“Home is where the heart is, and there’s no love here. You bite me, stalk me, kidnap me, beat me, sexually harass me, and then tell me I have no choice in the matter. Then you select me to be your mate without asking me what I think of you. You may as well just kill me now.”

 

Declan remained silent as he stared at me, and then he responded, “You’ll do as I say, and obey or that boyfriend of yours will end up dead. I have connections with law enforcement of all kinds throughout the city, so finding information about your family won’t prove difficult. It’s up to you on whether any of them continue to live. Don’t try to negotiate with me. You’ll lose every time.”

 

“Understood.”

 

That was all I could say after the string of threats he laid in front of me. What choice did I have? I didn’t want to put my loved ones in danger, but I also didn’t want to live the life he had laid out in front of me. Knowing this still left me with the unwillingness to accept the situation. What can I do? How can I escape? Why did this happen to me? The only answer I have is anger.

 

Silenced filled the room as I lied back against the plush pillows to stare at the ceiling. I could feel the heat of his gaze on my skin, as I lied there subdued. An hour must have gone past with us just sitting here in complete silence, until my stomach growled. All of the beating, running, and attempts to accept what is now my life must have taken its toll. So much has happened that I wasn’t sure of what day it was.

 

“Hungry?” he asked with a grin.

 

“Yes. I also have a request.”

 

“Go on.”

 

“Can I get my clothes, phone, and other belongings? I won’t run or give you any more trouble. I just need to start getting things in order.”

 

“Done. Anything else?”

 

“Yes. I cannot break my lease at my current apartment no matter what you say. My roommate and I still have nine more months left on the lease. You’ll need give my roommate time to find someone else to live there. For the job you’ll give me, it’ll need to be similar to what I am currently doing within my career. Salary pay has to be equal to higher than what I am making now. I have not worked this hard for a career just to have it thrown away by the likes of you. I would rather kill myself. In addition, I don’t like nor know you. You may claim me as yours, but you won’t receive any affection from me by force. If you rape me, I will kill myself. When it comes to family or friends, they will know who you are. If anything happens to me, at least my family will know whom to blame at the end of the day. If you can grant me these, then you won’t have any more problems from me.”

 

For a moment, he sat there in silence contemplating. He stood and released my restraints as he responded to my demand, “As long as you keep your word, I will do and allow all of those things. But make no mistake, go against me once and someone will die.”

 

“Fine,” was all I could respond with as I rubbed my sore wrists.

 

Moments later, there was a knock on the door. Declan shouted for the person to come in, and much to my surprise I knew the person. Standing just shy of six foot five with a body built like a tank was my college friend, Tony. His long dreaded hair hung below his waist and swung with excitement as he recognized who I was.

 

“Kayla, this is Tony, the packs-”

 

“Kayla! Long time no see!” interrupted Tony. He placed my items on the bed as he leaned over to give me a hug.

 

“I take it you both know each other,” Declan says with sarcasm.

 

“Hell yea! We were college mates. Graduated back in twenty twelve together with her and her boyfriend Andrew.”

 

“It’s nice to see you again Tony,” I say in a stale voice.

 

Tony’s face went through a myriad of changes as he began to realize the situation. He and I may have fell out of touch, but my boyfriend would link up with him at least once a month for drinks. Their last hoorah together was only a couple of weeks ago. I am sure he is wondering what landed me in this predicament, and what of Andrew and me relationship. Declan cleared his throat, and we turned our attention towards him.

 

“Since you both know each other, it seems that introductions aren’t needed. Tony and I will leave the room in a moment. Kayla, get dressed and head down to the lobby. I’ll have Tony take you to get food before taking you home.” I only saw a glimpse of sorrow on Tony’s face before he and Declan left the room while a smile appeared on mine’s. I may be able to use this discovery to my advantage.

 

Previously: The Change: Part 6

Image: Sound Track of a Photograph by Robert Doyle

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