Substance Abuse in Relationships

That substance abuse harms relationships is an indisputable fact. A lot has been studied and written about it, and since in previous posts we touched on the subject of domineering, possessive, oppressive, consuming and thereby intimidating lovers (in Hades and the Abuser and In Love with the Abuser) substance abuse must be mentioned as the gateway to hell.

It would be a waste of space to write about all the studies and articles and experiments and you-name-it that have been written and conducted on the subject, but a few things must be mentioned in order to understand WHY substance abuse takes such a great toll on relationships. Some of the most important points are:

  1. Drugs/Alcohol consumption deteriorates the brain over time – alcohol and drugs consumption slow down brain activity; the brain of an alcoholic (or of a long-time alcohol/drug consumer) looks very different from the brain of a non-alcoholic/non-consumer; over time the brain as an organ is affected.
  2. Drugs/Alcohol are depressants! – Contrary to what the large public might think (many people turn to alcohol to feel better or to cope with difficulty and therefore use it first as an antidepressant), alcohol/drugs actually plummet you into depression due to the chemical changes they determine in the brain!
  3. The substance we’re addicted to is our greatest love – addicts will go to any lengths to procure their drug, this is also a well-known fact; even cigarette smokers show this trait; leave a smoker without cigarettes in a chalet on top of a mountain, and they’ll walk to the nearest village barefoot to get their drug; addiction affects behaviour and eats at personality.

Substance abuse has such devastating effects on the relationship because:

  1. The substance abuser is depressed, or in the preliminary stages of depression, namely anger and frustration; frustration also appears due to inability to procure the substance, or to cope without it; negative feelings such as these demand an outlet, and it’s only natural that the person most vulnerable to the substance abuser – most often the partner, and in most cases the woman – becomes the outlet.
  2. The substance abuser projects their disdain and hatred for themselves onto the partner (projection is, as we’ll see in following posts, a natural phenomenon in romantic relationships); the substance abuser will motivate their abuse of the partner in many ways, but mostly they will victimize themselves (only natural, since they are indeed victims, but victims of addiction) and find “profound” faults of the partner for their behaviour; the partner falsely interprets this as the deepest possible love (since the abuser is so hurt by these small but “important and deep” things that we do, he must love us very profoundly, like no one else can).
  3. The substance abuser unconsciously looks for someone to blame for their suffering, and will assign this part to the most vulnerable person – again, often the more vulnerable partner; this way the substance abuser becomes an abusive lover who repeatedly and systematically accuses their more vulnerable partner of many things – e.g. of not truly loving them or of cheating – and wakes terrible feelings of guilt in the latter.

The vulnerable partner often has a compelling desire to save the abusive lover from their “demons.” This compelling desire is born either from a deep unconscious sensation of failure of having saved a parent in need (a drunkard broken father or a beaten mother, but these stereotypes can vary), or due to own insecurities which have been caused in our formational years (childhood but also youth), which the abuser knows very well how to soothe in the beginning of the relationship! (Being in touch with their own soul wounds, substance abusers that turn into abusive lovers know very well how to exploit these insecurities and manipulate us through them).

We might be asking ourselves, “Okay, but what is the solution?” In truth? Depends on what you want, but most experts will warn against relationships with substance abusers and will advise us to leave them if we’re already involved. We might need help ourselves to escape the tentacles of such consuming relationships (often addictive in themselves because they emulate the characteristics of the Substance Abuser, the more powerful part of the couple), so fighting to “save” the Substance Abuser from themselves might be too big a mouthful for most of us.

Regarding what YOU can do – you can walk away, which is what most experts recommend, and with good reason; if you DO decide to dedicate your life to saving a Substance Abuser, it is IMPERATIVE that you take professional help on this ride (step by step, not all at a time)– counsellor, support groups, maybe one or two “saved veterans” that can become friends.

I’d truly love to hear from you, about your own life experiences. Have you ever had emotional entanglements with substance abusers? How has that impacted your life and your relationship? Please share your thoughts in a comment, they will be much appreciated.

 

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Mysteries of the Asylum – Ep. 21 of “The Marquis”

The car stops, ending the magic moment Kieran and I share. Zed Stone Mask opens the door to the sight of the lunatic asylum, a grey desolate castle guarded by a black gate made of wrought iron. Its spires rise high and seem to pierce the clouds, thunder adding the final touch to a creepy landscape. After only a few steps my high heels slump into a puddle of mud, but Kieran catches me before I sprawl full-body onto the ground.

The yard is huge and barren but for the patches of yellowish grass, some of the lunatics strolling like ghosts here and there, accompanied by bulky nurses – their physique must be a hiring requirement for security reasons, surely.

At the grand entrance we realize the place is even heavier guarded. Men in “Security” jackets line the walls beyond the imposing entrance doors. I can see them when they open automatically to let out two policemen in uniforms. One of them places a hand on Zed’s chest to stop him.

“This is as far as you come, sir,” he tells Zed, who looks him up and down with his cold blue eyes. Then, as if asking for permission to break the guy’s bones, he looks at Kieran, whose arm is around me, more men in black – members of his staff – backing us.

“We’re here to see Mrs Grant,” Kieran addresses the man who stopped Zed, since he seems to be the one in charge.

“Ronald Lord Barkley would have to approve the visit,” the policeman says.

“Then let me see him and request approval.”

The policeman cranes his neck theatrically, making a show of what bothers him as his gaze sweeps over the men behind us.

“Mrs Grant is in both hospital and police custody, Monsieur le Marquis. She might be a target for whoever set fire to her house –” he stresses “whoever” to mark his suspicion of Kieran himself. “So we’ll allow only one or maximum two people at a time to see her, such as you and Miss Lothar. But we won’t allow a whole bunch of action heroes like your men by any means.” He looks at me, and for a moment I feel he wants to silently transmit me something.

“It’s quite generous of you to allow the Marquis and me to go in at the same time,” I respond. “But I think it would be best if I requested approval to see Mrs Grant alone.”

Kieran squeezes my arm, and whispers through his teeth, “What are you doing?”

“Excuse us,” I tell the policeman with a polite smile and draw Kieran aside. With well-rehearsed moves his men make a wall between the policemen and us, creating the necessary private sphere.

“There’s no way Mrs Grant will talk to anybody but a person she knows closely and trusts,” I whisper under my breath. “Plus that so much police and security could be a trap for you.”

“There’s no way I’m letting you inside this place on your own.”

