Olivia had known something was up. When she entered her apartment, she had that feeling—the one where the creepy-crawlies made every hair stand on end—on her arms, on the back of her neck. Ignoring it would cost her dearly, and she would never forgive herself after this. She knew that, once her own gun was pointing towards her head, and that sick fuck Lewis was at the other end.
Elliot saw the report on the news about the rapist set free in Manhattan, and he couldn't help thinking of her. She would be horrified right now—obsessing over the injustice of it all, going over her playbook again and again to try and think of a new angle, a new way to stop him. He sighed. He respected her for that.
Since he had left, he had not been able to connect with anyone at his new job as a bouncer. Things went downhill—Kathy left him, but for good this time. Now he only saw his kids on the weekend, and there was a gaping hole where their daily presence had been. And the hole only widened when he thought of Olivia.
Over the past few days, he had become more and more obsessed with the idea of going back. If not for good, at least to explain himself to her. How the shooting had given him nightmares. How he had become overprotective with his daughters, to the point of driving them away. The job had taken its toll on him, and the shooting was his breaking point. He could not tell her at the time, but he felt ready to talk about it now.
The news announcer concluded the story by saying that the "alleged" rapist was out on bail. He worried about her safety. Now was the time to return.
"Ah—ha ha! Gotcha," he said with a smile, pushing her toward the bedroom.
"You'll never get away with this," she said through panting breaths. "Why don't you just let me go?"
He must have seen the panic seeping through her brave façade, because his smile widened, like a little boy who knows he's been bad but is never punished. He shook his head. "No way. And miss such a great time with you? Not a chance."
She closed her mouth, but kept her eyes fixed on him. The tension filled every second as she tried to slow her racing thoughts and come up with a way out. As if he could hear her, he said, "Don't even think about trying to escape." He sizzled through his teeth, "I will kill you."
To emphasize his words, he brought the gun to her chest, and pointed it straight at her heart. She kept her hands up, and said, "Okay, okay. But let's just talk about this, okay?"
"Let's not!" he snapped. "Into the bedroom."
She closed her eyes and sighed before complying. There was no way she was going to make a move right now—this guy would kill her, she had no doubt that he was that bold. As he shoved her toward the bed, she decided to try and placate him. "Look, maybe I was a little hard on you in questioning—"
"Damn right you were, bitch," he said, his voice louder. "I don't like to be treated that way."
She nodded. "I know, I know," she said gently. "And maybe I can make it up to you. You know, I could get you a lighter sentence."
He chortled. "You know what I hate about you? Olivia." His lips curled into a sneer. "You think I'm stupid. And that just pisses me off, because I'm really smart."
He jabbed the gun into her ribs as he said the last few words, and she tried to hide her flinching. "I don't think you're stupid, Billy—"
"Shut up." His voice was loud but controlled, his eyes on fire. His smile returned. "Just take off your clothes so we can get to the fun part."
Her mind screamed "No," but what choice did she have? She moved slowly and deliberately, to demonstrate her willingness to cooperate. Meanwhile, she watched his every move, hoping to spot a mistake on his part, however slight, so that she could make a move to free herself. But the barrel of the gun never left her side.
With her eyes on him, she unbuttoned her blouse, and slipped it off. "Mmmm . . ." he said, his eyes sparkling as it slid to the floor. "Now the rest of it. Any order you want, but I want it all off."
Trying to still her shaking hands, she unbuttoned her skirt and let it drop. "Billy . . ." she tried one more time.
"It's Mr. Lewis to you," he said, "And no more talking."
"Kay," she whispered, and pulled off her panty hose. She tried to keep her breathing in check, but her lungs couldn't take in air fast enough. And then she remembered—Brian was supposed to come by tonight. He had her keys. He was late, which meant he might show up any second. She clung to the hope like a child holding onto candy.
She hesitated before starting on her bra. The more time she could buy, the better. "Now the rest," he said.
She stumbled to find the hooks in the back, but she didn't want to stall too long. Who knew how this guy would react when he got impatient. The hooks were undone, a draft brushing her bare chest, and now only one piece of clothing stood between her and nothingness. Silence enveloped her near-nakedness as she stood, unable to force herself to remove her underwear. Her heart pounded as she contemplated what might happen next.
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