Authors: Abigail Snow
The little flicker of hope burned within Matilda for the rest of the day. As a result, she was able to get through the work day with relative ease, and she was even faintly excited in the evening in the expectation that Damian might be receiving the note at that very second.
However, she was completely restless, unable to focus on anything, because she was so intent on knowing whether or not the note had been successful.
Had Sylvie delivered the note yet?
Had Damian got hold of it? Would he even turn up to the bar? Would he expect her to try to deliver some sort of message?
The questions running through her mind were endless, and she felt as if she was going mad. Why could she think of nothing else?
She powered up her laptop, wondering if there was anything online which could help distract her. After trawling through a few pages, she knew it was pointless. Slamming down the lid once more, she went to the window, wondering if she would be able to see anything going on in the street from there.
After a few minutes, she pulled back in frustration. Why was she even this tense? Even if Damian did get hold of the note, what did she expect him to do? She had never explai
ned the full situation to him
that she was a royal and that every move she made was being tracked by Colin and, by extension, the Royal Family. How could he possibly understand the situation she was in? At twenty years old, he would expect her to be independent enough to do whatever she wanted. He’d simply think she was stupid and weak.
This dark train of thoughts made the little fire of hope in her chest gutter and tremble. What had she expected to achieve? It was over, and the sooner she accepted that, the better.
Perhaps if she forgot all about Damian, Colin would forget about his threats. He would let her live her own life without accompanying her at all times, and maybe eventually her father would trust her enough to live abroad
or anywhere she wanted
without a bodyguard.
But for that to ever happen, she would have to give up on Damian. That was the part that didn’t compute. Somehow, her entire being yearned for him. Without him she felt desolate, incomplete. The happiness she had felt with him for that brief week was simply too addictive to throw away.
“I won’t give up,” she said out loud, as if to resolve her decision once and for all. She only hoped that Damian would feel the same way.
Picking up a book, she tried to keep herself distracted from thinking about him and about her predicament. She was barely a page in when she heard banging and shouting outside her apartment.
She sat up immediately, her first thought that someone was trying to break into the apartment complex. After a second of listening intently, she heard several voices shouting, and someone running.
Opening the door of her apartment a crack, she could make out some of the voices.
“…call the police! This is trespassing.”
“Somebody stop him!”
“Matilda! Can you hear me? Matilda!”
Matilda’s blood froze solid in her brains, then rushed to her face all at once as she recognized the voice. It was Damian.
She was out of her apartment and halfway down the hall before she even had time to think.
“Damian!” she cried, pausing for a second to try and work out where his shouts were coming from. “Damian! I’m up here!”
She started to run towards the stairs, but before she could go so much as a step, she felt hard, vicious arms constricting her, preventing her from moving. The vice-like grip could only belong to one person.
“Colin, let go of me!” she cried out, struggling to break free. She twisted violently, intent on getting out of his grasp, but he was resolutely pulling her backwards, carrying her as if she were nothing more than a rag doll.
“Get back in your apartment
and stay there,” he snarled, panting with the effort of dragging her. He pulled her through the door of her apartment, and she screamed out once more.
She made a move to leave again as Colin let go, but he grabbed her by her wrists, so hard that it felt as if her arms would be crushed and broken in his grip, and shoved her backwards.
She fell, crashing to the ground with a cry of pain and surprise. Before she could react, Colin had slammed the door
, locking her in the apartment.
Matilda got up and ran to the door, trying to pull it open, but Colin had locked it from the outside. She heard footsteps come closer to where she was, and then there was a sudden, bone-chilling silence.
“You,” she heard Damian’s voice, strong and angry, and felt a thrill of delight go through her. “What have you done to her? You monster!”
“She is none of your business. You’d better stay away from her. I can have you arrested even just for this,” Colin said.
you can’t keep her like this! She’s a grown woman, not an animal. Who are you, anyway?”
“You don’t need to know, and you better not try to find out if
you know what’s good for you
and for her,” Colin said, his voice cold and menacing.
“Like hell I’ll just leave her with you,” Damian said.
Matilda’s whole body filled with hope and joy as he said it, and she felt suddenly as if maybe there was a chance.
She heard a thud, a groan, and the sounds of fighting outside her door. She leapt back as the weight of two heavy male bodies
slammed against the door, causing the whole apartment to tremble.
She stood, unsure what to do, as she heard Damian and Colin clearly fighting outside. She couldn’t call the police in case they arrested Damian, and she couldn’t intervene because she was locked inside the room. She hated the feeling of complete uselessness.
Before she had come to a decision, there was another thud against the door, and another. She gasped and stepped backwards as it burst open, sending the two men sprawling across the floor, their clothing torn and Colin’s nose bloody.
“Matilda!” Damian gasped, disentangling himself from Colin and rushing to embrace her while his opponent was still dazed.
“Damian, oh god!” Matilda said, returning the hug with all her strength, drinking in his presence like a tonic for all the world’s ills. She had almost forgotten how delicious his bold, smoky scent was and how comforting his strong arms felt.
“I love you,” Damian said, talking rapidly, because they could both hear the sounds of voices coming up the stairs and knew it wouldn’t be long before Colin had regained his senses. “I love you so much, Matilda.
