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The Dungeon Master

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The crowd is wild tonight and it makes Theon’s veins sing with triumph as his fingers dance across the strings of his electric guitar. The sound of his black Schecter Hellraiser rips across the mob of people bouncing in the mosh pit alongside the sound of Jon’s guitar, the two of them going back to back to make the bitches go crazy.

Theon throws a wink and a grin as he slouches to shred while Jon grinds into his own guitar. Sure enough, the ladies scream desperately in the front row, some girls sobbing. The local cougars are out in force, drunk as lords, tottering on their high heels as they reach their hands forward hungrily. Theon wants to laugh, but instead he controls himself and sings out the next verse, his voice backed by Jon’s lower vocals.

Robb controls the bass guitar, the low throb a powerful growl holding up the base of the band. Gendry brings up the back with his drums, his strong arms flexing with effort as he flips his sticks in fancy tricks while playing. Theon doesn’t know how the guy is still dating Arya Stark; he can’t even count how many groupies would die to sit there and lick the dude’s biceps. Just his biceps.

Unreal.

He vaguely sees Jon flush as a girl in the front lifts her shirt up and flashes the stage. Nice tits, he thinks, trying to stay focused on the music.

It gets hard sometimes. So many girls. So many out there acting like Theon’s king of the world. Goes straight to his head and sometimes straight to his cock.

Their pyrotechnician sets off a few rows of flames, heating up the stage impressively. The crowd roars its approval. The Drowned Wolves may not be the biggest band in history (and certainly not that successful) but they do know how to put on a good show. They are nearly a local legend, to hear Theon tell it.

When their set is finished for the night, Theon can’t tear the grin from his face. The crowd loves him and the feeling is incredible. On the stage with everyone cheering, he feels as though he is on a skyscraper, looking down at thousands of people crying with adoration, so in love with him.

Sweat drips down his back and Theon’s light eyes sweep over the crowd casually. He’s soaking it in, because there is no other feeling like it.

Now on to the hard part- the band party room and picking just one or two girls for the night.

And there will be so many choices, Theon thinks as he flicks his pick into the crowd of wailing girls.

Theon doesn’t wait to watch as the girls descend to the ground like a pack of lionesses fighting for a carcass. It’s just a guitar pick.

He descends with Robb down into the band room, grabbing a bottle of Jack off the nearest table. He takes a long pull from the bottle before Robb grabs it, grinning as he takes a few sips as well. Jon has that gloomy look on his face per the usual and Theon laughs, because he’s pretty sure that the ladies scare the crap out of the guy.

Gendry is already fighting off the groupies, trying to maneuver his way around them the best he can. He’s not very successful, too big of a guy, but Theon guesses it’s the thought that counts to Arya. It doesn’t take long for the music to start playing and the shots to start getting poured.

Theon is seven whiskey shots deep when he notices a few girls hanging off every word he slurs. He does what any self-respecting man would do; he grabs one and goes to get better acquainted. 

“Leaving already?” Gendry asks, still pretty lucid.

Theon gestures drunkenly to the girl next to him and grins. Gendry’s facial expression changes, but Theon’s vision is so blurry he can’t even tell what it has changed to.

“So, sweet cheeks, what’s your name?” Theon doesn’t hear what she says, but that suits him just fine, because he really doesn’t care anyway.

Just another face without a name to fade into the blur.

The rest of the night swirls by in a fog and Theon is happy for the escape. He’s so ripped he barely remembers his own name. Sometimes, it’s better that way.

He never amounted to much without the band, to tell the truth.

The truth always hurts.


 

Robb Stark isn’t all that surprised when his cell phone starts ringing a few short moments after ten in the morning. He sighs and picks up his phone, he doesn’t even need to see the name spread out across the top or the face with the silly grin that accompanies the caller’s ID. Robb knows who it is, hell, he knew this call would happen before he passed out drunk four short hours ago.

The alcohol is still flooding his veins.

“Where are you?” Robb asks, coughing a little to clear his sleep filled throat.

 Theon is whispering ridiculously on the other end of the line. “I don’t know yet, I’m still looking for all of my clothes. Why did you let me go home with this…thing? She’s not even a six in my book!”

Nearly choking on laughter, Robb pulls on his shoes and grabs his keys. “Well, you seemed really into her at the time…”

Robb pulls the phone away from his ear briefly as Theon hisses into the phone in outrage. “What kind of a friend are you?!”

