As Sapphire neared the first flat fragments of fallen rock, the shadow of a human being moved between herself and the sun, rising above the cliff top to the immediate east. To her horror, the black shape loomed over her, larger and larger, morphing into the silhouette of a man. She had recently been beaten by a man called Attilio Serafimi, but that had only been relatively playful, by no means as vicious, as from bitter experience, she knew a man with a whip could be. Filled with misgivings, she screamed and moving instinctively backwards away from the menace of the silhouette, caught her heel on a driftwood branch and tripped, to cry out again and fall upon her back.
Lying naked and as defenceless upon the sand, as the upended abalone on the rock where she had placed it, she raised an arm to protect herself. Among the flashing lights of the bang on her head that had terminated her fall, came the thought, ‘Oh shit—Slicer.’ Had he been sent by Serafimi, to punish her for doing a runner from the brothel? But how the hell did he know she’d be here? Or could it be her bogan neighbour, Les Dobbs? But how would he know either?
A voice she didn’t recognise came from the shadows. “There’s no need to be afraid. I won’t hurt you.”
The silhouette sank down on one knee. ‘You’d best get up. It’s going to be a bit damp around here soon. In a minute or two the tide will be covering the beach. I’m Sam Hammond.”
Squinting against the brightness of the sky, Sapphire looked up at him. “I’m Sapphire Innes.” So frightened had she been that he might be Serafimi or Slicer or one other of his heavies, her voice quavered.
She continued her regard. Because of the dazzling quality of the sky behind him, it wasn’t easy to make out details and this, together with the obliquity of her viewpoint, added to his height, giving an impression of slenderness. It was an appearance otherwise belied by the bulk of his shoulders and the bulge of deltoid and pectoral muscle beneath a paint-stained, but basically white, T-shirt. To Sapphire’s embarrassment, the look in the eyes regarding her was one of undisguised appraisal. As an accompaniment, something like an aura of masculine strength emanated from him. Well, in the presence of such a big man that wasn’t particularly surprising, was it? With her unlikely fantasy about being in the power of a stern but loving master, the fear was diluted to some extent by an accession of excitement.
Sapphire had known this area of Preminghana from childhood. The tossing grey seas flecked with white were as familiar as the Ice Age sculptures. She had never seen him here before. Having been subject to too much abuse in her short life, she was instinctively afraid of this stranger. She didn’t want to die at the hands of some rapist maniac. However, taking some encouragement from the gentleness of the deep Australian voice she looked up at him again. She registered that the eyes were the indeterminate grey of a stormy sea.
There was a strength reminiscent of a storm there too. Detecting a promise in his appraisal she was unable to suppress a shiver. Here was a man who would not be afraid to make a woman his adoring slave. A man to take a female and pursue her with the power of his will into the remotest corners of her mind and there make her eager to be compliant, eager to serve, to know that she had to do whatever it took to please him before he even issued an order.
Becoming aware that she had fallen with her legs apart Sapphire covered her vulva with one hand and her breasts with the other arm.
He frowned. “Please don’t do that.”
The words were couched politely as a request, but there was an underlying element of command, which Sapphire not only recognised but was thrilled by. She swallowed. Such was the strength emanating from him she would have been unable to refuse had she wished to. She moved the hand and arm, allowing him to have an uninterrupted view of her breasts and the moisture glistening on her swollen introitus, not all of which was due to the seawater dribbling out of her.