Lucas – Chapter 8

In the morning, Lucy couldn’t find a parking space. It was always difficult in the small streets around the business centre where they had their offices. She never stood in the reserved spots in the underground parking lot – there were cameras there, and most importantly, all of her colleagues parked there. There was no chance that someone wouldn’t see her there sooner or later. So she’d come into the office after Lucas had. She took off her jacket, draped it over the back of her chair. She used to say hello at a time like this, but now she couldn’t decide whether to howl or cackle. So she skipped that instead and just yelled into the door:
„Yes, please,“ came the reply, so she walked right into the kitchen. On the way back, she left one cup on her desk and took the other to him. He didn’t respond to her with a glance. He just studied the monitor intently. Basically, she was fine with that. Probably. So she went back to her seat and turned on the computer.

Before long he appeared at her door:
„I’m going down for coffee. If anyone needs anything, call me.“
He didn’t even wait for her „OK“ and left.
He was gone for an hour, maybe two. She didn’t watch it, trying to concentrate on work. So when he walked past her, she just gave him a quick glance. He walked over and called out to her:
„Get your stuff, you’re coming with me.“
Occasionally, he took her to meetings outside the office, so she wasn’t surprised by the request and stood up straight.

„Where?“ She asked.
She picked up her jacket and, when no answer came, leaned in his doorway. He’d just put his mobile phone to his ear, so she returned to her desk and started throwing things into her purse. Lucas stood next to her, saying something to the other end of the line, and waved for her to follow him. He seemed strange to her, like he was hiding anger. But she didn’t deal with it, she grabbed another notebook and pen and caught up with him in the hallway. He summoned the elevator and flipped the phone from one ear to the other alternately, depending on which hand he was currently trying to get into his jacket.

Elevator, garage, car. As always, he opened the door of car for her and closed it when she got in. He walked around the car, got in as well, and buckled his seatbelt. He started it up, they walked out of the garage. Even then, when he didn’t end the call and she realized that someone on the other end was reading him a contract, to which Lucas was dictating corrections, she figured this call was going to be a long one. And yes, he’s pissed. He lowered his voice a few pitches, using stern, clear sentences and, contrary to his natural nature, a stony face and no witty interjections. As always, he has the blood-pressure of three hundred, but maintains dignity. Whatever. She squeezed comfortably into her seat, leaned her head back, and began mindlessly watching the morning sky outside the windows flicker by.

Below the city castle he began to slow down. Rich neighborhood. Some family villas, here and there an embassy and also company headquarters. More than once they were in the neighborhood for business. He pulled up to one of the houses and pulled into a garage. They both got out, he opened the door leading up to the residential area. And he was still on the phone. She figured they were going to one of his friends, or he would have hung up by now. He was very particular about bonton and appropriateness of behavior. She followed him up the stairs and they found themselves in a large, spacious room. She remained standing, watching the art of money and interior designers. Dark flooring, obviously wood, not laminate. A dark red leather sofa, far too large for a corporate space. Plasma on half the wall. Fireplace.
´A fireplace and a TV in the welcoming corporate area? Strange.‘
Lucas’s voice faded into silence behind her, she heard some beeping. There were photos and diplomas on the walls. This one of Lucas… Lucas‘ diploma from college… Lucas, perhaps ten years younger, with an older couple… The silence that suddenly fell stunned her. Slowly, she turned around. Lucas was standing on the other side of the room, leaning against, she discovered, the kitchen counter. He no longer wore an unconcerned, work-focused expression. His gaze was hard and emotionless.
„We’re at your home,“ she gushed.

Without answering, he slowly took a notebook of some sort from the counter and took a few steps towards her.
„Do you like old songs?“
He threw the notebook on the floor in front of her, it landed with a thud. „Vodka and revenge taste best cold.“
She lowered her gaze to the notebook without moving. A two-year-old copy of Entrepreneur. Her own face smiled at her from the front page, with a large caption „Young Millionaire. Entrepreneur of the Year, for the third time in a row!“
She held her breath.
„Let me explain,“ she suggested quietly.
„No need!“ He retorted.
„…What do you want to do?“ She managed to ask after a moment, almost whispering.
„I’m going to rape you.“
It sounded like an announcement, not a threat.

