I hate to give away major spoilers in my stories, but I feel like I need to give a trigger warning for this chapter. So I've put it in bold at the very bottom right before my "author's note". That way if you would like to see the trigger warning just scroll all the way down to the bottom of the chapter to see it before reading, but if you don't need one then nothing will be spoiled for you.

I apologize in advance for the amount of angst in this chapter, but I promise it is well worth it.

Hope you enjoy. ;)

I wake up slowly, gradually becoming aware of how warm and comfortable I am. I'm surrounded by Blake's scent, his arms still holding me tight against his chest. The way I'm feeling reminds me of all the dreams I've had over the past two years. Dreams that made me miss him so much. Dreams that made my heart ache to be close to him again. Dreams that made me feel exactly how I'm feeling right now. This has to be a dream, it feels so good. Too good to be real…

I slowly open my eyes and blink up at him, amazed by the fact that this isn't a dream. It's really real. Blake is here, still holding me protectively in his strong arms. The den is still dark and quiet, the only light being a lamp near the far end of the couch we're sitting on. The soft glow illuminates Blake's face and I see that his eyes are closed, his head leaned back on the couch some. My lips pull up at the corners into a small smile, the thought that he looks cute when he sleeps bubbling up into my drowsy mind.

I sigh softly and lean my head against his chest, enjoying the feeling of his warmth, listening to his steady heartbeat underneath my ear. His defined chest rises and falls slowly, breathing deeply in his sleep. I hesitantly reach up and slide my hand across his muscles under his shirt, amazed at the feeling of his strength. He's always seemed so strong and sure of himself… I'm so glad he's here to protect me now.

He breathes in deeper suddenly and shifts slightly, my gentle touch waking him. He swallows hard before his eyes blink open to look down at me. He smiles and his arms tighten around me before he sighs softly; he seems happy to see me still in his arms too. He reaches up to cover my hand on his chest with his bigger hand and he links our fingers together comfortingly. I find myself thinking of how perfectly they fit together, like puzzle pieces. So much better than how Reece's big hand always seemed to overtake mine…

"You okay?" He asks softly, gently stroking his thumb over my knuckles.

I nod in response, not wanting to break the perfect silence around us with my voice. I'm more than okay. This is the best feeling in the world.

"I must have dozed off for a minute," he says with a soft chuckle, leaning his head against mine. "It feels so fucking good to hold you again," he murmurs.

I smile at his words and nod in agreement, feeling the same way. It feels so fucking good to be in his arms again…

"Guess they'll be here soon, huh?" He asks, keeping his voice low and gentle.

"Um, y-yeah, I guess," I whisper. "I-I could call them to see how much longer, if you want me to," I offer quietly.

"Only if you want to," he tells me. "I don't mind waiting if you don't."

I press my lips together in thought before answering.

"I-I don't mind either… I kind of like this. Just, um, sitting here and you holding me… I-I like it a lot, actually," I mumble hesitantly, feeling so strange being able to tell him my true feelings for the first time.

Blake smiles and lets out a soft noise that sounds like a quiet chuckle. He's looking down at me with that look he always used to give me two years ago when he would tell me I was being cute. The memory of that expression and seeing it again sends a rush of excitement and happiness through me. The fact that he still looks at me like this makes me feel so good. He still likes me. He really does.

We stare at each other for a moment, gazing into each other's eyes. The blue depths of Blake's irises have a sultry spark in them that makes me shiver. He suddenly leans closer and presses his mouth against mine in a gentle, but firm kiss. I whimper in satisfaction and quickly reach up to wrap my arms around his neck, pulling myself even closer to him. Fuck, I love his kisses. They make me feel so-

"Looks like my little whore is finally awake."

His drawling voice coming from the darkness on the other side of room makes us both jump and quickly pull away from the kiss.

"Shit!" Blake hisses, his arms tightening around me even as I try to move away from him.

My heart is in my throat as I quickly scramble out of Blake's lap onto the couch beside him. For a few terrifying seconds I feel like I can't breathe as I turn to look across the room to see the monster sitting in the shadows. My voice feels like it's caught somewhere in my chest, but I finally manage to speak.

"Reece!" I squeak out, staring at him with wide eyes, my head reeling in disbelief.

No! No, this has to be a nightmare! He's not here. It's just my mind playing a cruel trick on me. He's still out of town. And I'm still asleep in Blake's arms. I'll wake up at any second feeling terrified, my heart beating wildly in my chest, and Blake will soothe me and tell me everything is alright, that it was just a bad dream…

But deep down I know this isn't a dream. It's real. And I know we're both totally fucked now.

"You know, Skylar," Reece begins, slowly standing up from the lounge chair he had been sitting in. "I really didn't think you could find a way to piss me off more than you did the last time I found you with this bastard, at the mall…" He says, taking a few slow steps towards where we're sitting, moving more into the light of the lamp so that I can clearly see his dark, shadowed glare. "But, you always manage to surprise me… Don't you, baby?" He finishes, stopping a few feet away from us.

I stay frozen on the couch, continuing to stare up at him with wide eyes. I can vaguely feel Blake's hand grab mine, his fingers linking with mine in a tight, protective grip underneath the blanket that's still tangled around my lower half and legs. I have the immediate urge to pull away from him, foolishly feeling the need to distance myself in a chance to make Reece happy in some way… But I don't pull away. I need to feel Blake touching me, to know that he's here and not planning on abandoning me to the deranged man standing in front of us. I need his reassurance more than I feel the need to please Reece right now.

Reece's steady gaze is leveled on both of us, his eyes moving from me to Blake, then back to settle on me. I'm trembling in fear and I know that Reece sees it, and that he's relishing the fact that he scares me so much, but I can't stop. I'm so fucking scared about what's going to happen now.

"Re-Reece… Y-you're n-not… You're supposed t-to be- You-you were out of t-town," I stammer out, my shaking getting so bad that my teeth are almost chattering.

"I was." Reece replies, his voice calm and controlled, like always. "Until I got the alert on my phone from the alarm system that the front door opened," he says, reaching his hand into his pants pocket to pull out his cell. "Imagine my surprise when I saw that it wasn't Dr. Carmin and Sam at the door, but someone else..."

He glances down at his phone and quickly taps it a few times, the glow eerily illuminating his face in the darkness. When he finds what he was looking for he turns the device in our direction to show us a screenshot of a surveillance video. Mine and Blake's images are on the front porch, standing close to each other, captured on the screen in the grayish, black and white color of the night vision. He swipes the picture to the left and another picture appears on the screen, this one in color, an image of me and Blake standing in the kitchen, sharing the deep, passionate kiss that I enjoyed so much…

My wide eyes are glued to Reece's phone and I swallow hard, suddenly feeling sick to my stomach. A cold sweat breaks out across my skin and it takes all of my self control to stop myself from throwing up on the floor.

"C-cameras…" I whisper weakly, feeling as if all of the air has been knocked out of my lungs.

