A Game of Keys, Stage 1 – ch. II

Instantly, my body froze up. One…? That meant…

The sound of footsteps approached me. Each step was light, almost soundless, like that of a cat approaching its prey. With my 1.90m and broad shoulders, I was hardly a mouse; yet, the dreaded feeling of being at the mercy of this insane man made me want to shrink in cowardice.

“Don’t be shy…” I heard behind me. I did not move, standing still like a statue. What would he do to me? Would he hurt me?

A finger lightly touched the base of my neck, slowly, almost lazily, trailing down a path across my spine. He stopped and rested his hand on my buttocks, where it remained.

“Nicely firm,” were his next lewd words.

I gritted my teeth. Bastard! He was making fun of me! Did he feel the anger radiating off of me? The fear that made my body shiver? I was sure that he did. After all, I in turn felt the perverseness drifting from him like waves in a deep dark ocean polluted with lusty desire.

There was something else I felt. I wondered whether I was imagining it, but –no– I was not. In my mind, I had thought my captor to be a big ugly monster, yet when I focused on the hand placed on my bottom, I realized that it felt small. I silently berated myself. How peculiar of me to be perceiving such trivialities right now, while I was held captive by this freak. Still, I kept pondering the size of that hand, even as a hint of annoyance arose within me at my own folly. Perhaps it was my own size that made his hand seem smaller, yet I could not help but think that his proportions were off even for a normal guy.

Was I being held captive by a midget? Some odd images of bearded dwarfs with axes appeared in the forefront of my mind, and I cursed my overactive imagination. I must be mad to be thinking of such foolish things at a time like this. Shaking my head once, I huffed softly. It was Cuán’s fault! I was definitely going to blame my overactive imagination on my younger brother’s ridiculously large movie collection. He got me addicted to those campy movies of his!

A sound of a clearing throat caught my attention. “Are you going to continue or do you want me to molest you a bit more?” my kidnapper asked me. To remind me of what kind of position I was, he gave my butt a light slap.

I realized how close the other was standing to me and shivered. “I’m going,” I grumbled, silently berating myself, and I slowly bent to reach for the fallen key. My captor did not follow me, but instead left my buttocks alone, and I was relieved for that.

Crawling over the cold floor, I realized that it was clean and empty. It wasn’t even made of concrete, as I had imagined it, but of laminate. Wasn’t I in a dirty cellar or something? It was cold, like a cellar, but the atmosphere was somehow different. Perhaps my mind was acting up again?

“Where is the key?” I asked. I did not expect any answer, but I got one anyway.

“You mean this key?” he whispered beside my ear.

I froze instantly. He was standing right before me now! How had I not realized! A small chuckle let me know that he was still close to me and I jerked backwards in an attempt to get away from him – right into the wall. I heard the sound of falling objects, some metallic, some plastic, others I couldn’t place.

“That’s two, three… four… and five… ah, six! You are really generous to me, Connor.”

I frowned. This man knew my name. How did he…?

He neared me again, I felt the distance close between us. I cursed myself for falling into that creep’s trap. Now he had six opportunities to… do ‘things’… with me. Things of which I did not wish to know. I feared for the oncoming assault on my body and my male pride.

As he came closer and closer, I suddenly noticed his scent; it was the cologne I always wore – my favorite. Was it coincidence? Or perhaps…?

“Are you hiding your scent from me?” I asked him.

No answer.

“Are you – or not,” I demanded, fully well knowing that I was not in the position to do such a thing, but I couldn’t help myself. I did not want to be left in the dark like this, to be ignorant of what was going on, I hated this feeling. And my kidnapper probably knew how much I hated it.

He bent over and kissed my forehead, more gently than I had expected, and I realized that his skin was smooth. The ridiculous image of the hairy dwarf that my nonsensical mind had provided was inaccurate.

“You are.”

I pulled my own conclusion. He was definitely hiding his scent from me, just like how he was hiding his voice from me – I was certain of it. This psychopathic freak knew exactly what he was doing, as if he had done this before, as if he somehow knew me…

A shocking thought came to me. This man knew me through and through… he knew of my name, my favorite scent, my bad eyesight, and my need to know and be in control of everything around me. He either must have been spying on me for years, or he was someone that I knew. And now –I realized with dread– I was exactly going to find out how much this guy knew of me.

A lick against my ear brought me out of my thoughts. I bit my lower lip to keep myself still. How come he had such an effect on me? He seemed to know exactly where my sensitive spots were. Had he even spied on me as I had sex?

The thought made me feel sick.

“Nervous, are we?” he whispered. “I’m not a random whore you picked up from the streets, after all.”

I did my best to suppress an upcoming growl. He knew about it then. About my non-existent love life. I did not have much luck with the ladies. My tastes ran towards the small and dainty women. Yet, of all the curses, my large posture seemed to be having this intimidating effect on the female-population. That, combined with my tendency to be socially awkward around the other sex, made my prospects of having a girlfriend run very low. To make up for my lack of love then, I had resorted to picking up prostitutes from the streets from time to time.

“You like the petite types don’t you?” my kidnapper continued to whisper, all the while slipping his hands up and down my chest. “Lucky you, I’m not that big.”

