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Even though you don’t mean to hurt me, You keep tearing me apart.

- Shawn Mendes, Mercy

Her hand clicked the door slowly, the warmth of the rug escaping her feet as soon as she took another step. Walking felt foreign to her after ten long days of being strapped onto a chair and then a bed. Her head swirled a little but she walked straight down the little corridor, following the directions Ryder had given to her.

“Take a left, go straight, come down to the hall. You’ll find the kitchen on the left side.” He had said before she had escaped to the washroom to clean herself up. The wound had dried up by now and another set of dressing waited for her. She had carefully removed the present one and taken a good shower without a second thought, only being thankful for the warm water that was hitting her nerves now and calming them as much as they could. But for once, the shower hadn’t worked to help her calm down, if nothing it had been her battling the thoughts that were barging in her mind.

Where was she?

What happened to her?

Would Ryder kill her?

Would Roman find her?

Thoughts of her family would only make her weak when she needed to be her strongest but despite everything, she thought about everyone, silently crying in the shower as their faces flashed in front of her eyes. Even Maddie’s little face made her heart pain with every other second. “You need to act normal, Scar.” She repeated to herself again and again as if a child was trying to learn his words. If she couldn’t change her attitude immediately, at least she could act normal.

She could do that. She had to do that.

“What were you thinking?!” She cursed herself while brushing her tangled hair into straight curls. Her hair had grown, she realized. It had been four months ever since she had had a haircut and now they reached a few inches below her shoulder.

“Haircut, as soon as I get home.” She muttered, putting the brush back in the expensive dresser as she removed her bath robe while a part of hers asked her, rather demanded when they would be out of here.

Scarlet had no answer for this voice. As expected, the little closet she had was full of showy, white dresses. Her hands wrapped around the soft material of the dresses. Back home, she would have loved to have a wardrobe like this, she would even love a house like this, on a private island but...with Roman. She wanted all of this with him. A life, secluded from the rest of the chaotic world, here on this island. No matter how much she loved the bustling city of Seattle or New York, she would always want to come back here after everything would be over. If, everything would be over.

“This one?” She asked herself, picking out a white dress, of course. This one was the most simple one she could find out of all of the others.

She slipped into the dress, opening another cabinet to find a clean set of underwear as Ryder had told her would be there. Whoever had selected these dresses and underwear had studied her really well or what? They were the perfect size, fitting her in the correct places, as if, meant for her. A pair of brown gladiators waited for her, but she chose to walk without them, leaving them for another time.

Back to present, she walked down the stairs, finally taking out some time to study the house she had been put up in.

No doubt, it was beautifully delicate, as if crafted by a woman with her very own hands, every detail carefully placed to make it more homely. It felt like home because she saw pictures of Ryder, Rihanna and their father almost everywhere. She saw a blonde lady, who shared Ryder’s eyes too, in most of the pictures as she passed the corridor. His mother, she whispered to herself. The lady was beautiful as she stood beside a young Jeremy Carter in a wedding dress in a few pictures and with two kids in her hand in another. She didn’t belong in another picture, where she stood with Jason, Jeremy and an old couple which looked like their parents. The picture was old, but clear enough to make Rider’s mother stand out. She seemed like an angel between the rowdy, dangerous looking men. Her eyes were terrified but held love for her new husband in them as she clutched his waist with her tiny arms, leaning onto him. The walls were mostly of glass on Scarlet’s left side, showing her the exotic tropical island, dawned with huge trees and bushes. On the edge, she could see the blue sea, inviting her to admire its beauty.

On this beautiful island, right on top of its hill, existed her very own hell.

“I want to enjoy this place, admire it’s beauty but..” She muttered to herself, entering the living room, dawned with expensive crystals and furnishing. It seemed antique, and something you won’t expect in a beach house on a lonely island. It was too warm and homely to be just a summer house.

“Here, Scarlet.” She heard him call her out and immediately turned around.

It seemed so normal as she walked to the white bar stool and sat there, her hands on the black granite table, just beside where Ryder cooked.

