Escaping the Devil: Chapter Thirty-Two

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CONTENT WARNING

This story is rated Mature for adult language, sexual content, references to graphic violence, drug, and substance abuse. This means that this is intended for audiences 18 and up.


Trigger Warnings: Kidnapping


Everything came back to her in muddied pictures and sounds. She felt like she was being pulled from the abyss — dragged from the blessed depths and catapulted back into searing bright light. It was not a slow, gentle welcome back to suffering. Instead, it came screaming, like banshees descending upon the field of the slain. 

The rancor was an unfamiliar greeting. Coffee, sweat, the sharp tang of nicotine. She scraped her fingertips together, feeling the niggling agitation born of craving. She wanted one — needed one. But more importantly, she needed water.

Her tongue darted out to wet her parched lips. She tried to lift her hand to scrub the sleep from her eyes but found they were bound.

Typical.

Eli rolled her head in a small circle, relieved to at least feel the bones give with a satisfying pop. “Water.” 

“You’re awake,” an unfamiliar basso greeted. 

“You’re observant.”

He chuckled, appearing at her side like a mafioso poltergeist. His too-thin mouth spread into a smile, making his lips disappear. “Glad to see that you still have your wit,” he commented, slipping past her. His footsteps were soundless, padded by thick carpet. “I gave you a pretty nasty lump.”

As if on command, her temple throbbed. “Thanks for that,” she snarled.

“You’re welcome.”

He kept his back to her as he twisted the top off of a plastic bottle. The crinkling made her mouth water. Her throat burned with desperation. If her hands were free, she would have been grabbing for it when he made his return.

With insincere tenderness, he nudged her head backward and pressed the bottle to her lips. Her eyes fluttered closed. An unbidden grateful sound escaped her throat as water trickled past her lips and slid over her tongue. She didn’t care that it spilled down her chin and over the hollow of her throat. 

Her captor periodically stopped, allowing her a chance to catch her breath. Then, their eyes would meet, and her head would dip in silent consent for more. And he seemed happy to give it to her.

She took the moment to drink in the space. It was a seedy motel — dark wood and moldy ceiling tiles. A king-sized bed whose headboard had seen better days took up the bulk of the room. The top trim looked like it had been broken, glued back together, and haphazardly stuck back into place. 

When Eli drained the bottle, he stepped away from her, dropping the plastic into the wastebasket. 

“Your boyfriend will be here soon.”

She expected as much. Her teeth ground together as she stared him down. “He’s not my boyfriend.”

He let out a chuckle, his head shaking like he knew something she didn’t. Her stomach twisted when she realized that he likely did. 

“He owns you.” It was a matter-of-fact statement. One she was desperate to claw from his throat. 

“No one owns me.”

The stranger clicked his tongue. “That’s where you’re wrong. All of us are their property. You. Me.” 

She growled, her eyes flashing to her beast’s.

“Now, now,” he soothed, taking a seat at the end of the hotel bed. “You’re more than welcome to lose your temper, but I don’t want to be responsible for knocking a lady out twice in one day.”

Her head throbbed. She didn’t much like the idea, either. 

“You seem too soft to be one of Landyn’s lackeys.” 

He made a thoughtful noise, his head bobbing slightly as he considered her words. “I used to have a code,” he explained. “There used to be one we all adhered to. No women, no kids.”

“So you’re a relic.” 

His lips twisted into a not-quite smile. “An antique. You could say that. Yeah.”

Eli leaned forward, too aware of the bite of the ropes against her skin. “You could let me go.”

“Would if I could,” he smirked, raking his palms over his thighs. “Would if I could.”

“And why can’t you?”

He let out a sharp exhale. “Well, I would figure the answer is obvious.”

“If I’m asking, it’s because it isn’t.” A lie. But he seemed to understand the game she was playing — needing to hear him say it aloud. Forcing him to acknowledge a truth he’d rather ignore.

“It’s either you or me.”

Unflinching. Unsettling.

Her jaw worked as she leaned back in her seat. She twisted her arms until her palms were faced skyward. “You know I could break out of these.”

“They’re enchanted,” he replied without missing a beat. “I should have probably led with that.” 

Of course they are.

Eli groaned, letting her head fall back to rest against the back of the seat. “How much longer, then?”

“Until you’re collected?”

“Until I go back to Hell.”

Her captor grimaced, his shoulders lifting in a slight shrug. “A few hours. Landyn has to… be discreet.” 

A bark of laughter escaped her. “No one knows I’m missing?” 

He shook his head in the negative.

The ridiculousness didn’t seem to be lost on him, either. They shared a strange, congenial smile. 

