I gave way to fits of hysterical crying. “Please…let me go,” I whimpered. “I promise I won’t tell anyone. I just want to go home.”
“I’m afraid I can’t do that.” Just like that a sea of despair dragged me under its crushing waves. His voice was devoid of so many things: compassion, inflection, emotion, but there was one thing that wasn’t missing and that was certainty. I couldn’t accept it, his certainty.
He smoothed my hair back from my forehead, an intimate gesture that filled me with foreboding. Was he attempting to soothe me? Why?
“Please,” I cried as he continued petting me. I felt his weight on the bed, and my heart stuttered.
“I can’t,” he whispered, “and more than that…I don’t want to.”
For a moment, only my crying and deep, anguished sobs punctuated the silence that followed his statement. The darkness made it all the more unbearable.
His breathing, my breathing, together, in empty space.
“Tell you what I will do, I’ll untie you and get these bumps and bruises cleaned up. I didn’t want you to wake up in a pool of water. I’m really sorry about the hit to the face,” he stroked his fingers across my cheekbone, “but that’s what happens when you fight without thinking of the consequences.”
“A pool of water?” I jittered. “I don’t want to get in any water. Please,” I begged, “just let me go.” His voice was too calm, too refined, too matter-of-fact, and too… reminiscent of Hannibal Lector in The Silence of the Lambs.
“You need a bath pet.” Was his terrifying response. Hello Clarice….
All I could do was cry as he untied me. My arms and legs were stiff and numb: they felt too large, too heavy, too far away to be a part of me. Was my entire body asleep? Again I tried to move, I tried to hit him, to kick him. And again my efforts reflected in twitching, jerky movements. Frustrated, I lay inert. I wanted to wake up. I wanted to run away. I wanted to fight. I wanted to hurt him. And I couldn’t.
He kept the blindfold on and lifted me off the bed, carefully. I felt myself rise and become suspended within the dark. My heavy head draped over his arm. I could feel his arms. Feel his clothes against my skin.
“Why can’t I move?” I sobbed.
“I gave you a little something. Don’t worry, it’ll wear off.” Scared, blind in the dark, his limbs wrapped around mine, his voice took on texture, shape.
He shifted my weight in his arms until my head lolled against the fabric of his shirt.
“Stop struggling.” There was amusement on the surface of his voice.
Halting my struggle, I tried to focus on details about him. He was perceptibly strong and he hoisted my weight without so much as a strained breath. Beneath my cheek I could feel the hard expanse of his chest. He smelled faintly of soap, perhaps a light sweat too, a masculine scent that was both distinct, but only distantly familiar.
We didn’t walk far, only a few steps, but for me each moment seemed like an eternity in an alternate universe, one where I inhabited someone else’s body. But my own reality came crashing back to me the moment he set me down inside something smooth and cold.
Panic gripped me. “What the hell are you doing?”
There was a pause, then his amused voice. “I told you, getting you cleaned up.”
I opened my mouth to speak when the initial burst of cold water hit my feet. Startled, I let out a skittish yelp. As I pathetically attempted to crawl out of the tub by rolling my body toward the edge, the water turned warmer and my captor hoisted me back against the tub.
“I don’t want to take a bath. Let me go.” I tried to remove the blindfold, repeatedly smacking my own face as my lethargic arms countered my purpose. My captor did a horrible job of stifling his laugh.
“I don’t care if you want one, you need one.”
I felt his hands on my shoulders and mustered my strength to attack. My arms flew back haphazardly landing somewhere, I think, on his face or neck. His fingers speared through my hair to force my head back at an odd angle.
“Do you want me to play rough too?” he growled against my ear. When I didn’t answer he squeezed his fingers tight enough to make my scalp tingle. “Answer my question.”
“No.” I whispered on a frightened sob.
Without delay he loosened his grip. Before removing his fingers from my hair, his fingers massaged my scalp. I shivered at the utter creepiness of it.
“I’m going to cut your clothes off with some scissors,” he said flatly. “Don’t be alarmed.” The rush of the water and the beat of my heart thundered in my ears as I thought about him stripping me down and drowning me.
“Why?” I let out frantically.
His fingers caressed the column of my tense throat. I shivered in my fear. I hated not being able to see what was happening, it forced me to feel everything.
His lips were suddenly at my ear, soft, full, and unwelcome. He nuzzled in further when I attempted to bend my neck and twist away. “I could strip you slowly, take my time, but this is simply more efficient.”
“Stay away from me you asshole!” Was that my voice? This ballsy version of me really needed to shut up. She was going to get me killed.
I braced for some act of revenge, but it never came. Instead, I heard a small burst of sound, like he was laughing. Creepy son of a bitch.
He cut my shirt off slowly, carefully, and it made me wonder if he was savoring my panic. The thought took me places in my mind I willed myself not to go. Next, he removed my skirt. Though I struggled, my attempts were pathetic. If my arms were in the way, he held them away with little effort. If I lifted my knees, he simply pressed them back down.
He hadn’t put the drain stop into the tub yet, the water hadn’t been rising. Cold overwhelmed me as I sat there in my underwear. He reached for my bra and I stopped breathing, just shaking uncontrollably.
“Relax,” he said soothingly.
“Please,” I managed to say through sobs. “Please—whatever it is you think you need to do, you don’t. Please, just let me go and I won’t tell, I swear…I swear it.”
