Blog Tour: Retribution by Natasha Knight
Retribution by Natasha Knight Publication Date: January 12, 2016 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Dark
About the Author
Natasha Knight is the author of several BDSM and spanking erotic romances all of which explore the mind of the Dominant male and the submissive female, discovering just beneath the surface of each story that key element of love. Her characters are as human as she: powerful but vulnerable, flawed, perhaps damaged but with an incredible capacity to love.
Excerpts for RETRIBUTION by Natasha Knight
For the sixth day this week, I watched Elle Vega walk out of the trendy café, wave good-bye to her friends, and climb into her shiny, new VW Bug. Yellow. Compliments of Daddy, no doubt. I knew for a fact she had a Mini sitting in the garage at home, too, but she wouldn’t bring that around this group. No, she had to maintain the appearance she was like them. Like her friends. She’d then take the long way to her condo in the West Village. Tiny, charming, absurdly overpriced. Perfect for the rich little bitch.
“Mr. Smith, can I get you anything else?” Mary asked, the dark circles under her eyes betraying her fatigue. She’d been serving me the same thing every day for the past six days — a double espresso and a slice of apple pie.
I took my wallet out. “No, thank you, Mary. What’s the damage?” I already knew. It’d be less than ten bucks, but I dug out a fifty-dollar bill anyway.
“Here you go,” she said, handing me the check.
I glanced at it before slipping the fifty into the little pocket folder. “That should cover it.”
“Oh, no, sir, it’s really too much.”
I closed my hand over hers to stop her from giving it back. “How’s Kyle doing, by the way? Things settle down at school?” She was a twenty year old single mom working two jobs, one of which paid below the minimum wage. Fucking ridiculous how, here in the United States of America, one of the wealthiest fucking countries in the world, we have kids like this raising their own kids, struggling to put food on the table.
She smiled, knowing she needed the money. Knowing I knew it. “Kyle’s good, and, yes, it’s going better. The bigger kids stopped teasing him, it seems. His teacher’s pretty nice, actually.”
I smiled back at her. “Good. I’m glad to hear it,” I said, standing. “Oh, one more thing.” I took a business card out of my wallet and handed it to her. “I’ll be going out of town for a while, but if you ever need anything, don’t be a stranger.” She was a good kid. Got a shit lot in life, but a good kid.
Her nose reddened and her eyes moistened. “Thanks, Mr. Smith. You’re a great guy.”
I almost chuckled, wondering if she’d think that if she knew the reason for my daily visits.
I dug the keys out of my suit pocket and went around the corner to where I’d parked my Harley. People turned to stare as I climbed on. It was only natural, I supposed, to watch a big guy in a three-piece suit, wearing shoes costing more than most made in a month, ride a fucking Harley through town. The bike was the only part of the past I brought into my present. The rest I’d return to later, when it was done.
I followed the little yellow bug from some distance away, although I didn’t need to tail her. I knew where she lived. I knew what she ate. Where she did her dry cleaning. Who she socialized with. Who she fucked — although that was surprisingly infrequent. I knew the contents of her underwear drawer. Knew what kind of vibrator she liked and how often she used it. And, today, I’d meet Elle Vega face-to-face. I’d introduce myself as her new neighbor, and I’d steal her life, just like they’d stolen mine.
Excerpt 2 (explicit):
“Offer still stand for a drink?” I asked, not sure what the fuck I was doing.
“Are you going to make the decision for me if I don’t choose correctly?” Elle searched my face. My rejection earlier had apparently hit harder than I’d expected.
I chuckled and placed my hand at her back to guide her toward our building. Inside the elevator, I shoved her up against the mirrored wall, caging her in with my forearms bracketing her face while she stared, her expression one of a deer in headlights, her big crystal-blue eyes so fucking innocent all I could think was she needed to close them, to stop seeing me. And so I did the only thing I could to make that happen. I kissed her. I kissed her sweet little mouth, one hand cupping the back of her head as my tongue pushed past her lips to claim hers, her taste like warm honey as rain cooled on our skin. The bell sounded, and the door opened. My forehead to hers, I gazed at her still-flushed face, taking the brown paper bag from her hand, kissing her once more before leading her to her door. Her fingers trembled when she handed me the key. I unlocked the door and let us in, kicking it shut as I pushed her once more against the wall, devouring her mouth, my cock like steel against her soft belly as her hands traveled up along my arms to wrap around my neck. I led her down the hallway and into her bedroom, our bodies always touching, unzipping her hoodie along the way.
“Wait. I need a shower.”
“No.” I kissed her again, stripping the hoodie off her and tossing it aside.
Her hands searched my chest, pushing my sweatshirt off as I reached for the hem of her tight T-shirt.
“Adam.” She pushed at my chest. “I need to shower first.”
