“Make them stop!” I implore desperately as my hands grasp his arms to get his attention and for stability before I collapse. “I already said I belong to you, that I’m my dad’s payment. I’ll do whatever you want. Please stop making my father suffer!”
Alzerro shrugs my hands off his arms, leaving me feeling vulnerable and unsteady. His fingers grip my chin tightly, roughly tilting my head back to force me to meet his callous stare.
“If I make them stop, you have to go with me without a problem. No fighting, no questions, and no theatrics. Do you understand?”
The second the words fall from his lips, I shake my head yes. I will do anything I can to save my father including making a deal with the devil.
“Stop,” Alzerro commands. His guys immediately pull away from my father.
“Untie him and leave him be. Take her…” His eyes linger over my chest again as if he’s already planning what he’s going to do to me. A creepy smile spreads across his face, making my skin crawl.
“Tie her up and gag her,” he orders as he runs his thumb across my bottom lip.
“I said I would go with you willingly…” My voice is weak as the men come near me. The man who retrieved me from my car roughly grabs my arm and pulls me closer to him. The other men untie and release my father. His body is so worn out, he falls off his chair and lands on the ground in a heap. Even though he has been badly beaten and is still bleeding, I know he will be okay. It is better than being dead, after all.
“Where are you taking me?” I turn the best I can to face Alzerro. His eyes pierce mine.
“Somewhere you will never be able to escape from.” His words should scare me, and they did to some extent, but I have a feeling that I will never get to live more than when I am with this man.
“Are you going to kill me?” I ask foolishly. I can’t help it; the question is burning a hole in my head. Another man comes up behind me to follow through with Alzerro’s orders.
“Wait. Before you take me, may I please hug my dad goodbye?” I tentatively ask, hoping I can feel safe in my father’s arms one last time. I am not surprised when there is no response. Instead, my hands are tied together, causing my arms to pull together tightly. Alzerro takes a step forward while a man works rope between my legs. I don’t put up any resistance. There is no point in fighting them – they are heartless, cruel beings who won’t hesitate to use their guns to kill me.
“I might be a criminal, dear Bree, but killing beautiful women isn’t something I enjoy doing. If you do as you’re told, I won’t hurt you.” His deep, silky voice invades my body and my senses. I shudder as my palms sweat, and a slick coating of fear fills my belly.
Before I am ready, I am being led out of my home. My heart constricts and panic seizes me as I try to look at my dad one last time. “Daddy…” I manage to gasp out before my ears fill with my dad’s broken, sobbing voice. “Bree… Bree… I’m so… Bree!” My father’s wails may be my final memories of him.
My throat constricts with sobs wanting to erupt, but I can’t let them out. I can’t break down yet, so I let anger take over my heart. When we stop at the SUVs, I turn to Alzerro with fire in my eyes and heartache in my voice. “You didn’t even let me say goodbye! You didn’t give me a chance to pack or take anything important to me. I have nothing, nothing to remind me of my life!”
Alzerro chuckles at my outburst, and his eyes light up like he’s enjoying my dismay. He fucking chuckles at me! “Oh, my darling Bree, that’s kind of the point. You are mine. Your life is mine. Your memories, emotions, desires are all mine. I own you. Your life as you knew it doesn’t exist anymore,” he explains to me as if he’s talking to a child.
It’s at this moment that I realize what I have gotten myself into. As the realization quickly settles in, I make myself a promise. I will play Alzerro’s game, and I will let him think he owns me, but he will never control my mind or my heart. He will never know about my secret act of defiance. I will always remember who I am and where I come from. I will always be me – the Bree I want to be!
I take a deep breath, allowing my new resolve to fill me. “I know I agreed to go with you and all, but what exactly am I to do?” I hadn’t even thought of that. I just wanted to find a way to save my father’s life and get these men out of my mother’s home.
“We’ll start off slowly since we don’t know one another. Every day we’ll work up to the best part of all…” he whispers, his breath tickling my ear.