“Devil’s Revenge”, Chapter 33

garrett-in-devils-revenge

(Definitely a devilish looking character….)

I have been chided by an old friend for posting one chapter and leaving potential readers confused and hanging.  I have lost ‘friends’ because of the title and because of the theme.  Especially amongst those who are religious.   There are some sticky parts, issues in this one, and the issue of submission, etc. is so not ‘today’.  But Bess is a modern day woman writer (or trying to finish a book, except for all the interruptions and troublesome ‘friends’) snatched back into the 19th century by a Demon Lover.  Or a Demon, Garrett Cortelyou, who becomes a lover.  He has his own issues, big ones, and his friends are more devils….some not so dangerous (Madame Gormosy, a transgender Demon of Lust) and others who  definitely are so.  This was only my second novel and I had tremendous fun in the writing.  Whether it will be published or not is not decided yet.  But what I experienced was the joy and freedom of a world not of my own.  It was a heady experience.

Lady Nyo

 

For the next few days, I sat in silence, my mind unable to focus, my nerves sharpened, my behavior strange.  Madame Gormosy was all sympathy, and tried to distract with rounds of faro.  For once I was uninterested in the game, could barely hold my cards.  She was kind enough to allow me my undress, and does not insist I wear the corset.  She brushes out my hair when she arrives in the morning, and I uncomplainingly give myself over to her hands.  She rouges my cheeks and lips and fashions my hair into different styles.  I walk through these mornings like a ghost, only the routines of chamber pot and tea make me feel alive.  I am suffering some shock to the system according to Madame, and will eventually recover.

Garrett was absent most of the day, still meeting with his various devils and god only knows what else.  On occasion I will hear him, and ‘Monsieur’ Gormosy, in the hall. Even though at times I can pick up words of their conversation, and I am sometimes the topic, I listen with little interest, for nothing seems real or of substance in my life now.  The third morning, Garrett came in during my breakfast tea, and sitting down across from our tea table, stretched his hand to me, his usual offering gesture of tenderness.  I look at him over the rim of my teacup, my eyes blank, empty, and place my cup back in its saucer.  I give him my hand, and at that moment, tears swell in my eyes and spill over my cheeks.

“You’ve had your fill of demons now?”  He grins, gently holding my hand.  I nod, unable to speak.

“Come here, darling one, I leave you too much in Madame’s company.  It couldn’t be helped before, but I can do better.”

I get up and go to him, feeling like a penitent child.  He pulls me onto his lap, and wraps his arms around my shoulders.  I hear the heartbeat in his chest as I tuck my head under his chin.  He is warm with the heat of life, and my pain of the previous days lessen in his arms.

“Abigor has pledged his support against Obadiah and his forces.  Oh, there is nothing Devils like more than a chance at warfare.  They have all these impatient legions under their charge and it’s just another game to them.  It’s the chess game from Hell.”  Garrett laughed, a deep rumble in his chest.

“He was amused with your company.  It’s been centuries since he sat over a teacup with a woman.  Not many devils are interested in the French salons, darling.  You tickled his fancy with your curiosity and thoughts.  He could see you struggled to hide them, and of course he could still read your mind.   Abigor is a powerful devil, he will be useful.  You played your part well, Bess, and I thank you for it.”

He thanks me for it?  Does he even know what that glimpse into Abigor’s eyes did to me? I lay in his arms, hating him and everything in this room.

“Sweet woman, sweet woman,” he coos to me.  He tightens his grip and pulls me up close to his chest.  “Not all Devils have the, ah…nature of Abigor.  Look at Madame Gormosy.  She is all sweetness and light.”

Hah!  I guess this is his idea of humor!  Madame Gormosy is also lustful and quick with the hands.  My thoughts flow unchecked in my head.  At least I can think again.

“Ah, I warn him, but to no avail.  He is after all, the Demon of Lust.”  He laughed, and I can’t help but laugh with him.  Madame Gormosy comes by her vices honestly, cross gender that she is.

