Stolen Slave Ch. 02bytights_andlace©
Olivia cowered away from the scene, pushing herself against Cole, grabbed at his shirt, but kept her eyes on the horrors below. Cole wrapped his arms around her, taking a moment to enjoy the feel of her, before she realized what she was doing and would surely pull away from him. He pressed his face against the side of her head, smelling the scent of her. "I need you to understand," he whispered into her ear, "the only difference between you and her is me."
He spun her around, forcing her to face him. "Do you understand?" He demanded. She quacked in his grasp, her eyes were glassy with unshed tears, her long brown hair fell in her face. God she's beautiful, he thought, taking a moment to appreciate the sight of her.
"How can you people do this," she whispered. Cole narrowed his eyes. "Just as easily as your people can cause civil unrest and the deaths of innocent soldiers all in the name of their unrealizable plight." She had a far off look on her face and he shook her just slightly, snapping her attention back to him. "Now you will obey me and pay the penance for your people's naiveté or you can join your friend down there."
"But it's not my war" she mumbled, but he was already pulling her away and didn't hear her. She risked a glance back out the window, a new man was having his way with Trebble, but she had passed out. Thank god for small miracles, she thought.
She didn't dare ask any questions on their way back to his room, but she did move closer to him again as they entered the common room. It felt like every eye was on her, whether it was true or not. Humiliated and scared out of her mind, she wanted to break down and cry, but just made herself keep on moving instead. Finally, they reached his room, she didn't realize before that it was at the end of a long hallway. He hustled her into his room and she felt like she could breathe a little easier. Cole unbound her wrists and pushed her away from him. She took an extra step back and whipped her head around not sure what she was frantically looking for, but looking none the less. She was standing in the middle of a living room, lined with bookcases and comfy leather furniture sat in front of a stone fireplace. A large, sturdy desk sat in the back of the room in front of double doors that led to a bedroom and bathroom. There was no escape, nowhere to hide. She turned back to Cole, he was smiling at her.
"Strip." He said. Her eyes grew wide, he could see her fingers starting to tremble, and she slowly shook her head. "No," he chuckled, "I suppose I didn't expect it to be that easy."
He took her by the upper arm and pulled her into the bedroom, a pair of silk pajamas were on the bed. She suddenly realized she was still in her running clothes, they were dirty and torn. She itched to change out of her clothes, but she'd be damned if she'd get naked in front of Cole. He just smiled, "Get changed, I'll be right back."
He waked into the bathroom and closed the door. Olivia stood there a second, staring at the pajamas, then the door. On instinct she ran to the main door, but it was locked. "I said get changed, I won't tell you again," he hollered from the bathroom.
Defeated, Olivia walked back to the bedroom and changed into the pajamas, thankful for the privacy he gave her. Cole opened the door to the bathroom and stood there, marveling at how adorable she looked in the simple silk pants and camisole. "You should rest, get in the bed."
She froze, the king sized bed was so inviting and she was exhausted both emotionally and physically, but the idea of getting into his bed made her dizzy with fear. "I'm not going to touch you. Tonight. And you can either sleep there or on the floor. Naked." He emphasized the last word.
She gulped, and hesitated, but eventually took a step toward the bed. "Good girl, now get in," he said softly, but forcefully.
The bed was soft and warm; she quickly pulled back the down comforter, covering herself. Cole sat down on the edge of the bed, she scooted away from him a little, but he pretended not to notice. He handed her a glass of water and two pills. "Take these." She shook her head. "You can take them or I can shove them down your throat," he growled.
The tone of his voice caused her to jump. She took the pills, but stared at him. For the first time she realized how handsome he was, his eyes were a startling blue, his hair was dark and fell in his eyes. "They'll help you sleep, that's all. I promise."
Olivia sighed and swallowed them, taking the water from him and emptied the glass. She laid back and watched him set the glass on the nightstand and tuck the comforter under her chin. Yes he was handsome and that scared her almost as much as the ordeal she'd just been through. Her eyelids drooped and she felt the world go fuzzy.
"Sleep well, Livie," Her eyes shot open at the nickname, but closed again and didn't open.
. . .
