Publication date: May 23rd 2022
Genres: Adult, Dark Romance, Romance
I caught the bouquet at my best friend’s wedding. I wasn’t even dating anyone, so I was sure I wouldn’t be next.
Until someone from the past came back. We’d promised if neither of us were married by the time we were thirty we’d marry each other.
But then I’m taken captive by someone else and told I am the sacrifice, that I’m now property. A payment for a debt that has nothing to do with me.
Now I wish I could go back to that boring, safe life. Because this can’t possibly be my fairy tale.
NOTE: This is a dark contemporary standalone in the Dark Wedding world.
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Soren crosses the room to me and sits in a chair near the bed. “I’m afraid we’re in a bit of a situation, and you’ve become the sacrifice.”
“Are you going to throw me into a volcano?” It’s meant to sound sarcastic and angry, but it comes out small and weak as though I think that might be what’s really about to happen here. And honestly I’m not sure because who talks like this? You’ve become the sacrifice? What sacrifice? And suddenly I’m back inside my fantasy again, except this time it’s a nightmare.
This feels like some kind of punishment for fantasizing about my best friend’s husband.
He chuckles. “No, Macy. Though you’d be an appropriate candidate for a volcano god.”
My eyes widen at this remark. Does he know I’m a virgin? How could he possibly know that? That’s private. Would Livia have told him? She wouldn’t. Or is it just that obvious how innocent I am? He’s so perceptive he can probably smell the purity on me. I wonder what purity smells like. Gardenias? Crisp fresh sheets? A mountain spring?
Soren must read the betrayal on my face because he says, “Don’t worry, Livia didn’t tell me, but I know everything that happens in my home.”
I wonder briefly if he’s got the place wired up so he can spy on her, and once again I’m worried about my best friend’s safety and once again wanting to disconnect this guy’s balls from his body. Not only am I a sex fiend in my imaginary world, but quite violent as well.
I’m grateful the room is so dark because I don’t want him to see me blushing again. I wish I had the kind of skin that could conceal embarrassment instead of blooming out in bright pink for all the world to see.
“Why am I here?” I rattle the handcuff impatiently. I want to add and why am I naked? But I don’t want to draw attention to this vulnerability even though I know he knows about it because he’s probably the one who took my clothes off.
I want to beg him to let me go, but I’m not quite there yet. I don’t want to be so pathetic so quickly—especially since it’s still hard for me to believe this has happened. And there’s a part of me still convinced he wouldn’t hurt me because of Livia even though I’m now not sure if he’d hurt Livia.
But wouldn’t he? Maybe he’s a secret serial killer. I saw a six-part series on TV about killers who lived normal lives and nobody suspected until they had a big body count and were in handcuffs in a courtroom with cold dead-eyed stares which nobody seemed to notice before that exact moment. Their wives all thought they were wonderful.
After that I went down an internet rabbit trail about it and couldn’t sleep properly for a month. It also didn’t do my dating life any favors. On the one hand I was afraid I might date a serial killer, and on the other I was afraid I might be the girl who gets serial-killed while the clueless wife sits at home thinking he’s amazing. So maybe Soren is that kind of crazy.
He sighs. “As I said, you’re unfortunately the sacrifice. You see, I have a… what do you girls call it? A frenemy? Apparently some things I said caused some problems for him, and he believes I owe him. He’s threatened to tell the world the truth about my unconventional marriage. This would also spill out onto Dayne and Griffin. And of course it would affect Livia. So you are the sacrifice that stops all that unpleasantness and keeps all our stock prices up.”
He keeps saying that word: sacrifice. And I don’t quite know what it means, but I know it can’t be good.
KITTY THOMAS writes dark stories that play with power and have unconventional HEAs. She began publishing in early 2010 with her bestselling COMFORT FOOD and is considered one of the original authors of the dark romance subgenre.
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