The Reluctant Journey Ch. 02byDarlin92©
I can see that the general's last statement in the first chapter may have been a poor choice of words, especially the word consensual. I hope this didn't take too much away from the character. I assure you he isn't supposed to be seen as retarded anonymous commenter #1, though thanks for making me laugh.
Images of torture raced through Malia's mind, everything from a simple leather whip to a bed of nails. She had never been physically punished before and she whimpered at the pictures her overactive imagination had delivered to her.
"I'm sorry, ok. It won't happen again. I was s-scared." She tried to beg.
He looked briefly irritated at her response. "Where's the bravery, little girl?" She swallowed excess saliva in response. He sighed as if she wasn't being entertaining to him anymore. "You know, now that I think of it, let's hold off on that punishment. I need a little time to think of something creative enough anyways." He chuckled and left the room, the heavy door clanging and locking behind him.
She returned to the middle of the cell and sat. Her stomach was turning and if she'd eaten anything that day, she was sure she would have vomited. She closed her eyes and concentrated on breathing deeply. She pretended she was home. She had never really found anything she especially excelled at in the unit. Her mother liked to sew and talk to the women of the unit. Olivia was fascinated by the medical happenings of the unit and liked to help people, as did their father. It wasn't that Malia wasn't good at anything, she was good at a lot of things, she just didn't have a passion for a job the unit had to offer. She liked to work though, and was expected to hold her own in the unit, so she would do whatever odd jobs needed done.
She liked the variety and felt like she was useful. She would help anyone who needed it, except for the medical staff.
Malia thought back to the one and only time her father tried to introduce her to medicine. She was sixteen, Olivia had been spending all of her time in the hospital since she was twelve, but Malia wasn't fond of blood and gore so she generally stayed away. On that day though, the hospital was busy. Her father knew she didn't like it but he needed some help. He asked her to do some of the easier jobs around the hospital, maintenance type things to calm her nerves a little while he worked. Once she was more at ease he asked her to come see a patient who needed a dressing changed. The patient was a cook in his late twenties. He'd been working when he and another cook collided; the other cook had been carrying a skillet to the industrial sized sink. The grease from the skillet splattered all over the man's right arm. Malia's dad began to unwrap the dressing over the man's bicep. Malia could remember exactly how his arm looked covered in red bubble and skin hanging from some of the larger blisters that had popped. The smell was awful and filled the room to mix with the typical antiseptic smell of the room. Malia vomited all over the floor and continued to dry heave for minutes after. Her father dismissed her, apologizing for asking for her help, and didn't require her assistance in the hospital again.
She was awoken from her daydream by the door opening. Clearly he didn't expect an hour would get her used to his crazy-ass plan, did he? She couldn't wait to see how he was going to force her to be consensual. She jumped up; ready to fight if she had to, though she knew it would be futile. To her relief it was Finn. He walked into the cell with two women behind him. The women were both dressed in simple black dresses that were loose fitting and not flattering. One woman was older; her salt-and-pepper hair was pulled up into a bun. She looked to be holding a platter of food. Malia's stomach audibly growled and Finn smiled, quite a beautiful sight. How had she not noticed how beautiful he was before? She remembered his striking blue eyes, but it was the only feature that was overly pretty. When he smiled though his handsomeness became obvious, unlike General Cain who was openly gorgeous. She mentally slapped herself; she needed to stop thinking like that.
"Hungry?" Finn asked, his serious countenance returning. She nodded and the second woman, a red-haired woman close to her own age, rolled a cart closer and unfolded a standing wooden tray and a chair. The older woman placed the platter on the tray and removed the lid. The delicious smells assaulted her nostrils and she closed her eyes briefly in appreciation.
"Sit." Finn said.
She sat on the cushioned chair and looked over the contents of the tray. She wasn't sure what most of it was, but it looked delicious and fancier than anything she'd eaten in the unit. She ate her dinner as the women got sheets and pillows off of the cart they'd wheeled in the cell and made up the ugly mattress. Finn handed her a water bottle that she drank quickly. She was so hungry she hadn't had time to feel awkward at having three strangers watching her eat. When she was done she felt much better and the women loaded the table and chair back on the cart. They pushed the cart out of the room and Finn stood looking awkwardly for a moment.
"You'll sleep here for tonight." He said apologetically.
"Yeah, I figured," she gave him a small smile, "and, apparently until I get used to General Crazy's nefarious plan for me."
He laughed. "Cain's not that bad. I've known him my entire life. I wouldn't say he's all bark, but he's got a long fuse. However, I wouldn't test it any if I were you." He was the general's friend, she could tell. How could this decent soldier be friends with the sadistic general?
She looked at him questioningly. "You agree with this twisted bastard's plan? You do know he expects me to willingly sleep with his brother?"
