Welcome To The Harem
Choices by Savannah Black
Summary: Deslea's rec: "Alex is sent to do the unthinkable, and only Marita has the power to make the choice that will save them both. This isn't an easy piece to read, and it's very bittersweet and sad; but I think it has a poignant beauty to it, as well."
Title: Choices (1/1)
Author: Savannah Black
Keywords: Krycek/other (het)
**Sadness warning: If you're looking for happy,
Author's Note: Think young Alex here, second
"Savannah's Dark Corner of the Universe"
by Savannah Black (7-99)
The light came on. Sudden, blinding.
Waking me from a sound sleep.
Disoriented, I blink against the glare and feel a
hand wrap over my mouth. A knife flashes past
my face and a thin line of ice settles against my
throat. My body freezes with fear. I blink up,
staring into hard, cold eyes, and wait to die.
But nothing happens for a long, long minute. My
body is so frozen with fear that I'm not breathing.
My lungs start to protest and I'm forced to take a
long shuddering breath through my nose, afraid
it's my last, my eyes clinging to his in terror and
waiting for the stroke that will end it.
"Don't scream." The whisper is as harsh and cold
as his face but reassures me. He isn't going to kill
me immediately if he bothers to give that order.
He still doesn't move and my fear subsides as I
feel a faint prick of curiosity. I lay in bed, the
covers slid down to my waist, my hands frozen at
my sides and a lunatic leans over me with a knife
to my throat but I'm curious. It sounds like
insanity, but as I stare into his cold immobile
face the fear subsides even more as I realize he's
not sure what to do next. His cold mask is good.
I never would have detected his uncertainty
if I weren't studying him with every cell of my
We stay frozen like that for another long minute
before I see the sudden decision in his eyes. He
cautiously lifts his hand from my mouth. When I
stay silent, he eases onto the bed next to me,
kneeling beside me, the knife held steady at my
throat. I hold my breath, afraid any movement
will send that edge into my throat.
He carefully eases a leg over me, straddling me,
but still only touching me with the blade at my
throat as if brushing against my body is
distasteful. I narrow my eyes at the thought but
quickly fling it away. He may be reluctant or I
may only be seeing what I desperately want to
see. I have to be ready to move if he gives me an
He's settled and staring at me, his face still a
blank mask, but again he doesn't move for a long,
long minute. Need for air pushes me and I'm
suddenly sucking in a great lungful. My throat
moves against the ice at my throat and after that
first great breath, I let my mouth fall open to pull
in small pants of air, trying not to move against
that blade, my eyes my only movement as I watch
and wait for what he will do next.
But he still doesn't move or even blink and I
finally break the silence with a whisper so soft he
can't mistake it for a cry for help.
"What are you going to do?"
He starts to lift a hand to my mouth again but
stops at my soft question. He doesn't answer but I
see something shift in his eyes. Something I don't
My breathing has evened out. Talk. I have to get
him talking. I continue in low, soothing whisper.
"Are you sure this is what you want to do?"
He gives a short, harsh laugh and surprise makes
me jerk. He stares down at me, grimly amused,
and I furrow my brow as I try to puzzle out his
reaction. His hand comes up and I flinch but he
only strokes soft fingers over the side of my face,
adding to my confusion. I realize he'd been
surprisingly gentle so far. Other than the icy
threat of the knife at my throat he hasn't done
anything to physically harm me. In fact, he's been
"If you leave now, I won't say anything to
anybody. I promise."
I mean it, too. I only hope he can read the
sincerity in my eyes.
I watch another shift in the cold, green eyes above
me but they settle back into blankness so quickly
I can't decipher it.
He smiles, a quick flash of teeth before he wipes
it away with seriousness. "No. I have to do this."
His voice is low but the harshness is gone and
only resignation remains.
"You don't have to do anything. There's always a
choice." I'm serious as I stare up into his eyes
because I believe this with everything that's in
me. There's always a choice. You have to be
willing to accept the consequences but there's
always a choice. I choose to lie here while he
holds a knife to my throat because I don't choose
to die. It's that simple.
