His eyes met mine and I knew, just knew, this serving round wouldn’t be my arms, neck, or hips up for a taste. This would be worse. Much worse.
“Face me, girl,” he ordered.
My teeth chattered, but I slowly did as he requested.
Closing my eyes, I obeyed.
His hot breath clouded over my chest before a wet, warm mouth latched onto my nipple. A graze of teeth, a swipe of a tongue—it all drove me to the pinnacle. The pinnacle where I knew I would burn in hell for not only permitting it, but for the tiny flutter of need that had burst into life while his son drove his finger inside me.
My head pounded as I shoved the betrayal away. I was the one who betrayed myself. I was the one not strong enough to fight Jethro. He’d won the moment I saw him and let my need for touch consume me.
Tears tickled my spine and the moment Mr. Hawk pulled way, I ran.
I didn’t get far.
Orange Tattoo, who sat next to Mr. Hawk caught me, holding me tight. “Now, now. You’re doing so well. Don’t ruin it.” His large hand splayed on my shoulder blades, jerking me to his sitting level. With a tight smile, his mouth latched onto my dry nipple.
I whimpered as his large soppy lips sucked. He took his time, swirling his tongue around the hard bud, before letting go in a loud slurp.
I stood shaking as he selected some chicken and sent me on my way.
I can’t do this.
Self-pity filled my empty stomach, and I stood frozen to the thick burgundy carpet.
“Move, Ms. Weaver,” Jethro ordered.
My body swayed to obey but everything inside rebelled. I didn’t care Mr. Hawk had eloquently described my cage with the use of diamonds and debts. I didn’t care that I had no choice but to do as I was told.
I just couldn’t do it.
My eyes flew wide as Jethro’s hands landed on my shoulders. He spun me to face him, breathing hard. “Do. It. Now.” The force of his command buckled my knees. I dropped my head.
Silently, Jethro stormed me forward, presenting me to the next man. The platter wobbled in my hands but I stood upright while a vile mouth suckled on my breast.
Once it was over, Jethro manhandled me to the next, whispering in my ear, “Make me come back and show you how to behave, and I won’t be nice. You still cling to the ideology that you’re better than us. That any moment this will be over.” His teeth nipped at my ear. “That’s torture because it’s false. It won’t happen. Accept it and be done with the past. Accept it and embrace everything we’re giving you.”
Shoving me forward, he patted my backside. “I can be nice if you give me reason to be, Ms. Weaver. Try me by behaving for the rest of the luncheon.”
I didn’t watch as he left, resuming his standing position behind his father’s chair.
I can be nice.
Bullshit he could be nice. But the sooner I obeyed, the sooner it was over.
Tongues and teeth.
They all tasted. They all groped.
I thought the first course was hard. I’d clung to the morals of how wrong it was for so many men to treat one woman so unfairly.
This course did things to me I wished I could deny. Fat lips, thin lips, hot mouths, cool mouths. They all not only took from me but gave something in return.
A horrible realisation that my body was taking over.
My horror sank like a rock every time a man had a new taste. Slowly my stomach fluttered; my insides rebelling against the melting that occurred.
The men didn’t care countless mouths had been on my skin. They took turns between my left and right nipples, nibbling, sucking. I wished they’d bite. I willed them to hurt me—something to prove how vile they were.
But each one—old, young, trim, overweight—they all loved me. They adoringly suckled. They moaned with such deep appreciation, I struggled to remember this was by force not by choice. I felt as if I granted them a gift.
A gift they truly appreciated.
Don’t. Don’t buy into the mindfuckery.
Even my inner voice turned slightly breathless, a lot confused, and edging toward acceptance.
I grew lightheaded as I trudged from man to man. I didn’t make eye contact with any of them. I became listless. Numb. Apart from a tiny spark tugging on the invisible cord from my nipple to my core. I wished it wasn’t so. I craved to remain unaffected.
But slowly they turned me from intellectual businesswoman to trembling plaything.
Slowly, I grew wet.
Sharp teeth dragged my attention through the blackness that’d become my soul, back to reality.
