Cruel Punishment

Fantasies & Delusions

Anna looked at Lee and smiled uneasily. She couldn't believe that she had just agreed with his proposal to go shopping with Bryan Fury. She utterly detested the idea, but she was willing to do anything so as long as it helps her to fulfill her goal.

"You will!?" Lee said feeling astonished by her answer.

Anna solemnly nodded in agreement.

Lee let out a huge sigh of relief. He thought that Anna would put up more of a fight, but he was glad that she didn't. Anna can be very difficult and hard to please at times. Lee often wondered if she was more trouble than she's worth.

Lee liked it better when his relationships were simpler and more straight-forward. He likes to think of them as business transactions. They get to spend his money and he gets to use them however he pleases. There were no questions, no feelings, and more importantly, no love involved. It was simple and casual. However, Anna wanted more than just his money; she wanted his time as well. And time was something he could not always afford to spend. Nevertheless, a part of Lee had feelings that extended beyond her physical attributes and he was willing to try to make their relationship work.

"Well Anna, I am relieved that you agreed to this." Lee said as he held her hand and gently kissed it. Anna blushed even though she was still visually upset.

Lee pulled open one of the draws on his desk and began to rummage through it. "Okay then, now that everything is settled, I must go. I am already a little late for the meeting."

Lee grabbed one of the many sets of car keys he had in his desk and tossed it to Bryan. Bryan instinctively caught the keys and pocketed them. Lee hurriedly got up to put on his jacket then he grabbed his briefcase from off the floor.

"So I will see you tonight my darling." Lee said. He quickly kissed Anna on her forehead then began to exit the office.

"W-wait!" Anna called out nervously.

"Hmm? What is it?" Lee stopped and turned around to look at her. He noticed that her face was frozen in fear.

"Don't worry Anna, remember, Bryan cannot hurt you." Lee said; trying to provide her with some comfort. He gave Anna a reassuring smile before finally exiting the office.

Anna clasped her hands together and watched as the door closed behind him. Reality was quickly starting to sink in. She was alone with a dangerous man. Alone. Completely alone.

Anna's heart began to race at the thought. She was beginning to regret her decision. She kept her eyes on the door hoping that Lee will come back. Maybe he forgot something? Maybe he'll return and cancel his meeting? These silent wishes raced through her mind as she stared, eagerly waiting for those tall, wooden doors to open.

"Let's get out of here. I want to get this shit over with." Bryan muttered; angrily breaking the silence of the room. He got up from his seat and began to walk towards the exit.

Anna swallowed hard. Well, this is going to be interesting… and terrifying, she thought. Anna grabbed her fur coat and purse from off a couch then she quickly walked towards the door to catch up with Bryan. He had already left the room and was standing by the elevators.

She stood a good distance behind him, she did not want to get too close. They both waited in silence for one of the elevators to arrive. The moment was tremendously awkward and uncomfortable for Anna, leaving her to wonder how she should best approach this situation.

The elevator arrived and they both entered. Bryan pressed the button that will take them to the building's parking lot which was located below ground.

Anna quietly thought to herself as she nervously waited in the elevator with the silent man. She wondered if she should exude a nice and pleasant demeanor. Perhaps being open and friendly would make the situation less tense and make Bryan less angry and more approachable. Anna quickly shook her head in disagreement. She knew kindness will get her nowhere. Especially when dealing with this man. He only viewed it as a weakness.

Anna quickly decided that the only way she could alleviate and gain control of her situation is if she became more assertive. Her shopping trip will be a disaster if she allowed Bryan to intimidate her. However, she wasn't sure if being aggressive was right method to take. Nor did she believe that she had the confidence to do so. She always relied on Lee to keep Bryan in line, now she must learn how to do it on her own.

Commanding Bryan should be easy to do, she thought. She kept reminding herself that Bryan must listen to her and he cannot hurt her. She kept repeating the thought over and over again as a means to boost her confidence.

