When I woke up, my head was throbbing and there was a soaked rag on my forehead. I could tell that I was lying on the hard floor because of how uncomfortable it was to my back.
Slowly, I sat up and fell back down due to the fact that everything started spinning. I began to sit up again, but I felt pressure on my chest and remained still. I looked up to find Bailey looking at me in concern. Then I looked down to see that her hand was holding me down.
"Stay down, Alex. You hit your head." She informed me.
"Hit my head on what…?" I asked.
"Oh… Where'd Jack go? Did he touch you or anything?" I asked.
"Jack let me out and told me to take care of you then left." She told me.
"Oh…Ok, but I'm fine so you can go do whatever." I said trying not to show my weakness or curiosity.
"You are not fine. You can't even stand up."
I frowned and decided to prove her wrong. Slowly, I began to get up. Once I was sitting up straight, I took a deep breath and waited for everything to stop spinning. I looked over at Bailey to find her giving me a "you're crazy" look again. I smirked then began to stand up. I had to move slowly. It took me what felt like five minutes to get up to my knees. I then set my left foot out in front of me and pushed up. Quickly, I stomped my right foot down and caught myself.
Once again, I looked up at Bailey to find her standing right in front of me. I took one step toward her to be unsuccessful. I fell forward and landed on something much softer than the floor. I peeked open my eyes and found Bailey underneath me. She was looking up at me with a bright red face. That's when I noticed her eyes looking straight into mine.
They were so beautiful. Such a gorgeous brown that made me want to stare into them for as long as I could. The next thing I knew, my face was getting closer to hers. I was guessing it was ok because she wasn't backing away. Our lips were just a few inches apart. I could feel the warmth of her breath against my skin. I started to close the gap between us until…My phone went off.
Everything clicked and I noticed what I almost did then quickly rolled off her. My heart was pounding in my chest like it never had before. She sat up and grabbed the phone for me. I nodded my thanks and hit talk.
"Hello," I asked.
"Hey man, how you feeling?" It was Jack.
"What do you care, Asshole? That was some move you pulled back there!"
"Relax, I was just having some fun. I let the girl out to help you. Is she still there?"
"Yeah, she is still here." I answered.
"Ok, well I'll let you rest. Get better."
"Fuck you," I said then hung up.
I looked over at Bailey. She was sitting on the edge of the bed with her eyes locked on the floor. Her feet were crossed and she was picking at the blanket with her fingers.
Feeling much more stable, I slowly stood up and walked into the kitchen to get a bottle of water and pain killers for my massive headache. I chugged the whole bottle and four pills of pain reliever. I threw the bottle of water into the trash then walked back over to Bailey. She still had her eyes locked onto the floor so I waved a hand in front of her. She blinked quickly and jumped a little before she looked up at me.
"Wake up." I said.
"Good. Do you want to go swimming?" I asked.
She looked at me with a raised eyebrow. "Are you serious? You can barely walk. I really don't think that's a good idea."
"I'm not going to let a little head injury take me down." I smiled at her.
"You need to go get it checked out at the hospital. You probably have a concussion."
I sighed. "If you go swimming with me then we will go straight to the hospital. Deal?"
"How about we take you to the hospital and then go swimming tomorrow?"
"You're no fun…"
"Hey, I'm all for you somehow getting hurt and then me escaping, but what if you die in your sleep and I'm still in the cage or something?" She smiled at me.
I got up then let out a long sigh. "Fine, let's go. I'll drive. "
"Are you sure you should drive?" She stood up beside me and gave me a set of puppy eyes.
I glared at her and raised an eyebrow. "Yes, Mother."
The trip to the hospital was long and boring. When we got there, we had to sit in the waiting room with a bunch of other sick people before the doctor finally got to us. But when she did, I was more than excited that Bailey made me go.
A tall blonde woman stepped into the room. She had glasses that were in front of her gorgeous blue eyes and a long white gown covering all but her sexy tan legs. My mouth watered just at the thought of being in a room with her. When she said my name I just about fainted.
"Alex? Come with me." Her voice was soft.
