Hello WIPSTERS! Good news this week – the Ties That Bind has tipped over the 100,000 word mark and will hopefully come to some kind of conclusion shortly. I’m on the penultimate chapter at the moment… and things are starting to get nasty. Have fun 😉
THE TIES THAT BIND
Seven hours and several cups of coffee later, both he and Miss Redcliff were greeted at the gates of Albrecht. She was quickly pulled out of the car and marched off, and he was firmly instructed by one of the security detail to make his way to the office. The look on her face had been awful. Her eyes spoke of terror and defeat. He could only wonder what his were saying right now, apart from the obvious ‘I need sleep’ mantra. He’d let her down, but he hadn’t seen any way around it for the time being. She wouldn’t be inside here for long, though. He had promised himself at least that much.
“Hello Mr Matthews. How wonderful to see you again young chap.”
Mark, upon entering the office, immediately winced at the use of ‘young,’ but the smile upon his face belied the fact. “To what do I owe the honour, Mr Redcliff? Don’t tell me you’re still lusting after my body?” He smiled tightly. There was no getting around the fact that he wouldn’t do what Redcliff had previously requested of him. The stakes were high, but he suspected nothing short of atomic war or death would manage to get him on his knees in front of another man.
“As a matter of fact, I am. Which is why you’re here, as it happens. I thought I’d try and convince you I’m not the devil you think I am.”
“So which devil are you then?” The wry smile upon Mark’s face was blatant. Taking a seat in a large leather lounger, he crossed his legs and openly examined the man in front of him. Observing the sallow, sickly skin and the heavy, deep bags lining his eyes, he noted his adversary’s hair was grey and thinning; and his frame was slender and spindly looking. He did not look like a particularly well man and the years had not been particularly kind to him.
Redcliff gave him a sly smile. “Why, I suspect you’ll find out in a few moments. The stable lads are just getting Petal ready and then we’re going to give you a little show down in the dungeon. You’ve come all this way, after all. I couldn’t let you go back without something to whet your appetite.”
Redcliff was about to pull a nasty stunt. Mark didn’t need to be a mind reader to figure that much out. The only question was whether he was going to play nicely or throw his toys about. Juding by the look on his face it was going to be toys and lots of them. “Do I actually have a choice in the matter? Is this an invitation or an order?” Mark raised his eyebrow in question and propped his feet up on the desk in front of him, knowing it would antagonise his opponent. He knew exactly what it was, but he wanted Redcliff to acknowledge it as such.
Redcliff looked up at him, and adjusting the collar of his pin-striped shirt, he gave Mark a veiled look. “At the moment, it’s an invitation and if you want to keep it that way I suggest you make your way down below.” The man then gazed directly at him, and if the chilling stare he was given was any indication of things to come, Mark decided he wasn’t in for a particularly pleasant morning.
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