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35. Black And Blue

She had no idea how many days had passed since that dreadful night. She only knew that it should have been more than a couple already.

The clock had been removed from her room the following morning (although that was a speculation now that time was lost on her again). She was hence left clueless again about the passing hours. However, the clock had been replaced by several mirrors. Every spare wall in the bedroom was adorned with one, which was a torture in itself as she couldn’t bear to look at face anymore.

Of course, she thought to leave, once the first shock had subsided. Of course, she actually tried to escape through the only balcony door she knew to be unlocked. Only that it wasn’t unlocked anymore. Like the rest of the doors in this house it had been sealed. Yet, she tried and tried and tried and when nothing came of it, she started banging it in despair until she collapsed on the floor, sobbing violently.

Slowly, ever so slowly, everything started at last sinking in. The perfect isolation of this house from the rest of the world, the disappearance of her phone the very first day of her arrival, all the locked exits – no longer entrances in her mind; just means of escape- from this house. It was all planned carefully to keep one –her- stranded here.

Helpless.

“And what for?” she muttered to herself while lying on her bed, staring at nothingness.

What for really? To be the punching bag for the man she had foolishly trusted with her safety and she girlish affections. She had been so convenient for him; she knew that now. An easy prey. That’s what she was. All the hints she had missed were flooding her mind and all the alarm bells were belatedly ringing, making her head a noisy place.

She had been called – no, not called; dragged- twice more downstairs. Not to eat of course. Nobody cared if she ate anymore, although a sandwich always found a way to her room. Her guess was they didn’t want her to die just yet.

The sickness of her predicament hit her the second time she found herself in the presence of the master and his pet. They were arguing. She didn’t know about what, but this time the other woman was far from submissive. Her nostrils flared and her eyes were angry but Theo was even scarier because she had never seen him like that.

Under any other circumstances she might have been curious to know what had transpired between those two. She would have asked to learn their backstory. Now she only felt appalled by them both for using her in their disgusting game.

She was made to stand in front of Theo, while Kendra was right behind her. He would yell to her face, for Kendra to hear and she would holler back to him safe for the punishment intended for her would befall Emilia. Slaps, that would make her head spin on her shoulders. Punches that would knock her breath out. Kicks that threatened to break her fragile bones and pain.

So much pain. All of the day and all of the night, though she couldn’t tell anymore which was which. The balcony door was not only locked; the shutters had been closed as well. There was no longer a view to gaze at. There was nothing to help her take her mind of this ordeal.

She couldn’t even sleep anymore. Now that she needed dreamless slumber more than ever, it seemed that it constantly eluded her and the jug of water had vanished from her nightstand, causing her more distress.

When she dared to ask the Man about it, only overcoming her fear because she was really thirsty and she didn’t want to drink from the tap in the bathroom, he sneered at her.

“A junkie already?”

“What…what do you mean?” she stuttered.

“Sleeping drops, silly girl” he scoffed. “It never occurred to you that you slept like a fucking log whenever you drank from it?”

No, it hadn’t. It was not a surprise at this point.

She trusted Theo completely. She never thought she was in danger with him; a man she barely knew. Yes, now she knew she wasn’t as smart as she believed herself to be. Yet, it was too late.

As a pathetic attempt to forget of the situation she was in, she had covered the mirrors with sheets and towels. It offered her some kind of comfort, until the Man viciously took it away by uncovering them.

“Please, don’t” she had whimpered but he didn’t seem to care.

“No, girl” he had said coldly. “You deserve to see the consequences of your stupidity”

He tugged her up violently from her wrist and led her to the nearest mirror. The moment her eyes caught a glimpse of her beaten face, she shuddered and averted them immediately. The Man was having none of it. Caging her with his enormous body, he clasped her chin with his big hand, digging his fingers in her flesh. He turned her head to face the mirror and she shut her eyes.

“Open your eyes, you little fool” he growled in her ear.

“No” she whispered as tears escaped her eyelids.

His hand released her chin only to land on her throat squeezing in warning. The memory of when he had caught her in her bedroom flashed in her brain and a fear like no other gripped her heart. One could say, that she had experienced far worse treatment in the last days. That remembrance should mean nothing. Yet, it was the first time in her life that she had come so close to death and the experience had a strong impact on her.

She felt the wetness dribble on her legs and her insides burned in the deepest embarrassment. The foul smell filled the room and in an instant the man let her go and her limb body fell to the ground to be drenched in the small pool the liquid had created. She lifted her eyes to see the man looking down on her with pure disgust. She tried to move her body away but the damage was done.

“Don’t move” he barked. “You are making it worse”

She stayed put and he went to the bathroom, muttering under his breath. She was pretty sure she caught the word “pathetic” and she chuckled bitterly at the accuracy. Then, the sound of running water was heard and she was perplexed.

The man returned in a minute and grabbing her by the collar he helped her up and pushed her to the bathroom, careful not to touch the filthy parts. He left her in front of the tub that was filling up in steamy water and turned to leave.

“Thank you” she said in a small voice.

“This is the last warm bath you are having” he replied and left.

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