“Why not? Mrs Grant knows me, she’ll open up to me much faster than if you’re there to monitor our conversation. Lord Barkley has also known me since I was a kid, he’ll take less time to give his approval.”

“Once they separate us on this threshold they might take you away from me.” He pulls me to his chest and locks me in his arms. “I don’t want a day to pass without knowing exactly where you are, Saphira, who’s around you and how they might influence you. I don’t want to lose you before I’ve even had a chance to make things right between us.”

My heart jumps as I realize just how important I am to Kieran. His insecurity is sexy, and it makes me feel powerful in a way I’m not entirely proud of, but I’ll deal with that later. I nod.

“All right.”

His men step aside to allow us to face the policeman again, who now pushes his chest forward, hands in his pockets, forbidding frown on his brow.

“We’d like to request approval from Lord Barkley to see Mrs Grant,” I say, drawing closer to Kieran with my arm around his, my chin up and my attitude worthy of a Marquis’ fiancé. “Together.”

“Wonderful,” the man responds without hesitation and leads us inside the asylum.

I’ve never been in here before, and the place gives me the creeps. When doors fall shut behind us with a thud, I wish at least Zed had come with us. I’ve grown to trust him in a strange way.

The two policemen lead us down a tiled corridor lined by security men to Ronald Lord Barkley’s office. By the moment the door opens to his secretary’s narrow antechamber I’ve got goose skin for all the bad reasons – the screams from the upper levels which probably come from people being subjected to electroshocks, the occasional door ajar allowing glimpses into greenish rooms with iron beds and chipped bathtubs. This is a place of shudder and gloom despite all the money that flows into it, and I can’t help increasing pace. I thank God with all I have that Kieran didn’t let me enter alone. His reliable presence and the warmth of his body help me act halfway decent, but when Lord Barkley’s full-moon-faced and red-lipped secretary opens the door to his office I’m about to lose composure.

The man sits at his desk, his livid cheeks slack and his mouth a hatched curve with the ends downward. He has drooping eyes and thinning hair, and his frame is long and skinny. He holds a cigarette between his knotty fingers that scream out his arthritis, and when the Marquis enters the room behind me, his face seems to draw even longer. But what strikes me most is something else.

Two people sit on either side of his desk. One of them – to his right – is my mother, also long and skinny, her face gaunt and haunted, her greying hair up in her usual bun. She too has a cigarette between her fingers, and tears well in her eyes as she sees me. She puts out the cigarette and stands up. My eyes fly to the other side of the desk.

Inspector Jeremy Simmons fixes me with his small dark eyes, but nothing in his expression betrays surprise. I realize immediately he’s here because he expected me. Or us. His bulky muscles fill the armchair he sits sprawled in, and his square jaw is covered by a three-day-beard that adds to his bad-boy demeanour. Tension is heavy in the room, the silence oppressive. Jeremy is the first to break it and speak.

“Isn’t this a pleasant surprise,” he says, making himself even broader by putting a big hand on the desk and resting an ankle over his knee. “Miss Saphira Lothar and Monsieur le Marquis de Vandenesse.”

Jealousy lurks in his words. My eyes fly from one person to the other. The Marquis is close behind me, but I can’t bring myself to look at him, as if taking my eyes off the three characters before me would somehow trigger their doing something terrible to us.

“This is exactly why I didn’t want to leave you alone,” the Marquis tells me loud enough for everybody else to hear it.

Jeremy stands up as if electroshocked himself and stomps to us. “Take your hands off her, you bastard!”

“Back off.” Kieran grows menacing, and I can’t help turning to look into his face. He resembles a marble statue, but the life in his black eyes is searing. I place a hand on his arm.

“Kieran, we’re here for approval to see Mrs Grant, that’s the only reason for our visit.” I bend to the side to look at Lord Barkley past Jeremy. “Lord Barkley, please. Allow us just a few minutes with Mrs Grant, it’s urgent.”

“I’m afraid that’s not possible, Saphira,” the man croaks.

“But, Lord Barkley –”

“Save it, Saphira,” the Marquis stops me. My head snaps to him, and I find his eyes still fixed on Jeremy. They watch each other like hawks. “Any information Mrs Grant had to give, these three people here already have it. And they surely don’t want us to know it too, otherwise they wouldn’t take all this trouble to block access to her.”

Mum steps forward, crying. “That’s not true! Lynn Grant refused to talk to anybody, even the police. We’re here because we expected Saphira would want to see Lynn, and you wouldn’t by any means let her come alone. You’ve been keeping Saphira locked in for weeks, and you didn’t allow her to see even us, her family. You sequestrated her, you’re sick!”

“That’s not the reason I didn’t come to see you,” I step in. “I didn’t return home because I don’t want to have anything to do with that monster you call my father anymore.”

Mum blinks as if slapped. She babbles until she finds back to herself and her words. “Where did that come from, Saphira?”

I walk towards my mother, pointing a finger at her. “Enough you’ve pretended, a whole lifetime. You always knew something was wrong with him, which is why you abandoned yourself to booze and cigarettes. You thought substances would numb you, but all they did was throw you deeper into depression. And that man I used to call ‘Father’ is not the only criminal. This town crawls with sick bastards like him, so don’t take out your frustration and fury on the Marquis, because he’s not the one you truly want to choke.”

“What on Earth do you mean?” Mum whispers, her hands shaking.

***

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Enjoyed this? Please let me know your thoughts in a comment, I’m always ecstatic to read from you. Stay tuned for a new episode on Friday and check out the prequel, Saphira, in available here: ) Enjoy!

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Blood Trails – Ep. 9 of The Marquis

Forced by the dark and dangerous Marquis into an engagement that serves his purposes of revenge, young artist Saphira finds herself at a crossroads of emotions – dread and attraction, which she blames on the Marquis’ mysterious hypnotic powers. She yet decided to try and escape him. She left with Inspector Jeremy Simmons, but the Marquis’ head of security, Zed, intercepted them. Behind Zed Saphira saw something burning, and when she identified what it was despair packed her.

***

Jeremy throws open the door on his side, pulls out his gun and points it at Zed over the upper frame.

“Stop right there,” he calls out, and Zed does as told. Yet nothing in the security guard’s face changes. His eyes remain steely, as if Jeremy’s action doesn’t catch him off guard, but he chooses not to react. I know how fast and deadly Zed can be, I’ve seen him on the night the Marquis killed Pukov. I know that, if he decides to, he’s quicker with that gun than Jeremy can imagine. But right now nothing of all this matters.