I stood up and made my way over to her when suddenly I felt a warm hand grasp mine. I looked down and saw that Bailey was beside me with a stern look on her face. Was she jealous? Oh, this would be fun.
"If I could just have you sit down on the bed. Miss, you can take a seat on the chair beside him." The doctor put her hand on my shoulder and I smiled at her.
I sat down on the gray bed with a long white sheet that ran down the middle. The room was small with three cupboards in the right corner and a table beneath them holding shots, cotton balls, etc. A black stool was beside the table and in front of the laptop the doctor had set down. The bed was located on the left as soon as you walked in and a small black chair was in the corner beside it.
"So, what happened?" She asked me and stood with her arms crossed.
"I…Hit my head on the kitchen counter. I was moving to grab something and slipped. I think I spilt water on the floor by accident and hadn't noticed." I laughed nervously. At least some of it wasn't a lie.
"That would explain the rather large goose egg on your head." She chuckled then turned around and looked at her computer.
I smiled at her then looked at Bailey. She was glaring at the doctor. I had never seen this side of her, but I really enjoyed it.
"So, Alex, what symptoms did you experience immediately after the accident?" She turned around and faced me.
"I passed out right after it happened. When I woke up, I had a horrible headache and I was light-headed. Other than that, not really anything."
"Okay. Have you had any previous head injuries?"
I shrugged. "Just the occasional bruise. Nothing this bad, that's for sure."
She nodded then typed something on the computer and walked toward me. "Mind if I have a look?"
"Not at all," I smiled.
She set her hands on my head and felt around the bump. It didn't hurt too badly, but it was sensitive. However, I did take medicine before coming here. She then moved her fingers and touched the most sensitive part of my scalp. I flinched and tried not to make a sound, but it hurt. So much for the pain killers.
"Okay, it would seem that you have a minor concussion. Nothing too serious, but it shouldn't be taken lightly. You need to get lots of rest and avoid any physical activity. You also need to avoid things that require lots of concentration. That can be from reading to watching television. Drink lots of fluids and if you have a headache then take acetaminophen and not ibuprofen. I'll have you set up for a checkup appointment and then you should be good to go."
I nodded. "Thanks, Doc."
"You know…" She looked at me before moving toward Bailey. "I noticed that you were limping when you came in. Is there something wrong with your leg?"
Bailey quickly looked at me with wide eyes. I nodded at her to say that it was okay. She should have it looked at too.
"I was on a hike and got startled because I heard a noise. Next thing I knew, I was running away as fast as I could and tripped over a branch. I just assumed that the bruising would go away on its own."
"My, you two both seem pretty clumsy."
I was impressed by her answer. The doctor bent down beside Bailey and pulled her pant leg over her ankle. She touched it in a few places that made Bailey groan before standing back up to her feet. She then returned to her computer and jotted down some more notes before turning back toward us.
"You have a pretty bad sprain there. I am going to suggest taking it easy and…" She turned around then reached into a cupboard and pulled out a black brace. "Wear this. You will want to keep this on so that everything heals properly."
Bailey took the brace and put it on before standing up and thanking the doctor.
"Does it feel better with that on," I asked.
She nodded and wiggled her foot. "It feels good. I feel like it has a lot more support."
I stood up and shook the doctor's hand and then extended it out to Bailey. She wrapped hers around it then we exited out of the hospital before we made another appointment. I didn't need to see the doctor again and I'm sure it would upset Bailey even more if I did.
"So…What am I going to do if I can't do anything?" I looked over at Bailey and smiled.
"You can't do that doctor, that's for sure." She mumbled and crossed her arms.
"You were seriously jealous of that doctor?"
"I wasn't jealous." She quickly got into the car and slammed the door.
I got into the driver's side door and looked at her. "Let's go to the beach."
"What?" She looked at me with a raised eyebrow.
"There's a beach not too far from here. Let's go to it. I wouldn't take that doctor to the beach like I am about to take you."
Bailey tried to hide her smile. "You need to rest, Alex."