My words make him pause and he silently stares
down at me, evaluating my sincerity. His mask
cracks and I read the yearning in his eyes.
"I only wish it were that simple."
I suddenly understand. He's trapped. More
trapped than I will ever be even with this stranger
crouching over me with a knife at my throat. I
stare into his eyes and try to push back the
sympathy that overflows me. I understand
trapped. I understand lost and alone and no way
"You're trapped," I whisper before I even know I
His eyes harden and he looks away from me,
staring at something that only he can see.
Another long silence stretches between us.
Somehow I know this is not the moment to push
him so I wait.
He brings his attention back to me and his eyes
are hard again. Grimly determined, he reaches
into his back pocket and pulls out a set of
handcuffs. My heart clenches at the sight and I
can't breath. He moves to fasten one around my
wrist but my voice stops him.
He stops and stares at me, surprised at the sudden
determination in my voice. He arches an
"If you put those on me, you'll have to kill me
because I'll start screaming and never stop."
He stares at me, uncertain, but I'm just as deeply
serious as he is. He sees that and hesitates.
I soften my voice. "You don't need them. I
promise I won't try anything."
But the hesitation in him is gone and he reaches
for my wrist again, the knife heavy at my throat.
At the first touch of his hand I open my mouth
and scream, a harsh scream that comes from deep
in my abdomen, an ugly primitive scream of
denial and rage.
His head jerks up in panic. He hurls the cuffs
away, lunges forward over my body and slams
his hand down over my mouth. The knife at my
throat never moves.
When he tosses the cuffs away I stop screaming.
I calmly watch him past the hand wrapped over
my mouth. The panic is bright in his green eyes
as he freezes and listens for any reaction to my
There won't be any. All my neighbors are old and
hard of hearing. I could scream for days and no
one would come. But he doesn't know that.
After a moment and no shout goes up, no
footsteps come to investigate, the tension eases in
him and he slowly turns his head to stare at me.
"Are you crazy? I could kill you for that." He
I can only silently stare at him past the hand over
After a moment he seems to realize that I can't
answer with his hand over my mouth. He slowly
eases his hand away, ready to slap it down again
if I take another breath to scream. But he's
baffled and curiosity sidetracks him.
"Are you crazy? Why did you do that?"
I stare at him calmly. "I said I would."
"Yeah, but-- "
"No handcuffs. I'll make you kill me if you put
those on me. No handcuffs."
There's only a quiet stillness in me as I stare into
his eyes. I've made my choice. Now it's up to
him. His choice.
"I don't want to hurt you," he whispers. It almost
sounds like a plea.
"I don't want you to hurt me," I whisper back,
eyes locked with his.
I can see him struggling with what he wants to
do, which is leave, and what he has to do, which
I slowly reach out. My hands brush along the
outside of his thighs where they lay on either side
of my legs. I ease my hands up his torso then run
them along his arms. My hand gently curls
around the hand that holds the knife to my throat.
He hasn't moved, frozen and staring at me,
waiting for my next move.
"You're not going to use this," I whisper and tug
on his hand. "You're not going to need it. I promise.
Do what you have to do then go."
He is frozen, staring at me like he's discovered a
new lifeform, but he allows me to tug the knife
back from my throat a few inches.
He closes his eyes and his head droops forward. I
don't move as he sighs out a breath.
He pulls himself up, breaking away from my
light touch, kneeling back to sit up. The wild
hope goes through me that he's going to leave,
get up and just walk out, but that hope is flavored
with a strange regret that I don't have a chance to
examine. He lifts the knife high and terror sends
my body taut as I wait for the knife to plunge. I
force my eyes to stay open, battling profound
surprise. I believed him. I didn't think he was
going to hurt me.
He doesn't. He shifts his grip on the knife and
throws. I jerk my head around to follow the flight
of the knife. It sinks deep into the wood of the
door frame, quivering from the impact.
I relax limply against the bed and close my eyes.
If I believed in God I think I would be praying
now. But either I abandoned Him or He
abandoned me because I gave up on sending out
silent cries for help long ago.
