Haven's Memory Loss?bySaSsiX©
"Just tell me what you remember."
"I told you that I don't remember anything."
"Take your time."
"NO!" Haven screamed, pushing away from the metal table in the interrogation room. She couldn't understand what these people wanted with her. She didn't remember anything about what he was talking about, and yet they continued to treat her as if she'd been complicit with that madman. The detective sighed as she moved to the window to glare at the rogue shackled to a chair. "You know what? I am sorry. Really, I am," she moaned, returning to her seat across from the detective questioning her. "I shouldn't have yelled at you. But I, I'm scared."
"Why? You obviously have friends in very high places to be running around with Mr. Johan out there."
"I. Do. Not. Know. Him." She looked up and saw him eyeing her contemptuously. Haven had been talking to him for an hour already. This was going nowhere, and a strong churning in her gut was telling her that if she didn't look out for herself, the cops sure wouldn't. Her eyes took on a steely glint. "Am I under arrest?"
"Not at the moment."
"Oh, so I'm being held for information, and as I can't give you any I want to be released or charged with something. If you can't manage either with that big chip on your shoulder, get me a lawyer." He scoffed and left the room. A minute later, he returned with the man he'd called Johan and moved to leave them alone together. "Doesn't look like a lawyer to me," she declared sardonically.
The door shut, leaving her alone with the very man she'd been fearing. Mr. Johan, though cuffed, looked more dangerous than all the police officers out there put together to her. He didn't look to have an ounce of fat on his body. He had the figure of an amateur bodybuilder. The toned muscles weren't nearly the most frightening thing about him. His dark brown eyes were a vast pool of emptiness. If he had a soul, it certainly didn't show.
Haven waved her hand, inviting him to sit in the detective's place. He kicked the chair back, sat and leaned across the table toward her. She silently rolled her eyes, shaking her head, a faint smile on her lips. She brought herself across the table until she was an inch from his face. Her eyebrow arched and fell in a goading manner.
"You've been getting me in trouble," Mr. Johan murmured in his quiet, deep voice.
"You're about to get me arrested," she responded in a light, airy tone. There was so little distance between them that she was sure he could feel her breath. She felt his hot and inviting on her lips. Her eyes fluttered; he was staring at her intently, the darkness in his eyes not any less.
The door banged open and drawing a steadying breath, Haven sunk back into her chair. It wasn't until she heard the keys clanking together in the investigator's hand that she focused on him and not the stinging of her rampant thoughts. She watched Mr. Johan's hands being freed, not daring to look at their owner. They were both walked to the front of the police station and let go on the steps. The rain splattered on her dry clothes, making her shiver. Haven refused to look at the man beside her and instead took off at a run for her car despite knowing it was several blocks away. Once inside her car, she drove home and didn't allow herself to give another thought to the entire situation.
She walked up the stairs of the house she occupied the spacious third floor of. Greeting her was Mr. Darcy curling around her legs purring. Though anatomically, Mr. Darcy ought to have been the Mrs., Haven had opted against changing her name when the adoption had been final. She picked Mr. Darcy up, coddled her and began to tell her all about her day. After ten minutes of lounging on the sofa, petting absentmindedly, Haven finally dozed off still in her wet clothes.
A hiss awoke her in the middle of the night. Mr. Darcy was up on her hind legs clawing at something in the shadows of the room. Haven frowned, getting up slowly. She tried to make out whatever it was but the room was far too dark. Turning on the light, she let out a cry of shock, bringing her hand up to her mouth. There, in the corner of her living room, was a man tied and unconscious. Gathering up her courage, Haven moved forward to see who it could be. She lifted up his head gently to make out his features.
It was the detective who had questioned her earlier that evening. She was sure by his ragged breathing that he was injured somewhere. How had he gotten into the house, she pondered. Who would have brought him here? She looked around wildly in fear of the perpetrator popping out at any moment.
"Okay, you just -- you just have to untie him is all," Haven assured herself, moving on shaky feet into the kitchen for a pair of scissors.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you." The throaty, rumbling made her jump. Her hand against her heart, she watched as the stranger in her home moved toward her. Except that he wasn't a stranger. It was the same, dangerous Mr. Johan who'd had knots in her stomach at the police station. This was turning into a bizarre night. Fist, she was almost arrested for something she couldn't remember, and now, now there was a police officer tied up in her home with a madman in control. This was all too crazy.
"What is all this?"
Ignoring her, Mr. Johan crouched down beside the captive. "Detective Hughes? Detective Hughes?" Unable to wake him, he sat down on the sofa, Mr. Darcy hissing all the while. Beginning to get angry at the absurdity of it all, Haven grabbed the telephone and began to dial 911. The last one had not been pressed before she found the phone being wrenched from her hands, an arm snaking around her middle and a hand covering her mouth. Protesting in indignation, Haven struggled fiercely to no avail. If anything, the arms that held her bore into her more painfully. She went still suddenly. After only a moment's pause, the hands slowly released her. She whirled around and slapped him with all of her might. She walked deliberately past him into her bathroom and locked the door.
