Gavin’s Love Story Part X

Felicity grabbed the little box and managed to get it under her shirt before the camera turned around.  She made her way to the bathroom and started the shower.  Felicity stood in the corner behind the toilet and opened the box.  All of the secret messages were still there untouched. A new one awaited with the others.

There is no time like the present. I am sorry that it has taken this long to get the courage. There will be a water delivery.  That is the moment for us.

Felicity folded the paper neatly and put it back in the little trap box.  She twisted the pieces to lock the box.  Felicity undressed and got in the shower.  She wondered when Dawn had entered.  It had been several weeks still without a word from her.  Felicity avoided the mirror as she toweled her hair dry.  The sight of the scars made her impulsive and irrational towards her actions against Gavin.  Her fingers moved along the imperfect skin as she applied lotion and she tried to ignore the rage that simmered in her chest.  Felicity applied the cream around her ankles where the shackles had rubbed for weeks until they had removed a few days prior.  She bit her lip to keep the emotion from being released as it began to boil within again.


Felicity had finished the chores and had settled in the study.  There was a knock at the door.  She looked at the clock.  Gavin was almost home from work.  She could not open the door even if she wanted to.  Then she heard voices as the door opened.

“I am sorry that I am running late.  I forgot that about the water delivery.  The coolers are almost empty,” Gavin’s voice carried through the house.

Felicity’s ears perked up.  She didn’t recognize the other voice but she knew that it was the water delivery.  Felicity closed the book and rushed from the room to the dining room where one of the coolers was.  She skidded around the corner and run into Gavin.  His face was stormy when he looked at her.  Felicity tried to look pass Gavin to the dining room that was only steps up the hallway.

“Sorry sir.  I was just going to check the door and let them know to wait for you,” Felicity dropped her eyes.

“No need.  I got it.  It is just the water delivery.”

“Oh I should help him so he isn’t burdened,” Felicity moved to go around him.

“No,” Gavin grabbed her by the throat and pressed against the closest wall with narrowed eyes.

Felicity took a moment to let the fear wash over her as her instincts kicked in.  She jammed the heel of her hand into his wrist and brought her elbow across his chin.  Gavin let go and stumbled back.   Felicity rushed by him to make it into the dining room with the delivery guy.  Gavin turned and grabbed her by the ponytail before she could round the corner.  Felicity wrenched his arm forward using both hands, smashed him in the face with her right hand and swept his leg to get him to let her go.  Gavin released her as he went to catch himself. Gavin regained his balance and grabbed at Felicity again.

Felicity swung at Gavin and caught his jaw.  Felicity knew she was not at her best form since Gavin had starved her for two days before he had given her broth late the previous night.  Felicity knew that she didn’t have the strength but she had the desire to be free.  Her fight had been renewed in her from the letter that Dawn had left.  Felicity automatically fell into her stance.  Gavin blocked her jab but had not expected the upper cut.  Gavin swung a hard left that knocked her off balance.  Felicity caught herself and moved forward with a double jab and a cross.  Gavin’s eyes went wide.

Gavin had remembered the classes that Felicity had taken as he had to put forth effort to defend himself.  He had assumed that when he broke her that she would forget who she used to be.  Gavin stepped back in measured movements.  Felicity’s stance held her power hand as her right so Gavin switched his stance and forced her to circle the opposite way to gain ground.  He had not expected her to switch stances and advance on him just as fast and strong from the left dominant position.  He blocked the jabs and rotated back so the upper cut displaced a fraction of its power.  Gavin realized if he tried to stand with her it was going to be more work.  He lashed out with a wild arched over hand to get Felicity to fall back and he snapped a kick at her to get her off balance.

Felicity wobbled and Gavin lunged at her.  She moved with the motion and slid across the floor.  Her back hit the edge of the china cabinet as Gavin struggled to get her to her back.  Felicity pulled her knee to her chest and pushed out but Gavin was stronger and swift with his movements.  With her fists balled tight she continued to move in his grip to cause him to expel his energy.  Gavin got the upper hand and she was moved to her back as she grew tired.  Felicity took the moment to catch her breath and tried to focus around the pain and blurred vision.  Felicity let Gavin position himself over her legs as she guarded her face and neck.  She placed her left foot on the outside of his leg, surrendered her neck to be able to grab his wrist with one hand from the outside and one from the inside, then she arched her hip as she pulled him down.  Felicity rolled over top of him and punched him in the groin.  When he moved forward to protect his groin she turned and ran.

Felicity smacked into a body she had not expected.  It was the delivery man.  He nodded at her and stepped out of her way.  Felicity breathed a sigh of relief as she went for the kitchen door.  Gavin had closed it and she realized she needed his hand print to get out.  She made a frustrated noise about to move to another room when she heard movement from the front of the house.  She turned to go to the front when Gavin and the delivery tumbled into the room and knocked her back.  Felicity watched as the man punched Gavin as she got to her feet.  She heard Gavin break free of the delivery man after a moment of struggle.  Felicity did not look back as she moved into the dining room as quick as she could manage without slipping.

“Felicity,” Dawn had just entered from the front door.

“He’s right behind me,” Felicity threw herself into Dawn’s arms.

Gavin rushed into the room and the delivery man caught him by the shirt and pulled him back.  Gavin fell back to the floor and immediately was back on his feet and advanced on the man.

“Marcus Gavin is quick,” Dawn called as she pulled Felicity away.

Marcus ducked the right hook that Gavin drove at him.  Gavin swung close again with his left. Marcus grabbed his arm, twisted it back and flung him into the wall.  Gavin pushed off the wall and his back hand fist caught Marcus in the jaw.

Felicity realized that there was the one exit from the house in the room and Marcus had just thrown Gavin in front of it.  She pulled Dawn as she moved the other way to the hall that would lead around.

Gavin pushed Marcus back away from him and he stumbled back into Dawn.  Dawn tried to let go of Felicity before she fell but it happened too fast.  Felicity stumbled from the momentum and pull of Dawn.  Felicity caught herself.  She turned back to Dawn.  Marcus clambered back to his feet but with the moments of freedom Gavin had moved further in the room and grabbed at Felicity.

Gavin grabbed her arm.  Felicity placed her other hand over hers and twisted at the hip away from him and pulled out of his grasp.  Marcus grabbed Gavin as Felicity moved to Dawn. Marcus boxed Gavin’s ears and followed with a right cross.  Gavin shook his head and spat at Marcus.

“Dawn,” Gavin breathed out harshly, “all these years.  I never thought it would be you.”

Gavin went to tackle Marcus.  Marcus leaned forward, forced Gavin forward and slipped arm around Gavin’s head and yanked him into his body.  Marcus brought his knee up into Gavin several times as hard as he could.  Marcus wrenched Gavin’s body as much as he could as he tried to tighten his hold around Gavin’s neck.  Marcus heard the click before he felt the sting of the blade cut across his thigh.  Marcus let Gavin go and kicked him back as hard as he could. Gavin was quick on his feet and had the knife almost to Marcus’ throat.  Marcus rotated out, grabbed his hand that held the knife, switched his grip with his other hand and went to Gavin’s throat with a quick chopping action.  Marcus flicked Gavin’s wrist with a twist and he dropped the knife.

