The Beauty of Grey

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Chapter 13

Exactly two weeks after the accident, Zacharias decided that I was more important than his work. I decided that his apparent growing attachment towards me only increased my deep hatred towards him.

It felt weird, because for one of the first times I woke up on my own terms. Every morning, I was forced to wake up early; earlier than I fancied. It wasn’t so much as waking up early that had aggravated me, it was knowing I would have to lallygag around for the whole day until he came home.

I’d be lying if I said it didn’t trigger a dependence on him, because it did. I had given up trying to break free, and I didn’t try to brew up plans to run, because I knew they’d all be in vain. I had to take a different approach. I didn’t try to hide the fact that I depended on him, but I also didn’t hide the fact that it made me angry. With my dependence came resentment. Which defeated the purpose of a new approach.

And according to him, my resentment was unmanageable. I tested him because I detested him. Everything I did—my rebellion, my sheer pettiness, my explicitness—set him over the edge, because even after being there for just over three weeks my orientation to him didn’t change. As much as I aggravated him, I was holding true to how I felt.

As satisfying as it felt to disregard what he expected of me, and to stomp all over his demands of complete submission, it was met without reward. I didn’t think he was going to reward my bad behaviour, but I hoped he’d read between the lines and he’d sense my absolute desperation and he’d take pity on me. However, his resistance was greater than mine, and I was starting to get tuckered out

Underneath the strength I tried to exude, my aggression was a sign of weakness. In my attempts to portray myself as durable, I was beginning to crack at the edges. I hadn’t begun to loosen up to Zacharias, nor was I beginning to care for him, but I was becoming all bark and no bite. I threatened him hollowly, but never acted. It was arguable I was still somewhat stiff from whiplash, but I wasn’t stricken solid.

There was no sun when I awoke, and the room embodied a lifeless grey. It was dreary and unattractive; poignant, nearly, in how neutral it was. There was a silence, one so eerie it sent chills up my spine, and I longed for rain even if only to hear its steady pitter-patter against the window. Despondency seemed to be in the forecast, with the possibility of woe.

Zacharias shifted from beside me, exhaling loudly from his nose. I was laying on my back, eyes facing towards the ceiling, but I quickly curled onto my side into the fetal position as I stared out the window. In the distance the coniferous trees swayed in an undecided breeze, and the clouds swirled above as they prepared for a storm. I watched the overcast as it began to darken, my intestines eddying with it.

The man scooted himself closer towards me, and his warmth made my skin crawl as I tensed myself. My lips curled as he closed our proximity, resting his large hand on my thigh through the bedding. I swatted his hand away instantly, cringing at the remains of a dull ache that was more bearable now than it had been.

He alleviated his hand from my leg, but pressed himself even closer behind me. My fingers gripped the bedsheets tightly as I gritted my teeth, angrily pondering as to why today of all days he decided to stay back and bother me. He was beginning to become more bored and less patient, flaunting his irritation at my lack of hospitality.

“You have yet to give me a kind reception,” he said to me monotonously, burying his chin in the crook of my neck. Nettled, I tried to shrug him off. But he was as defiant as I was, because he didn’t remove himself from me. “I dream of mornings where you’re actually glad to see me. Despite your hatred towards me, I enjoy waking up next to you.”

“And I dream of mornings where I’m back in my own bed and I’m away from you,” I said with false pleasance. “You’ll be waiting for a real long time for my hatred to disappear. You probably shouldn’t expect it until either you or I are pushing up daisies, really.”

“You insist it so much you almost sound credible,” he pressed a kiss to my skin, and my whole body shuddered with outrage. “Do you fully understand how deep our bond is?” He asked slowly, as if I were unable to comprehend what he was communicating.

“If we’re so deeply bonded, Zacharias, how come I feel nothing towards you?”

“Nothing?” He queried, digging his chin into my neck hard enough that it hurt.

“Nothing,” I repeated, resisting the urge to add except hatred. “No attachments. No happiness, no excitement, no relief. When I see you, I feel nothing. It’s like I’m staring right through you, but never at you.”

“Your words would sting me if I thought you spoke the truth,” he chuckled. “They just annoy me, because your dishonesty blinds you.”

“From what?” I snapped as I sat up straight, hitting the underside of his jaw with my shoulder. “Seeing who you wish I would see you as compared to who you truly are? What you like to pass as dishonesty I like to pass as common sense.”

“Then humour me, Edie,” he sat up straight to meet my stance. I whipped my head to the side in order to face him, hoping he’d see the intense abhorrence I held towards him. “Who do you think I truly am?”

I laughed at him; a low, mocking laugh just to let him know how sorry I felt for him. “I think you’re a predator. I think you like to take advantage of my vulnerability and you like to play off of my weaknesses. I believe you when you say we share something, sure, but I also believe you assert your authority over me because it’s fun—because you know you can get away with it.”

