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Quiet (v0.4)

Jun 28th, 2014
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  1. Premise: In a strange but near future, a government agent finds a strange girl on his property. Rather than turn her in, as is law, he keeps her and attempts to groom her. There's rape, and the story cuts out before any happy resolution.
  2.  
  3. This is an old, abandoned project from years ago. A lot of elements from this story have been used and reused in other things I have written and this will probably never be finished. But at least it got to the sex stuff. Initially posted this unedited, but then I went through and loosely edited everything.
  4.  
  5.  
  6.  
  7. It was time to feed the horses. Since his last stable keeper had left his employ a few weeks ago, Vincent had been caring for the beasts himself. He was not thrilled to be doing the chore, but at the same time he did not mind. Nor did he blame the woman who had left the stable. No doubt word had reached her from the house. The help had vanished suddenly, all citing different reasons for why they needed to leave his employ, but the Vincent knew why. They were afraid of him.
  8.  
  9. He preferred they have a healthy level of fear. They would work harder that way. Unfortunately, and perhaps inevitably, they had become a bit too scared of him. That red-headed maid was to blame of course.
  10.  
  11. He'd just come up behind her while she worked and grabbed her ass. He'd proposed a few things to her, and she had turned him down with a stammer until he had changed her mind with some unnecessary roughness in his bedroom. He didn't see it as a big deal.
  12.  
  13. Unsurprisingly, she had asked to break her contract and leave his employ. She hadn't looked at him once when she had made the request. He'd told her he would grant her that breach of contract if she kept her whore mouth shut.
  14.  
  15. She had agreed. He'd even paid her extra.
  16.  
  17. That, on top of his reputation in the government, made them all decide to go. He'd put out an ad for new workers, but none had applied save for an elderly man that Vincent had not deigned to hire.
  18.  
  19. So he was the one feeding the horses. The frost this morning crunched under his feet and he regretted that he had not thrown blankets over the horses' backs last night, but there had been no indication that a cold snap would happen over night. In the stable, his three horses--all champion bred, of course--were looking a bit sad. They looked at him and nickered in recognition. He poured their food and got coats on two of them.
  20.  
  21. Where was the third coat? It wasn't where it was supposed to be. After checking all through the stable, he spotted it in with the hay. He couldn't figure out what it was doing back there, but crawled onto the bales to reach into the back. When he got a grip on it and pulled, he was not immediately amused to see what was beneath it.
  22.  
  23. Removing the coat had revealed a person, a small and fragile-looking girl with extremely pale hair and eyes. Those traits marked her as a Ghost to Vincent. He hadn't seen one up close in a few years, and never one so young as a teenager.
  24.  
  25. He laughed in pure amazement. A Ghost! Here of all places in the house of a government official! He asked in amusement, "What are you doing here?"
  26.  
  27. Wide-eyed, she backed away from him. She kept her chin to her chest and her eyes low with respect. Most important of all, the Ghost did not try to run.
  28.  
  29. He asked, “You know who I am?”
  30.  
  31. She shook her head no.
  32.  
  33. "You don't know? Wow," he said to himself. Vincent hesitated. He had her cornered, so he didn't need to devote any special attention to keeping her there. "I'm the owner of these horses and this stable. Tell me your name, Ghost."
  34.  
  35. She said nothing.
  36.  
  37. "I know you heard me. Tell me your name."
  38.  
  39. The girl grimaced and gestured to her throat, then traced a path from her lips into the air with her fingertips, then shook her head vigorously. Vincent understood what she tried to communicate.
  40.  
  41. "You're a mute?" He marveled at that. A mute Ghost! What a rare and incredibly unfortunate creature... assuming she wasn't faking her muteness. He'd test that later. Once he guessed her plight aloud, she nodded. Vincent saw her slight body shaking and said, "Shh, shh, stop that trembling. Stop. Stop that. Atta girl. Now come on out of there and we'll... I'll talk about what you're doing in there and we'll figure something out. It's uh... it's obvious by the way you look that this stable was your only option of where to go, is that true?"
  42.  
  43. With hesitation, she nodded. He held a hand out to encourage her to take it so he could pull her to him. He did not relish the thought of touching her pale, Ghostly flesh at first, but if she didn't know who he was, he might be able to keep her from running away from him. Not that he wouldn't be able to chase her down if she tried.
  44.  
  45. She didn't move until he assured her, "I'm not angry at you. Will you please come out?" That managed to motivate the Ghost to slide towards him. She took his hand and he pulled her out and to her feet. As far as Vincent could remember, he hadn't touched a Ghost except to handcuff them or beat them senseless in his life.
  46.  
  47. "How long have you been here?" he asked. Vincent collected the horse coat in his arms and the girl held up three fingers. "Three days?"
  48.  
  49. She nodded, creepy eyes apologetic. Her pale blue irises unnerved Vincent.
  50.  
  51. "Well that's not too long. Any chance of me getting as explanation of what you were doing before you found your way into my horses' stable?”
  52.  
  53. Her lips pursed in frustration and her eyes darted about as if searching for something before finally shrugging an apology.
  54.  
  55. Vincent chuckled as he put the coat on the last horse. Of course the Ghost couldn't explain. “That's fine, that's fine. Look, though, I'm not going to hold it against you just because you can't talk.” He lied.
  56.  
  57. She smiled with relief, and Vincent wondered what he would do with her once he had her in his house. By law he should report her presence, but... he was tempted not to do so. There weren't very many people as dedicated to the subjugation and expulsion of Ghosts from civilized society as he was, but he felt differently about this one.
  58.  
  59. Finders keepers, he thought.
  60.  
  61. If he could talk her into living with him in secret, he could talk her into being his servant. He would only have to pay her in food and lodging, and he had always done that for his servants. This could save him money, not that he needed to save it with an unreasonably huge salary like his own. Corrupt work was the best work.
  62.  
  63. He also anticipated learning more about Ghosts, and hopefully using it to his advantage at work. As an added bonus, she would be able to keep him company by being present without annoying him by speaking.
  64.  
  65. Vincent decided to just get her into his house first. “You look hungry. Do you want breakfast?”
  66.  
