A distant beeping sound woke me from my slumber. The strong smell of antiseptic and antibiotic filled my senses. I opened my eyes and shut them immediately as the blinding white fluorescent lights penetrates my eyes. I felt so disorganized and it took a lot of energy just to open my eyes again.
I blinked a few seconds to adjust to the blaring light making my blurred vision merged into clarity. I slowly scanned around the unfamiliar room and realized where I was. The tubes, IV drips, white walls and spiking of a green line. I was in a hospital room.
I tried to get up but leaned back again as I felt a throbbing pain in my head, my limbs felt weak. I groan as I squeezed my eyes shut. Lifting my hands I touched my throbbing head, only to feel a bandage wrapped around it.
I glanced at my right side, only to find Leo holding my hand while resting his head on the bed. Involuntarily, my breathing accelerated as realization struck me and past events replayed once in my head. All the screaming and begging, how Leo push me off the balcony without showing any mercy. My heart pounds painfully to my ribcage, it so loud that I can feel it through my ears.
Suddenly, I was finding it really difficult breathe and I could feel my throat closing in on me and I began to hyperventilate. The monitors started beeping loudly which woke Leo. I inhaled sharply the moment his gaze catch sight of mine awakened self. His dark eyebrows pulled together in a concerned expression.
Leo came over and sat down on the bed beside me. I tried to scurry away but he was quick to latch on to me and pulled me to him wrapping his arm around my waist. I immediately start to thrash against his hold. “Shh! its okay baby, just breathe for me” He cooed
“No! Stay away from me!” I cried, shaking my head furiously. My voice is cracked and dry, coming out in a pained whisper. I can barely speak after what happened. I was kicking, scratching and hitting his arms screaming trying to fight free from his strong grip to no avail.
“Enough” He growled and bared his teeth. I found myself obeying instantly as the last bit of fight vanish into thin air when I hear the authority in his icy voice. My whole being froze in fear. My mind is filled with fright and the feeling of being vulnerable in his presence. How can he break me such painfully?
“I am not going to hurt you babe, so stop overreacting” He says. His voice smoothing and gentle. Tears of frustration gathered in my eyes. Before I could stop a sob racks my entire body. Soon tears rolled down my flushed cheeks. I was an absolute mess. Leo held me in his arms impossibly tighter as I sobbed. He runs his hands through my locks as he hush me, whispering nothing but sweet words.
I squeezed my eyes shut and took a deep breath, willing to calm my nerves. It took me a while but eventually, I gained control of my breathing and somehow was able to calm myself. Leo kisses away my tears almost lovingly. I can’t understand the ways of Leo. His mood swing were unbelievable.
I couldn’t be more grateful when the doctor entered the room. As expected the doctor was a female. He is being as usual possessive Leo. The doctor must be in her late forties or early fifties. Her long black was tied into a ponytail. With her porcelain like skin and a deep brown eyes. She was an attractive woman.
A smile was plastered on her face but I didn’t miss the discomfort and fear in her eyes which didn’t surprise me a bit. I don’t blame her. Of course any sane person will fear Leo’s presence.
“H-How ar-are you f-feeling Mrs. C-Castillo ?” The doctor shutter clearly scared of Leo
Before I had the chance correct her, Leo had beat me to it “Cut the carp and get into your work” Leo snapped. Annoyance gleaming in his eyes
“S-Sure Mr. C-Castillo” Poor thing! She made her way to the cabinet, coming back with a vial and a springe which she filled and injected into the IV drip.
“Mrs. Castillo I have clean you wounds and change you bandage, try and relax for me. I won’t hurt you” The doctor assured, slipping on a pair of latex gloves and moving closer to me. When she touched me I did not flinch away but allowed her to check me over. Leo was analyzing every movement and touch the doctor did.
“Don’t tell me there is some kind of permanent damage” Leo said frustrated
Doctor shook her head “N-No, no permanent damage. Infact-ct M-Mrs. Castillo is v-very lucky even after falling from such height, not a single b..bone is broken” Cold Sweat marred her forehead. The intense shaking in her hands made it impossible to carry the simple task. I couldn’t help but winced when she pressed her shaky fingers on a tender spot on my head
“What the fuck are you doing?” Leo growled, his face dripping in fury before getting up and taking a step towards the doctor. He looked as if he wanted to murder her.