"What? You don't remember when I installed these last year in spring, sweetheart? Inside and outside the house?" Reece asks mockingly, that trademark smirk pulling at the corner of his lips. "It was after the second or third time you threatened to kill yourself. I wanted to make sure I could keep an eye on you at all times… But I guess you were probably too doped up to remember it around that time, weren't you? I am really surprised that you never noticed them before now, but it's definitely worked out in my favor," he comments cruelly. "You didn't really think I would leave you home all alone, with no supervision? Did you, Skylar?" He asks coolly, tucking his phone back into his pocket.

I'm staring blankly at the spot in the air where Reece's phone was seconds ago, my thoughts feeling so sluggish and disjointed that it's making my head ache. Cameras… How the fuck have I never noticed cameras installed around the house!? Am I really that oblivious to my surroundings? Or did he hide them so I wouldn't see them…? Fuck, I don't feel right. I think I might be going into shock.

"D-Dr. Carmin… S-Sam… Th-they'll be here soon," I whisper, wondering if I'm saying this more to remind Reece or if I'm saying it to reassure myself that he can't actually hurt us if he doesn't want to get caught red handed.

"Not anymore," Reece replies smoothly, taking a few more slow steps towards the couch as he speaks. "I called him as soon as I turned the car around, after I saw it wasn't them at the door. Told him that the meeting had been canceled due to my customer having an unexpected emergency. I told the representative of the company I was supposed to be meeting that I had to cancel for the same reason. An 'unexpected emergency'… I let Dr. Carmin know that I had already talked to you and that you would be fine for another hour until I could make it back home, so he didn't need to pick you up anymore. And I told him we would figure everything out about your meds later, so he won't be expecting to hear from us tomorrow…" Reece stops again, only a couple steps away from us this time. "It's just the three of us now, Skylar. With plenty of time to deal with the little problem we have here."

I realize I'm shaking my head slowly, numbly. In denial? In disbelief? I'm not sure… I just know this is bad. So fucking bad.

"N-no…" I whimper weakly, unable to think of anything else to say.

Blake's hand tightens around mine, trying to comfort me without Reece noticing, even though I'm sure he does; he notices everything. Blake hasn't said anything yet, his eyes staying focused on Reece the whole time we were talking, watching his every move with a glare shadowing his features, but he speaks up now that Reece and I have fallen silent.

"So what are you planning on doing to us?" He demands, his voice staying just as calm and even as Reece's. I feel a brief flutter of amazement and admiration that he can be so brave while staring into the face of a monster.

Reece chuckles softly and smirks, the sight and sound making me shiver. He tilts his head to the side slightly, seeming amused by Blake's words.

"Whatever I want," he replies with an uncaring shrug. "Whatever will teach my little wayward bitch here a better lesson," he says, his scary gaze landing back on me.

His words make me feel cold and I feel the color drain from my face, just imagining what's about to happen to me making me feel sick again.

"You're not going to fucking touch him," Blake snarls, continuing to glare up at Reece as his hand tightens around mine. "I won't let you."

Reece laughs suddenly, the loud, abrupt noise breaking the silence of the room making me jump.

"Oh really?" He says, the laughter still in his voice. "What are you going to do to stop me, Blake?" He asks mockingly.

Blake hesitates answering immediately, the faintest trace of nervousness passing over his eyes when I glance up to watch him. He swallows hard while he's thinking, but in the next second it seems like he decides what he wants to do.

He's suddenly standing up, pulling me to my feet with him, making my head swim even more than it already was. I wobble unsteadily and feel like I'm about to fall, but Blake quickly slips his arm around my waist to hold me close against his side.

"We're leaving." Blake says firmly, his arm tightening around me protectively. "I'm getting him the fuck out of here and away from you."

He moves to take a step towards the doorway, attempting to lead me forward, but then Reece speaks again.

"I don't believe I said you could get up," he says as he reaches into his back pocket.

What he pulls out makes Blake and I both freeze.

"Fuck!" Blake hisses, his arm tightening around me even more while I gasp loudly in fear.

We stare down the barrel of the handgun pointed at us, Reece's steady gaze slowly moving back and forth between our faces.

"Re-Reece… Pl-please…" I whisper, barely even making a sound.

"Please what, baby?" He asks darkly, a strange tone in his voice.

I'm shaking my head again, barely even moving in terror of what he's about to do with that thing. I can remember when he threatened me with that exact gun in the motel room, the morning after he took me. It's been over two years, but I still remember the fear I felt having it pressed against my head. I remember what it tasted like when he shoved it between my teeth into my mouth. The memory of the sharp metallic taste makes me want to gag.

"Reece… Pl-please don't do this…" I croak out weakly, tearing my wide eyes off the gun to look up at his face pleadingly.

Reece glances at me, but he ignores my plea, his gaze focusing on Blake instead, which makes me feel even more cold.

"Let go of Skylar, Blake," Reece demands, keeping the gun leveled on him.

Blake hesitates for a second, glancing down at me with a slightly regretful look on his face, but he finally releases me like he was told and takes a small step away from me with his hands held out slightly in a gesture of surrender. I immediately wrap my arms around myself for comfort, suddenly feeling so alone even though I'm still standing right next to him.

"Good. Now, come here, Skylar," Reece orders, nodding his head towards the spot beside him.

I glance up at Blake briefly, feeling terrible for leaving his side, but quickly turn my attention back to Reece. I stare up at him for a second in trepidation, wondering what the hell is about to happen, but I don't hesitate too long, terrified of what he might do if I don't do what he told me to do. I quickly skirt around the coffee table to get closer to him, hesitantly limping over to stand beside him. But apparently I wasn't moving fast enough to Reece's liking because he quickly reaches out and grabs my arm in a tight grip before yanking me closer to stand right next to him.

I see Blake shift slightly out of the corner of my eye when Reece grabs me, but luckily he doesn't make any move to stop him, still staring down the barrel of the gun that's pointed at him with a glare on his face.

"What the hell are you planning on doing? You going to shoot me?" Blake speaks up again bravely, bringing Reece's attention away from me for a moment. "Do you actually think you're going to get away with this?" He asks.

Reece chuckles again darkly.

"I don't 'think', Blake. I know…" He replies threateningly. "Who's fucking house are you in?" He asks in an almost taunting manner.

Blake looks like he's about to say something else, but then abruptly closes his mouth and I see him swallow hard, Reece's question seeming to bother him.

Reece chuckles and glances down at me before addressing Blake once again.

"Exactly… Now sit back down," he orders, gesturing towards the couch with the gun.

Blake hesitates for a second, glancing at me briefly, but then he slowly lowers himself down to sit on the edge of the cushions, a murderous glare darkening his features as he continues to watch Reece.

"Good," Reece says coolly. "Now you stay right there on the couch and don't fucking move, unless you want me to hurt your precious little fuck-toy more than I'm already thinking about doing," he threatens lowly, his cruel words making me flinch.

Out of the corner of my eye I see Blake tense from what Reece said, his jaw clenching tighter than it already was and his hands curling into fists where they're resting on his thighs.

Reece pauses, watching Blake with the gun still leveled on him for a few seconds, but when Blake doesn't make any move to get up he finally lowers his arm some, still keeping the pistol pointed in Blake's direction, just not directly at him now, which makes me relax a little.

