Notes: I'm having fun with reflecting on a certain scene and dialog of the series. Not beta'd. Apologies for any boo-boos and my humble apology for how long it took to finish this.
The crisp air of the wine cellar inspired chills as well as memories, some unwanted, some secretly yearned for. The estate had recently been abandoned, left for dead, a better outcome than was granted to its seemingly missing Master. The rampant rumors tossed about were less than civil in regards to Peter's disappearance. Most believed he'd met with some untimely yet deserving end courtesy of a jealous husband. His remains were never found and the cast of possible suspects was as sizable as the wine collection he left behind. Claire browsed the labels, considering which she might want to sample while waiting for her game to begin.
She was pleased to find her guest just as she'd arranged for, unconscious on the stone floor, flat on his back, arms splayed wide at his sides, tranquilizer dart still protruding from his neck. It came as no surprise that there was evidence of a struggle. What remained of his black shirt was in shreds, laying open to frame his lean torso shadowed by his dark pelt of hair. His jeans were damp and stained, zipper torn ragged to reveal a glimpse of the tangled nest of curls within. No boxers, of course, and the tight cut jeans sculpted indecently along his flesh, leaving nothing to the imagination. But she didn't have to imagine, she knew intimately every inch, the whole bloody lovely length. Or at least she thought she did if the naughty bits bore any resemblance to the more gentlemanly version. His bare feet were slack until a twinge sent a shudder through his body, perhaps born of a dream. He reminded her of the unruly Doberman the neighbors once had, dark and lean, a deadly weapon when awake but deceivingly precious when sleeping. They ended up having to put down that disobedient beast, his feral nature proving too much to manage. But this particular animal was hers, he'd declared as much with his sacrifice, and now was her time to test his devotion. She took a seat on an unopened crate of merlot and waited.
Hyde's eyes opened slowly, crossing slightly and obviously suffering still from the effects of the tranquilizer. Claire hoped that could work to her advantage. It took only seconds for those black pearls to seek her out in the familiar setting. He didn't speak and scarcely moved, only enough to assess the situation with an indifferent glance. A slight shift of his foot caused a metallic chink to sound. It drew his attention to the steel cuff fastened along his ankle and the heavy gauge chain linking him to a stovepipe which weaved into the cement foundation. Finally his gaze met hers with the barest divulgence of curiosity. But he didn't speak; he reserved that privilege for her. Good boy.
“Husband, I have questions.” Claire crossed her legs and leaned forward, dangling the key off the end of pinched fingers, enticing him to try for the prize.
A smile teased along Hyde's lips, revealing more of the menace he always seemed to exude.
“I'm not married to you,” he sang it like a child's rhyme and she knew straight away he was ready to play whatever game she offered.
“Yes you are, guilty by association.”
He pushed himself up on his feet, tested the security of the restraint and scoffed, “Daddy did the crime, let him do the time.” Upon spotting the ring on his finger, he yanked it off and tossed it to the floor before her in a defiant display.
Claire sat back and crossed her arms before her. “This isn't about Tom.”
“Sorta figured that when I woke up on the bitch end of a leash.”
She was put off by his choice of words, as if he'd read her mind just moments before. They'd suggested he could get in your mind and it was a chilling thought. “I thought the restraints might help you focus. I need your undivided attention.”
“Good luck with that.”
“Be quiet.” She was proud of the tone she'd managed, quite commanding.
His coy smile showed he enjoyed it as well. “And what if I don't?”
“I'll punish you,” said in a low purr which he liked that much more.
His smile turned smug. “Gotta be honest, not seeing a down side.”
“Then I'll show it to you.” Claire got to her feet and walked a casual semicircle just outside the reach of her captive. She drew a narrow dagger from her belt and displayed it before her, letting the light catch the blade to flicker across his face. No flinch, no blink, he remained as steady as ever and it was maddening.
“Here's the down side. I've seen how strong you are now. I've seen the damage you've taken.” She stepped in close and placed the blade to his neck, guiding the tip to shallowly score along his stubbly skin. He swallowed and she knew it was more a response of arousal than anxiety. “But what you should ask yourself is, do I know when to stop?”
“You won't hurt me,” Hyde sneered, a wicked glint in his eyes begging for what was to come next.
“Oh I'll hurt you, Mr. Hyde.”
But she didn't have to, he did as he leaned in, allowing the knife to press against his throat and daring her to make her move. Claire held her ground, trying her best to ignore the thin trickled of blood that ran from the shallow slit he'd caused. His gaze narrowed with suspicion as he stopped his advance. She was relieved to see him retreat a step, head cocked aside with a look of confusion shading his dark features. He brushed his thumb along the wound, slicking it with blood before sampling it with a lick of his tongue. His ruby stained lips curled back to show daggered teeth promising violence.
“This is where we kiss, remember?” It was more of a sweetly spoken threat than a gentle reminder.
“Yes it is, only this time I have a choice.”
“And what is it?”
Claire held the knife steady. All humor vanished from Hyde's face as he stepped forward, letting the blade lie along his neck once again.
“You know I can take that from you.”
“Yes. But I also know you won't.”
“Bet your life?”
“No, you bet yours.”
Hyde stared beyond the blade to her, unflinching and dangerous. He continued closer, gaining space but at the cost of blood, the blade claiming depth for every determined press. Claire eased her grip on the handle, allowing him closer still until his hot breath broke on her parted lips. Finally, their mouths met in a gentle union, so delicate and tender she was impressed her beast could show such restraint. It took willpower and more than a little of her own restraint to pull away but she managed barely enough to break the kiss and rewarded him with a “Good boy.”
Claire discarded the knife and began to unbutton her blouse. Hyde remained still, watching with wide eyed enthusiasm, his smile spreading wider with each unfastened button. She peeled away the blouse and tossed it aside. Hyde let out a soft growl of appreciation for her decision to go without a bra. She pressed against him, enjoying the prickle and tickle of his hairy chest along her bare skin. He was feverish, heart drumming against her with anticipation. She reached up and raked her fingers through his tousled hair, gentle at first then giving it a twist to pull him in closer. It was her turn to smile as she whispered in his ear, “Happy Honeymoon, Mr. Hyde.”