Felicity stared at the rooms. Gavin had granted her permanent residence in the set of rooms instead of the cage. It was painted in soft colors and furnished with custom furniture. It was more than Felicity expected. She was delighted by the perceived comfort.
Felicity touched the bruises on her arms. The soft ache reminded her of her place something she despised. Felicity frowned and looked away.
Gavin touched her back and she jumped. The stinging from the scars made her clinch her jaw. Felicity closed her eyes and let the pain wash over her. Gavin explained the rules and set expectations. Felicity nodded her understanding.
“I’ll leave you to get comfortable. I have to work. The phone will dial straight to me. When you pick up the phone if I’m available I’ll answer, if not then the voice service will pick up. Leave a message and I’ll check on you,” Gavin pulled Felicity close and kissed her forehead, “enjoy your day my love.”
Felicity listened as Gavin locked both doors. She took a few deep breaths to keep the sobs at bay. Felicity opened her eyes and walked to the bathroom. A real shower. She slowly undressed and avoided the mirror. She turned on the shower and adjusted the temperature. Felicity unwrapped the loofah and got in the shower. The water stung at first but she ignored it to get clean, to feel clean. To be truly clean again was a far off daydream.
Felicity applied the cream to her back and wrists then dressed. She roamed around the her new residence. She pleased with the many book shelves. She glanced at the old television. Felicity wrinkled her nose and moved back to the bookshelves. She picked up the book of Grim Faerie Tales. Felicity chuckled to herself. She was one of those girls trapped by an outside force. Felicity placed the book back on the shelf and grabbed another. She looked around her new settings again.
Felicity appreciated the new environment. Her senses were also glad to have increased stimulation. Felicity settled on the couch with her old favorite, Bridge to Terabithia.
Felicity woke slumped over on the couch. She groaned as she returned to consciousness. She looked at the book in her hands. Page 25, she hadn’t gotten far. Felicity closed the book and stretched. She went to the bedroom and lay on the bed.
<Why didn’t I do this in the first place?> Felicity sprawled out on the bed. The lights dimmed automatically. It was late afternoon. <I can afford a nap before he brings dinner.>
Felicity screamed as the pain shot through her. She sat up on the bed quickly. The room focused in as consciousness returned. Felicity swallowed hard and clutched her chest as she tried to calm herself.
“Sleeping in the middle of the day is not permitted. It messes up your schedule for rest,” Gavin reminded Felicity as he put his belt back through the loops.
“Sorry sir. It won’t happen again,” Felicity sat on the edge of the bed with her head down.
“I know it won’t. Now, up and come to dinner,” Gavin turned and exited the bedroom.
Felicity rubbed her bum when she stood. She sighed.< Another welt to put cream on.> She stopped in the bathroom to wash her face and hands then went to the kitchen. There were two places set on the tiny table in the corner. Felicity cautiously walked over. Gavin sat as soon as she arrived. Felicity didn’t make eye contact as she took her place.
“Thank you for joining me. I hope your day was well,” Gavin smiled as he poured the wine into the glasses.
<Really?> Felicity fought herself to not look up. When he picked up the silverware she mirrored his actions. Felicity racked her brain and came up empty. There hadn’t been dinner protocol relayed to her. She ate slowly and matched his movements until the plates were emptied.
“You don’t have to be so quiet. It is okay to talk. Any questions or remarks are welcome,” Gavin touched her hand on the table.
“W-will we be sharing dinner nightly?”
“As long as my schedule allows it. I am going to spend as much time as possible with you. We must get to know each other. We will be together for a while. I don’t have any secrets,” Gavin have her hand a squeeze, “once you’re ready we’ll share a bed as well. I intend you to be my bride.”
“Bride?!” Felicity snatched her hand back.
“Tone,” Gavin’s voice dropped and his eyes darkened, “you are mine. We have talked of this. You are mine or you get dismissed.”
“D-d-dismissed? What is that?”
“As you know you’re not my first fiancé. The others didn’t work out and they were permanently dismissed,” Gavin stood and gathered the dishes, “pay attention here. You’ll be responsible for clearing the table.”
“You’re a murderer,” Felicity replied once the words sank in, “you kidnap and murder women if they don’t work out. I’m never going to leave here,” she whispered as realization hit, “my family, my friends, my boyfriends, my girlfriend, and my poor cats. They’ll never know.”
“I said pay attention,” Gavin brought his hand down hard on the table. Felicity jumped.
“Sorry sir,” silent tears trailed down her face as she watched him.
Felicity had figured she would return to her original life. It had never occurred to her that she would never see her loved ones again. Felicity followed him with her eyes as she shook silently with emotion.
“I have a few more DVDs for you,” Gavin grabbed a bag from the couch and sat back down at the table.
Felicity curled her toes tight and clinched her jaw. Her gray eyes searched his body language as he excitedly described each movie. Gavin’s shoulders were relaxed, easy smile spread his face, and not a tell in the world that he was anything other than happy. Felicity felt the weight of the situation close in. She belonged to him until otherwise dismissed or she escaped. Escape didn’t seem likely as she studied her captor.