Captive in the Dark by C. J. Roberts

He couldn’t help himself, he laughed. “Now, was that so hard?”

Her jaw visibly ticked, but she remained silent, her eyes fixed on her bruised knees. Good, Caleb thought, he had made himself perfectly clear.

Standing, he turned toward the door, though no sooner had he taken a step than he heard her strained voice at his back.

“Why are you doing this?” she asked hollowly.

He turned, a wry smile playing across his lips. She wanted a reason. Serial killers had reasons. Reasons made no difference.

She continued, “Is it because of that day on the street? Is it because I…” She swallowed hard and Caleb knew it was because she was trying not to cry. “Because I flirted with you? Did I do this to myself?” Despite her noble effort, a fat tear slid down her right cheek.

In that moment, Caleb could not help but regard her as he would any strange creature – objective but insatiably curious.

“No,” he lied, “it has nothing to do with that day.” She needed him to lie; Caleb understood. Sometimes a gentle lie was enough to remove the weight of a harsh truth. It’s not your fault. Perhaps he needed to lie to himself too, because he remembered wanting her that day, and not for reasons having to do with his mission.

“I’ll go get you some ice. And you could probably use some aspirin too.”

They both started at the sound of a key being turned in the lock.

Jair casually entered the room and Caleb made no effort to disguise his anger. “What the fuck are you doing in here?” Jair was obviously drunk and that made him more dangerous. Jair’s eyes flashed with anger before striding toward the girl cowering on the bed. His eyes raked over her naked body and his lips curved in a covetous smile. “I see the little slut is awake.”

The girl was scared, really scared. She’d huddled all the way to the top of bed, covering herself with her hands and hair – trying to pull the comforter up from under her body. He was struck by the fact that she hadn’t reacted to him that way while they were on the bed together.

She had seemed more pissed off than frightened of him, but only after the blindfold came off and she realized who he was. It could mean one of two things: one, she felt like she knew him based on their very brief encounter, or two, she didn’t find him threatening. Either way, her thought process seemed asinine.

Caleb glared at Jair who was eyeing the girl as if he wanted to simultaneously kill her and fuck her. Given what he knew of Jair, it was possible that’s exactly what he wanted.

There was a test here.

Caleb forced himself to regard Jair as if he mattered, “Well, I’m not sure that’s the name I’ll go with, but yes, she’s awake.” Caleb glanced coolly at the girl over his shoulder, just the barest of looks. He quickly noticed her pleading expression, and added, “And quite spry.” He smiled.

Need and lust were unchecked on Jair’s face, and Caleb knew all too well what men like him fantasized about doing to scared girls. Without hesitation, Jair staggered toward the bed and wrapped his filthy hand around the girl’s ankle and pulled. The girl screamed and clung to the bedpost.

Caleb turned swiftly, grabbing her around the waist as she was dragged across toward the foot of the bed. He pulled her into his arms and sat casually, his back against the headboard, his left foot planted on the ground. The girl scrambled into his lap and buried her face in his shirt. Against his chest her frantic, pleading sobs vibrated his entire body. She was using him as protection? Interesting.

Caleb winced as her fingernails dug sharply into his ribs. Swiftly, and deftly he pried her fingers from his shirt and captured her wrists.

“No, no, no, no, no…” tripped over her lips repeatedly while she attempted to once again gain sanctuary in his arms. Caleb, suddenly irritated by the thought, spun her in his arms using her own momentum. After securing the girl’s wrist between her breasts, he held her tightly against him.

Jair made another grab for the girl’s ankles.

“No,” Caleb said calmly. “You’re job was to get her for me, not to hit her, or fuck her.”

“This is bullshit, Caleb!” Jair shouted angrily, his thick accent made him sound barbaric. “That little bitch kicked my face, and I could have done more than slap her. I should get something for that.”

