Chapter 2 of our Halloween story is ready, folks! Enjoy the continuation of Darcy and Mark’s story.
Mark fought his rising irritation with the obstinate young woman in front of him. He knew perfectly well what she was doing. His only problem was how he wanted to proceed.
“Your room or mine?” She laughed derisively. “Or do you want to just get it on right here on the kitchen floor?” She cocked her head cheekily, her eyes bright with self-deprecation.
“You don’t listen well, do you?” Mark grasped her arm and marched her towards the stairway in spite of her startled gasps.
“W-where are we going?”
Her voice was a scared kitten squeak and he knew he was right in his assessment. All mouthy bluster and no follow-through. “I’m taking you to your room,” he replied evenly, pushing her up the stairs with one hand on her delectable rear.
“B-but,” she stuttered, obviously trying to gather her wits.
“You invited me, remember?” He could just hear the wheels spinning as she tried to quickly figure a way out of her current predicament.
“I-I didn’t really mean it,” she protested, digging her heels in as he tried to march her down the hall, the door to her bedroom looming ever closer. Her panting was getting heavier as she tried to shake his hand off her arm and pull away.
“You should never say things you don’t mean,” he chided firmly, opening the bedroom door and pushing her inside. “Someone might take you up on them one day, and then you’d really be in trouble.” He stared sternly down at her as he pulled her towards the bed. “When I say enough, that means enough, Darcy. Something you need to remember in the future.”
“W-what are you doing?” Her voice quivered as he sat down on the bed and pulled her between his knees.
“Acting like a fractious child earns you a child’s punishment. “I’m going to give you a spanking and put you to bed. You can think about your indiscretions for the rest of the evening instead of playing cards and having some cocoa as I was going to suggest earlier.”
Pulling her across his left knee, Mark swiftly pushed down the pajama bottoms Holly had supplied and admired the outline of Darcy’s bare wiggling cheeks in the daring black thong. Desire shot straight to his loins and distracted him. His fingers trembled slightly as he ran his palm across their warm satiny softness.
“No…please…I’m sorry,” Darcy pleaded, trying to put her hand back. “I’m so sore already, please don’t, Mark.”
Mark noted some deep red spots here and there intermixed with a few small welts from his hand earlier. She probably was sore. “I don’t know why you chose to disparage yourself in this manner, but it won’t fly with me.” He tipped her slightly forward and landed six spanks on the undercurve of her bottom cheeks, three on each side. That brought tears.
“I-I’m sorry, it’s just a habit,” Darcy admitted with a breathy sob.
He pulled her upright and sat her on his knee, unable to bring himself to spank her anymore. He’d made his point anyway. The tears were trickling down her face and she looked defeated and forlorn. His thumb gently brushed away a tear. “Why?”
She shrugged her shoulders and dropped her gaze to her hands in her lap. “A defensive mechanism when I get uncomfortable.”
He chuckled. “So, you know what you’re doing.”
Her eyes shot back to his, guarded. “It works when I’m uncomfortable. People usually leave me alone and don’t pester me for answers or explanations that I don’t want to give.”
His eyebrow shot up. “I didn’t realize I was pestering you for anything. As I remember, I was complimenting you on your natural beauty.”
A blush shot up her throat and into her face. “I’m not beautiful,” she protested.
“Ah, you don’t like compliments, they make you uncomfortable.” Expressive, distrustful eyes stared back at him then slid away to stare at the wall. She’d been hurt before, obviously.
Finally, she huffed. “What are you? A therapist or something?”
Gently he replied, “I am as a matter of fact.”
The expression on her face as she whipped towards him could only be categorized as horror. She jumped to her feet and it was as if shutters suddenly closed in her eyes. “Get out.”
Puzzled, Mark stood up. “What’s wrong, Darcy?”
“You are what’s wrong,” she bit out between clenched teeth. “Now, get out or I’ll borrow some clothes from Holly and start walking.”
She was shaking, her entire frame stiff and indignant. Mark tried to take her hand but she backed away like he was a rabid dog. “Don’t touch me.”
His shrewd mind racing, he asked, “Is this Doug a therapist?”
“No,” she snapped.
“But you’ve dated or known someone who was,” he supplied intuitively.
Darcy bristled, the distrust shining clearly in her eyes. “You think you’re so smart, don’t you?” She mocked. “You always have all the answers, you and all your kind. Just leave me alone and get out.” Her voice broke and she turned her back on him.
Making a decision, Mark finally spoke. “All right, Darcy, but this isn’t over. I can see you’re tired and upset so I’ll let you get to bed. We’ll talk in the morning.”