I looked into the eyes of Daniel.
The mellow trance I’d been lulled into snapped like a rubber band. I no longer found any acceptance or lusty appeal, only hollow rage.
“It’s not much fun licking a woman when she isn’t paying attention,” he sneered.
My heartbeat flew terrorised around my chest. My nipple throbbed from where he’d bitten me.
Licking his lips, he added, “You taste good, Weaver, but I’m looking forward to the next course.”
My heart promptly shot itself and splattered against the floor.
The next course.
No. No. No. No.
“Here. You earned this.” Shoving another piece of parchment my way, I forced back my tears.
Moving awkwardly, I placed the empty tray on the sideboard, then returned to Daniel’s side. My skin broke out in goosebumps being so close, but he dangled the parchment like a present I desperately wanted.
Taking it, I couldn’t hide my shakes this time. My aloofness and spirit were gone, replaced by a brittle shaking leaf.
A leaf that was turned on and damp.
Upon reflection of his crimes, Percy Weaver hereby submits to this esquire’s ruling and moves to action the latest degree formulated in this very chamber by Bennett Hawk. The death warrant upon the heads of the Weaver House will be eradicated and burned upon signature of this newly drafted document. Terms forthcoming…
That was it?
Tears spurted from my eyes. I’d let countless men suck on my breasts for no more than a tease?
How could they?
How could I?
How could I allow my body to react to their foul ministrations? I hated myself. I hated that I couldn’t hide my weakness or the stupid hormones I’d spent my whole life ignoring.
My knees wobbled and I almost folded like an accordion to the floor.
“You pass out and you won’t like what you find when you awake,” Jethro said. His voice cut through my grief.
Anger battled away my tears, nursing a new warmth inside. A warmth born of rage rather than flimsy passion. This burned hotter; it licked with orange flames, abolishing my hunger and weakness.
I was fed by anger. I smouldered with hate. I became stronger because of it. It gave me power to continue, but also stole my safety of acceptance. I hissed and scalded with liveliness. I couldn’t switch off.
“The next course, Ms. Weaver,” Jethro commanded from his position at the head of the table. Balling my hands, I threw away the parchment and stalked to the sideboard.
I knew what would happen.
I can’t do this.
You will do this.
In my rage, I made a reckless decision. I was at war with my body—why not step over the battle line and join them? Why not embrace it? It was yet another tool—another lesson. If I embraced the new feelings inside, I would be better equipped at chipping away at Jethro’s cold exoskeleton of ice and burrowing my way into his warmth.
I would make him care.
I would pleasure him.
Then I would kill him.
My legs scissored together. Everything inside curled deeper into hiding. The moment I went near the table, I would lose all control. I didn’t trust my body. It overpowered me every time. And it sucked to be in this mess with a traitor.
Get it over and done with.
Taking a deep breath, I collected my last course.
Passing Jethro with a gilded tray of mini éclairs, bon bons, and trifles, I kept my eyes down. He’d torment me, no doubt.
Sure enough, his arm wrapped around my shoulders, forcing me to face him. His breathing was slightly uneven; his voice lost a tiny shred of chilliness. “Get through this, and I’ll reward you. I’ll be kind, because you deserve it.” Pressing a possessive kiss on my cheek, he whispered, “I’ll wipe it all away.”
I was struck dumb by the rare and scarily beautiful glimpse at a man I didn’t know existed. But then I blinked as Jethro's ice slid back into place, a grim smirk on his lips. “My offer only stands as long as you don’t speak, act out, or disappoint me.”
Unwinding his arm, he shoved me toward his father.
Almost drunkenly, I moved toward Mr. Hawk. My stomach quivered with trepidation; my heart was prey running frantically for its life.
Mr. Hawk smiled, holding up another piece of paper. “Here. Your last one until you’ve completed this final service. I think you deserve it, don’t you?” His eyes raked down the front of my ridiculous maid’s uniform. The cap had stayed in place—how, I didn’t know.
Patting my arse, he added, “I must admit you refrained beautifully, even your mother who was my favourite, didn’t do so elegantly at her first dinner party.”
