Shattered Hearts(10)

By: Marissa Farrar

I’d been struggling to breathe with my nose stuffy from crying, so I sucked in a couple of deep gulps of air before I managed to speak.

“What do you want with me?”

His thick, dark eyebrows lifted. “What? Tell you and spoil the surprise? Now, where would be the fun in that?”

I wasn’t going to give up that easily. “Are you a trafficker? Are you selling me into the sex trade?”

To my annoyance, he laughed. “No, this is nothing like that.”

I didn’t believe him. He was probably lying so I didn’t freak out.

“Please, I just want to go home. I won’t tell anyone you took me, I swear.” I was babbling and begging, even though I knew it wouldn’t do any good. No one went to all this trouble just to let someone go again. Yet I was incapable of stopping the words pouring from my mouth.

“Not happening, Jolie.”

Of course, he knew my name.

I tried a different tactic. “Who are you?”

“My name is Hayden. That’s all you need to know for now.”

Hayden? I scrolled my memories, trying to figure out if the name meant anything to me. Was that a first or a last name? I didn’t think he was going to tell me.

“Now, Jolie. I normally like for things to be a little more... civilized. As you can see, we’re in a perfectly comfortable plane. I’m not going to untie your hands just yet, but I am willing to help you out of the bag if you wish to come and sit in one of the chairs like an adult.”

I didn’t want to be in this bag a moment longer.

I nodded. “Yes.”

“Yes, what?”

I wasn’t sure what he wanted, and so hesitated. “Yes, please.”

“Yes, please, sir.”

Oh, God. This guy’s a psychopath. But I was going to play his games if it meant I would survive.

“Yes, please, sir,” I parroted back. I wanted to spit in his face, not call him ‘sir,’ but I was in a precarious position. If I made him angry, what would he do? I didn’t want to find out.

I didn’t want him to touch me, but I wasn’t able to get up on my own from the position I was in. As though I was a moth emerging from a chrysalis, the man, Hayden, peeled away the remains of the bag from my body. It was a suit bag—the kind businessmen and women protected their expensive clothes in.

His fingers caught the top of my arm, and it was like electricity jolting through me, my heart racing. He pulled me to sitting, and then caught me around the waist and helped me to stand. The heat of his fingers burned through the thin material of my shirt. My feet were free, but they were also bare. At some point when I was unconscious, he must have taken my boots—a way of both making it harder for me to run, and also to stop me using the heels of my boots as a weapon. I considered trying to kick him with my bare feet or hurt him in some other way, but I wouldn’t be rewarded for my actions. I didn’t want to be drugged again or stuffed back inside the bag. Instead, I tolerated his hands on me, allowing him to guide me down the middle of the plane to where two large seats were on either side of the aisle. He sat me down in the seat on the right and settled his muscular bulk into the chair on the left. His size was intimidating enough, without the added fact that I was bound and helpless.

A small bar area folded down from the wall beside his chair. “You’ll be thirsty.”

It wasn’t a question, but I nodded anyway. My throat so dry I could barely swallow, my tongue a thick, furry slug against the roof of my mouth.

He took out a small, glass bottle of mineral water and cracked open the lid. “Here.”

With my hands still bound, I was unable to hold the bottle myself, so he placed the rim of the bottle to my lips and poured. Cold water flowed over my parched palate, and I gulped it down, swallow after swallow until the bottle was empty.

He took the bottle away, and I inhaled, catching my breath after guzzling the water. The liquid sat uneasily in my stomach for a moment, and I worried I’d throw it all back up again, but then it settled.

My thoughts went to when I’d been taken.

“My friend.” My voice trembled. “You hurt her. Is she okay?”

His eyes narrowed slightly. “I didn’t hurt her. I wouldn’t hurt a woman. I just knocked her out for a few minutes. She’ll have come around with a mild headache, that’s all.”