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  • Writer's pictureGina A. Jones

The Colors of Ash-Chapter Eighteen




I can’t believe I got through it. The word Red was right on the tip of my tongue so many times. But I’m not sure how I was to say it, since…well…


I’m still coming down from his aftercare. The way he touched me. The way he looked at me. Though he thought my eyes were completely closed, I could gather just a peek of his face through my dark, long lashes. I can still see that look in his eyes. Soft and vulnerable. Gone was the steely glare. If I was to give it a color, I would say, teal. Not really green, not really blue. Something all its own. The softness of blue, like water. The relaxing of green, like nature. Deep inside, there are so many colors to Ash. Why he chooses to only show his dark color of steel, is a mystery.


I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do now. After he washed and cared for me, he carried me into my room, wrapped me in a fluffy, white robe, and sat me on the bed. He asked if I was ok. I only nodded. There was a strange look on his face when he left the room. He didn’t say anything about coming back, or if I was to perform another service for him. Right now, I feel exhausted in a good way. I can’t exactly explain how I feel deep inside. I know I was being punished, but it also made me feel…powerful. Powerful that I could bring such emotion over him.


He's been gone for some time, so I decide to pull out my sketch pad. I want to draw his face, the way he looked when he thought my eyes were closed.


Pulling out my colored charcoals, I outline his face in grey, adding a few shades of black. This is how he looks to the world. But it’s not what I see when I look at him. I pull out a teal color and softly begin adding life to his face. I soften the stark planes of his cheekbones and lift his lips to reveal a smile about to appear. The one he never knows he’s showing. I color his eyes with steel-grey, then add a sparkle of teal. I keep his hair disheveled, making him look carefree. Like there’s nothing in the world troubling him.


Holding my sketching back, I look into his eyes. This is how he looked to me just moments ago. Maybe it’s not what the world sees, but it’s exactly what my heart captured. Maybe in the eight months we’re together, I will learn all his colors.


It’s completely dark now outside, and I get up and move to one of the windows. I can see moonlight shining through the trees, light against dark. One needs the other to make both complete. I wonder what he’s doing right now. Do I have to stay in here? He never said either way.


I tie the belt of the robe and slowly move to the door and crack it open. Soft light fills the hall, and I step out and pad over to the banister. Looking over, I don’t see him down below. The place is huge, and I’ve hardly seen much of it, he could be anywhere. Did he go back down to the basement?


I take the chance and begin to walk slowly down the stairs. When I reach the bottom, I look in all directions. Though it’s dark, dim lights mark out a path down another hall. I follow the lights and then hear something the closer I get to the end of the hall. It’s like… a slapping sound, followed by heavy breaths. What’s he doing?


I may be punished again for snooping around, but my curiosity has gotten the best of me. Is he in there with another person? Another…woman? Why does this bother me? I know this is not to be a relationship. But while under his contract, I was not made aware of another partner.

My hand squeezes the handle, and I slowly give it a turn. Cracking it open, I can only see leather things hanging from the ceiling. Again, the light is low, and I can’t make everything out. But it definitely has the vibe of his…punishment dungeon—basement.


I hear that heavy breathing again, and then several slapping sounds in a row. The place smells of sweat and leather. I see shadows moving on the wall. It’s his shadow. I see the profile of his hair, tossing wildly around. His arms move back and forth. I can hear him grunting. The sound is different from when he was with me. Yet, I still hear heavy breathing. I crack the door a bit more, trying to see who else is with him. I’m feeling…angry. Not sure why. This is his home. He can do and have anyone he wants. Maybe I was a fool to think this was all for me. Fool to think how special I felt for a short time.


My mind goes to the box of sketching chalk. RED! I want to pull out red and scribble across my drawing of him. Cover the soft hues of blue and green. Change his eyes to black, black to match his soul. But I know it’s only me seeing red.


Suddenly, the slapping sound stops and the shadows on the wall cease. But I still hear heavy breathing. His breathing.


“Cinder?”


Oh, no. I’ve been spotted. Even though he never said I couldn’t leave my room, something tells me I just broke another rule.


“Cinder, why are you spying on me?” His voice is ragged. I’ve caught him with another submissive. His shadow walks out of view, and I’m not sure where he went. Suddenly, the handle is ripped from my hand and the door is swung open.

My breath hitches as he stands there, dripping in sweat, his hair soaked, his eyes…raw. No color could ever capture what I see. Sweat runs down his shirtless torso. His silk boxers also look to be wet. And…he is hard. The boxing gloves are the next I see. He was punching a bag. Of course, that explains the slapping and grunting.


“Did I tell you; you could come in here?”


He didn’t say I couldn’t…and I haven’t crossed the threshold. But I better not push it. He looks angry again. “No, sir. I’m sorry,” I say, and rush back down the hall and up the stairs. I don’t stop until I’m in my room and close the door.


I see my sketch of him lying on the bed. His soft gentle look. I need to capture what I just saw. His angry, red face. Flipping the page, I then pull out a black charcoal chalk and outline his face. I shade in his strong jaw, remembering the shadows that fell across his face when he was inches from me. I trace out his eyes, giving them an almost closed look. He’s looking up from under his brow. I look for the red chalk and color in his pupils. Once I have his face etched from memory, I gently shade his entire face with red. That’s exactly how he looked as I hold it back and stare into it. This Ash, I don’t want to know. But if I am to trust him, I must learn all his colors.


***


The Colors of Ash © 2024 Gina A. Jones rights reserved under the International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.


This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, organizations, events or locales is entirely coincidental.




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angie jones
Jan 14

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dashafehrenbacher
Jan 13
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I'm looking forward to seeing the different colors of Ash, just like Cinder.

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shannon Cheripka
Jan 12
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Wow!! I wonder what will happen next? So intense!!!

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Gina A. Jones
Gina A. Jones
Jan 12
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