RANSOM Excerpt on Eat Sleep Write - Chapter 3

This originally posted here.

Ransom - Chapter 3 by Erica Sutherhome

posted by Adam Scull

Triana awoke in the darkness.  She was bound and gagged.   She was lying on a mattress of some kind.  It was clean, but still a bit musty.  Her clothes felt different as if she’d been changed.  She shuddered at the thought that her captor might have taken her clothes off and dressed her in something other than her pajamas.  Why bother with that?  It didn’t make sense.
Triana heard footsteps nearby, but couldn’t tell what direction they came from. 
She was in an unfamiliar place, a cold and loathing place.  There was no other way to describe the ease in which it crept into her veins, into her tissues and bones, obliterating all thought of escape or all thought of further happiness.  It was probably a basement or cellar, but she wasn’t sure.  There was no other means to explain the icy blackness of night within the room and the shadows that crept toward her when there was a sporadic flash of light. 
And there wasn’t a way out.  It was fairly obvious.  She not only could hardly move from where she was, there was no clear escape route. 
Her heart slammed in her chest when she heard a door creak open.  Footsteps came close, then light spilled into the room like someone had just flipped a switch.  Her eyes burned, dimmed at first, then she got used to it.  It was a simple room, metal walls, a mattress and little else.  She had been right about not finding an escape.  If she had tried, it would only have resulted in pain and the wrenching ache of a heart longing for a warm hand in the dark.
As her eyes adjusted to the light, she saw a shape, a figure.  Her kidnapper?
Suddenly, she saw him.  He was not what she expected at all.  He had short, curly black hair and dark eyes.  He was tall and well-built, but not scary.  He seemed uncertain, not at all the way someone should have been if they kidnapped you.
He stepped closer to her.  He gave her a small smile.  He was very attractive.  The force of him hit her in the stomach, a clenching of her gut, not in disgust but awareness.  She hadn’t felt that before. 
“How are you, Triana?”
She wet her dry lips, couldn’t make out the words for being gagged.  She shook her head.
“Let me help you.” He bent over to remove the gag.  Then, he untied her bonds.
She coughed, then watched him as he stepped away.
“Triana.  That’s an unusual name.  It’s pretty, but strange.  Who named you? Your mother?”
She nodded, still unable to form words. 
“She must have been something.”
Her eyes narrowed.  How did he know of her mother?  “She’s not dead.”
“Did I say that?”
She shook her head.  She stood up slowly.  It took awhile for the numbness to go out of her feet, for the painful tingles in her extremities to creep away.
“But, I suspect she’s not around either.”
She didn’t answer, just kept watching him.  She crossed her arms.  When he didn’t say anything else, she began, “Why am I here?”
He did not reply, just watched her with the corner of his mouth lifting in a mock smile. 
“What do you want?”
Silence again.
Unease crept inside her.  “Who are you?” she demanded with her chin tilted up at him in stubborn repose.
“If I divulged that information, there would be no mystery left.”
She stamped her foot in a childlike manner.  “Why am I here?” she tried again.
“To gain someone’s undivided attention, my love.”
She loathed his method of patronizing candor.  “I am not your love, damn you!”  When his face remained impassive, she asked softly, “For ransom?”
“Perhaps.”  He approached her stealthily.  “You ask too many questions, my dear.  Yet it is said that an inquisitive mind is a healthy one.  Maybe it is not such a bother.  Still, I wonder if you are curious or only full of nervous energy.  Do you even know which?”
His hand rested on her collarbone and gently caressed her neck, tracing every arched contour.  She shivered beneath his touch and her lips began to tremble.  She felt her nipples harden instantly and suddenly she was spent with her response to this man.  Honestly, she thought, he should be struck to the bone for being so damned attractive.
Afraid of how she was responding, she shoved his hand off.  “Don’t touch me.”
He nodded.  “Very well.”
As if asking would do a bit of good when she was his captive.  She wasn’t naïve.  She knew how these situations went sometimes.  Rape would be common, she imagined.
She wet her lips again.  “Will you tell me why I was taken?”
He shook his head.
“I can’t not know!” she cried.
“Don’t bother yourself with it, dear.”
“Don’t tell me how to feel.”
He smiled at that, but she had no idea why.
Lance didn’t have a clue why he should be so amused by the girl’s spunk, but he was.  He had to play the part here or she would suspect he was not who he claimed.
“Are you going to tell me your name?”  Her voice was hoarse now.
He shook his head, then went to a water cooler conveniently placed in the room.  He filled a cheap paper cup and returned it to her.  She drank fast and water dribbled down her chin.  He had a strange urge to lap it up with his tongue.  Of course, that was nonsense.  She was beautiful, but he had no right to touch her.  And the poor girl was probably scared out her wits.
But, when she clamped a hand on his arm and whispered, “You have to tell me why I’m here,” their bodies were too close.  The desire curling in his belly could not be ignored.
He kissed her.  He actually kissed her.  Stunned into submission, Triana felt him memorize her mouth with his lips before dipping his tongue inside.  He tasted too good, and the trembling inside of her did not cease.  His arms when she touched him tightened, and as he drew her up against his chest, she had the strongest urge to let him make love to her.  Reason crept in, however, and she fought the strange desire. 
“No!” she cried, turning her head aside.  “How dare you.”
His eyes narrowed.  “You were a willing participant.”
She had to remind herself that he was the enemy and she the captive.  “I do not want you!”
He cocked a disbelieving brow at her.  “You are young, I’ll grant you that.  But you are denying what you want.  Listen to yourself, Triana.  Listen to your heart.  Then listen to what your body needs.”
Her heart said to back away, to demand that she be returned to her safe haven at once.  Her body, however, responded to only him.  She felt her will bending as his arms pulled her closer to the wall of his chest.  When his lips raced over hers, she lost the strength in her knees and quickly felt that willpower fall away like rose petals.  “Please, I cannot want you,” she murmured to no one in particular.
“Attraction is a strange power, my love…”
Surely it was for she had no fight left in her when he was around.
After a few moments of drowning in his kisses, he released her and left the room, slamming the door behind him.  She sank on shaky knees to the mattress.  Dear God.  What was the matter with her?  She had made out with her captor.  Surely that was either the evidence of a long repressed girl or a slut.
Still shaken, she moved to a more comfortable position on the cot.  She put her head in her hands.  So she was attracted to her captor.  That did not have to mean anything.  Of course, it didn’t.  That probably happened all the time.  If other women could fight it, so could she.  She would fight this undeniable desire.  She would fight it or perish.  For she’d rather give up her life than willingly submit to the person who placed her in danger.
She forced herself to recall the kidnapping, how powerless she’d felt when he’d held her down on the floor before she’d blacked out.  The anger stirred in her belly, and it was refreshing, even welcome.  Yes, she would fight this.