“I’m the friend that knew I would be saving your arse this morning- and I knew last night. Hurry up and get outside and find me an address so I can come get you.”

“You prick,” Theon states blandly, “I’ll text it to you soon. Fuck the underwear, I can’t find it.”

“Girl probably stole it,” Robb chuckles, wincing as his hangover lashes out and causes his head to ache with the laughter.

“Hoes. Always after my D. Not that I can blame them,” Theon continues whispering, the sound of him slipping out of the house barely audible to Robb’s ears.

Frankly, Robb doesn’t know how the girls stand Theon, so there must be something to the dick stories. The guy never treated girls right, never had a long-term relationship. If Robb were blunt, he would guess that he is Theon’s longest relationship, being best friends.

That probably doesn’t count, but it’s a nice thought.

The Stark’s are the closest thing to family that Theon has. His mother is dead, went mad or some shit. His father never wanted Theon around the house, not after his brothers died. Theon was just a reminder of everything that could have been and everything that was already lost.

The sensitive youngest son, always looking for approval and never finding it.

Robb knows there’s a hole there in the center of Theon’s chest. The guy never speaks of it, but the rejection of his own family digs at him like needles, hooks that never let go. Robb isn’t one to exploit a friend, but all that past drama and sorrow put their first album out there for everyone to see.

They went from being a garage band to a widely loved local rock band nearly overnight.

Theon wrote songs that tore at the heart, songs that made girls go nuts over him, thinking that the Theon they would meet would be the one they heard in his music. Some tragic fucking soul that they all wanted a chance to fix. The only problem was that Theon’s pride never allowed him to show that wounded side.

Theon Greyjoy prefers to pretend that he’s the biggest dick in a hundred-mile radius instead.

Robb drives to the intersection that Theon specifies, almost laughing when he sees how rough the guy looks. He finally bursts out laughing when Theon stumbles into the car with his shoelaces untied. His sea green eyes are bleary with alcohol, pain, and sleep. “Go. Like right now. I don’t want her to catch me.”

“Fleeing another conquest?”

“You didn’t see this girl.”

I didn’t, but Gendry did.”

Theon grimaces and adjusts his junk in his jeans. He snags Robb’s sunglasses from the dash and puts them on, an air of injustice hanging about him. “That bastard.”

They arrive at Robb’s house shortly after, both Gendry and Jon already there looking worse for wear. Theon eyes Gendry and scowls. Gendry grins widely. The shit knew what he did.

Fighting hangovers, they begin practice again, just a usual jam session to try and get their minds off their aching skulls and nauseous bellies. It doesn’t go well, but they like to think their effort counts.

Sometime later, Arya stops by with a look of distaste on her face. Theon is pretty sure she always has a look of distaste on her face. He can’t understand why Gendry would tie himself to her and only her. So many other girls out there…

“Hey, did you guys see the latest reports about your show last night?” Arya moves to sit in Gendry’s lap, her pixie haircut wild.

Wiggling his eyes at her suggestively, just to watch her get uppity, Theon leers. “Not a chance, I was a little busy last night, if you get what I mean.”

Gendry chokes.

“I saw the daily mag come out. Magazine on the corner sound shop,” Jon says drolly, hidden behind his giant white sunglasses.

He tosses the small local magazine over to Theon who eagerly snatches it up. It never ceases to make his day when the local mags sing his praises. Outside of the band, hell, before the band, no one had ever said Theon did anything worthwhile. Let alone anything worth praise.

He needed it. He needed it like water. Like air.

Flipping to their page, Theon speed reads, eager to read about himself. The further he reads, the more his stomach sinks sickly.

“Do you see what they wrote?” Theon says with great indignation.

Robb leans over and grabs the magazine from Theon’s furious hands. “Well, let me read it before you crush it.”

Gendry runs his hands through his dark hair and sighs. “It can’t be that bad. Did they insult your fashion sense? Didn’t like your new tattoo?”

Theon doesn’t respond, but simply glowers in Gendry’s general direction. Arya glares back.

Clearing his throat, Robb reads aloud the words from the magazine. “Another packed show, another night of sensational entertainment, another night of Jon Snow and Theon Greyjoy singing uninspired lyrics from their latest album. Lots of flash, but no substance.”

