E I G H T E E N
My wrists are chaffed and crusted with dried blood due to how much I've tugged on the ropes. The joints in my shoulder burn at the slightest movement, leaving me to lay rigid with discomfort.
I need to find a way out of here without getting myself killed. By the fact that I have no idea where I am and that we're probably all the way up in the mountains, there is no way I can run away on my own. I'd most definitely get mauled by a bear or become the new chew toy to a pack of wolves.
I'll have to gain his trust, it's the only way. If I can stay on his good side, and not do anything to piss him off, then I'll be able to take advantage of him and he'd never see it coming.
Just the idea of being submissive to him makes my stomach coil with dread but I'll do anything in order to get back home to my aunt.
"Why are you doing this to me?" I ask for the thousandth time to the man sitting on the chair next to me. "I think I deserve an explanation."
Alex's honey eyes glance to mine above the edge of the book he's currently reading. He slides a worn-down cardboard bookmark between its yellow-tinted pages and softly shuts the cover, laying it down upon the other mess of books around his feet, his sole attention now on me.
"You think you deserve one, hmm? Well, I thought it was obvious?" He questions.
I give him an odd look which brings out a light chuckle from the Mountain Man. "It's because I love you."
My eyes bulge wide. Love? He loves me? Is this how people nowadays show their affection for others? You can't just throw the L-word around and think that it means anything.
"You're psychotic," I whisper without thinking. In a flash, his whole demeanor changes.
The light in his eyes fades and becomes overpowered by an icy calmness. Only the ticking of his jaw reveals his quick building anger as well as his lips pressed into a firm hard-line.
He stands from his spot, looking at me over the bridge of his nose as he towers over me. I gulp due to his intimidating height. There's no reason that a human being should be this tall, it's unfair to all the short people in the world.
I'm taken by surprise as Alex crawls on top of me and straddles my hips between his muscular thighs.
His head dips down to mine, so close that his silky strands of hair create a curtain around my face, tickling my cheeks, and his warm breath caresses against my lips.
"Mmmm." I feel his chest rumble against mine as his eyes dance over my features.
Every acne scar, freckle, and birthmark stands on full display before him and I have no way to hide. My very being, once hidden beneath the walls of security that I have built up, trembles and crashes, leaving me vulnerable and powerless by his heated gaze.
"I state my love for you and you call me psychotic." He tsks and grabs a curl of my hair and plays with it between his fingers. His soothing tone does nothing to ease the tension building within me. "I love you, and I may be the only one on this planet that actually, genuinely, loves you Dani, and yet, I'm the bad guy."
His nose traces down my cheek and nestles in the space between my neck and shoulder, causing a shiver to run down my spine.
"You kidnapped me against my will. You're not exactly the hero in this situation."A wet kiss placed near the back of my ear releases a foreign squeal from my mouth.
This doesn't stop him as he places a trail of kisses down the side of my throat to my collarbone where he then nips and bites at the skin leaving little marks.
I close my eyes trying to ward off the small pleasure that's building up inside me.
This is wrong Dani. You shouldn't be enjoying this.
If it's so wrong, then why does it feel so right?
"All this love is for you," he says quietly against my collarbone, "and look, you're gobbling it all up too." All of a sudden my airway is cut off sending me into a panic.
Goddammit just let me have a break!
My eyes open wide in fright as I try to breathe but all that comes out are weak gurgles from my failed attempts. The hand clamped around my throat won't allow this.
On instinct, both my hand's clamp around Alex's wrist and pull him away, but with each tug, his fingers grip tighter and my futile attempts become weaker.
His hard expression never changes even as my eyes start to roll in the back of my head.
Darkness swallows the outer edges of my vision and my limbs slowly stop fighting and become weighed down by an invisible force. This doesn't stop my lungs from being encased in white-hot heat that seems only comparable to the burning of a rupturing volcano.
My body loses the energy to pull the giant man off and I steadily sag into the cushion of the bed.
This is definitely the worst way to go. I'd rather he had shot me with an arrow in the forest than have him choke me to death. I'm basically air drowning at this point.
On the verge of giving up and allowing my body to descend into the dark abyss of the unknown, my throat is suddenly released and I harshly suck in the air my body begs for.
My throat burns at the fresh sensation as it surges down my windpipe. Dry coughs fly from my mouth and spittle flies everywhere. My whole neck burns, painfully flaring in tune with my racing heartbeat.