At the sound of his name, Caleb’s grip intensified to the point of strangling all the sobs out of the girl in his arms. The ensuing silence effectively punctuated the rage in Caleb’s stare. It took Jair a moment to realize what he’d done. The glaze over Jair’s eyes cleared in full realization, and the drunken stupor, for a fraction of a moment, cleared. And that was enough. Caleb could see the Arab understood his mistake at declaring his name to the girl.

Suddenly remembering the gasping girl in his arms, Caleb loosened his grip. She sucked in breath after breath, so concerned with getting air in her lungs it seemed that for the moment she had forgotten to resume her crying. Within Caleb’s tensed arm his captive made hoarse, mewling sounds, but he made no effort to reassure her of her safety.

With his free hand Caleb reached for her chin and tilted it up for Jair to see. “It could take weeks for this to heal.” His fingers dug into the girl’s face as his temper rose.

The room was filled with tension and then the silence broke with the sound of the girl’s sobs.

“Fuck,” he sighed, “You’re right.” He paused, adding through clenched jaws, “Don’t tell Rafiq. It won’t happen again.”

The man wasn’t as stupid as he seemed. He knew hitting the girl was the least of his transgressions. He’d offered the girl his name. Names had power. Jair had to know what he’d done would cost him. If not, Caleb would have to make sure of it. As a mercenary available to the highest bidder, Jair’s bread and butter were earned in the acquisition and safeguarding of high-end pleasure slaves. One word about these juvenile mistakes and his contracts would dry up. And one word about Jair fucking with Caleb, and Rafiq would see to it that Jair dried up, preferably in the desert somewhere. Still, the very idea that Caleb needed protection from anyone was an insult he didn’t take lightly. “I’m my own manJair,” he spoke the name with venom, “Why fear Rafiq from thousands of miles, when I could kill you in just a few steps?”

Jair stiffened, but he kept his mouth shut.

Oh yeah, Caleb thought, you’re my bitch. Caleb’s voice was sugar, laced with arsenic, “Now, please…go get our guest some aspirin and an icepack. It seems she’s got quite the headache.”

Jair left the room without another word, tension lined his body, and Caleb smiled.

Once alone, the girl in Caleb’s arms broke down completely. “Please, please, I’m begging you, don’t let him hurt me. I swear to God I won’t fight anymore.”

Exasperated, Caleb let out a wry laugh, “Now, you don’t like to fight? What makes you think I won’t hurt you?”

Through distorted sobs he heard, “You said you wouldn’t. Please don’t.” She added emphasis to the word ‘please’. Caleb hid a smile in her hair.

No longer willing to expose her beautiful curves to Jair, he leaned across his captive to retrieve the end of the comforter. In doing so, he pressed her face-down into the mattress and his unbelievably hard cock pressed against her bottom. She shook so fiercely, Caleb wondered how her body could endure it. He released her wrists and covered her body. “You need to calm down pet. I don’t want you to go into shock.” She only whimpered in response.

Caleb laughed and stroked her hair, “I promise you pet, if you do what I say, you will always come out better than you think.”

Jair returned holding the items Caleb asked for. His captive’s shaking intensified.

Obviously still angry, Jair tossed Caleb the aspirin. “Anything else?” he said bitingly. Catching the bottle in one hand, Caleb shook his head and made a tsk-tsk sound. He removed one aspirin and another similar looking pill from his pocket. He made a gesture for Jair to come closer, and handed over the pills.

“Don’t be so sensitive Jair. It only makes you more unattractive.” Jair snarled. “But I’m sure our guest thinks you’re lovely. She’s agreed to play nice so long as you don’t hurt her.” Beneath the blanket she stopped shaking all together, her body suddenly tight as a bow.

He stood up from the bed. “Go on, make nice. Offer her the gifts you’ve brought.”

Jair gave Caleb a suspicious look, but approached the bed and held out the glass of water. Her eyes were wide, filled with an anguish Caleb no longer understood.

“Go on, pet.” He made a point of using the moniker, not surprised to find that when her eyes shot to his, her expression was no longer one of anger, but appropriate fear.

