“Bitch, I own you.” A hand grabbed Sintia’s thick black hair dragging her off the couch to her knees before him. She was too stunned to scream rather sucked in a breath with fright.
Peacefully lounging in her living room watching the latest in the news, reflecting on her busy day, it hadn’t occurred to her to check the locks and close for the night just yet, it was only 11 pm. Not that she had felt threatened in any way either.
Living in a penthouse kind of dampened the survival skills, first, you had the doorman, security camera’s manned by an offsite company, and then the front desk who always called to check with you before visitors were allowed in the lift up.
When you promote security, you expect security, and the sad part about it all is, you become used to it to a point where you depend on it, forgetting to secure yourself, leaving it to someone else to do.
Never underestimate another, better to over estimate and be double sure then to be on you knees with severe whip lash.
“When I said you were mine, I meant it!” A snarling almost foaming at the mouth Jarred was standing over her, breathing in and out unevenly with such anger on his face.
Jarred, her most recent abusive ex-boyfriend was the threat of the moment. Sintia had the unfortunate knack of going after the biggest badass type of man and so far, it had always backfired. She knew better in the sense of where men were concerned, but this catch was the deadliest yet.
A woman needed a man to lean on, one that cares and loves you for you and bla blaa, she was CEO, men wanted woman they could support not the other way round, and this had led her to go for high rollers, the big fish, that weren’t intimidated by her for many were.
Sintia had dated a lot, being in the news for her success and various magazines had done nothing but boost her already high in demand dating life, I mean a South African, single, successful woman in America with a striking accent? Come on.
Only problem was, the men she was attracted to has an uneasy air about them, the unease was attracting to her though, making her want to take a tempting poisonous bite, the unease made her realise they wouldn’t be uneasy at her own power.
Her most recent and most dangerous, Jarred had caught her eye five months ago at a fundraising party on a sleek way-to-big-to-not-show-off yacht she had later learnt was his. They had spoken most of the night and started dating, a head taller than her covered in muscles, dark short hair and piercing light grey eyes she had liked him.
Jarred had made her feel the most unease with his whole to-rich-to-give-a-dam persona. He had run-ins with the law almost weekly for countless things especially speeding, club fights, and disrespecting cops which had made her cringe, she liked racing and the speed, but her photo on the front of the news in a negative light with him, not so much, she had begun to distance herself from him concerned for her reputation.
He had noticed, and had become not just become more involved but slightly abusive.
A complete control freak, constantly checking where she was, randomly popping into her office making her cancel her meetings to go with him someplace. When he couldn’t get a hold of her, he would harass Kiki, her assistant to a point where they had fought more than loved and she had decided it was enough.
Their last date was the last straw, he had taken her to a private dinner on his yacht for two and had a well-renowned chef cook them a divine four-course meal.
There, he had proposed which should have been romantic.
* * * * *
Overlooking the city lights about three miles from shore Sintia sipped her glass of Cabernet Sauvignon ignoring Jarred shouting over the phone to some poor soul who hadn’t followed orders. She didn’t know what Jarred actually did to land his ass in gold, but by the way, he was always swarmed by bodyguards apart of her didn’t want to know.
He never opened up about his family, job or friends. Ignorance is bliss, she took another long sip watching the city lights dance on the midnight waves.
“Tia” Jarred had sighed standing from the chair on the top deck the yacht, slamming his phone down. Sintia pulled her gaze from the sea to him standing before her, she hated being called Tia, she had told him countless times, her name was not so long it had to be shortened, Sintia was just fine, she didn’t go around calling him Jar or Red. She hated pet names, if you want to rename someone shouldn’t they have the say as to how?
“Mmm?” She answered smiling up at him, he looked amazing in a tailor-made black tux, open dark grey silk shirt unbuttoned a couple spaces showing the perfectly defined muscled pecs.
Jarred had pulled out a small box, placed it on the table Infront of her then placed his hand possessively on her shoulder.
“What is this?” Sintia had asked, she wasn’t dumb she knew it was a ring, he hadn’t exactly been subtle in his way of speaking about their future and what his plans were for them. She hadn’t paid much attention to all of it, he wasn’t the marrying kind, well not for her anyways.
But, if it was a ring in the box this was one of the worst ways to propose.
She picked up the pretty Tiffany box and opened it to see a huge but gorgeous cushion-cut black diamond engagement ring with smaller diamonds framing it on a pillow of velvet. Sintia sucked in a breath, it was stunning, it was also heavy, a show of peace like everything else he owned.
“Do you like it? I thought I had excellent taste picking it out.” Jarred stated puffing out his chest looking down at her. Yes, defiantly a show peace, he hadn’t taken what she likes into consideration at all.
“It’s, stunning but,”
“No buts, you are a good woman, and you know I love you; you are mine and I am yours so its only makes sense we marry.” Jarred stated looking out over the sea as if making a speech to the ocean. Sintia’s jaw dropped, was that seriously a proposal?
Jarred took the box from her hand, picking the ring up, her took her hand in his, she pulled back.
“Are you, you proposing to me?” Sintia frowned feeling a wave of anger rush through her. Jarred raised an eyebrow grabbing her hand again holding it still.
