Max only half listened to the CEO drone on about quarterly financial reports and merger deadlines. His voice grated on his nerves, and between staring down at his own copy of the reports, and glaring at the infuriatingly arrogant, women on the board, he would answer questions put to him with simple curt responses. As the FP&A manager, he was not asked much during the meeting. His business was all in order, and when he did speak he made sure to point out the major failings of the financial accounting department. That dreadful hag of a woman was after his job, and though it would be a lateral position move, the status was more lucrative. The only way that beast of a woman would get the FP&A position was when he was made acting CFO, a move he knew would be coming within the next few months.
He checked his phone every ten minutes or so, anxious for an update from Ulrik. He had called the night before and chastised his friend bitterly for hitting her in the face, but Ulrik had set him straight. He was doing him a favor truly. Jessica would be grateful when he returned, and there was nothing more sweet than a gentle, loving, and grateful slave. Still, a part of him was scared it would backfire, and she would be angry with him for surrendering her to someone who would hurt her so badly. Along with this came a sense of extreme guilt. He wanted her to know him as the man that would care for her and protect her. Serving her up on a silver platter to a cruel man were not the actions of a master who would protect and care for his slave.
He told himself he had to, however. It would be the final step to her realizing how much she should value him. During their lunch break he went down to the little café on the ground floor of the corporate office in Berlin. He settled himself in the corner and turned on his lap top, ordering a double shot of espresso and butterbrot. Ulrik was not down in the dungeon with Jessica, but he could hear her crying. She was in one of the smaller cages, usually kept in the back, but Ulrik had brought it into the middle of the room upon Max’s request so he could watch her. Her shoulders shook and he strained to see the marks on her skin. The camera quality was relatively good for home security systems but the lights in the basement were off. Only a lamp in the corner lit the room and he struggled to see. He wished that he recorded everything so he could look back and see what happened while he was in the morning portion of his meeting. He made sure nothing recorded, so if anything happened there would be nothing for the cops to see, and he would not have to delete anything, making him look guilty should they come knocking.
“Here you go, sir,” the young waitress said smiling. “Did you get into a fight?”
He glanced up, annoyed, and gave her a hard look.
“No,” he said curtly and picked up his espresso, drinking it plain in just a few sips.
“I bet you did and I bet you won,” she smiled. “I bet you beat him up real good.”
“I am on the board of directors of a billion dollar corporation. I do not get into street fights,” he replied coolly. Weeks ago he would have smiled at the girl, charmed her, gotten her name and number, and had her in his hotel room that night to play out any wicked desire he had. Now he was insulted by the attention. Insulted she dare think she could compete with Jessica. He only wanted one girl and this flirtatious young waitress was not her.
“I didn’t mean to offend you, sir. I just thought it made you look handsome. Do you think, maybe some time –”
“I am married,” he replied, lowering the computer screen slightly, despite her being on the other side of him.
“Oh… I’m so sorry… you just weren’t wearing a ring so I thought –”
“Yes, well now you know, and if you want a tip I suggest you leave me alone right now,” he did not take the time to see her reaction. He frankly did not care, and she left. He lifted the laptop back up and looked at Jessica. Something about this girl had gotten under his skin, but he was not as frightened as many in his case might have been. After fifteen years of searching for the right slave, six years of which he had been taking them against their will via Istvan Belko, he had finally found one he saw himself keeping for years to come. His past slaves he went to Belko’s warehouses and looked them over like cattle before making his decision. This one he had chosen specifically after seeing her out in the real world. He had been able to keep eyes on her from afar. His obsession had grown from there and now he wanted her obedience and affection more than ever before.
He watched and listened to her lay in the cage and cry as he ate, feeling both guilty, infuriated, and satisfied. She needed this. She needed to be educated. This was the education she needed and when he returned it would be to a good and obedient slave. He looked up from his sandwich when he heard motion in the room. She was still lying on her side, but she had reached up to clutch the bars with a hand. She looked so small curled up in the little cage.
“Master?” she cried her voice cracking. It made him smile. Her voice was a harsh whisper. She wanted to call to him, but she did not want to bring Ulrik back down the stairs to hurt her anymore. “I’ll be good now, please come back.”
