At least I wasn't hurt. Physically, at least. Yet. When I woke, again, Marc was towering over me. He had brought more food- bread and butter, tomato soup, and a bowl of fruit salad. I jumped at his stare. Reliving the experiences in my waking memories, I realised where I was and I sighed, sitting up, my head refilled with pain because of his poisonous habit with that drug.
"Good evening honey. I brought you something to eat." He smiled and kissed me on the forehead as he had earlier- he then relished it, licking his lips.
"I- no. Thanks. I'm not hungry-" Just then my stomach growled. With anyone else, I would have been embarrassed, but I just glared at him, daring him to contradict my claim. He shrugged.
"I'm not leaving this room until I know you're fed, my love. If you don't cooperate I'll have to use force... I hope I won't have to though. It upsets me to see how you get so distressed when I use the chloroform."
"But- w-what if you poisoned it? Or drugged it? I-" Suddenly he grew furious. I jumped at his tone- this seemed to infuriate him further.
"For the last time, I'm not going to hurt you! Now eat something!" He thrust the tray at me. I meekly complied, taking the tray from him. But my arms- so weak since the first struggle- buckled under the weight and Marc had to help me place it on my lap. "Good girl. Now, go on, eat!"
I fearfully picked up a strawberry from the fruit-filled bowl. I did manage to chew the soft berry, but as I attempted to swallow I found my throat closed up, as it tended to do when I was panicky. I tried until it painfully slid down my throat; Marc clapped his hands together.
"You see? This is going great. Now finish up and I might let you downstairs for a few minutes." He winked at me. I felt so confused, and betrayed by my emotions. I felt my heart soar as I contemplated leaving this bleak- if impeccable- room. After a pain-filled half an hour of silence as I reluctantly demolished the meal, Marc laughed.
"Look at you! This is just how I dreamed you'd cooperate. I'm going to pretend this is the start of our first day together. First of many. Now do you want to come downstairs with me, sweetie?" I nodded silently. He laughed again, more carefree sounding than ever- and took the key from his pocket. He unlocked my ankles- I withdrew my legs from their unchanged position and felt a stab of stiff pain. I ignored it. Could I outrun him to the door? All hope of that was suddenly lost as I quickly hopped from the bed- noticing how the turquoise dress was quite a few inches above the knee... then I crumpled to the floor like a paper doll, as pain rushed through my legs and ankles. I couldn't walk. Not yet. I didn't realise I was crying until Marc spoke.
"Aww, don't cry, love. Look, I'll carry you for now. Ok? Come on, lets go!" In one fluid movement, he collected me up into his arms like a weightless child and strolled to the door. I objected strongly, feeling so pathetic,until he reluctantly placed me on the floor again.
"I can do it!" I claimed, pushing myself up. I wobbled, but I noticed the gradual decrease of pain as I took steps that might compare to a one-year-old's first steps. Soon I could walk almost perfectly. I half-hobbled to the photograph wall, suddenly energized, and began to rip the photos down ferociously, panting. I was suprised to see that Marc just stood and watched. I still don't know why he just let it happen, but he allowed me my tantrum until I collapsed on the floor.
"Right, now you've done that... shall we go? I want you to see the downstairs." He exclaimed brightly. I turned to look at him in disgust. Was that a glimmer of a tear in his eye? I decided I didn't care, and I walked out of the door behind him. I glanced around- the yellow landing was huge- there were at least ten other doorways just dotted around the curved stairway. I was about to step down the first wooden stair when Marc scooped me up again.
"If you fell down these stairs- which is possible, in your condition- I would never forgive myself for any injury you might sustain."
I could tell I couldn't sway him about this, so I crossed my arms and kept my eyes down. We descended about twenty stairs before we reached the 'downstairs'. Then Marc planting a soft kiss on the top of my head and placed me gently on the floor. I knew it was juvenile, but I rubbed where my head had been touched by him, as if I was rubbing off dirt. I was happy to see the genuine hurt in his eyes. I looked around. Three separate corridors with doors leading on- would I ever get to know my way around this maze? So many doors, so little light.
"Is this a- a hotel or something?"
"I guess it could be. Yeah...a hotel for two. Our hotel for two." I cringed. He lead me through the maze until we reached a windowless living room in the heart of the downstairs building. I notice chest of drawers by the door as he lead me to sit down on a comfortable- looking burgundy couch. I sat awkwardly, legs neatly together, arms folded, looking everywhere but at him and trying to lengthen the dress as much as possible by holding it taut. He drank in my appearance greedily, then busied himself, lighting the gas fire. My eyes wandered back to the chest of drawers, and I noticed material poking from the scond of the four drawers. It was a navy-blue, worn pocket. My school blazer! He must have had stored my uniform away... the sick freak. It was worth a shot, I supppose. I began to fake coughing loudly. He turned and sat beside me.
"You Ok, darling?"
"I- ahem- think I just need some- urgh- water? Can you get me- some?" I coughed.
"Well, the kitchen's about five minutes away. Can you manage here?"
"Can I trust you to stay put, baby?" My skin crawled when he called me that- it was the worst name yet. But I mustered a weak smile and nodded. He seemed satisfied. "Not that you'd get away- it took me months to get to grips with this place. I'll be right back, darling." And with that he left. I rushed to the chest of drawers within seconds on my unstable legs. Tearing the drawer open, I retreived my blazer and rummaged through the pockets desperately. Yes! Yes! My phone was there! Opening it, I knew I had at least five pounds credit and I saw I had three bars of precious battery. No signal though. I tore out of the room like a woman possessed. My only hope for escape.
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