The elevator doors opened and they both exited into the parking lot. Bryan didn't know where the car was parked or what it even looked like. He pulled out the set keys from his pocket and pressed a button to activate the car alarm. He followed the sound of the alarm until it led him to a small, black sports car. He turned off the alarm and was about to sit in the driver's seat but noticed Anna was just standing there, nervously staring at him.

"What are you waiting for? Get your ass in the car." Bryan commanded irritably.

Anna took in a deep breath before uttering her response. "N-no." She said nervously.

"Huh!?" Bryan said feeling a little surprised.

"I-I said no!" Anna repeated while trying to force more confidence into her words. "You did not open the door for me and I will not get in the car until it is opened."

Bryan frowned and stared at the woman evilly. "I'm not a gentleman Anna, so get in the fuckin' car." He demanded again more forcefully.

Anna crossed her arms and looked away defiantly even though she felt like a nervous wreck. She was fighting through her fear in order to take control of the situation. It was now or never. What worried her most is she did not know how the scarred man will react.

There was a little stand-off between the two of them. Anna rebelliously stood where she was while Bryan angrily glared at the woman. They both were fighting for control.

"Remember…" Anna said as she looked at him. "There's a price to pay for disobedience."

Bryan continued to scowl at her for a few moments before giving in to the woman's demand. She was right, he thought. If he wanted to continue receiving medication to keep his perpetual generator working, he ultimately had to do what she says.

Bryan grunted angrily as he walked over to the passenger's side of the car and opened the door. Anna was astonished. Bryan had listened to her.

She walked over and entered the car while cautiously keeping an eye on Bryan. He stood by the door and waited for her to take her seat. Bryan angrily slammed the door hard once she was inside.

Anna grinned from ear to ear as she watched Bryan walk to the driver's side of the car. She was in control and she liked it. She was feeling confident and a lot more relaxed than she was moments ago.

Bryan entered the vehicle and started the engine. He saw the arrogant smile on Anna's face. It made him furious. He couldn't believe how far he has fallen. He is the one with the cybernetic enhancements. He is the advanced being; the definition of human evolution. He is stronger, faster and more powerful than those around him. His superior skills were even used to prevent a catastrophic war just mere months ago. But not now he has been reduced to nothing more than a butler, chauffeur and bodyguard to Lee Chaolan and Anna Williams. It was both demoralizing and infuriating for him to accept.

But how far have you fallen? Bryan questioned himself as he looked down and saw a box of cigarettes resting in a cup holder. It triggered an old memory of his past.

It has been years since he had last had a cigarette. He was a heavy smoker in the past. He remembered kicking the habit to the side when he was a police officer. He was a rookie at the time and he was having trouble chasing criminals through streets and alleyways. He would run out of breath and tire easily. This was especially bad considering the fact that he was also an avid kick boxer. In the end, he decided to get rid of his terrible habit for the sake of career and his strong desire to serve and protect innocent people. It was one of the noble acts that stuck with him even through today.

However, as he stared at that box of cigarettes, a distant but familiar urge was creeping inside him. He wanted to lite one up. How far will you fall? Bryan quietly questioned himself.

"Well, what are you waiting for? Let's go." Anna said as she smiled shrewdly at Bryan. All of the fear she had towards the scarred man disappeared.

Bryan put the car in gear and began to drive.

They eventually arrived at a mall in the middle of the city. Bryan parked the car then they entered the huge building.

"Let's get something to eat, I'm feeling a little hungry, aren't you?" Anna questioned the silver-haired man but received no response.

Bryan quietly followed her to the cafeteria. He sat at one of the tables to wait for Anna. A few minutes passed and Anna returned with a small salad. She sat across from Bryan who was casually observing shoppers as they passed by.

Anna looked at Bryan who was being awfully silent and distant. "You're not hungry, hmm?" She asked coyly and laughed. "You should lighten up a little. Maybe I'll buy you something if you present a more pleasant attitude." Anna said mockingly before taking a bite of her food.

Bryan's eyebrow twitched in frustration however, he thought Anna's request was a little odd. Even though her statements were laced with sarcasm, he thought it was strange nonetheless.

