Chapter 1: Trapped
The rope around your wrists and ankles had not been tied really tight. Though, your intents from trying to wriggle free had resulted in reddish bruises and marks forming along the raw skin your uniform couldn’t cover. It was professional work, and even in your dazed and anxious state, you were clearly surprised.
It seemed as if whoever had kidnapped you didn’t want to hurt you.
But the damage was done. You had been taken away from your very own home in such miserable fashion, you couldn’t quite understand yet.
Everything had been so quick that it was very difficult to even try to remember the chain of actions that had happened hours prior.
However, there was a voice stuck in your head. The last one you heard before losing consciousness.
“I’m sorry! It was the only way!”
The voice of your stepfather hammered at your brain second after second, a headache forming along the minutes of solitude spent in the dark room. It was void of any window, the only source of light a hanging bulb that hovered over your still form. Its opaque glow didn’t reach the corners of the room, though you could make out the smeared walls. Even if there was no smell, you had a pretty accurate idea of what the copper color covering the otherwise dark gray was.
Was this used as a torture chamber of sorts?
Shaking your head, you tried to relinquish the idea. So far, nobody had come through the only door you had been facing for the past… was it six? Maybe seven hours?
Was that their idea of torture? Locking you somewhere nobody had any idea existed, so you could rot and die?
You knew that you shouldn’t have entertained the thought, but it was too late. And it made you want to throw up, and scream, and cry.
A desperate gasp left your lips as you once again struggled against your bindings. The attempt was desperate, but it was the only thing you could do to prevent your sanity from completely leaving.
Your head hung then as you gave up trying. It was useless. The rope bit at your skin, and you felt a warm liquid run down your left wrist. You were bleeding. Perhaps bleeding to death was a far more merciful end.
“Please,” You whispered to no one in particular, eyes stinging with unshed tears that fell down with a blink, damping your red cheeks as you stared at the ground.
Time seemed to tick by slowly, the light bulb blinking every now and then made you feel dizzy, so you opted for closing your eyes.
Maybe… just maybe, next time you opened them, you would be home. But it was no nightmare. The stinging pain flowing through your limbs from the rope and being in the same position for hours was a bitter reminder of it. You were far from home… alone, tired, in pain.
Another anxiety attack hit, tears cascading down your face as you silently cried; praying, hoping.
Just how long would you have to endure that?
For the first time that day, it seemed you would be getting some answers.
The slit between the door and the floor lit, an echo of various footsteps making you question whether you were hearing things, or if there was someone coming.
Then the reality of the situation hit.
Despite all your pleas to be found, you did not know if that was what you really wanted. You were aware of what a vulnerable position you were in. And had you not been tied; you would’ve tried to mask your feelings by wiping away your tears.
Angling your head so you could look at the door, you waited, breath catching in your throat as you heard the distinctive sound of keys, and then the turning of the knob.
Swallowing thickly, your [e/c] followed three tall figures come one by one into the room. They blocked the door completely as if taking a precautionary measure just in case.
But you weren’t stupid. Clumsy, yes. A bit naïve? Sure. But you were smart. Any tries to run would result with a bullet lodged on your leg. Or worse… your head.
And you definitely did not want to die. Not… not like that.
“That’s her.” A deep voice spoke from your right. Turning your head, you were met with a scowl decorated by piercing gray-blue hues. He was glaring at you, and you felt the sudden urge to look away. His eyes were beautiful but clouded with many harsh emotions that were too much on you.
A soft hum came from the middle then, and once again, you looked for the source. “Thank you, senpai. I’ll take it from here.”
It was a tall, blond man. Eyes molten gold that hadn’t left your figure since he came into the room. His voice was gentle and inviting, and for a second you completely forgot what was going on around you. The black suit was a perfect partner for the gold tie, and he looked like a sculpture made by gods.
“Are you sure?” It was the third voice. Gruff and deep, and you immediately knew he was the oldest of the three. However, they couldn’t have been older than twenty-two. And if you knew any better, you would say they were still high schoolers.
“I am. Leave.”
The otherwise placid voice dropped an octave lower, his warm caramel eyes changing to a feral yellow as he easily dismissed the other two, earning a scowl from the blue-eyed guy, accompanied by a “Don’t push it, Kise!”
However, both of them left, closing the door after them, leaving you alone with him.
Long strides made him reach your chair in milliseconds. He kneeled down to your level, eyes silently assessing you. Your cheeks were red, wet splotches making them shine in the dim light the hanging bulb offered. Your lips were dry and a bit chapped. It seemed you hadn’t had a sip of water in a while. His eyes travelled to your neck, lips forming a smirk as your nervous gaze followed his. He stopped at your hands, his relaxed features soon forming a frown.
