I must have drifted off at some point because the next thing I was conscious of was a loud, obnoxious noise assaulting my ears.
After failing to slap off the non-existent alarm clock, I covered my ears and squinted to locate the source of the noise.
I groaned when I realized where I was. Sleep had proven to be a temporary escape from my prison.
"Good morning." Wescott's voice came through the speaker, after the noise cut off and I uncovered my ears. "I hope you slept well."
I sat up and glared at the smoke detector, not knowing where else to direct my hatred. I was positive he'd see it though.
The door swooshed open and a burly guard carried in a new tray of food. It was the same guard, in fact, who's nose I broke yesterday. He put the tray on the table and gave me a spiteful, superior look as he waited for me to walk over to him.
I crossed my arms and turned my glare on him.
"I have something to do," Wescott announced. "When I come back, I expect you to have eaten, Abi. This is your last chance to do things the easy way. Don't make me become unpleasant," he warned.
I rolled my eyes and only moved to throw my legs over the side of the bed.
"Nice bandage," I said spitefully to the guard, after a minute. "Does it hurt?"
He narrowed his eyes before he smirked. He walked over and stopped a foot in front of me, making sure to flash the little black remote in his hand.
I continued to scowl at him as he towered over me.
"Just give me a reason to use this," he said in a low voice.
"You people don't need a reason," I scoffed. "But I'm sure you have to justify it to your boss," I said, not afraid of him. "You couldn't just use it for any little thing, now could you?"
"Maybe," he said, trying to intimidate me.
"Well, go ahead then," I taunted, knowing he was bluffing. "You seem to like being a bully. Tell me, do you get your jollies by abducting and beating up women?"
"You're not exactly a regular woman, now are you?" he said.
I just glared at him.
"Then again," he said before he sat down next to me. "Maybe you'd be better." He was way too close and was obviously trying to make me cower away.
I refused to be intimidated. I gave myself enough distance to turn and glare at him, daring him to try something. It would be fun to beat this moron up again.
He leered back, leaning in a little, trying to force me back.
I didn't budge.
After a minute, his hand found my leg.
I glanced down at it before I turned my cold gaze back to his face.
"Get your hand off of me," I warned.
"Or what?" He smirked and rubbed my thigh with his thumb.
I smiled coldly before I hauled off and punched his already broken nose.
His hands flew to his face as he cursed profusely. I stood up, willing him to come at me for more.
In another second, though, I collapsed on the bed, holding my ears against the excruciating noise. Apparently he felt justified to use his remote.
I was vaguely aware that I was screaming as I waited for the head-splitting noise to subside. It wasn't though. When Wescott had done it, it had only been a few seconds as a demonstration. Now it was being used to inflict pain out of spite and could go on for a while.
I pushed against the bed, trying to burrow down into the blanket, hoping to muffle the noise, but it didn't help in the slightest.
After an eternity, it cut off. I lay stiffly on my side, shaking, panting, and sweating.
I was aware of Wescott's angry voice as he yelled at the guard, long before I was able to open my eyes. I couldn't focus on what he was actually saying though.
I opened my eyes and pushed myself into a sitting position, still shaking and trying to get my breathing under control. I didn't say anything as I scowled at Wescott and the other guards behind him. The idiot with the broken nose was gone.
"I'm sorry," Wescott said. "It isn't meant to be used in that way."
"No," I said, through my teeth. "But it was." I almost fell over in shock that he bothered to apologize.
"Danny will be punished," he said. "That sort of thing shouldn't happen again."
"Gee, that makes it all better," I said spitefully. "As long as it exists, it will always have the potential to be used in that way."
Wescott pursed his lips before he apparently decided to just drop it.
"Eat your breakfast," he said, turning to leave.
"No." I crossed my arms.
He turned back. "You've already had a difficult morning," he said. "Don't make it worse. Eat."
I raised my chin. "Do whatever you want to me," I said. "Go ahead, press your stupid remote all you want. All you'll accomplish will be to make me hate you more. I told you, I'm not helping you. Nothing you do to me will make me want to cooperate with you."
He watched me for a minute before he turned back to face me.
"Alright, fine," he said. "Apparently you need a little motivation."