She froze. Rigid and rooted to the spot. All the color draining from her face until she was as white as a sheet “I’m-m s-sorry Mr. C-Castillo” She quickly apologize as she took couple step back.
I immediately latch onto his arms, instantly stopping him afraid he would hurt her. “Leo, I’m okay!” I assured forcing a smile. Leo eyed me for a second before skeptically nodding his head. He averted his gaze from me, bringing it back to the doctor.
“Leave it. Just write what medicine she needs and get out from here”
She nodded before pulling out a pen, she quickly wrote down whatever it was needed to write and tore the page before handing it to Leo “S-Sir g-get these as soon a-as possible” After a brief pause, she spoke again. “We have to keep Mrs. Castillo under observation just in case anything happens” Leo nod slowly, taking in the doctors words.
“Get out” Leo dismissed her. The doctor didn’t waste a single second to walks away, leaving me once again alone with Leo.
Leo made himself comfortable at the edge to the bed. Opening the first- aid box. He took out the cotton, poured some saline on it and gently dabbed the cotton on my my wounds. I hiss when the cold thing made contact with my searing skin. After he cleaned it thoroughly, Leo then proceed to apply antibiotic ointment.
His action surprised me with every passing second. How can he act like that? How can he treat my wounds with tenderness and care when he was the one to cause it.
I hate this... I hate how he was so hot and cold. I hate how he could hurt me then be all gentle and pretend to care. He was confusing and a hard man to figure. I kept looking at his eyes while his whole concentration was on my wounds. My heart beat was already accelerated due to our proximity. Leo was silent throughout the whole ordeal.
Once he was satisfied with his work, he finished with wrapping the cut in gauze.
“How long have I been out?” I asked, the question fogging my mind
“Two days” My eyes widened ” You’ve been hit pretty badly on that head of yours” He added nonchalantly.
“Hmm” I trailed off awkwardly.
Leo went to say more when his phone goes off restraining him from saying anything. Grumbling under his breath, Leo reached out into his suit pocket and grab his phone.
“I’ll be there” He hung up the phone and slip it back in his pocket before focusing his gaze on me.
“I have to head out, some work came up I’ll be coming late at night. Some of my men will be outside if you need any assistance”
Leaning down Leo captures my lips in a small kiss full of tenderness before standing up. Leo fixed his suit, taking one last look at me, he walked out of the room, disappearing into the shadows with only his fading footsteps lingering. I sighed in relief
Three days have passed since I have been discharged from the hospital. Leo had refused to leave my side even for a second the entire time I was at the hospital. He would ignore my frightened form and hold me in his arms for hours. Leo was very patient with me, even when I used to show so him unnecessary tantrum. I don't know why but the medicine was having strange effect on my mood.
I would start crying and get angry over everything and nothing which was so unlike me. There was one time, I made a huge drama at the hospital just because I didn't like the color of the bed sheets. I still remember the horror on the faces of the hospital staffs when I wouldn't stop crying.
Leo immediately ordered almost hundred bed sheets but I refused to change because I suddenly loved the old one. Now that I think, I can't help but feel embarrassed the way I was acting.
I was absorbed in my thoughts that I didn’t not hear someone enter the room until a voice, pulled me out of my mini daydream. “Grace” I quickly looked up to the source and calmed down looking at a concerned Sofia.
Different kind of emotions flashed across her eyes.
I quickly turned my head towards my hands not wanting to look at her.
“How are you?” I bit the inside of my cheek to keep a snide remark from slipping out. How does she think I am? I didn’t bother answering her question. I kept my eyes downwards and ignored her. I am honestly so disappointed in her. From the corner of my eyes I could see her staring at me but I simply ignored her. Her eyes lingered on me for a while before she continued.
“Grace” Sofia coaxed for my attention again “I didn’t know Leo would react like that and almost kill you” She said “I know no matter what I say it can’t justify my actions” She further added, hurt evident in her voice. I still didn’t bother. I knew I can’t avoid her forever. I have to see her, sooner or later but I was not ready.