Felicity grabbed Dawn off the floor and pulled her out of the room.  She glanced back relieved that Marcus was not just a strong guy Dawn had found.  Once the knife hit the floor Felicity was confident enough to guide Dawn out of the house.  She led them to the door.

“Dawn where is your car?”

“A block over.  I didn’t want Gavin to see it when he came home,” Dawn held on to Felicity as they headed for the door.

Felicity froze when she heard a scream from Marcus.  She looked back.  She could not see them from the living room but she knew Marcus was in trouble.  Felicity groaned and pushed Dawn to the front of the house.

“Felicity no.  I brought him here to rescue you.  Marcus knows the risk,” Dawn pulled her.

“If he kills Marcus then what is stopping him from coming after me?”

“The one way ticket to Argentina that is waiting for us in my car.  Come on we must go,” Dawn pleaded.

“I want to but I cannot consciously leave a man to die.  Not on my behalf when I have already killed one person here.  Go get help call the cops whatever.”

Felicity shoved Dawn to the door and turned back to the kitchen and dining room area.  The beatings crossed her mind, the starvation, the unwanted sexual advances, her broken spirit, her obedience after time, Jane’s dead eyes, her marked skin and her lost past drove her forward.  Her fear tangled into her courage but she swallowed it down.

Marcus was on his back and Gavin struggled to get the knife closer to his throat.  Felicity grabbed a chair from the table and raced to Marcus’ aid.  She brought the chair down hard across Gavin’s back.  Gavin dropped the knife and fell forward with a grunt. Felicity dropped the remains of the chair.  Marcus shoved him off and immediately was on his feet.  Marcus grabbed Gavin by the hair and slammed his face into the floor a few times before he yanked him up and locked his arms behind his back.  Gavin tried to struggle but Marcus had the advantage.  Marcus kneed Gavin in the back of the leg to keep him on his knees.

Dawn sprinted around the corner as she flipped her phone shut.

“The authorities are on the way,” Dawn replied as she eyed the scene.

“Felicity you have to finish this,” Marcus told her.

“I-I can’t,” Felicity’s voice trembled.

“Felicity,” Dawn picked up the knife from where it had fallen and handed it to Felicity, “you have to do it.”

“No,” Felicity tried to push the knife back at Dawn.

Dawn curled Felicity’s fingers around the hilt and made Felicity hold it.

“Felicity do it!  If you do not do it then it will haunt you forever,” Dawn ordered.

Felicity looked at Gavin as he struggled to get free of Marcus’ 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.  The knife lay in her palm with her fingers curled around it where Dawn had placed it.  Felicity flipped the knife in her hand to a usable grip with the blade along her wrist and hilt firm under her fingers.  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 Marcus 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.

“Dammit Gavin let her go,” Dawn yelled as she pulled out the drawers on the island in the middle of the kitchen until she found the right one.

“Or what?” Gavin laughed.

Marcus was back on his feet and moved to them.  Gavin punched Felicity then slammed her head against the tile.  She let out a groan as Marcus pulled Gavin off of her.

“Gavin I didn’t want to do this,” Dawn lifted a small hand gun that she had hidden and aimed it at Gavin.

“Dawn,” Gavin’s face filled with surprise, “I am speechless.”

“Years,” Dawn shook her head as she moved to get a better position, “years I helped in your perverse game of finding a perfect mate.  You went too far.  You should have let her go.”

“Which one?” Gavin smirked.

“I did everything you told me to so that I could protect her.  I lied for you, I hid bodies, I poisoned women for you and all I asked was for you to stay away from my niece once you let her go.  She never spoke about her time here to anyone but me,” Dawn’s eyes filled with tears.

“Poor little Jane should not have double crossed me.  She was going to help that one over there escape,” Gavin jerked his head to a barely conscious Felicity.

“It was not her,” Dawn gave him a watery smile.

“What?” Gavin’s eyes snapped to her.

“I spent the first year planning with Felicity.  I would write the plan on the cardboard tampon applicators or insert then into the boxes with other feminine care products,” Dawn made her way closer to Felicity as Marcus pulled Gavin back.

“You. . .you what?” Gavin’s face lit up with rage.

“I knew that you would break her and that she would never go if I did not help.  Then you moved her here and it was almost impossible with all the cameras.  I had given up on our plans.  Then you killed Jane.  You wrote your end when you killed her Gavin.  I cannot help in your games any more.  Gavin’s love story has to come to an end.  Now you should go lock yourself in the cage downstairs so that I do not have to use this gun,” Dawn nudged Felicity with her foot.

“Not likely,” Gavin stepped back into Marcus and brought his heel of his boot down hard on his instep.

Marcus tried to grip Gavin tighter but with another stomp he automatically released him.  Gavin lunged into Dawn.  Dawn yelped as she was knocked back and Gavin grabbed the gun.  Dawn closed her eyes and resigned herself to death.  The shots rang out and she jumped but felt no pain.  Dawn opened her eyes and saw Marcus on the floor as the blood oozed from the three chest wounds.  Her eyes flew to Gavin as he walked back over to her.  She crawled backward and she hit the cabinets.

“I don’t think so,” Felicity said through clinched teeth.

Dawn’s eyes went to the woman.  She had been so worried about her life that she had not realized that Felicity had gotten back up.  Dawn saw her sway a little but her confidence steeled her gaze as she held the knife to his throat.  Gavin froze.

“You cannot do it,” Gavin chuckled, “if you could then you would have done it the first time you had the chance.”

Felicity blinked heavily as her vision swam.  She gritted her teeth to keep the bile at bay as she pressed the knife closer and she felt the stickiness of his blood on her fingers as he gasped.  Her arms seemed too heavy and her arm slipped a little and he took the opportunity.  The sirens were closer and Felicity knew she just needed to hold off a little bit longer.  Her body was loose as he shoved his elbow into her gut.  Felicity was unfocused for a moment then she lifted her head and saw him as he turned with the gun in hand.  Felicity flipped the knife in her hand and before he could raise the gun and aim at her she moved into him and jammed the blade into his bicep.  Gavin howled in pain and dropped the gun.  Felicity drew back and plunged the knife into his side.

Gavin gritted his teeth as the pain washed over him repeatedly.  Gavin swung at her with his good arm and knocked her back.  He held his arms against his body and looked around for something to tie off the wounds.  Felicity had stumbled back then she took a dive for the gun.  Gavin moved at the same time.  They almost collided as they both got a grip on the gun.  Gavin had his injured arm stretched out with the gun in his grip.  He used his other hand to strike at Felicity.

Felicity grunted as she tried to take the gun from Gavin.  They scuffled on the floor as they fought to gain possession of the gun.  Gavin’s blood made it more of a struggle as the floor had become slippery and tacky.  Felicity blocked as many of his hits as she could.