“I thought that much was obvious Tia.” He snorted forcing the ring on her unwilling finger, she tried to pull her hand back but his grip on it tightened, and with the bulky ring now on it put extra pressure on her fingers being squished.
“Ouch, you hurting me.” Sintia whispered not wanting to make a scene Infront of the two body guards standing roughly three meters away on either side of them. Jarred held her hand not releasing the pressure looking down into her eyes.
“I want you, and you will be mine.” He whispered back lifting her hand to kiss it then release it.
She pulled her hand back red and sore with an imprint of tiny diamonds dented into her pinkie finger. She looked up from her hand to him, she knew disrespecting him or saying no sent him on a dangerous destructive path but enough was enough.
“You can’t assume ill marry you Jarred, we have only been dating five months, that’s way to,”
“You won’t stay young forever Tia,” he sighed looking down at her, “after long no one will want you, your prime will be over, I am offering you the escape form the petty dating game.”
“Jarred I think it's too soon, we hardly know each…” She was so taken back by the insult she almost didn’t register, proposing with words like that, wow.
“I know all there is to you, your little job, your family in Africa, your hobbies, your routine, what you like, where you live, and where you go.” He proclaimed cutting her off again.
“Maybe because you bugged my phone to have me tracked.” Sintia snapped standing now. He waved her comment as if it was not an issue telling her it was for her safety, they had fought then and Sintia pulled off the ring dropping it to the table.
“No Jarred I will not marry you, now take me home immediately.” Sintia snapped raising her voice pulling out her phone to dial a helicopter rescue. He stopped arguing then, eyes going dark, a vine working in his neck and forehead as he turned a darker shade of red.
“I am not asking anymore; you have a week to accept me.” Jarred gritted out grabbing her upper arm hurting her, shaking her, pulling her to face him. She snapped her head back looking up at him in horror mixed with anger as he took a demanding kiss.
* * * * *
That has been a month ago, when she had gotten back on land, she had done everything to avoid him, even sent him a long email explaining how she didn’t think it would work out, their paths were not meant to be and that she was ending things now. She had even made sure Kiki contacted Jarred’s assistant to ensure he received it, to which she confirmed he had.
Since then, she had heard nothing, and as the saying goes, no news is good news, or so she thought. Yet here she was on her knees in her dark living room, with his hand in her hair, and not in a sexy way.
She had not bothered to put any lights on after coming home from work today, only the kitchens where she had made herself a latte and made her way to the lounge switching on the TV.
The screen's blue light against Jarred’s darken face, disformed his facial features portraying a demon, in this instance though, perhaps he was.
“Let go of me.” Sintia snapped trying to get up from her knees pulling at his hand in her hair.
“Oh, I have, I have let go of you for three weeks, two days and four hours.” He laughed at her with crazed eyes. “don’t you think that’s long enough?” He snapped her head back pulling her hair making her look at him. “Nothing to say?”
Sintia hissed with the pain trying to pull his hand free from her hair. “Jarred you are hurting me.” She started slapping his hand stating where the pain was coming from.
“Sorry love, I get a bit passionate when it comes to you,” Jarred pulled her up to her feet by her hair as she grunted the whole way, then he threw her backwards onto the couch, the wind left her with the impact. She stared up at him walking towards her, was she to run or stand her ground?
She looked all around the room for a weapon, the kitchen was just too far for her to get there intime to get a knife or the heavy wooden chopping block. She looked behind him to her TV, next to it was a crystal vase, yes.
“I gave you enough space, enough games you need to come home now.”
“I am home your idiot.” She slid up the couch climbing backwards off it leaving it as a barrier between them, they stood staring at each other a long moment.
“Don’t play dumb, you know what I meant.” Jarred snarled stepping to the right to get around the couch, she stepped the opposite direction speeding through her household content in mind thinking where last she placed her almost flat cell phone, and where was the land line, why couldn’t she calm her racing heart and think straight.
Yes, she knew he wanted her to be the wife, leave her life and move in with him, to be a show piece and not have a mind or a say, a man’s world indeed she thought again, oh how she was beginning to hate men.
“I told you and ill tell you again, we are over I do not want you.”
“That’s of no consequence, now pack your bags we are leaving.”
“NO JARRED, LISTEN TO ME CLEARLY, NOW FU…” she cut her bellowing short about to tell him where to get off when he had launched for her leaping over the couch as if it was no obstacle at all, he had just left it there to allow her to think it was. She screeched racing and slipping on her marble tiles for the front door, she could hear him behind her, but was confident she had the lead, she ran as fast as she could grabbing the front door handle ripping it open, and slammed into a hard muscled back.
Stunned she backed up to see his body guard turn around to face her, he had been standing right outside the door waiting for his boss.
“Help me.” Sintia begged grabbing the guard’s arms looking in earnest, she could hear Jarred’s footsteps approaching, she was stuck the way in front was blocked. The body guard looked down at her with sorrow in his eyes but did nothing, she realized then that he had seen this behaviour before and that perhaps if he helped, he would be killed.
