18 Jan 2006, 10:05
I get up to leave, afterwards. I don’t make any bones about what’s just happened. I may not have had any choice about it, but I don’t have to tell myself it was something it wasn’t. His hand moves to stop me.
Quickly, as he sits up, pulling my wrist to him. His voice, still deep, has softened, lacks it’s sensual edge, it’s study in intimidation. It’s gone almost as soon as he’s said it. Composed once again.
He pulls me to him, his back pressed against the back wall.
“Just wait, Anise.”
Slow and deep again. His voice, as much of a weapon to him as his body. He doesn’t let go of my wrist, but relaxes, just a little. As he pulls me closer, the back of his other hand strokes my face, just the fingertips. He’s pulled me into such a position that I have to look up at him to do it. It’s no accident.
“You still haven’t answered me.”
I’m getting used to this now. The constant display of sensual threatening power. The form of intimidation he most likely uses around women, hell, probably men too, for that matter. Tilt my head, looking up to him. He hasn’t finished.
“How much can you see in the dark?”
Her voice is soft, and deep, beautiful, with almost no strength left in it. Just a whisper now. A deep sigh before she speaks, her head dropping. She’s exhausted, in a lot of ways.
“Almost nothing. I’ve just been in the dark so long it doesn’t frighten me anymore. Of course, it ruined my eyes. I can’t see in bright light either. Other than twilight, I’m almost completely blind. You?”
The last almost a challenge, looking me right in the eye as she said it. Doesn’t want pity, or compassion. Throws my own question back at me. “Shine job.” She doesn’t know what I mean, that slight tilt of the head, a crease between her eyes, for a second, then gone. Let go of her wrist. “Surgery, so I can see in the dark.”
“They’re beautiful.” Move to get up again, avoiding his hand this time. I don’t bother getting dressed, it seems a little silly to be shy about my nakedness now. Gather up my clothes. I’m almost at the door, when I feel him behind me. Stealthful and silent, he’s slipped up behind me, circling my waist.
His voice has dropped again, a vibration, like an approaching thunderstorm, against my neck. He wasn’t asking me. Exhaustion weighs on me, heavier than he will ever know. But I’ve had my fill of being kept.
“I don’t sleep well.”
Move out of the circle of his arms, making for the door once again. Stepping into my pants when I get there. A flicker of anger crosses his face. Probably not used to people saying no to him. He’s standing in the doorway, a hard look crossing his face.
“Wonder what I might do with you when we get where we’re going , Anise.”
He’s not asking questions. His voice dropped to a dangerous low tone. Expects my complete attention, so what the hell, turn around, slipping my tank top over my head.
“Maybe the guy who owns you would pay a hefty price to get you back.”
An attempt to wound. His face a mask of cruelty. Wants me to plead with him. Let him regain a measure of some control.
“If you do, I really hope you hand me over in person, Riddick.”
Her voice little more than a whisper now, raw. That same cruel laugh, like when I asked her if she was scared of the dark. I wanted to scare her. Didn’t quite work that way. Sharpened teeth flash, her grin has nothing to do with anything funny. I wonder what happened to the last guy. I could probably go after her, but what am I going to do, apologize? Not fucking likely. Still, it’s the second time today she’s made me feel sorry about something I’ve said to her.
She’s gone by the time I get dressed, having walked down the hallway, not worried about the dark. Contemplate going after her anyway, settle for making my way to the front. Set all the lights for dim. So she can see.
She’s curled up, asleep, with the dog, in a warm spot by the engines. Sit and watch her for a while. She really doesn’t sleep well, a whimper in her sleep, tossing. The dog licks her face, and she relaxes, resting her hands on his neck, petting him until she falls asleep again.
The dog catches my scent, pushes her with his nose, to wake her. A yelp of fear, tries to stand his ground, but wanting to bolt. She holds him. “It’s only Riddick.” Doesn’t make any effort to move, sighs, puts her head back, stroking the dogs ears, trying to soothe him.
“Come back to bed, Anise.”
He’s moved closer, the dog jumps, as Riddick’s hand moves over the dog’s shoulder, to his ears. Try and soothe him, as much as I can. I’m tired, too tired for this, too tired to fight.
“I’m not a whore, and I’m not a slave, Riddick.”
Her voice is broken, the ragged croak is back. Talked too much already. My hand touches hers, right behind the dog’s ear, she doesn’t jump. Her eyes are closed, her head resting on the bulkhead behind her. Still no scent of fear. No defeat. Just sorrow. The dog rests it’s head harder into her chest, afraid. She holds him by the collar now, stroking his ears. Hold her arm, gently pull her up.
“I’m sorry. Come back to bed, Anise.”