When he made no further comment, her trembling hand finally reached for the pills and glass. She was extremely mindful of not touching Jair. That was smart. The glass rattled against her teeth as she swallowed, but she managed not to spill any.

When the glass was empty, she handed it back to Jair, careful again not to make casual contact with his fingers. Her eyes stared past him toward Caleb. They were quite pitiful.

“Give thanks you whore,” Jair spat when she simply curled into the fetal position. Caleb frowned, but he let the remark pass.

Her eyes once again searching Caleb’s for direction, she finally mumbled feebly, “Thank you,” before pulling the comforter more tightly around herself.

At Caleb’s dismissive look, Jair left the room. And once again, Caleb was left alone with his puzzling acquisition. He carefully approached the cotton covered mass on the bed, sat, and leaned in close to her face. “You’re very proud,” he whispered. “As kind as I have been, you’ve been a brat. But for the man who would rape you, you show nothing but obedience…that says a lot.”

“Go fuck yourself,” was her small, raspy reply.

He let out a burst of laughter. “Well, you’re nothing if not interesting.” And that was the truth. For some reason, he’d known that from the beginning, and yet, he had not expected this. His laughter ebbed away slowly and when next he spoke, his voice was cold but velvet, “But you know… I’d much rather fuck you.”

The cotton mound twitched, and then contorted violently as she turned over and scurried backward, gripping the comforter to her chest as if it would be enough to stop him. He couldn’t help but laugh. Her eyes shot daggers at him, but he could already see her pupils were dilated. Her stomach was empty and the drugs were working fast. Considering the dose he’d given her, she was high as a kite. But cute.

Her head drooped, but she picked it up quickly, catching herself in jerky movements. He found himself smiling, though briefly. “What’s…wrong…with me?” she slurred. Her body was relaxing against her will. And she kept struggling, fighting the drug.

“You’re going to sleep now pet,” he said simply.

“What? Why?” Her eyes were comically wide with shock and she pulled at her lip. “My face is numb, numb, numb.” She let out a strange giggle, but it soon faded away to heavy breathing.

He walked toward the door, the slow smiling curving upward despite himself.

THREE : I was seven the first time I was warned about being a whore. It was one of the very few times I spent time with my father and I remember it vividly because he scared me.

We were watching Return to the Blue Lagoon and the character Lilly had just panicked over blood she found between her legs. I was too young to understand what was happening so I asked my dad. He said, “Women are dirty whores and full of dirty blood, so every month they have to get rid of it.”

I was stunned into fearful silence. I imagined myself being emptied of blood, my skin shrunken down the bone. “Am I a woman Daddy?”

My father drank deeply from his rum and coke, “You will be someday.”

My eyes misted over with tears as I imagined the horror of being exsanguinated, “How do I get more blood?”

My father smiled and hugged me. The smell of the liquor on his breath would always be a comfort to me, “You will baby girl…just don’t be a whore.”

I squeezed my father, “I won’t!” I leaned back and looked in his drunken eyes, “But what’s a whore?”

My father laughed outright, “Ask your mother.”

I never did. I never told my mother about the things my father said, though she asked whenever he brought me home. Instinctually I knew they would only fight if I did.

Two years later, on my ninth birthday I had my first period and cried pitifully for my mother to call a doctor. Instead, she burst into the bathroom and demanded to know what was wrong. I looked up at her, shame radiating throughout my body and whispered, “I’m a whore.”

I was thirteen before I saw my dad again. And by then I had a deep understanding of what a ‘whore’ was.

My mother had been a ‘whore’ for falling in love young and becoming pregnant with me…and my brother…and my sister…and my other sister…and my other brother…and well – the rest. I was destined to become one because of her. Whoredom, it seemed, was in my blood, my dirty blood.

My grandparents believed it; my aunt’s believed it, as did their husband’s and their children. My mother had been the youngest of her siblings and their opinion weighed heavily with her. So most importantly – she believed it. She made me believe it.

