I lay here in my bed contemplating the events that took place days ago. It still clings to me like a bad dream and even when I knew there would be repercussions I went through with it of my own free volition. But now regret wraps its ugly fingers around my throat and squeezes constantly, clinging to me like an infection that's constantly reminding me of the failure to succeed. I've had nothing but night terrors waking up in cold sweat that Sasuke had warped into a greater monster my mind fractionalized making him more terrible and vile every time I'd lay my head down to sleep. Always the same scene dug barbed hooks into my skin and wrought my mind with that scene of him catching me. The worst was the dream where he sunk his teeth into my flesh and began eating me while I was still alive screaming in anguish as the dagger like teeth peeled away the matter that was made of me until there was nothing left.
Now as I sit in the middle of the night balled up into myself wide awake and holding my arms tightly, I distract my mind. I watch the beams of moonlight lazily dance upon the floor as the shadow of the trees jostle its light about when the leaves quiver and shake. It's soothing and just when I get lost in that silky comfort the door unlocks and opens in one motion and I jump out of my skin. For a split second my heart hammers in my chest and I expect to see the conjured evil manifestation of Sasuke my mind has so cruelly concocted, but then I take in the elders shape quickly to unsaturate the picture my head is painting. I remind myself to breath and then he takes a small step into my room. Itachi, that's his name. He never dares to intrude in my space. He never enters fully, he always seems to linger at the doorway. For that small mercy I am grateful. But even this innocent act twists in my head and I can feel panic rise in my body. Why would a burly male of his stature enter a ladies room at three in the morning? I dig my fingernails into my arm and my breath hitches in my lungs. I'm creating all these worries and anxiety and just when I feel I might fall apart he speaks:
My mouth opens but my throat is suddenly terribly dry and the words never get a chance to flutter freely from my lips. To him I just appear to be gawking with my mouth parted. His passive face is always intimidating even if his actions say otherwise. He may still be an enemy but being a doctor my path has taught me to always observe. To take in everything because if I miss one thing it could result in a fatality for my patient. But I disassociate myself from my normal life. I am an outside observer absorbing everything like a sponge. So I express what I see now.
Since coming here "Itachi" has been passive. His poker face is so carefully kept I understand he's worn a mask for so long that it seems impossible for him to take it off. And perhaps that's because of the profession he's chosen. This type of rule breaking in our structured law abiding society which is normal to me, is nowhere near as dark and terrible as the work thieves are prone to. What drove these brothers to even consider doing this? They don't look like crooks or murderers. I can just as easily place them in my world as officers, or perhaps even the elder could be a professor or something. So why...? What were the brothers like before this? Did they grow up with a bad home life and therefore sought solace in the tight bond of their brotherhood to go against society? One shouldn't be curious about her captors and yet I cannot help gravitating towards the subject of it. Especially when i have nothing else to do but think.
"Well, come on then." He doesn't motion for me. He doesn't give me any more hints to what it is I should do. He merely extends the door a bit farther and disappears. For a moment I think it's a trick. I'll be tackled to the floor and then he'll have his way with me. And yet that frightening deep baritone timbered voice is somewhat soothing and utterly truthful. So my feet find themselves touching against the ground. I take a moment to ground myself and curl my toes around the soft fibers of my carpet. Then I'm bounding out of the room taking a quick sweep of the interior of my sanctuary before blindly following the elder whose shadow is quickly being swallowed down the stairs. I follow trying to make my presence invisible and unknowing. Like a ghost I float down the stairs and see he's seated at the kitchen table, the soft glow of one light on above his head haloes inside the room giving it an unobtrusive warm glow.
Blessed coffee fills my senses. I can feel my body coming to life and with it the sore ache in my joints from my three day stay in the weight room. I absentmindedly rub my thumb in a circular motion against the spot of my elbow upon my forearm and shuffle into the kitchen. The strong stagnant aroma plumes around me and I freeze halfway to the pot still hissing and gurgling feeling eyes upon my back. I gulp softly and don't dare turn around. I might shatter if I do.
