I’m hurrying down the sidewalk, trying to get away from the sinister man in the car behind me when I look up and see him. Perhaps it’s his easy stride, or the way his gaze sweeps past me instead of over me, but for whatever reason, he seems safe. I throw my arms about his waist and whisper, “Just play along okay.”
Beyond the prison of my dream, I feel real sweat trickling down my neck. Obscurely, I’m aware of my tossing and turning, but I can’t put together why I feel so uneasy.
He does and I’m surprised when his arms wrap around me. The moment of danger seems to pass very quickly, but for some reason I don’t want to let go. I feel safe in these arms and I’ve never really felt safe before. And he smells good, he smells the way I imagine a man should smell, like crisp, clean soap, and warm skin, and a light sweat. I think I’m taking too long to let go, so I release him as though he’s burned me. Then I stare up and acknowledge the angel in front of me. My knees almost buckle.
Outside the dream, I can hear myself whimper. Part of me knows why I don’t want to keep looking at him, but I can’t stop it from happening. I dream in third person, and I’m a spectator here.
He is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, that includes puppies, babies, rainbows, sunsets, and sunrises. I can’t even call him a man – men don’t look this good. His skin is beautifully tanned, as if the sun itself took the time to kiss his skin to perfection. His muscled forearms are dusted with the same golden hair of his head. And his eyes mimic the blue-green of the Caribbean Sea I’ve only seen on movie posters.
He smiles, and I can’t help but smile too. I’m a puppet. He pulls my strings. His smile reveals his beautiful white teeth, but also his sharp canine on the left side. His teeth aren’t perfect, and the small imperfection seems to make him more beautiful.
He’s saying something to me, something about another girl, but I refuse to listen.
Off in the distance, I hear a familiar voice, my voice. Inside the dream? Outside the dream? I’m unsure. All I know is that I’m begging for the dream to stop. I didn’t find what I was looking for – the thing I missed. I should stop, now, before I get to the unbearable part, the part that has nothing to do with memory, but fantasy, desire.
I lean in and tilt my head up. I want him to put those full lips to good use, I won’t take no for an answer. When his tongue slides across the seam of my lips I feel things between my legs I have never felt before. I feel an aching sort of fullness and abruptly I can feel my heart beating not only in my chest, but within those secret folds. I moan behind the kiss and shortly after I hear him moan too.
I want to touch him every where. I don’t care if he takes me right here on the sidewalk, that’s how badly I want him. I don’t care what my mother will say. For him I’ll be a whore. I’m glad I’ve waited. I’m glad it’s him who gets to have me.
His hand has found its way into my hair, and for some reason I sense danger, but I make the feeling go away.
The kiss has turned hungry, ravenous – my lips hurt a little. His hand has become a fist in my hair. The sensation is familiar but distant. I want to keep kissing.
Do I taste beer? It’s suddenly all too familiar.
A kiss. A touch.
‘Is this what you do when I go to bed Livvie? You put on your puta clothes and try to seduce your father?’
‘He’s not my dad!’ He’s the one to blame. Not me.
‘Act like a whore and you’ll get treated like one Livvie.’
Without warning I am hit with an overwhelming sense of grief. Something is horribly wrong. I pull back from the kiss and my eyes go wide with horror.
The same youthful face I’d found beautiful beyond all explanation, looks back at me with a menacing expression. His eyes still remind me of the sea, but instead of sunny Caribbean beaches, I now see hideous creatures of the deep lurking in the depths of his gaze. No longer an angel, he is the devil I have always feared.
My eyes flew open and I stared into the nothingness surrounding me. My heart pounded, my tears welled, but despite it all – I was shamefully wet between my legs. Old dread threatened to pull me into fresh hell and I fought hard to keep it from happening.
Caleb slept peacefully beside me, his arm wrapped around me like a vise. I should’ve been struggling to get up. But truth be told, the press of his muscular body against my back gave me a feeling of comfort I’d been longing for, for weeks. For years. And besides, it was actually cool in his room. It lacked all the hot stickiness that seemed to permeate throughout my room. My room – that’s funny.
I thought about what had happened before, barely able to wrap my mind around the events that transpired. I think if I’d been watching it in a movie or reading it in a book, I’d have thought it was sexy. But to be living it, to be right there in the flesh…I think it was just scary. Mostly. Just thinking about it, my heart pounded even harder and faster in my chest, but it was different than before. Also, I had this heavy, sinking, sort of tingle in my belly. It reminded me of the feeling I used to get as a kid playing hide and go seek in the dark. I didn’t want to get caught, but just sitting there, not know whether or not I would be was both exciting and frightening. I had known then it was the rush I enjoyed, not the hiding or the seeking.
Being around Caleb was feeling that all the time. I kept seeing his face, eyes closed, head tilted into my hands, soft masculine flesh beneath my fingers. The whole thing replayed in my mind as a series of flashes, flashes that kept me awake in the dark. I had dreamt of kissing him too, of doing more than kissing him. He was hard against my ass and against all logic I wanted to touch him there. I wanted to see what had been inside me.
When he’d asked me to stop last night, I had been mildly disappointed. Perhaps even hurt, thinking that maybe I’d done something wrong. His voice had been harsh, distant at first, but then he had softened and told me I had been good, too good. For some crazy reason, in addition to being totally embarrassed, I felt, well, I don’t know if relieved is the right word, or even proud, but something like it.
