Warning: DO NOT READ if you haven't read "Torn from You" it will ruin it for you. HUGE SPOILER ALERT!(Warning scene very disturbing. 18yrs).
Leave No Marks
My body shook violently from the stress position they’d left me in. I had no idea how long I’d been strung up to the ceiling this time. The days and nights had become intricate webs of nightmares mixed with my reality.
I tried to spit the gagging taste of mildew and dirt from my mouth, but I didn’t have enough saliva and ended up coughing and choking on the dryness of my parched throat.
There was nothing left of me. I was a shell of existence. All that kept me sane was the knowledge that Raul still hadn’t found her. Nothing else mattered. I prayed for the door to open, not to receive food or water, but for Raul to walk in. I knew if he continued to torture me and demanded day after day to know where she was, then she was safe.
It was then that I could slip into myself and find her again; at least for a little while.
When I closed my eyes, I saw her, felt her in my arms, the softness of her lips on my skin, the taste of her silky wetness between her thighs. God, how she wrapped them around my waist as I drove into her … Her memory was my only salvation.
Getting a fuckin’ hard on seemed impossible under the circumstances, but Eme could do that to me, always had.
Her last words to me kept repeating like a broken record in my head. “Some things can’t be repaired. You break them bad enough, they can’t be fixed.”
I couldn’t believe that. I wouldn’t. She’d survive. Emily wasn’t a mouse; she was a lion. She’d repair. The farm would help her. It had to.
They’d left me hanging by my wrists several feet off the ground for hours now. The pain was excruciating. I was unable to breathe properly and had lost circulation in my arms. My body was shaking so badly from the shock and the cold that the chains rattled constantly.
I’d been deprived of sleep for days before they hung me here. Constantly awakened the moment I dozed off, only to have the bottom of my feet beaten with a wooden paddle.
The first few times, I managed to avoid screaming in pain, but recently … fuck … recently, I couldn’t control the shouts ripping from my raw throat as they beat me until I passed out. Usually, I’d awaken tied up and forced to stand on my bruised and battered soles. I couldn’t decide which was worse, the beating or the standing afterwards.
I knew soon, with this rotation of the “enhanced interrogation techniques”, my body would shut down. No one could withstand this type of torture for long.
The heavy metal door swung open, and my torn, ragged muscles tensed. I waited. My feet still burning from the last time they beat them and I prayed it wasn’t the paddle again.
Slow steps emerged from the darkness, and I breathed a sigh of relief when I recognized them. You’re safe, baby.
Every day for what had to be weeks, maybe even months, my father descended into the cold darkness of my world and asked me the same question. What he didn’t know was that no matter what he did to me, I’d never give up Emily. Never let him get to her.
There was a scuffling of feet behind Raul, and I wanted to throw up the moment I saw Dave in Alfonzo’s hold.
Fuck. Fuck. Jesus. No.
Alfonzo bound thin wire around Dave’s throat and pushed him forward. When the flickering light bulb above me illuminated Dave’s face, I drew the coldness down over my mind. It was my only savior, keeping me from mentally losing my shit and destroying the sliver of sanity I had left.
Dave’s face was mangled. His nose hooked off to the side, his left eye was ... Fuck, it no longer existed, as if it had been dug out with a dull blade. His cheekbones protruded, and his skin was pasty and gray. It was obvious he’d been starved.
Why? Fuck. Why the hell hadn’t he left with Emily? He was supposed to leave with Emily. But I knew why. Dave stayed to help me. He knew my captivity would happen if I didn’t kill Raul like I’d intended and yet, he’d taken the risk.
Raul lifted Dave’s left arm, and I heard the crackling of broken bones mixing with his screams. Alfonzo held him up as Dave’s body writhed, head thrown back with his tortured yowl.
I refused to look away. I had to watch. If I didn’t, Raul would make it worse for him.
“Where is she?” Raul’s words were the same as always, and his nostrils flared a minute amount as he spoke. Bastard stood calm and cold, no emotion except maybe the flicker of impatience I’d seen in him over the last half-dozen times he’d visited me.
I remained quiet, like I had for weeks. There was no point in answering. The sick asshole had tried everything to get me to talk. Waterboarding. Withholding food and water. Stress positions. Beatings. The fuckin’ disgusting pig had no clue what devotion and love meant. Maybe if he did, he’d realize I’d never give in. I’d never break.
Alfonzo shoved Dave to his knees in front of me, and I swallowed the bile in my throat as I heard his groan of pure and utter suffering. With one eye, Dave met my gaze, and the corner of his split lip curved upward, and I knew what it meant—fuck them.
I gave the slightest nod, the confidence I hoped shown from my eyes never once leaving, for Dave’s sake. We both knew this was the end. It would be painful and sickening, and neither of us had hope of his survival. But we had one thing left in both of us, and that was loyalty.
