Before we begin the story, here are the results for the poll.
Lauren – 47%
Angela – 21%
Mike – 18%
Jessica – 13%
Now let's see if you were correct. ^^
Chapter Eight – Jealousy's Identities
I groaned as my consciousness started to return. I was sitting up, leaning against a pole or something with joints that kept jutting into the small of my back. My temples were throbbing painfully; it felt as if someone was beating my skull from the inside with a hammer, my throat felt as dry as a desert and I kept gagging reflexively. My tongue brushed against cotton, collecting a few fibres from the handkerchief that had been shoved into my mouth and knotted behind my neck. My arms had been forced behind my back at an awkward angle and my wrists were secured with stiff, scratchy rope. My hands had gone numb from loss of circulation.
I lifted up my head and opened my eyes.
Black. Everything was pitch black. My eyes were open and still I couldn't see.
The familiar feeling of terror bubbled up inside of me, trying to force its way out. I tried to scream. All that escaped the gag was a pathetic whimper. I snivelled feeling liquid forming within my tear ducts and spilling over and down my cheeks.
I could hear footsteps. I stopped crying. Someone was there. Someone could find me. Someone could help me.
I tried fruitlessly to force out some more screams through the gag and flailed my legs around, searching for something to smash them against to make some sort of noise. My feet found nothing and I couldn't kick the floor in my current sitting position. Noise, I had to make noise.
I searched for something, anything that would bring attention to the fact that I was stuck here in the dark. As a last resort I smashed the back of my head into the pipe I'd been tied to. The resulting thud rang out loud and clear in the dark, enclosed place, vibrating all the way up the pipe. Pain exploded in the rear of my cranium and the throbbing in my temples flared. Even if it had been a desperate attempt, it had been a stupid idea.
I hung my head, defeated. I wanted to cry again, but I wasn't going to give this psycho the satisfaction of seeing me in such a miserable state when she came to cut or kill me or whatever.
Footsteps came and went as I drifted in and out of consciousness. I couldn't even tell if I had slept because either way, eyelids up or eyelids down, the world looked the same.
How long had I been sitting here, tied up and gagged in this lightless room?
My mind threatened to crumble.
How much longer would I be here?
I wanted out!
I couldn't take it anymore. The suspense, the terror, the fear, the loss of feeling in my hands and legs and the total darkness had finally gotten to me. I felt like I was going to explode. I yanked away from the pipe as hard as I could, smashed the ground with my bound hands and free feet and screamed as loudly as possible.
Out! LET ME OUT!
I could hear footsteps, getting closer. Unlike all the others, this person stopped. There was a loud, grating creak as the door to my gloomy cell was opened, letting in a stream of horrible, blinding light that left me as blind as I had been in the dark. My eyes burned from the sudden brightness. I let out a muffled shriek of pain and recoiled from the light. Bring up my knees and burying my face in them to shield my eyes as they watered from the glow.
The light was dim, though when the door had first opened it had been like staring into the sun. As my eyes adjusted all I could make out was the figure of a man. He crouched in front of me, I couldn't make out his face yet.
"Hm-mm, nmnn." It hurt to even try and talk. I had screamed my throat raw. A tear streaked down the side of my face. Help me. Please. I dropped my chin as more droplets began to fall.
A rough hand cupped my cheek. Edward often did that to reassure me.
"Sorry Bella," muttered my 'saviour' roughly, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a damp cloth.
I froze. I knew that voice. No, it couldn't be.
A hand flew forwards and the damp material covered my face, smothering me. It stank, radiating pungent fumes. I inhaled; the vapours burned my already sore throat.
No, not again.
I was losing feeling in my extremities and for the second time, I blacked out.
"Bella, wake up," said a quiet, almost gentle male voice, the same voice as that which had spoken when I'd been moved from my first cell rousing me from my drug-induced sleep.
My semi-conscious mind noted that I was lying on my back with my hands stretched over my head in a room that I had never once seen before. Rough loops of rope tied me to the wooden poles at the top of what I could only assume was a bed. My captors had left my bare, scraped and bleeding feet and legs, numb from cold and pain, unbound, though the fact barely registered a spark in my brain.
I didn't like the implications the current situation and my current position were making.
"Move; I'll do it! Wake up, damn it!" shrieked another – a female one this time.
I stirred as a hard, bony hand slapped me in the face.
"I said wake up you whorish, thieving bitch!" screamed the shrill, undeniably angry voice. I knew this speaker too. She slapped me again.