Dawn was not sure what to do.  She did not want to give Gavin the upper hand but she was worried about an injury to herself.  Dawn watched as they struggled for the gun.  Felicity had managed to get on top but was too weak to hold the position.  Gavin was able to maneuver her off and the tussle continued.  Dawn jumped as the gun went off.  She heard the front door shatter as the police announced themselves.  Dawn barely heard them over her screams.


The repeated beep of the monitor grew louder, the wheeze and hiss of the ventilator droned on, and the stale medical disinfectant overwhelmed the sense of smell.

“Felicity,” a familiar voice weakly called.

Felicity tried to move but the weight of the pain was too much to push through.  She groaned and wiggled her nose to make the hoses more comfortable on her face.  She swallowed and felt the tube in her throat.  Felicity fell back into unconsciousness.

When Felicity woke again she felt a little stronger.  She swallowed and the tube was gone.  She counted the tubes on her face and the ones that ran up her arms and to her unhappy surprise the catheter.  Felicity made a face of discomfort.  She swallowed again and worked to open her eyes.  Everything was blurred.  She blinked a few times and heard movement to her right.  She tried to turn but realized that there was a device that held her head in place.  She waited for them to come in her vision.  Felicity gasped.

“Mom,” Felicity croaked out.

“Yes baby it’s mommy,” her mom grabbed her hand and squeezed it, “so long.  Then you came back to us.”

“Flower,” her dad moved up behind her mom.

Felicity smiled up at her parents.  She had made it out.  Felicity closed her eyes and relaxed knowing that she was free.  The tiredness overcame her again.  She tried to open her eyes again and could not.  She exhaled and smiled again.

The beeping grew rapid then was one long sound.  A few moments followed and the hiss stopped.  The room grew still.  Felicity heard her parents’ voice softly.  Freedom.


Dawn grabbed her bags from the grocery cart and loaded them into the car.  Dawn had gotten the keys from the police once they had released the house.  Gavin had never changed his will and everything of his belonged to her.  The thoughts of what to do with all weighed heavily on her as she competed her errands.  Dawn ducked into her car as someone grabbed her arm.  Dawn jerked back with her can of pepper spray  posed to spray but hesitated when she recognized the face.

“Dawn,” Will said softly.

“Oh you scared me,” Dawn stepped back out of the car.

“Sorry.  I know after everything you’ve been through I shouldn’t have snuck up on you,” Will took her hand into his, “I got a call this morning from the hospital.”

“What is it?” Dawn’s eyes began to water before Will even opened his mouth.

“Felicity didn’t make it.”

“Of course.  Of course,” Dawn squeezed her eyes shut, “she got him but he still got her in the end.”

“I am so sorry.  I know you two were close.  I wish I had known.  I could’ve helped. I could’ve done something,” Will wrapped his arms around Dawn.

“No one could have done anything,” Dawn shook in his arms.

Dawn remained in his arms as the grief rattled her.  Failure and regret settled deeply in her chest and she would never forgive herself.  Her lack of actions had cost her family and a friend.  It was not the ending to the story she had hoped for.


Gavin’s Love Story Part IX

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.

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 VII

Felicity sat in the tub as the shower sprayed her with warm water.  Her knees were pulled to her chest and her arms were wrapped around her legs.  Felicity rested her chin on her knees as she stared at the wall.  She strummed her fingers on her arms as she fought to focus. Felicity closed her eyes and willed the water to wash away the last several weeks.

Felicity, now clean and dressed, moved in to the small kitchen area.  She casually moved from the counter to the fridge seemingly without a goal.  Felicity had gotten accustom to the new home and she had heard the sounds of the electronics.  The almost silent whirl and whine of the cameras had been distinctive once she focused.  Felicity opened the fridge and stood there with the door open then closed it.  She paced back to the bookshelves.  Felicity paused when she heard the keys.  She quickly grabbed a book and sat on the couch. Felicity relaxed once the door opened.

“Good evening,” Dawn entered with a smile.

“Hi Dawn.  How are you?” Felicity pretended to mark her place and placed the book on the table.

“I am well.  How are you feeling today? Gavin said that you had cold symptoms,” Dawn placed the bags on the counter in the kitchen area.

“Much better after the rest and soup.  I think it may have been allergies.  The seasons are changing?” Felicity knew it was a risk but took it anyway.

“Oh my. I must tell him to make sure he removes his shoes and such before he comes to visit.  With autumn air come complications.  I’ll be sure to get medicine for that the next time I go to the store.  Here are your feminine care products and he requested a new shampoo and soaps.  Everything else is for here.  Go on and put those things away,” Dawn handed the items to Felicity.

“Thank you Dawn,” Felicity took the things to the bathroom.

Felicity closed the door a quarter of the way.  She placed the shampoo and soaps on the side of the tub.  She edged herself at an angle behind the door and opened the cabinet there.  Felicity took a breath and opened the box of tampons.  She quickly slid the envelope from it and stuffed in her bra.  Felicity kicked the door closed and made show of putting the box in the cabinet there.  She returned to the kitchen.

“Gavin will not be with you tonight.  He has a meeting with a client from Japan.  Would you like me to cook for you tonight?” Dawn folded the bags.

“No I will be fine thank you.”

“Alrighty then.  I will see you.  He has programmed the house number in there correct?” Dawn pointed to the phone that hung on the wall.


“If you need anything ring me dear.”

“Yes ma’am.”


Gavin watched as the interior designer put the finishing touches on the bedroom.  He was pleased.  The new security had been installed and all the adjustments had been completed in the days prior.  Gavin felt the tingles in his chest and his mouth slowly turned up.  He waved the last of the crew out and rushed down the stairs.  Gavin pulled the keys from around his neck and opened up the doors.

“Felicity my love,” Gavin called out as he entered.

“Yes?” Felicity appeared from the bedroom.

“Did you pack the bag like I advised?”

“Yes sir.”

“Remember it is okay to call me Gavin now,” Gavin took her hand into his.

“Yes Gavin I have packed my bag.  Should I retrieve it now?” Felicity kept her head bowed.

“Yes.  Put on your slippers and grab your bag.”

Felicity did as instructed.  She felt Gavin’s eyes on her.  His nervous energy made her anxious.  Gavin took her hand into his.

“Felicity today is the day.  Fifteen years I have searched for the perfect mate.  I have been stern I know but I have loved deeply.  I knew when I saw you the first time almost two years ago now that you would be the one.  Felicity,” Gavin took a breath and a grin spread across his face, “you are now part of my life.  I am taking you to the house.  In the house the same rules apply.  Nothing has changed except you will have more freedom and responsibilities.  I am ecstatic to be able to share this with you. Only one other had made it this far.  She was nothing.  You are the only one worthy of me,” Gavin kissed her hand.

“I am glad to share this with you,” Felicity forced on a smile for his benefit.

Gavin led her up the stairs to the main house.  He gave a quick tour to familiarize her with the layout.  Gavin ended the tour with the bedroom they would eventually share.

