I lay in the bed and watched Andrew and Vincent. They were talking in hushed voices, and kept glancing over at me.
Vincent told me it wasn’t him. He didn’t tell the thugs to beat me, but his words kept repeating in my mind. Good girls get rewards, bad girls...well you don’t want to know about bad girls.
I ran from him. Did that make me bad? Is this what happened to bad girls?
What would happen if I ran again? Would he kill me next time?
I shuddered. I didn’t have any choice. It was either stay here or die, wasn’t it?
Then there was the other man, Christian. He was the one who had kidnapped me in New York. Then he’d made them put me in the trunk. Did he tell them to beat me afterwards? He obviously worked for Vincent. Vincent had told him to kidnap me in the first place. Why not tell him to find someone to beat me half to death.
I closed my eyes, trying to stop my mind from coming up with random thoughts.
I must have dozed off as I was woken by the feeling of the bed dipping.
I knew it was Vincent. I could smell him. The musky aftershave he wore.
Andrew was gone, and Vincent was sitting on the edge of the bed.
I couldn’t help but flinch, when his hand touched my head. I still had visions running round in my head of him finishing the job.
“Rosie, you need to take some medicine,” his voice was low and gentle.
I opened my eyes, I looked at him with trepidation.
He looked exactly like he did the night we went out for dinner. Sitting there with only a towel wrapped around his middle. He was so attractive, not only looks, but his beautifully toned body. That’s what perhaps made him all the more scary, especially to me.
His thumb gently brushed my forehead. Once upon a time I’d liked that. Now he just scared me.
“Ok,” I replied, my voice barely above a whisper.
I watched as he poured a measure of the medicine into a small plastic cup, then he put his hand behind my head, to tilt it upwards.
I stiffened, at his touch. Not sure what to expect. He was so much bigger than me, he could snap my neck quite easily, and around here there would be no comeback. He was the law, he could do whatever he wanted. I shuddered. I was just a prisoner, a hostage.
He put the cup to my lips and I drank the medicine.
Vincent put the cup on the table at the side of the bed. He gently lowered my head back on the pillow. Then he put his hand gently on my forehead.
“Talk to me, Rosie. Tell me what’s bothering you?” he urged.
I opened my eyes and looked at him.
Tears pooled in my eyes, I tried to blink them away, but they trickled down my cheek.
“Why?” I asked, my voice breaking, “is this what happens to bad girls, bad girls that run away?”
Vincent shook his head, and stroked my forehead.
“No Rosie. I swear I didn’t want this to happen,” he whispered, “I never wanted you to get hurt.”
I shook my head, I didn’t believe him.
“They put a hood over my head, and tossed me in the trunk of the car,” I sobbed.
He pulled back the duvet, I was still naked apart from the red silk thong I was still wearing.
Then I felt his hand slide behind my back, and the other cup the back of my head as he pulled me into his chest.
My breath hitched in my throat as our skin made contact.
Then he started to gently rubbed circles on the bare skin of my back.
I relaxed into him, I didn’t want to. I wanted to hate him for what he had done, but my body wouldn’t let me.
“Oh Rosie, that’s not what I wanted to happen. I never wanted you to be hurt, not like that,” he whispered.”
“I’m sorry,” I sobbed, as I allowed my tears to fall, “I shouldn’t have run away, but...”
He held me away from him, and looked into my eyes, frowning.
“But what, Rosie? Why did you run?” he questioned.
I hesitated, a little too long. His hand began to massage the nape of my neck, sending shivers down my spine. Then his lips were on my shoulder blade.
My back arched.
“P...Please Vincent. I’m so confused. You took me from everything and everyone I know,” I began, “I should hate you, but I don’t,” I sobbed.
“Come here,” he soothed, as he lifted me onto his lap. His arm wrapping around me a little bit tighter.
“You’re very special to me Rosie. You’re my kitten, my gattina. I didn’t want you to be hurt, I just wanted you to realise there would be consequences if your ran away.”
I lifted my head from his chest and frowned.
“What sort of consequences?”
Vincent smiled, and brushed a stray hair behind my ear.
“I just wanted you to see that being away from me was worse than being with me.”
I laid my head back on his chest.
“It was,” I mumbled.
Vincent chuckled, and kissed the top of my head.
“Rosie, you must promise me you wont try and run away again,” Vincent coaxed.
I looked up, he had a stern expression on his face.