  67. The Ghost hesitated in an obvious attempt to be polite, then nodded. Her mouth was slightly open.
  68.  
  69. “Good, because I haven't eaten yet. Come on, Ghost.” He left and started back to the house. She followed, but grabbed his arm as they walked.
  70.  
  71. Slowly, so that Vincent could read her lips, she mouthed, 'What is 'Ghost?''
  72.  
  73. He mouthed along to understand what she was saying, then understood. “What's a Ghost? It's what you are. Your hair, eyes, skin. You've hardly got any melanin. Makes you a Ghost.”
  74.  
  75. The girl shook her head and mouthed, 'Human.'
  76.  
  77. He laughed at her. “Ghosts are humans. But you're different from the rest of us, for a lot of reasons. So different you can't even crossbreed with true humans. You turn pink and your skin hurts if you stay in the sun too long, doesn't it? Not mine. One difference of many, and it's not even an important one. It just illustrated a point.” He reached the door and opened it. He and the Ghost stepped into his considerable kitchen. Since his chef had resigned, Vincent had been preparing his own food, but his desire for cleanliness and appearances had kept the place clean. The Ghost kept her hands clasped behind her back, seeming bewildered by the change of scenery. From what he'd scene of Ghost dwellings, he doubted she had any concept of electricity.
  78.  
  79. “Sit down,” Vincent said, pointing at a stool. The Ghost obeyed him, and watched curiously as he put bread into the toaster. She just about looked heartbroken when the slices vanished from sight. Then he turned back to her and leaned on the table next to her. “So how're we gonna talk? I can't read your lips all the time. Can you write?”
  80.  
  81. She shook her head. Where had she been all her life that she had managed to avoid detection and society? All the best-hidden Ghosts that the government had recovered for the last few decades had been hidden away by wealthy sympathizers.
  82.  
  83. “Damn shame,” he sighed. The toast popped up and he retrieved them, then smeared butter on both. He gave one to the Ghost. “Before you eat, you have to tell me your name.”
  84.  
  85. She hesitated.
  86.  
  87. “Just mouth it. Real slow.”
  88.  
  89. 'I hate it.'
  90.  
  91. “Your name?”
  92.  
  93. She nodded. 'I don't want my name.'
  94.  
  95. “Oh? But you need a name.”
  96.  
  97. She shrugged.
  98.  
  99. “Alright, fine. Eat your food. My name is Vincent by the way. Vincent Stiles.” He was pleased when she clearly had no idea of who he was.
  100.  
  101. Her head inclined toward him. Vincent found that he quite liked being bowed to even slightly, and wondered if he could make the girl do it again some time. She ate with zest, which he found amusing to watch.
  102.  
  103. “You haven't been in civilization for a long time, have you?”
  104.  
  105. She didn't seem to be able to come up with an answer.
  106.  
  107. “Never?” He ventured.
  108.  
  109. She gave a sideways smile to indicate that what he guessed was true. Vincent saw a grand opportunity.
  110.  
  111. “Then you probably need a bath,” Vincent said. “And I can find you some clean clothes that don't have holes in them.”
  112.  
  113. Her white eyebrows jumped up in amazement at the idea.
  114.  
  115. “Yes. Come on, I'll show you.” He got up, and led her away, through the back halls toward his private bathroom. It had a large, open space first where towels and bathrobes hung on the walls. Then there was a divide made of frosted glass, behind which was his bathtub. It was large, and functioned much like a hot tub that remained at body temperature. “Go take a bath. Use the soap. I'll find you some clothes for when you're done. Okay?”
  116.  
  117. The Ghost indicated the affirmative with vigorous nods.
  118.  
  119. He left the room and shuddered in anticipation. There would be simple clothes for her left behind by past servants, and when he went to the servants' quarters, he found a simple gray dress that would fit The Ghost and, to his amusement, some simple underwear that would fit her as well, even a bra. She could dress like a real human.
  120.  
  121. He didn't remember all the people who had worked for him in the past, but at least one had probably been a teenager or small woman to have clothes this size. He was grateful that woman had left her belongings behind, but couldn't think of which of his many past employees it had been.
  122.  
  123. Vincent took the outfit back to the bathroom. Outside the door he waited for a moment and prepared what he would say. It had to be right.
  124.  
  125. He opened the door. He heard some splashing and knew it meant he had shocked the girl. Good. Vincent enjoyed catching people off guard and had become quite good at it in his work.
  126.  
  127. “I found you some clothes,” he announced, picking up her old clothes that she had discarded. The man looked at the blurry glass and saw the girl's pale face and fingertips peeking out of the edge of the tub, keeping the rest of her body submerged. He could make out no details.
  128.  
  129. “I'm kind of glad I found you,” he said. “See, I need someone to live in my house and help me take care of it. I can pay you in food, and a comfortable bed, as well as clothing and entertainment and other such things. Does that work for you, Ghost?”
  130.  
  131. She didn't answer him.
  132.  
  133. He added, “Signal once for yes and twice for no.”
  134.  
  135. Vincent waited on bated breath, and then he heard her tap on the glass just once. He sighed happily. “I'm glad you said that, Ghost. It means all the more that you clearly don't know who I am.”
  136.  
  137. Silence. Then two taps.
  138.  
  139. “I also get the sense you don't know much about the world, technology, or the government.”
  140.  
  141. Tap-tap.
  142.  
  143. “I'll teach you. Gladly.”
  144.  
  145. Tap.
  146.  
  147. “You didn't know that you were a Ghost. So I guess you don't know what that means. It means you aren't allowed to be here, in this country.
  148.  
  149. “I have no idea how you lasted as long as you did in this area without being caught and kicked out. But as long as you stay here, I can keep you safe from that.
  150.  
  151. “And I assume you're wondering what it means to be kicked out. It means you will be taken and released outside the country... as I understand it, Ghost towns are impoverished to say the least. No clean water, like you'll have here, not a lot of food. No heat, no air conditioning, et cetera." Thinking of how she'd have to stay with him was starting to make him hard. "My point is that you're safe here as long as no one but me knows that you're here. Now, I know that you were really lucky before, but I can guarantee that whatever luck you were having will absolutely not last. Does that make sense?”
