Only His

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Chapter 9

ALICE POV


It shocked me slightly about how Antonio was handling me. He was usually so violent but now his touch was much more delicate yet still dominant. I hated how my body reacted to his touch, but my mind was still adamantly against him. He lowered his hand to the small of my back and led me out of the room. This was the first time I could fully take in my surroundings. His home was beautiful. It was so perfect which only proved that it’s owner had an immaculate taste. It also showed off his wealth just enough. He led me down a grand staircase and just as we reached the bottom, where I instinctively went towards the dining room, I was stopped. I turned to Antonio, giving him a confused look.

“I figured that since we couldn’t eat yesterday that I would take you out tonight.”

I couldn’t help but feel anticipation building up within me. If I could slip away while we were out, I would have a chance to escape. We were going to be in public so there was no way that he could make a scene. I, on the other hand, didn’t currently care what anyone thought of me. If a chance to get away presented itself, I was going to take it without hesitation. However Antonio seemed to catch on to what I was thinking as he interrupted my growing chain of thoughts.

" I know what you’re thinking, Alice.”

I didn’t respond to him because I expected more to follow but that was all he had to say. Was he really that smug? Well in that case I was going to show him that he wasn’t the invincible King that he thought he was. A smirk crawled it’s way to my lips as I thought about knocking him off his high horse, it didn’t go unnoticed by Antonio though. Yet he ultimately chose to ignore it and instead grabbed me and pulled me out of the grand doors.

Outside a gleaming, slick, black limo pulled up in-front of us. I wasn’t one to over exaggerate, but it literally was so clean and well varnished that I could see my own reflection. I could only imagine how much the car alone cost let alone the driver who stepped out to open the door for us. How nice it must be to have a fully staffed estate. The man had his own cooks, maids, butlers and drivers. What was next - perhaps he would lead me to a stable where his horses were kept. Or maybe he would leave me to be watched by a lifeguard or two whilst I swam in his 25 metre length pool. To any normal person this much help would be a luxury to enjoy, but to me it just meant that Antonio had more people watching me. I hadn’t forgotten the army of his own men who were placed around the house. I wondered if they were there to stop people getting in, or out.

I was helped into the car and tried to move as far away from my captor as possible, however failed when I was pulled back next to him.

“Where are we going?”

“Just a restaurant that I have grown particularly fond of over the last few months while living here in the states.”

What did he mean ‘while living here’?

“So you don’t reside here permanently?”

He looked at me, seeming to figure out if he wanted to answer my question.

“No I do not.”

I didn’t want to ask too much as it wasn’t worth spoiling his seemingly good mood, though I already was taking advantage of it.

“Where do you normally stay then?”

He laughed slightly, I sensed he wouldn’t answer this one but it was at least worth a try. The more answers about Marino, the more I could tell the police then hopefully no one would ever be in my situation again.

“You will find out soon enough sweetheart”

I raised my brow at him and tried to bite my tongue but failed miserably.

“I hope you are aware that I do not intend to stay here with you Mr. Marino.”

I spoke with a bold and confident tone in an attempt to try and hide my fear but he was unfortunately able to see through all of my tricks. He ignored my statement so I continued, not accepting his disregard for my own opinions.

“I want to know your intentions for me now!”

He sighed and I didn’t miss how his grip on me tightened slightly.

“All in good time darling.”

We had been driving for a while now, my guess was 30 minutes though I had no phone or watch because they had been taken from me so I couldn’t be certain. I had tried to look out the windows but couldn’t see. They were blacked out and I imagined this was on purpose because Antonio didn’t want me to know our whereabouts. He was always one step ahead of me. I hadn’t given it much thought but we probably were not even in the same state I had been taken from. I had been drugged when taken so we could be half way across the country and I wouldn’t know.

I looked over to the man himself to see he was still distracted by whatever he was doing on his phone. He had been focusing on that for the majority of the journey and to say I was glad of it would be an understatement. The more attention his phone got the less I did which allowed me to relax slightly.

“We will be there soon.”

So he speaks!

“Actually I have something for you.”

Cautiously I watched him dig around in his pockets as he spoke. Antonio was dressed amazingly too. He wore a crisp, black suit with a scarlet red tie that matched my own outfit perfectly. I leant in to him slightly early in order to get a whiff of his intoxicating cologne, and it didn’t disappoint. He smelt so manly and the musky smell would have drove me mad if we were to have met in another situation.

