Warning: This scene contains violence and/or graphic language that some may find offensive. Please read with caution.
From the conference room window Micah watched Celeste enter his office and sashay down the hall toward him. Her blonde hair was pulled up in a fashionable style and hair-sprayed into submission. Her skintight red designer dress showcased her sultry curves while remaining on the side of classy and upstanding. But just barely. Micah wasn’t fooled. He knew her level of depravity better than most.
He opened the door when she neared and motioned for her to enter. As he shut the door, her snooty preacher’s wife voice grated along his nerves. “Summoning me to a meeting is brazen, even for you, Micah.”
His hand remained on the doorknob, as he turned to face her. Holding her stare, he locked the door. The grate of metal against metal was loud in the near silence. Her gaze fell to his hand and her fair complexion paled even more.
She notched her chin proudly and mutiny blazed from her blue eyes as she lifted her gaze to meet his. “I’m guessing this isn’t a social call.”
Micah kept his voice neutral and took a step toward her. “No.”
He slapped her. Hard enough that she cried out as she slammed into the conference room table and chairs. She palmed her face with one hand and moaned. As she pushed up with her other hand, Micah tangled his fingers in her hair and braced a hand beside her head on the table.
“Silence!” He bellowed against her ear. “Before I’m tempted to commit further violence against you.”
Using his weight to trap her body beneath his, he twisted his wrist and wrenched her head at a rough angle so she could see him over her shoulder. He knew she would feel the strain in her muscles tomorrow from the odd position.
“Madison told me she caught you with the deacons.” Celeste started to say something before she saw the temper he knew shone in his eyes. Her teeth snapped together and she squelched any words she might’ve uttered. She further satisfied him by lowering her gaze. As a submissive should in the presence of any dominant. “She also confessed the verbal abuse suffered by Bruce. You’re whoring about and she’s being blamed for the unwanted attention men show her? Really, Celeste, that double standard pisses me off.”
“She is to blame, Micah. They sense her—”
Celeste cried out as he rotated his hand in her hair, more than was necessary. As a sign of surrender she flattened her palms against the table, but he didn’t relax his cruel hold. He relished her pain as his other hand curled around her throat. She deserved worse for what she’d done to Madison. As a silent threat, he added pressure in minute increments, so she could appreciate the full extent of being strangled.
Not until she gasped for air did he speak. “Unless you desire the bald fashion statement—or worse—I’d recommend you keep your trap shut.” One more word out of her mouth and he might skin her.
Celeste executed an infinitesimal nod. It was all she could manage with the way he held her. He released her and she remained bent over the table, gasping in gulps of fresh air.
After several minutes of loud wheezing, she pushed off the table with her palm curled around her throat. Bruises dotted her flesh, and the clear outline of a handprint stained her cheek.
Micah swiped the hair off his forehead and placed some distance between them before he seriously harmed her. He hadn’t wanted to injure anyone this bad in a long time.
“Please, sit.” He motioned to a chair. For a moment he thought she’d object, but she chose wisely and surrendered. Her fingers were trembling when she pulled out a chair and sat, her gaze remained focused on the hand in her lap. Her subservience pleased him, somewhat appeasing his anger. Enough that he wasn’t itching to break any bones. Yet.
He strode to her and with a finger under her chin, tilted her head back to peer at the handprint on her cheek. Flame red against her ivory complexion. She was lucky he struck her only once.
“The next time you feel inclined to seek pleasures outside of the marital bed; you’ll do it where Madison won’t discover you. Do I make myself clear?”
He dropped his hand from her chin. “Fabulous.”
“May I speak?”
The question sounded much too impudent for his liking. Eyeing her closely, he agreed. “So long as you don’t anger me. I’d caution against that.”
“I’m assuming Madison was upset?” In silence Micah glared at her for the ignorant question. Celeste went on, “Isn’t it a good thing she came to you in a crisis? That’s what you wanted, right?”
Before today’s events, his progress with Madison wasn’t moving as quickly as he’d hoped or planned. It irritated him that Celeste may have helped him along. “Yes. But I won’t tolerate her being upset like that. Not ever. And not again.” He hoped she understood what he didn’t say. There would be hell to pay if a next time transpired. He tucked his right hand in his pocket. “I’ll punish Bruce for his abuse and you’ll support him through the shame like the good, biddable wife you are.”
Her eyes narrowed. She’d never been a good wife or a biddable one and they both knew it.
“What do you plan, Micah?” Her wary voice trembled.
Micah grinned, stepped to the door and opened it. “You’re excused, Celeste.”
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