"Just hurry up and buy your shit so we can get out of here. I got better things to do than to spend time with you." Bryan spat.

Anna frowned at him. But at the same time, she wondered why she had made such a remark. It sounded weird; as if she was asking for his company. Anna pushed aside the thought and quietly continued to eat her meal.

A few hours had passed since they had left to go shopping. Bryan begrudgingly followed Anna from store to store as she carelessly spent Lee's money. For Bryan, it was absolute torture. He was forced to carry Anna's purchases along the way.

They were in a fancy, clothing boutique and Bryan thought that Anna was spending way too much time shopping around in the store. He was sitting on a small display table near the front while Anna roams about the shop, looking at dresses.

Anna thought her shopping trip was going very well so far. Bryan hasn't spoken a word to her and has been completely compliant since their little stand-off in the parking lot. Even though the day was going well, Anna still felt very unhappy.

She noticed a man and a woman shopping not too far from her. They were smiling and holding hands as they walked around the store looking at items. They flirted and laughed with each other and acted like a young couple in love. Anna felt depressed. She couldn't remember the last time she felt that way or experienced such feelings. Even though she was in a relationship, she still felt alone.

Anna solemnly continued to look through the dresses until she found one that she liked. It was a very low cut, red, sequin dress. Anna thought it looked beautiful however, she wished Lee was there to see it. Tears were beginning to gather at the corner of her eyes. She quickly wiped them away. Anna picked up the dress and slowly walked to where Bryan was sitting. Bryan hadn't notice her when she arrived. He was busy playing around with his phone. Anna stood in front of him, she felt a little awkward over what she was about say.

"W-what do think about this dress?" She asked nervously.

Bryan slowly lifted his head and gave Anna a look that was a mixture of both shock and confusion. Why the fuck is this woman asking me this question? Bryan thought to himself.

"W-well, do you think it will look nice on me?" Anna timidly pressed the question.

Bryan glared at the woman. "Do I look like a fashionista to you?" He asked sarcastically. "Ask Lee when you see him tonight." Bryan grumbled.

Anna was feeling annoyed by the man's attitude. "I want an opinion before I buy the dress!" She said angrily. "I command you to answer me, or else!"

Bryan let out a frustrated sigh. He couldn't believe what this woman was asking of him. Why did she think it was a good idea to ask him, of all people, for fashion advice? She would have been better off asking a total stranger, he thought.

"Come on Anna, quit breaking my balls." Bryan pleaded irritably. "Lee asked me to drive you around, not to be your replacement boyfriend."

Anna was infuriated by his last comment. "Your balls are already broken you neutered dog!"

Bryan laughed out loud. Anna was taken aback by his response. It's been months since she last heard him laugh like that.

Bryan looked at her and smirked. "You know… you sounded just like your sister."

Anna gritted her teeth at his final remark. "Fuck you Bryan!" She said furiously.

Bryan was surprised by her comment. "Whoa, well that was unladylike!" He said mockingly as Anna angrily stormed off.

Replacement boyfriend!? Anna thought to herself as she angrily walked away from the scarred man. Even though those words annoyed her they still contained a hint of truth. She wanted Bryan to be more chivalric when she demanded him to open the door for her. Then there was the awkward lunch they had together with her wanting him to be more friendly. And now she is asking him to pick a dress that suits her features. Everything she had requested of Bryan is something that Lee would have done if he was with her, or any boyfriend for that matter. Am I really that lonely? Anna thought to herself.

Anna immediately took out her phone and dialed Lee's number. The phone rang a few times before picked up.

"Hello my sweet Anna, how is your going?" Lee asked sweetly.

Anna felt relieved to hear his voice; she smiled from ear to ear. "I'm doing fine." Anna said happily. "I think I've found a dress you would like."

"Oh really? Well I cannot wait to see it." Lee said gleefully. "How has Bryan been treating my beautiful lady?"

"Oh, he's been awful. He is very rude and disrespectful. I am trying to make the best out of a bad situation but, I think he needs more training on how to respect his superiors." Anna said vengefully.

