Clash of Tides – Chapter 2:
THE ARMS OF WHAT feels like a man continue to tighten its grasp on my form. Unable to comprehend what is transpiring, my survival instincts take over. I kick, flail, and scream, submerged in water; I attempt to shake out of its hold. I am being squeezed, as if the life is draining from me. I desperately try to swim to the surface, hoping to get oxygen, but I’m immobile. I brace for death – the burning pain in my chest spreads through me – as a sudden thought hints me: It’s better to die here than to be used only for my body; maybe death will be better, no more pain. Calmness washes over me. I close my eyes, no longer seeing the cloudy depths of water, but just darkness, and I feel the acceptance of my death. As I stay still, a clammy hand strokes my chest, cupping my right breast underneath my gown. Tears spill from my eyes, mixing in with the saltwater engulfing me.
To my surprise, the creature – whatever it is – loosens its clutch around my waist. Is this my chance? I remain steady in the water, letting my lungs get consumed by the salty liquid, but the creature moves me to the surface. Above the water I gasp for air, hearing the assorted shouts of my friends. I blink, taking in the surroundings when I see Seidon standing next to Lucas. He is yelling for me and is about to jump into the water.
Parting my lips, words yearn to escape from my mouth, but the sharp grip around my ankle returns, pulling me back under. I can only hear soft muffles of rumbling water around me, as I close my eyes again, waiting to be devoured by this creature. Sharp pain flows though my muscles – burning with aches and discomfort. No longer can I take it, so I let my body slip into sleep. I am tired, too tired for combat. Dizziness floods me, and my figure succumbs to ghastly desires.
MY EYES ARE CLOSED, but my conscious is awake. Dripping, I hear water, echoing around me. I stir, feeling the moistness of my clothes sticking to my skin. Aching pains in my legs shots through me, and my arms feel heavy, like rocks. Hard, something jagged, is piercing into my backside, deep inside me, but I feel no blood. I want to lift myself up, open my eyes, but I feel weak, drained of the strength I had before. The dripping continues, and lukewarm droplets’ hit my face, running down my cheek. I know if I stay like this I will freeze, so I have to get up, I must get up. Something has allowed me to live, but I wonder if it’s worth it. A chill breeze brushes across my locks, attempting to flap my hair but it feels too wet.
I want to stay here, but I have to move, I need to get up, I think, as I raise my heavy legs and arch my back.
Snapping my eyes open, I blink rabidly to remove the water from them. My vision is blurry, making it hard to see. In the distance above me, beams of light blind my sight. It’s hard to view, but I make out a circular opening in the ceiling, just big enough to notice the faintness of the sun and receive its warmth.
Using my elbows I prop myself up, stunned by the surroundings before me. I am in a cave, with narrow streams of water running down the light brown walls, and mini stalagmites cover the area. The wind from the cracks in the walls blows through the room, and only the sun’s limited beams of heat keep me warm. A pool of ocean water sits in the center of the cave. Darting my eyes around, I search for any means of escape. So far I only see one – the ceiling – and there is no way to climb up there. Teeth start chattering, my teeth. The sun’s rays aren’t enough to dry me fully, and I start shaking. The chill breeze almost freezes me stiff, and out of instinct I wrap my arms across my chest, attempting to create body heat. Turning my back to the circle of water, I wobble forward to the edge of the rocks and trance my finger down the humid, wet walls.
Confusion floods my mind as I ask myself numerous questions: How did I get here? Who brought me here? How can I escape and where are the others?
“I need to find a way out,” I say to myself as I return my gaze to the ceiling. For a second I see and hear birds fly above, they are Seagulls.
“There’s only one way out.” A sharp, deep masculine voice is heard behind me. In an instant I whip around, seeing what looks like a man in the distance. He is leaning against the center of the wall, in the water. His eyes are closed and arms crossed, he looks calm, but who is he? My mind draws a blank once the severity of the situation hits me. Seidon isn’t here, neither is Lucas or Mika, and now I’m alone with a strange man who is leisurely swimming in the water. For a second I wonder if I’ve died, but the sluggishness that consumes me signals my brain that I’m alive.
