Handcuffed to a basement floor, damp bag tied over my head, I can’t say it was the worst situation I’d ever been in. If it weren’t for the empty growl in my stomach, I might have been inclined to fall back asleep.
I suppose there was one truly unsettling aspect of my unfortunate predicament. No matter how hard I thought back, I had no clue how I got there. Desperation began to build, fueling the slightly frantic note in my attempt to yank the chain off the wall.
An hour passed. I slumped, sweating in the unnaturally cold room. My wrists were raw and bleeding. The bag over my head refused to budge, short of strangling myself. And the hunger pains sent waves of nauseating dizziness spinning through my head.
For a fleeting moment I wondered if Gabriel was looking for me. Even though our mutual hatred of each other was not a secret, I expected- no, hoped, he held a sliver of concern over my well-being. Or at least felt rightfully obligated and compelled to look for his ward, even if it was for purely legal reasons.
Hours passed slowly into days. No rescue came. Even my captor abandoned me, for no food or water appeared as time slid painfully by. I longed for a drop to wet my cracked and drying lips. Something to stall death for just a little while longer.
In my parched and starving daze, I wondered why my captor didn’t kill me outright instead of letting the course of depraved nature take me away. And if it wasn’t his plan to have me die, what use was I? I was just a kid from the slums, nothing special to anyone.
Finally, one day that question was answered. The basement door snapped open suddenly, shooting a course of pure adrenaline through my veins. The handle bounced off the wall, sending shutters through the house. Call me cowardly, but I curled fearfully in my corner, nearly melting into the coldness around me.
Keys clicked. Rough hands dragged me to my feet. The chains released me, but the hand gripping the back of my neck did not. My breathing came out uncontrollably harsh as I wondered what my captor's plans were now.
“Timeout is over,” he growled in my ear, “hope you've finally learned your lesson.”
My blood froze. No, I knew that voice. Oh God, why did it have to be Gabriel?
The raw, painful truth tumbled down upon me. There was no rescue coming. No sick stranger kidnapped me. No ransom was demanded. For it was my guardian that chained me to the floor of our basement and left me there for days.
It was in that moment I found myself no longer hating the man. I feared him with every fiber of my being.
And worst of all, I knew no one was coming to save me.