“Well, Kitten? Are you going to put it on or are you finally over your self-indulgent modesty?” I waited for the tease to play out, but he continued to stare at me with a quizzical expression. I walked toward him, and grabbed it from his hand fully expecting to meet with resistance. When I didn’t, I fell forward slightly, my cheek colliding with his chest for a brief moment before I righted myself. He laughed and it was almost…sweet.
The fabric was soft and sensual as it glided through my fingers while I discerned the opening. I had never been this close to the open door and my excitement was palpable. The light filtering in from the room behind him beckoned me sharply. I fumbled with the slippery silk.
Caleb’s hands unexpectedly reached out for mine. He held them still, steadying my trembling, overly excited hands. I looked up at him, finally able to make out his features in the glow of the adjoining room. I was strangely excited to see him in the light, to really see him, as plainly as I had that fated day on the street. It seemed a lifetime ago.
His right hand lifted toward my face. It was pure instinct that bade me to close my eyes when his fingers caressed first my brow, then my cheekbone, the curve of my jaw, and finally, his thumb across the bow of my lips. I swayed. My former instincts to fend off his caresses had left me at some point but I couldn’t recall when exactly they had stopped. His touches were expected now. My skin unconsciously eager, waiting for a stroke to feed this new hunger in me. I could suddenly feel his weight at my back, hear his low grunts in my ear as he had taken his pleasure from me. I released the nightgown into his all too capable hands and opened my eyes, expectant but also bemused. I tried, and failed to suppress a shudder when his hands slipped it on over my head. The silk licked my flesh from head to toe, first cool, then warm as it absorbed my heat.
“There,” his voice was hoarse. Another caress, this one down my arm. I stared at his chest, the dark buttons against dark cloth. He took my hand and led me out the door. My nipples hardened, pressing against the silk.
He was really going to let me out? “Come,” he said, giving a small smile of approval. But I froze. I kept asking myself: is this really happening? And like always, the answer was: yes.
I stepped into the living room as if I stepped into a whole other world. It was one I was strangely frightened to enter. I hesitated, the room felt too big, too cold, and too bright to my sensitive eyes. I squeezed Caleb’s hand, needing to make certain he was close to me, and then stopped. I recognized the ridiculousness of my thought process, but also knew there was no way to change it. What was it called when a hostage took refuge behind her abductor? Stockholm’s? Did I have it? Could you catch it like the flu? I knew it was stupid to wonder. The simple answer was I didn’t want to run into that other guy, the one that took me—that’s all. Yes, yes, of course. These thoughts soothed me. Caleb hadn’t gotten to me, not like that. Hasn’t he? I shook off the thought and let go of Caleb’s hand to emphasize my point. Take that inner monologue.
My eyes devoured every surface, any object because who knew when I’d be put back in my black box. I looked up at the ceiling, some twelve feet high, and marveled at the thick wooden beams that ran from wall to wall. It was beautiful, old, and grandiose. Beneath my feet were ceramic tiles, large ones, some with flower-like designs. Tapestries and wall sconces lined the large room, accentuating the low antique looking chairs. I felt like I was in an eighteenth century sitting room. Any minute now, a man wearing a cravat and brandishing a stylish, if not useless walking stick was going to enter the room and offer me tea. Though one look at the arched entrance to a hallway directly opposite my room and I knew the man would probably not be English. This place had a lot of Spanish vibes. Where the hell was I? To the left I spied a type of kitchen area. There was a table at least. And directly across, to my right I finally saw…a window.
I think I let out a giddy squeal. I ran to the window, shaking off Caleb’s grasp when he tried to stop me, but he didn’t pursue me. I gripped the bars, peering out. It was still night! I was hoping it was daylight; I hadn’t seen the sun in…in…in? My brain couldn’t process anything beyond seeing the outside world. I was still trapped. This was a prison within a prison. Still, this was more freedom than I had had in a long time, a taste, but it would have to be enough to sustain me.
Overwhelmed, I stared out into the night. I reached through the bars, wishing they weren’t there, and touched the window, the warmth of the glass. The landscape was muted and hard to make out; the moon, nowhere to be seen. I wondered if this black immutable landscape was why he’d let me out this night—I couldn’t tell where the hell I was. I could be three blocks from home, or in an entirely different country. That gnawed at me, Mexico was way too close to California and yet too far away from any expectation of rescue. Caleb’s voice invaded my thoughts, “Are you hungry?” he said behind me, way behind me.
I didn’t look back at him, absorbed in the darkness outside, and distracted by everything else. I managed a, “Kind of.”
“Well, it’s ‘kind of’ a yes or no question. I’d appreciate it if you answered me properly, and face me when I speak to you.” I ripped my eyes away from the window and looked at him. He had that big smile on his face again. The same smile he had been using to cause so much inner turmoil. In the dark, it twisted me in knots, in the light – it was almost crippling.
“I’m sorry Master,” I said, regaining my composure. “Yes…I’m hungry.” I turned toward the window and squeezed the bars. His words echoed in my head, “You feel so good. I love your tight little ass.”
“There’s chicken and rice, or tamales. Which would you prefer?”