“But you’ll voluntarily forget that I shifted into a wolf right before your eyes? Let’s call it as it is. I’m a fucking werewolf. I’m the Alpha of this fucking pack. But you can just...simply forget it. You disregard what I am to convince yourself I’m no more than a psychopath.”

“Being a beast doesn’t define who you are, it defines what you are. Your temperament is you, and good luck telling me otherwise.”

“So tell me now, Edie,” his hand wrapped around the nape of my neck, and he brought our faces close enough that our noses rubbed together. “Do you feel nothing when I do this?”

And he pressed his lips over mine. With his other hand, he fisted my curls to ensure that I couldn’t move away. I didn’t have the time to prepare myself and gulp a last second breath, so I was rendered winded as he took claim of me; the way he gripped me and kissed me proving that underneath all of our pent up tension and resentment, he still believed me to be his.

He removed his lips from mine for the shortest second to ask me, “nothing?”

Lips swollen and static, I lied. “Nothing.”

So he took it as his cue to try to make me feel something. He kissed me with a fervency and enthusiasm nearly like a high school boy—but it was different in a way. He was more expert and experienced. I could feel it in the way his lips slowly moved against mine before he slipped me the tongue.

It was in that moment I knew that I was constantly denying that I felt nothing for him only because deep down beneath my anger, I felt something. Yes, there was hatred and rage and fear; but this kiss reminded me that there was more. There was confusion, there was influence, and there was motive.

I had pretended to feel nothing, but in that moment I felt everything. There was something spellbinding and enchanting about how kissing him made me feel. It both scared me away but sealed my fate. When he kissed me, I felt weak. As if everything I built up against him would crumble in mere seconds.

He didn’t disgust me when we locked lips; he enticed me and temporarily threw the curtain over my animosity. As much as I hated it, kissing him made me wish I didn’t hate him as much as I did; it made me wish that I...liked him. Something about it, in the midst of being so wrong, felt so right—too right.

And when he pulled away, I was breathless as I seemed to take on every emotion he felt in the heat of the moment. My scalp burned from his clenched fist and my lips throbbed with the impression of him. His eyes, as they met mine, smouldered a rich black that both demanded my attention and made me want to turn my cheek to him.

“You can’t tell me that you feel nothing—not after that,” he enunciated. “Not after that.”

“Dead.” I insisted unconvincingly.

“Would you like to know what I felt?” He asked, but didn’t expect an answer. “Limitless.”

Taking my face in his hands, he rolled me over so my back was on the bed. He positioned himself so he was in between my legs before placing his palms beside my head. Through the embrace of the grey room, the dawn seemed to fade away into nothingness so Zacharias could manifest into everything. Everything centred around him. The moon, the wilderness; and at the time, I did too. I would hate myself for it later, but I couldn’t have cared less in the moment if I tried.

There was no shame nor shyness as he cast me under whatever hex he thought to be appropriate. As I laid beneath his hovering frame, I knew that he had me right where he wanted me. My fierceness evaded me all at once, and despite the fact I looked up at him with the same scrutiny as a bird of prey, I felt as timid and innocent as a dove.

My consent was silent but readable, and Zacharias knew that I was in no mood to fight him off; nor that I wanted to. My sudden desire for him seemingly came from thin air, but I acted like I had a solid leg to stand on with that decision. I breathed in uneven pants, already depleted before our act of selfishness could even begin.

I completely surrendered myself to him, allowing my upper body to fall slack as my arms outstretched to the sides. An ache lapsed through my body, my whiplash warning me to stop this impulsive madness; but I pushed it aside. I wasn’t doing this to appease my kidnapper; I was doing it to indemnify myself.

I was fucked up—I recognized it, and I was also able to recognize that what I was doing was fucked up too. But I couldn’t help myself, so I would relent and grant Zacharias that right even if only for a few minutes of heaven. I’d descend into my own piteous hell later. I knew I would.

He placed a heavy, meaningful kiss to my lips before pulling away. His shadow eased as he stood on his knees, looking down at me with wild eyes. He had never looked so calm but so alive; he knew I wasn’t doing this for him, but he didn’t seemed bothered by it. I didn’t think it was conceited to think he was just grateful I was letting him, without complaint, to touch me for once.

“Undress me.” He urged gently; politely, maybe.

I wasn’t a virgin by any means—but I felt like a reborn virgin at his demand. I had thought he was going to pave the way for me; that he would do all the work and I could just lay back and enjoy it. It was foolish, sure, but him wanting me to undress him was nearly enough to kill the mood. My overthinking was killing it as it was.