Uninspired. They called my fucking lyrics uninspired!” Theon’s so mad he could spit fire.

“I’m not sure why they had to drag me into it. I don’t write them,” Jon mutters darkly, taking a long pull from his beer.

Theon takes a brief moment to admire the fact that Jon is trying to cure his hangover with more poison. It’s straight out of Theon’s own book.

Robb shrugs his shoulders slowly. “I mean. They have a point.”

Seeing red momentarily, Theon cranes his head slowly to look at his oldest friend. “What?”

Handing the magazine back to Theon, Robb sits back down on the arm of the black leather couch. “Your old lyrics held more meaning to you, didn’t they? Loss of family, betrayal, the violence of the Greyjoy family history. The new stuff…well.”

Hands tightening into fists, Theon stares Robb down. “Spit it out, why don’t you?”

“He’s trying to say the new lyrics are sell-out crap,” Jon offers helpfully with that low growl of his.

Standing up abruptly, Theon glares around the room and throws the magazine on the ground, stepping on it. “Well, fuck them,” and then he points at Robb, Jon, and Gendry in turn, “and fuck you, fuck you, and fuck you, especially you.”

“Theon…” Robb calls after him exasperatedly.

“My lyrics are great,” Theon hollers as he storms out. “I’m the fucking shit!”

Jon just rolls his eyes, hidden behind his sunglasses. “Why is he in this band?”

Robb punches him in the shoulder. “Because sometimes he writes some really mess-up-your-mind lyrics. But mostly because he’s our brother.”

Jon nods. “Mostly that.”

 


 

In the silence of his apartment, Theon fumes.

The ache in his head isn’t any better, nor is the exhaustion in his bones, but he pulls out his bottle of Makers quick enough. He sits in his lazyboy and glowers at the ceiling, cursing out everyone he can think of.

It can’t be his fault. It’s not his fault that they didn’t get a stellar review. He’s better than that. Everyone knows he is. He’s not a failure.

The boil of rejection is close to his heart and it stings. They looked down on him, like he’s nothing, saying his lyrics are sell outs, that he’s out for a quick fix.

And maybe he is. Out for a quick fix, that is. His shoddy apartment is empty of personality, as vacant as he feels when he is alone with no one to pretend to. Alone with his thoughts is the worst time spent, because he’s his own worst critic.

Sometimes, he thinks he hates himself. The Stark’s tolerated him during his teenage years. His father hated him, there had to be a reason for that after all. He’s twenty-seven now and it’s been a downward spiral for as long as he can remember.

Why hasn’t he hit a bottom yet? Does one exist?

He dials a number on his phone and smiles numbly when he gets an almost immediate answer. Maybe he won’t be so alone after all. He can’t stand being alone. He can’t stand who he is and hates who he isn’t.

When Kyra arrives, she is carrying her duffel bag with her. “You know I have work tonight, right? I can’t just jump when you call.”

Yet, you always do, Theon thinks smugly.

“You already finished your shift at the bar…didn’t think it would be a problem.”

She’s the closest thing he has to a girlfriend, if he really thinks about it. She always comes back to him, even when he treats her poorly, even when he sleeps with other women at the drop of the hat. Kyra always told him that when he was ready to truly commit, she would be right there waiting.

The problem was, she could be waiting for a long while.

She sits down on his lap and strokes his hair, pursing her lips. She knows something is wrong, she always seems to know when he’s busting at the seams. “I have another job…at the Bolton club on Main.”

Shock barely registers in Theon’s buzzed state. “The Bolton club on Main? Like Roose Bolton’s kinky ass bar? What was that place called again? Not the fucking Dreadfort is it?”

Everyone knows about Roose Bolton. The man owns multiple banks and multiple clubs around the city. He has his hands in anything shady on top of that. He has a reputation, a dark one. His bastard is apparently the stuff of nightmares, but a fucking rich one. They were old money, just as old as the Stark family. The difference is, the Bolton’s are still known for their ambition and the fact that they would attain their ends by any means possible.

No matter what the cost.

The Greyjoy family is an old family, but an old family in shambles. They are nothing like the big names like Stark and Bolton. The Greyjoy family fell into disrepair while the Bolton family grew in wealth and infamy.

“Why would you work in a club owned by him?”

Kyra shrugs. “It pays well. You should come by sometime. Might, ah…loosen you up a bit.”

