from the mental ward. He had a way of sniffing me out, even when I snuck away, as if he and I were connected by a vibrating fiber. No matter how far I went, no matter how fast, he knew. If there was anyone in the world I could count on, it was him. He was coming. All I had to do was behave long enough for him to arrive.
Just thinking of him, the bones of his wrist, the tendons tight on his forearms when he gripped my body, his growl—
mine mine mine
—sent a wave of pleasure between my legs.
I knew who I was. I was a celebrity without talent. I was an heiress. I was a whore. I was a party waiting to happen. I was an addict. I was his, and in that last definition—that I was owned by Deacon I knew my place in the chaos.
Sitting on the edge of my bed, the headache came like slowly tightening wrenches clamped to my temples and the back of my neck. As the pain bloomed, my mind cleared. Though I couldn’t remember shit any better than before, I gained the good sense to worry about it. I gained details. Cast-iron grates on the windows in a decorative pattern. No doorknob. Walls of suede microfiber. Cork floors. Soft wood bed with Egyptian cotton sheets.
There were people around me, but I felt more than saw them. Intuited their presence. How long had I been walking through plasma? Where was the other side?
The last thing I remembered… What was the last thing I remembered? It was Deacon in the kitchen of number three, sweatpants and no shirt, with his arms out. He was saying something. Pleading. He was telling me I had to kick. Kick? What did that mean? And was it the kitchen or the stables? Whatever space he was in was plagued by his raw pain. He was mad and resigned at the same time, two things I’d never seen from him.
Was that the last thing I remembered? Whatever it was must have landed me here.
There had been a dream with red and blue lights.
There had been a party, possibly before the lights, maybe after. I was on my hands and knees. I was high, so high, flooded with endorphins and knocking around subspace. My ache was dulled to pleasure, and I wanted something desperately.
I couldn’t put it all together. Maybe I’d gone just a little heavy on the flake. Deacon would be pissed. I’d apologize. We’d do a knotting, and I’d get better.
The last thing… Deacon had gone away. He’d put his face in my neck, and I was surrounded by peppermint and sandalwood. He’d gotten in the limo, and I watched it glide down the hill and past the gate of the private road, splashing in the rushing water of the drainage dip. Maundy Street. Left turn past Debbie and Martin’s place, and away.
Christmas. He said he’d be back for Christmas.
The house had seemed big, and I’d thought about spending the week at home in Bel-Air. Avoid Debbie. Avoid Martin. Their eyes and their temptations pressed against me. I could handle it. I could handle anything. I was strong.
Was that decision even worth remembering? What was the last thing that had
I only remembered stuff from long ago. A knotting, the last one, my favorite. Deacon had laced me to hooks in the ceiling with patterns of knotted rope, turning my body into a work of art. I was upside down, naked, falling from the sky, and he crouched on the floor, caressing my head and shoulders. I always felt at peace when he knotted me, but that time, when he became part of the work, my very identity and all the anxiety that came with it melted away.
Something about a horse, but I must have been dreaming. I hadn’t touched a horse in months. Years, maybe.
And the last party. The knots of skin and fluid.
A stinging drip in my nose.
When? Yesterday? Last month? Never?
Now. Here. In Westonwood.
aving eaten a meal in a tiny pale grey room, and walked down wide, pale grey hallway, showered in a white-tiled stall, and gotten into a stainless steel elevator, I found the office jarring. It could have been my headache that grew more potent by the moment, or it could have been the presence of actual colors.
Pale blue curtains drawn against the rain pounding the window. Green lantern. Rich brown wainscoting and desk. Burgundy carpets. I squinted. Even the light from the desk lamp felt intentionally painful.
“Thanks, Bernie,” Dr. Chapman said from the corner of the room.
He wore a grey jacket and a sage-green sweater over a white shirt. His voice didn’t hurt my head, though when Bernie, the orderly, clicked the door behind him, I felt as if someone had hit my temple with a crowbar.
“Headache?” the doctor asked. I nodded, and he sighed. “For what you pay to be here, you think they’d be on the ball with the analgesics.” He slid open a desk drawer and removed a bottle of over-the-counter medicine. “Let me get you some water.”
I held out my hand. “Don’t need it.”
He shook two into my palm. I kept my hand out then spread my fingers wider. He shook out two more. I kept my hand out.
“That’s plenty,” he said.
I threw them to the back of my throat and swallowed. One caught on the back of my tongue, releasing a wave of sour and bitter, but I took it all.
“Would you like to sit?” He put the bottle back and slid the drawer closed.
“Is that a question? About what I like?”
“It’s a suggestion phrased as a question.”
A padded leather chair in soft green and worn dark wood sat to my left. I touched the brass studs that kept the leather attached and sat down. Doctor Chapman sat behind the desk, settling his right elbow on the arm of the chair. I didn’t know if I was supposed to start with questions about what had happened or why I was there. I didn’t know if I should rattle off a list of what I remembered and didn’t, or ask just how much trouble I was in, or when Deacon was coming to get me out.
But he saved me the trouble. “Can you tell me the last thing you remember?”
I stiffened. My mouth locked up. I couldn’t tell him. “When can I leave?”
“Do you think you should leave?”
“Do you think I should leave?”
“It’s more important to know what you think,” he said.
“It’s more important for
to know what I think, and it’s more important for me to know what you think. So you first.”
He rubbed his upper lip with his middle finger, an odd gesture, then dropped his hand. “You’re here for your own protection, at the great expense and effort of your family. I have seventy-two hours to report on whether or not you’re a danger to yourself or others.”
“How am I a danger?”
“You don’t remember?”
“You know I don’t.”
He put his elbows on the desk and looked right into my eyes. I wanted to know what he saw, other than what everyone saw—a party girl with a permanent smile and spread legs. A balls-to-the-wall princess with an entourage and two wrecked Bentleys in the garage. But more than that, I wanted to know how old he was. He looked so young and so wise at the same time.
“If I tell you why you’re here,” he said with that gentle voice, “I want to warn you, that you’ve probably blocked it because it’s painful to you.”
“Okay.” I didn’t believe him, but I let him think I’d blocked it. The reason I didn’t know was because I’d been drunk or high. Whatever sweet chemicals I’d taken had kept my neurons from connecting.
It must have been bad, and I could never feel guilty about it because I didn’t remember it. I’d had a drunk driving accident. I’d given someone bad pills. I’d been gang-fucked and dumped in an alley. I’d killed some random paparazzi. One of the entourage had turned on me. All the things Mom had listed as a fear and Dad had implied with his look.
“You’re making me nervous,” I whispered even though my headache abated.