Screaming in the Silence (3 page)

BOOK: Screaming in the Silence
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I flinched and looked away again, furious at myself for thinking the plan would work. His long fingers wrapped around my arm and started leading me out of the bathroom and back downstairs. We reached the living room where Ray and the small guy sat at the table. My possessions were still strewn about.

"What did you find out?" Ray stood up and walked over to me.

Kaden shook his head, turning it slightly toward me so I could read his lips.

"Nothing, she can't say a word."

Ray frowned and gave me a disgusted look. "So, do some of that signing shit with her."

"I will when it's worth my time."

Why was he doing this? He knew the truth yet he was keeping it from the others. My limbs began to shake as I realized he was hiding my secret for a reason. What that reason was, I couldn't imagine, I didn't want to know. I turned back to Ray.

"Well, genius, it was your plan to bring her here instead of leaving the bitch on the side of the road with her friend. You better make this inconvenience worth
my
time."

"If she won't talk, I'll get her to scream," Kaden said, his devilish smile sending shivers up my spine. Without another word, he walked me out of the room.

Chapter 4

 

Kaden did exactly what he said he was going to do. He sat me down in the kitchen and made me a tuna sandwich. I hated tuna. I hated the smell and the look of it. I hated that it could be kept in a can for years and never turn bad. Would that happen to me? Would I be kept here for years and never turn bad? I didn't think I was as lucky as a can of tuna and certainly wouldn't survive if I didn't eat so I begrudgingly picked up the sandwich and took a bite once he set it in front of me.

After I had choked down the last of it, Kaden took my plate and tossed it into the sink. He leaned back against the counter and stared at me from across the room.

"You want to tell me who your parents are?"

I shook my head.

"Do you want me to guess?"

I glared at him.
I was telling the truth,
I signed.

"Shit…" Kaden mumbled something about my handicap as he walked from the room. I sat there, unsure of what to do. I could call out his name but Ray would realize Kaden had been lying. As much as I disliked Kaden, I hated Ray even more. The man had been prepared to kill me in cold blood. Not a crime of passion, just a crime of convenience. I believed him capable of it.

Kaden returned with a piece of paper and a magic marker. "Write it down."

I picked up the pen and removed the cap.
I didn't lie.

"Bullshit," Kaden spat at me.

I shrugged and sat back in my chair. In a flash, his hand was at the back of my head, gripping my hair and forcing my face down to the table. His lips came into view as he turned my head towards them.

"Write the fucking names, Raleigh!"

He pulled me back up and released my hair. My jaw clenched in anger but my hand gripped the pen in submission.

Clive and Meghan Winters

I pushed the paper away from me and threw the pen on the table. At least part of what I had written was true and if he did any research at all he would learn that my mom and her husband had been killed in a car accident. My father's name would remain a secret until forced from me or discovered by other means.

Kaden took the paper and walked into the other room. A few moments later, I felt the floorboards shake as the front door closed. It didn't even cross my mind that Kaden would leave me alone in the house. Timidly, I stood up and walked around the corner, relieved to see Kaden standing in front of an open closet. I watched him pull some linens and a quilt from the top shelf. Then, as if he could feel me staring at him, he turned around.

"You can ask me why if you want."

I was curious but didn't expect an answer that I would like. "Why did you lie to them?"

"The more I know, the less I'll need them. Ray's foolish and acts before he thinks. His brother will follow him into anything."

So what was he planning on doing, ransoming me for the highest price and keeping everything for himself while the other two did the grunt work?

With his arms full of bedding, he started to walk toward me. "Does it upset you that I'm using you this way?" His smile dripped with contempt.

I shook my head. "Use me as much as you want. Just promise to let me go at the end and I'll play along with any game you want me to."

"Is that an invitation?"

"No,"
You disgusting asshole.

"Well, just so you're aware, Blondie, you need my protection just as much as I need your silence." He was standing within an arm's reach and if I hadn't been in such pain, I would have slapped him. I needed nothing, especially from him.

