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Quinton's Crucible

Dominion Trust : 4

By: Trent Evans
Published By: Shadow Moon Press
Copyright: Published by Shadow Moon Press
36 Chapters / 94,500 words
Heat Level:
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As it so often was, my choice was obedience, or pain.

When they held the whip, or the cane, or the crop, my eyes always focused on the hands. The way the fingers caressed the braided leather of a handle, the way a maroon painted nail would catch the light as the cane sliced through the air, my bound body waiting to be reacquainted with its old friend agony.

I knew what they wanted, what they expected. But I never cooperated. They’d never make me give it to them.

I always chose the pain. No matter how bad it was — and there had been times that it was awful — it still paled next to the bitterness of obedience, of bowing.

To her.

Never.

They liked to make me wait. But it wouldn’t work either. I would endure, and I would prevail.

The door opened, the subtle zephyr of air across my chilled skin bringing me back to the present. I straightened my back, raising my chin. It was an unspoken expectation that I was to look at the floor in their presence, but I wasn’t about to meekly conform to their insane demands. It would cost me, I knew, but nothing came without cost in this place. I would show them I was no cowering dog.

I would endure.

The sound of the heels on the smooth concrete always echoed, and as a result I could never tell how many of them had entered, how many would witness my ordeal, participate in it, savor it.

Then the heels appeared in the circle of light shining down upon me. So, it was to be only one tormentor this time. I dreaded it when it was only one, for oddly, it always lasted longer, the pain was always worse.

But I would endure.

“Do you know how long you’ve been in this hole?”

My blood ran cold at the sound of the silky smooth voice, the cool confidence, the edge in her slightly clipped cadence. It was her. I was certain of it.

Anna.

I was afraid, but she'd never know it.

I would cry out before the end, a seething mass of marks burning across my skin. As always, I'd try to hold back the tears. I wouldn’t let her see them. Not ever. I would not scream. I would not break.

I would endure.

My punishment was always merciless, but that wasn’t the worst of it. It was what happened afterward.

Those words.

She whispered them against my welted skin, as my muscles trembled and spasmed, pain wracking my shoulders, the stripes upon my back like flames licking my flesh. 

It wasn’t her lash that I feared.

They were the words she spoke to me, before leaving me to my agony, my solitude. Each time, they threatened to undo me — and each time I heard them, they were more seductive.

“Surrender to me.”

---

Finally, the harrowing story of Quinton Trask's ordeal can be told. This novel can be read as a stand-alone, but the experience will be much richer if the reader has previously read Her Troika, Book #2 in the Dominion Trust series.

Publisher's Warning: This dark romance is intended for mature audiences. 18 and over only!

This Femdom erotic romance contains the following themes or activities: pervasive F/m M/s, capture fantasy, non consent, captivity, sadomasochism, orgasm denial, rough and explicit sex, spanking, caning, piercing, humiliation, degradation, forced exhibitionism, voyeurism, objectification, sensory deprivation, and other acts of (very) unequal power dynamics. If any of these might be offensive to you, please do not buy or read this book.

Word Count: 94,532

Prologue

 

As it so often was, my choice was obedience, or pain.

They never said anything when they came into my cell. Wordlessly, they’d stand before me, the light shining down, illuminating only my naked form, my body clad in nothing but chains. I had never once seen their faces. The light was far too harsh, even when I was allowed my sight. No, of them, I knew only the athletic legs, their boots, the feminine high heels that made them seem to tower over me. Sometimes they were in leather, more often in the mundane. Jeans, shorts, leggings. Once it had been slacks, as if my persecutor that day was on her way to a business meeting, and stopped off for a quick bout of torment for me.

And their hands.

I knew every line, crease, and vein of their slender hands. Some were tan, most were pale, even delicate.

What they did to me was anything but.

As they held the whip, or the cane, or the crop, my eyes always focused on the hands. The way the fingers caressed the braided leather of a handle, the way a maroon-painted nail would catch the light as the cane sliced through the air, my bound body waiting to be reacquainted with its old friend agony.

I knew what they wanted, what they expected. But I never cooperated. They’d never make me give it to them.

I always chose the pain. No matter how bad it was — and there had been times that it was awful — it still paled next to the bitterness of obedience, of bowing.

To her.