  152.  
  153. Hesitant tap.
  154.  
  155. “Good,” he said, pleased. Now that she knew the ramifications of leaving the house (and him) he could get her to do more for him. “Oh, and I decided to give you a new name.”
  156.  
  157. Through the glass, he saw her head tilt with curiosity. Tap-tap.
  158.  
  159. “Would you rather go with your old name?”
  160.  
  161. Tap-tap.
  162.  
  163. “Then take the new one,” he said, adding some force to his smooth tone.
  164.  
  165. Her head bowed in disappointment, and he saw her light hair swamp her face. Then she looked up at him again. Tap.
  166.  
  167. “It's Quiet,” he said. “That's your new name.”
  168.  
  169. Tap-tap.
  170.  
  171. “Is it worse than your last one?”
  172.  
  173. Reluctantly: Tap-tap.
  174.  
  175. “Then I'll call you that. Quiet is fine name,” he said. He adored having the power to name someone after their disability and pretend he'd done them a favor. Having always loved power, he had always sought it, but Vincent had never had this much control over anyone in his entire life. It was so thoroughly intoxicating. He was hard.
  176.  
  177. For a Ghost? A feral, mute, Ghost? Quiet was the single oddest person he had ever allowed in his house. That thought was made all the more impressive when he considered he'd had many a strange girl here, and even back in his bed chambers. That, too, may have been a contributing factor in the help leaving, as Vincent often left his conquests for them to kick out of the house. Once or twice a woman had stayed for seconds and he had permitted it, but no one had lasted longer than a week before one of them got bored or she got too scared.
  178.  
  179. Vincent shook off the memories of the past and said, “Quiet, just let me know when you need the towel and I will give it to you.” He sat down on the toilet with the lid down. If she didn't have much of a social connection to his culture, as she had demonstrated (or at least acted, he could still not be certain she was telling the truth) she wouldn't necessarily see his lingering as weird.
  180.  
  181. Oh, he had so many questions for her! He weighed the pros and cons of teaching her to read and write... the biggest, most obvious con was that she might learn more than he wanted her to learn. An educated Ghost was a dangerous Ghost, after all. But he thought he would be able to keep her dumb (at this joke Vincent was quite amused). The big pro would be that he would be able to get her to tell him things. Complicated things. But then again she might refuse to talk.
  182.  
  183. He heard more tapping, and looked up to see the faded blur of Quiet's entire body outside of the tub, just inches from the glass. Her hand had reached around the side. He got up and sauntered over to it, and pressed a towel into her open palm. “You dry yourself off with this. When you're done, I'll pass you the clothes.”
  184.  
  185. Vincent subtly watched her do that, still berating himself for acting this way because of a Ghost.
  186.  
  187. When Quiet finished drying, she reached back around and gave him the towel. He gave her the clean clothes, and once again watched her move. She navigated the underclothes and dress easily, and once dressed, stepped out from behind the glass. She had a slight spring to her step, and she held a vague, coy, smile like she was happy to be showing herself off to him.
  188.  
  189. Quiet's hair, now clean, was a shiny, pale yellow. Her skin was similarly light, but with a peach hue. All together, she shone with more radiance now than she had before.
  190.  
  191. “Look at you!” He said, impressed. “You look much better clean, Quiet. And you look very pretty in the new clothes.”
  192.  
  193. Her smile faltered when he said her new name, but widened again when he said the word 'pretty.' Her cheeks bloomed a bright pink.
  194.  
  195. “You should see your cheeks, Quiet,” he said, gesturing at the mirror. “You're blushing.”
  196.  
  197. The man watched her examine her reflection. Her lips peeled back into a smile, and she convulsed, making a strange, light wheezing sound. He felt alarm for a moment, and then realized that she was laughing. But, because her larynx didn't work, she could not make any sound. He chuckled in wonder, and she stopped laughing right away.
  198.  
  199. “There's no need to stop laughing just because I join in,” he said.
  200.  
  201. She shook her head and brought her hand to her face to cover her mouth.
  202.  
  203. “What's wrong?”
  204.  
  205. Of course she could not answer him.
  206.  
  207. “Do you not like laughing in front of me? You have a nice laugh, Quiet, very nice,” he told her, wondering what had made her so shy about it, of all things.
  208.  
  209. She looked him in the eyes as if trying to see if he was joking. Finding him sincere, she smiled gratefully. With that expression, Vincent knew he would be able to accomplish everything he wanted now.
  210.  
  211. For the rest of the day he led her around his house and showed her things that he thought she might not know. He gave her the room that had belonged to his head maid. It was not particularly large or grand, but it was impressive to Quiet and she came close to crying.
  212.  
  213. Then he showed her the chores she would have to do. He decided he would ease her into most of the technological ones and give her the simpler ones first. She seemed happy to work and unaware that he was taking advantage of her so completely. Poor naive little thing.
  214.  
  215. She watched him make dinner. He'd asked her first if she ate meat. If she hadn't before, he didn't want to make her sick (although he would certainly cure her of vegetarianism at some point) but she assured him that she did eat meat. He roasted a chicken and steamed broccoli. Quiet kept pestering him about why they had to wait, watching the food with concern. Vincent put a hand on her back and told her it was better this way, internally horrified that she was apparently used to raw or undercooked meat. When the food was done, he told her they'd just eat in the kitchen, and handed her a fork and knife.
  216.  
  217. He sat down and started eating when he noticed how confused she was by the tools.
  218.  
  219. “Have you never used one before?” He asked, not entirely shocked. He pushed his chair back and got up, walking all the way around to where she was. Vincent snatched the fork out of her hand and for a moment she looked heartbroken and terrified when she thought she would not be allowed to eat at all. He reassured her by putting the fork back into her hand the right way and wrapping his hand around her much smaller one to guide it along for a moment so she would understand. As he did so, his left hand gripped the back of her chair by her left shoulder and he leaned his torso somewhat over her, “You see?”
  220.  
  221. She nodded. The pink color was back in her cheeks, and she looked sheepish at being corrected so. Vincent retreated to his seat, wondering again how long the Ghost had been removed from any kind of civilization that she didn't know how to use a fork. He demonstrated the knife next and cut her food into pieces for her.
