Chapter 01; part 01
I woke to a throbbing headache and the taste of blood in my mouth. My body ached all over; bringing back the first few days of my combat training almost 20 years ago. Mentally I checked my body; I couldn’t be this sore without physical activity or sickness and I certainly didn’t feel sick; as I scanned my limbs and torso I realised that the lack of sickness was right – but I had exerted myself physically; as physically as I could. The foulness of the memory of Giffen and his despicable dominance permeated my consciousness and as it filled up my mind it also filled up my body with a tight quick trembling. Not only was I trembling at the memory but I wondered if he was still in the house. Surely this act would have turned him from moral; it would have been the final deed to push him into a thing of evil; the exact kind of thing I hunted for a living, but the kind of thing that he used to hunt too.
Quickly I scrambled out of the bed so fast that it would be easy to think that the bed would explode, my body screamed at me for ignoring it’s warnings that it had been pushed to extremes. I moved over to the set of drawers and stood staring at the bed; he’d come in and forced himself upon me as if I was nothing but a tool for his use. Outwardly the bed showed no signs that the act had taken place; to me it had a great big neon sign in the form of an arrow; the sign flashed “I was violated here!” spasmodically. Everything felt tainted; me, my bed, my room, the air I was breathing, my skin. It couldn’t be true, surely; I thought maybe I dreamt it.
Further into the house I could hear normal morning noises; a radio played low pretentious jazz as Guffey hummed along and cooked the Unit’s ‘breakfast’; his signature vanilla coffee percolation wafted its sweet, creamy smell throughout the house. Groman was in the gym room which was next to my bedroom; this was his normal morning routine. I almost always woke up to Groman’s whispered counting and the rhythmic, soft clinking of weights. Apparently you couldn’t be too muscular. I took all this in as I stood staring at my bed; hugging myself tightly, trembling violently.
“Anyone seen Giffen?” Gabriel’s lilting voice asked; Gaito’s negative response was around a mouth of whatever Guffey had cooked up for breakfast. I took action as I realised that Gabriel’s footsteps were heading in my direction. Six steps are all it took to reach my adjoining en suite, yet inside and lock the door. “Civ, you in here?” Gabriel’s voice was clearly over near the entrance way to my room; I realised I needed a door, thick iron core lockable door. “We’ve got a meeting at H.O. soon.”
“I’ll be out shortly,” I said surprised my voice was steady.
“Departure E.T.A 30 minutes;” his voice had been closer this time, nearer the bed. The very real consequence of anyone else finding out what had been done would mortify me; not only were it diminish my standing in their eyes, but they would only see me as a filthy whore. “You haven’t seen Giffen by any chance?”
“Nah, not since before sun down,” I didn’t lie; I don’t know if I could have been very convincing. Considering I was just standing here wanting Gabriel to go away. There was a pause, a long and pregnant pause and I could hear Gabriel moving in small ways near the bed. I closed my eyes and tilted my face up mother of the earth please just get him out of here I prayed.
“Alright,” he said moving off, “28 minutes now.” Thank-you, I offered.