Bounty Hunter Ch. 04byintropervert©
"Ah fuck, Brandi Lynn!"
She was still in the throes of her last orgasm when he said it. Meredith went limp against her restraints as tears welled up in her eyes and spilled down her cheeks. She felt overwhelmed by the incongruent emotions crashing around in her head: passion and attraction towards her captor, fear and disgust with being fucked by a man she just met while chained to a bed, and the lack of control she'd had.
The last straw was hearing him call her Brandi. She just had the most intense physical experience of her life, and this man wasn't even attracted to her; he was attracted to what he thought she was—a slutty criminal. It made the whole situation seem extra cheap and tawdry. It made her feel cheap and tawdry.
He had violated her against her will. No, she wasn't raped, was she? Rape victims don't beg their rapists to fuck them harder and faster. Still, he had forced her to want him. Her body felt exhausted, sore, and sated, even though she was emotionally tormented.
Will rolled to the edge of the bed and sat up, his head in his hands. She didn't want him to see her cry, so she tried quietly to stop the tears. Her shoulders and wrists were starting to ache, and she could feel his cum and her juices trickling out of her. She suddenly wanted very much to cover her naked body but couldn't. Her nose was getting runny and she sniffled just a little bit.
He turned to her when she made the noise. She squeezed her eyes closed, not wanting to look at him, but it was too late. She had seen the regretful look on his face. He looked as disgusted with himself as she was with herself.
He reached across her and unlocked her wrists from the handcuffs. Instinctively, she began curling into a fetal position, but he grabbed her forearms and pulled her up.
There were red marks and bruises blooming on her wrists where she had struggled against them. She cried out in pain.
"Shit...what did you do?"
Meredith snapped. "What did I do? You fucking asshole! I had no fucking choice about anything, did I? I didn't want to—not like that! You made me want it!"
"And don't call me that!" Enraged, she hit his arm with a closed fist. "Don't ever call me that again." The tears came back with a vengeance, and she wiped them away angrily.
He let her pummel him without reacting, then stood up and picked his wet towel up from the floor, toweling off the remains of their sex.
"Um...why don't you go uh, clean up?" He waived towards the bathroom. She grabbed his shorts off the bed and headed to the bathroom without looking at him.
In the shower, she tried scrubbing the whole event away with soap and hot water, as she broke down in tears again. She wasn't into casual hookups, and it had been over six months ago since she'd broken up with her last boyfriend. This was not how she imagined breaking her dry spell.
She tried not to think about the possible consequences of having unprotected sex. There was a morning-after pill you could get from a doctor, right? If she could get back home within two days, there might be a chance to use that.
She washed the sore and tender flesh between her legs gingerly, and tried unsuccessfully to block out the flood of passionate memories pictures from what had just happened.
Will pulled his clothes on while he tried to clear his head. What happened was an egregious loss of control on his part. In the moment, all he could take in was her extreme state of arousal and how much he wanted her, but now he remembered the multiple times she had said "no" and "please don't." And afterwards, chained to the headboard, she had looked broken. His mind balked at the memories because that was not who he was. He tried to tell himself she was probably just enraged he'd turned the tables on her plans to dupe him. Maybe. Shit.
When Dan had told him of his encounter with this woman, he had actually felt smug. Like Dan, Will wasn't one to fraternize with bail jumpers. Yet here he was. Granted, she'd not managed to handcuff him to the bed and escape, but he was inappropriately involved nonetheless.
She could get him in a lot of trouble if she wanted to. If both he and Dan had their licenses suspended, it would be the end of their business permanently, not to mention their reputations. At least he didn't have a wife or girlfriend to deal with if this blew up into a public scandal.
She had been in the bathroom a long time with the shower running. He knocked and then opened it to see what she was doing, motivated in part to make sure she was okay and in part to make sure she wasn't up to no good.
She had her back to him, standing under the stream of water. His eyes went immediately to her nicely curved backside flaring out from her slender waist. She gasped and turned around when he invaded her privacy, covering her breasts. She had obviously been crying, and the look of hurt and remorse on her face hit him like a punch in the stomach.