  222.  
  223. He let her sleep after dinner. In the privacy of his bedroom, he masturbated for hours.
  224.  
  225. ---
  226.  
  227. Once he made it clear to Quiet that he didn't mind her making noise where she could, she started to make small sounds. None of them had any voice to them, but it was impressive to see what she could do with so little. She could whistle, and he didn't mind that. She used it to call to him when she had a question, or when she responded to him calling for her from another place in the house. He found it cute.
  228.  
  229. Eventually, his curiosity became too much for him, and he decided to teach her to read and write so she would be able to talk to him. He started by reading to her where she could see the words and follow his finger across the page. He didn't have many books that would be comprehensible to an illiterate person, but he was happy to see that she took to it with uncanny speed.
  230.  
  231. Of course, writing followed. Her handwriting was poor, but doing so much reading had ensured that her spelling was quite good.
  232.  
  233. “Finally,” Vincent sighed after a few months of diligent work. “Quiet, I want you to tell me everything about your life before I found you and gave you a home.”
  234.  
  235. She mouthed 'Everything?!'
  236.  
  237. “Yes. You can work on getting it all written out this evening and while I'm at work tomorrow. I think I deserve to know more about you.”
  238.  
  239. She wrote: OK
  240.  
  241. “Good,” he told her. “I'm going to bed now. I'll probably have to leave before you wake up, okay?”
  242.  
  243. She nodded.
  244.  
  245. “Good night, Quiet.”
  246.  
  247. ---
  248.  
  249. Vincent went to to work the next day to find the building in an uproar. “What happened?” He asked Reynolds.
  250.  
  251. “They found three Ghosts together,” Reynolds said. “A mother and two sons.”
  252.  
  253. “You're shitting me! How old?” Vincent couldn't believe the number of Ghosts all at once.
  254.  
  255. “Mother's forty or so, sons are somewhere around twenty and twenty-five.”
  256.  
  257. Vincent shook his head. “Where were they? Some rich liberal's ranch somewhere?”
  258.  
  259. “No!” Reynolds said in amazement. “That's the crazy part. They were just out in the wild. A hunter cornered them with a shotgun in an old building in the woods and called us. I can't believe no one called you when this happened! It was only an hour or two ago, but they should have told you, Stiles!”
  260.  
  261. “Yes, they should have,” he growled. “Who's working on them?”
  262.  
  263. “You and I have been assigned to the mother.”
  264.  
  265. Vincent worked hard to keep himself from celebrating visibly. “Fine. Ghosts are a nice change of pace. Where's she being held?”
  266.  
  267. ---
  268.  
  269. “I am Mister Stiles,” he said to the sobbing, middle aged woman. Vincent had a folder of what they knew already--her name, her family, things like that. But he wanted to hear it from her. “What are you called?”
  270.  
  271. “Bright,” she said. Vincent nodded. Ghosts liked names that were adjectives, he knew. It was one main reason he'd given Quiet that name.
  272.  
  273. “Okay, Ghost. What are the names of your sons?”
  274.  
  275. “Rough and Brave.”
  276.  
  277. “Which is which?”
  278.  
  279. “Rough is older.”
  280.  
  281. Bright's account matched what Vincent had been given in his notes. “Are there other Ghosts?”
  282.  
  283. She shook her head.
  284.  
  285. “Were there other Ghosts?”
  286.  
  287. “My husband and daughter.”
  288.  
  289. “Deceased?” he prodded, curious about the daughter.
  290.  
  291. “Taken.”
  292.  
  293. “What were their names?”
  294.  
  295. “Free and Dumb.”
  296.  
  297. Dumb? Vincent wondered, and suppressed a grin. He would have bet money now that Dumb was Quiet. He said, “We got Free three years ago. Never a girl by that name. How old would she be now and did she have any defining characteristics?”
  298.  
  299. “Sixteen. And we called her Dumb because she couldn't talk.”
  300.  
  301. “We've never had a mute through here. Your daughter is probably dead and rotting somewhere by now. That or some bastard found her and brought her into their home and never called us,” Vincent said. He could not resist tormenting this Ghost, and actually began to grow hard as he went on. “Maybe they keep her like like a pet, like a kitty cat or a puppy dog. Maybe they rape her every night, I don't know.”
  302.  
  303. He was disgusted and disappointed to see a lack of reaction from the woman.
  304.  
  305. “You don't worry about your daughter?”
  306.  
  307. “I never liked her.”
  308.  
  309. That jarred Vincent greatly, but it explained why the girl had been allowed to be called Dumb. He said, “Let it never be said that you are a compassionate Ghost. But, Bright, I think she never existed at all and you're just making this claim so we'll be on the lookout for her, because you know damn well that muteness is too rare and we could all search for the rest of our lives and never find this alleged daughter.”
  310.  
  311. He felt pleased with himself for having come up with that. The men watching the recordings later would see the woman's reaction to his suggestion, and they would discredit her claim of Quiet's existence. No one would go looking for the girl now.
  312.  
  313. Vincent proceeded to prod Bright about her life. He learned little from her curt answers, but gathered that she and her family had been itinerant since she and Free had had paired up out of convenience. It was a miracle, Vincent thought, that Bright had managed to deliver three children without help beyond her husband.
  314.  
  315. They had foraged, and sometimes stolen, from farms and farmers. It baffled him that they had been hidden for so long. When he finished asking questions (and only getting vague answers), he got up and left the room without a goodbye.
  316.  
  317. “That stuff you said at the beginning was pretty brutal,” Reynolds said. “I can't imagine any of that actually happening.”
  318.  
  319. “But now we know that girl doesn't exist,” Vincent said. He radiated smugness.
  320.  
  321. “True.”
  322.  
  323. ---
  324.  
  325. He returned home late and found Quiet in her room. She saw him and offered a warm smile, then pointed at the table where she had been working and scooted over on the bench to make room for him. He put his briefcase down on her bed and sat at her side.
  326.  
