On the Run p. 35

She was surprised when he followed her into the bedroom.  She was expecting a dine and dash that often accompanies impulse sex, but he instead headed for the bedroom straight behind her.  Maybe, she hoped, he had felt the love she expressed to him with her body more than simply reading the lack of words she was unable to organize out of her mouth.

He headed for the dresser naked, completely comfortable in his skin and produced some clothes.  When he was dressed, surprisingly in just boxers, he turned to her.  She had only donned panties and was working on a bra.  He asked her, “It’s Brad’s shift.  I get to sleep for a bit.  Would it be all right if I slept in here?”
Of course it would be all right!  It was not only his cabin, but she was beginning to realize that this was his bedroom, also.  She nodded.  He crawled under the sheets and patted the bed next to him.  “I know you didn’t sleep well last night, so if you’d like a little extra shut eye, just shut the shades and crawl in.

She contemplated this for a second.  She wanted more than anything to curl up in bed with him.  She had thought about that pleasantly for weeks.  She imagined life was normal and they just met and she could crawl into his arms and sleep like two lovers do after the throes of lovemaking.  However, her dreams were not normal, and she was afraid of a repeat.

The alternative of going downstairs to a room full of strangers wasn’t exactly enticing either, so the answer was simple.  She walked over to shut the shades, grabbed the comforter off the floor and spread it across the bed, and, finally, crawled up into it.

For some reason she felt shy.  Maybe it was the hunger that slowed her thoughts, or maybe the lack of sleep, or maybe the constant fear pressing itself into her, but she din’t feel her normal, confident self.  She knew she wanted to just curl up into his arms, but she wasn’t sure what he wanted.  Maybe he liked having the bed to himself when he slept.  Maybe she should just give him some room to stretch his large frame out with.  His large, sexy, strong, body that is.

As if reading her indecision, he pulled the sheets up so she could come a little closer.  She still was naked except for panties, maybe she should get dressed first?  It had been so long since she had done this intimate act, and her head was so foggy and tired.  He mumbled, sleepily, “come on over,” and she did just that.  It felt so right to be in his arms.  She felt so safe and secure, like nothing could ever go wrong.

But it could.  It definitely could.  She decided that when he woke she was going to get more involved in this plan.  She would ask to get filled in on Brad and Taylor’s information to figure out what she could do to best help.  The amount of guilt at having so many people drop what they were doing in an instant to help their buddy out, the one she put in danger, was immense, the exhaustion multiplying her emotions.  Her decisions lead to his danger, and now the interruption of so many other lives as well.

She felt so right in being in his arms, but her overactive mind kept inventing new worse case scenarios, even as she fought sleep, her eyes eventually, traitorously, fluttered to sleep.

She woke up, head groggy, pain emulating everywhere, centering on her head.  She was dizzy, and she was bound.  Her hands were above her head, and her legs were tied beneath her.  Her backside burned as if it had been on fire. She looked around the room and she realized the belt lying on the floor was most likely to blame for it. 

He was sitting in a chair, waiting for her to wake.  Waiting to continue the torture.  His menacing body was all stooped, and she eyed a half bottle of whiskey spilling on the floor beneath him, most likely the cause for his nap mid torture.  She turned to inspect the rest of the room when she heard his slurred voice “Back to reality, my little bitch.  Are you ready to obey?” 

No, she would never obey that bastard.  The silence clung in the air, and he was angry.  He stood up so suddenly that the chair tipped over backward, and he nearly joined it.  “You are so spoiled!  You don’t know how much I have given you.  You just keep taking!  Taking everything from me!”

She realized in her fear that she was tied up in her own garage.  She at least knew where she was.  A look out the garage window let her know it was now near sunset, so she must have been unconscious for quite some time.  She looked around for ways to escape.  The ropes binding her were tight; she couldn’t seem to loosen them.  Panicking, she started flailing against the bindings.

“You still don’t understand!  I am in charge now!  You will obey ME!”

With that, he started beating her.  Her eyes widened in horror when he stormed over to her and continued to strike her, over and over, shouting the whole time, “You are mine!  You were always mine!” The pain was so intense it nearly sent her back to the oblivion she had woken from.  She was gagged and her screams were silenced.  The pain escalated until her vision became white, and then black as she fell back into a peaceful oblivion. 

“Ann, wake up.  I need you to wake up, Ann.  You’re ok.”

She yet again awoke with a great start.  Her mouth was dry, she felt as though she couldn’t breathe.  Her back hurt.  Her head hurt.  Phantom pains.  She still ran her hands over them to convince herself it had happened years ago, not seconds.

She finally recognized the voice was Tucker’s.  “You’re Ok Ann, You’re ok, deep breaths.”

She steadied her breath, humiliated once again.  It took a minute to be able to unwind her arms, and legs, and come back to reality.  She realized he had sat up and in the fit she had kicked off the sheets and was laying there naked except for the panties.  Wow, she can really make a fool of herself.

She gulped, and attempted to mutter an apology.

He didn’t allow for it.  “Don’t even try that.  There’s nothing to be sorry for.  Do you want to talk about it?”

She shook her head furiously.  She definitely did not want to think about it, let alone talk about it.  Without knowing what else to say, but needing to take the attention off herself, she spouted out, “Reason number four I could never be your girlfriend: I never sleep.  And if we ever attempted to share a bed, you would never sleep either.”

“Have you ever talked to anyone about the dreams, like a therapist? Or a friend?”

She giggled, “no, absolutely not.  Nobody could ever understand what I’ve gone through, and I certainly don’t want to scar anyone who has been blessed to never experience what I have.  Can you imagine how that conversation would go?” she continued to giggle darkly, “Dear shrink.  Last night I dreamt of being tied up and left for dead.  And the night before, and the night before that.  I’m not crazy, right?” her laughter ended as the seriousness of the truth came out.

Another dry laugh, “Dear shrink, when I have these dreams, I physically feel the pain, as if it just happened again in my dream last night.  I have phantom pains in my body.  That’s normal, right?

“Oh my dear,” the shrink would say, it’s perfectly fine” and she started to lose her nerve, “it’s perfectly fine to feel things that aren’t there.  Perfectly normal.” And then the pain in her chest hit hard, and she was transported back to that day years ago just as clearly and painfully as if it happened five minutes ago in her dream.

“Please tell me I didn’t scream.  Please tell me nobody else in this house heard me” she begged Tucler with her eyes to answer.

He just stroked her arms.  Oh, the mortification hit a new level.  She definitely needed to get things figured out today so she could sleep alone in her own bed tonight, and not continue to humiliate herself in a house full of people.

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