This work is not suitable for readers under 18. This is a disclaimer: If you or someone you know is in a relationship like any of these, please get help, these are not healthy relationships and should not be used as a model. This is a story of a young woman developing Stockholm's Syndrome. Please read with discretion.

Trigger warning: This chapter contains nonconsensual sexual themes, and may be disturbing to some readers.

Chapter Seventeen

Rose had been startled by how easily Bellamy had shifted. One moment she was going to tell him her feelings, the next she was glad she hadn't. She had hoped he'd meant it when he told her he wasn't playing games, but she was shown different. He had been avoiding her for over a week, and she was trying to push the feelings she could no longer deny down, and contain them again, but every time he ignored her, or pulled further away, she felt it. She was beginning to spend more time alone, wandering the house, not sure what she was looking for.

She had been wandering aimlessly for a while, her lessons were over, and dinner wasn't soon. She had gone down the hall the twins quarters were on. The hall was wide with plush blue carpet, a stark contrast to the red and gold of the rest of the house. It was dimly lit, but she could see well enough to view the painting hung along the corridor. She was admiring one near the end, when she noticed a narrow arch and stairs beyond.

Rose felt a sudden wash of dejavu. She moved closer, then slowly began to climb the stairs. She was feeling a bit uneasy, but she pushed it away, her curiosity taking over. When she reached the top of the stairs, a heavy wooden door stood open. She took a small breath and stepped inside. She suddenly remembered being chased by Reese. Her eyes darted around the room.

"Honey?" Kade's voice asked, he sounded startled. "Why are you here?" He asked.

"I'm so sorry Kade, I…" she paused when he stood, remembering their last exchange in that room. Then she turned to run.

"Wait." Kade said, following her. "I was just leaving, I'll walk with you." He told her as he approached. She stood waiting.

"It was so dark last time, I didn't realize until I was here…" she looked up. Kade was smiling at her. "What?" She asked as she went down a few stairs, then turned to look up at him. He locked the door behind them, slipped the key into his pocket, and took her hand in his.

"I missed you." He told her.

"Oh." She said, surprised he'd even thought of her.

"You seem surprised." He told her as they moved down the stairs. "I've had plenty of time over the last three weeks to think about lots of things, but you were the only thought I could focus on, you were in my head when I woke, and you were still there when I'd pass out from exhaustion. With all that time to think, I realized I'd treated you abysmally."

"It's alright." Rose said, not sure where the conversation was going. Kade stopped her forward progress.

"It absolutely isn't." He told her as she turned to look up at him. He passed her on the stairs and stood below her so that they were eye level. She looked at him in confusion. "I was unkind to you, I hurt you, I pushed you away. I understand if you want nothing to do with me anymore." He told her, looking away.

"Were you trying to protect me?" She asked, as bit her bottom lip and tapped her chin nervously.

He looked into her eyes. She could see the pain he felt, and her heart ached for him. He had pushed her away, been cold to her, and ignored her; but he'd also been kind, helped her, and saved her life, more than once. She had been so wrapped up in her feelings for Damien and Bellamy she had taken Kade for granted.

"More than anything, I want to protect you. To keep you safe. Honey I would die for you." He said.

"I don't understand. I haven't done anything to deserve that. I've been a burden to you and your family. And frankly, you're right, I'm not special." She told him, tilting her head and giving him a worried look. "I'm glad you're back." She told him, then tried to move down the stairs. He stilled her.

"Honey, you are special, I've known from the moment I laid eyes on you. You have this glow. I don't know how to explain it, but you just radiate the most enticing aura of begging to be eaten, and entreating protection. You're dangerous." He said as he turned to lead her down the stairs. "You could tell Damien to kill us all, and we would be dead by tomorrow morning. I don't know if you understand what it means to have the loyalty of someone like us." He threw over his shoulder as they passed through the arch into the hall.

"I don't think Damien would do anything like that. Besides I don't want any of you dead." She gave him a brilliant smile and said, "I want you all to love me. I want us to be happy." She said with a pleasant laugh.

