Road to Ruin by Callie HartBlood and cum: my bodily fluids combine together easily in the bottom of the glass tumbler, the liquid a dark crimson mixture when I’m done. The jerking off part was less fun than fucking, I’ll admit, but pressing the blade into my flesh and gathering the blood? That part was organic. The way the sharpened steel cut? The way my body bled? My dick stirs, growing hard again just thinking about it. I can’t think about that now, though. I have to concentrate. This ritual is important, a ritual the men of our family participate in but once in their lifetimes. I refuse to fuck it up.

Genevieve Kendrick sits on the edge of the bed, watching me. She’s nervous, I can tell, and that only adds to the thrill. She’s here of her own volition. She can leave any time she wants, but she won’t. We’ve been going back and forth, playing a cat and mouse game for so long, but she knows the truth just as well as I do: she ran, but she wanted to be caught. She hid, but she wanted to be found. She refused me, but she was always going to surrender herself.

Her long black hair twists in curls over her bare shoulders, almost reaching her hips. Her lips are swollen and red, her skin pale and flawless in the cool, glowing light of the city that floods in through the wide, stain glass windows. The Bastien house is one of the oldest, grandest buildings in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

For the past two hundred and fifty-eight years, people have walked by the imposing entrance, choked with Spanish moss and ivy, and wondered at the architecture—the warm pink stone of the high walls that seems to glow when the sunlight hits it at the right time of day, and the chipped and flaking paint around the expansive windows on each of the three stories. They’ve thought to themselves, “Such a beautiful building. Such a remarkable place. How lucky the people inside must be, to live in a home like that.” If only they knew the reality of it. If only they knew that all who abide inside these four walls are fucking cursed.

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