Dave checked his watch and squeaked in excitement.
It’s finally midnight!
So, where’s my relief already? I wanna run to Hank.
The bedroom door behind him unlocked.
Dave snapped to attention.
The door opened and Mark Caten sauntered out. He looked at Dave.
He looked at the blank space that was supposed to be Hank.
“So, where’s your boy toy?”
Dave couldn’t help bristling.
I consider Hank to be many things, but never a toy. “He made the mistake of eating ten chimichangas before work. They just caught up to him.”
“Hahahaha! Chimichangas, huh? Is that what you’ve been calling yourself? Hahahahaha! What a pathetic nickname. Hahahahahahahahahaha!”
Dave’s ears burned.
“Ahh, but really? You have my pity. You really do. It must be dreadful to be so…” He smirked. “…woefully understaffed.”
Dave tightened his grip on his spiked club and resisted the urge to clobber him repeatedly with it.
“Not that I would personally know such misery. Hahahaha! There’s nothing wrong with me. After all, I am a gorgeous beast of a god. No boast. Just common knowledge.” He snapped his fingers. “Come. Preyuna left me far too soon. I need to have a long conversation with that girl.”
“Um. But. My shift has ended.”
Mark Caten gave him a blank look. “So? I don’t see your relief just yet and I want to talk to Preyuna right now.”
Oh! Why aren’t they here yet? Why do I have to deal with him right now? I just wanna run to Hank.
“Come. Or I will make things difficult for you and your rainbow lover. There are many ways I could go about it. So many lovely ways, including but not limited to castration and/or full emasculation.”
“If you hurt my Hank, I’ll—”
“What? You’ll what? Hurt me?”
Dave felt overly aware of his weapon’s weight.
“If you do, I’ll make sure he gets killed. And let me tell you, gay sparkle boy, it will be a splendidly ugly death.”
Dave’s shoulders slumped. “Fine. I’ll come.”
Mark Caten patted Dave’s hooded head. “Good boy. Come.” He strode down the hall.
Dave followed him.
Eschia brushed Preyuna’s hair. Over and over.
Preyuna smiled. “I appreciate you doing this for me.”
“Not a problem, Your Majesty. It is an honor to serve you.”
An honor to serve me.
To serve me.
Not Mark Caten.
Preyuna sighed happily. “Yes. I have missed this so much.”
“I hate to ruin the moment, but what are you going to do about Isellta?”
“I don’t know. That stupid boy is so attached to that ugly vampire he’ll gladly stay with an imposter who intends to eat him.”
Eschia brushed in contemplative silence. “You could just cut ties with him. If he’d rather be with—”
“No. He’s mine. I’ve claimed him. He belongs to me.”
Eschia stopped brushing. “But—”
“End of discussion.”
A moment of tension passed between the two women. Only to quickly disappear.
“Of course.” Eschia resumed her hair brushing activity. “Please forgive me, my Queen.”
“You are forgiven.”
The bedroom door banged open and Mark Caten entered the room.
Preyuna stiffened her back.
“mm. Mm.mm. Look at this lovely buffet set up just for me. A cupcake and a dainty little Bundt cake.” He strolled over to them.
Preyuna stared at her reflection in her vanity mirror.
He stopped behind her. “Hello, cupcake.”
“Eschia. Leave the room. Now.”
Eschia set the brush on the vanity table and left without any question.
“tsk. Ruining all of my fun. It’s been a long time since I’ve had—”
“What do you want?”
“Hm? Oh, just the usual.”
“Sorry. But I am not—-”
He wrapped his hands around her throat. “Not interested, cupcake. You left me.”
He tightened his grip. “You. Left. Me.”
“Because I had enough of your sick games. I needed to—”
He squeezed her throat, making her gasp. “Don’t care. You aren’t supposed to just run off on me like that.”
“You’re mine, Preyuna. Mine. What I say goes.”
Spots danced before her eyes in erratic patterns. She was only dimly aware of him pressing his lips against her open mouth.
She hoped desperately for unconsciousness to take her.
But he released her and she remained conscious.
Preyuna rubbed her neck and panted. “Get out of here or I will turn your skin inside out.”
He grabbed her wrists.
“Let me go!” She jerked her hands away from him.
He slapped her hard across the face. “Know your place, fey.”
She glared at him. “I do know my place. It isn’t with you and it most certainly is not here. Let me go home. Mark, please. Let me go home.”
“No. You’re mine. I’ve claimed you, Preyuna. You belong to me.”