I was starting to lose it a little bit, emotionally. He wasn’t breaking my spirit, but it was catching up to me—the gravity of what was happening.
Here I was, dating this man for over two months—a man that appeared to be of my dreams, because he was caring and attentive and strong and handsome.
Now this man had tricked me, gaining entry into my home, drugging me, and holding me captive. He was a hit man, apparently. And there would be at least one additional person also entering my home, uninvited.
It was a little much to comprehend.
I know women can have bad judgment about men, but this was off the charts.
I guess I had been off in my own little world, because suddenly I heard my name and Travis snapping his fingers.
I looked at him tiredly.
“You understand the rules?”
He meant rule.
I sighed and nodded, with more than a touch of sadness.
“Excellent. I made this myself. I had to wait for it to chill a little bit. I started it while you were sleeping.”
SLEEPING! As if I had taken a little nap!
I looked down at the salad and sodas, the latter of which interested me the most.
The sock had been in my mouth for over an hour and it was sodden with my saliva, which my mouth had stopped producing long ago.
My lips were closed and sealed tightly over the sock and my only salvation was using my tongue to shift the sock slightly within my mouth, if only to keep my jaws from getting too tired.
The gag was wonderfully effective, annoying, and it was starting to become physically uncomfortable.
Travis looked at me, almost warily.
He meant, was I ready to be ungagged.
I was, but it was bittersweet. I had expected that my mouth being free would mean that we could have a proper conversation—the kind where both parties speak. I had these crazy thoughts that Travis might want to hear what I had to say.
I was as wrong as you can be.
Travis not only didn’t want to hear what I had to say, he didn’t want me to utter a single word.
But at least my mouth would be free of the gag, which meant I would be able to work my jaw, lick my lips, and generate saliva again.
It was better than nothing.
Travis rose from the sofa and came toward me. I stiffened slightly.
“It’s OK,” he said softly. “I’m going to take the gag off now.”
I nodded, again trying to fight back the tears.
He worked on me with care, which I appreciated.
He couldn’t have been more careful in peeling the tape from my face. There were several strips, but they came off as one mass.
I’d wince, and he’d stop, ask if I was OK. I’d nod, and he’d proceed. It was all done very lovingly, ironically.
Finally, after about 60 seconds, the tape came free.
“Open,” he commanded.
I pried my tired jaws wider than I thought possible, and he used his fingers to pluck the rolled up sock from my mouth.
When it came out, my eyes widened. I couldn’t believe something that large had been in my mouth!
I coughed, reflexively. My mouth was as dry as a desert.
Travis lifted a glass of soda to my lips.
I sipped it carefully. Hardly any spilled; Travis was very adept at this, too.
I wanted to thank him, wanted to express my gratitude for treating me with dignity and care. I was still confused and angry, but I did appreciate this part of it.
But he warned me—no talking.
I bit my lip and nodded a thank you.
I shook my head. I almost said “No, thanks” but caught myself. At least gagged, I couldn’t speak. With my mouth free I had to make a concerted effort not to talk.
I wondered if “Thank you” and “No, thanks” counted as speaking, according to Travis’s rule. But I wasn’t about to chance it.
I swallowed some more, the soda moistening my mouth wonderfully. It felt so good!
I looked up at him, and for the first time I truly felt under his total control.
Again, it was the whole being ungagged but not being able to speak thing.
This man was very good at what he was doing. It made me wonder if he’d done something similar before. Had another woman been under his captivity?
And I was his captive, make no bones about it. I might have been angry and cursed him while I was gagged, but my mouth was now totally free and I was as quiet as a mouse. That, my friends, is having control over a woman.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to speak—it was that I was terrified to do so. Gagged, ungagged, it didn’t matter—Travis was going to have a quiet girl on his hands, either way.
Every man’s dream.
But at least gagged, Travis would be ensured that I wouldn’t talk or cry out, despite being under his control. He could walk away from me, busy himself in other rooms, and have peace of mind that the woman in his charge would make no noise to speak of.
Again, every man’s dream. I admit it.
Travis made no move to untape me so I could eat, which meant he would be feeding me, like a baby.
Indeed, that’s pretty much how it went down. Travis looming above me, holding a small bowl of salad, lifting a spoonful toward my mouth.
The first spoonful felt cool and awkward, but that went away in short order. It actually tasted quite good.
Again, I almost slipped and told him that it was yummy, but I stopped myself, somehow.
It was surreal being fed by him—not just the actual act of being fed like a baby, but because it all happened in complete silence. You have to understand, Travis and I used to have grand conversations, about everything from politics to sports (I’m a big football fan) to movies and TV and food. Everything, really.
The room normally would have been filled with sharp, intelligent conversation. That’s the way we were together.
Instead, he fed me in silence. He was now no longer interested in conversing with me. And it didn’t seem to bother him, which hurt me even more.
He’s enjoying my silence, I thought, and I couldn’t understand it. Travis loved talking to me!
I thought about that and other things as he gently shoved spoonful after spoonful of his salad into my mouth.
After I had had enough and shook my head at the next spoonful, he placed my bowl down and hungrily ate his own, quickly.
He didn’t offer me any of the bread, which was fine; I was full.
I sighed and looked around. My home had a different perspective as I viewed it, taped to a chair in the middle of the front room.
