Daniel Part Two - Chapter Eight, Part 1
Chapter 8, Part One - Bidding Wars This chapter is dedicated to Anya Winter who loved Daniel enough that I just had to give her a sequel. And because she's such a good girl, I named my Anya after her. Follow the sexy Anya Winter on Twitter @AnyaWinter
“You’re an idiot. You realize that, right?”
Daniel sighed and sunk back into his leather sofa.
“Yes, I realize that. I also realized that when you told me the same thing five minutes ago. This verbal abuse is well-deserved, El, but not particularly helpful.”
Eleanor stopped pacing the length of his living room rug and turned to face him.
“Can you at least explain to me why at the most intensely vulnerable moment of Anya’s life, you decided to offer her money for her virginity? Can you do that for me, Daniel? I’m begging you to do that for me. If I woke up to find a crop circle in my bedroom, I would be less curious about the origin of it than I am about why the hell someone as intelligent as you would do something that mind-blowingly stupid. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I swear…”
Crossing herself dramatically, Eleanor collapsed and lay like a murder victim in the center of the floor. With one finger she started outlining her body in the pile of the rug making a makeshift chalk outline.
“I wasn’t thinking with my head at the time. Sorry. Anya’s in the auction to make money so she could send her siblings to school. I just wanted her to know that if she slept with me, she wouldn’t have to worry about money. I would take care of her. She didn’t have to worry about anything—money or otherwise. That’s all I was trying to say.”
The corpse of Eleanor raised her head and stared at him.
“And you just couldn’t say it like that? You couldn’t say, ‘Don’t worry about anything. I will take care of you’?”
Daniel rubbed his forehead as he re-imagined that moment with Anya on his bed. Don’t worry about anything, Anya. I’ll take care of you, of all of you…And maybe she’d ask him what he meant by that and he could have said I want you but not just in my bed and not just tonight. I want you in my life. And I want kids, lots of them, and you come with five of them and I’ll take them all because I have big empty house in the country that you and all your brothers and sisters are welcome to. And if you want children of your own we can have them and if not that’s fine. Let me own you, all of you, and you will never have to worry about anything ever again…If he had said that, what he really meant, she would have stayed all night. And even maybe forever.
“That’s what I meant to say.”
“Instead you make her think you’re buying her virginity so something beautiful and loving gets turned into a business transaction. We gals do love being treated like prostitutes. Blondie makes me feel like a whore sometimes, but, you know, in the nice way—big difference.”
Daniel sighed again.
“Well and truly fucked, Danny Boy. Question is—how are we going to get you un-fucked?”
Daniel slid from the couch to the floor and lay down beside Eleanor.
“I think I have an idea.”
“Please don’t tell me you’re going to buy her at the auction tonight.”
“I’m going to buy her at the auction tonight.”
“Why not? Bad idea?”
“Impossible idea. See?”
Eleanor rolled over and grabbed her bag. Digging through it she tossed out books and pens and notebooks, a small brown stuffed animal dinosaur, a map of Belgium, a package of birth control pills, a pair of handcuffs, a set of rosary beads, until with a laugh of victory she finally found what she’d been looking for—a folded piece of paper that looked like an opera program.
“It’s the auction program for the night. Look under the submissive listings—they’re the ones on the left.”
Daniel studied the cover of the program. On cream-colored heavy paper embossed with black and silver ink read the words, “The 8th Annual King’s Trust Charity Auction.” King’s Trust. Cute, Kingsley. Very classy. Daniel opened the program. As was customary, the submissives were auctioned off first—three women and two men—and then the Dominants after the intermission—two women and two men—including himself.
True to form, Kingsley had made sure everything looked respectable and above-board. The program boasted that the winners would be allowed an evening on the town with their prize—all expenses included in the price of the winning bid. Daniel knew that phrase “all expenses included” was code for winner takes all—BDSM, sex, and BDSM sex.
Daniel scanned the listings and found Anya as the last item on the submissive side of the program. Next to her name written in elegant calligraphy were the words—“Grand Prize – Take Anya on her First Date Ever.” Daniel’s stomach churned at the words “First Date”—code for “still a virgin.” An animal possessiveness reared up in Daniel. Anyone who dared bid on Anya would run the risk of the world’s most dangerously infatuated librarian Dominant tearing him apart limb from limb.
