Maybe you should take a peek in the cellar.
Jax’s words from last week echoed through the space between my ears. I stared at the cage, my mind trapped inside, a prisoner to the unknown as I willed it to impart the things my brain refused to remember.
When Jax told me about my eight-year prison sentence, I’d had a difficult time believing him. When he’d told me about Alex’s accusation, that had been even harder to accept. But the bigger part of myself, the part that was still stuck in the past by eight years, was horrified by what he claimed I’d done. To Alex.
I still remembered her as this too-tempting not-so-innocent girl that liked to play with my head. Alex and her jade come-hither gaze that never failed to burrow beneath my skin like a first degree burn. Constantly flirting, teasing, driving me fucked up crazy.
It might have been nothing more than a schoolgirl’s crush, but underneath the flirting, I sensed she’d cared about me. I had no idea why. I was a ticking time bomb with too much pent up anger. Fighting was the only thing that gave me relief. If I psychoanalyzed myself long enough, I’d probably find an insecure little boy with abandonment issues. Just another statistic who’s mommy left when he was too young. And the deviant sexual appetite…well fuck, I was shot to hell once I added that into the mix. If I was this fucked up now…back then…shit this was confusing, then how badly had eight years of prison messed me up?
I glared at the cage, but it continued to engage me in a silent standoff. I lifted the vodka and took another swig. Maybe the alcohol would facilitate my traitorous psyche. Those bars would tell me the secrets they held, tell me how I could have turned into the kind of man who would kidnap a woman and lock her inside.
Not just any woman. Alex…who still hadn’t emerged. If I’d let her go, as Jax speculated, then where was she? Had I tortured her so badly that she’d put a bullet in me and left me for dead? Was she hiding somewhere, terrified I’d find her and bring her back to the island?
And finally, it clicked. The island, water…fuck. I really had tormented her.
“Tell me why I did it,” I said, raising a hand menacingly, finger pointing in accusation at the prison. I tipped the bottle back and chugged. Jax said I’d wanted revenge. I didn’t buy it. If I’d truly wanted retribution or comeuppance, there were other ways. I could have dug until I proved my innocence. I could have unleashed public humiliation on her.
Or maybe I’d been guilty all along.
I might not remember taking and locking her inside that homemade prison, but deep down I knew why I’d done it. I’d taken her because I’d wanted to. My hand fell, no longer accusing metal and concrete of unspoken sins, and drifted to the front of my tented boxers.
Closing my eyes, I imagined her helpless behind those bars, her arms pulled above her head tightly, painfully, feet arching as she tried to balance on her toes. Creamy, round breasts, perfect nipples erect, waiting to be punished. Her mouth spread wide with a gag, and my belt secure around her throat. Tight and inescapable.
Her body, her will, her freedom, trapped to my every whim.
I’d force her legs apart, rub my cock between them, taunting, taking power and leaving her with none, all the while pulling her head back by the strap of leather imprisoning her delicate neck.
With a groan, I freed my dick and slid a palm over the wet tip before closing frantic fingers around the base. I tightened my hold, pretended her fingers stroked me. More pre-cum escaped, and I swiped my thumb over the soft head, envisioning Alex on her knees, lips surrendering to my cock, her tongue lapping while her small hands encased my shaft in warm ecstasy as she sucked and bobbed. Shit, what I wouldn’t give to yank at her curls right now.
I shot my load all over the ground, wishing like hell my dick was shoved down her throat for real. After my breathing settled and I’d adjusted my boxers, I returned to the bottle of vodka. A few long swigs later, I eyed the mind-numbing liquid with narrowed eyes. I didn’t know what prompted me to launch it across the room. Maybe the crushing shame of my fantasy and the equally shameful desire of wishing it was real.
The vodka collided with several wine bottles on the rack, and the shattering glass echoed in my ears with a haunting omen. For a split second, I saw an older version of Alex, naked, body shaking as she aimed the jagged edge of a broken bottleneck at me. The flash left just as suddenly, and I wished I had something else to throw. I fell into the wall, eyes squeezed shut as my fist pounded concrete. Why couldn’t I remember? Some part of me was desperate to remember, as if my life depended on it.
I jumped at the sound of his voice. Squinting through my drunkenness and the shadowed space, I saw Jax leaning against the wall near the stairs, stocky figure hidden in darkness.
I let my hands fall to my sides. “How long have you been standing there?”
He pulled a cigarette from behind his ear and stuck it between his lips. A second later, a lighter sparked. “Long enough,” he mumbled around the butt. He took a drag then exhaled with the ease of a practiced smoker. “Thought I’d come back for some stuff, but I heard a noise down here.”
“I didn’t know you smoked.”
“I quit months ago. Guess I’m taking up the habit again.” He lifted a finger toward me. “Guess you are too.”
“Whaddya mean?” I glanced toward the broken glass. The heavy scent of tobacco mingled with the vodka tainting my floor. “Did I hit the bottle a lot? Do I drink a lot?” I found that hard to believe. I never drank, as alcohol interfered with training. Except I wasn’t training anymore and I’d just finished off a good portion like it was nothing.
“No, beyond the occasional beer or two, you’re not a drinker.” His lips curled. “I was referring to your private moment with the ole Alex De Luca fantasy.”
I rubbed both hands down my face. “What am I doing?”
“Hopefully remembering something.”
“Not even close.” My attention swerved to the broken glass again. “Except…”
He stood up straighter. “What is it?”
“A flash of something…no. Never mind. It’s nothing.”
“Spit it out, Mason.”
“It doesn’t make any sense. I saw Alex threatening me with a wine bottle, and she was”—I summoned the image, and my fucking cock came to life again—“naked.”