A Day of ThanksbyDarkDreamerwithHope©
The sound of glass shattering echoed throughout the house. Melodie paused just inside the front door and listened carefully. More glass shattered causing her to jump and flinch. She listened hard for his voice, any voice, but all she heard was the tinkle of glass hitting tile. Taking a deep breath, she cautiously walked across the living room to the archway opening into the kitchen-cum-dining room. A crystal goblet flew across the archway. Melodie ducked. When she realized she was trembling, she stopped and sternly told herself to be buck up. No one would dare hurt her, not when it meant facing the wrath of her Guardian.
Settling her nerves, Melodie peered around the archway just as a crystal plate sailed across the room and smashed against the far wall. Kit stood, legs braced, arm cocked, with another crystal goblet poised to throw. Tears streamed down her face. Gulping air as though she were drowning, she hurled the goblet through the air and grabbed the bar in front of her. Bending over, head resting on the edge of the bar, her whole body shook as silent sobs wracked her slender frame.
Melodie wanted to rush to her friend's side, but first she had to make sure he was gone and bolt the front door. She doubted he was around, but knowing how he liked his drink and drugs, she thought it best to make sure. He could be too drunk or doped up to hear the glass shattering, but with him, one never knew. That was only one of the many reasons why she hated him and had been trying to get Kit away from here. No one deserved to live with a man like that, not even the queen of evil herself – well maybe her, but definitely no one else! Slipping quickly, quietly through the house, Melodie checked each room carefully, then returned to the front door, locking the knob and the deadbolt then sliding the heavy-duty chains through their slots. No one would make it past the front door without practically tearing it down first; and, with that much warning, she could get Kit away first.
Walking back to the archway, she paused just in time to avoid being hit by a flying plate that smashed against the wall just the other side of the archway. Eyes wide, she looked toward the bar. Kit was still sobbing silently. Melodie walked over to her and gently touched her on the arm.
"Sweetie," her voice soft with concern, "it will be okay."
"No!" Kit screamed, jerking away from Melodie. "It will never be okay again!" Snatching a cup, she hurled it past Melodie sending it crashing into the refrigerator. "That s.o.b..." sobbing uncontrollably now, her body curled in on itself until she lay on her side, knees drawn up to her chest, arms crushing them against her breasts.
Before she crumpled, Melodie caught a quick glance at Kit's face and gasped. Kneeling hastily, she drew Kit's head into her lap and brushed the hair from Kit's face. Crooning softly, she rocked back and forth, softly, gently, stroking Kit's long red tresses. It was as if a damn had burst. Kit's tears were no longer silent. She mewled and whimpered with every breath, gulping air, holding it – only to have it expelled forcibly with the next sob. Her entire body shook with the force of her weeping. Melodie just held her, crooned, rocked, and stroked her hair. She had no idea what had happened to cause her friend to break like this, but she did know that she needed help getting her out of the house and to safety. Without stopping her ministrations, she used her free hand to reach into her purse and found her phone. Glancing at the phone, she pushed a series of buttons, then slipped the phone back into her purse. It beeped once as she released it, telling her that her message had been delivered and acknowledged. Sighing softly, she placed her hand on Kit's shoulder and waited.
Kit's cries had died down to mostly hiccupping sobs, although her body was still tightly curled, when Melodie heard her phone beep once, and immediately after, the front door crashing against the chains.
"You fucking bitch! You better open this door now. You hear me!" His voice pierced her like hot skewers and she felt Kit draw up even tighter. "No one locks me out of my own house. You hear me slut! Open ... this ... damn ... door ... NOW!" She almost missed the soft knock on the back door; his screaming and cursing were so loud. Sighing with relief, she gently laid Kit's head on the tile and stood. Shaking the kinks from her legs, she walked to the back door, peeked though the tiny window and seeing Matt unlocked and opened the door.
"We better move fast. Joel said it looks like he's grabbing tools from his van, and I don't want to be in here when he finally gets that door open." Matt spoke softly but his tone was urgent.
