“Get off that damn web and get down here!” Elijah’s cackle trailed over the carpeted steps of the ornate staircase. His daughter tried to ignore it but knew better than to challenge his resolve. Not replying would result in his blanketing the house, blocking any signals in the area.
Karen folded up her screen, dropped it on her nightstand and headed downstairs.
Reaching the bottom step, Karen could hear her father coming from the east wing before she saw him, his antiquated wheelchair ticking loudly.
“What the hell are you doin’? Sun’s up and pretty soon it’ll be too cold to wear those skimpy dresses of yours. Get out while you still can, I don’t want any of your complaining come winter.”
Karen had any number of wise retorts, but the past six years’ of constant fighting with her father had worn her down and her only reply was, “Okay.”
Turning to leave, she could feel her father’s eyes boring into her back, peeling away the layers she’d built up. She didn’t bother looking back.
The door slammed and Elijah keyed the comm on his chair arm. “Dale. She’s heading out. Keep an eye on her.”
“Yes, sir,” crackled the guard’s response.
Satisfied, Elijah slumped back into the chair and closed his eyes.
Karen walked aimlessly over the expansive grounds, the tree line surrounding the mansion mocking her. With no real options, she soon found herself plodding into the tangle of branches.
The silence left her mind to wander. Karen couldn’t remember the day Cali slid off into the Pacific, but her father had told the story so many times she was able to conjure up her own memories with little thought. They had been living in New York at the time, her father doing well as an investment banker, but overnight, stock prices plummeted, sending the world into a panic from which it still had not extricated itself.
Her father fled, taking what he could with them and brought Karen and her brother up here to their vacation spot in Maine. In his mind, it was the only safe place for them. And for nearly fifteen years, he’d kept her captive on this green tract of land.
Her brother Cedric had gotten out a few years back, leaving in the middle of the night – no note, no goodbye, no way to contact him. Karen had trawled the web, searching for any indication he was still alive, but it was like he’d never existed.
The first leaves of autumn crunched under Karen’s feet as she pushed further into the woods. She’d read about the clear-cutting that went on during the war, viewed images on the net, but never actually experienced it. Six year ago, soon after she’d turned thirteen, Karen had decided to investigate, see if it was really true. Getting up early one morning, she dove into the woods. What she had failed to take into consideration were the excesses of her father’s wealth and the depths of his paranoia. After two days of walking, with little in the way of supplies and no end in sight, she’d been forced to turn back.
Though Cedric’s anxiety had been etched across his face when she returned, her father made no mention of the incident, and this, more than anything, burned hot inside Karen. She was determined to find a way out the next time.
To one side, Karen caught a flicker of movement, stifling her reverie. A smile brushed her lips as she slowed her pace.
A minute later, the man her father had dispatched was easing up behind her, working hard not to raise her suspicion and doing a poor job of it. Still, she played along.
Rounding a large fir tree, Karen’s arm prickled as the guard took hold of it. She caught her breath as he pulled her back to him, raising his pistol with his free hand.
“What’s that for?” Karen asked mischievously.
“For if you get out of line.”
“Only if that’s what you want,” she purred softly, her mouth broadening into a wicked smile.
Dale bent down and pressed his lips hard against hers. Karen didn’t resist, wrapping her tongue around his as she slid her arms over his back. Breaking the kiss, Dale dropped his gun to the pine needles and the two frantically clawed at each other’s clothing, fumbling with buttons and snaps in their fervor.
Once naked, ragged breaths echoed in their ears as the cool air raised goose pimples on unprotected flesh.
“Take me,” Karen breathed as she spread out on the soft ground, staring longingly into her guardian’s eyes.
“Say my name,” he grunted.
Karen’s smile got wider as she whispered heavily, “Come over here and fuck me, Dale.”
Afterward, Dale laid back on the pine needles and closed his eyes. Physically spent, he allowed himself the luxury of dozing off for a short time.
Footsteps crackling the autumn leaves jarred him awake, but Dale was content to keep his eyes closed, savoring the recent memory barely minutes old. He figured Karen was going off to find a place to reliever herself. It was amusing that she could be so vulgarly intimate with him, but refused to pee in front of him. Dale smile . . .
. . . and then everything went dark as something heavy and jagged crushed into the side of his head.
To be continued.