II. Oh Girl Almighty

Elani slipped into her leggings and pulled on her flowing navy skirt.  She made sure her blouse was in place and checked her reflection.  Elani smiled pleased with her appearance.  She zipped up her knee high boots and grabbed her black hobo bag.  Elani sashayed down the stairs to the kitchen.

“Hey beautiful,” Jacob kissed her cheek.

“Hi handsome.  So do I look trendy enough?” Elani turned.

“You’re gorgeous and perfect.  Thank you so much for coming with me.  I just couldn’t go alone again.”

“Not a problem.  I get to hob knob with hot wealthy people and a few celebrities.  I wouldn’t miss this for the world,” Elani said with a laugh, “I’m glad it isn’t a black tie event because I have nothing formal to wear.”

“Just try not to make the others jealous because you are stunning and I don’t want to have to fight with any heiress types,” Jacob teased.

“I’ll try not to.”

Jacob walked her to the car and opened her door for her.  He got in and they headed to the restaurant.  There were several photographers out when they arrived.  Jacob held her hand and tossed the keys to the valet.  They stopped and posed for the cameras then went into the restaurant.

“Wow does Novak have a date?  Beautiful woman at that,” Brie smiled as she met them in the parlor.

“Hi Brie.  This is my friend Elani,” Jacob put on his business smile.

“Elani?  Like the Elani who helped us raise all that money for the marriage equality campaign?! Oh my god!  It is totally my pleasure,” Brie took her hand and shook it profusely.

“Nice to meet you Brie,” Elani gave what she hoped was a warm smile that hid her annoyance.

“You are such a grade A class act philanthropist.  We aspire to be like you.  I feel honored just to breathe the same air.  What are you doing here with him?” Brie’s smile widened frighteningly as she cut her eyes to Jacob.

“He and I go way back.  He’s been my friend for several years,” Elani chuckled.

“He’s kind of weird,” Brie made a face.

“I am right here Brie,” Jacob narrowed his eyes at her.

“He’s not that bad once you get passed his exterior of dorkiness,” Elani feigned whispering.

“I’ll take your word,” Brie grabbed her hand, “here let me introduce you to everyone.”

“Actually,” Elani gently took her hand from Brie, “I’ll walk around with Jacob for a little while then we can meet back up.”

“That would be awesome!  See ya laters,” Brie bounced off to other new comers.

“What the hell was that?” Elani asked as they made it to the main area.

“That is my competition.  She works for another agency,” Jacob chuckled.

“She needs a chill pill.  I thought I was going to have to punch her.”

“Brie is an acquired taste,” Jacob replied as he led Elani to their table.

“Wow is that design phenom Christian LeBlanc?” Elani’s mouth fell open in awe.

“Yes.  I’ll introduce you,” Jacob waved to Christian and he headed over.

“Jacob doll,” he kissed his cheek, “you are looking mighty fierce tonight.”

“Of course I am.  I am wearing your new line,” Jacob smirked.

“And I am very pleased,” Christian turned to Elani, “and who is this gorgeous bombshell?”

“My best friend in the entire world Elani.”

“Ooh girl friend what I could do with a statuesque frame like yours.  How tall are you?” Christian eyed her appraisingly.

“Six three,” Elani blushed.

“You must come out to my studio,” Christian presented her with a card.

“Oh jeez,” Elani took a deep breath to rid her of the lightheadedness, “it would be my pleasure.  I simply adore your sharp eye and daring designs.”

“Ooh yes I am going to love you.  Well I better get back to the masses before someone says I’ve got favorites and hate everyone else,” Christian blew them kisses as he headed to the crowd.

Elani watched as he sauntered off.  She was pleased to be surrounded by so many well known people.  She could not believe how many people recognized her just through her charity presence.  She loved that she had entered new names into her contact list and made connections that would aid in her efforts to make a difference.  Elani enjoyed most of all watching Jacob interact with people.  He was not a social butterfly and preferred to just work alone and create ideas but he was a master a selling his talent.  Jacob gave his speech and accepted his award.

