As the door closed and locked I put my head down. Getting myself trapped was one thing but to bring it on to someone else wasn’t good at all. Of all the people who could have been dragged into this situation Charlotte was a worst case scenario for me to consider. All because I had made a noise and the reason behind the noise was my wanting a drink. Oh, I could be so selfish at times. Mark was right; I brought this all on myself. I was so wrapped up in my own thoughts now that I hadn’t noticed Charlotte crawling to be beside me. Her soft touch made me jump, which made me whine in pain. I met her concerned gaze. “I... I am so sorry.”
Charlotte stoked the blonde hair from my face. “I had no idea that he was doing this to you. I thought you had just gone like he said. Simon, you should not be the one who is sorry down here.” She put an arm loosely around me, so that she was hardly touching me, and I rested my head on her shoulder. “What is going on here Simon? I don’t understand why you are here and why he is doing this?”
“It is my fault; everything is always my fault.” I said quietly.
“No Simon you are... Well, you are the victim.” She replied, frowning slightly. Charlotte looked about and saw the mattress in a corner and she half carried me over to it. My muscles screamed in protest but all she hard were gasps, the hot tears scorching silently down my face. She looked at me with a deep pity before going over to the sink. She came back with a rag, a bowl, and a glass which she held to my lips. “Here, drink this babe and then I will get you cleaned up.” As I drank the water gratefully Charlotte walked to the cupboards and saw that everything medical she could have wanted was there. She raised a brow as she realised that Mark wanted me to heal. She returned with armfuls of supplies and painkillers that she watched me take.
Charlotte moved to peel the shirt from my body and she made a noise of horror as her eyes took in the various cuts, bruises, and marks littering my bare torso, plenty still oozing blood. She took my thin trousers off too, leaving me in just my boxers. Oddly though this didn’t leave me feeling exposed as her gaze swept over my body.
Gently she began to clean me and dress what wounds she could. She wrapped the small blanket around me and held me loosely against her side.
I leant against Charlotte and the selfish side of me was glad that I wasn’t alone here anymore and that I had someone to look after me. I tucked my arms around her waist slowly to see if she protested. When she didn’t seem to mind I relaxed even more against her. “He didn’t hurt your arm too much with the pipe did he?”
“Not too much; it’ll just be a bruise. I am more concerned about what he has done to you than I am by my arm. Does he do this all the time?”
I shook my head which made me grimace as pain radiated around my form. “It isn’t this bad all the time Charlotte. I am here if he has had a bad day I guess.”
“I wish I had known. Mark had said you had just gone away for some reason he never explained and that we should forget you like you had forgotten us. I was confused by it all and never really dug very deep. Mark wasn’t concerned by it at all so I just kind of accepted it. Baby, I doubted you and trusted him and for that I am so sorry.”
“Everyone should forget me, I just don’t deserve anything.”
“That is so far from the truth Simon.” Her fingers fluttered in my hair as she stroked it lightly. “You certainly don’t deserve what you are getting.” She was silent for a while, her fingers working their magic and making me drift towards sleep. “Sleep now, we can talk tomorrow and you can explain it all to me then.” My head slid into Charlotte’s lap and her hand continued to stroke my head. “Sleep now, you’re safe, I am with you.”
For the first time since my imprisonment I fell asleep with a smile curling my lips. I felt so safe in Charlottes embrace.