Saturday, April 28, 2012
Chapter 30: Painted promises
Chapter 30: Painted promises (Wattpad)
Travis straightened his royal blue tie for the millionth time as he appraised his appearance with a critical eye. He didn’t even bother with clothes that much but then Avery came. He smiled, and then glanced briefly at his ring.
Everything had gone smoothly now, and he’ll admit that he’d been nervous about the meeting yesterday, but nothing ever came up that might be bad for Avery, and that’s all that mattered. He’d been doubtful about his parents, but then yesterday showed that he should have a little more trust in them. Both of them.
He gave his approval of his own reflection at the gargantuan mirror in his room, which looks more like a master suite at a hotel than a teenager’s bedroom. He checked his keys on his pocket and grabbed the remote beside the mirror and with a few buttons pressed, the windows closed by their own accord and the curtains closed as well, and the lights flipped off.
When he emerged from his room, he barely took in the sight of their luxurious hallway when three guards on their custom black and white suit, together with Paul, blocked his next steps.
His heart pounded and confusion had no place as suspicion clouded everything else. This happened before, more than once. He tried to look calm as possible and look authoritative like his father.
“Paul, what – ”
“Sir, we were ordered to take you back to your room. You are not to go anywhere until – ”
“Fuck that, let me through right now.” He snapped, losing his patience altogether. His father had to be behind this, he always has been. But Travis wouldn’t have known yesterday, not when he was smiling down at Avery as though he’s welcoming her.
“Please, sir. We were ordered to – ” he didn’t finish the rest of the sentence as Travis stepped through and immediately, arms were restraining him and pushing him forcibly back to his bedroom door.
“Let me go! Bastards – ” they shut the door on his face. White-hot anger surged through his veins as he pounded through the door. “Paul, let me out right now. Tell my father I need to talk to him.”
A few more heartbeats passed when the doorknob turned and Paul emerged. Determination and a sliver of relief shook Travis but Paul shook his head, snapping the door shut and stood in front of it, making an exit purely impossible.
“This is fucking insane. Let me out, Paul.”
“Mrs. Warner gave us orders.”
Travis paused in mortification and his blood turned cold. “Did you – did you just say that my mother told you to do this?”
Paul mumbled his answer, but Travis can still hear it as clear as day, “Yes, sir.”
Travis’ head pounded and he found it impossible to believe. His Mom.
“Did she say why?” he said in a slow, but furious voice. Maybe he imagined it, but Paul’s stance turned something akin to doubt and disappointment, “She doesn’t want you around Ms. Allton, sir.” Travis couldn’t control the shaking of his entire frame now and he clenched his fists. She lied. She lied to her face.
“Dad?” he asked, restraining his fury.
“Business trip, sir.” Paul replied in a voice full of concern and most of all, pity. Travis raised his head high and leveled his eyes with his personal bodyguard since he was a year old. His eyes blazed like fire and when he spoke, his voice was moderate, but anyone can sense the fury underneath. “I do not need your pity, Paul. I need your help.”
Paul dipped his head.
“I’m sorry, sir. I can’t.”
“Where the hell is he?” I complained for the hundredth time. “He’s late.” I checked Cassie’s watch and exclaimed, “It’s been thirty minutes!”
“It’s okay, Ave. I’m sure he’s okay.” Nicole comforted with a pat on my shoulder. Everywhere I turn, I see dancing people. The school gym had completely transformed and music was blaring from the speakers. There was a table filled with punch and other food and all the students seemed to be enjoying themselves.
But not quite all.
“Ave, if something’s happening, he’ll call you one way or the other.” Lexi said with concern.
“I agree.” said Theresa, nodding. They all look terrific in their party dresses but I can’t focus on anything right now. I was tapping my foot like mad and I kept shifting my feet. We were sitting around a circular table, with a glass of punch in front of each of us but I haven’t touched mine.
“Call him, Ave. I don’t like this.” Cassie said with a straight face. Everything we hear is just laughter and enjoyment but I feel isolated from the rest of the world. I feel detached.
“I will.” I took a small breath to calm my erratic thoughts, “I’ll have to go outside; the signal is damned low.” They all offered words of comfort and concern and I quickly went out with my pouch in hand. Immediately, I took out my phone once I’m on the parking lot and I willed for it to ring.
He will answer. He will.
“Sir, it’s no use. She disabled your remote control system.”
Travis flung a vase across the room and his ears met a crackle of porcelain and it shattered to pieces. “What do you want me to do, then?” he demanded, but received no response. For the past thirty minutes, he’d done nothing but find a way out but it was impossible. He locked gazes with Paul and saw no other choice.
Slowly, he stepped in front of him and said, “Paul, this is bullshit. Help me out.” When he received not a single word of reply, he wasn’t dismayed. On the contrary, he was even more determined than before.
“I know you might lose your only job over this, but I need you to help me. You’ve met Avery, for God’s sake, there’s nothing wrong with her.” Travis saw him recall the brief encounter and he was aware that Paul had taken a liking to Avery. Whenever he was forced to go over with Paul on his heels, she treated him as a friend and even offered her cookies.
Anger was on the surface again as he thought of her sweet face and the deception she so unfairly received.
Avery deserves so much more.
“Paul, I have enough credentials and if you lose your job for helping me, I’ll sign a letter of recommendation myself. I know Dad will do the same. I’ll promise we’ll do it.” His voice was near to pleading. Call it desperation, or anything you want. He didn’t care.
