Skin
Author:Kylie Scott

“No!” Her head reared back, trying to evade it when it touched her lips. He shoved the black ball into her mouth and whipped the strap over her head.

 

Blessed silence descended. A quiet so sudden it startled. Apart from the thundering in his head and the grunts from behind the gag, of course.

 

Shit.

 

He rolled off her and crawled out of firing range to the other side of the mattress.

 

Her foot kicked out, catching his. Not far enough. Nick groaned and crawled to the edge of the bed, smearing the clean sheets some more with his bloody hands. Beneath him the mattress bounced with her ongoing attempts to attack him. Wine and blood were everywhere. Broken glass glinted on the floor.

 

Oh, no.

 

“Were you cut?” His gaze raked over her. Blood stained her shirt. Hard to tell, but it seemed the bulk of it was his. She didn’t appear to be injured. He still bled profusely, though. Gingerly, he prodded at the wound on his forehead. She’d really done him some damage. What a fucking mess.

 

Roslyn made a noise. Might have been her attempt at a growl but the rubber ball garbled it. She’d rolled onto her side, arms stretched out above her head. Eyes possessed. A thin line of drool worked its way down her chin. Her uniform had crept up to her waist in all the excitement, exposing curvy legs and a pair of black boyleg briefs. He was almost too tired to appreciate them. Almost. But he wouldn’t take anything she didn’t offer.

 

Except her freedom, maybe. Yeah. Except that.

 

Bloody hell.

 

“Are you cut anywhere?” he asked again.

 

Her jaw worked as she tried to circumvent the gag. Eventually, she shook her head. Thank goodness for that.

 

“I’ll pull your skirt back down for you if you promise not to kick me.”

 

Her face went nuclear, bright red.

 

“Do you promise not to kick me?” he asked.

 

Another livid look, followed by a reluctant nod.

 

“Alright.” Nick walked around the bed and matter-of-factly tugged the skirt back down into place. “There we go.”

 

Shit, the look in her eyes. He’d had ex-girlfriends who hated him less.

 

What the hell had he been expecting? Of course she wasn’t going to take this the right way. How many ways were there to take someone trying to buy you?

 

Shit. Fuck. Damn.

 

He wiped more blood from his brow. His hand returned covered in the stuff. There were blotches of dark red on Roslyn’s skin and clothes, face and hair. Bloody wonderful. What a great start. Nick pinched the bridge of his nose. It didn’t help. His head pounded, brain fit to explode. Still her beautiful blue eyes bored into him. Laser beams couldn’t have been more effective.

 

“I’m a fucking idiot.”

 

She nodded.

 

Emphatically.

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

 

Roslyn’s jaw hurt and she needed to pee. Who knew how long it had been since he’d cuffed her to the bed and gagged her. But facts of nature being what they were, she might disgrace herself before much longer. Jane Eyre never had to put up with this sort of shit. Roslyn suddenly felt quite bad for poor old Bertha locked up in the attic.

 

She rattled the cuffs, banging the metal bands against the headboard. Also, she attempted to wipe her chin off on her arm since she was dribbling again. Screw the indignity. Her throat felt parched, her shoulders ached and she remained covered in his blood. It’d dried to a clump in her fringe. She could see a streak of it on the side of her nose. The coppery scent turned her stomach.

 

Sunlight had gradually faded, leaving the room bathed in a soft golden glow. It’d probably been hours. Or half an hour, at least.

 

Nick had put a rough bandage on his face, cleaned up the kitchen and then disappeared into what had to be the bathroom. It seemed to be the only private room in the whole open-plan cabin. Her prison consisted of a lot of wood, with pine on the ceiling, floor and walls. A window across the way had been boarded up with more of the stuff. There was a big lounge. An ornate patchwork blanket done in shades of blue and brown hung opposite. A shelf full of books, leather-bound classics by the look. She couldn’t see much else. There was plenty of bed-and-breakfast and cabin-style accommodation in the area. The local wineries had brought tourists in droves. Wine and wilderness and all the fun stuff. She’d moved to the area a year back, seeking a tree change. And thank God she had. Apparently everyone in the cities was dead.

 

Still no sign of Nick. He hadn’t come near her again, thankfully. But she definitely needed him now.

 

She banged the cuffs against the headboard once more, calling up some customer service. It made a satisfying din. So long as she didn’t further damage her punching hand. She might need it. Hopefully Neil still felt the pain, somewhere out there. What a warming thought for the beginning of another cold night.

 

Nick stuck his head out of the bathroom, face cleaned up. No sign of the bandage and the cut on his temple had been sealed somehow. It made for an impressively angry, puckered red line. She’d done got him good. It sliced through one dark eyebrow and up the side of his forehead, trailing off into his hairline.