When Sabina and Lionel woke from their nap some three hours later, Sabina felt the need to come clean. “Lionel?” she said.
“Yes, my love?” he replied, still high on their passionate love affair.
“I have something to tell you,” she continued as she fiddled with the sheet.
“What is it?” Lionel asked, sitting up.
“C-Cyril asked me to come see him tonight.”
Lionel froze. He was not sure if he had heard Sabina correctly, so he asked, “Could you please say that again? I’m not sure if I heard you correctly.”
Sabina bit her lip then complied. “Cyril asked me to come see him tonight.”
“The answer is no. You’re not going to see him.”
“But, Lionel, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to execute our plan.”
Lionel squinted at her. He said he’d forgiven her, but he still had his doubts. “Does the plan involve you going to bed with him?”
“No. Maybe in his mind, but-,”
“Then my word still stands. You are not going to see him tonight and that is final.”
Sabina groaned as she threw the covers off herself and stormed into the bathroom where she came to stand at the sink. She glared at her reflection in the mirror. She had a certain glow about her, but her anger seemed to dissipate it. She saw Lionel enter through the door and she looked away from him with a pout.
He came up behind her and embraced her from behind. “I’m sorry, Sabina, but I don’t understand why you’re so upset over this.”
Sabina rolled her eyes and turned to face him saying, “I’m upset because I actually thought you’d be on my side for once.”
“I’ve always been on your side. I just don’t want you to have any physical contact with him.”
Sabina sighed and said, “My plan was to go to Cyril tonight, make my demands, get them, kill him, and get out of town.” Lionel made a knowing look that got Sabina’s attention. “What?” she asked.
“As nice as killing him sounds, it won’t be necessary.”
“All I have to do is write a letter and he’ll be taken care of.”
“Then, wh—If that was the case, why did you go through with writing a ransom letter and all that before?” Sabina demanded.
“Because I was bent on hardcore revenge. I’ve had some time to think lately and revise my strategy.”
“I still want to kill him,” Sabina mumbled.
“Not necessary,” Lionel said in a sing-song voice.
“Then, can I at least castrate him?” she whined.
“Oh, come on!”
“Sabina, let me take care of this. If we do it my way, I’m sure we’ll get more than we could get if we killed Cyril. Okay?”
Sabina still was not convinced. She wanted to kill the man that had made her life and so many other lives a living hell. She wanted to make him pay for all the damage he had caused, but most of all, she wanted to make sure he never lived to corrupt another pure, innocent woman or girl ever again.
“Please?” Lionel pleaded.
Sabina bit the inside of her cheek and said, “Fine, I’ll play by your rules, but it just so happens that I already agreed to see Cyril tonight.” Lionel’s jaw hit the floor. “What do you say to that?”
“…Why would you do that, Sabina? You know he only wants to take you to bed.”
“That doesn’t mean I’ll let him.” She smirked.
Lionel sighed as he ran a hand down his face. “Okay, fine. You can go see him, but don’t override my plan.”
“I won’t. You had just better start writing.” She patted his arm then sashayed back into the bedroom.
Whatever will I do with this woman? Lionel thought to himself.
Sabina was applying the last few touches to her makeup. She was about to go see Cyril and she needed to look stunning. Lionel sat on the bed watching her silently. He still was not happy about her going to see that dirty dog, but she had already agreed and he couldn’t stop her from doing so. All he could do was wait.
“That does it,” said Sabina. She turned to Lionel and asked, “How do I look?”
He took in the sight of her. Black eyeliner lined her eyes, which was accompanied by some dark blue eyeshadow. Her lips shone with beeswax and honey. A teardrop necklace adorned her neck and matching earrings hung from her ears. The dress she wore was black, short-sleeved, form-fitting, and had a plunging backline. “Too good if you ask me,” he mumbled.
Sabina sucked her teeth, walked over to Lionel and caressed his face. “Lionel, don’t be like that. I’m just going to keep him company, that’s all.”
“That’s most likely not what he has in mind.”
“I know that, but please don’t be so moody. I’ll be back later, okay?”
“If he lets you.”
“Trust me. He will. I won’t let him keep me.”
Lionel stood up and ran his hands down the length of Sabina’s arms before he took her hands in his. “Please be careful,” he whispered. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
He kissed both her hands and let her go to see that sex-crazed monster.
Once she was gone, he lay back down on the bed and stared at the ceiling, thinking. Thinking about when their help would come because he did not want Sabina to be in a position where Cyril could try to trap her again. He had snuck the letter into the carrier’s bag immediately after he finished writing it. The carrier would leave the next morning, but there was no telling when his intell would receive it and respond. With a sigh, Lionel rested his arm over his eyes and whispered a prayer for Sabina’s protection and that she would return to him safely.
With every step she took, Sabina grew more ill at ease about what awaited her once she stepped over Cyril’s threshold. She didn’t know what to expect or how she would react if he tried to force himself on her. All she wanted was an evening of pleasant conversation, but that was not guaranteed knowing Cyril’s ever changing whim.