“The rope has been hurting you.”
“Please let me go.” You hadn’t meant to blurt it out like that, but you wanted to be home… you missed your bed, your covers. Just being free…
Man, people surely took many things for granted.
His stare softened, and he raised a hand, his knuckles gently caressing your cheek. Your initial reaction was to recoil from the touch, but you couldn’t move around much. His touch was warm, and you cursed yourself for the flicker of emptiness that went through you when he pulled away.
“I can’t.” He simply stated, reaching for your bindings. “I’m going to untie you. Do not,” He started, his eyes moving to you, the severity of the words, and the fierce glare supporting his next demand. “try to run. It won’t end well.”
Not that you could, especially when you were starting to feel dizzy. The lack of food and water seemed to be finally taking a toll on your body.
Silently nodding, you watched as his hands made quick work, expertly pulling and untangling without ever causing you pain.
Your immediate instinct was to rub your sore wrists, trembling hands trying to ease the uncomfortable burning in your skin. “T-thank you…”
So preoccupied you were with not breaking down in front of that particular individual that you missed the way his eyes widened at your words. Were you really thanking him?
“Better?” He ventured to ask, his calculating eyes still lingering over your fragile state. He wished they hadn’t been so rough with you. But you were in good hands now. “Let’s go.”
Looking up from your reddish skin, you gawked at him, flabbergasted. “A-are you… are you g-going to kill me?”
He chuckled, shaking his head. “You’d be dead already if I wanted to kill you, sweet cheeks.”
Despite your better judgement, your cheeks turned red at the nickname. “T-then where-”
“It is me who asks the questions.” The change of demeanor didn’t go unnoticed. Did he have a sort of split personality? One moment he was caring and soft, and the other he was distant and demanding. He really was a whole mystery. “Let’s go.”
He didn’t have to say it again as you stood in trembling legs, letting out a short whine as you fell back down on the chair, almost knocking it over. It hadn’t been on purpose, but you were not in the best conditions. You just hoped he wouldn’t be angered by that. “I’m sorry!” You hurried to apologize, glazy [e/c] orbs looking for his. “I can’t-”
Shit. You could barely stand on your own. He frowned, giving you a quick once over. Just for how long had you been locked down there? He fisted his hands and clenched his teeth, trying to will the anger away. It was incomprehensible how much it bothered him to see you so… helpless. Why? But there was a feeling deep within, eating at him. He wanted to assure you, hold you, protect you… You were his now, no matter how you looked at it. And he deeply cared for what was his. After all, he wouldn’t have an empire if he didn’t.
Without a single word, he effortlessly picked you up, one arm holding your waist, the other beneath your knees as he walked out the room and down a dimly lit tunnel.
The shocking action rendered you speechless as you watched him from up close. He was handsome, indeed. Devilishly handsome. Because that was all he was. A devil that had you completely trapped in his claws.
And incredibly as it was… you felt comfortable. The steady heartbeat on your ear soon forced you to sleep, head lightly falling over his chest.
He looked down when he felt you go limp in his hold, his golden hues sparkling with feeling. He had found such a beautiful treasure…
And he intended to keep it till the end of his days.
Chapter 2: Welcome to... paradise?
All that glitters is not gold. You woke up in a golden cage. A beautiful paradise, indeed... but still a cage.
Your lids fluttered open, and it took a while for you to get adjusted to the light. Your [e/c] orbs met with an expensive looking wooden ceiling. It was a dark honey color, and given how warm the room was, it was doing an excellent job at conserving heat.
Hanging from it a few fancy looking lamps, their lights covered in crystal with certainly intricate designs. In the middle, a white fan was slowly turning.
“How are you feeling?” The voice coming from right next to you had you turning your head in pure disbelief, eyes moving from the propellers to the figure lying on the left side of the bed.
It was the same blond boy from before. He looked much more normal and less intimidating in that posture.
His sleepy eyes twinkled mischievously as you suddenly sat up, scrambling to get away from him, but tangling yourself in the multiple golden and white covers and almost falling down to the carpeted floor had it not been for the big hand grabbing your forearm and quickly pulling you back.
However, you swatted at him, picking up what was left of your dignity and standing up this time, being careful not to trip over your own two feet as you glared at him.
It took quite a few moments to process everything that had happened the night before – or what you thought was the night before – and as you quickly looked around, you came to realize various things.
