Home again, and out of danger. Did I mention the two boyfriends?
New to the Misery series? Let’s get you all caught up.
- A Demon Lord is Here and He Wants to Interview Me
- Nulli On My Mind – Misery, the Demon Lord Returns
- Misery Sends for Nulli
- Misery Loves Company – Nulli Pays a Visit
- Misery Loves Company – Nulli Pays a Visit Part 2
- Misery and Yuri Have a Chat
- Misery Loves Company: Surprises All Around
- Misery Loves Company: Date Night
- Misery Loves Company – Date Night Part 2
- Misery Loves Company – Yuri Raises the Bar
- Misery Loves Company – Yuri Raises the Bar Part 2
- Misery Loves Company – Change of Plans
- Misery Loves Company – Change of Plans Part 2
- Misery Loves Company – Search and Destroy
- Misery Loves Company – Where’s Nulli?
- Misery Loves Company – Visitations
- Misery Loves Company – Confrontation
- Misery Loves Company – Lead the Way
- Misery Loves Company – Out of the Frying Pan
- Misery Loves Company – Crossroads
- Misery Loves Company – Pardon the Interruption
- Will Nulli Make Three?
As always, thanks to Yuri Bellamy for collaborating with me on these posts!
Yuri squeezed Nulli’s hand gently. “I’ll help you clean up.”
Misery kissed her brow and started toward the kitchen. “And I’ll cook us something to eat. What would you like, Nulli?”
She appeared to think about his question before she shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know. What do you know how to make for a vegetarian?”
“Depends on what ingredients you have. I can make soup, some kind of vegetable medley, various pasta dishes.” He paused with his hand resting on the small island in the center of her kitchen, looking at her. “Do any of those work for you?”
“All of that sounds good. Thank you.” She left Yuri’s side and kissed Misery on the cheek. The sight filled him with fondness for the both of them rather than jealousy. “I appreciate it.” She glanced back at Yuri. “Okay, let’s get started.”
He followed her upstairs to her bedroom at the far end of the hall. The door was wide open, and the room inside was just as messy as it had been when he and Misery had come here searching for her. Nulli sighed and stopped in the doorway, focused on something on the floor next to her queen-sized bed. Yuri put an arm around her shoulders. “What’s wrong?”
“They’ve broken a lot of things in here.” She bent at the waist and picked up a piece of a broken lamp. “I picked this up at an antique store. Took forever to find the matching piece.” She nodded to another lamp on the floor. Like the one at her feet, it was broken into many pieces.
“Fuck, I’m sorry.” He took the piece of lamp from her, not wanting to risk having her cut herself on it. “I wish I knew how to make this right for you, but I don’t. Do you have a garbage bin where I can put this? I’ll clean up the lamps.”
She eyed a wastebasket near the bed. “You can dump theme in there.” She continued to stare in the same direction, her face blank. “They just appeared out of nowhere. I fought them off, but…” She trailed off, her gaze still fixed. “Bastards.”
Yuri wanted to comfort her, but had no idea what to say. He took the wastebasket and brought it closer to the bed before beginning to methodically pick up bits of broken lamp and load them in the bin. “Is that when they took you to hell?”
“Eventually. They put this on me first.” She palmed the amulet on her chest. “Misery’s uncle told me I’d die if I took it off. Guess it’s safe to get rid of it now, huh?”
The word “die” alarmed Yuri. “Maybe not just yet. I don’t want to endanger you in any way. Did he tell you anything else about the amulet?”
“No. When we arrived at his place, he repeated the warning about the amulet, made a few threats about what would happen to me if I didn’t do as he said, and then locked me in that room.” She still hadn’t lifted her gaze, but she rubbed her arms while she spoke as if she was cold. “Guess he didn’t like it when I punched him in the face.”
“I’m sure he didn’t.” He stepped around her and, facing her, cupped her face. Her large brown eyes glistened with tears. Yuri swore upon seeing them, and used his thumbs to wipe them away before taking her face in his hands again. “Look, we’ll get through this together, all right? I can’t take those memories away, but I’m here for you. Misery’s here for you.”
Her arms encircled his waist before she closed her eyes and breathed deep. “I’m glad you’re here. Both of you. It’s just… How am I supposed to go back to normal? Two demons showed up in my bedroom and took me to a dungeon. I know Misery said he doesn’t think it will happen again, but how am I supposed to sleep at night?” Her gaze moved just to the side of him. “I hate how they’ve made me feel. This is my home. I’m supposed to feel safe here. All I feel is vulnerable.”