When she reached his bedroom door, she had this overwhelming desire to flee and not look back. Yes, he had told her to come visit him, but technically, she did not have to do so. Nonetheless, she decided to confront him and face her fears by spending the night with him. So, she took a deep breath, knocked on the door, and waited.
A few moments later, Cyril answered the door and the moment he saw Sabina, his face lit up. “Sabina, I’m so happy you came. Please, come in.” He stepped aside and granted her access to his comfortable living space.
Once inside, Sabina looked around the room and took in the atmosphere. It was obvious that Cyril was trying to create an intimate atmosphere with all of the lit candles and path of red rose petals that led to the bed. That went to show that Cyril had only one thing on his mind. Sabina shook her head at the thought.
“Have a seat,” Cyril said as he brushed passed Sabina and made his way to the mahogany dresser. Sabina obeyed. Then he asked, “Would you like something to drink?”
“No, thank you,” Sabina said with a half smile.
“Alright, then.” After closing the door of the dresser, Cryil returned with a bottle of wine and two wine glasses, regardless of what Sabina said, and set them on the table. Then sat down on the couch across from her and poured himself a glass, sat back, took a sip, and looked at Sabina.
She looked stunning in the candlelight. He took another sip of his wine then licked the excess droplets from his upper lip. “You look marvelous in this light.”
“Thank you,” Sabina said simply. Then she looked away out of a mix of embarassment and disgust.
An awkward silence filled the room for what seemed to be an eternity. While in this eternity, Sabina could literally feel Cyril undressing her with his eyes and it made her skin crawl. All the while, Cyril knew what he was doing; it was his intention to get her uncomfortable and flustered. He wanted to make her squirm because in his mind, she actually liked it and was more prone to surrender to him in this state.
He rose to his feet, circled the table, and sat down next to Sabina on the opposite couch. When he went to put his arm around her, she flinched. “You’re shaking. Sabina, if something is bothering you, by all means, tell me.”
Sabina hesitated. Cyril held her gaze for a few moments before she looked away. Then he gently grabbed her chin and guided her to look back at him. “Tell me,” he whispered.
She studied his eyes. They seemed to convey that he was genuinely concerned about her. “I…I’m frightened,” she said.
Cyril released her chin and slightly tilted his head to the side. “Of what?”
“Me?” An amused look crossed his face. “Why?”
“Must I answer?”
“Please do. I’m curious.” He saw Sabina was reluctant to do so. “Humor me.”
“Honestly, you’re controlling, demanding, unpredictable…violent, and worst of all, you’re sexual appetite is insatiable.”
Cyril just looked at her for a moment. Then he burst out laughing, which confused Sabina.
What is wrong with this man? she thought.
Cyril finally stopped laughing about a minute later. He wiped a tear from his eye and said, “Oh, Sabina. That was grand!”
“What was so funny?” she asked.
“The fact that you know me so well by now. I find that hilarious! But, you got one thing wrong.” His tone got darker at the end of his last sentence.
“You said that I’m violent.”
“But, you-,” He raised his hand and she stopped speaking.
“I may be rough in bed, but that does not make me a violent person,” he explained.
“But, you whipped me on my first night here, you raped Faye, then you raped me countless times after that, and then you beat me for calling you out about something else that had to do with Faye! How can you have the audacity to not call yourself violent after all that?”
“…Touché. You have an impeccable memory as well. What else can you tell me about my personality?” he asked, placing his hand a little too high above the knee.
Sabina jumped up and stood behind the living chair, which was to her left.
“What’s the matter, love?” Cyril asked, wondering why she would react that way. She did not complain when he touched her there on the many occasions before that particular evening.
“C-Cyril, what do you want?” she asked in a shaky voice.
“What do you mean?”
“Why did you ask me here tonight? You had to want something by doing so.”
Cyril looked at her and sighed before, placing his glass down on the coffee table, rising to his feet, and saying, “You’re right. I want you, Sabina. I’ve been dying to hold you in my arms again…I-I’ve been having dreams about you; wild dreams in which we make love and the faces and sounds you make are so real that I-,”
“Cyril,” Sabina stopped him before he could make her surrender with his words alone.
“I don’t…I don’t want to make love.”
Cyril was shocked that she’d be bold enough to tell him that, knowing that he could easily force her. He didn’t hear himself say this, but he said, “Then, what would you like to do?”
Sabina looked at him like he had just gained a thousand pounds. “What did you say?” she asked.
“What did you say?” she repeated.
“I…I don’t know. What did you hear me say?”
“I thought I heard you ask me what I would like to do instead of make love.”
“Oh…Then, I suppose you heard correctly.” He cleared his throat. “What would you like to do, Sabina?”
“…C-Can we just talk?”
Cyril tilted his head. “Talk?” Sabina nodded. “What about?”
“I don’t know,” she said with a shrug. “Life? Love? Money?”
Cyril was still unsure about where this would lead. One side of him still wanted to take her to bed, but the other side of him actually wanted to have a conversation with this woman whom he had grown to love in a short period of time. “Alright.” He sat back down on the couch. “Have a seat.” Sabina came and sat beside him. “So, what would you like to talk about?” he asked.
