Chapter 15

He took her back down to the basement, but he didn’t suspend her. He lay her down on her side, and put his knee on her and held her down. Her face was pressed into the cold concrete.

“I don’t want you to be able to hear if anyone else comes,” he said, holding her head still. “It’ll be better for the both of us this way.” She started screaming when he took out a screwdriver and put it to her ear. He was trying to work it in carefully. She spasmed afraid to move, and yet terrified, desperate to get away. The other girl was moaning, making agonized sounds Nicole didn’t know humans could make.

“Hold still,” he warned. Nicole jerked and spasmed. She screamed for him to stop, and babbled and begged, but he kept trying to get the point in. “Hold still! Don’t move! It’ll go through your fucking brain!” he yelled. She was blind with panic. She felt it go in sharply, and she screamed so violently that he let her go. “All right! All right! Fuck it!” he said.

She scrambled over to the wall, and slid down, huddled in the corner, pressing her hand over her ear, mad with terror. He threw the screwdriver across the room, and kicked the other girl to shut her up.

He stood looking at them a moment, then he grabbed the two girls and brought them together. He sat with them on the floor against the wall, he in the center, Nicole on his right and the other girl on his left, their heads resting on his shoulders, their faces turned towards each other, his arms clasping them to him. His hands were clutching the outer breast of each.

Nicole’s ear was aching with excruciating pain, and was slightly wet on the inside. She knew it was blood. She stared at the other girl, who was still bound and gagged and completely out of it with terror—her eyes were dead to everything.

Nicole was silent, petrified, unable to move or think, as she lay tightly clasped in his arms. She watched as his hand fiddled with the girl’s mouth, trying to take the gag off her, which he finally managed. Then taking them each behind the head he pushed their faces together, with the most intense interest, probably trying to make them kiss. It was disgusting to be mashed against the other dirty, tear-stained face. He forced their mouths together. Nicole kept her lips compressed, but the other girl’s mouth was wet and open, crying.

Then Nicole started to cry, too. She put her hands up, one against him, the other against the naked flesh of the girl, trying to push away, but he pressed them tight together.

“Why don’t you fuck each other, cunt to cunt,” he said. He tossed the girl away onto the floor, and grabbed Nicole behind the neck. “Fuck her,” he said, dragging her over and pushing her down onto the other girl, who was bound and helpless, and shivering with dread.

Propped up on her elbows, Nicole looked down at the girl beneath her. The girl only moaned inarticulately, evidently feeling exactly what she was feeling, too. Nicole turned her face away, and lay motionless, while he lifted her hips and shifted her about. He was trying to position the girls how he wanted.

It wasn’t working, so he pulled Nicole off. He untied the rope from the girl’s ankles, but left her hands fastened behind her back. He pulled her legs apart without any resistance, and gently drew apart the swollen lips and inspected with curiosity the gash-like opening between her thighs, which he had probably violated more times than he had Nicole’s. The girl only moaned and cried. She didn’t look at either of them. He kept playing with her. Her vagina was clearly inflamed and she must have suffered a lot of pain while being handled.

Nicole was sitting near them with her knees tucked up to her chest, and one hand covering her wounded ear. She was slightly rocking herself, overwhelmed by the trauma she had undergone and was about to be subjected to.

“Come lick this,” he said, and reaching forward took hold of her arm and dragged her over. She knew pleading or struggling was useless. The other girl seemed to know it too. Her tearful face was turned aside, vacantly staring into space. He had reduced them to nothing. He forced them to have sex while he watched. Then he suddenly, grabbed Nicole, pulled her off the other girl, and pushed her into the floor. He fell on her, and with one hard thrust, drove himself inside her as he madly gripped her violated, naked body in his arms and clasped her tightly to him. She was rolling her head side to side, involuntarily struggling under him. He bit her face, and choked her, ramming himself into her like a monster.

When he was done he went over to the girl. He didn’t touch her, except to shove her back into the box, as if he didn’t want to look at her any more. She gave a small shriek, making meaningless sounds, that might have been some kind of plea. But he shut her away in the wood box.

