Serena Tyler shivered in her new apartment, unable to escape the ominous feeling that had filled her the moment that she had opened the door. Although she had been feeling this way all day, it suddenly broke away from her and caused her to seize in panic. The lights were closed. She never turned the lights off when she left, a bad habit that had taken control of her a long time ago- but now something she did to protect herself.
She slipped out the tazer that she carried around with her always and stepped into the room, leaving the door wide open behind her in case of a need to escape.
There was no answer.
Serena continued into the tiny apartment, skirting the small couch that sat in front of the television. Finding nothing amiss in the tiny living room, she stepped quietly to her bedroom, the door was closed, another reason for her to be sure that someone had been there. Taking a deep breath, she turned the knob, opening the door, and turned on the light before she stepped inside the room.
Her eyes swept over her desk and drawers, which looked cleaner than she had left it and over to her bed. Her hand flew to her mouth as she took in the white rose that lay on her pillow and unknowingly she fell to her knees, her eyes filling with tears.
Suddenly, the phone rang distantly in the kitchen. Serena hesitated, unable to find calmness to answer the phone- which was undoubtedly her boss calling her with information on her new job. It continued ringing, but still Serena did not move. She would let the answering machine pick it up. It was not life and death and she needed her mind focused on-
"Hello, my love"
A cold, hard voice broke through her thoughts and she jumped up and ran to the kitchen, almost hyperventilating. She stopped feet away from the phone, staring at it wildly.
"I know you're there, honey. Pick up the phone."
Her hands shook as she reached for the phone. But she couldn't not do it.
He had been there and he knew how to get in. It would only be worse for her if she angered him even more.
Picking up the phone took the most courage that it had taken her to do anything- even more than when she had gone to tell Rei that she had accidentally ripped her favorite sweater.
"Pick it up, now" the voice hissed warningly
She obeyed and finally put the phone to her ear, "Hello?" She said it so softly that she wished the sound couldn't carry over the phone.
"Ah, Usagi, I was worried you weren't going to pick up"
"No, you weren't" she whispered
His cold laugh sent shivers up her spine, "Yes, you're right. I wasn't"
A silence greeted his words as Serena closed her eyes, willing herself to gain some guts.
"How have you been, Usagi? Or should I say, Serena?"
"How did you find me?" she asked coldly, her anger finally taking over her fear. Adrenaline began surging through her and she gripped the phone hard.
"Did you really think you could hide from me? I was ever so surprised when I showed up to our apartment to find you gone. My love, why would you run? There is nowhere in this world that you could go to that I couldn't follow you to"
"I was hoping that there was some place. I guess New York wasn't the place"
Serena struggled to keep her voice calm and steady, not allowing him to hear her fear.
"No. It isn't. Managing to evade me for this long must have been a very grueling task, but have no worries, you need evade me no longer. I am here and I have come for you," he said with a hint of anger beneath his voice.
"Just…leave me alone" she whispered, "Let me go"
"Never" there was a pause as he breathed deeply, "Oh and love, don't think about running again. The only reason your friends and family are safe is because I knew it would only upset you"
"Don't bring them into this!" she nearly screamed into the phone. She hung onto the kitchen table for support, "Please, Diamond…"
She could almost feel his cold gaze on her, "It is your choice, love. Run and I'll start with Luna. I know she misses you and would be happy to have you back at our apartment"
"I…I have a job here…" she whispered weakly, "I can't just leave"
"I know" he said harshly, as if reprimanding her for thinking that he didn't know, "You can remain here for the time being. But you'll be rooming with me. I already contacted your boss and let him know that you'll be my photographer for the next week. I expect you tonight- in the dress I left in your closet- at the Hilton Hotel. Your landlady expects you out of the apartment by 7, that's when the limo will be waiting to pick you up"
"Now, Usagi. I expect you on your best behavior from now on. That means no complaining. Luna can't wait to see you. She's right here, go ahead Luna, say hello to mommy."
A soft meow broke through the phone.
"Oh, Luna" Serena breathed softly, her eyes swimming with tears.
