Gavin pulled his arm back and swung the flogger down hard across Felicity’s backside. Felicity eyes flinched but she remained quiet. Gavin moved to the other side and brought down the flogger again. Gavin repeated the action several times from her shoulders down to her calves. When one arm got tired he switched to the other. He ignored the tears that silently fell down Felicity’s face. Once both arms were tired Gavin stepped away breathless.
“This is your fault. I would not have had to do this if you had obeyed. Stand up,” Gavin dropped the flogger to the floor, “I said stand up,” he repeated when Felicity failed to move.
“I-I can’t,” Felicity voice broke.
“I said,” Gavin yanked her bound hands and dragged her from the bench, “stand up.”
Felicity howls echoed through the room. She struggled to her feet and stumbled after Gavin as he pulled her from her room through the house. Felicity bit back the sounds that begged to be released. Bile rose in her throat as her vision blurred from the pain that ran sharp through her entire body. She swallowed hard as Gavin flung the door to the basement open. Felicity braced herself for the stairs. She was appreciative that the momentum kept her upright. Gavin stopped at the bottom of the stairs and she fell to her knees with no strength left to hold herself up.
“See,” Gavin pointed, “look at what you made me do! You see that. That is because of you. You failed and it had a great cost.”
Felicity stared at Jane’s unblinking eyes. Jane’s skin had already gone ashen and her eyes clouded. The blood settled around Jane’s lifeless body. Felicity could not choke back the bile as it rose. Her stomach emptied as the tears flowed heavily down her face. She idly wiped her hand across her mouth. <I’m so sorry Jane. So so sorry.> Felicity began to hiccup as she tried to control her sobs.
“You forced my hand and it cost a friend her life. I wanted you to have someone to talk to, someone that could be your friend and be an ear to listen. It should not have been Jane. I warned you both. How was she going to help you escape huh? What was the plan? Were you going to wait to gain my trust and let you go out with her and she would never bring you back? Was that the plan?” Gavin’s voice rose the longer he spoke.
“N-no. I was not planning,” Felicity’s mind worked to form the proper words, “to leave. I just wanted to get to know her experience and learn to make you happy,” her voice shook as her eyes darted around the room.
“Ha!” Gavin lips turned up in a humorless smile, “and I’m the king of France. I thought you were done but it is obvious you are not.”
Gavin yanked her to the back of the basement and down the hall. With his free hand Gavin pulled the keys from around his neck and unlocked the hidden apartment. Gavin shoved her through the door.
“Clean yourself up while I figure out the next steps,” Gavin pulled the knife from his pocket and cut the bonds on her hands.
Felicity saw the disappointment in his eyes before she bowed her head. She nodded but did not move. Gavin slammed the door behind him. Felicity listened to the locks being engaged before she allowed herself to weep. She lay on the floor curled into herself and wept until dry sobs rocked her body. Felicity crawled to the bathroom and ran a bath.
Felicity made her way slowly to the bedroom after the bath. She applied the cream as best as she could and fell onto the bed. Her eyes closed and Jane’s screams filled her head. Felicity’s eyes opened back immediately. She tried to think of other things but nothing came. Gavin’s repeated draw back of his arm and the slosh of the blood repeated in her mind.
Gavin lifted a screaming Jane by the throat and pressed her into the wall. Felicity ran to him and pleaded for him to release Jane. Gavin snarled as he shoved Felicity away. Jane tried to press her chin down as she grabbed for the inside of Gavin’s wrist. She had been assaulted too much to focus her strength. Gavin dodged her knee and slammed her into the wall. Jane’s mouth opened to scream but there was nothing since Gavin’s grip tightened around her throat.
Felicity picked herself up off the floor and lunged across the kitchen at Gavin again. She hit him hard enough that his grip slipped on Jane. Jane managed to get away. Gavin spun around and brought his elbow up hard across Felicity’s face. Felicity stumbled and fell back to the floor as she tried to keep her stomach contents down. Jane had gone for the rear doors in the kitchen. The lack of oxygen and over all distress dulled her senses. Gavin pulled her by her hair and she fell back into his grasp. With a well placed blow to the back and a strong hold around her neck Jane could barely stand.
Gavin dragged her to basement door. He yanked the door open and shoved Jane through it. Jane covered her face and neck as she tumbled down the stairs. She lay at the bottom too battered to react immediately. Gavin turned his attention back to Felicity. Gavin grabbed her from behind as she tried to shuffle out of the room. Felicity stepped back into him and brought her elbow up high but only grazed him. He had seen the move coming. Felicity stomped back on his foot and when his grip loosened she spun around and lead the heel of hand in to a power upward shove toward his face. Gavin caught her by the wrist and snapped her hand back. Felicity yelped in pain. She tried to bring her knee up between his legs but she had broadcast the move before any actions had taken place and he countered. Gavin landed a punch to her temple then one to her throat and she collapsed half conscious into him. Gavin smiled down at her.