She would be. He suddenly knew she would. He imagined returning to her in a few hours. He was giddy for it. She’d beg him for his forgiveness, kiss his feet, and prostrate herself before him as any good woman would. The thought that she was finally coming to terms with her duties as a woman and a slave had his insides spreading with warmth. As he closed up his laptop, threw some money on the table, and went back to the afternoon portion of his meeting, he was in a much better mood. He even had a small smile on his lips. The next five hours went by with extreme slowness and the moment they were dismissed he hurried for the train station. One of the men on the board that knew of his lifestyle, and shared it, gave him a curt nod and smile as he hurried from the room, but said nothing.
He made the five o’clock train, but barely, and settled in for a long journey back. The normally eight hour ordeal felt like it lasted days. When he had to switch trains in München he knew that the longest stretch was behind him, but it only made time go by more slowly. When he finally arrived back at Innsbruck it was two in the morning. It took him another forty five minutes to drive home. He entered the front door anxious to get down to his slave, and found Ulrik up and watching TV in the living room. Max ignored him and walked into the kitchen, placing his small bag and briefcase onto the counter. He poured himself a glass of milk and took a deep breath, calming himself. As he did so he saw a stack of bills on the counter and he reached for them. After counting, he determined there were twenty hundred Euro bills. He frowned and walked into the living room.
“What is this for?” he asked and Ulrik looked up.
“The bruise on her face. I hit her a little harder than I meant. I’m sorry,” he said genuinely and Max nodded. Because woman (or slaves in general, but the social circles he ran in only focused on the slavery and subjugation of women) were property, a lot of masters would pay one another when they were overzealous. He accepted it wordlessly, but he was slightly angry that Jessica’s face was bruised. He could say nothing without appearing weak though. Jessica was an object to be bought, sold and used. Ulrik had paid him for damaging his product and she would heal. Still… it put a very sour taste in his mouth.
“She’s beautiful,” Ulrik said. “Not as far gone as I thought she would be though.”
“I don’t want a zombie,” Max replied, leaning back against the wall. He wanted to go down stairs right away, but he did not want to appear too eager in front of his friend. Ulrik was never ashamed of growing attached to slaves, he had Maria now for nearly two years and seemed quite fond of her, but they both had reputations and appearances to uphold.
“I know,” Ulrik responded. “You’ll be angry with me when you see her, but you’ll thank me tomorrow before I leave.”
“What have you done?” Max asked, a dark frown coming to his face. He had been quite specific that he did not want blood drawn or her face bruised. The way Ulrik was making it sound, he had done both.
“Nothing you shouldn’t have done yourself,” Ulrik said. “But now she’ll see you as a kind, gentle master, which is what you want right?”
“Has blood been drawn?” Max asked. “If you broke the skin-”
“Just one stripe. It won’t scar. I’ve done worse to Maria,” Ulrik informed him. “She called me a nazi.”
“I’m actually surprised she hasn’t called me that yet,” he admitted. He laughed now, but if she were to do so, he would be far from amused.
“I think it has more to do with my coloring than heritage,” Ulrik smiled and shut the TV off. “Bruise goes from here to here, her lip is split and swollen. She ate earlier, but she threw it up, so you might try feeding her again now that she will be more at ease with you. Might want to bathe her first though, she got some in her hair and I didn’t think you wanted me bathing her. Plus… I find it distasteful.”
“Ulrik I called you so she would be taken care of,” Max said, voice low. “I called you because I trusted you.”
“We’ll talk tomorrow,” Ulrik said and stood. He walked over and placed a hand on Max’s shoulder. “Then we’ll see about that thank you. Good night, Maximilian.”
Max cursed slightly and went into the kitchen. He made some eggs and mixed some blueberries and strawberries into a bowl with some yogurt. He also grabbed a water bottle and a glass of milk. He knew as he made it she wouldn’t be eating all of it. He doubted she would be able to keep it down, but he wanted her to have a little bit of all of it. He collected everything in his arms, and with a deep sigh of apprehension, he walked downstairs.