The first one was that you were not wearing your uniform anymore. Instead, you were dressed in a blue shirt that was gigantic on you, and a pair of shorts. Your first instinct was to check if your underwear was still there, and a wave of relief hit when you noticed that it was.
Although your memories were blurry and fuzzy, and you could barely recall the events that had transpired, you had a feeling they hadn’t done anything terrible. At least not yet, and you hoped it stayed that way.
The second thing you noted was that your wrists and ankles had been bandaged. The pain the rope had caused in your futile struggles against it was a sour reminder that it hadn’t been a bad dream. It was more of a living nightmare.
“Who are you? And where-” Stopping your questions abruptly, you looked past the blond in the bed. The gigantic room seemed even bigger than your whole apartment. Honestly, you could fit quite a handful of people in there. It was ridiculously spacious, luxury décor showing the wealth of its owner. However, the spacious room nor its furniture was what caught your attention. It was the wall. It wasn’t precisely a wall, instead it was a gigantic glass with a couple sliding doors that connected to the balcony.
Now, the view was breathtaking.
The blond followed your line of sight, turning to look over his shoulder. The landscape was something he was used to, but perhaps it was a whole new experience for you.
The ocean was appeased, tranquil waters softly following the wind towards the coast. Small waves hitting the almost white sand, surrounded by a tropical forest.
It was absolutely beautiful.
But all that glitters is not gold.
You were in paradise indeed. Trapped in paradise.
And although the idea of making a run for the windows had briefly crossed your mind, you had a feeling escaping wasn’t going to be easy. Being on their bad side was definitely not on your bucket list, so you threw away that idea, opting instead for looking at the blond, hoping he would be willing to give some answers.
“Kise Ryouta,” He answered after a while, sitting up on the bed and stretching. A light blush dusted your cheeks when you realized he was shirtless. His muscles contracted with each of his movements, and you couldn’t help but stare. It was almost hypnotizing, and for a moment you were lost in thought, before realizing he had actually answered.
Wait… why… did he just give you his name?!
You pointed an accusatory finger at him, shaking your head in disbelief. “Y-you’re not supposed to tell me! If I didn’t know, I would’ve been able to leave!”
He tilted his head to the side, a smile forming on his lips our of pure confusion. “Eh? But you asked…”
“But you shouldn’t have answered!” You interrupted, placing both hands on your cheeks as you whined loudly. “How am I supposed to bargain for my freedom if I know your name?!”
You were a certainly… interesting character in his eyes. However, as nice as he was, he was also ruthless. Not that he meant to shatter any speck of hope you had, but someone had to knock you down and get your feet down to earth.
He sighed loudly then, standing up, keeping a prudent distance from your form as you immediately took as step back. He didn’t want you to feel cornered. He was aware of how physically and mentally draining the situation was for you. He knew he had long ways to go before you ever felt comfortable and at ease, but because of who he was, because of what he was, there were many things that he simply couldn’t do.
“I’m sorry if I ever made you believe that I was going to let you go,” He started, his normally caramel hues darkening a few shades as he spoke, grabbing a discarded shirt from the bed. “But I’m not letting you go back to your old life. So, you can kiss that option goodbye.” He put on the shirt, a hand combing his disheveled golden locks as he stared at you, watching your shoulders drop and your eyes cloud with desperation and despair.
Those were reflected emotions that he didn’t want to see on you again. But he simply needed time. Time for you to understand.
Without another word, he pointed to the coffee table in front of the giant TV screen. There was a silver tray with food; a sandwich, some eggs, fruits, coffee and even orange juice. Such breakfast…
There was a silent order as he walked out the room, closing the door after him and leaving you alone with your thoughts. You had a feeling that if you didn’t take care of yourself, things were going to turn worse.
But… even if you felt as if all your options of returning to your normal life were gone with his words, there was something about the way he said that…
“I’m not letting you go back to your old life.”
Shaking your head, you dropped over one of the beige leathered armchairs in front of the coffee table, suspiciously eyeing the food.
It… wasn’t poisoned, right?
No, he said it to you last time… if he wanted you dead, you would already be.
And you just hoped fate wouldn’t later decide that maybe death was a far better end that whatever it was they had kidnapped you for.
“Well, here goes nothing,” Snatching the sandwich, you inspected it, before taking a bite. And oh my God, it tasted like heaven! Well, they do say hunger is the best sauce.
After finishing the sandwich, the fruits and the orange juice, you went to the balcony. To your surprise, the sliding doors were opened.