I throw my door open, scramble out of the car and start running, stumbling and falling and getting back up, losing my shoes and calling out Vivien’s name. Her house is burning a few streets up, and the smoke grows thicker as I approach. People run in all directions, yelling and coughing in scarves and handkerchiefs they hold at their mouths. I’m dirty and coughing by the time I reach the corner closest to Vivien’s house, where I’m forced to stop.

Through thick smoke I see fire fighters in red-and-white jackets and helmets hold bulky hoses, calling out urgent commands at each other. The tension sends a clear message – they’re doing everything they can, but they’re not optimistic. Flames surge with a roar from the window on the first floor where I know Vivien’s room is, and a woman yells somewhere close.

Even though I can’t see her right, by some mysterious mechanism in my brain I recognize her as Vivien’s Mum, and feel my way to her, keeping contact with a wall through the thickening smoke. The woman is being held back by two people, one a fire fighter by the jacket and helmet, the other civilian. I wrap my arms around her waist, making her turn around and burst into even more violent crying. Noticing she knows and accepts me, the fire fighter and the other man let go.

“Saphira!” Her arms now go around my neck and squeeze me so hard it adds to the clogging of the smoke. Despair and adrenaline feed her strength, and she doesn’t even attempt to control it until she decides she needs to face me. By what I can guess through my teary eyes her own are red, her dark hair messy like a witch’s and her voice that of a woman gone mad with pain.

“That monster –” she coughs – “He wanted to destroy all proof and he destroyed my girl in stride. He destroyed her, Saphira!”

It takes a few moments of her coughing and hysterically repeating, “He destroyed her,” until I gather myself enough to make sense of what she’s saying.

“Who? Who destroyed her, what are you talking about?”

“She wanted to unmask him, and he disposed of her. I warned her to stop the chase, I knew he was dangerous. I’ve been married to a monster like him for decades.”

That Mrs Grant would think of her husband and Vivien’s father in those terms is completely new to me, and I’m taken aback. The memory of Vivien opening her arms to stop me as I hurried to the stairs that led to the dungeons last night flashes in my mind as my lungs constrict and spit out the soot in violent coughs of my own. “Saph, we need to talk.”

“Who are you talking about, Mrs Grant?” I manage in a bruised voice.

Mrs Grant’s lips move, but a burst of flames from the house covers the sound. I wince and stagger, yet find balance again and repeat the, “who,” which for some reason Mrs Grant takes as a refusal to believe the name from my part rather than a genuine question.

“He has you mesmerized,” she admonishes. “He has you all fooled. But her he couldn’t charm, she discovered his true rot.”

“Everyone clear the street,” a fire-fighter calls, running toward us with arms spread wide as if to protect us.

“Run!” another one calls in the distance just before a huge explosion deafens me and sends my head spinning. I can’t hear anything but the buzz in my ears, and see people moving in slow motion as Mrs Grant pulls me to the ground and glass shards fly over us.

***

Next episode.

Previous episode.

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Enjoyed this? Check out the prequel, Saphira, in the Christmas Story Book for Adults, available here. Stay tuned for a further episode on Friday and, until then, enjoy all the quizzes, stories and goodies available here especially for you.

READ THE STORY FROM THE BEGINNING: PREQUEL – Saphira in the Christmas Story Book for Adults.

Stay tuned for a nee chapter of The Executioner Part I on Thursday.

Old Loves – Ep. 8 of The Marquis

Used by the powerful Marquis in his revenge, Saphira is desperate for a way out. But there is more to the Marquis than his lust for revenge, dark secrets buried deep in his past. Saphira found an excuse to leave the manor where he kept her prisoner, and made a plan to meet Jeremy Simmons, an Inspector who’s been after the Marquis for a long time. Jeremy is her only chance at information and rescue, but the end of this meeting holds a big surprise for Saphira.

***

Jeremy emerges into the Notary’s small office. Wearing a tight black turtleneck and trousers, a black cap concealing his hair, he casts a dark, bulky shadow over the entire place. Square-faced and with a grave mien, he looks as much a security agent as Zed, only that Jeremy’s a licensed Inspector, approved by the law, the letter and society. He inspires trust, which is strengthened by memories of our shared childhood, but dimmed by the night when I caught him in bed with Pretty Lauren and ended our engagement in tears, pointed fingers and cusses. I stand still, uncertain how to react as his muscular arms close around me.

“You’re so thin, Saph,” he whispers, a bit rueful.

Indeed, I feel like Popeye’s Olive in the arms of a troll.

“My appetite took quite a few blows lately,” I say with a bitter attempt at a laugh.

“I imagine being forced into prostitution is not an easy bite to swallow,” he says, and presses his lips on the top of my head. I try to struggle from his arms, but he won’t let me, and all I manage is to raise my head to look into his eyes.

“It’s not like that, Jeremy. The Marquis had me lure a man in a place where he could take him down without witnesses, but it never came to –”

“You don’t have to go there, Saph. I saw what happened in the dungeons, what he did to you, and I swear I’ll rip his heart out for it. I wish you knew how much it hurt,” he says, his eyes now hooded as he leans in to inhale my scent. “I missed this so much.”

“Jeremy, I didn’t take the chance to come here for an amorous rendezvous. I did it because you promised me something important.” I try to put distance between us with palms on his overly pumped chest. I’m uncomfortable with his arms holding me prisoner, since his closeness infringes my sick loyalty to the Marquis. A henchman, terrible and dark, the Marquis might yet have feelings for me according to Lauren, and I have without a doubt a crush on him, no matter how much I resent it.

“Nothing is more important than this, Saph.” Jeremy grabs my shoulders and looks me straight in the face. “I still love you. And I will do everything in my power to save you from Kieran Slate.”

His declaration of love is good for my ego, but nothing more. For months after the incident with Lauren I dreamed of Jeremy crawling at my feet asking for forgiveness. Had he done it, we’d be together now. But he was too proud, and decided to ask his superiors to transfer him to London instead, burying his pain or whatever he felt in obsessive weightlifting, and explaining how men will be men only in e-mails. At my turn, I’ve been too proud to ask Lauren if they still saw each other when she went to London, which was often.

“I thought you and Lauren had some kind of clandestine affair going.” I raise my chin and square my shoulders in an I’m-entitled-to-know attitude.

“Of course we don’t.”

I snort bitterly. “’Of course’? How come ‘Of course’? You did her a month before our set wedding day.”

“It was a one-time thing, Saphira. I was weak and stupid, I –”

I hold up my palm to stop him talking. “It’s all right. No need to dig out the dead. But I assumed you’d be seeing someone anyway, it’s been two years since we broke up.”

