Jeremy rested his hands on his belt and shook his head. This was the second reference she had made to the previous evening and he wondered if she had imagined what she so desperately wanted. "Nothing happened in your room last n-night. I wasn't there."
Her brow furrowed in concentration as her eyes darted back and forth, slowly she raised her hand to her lips, "Nooo…" she said slowly, drawing the word out. "No, you were there."
"I wasn't there." He said again, "I never left the g-guest room."
"Why are you doing this?" She asked as she wrapped her arms around herself, but they offered little protection. "Why are you denying what has happened between us?" Her voice softened, "I can still feel your touch, your breath against my neck, your body next to mine. How can you deny something so beautiful?"
Reluctantly Jeremy realized he had started something at the picnic that he was unable, and unwilling to finish. He knew that it would be difficult but he had to make her understand. He would have to be honest, brutal if necessary, but she had to know. "I can deny it b-because it never happened. I'm sorry about the p-picnic, that was my f-fault, but I was in my room last night, not yours."
Tears filled her eyes and she tried to blink them back, "I thought you loved me."
"I love C-Candy."
There it was, he had said it. For the first time since she bumped into him on the street he had professed his love for Candy. The words tore into her heart and ripped the life's breath from her as the tears spilled down her cheeks. Alex raised her voice, screaming at Jeremy, "Candy! She," a sob interrupted, "she doesn't love you the way I love you."
"Alex." Jeremy said calmly, "We need to g-go downstairs and discuss this calmly. Where's the k-key?"
"Ask Candy!" She yelled irrationally.
He took a deep breath, the last thing he needed was to lose his temper, "I can b-break the door down. I don't want t-to, but I will."
Still sobbing she reached into the pocket of her dress and with a shaky hand pulled the small gun into view. Even through the sobs Jeremy could hear the anger in her voice, "Was this all a game. Lets make Alex fall in love again and see what happens when she's discarded."
"I didn't p-plan this." He replied taking a step back as he saw the gun.
"You kissed me!" she yelled as she waved the gun in the air, "You made me feel things…."
"I'm s-sorry Alex." He replied, yet now he was concerned that she could hurt herself with the gun.
"Well, you're not going to get away with this Jeremy Bolt." She sobbed as she leveled the firearm in Jeremy's direction. Her hands were shaking so badly she had to grasp it with both hands.
"Don't do this." He said as he took a step toward her.
"Stop!" she cried.
Jeremy raised his hands, "Now what Alex? What are you going to do now?"
"Get over there." She replied, "To that post by the bed."
He complied and walked over to the post, it was nearly six by six and Jeremy decided it must be the center of the house. "Ok." He said turning to look at her. The tears continued to streak her face and her violet eyes were pale, as though the tears had washed away the color.
"Behind the post." She said as her trembling hands held fast to the gun.
Jeremy looked down, there, coiled neatly was a length of sturdy chain with a leg iron attached to one end and the other locked firmly around the post. He looked back over at the distraught young woman.
"Put it on!" She ordered.
"C-Come-on Alex." He said softly, "You don't wanna do this."
"Don't tell me what I want!" She screamed, "I know what I want. Now put on the leg iron." She stiffened her arms to make her point but the gun still wavered in her shaking hand.
"Ok, ok." Jeremy said. He sat down on the floor next to the hardware and picked up the leg iron. The chain attached to it rattled as he turned the hinged iron over in his hand. He turned the key that was in the lock and device swung open. For a moment he looked up at Alex, she was still brandishing the gun in his direction so with a heavy sigh he reached down to try and close the device around his boot. "It won't f-fit." He said looking up at his captor "It's too small."
"Take off your boot." She demanded.
"Take…." He started to protest but decided it was best to go along with her for now. He pulled hard at the boot and it came off in his hand. The tight boot had pulled the sock half way off and Jeremy pulled it back on. Then he picked up the leg iron and it closed easily around his ankle. He turned the key and pulled it from its lock.
"Toss the key here."
Jeremy did as he was told and crossed his arms over his knees. "Now what? Are you going to k-keep me here?"
"Well I'm not going to send you back to Candy. She doesn't deserve you. She left you in Seattle to go back to New Bedford. I would never do that Jeremy. I would never leave you. We're going to be together forever." She was nodding as she spoke, "I'll take good care of you, and someday you will love me, wait and see. Someday you'll forget all about Candy, and Seattle. We'll have children, and raise them here, we'll be so happy."
The chain rattled as Jeremy stood taking Alex from her reverie, "That's enough Alex. You need to think about what you're doing." He took a step closer and held out his hand, "Give me the gun."
"No! You stay where you are."
Jeremy stopped his advance for only a moment, his hand outstretched. It was not his intent to provoke her but he knew he must disarm her, "Please," he said taking another step "Let me have the gun." His hand was only inches from hers when suddenly the gun in her hand discharged. The force of the bullet ripped through his shoulder and he stumbled back. The post was the only thing that kept him from tumbling to the floor. He looked down to where his left hand covered the wound; the blood glistened as it seeped through his fingers and rolled down the back of his hand. "Oh shit." He said softly as he closed his eyes and leaned his head against the post.