"You should learn to appreciate me and stop glaring like that." He shoved the sheets and quilt into my chest and I reflexively raised my arms to catch them before they fell.

Appreciate him? Appreciate had too nice a connotation. I felt as if I was in his debt because of what he had done. I certainly wasn't grateful for anything.

"I don't need your protection," I said as he stepped around me and opened a door. I peered inside and saw a staircase leading down to a dark room.

"After you," he waived me down and I hesitantly took the first few steps. It wasn't becoming any easier to see in the gloom of the basement, so I turned around to make sure Kaden was following me. His face was nothing but a shadow with the light of the upstairs on his back. His jaw was moving but I couldn't read his lips and with a frustrated groan, I continued down into the darkness.

There was only a sliver of light left when I reached the bottom of the stairs. I felt the cold pavement beneath my feet and smelled damp air, but beyond that, there was nothing. As soon as Kaden made it down, he nudged me out of the way and walked to a wall behind the stairs, disappearing into the darkness. Within seconds, a bulb above my head flickered and produced a dim glow, weak enough to leave a few corners of the basement in the shadows.

I looked around. There were no windows on the grey cinderblock walls, just old pieces of broken furniture leaning precariously against each other. A leak from the kitchen floor had stained the ceiling and dripped into a puddle on the floor. A black fridge was backed into one corner next to an old wash basin.

Kaden pulled an old, stained mattress from the wall, throwing it to the floor in the middle of the room. I dropped the bedding and knelt down beside the mattress, cautious to not hurt my ribs. The bed was dry but it had a strange smell. At least it was better than the floor. I started unfolding the sheets and fitting them to the mattress, wondering what Kaden was thinking. He wasn't helping me, but stood at one end of the bed with his arms crossed at his chest, just staring at me as I worked.

"What now?" I looked up at him once I was done.

His green eyes narrowed and his muscles flexed.

"Nothing."

"Am I just supposed to stay down here?"

"Did you want to come upstairs? Maybe play a board game or watch a movie?" He smirked.

He terrified me as much as he intrigued me. I knew this man was dangerous and I wanted nothing more than to run away from him. But our scene in the bathroom kept replaying in my head. He so easily could have taken me, thrown me on the ground and forced himself on me completely. But he didn't. Either he didn't want to or he had stopped himself. Maybe he had been worried that Ray and his brother would hear. But if that was the case, why hadn't he tried anything since they left?

"Can I have my things back? I'd like to brush my teeth." I could still taste the tuna.

Kaden nodded toward the stairs and watched as I curled my feet beneath me, rolled onto my toes and stood up without bending my torso. He followed me up the stairs and trailed me into the bathroom. He stayed outside as I brushed my teeth and used the toilet, not letting me close the door all the way.

I stared into the mirror. The toothpaste scrubbed away the taste of the tuna and the grit of the previous day but it couldn't take away the feeling in the back of my throat. You know that slight choking feeling where you are afraid you will burst into tears at any moment? It had been there since I woke up in the trunk of the car and had yet to go away. My hair had dried into lose curls which hung around my face and neck. I hadn't worn my hair curly in years, relying daily on a straightening iron to smooth it out. My face was bruised along the hairline, above my right eye. My lips were still cracked and my cheeks were pale, but the look suited me at the moment. It exemplified everything I felt, everything I was thinking: scared and hurt, defeated and defenseless.

I turned away from the mirror and walked passed Kaden, back down the stairs to the entrance of the basement. I turned to him before I opened the door.

"Are you going to lock it behind me?"

"Yes," he answered plainly and without any sign of guilt.

"What if I need something?"

"You can wait until dinner."

I won't be hungry,
I signed as I turned away from him and opened the door, slamming it behind me as I walked down the stairs. I kept the light on as I crawled into my bed, sleep finally pulling on me, begging me to let it take me away. I fell asleep watching the ceiling boards produce light clouds of dust as Kaden paced the floor above my head.