Jessica moaned when she felt the hand close around her ankle, but she did not have the energy to fight anymore. Weakly she tried to pull her leg away, but the man that had the grip on her tugged. She shook her head and moaned again. She could hear the man speaking but she did not know what he was saying. It was like she was listening to his voice from the end of a long, dark tunnel. The hand patted her calf and she moaned a third time. She felt her body being dragged across the hard ground and pain once again took hold of all her senses. She was now certain her Master had sold her. Too much time had passed and he would not be coming to save her. It was only a matter of time before she was raped by this new man and he showed no signs of having her Master’s propensity toward gentleness.
“I want my Master,” she breathed out, but she knew it would do no good. She had been ungrateful and now he was gone and she was getting what she deserved. She only wished he would give her one last chance. This other man had beaten her until she bled. He had force fed her when she refused to eat and left her in her own throw up when her stomach could not hold it. She had no fight left in her physically, and mentally she was spent. She felt a hand patted her cheek gently but she did not stir. She only breathed out, “I’m sorry, Master,” as if he could hear her and would come up.
She was scooped up in strong arms and brought into the bathroom. She heard the water come on and waited for the freezing spray of water come down on top of her. Instead, as the man that had her in his arms stepped into the spray still fully clothed, she felt hot, steaming water on her face. She opened her mouth immediately to drink the liquid gold, but a hand gently went to her chin and closed her mouth. The world slowly began coming back to her. The voice whispering to her was tender, the caressing gentle. It was not like the man her Master had sold her too. She tried to open her eyes but the water kept her from doing so.
“Master?” she asked, voice cracking, when she focused on the sound of his voice. The accent she once loved, then grew to hate, she now loved once again and she gripped his wet shirt hard. “Is that my Master?”
“It is, Pet,” she heard him say and she began to cry, but these were not the tears of sorrow and depression she had grown so used to. Relief, happiness, and affection all burst out of her. She gripped at his wet suit hard, pressing her aching body to his with as much force as she could. She had been so positive she would never see him again, and now that she was in his arms again, she was overcome with joy.
“Oh, Master,” she cried into his chest. “Master, master, master.”
It was all she could think to say. His hand gently stroked at her but she could not get close enough to him. She tried to press her body against his harder, but she had so little strength. She clung to him like a drowning man would a life saver.
“Shh,” he said softly and moved her so her bottom was on the floor of the shower and her back was pressed to his chest. She leaned into him, her head lolling to the side of his shoulder and she felt him put shampoo on the top of her head. She could hardly remember the last time she showered and the gentle massaging of his fingers on her scalp was heavenly.
“I missed you,” she whispered as he rinsed her hair.
“and I missed you, pet,” he replied. His hands ran over her body gentle as he lathered the soap all over her body.
“Do you want me, Master?” she breathed. “I won’t fight you.”
“No?” he asked.
“No, Master,” she breathed. “I won’t ever fight again.”
“That’s my good girl,” he coed. “But first you need to eat and rest.”
“No…” she breathed and his hand slowly slid between her legs with a hot rag. “I need to serve you.”
“Serve and obey me, pet, by eating and resting,” he told her and she nodded.
“I… I please my Master,” she whispered to him, desperately trying to show him he had no reason to beat her anymore. “I obey my Master. I serve my Master…I…” she trailed off, her head aching as she tried to think of the other.
“…worship…” he helped her gently, running a comb through her hair, still under the hot spray of the shower. He must have brought it with him when he carried her into bathroom. The fell of the comb going through her hair, the hot water, the soup, the smell of her own vomit and blood and piss leaving her body was amazing. She closed her eyes and kept her head up toward the spray of the hot water, letting it fall over her. She knew when her strength returned all these words she kept saying would need to be put into action if she was going to preserve herself, but in that moment she did not care.
“I worship my Master. Please don’t ever leave me again, Master. Please don’t,” she begged him. She could withstand his attentions. Being raped by him had been traumatic, and wile every time he did it, it was an invasion and a violation, she knew her Master. She had some sort of relationship with him. She could not go through that with other men. And this man he had left her with kept telling her about how much money he could make renting her out to friends. A life of rape by countless men, a never ending line of willing abusers, had terrified her. Her Master could be cruel, had kidnapped her, bought her, whipped her and raped her, but he would not share her. She found solace in that and she was thankful to him for it.
“And why not?” he asked her softly. One of his hands skirted along her hip, pulling her back up into her sitting position. She had been slipping slightly and had not noticed. He continued running the rag over her thighs, but he paused a moment to slip his fingers between her legs, his fingers prodding her opening. She did not think she had the strength for sex right now, but she would refuse him nothing. Not if it meant him keeping her safe, keeping her away from that terrible man.