"That is also dangerous." Kade said, pulling her into his arms, gently. "Honey may I kiss you?" He asked. Her eyes went wide, none of them had ever asked her anything before. She nodded Dumbledore. "Say it." He said softly watching her face. Her cheeks flushed.

"You may kiss me." She said as she wet her lips lightly. She gasped softly when his mouth met hers. It wasn't forceful, or demanding, he pulled away and she stared at him. It hadn't at all been what she was expecting.

"That was the kiss… you wanted to give me? The one you've been thinking about for three weeks? That's the kiss you asked for?" She asked, holding back laughter.

Kade grinned at her. "No, clever witch. I didn't want to frighten you." He told her a look of astonishment crossing his features as she leaned up and kissed him with all the mixed emotions she'd been feeling, all the thoughts she'd been pushing down, and all the hurt she'd felt for almost a year. She kissed him hard, as he pulled her closer, and she kept kissing him, as she climbed up him, wrapping her body around his. He was suddenly overcome by the way she kissed him, she was all at once the ocean consuming him and the life raft he clung to. No one had ever kissed him the way she was.

Kade was so taken, he dropped to his knees, bringing her with him, he pressed her gently away from him, she was quivering and panting. Her eyes looked scared, at the release of emotion in her kiss. Kade pushed hair behind her ear. "Do you want to talk about it?" He asked her.

She bit her lip and slid from his lap to the floor. "I don't know what to say." She told him. "I'm sorry."

He took her wrist and pulled her close again. "I've told you to never be sorry with me. You smell really good." He told her swallowing hard, fighting his urge to bite her.

"Oh." She said softly, moving her hair over her shoulder. "You probably haven't fed in a while." She said as she offered him her neck.

He growled low in his throat, then buried his teeth in her, sucking hard with a soft groan. He had missed the taste of her blood, but it also felt good to hold her against him. She could calm the raging storm in his mind. He pulled away slowly, licking the blood from her neck. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, then bent and kissed her again. This time he didn't hold back. His mouth ravaged hers as he pressed her back, he kissed her with the fury, and the worry, and the fear he'd felt, he kissed her with the longing and pain as well.

She had been taken by surprise when he kissed her, but she was kissing him back. She moved to push his jacket off as she clung to him. She didn't know why but she didn't want him to leave again. She didn't want him to ignore her again. She suddenly wanted to have all of his attention. Kade broke away from kissing her, standing suddenly.

"Wait, Kade, please don't go." She cried as she took hold of his fingers. He looked down at her. There was clear distress in his features. "Please." She whispered.

"Honey, I can't." He told her, before shaking free and stalking up the hall. Rose took a deep breath and tried to gather herself. Kade had kissed her again, it was the kiss she'd expected the first time, or something like it, she couldn't say she had expected that. There was a fire between them.

When they weren't touching, she could think rationally. She knew that her feelings for Kade were misplaced desires for Bellamy. She wouldn't let herself believe they were anything else, but when he kissed her, she could think of nothing but having his undivided attention forever. It sparked a need within her, one that she didn't have with the others.

With Damien and Bellamy, their attention was intense and demanding. They both wished to possess her, because they wanted all of her attention. Kade made her feel the way she imagined Damien and Bellamy felt about her, when he kissed her. That made her uneasy. She was already torn between them, Bellamy was still refusing to look at her, because of their misunderstanding. Damien fluctuated between his love of her and his jealousy and she was never certain which side she would receive.

Kade had been rather constant. Cold and distant, yes, but always available when she needed him. He said he was trying to protect her, and it began to make sense that he would push her away. He had helped her through every crisis. She wondered if he'd treated Grace the same way, if so she understood how she had fallen in love with him. She had seen bits of his charm slip through, he was a gentleman first, and she had never felt anything if not safe with him. He had told her once that was by design. Sometimes she felt he was playing with her, it made her hesitant. She pushed her thoughts down and slowly climbed to her feet and moved down the hall the way she'd come.

She had been so caught up in thoughts of Kade she didn't notice until they touched her that the twins were beside her. She jumped, then sighed. They wrapped her between them as they walked.

"You're lost in thought." Ramsey said.

"Bellamy still ignoring you?" Roman asked.