"You can't run and you can't hide. There is nothing for you anywhere, except with me. So I will see you tonight, okay?"
"…okay" she whispered into the phone, broken beyond belief.
"Love you, Usagi. I'll see you tonight" he said in a voice that could have held love, but one Serena recognized as perfectly covered anger and lust.
The phone went dead and the second it did, Serena collapsed to the floor, not bothering to try to stem her tears.
Why had she run? She should have known he would find her within no time. And no time it had been. One month. Almost exactly a month ago, she had packed a small amount of clothes, hacked off all of her hair, gathered all the cash she could and made a run for it.
It had taken her a week to get to New York from Los Angeles.
Serena Tyler- or back then- Usagi Tsukino had escaped from her abusive, rich and powerful boyfriend, Diamond Chambers. Only to be easily dragged back into it.
She felt like screaming and screaming, but a calmness had settled over her. It was done. She was right back into the game. Now she had to fight.
It had been a year since she had met Diamond Chambers. He had been the sweetest of men that she had met and she had felt drawn to him. After a few months, he had asked her to move in with him. She had hesitated, a rich man like him wanted her to move in with him. She had thought she wouldn't find anything- or anyone- better, so she had accepted. It hadn't been long before he had revealed his true self.
One night after she had gotten back from her friend, Minako's house, she had found him waiting for her, a bat in his hand.
"Is he the one you've been fucking?" rang through her ears and it hadn't taken long before the bat met with her stomach.
It had only been Minako's cousin who had been over and Serena had been given the job to get him out of the house long enough for Minako and his family and friends to throw him a surprise birthday party. She had taken him to the mall where they had spent hours in the arcade. She hadn't known it then, but he always had one of his people on her. Someone was always watching her and reporting to him anything and everything out of the ordinary that she did.
Her weakened replies had done nothing to lessen the blows that rained upon her body.
She had been knocked out and woke to find Diamond's private doctor fixing her up. At her attempts to leave, the doctor had, at Diamond's word, given her a sedative and when she woke, she was being cared for by a sad Diamond. He had looked at her and apologized so entreatingly that she had let it go as a mistake.
Except it happened again. And again. And again.
Six months she lived with the bastard and put up with his obsessiveness and his abuse.
Six months she had hidden the truth from the closest of friends and family with a bright smile and lots of makeup. And every day she had to keep up the façade she felt herself die just a little.
The thing was, once Diamond had her, he would never let her go. His resources as one of the richest men in the United States meant evading him was impossible. It was a miracle Serena had lasted as long as she had.
He had the disposal of money and his cronies to take care of everything and anything he needed.
"I hate him so much" Serena said loudly, wishing there was a way for Diamond to hear what she was saying. But then again, it was highly possible that there was a way for him to hear it. He had probably bugged the apartment with cameras and whatever the hell he wanted. He was probably watching her right now.
How did he do this to her? How did he transform her into this spineless little girl?
Diamond Chambers had somehow burrowed deep into her mind and he knew every little weakness that she had and he would never hesitate to use them. Every single person she cared for wasn't safe from Diamond's manic reach. That was why she had run rather than tell someone. Had she told someone, they would have gone after Diamond- only to end up hurt. She couldn't let something like that happen to someone, but someone like Makoto would never give up and she'd end up seriously injured-or worse.
There was nothing that was beyond Diamond's influence. He had his hands in every little pot of power all over the world.
She was only fighting the impossible. And she had no one on her side. Or at least no one who was immune to Diamond's manipulation or power.
Mamoru's eyes wandered to the newspaper that was buried beneath all his papers. He sighed as he struggled to pull it out of the mess. Things had been crazy ever since he had been promoted, almost to the top of the FBI. He sometimes still couldn't believe he had almost reached the position he had been attaining for the last 10 years of his life. The charismatic and responsible Mamoru Chiba had started out as a lowly private, but here he was now, almost the Director of Crime at the FBI.
Flipping open the newspaper, he walked over to the light and switching it on, he settled into his comfy couch to read news of the world beyond his large office.
As he read, his eyes widened and he paled. To any onlooker, it would have looked like he had seen a ghost.