I am unease, this isn’t right, it doesn’t feel right. Today I just needed to purchase a dress, and then sell myself to some nobleman, and now, instead I’m faced with an unknown stranger. What happened to the creature that attacked me? This man, who is he?
“I won’t bite, come forward,” he says in a calm, collected tone. His eyes are still closed, and I have no choice but to comply with his request. It’s vacant but for him, and I need answers to my questions, to help me.
Trembling, I proceed forward, walking to the edge of the water. My breath catches in my throat, as I hesitate on what to say, or what to ask.
“Please…I need to get back to my friends. I don’t know how I got here.” I pause, still observing his calm nature. My voice is riddled with fear and panic, its hoarse, but this man is still leaning against the wall; it’s as though my words do not rattle him.
A thought hits me; Did this man save me from the creature that attacked? “Are you…the one who saved me?” I ask him slowly, with curiosity lacing my voice. I try to maintain my composure – but fear is hard to hide.
“Oh? Did I save you?” He questions, in a teasing, amused tone, while keeping his eyes closed. What does he mean by that?” I muse to myself, wondering more who this man is. If he didn’t save me, then, why is he here?
“Please, can you help me? I need to get back…” I trail off, hearing the man groan in annoyance. At last, he finally drops his arms to the side and turns to face me; instantly, I am hit with a piercing glare, one that I’ve never felt before. It’s as if he is studying me; I am an open book, and he is the scholar who is learning all my secrets. My body freezes were it stands. His gaze not only intimidates me, but it lures me to him. His eyes remind me of Seidon’s, two pupils that are multi-colored. Unlike Seidon’s, this man that frightens me has one dark blue eye and one sea-green eye. The hair on his head reaches to his shoulders, and is the color of midnight, so black it reminds me of darkness. His hair is wet, but it doesn’t stick to his flesh, it’s wavy like seaweed, and his visage captures me like no other. Within myself I don’t know whether to be utterly afraid or taken enslaved by the features of this man. Men like him only exist within the elite class – like Seidon and Lucas – untouched by the ash of the factories or damaged by the harshness of life. The only time I’m close to men like him is when I’m with Seidon or Lucas, and I know neither of them would ever want me. A long time ago I accepted the fact that no dignified man would desire me; I’m not that girl, the pretty girl, or the debutante; I am a soon-to-be prostitute- no one will care for me.
My gaze stays fixated on his lean, muscular, toned chest and chiseled jaw. Though he seems strong, he is not overly muscular, his features are soft, yet masculine in ways I can’t describe. I’m at a loss of understanding, his hair seems wet but it drips no water. His gaze continues to pull me to him, but I remain stiff. Finally, I blink my eyes, snapping myself from the spell he has casted over me.
I part my lips and say, “Do you know where I am? I need to get back to Hlynn.”
The man stares at me with a blank expression on his face, like I bore him.
“Tell me something, woman, when did you last bleed?” he asks coolly. His tone also held indifference to such a personal question.
I blink my eyes, confused over why he’d ask me such a thing. This wasn’t the time to be worrying about my cycle, or when I last bled.
Anger starts to boil in my veins. Before I was ready to die, but I’m alive now and need to return to Hlynn. Nightfall will come shortly, and I could only imagine how livid my mother is at this moment.
“I already said I need to re-”
“When did you last bleed?!” A sharp, harsh tone cut me off, stopping my speech in its tracks. His voice was like thunder, rumbling the water that encompassed him. I step back, my breath catches in my throat and my heart pumps in fear. His firm eyes lock on mine, threatening me to answer him. At this moment, I think of my mother – and the fear I have of her.
“A week ago,” I mutter quietly and then step forward. My heart beats in my chest, and panic engulfs me. I can only question who this man is, and what does he want with me. Does he want to kill me? Did my mother make him angry? It wasn’t uncommon children of prostitutes were kidnapped or attacked. Mostly it was because of the Johns, or the noblemen the women slept with. Most upper scale men preferred to keep their perverse desires in the bedroom. She would never admit to it, but I know my mother has performed those debased acts; I trust that she is smart enough not to spread gossip.