She dressed me in floor length dresses, forbade me make-up, earrings, or anything more exotic than a barrette for my hair. I could not play with my brothers or my male cousins. I could not sit on my fathers lap. All this was to keep my inner whore at bay.

By the time I was thirteen, I was fed up with my families Puta Manifesto. I rebelled at every opportunity. I borrowed shorts, skirts and t-shirts from my friends. I saved money from birthday cards and the occasional stipend my mother gave me for babysitting while she went out to search for her next boyfriend to buy tinted lip gloss and fingernail polish.

My mother was thrown into fits of pure rage whenever she found these things in my room. “Disgraciada!” she would yell while pitching my pilfered items at my head. I was a disgrace in her eyes. “Is this what you’re doing behind my back? Wearing this…this…nothing! Showing your tits and your legs like street trash!”

I always cry when I’m angry, overwhelmed by emotion, I can’t control my face leakage or my mouth, “Fuck you Mom. Fuck you! You’re the whore, not me. I just...” I sobbed, “I just want to dress like other girls my age. I’m sick of paying for your mistakes. I didn’t do anything wrong.”

My mother’s eyes swam with tears and fury, “You know Livvie, you think you’re so much better than me,” she swallowed, “but you’re not. We’re more alike than you even know and…I’m telling you…act like a whore and you’ll get treated like one.”

I sobbed loudly as she gathered my things in a trash bag. “Those clothes belong to my friends!”

“Well, they’re not your friends anymore. You don’t need friends like that.”

“I hate you!”

“Hmm, well…I hate you too right now. All I’ve sacrificed…for a brat like you.”


I awoke, gasping and disoriented, the edges of the dream dissipating, but not the dread lingering inside me. The darkness was so complete, for a second, I thought I hadn’t woken from my nightmare. Then slowly, frame by frame, it all came back to me. And as each frame was cataloged and stored away in my mental library, a faint but growing concept took hold, that this nightmare was reality, my reality. I suddenly found myself longing for the dream. Any nightmare would be better than this.

My heart sank to new depths, eyes burning in the darkness. I looked around dispassionately, noticing familiar objects, but none of them mine. As the haze cleared, ever more steadily into cold hard reality, I thought, I really have been kidnapped. It hit, hard, those words in neon, in my head. I looked around again, surrounded by strangeness. Unfamiliar space. I really am in some strange place.

I wanted to cry.

I wanted to cry for not seeing this coming. I wanted to cry for the uncertainty of my future. I wanted to cry for wanting to cry. I wanted to cry because I was most likely going to die before I got to experience life. But mostly, I wanted to cry for being so horribly, tragically, stupidly female.

I’d had so many fantasies about that day he’d helped me on the sidewalk. I’d felt like a princess stumbling across a knight in shining armor. Jesus Christ, I’d even asked him for a ride! I had been so disappointed when he said no and when he mentioned meeting another woman my heart had sunken into my stomach. I cursed myself for not wearing something cuter. Shamefully, I had fantasized about his perfect hair, his enigmatic smile, and the exact shade of his eyes almost every day since.

I closed my eyes.

What an idiot I’d been, a damned foolish little girl.

Had I learned nothing from my mother’s mistakes? Apparently not. Somehow I’d still managed to go all retarded at the sight of some handsome asshole with a nice smile. And just like her, I’d gotten good and fucked by him too. I’d let a man ruin my life. For some reason beyond my understanding, I hated my mother in that moment. It broke my heart even more.

I wiped angrily at the tears that threatened to escape my eyes. I had to focus on a way to get out of here, not on a way to feel sorry for myself.

The only light came from the dim glow coming off a nearby nightlight. The pain had subsided into an overall soreness, but my headache still raged. I was unbound, lying under the same thick comforter, covered from head to toe in a thin layer of sweat. I pushed the comforter away.

I expected to find my naked body under the comforter. Instead I found satin, a camisole and panties. I clutched frantically at the fabric. Who had dressed me? Dressing meant touching and touching could mean too many things. Caleb? Had he dressed me? The thought filled me with dread. And underneath that, something else entirely more horrible; unwelcome curiosity.