His statement was punctuated with a strong silence. Then Paul raised his head and fixed him with a determined stare. “I’ll escort you down to your garage, sir. We’re not going to Ms. Allton, your mother gave me orders to transfer you to your resthouse not far from here. When I tried to get you in the car, you knocked me out cold, and you escaped. We didn’t have this conversation at all.”
Travis smiled. “Agreed.”
In his haste, he forgot his phone on the bedside table.
I gritted my teeth in barely-concealed aggravation. I was outside the school’s premises right now, holding the phone to my ear. Fucking signal. I can’t believe that tonight of all nights, this has to happen. I just need to know that he’s alright. That somehow, he’s on his way here.
But he isn’t answering.
Why isn’t he answering? In my panic, I moved forward, trying to get more signal as much as possible. My mind raced through the possibilities to provide a plausible explanation to my worry. He must’ve left his phone. Or he was out of battery or – or something. There must be something reasonable. I heard a small beep from my phone and I looked at my screen.
“Fuck.” I hissed and strode further towards the street. I had no idea where I was going as I speed-dialed Travis again. I knew it was irrational, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that this isn’t just a simple misunderstanding. It’s only one dance, but I think there’s something going on.
As I continued my strides forward, I didn’t notice someone inching forward, hiding from my sight. Waiting.
Travis pushed his Jaguar until he could feel its annoyed grumble, but it still wasn’t enough. He was far away from the school and he wanted to get there now. He felt a deep gratitude to Paul, who agreed to stay behind to cover their alibi for his supposedly ‘escape.’
He was intensely worried about Avery. He didn’t know why this much, but he was deeply worried. It was protective instinct, but he wasn’t taking any chances. He needed to see her with his own eyes.
He accelerated the car, almost like a blur as he sped through the night.
Where the hell is he?
I massaged my throbbing temples and tried to calm down. My feet hurt terribly but I couldn’t care less about anything as my thoughts were rampant with fears and doubts. I know it’s only one mundane event, but I couldn’t put my finger on something. It’s maddening.
I looked around and found the pavement deserted and deathly quiet. I hadn’t noticed that I’ve gone so far; the lights from the school gym appeared like pinpricks from here and I felt a stab of wariness. I started to walk back when I heard a man’s voice from behind me,
“Darling, why are you going back?”
I jumped in fright and stumbled forward, almost tripping. I whirled around and found a tall, muscular man, who towered over me and with a scarred face looking at me wonderingly. He smiled slowly.
“Boyfriend isn’t picking up?”
I tried to swallow my fear and said shakily, “I need to get going.” I didn’t wait for his response as I quickly took long strides back, dialing Travis again.
Where are you?
I risked taking a look over my shoulder and froze when I saw no one. Fear rippled through me in huge waves and I hurried my steps, looking around for the sight of the same scarred man.
Travis, where are you?
On the empty bedroom, the same phone kept ringing and ringing for the past hour.
No one was there to pick it up.
Sylvia sipped her coffee. She was on break and she still has ten minutes more for free but she didn’t go out to buy a piece of her favorite pastry like she always does.
She’s worried. She tried to fight the feelings of concern as she did her work, but now it came back at her, stabbing at all corners of her mind. Whatever she tried to do, she just couldn’t shake the feeling. Giving in, she took out her phone and dialed her husband.
A mother’s intuition is always right.
The school still looks far away, though I felt like I’ve been walking hard forever. My heart rate accelerated with every single step I took, fearing to look at dark corners or anywhere at all where the light is scarce.
That man wouldn’t leave me alone. He wouldn’t. I have to get out of here now.
I walked for more minutes, it felt like it has been an eternity, but I can’t make sense of the time, or anything at all. All I know is that I have to be surrounded by familiar people again. My hands were shaking and I wasn’t thinking straight, my lungs were burning but I took no action to stop.
The next thing I knew, a hand covered my mouth and gripped my upper torso tightly.
“Boyfriend still didn’t pick up?” he said in a throaty voice directly to my ear and I struggled in fear. I whimpered as I at his hands to release me and I stared at the dropped phone on the ground, the name Travis was still legible even from here but the call declined automatically when he didn’t answer.
Where are you?
“Hmm.” His palms kneaded my stomach and I felt tears sting my eyes. My heart thudded when he took steps to the sidewalk and into a dark alley. Though there was no light, I could still decipher the foreign surroundings.
“You’re really pretty.” His hands gathered my hair and he licked my neck from behind. Revulsion pulsed through me as he sighed hungrily. He let my hair loose but covered my mouth in a filthy piece of cloth, preventing me from speaking. Then he tied my hands.
No, no, no.
He pressed me to the alleywall to my back and when he pressed his huge body to mine, he groaned. “You’re going to be a treat.” He started rubbing against me and I sobbed painfully. His wide hands came to my waist and squeezed, with it came a stab of pain. Then he reached higher.
I emitted a muffled cry.
“Sweetheart, did that hurt? No? Let’s try it again.” He squeezed my breasts and I whimpered, shaking my head.
“No? But we’re just getting started…” he dipped his head and licked my breasts. Even with the thin fabric between his tongue and my skin, I couldn’t bear it. I sobbed as he bit.
A guttural sound came from his throat and he started tearing my dress with his bare hands, unable to wait any longer. His hand rubbed against me and he sighed. “Soft.” I cried out and he sighed deeper, “So inexperienced. But I’ll teach you, don’t worry.”
As he took off the rest of my garments, my mind screamed revulsion, terror and the highest degree of fear. His knee pushed against my center but before he took my mouth, he whispered to words that destroyed and mutilated me. Words that made me snap and lose control over my whole mind.