The last day of Gen's freedom was completely unremarkable. It was a day like any other.
Waking up with a smile from a heavy, languid sleep filled with good dreams, she enjoyed some brief, sleepy banter with her husband before their lips had met and they'd enjoyed each other for a time, hands caressing, lips tasting skin that had been tasted before, but never tired of.
It had become a regular thing, this. Cooking for him, and where many may have seen it as something archaic, out of the handbook of the Stepford Wives, for her it was simply something that bought her joy.
And her boss at The Hathian Taphouse, the bar where she worked, only encouraged her, giving her free reign to work in the kitchen whenever she chose, even allowing her to come up with a fresh new menu for the place to attract more custom.
Life was going well for her, though it hadn't always been this way. Born in New York, in the Upper East Side, to extremely wealthy parents, she enjoyed the best of what life had to offer, from a very young age.
Ballet lessons, violin lessons, cheer-leading practice, the stress of never being allowed to get less than a 4.0 on her grades...
"Sit up properly..", "knees together..", "you're not going out, dressed like that, put this on..", "he's not a suitable match. Marcia's son very eligible, i'll set up a date with his mother. You can wear the red dress i bought for you.."
On and on it went, constant criticisms, of the way she talked, the way she walked, the way she ate, even the way she sat, spoke, her weight, her appearance, what makeup she wore, how she styled her hair, nothing was ever good enough for her mother.
He had a temper, and was very traditional in his views, he regarded his daughter as nothing more than something he owned, something that reflected himself and the family that he saw them to be. The wrong clothes, too much makeup, consorting with the wrong type of people, even using words he didn't like...all of it would cause him to yell at her about how she kept bringing shame to her family. Nothing was ever good enough for him either.
She felt trapped. Invited to the best parties, hanging out with the rich and famous on almost a weekly basis, eating at the best restaurants, partying at the most exclusive clubs, wearing the most select designer fashions, despite all this, she felt like she was suffocating.
Her parents, of course, treated her mental health issues in the same way that they handled everything that was 'disappointing' in her behavior. Her father yelled at her, telling her that she was selfish, that she only thought of herself, that she was bringing shame to her family.
For all the money that the spa cost, you'd have thought they would have had the best doctors to treat her Anorexia. But after spending a month there, attending group therapy, art classes, nature walks, meditation & yoga classes and one-on-one therapy sessions, she was released back into the world with the same problems she'd entered there with.
With only one difference. Meeting other people in the same situations as her, as well as those in different situations made her realize that there was more to life than just the 'bubble' she lived in. There was a wider world out there, with people who weren't like her, her family, who were really cool, and nice, who didn't only see you as a bank, or something to show off.
She made a friend in there, Sara. They bonded over their shared love of Tolkien and they spent many an hour talking about the worlds that man had created, fantasizing about what it would be like to actually live in Middle Earth.
But armed with a new outlook on life, a stronger attitude, she began to live her life again, in a whole new way, acting exactly how her parents desired, while basically doing whatever the fuck she wanted behind the scenes.
By the time she was seventeen, she was a whole new girl. Confident, sassy, flirty and yet, kind, she managed to skim through the difficult life her parents kept her locked in, with the ease of a fish, while living a separate life, all of her own, in the background.
Sneaking out of parties she was sent to, getting her socialite friends to lie for her, she would spend hours just walking the city streets at night, taking in the atmosphere and the people, which could have been dangerous, but never was for her. She began to make friends outside of her penthouse bubble.
The old guy on the corner who always bought a six-pack on Friday nights, who let her indulge in his cigarette every time she came around, the bum that she always bought a coffee for whenever she passed his alleyway, the bunch of school-kids who popped gum and played skipping games on the sidewalk.
Eventually, she got in with a group of older teens who liked hanging out at the skate-park, girls who taught her how to street-dance, boys who taught her how to shoot hoops. She was a fascination for them at first, a source of ridicule, them coming from an entirely different world to her, but one-by-one, she won them over with her wit and charm and in the six months that she spent with them, she learned the true worth of freedom.
They were a wild bunch, though, and she began to adopt a similar attitude, becoming wild herself, which led to underage drinking, pill-popping, sexual experimentation, shoplifting, stealing for kicks, and general rabble-rousing.
More than once, they threatened to cut her off, though she didn't care, and she started using the money they did give her for random acts of kindness, giving much of her allowance to charities, or to the homeless that she found on the streets.
Then the day came that everything changed. She'd had an argument with her father that day, after finding out that he'd promised her in marriage to a business associate for a large share in their company stocks.