“I’m not into men!” I growled, but stopped. To my own shock I sounded aroused. I cursed myself silently, my captor must have heard it as well. His face was likely grinning from ear to ear at this moment. I licked my lips and swallowed. It meant nothing. He knew my sensitive spots and had stimulated them, this was only a physical reaction to that.

“Trying to find excuses?” my kidnapper murmurs. “Still, I beg to differ, you are into me.” He slowly started to unbutton my shirt.

I cursed and my hands shot up to grab him. “Only six things!” I shouted, seizing his hands into my shackled ones. My eyes widened when I started to become conscious of what I was holding.

Small… slender… smooth… hands…?

***

Those hands… were definitely not the rough hairy hands I expected from a dwarf. He was not just a dwarf or a random midget from a campy movie. No, this was a child, probably one in his early or mid-teens, I deduced.

The realization hit me so hard, that I momentarily forgot to breathe. A child was holding me captive? How the hell had this happened! Thoughts of the child started running through my mind in a frenzy. Who was this kid? Did I know him? How could he have done this? Why was he doing this? Did his parents know? Did he even have parents at all?

Sharp teeth biting harshly into my hand made me jolt up from my thoughts.

“Fuck, that hurt!” I cried out.

“You are right,” the voice whispered. “Only six buttons for six keys.” The voice took on a taunting edge. “Tick-tock, tick-tock… Hurry up, Connor. Time is running out…”

Furiously, I bit the inside of my cheek, but I remained standing where I was. “You won’t scare me, kid,” I said challengingly. I knew I was pushing it, but my small retaliation seemed to be working. By putting emphasis on the word ‘kid’, I seemed to have effectively silenced my captor for a moment. This silence, his small hands, and the teeth marks on my own hand confirmed my suspicions that he was indeed a child.

“Hmmm…” A small condescending snort broke the silence that clung in the air. “Good for you to know that I’m not an adult yet,” the boy murmured, seemingly having regained his composure. “But that piece of information won’t save you.”

“Why are you doing this?” I demanded.

“Why not?” he returned. His light footsteps approached me, until he was so close, that I could feel his breath dampening my unbuttoned shirt. His head only reached to my chest. “The Dowers are one of the most powerful families of this nation, having great investments in every legal and illegal branch imaginable. Weapons, biotechnologies, supercomputers… you name it and Dowers Inc. has taken part in it. Don’t you think that being in control of the youngest son of the powerful Dowers family is the most arousing thing in the world?”

Hearing that, I laughed despite the situation I was in. A cold and joyless laugh. So, that was why he kidnapped me? Even though I did not participate in the family business, having been cut off from it by my father for so-called ‘safety reasons’, I apparently still am a great target where the underworld is concerned. Thank you, father – if not for you, I would not be so ignorant of the operations of the criminal world. And now, this psychopathic little mastermind would blackmail the Dowers family for their riches, and in addition to that bring shame to my family’s name by taking his perversions out on me. Thank you again, father, for keeping me so thoroughly unprepared for these situations.

Not willing to admit defeat yet, I turned to mocking my child captor. “Ha,” I said. “I think your research is a bit lacking, genius. I’m not the youngest son, I still have a little brother!”

A snicker told me that he was not in the least impressed. “That bastard child?” he whispered contemptuously. I balled my fists in anger at the insult thrown at my brother. “What worth does he have? He won’t get me any riches. After all, that brat was only taken in by your father when he married that whore of a stepmother you have.”

I snapped.

Enough! How dare he insult my family! I launched myself on my captor and slammed him to the floor. “You will not insult Cuán or my stepmother,” I growled at him, pinning him down with my superior weight.

“Oh…?” My child captor snickered, and then I felt his knee slam into my private parts, making me groan in pain as I doubled over. His footsteps neared me and I felt his breath tickling the skin of my face while he was looming over me. “Since when do you care about that brat of a brother you have?”

“Do not call my brother that,” I hissed out, my face still contorted in pain.

“My, my… so protective suddenly, when under normal circumstances you wouldn’t hesitate to insult that little brat.”

I growled as I wobbled to stand back up. “I love Cuán like I love my brothers,” I said defensively.

I heard him chuckle in delight. “Love him? Even though you always call him ‘little dog-shit’ and tell him to ‘piss off’?” he mocked.

I frowned. Something began to stir in the back of my mind, but I ignored it for the moment. “How did you know that I call him that?” I asked instead.

He grinned softly. “Thought you’d never ask,” he whispered.

Suddenly there was a click and I heard a recorded file being played off.

 

– Connor you bastard! Give that back to me!

– Piss off, you little dog-shit. I’m telling father that you were trying to get laid by one of your little whores.

– You’re just jealous that girls like me and not you!

 

I remained silent, trying to control myself, knowing that my child captor was observing my reactions. The recorded argument had happened three years ago, before I had moved out. It was when I had first caught a young girl on my little brother’s bed and him next to her with a condom in his hand. I wasn’t sure why it happened, but when I saw them together I exploded.

Taking a deep breath I regained my composure. “Did you record my fights with my brother?” I asked my captor.

