It annoyed me that I was expected to behave all day while trapped in a room and then have a meal with the son of a bitch who kidnapped me. However it was all going to be worth it once some of my questions were answered. I needed to be careful with what I asked though, he would surely only be so generous with his responses so therefore I had to use my questions wisely.
In the morning I had woken up still on the couch where I had fallen asleep. I glanced over to the bed to see it unmade, so clearly no one had been in to make it as they usually would. It also meant, much to my luck, that Antonio had already left to do God knows what. I wondered where he went off too during the day. Did he even leave this house or did he just stay hidden away in an office somewhere. I had not yet explored the house but one of this size was bound to have an office for him. Was he currently killing someone or was he perhaps ordering another drug shipment? I didn’t know, and to be honest I didn’t particularly wish to find out. I knew it would just scare me more.
Soon after I woke up there was a knock at the door and Linda came in holding a tray of food. I didn’t care to speak to her. Despite the fact she had to tell Antonio what I had asked her to do for me, it still was enough to make me never trust her again. She wasn’t evil or out to get me but her loyalty lies with her boss, not his captive.
There was a wide selection of food for me to choose from. Pancakes with fruit, chocolate chips and syrup or toast with a generous portion of avocado with a fried egg on top. This was what I instantly dived into, ignoring the fried breakfast and cereal. I was still a bit hungry afterwards so picked on a few other bits from the remaining plates I was served. There were also a few drinks to choose from (coffee, tea and a hot chocolate) . I had never been one for tea and only really liked iced coffee so picked up the hot chocolate. I never drank these anymore and moaned at the rich, sweet taste. I remember as a child my mother would make one for me every morning. I quickly pushed my childhood memories out of my mind. I didn’t want another reason to be all depressed.
After breakfast the leftovers were taken away and I was left bored with nothing to do, once again. I had tried unlocking the windows and doors already, but it was useless. Even if I shattered the window, there were guards stationed outside so I wouldn’t get very far anyway.
I also didn’t want to mope around in bed all day waiting for dinner time. So I ultimately settled for reading a new book. This time I chose one I recognized, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by none other than William Shakespeare. There were other plays by him lined up on the shelf too, including ‘The Taming Of The Shrew’ which I found particularly ironic considering that I was currently in a similar position that the main character in that play was.
I was half way through when Linda once again entered, this time with lunch. Not bad, I had been reading for a whole 4 hours! I enjoyed reading very much so therefore it was a blessing that there were books for me to entertain myself with. I presumed that since he had so many books that he was well educated and genuinely enjoyed reading. Why else would someone have so many books? That was odd too, for a Mafia Don to be so into his literature. It just wasn’t expected. I assumed that those kinds of men wouldn’t have the soul for such classics as Shakespeare, but people surprise you. I learnt this from several of my patients and of course Ryan.
Speaking of Ryan, last night had been one of the first where my dreams were not plagued with his torture. That only proved how exhausted I was, but make no mistake, the dreams would most likely return to me soon enough. Now I had experienced two men’s abuse. I was certain the world was out to get me. Then again, there were people worse off than myself. I wasn’t ignorant, children were being abandoned, innocent people were starving to death and I was relatively comfortable. I was clothed, fed and warm. That’s a lot more than some had. But things could always get worse.
The day I left Ryan was the day that he had beaten me so badly that I ended up in hospital. It wasn’t the first time either but when the nurses gave me odd looks and started questioning the causes of the bruises and breaks I would shrug all the injuries off with excuses like “I fell down the stairs in my heels″ or “I wasn’t looking and walked into my countertop then fell”. But one day a particular Doctor had had enough of my ridiculous and false explanations. He saw through my lies. In all honesty the others must have seen it too but he was the first brave enough to say it. I broke down.
His name was Oscar Charlton and he had even let me stay with him while the court went through the process of arresting Ryan. It was easy for him to be proven guilty, so much evidence was presented on my body. However I was too unkind to Oscar. Shortly after the apartment was all mine I moved back and never spoke to him again. I think he understood why I did it. I didn’t want any reminders of what I went through. I completely redecorated, not even leaving a single wall the color it was originally. Everything had to be different this time around. But I was wrong, things changed.
