As soon as Ellie had opened her front door she threw her handbag onto the sofa and immediately opened a bottle of red wine pouring a large glass. She couldn’t believe that she had seriously thought that she had been in an exclusive relationship with Sergio. But to hear him talk about his flings as if it was a normal part of a committed relationship and then to tell her how good he was to come back to her each time was really taking the cake! She suddenly felt ill, wondering how many other ‘flings’ he had and who knew. Obviously Kate did!
“Hi Emma,” Ellie said over the phone. “Can you talk now?”
“Um, yeah, I think Rob has gone up to read Kaidyn and Kailyn a bed time story. It’s the nanny’s night off and it’s been a nightmare trying to get them off to sleep! What’s up? Have you heard back from Kate yet?” Emma asked, almost in one breath.
“No, I have been calling but she hasn’t called back yet.” Ellie took a long sip of her wine, “I met up with Sergio this evening, I was hoping he saw the person Kate was running from when saw her at the Slow and Easy the other week.” Ellie took another sip from her glass of red wine.
“Oh, did he?”
“No he said there was a guy that looked familiar but he gave a pretty vague description. Six foot tall, dark hair, white male!”
“Yeah that is pretty vague. How are things with you and Sergio?” Emma asked.
Ellie let out an involuntary sob, “Oh my god, I can’t believe I have been such a sucker. He told me he has had many ‘flings’ during our relationship but he knew that I was the one as he always came back to me, he even had a thing with Kate!”
“Oh gosh, I’m so sorry, Ellie!” Emma immediately cooed over the phone.
“I told him I didn’t want to continue our relationship, he told me he would wait, after all I did that for him, like I knew what he was doing! I’m so disgusted in him and me! What was I thinking?”
“Ellie take it easy, it’s not your fault, you thought you were in a committed relationship. You did what you thought was right.”
“Yeah well, I was being pretty stupid, really!” Ellie said. “How can I trust anyone again. The more I think about what he told me this evening the more I can see how blind I was and how obvious it was that he was cheating!”
“Well it’s easy to look back and say that now.” Emma tried to calm Ellie, “He didn’t even think he was cheating?”
“Yeah, well that’s what he told me! He knew! Why would I go out with a serial cheater?” Ellie took a large gulp of her wine.
“Look at the bright side, you got rid of him now and you can move ahead with Mike, see if it is going to go anywhere!” Emma reminded Ellie.
“Yeah, I know. I don’t really want to see another man for a while at the moment though.”
“Don’t worry, you’ll feel better soon. You’ll grow from this, trust me!”
“Gosh how do you know all this stuff?” Ellie asked, sniffing her tears back.
“Oh just call me the agony aunt.” Emma laughed. “What are you going to do about Kate?”
“Well, when I find her I’m going to slap her across the face, she could have told me, warned me what he was like, bitch! But I’m going to call around her mum’s tomorrow after work, try and convince her to call D.I Thompson.”
“Good luck with that. Look I’ll give her a call as well tomorrow, it might make the job a little easier for you. Have you checked the hospitals?”
“Yeah, Mike offered to do that for me, he was going to check again today, but he hasn’t called so I’m guessing that he hasn’t found her!” Ellie responded.
“I’ve got to go, Karson’s waking up. I can hear him over the baby monitor. I hate these nights when the Nanny’s off! I’ll call Lady Stane and let you know how I go tomorrow. You take care of yourself and don’t be so harsh on yourself.” Emma rang off leaving Ellie standing alone in her flat, she gulped the last of the wine in the glass and poured herself another one.
* * *
Kate allowed the water to beat down on her face. She had closed the door behind her and turned the shower on full before looking around the small ensuite bathroom. There was nothing in the cabinet apart from some tampons and sanitary napkins, a toothbrush and paste.
There was shower gel in the shower and a towel hanging on a towel rail.
There were no windows in the ensuite nor in the wardrobe she had walked through to get there, an internal fan drawing the steam in to the ceiling. She banged on what she thought would be exterior walls but they were solid along with two others, the only hollow wall was that to the bedroom.
She sighed, beginning to feel drowsy and as he had promised the cravings were fading, replaced with a feeling of well being.
Kate turned off the taps and stepped out of the shower Ryder was standing there watching her, he handed her the towel.
“Did you have a good look around then?” he asked, closing the cabinet with the palm of his hand. “You don’t want to cross me, Katie, aren’t I good to you? Don’t you feel better already?” He reached up and put his hand across her throat, slowly squeezing it.
Kate nodded, quickly, “Yyyes, Ryder. I feel much better.”
“What do you need to say then?” Ryder’s face was close to hers again, his fingers digging into the skin around her neck.
“Th,thanks Ryder, I really mean it.”
“Good girl. When you’re better you can show me how grateful you really are!” Ryder’s lips touched hers.
Kate’s automatic reaction was to pull away.
“You slut! You don’t know what’s good for you?” Ryder slapped her across her face, she fell back and hit her head on the tiled wall before sliding down to the floor. “Get up, put this on and get into bed, you don’t deserve it but I want to see you nicely adorned when I come in later. I’ll strap you in nice and tight tonight, you won’t feel a thing!”
Kate stood up, wobbling on her feet, whatever was in the bottle of water had started to work. She lifted her arms so Ryder could drop the light negligee over her head. Then she limped back to the bedroom, feeling no pain, her head swooning and her eyes becoming heavy.
She lay flat on her back, allowing Ryder to tighten the straps across her wrists and ankles, her eyes closing. Ryder leant over her and touched her lips with his.
“You know I love you, I’m only doing this to save you and so we can be a happy family. You’ll see I will save you and you will be happy with me and our children,” He ran his fingers down her chest to her flat stomach, “You’re going to have our children, right in here.” Then his fingers ran along the long red scar, “And I gave you this, don’t you remember. My mark!
He patted her stomach, Kate shifted slightly trying to open her eyes.
“But if you keep doing that you won’t survive this, I have complete control of you, don’t forget that!” Ryder said his hand quickly returning to her neck where the redness from earlier had begun to turn blue, he squeezed tightly, and Kate began to struggle to breath. “I have complete control,” he breathed into her ear, “I can kill you now and no-one will know!” He let go and got up. Picking up the remnants of the meal he left the room, switching off the light and leaving Kate in the darkness alone.
Kate mumbled and tried to open her eyes but her body had become heavy her eyes unable to open, as she lay lifelessly in the bed, unable to move.