He stood up suddenly and stalked to the phone, "Get Jason in here now" he barked into it.
"One second, sir" his secretary said worriedly, knowing something was wrong.
Mamoru's jaw clenched as he waited, but his eyes did not return to the newspaper he was gripping rather hard.
"He's here, sir," Anne's smooth voice said.
"Send him in," he said into it before she had even finished talking.
The door opened and a blonde haired, blue-eyed man walked into the room.
"You called, Mamoru?" Jason said, looking harried. Jason Bates was his close colleague; he had been one of Mamoru's closest friends as they rose within the ranks of the FBI.
"Why wasn't I told that Chambers was coming here?" Mamoru asked coldly, "Why did I find out from the goddamned newspaper?" He shook the newspaper in front of Jason's eyes like a madman.
"I didn't know, Mamoru. You know I would have told you the second that I found out."
"What about Nick, Kevin or Zach? One of you must have known!" Mamoru cried, throwing the newspaper on the ground.
"We didn't, Mamoru" Jason said soothingly, placing his hand on Mamoru's shaking shoulder.
Wrenching his body away from Jason, Mamoru turned back to his desk.
"I want someone on him at all times. Find out what he's doing here. It's a far time away from Los Angeles. And I want to know what it is that drew him here"
"Consider it done," Jason said
"Get Zach and Kevin to get some techs to bug him. We're bringing him down," Mamoru said clearly
"We'll get him, Mamoru," Jason said comfortingly, "He's going to pay for everything he's done"
"Send Nick in when he gets back from his meeting. I want him to start planning out Chamber's downfall as soon as he can"
Jason walked out of the office, hurrying to do Mamoru's orders. This was something they could not mess up. Not with Mamoru's sanity on the line as it was.
Mamoru's breathing slowed, and color slowly returned to his face. Picking up the newspaper, he spread it out and finished reading the article that had caused such trouble in his day. His eyes lighted on one part in particular, Mr. Chambers is reported to have ordered photographers to document his stay in New York. He plans on spending his days sightseeing and taking care of the family business. Tonight, he is said to be attending the Hilton Fall Ball. Mamoru's eyes skimmed over everything else, his mind already at work.
He and his friends had tickets to the ball. They had not planned on going, as they weren't really into balls. But maybe it was time to give the suit a night out in fashion. Smiling, Mamoru reached for his phone to call in his cavalry.
Diamond smiled as he watched the breathtaking woman walk into the bathroom and flip on the light. Her eyes slowly scanned the small room and he could almost swear that she could see him. She shook her head, her now short hair bouncing around her head, giving her the visage of being even more sophisticated than she had been the last time he had seen her. She started the shower up and started to remove her clothes.
The lightest of smirks lighted Diamond Chamber's face as he saw more and more of the creamy white skin that he lost himself in. Suddenly she sharpened. Her eyes once again glanced around warily. She bit her lips as she always did when she was worried and Diamond almost fell to his knees in weakness as he stared at her half-clothed form. He could almost feel the pain of pleasure hitting him already and she hadn't even gotten into the shower yet.
Running a hand through her hair, Serena strode to the door where she had hung the dress that he had picked out just for her. She ran her hands over the material- or lack of material.
One hand reached up to remove her bra, the other on the wall beside the door- and suddenly the room was pitched into darkness.
Diamond roared in anger and fury as he realized that she had turned off the lights of the bathroom. She had known he had placed a camera in the bathroom in the hopes of catching her in a performance.
Trying to calm himself, Diamond struggled to stop his erection. That girl turned him on in every little thing she did. Even now, in his extreme annoyance, she had managed to catch his desire more than usual. Or maybe that was just because it had been so long since he had thrust himself into her. So long since he had felt her surround him and scream his name in pain.
He groaned as he realized that his erection had only become worse at the thought of her beneath him. It was still another few hours till he could have her and he couldn't hold off that long. So he flipped out his cell phone and dialed away, planning on asking one of his many 'friends' to assist him.
