Theta Waves Thursdays Week 3

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Welcome to Theta Waves Thursdays

Where each Thursday, I post an act from my new and ongoing serial story: Theta Waves. It’s been a couple of months since Phoenix was released, so instead of starting there (anyone who enjoys a Thea read has already grabbed it up for free but if you didn’t, you can go over to Amazon and download it), I’m going to begin with Dragon: Episode 2.

 So settle back, prepare yourself for a typical tale that has all the darkness you’ve come to expect from a Thea read, but with a little added steam.

 Looking for more freebie goodies? I’m amassing some over at Gimmesome. Go get some!

Dragon: Episode 2: Act 3

Her mouth went dry, and she could feel the last of her buzz leaking out her ears. She could swear she shouted obscenities at him, but Ezekiel merely shrugged in that offhand way he had that made everything seem as though he’d just been offered tea.

The effeminate rattled around inside the chest for a few moments then held up a length of chain ending in a wide belt that came together into locking ends.

Theda flew at Ezekiel, fists landing wherever she could score. He gripped her wrist on her last punch and twisted just enough that she found herself pulled backward against him, chest heaving. She felt his mouth caress her ear. “It’s not what you think, minou. Trust me.” His tone turned apologetic, but she realized it wasn’t for her benefit; it was for Sasha’s. “They say they’ll do anything, until they actually get here,” he told Sasha in a pained voice.

“I understand; it happens more than you know,” the man said, eying her toe to head. “Pity you aren’t selling her; she’d bring a tidy profit with that honeyed hair, ratty though it is.” He combed through his own fastidiously as though to instruct her to do the same.

Theda twisted, trying to aim a kick at him. Sasha grinned. “I’ll give you ten thousand for her. That sultry, haunted look, and that kind of spit doesn’t show itself in her kind very often, if you catch the pun.”

Several things ran through her mind, not the least of which the concern that she was actually being sold. Human trafficking stories rose after the god came and left, but she’d never known anyone who went missing, had just assumed it happened somewhere, just out of her sphere. She could imagine it on the eastern part of the city, but the west?

“I’m in a spitter’s den, aren’t I,” she hissed. “You brought me to a spitter’s den.”

She felt Ezekiel nod. “Now put your leash on like a good slave and I’ll take you through. Show you what you’re missing.”

“Fifteen thousand,” Sasha–the owner, Theda now realized, said.

“I’ll cut your throat in your sleep,” she growled at him, but it only resulted in him upping his price.

“I better get you out of here before I have a chance to make my year’s wage,” Ezekiel drawled. He took the leash from Sasha and was wrapping it around Theda’s waist when Sasha stepped close enough to hold out a jangling set of cuffs.

“You might want these too,” he said.

“I have my own,” Ezekiel told him and then reached down into his boot. He extracted the taser. “And I have this.”

She’d forgotten about that. Time really had slipped by if she could forget his early threat of using it on her. By now she didn’t doubt at all that he would use it.

“Aren’t you afraid we’ll get recognized?” She whispered close to his ear, keeping her eye on Sasha, trying to assess whether or not he thought they looked familiar. “I mean your in just as much of a mess as I am.”

Ezekiel peered up at her as he clicked the lock closed. “Safest place for us, minou,” he told her. “Folks will be too busy with their own activities to care about us.”

“You don’t have to do this,” she said.

“I think I do. I think you need to see where you could end up even if you do manage to escape the beast’s henchmen.”

“Henchmen like you,” she goaded.

He said nothing to that, merely pushed open the right door and pulled on her leash just hard enough to let her know he was in command. She resisted for half a moment until the belt cut into the skin of her torso.

Sasha placed his hand gracefully on the door. “The small matter of payment?” One delicate brow arched itself over a dark chocolate eye.

“Of course,” Ezekiel said. With his free hand, he reached into the inside of his jacket and extracted a manila envelope. Theda recognized it as the payment he’d received from the Mayor for abducting her. “How much for a private room, say for two nights?”