Theon isn’t opposed to clubs. Just another place to become a face, one that the ladies can’t resist. “What kind of club is it? Something really freaky I bet.”

She whispers it in his ear and Theon jerks away from her, snickering. “What? You spank wrinkly men for fun?”

“I do not! You should still come check it out.”

Sneering at her, Theon says, “Why would I do that? I’m not dressing up in some leather getup. I’m not a weirdo.”

Why would he go to such a freakshow place when he can barely keep his own normal, functioning mask in place?

Hurt flashes across her face briefly, but Theon barely notices. She grips his chin and moves it side to side, as if shaking his head. “I heard about the articles they wrote about the band. They are calling you a sellout. Maybe you need to spend some time with yourself. The club can be very cathartic…and I know you carry a lot of sorrow in you.”

Theon scoffs. “Oh yeah, I’ll release my repressed emotions after some giant broad spanks me. Be real, Kyra.”

Rolling her eyes at him, Kyra grabs her duffle bag and enters the bathroom, getting dressed from the sound of it. Leather, I bet, Theon thinks amusedly.

“I’d set you up with Dany, the Breaker of Chains. She’s new, but she works great with beginners.”

Breaker of Chains? Give me a break, Theon thinks, mentally rolling his eyes in disbelief.

However, Theon considers that a good-looking woman spanking him can’t be a bad thing. If anything, it could end up in the bedroom later. 

“Fine, I’ll fucking go. I’m bored anyway.”

 


 

The club is dark, thrumming with a low bass line and agony in the undercurrents. A well-endowed woman brushes past Theon, smelling of latex and leather, dragging a young man behind her on a leash. Theon raises his eyebrows in surprise and merely keeps wading through the crowd. His eyes drift up and he notices some people tied up, suspended from the ceiling with ropes, which doesn’t look too awful aside from that one girl trapped in an all latex suit, hanging like a broken bird.

There are people in cages, naked, legs spread wide. Their feet appear shackled to the bottom of the iron cages as they look down on all the club goers beneath them. Theon hasn’t seen something this wild in a club before. Intriguing.

Making his way to the bar, Theon sits down and orders a whiskey, one ice cube. A small woman in a business suit is kneeling on her shins on top of one side of the bar, ropes winding around her body, contorting her chest down to her knees and her hands on her back. She is lapping at a bowl of wine as a man watches her from his bar seat. Theon grins widely.

He can’t believe he is here, he feels like all eyes are on him, like he doesn’t belong.  Or maybe they just recognize him, he’s a pretty recognizable fellow, after all.

He preens momentarily to himself at the thought. Bitches love him. Bitches love his cock.

“Arrogant smile, false sense of importance. You must be Theon.” The voice is smooth, yet bearing a patronizing air.

Theon swivels on his seat and finds himself face to face with a woman with long silver hair and eyes of violet. She is certainly exotic, but her beauty is slightly marred by the fact that she is looking down her nose at him. “Let me guess,” Theon says sarcastically, “You must be the Breaker of Balls.”

Her violet eyes narrow slightly, though her slight smile does not change. “Dany, Breaker of Chains.”

Theon shrugs his shoulders and smirks smugly. “My bad.”

She crowds into his space slowly and he can smell her perfume. It’s something elegant, fruity with a hint of vanilla. He likes it well enough. “Kyra told me you were looking for something…to give you inspiration again. Help you release many of your pent-up emotions.”

“Are you my shrink, lady?”

Dany’s eyes only darken further and she grabs him by the chin roughly. “Come over to my platform and find out, won’t you?”

Her eyes are mesmerizing and she’s beautiful enough to make him want more, to at least see what she can do.

This is how he ends up finding himself bent over a platform, his arms stretched out in front of him with his wrists tied. Dany is very calm and cordial as she explains how things work, rules and such. They agree on a safeword, but Theon secretly thinks the whole concept is bullshit. As if this slip of a woman could actually make him that concerned, worried for his own safety. What a laugh.

They start out lightly enough, Dany tying him in different contortions, showing her control over him. The only problem that Theon finds with it is the fact that he is just playing along, he already knows he doesn’t recognize her as any sort of authority. She’s just another pretty face with a bitchy attitude. She has the control that Theon allows her to have.

It ruins the illusion.

“Harder,” Theon snaps after they move on to a hard paddle, Dany spanking him laughably.