Felicity eyed possible exits and weapons as they  moved through the house.  She realized in most of the house the cameras were not hidden, all windows were barred, and all doors connected to the outside required finger prints to open since there were no door knobs.  Felicity took a deep breath as he lead her up the stairs to the bedrooms.  She gasped as they entered the master.  Felicity did not want to be impressed.  She moved around the room and touched everything.  There was a large television mounted on the wall, all the furniture was cherry, the bed was a king size, and it had all the closet space a woman could ask for.


“I did observe you.  I know your likes and wants.  I probably know you better than you know yourself.  I designed this room with you in mind. There are new clothes in the closet for you as well, the television has cable, and the bathtub in the en suite has jets.  Before you ask yes the there is a shower as a separate stall.”

“My perfect master suite,” Felicity mumbled.

“Anything for my love,” Gavin pulled her into his arms.

“Gavin this is too much.”

“Nothing is too much for you my dear,” Gavin kissed her lightly.

“Th-thank you,” Felicity pressed her face to his shoulder brow creased and lips in a fine line.

“Alright. I do have to be on my way.  There will be a dinner party next week.  Think of what you would like to cook to meet my friends,” Gavin let her go and moved to the door.

“Your friends?” Felicity felt the blood drain from her face. <Great other sociopaths.>

“Yes.  You have earned outside contact. Stay beautiful my dear,” Gavin blew her a kiss and left the room.

<His friends? This is a trap.> Felicity moved to her bag.  She opened it and unpacked to distract herself.


Felicity watched as Gavin instructed on the place settings for the dinner table.  Felicity tried not to roll her eyes at the repeat of the last hour.  Felicity had completed finishing school and was aware of how to set a table properly but Gavin was persistent in teaching her how it was to be done.  Gavin cleared the table and stacked everything on the roll out serving tray.

“Alright now your turn,” Gavin crossed his arms over his chest.

Felicity nodded and stepped to the tray.  In less time than it had taken Gavin, the table was set and candles lit.  Felicity placed her hands behind her back and stepped aside for Gavin to look it over.  Gavin walked around the table and nodded his approval.

“Well done.  Now have you picked out the recipes that you will be making tomorrow?” Gavin stood by her side.

“Yes.  Do you have a list of any food allergies?  I would not want to make any of your friends ill.”

“There are no food allergies.  Let me see what you wish to cook.”

“There is nothing to show.  I have it all in my head.  I used to cook for my family.  I know several family meals that I can prepare.  I have selected a chicken and a seafood dish.  That way they have the options of what they would like,” Felicity bowed her head as Gavin moved to stand in front of her.

“Memory.  I do not like that.  I prefer to see the meals that you wish to prepare so that I may make sure they are appropriate,” Gavin held out his hand.

“Of course.  I can pull something similar up on the computer for you,” Felicity allowed herself to be lead to the office.

Gavin pulled the keys from around his neck and unlocked the doors.

“If you please,” Gavin gestured for her to enter first.

Felicity sat at the computer with her eyes closed.  Gavin reach around her and typed in his password.

“You can open your eyes.”

“Here,” Felicity pointed to the screen after she found something, “my recipe is a little different because it is a family hand me down.  Then there is the other.”

“Hm,” Gavin read over the meals, “these are acceptable.”

“Thank you,” Felicity let a small smile grace her lips.

“Dawn will be here soon and she can take the grocery list to make sure it is completed today,” Gavin shut off the computer and walked Felicity out of the office.

Felicity walked around the kitchen and itemized the appliances and pantry items.  She made a mental list of what she needed for tomorrow night.  Dawn arrived that afternoon prepared for the active evening of precooking.

“Dawn,” Felicity greeted her with a smile, “you don’t live here?”

“Not any more.  Gavin has you in the main house so there is no need for me to stay here.  You have the honor of keeping him company and taking care of him.  I will be here Monday through Friday part time.  He will be all yours on the weekends,” Dawn sat down her bag and looked around the kitchen, “no prep work yet?”

“I have a few things that I need from the store,” Felicity handed her the list, “will I be able to come with you?”

“Unfortunately not.  At this time you have not been integrated into the lifestyle enough,” Dawn looked over the list.

“Am I going to die here?” Felicity muttered.

With a sigh Dawn turned to her, “that is up to you my dear.”

“I don’t really like that answer at all.”

“I understand that this is not the ideal situation or the perfect courtship.  I have done this time and again.  You have excelled where others have failed.  I believe from your nature that you will survive.  I trust that you know yourself as well as you know the rules here.  Felicity you have a fantastic survivors instinct,” Dawn held her eyes for a long moment, “alright deary I am off to the shops.  I will return shortly.  Go on and begin the prep work for what you can.”

“Yes ma’am.”


Dawn brought in the knives and other cutlery when she returned.  Felicity eyed the items as she worked with Dawn in the kitchen.  She glanced at the cameras and knew that it was not worth the discipline.  Felicity turned her attention back to the work in front of her.

“These are beautiful knives.  This kitchen is a dream,” Felicity filled the silence to keep the tension down.

“He has set it for his perfect wife,” a grin crossed Dawn’s lips, “Gavin is thoughtful even though he in unconventional.  After we finish here we will begin review for tomorrows rules and expected behaviors.”

“Yes ma’am.”

Felicity resigned to make the meal and evening as spectacular as she could.  She was a captive but no less a perfectionist.


Felicity was amazed at her appearance in the mirror.  She had taken time and followed the guidelines and the result was stunning.  The dye had faded in her hair so her natural vermillion had returned.  It was swept back in an elegant French braid. She wore no makeup per Gavin’s request.  Felicity looked down at the empire waist dress.  The blue brought out her eyes and the green  pattern made her fair skin flawless.  Felicity took several deep breaths.  She slipped on her shoes and put on the earrings that had been on her dresser when she returned from her shower.

“You look gorgeous,” Gavin entered the room.

“Thank you.”

“The guests will be here shortly.  Dawn has arranged all the food.  All you have to do is be amazing.  I know that you can accomplish that,” Gavin took her hand and kissed her finger tips.

They settled in the foyer.  Gavin gave her a refresher on the evening as they waited.  The bell rang and Felicity jumped.

“You will be outstanding,” Gavin reached the door and opened it, “Will.  So glad you could make it.”

“I wouldn’t miss it for anything.  This must be the wonderful Felicity,” Will reached out his hand.

“It is a pleasure to meet you,” Felicity held out her hand.

“Oh the pleasure is all mine,” Will kissed her hand.

“Please come and have a drink before dinner,” Felicity led him to the sitting room.

“I certainly will.”

Felicity maintained her place in the sitting room.  She greeted the new guests as they arrived.  Felicity realized as they sat down at the table she had enjoyed the meet and greet.  Once all plates were filled Felicity stood.

“I would like to give thanks to you for traveling here tonight.  It is a pleasure to have my table full.  I look forward to many more gatherings.  I hope that the cooking is pleasing.  To a wonderful evening with great friends,” Felicity raised her glass.

“Cheers,” Gavin raised his glass from the other end of the table.