Without so much as looking at the envelope, Sasha stretched his palm out. “The room is 400 per night, the smears, the leash, the silence is a thousand.”

Theda watched him count out several $100 bills, her mind racing. The payment included a room for two nights as well as smears and silence. Perhaps this was the safest place for her. So what if she had to wear a stupid belt that connected her to Ezekiel in a demeaning way, she could ignore it if it got her a warm bed and a few smears to pass the time. She just hoped he’d leave her the Taser just in case this worm of a man next to them got any weird ideas.

“Just how much did they pay you for me?” she asked.

He cocked his head. “A goodly sum.”

“Does Bridget know you come here?” She said, at least wanting to get in one parting shot before he saw her to her room and went back to his lover.

He yanked on her leash irritably. “I don’t want to talk about Bridget.”

He pulled her through the door into a room filled with a different sort of john than she’d seen in the reception area. Here, through the haze of tobacco and pot smoke, there was a mix of women and men in various states of dress and undress. A group of young men circled together in the far corner, standing around in a familiar way that reminded Theda of a time during her childhood when one of her friends was getting bullied. Then, they’d circled around him, protecting him from prying eyes as each one of them took turns beating on him. She was just making the connection between that episode and what she was seeing when she realized that each of the young men in the spitter’s den was pushing his pants to his knees.

“What–” she started to say.

“Don’t look,” Ezekiel told her but it was too late. She realized exactly what they were doing even as she caught sight of a girl about her own age reclining on a sofa in the middle of them. She wore a collar around her neck, and nothing else.

“Oh dear heaven,” she blurted.

“Don’t use that terminology here,” Ezekiel said, pulling on the leash, aiming her away from the viewing the corner. “I’m working hard at a good cover and I don’t want your sultry, haunted voice to blow it.”

“Are you making fun of me?”

“Never,” he said, crossing two fingers over his heart, a smile playing over his mouth.

Theda looked around her more closely. “I thought maybe they just came here to –”

“Use?” He chuckled. “It’s more complex than that,” he said. “Some are actually here voluntarily.”

“Because of the godspit,” she guessed.

“Smart girl,” he said. “Those ones work for it and the patrons take advantage of their addiction.” He sighed. “They’re all trash, really.”

She took note of the room in full. Several young women performing a miscellany of sexual acts, some more violent than others, some more risqué: all of them just to the right of ordinary. There were men too, and not just as johns but as the gigolo: some with women, some with men. Those with men seemed to fare worse than the rest. Theda found she couldn’t look at the pairs of men; it was just too violent.

“So that’s what the owner meant when he asked you if you were renting, returning, or buying. He meant me.”

He nodded. “You have spitter written all over you, minou. Sorry.”

“And the non volunteers?”

“You have to.”

She shuddered. Slaves. All here because of the godspit.

“You wanted me to see this,” she said, realization dawning. She turned to him in accusation. “You intended all along to bring me here; you could have just done so while I was blissed out.”

He gave her a sardonic grin and pulled on the chain, making her stumble. “And have you miss the show?” He tugged on her chain again, this time with more purpose; it rattled noisily. She would have resisted except his cocky grin had shifted to something just shy of apologetic.

“You needed to see it, minou. This room is just the tip of the iceberg; worse things go on in the private rooms. This place, while worse than reception, is for those who can’t afford to buy the kind of anonymity and silence that more shocking activities require.”

For a second she felt sick and the feeling of freefalling rushed back. “Why are you taking me there then?” She pulled back on the chain, putting her weight into it until he stepped closer, close enough to put his Palm behind her back to guide her gently forward.

“Relax. We just need the anonymity and silence. I don’t plan on doing anything shocking to you.” He lifted a brow playfully. “Of course if you wish to do so to me, I’d have to tell you I draw the line at sharing you with another man.”