Jacob watched through the night as Elani made him popular.  His colleagues respected him however, like Brie, thought that he was strange.  He had gone to many other events single or with Evan that questions had arisen.  Jacob was pleased that everyone enjoyed Elani’s company and let down their shields with him.  Jacob’s own boss seemed more willing to spend time with him and not keep him at arm’s length.  Jacob had known that Elani would be what he needed to open more doors for him.  Jacob held back his laughter as men approached her and flirted openly.  Jacob knew that there was no man in the room that would catch her fancy.  Elani fit their ideal with her height, legs for days and with eyes like malachite she could bring them to their knees.

“I am ready to get out of here,” Jacob mumbled as he walked to her side.

“Thank you god,” Elani whispered through a fake smile, “this Brie chick is about to catch it.”

“Thanks for everything.  We have to get going.  Her brother is flying in and we have to pick him up at the airport,” Jacob announced as he took Elani’s.

“Oh so soon?” Brie whined.

“I’ve got your number and I’ll call and we can do brunch,” Elani said with a smile.

“Promise?” Brie pouted.

“Promise.”

Jacob whisked her away and they returned to the house.  They both showered and met back in the kitchen when Jacob poured drinks.

“That bitch is crazy.  If you want I can totally get her blacklisted or something,” Elani advised as she took her shot and chased it with juice.

“I can’t believe how nice you were.  I can’t take ten minutes of her and she was like up your ass the entire night,” Jacob shook his head.

“I allowed myself to think about her as a character in one of my stories.  She’s temporarily useful then I can get rid of her by the next chapter.  I’ll try not to kill her,” Elani poured another shot.

“I wouldn’t mind,” Jacob laughed.

“I can’t.  I’m way too hot to go to prison.”

They shared a few more drinks then Elani retired for the evening.  Jacob crashed in front the television a marathon that was on.  There was a knock at the door.  Jacob smiled and let Gabby in.

“He’s upstairs.  He’ll be down in a little bit.”

“Cool.  What are we watching?”

“Best Chef.”

“Ooh I love this show,” Gabby said and plopped down on the couch beside him.

They were engrossed in the show as Evan came down the stairs.  They hushed him as the host announced who was packing their knives.  Evan sat down beside Gabby and put his arms around her shoulders.

“I told you!” Gabby squealed.

“Damn you.  I so thought the French guy was going home with his ugly hair and attitude.”

“You guys are so funny,” Evan chuckled.

“Did you use my lotion again?” Gabby asked as she cuddled into him.

“Uh oh yeah.  It was in the bathroom,” Evan tensed as his eyes met Jacob’s, Jacob shrugged.

“So now you smell like lilacs and sunshine,” Gabby giggled.

“It could be worse.  I’ve been with him after he’s been at the gym,” Jacob remarked.

“I’m glad that I haven’t.  What are we doing tonight?” Gabby looked to Evan.

“I figured we’d take a look at vacation spots tonight.  Figure out where we want to go while you’re free.”

“That sounds boring.  I was thinking more along the lines of poker.  I kind of invited a few people over for poker.”

“The question was pointless then? Well I’m glad that I was invited.”

“I was,” Jacob said with a laugh as he got up, “I’ll get the chips and cards.”

“You guys made plans without me?” Evan pouted.

“That’s why I had to get back here.  It’s only going to be a handful of people,” Jacob called from the hall.

“Okay.  Let me go put on real clothes then.  Be right back.”

Evan raced up stairs to change and make sure that the bathroom upstairs was presentable.  He ducked in his room and made sure that Elani had not left anything out like before.  He knew that Gabby would not go home afterward.  When Evan made his way back down stairs Trystan and her girlfriend were there as well as Alicia. He greeted everyone and sat down at the table beside Gabby.

