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Introduction:

Please note that this chapter of the story has more non-consensual themes than the previous two. Following this, the theme will become moderate as the story unfolds. There are also scenes of violence in this chapter, and the non-consent theme is particularly present; if these themes are distressing or unpleasant to you, please proceed at your own discretion. This is fiction, and all characters in sexual scenes are above the age of 18.
“That howling wind, she’s waving hi
Her other hand’s in mine
Oh silhouette, she’s growing tall and fine
She’s got my back
She’ll follow me down every street
No matter what my crime.”
—Gregory Alan Isakov, Amsterdam.

***

More often than not, Quinn Kent’s Wednesday afternoons were reserved for catching up with her friends. She saw them frequently enough, but Wednesday afternoon was Quality Time. Usually the four of them would order pizza with everything on it, make margaritas and talk about anything. Quinn always enjoyed Wednesday afternoons with her friends; she loved them, but also because it was the only time they were content to stay indoors for a good time.

Today, however, Quinn was only pretending to enjoy herself. Because they were talking about Florida. Specifically, they were talking about Panama City Beach, Florida. They’d be going down there for Spring Break.

She scowled into her margarita. Not that she had anything against Florida—well, not that she had much against Florida—but it rankled that everybody else had plans for Spring Break while she was at a loose end. It was Wednesday and on Friday, college would break; there were just two days left and she still had no plans.

“I’m just dying for Saturday to come around. I can’t wait to get to Florida.” Sylvie knocked back her margarita. “One of my cousin’s friends is a lifeguard there—and he’s hot. And I hope his friends are equally hot.” As she laughed, her short cap of red hair fluttered around her elfin face.

Jen raised her half empty glass in a mock toast. “Salute to hot lifeguards! What the hell would we do without them, both in and out of the water?”

“I’ll partly drink to that.” Carolina, a golden girl, tall and blond, gave Jen her killer grin. Then she crossed her long legs as she reclined. “I know I said I’d go with you two to Florida but if something better comes up I’m jumping ship. And when I say something, we all know I mean if that boneheaded Sam would grow some stones and ask me out.”

“Yes, men can be so boneheaded.” Jen was clearly trying to stifle laughter. “But then again, if you hadn’t boned him on your first date then maybe…”

“Oh, shut up!” Giggling, Carolina tossed a pillow at Jen. “All these years you’ve known I’m a slut. You can’t suddenly start judging me now.”

“So, Quinn, you haven’t told us yet,” Sylvie said. “What are you and Magnificent Male Specimen doing for Spring Break?”

Quinn pinned on a smile and tried to make it look authentic. “Oh, something. Probably. He hasn’t said too much about it so I’m not too sure. But I’m sure it’ll be fun.”

The truth was that Rafael hadn’t said a word to her about Spring Break, and it couldn’t be that he had forgotten. Quinn could only surmise that for some reason her Magnificent Male Specimen didn’t want to spend the week with her. The thought was enough to send her mood plummeting even further. She looked forward to the moments she got to be with Rafael. Evidently the feeling was not as strong in him.

Carolina, Sylvie and Jen exchanged looks. They knew her well enough to see that she was faking it. Jen hooked her arm around Quinn’s neck. “You could always come to Florida with us, you know.”

“Thanks for the offer, but don’t worry. I’m sure I’ll have a great time.” She was speaking much more optimistically than she felt. She’d known Rafael for nearly ten months and he’d been her lover for about eight of those months, so she knew him well enough to be aware that he was a planner by nature. If there was anything in the works, he’d have discussed it long beforehand.

Not long after, their get-together dispersed; Sylvie had a date, Jen a paper to finish up and Carolina went off to badger Sam.

Quinn was muttering darkly to herself as she tidied up her dorm room, washing up the used glasses and disposing of empty pizza boxes. If Rafael really didn’t want to spend the week with her then she would go to Panama City Beach with her friends, she thought, simmering.

She was putting away the last glass when she heard the familiar sound of her phone going off. It was coming from her bedroom, where she’d left it. For a moment, she thought it was Rafael calling. She forgot that she was supposed to be mad at him and flew from the kitchen to the bedroom to answer the phone.

Without stopping to check caller ID Quinn grabbed the phone and pressed it to her ear. “Hello?” she said breathlessly.

“Hi Quinnie-Quinn,” said the cheerful voice over the line.

The voice was familiar, the voice was male, but it wasn’t the one she had raced to hear. Her bubble bursting, she replied her cousin. “Oh, Denny it’s you.”

Dennis Kent laughed. “It’s good to know how pleased you are to hear from me, Pea Brain.”

“No, I’m sorry. Of course I’m pleased. How’s it going?”

“Ally dumped me.”

“Well, damn.”

He made a noncommittal sound. “Ah, well. The relationship was dying, anyhow. I’m not feeling too surprised, or hurt…much.”

“So, what are you feeling?”

“Boredom. I’m bored and at a loose end. You?”

Quinn sighed. “Same here. See? I always said you were my spirit animal.” She smiled. “And that you’re a moron.”

He laughed. As kids, he’d always been “Moron” and she’d been “Pea Brain.”

“So, you want to come up to NYC to meet me?” he offered. “Or maybe I could come to you. We can do whatever we like for the week.”

At least he wanted to hang out with her, she thought. Perversely, rather than cheering her up, his wanting her company made her feel worse. Everybody wanted her company, except the one whose company she wanted most. “Yeah, sure,” she replied, trying to sound sunny. “Why don’t you come to me? I have more room than you do.”

“Great. I’ll be there Saturday. You can be my Girl Friday.”

Quinn couldn’t help but laugh in response. Growing up, Dennis had been her best friend and partner in crime. The closest thing to a brother she’d ever had. It would be good to see him, since she hadn’t done so since last summer, or called each other much.

“Being your Girl Friday doesn’t sound too bad. I’d even say it’s as good as Florida. You’re a definite contender.”

He laughed again. “Good to know. Love you.”

“Love you more, and I’ll see you Saturday—Moron.”

She checked the time after disconnecting the call. 16:52. Rafael would be there in about an hour. She should have realized that he wouldn’t be the one calling. Whenever they set a date, he kept to the time and expected the same of her. He would only call if something was wrong.

Whenever possible, he either spent the night with her or took her to his apartment and they stayed there. A Linguistics major in her sophomore year, Quinn had always taken school seriously. Accordingly, all her term papers were finished. She knew that her outlook was one of the things Rafael appreciated about her. It probably had something to do with the fact that they were similar in that regard.

She slumped into a chair, wishing that he had planned something. Her annoyance returned. As she sat there stewing, she tried to think up the best way to communicate her feelings to him. Outright demanding why he had no plans for them was not an option; at best it would paint her as the stereotypical nagging, clingy girlfriend. At worst she would come off as aggressive and that would piss him off. Pissing Rafael off was something Quinn tried to avoid. Remembering the night barely two months ago when she’d gotten more than she had bargained for after angering him, a tremor—not entirely unpleasant—coursed through her.

Quickly, she skipped on to the next available option, one admittedly less mature than confronting him—being passive-aggressive. She sighed. Unfortunately, he would see through that and it would likely piss him off, too.

The third option was to seem indifferent about it. Maybe she could act a little aloof, a little distant. Then she could subtly drop the subject into the conversation, make some offhand suggestions.

She had just decided that this cool indifference was the best way forward when she heard the sound of a key in the lock. She knew it was him because nobody else had a key to her dorm. Rafael never had to knock—he had taken the only spare once they had begun dating. And he had given her the spare to his apartment.

She sprang up from her seat when the door swung open and a pleasantly deep male voice said, “Quinn, amada? Where are you?”

He stood at the threshold. When she saw him she wondered how she could have thought she could put any sort of distance between them.

Rafael da Silva seemed to take over the whole room although he still stood in the doorway. His mahogany hair, a rich brown tinged with deep auburn fell around his striking face and to his collarbone in messy, artful waves. There was a hint of a smile on his handsome mouth. It made him seem a little more approachable, warming steely gray eyes and softening hard features.

Perfect, was all Quinn could think. Forgetting all the nonsense about coolness and indifference, she leapt up and straight into his arms. She wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck and held on tight.

It pleased her that he had automatically reached out and caught her up. It was pure joy to hear his warm laughter echo in her ear. It delighted her that he was so strong that her crashing into him hadn’t knocked him back even a step, that he was so strong that he was holding her up without effort. It elated her to feel those muscled arms curl protectively around her body. It thrilled her to breathe in the delicious scent that was so uniquely him, woody, sweet and fresh. It aroused her to feel her soft body melting and pliant against his harder, bigger one.

