“Better get me a big zapper,” I grumbled.
He sighed. “I’m so fucking sorry, Tia. He and I are gonna talk at least three times a week while I figure this shit out. Okay? Promise. I’ll work on it. All of it. All that’s fucked in my head.”
I chewed my cheek.
“Come back to our bed.”
He grabbed my hand and we left that room and went back to ours.
He fell asleep with me in his arms. I slipped away a little while later, heading down to get coffee and some serenity out on the dock sitting in the chair he made with his own strong hands. His own lethal hands. His own loving hands.
I blinked away fresh tears and sat.
It was a beautiful chair. I rubbed my hand along the arm, seeing my wedding and engagement rings shimmer in the sunlight.
It was a beautiful day.
And my throat hurt inside and out, and even more than that, my heart hurt.
Tia and I weren’t in a great place for a few days after I’d nearly choked her to death.
We went to the nearby market the day after the choking, and I sat to read the paper while letting her wander the vendors. She was out of my sight barely a few minutes when I couldn’t stand it. Felt like my throat was closing up. Had to go find he
I was doing counseling but I didn’t fuckin’ like it. Didn’t wanna answer half the guy’s questions. Somehow, he didn’t get frustrated with me. So, I kept calling on the days we had appointments. In between that, I spent a lot of time in the workshop out back. Having something to do distracted me.
I tried to be gentle and sweet with her. I tried to be her ice cream shop guy.
But, then it was the day after my brother’s twenty fifth birthday. Tia and I had been on web cam with the family while they sang and he blew out candles back home, gave our best wishes.
My brother and I had been talking constantly about the efforts to get every aspect of the business ship-shape so we could decide what to sell, what to keep. Some businesses would probably be sold to guys that worked for us, enabling us to keep them indebted to us in case we needed to retain certain connections. Others would be sold to whoever wanted to buy, where we didn’t have to keep any grey area ties.
Some things we’d keep, let the current staff run things and continue to reap the profits.
We were feeling pretty positive about the business end, but then after his birthday, my brother tells me that our father arranged his betrothal, too. He got a call about his 25th birthday gift. Pop arranged it just before he died.
And unlike me who was given a girl who was the daughter of my father’s lost childhood sweetheart, Dare was given an American bombshell sex slave who’d been a sex slave for two years, perfectly trained to meet his every desire.
We were fuckin’ shocked. Both of us. We knew Pop felt like he was untouchable not long before he died. That was one of the reasons we had to be punished. More accurately, me, for having the audacity to challenge him, to supposedly poison Dare against loyalty to him.
Dare was pissed. “What the fuck can I do but go there and take her? Get that done and figure out what’s next, how to get out of it?”
He had no choice. He had to go to Thailand and pick up his gift. Bring her home. Appease the partners our Pop had signed some blood oath with. Dare and I were now partners in a sex slave resort. A very profitable one with clients around the world that consisted of a long list of very powerful people we would not want to make enemies with.
It was not a good fucking twist of events, that was for damn sure.
He was grouchy. And now so was I. I didn’t know what was up his butt the past few days. He’d gone from being sweet and so nurturing and caring, to miserable. Like if someone looked at him the wrong way, he’d shoot them.
And I didn’t know what had changed. He was again not sleeping. He barely came to bed. Was he afraid to hurt me? Was the counseling making him face things that were ugly? Was it emotions that’d been buried bubbling up?
He didn’t want dirty sex. Frankly, our sex life was average. Sex most nights, some mornings, but he turned down offers to spice it up with chasing games or with role-playing or bondage. I missed the rocky road stuff. Don’t get me wrong, sex was never unsatisfactory, but he was distant. He wasn’t happy. I felt like I had to do something.
“How about we go to the market again today?”