His rear is probably red, and yes, it stings, but it isn’t what he needs. It’s not enough. Theon feels like he is waiting for something more, like he’s waiting for a game to start, but it never does. Another blow falls, causing him to flinch at the momentary pain, but he’s bored. He’s himself. This isn’t the emotionally changing experience Kyra told him about.

This isn’t mind-searing tragedy, burning his mind into pieces so that nothing remains.

“Can’t you hit harder, I’m counting sheep over here,” sneers Theon, trying to glower over his shoulder.

Dany digs her hand into his hair and kneels down next to him. Her fingernails scratch deep into his scalp as her hand tenses. Her eyes blaze furiously and her lip is curled. “I physically can’t hit you harder. Nor would I want to. I’m not looking for your agony, I’m looking for you to let go and let me take over for you.”

“I’m not letting you take over shit.”

Her lips remain frozen in their not-quite-a-smile shape. “You certainly don’t make things easy on yourself. I can see straight into your fucking mask. I don’t scare you enough, do I? I know someone who can. If you are looking for horror, I know who you’re better suited to.”

After she unties him with a glare, she points him in the direction of the downstairs. Down the stone stairway lit dimly with a red glowing light, aggressive and bloody. “The Master you are looking for is in the last door in the first hall.”

Pulling up his pants, Theon buckles his belt and marches himself away from the platform, not giving the Breaker of Chains another glance. If he had looked at her, he would have seen a look of pity on her face. He sees a few club goers around them, the ones who had been observing, give him looks of distaste. They are looking at him like he’s a disappointing child who’s proven he’s no good. Well, shit, Theon is acquainted with that well enough. Mustering his most venomous look, Theon flicks them off, saying, “Shows over, fucks. Get a life, stop watching mine.”

He saunters down the stairs, absently rubbing a hand across his rear. There are couples hanging about the walls, locked in amorous engagements. Theon rolls his eyes, already cursing himself for not getting a fucking lay after going through all of this crap.

“Theon? Where are you going?”

Theon turns and sees Kyra leading a man towards one of the other non-descript doors. She is looking at him with great concern on her face. Theon shrugs and jerks his head towards the far hall. “The Breaker of Balls sent me to a different ‘master’. She thinks I’m a pain in the ass, I can tell. She couldn’t handle this.” He grabs his crotch in a most rude fashion.

Kyra doesn’t laugh like she normally would. She eyes the next hall darkly. “Theon…just go home. You won’t like what you find in that hall.”

Chuckling, Theon says, “Oh come off it! You told me to come try this place, I’m trying it to its fullest.”

“I’m serious,” she snaps.

Eyeing the man beside her, measuring him, Theon idly responds, “It’s okay, babe. I’m a big boy.”

Leading her companion into the next room, Kyra says ominously, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Moving down another hall, he sees a dark, rusty red door at the end of the way. Two men stand outside the door, smoking. “I thought this was a no smoking establishment,” Theon snarks, looking down at the two poorly groomed men.

One guy, a blonde, spits as he looks Theon up and down dubiously. “Are you lost, Princess?”

Widening his eyes mockingly, Theon says, “Uh, no. The Breaker of Balls sent me here. New master for me, she says. Her slaps and paddles just weren’t cutting it.”

The two men look at each other, dark amusement in their eyes. “You’re new here. You’re in the wrong place, boy. Walk back up those stairs and march yourself back to the Dragon Queen.”

Theon shoves one of them roughly. “I’m not fucking lost, you troll.”

The cruel humor slides off of their faces. The blonde man shrugs and steps aside. “Suit yourself. Don’t say we didn’t try to do you any favors, Princess.”

As Theon walks past and swings the door open, he hears one of the men sneer, “Watch your face, pretty boy.”

He doesn’t have much time to ponder the words as he stares into the darkness ahead of him, missing the sign above the door that says, “Our Blades Are Sharp”.

The room is covered in darkness aside from a single chair in the center of the room. A single red light is on directly above the chair, shining aggressive light down onto it and the black latex mask on the chair. Theon can see nothing else about the room and it makes him hesitate in the doorway.

“Step in.” The voice is low, a command if Theon ever heard one.

The other thing Theon notices about the voice makes his nose wrinkle with distaste. “You’re a man.”

“Very good. You’re so astute. Step in. Now.” The note of sarcasm is laced with danger and Theon still can’t see anything else in the room.