  327. Quiet had filled a couple pages with her story. Granted her handwriting was large and she skipped lines on the page to keep it neat, but it was a lot of information. Before he could start reading, she touched his shoulder and he looked at her. Then she took a piece of paper and started writing on it.
  328.  
  329. 'My name was—'
  330.  
  331. “Dumb,” he finished for her. “I know.”
  332.  
  333. She looked at the papers like he had somehow seen it there. She mouthed, 'How?'
  334.  
  335. “You might not believe me, Quiet, but I met your mother today. They caught her and your brothers. They'll be kicked out to the Ghost Towns.”
  336.  
  337. Quiet began to cry, so Vincent put his arm around her. She wrote, 'Can you help them?'
  338.  
  339. “Not if I wanted to,” he said sternly. “Your mother was awful, Quiet. She is a terrible person. You were right to run away. Aren't you happier here?”
  340.  
  341. She nodded slowly, then leaned forward and buried her face against his chest. He did not mind that she was getting tears all over his clothes. He found it endearing. It was her nature to only touch him if she absolutely needed to, and only ever on his arms or shoulders. Even then it was only because of a few special circumstances, this prolonged touching was new and surprising. And enjoyable. He wrapped her up in his arms.
  342.  
  343. “I'm sorry about your family... but they were bad people. Just look at the mean name they gave you. Please don't mourn them, Quiet.” Vincent pushed her hair behind her ear and ran a thumb over her cheek. “How about you go watch a movie and I'll read what you've written, okay?”
  344.  
  345. She nodded, and detached herself from his one-armed hug, then left the room. He watched her go with no regrets. When she was gone he read what she had written for him in her giant letters.
  346.  
  347. 'Father ran from Mother when I was small. Mother blamed me because I was dumb,' Here she seemed unable to decided whether or not 'dumb' should be capitalized. The page looked like it had been erased and rewritten several times. “She said no one wants dumb people. She told me that every day. My brothers told me that every day.
  348.  
  349. 'We lived in the forest. We moved every few days. Sometimes we hunted wild animals. Sometimes we found plants to eat. Sometimes we stole food or clothes. I am not happy about that. We were always hungry and cold. We did not stay warm together. They stayed warm together.' Here she had underlined 'they.'
  350.  
  351. 'I don't know where we were exactly. I don't know why we lived like that. I don't know much.
  352.  
  353. 'Once we we went into a town. I heard something loud and hid behind a thing. Mother and brothers left me. I could not call to them to find me, and I could not stop hiding during the day. I went back to the woods and looked for them but I did not find them. I cried a lot and was very hungry. I found your horses. I went to their stable. There was no one there except you in the mornings, and you were only there for a few minutes so I hid.
  354.  
  355. 'I ate your horses' oats. I am sorry I took them.
  356.  
  357. 'You found me then when it was cold.
  358.  
  359. “Thank you for not kicking me out. Thank you for not calling me Dumb. Thank you for wanting me.”
  360.  
  361. In his head he imagined her looking at him adoringly as he read the words. He had to calm himself down before standing up, he had become hot-blooded imagining her professing her gratefulness in other ways. He shook it out of his head, grabbed her writing pad, and went back to the living room. In the main room, Quiet watched a romantic comedy while sprawled out on his couch. He took the seat next to her head and put the pad on the table in case she needed it, then put his feet on the table by the pad.
  362.  
  363. “Your mother told everyone that you exist. People will be looking for you even harder now.”
  364.  
  365. She looked sad and sank farther into the couch.
  366.  
  367. “I hope you appreciate how difficult it is for me to keep you here.”
  368.  
  369. Guilted, she rolled over onto her back and looked up at him from where she was stretched out. The girl did look enormously remorseful.
  370.  
  371. “It's okay, though, Quiet,” he reassured. “You'll be safe here. They can't get you as long as you're in the house. You'll stay, won't you?”
  372.  
  373. She mouthed, “Of course.” Concern flicked in her eyebrows as she tried to understand why he would ask a question with such an obvious answer.
  374.  
  375. “Good,” he said. “I'd like to thank you for keeping me company, if I could.”
  376.  
  377. She put up her hands and shook her head to tell him that he didn't need to repay her. He got off the couch and sat on the floor so his eyeline just above the girl's. He got a better, up-close look at her eyes this way. Vincent leaned a little toward her and kissed her on her cheek. Ah, how soft her skin was.
  378.  
  379. Quiet recoiled, Vincent stood his ground. After a moment, she relaxed and rolled onto her stomach. Her cheeks continued to burn red, and she hid her face in her arms with embarrassment. The man put a hand on her head and stroked her hair. “It's okay, Quiet.” His hand slid down her back until it rested just above her rear and stroked along her spine as if she were a pet. She kind of was his pet.
  380.  
  381. She looked down at the cushions and away from him as he tucked her hair behind her ear. Despite her outward displays of shyness, she scooted a little closer to him.
  382.  
  383. “You didn't mind that at all, did you?” he asked, playing with her in such a way that she would know he was being friendly. His knuckles trailed over her cheek where he had kissed her.
  384.  
  385. Her eyes closed as she fought a smile. Vincent fought an erection when she noticed her toes were curling just a little and she had pressed her thighs together.
  386.  
  387. “Oh, Quiet,” he said, chiding her. “You sweet girl. Look at you blushing.”
  388.  
  389. Her face had turned bright pink. She snuggled up closer to him, looking positively ashamed and simultaneously happy that she had responded so to him. This meant that she trusted him. Even better, it meant that she liked him. It would be so much more beautiful now when he broke her.
  390.  
  391. There were several blissful weeks in which Vincent was able to take opportunities to touch Quiet without scaring her. Because she was so skittish by nature, it was hard to find chances. Mostly they came to him when she was sleepy or tired. Once time, she lay on the couch next to him while they watched television.
  392.  
  393. “You're so adorable when you do this,” he murmured to her softly, and he stroked her hair.
  394.  
  395. She blushed suddenly, and looked a little worried and ashamed.
  396.  
  397. “I like it,” He assured her. “You're a good girl and you make me happy to have you living in my house, sitting next to me.”
  398.  
  399. Quiet smiled gently, still looking very timid.
  400.  
  401.  
