Felicity had grown accustom to the shackles as she moved about the house. She cleaned the kitchen slowly and made sure that each nook and cranny was given attention. Dawn had not arrived in a week. Felicity had wanted to ask but had learned not to speak unless spoken to. Since Jane’s death Gavin had been on edge. Her punishments had been almost daily upon her return upstairs. Felicity swallowed hard as the time on the rack floated through her mind. A shiver skated up her spine and she shook her head to be rid of the memory.
“Felicity where are you?” Gavin called as he entered the house from work.
“In the kitchen,” Felicity removed the gloves and let her hair down as she knelt on the floor.
“Very good,” Gavin petted her head as he entered the kitchen, “I know I am home early. I do expect you to put a rush on dinner.”
“Yes sir,” Felicity responded quietly.
“I’m going to shower. I will return shortly. Dinner should be served,” Gavin turned and left the kitchen.
Stone faced, Felicity rose to her feet and put away the cleaning supplies. She washed up and went to the fridge. Felicity mentally made the recipes as she looked over the contents. She knew his typical showers after work were enough to make a decent meal. Felicity moved as efficiently as possible and pulled out items.
Gavin sauntered in to the room half an hour later. He eyed the table and gave a pleased smile. Gavin patted her head as he took his seat. Felicity remained on her knees by his chair as he ate.
“Today was a very productive day at work. I think that I have done well this last quarter. I had earned a vacation. I could take a week off don’t you think?”
Felicity knew that the questions he asked while he ate were rhetorical. She kept her head down and tried not to let the worry of what a vacation from work would mean for her. Felicity stayed quiet and kept her eyes down cast. When Gavin had finished she cleared the table. She silently slid his cup of coffee in front of him as she had grown accustomed to.
“You have been doing very well the last several weeks,” Gavin stood and sipped his coffee as he walked around her.
Felicity remained silent since he had not given her permission to speak. Her head was bowed and hands clasped behind her back. Gavin stopped behind her and pressed in close. Felicity swallowed hard and closed her eyes. She locked her jaw to keep the quiver from her lips.
“With Dawn’s absence you have taken up her role and excelled at it. You have accomplished not only your tasks but also her chores. I am pleased. You should be rewarded,” Gavin pressed his lips to her ear, “but you will not be. You are still in the red.”
Gavin stepped back from Felicity and walked around to face her. Felicity kept her head down but opened her eyes and watched his feet. Gavin took a few steps back. Her eyes flickered across the floor unsure of what was expected. Gavin lifted his arm and she stilled herself for the slap. When Gavin’s other arm lifted and he tossed the steaming coffee Felicity wanted to scream but swallowed it down. Her arms automatically flew up and her mouth fell open. She stood on her toes and shook as she tried to push the flight response down. Tears poured silently from her eyes as her body began to convulse in response to the violent action. Felicity collapsed as her body tried to cope. She wrapped her arms around her waist and she curled in on herself to control her sobs and body movement.
“Clean up this mess and be in bed before I come from the library,” Gavin’s cold eyes looked her over then he left the room.
Felicity’s eyes darted around the parts of the room she could see. She closed her eyes tight and the sobs began to shake through her. She forced herself to her knees. Felicity wanted to take care of the blisters that had begun to form but knew that she would be punished if she left the room a mess. She swallowed hard and cleaned as fast as she could while she kept her movements as shallow as possible. The pain washed over her with every move. Felicity finished and went to her room. Locked in her bathroom Felicity cleaned her skin as safely as she could. She applied the burn cream that she had found in the medicine cabinet. She looked at her reflection and knew there would be scars over her chest and part of her face. Felicity dressed in a loose gown as she readied for bed. Felicity took a deep breath and knelt at the side of the bed.
“I haven’t done this in over a decade and I am not sure you’re still listening to me. I am indifferent to your existence,” Felicity’s voice was raspy as she folded her hands, “if you are a fair and just being then you will have him kill me. Put me out of my misery. I,” she wept as she continued with words broken and slurred, “I cannot do this anymore. I wanted to live but this is no way to live.”
Felicity leaned her forehead against her folded fingers. She didn’t wipe the tears away. She let the energy drain as she cried and gave a mumbled ‘Amen’. Felicity eased in to her bed and hoped that the door to the bedroom would remain closed.
“Felicity do it! If you do not do it then it will haunt you forever.”
Felicity looked at Gavin as he struggled to get free of the strong arms that held him. Her eyes flickered to the knife in her hand. It was the knife that had taken Jane’s life. It was the knife that had scarred her left shoulder. It was the knife that had been Gavin’s security blanket. Felicity looked down at her battered and bruised arms and cracked knuckles. Felicity flipped the knife in her hand to a more comfortable grip. She moved to Gavin. She locked her eyes to his. Felicity saw the action before he moved. She turned but it was too late. Gavin knocked his captor back and he advanced on Felicity. Gavin tackled her around the waist. Felicity’s face smacked into the floor as she fell. She scrambled to turn over and not give him her back. Felicity swiped the knife at him and the blade caught his cheek. Gavin out maneuvered her and pinned her to the floor. Felicity tried to free her arm. When she realized she would not get another chance at him she dropped the knife and flicked it across the floor away from him.
“This is much better,” Gavin snarled down at her as the blood began to trickle down his cheek.