They played several hands of poker and drank enough that everyone had to crash at the house because driving would be too dangerous.  Gabby curled up against him as they climbed into bed.

“You used a lot of my lotion.  Your entire room smells like a girl,” Gabby giggled, “you didn’t masturbate with it did you?”

“Uh…nooo.”

“You did! Dude that isn’t cool”

“Sorry I didn’t have anything else.  I was in need of some relief,” Evan continued the lie.

“You’re lucky you’re so damn cute.  Will you sing me to sleep?”

“What do you want me to sing?”

“I don’t know.”

Evan hummed a little then began to sing softly as Gabby cuddled close and fell asleep.  He smiled down at her and closed his eyes.

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Gavin’s Love Story Part VIII

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.

Gavin’s Love Story Part VI

Gavin’s limbs shook, his palms were clammy, and the world seemed to tilt. As the anxiety rushed through Gavin he curled up on his bed. Gavin closed his eyes and the white noise settled in his ears. His lips moved as he chanted and begged for serenity. Arms curled around his midsection, Gavin rocked back and forth. Several minutes passed and Gavin maintained his position.

Even breaths passed from Gavin as his arms loosened. His eyes fluttered open. Gavin swallowed hard as he sat up. With three quick deep breaths Gavin stood. He smoothed his hands over his clothes and left his bedroom. As Gavin made his way down the stairs his heart began to race. He swallowed hard as he removed the keys from around his neck. Gavin glanced down at the bag he had dropped an hour ago.

Gavin steeled his mind as he stilled his breath. The keys shook as he pressed them into the locks one after the other. He picked up his bag and entered the basement apartment.

Felicity knelt by the large chair. They had come to an agreement for the ‘Welcome Home’ position. Gavin’s shoulders eased as he looked her over. Her hair was neatly braided away from her face, her arms bare, dark purple leggings, head down, and a white camisole. Felicity’s hands were folded in her lap as she waited for Gavin’s instructions. A smile crept across Gavin’s face. He turned and locked the doors then made his way to her.

“Rise, carry my bag to the bedroom. I wish you to return in less.”

“Yes sir.”

Felicity rose, without looking at him, took the bag from his hand and went to the bedroom. Gavin smiled. He remembered a time he would have had to punish her for disobedience or talking back. Gavin closed his eyes and took a deep breath. None of the others had succeeded to the point where he had arrived with Felicity. He rubbed his hands together, flexed his fingers, and sat patiently for her return.

Gavin leaned back. Felicity returned and lay across his lap. She had removed her leggings and wore shorts so short they were glorified underwear. Gavin patted her bottom softly at first. She remained still as he increased his strikes. As the blush blossomed his excitement grew. Felicity closed her eyes as the tears welled. The sound of flesh on flesh began to echo as he increased the force.

Gavin rubbed his hand in slow circles across her derrière. He leaned in and kissed the warm mounds. Gavin made a move to stand and Felicity stood with her head low in the spot she’d knelt before. Gavin stood in front of her. The steel trap of his mind fell open as soon as he touched her face. A caress of her cheek sent his heart jack hammering. Gavin had placed his lips against hers before the thought had registered completely.

The breath caught in Felicity’s chest as Gavin kissed her. Gavin had never kissed her on the mouth before. He had kissed every inch of her body but never above the neck. Her eyes fluttered close and she returned his kiss. Gavin watched her face as their lips danced against each other. He increased the pressure of his mouth and a low moan escaped her. Gavin pulled back, his eyes wide and mouth ajar. He held her shoulders as she leaned in for more. Gavin had never pulled that sound from anyone. Felicity pouted then opened her eyes. She frowned then looked away.

Gavin stepped in closer to Felicity. Their chests touched and he put an arm around her. His fingers worked her braid loose and her hair was free. Gavin felt his heart skip as he lifted her chin.

“Look at me,” Gavin whispered.