  402.  
  403. He waited for his scheduled vacation week. It was only a few months from when he had interrogated Bright.
  404.  
  405. Vincent decided to be unceremonious about it, rip the bandage off all in one go. He'd been patient enough. He got home Friday and found Quiet. She had finished her chores and was on the couch. He smiled at her, and she smiled too. Then he bent down and scooped her up. She acted very surprised and afraid, squirming in his grip, but she stopped when she saw he was smiling calmly. She raised an eyebrow raised to ask him what he was doing.
  406.  
  407. He got to the hallway to his room when she started to twist and look around in confusion. She started mouthing to him, and he thought she was telling him to put her down. “Shh, it's fine,” he assured as he held her close to him. When they reached his room, she was rioting so hard that he put her down. He blocked the doorway, standing still. Quiet's mouth hung open a bit as she tried to understand the situation.
  408.  
  409. “Go to the bed, Quiet,” he suggested. She took a few steps backward, and he started to close the distance. To Vincent's surprise, the girl tried to run around him.
  410.  
  411. He caught her with ease, grabbing her wrist and yanking her back to where he stood. She was crying now, clearly frightened out of her wits. “There's no need to cry, Quiet.” He kicked the door shut.
  412.  
  413. Vincent gave her arm a hard yank to pull her off balance. From there he led her to the bed, picking her up roughly and tossing her on. He pounced on top of her. She looked away from him, tears now streaming from her eyes. He grabbed for her jaw and held her head still while he dipped his face to her neck.
  414.  
  415. “Don't be scared. I know what I'm doing, you have nothing to fear,” he advised. “You're such a pretty girl, Quiet, I don't want to have to hurt you.”
  416.  
  417. She was mouthing the words 'please' and 'no' to him, her hands on his chest and shoulders trying to push him away. Her body writhed, but for now he held her in place by sitting atop her.
  418.  
  419. “Shh, stop fighting, Quiet,” he said. He enjoyed shushing her as if she was actually making noise. When she didn't stop trying to get rid of him, he held her face more sternly and planted his lips next to her ear. In a low, slow voice he growled to her, “I don't want to have to hurt you, Quiet, but if you don't stop trying to get rid of me, I might have to.”
  420.  
  421. The girl didn't quit. Mildly frustrated, Vincent straightened up and backhanded her. She stopped moving. Then, very deliberately, she recovered and looked at him. Her eyes told him she would never have expected him to do this to her, that she had trusted him completely. Vincent couldn't hold it back anymore, and he pressed his lips to the girl's violently, pushing hard against her mouth with his. He snaked his tongue in and toyed with the hers, caressing every part of her mouth. She tried to recoil into the soft mattress, but Quiet could not avoid him. When he was completely certain that he had tasted her completely and she had tasted him back, he broke the kiss and let her breathe. Quiet looked him in the eyes with such sadness and heartbreak that Vincent couldn't help but laugh sympathetically.
  422.  
  423. “You poor girl, you never saw this coming,” he said. The man ran his fingers through her soft white hair where it fanned out around her head on the pillow. “You're just so surprised I almost feel bad for doing this.”
  424.  
  425. She took a long, shuddering breath and closed her eyes, tilting her head away from him. He shifted where he sat so he could pull her into a sitting position. Vincent grabbed her by the shoulder straps of her light dress and pulled her ear to his mouth. “Don't struggle just now. Hold nice and still, Quiet. I don't want you to ruin any of these nice clothes you have.” He reached around her and slid her zipper down to the small of her back, smiling so loudly that she must have heard him.
  426.  
  427. Vincent pushed the straps of her dress off her shoulders, and he pulled her entire dress down to her waist. “I have been wanting to do this to you for quite a while, Quiet. Ever since the day I found you in my stable and named you. I've wanted this all along.”
  428.  
  429. She wheezed a sob. Her entire body shook and convulsed. Vincent had difficulty undoing her bra because of the movement, but he did not strike her. She could not control herself, and he could forgive her for those tremors. He pulled her bra away and grabbed her left breast with his right hand, feeling the jiggle with his palm while squeezing his fingers into the sides. The man sighed in contentment, bringing his second hand to her second breast and let himself just enjoy feeling her her a while.
  430.  
  431. He felt her hand come up to his arm and tug lightly on his sleeve. She didn't pull hard enough to make him stop or to aggravate him, just enough to get his attention and beg with him through body language. Vincent humored her and let his hands slide away from her breasts, down to her hips. “What is it, my dear?”
  432.  
  433. She steadied herself and mouthed, “Don't hurt me.”
  434.  
  435. “Oh, Quiet,” he said, affecting sadness. “I am sorry I had to strike you. I do not relish the thought of hurting you and have no intention of doing so again unless you give me a reason.”
  436.  
  437. The mute girl continued to cry softly. She mouthed, “Stop, stop, stop this!”
  438.  
  439. “I won't do that,” he said, and he grabbed her neck and pulled her to him for another hard kiss. He broke it slowly, licking her lips once before he was finished.
  440.  
  441. She was mouthing something new. He payed attention and caught that she was saying, “You could have asked! You could have asked!”
  442.  
  443. “That defeats the purpose of taking, Quiet,” he explained with total calm. Vincent put one hand on her chest and pushed her onto her back. He reached low and hooked his fingers into her panties, then pulled them down to her knees and finally off all the way. He spun them on his finger and then tossed them off the bed. Quiet could only keep shaking, her pale eyes shut tight as he looked her body up and down. “Yes, you are a pretty girl, Quiet. I'm a lucky man to have you. Open your eyes.”
  444.  
  445. She didn't, so Vincent leaned over her so he head hovered a few inches above hers. The man spoke quietly. “I'm going to show you something I know you've been curious about, Quiet. I've seen you looking at me the way I look at you. Sit up and open your eyes.”
  446.  
  447. The Ghost obeyed, fearful. Vincent smiled and backed up, off the bed. He began to unbutton his shirt, mostly by touch so he wouldn't have to take his eyes off of the girl. Quiet was watching him, as he had demanded. Tears streamed from her eyes and she gasped and sobbed, her arms folded over her chest and her legs pressed together. The man shed his shirt, shooting a devilish grin to the girl who would not look directly at him. He looked down and started to undo his pants, which had become almost painfully constricting, when he saw movement.