He holds me on his knee, silent for a while.  It is enough, for we have little time together.  This Devil’s coven or whatever you call it, has come and gone, and now perhaps I can roam the downstairs in freedom.

“You can.” (He still reads my mind) “But Madame has noticed soot on the walls and hoof marks on the floors.”  He made me laugh.  “I have something of interest for you.”   I am all ears.

“We are taking a trip.  But not in a dream.”

“I smell magic here.  Is that what you propose, Demon?”

“I liked it better when you called me Demon Lover, but in any case, I’m not asking you.   I’m telling you it will happen.”

“Oh! So….I have no choice here?”  I know I am picking a losing fight.

The Demon looks at me with a scowl.  “Perhaps I have been too lenient with your mortal feelings.  Perhaps you don’t fear me enough.”

Ah!  He wants me to fear him?  I am crazy with fear since I fell into his world, and he wants more?  I don’t know how to answer him, for it’s more than a question of him.  I stand and move to the window.  He watches me closely.

“You are a strong woman.  That’s why I picked you for consort.  Perhaps a bit too headstrong.   Abigor warns me to keep a tight rein on you.  You don’t know the rules yet.”

Rules! I have fallen into an irrational world, full of magic and devils, and he talks to me of rules?

His voice is steady, but it is touched with some anger.  “You have some standing in these other dimensions, because you are my consort, but only for that.   You have yet to prove yourself.  You will remember that I am your master.”

I whirl around from the window, my hands on my hips, and as soon as I see his face, I realize that I am playing with fire.  We stand across the room glaring at each other.  The words “make me” cross my mind, and immediately, before I can react, he has crossed the room.  He grabs my hair and twists it around his wrist, forcing my head backward.  I flail out with my arms and try to hit him with some force, but he easily backs away, never losing his grip on my hair.  I try to hurt him, and I am further humiliated by the expression on his face.  It only increases my rage and I continue to strike out, even try to kick him in that particular spot between his legs.  A look of surprise crosses his face, as he stays just out of reach.  Like the fencer he is, he turns sideways, and I haven’t a clear shot at his crotch.  He is hurting me with another twist of his wrist, and I am fairly spitting with rage.  He forced me to my knees with a downward pull on my hair.

“You bastard!  Let me go, bitch!”  I am incoherent with anger and still struggling with him.

“Ah! I’m a bastard and a bitch?  You don’t know my gender yet?  Perhaps that’s the problem.  I’m definitely bastard, but never a bitch.”  He is not grinning and he is as angry as I have seen him.

I was winded from my struggle. I was panting.  He let go of my hair and in a chair across the room, sits down slowly.  I started to rise, and his low voice stops me immediately.

“Stay on your knees, woman of mine.  Stay where you are if you value your life.”

I looked up at him, my eyes flashing with hate.  “What does this do, prove you are stronger than me?  Well, Einstein, there’s no surprise in that!  That’s why women are smarter than men.   We are born smarter to put up with your kind.”

I am stretching here.  I have little defense for my behavior besides my rage.

The Demon relaxed in his chair, a slight smile crossed his face.  “What Madame taught you was only the surface.  Appearances aside, you have learned nothing from her.  Your arrogance and ignorance keeps you blind.  You didn’t fear Abigor, and you don’t fear me.  We shall change that balance beginning now.”

Garrett rises from his chair and with a snap of his fingers, a small whip appears in his hand.  “You don’t like magic, darling?  You really won’t like this either.”  He stands there looking down at me, and I start to see that I have made some mistake with him.

“Now, stand up and strip off your gown.  Do it or I’ll do it for you.”  He looks menacing enough.  I start to undo the bodice and since I’m not wearing any stays, I drop it and slip out of the skirt, wearing only a linen chemise.  Immediately, either from fear or cold, I get goose bumps and I started to shiver.  I cross my arms over my breast and look at him, my rage dampened with fear.