Serena took as long as she could in the shower, trying to shake the worry from her body. She didn't know what had possessed her to turn off the bathroom light, but she felt immensely better at the thought if there was anything within the room, it wouldn't be able to see her. As she let the warm water caress her, she couldn't help but shake at what was going to happen later that night.
He was sure as hell going to make her pay for running. She just hoped she could stand his revenge.
He'd only been back in her life for an hour and already he controlled every little thing in her life. She felt so helpless. Like she was already back in their large apartment, underneath his unclothed form, shaking as he inflicted as much pain as he could.
Shaking her head hurriedly, she turned the water cold, trying to stop the tears from running. She wouldn't show her weakness.
She could handle herself. That was what the past month had shown her. She had lived by herself and nothing serious had happened to her…but that was probably because Diamond hadn't been there.
Regardless, she wasn't going to go down as a weakling. She would give it all she had. No matter what happened to her, she wasn't going to give up.
She wasn't the same girl he had charmed into his life. She wouldn't fall for his control. Never again.
Leaving the light off, she dressed hurriedly into the dress- or just small pieces of cloth that barely covered her small form. It was a small, backless and armless silver dress that stopped mid-thigh. She felt more naked with it on than she had with it off. Knowing Diamond's hands had run over it only made her shiver with disgust.
Finally she clicked on the light and got to her makeup. Not feeling very festive- for obvious reasons- she only shaded a little and applied eye shadow and mascara. She touched her lips with some gloss, and she was ready.
Glancing in the mirror, she smiled weakly at the girl that stared back at her. She looked so similar yet so different than the one she was used to.
She ran her hand through her shoulder length hair, still surprised at how light her head felt without all that hair. Her hair had been her pride and joy as she grew up. Before she had cut most of it off, it had been up to her thighs. But it had been one of the very obvious qualities about her, and had she stepped outside in that hair, she would obviously be found as 'Mr. Chamber's love' so she hadn't hesitated in taking a scissor and cutting straight through it.
She glanced sadly at the small contact lens case on the sink. She had no use for it anymore. Upon leaving Los Angeles she had finally used the contacts that her close friend, Ami, had given her as a gag present. Ami had joked that with brown eyes, she could leave Usagi Tsukino far behind. Something told Serena that Ami hadn't been joking. Ami had always been the most perspective of the girls and she had realized what was happening with Diamond- or suspected it nonetheless. Serena felt a pang of homesickness at the thought of Ami and the girls.
The one thing that was horrible about running away was that she had cut off all contact with the girls and her family. She figured that Diamond had probably covered for it, saying some crap like having sent her on vacation in Fiji. She couldn't imagine what her friends were saying about her, thinking that she had left them for a long vacation by herself. She would contact them soon, whenever she had the chance. With Diamond knowing where she was, she had no reason to cut off all ties with them.
She had to make sure her mother was fine. Shortly before Serena had left, her mother had had a stroke. The last time Serena had seen her, Ikuko Tsukino had wished her love and happiness. Her mother had always had mother's intuition in knowing that something was wrong. Ikuko had whispered to Serena the numbers to her private bank, saying that it was her own little birthday present. There was no way that Serena could have gotten away without that money and she was even more eternally grateful to her mother. That was the one thing that had caused her to hesitate longer than anything else. Speaking to her on the phone, Ikuko had quelled her daughter's fears and sent her blessing with whatever she did with her life.
But thankfully, Serena knew that her mother was fine. She knew that if something had happened to Ikuko, Diamond wouldn't hesitate to rub it in her face.
Slowly, Serena packed away the items in her bathroom, then moving to her bedroom, grabbed all the things she had accumulated over the month. There was very little. She hadn't been too focused on buying clothes as she had brought enough with her from Los Angeles. Most of the money she had brought with her had gone into paying for the apartment. She may have not loved the apartment, but it had been her own place. Her haven. And she was leaving it.
The phone rang a little before seven and she picked it up, hoping it was something that would take her mind off of what was going on.
"This line isn't safe, so I'll make it quick" the voice said hurriedly. The voice was very smooth and calming.
