Still burning from the heat of your touch,
Know I shouldn’t
But it’s never enough.
Aiden walked down the hall with Ava’s hand in his while she used her other hand to hold down the hem of her t-shirt, wishing that she’d asked for some underwear at the very least before they left the privacy of the bedroom. As they moved wordlessly through the compound she glimpsed the faces of two men, one white with shaggy, dirty blonde hair and glasses, the other black with a beanie and a spliff dangling from his blackened lips, and a woman with red hair and the palest skin Ava had ever seen, seated around a table in a room at the other end of the building, through the glass panels in the door. Ava squinted at the woman.
“I know her,” she muttered, “How do I know her?”
Aiden clenched his jaw as Ash, Mighty and Stone looked up at the sound of Ava’s voice. Ash narrowed her eyes at the two of them. “She works for me,” he said tightly, moving them along a little faster.
As they headed downstairs to the basement, Aiden's breathing slowed. Adrenaline was beginning to bubble up inside of him, expanding and peppering his blood the closer that they got to their destination –the place Ava had no business being with him.
No one else had access to this place, not even the maids, and the only other person who had seen the inside of it aside from Aiden was Ash.
They walked to the very end of the lower hall and stopped in front of a steel door with a sign nailed to it that read ‘Private’, with no handles or hinges, only an aluminium panel to the right of it with a black rectangle in the centre. Aiden pressed his free hand to the panel and waited as a thin, horizontal electric blue line scanned his palm from top to bottom, making digital sounds as it did so. The system beeped and the quiet corridor filled with the intimidating mechanical thud of the three pronged steel deadlock slamming back into place inside of the door. Ava flinched at the sound. The door slid open, metal grinding against metal and cogs groaning as they were forced to wake after hibernating for so long. Aiden tightened his grip on Ava’s hand and pulled her inside. The door immediately shut behind them and the deadbolt slammed back into place, shrouding them in darkness.
Ava’s senses went into overdrive; she felt the strength and heat of Aiden’s restrictive grasp making her hand grow clammier by the second, the chill of the metal floor beneath her bare feet, the scent of metal, concrete and Aiden’s cologne filling her lungs, and the deafening silence that highlighted the sound of their breaths whooshing over her escalating heartbeat. Aiden let go of her hand. She heard his footsteps move away from her and she squeaked finding that she wanted it back. There was an odd comfort to holding his hand -if he was holding her hand she knew where he was.
From the corner of the tiny space, a keypad lit up as the shadow of Aiden’s hand hovered over it. He punched a few buttons and another steel door slid open to reveal a dark room bathed in the mysterious royal blue glow of a pulsating black light.
Aiden took a moment to take in the scene before him then shut his eyes and exhaled. He sauntered inside, his footprints leaving Prada shaped marks in the dusty strip of black carpet that ran up the centre of the room, leading straight to his leather-bound seat at the other end. It had been so long since he’d ventured down here. He took his time running his hands over the myriad of equipment that adorned the walls, navigating around the larger pieces, his fingerprints creating patterns in the dust that rested upon the metals, rubbers, leathers and polished woods. He loved the way they quietly sang to him like a melody from his favourite song, choruses of whispered brushes, sharp clinks, and dull rattles.
Ava peered into the throbbing darkness trying to focus on Aiden from beyond the threshold, unsure of if she should follow him or not. He seemed so engrossed in whatever forgotten treasures he was rediscovering that it seemed as if her presence had slipped his mind.
She inched closer to the doorway to get a better look and her heart dropped into her stomach. She identified obvious things like whips, chains, handcuffs, ropes, sashes of black satin, masks, vibrators, paddles, canes, two iron cages (one for standing and the other for kneeling), but there were many other instruments she had never seen before. Some were almost pretty in the way they were fashioned; gleaming, swooping silver instruments, some bedazzled with gems, things with beads and others with long swishing tassels. The rest of the unidentifiable equipment was intimidating and unattractive; things forged from metal of a darker, duller kind, studded, with multiple fastenings hanging from them. There were even contraptions hanging from the ceiling, huge things -more wood, more metal, and more fastenings. Ava’s mouth went dry.
“Get on your knees, Ava-Marie.”
Ava’s eyes snapped back to Aiden. He was sitting regally in his large leather-bound chair, with its broad armrests and high back that rose above his head and dipped in the centre creating a befittingly devilish silhouette. He watched her observe his secret world, her expected fear and unexpected intrigue arranging her pretty features into an expression bred in innocence and fragility, and he had to remind himself to stay in control and not let her get to him like she almost did when they were upstairs.