Alone, Haven threatened to fall apart. She was alone with a madman more powerful than her with a cop who thought she had something going on with him tied up. If she didn't get murdered tonight, she was sure that at the end of it, she'd be going to a federal penitentiary. Tears shot down her cheeks as her knees gave out beneath her. She sank to the floor, leaving against the door and cried until she had run out of tears. Forcing herself up, she quickly turned on the faucet and splashed her face with water. Though she was sure she'd been crying for five minutes at the least, her eyes were not bloodshot. Making sure the tear tracks weren't visible, she looked into the mirror to study her appearance.
The gold fleck in her big brown eyes had dulled. Her usually vivid brown skin was ashen with fear. Her fluid, long curls were matted from when she'd dozed. She looked a wreck. Pulling the damp curls into a messy ponytail, she felt the blood rush into her face at the thought of looking such a mess in front of him. Pushing that ridiculous thought out of her head, she grabbed clothes and a towel from her bedroom dresser. Haven paid no attention to the eyes penetrating her as she again locked the bathroom door. Beginning a hot shower, she washed her hair and felt rejuvenated when she stepped out of it, her skin glistening with baby oil. The curls fell fully around her face and hit the middle of her back. She stepped her long legs into a pair of striped pull-on shorts and put on a white tank top. Applying a small amount of Vaseline on her lips with her finger, she strode past the hostage and sat beside Mr. Johan.
Mr. Darcy hopped onto her lap and she stroked her fur and waited for Mr. Johan to tell her what this was all about. Though his presence alone in her home was off-putting, it was her home after all and she'd be damned if she let someone else make her feel uncomfortable in it.
"Mr. Johan? Mr. Johan?" Assured that he was indeed asleep, Haven quickly dialed 911 and told the officer that answered the situation in her home. The dispatcher promised that the police would not be long. She asked Haven to barricade herself in a room if possible. Hanging up the phone and quickly locking herself in her bedroom, she waited with bated breath for the police to arrive and help her work herself out of this predicament. She had had nothing to do with it, but she knew that there were plenty of innocent people behind bars.
"The police are on their way," she yelled through the door. Cursing, he began kicking the door in. The lock wouldn't break, of course, but the frame would. She stood waiting for him to break his way in with the lamp from her bedpost clenched in her hands, aimed above her head so she could easily knock him out if he entered. However, when she swung, he ducked, no doubt having anticipated that move. He snatched her up swiftly and fled from her home with her firmly held in his arms. Again, his arm went around her middle with the other clamped over her mouth. Shaking her violently, he snapped, "I ought to kill you for that."
She was trembling in fear but didn't make a move to fight his grasp. Not wanting to wait around for the sirens, Mr. Johan took the route behind the house to his car. He threw her into the passenger's seat through the driver's seat and came in after her. A handful of her hair in one hand stopped her from trying to leave. He reached into the glove compartment and cuffed her left wrist to his right. He drove slowly and calmly away so as not to attract attention if they passed a cop headed toward the house.
They drove for what seemed like hours, stopped for gas and drove on. "Is it safe for you to drive?" He shot her a harsh look before returning to the road. Cautiously, she persisted, "I only mean that you fell asleep. I can drive if you want."
"Oh, if I want? What would have been helpful is if you had not repaid me so kindly by calling 5 O."
"Repaid you," she repeated amazed. Forcefully biting her lip, she shook her head and watched for road signs. It was too dark for her to see anything useful, especially with him twisting and turning constantly. At last, they stopped, and he hopped out of the car, wrenching her arm in the process. In the tiny cottage, Mr. Johan released his wrist and hers. "There isn't anyone for miles. If you do leave, you'll die of dehydration before you reach anywhere." With that, he walked off, leaving her in the empty room.
Haven surveyed the establishment around her. There was no furniture except for the two shabby kitchen stools by the kitchen island. The ground had been cemented, and the room held the smell of stale air. It didn't look as if it'd been inhabited for quiet a while. Finding a switch, she saw the spider webs formed on the ceiling and the dust that coated every surface. Walking steadily out the way Mr. Johan had, she prayed that a large spider would not fall on her. "Mr. Johan?"
"Cadoc," he corrected. "Yes?" He had left the bathroom in a towel and sandals. Shrugging, Haven sat on the musty comforter on the bed. Sitting beside her, he inhaled the aroma of lavender she exuded. Lifting her chin, he fingered her jaw gently. He had gotten so transfixed watching his honey fingers graze her tawny skin that he was slightly startled when she spoke.
"Do you have a plan?"
