It’s been weeks since my last encounter with the Leviathan. Since then, I have only seen his servants enter in and out of the room. I tell the days by the times that the women come in. They bring me three meals a day and make sure I am washed and ready for bed before leaving the room.
Right on schedule, Ruth walks in. The wall disappears upon her presence, and she enters with that eerie blank look in her eyes. I’ve resorted to naming the servants at this point in my capture since they refuse to speak to me. It also brings me comfort imagining that these women are no longer former shells of themselves. I’ve named Ruth, Bertha, and Gertrude.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve eaten like I’m supposed to, and have been training in the room when they leave. It’s become much easier to train my body since I have a constant influx of food in my system.
My body has also gone through an extensive change since arriving here. My bones aren’t stretching against my skin, and my features aren’t as harsh. They have finally begun to fill out. It’s fascinating to see what a few weeks of healthy eating can do for the body. And due to my personal exercise, the small bit of muscle I do have has become nicely toned.
I watch Ruth as she places the meal for today on the table near the lounge area. She carefully sets the plates and drinks down, adjusting everything accordingly. Just as I had anticipated, her gaze never comes in my direction. She doesn’t even acknowledge me. I slowly stand as she begins making her way back to the wall that doubles as an exit.
The Leviathan hasn’t been here for weeks. I can only assume he’s away from this place joining another battle against humanity or hidden in these halls. Either way, he has lost interest in me, giving me the perfect opportunity to escape. And if I’m caught, then he will easily kill me.
It’s a win-win.
I wait until Ruth gets close to the wall and just as I anticipated, the solid mass disappears upon her approach. The moment it dissolves, I sprint across the room, shoving her hard in the back through the wide space. I don’t wait for a reaction. I sprint up the familiar hall making my way to the waiting double doors that are open. My fingers furiously press against the buttons, relief washing over me when the doors finally begin to close.
When I look up, I see Ruth. She’s standing outside the room I was once held in with the tray in her hands. She doesn’t try and advance on me, nor does her face hold any emotion. She just watches me with that terrifyingly blank expression as the doors finally close.
I slide down the metal wall trying to catch my breath. My nerves are on fire and my adrenaline is pumping. My brain is still on high alert. I know it can’t be this easy. It can’t be. Ruth didn’t pursue me, nor did she try and stop me once I attacked her. And that’s what terrifies me the most.
The room stops moving and the doors slide open to reveal a large open room. I slowly take a step out looking to the left. It’s the same room I came into when I first arrived. The room he brought me in to eat. It’s empty.
My instincts are screaming at me to go back. Just go back to the room and forget this whole plan to escape. But my brain is telling me to find the way out. It’s too late to go back. One way or another, the Leviathan will know of my attempt. I would rather find out everything I can and get away than go back without a fight.
The doors close behind me startling me from my thoughts. There’s definitely no way back now. I make my way through the hall, only the sound of my feet echoing off the smooth marble floor accompanies me. I can see an archway at the end of the hall, so I make my way towards it. As I pass through the large room, I look around at the overarching windows. Wherever this place is, it seems to be high up and surrounded by greenery. It makes me wonder who this particular Leviathan could be. Is he someone important? Is he an eccentric of his own people?
I round the corner entering into the unknown parts of this place. The hall is long and open, filled with alien objects. There are sculptures that sit atop dressers and canvases with a foreign language on them. Some of the rooms are locked and require codes to enter. I slowly place my hand against the strange texture of the wall. The texture is smooth to the touch but looks rough from a distance. Everything about this place is completely foreign.
I take note that at the end of the hall is another archway with much brighter light casting from it. I can only assume the exit is in this direction. I take a look behind me, scoping my surroundings one last time before I make my way to the archway. I round the corner, my feet freezing at the sight that greets me.
He’s sitting in a chair, a book in hand. His eyes are glossing over the page, his expression fixed with indifference even though his attention has been captured by the novel in his hand. His eyes slowly rise, meeting mine, and I don’t miss the glint of amusement in his gaze as he takes in my horror-filled expression. A small smile graces his lips, and he lowers the book.
My hand is gripping the door frame with all the strength I can muster as he stands from his seat, making his way towards me. The temperature of the room dips leaving me a shivering mess the closer he gets. He exudes danger. My body is completely aware of the foreign humanoid that stands before me. My instincts compel me to run. I’m fighting against myself, my free will is taken away from me in the form of a glance from this alien.
