Lacie Ch. 16byDancingwizard©
Chapter 16: Lacie's Dream
Lacie drifted, thoughts and memories floating through her mind. There was no order to them, just tiny, weak flashes of a life she had lost amongst the pain. Agony was now her life. It was all she knew. In between the moments of physical pain, Lacie could feel a literal ache in her chest, a dull throbbing in time with her heartbeat. It felt like her heart had literally broken, searing needles of pain shearing though her torso with every breath. Lacie knew she would die there, in her white, lifeless, sterile cell.
Somewhere, somehow, Lacie, drowning in the darkness, heard a voice.
"Live for us. Live for us, Lacie. We will find you."
The warm tones of the gentle voice swept through her. Lacie gasped, hearing Master as he whispered to her.
"We're looking, Lacie. Don't give up. We'll find you. We'll bring you home."
"I can't..." Lacie murmured to the empty cell. "It hurts... it all hurts."
Lacie felt gentle fingertips against her face. Trembling, Lacie leaned into the ghostly feeling. She didn't dare open her eyes, or her wonderful illusion might vanish. She wanted nothing more than to see his warm grey eyes again, but Lacie knew she couldn't take it if she lost him again. Her mind was cracking as it was. So, Lacie kept her eyes closed.
"We'll find you Lacie. We will. We're working hard, all of us. We'll bring you home."
His gentle voice whispered to her as the machine started up again.
Lacie's screams filled the cell, her throat raw and torn from the force of her shrieks. Finally, Lacie slumped back down, the pain in her limbs cutting off, leaving her sweating and trembling.
"Please, take me home... I want to go home..." Lacie pleaded desperately, her mumbled words coming out like mush.
"We'll find you. Hold on for us Lacie." Master's warm, calming voice begged her. Lacie could feel his palm cupping her cheek.
"I can't... it hurts too much..."
"We're coming Lacie. We'll find you and bring you home."
Lacie had no idea how long she hung from the machine, weakly talking to her loving, wonderful delusion. It seemed like an eternity. Lacie's eyes stayed closed the entire time, knowing the moment she opened her eyes, the illusion would be dispelled, and she would be alone again. Hours passed.
Then, just after another few minutes of agony, Lacie heard something new. Hammering sounds, a rapid, deep thudding, almost seeming to come from the ceiling above her. Lacie could hear something from beyond the door, rapid cracking noises that sent shivers down her spine. Dimly, Lacie knew the sounds meant danger, but her pain hazed mind couldn't identify the noise. Lacie couldn't understand anything beyond her cell and the cycle of agony and brief recovery. The rest of the world didn't exist for Lacie.
"We're coming Lacie. We're close, Lace. We'll find you." Master's soft voice told her. The concern and love there barely held Lacie's head above the waves of pain that threatened to drown her, crushing her mind and soul. There was a loud banging noise in Lacie's cell. She couldn't bring herself to look, knowing it would dispel her delusions.
The pain started again. Lacie's back arched as she screamed, her hoarse voice unable to make much noise beyond weak, gasping, raspy shrieks. Then, too early, the pain shut off.
"Hold on. We're looking... stay... alive... Lacie..." Master's voice trailed off, vanishing.
"Nooo..." Lacie whimpered, pleading for Master to come back. Lacie gasped then, as big, warm hands cupped her face.
"We found you..." Master's voice breathed.
Lacie squeezed her eyes tighter. This was the best delusion yet. Lacie could smell the warm, clean scent of his skin. The warmth of his hands soothed her clammy skin. His voice was strong in her ears.
"Lacie... look at me."
Lacie whimpered, shaking her head. She didn't want to lose this illusion. Lacie was stretched tight on the machine, yet for some reason, it almost felt as is her arms were pulling themselves free.
"Look at me, Lace. Tell me you're okay. You'll be fine. We're gonna get you home." Master's voice was wrong. There was pain there. That was wrong. Lacie needed Master to take away her pain. She couldn't cause him any. Lacie would happily take a month of torture to spare him that.
"Noo..." Lacie mumbled, her voice only a whisper.
Lacie's legs pulled free, and Lacie felt something warm settle over her body. Slowly, Lacie realized what that meant. She was dying. Her body was pulling free, and she was drifting to her heaven. That's why Master said he was taking her home. Anywhere he was, that was her heaven. That was why she couldn't feel the torture anymore. Lacie felt Master's soft hands pull away from her face. She whined in disappointment, but a moment later, Lacie felt his arms under her legs and back, lifting her into the air.