Dave knew where Emily was going. He was supposed to be living on the farm with her, but he never gave her whereabouts to them. And that was why after being separated for eight years, that Dave was still my friend. Growing up together in this place had formed a bond so strong that nothing could break it apart.
“I will find her, son.” If I had saliva, I’d have spit in his face for calling me that. “It’s only a matter of time, just like I found you and your mother.” Raul nodded to Alfonzo, and I watched as he pulled a jagged knife from his back pocket.
I kept my focus on Dave. It was all I could give him as Alfonzo lifted the knife. Dave’s chin raised, and I curled my hands into fists.
The knife sunk deep into Dave’s abdomen.
Fuck. God, no!
I gritted my teeth as Dave’s body jerked, and blood leaked from the corner of his mouth as if he’d bitten his tongue off at the agonizing pain.
Alfonzo pushed the knife deeper inside Dave and twisted. A wretched scream emerged from Dave’s throat, and the chains that held me suspended from the ceiling rattled as I fought them.
“No one escapes me, son. No one. You should know that by now. The girl ... a slave ... is she worth all this? Tell me where she is, and the torture will stop. Everything will go back to how it was ... you fight for me, and I’ll give her to you. She’ll remain yours. Is that so bad? You can have everything you want here.” Raul grabbed the knife from Alfonzo’s hand, pulling it out of Dave’s stomach.
“Jesus.” I couldn’t stop the words that tumbled from my parched lips. Dave, still alive, spit up blood and tried to fall forward onto his face, but the wire around his neck prevented him.
Raul sliced the knife through the air in front of me, and I stayed steady as it ripped a large grove into my skin below my lip. The warm, syrupy wetness slid from the cleft of my chin and dripped onto my naked chest.
I saw his unsteadiness, his frustration and the impatience at being unable to break me. “Tell me!”
Fury like an erupting volcano quaked in my voice as I ground out my first words I’d said to him in at least twenty times he’d come down here. “Never. I’ll never fight again, and I’ll never give her up.”
Raul stared at me for several seconds, and then he nodded to Alfonzo, passing him the knife.
Dave’s garbled words echoed. “Fuckin’ kill these bastards, Loga—”
His last word was cut as Alfonzo speared the knife into his stomach then jerked upward, gutting Dave right in front of me.
I didn’t realize I was holding my breath until I saw Dave’s eyes go dead and relief poured through me. Alfonzo shoved his mutilated body away and Dave fell face first at my feet.
I never felt like crying in my life. I’d been immune to the horrors I’d grown up with, but the ability to stop the tears leaking from the corners of my eyes failed me.
God, Emily. Give me the strength to survive this.
It was then that Jacob came out of the shadows. I knew what Jacob’s presence meant, and my body did too as it began to breathe heavier, sucking in air that would soon be lacking. My father took great pleasure in torturing me without scarring a single place on my body.
The cut in my chin he’d delivered today was the first sign of weakness in Raul, and I took great satisfaction knowing I broke through his calm facade.
I closed my eyes. It was the only way I could cope now, picturing Emily, the warmth of her arms around me, the soft sweetness of her voice taking me away from here. She’d protect me … like she always did.
“Baby,” I whispered as my body shuddered. She cocooned me with her love, and I sighed as I let her take me away into a place in my mind that had become my heaven.
I heard the familiar voice, yet I was unable to raise my head any longer. Hands gripped my wrists, and then I was being released from the chains, and I fell into a heap, cushioned by arms.
“I told you. Fuck, I told you he’d do this to you.”
Deck. I tried to speak, but words refused to emerge from my dry throat, and instead, it was a low, crackled groan.
He picked me up, his arm wrapped around my waist, taking all my weight.
I tried again, but it was hoarse and inaudible. “Eme?”
“Damn it, man. You’re barely alive. Let’s get the hell out of here.”
I tried again, louder, needing him to tell me. Needing to hear the words as he half-dragged my limp body towards the door. “Eme?”
“Fuck. Yeah, she’s good.”
“Tell her...” I knew I had to get the words out if it was the last thing I ever said. “I...love her. Tell her ... I’m sorry.”
“Not a chance, buddy. You can do that yourself. Now, let’s get out of this shithole and back home.”
Panic raced through me as I thought of Emily seeing me like this. Never. I’d never let her know what happened here. I’d put her through hell already. She’d suffered enough because of me. “Raul?”
I felt Deck’s arms tense, and I knew—he’d escaped. “We’ll get him, Logan. My men are blowing up every fuckin’ piece of this place. He’ll be on the run. He has nothing left.”
“Not home.” The risk of leading Raul back to Emily was not one I’d take. Nor would I burden her with what happened here.
Deck flung open the door and I was blinded by the shining bulbs lighting the basement. “What you did for her...” Deck grunted, and then hoisted me up over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. “She’s not over you, man. She still needs you. So, don’t you fuckin’ die on her.”
My body finally shut down at his words. I wasn’t sure if I was dying, but it no longer mattered. Emily was safe, and I could finally let the darkness in.