"I don't understand what you mean," said Elena, without looking up. The door to her cell had just opened, and although she was sitting at the far end looking down at the floor, from the glimpse she caught of her visitor's shoes she knew that it was Rich. "I didn't dance because nobody woke me up. I can hardly leave here on my own, can I?" She gestured to her chains.
"That's not my problem. They had orders to wake you at the normal time." He shrugged. If his face had been just a little bit more impassive, she'd almost have been able to believe that this was all a mistake, that he didn't know what was happening. But there was a gleam in his eye she didn't like.
"So they fell asleep. It's not my fault." Elena tried to fold her arms, hampered by the manacles. "I'll dance tonight."
"I'm not bothered about tonight. You missed a night, so you pay for that. If you dance tonight, that's one more day you're safe. But today you've got no protection."
Every day that she danced was a day of safety. Elena knew that. She'd known it all along. "My friends will come for me," she said, trying to find the bravery to stop her voice from shaking. "You said yourself that they wouldn't wait forever. They'll be here soon enough."
"In time?" Rich grinned nastily and came into the cell. She kept her eyes fixed on her feet and pretended that his touch didn't make her skin crawl. It wasn't as hard as it was normally, and even though he disgusted her she felt the normal sense of safety when he was there. That was wrong. "You need to stop hoping for the impossible."
"Nothing is impossible," she replied defiantly.
"That's as maybe." And Rich leaned forward, his hands on Elena's knees. "Tell me, how far are you prepared to go when you're hoping for the impossible? What's the point you give up believing?"
"I will never give up."
"If you tell me that you've given up, I'll leave you alone."
"How do I know you're telling the truth? I might tell you I've given up and then you'd carry on anyway. And how about the other way around - how do you know I'm not just saying that to keep myself safe?" Elena felt fearless. She knew he'd have to unchain her if he wanted to do anything because the manacles held her legs and arms close together. Perhaps once she was free she could attack him...
"I don't know. But you should have learned by now that lying to me isn't a good plan." He peered at her. "They're revolutionaries, your friends. Don't you think they'll be off working on the revolution instead of trying to save you?"
Elena tried to fight the fact she knew he was right. The others wouldn't care any more. They'd be overthrowing governments, not saving her... "They'll come for me," she said, but it sounded weak."
"Look," said Rich, and his voice was stern. "I know it's hard to give up. But you have to realise. There is nobody here that can help you. There is nobody here that will listen to your screams."
He pulled a key from his pocket and pointed to her manacles. "Where shall we start?"