“Um, the rice?” I responded, turning around again. Even this felt like a test, a game. I wasn’t feeling all that hungry, but I was afraid if I didn’t eat I’d have to go back inside my prison. He grabbed the leftovers from the refrigerator and spooned the contents out onto a plate. How domestic of him.
“I was just getting ready to eat when you decided to have your little…episode.” He spoke so casually, as though we were conversing about the color scheme of the room. He carefully and quietly closed the microwave door and set the timer, going about this mundane task. My episode. He’d been inside me, deep. I felt a twinge of pain and a flutter of desire at the same time. My stomach clenched. Episode.
What he called an episode, I knew was a life changing event. I would never be the same and it didn’t seem to matter to him. I blinked rapidly. Do not cry Livvie.
I must have been unsuccessful in cloaking my emotions because he quickly added, “No more crying Kitten. No more dark so no more tears.” He slipped the spoon he used into his mouth and opened the refrigerator again. I stood there, staring at him like an idiot not sure what I should do. I nodded. It was all I was capable of.
He took two beers out of the fridge and set them on the counter before removing the plate from the microwave. “Here, take this,” he handed me the plate, “be careful it’s hot. Sit at the table.” I held the plate in my hands, still standing and staring before the heat started to burn my hands.
“Shit!” I exclaimed and hurried to set the hot plate down on the table. He laughed under his breath as he put another plate of food in the microwave. I sucked my middle and ring fingers on my left hand, feeling like a moron.
He pulled the other plate from the microwave and set it down on the table. He then picked up one of the beers and walked over to me. He took my left hand and wrapped it around the long hard length of the bottle, my hand under his. The cool wetness felt amazing under our hot fingers. I looked up at him and all of a sudden I couldn’t breathe.
“Feel better?” he asked, only I heard something else and I throbbed with it. I pressed my thighs together. His hand suddenly left mine and I snapped out of my trance. I pulled out my chair to sit.
I hated the fact it was night again, that I’d missed an opportunity to see the sun. No one ever thinks about how lucky they are to see the sun everyday. I certainly never did, not until now. Disappointment shivered through me, pulling me down again. Caleb noticed. When did he not notice something?
“What? What could be wrong now?”
I looked at him with eyes that all but yelled, are you kidding me!
He shrugged. “I could always put you back inside your room.”
I winced at the suggestion. “No. I’m…grateful. I just, I guess I'm just disappointed the sun isn't up. I haven't seen the sun in a long time.”
“Hmm,” was all he said.
I tried not to look at him, every time I did all I could think about was the fact that he had been inside me. The way he had been so soft and so gentle and forced my body to feel good, even though I had fought it, then the way he had been so cruel. I pushed the food around, thinking about things beyond my old life. I wondered if I would ever manage to escape. The thought seemed less and less likely the longer I remained here with Caleb. Though I knew I could never give up hope. I abruptly wondered what would happen to Caleb once I made it home. Would he be brought to justice? The thought gave me mixed emotions. Fuck, maybe I did have Stockholm’s.
“I didn’t bring you out here to eat with me so you could stare off into your food.” I looked up. He smiled again. Or maybe he’s just too pretty for prison. Thinking of prison only served to remind me of being sodomized.
“So tell me about home Kitten; brothers, sisters?” I could feel the pin pricks behind my eyes, threatening to burst through in a flood of tears. I set my fork down and put my hands over my face, willing them back. I didn't want to talk about this, not with him; it hurt too much. Yet, the logical side of my brain was saying that perhaps if I opened up to him and got him to see me as a human being, he’d treat me differently. Let me out of the dark for good. Maybe even let me go. This was an opportunity. A big one. The tears were beaten back for the moment. I could do this. I had to do this.
“I have five brothers,” I said, refusing to tell him anything about my sisters.
He eyed me at length before speaking again. “And you are…?”
He sat back in his chair and stared at me, tunneling through me with that dark gaze as if he knew something I didn't and was amused by it. “And your parents?”
Why did he suddenly care? “It's just my mom. My dad’s been gone for a long time now.”
“He died?” he said almost thoughtfully.
“No,” I said, edgy, “just…gone.”
“And so your brothers have a different father?”
“Um...fathers.” I looked down at my plate again, shifting the food around, trying not to think about him staring at me.
“Your mother had children with more than one man?” he sounded…disapproving. He shook his head slightly, then, under his breath he muttered, “The West.” His eyes once again bored into mine, “How does it make you feel?”
What are you? My Shrink? “I don't know. I guess I don't care.”
“And what does your eldest brother think?” he leaned in. He was actually interested. I was getting a little freaked out.
“My brother?” I asked. I didn’t understand; where was he going with this? My brother was fourteen and all he gave a shit about was running the streets with his friends. Mom and the others were my responsibility.
“The burden of caring for you and your mother would naturally fall upon your eldest brother,” he said, his tone inquisitive but oddly perplexed.
I scoffed, “Hardly.”
My answer seemed to displease him on some level, but he nodded slowly in realization. What rock had he been living under? “Yes of course. How forgetful of me.” His gaze became almost pitying.