“First, I’d like to answer your question from before.”
Cyril had to think for a moment about what he had asked. Then he remembered and said, “Go ahead.”
“Well, I could tell you that you are very competitive, you have a bad temper, but regardless of all this, you have a rather long fuse.”
“Really?” She nodded. “What makes you think I’m competitive?” he asked with a devilish grin.
“I’ve seen you plenty of times after losing a chess match with Alfred; not a pretty sight. You would demand to have rematches like it was no one’s business.”
“Alfred is quite the opponent.”
“That he is.”
A moment of silence passed and the two looked around the room aimlessly because they did not want to catch the other looking at them. Then Cyril looked at Sabina as if he were searching for an answer to a question that was not asked.
Sabina’s eyes soon met his. “What?” she asked.
“…I want to ask you something,” Cyril replied as he shifted his body toward her.
“O-Okay. What is it?”
“When I bought you, your records were very…vague concerning your birthplace, what circumstances under which you were delivered to Bernard, and the list goes on.”
“So, you’d like me to tell you my story,” Sabina said as she completed his thought in her mind.
Sabina studied the man who sat before her. He was asking her to share her story with him. A part of her wanted to refuse, but another part wanted to share because she believed that would be the only time she would be able to share who she was. In the end, she wanted him to remember her, so she agreed.
“As you know, my name is Sabina De la Rosa and I am twenty-one years old. I am from a small town called Sotomayor and my family was there since its establishment. My father’s name was Thomas and my mother’s name was Sofia. I was their only child whom they adored…” She bit her lip as the memory of them crossed her mind. “And I loved them even more,” she choked.
“How did you wind up in slavery? Were you sold?”
Sabina glared at Cyril and he flinched backward. “How dare you suggest that my parents sold me! They loved me. They wouldn’t have sold me for all of the wealth in the world,” she said in a dark, menacing tone of voice that sent shivers down Cyril’s spine. He had never seen that side of her before and he vowed never to bring that side out of her again.
“I’m sorry,” he said with all sincerity. “Then, how?”
“…It was a cold autumn night and my father had just tucked me in and turned out the light. I don’t know how long it took me to fall asleep, but I remember being woken up by the sound of my mother screaming. It turned out that as we were sleeping, some three or four men entered our home with the intention of getting some money.”
She saw the confused look on Cyril’s face and she went on to explain that her father was a very successful merchant who did business in the town square. The men had been watching him for some time, learning his daily routines, places he would go for leisure, and his home. Then they waited for the right moment to strike.
“And that night was the night. I remember they had my parents tied to chairs, which faced each other. My mother was crying and my father tried to comfort her as I watched from my bedroom, unable to move or speak. They beat my father mercilessly, but he wouldn’t tell them where the money was. The truth was, he had hidden it in a secret compartment of my jewelry box, but I was too scared to expose myself to those ruffians and I don’t think that is what my parents would have wanted, either. So, I remained hidden.
“They soon grew tired of my father’s stubbornness and turned their attention to my mother. One of the men said that if my father wouldn’t talk voluntarily, they would force him to talk. It was then that they cut my mother’s bonds, stripped her bare, forced her onto the table, held her down, and…and they raped her,” she choked. “I witnessed my mother’s rape, her and my father’s deaths, and was thrown into a world of sick, sex-crazed men. I…I’ve never forgotten what I witnessed that night and I don’t think I ever will. I can’t help but notice the irony of the situation, though.” Cyril looked at her as if he were confused. “The irony is that you did the same exact thing that those men did to my mother and father to me and Lionel. What do you think of that?”
It was like a dagger had been twisted in Cyril’s heart. He knew Sabina had wounds, but he didn’t know how deep those wounds ran. Now, everything had come full circle and he understood the damage he had done. He dropped to his knees and took her hands in his, saying, “I’m so sorry, Sabina. I didn’t know, but now I see all the more damage I’ve done to you in my wreckless actions. Please, forgive me. Tell me what you want and by all means, I will give it to you.”
“Anything I want?” she asked.
“Yes,” Cyril said with a deep bow of his head to emphasize his sincerity.
Oh, the possibilities, Sabina thought. She had everything she wanted to say planned out in her mind, but she wanted something more; something beyond the touch of man and reality itself. “You said you would give me anything I want?”
Sabina raised his head so he could look her directly in the eyes. She wore a non-expressive mask to hide all of the anger and sorrow within her, knowing she would never be able to get what she was about to ask. “Then, give me back my innocence.”
Cyril’s eyes grew large as he tried to process what she had just said. He placed a shaky hand on her knee and swallowed hard, trying to rid himself of that irritating dry throat. “I-I’m sorry, Sabina…but I can’t give you that.”
“And why not? Have you not all the money in the world? Of course the great Master Cyril Van Tassel should be able to afford that, right?”
“I’m sorry, Sabina,” he said again. “Is there…anything else I could get you?” he asked as he slowly rose to his feet.