I can barely make out the delicate wet kisses being placed around my throat where his hand was once placed.
I should be paralyzed with fear but I can use this situation to my advantage. I wasn't exactly planning for this to happen but there's no way I'm allowing this opportunity to slip through my fingers.
Hopefully my childhood acting pageant days won't fail me today.
Thinking of my favorite cat that my father ran over years ago, I force a stray tear to roll down my cheek of its own accord.
"Please stop," I say through a hoarse whisper, "I'll do anything, anything, just please stop doing this to me." My chin wobbles slightly as more tears stream down my face.
He pauses. "Anything?"
I wince, but try not to pull away, as he wipes away my tears, a thoughtful look on his face. "If you act like a good girl, and do everything I say without any backtalk, then I will untie you from this bed." That's all? My ears must be deceiving me. Just to get untied from the bed I thought he would demand more. Not like I have much of a choice in the matter anyway, I knew being obedient was the only way I would be let out of here.
I nod my head eagerly to his request. "Yes, yes, I'll be good and do anything you ask of me without any backtalk," I stare into his hardened gaze, hoping to see a glimpse of the man I used to know.
"You promise?" he asks roughly.
"I promise," I say with all sincerity.
He stares into my eyes, trying to find any sort of doubt or lying, but as he finds none, all the harshness disappears from his face and a nice smile graces his lips. "Okay," he says softly, "I'll untie you." Oh, the heavens must be singing today.
"Thank you, oh my gosh thank you, thank you," I say to him as he takes out a pocket knife from his back jean pocket. The fact that he had a knife this whole time and could've killed me whenever he wanted to scares me to death but I can't think about that right now. I need to worry about what my next plans of action are on getting the hell out of here.
He leans over my body, but instead of cutting me loose he swiftly swings the knife to my neck, causing my breath to hitch upon its impact. He applies enough pressure so that I can feel its sharp blade upon my skin, but not enough to draw blood.
"If you're lying to me, or you try to escape and I find out, you're going to wish I killed you instead. Understand?"
Stopping myself from nodding, so I don't slice my throat open, I reply faintly, "yes, I understand."
Seeming to be content, he begins to cut through the thick bundle of rope and stares straight into my eyes once more. "We are about to have a whole lotta fun together," he says with a smirk.
All I can do is breathe and hope that my plan won't bite me in the ass.
I've always been used to having silent dinner.
Back when I lived with my parents only the sound of clinking silverware painted the air with noise. However, it was comfortable, well, as comfortable as it could be with a family that didn't care about my wellbeing, but at least it wasn't awkward.
As I sit here before Alex at the dining room table all I can think about are my parents. They probably have no idea that I'm missing, and yet I'm here wishing I could trade in this terrible dinner to eat with my family one more time.
The kitchen area isn't as big as I thought it would be but, of course, this cabin was made for the use of one person. What was I expecting, a kidnapper to be living the lavish life of a two-story, three-bedroom, complex?
The one thing that I am mildly impressed with is how clean the place is. This is the first time I've been able to see the place because, you know, I was drugged the first time around.
For a guy living by himself, I would've thought there would be dirty underwear hidden in the corners of the couch or there'd be stocked-up plates riding high in the sink, but everything is spotless, almost as if he cleaned the place just for me.
The open blinds allow the bright, crisp, light to brighten the kitchen which gives off a natural hue.
I'm startled out of my thoughts by Alex's low voice. "You haven't touched your food yet," he says, putting down his Woodsmen catalog that I assume he got from our small town before his departure back to the cabin. "I've seen you eat before, you know how to clean a plate faster than most people in town." He leans back in his chair, a low whine escaping from its wobbly legs, and crosses his arms over his chest, not allowing a single emotion to slip onto his face.
I wring my fingers nervously in my lap, hoping my face resembles his stone-like expression and my fidgety limbs remain unnoticed.
My face says calm but my body says nervous afraid, jumpy, hot mess.
Neither of us moves nor looks away from one another, forcing the dense tension to settle around us like a car packed under multiple feet of snow.
It's the eyes.
The longer I concentrate on them, the more I realize that his eyes aren't just honey-colored but more like flowing lava of golden ocher. Once heated they become molten and dark, their flame being felt without staying anywhere near the actual source. However, when calmed, they're almost peaceful to look at as the colors within the orbs swirl together.
"Your eyes are gorgeous," I blurt out, slapping both my hands over my mouth after realizing what I said.
