hung shiny and silver at her throat. The intricate knot-work was
a symbol for her, a reminder of love gone awry but forever there.
He looked at it as a symbol of lust and hate that had earned him
nothing more than disgust.
Nonetheless, it dangled delicately against her neck reflecting
the light. She had not seen him from her car, and he preferred it
that way. He had been able to put her off years before, but he
couldn't do that now. She was far too changed. He walk was too
sure, and he eyes too wise. The grace she had acquired was
consuming, and her face was glowing. Before she had been lonely
and gangly, and he was embarrassed that she was so taken with
him. Now, he would not be able to challenge her, he would fall
like a domino.
brushing her beautiful hair and looking in her mirror. It shone
like red fire, and it probably smelled good too. One day he
passed her in the hall, and she didn't see him, and he caught a
whiff of her. She smelled so good, like fruit or sweets. The aura
of fear and mistrust gone, she had blossomed.
about him? He hadn't changed much for the good, in fact he still
lived near his parents. He smoked like a freight train, and he
looked so much like he had a long time ago. Two divorces in six
years had worn him down. He had dark circles underneath his blue
eyes, and his hair was not nearly as shiny. He looked older than
he was, but not for the better.
he finally decided to talk to her. She was chattering away on her
phone now, and she looked happy. He hoped she would talk to him,
but she may push him away for all he had done. She was engaged to
a man a few years older than her when they parted ways, and he
was sure he could have her if she had married him. To his dismay
he had seen her with her husband recently. He was tall and
handsome, and they had a child. His heart sank. One of the chief
reasons he had denied her was that she didn't fit the profile of
his ideal mate. Oh, he could see that she was submissive enough
to do as he asked or attend to his needs, but she was not what he
had in mind. Her red hair was too red, and her eyes were a deep
black, reflecting the Oriental in her blood. He wanted a mate
with blonde hair and blue eyes to produce a child with such
qualities. Now he saw that the child was definitely a blonde, and
his eyes were very light.
his head. He had not known that her father had been blonde and
blue-eyed. His regret was all encompassing now. He braced himself
and tapped on the glass. She looked up, and her mouth gaped open.
She said a hasty good-bye and sprang from her car. She threw her
arms around his neck and kissed him soundly on the cheek. No
words were necessary. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed
her so hard he lifted her off her feet. They were locked together
for several moments before they broke apart. They seemed to have
forgotten that they were in a parking lot. Several people
wolf-whistled, and several more just gaped in sheer astonishment.
They broke apart nervously.
have you been?" he asked conversationally.
a sunny smile and began to reapply her lip gloss. "I was fine
until you showed up. What was that all about?"
at him, "The kiss, you fool. That wasn't exactly how I pictured
seeing you again."
nervously, "Well, I was excited. I missed you."
said dangerously, now recovering from her happiness, "you missed
me so much that you forgot to call me for six years? So much that
you avoided me? So much that you never bothered to see if I was
dead or alive?"
aren't happy to see me?"
eyeballed him, "Of course I am, you clot! But why would you kiss
me like that? I was under the impression that you had no feelings
for me when we were younger."
his hand to the necklace, "But you still wear this?"
it from his grasp, "It is pretty after all."
"But I gave
it to you, and aren't you mad at me?"
"Then let's eat lunch together."
meal between dinner and breakfast."
easy that was? Now, do you still like Mexican? I'm
They lay in
the bed in the hotel for a few moments before he looked over at
her. She was even more beautiful than he remembered. How they had
gotten here he could not say, but he was glad. Every time she had
a chance they would meet, and they would come here.
had gone by, and he was finding himself deeply in love with her.
He wanted to ask her if she would leave her husband, but he
feared the answer was no. She loved him as much as he loved her,
but she owed her husband that much that she would not leave. He
watched her nap, and then stirred her. She sat up and suddenly
bolted from the bed. She was sick again. For a few days she had
been sick with the flu, and he had been worried.
down on the bed and wiped her face. He caressed her gently,
"Still no better? I thought the flu would be over now."
laughed, "I thought you'd have reasoned that out by now."
not that bright."
You're going to be a father."
widened, "How do you know it's mine? Don't you sleep with him
protection, and I had a hard time conceiving. He'll just thinks
it's one of those happy accidents."