Sabina looked him up and down then said, “Not at this moment.” Then she rose to her feet and said, “This was a pleasant conversation, Cyril, but I must be going. I have to see after my children.”
She made her way to the door, but before she could touch the doorknob, she felt two arms enclose about her waist. They were shaking terribly. “Cyril?” she said.
“Please, d-don’t leave, Sabina,” he choked. “S-Stay a little while l-longer.” He sniffled.
Sabina couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Was this strong, stoic, and often intimidating man crying? She needed to confirm this with her eyes. She turned around and beheld a broken man. Cyril’s eyes were red and tears were falling down his cheeks without end. There was no way she could leave him in a state like this, so she took him in her arms and guided him back to the couch where they sat and she let him rest his head on her chest. She shushed him as she stroked his hair and hummed a lullabye her mother used to sing to her when she was young.
It was not long before the tears stopped, but when Sabina tried to move, Cyril had a death grip around her waist. She looked at his face and he was sleeping peacefully. She looked up and mouthed, “Why me?” She had no other choice, but to wait until he woke up. Sleep soon began to beckon her and she fell asleep in the arms of the enemy.
The next morning, Cyril awoke feeling refreshed and warm. He moved to sit up, but something was holding his head in place. He sat up gently as not to disturb whatever was holding him. Fortunately, his captor did not stir. He looked down and beheld Sabina who looked stunning even when she slept. She stayed with me all night? he thought. Then he recalled the events of the previous night; their deep conversation, his apology, and the tears. He looked down at the lovely woman who lay before him sleeping peacefully and whispered, “Thank you, Sabina.”
To his surprise, she began to stir. She stretched then rubbed the sleepiness from her eyes, smudging her makeup. Then she looked to Cyril who smiled at her and said, “Good morning.”
“Good morning, beautiful. Did you sleep well?”
“I suppose…Did you sleep well?”
“The best sleep I’ve had in my life. Would you care to join me for breakfast?”
“I…I’m sorry, but I can’t. I need to tend to the twins.”
“Speaking of the twins, you haven’t let me see them. May I?”
Sabina bit her lip as she recalled Cyril’s behavior on their birthday. “I don’t know if I should,” she said hesitantly. “Especially not after your reaction to what I named our son.”
“I’m sorry, Sabina. This has been weighing on my heart for some time now. Please let me see them. It would mean the world to me if you did.”
“Oh, thank you!” He hugged her tightly. “You won’t regret it! When can I come see them?”
“Um…Noon will be fine. I’ll meet you there.”
“Wonderful! You’re free to go. Oh!” He took her hands in his and with all the sincerity he could muster, he said, “And thank you…for everything.” Then he kissed both her hands, escorted her to the door, and sent her on her way.
Sabina then made her way to her room. She was glad that things had gone according to plan and that she did not reek of Cyril. When she entered her bedroom, she found Lionel sleeping soundly. She walked over to the bed and crawled in beside him, resting her head on his chest.
“Good morning,” said a half-sleep Lionel.
“Good morning,” replied Sabina who was just about to close her eyes.
“Are you all right?”
“Did that bastard try anything last night?”
“Once, but I was firm with him and he respected my wishes.”
Lionel was silent for a beat. He was looking for a reason to kill Cyril or seriously injure him then, but he had no cause to do so. “Alright, then. You must be tired.”
“Just a little.”
“Go to sleep, love. You’ve earned it after a night like yours. I need to talk to you when you wake up.”
“What about?” Sabina asked, sitting up.
“Don’t worry about it,” Lionel replied as he gently brought her head to rest on his chest again. “I’ll tell you when you wake up.”
“Alright,” Sabina acquiesced. “Oh, wake me a little before noon.”
Lionel lay there with Sabina and watched her drift off to sleep. He had done much thinking the night before. He considered Sabina’s thoughts as to how to dispose of Cyril and he understood why she would want him dead. She wanted to prevent that monster of a man from taking advantage of any other girl or woman. So, that is why he retrieved the letter from the messenger’s bag and burned it in some fireplace while she was gone from him. He had plans for Cyril.
He woke Sabina fifteen minutes before noon as promised so she could freshen up before her meeting with Cyril. Of course, Lionel asked her why she needed him to wake her so early. She saw no point in lying, so she told him she was going to supervise Cyril’s meeting with the children.
“What? How could-,”
“Lionel, can we at least give him the pleasure of seeing his children before…before your plan goes into motion?”
Lionel did not want to give that demon any sense of happiness while he still drew breath. After looking into Sabina’s pleading eyes, he just couldn’t bring himself to say no. So, he agreed reluctantly.
“Oh, thank you, Lionel!” She hugged him and kissed him although he did not return the gesture or tell her that she was welcome. “Now, stay hidden.”
“Wait, why? Are you planning to bring him in here?”
“No, but knowing Cyril, he’d probably want to visit.”
Lionel sighed heavily. He knew he had no control over the situation whether Cyril came into the room or not. So, he agreed and sent Sabina on her way. Then he disappeared into the arminoire.