Felicity slowly raised her eyes to meet his. In a motion Gavin was pressed against her, his fingers tangled in her hair, and his lips moved firmly with hers. Gavin swallowed each moan she offered up to him. Feverishly Gavin kissed her until his lungs begged for air.

Gavin pulled back as he gasped for air. His eyes fell to her lips bruised and swollen. Felicity whimpered as he ran his thumb over her lips. Felicity’s chest heaved as she tried to catch her breath. She felt the weight of Gavin’s stare and knew that something had changed between them. Gavin’s touch was soft and his hands were gentle as they removed her clothes. It was intimate. Gavin had never touched her in a way that caused her to feel equal in power. Felicity swallowed as she glanced in his direction. She gasped. Gavin’s features had softened and emotions filled his eyes.

“I would like to be with you,” Gavin whispered as he moved back into her.

“As you wish sir.”

“Call me,” his hands shook as they touched her face, “Gavin.”

“Sir?” <It’s a trap!>

“Have you ever questioned me before?” Gavin tightened his grip.

Felicity shook her head. Gavin nodded. Gavin kissed her hard on the lips as he dipped his fingers into her. Felicity moaned as her legs spread for him. Gavin kissed her neck and wrapped her hair around his hand. She squeaked as his fingers moved inside of her and he bit her neck.

“Gavin,” Felicity whimpered.

Gavin pulled his fingers from her and slid them into her mouth. Felicity, without a thought, obeyed his unspoken command. Gavin moaned then lifted her into his arms and carried her to the bedroom.

Gavin’s Love Story Part V

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.

Gavin’s Love Story Part IV

Felicity sat in the corner of the cage and stared at Gavin. The plate of dinner was upside down at the other end of the cage. Felicity wrapped her arms around her knees. Her brow was creased and lips formed a fine line. 

“It’s for your own good. Your body will get used to the sleep pattern. The sedative is only temporary.”

“I’d rather starve than be voluntarily drugged. I won’t eat.”

“Felicity,” Gavin moved closer, “you will obey me. If not now then you will be punished.”

“Nothing can be worse than being a captive,” Felicity looked away.

“There are worse things.”

Felicity woke. She shivered and looked around she was in a tee shirt, no covers on the bed and no pillow. Felicity sighed and for the umpteenth time she regretted her words. Her stomach growled and she groaned. Three days without food had begun to wear on Felicity. The exhaustion weighed on her but the hunger kept her from sleeping more than a couple of hours. Felicity closed her eyes and wept.

*****

Felicity stood slowly when the door at the stairs opened. She watched as the figure moved into her eye line. Her brow furrowed as an unknown woman was in view.  Felicity moved to the far corner of the cage. She huddled in on herself, closed her eyes, and tried to blend into the shadow. 

The woman in her mid to late fifties walked to the cage with a tray of food. She smiled solemnly as she opened the tray door.   She slid the tray in. 

“Felicity you have to eat. You’ve stopped using the bathroom which means there’s nothing to make waste. I cannot bear to watch you suffer. Don’t tell him I was here,” the woman glanced nervously around and ran a hand through her lightly gray streaked hair. 

“Wh-who are you?” Felicity rasped.

“Dawn, the house maid. I take care of things. It’s been a week of you not eating.”

“I won’t eat it,” Felicity crossed her arms but didn’t look away from the food.

“No sedatives this I promise.  You need to eat. For strength. He will be here to punish you and you need to endure and not perish,” Dawn stepped back from the cage.

“How can I trust you?” Felicity rubbed her stomach as it gurgled. 

“How do you think you were bathed when you passed out from hunger? How do you think your clothes were changed? He does not enjoy the female body unless it is for him willingly,” Dawn advised.

Felicity stared at Dawn for a minute.  She pushed herself to full height and stood dignified. Felicity looked at the tray before she grabbed it. Felicity sniffed each item before she put it to her lips. Felicity’s shoulders sagged as she enjoyed the food that Dawn had provided. 