A groan rumbles in his throat, and he averts his gaze from mine, as if he is pondering to himself.
I open my mouth to speak, but no words come out. He turns his gaze back to me, looking indifferent. I shallow the gulp in my throat, hoping to get some sort of answers from him.
“I don’t want to keep asking this, but please, I-”
“You’re never going to leave here,” he says harshly. His words were blunt and clear, but still I’m beside myself with his words.
“What?” I’m in disbelief at what I just heard.
“You’re never going to leave here,” he repeats, “look around you, there is no way out, well, there is one way,” he says coolly, as a devilish smirk twist on his lips. Quickly, he glances down at the water, and then looks back at me. “But I wouldn’t advise it.”
Now, my body is in a complete state of shock. Why he is doing this to me? What does he want with me? Surely if this was about my mother, he would say it.
I attempt speech, but the man quickly cuts me off.
“I hate wasting time, so I’m going to tell you this bluntly. In fifteen days I’m going to fuck you, and you will provide me with a child.” His voice was firm, demanding and powerful. I stand still; my knees shake, buckling beneath me. I am wordless, unable to fathom what is happening. This feels like a dream, no, a nightmare, again I’m being used just for my body, but why? Carefully, I get back up, attempting to stand firm on my feet. I needed answers, the truth of why this is happening to me.
“Impregnate me?” My voice is low, barely a whisper. Thoughts swirl in my mind and I become dizzy, feeling faint.
“So, at least you can think.” He keeps staring at me with that devilish grin. Does he enjoy toying with me, is this a game? “And, once the child is born – I will kill you,” he says bluntly, in a dark tone that sends a shiver down my spine.
“Why?…Why are you doing this?” My voice is shaky and my hands won’t stop moving, no matter how hard I try to control them; I’m drowning in fear.
He tilts his head to the side, and averts his gaze to the blue liquid. “My reasons are my own; they’re none of your concern.” Like his expression, his voice was the same, dead, lacking any emotion.
“What…What-if…-I refuse.” My words stutter out.
“Refuse?” he pauses, arching an eyebrow at me, “I don’t remember giving you a choice,” he snarls. Shock courses through my veins, spreading to every inch of my body. I collapse to the ground, with only my frail arms holding me up. This isn’t happening, it can’t be happening – but it is happening. Squeezing my eyes shut, I try to hold back the tears wanting to flow. With darkness the only thing I see, I hang my head and ask a single question: “Are…Are you really going to do this to me?” I needed to know his answer – has my flow of life really changed? No longer will just my body be used, but my womb as well? And what’s worst is I don’t know why?
“Yes,” he answers quietly. My mind is blank.
I look back at him, watching him turn away from me. He shifts his head around, glancing at me from over his shoulder. His face is empty, but for the first time since I’ve talked to him, his eyes reveal slight empathy.
Unable to face me any longer, the only view I have is of his backside. “I know this is hard for you…I’ll leave you alone to let it all sink in, but as I said before,” he pauses again, “I wouldn’t try escaping. There are worse fates than the one I have planned for you.” His voice was low, showing a hint of concern but also threatening.
And with those words, he swims away, leaving me speechless and alone. The ground feels like its crumbling beneath me – I wish it would.
When he swims away, a scaly dark-blue fish tail splashes above the water. I stare at him as he leaves, wondering : what monster has taken me.
A/N: Hey all! The picture with this chapter is to give you an idea of what the cave Elena is in looks like. This chapter was shorter but Elena needs time to digest everything that is happening to her. I hope you all are liking the story so far and thanks for the reviews on the first chapter. Did anyone pick up the hints in this chapter? 🙂 Do you think Elena will escape? What will happen if she doesn’t come back in time? I have big plans for this story, and I hope you all will keep reading. Please let me know about any mistakes so I can edit them.
See you next chapter!! Click here for chapter 3