“I said no.” I yanked the top off so she stood in a sports bra, running pants, and shoes, the strip of exposed belly trim and petite. I peeled the sports bra off and licked the trail of sweat between her breasts before seating her on the bed. Kneeling between her knees, I looked at her, at her small, high breasts, the nipples pebbled, her hands first on my shoulders then on my head, pulling me to her. I took one full breast into my mouth and she moaned as I sucked, pulling back slowly until I had her nipple trapped between my teeth. She watched me as I did, her pupils dilated, her eyes black with the tiniest sliver of blue around the dark. She looked fucking amazing, and my cock would not be patient tonight. Not this first time.
Pulling my shirt over my head, I tossed it aside and watched her face as she scanned the tattoos covering my chest and arms. Ink to give me strength, to make me remember. She opened her mouth, in awe perhaps? But I didn’t give her time to study me, time to read what was written there. Instead, I sucked her other breast while working her shoes and socks off then gripping the waistband of her running pants. She lifted up slowly as I peeled them off her. She wore no underwear. I pushed her backward on the bed so she lay down, her legs parted. I looked at her pussy, bare but for the little strip of neat, dark hair above her slit. With my thumbs on either side of the lips, I spread them open. She leaned on her elbows and watched me, her breath coming in short gasps as she waited for me to take her in, pretty little pussy lips gleaming pink, her clit now uncovered and swollen, the scent of her stronger for her run.
I met her gaze before bringing my mouth to her sex, her gasp filling my ears when I closed my mouth over her clit, her hands on me, pulling me closer as she ground her hips up into my face like a greedy little slut.
“That feels. Oh…” Her hips bucked. “More. Please more.”
Pushing one finger into her cunt, I licked her pussy before sucking hard on her clit, sliding a second finger to join the first as she began to whimper until, finally, she called out my name, the groan coming with it a deep sound from her chest as she came on my tongue, her taste so fucking sweet I could eat her forever.
“Damn it, Adam, don’t turn your back. I have a right to answers.”
My heart hardened, missing a beat when her hand landed on my shoulder. I turned. She backed away instantly upon seeing the change in me.
The bastard always slipped away. Like a snake, he slithered out just when you thought you finally had him cornered. She was the only way to punish him.
“You want answers?” I took a step toward her.
“You said you didn’t want to scare me.”
“No, I didn’t.” I took her wrist and yanked her close. “I warned you to run. Now it’s too late.”
She stared up at me, fear immobilizing her.
“Let’s go get you some of those answers you want.” I turned, dragging a struggling Elle behind me, her cries background noise, my head too full to hear.
Walking her back down the stairs we’d climbed, I bypassed what would one day become the lobby and went into the bowels of the building, to the only completed floor. The farther down we got, the more she struggled, but it didn’t matter. She was weak; her efforts made no difference. She would go where I took her.
Sharp nails clawed at me by the time we reached our destination. Darkness consumed us, but I knew every inch of this particular space. Picking up a flashlight with my free hand, I switched it on and watched her eyes grow wide, saw her chest heave with short breaths when she saw the heavy steel door as she twisted to get free.
“Stay,” I told her.
“What?” Terror stole her voice, and I took hold of both her arms, the flashlight digging into one. Her eyes shone with collecting tears, and I wondered what she saw when she looked at me. Did mine give me away for what I was? For what I would become once we set foot beyond that door?
“Stay. Don’t move, understand?”
Tears slid down her face and she shook all over, nodding, as if she already knew whatever lay behind the door was bad.
It was. And it was built for her. I’d done it all for her.
With effort, she dragged her gaze from mine, but she stayed put while I dug the keys out of my pocket and unlocked the heavy door then pushed it open. But when the light of my flashlight bounced off the steel bars within, she made some sound and turned to run. Instantly, I gripped her wrist, catching her before she bolted.
“I told you to stay, didn’t I?”
She stared at me, and I wondered if she saw the monster emerging from within. A monster who would hurt her.
I wondered why her father didn’t have her better protected. He’d made it so easy to take her.
“When I ask you a question, I expect an answer, Elle,” I said, dragging her into the room. She screamed for me to let her go and dug her heels in, as if willing her feet to grow roots into the ground. She caught hold of the door frame, a last ditch effort before I towed her inside and the door slammed shut behind her. I switched on the light to illuminate the whole space, telling of the horror that would become her life.
“You’re crazy! You’re crazy!” She backed away from me, but the door had locked as soon as it shut, and I held the only key. I merely grinned, not attempting to catch her now, watching her instead as she took in the large room, the walls and floor a dirty gray, a cell in one corner, within that cage a cot with a mattress on top, a toilet, and more chains hanging from the walls than she’d probably seen in her whole life.
Her pulse throbbed in her neck as her eyes darted this way and that in frantic search of an exit. Didn’t she understand it was too late? That her fate had been decided the day my sister had killed herself?
