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Author's Chapter Notes:

Sebastian receives punishment for his sins, but it isn't enough.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.



Very few people knew of Pothos, a minor god in Greek mythology. He was considered a member of the goddess Aphrodite’s retinue, a group of youthful winged immortals known as the Erotes who specialized in the various pleasures and pains of love and lust. In ancient Greek tongue, his name translated to yearning. He represented the burning feeling of longing for someone who was out of your reach—for someone who was absent in your life or for someone so close yet untouchable. It was a fitting name for an upscale Greek-themed gentleman’s club on the eastside of the city. Sebastian was summoned to Pothos by Juliette’s command unexpectedly. Then again, when could he ever predict Juliette’s orders demanding his presence?

It was nearly ten o’clock at night when he entered the club’s lobby. The lighting could only be described as fairly dim with faux torches lining the walls, painting the atmosphere in a purplish red tint. A pale-skinned woman with cascading silky brown hair wearing a soft pink chiton strolled over to him. The airy fabric of the Greek robes rippled like water as she moved. She welcomed him with attentive eyes that scanned him from top to bottom and a pleased smile. “Your employer has been expecting your arrival, Mr. Smith,” she stated.

Once upon a time, he would have accepted the invitation that shined in her bright blue eyes. Once upon a time, he was addicted to no-string fucking with beautiful women to temporarily sate his primal desires. But once upon a time was not now. Now he was addicted to one woman. Only she could sate him—tame the monster he had shared a body with.

The establishment was a complete ghost town as he followed the woman. This fact did not surprise Sebastian. Juliette hated sharing and often resorted to immoral means to have every last crumble to herself. It was a common belief they both practiced like religion. Fresh dead bodies were their bread. Spilled blood was their wine. Their souls could not be saved, but at least they would join each other in Hell after the slow fall down to it.

The woman halted in front of a tall pair of double doors glistening with painted gold. “Enjoy,” she said with a nod as she slowly opened the right door. He entered the room without a second thought. It was a VIP room with a private stage with a gold strip pole. Juliette was sitting on a lengthy modern-styled white leather sofa with blonde-haired woman wearing a silky black chiton whispering something with a flirtatious smile. Juliette was sipping on champagne in a flute as the woman told her something that made her laugh brightly.

Juliette’s eyes drifted over to him and a warm smile spread across her lips like a slab of butter on hot toast. “Nathaniel, you’ve arrived on time and just in time for the fun! Sit, sit! I want you to meet my new minx of a friend.”

Sebastian fought the urge to frown as he sat down on the piece of furniture draped in white leather. He felt like a giant in size compared to the petite pale-skinned women who looked at him like he was good enough to eat. Once upon a time, Juliette had a bite of him. Once upon a time, he tasted Juliette too. Once upon a time wasn’t now.

“Electra, meet my dear friend Nathaniel,” Juliette introduced before taking another sip of wine. Electra gave him a seductive smile as she reached over Juliette and offered her hand to be shaken.

“It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.”

“Why am I here, Juliette,” Sebastian questioned, ignoring Electra’s offered hand.

Juliette gave him a mocked look of disappointment over the rim of her champagne flute, but delivered a threat nonetheless. “Nathaniel, play nice with my friend or I’ll won’t hesitate to play rough to with yours.”

Nathaniel clenched his jaw tightly before he shook the woman’s hand. Electra’s thumb ran over his knuckles before she released his hand entirely, a look of tainted admiration twinkling in her eyes.

“I don’t bite,” Electra assured. “I promise.”

Juliette chuckled softly, “I wouldn’t worry about him thinking you’re going to bite him, my dear. He’s the one you should be worried about.”

The blonde-haired woman smiled, “I like a little pain.”

“Pain is Nathaniel’s specialty,” Juliette purred as she leaned over to Electra, her ruby-painted lips brushing against the youthful woman.

“And what’s yours,” Electra said, her eyes never leaving Sebastian’s uninterested face.

Pleasure,” Juliette said before she smashed her lips against Electra’s. Sebastian turned his head away from the scene, glancing around the room carefully as a habit to examine all routes of escape if the need came.

“Why am I here, Juliette,” Sebastian questioned once more, firm irritation dripping in his voice.

Juliette’s lips had moved away from a very responsive Electra’s mouth and suckled on the crook of her neck. “My mouth is full at the moment, Nathaniel,” Juliette said, her voice mumbled against her victim’s flesh.

“My patience is running thin,” Sebastian warned.

His words roused Juliette from kissing, sucking, and biting at Electra’s neck. She dried her moist lips with the pad of her right thumb as she cut her icy eyes over to him. Swiftly, she gripped onto his short dark hair and yanked his head back. He growled out, but used every ounce of his strength to stop himself from fighting her. She pressed her lips hard against his ear. “Don’t tell me about patience running thin, Nathaniel. I know your baseball game at the Woodsberg Park.”

She sunk her teeth down deep into his earlobe as punishment, breaking the skin there. He clenched his teeth tightly and breathed out through his nostrils hard.

“You’re still following me,” he said through grit teeth, riding out the pain.

