Day 2, Autumn 1851
Aniela’s eyes progressively slit open. Her fogged brain stared straight ahead attempting to focus her blurred and waning vision. For reasons unknown, her gaze lingered and held steady to the disproportionate gold crowns that dotted the gaudy mauve wallpaper before her. She blinked a few times, thinking she was most likely experiencing some kind of a psychotic break. She turned her head and deliberately looked around the room, blinking in confusion. She didn’t recognize the area or any of its furnishings and had no sense of where she was or how she got here. She attempted to sit up, but her arms and legs were restrained to the beds each corner post.
Behind her, she heard a man clear his throat, and she twisted her body to the side attempting to see him.
“I see you are finally awake,” the man declared, walking to the bed to sit down. “I am truly sorry; my subjects are generally awake much sooner than this. I no doubt used a tad to much chloroform on you.” He reached for the ties on her wrists and tugged on them, making certain they were secure. Then did the same at her ankles. Noticing the red marks on her skin, he sniffed his disapproval. “Please don’t struggle against the ropes my love, I don’t like self-inflicted blemishes on my subject’s skin. So please be a dear and do behave.”
Her head was reeling, and a wave of nausea took hold of her body. Straining on the ties, she attempted to lean to the side as her stomach began lurched.
He slid his body against hers to lean down close to her face. “I have learned from experience that chloroform does tend to upset the stomach a little,” he admonished, reaching for her to sweep a stray dark curl from her face. “Oh my, you are going to be a lovely morsel when all this offensive dirt gets washed off your body.”
She cowered away from his touch. “W-Who... who are you?”
He feigned being wounded and pretended to adjust the silver mask covering most of his face. “Oh, I am so sorry. Pardon my rudeness,” he replied as a curtly laugh rumbled from his upturn lips. “My name is Lord Gordon Pynnoke, heir to the Hylderley Hall and its mass estates. This large hallow and amazingly cold mansion is all mine. It’s from my dear mother’s side, God rest her soul. Oh, and lucky me, I was blessed with being my father’s only son.” He sat up, peering around the large over-decorated room. “This will be your home for...” He hesitated to mull over his answer and picked up his hand to caress his smooth chin. “I suppose that’s entirely up to you how long you will be my guest.”
Aniela stared at his masked face unable to process what he was suggesting. “Why...why am I here?” she urged, confused. Then a sudden recollection swept over her face. “You’re the man I ran into on the street. You claimed that you would take me to Cheshire?”
He raised his hand to rest on her arm; laughing at her remark. “May I call you Rose?” he asked, ignoring her questions. “My mother’s name was Aniela, and I don’t think it will be appropriate for me to be saying her name while we are...well you know.”
His words sent a chill coursing down her spine, and she started to struggle against her ties. “What do you want?” she pleaded.“My father is a wealthy man; he will pay you.”
Again he chuckled, thus letting his hand drift up her leg. “Don’t be silly Rose,” he chimed in a high-pitched tone. “How can he pay for you when he undeniably thinks you are dead? Your family gave up searching for you so very long ago.” He reached for her chin forcing her to look at him. “I don’t think you were paying attention when I just spoke,” he murmured close to her face. “Please pay heed Rose, because I don’t like repeating myself.” His eyes roamed over her face, and his hand grazed her cheek. “Besides, I am already a wealthy man. I truly don’t require or want your father’s money.” He sniffed, wrinkling his nose and waving his hand in front of his face. “Oh my, you do reek. The smell emanating from your body and clothes is quite putrid.” He rose-waving his hands in distress. “I will send Meetza in to cleanse you and clothe you in proper clean attire.”
“I don’t want this Meetza to cleanse me,” she cried, renewing her struggle against the ropes. “I want to go home.”
Gordon let his eyes wandered the length of her. “You won’t be going home for a very long time,” he conceded with a half-wicked laugh. “I have plans for you. So please quit struggling against your ties, I don’t want to have to punish you so soon in our relationship.”
“Our relationship?” she cried. “I don’t know you, and you’re hiding behind a mask, so I would say, we have no relationship.” The wind was abruptly knocked from her lungs from his body pouncing on her.
He gripped her face in his hands, not caring his nails dug into her flesh. “Don’t talk back to me Rose,” he fumed, dropping his head to allow his tongue to lick and taste her skin. “I want you obedient and docile, do you understand?” He waited for her to nod in acknowledgment, then pushed up from the bed. “Perfect.” He beamed again, fretting with his clothing.
“What... what do you want from me? Why am I here?"
He shrugged his shoulder’s and his lips curled into a thin-lipped smile. “Isn’t obvious?”
She shook her head but said nothing.
He contemplated her. “You’re serious? You have no understanding of why you are here?” He blew out a long sigh of annoyance. “Alright,” he snipped. “You want to force me into verbalizing my ineptness with the ladies; so be it.” He sauntered back to the bed and sat down close to her. His hands reached for the buttons on her shirt and started to release them one, by one. “I have consistently found myself to have a problem courting beautiful women,” he sniffed. “You see, I know that I am not the most handsome man for the feminine eyes to behold. Beautiful women always seemed to laugh at my advances, and it came to the point one day when I could no longer tolerate it.” Once the buttons on her shirt became completely undone, he pushed the material aside. “Oh yes,” he gasped with delight. “I knew you would have lovely full breasts.” He lifted one hand and fondled her until her nipple became erect. “I can see I will have to pace myself with you, Rose,” he murmured, licking his lips and leaning to take her fully into his mouth.
She turned her head as panic settled in, waiting for the rape to begin. But he halted and lifted his head. She felt him rise from the bed and she dared turn to looked at him.
He readjusted his clothing. “I dare say,” he groaned, closing his eyes to smooth his hair. “You are going to be quite the delectable morsel.” He shuddered, attempting to release the lust surging through his body. “But I covet you to be clean for our initial copulation. I will have Meetza bring you a bath and fresh, clean clothing.”
Then just like that, he turned and disappeared. It was mere seconds before she heard the click of the door as he left the room. Then two quick clicks as he bolted the door, locking her inside. Once alone, she no longer held back her fear and broke down in uncontrollable sobs.