"Go on. There's an assortment of creamers in the fridge, sugar to the right of the maker, and spoons directly in the drawer below it."
It takes me ten seconds before I let the words settle and I begin making my cup which he already seemed to anticipate I would share with him since it's already on the countertop and I get to work on perfecting it to my liking. I watch as the dark roast of the water bleeds into a beautiful tan and creamy foam like state. I leave the sugar out and sit stirring it carefully so the metal doesn't clink against the porcelain. My eyes unintentionally look to the restraints on the chair and like me he seems to observe and take everything in as well.
"You don't need those. I trust you."
I look up at him mouth stupidly agape once more and then I feel foolish for trusting in his words so easily. Of course he wouldn't have a problem with taking down a hundred pound woman. I look into my cup watching the different swirling patterns dancing about the surface gingerly lifting it to my lips and loving the strong ground bean taste roll over my tongue. The creamer dulls its strong kick and it glides smoothly down my throat. I didn't hear a grinder so I assume he bought the bag already blended. We sit here silently sipping every now-and-then and I never dare to look up and meet his obsidian stare. The only sound between us is the little puckered sighs that happen in different synchronizations and the rustling of the paper he's flipping through.
"I'm finished with the current events section. Would you like it?" He still doesn't look up to meet my gaze.
"Yes. Please." Contact from the outside world. I wouldn't even mind just reading a current stupid ad. But whole sections renews my dampened spirits. He separates the pages passing them to me and I eagerly devour each word. Even the annoying political things that I normally would find dull. I just wanted to feel some small thread tied to the outside world. It became another silent ritual. I would fold the sections I was done with in neat squares letting them stay to the far right of the table and he would pass me the articles he was finished with. Now I typically was a fast reader given my job was always time consuming, but this person topped even my college level of training. His focus was sharp and his eyes were halfway to a three thousand printed page on its middle even before the clock hit for a third minute. While I waited my turn I silently timed him. Five minutes was all he needed to have read the entire span of the left side to the right. I needed at least fifteen minutes.
And then he was done and I was playing catch up. He skipped the comics section but as I said, I'll read even the foolish of things just to feel like I could still exist normally back into my old world again, and once done discarded the rest of the paper in my neat little pile.
"Need a refresher?" I looked at the unappealing slosh of coffee left and then to him. If I drank anymore it would certainly result in a trip to the bathroom. I smiled politely and shook my head.
"Thank you, but no." He shrugged and topped his cup off not even taking cream or sugar. It was now five. We've been silently regarding one another for two hours. Just this small measure of kindness. And normalcy was enough to help expand the painfully slow grind of time when I was left alone in my room to my own devices. I tried countless things like taking naps just to pass at least three hours away but since the plague of nightmares began I've been reluctant to even do that. And then, like those first few days I got the overwhelming urge to have just some semblance of contact. I held my breath and before I could stifle the words they just poured from my mouth.
"Why couldn't you sleep?" His eyes lingered on the bay window as the first rays of sunlight began creeping across the yard filtering the slim shards of light against the window as rainbow like reflections danced against the floor. Already I could hear the loud humming of June bugs rattling in the trees and felt the warm breeze against my skin as it came in small waves through the open window. I brushed the strands of my hair that tickle against my cheek behind my ear. I couldn't help but notice his long bangs mimicking the same motions. But he was unbothered by it. His hair was always neatly raked into a tidy red hair tie. There was something ethereal in watching him.
"Hmngh." I strained to listen for more but he seemed in a trance as he watched life yawn awake outside. "I'm usually the one up early. Always have been. I suppose it's become instinct by now. Even in my younger years I rose before my little brother so I could make us a hearty breakfast." He reclaimed his mug in his hands and I noticed the silver ring on his finger glint against a fraction of light momentarily blinding me and catching my attention at the same time. There was a symbol in the middle, but from this distance I could hardly read it, and it was a black letter drowning in a circular sea of red. He wore it on his middle finger. I remembered when he pulled me out of the car that one time I noticed there was an irregular bump in the anatomy of his gloves. I suppose he wears it all the time though I know not of the significance or importance of it.
