“Help me,” I call out desperately, needing to be seen, heard, saved.
He rips me away from the hood, a hand tightening around my throat, cutting off my airways as hot breath blasts over my cheek into my ear.
“I am the fucking help. I’m here to help you stay out of jail. You scream again, and I’ll leave you in those woods for the animals to find when I’m done.”
Bile races up my throat and spits past my lips at the true horror of what is happening.
“Look what you did. Your clothes are all messy.”
My face crashes back into the hood, almost robbing me of consciousness.
I wish it had…
I stand, numb, watching the headlights fade. Only once the pitch-black night swallows the car do I let a scream rip through the silence, echoing my trauma to the moon, the only witness to my horror. Pain throbs all over my body, but I force myself to move. Picking up the scattered remains of my tee, I hug them to my chest. My torn underwear hangs from my waist in shreds. I pull my jeans back up my legs and begin walking home. Before I know it, I’m running, wind whipping against my exposed flesh. I run like I’ve never ran before, tears and anger leaking from me like a broken faucet. My building comes into view, and I cry out seeing it, offering me light and safety.
I bulldoze through the door, climbing the stairs two at a time until I’m on my floor. Rummaging through my jeans, I find my key in the pocket. He took my cellphone and wallet with him, reminding me he knows who I am, where I live.
“I’m a respected officer. Little girls fabricating things aren’t tolerated. We can make your life hell if you even think of telling anyone about this. Nothing happened tonight. Nothing, Quinn Washington.”
Slamming the door behind me, I collapse to the floor, dragging my knees up to shelter myself. Tears flow, weeping for the girl who met her first ever monster tonight—the girl who became forever changed by him.
The door suddenly opens, crashing into my back and nudging me across the floor.
He’s come back for me.
I get to my feet and grab the baseball bat hanging on the wall as a decorative piece. Amy’s face appears around the door before she steps fully into the apartment, her eyes tracing over me.
“Quinn?” she asks, her voice shaking. Rocko pushes in from behind her, his eyes widening and hands reaching out attentively.
“Quinn, put the bat down. It’s us.” He frowns, taking another step toward me.
I tremble as hot tears leak down my cheeks.
“I’m calling the police,” Amy chokes, tears pooling in her vivid blue eyes.
“No.” I almost vomit. The bat clanks against the floor as I release it. “No police. I’m fine.”
“You’re not fine,” she cries.
“Quinn, you’re bleeding and bruised. We saw you running down the street in just a bra and jeans. We called out to you. Couldn’t you hear us? What the fuck happened?” Rocko pleads.
Nothing. I just want the pain to go away.
This nightmare to be over.
To wake the fuck up.
“Quinn?” Amy whimpers.
“Nothing. Nothing happened.”
Nothing happened tonight. Nothing, Quinn Washington.
Please don’t judge me.
I think about the parting words on her last email. As if I have room to judge anyone. I own a sex club for fuck’s sake. But still, her request gives me pause.
As long as you have consent, it’s fine.
When a woman named Violent Q reached out to me via email asking if roleplaying was something we offered at Hush, I happily detailed out everything. Plenty of people were willing to join in on everything from boss/employee, officer/criminal, strangers, professor/student, lesbian/straight woman, and on and on. It’s the part of my job that makes my clients frequent visitors: I deliver what they crave. I know my clients better than they know themselves and have brought people with similar needs together countless times over the years to get their kinky fixes. I thought Violent Q wanted something I’m accustomed to providing.
I was wrong.
She indicated she was looking for something more aggressive. Darker. A fantasy too wild for most people’s imaginations. Desperation bled through her words, which was the only reason I considered it. But there were so many hoops that needed jumping through before I even remotely agreed to anything.
I’d been prepared to tell her no, but she pinged my email again, all but begging for me to hear her out and consider her request. After running it by two of my best friends—one of whom is a detective—I decided I’d at least entertain her with a meeting, and we’d go from there.
Please don’t judge me.
I can’t help but think about the email she sent me tonight. Just those words. Please don’t judge me. As though maybe she’s having cold feet. One way or another, this evening, we’re going to talk it out. There’s so much I need to know before I think about saying yes.