Twist Me(5)

By: Anna Zaires

When the movie is done, we go for a walk in the park. It’s late, but I feel completely safe. The crime rate in our town is negligible, and there are plenty of streetlights.

We’re walking and Jake is holding my hand. We’re discussing the movie. Then he stops and just looks at me.

I know what he wants. It’s what I want, too.

I look up at him and smile. He smiles back, puts his hands on my shoulders, and leans down to kiss me.

His lips feel soft, and his breath smells like the minty gum he was chewing earlier. His kiss is gentle and pleasant, everything I hoped it would be.

Then, in a blink of an eye, everything changes.

I don’t even know what happened or how it happened. One minute, I’m kissing Jake, and the next, he’s lying on the ground, unconscious. A large figure is looming over him.

I open my mouth to scream, but I can’t get more than a peep out before a big hand covers my mouth and nose.

I feel a sharp prick on the side of my neck, and my world goes completely dark.

Chapter 3

I wake up with a pounding headache and queasy stomach. It’s dark, and I can’t see a thing.

For a second, I can’t remember what happened. Did I have too much to drink at a party? Then my mind clears, and the events of last night come rushing in. I remember the kiss and then . . . Jake! Oh dear God, what happened to Jake?

What happened to me?

I’m so terrified that I just lie there, shaking.

I am lying on something comfortable. A bed with a good mattress, most likely. I’m covered by a blanket, but I can’t feel any clothes on my body, just the softness of cotton sheets against my skin. I touch myself and confirm that I’m right: I’m completely naked.

My shaking intensifies.

I use one hand to check between my legs. To my huge relief, everything feels the same. No wetness, no soreness, no indication that I’ve been violated in any way.

For now, at least.

Tears burn my eyes, but I don’t let them fall. Crying wouldn’t help my situation now. I need to figure out what’s going on. Are they planning to kill me? Rape me? Rape me and then kill me? If it’s ransom they’re after, then I’m as good as dead. After my dad got laid off during the recession, my parents can barely pay their mortgage as is.

I hold back hysteria with effort. I don’t want to start screaming. That would attract their attention.

Instead I just lie there in the dark, every horrifying story I’ve seen on the news running through my mind. I think of Jake and his warm smile. I think of my parents and how devastated they’ll be when the police tell them I’m missing. I think of all my plans, and how I will probably never get a chance to attend a real university.

And then I start to get angry. Why did they do this? Who are they, anyway? I assume it’s ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ because I remember seeing a dark figure looming over Jake’s body. Someone else must’ve grabbed me from the back.

The anger helps hold back the panic. I’m able to think a little. I still can’t see anything in the dark, but I can feel.

Moving quietly, I carefully start exploring my surroundings.

First, I determine that I’m indeed lying on a bed. A big bed, probably king-sized. There are pillows and a blanket, and the sheets are soft and pleasant to the touch. Likely expensive.

For some reason, that scares me even more. These are criminals with money.

Crawling to the edge of the bed, I sit up, holding the blanket tightly around me. My bare feet touch the floor. It’s smooth and cold to the touch, like hardwood.

I wrap the blanket around me and stand up, ready to do further exploration.

At that moment, I hear the door opening.

A soft light comes on. Even though it’s not bright, I’m blinded for a minute. I blink a few times, and my eyes adjust.

And I see him.


He stands in the doorway like a dark angel. His hair curls a little around his face, softening the hard perfection of his features. His eyes are trained on my face, and his lips are curved in a slight smile.

He’s stunning.

And utterly terrifying.

My instincts had been right—this man is capable of anything.

“Hello, Nora,” he says softly, entering the room.

I cast a desperate glance around me. I see nothing that could serve as a weapon.

My mouth is dry like the desert. I can’t even gather enough saliva to talk. So I just watch him stalk toward me like a hungry tiger approaches its prey.

I am going to fight if he touches me.

He comes closer, and I take a step back. Then another and another, until I’m pressed against the wall. I’m still huddling in the blanket.

He lifts his hand, and I tense, preparing to defend myself.

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