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       The Saint, p.40

         Part #5 of The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz
 

  “I asked you if you wanted to come. I didn’t say I would let you.”

  “Fucking sadist.”

  “I’m glad you’re starting to realize this. Want your bedtime story now?”

  “No, I want an orgasm.”

  “Good. I’ll find the book. But first …” Søren knelt at the side of the bed, and Eleanor rose up on her elbows.

  “What are you doing down there? Praying?”

  “Digging. Here we go.” He pulled some kind of briefcase from under the bed and unlatched it.

  “What is that?”

  “Kingsley keeps his guest rooms well supplied.” He pulled two lengths of rope from the case, shut it and slid it back under the bed. “I have to leave the room for a few minutes, and I’m not sure I trust you with yourself.”

  “You think I’ll furiously masturbate the second your back is turned?”

  “Yes.”

  “You’re probably right about that.”

  Søren took her wrists in his hands. They felt so small and delicate in his grip. He wrapped the rope around both her wrists several times, tying them together before looping the rope around the bedpost and securing it. In awe she watched his expert fingers, how easily he knotted the rope.

  “Now stay there.”

  “Stay here?” she called out as he left the room. “I’m tied to the damn bed. Where would I go?”

  Søren didn’t answer.

  “I hate you!” she called out even louder. This time he answered.

  “One hundred twenty-seven,” he called back.

  As soon as Søren left the room she decided she had to get out of these damn ropes. If she had two minutes she could give herself the orgasm he’d denied her. Her whole body still pulsed with need. Maybe if she twisted her hands, turned this way, dislocated her shoulder and twisted her body around …

  “Good, you’re still here.” Søren came back into the room carrying a book in his hand.

  “I wonder why.” She pulled her knees to her chest and fumed. “You are the most evil man on earth.”

  “I am, yes. Would you like to hear your bedtime story now?”

  “I would like to punch you in the face.”

  “It’s Lewis Carroll. I found this in an antique bookstore in Rome.”

  “I hate it. I want to set it on fire.”

  “It’s Through the Looking-Glass. I know how partial you are to the Jabberwocky.”

  “You are the Jabberwocky, you monster.”

  “It’s a long book. Get comfortable. I’ll read.”

  “And I’ll murder you in my mind.”

  Eleanor entertained a few dozen violent fantasies of retribution on Søren. He’d spanked her, aroused her, denied her an orgasm and then tied her to the bed so she couldn’t touch herself. And now he blithely ignored her fury as he flipped open the pages of the book and began to read.

  “‘One thing was certain,’” he began, “‘that the WHITE kitten had had nothing to do with it—it was the black kitten’s fault entirely.’”

  Trapped, Eleanor could do nothing but lie there and listen as Søren read the story to her. Soon she’d lost herself in the story, in the moment, in the ludicrous pleasure of being almost twenty and having a bedtime story read to her. She forgot about the ropes on her wrists and the need in her stomach. After an hour she even forgot she’d planned to kill Søren with a pickax the second he untied her.

  He read to her until Eleanor yawned and her eyelids fluttered. She wanted to stay awake and keep listening but she fought a losing battle against her need to sleep. Søren closed the book and sat it on the bedside table.

  “Are you asleep, Little One?” Søren asked.

  She felt him untying her hands. Once free of the ropes he gently chafed her wrists.

  “Almost, sir.”

  Søren gathered her in his arms and she fell against his chest.

  “I love that book.” She sighed.

  “I know you do. It’s one of my favorites, too.”

  “I love you, too, sir. Even when I want to kill you with a pickax.”

  “That is all I can ask.” He bent and kissed her on the forehead, the cheek. “Before you sleep, there’s one thing we need to talk about.”

  “If it’s not about us having sex, I’m going to sleep right now.”

  “Then wake up.”

  Eleanor’s eyes flew open and she sat up straight.

  “When? How soon? Tonight?”

  “When I decide, I will tell you.” She had the face-punching fantasy again. Of course he would decide when. “But you’ll be twenty soon. Not a teenager anymore. You’ll need to be ready.”