"Oh…. Well I'm sorry to hear that Anna. I'll be sure to speak with him later." Lee said, feeling a little concerned. "Well, I should go, I'm still pretty busy here."

"Okay my darling, I will see you tonight." Anna said lovingly before hanging up.

Anna felt re-energized. She wouldn't let Bryan's comment get to her. She wasn't lonely, she thought to herself. She has a man that loves her and she was confident that tonight will be perfect. Anna walked to the cashier to purchase her new dress.

Anna and Bryan exited the mall and walked towards the car. Bryan nonchalantly tossed all of Anna's purchases on the backseat of the vehicle. Then he angrily opened the door for Anna. He waited for her to take her seat before slamming the door hard as he did earlier that day. Bryan entered the car and drove off. He had to take Anna back to Violet Systems and wait for Lee to return. Only then will he be free of the hell he's in; at least, for the remainder of the evening.

Anna looked at Bryan and smiled wickedly as he drove. She was still highly upset about the way he treated her.

"You know, when we get back, I'm going to tell Lee how horrible you've been." Anna said mockingly. "I wonder what kind of punishment he'll give you?"

Bryan stopped for a red light. Anna was seriously getting on his nerves. He angrily looked down and saw the box of cigarettes resting in the cup holder.

"Hmm… Maybe he'll cut your pay. Or perhaps he'll allow those doctors to conduct more vigorous tests on your body…"

Bryan gritted teeth in frustration.

"…Better yet, maybe he'll stop giving you that medicine you need, hmm?" Anna looked at him and arrogantly smiled. "You deserve that for your disobedience. You should always remember who your masters are, you dog!" she said condescendingly.

"Fuck it." Bryan muttered as he quickly pushed in the knob for the lighter on the dashboard. He hurriedly took a cigarette from out of its box and stuck it in his mouth.

Anna looked amused. "I thought you didn't smoke?" Anna said as she watched the man lite the cigarette.

Bryan ignored her question. He needed something to calm him down and this was his answer. Bryan took a long drag of the cigarette and immediately began to cough. He had forgotten how to smoke.

Anna looked on amusingly as she watched the man cough his lungs out. Bryan's coughs quickly subsided. He leaned his head against the headrest as he tried to calm his breathing. Bryan then took another drag of the cigarette, this time he inhaled it the correct way. He instantly felt calmer and relaxed.

"I'm guessing it's been a while, hmm?" Anna asked shrewdly.

"What do you care?" Bryan spat back and he continued to drive the car.

Anna said nothing she merely turned to look out the window. For once, she had decided to leave Bryan alone. However, she couldn't help but wonder if her words really did affected him so much.

Bryan and Anna finally arrived at Violet Systems. They both went to Lee's office to wait for his return. Anna took her new dress and went to a private bathroom located at the back of Lee's office. Minutes passed before Anna exited the bathroom wearing her new dress.

Bryan was admittedly shocked by how the young woman looked. Her red dress hugged her curves in all the right places and showed just the right amount of skin. She looked completely stunning. Too bad her name is Anna Williams, Bryan thought to himself.

Anna was proud with how she looked and she knew Lee will be amazed when he sees her. She couldn't wait for him to return. Anna sat on a couch and began to flip through her magazines.

Hours passed and there was still no sign of Lee. Anna had called his cellphone numerous times and each time it went to voice mail. She was getting worried. It was practically too late for them to go to dinner together but she hoped that he would make it on time to see the show.

Anna was getting anxious and was beginning to fear the worst. She feared that Lee was going to disappoint her again. She silently shook her head in protest. She refused to believe it. She tried to convince herself that Lee will come and they will have a beautiful and romantic night together.

Anna got up from the couch and nervously walked towards a small fridge located at the corner of the office. She desperately needed something to calm her nerves. She pulled out a bottle of wine and a glass.

Bryan watched amusingly as the woman poured herself a drink and quickly guzzled it down. Judging by how late Lee is, Bryan knew how things will ultimately end. It was only a matter of time.