I groaned. "Tomorrow then? Bright and early or late at night. We can even light a fire!"
She smiled this time. "You sound like a kid, Alex."
I frowned. "I like the beach…"
"Fine, Tomorrow. But for now, let's go back and you can rest. Okay?"
"I thought I was supposed to take care of you?"
"Jack put me in charge of taking care of you, remember?"
"Jack doesn't have that authority over me, but that's fine. We can play doctor." I winked at her.
Her face turned bright red then she turned and looked outside.
When we got back to our room, I crashed onto the bed and fell asleep for the rest of the day. It's not often that I do that, but when I do, I am a hard sleeper.
"Alex…Alex, Wake up."
I opened my eyes and saw Bailey sitting in front of me with a warm bowl of soup.
I sat up and looked at her. "What's that for?"
"Well…Usually you eat it…But I guess you could use it for something else?" She looked at me confused.
I smiled. "So…Uhm…Thanks, I guess." I grabbed the warm bowl from her hands and set it on my lap.
"Sure thing." She got up then moved back to the kitchen where she ate alone.
I grabbed the spoon that sat within the bowl and scooped up some of the broth. The color gave away that it was my favorite type. Bean and Bacon. There was still steam rising from the bowl and I gently blew on it. I watched as the liquid made small ruffles across the bowl. After I felt that it was ready, I poured the soup into my mouth and savored the warmth as it ran down my throat.
After I was finished, I placed the bowl on the table beside my bed then laid back down. This time I had a harder time falling back asleep. I couldn't stop thinking about Bailey. Why was she taking care of me after everything I put her through? I wanted to ask her, but I didn't have the guts too. The answer she could give me scared me more than not knowing.
Eventually I managed to fall back asleep and not wake up until the next morning. I glanced to my side to see her sound asleep on her side of the bed. She looked so peaceful. She was lying on her left side, facing me. Her mouth was slightly open and letting out a soft breath as her body inhaled and exhaled. Her long brown hair cradled around her face, but also managed to cover almost the entire pillow. Her fingers were crossed and resting in front of her body. I stared at her for a few more minutes, contemplating whether or not I should wake her up. I decided not to because I had no way of knowing when she actually went to bed.
I gently pulled the sheets away from my body and rolled off the mattress and onto my feet. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes before going into the kitchen and starting up some coffee. Even though I slept most of yesterday and throughout the night, I was still extremely tired. My body felt like it hadn't been used in ages. Every bone managed to ache.
"You slept for a long time."
I turned around and saw Bailey sitting up in the bed, looking at me with groggy eyes. Her hair was that of a bed-head and the side of her face had marks from the bedding pressed into her skin.
"Not like I had a choice. You made sure that I got rest like the doctor ordered." I smirked.
"Mm…Are you making coffee?"
"I am. Would you like some?"
"Yes, please. I'll make my own though." She pushed the blankets back then got up.
"No. Sit back down. I will bring you a cup. I owe you for yesterday."
"You don't owe me anything. I actually owe you."
I poured two cups of coffee then walked back over to the bed and gave her one. "What are you talking about?"
She cradled the cup in her hands like she was savoring the warmth. She looked at me with watery eyes. "For Ryan and everything. You were right about him."
"Look…About that. I'm sorry. I know it is none of my business and you should be preparing for the arena. I just…Those marks…"
"We used to get into arguments. Every time it would get worse and he would whip me harder." Her breath started to hitch as if it were hard for her to talk. Then I noticed small tears forming at the edge of her eyes.
"Those are whip marks?"
"Just enough to break the skin and leave scars. When you came and kidnapped me, I was running away from him. I actually thought you were him to begin with. We had just got into an argument because I caught him cheating and he hadn't had his chance to beat me for it. His friends would hold me down while he did it."
I set my coffee down then moved closer to her and wrapped my arm around her shoulders. She leaned in close to me and closed her eyes. "I'm sorry, Bailey. You don't deserve anything like that."
"Nobody does. I like to think that it was me instead of someone else in the world. It's easier to accept it."
"Well, he is gone now. You have nothing to worry about."
