One week passed. During that time, Emma used any and all excuses to get out of the house. She spent more time with Amy, and even stayed over-night a few times. She couldn’t look at her dad without thinking about him in an… ‘unnatural’ way. But, even staying away from him, she couldn’t get him off her mind.
He hadn’t said anything to her about her distance. Whenever she was home, and they crossed paths, he was affectionate. Whether that was a kiss on the cheek, an arm around the shoulders, or just quick, seemingly accidental touches. He was all easy-going smiles and carefree laughs. Did he even know what he was doing to her? That he was driving her crazy? Somehow, she was pretty sure he did. And she couldn’t shake the feeling that he was enjoying every moment of it.
It was Friday night. Amy was busy, but Emma didn’t want to go home. She called her mom, but there was no answer. Go figure. She shoved her brand-new cellphone back into her small purse. He’d bought it for her the day after she’d lost her old one. She’d tried to tell him it wasn’t worth it, that she could just grow a backbone and get hers back from Jeremy, but it’d been no good. The locks for the house had already been replaced, and she had shiny new keys.
She couldn’t have been more grateful to not have to face Jeremy again. Especially not so soon. Her bruise was almost gone, but the memory still rattled her. She couldn’t believe he’d hit her. Why had he gotten so mad? Why did he have to be such an asshole?
Emma leaned forward, her elbows digging into her knees. She ran her hands over her face, squeezing her eyes shut. The bus drove on with ease; there weren’t too many cars out at this hour. There were only four others on the bus with her, not including the driver. The quiet was its own subtle relief.
She hadn’t been sleeping well. When she did manage to drift off, she had nightmares about Jeremy. She dreamt of him coming after her, of him screaming in her face. The dreams were so vivid, so real. They left her shaky and nauseous.
Even when she was awake, she couldn’t relax. She was so ashamed and confused of her attraction to her father. She avoided him at all costs, as if that would make it better. Emma was exhausted. She was jittery and restless and stressed. All she wanted to do was fall into the sweet oblivion of dreamless sleep.
She rubbed at her aching eyes. The backs of her thighs stuck to the cracked seat. She sat up, checking her phone for the thousandth time. She wished Amy was with her. It was past midnight, but it felt closer to 4 AM. Her head was pounding. She felt gross and completely drained. Half of her wanted to pass out, the other half wanted to burst into tears.
She mumbled a thank-you to the bus driver and got off onto the empty street. Goosebumps ran up her arms. She’d been so eager to get out of the house that she’d left without a jacket. Stupid. It was all she could do not to literally flee at the sight of her dad. He’d come home. She forced herself to wait a grand total of ten minutes before making her exit.
Emma stared down at her black, lace-up wedges. She had a weakness for cute ankle boots. The smell of pot wafted over to her from the dark alleyway she passed. She was dressed in denim shorts and a simple, loose-fitting black tank top. Her silver bracelets jangled on her wrist. Her fingers were adorned with rings. She wore a black choker with a tiny, diamond-shaped pendant. It was her favourite piece of jewelry; her mom had given it to her for her sixteenth birthday. The pendant was framed with a thin band of gold, but within it had chips of real diamond that sparkled when the light hit it.
Her hips swayed as she tuned out to the music playing through her ancient earbuds. It was so loud she could hardly hear anything else, but that was the way she liked it. She just needed to be distracted; she needed to forget.
A bell chimed as she pushed open the door to the club. It had been one hell of a bus ride to get here, where the ‘fancy-ass rich hipsters’ (as Amy called them) lived. She flashed her fake ID to the bouncer, and he waved her in. She shoved her earbuds into her purse as the club’s music pounded through her. Bright, flashing lights assaulted her eyes, blaring glimpses of people dancing and grinding before falling back into darkness.
This wasn’t a place for talking. Even if you were shouting to the person standing two feet from you, they probably still wouldn’t be able to hear you.
She wasn’t in the mood for dancing. Emma made her way to the bar, shoving through the crowd.
A few shots in and she found herself on the dance floor. One or two more and she was grinning and laughing like everything was completely fine. A young man put his hands on her hips, saying something that made her laugh so hard that she could hardly breathe. They danced and drank and he disappeared, but there was an endless stream of dancers to take his place. Surrounded by so many people, it was easy to forget just how alone she canlı bahis felt.