I will find a way to see you
I promise you.”
“I’m so sorry,” Matilda said. “I’m so sorry about all of this.”
“It’s nothing, baby,” Damian said, stroking her hair. “I’ll always come to you.”
wanted to say something else
wanted desperately to be able to stay in his embrace longer
but before she could do anything, the security guards from the building were pulling him away. He didn’t resist, but he gave her one last, longing look as they took him out of her sight.
“Are you alright
, ma’am? Sir?” the chief of security asked. “We’re so sorry for the delay. He came with an accomplice and we had no idea he had managed to infiltrate the building until we heard fighting and noises from up here.”
“It’s no problem,” Colin said, standing up straight and wiping his nose, managing to look dignified despite the huge tear in his jacket.
“Rest assured that he will be dealt with properly,” the security officer said.
“Wait, no! He’s i
nnocent. I know him, please
on’t do anything to him,” Matilda begged.
we’ll see what he has to say for himself, but breaking into a residential building is a serious offence,” the man said.
“Thank you,” Colin said, and the security officer smiled and left them alone.
Matilda didn’t have long to dwell on Damian’s words and appearance before Colin turned to her, his dark eyes like chips of black ice, his face a wall of fury. In an instant she went from confused and happy to
terrified. She hadn’t thought through this far. She had only been relieved and happy to see Damian again. What would Colin do now? Surely he wouldn’t go so far as to
she couldn’t even bring herself to form the words in her mind.
“That was not an acceptable scene,” he said, his voice icy.
I didn’t know he would do that,” Matilda said. “I didn’t mean to make a scene.”
“I’m trying to prevent this sort of thing from happening and you cause a huge scene on your front doorstep,” Colin said. “Do you want me to send those photos to your father?
“No,” Matilda said emphatically. “I didn’t know he was going to come here. I haven’t seen him, I’ve done exactly what you wanted.” She hated begging, hated groveling for his approval, but the
look in his eyes scared her. She couldn’t tell how far he would go when he was this angry.
“You didn’t seem to mind, though, did you?” Colin asked. “You ran right into his arms like a traitor.”
“I told you already,” Matilda said, her temper rising as he mocked her. “I love him. You’re the one keeping us apart for no good reason. Why shouldn’t I want to see him? I’m not a doll who you can play with. I’m a real woman with real feelings. Of course I was glad to see him. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“You stupid girl,” Colin sneered. “Do you think what you have with that tramp is love?” A little fleck of spit was forming at the side of his mouth, and Matilda had to suppress the urge to back away.
“What would you know about love?” she asked.
“More than a little girl like you,” Colin said, taking a step closer to her. Matilda stood her ground, not wanting to seem weak in front of him.
“You’ve lived in a castle in the clouds your whole life,” Colin continued, his face forming an ugly smirk. “You’ve been petted and coddled by your parents, your teachers and your friends. You’ve never been exposed to lust, to greed.
“Do you think that he loves you? Do you think that he came here because he cares about you?”
“He does,” Matilda said hotly.
Colin laughed, a mocking, unpleasant laugh.
“How sweet,” he said patronizingly. “You think he came here because he cares about you. Well, let me tell you the truth that you’ve been protected from all these years. Nobody loves you, princess. Everyone you’ve ever been around only wants your money, your status. Everyone wants a piece of the royal family
even if it is just an illegitimate almost royal.”
“He doesn’t know I’m royal,” Matilda said. “He likes me for me.”
“The night you two met, I saw him looking at you. It wasn’t like I saw in his face
it was lust, like an animal stalking his prey. He wanted to fuck you, princess. That was all. He wanted your pretty little white thighs wrapped around him as he screwed you. Didn’t you hear me when I told you before? He admitted it to me himself.”
Matilda sat silently. She knew it wasn’t true. Colin was just trying to
dominate her, to make her feel isolated and alone. She knew how much Damian cared
would he have risked coming here otherwise? Maybe he had just seen her as someone to have fun with at first, as she had with him, but now
—he’d said he loved her. She believed it with all her heart. What else was in it for him?
“You still don’t believe me?” Colin asked. “Well, let me tell you something else.
When I saw him looking at you like a piece of meat I told him to back off.”
“You what!” It burst out of Matilda’s mouth before she could stop it. It was unbelievable how possessive and interfering he was. It was ten times worse than having her father breathing down her neck.
“Well, he didn’t want to back off
not because he wanted to get to know you, princess, but because he thought you were up for it
which you obviously were. He thought you were the kind of hussy he could get into bed. That’s it
and the fact that I opposed it only made the thrill better for him.”
Matilda didn’t respond. She knew he was only trying to provoke her a
nd drive her away from Damian
but after hearing those little details she couldn’t help wondering if there was any truth in what he had said. Had he really talked to Damian? What had Damian said to him?
Ahh, I see that sweet doubt in your eyes,” smirked Colin. “Should I go on?” Without waiting for her answer, he continued. “You want to know why he didn’t stop at just the one quick, easy fuck? You brought him back here.
