“I was just calling to check in. Someone’s going to come by and bring groceries tomorrow. He’ll leave you about a hundred dollars in case you need anything before I get back.”
She couldn’t stop the tears that had started to stream down her face. Guilt for cheating? Guilt for leaving? Shame over not trusting him to believe her if she’d gone to him from the start? She didn’t know.
“What’s wrong, Vivi?”
“Nothing. I’m fine. I just miss you.”
“I miss you, too. I’ll be home soon. I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
After she disconnected the call, she slid the phone back into her purse and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand.
“Are you all right?”
She sniffled a little. “What do you care?” She caught herself only after the words had left her mouth and looked over, afraid that might have earned her a punishment. But he didn’t seem to care about her outburst.
Anton lifted one shoulder in a half-hearted shrug. “Just making conversation. I thought you said you were leaving him.”
“Why? You just told him you loved him. Were you lying?”
“Why do you care about my personal life all of a sudden?”
“Just answer the question.”
“We don’t make each other happy. I’m an obligation to him, and he’s not what I need.”
“I don’t believe you have the slightest notion what you need.”
A few minutes later the car rolled up to a house big enough to qualify as a mansion. Could Dome earn him that much money?
Anton must have read something off her expression because he said, “The spa is only a small portion of my income. My real money is in something else.”
Before she had time to process his response, an iron gate opened to let them in.
She and Michael lived in a very large house, but this was . . . well, it was ridiculous. No one needed this level of luxury, especially if they lived alone. Which Anton must, if he was inviting her over to have kinky sex.
Vivian imagined he must have a fully-equipped dungeon in a house that big. Maybe more than one. She shivered at the possibilities.
He helped her out of the car and led her up the front steps while her anxiety mounted higher. She didn’t expect the door to open from the inside, or for a large, tall man who looked like a cross between a butler and a bouncer to be standing on the other side.
A mop of blond hair fell over the man’s eyes. He looked surprised. “Isn’t it a little early?”
Anton pushed Vivian inside before she had the chance to catalog her situation, before she had the chance to scream. Not that anyone could have heard her on such a large, rolling estate.
She looked back to Anton, needing reassurance that the warning bells going off in her head loudly enough to give her a headache, were just anxiety over her decision to come back when she could have been free.
His eyes held annoyance, but it wasn’t directed at her. He was focused instead on the butler/bouncer. “I had to move the timetable up on this one. She’s too unpredictable to control from a distance. It’s not worth the risk to play the game out as usual. My instincts keep us out of prison and my instincts say, now.”
“Shall I show her to her suite, then?”
The stranger gripped Vivian’s arm and led her through the mansion. She looked behind her to Anton, as if the pleading in her eyes would move a man who had obviously done this before. But he was the devil she knew.
Her heart pounded so hard she could feel it against her temples. The man led her through the entryway in front of a massive staircase, then down a long, ornately-decorated hallway and unlocked a door near the end.
The room was sparsely decorated, much like the hideaway at Dome had been. There was a full-sized bed with a black duvet. Chains hung behind it. A flat screen television was attached to the opposite wall. There was a large, black trunk at the foot of the bed. A small bathroom stood off to the side.
Vivian looked up to see a security camera near the ceiling. What the hell was this place?
The walls were a dark stone that reminded her of a dungeon. Maybe it was a dungeon. Her own personal dungeon. She could hear faint sounds coming from next door. Moans, whimpers, and cries of “Please, Sir”.
She struggled futilely in the arms of the stranger as the adrenaline surged through her.
“That’s enough,” he said. “I know you need to feel like you did something to get away, but all you’ll earn is
punishment. We’ve had hundreds of girls in his house over the years. And not a single one of them has escaped us. You won’t be the first.”