Her senses full of him, she hummed in her throat.

Eu posso dizer que você está feliz em me ver.” Rafael’s voice, the laughter in it, sent a tingle shooting down her spine. “What a warm welcome.”

“It’s about to get warmer,” she said and kissed him hard. She let her hands rise into his hair, feeling the silken strands underneath her fingertips as their lips met and clung. His hands drifted down to her trim waist. His tongue darted into her mouth, light, dancing, teasing. Fire, she thought. Fire was a wonderful thing. Fire was what reminded you that you were alive. Against his lips, she whispered his name on a gentle exhale. “Rafe.”

When they parted, he put his forehead against hers. Their eyes met. “The girl doesn’t even let me get inside,” he said with a smile. Her smile. The one he reserved for her that held both tenderness and mischief. “No, she prefers to attack me in the hallway.”

“Sorry. I couldn’t help myself.” Then she winked at him with a teasing smile. “Hot stuff.”

They laughed together as he set her down and shut the door behind them. It was then that she noticed he held a brown bag in one hand.

“What’s that?”

He handed it to her as he shrugged out of his jacket. “Open it and see.”

Eagerly, Quinn dug in, emptying out the contents of the bag. There was a bottle of wine, smoked meats, boule, seasonal fruits and fancy-looking cheeses. “You bought us expensive dinner?” Grinning, she looked up at him. “Is there an occasion or are you just in a good mood? Either way I’m on board.”

“Is that all you see in the bag?”

She made to toss the bag away. “Um…yes?”

“Look again.”

A little confused, she reopened the bag, peered inside, and felt around the bottom. Her hand came in contact with a flat piece of paper. When she pulled it out she saw that it was actually an envelope she hadn’t seen it at first.

“What’s inside it?” she asked him, unsure if it was okay for her to open it.

“Find out for yourself.”

Quinn ripped into the envelope. Two pieces of thick glossy paper were inside. A second later, when she realized what the pieces of paper were, she looked up at him with her mouth hanging open in shock.

He smiled, and reaching out, snapped her jaw closed with his finger.

“I thought…but I was certain that you didn’t want…I didn’t know you were…” She was staring at the items in her hand. Two plane tickets to Rio. “We’re going to Rio!” For the second time, she jumped on him. “And there I was torturing myself thinking you didn’t want to spend time with me, but you were planning this the whole time.” She flung her arms around his neck and rained kisses over his face. “I love you”—kiss—“I adore you”—kiss—“I’m crazy about you.” Kiss, kiss, kiss.

“Torturing yourself? Why?” He stopped her rambling by pinching her chin between his thumb and forefinger. “You should have trusted me, sim?”

“Yes. I’m sorry.” Excitement bubbled up again. “Rio! I’ve never been. I’m going to start packing right now…” Then she remembered her promise to her cousin. “Oh, damn. I forgot about Denny.”

Rafael’s eyes narrowed. His arms tightened around her. “And who, pray tell, is Denny?”

“No one,” she replied, a knee-jerk reaction. Then she corrected herself. “Well, someone. He’s my Dennis—I mean he’s my cousin Dennis. He’s coming down here for Spring Break. He’ll be here to meet me on Saturday.”

“Call him now.” Rafael’s tone was flat. “Tell him not to bother coming because you’re no longer available.”

Quinn hesitated, biting her lip. Suddenly, she found herself in an awkward positon. She’d never say no to a trip with Rafael but at the same time she would feel badly about leaving Dennis in the lurch and possibly hurting his feelings.

“Quinn, pick up the phone and call him now.” Rafael repeated the order with a touch of impatience, his tone much less playful than it had been since he arrived.

“Rafe,” she began, rubbing gently on his shoulders; a gesture that willed him to be kind, to understand. “He’s almost like a brother to me. I don’t want to let him down like that. He’s looking forward to seeing me and I want to see him, too. I haven’t since…well, forever.” But knowing that there was no way she would choose him over Rafael, she sighed. “Forget it. I’ll do as you say. I just hope he doesn’t take it too hard.”

Rafael hesitated. A little frown touched his forehead. Quinn recognized the analytical look. He always got it when he was considering something, working out possibilities.

“What plans did you two make for the week?” he asked.

“None, actually. We were just going to figure it out when he got here.”

He sighed, smiled a little, and his hand moved to her cheek. “Would it make you happy, esquilinho, if I allowed your Dennis to come with us?”

Surprise made Quinn go still. She met his eyes, searching their depths. There was no mockery in them, no amusement. This was a serious offer. Rafael, who always got his own way, who always took everything on his own terms, was offering to bend for her sake. He was a very private person and had no doubt had intended that the trip would be for just the two of them. Yet, simply to indulge her, he was offering to let a man who was a perfect stranger to him tag along. Simply to make her happy.

“Yes,” she replied quietly. “It would make me happy if Dennis came.”

“Then Dennis comes.”

She gave him a warm smile, her brown eyes sparkling into his. It seemed that every day, she realized that she meant more to him than she allowed. Quinn laid her head on his shoulder. She was in her happy place.

***

Instead of three, there were five people in the hired Fiat on the BR-101 route heading towards Laguna. They would not be going as far as Laguna, but would stop in Farol de Santa Maria. They had hired the car at Florianópolis where they’d landed after a local flight from Rio.

What a deviation from the original plan it had been, Quinn thought. Somehow a romantic getaway for two had turned into a bunch of college students on a pleasure trip. Not that she was complaining. They’d had a hell of a time so far.

They’d arrived at Rio only two days before and had spent two nights in the slightly safer parts of the city, enjoying the clubs. Then they’d flown to Florianópolis, from which they were now driving to Farol de Santa Maria.

It was one of those perfect places that people somehow just didn’t go it; avid surfers made up most of the traffic there. It was a haven for them; the beaches were sparse and the nearby village was charming—and food was cheap.

Quinn was riding shotgun, Rafael was at the wheel and in the backseat were Dennis, Carolina and Eric, a friend of Dennis’s.

Although there was plenty of room, Carolina was sitting in Dennis’s lap. When Dennis had arrived bright and early on Saturday morning as planned, he had brought Eric with him, taking it for granted that Quinn and Rafael wouldn’t mind. Carolina had been sleeping over at Quinn’s on Friday night, and having given up on Sam as well as lost her appetite for Florida, she had asked to join them. Of course it didn’t hurt that she and Dennis had been making eyes at each other from the moment they met.

That Dennis and Carolina had latched onto each other seemed natural to Quinn; Carolina was a charming girl, ready to flirt and be flirted with; and Dennis was likely on the rebound. A match made in heaven. Quinn smiled to herself.

Eric was a little too loud and brassy for Quinn’s taste, but being of a friendly nature, he wasn’t difficult to tolerate. “So when do we get there, man?” he asked Rafael now, leaning forward in his seat. “I’m dying to take a leak.”

Dennis looked up at Eric from his flirting with Carolina. “I’m not surprised. You’ve been drinking like a fucking fish since we got here. Especially last night.”

“It’s worth it. They were damn good.” Eric snorted laughter. “Who knew capirinhas were that good? I’ve never gotten so wasted on just one glass of anything in my entire life. I was so fucked up.”

Carolina rolled her eyes. “Yes, we know, you idiot. We were all there. I’m all for cutting loose but I still haven’t forgiven you for nearly getting us kicked out—and for throwing up on my shoes. I liked that pair.”

“Are capirinhas supposed to be that strong?” Quinn asked. “I only had a couple drinks before I couldn’t say any words with more than two syllables.”

Rafael laughed. He was more relaxed than Quinn had ever seen him. He had one hand on the wheel and the other was draped across her shoulders. “The bartender must have had his tongue in his cheek with that batch. The ones we he gave us were very sparse on everything else but the cachaça.” He grinned at Dennis in the rearview mirror. “I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Dennis, but I think his plan was to get Carolina in a compromising position.”

“As if.” Carolina laughed. “I wouldn’t fuck that guy even he got me to drink all the cachaça in Rio. He wasn’t even hot.”

“Definitely not as hot as me.” Dennis gave her a laughing look.

“Definitely not—babe.” Carolina winked back.

They reached their destination shortly after; a sleepy, winding village on the edge of the sea. A row of ten or so brightly colored houseboats were lined at the banks. A sprinkling of surfers, tourists and locals dotted the beach.

Quinn stuck her head out the open window, gawking. It was a cool early evening and the waters were so blue.

