Her palms moisten; her lips parch. Her heart beats a staccato rhythm that echoes in her ears. The air around her is cloying, the heat oppressive. She tries to breathe, only to find her chest more constricted with each inhalation. She looks around for an escape route. There is none.
Her captor thinks her beautiful at the worst of times, and so in a rare act of kindness toward him, she has made an effort to look her best. This guise -- the costume, the painted visage -- it has all been arranged for his pleasure. Her legs buckle slightly under the crushing weight of his will, now so overpowering she knows it will bring about her demise.
Despite her delicate frame, her footfalls pound the earth with the weight of a thousand sledgehammers. She feels his presence, edging ever closer, and knows she cannot let him sense the fear that dwells within her breast. Any second now, he'll appear before her and the life she has known will cease to exist.
How did she get here? Details of the events that led to this moment blur in her mind, then fade away. Blindsided by his charm, she’d fallen victim easily. Now at his mercy, she cannot fight back. She has no choice but to succumb, and let her daemon suitor emerge victorious. Though her inner turmoil rages on, outwardly she is powerless: a simpering coward, unable to break free.
The time has come. She goes to him a willing victim: the lamb, choosing her own slaughter. The world collapses upon itself and she is oblivious to all save for the man, the murderer, standing before her.
She wipes the tears from her eyes and turns to him, resigned and accepting of her fate. A breathy whisper emerges from somewhere -- someone -- deep inside. With determination, she opens her mouth to speak and seals her fate.
“I Do.” LS