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Unholy Bonds

by T.S. Watkins 4 months ago in fiction
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Chapter Seven

My phone rang suddenly startling me out of my dazed perusal of my reflection in the studio mirror. I didn’t have time to alter the costume at all because we had driven straight to the venue. Tugging vainly at the scrap of fabric barely covering my chest I answered before checking the caller I.D.

“Dusty Rae Rivers!” Melissa’s sharp tone immediately made me cringe away from the phone, “I thought I told you to call me?” her voice was anxious and tight.

“I’m sorry Missy,” I said, bringing the phone back to my ear, “I’ve just been kind of busy, so much has been happening.”

“Yeah okay, Desert Rose.” I paled and nearly dropped the phone, “I don’t care what kind of mask you’re wearing, I would know that scar on your leg anywhere.”

“Missy don’t you dare tell anybody!” I felt sick if anyone on campus found out...I shuddered at the possibilities.

“I knew he was cute but Beau? Holy cow Dusty!” her voice trailed off, “So is he Chevalier Noir or Triple Threat.” The burning curiosity in her voice caught me off guard.

“Triple Threat is his little brother,” I said quietly, careful not to give out any more names, “Erreur Fatale is his older brother.”

I could almost see the envy curling her toes through the phone, “Jesus Dusty,” she fell silent for a minute before she continued, “So you’re a model now?”

“No, I just did it for Angelique,” I said firmly, “I haven’t decided yet, you know I want to be behind the camera, not in front of it.”

“Oh girl…” she said wistfully, “I would kill to be in just one of those shoots with them, so what did Liam think about his brothers being all over you?”

“Missy you can’t give them away, they wear the masks for a reason.” I said sternly, avoiding the touchy subject, “Not even Liam, nobody can know who he or his brothers are.”

“Okay fine,” I heard the pout in her voice, “But can you at least ask him and his brothers to sign one of my posters or something? I’ve been dying to get an autograph please Dusty!”

“I’ll ask them,” I grumbled, still trying to arrange the fabric across my body to hide more skin, “Jesus I hate this thing!” I didn’t realize I spoke out loud until Missy piped up in my ear.

“What thing? What are you up to today anyway?” she sounded worried, “Honestly you sound a little grumpy today.”

“Liam and his brothers have this Halloween Bash for Beau tonight and they asked me to go,” I sighed, giving up on the scraps of fabric, “I have a costume if you can even call it that. More like a roll of ribbon if you ask me.”

I heard her gasp, “What is it! I want to see!” her excitement was audible, “Send me a picture please!”

“It’s some kind of forest pixie outfit,” I muttered to myself, “But fine, I have to go so I’ll text you a picture, okay?” I heard her laugh as I ended the call.

Backing away from the mirror I straightened the gauzy clinging strips of fabric, making sure the woodsy embellishments covered everything, and snapped a quick shot. A quiet knock on the door made me turn around.

A small woman with platinum blonde hair and a dazzling white smile whipped through the door professionally, “My name is Camilla, I’ll be doing your makeup and hair, Miss Rivers.” Holy shit a personal stylist? I was dazed as she firmly sat me down in a chair in front of the vanity, “We’ll just work off of the style of the costume alright?” nodding silently I watched her immediately get to work.

Her expert hands slowly turned me into a creature worthy of the wild costume, weaving the side of my hair into a complicated braid and leaving the other side hanging free. She artfully wound faux wildflowers into the braid creating a crown and went to work on my face.

“Wait, I don't wear makeup!” I stuttered and she gave me a puzzled look.

“How about a fresh natural look with a little color to define the eyes and lips?” she said, “Like a light liner and a pale blush for the lips?”

“I think that would work just fine, thank you so much,” I said feeling relieved. She went to work scrubbing at my skin with an exfoliating pad and then softened the look with a muted balm taking away the shine.

She lined the edges of my eyes into a smokey cat eye and ran a light liquid gloss over my lips, plumping them. Stepping back, she admired her handiwork.

“You do have very beautiful skin, Miss Rivers,” she smiled briefly, “I think this look fits you wonderfully!”

I glanced in the mirror and blushed, she was right I didn’t even look like myself. The creature looking back at me screamed wood sprite. All leaves and flowers and blush, like a nymph out of a fairy tale.

“Oh my…” I was speechless for a second, “Camilla you are amazing at this! Thank you!” she smiled politely and gathered her supplies, leaving as swiftly as she had appeared.

