Backlash: Don't.. Book 4

By: Jack L. Pyke


Glossary


Sut mae? — (North Wales) How are you?

Shw mae — (South Wales) Hello

Nos da — Goodnight

Nhad — Father

Fy nhad — My father

Hen wlad fy nhadau — “Land of My Fathers” (the Welsh national anthem)





Chapter 1

Gray


“These violent delights have violent ends.”

—William Shakespeare

In the darkness of the black Mercedes-Benz, Gray Raoul wiped a hand over his face and eased back into the comfort of his seat. The digital clock that weaved its way into the finely leathered-upholster of his dashboard whispered he’d sat in his car on the roadside outside his manor for a while now. The fading light already kissed the dark interior of the Mercedes, eagerly spreading out the differing shades of oncoming darkness and willing them to snake over the road, all in a desperate bid to play come fuck about with me in the woods now.

The line was so fine: the quiet space between tyre and tree line, between what was morally acceptable and every natural instinct to regress and run with the psychopaths.

He should have welcomed the quiet over the past month since Jack and Jan had been back after Jack’s release from the MC’s psychiatric facility, but the reality was that if the Funder was skilled enough to manipulate postal delivery and ensure Gray received footage of rape and torture, then they could slip under any surveillance network.

So the invitation was made as clear as possible.

That made what he was doing now, what? Solicitation? Whoring Jack and Jan out to further risk knowing something had him sitting here, willing it to crawl out of the cracks?

That bastard tag crept up, and Gray let his look linger on the woods. Because what lay in the other direction, past his Mercedes, through the gates, and up the long driveway to the cobbled courtyard, keeping the warmth between his silken sheets...? Jack... Jan....

The manor offered every welcoming sign. Soft lights shone from the numerous windows and a porch lamp waved the weary in from the chilly of late August winds, both occasionally brushed by the sweep of changing colour from the fountain. The soft light added a rippling effect to everything it touched, calming life and kaleidoscoping the night in changing colour, but....

But?

Gray let the stillness of the keys in the ignition hold his thoughts, shutting everything out as a soft vibration made itself known from the mobile phone in his pocket. It took another two soft pulses and burying the rush of bile that turned his stomach for him to shift and look at the instant messaging.

Sut mae?

The Welsh caught him off guard, giving that deep tug that had him almost out of the car and losing what little he’d eaten.

Sut mae? It came again. You keep ignoring my question. So in English, then, eh?

It tumbled through a moment later.

How are you?

Gray frowned, running a thumb over the screen.

I know you’re sitting outside of the manor when you should be inside. Talk to me, damn it.

Trace.

Gray briefly closed his eyes. Not long after Jack had been sectioned and Jan had distanced himself, Trace’s texts had come in weekly to start off with. After Gray had walked away, he hadn’t wanted the connection back to that life, not to Jack, not to Jan, not to Trace. The messages had carried thin strains of anger, mostly reason, and Gray had hated Trace’s reason. A good ten years older, Trace had come a long way as a Dom in his own right, and that was the tone and quiet tonicity of his messages: one Dom trying to reason out past fuck-ups with another. Or just caring enough to ask—

Sut mae?

Outside of Jack and Jan, he couldn’t remember the last time someone had asked him how he was, and that deep tiredness crept back in, bone deep, pulling him home and maybe needing that strong taste of whiskey now.

Still the silent treatment? How about something easier to break that fucking mood of yours, then? asked Trace.

Gray rested an arm against the rim of the window screen and wiped a thumb over his lips.

Will they get to see the letter you’ve got on you?

Gray frowned.

Because hard lessons over intercepting Jack’s mail have been learned over the past year, right? No matter how unintentionally that cocky bastard keeps fucking hurting you?

The weight of a pearl white envelope was there in Gray’s pocket. Three names printed themselves on the front, the calligraphy and press of ink pen suggesting only one overall source, but the letter lay covered up, unopened, out of sight. Not only from Jack and Jan, but....

Who’s your contact, Trace? he finally thumbed into the phone. Because you know this is still none of your business.

Nothing, then from Trace—

You? IMing? Quiet. Hitting a nerve there, bright eyes? If the position was reversed, you’d be on the phone, calling me out on this.

Gray ignored the press of the envelope now. Yeah? Pass Nicholai my thanks. And, by the way, tell him to fuck off back into his corner of the globe before he prods enough to really piss me off. Gray rubbed at his eyes, knowing how hard that sounded. But it wasn’t directed at Trace, not even at an ex-Master, just... just....

I know you’re hurting, and I’ll ignore your Master-Dom-ass mouth because of it. But you err on the edge of unprofessional conduct with fuckin’ a Master Dom’s sub (I get to do a twirl here, right?) as you were just learning to fasten the chains, and it stands to reason the Master Dom would always keep tabs on you for... fucking his sub. Would you be any different if it was Jack?

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