“I don’t understand. Is this an internship or something?”
“No,” Carlyle said, calmly. “Your father owes me a great deal of money. Money which he cannot repay. I offered him an alternative payment plan. You.”
I blinked. “What? That’s crazy. You can’t-“
“I can. It’s you, or him. I’m afraid he picked you.”
Dad looked at me and then edged away, looking at the floor.
“It won’t be so bad,” he said, his voice shaking. “He promised not to hurt you.”
“Hurt me?” I said, backing away. “This… you can’t sell me! I won’t do it. I won’t go.”
“You will,” said Grayson. He looked at my father. “You were right, she is willful, but she’ll learn. You’re sure she’s a virgin?”
“She told her mother she is. I haven’t… checked.”
I couldn’t believe this was happening. The door was behind me, wide open. I started to turn.
A strong closed around my arm.
“I was promised a virgin. For your father’s sake, I hope you are.”
I stared at him, wide-eyed. Then I slapped him. Having my arm held in place took some of the force out of the blow, but it was enough to turn his head. He blinked and turned back slowly, his thin lips spreading into a tight, knowing smile.
“You have a lot of fire. That will make you more enjoyable to tame. We’re leaving.”
Screaming, I pounded my first on his arm and tried to yank loose, but he quickly had me by both arms, turning me away from him. I dug my heels in and kicked, trying to stop him from pushing me through the door, but he was too strong. I thrashed and tried to hit him with the back of my head, but nothing I did mattered, and he bodily lifted me from the ground and carried me. I twisted around enough to see my father staring at the floor.
“You bastard!” I shrieked, “How can you do this!”
The servants were all just staring, watching.
No one did. They just stared at nothing, like they couldn’t see me. There was another car already waiting for me outside. Carlyle shoved me through the open door and stepped in after me, settling into the seat as the door was closed behind him. I knew fighting him was pointless, so I went for the other door. I yanked and yanked on the handle, but nothing. I tried to go for the other, but Carlyle shoved me back down into my seat and then his hand closed around my throat, holding me still. He turned my head to look at him and I stared into his strange, mis-matched eyes.
“I enjoy a little sport, but if you make yourself difficult, I’m going to to have to discipline you. You can sit there like a good girl, or I can teach you a lesson and tie you down.”
He let go, and I clutched my throat in my hands. He hadn’t choked me, but I could still feel steely fingers pressing on my tender skin.
“Fuck you,” I hissed, edging away from him.
“Oh, you will,” he said. “Or rather, I will. Once you’ve learned your place, Victoria.”
“What pace is that?”
“At my feet, as my willing concubine.”
“Willing?” I spat. “I’ll never be willing to do anything with you.”
“Yes you will,” he said, easing into the seat. “You’ll be begging me to touch you, by the time I’m done.”
I pushed against the door, putting as much space between his body and mine as I could manage. I scowled at him and he smirked at me, clearly amused. He touched his handkerchief to his face, and dabbed a way a spot of red. I must have hit him harder than I thought.