A dark menacing laugh rolled out behind her and she shivered, there was nothing she could do, all her power, all her control, all her money and she was the rabbit in a corner with a hungry fox.
She understood then, there was nothing to do but give in for now, concede and live for another day. How had things gotten this bad so fast? An hour ago, all was right in her world, she hadn’t heard a thing from him since her brake up email, had assumed it was all over.
“Fine, ill pack so we can go.” She snapped getting control of her breathing refusing to show tears, refusing to show how rattled she was.
“Oh no my dear, not anymore, I will send for your things, come.” Jarred walked up grabbed her arm and walked them out with his guard trailing behind to the long lift down.
“Fix your hair.” Jarred shoved her against the back of the lift which was a wall of mirror. She cleared her throat cursing him under her breath as she ran her hands through her hair working out the knots he had made, he glared at her having heard the insult, she didn’t care he was a pig and glad he now knew it.
As they reached the bottom the front desk clerk did a double take at her in what looked to be confusion and concern until Jarred replied “Ah, excuse us I didn’t think anyone would still be working at this hour, we just finished.” He spanked her ass then grabbed it squeezing, and winked at the man behind his desk, who smiled knowingly winking at her then went back to playing on his phone.
They exited the building and were greeted by two more of his guards, got in a car and sped off to his penthouse on the other side of the city. Thankfully there was nothing but silence in the car, and what would you know, even the doors were not locked.
It was one thing to think of jumping out a moving vehicle then to actually do it, she had to though, another opportunity like this was not going to come anytime soon. She waited, it had to be in a busy area she could get lost in easily. As fate would have it his cell rang, as it always did and his distraction was just what she needed. One more deep breath and jump, you can do this, do it now, you ninny.
Grabbing the door latch she eyed him making sure he wasn’t watching her; his guards were looking out the windows and he was so lost in his conversation they would not be able to stop her in time.
She jumped, tucked as best as she could rolling out the car, landing on her knees rolling a few feet down the road to an awkward stop, she jumped up as tears starting to slip out, it has hurt much more then the movies had showed it would, her knees were scraped and her legs and arms were full of little cuts and aches.
But as expected, the car came to a screeching holt, it was still a busy night in the city, perfect to disappear in, she ran through the crowds with them hot on her tail and raced down a flight of stairs to the underground rail way, hopped on a train about to leave and watched the staircase with such intensity she was certain if someone said hello, she would have screamed.
The train pulled off as she caught sight of his expensive shoes coming down the steps.
She released the breath she hadn’t known she was holding.
Slumping onto an empty seat she took several deep breathes regaining her composure, ran her hands through her hair again then did a little check of herself, she was still in her work clothes; suit pants, thankfully black in colour so they didn’t show the blood from her knees, she dusted the dirt marks on it and readjusted her wine red blouse till she looked alright, thankfully no stains on the blouse but it has a tear under her arm and crinkled everywhere, apart from the lack of shoes she looked presentable enough.
After two train switches and what felt like an hour later, she hopped off the train, grabbed the first taxi, and bribed him with her favourite Versace empire black and rose gold wristwatch, to get her out of Manhattan and to the nearest pawn shop where she promised to pay him double.
There she sold her diamond necklace, earrings and two rings she had on, which thankfully the pawn store clerk knew the value of, and paid her handsomely for. From there she grabbed a pair of new shoes from the shop next door, a power bar and a cheap disposable cell phone and hopped back in the taxi who held her wristwatch, and gave him some cash with a nice tip for her watch back.
“To the airport please.” She told the driver, grabbing the cheap phone she called her office knowing no matter the hour someone would be there.
She had the lead for now but, now she really had to escape even if it was just for the moment to rearrange her life. Either way it looked like she was taking her holiday overseas much sooner than the by the end of the week.
“Hello?” A lazy voice answered, Sintia started fuming, was it so much to ask for the place to run smoothly when she wasn’t there?
“Hello what? Is that any way to answer my company phone? Who do you think you are misrepresenting us as a common shit show, some dilapidated business?” She snapped “Who is this?” she demanded running her hands through her hair, she knew she could have handled that more smoothly but dam it, that had been the last straw.
The voice on the other line hit full panic recognising who she was and started to fumble an apology blaming everything but the weather for the way they answered, she cut them off, there was no time for this.
“Put me through to Kiki immediately.” The trembling voice stuttered a yes then redirected her call. After a few short rings Kiki answered.
“Kiki its me.”
“New number? Everything ok?” Kiki asked going directly to the source, wow she loved the way they both could always cut right through the bull shit, such a plus in Sintia’s books.
“No, rough night, I need you to meet me at the airport right now with my ID, proof of rez or anything else I might dam well need to book a plain ticket, oh and your company credit card.”
“Oh yes, I know.” Sintia laughed.
“Want me to go to your place and fetch some stuff?”
“Right, I’ll see you in 30min.”
“Thank you kiki.” She cut the call leaning back, she was going to have to give kiki a raise, way too good of an assistant to lose. Sintia sighed looking out the window, with cash in her pocket and a new set of black heels she reached the airport in no time and was about speed plan her mini getaway.