  “I’ll go to the school clinic and go on birth control.”

  “Good girl.”

  Eleanor grinned at the irony of a Catholic priest telling her to start birth control.

  “You really are the weirdest priest on earth.”

  “Little One,” Søren said, “you don’t even know the half of it.”

  She should have expected that.

  “Now go to sleep,” he ordered. “You need sleep to recover from what you’ve been through.”

  “Will you stay with me until I fall asleep?”

  “That I can do,” he said and sat on the bed, his back against the headboard. She lowered her head and rested it on his stomach. Never before had she felt so loved, so adored, so special and so cherished as she did at this moment. She’d spent the past week dating Wyatt. She’d spent last night fooling around with a stranger. Søren had not only forgiven her, but he’d also absolved and then punished her in ways even sexier than sex. This morning she’d woken up in a hospital bed. Tonight she would fall asleep in Søren’s arms, the slow steady rhythm of his heart beating against her ear.

  “Will you tell me another bedtime story?” she asked.

  “I can. What story would you like?”

  “A love story.”

  “I think I can provide that.” He wrapped both arms around her and gently rubbed her back.

  “Once upon a time,” he began, “there was a beautiful girl named Eleanor who had secrets she wanted to keep. Eleanor had pulled her sleeves down over her hands. She was ashamed of the burns on her wrist and feared someone would see them and judge her for them. Then the time came for this girl to take communion. As she reached for the cup, her sleeve slipped back, and her priest saw what she was.”

  “What was she?” Eleanor asked.

  Søren kissed her on the top of her head and whispered.

  “She was mine.”

  30

  Eleanor

  SOMETHING TICKLED ELEANOR’S NOSE. SHE SWIPED at it without opening her eyes. She flipped over in bed and pressed into her pillow. Her pillow didn’t feel like her pillow, however. Instead of soft, it felt hard. Very hard.

  “Bonne anniversaire,” a voice whispered in her ear.

  Her eyes flew open and Eleanor sat up in bed. Kingsley lay stretched out on his side next to her on her narrow dorm bed, a white rose in his fingers. He tickled her nose with it again and she batted it away.

  “King, what the fuck? How did you get in here?”

  She pulled the covers up to her chest. She’d gone to bed in a tank top and panties and nothing else.

  “Your roommate let me in.”

  “Great. So my old roommate sees me getting kissed and calls the rape squad. My new roommate sends you an engraved invitation to jump in bed with me while I’m unconscious.”

  “It wasn’t engraved.”

  “What time is it?”

  “Seven.”

  “Seven? You’re up at seven in the morning?”

  “Up? I haven’t been to bed yet. Not for sleeping anyway.”

  “Nice.” She grabbed a ponytail holder off her nightstand and tried to tame her hair. “Are you going to tell me what you’re doing here?”

  “I brought gifts.”

  “Gifts?”

  “Oui.” Kingsley pointed to a chair piled high with gifts.

  “All for me?”


  “Pour toi.”

  As Eleanor reached out for the boxes, Kingsley grabbed her and pulled her across his lap. In shock she screamed and squirmed. Kingsley subdued her quickly and spanked her.

  “This is the best part of birthdays. Stop fighting me, brat.”

  The word brat made her freeze immediately. She wasn’t sure why except she had the sinking feeling she liked being called brat by Kingsley. As soon as her struggle ceased, he gave her twenty vicious swats to the bottom.

  “Twenty,” Kingsley said and gave her the last and hardest spank. She yelped and her bedroom door flew open. April, her buxom R.A., looked like she’d just crawled out of bed. She had nothing on but a bathrobe barely closed over her breasts.

  “Elle, you okay? I heard screaming.”

  Eleanor got up on her hands and knees.

  “She’s fine,” Kingsley said, pulling Eleanor back down onto his lap. “Birthday spankings.”

  April looked hard at Kingsley and ran a hand through her disheveled hair.

