Desperation in Death (In Death #55) Read Online J.D. Robb

Categories Genre: Romance, Suspense, Thriller Tags Authors: Series: In Death Series by J.D. Robb

Total pages in book: 115
Estimated words: 113014 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 565(@200wpm)___ 452(@250wpm)___ 377(@300wpm)

New York, 2061: The place called the Pleasure Academy is a living nightmare where abducted girls are trapped, trained for a life of abject service while their souls are slowly but surely destroyed. Dorian, a thirteen-year-old runaway who’d been imprisoned there, might never have made it out if not for her fellow inmate Mina, who’d hatched the escape plan. Mina was the more daring of the two—but they’d been equally desperate.

Unfortunately, they didn’t get away fast enough. Now Dorian is injured, terrified, and wandering the streets of New York, and Mina lies dead near the waterfront while Lt. Eve Dallas looks over the scene.

Mina’s expensive, elegant clothes and beauty products convince Dallas that she was being groomed, literally and figuratively, for sex trafficking—and that whoever is investing in this high-overhead operation expects windfall profits. Her billionaire husband, Roarke, may be able to help, considering his ties to the city’s ultra-rich. But Roarke is also worried about the effect this case is having on Dallas, as it brings a rage to the surface she can barely control. No matter what, she must keep her head clear–because above all, she is desperate for justice and to take down those who prey on and torment the innocent.



When they made the bargain, they knew they risked death. But living—if you could call existing in the Pleasure Academy living—wasn’t much of a bargain.

Sure, she had three squares a day—like fricking clockwork. A bed at night—Lights Out, ten o’clock! She had clean clothes, and even the ugly uniform ranked higher than whatever she’d scrounged or stolen when freedom hadn’t been just a concept.

School—mostly bullshit—but she secretly liked the French lessons. Auntie (top bitch) claimed speaking a second language helped create a sophisticated, elegant female.

None of that made up for the fact that she hadn’t breathed outdoor air for … She couldn’t say exactly, but they’d scooped her up just before Christmas when the easy pickings on the street were abso gargan.

Which is how she’d gotten scooped up because, yeah, maybe a little careless.

The girl they’d brought in the week before claimed it was May—maybe—but her brain was still addled from Orientation. Plus, the new one was really young—seven or eight maybe—and cried a lot.

It didn’t seem possible she’d spent a whole winter, a whole spring inside. Then sometimes, at night, in the dark, it all got blurry, and felt as if she’d lived her whole life inside the Academy.

Up at seven sharp! Make your bed and make it right, or earn a demerit. Ten demerits earned an hour in the Meditation Box.

Shower, dress, which included hairstyling and makeup appropriate to the tasks of the day. Breakfast at eight sharp. Arrive late, demerit. Poor table manners warranted a quick jab with the shock stick or worse.

She’d had it all, and worse, before she’d learned to pretend.

On uniform days you took classes, like French or Polite Conversation, Deportment, Style, Personal Hygiene, Skin and Hair Care, and Weight Management.

Every week they measured, weighed, evaluated. And after that came Salon Day, whether you wanted one or not.

They’d had to strap her down and tranq her the first couple of times when they blasted some flaws—blemishes, a birthmark on her thigh. When they’d cleaned her teeth and did something to straighten them that ached for days after.

But the day she dreaded most? Intimacy Practice.

Sometimes it was another woman, an Academy graduate, who “taught” the proper way to undress yourself, or undress somebody else.

She’d earned the prod and an entire day in the Meditation Box for punching her instructor when the woman put hands on her.

Sometimes it was a man, and that was somehow worse because you had to touch him, too.

They made you do things—all kinds of things—except actual sex. If they had to tie you down for it, they said that served as another lesson. Some owners enjoyed tying down their consorts.

Sometimes they paired you with another student because some owners were women, or just got off watching two girls together.

And that’s how she connected with Mina.

Naked in the bed, the cameras recording it all for Evaluation, Dorian resisted, turned her face away from Mina’s lips.

Mina just rolled on top of her, pressed those lips to Dorian’s ear. “I hate it, too. I hate it,” she said, then moaned, rubbed her body against Dorian’s. “Pretend you don’t, it’ll be over faster. You have to go somewhere else in your head, you have to pretend it isn’t you. Because it isn’t.”

“Get off me.”

“Then we both end up in the damn box. You’re going to roll over, get on top. Put your hand down there between us—just do it. I’m going to make myself come. That’s what they want.”

She rolled over, and pulled Dorian’s hand down—stronger than she looked. Then she bucked, made crazy sounds, flung her head side to side.