Nodding, Melodie quickly grabbed her purse. Matt hurried over to Kit and bending, gathered her into his arms and carefully stood. Looking at Melodie, one eyebrow raised, he waited. Melodie glanced around and saw a suitcase by the laundry room door. Grabbing it, she nodded and followed Matt out the back door. Joel waited at the bottom of the steps as poised and steady as a panther on a hunt. With a soft cry, Melodie rushed down the steps and into his arms. Only then did she release the tears she had been holding back.
Joel stroked her back and whispered softly into her ear. Nodding, she stepped back and wiped the tears from her face. Joel gave her a quick, encouraging smile, then turned and led the way to the back gate. Melodie slipped her hand into his and walked quickly to keep up with his long strides. Matt followed with Kit held safely in his arms. At the back gate, Joel stooped and swept up a pair of bolt cutters from the ground just outside the opening. Hooking a finger into the gate handle, he waited until Matt and Kit were through before closing the gate and replacing the lock. It wouldn't ever lock again, but it did hold the gate closed and no one looking out the back windows would know it had been cut. Hopefully it would buy them some time.
While Joel latched the gate, Melodie opened the back door of the jeep and tossed the suitcase over the backseat into the cargo area. Then she slid in and moved over, motioning Matt to put Kit in the back with her. Matt laid Kit on the back seat and as soon as he released her, she curled up tightly again. Melodie lifted Kit's head, settled it into her lap and resumed her crooning and stroking. Matt locked the door and swung it shut, taking his seat up front just as Joel slipped in behind the wheel.
"Everyone set?" he asked. Glancing into the rearview mirror, he caught Melodie's eye and smiled softly when she nodded.
"All set," Matt replied. "Let's get the hell out of here before he decides to try the back way."
Shifting into first, Joel nodded and pulled out into the alley. Matt glanced back once when they reached the main road, then leaned over and clicked the radio on. Scanning the stations, he found one, playing classical music, and turned the volume up just enough to send the music streaming softly throughout the jeep. No one spoke as Joel drove through the congested rush hour traffic. Melodie, knowing it would take a couple of hours to reach the cottage, shifted until she was comfortable enough for the long ride.
Night had fallen, filling the sky with twinkling lights and a bright full moon, but, even though she stared out the window, she saw none of the night's beauty. Her gaze unfocused, she remembered a day similar to this one – was it almost a year already – it seemed like ages ago...
Gritting her teeth, she walked through the room toward the door.
"And where do you think you're going bitch?" he asked her his tone calm and even.
"I'm going home," she told him firmly. "If you want to stop me – fine, but sooner or later I will go out that door. Either dead or alive. It doesn't matter to me." She stopped and locked eyes with him. "You don't own me. And... I will never submit to you." That said, she continued toward the front door.
"Oh, but I do... and you will -" His voice cut off sharply as the front door opened. A man and a woman walked in, the man stopped a few feet from the door, but the woman continued into the living room, where she stopped and shook her head.
"Someone's been a very bad girl," she said, eyes raking over the woman walking toward the door. She reached out to the woman.
"Pearl..." The man leaning casually against the wall, her Master, shook his head and she stepped back and began to disrobe.
"The slut should know better than to disobey," Pearl muttered under her breath as she slipped her dress off.
Master watched the woman, waiting until she was almost to the door, the in a few rapid strides, reached her side and grabbed her arm. She wrenched her arm free, leaving him holding nothing but the silk robe she had wrapped around her body when he had finally untied her. Stumbling to her left was all that kept him from grabbing her again, but it placed her in reach of the other man just to the side of her; she stumbled again, and Joel reached out and steadied her. Holding her arm gently he saw her back and was shocked to see the condition she was in. 'It's a wonder she can even move,' he thought to himself. Master nodded his thanks to Joel and reached for his new slave, but Joel shook his head and stopped him.
"What's going on here?" Joel asked.
"I'm leaving here. I'm going home," she told Joel, cutting Master off as he began to speak. "He does not own me. I have not submitted to him – and – I never will. I am going home."
Joel could feel her trembling and knew something was seriously wrong. Releasing her arm, he told her, "Go wait by my car outside. I'll take you home. It's the red mustang." As he spoke, he could see Adam's face turning red and he stepped between him and the woman. "Go on. I will be there shortly," he told her firmly.
