It was after midnight when Ryder re-entered Kate’s room. A sliver of light fell across her sleeping face. He switched the lights on, Kate didn’t move, completely unconscious.
“Soon you’ll be awake.” He drooled as he sat beside her, lifting the flimsy fabric of her night dress, his fingers stroking her skin. “You don’t realise how much I love you, Kate,” he said into her ear before standing and undressing himself.
* * *
Ellie got up, her head heavy and her mouth parched. She gently touched her head as she stood up, recalling the bottle of wine she drank alone the night before.
Shuffling into her ensuite she looked into the mirror to see a grey version of herself looking back.
‘Why did I do that?” Ellie said to herself as she turned on the shower.
* * *
Thirty minutes later, Ellie closed the front door behind her as she briskly walked to the High Street to catch her bus. She had eaten something before taking some ibuprofen and was feeling a little better, she smiled as she remembered Mike telling her on Tuesday morning the best way to combat a hangover, she decided she would call him today. And with that thought she strode out a little less gingerly lifting her face to the English summer sunshine.
* * *
“Hey, Mike, how are you?” Ellie breathed into her mobile, as she sat in the only vacant seat on the bus.
“Hey my favourite patient, how are you?” he responded.
“Good, well slightly hung over, but ok!”
“Out partying on a school night again?”
“No, drowning my sorrows, on my own!” Ellie said a note of dejection in her voice.
“Oh, so your complicated discussion went well?”
“Hmm, you could say that! But he’s a hard one to shake!”
“Oh, what does that mean?” Mike asked a note of urgency in his voice.
“Well, I’ve told him that I don’t want to continue our relationship but he is insisting I should sow my wild oats, so to speak, as he has before we settle down!”
“Oh. My! Did you know?” Mike stammered.
“No, not officially. But I had my suspicions. Anyway do you want to catch up tonight?”
“I’d love to but I swapped a shift as a favour with Stu, he’s having relationship issues and wanted a Friday night out. I can come by later, though, say 11pm?” he offered.
“Mmmm, ok. Will you need dinner?” Ellie asked as she ran through, in her head, what she was going to do with her evening.
“Yep, why not? A late supper!”
“Ok, I’ll get something organised. I’m going to see Kate’s mum again tonight.”
“Oh, you’re brave.”
“Yeah, well she obviously doesn’t like me so I haven’t got much to lose! Hopefully Kate’s come home and hasn’t called me! Case of the guilts or something!” Ellie added absently.
“Why, has she done something wrong?”
“Not recently but according to Sergio they got it off a couple of years back when I first started going out with him!”
“Yeah. So when I find her I’m going to kill her!” Ellie said, standing up to alight the bus at Shaftsbury Avenue. “I gotta go. I’ll see you tonight with a late supper, then?”
“Yep, looking forward to it. Looks like I’ll be doing a bit of cheering up, call me Dr Happy!” he chuckled at his own joke as Ellie groaned. “I’ll text you when I leave. See you Ellie.”
“Bye, I’ll see Dr Love tonight!”
* * *
“Good morning, Kate! Time to get up my petal!” Ryder announced cheerfully as he lowered a tray containing cereal and tea onto the bedside table.
Kate mumbled and tried to shift in bed. She quickly opened her eyes, suddenly remembering where she was. Her eyes were met by Ryder’s bright ones.
“Ah, there she is. How are you feeling my lover?” he cooed.
Kate pulled on the restraints, with her arms and feet. She licked her lips and tried to speak, her voice hoarse and her throat sore.
“Umm, hmmm, better if I wasn’t tied down like this!” Kate managed to say huskily.
“Oh, you are feeling better. Well, let’s see what we can do about those restraints shall we?” Ryder bent down and loosened the straps around the ankles, showing deep red marks and then undid her wrists. “There you go, now you can sit up!”
Kate sat up pulling at her ankles and wincing as the nylon strapping rubbed across the raw skin where the restraint had been. She rubbed her wrists and looked at them, scraped and bleeding.
Ryder placed the tray on her lap. “It’s for your own good, petal. You were not very well behaved last night, well in the evening, I didn’t want to hurt you anymore than necessary. But you were very well behaved later last night, when I came down to see you.” Ryder smiled.
Kate looked at him confused, trying to recall the events of the previous night. She rubbed her head, feeling a large bump on the back of it. Then reaching to her throat and wincing.
“Yes, you’re a little bruised, I’m sorry about that. I do prefer you to be unmarked but unfortunately you do need to learn your lessons!” Ryder said, pouring a cup of tea from the pot before handing it to her. “After all you can see what I am doing for you here, can’t you?
Kate picked up a piece of toast and began to chew on it.
“So how long have I been here?” she asked, her voice rough.
“Oh, let’s see. Um, I caught up with you, finally on Tuesday evening, and it’s now Friday morning.” Ryder smiled down at her. “Quickly, drink your tea and into the shower with you! I have another lovely night dress for you to wear today, and some more ‘forget me juice’, to help you get over those cravings.” Ryder shook another bottle of clear fluid.
Kate finished her tea whilst Ryder undid the straps on her ankles.
“There’s a good girl. Now off to the shower with you.” Ryder smacked her bottom as she walked past him to the ensuite.