tagBDSMCaged Bird Sings Ch. 02

Caged Bird Sings Ch. 02


To those who expressed concern-and reading back, rightfully so-about the non-consent aspects of the last chapter: I hope this one alleviates your minds. As someone who perpetually advocates against BSDM being portrayed as abusive, I hope you will see that this is actually a far far cry from that. And as this story progresses, I hope you absolutely fall in love with it.




Time slowed down. Or did it speed up? It was a strange blend of cinematic level slow motion and blurring rush that left her no time to think or comprehend the situation.

The first blow left her senseless. The follow-up blows left her reeling. Something inside her clicked off. She could feel wetness on her back and down her legs, taste the blood in her mouth. The sound of her bones breaking were clear, but the individual pains had all swirled together into one rainbow haze of agony.

Her face was shoved into the ground. Was she screaming? She was certainly trying, but she wasn't sure if any noise was even escaping.

The rainbow was fading into black. This is how I die, she realized. He's going to get his wish and kill me after all.

There was shouting then. Not Ryan's voice. This one was different, the tone was angry but not at her. Everything stopped. There were lights, blue and yellow and white and red. She could barely breathe, but somehow, it was okay. The weight on her back was gone. She managed to turn her head a tiny tiny bit to the right. Her vision was blurry; she could barely make out the body of the second person now raining blows on her assailant's face.

Then there were more voices, more faces, lots more shouting, bright lights in her face and hands on her body. Her brain was screaming fight, but her body had no interest in trying.

This is how I die.

No more light. Nothing but darkness.


Everything hurt.

She didn't even have to open her eyes to know that everything hurt.

She was warm. The taste of blood in her mouth was gone and the rough ground had turned into something soft.

"Holy fuck, you scared the shit out of me." She knew that voice. She opened her eyes, slowly, to see Riot's worried face a quarter inch from hers. "Bloody hell, Rose..."

"I feel like bloody hell might be the wrong choice of words for the moment, honey..." Kallie's voice this time.

"You're right. Bloody hell," Riot muttered again.

Rose tried to smile. She moved slightly but very quickly realized that was a poor decision. The headache between her eyes was intense. She shifted the other direction.

Where am I? What the fuck? Where's Ryan? Ryan! Ryan. Oh god. Run. Run now. You have to run. Run run run now run run now run run now...

She hadn't realized she'd been thrashing until she felt Riot's hands on her shoulders.

"Easy. Calm down. Sshhh...shhhh...it's okay. Rose. Rose. Breathe. Rose..."

"He's not here. You're safe. I promise. For real, safe this time. The bobs came. Arrested him. Or what was left of the bloke." Kallie was stroking the side of her face, light little caresses. "You have quite the guardian angel looking out of you."

"What are you talking about?" Rose could feel the bile brewing in the back of her throat, her heart thudding like a piston against her ribs. Kallie's voice was soothing. She'd gotten good at calming her down through the anxiety; this was different though, a different level of terror.

"Some guy spotted the bastard and dragged him off you. Beat him to a right good pulp. He'll be in hospital a hell of a lot longer than you will. If he even wakes up. Better hope he doesn't..." Riot's voice was a low snarl.

"Some guy? What?"

Kellie gestured at the hall. "Some big chap. He's been hanging around the hospital for weeks. Doctors won't let him near you because he's not family - also we lied, I'm your sister, let's stick with that, shall we? - but he won't leave. He's here literally every day."

"Weeks?" Rose tried to clear the fog from her head.

"Three of them. You've been down for a bit, luv. In and out, mostly." Riot was standing with his body between her and the door, an added measure to keep her safe, she was sure.

"How bad is it?" Rose winced, waiting for the answer. She closed her eyes again. It was too much work to keep them open.

"Your leg got the worst of it, along with your shoulders and upper back."

Rose nearly choked on a swallow.

"I know he raped me," she whispered. The salty tears burned as they ran down her face.

"Yeah." Kallie was holding her hand now. "Well, he tried. He wasn't able to..." She stammered here. "He couldn't...perform, I guess? He used...his..." More stammering. "His hand, and something else, but not his...well..."

