Hello! I have a guest author today! She's here promoting her latest work. It is hot hot hot. Everything here is PG 13 or less, but I think you get the idea!
I sank into the bath and sighed at the soothing heat. The bubbles were a nice touch too. The water made my wounds sting, but I welcomed the pain. For some reason, my mind equated that the pain meant all the cuts and abrasions were being cleaned. The large one on my knee ached particularly bad, but I’d survived far worse. That acknowledgement drew my gaze to my thigh and the sloppy crisscrossing of scars there.
My property. Just like the animal you are, Master Bryce growled in my ear.
I jumped, throwing my arms around myself and hugging my body tight. My eyes searched the room as I waited for him to walk into view, knife glinting in his hand. The room remained silent except for the racing thud of my heartbeat.
“He’s not here,” I whispered. “You aren’t with him anymore. He can’t hurt you.”
How dare you be so ungrateful. Master fed you!
“He starved me,” I protested. “Sometimes he wouldn’t let me eat for days.”
Master clothed you!
“I was only allowed to wear lingerie. He didn’t even allow me to wear shoes. That’s not clothing.”
Master sheltered you!
“Caged me,” I snarled at the voice.
You are nothing without Master!
Those words hit where it counted. I recoiled both mentally and physically, though I knew I’d never be able to outrun that voice. It sounded like my own, but different. Same voice, but robotic. Lifeless. A recording to remind me of all my failings and everything I would never be. Maybe it was my broken soul, shattered and stuck on repeat like a skipping CD.
“Yes, I am nothing,” I admitted, staring at the bubbles that floated on the surface of the water. “But if I try really hard, maybe I can fix myself and be something. Someone worthwhile. Maybe…”
The protests in my head died, as if the nefarious voice contemplated what I said. Or maybe it planned its next attack. Either way, it hushed without anyone else having to interfere, and I sent thanks to the Universe for the moment’s peace.
I didn’t want to linger too long in the bath, so I focused on washing up, including my hair. Once upon a time, I’d kept my hair long enough to touch my waist. Now it only brushed the tops of my shoulders. The first time I’d cut it, I’d done it to feel like I held control over at least one aspect of my life. When Master saw it, he told me I looked like an ugly boy. After that, I kept cutting it shorter and shorter. I think, deep down, I hoped if I cut it short enough, he would find me so unattractive he would quit seeking me out for sexual interaction.
Satisfied that I’d washed away the dirt and grime from the past few days, I let the tub drain and stepped out to towel off. Until the bath, I didn’t realize how much my muscles ached. Now that the heat soaked the soreness away, I could move a little more freely. It made drying off much easier, though my palms still smarted and my knees were raw.
I slipped into an oversized shirt that announced Do Not Disturb in metallic silver letters against a pink and black background. The contact of the clean garment against my skin sent a fresh prayer of gratitude from my lips at the luck that landed clothes in my lap. Clothes that covered me. Clothes that didn’t leave me bare to the prying, leering eyes of strangers. I pushed away the thought before it towed me under into my shadows like a riptide and slipped on a pair of clean panties, then opened the door.
Voices met me. One of them male.
A lump formed in my throat as I stood just inside the door of the bathroom, holding my breath as I strained to listen. Was Master out of the hospital already? Had he found out where I was? Did he come for me? The questions and fears raced through my mind a mile a minute.
If he told me to come home with him, I would. But now that I’d been jarred back into seeing the whole picture, could I ever let my world narrow down again?
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