The Housekeepers Daughter
“True love may lay claim on your heart, but a first love brands your soul.”
I loved Atticus with my body and soul.
Until he broke my heart and shattered my trust.
He betrayed me.
But worst of all,
Six years later he’s made me love him all over again.
Blinded by my desire for revenge,
I didn’t even notice it happen,
Until it was too late.
Did I learn nothing in the prison he sent me to?
Can I ever trust a word he says?
My carefully woven plans begin to unravel.
Dangerous secrets are uncovered,
My twisted little games exposed,
Threatening to tear my world apart.
In my thirst for revenge, will I destroy every thing and every one I’ve ever loved?
Or will he break me again.
“YOU’RE THE DEVIL,” I WHISPER. IT’S BARELY AUDIBLE ABOVE MY OWN
ragged breaths, but he heard me, loud and clear. Striding forward, I match each of his steps with a retreating step of my own. This was a dance we had enjoyed in the past, but not today. I’m grateful when my back finally hits the door of his office; my legs had begun to tremble, and I feared I was about to hit the deck. My hands press against the solid wood for support, and fixing my eyes on his, I start to shake my head.
A futile non-verbal request for him to stop.
He steps so close my breath catches, and I actually stop breathing for a moment. Closing my eyes, I drop my chin to my chest.
Please don’t do this.
His knuckle brushes my jaw, and he tips my whole face up with his fingertip but makes no other movement, no sound at all. He simply waits. When the silence becomes too much, I open my eyes and meet his gaze.
“I told you I was.” His lips form the perfect smile, and his eyes seem to darken to an impossible shade of midnight blue.
It’s strange; I always thought the devil would have darker colouring, inky black hair, a deep tan maybe, and eyes you would easily lose your soul to. Not him. Although the eyes are spot on, everything else was way off; he couldn’t look less like the Lucifer of the movies. He is tall, towering over me now, broad, strong shoulders, but slim, fit, stunning actually. His rough blond hair falls over his eyes, and on any other day, that would be a crime. No, he looks more like an angel than the devil I know him to be. He looks like a Nordic God.
The pain ripping me apart from the inside out escapes in a sob that I can’t contain and takes us both by surprise. My hand flies to my mouth, too late to hide the heartbreak. He laughs, a hollow sound that chills my blood, and even the tender way he tucks my hair away from my face feels too raw.
Please don’t do this.
“Oh, Princess, you always did know how to make me laugh,” he states with a wry smile that makes my stomach turn.
“My pain amuses you?” I manage to form actual words when I feel utterly speechless and broken.
“No, your naiveté amuses me.” He sighs. “I told you I was the Devil, Tia, and yet you are surprised when I drag you to Hell.” He draws his bottom lip in slowly between his teeth, and even now I can feel my body betray me. My fingers twitch, restless to touch him just one more time. My heart clenches, and there is an unwelcome spark of heat right between my legs. He inhales deeply through his nose and flashes a knowing grin, which adds mortification to my devastation.
He’s acutely aware of how he affects me; he always has been.
He chuckles and leans closer. His mouth is just below my ear before he speaks. “Your pain is just a pleasant bonus, princess.”
“Oh, God.” I gasp, my fist clutching at the unbearable pain cleaving through my heart.
“Now, princess, do you really think He will save a little sinner like you? Besides, He really can’t help you now, not when your soul is already mine.” His lips press a kiss on the crook of my neck, and I whimper. They always feel like heaven on my skin, and now it’s no different, except ev- erything is different.
“What do you want?” I’ve lost so much. My tone fails to hide my absolute desolation.
“I gave you everything…I gave you my heart, damn it. I have noth- ing left.” The tears I have managed to hold at bay fall, bursting unbidden from my eyes as I hold his unwavering gaze.
“Now we both know that’s not true.” He sucks some air through his pursed lips, shaking his head lightly as if he is reprimanding a small child.
“I don’t understand.” I sniff, dragging the back of my hand uncere- moniously along the underside of my nose and roughly drying my cheeks in an attempt to regain some composure.
“I think it’s cute that you believe your heart holds any interest to someone like me. What am I saying? There is no one like me,” he taunts, then tilts his head to one side as if thinking how best to deliver his next line. “You promised me forever, princess, and there’s only one thing that is truly forever.” His eyes narrow, and the cruel smile that has been an almost permanent fixture since he brought me here, vanishes. His expres- sion is chillingly vacant and so changed, I barely recognise this monster before me. “I’ve come for your soul, Tia.” He pulls back just enough to slide his hand into his back pocket, retrieving a long slim dagger. He flips it with ease, catching it and wrapping his fingers around the handle like it was moulded only to fit his hand. The tip of the blade is reflected in his eyes, and the sharp edge shines brightly, even in the dim light of the fading evening.
“I don’t understand. I didn’t do anything wrong. I love you,” I plead, my hand resting on his chest where his heart should be.
“I think, with that statement, you’ve answered your own question, haven’t you, princess?” His tone drops, and his expression is now deadly serious. He waits again for realisation of what he’s asking to slowly sink in. It doesn’t take long. No.
“I can’t do this.” I mouth the words because I can’t bring myself to say them out loud. It doesn’t matter. Whether he’s lip reading or mind reading, he knows me, and he knows this is no longer a choice I have to make.
“I know, princess…I know.” His voice is softly soothing, coaxing me, and I comply. His words are like a balm, hypnotic, and I find I am no lon- ger able to resist or fight him. He places the blade in my hand, cupping his larger hands over the top and gripping tight. He twists the blade until it is pointed just below my rib cage and angled upward, perfectly aimed for maximum impact. I’m shaking my head because I know I can’t do what he’s asking me to do. Then he hugs me…he steps his strong body into mine and presses us both hard against the door.
“Ah! Oh…oh…please…please.” The dagger burns like a thousand blades as it pierces my skin. A tidal wave of pain tears through my body, and I continue to cry out.
It hurts so much.
“I do love it when you beg.” He jolts the blade deeper, and I can feel it slicing through my flesh. The pain is unbearable. I can’t breathe. Every nerve is screaming in agony as I feel my lungs burn with the blood now filling them from inside. I start to choke. Even at this time, I take comfort from the knowledge that this flesh and blood pain is fleeting and is only a fraction of the devastation my heart feels.
It will all be over soon.
“Why are you smiling?” My vision is a little blurry, but I can see the confusion on his face.
“Because, at least this pain will end,” I answer, slumping against him with weakness. My words are faint. He tilts my head up; it’s too heavy for me to hold and flops to one side, but he is careful to ensure I am looking into his eyes when he speaks. He wants to make sure I truly understand my fate.
“Princess, trust me, this is just the beginning.”
Previously published as The Little Games Duet: Wicked Little Games & Twisted Little Games