Reece turns his attention back to me now, pulling me even closer to stand in front of him so that he's still got Blake in his line of vision, but can address me at the same time. He gazes down at me for a moment, studying my eyes with an odd look on his face before he finally speaks.

"I can't fucking believe you," he murmurs, the expression in his eyes making me swallow hard as a sudden, unexpected wave of guilt washes over me. "After everything I've done for you during the past two years… All the time and effort I put into this relationship, all the money I spent, all the fucking sacrifices I made to keep you happy and comfortable… You just throw it all back in my face as soon as your little ex-boyfriend shows up on the doorstep. My doorstep…" He snarls, giving me a rough shake for emphasis. "After all of this, after I built this perfect life for you and did every possible thing I could to show you how much I love you… You're just going to ruin everything by running off with this bastard- who literally threw you away when you were at your lowest- just because he apologized and kissed you?" He asks, gesturing to Blake with the gun in his hand.

Reece's words seem to make my guilt double and I shake my head weakly with tears in my eyes.

"N-no, I-I wasn't…" I whisper, wondering what I could possibly say to make him realize that's not what I wanted to do. I mean, it was, but I didn't want to have to… Fuck, I'm so confused. "I-I didn't want to, Reece. I-I…"

"We could have worked this out, Sky… It didn't have to come to this," he interrupts me softly, making me feel even worse than I already do.

I start to shake my head, trying to deny his words, but then he continues.

"Do you even love me anymore?" He asks quietly.

His soft spoken question makes me stiffen and my heart clutch in my chest. It suddenly feels like we're the only ones in the room; like Blake is gone and it's just me and Reece now. Reece. The man I've loved with all my heart for the past two years. The man who took care of me and bought me nice things and treated me so good when so many others before him didn't… I suddenly can't think of all the reasons why I shouldn't love him. All I can think about is how much it fucking hurts just imagining not loving him anymore.

"N-no! I-I mean, yes! I-I love you, Reece! I do! I-I still do! I-I just- Y-you just…"

"I don't think you do anymore, Skylar," he interrupts my stammered out response, his words making my heart drop with dismay. "How could you still love me? When you fucking betray me, by cheating on me..."

Reece's statement makes me flinch as if he had slapped me, but the word he uses abruptly snaps me back to the present and helps me remember. I suddenly remember all of the terrible things he's done to me now. How much he's hurt me and tormented me, making me feel so fucking small and broken, when all I've ever needed was to be lifted up and treated right, taken care of like I never was in my childhood. I remember every time he tore me down with his demeaning words, messing my head up even more than it already is. I remember all the ways he's controlled me over the past two years, breaking me down little by little until I was just a weak shell of the person I had the potential to become. I remember all the proof I found that he's been hurting so many others, not just me… I remember now. I remember everything.

I look back up at Reece and a rare thrum of bravery pulses through me. All because of that fucking word.

"You cheated on me first," I retort firmly, glaring up at him.

I hear Blake let out a soft, surprised sounding laugh behind me from what I said. I feel proud of myself for a moment, but that feeling quickly fades back to fear as Reece's glare darkens.

He leans in close to my ear, pulling me up to stand on my tiptoes, his tight grip on my upper arm digging bruises into my skin.

"Oh, so that's how we're going to play, Skylar?" He murmurs. "The 'blame game'? Both of us pointing out all the shitty things we've done to each other over the past two years?" He asks. "Let's not forget the reason why I had to start looking for what I needed outside of our relationship in the first place, sweetheart. How you couldn't even give me the main thing I needed from you from the very beginning…"

Reece's words make the feeling of guilt come back full force, turning my stomach with the idea of how much I failed him.

"N-no…" I whimper, trying to keep in mind that what he wanted from me was impossible to fulfill, even if I had tried my absolute hardest.

He wanted to hurt me. Break me even more than I already was and make me suffer, just for his own twisted enjoyment. And the most fucked up thing about that was I tried to let him. Even after everything I had suffered through at the hands of my father, I still tried to take it, to make Reece happy… But I couldn't. I couldn't handle the pain for him. I just didn't want to hurt anymore… Maybe I did fail him…

"I-I'm s-sorry…" I whisper weakly, blinking back tears as I look up to meet Reece's guilt-inducing gaze. "I-I tried. I-I really did… B-but I couldn't… I'm s-sor-"

"Sky, don't apologize to this fucker!" Blake suddenly interrupts my stammered out apology loudly from behind me, making me jump. "You don't have anything to apologize for! Nothing!"

I glance over my shoulder at Blake to meet his thunderous gaze. The look on his face gives me a small boost of courage, just in reminding me that he's here for me. That he took the risk to come here and is still sticking up for me even with a gun pointed at him…

Reece scoffs at Blake's words, pulling my attention back up to him.

"Shut up, Blake," he orders in a low growl, moving his arm to point the gun more in Blake's direction again.

I can see Blake glaring at Reece out of the corner of my eye. He lets out an angry sounding huff of air, but luckily falls silent again.

Reece sighs loudly, almost like he's getting bored with the conversation. He's looking back down at me now, that scary glare from before back on his face.

"So that's how it's going to be, Skylar?" He asks darkly.

I'm not sure exactly what he means, so I don't respond. I just stare up at him, wondering what the hell is about to happen now.

"Fine," Reece says with finality, his grip on my arm tightening even more and making me whimper in pain. He pulls me up closer to him again, leaning down to whisper into my ear. "Now, what am I going to do with you, baby?" He asks lowly, the dark tone in his voice making me want to cringe away from him. "I already have a plan for your secret little boyfriend, but I'm just not sure what to do with my sneaky, cheating, whore of a fiancé yet… What do you think, Skylar? What would teach you a better lesson? What would show you that you never have any chance in hell of ever getting away from me? What would prove to you once and for all that you are mine! Only MINE!" He growls, his warm breath in my ear making me shudder.

Reece's words are spoken quietly, but I know Blake can hear them because I hear him shift again on the couch and let out another angry sounding huff. I don't look back at him to see his reaction to Reece's words though. My eyes are locked on Reece's face, staring up at the terrifying look in his dark gaze. I'm having trouble thinking of anything now except for how much he scares me and how much I'm going to be hurting soon. But I try my hardest to focus and do the one thing I really need to do…

"Re-Reece, please…" I whisper, my voice cracking from my fear. "Pl-please don't hurt, Blake. I-I'll do anything. Anything… J-just let him go. Please. He-he doesn't deserve to get hurt because of me… Please…" I beg him desperately.

"Sky, no…" I hear Blake say quietly from behind me, his voice sounding a little panicked.

Reece gazes down at me and chuckles again darkly, his eyes flicking up to look past me, back towards Blake.

"You hear that, Blake? Skylar's willing to do 'anything' to possibly save you. Isn't that sweet?" He says mockingly, his trademark smirk curling the corner of his mouth as his gaze returns to my face. "Did you really think that would work, sweetheart? Begging me to let your little boyfriend go? Letting him run off to call the cops as soon as he's out the door?" Reece chuckles again, shaking his head. "Fuck, you're a lot stupider than I thought you were," he says offhandedly, his cruel words making me flinch again. "No, baby. I'm not going to 'let him go'. Blake here is going to help me teach you a lesson. Like I said, Skylar, you're going to learn once and for all that you are mine and you will never, ever, get away from me."