Finally, my instincts win over my fear, and I whip around, taking off in the opposite direction. I sprint up the open hall, making way towards another archway. A scream of relief leaves me when I see the large door that awaits. There’s glass on either side giving me the perfect view of the greenery that lies beyond this place. I’m free. I’m almost there.
Out of nowhere, I hear a deep chuckle followed by a rough pull on my ankle, causing me to stumble and fall. My momentum carries me out of my fall, my body sliding into the door with great speed. I cry out in pain as the back of my head smacks against the wood from impact.
The moment I open my eyes, he’s here.
My body is hauled up from the ground, my back pressed against the door that held the false promise of freedom. The Leviathan’s body is pressed taught against mine and I shiver as a strange energy snakes its way over my body from where he touches me. He leans into me, close to my throat, his lips hovering over the sensitive flesh there. A deep growl reverberates from his chest, vibrating over me. He draws his head back, watching me with an intense expression that adds to my fear.
“I can hear your heartbeat.” His hand snakes up, lightly wrapping around my throat. He doesn’t squeeze, but the warning is there. Loud and clear.
“It’s so fast… are you afraid, pet?”
“Did you think you could escape?” he laughs at the silence that greets him. His thumb rubs over my jaw lightly, adding goosebumps to the top layer of my flesh.
“I guess I overestimated you. I didn’t think you were unintelligent. Naïve, yes. But dull?” he laughs at the comparison.
“You knew there would be consequences, yet you tried anyway…”
I squeeze my eyes shut, letting the tears fall and my fear shine through.
“…Please…,” I whisper. I don’t know what I’m begging for. I just know that I must plead for something. Anything but his wrath.
He uses his thumb to wipe away the tears that fall down my face. I feel his hand under my chin, lifting my gaze to meet his. His bright purple orbs glare into my soul, revealing to me the horrors that are the Leviathan. I can’t move. I’m completely entranced by his gaze.
Even when I feel my skin beginning to prickle in pain. Even when my bones begin to vibrate within my body. A pain-filled whimper leaves my lips, but it’s all I can do. There is no reprieve. Even as the pain grows, his eyes never leave mine. My whimpers morph into groans of pain and finally screams. My body writhes within his grasp as excruciating pain washes over me. It feels like a thousand needles are prickling at my flesh with heated tips, pulling my bones from within.
The Leviathan leans into me, his lips next to my ear as he speaks.
“Embrace this pain. It will be your closest comfort for the next hour.”
I sit in front of the Leviathan, completely worn out. My mind is still trying to catch up from the torture I just endured. It’s a pain that has been etched into my body, but not my memory. I tense when I feel his fingers underneath mine, lifting my hand so that he can run his finger over my palm.
His eyes roam over my skin before he speaks.
“You have filled out wonderfully,” he says. I gaze at him in shock. His hand continues to trace up my arm before coming to a rest on my cheek.
“Can’t even see the bone anymore,” he mumbles to himself. His eyes finally focus on me, and a sudden wave of nausea washes over me as I remember the pain that gaze caused me only an hour ago.
“I am curious what you hoped to accomplish by attempting to escape. You must be aware of the advancements I have installed here. None of which have been fitted to you,” he says. He watches me expectantly, and I realize he truly wants me to respond.
“I…you were gone,” I say. He raises a brow at my words.
“And you thought my absence would be the perfect opportunity for you to escape?” he asks. I slowly nod my head, unsure of how to answer. The way he speaks to me is as if he’s coaxing a child into realizing their mistake.
“I’m glad you found the opportunity to attempt your escape. I hope that you will remember the consequences of your actions today.” He leans in closer to me, giving emphasis to his next sentence.
“Do not make this attempt again, unless you are prepared to lose the last bit of sanity that rattles around in your brain.”
I don’t respond. I can’t. I can barely breathe with his eyes watching me like this. His mere presence is enough to intimidate me into a state of pure fear. I notice his eyes are burning bright as he speaks, the blue specks within the purple burning much brighter the longer his gaze remains locked to mine. He finally smiles, satisfied with my reaction.
“I do not believe in death. It would be too easy an option for you. Rather, I would love to see how much pain you can take before you lose your grip on the world around you… If this happens again, I promise you, we will see how long it takes for you to lose your mind.” He isn’t smiling as he glares at me. His amusement is gone. He studies me longer than I like and finally leans back in his seat before standing.