Caleb was a strange person, cruel and inhuman; a monster, and yet, at other times, he seemed so capable of something like caring. He made me cry and scream and shake with fear and nearly a split second later he could make me almost believe he wasn't responsible for any of it. He could hold me and make me feel safe. How was that possible? I guess I'm more gullible than I'd ever thought.
Slowly, as I stared at the curtains, I witnessed a sight I'd been missing for a long time. Daylight made its big debut, turning the curtains a slightly lighter shade. My heart quickened and anxiety coursed through me. It felt like Christmas morning.
I went slowly for Caleb's hand, gently urging it away from my breast. He grunted, and for a moment I was perfectly still, terrified. He sighed gruffly, and then, to my overwhelming relief, he rolled over. I was free of him. More surprisingly, I was free of the gold cord he’d secured around my wrist. Refusing to give it much thought and perhaps too quickly, I slid out of bed and crawled toward the light.
I pulled back the curtains, just a crack, but when the sunlight hit my eyes it made my head hurt. I shut my eyes tightly. It had been so damn long! I opened my eyes slowly. This time I saw what my soul had been aching to see for so long. I saw light; beautiful, warm, safe, light. I could barely keep from tearing up. For a moment I felt as though everything that had happened thus far had been a dream, and now that the sun was up, I could wake from it. I would never fall asleep again. The monsters would never come back. I opened the curtain a bit more and I could make out a big deck. There was a table with a big umbrella, pots and plants and sun chairs; it was unreal. I pressed the palm of my hand against the glass, feeling the warmth of the sun and the chill of the morning against my skin, but it was all unreal.
I looked back at Caleb’s sleeping form, his breathing was heavy. He wouldn’t be waking any time soon. My heart thundered in my chest. This was it, my chance to escape. My mind screamed, if you do this, and he catches you, you’re dead! Are you stupid! But it also said: If you don’t do this now, you may never get another chance. I made up my mind. I was going to make a break for it.
I closed the curtain behind me and quietly looked around for a way to open the door. I surveyed my surroundings and didn’t see much, no buildings, or roads, or people. I didn’t let that dissuade me. My fingers touched along the glass looking for some way to open the window, but I didn’t see or feel anything. I did the same along the wall and found nothing. Nervous and agitated, I glanced back into the room. Caleb still slept peacefully. I pushed on the glass, but that didn’t much help, DAMN IT! I could see that the glass was on tracks, so I knew it had to slide open. Think! Just think! I couldn’t see where the door opened, but it had to open somehow, so maybe…the lock was somewhere I couldn’t see. I stared at the top of the door, crushed by the realization that I definitely couldn’t reach it.
My only chance of opening the door sat in one of the corners, a big leather chair. It looked heavy. I almost screamed. I looked back at Caleb. How the hell am I going to move that without him waking up!
I walked silently toward my inanimate nemesis and gave it a hard shove. The chair made a soft scraping noise against the carpet and I instantly looked at the bed. He continued to sleep. But there was no fucking way I was going to be able to move the chair without waking him.
I glanced around the room and tried not to pass out from the rush of blood draining from my face. Hanging on the door of an armoire, was Caleb’s suit jacket and peeking out from beneath it, a shoulder holster. Could it be? Oh God, could it please fucking be? I reached for the soft fabric and lifted it. It was the biggest damn gun I had ever seen, the only one actually – but still. I felt like vomiting. Part of me wanted to forget the whole damn thing and get back in bed. What was the saying: Cowardice is the better part of valor? Fuck it! I reached for the gun. The damn thing weighed a ton.
The armoire opened and for a moment I was actually surprised by the amount of pain inflicting instruments hidden inside. Riding crops, whips, chains, and other things I didn’t recognize from watching Real Sex on HBO while at Nicole’s house. Was that a spiky dildo? I almost swooned. Had he planned to use this stuff on me? Sick fuck. And yet….
I spotted a pair of handcuffs, several actually, without fur on them. That meant they were real right? Cause it could be embarrassing otherwise. I was willing to take a chance. I put Caleb’s jacket on, instantly overwhelmed by the size of it. I set the gun on the seat of the chair and began rolling up the sleeves.
“What the hell are you doing,” Caleb’s angry voice momentarily had me frozen in place. Our eyes met, mine wide and terrified, his cold and venomous. I reached for the gun as he burst out of bed. I was faster. For once.
“Don’t fucking move! Not one step,” my voice was shrill, almost panicked. I might have shot him out of fear alone and I think he understood because he instantly halted his approach. My heart was beating too fast, my vision was hazy. Keep it together Livvie. Keep it fucking together.
“Put the gun down Kitten,” he whispered, as if I were more frightened than him. Shit, maybe I was. This probably wasn’t the first time he’d had a gun in his face, but it was definitely the first time I’d threatened someone’s life. I wanted to cry. I didn’t want to have to do this. I didn’t want to hurt him. No choice now Livvie. It’s you or him. I hated this. I felt like one of those dumb girls in the movies, holding the gun on her would-be killer and her hand is shaking and he just keeps stepping closer, but she won’t fucking kill him. Then she’s dead. Then I’m dead.
I took a deep breath and held the gun steady, ignoring how heavy it was, ignoring the twitch in my forearms as I tried to keep it level. I especially ignored the sweat in my palms, making the handle slippery. “Please Caleb,” I almost begged, “don’t move. Let me go and don’t make me kill you, cause I will. I swear to God I will.”