"Hayden...stop it." Lena whispered against the rising water. She couldn't see anymore, couldn't feel anything but the cold. Every nerve in her body felt as though it were dying. Her blood cells turning into slush. Did she dare even inhale the cold air into her lungs? Still no answer. The water was just beneath her breasts as she stayed on her knees, clearly showing that Hayden this time, once again had won. But why wasn't he claiming his prize? Her even weaker body completely breaking apart with each drop that continued to crush her down. It amazed her how every drop that touched her was like a insult from Hayden. Another showing of how much he bettered her. How much he outsmarted her, was more creative and morbid.
Trying to get more blood flow through her she reached over head head and brought her hands down to tangle her fingers in her hair, stretching her back and kicking her shoes off. The stretches did almost nothing. Hiding her face in her arms almost kept the water from continuing to blind her. At this point, differing the height of the water was impossible now. She didn't dare open her eyes to see, the cold was everywhere. Where was he? Was he truly going to go through with her death? No blood to bother cleaning up, no evidence of a struggle if he were to be investigated. Why wasn't she fighting anymore? Because every inch of her body was too stiff and frozen to give her any peace of mind of surviving. Was she giving up now? Yes. The cold was what was besting her.
If she tried to inhale, a blast of cold air and destroyed her lungs. Now she couldn't tell if suffocation or the water would kill her. Where was her heartbeat? She couldn't feel it, her hands were numb just like the rest of her. So why was the cold still so intense? The water splashed up at her lips as she tried to move her hands. Had it always been this high? "Very good, Lena. Let the pain take every last piece of your sanity." Was his voice in her head or still in the room? Her questions were digging deeper and deeper into her until she couldn't do anything else but ask questions. He had said sanity, not death. Was there still hope of being saved? "A few more minutes, Lena. I know you can last longer." She could sense his smile again. Where was he? Still in the basement? Was she? Damn him, he knew how much her questions tortured her. He wanted all of her sanity to break so he could continue on with his punishments on her.
Somehow shivers coursed down her spine, giving her another chill to threaten to stop her heart. When she opened her eyes, all she way was water. Splashing water while the room filled even higher, hadn't it been at her lips? It should be over her head now. No...it was draining. Where? The water was still falling above, but now it was at her chest now. She could see her stiff and frozen nipples through the fabric of her dress. If there was a camera in here, Hayden could clearly see as well. Just another idea of his to humiliate her. If she hid her chest with her last bit of strength, that would only be more amusement for him. No matter what, he always would get something out of her. Pain, humiliation, fear, disgust. It all belonged to him now.
Helpless and broken, he saw all of it in the comfort of his own creations. The disturbing ideas that she was secretly envious of. Here again she was at his disposal, his game. And she still wanted to be a part of it. Even now, freezing near to death she was learning something. Training for something. Was each punishment he gave to her a new piece of her soul being cast out of her? Or something else? The water was at her waist now, she could lift her hands out of the water and see the pale and purple color of each finger. Lena tried to slowly bend them but they were too numb yet to be of any use to her. Finally, without any warning, the water stopped pouring down on her. All was left was a quiet and faint sound of the water draining somewhere.
How long had she been on her knees? If she tried to stand would there just be a new wave of pain that was masked in a never ending chill? It was all gone now, only a shiny glaze of water and Lena could drop to the ground like a doll, a dismembered and abused doll nobody wanted. Had that been her fate, she would be safe but there was a sound of a door opening and heavy foot steps approaching her. She was too weak to open her eyes or turn her head. Her wet hair stuck to her face as she was lifted into his arms. Without thinking his body heat forced her to move closer, aching to absorb all of the warmth she could manage. His arms held her tightly and she was carried from the room, unaware of anything in her new surroundings but darkness and a more closed atmosphere. "One more test, Lena. Then you can recover again and this entire process will start all over. I can assure you that so much more is in store for you in order for you to properly learn all of your capabilities."
She was lowered against a hard object, flat against her back and tilted at an angle to keep her slightly standing. Hayden wasted no time in taking each of her arms and tying them to the boards she soon identified until she was in a bound position like a cross. The room was so warm, but it only warmed the outside of her body, making her antsy for more of it. She ddn't care about anything but the warmth, it would stop her shivering and ease her uncontrollable shakes against the binds on her wrists and now ankles. Why did the binds itch against her skin so much? Was it the dryness that was doing it? The room was only lit by a single overhead bulb, illuminating Hayden's figure but nothing else. It was now like the dinner all over again. "What now?" She said weakly, cringing at the broken sound of her voice. "You amuse me, Lena. That fire I try to hard to break is still, whether you know it or not, burns deep in you. It is quite reassuring for me to know that I have more to do to you."