Why? Why are you doing this? I wanted to ask them that, to ask both of them. What did they stand to gain from doing this to me? Reluctantly I forced my eyes open and two horribly familiar faces swam into focus. I groaned. Why?
I made an attempt to speak but the words got caught in throat. The second time a grinding, choked croak was expelled, "Lau-ren. Mike."
She glowered at me. "Shut up," she snarled and smacked me again.
"Why?" I gasped as pain flared in my swollen cheek and seared down my throat.
"Why?" mimicked Lauren, her eyes flashing dangerously. "Why?" she repeated, her lips curling into a snarl. "You've had this coming for a while, Bella. I told you didn't I; Edward… Edward is mine! How dare you take him from me? It was all going fine until you came along. I had him in the palm of my hand! But then you had to come along and ruin it!" she spat.
I stared woozily at her. What on earth was she rambling on about? I had never seen anyone other than the members of the Vampires even dare to approach Edward at school and it was even more doubtful that anyone would do so outside of the grounds. Involuntarily I voiced my thoughts out loud and earned another slap in the face.
"If you had given up earlier then I wouldn't have had to resort to such drastic measures, but…" she grinned manically, "I think I'll rather enjoy watching this," she continued thoughtfully, "But I have other things to do at the party."
With a curt nod at Mike who had remained silent, and still in an armchair across the room since I'd woken, she left. "Your turn, Mike."
Mike waited for her to leave before getting out of his seat.
"I am sorry, Bella," he said. "Please know that I'm not doing this to hurt you. I haven't got a grudge against you like Lauren does. If anything I love you."
"You're just as insane as she is," I whispered.
He sighed. "I had hoped that you would understand."
I struggled and tried to slip my hands out of the loops that secured me to the headboard as he advanced towards the bed. This was not happening. Tears welled up in my eyes as Mike got closer. Shit. There was no way in hell that I was going to let this two-faced bastard touch me.
Mike reached for me, his cold fingers wrapping around my bare ankle.
Oh God, no.
His hands were moving up my thighs, towards the hem of my dress.
"NOOOOO!" I screamed at him.
Without warning, my knee smashed into his face.
He tumbled off the bed.
"You bitch," he hissed, whatever pity and guilt he had left evaporating and stubbornly got back on the bed.
My second kick caught him in the guts. The third time he seized my leg and held me down.
Instinctively I screamed for help. "Help me, EDWARD!"
Ruthlessly, Mike punched me hard in the face. "Do not, say that name again," he snarled.
"Edward!" I screamed, ignoring him. "EDWARD! ED-"
"Enough!" Mike glued his lips to mine to silence me.
No. I don't want this. I – Edward, please… Edward, help!
Tears streamed down my cheek as he proceeded to pull up my skirt. I gave in and squeezed my eyes shut.
My eyes flew open at the sudden noise and Mike yanked his face away from mine as the door flew open.
I stared, stunned, as I recognised the person standing in the doorway.
"Edward," I whispered.
"Edward," snarled Mike.
"Bella," said Edward. Fury distorted his handsome face; his green eyes darkened as he took in the scene. Edward growled and turned his murderous gaze on Mike. "You filthy bastard!" he bellowed and blurred across the room, tackling Mike and knocking him off me and onto the floor.
There was nothing I could do but watch as they fought. With all the gang fights I'd heard about, Edward undoubtedly had the upper hand in this situation; he was even more powerful than I had thought. In rapid succession he slammed a fist into Mike's jaw, gut and forehead; sending him flying into the armchair he'd occupied once before, where he slumped, unconscious.
The blonde bastard had never stood a chance.
Edward stood there for a moment, his breathing harsh.
He turned to me. Anger still flared in his eyes. "Bella," he whispered, the rage dying down a little. He ran to the bed and untied the ropes and hauled me into a sitting position.
"Bella, are you alright?" he whispered, cupping my cheeks in his palms.
I couldn't answer, I didn't look at him. The tears, which had stopped at his sudden appearance, began once again to fall. I simply sat there and cried as Edward's eyes darkened suspiciously. I nodded, so that he wouldn't get up to beat Mike further.
These were tears of relief. I was lucky. God, I was so lucky. If Edward hadn't come… I didn't even want to think about.
"I'm okay," I whispered, leaning my forehead against his chest. "I'm okay."
A Forgotten Promise
End of the stalker line.
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