May 13, 2016 by Lyn
Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams
Purge your thoughts of the life you knew before
She woke a moment later, not certain she’d actually fallen asleep. There’d been some fear, right? And some pain. But all she felt now was warm and fuzzy, like she was wrapped in a giant blanket.
The spring in the bed was her first reminder of the world around her, biting unkindly into her hip. Shifting position to relieve the discomfort made her realize how chilly she was – a purely physical cold; the air was chill and she wasn’t wearing enough. She wasn’t wearing anything at all.
She was in the cabin. She blinked, trying to remember more. Emrys, oh, god, was he dead? He’d been dead, hadn’t he? And then she’d…
Emrys, I release you. Oh, no, she’d gotten him killed and then she’d released him. Wait… no, she’d released him in the dim hope that their captor would save his life. She dared open her eyes, blinking around slowly.
Emrys. He was chained to the wall again. Or still – had that whole thing been a nightmare? There were new cuts down his chest, scabbed over, marring his tattoos, new cuts down his legs and… no, while it had been a nightmare, it had been the real sort, the kind she couldn’t wake from.
His bloody chest was rising and falling, though, however slowly. His neck was bare. She choked back a sob – that hadn’t lasted long.
“Emrys,” she whispered softly. Her throat was raw, and her mouth tasted funny as she spoke, like it was filled with cotton. There was no response, of course. He was alive, though. That was what mattered, wasn’t it? She did what she had to do to save him.
Then another voice cut the air, and she jumped slightly, startled. Caspian. She hadn’t noticed him when she awoke, but of course he wouldn’t have left them alone. The actual words were lost on her; everything seemed so foggy. Maybe if she concentrated…
“I see you’re awake,” the voice said.
“Yes?” she answered carefully. She was fairly certain she was awake. There was cold, and a little pain, which seemed to suggest wakefulness.
“Your Emrys will live, for now. At my pleasure. You wouldn’t displease me, would you?”
She shook her head no and choked on despair and humiliation. No, she wouldn’t displease this monster, not if obeying would keep her Emrys safe. Her Emrys, even if he no longer Belonged to her.
“And you’re mine now, aren’t you, my little pet?” His voice was soft, sweet, like honey pouring over her brain. “Say that you’re mine.” Another hand fell to her shoulder, sliding over her body.
She shuddered, his touch disgusting her. He had… her brain shied away from the memories, but she knew they’d been bad. And then Emrys. So much blood. “No,” she whispered. That was why he’d wanted her to release Emrys. That was why he’d tortured them. “No.”
“I’ll take you, whether you would be mine or not.” His hands shifted to her thighs, pushing at them, and he loomed over her, grinning. “It’d be much nicer for you if you were mine.”
“No,” she demurred. She knew what Owning felt like. She wouldn’t give him that part of herself. She’d never give anyone but Emrys that part of her.
“You will. Take your medicine.” Then his hands were on her face again, and he was cramming another pill down her throat, making her swallow it. His legs were heavy atop hers, between hers. She couldn’t resist either intrusion, and tears streaked silently down her cheeks as her mind retreated again.
She woke a while later, not sure if she’d actually fallen asleep. There’d been some fear, and some pain, she thought, and some violation that was beginning to feel like a routine: wake up, brush your teeth, and then the monster…
…her mind shied away from it, but the pain and dampness between her legs could not be denied. Dampness. He’d punish her if she didn’t clean herself up. He’d punish Emrys if she didn’t clean herself up.
She stood, finding her ankles weak and barely capable of holding her up, but she could do this. She could stand tall, even if she had to lean on the bed to do so. She could walk to the sink.
Barely, apparently. Hadn’t it been so much closer last time? When had that been? Hours ago? Days? Weeks? She couldn’t remember. Couldn’t think clearly, about anything.
She had to get clean. She turned the water on, found the washcloth. It was soft; had it been this soft before? Everything felt soft, like the edges of the world had been rounded off. It wasn’t a bad feeling, but she recalled that she had been stronger, once. She’d been harder, and colder, and the ice had kept her safe.
She washed herself, surprised at the blood she found. She couldn’t be bleeding that much just from a few cuts, could she?