“W-w-what?” Ava had heard Aiden’s instructions loud and clear but the room with the pulsing lights, and the metals, and the polished woods, and the leathers, and the rubbers, and the gems, and the studs, and all of those fastenings, with her calculating captor at the head of it all, sitting on his menacing throne like dark lord, made her want to climb the walls in search of an escape.
“Get on your knees.” Ava shook her head frantically, making her long braids dance around her face and whip her skin. Aiden raised his eyebrow and gracefully rested his forearms along the armrests. “Ava-Marie,” he drew her name out, “I’m almost in a good mood again, so I suggest you stop trying my patience and get on your knees right now before that changes and you really have something to be afraid of.”
Ava wasn’t sure if it was possible for her to be more afraid him than she was at that moment. With all of these eccentric things and Aiden’s bad intentions, nothing good could ever come from being trapped down here in his underground playroom of fetishes and fears.
A lump formed in her throat as she regrettably sunk to the floor and the cool metal of the ground sent a chill through her bones as her knees came into contact with it. She cast her eyes to the floor and the first sob of the day slipped from her lips.
Aiden spread his fingers and subtly gripped the ends of the armrests. He ran his tongue across his teeth; “Crawl to me.”
Another sob burst from her chest as she lowered her upper half and pressed her small hands to the cold hard ground. She moved slowly, wanting to delay her closeness to her tyrant for as long as possible, but Aiden didn’t mind, in fact he enjoyed the way she drew out each movement, and the way her svelte figure shook harder the closer that she came to him. Occasionally her sad eyes would flicker up to him, her tears making them sparkle like precious gems under the glow of the blue lights, their bright colour allowing them to take on sapphire shades, encased in lashes of fine black lace, and her skin… Her skin glowed as the light hit it, the golden cinnamon tone appearing deeper and richer, almost perfect…if it wasn’t for those rings around her wrists. Her t-shirt rode up as she crawled, the material shifting and slipping over the curve of her ass to the dip in her lower back giving Aiden an eye full of her curves.
Ava reached him with dirty hands, sore knees, and short, sharp breaths. He leant towards her and stroked the top of her head, “Good girl,” he purred. Ava gritted her teeth and jerked her head away from him insolently.
Prisoner or not, she was still the daughter of Vince Lockewood. She had attended the best schools and most esteemed social functions with young royalty, celebrity offspring and trust fund babies -she never particularly enjoyed the pretentiousness of it all, but that didn’t take away from the fact that she wasn’t meant to be crawling around on the dirty ground being ordered around, petted and cajoled like some house pet by some twisted thug.
Aiden grabbed a handful of her hair and made her look up at him. He smiled at her, “Do you not like being my good girl, Ava-Marie?”
“I don’t like being your anything,” she sneered.
Aiden’s lip quirked and he leant in closer, “I beg to differ, Ava-Marie. I think you like it,” he gently pushed stray braids off of her face, “I think you like it very much.” Ava’s breath hitched and her grimace softened as it flitted across his handsome features; features that made it easy for her to forget that as unequivocally beautiful as his exterior was, that he himself was not beautiful -but there was something else there, this thing about him that invited her in and uttered dark promises of something wildly spectacular. He wiped her tears away and touched his damp fingertips to her lips, “Now be my good girl, sit back on your heels and look at the floor.” He withdrew from her and waited. Ava rocked back and lowered her eyes. “Remind me of the number you chose.”
Ava tensed. “Thirty-eight.”
“Thirty-eight,” he hummed, rolling the number around on his tongue, “Thirty-eight punishments or thirty-eight rewards, depending on how well-behaved you are.” And there it was; the catch that she knew was coming. “If you’re good I will put my mouth on you…thirty-eight times…wherever I choose, but if you’re bad…” Aiden licked his lips and gripped the armrests harder, “If you’re bad, I will take any tool I choose off of these walls and I will punish you with it thirty-eight times. Do you understand me, Ava-Marie?”
Ava’s hands curled up into tight fists that made her nails dig into her palms. “No, I do not understand you.”
“Then let me help you understand.” Aiden lifted her chin with the tip of his index finger. “It seems that it is not enough for your father to take my little brother. Yesterday his soldiers descended on one of my legitimate businesses and smashed it up. He has caused some of my allies to turn against me, and now he is going after my best-friend and has sent Max Yang to do it, so now my interests with The Syndicate have expanded beyond the scope of simply getting my brother back home safely and reuniting him with his eight-month-old son, who -thanks to daddy dearest -no longer has a mother, and has been forced into hiding with my best friend’s sister. Understand that his actions are not only affecting me, he is putting everyone that matters to me in danger over something that could have been avoided had he just stuck to the code and discussed this with me man to man. I will NOT sit back and let any more of my people suffer at his hands or let him even think for one moment that he can get away with fucking with me, so Ava-Marie, right now I want to know about Max Yang and you will tell me everything.” He leant in closer, “Do you understand me now?”
