A/N: For those of you reading this for the first time, thank you and for the 250 followers who have been reading along this whole time thank you for coming back around and starting with me again at the beginning.
When I first started writing this in Dec 2012, I was nervous to post it up here. I took a few weeks to think about it until finally I got the balls to go ahead and do it. I remember the joy and elation I felt when I had my very first follower none other then our Lala Loopsie, a stranger somewhere out there liked my story enough to follow it and I was in heaven. Now Lala is not only my friend but my beta and the reason these chapters have been polished up to a nice luster.
Along the way there have been many readers who have encouraged me to keep going with this story, SmileRose promoted it in her own work,Missreadingfool, BauerJuliette ,meggan-sa ,NickJisoffmychain2828 ,glory2bee, Shebby87,Crystal9034 ,Angela76 ,Maddy-Rose ,Gobears1 ,Jules Holloway,aarica1 ,BannersAndMash ,overthebrink ,Tangosalsa ,Lulu Price,lulu-ny, HudsH2n, Cole, wattle, Winterstorm, kykio88, and AniSurnois
If you are reading and not following please click that little box, the more followers and review, the bigger draw for new readers... To all my guest reviewers, you have all be very supportive and kind to this story so thanks for that!
I will be re-posting chapter 1 & 2, today. Every time I post a new D&W chapter I will re-post a few of the improved old ones. If you have reviewed chapters in the past FF won't let you do it again. But I would love to hear your feedback so please PM your thoughts about the updates/changes.
Music has also played a huge role in writing these chapters so I am including the songs that helped me with each chapter ( if there was one). If I could I would post the links but FF does not allow. I usually post videos on Facebook or Twitter... follow me there...
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For this chapter No Light No Light by Florence and the Machine was on repeat.
This has been the best experience joining this community of amazing talent.
Thank you once again... XOXO PPP
It was the dripping that was making me crazy, the never-ending white noise. It taunted me, clocking each and every agonizing second. A month ago, I tried to fix the stupid faucet myself, when the super failed to show up for three appointments in a row. I pulled out the small tool box my father had given me when I moved into the city. I did my best trying to wield that goddamned wrench, but after it slipped and my finger was gushing blood, I just gave up all together. I barely spent any time in my apartment anyway. All of my free time was dedicated to Simon. My days were spent in my office, my nights spent in his bed, listening to the lull of his soft snore. But now, it was the sound of water hitting old cast iron that was pushing me over the edge.
I was profoundly cold, my hands and feet numb, tingling. My dehydrated skin was puckering and burning, like when you hold an ice cube in your fingers for too long. My teeth chattered uncontrollably, my bottom lip split and swollen, oozing. My poor abused head was throbbing from the repeated impact of Simon's fists. I could hear the blood pulsing in my ears, which rang and popped, making me dizzy.
I tried to move around as much as I could just to keep the blood flowing through my body but I also didn't want to draw any attention to myself. I could hear his steady, measured breathing coming from the living room, and I was glad that he was finally asleep. I was just so grateful that I was being ignored and that I was able to lie here alone and in peace, for a few moments anyway.
Without these breaks from Simon's voice, from his touch, his smell, and the pain he caused me with such callous disregard, I would not have lasted as long as I did. I felt like I was there solely to help him exorcise his demons, nothing more than a toy you give a puppy to chew on. Without these quiet moments I would have gone crazy and devolved into a puddle on the floor, but I would not give him that satisfaction.
Simon's energy seemed boundless, never-ending, and I was reaching the end of my rapidly fraying rope. I prayed for sleep, that I might be able to close my eyes and drift away. My mind, my body and my spirit were exhausted - absolutely nothing was left. Unfortunately, sleep was not really an option. The way my body was positioned, the course rope of the restraints wore into the skin around my wrists and ankles, the heavy metallic smell of my own blood gagging me, revolting.
The pain was unrelenting and intense. Every muscle, every fiber, every inch of skin was screaming out for a reprieve, and it was all-consuming. The pain and the fear were one thing but there was also this question of the unknown. What was he going to do to me next? How many hours had it been, how many days had I been here? The sun had risen and fallen at least three times.
In the distance I heard the muted noise of the city, which was usually a comfort: the jazz-like composition of voices yelling or laughing, car horns, ambulances, and police sirens. Help was so very close, but so very far away.
I chewed on the gag, a silk scarf that he had given me after we had been dating for just a month. Swirls of pinks and purples on a black background, the telltale branding of the letter H. I loved this stupid scarf, it made me feel like a million bucks every time I wore it. And now I spent countless hours trying to bite through it, slowly wearing away the fine silk with my molars, to no avail.
Not that having my voice back would have made a difference. Even if I could have screamed, Simon would have killed me the moment I made a sound and he would have gotten away before help came. He proudly explained in horrifying detail all the ways he could end my life and then escape to some far off place. I knew that my imminent death was a foregone conclusion. Simon was a man of his word, if nothing else.
Simon's cell phone rang, a Bruno Mars song about being amazing just the way I was. The upbeat pop song echoed off the walls and he woke up grumbling. It was his mother of all people, and he spoke to her so calmly, so easily. As if he was sitting at the park enjoying a latte, never revealing that he had me tied up and gagged in my apartment.
Only two weeks before, I had been sitting at his mother's long, polished mahogany dining table wearing the diamond necklace he had just given me for my birthday. We were enjoying a bottle of wine that was equal to a month's rent on my apartment, laughing about a witty line in an article his sister, Helene, had written for the New Yorker. In that moment we were happy and in love - how different things were now. That was the last night we would ever be like that. The last night I felt safe and happy and loved.
I had been afraid of Simon before; the root of our relationship was fear. I was afraid I wasn't good enough for him. I was afraid that he would leave me that he would get bored and move on. I was afraid that he would hurt me. I was afraid that I would do something to make him upset or unhappy. I had become proficient at the fine art of sidestepping the landmines of Simon Archer's mind. So, I was no stranger to fear when it came to Simon, but on this day, the abject fear I felt had never been more potent, more real or more tangible.
His voice drifted through my apartment telling his mother that we were having a great time in Cabo and that we were back together and "working on things". He said that he loved her and that we would be back in New York in a week or so. My heart stopped for a few beats. A week!? How much longer could this go on? How much more could I possibly take? The reality that he was nowhere near being done with me came crashing down. My heart began beating out of my chest so loudly that I was sure he could hear it, even from the other room.
Suddenly the cold I was feeling was replaced with heat as adrenaline rapidly pumped through my veins, knowing that it was about to start again. Fear clouded any rational thought. I began to count slowly, trying to keep my mind focused in another place, safe and far away. Last time, I had gotten to thirty seven thousand, two hundred and forty nine.
Simon's heavy footsteps approached, the floorboards in my pre-war apartment creaking until he was standing over me, arms crossed against his chest, his height and broad shoulders eclipsing the stream of early morning light from my windows. Simon's dark blue eyes glazed over, thick black eyebrows furrowed, as he looked over my naked, bruised and battered body. For the briefest of moments I saw a flash of guilt on his face that I once believed to be the most beautiful face I had ever seen. Not so long ago, I would have melted at the sound of his voice. I would barely have been able to fight the unrelenting urge to kiss him, to have his hands on my body to love and to be loved by my Simon. But now, I went cold deep in my core.
The flash of his guilt gave me false hope because in the next instant his expression changed once again. His eyes darkened and a small, deviant smile broke the corners of his mouth. Tears formed in my eyes, falling from my cheeks onto the pillow beneath me as my body began to shake uncontrollably.
"Good Morning, Love. What shall we do today?"