Stepmother’s Plan 10 (https://tentaclestories.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/stepmothers-plan-10/)
The book has Alisa’s eyes glued to it. She has been flipping the pages one after another for hours. At times, she wonders why hasn’t she taken up reading as her hobby. She never liked books with too many words before. Well, she doesn’t read even if the book has a lot of pictures. Why read if you can watch? And why read if you can hit the club?
A cough brings her attention away from the book. She turns to the door where the sound comes from. The man is standing there with his arm folded. Alisa closes her book and shoves it under the comforter, fearing that the man may not want her to read the books on the rack.
“You can read. Now, come here.” he says.
She stares at him for a moment, trying to see through the balaclava he’s still wearing. She can see that he’s in a light mood and all gentlemanly again. But that, she knows, may change in a blink of an eye. She has witness that just few hours ago. All because of not saying the two words, ‘thank you’. After considering the consequences when his mood becomes foul, Alisa decides not to go against him.
“Yes, master.” she reluctantly says and walks to him.
He, as usual, holds out his hand for her to take. He then leads her to the living room where on top of the counter is a plate with Salisbury steak, asparagus and mash potatoes on it. She goes onto the high stool and pushes herself up. She still holds her skirt down when she sits to not have her bottom flashed. It’s a small effort but it makes her feel like she still has some sort of control over her own body.
“Eat.” He says nonchalantly.
“Yes, master.” she says. “Thank you, master.” she adds before forking a stalk of asparagus into her mouth.
She won’t do the same mistake twice. The man, just like before, pours her a glass of water for her. He then turns around and takes out a bottle of wine from the refrigerator. He pours himself a glass before putting the bottle back into the fridge. The red liquid catches Alisa’s attention. There he goes again, drinking the Monteleno. Alisa isn’t a fan of wine but she has seen that brand in some classy restaurant she’s been to to know just how pricey a bottle is. When he picks up and drinks it, Alisa catches herself staring at the liquid for too long.
The man sees her eyeing his glass of wine and after he swallows the crimson liquid, he lets out a deliberately audible sigh. Alisa notices his smugness again and looks away, pretending that she did not see it. She turns to her steak, plopping another cutlet into her mouth. As she chews, she wishes that she has a glass of wine too to wash the piece of meat down her throat. It would be heavenly. But she doesn’t want to ask from him. She dreads the idea of requesting anything from him at all.
She side glances at her captor again and sees him studying her. She snaps back to her meal and pretends to chew her already minced meat in her mouth. He puts the wine glass in front of her. There’s still about half the content inside.
“Drink.” he orders.
Alisa hesitates before taking the glass. She examines the rim and rotates the glass until the spot he drank from is on the other side. She presses her lips against the rim and pours the sweet liquid into her mouth. The liquid turns her mouth into a little slice of heave. The taste of the wine is phenomenal and she lets out a soft moan. How long has she been abstained from alcohol? It certainly feels like ages for her. She wants to empty the glass but she knows he may not like it. So, she only drinks a small portion of it, giving the rest back to him. He takes the glass and takes a sip from where her lips was, all the while looking into her eyes.
“I quite like this wine, the slight tangy sweetness and the bitter aftertaste.” he muses. “Do you like it or you will like just about anything that has alcohol in it?” he adds pointedly, implying on her habit of excessive alcohol consumption.
“I prefer manlier choice.” she counters. “Master.” she almost forgot to add.
“Something like Vodka and Everclear?” he asks.
“Jack Daniels. Bacardi. Whisky.” she adds, almost too proudly.
“I see. It explains why it took my men much lesser time to get you here than anticipated.”
That statement pierces her self-respect like a high speed 50 caliber bullet. She looks away in defeat. She suddenly remembers how those men took her into the black SUV and what they did to her next. Her stomach clenches. Her appetite suddenly vanishes. She doesn’t feel like continuing her lunch anymore.
“Why did you stop eating?” he finally asks when he notices she is no longer putting food into her mouth.
“I’m not hungry anymore.” she snivels.
The man looks at her plate. There’s still a considerable portion left. “Very well. Would you like to have more wine?” he asks sardonically.
Alisa clenches her fingers into tight fists. She wants to slap him across his face right now. But she keeps reminding herself that it will only cause her more trouble. She inwardly chants a mantra, not that she is used to any form of calming down technique; it’a something she just learned. She will not show signs of distress anymore. It would only serve as fuel for his power play.
“Yes, master.” she says in a remarkably calm tone.
The man grins. He turns to the fridge, pulls out the bottle of wine and pours her a glass. Alisa takes the glass of wine and empties it in one swig. She places the empty glass in front of him which he pours her another glass. This time, he takes out a pack of contraceptive pills. Half of it has been given to Alisa over the past week. He pops one out and puts the tiny pink pill on the counter.
Alisa looks at the pill for a moment. A few thoughts go through her mind at the sight of the medication. One, he’s planning to keep her here longer. If not, why would he even give her the pill in the first place. Second, she’s getting fuck. The pills are for pregnancy prevention. Fucking creates pregnancy. It’s simple math. She knows her fate just by looking at the pills. And it certainly isn’t a good sign for her. He knows it too. And she knows he is doing this to make her feel cornered.
No. Alisa says inwardly to herself. He won’t get that satisfaction. She takes the pill, pops it into her mouth and then washes it down with the newly poured wine. She even manages to thank him; adding master at the end, to show him that even if he has her body, he won’t have her mind. She won’t let that happen.
“Can I go back into my room now? Master.” she asks politely.
“Yes. You may.” he says.