  448.  
  449. He looked up and was simultaneously shocked and not shocked to see Quiet try to tear past him to the door. Her fingers wrapped around the doorknob just as his arm hooked around her abdomen. He tore her away and hurled with far too much force back across the room. She hit the hardwood floor with a bang, and Vincent finished pulling off his pants as Quiet started to get up. He grabbed her arms, more than frustrated that she had not watched him all the way and had interrupted his show. But it didn't matter now. He wanted her, and that was the only thing he was thinking when he tossed her back up onto his bed and spread her legs.
  450.  
  451. She sobbed and tried to sit up and twist. He put a hand on her chest to push her back down onto the sheets. Again, she resisted. His hand slid from her chest to her collar and up to her neck. He squeezed softly to make her still. She acquiesced finally as he restricted her air, and as he held her with one hand, his other went to her privates and started probing. He poked, prodded, rubbed, tweaked, and caressed until she couldn't help but become wet. He wanted this part it to hurt her as little as possible, and that meant he had to work her by hand at first, occasionally taking a break to stroke his throbbing cock.
  452.  
  453. He kissed her again, feeling her breath come in short bursts like she was crying out. When he pushed his tongue into her mouth, she chomped on it. Vincent pulled away, incensed, and slapped her again as hard as he could.
  454.  
  455. “QUIET!” He roared her name. It was the loudest sound he had made around her, and it went right into the girl's ear. His voice dropped low once again and his right hand wrapped tightly around the Ghost's neck, squeezing so tightly that he could watch her pale skin fade from peach to light blue. “Quiet, you stupid Ghost, I told you I don't plan on hurting you, but I swear to god that if you try anything like that again I will. And because you are a Ghost there will be no hospital and no doctors to take care of you. There will be no medicine to make the pain go away when I am through with you. Am I understood?”
  456.  
  457. She nodded slightly. Vincent took his hand off her neck and planted kisses around her face. “I'm sorry I yelled, Quiet,” he told her, stroking her hair. He wasn't sorry.
  458.  
  459. The girl closed her eyes again and mouthed, “I hate you.”
  460.  
  461. “I'm so sorry,” he lied, kissing her neck, and then down to her chest until his lips grazed over one of her nipples. His left hand continued twisting around between her legs. He buried a finger inside of the girl and her hips bucked to get rid of him. “I really don't want to hurt you. That's why I'm going to make sure you enjoy this.”
  462.  
  463. Vincent realized that, in the past, he had always used the whimpers and moans of the women he'd bedded to let him know when he'd found the right places to touch. Quiet, of course, was incapable of that. Her unwillingness to emote doubled the difficulty, so he felt around inside of her, curling and uncurling his index finger in her wetness playfully and watching her move. Finally, he found place that made her hands ball into fists and her toes wiggled and twisted. “There we go... that's the spot... good girl. Yes. Don't fight it. Good.”
  464.  
  465. She arched her back and he groped for her breasts, thinking that he needed desperately to be inside of her. Vincent removed his hand from her and wrapped it around his cock to give it a few quick strokes, then thrust into her. She moved like she was crying out. Poor little virgin. Her pain was unfortunate, but if she hadn't been ready for him by then, she would never have been. He groaned deeply, happily, his hands grabbing for her hips for leverage as he pounded her.
  466.  
  467. “Yes,” he moaned to her. The girl put her hands on his chest, trying to push him off. She kept mouthing things too quickly for him to read, not that he cared anyway. “Oh yes. Good girl Quiet.”
  468.  
  469. She was so tight and wet, and Vincent could not recall a better lay in his years of experience. He stretched her far and pounded into her again and again, mercilessly, all as she tried to avoid it.
  470.  
  471. And then, with an adorable gasp, she came for him. He took the opportunity to torment her. “Doesn't that feel good Quiet?”
  472.  
  473. When he felt her walls spasming around his cock, he came hard, shooting his seed inside of her with a devilish smirk on his face.
  474.  
  475. “Well then,” he said, trying not to make his delight too obvious as he leaned down and wrapped his arms around the smaller girl. “You're welcome for your orgasm, Quiet. What you just felt? From me? That's a gift. Remember that.”
  476.  
  477. The girl had stopped fighting. She lay as still as she could, but all of her autonomic responses were still alive and out of her control and she panted as fluids leaked out from between her thighs.
  478.  
  479.  
  480.  
  481. “Shh,” he told the sobbing girl softly.
  482.  
  483. Quiet quieted.
  484.  
  485. “Good girl,” he said, cupping one of her breasts as he held her. “Go to sleep now, Quiet. We'll talk when you wake up.”
  486.  
  487.  
  488.  
  489. He woke up before she did, his arm still curled tightly around her. Carefully, Vincent detached himself from the girl and got up. He didn't shower in case she awoke, and part of him still clung to the hope that he would be able to convince her to bathe with him. He pulled on some pajama bottoms (Quiet had often seen him in these, for he wore them on days off that he spent with her) and left the room, intentionally leaving his door open so she would leave his room and come to him.
  490.  
  491. Vincent made food. He turned and jumped when he saw Quiet standing in the kitchen doorway. She had her writing pad tucked under her arm. Slowly she raised it to show him what she had written: 'Why?'
  492.  
  493. “Because I wanted to,” he replied, flipping a fried egg. “Because you're pretty. Because you were there. Because you like me too.”
  494.  
  495. She shook her head and showed him a different paper she had written on. The girl had obviously prepared her speech. This paper said. “You are a monster.”
  496.  
  497. Vincent snorted and shook his head. “Sit down. Breakfast is almost ready.”
  498.  
  499. The girl turned the page. 'I want to leave.'
  500.  
  501. "You'll regret it in a few hours when you get hungry. It's already almost lunch time so there won't be food until dinner."
  502.  
  503. She scribbled something on the page so that it now read, 'I want to leave this house and go somewhere else.'
  504.  
