"Oh my god.." Words spill from your mouth without permission from your brain.. Your bewildered eyes can't believe what they've just witnessed.. You know you should feel good about this.. Your captor suffered such a fate, but it brings you no joy.. It only makes you feel sick..
Anderson continues to groan as he writhes on the ground.. None of the other guards bother to throw him a glance when he emits a final pained howl before he goes quiet..
The senator turns back to you.. He casually wipes the blood from his hands on a red pocket square that he tosses to the ground before he begins striding towards you with malevolent intent in his eye.. "Now my little darling.." He smiles with a patronising tone that makes your skin crawl, his bleached teeth are about ten times too white for his ashy complexion and his greying hair has clearly been colour treated to cover the worst affected areas.. But beneath the aged skin, sun spots and wrinkles, you can see those same frigid dark eyes, the same ones your ex husband has.. Well.. Had. "My son has been insufferable since you decided to go off on your little independence trip.. Even more so since that Irishman managed to find his way into your bed.." He laughs as if the whole thing amuses him..
He holds out a waiting hand again, palm up, and the same burly guard as before moves forward, handing him a short riding crop whip.. Your eyes dart around the room, but nobody will meet your eye.. "Patrick has nothing to do with this.. He doesn't know anything about you.." You lie..
He smirks, whacking the end of the crop against his palm over and over, the tick-tick-tick of each thwack brings a new wave of mounting anxiety.. "Ah but you see, I think he does.. Because I think you told him.. Didn't you?" He leans in, bringing his leathery face inches from yours, you can smell his expensive, yet much too strong cologne, an overpowering blend of old spice and sandalwood..
You pull back as far as the seat back will allow, trying to put some breathing space between you.. "N-no.. Sir, I would never.." He brings the tip of the crop to your chin, using it to tilt your face upwards while he inspects you like a trophy.. A low appreciative hum rumbles in this throat and you almost gag at his blatant objectification..
The way he looks at you alone is enough to make you want to recoil into yourself.. "Mmm.. I must admit, I'm curious to see why my son is so obsessed with you.. In fact he insisted that I kept you alive..."
A strange guilt washes over you at the mention of your late ex.. The bizarre irony hitting you that Zach is the only reason you are still alive..and you are the reason he is dead..
The senator lets the whip slide down the side of your neck, running the leathery nub over your clavicle and then your cleavage.. You cringe and try to shift out from beneath the crop, pressing your spine into the straight chair back.. "Please.. No.."
He raises the whip in his hand above you, you can already see the path his intended blow will follow.. "Oh yes, my dear.." His arm falls quickly and the stinging strike against your cheek comes with such force your whole head jerks to the side.. You yelp in pain as another lash lands, slicing across your chest and the senator begins to laugh.. An insane maniacal laugh that you remember all too well..
He then uses the whip to push the straps of your dress from your shoulders, exposing your black bralette beneath, you clutch at the fabric with your bound hands in a failing attempt to keep yourself covered.. You hate that this is happening again.. That the only value these men see when they look at you, is what they can take..
"You are an animal.. Just like your son!" You cry out.. This pig thinks he can break you, whatever that means.. But you are not the frightened little girl he tortured all those years ago.. Okay, you're definitely still frightened, but this time, unlike before, you feel distinctly motivated. You concentrate on one simple goal... To buy as much time as possible for Patrick and the Specter team to arrive, and rescue the women below this room.. Including dear little Lacey..
In a possibly insane and provoking move, you spit at his feet.. He whips you again and again, this time the searing pain rips across your ribcage from either side, the stem of the crop catches your upper arms as well, the pain spreads outward rapidly from the instant welts that form.. "Ah! Shhhhhit!" You heave in oxygen in an attempt to breathe through the pain, you bring your mind back to Patrick, the calming effects are almost immediate.. The chant in your mind growing louder; 'just hold on.. just hold on'..
The Senator sneers around the room, addressing his men more than you at this point, enjoying the attention of the moment, way too much.. "Between Anderson and my son.. I'm surprised you still have this much fight in you.. Obviously neither of them had the balls to do what needed to be done.." He menaces..
You keep your mouth shut, watching as he makes his way over to a small workbench on which a guard places a black duffle bag and pulls out a long iron poker with a backwards letter R attached to the end and what appears to be a small propane blowtorch.. Your stomach plummets and a vertigo-like sensation clouds the edges of your vision.. It doesn't take a genius to work out what is about to happen.. He nods to the guard who begins to heat the end of the branding iron.. "Do you want to know what I think.."
You shake your head vigorously.. You really don't want to know what he thinks.. Although you're sure he's going to tell you either way.. "Not particularly.."
He chuckles, an evil sounding snicker that chills your blood.. "I think they failed to teach you your insignificance, my dear.." Just then, you hear the soft feminine click of high heels ascending the staircase towards you and the senator raises to cup a hand around his ear, listening to the sound mockingly as he looks at you with a wicked smirk.. "But, I think with the right encouragement, you'll soon learn.."
The door swings open and all the guards straighten up when in walks the woman, who for so long has only existed in your distant memories.. She wears a form fitting red designer dress and towering needle-sharp black stilettos, her caramel curls bounce with each step and her glowing honey coloured eyes survey the room with authority.. If the devil were a woman.. This would be her..