"What? Oh…yes." She said softly.

"You know you can tell us anything." Roman said. "We can help with Bellamy."

"It's not Bellamy she was thinking of." Ramsey said knowingly. "Was it me?" He asked beside her ear.

Rose turned to him and giggled. "You only wish." She told Ramsey, before bumping her hip against his playfully. "No, Kade is home." She said after a while.

"Yes, he was supposed to be back yesterday, but his fiancee kept him a day longer to finish wedding arrangements." Roman told her.

Rose stopped in her tracks. "What?"

"Kade is engaged to one of father's business partners. They're getting married next spring." Ramsey said. "It's one of the reasons Kade has so much responsibility. Father trusts him to do what he's told."

"He even looks like he's happy with her." Roman's tone was impressed. "Father arranged it a little over a year ago."

"I had no idea." Rose said as she began to walk again. Roman and Ramsey continued to chatter beside her as they made their way to the dining room. Rose kissed Damien on her way to her place, Bellamy ignored her, as did Kade. She was suddenly uncomfortable sitting beside Kade. The way he'd kissed her came back to her all at once, but it was tempered by the twins words. His reaction was less confusing with the knowledge that he was engaged.

Dinner was quiet, Bellamy ate quickly and left early as had become his habit. Damien had an after dinner appointment, and the twins didn't linger. Rose hadn't seen Milo in over a week, and was afraid to check on him again after his last reaction to her intrusion. She shuddered remembering the way he'd screamed at her. She was supposed when Kade lingered.

He had pointedly ignored her through the meal, but when she stood to leave, he stopped her. "I have something for you." He told her, as he removed a small box from his jacket pocket. "I meant to give it to you before." He said, she could tell he was thinking of the kisses they'd shared.

Rose looked surprised, but took the box. It was robin's egg blue, tied with a white ribbon. She removed the ribbon gently, then delicately lifted the lid. She looked up at him, her mouth an o. Inside the box was a very intricately made, wooden rose. She lifted it from the box and was immediately awash in the sweetest fragrance of honey and gardenia. "What's this for?" She asked, clearly confused.

"I saw it in a shop, it reminded me of you." He told her. "I thought it might make you smile."

Rose held it on her palm for several seconds, trying to decide how to proceed forward. "Do you love her?" She finally asked.

Kade looked at her, shaking his head in confusion, a good natured smile on his handsome mouth. "Who?" He asked.

"Your fiancee." Rose asked. "Is she so easy to forget?"

"Oh." He said, taking the chair he'd just left. He took a deep breath and puffed out his cheeks as he blew it out. "Caroline is not what it appears. We are engaged." He told her. "Father is constructing a deal with her father, it began with me entertaining her at events, and has progressed into an engagement neither of us wanted. She plans to break the engagement before the end of the year, but she has to find a suitable replacement for me. She realized on my last visit that we were wholly unsuitable for one another. So this visit we began talking about how to get out of the arrangement and save face."

"But if she leaves you, how do you save face? Wouldn't your father be embarrassed that she left you for someone else?" Rose asked.

"No, she pursued me. I would gather sympathy." Kade explained. "I play my games very carefully."

"With me?"

"You are my king." He told her. "The most important piece on my board.""So it is a game." Rose said as she placed the wooden flower back in the box, and gently closed the lid. "That makes things easier." She told him as she stood. She smiled and kissed his cheek as she passed. "Thank you." She told him, then left through the kitchen. Kade was playing a game, she didn't have to worry anymore. As long as he was playing with her, his feelings and hers weren't real. As long as she remembered it was just a game, she could manage her emotions.

The next evening Rose got up early and went out to the stable. She was sure Bellamy would ignore her as he had before. She'd been staying away from the horses in the evening in hopes of avoiding him, but she was beginning to miss her early rides.

She was greeted at the door by excited whinnies and knickers as she came in. Misfit was the first to greet her, sticking his head out to bump her. He snorted into her hand when she rubbed his nose. She fed him a pear, then went down to see Iris. Sam was just coming out of Lily's stall.

"Oh, hello Ms. Honey, I haven't seen you in a few weeks." Sam said.