Emma had no clue what time it was. She was so fucking plastered she couldn’t walk straight. She felt warm and giddy, like she could do absolutely anything. Eventually, she found herself stumbling out the front door, giggling like an idiot. A blast of fresh air was wonderfully cold against her too-hot skin. She nearly fell flat on her face as she tried to keep walking. Okay, so maybe wedges weren’t the wisest shoe choice…
She leaned against the wall, pressing her hands to her stomach and sucking in deep breaths. The cool air tingled in the back of her throat. It tasted like booze and smoke. Maybe the booze was just her.
She couldn’t remember where the bus stop was. She turned one way, then the other. She didn’t know the area very well; she’d only been a few times, and never in this particular part of town. Emma checked her watch, before remembering she didn’t have one. She shook her wrist, making her bracelets clink together.
She wobbled on her feet as she picked a direction and started walking. She skimmed her hand along the wall for balance. Emma hummed to herself as she went, keeping the quiet at bay. On and on she went. She encountered very few people on her way. Most of the stores were closed. Any buses she saw zoomed by before she could see which route it was. There were no taxis roaming about, and hardly any cars, either.
The cold was biting. She hugged her arms to her chest, gritting her teeth to stop their chattering. Her feet hurt. And she was tired. It felt like hours before she stopped. Emma looked around, clueless to where she was. Walking had become so painful that the thought of taking even one more step was agonizing.
Emma sat down on the street, leaning against the wall. The store behind her was closed, with advertisements proclaiming ‘GRAND REOPENING SALE!! UP TO 75% OFF!!’. The signs were plastered all over the place, eating up the window display. She craned her head up, but she couldn’t see what the store was actually called.
She drew her knees up, idly trailing her fingers over her thighs. She sat there a minute or two before reaching for her phone. It took her a few tries to type in the right passcode. Then it slipped from her fingers, falling into her lap, and she had to try again. Her finger hovered over Amy’s number, but she didn’t want her friend to get in trouble. Who else was she gonna call? Her mom couldn’t help. She sure as hell wasn’t going to call Jeremy. Emma had other friends, sure, but she wasn’t close enough with any of them to be comfortable calling them in the middle of the night.
That left one option.
She knocked her knees together, chewing her lip as she waited for him to pick up.
“Hello?” he answered, his voice low and raspy. Her pulse jumped in her chest. She imagined him in bed, shirtless, rolling over and reaching blindly for his phone. “Emma?”
“Hi Daddy,” she smiled, closing her eyes.
“Where are you?” He sounded a lot more alert now. And a lot more pissed off. “Are you drunk?”
She hiccupped. “How did you know?” She looked around, but the streets were deserted. It kind of felt like she was the sole survivor of some kind of apocalypse. She liked the feeling, in some ways, but it was also sorta creepy. “Ummm… Can I ask you a teensy favour?” she laughed airily, though she wasn’t sure what she was laughing at, exactly.
“I, uh, I need you to p-pick me up. I don’t know where the bus went.”
She heard rustling, like blankets being pushed back. “Where are you?” he demanded, his voice loud in her ear.
Emma shrugged, then she remembered he couldn’t hear that. “You know, I’m really not sure.”
“What the hell does that mean?” he snapped angrily.
“The bus stop disappeared so I just, you know, started walking. I don’t know. My feet hurt. It’s cold.” She yawned, stretching her arms overhead. “Can you pick me up? Pretty please? I don’t wanna walk anymore.”
“This is fucking ridiculous, Emma.”
“Don’t leave me out here,” she whined. “It’s creepy,” she stretched out the E’s in the word. A shudder darted through her. “Some guy’s gonna try to mug me.” She hunched her shoulders. “I feel like I’m being watched,” she whispered hoarsely into the phone. Emma looked around, peering around the corners as best she could without actually getting up. She wrapped her free arm around her legs, pulling them in closer to her. “Please come get me,” she pleaded quietly.
“For fuck’s sake,” he said, his voice sounding farther away than before. On his end, she heard a door slam closed. “Do you see any street names? Any landmarks?”
“No.” She told him where the nightclub was, and the general direction in which she’d gone afterwards. He told her to stay where she was. She held her phone up to her ear, resting her cheek on her knee. They didn’t speak, but neither of them hung up. He was driving. Every now and then she heard him curse. She yawned, bahis siteleri her eyelids impossibly heavy. It was too cold to fall asleep.