She clamped her mouth closed when he let go a throaty chuckle and trotted forward with him toward a hallway, trying to avoid making eye contact with any of the occupants of the room. She knew that he was doing this to try and get her off the drugs, give her a reason to go straight, but all that he’d managed to do was push it that much closer to the front of her mind. She could see that some of the crowd was completely in the throes of euphoria, that regardless of what was being done to them, they looked so completely ecstatic that all she could think was how badly her skin itched, how a smear could smooth out the sensory overload of reality. She had to swallow down a sudden flood of water.

Their room reminded Theda of old Earth movies with dungeons and torture chambers. She balked at the door when Ezekiel pushed it open and she saw a small cage large enough to fit a large breed dog. She knew right away what the cage was for even before she noticed the assortment of whips and handcuffs hanging beside it. A table in the corner held a dozen candles, and a chest hunkered threateningly beside it.

“I promise I won’t hurt you,” he said.

“I’m not sure I want to know exactly how you knew this place existed,” she said, stepping into the room and pressing her back against the wall opposite the cage. She eyed it warily. “And I don’t want to know how you know Sasha.”

He eased the door closed and drew his hands along her chain until she had to step forward close enough that he could wrap his fingers on the belt. Two twists and he had it adroitly opened.

“And I really don’t want to know how you got that open so easily,” she mumbled.

He peered up at her. “I guess I have some experience,” he said, smiling.

He dropped the belt to the floor in a heap atop the chain, then sighed heavily. “I suppose you can shower if you like; I’ll see if I can find something for you to put on. Maybe get you some food.” He looked her up and down, his gaze lingering a little too long on her navel. “Meanwhile, why not wrap yourself in the sheet on the bed?”

He nodded toward a king size box spring and mattress that was covered with what looked like black vinyl. She couldn’t imagine how that clammy looking material would feel against her skin, but it had to be better than the way he kept trying to avoid looking at her. She had the nearly irresistible urge to turn away from that gaze, but she knew that the back view was just as revealing.

She inched toward the bed and pulled the cover off, wrapping it around herself sarong style. She was right: it felt disgusting. She didn’t even want to admit to herself that the sheets beneath it were made of plastic.

“The door locks from inside,” he said to her. “Can I trust you to let me back in?”

She chewed her lip at that. “I have no doubt Sasha will find some way to punish me if I don’t.”

He chuckled. “It’s nothing to what I’ll do to you.” He stuck his hands in his jacket pockets, seeming to be considering something. “Don’t let anyone else in,” he finally said.

She held up her hand in mock surrender. “No worries.”

There was a long, tense moment as they regarded each other. It seemed there was something being left unsaid, but she couldn’t imagine what it was. She thought of Bridget and what she would say if she realized her lover was here in this place, wrangling a room for a sex slave.

“It’s safe here,” he said. “You’ll be okay till I get back.”

She eyed him warily. “Get back?”

“Sure,” he said. “I’m just going for clothes.”

She watched the outline of his hands in his pockets, the fingers twisting about in there until he finally pulled them free and with a haggard sigh pulled the envelope again from inside the breast pocket. He peeled a series of bills from the much thinner pile of bounty and passed them to her.

“Just in case,” he said.

She took them hesitantly, thinking it was a trick, watching him run his tongue into the corner of his mouth, considering, before he turned on his booted heel and left. Theda looked down at the money in her hand after he’d gone: four $100 bills. Enough for an extra night in this godforsaken place. Enough for at least a few dozen egg salad sandwiches and pot after pot of hot coffee.

Enough for half a dozen godspit smears.

It was that last thought that sent a gasp from her lungs like a quiet exhale of surprised pleasure.

 to be continued next week….

Don’t want to wait till next week to see what happens? Find Dragon at the following ebook retailers

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Subscribe to my newsletter Thea Reads for goodies, freebies, and news, but never spam. Never.

Looking for more freebie goodies? I’m amassing some over at Gimmesome. Go get some!

I’d love to have your input as I write, so feel free too comment on Twitter (#Thetawaves) You have the chance to impact the story line and how much raunchiness you can handle.

Thea Atkinson is a writer of character driven fiction.

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