As soon as Sabina entered Mariam’s room, her eyes came to rest on Cyril holding baby Lionel. She froze in shock at the sight because when they were born, Cyril was a raging beast over the boy’s name. Then Cyril looked at her with a smile. “About time you got here,” he said as he walked towards her with Lionel cradled in his arms. “He looks an awful lot like me, don’t you think?”
Sabina looked at the chubby babbling baby boy who looked up at his father with great curiosity. He had Cyril’s piercing blue eyes and blonde peach fuzz covering his head. “Yes, he does.” She then walked over to Hope’s bassinet and Cyril followed. She was fast asleep. Cyril looked her over and said, “Well, she’s definitely your daughter.”
“How can you tell?” Sabina asked playfully.
“She has your tan skin, your curly hair, your long eyelashes, and she most likely has your beautiful green eyes, as well.” Sabina had to look away from Cyril before he pulled her into his orbit. She scooped Hope out of her bassinet because it was time to feed her and her brother.
She turned away then Cyril came over. When she saw him, she said, “Um, do you mind…?”
“Oh, of course!” Then he turned walked away and amused himself with Lionel who was quite a quiet child.
About twenty minutes passed before Cyril heard a satisfied burp. Before he knew it, Lionel had been taken from his arms and he had to find another way to occupy himself. So, he picked up Hope and began to make “conversation” with her. He was right; she did have Sabina’s eyes. He had no doubt that she would inherit her mother’s attitude as well. She seemed to have a little fight in her even at this tender age.
Another twenty minutes passed and another burp came. Sabina placed Lionel in his bassinet and she instructed Cyril to do the same with Hope. He did then they left the twins under Mariam’s watch. Once in the hallway, Cyril said, “They are absolutely divine, Sabina, darling! I can’t believe such greatness came from me.”
Sabina plastered a smile on her face and nodded as she thought, Me, neither considering how hot-headed and violent you can be.
“Thank you so much for allowing me to see them, Sabina,” he said, taking her hands in his. “I feel that if I were to die, I would do so happily because I was able to see my children.”
He kissed both of her hands and walked her to her door. Sabina was about to bid him farewell, but Cyril cut her off asking, “May I come in?”
Sabina hesitated. She had told Lionel to stay hidden and she was confident that he did so, but she wasn’t sure where he was hiding or where Cyril would go if she let him in the room. He was looking at her expectantly, so she said, “Yes, you may.” She opened the door and let him inside.
Sabina quickly scanned the room and saw no sign of Lionel or Faye. The bed was made and the air was free of Lionel’s scent. Suddenly, she was embraced from behind. Cyril pulled the collar on her dress aside to expose her skin and he sucked at her neck. She tried to pull away from him, but to no avail. “Cyril,” she whimpered.
“Sabina, please don’t argue with me,” he whispered against her skin. “It’s been so long since I’ve made love to you properly.” He ran his nose up her neck until it reached the shell of her ear. “Please.”
Sabina flinched when he nipped her ear. “It’s too early. Why here? Why now?” she asked as she managed to turn around and look into his eyes.
“You let me see my children and I am forever grateful for that…So, I want to return the favor.” Sabina looked away from him and bit her lip.
Little did they know that Lionel was watching all of this unfold from within the arminoire. He was furious and was doing everything within his power not to burst out of the closet. His mind went back to that fateful night on which he had to watch Sabina be raped by the very man who stood in that room at that very moment. Lionel wanted to tear him apart more than anything, but he couldn’t do that. Not just yet.
“Cyril, I-,” Sabina didn’t know what to say. She wrung her hands nervously as she considered the fact that Lionel could be listening. So, she chose her next words carefully. “Cyril, although you’ve made a rather…generous offer, I must decline. I am not well as it is.”
“Really, now?” Cyril placed the back of his hand on her forehead, cheek, and throat. “You’re not running a fever.”
“I’m just a little light-headed is all,” she managed.
“Well, then why not lay down?” He scooped Sabina up in his arms and carried her to the bed where he placed her down then circled to the foot of the bed where he stared at her with clear intent. “You know, you’re still a terrible liar,” he said with a smirk. “Please don’t make me beg, Sabina.” He began to crawl towards her.
“…W-Why me?” Sabina stammered as she crawled backwards, but was stopped by the headboard.
Cyril stopped when he was nose to nose with her. Then he whispered, “Because you bore my children.”
Sabina was about to retort that it wasn’t by her own choice, but she held her tongue. She was breathing heavily out of fear as well as anticipation. Wherever Lionel was, she hoped that he wasn’t seeing this. If he happened to be watching, she prayed that he wouldn’t make himself known and get himself killed.
“What’s the matter?” Cyril asked, seeing the anxiety on Sabina’s face. “You’re shaking like a leaf.” He brushed some hair out of her face and tucked it behind her ear.
“N…Nothing. Nothing at all,” she lied.
Of course, he knew she was lying, but he just went with it. “I want to try something different with you.”