I have a split second to process Reece's terrifying words before he abruptly releases my arm. I wobble unsteadily on my feet for just a heartbeat, before something slams into the side of my head, knocking me to the ground.

I feel myself hit the floor, my body slamming down hard, the soft rug covering the hardwood floor absorbing some of the impact, but not much. My ears are ringing, but I hear Blake shout my name and I see him stand up out of the corner of my darkening vision, just before the loud crack of gunfire blasts right above me.

I hear Blake's cry of pain over everything else, which makes my stomach lurch. I think I scream, but I'm not sure, my ears are ringing even louder now than they were before Reece hit me. I'm struggling to maintain consciousness, my vision flickering and darkness wavering at the edges. The world feels like it's spinning as I try to push myself up to see where Blake was hit. I manage to get myself up enough to support myself on my forearms and my swimming eyes finally find him on the floor by the coffee table. What I see makes me feel sick.

He's on his knees, clutching his thigh, his jeans and the carpet underneath him already soaked in blood. His face is twisted in pain, but he looks up with a glare when Reece steps over to him.

Reece is saying something to him, but I can't understand him, my ears still ringing deafeningly. Blake responds back with something that looks a lot like "fuck you!", which makes Reece laugh. Reece leans over and says something else, before suddenly stomping on Blake's leg, right on his bullet wound. Blake cries out in pain again, loud enough for me to hear it over the ringing.

"N-no," I mumble feebly, trying to crawl closer to them to stop Reece from hurting Blake more, but I don't even make it an inch before I collapse heavily on the floor.

I struggle to keep my eyes open and fight back against the darkness threatening to swarm up and suck me down. It would be so much easier to just give in and let myself succumb, but I can't yet. I have to make sure Blake is okay. I can't lose him…

I force myself to lift my head and look back to where Blake was kneeling on the floor, but he's not there anymore. There's a small trail of blood leading from the spot he was in and my gaze jerks over towards the doorway of the den. I catch sight of Reece dragging Blake from the room. Blake's eyes are closed and his body is limp, not fighting Reece in any way now. My stomach lurches again at the sight and my mind scrambles to assure myself that he's not dead, he can't be… Reece probably knocked him out or he might have passed out from the pain.

My brain swims and I let my head drop back to the floor. The thought of passing out suddenly sounds so fucking appealing. I'm so dizzy and tired. My skull pulses and throbs where Reece hit me in the temple with the butt of the gun. But I can't give up now. Not yet. I have to do something. Something to try to get away. To get help… Something

I struggle to lift my head again, forcing myself to fight through the dizzying wave of pain that pulses through my skull. I try to push myself up to my hands, but my arms are shaking so bad I can only prop myself up on my elbows again. My eyes are still swimming, but they finally notice something on the floor in front of me. I'm a few feet away from the coffee table and my eyes zero in on what's underneath it. Reece knocked my glasses off when he pistol whipped me, so my vision is already blurry on top of the possible concussion that I have. I blink rapidly to clear my fuzzy vision, but I'm finally able to make out what it is: the cell phone Reece gave me earlier this evening.

I feel a strange rush of relief and panic wash over me at the same time. It seems almost too good to be true and I think that maybe I'm just imagining it in a desperate hope to do something to help the situation, but I realize I'm not. The longer I stare at it the more in focus it becomes. I vaguely remember dropping it earlier, after I got off the phone with Sam. It had slipped from my fingers, bounced off the couch and landed on the floor, tumbling to land underneath the coffee table. I'm not imagining it. It's really there.

I quickly force myself to move. I still can't get up to my hands and knees to crawl, but I manage to slowly army-crawl closer to the table. My heart is hammering in my rib cage as I silently urge myself to move faster. Reece will be back at any second and there's no telling what will happen after that. I have to call for help. This is my only chance.

I practically sob in relief when my trembling fingers finally wrap around the phone. I pull it closer to me and collapse onto my side, quickly lifting it up to hold in front of my face. My hands are shaking like crazy and I can barely keep the phone held up enough to see it properly, but I manage to unlock it. My eyes are still swimming dizzily and I struggle to focus on the screen. I start to open up the phone app, but I hesitate, wondering if I'll even be able to get any words out of my mouth in time to tell them I need help before Reece walks back into the room. I quickly change my course of action and open up the messaging app.

My fingers fumble over the buttons on the screen, but I manage to start a new message and find Sam's name in the short contact list. I type one word into the text box, then hit "send".


I suddenly hear footsteps beyond the doorway of the den, signaling Reece's approach. I quickly lock the screen and switch the phone to silent with the little switch on the side, then shove it away from me as hard as I can manage. It slides across the rug and stops underneath the couch, hidden in the darkness, just as Reece enters the room. I let my head fall limp back on the floor and close my eyes, breathing out a soft sigh of relief. Fuck, that was close. I just hope Sam sees the message soon and they actually come to help me…

"Where are you trying to crawl off to, Skylar?" Reece asks tauntingly.

His footsteps seem loud as they get closer to me. I force myself to open my eyes a crack and turn my head to look up at him, just so I can see what's coming next. He stops beside me and slowly squats down, watching me with a dark look on his face. I must be imagining things, but I think I see a flash of regret pass over his eyes before they narrow back into the glare he wears so perfectly.

"Still trying to fight and get away, even with nowhere to go," he murmurs, with a soft sigh. "I have to hand it to you, baby. Your perseverance and will to keep going in life has always amazed me…" He says softly, reaching down to card his fingers through my hair over the throbbing lump on my head, which makes me wince. He sighs again heavily while shaking his head, a look close to pity in his eyes now. "But unfortunately I have to teach you a hard lesson tonight. We'll leave your boyfriend tied up in the basement for now; I have plans for him later… Right now, it's time to deal with my little cheating fiancé," he mutters, reaching down to grab me.

I moan as he lifts me up, the action making my head swim and pound. Reece ignores my distress and tosses me over his shoulder to carry me from the room. I hang limp down his back as he walks up the stairs, the sensation of being upside down making my head pound even worse than it already was.

We get to our room faster than it should have taken, which makes me wonder if I blacked out for a moment. Reece pulls me off his shoulder and drops me, letting me fall to the floor heavily near the foot of the bed, knocking the air out of my lungs and making me cough weakly. I gaze up at him as he stares down at me with a contemplative look on his face. The look in his eyes makes me start trembling; it's as if he's debating on how he wants to start hurting me first. Fuck, what is he going to do to me now?

I hold my breath in trepidation, but I don't have to wonder what's about to happen for long. He drops down to kneel beside me, then his fist suddenly connects with my face. Once. Twice. Three times.

The harsh blows make my head snap back into the floor and reel again, pushing me dangerously close to passing out. I'm not sure how, but somehow I stay conscious. I moan weakly as I reach up with trembling hands to clutch my now bloody nose and bleeding mouth.

Fuck, he hits hard… I have a vague thought of thankfulness that he hasn't hit me like this before, but the thought is gone almost as soon as it came when Reece stands up and suddenly kicks me in my right side.