“I’ll be back for the tray in a few. I must clean up the kitchen so he doesn’t know.”

“Thank you,” Felicity managed through a mouthful. 

Gavin waited in the study and watched the surveillance screens. His lips curled up as Felicity began to eat. Gavin turned in time to greet Dawn as she entered the room. 

“Very good. I appreciate you helping me.”

“I think she is the one. None of the others thought twice before accepting food from me. This one is smart and questions everything,” Dawn smiled at him. 

“Felicity is very strong willed. Using you will help me break her. She trusts the food but not you yet. The look in her eyes tells me she wants to. Felicity wants someone on her side. Felicity is perfect,” Gavin stared lovingly at the screens. 

“She’s been with us over a month and so I believe her spirit is near its fatigue point. I’ll give her a week before she’s ready to move. I’ll be in the kitchen if you need me.”

Felicity sipped the tea slowly.  Her stomach was full and she hadn’t finished what Dawn had provided. Felicity looked around to locate a place to stash the rest. With no covers, pillow or furniture it was not possible. She screwed the cap on the tea and concluded she could keep it. The back leg of the bed was just out of sight and the bottle would be hidden behind it. Unless the cage was entered. Felicity held on to hope and angled the bottle behind the leg post. She moved from each angle to make sure it wasn’t noticeable. Felicity jumped when the door in the stairs opened.

Dawn rounded the corner. She had the chains over her arms. Felicity backed away from the cage door. She had been grateful the chains had been removed once she had refused to eat. Felicity didn’t like the sight of them. 

“Bathroom break. I’m sorry but I have to shackle your hands and feet.”

“I-I-I promise I won’t try anything. I swear on a stack of bibles I won’t,” Felicity whined and pleaded. 

“How about a compromise? I’ll leave your hands free,” Dawn eyes were warm as they looked into Felicity’s worried pair.

“Um,” Felicity bit her lip, “okay.”

Felicity moved to the cage door. She put her hands through and Dawn put just the cuffs on. Dawn opened the door and shackled Felicity’s feet.  Dawn took the cuffs off Felicity’s hands then helped her out of the cage. Felicity waddled to the bathroom. Felicity was appreciative that Dawn turned her back. Gavin did not. Felicity washed her hands and followed Dawn back to the cage. 

“Try not to anger him. If you go to bed at 9:30 every night he’ll stop the sedatives,” Dawn relayed the information per Gavin’s request as she removed the shackles. 

“How the hell am I supposed to know the time? There aren’t any windows and I haven’t seen a clock in weeks. I don’t even know how long I’ve been here,” Felicity threw her arms up. 

“Haven’t you realized the lights tell you the time? They come on at 7:45 am and go off at 9:30 pm. They are at their brightest around noon. It’s part of your training deary.”

“Holy shit you’re right. I knew something was up with those lights. I couldn’t figure it out. Thank you Dawn, for everything,” Felicity pursed her lips and nodded.

“No woes love. Now, hold on to that muffin. I have to take the rest,” Dawn opened the tray slot. 

“He’ll see it,” Felicity’s eyes widened as she took the muffin. 

“He’ll be gone a few more hours. You’ll want it later,” Dawn winked as she locked the tray slot. 

“Alright then.”

Gavin chuckled as he watched Felicity eat the drug laced muffin. Mood altering medicine worked as effectively as any sedative.  Felicity would be unaware of the prescription hidden in the food Dawn ‘snuck’ to her. 

Gavin’s Love Story Part III

Gavin grunted as the kick landed hard against his stomach.  He went forward and took a few seconds to catch himself.  The woman turned and kneed him in the side of the head when he went forward.  She ran for it when he went to his knees.  Gavin coughed and breathed around the pain as he got to his feet.  The woman began to scream as she moved in a serpentine motion. 

Fire!  Fire!”

