Owned by the Billionaire

By: Lacy Dae



"Hey!" The auctioneer turned, scowling at my interruption. "I'm not submissive!" Even as a virgin, I knew that submissive people were hurt and abused during sex, and I'd be damned before I'd be sold to anyone who expected that from me!

The auctioneer cleared his throat as I glared at him. "Fine! She's feisty!" There were a few muffled snickers from the audience, and the bidding started. As the adrenaline of my outburst faded, I just felt sick again, dizzy and light-headed. Lights and sounds blurred together into a chaotic mess that left me floundering, trying not to faint. The solid bang of the auctioneer's hammer jerked me back to reality with a start. "Sold! To number 34!"

I stumbled out of the spotlight, dazed. Who had bought me? And for how much? Oh God, the money had better be worth this! The auctioneer yanked my leash from my shocked grasp, and thrust it towards a dark-haired young man in a black suit. He accepted the leash soberly, leading me off the stage, then paused and leaned towards me. "Sorry, miss, orders!" I stared at him, totally lost, then yelped as a black hood was pulled down over my head. Ignoring my muffled protests, he pulled me forward by the chains between my wrists. As I stumbled blindly, the door slammed behind us, and cold air sent goose-bumps rippling down my bare skin. We were outside. A few more faltering steps, and then a firm push on my head had me ducking into a car.

Dread hollowed my stomach as the car's engine vibrations rippled the cool leather seats. "W-where are we going?" My voice trembled despite myself. I felt so helpless, blind and bound, the safety precautions I'd taken comfort in revealed as the flimsy protection they truly were. The young man's response didn't reassure me. "I'm afraid I can't tell you that." Those cool, dispassionate words were all he'd say to me, and I soon stopped asking questions.

The drive seemed to last forever. My shuddering breaths inside the hood made the fabric damp and clammy, clinging to my skin claustrophobically. The unseen turns of the car confused my inner ear, causing motion sickness to churn in my stomach. I swallowed hard again and again, desperate not to lose all control, while fighting down tears of stress and fear. No one spoke to me, touched me, or even seemed to look at me, an isolation that somehow made everything worse, even though my common sense screamed that being left alone was the best possible outcome.

Finally, the car slowed to a stop. Doors opened, and I could hear footsteps on a gravel driveway, and raised voices. An argument? It seemed to last forever as I huddled in the seat. Finally, though, the car door opened and gentle hands pulled and lifted me out, steadying me as I swayed. After a moment to catch my balance, I was led forward once more, up a short flight of stairs, and then through several doors. As the last door closed behind me, the suffocating hood was suddenly yanked off, and I gasped, intensely grateful to be freed of it. Hood in hand, the dark-haired man met my eyes, frowning thoughtfully. I froze as he raised his hands to my throat, but to my relief, he merely unbuckled the collar, removing the horrid leash with it. Stepping back, he ran his gaze over my face, then down my body, before nodding and turning away. He closed the door gently as he left the room. I was alone.

Or was I? Wide-eyed with fear, I stared around the room. I was in an exquisitely appointed bedroom, dominated by a huge four-poster bed. The room was dark, lit only by the cheery flames crackling in the fireplace, their inviting warmth luring me in closer. With a cautious look around, I knelt before the fire, holding my cold hands up to its welcome heat. The rattling of the chain I still wore suddenly infuriated me, though, as a reminder of the helpless terror I'd felt in the car. I had to get them off! Clawing at the smooth metal bands circling my wrists, I searched in vain for the quick-release latches that I'd been assured were built-in to the cuffs.

A sudden chuckle had me whipping around on the soft rug. He leaned against the bed-post, lean and arrogant, a man in his late thirties, with a few silver strands glinting in his dark hair. Holding my gaze, he crossed to the room with a confident stride. I felt pinned in place by the cold amusement in his eyes. He laughed again as he threw himself into one of the armchairs facing the fireplace. "I have the key." His voice was wicked, deep and resonant, and I shivered in helpless reflex. "Would you like me to release you?"

I stared at him wordlessly, still recovering from the shock of his sudden presence. After a long moment, he raised a brow mockingly at me. Anger surged at this condescension and I spoke without thinking. "Give me the key!"

Ignoring my outburst, he poured dark crimson wine into a crystalline glass. He swirled it, admiring its color, before taking a drink. Nearly mesmerized by the firelight dancing on his smooth skin, the careless grace of his motions, I jumped when he spoke. "No."

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