I had spent every hour staring into absolute nothingness.
The young guard with the jagged nose came to bring my food twice a day which I ate until the very last crumb. I had debated with myself on whether or not to eat it but in the end, I did. I had to. I had to survive.
Since that night, I had been keeping on high alert because after what happened with Kang, I wasn’t going to let him put his hands on me again. If he did, it'll be the last thing he ever did. And that didn’t only apply to Kang, it went for the other two as well. They were just as bad as Kang. Maybe even worse than him.
I had no answer as to why I allowed Kang to do it, but I knew one thing. I didn’t like it. I hated it. Hated every second of it. The moment he left, I felt sick to my stomach. Why didn’t I make more of an effort to stop it? Right now, I’d do anything to wash away his touch, but even if I did, I doubt I’d ever feel clean again.
It was the morning of the fourth day when the door to my sanctuary opened. When the young guard swaggered into the room and stood in front of the door, I couldn’t help but look away in disgust.
“You are to come with me.”
I looked towards the window, hoping that I was going out there. “Where?”
He didn’t answer.
Instead, he wrapped his fingers around my aching wrist and pulled me upright. I squirmed, trying to remove his tight hold from around my wrist, but it was no use. He stopped, turned around and slapped me hard on my cheekbone. It blazes with pain.
“Where am I going!?” I demanded.
He readjusts his grip and pulled me down an unclean, old hallway. We pass door after door until he shoves me forward into a grimy bathroom.
The young guard jerked my shoulder and turned me around to face him. “Take off your clothes.”
The guard tuts then slapped me again. “Take off your clothes!”
“I said no!” I spat.
He grunted. “Unless you want another slap, I suggest you do as I say, bitch!”
I tensed my jaw and glared at him.
“Don’t make me repeat myself.” He bellows.
While shivering, I glared at him as I reached for the hem of my dress shirt and pulled it over my shoulders.
Never in my life had I felt so humiliated.
I pull my underwear down with trembling hands and reach behind me for the clasp to free my breasts.
The guard came towards me and shoved me. “Get in the shower and wash.”
I went willingly into the shower and picked up a bar of soap. The guard didn’t move from his position in the middle of the room and continued to stare at me. I even noticed him staring at my body with a predatory look in his eyes. I knew what he was thinking, and knew what he wanted to do, but I’ll never allow another man to lay his hands on me.
“Come on!” He shouted.
I hid my disgust by giving him my back and turned on the tap. It didn’t surprise me when the water turned out to be cold, but it was a nice feeling cleaning away Kang’s touch from my body. I used the soap to wash every inch of my body and my hair, and rinse it under the cold water.
“Hǎo de. (Alright.) That’s enough!”
I turn off the tap and as I turn around, the guard throws me a white towel. I dried myself with it and wrapped it around my body. He then grabs me around my arm and walks me down the same hallway. We don’t walk for long because we soon arrive in a mangy looking old living room.
As I walked into the room and looked around, I saw Yuta lounging on one of the couches.
My first thought was that he was come to rape me next. Therefore, I slammed my heels down and dug my feet into the floor. The guard pushes me to the ground and starts kicking me. I whimper as his steel-capped boots made contact with my ribs. I end up curling into a ball as he kicks me repeatedly in the same place.
I couldn’t cry, breathe or move.
He then grabs a fistful of my hair and pulls me upright. Then, he slams my head into the wall.
Yuta sighs. “Zúgòu.” (Enough.)
Immediately the guard backs off and moves elsewhere.
Yuta’s masculine voice brings me to attention. “Have a seat.”
I looked away from the guard to Yuta and sneered. “I’d rather stay here.”
“For what reason?” He asked.
“I want to be as far away from you as possible.”
“Suit yourself.” He murmured. “But don’t think you’re safe over there because you’re not.”
“Stay away from me.”
Yuta raises a brow. “And that’s up to you?”
“Unless you want to keep your dick intact, stay where you are.” I seethed.
Yuta chuckled. “If you’re worried about me touching you, don’t be beca...”
“Don’t ever touch me.” I snapped.
His voice rises. “You are in no position to order me around!”
I sucked in a breath. “Just don’t touch me, please.”
He dragged his eyes up and down my body and bit his lip. “I won’t. Not yet, anyway.”
His words made my stomach roll because I knew he was going to touch me, eventually. I knew no matter if I begged or pleaded, he would still do what he wanted to me.
I shook my head while making a sound of disgust at the back of my throat. “I’ll give you anything you want just not…sex. Name it and it’s yours.”
“What do you want?” I asked. “Money?”
He released an exhale. “Don’t try negotiating with me, Línjū. (Neighbour) It won’t work.”
I readjusted the towel and slowly walked towards the empty couch, opposite the one Yuta’s sitting on, and bit my lip. “But, surely there’s something you want.”
He watched my every move, and as I sat down, he leaned forward and clasped his hands between his open legs. “What makes you think I want something?”
“Everyone wants something.”
He shook his head. “Not me. I do not want anything. I have all that I need.”
