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My husband sold me, and now, I belong to a stranger.

A secret society promised that if I married a brutal voyeur, I’d be given a better life. But the only way out was death, and our marriage was a nightmare.

Then one day, I woke up in an unfamiliar house. Concrete walls surrounded me like a cage, and a stranger with blue-gray eyes held the chains to my freedom.


Finn Carter says my husband sold me to him, but I know he’s lying. The truth is far more violent.


Each night, Finn uses my past to control me. He’s completely possessive, forcing me to surrender to his degrading desires, and he won’t stop until I give him my body, heart, and mind.


And yet, my mind screams to run. It doesn’t matter if he keeps saving my life; he’s dangerous, and I have to escape.


But he will never let me go.


Author’s Note: Broken Discipline is a dark romance. It contains disturbing content and a gruesome secret society. Reader discretion is advised.

Content Warnings

Triggers: heroine with children, gas lighting, graphic violence, dubious consent, blackmail, domestic violence, trauma, disease, drugs, assassin

Kinks: boot worship, degradation, dubious consent, face sitting, fisting, praise, spit play

Interconnected Standalone: The couple gets their HEA, but the secret society plot continues throughout the series.

Chapter 1

The walls flickered with shadows like the inside of a furnace. At the far end of the room, a man dressed in white cranked a lever, and a giant wheel spun on its side. A woman was chained to the spokes. Her screams filled the air like they could break every shard of glass. Still, the members in black didn’t stop. They took turns with her. Knives. Mallets. Nail guns. Fingers. My father stood beside me in a red suit, a torch in a sea of charcoal and ash. This was the Masquerade, put on by a secret society where initiates were supposed to sacrifice someone they loved in order to obtain membership. The only person I truly had left was my father.


I was doing this to get inside. Membership was the only way to gain access to their private community. But I still had the urge to find a way out. 


“You’ve already completed the first two initiation tasks,” my father said, checking off an imaginary list in the air. He was right; I had killed an enemy for the secret society and provided my own services to the members. The sacrifice was my last barrier. “This is it, son. Do or die.”


I took a deep breath, my chest weighted with dread. Do or fucking die. A tingling sensation rippled through me. Emotion was never supposed to impede your next step. You had to be in control. Restrained. Disciplined. Everything rode on your ability to stay in power. 


But this was so fucked up.


My father patted my shoulder, his red jacket sleeve contrasting against my white suit. I was an initiate, which meant I wore white. The members wore black. Every initiate and member wore masks, but my father, since he was a sacrifice, was not permitted that luxury. 


A cough shattered through my father’s body, his whole body twisting into a ball. The members and the initiate at the wheel turned toward us, gazing past the woman in pain. My father signaled that he was okay, and the men returned to their torture.


I enjoyed torture, especially when it came to women. But with my father, knowing that he would die by the end of the night? It made my head spin. My stomach churned. My fingers twitch with anxiety.


This is what it meant to do anything for what you wanted.


“I stopped taking my medication,” my father said in a low voice. Anger grew inside me, my hands curling into fists. I narrowed my eyes, infuriated that he would choose that fate. As if the guarantee of the Masquerade wasn’t enough. But his eyes were glossy, implying that he preferred this Masquerade to anything the disease would do to his body. “Tonight or in the next few weeks. It’s my choice, Finn.” 


“It’s bullshit,” I muttered.


“They won’t have another Masquerade for a few months. And by then, I’ll be dead,” he said, his voice softening. “You need to do this now.”


My father’s hand fell from my shoulder. His chest dipped into itself, a shadow of the strong man who had raised me. A twinge of sorrow haunted his demeanor, as if he was recalling what he had lost. He hadn’t joined the secret society himself. His wife—my mother—had accepted an arranged marriage to a member of this same secret society right after I was born. My father had powerful enemies back then; she did it, hoping she could gain protection for the two of us. She didn’t live long after that. 


That was decades ago now. It was up to me to control the future of our legacy. I motioned around the room. The members in black jeering. The man in white, risking his wife’s life and mental well-being for membership in a secret society that could give him immense power.


“I don’t trust them,” I said.


“You don’t have to,” my father said. “You just have to claim what’s yours.”


My chest heated at those words. I had lost everything through my own mistakes, and this? This was another nail in the coffin.


But if I gained membership, I could be closer to the community. It was better than nothing. 


But I still wasn’t sure that killing my father was worth that proximity. My heart pounded, my throat dry. 