I quickly curl up instinctively, pain blooming sharp and bright in my abdomen, but then he kicks me again, this time catching me more towards the center of my belly. I cry out loudly, before retching from the pain. I hold my middle and suck air into my lungs, my eyes closed tight as I try to breathe through the blinding agony.


I hear Reece curse above me, his breathing louder and more heavy than normal, before he abruptly walks away, leaving me on the floor.

I stay unmoving with my eyes still closed, continuing to suck air into my tight chest, my gasps slightly labored and wheezing. Fuck, it feels like he broke my ribs, but I don't think his foot connected with bone. No, I think he damaged something else. I'm not sure what, but it definitely doesn't feel right inside of me now…

Reece is suddenly back, lifting me up off the floor. I whimper brokenly and he sighs loudly as he moves to deposit me on the bed. The rough movement and being flat on my back now makes sharp pain spike through my right side, along the bottom of my rib cage and into my back, which makes me moan and feel like I'm going to pass out. My left eye feels almost swollen shut from the punches, but I force both eyes open a crack to look up at him, wondering what's about to happen next, but having a terrible feeling that I already know.

"God, you're so fucking stupid, Skylar!" Reece says loudly, grabbing my jaw hard and turning my head up to force me to look at him directly. "After every fucking thing I've done for you, THIS is how you repay me?! Did you actually think you'd get away from me that easy!? Huh!?" He asks, practically yelling at me and giving my head a rough shake.

He seems to actually want me to answer him, but I can't get my brain to work right to form any words to say. Plus my mouth fucking hurts and is filled with blood, my lips feel too swollen to even move, and I can't catch my breath completely, so I doubt I could say anything right now even if I wanted to.

Reece stares down at me for a few tense seconds, gazing into my eyes, and I see that flicker of regret pass over his eyes again before it's gone just as quickly. He sighs again loudly and shakes his head.

"God dammit, look at you. Probably broke your cute fucking nose…" He mutters, releasing my jaw to roughly wipe away the blood still pouring down my lips and chin with his hand. "Hope you're happy with yourself, Skylar. Knowing that this is what your little 'attempt' at escape got you," he says, reaching down to unbuckle his belt and pants, the sight of the action making me feel sick. "And now you dragged your precious Blake into this mess too... I have to admit I'm going to enjoy torturing him in front of you before I kill him, but then I have to deal with the chore of getting rid of his body and cleaning up the fucking mess," he grumbles, leaning over to grab something off the bedside table. "Lucky for me the house is in such a remote location. People take wrong turns in the mountains all the time… I'll put his body in the rental car outside and push it off one of the cliffs. It'll be months before they find his corpse, if they even do, and by then it'll be too hard to determine the cause of death from the decomposition. And we'll be in California, with you chained to a bed, so you won't have anyone to tell," he says cruelly with a mean smirk.

Reece's words make me gasp and I quickly shake my head, forcing myself to try yet again to somehow get Blake out of this situation alive.

"N-no… Pl-please, Reece," I beg weakly, my words sounding thick and garbled from the blood still flooding my mouth and coating my teeth.

"Shut up," Reece snaps, grabbing my right hand and securing the leather restraint that he grabbed off the table to my wrist. "You can beg all you want, but it's not going to change my mind. It's not like I can let him leave after everything he knows anyways… It's your fault this is happening to him, Skylar. If you hadn't been such a fucking whore and let him in the house, I probably would have just let him go. But you invited him in. Now he's going to die a slow, painful death, because of your mistake," he says, pulling my arm up and leaning over me to loop the chain of the wrist restraints through the headboard.

A distressed noise slips from my lips and I shake my head weakly as tears begin to drip down my bruised cheeks. His words make me feel sick from guilt. This can't be happening. I tried so hard to make it not happen, but it did. It's all my fault. I asked Blake to stay and then I let him in the house, knowing full well that something like this might happen. Blake is going to die because of my mistake. I'm so stupid. This really is all my fault…

"After we're done up here, we'll go down to the basement to see how Blake is doing. I wrapped a makeshift tourniquet around his leg so he won't bleed to death before all the fun. I probably won't kill him tonight… No, I'm going to drag this out as long as possible, just to make sure you learn your lesson completely this time..." Reece says offhandedly, reaching down for my left wrist. "Maybe I'll even fuck you again in front of him. I can't wait to see the look on his face…"

Reece grabs my left arm and starts to pull it up to lock the other restraint around my wrist. His words and the idea of what's about to happen to Blake, and to me, cause my panic to spike. Without thinking I quickly try to jerk my arm out of Reece's grasp. I surprise him with the sudden movement and manage to break free, but he quickly grabs my arm again in a vice like grip, an annoyed glare darkening his features. He yanks my arm up, just as I try to pull free from the painful grasp again, causing him to jerk my arm hard. Then I suddenly feel something pop and hear a loud snap next to my ear, before agony suddenly rushes through my arm and makes me cry out sharply.

"Shit!" Reece hisses, abruptly releasing me.

My arm falls limp to the bed next to my head and I look over at it with widened eyes. My forearm is throbbing and it doesn't look right. I can't tell exactly what happened, but I know the pain of a broken bone.

"God dammit! Now look at what you made me do!" Reece snarls, pushing away from the bed to stand up.

He leaves the room and goes into the bathroom. My breathing is more labored now than it was before as I continue to stare at my broken arm blankly. I vaguely think that I should get up to try to get away from Reece while I'm alone, but just the idea of trying to sit up makes the all over pain in my body intensify. Everything hurts. Fuck, I'm dizzy. I don't feel right…

Reece returns seconds later and sits back down on the bed heavily, jostling my arm and making me whimper. He grabs my arm and a nauseating rush of pain bolts down into my fingers, making me gag. His grip loosens some, but he doesn't release me. He starts to wrap my arm up tightly in a brown wrap that matches the one still on my ankle.

"Fuck… Now your goddamn arm is broken," he grumbles, pulling the wrap even tighter, forcing a pained whine to escape my throat. "I'll make sure the bone is set right later after the swelling goes down… You're just going to have to deal with the pain for a few days because I'm not taking you to the hospital until we make it to California... Maybe this will finally be the punishment that makes you start obeying me," he mutters, securing the end of the wrap by tucking it into the edge.

He pulls my arm up above my head, causing pain to radiate down into my shoulder, which makes me moan. He ignores my obvious agony and secures the restraint around my wrist, effectively tethering me to the bed.

"There," he says with a satisfied smirk, leaning back to look down at me. He watches me for a moment with an odd expression on his face and the look in eyes makes me shudder. "Fuck, baby… You just don't realize how good you look like this," he murmurs, sliding his hands up my thighs. "Bruised, bloody and all trussed up… You look like a goddamn fallen angel," he says with a grin. He watches me for a few seconds longer before that evil smirk finds its way back to his lips and he shakes his head. "Don't pull on the restraints or you'll hurt yourself more," he warns in an almost teasing tone, grabbing the waist band of my lounge pants and quickly yanking them and my boxers off.