Olivia didn't open her eyes again until the next morning she woke gradually, slowly swimming to the surface in a sea of cozy bedding and comforting dreams. When her mind finally came into focus she looked around the unfamiliar room and startled. The events of the day before came rushing back to her, especially Trebble's beating and subsequent gang rape. The man that had taken her was seated with his back to her at the desk just outside the bedroom. She sunk down in the bed, pretending to be still asleep, hoping for just a few more minutes to contemplate her situation. She wondered if he'd slept in the bed with her, the idea made her shiver.
"Good you're up, I'll go get us some breakfast," he got up and headed for the door without even looking at her. "There are some clothes for you in the bathroom, I expect you changed and washed up before I get back."
She sat up in the bed a moment, not sure what to do. Should she make a protest of the situation and refuse to leave the bed or should she avoid his anger and a possible beating by doing as he asked. The thought of getting beaten made her stomach turn and ultimately her bladder settled the debate for her. A pair of jeans, a tee shirt, and sneakers were among the clothes waiting for her, she raised an eyebrow. This was definitely not the slave attire she'd been expecting. She quickly changed and angrily thought of her father and brother. She pictured them standing in the main tent of a rebel unit, pouring over maps and discussing strategies. She wondered if they even knew she'd gone missing. She stood in front of the mirror, looking at herself, feeling utterly alone.
Her hair was a tangled mess, but otherwise she wasn't in too bad of shape. The bathroom had obviously been prepared for a woman's use, complete with hair brush, face wash, and a pink toothbrush sitting next to a blue one. She paused, tempted to dunk the blue toothbrush in the toilet, but heard the main door open and got to work brushing her hair instead.
Olivia stayed standing in the bathroom well after she was done washing up, unsure of what to do, but certain she didn't want to go out there and face him. "You can come out of there right now or I can go in there and drag you out," he called to her "Besides, I'm sure you must be starving."
It was true, she hadn't eaten since the prior morning and the idea of breakfast made her stomach growl. She slowly opened the door and stepped into the bedroom. He was finishing setting up breakfast on a small dining table in the living room. She could smell the eggs, bacon, and freshly brewed coffee. "Come, sit," he gestured to one of the chairs.
She did as he said, but kept a wide distance between the two of them as she went to the chair. He poured her a cup of coffee and as she went to reach for it he grabbed her wrist. "Do not fear me, Olivia. I'm not going to harm you. Not unless you disobey me and then it will be to teach you a lesson and it'll have been you're fault. Okay?"
She didn't like hearing him say her name, something about the way he said it unnerved her even more, but she managed to nod that she understood him. He held her a moment longer before releasing her. Picking up her coffee she breathed in the flagrant steam before taking a sip, it was so rich and delicious; she couldn't help, but smile.
"I almost forgot, you take great pleasure in food, don't you?" She didn't like his choice of words, but slowly nodded, feeling herself blush. "I want you to answer me, otherwise I feel like I'm having a conversation with myself." He stared at her, waiting for her to respond.
"Yes, I do," she said softly, looking away from his burning eyes.
"And you enjoy sharing it don't you? I watched you, floating around your restaurant in that cute blue sundress, happy and engaging. It grew dark and you switched on the string of lights outside, you're skin looked so warm under the glow. You flittered back and forth from the dining room to the porch. The customers loved you, they kept pulling you away from your work to talk," He smiled. "One old man took your hand and started dancing with you, twirling you around the porch, your skit swirling around your knees and you were laughing." Her eyes grew large like saucers and she dropped her fork.
"You were watching me," she was horrified at the thought.
"Of course, we checked out all the women before we took them, but there was something about you. So I went back to observe you some more, I sat at the corner table outside; I had the chicken and roast vegetables, very good. You grow the vegetables yourself?" he of course knew the answer, but wanted to get her talking.
"Yes," her voice was barely above a whisper. "All of them, all the time?" he asked. She nodded.
"Yes... I built a few hot boxes last fall... so we could grow..." she paused, startled he'd got her talking and embarrassed, he probably didn't want to hear about hot boxes.
"How long have you had your restaurant?" He asked between forkfuls of scrambled eggs.
"And the chickens? Did I eat one for my dinner?" he suddenly looked concerned.