"Except for the final arena. I will finally be put out of my misery."
"No. You will win. Just wait a see." I smiled and gave her a nudge.
She looked up at me and smiled back. "I hope you're right."
Me too. I wanted to get to know her better. Somewhere outside of this horror. I heard my phone begin to ring on the kitchen counter. Bailey's body stiffened against me before she moved away. I sighed then got up to grab it. When I noticed that it was Boss calling, I quickly picked it up and answered.
"Alex, I need you and everyone else to come meet me at the destination you are about to receive. I have some news to share with you all."
"Yes, Boss. I will let everyone know. When should we be there?"
"Within the hour."
"Done." I hung up the phone then looked at Bailey. "I have to leave for a little while. I am going to have to put you back in the cage in case anyone checks in on us."
She nodded in defeat. "Okay, Alex. Is it…. About the next arena?"
"I don't know," I shrugged.
I quickly got ready then helped Bailey into the cage. I gave her an ice pack to keep on her leg while I was gone and some food and water. I didn't know how long I would be. I felt bad putting her back in after everything she had done for me, but it was what I had to do.
I texted both Anthony and Jack then left the room with the door locking behind me. Quickly, I ran to the car and hopped in. The engine roared to life and within seconds, I was on the road to meet up with everyone.
The weather outside was a soothing overcast and required no use of sunglasses. It was cool enough outside that I was able to keep the window down and allow the air to blow on my face. Days like these felt like there were no worries to think about. I could just simply drive and let my mind wander in whatever direction it wanted. I knew that this meeting would be something different though. The next arena wasn't for a couple months. That's when Bailey would have to be at the top of her game.
I let out a long sigh. I did not want Bailey to enter the arena. She was such a gentle caring person who didn't deserve this. Part of me wanted to go in her place instead. However, thoughts like this would get me nowhere. She would need to do this on her own. I could only help her until that point.
It didn't take me long to get to where I needed to be. It was a rest stop in the middle of endless dry land. There were no lively things around. It only had a few tables next to an outhouse that had been used one too many times. I doubted there was any plumbing left with it. No one would be expecting us to be here.
I pulled up alongside a large black SUV then got out and sat onto of one of the tables. I knew that it was my boss who sat in the SUV, but he wouldn't get out until Jack and Anthony showed up. This was in case someone did find us and he needed a fast getaway. I waited a few more minutes before they finally pulled up in the same car.
They quickly got out and ran over to me. Anthony looked panicked because he knew that they were late, while Jack didn't really care. I could tell that these last few days have taken a toll on Anthony. He had bags under his eyes and his hair was matted down as though he hadn't taken a shower in a while.
"You know Anthony, we don't have to look like the homeless anymore," I joked.
He gave me a sad smile, "I haven't slept very well."
I felt bad for him. I knew that he never liked any of this. It was sad to watch the toll that it took on him. I wished I could help, but there was nothing I could do.
"What's taking him so long to come out," Jack motioned toward our boss's car.
"I am not sure," I shrugged.
"What do you think this is about? Kind of a secluded destination," Anthony pointed out.
"Again, I have no idea-,"
I was interrupted by the sound of a large black van pulling in from the highway. There were noticeably large bars that covered the tinted windows as if it were holding something they didn't want to escape. I had no idea what the van carried or why it was here. All I knew is that whatever was about to happen would be a huge game changer.
Suddenly our boss exited the SUV wearing his usual. A black wardrobe with his black mask to cover the lower half of his face. I couldn't read his expression to know if he were excited about whatever this was or not.
"Welcome! I have some great news for all of you!" He shouted.
He was definitely excited.
"We are adding a new part to our game. Let me introduce you to your new kidnapped!" He held his hand out toward the black van and froze with a wide smile.
The back of it opened and three very large individuals walked out. By large I don't mean fat. I mean these people were buff. There were two men and one woman all dressed in prison garment. The two men appeared to be the same height with buzzed heads. One of them had a scar that dragged all the way across his face. The other had tattoos that covered his entire body from what I could see. The woman had a darker skin complexion and long black wavy hair that ran to the mid of her back. Her left arm was covered in tattoos that ran all the way down to her wrist. She was a little taller than Bailey. Maybe a couple inches. However, she was a lot shorter when compared to the two other men. They had to be at least six feet tall.
