The cyan spotlight blinded her, a deliberate ploy, Eileen was sure, to increase fear and vulnerability. “Enhanced desirability” she’d heard one of the BS-slingers say when she was new and stupidly clueless. She’d progressed from that to broken-in and naively hopeful, then on into worn out and dismally resigned. The crumbles and debris of easily broken promises served, she supposed, as serviceable if not inviting flooring.
She sensed the approach, more conscious of a difference in the feel of the space, more aware of the psyches, than she was of the sounds. At the beginning, when she was newly arrived, she’d tried to determine how many there were at any given time, back when the thought of escape was a near-tangible focal point. Now, even if she thought of escape, even if she managed it, there would be nowhere to go, no one left to escape to.
Eileen knelt voluntarily now. No more being yanked down by a collar and chained to rings in the floor. There was no need. Defiance was a tool of the hopeful and determined, not the disinterested and weak. The hatred was gone, too, victim to the sculptor’s chisel, tap-tap-tapped away.
When the hands came up and made her their own, she accepted it. They were timid at first, most likely because they were in a group of strangers and no one knew quite what to do or how. As soon as one tentative hand brushed her thigh, the rest joined in. Most of them were sticky with something she’d learned not to think about, especially when those hands clamped over her mouth and nose and all she could smell was alcohol, grease, and semen.
They crawled all over her, those sticky hands. Sliding up her abs slowly, finally cupping her breasts, fingers digging in, pinching her nipples, pulling, tugging. Another over her navel, thrusting in and out in a mockery of their true goal. Others on her back, her bum, slipping into the crack, seeking a place of refuge. Another gripping her mons, also digging in, clawing, claiming, thumb sliding between to seek enough of her arousal to ease their inevitable entry. None of it worked.
They’d demanded submission, the faceless users, the ones who owned her. Perhaps they thought that would arouse her. Perhaps they didn’t care whether she was aroused or not, once she was wet enough not to hinder them. She’d fought arousal at first, demanding that her body hold on to one tiny bit of her very own self, something they could not spew their seed all over.
Self-betrayal does the most damage, Eileen had discovered, as her body responded to them. At first. Over time, she learned to slip away, to take her self and place it on a hanger outside the room of the soul they dragged her into. Since then, arousal was no issue. She accepted sensory input or denied it. Most of the time, it simply didn’t matter. Arousal was as foreign to her as freedom.
The hands withdrew. Before they do the rest? What is this? Another voice in her head shushed her, reminded her absence was her friend.
A new hand, large and oddly cool, laid along her cheek and jaw, turning her face, lifting her chin. Though they had touched everywhere else, no hand had been laid to her face except for breath play. The difference threatened to undo her, to return her to a world where she had to experience, to feel, and dear god please no to think. She began to tremble.
“Ssshhhh. Hush, little one. It’s all right. I’m here now.”
She pulled away, trying frantically to overcome the foe, to extinguish the enemy — hope. She couldn’t hope again. She didn’t want to hope. Hope means things hurt.
“Come to me,” the voice urged.
Trained to obedience, she moved toward him. Arms enfolded her, drew her close, tucked her head along his collarbone, his cheek resting on the crown of her head. The trembling worsened and she fled in terror, her body remaining in his embrace, her mind and heart screaming, following the sound as it escaped, perhaps blazing her trail to Away.
And then it happened. His hand turned her face towards his. If she had been terrified before, that was nothing to the full-blown panic that peeled her into jagged strips when he kissed her.
She fainted. Perhaps it was more akin to passing out. Whatever it was called, she wasn’t there for a time. When she returned to herself, she was lying next to him, still tucked into his shoulder, and he was rubbing her upper arm with his thumb. Gentle, soothing. She almost screamed, but he felt her tense and began to croon softly to her, saying nothing in particular. Calming her, taming her.
They lay like that for some period of time she had no way of judging. Finally her breathing evened out and she slept. He raised his head and spoke quietly. “I’ll take her for the price you named.”
Another voice. “When would you like her delivered?”
He laughed. “No delivery. I’ll have this one to go.”
[photo credit unknown. Information sought.]