“Because you are the Master of my body and soul,” she told him. He was always telling her to say it and she knew he would like to hear it. Men like him liked having their egos stroked. She knew that if she ever got a second chance she needed to not only obey him, but verbally confirm his mastery of her. It was what would take him off guard and show him she truly did not want to be given to anyone else. His hand touched her cheek and his mouth touched hers for a moment… soft… chaste.
“Say it again,” he told her, his voice hot. She tried to look up at him but the water was in her eyes. She needed to obey, give him what he wanted, let him know how powerful he was and that he had her submission.
“You are the Master of my body and soul,” she told him again. “I’m all yours. I belong to you.”
“Yes you do,” he said in her ear. He placed a kissed to her jaw. “I paid for you. You’re my property now. I have rights to you.”
“I’m sorry for this.”
She had enough strength to raise an arm and gently touch his nose.
“It hurts,” he told her and after a few moments of struggle turned in his lap. He leaned down half way to help her, and she presses her lips to his eyelids and then nose. She looked at him, her head facing away from the water, and in that moment he was the most handsome man she had ever seen in her entire life. He had a little smile on his lips, a scruffy little beard from a day and a night of not shaving on his face. His blue eyes twinkled and his dark brown hair was plastered to his head as he sat under the water with her. She pulled back slightly, placing on last kiss to his nose, and touched his suit. She had always had a thing for a man in a suit, and she knew an expensive suit when she saw one. The fact that he got into the shower with her, fully dressed, to hold and bathe her aroused some affection in her. It was an affection she could not really understand but it was there. The bottom line was when the other man came she was forced to chose. She had chosen her Master, and now she saw him differently.
“I’m sorry,” she said again. “I was scared and I didn’t understand my place.”
“But you know it now,” he told her. His hands touched her own bruised face and she licked the area of her lip that had bled so badly. She would never have dared call her Master a Nazi. Such a comment might hit a little too close to home for a people that were still very much healing from the small era in their history, but she had no trouble throwing it out at this other man. It had been a mistake. The moment it left her lips she regretted it and he hit her across the face again. Unlike the first time he had hit her across the face, which had split her lip initially, he backhanded her with such force that she went sprawling out the floor and blood pooled from the soft flesh of her split lips. Her nose had began to bleed and she knew that the bruise would be horrendous. She would need to be more careful about who she called Nazis and keep from throwing around such a loaded word in this area of Europe.
“Yes Master,” she told him and she leaned into him again, pressing her face to his neck. Her strength was leaving her again. She had been working on little bursts since her Master left her. She had partly recovered from her Master’s earlier treatment when the new man had arrived, but this new man had beaten her back into oblivion. After the initial slap in retaliation of calling him a Nazi, he had hit her so hard with the cane that her skin had cracked and split, sending hot blood trailing down her legs.
“Do you know where your place is, pet? Do you know where you belong?” he asked her softly, hands gently massaging her arms and shoulders, moving up and down her body as she leaned against him. “At my feet, on your hands and knees, ready to obey any order I give you with excitement and enthusiasm.”
“I was bad Master. I didn’t understand. I promise I’ll be good now. Please, you have to believe me… I mean… you don’t have to do anything… what I mean is… please I didn’t mean that…”
Her jaw began to quiver and he shushed her gently.
“’Please believe me’ will suffice,” he told her, correcting her on the proper way of wording that plea. “Continue.”
“I was bad, but I’ll be good now. I understand that you have all the power. I’m weak… I can’t fight you. You’ll always win… and I don’t want to fight anymore. I really don’t want to fight anymore.”
“Do you mean it?” he asked her. “Are you truly sorry? Do you see how lucky you are to have me now?”
“Yes, Master. I promise. I promise. I’ll be good and obey you now.”
“Then you are forgiven,” he told her and she actually giggled. It bubbled up inside of her and burst from her throat in a painful crack. Her shoulder shook and there was a smile on her lips. But slowly tears began to form in her eyes and it sounded like she was choking. Slowly, her giggles morphed into sobs, and she fell asleep in his arms, under the hot spray of the water.