“Those haunting golden eyes of yours are impossible to forget, Saphira. I tried, but I couldn’t get serious with anyone, I never got over you,” he says, the confessional tone of his voice making it hard to doubt his words. In the end, I’ve known him for a lifetime, I know how to read him. But then again, he’s known me for just as long, and he’s skilled at fooling me.

The sour part of me wants to retort something accordingly sour, such as, “what you can’t forget is how I let you do everything you wanted with me.” Young and inexperienced, I never refused Jeremy for fear of losing him. I doubt he’s found another such sex slave again. But I refrain from spitting out the line, and go for a curt and to-the-point response.

“Please don’t waste time, Jeremy. Lauren might be back any second. Why did you call me here?”

“You still ask?” He frowns, making me feel like an idiot missing some obvious point. Which is, indeed, a fact. “Kieran Slate, a.k.a. the Marquis. He’s a terrible danger to you. You need to break away from him and run. Run away with me.”

I freeze at the idea and realize one more disturbing truth – I do not want to break away from the Marquis.

“I don’t . . . I’m not prepared. If I disappear, he can make that recording of me reach everybody in Northville.”

Jeremy pulls me close again, his face now inches from mine. I can feel the smell of mint as he speaks.

“So freaking what? Does that even matter under the circumstances? Look. I initially wanted to spare you these details, but it seems you need the truth held naked and ugly in your face.” But he’s hesitant to speak out whatever truth he means.

“Go ahead, Jeremy, I’m not a child.”

He tightens his jaw, his brow furrowing.

“Kieran Slate was engineered into a serpent-man, that you know,” he says. “You also know how it came to that. You also understood from our talk yesterday that his makers used him as a hit man. But you don’t know the horrendous details of it all. He killed on command and in terrible ways, Saphira. He dragged his victims in the tunnels underneath London and maimed them. Soon he began accepting other clients besides his makers, and made a fortune as a contract killer. That’s how he became filthy rich. The Marquis of Vandenesse was one of his targets, whose identity Kieran Slate assumed. After that he not only cashed in from his clients, but also took over his victims’ wealth.” His eyes drill into mine. “Kieran Slate made a flourishing business out of death, Saphira.”

Jeremy’s words slither under my skin, making the blood draw from my face. Again I remember the Night of Venice, and how I’ve learned that, before dying, his victims had signed cession of all their wealth to the Marquis.

“After he’s done with his revenge, after he has no more use for you, he’ll leave you a physical and psychological wreck, Saph,” Jeremy continues. “And if by any chance his hypnotic grip on your senses makes you not care about yourself, think about your mother. Your dad may be a monster who deserves his fate, but that poor woman who loves you above all else? Come with me, Saphira. I’ll take you to a safehouse, and bring your mother to you.”

Muffled voices come from the stairs, and I recognize Billy the Notary’s flattering tone directed to Lauren, as well as a blur of her bitchy responses. The stairs creak under their steps. I look straight into Jeremy’s eyes. He has me persuaded.

He grabs my hand, pulling me after him down a dark set of stairs. The bookcase that conceals the secret exit closes the very second the front door opens, and Billy and Lauren walk into Billy’s dirty office. Lauren will surely think I left while she was at the ladies’ room, and Billy will support that.

Jeremy and I hurry to a car at the back of the building, right by the fire escape. He opens the door for me and I lunge in, my heart beating hard.

The Marquis is evil and dangerous, and this affair can only end badly for me – I tell myself as Jeremy drives away. I strengthen myself in the conviction that it was his hypnotic powers alone that made me fall for him, that I can’t have been so stupid to do so of my own accord, and I pray to all saints that distance will cure the sick crush.

But only a few streets down a black car speeds by us and blocks our way. It brakes with a loud, sharp screech, making Jeremy come to a violent halt that almost throws me through the windshield. I stop myself with forearms on the top of the glove compartment, knocking hard into it. My heart smashes my chest as Zed “Stone Mask,” the Marquis’ head of security, emerges from the driver’s seat, walking towards us and pulling out his gun, his steely eyes fixed on me through the windshield. Behind him black and grey smoke rises in the air, billowing in one heavy cloud, and when I realize where it comes from I let out a scream.

To be continued . . .

***

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Enjoyed this? Check out the prequel, Saphira, in the Christmas Story Book for Adults, available here. Stay tuned for a further episode on Tuesday and, until then, enjoy all the quizzes, stories and goodies available here especially for you.

READ THE STORY FROM THE BEGINNING: PREQUEL – Saphira in the Christmas Story Book for Adults.

 

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Jealousy – Ep. 7 of The Marquis

Used by the Marquis for vengeance and for physical pleasures, young artist Saphira struggles to escape his power. She has come up with a plan to persuade him to let her leave his grand manor, so that she can secretly meet Inspector Jeremy Simmons – the one man who knows more about the Marquis’ dark powers and his past than Saphira. But her plans are dangerous, and discovery may cost Saphira her life. The Marquis allows her to leave only in the company of his spy, Pretty Lauren, a woman who was once Saphira’s best friend, and who today is her worst enemy. Will Saphira’s plan succeed, or will the Marquis catch her?

***

Lauren and I descend the manor stairs side by side, each with her chin up and a sour attitude. I feel slightly superior because of my elegant two-piece outfit of a creamy white and the respect-inspiring golden bun that I managed to restrain my hair in, while Lauren looks a hooker in her short red dress and pumps too high for her skinny legs.

By the last step my stomach turns and twists as I think what must be happening in the Marquis’ men’s heads while they flank and tail us like a squad of bodyguards. They must be convinced the Marquis has cheated on me with her. Maybe he has. My heart shrinks with jealousy, but I manage to keep control.

We get into the black car waiting in front of the manor, the fountain with gargoyles that spit water in warmer seasons looming beyond it in the fog. The Marquis is a monster, a murderer, and I must break away from him, I tell myself. I must help Jeremy to bring him down, and free myself from his blackmail and his cruelty. I won’t be swayed by his inebriating power on my senses, or by his charm when I’m “sober.”

A short clapping sound rips me from my thoughts. I look to my side to see Lauren redoing her lipstick in a small round pocket-mirror, and I forget my determination, now replaced by hot jealousy again. In the flash of a second I want to jump over our bags that occupy the seat between us, straddle her and tear her reddish hair, but instead clamp my hands together on my lap, hurting under the gloves that conceal the marks of last night’s cuffs.

“Repairing your mouth after a blow job?” I spit, glaring at her.

