The necklace 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.
She was 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.
And what 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.
With dismay 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.
He shook 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.
“So, how have you been?” he asked conversationally.
She smiled a sunny smile and began to reapply her lip gloss. “I was fine until you showed up. What was that all about?”
“What was what?”
She glared at him, “The kiss, you fool. That wasn’t exactly how I pictured seeing you again.”
He smiled nervously, “Well, I was excited. I missed you.”
“Hmmm,” she 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?”
“So you aren’t happy to see me?”
She 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
He pressed his hand to the necklace, “But you still wear this?”
She pulled it from his grasp, “It is pretty after all.”
“But I gave it to you, and aren’t you mad at me?”
“Not too much.”
“Then let’s eat lunch together.”
She hesitated, “Lunch?”
“Yes, the meal between dinner and breakfast.”
“See how easy that was? Now, do you still like Mexican? I’m buying.”
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.
Six months 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.
She sat down on the bed and wiped her face. He caressed her gently, “Still no better? I thought the flu would be over now.”
“It isn’t the flu.”
“Then what is it?”
She laughed, “I thought you’d have reasoned that out by now.”
“Well, I’m not that bright.”
“Obviously. You’re going to be a father.”
His eyes widened, “How do you know it’s mine? Don’t you sleep with him too?”
“He uses protection, and I had a hard time conceiving. He’ll just thinks it’s one of those happy accidents.”
He stared, “When?”
“When what? I don’t understand the question.”
“When will you have the baby?”
The 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.
He stared 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.
She looked up, “Yes, when he’s finished would you like to hold your son?”
He nodded 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.
“Mama, my teacher wanted to know if you were coming to school to see my play.”
She shook her head, “Your father wouldn’t like that. You know how he is.”
The little 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.
“Well, I see you’re up and about. Pretty soon you can start thinking about names for the next one.”
She nodded soberly, “I assume Ariana is a suitable name for her?”
“Of course, but I think we should talk about it some more later. Right now you’re tired.”
She glared 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.
That night when she finally had her daughter down, he crept in the bedroom and kissed her. She involuntarily flinched. She was paying for it all
Ariana was 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.
One day shortly after, she struck the ringing blow.
“I don’t want another baby! I’m tired, and I need fresh air and exercise!”
“No. I want another child, and you will have one if you want Ben to live to see another day.”
She laughed 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.
He grabbed 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!”
While he 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 mocking.
“You have 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!”
Her laughter rang across him and he clutched the necklace and tore it from her neck. “This means nothing then? All the love wasted?”
She 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!”
“I win because you still fell for it! I own you!”
He reached 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
When the 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.
The poor 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
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