I've barely heard him say so many words in a sentence. Yet I craved more. I got a tiny peek in the small slat he allowed into his past. But I remained silent and listened.
"What about you?" Oh, my turn I suppose. I sort of wished I did take a little splash more of coffee. I could really use a swig. Instead I traced the cup with my thumb.
"I'm sure as you know I'm a doctor, so I often rise and sleep during odd hours of the day." He didn't confirm the first part, but I already knew he and his brother probably knew more about me than I did myself at this point.
"Your friend should be coming down soon." He rose to his feet swiping my mug and clinking it with his own washing it and the pot before making a fresh batch and got to work on whipping up something. I watched the golden yoke of the egg become battered until the bowl filled with a pool of yellow. He was so careful and articulate with his cooking, I only wished I honed half a fraction of knowing how to cook with that much passion. I barely got lunch breaks and when I did since it was just me by myself I would usually resort to microwave meals. This was a nice change in my diet. To have a full home cooked meal. Despite the nightmares it did feel good to take time to myself and work on healing me rather than rushing around everywhere trying to save as many lives as I could throughout the day. It was nice to be waited on. The counter space filled up with plates of sausage, eggs, syrup, orange juice, bacon, and wheat toast buttered and still hot.
As he sets the plates down on the table it seems to summon the younger one and then Hinata strolls in and I leap to my feet hugging her. It's the first time since I ran away that I've reunited with her. Another part of my punishment after I was thrust back into my room by the younger brother was the lack of socialization. I suppose that was punishment for her part in the plot. The not knowing if I was alright. We tightly embrace and I distract myself to keep from weeping into her shoulder. She holds my head still in order to get a better look at me and dawns that kind smile I didn't know my soul needed.
"Sakura-Chan I'm so thankful you're alright."
"Me too...and you?" She shakes her head. She never wants people to understand how troubled she truly is so she puts on a brave smiling face. But I know better. I wish I could tut tut her and give her a chiding pep talk but I'll take her unbruised appearance as a sign that she was not hurt.
The younger one goes straight for the coffee, I make sure not to look in his direction. His presence grates against my skin. Ever since that night and my nightmares I've found him repulsive. I sit catching up with Hinata as the two brothers share in their own conversation which I pointedly ignore.
As we all sit here enjoying breakfast and eating the banquet created for this small band there's a knock at the front door. It was nice not being bound to a chair and reaching across the table to take whatever I wanted without the restraint of my wrist going past my plate. But things take a turn and go eerily silent. I panic. Did something happen? Are we to be killed and pushed into a shallow grave outside? No- my talk with Itachi was fruitful and pleasant, was he going to put on his mask and become a different brutal person that I already knew his brother was like? Hinata and I shared the same look of concern as once again our fates were out of our hands. Sasuke drew a pistol from it's holster against his waistband and clicked the safety off before cocking it ready to kill.
I swallow hard and watch as he slowly rises from his seat. Itachi looks to us and raises his finger to his lips, his eyes burning with seriousness. Who else knows we're out here? Did the money get transferred? We're we actually going to be free this very day? I dashed that hope away, since being here I negatively assumed the worst so why would I dare to dream now? I prayed this wasn't going to end in fatalities, I reached over gripping Hinata's hand as Itachi kept his gaze fixated on us both. I was stapled to my seat. Even if I wanted to take the opportunity to run I couldn't. I listen as the door creaks open and then there's a loud exchange that makes me jump out of my skin. I can feel the weight of tension in the room crushing down on me in an overbearing weight and I feel like I'm going to suffer a heart attack. I can only imagine what Hinata's thinking and then...