Theo dragged Nori through the hall and down the stairs. She looked around. This house was massive. She wasn’t even sure she could call it a house. A mansion was probably a better description.
In one direction the hall went on forever, with various doors leading off it. In the other direction was a massive living room. Somehow, Nori felt like she’d been here before.
He pulled her into the kitchen, which was right off the foot of the stairs. It was gorgeous as far as kitchens go. He had every kitchen appliance known to man and a large center island with all granite countertops.
Theo grabbed Nori by the waist and lifted her.
“Hey! What are you doing? Put me down,” gasped Nori.
“As you wish,” he smirked. He put her down right on the counter, next to him. “I want you to stay right there. If for some reason you have any designs on escaping just because you’re not locked in a room, just know that there’s no way out of this house without my knowing. And there’s no way you can outrun me.” He had a malicious grin on his face.
It’s not like Nori had the energy to escape, but Theo certainly put a damper on any future plans she may have had. He brought a mixing bowl over to the center island and stood right next to her as he stirred the contents.
Nori looked around the kitchen taking in anything she could. She could try grabbing a knife and using it as a weapon, but nothing came immediately into view. Maybe Nori would need to volunteer to cook for him.
Theo put the bowl in the refrigerator. She pulled her legs up to her chest and tried her best to ignore her captor. What was she supposed to do? Engage in small talk with him? Maybe ask him if she was the first person he’d raped?
He stirred something on the stove and sampled it. Then he walked back to the center island. “Why so quiet, darling? You used to be so talkative.”
“I’m not really feeling like talking with you, now, or ever for that matter.”
Theo slammed his fist on the counter far too close to Nori’s foot. She flinched away from him. “And what is it that you don’t want to talk to me?”
Nori averted her eyes and didn’t say anything. She was shaking and she felt like she was going to cry again.
“Why are you being so difficult, Nori?” shouted Theo. He grabbed her checks. “Answer me!”
Nori pulled her face away from him. “Are you seriously confused as to why I might be upset? Maybe it’s because you kidnapped and raped me. ” she screamed.
Theo forced her legs down and put his arms on either side of her hips. “I was showing my love for you. I did this for us so we could be together.”
“You’re psychotic and I wish I’d never met you,” whispered Nori. She didn’t care if he hurt her.
Theo looked down at her smugly. “You say that now, but things change, little one.” He pressed a gentle kiss to her lips then walked away. He quickly stirred the food on the stove.
“You keep saying that things will change. Well, guess what, I’m never going to feel the same way. You’ve done nothing but hurt me.” Nori debated jumping off the counter to make a point, but decided against it.
“I won’t start over again to make you love me,” murmured Theo.
“What do you mean by start over?” said Nori.
“Nothing, little one.”
“Don’t call me that,” she murmured to herself, as she pulled her legs back up and hugged them close to her chest.
She started thinking about Derek and how worried he would be. Would anyone have noticed she was missing? Andrea was in Arizona. Nori knew she’d be back in LA soon, but she wasn’t sure when. She had a few other friends in LA, but they weren’t as close.
“Dinner’s ready, darling.” He walked over with two bowls and two forks. It was a spaghetti dish. It looked tasty. Nori slid off the counter and reluctantly followed Theo.
“We’re going to the dining room.” He walked through a doorway into the next room over. Theo sat at the head of the table and patted the seat next to him for Nori. She was going to ask for her blood sugar meter, but Theo had already placed it on the table. She tested her sugar.
She started eating. It was really good. ′If only I didn’t have this hypoglycemia to worry about.′ Escape would be a lot easier if she wasn’t stopping every two hours to take sugar readings.
“So what are you thinking about, little one,” asked Theo.
She looked at him blankly. Did he really expect her to have a conversation like she was willing to be here? Was he insane? The answer to that was an unequivocal yes.
“I’m not going to answer that,” she said softly.
“Why not, little one?”
“I told you before, I don’t feel like talking with you. Besides you won’t like the answer. ”
Theo angrily slammed his fist on the table. Nori flinched. He leaned in close and Nori leaned as far away as she could.
“I don’t care whether you do or do not feel like talking to me. I asked you a question. I expect an answer.” Last time he’d gotten angry he’d assaulted her. His mouth twitched as he tried to hold back his rage. “So, I’m going to ask you one more time and I expect an answer, what are you thinking about?”
She sighed. “I’m thinking about how things would be much easier if I didn’t have hypoglycemia.”
“Why would you think that would upset me?”
