Chapter 7: The Dying
I was on a bed, I realized that now, for it was soft like a marshmallow underneath me. I slowly opened my eyes before I was looking around, taking in the sight that I was in. I was not in the torture room anymore for I was on a bed, the covers were covering my body. I sat up as I noticed that someone has bandaged my stomach and the wounds from the knives.
“Ah, you’re awake,” the feminine sound was coming from behind me. I turned and I was looking at the old woman that smiled at me. I don’t know what was about her that I was comfortable with but I must be wary.
I cannot afford any mess more than I was already in.
I was looking at the old woman. I don’t know if she was a cruel and evil person because she was in this territory but my instinct told me that she was nice.
At least she helped me recovered fully from bleeding out to die.
“Where am I?” I asked her, my voice hoarse. I don’t know how many days it has been since I last opened my eyes. And by the looks of it, it has been a while since my voice was coarse and I was thirsty as hell.
“Here,” she said before she was handing me a glass of water which I emptied in seconds. I was asking for another one and she gave it to me. Sweet, sweet water for I longed for it when I was in the torture room.
“Easy, your stomach is empty. We need to get you some food,” she said before she was pushing a button. I don’t want to know what she did because my stomach was growling loudly as I was holding it.
Then, the question was upon me.
I turned to look at the old woman as she was shuffling around. I don’t know how to approach the subject of my pregnancy. Did Ashton order her to kill the baby? Did I lose it in the bleeding? So many possibilities that can only mean one thing.
My baby was dead.
Realizing that I was silent, the old woman turned to look at me as I was staring at her back. She smiled and noticed my hand on my stomach before she sighed.
“It was tough luck. Your baby was still intact and you’re not causing any more trouble than it should. You’re lucky you do not have a miscarriage,” the old woman explained as I was blinking my eyes.
My baby was safe. Safe.
I sighed as I was slouching a bit but the reality hit me like a storm. I know that I will never be safe. Not when I was still trapped in here. I have to get out. I just have to.
“Is there any way—“
“I cannot help you more than I could, lady. I was instructed to treat you but if I help you escape, my family will be dealt with,” the old woman said before her face turned solemn. I looked at the ground as the heavy silence was between us. She sighed before I was turning to look at her old face again.
“Who’s the father?” she asked before I was taken back with her question. Then, I remembered that we were in the parts of the world that they don’t really accept a child out of wedlock. Good thing I was married then.
An ache tugged inside my heart.
“He’s…away. But I assure you he’s my husband,” I said, not knowing why I should explain myself to this woman. Perhaps it was the look in her eyes that made me wanted to say everything to her.
How my marriage was a lie, the love of my life turned out to be someone else who used me, and the family that I have been dreaming will never come true now.
So much that I wanted to tell her and the burning of the tears inside my eyes was all I can think about before I blinked them away.
No need to waste any tears over a spilled milk now.
“Thank you,” I said honestly before the old woman stopped then she resumed again, tidying up her stuff before she went to the door. She reached for the doorknob but hesitated for a moment, perhaps wanting to tell me something. I cannot read her like a book.
“That man, the one that brought you in for treatment, was he the father?” she asked slowly before I was blinking my eyes. I turned to look at her before I nodded slowly. As far as I’m concerned, Ashton was the only male in this territory. The old woman nodded.
“He was distressed when you’re bleeding out. Perhaps all was not lost yet,” she said like a whisper but I heard it loud and clear because of my impeccable hearing.
Ashton…worried about me? Well, that’s a new one for I thought he never cared about me, even with our marriage.
“Please restrain yourself from doing anything dangerous. You don’t want to have a miscarriage,” the old woman said before she went out of the room, leaving me alone with the thought that I never believe it before. Not until now.
Aston Flammen—no, Frederic Rhein—worried about me? his target?\
Well, that was something that I can use to my advantage.
I don’t know what time it was but I can assume that it was an evening for Ash was walking inside the room with a tray that smelled like food. And my stomach grumbled as I was looking at his handsome face.
The black hair and hazel eyes. Oh, how I wished to capture it and gripped it.
But that would be a lie for I know that he was the enemy, my heart refused to see it.
“Eat,” he instructed before I was looking at him. he was arching his eyebrow at me as I was still like a stone on the bed.
“Come on, Ashley, eat. You need your strength,” he said as if he was desperate for me to eat. Maybe what the old woman said was true after all. Ashton might be a lying, conniving bastard that I have to kill but if there was a small amount of worry for me…
I think I cannot kill him if I wanted to later on. And so, I locked away my feelings as I was looking at the tray warily.
“If I wanted you dead, I would leave you to bleed. So, do not worry about the food that might be poisoned. I cooked them myself,” Ashton said before I snapped my eyes at him. I blinked. I never thought that he can cook for one year that we stayed together under the pretense that he loved me, I was always the one that did the cooking.
Perhaps I don’t know the real Ashton Flammen after all. Or Frederic Rhein for that matter.
“Please eat,” he said quietly before I sighed. Then, I went to the tray and opened the lid. And smelled that wretched scent.
Ginger, of all things.
My stomach revolted at the smell before I was gripping my mouth as the bile was coming up to my mouth. I saw a door that led to the bathroom before I was running toward it. I shoved the lid of the towel up before I was vomiting the content of my empty stomach. I clutched the side of the bowl before someone was pulling my hair away from the toilet.
Then, a warm hand was massaging me up and down as I was pushing the content out of my body. Tears were burning in my eyes as I know that this was too good to be true. They need me as a prisoner so Ashton was doing what he thought was right.
I cannot be swayed by his kindness now.
I heaved and heaved before I was breathing hard. The bitter smell of my vomit was filling the room before I pulled the flush. The water swirled and I was taking a deep breath as I was feeling the warm sensation on my neck.
Ashton was breathing hard behind me.
I turned to look at him over the shoulder before he composed himself. He stood up and put some distance between us before I pushed myself to stand up on my own feet. Ashton cleared the throat.
“Eat and I come back later to take the tray,” he said, moving out of the bathroom. I stopped him as I asked him to remove the ginger smelling food. He nodded and took it with me before I went to eat the food. My stomach growled before I sighed as I devoured the food.
I did not know that I was starving and right now, I don’t care about anything else.
Perhaps this was one of the perks of being pregnant, that I have a big appetite as big as an elephant. I rolled my body on the mattress after I set the tray down. Then, exhaustion was coming onto me before I closed my eyes and sleep came over me.
I don’t know if it was a dream or not. But someone was playing with my hair. I leaned into the touch that warmed my heart before I heard something that was surreal.
“You will always be my choice, Ashley, for you have ensnared me on that day in the bar,”
Then, a kiss to my forehead as I was slipping away into the abyss again.