  “It’s my birthday, too,” April said to Kingsley.

  “April, get out,” Eleanor ordered.

  “I’m out.” April closed the door behind her.

  “Are you done?” Eleanor looked over her shoulder at Kingsley.

  “Non.” He spanked her one more time. “One to grow on.”

  “I hate you almost as much as I hate Søren.”

  “You won’t hate me after you open your cadeaux.”

  Wincing, she sat back on her bed with the presents in her lap. Sitting in class all day was going to be a challenge.

  “Are these from you?” She sorted through the boxes of varying size. The smallest one intrigued her most.

  “Three from me. One from Sam.”

  “Sam?” Eleanor couldn’t help but grin. “Sam got me a present?”

  “She did. You can open that one first.” He picked up a small flat box wrapped in pink paper with a black ribbon. She untied the ribbon and opened the lid.

  “Oh, my God …” She held a leather journal in her hand and a fancy fountain pen.

  “Sam read one of your stories. She says you should write more.”

  “Tell her to watch out. I might write about you and Sam someday.”

  “A good story. Open that one.”

  She tore off the wrapping and found nothing but tissue paper inside the box. She kept digging until she found an envelope all the way at the bottom.

  Inside the envelope she found a stack of hundred-dollar bills.

  “Kingsley. I don’t want your money.”

  “It’s a birthday gift.”

  “How much is this?”

  “Five thousand dollars.”

  Eleanor glared at him.

  “What am I supposed to do with this?”

  “Shop. You need a new wardrobe.”

  “My clothes are fine.”

  “Your clothes are fine for school. Your clothes are fine for the vanilla world. Your clothes are not fine for the world you’re about to enter. Sam will take you shopping tomorrow at a few authorized locations.” He gave her a meaningful look. “Only buy white. We have a dress code.”

  “I don’t like taking money I didn’t earn. I only took Dad’s insurance money because Søren ordered me to.”

  “You are the collared property of the most revered man in my world, in our world. I’m feared. I’m respected. He is worshipped. All of the Underground is waiting to make your acquaintance. Do you understand that?”

  “No.”

  “You will.”

  “King, what’s happening here?” She looked down at the money in her hand. She always refused money and gifts and even rides from Kingsley. She wouldn’t step foot in his Rolls-Royce unless Kingsley or Søren were with her. The last thing she ever wanted was for Søren to think she only loved him for his connections.

  Kingsley rolled off her pillow and leaned back on his hands. He looked almost normal today in his jeans and black T-shirt pulled taut over his strong, broad chest. A leather jacket lay draped over the back of her desk chair. He looked too old to be a student but not old enough to be a professor. Her bitchy airhead roommate Brandi-Ann had probably soaked her panties at the sight of him and told him he could have his way with her.

  “You’re not a little girl anymore. You’re not even a teenager anymore. What do you think is happening?”

  She looked down at the money, at Kingsley in her bed. First Lady of the Underground?

  “It’s going to happen soon, isn’t it? Like really soon? Me and Søren?”

  Kingsley only gave her an enigmatic smile.

  “Open the last box.”

  She picked up the smallest box and removed the lid. Inside on a blanket of black silk lay a single silver key.

  “What’s the key to?”

  Kingsley scooted close to her and put his mouth at her ear. She hated when he got this close to her, hated how much she liked it.

  “It’s the key to the kingdom.”

  “Which kingdom?”

  “Mine.”

  “What do I do with it?”

  “You’ll find out.”

  Kingsley crawled off her bed and pulled on his jacket.

  “The car is picking you up today at three,” he said, and when she attempted to object he raised his hand to silence her. “You’re the collared submissive of the most venerated man in the Underground. He owns you now. Your opinion is no longer the overriding factor in the decisions that affect you. Sam will pick you up tomorrow. You will do what you are told and you will like it. Tu comprends?”

  Eleanor glared at him through narrowed eyes.

  “Je comprend.”

  “Your French is improving. Now let’s work on your attitude.”

 
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