It’s SINful Saturday!
Take a look at the latest episode of.. SIN of the Shed.
I knew this was a bad idea. Shit. I'm dragging this guy out while getting blows to face and chest. Trying my hardest to focus through this relentless dizziness I've been experiencing, I swing the guy into the last set of bars, forcing his head against the metal. Adrenaline finally kicks in and I shove him over and over again. I kick him in the gut, forcing him to the ground. With my boot pressed against his neck, I wait for the struggle to stop. Screw this guy and his timely death; I'm killing the bastard now.
Reese's whispering voice echoes through the hall and I wish she would keep quiet for the moment. I don't want to stir up more of the prisoners. While most of the cell doors are locked shut, there are a few of us who have learned methods of escape. Clearly, this dickwad was one of them. But so was I.
The guy hasn't moved in over sixty seconds and I lean down to feel for a pulse. Nothing. I give him one more kick just for the shit he said to Reese on the way in. "Hey, help me out of here, man!" A voice booms from one of the nearby cells.
"Yeah, me too. How the hell did you get out?" another one shouts.
Both of the men lean up against their respective bars, both of them I recognize since we were in Applebrook together.
Kelter, the asshole in the nearest cell, murdered his wife with a butcher knife because she wouldn't stop singing some stupid song. I guess she was up early one morning making him breakfast or something while singing that song. Evidently, something snapped in Kelter’s head. He grabbed the knife and stabbed her forty-eight times. He told me he can't recall wanting to kill her, and he doesn't even remember stabbing her, but the evidence was there. He pleaded insanity and now he's here with us. Bottom line, I ain't helping this guy out.
I walk back toward the cell I threw Reese into, noticing she's quieted down. Maybe she heard the scuffle. Little miss tough girl probably isn't feeling so tough right now I take it. Both guys continue to yell for me to help them as I find Reese's cell. I swing the door open and walk in, feeling around for where she is. I can't see past four feet from the entrance because we're not gifted with the grace of light in here. It's supposed to be a form of torture, and it is. "Reese?"
I hear her move around until I feel her hand around my arm. She doesn't say anything, and that's a good thing. We need to get the hell out of here without stirring up any more trouble. As we're halfway down the hall, another wave of nausea overwhelms me. Dammit, this has to stop. I suck in a slow, deep breath, willing away the urge to vomit. It passes quickly this time and I finally reach the main door. I kick it open and drag the still quiet Reese outdoors into the overwhelmingly bright sunlight.
Pulling her away from the building and down the slight decline to a flatter area, I turn her to face me. "You okay?" Her doe-like stare oozes with fear. With everything we've been through so far, it hasn't once made her quit yapping. Something's stirring in her eyes this time though. "Reese, say something." She's still clutching the medical supplies in her hand, but her eyes don't blink when I urge her to talk. Shit. "Reese, baby." Baby? What the hell has this chick done to me? I'm screwed.
"I don't like the dark," she whispers. "I just need light."
"We're outside now. You have light, and it's bright as hell out."
"I don't like the dark," she says again.
I kneel down before her, pulling her down with me. "I need you to snap out of it now. You're not being locked back up. We're outside and it's light out. You're okay." We're definitely not okay. "Look at me, Reese." She's doing her best to avoid eye contact, keeping her gaze locked on the dirt below us.
"I can't do this," she says softly. "I can't. I'm not strong enough."
"Screw that. You're strong as hell. You've saved my ass and you nearly killed the biggest asshole on this compound. Don't you for one second think you aren't strong enough to survive this hell." This weakness I'm seeing in her right now is killing me a little. I knew what she had been hiding. She's damn good at putting on a front. She makes it easy to forget she had been locked up in a dark shed for three years, but I know it screwed with her head, and it isn't something anyone could just come back from in a couple of days. I’m well aware I've been insensitive as hell with her, but she needs to be tough to survive this, or we're both going down.
"Where is that strong, feisty girl I've come to know? What do I have to do to bring her back? That girl, she's a goddamn survivor." She finally glances back up at me and her focus is directly on my eyes this time, rather than staring right through me.
"I'm scared, and I want to go home. I don't know who I am—whether that's strong or weak. I just want this nightmare to end."
"So do I, and we're going to make that happen, but I need you to focus." Another surge of weakness takes me down again. It's like waves of heaviness washing through me, making my head feel like it's a lead balloon. I fall back and bring my knees into my chest so I can rest my head for a minute.