"What is this about?" Jack asked.
"In one month, we are going to have a new challenge. The prison needed to get rid of some of their prisoners. I figured why not volunteer their lives for our entertainment?"
"Wait, we are going to use them too," I asked.
"Yes, Alex. You will each take an additional one home with you for further training."
I glanced over at Anthony and saw the color drain from his face. He was having a hard-enough time as it was just trying to maintain his current kidnapped. This one would be a lot bigger and stronger than Anthony himself. I was worried for him.
"Please introduce yourselves."
They all held hard faces as they glanced around at each other. No one had said a word and it was beginning to make my boss mad. He huffed impatiently as no one answered as soon as he wanted.
"I said introduce yourselves, god damn it!"
The one covered in tattoos spoke up. "They called me Echo at the prison."
"My name is Skip," The other replied.
"Trick," The woman spoke.
I looked back at our boss after they said their names. He was standing with a smug look of content with their answers. What was his plan?
"Alright everyone, you will have two people to watch for the next month. Make sure nothing too crazy happens."
"Dibs on the girl this time!" Jack shouted and raised his hand.
"No, Jack. Frankly, I don't trust you with one. Also, I would like the two women to remain together. That will make things less complicating. We will be receiving a few more prisoners before the arena, but they will have to get by with what they already know. I won't be wasting time having them sent to you three for only a few days."
I glanced over a Jack who was fuming after the answer he received. Part of me was laughing at the fact that he got denied his request, while the other was scared at what he would try next. Jack was never one to take no for an answer. He would keep trying to get to them and I knew it.
"Your rooms are currently being adjusted for the new kidnapped with you."
"Why now? What made you decide to add this part?" I asked. In the back of my mind I was thankful that I had locked Bailey up after all.
"Because, Alex, I am hoping that this proves to be good business. Imagine opening our arena to the public. Instead of the death penalty we can have this arena. The victims' families could watch them die and pay a good price for the justice."
I nodded my head. His plan did make sense. If we would use prisoners, did that mean that we wouldn't have to kidnap the innocent anymore? This could be a major game changer.
"Okay you three, take your kidnapped and head back to your rooms. Everything should be prepared by then."
I walked over to Trick before taking her arm and guiding her out to my car. She wasn't resisting me or attempting to escape like the other kidnapped. She was instead very calm and focused. I was pretty shocked since she had come from the prison.
I opened the passenger door and told her to get into the car. She obliged before I closed the door and walked onto my side. I sat down on my seat and noticed that she hadn't moved at all. She was staring out the window and looking around.
"See something interesting?"
"I am just relieved to be outside of those prison walls. It is nice out here."
I looked outside and agreed. I suppose that when you don't get the opportunity to see it every day, you begin to cherish the moments.
"Do you have any questions about what is going on?" I looked over at her.
She glanced at me and shook her head. "This is my only chance of getting out for good. I just need to know how to win."
I turned the car on and nodded. "I will do my best to make sure that happens."
"You…don't seem as mean as the others. Why?"
I smiled at her. "What good would that do? I want you and Bailey to win."
"Is Bailey the other girl?"
I nodded. "You are going to meet her soon. Hopefully you can both get along."
"Is she from a prison too?"
"No. Someone sent for her kidnap. I don't know who and I don't know why. Odds are we never will."
"That's unfortunate…" She trailed off as she watched outside.
I kept driving with a nagging thought in my head. Before I had time to really think about what I was asking, it blurted out. "Why were you in prison?"
She smiled. "That is a conversation for another time. What got you into the gig you are in now?"
I returned her smile. "That is a conversation for another time."
She rolled her eyes and then returned to looking back out of the window. The rest of the drive was quiet and uneventful. I was thankful for finally pulling into the parking lot because I was beginning to get really bored. This was a lot to take in and I wanted to give her, her space so that she had time to relax. I didn't want any lashing out. Although, she didn't seem like she was going to lash out at all.