Gavin groaned as he raced after her.  No one had been successful in escaping.  She would be his.  Gavin took the corner too fast and skidded into a wall.  He hesitated only a minute before he was in pursuit again.  He heard her footsteps in the distance.  Gavin took a short cut and waited as she barreled around the corner.  Gavin grabbed her arm and she pulled it up and out of his grasp quick.  She made a fist and brought her hand up and across hard.  Gavin laughed as he was able to miss the broken nose then he realized she hadn’t been aiming for his nose.  The blood trickled into his eyes.  She had used her rings to cut him across the forehead and give herself the advantage.  He grabbed her bicep before she was able to run.  Gavin flung her against a wall of the parking deck.  She caught herself and as he advanced on her she kicked out at him.  Gavin stepped back and wiped his forehead again.

What do you want?” she asked as she caught her breath.

You.  I have watched you Felicity and you are my perfect match.  Please stop fighting me.  It is inevitable that you will be mine.”

I don’t think so. How the hell do you know my name?” Felicity asked in a rage filled tone.

Felicity stood and moved to run but Gavin was just as fast and blocked her way.  He grabbed her shoulders.  Felicity pulled down and slipped out of her jacket but held onto the sleeve ends.  She spun and twisted him into her jacket.  In just two moves Felicity had Gavin pinned.  She sighed as her arms began to shake.  Felicity glanced around the area.  There was no route that would give her safety. 

You can try to calculate my speed.  You will never be fast enough.  Your muscles will grow weak and I will be free and you will not.  Just come calmly to the car.  You have given me more trouble than any of the others.  I admire your spirit.  It will be the challenge that I need,” Gavin stood still as she twisted the jacket tighter.

You’re some serial rapist or something?  Others?  How many before me?” Felicity tugged him with her as she moved.

No.  I am not a rapist.  All intercourse is consensual.  I am here to make you my wife.  I will provide for you and take care of all your needs.  I know what’s best for you. Hmm, you’re shaking.  I’ll be free in a moment,” Gavin moved with her to make it easier for her to walk.

Shut up!” Felicity frantically looked around the empty garage.

At least now I know what your Thursday and Tuesday nights are in that building downtown.”

You’ve been spying on me?!”

I watch all of my prospects.  Six months and your routine is the same.  I like that.  You keep a tight schedule.  The others were not as organized and methodic.”

Jeez.  I’m going to die tonight aren’t I?” Felicity pondered out loud with defeat dripped into her tone.

No.  I will take you to your new home.”

Felicity’s arms were tired and the sting was too much.  She dropped her jacket and ran.  Felicity had tangled him up enough to give her a few seconds to get ahead of him.  Gavin threw the jacket to the ground.  He sighed and giggled at the same time.  His eyes were bright as he jogged after Felicity.  He knew the layout of the abandoned parking deck better than Felicity so he knew that he had the upper hand. 

BAM! Gavin fell forward to the ground.  He didn’t scream out as he allowed the pain to wash over him.  He turned onto his back. Felicity stood over him with the hunk of concrete.  Gavin groaned as he swallowed back the bile that rose in his throat.  He closed his eyes and lay there.  He had studied Felicity.  Gavin waited.  Felicity shuffled closer.  Gavin stayed still.  He heard her move closer and sat the slab down.  Gavin opened his eyes and grinned up at her as he kicked his legs swiftly.  Felicity, caught off guard, fell to the ground as soon as he swept her legs from under her.  Gavin crawled over her and strategically pinned her down.

You are a fighter.  I like that.  It is going to make our time together interesting.”

Gavin held both of her slim wrists in one hand and reached into his pocket.  Felicity watched his hand as she struggled.  She gave a yelp as she felt a pinch in her neck.  Gavin put the device back in his pocket.  Her head lulled to the side as she tried to force herself to move.  The grogginess was immediate.  Felicity felt herself being lifted.  She tried to protest but it was gurgles and gibberish. 