He has no idea who is waiting for him and it makes him uncomfortable. Theon doesn’t like being made uncomfortable, not fucking one bit.

With dark impatience, the voice says, “Are you simply stupid or are you afraid? If you’re too afraid to enter, you’ve come to the wrong place, boy.”

Boy? Who is this asshole, Theon thinks, fury strengthening his resolve. No one calls him a fucking coward. Shoving down his nerves, the ones screaming not to enter the dark lair, Theon steps into the room and walks forward a few steps, trying to see into the darkness.

The door slams behind him loudly, metal on metal, screeching like a banshee. With that, the sounds of the club above disappear. He can’t even hear the steady thrum of the bass through the walls. There is only darkness and silence.

“The hood. Put it on.”

There is nothing in the world that Theon would like to do less. He steps a few feet closer to the chair and notices that the latex mask is indeed a hood, one that would cover his entire face. No eyeholes, nose holes, nothing. Nothing but sense deprivation.

Everything inside of Theon screams no, recoils away from the horrifying hood. The warning bells are going off in his head like the wail of an ambulance siren.

“Put. It. On. Then kneel with your arms behind your back.”

Theon inhales deeply. Same old game, same old ‘kneel’ and ‘may I have another’. This is just all part of the act, the scene. The hood is the only thing different here. That and the one wielding the power. Or the one who thinks they have the power, anyway. They only have what Theon gives them. With shaking hands, Theon grasps the latex hood, feeling something curl up and die inside of him as his fingers touch the material.

The hood isn’t even on his head yet and already he feels like he is suffocating.

He’s not going to like this and he already knows it. Then why can’t you stop? Why can’t you turn around and walk the fuck out?

He curses himself and his stupid pride. He’s not a coward.

Could you be looking for a real thrill? Are you scared? Really scared? Does that excite you, you freak? Theon mentally curses himself, hating the thought track his mind has fallen onto.

Letting out a shaky breath, Theon struggles to pull the hood over his face, trying to contain his fear. The hood is tight, like a well fitted mask, only he can’t see anything out of it and can barely breathe through it. It grips his face tight and though he has never been claustrophobic, he fears he might be after this.

Out of nowhere, a force slams into the back of Theon’s legs, sending him down to his knees roughly. He is so unprepared, so unable see and he has no time to brace the impact with his hands. His kneecaps groan as they hit the cement hard. Theon curses loudly, trying to channel the pain away from himself.

“My apologies. I thought I told you to kneel.” The tone is almost conversational, like they are just having fucking tea instead of standing in a fucking murder room.

Theon can barely tell where the man is in the open space. The hood dampens all of his senses and heightens his fear beyond anything he has felt in the club before. He can’t see and can barely breathe; the atmosphere is swallowing him alive, like Theon is sinking in quicksand.

His heart is pounding in his ears.

In a desperate grab to regain some form of sanity or safety rail, Theon begins to babble. “Listen, there has to be some rules, doesn’t there? Right? You can’t touch my face-”

The moment the words leave his mouth, Theon is hit by a train, a hit that knocks him sideways with a burst of red hot flame along his right cheekbone.

The shock of being struck is drowned out by the fact that someone just backhanded him across the face so hard that he shakes. It is almost like a welcome hello, only this man is introducing his strength. “Hey asshole! Don’t you know who I am!?” Theon snarls, false bravado coloring his voice.

“I don’t care who you think you are.”

Breathing heavily into the mask, Theon raises a hand to his aching face, absenting tonguing his teeth to make sure none are missing. “You can’t touch my face. I work in the public-”

A knee crashes into the middle of his back, out of nowhere, causing Theon to holler in agony. The man keeps his knee in his back, pressing him forward onto his stomach. “You see, I keep hearing you tell me what I can’t do. You don’t seem to be getting the picture that there is nothing I can’t do to you here. You crawled in here looking for me and you’re going to crawl out when I say so. And you will crawl, that I can assure you.”

Theon’s mind spins madly. This can’t be fucking legal! He struggles violently, trying to get up onto his feet, but the iron strength behind him keeps him pinned. For a moment, his inhales and exhales become so labored, so wild that he can barely get air, the latex suffocating him.

If he could see, he would have been seeing stars across his vision. His limbs start to go numb and Theon shakes uncontrollably. Air isn’t coming and he’s going to fucking pass out with some fucking monster standing on his back.