Another shiver ran down her spine and down her legs to her toes. Was it fear? She assumed so. She felt no fire now, just nothing. She only waited to see what else he would do. He stood in front of her and walked over to the wall, turning on another light and showing his face again, lighting up a display of a variety of whips changing in various thicknesses. He started unbuttoning his shirt, the wet material sticking to her torso and Lena looked down at her feet as he changed his shirt, a smirk on his face when she looked back up. "You are much more mature then that, Lena. You don't need to avert your eyes if I remove a simple article of clothing.
"If I did watch you may get the impression that I'm interested." She instantly replied, noticing her fire now. "And we can't have that."
"Why not? We are hardly enemies. After all, don't you still marvel at the things I know and can teach you?"
"I did nothing to you, all of this torture was on you."
"Really? And Tucker? Did I kill him in the alleyway? That was your little stunt. And frankly, it was poorly executed. That was one of the main reasons I had branded you. Your let your anger get the best of you and rule your motives. I need you to be perfectly in control of yourself if you even should be considered worth my time to teach. Your father, the poor man, is now in the hospital. Or more of a special institution. His drinking I was sensing to be too much of a problem in such a short time. I had a few men go over there after you were removed from the premises and take him where he can sober up and perhaps rejoin us."
"Why does it have to be an 'us'? Why not be our own? My father doing what he enjoys and me doing what I want to do with my own life."
"You mean what I do?" He smiled. She knew that he wanted to see her get upset over her father and demand more details but that did nothing for her at the moment. And if he was dead, then she had nothing to worry about. His suffering was no longer a part of hers. "Yes, but in my own way. My own motives and victims."
"So you think that expertly killing rapists, serial killers, hackers, and any other people you feel are wasting life? What I do is a business, what you have in mind is just an idea, a killing spree to fuel your blood lust." He wanted her to get defense, to try to convince him that what she wanted was not something of a teenage rebellion. Yes, it was true there were no details planned out, but she knew about planning, about organization and thinking clearly. Was he trying to change her thoughts around? "Hayden, I know you have more then just mind games in store. Why not get on with it and get your fun out of it? I am curious as well as to your ideas."
"Very well, I love seeing that your fire is returning so quickly. However, you are still dripping wet, what I have planned will hurt much more with that factor. I will start off easy and move up the scale each time. I shall for your advantage, grant you a safe word. You decide the word before I start." He waited patiently beside the display, smiling a tiny bit brighter as she wasted each second. "How about 'Death'?" She said smirking back at him. "A wise choice, now let me explain my new idea for you."
He grabbed a standard size whip, a riding crop, she noticed with a thick piece of leather at the end. "Now I want to you to be still. That is the only instruction I will give you for now. But bear in mind, I will not be gentle. Odds are the end results will be your boat covered in bruises and perhaps blood. You will be in a lot of pain and maybe even will wish for the cold water again." He looked again at her, took a step forward and without another warn reached his arm back with the whip and stuck it against her arm, the bear flesh burning, the wet area stinging. "Not a sound other then the safe word, Lena." He said as soon as the contact was made. She didn't scream, only flinch. Had she closed her eyes? The moment was so sudden that it wasn't even a memory. Hayden lowered the whip and walked over, and Lena had the image in her mind of a hunter checking the carcass after a kill. His free hand placed itself over the area, applying pressure that added to the pain yet somehow soothed the stinging sensation.
"And that strike was the easiest. I am proud of you for handling it as well as you did. You would be surprised to find that not many do. But then again, you are not the most ordinary of individuals. Let's try again shall we?" He removed his hand from her arm, letting the end of the whip brush over her skin again before taking his stance again. Would closing her eyes help or make things worse? Keeping them open was her choice in granting herself another pass at getting a gentle strike. If such a thing was possible. No longer was she cold, but never would she even dream of wishing for that again. No matter how many scars he left on her, it would hardly matter. And Hayden would make sure that she would suffer in every way possible before giving her any privileges of learning so she can finally slit his throat and be done with all of this wasted time and life.
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