Gavin hoisted Felicity over his shoulder.  He retraced their movements and grabbed her jacket.  He used it to wipe the slab of concrete free of her finger prints.  Gavin walked back to the exit and the van.  His eyes scanned the area before he opened the back and placed Felicity inside.  He cuffed her to the bar he had installed.  Gavin tied her ankles and placed a gag in her mouth.  Gavin was confident that the sedative would hold but he never risked it. Once she was secured, he locked the back and he got in the driver’s seat.

Felicity whimpered as she rolled over. < Some hang over.  Where the hell did I go last night?> She wiped her eyes and opened them.  Felicity gasped as she sat up.  She ran to the bars and almost toppled over from the restraints.  She waddled to the bars and looked around.  A windowless room and she was in a cell.  It flooded back to her and she growled low.  Felicity grabbed the chains and began to bang them against the bars as she shouted.  She did so for several minutes and when no one showed she took in her surroundings again.  Felicity saw nothing of help.  The walls were bare.  There was a table and a chair outside the gate of the cell but too far to reach.  There was a washer and dryer in the far left corner and that was it.  She moved back to the cot.  The pillowcase was sewn to the pillow and the blankets were bolted to the bed.  There was a plastic bottle of water, an unwrapped granola bar and two pain tablets on the tray made to the cell wall.  She stood and retrieved them.  <No sense in suffering.> Felicity took the tablets and nibbled on the granola as she tried to make a plan.

Felicity woke with a start.  It hadn’t been a dream.  She had just drifted off because of the boredom.  She fell back onto the cot as her eyes met with a steely pair of hazel ones.  Felicity, now that she wasn’t running for her life, realized how attractive the man was.  He had a regal brow, defined jaw, full lips and the glasses made him distinguished.  His complexion was flawless and skin held a subtle glow.  He held himself like her self-defense instructor so she deduced his martial arts training and the reason she had been out maneuvered.

Good afternoon Felicity.  Welcome to your new home.”

 

Gavin’s Love Story Part II

Gavin chuckled as he brushed the warm nutmeg colored hair of his latest conquest through the cage. The woman had long ago grown quiet. She smelled of flowers and soap. Just as he preferred. The week had been fitful and exhausting. Gavin had come out on top all the same. She had bent to his will as all the others had before. Gavin hummed as he braided her hair.

 

“There. You look amazing. Don’t you think?” Gavin held out a mirror for her to peer in.

 

“Y-y-yes.”

 

“Are you ready to behave? I would like to let you into the house.”

 

Her hunter green eyes shimmered with tears as she nodded. Gavin sat the mirror down. Gavin entered the cage. He turned her to face him. Her beauty caused a smile to spread and his head felt light. He nodded as he stood before her. Gavin pulled her to her feet. The shackles rattled as she moved. Gavin helped her step down from the cage. He kissed her fingers as he led her to the basement floor. He stopped her right outside the threshold. Gavin produced the keys from around his neck. Gavin unlocked the collar and removed it from her neck.

 

“I’m going to give you rules. If you do not obey you will be punished. Understood?” Gavin asked as he rubbed her shoulders.

 

“Understood,” she swallowed several times as she gained comfort in the new freedom.

 

Gavin left her side and retrieved an ointment to rub on her neck. He handed it her. She opened it slowly and applied a generous amount. Gavin grabbed a change of clothes and sat them on the table. He took the ointment from her and grabbed her hand. She flinched as his grip tightened. Gavin led her to the table.

 

“Some fresh clothes for you. Your new room will have better amenities. I keep all of my leading ladies comfortable. I hope that the colors are fitting your taste. I can always update them for you.”

 

She couldn’t help the smile that found its way to her lips. Gavin’s voice held so much hope and happiness it spread to her. She kept her head down but felt his gaze on her like always. Gavin motioned her to change. His eyes stayed steady. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and began to change.

