Chapter 75 –Falling Off Completely– Raine's POV

After I peed, I looked at my reflection in the bathroom mirror. The woman staring back at me had vacant, empty eyes. I was numb and couldn't force myself to move. A part of me idly noticed how dirty I was, a consequence of running underground and fighting with Marku. Mud stained my cheeks and hands, but I didn't care. I couldn't care, not about anything, if I was going to survive the night.

Marku had told me he would inflict pain if I fought him. I didn't doubt his words for a second. I also knew I couldn't escape him. Even when I had tapped into my more-than-human strength and speed, he had still been more powerful and had overcome me. If anything, my attempts to evade him only excited him and made him want me more. My thoughts faded into nothingness, as sorrow drowned me in its depths. There was no one to help me, no one I could call. Marku had taken the phone Hayden had given to me, almost immediately upon my capture and had crushed it between his fingertips. No one even knew where I was.

Abruptly, Marku knocked on the door and said firmly, "Princess..."

I jumped.

He said nothing else, but I understood it was an order to leave the bathroom. I had no idea how long I had spent staring off into oblivion. With trembling hands, I unlocked the door and stepped out. I noticed he had turned off all of the lamps, but opened one of the curtains to allow the moonlight to bathe every surface in a silver-like glow.

He handed me a glass. I looked at it questioningly, trying to make my brain function. I brought it to my lips and realized it was champagne. He murmured, "It will take the edge off. Would you like some strawberries?"

I looked around him to see a small bowl of fresh, plump strawberries. I was confused. His actions seemed like an attempt at seduction, which wasn't really necessary given the circumstances. My belly was in knots, and certainly not hungry. However, I hadn't eaten in several hours and knew I could better handle the evening, if I had at least something in my stomach. I woodenly walked around him and bit into a strawberry, chewed and then forced myself to swallow.

He smiled, taking my agreement to his suggestion as a good sign. I was only able to get two more down, but did finish the glass of champagne. I would gladly embrace anything that helped remove my conscious thought from my current reality.

He stepped toward me, slowly eliminating the space between us. I couldn't help my natural instinct to shy away from him. One of his arms slid around my back to keep me in place, and his head came down to my neck. He kissed my flesh softly, causing me to shudder. Once he was convinced I wouldn't try to move away again, he reached both hands to the hem of my T-shirt and pulled it over my head. Kneeling down, he undid each one of my boots. I stepped out of them, freeing my feet. His hands then moved to release the button and zipper on my jeans. He gently tugged the jeans over my hips until they pooled at the floor around my feet, leaving me standing in a lacey white thong and matching bra.

His pupils dilated completely as he removed my bra and slid my underwear off. I stood there frozen as he removed his clothing as well. When he was in an equal state of undress, he lifted me against his chest and walked into the bathroom. He reached to turn on the shower, and adjusted the temperature. It made sense. We were both filthy.

He pulled me inside with him and shut the door behind us, reaching for the courtesy bottle of shampoo. I was actually a little shocked at his gentleness. When he finished with my hair, he poured body wash into his palms, and slid his hands along my arms and legs. As he ran his fingers slowly up my thighs, I stiffened and bit my lip to keep the tears back.

He felt my anxiety. His lips coasted along my neck and shoulders, in an attempt to soothe me, kissing and tasting my flesh. He reached his hand between my legs, and whispered huskily, "I'm not going to penetrate you. Not yet. I know what you need first."

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