I was trying to gather my courage when Liam came into the room quietly, he was wearing the bottom half of a firefighter’s outfit. The red suspenders stretched tautly over his bare chest. My jaw dropped, Okay drool! The stunned expression on his face spoke volumes.

“It’s too much I know,” I said quickly before he could speak, suddenly losing what courage I had managed to gather, “I have a robe that might work with this.” I turned away and started digging through the case of my clothes that had appeared at the flat while we had been gone shopping. Liam had it brought to the studio, so you have some clothes there. He had said with a laugh.

Liam strode across the room and snapped the case shut, “No, you’re beautiful,” he said, I could see his hand shaking, “Although I wouldn’t mind you covering up a little more here.” he ran his finger across the top of my chest, where a few wisps of fabric mimicking leaves and moss deliberately hid the most intimate parts, “And here,” he laughed gripping my hips where long gauzy strips of green taffeta hung sparingly to my mid-thigh, mocking a skirt of swaying grass and flowers.

I shuddered under his touch, “I didn’t have time to alter it, I'm sorry,” I said quietly, he grinned and handed me a bag.

“I thought you might get a little squeamish, so I had mom bring this,” he said as I pulled the long clinging silk wrap from the bag. It was a translucent green with brown accents, matching perfectly to the wood sprite costume.

“Oh, it’s so pretty!” I pulled it around my shoulders gratefully, “Wait she’s here already?” my nerves jumped.

“Of course, she’s making sure the buffet and the DJ are ready and checking the RSVPs to assure there are enough refreshments and tables.” he said kissing my forehead, “This outfit suits you, like a wild forest spirit, I like it.” his wolfish grin made my toes curl.

Blushing I turned away, “Well let’s get this nightmare over with,” I mumbled edging away toward the door, “But if I step on your toes, I don’t want to hear it. You are the one that wanted me to come, remember that.”

He laughed and handed me my white mask from the shoot, “I’m an excellent dancer, just let me lead you and you’ll be fine.”

I carefully pulled the mask over my hair and settled it on my nose. He did the same, his gray mask sharply contrasting against the sexy firefighter ensemble. Taking my hand, he pulled me out the door and toward the bustle of preparations.

“Beautiful!” Angelique immediately hugged me when we finally found her fussing over the food. Darren was at her shoulder looking dangerously dark in a police uniform fully unbuttoned displaying his body to advantage and uniform slacks slung low around his hips. He glanced up at me from under the hat he was wearing and his eyes widened, “You won’t believe how many copies of the magazine we sold!” Angelique gushed, “And the product is already flying off the shelves!”

I blushed under Darren’s sharp gaze and smiled at Angelique, “I’m so happy everything is working out the way you wanted it to,” I said brightly, “I’m glad to help.”

“Oh, honey please tell me you’ve reconsidered,” Angelique bit her lip looking up at me pleadingly, “I haven’t seen copies fly off the shelf that fast since we introduced Triple Threat to the mix-up.”

“I’m still considering it,” I looked away quickly and caught the glare of a beautiful woman. She was scowling at Liam’s hand in mine, that must be Victoria.

Liam followed my gaze and tightened his arm around my waist possessively when he saw her, “Victoria.” he growled, and turned around addressing his mother “Why do you still let that leech come?”

“Honestly, I don’t invite her dear.” Angelique said glancing at Victoria, a scowl marring her lovely face, “These events are open to the general public too, not just the VIPs.”

As if sensing her name, she leisurely made her way across the busy room, “Hello again Liam,” she was dressed in a scanty maid outfit, the fabric clinging tightly to her curves.

My nails bit into my palms as I clenched my fists at the sultry undertone of her voice. She was so pretty! Her black hair hung in heavy waves down her shoulders framing a heart-shaped face and too large blue eyes.

“Victoria,” Liam bit out the name sharply, I could hear the venom and leaned into his side supportively.

Angelique and Darren disappeared into the staff quickly, leaving us alone with her, “you look especially delicious tonight.” she reached out and snagged one of his suspenders with a slim finger, ignoring me completely.

Instantly furious I slapped her hand away, “Keep your claws off of him!” I snapped; she turned a glare on me.

“Ew, what kind of parasite have you found now Liam?” she curled her lip in disgust, “Don’t touch me leech!”

I swung before Liam could grab my arm, catching her full in the mouth and knocking her down. She clapped her hand over her mouth and tears welled up in her eyes, “Dusty stop!” Liam clamped my arms down firmly, making me aware of the hushed silence around us.

