Suddenly modest, I yank the sheets up my naked body and croak out, “Nanny?”

Nodding his head slowly, he straightens and stares down at me. He’s already dressed for the day in his impeccable black suit and he smells clean, like soap.

I feel… lowly as he towers over me in the dim light. He seems even more intimidating today after everything we did last night. He knows I’m weak to him and he’s empowered by it.

“Yes, I’ve hired a nanny to help you.”

“I don’t need a nanny,” I immediately protest and begin to sit up, clutching the sheet to my chest.

“Regardless,” he smirks. “She’ll be arriving around eleven.”

I hate it when he talks like that. The way he says it leaves no room to question him. “Have a good day, Lilith. I’ll see you at dinner.”

His eyes search my face as if he’s expecting me to say or do something but I just stare at him, unsure if I should let this nanny thing slide or make a stink about it.

Maybe having a nanny around won’t be such a bad thing… it could give me more time to figure a way out of this. On the other hand, though, she’s another pair of eyes to keep watch on me and the children.

Nodding, Lucifer shoves his hands into his pockets and turns on his heel. He’s striding out of the room when I call out to him, “Lucifer?”

Immediately he comes to a stop and turns around, almost as if he was expecting me to call out to him. “Yes?”

“May I have my phone back?” I ask hopefully. I’m completely isolated without it, disconnected from the outside world. And maybe, hopefully, after last night, he trusts me a little bit.

“No,” he answers coldly, and turns on his heel.

I’m so shocked I watch him walk out of the room without stopping him.

After my morning shower, I’m half tempted to throw on a pair of sweatpants and a dirty old t-shirt just to spite him, but decide I’m more likely to get what I want if I try to please him. Maybe if I make an effort he’ll reward me for it.

After having that thought I immediately feel a little sick.

This entire situation is so fucked up, and after what we did last night I’m having an even harder time trying to come to terms with it. I don’t know what I want.

Do I want out of here? Do I truly want to escape? Or do I want to stay… even if it requires me to be something he owns. Another possession to add to his collection.

If he was mean, if he hurt me, or threatened my children, it would be such an easy decision. It would be so easy to hate him.

But he’s not.

If anything, sadly, he’s shown more interest in us, done more for us in a mere twenty-four hours than Marshall ever did.

He’s shown me more kindness, care, and affection than the man I chose to marry ever has. How fucked up is that?

It’s almost worth trading away my free will for… almost. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll ever be happy being kept like I’m a pet.

I dig through the boxes of clothes I still haven’t hung up, searching for something that shows that I’m putting in a bit of effort but doesn’t scream I’m trying too hard. I end up settling on a cream sweater dress and pair it with my favorite brown riding boots.

I curl my hair and slap on some makeup. I have to admit to myself it feels good to be dressed up for the day. I don’t feel like I need to hide behind my sunglasses.

Waking up the children, I help them get dressed then lead them downstairs for breakfast. The cook has a complete spread of pancakes, bacon, sausage, and fruit waiting for us. We sit down together in the dining room and dig in.

Evelyn seems especially sunny today, bouncing in her seat and happily nibbling on bacon.

“How did you sleep last night?” I ask her.

“Great!” she smiles at me.

Whenever she smiles at me I can’t help but smile back. Regardless of how bad things are, or what kind of stresses I have hanging over my head, her bright smiles make everything worth it.

Adam, on the other hand, is unusually quiet. He just pokes at his food, not eating much.

“How did you sleep last night, Adam?” I ask him.

He shrugs his shoulders without looking up at me.

Just as I’m about to ask Adam what’s bothering him, Peter strides into the dining room and informs us it’s time to leave for school. Standing from the table, we gather up their bags and lunches and head out to the car.

Stepping outside and seeing the guarded gate at the end of the long driveway just drives home how much this place feels like a prison. Peter opens up the back passenger side door for us and the children obediently climb in.