Her questions had caught me off guard. I just shrugged at her, I couldn’t really give her an honest answer. I didn’t know why I felt so protective of her. Maybe because I knew it was my fault she was in the mess, to begin with. I could have easily just have taken her dad that night. Maybe it was because I needed her in one piece to get her dad to cooperate with us. Or shit maybe I wasn’t a complete asshole and had some basic morals left.
I wasn’t really hungry anymore. In fact, looking up at Mia’s bruised face made me feel sick to my stomach. I should have taken better care of her. I should have taken her somewhere else. Sighing I sat back watching as she moved her spoon around in a circle in her bowl only taking a couple of small bites.
“Is my food that bad?”
She gave me a small smile, one I hadn’t really expected but found it something I wouldn’t mind seeing more of. “No,” she said looking down at her bow. “I just don’t have much of an appetite still. I feel hungry until I eat. Then food makes me sick to my stomach.”
“I have some crackers,” I said getting up. “They may help you.”
Reaching in the cabinet I pulled a sleeve of crackers out handing them to her. She looked out at my outstretched hand frowning before taking them from me. “Why do you care if I eat or not. I’m just a job right?”
I sat down across from her, “I need you to have your strength in case you have to run again.” Looking up at her I shook my head, “not from me, from them. I don’t trust them, Mia.”
“What if your boss tells you to hurt me? Will, you hurt me then?” She didn’t look up as she opened the crackers.
I sighed, “I’m hoping your dad doesn’t let it get that far, but then again I didn’t think he would let it get this far.”
A tear ran down her face as she sat the cracker she had just started to eat down. “I didn’t either Logan. I really thought my dad was a stand-up guy. I thought he loved my mother. The man you talk about is a stranger.”
As much as I tried not to I felt sorry for her. Was she a spoiled princess? Sure. Did she deserve this? No. Mia wasn’t a bad person. I could picture her. Perfect. She was probably a perfect, straight-A, God-fearing cheerleader. I reminded myself that’s the exact kind of girl I tried to avoid.
Mia lifted her hand wiping her tears from her face. “Do you want some aleeve for your face.”
She shook her head, “no. I just want to rest.”
I sighed, “Ok if you need anything let me know.”
“I need to go home,” she mumbled.
Ignoring her comment I shrugged, “if you see you need anything else let me know. I got what I knew you’d need.”
She frowned, “yeah where did that come from. You didn’t leave.”
“I have my ways,” I said winking at her. “How do you know I didn’t leave?”
She rolled her eyes getting up, “if you’re going to cuff me to that hard ass bed you’re going to have to cuff my other arm.”
“Do you promise not to run?”
She stood up, “do you trust me not to if I say no?“As I nodded she snorted, “then you are stupid.”
As I cleaned up the kitchen I heard Mia in the bathroom before she disappeared into the guest bedroom. Tomas, a friend of mine had delivered some things from the store leaving it on the porch early this morning. Inside had been the things I needed for Mia and a doorknob that I had yet to put on her door. Did I really need to lock her in?
Walking to the door I let Reece in. He would bark in the morning letting me know if she got up before me. We had a routine and if you messed it up he would let you know. Reaching down I petted his head, “I need you to live up to your guard dog status tonight ok.”
Reece licked my hand as if to say, “yeah not happening.”
Shaking my head I walked down the hall pausing at her door. Knocking lightly I opened it up surprised to find her already asleep. She was curled up on her side facing the wall. The only thing that gave away the fact that she was asleep was the slight snore I heard coming from her letting me know she was exhausted.
Seeing she had fallen asleep on top of the covers I sighed walking to the hall closet and getting an old quilt out. As I covered her up I couldn’t help but smile at the way she snuggled into it. “Sleep tight princess,” I whispered turning off the lamp beside her.
Reece had come into the room and was laid by the foot of her bed. “Come on boy,” I said loud enough for him to hear but not to wake her. Reece only laid his head down looking at me. “Traitor,” I whispered leaving the door open a crack. I knew I might regret it in the morning but I didn’t think Mia was dumb enough to get lost in the woods out here.
I sat up straight out of my sleep as Mia jumped in my bed. “There’s somebody outside.”
“What,” I said even as I got up reaching in my nightstand for my gun.
“There is somebody outside my window. I saw them. They are out there.”
I let out a sigh, “ok just stay here.” What the fuck, I thought as I made my way down the hall. I swear to God if those two idiots had come back to start trouble. If somebody was outside Reece would have been going crazy. Instead, he was running behind me. Probably wondering what I was doing up in the middle of the night.
Opening her room door I paused shaking my head as I saw the “person in her window.” Turning to my room I yelled, “Mia come here.“After a few seconds, she peeked her head out of my doorway. “Come here I want to show you something,” I told her again.”
Mia came down the hall limping and I frowned remembering the damage she had done to her feet earlier. Turning on the room lights I motioned for her to enter. Once she was inside the room I turned the lights off and put my hands on her shoulders. “It’s the trees princess, nothing more. I will cut them tomorrow.”
She stood still watching the limbs of the trees stretching out looking like a hand at her window. I wouldn’t lie, when I first moved out here I saw ghosts every night. Shadows in the woods were extra scary.
Letting go of her shoulders I turned the lights back on, “see you are ok. Try and get some more rest. You might want to take some ibuprofen for your feet, there’s some above the sink.”
“I’m not sleeping in here alone,” Mia said turning to cross her arms over her chest.
“Fine, Reece can sleep with you.”
She shook her head pointing at Reece, “he would sleep through the whole thing.”
I laughed, “I promise you he would bark if someone was here.”
“He didn’t this morning, “she said matter of factly.
I shrugged, “I don’t know Mia but he barks ok.”
Grabbing the quilt I had put on her she took off past me. I watched her as she laid on the couch pulling the cover over her face. Looking down at Reece I shook my head, “see what you got us into.”
Reece yawned making me smile as I headed back to my room. Mia in my living room probably wasn’t a good idea but the fact was she was scared. Scared people didn’t run off into the unknown. At least not ones with messed up feet. Her injuries would keep her in the house for tonight.
Laying in bed I closed my eyes listening to the sounds of the night. I had no clue what I was going to do with Mia and I needed her daddy to stand up before I was forced to do something I didn’t want to do. Could I hurt her if I had to?
Hearing footsteps come closer to my room I held my breath as my door swung fully open. What was she up to? I remained still, did she think I had already gone to sleep. She crossed the room and I was about to get up thinking she was looking for my cell when I felt the bed sink.
Turning to face her I wished the moon was brighter tonight so that I could see her face. “Why are you in my bed?” I asked.
“Don’t flatter yourself,” she said, “that big ass dog of yours thought he was going to sleep with me on the couch.”
I laughed, “that’s his couch.”
She had brought the quilt with her and had it wrapped tightly around her. “Whatever, why is your bed so comfy and mine a piece of shit?”
“Go to sleep Mia,” I said watching as she scooted around getting comfortable. If I thought I didn’t know what to do with her before, I had no clue now. Had she forgotten I was her kidnapper? This girl had done crawled in my bed and made herself at home.