“I’m sorry...okay ? Just, don’t be mad at me” She begged
“You don’t need to be sorry, Sofia. I’m am not mad at you. I’m mad at myself for raising my expectations. I though you are my friend, you will stay by my side no matter what happens... But I was wrong”
“Please don’t say that... I know you are upset with me. But you have to trust me. It was never my intention to hurt you. I know I was acting shelfish and me asking you to be with Leo was total unfair to you” Moisture gather in her eyes and her voice broke “I just wanted to see my brother happy. Growing up we all had to go through so much especially Leo. You have no idea how many time our father had beaten him to pulp.... His painfully screams I still remember them. It haunts me at night. We had no choice in choosing who we wanted to be, our future was already set for us”
My heart instantly broke at the raw emotion she uttered. All the anger I was feeling washed away. I slowly got off the bed and walk to her “Sofia”
She brings her red eyes up and holds my gaze, snapping out of whatever old memories she was reliving. I wiped away the tears that were falling down on her cheeks. Sofia looked away as if she was embarrassed that I saw her crying.
“I am sorry. Please don’t be angry” I looked deep into her eyes, recognizing the sincerity behind her words. Somewhere, I didn’t want to believe her as she betrayed me. But the persuasion in her voice softened me, begging me to forgive.
Instead of saying anything, I just reached out and wrapped my arms around her. She didn’t wait before doing the same. Sofia cried resting her head on my shoulder. I slowly patted her back while whispering some encouraging words in her ear. I waited for a her to calm down before untangling my arms from Sofia’s
“Are we good?” Sofia asked hopefully .
“Yeah we are” I said nodding my face.
“Are you sure?” She searched my eyes for confirmation
“I am sure Sofia” I clasped her hands in mine and gave her a reassuring squeeze. She sighs... almost as if a big burden has lifted off her shoulders
We talked for a little while. We chatted like old times where we used to tell each other everything. I told her what happened so far. She even promised to help me as much as she could to get away from Leo.
I looked at the book in my hand which I picked from the home-library. I’ve always loved reading books. I have been reading the same page now for the past twenty minutes. Everytime I would try to concentrate on the book with few seconds, my mind would start to wonder and I would end up drowning in my thoughts. No matter how many time I try not to let the depressing thoughts trouble me.
A knock on the door brought me out of my trance.
“Uh, come in” I said, unbeknownst as to who it is. The door opened as a young maid stepped in.
“Hello ma’am, Sir has demanded your presence downstairs in the hall” Why has he called me now? Isn’t he supposed to be at the work...
“Do you have any idea why did he called me?” I asked politely
“No ma’am” She replied
Placing down the book I was reading, I moved pass ahead of the maid. We continued on in silence. She stopped in front of a tall mahogany double door and gestured for me to enter. Looking at the door, I hesitantly pushed it open, instantly coming to a halt as I took in the scene before me. The first thing I notice is Leo standing by the window. His back was facing and he seems oblivious of my presence. He was not alone though, Elena and Sofia were also present inside the room.
Elena stood right beside Leo whereas Sofia stood at the corner of the hall. She looked worried. The door slammed shut loudly, pulling their attention in my way. All pair of eyes zeroed on me and sized me up as if I have committed some kind of crime. I tried to ignore the feeling of uneasiness bubbling within my stomach as I awkwardly stood midway in the room, watching them warily.
Leo began sauntering towards me. I shivered as I felt the hair at the back of my neck stand. I stared wide- eyed at his tall figure approaching, indecisive of what to do next. He stands, towering over me with his powerful frame.
I can help but rub my palms at my jeans nervously. I have a feeling this isn’t going to end well. Every Fiber but I in my body wanted to run, but I knew that wouldn’t get me anywhere. It would just make him mad. Leo doesn’t say a word. Only stare at me.
Nervously, I tried to think of something to say to break the awkward atmosphere. I didn’t know whether to talk or not so I held my tongue and waited for him to speak. We stood there for a solid ten minutes, neither of us saying a word and when I couldn’t hold the silence anymore, I decided to be the first one to break it and address my curiosity.
“You called me?” I barely let out.
Instead of answering, Leo continued to stare at me, as if I hadn’t said a word and leaving me clueless and only adding to my distraught. I felt Like I was all at his mercy.
Was he angry? Did I do something wrong?
I was utterly anxious as I was totally unaware what is going to happen and why was I here if he was only going to pretend I did not exist. Again there was an uncomfortable silence, but this time around I did not try to make conversation. After what seemed to be a few agonizingly slow seconds passed by, he finally spoke.
“Grace do you believe everyone get an option for the decision they make in their life ?” He says out of nowhere. My brows furrowed, I couldn’t comprehending what was he was trying to tell me. A feeling of bad vibes resurfacing in my gut. The situation was getting very uncomfortable with every passing second. “Talk” He suddenly snapped
“Yes” I answered honestly without hesitation. I did believe everyone has option in their life but each decision they make has different consequences which either may be good or bad from them.