“Some people watch birds. Other people watch whales. I watch you, Nathaniel. It was a quite enjoyable pastime until you fucked up. You know the consequences for that.”

He knew the consequences quite well. He dished them out to others over the years under Juliette’s command.

Sebastian let out a dark chuckle. “So you’re going to kill me in a strip club?”

“No, Jasper is waiting outside of your little girlfriend’s house for my word,” Juliette whispered before her tongue lapped at the droplets of blood bubbling from the wound she inflicted on his earlobe. “I could make her last moments absolutely horrific, Nathaniel. I could make him beat her to a bloody pulp and rape her. I could make him relish in her terrified screams as he pounds into her before he puts a bullet in her head. You know Jasper hates an unfinished job and you know even more that he hates you. You know he can be a sick fuck. I bet he’d fuck her warm corpse and cum on her lifeless face. Then when you find her, you’ll hate yourself all over again because it was your fuck-up that killed her. Just like it was your fuck-up that sent your wife and daughter to early graves.”

He squeezed his eyes shut as she used the knife of painful memories to plunge deep into his heart and twist hard.

Giselle. Valerie.

“She’s innocent,” he said. His voice was low and tethering on loss of control—tethering on the verge of crying as guilt crushed into him like a tsunami with no mercy. Giselle and Valerie were innocent too.

“She’s a liability,” Juliette corrected.

I’m the liability. Punish me,” he replied in an almost pleading voice.

“And how exactly do you suggest I punish you,” Juliette purred.

His green eyes glanced over to the strip pole. Juliette followed his gaze and grinned widely. “I see,” she trailed off for a moment. “If your father finds out, he won’t be pleased.”

“It’s not his choice.”

 Juliette chewed on her bottom lip for a moment before she shifted her attention back to Electra. “Your presence is no longer needed, but you will be paid thoroughly for your company. Also, send for my entourage.”

Electra nodded her head slowly with a weak smile and rose from her spot. She heard too much. All three of them knew that. Electra left the room and Juliette made a tsk’ing sound as she watched the blonde-haired woman leave. “Such a pity,” Juliette pouted. “I really liked her.”

“Don’t, Juliette,” Sebastian replied.

“Are you going to be her knight in shining armor too, Nathaniel? You can’t save all the innocent girls who get tangled in our poisonous web. We’re reapers. Everything we touch dies.”

“I’ll take her fate too,” he said as Juliette’s entourage of contract killers entered the VIP room.

Juliette released the back of his head and touched his face tenderly. “You could die tonight,” she replied.

“We both know you won’t let them kill me or you have to deal with him. Or I could go to him myself. Tell him the truth and walk away from all of this for good—my debt, all of it. Let him punish you for pushing me to do it. And if Jasper lays a finger on her head, I’ll fucking kill him and then I’ll come after you. And if I’m in the mood, I’ll videotape me doing it and send it as a Christmas present to my father. A symbolic token of me severing this fucked up relationship the three of us share,” Sebastian said, knowing he had gained the upper hand. “Take the easy route, Juliette.”

Juliette clenched her jaw. “Tie him to the strip pole.”

One of her men grabbed him by the arm, but Sebastian shot him a deadly look. The man released his arm and cleared his throat. “Smart boy,” Sebastian commented tauntingly as he rose from his spot on the sofa and escorted himself over to the private stage. He climbed up the front steps, three out of the seven men following after him. He pressed his back against the pole and crossed his arms behind his back.

He was tightly handcuffed to the strip pole. He grinned as the goon adjusted the tightness out of the cuffs out of spite—out of revenge. They all looked at him hungrily, like wild dogs surrounding their prey. This was their only opportunity to overpower Sebastian Smith. To punish him for years of succeeding them at everything. Some of them were cracking their knuckles. Others were slipping brass knuckles onto their hands.

Sebastian’s eyes flickered to Juliette who sat calmly on the sofa with a scowl on her face. He knew she was still digesting his words from earlier. She held her champagne flute in her hand with her manicured index finger tapping on the glass lightly.

“Do it,” she ordered coldly.

The ‘smart boy’ from earlier was the first begin the sacrificial ceremony, driving a brass-knuckled blow to his nose full-force. The back of Sebastian’s head flung back hard against the gold strip pole from the force of the punch before he dropped his head down. Before he could recover properly, ‘smart boy’ drove his fist upward to catch Sebastian’s bent face. Sebastian’s head jerked back once more, blood trickling from his nose. Another one kicked him hard in the knee before he plunged a punch into Sebastian’s abdomen.

He let out a bloody-teethed laugh even as his body suffered through the continuous stream of kicks, punches, and slaps.

He deserved this—all of it.

For what he did to Giselle. For what he did to Valerie. For what he did to Willow.

He deserved to be punished by them and then he was going to punish himself.




Chapter End Notes:

I hoped you enjoyed this chapter. Though I enjoy writing Sebastian's character because he is very intense and emotional, it was very painful to write this chapter. Though the theme of this chapter is punishment, his punishment for his sins (present and past) are far from over. This is merely the beginning.

The next chapter is how Willow reacts to his fresh wounds and the questions that follow while she struggles to deal with the disappearance of Simon.

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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.