I feel him shift on top of me then the brush of
fingertips against my face and I open my eyes.
He leans over me, staring at me solemnly as his
fingers continue to stroke over my face. I can
only swallow and watch him.
"I was sent to rape you." I jerk with shock at the
"I was sent to hurt you and humiliate you and
teach you a lesson."
He falls silent.
I wait, sudden fear pounding over me again.
But he doesn't say anything and with effort I
swallow and lick my lips to speak. "And are
you?" I force the question out. "Are you going
He's silent a moment then pulls his fingers from
my skin. I miss the warmth.
"I have to," he whispers, "or what they'll do to
me is nothing compared to what they want me to
do to you."
I read the truth in his eyes then close my eyes to
shut it out. "Do what you have to," I whisper. I
keep my eyes sealed as I prepare to endure. It's
what I do best. It's what I have the most practice
at. Enduring past all hope and all reason.
But he doesn't move and I tense as I wait for the
first blow to fall. His hand softly comes down on
my face and slides around to dig deeply into my
hair to hold my head immobile. I tense further,
Long minutes pass and he does nothing. I ease
my eyes open to find his face above mine. I look
a question but before I can breathe it, his face
swoops in closer to mine. I inhale sharply at the
sudden move. His breath is warm against my lips
and makes a shiver tremble through me.
I wait, all breath and movement suspended, as his
breath beats against my lips and his eyes stare
into mine from inches away.
The words are barely a whisper against my lips
and I'm not sure I hear them right. I stare into his
eyes, trying to decipher his meaning.
He closes his eyes and his forehead comes to rest
against mine while his breath still whispers against
my lips. "I can't do it."
I shudder with sudden profound relief as I finally
understand his words. He's not going to hurt me.
As he opens his eyes and lifts his head away, I
see dread in his eyes. He knows what's in store
for him because of his failure. *I* know what's in
store for him because of his failure.
He presses his hands to the bed on either side of
me as he prepares to push himself up and away.
My hands catch around his upper arms and stop
He stops and stares down at me, confused.
"If you don't do this," I question in a rush, "they'll
send someone else, won't they? Someone without
I can see it's not something he wants to
think about, but he reluctantly nods his head.
"Yeah. They'll send someone else."
I force a small smile that trembles at the
edges. My grip on him tightens. "What if I don't
want anyone else?"
He stares his surprise and I slowly stroke
my hands up his arms to his face. I lightly lay my
hands on either side of his face and slowly raise
myself up into a sitting position, my muscles
protesting the agonizingly slow movement. But I
don't want to startle him so I slowly approach his
lips with my own. I pause when my breath is just
brushing his lips and look into green, green eyes.
Understanding slowly creeps over him and his
arms come up around me. But gently. Much too
I release his face, trailing my hands down to his
shoulders, and press my lips to his. With a small
hesitation his mouth opens and our tongues probe
at each other. Heat rushes over me. He's a
handsome man, tall and lean and strong, but
above all that he's gentle when he doesn't have to
be, when he shouldn't be, and that's twisting my
insides up into confused knots. Because I know
what I'm going to have to do and I don't like it. I
want to enjoy his gentleness while I can. I want to
fight back the knowledge of what's to come for as
long as I can. No matter how prepared you are for
pain, no matter how much pain you've been
through there is no immunization. Every time the
pain is new and fresh and agonizing. That's just
the way it is.
But I let that knowledge drift away as he eases me
back against the bed and our kiss deepens even
more. His arms go around my back, arching me
against him, and his body comes down on mine
with a pleasing, solid weight. I whimper an
approving moan and clutch at his back, his jacket
a barrier I long to rip away.
He must read my mind because he pulls his arms
from around me only long enough to shrug the
jacket away then he's pulling me to him again.
He's breathing as deeply as I am and my hands
tremble as they roam over his back, exploring. He
kisses me with a hunger I haven't felt in a long
time and I happily give in to it.
I'm distantly aware of the covers between us being
pushed out of the way then his legs tangling in
mine as strong arms pull me even closer. My
hands play over his back as I arch under him,
trying to absorb his heat into my bones. So good.