“Hmm” Leo replied as if in acknowledgement. But I didn’t understand what was his intentions, bringing this conversation now. It confused me to no end wandering what Leo was up to. With his mood flipping mind that kept fluctuating every now and then, he is unpredictable. But I had a strong feeling he was scheming something.
“You must be wandered why am I bringing all this now. Am I right?” He ask as if reading my thoughts.
“Grace, I have already told you before and I am telling you once again that I believe I am a fair man. After thinking about you I realized that I am being unfair to you. So here I am giving you a chance to have your freedom back” My lips parted in disbelief and shock took over my body. Am I hearing it right? Was he serious? Hope blossomed within me.
After a brief pause he spoke again, not giving me a chance to reply “Well let’s say you are going to make an important decision of you life right now which will decide your future”
“What do you mean I am going to make a decision?”
“I will give you two options” He completely ignoring my question, poising his own
“Yes and you’ve five minutes to choose one of them” His voice cold and intimidating I wordlessly nodded my head as I will do anything to get my freedom back.
My sense were immediately alerted as Leo retrieves his hand back and produces a small black gun. Before I could say anything he took my hand in his and placed the gun on my palm. My eyes widened as saucers. I was shaking and my body was stiff at one place, my hands were ice cold grasped around the metal gun
“W-What is m-meaning of-f th-this?” Nothing could compare to the fear that consumed me at the moment. Every possible negative thought ran through my brain. I dreaded his next command. He watched me closely, gauging my reaction as he spoke his next words
“Option A, submit to me completely and accept this is your life now, here with me. Option B, shoot me and you will have your freedom because you will only get freedom when you’ll kill me” It took me a few seconds to register the words that left his mouth. I couldn’t describe how I felt the second I heard those words. I became rigid while my brain tried to comprehend whatever Leo just said. I honestly couldn’t tell if he was joking or being serious.
I searched his gauge how serious was. Nothing about him gave away that he was joking. Off course he was serious, Leo rarely jokes... He seriously wanted me to shoot him. The sparkles of hope I felt a moments ago faded away.
“Yes, shoot me Grace” He said it so calmly despite the madness in his eyes, that he didn’t bother to hide
“N-No” I shook my head frantically, slowly backing away “I am not a murderer” I shrieked, the fear and desperation evident in my voice. My hands were shivering. The gun slipped out of my hand as I started feeling dizzy.
“Then submit to me completely” He said simply, as if it was nothing out of the ordinary.
“B-But-” I began to argue but was interrupted by Leo “You are running out of your time” He looks at me square in the eyes and challenged me with a single look. An underlying warning telling he only wanted my submission. Leo didn’t like things not going his way. I frowned, desperately wanting to object but bit my tongue. Once again silence engulfs the atmosphere.
“I-I will su-submit” I knew he would eventually force me to submit, I had no saying, so why rebel? I also knew, there was no going back now.
“Good girl” Even though he is complimenting me, but it sound like a threat.
“Now that you have submit to me. I own you completely. Your body, soul, heart... everything. All you have to do is obey and there won’t be any problem” He paused for a brief seconds “And one more thing, you won’t be leaving me, so the thought of leaving me can exist your fucking head. I will not be so generous in the future” His eyes held a dark promise in them. A dark promise which will haunt me in my dreams.
“Got it?” Unable to find my voice, I nodded my head hoping that was enough to appease him. Grabbing my waist he captured my mouth with a hot long kiss. I didn’t try to resist him, I was beyond scared right now. He pressed me closer, sticking his tongue deeper down my throat.
He finally pulled away and gave me a small peck “I’ll be late, don’t wait for me”
“O-Okay” I begrudgingly nodded my head in obedience.
He swiftly turned on his heel and exit the room, leaving me stunned. I stared at where he was stood trying to understand what just took place. It was terrifying, and the fact that I have no choice but to deal with this makes it all the more frightening. A cold shiver ran down my spine and I could not stop feeling as if I just sold myself to the devil.
“Hey, Shh” Sofia said in a sympathetic voice as she pulled me into a hug stroking my back lightly. I rest my head on her shoulder and tears began to slowly cascade down my face. “You’re okay now. I won’t let anything happen to you. I promise,”