“Check out the disclaimer,” Eleanor said.
Underneath Anya’s name in italics were the chilling words, Only natural born American citizens may bid to take Anya on her first date.
“I was afraid of that. She told me she told Kingsley she wouldn’t let Canadians bid on her. Hoped she was joking.”
Eleanor shook her head as she threw her flotsam back into her bag.
“She might have been joking before. She’s not now. Did I mention you’re an idiot?”
“Does your owner let you talk to him like this?”
“The first words out of my mouth when I met him at age fifteen were ‘you’re kind of an idiot.’ It was love at first slight.”
At that Daniel could only laugh miserably as he gazed up at the ceiling.
“So Plan B?” Eleanor asked.
Plan B…Daniel had hoped it wouldn’t come to this. He’d fucked things up bad enough with Anya that he feared any sort of subterfuge on his part would only make it worse. But it wasn’t about having her anymore or taking her virginity—not that it had ever been about that. He had to keep her safe. Even if she ended up hating him and never speaking to him again…it didn’t matter. It wasn’t about him and his happiness. Only Anya.
“Weird question.” He turned his head and looked at Eleanor lying next to him on the floor. She was such a beautiful woman with her black hair and green-black eyes, her full breasts and fuller lips, her intelligence, her wicked wit, and her untameable heart. And for the first time in a year and a half, he didn’t even remotely want her.
She raised her eyebrow at him and waited.
“Are you a natural born citizen of the United States?”
Eleanor only stared at him.
“God, you’re an idiot.”
At seven that night, Daniel did something he hadn’t done in years—he stood in front of a mirror wearing a suit and tying a tie. He’d eschewed ties ever since Maggie’s funeral as he couldn’t put one on without remembering that day. But tonight’s auction called for formal attire. So on went an old Armani suit of his Maggie had bought for him.
He’d just finished tying his tie when he heard a knock on the door. Daniel wondered who it could be at this hour. Eleanor had agreed to his plan—after calling him an idiot a few more times—but said she would have to meet him at Kingsley’s where the auction would be held. He hoped Anya might have had a sudden change of heart but he knew better than to dream that big.
Opening the door he saw a small elderly man standing out in the hallway with a black garment bag.
“Signore Caldwell. Your suit is ready.”
“My suit? Oh yes, of course.” Daniel had almost forgotten he’d been fitted for a new wardrobe. He simply assumed Anya would have put anything of his at the very bottom of her to do list.
Daniel took the garment bag from Signore Vitale.
“Thank you for bringing it to me. I didn’t realize you delivered.”
“I usually don’t. I leave that to my assistant.” Signore Vitale smiled sadly at him. “She politely declined.”
Daniel’s heart sank.
“I’m not surprised.”
Signore Vitale nodded at the garment bag.
“Go. Try it on. It may need more tailoring.”
“Of course. Please come in.”
Daniel left Signore Vitale in his living room while he went back to his bedroom and stripped out of his clothes. He unzipped the garment bag and found an exquisite three-piece suit inside—black with silver pinstripes. Although distinctly modern it had a retro 1940’s cut to it. All he needed was a fedora to look like he’d just stepped out of a Humphrey Bogart movie.
Once dressed, Daniel stared at his reflection in the mirror. He’d never really seen what women found so compelling about him—not terribly tall and certainly not pretty. But tonight in this suit he looked…
“Damn,” was all Daniel could say.
He went into the living room and found Signore Vitale waiting by the windows.
“Perfect fit,” Daniel said. More than perfect, the suit fit like his own skin.
“My assistant, she does amazing work. Far better than mine even when I was a young man. I’ve never seen her work so hard on one piece before. Even last night she stayed late at the shop picking at the perfect buttons.”
Daniel’s stomach clenched at the thought of Anya working late sewing his suit by hand.
“Anya did all the work?”
“Every single stitch. Seemed to be a labor of love for her. Such a talent. I’ll miss her.”