"Hi Sam." She smiled as Iris nudged her. "I've been riding early in the morning." She told him. "I've liked watching the sunrise lately." She told him. She also hadn't been leaving the paddock since she hadn't had a riding companion and didn't want to bother Damien.

"I'm sure it's pretty." He replied. "Do you need help saddling Iris?"

Rose hesitated. She hadn't had a decent ride in weeks thanks to Bellamy's fit. "Actually…" she said as she slid Iris' stall open. "Would you like to take a ride with me? I'm not really allowed to leave the paddock unaccompanied anymore, and Bellamy has been a bit busy being a jerk, so…would you mind? Being my riding companion?" Sam grinned at her.

"I'd love to." He told her.

Once the horses were saddled they headed out toward the river. Rose hadn't been on a real ride since she broke her collarbone. She was a little bit nervous, but she was more excited to be out. They rode for a while in companionable silence, until they crossed the river.

"So how'd you end up here?" Sam asked, catching Rose off guard.

"What do you mean?" She asked.

"Well, you don't look anything like any of the guys that live here, so I figured you aren't related, especially after the way Elios was all over you that day in the stable."

"Oh, the Elios family is fostering me for the state, at least until next month, when I turn eighteen. Then, I don't know what will happen." She said.

Sam creased his eyes at her. "Eighteen? You look like a child. I thought you were twelve." He said, shocked.

"Twelve?!" She cried, starling Iris. Rose patted her neck to calm her as she pranced slightly.

"Ok maybe not twelve, but not an adult." He said.

"How old are you?" She asked defensively.

"I turned twenty last month." He laughed.

"That's not much older than me." She complained. "Twelve?" She asked again. "I guess I'll appreciate it when I'm older." She sighed.

They went back to riding quietly. "Are you…" Sam hesitated. He was curious about the girl who could tame Apache the Hell Horse as he'd dubbed him, and even more curious about his employers. "Are you seeing anyone?" He finally asked.

"Seeing anyone?" She repeated.

"Yeah, like dating? Are you in a relationship?" He asked.

"Oh, well sort of. It's a bit complicated."

"With Bellamy?" He asked.

"No, well yes, but we're not," she sighed. "It's complicated." She told him. "What about you?" She asked.

"I have a few ladies I see now and then, but nothing steady. I work too much for a real relationship I think." He told her.

"I think it's all overrated." Rose sighed as they turned the horses back toward the stable. The sun was setting as they reached the paddock and the stable beyond. Rose was telling Sam that she could handle Iris when Bellamy grabbed onto her reins and her waist and pulled her off of her horse.

She cried out, kicking and fighting as he shoved her against the wall of the stable. "Sam take Iris in, take care of the horses, then you can go for the day." Bellamy ordered.

He took Iris' reins, giving Rose a steady look. "Are you alright Ms. Honey?" He asked her.

"She's fine." Bellamy answered.

"I didn't ask you." Sam spit at Bellamy. Rose watched Bellamy's fist clench.

"I'm fine Sam." Rose said, calming enough to wrap her hand around Bellamy's wrist. "Bellamy won't hurt me." She said looking up into his eyes, pleading. "Will you?"

"She's fine." He said again. Sam nodded and took the horses into the stable. "Where the hell were you?" He exploded the moment Sam was gone.

Rose shoved Bellamy away, and pushed past him. "What do you care?" She asked.

"Hey, come back here!" He demanded as she stalked away.

"No. You don't get to be a jerk to me because I love your brother." She told him. He grabbed her arm hard, jerking her back. She cried out as his fingers dug viciously into her arm. "Let me go, you're hurting me." She cried.

He pulled her against his. "I said come back." He growled. "I haven't used force with you in a while, so maybe you've forgotten who I really am." Rose was hit by the memory of him biting her to hurt her and her eyes went wide with fear. "You chose Damien, so why bother wooing you?" He asked. "I will take what I want." He told her as he pulled her hair, his hand wrapping around her wrists, forcing her against him. She began to struggle, trying to pull away.