"Don't," she protested, moving a little away from him on the bed. He let his hand drop into his lap, his fingers still tingling from the touch.
"No. I don't have a plan." He rose and took clothes to the bathroom to dress. He came back donning black boxers and a black tee. "You really don't remember what happened then." Mentally cursing, he recalled the way her lips had felt upon his, how she had melted in his arms. His lips had stung with her electricity. She had rescued him with that kiss. And now she didn't remember. He had thought that she was lying to the cops when she'd leaned across the table toward him, when he could have sworn that she was going to kiss him again.
Exasperatedly, she replied, "I'd really like to be informed."
After a long pause, "The last thing time I talked to my brother, it was about a dream he'd had. In it, he was watching me. He couldn't tell where he was, but he was watching me as if I was on TV. And I was with you."
"And then, I moved to Boston. My brother disappeared for three years, five months and twelve days, and yesterday, he walked right up to me, said, 'Perry Hughes,' and was gone again. Today, I looked for Hughes, who seems to know a great deal about my criminal record, and while I was trailing him, out of the blue, you showed up." Haven searched Cadoc's face and saw a fire in his usually cold eyes.
"So - just to make sure I've got all of this straight - you beat a detective to a pulp in search of your vanished brother. For information." Continuing after his nod, she asked, "How do you know that it was me in his dream? I mean, it wasn't your dream. You couldn't have seen."
"He described you. In detail. Whatever's going on with Caden, you're a part of it."
"You can't know that," Haven snapped. Getting up, she searched the drawers for fresh blankets. Finding them, she moved to take the dirty ones of the mattress. Cadoc rose and helped her change the sheets and pillow coverings. Haven kicked off the sandals she wore and slipped under the comforter. She turned on her side, facing the wall away from Cadoc, she began combing every detail Cadoc had given her for a link between his story and her life. He lay beside her on the bed feigning sleep until they'd both fallen asleep.
Five days later, Haven woke to the smell of chamomile being held by her nose. She smiled and took the mug gratefully. "How did you sleep?"
"Fine, thanks." He smiled good-naturedly and left the room. Haven couldn't help thinking that he was nothing like the man she'd met at the police station. He was like a safe, old friend most of the time. But sometimes, she felt she couldn't find him anywhere. Besides, she didn't easily forget the bruise he had left on her wrist or that apart from what he'd told her the night they'd arrived at the cottage, he hadn't told her anything else concerning his past or his brother.
Walking into the now clean kitchen in her pajamas and settling on one of the tattered, old stools, Haven watched Cadoc put away the files he'd been perusing. Every day, he could be seen trying to find something he might have missed in the files his colleagues had put together detailing Perry Hughes' every known action before and after the disappearance of his brother. After they were all away in the locked drawer of the old writing desk, he sat on the seat beside her.
"How's Detective Hughes?"
"He's fine. I beat him pretty bad: a few broken bones, nothing serious. But he's guarded all the time now. I won't be able to get to him again anytime soon."
"Why don't you wait by where you saw your brother, search around there? He might turn up again."
"Already done. Whoever has Caden, they wouldn't let him go again after he nearly got away."
"You're assuming too much." He shot her a quizzical look, and she clarified with, "If your brother walked up to you in broad daylight, who's to say that anybody has him? Maybe he disappeared on his own and isn't in any danger at all."
"No, C wouldn't do that. He knows that I could protect him."
Scoffing, she continued, "You're a career criminal. When it comes down to it, you may be able to protect someone this time and next time, but somewhere down the line, you're going to fail. You're not going to be at the right place at the right time, and any one your close to will get hurt in the end. That's the kind of life you lead. You can't protect anyone." Haven could tell from his shattered eyes that she'd hurt him, but she maintained her stance. "I bet your brother's been having the time of his life off somewhere doing what he loves. The only reason he came out of that dream world is probably because he caught whiff of a guy who just might finally be able to put you behind bars. Worst part of it is," she disclosed in a furtive, low voice, "is that you know, deep down, I'm right."
"But if you're not?"
"There is no if, Cadoc. I mean, I don't see how you expect me to believe that cock-and-bull story. How daft do you think I am? Your brother dreamt of me, and I happen to walk up to you the day after your brother magically reappears? Really, if you're not going to tell me the truth, you shouldn't have told me anything at all." Haven put her mug in the sink and was prepared to head for the shower.
"You want the truth?" Suspiciously, she turned to face him. "The truth is that the story I told you is the one I was told to give you by my boss, Rebecca Lewis. Didn't make sense to me either but seeing as how she's the boss, and she didn't want the wits scared out of ya just yet... The truth is that YOU'RE ON KIDNAPPED & DRAGGED," Cameras burst through the doors and a grin spread widely across Cadoc's face. "THE NEW REALITY TV SHOW! CONGRATULATIONS, because you figured things out before your time was up, you win ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS!!