“Of course, that is what a stalker does, you know.”

“How did you get into our house?” I continued, “It’s guarded by the best security guards and the newest technologies.”

A small snort let me know that he wasn’t impressed by it. “I do believe a ‘genius’ should at least know how to hack a few security camera’s. Besides, those ‘new technologies’ are ready to be put into a museum.”

Grimacing at the thought of this child having spied on all my escapades through the security camera’s, I hissed out a, “Fuck you.” and turned away from him. I bent down in search of the fallen keys, my mind still raving in anger.

How dare that little fucker call my brother such names! How dare he even insinuate that I did not love my brother? I stopped. Actually, that would not be so difficult. Cuán and I were like cats and dogs, we were always fighting each other for the littlest of things. I was also jealous of all the ladies that Cuán managed to charm at age fifteen. I – socially awkward that I was – had never dated before, even though I was already twenty-six. I felt inadequate when in the vicinity of my little brother. I could never measure up to him and be his equal. I knew I should not want to be, that I was not meant to be. Still, it made me feel resentful. Bitter.

I suppose even father’s treatment of us reflected our difference, he always doted on Cuán, gave him all the freedom that a child could desire, while I received tough love.

But despite all that… despite the nasty demeanor I put up in front of my little brother, I knew deep in my heart that I did love him dearly. Sometimes, I even wondered if I did not love Cuán too much. Not that I would ever let him know that.

I shook the thought off and continued my search.

***

When I finally managed to grab a key, I tried to open my handcuffs. As fate would have it, it did not fit. Grumbling under my breath, I marched up to the door and fumbled to place the key in the lock. Again it did not fit.

I was not disappointed by this. I would only have a chance to get out, if I did a thorough job of those keys. I bent down to let go of the key when I heard a chuckle.

“What?” I growled.

“Are you planning to drop that key again?” my kidnapper whispered.

I froze. He hadn’t told me that!

Thinking quickly, I tried to argue my case. “This one was already dropped once,” I said to him.

“I know,” the little bastard replied, “but I never said that those keys don’t count anymore. In fact, I said that I could touch you, whenever you drop them.”

“So, you’re saying that I have to hold on to it?”

“Yes.”

I smirked and placed the key in the pocket of my jeans. “Fine with me.” I could only imagine how pissed off the little brat must look at the very moment. The image alone already gave me a satisfied feeling.

“Seems like you’re not as stupid as you pretend to be,” he whispered. “Not like your little brother.”

“Cuán is not stupid!” I snapped.

“Being protective again?” A chuckle from nearby.

I suppressed a growl rumbling in my throat. Was he making a joke of my feelings for my brother? “I do love him,” I said, more to reassure myself than to convince my captor.

“I’m sure you do,” there was an indecipherable undertone as he said that. It was similar to sarcasm, but much more bitter and hateful. What could it possibly mean? I was snapped out of my reverie when he suddenly started shouting, “Did you hear that! Cuán, your brother says he loves you!”

“He’s watching?!” I exclaimed.

“Of course he is, why else would I talk to him?”

For the first time I heard the kid’s actual voice… I knew that voice! Somewhere, in the back of my mind, it was nagging at me. Whose voice was this?

“You’re wondering who I am, aren’t you?”

I nodded slowly as I bent down to start searching for the other dropped keys. Let him continue talking – let him make more mistakes that may help reveal his identity. If only I could remember whose voice that was!

“Obviously, I’m not telling you.” I heard. Then, his fingers brushed against my arm.

“I didn’t drop the key,” I snarled.

“Of course you did…” he laughed, slowly walking around me like a predator circling around its prey, until he stood behind me, his breath dampening the back of my shirt, “you dropped it in your pocket.”

I jumped when he lightly patted my butt.

“Stop that!” I yelled, “That’s not fair!”

“If I were fair I wouldn’t have imprisoned you here in the first place,” he answered me calmly and continued fondling me.

“Stop immediately,” I warned, my breathing becoming heavy.

“Or what? Why should I stop? Because you don’t want your brother to see you being humiliated like this? Because you don’t want your brother to know what kind of a weakling you are? Or perhaps… because you don’t want your brother to see you becoming aroused by my touching?”

My breath hitched in my throat. The sound of that voice… it was impossible.

A low moan escaped my lips, after he touched a particularly sensitive spot. “You…” I panted out, “…my brother… Cuán…?”

“You wonder what I did to him?”

“You sound exactly like him!” I almost hadn’t noticed it. He had adopted a cold, icy tone that was so unlike him that it had completely thrown me off. My brother had never been cold before, he was a passionate person, and when he was angry he would argue heatedly and his eyes would light up like blazing fires. However, even though he had taken on this frosty persona, even though he downgraded himself so completely, this was unmistakably my brother’s voice!

He chuckled. “Oh, you finally figured it out?”

“Why do you have Cuán’s voice!” I cried out, still not ready to accept the inevitable truth.

“Why do you think…?” he returned. His arms encircled me, and his face pressed into my back, where he gently placed a kiss.

“But…” I resisted weakly, “you can’t be Cuán…”

Cuán would never…

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