I lifted my head tiredly as I heard that dreaded door open at the top of the stairs. Not again. I can’t take it again. I can’t. I’m hungry and sore. My back felt like someone had shoved a knife in it and left it there for me to suffer with. My legs felt dead under me. My arms felt 10 pounds heavier. I watched painfully waiting for Owen to come back down the stairs. My hair felt gross as it fell dirty on my shoulders. I opened my tired, dirty, stinging eyes to look up as he walked down the stairs over to me curled up in a ball in the corner of the rom my big belly wrapped in my arms. He looked at the guy behind him. “This is her. Isn’t she a beaut?” He asked putting his hand down to stroke my greasy hair making me whimper trying to turn away from his hand.
“She is.” The guy said behind him. He couldn’t be much younger than Owen. I stared at both of them in fear not wanting to get hurt anymore. Not now.
“She’s all mine. All mine.” He said to me smugly looked back at the man. “All mine. All mine.” He put more pressure on my hair as if to tell me I’m not leaving any time soon. “Get up.” He said yanking me up off the floor.
“Owen come on be gentle.” The guy said as he saw my big belly in front of me. “If not think of that baby.” Owen looked down at my stomach yanking my t-shirt up to look at my very pregnant belly.
“Fine.” He sighed gently rubbing a hand down the bruised skin. “I was going to leave you here but Derek is right. I do have to think about the baby more than you. So we can start our family. Me, you, and our kids.” He pulled me to him. “I know how good you are with kids. You and that…douche bags son. Not anymore. You will have this baby then mine right after.” He pulled my face to his running his nose up my cheek. “I can’t wait to see you big with my child Bailey. You are much more beautiful than your mother. I can’t wait to have you with my child.” He hummed lightly on my skin.
“Don’t you have to get to work?” Owen looked back at the man.
“You’re right. Have to be ready for the baby.” He said pulled my shirt down. He turned around me his hand tightly around my arm before yanking me up the stairs, Derek right behind us. The upstairs was much nicer than downstairs less dungeon-y and homier. Like someone really lived in it. He pulled me into a room and tossed me on the bed. I watched him carefully as he turned to leave. “You better stay in here.” He walked out of the room as I tried to calm my racing heart. “Derek?”
“Yeah Man?” I heard outside the door.
“You make sure she doesn’t leave.” He said with authority.
“I will. Go or you’ll be late.” I heard the front door slam making a whimper come from the other side of the room. I snapped my head to look at the old banged up crib in the corner of the room. My eyes were met with a pair of beautiful big green eyes as they stared at me tiredly. He had a baby here the whole time? What the hell is going on right now? I asked myself as the baby watched me scared. I gently got off the bed my body screaming at me to lay back down as I made my way over to the wooden crib. It reminded me so much of Finley when I first found him, scared, hungry, curled up in a crib. But the difference between the two of them is this little one does have a mattress. But he was skinnier. Much. I lifted him up gently from the crib making him open his mouth in a ‘o’ shape as I held him like I did with Fin close to my heart and stroked his back. He made a fist before opening it to touch my face with his little fingers. He had a tuff of brown hair on his head that made his white skin look pale and his big beautiful green eyes pop as he stared at me.
“What would your name be little one?” He stared at me before putting his hand in his mouth a frown coming onto his face. He chews mindlessly on his hand scanning my face.
“He doesn’t have a name.” I turned to look at Derek holding the baby a little tighter to me not trusting him, not knowing him.
“How could a baby not have a name?” I asked quietly not very sure if I was safe or not. I haven’t talked in a while, leaving my voice low and raspy.
“His mother didn’t want him. Owen had to take him in when he was born. It was a home birth for all we know.” He shook his head. “He barley feeds the poor thing let alone name him.”
“He never thought of one…..?” I asked him running a hand on the baby’s soft hair. He put his hand he wasn’t sucking on onto my chest so he could get a better look at me.
“Never.” He sighed moving from where he was leaning on the door frame.
“How can a baby grow without a name? He can’t be over 9 months old.” I said looking up at Derek before back at this poor baby as his face broke into a smile for me.