“Come,” he says as he leaves the room. I immediately stand, putting on a light jog to keep up with him.
“Very clever of you to use my servant to aid in your escape,” he says with his back to me. As he speaks, I can’t help but take in his powerful build. He’s wearing dark clothing that hugs his frame gently enough for me to see the muscles constricting in his back as he walks. My eyes fall to the long strands of white hair that fall down his back. His hair is once again pulled into a low ponytail to hold it all in place. It’s such a strange color. I’ve never seen anything like it.
I’m curious if this is a Leviathan trait. It’s fascinating.
This being is truly beautiful in a way that I can barely even begin to comprehend. Suddenly, it dawns on me that I don’t know his name. He knows mine and speaks it easy without formality. But what about his? Does his culture require a title? Do they even have names?
We finally reach our destination. It’s an actual door. The door has a pad in front of it that the Leviathan places his hand against. The door finally slides open, and he motions for me to follow him into the mysterious room. I look around the strange room in confusion. I don’t recognize anything in here. It’s all completely foreign. The Leviathan steps around me with ease, pulling out a chair.
Whoever he is, he must be the one in charge. He’s very commanding. Like he’s never had to wait for someone to follow his orders let alone questions them. He doesn’t even look in my direction as he moves towards one of the cabinets. He knows I’ll follow his command. And I do.
“It is time we acclimate you to your new environment.” He holds his hand out, expectantly. I shift my gaze to meet his in confusion and he only raises a brow at me. I lift my hand, placing it in his. I don’t miss the small smirk that appears on his lips.
I can feel the electrical current from his palm holding mine. My skin is coming alive just by his simple touch. He doesn’t speak as he gently swabs the crook of my elbow, then places a strange tool over the chilled area. I cry out in pain when a sharp prick enters my arm. I watch in complete shock, the blood from my arm being pulled into the plastic tool.
His eyes remained trained on the tool as speaks his next sentence.
“Do you know what I like most about the beings under my care?” he asks. His words pull my attention from the tool to his face. He’s still looking at the blood leave my body.
“No,” I whisper.
His eyes finally raise to meet mine.
I narrow my gaze, yanking my arm away from his hold. I take note that the point of contact the needle punctured is suddenly on fire.
“I am not your sla-” My sentence is cut off as his hand grasps my face, holding me captive to his gaze.
“I am only going to warn you, just this once.” His tone is completely different than it was seconds ago. It’s cold. Humorless. He tilts his head to better gaze into my soul.
“If you attempt to escape again, I will not kill you. I will torture you. In every way, I know the human body fears…”
I don’t stop the shudder that courses through my body.
“Consider yourself broken.”
He roughly lets go of my face as he turns away from me to place the tube on a tray. He’s gathering other tools. One of which I recognize as a cotton swab. He comes towards me once again, his eyes burning brighter than anything I’ve ever witnessed. He doesn’t say a word as he moves the swab towards my mouth. Once he finishes his task, he turns away from me and begins labeling things.
I furrow my brow taking in the foreign lettering. It isn’t English. It must be his native language. It looks strange.
I look up at him in confusion. His eyes are still focused on his task and once he finishes labeling, he looks at me with that same strange expression.
“You may call me, Remus.”
A unique name for a unique being.
“Remus…,” I repeat his name with uncertainty, and he seems to be pleased with the usage. His name sounds foreign rolling off my tongue. It’s a universal symbol that humans and Leviathan share. Names.
He seems to be in a strange mood at the reveal of his name, so I change tactics.
“Do you plan on keeping me here, forever? As a slave?” I ask. He mulls over my question before responding.
“I’m not sure,” he says. He slowly makes his way towards me, and I hate the way his eyes roam over my body.
“Do you plan on hurting me?” My voice comes out a small whisper. Something he takes notice to. He leans against the counter crossing his arms over his chest.
“Not if you don’t give me a reason too,” he says.
“Then… why am I here?” The dreaded question I have yet to understand leaves my lips with ease. His eyes visibly darken as he comes to stand over me. His close proximity intensifies the mood of the room and I suddenly feel like I’m suffocating. I try and keep my gaze focused on his chest, but he uses his fingers to lift my eyes to meet his. What I see in his gaze will haunt me even if I ever escape this.
“If only you knew the things, I have in store for you.”