Signore Vitale nodded. “She put in her notice a few weeks ago. She’s moving back to Quebec to be with her family again.”
Be with her family again? Or to run away from him and how much he hurt her? If Anya went back to Quebec, he knew she would never leave again. She’d become a mother to her siblings and give up her whole life taking care of them. Daniel couldn’t let that happen.
“When’s her last day?”
“It was yesterday. She’s going back tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow?” Auction tonight, leaving tomorrow…. “That’s not going to happen. I’ll keep her here if I have to tie her down.”
“Something tells me she might enjoy that.”
“Send me the bill. I have to go.”
“No bill. Anya paid for it.”
Guilt speared his heart like a knife. Damn stubborn girl. If she kept this up, he’d be forced to ask her to marry him.
“Send the bill anyway. Thank you for bringing this to me. Now you’ll have to excuse me. I’m going to go buy your assistant.”
Signore Vitale shook his head.
“I hope you are as rich as Croesus then. That girl is priceless.”
“Worth every penny.”
Daniel took a cab to Kingsley’s. All the windows in Kingsley’s Manhattan townhouse were illuminated with candlelight. Limousines and Rolls Royces came and went dropping off their well-heeled passengers. Daniel pushed past a congressman and into the house just as Eleanor skipped down the main stairway toward him. He couldn’t help but smile at her. At formal events in Kingsley’s world, all the submissives were required to wear white. Eleanor had on a white Regency style gown with a bow in the front that fell all the way to the hem. Her long black hair was pinned up in curls and ringlets. And around her neck she wore her white collar that looked merely like a choker. She looked ripped straight from the pages of a Jane Austen novel.
“Daniel, you look so fucking hot, I’d suck you off right now if we weren’t in public.”
“And Jane Austen spins in her grave. You look lovely.”
“Thanks. Back at ya. So the plan…”
“Is idiotic, as you said. But it’s the only one I have. Can I trust you to go through with it?”
Eleanor batted her dark eyelashes at him.
“Of course! I’ll do anything to get in trouble.”
Nodding, Eleanor turned her head and nodded toward the first landing. A man in black, six foot four with impeccable pale blond hair glared down at him for a moment before stepping away and disappearing up the stairs.
“He’s here?” Daniel asked.
“Of course he is. He fucked me like five minutes ago. That has nothing to do with anything. Maybe we should get him to bid for you instead of me. It’s all kinksters here tonight. Everyone knows him. And nobody, I mean, nobody would ever bid against him.”
“I can believe that. No offense but I trust you more than I trust him.”
“That’s so sweet. But I just stole your wallet.”
Eleanor held up his wallet. Daniel rolled his eyes and took it back from her.
The two of them mounted the stairs and headed up to the third floor. Kingsley had a glass-enclosed rooftop garden and as usual the auction would take place there illuminated by candlelight and city-light.
The auction had just begun by the time they arrived. Eleanor waited at his side under an orange tree. On the opposite side of the garden, Eleanor’s owner stood next to Kingsley and watched them both intently.
“Are you really going to get into trouble for helping me?” Daniel whispered to Eleanor.
“You sure you want to go through with it?”
“Daniel.” She looked up at him and grinned. “Do you even have to ask?”
Daniel smiled back.
“I’m glad you dumped me,” he said. “You terrify me sometimes.”
“You say the sweetest things.”
Boisterous applause and wolf-whistling erupted as Kingsley came to stand on the small stage at the center of the crowd. So on edge from his nervousness, Daniel barely heard a word of Kingsley’s welcome speech and his thank yous to everyone helping support his King’s Trust charity with their bids tonight.
“I love you, Kingsley,” a woman shouted out in the middle of his speech.
“I loved you too,” he replied without missing a beat. “Last Thursday wasn’t it? See me after the auction.”
The first submissive took the stage and the auctioneer, a handsome older gentleman with silver hair, began the bidding.
“Oh, hello there…” Eleanor purred.
“Are you lusting after the auctioneer?” Daniel whispered.
“No, him.” She nodded toward the person on the stage—a tall young man who looked no more than twenty. He had tan skin that made his blue eyes look even brighter. His shaggy dark brown hair fell across his forehead and he nervously swiped it to the side.