Rose didn't know if that was better or worse. She felt her stomach lurch and acrid liquid filled her mouth. Riot scrambled for a nearby bag, and she spit the mouthful in.


"I'm sorry, luv." Riot ran his hand over her forehead. "But you're gonna be okay. That guy saved your life."

"I want to meet him."

"I'll bet anything he's around here somewhere." Riot muttered again. "He's never far off."

Kallie shot him a glare. "Would you just go find him? And tell a doctor that Rose is coherent?"

Without another word, Riot disappeared out the door.

The two women sat in silence for a while. Kallie got Rose a drink and she managed to sip a tiny bit of water through a straw. Her mouth felt less chalky now, and her head was starting to feel a little clearer.

"No brain damage?" She tried to joke. Kallie smiled; that was a relief. "No, you have a few bruises on your head and face, but it was mostly just minor whatever. Your brain is fine. They thought a few of those gashes might scar but they look good to me."

A light tap on the door startled Rose enough to jump. Kallie rested her hand on her good knee before calling out, "come in."

Riot came in first, the shadow of another person visible slightly behind him.

"You ready?"

Rose nodded.

"Then uh...Rose, this is Mateo."

And then he was standing there, tall, filling the doorway. His military fade was gone, replaced by waves of dark red hair to match the beard that covered the lower half of his face. His eyes were the same, hazel orbs that radiated kindness.

Rose felt like she was suffocating. Her fingers instinctively flew to the letter M on her wrist. There was a roaring in her ears.

"W-w-w-what?" Her mouth was dry again. "What? No...no, that's...how...you...what..."

"Hey." The word was simple, one syllable, but thick with emotion. He opened his mouth to say something else, but closed it again right away.

Riot and Kallie exchanged concerned glances before Riot moved quickly to stand between Mateo and Rose's bed. "Say the word and I'll get this guy dragged out by his hair."

Rose ignored him. "You're here?"


Any other romantic moment would have been running fast, her being swept into his arms dramatically while he kissed her deep and long and powerfully. But this one? This one was different.

He moved slowly, watching her face, taking one step then another, always stopping to make sure that nothing on her face had changed or that there was any indication that he needed to back off.

Rose was crying in earnest now, big tears pouring down her face, one hand covering her mouth, the IV line twisting awkwardly against the oxygen tubes trailing from her nose.

"My platoon got blown up by an IED. It was just me and three other guys. We've been out of communications for months. They said I was MIA, I know, but they tried to call...I tried to call..." His voice was a whisper. "But your phone was disconnected. I called your parents but they said you were with some guy, that you didn't talk much, that they never saw you anymore. I called Jake and Brianne, but they said they hadn't seen you in months, that you were all about this guy...it didn't sit right."

He was talking softly, moving slowly, measuring every step.

"That wasn't like you, Rose. You'd never leave your friends, let alone your family. It didn't feel right. I used my contacts, called in every favor I had from the military. Even called my buddy at the FBI. By the time we figured it out, you were gone. He slipped the police back home. I followed him here, tried to find you...I was almost too late...I'm so sorry..."

And then the gap was closed, and there was nothing between them except the bed and too many tubes, too many wires, too much space...

"You're here?" Rose felt stupid, overwhelmed, but she couldn't say anything else. "You're here?"

"Yeah. Can I...can I hug you?"


His arms were around here in a minute, his body gingerly easing down onto the bed beside her, leaning in against her body. She could feel his shoulders shaking, his fingers curling against her shoulders—always tender, but insistent, as though being apart from her had been physically injuring.

"He won't hurt you again. He may never eat solid food again. I swear, I will never let anyone hurt you ever again. Never."

Mateo rested his hand against Rose's cheek, his thumb trailing over the tubes and down to wipe away stray tears. "Unless you tell me to go, Rose...unless you're angry or you want me to go? I'm never leaving you again."

She looked up at him.

"Please don't go. Don't ever go."

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