The reply was muffled but he could understand it. “No, we won’t.”
He walked to the door and then hesitated. “I’m sorry you’re hurting, honey, but don’t lump me in with whoever caused it. I like you…I like you a lot. I’d like to get to know you better.”
The urge to gather her into his arms and hold her close, protect her from his unscrupulous kind, and keep her safe was overwhelming. Her forlorn figure standing so alone with her arms wrapped around her middle and the keep-off sign clearly sending its signal tore at his heartstrings. The dominant in him wanted to find whoever it was that hurt her and strangle him. It also made him want to be more forceful with her and find out who it was, but he knew her mind wasn’t in the right frame for that right now. He needed to be patient, give her this space, and pick it up later.
He needed to earn her trust.
Goodnight,” he said tenderly. “I’ll get you home in the morning, I promise.”
Her muffled reply was indiscernible this time.
After Mark left the room, Darcy climbed into the bed and shivered beneath the blankets waiting for her chilled body to warm up.
The man was a frick’n mind jerk!
How could she get so unlucky in one lifetime?
Conrad had been a therapist. Full of himself, always analyzing every word she said and everything she did. Making her feel like she was an emotional cripple and totally screwed up. Unless she did every little thing that he told her to do, she was ‘messed up’ and needed extensive therapy. She was selfish if she didn’t want to have sex when he wanted it, she was dependent on her mother if she met her mother for lunch or did anything with her that he didn’t approve of. No matter what they disagreed over, he always had to be right. Her opinion didn’t count, it was faulty and she wasn’t thinking clearly.
Making friends had never been easy for Darcy at the best of times, so when he told her best friend that Darcy’s mental health was in question, that had been the final straw. Lucky for her, Sheila had seen right through the jerk and encouraged her to get away from him and his destructive grip. They found out two years later that the girl Conrad had married had taken her own life.
Darcy shivered as the memories danced through her mind. Getting away from Mark was imperative for her own sanity. Playing mind games and allowing her mental processes to be manipulated once again wasn’t going to happen.
It was such a shame too because she was more attracted to him than any man she’d met. Which made him all the more dangerous to her sanity. She had to get away, but how? How would she explain wanting to borrow his phone again to call a taxi or an uber? How would she pay for it if she could? Fear clawed at her throat at the thought of demanding he allow it. Somehow, he would change her mind, she just knew it.
Getting up to go to the bathroom, her mind raced like a hamster on a wheel. The thought of walking in this neighborhood at night made her feel nauseous. Stupidity didn’t come easy to her and she was well aware of the risks. Lurking in the shadows to spy on cheating husbands had revealed enough of the seamy side of men to know that was a dangerous idea.
When she heard a sneeze on the other side of the bathroom door of Holly’s room, she knocked timidly and whispered in the darkness. “Holly? Are you awake?” She heard the bed creak and footsteps pad to the door.
“Yes, do you need something?” Holly was whispering too. It was funny how people imitated each other’s actions, even when it wasn’t necessary.
“Can I borrow your phone? I need to let my mom know I’m okay,” she lied without a qualm. “And do you have a sweatshirt I could borrow? I’m kind of cold.” She glanced down at her pajama sweats. They would have to do in place of asking for jeans. That might raise suspicion.
“Sure, hang on,” Holly whispered in reply. She padded away and then returned. “Here you go.”
Darcy cracked the door and took the sweatshirt and Holly’s phone. “I’ll give this back in just a minute, and thanks for the sweatshirt.” She closed the door and quickly dialed 911 and told them she was sneaking out of her abusive boyfriend’s home. She asked for an officer to meet her out front. It was the only way she could think of to get away without any money. After asking for no lights and sirens, she hung up, deleted her call, and took the phone back to Holly. She had about five minutes to get outside.
Her heart was pounding in her throat as she pulled the sweatshirt over her head and slipped on her tennis shoes. Cracking the door, she peeked into the hall. There was a light beneath Mark’s door, so she had to assume he’d come up for bed. The rest of the house was dark and quiet.
Silently she opened the bedroom door wide enough for her to skinny through it, hoping it wouldn’t creak. It didn’t and she breathed a sigh of relief. Swiftly she moved with the soft tread of cat’s paws down the hall and on down the stairs without making a sound. Pausing at the bottom of the stairway, she held her breath and listened. Keeping in the shadows of the rooms, she made her way to the front door and outside just a police cruiser pulled up in front.
“Get me out of here,” she hissed as she tumbled into the back seat. “Oh, and I need to report my car burglarized and my purse was stolen.”
“By the boyfriend?” The officer asked, pulling away from the curb.