Equally wordlessly, they would string me up by the wrists, and I would wait, in silence, whether gagged or not.

They liked to make me wait. But it wouldn’t work either. I would endure, and I would prevail.

The door to my cell opened, the subtle zephyr of air across my chilled skin bringing me back to the present. I straightened my back, raising my chin. It was an unspoken expectation that I was to look at the floor in their presence, but I wasn’t about to meekly conform to their bullshit rules. It would cost me, I knew, but nothing came without cost in this place. I would be beaten regardless, so I resolved to show them I wasn’t a cowering dog.

I would endure.

The sound of the heels on the smooth concrete always echoed, and as a result I could never tell how many of them had entered, how many would witness my torture, participate in it, savor it.

Then the heels appeared in the circle of light shining down upon me. So, it was to be only one tormentor this time. I dreaded it when it was only one, for oddly, it always lasted longer, the pain was always worse.

But I would endure.

“Do you know how long you’ve been in this hole?”

My blood ran cold at the sound of the silky smooth voice, the cool confidence, the edge in her slightly clipped cadence. It was her. I was certain of it.

“Don’t you people own calendars?” My voice was a croak, my raw vocal cords only one of the several mementos from the last time I received one of these visits. “I can’t exactly keep track of the days in here, wherever this is, so you’ll have to excuse me if I haven’t a fucking clue.”

The slap rocked my head to the right, and I sucked in a breath, the heat blooming upon my cheek.

“You don’t ever curse in here.” Her voice sounded from the darkness, her heels clicking slowly upon the cement as she walked around me.

“I’ll tell you what you can do with your fu—”

The hand reached around from behind, closing upon my testicles, the tight squeeze making me hiss. I gritted my teeth as she increased the pressure still further, my body wrenching in the stricture of my suspension. My toes brushed the cold concrete as my legs shook.

“I can go on if you want to keep running that mouth, boy.”

“Okay! Okay!”

With a last squeeze, she let me go, and I blew out a long breath, my chest rising and falling rapidly. I was afraid, but I’d never let her see it. She might make me cry out as the fire slashed across my ass, but I’d never let her see my fear.

The cane struck without warning. It was her way. I’d come to know it well for she’d beaten me before. I was crying out before the end, my ass a seething mass of burning welts, my back striped with fire. As before, I tried to hold back the tears. I wouldn’t let her see them. Not ever. I would not scream. I would not break.

I would endure.

My punishment was merciless, but that wasn’t the worst of it. It was what happened afterward.

Those words.

She whispered them against my welted skin, as my muscles trembled and spasmed, pain wracking my shoulders, the stripes upon my back like flames licking my flesh.

It wasn’t the lash that I feared.

They were the words she spoke to me, before leaving me to my agony, my solitude. Each time, they threatened to undo me — and each time I heard them, they were more seductive.

“Surrender to me.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

For the first time ever, Anna wasn't sure she could go through with it.

Sitting there on her deck, high up in the foothills of the Cascades, the cool breeze whispering through her hair, she flipped through the file once again, still not quite believing what she was reading. She'd reviewed it twice more since she'd arrived, hoping familiarity would quell the unease, the doubt.

It hadn't worked.

She watched Darynn and Ivy talking in low, quiet voices, the sound of their words barely audible above the wind. One bold, one cautious, the two women were the team she needed, wanted, both of them more than capable of handling the assignment.

But could the assignment handle the subject?

The pictures were still jarring to her — and not just those showing the victims of his cruelty. In truth, he’d overstepped the bounds of both legality and morality more times than she could count, with plenty of photographic evidence confirming it.

That wasn’t the worst of it though. It was the eyes.

Quinton Trask was possessed of the sort of pale blue eyes that could be those of an innocent, or the cold, emotionless gaze of a heartless sociopath. Which was he?

When she’d taken the assignment, she’d been assured it was the latter, Grayson’s foam-flecked lips and reddened face giving lie to the rage seething within him. He intended to make Quinton pay dearly for what he’d done to the powerful man’s niece.

Quinton could have been much worse to the girl, of course — and Genna had indeed agreed to be bound by her Term — but that didn’t matter to Grayson Corddray. Vengeance was what he sought — and Anna was to be the instrument of it.

“Are we clear on the plan?” Anna took a sip from the warm mug, the coffee searing, invigorating.