Chapter 5

 

I felt something brush against my leg and opened my eyes. I sat up, startled at the pitch black of the room, blinking furiously and trying to remember if I had turned off the lights. I hadn't. I felt heavy fingers searching for my leg in the darkness and I panicked. I kicked frantically and made contact with something warm and soft. Kaden hadn't felt like that when he had been holding me outside the car. I was about to scream for him to stop when I was startled by another set of hands groping my shoulders and wrapping around my neck. I started to scream but the hands tightened and my voice was lost in my chest.

A course and calloused hand traveled over my jaw and covered my mouth while the other tangled in my hair, pulling me back to the mattress. The hands at my feet gripped my ankles and moved up to my knees, impervious to my kicks and struggles. I felt long legs straddle my hips. Hands worked their way under my shirt and up to my chest. Finally, I screamed against the hand that was covering my mouth, still kicking and thrashing my arms around violently.

The old mattress only gave a little and the hands on my chest crushed me against it, making it difficult to breath. The hands fondled my breasts, pulling and pinching, and it wasn't long before I felt something warm and wet on my neck. A tongue slithered over my jaw and around my ear before replacing the hand over my mouth. I held my lips together as the tongue tried to enter my mouth, my fists still beating furiously against a chest and shoulders, taking random swings at the second man who held me down. The attacker didn't seem to notice in the slightest as he turned and twisted my breasts beneath his massive hands.

I stopped my efforts and hesitated when I felt his tongue leave my face. I didn't want to scream because I could still feel his breath on my lips. The warm air coming from his mouth was accompanied by a light spray of saliva and I could only guess what he was screaming. Suddenly, a sharp pain stabbed my ribcage as a fist made contact with my side. I gasped in pain. That was the window he was looking for and I felt the thick tongue slide into my mouth, sour breath nearly causing me to gag. I turned my head to escape his lips, but to no avail. One of his hands left my breast and traveled to my jeans, fumbling with the button and zipper before plunging beneath the denim and prodding at my panties. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't fight him off, couldn't save myself. So I did the next thing that came to mind. I bit down hard, waiting until I tasted blood before releasing, and screaming at the top of my lungs in the hopes that someone would hear me.

The hand struck my face and I felt blood splatter on my skin as he spit on me. The back of his hand made contact with my cheek and I saw a hazy light fill the room. My eyes adjusted slowly, my head still dizzy from the beating. It was Ray, His face was close to mine but he wasn't looking at me. I nearly gagged again when I saw how much blood there was beneath the stubble on his chin. I turned my head to follow his gaze and saw a blurry Kaden standing in front of us, his face red and his hand clenched.

"Get off of her," Kaden said, looking straight at Ray.

I didn't look up to see Ray's response.

"Fuck you! Get off!" Kaden's eyes continued to bore into Ray.

Neither man spoke and the room filled with a heated tension. Ray's brother released his grip on my hair and the mattress heaved as he stood up. I craned my neck so I could see him. His brown eyes looked regretful. He didn't look a day over eighteen in this light and I almost pitied him and his role in all of this.

Ray was still on top of me. He stared back at Kaden with a playful bullishness, although I couldn't tell if he was challenging or propositioning my defender. Slowly, his head started to shake, his round face moving closer to mine.

"Did you want to go first?" he asked. "Who fucks her first probably doesn't matter to her."

I looked at Kaden. "Get off," he repeated.

"But she's perfect," Ray protested and looked down at me as his hand came out from under my shirt and stroked my hair. "You can do whatever you want to her and won't have to listen to her bitching when it's over."

My jaw clenched. I was dying to scream at him, to tell him what a sick, twisted, disgusting excuse for a man he was. But I didn't. My eyes burned into his with all the hatred I had for him and all the of contempt I felt toward Kaden for getting me to play along with this lie. Ray smiled and his thin and bloodstained lips crept over his yellow teeth. His fingers twitched beneath my jeans and I twisted by body in a lame attempt to escape.

"She's wet, too. Wet and ready for us. What a fucking whore."

It wasn't true, though. I knew it and by the look on Kaden's face he knew it too. But why wasn't he doing anything? Why was he just standing there, allowing Ray to continue?

BOOK: Screaming in the Silence
7.66Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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