She clasped her hands together and turned to me, her face the picture of terror. Was terror what Alessandra had felt when they’d taken her? When they’d beaten her? When they’d raped her?
“Why did you bring me here?” she asked, her voice so small I almost didn’t hear the question.
“I wanted to show you what it was like.”
“What what was like?” She backed up a step when I neared her.
“What it was like to be taken from your home. To be locked up like some animal. Stripped of everything.”
At that, she hugged her arms around her center, the wall at her back with her final step. She’d know now she was out of space. Out of options.
“I don’t understand, Adam.”
“No, not yet. You will, though.” I moved toward the cell and opened the door before gesturing for her to enter. “But, lucky for us, we have time. Welcome to your new home.”
“How long do I have to stay here?” Elle asked.
“Until I’m finished.”
She hesitated but I waited, knowing she had another question.
“Are you going to kill me?” Her voice broke as she asked the question she’d asked the night before.
I closed the space between us, combing her tangled hair back with my fingers, catching on a knot, making her wince. “I don’t want to kill you.”
“Then what do you want?”
“I already told you. Your pain.” I traced the line of her jaw with the knuckles of one hand, making sure she saw me, truly saw me, when I said what I said next. “I only want your pain, Elle.”
She swallowed, her eyes searching, trying to comprehend, to process. I took a step away.
“Please don’t leave me here in the dark,” she said. “Please, Adam. I’m so cold, and… I’m scared.”
Her confession wrapped itself around my heart made me glad I had my back to her. She couldn’t have seen her words made me pause, made me question. Made me fucking feel.
I squeezed my eyes shut, forcing memories of Alessandra to come, to shroud the image of Elle’s tear-stained face, to obliterate any compassion I felt. But they wouldn’t. They would not. I would be granted no reprieve, and why should I be? My heart was as black as her father’s heart. It had to be, or I couldn’t do this, couldn’t do what I had yet to do, to another human being.
Without another word, I walked out of the cell, not turning as she ran to the bars, trying to capture my arm from between them, pleading with me. I ignored her. Slipping my jacket on, I unlocked the heavy outer door and left without looking back, pulling it closed behind me, leaving the light on for Elle.
As soon as the door closed, all was silent, the room soundproof, the door costing a small fortune but necessary for my purposes. If only blocking out my thoughts was as easy, as straightforward, as closing a door behind me.
“Bathroom, Elle, I don’t want you pissing yourself during your whipping.”
She shoved away from me, sobbing loudly, beating her fists into my chest. “Why? I didn’t do anything to you. To anyone!”
I caught her wrists, her too-thin, too-fragile wrists, tears still spilling from her eyes.
“I didn’t do anything to her,” she said, her voice breaking as she hung her head to weep.
Shoving her away, I rubbed my hand across my face. “Two minutes. Get your shit together.”
I turned to walk out, but she followed, standing in the way of my closing the door.
“Once you do this, is it over?” Her hand shook when she gripped my arm. “Will it be finished then?”
I looked at it, at the hand coiled around my arm, desperately trying to hold on.
“No, Elle. It won’t.” She wouldn’t let this go. She waited for me to “finish.” She had no idea what that would mean for her, though.
She raged then, howling, trying to fight me but too weak, managing only to piss me off because all her fear did, all her pain did, was scream at me the fact I was a monster. Like him, like them. No better than the men who had stolen so much. I couldn’t deny the truth of it. I was breaking Elle as surely as they’d broken Alessandra.
“Fuck!” I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t listen to this. Couldn’t feel pity for this woman. I would not allow it. Gripping both wrists in one hand, I hauled her back toward the cell while she kicked and screamed, the sound fueling a rage stomping out any tenderness someone else would have felt. Someone not a monster.
In the cell, I shackled her to the chains hanging from the center of the room, high enough she had to stand on tiptoe. She screamed all along, and I wished I had a gag to stuff into her mouth because I couldn’t take any more. Her anguish made my heart bleed, yet if I didn’t do this, if I stopped, called an end to things, wouldn’t I be forsaking Alessandra? Wouldn’t I be betraying her? Choosing the daughter of the monster over my defenseless, dead sister?
Alessandra is gone. Elle is here. She’s alive.
No. No, I wouldn’t entertain anything more.
Wiping the back of my hand across my eyes, I went quickly to the duffel bag I’d brought in yesterday. It contained the whip, a long, thin horsewhip with a single knot at the end. She quieted when she saw it and her lip trembled, her entire body shaking at my approach.
She shook her head. “Please don’t.”
“Adam, please —”
“They gave her thirty-six strokes. I’m giving you half that number. Mercy, Elle,” I said, drawing my arm back as she fisted the chains and begged again for me not to do it.
Didn’t she know yet, didn’t she understand that I couldn’t not do it?