I ignored that, latching onto the parchment.
Mr. Hawk motioned me to put the tray on the table, before handing over the small piece.
Percy Weaver and family hereby acknowledge his agreeance to the one and only term set forth by Bennett Hawk. In accordance with the law, both parties have agreed that the paperwork is binding, unbreakable, and incontestable from now and forever. Details and parties of both signatures are displayed on the enclosed verified document, henceforth known as the Debt Inheritance.
My eyes met his.
If only I had the rest. I would scream and give up the charade of obedience. I was done. I would take pain to avoid what was about to happen. I would take pain rather than pleasure because then I would still know myself. The longer this went on, the less in-tune I was with the girl I’d been.
Too many feelings. Too many sensors. Too many rabbit-holes with too many right and wrongs.
You’re giving up so soon? They killed your mother! They’ve broken your father’s heart. Could I not stomach some unpleasantness and confusion in order to find a way to repay them?
Disappointment weighed my heart. I thought I’d have more endurance.
No. I won’t give in.
This is nothing. Be that kite. Cut your strings again.
Bracing my shoulders, I moved closer to Mr. Hawk without being asked.
His eyes widened, then a grin spread his lips. “Good girl, indeed.” Bowing his head, his arm wrapped around my waist, tilting me back a little. “You’re proving to be a testament to my son’s training.”
My waist height was almost perfect for a lowered mouth to latch onto the front part of my sex.
And that was when I felt the strangest, wettest, alluring, disgusting thing of my life.
His tongue slid along my clit, wriggling softly, drenching me in saliva.
My stomach clenched, my hands balled, and I wobbled in his arms.
The disgusting element didn’t leave. I waited for my body to betray me, to like it, but all I felt was grotesque impatience for it to be over.
And then…it was.
My first experience with a tongue down below, and it’d been done by a man older than my father. If I didn’t have an empty stomach, I would’ve thrown up all over again. There was nothing sexy or erotic about that.
Tapping my behind, he murmured, “Proceed.”
Swallowing hard, I collected the dessert tray and crossed the small distance to Orange Tattoo. He crooked his finger, beckoning me closer. Locking my jaw, I held the desserts high and did as he requested. His orange hair tickled my thighs as he leaned down, running his tongue over the private bundle of nerves.
Luckily for me, I wasn’t sensitive, nor did I enjoy it.
Once he’d taken his trifle and tasted his fill, I left to serve the next.
And the next.
And the next.
Some men forced my legs to spread, angling their faces deep. Some men barely touched me, their hot breath wafting between my thighs.
I would like to say I managed to turn my brain off—to do what I promised and fly free, but every tongue kept me locked in the world I lived in. Every lick made my body turn to stone while my tummy twisted and ached from clenching.
I delivered dessert, but I was the ultimate sweet. The men took their time, firm fingers holding my hips, dragging their foul tongues from my clit to my entrance. And after every violation, they’d wipe their glistening mouths and say, “Thank you, Ms. Weaver.”
As if their appreciation was enough to stop me from feeling like dirt. Their treatment never changed. They remained courteous and gentle. Obeying boundaries and not doing anything but licking me in a place they had no right.
Their pleasantness made all of this seem so normal. So terribly normal. And my hatred slowly switched back to acceptance. The small flutter I’d felt from my nipples being sucked returned—frightful, tentative, but softening my hate tongue by tongue.
They weren’t hurting me. They weren’t making me do anything that had the potential to shatter my mind.
They just tasted.
A little taste.
And I didn’t fight.
Not at all.
By the time I came to Daniel, my legs were drenched and the trimmed hair I meticulously maintained was mattered with droplets of Diamond brotherhood.
My hands were balled around the tray; my jaw tight and aching. Because no matter my good intentions—they’d won. They’d caused my body to have a reaction, and I was soaking.
The strange ache that Jethro had conjured was back, pulsing deep in my core. The flicker of tongues and gentle tastes frustrated me and I hated, positively hated, that I had to fight my hips from pressing harder against them.