Several of the staff bustled over suddenly pulling her to her feet and giving her a cold compress for her mouth. I noted the split lip smugly as she dabbed away the blood, “You assaulted me!” she howled, drawing even more attention, “You’ll be hearing from my lawyer!” turning she stormed away.

When she disappeared, I heard a stifled laugh and turned around, Micah was snickering behind his hand looking at me, “Wow you are violent, aren't you?” he said sauntering over, “Don’t worry, mom has been wanting to do that for years. We’ll take care of the lawyers, that was, wow.”

“It was funny,” Liam agreed, looking down at my dark expression, I was pissed! How dare she just waltz up to him and touch him! I felt a fierce surge of jealousy, “Calm down little hellcat.” he stroked my back soothingly and I scowled at his grin, “I didn’t know you were so protective, maybe I should hire you as my bodyguard.”

Micah burst out laughing and was joined by Darren and Liam. I flushed as Angelique made her way back to us, “What are you laughing about?” her furious scowl caught us off guard, “This is bad publicity! If the media gets a hold of this we’ll be slandered!”

Darren straightened, a hard glint in his eyes as he sniffed disdainfully, “She needs to stop popping up at our events,” he said crossing his arms over his chest, “She knows she isn’t welcome, not to mention she keeps forcing her company on Liam, myself and Micah included.” he glanced around the room, “Every scandal about Beau was started by her, besides the event hasn’t even started. I’m sure we will be perfectly fine, she needed to be put in her place. I think Dusty just helped us honestly.”

Angelique scowled and whisked away, a tiny storm in her flowing fairy costume as she disappeared. Liam scowled looking up at his brothers.

“I hope you’re not still planning to steal my date for the night.” they both turned hurt expressions to Liam.

“Come on, you're just going to leave us to the wolves?” Micah frowned, giving Liam a begging puppy look from under the brim of his cowboy hat.

“Yeah, how come you’re the only one that gets an out on the hoard?” Darren turned his scowl on him, “Just one dance, when the hoard is making rounds.”

“We’ll keep our hands to ourselves.” Micah piped in a devilish gleam in his eyes, “Besides, the rate you two are going she’ll be our sister before too long.” I flushed hotly, “I want a dance with my future sister-in-law.”

“That’s up to Dusty, but I say no.” Liam scowled at them, “Both of you have bad reputations with women, one of the reasons we can’t even have a maid.” he snapped.

The brothers turned to me and I clammed up, “Come on, just one dance Dusty, save us from the mass.” Micah gave me a disarming smile, “I’ll behave I promise.” Darren glared at him but remained silent watching me impassively.

“Liam, your mom did say I need to get comfortable around the other models but I don’t know about this.” I said to him, backing away, “Guys you honestly scare me a little.” I admitted sheepishly and their jaws dropped.

“You?” Darren almost burst out laughing, “You’re afraid of us?” he doubled over, his hat falling on the floor, “Jesus woman, you throw more punches than any girl I’ve ever met and you’re afraid of us?” he picked his hat up, a mirthful glint in his eyes.

I scowled as Micah piped in, “Yeah and you hit hard too,” his expression fell, “Come on at least buy our dances? I’ll let you punch me if I do something you don’t like.” his crooked grin looked almost boyish, “We’ll pay.”

“Fine, one dance.” I mumbled, my face burning, “But that’s it, and only because I’m nice, why don’t you want to dance with your fans anyway?”

“It’s not that we don’t want to,” Darren interjected clearing his throat, “It’s that only ones who wind up being able to afford the dances are either quite old or spoiled beyond all meaning.” he twirled the handcuffs from his belt languidly, “Someone who isn’t either would be refreshing.”

“I can’t believe you two.” Liam rolled his eyes and hooked my hand through his arm, “We’re going over here now before you talk my girlfriend into something else she doesn’t want to do.” he practically drug me away from the snickering pair.

“It’s alright I guess.” I pulled the wrap tighter around me as we wound our way through the throng of people just starting to arrive at the party. Beautiful flashy costumes jumped out at me, I suddenly felt like my ensemble was very plain compared to the daring amount of skin I was seeing.

Catching my grimace Liam laughed, “You look fine,” he said startling me, “Most of the women you are seeing now are the other models from Beau, some from other agencies too.”

“I feel out of place,” I admitted, frowning and clinging to his side, he was moving toward the stage along the wall, “Since Victoria left do I still have to bid for your dance.” my nerves were acting up again.