“How I’d love to let you believe that,” she says, puckering her lips while still looking in the mirror, then smacking them. She claps the pocket mirror back shut and places it in her bag, in which she rummages as she speaks. “I could let you boil in your own juice over it for at least a few hours, but I won’t risk the Marquis’ good feelings about me for short-lived satisfaction. He’d tell you the truth when you asked, and that would kill my chances.”

The Marquis’ good feelings. Her chances. Jealousy chokes me, and I pray my cheeks haven’t turned red.

“You hope to get him between your legs. But I doubt your satisfaction will last any longer than it did with Jeremy.”

“Who says the satisfaction with Jeremy didn’t last?” She grins, lights a long slim cigarette and cracks the window. The draught pulls out most of the smoke, but it still reaches me and stings my eyes. She knows I’m sensitive to it, the bitch. By the time we come to our destination I’ll be looking like a poltergeist with red-rimmed golden eyes.

“Are you still seeing him?” I inquire.

“Jealous?”

“Curios.”

She takes a drag of her cigarette, her cheeks hollowing, the skin stretching on her thin but sharp jaw line.

“Curiosity killed the cat,” she says.

“That it did.” I look away through the window. It’s foggy and grey outside. The seeming indifference sets Lauren on fire, as I expected.

“I saw you leaving after him last night. Vivien tried to keep your fiancé’s men off your heels, but Zed here –” she throws one curt knock on the black glass that separates us from the driver’s side of the car where Zed and the driver sit – “is hard to fool.”

I bite my lower lip and refrain from responding. I know she wants to know what happened, so I decide to let her boil in her own juice.

“Why would you still want Jeremy, Saphira?” She inquires, annoyed by my silence. “He’s no match for the Marquis in looks or assets. Is the power of the first love that great?” She mocks, but beyond that she’s dying to know. I take the opportunity to hurt her, hoping it will cause at least a tenth of the pain she once caused me.

“I don’t give a shit about Jeremy, Lauren, you can have him. Catching him in bed with you installed automatic nausea at the thought of sex with him. I didn’t follow Jeremy out of the hall, I went down to the dungeons. Remember the catacombs you used to play in with the boys back when we were kids? I always wanted to do it in there. Well, the Marquis fulfilled my fantasy last night, he cuffed me to the wall and banged me. He made me come so hard –”

“He’s in love with you, Saphira, there’s no arguing that,” she interrupts and throws me a killer glare. The statement stuns me into dumbness.

“I can’t say I didn’t try to seduce him,” she continues. “I think you can tell. But he has the resilience of a man with a fresh crush. Still, infatuation doesn’t last an eternity, Saphira, and when it fades, I’ll be there to take advantage.”

That last sentence is a declaration of war, but I’m so stunned by her words that I can’t speak, and almost miss the turn where I can ask for a stop at Billy the Notary’s. In the last moment I jerk to the separating black glass and knock hard, my mouth still open and my eyes blinking, trying to gather myself. The glass lowers and Zed’s profile appears, as stony and expressionless as ever, offering me his ear to speak in like in an intercom. I can see the small headphone and the curled transparent wire that links it to whatever bodyguard gadgets are hidden under his black suit.

“Please stop at Billy the Notary’s,” I say the line I’ve prepared. “It’s on our route, and I might as well set in motion the formalities for the upcoming change of my name.”

I can only hope he buys it. My heart beats hard in my chest, not only with anxiety that Zed might refuse, but also because of what Lauren just said. I can barely believe it when Zed gives a curt nod and motions the driver to pull over. Relishing in the idea that the Marquis might be in love with me, I forget to expect that Lauren would want to come along, so I’m surprised when she expresses this desire, grabbing her purse.

I fall behind and let Lauren lead the way up the creaky stairs to Billy’s office. The building is old and mouldy, but its Victorian charm nonetheless intact. I watch Lauren’s bottom move under her red silk dress, and realize she must be freezing with only a leather jacket over her torso. It’s January, in the end. Girls go to unimaginable lengths to be attractive, but Lauren has always been a sexy cat-girl, so her reasons for acting desperate escape me.

We’ve known each other since childhood, she and I and Vivien used to be best friends. Jeanie, Jeremy’s little sister, was yet a toddler watching with her small hands and nose pressed to the window while the rest of us played in the yard, and ventured at the cliffs and in the forest beyond the Manor with the Fields. Catching Lauren in bed with Jeremy two years ago, a month before he and I were supposed to get married, broke me in quite a number of ways. So Lauren’s manifesting more hatred and grudge than me has been a challenge to common sense and to my logic, but now that it becomes clear she’d have a go at any man who shows interest in me makes me wonder if there’s not more to it than plain meanness.

The door to Billy’s office opens to reveal the mouse-faced man in a crumpled suit, the glasses large and round on his narrow, grey face. The office is cluttered with shelves and books and papers, his desk a mess, the small sofa patched and greasy, and the window closed. A catastrophe, since cigarette smoke fills the place, making me cough hard.

“Oh, Lauren, Lauren Morris, wow,” he exclaims as he recognizes Lauren, straightening his back like a soldier on command. He seems unsure and shaky in his greeting to me. “Saphira, what a pleasant surprise.”

He hurries to the window, pulls a few times until it unsticks and cracks, and then motions us to take a seat on the gross looking sofa.

“That’s all right, I prefer to stand,” I say, my eyes darting from him to Lauren, who lights a cigarette and stomps about the room like an undercover spy. She seems to be looking for something – or someone. Maybe the Marquis instructed her to. I’m now relieved that Jeremy isn’t waiting here, that he’s either late or already gone. Still, I’m anxious, afraid he might pop in any second and expose our plans to Lauren.

“To what do I owe the honour?” Billy says, clearing his desk with fast and clumsy hands, then emptying an ashtray in the paper bin and offering it to Lauren.

“I need to see to some formalities for the change of my name. I’ll soon be married to the Marquis of Vandenesse, and I –”

“I know, I attended the engagement ball yesterday,” he interrupts, and in his eagerness stumbles and spills the cup of coffee he intended to offer Lauren all over her.

“Oh, God, oh, oh, that’s terrible, I’m so sorry,” he says, eyes wide, hands all over Lauren, who he clearly has a thing for. I remember he was pretty obvious about it the night at my parents’ house, when my father announced my engagement to the Marquis.

“You complete idiot,” she cusses.

“Oh, please, let me –”

“Just take your hands off me. I know where the bathroom is,” she spews and stalks to the door, then up the creaking stairs. When I turn my eyes back to Billy, he’s so composed I’m staggered.

