In my rush to post this last night, I put the wrong date down. It should've been a 6 and not a 9.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, but if I did, I'd have that Range Rover I've always wanted.
This story is almost completed and I will be posting regular updates. There will be eventual lemons, however, there will be several chapters that are quite dark. I will warn you ahead of time.
Prologue: Going Away Forever
I hated this room. Everything about it brought me back to places I didn't want to be. For one, it was small and paneled with a dark wood that made it seem even smaller. It had no windows; and it was stuffy. I didn't expect it to be warm in Pennsylvania this time of year. It was December after all; it should be snowy and cold. Instead, it was a beautiful 68 degrees. I'd not planned appropriately for the weather. I'd packed long wool pants and a wool sweater. I should've packed a skirt, I thought to myself. Well, it's too late now. I was 700 miles from home and I didn't dare risk going to the mall. My goal was to do what I had to do and get back to the comfort of my home.
I realized that my mouth was as dry as the Sahara at the peak of the afternoon. I looked around the room for a drink-searching for anything. Last time I was here, they'd had a tray, set with a pitcher and some water. This year, I wasn't in luck. Maybe they'd cut the budget so much that they couldn't do water anymore. But how expensive could water be? I finally found Mr. Delamere, who escorted me to a small room that held nourishments. I grabbed a bottle of spring water and walked with him back to the room that I'd gotten to know so well over the past few years.
'I should be used to this by now,' I thought to myself. I'd been coming here, to this room for the past three years. Pleading my case; telling them intimate details that I didn't regularly share. I'd come from wherever I had been living at the time. Last year, I'd come from college, during my winter break. The year before, I'd skipped a trip to Hawaii so that I could be here. This year I would be home in time for Christmas.
"Miss Swan, they're ready for you," Mr. Delamere walked through the door, putting his BlackBerry back into his pocket and escorted me to another room. This one was bigger than the last. It had long windows that faced the farm that was a mainstay of the facility. There were three men and one woman. The men were all dressed in suits, sitting, three in a row, at a long table, slightly elevated, like they were overlooking there audience. The women was small, pocket-sized it seemed and sat with a stenographers machine to take notes. He was not here, yet.
"Miss Swan, if you please sit over there, to the right," Mr. Delamere walked me to the chair the first man had directed I sit at. I sat primly, crossing my legs in front of me and laying my hands on my lap. The man, who directed me to sit, stood up and addressed everyone in attendance. Where was he? I thought….surely they'd be bringing him in.
"We are here today to discuss the case of Mr. James Upshaw, as he appeals, again, for his release. Mr. Delamere, if you'd start please," the man, who name plate sitting in front of him read "SMITH" in big, bold letters, sat down and waited.
"As most of you know," he says, rising from the table he had been seated at, "Ten years ago Mr. Upshaw abducted and tortured my client, Miss Swan. We're here today to see that he doesn't get released. Miss Swan, would you like to tell us your story, so we can get the full spectrum of the monster that is Mr. Upshaw," he says, looking at me before heading back to this desk.
"Yes, I would," I look up. It's the first time I've looked at the panel directly. I hear one of them gasp, ever so slightly. "I was home from boarding school for holiday break. My mother was making Christmas cookies. She had run out of milk and asked me to go to the store down the street and get some. On my way home, I decided to take a short cut and walk behind the elementary school. I'd done it many times before," I said, remembering that day with crystal clear clarity. "He came out of nowhere. One minute, I was walking, carrying the milk, and the next minute I was in a trunk, with a horrible headache. I couldn't see anything. I don't remember much past this point, as I found out later he had drugged me so he could have full control over my body and my mind," I paused for a moment, flashing back to that day, so many years ago. There were certain things that I did remember, but I'd never discussed them in a public forum, and I wasn't sure if I ever could. "Pain," I said. "I remember pain. Screaming, I did that a lot. Begging, for my life, I did that too. And relief," I said finally.
"Relief," the man in the middle asked.
"Yes, relief," I said. "Because finally he left. And he didn't come back."
"And then what happened?" the man in the middle asked again.
"A US Marshall found me," I said, inhaling sharply. "And carried me up the stairs. There was an ambulance waiting, and they took me to the hospital," I finished.
"And what kind of injuries did you sustain?" the man in the middle asked again.
"A broken leg, nose, cheek and eye socket. I almost lost my eye. Several broken ribs, a punctured lung. Lots of bruises, several stab wounds to the stomach, face and thighs, burns….." I say trailing off.
"And how long did it take you to recover?" This time, the man on the right asked.
"I'm still recovering," I said.
"Still?" the man asked, raising his eyebrow.
"Yes," I said, "Still. I have a metal rod in my leg that aches whenever it snows or rains. I can't wear normal shoes, because I had an ankle that's fused together. I have scars that cover my body, making me look like a monster. I take medications to function as a normal person, I don't sleep, and I don't have a social life. I have been under the care of a therapist for ten years. I am a shell of a person, I function in society. I went to college, I have a job, and I live on my own. But I don't have a "life." He took that from me. All of it," I finished by looking the man in the middle right in the eye, making him stare at the long scar, red with anger, going down my face. "I'll never have the ability to care for another person because I can't trust people; I'll never have a child because he ruined my body. I can't even go swimming because of all the scars, too many people look. He ruined me, forever. And he deserves nothing," I said, I could feel the tears starting to collect in my eyes; I need to calm down, "Nothing except to rot in a little cell for the rest of his life."
"Thank you, Miss Swan, you can go," the man in the middle said, breaking my stare. "Mr. Delamere, if you'd escort your client back to the room, we'll let you know our decision in a few minutes."
I got up and walked out of the room, glad that this was over again. Glad that I'd be home, and in the comfort of my own bed tonight.
"You did a wonderful job," Mr. Delamere said.
"Thank you," I said, looking back at him. I knew he felt sorry for me. He always had. He'd been my attorney now for ten years. He'd seen me at my most vulnerable. He had a daughter my age and I knew that he looked at me and imagined someone doing that to his child, I knew the anger he felt when he thought about it. He had been a very good man to me over the years. Always caring, always understanding, and always there for me.
"Will you be going home tonight, or are you staying in the area and leaving tomorrow?" he asked.
"I'm going home tonight. I need to be at home," I finished. I grabbed my bag I had left in the small, darkly paneled room and headed down the hall, towards the exit and the rental car I had waiting in the parking lot.
"Well good luck. I'll call you and let you know the results," he said as we cleared the security of the penitentiary.
"I'll have my phone on 'til lift-off," I said. I pushed the button on the key fob of then rental car and heard a bleep. Opening the door, I got in, buckled my seat belt and drove off.