Rafael turned to her with a smile. “You like what you see, amada?” he asked softly, intimately. Not exactly a tone suited for company, but Dennis and Carolina were too busy whispering to each other and Eric was impatient to jump out of the car and run to the nearest bathroom.

“It’s beautiful,” she replied, still gawping. “You actually rented one of those, for cheap?” she asked, pointing to the row of houseboats.

Sim. Ours for the whole week.”

It took them only minutes after Rafael parked the Fiat to grab their bags and get into their rented houseboat. There were only two bedrooms and a tiny kitchen, a sitting room and bathroom. Rafael and Quinn took one room and Dennis and Carolina took the other. Eric would be roughing it on the sofa.

When all this was settled and they had unpacked it was decided that they would drive out to Laguna that night to hit the clubs and then spend the rest of the time surfing and hanging out on the beach and in the village. The decision had not been easily made—Rafael and Quinn had wanted to stay in the village that night and go to Laguna the next night, but Dennis and Carolina were insistent. Eric, still nursing a mild hangover, declined to go with them. He would stay in the houseboat that night, he said, and maybe hit Laguna with a few of the surfers another night.

As he put on his jacket to head out the door again with the other three Rafael paused to say to Eric, “I know you said you’d be in here all night but if you do head out for any reason, make sure you lock the doors behind you.” He tossed the spare key to Eric, who caught it one-handed. “I once lived here, so I know what this place can be like—it’s nothing too bad, but occasionally some of the surfers and groms who hang around are quick with their fingers if you don’t keep an eye out. I’m going to lock it myself so you’ll need to use the key if you need to head out.”

“Sure, no sweat.”

***

Rafael and Quinn returned to the village before midnight. Dennis and Carolina weren’t with them. Carolina, a die-hard party animal, had wanted to stay and had charmed Dennis into pulling an all-nighter with her. The pair had said that they’d hit up some more clubs and hitch a ride back from Laguna the following morning.

Pleasantly buzzed but not actually drunk, Quinn was giggling as the car stopped. As she got out, her ankle took an awkward turn and she would have fallen flat on her face into the sand if Rafael hadn’t grabbed her in time. As designated driver, he had just one drink under his belt.

Quinn began to giggle harder as he slung her up, draped her over his shoulders and carried her fireman-style towards the houseboat. At the moment, there was just something so wonderfully hilarious about the whole world.

“You know what’s so great about you, Rafe?” she said, still giggling, her head upside down and her legs dangling off his shoulders.

He grinned up at her. “Don’t start that now. We haven’t got all year.”

The giggling went up a notch. “That wasn’t what I meant at all. I was being sarcastic and I was going to say something about you acting like a caveman and carrying me like a sack of meat. But you’re so damn arrogant, maybe we should start calling you Don Juan.”

“Then we’ll call you Doña Anna,” he replied as he fished in his pocket for the key.

He stopped as he put the key in the lock. It wouldn’t turn, as the door was evidently already unlocked. The smile on Rafael’s face died as he pushed it open. He remained standing on the deck with Quinn still slung over his shoulders.

“Okay, but who’s going to be Don Gonzalo?” She was a step behind; still teasing him. But her amusement came to a swift end when she noticed the look on his face.

“Rafe?”

He didn’t reply. It seemed as if a curtain had fallen over him. Gone were the teasing and the banter. Gone was the merriment. In their place was that hard look she dreaded seeing. The gray eyes glittered coldly as he staring ahead into the houseboat.

“Rafe? What…?”

He pulled her down from his shoulders and set her on her feet. “The door is unlocked,” he said. His tone was low and flat.

From a couple of episodes in the past, Quinn recognized what was going on. He was angry—she knew it because there was a sort of disconnect between them. She could never truly reach him when he was pissed off; there was a barrier that she never could breach at such times. Yet even though his anger was usually a terrible thing, she doubted that she’d ever seen him quite this angry.

The anger didn’t seem directed towards her, though, so she made advance rather than retreat. She put a gentle hand on his arm. “What’s so upsetting about an unlocked door?”

But he hardly heard her. Jerking into motion, he stepped into the houseboat and switched on the light.

Quinn’s eyes popped open wide. “Holy hell,” she wheezed. The sofa and tables had been overturned, the pictures flung down from their hooks. They’d been ransacked. Or worse. Then something else occurred to her and her eyes flew back to Rafael. “Do you think they’re still here?”

“They won’t be if they know what’s good for them. Wait here,” he added, before he went to take a look around the rooms.

Quinn waited on tenterhooks for his return. “They’re gone?” she asked anxiously when he eventually emerged from their room. His expression was even blacker than it had been before he had gone in.

“Yes, they’re gone,” he replied in clipped tones. “But not before they took our cash and my watch.”

“Crap.” She kicked at the sofa. “Crap, crap, crap. What do we do now?”

“We wait,” he said quietly. “We wait for Eric.”

She looked up. She’d momentarily forgotten about Eric. “Eric! You think they took him? Do you think he’s hurt? Let’s go look for him,” she said when Rafael didn’t move a muscle. “Damn it Rafe, let’s go to the cops. Don’t just stand there, let’s do something!”

“I don’t think that’s what happened,” he replied in that same unemotional tone. “There’s no sign of a physical struggle. Just that whoever came in here was in a hurry. I think what happened here is that Eric left without locking the door and we were robbed blind. I warned him about this.” Gray eyes flashed with steel. “I warned him.”

Quinn’s heart sank. Now it all made sense. Now she knew why he was angry rather than shocked or disturbed. She found herself praying that Eric wouldn’t come back to the boat until Rafael had cooled off considerably.

“Look—” she began.

“No, Quinn,” he said. His words were cool and level. “You’re not going to sway me on this one. Because of his stupidity I’ve lost one of my most valuable possessions. I’m going to kill him.”

If any other man had made that declaration Quinn would have laughed in his face. Not Rafael. He never said anything that he didn’t mean. And she knew in her bones that the man standing before her now was capable of murder.

Praying harder than ever that Eric should remain wherever he was, Quinn tried to get through to Rafael. “What valuable possession? The watch?”

Sim, the watch.”

“Rafe, it can’t be that expensive.” She fixed him with a look, trying to reach him. “A watch isn’t worth you hurting him. He made a mistake. We both know it must have been a mistake, and you can’t just...I’m sure he’ll pay you back for the watch and…”

Quinn trailed off in dismay when she heard footsteps on the deck and Eric’s voice call out, “I can see a light on inside. You guys back already?”

Eric himself appeared a second later. He was soaking wet and dressed only in board shorts, with a towel stuffed under his arm. Clearly, he was just back from a midnight swim.

When he saw the upturned furniture and disheveled room, he frowned and asked, “What the hell happened here?”

Quinn was about to make a protective move towards Eric, but one meaningful look from Rafael was enough to stay her. If she’d been brave enough she would have yelled, “Run, Eric! Run far and run fast!”

“You went for a swim,” Rafael said, taking a slow, deliberate step towards Eric.

Eric instinctively took a step back. “Yeah…yeah I did…I, ah… What happened? Why is it so messed up in here?”

Rafael took another step. “Did you lock the door behind you when you left?”

“Um…no? Ah, I think I forgot…?” Then the lightbulb moment came. “Oh, fuck, we were robbed!”

Yet another step. “No shit, Sherlock. Did I or did I not warn you about this?”

“It was an accident.” Eric’s voice broke. His breaths came faster now. Thin, lanky, and over a head shorter than Rafael, there was no doubt about who would come out the loser when fists started flying.

Quinn stood, watching as Rafael hunted his prey, wanting to help Eric somehow. And she would have if she hadn’t been genuinely paralyzed by fear. She knew what would come next. She had seen Rafael beat a guy his own size to a bloody pulp. Eric would fare even worse.

Eric, retreating, now seemed to realize there was nothing else he could do but attempt an escape. He tried to make a break for it. It was too late, however, because Rafael had anticipated him and easily caught him by the scruff of the neck.

Rafael’s left hook landed on the side of Eric’s eye with a sickening crunch of bone. A mere second later, his right fist connected with Eric’s temple. The force of it sent Eric flying back several paces. He smashed against the wall and dropped to the floor, whimpering and groaning as he tried to turn over and stumble to his feet.

Rafael loomed above him. “É isso aí? Get up, you pathetic excuse for a man.” He nudged the fallen Eric with his foot. “Stand and fight.”

Eric was pressing his hand to his head as he heaved himself up on shaky legs. He was a shuddering, wretched mess, “Damn it, man, I said I was sorry!”