Bryan got up and left the office; leaving Anna alone with her hopes and delusions. He wanted to find a place to indulge in his long, lost habit.

An hour had passed and Bryan took one last drag of his cigarette. He dropped the cigarette on the ground and stomped it out with his boot. He thought it was time to see what was going on. He pulled open the door and exited the stairwell. He was walking back to Lee's office when he suddenly heard a loud scream. Bryan quickly ran to the office and entered.

Bryan was shocked at what he saw. Lee's office was completely trashed. It looked like a tornado went through it. Bryan noticed Lee's secretary was standing next to him.

"What's going on here?" Bryan asked bemused.

"Lee called a few minutes ago… He said he couldn't make it. Anna didn't take the news too well." The secretary worriedly explained.

"Well no shit." Bryan said amusingly as he viewed the damage.

"Lee requested that you escort her home." The secretary said.

Anna was sitting on the floor in the most unladylike fashion. She was crying hysterically as if she was having a nervous breakdown. Her lipstick was smeared and her eyeliner bled down her face. Anna slowly got up; using Lee's desk for support and staggered towards an expensive statue that was resting on a pedestal.

"Miss Williams! Please get a hold of yourself!" The secretary yelled as she ran towards Anna to stop what she was about to do. Anna smacked the woman hard before she could restrain her. The secretary hit the floor and yelped in pain.

Anna proceeded to kick the pedestal down sending the statue crashing on the floor. "Lee! You…you bastard! How dare you do this to me again!" Anna slurred her words angrily.

It quickly became clear to Bryan that Anna was intoxicated. Very intoxicated. He enjoyed witnessing Anna's downward spiral. It was amusing to see her dignified and pompous demeanor get thrown to the wayside. However, he had to carry out Lee's order and he was also ready to call it a day. He quickly ran towards her and grabbed the drunken woman from behind; restraining her arms.

"Alright Anna, that's enough." Bryan said calmly.

Anna struggled to free herself from his grip. "Let go of me you… you robo man!" She slurred again.

Bryan twitched his brow in annoyance. "I'll let you go if you to behave like good girl." He reasoned.

"I promise, okay? Now let me go."

Bryan released the woman from his grip. Anna slowly turned around to face him. "Thanks a lot tall n' ugly." She said with a drunken grin.

"What did you call me!?" Bryan asked heatedly as he scowled at the intoxicated woman.

Anna sloppily smiled back at him and playfully patted him on the check. "I'm just kidding. Geez, you need to learn how to take a joke."

Anna began to clumsily walk towards the door. She tripped and was about to hit the floor, however Bryan ran and caught her just in time.

The secretary slowly got up from off the floor. Her face still stung from the slap she received from Anna. She nervously thanked Bryan for his help before he left.

Bryan helped Anna walk to the car. It angered him that he had to assist the woman especially after all the things she had put him through. However, a very small part of him couldn't help but feel a little bit of sympathy for the woman. He didn't know why.

Bryan started the car and drove the drunken woman home. Anna began to cry uncontrollably along the way. Bryan felt totally out of his element. He didn't know how to deal with an emotional woman. He simply allowed her to cry without saying a word. She ultimately cried herself to sleep.

Bryan eventually arrived at Lee's estate. It was a huge mansion located on the outskirts of the city. He parked the car just outside the entrance. He let out a huge sigh. He was relieved that his ordeal was finally over.

Bryan looked over at Anna and felt uneasy at what he saw. Anna's features and the way she slept reminded him of her. It reminded him of Nina. It was as if he was experiencing Déjà vu. He remembered Nina falling asleep in the car after he had rescued her from her captors. Now he was going through a similar experience however, it is with the other sister.

Bryan instantly shook the thoughts from his mind. For some reason he didn't want to dwell on those memories. They hindered his emotions and made him feel weak. He reminded himself that he had a job to do.

"Hey, wake up." Bryan said as he gently shook the woman by her shoulder.

Anna stirred and looked disoriented. "Hmm…What is it Lee?" Anna mumbled as she turned to look at the person who woke her. She was utterly disappointed.