“He’s about 6 months really I think.” He shrugged as I sat on the bed as the baby put his spit covered hand on my chest and giggled moving in my arms before stopping and pulling a face at me. “Let’s just say Owen isn’t the best father.” He sighed watching me as I pulled back the back of the diaper the baby was wearing before pulling a face myself. “What?” He asked staring at me.
“Does he at least have more diapers and some wipes?” He nodded over to a pile in the corner of the room. I laid the baby on the bed walking over and grabbing a fresh clean diaper and the wipe container before walking over to the baby again undoing his diaper. I put the new diaper under him before pulling his dirty diaper out and wiping his bottom clean completely. He giggled at me as I wiped down everything the old diaper touched, not trusting Owen to keep him clean. I clipped the diaper into place before handing Derek the dirty diaper. “Does he have a bottle and some formula? He looks starving.” I sighed looking up from a happier baby.
“I think there is some in the kitchen. Let me check for you.” He walked out of the room as the baby looked up at me pushing his spit covered hand to me again.
“I’m going to take care of you know little guy.” I whispered rubbing his hair making him smile happily laying his head on my dirty shoulder rubbing his aching stomach. “Let’s get you some milk huh buddy?” He looked up at me his green eyes looking at me with an expiration I couldn’t read. “I’m going to protect you. You and my baby.” I rubbed my belly. He put his hand down to look at my big belly before cooing and turning in my arms. Derek walked back into the room and looked at me.
“You can come out. He won’t be back for a while. I promise.” I looked at the door way. “I would guess you would want to take a shower right?” I nodded knowing I smelled…bad.
“Why are you being nice to me?” I asked quietly as he lead me to the kitchen where he was getting the bottle ready as well as making some eggs to eat.
“I do not believe in what Owen is doing. I’m making you a promise here. Right now.”
“What?” I asked as he handed me the warm glass bottle full of baby formula.
“I’m getting you out of here. Away from him.” I looked up at him putting the nipple to the baby’s greedy mouth as he started to suck hungrily at it gulping down.
“Please don’t make promises you can’t keep.” I whispered watching the baby guzzle.
“I promise over my dead body I will get you home. Home to your fiancé.” I looked at him as he nodded at my dirty engagement ring. The ring I fought to keep on. “I promise. I will get you of here.” I looked up at him as the baby put his hands on the bottle trying to get it faster out of it.
“Slow down little guy. You’ll get a tummy ache if you drink too much.” I moved the bottle so he would drink slower like I did with Fin when he first came to Taylor and I. Oh how I miss my baby….
“You have to think of a name for him you know.” I looked up at Derek again. “I mean he can’t be nameless his whole life.”
“I can’t think of any name.” I signed looking at the baby again.
“Think of anything. Favorite movie, favorite song, favorite word. I don’t know anything.” He shrugged putting a plate of eggs and cheese in front of me. “Some food for you, Malady.” He smiled as I stared at the half naked baby on the table guzzling the last of his bottle. “Do you want me to take him another?”
“A half of one people. Not too much. We don’t want him to get a stomach ache.”
“Coming up.” The baby pulled his mouth from the bottle and looked at me before giving me a breath taking smile.
“Conrad.” Derek turned to look at me.
“Conrad.” I turned to the baby moving some hair out of his face as he played with his belly button.
“You want to name him Conrad?” I nodded. “Why?”
“It just fits him. He looks like a Conrad. Like a friend that always will like you.” I smiled at him as Conrad poked at his belly button before giggling and looking up at me.
“You’re right. It does suit him.” I took a bite of the food making my stomach roar with hunger after not eating in a while. “You can call them.” I looked up at him the fork stopping half way to my mouth.
“What?” I asked shocked as he put the half full bottle on the table making Conrad coo at it before trying to pick it up. He was weak and skinny, not a healthy skinny either so he couldn’t. I lifted it to his mouth again letting him guzzle away at it.
“I’m letting you use my cell phone to call your family. But you have to promise not tell them where you are. I need to plan this out. If anything happens and Owen finds out, we could both be screwed. He would kill me, and he would beat you. Just promise me. I will promise you to get you out soon. But promise me this.”
“I promise.” I whispered as he pulled the snazzy phone from his pocket. “Thank you.” I whispered dialing *67 before the house number and putting it to my ear listening to the ringing as I waited for someone to pick up……
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