Felicity kept the topics light and steered the conversation as Gavin had instructed her.  She accepted the compliments of her cooking with a simple nod and thank you to each guest.  Felicity maintained her position two steps behind once dinner had concluded. She stayed behind Gavin as he made conversation with his friends.  Gavin ushered her to a corner and she took the seat without hesitation.

“One more glass of wine then the sparkling water.  We do not want them to think of you as a lush,” Gavin instructed.

“Yes sir,” Felicity kept the smile on her face as he leaned to her ear.

“You have been excellent tonight.  Do not do anything to cause me to punish you,” Gavin kissed her ear and walked off to where the men had moved to a separate corner.

“Your Gavin is mighty handsome,” Mary took the seat across from Felicity on the couch.

“He has always been easy on the eyes,” Jane sat next to Mary.

Both women were unremarkable in appearance.  Felicity saw the ordinariness of the women challenging.  There was nothing that stood out.  She tried to hold them in her memory in case the information was needed.  The small talk was a bore and Felicity allowed her mind to flow to her life before Gavin.

“So how did you and Gavin meet?” Amy brought her back to the present.

“Oh well we met in my self defense class.  He came in to help an instructor and it was love at first sight,” Felicity hoped her smile was as wistful as it had been when she practiced it.

“Oh my how charming,” Mary giggled and held her hand over her chest.

“He didn’t think so when I hip threw him,” Felicity chuckled.

“Gavin does like control so I can only imagine,” Jane smiled a little too familiar for Felicity to ignore.

“You speak from experience?” Felicity gave Jane her undivided attention.

“Oh you didn’t know,” Amy leaned in after a glance to the men, “Jane and Gavin were a thing years ago.  Jane just fell in love with someone else.  Gavin was upset about the break up but moved on.  I think her name was Claire but then she left town for a job in Paris.”

“The way Gavin speaks of you I doubt he will remember the numerous others,” Mary laughed, “he kept this wonderful secret for over a year.  It is so fabulous to finally meet you.  I can see why he kept you hidden.  You are intriguing, charming and a fantastic host.  I would keep you for myself as well.”

“I think that is enough wine for you,” Amy took the glass from Mary and handed her water.

“How long were you and Gavin together?” Felicity moved to Jane’s side.

“Maybe six months.”

“How was he back then?”

“Oh uh,” Jane eyes quickly went to Gavin’s figure that had his back turned to them, “I don’t think that I want to talk about that.  Maybe we can have lunch together and we can talk about it another time.”

“How are you going to manage that with Felicity’s agoraphobia?” Mary asked.

“My what?” Felicity shot a look at Amy.

“That is why we had not had a chance to meet you isn’t it? Gavin said that you have agoraphobia,” Amy narrowed her eyes.

“I,” Felicity stood and moved back to the chair against the wall, “I prefer not to call it that.  It is more of a social anxiety and panic disorder.  It isn’t all of outside that terrifies me.  It is part of dealing with my PTSD.  Agoraphobia is just a generalized label that people that are unaffected like to use,” Felicity held her head high as she improvised from the given script.

“We should change the subject,” Jane suggested as she gulped down the rest of her wine, “I don’t think we know each other well enough to get personal.”

“Thank you Jane,” <plain Jane brunette.  I can remember that.> “you are always welcome to come over for lunch.  I will check with Gavin on what is acceptable,” Felicity gave a polite smile.

“That sounds like a great idea,” Jane mirrored the smile.

The conversation returned to the mundane lives of the other three women as Felicity plastered a smile on her face and nodded.  Gavin called an end to the night and the guests hugged and kissed before they took their leave.  Gavin escorted Felicity back up to her room.

“Undress.  I will draw you a bath,” Gavin rolled his sleeves up as he headed to the bathroom.

“As you wish,” Felicity  replied as she removed her jewelry.

Felicity stepped into the tub once she was undressed.  Gavin washed her as she remained silent and obedient.  Gavin handed her a towel and left the bathroom.  Felicity dried off quickly and met Gavin in the bedroom.  She stood before him nude with her hair loose around her shoulders.  Felicity kept her eyes down cast as Gavin circled her.

“You are wonderful.  Tonight you were marvelous.  I could not have asked for better,” Gavin touched her with his finger tips, “I am very pleased.  I will see in the morning for breakfast.  Sleep tight,” Gavin kissed her lightly and left.

Felicity stayed in the spot.  Gavin had been known to return without notice and expect her to be where he had left her.  Felicity remained unmoving for two hours.  With weak legs and sore shoulders Felicity dressed and got in bed. Her mind drifted to Jane then immediately to the security system.  Felicity swallowed hard fear thick in her throat.  She closed her eyes and prayed to a god she had not believed in for years.

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. 

Endlessly Goodbye Part II

Ezra left his office and went home to meet Ardyn for lunch. He ordered carryout because he wasn’t one to cook in the middle of the day. Ezra had everything laid out when Ardyn entered his apartment. Ardyn opened a bottle of wine and sat down at the table as he grabbed silverware.

“So this guy that you text me about in the middle of the night, what’s he like?” Ardyn asked as she looked over the food selection.

“Amazing. Dadrian’s smart, funny, charming and very into me. He has his own job! I wouldn’t have to see him all the time because he’d be traveling and I still could see other people,” Ezra approached the table and handed her a fork.

“And why are you here with me for lunch and not with him?” Ardyn asked as she began to make her plate.

“He got me last night. He wanted to be with me last night,” Ezra answered as he poured their wine.

“Be with you?” Ardyn smiled because Ezra couldn’t say it out loud.

“You know what I mean.”

“For a serial killer you sure are virginal,” she laughed.

“I’m not a serial killer,” Ezra cut his eyes at her.

“I believe there are at least ten different men buried out in the gorge. Anything more than two is a serial killer,” Ardyn stated matter-of-factly.

“Whatever,” Ezra flicked his hand dismissively as he sat down to eat.

“Is this mystery man going to end up out there too?”

“So far no,” Ezra was surprised to find himself smile at the thought of Dadrian.

“Good. So he might be the one?”

“I didn’t say that,” he shook his head.

“You didn’t fuck him last night. That is a first in at least the last five years,” Ardyn pointed out as she ate.

“I guess. We have dinner plans.”

“Good. Where are you taking him?” Ardyn asked as she sipped her wine.

“He’s taking me out somewhere,” Ezra shrugged.

“Hold on,” Ardyn coughed to clear her throat, “did you just say he’s taking you out?”

“Yes,” Ezra tilted his head down.

“Marry this man now. He has taken the control and made you blush!” Ardyn exclaimed as she wiped her mouth.

“No, not really. He just wanted a second date while he’s in town.”

“Mm hm. We’ll see,” Ardyn hid her smile behind her glass.