He laughed dryly, “Sweetheart, she was the highest bidder, I didn’t say she was the only bidder.” I paled as he gestured to the other guests jostling at the doors, “Don’t worry, just keep out of reach and always raise your flag, I can cover whatever it costs.”

“Won’t it cause problems with your other guests if I monopolize you guys?” I said suddenly worried, “And what about your mom? Won’t it look bad on her business if her three most popular male models buy their own dance?”

Tugging me to a chair he sat me down and gently pulled my mask free, “That’s where you come in, to them you’ll just be another fan.”

“Give that back!” I snatched at it but he whisked it out of my reach, “Liam are you crazy? They’re going to eat me alive!”

He pulled a beautiful emerald choker and bracelet out of his pocket, “Guess you need to look like a rich spoiled princess huh?” I gasped as he gently fastened the choker around my neck and slid the bracelet over my arm.

“These better not be real!” I hissed at him, he shrugged and turned away innocently, “Liam take these back!” I tried to take them off and his hand came down over mine hard.

“The dance auction is first,” he said quietly, glancing around I saw that there was already a throng gathering around the stage, “If you don’t want those you can give them back later, but since you told them that you would buy their dance then it’s best if you look untouchable.” I paled at his serious tone, “I’ll send one of the backstage bodyguards out before it starts, you’re going to need it.” sighing he gave me a brief sweet kiss on the lips before he turned and vaulted up onto the stage in one jump.

A wave of low wolf whistles rolled from the crowd, he gave them a halfhearted wave and a smile before disappearing behind the curtain. After a few minutes, a very stout gentleman with a headset and a black shirt that read SECURITY came from backstage and jumped down from the stage.

“Miss Rivers?” he came up to me with a very businesslike air, I nodded mutely, “My name is Dawson, I’ll be your personal security for the night.” he shook my hand firmly.

“Alright ladies and gentlemen!” an MC whisked out from behind the curtain, a black fedora jauntily perched on his head as he preened in front of the crowd, “First up we are selling you a date for the night! A dance and a kiss from your favorite Beau model!” I blanched, nobody said anything about a kiss! No!

Getting straight to business the MC reached back and pulled a lever, the curtains whisked to the side and the crowd erupted into whistles and cheers. Twenty-four models were lined up on the stage, twelve exotically beautiful female models in slinky costumes and twelve distressingly attractive male models. My mouth went dry, holy shit! I immediately looked for Liam, he was near the middle holding a stage prop ax across his shoulders. Darren was beside him twirling his handcuffs and Micah was in front of them, his fingers tucked into the waistband of his low-slung jeans.

Oh god, these women are going to kill me! I wrung my hands nervously as the MC pulled a blushing blonde model into his arms, “What do we hear for our luscious fine wine, Phoenix?” immediately the bids started pouring in. I felt sick to my stomach, this is insane! The price quickly shot up to fourteen thousand and my stomach dropped to my shoes. I’m way out of my league here!

She was finally auctioned off at twenty-five thousand, each bid was close to the same, always flying up swiftly. I saw one patron in a tuxedo get into a fistfight with a Tarzan over one of the model’s bids. My stomach twisted nauseatingly and I sat quietly waiting for the guys to come up. I’ve got this. I repeated mentally, almost a mantra to myself. Finally, after all the women had been sold, he started on the guys. Slowly bidding them off, I realized that the guys hadn’t lied. Most of the bid winners were eccentric older women or very spoiled-looking heiresses, I sighed. Suddenly it was Micah’s turn, I steeled my nerves.

“Okay girls, one of your favorites!” the MC crowed, “Here we have Triple Threat! Our sexy gunslinger for the night, really now check out those guns!” Micah looked irritated as he flexed and posed for the throng. Screams rose from the crowd and it turned into a bidding war. The price shot up even faster than the women had.

Staying safely tucked behind Dawson I obediently raised my flag after each bid, holy shit how high is this going to go! An exotic-looking Indian heiress kept raising the bid shooting daggers at me with her eyes, finally, at ninety thousand, she bowed out glaring at me. Micah jumped off the stage and came over to me grabbing me in a tight brotherly hug.

“Thanks gorgeous!” I flushed and pried his arms off, “Oh come on don’t be like that.” he frowned and sat at my table sullenly.

“Next up we have our number two highest-rated sex magnet, Chevalier Noir!” Liam stepped forward into the spotlight swinging his ax down and propping it on the floor as he looked around the crowd, “Let him put out that fire for you!” the crowd erupted.