"Sin?" she says. "I need to fix your head now."
"Not here," I tell her. "We need to get back to the tree line so we're not out in the open." She offers me her hand as if she's strong enough to lift me up. Giving into her sentiment, I take her hand and stand up alongside her. "This way." Sweat is dripping down the back of my neck and the pain in my head is growing by the second. "Do you have those painkillers I gave you?"
She fumbles through the stuff in her hands and hands me a small, white packet. I rip it open and toss the contents into my mouth, struggling to swallow it with how dry my throat is.
As we approach the tree line, I lead her through a dozen rows of trees before I drop down against one. The sun is starting to set and there's a thick haze creeping in. "Turn around," she says.
"Have you used a needle and thread before?" I ask her. Not that I even care at this point. I just need the bleeding to stop.
"My mother's a nurse, remember? She's stitched me up a few times. I'll be careful." She rips apart an alcohol swab and cleans her hands with it. Then opens another package and cleans the wound on my head. I grit my teeth, holding in the obscenities fighting their way out.
What I wouldn't give for a beer right now. I've forgotten what it even tastes like. It's been four years since I illegally enjoyed the cool, amber liquid. I sat inside of that rotting cell during my twenty-first birthday, and now at twenty-two, it looks like I may never get to enjoy a legal drink. That should be the last thing I'm worried about right now, but if I think of anything else, I'm going to feel the damn needle piercing through my flesh. What else can I focus on? Ugh, this sucks. Her hands—they're cool and soft and I want to feel them on other parts of me. I shouldn't be thinking this either, but the hell with it. "Almost done," she says. My heart is pounding in my head and the pain is incredible, even worse now than before she started. "You're a good patient. She takes the alcohol swab and cleans up the base of my neck, where I assume blood has pooled. "You're all set. Good as new."
I let out the breath I've been holding in and spin around to face her, watching as she cleans up the mess. Her hair is falling loosely over her face and her skin is a dark pink from the sun. Freckles have covered her skin over the past day, and now she kind of looks like a deserted island girl. "You're beautiful," I tell her.
She looks up at me with shock; her eyes appear to be questioning what I just said. But it's true. She is. "Thank you," she says, sounding a bit breathless.
"It's almost dark, we should find shelter. The basement is probably the safest."
"Are you going to be able to walk that far?"
"We don't have a choice," I tell her. We don't. Staying out here after dark is a bigger nightmare than staying out here during the day.
With the remainder of the medical supplies in her hand, she stands up and spins around like she's looking for something. "Which way do we go?"
I nod my head to the left. "This way." We walk silently for most of the way, but she keeps looking over at me like she either wants to ask me something or find out if I'm okay.
Probably both. The questions are endless with her.
"Do you think your dad is still alive?" she finally asks. "I mean, I didn't see a body near the flattened shed when we walked by, so I'm guessing he's still alive."
"Yeah, I think he is. He stays inside on food drop day, so he may very well be home."
"Home?" she asks.
"The house adjacent to the basement. That's where he lives."
"But you said he wouldn't go down into the basement. If it's part of his house, than—"
"He won't go down into the basement," I tell her sternly.
She looks forward. Her questioning ends, which makes me believe she's learning when to stop. That's a good thing. "I have one more question," she says quietly. Or maybe she doesn't know when to stop. "Do you know why your dad took me?"
I close my eyes and stop mid-step. I would want to know this too. I take her hand and pull her in front of me. "I honestly don't know why he took you. I fought him for that information before the tornado hit. I didn't even know there was anyone living in the shed until I heard a noise while walking by. I saw you in there through a crack and immediately interrogated my dad." I hate the look on her face. Disappointment. She must feel like a rat in a maze with no way out. "The only information he told me was that it was your birthday and your name is Reese. When I saw you up close that day it was when I recognized you from Applebrook. You were the last outside person I saw before I was taken here. I hate to think I'm part of the reason he took you, but it doesn't make sense. I don't have any better answer for you."
She pulls in a shuddered breath and walks forward, away from me. Her back strains as she continues to breathe heavily. Is she crying? I catch up to her and grab her arm, pulling her to turn around. Her eyes are wide and red, but she's not crying. "I'm fine. Let's just get to the basement."
