It’s only a few days before Until You’re Mine – Part Two of the Requested Trilogy goes live! I can’t wait to share it all with you!
Here’s a sneak peek of chapter one. . .
CHAPTER ONE – REQUESTOR
I bang on the doors, causing them to rattle in their hinges. I try the handles again, pulling down and yanking hard, but they won’t budge.
“Father!” I roar.
If I calmed down, if I silenced myself, I would be able to hear his muttered words through the doors, but I am beyond that point now. The need to know what has happened consumes me, the pressure inside my chest enveloping my being until I want to burst from my skin and rip the doors off their hinges like a fucking monster.
“Fath—” I’m cut short by the doors finally opening and my father appearing in their place.
“Keep it down, Junior. You’ll worry your mother.”
The anger inside seethes at his words and I take a measured step toward him. “What happened to her?” The words are hissed through my clenched jaw.
Father takes a step back, just one, but with it I see his hesitation. I see it flick across his eyes. In this moment, my father is scared of me.
And he should be. I tower above him in height. I spend hours in the gym developing my strength. He is nothing compared to me. He is old and wrinkled and weak.
Well, he would be wrinkled if he hadn’t injected his face with too much poison. Even as he looks at me now with fear licking his irises, his expression is impassive, vacant. Just like the rest of him. Regaining his composure, he pushes past me.
“She’s fine,” is all he says.
Fine? She’s fine? I just heard him talking to Ryker, the man who has my songbird, and he used the word ‘wounds’. ‘Wounds’ is not fine. ‘Wounds’ implies pain, damage, brokenness.
My jaw aches with how hard I’m clenching it as I follow him through the maze that is our house. “What happened to her? If Ryker has hurt her or done any—”
“Ryker has done nothing but his job,” my father snaps.
I picture Ryker in my mind, his smirked-filled face, his stupid tattoos and scruffy beard, and then I think of my hands wrapped around his neck, squeezing and squeezing until his face reddens and he’s clawing at my fingers, desperation filling his eyes as he realizes that this is it. He will die by my hand. Literally.
My father’s voice snaps me out of my fantasy. “I won’t be telling you anything until you calm down.”
I stop walking and take in a deep breath, counting to ten. Apparently, it’s supposed to help. It doesn’t. My blood still pulses in my veins. My chest thuds with the trapped beat of my heart. My skin tingles.
“I’m calm,” I tell him. I’m not, but to all outward appearances, I am. I’ve trained myself to be this way. Trained myself to hide the truth of the monster that simmers within.
“It wasn’t Ryker.” My father stops in the hallway, leaning against the wall as he speaks to me. His voice is lowered, hushed. “It was Marcel.”
The humming sound of blood increases and I have to step closer to hear his next words.
“He broke into her cell last night.”
My songbird needs me. My sweet, sweet songbird has been touched by another man. Abused. And he will pay. Just the thought of it alone spikes my blood to boiling point again but I use all my strength to stop if from boiling over and dominating my actions.
“I need to see her.” I keep my voice low and controlled, matching my father’s.
He shakes his head. “It’s not a good idea at the moment. Give her a few weeks to heal.”
My anger leaps and I struggle to maintain control. “I want to see her!” I bellow, my rage barely contained. I ball my hands into fists, relishing the feel of my nails sinking into flesh.
“You know what you’re like, Junior. There is no way—”
The pain in the palms of my hands gives me something else to think about. Something to lessen the buzzing in my ears. “Do not tell me what I am like, Father. You cannot keep her from me. She is mine.”
“She will be yours,” my father corrects. “I will not have you putting our family at risk by having her here too early. Look at you now. Look at the way your body is trembling with anger. You’re barely holding it together. What if she were here? What if she were the one to piss you off?” He steps closer; any of the fear I saw in his eyes before has vanished. “What would you do to her?”
We glare at each other in the dark hallway, each waiting for the other to back down, step away. His gray eyes bore into my blue. But I am the one to relent. Until my father is gone, he is the one with the control. He is the one the staff listen to, the one who has the police in the palm of his hand, the one with friends in the right places.
Taking a step back, I cross my arms over my chest. “I want him dead.”
My father turns away, walking down the passageway. “Who?” He talks as though he’s already forgotten.
“Marcel.” My jaw aches.
“Because he hurt your girl? He’s not used to—”
“Not because he hurt her, because he touched her. She is mine. I agreed to your stupid stipulation that Ryker give her some basic training, but that brute, Marcel, was never supposed to be near her. He wasn’t supposed to know she existed. He must die.”
My father laughs. He laughs. And it infuriates me. This wouldn’t be happening if it were one of the whores from his collection. If someone had touched his beloved Lily without his permission, they would be dead without hesitation. Ryker would be called and the person, whoever they were, would be let go. Let go into the dirt.
“We are not a big operation, Junior. Marcel is valuable to us. When we bring the girls to auction there is a certain level of submission required, and Marcel excels at—”
“I don’t fucking care what he excels at or how valuable he is to your little operation. I want him dead.” My voice is an explosion, debris hitting the walls and igniting my veins, but my father merely narrows his eyes.