He might as well have saved his breath. A clean uppercut sent blood spurting out of his nose and his neck snapping back sharply.

Quinn cringed as another punch, square in the face, sliced his lip open and dislodged a few teeth. This wasn’t just brute force, she thought. It was a targeted attack—Rafael knew just how and where to strike. And the reason he hadn’t just knocked him out with one punch to the throat must be that he wanted Eric to really feel the pain.

The fifth punch blackened his other eye. The sixth, aimed at the gut, doubled him over, and a perfectly executed roundhouse kick to the chest felled him again. Eric collapsed on the floor coughing, sputtering, bleeding and unable to pick himself back up.

Still, Rafael was advancing.

Quinn felt as if she would throw up. Or pass out. Or both. She was staring at Rafael as though she’d never seen him before. Was this simply revenge over the watch, or something else? Had the loss of a simple watch truly turned him into this callous, unfeeling person? Couldn’t he see that he had already gone too far? Wouldn’t he stop? Was he really about to take another man’s life with his own bare hands?

Sick to her stomach and unable to watch anymore, she turned and ran from the room.

The flash of movement paused Rafael’s advance on Eric—the sight of Quinn bolting from the room like a jackrabbit helped push away some of the haze of bloodlust.

Some of the fog clearing, Rafael spun away from Eric and followed her. “Quinn. Wait.”

She heard his voice, heard his footsteps as he padded after her, but she didn’t stop. She darted into the bedroom and bolted the door just before he caught up to her.

He pounded on the door with his fist. “Quinn, open this door,” was the icy instruction.

She ignored it as she sat on the bed, staring at nothing.

“Quinn, damn it, open up now.”

She heard him sigh in vexation but he stopped pounding. When he spoke through the door again his tone was slightly warmer. “Alright, I understand that you wouldn’t like to see me right now, but I guarantee I have an explanation for my behavior. Quinn?”

She didn’t reply.

He paused. “I won’t lay another finger on Eric so you can rest easy about that. Quinn?” He gave another aggravated sigh when she still didn’t answer. “Listen, I’m going to drive him to the hospital now, but when I get back you and I are going to have to talk.” His tone hardened. “So I’ll leave you alone for now—but if you still refuse to open the door by the time I get back, I’ll rip it from its hinges. You know I will.”

She waited until all was silent. When she was sure he was gone, she got up and unlocked the door.

She felt cold even as her mind worked fast. How could he have continued to go after Eric even when he’d fallen? How could the man she loved find it in his heart to be so harsh?

She couldn’t easily answer those questions, but there was one she could—whether this changed anything about them. Quinn sighed wearily as she put her head into her hands. No. No, it didn’t change anything at all. Not to her.

He’d have to do a hell of a lot worse for something to change. The one thing that could alter her feelings was if he betrayed her or was untrue. And she had no reason to imagine he would ever be. But even then...she’d rather cut out her own heart than leave him.

But still… Still, how could he have so hurt a person who had become almost a friend? And over a watch? Her thoughts went round in circles.

She was seated on the bed with her back to the door when he returned two hours later.

“Quinn,” he said gently.

She didn’t turn. He came into the room and sat beside her on the bed.

“Sweetheart.” Rafael took both her hands in one of his. “Let’s talk together. Give me a chance to explain.”

She still didn’t look over at him. “How’s Eric?” she managed to ask despite the tightness in her throat.

“They say he’ll be fine.”

“Rafe. How is he?”

Rafael sighed. “Not in perfect shape at the moment. But they’ll clean him up, do some X-rays, pump him full of morphine, stitch him up and bandage him. He’ll be fine.”

“Why do they need to do X-rays?”

“There was some damage to his skull and a bruise on his brain. Still, they assured me that none of those will stop them from discharging him in a couple of weeks.”

Damage to the…? Bruises on the…? Hell. She turned to look at him at last. “Rafael. Why?”

He paused; she felt he was doing so to collect his thoughts. “I think I should begin at the beginning. Do you know why we didn’t just stay in Rio? Do you know why I brought you to this village?”

Guarded but willing to go along with him for now, she shook her head in response to his questions.

“My mother was from this village. She grew up here.” Rafael paused again. A deep ache passed across the soft gray eyes, but was gone in an instant. The next words were given concisely and without a flicker of emotion. “She died.”

Quinn felt her guard fall away. He’d never spoken of his family before; he’d never alluded much to his past. While she’d long suspected that reason must be that some scars there still ached from time to time, she’d never pushed him to reveal anything. She’d given him his space. Now, for the first time, he was opening up.

Her heart tearing at the two simple words, she was silent and let him continue.

“She died in a plane crash. On my thirteenth birthday.”

Quinn recoiled inside, not realizing when she put her hand to her lips. She looked at him, horrified. He looked back at her; cold, remote. There was a deep, old ache in his eyes.

“Hell of a birthday present. From all I know of you, you’re close with your parents so you might imagine how I felt.”

His next words were even colder. Quinn watched him drift farther from her and into a place she couldn’t follow. She watched it happen, and it scared her. “She was a great woman. She was beautiful, she was strong. She was the one who taught me discipline. She was my rock. And she was gone, just like that.”

She knew she needed to speak, to bring him back. She put her hand over their joined hands. “Rafe…I…God, I…I just…Sorry doesn’t even begin to…” She noticed that his knuckles were cut and bloodied. “Didn’t you have anyone else?” she asked, running gentle fingers over the scrapes on his hands. “Your dad? Any uncles or aunts or siblings?”

The soft words didn’t help. Neither did the gentle touch. She watched him drift farther into old grief. “I never had any uncles or aunts.” He moved his shoulders with indifference. “As a child, I felt no need for them.”

“Your dad…”

“Abandoned us when I was a young boy.”

She wondered how he could recount such things without a trace of emotion. As though he was reading words from a page. “A brother? A sister?”

“I do have a sister. She’s eight years my senior but she’s nothing like our mother.” His eyes met hers. “Nothing like you. She had been living on her own long before our mother died. She had a successful career job and a nice apartment in Sao Paolo. She was a model. She still is. When our mother died, she refused to take me in. I suppose she enjoyed her lifestyle so much that she didn’t want to destroy it by becoming the sole caretaker of an adolescent. I was put into the system.”

Unable to find any suitable words, Quinn merely squeezed his hand. She knew, from all she’d heard and read, that being a kid in the system was a rough hand to be dealt.

Quinn felt for Rafael. She saw what he felt, and felt it as well. His pain cutting at her, she squeezed his hand. “Tell me…how did you…? You were on the streets? Alone?”

“Alone, but for a few months I fell in with a handful of other teens like myself. A gang, you could call it. I was also in favelas, in state boarding schools, in a few foster homes and once in a center for juvenile delinquents.”

Quinn wondered if she wanted to know exactly what he’d done to have been put in such a center. She wanted to ask, but her courage failed her. But it couldn’t be so terrible…right? She looked into his emotionless face, and knew that it could be. Then she looked deeper, and realized it didn’t matter. She loved him and the past didn’t matter.

He seemed to think about something for a moment, and his lips twisted at whatever it was. Then he said, “All this is unimportant now, because you get the idea. Now, onto the watch. After my mother died, our house had to be sold. Her things were cleared out and I found a box with my name on it. I opened it and there was the watch inside along with a card addressed to me on my thirteenth birthday. It was her handwriting and she’d said something sentimental about my being a man now. Clearly, she had meant to give me the watch. She just didn’t get the chance. I’ve kept it all these years. I managed to hold on to it all this time. Now it’s gone. It’s gone because of that idiot’s carelessness and I will never get it back.”

Feeling his pain as deeply as if it were her own, Quinn felt tears well up in her eyes. The only word that she could think to say was sorry. But sorry wouldn’t be enough. So she was silent.

“Except for those couple of months with the gang, I had no one.” A cold lift of his shoulder. “I had no one, and I made myself into the man I am today. I don’t need anything from anyone because I’ve dealt with my issues. I know that they are a part of me but that they don’t define me.” He squeezed his eyes shut again. “The reason I’m just so torn up about the watch isn’t necessarily because of the watch itself. It’s because it was the only tangible thing I had left of her.”

Quinn bowed her head. She was sorry. She was so very sorry. If she’d known this trip meant so much to him—to both of them—she’d never have asked him to let the others join them. If it had been just the two of them he’d still have his watch.

