Chapter 24: Kat

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When I opened my eyes that next morning to the realization that my heart was still beating with life, I couldn't deny that the devastation was enormous.

The sheets beneath my fingertips broke my heart all over again. Their rough feel and stiff coverage were too familiar against my body. I knew these uncomfortable sheets and bed too well.

There was this piercing ache radiating from the front of my skull that hurt even more as I tried to dig up some recollection of what had happened at the auction. I remembered being tied up in a chair and I remembered Heather and Tommy there.

A sickening amount of guilt swirled through my chest as I thought of the poison injected into my veins. Even after everything with my mom, every judgement I threw her way and every insult over her addiction to the drug, my own body made me a hypocrite in the flesh.

I remembered how I enjoyed it- loved the feeling of nothing. No pain, no sorrow, no longing. Numbness was my best friend as it seemed and there was nothing more I wanted sitting in that chair than to never let that feeling go.

Especially as more memories bombarded my mind of a strange man smiling between my legs and screams rolling out of me like tormented waves. My brain slammed the doors shut on those memories as they tried to break through. It was smart enough to know that if I relived what that strange man did to me, how he violated me, how he broke me... it was a very real chance that I might not ever recover.

Hell, there was still a large chance of that anyways.

Pain carved through my head as I turned myself over on the bed, blinking the sleep out of my eyes. A glass of water sat on a tiny stand next to the bed that had never seen there before. It wasn't until I saw the chilled glass of water that I even realized how thirsty I was. My mouth was as dry as a desert and tasted like sawdust had been rubbed across my palate.

I reached out for the glass and downed it in seconds flat. I wanted another but didn't want to go downstairs so the tap water from the bathroom sink would have to suffice. Kicking my feet out from the covers, I was reminded of the outfit I'd been dressed in while unconscious- tiny and riddled with nightmarish memories.

But then, my eyes jumped to the unbuttoned men's shirt that covered my top half and for a half second, I wondered where it had come from.

All wondering stopped when the sound of a heavy sigh came from across the room.

My head swung up to find the source of the noise sitting on the floor against the bedroom door, head cradled in his hands. Slowly, I set the empty glass on the stand, letting the thud of its resting place sound through the bedroom and pull attention.

Blake's head rose up slow as ever and I watched him, scrutinized him with an odd sense of curiosity bubbling inside of me that I couldn't place.

That was, until his eyes reached mine, bloodshot and guilt-ridden, and the lock on the floodgate of my memories flipped open and the rest of the auctions events washed across my mind in rivers of unbearable heartache and fury. Boiling fury.

Dominic was there. I saw him and he saw me and...

"You took me from him..." The words came out as slowly as I thought of them, the realization almost too massive to grip my thoughts around.


"He was there. He came for me." My eyes snapped up to find his waiting for mine. He flinched back as he met the hostility breathing in my eyes. "And you took me from him."

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