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Mercy(White Collared Part 1)

By:Shelly Bell



Chapter One

THE SINGLE-TAIL WHIP sliced through the air, leaving behind the thirteenth bloody line on a canvas of black and blue skin.

Did she understand the significance?

“Please,” she begged, her blond hair muffling the sweet music of her cries. Her body shook as she whimpered and moaned in agony.

No, she had no idea.

She would.

Soon.

With the hunting knife in hand, he stalked to her and pressed it against her carotid. He inhaled the pungent scent of fear emanating from her sweat-soaked pores. “Do you like my new knife? I bought it for you.”

She shuddered. Oh yes, she definitely enjoyed his newest acquisition. Too bad he wouldn’t be able to keep it.

Prone and hog-tied with thick blue rope that crisscrossed over her face and knotted around her arched neck, she waited for his next move, blood trickling from the soles of her feet as a result of the final lash. She panted, her lungs barely inflating.

After a brutal beating with both a cane and whip, most in her position would have tired and dropped their neck, strangling themselves on the rope. Her strength and determination surprised him.

Perhaps she required another challenge.

He rested his knife on the bed beside her and picked up his black duffel bag. Rummaging through it, he found the final torture and smiled. The thick, four-inch-tall, white leather posture collar would look beautiful on her. He buckled it around her neck, squeezing her windpipe with the rope.

“Why?” she gasped, the porcelain skin of her face reddening from the lack of oxygen to her blood.

“What motivates anyone to kill?” He lifted the knife. “There’s greed.” He carved several shallow cuts on her torso. “Envy, anger, passion, self-defense, necessity.”

She stared at him in horror.

That simply wouldn’t do.

“Identification.” With a lover’s touch, he gently shut her eyelids. “But we can’t forget the two most important reasons,” he whispered, slashing the bare mound between her legs.

“Revenge.”

She remained silent, her body frozen and her skin a mottled bluish hue. His eyes teared at the realization that he’d never feel her lips on him again.

“And mercy.”

Then he plunged his new hunting knife straight into her nonbeating heart.





Chapter Two


Fourteen Days to Elections . . .

AFTER THREE HOURS of computer research on piercing the corporate veil, Kate’s vision blurred, the words on the screen bleeding into one another until they resembled a giant Rorschach inkblot. She lowered her mug of lukewarm coffee to her cubicle’s mahogany tabletop and rubbed her tired eyes.

Without warning, the door to the interns’ windowless office flew open, banging against the wall. Light streamed into the dim room, casting the elongated shadow of her boss, Nicholas Trenton, on the beige carpet.

“Ms. Martin, take your jacket and come with me.” He didn’t wait for a response, simply issued his command and strode down the hall.

Jumping to her feet, she teetered on her secondhand heels and grabbed her suit jacket from the back of her chair. As Mr. Trenton’s intern for the year, she’d follow him off the edge of a cliff. She had no choice in the matter if she wanted a junior associate position at Detroit’s most prestigious law firm, Joseph and Long, after graduation. Because of the fierce competition for an internship and because several qualified lackeys waited patiently in the wings for an opening, one minor screwup would result in termination.

Most of the other interns ignored the interruption, but her best friend Hannah took a second to raise an arched eyebrow. Kate shrugged, having no idea what her boss required. He hadn’t spoken to her since her initial interview a few months earlier.

She collected her briefcase, her heart pounding. As far as she knew, she hadn’t made a mistake since starting two months ago. Other than class time, she’d spent virtually every waking moment at this firm, a schedule her boyfriend, Tom, resented. To placate him, she’d used her dinner break last Saturday to drive to his place and give him a quick blow job before returning to work. She didn’t even have time for her own orgasm.

She raced as fast as she could down the hallway and found her boss pacing and talking on his cell phone in the marbled lobby. He frowned and pointedly looked at his watch, demonstrating his displeasure at her delay. Still on the phone, he stalked out of the firm and headed toward the elevator. She chased him, cursing her short legs as she remained a step or two behind until catching up with him in the elevator.

When the doors slid shut, he ended his call and slipped his cell into the pocket of his Armani jacket. She risked a quick glance at him to ascertain his mood, careful not to visually suggest anything more than casual regard.

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