He’d said that he understood all his issues, but she would bet that she understood them even more than he did. The sudden loss of the only person he trusted, and at his most formative age had shaped him more than even he realized. Some things fell into place now; things she’d occasionally wondered at, now made sense.

He thought he didn’t need anyone, but she knew he did. He needed someone who’d accept, and understand. Someone who wouldn’t leave. She wanted to be that person, if he’d let her.

But he wasn’t. He was moving farther away from her and into himself. Closing off when he needed to open up. To trust her. She searched his face, looked into stormy gray eyes. Was there a way to prove to him that he could learn to trust her? That she wouldn’t betray his trust? That she’d do anything for him?

He kept moving away, and now as she looked at him, she felt there was a gulf nearly impassable. She could read no emotions in him. She wanted to plead with him to come back, to not get sucked into such a dark place again, but knew he wouldn’t listen.

She had to try, though. Her heart bleeding for the bewildered young boy who had lost his mother and was now grieving for the loss of the last link he had with her, Quinn was about to speak out in sympathy.

But then something else occurred to her; a memory. She remembered one afternoon in Davenport where she’d grown up and where her parents still lived. She’d been twelve and had failed a science test. It had been the first—and damn well the last—time she’d gotten a D on a test. She’d been miserable. Dennis, who had been spending the weekend, had been unable to cheer her up enough for them to play their usual games.

So instead, he’d goaded her. He’d made fun of her about the D until she’d gone after him. He’d made her chase him all around the block, screaming abuse as she did. But then she’d found that the movement of her muscles, the wind bursting in her lungs and the fire of anger in her belly had done her a lot more good than sitting around and moping.

When she eventually caught up to Dennis, he’d admitted it had been a ploy. A dangerous one, yes…but it’d worked. She’d been pulled out of her own loop and anger, not sympathy, had done it.

Now, Quinn looked at Rafael. It was a dangerous, dangerous ploy. She knew she shouldn’t even be considering it. This wasn’t a failed grade school test. It was his father’s abandonment. His mother’s death. His sister’s cruelty. His troubled adolescence. It was the fact that all those things had been what had shaped his formative years. It was the way he’d pulled himself up from nothing and made himself into this beautiful man she loved.

But she knew that begging him to open up and let her in wouldn’t work. Dennis’s ploy had a fighting chance. And it had an extra advantage—instead of spewing empty platitudes, she could prove herself to him. Prove that she’d brave his anger and put herself in harm’s way, to help him.

Before she could jump in headfirst, a part of her whispered that this was not a decision to be taken so lightly. If she went ahead she could be putting herself in very real danger. Because deliberately hurting him was the key, she would have to make him feel worse before she could make him feel better. Could she really handle that part?

The hesitation was brief, however. It was a risk she was willing to take.

Ignoring the fact that her heart had begun to gallop at breakneck speed, hoping that she hadn’t bitten off more than she could chew, Quinn pinned a scornful look onto her face, tugged her hands from his and coldly said the words that she knew would cut him deep.

“Yeah, well, it still wasn’t Eric’s fault. He just forgot.”

Rafael stared at her then. Clearly he had not been expecting such a reaction. She watched the desolation in his eyes turn to shock. And then the shock turned to hurt at her seeming rejection. His eyes were wide, an ocean of pain—she was on the right path. Now all she needed to do was lay the final bricks.

He reached for her. For the first time, he was asking. “Quinn, amada, I realize that you may not truly understand, but at least—”

She slapped his hand away and interrupted him midsentence, things that she’d normally never dare to do. “Seriously, it’s just a damn watch. A meaningless trinket. Get a grip, Silva. So the woman died.” She shrugged. “Shit happens. Move on.”

Slowly but surely, his pain morphed into anger. She was watching his face as it happened. “You fucking bitch,” he hissed in a low voice.

It had been exactly Quinn’s intention to push him to the point of rage, but seeing the way his eyes flashed now, she began to place serious doubt on the wisdom of the plan.

It was far too late to backpedal now, though. Drawing on reserves of courage and praying that he couldn’t tell that she was scared shitless, she pushed on, her voice dripping with sarcasm and disdain.

“Say what you will about me. I still think you overreacted. I mean, come on, you nearly beat the guy to death. Does that seem normal to you? You blow everything out of proportion, even the tiniest, most insignificant crap. Your sainted Mama’s worthless trash metal watch is a prime example of what I mean.”

He went for her so swiftly that she almost didn’t see it coming. Before she could as much as blink, he had sprung. His body flew onto hers, knocking her off balance so fast that she was winded. Together, they tumbled off the bed and crashed to the floor in a tangle of limbs. Quinn landed beneath him so she took all the brunt of the impact as well as his weight. Her head smashed against the floor, causing her ears to ring and light to bloom behind her eyelids.

When she managed to open her eyes, her head was swimming and her vision was blurred. She could barely make out his outline as he loomed above her. He was straddling her, she realized. It explained why she couldn’t seem to move.

But when both of his large hands went to her neck, she knew that having hit her head was the least of her worries. This had been a bad idea, she thought as his fingers curled around her throat. This was a very bad idea. Her Rafael was gone, replaced by the avenging angel who had attacked Eric. For the first time, it occurred to her that her plan might go too far to work the way she’d hoped.

When his fingers began to tighten, when her air supply started to dwindle, adrenaline kicked in. Quinn knew it was going to be a fight to the death. Play-acting was over now. More terrified than she had ever been in her life, she began a frenzied struggle. She clawed at his hands like a woman possessed, trying desperately to get them away from her neck. The weight of his body on hers prevented her from moving her legs or torso. She could hardly turn or twist or kick. She could only push, claw, pry and shove; futilely it seemed.

“Rafe!” she choked out, barely managing to do so. “Stop! Stop! Stop! Rafael, for the love of God, stop!”

“I loved you, dammit,” he snarled. His voice was a low growl, cold with rage. “I loved you. You were the only person I truly loved.”

She was fighting for breath. Tears began to leak from the corners of her eyes. “Rafe,” she gasped. “Stop. I’m running…I’m running…out of air…please.” Oh, this truly had been a terrible idea.

Mercifully though, his grip loosened. Her vision began to focus again. She was silently thanking all the saints—his mother included—as she greedily gulped in air.

“Did you really think I’d strangle you?” he asked. His voice was flat and cold. His gray eyes held no emotion that she could see. It was as though his humanity was in shutdown and his dark side had completely taken over. While it was chilling, the total lack of expression seemed to highlight the perfect symmetry of his face. “No, I certainly wouldn’t kill you, Quinn. You’re not worth the trouble.”

In a twisted way, it was a relief. But the relief, such as it was, did not last long.

“Why kill you when there are much better ways of making you suffer? Do you want to know what I’m going to do instead?” he asked and then paused as though he actually expected her to respond.

When she didn’t, he continued, “I’m going to use you, mark you, break you and ruin you. And then I’ll get dressed. I’ll pack our things—travel documents, everything. I’ll drive us out to the middle of nowhere and then I’ll kick you out of the car buck naked. I’ll withhold your documents and every penny you have and I will drive away. I’ll leave you stranded on a long dark stretch of road in the middle of the night in a foreign country with absolutely nothing, not even clothes on your back. Anything could happen to you and you’ll have no idea of if, when or how you will ever get home again.” His tone took on a mocking edge as he asked, “Does that sound good to you?”

Where are you, Rafe? she wanted to ask. This, along with a thousand other appeals, was on the tip of her tongue but Quinn allowed them to die a silent death. The Rafael that looked down on her had no shred of compassion to give. She had defiled something he held sacred, and pleas would roll off him like water from a duck’s back. Noiseless tears slipped down her cheeks.

He caught one on the tip of his index finger. “Even an ocean of crocodile tears won’t save you.”

His head lowered to hers. His mouth met hers, very lightly at first; the kiss was slow, intense, so languorous and so melodic that it worsened Quinn’s anxiety. He stretched out so that every line of her body was molded to his own. His lips parted hers and his tongue invaded her mouth, warm, damp, delicious. Quinn could hardly believe the evidence of her own senses—the man who would shortly be delivering her death sentence was kissing her like the gentlest of lovers.

Even knowing what would come later, she could not stop herself from reacting to him. Sandwiched as she was between Rafael’s warm body and the cold floor, wasn’t it only natural that she should cling to him? Wasn’t it natural that long, molten pools of desire should be swirling in her belly? Like hot lava the pools traveled from her core to her extremities, warming them despite the chill in her soul. Of their own volition, her lips began to move under his, matching him kiss for kiss.