Crashing on their couch, the crew taught her everything, from how to pay bills, to how to get a job, to how to jiggle the door just right so that it wouldn't jam, and how to get the AC to work in the summer (just give it a bang). She spent a year living with them, her one-night-stand with the girl she took home fading into nothing but mutual friendship and the day came when she decided that it was time to forge a life of her own.
Which she did. She set out, taking jobs wherever she could, moving from place to place, making friends, having the time of her life, and finding her niche in bar-tending, a job she came to love with a passion.
She hadn't expected to meet the love of her life here. She'd never really let anyone get close to her, romantically. Being a bartender, she'd seen the fallout when shit went wrong and there was no way she wanted that for herself. So she kept everyone at arms length. Great sex was enough for her.
But after almost puking on some random guys feet in Lou's, one night when she was completely drunk as a skunk, she found herself with a growing friendship, and a really sweet, funny, romantic, warm, generous guy who went out of his way to protect her and make her feel good about herself. She hadn't wanted to fall for him, and in fact she told him not to fall for her. She resisted his every attempt to kiss her, to tie her down and yet...one night of flirty banter changed the whole scope of their friendship and banter soon became heated passion on a grubby old couch in a tiny apartment.
That didn't mean things were perfect from that day on, not at all. They had their fights. They bitched and argued and yelled at each other. He cried, and she cried and slammed doors and ran from him whenever things got too intense. And yet he was always there when she came back, wrapping her up in those arms of his, kissing and soothing away her fears and her tears.
When she was stalked by a woman she'd met in the bar where she worked, he was there. When the same woman tried to come between them, spinning lies about him, he was there. When she kidnapped Gen and held her for two days, repeatedly forcing herself on her, and beating her when she wouldn't give in to her, he was there to nurse her back to health, both mentally and physically.
And she did the same for him.
When he had no place to go, was practically homeless, sleeping on the streets, she was there, giving him somewhere to lay his head.
He encouraged her to pursue her dreams, and she did the same. They spent two years, laughing and loving, arguing and making up again, each taking turns to support the other when it was needed, being there for each other in the bad times and the good, and realizing that neither of them ever wanted to be apart from the other, they got married, a mere four months after they'd met, in a courtroom, just them and an old couple they'd pulled off the street.
Later on, they threw a giant party, complete with all they should have had before, the white dress, the food, the flowers, choosing a friend to be the one to marry them. It was the best day, and she could never remember a time when she was happier.
She fell in love. Hopelessly, desperately, passionately in love. She'd never felt anything like it before. The connection between them was strong, and passion was never something they lacked at all, the sex they had being the best she'd ever experienced.
It was enough for her, he was enough for her. She never wanted anyone else.
He chose the latter, and after making him understand that she couldn't, wouldn't, be able to move on from what he'd done with the other woman continuing to be in his life, he cut her off. It wasn't easy to rebuild the trust again, it took work from both of them, but after a while things returned to the easy, fun banter that had always existed between them. They found their happiness again, and began to plan having children together.
And then the day came that changed everything.
Packing a small luggage case, after enjoying a sexy session with Cade, as well as breakfast, she kissed him for the last time and headed out, walking the short way to the bus stop.
I cannot say how her disappearance affected her husband, that is his story to tell.
This is hers.
The first day of her new life, it was the sound of a dripping tap that woke her up. Groggily opening her eyes, the first thing that came to her was confusion. She had no idea where she was, or who had taken her, but having been kidnapped before, and having experienced Cade being taken before thanks to his work as a police officer, she knew the signs and was instantly afraid.
At this point in her life, at the age of twenty-three, she was a confident, independent, happily married woman. Strong-willed, even stubborn and hard-headed, she wasn't afraid to fight her own corner or stand up for herself or for what she believed in. She still had a kind heart though, even if she could be petty, selfish and even preachy at times. But she was only human. And the prospect of what might happen to her in this...wait, where even was she?
It was the clinking of metal against metal that first alerted her to the fact that she was chained up. Lifting her hands, she tugged at the thick, metal collar that had been placed around her neck, the collar bolted to a chain, and following the chain with her hands, she found that it, in turn, was bolted to the foot of a bed. "H...hello?"
Her voice sounded loud in the dark. And it was dark. The kind of dark where you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. And the smell. There was such an over-powering smell of...was that potpourri? Or rose petals or something? But there was another smell, something faint. She couldn't place it, but the overwhelming scents made her feel instantly nauseous.
"Hello? Is anyone there?"
Her voice was brittle as she spoke, the fear in her voice as clear as day, and she steeled herself against her own imagination. She realized, in that moment, that she did not like the dark. Anything could be lurking in it, hell...something could be right next to her and she wouldn't know it.