Fending off my conflicting emotions, I set about inspecting my body. I was sore all over, even my hair hurt, but between my legs I didn’t feel noticeably different. No soreness on the inside to suggest what I couldn’t bring myself to think might happen to me at some point. I was momentarily relieved, but one more look around my new prison and my relief evaporated. I had to get out of here. I slid out of bed.

The room appeared run down, with yellowing wallpaper and thin, stained carpet. The bed, a huge wrought iron four-poster, was the only piece of furniture that appeared new. It hardly seemed like the kind of thing that belonged in a place like this. Not that I knew much about places like this. The linen on the bed smelled of fabric softener. It was the same kind I washed my family’s clothes in at home. My stomach clenched. I didn’t hate my mother, I loved her. I should have told her more often, even if she didn’t always tell me. Tears stung my eyes, but I couldn’t fall apart right now. I had to think of a way to escape.

My first instinct was to try the door, but I dismissed that idea as stupid. For one, I remembered it being locked. For another, if it wasn’t, the chances were good I’d run right into my captors. The look in that guy, Jair’s, eyes flashed through my mind and a violent shiver of fear ran down my spine.

Instead, I crept to a set of curtains and pulled them back. The window was boarded shut. I barely contained an exasperated scream. I slipped my fingers around the edges of the wood trying to pull it up, but it proved impossible. Damn.

The door opened behind me without warning. I spun around, slamming my back against the wall as if I could somehow manage to blend into the curtains. The door hadn’t been locked. Had he been waiting for me?

Light, soft and low, filtered through, casting shadows across the floor. Caleb. My legs shook with fear as he shut the door and walked toward me. He looked like the Devil himself, dressed in black slacks and a black button up shirt, stepping slowly, deliberately. Still handsome enough to make my insides clench and my heart stutter. It was pure perversion.

In the fall of light from the door his shadow loomed long and dark. Unbidden, words once made ominous by Poe, now manifested as flesh in the man before me: “Suddenly I heard a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.”

Crap, crap, crap. Okay, that last part was me.

Caleb raised his hand as if to hit me and I threw my arms up to protect my face. His hand slammed against the wall. While I cringed, the bastard laughed. Slowly, I moved to bring my arms down and cover my breasts. Caleb grabbed both my wrists in his left hand and pressed them to the wall over my head. Pinned between him and the wall, I reacted like a frightened hamster. I froze, as if my stillness would discourage his predatory nature. Like a snake that only eats live mice.

“Are you hungry?” he asked, soft and low.

I heard the question, but the words had no meaning. My brain ceased to function as it should. The only thing my mind could focus on was his closeness. The intense warmth of his soft fingers pressed into my wrists. The clean, wet smell of his skin in the air around me. The invisible pressure of his gaze upon me. What was this?

When I failed to respond, the fingers of his right hand trailed across the underside of my right breast, the fabric of my camisole made his fingers warm satin against my flesh. Our earlier exchange forced its way into my consciousness. “Go fuck yourself.”

“…I’d much rather fuck you.”

My knees slightly buckled and my nipples hardened. I took a sharp breath and leaned away from his touch, forcing my tightly shut eyes into the skin of my upraised arm.

His lips caressed the shell of my ear, “Are you going to answer? Or must I force you again?”

Food? My stomach suddenly twisted sharply. A primal pain. Yes, there was my hunger, when he reminded me of it. I was absolutely starving. I mustered up my courage by taking a deep breath. “Yes.”

I felt his smile against my ear, and then his fingers held my chin. In my peripheral vision I watched him lean into me. His breath was cool against my heated flesh.

“Yes,” he repeated my response, “you’re hungry? Yes, you’re going to answer? Or yes, I have to force you again?”

My heart raced. I felt his breath on my cheek. There was suddenly not enough air, as if his proximity sucked it out of my lungs.

“Or is it just, yes?”
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