 

“The rules are never to be broken. You will stay in your room at all times. Trying to escape will only gain you permanent dismissal. I have your best interests at heart. I know what you need. Please remember to eat all of your meals in their entirety. When I give you directions you follow them without question. You will maintain the daily exercise regimen we discussed. There will be proper equipment in your room. I will help you maintain your hair and manicure. There is several months’ worth of birth control so you don’t have to worry about your cycle. There’s an alarm clock that will sound so you do not forget to take it. Your sleep schedule will be the same. You will get your full night’s sleep or there will be punishment. The lights are on a timer and will automatically turn off and on. I will take care of your laundry weekly so that you don’t have to worry. I have also provided entertainment in your room,” Gavin never took his eyes from her as he laid out the guidelines.

 

“Yes sir,” she answered as she zipped the skirt.

 

“And what is your name?”

 

“Olivia Hamilton.”

 

“Good. I never want you to forget who you are. There won’t be too many visitors so you’ll need to be reminded of who you are. Olivia is such a beautiful name. Don’t worry your family is safe. They are aware you have gone on an extended holiday. Now, come. Your room waits.”

 

Gavin grabbed her firmly by the wrist and led her to a door she hadn’t noticed. He pulled the keys from around his neck again. Gavin flashed her that flawless smile as he unlocked the door.

 

Olivia glanced inside. There was another door three feet in from the first. Gavin unlocked the padlock first then the deadbolts. Olivia did not move until he grabbed her.

 

Gavin stepped back. Olivia looked around her new home. With everything he required she had expected a room packed tight. It was set up as more of a hotel suite. The main room was a sitting room with standard matching rental furniture. The elliptical was in a corner with a few free weights. To the left was a kitchenette. To the right were two more doorways minus the doors. Olivia assumed the bedroom and bathroom. Olivia was glad the bookcases were packed and the small desk in the back of the sitting room was supplied sufficiently. She noticed that it was windowless and there were no modern electronics. The television looked like the one her grandmother owned along with the VCR. Olivia swallowed hard and turned to face him. She stared at his chest with her arms limp by her side.

 

“Good news is I can take these chains now. You’re free to roam around your quarters. The refrigerator has plenty of fruits, vegetables, water and protein drinks. There are nuts and dried fruits in the cabinets. Remember to adhere to the portions. I also stocked plenty of organic popcorn and granola for special treats when you want something different. The cabinet under the sink in the bathroom is where you’ll find your soaps, shampoo, waxing kits and other necessities. If you need anything let me know. I’ll bring new movies when I get them. The television picks up local only. If you behave I’ll install the HD television and cable. I reward as much as I punish. I suggest you keep a diary or work on poetry. Sorry I can’t trust you with a computer. It’ll be old fashion pen and paper. There’s enough office supplies for months,” Gavin covered the final information as he unhooked her, “I look forward to our time together. The surveillance cameras are also 24/7 in here. I’ll keep you safe and sound. I promise you’ll come to love it here.”

 

Gavin stood, put the chains over his arm and kissed her cheek. He turned to the door. Olivia raised her eyes and took in his appearance from behind. His dark brown hair was in disarray, the frame of his glasses were almost invisible wireless frames, his clothes were tailored to his body, he barely made it through the door without ducking, she was sure he was athletic by the way he carried himself, and his shoes were worth a week’s pay. Olivia saw no ordinary psycho. She took a deep breath.

 

“Sir,” Olivia called in a mousey voice.

“Yes?” Gavin stopped but didn’t turn around.

“W-what happened t-to the others?”

Gavin turned to face her. Olivia looked away.

“Do not look away. Look me in the eye.”

“Yes sir,” Olivia looked into his heated hazel eyes.

 

“You have earned my name. You may call me Gavin. As for the others, they were permanently dismissed.”

 

Gavin narrowed his eyes slightly then turned. He pulled the door shut. Olivia listened as Gavin locked her in. She swallowed hard. Permanently dismissed.