A warm, strong hand covers the back of his neck. “I need you to breathe slower.”

Panting, Theon gasps out, “I…I can’t. I fucking can’t breathe. Please…”

“Say please again and you won’t like what I do. Breathe slower. Now.”

Fighting unconsciousness, Theon tries to breathe deep and slow the best he can, feeling his heart racing in his chest. It takes a few minutes of him gasping like a dying fish, but eventually air reaches his lungs again and the sensation of being faint alleviates slightly.

A gentle pat on his head. “Good boy. Seems you can listen? Not totally useless after all.”

The pat makes Theon feel like a dog and the word useless has him thinking of the way his father always looked at him like he was nothing but the dirt under his feet. The memory burns in Theon’s stomach, tossing and turning his dinner sickly.

“Let’s start with something simple and see how you behave.”

Something simple? What the hell was all of that then?

The man moves away from Theon, walking away to rifle through something on the other side of the room. Then, all goes silent once more, as if the man has left. Only, the door never screeches open, so Theon knows the man is still there, watching him. Watching him sweat like a scared bitch.

Sick fuck is probably enjoying it too.

There comes a strange whistle through the air, almost like something being thrown. It only takes a few moments for Theon to register that it is something in the man’s hand, something thin because it connects with his clothed back with a flash of agony, red sparking in his latex blocked vision. The scream that tears from Theon’s throat is more shocked than outraged.

In quick succession, three more strikes land loudly on Theon’s back, nearly stealing the air from his lungs with sheer pain.

His back burns as if on fire and he’s never felt something like this before. The blows were ten times the strength of the female doms in the club and even faster. Gritting his teeth against the pain, Theon spits out, “I’m-”

“Nothing. You. Are. Nothing.” The voice is emotionless, as if he hadn’t just beaten the crap out of Theon’s back with a horse whip.

You’ve always been nothing, haven’t you, Theon’s thoughts tell him traitorously.

Theon wants to breathe without the damn mask, he wants to see who is doing this to him, who makes him feel like a child standing before his father once more, pain and all.

“Can you take this damn mask off me?” Theon snaps weakly, his nerves racing.

He sounds like something straight out of Star Wars, his voice muffled through the latex hood.

He doesn’t like that he can’t see this man. His veins feel like fire as his heart pounds in his chest. The sensation makes him feel like an animal, helpless on the forest ground, wondering what predator lurks in the dark, waiting to pounce.

“I have no interest in seeing your eyes.” A soft whistling sound briefly cut the silence and Theon flinches, expecting another blow.

This time, it’s something worse. His shirt sleeve is moved to the side and the sensation of ice cold kisses his shoulder, then stinging pain. The feeling is so different that it takes Theon a moment to realize the man is cutting him with a knife. “You sick fuck! What do you think you’re doing?”

The soft sound comes again and now Theon can already visualize the blade swirling around the other man’s fingers, deftly, like some sort of demonic surgeon.

There is silence for a moment, aside from Theon’s ragged gasping. Then-

“Are you a Momma’s boy? You act like one. So self-important. Disgusting.”

Raging, Theon tries to crawl away from the man behind him. “My mother is dead. Try again, freak.”

“She is? Well. That changes things. You act self-important because you already know you are nothing. Worthless. Useless.”

Theon winces at the word, hearing his father yelling it at him on repeat.

You are worthless, useless useless useless useless useless useless useless….

The blade caresses his neck, making Theon go still. “That leaves dear old Daddy. Never loved you much, did he? I think I can see why. You’re pathetic, talking big talk like you can back it up. Hiding like the sad little boy you are behind big tough words.”

Trying to not move least he get cut, Theon grits out, “Shut up. You know dick.”

“If I know dick, is that why yours is hard in your jeans? I bet that’s the first jolly you’ve gotten all night.”

Horror crawls down Theon’s spine. He contemplates his body and realizes the man is right; his cock is hard, his heart pounding out of fear. Against all that he knows, Theon hasn’t felt this sort of arousal before, mixed with terror and thrill.

The idea that he cannot stop what happens to him only seems to bring his sick libido more ecstasy. You’ve always been such a freak, Theon thinks with mortification.

He’s never hated himself more than in this moment.

“I’m not a fucking faggot,” Theon stutters out, hating how his voice quivers with his nerves.

