Whatever the next stretch of time amounted to, it went by in a daze for Jessica. She remembered waking up to the feel of her Master gently pulling her out of the cage. His hands gently caressing her arms and legs as she sat in his lap, she was fed and given a few sips of water. The world blurred, and though she knew he was speaking to her, she could not understand the words. Slowly he laid her back down in her cage, her body cold against the hard concrete floor, and she faded into black again.
He came back again, taking her out of the cage and feeding her again. Her eyes remained closed, but she was able to sit up. As she spooned the scrambled eggs into her mouth she moaned, pain seeping from every joint, muscle, and inch of her body. He rubbed her back and ran his fingers through her hair. Just a day or so before, if he had pressed his lips to her hair and murmured soft words to her she would have tried to move away and block it out, but now she leaned into him, straining to hear his soft tender words.
She tried to speak to him but no words would form. She was too tired despite all the sleep she was getting. He shushed her as she slurred and she fell silent. Her head fell backward onto his shoulder and she looked up at him. He smiled softly, blue eyes shining. His finger tips caressed her cheek and trailed down her throat, gentle, loving touches. She promised herself that when she was stronger she would do as he said. She preferred this to the pain. She liked the way his hands felt gently caressing her aching body. His nose in her hair, which might have infuriated her just days before, now comforted her.
She faded out again, and when she woke up she was sitting down between his legs, her back to his chest, and she had a warm, wet rag between her legs. When it was removed he dunked it into a large bowl of hot soapy water beside him, and brought it back to her. He ran it up her legs and she reached out, touching her legs. They were soft, clean, and bare. Her hand dropped down, to her side and her head lolled back again. She was more aware now, but her body was still so tired. She brought her left hand up to grip the hand he had resting on her hip. She squeezed it with all her might, which was not a lot, and she leaned her head back to look at him.
“Thank you, Master,” she breathed.
“Shh, don’t speak,” he said curtly and she fell silent. She squeezed at his hand harder, wanting to show him, if not at words, that she was ready to be good. He placed the rag back into the bowl and ran his hands over her body. “Can you sit up?”
She nodded and sat up, not speaking. Gently his hands went into her hair, brushing it through with his fingers. He tied it back with a hair elastic and then had her lean back. She obeyed, looking up at him. His finger tips trailed over her throat again, trailing over her collar bone, and then going back to her throat.
“I want a kiss. A soft, gentle, loving kiss,” he told her and she nodded. Her lips parted and she held her chin up. Slowly he leaned toward her and pressed his mouth to hers. It was chaste at first, but when he slipped his tongue into her mouth she did not protest. She mustered up every ounce of energy she had to respond to his kiss. She tried to move her tongue against his but he pressed it down to the bottom of her mouth. He pressed his lips to hers with more force, his hand closing around her throat gently. When he parted she saw a deep frown on his face and she panicked.
“I’m sorry Master, and I’m… I’m sorry for speaking, I know you said not to, I’m sorry… I’m just… really, I’m sorry for talking… but I’m just not very good at kissing, but I’ll learn. I swear, and really, I’m sorry for speaking. I know you said not to. I’m not trying to be bad. Please don’t punish me, I’m sorry,” she started to hyperventilate and tears fell from her cheeks. He shushed her, wiping the tears away.
“Quiet now,” he said gently. “No speaking.”
She nodded and he stood up. She looked up at him, moving onto her hands and knees. Her body protested and she trembled, but she managed to crawl behind him. She felt like crying when he motioned to the cage, but she crawled in dutifully. Her lower lip trembled as she looked up at him. She wanted to beg him so badly, tell him she was sorry, but she knew if she spoke again he would be angry. He was looking down at her, his jaw set, and he looked angry already. A tear left her right eye and she saw him grimace. He looked like he wanted to say something but he remained quiet. She could see longing in his eyes, gentleness, even tenderness, but something was holding him back. Her lips parted and she was about to speak but she looked down instead. She knew if she spoke any tenderness she saw in his eyes would disappear. She’d be beaten again and this time she might not be forgiven. He would get tired of fighting her eventually, and she did not know just how far she could push him. She looked at his face, the bruises now a light yellow, mixed with some purple and red. Some men, she knew, would have murdered her just for that. She wished she could stand from her cage and gently kiss the skin, tell him how sorry she was and that she would never do something like that again. Not until she would escape anyway.