Once he heard the door open then close, he locked eyes with Adam and told him, "I don't know what happened here this weekend, but you know that forcing women is not consensual. Hell, if word gets out..." Joel's voice was shaking, he was so angry. "This is not(!) right and I will(!) report it. Trust me!"
"Go ahead. You think I care what a bunch of pussies like you think? You think anyone will take the word of a slut over mine?"
The disgust and arrogance in Adam's voice as he spoke made it clear to Joel there was nothing left to be said. Without another word, he turned on his heel and left. Striding down the steps, he saw the woman waiting by his car. Muttering, growling beneath his breath he went to the trunk, unlocked it and removed a soft fluffy blanket. Slamming the trunk closed he walked around the car and gently draped the blanket over the woman's shoulders, turning her as he did to wrap her completely. When she turned, he saw her face clearly for the first time, then he saw the front of her body. Shocked, he stood for a moment, knuckles turning white where he gripped the blanket, and just stared. 'Oh my god,' he thought, 'this is worse than I thought.'
Briskly, yet gently, he wrapped her in the blanket; then helped her into the front seat of his car. He watched as she sighed and gingerly sat back in the seat. Joel tucked the blanket in around her, then glanced at her face again. She had closed her eyes and rested her head on the headrest. Her face was a mass of welts, some with open cuts; and bruises, a few yellow and brown others blue-black and purple; and her left eye was swollen almost shut and already turning black. Shaking his head, he locked the door and gently closed it. Going around the car, he opened his door and glanced once at the house they had just left. Growling softly, he slid in behind the wheel and started the car.
Pulling into the street, he reached into the console and took out a cell phone. "Is there anyone you need to call?" he asked her.
"Yes please," she replied softly. Taking the phone he held out to her, she dialed a number and spoke, "Hi... Mark? Yes... it's me... yes... I'm all right. I'm on my way home now." When she paused, Joel glanced at her and saw tears sliding down her cheeks. "Yes... you can reach me at this number until I get home." She looked at Joel and he nodded. "No... just tell her I'll be there soon. Yes... I know, but I would rather not... not right now." Sighing she listened for a moment longer, "Yes, I understand. Okay." Snapping the phone closed, she let it and her hand rest in her lap as she leaned back again and closed her eyes. "Thank you." Her voice was so soft and full of tears that Joel almost pulled over to hold her.
"You're welcome," he told her gently. "Do you want to talk about it?" He glanced at her and saw the tears now streaming down her cheeks. "We have a ways to go before we get back to town, and it might help to talk it out." He saw her nod slightly just before he focused on the road again. After a long couple of minutes, she began her story.
"We met online a few months ago and began talking. He never told me he was in the lifestyle, and I never told him I was. We were just two people getting to know one another. Last week he suggested we meet somewhere and have dinner. So, we worked out the details and met at Ruby Tuesdays for drinks and dinner. He was pleasant, friendly and funny. It seemed like we had been meeting for weeks, not for the first time.
"When we were finally ready to leave, it was after closing time. He suggested an evening drive so we could continue talking. I told him that was fine with me and made my safe call to let them know what was going on. We took his car, since he would be doing the driving. I had no idea he wanted to take me to his place. We drove around town for a bit, then parked on the beach and just sat and talked for a while longer.
"It must have been about two or three in the morning before I realized how late it had gotten. We really seemed to hit it off. He seemed like such a nice guy..." sighing she paused and wiped the tears from her face. "It had been a while since I was with anyone and I guess I let my hormones take over. When he suggested we go back to his house and have another drink, I agreed." She stopped again and wiped her face. Seeing her looking around, he opened the console and handed her a few of the napkins he kept there. "Thank you," she told him softly, and blew her nose. Leaning her head back, she cried quietly for several minutes.
Before she could continue, the phone in her lap rang. Picking it up she looked at the caller id, then flipped it open and answered it. "Yes... yes... I have the phone in my hand. I'm not letting go of it until I'm home again. Okay... I guess.... Okay, I will." She closed the phone and set it back in her lap. "My son-in-law... checking the number. He's furious, but I can't tell him what happened." Crying harder, she covered her face with both hands, muffling her voice. "They don't know that I'm in the life. They won't understand. Oh god, what am I going to tell them." The agony and shame in her voice pierced Joel like a sword.
