I raised my eyebrow and opened my mouth to speak, but she held up a hand. “Relax. I’m not escaping. I’m just bored.”

I released the tension in my shoulders as Sadie leaned back against the counter. She looked at the pot of coffee with a longing deep in her eyes. “Ugh, can I have some of that?”

I looked at the pot of coffee and it had finally finished brewing. I pulled a couple of mugs down from the cabinet above the pot and set them on the counter. I took the pot and tipped it over the mug. “Room for cream?” I asked.

She shook her head. “Black.”

I smirked. I liked her. She was a tough little hellraiser, exactly my type. I filled her mug and handed it over and then filled my own. Normally, I would add a bit of cream and sugar, but I felt the need to call her hand, and drank it black as well. Tougher than I was used to, but it was still coffee, so I was fine.

Sadie looked around the kitchen. “Why is it so clean around here? I want to clean something.”

I raised an eyebrow. “You want to clean?” What an odd thing to want to do in a home she was technically being held captive in.

“Well, it’s clear I’m not going anywhere, and I don’t have any means of entertainment around here. I was at least hoping I could maybe clean or something.” She looked up at me. “Give me something to do around here.”

A litany of lewd thoughts flew into my brain, but I pushed them away. “I’m sorry, this entire place is filled with staff that do everything that needs doing around here, but, if Dante is fine with you wandering the house, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me setting you up in the theater.” In the past Dante all out demanded that we never left his girlfriends bored. I imagine he would want it least of all with Sadie.

Sadie’s eyes widened as she took a sip of her coffee. “There’s a theater?!”

I chuckled. “Yeah. We’re cinephiles around here. Come on, I’ll show you.”

I led her through the house to the theater in the basement. It was complete with a projector that made the entire wall a screen, and the overly-technological remote that controlled literally everything in the room. Sadie sat down in one of the big, plush recliners and I handed her the remote.

“It looks more overwhelming than it is. Choose between movies and TV here. If there’s something you want to watch that you can’t find, just press this button and say it.” I pressed the search button. “Holiday movies.” Thanksgiving and Christmas were just around the corner, and the selection seemed pertinent. The screen flickered to life against the wall and then navigated to a screen that listed all of the holiday movies any cable channel or streaming service would have available. “We have access to cable’s full selection and any streaming service out there, so if it exists, you can watch it.”

“Whoa,” Sadie murmured. She looked up at me and smiled and it felt like being cold-clocked in the face. “Thank you.”

I took a step back to keep myself at a safe distance from her. “Of course.” Her face turned sad again and I didn’t like it. “What?”

“Oh, sorry,” she began. “I started to think about how much my sister would love this, and then it made me think that I’m certain she’s been blowing my phone up, my mom too probably. I’m sure they’re worried sick. I just wish I could tell them I was okay.”

I might get in trouble, but looking at how upset she looked, I felt compelled to be honest with her. “I do know where your phone is.”

She whipped around in the chair and looked up at me, hope restored in her gorgeous, cocoa eyes. “Really?”

I held up my hands to calm her. “Yes, but I still have to get permission to give it to you.”

She deflated a little, but not entirely. “Can I just make one call? Just one, to let my sister know I’m okay? You can sit here the whole time.”

I shook my head. “I can’t do anything without asking Dante first, and after the night he had last night, I won’t be able to ask him until this evening.” She looked at me with desperation and I could feel my resistance to her puppy-dog face waning. “I’ll do the best I can, but if I mess up and Dante pulls me from your detail…”

She threw herself into a slump in the chair, crossing her arms and pouting. “Yeah, you’ve been the nicest to me so far.” She side-glanced at me. “I’ll be patient. Thank you.”

I nodded and left before I got myself into any trouble I couldn’t get myself out of. Throughout the day, Sadie helped herself to the entertainment system, watching a variety of trashy movies and T.V., the kind someone watches when they need an escape. I brought her breakfast, lunch, and any snacks she required, as I was ordered to. She was impressed with the caliber of the food, more and more each time I brought something new in. She told me that it was like she was eating at a five-star restaurant. She still didn’t want to eat the food when I brought it to her at first, concerned that it may contain something, but I assured her that it didn’t. Dante had no reason to drug her or kill her. I didn’t know if it was because she trusted me more, or because she trusted Dante more, but it didn’t take much convincing and eventually she started eating.

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