The silence continued until we reached the metal doors of the basement. The sun is completely gone and the moon is large and bright, which has caught Reese's attention. I turn to let her down the steps first, but she's staring up to the sky with a small smile stretched across her lips. I realize now she hasn't seen the moon or the stars in three years. "The only normal thing in my life right now is the sun and the moon," she says.
"I hear ya." I take her by the elbow and tug her down the steps. I flip the lights on first and close the doors behind her. "Stay here for a second." Taking a lap around the basement, I check everything to make sure no one got in. The prisoners know not to come down here, but the caretakers also used to do a much better job of securing the safe area. No one secures shit now. Regardless, most of the prisoners stay out only for the fact that they know what will happen if they're caught. Oddly enough, everyone here fights for their survival, with some kind of fake hope that they're going to get out of this place alive.
"Coast is clear."
I grab mom's old mattress out of the corner and drag it to the middle of the floor. I look around for some sheets, but I don't see anything, so I open the closet back up—the one place that kills me to look inside of. There's a blanket on the top shelf, which I grab quickly before closing the door—blocking Mom's scent back out.
"I've got a blanket. It'll have to do," I tell her.
"Sin, I have slept without a blanket for three years. This will feel like heaven."
She kicks her boots off and curls up on the edge of the mattress, folding her hands under the side of her face. She looks content. I wish I could feel content.
I sit down on the floor and lean my back up against the wall. When I let out a sigh of relief after this God-awful day, Reese opens her eyes, looking at me with question. "I don't bite," she says. "You don't need to sleep sitting up against the wall. Plus, you should rest your head."
"I didn't want to assume anything," I say. Some of the times, she seems more mature than I am. Other times, I know she's missed out on everything between the ages of fifteen and eighteen. I want to be mindful of that.
"I think it would be okay if you slept beside me," she says softly. "In fact, I think I might like it if you would."
The way her words sound on her tongue make me question what will happen if I do sleep next to her. Maybe I shouldn't wonder. I stand up and walk over to the mattress, keeping my focus glued on her eyes for any hint of uncertainty.
But there is none of that.
I lie down beside her and she turns over to face me. "Thank you for saving me," she says.
"Thank you for taking care of me today," I tell her.
Her hand loops around my neck as she scoots in closer to me. "You know, this whole thing sucks so much, but there is some good mixed in with it all."
"What's that?" I ask.
"You." She leans in and kisses me gently. Her gentleness is a hardcore turn on.
I wrap her in my arms and kiss her harder, parting her lips with my tongue, savoring the taste. I slip my hands under the back of her shirt, noticing how her skin feels like silk against my hands. This wasn't in my cards. I'm cheating the system and winning big. Freeing my hands from her body for just a second, I pull my shirt over my head, and she quickly follows my lead with hers, pulling the straps of the overalls off and then her shirt. I pull her back into me, needing to feel her skin against mine. The second contact is made, it's like I’m feeling the sun for the first time after being locked up in the dark. It's like a warm day after a winter's freeze.
I kiss her neck, hearing a small moan escape her lips, which encourages me to kiss lower until I reach the cotton of her thin bra. "I've never done—" she breathes.
"I know," I interrupt her. My experience is also limited with being locked up at eighteen, but I don't need experience to know what I want to do. Traveling down her torso until I hit the waistband of her pants, I tug gently, letting them fall to her knees. I place a kiss on her hip bone as her waist lifts from the mattress. Her breaths quicken, telling me this is okay. And thank God this is okay because I just realized how badly I need this girl. With my finger curled around the waistband of her panties, I tug those down as well.
"Sin," she cries. "What's that?"
"What?" I ask, looking over at her.
"That!" she yells, pointing over to the corner.
***Recommended for anyone 18+ due to upcoming dark themes and adult language***
Don’t forget this is an interactive story. Each week you have a chance to lend ideas to Shari’s story. Check out her website for more details. And click HERE to leave comments on this week’s Episode.
Stay tuned for the FINAL episode… it will air on Friday on Shari J Ryan's blog!
About the Author:
Shari J. Ryan is an Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author, a Barnes & Noble Top 10 Bestselling author, and an iBookstore #1 Bestselling author.
She hails from Central Massachusetts where she lives with her husband and two lively little boys. Shari has always had an active imagination and enjoys losing herself in the fictional worlds she creates. When Shari isn’t writing, she can usually be found cleaning toys up off the floor.
To learn more, visit her at, www.sharijryan.com.
Brought to you by the Author, Shari J Ryan and Paging Through The Days.