Just before she was completely lost to the world, she realized why he was being so tender. This was the last kiss, a goodbye to the Quinn he had cared for. “I loved you,” he had said—past tense. She doubted if the pain to come could match that of knowing that he now despised her.

And when he raised his head, she knew the time had come to find out.

Rafael grabbed the hem of her shirt and jerked it up. In one smooth movement he pulled it over her head and flung it away. Then he shoved his finger into the valley between her tits and ripped her lace bra off. Her tits, perfect and firm, sprang free.

He shifted down her body, his head dipping down to her chest. He took one nipple into his mouth, sucked it, circled it with his tongue, and then without warning, sank his teeth in.

Quinn shrieked bloody murder as she felt her skin give way beneath his teeth. She jerked, trying in vain to buck him off, but he bore down on her with his weight. He caught hold of both her wrists in his hand and pinned them to the floor high above her head. His grip was so tight that her hands began to go numb. His free hand was mauling her other nipple, pinching it, pulling at it, rolling it between his thumb and forefinger until it hardened to a pebble. She was panting, thrashing about beneath him, lost in a vortex of synchronized pain and pleasure. Her own cries resounded in her ears.

“Save the screaming for later, sweetness,” he mocked. “This is only the beginning.”

His hand went to the waistband of her shorts. He unbuttoned and unzipped the thin denim and yanked it all the way down her hips. Her panties followed.

Although she was steeling herself against more pain, she howled when he abruptly shoved three fingers within her slit, nearly ripping her apart. As his thick fingers began to pump out a quick, punishing rhythm, his mouth shifted to her other nipple to carry on its attack. She tossed her head back, wondering if she would ever again be able to separate pleasure from pain as the assault on her body continued relentlessly.

Quinn knew that she was growing wetter when the fingers inside her slid in and out with less friction. She knew desire was building when moans began to gush out along with sobs. She gasped, raising her hips off the floor to meet his fingers.

“That’s it,” he taunted, lifting his head and meeting her eyes. His lips were curled into a sneer. “Spread your legs for me, you filthy little slut.”

“I’m not!” she sobbed. But when his thumb pressed down on her clit, when his searching fingers slid across her upper walls and found her G-spot, she screamed out her pleasure like a bitch in heat.

“Oh, but you are,” he countered, taking hold of her chin and pinching it till it hurt. “Only a dirty slut would enjoy this, especially when she knows that she’ll be getting a death sentence once it’s over.”

She was so wet now that she was dripping around his fingers.

“Say it, Quinn,” he growled. “Tell me what a dirty whore you are.”

Gasping, bucking as geysers of pleasure and pain mounted in her loins, she shook her head wildly, her dark hair whipping around her face.

“Say. It. Now.” For emphasis, he thrust his fingers in much deeper into her soaking pussy.

“Ah!”

Diga. Say it.” He bit her nipple again. Bit, licked and took a sharp suck.

“I’m a slut,” she whispered, her face burning.

“There now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?” he said with a mocking smile. Abruptly, he withdrew his fingers and raised his torso from hers.

What did it say about her that she had to bite her tongue against pleading with him not to stop? What did it mean that she would undoubtedly have cum if he’d carried on just a little bit longer?

She didn’t kid herself that it was over, though. He was still fully dressed—he had only paused to dispose of his jacket, shirt, jeans and shoes. Quivering, trying to take advantage of the temporary reprieve, she began to crawl away as he undressed. She had only put a few feet between them before Rafael caught hold of her ankle and dragged her along the floor until she was under him once again. When she tried to rise up, he flung her back down again.

“Rafe, I didn’t mean what I said. I swear. I swear I didn’t mean it! Don’t do this to me.”

He ignored her, and kept her pinned down with one hand as he kicked off his shoes and jeans. Quinn shook as he moved up the length of her body. She felt his cock, heavy and hot, brush over her cunt, up her belly, and past her tits and neck. She knew what he was going to do next, and opened her eyes to see his lean hips poised above her head. His cock was harder, huger than she had ever seen it. Thick and lengthy, it jutted out from his body at a smooth upward angle. His balls, heavy with semen, hung below. As she watched a single stream of pre-cum issued out of the cock head, dripped down and hit her lips. Without realizing it, she swept it off with her tongue and sucked it into her mouth.

Having caught her naughty act, Rafael laughed softly. “That’s my girl.” His hips lowered and automatically, she opened her mouth. “You know the drill, sweetness. If you try to defy me and bite, I promise you I will tie a rock to your ankle and heave you into the sea. Do we understand each other?”

“Yes…yes sir,” she managed to reply just as the tip of his swollen pole pressed in between her lips. She widened her jaw as his fat dick pushed deeper into her mouth. Grabbing hold of his muscled thighs, she began to suck and lick him. She laved at his hardness with her tongue, feeling her head spin faster and faster as he pushed in to her throat.

She tried her best to suppress the urge to gag. Moaning at the feel of her warm, wet mouth around his meat, he pushed in further and further down her throat. Finally, he was all the way in. Her face was pressed against his body, his balls squeezing into her chin.

She couldn’t even suck anymore. All she could do was lie back, hold onto him, and try to breathe. Grunting, he began to pump his hips, using her mouth as he would have used her pussy. His thick cock slid repeatedly over her tongue, stroked the roof of her mouth as he violently face-fucked her. Her head smashed against the floor with every inward push of his hips.

She heard his grunts and sighs of ecstasy from somewhere above her head and she grew wetter. She felt her own dampness pool in her pussy and drip down her thighs.

Sim. Sim,” he groaned huskily, as his pole stabbed her throat. Impossibly, the pace picked up further. Unable to hold back any longer, she gagged and choked. If anything, it spurred him on. He rammed into her mouth for what seemed like an eternity.

Despite her fright, Quinn couldn’t remember a time when she had been so aroused. Despite what she knew would come later, she felt so vibrantly alive. Accordingly, she was ready when he finally came. His frenzied groans of ecstasy intensified and his thrusts become more powerful.

Then he exploded down her throat. Jets and jets of scalding hot cum shot from his throbbing cock and into her mouth. Squeezing his hips as he spurted, Quinn scrambled to swallow it all. But he was ejaculating too hard and fast for her to keep up. His thick seed filled her mouth and spilled over down her chin and the sides of her face. She tried her best to catch it all, and when he lifted his hips a fraction, she had a little more room to do so. She sucked the last few globs of cum straight from the source, and then set to work on licking all the cum from the length of his shaft.

Once his dick was totally clean, he withdrew from her mouth and sat back on his haunches. Fascinated, he watched as she swallowed. “You truly are filthy, you know,” he said, contemptuous yet undeniably turned on by her performance. “It’s hard to believe that you’re the same jumpy little virgin I took just months ago. I think I’ve created a monster.”

He grabbed hold of her and turned her over onto his lap so that her bare, round bottom jutted into the air. His large hand squeezed one firm globe. “I’ve created a whore that enjoys pleasing me.”

Then, without warning, his palm came down sharply on her other ass cheek. She cried out. The blow had stung horribly, carrying enough force that Quinn felt her skin would peel clean off.

“Which would have been ideal,” he continued harshly. “If only you weren’t such a stone cold bitch.” His hand came down on her other ass cheek. If possible, the second blow was worse than the first. The pain reverberated through her muscles and to her cunt. “Such a stone cold, unfeeling little bitch.” Another slap. Quinn felt hot tears pour down her cheeks. His palm was raining down on her ass, slap after excruciating slap.

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” she wailed. She wasn’t quite sure what she was apologizing for, but she just needed an end to the agony. Her ass was bright red, stinging and inflamed, welted with his finger marks.

Each slap had its echo in her pussy. Each time his hand came down on her ass, it moved her hips upwards, rubbing her clit against his thigh. “No, no, no,” she whispered brokenly. She couldn’t be starting to feel pleasure from this. She just couldn’t. She was his slut, she thought as humiliation washed over her. She was beginning to crave the blows to her ass just to feel the vibrations inside her pussy. She was beginning to hump her clit against his thigh because it felt so indescribably good. Her cunt was dripping, wetting both his thighs and hers.

She practically wept with ecstasy when his finger slipped between her folds. “Rafe, Rafe, Rafe…Rafe, Rafe…Rafe…”

He flipped her over again, shoving her back to the floor. When her abused ass met the cold floor, she cursed.

He climbed over her. His mouth and tongue rolled over her nipples, and then travelled to her navel. He paused when he reached her soaking mound.