Travis finished his salad and picked up the tray.
He looked at me and said, “Shhh,” and walked away, reminding me to not speak or cry out.
I nodded, ruefully.
I balled my hands into fists. He was controlling me—quite easily, I might add. He controlled my body with the tape. He controlled my mouth—both with a gag and without.
I was both angry at myself and amazed at him for pulling this off, so far.
A couple times I considered speaking but thought better of it. The man was unlikely to be bluffing. He was determined and focused. Had I not been his captive I might have found that highly attractive.
After Travis walked away, I thought of how physical we had been, though we didn’t sleep together.
Things were leading in that direction, however. In fact, I thought that tonight might have been the night, as we were staying in and the whole cooking dinner for me thing pushed my romantic buttons. I’ve always been a sucker for a man who can cook.
Of course, “that” wasn’t going to happen, now. Travis had crossed the line to the point of no return. He was a criminal, plain and simple. Even if I wasn’t the target of his mission, I was nonetheless being held against my will—in my own home, no less.
I would never know what making love to him was like.
Travis returned after dumping the dirty dishes in the sink.
“You doing alright?” he asked.
I turned my head slowly toward him, sighed, and turned away, giving no discernible response.
He was about to speak again when we were both startled by the sound of my cell phone ringing.
The phone was in my purse, which was sitting on the coffee table.
My lips parted reflexively—not to speak but just as a surprised reaction.
Travis gave me a look of warning, then fished my phone from my purse.
In one fluid motion, Travis looked at the caller ID, recognized it, and answered it—while also sliding beside me and placing his hand over my mouth.
Startled by the hand, my eyes widened slightly and I made a small “mmmm?” sound.
Travis answered the phone and was speaking to my friend Holly.
He was, frankly, amazing.
He carried on a conversation with Holly—she’d met Travis many times since I started dating him—making up a story about me having come down with something and how I was now resting in bed.
I could only sit in the chair and listen to this, Travis’s right hand over my mouth like a vise.
He was cheerful and charming and I could tell by his side of the conversation that Holly was buying his story—hook, line and sinker. Of course, why wouldn’t she? Holly had no reason to doubt anything Travis said.
The two-minute conversation—that’s a long time to have a hand over your mouth—ended with Travis saying, “I’ll be sure to tell her. Thanks, Holl.”
He snapped my phone shut with his left hand and looked down at me, with a smug look that I wanted to slap off his face.
“She wanted to know if we were up for some drinks later,” Travis said, his hand still over my mouth.
I sighed through my nose and looked away.
Finally, he removed his hand.
I licked my lips and it took all my willpower not to say anything.
Travis turned my phone off.
“She hopes you feel better,” he added, again with the smug look.
I shot him a look, my chest heaving.
Then I looked away again, thoroughly frustrated.
This was ridiculous. We had to communicate somehow!
Did he really expect me to not say anything the entire time he and his partner, or partners, were in my home?
I was almost bursting. Not speaking was killing me. But I was terrified that if I talked, Travis would make good on his threat and gag me without interruption.
But we had to communicate—we just had to.
Travis left again and returned shortly. This time he was carrying my laptop.
I groaned; now what?
His eyes were dancing, which couldn’t have been good.
He opened the laptop and was apparently logging on to my Facebook page as I sat in the chair, wishing like hell that I had never given him my password.
He typed something, then showed it to me.
He had changed my status to read, “Feeling lousy. I hate summer colds. Gonna go lie down.”
I read it, looked at him, and suddenly I felt very sad.
Sad that this man, who I cared about, was turning on me.
I started to cry, which took him by surprise.
Men hate it when women cry.
But I didn’t cry to piss him off; I cried because it was all too much. I needed an outlet. I couldn’t speak so I cried.
“Whoa,” Travis said, putting the laptop down. “Don’t….don’t do that. It’s OK.”
I looked up at him through my tears.
I mouthed one word.
Travis sighed and ran a hand through my auburn hair.
“I know it sucks,” he said, and no truer words had he spoken.
I nodded as I tried to gather my composure. I’m not a crybaby and I dislike crying, but I couldn’t help myself.
“Just know that you won’t be hurt. And isn’t that the most important thing?”
Well, not physically hurt, anyway.
This was, perhaps, my chance. My chance to speak. He was taking pity on me at the moment, so maybe I could get away with it.
But I took a precaution: I whispered.
“Please,” I said softly. “Why can’t I talk?”
He didn’t shut me up. He didn’t cover my mouth. He didn’t even seem fazed that my mouth formed words and sound came out, albeit in a whisper.
“It’s just not a very good idea, Lauren,” he said with barely any emotion.
I whispered, “Why not?”
“One thing could lead to another, and soon I won’t be available for conversation, anyway.”
“I promise I won’t try to talmmmffff,” I whispered, before Travis ended my side of the conversation with a hand over my mouth.
I was trying to tell him that I wasn’t going to try to talk him out of this, but he stopped me cold.
“Shhhh,” he said. “That’s enough.”
I closed my eyes and sighed heavily above his hand.
Slowly he pulled his hand away, keeping it near my mouth briefly, apparently in case I tried to whisper again.
I stayed quiet. He pulled his hand away completely.
At least I tried. At least I got my request in. It was denied, but maybe Travis might soften and give me more leeway later on.