There was shock. Pure instinct kept her from screaming. She was, after all, underwater. Something was holding her tightly by the ankle and pulling her down into the tank.
Suddenly it released her and she popped back to the surface. She was in the center of the giant aquarium tank, naked, heart pounding. Her hair hung in fat strings around her face, and the sting of salt water blurred her vision. There was a ripple behind her, and the blur of faces at the edge of the tank.
“Have fun, little fucktoy!” That had to be William. She’d known him all of 3 minutes and already she hated him. Her new boss wouldn’t sound that happy, wouldn’t be so crude. Her thoughts scattered as she was engulfed from behind. Thick, rubbery things wrapped around her. Suckers attached to her flesh, everywhere. She screamed. There was a quick, firm tightening of the tentacles wrapped around her. She felt them touching her hair, her legs, her …no.
She screamed again as she felt the tickling touch sliding up between her legs. She tried to clamp her thighs together tighter. She felt the twirling of tentacles around her ankles. She kicked, twisted, wriggled and writhed, to no avail. Her legs were yanked open abruptly. Then closed. Then opened. Her knees were jerked up to her chin, then pulled back, arching her into a bowed shape.
The message was clear; she had no free will, the ….thing….would do what it wanted with her.
She was twirled, turned to face the beast. He was ruddy, a color reminiscent of rubies. The eye that studied her was blue, deep and intense, a color she had never seen before. The tentacles changed from that red of his torso, to a soft peach color. There was a strange beauty about him, if you were into that sort of creature. There was a gush of water around her legs. Looked down into the water, she saw what appeared to be giant lips opening and closing at the center-point where all the tentacles met.
He had not hurt her. He had not bitten her, invaded her, or done anything more than held her immobile. The stare of her employer yesterday was nothing compared to the unblinking look from this leviathan.
“Hi…” she offered, not sure what to say next. It felt kind of stupid to be introducing herself to seafood. “I’m Lori.”
A tentacle snaked up her calf, quickly up her thigh and over her belly. It slithered around her right breast, coiled and arched up her throat, then gently, almost tenderly, examined her face. She didn’t recoil from the touch; she could not move an inch in any event.
“He is not a beast, but cultured in his own way.” Mr. Withers spoke in his gravely voice. “If he accepts you, he will soon want to play.”
She looked up to see her boss sitting at the edge of the tank, watching her intently. No. Not her. He couldn’t give a rat’s ass about her…he was worried about the beast.
“Play?” she replied, her voice acid, as her attention returned to the quivering mass of sea-flesh. “If this thing eats me, Mr. Withers, I swear I’ll haunt this place forever. And I’ll be sure to give this thing the worst case of acid indigestion ever.”
“He doesn’t eat humans. As I said, he is quite refined. I’ve known this fine fellow for many years,” she heard the unmistakable fondness in the old man’s voice.
As if their conversation had sparked something in the beast, the tentacles holding her fast disappeared. In seconds he had dived, down, down to the depths of the tank. She wondered how far down it went. She turned, stroking towards the far side of the tank where a ladder dipped into the water.
And was abruptly tossed into the air as the creature came flying up through the water like a torpedo, scooping her in it’s limbs, and throwing her skyward. She landed back in the tank with a splash that wetted the men watching the show. She heard the old man laugh with glee as she once again sank into the water.
She rose, sputtering, treading water and trying to scoop her hair out of her eyes. She head the deep laugh of one of the men. If it was William, so help her, she’d pull that ass into the tank so fast–. She blinked water out of her eyes, and glared. It was the other guard, doubled over and hooting.
Even Mr. Withers was smiling.
“Very well, we will go now, and let you two get to know one another better. You can’t harm him…but if you try I will be watching. There are video monitors, as well as views of the tank from every floor. And if you try, Ms. Butler, you won’t be fired. You will be severely reprimanded. By William, and his thick leather belt. Do be the employee you promised to be, yes?” He pulled his glasses out of his jacket pocket and perched them on his thin nose. Rising, he and the two goons left the room. She very distinctly heard the turn of the lock.
Swimming for the edge of the tank, she was halted by the sudden wrapping of suckered arms around her body, twirling and twining around her, stopping her dead in the water.