“Buy him for me,” Eleanor begged, turning her pouting face up to him.
Daniel glanced down at the auction program—Mark Kirchner, age twenty. Beside his name was a tiny letter “s.”
“He’s a submissive, El.”
Eleanor’s eyes narrowed at the young man and for a moment she looked genuinely dangerous, almost predatory.
“Oh. Too bad.” But she didn’t sound the least bit disappointed.
The submissive sold to a man in the audience for an impressive ninety thousand dollars. Daniel shuddered to think what the young man would have to submit to that night to justify that kind of money.
The auction continued and the next three submissives sold between a hundred and a hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
“Wow. Big spenders tonight,” Eleanor said. “This is more than they made last year in the entire auction. Hope you’re ready to pay up.”
“I’m ready,” Daniel said.
“You do realize this might not work, right?” Eleanor asked, looking at him with genuine concern in her green-black eyes. “Anya might still hate you.”
He nodded. “I’m not buying her to win her forgiveness. I just want her to be safe.”
Eleanor rose up on her tip-toes and kissed him on the cheek.
“You’re an incredible Dom. And she’s an idiot if she doesn’t love you back.”
“You didn’t love me back.”
“I’m an idiot. Now shush. It’s starting.”
Kingsley came back to the stage and introduced their last prize before the intermission. Daniel’s hands went numb and his heart fluttered painfully as Anya stepped onto the stage and clung to Kingsley’s hand.
“My God…” Daniel breathed. He’d never seen a more beautiful woman in his life. Anya wore a simple gown of pure white. Two small braids formed a crown around her head like a halo while the rest of her long red-black hair fell in waves down her back. On her face she wore a tight smile and a look of sadness tinged with fear in her eyes.
Kingsley kissed the back of her hand, whispered something in her ear, and left the stage.
Daniel’s heart pounded ferociously in his chest. The auctioneer took the stage again and began the bidding.
“Let’s begin the bidding at fifty thousand dollars.”
“What do you want me to bid?” Eleanor asked in a whisper.
“What was the winning bid last time for the Grand Prize?”
One man in the crowd bid the fifty. Another man bid sixty-nine thousand, which led to a round of laughter from the crowd. Daniel memorized that bidder’s face so he could find it and break it later. Meanwhile Anya waited on the stage doing her best impression of a statue.
Yet another man bid ninety-thousand.
Then a gasp rippled through the crowd.
Someone had just bid one-hundred thousand dollars. But not just any someone.
“Holy fuck…” Eleanor breathed. “Blondie just on bid on Anya.”
She clasped her hand over her mouth in obvious shock.
Daniel stared across the crowd and found Eleanor’s owner smiling dangerously at him. No, not smiling. Smirking. And Daniel saw a message in that smirk, a message that read, You had mine. Now I’ll have yours.
“Holy shit,” Daniel breathed. The entire audience had gone silent. Eleanor had been right. No one, absolutely no one would bid against her owner, the most notorious sadist in the Underground.
“Oh, damn,” Eleanor breathed. “Now what, Daniel?”
“I can’t let you bid for me. Not against him. Not if it’ll get you into trouble.”
“Do you want her?”
Daniel wrenched his eyes from Eleanor’s handsome smirking owner and looked at Anya. She clearly knew exactly who it was who’d bid on her. He’d warned her a sadist might bid on her. Clearly from the look of abject terror on her face she never dreamed it would be the sadist.
“I love her,” Daniel said, knowing as soon as he said the words that they were true.
“How much do you want me to bid?” she asked.
“If there are no further bids,” the auctioneer said.
“He’ll be furious at you.”
“He’s cute when he’s mad. Winning bid last time was two-hundred and fifty-six thousand,” she reminded him. “So…?”
“Bid that,” Daniel said, loving Eleanor for her fearlessness—loving her for the first time as a friend and nothing more. “Times ten.”
Stay tuned for the DANIEL, PART TWO finale on Friday June 3rd.
Read the Prequel to Daniel Part Two: SEVEN DAY LOAN
Preorder your copy of THE SIREN: THE SIREN