"No," she smiled; unaware that she'd done so. "We only use their eggs; they're great help keeping the garden organic. With compost, eating the bad insects, and turning..." she stopped, why she was talking to him... especially about chickens.
They sat in silence for a few minutes; she gnawed on a piece of bacon, consumed by confusion and unease. He let her mull over her thoughts for a few minutes and in the meantime enjoyed the look of her, her brow crinkled, her lips slightly pursed. He wondered what her lips would feel like.
"What's your name?" The question surprised him, he smiled, amused by her bold inquiry.
"Cole Landon, Lord of the Fourth District, but you are to refer to me as Lord or Lord Landon and nothing else."
She dropped her eyes to her lap, chewed on her lower lip; she felt tears starting to well up.
"Well, I think that's all we'll get from this conversation," he threw down his napkin and looked at his watch, "Besides, we'd better get going." He said standing, she jerked her head up, she didn't want to leave the room.
"Keep your head down and stay silent," he warned, grabbing her by the upper arm and pulling her out of the chair. She yelped, tearing herself away from him, more a reaction than rebellion.
"Hey!" he snapped grabbing her arm again; she flinched, but didn't try to pull away. "Don't make me regret not cuffing you." He growled, but released her arm and took her by the hand instead.
They left the room, walked down the hallway, and turned the opposite way they went last time. She was relieved they were headed away from the great hall and all the soldiers. There was still an occasional passing soldier, but nothing compared to the swarm in the hall. She walked with her head down, watching her feet shuffle along the carpet. Before long they were stepping outside. It was a beautiful, day. The sun warmed her skin; she raised her face to welcome it. It was a different courtyard, smaller than the one she was in with the other women yesterday. There was an outdoor kitchen where some soldiers were busy prepping for lunch. There was a door leading the main kitchen not far from it. The courtyard was surrounded by high walls and while there were exits in various places around the courtyard, they were all guarded. In the far corner was a neatly fenced in garden. She looked up at Cole.
"I have things to do today and I thought you could be of use to Mrs. Wellings, fixing up this miserable garden." Just then a stout older woman came out of the kitchen. "Good morning. Olivia is it?" she asked wiping her hands on her apron. Olivia just stood there until Cole nudged her. "Yes," she blurted out.
"Good, well let me tend to these men and I'll be right back to show you around." She walked off to the group of soldiers peeling potatoes. Cole stepped closer to her, trapping her against his body, she let out a soft whimper, but didn't struggle to get away. He put his hand on her stomach and gently turned her while pointing to the men standing guard on the top of the fort wall and at each entrance on the grounds below. "There will always be men on duty at these points so don't try anything foolish, Olivia. They'll catch you before you can get 10 ft. and you wouldn't like that. Trust me." She focused on one guard's rifle and started to tremble. He held her closer to him, growing hard at the feel of her quake in his arms. Mrs. Wellings came back, "Don't worry, my Lord, she's in good hands." The older woman winked at Olivia and she felt the urge to spit on the woman, but refrained.
Cole released her, "I expect a full report when I get back and I expect it to be a good one." He looked at Olivia sternly before leaning down and kissing her on the cheek.
He left her standing there. The unexpectedness and the intimacy of his kiss momentarily stunned her, she didn't notice that Mrs. Wellings was pulling her towards the garden and talking. After a moment Olivia looked around the garden, it really was a mess. It snapped her back to attention. "...by myself afraid. I've not been able to keep up." Olivia burst into tears. "Oh, Honey," Mrs. Wellings cooed and went to rub her shoulder, but Olivia ripped out of the woman's grasp.
"How can you be a part of this? Do you have any idea what they're doing to innocent women? You disgust me." Olivia spat at the woman.
Mrs. Wellings sighed. "Oh Dear, yes I know what they're doing and I don't agree with one bit, but it's a tradition of war. There're many aspects of war that I don't agree with, but I have no control over the actions of the Republic. They've been good to me, given me a good place. So I go about my business, try to keep my job, and feed my family as best I can." Olivia tried to get a handle on her tears, but couldn't, "And I know it doesn't seem like it right now, but you're luckier than the rest. Lord Landon is a decent, kind, man."