She got up onto her knees and gripped the bars. She bit her lip, looking up at him and he tilted his head to the side, whatever inner conflict he was going through evident on his face. Finally he closed his eyes, shook his head, and began walking toward the stairs. She wanted to call out, and would have a day or so ago, but she couldn’t. She was too scared. She was ashamed, felt like she was letting him win, but she tried to remind herself she had no other choice.
“Go to sleep, slave,” he nearly barked as she heard him walk up the stairs and shamefully obedient, she did.
The next time she woke she actually felt well rested. Her body ached, she was starving, and thirsty, and aching, but she was well rested. When she looked around now her vision was clear, and she could think in more than short muddled thoughts and emotions. She lay in her cage rolled up in a ball, preparing for when her Master came back down the steps. She would be obedient and respectful, do what he wished and give him what he wanted. He had proven what he was capable of. He had made his point, and if she was going to be honest, she wanted his gentleness. When she had been dozing, it had felt so nice, and it was such a nice relief, that she was willing to swallow her pride to keep from going back to that place. She could not remember a lot of what had happened, but in those short snippets, despite all the aching and pain, she had felt warm and safe.
When she finally heard the door open she sat up. He had placed her in a large cage, and she was able to get as high as sitting up on her knees in this one. She looked toward the door that had the stairs on the other side and waited anxiously. He would most certainly be kind and gentle now. Even though the look on his face when he left last had confused her, and she was still uneasy about it, she thought back to the kiss. She was almost excited to show him she had learned her lesson.
But when the door opened and she saw the person walk around the corner, she was horrified to see it was not her handsome, bruised-faced Master standing there, instead stood a tall, middle aged man with blue eyes and ash blond hair. She nearly threw her back against the far wall of her cage, eyes wide and breathing hard. He grinned, cold and cruel, and she saw real malice in his eyes.
“No, no, no, no, no,” she breathed, gripping the cage bars behind her.
“Yes, yes, yes, yes,” he replied, a thick accent morphing his words.
“Where’s my Master,” she breathed, her chest heaving. He looked at her, cold, leering, taunting smile on his lips, but said nothing. He had one hand in his pocket as he circled the cage. She did her best to keep on the opposite of the cage as him and he laughed.
“You are not as pretty as he said you were,” he told her in German. She suddenly knew he had sold her, that his kiss had been a kiss goodbye, and that everything he said was true. He did want to take care of her and be gentle, as sick as he was going about it, and thought she would never learn. That’s what that look had been. He did not want to sell her but she had obviously given him no choice. She felt tears come to her eyes and shook her head. No, she was still in his basement. He would have drugged her and she’d have woken up somewhere else if he sold her.
“I want my Master,” she said in German and his cruel, twisted smile widening slightly.
“Now you have respect,” he mused. “Now you call him Master.”
“Where is he?” she asked, voice cracking. “Master? Master! Master!”
“He cannot hear you in Berlin,” he laughed. “You’re mine now.”
“No, that’s not true,” she breathed, eyes as wide as plates. Tears dripped down her cheeks and she wondered if she was even in his house after all. What if this was some sort of slave dungeon that these men kept women in, and now that he didn’t want her he had left her for this man. What if this was some sort of twisted, trial dungeon? Her heart pounded so hard she thought it was going to burst from her chest. Her lower lip trembled and she pressed herself to the back of the cage as he came to open it. He reached in and grabbed her ankle, yanking her out of the cage violently. Her body scraped against the ground and she felt a wide gash on her arm as she caught one of the hard edges of the bars. She yelped, screamed, kicked, and bit, but this man was more unforgiving than her Master had been and she was still too weak.
When she did finally get a good kick on him he slapped her so hard across the face that she was stunned. She was slammed down on a hard surface, a table she saw, and the wind was knocked out of her. She looked up at him with wide eyes, terror and pain rushing through her body. She began crying, fighting to break free from the vice like grip this new man had on her wrists.