I tensed waiting for whatever he had planned, as he reached into his pocket.
I watched curiously as he pulled out a phone.
He put it on speaker and dialed.
"Sir?" Came the quick response after two rings.
"Yes, is everything in order?" Wescott asked.
"Yes sir," the man answered.
"Very good," Wescott said before he looked at me. "At this moment, Charlie is stationed outside your mother's house in a van that would appear to be from the gas company."
I narrowed my eyes.
"As soon as I tell him to, he will proceed to tell your mother that he's there to check out her house to make sure there are no gas leaks." He raised an eyebrow.
"I don't believe you," I said, stubbornly. He was only trying to scare me. He wouldn't just murder an innocent woman, would he?
I was afraid I already knew the answer to that, though.
"Alright, Charlie, go ahead," he said into the phone.
Charlie shuffled around and I heard what must have been the van door slamming. A few minutes later I heard my mother's voice answering the door, sounding tired.
Wescott watched me intently and I fought the angry tears that threatened to spill down my face.
"I'm sorry to bother you, Maam," Charlie said. "But we've had reports of a few gas leaks in the area and we've been doing routine checks to make sure everything's in order. May I come in? Here's my ID."
Say no, Mom, I thought. Say no!
"Oh, I guess that would be alright," my mom said after a minute.
I bit my lip and closed my eyes, feeling like I was about to lose the battle with the tears. She was always so cautious about everything. Why couldn't she be that way now?
I imagined him walking through my house, behind my mother as she made little comments, apologizing for the state of the house and other things.
"Now we both know there's no leak, right now, Abi," Wescott said. "But it's up to you if there will be one by the time Charlie leaves. After that, all it would take is a tiny spark. Lighting a match perhaps," he said.
My mom always had candles going. Wescott probably knew that.
"Here we are," my mom said. "Can I get you anything?"
"A glass of water would be great," Charlie said. "Thank you."
A few seconds later, he asked, "Boss?"
"What's it going to be?" Wescott asked me.
I gave him a look of pure hatred and he raised an eyebrow.
"I want your total cooperation," he said. "Or your mother is going to have a very unfortunate problem."
I looked away from him, hating that I really had no choice.
"Here you are," my mom said. "Is everything alright?"
"Running out of time, Abi," Wescott pushed.
"Fine," I mumbled, grudgingly.
"I'm sorry?" he said. I'm sure I wasn't imagining the taunting in his voice.
I glared at him. "Fine," I said again. "I'll do what you want."
"I thought you might." He smiled. "Alright Charlie," he said. "No need just yet."
"Everything seems to be fine, Maam," I heard Charlie say before Wescott disconnected the phone.
"Keep in mind," he said. "I can always send Charlie back there, should you decide to become difficult."
I looked away, disgusted.
"Now," he said. "After you've eaten, you will shower and put on one of the outfits provided in the dresser. Top drawer."
"I'll shower when I can do it alone," I said stubbornly, looking back at him.
"You were the one who convinced me you might be a danger to yourself," he said, almost smiling. Probably laughing at me, actually.
I rolled my eyes. "I think you know I'm pretty safe in the bathroom. Besides what am I gonna do? Give myself a concussion on the floor? You ought to know I'd go for something else. I'd pick something a little more guaranteed."
He watched me for a few seconds before he looked towards the bathroom. "Alright, Amy," he said. "You may go."
The girl in the bathroom didn't waste any time. She came through the open bathroom door before scurrying out of the room.
"I do hope, for your mother's sake, you won't be foolish enough to even attempt anything," he said. "Successful or not, your mother would be the one to pay the price."
I just scowled.
"Eat," Wescott said before he turned to leave, followed by the two guards.
After the door swooshed shut again, I sat sulking on the bed for another minute, before his voice came over the speaker.
"That wasn't a request, Abi," he said.
I sighed and, having no choice, got up.
I still wasn't sure where the camera was, but knowing he was watching, I flashed my middle finger at the empty room before I went over to the table and sat.
It wasn't a gesture I was prone to use often. Unfortunately it was all I could do at the moment. He couldn't make me be pleasant about any of this, at least.
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