“You what?” I ask in a whisper, my face so close to hers the warmth of her breath caresses my lips.
She doesn’t get to answer, though, because before I can think straight, I press my lips to hers and kiss her. For a moment, I think she’s stunned. As stunned as I am. But then she yields. I’m not sure who’s more surprised when her grip softens on my forearm, and her breath turns into a moan.
That sound reminds me that I’m kissing her lying little mouth. There’s a reason she’s here. A reason we’re here. And I need to keep my head on straight.
It takes all I have to pull away. She leans toward me, surprised, her eyes opening. I swallow, feeling the loss of her mouth on mine and the swelling of my own lips. I draw my fingers out of her pussy. They come away wet. I raise them between us, and we both look at the glistening digits. Wet with arousal. Not blood. As we both knew they would be.
“How do we punish liars, Dandelion? How do we punish thieves.”
“It was my father’s ring,” she says weakly.
“So you didn’t take it from my room?”
“You stole it from his corpse. Why would you even want it?”
It’s a good question, but I’m not here to answer to her. I shift my grip to her arm and march her into the bathroom. “In some countries, thieves have their hands cut off.”
“Let me go!”
“I’m not such a barbarian.” I switch on the tap and pick up the bar of soap, shifting my grip to the back of her neck and leaning her toward the sink. She holds tight to the edges of it in her resistance. “Open your mouth.”
She looks at the bar of soap, realizes what I intend to do, and shakes her head, her lips sealed tight.
It’s all I need, that little opening, and I shift my grip to the back of her head and push the soap into her mouth.
“I told you once I’d wash out your mouth for language, so I guess we’re killing two birds with one stone.” She tries to pry me off as I rub the bar of soap all over her tongue, the roof of her mouth, and her teeth. Her eyes begin tearing as suds form. I’m sure it tastes disgusting. “Never lie to me again. Do you hear me?” I ask, keeping the bar lodged in her mouth. “Do you hear me?”
I take the bar out and release her. She spits into the sink, turning on the water to wash out the soap, coughing and spitting. I set the soap in its dish and rinse my hands under the second tap, then stand back and watch her as I dry my hands. It’s a long time before she straightens, and her eyes are red, her skin blotchy. I hand her the towel, which she takes and wipes her mouth. She’s quiet now. Sufficiently humbled? I doubt it.
“You may be able to make fools of most men, Vittoria, but I’m no fool. If you ever pull shit like this again, you’ll be begging for just a soaping of your mouth when I punish you. Do we understand one another?”
“I hate you.”
“Feeling is mutual. Do we understand one another?”
“Yes,” she hisses.
“Good. Good night, Dandelion.”