He didn’t answer me. He pressed the scissors up between my breasts and cut my bra open. I felt my breasts slide out and I started another fit of crying.
“No-no, don’t touch me!” Immediately he grabbed my nipples and pinched them. I screamed in shock and surprise, sensations flooding me.
He leaned in close to my ear and whispered, “You want me to let go?”
I nodded, unable to form words.
“Yes, please?” he pinched my nipples harder.
“Yes! Please!” I sobbed.
“Are you going to be a good little girl?” came his voice, once again imbued with a cold indifference that was contrary to the gentleness he tried to convey earlier.
“Yes.” I whined through clenched teeth and managed to place my hands over his. His hands were huge and they held me firmly. I didn’t even attempt to tug his hands away. There was no way he was letting go.
“Good girl.” He replied with sarcasm. But before he let my poor nipples go, he rubbed the sensitized and tender buds with his palms.
There was seemingly no end to my tears, as I forced myself to succumb to his more merciful side. I sat quietly and tried not to earn another dose of punishment. As he removed what remained of my bra and cut off my panties, I could feel the cold metal slide against my skin, the sharpness cutting through cloth, and maybe even me if I pushed too far.
After spraying my body with what could only be a detachable showerhead, he finally put the stop in the tub. The water was warm enough, better than the air against my exposed skin, but I was too terrified to feel any relief that I was still in one piece, relatively untouched. Each time the water got to a cut or some area I hadn’t realized was damaged, it stung, making me wince.
I tried to control my crying and speak calmly. “Can you please just take off the blindfold? I’d feel better if I could just see what’s going on.” I swallowed, throat dry. “You’re not going to hurt me…are…you?” My teeth chattered as I waited for a response, still blind, still trapped.
He was quiet for a moment, but then he said, “You have to leave the blindfold on. As for hurting you, I’d only planned to clean you up for now. But understand there are consequences to your behavior, that when you do wrong, you will be punished.” He didn’t wait for my answer. “So keep still and I won’t have to hurt you.”
He set about washing my body with a soft liquid soap that smelled of mint leaves and lavender. The darkness bloomed with the scent; it filled the room, wrapped around my skin. Like his voice. I’d once enjoyed the smell of lavender. Not anymore, now I loathed it.
When he passed over my breasts, I couldn’t resist the compulsion to once again try to trap his hands in mine. Without a word, he slipped one soapy hand free and squeezed my wrist until I released the other.
Later, he slapped my thigh when I kept closing my legs and wouldn’t let him wash between them. This part of me was private. No one had seen it but me, not since I’d been a child. No one had touched it; even I had not explored it fully. And now a stranger, someone who had done me harm was acquainting himself with…me. I felt violated and the feeling was reminiscent of a past I had tried long and hard to forget. I fought, but with every touch, with every invasion, my body belonged a little more to him than it did to me. I couldn’t stop shaking.
And then it ended. He pulled the stop out of the bath, pulled me out, dried my skin, combed my hair, rubbed ointment on my scrapes and gave me a bathrobe to wear. I was terrified, embarrassed, exhausted, and blind, but was still glad to feel clean – on the outside at least.
His voice was a soft breeze against my neck as I stood without assistance in front of him. “Come with me.”
Unable to do otherwise, I allowed him to take my hand and guide me blindly out of the bathroom.
Caleb led his beautiful captive toward the center of the room. Her steps were hesitant, frightened, as if she expected him to push her off a precipice. He urged her forward only to have her push back against him. That was fine with him. She could push back against him all night as far as he was concerned. Offering no resistance, he let her collide against him, barely subduing a laugh when she let out a gasp and sprang forward like a cat avoiding water. Or in this case, his hard-on.
Caleb reached out to gently grasp her arms, she stilled, obviously too frightened to move forward or back. Lust rolled through him. He finally had her—here—between his fingers, under his control. He closed his eyes, heady for a moment.
She had arrived over three hours ago, slung over the shoulder of that waste of a human being, Jair. She was bruised, dirty, and reeking of bile and sweat, but that hadn’t been the worst of it. One of them, and he didn’t have to wonder at whom, had struck her across the face. Heat crawled down his spine the moment he saw the blood on her lip, and the purpling bruise swelling her left eye and cheek. He resisted the urge to kill that motherfucker on the spot. He doubted he had marred her as a last resort. She was a woman, how difficult could it be to pacify her?
At least she had managed to kick his face. He would have paid to see that.
The sound of soft but deep breaths returned his thoughts to the present. The desire that had settled warmly in his stomach sunk heavily to his balls and engorged his cock painfully. He trailed his fingers across her shoulders while shifting to her left side. He wanted a better look at her. Her pink lips were parted just slightly, whispers of breath rushing through them.
Caleb wanted nothing more than to remove her blindfold, to stare into those bewildering eyes of hers, and kiss her until she melted beneath him – but they were a long way from there.
Like a falcon, she needed the dark to understand who her master was. She would learn to trust him, to rely upon him, to anticipate what he wanted from her. And like any master worth his salt, he would reward her for her obedience. He would be exceedingly firm, but he would also be as fair as he could be. He had not chosen the instrument of his revenge at random. He had chosen a beautiful submissive. And what was a submissive if not adaptable –if not a survivor?