“I adore that about you Felicity. So much fire,” Gavin cradled her as she tried to struggle, “there is no need for that. There is no dismissal yet. Now come along.”
Gavin pulled her with him to the basement. He shoved her through the door. Felicity caught the banister and clumsily made her way down the stairs. Jane had moved across the floor and was almost hidden. Felicity could see the bruises that had begun to form along Jane’s body. She wanted to move to comfort her friend but was too frightened. Gavin sauntered down the stairs to them. He yanked Felicity over to the cage. Gavin grabbed the handcuffs from the table and cuffed Felicity to the cage door. She pulled at the cuffs and pleaded with Gavin. Gavin shook his head as he moved across the room to Jane as she whimpered.
“You were free. Someone risked everything to make you free,” Gavin was soft and kind, “they gave so much to get you where you wanted so bad to be. Now look what you have done. You threw it back in their face. Such a waste of a good favor.”
Gavin pulled the knife from his pocket. He never left home without it. With a flick of his wrist the blade flipped out. He grabbed Jane by her hair and turned her to face Felicity. He watched as Felicity and Jane shared a look. A chuckle burst from Gavin.
“Tell her thank you Jane. Tell Felicity how much you appreciate her getting you in this position,” Gavin held her up so she was on her knees.
A sob escaped Jane but she said nothing. Gavin pulled her hair tighter and slid the tip of the knife down the side of her face. A trail of blood trickled down her face where the soft tissue had been split.
“Do as I say,” Gavin commanded.
“Thank you Felicity. I will never have to look over my shoulder again,” Jane’s eyes were soft.
Jane had accepted her fate. She had known Gavin would be back in her life and she would run or fail. Her thank you to Felicity was genuine. Felicity nodded. Her eyes never left Jane’s. When the sharp blade slid from ear to ear under Jane’s chin and Jane gasped their eyes remained locked. Gavin released Jane and knelt over her body. Felicity lost count of how many times his arm drew back and the sickening sound of torn flesh slopped in her ears. Jane gurgled and one hand rose defensively but never made it more than a few inches before it flopped back to the floor. Felicity closed her eyes when Jane’s eyes lost focus. She forced herself to swallow repeatedly.
Gavin stood, wiped the blade clean on his pants and moved to Felicity. Gavin unlocked the handcuffs and dragged Felicity up to her room. The shock had taken over Felicity. She felt Gavin’s hands undress her and she felt them as they forced her to lay across the wooden bench with the leather pillow top. She felt each strike of the flogger and she accepted her punishment.
Felicity shook as the dry heaves settled to hiccups. <So so so very sorry Jane.> Felicity pushed herself up off the bed and limped over to the small dresser. She pulled on the soft satin night gown and went back to the bed. Felicity pulled the covers up and stared at the ceiling.
Felicity opened the door to the fridge. It was stocked. She glanced at the door. Someone had been to fill it. Felicity had lost track of time and was not sure if it had been days or weeks. The lights no longer changed with the daylight hours and there was no clock. The television and the phone had been removed at some point since she had been returned. Felicity made a meal and tried to close her mind. She was sure that her therapist would say she had PTSD and without coping mechanisms would fall into a dangerous state of mind. Felicity had torn the journals into pieces when she tried to express her feelings in written word. Felicity did not know what was expected of her and she was sure that there was another punishment headed her way. Felicity had accepted the fact that Gavin had probably torn her room apart and she prayed that he didn’t find the hidden messages that had been delivered to her when her supplies were restocked before she had moved into the house.
Felicity woke and there was noise in the apartment. She dressed quickly and headed to the living area. Gavin tossed books into empty boxes. His lips were in a fine line as he completed two shelves. Felicity walked forward.
“What are you doing?” Felicity asked in a soft voice.
“Do not speak. Assume the position and do not move until I give you permission,” Gavin ordered without a look in her direction.
Felicity knelt by the chair in the welcome position with her head down. She listened as Gavin packed up the books. Gavin opened the doors and stacked the boxes outside. The door stood open as he made his way across the room and back again. About forty-five seconds between each side. Felicity’s legs twitched with the desire to run but she did not move. Felicity visualized the house layout and thought of the fastest route and how to get to each exit. Once at the exit she would be trapped without the handprint for the scanner. Felicity closed her eyes and calmed her heart. There would be no escape.