Both Lionel and Sabina’s ears perked up at this. What could this man have in mind? Whatever it was, it couldn’t possibly be good. Lionel held his breath as he waited for Sabina to ask what. She didn’t want to ask, but she asked regardless.
A devilish grin that met Cyril’s eyes graced his face. Then he rose from the bed, offered her his hand, and said, “Come.”
She hesitated, knowing that if she took his hand, there would most likely be no turning back. She looked at his hand then at his face. He still had that devilish grin on his face. She didn’t trust him, but he was not going to relent until he got what he wanted. She reluctantly took his hand and was led into the bathroom. They stopped in front of the giant mirror, which hung above the his and her sinks.
Cyril positioned himself behind her and placed gentle hands on her shoulders. “You’re very lovely, you know?”
“…Thank you,” Sabina replied in a way that made it sound like a question. She was unsure as to what he meant by that or where he was going with this situation.
“Have you ever thought what it would be like to watch yourself make love? Do you know what it does to me when I see the pleasure on your face along with the tantalizing sound of your delicious moans filling the room?” A hand had found its way into her hair, gently pulling her head sideways to grant more access to her neck. His lips grazed her skin, sending a shiver through Sabina.
Sabina looked at her reflection. The thought had actually never occurred to her, but now that she thought about it, the thought actually terrified her. She could barely stand being seen by Lionel whenever they made love, so there was no way she’d be able to handle seeing herself become undone.
Cyril’s free hand was already hard at work. He grabbed the front of her dress and pulled it down, freeing her breasts from their confines. Then he began to tease her left nipple. A whimper escaped Sabina’s throat as she began to writhe and Cyril took it that she was enjoying herself. “You like this?” he asked.
Sabina choked back a groan. This man was incredibly good with his hands. He had barely touched her and she was already losing her composure. “N~No,” she moaned.
Cyril ceased his ministrations. “What did you say?” he asked looking at her reflection.
“Cyril, I’m begging you. I don’t want-,”
“Silence!” he hissed. Sabina yelped when he pinned her to the marble counter with his hips. She could feel his erection press up against her through the material of her dress. “You have made me wait long enough and I am not about to let you push me away now. Place your hands on the counter.” Sabina hesitated. “Do it!” She obeyed.
“Good girl.” He hiked up her dress and rewarded her with a slap on her buttocks. “Hold this.” She took the bundles of her skirt in her hands. “You say you don’t want this,” he mumbled.
“I don’t!” Sabina whined.
Cyril chuckled wickedly. “Well, she begs to differ.” He ran a finger over Sabina’s sex through her panties, eliciting a gasp from her. “You’re such a slut.”
“D-Don’t say things like that,” Sabina said as she squeezed her eyes shut and her face turned scarlet red.
“Why not? You and I both know you like it.” He peeled her panties off and began to toy with her some more.
“Cyril!” Sabina cried as she braced herself on the sink.
“Open your eyes.” Sabina did so reluctantly and locked eyes with her own reflection. “I don’t want you to miss a single expression you make.”
“You will watch yourself as I take you…and you will enjoy it,” he said cruelly.
Sabina choked back a sob as she helplessly watched what this man’s actions were doing to her. This was the Cyril she had hated when she had first arrived at the mansion; this cruel, mean, domineering Cyril. He made her this way and she hated it. She had no choice, but to surrender to this fate. Lionel forgive me, she thought. “Do what you must.”
That devilish grin reappeared. “With pleasure.”
First, he planted a kiss on her sex. Then he began to lick her as a kitten lapped up milk. Sabina was fighting to keep her composure, but she finally lost it when Cyril began to suck the most sensitive spot on the female body. Cyril felt her legs buckle, but she held herself up by way of the sink.
It was hard for Sabina to see her reflection due to the pleasure-induced blurry vision. She could barely make out the red in her cheeks, but she was able to feel her bangs sticking to her forehead. If Cyril kept this up, she would surely climax. Then a moan escaped her throat when she felt something long and slender enter her. “Oh!” she yelped. “Cyril, please…hurry.”
“Don’t rush me, darling,” he replied in a voice as soft as his touch. “I want to savor every moment.” He fingered her for what seemed like an eternity for Sabina. Then he stopped. She turned around to ask why he’d stopped when she screamed upon feeling Cyril enter her. “Look at you, Sabina…Look at you.”
Her eyes were glazed, her mouth hung agape, and her cheeks were flushed beyond measure. This face was the epitome of pleasure. Sabina’s chest rose and fell quickly as she tried to adjust to the feeling of being full. “C-Cyril,” she said, her voice no louder than a whisper.
“As you wish. Watch and be amazed.”
He pulled out slightly before pushing back in, eliciting a whine from Sabina. After doing this a few more times, Sabina groaned. Cyril took it that she was bored, so he picked up the pace. Before he knew it, he had her moaning and bucking her hips back against him. “How is it, Sabina?”
“It…It feels…amazing!” she said between pants.
“Well, it’s about to get more interesting.” He reached around and began to knead her breast with one hand. Then with the other, he reached down and began to tease her love button.