His eyebrows rise slightly at my statement, the first genuine reaction he's given me since I've gotten here, before falling back down until they're almost touching. He leans forward in his chair, releasing yet another groan from the wood beneath him, and plants his elbows on the table, resting his chiseled jaw in his palms.
I'm once again under his scrutinizing gaze.
Well, that was anticlimatic. Don't girls in novels usually get in trouble for talking out of turn?
You're not in a novel Dani.
True, but what can I expect to happen to me if I can't relate my present situation to creatively made-up stories?
Realizing he's not going to do anything about my outburst I slowly bring my hands away from my mouth and back into my lap, looking anywhere else but at the giant man across from me.
Oh, that's a pretty plant he has over there in that corner. And I love what he's done with the floors, very nice. What a nice tidy living space for a stalker.
"Dani, do you think I poisoned your food?" he asks abruptly out of nowhere. I can't really tell from his tone if he's being sincere with his question or just trying to scare the crap out of me by making me think there's poison in my food.
I clear my throat and answer, keeping my eyes off of him. "No, I d-don't think you poisoned my food. You wouldn't do that," my words end softly as I trail off.
"Because," he says, prompting me to continue my sentence. Something glints in his eyes, I've seen this once before, but same as then, it disappears as soon as I see it.
I know what he wants me to say. He's basically setting this up so I have no choice but to follow through. If I want to leave I need him to trust me, and in order to do that, I have to play the game. "Because," I start. I have to finish or he'll punish me. I mentally prepare myself and look up into the bright golden eyes before me, "because you love me." A small smile tug pulls at the corner of his lips, loving how submissive I am.
"Mmmm, yes I do. Now eat it," he says forcefully. I gulp and look down at the meal before me. I grab my fork and twirl the cold utensil between my fingers, spreading its coolness along my first and third digits.
Poisoned or not, he's not going to let me up until I have at least half of what he's made for me.
Play the game Dani. He wants you to play.
Swallowing my pride, I scoop up a few bits of mashed potatoes on the side of my plate and eat it. "Yummy," I say after I swallow and put the silverware back down.
He narrows his eyes at me. "The whole thing, Dani."
"Does it have to be the whole thing? I'm not very hungry at the moment and I feel like if I ate it all I would surely puke all over your table."
His eyes narrow. "Is that backtalk I hear?"
My mouth snaps shut and I shake my head.
"That's what I thought. Now," he reaches over the table, grabs the fork, and places it back into my hands, "eat, or else you're going back into the bedroom and I'll force-feed you. Your choice." Wood groaning whines through the air as he settles back down.
Gazing down at my injured, unbandaged, wrists quickly allows me to make my decision. There's no way I want to go back to being bound to that horrid steel of shit he calls a bed. Has he never heard of a foam mattress?
Twirling the utensil once more between my fingers, I stare at my meal.
I shake my head. You win today Alexander.
More like he's winning every day since I'm still here being held captive.
As quickly as I can manage I try to finish the rest of the meal without tasting it. First the mashed potatoes, next the steamed broccoli, and, lastly, the cut-up meat that I'd rather not question what it used to be.
I make sure to eat every last piece of food to make him happy.
"There. Are you happy?" I throw my fork onto the table next to the now barren plate.
He leans back in his chair and smiles at me. "Yes. Very."
We sit in silence for a bit.
"Why do you want with me?" I murmur and rake my eyes away from my plate and up to his face.
Immediately when our eyes meet he pushes his chair away from the table producing a harsh shriek against the floor. His face is tight and his eyes are icy calm, as usual.
He stomps to my side and firmly yanks me up by my bicep.
"What are you doing?" I thrash in his hold but this does nothing as he drags me away from the kitchen and back down the hallway. "No, no, no, please don't tie me back up. I thought we had a deal!" I press my heels into the floor yet I'm still over powered by his strength.
He slams open his bedroom door and throws me inside. My hip and shoulder burn as my whole body collides with the wooden floor.
The door is slammed shut and locked, the sound of his boots echo as he walks away, leaving me in absolute darkness.
HELLO LOVLIES ❤️
I'm so sorry that it took forever to upload this chapter, I kinda took a mini break from writing, BUT NOW I AM BACK ):D
Be ready for an onslaught of chapters coming your way
I'm joking 🙃 cuz I'm terrible at keeping up with my upload schedule lol
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