He looked apologetic again. "I know this isn't going to mean anything to you right now, but just know he's trying to help his brother. All of this is for his brother. You'll like him, I promise, everyone loves Tristan. As for his plan, it isn't nearly as nefarious as he would have you believe." He paused briefly. "I wish I could tell you everything, but it's not my place, and it's not the time." He gave a sad smile and left the room, locking the door behind himself.
She had felt better having Finn as a potential ally, but realized now that he was firmly in the general's camp. She fell asleep hugging the puffy white down comforter feeling utterly lost and alone.
Cain knocked on his brother's door. He was feeling drained from the activities of the day.
"Come in," Cain heard Tristan say through the door.
He entered the large suite Tristan inhabited most of the day. His brother sat on a couch facing the fireplace next to a large window. He was reading which wasn't unusual, he was always reading. Two of the large walls of the room were lined with filled bookshelves. The excess of natural light in the room offset all of the dark wood from the shelves, floors, and furniture. There were three large windows with sheer curtains and a large skylight above the bed.
"Long time, no see brother." Tristan grinned at seeing his older brother. He set his book down and began to push himself up off the couch.
"No, stay there. I need to sit anyways." Cain replied motioning for Tristan sit.
"Yeah? Been busy?" Tristan asked, seeing the fatigue in Cain's features.
"Oh yeah. Work and stuff. " Cain lounged back on the couch.
Tristan laughed, "You attempt to lie to me brother? I can read you like one of my many books."
He couldn't help but smile in Tristan's presence; he brought out the best in people, even Cain. Tristan reminded Cain of a better version of himself. They looked very similar. Both had dark hair, though Tristan's had a tendency to slightly curl. They both had their father's strong bone structure and tall, well-built physique. Cain had their father's dark brown eyes and Tristan's were light green like their mother's. Tristan also resembled their mother in personality. He was kind and smart and easy to please.
"Pfft, when did you get so arrogant, brother?" Cain asked
"I don't know, maybe sometime during these past five weeks." Tristan replied raising his eyebrows.
Cain was instantly filled with guilt. "I know I haven't been around, I told Finn to stop by-"
"Finn's not my brother, and yes he dutifully came to have lunch with me, everyday." Tristan's accusing face quickly turned to an understanding small smile. "I'm not trying to make you feel guilty Cain. You aren't my babysitter; I'm twenty-seven years old. I just wanted to know where you were okay? Finn was quite hush hush about the whole thing." Tristan was happy once again, like the flip of a switch.
Cain sighed, he had hoped Tristan wouldn't want answers quite so soon. "Look, Tristan..." Tristan had his eyebrow arched in question; one of Cain's often used facial expressions. "I'm trying to help you."
"You're meddling again." Tristan accused.
"No! I'm helping, if you would let me. Tristan, you deserve so much more than this." Cain motioned around the large room.
"That's not your concern!" Tristan very rarely raised his voice. He looked irritated at Cain for a moment then sighed and looked concerned. "Cain, you need to live your own life, I can handle mine."
"Tristan let me help." Cain nearly begged. He put his elbows on his knees and ran his hand through his short hair in frustration. He spoke to the floor with vulnerability he would show no one else. "I know you want this. Just let me help you get what you want okay? If she doesn't work for you, I will leave it alone. I promise."
"Lying again brother?" Tristan smiled down at his big brother. "You couldn't leave something alone if your life depended on it. As for your new girl," he snorted with disgust, "we will see brother. I'm not promising anything, but I will talk with her."
Cain nodded, knowing it was the best he would get from his stubborn brother. "Well then, let's have dinner. We can see how things go later. " Tristan smiled at him and all was well between the brothers again, as if there had never been any discord at all.
Her mom had gotten a new mixer for Christmas. She was four years old. Her mom sat her on the granite counter and let Malia pour the flour mixture into the bowl as it spun around. Music played in the background and her mom let her lick a beater clean. Olivia played with pots and pans on the ground. She was happy, everyone was happy.
Malia woke suddenly and knew exactly where she was. Some instinct was telling her to stay still. She'd opened her eyes when she woke up but there was nothing but darkness. She closed them again and tried to take steady even breaths. She felt someone get close to the mattress and held back a shiver. Was it the general? Her breathing inadvertently hitched at that.
"Awake girlie? I know you are." It wasn't the general, but she recognized the crude voice. It was Vincent. She tried to scream but immediately found a hand crushing her mouth. Her intended ear-splitting scream came out as a pathetic gurgle. Her eyes opened wide but there was no light in the cell. She felt the warm comforter ripped away. She scratched at his hand and tried to jump out of the bed, but he pushed her down and straddled her stomach. He had one hand firmly over her mouth and the other pinned both of her wrists over her head. She tried to kick, she tried to bite, she tried to struggle, all to no avail.