The day was warm, a soft breeze blowing your hair into disarray. Not that it was ever fixed, in the first place. But you had a very good excuse.
Walking towards the railing, you leaned down. Apparently, you were on a third floor. And as much freedom as you wanted, jumping down would result in serious injuries. You had to play it smart. They had to eventually lower their guard… right?
They… he… couldn’t possibly keep you there forever, right?
Man… how did you find yourself in a gold cage?
Chapter 3: Healing wounds
"You could've... taken the opportunity to escape. Why didn't you?"
Or the one where you think you might be going insane for helping your captor.
I'm alive! And I also want to thank all of you who have read and liked the story! It took me a while to figure out what I was going to do, but I think I found the right way! Hope you enjoy, and thank you for the support!
How much time had passed since you had been left alone? Your only company, albeit momentary, had been a pink haired girl that had brought you your lunch.
She had stridden into your room pushing a cart, a happy smile on her lips as she waved animatedly at you.
It had taken you by surprise, but out of everyone you had met – not that you had met much people besides the blond boy and his two companions – she seemed the friendliest face you would see.
It didn’t mean you would let your guard down. Your tone had been clipped, and you had only given her monosyllabic answers. But you couldn’t quite risk it.
A flicker of sadness, maybe disappointment, had crossed her eyes, and you had to admit that it had made you feel guilty once she left the room again.
Taking it against her wasn’t really fair.
Yes, your situation wasn’t the best, considering you were being held hostage, but you were more than sure that she had no fault in what had happened the day prior.
Loneliness ate at you as you stared at the sunset through the glass. And as you sat in the gigantic bed, with no sign whatsoever of any answers to your questions, you regretted the cruel treatment you had had with that girl.
Shaking your head, you sighed, before looking at the balcony. You had briefly considered escaping through the balcony. But when you had gone out to assess your possibilities, you found that they were close to none. You were on the third floor of the mansion; you had realized that before. And even if you had been situated on lower levels, the place was surrounded by guards and security cameras. It was practically impossible.
Rubbing your face, you pulled your knees to your chest, placing your chin on top of them. Looking in retrospective, it was sort of funny, how you ended up in such situation.
It had been a normal day for you. You had arrived late at school… again. It hadn’t been entirely your fault. The closest train station was a forty-minute walk from your apartment, and your step-father had been so drunk, having a killing hangover he could barely stand.
You didn’t realize he had gone out the night prior. Then again… he was seldom home. Not that it mattered. You would risk it and say it was better without him. He had tried to hurt you physically once before. He was drunk, and even if he blamed it on the alcohol, he didn’t have a right. Luckily, your mother was still around, and she had stopped him. He hadn’t tried to touch you since.
But your relationship was… strained. You were living under the same roof, but it was incredibly tense to be with him in the same room. It seemed he could barely bear your presence. It didn’t matter. He was still responsible for you. He brought food home, and sometimes money to pay the bills that your mother, even overseas, still payed for.
But that aside… you had been late. The forty-minute walk delayed all your schedule, and even as you hurried to the station, you missed the first and second trains. You had made it however, with detention and a glare from your teacher, but at least you wouldn’t miss your history exam.
The day had been uneventful, and with you stuck in detention doing your homework, it had become ridiculously long.
You had arrived home at six, more or less, knowing well nobody would pick you up at the station, and you didn’t have enough money for a taxi.
And then… the lethargically slow day had done a three-sixty change. When you opened the door, you didn’t expect to find your step-father curled on the carpet floor, almost on the verge of tears, a gun pressed to his temple, and surrounded by a few men.
His eyes had locked with yours, and you could see the pure fear circling around them. Your first instinct was to run, leave him to his fate… But you weren’t that kind of person. Instead, your grabbed the closest makeshift weapon, your own schoolbag, and threw it at one of the assailants, trying to make a room for the phone cause your own device was tucked in the bag.
You never made it, of course, and the last thing you remember were his words. His apologies that seemed so empty as he let them take you.
And it downed on you… he let them take you.
“I’m sorry! It was the only way!”
A gasp left your lips, and you realized you had been crying. Again… it had become an unhealthy habit of yours. Roughly wiping away the tears, you jumped when the door slammed open.
Staggering came the blond man – Kise Ryouta, you recalled.
His head was lowered as he closed the door after him, before he collapsed against it.
He had been holding onto his side, however blood was starting to seep in between his fingers. He didn’t make a simple sound, other than the dragging of his feet as he stood and stumbled towards the door on the left, which you had discovered earlier that morning that was an insanely gigantic bathroom.
