When he pops the cap, he takes one out and presses it into my hand. “Take this. It will help.”
I raise one eyebrow. “What is it?”
“A prescription I take when I’m too restless to sleep . . . or when I don’t want to dream.” He walks to the closet in the corner and returns with a small bottle of water. Handing it to me, he says, “In your case, it will block the nightmares.”
I study him, and then the pill and bottle of water. “How often do you take these?”
“Only when I kill someone.” So . . . pretty much every night, I want to say. “It’s strong stuff. Takes about ten minutes to kick in. As soon as you take it, lie down.”
“You still want me to stay in here?” I probe.
“Yes.” He walks around me, slipping out of his pinstripe shirt as he makes his way toward the walk-in closet. I hear shuffling when he disappears. While he’s away, I down the pill and then chase it with the water.
I don’t know what the pill is, but I’ll take anything if it means I can get some temporary peace. I climb back into bed and rest my head on the soft, white pillow. I keep my eyes on the closet—on where he is.
I listen to him move around, and when he comes back out with a black pair of sweats on and no shirt, I sigh. I find it disturbing that I’m kind of glad he’s not leaving again.
His chiseled body moves fluidly as he comes toward the bed. It dips on the opposite side, and he pushes the thick comforter down.
He releases a long, weary sigh.
We are quiet for a few seconds.
After letting the question nag at me, I finally roll over to look him. “Where are they?” I whisper.
His eyes immediately focus on mine. “Somewhere they can’t get to you.”
I swallow hard. “You . . . took them there?”
“The shed. Locked in my heaviest chains.”
“For how long?” I whisper.
“Until you’re ready.”
“Me? Ready for what?”
“Payback.” He says it so matter-of-factly that I flinch.
I frown. “What is that supposed to mean?”
Sighing, he pulls his eyes away from mine and focuses on the vaulted ceiling. “I think you’ll figure it out. Until then, hush and go to sleep. You need rest.”
He starts to turn his back to me, rolling sideways. “Wait—Draco,” I call, so faintly it can barely be heard.
He freezes, but doesn’t look over. “What?”
I hate that I’m even about to ask, but I might as well. This has to be done. There is no backing down now.
Make him mine.
I accept. I accept. I accept.
“Can you . . . hold me? Just for tonight. Just in case . . .”
When my voice trails off, he says, “No one will come in here to harm you, Gianna,” he assures me. “Not ever again.”
“I know but . . . please?” I beg, and he turns over, looking me right in the eyes. He stares for a while, his brown irises shimmering from the moonlight, but when he sees the tears building up at the rim of mine, he sighs, shakes his head, and then extends his arm.
He invites me in without words and I slide over, curling into his warm, sculpted body. He still smells like his spiced cologne. The scent fits him. Warm and outdoorsy. Like ocean spray and palm trees, and a spritz of citrus.
He exhales, and I can tell he isn’t comfortable with this—having me so close. Feeling my heart beating near his, my arm wrapped so snug around his waist.
I’m like a child clinging to their parent. Needy. Desperate for attention and affection.
There is no one else I can get this from right now, so I’ll take Draco.
“Whatever you want, I will provide it,” he says.
“I know.” I yawn, and then my eyes seal tight. My body feels like dead weight, my eyelids so heavy that I couldn’t open them if I tried. “But you aren’t used to this,” I murmur. “Affection . . . from your prisoner.”
I feel him shift, and I think he’s looking down at me.
I can’t be sure.
“You were never my prisoner, Gianna,” he murmurs.
That’s the last thing I hear him say before I fall asleep.
Recovery – Day 2
I hear the ocean.
Feel the breeze.
Groggily, I roll over, arms still heavy, head aching in the center. I look toward the open window, the bright, burning sun blazing its golden rays. The sunlight has swept that entire side of the bedroom. It barely kisses the bed.
I twist over and sit up. The sheets are all over the place, the comforter hanging halfway off the mattress. I rub my eyes, clearing the sleep away.
I still feel drained.
My body feels like it’s been pumped with lead.
I blame it on the pill he gave me, but I must admit I feel better. And I didn’t dream or have any nightmares. It was the emptiest, darkest sleep I’ve ever had, but I feel rested enough.