“Yeah, so? You can’t do that from the townhouse?”

He gives a sharp shake of his head.

Fuck. “Why not?” I ask as we roll into the garage and the door lowers behind us.

I really, really don’t want to stay here, and now that we’re parked in the garage, I’m starting to feel a little claustrophobic.

Simon turns off the car and turns to look at me. His face is completely smooth, not giving away any emotion. “Because the closer you are, the better an eye I can keep on you.”

He couldn’t be creepier if he tried.

Opening his door, he slides out and then slams the door behind him. I jump at the sudden loud noise.

He walks around the front of the car and then yanks my door open. Leaning in, he unbuckles my seatbelt for me, and it’s everything I can do to keep from taking a cheap swipe at him.

I have no hope of knocking him out so the move would be completely pointless.

Grabbing me by the chain between the handcuffs, he tugs me out of the car and slams the door shut behind me.

His face may be emotionless, but his actions definitely scream that he’s irritated.

I doubt he wants me to stay here any more than I want to, so I try to make a suggestion. “You could always take me to the compound. I’d be perfectly safe there.”

I hate Matthew, absolutely despise him. But the devil you know and all.

“Your presence would only be a burden to him,” Simon says and tugs me forward.

Ouch. That kind of hurts, but yeah, I get it.

Simon leads me up to a door that connects the garage to the main house, and as we step over the threshold, the room we step into is instantly illuminated.

The lights must be on motion sensors. That’s going to make getting away even trickier.

As we move deeper into the house, my nose stings a little with the smell of disinfectant.

He leads me through a gleaming, stainless steel kitchen. Through a white and gray modern living area. Then up a set of winding stairs.

Everything is done in cool neutral tones. The walls are either white or grey, and the furniture is all sharp lines and hard angles.

There’s no personality, no warmth. Everything is cold and sterile. A perfect reflection of the owner.

Once we reach the second-floor landing, he leads me down a long hall and up to the third door.

Twisting the door open, he roughly shoves me in. I stumble forward and manage to take one deep breath before he grabs me and drags me over to the bed.

My eyes look wildly around the room. Searching for anything to help me. An escape. A weapon.

Simon gives me another shove, pushing me onto the bed, and steps back.

Without a word, I hear him exit the room, slamming the door behind him. There’s no click of a lock and I take that as a promising sign. He probably thinks I can’t get away with my hands handcuffed.

Pushing myself up, off the mattress, I just manage to get my feet under me when he comes stomping back in.

Head whipping towards him, my eyes immediately lock on the set of handcuffs he’s carrying in his hand.

“What do you think you’re going to do with those?” I ask sharply in an effort to keep my panic from leaking through my voice.

“I’m going to secure you, Meredith, so I can get some work done,” he says, his face still wearing that smooth, emotionless expression.

“The fuck you are,” I hiss and take a step back.

He stalks towards me and I lash out, swinging my bound hands.

“Keep your fucking hands off of me, Simon!” I screech.

I get a couple of hits in before he’s gets a grip on the chain between the handcuffs. Using the chain, he jerks me over to the bed and then shoves me down on it.

His body comes down on top of mine and my mind goes completely blank.

Is this really fucking happening?

Pinning me with his weight, I try to twist, try to knee him, but he’s too damn big and heavy. For such a fucking geek, he’s surprisingly dense.

“Stop fucking fighting,” he grits out, his emotionless mask cracking as he struggles to secure my hands.

“Fuck you, asshole. Get the fuck off of me!” I scream and then I do the only thing I can do.

I lift my head up and bite him.

“Fuck!” he roars as my teeth sink into the flesh of his shoulder.

My teeth dig and dig, but it doesn’t stop him. No, I feel one handcuff being opened, only for my wrist to be covered by another.

Then he yanks my arms up hard and my teeth are forced to release him.

I can taste the coppery tang of his blood as he cuffs each of my hands to the frame of the bed.

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