I peered at him as I tried to bait him. “My family has money. Are you sure there isn’t anything you want? I can make it happen. You can have anything you want.”
He looked at me in boredom. “I don’t need anything, especially not from a lamb that’s about to be slaughtered.”
I ignored his words. “Not even status or power?”
He frowned. “Why would I need or want status? I already have it.”
“Oh yes, that’s right. You’re the Dragon Heads son. How lucky you must feel to have all of that power.” I muttered sarcastically. “God. The things your family has done disgusts me. As if I’d give anything to the likes of you.”
Yuta’s whole face became stoic as the words left my mouth. I bet on the inside he was bursting to know how I knew everything, but from the outside, he showed no sign of surprise or worry.
His nostrils flare. “My family?”
“You are Li Wei’s son. Am I right?”
Yuta didn’t nod or shake his head.
He didn’t say anything.
“I know everything there is to know about Li Wei, and not all of it’s good.” I scoffed. “I mean your family has major issues. And I thought my family was bad, but yours? Fuck.”
He clenched his jaw. “You don’t know anything about my family.”
“Oh, but I do. I know a lot.”
I cleared my throat and looked him straight in the eyes. “Your father’s family moved to China a year after he was born. When he reached nine years old, his mother died in childbirth, his sister was sold into slavery, his father died and his stepmother mysteriously vanished. So, your father ended up living with his grandmother in Hong Kong, but moved back to China and worked in a run-down cafe until he was fired for theft. He was unemployed for a while, then became a bodyguard inside a brothel when he became acquainted with the Silver Dagger Gang. He joined the gang at the age of seventeen. Shall I go on?”
Yuta remained still and just glared at me.
I hide my smile and continue. “Your father was introduced by a friend to one of the highest-ranking Chinese detectives, who was also one of China’s most notorious gangsters. His wife was a notable criminal in her own right, and she favored your father. Even though the Chinese detective was not a member of the Silver Dagger Gang, your father became his gambling and opium enforcer. Your father surrounded himself with bodyguards and frequented the city’s best nightclubs and brothels. Eventually, your father’s prestige led him to purchase a four-storey mansion and there he had dozens of mistresses, a wife and three sons. His meteoric rise as China’s best-known mobster only came after that detective was arrested. That detective had murdered the son of another mobster, and he required your father’s diplomacy and finances to get him released. After his release, he stood down and gave his whole empire to your father. He became known as the Dragon Head, and he controlled gambling dens, prostitution and protection rackets as well as setting a number of legitimate companies. Oh, and he’s a Sagittarius.”
I watched in amusement as he tried to figure me out. It wouldn’t work, no matter how hard he tried. My lips were sealed and there was nothing he could do to make me tell him who I really am. Whose daughter I was. He’d just have to kill me.
He got up from his position and peered down at me. “Who are you?”
I held the towel tightly and stood up. “Someone you should’ve stayed far away from.”
His eyes seared into mine. “Where did you get this information?”
“As if I’d tell you anything.” I say through gritted teeth.
I looked away, only for Yuta to grab my chin tightly, pulling my face to face him. “I’ll ask you again, who are you?”
I jerked my head away from him. “I’m Maggie fucking Lee.”
He waves me off. “I don't give a fuck about your name. Tell me how you know so much about my family.”
“Never. You'll just have to kill me."
He looked at me for a few seconds then grins. “Do you want to know the reason why you were brought to me today?”
I thought it was only to have a shower, but now it seemed like I was brought here for something else.
He uses his hand and puts a stray of hair gently behind my ear. “After much consideration, my father was willing to offer you a large sum of money to keep your mouth shut, and let you return home to your mother.”
My jaw dropped.
My heart raced. “What?”
“He thought ten million dollars would be enough.” He sighed. “But after sharing your knowledge of my family, I’m afraid you’ll have to stay with us. I can’t let someone who knows so much about my family roam free, can I?”
I whimpered. "No..."
He looked behind me. “Hùsòng tā dào tā de fángjiān.” (Escort her to her room.)
I shook my head repeatedly. “Yuta! Please, let me go!”
He grinned evilly. “You should’ve kept your mouth shut, Línjū.” (Neighbour.)
I shove at his shoulders and yell. “Let me go!”
He grabs my wrist tightly.. “You’re mine. Do you understand?"
With all my might, I try to wriggle free from his tight grip. “You’re hurting me!”
The moment the words leave my mouth, he immediately releases me, but then he reaches up and cups my cheek. “I’m going to do more than that, Maggie. I’m going to ruin your fucking life." Yuta roughly wraps his hand around my neck and squeezes. “You are mine to do as I please whether you like it or not. You’ll never return to your mother or your home. Your life is ours and there’s nothing you can do about it.” His accent thickens as his fingers move to capture my chin. A rumble comes from his chest, and then he kisses me.
I didn’t stop him.
I wrapped my arms around his neck, pulling him against me. He lets out a long, deep groan. His lips mold to mine, his hands travel up my back. His narrow hips press into me, and a whimper escapes my lips.
All of a sudden, he pushes me away from him, frowns, then shoulders past me.