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“I’m not a fucking junkie!” I screamed wildly. Being called a junkie when in the time I’d been living on the street I hadn’t touched a single drug, set me off like a lighter to a fuse.

“Bullshit! There is no other reason you could possibly be stupid enough to steal from me besides needing a fix. And I know you’re not from around here, because if you were you wouldn’t have even thought about taking what’s mine.” His voice grew louder, his glare ice cold. He thought I was just like Nikki. A junkie. He expected me to cower.

He expected wrong.

“I don’t give a fuck who you are, asshole.” I seethed. “And you’re not as smart as you seem to think you are. Tell me something, who exactly was it who appointed you judge of all people?”

I thought my words would start an all out war but instead King didn’t look angrier, he looked only mildly amused. “Well you are partially right. Because when it comes to me and mine, I am the judge. I am the jury. And if need be, I am the motherfucking executioner.”

His words hadn’t yet had the chance to marinate in my brain when my stomach took the opportunity to interrupt by growling loudly. King’s gaze followed the sound to where I hugged myself with my free arm around my mid section in an effort to steady the ever-growing ache. The dizziness again threatened to take me under, but I fought it back.

King was still sitting upright on his knees, straddling me. I sat up as far as the handcuffs would allow until my face was only inches from his. “Nikki is the junkie. I’m just hungry you fucking asshole!” I spat.

King fists clenched at his sides. He raised his hand. I ducked and covered my face the best I could, bracing myself for the strike.

But it never came.

After a moment I opened my eyes. King was staring down at me, his hand raised, but not in anger, he was rubbing his palm over his short hair. His eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

I was bound in his bed with no way out and no way of knowing what was going to happen to me. It was a bad time for my foot-in-mouth syndrome to be acting up. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. I mean, I just—”

“Shut up.” He said with a new calm control.

“I don’t do drugs. I never have. I mean, not that I know of. You see, the thing is—”

“Shut up.”

My stomach growled again, it twisted so hard I saw stars in front of my eyes. I needed to eat. I needed to escape. I needed to be anywhere else, but in his bed. “I swear I didn’t take your money. It wasn’t me. That wasn’t the plan. I was just supposed to get a biker to—”

“Shut the fuck up!” he roared, his explosive rage effectively silencing my scrambled monologue.

My stomach twisted and turned again. This time I closed my eyes until the pain passed. I tried to wet my cracked lips with my tongue, but it was also dry and hung heavy in my mouth. King reached down and touched my cheek with the pad of his thumb. I was so involved in trying not to pass out that I barely registered that he was touching me. After a few moments with nothing but the sound of my heart beating in my ears, King abruptly stood up and walked out, slamming the door behind him.

I was his prisoner.

I was either going to die of hunger, fear, or at the hands of King. But the how wasn’t important. It was the when I was waiting for, because I was certain I wasn’t ever going to leave that house again.

At least not alive.

Chapter Seven


I was drifting somewhere between awake and unconscious when the door opened and heavy footsteps approached the bed. Something metal was set on the nightstand, clanking and rattling as it settled. It was the smell that brought me back to the land of the living as abruptly as if smelling salts had been waved under my nose.


The metal of the cuffs bit into my wrist as I lunged for the tray that was set just beyond my reach. I let out a frustrated shrill-sounding scream.

“Easy now, killer,” a voice said. I hadn’t noticed the guy leaning on the dresser at the foot of the bed, his arms and legs crossed in front of him. I recognized him from the party the night before. Only when his eyes traveled down to my bare breasts, I remembered that I was still nude from the waist up. I quickly covered myself by balling up as small as I could, huddling close to the metal headboard.

He smiled and slowly approached me.

“No!” I shouted when he got close enough to extend his hand out to me.

“No?” he asked. “So you don’t want this?” He picked up the tray and set it on the bed in front of me.

“No, no, I do. I do want it,” I assured him. I sat up again and winced when my injured ear accidentally rubbed against the metal headboard. If it was food he was offering, my modesty was going to have to wait until after my belly was full. I removed my arm from my breasts and reached out to slide the tray closer to me. When I saw what was on it, I paused.

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