“No, not by him,” she hissed in a whisper, then realizing what she was doing, spoke aloud. “No, not by him, by someone else. It was over on Apple Street by the Red Lark apartments.”
“I’ll take you down to the station and you can file a report,” the officer replied, glancing at her in the mirror. “Are you sure you’re alright? Did your boyfriend assault you?”
“Not in the way you think,” Darcy muttered, images of herself over Mark’s knee not once but twice that evening. “No, no,” she added hastily, “he didn’t hurt me. I wanted to leave and he didn’t want me to.” Technically, that was the truth—mostly.
It was 3:30am by the time Darcy finally tumbled into her own bed in her own apartment. Pamela hadn’t been too happy when she’d interrupted her and her boyfriend’s sex party on the sofa either. Making a mental note to have Pamela shampoo the sofa before anyone sat on it again, she yawned widely and drifted off to sleep.
Her last thought was of Mark as his handsome face swam behind her closed eyelids. What a shame he was a mind jerk, she’d really liked him until she found out his occupation.
Well…mostly liked him.
The spanking fetish was weird, but not a total turn-off. She’d heard that playful spankings could be really erotic, but having the courage to suggest such a thing would give a man way too much control over her. Better to let sleeping dogs lay in that department. Right?
When Mark woke up on Sunday morning after Halloween, he thought of Darcy. It was the first time in a long time that he felt eager to see a girl again. Okay, so he was a practicing licensed therapist, successful he supposed, not too hard on the female eye judging from the admiring glances women gave him, but just the same, he felt lonely.
Being a therapist had its disadvantages. He practically knew what women were thinking just from the human emotional patterns he recognized with little effort. He knew which ones came to see him because of their personal interest in him, and which ones sincerely wanted his help. He quickly discouraged the fakers and tried to help the others.
He would be thirty next year and he had yet to find anyone who inspired that crazy, lusty, mad-for-you passion he wanted to feel. He wanted someone who needed him to take care of them and protect them, yet not be clinging and dependent.
Someone like Darcy.
Jumping into a hot shower, he ran his mind’s eye up and down her figure from her beautiful clear skin, dark eyes, and curly hair to her lovely butt globes peeking up at him through the thong. Attraction reared its hot head, his male member saluted the faucets, and he rushed through his washup so he could start breakfast for her.
A frown creased his smooth brow as he toweled off and considered her reaction last night when she realized he was a therapist. What in the world was that all about? There was some serious hurt behind her actions and words, trauma even. The sooner he could find out what happened, the quicker he could help her deal with it.
Dressing quickly in his jeans and a Chiefs sweatshirt, he headed for the kitchen and rummaged around in the refrigerator for some bacon and eggs. Or should he prepare pancakes? Did Darcy like pancakes better than bacon and eggs?
Girls were so worried about their figures and how much they ate these days, it was impossible to know. Was she someone who ate what she liked and had a lean metabolism? Or did she pick up weight easily? These were very real concerns of some of his female patients and he stood there with the door open, analyzing the problem.
Finally realizing he was being completely indecisive, he grinned at himself. “I’ll just make both,” he muttered.
“You know, they say talking to yourself is a sign of old age, Uncle Mark.”
He turned around to see Holly standing there with a smirky grin on her face.
“I’m not too old to turn you over my knee, young lady.” He grinned back when she flushed and her chin shot up.
“You’re as bad as Dad, I swear,” Holly avowed, tossing her bright red curls. “I don’t even know why I like you.” She walked over and peered in the refrigerator. “What are you cooking this morning?”
“You like me because I’m your favorite uncle, brat,” he replied affectionally.
“You’re my only uncle,” she sassed back.”
“I rest my case.”
“You’re impossible.” She grabbed the milk and reached into the cupboard for a glass.
“I’m fixing pancakes with bacon and eggs,” he said cheerfully. “So, leave the pop tarts alone.”
Holly wrinkled her nose. “You know I don’t eat a big breakfast. Just pancakes with chocolate chips and powdered sugar will be fine.”
“You are forgetting that we have a guest. Since I’m not sure what Darcy likes, I’m fixing a couple of choices,” he explained.
“She’s not here though.”
Mark stopped and caught her eyes with a frosty glare. “What do you mean she’s not here?”
Holly shrugged. “When I came into the bathroom this morning, the door was open on her side, but she wasn’t there. Since she’s not down here either, that means she must have left.”
“How could she leave? She had no money and no way to get anywhere!”
Holly took a drink of her milk and licked her top lip. “Maybe her mother picked her up. She used my phone to call her and tell her she was okay.”