"I hear you are one of Mr. Chamber's photographers for the week"
"Unfortunately, yes," she grumbled into the phone
"I have a quick question. Did you want to work for Mr. Chambers?" the voice had an odd tone to it, like hope that shot Serena with similar hope. What was going on?
"No. He arranged it. I didn't want it. Not even over my dead body"
"I will see you at the ball, Miss Tyler. Thank you for your assistance, but…I will need more. Do you mind?"
"I…don't know. I'll have to know more. I'd like to know what I'm getting involved in" she said slowly.
"Yes, of course. Thank you, Miss Tyler" the line went dead and she stared at the phone in her hand.
"No problem" she whispered, "Just make sure Diamond doesn't find out what you're doing"
Serena's mind wandered aimlessly for a little while longer, till she heard the knock on the door. Peeking through the peephole, she groaned and pulled it open.
"Sapphire, why am I not surprised?"
"Nice to see you too, Tsukino-san" he said lightly, not meeting her eyes, "I'm here to pick you up and help you move"
"Don't you ever get tired with doing useless errands for Diamond?" she snapped, unable to hold her anger in, "He uses you, his own brother, to nearly kidnap his ex-girlfriend"
"If I heard correctly, the relationship was never broken off, so that would still make you his girlfriend. And plus, you're going of your own free will, are you not?" Sapphire said, walking into the room and grabbing the bag that sat on her couch.
Serena seized it from his hands, "I'll take that, thank you very much. And I'm sure it was very entertaining to place a camera in my bathroom, as well"
Sapphire blinked calmly, not bothering to rise to her, "I have no idea what you're talking about, Tsukino-san. Regardless, Diamond is waiting for us in the limo, so I suggest we leave"
"Of course he would come" Serena breathed under her breath, "Sons of bitches"
"I'm sorry, Tsukino-san. What was that? I'm afraid I didn't catch that" Sapphire said, a smirk on his face
"You suck, Sapphire, and you're just like Diamond" Serena hissed at the tall man before her, his dark hair falling over his violet eyes. In that instance, she swore she saw something like pain shoot through them, and she realized that the two brothers were complete opposites. Sapphire was tall and dark, almost brooding. Diamond wasn't short per se, but he wasn't as tall as his younger brother, and his white hair stood in contrast to Sapphire's dark hair. Diamond was very charismatic, something that he used to his advantage. The only thing they held similarly was the eye color, otherwise, they were completely different.
"Let's go, Tsukino-san," Sapphire said coldly, and he pulled the bag from out of her grasp.
"I can hold it!"
"I know you can," he near growled, "But Diamond told me to escort you down. I don't think that includes you lugging this thing down"
"You're his lackey. How can you stand it? You're his only brother. You should be running the damn business with him, not doing this!" she cried
"You will hold your tongue, Tsukino-san!" Sapphire hissed, his face creased into anger, "What I do holds no interest to you"
"It does when I'm the one who suffers! Did you ever think maybe that I don't want to go back?" she cried, her voice shaking in anger, "You saw me, Sapphire. You saw me when I was sprawled out on the floor half dead the first time and countless times after. And you're dragging me right back into it. So I will not hold my tongue when it comes to you, because as far as I am concerned, this is much as your fault as it is Diamond's"
She turned from him, unable to look at his handsome face any longer, he reminded her too much of his brother. But she couldn't deny that there was something about him that made her feel slightly safer. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that Diamond never hit her in his vicinity or the fact that the man had never rubbed in the fact that she was controlled in her face like Diamond's other top lackeys had.
"Let's go," Sapphire said slowly from behind her, his voice was masked but she could still hear it shaking slightly. She sighed, "I'm sorry" she whispered, "I didn't mean-"
"Yes, you did," his voice interrupted hers, "And you're right" he brushed past her and started for the stairs, "And I regret it" he whispered loud enough for her to hear.
She bowed her head, "I understand. And…it's okay"
"It's not. But thank you" he said as he walked down the flight of stairs. Serena walked slowly after him, her heart sinking with each step. She wanted to race back up the stairs and dive into her bed and have this just be another nightmare. Only one of the nightmares she had imagined of Diamond finding her. But Sapphire's loud steps down the stairs brought the reality out too much and she couldn't retreat from the moment.