It would look so normal to anyone.

A new girl in an unknown house, she’s a little scared, she feels out of place and she’s trying to settle in. A very handsome boy with dark blue eyes with a hint of green in them, is cooking for her as he stands in his brown pants and a white t-shirt, three buttons opened from the top exposing his chiseled and tanned chest. The shirt is translucent enough to show the outline of his abs and maybe the girl is all eyeing him up as he smiles at her while cooking for them.

Who can even think that she wants to kill him with the same knife he’s applying butter to the toast with? Or that he is obsessed with her?

An outsider would already be shipping them, not realizing the plans going around in the innocent girl’s head.

“Eggs?” Ryder asked, bringing her back from her dreamland where she was cutting his flesh slowly and feeding it to the German Shepard had kept at home, in Port Angeles.

“Y-yeah.” She nodded as he placed an omelet on her toast and picked the two plates up.

He walked over to her with such normality that for a second she almost thought Roman was walking up to her on a warm Sunday morning and making breakfast for her without burning the kitchen up. He stood next to her, placing the plate in front of her as his chest touched her bare back, sending his warmth through her. It disgusted her. The minty breath of his on her neck made her shiver, which he took in the positive sense.

“Eat up.” He instructed her with a warm smile as she picked the fork up. The food melted in her mouth as she took her first bite. She wasn’t going to starve herself for this man, because when the food is this good, you don’t care about anything else.

Food before Dudes, right?

“It’s really good.” She moaned, not realizing that he stiffened beside her with her new actions.

Arms wrapped her stool as he turned her against the table, the food still in her mouth as she found herself sandwiched between the table and Ryder, who towered over her. His head dipped, and his lips immediately captured hers as she clutched his shirt in her small hands. It took everything not to punch him and remain shocked like a normal girl would.

“Uhm, it is really good.” He commented against her lips as they parted.

Disgusting, was a very small word to describe what she had felt as his warmth left her and he went back to eating his own breakfast.

The food was tasteless to her.

“Would you like to have a tour of the island?”

What are we doing here? This isn’t a Twilight Honeymoon. She wanted to snap at him as soon as his arms wrapped around hers after he was done putting the plates in the dishwasher.

“I.. Yeah.. Okay.” She faked hesitation as he kissed her cold neck one last time before walking back to their room. “Do I change?” She asked, holding the hem of her dress and twirling a little.

“Nope. Just wear those brown. What do you call them?” He asked, confused at the name.

“Gladiators?” She asked, suppressing a laugh because she was reminded of the day she had taken Roman shopping. Both of them couldn’t name the type of footwear laid for her to try out until Maddie had made her sit and learn them all.

“Yeah, that.” He pointed at then as she slipped into them in a swift motion. He wore a pair of brown slip ons himself and caught her hand before she could leave the room.

It would be a long day, she mused as he refused to let her hand go.

They walked down, and he carefully closed the door behind them as she stared at the wooden path in front of her. It led then down to the beach after they had walked almost 100 meters of it.

“This island is beautiful.” She spoke, breaking the silence.

“That is why my father bought it.” He chuckled. “It’s called Emerald Rose.”

Emerald Rose, what even? Scarlet snorted mentally.

“My mother’s name was Emerald Rose Carter.” He added, eyeing their intertwined hands as they walked down, her hesitation seeping in between. “My father bought it for her when they got married. The same year, Rihanna and I were born here, in this very house during their winter holidays.” He said, pointing at the top, where the house was situated.

This place is giving me serious Twilight vibes. She mentally commented as silence dropped between them again.

“Oh.” Scarlet muttered as she looked up at the beach in front of her.

Blue. Every shade of blue stood in front of her, reminding her of the view from her house back in Miami. It felt as if she stood in Mason’s room, from where the beach could be seen and every morning after he would wake up, she would sit there with a cup of coffee, waiting for him to get up and grab his own cup. No matter how much she disagreed to feel, the memories rushed back to her.