Out of his pocket he drew an expensive looking jewelry box. He opened it to reveal a stunning diamond necklace. My jaw dropped. Was that even real? It couldn’t be! Surely he wouldn’t spend that much money on me....I was his prisoner not his girlfriend. He gestured for me to turn around, so I did and lifted my hair so that he could fasten a necklace’s chain around my neck. Small diamonds sat next to each other, balancing expertly on a silver chain. It hung down to the middle of my chest and sparkled. The beauty of it complimented the dress perfectly. It was all too perfect for someone like myself and it was even more deranged for him to spend so much. Maybe he had no one so aimed to please others, but I didn’t take him for the good will kind. A murderer didn’t get off from bringing people happiness, they enjoyed others pain.

“It’s beautiful.”

I didn’t want to say thank you because he deserved nothing from me in return for the gift, perhaps this was some sort of apology from him. But unfortunately a pricey present wasn’t enough in exchange for kidnapping and hurting another human being.

He didn’t give me much of a response, only nodding and humming in agreement. I could see the faint trace of a smirk playing on his lips and a slight glint in his eyes of an unreadable expression.

I looked back down at the necklace. Ryan had never bought me jewelry. It was because I was lucky enough to have him and therefore didn’t need rewards. He was kind enough to deal with all of the flaws I carried so that was more than any kind of present he could buy me with money. I found it ironic how the only man ever to buy me an expensive gift was one who kidnapped me. He didn’t love me, this was a pity gift. No one could love me. As soon as they saw the scars that littered my body that would be enough to make them run away and never look back at me. I saw from the corner of my eye how Antonio was staring at my scars. The circular blisters on my collarbone that had been burned into my porcelain skin with red hot cigarettes by the hand of my abuser. The diamonds sat against them and it only reminded me that I wasn’t good enough for such luxuries. They were wasted on me, ruined by my imperfect skin.

Tears began to well up in my eyes as I thought about what everyone would think of me when they saw the markings. The dress left me exposed. I would normally hide because, like Ryan told me, the imperfections of my flesh disturbed others. They would look at me and think I was violent and had got into fights, leaving me with battle scars. Then I would be thought of as an angry and vile woman, so I had to keep them hidden from the world. I knew that he just didn’t want to get caught but his excuses had held some truth to them. I was ugly and people always assume the worst. It didn’t matter how I got the marks, only that I was different and to this world, different was bad.

I prayed that Antonio would turn away from me and back to his phone but he remained still while his cold, burning gaze just lingered to me as if analyzing every movement I made. He didn’t say anything nor did he give away any emotion.

I leant away so that I was facing the blacked out window and focused on my plans to escape in order to try to distract myself from anything else. I couldn’t afford for my past memories to get in the way of my future. After a few minutes I heard the typing of Antonio’s phone resume beside me as I played with my hands in my lap.

Maybe I could excuse myself to the bathroom and ask for help. I could write a note for the waiter when the plates were collected or I could quite literally make a run for it when the car stopped. But all my options were flawed. What if I was escorted to the bathroom? How would I get a message to the waiter without being noticed? How the hell would I be able to run away from this mussel torn and very fit man in 5 inch heels? It seemed I would have to be cautious and just take an opportunity when I saw one. That might have been for the best anyway because that way, at least Antonio could not figure out my plan if I didn’t know it myself. I could do that! I could be spontaneous....

Suddenly the car slowed down before coming to a complete pause. Antonio got out of the car and I followed him. He kept his eyes locked on me but walked back over to his driver and whispered something to him. I could have tried to run then but it was only going to end badly because he was staring at me all the while and I wouldn’t have gotten very far anyway.

The restaurant looked expensive. Very expensive. It was pristine white and had luscious green and gold decorations displayed skillfully across the outside. I had never eaten in an expensive place like this, for Ryan and I Olive Garden was a stretch because neither of us were loaded and I had no one else to go out with. I had no real friends, sure I spoke to people at work but we were hardly close. My abusive relationship left me with trust issues and now I barely socialized with anyone unless it was mandatory.

I felt Antonio’s hand on my back as he appeared behind me out of nowhere like a ghost. I heard the car drive away so now the two of us were left alone standing outside the grand restaurant.

“Let’s eat.” Antonio said while leading me inside, past the golden gate like doors.

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