"So, this is where we will be for the next couple months? A hotel?" She looked at me as she unbuckled.
I stepped out of the car and once again held onto her arm as we walked toward the back entrance. She made no attempt at struggling and followed without a word. I was beginning to like this whole prisoner idea because they didn't act out. I couldn't help, but wonder why. I knew I would get the answer to that eventually.
Once we got up to our room, I let Trick in and scanned the room for Bailey. I was excited to see her again. I knew that I shouldn't be, but I was. Not much had changed about the room, except for the identical cage that sat on the opposite end. Probably a good idea to keep them from scheming.
Bailey was sitting up in her cage and looking directly at the new stranger in the room. She had scooted to the back of it and held her knees to her chest. I could tell that she was confused by what was going on.
"Bailey, this is Trick. Trick, this is Bailey. You two are going to be roommates until the next arena," I spoke up.
"Why is she here?" Bailey asked, keeping her eyes on Trick as a caution.
"There has been a new addition to the game," I answered. "I will be training the both of you until the next arena."
"So, you are literally keeping us in a cage like dogs," Trick scoffed and crossed her arms.
"Rules are rules," I shrugged.
She glared at me before releasing her arms and nodding. "I have been in a cage for the last five years. It won't be much different now. Just a bit smaller…"
"Cage? Are you from the prison?"
"You betcha, Babe." Trick glanced over at Bailey and then smiled back at me. "She's a cutie. I'd keep my eyes on her if I were you."
I looked back at Bailey and saw her mouth drop wide open. I was shifting my eyes back and forth at the two of them, not really sure what to say. Every word that popped in my head did not make any sense. That was until Trick started laughing.
"Man, you are both so awkward! I am going to have fun these next few weeks."
I let out a deep sigh. Bailey's odds had just dropped significantly since they added at least three more. If more prisoners joined the arena then she would be in a lot more trouble. I would need to do my job and make sure that she was prepared.
"So, when do we start," Trick asked, breaking the silence.
"Considering we don't have long…I will work on a routine for the rest of the night. We start in the morning."
"What do we do until then," Trick asked.
"You guys will need to remain locked up until dinner. I will let you know when it is ready."
Trick nodded her head then moved toward the cage. Once she crawled in, I shut the door and locked it behind her. She quickly fell down on her back and closed her eyes. I sighed in relief. She was going to be one of the easiest kidnapped I ever had to manage.
I stood to my feet then looked over at Bailey who held a sad face. I felt bad because I could no longer favor her. I had to be fair to both Trick and Bailey. I mouthed "I am sorry" before turning away and taking a seat on the couch. I needed to make a game plan of what to do.
Trick would be easy to figure out a good workout routine since she wasn't injured. I had no idea what to do with Bailey's ankle. She wouldn't be able to do anything with her feet until she was better than she was now. The best idea I could come up with was researching it on the internet.
I pulled out my phone and began taking notes on what stretches and routines she should be doing for the next week. I would give her one more to recover before getting more aggressive with her training. For now, my attention would be on Trick and making her stronger.
The rest of the night I made sure to create the plan and make them dinner. I settled with a homemade grilled chicken salad to give them some more nutrients. I knew that I would need to also give them some vitamins for their diet eventually as well.
"That smells so good!" Trick shouted. "I haven't had good food in a long time!"
I laughed. "I wouldn't say it is good until you have had some. I am not the best cook."
"Is the chicken cooked all of the way through," Bailey asked.
I looked to her and smiled. "Yes, I made sure that it is."
"Then I would say that we are pretty safe."
I didn't know why, but the small compliment made me feel warm. I hadn't had that feeling in a very long time. I knew I shouldn't, but I paused to let it in and enjoy it for the brief moment. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath before opening them again and entering reality.
Quickly, I grabbed three plates and began dishing each one. Once they all had plenty of food, I set them down at the dining table and let the Kidnapped free. Trick was quick to move over to a seat while Bailey took her time, not allowing her injured foot to touch the ground.