Reaching the front door, she noticed a figure waiting by the limo. Sapphire opened the door for her and she stepped slowly to the limo.
She walked slowly to the tall, white haired, very handsome man.
Diamond's smile grew as he saw her and she saw victory in every little line on his handsome face, "Usagi! My love!" he called as he approached her
"Diamond" she responded coldly, "How nice to see you"
A smirk pulled at Diamond's lips, "Delightful as ever," and he wrapped her into an embrace. Pressing her closely to him, she could almost feel his erection digging into her.
"I'm so pleased to see you" he breathed, "It's been too long"
"Really? I could have lasted a while longer. Like the rest of my life"
His hold tightened, almost stopping the air from reaching her lungs. His hard chest jammed into her breasts, making her even more uncomfortable, "Don't be too presumptuous, dear. You're not off the hook for running"
Sapphire cleared his throat and opened the door for the couple. His eyes refused to meet Serena's, who was searching for at least a little comfort. Her hand placed on the door as she slid in after Diamond and she felt the lightest touch that she knew it had been Sapphire, sending his condolences. The door closed and her calmness was left behind.
Gulping, she finally turned to Diamond, who she could feel beside her.
He was watching her carefully, his eyes poring over her face, as if drinking it in.
"You look good"
He moved to sit across from her as the car came to a start and rolled away from the curb.
There was silence as his eyes slid down her body very, very slowly, making her very uncomfortable. Almost as if she knew he was undressing her in his mind. As his eyes rested on her thighs, she arranged her purse over her legs and glanced out the window.
"It took quite a while for us to locate you," he said, his eyes back on her face, "I want to know how you did it"
"So you can't do it again. Why else? Though I'm not letting you out of my sight long enough for you to do anything, so you wouldn't be able to do it either way" he said coldly, his words almost spitting rage
"I got money, how else?" Serena responded just as coldly,
"How did you get money? You didn't have more than $2,000 last time I checked. That would only have supported you for a week here"
She sighed, it was as if she was in an interrogation room, the good cop nowhere to be found.
"Your mother," Diamond said suddenly, "She emptied her bank account a month before you left"
It dawned on him just then and he mentally slapped Sapphire for skipping over that major detail.
"She had nothing to do with it. She only gave me the pin number and I took the money out"
"So you were planning it ever since then?" he said, sneering, "On your mother's death bed, you were planning on robbing her blind. And you think me evil"
She closed her eyes and opened them slowly, "We both know what I did wasn't evil. I only did it to survive. I'd be dead if I hadn't run then"
His sneer only grew, "Oh, Usagi. I wouldn't kill you. I'd much rather just drag on your pain. It's so much more entertaining"
Her hands shook on top of her bag and she closed her eyes again, wishing she would wake up. Only when she opened them, she found herself staring right into the cold violet eyes that had haunted every single one of her nightmares to be real, "You're never getting away again. I promise you that," he hissed, his hot breath over her.
She looked away from the raging eyes, not bothering to respond.
"Look at me" he hissed, his hand seized her chin painfully and pulled it back into alignment with his, "By some miracle, if you ever do manage to get out. Know that I will hunt you down and then force you to watch as I kill your parents, Shingo, Rei, Minako, Makoto and Ami. Then I will take you to the edge of death and bring you back, only to do it again. Do you understand?"
Her eyes conveyed the most fear he had ever seen in them and he reveled in it for the moment.
"Do you understand?"
"Yes" she whispered fearfully
"Good" he said hurriedly and then he threw himself onto her. His mouth found hers easily and claimed it within a second. As his tongue forced its way down her throat, Serena nearly gagged. He pushed her flat onto the seat.
His hands roamed her nearly naked body so hungrily that she shook beneath him.
"We have so much to make up for," he said as he kissed her hungrily.
She felt the tears slip from her eyes. Dear god. This man would destroy everything that was hers. His plan was to kill her soul- and he was already halfway there.