(Revenge Series ~ Book 1)
Marissa held his gaze for several minutes, watching as he approached the bed. Then her eyes slid away from his, searching, looking for another way out; he was between her and the door.
She looked over his shoulder, focused on her surroundings and gasped. Her mind reeled.
The room...she recognized the room! The wood paneling, the wall of mirrors, the black ceiling fan with the gunmetal trim...nothing was changed. The same dove-gray shutters were still at the windows.
The realization that she was in her old house made the hairs on the back of her neck stir.
Why bring her there? Was he crazy?
Girl...get a grip! Of course, he's crazy.
Her eyes slid back to his. She saw it then...the fanatical gleam, the smug smile. She should have been afraid, but he was pathetic, laughable. She’d go down refusing to be intimidated.
Keeping her face expressionless, she watched his every move as he climbed on the bed, turned her over then straddled her thighs.
“Surprised?” he asked then laughed. “Considering your past, I would imagine quite a few men would like to be in my position right about now.”
She didn’t as much as blink. Her regard remained steady, even when he eased his hand around her throat and applied a small amount of pressure.
"Oh no. I'm not going to kill you...yet." He reached for the gag. "I’ll remove this, if you promise not to scream."
She felt his hands working the knot at the back of her head. She felt the cloth slide across her mouth; she watched him drop the handkerchief to the floor. Now she had a name for the taste, and the smell. She moistened the corners of her mouth, grimacing at the acrid tang of cologne.
“You know,” he leaned down and brought his face close to hers. “Twenty years ago, I wanted to kill you for what you did to me that night." He brought his other hand down around her neck.
“The other day...well, I’m going to kill you this time.”
He looked remorseful. Yet it didn’t stop him from applying a little more pressure to her throat. He laughed. “Not just yet. Not until I get what I deserve. You owe me.” His eyes locked with hers as his fingers tightened on her throat; fingernails dug into her flesh.
She maintained her composure, never breaking eye contact. There was a flicker of doubt...his angry expression turned to surprise. There would be no pleading. But her mind was in overdrive.
Hell. If he thought she was going out like this, lying there, passively—Make him angry!
A slow smile lifted the corners of her mouth. If she could remain calm in the face of his anger, she knew him, it would piss him off. He’d get careless.
“You know,” she finally said. “I’m not surprised to see you. One asshole is the same as another. You’re just the asshole who got to me first.
“So, what’s up with this? Had a can of kick-ass today…feeling brave—wait! Don’t answer that.”
She saw it flare...the anger; so predictable.
“Let me see if I have this right,” she continued with an exaggerated sigh. “If you beat and rape a bound woman, it’ll make you feel more like a man, huh?” His eyes narrowed.
She watched and waited. She knew him well enough to know her mocking smile, and her arrogant, snotty tone would set him off. He probably still thought of her as the fourteen-year-old girl who played the mind game on him.
“Hey, untie me. You’re bad,” she taunted. “What…afraid?”
The minute she saw the stain of anger pepper the skin along his cheekbones, she knew she wouldn’t have to wait much longer.
“You think I won’t kill you?” he hissed. “I told you once before, I’m not afraid of you. Apparently, you still believe your own hype…you still think you can take me?”
He slipped his hand into his pocket and pulled out a knife. He unfolded the blade, reached under her body and cut the rope at her wrists, and then he cut the rope at her ankles. He gripped the front of her blouse…she made her move.
She punched him in his face. The force of the blow knocked him over. She leapt off the bed. The swiftness of the attack caught him off-guard. He dropped the knife and lunged for her, grabbing her blouse from behind. The material ripped down the front, buttons flying.
"Bitch," he screamed. "I'll kill you!"
Marissa tried to twist around to face him. He tightened his grip on her blouse; she jerked her arms from the sleeves.
Turning, she kneed him in the groin. He hunched over at the exact moment she brought her fist up, which connected with his nose. The subtle click, sharp like the crack of a dry twig underfoot; pain shot to her nerve-endings. Her teeth snapped together; her moan was drowned out by his cry of agony.
For several heart-stopping seconds, she stood rooted to the spot, clutching her right hand, staring mesmerized at the thin line of blood trickling from his nose. Then she saw his mouth contort grotesquely; her eyes flew to his.
Galvanized to action by the blazing, murderous look she saw there, she turned toward the door and started forward. She wasn’t quick enough. He caught her from behind, spun her around and punched her in the jaw spinning her head to the side.
She was going to pass out.
Fight it! Stay angry...your only chance.
Her anger spurred her on as she struggled to free herself from his grasp.
© Emily Wade-Reid