"Tell them the truth. You were tricked, kidnapped, beaten and raped."
"I was tricked!" She shuddered, wiped her face again, and blew her nose. "When we got to his house, he walked in before me and held the door. As I walked into the living room, he closed and locked the door, then told me to take my clothes off. His tone was so different; at first, all I could do was stare at him. Then I told him I needed to use the phone. He wanted to know why, so I told him I had to make a safe call or they would call the police. He just laughed.
"Once I realized he was not going to give me a phone, I started walking for the door. He wanted to know where I thought I was going. I told him – I was going home – even if I had to walk the whole way. He snapped at me and told me to wait, he would get the phone, but by now, I was scared and kept walking. Before I reached the door, he jerked me back and thrust a phone and an envelope at me. Thank you – I told him – but I'm still going home.
"No you're not – he told me – I'm sorry I was so gruff; I didn't mean to scare you. Please, call and tell them where you are and that you'll be home in the morning. I promise I will take you home as soon as you wake up. And he held out the phone and envelope again.
"Realizing he meant what he said about not letting me go, I figured I better call so at least someone would know where to come and look for me. I took the phone and envelope and saw it was an electric bill. So, I called Mark and asked if the number was on the caller id. When he said yes, I opened the bill and read the address and name off to him. Told him I would be spending the night and would call him in the morning when I got up to let him know I was heading home. He wrote it all down and read it back to me.
"When I hung up, that man, Robert, grabbed the phone and tossed it on a table. Then he told me to undress and stepped back to watch me. I knew I wasn't going anywhere and figured if I cooperated, he would relax and I could sneak out later." She laughed sourly through her tears. "Boy was I wrong. Had I any idea what he had planned I would have fought him tooth and nail. But I didn't and now I'm paying for it. As soon as I was naked, he grabbed me and dragged me upstairs. When I saw the room, his dungeon, I was terrified, but I was also so pissed off I jerked away from him and tried to run out. He grabbed me by the hair and pulled me off my feet. I tried to get free, but he was stronger and ready for it.
"Before I could do much of anything, he had me cuffed to a chain in the ceiling. I had just managed to get back to my feet when he hit a button and the chain moved up and yanked me off my feet." She stopped and wiped away the tears. Staring out the side window, she continued. "From that moment until right before you walked in, he kept me tied and chained. This afternoon he released me, gave me that robe, and told me I was going to fix his lunch. As soon as I got down stairs, I headed for the door. I had made up my mind, either I was walking out that door, or he was going to kill me. He'd have to kill me to stop me from leaving." Her voice was hard and cold. "I was ready to die."
"Well I'm glad I came in when I did then," Joel told her. "I'd hate to see a pretty woman like you die."
"Pretty?" she shot back. "I don't need a mirror to tell me what I look like. I can feel the bruises and ... everything." Shaking her head violently, "I'm as far from pretty as anyone can get and still be alive. No! Don't lie to me. I'm not pretty! I never will be!" As she finished speaking, her voice broke and she curled up sobbing uncontrollably.
As Joel pulled over to the side of the road, the phone rang. She grabbed it and answered. "Yes... No, I'm just upset. Yes, I'm still on my way home. ...I'll be okay; I just need to get home... I'll be here. Okay..."
Joel waited until she put the phone down, then pulled her into his arms and held her. He sat there holding her and watching the traffic, waiting for her to calm down. 'He's going to pay for this,' he thought. 'If it's the last thing I do, I will make sure he pays.' When her sobbing died down some, he set her back in the seat and, reaching across her, pulled a lever tilting the seat back so she could lie down. He watched as she curled up on her side, still crying softly. After tucking the blanket in around her, he gently caressed her face, brushing her hair off her face and tucking it behind her ear.
"Get some rest. I'll wake you when we get back into town," he told her gently. "Just rest. You're safe now." Caressing her face tenderly with the back of his fingers, he waited until she relaxed and sighed, settling deeper into the blanket and seat. After a few more minutes, he turned back to the steering wheel and put the car into gear. Slowly he pulled back onto the road when it was clear and continued back to town.