Oh, god, the baby. Our son. Panic clawed its way through the muzziness for just a moment. Our son. Our. Emrys. She leaned heavily on the sink and tried to force her vision to focus, herself to focus.
Then he was at her side again. Caspian, the monster. The sweet voice seemed just a bit harsher, as if in all the world he was the only thing that hadn’t softened.
“Good girl. Clean yourself up. Then get back on the bed where you belong. You belong to me.”
She was a good girl. She’d done what he told her to. She belonged… “No.” It was the tiniest shard of ice, but it was enough. “No, I don’t.” She set down the washcloth carefully on the sink and struggled towards the bed. She would be good. She’d protect Emrys.
He clicked his tongue, a nasty little sound, and pushed her down on the bed. Before she could focus again her mouth was being pulled open, something shoved inside. A pill. He forced her mouth closed and she swallowed it.
Some surviving part of her brain screamed in protest, and she tried to gag up the pill. No more. How many had he given her? How long had she been there? Had they been there? She tried to sit up, to catch a glimpse of Emrys.
A heavy hand on her chest held her down, kept her from moving, groped her. “Without the pills I can barely taste you,” he scowled. “Broken little mutt. We’ll fix all that though.” His other hand covered her mouth even as his legs touched hers again.
No. She tried to protest, to struggle, but there was so little left to protest with, and he was so strong. If she just lay back, maybe he wouldn’t hurt her so much? Maybe he’d let her have a little air if she was just good?
Maybe if she was good enough, he’d let her see Emrys again.
She woke again, not sure if she’d actually fallen asleep. A brief memory of another life brushed through her mind, a dream of some nicer time, softening her spine; a wispy memory of fear and pain jolted through her, making her heart pound.
She’d been trying to sit up, at some point, hadn’t she? It barely seemed worth the effort now, but wasn’t there some reason she should? The bed was so soft and so easy to lay on, and she had no energy to move.
But she had to sit up, to get up. She lurched forward, the whole world twisting around her, and swallowed the bitter taste of vomit.
Vomit is good. It means you’re doing something right. It seemed insane, but the thought was lodged there when everything else had faded. Now, what was she doing? Sitting up. Standing… the concrete floor of the cabin hit her knees and shins hard as it rose up to hit her.
It didn’t hurt as much as she thought it should have. Barely at all, actually. She could feel barely anything at all. The world spun again, and someone was touching her.
“Ah, can’t even clean yourself anymore, can you? Poor little mutt. It’ll all be over soon.” There was a sound in the distance, for a moment, like a waterfall. A soft dampness touched her legs, her thighs. It felt nice to be touched. It felt nice to feel anything at all. Everything was so fuzzy.
“Over…” She wasn’t even sure she’d actually said it, but it sounded ominous. It couldn’t be over yet, they’d only just started. “Eighteen years.” But that baby was dead, wasn’t he? Would Regine make her start all over from scratch? And how could she, when Emrys… what was wrong with Emrys? Something… She blinked, wishing she could focus on anything at all.
“And your new life can begin. You’re mine now.”
She was moving through the air; was she flying? Could she fly? No, there were hands under her, strong hands, setting her down now on something softer than the floor.
“Say that you’re mine.”
Say you belong to me.
“For the next week,” she began. Wait. “No. I did that already.”
“You are mine, little mutt. I’ll show you again.”
Soft hands were on her; flesh pressed against her. It was warm and vaguely pleasant. She had a nagging sensation that this wasn’t okay, was wrong somehow, the same way the words he wanted her to say weren’t quite right. She couldn’t place it, couldn’t think.
“No…” That was right, wasn’t it? “No.” Why not? Why was it wrong? “It’s your turn, isn’t it?”
“No, it’s not. Take your medicine.” A small pill fell into her mouth, and she swallowed it reflexively. Medicine was good, wasn’t it?
“Thank you,” she murmured. Even that felt wrong, but there didn’t seem to be any right, anymore.
“No,” he said, hands touching her legs again. “You thank me with your body. You belong to me.”
“No,” she echoed, and she was gone again.