There is a soft scoff and though Theon can’t see through the hood, he can feel that the man has his face close beside Theon’s. The hand on his neck his strong and hot, so different than that of a woman’s and it terrifies him more than he thought it would.

There comes a whisper beside his ear. “Neither am I. I have no interest in male subs. Yet, here you are.”

Panting hard into the hood, panicking due to the lack of air the latex allowed, Theon feels a wave of dizziness hit him like a hammer. “This was a mistake,” he croaks out.

A sharp laugh close to the back of his neck makes him flinch violently. “You’re here because you’re looking for something more. You think I have what you’re looking for.”

Theon shakes his head back and forth, fighting nausea. He can’t fucking breathe. “I’m not. I’m not looking for anything!”

A firm hand grabs him suddenly by the face and a cry breaks out of Theon’s lips, terrified he can’t control what happens next. “Admit it. You asked for harder, harder, harder, and no one could fill that ask. No one but me. I can give you what you’re looking for and more.”

“I’m not looking for anything!” Theon cries out, trying to twist away. “This was all a mistake!”

Everything is going red in his mind, his back on fire and his shoulder warm with the gentle drip of blood as it streaks down his bicep.

A hand covers his nose over the hood briefly, cutting off much of his remaining air. “Don’t lie. Not to me.”

“The truth is, you’re a freak and I don’t want any of this,” Theon chokes out, his panic beginning to settle in once more.

“Then why are you here?” The hand on his neck tightens and Theon grapples with it, begging the invisible man to stop.

He doesn’t and soon Theon can barely get air to his burning lungs.

Moments pass in a swirl of noises like an animal dying and grappling. Theon twists as hard as he can, but he can’t escape his fate. The man will not let up. He won’t let Theon breathe, because he doesn’t want him to.

It doesn’t take long for him to realize he has no control here in this room. There is nothing he can do to prevent what is happening. Nothing he can say to sway this man from his iron course. He fights and struggles against his opponent, but time and time again he is crushed into submission. The other man cannot be unseated from his throne of domination. Ridiculously, the fear peaks in Theon and suddenly burns out in a flash.

Theon can’t fucking breathe and maybe it doesn’t matter anymore. His back screams in agony, blurring into a red emotion that makes his cock swell inexplicably.

His body sags and gives up, his mind crumbles and kneels. He’s not responsible, he’s left his body, he’s given his agency up. He’s left it in the hands of this stranger, this man with his icy voice.

The moment of calm leads into darkness and then Theon knows no more.

 


 

When he wakes, he is lying on a cot with threadbare sheets. He sits up, rubbing his face, trying to feel if it’s still there. He had a horror-show thought upon waking that the latex hood might have become one with his flesh, never to be removed, that he would become this thing with no identifying features. The idea of it has Theon shaking, his anxiety pumping his heart into overtime. It takes a few moments of feeling his face to convince himself that the latex hood is gone and Theon shudders in relief. He takes a moment to take a mental catalogue of his body, fearful that he’s broken. His throat hurts something fierce and his back aches, a dull throb now.

“How are you feeling? Do you need water?” Kyra appears beside him, looking down at him with worried eyes.

Theon tries to speak, but only a gurgle comes out. Panicking, he tries to speak again but nothing comes out.

Kyra only nods sadly, her eyes wet. “Don’t try to speak. He didn’t crush it, but he did…ah…bruise you pretty bad. You’re in the recovery room, if that’s what you’re wondering.”

Isn’t it his job to make sure I’m okay after all that bullshit, Theon thinks furiously.

Seeing the anger in his eyes, Kyra runs her fingers through his sweaty hair sadly. “I told you that you wouldn’t like what you found.”

Who is he? Theon wants to know. He’s never wanted to know something more. Who is the man in the dark room, the first man since his father to ever put fear in his heart?

He hits hard. Theon isn’t even sure he’s been hit that hard in his life and he’s not sure how he feels about that.

As if hearing his thoughts, Kyra gives him a small sip of water from a bottle. “Don’t see him again, Theon. Please don’t.”

Who is he?

Theon fears he will never know.

All Theon can think about as he looks in the mirror, taking in the dark bruising on his cheekbone and the devastation that is his throat is: how will I sing?

 


 

Am I the man that I promised to be
Did I let you down, tarnish your crown
Cause everything is wrong, everything is wrong

"Everything’s Wrong" - All That Remains