Sabina gasped at this deadly combination. “No…No!”
“No, what?” Cyril asked coyly.
“If you – If you do it all together, I’ll – I’ll – Ah!” She came loudly and violently.
“Oh, no, no, no,” Cyril said with a disapproving shake of his head. “Who said you could come, now?”
“Huh?” Sabina asked as she was still in the process of coming down from her climax.
“I didn’t say you could come, Sabina.”
“I-I tried to warn you, but it was just so good.”
“Then, we’ll just have to start again.”
Sabina tried to put up a fight. “No, Cyril. I can’t possibly do anymore.”
Cyril looked her over. The poor thing was right. She was exhausted and could barely stand up. So, he chose an alternative. He picked her up and held her up by her thighs. He positioned himself then thrust deep inside her, causing Sabina to gasp. Apparently, she had never been penetrated from this angle before and she liked it immediately. Not just because of the position, but also because of how it looked in the mirror. She had doubted him before, but now that she was watching, she understood how arousing watching oneself make love can be.
Cyril continued to impale her and make her scream in pleasure. He was literally feeding off her pleasure. The more he gave, the more he received. He was starting to get close. “Ah!” he groaned. “I’m getting close.”
“What?” Sabina asked because she hadn’t heard him since she was so caught up in her own pleasure.
“I’m close!” he hissed.
Sabina’s eyes grew large. I can’t let him come inside me! she thought. “P-Pull it out,” she said.
“Why would I do that?”
“Because I don’t want to get pregnant again. At least not yet.”
“It feels better if I do.”
“Please, Cyril,” she begged. “Pull it out!”
His climax was fast approaching and he had to make a decision. Would he be selfish or selfless?
“Cyril!” Sabina moaned.
He pulled out, set her down gently, and climaxed on her backside. Sabina sunk to her knees and managed to say, “Thank you.”
“No,” Cyril panted. “Thank you for allowing me to share my world with you.” Sabina simply nodded.
“Would you like to take a shower?” she asked.
They stepped into the shower and Sabina turned on the water. It was warm as soon as it hit their skin. Cyril grabbed a washcloth and a bar of soap. He wet and lathered them then he began to wash Sabina. She was about to protest, but he gave her a look and she didn’t bother. He started by gently washing her face. She hated him for doing so because she had to keep her eyes closed, meaning her other senses would be heightened.
Then he washed her ears, neck, shoulders, arms, and he lingered once he got to her breasts. Sabina slapped his hand then he moved on to her legs. He knelt down and said, “Hold onto me.” When she laid a hand on his shoulder, he lifted her leg and began to wash her feet. Sabina giggled at the feeling. “Ah, so you’re ticklish,” Cyril said with a playful grin. “That’s good to know."
When he had finished with her feet, his eyes became level with his next act of business. “Spread your legs.” She did so half-heartedly because she knew that he would find some kind of way to pin her to the wall and have sex again. “Wider.” She hesitated then obeyed with a roll of her eyes. Then he began the slow and grueling process.
“You were beautiful out there in front of the mirror,” he said. Sabina didn’t respond. All she wanted was for him to finish, so she could wash him and be rid of him. She flinched upon feeling the fabric from the washcloth rub against her.
Oh, my, she thought. No, snap out of it! He’s doing this on purpose. You mustn’t give him the satisfaction!
“And I loved the way the sounds you made echoed off the walls.” Again, the fabric stroked her and she had to brace herself on Cyril’s shoulders. He smiled, knowing he was getting to her. “Maybe we could do it again.”
Once again, Sabina didn’t respond. She just took the torment he gave her until he was finished and told her to step under the showerhead. As she rinsed off, Cyril brushed her hair away from her neck and draped it over her shoulder. Sabina paid it no mind because she thought he missed a spot. Then she felt his lips graze the back of her neck and knew his intent. She stepped out from under the hot water and turned to look at him. The look she gave him was enough to make him stop.
Sabina walked past him and out of the shower. She slammed the bathroom door on her way out. Cyril stood alone in the shower as the steam enveloped him. Once again, he had overstepped his bounds and drove Sabina away from him. When would he learn? Then with a sigh, he picked up another washcloth and the bar of soap and began to wash himself.
When he emerged from the bathroom, he saw Sabina sitting at the foot of the bed fully clothed and staring at the floor. He then walked over to her and sat down beside her. Silence ruled for a moment before Cyril spoke saying, “I’m…sorry for what happened in there.” No response. “I wasn’t trying to take advantage of you. Honest. I just wanted to show some affection.”
“You’re lying!” Sabina hissed without making eye contact.
“Sabina, you’ve heard me say this before. I love you and I want to give you the best life possible. I want to make you my lady. If you allow me to do so, you’ll never have to be ashamed or…hurt by meetings like these.” He truly loved Sabina even though he had a strange, perverted way of showing it. “We could have a normal family and raise the children together…as husband and wife.”