“I’ll keep her out for as long as I can. I’ll knock three times when she’s on her way back,” he says, and follows Lauren.

I stare, amazed by his presence of mind. Soon after they leave the cluttered bookcase behind his desk opens heavily like a hidden door, as if pushed by a ghost.

***

Previous episode.

Next episode.

Enjoyed this? Check out episodes of the prequel, Saphira, here, or the whole prequel in the Christmas Story Book for Adults, available here. Stay tuned for a further episode on Tuesday and, until then, enjoy all the quizzes, stories and goodies available here especially for you.

READ THE STORY FROM THE BEGINNING: PREQUEL – Saphira in the Christmas Story Book for Adults

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Dangerous Plans – Ep. 6 of The Marquis

Forced into intimacy with a man who seeks revenge, Saphira finds herself falling in love with her abuser, the Marquis. The Marquis’ own feelings for her seem to heat up, but would he give up his revenge for a true love affair? Saphira needs to know more about him and therefore wants to meet with the one man who knows more about the mysterious Marquis than she does – Inspector Jeremy Simmons. The Marquis keeps her locked in a tower and under permanent surveillance, but Saphira manages to come up with a plan, which is not without danger. The stake is high if the Marquis discovers her intention, since he’s threatened that her betrayal would unleash a new measure of his wrath. Will Saphira be able to carry out her plan, or will the Marquis catch her?

***

“Zed and the boys” keep lurking outside the door to my chamber. After at least twelve hours locked in the tower I recognize each of them by the way they stomp the vestibule. They must be around five.

By noon I’m chewing on my fingernails, desperate for a way to get out and meet Jeremy. I sit on the end of the bed under the ragged canopy, patting my foot on a loose floor tile and fraying my own nerves. They say Necessity is the best teacher, so a minute before the clock on the wall strikes twelve, a solution lights up in my head.

I hurry to the wardrobe, throw the doors open and pick an outfit worthy of a lady – two-piece suit with fitted jacket and pencil skirt, a creamy white. There’s hardly anything casual in the old creaking thing, and I suspect the choice of clothes is customized to suit my future husband’s tastes. My future husband. My heart flares at the thought.

The outfit enhances the difference between my middle and the hips. The skirt combined with varnished stilettos make my legs seem long, and the golden bun I’ve learned from Mum to pull out fast makes me look even taller, but after I bang on the door and Zed answers I lose the illusion of being a grand presence. Zed is as tall as the Marquis, which places his face half a head above mine despite my stilettos, the steel look in his eyes making me shift from one leg to the other and seek my words in my purse.

“Uhm. Kieran said I should tell you if there was anything I needed. I need to see him.”

I’m still pretending to rummage inside the designer purse hanging from my forearm when I hear Zed speak for the first time.

“That name. You shouldn’t say it.” He sounds like the big, overly broad-shouldered Frankenstein-looking servant from the Adams family. Deep voice, no inflections. I look up at him, but keep my eyes on his cheek, not the steel bullets his irises seem to be.

“Why not?”

“Here he’s known as the Marquis of Vandenesse. And it should stay that way.”

“I’m not the only one who knows his name.”

“You’re the only one I hear use it.”

I nod at Zed and look down.

“Very well then. Please take me to him.”

I expect more resistance, so I’m surprised when Zed doesn’t pose any. He removes himself from my way, motioning for me to walk ahead of him. His men, at their turn, walk before me without needing to be told, guiding me down the narrow spiral stairs that have yet to be cleared of cobweb and humidity. This place has once been Catherine Lancaster’s home, it’s older than the Queen’s jewels, and its walls seem to be crawling with insects and mould. I shudder when we finally reach the ground floor and emerge into the wide reception hall.

The men keep around me, marching down the corridors and halls like a badass squad escorting a V.I.P., which annoys me more with each step. Truly “encumbering,” like the Marquis had put it, suffocating and strenuous, since not for one second can I forget myself and act normal. I have to keep the film of dignity I retained after they saw me hanging from chains in the dungeons, subject to the Marquis’ lust. I keep my back straighter than ever, my chin up and my attitude contained.

But when one of the men pushes the heavy double doors to the Marquis’ study, revealing my fiancé in conversation with Pretty Lauren, I can no longer keep back. Fury shows in my face for sure, and I can’t even remember if the man knocked first or not.

“Well, well, well,” I say and stalk to them in an aggressive catwalk prance that escapes my control. “Isn’t this an interesting visit?”

I stop by the Marquis, looking straight into his black eyes that make my legs feel weak. Still, the anger gives me a weird kind of nerve. I curl an arm around his lower back, the fabric of his suit caressing my palm as I brush over it, and raise my chin to invite him for a kiss. This can end badly, very badly, I realize. He doesn’t look like he intends to lower his handsome face and kiss me, which would make me stand a fool in Lauren’s eyes, but after a few seconds’ hesitation I realize it was just the stun. His lips press warm and soft on mine, making a buzz start in my lower belly, his bittersweet scent acting on me like a drug.

A bit dizzy and really nervous I peel my lips off his, staring up into his hypnotic black eyes, hoping to read his feelings and having forgotten why I just did what I did. Lauren clears her throat, thus reminding of her presence and my reasons. With narrowed eyes I look at her sitting with her legs crossed and arms on the chair arms. She glares a misty green glare at me, her make-up flawless, the dark red dress that matches her hair too short. A pair of high designer shoes seem to dangle from her white feet. Her skinny legs are naked to mid-thigh, her silk dress draped over her pointy-boned hips. She’s always been skinny but sexy nonetheless, and jealousy would eat at my jugular in a mighty way for finding her with the Marquis if it weren’t busy eating at Lauren’s. The jealousy in her pretty greenish eyes is the exact kind of balm I need right now. I give her an almost involuntary satisfied smile.

“And to what do we owe the pleasure?” I inquire sweetly, nestling my cheek at my fiancé’s chest. My fiancé. The idea and the feel of him make my heart flutter, and I must admit this situation has just turned into something rather pleasant.

“Miss Lauren was just telling me about a property her father has for sale,” the Marquis answers in her place, his voice a ripple of chocolate to my senses. My lids feel a bit heavy, and I know he’s unleashing his opium-like powers on me, but I make every effort to resist.

“Oh, and he sent his daughter to discuss the deal. I didn’t know you were real estate savvy, Lauren,” I address her.