"Oh… It's you." Anna said disdainfully. She began to cry once again.

"Here we go again." Bryan muttered under his breath as he passed a hand through his hair.

"Why!? Why don't he spend time with me!?" Anna yelled while sobbing uncontrollably.

Bryan sighed resignedly. It was clear to him that Anna is still very drunk and very emotional. He didn't know what to do. He was never good at talking to women, especially when they are in this state. He wasn't the empathetic type so anything he say or do can unintentionally worsen the situation. This was a nightmare for him and he didn't know how to make it end. However, he had to try.

"Maybe because he doesn't have time to spend." Bryan calmly tried to reason.

"Yeah, well he should make time for me!" Anna yelled belligerently as she drunkenly glared at the man.

Bryan smirked. He thought Anna's drunken demeanor was humorous and somewhat cute. "You're right Anna, and you should be mad."

Anna looked at him curiously; her head gently swayed side to side due to her intoxication.

"But, if you want get rid of that anger, we could go inside of the rich bastard's house and destroy some more of his stuff." Bryan said deviously.

Anna continued to drunkenly stare at him. It made Bryan feel a little awkward. "What?" Bryan questioned as he looked at her curiously.

"Are you… Are you actually trying to make me feel better?" Anna slurred.

Bryan grunted angrily at her question. "Come on, let's get you inside the house." He said irritably.

Bryan exited the car and waited for Anna to do the same. Anna got out of the car and began to walk unsteadily towards the mansion. Bryan didn't know why, but he felt a need to help the intoxicated woman walk to her front door. He ran to Anna's side and allowed her to lean on him for support as they walk. Anna was surprised by his gesture.

"Wow, there's a nice person under all that anger and testosterone." Anna said; feeling surprise.

Bryan grumbled angrily. He didn't like the idea of being labeled 'nice.'

Bryan helped Anna walk up a few steps that led to the porch. Bryan rang the doorbell while Anna sat on a nearby chair. A minute passed before Bryan saw the front door open just a crack. A middle-aged woman wearing an apron peeked through the door and looked at Bryan suspiciously. Bryan assumed that she is the maid.

"May I help you sir?" The woman said as she gave him a scrutinizing look.

"I work for Lee." Bryan explained bluntly. "He asked me to drop Anna home."

The maid opened the door wider and stuck her head out. "Miss Williams!?" The woman said; feeling shocked. "Where is she!?"

"She's right here." Bryan pointed to a nearby chair. He turned to look at her. He cussed under his breath when he discovered that Anna had fallen asleep… again.

"Miss Williams!?" The maid said as she ran to Anna's side. "What happened to her?" She questioned.

"She had too much to drink." Bryan said frankly.

"Oh dear… Poor girl, I'm sure he must've hurt her again." The woman said worryingly as she stroked Anna's hair.

Bryan looked at Anna and felt slightly concerned. He remembered how strange she was acting that day, especially in the mall. He quietly mulled over what happened and slowly connected all the dots. Quickly, her odd behavior was beginning to make sense to him and a very small part of him started to feel sorry for the woman.

"Sir, if you don't mind me asking…" The middle aged woman said hesitantly as she looked at Bryan. "Do you mind carrying Miss Williams to her room?"

Bryan sighed resignedly and without saying a word, he picked Anna up and walked inside the mansion. He was instantly annoyed at how elegant and extravagant the mansion was. The place was decorated with expensive looking furniture, rugs, paintings and other things that Bryan couldn't even dream of affording. Everywhere he looked he saw money wasted on nonessential things.

The maid quickly walked in front of him and led the way. They eventually reached the master bedroom. The maid hurriedly opened the door. Bryan entered the enormous room and gently laid Anna on the bed. He was about to walk away but Anna grabbed his arm. Bryan gave her a puzzled look.

"Where are you going?" Anna asked drowsily. "I command you to stay."

Bryan was slightly amused by the woman's demand. However, he obeyed it without protest. He sat on a chair near Anna's bed and quietly waited for her to fall asleep.

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