I don't understand the question."
you have the baby?"
conversation went nowhere after that. His best efforts to
persuade her to abandon her neglectful and lazy husband were
wasted. She insisted that he would rather not be permanently
saddled with her, and he argued that he was wrong before. By the
time they parted he was more confused than ever. As kids she had
been wild about him, and she would have done anything to be with
him. Now she had him and would not let go of her family. His
child was growing in her body, and she refused to let him be a
part of it. He had to do something.
at the baby through the glass. He was perfect. His hair was a
soft golden down, and his eyes were blue as sapphires. A nurse
changed him gently and bundled him and left the room. He followed
her to the room, and looked in. She was pale and tired looking,
but she looked happy. Better yet, she was alone. He crept in and
sat down in a chair. The baby was nursing lustily.
up, "Yes, when he's finished would you like to hold your
and took the baby when he was finished. He looked just like him.
He held on to the baby for a long time looking at him tenderly.
Surely he could be a father to this child! He now regretted the
wasted opportunity to have her to himself. If she didn't leave
her husband this child would never know him. He had to act, but
he would not hurt them. A grim smile spread across his features,
and he handed her back her child and left.
She sat in
her rocking chair nursing her newborn girl with red hair and blue
eyes. She was a small baby, but she had been grateful for that.
Home deliveries were easier when the child was smaller. At her
feet sat three little boys with various shades of blonde hair and
two with blue eyes. The eldest had light brown eyes and looked
different from his siblings, but he was happy.
teacher wanted to know if you were coming to school to see my
her head, "Your father wouldn't like that. You know how he
boy sadly smiled, and he and his brothers trooped outside to the
lawn. She stayed in the chair and rocked. A few minutes later he
came in with roses. He kissed her gently on the cheek, but she
had no smile for him.
see you're up and about. Pretty soon you can start thinking about
names for the next one."
soberly, "I assume Ariana is a suitable name for her?"
but I think we should talk about it some more later. Right now
at him. If he had not taken her oldest son from his crib while
she was in the hospital she would never have gone with him. He
promised never to hurt him as long as she stayed with him, and he
kept his word. In four years she had two boys, and four years
after her youngest she had her daughter. She got what she wanted.
She stared down at the hateful necklace. The knot-work was a
symbol of bondage. She was tied to him for her misdeeds, and she
would be stuck forever.
when she finally had her daughter down, he crept in the bedroom
and kissed her. She involuntarily flinched. She was paying for it
only one when the blue lines showed up on the test. He pranced
around like a bull while she threw up again and again. Luckily
she miscarried fairly quickly. He tried to soothe her, but she
managed well enough.
shortly after, she struck the ringing blow.
want another baby! I'm tired, and I need fresh air and
"No. I want
another child, and you will have one if you want Ben to live to
see another day."
insanely, "He's gone! I sent a letter to his teacher telling her
everything. All our children are gone. Ariana is not at your
mother's! The boys and Ariana are with social services!" Her eyes
were wild, and she looked serious.
her by the wrist and forced her down to the floor. He slapped her
face several times. Then he tore at her clothes. "You ungrateful
bitch! How dare you? I gave you what you wanted and you threw it
in my face! I'll teach you to tall me no!"
strained and screamed and moaned she writhed like a snake trying
to escape. He pinned her down and drove harder, and tore her
flesh. Her screams were audible, and her laughter was
me because I chose to let you! You stupid man, I manipulated you!
I got pregnant on purpose! I knew you would only want me when I
gave you what you wanted, but I never wanted to be your slave!
Now it's all over! All your hard work is gone! Those children
will never call you good or father, only bastard!"
laughter rang across him and he clutched the necklace and tore it
from her neck. "This means nothing then? All the love
shrieked, "Love? Love? How could it mean love? You imprisoned me
to keep something you could have had freely! I gave you what you
wanted, but because I wanted to! Love ceased to be when you took
something that was never yours!"
because you still fell for it! I own you!"
for her throat and began to strangle her. With a force she had
not know she possessed she forced him to let go and roll him to
the floor. She looped the necklace around his throat and
strangled him with the efficiency of the trained killer she had
locked inside. All her rage suddenly pouring forth she pulled
tighter until his body was limp.
police arrived several minutes later they saw his limp body lying
on the floor and her huddled in the corner. They checked for and
miraculously found a pulse. While a paramedic attempted to revive
him they noted a finny imprint on his throat. They took one look
at her hand and saw the imprint. They took her bizarre statement
and had her looked over. When it was deemed she was safe to
interrogate they did so.
man watched as his prisoner was set free. Her walk was more sure,
and she smiled more. As he watched her walk away he saw the
imprint on her palm. He involuntarily touched his throat where
the same mark was permanently branded on him. Yes, it was a
symbol. It was a symbol of bondage and eternal ties. They would
always have children together, but she had always had her hand
around his throat. Since the first time he saw her she had him,
and now he had the marks to prove it. He couldn't hide it