“Ok,” I mumbled.
He gently took my chin, and held it.
“No, Rosie. Say the words, make the promise,” he demanded.
I bit my bottom lip.
“I promise I won’t try and run away,” I whispered.
Could I keep that promise? I really didn’t know, but at this precise moment in time, I meant it.
“Good girl,” Vincent whispered, “now I think you should get some rest.”
He gently lifted me off his lap, and laid me back on the bed, then he stood up, and allowed the towel to drop away.
I quickly closed my eyes, not really ready to see the crown jewels. Then I felt the bed dip again as he crawled into bed beside me.
I felt my heart beginning to pound in my chest. This wasn’t what I was expecting. Then his arms wrapped around me again, pressing my back into his chest.
I stiffened slightly, as one arm wrapped around my stomach, his hand resting on my hip. The other draped across me chest, his hand resting on my shoulder. Every so often his fingers would trace random patterns on my skin.
“Relax gattina,” he whispered, his breath sending goosebumps along the side of my neck, “I’m going to look after you now.”
I felt his lips place a gentle kiss on my shoulder, causing a moan to escape from my lips. How was it he could do that?
I didn’t think I would sleep, but strangely I found myself drifting away. Gaining some sort to comfort by being cocooned in his arms.
I woke in the morning, light streaming through the window. Vincent’s arms still wrapped around me. His breathing was even, he was still asleep.
I tried to move his arms so that I could get out of bed. He must have been a light sleeper, because his grip tightened, causing me to wince.
“You’re not trying to escape again, are you?” he chuckled, his eyes not opening.
Was he being funny? Or did he still not trust me.
“I need to use the bathroom,” I mumbled.
Vincent grunted, and released his arms.
I stumbled out of the bed, whimpering as the pain returned to my chest. My face wasn’t that painful, but I could still feel the swelling.
Once I was in the bathroom I removed the red thong. I realised I had been wearing it for at least a couple of days. Then I relieved myself.
I quickly flushed and walked towards the bathroom mirror. I stared at my reflection, putting my hand over my mouth to try and stifle the cry.
I knew that I had been beaten, but I wasn’t expecting to see this. I hardly recognised myself. One side of my face was purple and swollen. My eye was virtually closed. My nose was also swollen.
There was a large bruise on my ribcage, and I turned slightly to see another bruise on my lower back.
I remembered the last thing he had done, was to kick me.
I glanced away from the mirror, to see Vincent standing in the doorway. He walked towards me, standing behind me he rested his hands gently on my arms, as his thumbs rubbed circles on my shoulders.
“It’s ok gattina. You’ll heal. You’re still as beautiful as you ever were,” he soothed.
I looked away from my reflection. I didn’t care about being beautiful. I never considered myself that way anyway. At school I would never have fitted in with the popular, pretty girls.
Vincent kissed the top of my head.
“You need to take some more medicine for the pain, then I’ll run you a bath, ok?”
Vincent guided me towards the toilet. He pulled down the lid, and sat me down.
He disappeared back in the bedroom for a few moments then came back with the cup of medicine. I didn’t really mind that it tasted so foul, because it kept the pain at bay.
I quickly drank it and handed it back.
Unlike the other tablets I had before, it didn’t make me drowsy, which I was thankful for.
I watched Vincent as he ran the bath, adding some bubble bath and testing the water with the tips of his fingers.
I was now more confused than ever. I did believe him when he said he didn’t want to hurt me. The men that did this weren’t sent by him. But why? He was a mob boss. He thought nothing of killing people. Why not me? What was I to him, if not just a hostage? He was so gentle and caring, or was he just trying to seduce me? When he was bored of me, would I end up the same as the man that had tried to rape me? Was I on borrowed time?
I shook my head, trying to purge the thoughts from my mind.
Then Vincent was standing in front of me, offering me his hand.
I took it, and he helped me into the bath.
The hot water was soothing, taking away the aches from my body.
I felt him gently bathe me with a soft sponge.
“What are you thinking, Rosie? What’s going through that pretty little head of yours?” he questioned.
Should I tell him? Should I ask him why?
I decided against it. Ignorance is bliss, and all that.
“I just wondered if I could have something to eat? After the bath,” I lied.
He pressed a gentle kiss to my forehead.
“Of course, it’s good that you’re hungry, I’ll ask the kitchen to send up some food.”
I forced a smile. I was trying hard to not fall for him, but it was difficult.