“Come over here, Bess.  Walk slowly to me.”  I walked to within a few feet of him.  I am less defiant without my clothes.  He reached out and whirled me around and ripped my chemise from my shoulders like tissue paper.  It puddled at my feet and I am to step out of it and turn around.  I faced him, now with the scent of fear coming from me.  I can smell it.

“Now.  I want you to feel how powerless you are.  You are naked. I have a whip in my hand, and I’m bigger.  Older, too.  So, do you really think you can fight me and win? Now, move over to that chair and put your hands on the arms. Don’t move from there and if you do turn, I’ll hit whatever part that faces this whip.”

I was too afraid to defy him.  I did as he asked, and waited trembling.  I didn’t have to wait long, for I felt him hit me on the ass with a well aimed flick of his wrist.  It cut me like fire, and I yelped.  I was shaking, and he again popped me across the other cheek. He hit me three more times, and then nothing.  I waited for him to hit me again. This agony of waiting is as bad as the whip.  I took a gulp of air, and I felt the whip handle slowly trace my backbone from my neck to the small of my back.  It made me quiver. He suddenly hit me again, this time harder and I screamed.  I felt his hand run over the welts from the whip.   I was crying great dramatic tears and collapsed into the upholstered seat of the chair.   Feeling his hands on my back, I turned and embraced his legs.  He didn’t move, and crying into the fabric of his breeches, hide my face in his thighs.  Finally, I felt his hands on the top of my head.  He pulled me to my feet and lifted me into his arms, and carried me to the bed.   I felt him lie down beside me and, with my eyes tightly shut, I continued to cry.  At last, after the shock and silence of the past three days, I could finally feel again.  The pain and burning on my ass tells me I am alive.  I was beginning to wonder.

He leaned on his side, his head propped up on one hand.  He turned me to him and his other hand travelled  down my back to my flank.  He stroked me like he would a frightened mare, humming something under his breath.

“Sweet woman.”  His words were almost a whisper. “I choose you because of what you are.  Now you need to trust me and know I am wiser and stronger than you.  In me is your safety.  It isn’t the magic that makes me stronger.  It isn’t the whip.  It’s because I am.  It’s because of my experience.  You submit to me in these things, and you will find contentment.  It’s the natural order in the universe.  Men protect women.  That is our role and duty.  If you violate that order, and fight against me, you put us both in peril, do you understand?”

I looked up into his face, and was confused. He is more than mortal, that I well know.  Perhaps that part of him demands my submission.  I can tell by his face he knows what I am thinking.

“Ah, Bess, you have so much to learn, even about mortal men!  The women of your century must be very discontent.  They don’t know their place in the scheme of things, even in such a narrow dimension as yours.  Such unnecessary chaos.”

I couldn’t disagree, for there was more than a kernel of truth to his words.  His gentle stroking of my back eased my pain, and he turned me on my stomach and caressed the red marks he left on my backside.  I turned over to face him, and cupped his face in my hand.  He was beautiful, with dark hair and eyes, and the dark shadow that comes over his face in the evening. What had happened to us?  What did I think would happen? I was not dealing with a normal man, what I have hooked is beyond my comprehension.  What he has hooked is my heart.

This submission he demands confuses me.  I have little control over anything since I emerged in his sphere, his dimension. What I do know is I have no answers for anything and I can well believe that my safety, my very life depends upon him.  His behavior is rough, at times vulgar, uncouth, but he does have an experience, a wisdom, knowledge of things a few months before I would never have to exist

The petty magic, as he claimed, was only window dressing.  Something  else that was able to move Heaven and Hell was afoot.  And as he said, demons and devils were only a small part of the universe.  There were things of magnificent and incomprehensible ‘magic’ that awaited our discovery.  I was not sure that discovery was the proper word, it seemed to me that fate was already decided and we were just hanging on for the ride.

If this was what he meant by submission I was safer for it.  The natural order of things in his universe.  The natural order in mine?  Perhaps my life depended upon it.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2006-2017

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