“I know you miss home, Scar.” Ryder whispered, wrapping his arms around her waist and hugging her from behind while resting his chin on top of her head. For a few minutes, they reminded quiet. Ryder enjoyed her in his arms, right where he wanted her to be and Scarlet’s emotions increased. Home, he had said. Why did she miss it?! He had the nerve to ask her the question that would hurt her so much. This was her limit as anger boiled within her. Which obsessed kidnapper asks the very question that they shouldn’t ask? Or throw an a virus comment that would hit the other person right in the feels.

“Why won’t you let me go then?” She yelled, throwing both of them off guard. His arms tightened around her as he gritted his teeth in her ears.

“Because you can’t leave me!” He yelled back, as the mood suddenly changed around the place as if grey clouds had covered the sea in a storm.

“YOU CANNOT BE LIKE THIS, RYDER!” She yelled, the innocent, kidnapped girl attitude slipping away and showing the emotional side of hers. “I.. I don’t know what’s wrong with you! But don’t you get it? I have a family, you have a family. Stop this destruction! I will never ever love you the way I love Rome-”

He had had it. In a swift move, Scarlet’s little body was pressed against a coconut tree’s bark, Ryder growling into her face as he pressed her waist, making her yell in pain.

“Never utter his name.” He growled into her ears, biting them as she cried out in pain. Monster, that is what he was for her as the little drop of blood was wiped away from his tongue. “I don’t care if you can’t love me, I will make you forget that Roman. THIS IS YOUR HOME NOW, SCARLET WINTERS!” He yelled, throwing her away into the sand as her dress ripped a little, almost missing the dressing on her wounded thigh. “Do you have any idea what it took to let you go that night?” He asked her, kneeling down at her shocked body.

Scarlet had never felt this scared in her whole life. Not even Adrian’s beatings had made her heart beat so violently that she wanted to puke. Not even the first beating was this scary. His eyes injured hers with his stare as he refused to leave contact. He begged-no-demanded for her to maintain their contact. He threatened her enough to stop her breath fright. She would die so soon if this continued, she would die because of her very own mistake and her very own slip up.

“I let you go, once, thinking that after years when you’ll be back, I will track you down again and get you here. I even risked coming to Port Angeles to check on you! But no! You got Roman and those petty twins with you, you slut!” He roared, holding her arms up as he stood above her, his blue eyes throwing daggers at her.

Scarlet saw her plan slipping out of her hands, she saw herself slipping out of this situation. With one last prayer, she shut her eyes tightly, waiting for him to hit her or use her but nothing happened. For about five mins, she lay like that, beneath him but nothing happened. He didn’t do anything, so she opened her eyes.

“So beautiful.” He muttered, his head dipping down to her neck. She lay stiff, whispering a sorry in her head again and again as he assaulted her. This would leave marks, she knew. Like an animal, he feasted on her as she stared at the blue sky above her. After a few minutes, she forgot that Ryder was kissing her furiously around her whole body. The sensations stopped and she felt nothing anymore.

She didn’t feel used, raped, assaulted or loved.

She didn’t even think about Roman anymore. All she felt was herself, slipping away from her body after ten minutes, when Ryder was done. Her body lay limp on the sand, with no care in the world until she heard him curse loudly. That was the first thing she heard in a very long time. She heard sirens. Everywhere around her. For a minute it seemed like it was her own mind shouting at her that she had been used by Ryder, that within ten minutes he had ripped her open but no, these were real sirens. In a swift move, he lifted her up and began to run, not towards the house but towards the right side of the beach.

“Ryder?” She muttered, confused at what was going on. “W-what?”

“Nothing, love.” He told her slowly as if nothing had happened ten minutes ago.

“Why are we.. Running?” She asked, looking around from his neck, no matter how much her lower region pained. She clutched his shirt, the pain increasing as he ran faster.

“Mason is here.” Ryder snapped loudly, as a shack came to their view.

