Preyuna stopped in front of Caten’s desk. “You called for me?”
“Yes.” He put down his nail file, stood, and walked around the desk to her. “That was very clumsy of you. Letting your little leaf litter bag drift downstairs with my guard.”
Preyuna considered pointing out the fact that she hadn’t known about Isellta and Jay’s activities. She had expected Isellta to go down there eventually, but not that soon.
But she said nothing of the sort to Caten. After all, that seemed like the easiest way to set him off on a ‘You should have known’ rant that she really didn’t want to deal with. “Nothing happened, Mark.”
“Oh, I know nothing happened. Obviously nothing happened. Otherwise, I’d be really sore right now. As it is, I’m just mildly disappointed.” He wagged a disapproving finger at her. “That was a very weak attempt to ruin my plans. You can’t even imagine how disappointed I was when I saw him poking around in there. Sloppy work, my chicken-fried cupcake.”
“I didn’t tell him to go downstairs.”
“But you failed to stop him.”
I just wanted to read my book in peace and quiet. But I can’t tell him that either.
“There is nothing to worry about, Mark. There is nothing for him to see.”
“Of course, there isn’t. But he knows, doesn’t he? Don’t bother answering that. I know he does. Because of course he does.” Mark Caten leaned back against his desk. “You’ll need to do something about that.”
“Like what, exactly?”
A smile stretched across his face. “Oh, come now, my newly minted dime store cupcake. I’m sure I don’t have to lay it all out for you.” He straightened up and grabbed a handful of her hair.
She tried not to wince.
“Use your imagination.” He pulled her hair in a sharp jerk.
She winced, but managed not to cry out.
“And don’t let him downstairs again.” He tangled his fingers up to her scalp. “Do you understand me?”
“What? Yes? Just yes? Oh come on. You can do so much better than that. Give it a try.” He jerked her hair again, eliciting a small cry from her.
Hatred burned her throat. “Yes, my lord and master.”
“Lord and master? What kind of cheap, sad title is that? I am so much more than that.” He pulled her head back.
If I could hurt him. If I could kill him….If only I could go home.
“I want to go home.”
He laughed. “Sorry, little dumpcake. Wrong answer. Call me your god, your king. Tell me how amazing and wonderful I know I am. Give me titles and adjectives that I deserve.”
She scoffed. “You…deserve nothing.”
His mouth tightened in an angry line. He jerked her hair so hard her arms involuntarily flailed out. Her book fell on his desk. “Say it, Preyuna, queen of nothing.”
I want to snap his fingers. I want to tear out his eyelashes and eyebrows. I want to break him in a million different ways. “Yes. Oh great and magnificent god. I will make sure he doesn’t interfere with your plans.”
He smiled lovingly at her. “Good.” He released her hair. “You will take care of it?”
“Yes.” She stood up straight and smoothed her hair. “I will make it impossible to find.”
He pinched her face. “That’s my good little gooey grape cupcake.”
If only I could tear his filthy fingers out of their sockets…
“Is there anything else you require?”
“Not at this time. But don’t worry, sweetie. I will let you know when I need you again.”
“I’m sure you will.” She started to maneuver around him.
He quickly grabbed her arm.
She jerked her arm out of his grip.
“I just want you to know that I’m going out tonight with a client. A female client who has a spectacular townhouse and no one to show it off to. Isn’t that tragic? So, I told her that I would LOVE to see her—” He chuckled. “—-‘townhouse’.”
“Are you asking for my permission or are you just gloating?”
“Neither. Just wanted to give you that head’s up. That way you won’t stay up all hours waiting for me to come home.”
“As if I would ever do that.”
“Hahahahahhahaha! Of course, you will. And you will feel terrible and jealous as you snuggle with your little fey brothel boy. Because he is not me. He will never be me and you will never want him and desire him the same lovely, dirty way you want me.”
“I would never want Isellta to be like you. He is gentle and caring and THAT is much better than anything you could ever offer me.”
He brushed his hand across her forehead. “But he makes you so unhappy. You think I don’t see it or that I don’t care. Oh, but I see it, Preyuna. I do.”
She pushed his hand away and picked her book off the desk. “Some things don’t merit any comment. I’ll leave it at that.”
Mark Caten smirked. “Yes. I think I’ve made my point. He returned to his side of the desk and sat in his chair. He did a limp-wristed wave at her. “You may go now.”