Thank you for joining us for The Flesh Cartel virtual book tour! All week long, we’ll be giving readers an up-close look at our new psychosexual thriller, The Flesh Cartel. The first episode in this serial story, Capture, is now available for purchase via the Riptide Publishing website. Because October is also Riptide Publishing’s Anniversary Blog Hop Bash month, we’re giving away an extra special reader prize at every stop along this tour—and all month long! One commenter from every stop we make in October will win a $10 credit to Riptide Publishing. Simply leave a comment below by 11:59 pm on Sunday, Oct 7th (email address included) to enter. Visit the First Anniversary Blog Hop Bash page for our complete October schedule, and make sure to check out each stop to increase your chances of winning great prizes all month long!
Today we’ve managed to retrieve a special transcript to share with you all—a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the processing center where our heroes were taken to be evaluated and sold. We hope you enjoy this glimpse into the world of the Flesh Cartel.
Subject M-36-527 – Mathias Carmichael
Procurement District: Las Vegas
Audio Recording 1A Transcript
3 Days Post-Procurement
Interviewer: Hello, Mathias. Did the men who brought you in here explain what would be happening now?
M-36-527: [Struggles against straps binding wrists and ankles to his chair] They were a little too busy kicking my ass to stop and chat. But I can’t think of any good reasons to tie a guy up, so whatever you’re gonna do, just hurry the fuck up and get it over with, okay?
Interviewer: That’s not how things work here, I’m afraid. I’m [name redacted], I’m here to talk with you, nothing more. Why don’t you start by telling me why you’re tied to that chair?
M-36-527: Because you’re all afraid of me? Can’t handle fighting a guy who isn’t strapped down?
Interviewer: Would you really call what happens here “fighting”, Mathias?
M-36-527: [scoffs] No, I’d call it torture. You all wouldn’t last three seconds in a fair fight.
Interviewer: So you’ve been struggling against all this, have you? Physically as well as mentally?
M-36-527: As opposed to what? Lying down and taking it? Being a willing bitch to every fucker in this building? Oh please sir, can I have your cock? Fuck that. Come on.
Interviewer: Honestly? Yes, actually. Your brother seems to be surviving relatively well following that general mode of behaviour.
M-36-527: [Lurches against bindings.] What’ve you done to Dougie? Where is he? If you’ve hurt him I swear to god I will kill every single fucking one of you—
Interviewer: Interesting. I wouldn’t call you calm by any stretch of the imagination, but you get particularly incensed at the mention of your brother. Do you consider yourself his protector?
M-36-527: He’s just a kid! He’s still in school, for God’s sake. And I’m . . . Well, I may not be good at much, but I am good at protecting him.
Interviewer: I’m sensing that in order to justify your role, you have to infantilize him quite a bit. Do you—
M-36-527: Infantalize? Fuck you, man. You don’t know him. He’s sweet. He’s . . . he’s twenty-three.
Interviewer: My point. As I was saying. Do you worry that if you or he started seeing and treating him as a grown man, you wouldn’t be able to justify your behaviour toward him anymore?
M-36-527: My behavior? What behavior? Maybe I couldn’t be his guardian when he was thirteen but I can damn well watch over him now and I don’t see how that’s a bad thing. I don’t fucking cloister him, you know. I don’t police what he does or who he fucks or how he spends his time. And so yeah, I pay the bills and I keep a roof over his head and I deal with all the real-life shit so he doesn’t have to, so he can focus on finishing school and going out into the world on his own and making something meaningful and important out of that brilliant mind of his. Don’t you fucking judge me for that, asshole. That’s what family does. That’s what responsible older brothers do. And if that makes me kind of a parent, well, it’s not like our dad’s been here to watch over him and teach him, now has he?
Interviewer: So you consider yourself something of a surrogate father? Is that why you’re so angry, because you’ve failed him on every conceivable level in that respect?
M-36-527: [Thrashes against bindings again, hard enough to scrape the chair across the floor.] You fucker! How dare you! Failed him? I didn’t fail him! Look at him! He’s happy! He’s brilliant! He’s out there making something of himself! He’s never once had to worry about what he was gonna eat or where he was gonna sleep or how he was gonna pay for school. You think it’s my fault you sick fucks dragged us out of our house at gunpoint?
Interviewer: I don’t think anything. However, despite your impassioned words, I do believe you—on some level, whether you admit it or not—believe it is your fault that the two of you are here. If I were in your situation, I certainly would.
M-36-527: No. No. I don’t know you people, any of you. I didn’t expose us to you.
Interviewer: And yet you didn’t prevent this from happening, either. Didn’t stop it before it got to this point.
M-36-527: Those goons had a gun! They had a gun pointed at Dougie. I fought, okay? I fought. I tried. I took down two of them and I would’ve gotten the third even with the gun if they hadn’t fucking Tased me.
Interviewer: Do you think, on some level, that you were wrong to make the decisions you did? That perhaps the both of you would be better off dead now? Do you regret the choice you ultimately made for the both of you?
M-36-527: To live? No. You know why? Because Dougie asked me to. Dougie wanted to live. And I am never leaving him alone in some strange fucking place again. And I am gonna kill every fucking one of you when we get out of here and we will go on with our lives and you can not take that from us, you get me?
