closed her eyes and leaned back in the chair.
The bobbing of her head jarred her
awake. She eyed the clock. Three fourteen. He was snoring now, and his legs
twitched and pulled against the tie bindings. He moaned and turned his head,
pulled on his arms. His eyes crept open. It seemed to take minutes for him to
focus. Then clarity crossed his face. He jerked his head back and forth, looked
from one tethered wrist to the other. “What the fuck?” He lifted his chin to
his chest and stared at his legs, then his gaze found her. “Untie me, you crazy
bitch!” He yanked on the scarves, twisted his head around to reach for the knot
with his mouth.
She stood and stepped toward him at
a glacier’s pace. “What’s the matter? I thought you liked a little bondage.”
She reached up under the shade of the floor lamp and tugged the string. Soft
light bathed the room.
He laid his head back and laughed.
“Oh, I get it. You want to get kinky with me? That’s a first.” He eyed her up
and down. “Get these off me and I’ll show you how to do it right.”
Her heart hammered in her chest and
her knees shook. But she was out of his reach. For the first time in years.
“What’s your plan here, Mazie? Just
going to piss me off more and more? Wait ‘til you see what I’ve got planned for
you when I get free.” He yanked on the ties and kicked his feet. “Let me loose,
you fucking whore!”
The sight of him tied down, unable
to get loose — at her complete and utter mercy — along with brandy still warm
in her veins, bolstered her bravado. She edged up to the bed and leaned her
face toward his. A sneer crossed her lips. “Make me,” she said, her voice a low
He jerked his head forward. She
jumped back and covered her face with her hands. Her heart pounded, legs
In the quiet of the room, his laugh
cut right through her.
She lowered her arms.
He grinned at her. “You chicken-shit
bitch. It doesn’t matter what you do, I’ll always have you. Always.”
Her peripheral vision blurred and
his face came into clear focus. She spun around, snatched the scissors from the
dresser and plunged them into his thigh.
He screamed. His mouth and brow
contorted and he thrashed his arms against their restraints.
She retreated, one hand over her
mouth, and stared at the black plastic handle sticking straight up from his leg.
Blood oozed from the wound, dripped onto the cotton sheets.
That would leave a stain.
When she backed into the bookshelf
opposite the end of the bed, she stumbled and landed on her ass on the carpet. She
laughed — a snicker at first. Soon she was lying on the floor, doubled over, killing
“Mazie, it hurts.”
She stopped laughing and sat up,
her back against the rows of books that had kept her company these past years,
when friendships waned and her isolation grew. When she couldn’t find the
energy to lie about the damage to her body and simply hid from the world,
covered head to toe in clothing, and buried beneath a landslide of self-doubt
She stood and edged closer, stared
at the scissors, at bright blood juxtaposed against creamy sheets. The black
plastic handle, the stainless steel blades buried in his olive-toned flesh. “Mazie,
it hurts.” She scrunched up her eyes and spit his pitiful plea back at him in
high-pitched baby-talk. She touched the handle of the scissors, drained her
face of emotion and looked him in the eye. “I think that’s the point.” She turned
He gasped. His eyes went from dark
and angry to pinched and pleading. Frightened and in pain. “Stop. Please.”
She cocked her head. He was vulnerable
and wide-eyed. She’d never seen him like that.
She neared the head of the bed,
transfixed by the pain in his eyes. By his need for her to save him. To rescue
him. She kneeled down and touched his chest with one hand, rested her chin on
her other arm, and watched his expressions change.
His breath was heavy and