“They’ll kill you,” I said. 


“And that’s the point,” my father said, smacking me on the back. He gritted his teeth, his eyes stewing with intensity. “Get yourself together, Finn. Give me the decency of a good exit. Don’t waste it on this disease.”


“Carter. You’re up next,” one member shouted.


The man in white removed the chains from his sacrifice’s limbs. With the help of a member, they eased her off of the wheel until she was able to hold the man in white’s neck. A ruby and diamond necklace in the shape of a daisy dripped between her collarbones. I fingered the matching necklace in my pocket. 


“Finn Carter?” one member asked. I glanced at my father, my throat tightening. My father nodded slowly like he knew that this was the last way he could guide me. 


“Don’t think. Don’t feel. Just do,” he said calmly. He reached out for me. “You can do this.”


Callouses bridged his palm like strong tree roots gripping the earth. He was offering his hand, knowing that he was about to die. Like none of this mattered. 


I shook his hand, my throat scratchy and full. He patted the back of my arm, then removed his jacket and began unbuttoning his shirt. Suddenly, my jacket was like a snake coiling around me. I removed mine too. Scars tattered my father’s body like flames licking a log, and without his clothes, he was small compared to the rest of the men. My chest weighed down, hating that this was how he would appear in his last moments. Open. Weak. Vulnerable. Not like the man who had raised me.


I handed him the ruby and diamond necklace. He bound it around his neck. 


“We’re ready,” I said to the members.


I stepped forward, but my mind wasn’t connected with my body. Every movement felt incomplete. My vision shifted into strobes of light: My father climbing onto the wheel. My hands binding his ankles in thick chains. My father’s eyes peeled wide. His pupils as small as pinpoints, and glued to me. 


A member gestured to me, showing me how to rotate the wheel by a lever on the wall. I took my place at the lever, my heart pounding in my ears, my face drenched in sweat. I spun the contraption, my father a spinning target for the members to do their worst. A knife stabbed in his upper thigh. The back of a pistol mashed his face. A cane smacked down on his balls before being jabbed inside of his ass. A mallet crashed into the stab wound on his thigh, letting blood splatter around the room, streaking my white shirt. My father’s mouth stretched in a scream, but it was silent in my mind, like a muted television. Another member chased him around the wheel, using a saw to pick off his fingers, letting each one drop to the floor. Blood streamed down my father’s body like drips of wax on a candlestick. The members laughed. None of the sacrifices were people to the members; they were entertainment. My father kept his eyes on me as much as he could, still proud and strong in his final moments. But as another knife entered his stomach, his chin dipped, his shoulders shaking, his gaze leaving me. His mouth opened in a blood-curdling scream, but in my mind, everything was silent. 


And I couldn’t take it anymore.


I stopped the wheel. The members’ mouths moved, but I didn’t hear them. I grabbed my gun from the holster, cocking it as I stepped closer to the wheel. My father’s eyes flicked toward me, meeting my gaze once again. He nodded at me, telling me to do it.


My face was wet, my throat dry. I aimed at his forehead, my fingers gripped in terror. I had killed before, and I would kill again. But at that moment, holding a gun to my own father’s head? A burning sensation rolled through me like I was being torn apart from the inside. He had raised me like a father should raise their children. And I was repaying him with this.


But I wasn’t going to let him suffer any longer.


His gray eyes held me as his voice cracked: “I am so proud of you, son.”


I pulled the trigger, the bullet riding through his skull. The bloody circle adorned his forehead like the center jewel of a crown. I blinked my eyes, unable to accept that it was real. 


Everything inside of me was weak.


A man in black, one of the official members, put his hand on my shoulder, his eyes gleaming through his simple black mask. 


“Congratulations,” the member said. “And welcome to the Marked Blooms Syndicate.”


I pushed him away, hurling myself out of the room. Snot dripped out of my nose. I wiped my face on the back of my hand, but the material of the mask clung to my face, trapping me. I needed fresh air. I needed anything to get this warped sensation inside of me to stop. I hated it. Hated myself. Hated my father for being altruistic. Why couldn’t he be selfish? Why couldn’t we find someone else, capture them, and force them to pretend to be my sacrifice? Why wasn’t there another way? 


They’ll know, he had warned me. If we find a fake sacrifice, they’ll know. And then you’ll lose your chance to join their secret society forever. You must do this.