At least, that’s what she thought.
It felt like she’d closed her eyes for about ten seconds. But when she opened them, her phone was lying face-down on the cement, an inch from her nose.
And someone was touching her leg.
Emma jerked up, regretting it immediately. Her head pounded. She must have moved her neck weirdly, too quickly, because suddenly it was in a world of pain. Emma groaned, blinking blearily. “Daddy?” She stared at the shape crouched in front of her, smoke trailing up from his mouth.
“Sure, pretty little girl. I’ll be your daddy.” The man laughed hoarsely, his hot hand pushing at her knee.
Emma yanked her leg back, struggling to sit up. She fumbled for her phone, but the call had ended. The screen was cracked in the corner, but it still turned on. Before she could do anything else, the stranger grabbed her. He pushed her down, the back of her skull smacking into the cement. Stars burst in her vision.
“What are you doing out here? Huh? You lost, girlie?” He chuckled nastily, “Lucky me.” His grubby hands were pulling at her shorts. Emma grunted, her fingers scrabbling against the sidewalk. She couldn’t find her phone. She grimaced at the disgusting feel of his hands on her skin.
She thrashed, swearing as she kicked out with her legs. She managed to knee his chin, but then he got serious. He used his weight against her. His breath was sour with cheap beer, panting hotly against her cheek. Tears stung her eyes as she felt his hard-on rub against her. She felt like she was being crushed, her ribs cracking under the pressure.
Emma yanked her wrist free of his grip, but he grabbed her again before she could hit him. She tried to free her wrists, moving her legs as much as possible, trying to force him off of her. It was no good, he was too strong. She tried to scream, but barely any sound came out.
Panic and fear blinded her. Desperation took away everything else.
She was begging him to stop, but she couldn’t make out the words her mouth was shaping. Tears streamed down her cheeks and she gasped in ragged, choking breaths. He was reaching for his belt when she closed her eyes.
And then the weight was gone.
She heard grunting and swearing. Footsteps running off. Hard, labored breaths.
Emma flinched as hands touched her arms. “It’s me, baby.” The sound of his voice made her crumble. A strangled sob shattered through her. He stared down at her with a mix of fury and concern. Shakily, she reached for him. Her arms wound around his neck, her forehead pressed against the space between it and his shoulder. “Shh… It’s okay. You’re okay. I’ve got you.”
Effortlessly, he swooped her up into his arms. She buried her face in his chest, crying uncontrollably.
“I’m going to put you down now, okay?” He opened the car door. She held him tighter, her whole body shaking. He sighed, perching on the edge of the seat, cradling her in his lap. He ran his hand slowly up and down her thigh, murmuring reassurances in her ear. He held her until the tears stopped flowing, until she stopped gasping for air.
He ran his thumb over her cheek, brushing away the tears. “Thank you,” she whispered weakly. “Thank you for saving me. Thank you for finding me.” She rested the side of her head on his shoulder. “I was so sc-scared. I thought he was going to – going to-” She clamped her jaw shut, unable to say it.
“He would have, if I didn’t stop him. That’s why you don’t wander around by yourself in the middle of the night. You have to be more careful. This world is full of dangerous people just waiting to take advantage of you.”
She nodded. Emma bit her lip, staring at his chest. Even now, it was hard to look directly at him. “Can you take me home now?” she pleaded. “Please. I just want to go home.”
Emma must have passed out at some point because it felt like only minutes before he was picking her up again. He carried her up the stairs, not bothering to turn any lights on. Emma fought to keep her eyes open. They passed her room. “Where are we going?” she mumbled, glancing up at his face. She had her arms around his neck, her fingers mindlessly moving over the back of his neck, sometimes playing with his hair.
She wasn’t scared anymore. He’d saved her. She was safe with him.
“But this is your room.”
“That’s right.” He kicked the door closed behind him. Gently, he set her down on the bed, reaching to turn on the lamp on the bedside table. Emma winced at the sudden light, turning her face away. He sat on the edge of the bed. He pulled her foot into his lap, steadily untying her shoelaces. “This isn’t the first time you’ve snuck out.” She watched as he tugged off her shoe. He peeled off her sock and flung it to the floor. He looked at her, his warm hands resting on her leg. “I can’t stand guard at your door every bahis şirketleri night. I’d like to be able to trust you.”