She looked at him uncertainly rather than fearfully.
„Lucas,“ she paused. „That’s a felony in our country,“ she finished.
Without a word, he took her purse from her shoulder, turned, and walked around the counter into the kitchen area. He put the bag in some sort of locker, locked it, and pocketed the key.
„Only if they prove it to me,“ he retorted, smiling. Confident and gloating. He took out two glasses and set them down:
´He must be serious.´
Fear set in and she fell silent.
Lucas pulled a bottle from another cabinet and poured into both glasses.
„I hope you like whiskey.“

She was still quiet, so he looked at her. He couldn’t help but catch her gaze drifting off in the direction they’d come from.
„You can forget that,“ he said. When she gave him a look, he closed the bottle and continued: „The security system is on. No outside door or window can be opened without entering the code. If you try to do so, a loud alarm will go off.“
He took both glasses, walked around the counter and stood next to her.
„Only in the house, of course. No police.“
He handed her one glass and stared brazenly into her eyes.
´My God, he’s serious!´ she figured. She took the glass slowly. He lifted his gently towards her:
„To sweet revenge,“ he uttered.

Her heart raced and she sipped quietly. The thoughts in her head raced back and forth. On the right side of the kitchen counter, the space narrowed into a hallway, a small white box on the wall. Alarm. The one she’d apparently heard beeping a moment ago. So that would be the main entrance. Surely locked. In front of her, the stairs down to the garage. Does the alarm secure that one, too? More likely, yes. And she’d have to go right through Lucas anyway. At the left, another stairs leading up. Apparently a bedroom and the like. What would she do if she got there? Might as well shut herself up somewhere. The door won’t hold against him. Does he have the keys in there? At least in the bathroom? Can he find one? And then what? Even if there is a window and he didn’t lie, he won’t open it. Even if he does, realistically, it’s some three or four feet off the ground. Before she can do anything, he’ll have circled the house. And throw in the super sexy but super high heels of her shoes. It doesn’t look like much…

She couldn’t guess how long she was silent, but he was silent too. She ran her gaze over him. He was still standing the same way. A faux-calm expression on his face, but his body seemed to tense. And the glass in his left hand. He’s right-handed… She figured his thoughts were right where hers were:
„You’re waiting for me to run.“ She stated.
„Truthfully,“ he grinned smugly, „I was still on the fence about whether you’d play it casual and sort of take it easy for comfort, or risk running in heels. But yes, I expect it any moment. If you run, which I don’t think you do it now, you won’t get more than two steps away from me.“
Angrily, she gritted her teeth for a moment and snapped:
„Are you having fun?!“
„Stunningly,“ he nodded. „You’ve made me incredibly angry and humiliated. I’m determined to return those feelings to you with interest. So yes, watching you slowly realize that you’re completely out of chances, in my power, and that everything is going to be just the way I want it, which you obviously don’t like at all, makes me feel very good.“
Her fear had definitely turned to anger:
„Fine, have at it!“
With a thump, she set her glass down on the cabinet by the wall. She held out both hands, palms up.
„Whatever! Right here?“

He smiled hesitantly and set his glass down as well.
„Do you suppose,“ he began slowly, „that I wanted a fight, and if you give yourself up, I’ll lose interest?“
She gave him a defiant look, but remained silent.
„You are mistaken,“ he continued, „I am not essentially in the nature of violence. Tonight is simply just payback. Such as you lend, such as you return. Anger, helplessness, humiliation. The feeling that someone has tricked you, that they’re just playing you and having a good time with you. The feeling that you are in a situation over which you have no control, you can’t influence it, and however much you don’t like it, you just have to endure it and bear the fact that someone else is making decisions about you, at will and without regard for you.“
„I’m not going to play that game with you!“ She hissed through her teeth, staring determinedly into his eyes. „I have no chance of stopping you from doing what you’ve decided, so let’s get this over with quickly. Get what you need and let’s go home!“
He studied her face for a moment.
„Fine,“ he nodded.
He grabbed her wrist and led her to the stairs. She felt like stomping demonstratively on the way up, but decided to keep her decorum.

…to be continued

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