She froze at that thought, ice flooding her veins and she began to shake, her chest rising and falling with fast breaths as she tried to calm herself down. It was fine, she was fine. She had all her limbs, she wasn't buried alive...was she? She didn't feel injured, though her head hurt a little.
The last thing she remembered she was walking along the side of the road, heading to the bus stop and then a car had pulled up alongside her. Had it been following her? She had no idea, but she'd glanced towards the driver, assuming he wanted directions or something.
Now she was here.
It felt like forever until someone finally came, a trapdoor opening above her, in the roof of the room she was in, and after what was only a few hours but to her felt like an eternity, she blinked in the harsh light, lifting a hand to shield her eyes. A ladder was dropped down and a dark figure came into the room, the only light in the room, a single, uncovered bulb in the ceiling glaring brightly, hurting her brown eyes.
It took a second or two for her eyes to adjust and then she blinked rapidly at a man with grey hair standing in front of her, just staring at her, seeming to study her. "What's your name?" he'd asked her.
"If you don't want to end up like them, then you'll tell me what your name is, girl..." the man had said and she'd looked back at him, her eyes widening. "I...I'm..." she trailed off, blinking, her mind trying to restart itself and rid itself of the shock that was currently affecting it. It didn't take long.
She'd earned a back-hander for her troubles, one so hard that it had made her ears ring and spitting "fuck you!" at her captor, she'd received the first of many savage beatings that night. By the time he was done, she lay on the cold, concrete floor, bleeding and battered, hurting in so many places that she couldn't pick which hurt the most, a 1ft layer of potpourri ringing the 90's style bed that sat in the center of the room, the bed to which the chain and collar around her neck was bolted to.
"You will learn to keep a respectful tongue in your mouth, bitch. Or i will cut it out.." he'd snarled at her. And with that he'd left her, climbing back out of the trapdoor, the light clicking off, plunging her back into darkness again.
Crying herself to sleep that night, she prayed. Not to any God, but to her husband, with hopes that he would find her and bring her back home to him.
Except that it didn't. He didn't come for her. And she didn't get to go home.
And as the days progressed, her captor visited her regularly. The second time he came, he had more questions. And she had more rebuttals, more insults for him at the ready. She was a cops wife, she knew the value in that, and she wasn't about to betray her husband, nor their life together, or give away any kind of information that could have been used against him or the HPD, to save her own skin. She was tougher than that, she could take anything he threw at her.
She took beating, after beating, after beating. Always, she cried herself to sleep afterwards, in the darkness, praying to all that was holy, to bring her husband to her, help him to find her.
It was too much. The pain was too much. The worry and fear was too much. The slowly dwindling loss of hope was too much. And there were times she'd scream for him to stop, sobbing as she told him what he wanted to know. He seemed especially interested when he found out who she was and though she fought not to divulge any state secrets, through torture, he learned who she was married to, where she worked, even where she lived, which was a secret her and Cade had guarded closely for a long time.
She hated herself for that little slip-up.
And yet, why was he not coming for her? Why had he not found her? These thoughts plagued her as she lay in the dark, on that bed in the center of 'the dead room' as she took to calling it.
The torture sessions took a slightly different turn after he found out her name, who she was married to. Now, after he tortured or beat her, sometimes even before, he'd force himself on her sexually, violating her roughly, regularly making her bleed from the savagery of his attentions.
By the time he gave her three new captives as room-mates, a month in, she was pregnant. She'd been on the contraceptive pill, but having been without it now, her fertility window becoming spotty again, she easily fell pregnant, but neither captor nor victim realized until much later.
The three new captives that shared her room were much older than her. In their forties, the two men, and one woman were chained and bolted to the walls and floor, with metal collars round their necks, same as her, and left to rot.
They'd been unable to do anything but watch as her captor continued to savagely beat her regularly, taking full possession of her body on an almost every-other-day basis, in fact the two men seemed to enjoy the show, though Gen barely noticed, her head pushed forcefully into the bed most of the time, or shoved under a pillow to stifle her cries, which bounced off the walls of the cold room.
Honestly, the farts, snoring and toilet behaviors should have killed her alone, but somehow they managed to reach something uneasily akin to friendship, their experience of living in this dark hole becoming something of a warped bonding experience.
They'd been talking to her for weeks now, trying to hatch a plan, all together, to escape this blasted dungeon. Gen had begun to realize that this might be the only way she'd find freedom again.