The Marquis’ hand goes around my middle, and now we’re standing cradling each other’s lower backs, leaning on his desk. He doesn’t intervene to save Lauren from replying despite her glancing at him repeatedly before doing so, and seems to enjoy my defending his position as my man.

“Nice banquet yesterday. Hopefully the wedding turns out just as good,” Lauren changes the subject and stands in one rather jerky move. She pulls nervously at the rim of her dress as if she’s embarrassed, and grabs her purse form the corner of the desk. For a moment there I think she acts like a mistress who’d just been caught by the wife. I remember her envious stares last night while the Marquis took me on exhibiting rounds among the crowd to save his image in front of the guests after I’d been seen leaving with Jeremy. Speaking of Jeremy . . .

“You seem to have a weakness for my fiancés, but not all of them fall for red.” I measure her with a despising attitude, and feel like a bitchy idiot only a moment later.

“Saphira,” the Marquis pulls the brakes in a serious tone, but I try my best not to let it intimidate me. My body wants to keep glued to his hard torso, but my mind tells me to act, and I do, even if only to prove that I still have a will of my own.

“I need to go to town,” I say in a breath, turning to him as if Lauren weren’t even there. He shouldn’t have any reason to refuse the brilliant lie that I came up with. “I need to see Vivien for some floral arrangements for the wedding. Zed and his boys can escort me, if you feel more in control that way.” – I intend to make the visit to Billy the Notary only a “convenient stop on the way.”

The Marquis must like my thinking so seriously of the wedding, since his beautiful marble lips draw in a smile like none I’ve seen on his face before.

“Wonderful then,” he says, and looks at Lauren with a sharpness that stands in contrast with the warm smile he’s given me. “Miss Vivien’s house is exactly where Miss Lauren was going right now too.”

I freeze. I glance repeatedly from the Marquis to Lauren, and I realize this was a command she knows she has to follow. She is to act as his spy and, unlike the Marquis’ men, she can follow me even to the toilet. Whether she’s bound to him because they’re sleeping together or because he agreed to buy her father’s property, I don’t know. But I know that jealousy is showing its big ugly snout again, and this time darn close.

***

Enjoyed this? Check out episodes of the prequel, Saphira, here, or the whole prequel in the Christmas Story Book for Adults, available here. Stay tuned for a further episode on Friday and, until then, enjoy all the quizzes (NEW QUIZ COMING UP TOMORROW!), stories and goodies available here especially for you.

NEXT EPISODEJealousy – Ep. 7 of The Marquis

PREQUELSaphira in the Christmas Story Book for Adults

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The Villain’s Mistress – Ep. 4 of The Marquis

NOTE: This episode is crafted in good taste, is yet recommended only for mature audiences.

***

The Marquis approaches from the darkness of the tunnel, a tall and looming shadow. My heart drums with anxiety that he might’ve known all along I was down here with Jeremy, that he might know exactly what was said between us. Showers of ice seem to roll down my back.

His steps pat the floor, bringing him closer, the rhythm of my heart going crazy. He draws nearer, now I can make out the ivory skin stretching on his perfect cheekbones and jaw, those haunting black eyes glinting in the weak light of the dungeons as he stops before me. He has the nose of a cunning predator and the lips of a sensual devil, lips my eyes keep locked on.

“What are you doing here, Saphira?” He switches on his hypnotic powers, only that this time he doesn’t use them to make me comfortable. The lower vibrations in his voice drive the fear deeper into my bones, paired with the chill of the dungeons, making it impossible to lie.

“I needed to escape the party. I needed away from the fakery.” My voice is shaky despite my telling a truth, only not the truth about why I’m here. I pray the strategy works.

The Marquis takes a couple of steps closer. His suit jacket is open and the upper buttons of his shirt loosened, his hands in the pockets of his pants. He’s sexy as vice.

“There is danger lurking in these catacombs,” he says.

His face lowers close to mine, the contrast between the ivory of his skin and the black gems of his eyes knocking me back. He winds an arm around my waist, slowly and flowingly like the snake he is, pulling me close to him. His flat abdomen is stone hard under his shirt that smells clean and fresh, mingling with the bittersweet scent of his skin. It gives me sensations I have no chance to repress. His power over me grows, and I lose a faint sigh. I feel my lids fall heavy to hood my eyes, unable to look away from his lips. Ashamed of my reaction, I struggle to speak up.

“There isn’t any danger greater than you, Marquis.” I’m tempted to say his name, Kieran, but that would expose my new access to information. I bite the craving to call him by his name off my lips, and sense his desire grow like thickening lava as he watches me do it. He presses me harder to him, my breasts swelling almost completely out of the corset and coming into contact with the fabric of his shirt.

“Then why do you take risks? You were down here with a man, wacky tongues murmur up in the ballroom.” His voice is an eerie whisper, his mouth touching my ear as he speaks. There’s threat slinking in his words.

I can’t speak, intoxicated with his touch and his scent. His free hand brushes my locks aside, his lips trailing down to the curve of my neck, touching my skin only so lightly as he talks.

“Was it Jeremy Simmons? Are you still into your ex?”

“No.” My voice is hoarse.

“Are you into me?” His breath tickles, and after that last word I feel his tongue warm and wet on my bare shoulder, licking it in one pressed stroke like a predator licks the blood off his kill. I shudder and wonder if it’s still human, or if it’s the split serpent tongue that had pulled out Vladimir Pukov’s stomach. His power on my senses increases, making my brain swim in a fuzz.

“Yes,” I whisper and moan as his lips close on my skin, both his hands now caressing my arms downward. The sharp sound of drawing metal penetrates through the blood thumping in my ears. I look down to see a curved dagger in his hand, his jacket and the lower part of his shirt now tucked behind a leather holster at the side of his waist. I should be afraid, but his power keeps me in a haze.

His arms go around me, and I feel the tug of the blade as it slits open the laces of my corset and more material further down my dress that pools at me feet. Slowly, his black eyes wandering hungry on my face, the Marquis guides me backwards into a cell that’s carved into the dungeon wall.

I only stop when my naked back bumps into what feels like chipped stone, bits of iron pushing into my flesh – a chain, I soon realize by the feel of it.

The Marquis’ eyes seek mine, compelling me to look into them. I’m an obedient slave as he stretches my arms to the sides and closes rusty iron cuffs around my wrists, the clang echoing in the dungeon. The cuffs are loose, but the iron bites into the heels of my hands when I let my arms slump. A fight out of them would surely leave me bloody.

He looks down at my bare breasts, my nipples hard in the chill. Once again I find myself before him in stockings and high heels, only that I’m hanging in chains, and only retain enough wit to feel ashamed for my goose bumps.