Fresh tears poured down Olivia's cheeks. Mrs. Wellings patted her on the head and left her alone to cry in the middle of the garden. She wasn't sure how long she sat there, maybe minutes, maybe hours. After a while she managed to control the tears, she wiped her face and looked around the garden again. It really was in a sorry state, so over grown, in major need of weeding. She got up, walked to the nearest row of plants, and started pulling up weeds. It felt good to rip the weeds out, to have control and power. She worked fiercely and without stop. In little time she had a respectable pile of debris piled up behind her. Mrs. Wellings came back with buckets. "Let me show you where the compost bins are."
Olivia followed the woman past the soldier standing at attention at the nearest door way. He followed them through to the small space on the other side. The area was obviously built as an afterthought; the outer wall was much shorter than the main fort walls, maybe ten feet. There was another door that looked firmly bolted shut and a large wooden cabinet like containment system for compost sat against the wall. The guard helped her lift the lid; the cabinet was nearly as tall as she was. She dumped her buckets. "Thank you," she said. "No problem, let's get you back to the garden." The soldier said leading her away. She glanced back wondering what was on the other side of the wall; she bet she could see over it if she was on top of the cabinet.
She worked tirelessly for the rest of her time there, only taking a break when Mrs. Wellings brought her a glass of water. The woman also brought a tray of food, but Olivia left it untouched. She made a few more trips to the compost bins, always accompanied by the guard and always wondering what was on the other side of the wall. At some point she looked up and saw Cole enter the courtyard and smile at her. Mrs. Wellings saw him too and abandoned her station in the outdoor kitchen to go to him. They talked briefly; his eyes were always on Olivia. She swallowed hard, worried Mrs. Wellings was telling him about her outburst and tears, but his face gave away no emotion. He gave Mrs. Wellings a final nod and thank you before walking over to Olivia. Mrs. Wellings turned and winked at Olivia, this time she didn't want to spit on the old woman.
"Did you enjoy your day in the garden?" He smiled at the smear of dirt on her cheek. "Yes." She nodded. "Yes what?" he demanded. She stared at him a minute, puzzled, but then responded "Yes...my lord." He smiled again, extending his hand to her. "Good girl, let's go. Thank you, Mrs. Wellings." He waved to the woman.
They walked in silence before stopping in front of a door that was definitely not his bedroom. "We have to make a quick stop. You will to everything I say or there will be very painful consequences. "
He knocked on the door and a guard opened it ushering them inside. The General was seated at a large desk, reviewing some paperwork. The girl he'd picked from the line up yesterday was kneeling naked at his feet, her lip was split, her right cheek had a nasty bruise, she was bound, gagged, and crying softly. Olivia stopped dead in her tracks, she wanted to run out of the room, but Cole's hand was at her back, pushing her along. The General gestured for Cole to sit in the chair in front of the desk; he did and pulled Olivia down to a seated position on the floor next to him. He placed his hand on her shoulder and squeezed softly. She wondered if he meant it to be comforting or a warning.
The General leafed through some papers for a moment before stuffing them in a folder "Here's the paperwork I need you to review, I expect your opinion on them tomorrow," he handed Cole the folder and turned to look over Olivia. "Not the slightest bit broken in yet is she? You're soft on your slave, Cole. Wouldn't want the men to think you're weak." She stiffened at his words, looking at the poor girl, shivering on the floor. Suddenly she thought she was going to be sick.
His grip tightened unconsciously on her shoulder. "I'm taking my time with her; I'm not a fan of weeping, broken, messes. And if the men have a problem with it they can talk to me about it and I'll show them just how weak I am." He stood up stiffly. "Up." He barked at her and stormed out of the room, dragging her out by the arm. He was hurting her and walking too quickly, she tripped, almost falling over, and yanked out of his grip. "You're hurting me," she yelled at him. Her outburst caught both of them off guard.
His eyes narrowed and he shoved her against the wall. She yelped and tried to get away from him, but he grabbed her by the throat and threw her back against the wall. Cole pressed his body against hers and leaned his face in so close she could feel his breath against her lips. "Don't think that just because I haven't beaten you into a sniveling pulp doesn't mean I won't." He stood there, crowding her; she squirmed against him, incredibly unnerved by his closeness. Her struggling caused him to harden and he squeezed her throat just a little more. Her eyes widened and she tried to claw at his hand.