HONESTLY, SHE COULDn′t understand how she ended up here. Lily didn’t know how she was convinced to participate in this nonsense. Nonetheless, she was here. She was stuck, with all these people.
Her nerves were instantly killing her. Being around this many people was an instant trigger for her anxiety. It was the reason why she worked in a private office. It was the reason why all of her conferences were over speaker phone. It was the reason why she never attended company retreats like this one.
Lily did her best to breathe slowly. She thought a little liquid courage would have done her some good. After a glass of whiskey, she felt much worse.
She kept to the outskirts of the party. Lily kept her head down, to avoid eye contact. If she didn’t look at people, hopefully they wouldn’t talk to her.
“Oh, my gosh! Isn’t this party awesome?” Well, she could only hope.
Lily looked up slightly. A petite, blonde stood in front of her. Her short shorts, and figure squeezing tank top made her selectable to the prying eyes of men. Of course, she was probably wanting the attention.
“Hi! I’m Emma.” She winked at her, the thick frame of her lashes barely moving.
Lily waved her hand. She rubbed her arm up and down.
“Not much of a talker, are you?” Emma giggled. She was obviously just a little tipsy.
Lily shook her head, trying to back away from the blonde girl. Unfortunately, Emma wasn’t going to let her if so easily. “Excuse me.” She tried to get away again.
“Wait, where are you going?” Emma grabbed her hand. “You’ve gotta come join the party. It’s loads of fun.” She giggled again.
“No!” Lily snatched her hand back. “Please, just leave me alone.” She quickly moved away from the pushy female. She bumped into something hard.
“What’s going on here?” A firm voice said from behind.
“Nothing, sir,” Emma quickly replied.
“Ms. Gates, I’ll expect your resignation by the end of this retreat. I take harassment very seriously.”
Lily didn’t know why, but she couldn’t move. She did everything in her power to make her legs move, but nothing.
Emma nodded in defeat. “Yes, sir.” Slowly, she walked away. Her head hung, and her shoulders slumped. The sass she carried earlier, was now gone.
“Are you alright, Ms. Devereux?” A pair of hands rested on her shoulders, spinning her around.
Her eyes went wide, and she blushed. “I’m fine,” she hoarsely replied. Lily to a step back from him. “I’m sorry I bumped into you.” She looked down at her feet. “It won’t happen again.”
He chuckled. “Relax, Lily. Have some fun.”
She kept her head down. “I don’t really like events like this. It’s why I never went to the past ones.” Her shoulders shrouded her face. “Diagnosed social anxiety.”
This was probably the most socializing that she’d done in the past year. Lily lived alone, no pets, no roommates. It was just her, and that was exactly how she liked it.
“Then perhaps you should make it back to your cabin. The last thing I need is my finest employee breaking down. It’ll undermine your performance.”
Lily looked up, and for the first time since she was hired, she got a good look at him.
He was tall, with wide shoulders. He towered over her, which was surprising for her tall five foot eight stature. He had a crop of auburn hair that was neatly combed back. A fine brush of hair kissed his square jawline. Smokey grey eyes peered down at her, an ember burning dim in their depths. His skin was as pale as milk, gold kissing each of his contours. He was beautiful.
“I was actually trying to go there now, Mr. Donnely.” She gave a half-assed smile.
“Well, I can’t let you go by yourself. Come.” He placed an arm behind her back.
Lily blushed. “I’m okay. I’ll be fine.”
“I insist. It’s okay, Lily.” There was something off about the way he said her name. Something dark that twinkled in his eyes. She didn’t like it.
“I’ll be fine.” She nudged him away. Lily stomped away, her heart starting to race.
She did her best to keep moving. Music was blaring in her ears, but it wasn’t long before the sound of her heart beating drowned it out. Her breath started to catch in her throat.
Lily tried to shake off the incoming anxiety attack. She licked her lips, shaking her head as a wave of dizziness started to take over.
Somehow, she still managed to stay moving. To stay upright. Lily leaned her shoulder against a wall. Breathe.
She took in a slow, deep breath. Lily exhaled even slower. She pushed off the wall, trying to find her footing.
Lily knew she wasn’t drunk. She barely had a drink. This was bad. The last time she had an anxiety attack like this, she’d passed out and took a head first dive into a pool.