But they don’t seem to bother the Marquis. Licking his lips he looks hungrily at my body and begins unbuttoning his shirt, which he then removes in a shuffle. He stands bare-chested before me, the leather sheath of his dagger strapped close to his hips. He seems made of marble with perfectly defined sinews, his skin glinting hairless and shadowed only by the contours of his athletic muscles. He’s broad-shouldered and obviously strong.

His eyes seem to devour me as he unfastens the holster, drops it on the floor and undoes his pants. Every last inch of his revealed body is beautiful, and I hear myself sigh with desire as his fingers stroke the sides of my torso. He presses his lips on mine and parts them in a full, rich kiss. He enjoys it, I can tell by the way his body pushes into me, a low purr escaping into my mouth as he crushes me between his chest and the wall.

I can’t keep from manifesting my delight, arching and sighing and moaning as he covers me with kisses.

“Do you ever miss Jeremy Simmons’ body, Saphira?”

“I only want you,” I reply immediatly, unable to keep back the pure truth.

His eyes burn like coal. I cry out as he enters me, reaching deep, the pain mixing with pleasure.

“And you’ll have me.” He groans as he grinds powerfully into me, making my feet lift off the ground and my toes curl. “You turn me on so bad, Saphira, it’s insane.”

I fight myself, trying to keep the reply on the inside of my mouth, but I lose the battle. “You’re divine!”

The Marquis takes me vigorously, thrusting hard, groaning and kissing me wildly as he finds release. I climax at the same time, my legs flexing, my hands gripping to the chains. As soon as his mouth frees mine I can’t hold back and say his name like a prayer. Kieran.

When I look into his eyes they’re serpent slits.

“Where did you hear that name?”

I’m so, so, so busted, and yet the first thing that takes clear shape in my mind as my breath evens out is whether his passion has been for me or for the memory of Catherine Lancaster.

***

Enjoyed this? Check out episodes of the prequel, Saphira, here, or the whole prequel in the Christmas Story Book for Adults, available here. Stay tuned for a further episode on Friday and, until then, enjoy all the quizzes, stories and goodies available here especially for you.

NEXT EPISODEA Dark Love – Ep. 5 of The Marquis

PREQUELSaphira in the Christmas Story Book for Adults

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Types of Lovers – the Hades and the Abuser

A few days ago I promised a comeback of the discussion on Hades and the Abuser (read part one of the article, “In love with the Abuser”), two types of lovers that can easily be mistaken for each other. So let’s take a closer look at them, and start with the main differences.

First of all, the Abuser is a deceiver. Hades is not. How come? Simple. Because we know Hades is the god of the Underworld, we already imagine him sitting high on a black spiked throne in Tartarus, and we don’t expect him to act all lovey-dovey. He does not hide what he is. On the other hand, the Abuser comes all dreamy-eyed, he listens and he smiles, he caresses and gives the impression he’s totally there for his beloved. The Abuser seeks to draw in, to create a mirage like a deadly spider, only to inject his venom into his prey at the climax.

The Abuser is weak and bitter, which is why he needs to exercise the abuse. Hades is powerful, there’s no arguing that. We, women have an archetypal concept of Hades, the Dangerous, Dark and Powerful. And it takes only two examples from modern literature to support this thesis, both of which have spread like wildfire, having found fertile ground in the female sub- and unconscious: 1. Christian from “Fifty Shades of Grey” (E.L James). 2. Gideon from “Crossfire” (Sylvia Day).

I don’t believe I have to argue whether Christian from “Fifty Shades” is dark, dangerous and powerful or not. He has a dark secret (his sexual preferences), which are dangerous (BDSM can go mighty wrong) and he’s mega rich, which means he’s powerful (makes a show of it in the books too). Gideon from “Crossfire” is extremely handsome, even richer than Christian Grey, and he’s obsessed with his heroine. The heroine even describes Gideon simply and effectively, “Dark and Dangerous,” often calling him that instead of his name. Imagine the effect of it in the female sub- and unconscious, imagine how Hades’ seed bloomed.

Oh, and let’s not forget example number three, the Father of them all: Edward Cullen, hero of “The Twilight Saga”. Edward Cullen is a vampire, therefore a killer, therefore both dark and dangerous; he can read minds, an intoxicating kind of power that fascinates. Oh, and he’s filthy rich too.

There has been passionate discussion on whether these characters impersonate the Abuser Typos or not. Even though there is little to save Christian Grey from that Typos (he certaintly has some Abuser in him, although he’s mainly Hades), please notice that all of these characters display Hades’ main traits: dark, dangerous and powerful.

One more thing all these heroes share: they are obsessed with the heroine, and they are overprotective. The hero has nothing on his mind besides the heroine. Women desire to feel protected even more than they desire obsession. So you see, all these three iconic characters – Christian Grey, Gideon Cross, Edward Cullen –, which have ‘fathered’ countless similar characters out there, are based on the Hades Typos, NOT on the Abuser Typos. The Abuser Typos is not protective, he’s monopolizing; what he feels is not sensual craving, but greed; he does not seek deepest intimacy, he seeks complete mastery. He is not the Guardian Angel; he is Monopoly.

The Abuser is NOT Hades. He’s not obsessed with his woman, he’s obsessed with his power over her; he does not admire her, he wants her neck beneath his boot, he wants her stripped of all options; he’s not a fallen angel in love, he’s a slave master with a whip; he’s like those luminous fish in the deepest depths of the ocean, where no sunshine reaches, those fish that put on colorful little lights to draw prey to them.

It’s not that the Hades type of men aren’t available in the real word, they most definitely are. Problem is, they’re mostly taken since a fairly young age; they are loyal (they’re everything we talked about above), so they stick to one woman. In the absence of Hades availability, the Abuser has turned into the next best thing.

The authors of the characters we talked about above (Grey, Cross, Cullen) have merely built on an archetype in their female unconscious, I dare say, an archetype rooted deep in the collective unconscious. In plain words, they have merely built on many a woman’s wet dream. I do the same in my novels and stories, because I too am fascinated with the Hades type, and I live with one. (Been with an Abuser before, many years ago). I would love to hear your take on this. Do you feel attracted to the Hades type, or ARE you the Hades type? What are the most attractive, compelling traits to you? What is it in a potential partner that gets you hooked? For men – Are you into the “bad girl”, or rather “the girl next door”? – an article on this one will follow next week, so I’ll need all anecdotes I can get, hehe.

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