Quinn could manage no more than an incoherent mangle of words when his warm mouth descended onto her clit. Her body bucking, she pulled on his hair. Was she trying to push him away, she wondered? Or was she trying to pull him closer? His tongue swirled around the engorged nib, brushed over it and then he pulled it into his mouth.

Yes, coming under these circumstances would be the ultimate degradation, but feeling his tongue tease her inner lips, feeling it migrate down to her hole, she knew that she would not be able to prevent it. She could no more stop herself from coming than she could sprout wings and fly. Giving in to her body’s demands, she moaned and gasped when his tongue worked its way into her snatch. In, and then out again. Pressing, darting, flicking, teasing. His hand went to her clit. He rolled it between his fingers, skimmed over it back and forth with his thumb.

Quinn was trembling beneath him like a wild animal. She heard strange feral sounds and realized that they were coming from her own throat. She doubted if she had ever been so turned on in her life. His lips and fingers where hitting just the right spots. He was playing her like a violin and her body could not take much more of it.

Rafael raised his head and said with authority, “Now. Come now.”

His mouth latched back onto her clit. And come she did. With a bang. Her body crashed in on itself and she felt her whole world implode as unending waves of pleasure battered her. She held his head to her clit as she went higher and higher, her nectar drenching his tongue as she came hard.

He sucked her all through her orgasm, riding it out with her until she slowly came back down to earth. Then she collapsed against the floor, spent.

Sneering, he moved back up her body. “Como é? How does it feel, sweetness?” he asked, tapping her cheek. “How does it feel knowing I own you? That I can make your body do whatever the hell I want it to?” He shoved her legs apart and slid his hips between them. His stiff, huge cock pushed against her belly.

Ashamed, she beat at his chest and tried to get away. Shockingly, she managed to push him back. Some of his weight eased off her, and seeing her chance, she scrambled out from under him and bolted to the door.

She was nearly there when his body hurtled against hers, knocking the breath out of her. He slammed her into the door, and ground his cock against her ass. When his cruel laughter echoed in her ear she realized that he had planned it all—he had let himself be pushed back and he had let her escape, simply for the pleasure of catching and subduing her.

She was wedged between him and the door, his body molded to hers. He was going to fuck her where they stood, she thought dazedly. He would fuck her right there against the door.

Quinn felt his thighs shoving hers apart. She felt the head of his dick at her sopping wet entrance. Her cheek pressing against the door, she cried out as she was penetrated from behind. He was stretching her tight pussy around his thick meat, pushing in deeper and deeper until she felt it would rip her apart. She chanced a look down, and saw with dismay that he was only halfway in.

“Slow,” she whispered, her voice sore.

His answer was to shove a few more inches into her. She cried out, feeling again that heady combination of pain and pleasure. His thick shaft was filling her to the brim, ruining her for anybody else. Nobody else would ever do, she thought, breathless as a few more inches of his staff sank deep into her weeping, needy cunt.

He paused the slow penetration for a moment, and then propelled the remaining few inches inside her with a violent thrust. Quinn cried out as he buried himself all the way in.

Her screams and moans poured out relentlessly as he took her. He drew out halfway, and then slammed all the way in. She was screaming like a banshee as he repeatedly shoved himself inside her, gaining momentum with each vicious, agonizing thrust. She felt her pussy ripple around him as ferociously fucked her against the door. His feverish, animal groans were melding with her screams.

Each thrust of his powerful hips jerked her whole body up. Her nipples were brushing against the cool wood with each upward movement, and so was her clit. Pleasure was mounting with each stroke. Quinn’s body thrummed with the sensation. She began to thrust against him, humping as his dick plunged into her pussy.

She was so far gone, so inflamed with lust that her pain threshold had increased. He was slamming into her with incredible force, but the pain was minimal. Mostly, she loved being filled with him so completely. She felt only the feverish delight of each skim over her perfect spot, of each brush of smooth wood against her abused nipples, of each scrape against her clit. It pushed her into frenzy. She was moving with him as best she could, milking his cock with her walls, holding on to him when he pulled back and pushing back to meet him when he pounded in.

Quinn knew when she was close. Ever since he had shoved the whole length of his cock into her she had been racing full speed ahead to the point of no return. As she reached the peak, she screamed, bucked and pounded against the door with her fists. Her orgasm hit her. It buffeted her, drowned her, and pulled her under like a vortex. Like a raging storm at sea. Her pussy was afire, dampening even further and coating his throbbing cock with more of her essence. He fucked her through her orgasm, drawing it out more and more until, an eternity later, she slumped against the door.

“That’s number two,” he grunted. Still, he was pounding her.

After having come so hard, she grew more sensitive and began to felt the pain of the intense fucking. Her nipples were battered and raw. The feel of them scraping against the door became agony.

“Rafe, please.”

“You’re going to be torn and bleeding by the time I’m through with you,” he grunted, shoving inside her ruthlessly. “You will never forget this night.”

Quinn felt her body turn inside out. Would nobody come to help her? she wondered, her mind caught in a whirlwind. Where was Eric? Oh, yes, at the hospital. He could be of no help to her. And Dennis?

She gasped and sobbed when Rafael nudged her cervix. She would be covered in bruises from head to toe come tomorrow. Maybe she would need to go to the hospital herself. Where the hell was Dennis? Out, she recalled. Out with Carolina. They wouldn’t be back until the next day.

There was nobody to intervene.

She bit the inside of her cheek as he continued to plunder her inner walls; stroke after merciless stroke. She battled back another scream. All screaming did was hurt her throat. She bit down hard and did her best to ride out the pain.

Quinn was relieved when she finally felt the telltale signs that he was about to come. His muscles tensed, his excited groans deepened and his dick hardened even further inside her.

She felt him pulsing within her, heard his harsh shout of pleasure, and then felt an explosion of warmth as his cock drenched her insides, filling her up to the brim with spurt after spurt of his hot semen. The feel of his cock releasing its load of sticky cream deep into her womb triggered something within her, something primal and animalistic. She blew up into another orgasm, coming with him, wheezing as she felt his cum overflow and started to leak out from the base of his shaft.

“That’s number three,” he whispered into her ear after they came down from ecstasy together. He stepped back, withdrawing from her. Without his support, she sank, as though boneless, down onto the floor. His cum gushed out of her abused, burning cunt. It was red and sore, making quite a picture as his seed oozed out of it and down between her legs.

Praying the torture was finally over, Quinn looked up at him.

He let out a harsh laugh. “Not quite yet, sweetness. There’s still one hole I haven’t filled.”

Shaking, unable to bear anymore, Quinn tried to crawl away—a last-ditch effort to save herself. All too easily, he grabbed hold of her and hauled her back. She slumped face-first onto the floor.

His dick, still extremely stiff, prodded at her back hole.

“Rafe, I beg you, don’t. I can’t take any more. I can’t…I just can’t.”

“Don’t let me down now, Trooper,” he laughed quietly, his warm breath fanning her neck. He ground his cock between her burning ass cheeks. “You’ve been a champ so far.”

His large hands reached between her and the floor, cupping her soft, firm tits with his palms. It was a kind of relief, she thought. As long as he kept his hands around her tits, her nipples wouldn’t scrape the floor once he started taking her ass. After all the abuse they had suffered, it would be nearly unbearable.

She bit down on her lip as she felt his cock press into her ass, bit down so hard she tasted blood. She was trying her utter best not to scream as she was being ripped into shreds. Her ass, already throbbing from the severe spanking it had received, was bursting into flames yet again as he sank his fat cock into the impossibly tight hole.

Like he had when he had fucked her pussy, he penetrated her slowly until he was halfway in. And then he pushed in the rest of the way with one stroke.

She couldn’t hold it in any longer—she screeched long and loud.

“Yes,” he groaned, squeezing her tits. “Scream, menina. Scream for your master.”

As he began to pump in and out of her ass, Quinn did as she was bid. Ignoring the fact that her throat was torn and hoarse, she gave vent to all her feelings in lurid cries. Lying just underneath her screams was the sound of his guttural moaning and the slap of skin against skin.

Why? Why? she wondered with fresh shame. Why was it that, no matter the circumstances, he always got the better of her? How could she be starting to enjoy this brutal ass fuck when her body was already spent and broken from all the other things he had done to it? Why was the sound of his moans turning her on so much?

She groaned as he squeezed her tits again.

“That’s it,” he moaned, his hips surging into hers. “That’s my slut. Taking everything I throw at her and enjoying it.” He shoved into her. “Diga.”

“I’m your slut,” she cried out.

Novamente.”