Alisa walks back to her room. As she walks, she notices the lower level isn’t as noisy as before. Almost as if it isn’t occupied anymore. She wants to go down and have a look but slaps the idea down. It’s too risky. What if going down constitutes to breaking his rule? What if those men are just too busy with their stuff to talk to each other? Going down there may land her in situations she best wants to avoid, situations she still vividly remembers, situation of her past days in here. She opens the door to her room and closes it behind her.
The alcohol begins to take effect on her. Drinking without eating much is a recipe for quick intoxication. Feeling slightly dizzy, she crawls onto the bed and wraps herself under the comforter. She thinks about her future for a moment. She remembers just how much time she has wasted over the last eight years. After her mother died, she’d been wasting the days with getting into trouble, then alcohol, then more trouble, then drugs. What will her mother feel when she knows her only daughter has been wasting her life up till now, that her daughter’s unavailing lifestyles has gotten her into trouble. A fat tear seeps into her eye before rolling off her cheek. She curls up even tighter. Eventually, she doses off.
Alisa wakes up a few hours later to a very gurgling stomach. She looks at the door wondering if it’s time for her next meal. Apparently not when she doesn’t see the man in her room. She wonders how long she has slept but with no any form of temporal reference, she doubts that she will ever know. He never seems to bother to tell her the time. Hell, even the flatscreen in front of her doesn’t have an internal clock. There’s nothing on it too. The flatscreen almost seems like a decorative piece rather than what it is supposed to be; an electronic gadget of the 21st century.
She lets out a lazy stretch and yawns. Her nose instantly winkles at the smell of her own breath. Beef and wine, and few hours of dry mouth, her mouth smelled like someone has just taken a piss in it. She jumps out of her bed and heads to the bathroom. She opens the tap, scoops up the water with her hands, and gargles away the stench. She even brushes her teeth, something she doesn’t do other than when it’s time to sleep for the night, or when she wakes up in the late afternoon. Sometimes if the hangover is too much for her to handle, she skips the brushing entirely.
After brushing her teeth, she blows onto her cupped hand to smell her breath. It is substantially much fresher now. Satisfied, she walks back out of her room and sits on her bed. She picks up her book and continues from where she has left off. She gnaws almost a third through the pages when a soft cough draws her attention away. It is him again, inside her room. He is holding a plate in his hand. Alisa closes her book and looks at the content of the plate. It is her Salisbury steak, the remaining portion of it of course. He places the plate on the desk and tells her to eat. She obliges and sits at the desk. She mutters thank you to him and quickly cuts a piece of the steak and shoves into her mouth.
When she has every last gram of the steak inside her stomach, she leans back and lets out a satisfying sigh. Not even the asparagus is spared. The plate is completely empty. She turns around and sees him sitting on the bed reading her book. As she watches him flipping the pages, she begins to feel the urge to talk to him. It’s been a while since she has any meaningful conversation. And since there isn’t anyone around here that she can talk to other than him, she resigns to her urges.
“Were you a cook before?” she asks, almost too softly he has to study her to make sure the voice doesn’t come from his head.
“You are talking to me?” he asks.
“Yes.” she mutters.
She almost wants to roll her eyes. “Yes, master.”
“Good. What were you asking?”
“Were you a cook before?” she repeats.
“What makes you think I was?”
She nods at her plate.
“No. I’m not. But I do enjoy cooking. I do subscribe to the idea of feeding oneself with a literal approach.”
“Why not? You have a talent for cooking?” she compliments. Alisa seldom do compliment but when she does, it must be remarkable.
“Thank you for the compliment. But I have other skill sets that would be a waste for me to just stay in the kitchen.”
“Yes. Skill sets. Such as this.”
Alisa sucks in a sharp breath. Certainly he doesn’t mean her kidnapping, does he?
“You are a professional kidnapper?” it comes out of her more like a statement than a question.
“Let’s just say I’m a man that people find when they can’t get things go their way.”
“And I’m in the way of someone.”
“Who is that someone?”
“Alisa.” he says her first name for the first time, “You do realize how ridiculous your question is, do you not?”
Alisa looks away. Of course it is a stupid question. Why on earth will her kidnapper tells her who is his employer? But still, he doesn’t seem alright to talk with her. May as well use this opportunity to learn more about this whole situation. After carefully thinking about it, Alisa forms a question that is worth asking.
“When will I not be in the way of that someone?” she carefully asks.
The man grins. “Well, it all depends on my client’s needs. If my client wants me to keep you here for a month, you stay for a month. If a year, you stay a year.”
“How much do you charge?” she snaps.
“I’m sorry, Alisa. I don’t double-cross my clients. At least not while the contract is still running.” he says in a more serious tone.
Alisa’s heart sinks. She is about to offer him three times the amount to let her go. And from the way he warns her, as if she has just hurt his pride, Alisa drops her offer immediately. It will not be wise to lay out the offer when he clearly isn’t the type to be messed around with. Instead of pursuing further, she asks her next question.
“Are those men all gone?” she asks.
“What makes you think that?” he cocks his head.
“I didn’t hear a thing when I came into the room.”
“How observant of you. Yes, I’ve sent them back. But that doesn’t mean that you get an upper hand on the situation. The door is still locked and the only way out is through me. And it will only take one phone call to get them all back.” he casts her a warning glance.
Phone. She tells herself. She will have to remember that there’s a phone somewhere.
“And you won’t like it when they are back.” he adds suggestively.
Alisa stomach clenches in fear. No. She definitely doesn’t want them to come back. She will do anything to make sure they don’t come back even if it means doing whatever the man tells her to do. She’ll have to wait. She reminds herself again. There’s only so long before a he does a mistake that will give her back her freedom. The phone is a good start. When her banks of questions seems to be exhausted, the man takes the dirty plate and walks out of the room.
Stepmother’s Plan 12 (https://tentaclestories.wordpress.com/2015/12/29/stepmothers-plan-12/)