Unedited and subject to change
“Let me out,” she hisses the second I turn on the overhead light.
“This isn’t right.” I don’t say anything. “You can’t just keep me down here.”
She sounds more scared than I expect her to. I’d anticipated anger and irritation, but the fear in her voice is a shock. It only proves how broken she is. I’ve spent hour after hour with her, and she still doesn’t trust me.
“TJ!” she yells when I merely stand a few feet away and stare down at her.
“Promise me you’ll stopping going to those fucking parties.”
I don’t know where she’s now drawing her courage from, but she should know this isn’t something I will negotiate on.
“You’re not getting out of that fucking cage until you agree to stop trying to get yourself killed.”
“I’m not going to lie to you.”
My lip twitches with her honesty even though that truth is the last damn thing I want to hear.
“You are so fucking stubborn,” I growl. “Why can’t you just stop getting yourself hurt?”
“Why can’t you just walk away and leave me to my own damn life? I didn’t ask to be saved.” She frowns and looks away.
“You’re not just hurting yourself.” I feel like I’m arguing with a toddler over the negative health benefits of sticking a fucking fork in the electrical socket. Just like a three-year-old, she can’t see the dangers in what she’s doing because the thrill is all she’s focusing on.
She huffs, her head turning until her empty green eyes look back up at me. “No one gives a shit about me.”
“That’s not true.” My mouth is suddenly dry, but I do my best to keep my posture stiff and unassuming. I can’t confess my feelings to her when I don’t understand them myself.
She somehow understands the battle I’m fighting inside as evident by the sudden glint of deviousness in her eyes.
“I don’t give a shit about a single person on this earth, myself included.” Her tongue snakes out and licks at her lower lip as her eyes narrow in challenge. She’s purposely exploiting the emotion she can read but I’m unable to express, and her words cut me deep.
Does she want me to hurt her? Is she trying to prove that no one will tolerate the nastiness coming from her beautiful mouth?
“Let me go.” She sounds almost feral, but isn’t a cage where wild animals belong?
“I can’t do that.” Her eyes dart to my hand when I pull my knife out. The snap of the blade locking into place when I flip it open echoes around the room.
“W-what are you doing?”
“Why are you afraid? Wouldn’t this be easier than slowly dying or being brutalized over and over at those damn parties?”
Heat and arousal wash over her as her eyes stay trained on the shiny blade. God she’s fucking perfect, but her being turned on right now isn’t what either one of us need. It only feeds exactly what she’s after.
“I hate you,” she seethes, no doubt a means to propel me into action. She wants me to hurt her. She wants me to get her off. She needs both, but that isn’t on the calendar of events today.
“Do you have any idea what it does to me each and every time you show up at one of those parties?” I take a step closer. “Any clue how it makes me feel?”
I take one more step. Standing right in front of her, I shrug out of my t-shirt. I didn’t bother to shrug my cut on since Lynch was up my ass.
“It feels like this.”
Without hesitation, I slash my knife across my stomach.