“Any man with half a brain could see you were rich and connected looking around this place. A spacious apartment all to yourself in the center of Georgetown? Nobody but a millionaire could afford one of these places. He saw right away that you were as rich as cream and he thought he’d string you along a little and milk you for all you were worth.”
“That’s a lie,” Matilda burst out. “He’s never asked for a penny from me.”
“And why would he need to when he could break in here?” Colin asked. “Do you really think he was coming up to see you? He knew it wa
s over and he wanted his prize.
“What? You thought that he wanted you for your personalit
y? He’s known you for a week. He knows less than nothing about you,” Colin continued relentlessly. “All he wanted was some easy booty and, if he could get it, some cash out of the deal.”
“He’s not like that,” Matilda said as it looked like Colin had f
inished his monologue. “Colin, my father hired you to protect me from a bad element. I understand that, and I
I’m grateful for you looking out for me.” She almost choked on the words. “But if that’s all you’re worried about, then please, please give Damian a chance. Talk to him, let me see him just for a little bit. I’ll take the full blame if it ends badly, but please, please, just give him a chance.”
“Silly girl,” Colin said. “Do you really think I care if he is a good guy or not? He isn’t worthy of you, and I won’t let you see him.”
“But it’s what I want,” Matilda said, and she knew immediately that she’d made a huge mistake. Colin’s eyes narrowed.
“You have no idea what you want,” he said. “Why do you like him? Because he’s handsome? Because he’s filled your mind with unrealistic ideas and expectations?
“The reality is that nobody gets what they want. You have to do what other people expect of you, and you have to watch the people around you enjoying themselves at your expense. Well not anymore. I’m going to take what I want for once, and you can forget about what you want.”
He made a move towards her, and Matilda backed against the wall, putting her hands up over her head to protect herself. She cringed backwards as she felt Colin’s hands on her waist, stroking the material of her t-shirt, lingering on the curve of her waist.
“Stop, please,” she begged him, trying to push his hands away.
“Why? It’s what I want.” He threw her words back at her in a mocking tone of voice. “Da
mian should be nothing to you
less than worthless. I’m right here. Your father trusts me, and if you don’t obey me, I have the photos. It’s in your best interest to learn how to want me back, princess.”
“How could I ever want someone like you?” Matilda asked, lashing out and squirming out of his grasp. He grabbed her easily and managed to pin her arms against the wall.
He put his face close to hers, so close that she could see the coarse pores on his nose and across his cheeks, and smell the hot, sour reek of his breath.
“Just sit quiet,” he whispered, sending gusts of his foul breath across her face. She turned away in disgust. “You’ll learn to like it.”
He captured her lips with his, and they were cold and slimy like slugs crawling on her, clammy and disgusting.
She pressed her lips together tightly, fighting to drag her head to one side in order to resist his
advances. His lips on her skin made her want to scream, as if dead things were crawling on her. She tried to picture Damian, to picture herself safe and happy, but Colin’s unwanted body pressing against her was too much.
“Stop,” she screamed. “Colin, stop!”
“Ssh, princess,” he whispered against her cheek, causing her to shudder in revulsion. “I’m going to make you feel just the way he makes you feel. It’s just flesh. I’m going to make you forget him. I’m the only one, princess. There’s no one else
Matilda hated to be weak, but she couldn’t stop the hot tears from seeping down her cheeks. She was trembling, trying to hold in the sobs as Colin’s cold, clammy fingers slipped under her shirt, violating her soft
skin that only belonged to Damian’s warm, kind fingers.
“Doesn’t it feel good?” Colin whispered.
“No, no, please,” Matilda sobbed. “Stop, stop.”
“Shut up!” Colin slammed his fist into the wall, causing her to cringe back even further. “You’re going to enjoy this. Say it to me! I am going to enjoy this.” He said the words slowly,
his face firm and uncompromising. “Say it!”
“I can’t,” Matilda said, her sobs uncontrollable. “You disgust me.”
“Shit!” Colin let go of her, shoving her hard so that she fell onto the ground. “You’re not even pretty any more, crying and sobbing like a child. I don’t even want you when you’re like that. I want you to get aroused for me.”
That was never going to happen, Matilda thought resolutely, curling into a thankful ball, glad that his assault had stopped if even for a moment. She could still feel his clammy touch on her skin like a poison, and all she wanted to do was step into a scalding shower and scrub until her skin burned.
“I want you to scream for me like you do for that stupid hippie,” Colin continued. “You’d better learn how to accept me, princess, because I’m the only one left for you. If you contact Damian ever again, I’ll send your father those photographs. If you try to tell anyone about this, I’ll send him the photographs. If you do anything I don’t like ever again, you can kiss your reputation goodbye.”
Matilda was so burnt out that she couldn’t even reply. She just sat and cried, begging internally for him to leave.
“I’m not a monster,” Colin said, a little more gently. “I won’t force you, not now. I’ll give you one more chance. I’ll give you a little more time to realize that I’m the only man you will ever be able to be with. Just me
no one else. Who else would want a cheap slut like you?
“I’ll give you one week to completely get in line with wha
t I expect from you. After that, I won’t care whether you want it or not.”
With those parting words, Colin turned around and strode out of the room, slamming the door shut behind him.