I shake my head weakly as the tears continue to pour down my cheeks. Fuck, everything hurts! I don't want to feel this familiar pain along with all the other pain in my body right now! But I know by now that what I want doesn't matter. It's going to happen no matter what. Because whatever Reece wants, he gets…

I close my eyes tight and keep them closed when I hear Reece lean over to grab something else off the bedside table. I can hear him slicking his dick with lube and I feel a brief flutter of thankfulness that he isn't taking me completely dry. He doesn't prepare me at all, but I didn't really expect him to. He forces my legs apart more with his knees and gets into position.

As he lines his cock up to my ass, I hope and pray and wish with everything that I have left that I'll hear Dr. Carmin and Sam's voices downstairs, stopping this nightmare from continuing. But of course I don't. I should know by now that I'm never that lucky… Then he's shoving himself inside of me and all I can think about is the familiar pain.

I cry out weakly and instinctively jerk on the wrist restraints, but the movement makes that nauseating wave of pain pulse through my left arm again and I abruptly freeze. Fuck! The horrible agony almost makes me pass out, but my mind clings to consciousness, just barely. White spots are dancing behind my closed eyelids and my hearing sounds like I'm down a long tunnel, but I can still hear Reece begin to speak, his voice sounding a little muffled around the edges.

"Fuck, you are so damn tight, baby," he groans, slamming into me deeply, making my belly cramp and the pain in my right side intensify. "This is how it'll be in California, Sky… Me and you, just like this. My perfect little fuck-toy tied to my bed 24/7, ready to be used whenever I want…"

Reece's words make me feel sick. I try to ignore him, but it's hard to focus or make my brain do anything right now. I keep my eyes closed tight, struggling to block everything out. He keeps talking though, telling me all about what our life will be like in California. I have the vague thought that I hope I die soon, just so I can be free from the pain I'm experiencing right now and never have to suffer from any pain ever again…

It seems to go on forever, but I finally feel him cum deep inside of me, slamming into me several more painful times before he finally stops. Reece is breathing heavily above me, his fingers digging bruises into my hips where he's gripping me tightly.

"Damn, you are so fucking perfect," he sighs, sliding his hands from my hips up my sides affectionately.

I flinch heavily when his palm brushes over my right side and Reece pauses. I open my eyes a crack to see a look of concern creasing his brow. He pushes my oversized shirt up to look at my body and his frown deepens. I catch a brief glance of my abdomen and see a concerning looking bruise starting to develop under my right rib cage that makes my belly look a little swollen.

"Shit," Reece hisses, carefully pressing on my right side again, below the bruise.

I cry out weakly and have to force myself not to jerk on the restraints around my wrists again to avoid hurting my arm even more than it already is.

"Hu-hurts…" I whimper hoarsely, trying to pull away from the touch.

"Dammit," Reece mutters, slowly pulling his cock out of me.

I whine and turn my face into my right arm, tears still pouring down my cheeks. Fuck, everything hurts. Please let it all end soon…

Reece gets off the bed and I hear him walk away towards the bathroom. I stay still, keeping my face turned into my arm, struggling to breathe through all the pains in my body. My mind begins to drift and I think about Blake, alone in the basement. Reece actually shot him. He was bleeding so much. I wonder if he's still alive and if he's okay. Reece said he was, but I have no reason to believe him. If he is, what's going to happen when Reece decides to take me down there? Reece said he's going to fuck me again in front of Blake before torturing and slowly killing him. I can't bring myself to imagine all of the terrible things Reece is going to do to hurt him.

My mind drifts over to Dr. Carmin and Sam. I'm not sure exactly how long it's been since I texted him, but surely they should be here by now; it feels like it's been hours at this point. Maybe they're not coming. Maybe they were already asleep in bed. Maybe they didn't want to deal with the pathetic mess I've created. Maybe they decided I was too much trouble and didn't want to put up with me anymore... I wouldn't blame them if they did…

The bed dips suddenly and I realize Reece is back. I whimper pathetically and force myself to turn my head to look back up at him, just to see what's going to happen next. He's redressed now, his pants zipped and his belt back in place. He still has that concerned frown on his face as he gazes down at me, his eyes focused on my right side. I wonder what he's worried about to look so concerned when this is supposed to be my punishment. He shouldn't care if he hurt me when that's what he wanted to do, right?

"Fuck," he mutters again, reaching above me to unlock my wrists from the restraints.

My left arm has started to swell and he has to pull harder on the leather strap to release the belt hook, which makes me whine pitifully and my vision black around the edges. He slowly lowers my arms back to my sides and I lie still, sucking air into my constricted lungs. My lower chest feels uncomfortably tight on my right side and I begin to wonder if something really is wrong with me. What did he damage when he kicked me?

"God dammit, Skylar," Reece mutters, leaning over to look at my abdomen a little closer, that deep frown still creasing his brow and worrying me tremendously. "Why the fuck are you bruising this bad?" He murmurs, carefully pressing on my swollen side again.

The light touch feels like a punch to my gut and seems to force all the air from my lungs in one stuttering rush. A weird keening sound escapes my throat as I close my eyes tight, trying to breathe through the pain again.

Fuck, something's not right. It hurts. Worse than any injury I've ever had before. What did he do to me…?


My eyes snap open when I hear Dr. Carmin loudly call my name from downstairs. I quickly look to Reece and see him looking towards the bedroom door with wide eyes and a surprised look on his face.

Holy shit. They're here. They actually came!

I quickly muster up all the strength I have left and call out to let them know where I am.


Reece claps his hand over my mouth just as the word leaves my lips. My voice was hoarse, but it still sounded loud to my ears. Fuck, I hope they heard me.

"You little shit…" Reece says with a soft laugh of disbelief, a look close to amazement on his face when he looks back down at me.

He suddenly stands up from the bed, pulling me up with him. Blinding pain spikes from all over my body, especially my right side and my limp left arm, making my vision black for a few dizzying seconds. When my eyes clear enough to be able to see again we're standing at the end of the bed. Reece has my back pulled against his front, the only thing keeping me on my feet being his left arm wrapped tight around my chest under my arms. My oversized shirt has ridden up enough to expose my privates and I can feel his cum begin to drip down the inside of my thighs, but I can't really bring myself to be embarrassed because of how scared I am and how much pain I'm in right now. In Reece's right hand is his gun again and he presses it against the side of my head, just as Dr. Carmin and Sam appear in the doorway of the bedroom.

Both of their eyes widen and Sam gasps loudly, his hands flying up to his mouth to stifle the sound. They're both dressed in nice clothes and I realize they must have came straight over from the hospital Christmas party. Fuck, I'm so glad they're here. For a few tense heartbeats no one says anything, but I quickly force myself to speak.

"S-Sam, Blake's in the basement!" I croak out weakly, praying they'll understand what I'm trying to tell them.

Sam's terrified eyes linger on me for just a moment before quickly flicking up to look at Dr. Carmin with a slightly confused, questioning look on his face. The older man meets his gaze briefly with a serious look on his face and gives a curt nod, before turning his attention back to me and Reece. Sam looks back at me for a second with a pained expression on his face, the fear in his eyes making him look way younger than he actually is, but then he quickly turns and leaves the room.