"What?" she demanded angrily.
"Uh...just, um...finish up soon, please," he mumbled, then withdrew from the bathroom.
He flopped down on the unused bed and rubbed his hands over his face. He heard the shower kick off, then a few minutes later she came out and curled on her bed with her back to him.
Will stared at the ceiling. It was going to be a long evening. A long, awkward evening.
Eventually he got up and switched the lamps on between the beds.
"Brandi, let me look at your wrists," he said, trying to temper the gruffness in his voice. She was still curled up in a fetal position facing the wall.
"Don't call me Brandi."
He sighed heavily. On top of everything else weighing on his mind, her game was wearing on him. "Okay, fine. Hey you, let me look at your wrists."
She hesitated as though weighing the option of refusal, then rolled over and sat up on the edge of the bed.
"Under the light, please."
She stuck them out. The angry bruising had darkened up even more, and they were puffy and swollen. Will swore silently. The injury itself wasn't serious—yet. The problem was now even the padded restraints would start to cause more inflammation, which would eventually cause nerve damage to the hands. He couldn't in good conscience keep her wrists cuffed all night and all of the next day, not without risking her permanent damage. He knew bounty hunters and wanna-be bondage enthusiasts often didn't give a shit about things like that, but he did.
He sighed again. "I can't just let you roam free in here, not after you tried escaping earlier."
"I didn't—" she started to protest, but he cut her off.
"I also can't let you ride in my truck unrestrained tomorrow. That's even more of a no-no."
She dropped her hands in her lap but didn't look at him. "They're really starting to hurt."
He cringed inwardly. "What I will do is cuff your ankle tonight, so long as you don't try anything. I also want you to take some Advil, maybe get some of that swelling down."
She shrugged indifferently. He dug in his duffle for the medication and brought her a glass of water to wash it down with.
"Are you hungry?"
He cuffed her ankle to the foot of the bed. There was no footboard, so he had to wrangle an attachment to the leg of the bedframe. It wasn't the most secure arrangement, but she wouldn't be able to get free without waking him up, and he would be between her and the door. He pushed the box of magazines so she could reach them.
Meredith had washed away the physical traces of their encounter, but her internal turmoil continued. She still felt attracted to him still...but she hated him for compelling her to respond as she just had...but she was genuinely starting to like his personality...but how could she like someone who treated her as he had?
She couldn't wrap her head around what happened between them, nor could she understand her own responses to him, so her mind mostly shut down thinking about it all together. Slowly, her initial despair and anger faded to a numb indifference.
She picked up the National Geographic again and tried reading an article on killer whales.
Eventually, Will got up from his bed, plopped down at the desk, and pulled the land line phone towards him. He took a card out of his wallet, then sat there for several minutes reading the dialing instructions on the phone. Meredith could see they were long and complicated, and suspected it was one of those scam systems that rely on hotel customers giving up trying to use their own calling plans and defaulting to the overpriced rates.
Finally, he picked up the phone and started punching in numbers, at least thirty—before listening for a pickup. Meredith could hear the phone at the other end ring and ring. He swore, then hung up and tried several more numbers before he finally got an answer. Meredith could barely make out the stilted "please leave a message" coming from the other end of the connection.
"Hey Debbie, Will here. I'm in uh...well crap, fifty or so miles south of Montrose, I guess. Got into some car trouble here but I should be on the road tomorrow morning, knock on wood. I'm bringing in Brandi Lynn, should be back in Tucson late tomorrow if everything goes well. No cell phone here; I'll call you on the road tomorrow as soon as I have reception. Take care now."
Meredith suddenly felt light-headed. It had never even occurred to her he might have a significant other of some kind. So on top of everything else, she might have slept with a married man. The thought made her feel sick to her stomach.
There was some idiotic part of her that actually had been feeling hopeful, as though this impossibly bizarre, fucked up situation could actually have a happy, romantic outcome. Realizing he had a life, and probably a partner, just represented an additional reason why that part of her was an idiot.
Will put the phone down and glanced at his prisoner. She was sitting up holding a magazine, and he caught her looking away from him.
