He set the brush down, and I felt the warmth from his body fade as he moved away.
“Do you plan on keeping me locked up in a cell forever?” I asked.
“Forever? No. We don’t have forever. For the length of your stay, though, yes. I’ll make sure you have enough food to sustain yourself, water, and a bucket to use the bathroom.”
Listening to him speak, I began to wonder if he really had a family after all. I could make as many guesses as I wanted about him, but in the end, only one thing was certain.
J was a fucking psychopath.
The Swiss hunting knife he withdrew from his back pocket captured my full attention, turning my mouth dry.
It was a limited edition with the initials HML engraved into the side. The first time I saw it was three years ago when my mother gave it to my father for their anniversary.
How the hell did he get it?
“I took it right out of the china cabinet,” he answered my silent question, turning the knife over in his hand.
“If swear, if you hurt them—”
“You’ll do what?” he asked, wedging himself between my legs.
He tangled a hand in my hair, pulling my head back so I was looking up at him again. “You’re sitting in front of me, defenseless as a baby bird.”
He paused to engage the blade, and continued. “I could have slit your mother’s throat last night, right beneath the chain of that necklace she never takes off. I could be standing here right now, telling you how I watched her bleed out all over that expensive downy comforter she was snuggled underneath. I wonder how Henry would feel, waking up soaked in his wife’s blood?”
“Please don’t hurt—”
“Shhh,” he hushed me, pressing the curved blade to my lips. “I’ll make you a deal. If you go sit in my special chair without a fuss, I won’t ever go near them again.” He moved the knife to my neck, tracing up and down the column of my throat.
I sat ramrod straight in the chair, clenching my core with the sudden need to relieve my bladder. “I—”
His sharp laughter cut me off.
“I’m just bullshitting you, sweetheart. Your parents, your friends… hell, your cat. I don’t give a shit about any of them. This was just proof of how easy it was to slip in and out of your house unnoticed.
“They should really consider a security system, and you should have considered locking your car doors. Who do you think stole your jack?”
My eyes widened. I stared up at him with a pensive expression; my reaction genuinely entertained him.
“Theoretically speaking, what would you do to keep them safe?” he questioned with open curiosity.
“The same thing you’d do to keep your family safe,” I retorted.
His eyes darting to his wedding band was enough to confirm this sick sack of shit had a wife somewhere.
It wouldn’t shock me to find out she was dead, rotting away in his bedroom closet.
“Right, well, stand up. It’s time to get you fitted for the chair.”
Without waiting for me to rise on my own, I winced when he let go of my hair and pulled me up by the arm.
Anxiety churned in my gut, increasing my need to use the bathroom.
“Didn’t we decide yesterday you weren’t allowed to resist?”
I heard the clear spike of irritation in his voice. He didn’t like being refused.
“I have to use the bathroom,” I nearly whispered, somehow feeling embarrassed to say so aloud.
“Then go,” he replied, keeping hold of my arm.
I glanced around, remembering he said something about a bucket. Thinking he meant the one in my cell, I made to move towards it, slightly relieved to be getting away from the chair.
“No,” he pulled me back with a slight jerk, “go right here.”
His free hand fell to my lower stomach and he pressed down. Hard.
“Stop,” I objected, clenching my core, trying to break free of his hold.
He pressed harder, painfully jabbing his fingers into my flesh until I could no longer hold it.
Shame blossomed in my chest when the first dribble of piss leaked down my leg.
He continued to press until I was fully urinating where I stood. The warmth hit my thighs and formed a puddle of stench around my bare feet.
“You really did need to go,” he mused, shifting his dress shoes out of the way.
I bowed my head and curled my shoulders, letting my hair fall forward to curtain my face, willing myself not to give him any satisfaction. Stripped of all basic comforts, I felt like nothing more than an animal.
When I was done, he pulled me towards the chair, leaving me to drip-dry. He removed the rusted bar and set it gently on the floor.
My legs began to shake the second he forced me to sit in its place. He then leaned me down so I was on my back.