“Because I was thinking it would make escape easier,” she whispered. She closed her eyes, prepared for him to hurt her. But nothing happened. She cautiously opened her eyes and Theo looked tense. Every muscle was tight. But he was trying to hold himself back. He silently ate his food.
When both of them had finished he took the empty bowls. “Stay here, I’ll be right back.”
Every fiber of her being wanted to run as far and as fast as she could, but she knew she’d never get far enough. If she tried it, all she’d do is incur his wrath. He was extremely angry already. How had he hidden these anger issues from everyone so well?
Theo came back with two bowls and two spoons.
“I made chocolate pudding, little one.” Nori ate the pudding. They sat in uncomfortable silence. When she finished, Theo took away the dishes, once again.
He came back into the room and took her by the hand, then brought her back to the bedroom. He locked the door behind them.
He broke the silence and said, “We need to take a shower, darling.”
“I’m sorry. I must have misheard you. Did you just say we?”
“You heard me correctly. Now go. I’ll be right in.”
She stuttered, “I...I can’t shower with you. I...”
“Nori! What did I say before! Your refusal to obey me is getting very tedious. Now, get in there!” he hissed. She felt a chill run down her spine and she briefly squeezed her eyes shut, hoping that something would come to mind. Some way to get out of this.
He grabbed her arm and she jumped. She looked up and Theo pointed at the bathroom and she knew that any protests she had would fall on deaf ears. She silently went into the bathroom and started the water, turning up the heat as high as it would go.
She cried as she stripped out of her clothes and glasses, then she stepped in. She was hoping the scalding water would just wash away the pain of everything that happened to her. Nori wept. She wept for Derek, he must be so afraid. She wept for her parents who were taken away too early. And she wept for herself.
Finally, Theo stepped into the water. He started rubbing her back with soap and she let out a gasp. Nori cringed at his touch. She was so afraid. “What are you doing?”
“It’s just soap. Relax. Enjoy it.”
He turned her to face him and she shut her eyes while he washed her skin. Nori begged upon whatever deities were out there to save her. Eventually, the shower came to an end. Theo stepped out and wrapped himself in a towel, then wrapped one around Nori. He dried her skin and hair, and kissed her on the forehead.
“I love you, Nori,” he whispered. She reflexively scratched at her arm. “We should get to bed soon. Don’t take too long. There’s pajamas for you in the closet and undergarments in the dresser.”
Theo walked out leaving her alone. Nori closed the door and took a few moments to herself. The bathroom door didn’t lock, but she was somewhat confident that he’d let her take care of all her needs.
She dried her tears, put on her glasses, and braided her hair, then brushed her teeth. She walked out wrapped in the towel, trying her hardest to avoid looking at her captor as she grabbed some panties.
Nori padded over to the closet and turned on the light. Her eyes were immediately drawn to the back wall of the closet. She let out a gasp. It was covered in photos of her. Photos of her walking through LA. Photos of her working. Photos of her in planning meetings. But most disturbing, photos of her sleeping in her apartment. Nori turned to run out and Theo was standing there smiling.
“Don’t you love it? It’s my shrine to you,” he purred.
“How long were you stalking me?”
“Stalking is such a nasty word. I was admiring you. I’ve been admiring you for such a long time, love.”
“How long!” she growled, with her teeth bared. She felt a white hot heat rushing through her body.
“I started admiring you before filming even started. Then I got to know you and fell for you. I knew that you were the one.”
“You broke into my apartment and watched me sleep!” she panted. Theo suddenly wrapped his arms around her, not letting her move.
“Let go of me!”
“Not until you calm down.” Theo held her in his arms for several minutes until Nori’s anger turned to an overwhelming sadness. She could feel the tears rushing down her cheeks.
Theo released her and she stumbled backwards. “We can talk about this tomorrow, little one.” Nori opened her mouth wanting to say something, but she didn’t know what to say. “It’s quite late, darling. Put on your pajamas and let’s get some sleep.”
Theo picked up the panties off the floor and handed them to her.
She tried to stop the tears from coming and changed. She chose some pajamas that were basically just a skimpy tank top and booty shorts. But it was better than nothing. She turned off the lights in the closet and turned around. Only a small lamp was left on. Theo patted the spot on the bed next to him.
She hesitantly walked over to him. She took off her glasses and laid down next to him. He turned off the lamp and pulled her into his arms. She lay awake, held by Theo’s iron grip, and tried to get comfortable, hoping that eventually she might be able to drift off to sleep.