“I know.” Yuri couldn’t remember a time when he’d felt so helpless, aside from when he’d learned Nulli had been abducted. How could he comfort her? “Should Misery and I stay here tonight?” Belatedly, he realized she could take this question the wrong way, but it felt like the right thing to ask. He wanted to be here to assuage her fears during the night.
“I have a guest room and the sofa pulls out into a bed. I know it’s not what you two are used to.”
Yuri blew out his breath and stroked one of her cheeks. Jesus, she wasn’t getting it, was she? He wanted to be within close proximity of her all night, not a room or two away or downstairs. “We’ll be fine with those arrangements, but I’m not really concerned about us. I want you to feel safe enough to sleep.”
She squeezed him tighter and let out a light chuckle. “What are you going to do, sing me a lullaby?”
He laughed. “I could–or I could hold you until you drift off.”
“Hmm. Now I’m curious. Can you sing, Yuri?” She leaned in close and stared at his mouth.
Heat flooded his balls and cock. He couldn’t look away from her, and his hands were still cupping her face. Her warm, beautiful face. He cleared his throat. “Probably not well.”
“Interesting. Maybe one day I’ll find out.” She winked and placed a small kiss on the corner of his mouth. “Guess we’d better get back to it.”
“Yes.” That would be the right, adult thing to do instead of screwing her brains out and his while Misery was cooking supper. He let go of her face and resumed cleaning up the broken lamp. “About your time in Efrayim’s dungeon… Was there anything that happened down there which you want to talk about, other than the obvious?”
“I don’t think you want to know.” She turned her back to him while she righted a chair and put it in its proper place.
Yuri inhaled sharply and stood, abandoning what was left of the lamp. How could she think that? Of course he wanted to know–he loved her. He moved to her and touched her arm before she could move elsewhere in the room. “No, I do. What happened? Did Efrayim hurt you?” Please tell me he didn’t torture you.
She stiffened, but took a seat in the chair. “He didn’t torture me per se.” She tilted her head toward the bed. “You might want to sit down for this.”
“Okay.” He took a seat on the bed, which brought him roughly eye to eye with her. “Now tell me.”
“You know about Efrayim’s bodyguard. He would come to my room to watch me. He stared at me through the door most of the time. I guess he thought I was strange.” Nulli looked down at her arms, turning them this way and that before shrugging her shoulders. “On one of those visits, he came into the room. The condensed version goes like this: He was interested in the way I fight. He would attack me and I’d defend myself. He kept this up on every visit after that. Every time I saw him, I knew what was coming.”
“Fuck.” A surge of anger brought him to his feet and he started to pace. So much for sitting down. “Then I understand why you don’t feel safe now. You’ve got to feel like you have to be constantly on your guard.”
He stopped in front of her. “Although it might reassure you to know Misery threw a table on Efrayim’s bodyguard. He’ll be lucky to get adequate medical care and survive at this point–the duke isn’t exactly known for giving a fuck about those no longer useful to him.”
She raised both eyebrows. “He threw a table on him? Misery? Mister cool and calm?”
The corner of his mouth turned up. “He can be pretty ferocious when there’s a need to be.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” She stood and moved to the window, picking up items as she went. “It was harder to fight him the longer I stayed. All that time without eating made me weaker. I didn’t know how long I had in there. Efrayim seems like the kind of man who doesn’t have a problem killing someone. I didn’t want to wait to find out.”
“I understand. You had every reason to run–even if it nearly gave me a heart attack to find you gone from your cell when Efrayim finally shut up and took Misery and I there.” Yuri finished cleaning up the broken lamp.
“To be honest, I thought I might never see either of you again. I mean, I hoped I would, but I didn’t think you’d realize I was gone. Not right away anyway.” She turned toward him. Her lips spread into a warm smile that lit up her eyes. “I’m glad I was wrong.”
Yuri’s chest tightened as an unexpected knot of emotion settled there. He joined her at the window and kissed her hard, interlocking his fingers with hers and raising them above her head as he steered her toward the section of wall to the left of the window. He backed her against it, pinning her there with his weight. “I’m glad you were too,” he said, when their mouths were apart again. He could barely remember what they were talking about.
She leaned into him and started to kiss him back, and stopped, angling her head away from his. He couldn’t figure out why until Misery’s low voice reached his ears. The sound of it was rougher than normal, thick.
“Dinner’s cooking. I did not expect you to have dessert first.”
Yuri couldn’t tell if his friend was mad or aroused. He dropped Nulli’s hands and faced him. Misery’s tall frame filled the doorway, his eyes black and his breathing loud enough to hear across the room. The tension in his stance was unmistakable.
Frick. Were the three of them about to have their first fight so soon after their relationship became official?