Dadrian checked his reflection in the mirror. He was nervous. Dadrian had not thought he would actually go on another date with Ezra. Once he had sobered the following day he had hated himself for being such a lush. He couldn’t believe he had thrown himself at Ezra like a teenager. Dadrian was surprised that Ezra had even agreed to the second date. The second date had gone well and Ezra had requested the third. Dadrian hoped that he looked acceptable since he was not sure where Ezra was taking him. He was worried that he may screw up and had just been lucky to that point. It had been a month. They had talked and kept in contact electronically but had not had a face to face in a month. Dadrian took a deep breath and waited for Ezra to come pick him up from his hotel. The connection between them had frightened Dadrian but had left him wanting more. Dadrian jumped when the doorbell rang. He looked around his suite to make sure that it was orderly as he made his way to the door. Dadrian opened the door and Ezra stood there greeting him with a beautiful smile and his arms full. Dadrian took the top bag and stepped back to let Ezra in. Dadrian never had the courage to wear all white but Ezra did and he looked magnificent. His dark hair fell just passed his shoulders and brought the entire outfit together. Ezra looked appetizing in all white. Dadrian shook his head and stopped the lusty thoughts before they went any further. He sat the bag down by the boxes Ezra had placed on the table.

“The weather is supposed to get nasty so I figured we could do a picnic here,” Ezra walked to Dadrian and kissed his cheek, “I thought it might be romantic or something.”

“It is. Thank you.”

“I wasn’t sure what you would like from Mexicana Caliente so I got some of everything,” Ezra began to pull the food out.

“Excellent. Good thing I have a large appetite,” Dadrian replied as he helped with the food.

Ezra pulled a blanket out of his satchel and laid it out in front the balcony door so they could see outside. Dadrian could not stop the smile that spread across his face. Ezra was meant for him he thought as he helped make their plates and move it all to the blanket. Dadrian called room service and ordered margaritas to top off their meals. They ate in silence as they watched the clouds roll in and the rain began to pour. Dadrian stole glances and tried not to allow the emotions to take hold. It was too early to get overly involved.

“Do I have something on my face?” Ezra asked and grabbed a napkin.

“No. You’re perfect. I cannot imagine what made you think Mexican food was a good idea in a white suit though,” Dadrian chuckled.

“I’m having suits delivered here before I go anyway. It doesn’t matter. I don’t wear white in the rain. It does not go over well and I have a client to meet after this,” Ezra shrugged and looked down at his vest and slacks.

“Do you always wear a three piece to work?” Dadrian just wanted to look him over again without feeling like he was gawking.

“Yes. I run a business and I am to be taken serious at all times while in the office. Nothing says business like a well tailored suit with an Eldrege knotted tie.”

“You’re the reason the Eldrege is coming back. This last year with designs that has been a huge request among the gentlemen. You are a trend setter,” Dadrian smiled at him.

“Yes I am,” Ezra stated.

“Modest too,” Dadrian laughed.

“When you know something there is no need to be modest about it.”

“Then I do know that right now I want more than just this meal from you,” Dadrian’s hand immediately flew to his mouth.

“Excuse me?” Ezra looked up at Dadrian through his dark lashes.

“I am so sorry that is too forward. Excuse me. I have to visit the little boy’s room.”

Dadrian hopped up and ran to the bathroom. He locked himself in and went to the mirror.

“Yup that’s still me. What the hell has come over me?” Dadrian splashed cold water on his face. Then he grabbed a bottle of mouthwash and rinsed his mouth as he tried to calm himself.

Ezra watched as Dadrian took his leave. Ezra allowed himself to grin sincerely pleased with Dadrian’s reaction to him. He stood and went to his satchel. Ezra pulled out his personal kit and breath freshener. Ezra allowed the breath strip to dissolve. He undid his tie and took off his vest. The doorbell sounded and he answered. Ezra rolled the rack of suits in and looked them over.

Dadrian cleared his throat, “so…hi.”

“Hey there. Just picking out my suit for the rest of the day.”

Dadrian walked up behind Ezra and put his arms around his waist. Ezra turned to him and smiled up at him. Dadrian’s eyes pulled him in. Ezra’s mouth went dry and his stomach fluttered. Dadrian touched Ezra’s face and leaned into him. Ezra’s breath caught as Dadrian kissed him. His fingers gracefully moved to undo Dadrian’s shirt. Ezra pressed closer to Dadrian and moaned into his mouth. They feverishly groped and kissed each other until Ezra had backed Dadrian into a wall. Ezra chuckled and ran his tongue along Dadrian’s jaw line. Dadrian pushed off from the wall and turned them around. He pushed Ezra against the wall and kissed him harder on the mouth. Dadrian shrugged out of his shirt and quickly unbuttoned Ezra’s shirt. Dadrian had never felt the emotions pour over him the way they did with Ezra. He wanted nothing more than to share those emotions with Ezra. Ezra whimpered as Dadrian continued his assault from his lips down to his neck. Ezra pulled him back to his mouth and he kissed him. Dadrian’s fingers dipped into Ezra’s pants and Ezra stopped. He was not in control. Ezra pushed Dadrian away and walked around the room.

“Uh…am I okay? Did I do something wrong?” Dadrian asked as he caught his breath brow wrinkled.

“You’re great. That’s the issue. You are too good. I…I can’t just let down my guard like that. Uh…I…see…I have to get back to work,” Ezra crossed to the rack of suits and just pulled one.

“What do you mean? You said not on the first date. This is a different date,” Dadrian bit his lip and tried not to pounce Ezra, “I can feel you wanting me.”

“Not like this. Dadrian,” Ezra shook his head as he changed clothes, “not like this. A lunch break rush is not the way I want to be our first time. It has to be special. It has to be more than this.”

“Oh,” Dadrian ran a hand through his hair, “I guess I can understand that. But man…you’re beautiful.”

Ezra felt something that he was not familiar with run through him and his face felt hot. He felt a groan rise in his throat as Dadrian reached for him. Ezra wanted nothing more than to go to him. Ezra closed his eyes as he tied his tie and took a moment to ground himself.

“Dadrian I want to be with you but at the right time.”

“Ezra I feel like I’m always waiting for that time. That one special moment when I’m with you and you are ready. But you know what?” Dadrian features softened into ease.

“What?” Ezra froze as he put on the blazer as he waited for Dadrian to give up on him.

“I’ll wait as long as you need me to,” Dadrian blew him a kiss and turned to clean up their picnic.

Ezra grinned as he pulled on the blazer and grabbed his satchel. Dadrian was something else.

Endlessly Goodbye Part I

Ezra was forced to his knees and his arms were wrestled behind his back as he struggled. The handcuffs were warmer than he imagined. The stories he had heard had always involved the cold clasp of the bracelets. He was glad that it was cold dirt against his face and not concrete. The scratches and cuts would have been unbearable. It had been years, more than a decade and he had never been caught. The people had never been missed. Ezra had never thought of making a grandstand. He had never fantasized about getting caught. Ezra was confident that he would go to his own grave before the mass graves had been unearthed. He prayed to a god that he didn’t believe in that Ardyn could not be connected. The harsh words and the ugly looks from every person that his eyes met as he lay on the ground stung. Ezra closed his eyes as they hauled him to his feet. He didn’t put up a struggle anymore but he didn’t help either. Ezra allowed them to pull his dead weight to the back of the car and shove him in. The countless graves would never reveal the true level of his actions. Some bodies were destroyed elsewhere and never buried. They would never know how many souls had moved on by his hands. Ezra set up and his hair shifted out of his face. He watched as the bulldozers moved in and he smiled. They would destroy more evidence than they would recover. His trial would be easy.