It took him a while to gather his surroundings, the blinding pain was subsiding, but losing sensitivity wasn’t that much of a good sight. He was scarcely aware of a voice other than the one in his head, until he stopped a step from the door, turning to you in complete shock.
“What..?” He had completely forgotten you were there… He had los track of space and time. Had lowered his guard enough to be attacked and hurt. But he didn’t want to worry anyone else. It had happened countless times before. Kasamatsu-senpai the only one to ever be able to tell something was wrong. But he refused to show them weakness. How could he, as their leader? He wasn’t supposed to reveal his true feelings, especially if they made him weak. So, for you to see him in such fucking vulnerable situation was…
He growled when you came closer, shaking his head.
But if he wanted to be stubborn, so would you. If he thought he could go and… and die out there before you gave him a piece of your mind, he had another thing coming!
You walked towards him, aggressively grabbed his free hand and pulled his arm over your shoulders, helping him to the bathroom.
“Don’t! Just… c’mon!” You urged, using all your strength and willpower to get him there. But the boy was big, the muscle was not only for show; he had a pretty good built, but that made him heavy. Through gritted teeth, you pushed the door open, before sitting him down on the bathroom bench. “Where’s the first aid kit?”
He nodded with his head towards the cabinets near the sink, mutely watching you open them in a frenzy until you found the little bag. His blood was boiling at the point, adrenaline kicking in because he had never been so confused before. It was your perfect chance to escape… and instead… you were helping him. Why?
“You don’t… have to… do this…” He panted, wincing at the cut on his side. It wasn’t deep, but he was losing too much blood, he needed to stop it before it became serious.
“Shut up!” You almost barked, unaware of your eyes watering as you quickly got rid of his suit jacket. You unbuttoned the black button up shirt, almost ripping his tie to get it off the way. “Oh my God!”
It looked bad… a vertical gash running from the side of his pectoral to the side of his abdomen. It was tainted with blood, and it looked a tad bit infected.
You took the disinfectant alcohol, dabbed a piece of cotton with it, and quickly started to press it carefully over the wound.
“Sh- ouch!” He glared, almost playfully, but weakly, at you. “That’s cruel, [Name]cchi!”
Your hand stopped mid motion, before you turned to look at him. Did he just..? Shaking your head, your harshly grabbed onto his shoulder to keep him still. “Then don’t move! It’s going to hurt more if you keep moving!”
He clicked his tongue, but obeyed, willing his body and muscles to stand still as you worked on him. “Damn! That’s- OW!”
You bit your lip, if anything because of the bloody, yet comical situation. Whenever he was serious he looked so intimidating… But he was like an effing golden retriever! Such a big baby! It was hard to believe!
“Hey!” You called, grabbing his cheeks with your blood smeared hands, and making him look at you. “You’re not… y-you’re not dying here! You owe me an explanation, and I’m not letting you go without one, you hear me?!”
He blinked, a bit astonished at your words, before slowly nodding his head. It… was only fair, he supposed.
“Uh… sweet cheeks?” He called after a while, when you finally managed to stop the bleeding. The wound was already closing. It hadn’t been THAT bad, actually, but blood had made it seem ten times worse than it really was. He was going to be okay. Probably okay, but in pain.
“What?” You asked, softer this time as you walked around him with the bandage roll in hand as you wrapped his injury. It wasn’t the most professional work out there, but you had tried your best.
His words made you stop, before you looked at his form. There was a strange sense of déjà vu as you slowly nodded. “Mhm.”
He stood up then, groaning at the movement. Ugh, it hurt like a bitch, but… Well, he was sure it would heal in time, just like all his other scars. He turned to you, your back to his as you tried to wash the blood from your hands. He waited until you finished, before flashing a tired smile. “I mean it. You could’ve… taken the opportunity to escape. Why didn’t you?”
You wiped your hands in the towel, making a face at the reddish, pinkish stains. You pitied whoever had to wash it… “I… don’t know.” It was as honest as your answer could get. “Even if you were… o-out of the picture… I saw the guards and cameras. I didn’t want them to think I killed you or… or something.” It was half a lie, though.
There was something in you… and you didn’t want him to die. You didn’t. You couldn’t let him. Perhaps it was a wicked case of caring… even if he had taken you from your home… your house…
“Well… whatever it was… you saved me.” He mumbled. “You wanted the truth, right? It’s the least I could do. But I’m just going to say something. Somethings are better left unsaid. Let me know when you’re ready.”
You watched him walk out, limping a bit, and still holding onto his side, his words etching a frown on your face.
What did he mean with that..?