“Maximilian has a softness for a crying woman,” he told her. “I do not.”
“I want my Master,” she cried. “I want my Master. I want my Master.”
“I want my Master,” he taunted. “I saw his face, ungrateful cunt. Ungrateful, you’re all the same.”
She was grabbed again and despite how hard she fought she was too weak, and he secured her to the ceiling with no problems. He came to stand before her, a cane in his hand.
“Do you know what a cane is really capable of?” he asked her and she shook violently. Even with her Master she had not been this frightened before. She had never felt this kind of fear. The slap to the face had hurt, and she could taste the blood on her split lip. He held the cane up, and when she did not answer she flicked her face with the cane. She yelped, the stinging in her cheek bringing more tears to her eyes.
“Don’t mark her face, he told me, she’s too beautiful,” the man said. “You’re not so pretty.”
The salt of her tears mixed with the taste of her blood in her mouth and she felt like throwing up. This couldn’t be happening. It wasn’t fair. She wanted her Master back. Things were about to get better and now she was worse off than ever.
“I will show you, whore, what a cane is capable of,” he told her and disappeared behind her. She screamed so loud that when he was finished, her voice was hoarse.
Maximilian felt his hand tremble as it covered his mouth. His laptop rested on his lap, his head phones set in his ears, and he kept the volume down despite having his own compartment. Ulrik knew he would be watching, and so he was even more offended when he saw him slap Jessica across the face and then smack her with the cane. The camera feed was not great, but the audio was as if he was in the same room, and he closed his eyes a few times as he listened. In the past, if he heard a girl calling for him like that, begging for him to come back and save her, he would have been hard as a rock, brimming with arousal, but coming from Jessica it was painful.
When Ulrik arrived at his home the two had a long talk about what he was allowed and what he was not allowed to do. Then Max when downstairs and bathed, shaved, and fed Jessica. The kiss had been amazing, and he almost considered cancelling his trip. He had to order her to be quiet to keep his resolve in place, and when she spoke to him anyway he had not been angry. He had been conflicted. He did not want to leave her, especially with another man, but he had to. He had responsibilities. He knew she wanted to speak to him before he left, and he waited, willing her to, and praying she didn’t at the same time. If she had, he no doubt would have lost his will and stayed with her.
Now, watching Ulrik cane her he felt anger, jealously, and fear. He told Ulrik not to hurt her too badly. She was already too weak and he believed he had broken her sufficiently. He did not want her to be nothing but an obedient zombie. He had been sure Ulrik would listen to him, but the slap to the face, the flick of the cane… it had been excessively violent. And the way her voice cracked as she said she wanted him, called out to him to go to her and rescue her. It tore him to pieces that he would not. His hand shook as he listened to her little cries of pain.
It was not even entirely that she was in pain. He did find pleasure in knowing he could and sometimes actually causing some pain, but watching another man with his slave, with his Jessica, it drove him crazy. He scowled, and pounded the mute button with his finger. He lowered the top of the laptop and looked out the window. He bit his thumb nail down to the quick. He’d be in Berlin tonight, go to his meeting tomorrow and be on the five o’clock train back to Austria. She’d be in his arms again tomorrow night.
He lifted the laptop back up and turned the volume back on. Perhaps, he thought to himself as he felt his stomach tighten and twist, he was an much a masochist as he was a sadist. Why else would he endure such torture? Every cry of her voice ripped through him.
“If you draw blood, you bastard, I’ll murder you,” he breathed. He regretted telling Ulrik he could hit her. He wanted her to realize, desperately needed her to realize how lucky she was, how good he could be to her. He trusted Ulrik, loved Ulrik, but Ulrik was cruel, sadistic, and had a very different definition of ‘not too violent’. But he wouldn't look away no matter how hard it was. He needed to know that Ulrik did not touch her beyond what was necessary. He did not even like the idea of him being able to see her beautiful, naked, body.
“I want my Master! Master! Please help me, Master! Come back, please, come back!” she cried out and he ground his teeth together hard.
“I’m coming back, darling girl,” he murmured. “I’ll be back.”
And you’ll be good for me, he thought to himself, you’ll be a good girl for me now.
He heard her cry out again, and he closed his eyes.