"Who's Debbie?" she asked. She sounded like she was still in a funk.
"You're awfully nosey," he commented back. He didn't want her wheedling personal information about him or his employees.
"Not much else to do," she snapped back, and Will raised an eyebrow and shared a knowing look with her. They had found some things to do earlier, after all. And damn, it apparently hadn't satisfied him because he felt his cock stirring again.
She caught his silent insinuation, huffed indignantly, and went back to read National Geographic.
Will turned the TV on and spent about 10 minutes trying to find a station. The best he found was one ghosting in "Wheel of Fortune" with a large amount of static. He clicked it off, then rummaged through his duffle bag until he pulled out some books. He went back to the desk and opened one of them.
The books perked her attention. He hadn't looked directly at her, but he could sense her attention. It was apparent he would get no peace from her tonight. Part of him didn't mind. That part of him needed to be bitch-slapped, he decided.
"You have books."
"And you have a delightful grasp of the obvious," he retorted.
She ignored the barb. "Can I have one?"
"One what?" he asked, irritated.
"One of your books. You can only read one at a time."
"You don't even know what they are about," he accused.
"It could be technical specifications for a washing machine written in badly-translated English, and it would be better than these crappy magazines," she complained. "There's only one Nat Geo, the rest are all crap. She grabbed a handful of them and flipped through them one by one. "Bullshit homemaking crap full of fifty ways to make casseroles with cream of mushroom soup. Bullshit fashion magazine full of airbrushed ads designed to make women feel bad about themselves. Bullshit gossip magazine full of who-gives-a-shit trivia about celebrities..."
"Okay. I get it already. All the magazines are bullshit. Jesus." It was obvious his attempts to study were going to be about as productive as his attempts to complete his business calls.
He tossed her the second book he'd pulled out. "There you go; knock yourself out."
To his surprise, she snapped it up with a genuinely curious look on her face, like she really wanted to read it and not just annoy him out of boredom.
"It's a textbook," she said, sounding surprised.
Will let out an exasperated sigh. "That's twice for stating the obvious, and twice for assuming I'm an uneducated hick."
She looked at cover. "Are you going to law school?"
"You're reading a book on criminal law just for fun?"
"But you're working on some kind degree?"
He sighed and pushed the book in front of him away. "I'm working on a B.S. in criminal justice. Three years into it."
"Oh...U of A?"
"No, ASU." Damn. He answered her before he could stop himself.
"So you live in Phoenix?"
"Not answering that."
"How do you attend classes if you're driving all over the place picking up criminals?"
"It's mostly online. I'll have a few on-campus classes next year."
She shut up for a while and actually seemed to be reading one of the chapters. Will went back to reading his criminal investigation text for about half an hour. When he finished his reading assignment, he tossed it on the bed and gestured for her to give him the other.
"Interesting?" he asked.
"Yes. Well, part of it. These descriptions of laws are pretty interesting. But the theoretical analysis is uh...mind-numbing."
Will stared at her, an amused smile slowly stealing across his face. "I agree. Now trade me. I have to study those mind-numbing theories."
She started leafing through the book he'd traded to her. "And you're wrong," she commented.
"About what?" he asked. "Or should I say, about what else?"
"I never thought you were a hick. Or uneducated."
He went back to reading and in a little while noticed she had fallen asleep. She was on her side, laying diagonally across the bed, with her head resting on his open criminal investigation book.
Will stared at her for a long time, enjoying for the first time the opportunity to study her without inhibition or consequence. She looked angelic and peaceful, and he realized he still wanted her badly. But there was a dark cloud over his desire. As though the circumstances of their lives didn't make things impossible enough, he had wronged her in a way he suspected was unforgivable.
Meanwhile, back in Tucson...
Debbie listened to Will's message on her answering machine for the third time, trying to figure out if she heard him correctly or not. Worried, she called Dan Bell's cell phone, and was grateful to hear him pick up.
"Dan? It's Debbie."
"Evenin' Debs, what's up?"
"Have you heard from Will today?" she asked, concern in her voice.