"Please Bellamy, stop. You don't understand." She whimpered as he brutality buried his fangs in her shoulder. She sobbed as he drew her blood into his mouth. She knew he was trying to hurt her. She was afraid to move while he fed, but she was fighting every instinct that said run. She dropped to her knees when he let her go. She crawled to her feet, as she tried to put distance between them. She reached the end of the paddock before he caught her.

Bellamy took hold of her hair and shoved her back to her knees. "I can make you do anything I like, Honey." He told her as she looked up at him defiantly. "What were you doing out with the stable boy?" Bellamy demanded his grip on her hair tightening. She turned her eyes away from him refusing to answer. "Really?" He asked, shaking her hard. She cried out reaching up to claw at his wrist. He dragged her to her feet and shoved her against the railing of the paddock, releasing her hair, to take her wrist in one hand. "If you don't tell me, I might make my own assumptions." He told her as he took the button of her jeans in hand, his knee and body pinning her.

"Stop." She gasped against him as he pulled open the button. She began to fight against him, her eyes were wild with fear as he forced his hand into her jeans. "Stop, please stop." She begged. "Nothing, we were doing nothing." She sobbed as Bellamy's hand met the bare skin between her legs. "Please. Let me go!" She sobbed.

"You seem to have forgotten that fighting me would be seen as an invitation." He whispered against her ear. She looked up at him, the wild-eyed fear was back, he could see her fighting down her desire to struggle and fight him. He gave her an evil grin and removed his hand from her. "Don't worry princess, I haven't lost interest, it's just changed." He said as he stepped away from her, then was gone.

Rose slid down the railing to the ground, crying. She was so shocked by the way Bellamy had treated her, it was like he had reverted to the way he had been when she first arrived. She was startled when she heard rustling behind her. When she looked up Sam was coming toward her. She jumped up, fastening her jeans quickly and wiping her face. She was grateful for the dark, but she could see well enough to tell it was Sam, she knew he'd be able to see the state she was in when he got close enough.

"I'm about to leave, I didn't see you come in, I wanted to make sure you were okay." He told her, stopping when he saw the dirt and the blood on her. He then moved toward her quickly, taking hold of her and dragging her into the light of the stable. "Jesus Christ." He cried when he saw the punctures in her shoulder. Reaching to touch them.

She flinched. "Please, don't." She said looking away. Sam stopped.

"Did he do this to you?" Sam asked.

"I fell into a couple of nails in the stable wall." She hated lying. "Bellamy can be a bit rough around the edges. He didn't mean to hurt me." She said.

"That doesn't excuse that he did." Sam said, leading her to the tack room and the first aid kit. "You'll need a tetanus shot." He told her, as he gently pushed her down on a bench, before going to get the first aid kit.

"I had one recently." She assured as he returned to clean the wounds on her shoulder.

"You don't have to stay here." Sam said as he bandaged her injury.

"I chose this Sam. I have no intention of leaving. This is a game. I'll be fine." She told him as she stood. "Thank you Sam." She said, then left him standing in the tack room confused, his eyes following her out. He felt like she was in trouble, but he didn't know what to do to help her.

Rose went into the house, she was late for breakfast. Damien looked up when she came in. "There you are." He said when she took her place beside him. Her hair was disheveled and she looked like she'd been drug through the dirt, he also noticed the bandage on her shoulder and the bruises on her arm. "What happened to you?"

She looked across the table where Bellamy sat pointedly ignoring her. "Bellamy and I seem to have had a misunderstanding." She said, before she turned her gaze to Damien.

"What sort of misunderstanding?" Damien asked looking at Bellamy.

"She was out riding with the stable hand." Bellamy said bluntly. "I may have made an accusation without any proof."

"I see." Damien said. "Rose?"

"I was reminded we're still playing a game." She said with a smile that didn't touch her eyes. "I'm not hungry." She said softly, then rose and moved to leave. Bellamy followed after her. He caught her in the hall, pulling her away from the dining room, before stopping her.

"We're not playing games. You're playing games. Dangerous ones." Bellamy growled.

"If you believe that you're an idiot." She said, jerking away from him. He grabbed her. "You're hurting me." She growled, she was becoming angry.