Sabina heard what he was saying, but his words meant nothing to her. What had just happened wasn’t an act of love. It was nothing but a flagrant display of pent-up lust. Then for him to have the nerve to propose after such indecency as that? How dare he! Sabina simply looked at him and shook her head in disgust. “No. I cannot and will not accept such a backhanded proposal after all the hell you’ve put me through. How can I simply become Lady Van Tassel when I don’t have any feelings for you whatsoever?”
Cyril blinked in confusion. “Wait, wait, wait…You told me you loved me before. Why do you deny it now?”
Sabina looked away from him as she folded her arms with a huff. “Because I realized that I am incapable of loving another man the way I loved Lionel.”
“Sabina,” Cyril said in the kindest voice he could muster. He couldn’t believe she still wasn’t over this. “My dear Sabina, Lionel is-,”
“Dead. I know.”
“Then, why can’t or won’t you-,”
“We’ve had this conversation before, Cyril,” Sabina said matter-of-factly. “It seems like the memory has escaped you, but I will reiterate what I said back then.” She cleared her throat. “I loved Lionel more than life itself and he loved me the same, if not more. Then you came along and took him from me before I could show my love in the most precious way known to man."
“I’m sor –,”
“I have said my peace. Now, please leave. I wish to be alone.”
Cyril sat a while longer, pondering what he had just heard. He couldn’t believe she didn’t accept his offer. He understood why she wouldn’t, but he was still shocked. Her conclusion took him aback. She was cold and distant in this moment when only minutes before, she had been kind, passionate, and tender toward him. He longed to ask her again – beg even, but he saw no point in that she had said her peace. So, he rose from the bed, strode across the floor past Sabina, and left without another word.
Sabina locked the door behind him then glared at the door as if it had been the one to take advantage of her. Suddenly, she felt two hands on her shoulders. They delivered a sense of comfort and…sympathy. It was then that she allowed her squared shoulders to slump, her steady even breaths to become more ragged, her taught knees to buckle, her body to quake, and her ceramic mask of stoicism to fall from her face and shatter to pieces. She turned to Lionel and began to sob out of guilt and humiliation, seeking his forgiveness for abandoning love, reason, and loyalty for lust, thoughtlessness and infidelity.
In spite of all Sabina had done within the passed hour, Lionel held her close. He understood her struggle. She had been around that dog of a man so long that he somehow convinced her that she was more or less nothing without him in body. Cyril was responsible for her new found sexual tendencies. Lionel guided her toward the bed where he laid down with her and comforted her silently.
When she had finally calmed down after what seemed to be an eternity, she found the strength to look Lionel in the eyes. He smiled at her, glad that she had finally stopped crying. Then he was shocked to hear her say hoarsely, “I’m sorry.”
“…Why are you apologizing?”
Her lip began to tremble then she sobbed, “Because I’m a whore!”
Lionel couldn’t believe his ears. Did she just call herself a whore? Who was this woman and what had she done with the real Sabina? The wild, unapologetic, beautiful Sabina he fell in love with. “No. You are not a whore,” he said quietly.
“Yes, I am.”
“No, Sabina. You’re not.”
“Yes, I am, Lionel! I’m a dirty, wretched whore. I’m not worthy of you and I’m not worthy to be called your wife,” she choked.
“W-Why are you saying these things?”
“Because they’re true! I practically begged Cyril to have his way with me! I enjoyed it! Even though my lips were saying no, my body and mind were screaming yes...I am a whore, Lionel. Just leave me here. I’m not worthy to be called your wife.”
“You know I could never do that,” Lionel said as he pulled her closer to him.
“Because I love you too much to let you stay here and suffer while I go free. And you, my dear, are not a whore. You are just reacting the way any woman would to sex. Cyril made you this way and I’m sorry for that. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think about-,”
“Don’t,” Sabina begged as memories from that fateful night flashed across her mind’s eye. “Please.”
“Sorry…I was supposed to tell you some news before you left. Would you like to hear it?”
“…I suppose,” Sabina replied with very little enthusiasm.
“I’m tired, Sabina. I’m tired of the way this dog treats you. He comes and goes as he pleases, violating you on the regular and doing God knows what to Faye. All while I hide here watching it all happen. I’ve been thinking and I’ve decided that I want to end him.”
Sabina looked up at him with her eyes filled with fear. “But, what about the letter you sent off?”
“I retrieved it from the envoy’s bag and destroyed it.”
“So…what do you plan to do?”
“I plan to make him suffer the same way he’s made you suffer.”
“No, Lionel. He’ll have you killed!”
“No, he won’t. How can he kill someone he can’t recognize?”
“Sabina,” Lionel said in that gentle voice of his as he took her hand in his.
“Do you trust me?”
Sabina stared at him for the longest time. When she thought back on all the times Lionel could have possibly failed, he did not. He had never let her down when he could help it and now was when he needed her to trust him the most. “I do.”
“You will be free. You and your children. We all will be free.” Then he kissed her on the forehead. They nestled closer together and Lionel held Sabina until she fell asleep.
Her last thought before drifting off to sleep was, I hope you’re right.