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Copyright ©2022 Kate Allenton
Camilla Tate had waited in the boathouse for him for what seemed like forever. Every time the dock creaked or the water lapped against the boathouse, butterflies took flight in her stomach.
She had it all planned with a picnic basket filled with delicious food. A bottle of non-alcoholic sparkling champagne and his favorite beer sat in a cooler chilling on ice.
Things hadn’t always been good. This news was going to change things; she was sure of that. They’d figure out the rest together.
She never questioned whether he loved her. She could read it in his eyes. See it in the way he looked at her. It was always there. He was the yin to her yang. That was why they worked and belonged together, like light and dark.
She peeked through the window toward the house. A darkened shadow headed in her direction.
This was it; her life was about to change one way or another. She let out a shaky breath. She had to do this. They’d been honest to a fault from the very beginning. That was the way he’d demanded they be with each other. He’d know how to make this work for both of them. He’d be happy, or so she hoped.
Footsteps fell on the dock as the shadow got closer. Camilla shoved the pregnancy stick into her pocket and turned to grab one of his favorite beers.
“Took you long enough. I’ve been waiting forever,” she said, popping the top on the beer with her back toward the door.
Hands landed on her waist as a body pressed against her back. Heated breath lingered in her ear. “I could say the same thing.”
She recognized the voice a second too late.
Fingers wrapped around the long column of her throat as the pinprick of a needle stabbed her skin. Her vision blurred. This wasn’t happening. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go.
She blinked, once, then twice. With each close of her eyes, the world around her turned hazier until she couldn’t blink anymore.
It could have been minutes or hours. She was unsure when the feeling started coming back into her body. The lumpy mattress she was laying on wasn’t hers. Her eyes jolted open. She was no longer in the boathouse. Pain radiated in her head, the throbbing almost unbearable and making her stomach roll. Her throat felt like sandpaper.
She scrambled to sit up too fast. Her stomach revolted, and she was barely able to keep down her dinner.
She inhaled, trying to remain calm. In and out. She practiced breathing. She was still alive. Her hand rested on her stomach. They both were.
The spinning room around her came into focus. The sparsely furnished area had a rancid smell of urine. The single mattress lay on the floor. The bare concrete walls were yellowing and aged. Her unfamiliar surroundings made her heart quicken.
Where the hell was she?
Her clothes had been removed and replaced with a nightgown. Her foot was locked in a heavy shackle attached with iron chains to the bedpost. An ungodly fear flooded her body, making her stomach contents churn to life again.
She jumped from the bed and scrambled toward the open bathroom door, pulling the chain with her. It was barely long enough to reach the toilet as she heaved. Uncontrollable tears rolled down her face as the retching subsided.
She flushed the toilet and stood on shaky legs. No mirror hung above the sink, and there was nothing on the counters to use as a weapon. The dirty bathtub was empty of toiletries, so no hope of finding a razor.
Click. Screech. Creak.
Her body trembled as she peeked back into the room. The large heavy-looking door slowly opened, revealing an ominous, formidable figure standing in the darkened hallway.
She was no longer alone.
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