My hands began to tremble, and no amount of inward scolding could stop it. I didn’t think there was a special technique to undress someone, and it wasn’t like I was a prude to Zacharias’ nudity. Maybe I was hesitant or scared out of fear of judgement—not that it mattered what he thought. Well, it shouldn’t have. But it did.

So carefully, I sat up and was unable to meet his eyes. I kept my line of vision on his abs; his hard, strong washboard abs. Unable to resist the allure of his smooth, sculpted stomach, I traced my fingers down his bulging muscles; shivering at how his abdomen coiled at my touch. It was then, that I was hooked.

Grabbing onto the waistband of his boxers, his fingers grasped my chin and forced my head to look up and face him as I pulled his clothing down his thighs. I longed for his eyes to return back to green, just to have something lurid to maintain contact with. The black was too overpowering; harsher than the unnatural shade of emerald.

I refused to look at his manhood; already aware of his massive size and girth. Bringing attention to it would be too intimidating and my nerves would overrule my confidence. I wanted this. I was frustrated—emotionally, mentally and sexually. Giving in just once wouldn’t kill me.

I lifted the shirt he had given me over my head and removed it, throwing it onto the ground before laying back down on the bed. Feeling too modest to take my bra off, but feeling as though it wasn’t modest enough, I covered my hidden breasts with my forearms. I swallowed thickly, feeling confused but certain.

I hadn’t worn sweatpants that night simply because I had forgotten to put them on. I had left them on the sink counter after my shower and hadn’t realized until it was too late. The shorts, gratefully, covered over half of my thighs but I was still able to feel the difference of fully covered legs to partially covered legs. However, it no longer bothered me enough to decide that I absolutely needed them.

So I laid in front of the man in nothing but a sports bra and boxers. In that moment I was grateful for one less article of clothing, but at the same time wished I would’ve worn it just to grant myself enough time to change my mind. I doubted I could’ve been easily swayed to ruffle my decision, but a few seconds was enough to start a war.

He was less gentle removing my clothing than I was with him; he was anxious but adroit with his hands. He hadn’t bothered to loosen the string I had tightened the waistband with only because it still left wiggle room. He ripped the boxers off of me, only because he knew it wouldn’t hurt.

I shuddered once the cold air breezed in between my legs, causing a chill to travel through my body. Heat soon replaced the chill, however, when the man leaned down to kiss me on the lips. I was impulsive, wrapping my arms around his neck to bring him closer to me. In that moment he was no longer an enemy, but neutral ground. I knew that in the time being, I was safe; he would not double cross me.

Right away.

He broke away from my lips, and I missed his presence like he had completely left me alone to deal with my hotness and heaviness. But he wasn’t gone at all. He was as close as ever as he kissed my jawline in perfect succession, causing butterflies to erupt from inside my ribcage—fluttering hard enough as if admonishing me to set them free.

He pressed urgent kisses to my collarbones before slipping his hands underneath my bra and tearing it over my head, bypassing my protective arms; throwing it carelessly onto the floor with the shirt I had discarded. He kissed in between the valley of my breasts, and I allowed my arms to once again drape to the side. I completely submitted myself to him, prepared to be ravaged.

He kissed down the trail of my abdomen before pausing at my lower stomach. There was a moment of stillness, and I was frustrated enough that I was about to glare up at him; but he wasn’t getting cold feet. I grew enlivened when the man threw my legs over his shoulders and squeezed the back of my thighs, aiming to oblige me.

His stubble tickled my womanhood, and I let out a sound somewhere between a gasp and a giggle from shock. But I relaxed into it almost instantly, not having to convince myself to enjoy it. My eyes rolled shut as I let him take the lead, giving him the first and last chance to have his way with me. I wouldn’t do this again.

I moaned as his tongue indulged me, his selfishness meriting my needy deprivation. As we used and abused each other, I let myself go; allowed my spirit to relieve my body even if only for a few minutes. As I laid there and let Zacharias do what we both wanted, I detached myself from the world.

My self-hatred maybe manifested right then and there in that moment, as I grew wetter and wetter the more Zacharias gave me face. It was pleasuring and stimulating, but I didn’t need to be fully cognizant or wholly aware that I had been weakened enough to allow him to touch me.

My fingers gripped the bedsheets as my eyes slipped open, the embrace of grey welcoming me as I saw without seeing. I completely shut down, expecting to feel fulfilled but only feeling completely disappointed. It wasn’t the man who made me feel that way, however.

I should’ve felt as exuberant as ever, but I felt consumed by my own remorse. I couldn’t stop dwelling on the fact that I was pathetic—that me letting this happen was pathetic. My want didn’t discard my will, but I felt like I had betrayed myself; I knew that I had. I regretted ever conceding to my impulse.

His tongue brushed against my clit, which tossed my spirit back into my body so quickly that I jerked as if it wasn’t only metaphorically. I was brought back to life, my resentment only accumulating. A quiver electrified my body, feeling intense enough to bring me back to life; which, with what I was feeling towards myself, was the last thing I needed.