"Good, I want to hurt you." He said shoving her backward until her back was pressed against the wall. "I was willing to change who I am for you. All you had to do was love me." He told her as he forced her hand above her head. He was so much larger than she, it was an easy task to overpower her. "But instead you picked Damien. So now I can be myself, I'll just take what I want, when I want it." He told her, before forcing his mouth against hers, invading her mouth with his tongue.

She whimpered when he bit her tongue and lip, then continued to kiss her with force. She was shaking, as she fought down her fear and the urge to struggle. His free hand ran up and down her body as he forced his kisses onto her mouth. He broke away from her, she was panting.

"Please Bellamy, you don't understand." She whispered, as he moved to wrap his hand around her throat.

"I understand that if I can't have your love, I'll take your fear." He said as he squeezed her throat hard. Her eyes went wide as she gasped for breath, then began kicking and struggling. "You really like to provoke me. I know you want me as your first, but I didn't think you'd be so forward." He told her as he released her throat and dragged her further down the hall, and toward the solarium.

"Please Bellamy, don't." She cried as he shoved her into the solarium. She fell forward onto her knees. "Please." She begged as he grabbed her by the hair, looking down into her terrified eyes. He pulled her up and then shoved her down on the sofa, coming down on top of her.

"You're really giving me mixed signals princess." He told her as he pinned her hands between them, and wrapped his hand around her throat again. She began to struggle, she could feel his excitement, but she couldn't calm herself down.

"Please," she gasped as things got fuzzy. He let her throat go as he watched her eyes, then he moved to unbutton her jeans.

"Since you asked so nicely." He whispered as he moved to pull them down.

She turned her face away from him as she cried. "Please don't do this." She sobbed. "I thought I loved you," she was shaking. "But you're just a monster like Reese." She was crying so hard she didn't know what she was saying. "I didn't want to play these games with you. I just wanted to love you."

Bellamy froze in place. He was so twisted up in his anger and jealousy, her words didn't mean anything at first. He sat on top of her, staring down at her, seeing her for the first time in weeks. She looked suddenly so small and childlike. Her hair was a mess, she carried both bites and bruises, both his fault. There was dirt on her face and her eyes were red from crying, her throat red from his hand. He moved off of her, then was gone.

She pulled her jeans back up and went to her room. She took a long hot shower, then flopped on her bed. She hadn't meant to sleep, but she was so tired from her emotional roller coaster she passed out pulled her jeans back up and went to her room. She took a long hot shower, then flopped on her bed. She hadn't meant to sleep, but she was so tired from her emotional roller coaster she passed out cold.

Bellamy stalked away from Rose. He was so stupid, he didn't understand why he couldn't control himself. He loved Rose, he knew he did, but if she didn't love him back, he couldn't let himself be vulnerable. So when she'd admitted she was in love with Damien, his heart had been broken. Shattered.

He still felt like he'd lost his equilibrium. She had never lied to him before, but a part of him didn't trust her words. She had been afraid of him, she would have said anything to make him stop. That thought stopped him. He loved her so much and yet he'd intentionally frightened her into a panic. He didn't understand how he could feel so strongly about protecting her and still want to rip her apart and take everything from her at the same time. He knew that felt toxic and yet he still wanted her.

She told him she had loved him,if he believed her, which he wasn't certain he did, he cringed to think that now she didn't. He was sorry to think that he had caused the damage to make her stop. He had felt rejected and hopeless, and had lashed out because he didn't know how else to get her attention. If she couldn't love him, he wanted to hate her, or at least make her think he did, it was easier to play games with someone you hate, but he didn't really want that.

He didn't understand love, he'd never loved anyone before. Everything he had done up to that point had been out of fondness or necessity. He'd never cared if anyone loved him, but the way she smiled at him made the darkness more bearable. Her kisses set him on fire. Her kindness made him consider his own. She had changed him, just by being near to him. He began to realize how badly he'd behaved, and the error was more evident than ever when Rose began avoiding him.

He had been desperately trying to work out how to fix the problem when Kade presented him with the perfect opportunity. Kade had been planning a big surprise party for Rose's eighteenth birthday, but they would need time to get the house prepared. Bellamy volunteered to get her away from the house.