The Flesh Cartel #4: Consequencesby Rachel Haimowitz, Heidi Belleau
For Mat, destined to be trained but not broken—to always fight but never win—life with Nikolai is suffering stacked on suffering. Nikolai
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In episode four of The Flesh Cartel, Mat and Dougie Carmichael begin their training with their new master, Nikolai, where they both learn the meaning of servitude . . . and of consequences for their choices.
For Mat, destined to be trained but not broken—to always fight but never win—life with Nikolai is suffering stacked on suffering. Nikolai pushes him to the edge but not over; he must never lose the hatred in his eyes. Dougie, on the other hand, is fated to love and crave service. For that, Nikolai must teach him the pleasures of a pampered sex slave, but training a straight man to revel in his gay captor’s touch is no easy feat.
As if the challenges Mat and Dougie face aren’t difficult enough, one last complication remains: before either brother can submit fully to Nikolai, they must first give up their strongest, most powerful loyalty: their dedication to each other.
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A mind blowing read! And not only in the sense you're thinking of. We find Dougie and Matt right where we left them. Dougie trying his best to be compliant so as not keep being beaten and Nikolai treating him as a favorite pet and Mat suffering physically while Nikolai tries to break him to his will while keeping his fighting spirit intact. As soon as the story began, the endless mind games were launched. This time around I was not tapping the hell out of my tablet in fury or expectation. Nope. I was taking my time analyzing, questioning, wondering what was wrong with me. I was carefully tapping to get to the next page to see if what I was thinking was correct or not. You see, in the previous episodes I've loathed Nikolai, but somewhere along the line I've come to admire him in a how-screwed-up-are-you-to-do-this? kind of way. I have to him credit, his mind is as brilliant as it is disturbing. He went directly to the heart of the boys without mercy and dammit, it's slowly working. Once again, Haimowitz and Belleau drew me into the story, but this time I was not only a spectator, I was a participant. Their writing affected just as much as if I were going through the mental onslaught along with Mat and Dougie. Like them I was kept in a constant state of doubt. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. Questioning my resolve and those of the boys, because like them I wanted the pain to go away for my boys. I wanted them to get some rest without having to look over their shoulder. To breathe without it inflicting any pain. I didn't want Mat and Dougie to suffer any more than what they had already endured. On the other hand, deep inside I wanted them to be strong. To keep their bond intact and their loyalty in the fore front. I faltered, just like them. I felt their pain, hesitations, fears and frustrations. I understood why they each felt the way they did and why they confessed the things they did. Nikolai played them like a harp. Coaxing, going round and round until they fell in the trap, engaging them, correcting them, rewarding them and punishing them. It was a ruthless cycle of mental torment more than anything physical, but it was agonizing, repulsive, subtle, sly. Brilliant! Rachel Haimowitz and Heidi Belleau have delivered another great episode to the Flesh Cartel serial. Engaging from beginning to end, emotions aplenty and twists and turns that mess with your mind. In other words, an excellent read! I can't wait for the next episode. And how screwed up am I for that?
The brother's are learning their roles and realizing what Nikolai wants from them. Dougie is turning out to be quite the little slave while Mat still fights against Nikolai every chance he gets. However, Mat knows that escaping is a lost cause and by not pissing Nikolai off too much, he doesn't have to get injected with that horrible drug again. He'd do anything to keep that from happening to both himself and his brother. I thought it was interesting the way Nikolai treated each of the brothers. He's gentle with Dougie but the second Dougie does something that displeases him, he is quick with a punishment but then turns around and comforts him. However, with Mat, he's amused by the fight in him. He doesn't coddle him or even try to show compassion towards him like he does with Dougie. He seems almost, more real with Mat. He buys Mat all this workout equipment to give him something to do and focus on. Nikolai is a very complex character. He adapts himself based off of the brother that he's dealing with. However, regardless of how he treats the brothers, it's clear that he favors Dougie and is showing interest in keeping him for himself. Gosh, this was another great episode to the story. It wasn't as horrific as the first season was but that could also be because I knew what to expect this time around. I've never read a story before that had me so shocked and disgusted the entire time but still managed to keep me from putting the book down. It's like driving by an accident on the road. We've all done it, rubbernecked to see all the horrible details, this story is no exception.