But he was a tease. He pulled away from me just when I thought he was going to lift my fog of moping; leaving me unsatisfied and feeling rejected. I felt nearly betrayed; like it was his right to cater to me during something as consequential as this. I had expected to feel the consequences of my weakness. I just hadn’t expected to feel it so soon.

I dropped my legs back onto the bed, and it creaked as he lifted his body to hover over mine. Unable to meet his eyes, from both embarrassment and anger, I turned my head to the side and closed my eyes again. I trembled as he leant down closer to me, his hot breath fanning over the cheek that faced him. I didn’t know what he was planning, but I didn’t enjoy it. Not anymore.

“Get off of me.” I hissed, expecting my spine to begin curling as if I was a feline. I wished I hadn’t chewed my nails right down to the flesh or I would’ve gladly slashed his cheeks to remind both him and I the damage I could do when I was blinded by fury. It couldn’t have been any more consequential than my discontentment.

“Edie,” he whispered, ignoring me. His nose felt cold as he traced my cheek with it before scraping it over my jawline. Conflicted, I bit my lip and and tensed my toes. “Am I your first?”

Scared and reluctant, I began pushing my feet against the bed as if I could crawl far away from him. “G-get the fuck off of me.” I demanded untenably, hoping he’d show some mercy to me.

“Am I the first man to taste you?” He asked, trailing his nose down the side of my neck; stopping in the crook. He had an odd fascination with that part of my neck in particular. He favoured it; acknowledged it as significant to him. I thought it was concerning.

“Zacharias,” I said shakily. “Don’t kick me while I’m down.”

“Am I the first to see you bare? Am I the first to kiss you? Am I the first to bed you?” His questions—the more he asked, the more accusatory he became. I didn’t like the way he spoke to me; he made me feel as though I were a whore for being with men before him. He made me feel as if I didn’t value myself. But I did. I viewed my body as a temple.

But I had made the mistake of allowing him to come inside and worship me.

Defiance replacing my blood, I turned to face him directly; hitting his nose with my chin from how quickly I turned. I opened my eyes, lips morphing into a grimace as my stomach curdled. Zacharias looked down at me with those eyes of obsidian, displeased by my lack of cooperation.

My grimace discontinued when I stared into his eyes for a solid ten—maybe fifteen—seconds. He thought that my hesitation was my inclination and my subtle way of confessing to him that I had yet to be deflowered; and that my lips were previously untouched before him. He thought that I had been saved for him; preserved.

And I laughed. I laughed a high-pitched, ridiculing laugh that was enough to make me feel like I was completely fulfilled. His seduction was nothing compared to laughing in his face. He could set the guidelines for the game all he wanted, but who was I to not bend the rules?

“You’re not the first,” I laughed. “And you certainly weren’t the best.”

Instead of responding or reacting, he shoved two fingers inside of me. For a moment I was completely frozen in shock, the pain so sudden that it was numbing. I gasped violently, eyes bulging as my fingers gripped the bedsheets so tightly that the fabric ripped. As he began pumping his fingers in and out of me, however, I knew I needed to act fast or I would succumb to my gratification.

So I acted quickly and without thinking. Bearing my teeth fiercely I removed one hand from the bedsheets, clenched it into a fist, and struck Zacharias right on the temple. When he didn’t pull his fingers out of me right away, I struck him again; harder, my anger propelling the force of the blow.

He pulled his fingers out of me and I pushed him off of me. I didn’t think he had pulled himself away from me because my blows had hurt him—I doubted a bullet could hurt him—, but maybe a shred of decency compelled him to do something forbearing for once. Maybe he knew that this was crossing a line. Maybe he felt dirty like I did.

Scrambling off of the bed, I began to put the clothing I had worn last night back on; dressing myself so hurriedly that by the time I was finished Zacharias was still stunned. I didn’t understand why he was shocked because I had hit him with worse; a frying pan, for example...but that seemed to hurt him less.

I was breathing heavily, chest rising and falling rapidly as I turned to look at him. I ran my hands through my curls maybe a dozen times as I tried to recollect myself, still feeling denuded like I was naked. I then wrapped my arms around myself, hugging myself like I was sufficient by means of comforting.

I must’ve blinked for a millisecond too long, because when I opened my eyes again he was standing right in front of me. I let out a scream, fretting to move in vain but unable to go through with it. Zacharias wrapped an arm around my waist and grabbed my hair with his other hand, bearing my neck to him; positioning me like he had when he kissed me for the first time in the hallway. My face paled at what he said next, because I realized he hadn’t stopped his assault on my behalf.

“I’ll make myself your first.” He growled, mouth opening as his teeth elongated; preparing to bite into my neck.

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