This story will feature scenes that may not be suitable to some. Rape, abuse, and other similar topics will be discussed. There will not be future warnings unless graphic content is posted. This story is rated M for mature. 18+ only.


Owen paced the length of the room, his arms crossed over his chest. His face was curled into a scowl and his eyebrows were scrunched together above his eyes. He'd been like that for half an hour.

He'd go from the wall by the front door to the wall with the window and the fake plant. He passed by the tv like he was trying to block it from sight.

He was mumbling to himself when the doorbell rang.

"Finally!" He said in a relieved tone of voice. He all but ran to the door, opening it in a swift motion. "I'm glad you're here. What took you so long?"

The person at the door was shielded from view and I couldn't hear what he was saying but I could tell he was talking. He had a deep voice, one that I pictured lumberjacks having.

Owen turned his glare on me and I struggled to keep eye contact. "Darren's taking you with him. You can take one thing with you. The rest stays."

I had a ratty teddy bear in my hand that barely meant anything to me. I gripped it tighter in my grasp.

I didn't understand why he would keep all the other toys he had around the house. He had no other little girl, no one else to give them to. I didn't think he had intentions of getting another and I hoped, prayed, he wasn't going to.

He gestured to the hidden figure at the door. "Come on. Don't keep me waiting."

Waiting on what? I wanted to roll my eyes but I was afraid of what he'd do to me if I did.

I got up from the couch and walked over, keeping a foot of distance from him. I looked at the man standing on the porch. He was tall, almost twice my height. He had a full head of brown, curly hair and a beard. He wore just a black t-shirt and jeans. His hands were in his back pockets like this was a casual exchange.

"Thanks for taking her. I'd say bring her back if she's a problem but I don't want her back."

I was watching Darren's face when Owen spoke and Darren's eyebrow raised. His eyes were on Owen. I was expecting Darren to say something to Owen. But he kept his mouth shut and his expression lightened.

"It's no problem at all." He looked at me and the corners of his mouth lifted. "You ready to go?"

I nodded.

He held out his hand for me to take. I stared at it, my hands starting to shake. I knew that if I took his hand, I'd get away from Owen. I'd be safe. Well... safer than I was with him.

I took his hand and followed him down the sidewalk.

"Do you want to say goodbye?" He asked, pulling a set of keys from his pocket.

"No." I said, my voice coming out cold and harsh.

He nodded and unlocked the driver's side door of a beat up pick up truck. "The passenger door is busted up so it doesn't open. You'll have to climb through."

I took a deep breath before crawling over to the other side of the truck. I pulled my knees to my chest and stared out the windshield. I wanted to get out of that place so badly I was willing to do just about anything.

Darren got in and shut the door behind him. He started the truck up and soft music started playing. Not what I would have expected from him. He glanced at me for a moment before he pulled out onto the road and started driving.

When we were out of sight of the house, I glanced at the crank for the window. "Can I put the window down?"

Darren looked at me before he looked back at the road. "Sure."

I rolled the window down then threw the bear out the window. Then I closed the window back up.

The space was quiet for a long time. Neither of us said anything. Only the radio filled the silence.

Darren stopped the truck outside of a two-story brick house. The front yard was small with two trees on either side of the sidewalk. The front porch was small, just big enough for someone to unlock the door and go inside. It looked like the backyard was fenced in but I couldn't tell.

He cut the engine but didn't get out. He stared at the steering wheel in silence.

I stayed silent as well.

After a few minutes, he turned the radio off. "Do you want to talk about the bear?"

"It was a stupid bear." I whispered.

"You could have brought something else. I wouldn't have minded-"

"I don't want to be reminded of him."

He got quite again and I was afraid I'd said the wrong thing. They'd been friends. Or... something like that. What if Darren got mad at me and...

"I'm sorry." I whispered, tears filling my eyes.

"What are you sorry for?"

"I shouldn't have said what I did."

"No, you can tell me whatever you want. Be honest with me... What's your name?"

I hesitated. "Aly."

"You don't have to hide anything from me, Aly." He reached out and brushed his hand against mine. I pulled back, my heart pounding in my chest.

Darren glanced at my hand before he pulled the keys from the ignition and opened the door. He got out then stood behind the door.

I waited a few seconds before I got out, my hands balled into fists at my sides.

"I hope you're hungry. I haven't eaten at all today and I'm starved."

I followed him up the sidewalk, glancing at the houses beside his. It was a nice, quite neighborhood. The lawns were well taken care of and the cars looked nice. All but Darren's.

He unlocked the front door then headed inside, leaving me on the porch alone. I could have easily ran away or wired the truck and driven away or gone to one of the other houses and begged for help. But Darren wasn't Owen and I had nothing to be afraid of.

That I was aware of.

I walked inside and shut the door behind me. The kitchen was to the left, a bar separating it from the living room in front of me. There was a sectional facing a tv. A bookshelf was beside it with books, movies, and records of all genres and decades. The floor was a light blue carpet. It looked well kept. Homey.

Darren set a few bowls on the bar then popped the tops off of two bottles of root beer. "Come eat. There's plenty here."

I walked over and sat on one of the stools.

He had all sorts of food laid out: pasta salad, small cuts of ham, pineapple, and even a homemade loaf of bread.

"Do you want a different cup?" He asked, setting a plastic plate in front of me.

I nodded and took a piece of the bread.

He walked over to one of the cabinets and my eyes widened. It was stacked full of sippy cups. He grabbed a pink one from the second row and brought it over. He poured the soda into the cup then screwed the lid on. "I'm not one of those people that worry about sugar. So don't worry about asking for sweets."

I stared at the cup for a few seconds before I nodded.

He moved the second stool around to the other side and filled his plate up. "How long were you with Owen?"

I ripped the crust off the bread then took a bite. "I don't want to talk about it."

Darren nodded. "Okay. We can talk about something else. How old are you?"


He paused and I could feel his eyes on me. "How long have you been 18?"

I shrugged. "Two, three months? I don't remember."

"I shouldn't be surprised. Not with Owen at least." He mumbled, taking a sip of his soda.

"Has he done this before?" I didn't mean to pry but I really wanted to know.

"Unfortunately. I think her name was Jane. She was fifteen when he got her."

I finished off the bread then took another piece.

"You can have more than bread. There's plenty of food if that's what you're worried about."

I shook my head.

"If you're ever hungry, just let me know. I want you to be comfortable here."

I took a bite of my bread so I didn't have to say anything more.

We ate the rest of our meal in silence.