“I’m your slut!” she yelled again.

Lost to all rational thought, lost to everything but Rafael, she moved against him as he took her ass. A few more moments and she was coming all over again. She was spinning, lost in the world where only she and Rafael existed.

As she slowly came down, he was peaking. After a couple more thrusts, he buried himself all the way in and held still as his own orgasm took over him. He trembled as he was submerged in an ocean of pleasure. His cock spilled several ropes of his seed deep inside her sore ass. He remained lodged inside until he had poured all his cum into her.

Finally, he pulled out. “That’s number four,” he said quietly and lay back onto the floor beside her.

Quinn lay very still, waiting with a heart swelling with fear for him to get up and carry out the second part of his punishment. When she heard or felt no signs of movement, she looked up from the floor and up to him.

He was staring at her with unreadable eyes.

She withstood the look for a few moments, but unable to take more of the scrutiny, flipped over and turned her back to him. “If you’re going to destroy me then do it now,” she said in a bleak voice she barely recognized as her own. “The longer you wait, the worse it will be when you finish me off.”

But he didn’t. He didn’t get up. He didn’t move. He didn’t turn. After what seemed like hours to Quinn he said, “The truth.”

She looked at him, her body ragged. Her voice hoarse. “I…I wanted to piss you off. I didn’t mean it. You know me. You know I didn’t mean the things I said. You were so sad, and I didn’t know what to say or do. So I thought that if I made you mad instead of sad…if you took it out on me…you wouldn’t be broken anymore. You’d be better. I couldn’t bear seeing you hurt. I wanted to hurt instead. You know I didn’t mean the things I said. Rafe, you already know. You know me.”

Rafael nodded once. “Isso foi planejado. You did it on purpose. I suspected.”

She buried her face into her hands. Words wouldn’t come. The silence held for a long moment. They’d both known what she was doing, and they’d both gone along with it. Because it was a necessity?

Rafael reached for her and flipped her around to face him. Still, she couldn’t raise her head.

Then she heard him say in a voice filled with gratitude, “Thank you. Thank you so much for what you did.”

Her head snapped up. Their gazes locked. His gray eyes were affectionate, warm, soft, sincere. They were the eyes of the man she loved. Fighting tears of mingled hurt and happiness, Quinn reached out for him. He pulled her close as well and wrapped his arms around her body.

“You’re welcome,” she said into his chest, pouring out all her contrasting, innumerable feelings in quiet sobs. “I’d do it for you all over again if I had to.”

“What possessed you to do such a crazy thing?” he asked with a sigh of what she knew was regret. “You’re hurt from head to toe, and that’s a colossal understatement.” He brushed gentle fingers down the length of her throat. The marks from his fingers were there. Her skin red and inflamed. “And it could have been worse,” he added low, his hand sliding into her hair and over her scalp, trying to feel for any bumps where she’d hit her head. “It could have been so much worse. I could have actually…God. You shouldn’t have done it. More to the point, I damn well shouldn’t have done it.”

There they differed. She might have sustained some war wounds, but she didn’t regret it. How could she when she’d gotten him back? “You’re fine. We’re fine. That’s all I wanted,” she replied. She reached up, hunting for his lips. When she found them with her own, when she tasted and felt him, everything clicked into place. The world sat right on its axis.

When she felt herself being lifted, she opened her eyes to find he was putting her into his arm. “Where are we going?”

He didn’t answer. He just carried her to the bathroom and seated her on the sink countertop. He filled a glass with water and put it in her hand. Then he got aspirin out of the cabinet above her head.

“Thanks,” she muttered. She drank the aspirin and gulped the glass of water. It felt good going down her throat. She watched him above the rim of the glass as he ran cold water over a towel.

He held the towel to her forehead.

The cold towel on her hot skin felt like heaven. She closed her eyes, savoring the feeling. Then she let out a little sigh of simple pleasure as his free hand moved to her back, and then to her sides. His fingers kneaded her gently but firmly; massaging her aching muscles. Taking away the soreness and the pain.

Aspirin, water, a cool compress, a massage…perfect. Her eyes remained closed as her body soaked up all the care and relief.

Then as the silence went on, she opened her eyes again and looked at him. He was looking at her, his own eyes flat. She took another sip of the water. “You’re mad at me for doing it, aren’t you?”

“How could I be angry with you for being generous?” He stopped massaging and touched her cheek, rubbed her skin softly with his thumb. “I sorely wish you hadn’t, because it was every bit as foolish as it was generous. It could have gone terribly wrong. You might not be sitting here.”

At the thought, he didn’t speak for a moment. Then he carried on. “And as I said before, the blame is actually mine for going along with it against my better judgment. I could have called your bluff—but I didn’t.” He sighed yet again. “You were the punching bag. You shouldn’t have been.”

“Yes…but as I said, I’d do it again if I had to. I’d do more for you.”

“I’m glad you would, but wish you wouldn’t. I appreciate the sentiment—but it shouldn’t be called to action.” His hand moved from her cheek to her throat. Where his finger marks would begin to show soon. His eyes were a soft, pained gray. “When would enough be enough, Quinn? You’re beautiful. You’re resilient, more so than many would see or understand. But when would I hurt you enough to break you?”

She wanted to say something to reassure him. She could tell him the truth; she wouldn’t break. That she’d go everywhere with him, regardless of…anything. She’d proved something tonight, but only time would prove the rest, and that she’d always be there. That she had his back.

So she set the glass down and said instead, “As for everything you told me…I appreciate you trusting me. I'm sorry for the terrible things I said. You know I’m on your side. I’m always on your side. I feel your pain like it’s mine. It is mine. Just saying I was sorry for what happened to you didn’t seem…I wanted to…”

“I understand. And I regret you were hurt.” He leaned closer, touching his lips to hers. “I love you, amada.” He nibbled gently on her lips between kisses. The words were sincere and without frills. “I love you. Know that. And know that I won’t stop.”

She let the words hang in the air, savoring them, replaying them in her mind and then storing them away in a safe place where she could revisit them again and again. Whenever he was angry or displeased with her, if ever he was harsh she would listen to the beautiful words again.

His hand was drifting down her back. The other was working gently, soothingly at her nipple. Smoothing and strumming like a maestro playing a fine instrument. While it was comforting, a gentle fire slowly built in her belly. Quinn sighed and stretched in his arms.

After another moment of silence she said, “Rafe?”

“Yes, minha pequena doce de coco?”

Having picked up enough Portuguese over the months they’d been together to understand what he had just called her, she felt the beginnings of a smile touch her face. My little coconut candy, he'd said.

Her next words came fast. “You know we still have a few days left of spring break, so can you take me somewhere? Can we leave here tomorrow and go someplace else? Just you and me? I just need to be alone with you. We have to go back to school soon, and you know my parents are dying to meet you so we’ll have to make plans to go see them soon. But until then and for the rest of spring break, I don’t want to have to see or interact with anyone that isn’t you.”

“That’s the best idea I’ve heard in a long time.” His fingers drew patterns on the skin of her back. Her other hand was in his. “Where would you like me to take you?”

“Anywhere,” she said fiercely, laying her weary head into the crook of his shoulder. “I’ll go anywhere at all in this whole freaking world. Just as long as I get to go with you.”
4 comments

Luv2smileatuReport

2017-09-20 21:38:00
More please! !!!!! I'm desperate for it!!!

DesiredUsername35Report

2017-08-31 19:25:32
I can honestly say, thank you both for your comments.
@Shianarmani, I appreciate the kind words and I hope you'll like the next chapter. Quinn and Rafael still have a ways to go, and I'll keep posting the story on here as long as it makes sense to do so :)
@countrycadillac.... HAHAHA! I tried to be offended by your comment, I really did -- but it was just too amusing and I ended up having a good laugh. In the nicest way possible...you can read, right? Because I plainly warned about the content in the disclaimer, not to mention that the chapter is tagged with "non-consent" and "violence." Nobody went into the story not knowing what to expect -- so I'm not sure why they'd complain. Still, your comment was perfect. I think my favorite parts were "vile", "no human value whatsoever" and "very sad." Haha! It was a lovely speech, truly. Thanks also for saying the story was great otherwise -- that praise made heart sing with joy :)

countrycadillacReport

2017-08-31 17:14:51
The vile part of this chapter has no human value whatsoever and would be the reason no house in the USA would ever put this otherwise great story in print. Very sad, could even have been considered movie content.

ShianarmaniReport

2017-08-31 16:58:59
This was an amazing part! I cannot wait to see what happens next

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