“Now if you’d only calm—”
“What if it were Lily?” I control my breathing, attempting to steady myself in the face of such disrespect.
My father sighs, admitting the small defeat. “I will call Ryker and discuss it.”
We’re in the kitchen now. My mother sits at a small table in the bay window, sipping on wine as the cooks scurry around her. Her lips are already stained and it’s only early afternoon.
I glare at the back of my father’s head, having visions of grabbing the cast-iron fry pan dangling from the rack above the bench and bashing it against his skull until he is nothing but a mess of blood and pulp on the floor.
My mother looks over at my father dispassionately. “What are you calling Ryker about, hmmm?” She does that. Adds a little hmmm onto most of her questions. It’s meant to disarm, meant to create suspicion and my father falls for it every time. Idiot.
He shifts uncomfortably, his eyes flicking to mine in some sort of warning. I don’t know why, though. My mother knows everything that goes on in this house. There is nothing hidden from her.
“Nothing you need to worry your pretty little head about, my love.” My father places a kiss on her cold cheek.
She rolls her eyes and looks over to me for an answer.
“Marcel touched something that’s mine.”
My mother blinks once and slides a strand of ice-blonde hair behind her ear. “Then he must die.” She shrugs, and I almost want to hug her. Almost, because I don’t like to be touched. It makes me feel trapped.
She doesn’t care about the staff scuttling around us, and from their lack of reaction, I guess there is no need to.
My father clears his throat, an attempt at a power-grab settling in his expression. “I will be the one who deci—”
My mother lifts a single brow to silence my father, and he walks out of the room, already pulling the phone from his pocket to call Ryker. I wish I had her power, the ability to bend him to my will with the simple movement of a brow.
Turning to me, my mother smiles and pats my cheek. “All better?” she asks.
I sit at the table next to her, slumping my head into my arms. Her hand rests on the back of my head and strokes my hair in an attempt to soothe me. It doesn’t. My anger is subsiding but not quickly enough. I keep envisaging Marcel with his hands around the neck of my songbird, his mouth on her lips, his—
I sit back up abruptly as my pulse starts to race again. My mother’s fingers are still tangled in my hair.
“Play for me, hmmm?”
“I don’t feel like it,” I snap back, blinking rapidly, trying to get the vision of my songbird with another man’s hands on her flesh out of my mind.
“But it will make you feel better.” Her fingernails are sharp on my scalp and I push into them, wishing her to claw harder. I don’t like to be trapped by touch, but this is okay.
“You can play anything you like.” She smiles sweetly. It’s a strange look on her. Not one I see that often. There’s a part of me that wants it to be genuine, but I know better.
“Fine,” I say like a petulant child.
Scooping her glass off the table, she glides out of the room, the translucent folds of her gown flowing behind her as a mist of silver. I follow meekly, through the warren of hallways until we get to the music room. Across the hall, the doors to my father’s office are closed again, though I can’t hear any voices now.
“What do you want to hear?” I take a seat at the grand piano, pushing my feet down on the pedals, testing their resistance.
“Play your emotions.” She leans against the lid of the piano, taking a sip from her glass of wine. “Play what’s inside you right now.”
I let my fingers settle over the ivory keys and listen to the song within my soul. It is dark and filled with rage.
My fingers start to move, finding their own way across the keys as if under no direction. I jump from bass to treble. Back and forth, slowly, adagio, gaining momentum until pausing before the main development, the climax. Then my fingers fly across the keys, increasing in tempo and passion, forte to fortissimo, until my entire body sways, my fingers hitting the keys with force. I finish triumphantly, already the music of ‘O Fortuna’ having worked its magic of transferring the torture of my soul to the ivory and the strings.
My mother looks at me impassively, one hand gently clapping the palm of her other. “Well,” she takes another sip of her wine as though the music hasn’t moved her at all, “you’re nothing if not dramatic, my dear.”
She turns on her heel, ready to walk away, but I call out to her, suddenly scared of being left alone with my thoughts.
“Would you like to hear another?”
Already, dismissal is etched on her face, but before she can leave, I press my fingers to the keys again, playing one of her favorites. My mother may not have a talented bone in her body, but she can appreciate good music when it suits her, and there is nothing she likes more than musical theatre. Ever since I was young, she’s dragged me along to every performance in the city. I never want to go. I hate the people around me, the way their bodies press to mine due to the closeness of the seats, the way they sit unmoved, but eventually that fades away as the music enraptures me.
Like ‘O Fortuna’, the theme song of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ doesn’t have the same gravitas as if performed on the pipe organ but I do what I can, watching as my mother’s eyes roll back in her head, her chest rising with the intensity of the music.
I mimic her, closing my eyes and picturing the day my songbird will be here, singing for me, my very own angel of music.
Find UNTIL YOU’RE MINE on Amazon here: viewbook.at/RequestedPart2