Chapter 41 | The Sun At Home

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Elena's P.O.V.

Anguish. Apprehension. Adrift.

The three big A's that described my situation.

Ache twisted my limbs and joints, which was quickly followed by bruises burning and corroding my skin.

Terror awoke me from my slumbers, keeping me up at nights. It was also the source of my flinching, something that I did whenever there was a loud noise or an abrupt action.

And lastly, I was lost. At the moment, I was just feeling my way through the darkness, hoping to find a solid ground before I started to recover and accept.

Recover and accept.

There were so many feelings swirling around me and acting so differently; some were not able to get under my skin while others stabbed me repeatedly.

I knew my time in captivity had changed me somehow. The way I could lie so smoothly gave it away. It was weird to have this control over my body language and words. But I'm not going to lie (pun not intended), it is a handy tool.

Everyone bought my fake reassurance of being okay. I wasn't and still aren't. To get used to my safe surroundings was more difficult than to adapt to the violent captivity. It's easier to turn your body into survival mode, but it's more arduous to turn it off.

Blending into a situation does not require much, but to stand out asks for a strength that I don't have.

For that reason, I'm glad I have solid lies on my side to conceal my vulnerability. No one sees the mask - no one except for a stubborn prince.

"Hey, it's just me," I remember Ethan's voice always being so gentle and calm before he opened the door to my room. He also walked with slow steps, always acting careful and soft. Never did he raise his voice nor cause any abrupt movement.

Gentle. That was all he was around me.

After I woke up one day with a running heart and boiling in sweat and pain, he became more careful. To tell the truth, it was an ugly experience. I wish I didn't have anyone to witness my incident, especially someone as close as Ethan.

Never did I think that I would feel this way after being freed from Claes' claws. I couldn't fathom why I was still so afraid, why I put myself through the torture to relive the violent episodes - and why I was drifting away like this.

Pathetic.

That was the only word I could describe myself. Absolutely, utterly pathetic.

"Elena?"

"Hmm?" I snapped my head to Ethan, watching how his chest fell when he sighed.

"I asked if you had eaten anything."

My orbs quickly glanced at the bathroom, "Yeah. It tasted good."

The consequences of this entire thing had also touched my physical health, something I despised the most. I'm a person who likes to work out and eat food that will increase my muscles. And when such routine stagnates, everything that I have built is destined to fall apart.

The thought of being a too slow runner to be on the soccer team broke me the most. I would have to build every muscle from scratch and expand my stamina again.

Sometimes I wish I hadn't woken up at all. It took me three days to gain my consciousness, which was followed by blackouts every now and then. The first thing I remember was the different voices in my room. But most of all, I remember how my body was paralyzed and unable to pull the weighty slumber off my chest.

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