He feels so good.
His lips break away from my mouth and I moan a
low protest that's abruptly cut off as his lips leave
a trail of fire down my throat. I'm wearing a thin
silk camisole that's no protection against the
warmth of his lips. I jerk and shudder as his lips
close over a nipple, sucking cloth and flesh into
his mouth, but he pauses, unsure of my response,
unsure of me.
"Don't stop," I mutter, my eyes clenched shut.
He sucks strongly and I arch and squirm. His
hands skim down my body, hooking in the
waistband of the silk shorts I wear that flare out
wide around my thighs like a skirt. He pushes
them down and I wriggle out of them along with
my panties. They're kicked away and forgotten as
he continues his slow journey down my body.
Warm lips slide past my stomach and I shake at
the alien sensation of warm skin against warm
skin, warm skin against my skin.
In the life I lead I'm close to no one. No one
touches me. I'm always alone. That's what makes
this such a delightful pleasure.
But his slow exploration is giving me time to
think. I don't want to think, only feel, but my
brain won't stop working. I know I have to do it
now, while I still have the will to do it at all. My
hands tangle in his hair and tug his head up to
look at me.
"I need you in me." My voice is hoarse. I know he
can read the need on my face. "I need you in me
I see the moment fierce hunger takes him then
he's pulling away from me and tugging at his
jeans. He kneels between my legs and harshly
shoves his clothes aside, suddenly impatient and
frustrated and breathing hard. His beautiful eyes
gleam with hunger.
My thighs are spread wide for him and in only a
moment he's free of his clothes and his hands
come down on my thighs, pulling me closer,
positioning me as he hurriedly guides himself to
me. My breath stops in my throat and I struggle
for air at the stunning sensation of him hot and
heavy against me.
He abruptly slows his frantic movements and
presses forward tortuously slow. I want him hard
and fast but at the stretching pain of his entry I
have to appreciate his consideration. It's been so
I arch and claw at the bedcovers as he slides his
full length into me. I hear high-pitched
whimpering from far off and vaguely realize those
sounds are coming from my lips.
He stops. I open glazed eyes to find him staring at
"Are you all right?" he asks roughly.
I can't find breath to speak. I nod wordlessly, my
fingers digging into the mattress. Watching me, he
pulls back and presses into me with a long, slow
stroke. I let my eyes close and my head fall back
at the sensation, rocking my hips to accept him as
more pleased whimpers fall from my lips.
He continues with a slow, steady motion that
drives me crazy, makes me crave more, harder,
faster, yet still wanting him to move against me
with those same long, slow stroke for the rest of
forever. I unclench my hands from the mattress
and reach for him. He leans forward to take my
lips in a deep kiss, his arms wrapping around my
shoulders. I whimper and clutch him tightly as his
movement shifts the angle of his body deep inside
Almost past the point of all reason, dimly the
knowledge comes to me of what I must do. I pull
my lips from his, my tongue slipping away from
the swirling play of his, and breathe deeply, trying
to find breath to speak.
"Harder," I whisper. He immediately obliges and
picks up the pace.
But it's not enough. I know it's not enough. My
fingernails pierce his shirt and dig into his back. I
squirm against him restlessly. My voice becomes
He starts driving into me with a power that makes
my whole body shudder, but it's still not enough.
My hands sink into his hair and tug hard,
deliberately inflicting pain. He gives a surprised
"Harder, you bastard." I snarl. "Hurt me." I jerk
his hair hard, gouging scalp with fingernails.
He jerks his head from my hands. I see surprised
anger in his eyes and am satisfied as he begins
to thrust against me with bruising strength. I
shake under his assault and try to claw him. He
grabs my hands, his lips pulled back in an
He grips my wrists cruelly and his body drives
against mine with painful intensity, but the pain is
distant, wrapped in velvet pleasure and I can only
shudder and let his strength flow around me,
batter me and tumble me away in the flood. I
close my eyes and arch under him, throwing my
head back against the pillow. He continues for
long minutes, driving into me, hurting me, but my
whimpers aren't from pain, they're from the
pleasure of feeling his body moving against mine,
his heat against my skin, his scent invading my
I feel the anger in him easing but the power of his
thrusts never slows as hunger takes over and
pushes him on. His grip on my wrists tightens
until I'm distantly aware that he might break
bones then he slams against me hard and cries out
harshly in a language I don't understand.