“Let me see your phone, please.” He held out his hand, his stomach churning. Why would Darcy leave in the middle of the night? Would her mother really come from two hours away to get her daughter? Probably. Most mothers would, anyway.
“She deleted the call if that’s what you’re looking for.” Holly gave him her phone and sat at the table.
Mark quickly located the trash on Holly’s phone. The only call out last night was right after they’d both gone up to bed. Around midnight. It was to 911 emergency services. Handing Holly back her phone, he turned to leave the kitchen.
“Hey, what about breakfast?” Holly called to his retreating figure.
“Grab some pop tarts,” he replied, pulling his jacket out of the closet by the front door. Feeling only slightly guilty at leaving his niece to eat an unhealthy breakfast, he opened the front door. Holly wouldn’t care, she loved pop-tarts anyway. “I’ll be back in a little bit, don’t go anywhere.”
The city streets of the little suburb of Independence Missouri were virtually deserted in the crisp air of Sunday morning. Old Elm, Maple, and other various majestic trees were shedding their leaves, leaving a carpet of swirling color on the lawns and in the streets. Little gusts of wind blew them about in delicate windy spirals that at any other time, would lift his spirits.
Pulling up in front of the police station, he bounded to the sidewalk and into the lobby. The dispatcher, a young blonde woman with her hair in a messy bun and an ink mark on her cheek came to the window.
“Can I help you?” She asked curiously.
Mark nodded eagerly. “Yes, I want to know if Darcy DeAngelo came in here last night. She disappeared from my home over on Walnut Street and I’m worried about her.”
The blue eyes of the dispatcher immediately became guarded. “I’ll get an officer for you.”
In a few minutes, a police officer resembling Telly Savalas with his bald head and wide knowing shark smile stepped into the foyer and motioned him to follow him to a room. “Have a seat, please,” he instructed in a deadpan voice. They both sat down. “Are you Miss DeAngelo’s boyfriend?”
Mark’s eyes narrowed. “I’m not her boyfriend, but she was staying with me and my niece last night and she disappeared. According to my niece’s phone, she called 911. I want to make sure she’s okay since I didn’t know she was gone until this morning.”
The officer nodded. “And did you have a fight with her?”
“No, we didn’t fight.”
“Did you assault her?” He pinned Mark in a fierce stare as if he was looking into his very soul and seeing his next big case.
“Of course not,” Mark protested with a frown. “What’s this all about?”
The officer studied him like a bug under a microscope, a gleam in his brown eyes. “Miss DeAngelo called for help because she said her boyfriend wouldn’t let her leave the home. Why wouldn’t you let her leave?”
Mark glanced uneasily down at the officer’s name badge. “Look, Officer Treason, Darcy isn’t my girlfriend. I picked her up last night when her car broke down and…” He trailed off when he realized how that must sound to a suspicious cop. He tried again. “She was stranded and I offered her a place to stay because she didn’t have money to get home and it was two hours away. Her actual boyfriend refused to come and get her, and I didn’t want to drive to Birmingdale that late because I’m taking care of my niece for the weekend. Why she chose to tell you that story, I don’t know,” he declared impatiently. “All I wanted to do in coming here was to make sure she was alright.” He stood up.
Officer Treason stood up, disbelief warring with irritation that he couldn’t pin Mark into something nefarious. “Since there’s never been a domestic dispute at that address and Miss DeAngelo is safely home, I’ll let this go. She said she didn’t want to press charges in any case, so you are free to leave.”
Mark nodded, his lips tight and indignation filling his throat. As he left, he glanced back over his shoulder at the officer. If the man had pointed his two fingers towards his eyeballs and then at Mark, his body language couldn’t have been any plainer.
He would be watching him.
Thank God he didn’t actually live in this neighborhood!
Feeling like he’d had a narrow escape, Mark got in his car and drove off fuming. If he had Darcy in his hands right now, he’d paddle her conniving little butt good. But somewhere amid the myriad of emotions, he was experiencing, he recognized hurt. He wanted Darcy. She clearly didn’t want him.
He realized it for what it was, and he tamped down his disappointment. Reluctant to totally let her go, a small part of him wanted to find her. Maybe she thought she’d got away, but he could find her if he wanted to.
Marked drummed his fingers on the steering wheel, indecision weighing heavily on his mind. Holly was his first priority until Monday morning. After that, he would see how he felt…
Stay tuned for chapter 3
I hope you are enjoying this short story, folks. Chapter 3 will be out soon. Enjoy another gorgeous fall weekend! The colors here in Missouri are amazing.
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Let me know how you are liking the story and if you have any suggestions to go in the next installment. I’m writing this off the cuff, so to speak.
All the best, Brandy