A weird little quickie.
He watches me bathe every night. My alone-time is limited now ever since I cut myself badly with a razor. I hoped it would be enough to take me to the hospital, that he would freak out, but I was wrong.
He stands against the counter with his arms crossed and his eyes hooded. The steam from the tub mists the bathroom and his black clothes are imposing in the fog. Someone else would assume he is aloof, disinterested. Maybe even bored.
But I know he absorbs every move I make. I could tease him. Play with my nipples. Take the soap and make it disappear under the frothy water, and let him only imagine what I’m doing with it. Make him as uncomfortable as he makes me.
I’ve done it before but he didn’t even blink. Still I know, just know, it affects him.
I must be taking too long tonight. His nostrils are flared, eyes narrowed, and his sigh heavy.
“I think you’re clean enough for now,” he says, tossing me a towel.
I’m not prepared and half of it falls into the water. His expression is unrepentant.
He leads the way back into my bedroom. Or my cell, as I think of it. My captor may have procured a comfortable bed with luxurious sheets and a bookcase filled with any novel I’d care to read, but I don’t fool myself. I make the best of what I’ve got, but I refuse to be lulled into complacency.
Sometimes I still give him a fight. I kick him in the shin, or stab him with a pen. An elbow to the gut is always fun. Nothing ends up affecting him, however, and I only end up losing privileges.
I have been held hostage for about a month now--give or take a few weeks. Dad is an important politician; my kidnappers want to send a message. And it doesn’t hurt that Dad is loaded and that they keep funneling money from him, making false promises they’ll drop me off somewhere.
I don’t know how long they’ll keep me. I don’t ask anymore.
I do know that the man I deal with all the time doesn’t work alone. I hear other voices coming from where I’m hidden, but I’ve never seen anyone else.
In the beginning I valued that, remembering crime shows I’d seen before. It is a good sign if criminals don’t want you to see them; that means they have intentions of releasing you. Of course my main captor reveals his face to me every day for memorization.
“Put your clothes on,” he orders.
I’ve daydreamed long enough.
My hands scurry to pull my panties up, toss my nightie on. Thankfully he’s left me the comb--one of the few luxuries I have left.
He stomps into the bathroom, collecting any and all dangerous items I could possibly use to harm myself. When he comes back out, he stops for a moment to watch me untangle the knots from my hair. This tension crackles between us. It’s nothing new.
I reflect on how sick I am. I get excited just by his eyes on my body. When he traces my curves with those stone-cold blue eyes, waves of arousal liquify me. I crave him almost as much as I despise him. That’s disgusting to me, that I can look at this man who keeps me from my family and from my life and feel anything but hatred. That when he touches me, every cell in my body hums with electricity. Catching his scent on clothes I’m occasionally given and the change of bedsheets he brings every week is sometimes the highlight of my day. It’s pathetic.
Part of it may be that I’ve never quite felt as alive as I do now. My days are dangerous and somehow unpredictable, even though I end up doing the same thing for a week. I never know what mood he’ll be in, if he’ll even look at me.
He must be as horrified as I am. Very rarely do our bodies make accidental contact. He doesn’t spend an excess of time with me. He’s stopped indulging me with chocolate every now and then, or an extra blanket when the chill from the cracks in the walls is too much. I think it’s all a way of reminding himself I’m not a guest.
Who is this man? I can never figure it out. He seems so gentle, even if he’s tall and strong. He’s patient when I take forever to complete simple tasks he must oversee. Yet I sense that powerful brutality lurking beneath his benign facade; a brutality I instinctively know I must evade.
“How much longer do I have to be here?” I ask tonight. Thinking about all of this has renewed my fear. It terrifies me I don’t have as much interest in fleeing from this bedroom anymore.
He starts, almost as if he’s surprised by the question. “Until you’re no longer needed.”
“How much have you made off of me by now? A hundred grand? Two?”
He gives nothing away, but I’d bet it’s even more than that.
“It’s time for bed.” He waits until I’m in bed and under the covers before he flips the lights off.
Before I can say goodnight with sarcasm, he’s locked me in. How macabre this little pantomime of ours is--he all but tucks me into bed, his little prisoner.
And I can’t deny that I play it all over and over again in my mind until morning.
I lose privacy privileges again a few days later. I smashed the mirror in the bathroom and cut a wrist with a shard.
I’m not suicidal, but I do have a masochistic streak, it would seem.
I tell myself it’s to annoy him, to damage the goods so that when he’s finally used me up and returned me to my father, Dad can see the physical toll.
Secretly I just want to see what he’ll do.
In the initial minutes, he’s rough with me. He catalogues the immense flow of blood flowing from my wrist, the puddle at my feet, the paleness of my face.
“Shit. What did you do?”
He tugs me out of the bathroom. I’m shaking by the time he pushes me down on the bed.
“Stay,” he orders, as if I could go anywhere else.
He leaves the room only to return a minute later with a first-aid kit. That he has such a thing at all strikes me so bizarre that I can’t repress a laugh.
I receive a glare. “You really need stitches.”
He treats me. It stings terribly, but it’s what I deserve. Or so he keeps telling me.
I lay out to rest and he vanishes. The pain is exquisite and I don’t quite sleep, drifting in and out.
In the middle of the night he creeps in, obviously assuming I’m asleep. His cool hand touches my forehead. If he’s looking for a fever, he doesn’t find one. I wonder if I’m hallucinating when I feel him push back my hair in something that almost feels like tenderness.
Then I feel him poking around my wound. I’m not sure how he can make anything out in the blanket of darkness surrounding us.
He must be satisfied, however, because he leaves immediately after.
Only then do I find myself tearing up.
It’s strange, but no one has taken care of me before. No one until my captor. _____
One day he brings me chocolate ice cream. I’m not sure why, but I happily take the spoon and dig in. He sits on my bed, watching me with a severity I don’t understand.
Then he clears his throat. “You are going home soon. Three days at the most.”
The ice cream slides down my throat too quickly. A rush of cold flows to my head and it aches.
This is good news. Why am I panicking?
He runs a hand over his face. “Yes. I’ll release you someplace remote. It will be up to you how you get home.” His body is tight. “You will tell your father how well we treated you. I would hate to have to come visit you and make my point.”
“Do you really think me telling my father you brought me chocolate ice cream is going to prevent the cops from trying to get you?” I snort. “They probably won’t even wait a minute before trailing you.”
He shakes his head and I realize all too late what I’ve said. I make a terrible victim.
“We have our money. I’ll be far, far away before you even make it to civilization.”
Damn it. The thought makes me sad. Fucking Patty Hearst.
Perhaps he reads the melancholy in my face because a sardonic grin drapes itself across his face. “Sad?”
“Who else will lurk around when I take a bath?” I try, but my tone is off.
I might never be able to take a bath again if I can’t feel the weight of his impenetrable stare.
He shrugs. “Pay someone to do it.”
He’s so cavalier that I wonder for a moment if I’ve imagined this whole attraction. He stands, apparently preparing to leave, and I give up pretending. I take three huge steps toward him, tossing the ice cream on the floor in a dramatic fashion. A brief thought flits through my brain that this is so Lifetime, but I’m right in front of him now and there’s no time for amusement. I drag myself up his body so that I’m up on the tips of my toes. Our noses meet and our breath mingles. It would be so easy to kiss him right now.
“I would regret it very much if I didn’t at least tell you that, as crazy as it is, I want you to fuck me.”
His inhale is sharp and disbelieving. “What?”