If you haven’t gotten a chance to read my latest dark captive arranged marriage romance, here’s a free teaser scene! The Sacrifice is a standalone (but you can also read The Proposal in this world. They can be read separately from each other or by themselves, though if you enjoy The Sacrifice, you will probably also enjoy The Proposal.)
(c) Copyright Kitty Thomas. All Rights Reserved.
Beneath my greed for Macy, I know that if I push her too far too soon, I could break this new toy. I could end up with another hollow shell. And then there would be two of us without souls wandering the world lost. I need her to still be something so I can exist inside the energy I don’t have the power to create within myself. She makes me feel… things.
I don’t know what those things are. They’re too foreign and rare to put a label on, but it’s something more than I’ve ever felt. I don’t know if it’s because I now own someone, or if it’s something about her specifically. I just know that when I touched her throat last night, I felt the way she relaxed under my hand. And it did something to me that I’m not sure can be undone.
Of all the reactions she could have had, this one unnerves me because it’s not what she should feel. I’d expected her to pull away, to beg, maybe even to scream. I expected to see disgust, fear, and revulsion in her eyes. But she just breathed until her breath flowed into mine and mine flowed into hers. And for the first time ever in my life I felt a connection to another living creature.
I felt like there was something alive and pulsing inside me after all.
Half of me wants to hurt her for making me feel this thing. And there’s the fear my weakness may give her power. The other half of me just wants to experience it again.
I realize suddenly that I’ve been standing here lost in my thoughts about this girl while she’s looking at the floor and shivering even though she’s in a long-sleeved robe and the house is plenty warm. Jeffrey turned on the in-floor heating an hour ago so even her bare feet won’t get cold.
But on taking a second look at her I realize why she must be cold. Her hair is wet, probably from the shower.
I go to the bar and make myself a plate and return to the table. Macy still stands, tense and uncertain. I know she’s waiting for me to comment on the robe, to make some demand that she remove it. But I don’t.
“You should get some food before it gets cold.”
I watch as she notices the food for the first time. She’s not used to a spread like this. She’s impressed, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little pleased by this. So many of the women who come here are so jaded by wealth. Nothing impresses them. They’re jaded by money. They’re jaded by kink. They’re jaded by the entire spectrum of male sexuality. They may not offer every single service on their menu, but they’ve heard it all. And every reaction to every thing feels calculated to please the client.
Macy tries to hide her reaction to the china. I’m sure that to Macy this is what many people call “the good china”, but in my world, it’s just the plates I eat off of every day. There is no “good china” that just comes out for company. All the china is the good china because there’s no reason to use or have low quality anything, which reminds me, someone’s going to have to take her shopping for suitable clothes if she’s going to be Mrs. Black. Or we could have all her clothes custom tailored.
Macy watches me like a spooked doe as she eats. Jeffrey comes in and pours us some coffee, then he disappears again.
“I-I don’t drink coffee,” she says almost too quiet for me to hear, as though she’s afraid I’ll hurt her for not being a coffee drinker.
“Oh? What do you drink?”
Oh, Jeffrey will love her. He’s been trying to get me to drink tea for years. “Jeffrey, Ms. Laine would like some tea.”
On hearing this, he bounds into the kitchen like a puppy, as thrilled as I knew he’d be by this request.
“I have Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, Darjeeling…”
Before Jeffrey can rattle off the likely hundreds of teas he’s been hoarding for god knows what reason,
Macy says, “English breakfast, please.”
Jeffrey takes away her coffee and goes to work on the tea. She continues to focus on her food, avoiding my gaze. Then she does the strangest thing. She picks up the saucer and turns it over to inspect the bottom of it.
Is she looking for a brand name? A price label? Could I have a gold digger hostage of all things?
“I knew it. Bone,” she says as if satisfied by this knowledge.
“Excuse me?” I ask.
“Do you know the difference between fine china and bone china?”
I have no idea what to say to this so I just shake my head.
“Bone china has cow bone ash in it. It’s what gives it the softer warmer color and translucence. But it’s no stronger than fine china. That’s a misnomer. It’s just a way to alter the color.”
“And how do you know this?” I still can’t believe that the first non-terrified thing she’s decided to say to me is about the difference in fine and bone china. I didn’t know the difference—largely because I don’t care—but I’m fascinated she just opened her mouth to tell me this. Maybe I seem less scary in the daylight.
“Livia didn’t know when we were registering for her china for her wedding, and so I looked it up. I like bone better because it just looks more elegant to me. It’s not as harsh.”
Her face falls, and I know immediately what she’s thinking. She’s thinking she won’t get to register for a china pattern for the wedding that won’t be happening now. I don’t know why, but this crestfallen look on her face bothers me.
Jeffrey brings her tea, then disappears again. She seems to suddenly realize she’s been explaining the finer points of china content to her captor, and the discomfort and anxiety returns to her face as she distracts herself with her tea.
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