By: Alexa Riley

I’m stunned by his words. He’s pinned to a table by three guards and he’s giving orders? I guess some things never change.

“Get. Them. The. Fuck. Off,” Carter barks again as he starts to rise from his position, even as the guards try to push him down.

“This is my prison, Carter. You may get some leeway because of who you are, but there are cameras in here,” the guard holding me says as he places me back down on the floor.

“I just came for answers,” I whisper, hoping he doesn’t catch on to my lie. I want answers, but I want him more.

“I got no answers for you here. I don’t want to see your little ass in this place again, Cherry.” ‘Cherry’, the name used to make me smile. Now it’s starting to piss me off.

“Says the man who just had his tongue down my throat,” I shoot back, feeling my anger boil over. Hell, I shouldn’t have said that. I don’t want him to know I care, but how can he not after receiving all those stupid letters? Letters that had started off as questions but slowly turned into a diary. I sent him my every thought. But, as time went on, they morphed into love letters to him. Maybe he doesn’t know what they contained. Maybe he threw them out before reading them. I’m grasping at straws. He may not know it, but he is all I have left.

After my mother disappeared, my father turned as cold as she had been. I had always been a silly child who just got in my mother’s way. She was too busy going to events and maintaining an image to devote any time or attention to me. I can still remember her offhand comments about my weight and frenzied red hair. I just always seemed to be in her way—a disappointing nuisance. Now my father can barely look at me. Does my father love me? Yes, I believe so. Family is everything to him. But does he show it? Can I feel it? Not anymore. Now I’m put away on a shelf, having to sneak away to come here.

“I haven’t felt a woman’s body in years, can’t blame a man for taking opportunities as they arise,” he says cockily as the guards slowly let him up. He drops down into a metal chair. He seems completely unfazed by what has just happened. I guess that was all it was to him—a man needing a fix. He didn’t possess my mouth, my soul for those few moments because he needed to touch me. No one touches me.

“I see I don’t have anyone now. Looks like I can go,” I say flatly, all emotion leaching from my voice. Hell, if no one else wants to show me any tenderness, why should I give any?

“Good. Get gone,” he snarls through clenched teeth, but I see his eyes soften for an instant before being replaced by his usual stoniness. Or maybe I’m trying to convince myself and it was never there.

Pulling the picture I have from my pocket, I let it drop to the floor and I take one last look at the man I’ve been thinking about every night for the past four years. I don’t want the reminder of him anymore if he doesn’t want me.

I’m done living in a world that seems to feel nothing while I feel everything.

I have the quarter million I took from Daddy’s safe before I gave the guards the slip. I’m starting my life over, a life with no more holes in it, a life where I can find people who want to feel with me.

I turn to make my way to leave. Behind me I hear Carter rise from his chair, the metal scratching across the concrete floor. Opening the door to leave, I toss my final words over my shoulder. “Don’t you worry, Carter. No one will be seeing me around anymore.” The door slams behind me and I hear all hell break loose on the other side.

I square my shoulders and keep on walking. I only have one feeling in my heart now.


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