Streaks of cold air conditioning brushed against my face, chilling my damp skin. I stopped, my eyes falling to my button-up shirt. Blood painted the white fabric in pops of red. It constricted around me, on the verge of asphyxiation. I ripped it off, letting the buttons fly everywhere. I raced down the hallway, trying to find the exit, but it was like a labyrinth of torture. Screams, moans, and sadistic laughter filled the air. My head spun. 


A woman’s voice broke through it all: “I was running away?”


Everything inside of me stilled at her voice. A purple room was to my left with two men in black; they were both members, then. 


And yet, there was still a woman on her knees with her wrists bound behind her back. Dark brown hair lay in tangles on her shoulders. Her pale skin glowed under the violet light. Her posture was small and subdued, but her eyes—sepia, like a photograph from the past—were filled with purpose. Like she knew she had to endure this.


I could relate to that.


My bulge twitched, aroused at the sight of her. I needed to remind myself of what this was for. Control. Restraint. Discipline.


And I could have that over her.


A man with gray hair bent down, stroking her cheek like a dog.


“Yes, you were running away. But I don’t understand why, darling. You did so well,” the gray-haired man said. “As a wife should do for her husband. You need to make me proud. Take it like a good wife.”


I cleared my throat. Both men turned toward me. Gold tendrils swirled around the eyes-holes of the white-haired man’s black mask. The gray-haired husband wore a simpler, black mask, but his teeth gleamed in the light.


“May we help you?” the husband asked.


“I want her,” I said.


The husband forced a smile. “Perhaps the next Masquerade,” he said. “My wife has endured quite enough for me tonight.”


I motioned the two members forward. “I can pay.”


“Stay here,” the husband said to his wife.


The two men joined me in the hallway. 


“You’re Finn Carter,” the gray-haired husband said. “With Carter Care, right? I caught a glimpse of your sacrifice. Excellent work on the wheel.”


The white-haired man stuck out his hand. “Well done. We’re pleased to have you in the Syndicate.”


I shook his hand, then blinked at the husband. “How much do you want for her?” I asked, nodding toward the bound wife. “I want an hour.”


“I’ll let you two handle this,” the white-haired man said to the husband. He marched away, leaving the two of us alone. 


“Oh,” the husband said. “She is charming, isn’t she? The first one I’ve had in a while that I actually enjoy.” He sighed deeply. “But I’m afraid she’s had all she can for one night. My cousin—” he glanced at the white-haired man walking away, “—as you can see, has already used her up for the night. I’m not sure how much more her body can take. I don’t want her to die just yet, you know.”


Those words curled inside of me like claws tearing at the flesh of my organs. He was already a member; he didn’t need to sacrifice his wife for membership, and yet he pretended to be protective of her.


“Carter Care’s services for one year,” I said. “Unlimited contracts. Clean up and customization too.”


The husband fell silent. The wife wavered to the side, swaying like she was dizzy. Restraints and weapons were displayed on a long metal table to the side of her, but the only item that stood out was the wooden club, lying across the surface at an angle. The white-haired cousin must have used it on her. She may have been suffering from a concussion.


I recognized the cousin; he was a board member, making him extremely high up in the Marked Blooms Syndicate. It wasn’t impossible to kill a man like that. But it was risky. 


“I’ll go easy on her,” I said. 


The husband tilted his head. “One year?” he asked.


“One year.”


He held out his hand. “Pleasure doing business with you, Carter. She’s yours.”


I shook his hand, then stepped past him. My boots were silent on the cement as I entered the room. The wife kept her eyes on the ground. Dress shoes clicked against the pavement, following me inside.


Alone,” I said to the husband.


He opened his mouth to argue, but when he saw my stern jaw, he nodded quickly. 


“I enjoy the show, you know, but that’s my mistake. You’re right. Your privacy is important.”


He stepped out, and I closed the door, clicking it into place. The wife’s eyes peeked up, glued to my white steel-toed boots. Her gaze inched up my white pants, to the tattoo on my hairy chest. A bruise marked her cheek, like the bud of a flower swelling into bloom. Her puffy lips were caked with blood. Our eyes met, and a flash of recognition crossed her face. 


“Your eyes,” she said. “They’re so gray.”


I clenched my jaw. I needed colored contacts to distract others from that part of me. My job relied on me blending in, and obviously, even in a concussed state, the woman still latched onto my eyes. She leaned to the side, her eyes falling to the tattoo on my chest. 


“Is that a griffin?” she asked.

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