“So, you must be someone he trusts.” 

He paused, giving her statement a long moment’s consideration. “No. But he trusts my service.” 

“One of the benefits of being an antique, then?” 

“I wouldn’t call it a ‘benefit’ so much as a perk.” 

She hummed, her eyes falling to a square protrusion from his pocket. “Do you think I can bum one?”

He nodded, leaning back to fish the pack out of his pocket. He produced one and lit it, holding it out for Eli to take. Before she could protest, he loosened her wrist and too quickly tethered her arm at the elbow to the chair. Her lips twisted in an infuriated grin, even as she drew in her first inhale. 

“You’re good.” 

“The best,” he admitted without a trace of an ego. 

“Where are your friends?”

“Chasing down yours.” 

Her jaw twinged, her head bobbing once as she drew another sharp inhale. “Are they some of the best?”

“Without a doubt.”

Eli closed her eyes and exhaled slowly. All she could do was hope Yui and Gunner would have better luck than she had.

“Do I get to know your name?” 

“Martin.” 

Slowly, she opened her eyes to inspect him. “You don’t look like a Martin.”

“I agree. But I didn’t get to pick it.” 

She chuckled, tapping the butt of her cigarette between her fingers. 

Ever-attentive, Martin produced a half-filled bottle of water, its contents a hideous brownish-orange. Cigarette butts floated on its surface, suspended in a sea of ash. She flicked the end of her cigarette, too aware of the thunderous sound of embers fizzling to death in the water. 

“You gave him a good run,” Martin said after what felt like an eternity. “I hope you enjoyed the freedom.”

“While it lasted,” she agreed, her eyes roving over his frame. “You said I got a few hours?”

He tensed, his spine growing straighter as he watched her wandering eyes. He seemed to know where she was going. Judging by the slight tilt of his head, he wasn’t entirely averse to it, either. 

Eli managed to repress a smirk, instead forcing her expression to remain impassive. 

“A few,” he agreed.

Her tongue swept over her lip, smoke leaking slowly through her parted lips. “Well, Martin,” she began, her alto adopting a succubus’ purr. “I have a proposition for you.” 

“You know I’m not going to untie you.” 

Her lips twisted in a temptress’ smile. “I wasn’t gonna ask you to.”

His brow quirked, his head tilted politely to the side, encouraging her to continue.

“I have a few hours before I go back to a life I hate with a man I tried to leave. But, as it turns out, running for your life leaves very little time for living. So.” She let her eyes wander over him, lingering deliberately at the strain she saw forming in his trousers. “What I’m suggesting is that you fuck me.”

He laughed. A startled, disbelieving sound. “You want me to fuck you?”

“Until I’m too tired to care,” she nodded, her tongue pressed to her eyetooth, the cigarette hovering just inches from her lips. 

Martin paused, considering it. They both knew it was just for show, especially with how his gaze grew heated, tracking over her body — her bound arms. 

Slowly, he unraveled himself from his position at the edge of the bed. “No funny business.”

“None,” she agreed solemnly. “Do you really think I’m going to ruin my one last chance at getting off?” 

It seemed like sound logic to him. He deftly moved to remove her restraints. She finished her cigarette, dropping it unceremoniously into their makeshift butt can with a crinkle and a sizzle. Martin was surprisingly gentle as he steered her to the bed. He had no choice but to leave her legs free, but her hands were still bound as he pinned her beneath him. She felt him between her thighs, aching and desperate already. 

His mouth raked over her skin — his scruff biting into the sensitive flesh of her neck. His hands wandered with the same deftness, tracing every groove and valley — the swell of her breasts and along the shapely joining of her thighs. Soon after, Martin rolled up her shirt to bare her chest to his ministrations. 

Eli whimpered, grinding hard against him when he took her nipple into his mouth. 

“You feel huge,” she praised, breathless and shivering under his explorations. 

“I’ve never had any complaints.” 

“I want to be the first.” She grinned — a smile that only broadened when he pulled back, looking confused. “To complain that it’s not in me yet.”

He grinned wolfishly, positioning himself on his knees. Those sure fingers trembled as she angled her hips upward, and he began working at the fastenings of her pants. Eli gripped the headboard, her fingers curling around the broken piece of trim. Just as she suspected, the piece was barely holding on. With just the slightest pressure, it began to pry apart.

Martin was too busy trailing kisses over the low valley of her abdomen to notice. Not until she broke off a piece wide enough to fit the palm of her hand. The edge was sharp.

Eli lifted her thigh as if to wrap it around his shoulder.

His hand found her throat, crushing her windpipe as he pinned her to the bed. “What are you doing?”



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