Happiness. Content. Glee. Her emotions were evident on her face as she buried it into his shirt, laughing like a mad woman as the door opened to the shack.

By the time he placed her down with a scowl, she was laughing at her situation, while clutching her stomach. “You’re so dead.” She kept on repeating as tears left her eyes. Scarlet’s sanity was lost physically, now she was loosing it mentally. “They will kill you, Ryder.” She chuckled, shaking her head as he placed her on the hammock.

“I’ll be back for you, honey.” He chuckled back, not listening to her a bit and a bit silencing her into one last kiss.

This could be Ryder’s end if he couldn’t reach the house in time. As he kissed her one last time, wrapping his arms around her, all he wanted was her to kiss him back, finally. Miraculously, she did. Scarlet kissed her kidnapper back, lifting herself from the hammock and wrapping her arms around his neck with every strength she had left. She didn’t care about Roman right now, because the only thought of her mind was to delay Ryder, somehow. He would leave her here and escape himself because carrying her would only slow him down and get him caught. Ryder didn’t see that coming, so when her boney arms held him, he lifted her up, catching her around his waist as they both fell on the hammock, not leaving each other’s lips for a second. He needed her, and for once, she needed him to stay here. He misinterpreted her vengeance for love as he clutched her harder, not letting her go. “Finally.” He kept on muttering until he realized that he was late.

His lips parted from hers, as a moan left both of them. One genuine, one fake. “I’ll be back soon, I promise.” He spoke into the ear he had bitten and kissed the dried blood from the bite, one last time before letting her go. She fell back into the netted hammock, closing her eyes and wiping him off her lips by the time he clicked the door close. Ryder had locked her inside, as she waited for someone to first kill him, then unlock her. For now, she would lie down here, peacefully waiting because she had had enough. The last ten days had ripped her apart and the last fifteen minutes had cut her open. For now, all she did was close her eyes and asked the exhaustion to take over.

She slept without the drug after days.


Another man fell down in front of Roman’s eyes as he added new bullets to his gun, running to the other side of the beach to maintain his cover. The young FBI officer covered him, gunning down another three men who entered the island through a boat.

Emerald Rose, the island where Clarissa had led them to is where he stood now, running to the the other side, towards the house when a helicopter lifted up from the house on the top.

“That’s Ryder!” He yelled into his mouthpiece. “Get him!” He instructed again as Mason ran up the wooden pathway.

The island was beyond beautiful, similar to what Scarlet would have liked for them, but.. Where was she? Was Ryder taking her along with him?

“We have target in sight, Sir.” The pilot controlling FBI’s copter replied.

“DON’T!” Roman screamed. “She could be in it! Don’t do anything to the copter, just follow it while we try to find her here.” He ordered, running up the wooden pathway until something caught his eyes.

“Sir, we don’t see anyone except him in the front seat, nor is the thermal scanner showing another person inside.” The pilot replied.

“Blow him up.” Roman muttered slowly to himself. “I have found her, BLOW HIM UP!” He yelled into the piece and soon the sky lighted up as he looked up. Another time, Ryder. He whispered as a parachute fell on Carter’s boat which was already heading out of the bay. The boat would enter international waters after a few more miles and then, no one would be able to fire at it. It was useless anyway, but the fact that he had found Scarlet after executing this mission was enough. It had taken a team of eight cyber geeks to make their boat and helicopter undetectable, reason why Ryder was caught off guard. But Emerald Rose was so close to international waters that within seconds, he could escape.

He would escape for now. For now.

“Scar.” He called out, his eyes fixated at the woman whom he could see from the window of a shack near the beach. She slept peacefully in a white dress, which was ripped open in a slit near her thigh, exposing her dressing.

Dead? The voice in his head asked him repeatedly but the heaving of her chest reassured him.

She is breathing. She is alive.

His hand reached out to the door, clicking it open slowly but then it hit him.

A rod. A wooden bat. It could be anything which swirled him.

Within seconds, he was unconscious on the floor, Scarlet just few meters away from his reach.

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