"Do you need any help," Trick asked Bailey.
Bailey smiled at her. "No thank you. I have to do this on my own."
Trick smiled back before turning to her food and digging in. I waited for Bailey to sit down before grabbing a seat of my own. Bailey sat across from me while Trick sat on the right. She was too busy eating as fast as she could that she didn't notice the subtle looks Bailey and I were giving each other.
Bailey would be dead soon anyway. I could enjoy a little fun with her, couldn't I? Once she was gone, I could just move on and pretend like it never happened. Things with Jack and Anthony would go back to normal and we'd work on our next arena.
"So, have you come up with a plan?"
I glanced over to Trick and nodded my head. "I did."
Bailey's face drained of color with my answer. I couldn't help, but break a smile. "Trick will be doing more intense workouts to begin with. Bailey, you are going to mainly do stretching exercises to help with your ankle for the first week. The second week we will start doing workouts in the pool to help with the weight on your leg. I will still have you involved with arm related workouts, but anything leg won't be insane."
She sighed. "I never did like working out."
Trick laughed, "I can tell by how scrawny you are. In prison, if you don't work out, you get eaten alive."
Bailey's face turned red and she glanced down at her food. "How long were you in prison for?"
Trick looked up in thought before saying, "Five. It would be six in September."
She laughed at Bailey. "No. Years, Love."
"Wow…That must've been rough."
"You have no idea," She mumbled before the room got silent.
"Well…Finish eating and then we can get showers in and get ready for tomorrow."
"Will this shower actually have warm water," Trick's eyes lit up.
"Yes," I laughed. "As long as it doesn't take you very long to take one."
"You can go first," Bailey smiled. "It may take me longer with my leg."
"Sweet! I will head in now then!" She hopped up then ran into the bathroom before I had any time to react.
"She seems nice for someone who was in prison for that long," Bailey whispered.
I nodded. "Something does seem different about her."
"Did she tell you what happened?"
I shook my head. "She said another time."
"Oh. Well…I will start cleaning up the kitchen." Bailey stood to her feet and began grabbing all of the dishes.
"Here, let me help." I realized I had offered before I even had a chance to think about it. I had to make sure that I still kept my act up of holding her captive. "Once we are finished, you will need to get back into the cage until Trick is done."
She smiled at me and nodded. Her smile alone made my stomach feel uneasy. I was beginning to get used to the feeling. I knew that wasn't good because eventually I wouldn't see her any longer. She would be dead in a month and I would have to go back to living my life as a kidnapper.
Bailey and I finished cleaning the kitchen before she returned to the cage and I returned to the couch. I sat staring at the bathroom door, getting lost in thought. I jumped slightly when my phone began ringing in my pocket. I quickly pulled it up and stood to my feet. It was my boss.
"Good evening, Alex. We need to talk."
My breath hitched. "Yes, Sir. What can I help you with?"
"Look, Alex. We are going to be having investors watch our little game next month. I want everything to be on point. We need to make sure that nothing goes wrong. I also need everyone at the top of their game."
"Yes, Sir. What can I do to help?"
"Focus your training on the prisoner. Your injured Kidnapped is as good as dead and we both know it."
"Yes, Sir." I felt as though I had to flip a switch to hide my emotion.
"Good. Keep an eye on Jack and Anthony. I won't be in contact for the next couple weeks. I am going to be focusing my full attention on this next arena."
"What are the plans for the winners of this next arena?"
"We will have to figure that out with how the reactions are. I will keep you updated when I can. Good luck."
With that said, the phone went to a dead tone. I let out a deep sigh and sat back down. Why did this arena have to be the hardest one? Why did he have to choose this time to make a change? How long had he known that he was going to do this? Was he really going to keep me in the loop?
The bathroom door suddenly opened and Trick walked out with a towel around her waist. I could feel my face heat up. She had her arms crossed over her chest, holding everything in. That didn't hide what Bailey and I could both see. Her long black hair had droplets of water sliding down her body and hitting the floor beneath her.