Ava unclenched her fists and dropped her gaze. “Yes Sir,” she whispered.
“Good girl.” Aiden stood up and walked around her kneeling frame slowly and precisely, letting the thud of his footsteps echo off of the walls until he stopped behind her. “Stand up.” Ava got to her feet. Aiden stepped closer to her and slipped one arm around her waist, splaying his fingers across her abdomen and pressing it in gently. Ava whimpered and her knees buckled as the light pressure disturbed the heaviness within her walls -caused by the Ben Wa balls -to intensify. “It aches doesn’t it?” he asked in his guttural baritone. Ava’s cheeks heated up and she was grateful for the scarcity of light so that he couldn’t see her skin turn that pretty colour he liked. He pressed again, “Doesn’t it?”
“Is this one of your questions?” she said through gritted teeth.
“It’s a question.”
“Does it count towards your Max Yang fact finding game?”
“No, I’m just curious. You make me very…” he pressed down on her harder, forcing her to fall against him as she gasped, then brushed her braids back from the left side of her face and put his lips to her ear, “…Curious.”
“Curiosity killed the cat.”
Aiden’s hand slid lower, then one by one he gathered the hem of her t-shirt up in his fingers, “And satisfaction brought it back,” he purred.
Ava closed her eyes and breathed slow and deep, in through the nose and out through the mouth. “Ask me what you need to ask me, Aiden.”
The way she spoke his name sounded just as good as it did the night she dreamt of him. “Answer the question,” his fingers came into contact with the golden planes of her flat abdomen and travelled lower still, “Tell me how badly it aches,” he breathed.
Ava bit down on her lip as the feeling flourished, making her walls clutch onto the balls for dear life as her juices came down around them. If she answered him she would tell him that it didn’t ache -ache was too soft a word for the way her body responded to him with his gift inside of her. It was terrible; she couldn’t breathe, her nerves were shot, and she could barely think of anything but release because of the engorged throbbing that resonated from her core.
“No,” she spun out of his hold and turned to face him, “I’m not playing with you anymore. I am sorry that all of this is happening to you, it sucks, it really does, and I get that you need answers to save the people you love, but you don’t need to toy with me to do it. I hate it. Ask me what you need to ask me and let me be…please.”
Aiden cocked his head to the side and regarded her, “Why do you hate it?”
“I’m asking you; why do you hate it?”
“Because what you are doing to me is wrong!” she cried.
Aiden closed in on her, his midnight eyes glittering in the dark as he shoved his hands inside the pocket of his suit pants, “Oh it most definitely is, on so many levels, but which of those levels are you referring to, Ava-Marie?”
Ava backed away, shuffling her feet against the ground until his chair prevented her from moving any further. Her heart hammered against her rig cage, “Does it matter? Wrong is wrong.”
“Oh, I think it does. Is it wrong because I’m torturing you? Because I take pleasure in doing so? Or is it because deep down you know that you don’t really hate it half as much as you wished you did?” He curled his arm around her slender frame, pinning her arms to her side as he crushed her anatomy against his, and slipped his hand between her legs, “That’s why you’re so wet for me, isn’t it?” Ava cried out in tortured ecstasy and her knees gave way. Aiden let her go. She flopped down into his seat, which seemed drastically larger than she expected it to, giving her room to writhe as she panted and sweated from the short burst of temporary release. “Max Yang let my people take you, so why hasn’t your father killed him yet?” he fired at her.
“Yang, why is he not dead?”
“I don’t know.”
“It was a nice speech but the game is still on Ava-Marie. Thirty-eight still stands,” he warned her. “Why hasn’t Vince killed the idiot that lost his only child?”
“I don’t know why my father hasn’t taken the life of the boy he raised. He apparently had no problem killing my mother, so this makes as much sense to me as it does to you,” she snapped.
Aiden paused. “He raised Yang?”
“I don’t know…Max was a kid who was having a bad time and my Dad wanted to help,” she shrugged. “I guess even the worst kind of people are capable of goodness when it matters. Everyone’s got a heart, right?” She looked up at him pointedly.
Aiden furrowed his brow, “Do you really believe that?”
“Because if I didn’t then I wouldn’t bother trying to ‘save the world’.”
Aiden pressed his lips together. “And what if you’re wrong?”