I let out a soft sigh of relief and let myself relax marginally when I see that Sam is going to help Blake. Even if I don't make it out of this, at least I'll know that Blake was saved…

"Reece… What the hell is going on?" Dr. Carmin says lowly, speaking in a careful tone.

"This doesn't concern you, Chris," Reece replies calmly, pressing the gun against my head harder, which makes me wince.

"I think it does concern me, Reece," Dr. Carmin says, his eyes darting down to look at me before looking back up at Reece's face. "Skylar is hurt and needs medical attention… Put the gun down and we can talk about this. Please..."

Reece chuckles darkly and shakes his head.

"Cut the bullshit formalities, Chris," he mutters, shifting his grip on me some to be able to take a step back away from the other man. "We both know that your whole 'nice guy' attitude is just a front anyways."

Dr. Carmin seems slightly taken aback by Reece's crass remark, but he ignores it, taking a small step closer to us.

"Reece… Whatever happened, it doesn't matter. What matters right now is that Skylar is seriously injured. It looks like he's gone into shock. You need to let him go so I can check him out," he says carefully, taking another hesitant step closer.

"Back the fuck up, Chris. You take another step and I swear to god I'll blow his fucking brains out," Reece growls out harshly, not even sounding like himself right now.

Dr. Carmin stops immediately, his brow creased deeply in worry and something close to confusion.

"Alright. Alright, Reece. I won't… Just-just calm down," he implores, holding his hands out slightly in a gesture of surrender.

"Shut up, Chris," Reece snaps, shifting his grip on me to hold me tighter and take another step back away from the other man, causing a sickening wave of pain to radiate through my abdomen which makes me moan weakly. "Don't fucking tell me to calm down when you have no clue what's happening here," he snarls.

I see Dr. Carmin swallow hard and his eyes dart away from Reece's face to look down at me again, before he looks back up at Reece.

"Reece… Please… Look at Skylar. Look at him. He's hurt. His arm is visibly broken. He's gone into shock… He needs medical attention. Now, Reece," the doctor says again carefully, gesturing to me with his outstretched hand.

"He'll get it when I say he can get it," Reece says lowly, taking another step back, away from the bed and further into the room.

Dr. Carmin swallows again hard and seems to be trying to think of something else to say.

"Reece… I don't know what has happened, but this isn't you… You're not in your right state of mind right now-"

Reece's harsh, bitter laugh interrupts Dr. Carmin and makes me flinch.

"Oh, this is me, Chris… Probably the very first time I've actually let you see the real me," he says in an almost taunting manner.

Dr. Carmin seems confused and starts to shake his head, but Reece continues before he can respond.

"The fact that you actually think you know me is comical, Chris… Almost everything I've ever told you was a lie. Just made up bullshit to make you think what I wanted you to think… To use you how I needed to use you," he says, his tone darkening.

Dr. Carmin looks even more confused now.

"What…?" He breathes out.

Reece chuckles and the sound makes me shiver.

"I have to admit, having a doctor who considered himself my friend has come in handy multiple times, especially after the fucking precinct forced me to take anger management classes. You didn't hesitate to sign off on that paperwork, Chris. Deeming me perfectly fine and stable, basically scratching my entire record from existence." Reece chuckles again and shakes his head. "And I never would have been able to take Skylar and keep him so well taken care of if we didn't have you, so that was another advantage of pretending to be your friend."

Dr. Carmin's eyes widen some and his gaze flicks down to me before going back up to Reece's face.

"Take…?" He says quietly.

Reece chuckles and shakes his head once again, taking another step back, towards the side of the room with the balcony doors.

"You didn't really think that I just happened upon sweet little Skylar by accident, did you, Chris? Convinced him how much better his life could be with me and swept him off his feet?" His grip tightens on me and makes me whimper again pathetically, a wave of nausea passing through my aching belly. "No… It took a little bit more force and pain to convince my hard-headed brat to actually agree to come with me… Didn't it, baby?" He murmurs, his mouth close to my ear.

I cringe away from his callous words and shake my head weakly as tears begin to drip down my cheeks. I glance up to meet Dr. Carmin's stunned gaze, but quickly look away as a wave of guilt washes over me. Guilt for tricking him and Sam. Guilt for all the lies that I've told both of them, to everyone, to keep mine and Reece's dark secret safe… I deserve to be hurt like this, as punishment for what I've done…

"You kidnapped him…" I hear Dr. Carmin say quietly, the hurt and betrayal obvious in his voice.

Reece chuckles again darkly.

"You sound so fucking surprised, Chris. I guess Skylar's whole act was pretty convincing though. He really was so desperate and aching for love that he willingly left his old life behind to live with his kidnapper… And I gave him a better life. I actually took care of him and loved him like he needed me to… Didn't I, baby?" He says, his voice sounding so accusatory that it makes me flinch and a harsh sob burst from my lips.

"You call this love, Reece?!" Dr. Carmin says suddenly, his voice louder than before. "You have a fucking gun pressed to his head! You say you love Skylar, but look at him now! Look at what you've done to him!" He demands, pointing at me.

Reece's presses the gun into my temple even harder and his grip tightens on me, making a weak cry of pain force its way out of my throat.

"He had to be punished," Reece says defensively, taking another step back and then another, dragging me along with him.

"Punished…? For God's sake, Reece, look at how badly he's hurt! You could have killed him!" Dr. Carmin says incredulously.

Reece's arm tightens around my middle even more from what Dr. Carmin said and the sudden, intense wave of pain that shoots through my abdomen makes my vision black and my hearing slowly fade away. I feel myself go completely limp in Reece's tight grip, but he doesn't even seem to notice. I can still hear the two men talking above me, but their voices are so far away I can't understand what they're saying and they're getting even further. Fuck…

For a few dizzying moments all I can see is darkness and all I can hear is a strange rushing sound pounding inside my head. I'm not sure if I passed out completely or not, but my hearing slowly comes back and I gradually realize I could see again if I force my eyes open. It's so fucking hard though. I feel so tired…

"-to let him go! This is madness, Reece!" Dr. Carmin is saying angrily, his words not making any sense in my muddled mind. "How far are you going to take this? What are you planning to do?!"

"Whatever I need to do to keep him as mine," Reece says, taking another step back.

"What the hell does that even mean?!" Dr. Carmin asks in confusion.

Reece is still backing away from Dr. Carmin and he doesn't respond. We're all the way on the other side of the room now and I realize I must have lost consciousness for longer than I thought I did. The gun is still against my head and he's still holding me tight around my middle. I vaguely wonder where Reece is planning on going, since Dr. Carmin is blocking the exit to the bedroom and there's nothing behind us but the wall and the balcony doors, but then Reece shifts slightly, bending down some to use his elbow to push down the handle behind him and open the doors.

A cold rush of air makes me shudder and immediately start to shiver. I was already feeling cold before, but now it feels like all of the warmth has suddenly been sucked from my body, even though Reece still has me pressed close to his warm chest. I realize Dr. Carmin is talking and I try to focus on what he's saying.

"Reece… What are you doing?" He asks, his voice slightly panicked.

