Seize Me From Darkness

By: Cari Silverwood

Book 4, Pierced Hearts






Acknowledgements


My great thanks goes out to my beta readers Shannon Wichman, Jennifer Zeffer, Bianca Sarble, Tequila Rose, Sorcha Black, and Jody Rhoton. I pestered them all endlessly and they gave me so much of their time. I love you all and I hope I’ve not scarred you for life. Free kittens, hugs, coffee, and spanks – whichever you choose. Just no feet kissing.



A special thank you to Nerine Dorman, my South African editor, for looking out for goofs to do with Afrikaans and her country.





Chapter 1




“Head down, cunt up, until I say you can look at me.” The growled command and smack on the back of my head by a rough hand was enough to make me snap my gaze to the gritty concrete. My bare knees hurt. My torn and stained dress concealed almost nothing. Tears slipped down my sticky face and shivers wracked me despite the tropical heat.

Out there, beyond, were men. I could see their shoes and the legs of their jeans, hear their soft laughter.

I was helpless, alone, shaking.

I knew where I was. On the way here, curled on the floor of the small plane, men had spoken. Even with the bag on my head and the drone of the engine, I knew my destination.

In Australia, I’d been desperate to escape but the concrete I knelt on was in Papua New Guinea. I hadn’t a clue as to where I could go. Had no friends. I didn’t even have Pieter, the strange guard with the Good Samaritan tendencies. He was probably dead. I squeezed shut my eyes, as if that would make my memory of him go away. I’d messed up, like half my life, by getting him involved.

My hopes of escape had become nothing. I was nothing. I was so lost.

My heart hurt from beating too fast for too long – fight or flight response, but I could do neither. Being scared for days on end was exhausting.

Run. Run. Run. The single word popped up unexpectedly. It would go round and round in a loop in my thoughts until I slept or something distracted me. I couldn’t not think it, even if its meaning had evaporated as soon as they bundled me like an express package onto the plane.

We must have crossed the sea to the north of Australia. I’d lived with the fact that if the plane had gone down in the ocean, I’d have been unable to do more than sink with it.

“They tell me you tried to get away. No more of that. You try and you get punished. Badly. I know who you are, little miss posh bitch. Jazmine. Hey? My name, you don’t need. If you have to talk to me, you call me Sir. Nod, so I know you have ears.”

Fear had slowed my thoughts to a sluggish drag. In the few seconds it took me to figure out what to do, he hit me. A single swish and whack sent a stripe of fire across my ass. I gasped but didn’t speak. My nods were jerky, swishing my hair, as I prayed he’d not hit me again.

“Good. You behave and we’ll get along. For your sins, you’re being sold to the meanest bastard on our books. Three days, give or take a day, and he’ll be here to claim you.” His stick tapped the backs of my thighs. “What a pretty cunt. Hmmm?”

I squeezed my legs in closer.

The man nudged my chin with his stick. “Up.”

I raised my head to find him squatting a few feet in front of me. Jeans, neat blue short-sleeved shirt, heavily muscled thighs and arms. Shaven scalp. A man who could do what he liked with me.

Like some sort of macabre decoration theme, the walls of the room were hung with instruments of torture – pincers, floggers, ugly leather masks, whips, and handcuffs. I couldn’t fathom the use of some of the devices. This surreal place could have been just another made-up location for a magazine shoot. If only. I didn’t fool myself for long.

There was a long, dark-glassed window and on the other side, were the vague shapes of richly upholstered chairs as if, perhaps, there was sometimes a classier audience than the three hulking men now propping up the walls with their shoulders.

At my whimper, one of them grinned and licked the remains of his lunch from his fingers.

If I had a chance, if I could and did run, would they shoot me?

They’d just catch me and beat me, again. My bruises throbbed. I was too chicken to volunteer for that, even if death seemed to beckon.

This man’s dark gaze swept from my bodice, where my breasts spilled, to my face. He spoke softly while staring into my eyes.

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