She smirked at me. "Like what you see?"
I quickly looked away and saw a hint of jealousy from Bailey's face. "I uh…Where are your clothes?"
"I was hoping you had something different for me to wear. Long heavy-duty prison garment doesn't sound very comfortable for the next month."
"Right. Uhm…Well I don't have any clothes for you at the moment. Let me grab you a pair of my shorts and t-shirt."
I stood up then walked to my dresser and began searching for the articles of clothing. I settled with one of my solid black ones. I grabbed a matching t-shirt and handed them over. She nodded her thanks before turning around and returning to the bathroom.
"Alex, I am going to go to sleep. Is that okay," Bailey asked. Her tone seemed angry.
I nodded at her. "Goodnight."
She laid down and turned her back toward me. I was slightly bummed out that she would now be sleeping in the cage instead of in the bed next to me. It felt nice being normal. I stared at her for a couple more minutes before Trick exited the bathroom again.
"I feel so much better!" She shouted before covering her mouth when she saw the Bailey was asleep. "I am sorry."
"That's okay. You should probably get some sleep too. You are going to need it."
She nodded. "You know…I don't expect to live. I saw those guys at the meeting we had."
"I am going to teach you a lot more than just lifting weights. You will need to use your brain when you are in there. If you can do that, those meatheads won't have anything against you."
Trick smiled at that. "Did you really just call them meatheads?"
I laughed. "Yeah, I guess I did."
"Well…Thank you for this opportunity."
I paused. I had never had anyone thank me for being here. "Why are you saying that?"
She shrugged, "I was on death row. I only had a few more days left. This offer came up so I took it right away. It at least gives me a chance to fight for my life."
"I guess the arena does seem better if you look at it like that."
She smiled. "So, how long have you been doing this?"
"Since I can remember."
"Didn't you have a childhood?"
I shook my head. "You are looking at it."
"Wow," She crossed her arms and trailed off.
"That's okay. What is prison like?"
She laughed. "It certainly isn't like the movies. I honestly never saw myself becoming this."
"I know it doesn't seem like it, but I used to be very closed off and reserved. But…Then I met a guy and everything changed. He introduced me to drugs and then life is pretty much a blur."
"Do you still…you know, do drugs?"
"No. I met someone in the prison who helped me get away from that shit."
"How come they didn't volunteer themselves too?"
She paused for a moment before looking at the ground and letting out a sigh. "They were killed last month. I was in the shower and I wasn't there for them when the needed me."
"I am sorry."
She shrugged. "We were in prison. I promised her that I would get out one day and make myself into something."
"I hope that you can."
"Thanks," She smiled.
"Well…We had both better get to bed. We start training first thing tomorrow morning."
Trick nodded. "Do you think she really does have a chance of surviving? Those guys...I wouldn't wish that upon anyone."
I looked down at Bailey who was fast asleep in her cage. She had her back toward us and it was slowly rising and falling with her breathing. Her knees were pulled toward her chest so that she looked like a small ball beneath a thin blanket.
"These arenas are something else. She has already seen what this is like. That gives her somewhat of an advantage."
"I am not really sure what can give someone that big of an advantage…But okay." Trick's tone revealed that I was only hoping she lived. I didn't actually have any belief that she would.
"I have been doing my best to make sure she is comfortable before the end." I knew I had to admit that to myself. I couldn't actually have any real feelings for her. I just felt bad.
"Right, well I should probably get to bed. I will see you both in the morning."
Trick bent down into her cage and laid down on her back. Within minutes she was already passed out and snoring loud. I chuckled slightly to myself. I really did hope that she would make it to the next round as well. However, those odds weren't in our favor. She was right. The competition was extremely high. Especially with prisoners who had nothing to lose.
I locked her cage before I turned around then slumped down onto my bed. My body instantly felt relief as I sprawled out and stretched. I hadn't realized how much stress I had from the day. I let out a big sigh before rolling on my side so that my back faced them. It didn't take long for my eyes to close and sleep to take over.
Author's Note: Thank you so much for reading and I hope that you enjoyed!