53. Choke

She wasn’t like all the other girls. She wore the flowers in green and brown and purple around her neck like a badge of honor when she went out. Against that pale skin, they bloomed something beautiful. Like a lotus under the light of a full moon.

And no, she didn’t put them on display because she’d gotten away from some bad man. They weren’t some reminder that she was a stronger person than whoever left them. She was plenty strong, and she’d be the very first to tell you that.

“Tighter. Dammit I said tighter. You aren’t going to break me.”

In the office, of course, it always called for scarves. People there would ask questions. Get worried about her safety. She liked her job, needed it to pay the bills. Like for her apartment. The shitty beater of a car that she really needed to get replaced soon. And hell, dog food didn’t buy itself, and as lovely as her little mutt was, she had a feeling that Remus couldn’t go out and get a job to pay for his part of the monthlies. And a young woman her age always needs money to go out to the clubs on the weekend.

“There. That’s-Yes!”

To the local fetish club. They knew her by name. Not her name, because that was part of the fun. At least for her. Men, women, everyone who liked something a little different. Nothing was off limits, as long as you agreed. And the people were actually some of the nicest she’d ever met. The bartender had even come to her family’s summer gathering last year. Gay as Liberace, but at least it kept her parents from asking too many questions.

“Hey come out with us this weekend, girl! We’re checking out that new place down on…”

She’d just smile and shake her head, adjusting the purple infinity scarf that she’d had to run out and get as an emergency. CEO of the company was visiting, and of course it had been the day she’d slept in and ran out without one. Gemini was going to get a very stern…Talking to tonight.

“Nah I’ve got plans.”

Plans with a big, strapping man named after a constellation who had the most wonderful hands. Soft as satin, strong as an ox. And he always knew when to stop.

“Next weekend? We never see you outside of this dump. I bet you’re crazy to club with!”

“Maybe.”

 

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