Interviewer: Of course. Do you have a lot of violent fantasies, Mathias?
M-36-527: Yeah, I’ve been fantasizing for the last ten minutes about driving my fist right through your ugly fucking face. [shakes head] Violent fantasies? What the fuck kind of question is that? Who do you think you are, my shrink? You know, just because I’m a fighter doesn’t mean I like to hurt people. But I’d sure as fuck make an exception for you.
Interviewer: Actually, I’m just an interviewer. We outsource the psychological evaluations based on a variety of data sources, including these transcripts. Two or three weeks from now and I expect there will be a big thick file on you.
M-36-527: Two or three weeks from now we’ll be long fucking gone from here.
Interviewer: That’s a pretty tiring way to live. The path of most resistance, right down to the restraints you’re in. Most of the people I interview don’t need to be restrained by this point. Your brother was just happy to see a friendly face. Do you ever consider giving in, making it easy on yourself?
M-36-527: I’d be shit at my job if I thought like that, wouldn’t I. And don’t you fucking talk shit about my brother. Don’t you fucking dare.
Interviewer: You’re not at your job anymore, if you hadn’t noticed. Maybe it’s time for a change of tacks to go along with your change of venue. And I’m not “talking shit”, I’m stating facts. He’s been very cooperative.
M-36-527: The day I give in is the day I let you change who I am. And you can beat me and rape me and restrain me all you like—fuck, you can even interview me to death, for all I fucking care—but you can’t change me. You can’t have that. I won’t let you.
Interviewer: I’m only here to help evaluate what you are, Mathias, not change you or break you or train you. That’s someone else’s job.
M-36-527: I meant the proverbial you, dicksplash.
Interviewer: I guess that makes us monsters cut from the same cloth, then. I’m just one more cog in your torture machine, and you’re just one more hole out of thousands.
M-36-527: Yeah, and? What’s your point? You wanna switch shoes for a little while, maybe? Or are we done here?
Interviewer: In case you hadn’t noticed, you’re not wearing any shoes, Mathias. But I am. It is the little things, isn’t it? Oh, but I suppose you meant “proverbial” shoes. Well, no matter, the end result is the same. I wonder if when next we meet you’ll be better adjusted to that fact.
M-36-527: When I get out of here, I’m gonna come back and “adjust” you.
Interviewer: More threats. Charming. I suppose it’s one way to make up for your impotence.
M-36-527: And I suppose you make up for yours by interrogating guys bound to chairs?
Interviewer: And ones who aren’t bound to them, in the case of your brother. But I think I’ve got everything I need here for today.
M-36-527: [Jerks against bindings again.] You forgot to stuff your cock down my throat. Everyone else has. Or wait, maybe you can’t find yours.
Interviewer: No, thank you—I’d catch a disease if I put my cock in something as filthy as your mouth. But if it’ll make you feel better, I’ll ask those four guards on the other side of the door to do so in my place. Enjoy your afternoon, Mathias.
M-36-527: Die in a fire, fucktard.
In this first installment of the exciting new psychosexual thriller, The Flesh Cartel, orphaned brothers Mat and Dougie Carmichael are stolen in the night from their own home. Taken to a horrifying processing facility, they are assessed, microchipped, and subjected to unspeakable brutality—all in preparation for sale to the highest bidder.
In a world where every person has a price, the beautiful and subduable PhD student Dougie is highly prized. His brother, a rough-edged MMA fighter, is less desirable—and potentially too dangerous—but he still has his own appeal.
Abused and locked up under round-the-clock surveillance, with no idea where they are or even why they’ve been taken, escape seems impossible, which leaves staying together their only hope. And after being separated once by the foster system, they’ll do anything to keep it from happening again. Anything at all.
Rachel Haimowitz is an M/M erotic romance author, a freelance writer and editor, and the Managing Editor of Riptide Publishing. She’s also a sadist with a pesky conscience, shamelessly silly, and quite proudly pervish. Fortunately, all those things make writing a lot more fun for her . . . if not so much for her characters.
When she’s not writing about hot guys getting it on (or just plain getting it; her characters rarely escape a story unscathed), she loves to read, hike, camp, sing, perform in community theater, and glue captions to cats. She also has a particular fondness for her very needy dog, her even needier cat, and shouting at kids to get off her lawn.
You can find Rachel at her website, Tweeting as RachelHaimowitz, chatting in the Goodreads forums, and blogging at Fantasy Unbound. She loves to hear from folks, so feel free to drop her a line anytime at metarachel (at) gmail (dot) com.
Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, Canada. She now lives in the rugged oil-patch frontier of Northern BC with her husband, an Irish ex-pat whose long work hours in the trades leave her plenty of quiet time to write. She has a degree in history from Simon Fraser University with a concentration in British and Irish studies; much of her work centred on popular culture, oral folklore, and sexuality, but she was known to perplex her professors with unironic papers on the historical roots of modern romance novel tropes. (Ask her about Highlanders!) When not writing, you might catch her trying to explain British television to her newborn daughter or standing in line at the local coffee shop, waiting on her caramel macchiato.