I think it's been a long time for him, too.
Shuddering against me, I feel his taut body slowly
wind down as he relaxes against me, his grip on
my wrists loosening. He takes a long shuddering
sigh then releases my wrists, his arms going
around my shoulders to gather me against him.
His face drops to my shoulder and I take pleasure
in the heat of his breath against my skin.
We stay like that a long time, his body still
tangled with mine, his face against my skin. I
clutch at his back and numbly stare at the ceiling.
He shifts his face against my shoulder, slides his
lips up my throat and presses his mouth to my ear.
I shiver at the heat of the words against my skin
but immediately shake my head. I can't look at
him, he's too close, so I stare at the ceiling.
"Don't be." My soft voice is reassuring. "You had
to. *We* had to." Taking any blame and sharing
it. My hands came up to tenderly stroke over
smooth black hair. It's so touchable and silky, it's
a pleasure all it's own to freely run my fingers
But I stare pensively at the ceiling. I can't deny
the disappointment I feel. It could have been so
beautiful between us and expediency forced us to
a hurried fuck. Just one more thing I owe the men
who try to control my life. One more mark to add
to the already long list.
It kills me to say it but I force my lips to form the
words. "You should go."
He stiffens then slowly relaxes again as he accepts
the truth of my words.
He pulls himself away from my body and sits up,
fastening his jeans and watching me with
"I have to call the police."
He stiffens again but nods abruptly, He moves to
heave himself off the bed but my hand on his arm
stops him. He looks at me, his face quickly
blanking out all emotion again.
"I need you to..." I take a breath, "I need you to do
more." I motion to the camisole I still wear.
His eyes are narrow as he watches me.
"To-- to set the scene." I stumble over the words
because this is the hard part, the starkly painful
He remains silent his gaze locked on mine. I have
to look away. I tug on the thin silk and whisper,
"Rip it." He doesn't move. "Please." My
desperation is there in my voice. It has to look
real. When the police arrive it has to look real or
all this is for nothing.
He grabs me and rips the cloth apart then jerks on
it to shred it further. I cry out in surprise at the
suddenness of his move. His fingernails scrape
over me in passing and I shudder at the shock of
fleeting pain. He grips my arms and jerks me to
him, eye to eye.
"Is that enough?" His voice is rough with the pain
I see in his eyes. This is the hard part for him, too.
I dread it, but I force myself to shake my head. I
swallow and lick my lips. "Hit me," I whisper. "In
the face. Hard."
I see the refusal in his eyes but I can't allow it. I
grip his arms tight and stare at him intently.
"Please. You have to."
He bares his teeth in the parody of a grin. "What
happened to there's always a choice?"
I nod, my eyes imploring. "There is." My hands
tighten and my fingernails sink into his skin past
the shirt. "*This* is my choice. *You* are my
choice. Please. Hit me."
The anger recedes and he slowly nods reluctant
agreement. He pulls his hand back and makes a
fist. I tense, waiting for the blow.
His words distract me. I look up to see his eyes
and my head snaps back as blinding pain floods
me. I fall back against the pillow, riding out the
waves of pain, desperately hanging onto
I distantly feel the bed shift as he rises but my
eyes are tightly clenched against the agony and I
"I'm sorry, Marita." But I don't look up and after a
moment the echoing silence tells me I'm alone.
After a long fight with crippling pain, I shakily
sit up. Blood wells up on my lips and the metallic
taste floods my mouth. I wipe it away. With
trembling body, I slowly reach for the phone by
the bed and dial.
"Hello? I-- I need help."
There is no need to fake the shaking in my voice.
"I've been attacked."
**Archive consent 05/30/01**