M A R C E L L A
She was laying the foundation for her next escape attempt. This was all a game, and she was finding it to be quite fun when she wasn’t writhing out of her mind in pain or guilt. This time, her plan might cause both. But she would still do anything for her freedom.
Her beliefs wavered ever so slightly when she thought over everything. Giuseppe died because of her. But not because of the name De Luca. Not down to her father or anything to do with him. This was solely her. How could she get in trouble when she wasn’t even in Alessandro’s world anymore? She had thought that once she was free of her father’s hold and the prison he wanted to send her life and body away to, she could finally live a normal life that she always wanted. But she had a taste of that. And it ended with Giuseppe dead, getting kidnapped and some psycho trying to manipulate her.
Her luck was magnificent.
Trouble did indeed follow her. But she would not let that tear her down. She had come too far, and she wouldn’t let Giuseppe die for nothing. Why would she give in now after losing so much already? She had risked everything, and she would continue risking it until every option was exhausted, and that day would come when she was six feet under. Until then, her plan was still afoot.
Before Mari knew what was happening, they had pulled into a motel’s parking lot, much to her surprise. Mari was once again cuffed to her seat as John exited the car without a word. She wondered whether it was her words that changed his mind, but the thought of a bed to sleep on had her practically drooling. She hated to admit that she had grown up with a certain luxury lifestyle. She had been well-fed, well-tended to and sheltered for her entire life. The whole experience was one massive shock to the system. There had been a series of days where she had gone hungry. And only God knew what happened to her during those weeks she was passed out. He had drugged her and fed her whilst she was mindless and unaware of herself.
John slid back into the car with a key in his grasp and parked around the other side of the motel. Still without a word escaping his lips, he tugged her out of the car, unlocked a room’s door and shoved her inside first, locking it behind him.
This was a risky move, even for him. In the car, there wasn’t a whole lot she could do. And he was aware of that. In this room, there was a whole other set of variables that John would need to consider. Mari was a wild child willing to do whatever it took stuck in a motel room with her captor. Anyone could see that was a recipe for disaster.
However, that kind of escape wasn’t the game she was playing anymore. It never worked for long. But she couldn’t let him know she’d switched up her tactics. He still needed to believe she would try outrageous attempts to run away that would ultimately fail.
She sat on one side of the double bed and watched him. She wasn’t very skilled at being an adult. She was so sheltered that her age of twenty meant absolutely nothing. She was still a girl. And he was a man. She wondered if she should just stick with those insane plans of hers. Although they never lasted, she had managed to get away. This plan of hers might not even work and it was a long game. If she didn’t win by the time she got to New York, the game would be over anyway.
“Stop staring at me,” he grumbled, meeting her eyes briefly.
“I’m staring because I’m waiting for you to say something. Why did we stop?” she asked.
“I thought that was what you wanted,” he snapped back. She sighed, shuffling back on the bed. He was clearly in no mood for small talk. She found his various attitudes incredibly confusing sometimes. He could switch at a push of a button.
He walked around to her side of the bed, grabbed her unbroken arm and tied it up to the bed frame before she could protest.
“Go to sleep,” he commanded, climbing over her and into the space beside her. The bed area was mostly taken up with his chest, so much so that her shoulder was overlapping his.
“Can you move over?” she asked, attempting to sound irritated. But she realized how she could advance in her plan.
“No,” he replied, shuffling even closer to her and flinging an arm over her body just for the sake of irking her. She twisted in his hold so that they laid face to face, eyes locked. Her feet reached just under his knees. That was how small she was in comparison. “Sleep, Mari,” he whispered, his breath fanning her face.
“Okay,” she replied, her eyelids weighing so heavy she was forced to shut them.
“Good girl,” she heard him say before she was whisked off into a dream state.
Awakening the next morning, she yanked her hand from above her head instinctively, only to remember that she was tied up through the sharp shooting pain against her wrist. She let out a little shriek, but it was cut short by the deep groan she heard beside her. She felt a log-like weight on her waist which she attempted to wriggle out of.
“Stop moving, Mari,” John grunted, holding her down until she stopped. “Do you need something?”
“You off of me,” she retorted which received a lazy chuckle in return. He flipped her on her side to face him easily and gave her a smirk.
“You’re always complaining,” he mocked, rolling his eyes and removing his arm reluctantly. He sat up and looked to her, flickering his eyes up to her bondage, and a devilish smirk grew on his face.
“You can untie me now,” she declared, knowing that she was only tied up so she couldn’t get away in the night.
“Oh, can I? You’re giving the orders now?” he asked with a grin on his face. She could never gage what mood he was in, but she was glad it was a good one. She needed the somewhat friendly John, not the brutal animal she had glimpsed.
“Yes, I’m a princess after all,” she said back.
“Not here with me, you’re not,” he replied, his hands resting on her shoulders as he looked down to her. “You’re my captive. And this time,” he began, bending down so his lips were right against her ear, “you’ll stay that way.” He leant back to watch her expression. But she was unwavering.
She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction he wanted of being intimidated. No, instead, she was quite pleased with his reactions to her. There were times where he looked at her as though she was a child. There was a time when she wanted that, to pray on his human side to let her live her life in peace. But there was honor in his word. And when he took the job, he would finish it. He wouldn’t let his human side rule him. So that wasn’t the route to go. Now he needed to look at her as his equal. She needed lust to be there. And she hoped that would win out over his honor.
“So you say,” she muttered. She sat back down on the bed and flattened out her clothes. She had been wearing them for days and they were dirty. She was dirty. She hadn’t even though about self-grooming too much in the midst of the chaos. But now, with her new plan, she needed to think of herself and how she could allure him. “I need some new clothes.”
“You’ll wear mine,” he stated almost immediately. “Come, you need to shower.” She made a face at him rather childishly, then remembered her pursuit. It was quite difficult to act like a woman when she was far from one. She hadn’t been tested until recently, thus she hadn’t received the wisdom that came with age. Or the maturity. She was just a little princess who ran away from home. And her plan required her to act as John’s equal, a man much older than her.
He chuckled and dragged her into the dull bathroom, barely clean itself. The bar soap looked plenty used and yellowed. The tiles had dirt and grit imbedded in its holes. Bits of cupboard door had broken away. But what could they expect from a cheap motel bathroom?
She waited for John to leave before she did anything. But he didn’t. He just stared at her. Like he was waiting for something himself.
“Aren’t you going to leave?” she asked, raising her eyebrows at him.
“And leave you in a room all alone? You must think I’m an idiot. You’re staying in my sights all the time. And I need a shower too,” he explained like she was just going to shower with him.
“I’m not getting naked in front of you,” she exclaimed.
“Then shower in your underwear. I’m guessing you have some. But if you think I’m leaving you in here, you have another thing coming.” John seemed adamant to stay in the same room with her, and she knew he couldn’t be dissuaded. She supposed showering in her underwear wasn’t that bad, but a man had never even seen her so… indecent. Yes, she was a real princess. She was pure and innocent. How could her plan ever work if she continued to be so shy about such things? Would she really give up her dignity for a chance of freedom?