Captive in the Dark
Author:CJ Roberts

Besides, if God or gods existed, none of them knew that Caleb did, or otherwise they hadn’t given a shit about him when it mattered. No one had given a shit about him, no one except Rafiq.

And in the absence of an all-punishing afterlife, Caleb needed to make sure Vladek Rostrovich paid for his sins right here on earth.

Twenty minutes later the girl started to cry, right there on the sidewalk, right in front of him.

Caleb couldn’t look away. Tears had always been mystifying to him. He liked looking at them, tasting them. Truth be told, they made him hard. He once abhorred this conditioned response, but he was long over self-loathing. These responses, these reactions, were a part of him now, for better or worse. Mostly worse he admitted with a smile and adjusted his erection.

What was it about such displays of emotion that just dug into his gut without letting go? Pure lust rolled through him like a heavy ache bringing with it a strong desire to possess her, to have power over her tears. Each day, he thought of her more as a slave than a riddle. Though she maintained an alluring type of mystery locked away in downcast eyes.

His mind flashed with images of her sweetly innocent face awash with tears as he held her over his knee. He could almost feel the softness of her naked bottom under his hand, the surety of her weight pressed against his erection while he spanked her.

The fantasy was short-lived.

Abruptly, a car pulled up in front of the girl.

Shit. He groaned as he willed the images away.

He almost couldn’t believe this was happening. Some asshole was trying to move in on his prey.

He watched as the girl shook her head, declining the driver’s invitation to get into his car. It didn’t seem like the guy was listening. She was walking away from the bus-stop, but he was following in his car.

There was only one thing to do.

Caleb stepped out onto the corner, fairly certain the girl hadn’t taken notice of how long his car had been parked. For the moment, she seemed too terrified to notice anything but the pavement in front of her downcast eyes. She was walking very fast, backpack in front of her, like a shield. He crossed the street and slowly walked in her direction. He casually scanned the scene, while moving directly in front of her, their paths set for a head-on collision.

It all happened so quickly, unexpectedly. Before he had the chance to execute a simple strategy to remove the external threat, she suddenly flung herself into his arms, the backpack making a loud thud on the concrete. He looked at the car, the shadow and incongruent shape of a man. Another predator.

“Oh my god,” she whispered into the cotton of his t-shirt. “Just play along okay?” Her arms were steel around his ribcage, her voice, a frantic plea.

Caleb was stunned for a moment. What an interesting turn of events. Was he the hero of this scenario? He nearly smiled.

“I see him,” He said, catching the other hunter’s gaze. Stupid ass, he was still sitting there, looking confused. Caleb placed his arms around the girl as if he knew her. He supposed in a way he did. On a playful impulse he ran his hands down the sides of her body. She tensed, breath caught in her throat.

The car and competition finally sped away in a cloud of smog and squealing tires. No longer requiring his protection, the girl’s arms released him quickly.

“I’m sorry,” she said in a rush, “but that guy would not leave me alone.” She sounded relieved but still shaken by the incident.

Caleb looked into her eyes, up close this time. They were just as dark, beguiling, and cheerless as he had imagined they would be. He found himself wanting to take her then, to bring her to some secret place where he could explore the depths of those eyes, unlock the mystery they held. But not now, this was not the time or place.

“This is ll.A.; danger, intrigue and movie stars. Isn’t that what it says under the Hollywood sign?” He said, trying to lighten the mood.

Confused, the girl shook her head. She was apparently not ready for humor yet. But as she stooped to pick up her backpack she said, “Um…actually, I think it’s –

‘That’s so ll.A.’ But it’s not under the Hollywood sign. Nothing’s under the Hollywood sign.” Caleb suppressed a wide grin. She wasn’t trying to be funny. It was more like she was searching for comfortable ground. “Should I call the police?” he communicated with feigned concern.

Now that the girl felt safer, she appeared to take real notice of him, an unfortunate, yet completely unavoidable moment. “Um...” Her eyes darted back and forth from his eyes, lingering on his mouth a bit too long before they darted to her sneakered feet. “I don’t think that’s necessary. They won’t do anything anyway, creeps like that are all over the place here.

Plus,” she added sheepishly, “I didn’t even get his plate.” She looked at him again, eyes roving his face before biting her lower lip and looking down at the ground. Caleb tried to keep the look of concern on his face when all he really wanted was to smile. So, he thought, the girl found him attractive.