The subtle gloss of Darynn’s lips curved, the wolf considering its prey. “Nervous?”

“If you’re not, you’re delusional.”

Ivy, a finger twirled in an auburn curl at her ear, pushed herself away from the deck railing, the thin gray knit sweater she wore hugging her dramatic curves. “I think I’m nervous enough for the both of you.”

Icy blonde, beautiful, and sadistic, Darynn Hauser was well known in the community. The ex-military domme was the perfect Amazonian “bad cop” to the “good cop” in the form of lush, curvy — and deceptively perceptive — Ivy McClellan.

It was a calculated risk to rope Ivy into the plan, the use of a female submissive — one just beginning to explore the idea of being the one to hold the whip — seemingly at odds with the harsh medicine that would be required for such a hardened, stubborn subject.

Something told Anna that it could work though. She was going on instinct with the cute little Ivy, but she’d learned long ago that instinct rarely led her astray.

If all three of them could work together, Anna knew she had a chance, a chance, to get through all the bullshit, all the lies, all the malice that swirled within the troubled young man.

The plan just might work, and for his sake, she hoped she was right.

“Just follow Darynn’s lead,” Anna said, winking at Ivy as she took a second draw from the steaming hot Columbian blend. “The route is simple. Once we’re in place, I’ll take over.”

“I wish I could’ve been there. To see him.” Darynn took a seat in one of the white wicker chairs, the material crackling as it took the woman’s weight. “Was he scared?”

“Hard to tell. He spent most of the interview cursing at me.” Anna set down her mug, remembering his voice, the fury. Rage wasn’t the only thing she saw in him that day though.

Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

“We’ll see how tough he is once he sees the error of his ways.” Darynn laid an elbow on the table, cradling her chin in the palm of her hand, her fingertips drumming along her jawline. “How is he? He gonna be a tough nut to crack?”

“I suspect so. But it won’t matter.”

“Is it true Corddray imposed no limits? I’ve never… I didn’t know that was allowed.” Darynn’s gray eyes glittered.

“It’s true — he didn’t. But Trask did.”

Darynn’s frown was the cat watching the mouse scramble away at the last moment. Then she grinned again. “What about his body? His ass?”

Anna nodded slowly, knowing where her friend was taking this. “He’s… in shape.”

“I like the ones who actually have an ass. Makes for better whipping. Been a while since I’ve had a chance to practice my patterns.”

Ivy cleared her throat. “Um, patterns?”

Darynn drew imaginary stripes across the tabletop. “Tramlines. I like to see how close I can get them. With luck, they’ll swell and combine into one agonizing mark. A nice healthy ass gives me more room to play.”

“Jesus Christ.” What little color the very fair Ivy had, drained from her face.

Anna frowned. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”

“What about his cock?” Darynn touched her lower lip with a maroon-painted fingernail. “I suppose we can cross that bridge when we come to it…”

“He’s not going to have much use for that cock.”

Deep pink suffused Ivy’s cheeks, but her smile told the real tale. “Not unless someone’s a very good boy.”

Anna had a job to do, one she was being paid handsomely for. Though she tried, she couldn’t say she’d taken the assignment for the money. Her association with the Dominion Trust had made her wealthy already. What Quinton had done to those women disgusted her, the man’s stupidity both frustrating and infuriating.

But what Grayson had ordered her to do to Quinton filled her with revulsion, a deep anger. She didn’t quite know why though. Was it because such things were beyond the pale, even for her? Or was it because she felt Quinton could never be taken that far?

Already protective. Not a good sign.

It was… something else. A feeling. A hunch. Even as Quinton had railed against her, threatened her, the veins standing out at his neck and forehead, she’d seen enough that day, enough to tell her that she’d take the job, no matter the conditions. Perhaps she needed the challenge? Maybe she was bored. But what she saw in Quinton’s hate-filled blue eyes in that musty, dreary interview room had piqued her interest.

She saw a scared boy.

Despite her near loathing of the man for what he’d done, she’d taken notice of the subtle thrill she’d felt at the thought of him on his knees, in chains, that rage transformed to remorse, to pleading.

At that moment, she’d have him.

Once she’d brought him to that place, to that surrender, Anna knew she could work on him — and that it offered a glimmer of hope for the doomed, bitter young man.

If she could find that scared little boy inside.

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