Then he grabbed Nicole. He stood her up and slipped his arm around her waist, keeping her steady on her feet. “You have to stay down here, because you tried to run away,” he said. He clasped her gently around the waist, and drew her against him. “You can kiss me when you’re sorry, then I’ll take you back upstairs.”

She was forced to hang by her wrists for several days. During this time, her health deteriorated and she refused to eat. Still believing her to be pregnant, James tried to force feed her. It wasn’t very successful. Becoming afraid, he brought her down and took into his bedroom again. Even though she was vomiting and running a high fever, he continued to force feed her, jamming food into her mouth and holding her mouth shut until she swallowed. Several times he almost suffocated her.

As the days progressed, she gradually regained some of her health, but she didn’t let him know how much of her strength was returning. She wasn’t quite sure herself. He let her remain unchained in the bed. He presumed she was too weak to get away, and he was probably right. She did feel too weak.

She sat up a little when he sat on the bed with her. He hugged her tightly, rocking her.

“Baby, I’m sorry,” he sobbed. “I’m sorry, baby. I’m so sorry.” He wiped his wet cheek on hers. Then he lifted his face and found her mouth. He kissed her warmly, just like long—painful make up kisses.

“I thought I was going to lose you,” he said, brokenly.

“I know,” she said in a dead voice. She was careful not to upset him.

“Do you love me?” he asked.

“Yes,” she whispered.

He put his hand on her belly. “Everything will be okay once this thing comes out. Hey?”

She nodded. She didn’t make eye contact.

He was insane.

* * *

The afternoon sun was dying behind the curtains. She was under the blankets, resting when he climbed in next to her. He got under the blankets, and leaned in closely, half lying on her.

“Do you want to?” he whispered passing his hand up and down her breast and waist. Her lips opened under his, and she let him kiss her softly. Inside she was dead. Cold as ice. She lay still, in a kind of sleep, in a kind of dream. She stared off to the side, passively allowing him the pleasure of her body. The tightness of his arms around her, the intense movement of his body, was all a kind of dream, which she didn’t begin to wake from until he had finished and lay against her breast.

She stared upwards a moment, not moving. The air around her was heavy with the odor of him and of sex. Her hatred for him was tight in her chest. She turned her face, and looked at him. He was on his back asleep.

She slipped out of bed, quietly, and put on her torn dress. She walked around to his side, looking down at him heavily. His breathing offended her. Without a thought, in a kind of trance, she picked up the lamp off the bedside table and clutched it in her hands. She raised it over her head, but paused. She couldn’t do it. Her lips trembled with the conflict.

Then she thought of all the things he had done to her, the pain, the humiliation. She let her eyelids close. Behind them, she saw the man with the plastic bag over his head, the girl in the basement, destroyed. And she brought the base of the lamp down on his face, harder than she had ever struck anything before in her life. She did it again, and again, and again. When she stopped he was covered in blood, but still moving, slightly. He tried to turn over. She put her knee on his chest. She wrapped the cord of the lamp around his neck, and pulled on it. His hands weakly, blindly, clutched at her. She kept pulling, and pulling, pressing her knee on his chest. He struggled for breath and convulsed as she choked him, his face congested with blood. Then he went still.

She let go of the cord, and stumbled backwards, her gaze fixed on the bloodstained sight. He was hideous, disturbing, somehow more frightening than before. She was motionless, numb in the finality and unreality of it. She turned blindly, and went downstairs like a ghost.

She went into the kitchen. She hadn’t remembered seeing a phone, or even hearing it ring, but she knew it was there. She suddenly became aware that she knew more of the house then she realized. She had unconsciously taken it all in. She took the phone off the hook and with trembling fingers dial 911. She couldn’t remember what she told them, only she knew they were coming. She wondered if they would arrest her for killing a man. She didn’t care at this point.

She touched her cheek, and found it was wet. Some of his blood was on her face. She tried to wipe it off, but nothing could clean away the contamination she felt. She picked the phone up again. She dialed Cameron’s number. He answered, and she blurted out everything to him. As she finished her story, she dissolved into tears. She clung to the phone, listening to his voice, feeling his presence through it—and waited for the sirens.

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