“I’m not,” she said with confident finality.
They fell into silence and slowly the creases between Aiden’s eyebrows smoothed out. This girl, the daughter of his enemy, was getting to him and he hated it. He hated it as much as she hated it. He was meant to be the one in control, but without even trying Ava had managed to slip between the cracks in his armour and shine her light on the darkest, dustiest corners of his soul. Only a truly beautiful person could find beauty where the rest of the world couldn’t see it.
She didn’t deserve any of this.
She never did.
Aiden held out his hand. “Stand up, Ava-Marie,” he said quietly.
“I said if you were good that you would get a reward, didn’t I?”
Ava’s breath caught in her chest and she shrank away from him. She didn’t know if it was wise to accept his reward, not when he now knew for certain how much she hated how much she wanted him. “It’s fine. You can ask me something else.”
“No…I can’t.” He twitched his fingers at her, “Come here.”
Seeing that he wasn’t going to budge (when did he ever?) Ava laid her hand inside of Aiden’s and let him hoist her upright. Aiden wasted no time in cupping her face and pressing his mouth to the hollow behind her ear. Ava’s legs began to shake and he quickly laced his other arm around her waist and held her body firmly against his.
“That was one,” he said softly, tilting his face so that his honey-dipped gravel tone went directly into her ear, “You have thirty-seven left to go. I want you to count each one so I can hear you.” His full lips closed around her earlobe. Ava closed her eyes and breathed deep. “Do you understand me, Ava-Marie?”
She nodded and replied, “Two…”
He kissed the corner of her jaw.
His lips grazed the edge of her jawline and ended with a kiss on her chin.
He kissed the underside of it.
Her neck, the hollow of her throat, her collar bone…
The inside of her elbow, down to her wrist where the veins crisscrossed over each other, the lines in the palm of her hand, each one of her fingertips…
He lifted hem of her t-shirt and gripped her hips tightly, lowering himself to his knees so that he could scatter kisses over her navel, from hip bone to hip bone, down and around her thighs and back up again, nipping her with his teeth occasionally because he loved to hear her yelp between her surrendering whimpers, melodic moans and breathy, broken counting.
“Twenty-seven…twenty-eight...twenty-twenty-FUCK!” Her thighs were sticky with her love and the pressure to release was bringing frustrated tears to her eyes because every place Aiden’s soft, skilled mouth landed was never where she wanted him to go. He wouldn’t even touch her there. She was rapidly losing her mind. “Please Sir,” she begged, hoping that the use of his dominant title would sway him to stop torturing her this way.
Aiden’s dark eyes flicked up to her face and he removed his mouth from her inner-thigh, “Count, Ava-Marie.” He returned to full height and kissed her cheek, “You were at twenty-fuck.”
“Thirty,” she grimaced.
“Only eight more to go,” he kissed her other cheek.
Her forehead, both eyelids, the tip of her nose, her chin, her throat…
Aiden took her face in both hands, tilted it upwards and leaned in slowly.
Their breaths were ragged, their palms were sweaty, their mouths were dry, and they both equally 'hated' what was about to happen because it was never meant to be a part of the plan…up until right then when Aiden decided that he could handle it, just this once -as long as it was only this once. And Ava reasoned that if he wouldn’t kiss her down there, then on her mouth was perfectly fine with her, and plus, it was the last one. It would be over after this...
“Is it okay if I…?” he bumped their noses together gently.
“You’re asking my permission?” she scoffed nervously.
Ava took her bottom lip into her mouth. “…I should say no.”
“You should,” he leant in closer.
Ava’s eyelids grew heavy, “Because you’re a bad man, Aiden Michaels.”
“I’m the worst,” he brushed his Cupid’s bows against hers.
Ava rested her forehead against his and grabbed onto the collar of his shirt. “…So why do I want you to?” she breathed.
Aiden smiled against her lips, “Maybe you’re not as good as you think you are.”
“Maybe you’re right. I really hope you’re not,” she sighed.
“Only one way to find out…”
Aiden’s phone rang severing the ties cultivated in their almost moment.
“Speak,” he growled into the receiver.
“This Michaels?” A gruff, cockney male voice replied.
“Mr Lockewood is ready to meet with you. Bring Ava-Marie.”
What are your thoughts on Aiden and Ava almost crossing the line? How do you feel about Vince finally calling to get her back, and what do you think will go down once Aiden discovers that Keegan is dead?
Hope you enjoyed that chapter. Please leave your comments below (your feedback helps A LOT).
Fancy your steamy romance more visual? Watch the complete first season of my hit web series, Unfamous (as seen in Teen Vogue) click the image below: