My movements are listless; heavy and painstakingly slow, staggering back and forth as he wordlessly ushers me into the portal after moments of his watchful gaze following the twists of my body as I struggle with the newly found difficult task of rising from my bruised knees and to the pained soles of my feet. The world darkens and spins, the feeling of nausea making itself known as bile rises up my throat, leaving a foul taste lingering on my tongue even after I've pushed it back down my throat.
As I'm not used to this unique mode of transportation, my body sways like a pendulum. Imitating the motion of clothes spread out to dry in the sun on a windy Sunday morning, flailing freely as the blustery wind glides past and leaves its gently caresses imprinted on the surface of the varying cotton and silk fabric. A sudden wave of dizziness hits me, black bleeding into my irises and taking the form of tiny blots of dark ink which spares no time in covering the entirety of my eyes as though a mask.
Just as my knees buckle with the dreaded threat of gracing the floors with my face, warmth encases my forearm, swiftly moving up my skin in a manner pertaining to how the vines in a vineyard do.
The fervid flames dance across the expanse of my skin and burn, a gasp ripping past my vocals just as he abruptly tightens his grasp and tugs me back up into a standing position. I stagger in the dark, a grunt from him announces our arrival to our destination as the darkness slowly clears out— giving way for the light.
His grip loosens around me, but not before I notice the absence of skin pressing against skin, his heat to my chill.
I blink hastily, ridding myself of the few remaining blots of ink in my vision and twisting my upper torso, my bleary gaze settling in the exact spot where his fingers are curled around my upper arm.
I see it then.
A pair of gloves.
Black and hefty, the leather encases and fits his hand perfectly.
I watch his long fingers uncurl swiftly and he tucks his hand firmly into the front pocket of his coat. My body sways once more as darkness threatens to evade me but I resist and squeeze my eyes tightly, my right hand lifting to rub at my lids.
His voice rings loud and clear in my ears, "come."
My eyes are unsteady, bouncing off the ashen tiles beneath my feet to the walls which form the narrow passageway and back to his broad back, lazily tracing the creases on his coat.
He moves with direct precision, each long stride commanding authority and as well demanding the attention of all present... myself included and so my eyes never sway too far from him.
Sluggishly, my head droops forward so I am leering down at my mud crusted feet and then sags back on the nape.
It soon forms an arrhythmic pattern.
No manner of distinguishable qualities exist between myself and a dog as my mouth hangs open, drier than a desert as I slowly swipe my tongue over my chapped lips, swallowing a ball of saliva greedily, the curvature of my throat bobbing. Futile, it does nothing to ease the burn in my throat.
Fatigue courses through my veins and I barely notice when we step into a different room.
"Stop," his words weigh down on me - forcing me to submit, to obey him and at his command, my movements slow to an abrupt stop.
The sound of an object being scraped against tiles resonates loud and clear in this room, followed by small jostles and the loud clonk of his boots as he moves around. My focus is to the minimum and so it feels like my brain has shut off completely, leaving me bearing characteristics similar to that of a zombie.
Amidst my mindless mulling on nothings, it comes as a shock when his hands are suddenly grasping my arms again. He awaits not my approval as he directs me so I'm standing before what I assume is a table.
His tone leaves no place for objections - that much I can tell - as he pulls out a chair tucked into the dining, not that I have the willpower to do so neither will I consider it. After having enough time during the period of my punishment to think properly and access my position here, I came to the dreary conclusion that my strength or to be put rather plainly; my lack of the aforementioned leaves me at a clear disadvantage. That is; without taking other factors such as the fact that he is a demon and what this place is into consideration.
Wordlessly, my legs wobble forward, barely able to hold myself up any longer before I collapse into the chair, a screeching sound riveting off the walls in the deadly silent room.
Instantly various assorted smells, all of which have my stomach grumbling loudly, waft up my nostrils. I shift in discomfort in my chair, the embarassing sound evoking a corresponding reaction in the form of a blossoming ruddiness crawling up my neck and settling on my cheeks.
A gracious amount of creamy mashed potatoes is piled on a plate and dressed with a side of greens. Laid to the side of the ceramic plate and calling out my name like a siren to a drunken sailor at sea is a fillet mignon. The delicate piece of steak cut from the other side of the ribs where the sirloin is located is coated with black pepper, fresh spices and braised on a bed of onions and red wine until a perfect degree of indistinguishable tenderness is achieved.
My right hand moves without a second thought, reaching over at lightening speed to grab a single silver fork disregarding the knife which sits in waiting.
Suddenly I wonder; what if it's poisoned?
My fingers still and clench, the cold surface of the cutlery remains pressed against my palm as my conscience battles gruesomely against the hunger spell.
"Scared?" He taunts casually, my eyes dart up to the chair situated on the other side of the black tiled counter. The green of my eyes clash with his obsidian ones immediately, mine wide and fearful and his amused.
I don't reply, the twisted upturn of his mouth says he knows the answer, yet the look of slight mock confusion remains on his face— the crease between his brows dipped.
He sighs, rising to his feet and marching to the sink. I watch him pick up a spoon and return to stand at a reasonable distance to my side, he leans over and scoops a spoonful of mashed potatoes.
He chews. He swallows. And I wait.
Silently, he quirks a bushy brow and let's the spoon drop to the table with a chattering clang. He stares down at me, "now eat," a pause, "before I change my mind."
Casting one last fugitive glance at him, I waste no time in digging in.
As though cradling a precious jewel, I delicately grab the food and lift it to the warm cavern of my mouth. My taste buds explode at the first bite of the buttery flavored delight. I take another spoonful, this time a bit slower to ravish the way the meat is grilled to perfection, the mix between the seasoning and the sauce is absolutely divine and earth shattering.
Suddenly, my bites grow more ravenous and barbaric as I chomp down on the meat like a savage, shoving more mouthfuls down my throat greedily with my mouth just inches away from the plate. Unable to hold it in, small moans of appreciation escape my lips.
Barely done with the slice of beef between my teeth, I take another bite. A loud belch stops me in my tracks and I swipe at my stained lips with the back of my hand, straightening my back as I wearily shift my focus to him only to find him seated in a relaxed stance with his head thrown back and eyes shut.
Just then I remember that I have been naked all this while and I glance down, however I'm shocked to find a faded brown t-shirt which falls past my knees draped over my body. A wave of shock hits me and I frown, tugging at the loose limp material.
Beside my plate is a glass full of red liquid I barely noticed as I was far too invested in the meal.
Gingerly, my fingers curl around the stem and I pick it up, my eyes calculatively watch the red liquid swirling within the borders of the transparent glass. I lift it to my nose and take a whiff, then I sip the drink, swirling it around with my tongue. Swallowing, I smack my lips together.
The words roll off my tongue smoothly. "Cabernet Sauvignon."
At the sound of his voice my eyes immediately flicker to him, finding his gaze already settled on me. His eyes roam my face for a brief moment, then he blinks and diverts his attention elsewhere.
He gestures towards the plate, "are you finished?" If he saw the show I put on earlier, he says nothing.
I look at the plate, my palm subconsciously pressing flat against my bloated stomach and I nod.
The door swings open with a slight creak, we both walk inside the open space, him a few steps ahead of me.
The room is fairly large, with the bare walls painted a light cream and a four post bed tucked away at a corner. A vanity table rests against the opposite wall to the bed as well as a wardrobe.
He begins, voice raspy and low.
"In this house there are rules," slowly, gently, he lowers himself unto the bed which sinks under his weight.
Albeit the height difference as I stand towering above his seated frame, we both know who's in charge. The dominating aura around him doesn't shift, the black shirt stretching taut over his broad chest and gripping his arm muscles as he outstretches his arms to lean back against the surface of the bed. "And to ensure that you have the pleasantest of stays during your time here, I suggest obeying them to the best of your ability. Failure to do so results in punishment."
He pauses, his obsidian eyes roaming my face and body language to guage my reaction. He continues when he finds I have no objections. "Rule number one; you have permission to roam the house, all rooms including the kitchen and living room are at your disposal. Whatever mess you make the servants will clean."
Clasping my hands in front of me, I interlace my fingers and lean back on my heels, attentive ears holding into every word which leave his mouth. I'm determined to return home in one piece, and that means lowering my ego.
"Rule number two; you're not permitted to cross the threshold of this house, the very second your feet touches the sand outside these walls without my permission you shall be punished according to how I deem fit." His glare is harsh and unforgiving, "number three, you are to listen and adhere to whatever I say. Obedience and good behavior might award you a reward on rare occasions."
Grunting, he stands to his feet and step sides me, his coat brushing against my thighs when he passes by.
He stops by the door, his back to me, "least I forget the most important rule, the west wing is completely off limits."
There's a strain in the manner with which he spits out the syllables, depicting the level of seriousness in his words. His tone is warning, it makes me wonder what exactly is in that corner of the mansion.
"Understood?" The harshness evident in his tone jolts me from my reverie and my answer rolls off my tongue laced with a stutter.