The weight urging harder against her body flooded her mind with panic and she tried to pull away. Lisa's breathes grew more rapid at every failed attempt. "Get off," she tried to scream, but it only came out as a weak and shuttering sound.
But her assaulter heard her plea and pulled up on his elbow. Brown hair framed the face that had taunted her so many times in her waking and sleeping hours. He was supposed to be in prison, but here he was lying atop her in only a pair of boxers.
"Leese, what's wrong?" he sounded so genuine, like he really was concerned about her.
"You promised not to do this to me," she replied, breathlessly.
A boyish grin crossed his face. "I promised to honor, love, and cherish you. I never promised not to kiss the neck of my-" She didn't want to hear it. He was pulled back from her just enough...
Lisa dug her knee into his stomach. He groaned, rolling onto his back. Lisa jumped off the bed and rushed to the door. Her hand grabbed for the knob, but before she could turn it, she was spun around and yanked against a bare chest. Steely blue eyes stared directly into her.
"What's gotten into you, Leese?" he asked, confusion written on his face. "Who do you think I am?"
"You're Jackson Rippner!" she yelled, trying to wrench away from his hold around her waist. "What the hell are you doing out of prison?"
Jackson cocked his head dazed then a mischievous grin cracked his lips. "Is this one of our games?" he whispered, eyes twinkling. He dug his fingers into her back. "I know how you like it rough."
Lisa stared at him in horror, mouth gaped open. Was this some kind of cruel dream? Was she finally going mad from the torment of her unfortunate experiences? "You're a sick bastard," she growled, infuriated.
At that tone, Jackson's face dropped and he loosened his grip on her waist. "Leese, what's gotten into you?"
"You're acting like you don't know?" Lisa quickly stepped backwards from Jackson, putting a wanted distance between them. Her hand shook uncontrollably as she held it up in defense. "You took me hostage on a plane, threatened to kill my father, made me take part in an assassination attempt. Like all that has slipped your memory!"
"As a matter of fact, it has." The hurt look on Jackson's face didn't stir Lisa. She stood solid before him, ready to not believe a word out of his mouth. "You're starting to scare me, Lisa. I don't know what kind of dream you may have been having before you woke up, but none of that ever happened."
"You lie!" she screamed. She spun around, grabbing the handle again, but the door slammed shut at her tug.
"Lisa, please calm down," said Jackson. His tone unnerved her. Why was he sounding so concerned? She looked over her shoulder, making eye contact with him. They were the same eerie blue eyes that had pierced her soul so many times on the plane. But there was something different. They weren't cold, and that scared her even more.
"What's going on?" she asked in barely a whisper.
Jackson smiled nervously. "That's what I'm wondering myself." He placed a hand on her back, but Lisa flinched at his touch and Jackson frowned again. "Is there anything you'd like to talk about with me?"
Lisa took a deep breath, leaning heavily against the door. Jackson still held it shut. "What am I to you?"
Jackson snorted in disbelief. "You're my wife. See?" He held up his left hand, wiggling his fingers. Lisa glanced at his hand spotting a gold band on his ring finger. "You have one too."
It took a moment, but Lisa gained the courage to look down at her own hand. There, shining proud in the lamp light of the room, was a gold band matching Jackson's. She gulped at the sight. "You could have put the ring on my finger."
A frustrated sigh escaped Jackson, and he ran a hand through his hair. He flicked his eyes around the room, stopping on a photograph sitting perfectly on Lisa's vanity. He reached it in a couple strides, snatching it up and holding it out to her. "This is our wedding picture, Leese."
She hesitantly took the frame from him, and stared at it speechless. In the photo, she was dressed in a flowing, strapless white gown; Jackson in a black tuxedo with a blue tie. They both looked incredibly happy, smiling brightly and holding one another in a loving embrace. "You could have fabricated this."
"Why would I do that, Lisa?" His voice raised an octave as his frustration grew. "We love each other. We've been married for almost five years. Don't you remember any of it?"
Tears streaked down Lisa's cheeks and she shook her head. "I'm sorry, but no, I don't. I only know you as a murderer."
Jackson stared at her, confused and hurt. He stepped closer to her and said, "I don't know where you're getting this, but what is it going to take for me to convince you that our marriage is real?"
It couldn't have happened any better even if it had been planned. A small voice from the other side of the door called out, "Mommy? Daddy?"
Lisa's eyes were instantly wide in shock. "Is that-"
Jackson nodded slowly. "Our daughter."