"I'm taking you home Lacie. We're leaving here. You'll be okay."
Lacie could feel the soft fabric of Master's shirt against her cheek, she could hear his heartbeat. Too fast. Rapid staccato thudding in his chest. Master's heart was supposed to be strong and slow. Calm. This was wrong. This wasn't right. Her delusions were off. Master shouldn't be in pain. He shouldn't be exerting himself.
"Lacie, you're frightening me. Open your eyes. Please, Lace. Open your eyes."
Lacie burrowed her face into his chest. Weakly lifting her hand, Lacie pressed it to the cool fabric of his shirt.
"Nooo... you'll...leave...again..." Lacie whined.
"Lacie, open your eyes. That's an order, pet." Master's strong voice commanded.
Lacie's mind whirled. Something there was important. Master's words meant something more. She just didn't know what. Gasping, Lacie's fingers curled around Master's collar, holding him close as memories of her old, lost life blasted through her mind. One memory stood out from the rest. Two women sat on a patio, just outside the big dining room of a huge mansion. One was blonde, wearing a suit and carrying a tablet. The other was brunette, younger than the other. They were talking.
"...it is an emergency, he will add a phrase to the end of his statement or request. The code is 'that's an order, Pet.' Remember that well. That phrase means to do what he said, and do it immediately, without question..." the blonde spoke. The brunette girl nodded, listening intently as she ate.
That's an order, Pet.
The phrase echoed in Lacie's mind. Her delusions wanted, needed, her to open her eyes. Lacie whimpered, feeling soft gusts of air waft over her face, as if Master was moving while carrying her in his arms. Lacie wanted her delusions to continue, but she couldn't deny Master anything. He wanted her to open her eyes, so she knew she would. There was nothing she could, or ever would, deny him. She just didn't want to let go.
Slowly, Lacie bit her lip, preparing to open her eyes and find herself back in her cell. Then, knowing she couldn't delay any longer, Lacie slowly opened her eyes. What she saw threw her mind into confusion.
She was wrapped in a thick brown blanket. Big arms held her aloft. She was being carried through a long, wallpapered hallway. Blinking in confusion, Lacie looked up. What she saw there blasted the breath from her lungs. Warm, soft grey eyes looked down at her.
"Oh!" Lacie breathed. Master smiled down at her, relief plainly written on his face.
Gently, Lacie reached up with one hand. Her fingers inched closer, finally, her fingertips touched his cheek. Lacie could feel the warmth of his skin, the scratchiness of his chin. Her fingers traced the smiling, happy bow of his lips.
"We found you." he breathed.
"...Master?" Lacie replied quietly, still not sure if she believed what was happening could actually be real. His answering smile dashed away all her doubts. "What? How?..."
"The choker. When Clarissa destroyed it, the accidentally triggered the failsafe hidden inside. The choker sent out one big pulse on our trackers. All it took was to trace it to the source. It wasn't exactly hard to find once we looked into the corporation that owns this building. It's a shell company. One of the last few remaining places that Clarissa and her former brother had left to hide in."
Lacie's hand tightened around Master's collar, pulling herself closer. The pair emerged from the long hallway as Lacie buried her face in his chest.
"But, she said you were about to lose everything..." Lacie trailed off at the look of confusion on the handsome face mere inches from hers. The absolutely baffled look told her the truth. Clarissa had lied to her. To try and get her to submit. To give in. Master was safe. All of her friends were safe. Confusion, relief and the tiny lingering fear that she was still dreaming almost made Lacie weep, till something Master had said caught in the back of her mind.
"Wait, former brother?"
"Well... he was here when we arrived. I'm sorry Lacie, but he was a cruel man." Master's voice hardened as he spoke, cluing Lacie in to what he was talking about. Finally, Lacie realized that some of her 'delusions' had been real. As realization swirled in Lacie's mind, she finally put the picture together. Master had come looking for her. Tyler had been in the building. The sharp pops that Lacie had barely recognized had been gunfire. Tyler was dead.
It all crashed into Lacie at once. She was free. No more pain. No more machines. No more Clarissa, no more Tyler. No more insults, beatings, no more despair. No more torture.
Master had her in his arms, and he was never going to let her go again. Lacie closed her eyes, pulled herself closer to her savior and wept.