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Tormentor Mine(9)

By:Anna Zaires

“Sara. Focus on me,” the megaphone voice says, and I catch a hint of a foreign accent. It pleases me, that accent, makes me want to reach over and press my hand to those sculpted lips, then run my fingers over that hard jaw to see if it’s bristly. I like bristly. George would often come home from his trips abroad, and he’d be all bristly and I liked it. I liked it, though I’d tell him to shave. He looked better clean-shaven, but I liked feeling the bristle sometimes, liked feeling that roughness on my thighs when he’d—

“Sara, stop,” the voice cuts in, and the frown on the exotically handsome face deepens.

I was speaking out loud, I realize, but I don’t feel embarrassed, not at all. The words don’t belong to me; they just come of their own accord. My hands act of their own accord too, attempting to reach over to that face, but something stops them, and when I lower my heavy head to look down, I see a plastic zip tie around my wrists, with a man’s big hand over my palms. It’s warm, that hand, and it’s holding my hands pinned down on my lap. Why is it doing that? Where did the hand come from? When I look up in confusion, the face is closer, its gray eyes peering into mine.

“I need you to tell me where your husband is,” the mouth says, and the megaphone moves closer. It sounds like it’s right next to my ear. I cringe, but at the same time, that mouth intrigues me. Those lips make me want to touch them, lick them, feel them on my—wait. They’re asking something.

“Where my husband is?” My voice sounds like it’s bouncing off the walls.

“Yes, George Cobakis, your husband.” The lips look tempting as they form the words, and the accent caresses my insides despite the persistent megaphone effect. “Tell me where he is.”

“He’s safe. He’s in a safe house,” I say. “They could come for him. They didn’t want him to run that story, but he did. He was brave like that, or stupid—probably stupid, right?—and then the accident happened, but they could still come for him, because they do that. The mafia doesn’t care that he’s a vegetable now, a cucumber, a tomato, a zucchini. Well, tomato is a fruit, but he’s a vegetable. A broccoli, maybe? I don’t know. It’s not important, anyway. It’s just that they want to make an example of him, threaten other journalists who’d stand up to them. That’s what they do; that’s how they operate. It’s all about greasing palms and bribing, and when you shed light on that—”

“Where is the safe house?” There is a dark light in those steely eyes. “Tell me the address of the safe house.”

“I don’t know the address, but it’s on the corner near Ricky’s Laundromat in Evanston,” I say to those eyes. “They always bring me there in a car, so I don’t know the exact address, but I saw that building from a window. There are at least two men in that car, and they drive around forever, switch cars sometimes too. It’s because of the mafia, because they might be watching. They always send a car for me, and they couldn’t this weekend. Scheduling conflict, they said. It happens sometimes; the guards’ shifts don’t align and—”

“How many guards are there?”

“Three, sometimes four. They’re these big military guys. Or ex-military, I don’t know. They just have that look. I don’t know why, but they all have that look. It’s like witness protection, but not, because he needs special care and I can’t leave my job. I don’t want to leave my job. They said they could move me, have me disappear, but I don’t want to disappear. My patients need me, plus my parents. What would I do with my parents? Never see or call them again? No, that’s crazy. So they disappeared the vegetable, the cucumber, the broccoli—”

“Sara, hush.” Fingers press against my mouth, stopping the stream of words, and the face moves even closer. “You can stop now. It’s over,” the sexy mouth murmurs, and I open my lips, sucking in those fingers. I can taste salt and skin, and I want more, so I swirl my tongue around the fingers, feeling the roughness of the calluses and the blunt edges of the short nails. It’s been so long since I’ve touched someone, and my body heats from this small taste, from the look in those silver eyes.

“Sara…” The accented voice is lower now, deeper and softer. It’s less of a megaphone and more of a sensual echo, like music done on a synthesizer. “You don’t want to go there, ptichka.”

Oh, but I do. I want to go there badly. I keep swirling my tongue around the fingers, and I watch the gray eyes darken, the pupils visibly expanding. It’s a sign of arousal, I know, and it makes me want to do more. It makes me want to kiss those sculpted lips, rub my cheek against that bristly jaw. And the hair, that thick dark hair. Would it feel soft or springy? I want to know, but I can’t move my hands, so I just take the fingers deeper into my mouth, making love to them with my lips and tongue, sucking on them like they’re candy.