I ate lunch slowly, off of my lap, while I sat on the couch staring out of the window. I watched because that’s what we do when we long to be a part of something but cannot. That’s why we watch films, we want adventure and romance so throw ourselves into the stories that excite us. Life went on as normal outside but here I was. Every one back home would have just assumed I’d fled or been taken and killed or sold. They weren’t far off from the truth. Maybe there were people looking for me but I knew they would never find me and soon give up. I worked for the system, I knew how it worked. We entrust police and government with our safety and lives but still they betray us for money. There are rats everywhere. I didn’t doubt for a second that Antonio didn’t have people on the inside.
By the time I had finished my book, Gavin barged through my door, closely followed by Olivia.
“Hello Honey! Are you ready?”
Gavin was as excitable as ever but I was just nervous and clearly wasn’t doing a good job of hiding it because my stylist had picked up on this and was trying hard to reassure me.
“It will be fine. Don’t worry, besides Olivia and I will make you look absolutely fabulous!”
Olivia too smiled at me while she was busy laying out her products and equipment. I was trying to push out all the negative thoughts I had while getting ready. The pair had a lot to set up and needed to make sure that their make-up and dress colors matched so I got into the bath that Linda had run for me. Gavin insisted it would help me relax and even had bubbles and oils put in the warm water while the sides were decorated with candles. I wasn’t really a bath person as work started early and finished late so there was little time for anything but a quick shower, but this was a nice treat.
I had asked Linda to leave, that was a challenge as she tried to convince me to let her wash me, but I told her it wasn’t necessary so she complied.
I scrubbed my scalp with the rose scented shampoo and dunked my head under the water. I held myself under the water for a while. Then a while turned into a longer and longer time until I found myself pushing the limits of how long I could last without oxygen. I could feel my lungs burning with the need to fill themselves with air, but I couldn’t come above the surface. I didn’t want to, part of me just wanted to let myself slip out of consciousness and I almost did surrender to the darkness when all of a sudden there was a knock at the door. I shot up and took a panicked breath, not wanting to get caught.
Linda entered and helped me into a towel while explaining that the team was ready for me.
I was asked to face the window while my hair was styled and my makeup was done. I wasn’t too bothered about what they did to me, I was much more concerned about Antonio’s intentions for me. That was the only thing on my mind. I flinched slightly when Olivia scraped my scalp with a hair pin, to which she muttered an apology.
Once she was finished, Gavin started scanning through the dresses he had lined up on a rack, all of which seemed far too beautiful for me. Again though, why on earth was I going to be wearing such an expensive gown for a simple dinner! Rich people puzzled me, I get they had the money and plenty of it to spare, but still. Surely it would be smarter to give your money to charity or even save it! Then again I understood that Antonio wasn’t the charitable kind. Finally, Gavin pulled out his chosen dress. It was stunning, but not to my taste. It was so tight and short and I cringed thinking that I would even need to put it on.
Gavin looked at me with a look of pity, sensing my disapproval.
“Look, Mr. Marino gave me several options and I swear to you that this is the least... skimpy.”
I nodded, knowing that he was telling the truth. He placed a pair of red heels out for me and then I was left alone to get changed.
The dress wasn’t particularly slutty, it was just not the kind of thing I would normally wear and put me out of my comfort zone. After I’d climbed into it I reached behind to do up the zip, trying to catch it in my fingers. I was in such a daze over convincing myself that I could pull the look off that I had not noticed how Antonio had entered the room, at least not until I felt his hands grazing my bare back and zipping the back of the dress up. Once it reached the top, his hand lingered on my waist and the other on my shoulder as he sensually breathed on my neck. I hated to admit it but found myself struggling to bite back a moan as my body was self consciously leaning into his chest slightly. I then caught my senses and stepped forth, only to have the man spin me around so that I faced a full length mirror.
I looked over my reflection, stunned that the person I could see was even me. The dress actually did suit me and clung to all my assets, I almost liked it but still would have felt better in my own clothing. The makeup was, of course, immaculate. My eyes had an elegant coat of black eyeliner and my lips were painted a matching red. My hair had been styled in a way that it slipped down my back and flowed over my shoulders in perfect waves.
I felt Antonio’s hand trace up the length of my arm. I hated him but couldn’t deny how his touch made me feel. Everywhere he touched seemed to leave a trail of sensual goosebumps. I was having to force my mind to remember he was a murderer and a kidnapper along with God knows what else.
He leant down to my ear and whispered so seductively that I thought my knees would give beneath me.
“Red definitely is your color.”