"Uh no, why do you ask?"
"It's probably nothing, but I'm a little concerned. I missed a call from him, and he left me a message. He said he was still up by Montrose and was having some car problems."
"Sounds like a hassle, but I'm sure it is nothing to be concerned about. Will's a big boy."
"No, no, that wasn't what concerned me. It wasn't a very good connection, but I thought he said he was bringing in Brandi Lynn Fowler."
"Oh, you must have just misheard him, Debbie. He must have been telling you he wasn't bringing her in. She got picked up by the Gunnison County sheriff's office early this morning."
"I know; we received that message at the office," Debbie replied.
"And she won't be sent back here for a couple of weeks at least," Dan went on.
"I listened to the message three times, Dan. It sure sounded like he said he has her."
"Have you tried calling him back?" Dan asked.
"He said he didn't have any cell coverage. he didn't leave the number he was calling from."
"Oh. You know, I missed a call a little bit ago, but the number was a Verizon operator, so I couldn't return the call. That must have been Will."
"Dan, call it women's intuition, but I'm worried. Would you try calling him tomorrow and check to make sure everything is okay?"
"Sure thing, Debbie, no problem. I'll be up near Flagstaff, but I'll try calling him while I'm on the road."
"Thanks, Dan. Oh, and Dan? I hope things are going okay for you...and Marcie and the kids." Debbie was too polite to bring up details of Dan's indiscretion.
"Thank you Debs. Actually things are going pretty well. Better than I deserve, I'll tell you that."
"That's wonderful Dan. You have a nice evening."
"You too. Bye now."
Meredith awoke some time in the middle of the night to find Will had put a pillow under her head and covered her with a blanket. She could hear his breathing across the room on the other bed. He was asleep.
She had dreamed of him—dreamed he believed her about who she was and was taking her home. She dreamed they'd walked hand in hand through a park near her house, and had kissed—a romantic kiss that had left her breathless. Now that she was awake, the fantasy world of her dream had been replaced by her memories of that evening, and she was again tormented and conflicted.
She just couldn't let it go--she relived his mouth descending on hers, the way he tasted, his hands on her body, his cock thrusting into her. She remembered how she was helpless to stop him and stop herself from responding. It took only a minute of such fantasizing before she was literally trembling with need.
She refused to assuage her own agony this time though. She really needed to let go of whatever obsessive connection she was making with him, and masturbating while fantasizing about him was not going to take her in the right direction. She needed to forget about him, as he no doubt would forget about her very soon. Frustrated and depressed, she fell asleep.
The next morning they ate breakfast without talking much, then walked over and sat in the garage's waiting area until the truck was fixed. True to mechanics word, the parts had arrived bright and early, and the mechanic finished the work quickly.
Before they got on the road, Will checked her wrists. They were still bruised, of course, but the swelling was down some. He swore to himself and ran a hand through his hair, weighing the risks of injuring her permanently vs. risking his own safety or her escape. He'd had a jumper slip out of his restraints once and grab the steering wheel from him. It was an experience he was in no hurry to repeat.
But his captive looked passive and dejected this morning. He sublimated the various feelings welling up in his gut and decided on a compromise. He'd cuff one of her wrists at a time. There were several points in the cab of his truck he could attach her to. It wasn't the most secure option, but he could at least alternate wrists to keep the swelling down.
On the highway, he tried concentrating on traffic and the desolate landscape surround them. He occasionally glanced her way, always to find her head resting against the window and her eyes focused on the desert scrubland slipping by.
They were nearing Tuba City when his phone made a noise. He picked it up and looked at the screen. It said "message sent."
"Fuck," he muttered to himself. It must have been a message she typed yesterday. With everything that had transpired, he had forgotten to check his phone to see exactly what she had done. It must have been queued as outgoing, and he must have just now driving back into cell service.
He flipped the phone open and went to the list of sent messages. The top one had gone to an unfamiliar phone number. He read it:
"kyle i'm okay don't worry will call soo—"
The area code was 303; he was pretty sure that was the Denver area. And maybe Boulder? What kind of mind fuckery was she pulling on him?