Lane Brothers(2)

By: Kristina Weaver



No lunch, no stopping till five, on the dot, and then I’d walked home and locked myself in my apartment at exactly five thirty. The only variation I’d allowed was to give Goofball a tin of tuna for dinner instead of her usual cat food.

A dinner of grilled chicken breast, steamed broccoli, and carrots, and then I’d done some yoga before retiring at eight thirty.

Another few minutes pass and I eventually crack, giving in to the temptation that’s been dogging me.

“Hello?”

I get nothing but silence and that weird, eerie sensation as goose bumps erupt all over my body and the hairs on my neck and arms stand up.

I’m being watched. I know I am.

Whoever this is may not be on the same scale as that animal, Bolton Conrad, but I did not get here, naked and tied to a bed without any recollection of getting here, without someone with nefarious intent.

That tells me one thing. I’m in trouble, big trouble, and with the way I’m bound and at whoever’s mercy, being at ease about this event is not safe.

But what to do? There’s no escape unless I chew through my own arms, and then what? I don’t know where I am. This place could be in the middle of nowhere, with no way to get to civilization and the authorities.

The kicker, though, is that I have no idea how long I’ve been here. I could have been unconscious for hours while this person transported me out of state or into the freaking wilderness.

Don’t snort. I have been here before, albeit in much worse circumstances and conditions. I did manage to escape, only to find myself in the middle of desert country with nothing for miles but dirt and dehydration.

I almost died that time while trying to run before collapsing. Then I was dragged back by my tormentor.

“Hello! I need to pee! My arms are starting to go dead! Hello! Let me the hell out of here, you freak!”

The scrape of a key in the lock comes not five minutes later, and I crane my neck up to peer at it, my breathing trying to accelerate, though I’m still keeping a tight rein on that.

When the door opens I feel my blood chill and heat at the same time. I almost gag because standing in the doorway is one of the most beautiful human beings I’ve ever seen.

One word comes to mind. Angel. Dark brown hair, cut short at the sides and longer at the top, crowns a head that holds a masterpiece of a face, and by that I mean he’s exceptionally masculine and just…magnificent.

He walks closer when all I do is stare, and I see that his eyes are a deep, sapphire blue that shouldn’t be natural but obviously are. And Jesus, his mouth. Full bottom lip, slightly thinner top, but that’s not what gets me. It’s the curve at the top that lets me know that they’re soft and probably kiss like a dream.

And then I take in the rest and feel my hopes shatter. He’s big, at least six-four or six-five, and muscular.

I can see that even through his jeans and what looks to be one of those designer henley shirts that are meant to look worn but cost more than my rent.

Snap out of it, Ellie! Remember the last goon? Remember what he looked like?!

Yes, I do, it’s not something I will ever forget, not ever. Even now, four years later, I remember that face, can call it up in detail and crystal clarity just by closing my eyes.

The dreams still come, too, and it’s in those nightmarish scenes that I remember how devastatingly handsome and innocent-looking Bolton Conrad had been.

Even serial killers can be cute.

“Who are you? Why am I here?”

Stay focused. Do not start hyperventilating. He comes closer to the bed, not stopping till his knees hit the mattress. Once there, he just stands over me, staring.

I become aware once again of my nakedness, and it shames me anew when my nipples tighten at the way his eyes land there and flare slightly.

“Hey perv, eyes up top! Is this your deal, then? You steal women, tie them up, and perv over them? Stop looking! Goddammit, if you’re into rape and torture, just do it and get it over with!” I scream, fighting against the bonds.

I will endure anything this guy has to throw at me, even death, but waiting…that’s the worst and I won’t handle that. Not again.

“I’m not going to hurt you, Ellie.”

His voice is a soft, outraged rasp that settles over me like a caress. He sounds almost insulted that I think poorly of him, but what the hell? He’s kidnapped me, stripped me, and tied me up. What else can I think?

“No? Then untie me and let me go.”

“I’ll untie you if you promise not to do anything to hurt yourself. You can’t get off the estate even if you tried, but I won’t have you running and getting hurt in the process.”

“So you’d like…what? You want me to sit here meekly and wait for you to hurt me?” I snarl, attempting to close my legs.

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