She shook off the feeling, and kept moving. Where am I? Lily looked around, attempting to make sense of the things around her.
Her heart continued to pound in her ears. Boom! Boom! Boom! Things were spinning. Her legs started to crumble under her weight.
No! I have to keep moving. Her knees buckled, and she fell. Get up stupid! Lily could feel tears threatening to overflow. She shook them off.
Lily was hyperventilating. She could barely catch her breath. I’m causing a scene. Lily looked around. No one was there. There wasn’t a soul in sight.
All she could see was the woods. Tall trees that seemed to reach to the sky, yearning to touch the stars with their branches. Darkness surrounded her, and the lights of the resort were gone. Where am I?
Lily started to crawl. Wherever she was, it was better than that party. It was better than being with those people she had to call co-workers. Better than being with her boss who had unknown intentions.
“For someone who’s in the midst of an attack, you managed to get pretty far.” Oh, god. She wasn’t away from him.
She was trembling. Lily knew she couldn’t fight him off, not in this state. She didn’t have the strength. She couldn’t focus, not with his breath on her neck.
Donnely snaked an arm around her middle, and yanked her to her feet. Lily’s body crashed against his, and a terrifying shiver went down her spine. “I’ll make you feel better.” He shoved a hand down her pants, and another in her shirt.
No. No! Not again. She sobbed to herself. Oh, no. She was sobbing aloud. Lily braced herself for the worst. She bit down on her lip, to stifle her whimpers.
“If you’re a good girl, I might reward you,” he whispered against her neck. Feeling his breath on her skin made her sick to her stomach.
“Please, stop,” Lily managed to get out. “Please.” Her heart was still pounding in her ears. She could feel her stomach turning, bike threatening to come up.
“Don’t worry. I promise you’ll enjoy it.” Donnely bent her over, and braced a hand against a tree. He forced her pants to her ankles, and tore her panties away.
Lily screamed, hoping the noise would attract some attention.
She heard him fussing with his belt and pants, shoving at them. Lily braced herself even more. Oh god! Someone kill me. Please. Her tears were starting to burn like acid. As they ran down her cheeks, she sobbed.
Lily felt the head at the ready. She felt it slowly open her folds and penetrate her. She sobbed even harder.
He was enjoying himself, even as he defiled her. As his shaft pounded in and out of her, she lost herself more and more. She could barely see. Could barely make sense of things around her. All she knew was that she was being raped. Again.
Without warning, all movements ceased. Everything was starting to go black, cobwebs filling her vision. Her body wouldn’t stop trembling. Her stomach finally found release, as she puked all the contents of her stomach. Something held her hair back.
Lily swung backwards, finally getting some control over her limbs. She hit something, and heard a grunt upon contact. The body was rock hard. Fuck!
“Are you okay?” A much calmer, gentler voice said to her. She felt the embrace of warmth envelope her, and suddenly her senses were calm. “Did he hurt you?”
“Are you blind? Of course he hurt her,” a much angrier voice replied to the first.
“Hush! You’ll scare her.” Lily looked over her shoulder. A pair of soft brown eyes met hers, giving her a sense of calm. “I don’t want to touch or startle you. Can you pull your pants up?”
Lily forgot that her ass was hanging out. She gripped the waist of her pants and pulled them all the way up. Lily stood to trembling feet, all sense of warmth fleeing her body. No, it just trickled down her leg.
“She’s bleeding, I can smell it,” a cold, indifferent voice commented. “Get her out of here.” Lily could’ve sworn she saw a pair of glowing red eyes.
“What are you going to do to him?” Brown eyes asked.
“Nothing he doesn’t deserve.”
“No!” Lily interrupted. She didn’t know what she was doing. That man deserved the worse. He deserved to go through hell. He defiled her body. She felt like filth. “Let’s just, take him to the police.”
Lily knew that was the worst idea. The American justice system hardly did anything for rape victims. Donnely wouldn’t get more than a slap on the wrist because of his money. She would be humiliated in front of a group of people, and be forced to relive the event.
“I can assure you, our system is far better than you mortals.” Brown eyes chuckles. “Your wounds do need to be tended to. May I touch you?”
It wasn’t often she came across a man that asked to touch her. “Yes.” Her voice was shaky.