I force my eyes open to see the doctor and I realize that he's followed us to the balcony. It's dark and quiet out here, the only light coming from the open balcony doors. Dr. Carmin is standing in the doorway, staring at us with wide eyes as Reece continues to slowly back out onto the balcony.

"I'm not going to prison, Chris," Reece says, a strange, somber tone in his voice now.

"What- 'Prison'?! No one said anything about prison, Reece!" Dr. Carmin says, shaking his head, his voice echoing into the wide open space around the secluded house.

Reece huffs out a soft noise of amusement.

"You really expect me to believe that you're not going to call the cops after what I've done to Skylar tonight? That Sam hasn't already called them and have them heading here now? I'm not stupid, Chris," he says.

Dr. Carmin opens his mouth to say something, but then closes it abruptly and swallows hard. Reece chuckles again and shakes his head.

"Exactly," he mutters. "I'm not going to prison and I'm not giving him up, Chris. So there's only one thing left for us," he says, tightening his arm around me again as he continues to move further out onto the balcony.

A pained whine escapes my throat from the pressure on my aching abdomen and Reece shushes me soothingly.

"Shhh… It'll be over soon, baby," he whispers in my ear, just loud enough for me to hear.

His words don't make any sense and my brain scrambles to process what he said. It'll be over soon? The pain will be gone soon? I need it to be gone. Please. Fuck, I'm hurting so bad…

"Reece… What are you planning to do?" Dr. Carmin asks again nervously, taking another hesitant step closer to us, moving out of the doorway and onto the balcony.

"What I have to do… I'm not gonna lose him, Chris," Reece says. "If I can't have him, no one can…"

Dr. Carmin seems to realize what Reece is doing before I do, his eyes widening and a panicked look forming on his face.

"Reece. Don't do this. Please. It's not the only option. We can talk this out and fix everything," he says in a desperate voice, a pained expression in his eyes.

"It's too late for that, Chris," Reece says, shaking his head and still moving back towards the balcony railing. "This is my only option at this point."

"This doesn't need to be an option at all! You're better than this, Reece! You might have done some bad things, but that doesn't mean it needs to come to this!" He says imploringly.

Reece chuckles and scoffs at the man's words.

"You don't even know the half of it, Chris," he says almost mockingly. "You have no idea what I've done. How many people I've hurt…"

"Dammit, Reece, don't do this!" Dr. Carmin repeats, his voice louder and more panicked than before. "Think about Skylar! You can't do this to him!"

"Everything I do is for Skylar," Reece bites out fiercely. "And I'm doing this for him too!"

Reece has stopped backing up and I realize we're at the edge of the balcony now. The wind is blowing and makes my shivering worse. I'm still trying to process what they're talking about, trying to figure out what Reece is about to do. My brain feels like it's moving in slow motion, but then it finally clicks and my eyes widen in fear. No…

"Re-Reece… I-I don't want to d-die," I croak out weakly, trying to turn my head to look back at him.

Reece gazes down at me sadly and leans down to press a gentle kiss to my sore temple.

"It has to be this way, baby," he repeats again solemnly. "I told you I would never give you up and I meant it… You'll always be mine now, for sure… I love you so much, Skylar."

I suddenly feel him leaning back, over the edge of the balcony. The ground is almost three stories below with the way the house is positioned on the hill. I know for a fact that no one would survive a fall from this height. I suck in a strangled gasp and close my eyes tight, realizing that this is actually happening. He's really going to do it. He's going to kill us both…

Tears are streaming down my cheeks and my mind scrambles helplessly to think of something else besides my impending doom. So as usual, it focuses on Blake. I'm so glad I was able to see him one last time. So glad I was able to feel him hold me and kiss me again. I wish our time together could have lasted longer. I wish I could have had a chance to actually be with him again. I wish I could have at least had a chance to say goodbye… But I guess I've been right all along, ever since Reece took me. I never had a chance of getting away from him. Now I really will be with him forever

Reece leans further back and I feel us tilt over. The movement hurts my abdomen and my fear spikes, making a loud sob burst from my lips. Fuck, this is it-

I'm suddenly yanked forward, forcefully pulled out of Reece's tight hold. I feel Reece's arms reluctantly release me and then I'm quickly pulled tight against Dr. Carmin's warm, firm chest, his arms wrapped around me protectively. We're both breathing harshly and I slowly realize what just happened. He saved me…

I jerk in Dr. Carmin's arms when I hear the sound of something hit the ground below us heavily. What-what was that…? I start to turn around, but Dr. Carmin holds me tight and presses my face into his chest.

"Don't look, Sky… Don't look…" He whispers, his shaking hand stroking the back of head.

Horror slowly dawns on me as my brain finally processes what that sickening sound was. Reece

The loud, anguished cry that comes out of my mouth doesn't even sound human. I sag heavily in Dr. Carmin's arms, my knees giving out completely. He easily supports my weight and his arms hold me tighter, trying to comfort me with his embrace.

"Fuck," I hear him hiss, his breathing slightly ragged.

I'm sobbing uncontrollably and I can't fucking breathe. Everything hurts, especially my chest. My heart is aching and clutching underneath my ribs, feeling as if it might stop at any second. The absolute crushing realization of what just happened makes it hard to think. He's gone. He can't hurt me anymore. I'm finally free… But why does that make me feel so fucking sad…?

Fuck, I can't breathe. I can't think. Everything fucking hurts.

Dr. Carmin is suddenly scooping me up into his strong arms and then he's carrying me back into the warm bedroom. My eyes are still closed, but I can tell we're not in there for long because then I feel him quickly walking down the hall and then down the stairs. I feel like everything is happening too fast, but moving in slow motion at the same time. I can vaguely hear a commotion below us in the big foyer; multiple people talking, the sound of duffle bags rustling and what sounds like metal parts loudly clinking together. But my hearing is starting to fade and I can't open my eyes to see what's going on. Fuck, am I dying?


I hear someone call my name loudly, but they sound so far away. My mind clings to consciousness, but just barely. It sounded like it was Blake who called out for me, his voice more panicked and scared than I've ever heard it sound before, but I'm not sure if it really was him. I want to open my eyes to try to see him, but I can't. I'm too tired.

I feel myself being laid down on something. Dr. Carmin's voice is above me and unfamiliar voices are all around me, but I can't understand what everyone is saying. My body is being repositioned and the movement hurts, but I can't even make a noise to express the pain. I try so hard to stay awake, but I can't any longer. Then darkness sucks me under completely...

**TRIGGER WARNING: Character death.**

Finally! The chapter all of my Reece haters have been waiting for! I have to admit this chapter was extremely hard to finish, mainly because I've grown pretty attached to writing Reece, but also because it feels like it's the end of this story. It isn't though! We still have a few more chapters to go ;) Yay!

As usual I am so sorry it took me so long to update. Work and life in general has been crazy busy, but I've been diligently trying to get this one finished so we can finally move on to the comfort in this long hurt & comfort story. I hope everyone enjoyed the ride and I hope everyone continues to enjoy the rest of the story as Sky moves into the part of his life where he will finally be happy. :)

Thank you all for the reviews and continued support! I will try to get the next chapter posted sooner!

~ Love, Mad Red