Ezra sat up in a cold sweat with his sheets twisted around him. His vision was blurred and his heart pounded in his ears. He swallowed several times. It had been that dream again. It was not reality. Ezra calmed himself. He chuckled. He reached for the bottle of water he kept by his bed. There was movement to his left. Ezra turned abruptly. He had forgotten that he had not gone to bed alone. Danny lay peacefully by his side. Ezra eased off of the bed and went to the bathroom. He stared in the mirror and took in his appearance. He looked the same and nothing had changed. Ezra was never sure of his age in the dream but he felt older there. He was relieved that it was just the dream again.

“I should have never let Ardyn talk me into seeing that damn psychic,” Ezra told himself as he washed his face.

Ezra glanced at his clock. He decided his day could start early and he got in the shower. He was dressed and ready for the day before Danny turned over and hit the snooze button. Ezra kissed Danny on the head and left to his office.


Ezra watched with loving eyes as Danny climaxed under him. He cared for Danny and wanted to go to the next level. Danny touched his face as he kissed him. Ezra pulled Danny close as they lay in bed. Ezra was ready to give Danny the world. Ezra reached over to the nightstand and opened the drawer. He pulled out the little box.

“Danny my love,” Ezra turned to him and held out the box, “be mine forever.”

Danny looked at the ring. It was a beautiful diamond the size of a dime. Danny felt his chest grow tight. He jumped up from the bed and rushed to get dressed and grab all of his belongings. Danny began to fill a suitcase with as much as he could carry. Ezra sat up in the bed confused.

“You have got to be kidding me!” Danny exclaimed as he searched for his shoes, “a ring? You proposed to me. This year has been great and all that but, I mean, like I like you and all that’s for sure. Ezra I really like you but this was nothing more than getting my music out there. I thought that you knew that. This last year and four months has been great babe really but I can’t marry you.”

Ezra closed the box slowly and watched Danny as he zipped around the bedroom and connecting bathroom. Danny had declined the proposal. Danny had used him. Ezra had given him his heart and trust. He had provided Danny with everything he had to give and all he had done was break his heart. The sheet dropped from around Ezra as he stood and went up behind Danny.

“Danny, how could you turn me down? I love you.”

“I know you do lover,” Danny turned to Ezra.

“You don’t love me?” Ezra asked.

“Have I ever said I love you?”

Ezra looked to the floor and thought back on their time together. It should have been obvious. Danny had never said the three words that meant the most to Ezra. In a text it was always a little heart and the letter ‘U’ and in person it was always ‘loves ya’. He should have noticed.


“I wasn’t just friends with Joey. He is the man that I love. I’m sorry but this was all business,” Danny gestured between them.

“No,” Ezra stated as he turned his grim expression back on Danny.

“It was. I needed to further my career and you were the way to do so. Joey understood. In fact I planned the break up after the release of my next single so that I could go public with Joey. You and I were not meant to be.”

“Did you know there is a bushel of nerves between your jaw and skull behind your ear that can cause a temporary paralysis? Did you also know that if your brain is accelerated too fast the fluid surrounding it cannot decelerate at the same speed and causes disorientation if not full unconsciousness?” Ezra changed his stance and balled his hands into fists.

“What?” Danny asked with a furrowed brow.


Ezra shoveled another mound of dirt into the large hole. He looked over his shoulder at the shadowy figure by the car. Ardyn nodded at him. He wiped his forearm across his forehead to keep the sweat from out of his eyes. Ezra finished filling in the hole and stuck the shovel in the packed earth. He leaned on the shovel and caught his breath. With one final pat on the dirt he walked away from the grave. Ezra lit a cigarette once he was back at the car and looked at his handy work on the ground illuminated by the headlights. He stood there several more minutes before he put the shovel in the trunk.

“Good work,” Ardyn’s voice still held the thick accent.

“Danny should’ve loved me more,” Ezra took another drag from the cigarette and flicked it on the freshly moved earth.

Ezra shook Ardyn’s hand and her tattoos were visible for a few moments as she crossed in front of the car. He nodded at her as she got on her bike. Ardyn was just a mere rumble on the breeze before he got in the car and left the site. He pulled onto the highway and went to the little hotel. Ezra went straight to his room and took a shower. He spent extra time on his hair to make sure all the dirt was removed. He didn’t want to risk any evidence on his body in case it came to air what had taken place. Ezra took his clothes that he had worn out back and put them in a barrel and set fire to them. The bums in the alley would be appreciative for the warmth. He wanted to set the room on fire but knew that would bring questions. He tied his hair back and wrapped it tightly in a scarf before he began his clean up. Ezra took out his dust buster and began his ritual of after work cleaning. When finished Ezra packed all his belongings into the car and went to the office. He handed the guy his key card.

“Thank you so much Mr. Jones. Hope that it was a pleasant stay these last couple of days.”

“It was spectacular,” Ezra signed the receipt and handed the man a tip and was gone.

Ezra headed back to his city. He took his personal bag out of the car and pushed the little sedan into the river. Ezra called Ardyn and she came around and picked him up. He held on to her as they swerved through traffic he thought about how lonely he was again. Ardyn was his best friend and could never be more. Ardyn fed his need for companionship but couldn’t fill that void where the love of a man was needed. She took him to his apartment and let him off.

“Be good. I don’t want to have to visit the woods again any time soon.”

“Ardyn you know me.”

“I’ll see you tomorrow. I’ve got plans with Jacob this evening but I’ll come by around lunch time tomorrow.”

“Okay. See ya then.”

Ezra went up to his lavish condo. He looked around and wished again that he had someone special to share it with. Ezra had everything he could want but without love it felt useless to him. Ezra walked through the halls of his condo bored and in need of a warm body pressed against him. All he wanted was what everyone wanted. Ezra had so much love to give and there had been countless times he had given it to the incorrect person. He wanted to find the person that would complete him. Ezra went to his home office and sat at his desk. Work had always been his fall back and always would be. Music was his passion and his first love. There was always work to be done. For Ezra that suited him just fine when he was single and dreading the loneliness.


Ezra lay on his bed staring at the ceiling. Ardyn had tried many times to get him out of the house to social activities but he refused. He wanted to be miserable for a little longer before he got out there and moved on. Danny had been the longest relationship in too long awhile and he felt he deserved the time to mope and bask in his own misery for a few weeks. Ezra took a few deep breaths and felt the depression slip. He smiled. It was time.

Ezra showered and changed into his black leather pants and a lavender button down. He threw a black blazer over the shirt and grabbed his wallet. Ezra took the braids out of his hair and went down to the garage. He got into his black sapphire luxury sedan. Ezra headed to one of his favorite spots, Thai Cuban Bistro. He always had a standing reservation every night just in case. They knew that if he wasn’t there by 10 PM that they could give his table away. There were a few others in front of him. Ezra did not mind the wait it gave him a chance to view who else was there. He smiled as people greeted him. There was one more person in front of him that put up an argument with the maitre d’. Ezra listened in and realized the handsome guy with the auburn hair wanted in but the normal seats were filled and only reservation tables were left. Ezra stepped forward and grabbed the man’s arm lovingly.