She opened her mouth to say he could trust her, but then thought better of it. The pillow smelled like him. She turned her head, rubbing her cheek into it. His calloused hands ran up her leg, making her shiver. He set her foot on the mattress, her knee bent. She stared out at his room as he took off her other shoe.
His bedroom was meticulously organized. The walls were lined with bookshelves, the books all neatly arranged. His room was pretty big, and there was lots of open space. He had a long oak dresser, a desk with an office chair, and two high-backed, Victorian-style reading chairs positioned in front of the fireplace, with a table in-between. The door to the walk-in closet was closed, but she imagined it, too, had plenty of space. There was a flat-screen TV mounted on the wall directly across from his bed. On either side of the gigantic, crazy-comfy bed, were two nightstands, with windows behind them, curtains drawn. The walls were painted a deep, ocean blue, accented with pale, creamy white.
It was by far the nicest room in the whole house, and it was a big house.
His hands were on her knees. “You’ll be staying here for now.”
Emma looked at him, squinting. “What?”
The edge of his mouth quirked up. “In my bedroom. With me. Every night, from now on until I trust you aren’t going to sneak out.” He gestured to the walk-in closet, “We’ll bring your things in here.”
Emma propped herself up on her elbows, sucking in a sharp breath when his hands swept up, over her thighs. What was he doing? Her heart pounded against her chest. “I can’t… I’m not sleeping in your bed with you! Not every night, that’s – that’s r-ridiculous!” she squeaked.
He laughed, reaching calmly for the button of her shorts, as if it was something he did every day.
Emma squirmed back, “What are you doing?” She put her hands over his, but he ignored her. He unzipped the fly, then hooked his fingers around her shorts.
“Lift your hips.”
He fixed her with an impatient stare. “Lift your hips,” he repeated, slower and firmer than before. Blushing like an idiot, she did. He pulled off her shorts, sliding them down her legs. She lifted her feet, one by one, until the shorts joined her socks and shoes on the floor. “Good girl,” he smiled cockily. “I wasn’t asking you. You’re sleeping here until I say otherwise. Your actions have consequences.” He placed his hands on her hips, eyes locking on hers at her little gasp. “And you,” he began, running his hands under her shirt. He laughed under his breath as she pushed back into the bed. “You are very lucky I found you in time.”
His fingers moved under her back. His face hovered over hers, his stunning blue eyes studying the features of her face. Emma pressed her thighs together. Could he feel how fast her heart was racing? He unclasped her bra. He moved his hands away, reaching for the straps. She pulled her arms through, reaching under her shirt to grab the bra before he could. She let it fall to the floor.
He was on top of her. So close.
Not close enough.
Emma gritted her teeth. What was happening!? “Give me your fake ID,” he said lowly.
His hands were on either side of her, caging her in. “You’re underage. Now, hand it over.”
“I paid a lot of money for it. I saved up for months-“
“I don’t care. Give it to me. I won’t ask again.”
She hesitated. It’d be unlikely she’d be able to get another one, at least, not one as good. The way he was looking at her was a bit scary, and his tone was definitely serious. Something told her that refusing wouldn’t get her anywhere. She propped herself up on her elbows, but he didn’t move away. “It’s in my bag.”
He smiled, and there was a hint of danger to it. “Good,” he murmured. His breath tingled over her skin. “You were reckless tonight. You shouldn’t go out on your own, not at night.”
His closeness was dizzying. “But you saved me,” she pouted.
“I might not always be there to save you.”
Feeling bold, she reached around him. She tugged at the soft cotton of his T-shirt. Her fingertips scraped over his warm back. Emma leaned forward, her lips near his ear, “Are we undressing each other now, Daddy?”
He sat up, pulling his shirt off the rest of the way. “Don’t change the subject,” he said, but he was grinning.
Emma sat up too, distracted by the sight of his sculpted chest. A throaty groan rumbled from him as she felt for his belt buckle. A thrill shot through her at the sound. “I’m safe with you,” she said without doubt. He let out a strained breath when she undid the button and zipper of his pants. “As soon as I heard your voice, I wasn’t scared anymore. I knew you’d protect me.” He grabbed her hands before she could go any further.
It was then that she noticed the blood on his knuckles. “What the fuck-“
His hand clamped over her mouth. He pushed her down until she hit the bed. “Don’t use that pretty little mouth of yours to say such foul words,” he growled in her ear. The change of their position had him over her again.