Blowing Things Up is book 2 in Brian and Mina’s Holiday Hits. (The 4th of July book) If you are new to Brian and Mina, start here.
I find her outside, swimming naked in the pool. I feel an eyebrow inching up. She’s full of surprises these days.
I hang back in the shadows, but no one would notice me right now, anyway. Every eye is on her. Every male gaze is filled with lust, and I want to go back down to the basement for weapons and mow them all the fuck down for looking at what’s mine. Don’t they see the word on her back? Don’t they know?
I think I might combust when she finally steps out of the pool. Annette is there with a towel to wrap her up and guides her away from the group. I know that look on her face. It’s concerned House Mother Annette. She’s over there no doubt trying to convince Mina what an awful monster I am for carving a property claim into her back.
I feel like I’m watching a re-run. Didn’t we already play out the Oh no, someone must save Mina from the monster in the dungeon storyline? Because I’m pretty sure we did. But she was always safe with me. At least she was before these new developments between us. I’m not sure anymore.
The thing that has always kept Mina safe was the fact that she was like me in my pain and abuse. Our scars make us a matched set that belong together like a couple of macabre glassy-eyed dolls at Halloween. But now she’s also like me in my darkness, and I don’t know how that plays out for her. Yet she’s unafraid, like a moth dancing too close to the flame. But maybe she wants to be consumed. I can’t tell with her anymore.
Does she have a death wish? If we were both fucked up before, it’s a thousand times worse now.
I take a deep breath. I’m ready to interrupt this bullshit with Annette, and if everyone at the house wants to gawk, I’ll give them a show.
“Master,” Mina says, when I reach them, she lowers her eyes demurely when she speaks to me. I’m not sure if it’s a performance… her just playing the good girl in front of the others, or if she’s signaling to Annette that I’m here so she’ll stop saying whatever she’s been saying that’s likely to piss me off.
Because I know something very real has shifted in our dynamic.
I’m so confused right now. I love the stunning badass Mina has become. Watching her (SPOILER NOT INCLUDED IN TEASER) was a show I’d buy tickets to watch again, but I also don’t want her to pretend to be the good girl for me. I want that piece of Mina back. I want her submission. I still want to own her, and I’m not sure anymore if she truly wants the same. The most horrifying part is, I’m not sure I care if she wants the same.
I’ve killed every man who ever forced her submission, who ever humiliated her in front of others, who ever hurt her and left permanent scars. I’ve done the last of those things, and I know right now I’m about to do the other two, and if so… then how am I any different?
She told me once how Jason said there was something inside her that made men want to hurt her and how she’d never find a man who could be gentle with her. Then against all odds, I found I could be. Am I about to lose that edge over the other monsters? I just need her to submit. I try to telepathically will her to understand this.
But what if she doesn’t need or want the same anymore? I feel lost, like there’s something screaming inside me, this hollow, angry, hurt sound, like a wounded animal, and I just need to hurt something to make that sound stop, to make the itch stop crawling over my skin.
I feel the anger boiling up inside me. It’s not even at Mina. It’s at this fucking situation where suddenly I, what? Have a conscience? Weighing right and wrong like some fucking hero? Good and bad? What the fuck is she doing to me?
I grip her by the arm and pull her back toward the rest of the group who hasn’t stopped watching this train wreck unfold. I turn her so that they can all get a clear, unobstructed view of her back.
“Take a good long, look, people. Embed it into your fucking long term memories. This. Is. MINE,” I snarl.
They all show the appropriate fear. Even the men have always been wary with me. Eyes are averted from mine. No one will save her from me.
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