In desperation, she'd slid off the bed, her chain longer than the other captives, and she'd crawled over to Bill, trying to use her own fingers to work the bolt that kept the chain tethered to his collar, out of the floor. It had to be screwed in right? So if she could just manage to unscrew it..then he could help do the same with Joseph and his wife. Bent on all fours, in the pitch black, focused solely on getting out of that black pit, she hadn't noticed him shuffling around beside her, only his hands on her body tearing her attention away from the bolt that refused to be unscrewed.
This was something she'd always fantasized about over the years, enjoying two men at once, but it didn't live up to the hype. Not with Bill and Joseph anyway, the two older, fat men, who stank of body odor and piss grossly violating her until finally they were sated, flopping back to their places on the floor, leaving her in a sweaty heap.
Now, she really did begin to lose hope, and with no more tears left to cry, she'd lie in the darkness on the bed for an eternity, eyes open, just staring into the abyss.
With nothing left to give him in the way of information, his visits began to take on a slightly different turn. The beatings, torture and violations continued, but now he started to drug her sometimes. With drugs that made her physically horny and sensitive, with hallucinogenics, and when he fucked her now, he started to call her Kristina or Kris.
"You know i love you, Kristina.."
Whenever she would tell him that her name was Gen, not Kristina, he would beat her.
He'd also tell her, when she was in that drugged-up haze, that her husband, Cade, had told him where to find her. He'd tell her, over and over again, that Cade had a new girl now, that he'd forgotten all about her, that he wasn't even looking for her, that he'd given her to Camden, as a trade for his own life.
After a few more weeks, he began to whisper stories in her ear as he fucked her, when he filled her bloodstream with hallucinogenic drugs, stories about how her name was Kris, about how she was a blond whore that was born and raised in Hathian, a girl who's mother had sold her for a six-pack and a fix.
Using drugs and manipulation, he forced her body to respond to him, even when she didn't want it to, and over the next five months of savage beatings, violations, torture, and carefully considered brainwashing, she slowly began to believe the things he told her, her old life fading into nothing, inside her own mind.
Cade, her husband, was forgotten.
As he laid the groundwork of brain-washing down, she slowly began to lose her personality, as is common with the practice. Not just parts of it, but all of it. She became nothing more than a blank canvas for him to write on, an inhuman 'thing' that existed for his pleasure and nothing else.
If he didn't decree it, she didn't do it.
She'd worked so hard to put back on all her weight after she'd recovered from Anorexia and now, her weight was fast approaching her teen weight again.
But her captivity had other effects too. Her eyes adjusted to the darkness, so much so that any light that hit them now made stabbing pains echo through her skull, the light blinding her, and any loud sounds deafened and frightened her, making her head hurt within seconds.
And there were darker forces at play too.
Time echoed on and on, her captivity being almost eight months by now, though to her it felt like years that she'd been in that black pit. It felt to her, like she'd always been in the dark, like she'd been born in it, and would die in it. The outside world didn't exist to her anymore and she forgot all of what was outside the room she lived in.
The day the baby came, prematurely, at just over seven months, was the day she felt like she might actually die down here. The pain was nothing but a little backache at first, which was barely registered under all the other pains she had now. But then the pain began to get worse. In her belly. In her back. And she'd screamed holy murder as the labor pains increased to the point of excruciating, which only made her room-mates curse and spit at her to shut up, before her captor arrived.
He never spoke of the child to her, and she didn't have the energy or the mental capacity to ask and she had to suffer the pain of her milk drying up alone and without support.
Lying on the filth infested blanket on the bed, her withered body appearing the same as it had while in the deepest throes of her Anorexia, her ribcage, hip and shoulder bones and spine protruding out of her skin, her lifeless brown eyes ringed by dark purple shadows, cheekbones jutting, her once smooth, flawless skin marred by filth, scars, sores and bruising, lips dry and cracked, she stared into the abyss.
She could barely even move anymore. And he seemed to come to her less and less. But then, an attractive figure she was not, anymore. Honestly, picture a female Gollum and you might have the right idea of what kind of creature she'd become.
And then came a day that was completely unremarkable. It was a day like any other, just as the day she'd disappeared had been.
This would be the first day that she'd left the 'death room' in almost nine months. Unlocking the collar around her neck, he lifted her in his arms, making his way carefully up the ladder with her, which wasn't difficult as she weighed almost nothing. She gave no reaction, said nothing and did nothing beyond turning her face into his neck to shield her eyes from the light. She no longer cared if she lived or died, she no longer cared what happened to her anymore. It couldn't be worse than what she'd already endured.
"Today is going to be the best day of your life. I'm going to give you everything that you've ever wanted.." he said, and he'd bend, picking something up, shoving a bouqet of plastic, white roses into her hand. "Don't move, and don't fucking make a sound. Or i'll slit your throat and put you on the wall.." he threatened.
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