"Shh, shh girlie," he whispered into her ear, making her cringe. He maneuvered his thighs so hers were draped over them. This position pressed his erection directly into her mound, only separated by each of their clothing. She stilled for a moment then redoubled her efforts to get free.
"Mighty feisty little thing." He laughed. She realized that nothing she was doing was making any difference. He was lying on her with dead weight, exerting no energy whatsoever and she couldn't budge him. She was going to be raped by this sick freak. Tears streamed in constant torrents down her temples and into her hair as she shook her head back and forth, trying to dislodge his hand. Then she felt metal around her left wrist and heard a click. She tried to move the arm and sure enough she couldn't. She didn't have time to react before her right wrist was also shackled. He reached around her collar with his newly freed hand, feeling for the zipper of the ugly gray jumpsuit. She heard the sound of the zipper being pulled down as if it were a gunshot.
It was down to her waist when lights blinded her from everywhere. They were bright and she clenched her eyes closed. Then the weight of Vincent's body was gone. She opened her eyes slightly to see Vincent's body slam into the stone wall. For a split second she saw his facial expression, it was one of complete terror. Malia hadn't ever wished harm on anyone before but in that moment, she wanted him dead. Unfortunately he just slid down to the floor with that stupid look on his ugly face.
"Vincent, I'm very disappointed to say the least." General Cain Malcolm's voice was downright scary when he wanted it to be. Vincent definitely looked scared for his life. "I let you into my home. My right hand man even warned you against this very behavior, and yet here we are. I didn't act on Finn's report earlier today because I hoped you would make a better decision than this, for your family if not yourself. I won't kill you Vincent, but get out of my house, your career in the military is over." Vincent looked like he wanted to beg but Cain's appearance must have prevented it, because he got up nodding his head and scurried out of the cell.
The general slowly walked over to the bed and looked down at Malia. She suddenly became self-conscious of the fact that her jumpsuit was unzipped, revealing her dingy white bra. She could now see that her hands were in shackles that were chained to the wall. They hadn't been there before she'd went to sleep, neither had any of the overhead lights that now blinded her. She wanted to show no weakness in front of the general, but she quite get her voice back to normal.
"Can you unchain me? Please?" Her voice quivered slightly which immensely annoyed her. Thankfully he only nodded down at her and pulled a small remote out of his pocket. He pressed a button and the shackles fell from her wrists. She darted up into a sitting position and hurriedly zipped her suit up, her hands were shaking.
"Are you okay?" The general actually sounded concerned. The man who kidnapped her and threatened her family was concerned, how cute.
"Were you sitting there the whole time? "She held up her hand in irritation and continued, "No, let me rephrase. I know you were sitting in here the whole time, as no heavy clanging door was heard. My question to you would be why?" She was livid because it was better than being terrified.
"Why?" He looked confused, then irritated. "Why did I save your sorry ass? Did you want to fuck Vincent Dutari, because if so I can surely call him back? Maybe it was just me, but from my angle it looked as if you were struggling. But hey, if you're into that sort of thing?" By the end of the rant he looked angry.
"Sorry," she replied, though it almost killed her. "I mean, thank you. For saving me. I was just wondering why you were waiting in here." Her jaw was clenched in irritation at having to feign politeness.
"I was waiting in here because one of my men told me you were in danger of being raped by one of my other men. I waited until I knew for sure that that was his intention. Once I knew, I acted." His words were slow and deliberate, his temper visible just beneath the surface.
"You didn't know for sure when he sat on my stomach and held me down? What did you think he was going to do general? Play a game of cards?" She couldn't be polite, not with her nerves a jumbled mess.
"Not that it concerns you, little girl, but some amount of proof was needed for the repercussions I put on Mr. Dutari. He will never work in the field again, no matter what appeals he attempts to make in the future."
She frowned at that and didn't know exactly what to say. "Oh. Thank you." She nodded looking at the floor then looked up at the general. "Thank you." She repeated sincerely this time.
He nodded. His eyes were unreadable, but at least he didn't look angry anymore.
"How will you have proof? Won't it just be your word against his?" She looked up at him questioningly.
He gave a cynical smile at that. "Even Vincent Dutari doesn't have the balls to put his word against mine. But I have cameras in here that recorded the entire event, so it won't come to that. She looked around confused. Her cell still looked medieval, but bright fluorescent lights had appeared from the ceiling and apparently remote control shackles came out of the solid rock walls. She looked at the walls suspiciously.
He laughed. "The room isn't magical, just the power of technology. It's called a smart room and you've just about seen the extent of its capabilities." He explained. She nodded and they sat in silence for a moment.
"Can I use the bathroom?" she asked meekly. She didn't even care if she sounded like the little girl he accused her of being. He pushed a button and a toilet came out of the wall by the corner. She glared up at him.
"Best I can do, little girl." He smiled at her and left through the large door. "Lights out in five minutes, make it quick."