“Sorry I’m running late dear. Traffic was terrible getting here,” Ezra kissed the man on the cheek, “sorry about that Enrique. He’s with me.”

“Oh perfect. Next time just let us know you’re with Mr. Garrison and we’ll have you seated waiting for him. He tends to run late every now and again,” the maitre d’ smiled at the man.

“It hadn’t occurred to me. My apologies for making a scene,” the man swallowed his surprise and joined the lie.

“Right this way to your usual table,” Enrique grabbed menus and led them to the table in the corner with the best view of the restaurant.

Ezra sat down with his back to the wall so he could see the restaurant in its entirety. He took in the man in front of him. The man was built nicely and dressed in a Versace suit didn’t hurt. His auburn hair was designed at that messy sexy look that was popular and his grey eyes were piercing as he looked up at Ezra. They waited for the server to leave before they spoke.

“Thank you,” the man said as he opened the menu.

“Not a problem. They fill up quickly on the weekend for general public.”

“Yeah I get that now. I had been told about this place and since I’m only visiting for a little while I didn’t want to miss out.”

“You’ll enjoy it,” Ezra smirked at him.

“Thank you so much Mr. Garrison.”

“Call me Ezra.”

“I’m Dadrian.”

“Very nice to meet you Dadrian.”

They looked over the menu as they waited. The server returned with their drinks. She pulled out her pad for their order. Ezra almost laughed. That signaled to him that she was new. None of his regular servers ever produced a notepad for orders.

“We’ll start with the lobster shiitake pot stickers. He’ll have the palomillo of marinated lamb and I’ll have the tropical hoisin roasted duck. Also bring an order of panko crusted crispy plantain. Make sure that there is enough time between the appetizer and the entrees. We don’t want to have to rush through one to get to the other,” Ezra folded the menu and handed it to her.

She jotted down everything and took the menus.

“Thanks,” Dadrian was little unnerved that the man had ordered for him.

“You’ll want to remember this place as a good experience so I think you deserve the best. Their lamb is the best and so is the duck. We can share everything. That’s the way it’s designed. I figured you should have something you know is going to be good. Sometimes when you try new things and it isn’t something you like then you have a bad idea of the place and people you were with when you tried it,” Ezra said as he sipped his drink.

“Good idea,” Dadrian said as he fiddled with the cloth napkin.

“So you said that you’re just visiting out here. Why?” Ezra sipped his drink.

“I’m a fashion designer so I’m out here for a fashion show. I travel so much and everything gets so busy I forget that I need to step out and try new things. Plus my models kicked me out for working too hard today,” Dadrian downed his drink and motioned for another.

“Hmm. Yeah sometimes you need to take a step back and enjoy life.”

“Yeah. What do you do?”

“I own a record label,” Ezra watched Dadrian and measured his reaction and every move.

“Oh wow. That’s why they know you here,” Dadrian looked around and realized there were several notable celebrities around them.

“Yeah. I spend a lot of time here with clients or friends. I like to keep a table reserved you never know what could pop up.”

Dadrian watched Ezra as he surveyed the restaurant. It sent chills up his spine. It looked as if he were on the hunt. Ezra had chosen the seat against the wall so no one could sneak up on him. Dadrian shook his head; it was all in his mind. He was just nervous about being at dinner with a complete stranger. When he looked up again Ezra stared at him with a pleasant smile. For some reason it made him blush. Dadrian looked back down at his drink. The server brought out their appetizers and refreshed their drinks.

“Oh my god this is like heaven in my mouth,” Dadrian after he took a bite.

“They are delicious.”

Ezra watched the man across from him. He liked his style, he was gorgeous and someone fresh and new. Ezra would have to let Ardyn know tomorrow that he had found a new friend. He couldn’t take his eyes off of him. They talked about little things of their lives to give glimpses into which they were. It was natural and not forced like dates were. It felt like friends at dinner. Ezra could not help but feel drawn to the fashion designer from San Diego. He was not like the others that Ezra had taken home. Physically alone there were big differences. Dadrian was tall, well proportioned and muscular not scrawny and petite. He seemed genuine, self aware and had a good sense of humor. Plus Dadrian had his own career and would not depend on Ezra to take care of him. They finished dinner and had another round of drinks before they left.

“Where are you staying?”

“The Palace.”

“That’s not too far, would you like a ride?” Ezra asked as the valet brought his car around.

“Sure thanks,” Dadrian appreciated it because he was not one to hold his alcohol well. He was sure Ezra had just as much to drink as he had but he didn’t seem fazed at all. Dadrian hadn’t known that Ezra switched to just soda after the first two drinks.

Ezra drove to the hotel and parked. He knew that he couldn’t leave Dadrian to walk in by himself. Ezra helped the tipsy man out of the car and to the hotel. The staff knew him there as well. He greeted them and continued on their way. Ezra was glad that Dadrian wasn’t too inebriated and was easy to get to the elevator. Dadrian handed him the room key and Ezra pushed the correct floor and led the way to his room. Dadrian smiled at him the entire way to his room. He looped his arm in his and skipped down the hall with him. Ezra laughed as they stopped in front of his room. Ezra opened the door and left Dadrian to go in.

“You’re not coming in?” Dadrian asked a bit disappointed as he realized Ezra hadn’t followed him in.

“I’ve got to work in the morning,” Ezra softly smiled.

“Hm so do I but that’s okay,” Dadrian walked back to the door and stopped in front of Ezra.

“I bet it is. I should really get going,” Ezra whispered as Dadrian leaned forward.

“I’m gay too and you’re hot. It’s the least I can do since you got me into that wonderful restaurant and you paid! I thought it was to get right here in this moment,” Dadrian brushed his lips against Ezra’s.

Ezra allowed him to deepen the kiss. For the first time in years Ezra had lost control of the situation. Ezra knew that he wanted this man. When Dadrian’s arms wrapped tightly around him he almost gave in. Ezra loved the way Dadrian tasted and the way he kissed and nibbled on his lips at the same time. He loved his strong hands that moved down his back and rested firmly on his ass. Ezra felt himself almost give in. He would have that man but on his terms. It took all his might to pull back. Ezra looked up into those smoky grey eyes and almost threw it all away right then. He cleared his throat and pushed away from him.

“I want to but not like this. We’ve only had one meal together that makes it one date. I don’t give it up on a first date,” Ezra smirked.

“Okay. I can respect that. Then I’ll see you tomorrow night. You have my number. I’ll make reservations this time,” Dadrian leaned against the door frame with the sexiest expression on his face.

“Alright then.”

Ezra turned on heel and walked briskly to the elevator. He ran his hands over his face once he was inside and safely concealed by the closed doors. Ezra had almost lost himself back there and he needed to be careful. Ezra couldn’t give his power away to someone else.