The bid immediately got ugly, quickly shooting up to nearly one hundred fifty thousand. It was the heiress again, she shot me a daring look and I stood up, she is not winning this one! “One hundred sixty thousand!” I called out boldly, glaring at her challenging gaze. She darkened and whipped around stalking away.

“Oh, we have a lady who wants it all I see!'' The MC crowed as Liam jumped down off the stage and came over to me, he kissed me firmly when he reached me. Dropping me into a European style dip, “And she’s already got a kiss! Let’s see how it goes with Erreur Fatale!”

Last on stage Darren stepped forward and tossed his handcuffs out into the crowd. A fight started almost immediately, “Alright ladies! Your number one top-rated!” Darren’s frosted blonde hair glinted in the spotlight as he turned and shot the crowd a devilish smile, “Bad girls beware, he uses those cuffs!” The screams were deafening, I covered my ears and stared at the other two.

“Jesus, is it always this bad?” I mouthed over the shrill cacophony, they nodded laughing. Rolling my eyes, I held up my flag as the bidding war started.

It was brutal, escalating quickly to well over three hundred thousand. Darren caught my eyes with a small apologetic grin.

“Is she going to win again?” the MC shouted as I put up four hundred fifty thousand, “Looks like she got the dream team tonight ladies!” he said when nobody else flagged.

I felt a thousand glaring eyes burning me where I stood as Darren stepped off the edge of the stage. He came across to me and kissed my cheek. I was sure I turned beet red, glancing away I saw Liam glaring at him.

“Okay people, let’s get this bash going!” a stage hand rolled a turntable across the stage, and immediately the MC hammered out a rapid dance beat.

“Me first.” Micah said and quickly whipped me into his arms, “This is my song!” whisking me away before they could react, he pulled me into the throng of dancing bodies. Keeping up the show he pulled off his gun belt and hung it around my neck. Pulling me against him he started guiding me along to the beat.

I stumbled awkwardly and almost fell when he swung me in a tight circle. He grabbed my waist and firmly set me back on my feet. I looked away blushing hotly, catching the glum stares of Liam and Darren. They were standing by the buffet, leaning against the table drinking some kind of smoking drink.

Finally, the song wound down to a slower one and I was pulled away by Darren, “Thank you,” he said smiling sweetly, “I won’t steal you for long.” He swung me into a dangerous trash polka-type dance and I scrambled trying to keep up with the complicated steps. Sighing he stopped and picked me up, setting me on his feet he guided me around the floor like a child.

I glared at him, “I swear it’s like you guys are doing this on purpose.” he gave me an innocent look.

“Doing what?” he dipped me so low the top of my head almost touched the floor and then brought me flush against his chest.

“Antagonizing Liam.” I growled, “You know he doesn’t like you guys messing with me, so why do you keep testing him?”

Setting me back on my feet he slowed down and gave me a small smile, “Did you ever stop to think that maybe we aren’t testing him? We’re testing you.” my jaw dropped as he continued quietly, “every girl that he’s dated has been after something, me, Micah, our money. It changes every time.”

I glared at him, “You actually think I’m like those grubby leeches?” I yanked my hands away and stopped dead on the floor, “I’m not using him Darren, I don’t want his money and I’m not about to duck out on him for one of his brothers.”

He smiled and pulled me back into his arms, “The crazy part is I actually believe you.” he shook his head as he pulled me closer to the side of the dance floor, “He chose well, which is what makes you so beautiful.” I flushed, “You’re too pure for our world, I think you should back out while you still can.” leaving me with that warning he passed me to Liam.

A slow silky song started and he pulled me into his arms, “Those two, I swear.” I heard him grumble, “I’m sorry you had to put up with that.” I looked up at him and he saw my anxious expression, “Hey what’s wrong? Did he touch you somewhere?” his face darkened into a scowl.

“No.” I debated asking him about Darren’s warning but decided against it. It's probably nothing, I’m sure he would tell me if it was something bad, right? I gave him a serene smile and he blinked at me, confused probably, “It’s nothing, they were alright. I’m just glad I’m back with you.” I leaned my head against his chest. I felt him hesitate before he wound his arms tightly around my waist and held me close as we swayed to the music.

fiction

About the author

T.S. Watkins

I am a single mom of four who is also a published author! I use writing as a second income to help me raise my kids so every little bit helps! I write Erotic Fantasy novels and poems. if you love my work thank you! I appreciate your time!

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