  505. Vincent put a plate of food in front of the girl. “Don't be silly, Quiet. If you wanted to leave you would have gone out while I was in here cooking. You didn't leave because you know what would happen to you if you left. You'd have to go live out in nature again, which is likely crawling with men looking for you right now since your mother told people you existed. If they catch you, they won't treat you as kindly as I have.”
  506.  
  507. He made meaningful eye contact with the girl. She had started to eat ravenously, if grudgingly.
  508.  
  509. “And knowing you, dear Quiet, I think that you would prefer to stay somewhere that is familiar to you rather than go somewhere with unknown dangers. And I don't think you want to die.” Vincent began eating his own food. “But I'm not inclined to stop you. I would miss you terribly if you were gone, though, I want you to know that. You're such a pretty girl, Quiet, I would hate not seeing you every day.”
  510.  
  511. The man glanced over at her. She had turned red and was writing furiously. She showed her the finished product. 'I hate you.'
  512.  
  513. That bothered Vincent, though he knew her reaction was only natural. He would have waited if he didn't enjoy the act of taking so much.
  514.  
  515. “You know, if I really wanted to, I could keep you here by force,” he said, pretending to muse and paying no attention to what she had written. “I'd have to get you a different room though, the basement maybe, anywhere I could lock you up when I was away. I'd have to find a way to keep you inside while I let you out to do chores for me... the prisons have these collars they use to keep people inside. They shock you like tasers if you go farther than you ought, maybe that would work. At night, of course, I'd keep you in my room where I can... keep track of you.”
  516.  
  517. Her face had turned whiter than usual. Without looking at the paper, she wrote, 'I will not be your prisoner.'
  518.  
  519. “I know you won't. You aren't going to try going anywhere and I am not a heartless man, so there will be no need to take those measures.”
  520.  
  521. She finished her food and left the room. Vincent chuckled and cleaned up the mess he had made while cooking. He crept out of the kitchen and found the girl lying on the couch, watching television loudly. She didn't hear him until he leaned over the back of the couch. Her mouth opened and air rushed out; a scream.
  522.  
  523. “No chores today, Quiet,” he told her. “Consider it a reward.”
  524.  
  525. She looked hurt, and turned her head away from him. The man heard her crying again, that same soft familiar wheezing.
  526.  
  527.  
  528.  
  529. He heard her coming and spun. She had a knife, but he was not afraid of her. He grabbed her wrist, pulled the tool away from her, and then socked her in the gut. The girl fell limp as she tried to shout in pain. Vincent dragged her out of the kitchen wordlessly. He threw her into the pantry and then put a chair in front of the door, trapping her. It happened so quickly he barely had time to keep track of what had happened.
  530.  
  531. The man took his time. He went to his office, to the closet where he kept his possessions. He found his handcuffs. He found his baton. He found a long rope and a black sack. He'd been promoted out of the last job that required the use of these, but it never hurt to have them around.
  532.  
  533. The man went downstairs into the basement. It was cold. Vincent had always kept the place clear, never having found a use for it because he had no spare possessions. He'd always known, somewhere, that he had plans for it.
  534.  
  535. He went back upstairs to the pantry. Having apparently given up on escaping, Quiet appeared to have been leaning with her back against the door, because she came pouring out when he flung the door open. He grabbed her as she struggled and struck her in the head with his baton. She empty-yelped, he pulled the sack over her head and cuffed her hands behind her back. He scooped her up and carried her downstairs. She didn't move much until he dumped her in the center of the floor. She struggled, writhing around before him.
  536.  
  537. “You tried to kill me Quiet,” he said.
  538.  
  539. She managed to sit up. He struck her with the baton again. She let herself collapse, obviously choosing to submit before he decided to strike again.
  540.  
  541. “I'm guessing you did it because you were angry. I know you weren't thinking straight. If I die, Ghost, worse things will happen to you. I have created a document. And it contains my account of keeping you here. The only way that folder will be opened is if I am murdered or die under suspicious circumstances. The only people who will see the contents of that folder are... violent. Efficient, though. They will find you, and when they bring you in, they won't eventually deport you. In fact, I suggested they try a setup like this with you, passing you along to a different man every time one of them finished with you. They will be less kind than I. They won't educate you, they will keep you stupid. They won't give you good, healthy food to keep you strong, you will be fed like a dog. They won't give you a room, you will likely spend most of your time on a concrete floor in a cave like this, or in their beds with them inside of you. They won't let you sleep on the couch, they will probably not even give you a pillow. They won't give you pen and paper to write to them, they won't even look at your mouth except to fit it around their cocks. Quiet, do you understand me?”
  542.  
  543. He heard a sob and saw her nod her head quickly.
  544.  
  545. “Do you want to kill me?”
  546.  
  547. She shook her head.
  548.  
  549. “Do you want me dead?”
  550.  
  551. She repeated the gesture.
  552.  
  553. “Knowing what I have told you, will you obey me again?”
  554.  
  555. This time she nodded.
  556.  
  557. “Good,” he said. He removed her mask and at once she tried to mouth something to him, but he locked eyes with her and paid her mouth no attention. “I'm not going to listen to your excuses today, Quiet. I'm very angry at you still and—hey. No. Do not act apologetic like that. You tried to kill me, Quiet, I'm not going to forgive you so easily.”
  558.  
  559. Her mouth stopped moving and she hung her head.
  560.  
  561. “I'm leaving now. I'll come back for you when I feel you've spent enough time here.”
  562.  
  563.  
  564.  
  565. He returned to her in the evening. At first he didn't see her and was worried, but then he looked around and saw her sleeping in the corner. She had maneuvered the handcuffs around so her wrists were in front of her too, the flexible little thing.
  566.  
  567. “Hello, Quiet,” he said. She roused and rolled over. She had a black eye from when he had struck her with the baton. “You can get up now. I'll take the cuffs off.”
  568.  
  569. She obeyed, approaching him hesitantly. When she offered him her wrists, he unlocked the cuffs and pocketed them, then kissed her gently on the forehead above her bruised eye. She knew better than to recoil, but when he pulled his head back, he saw her eyes were wet again.
  570.  
  571. “Do you have a headache?” He asked, touching her cheek. She nodded slowly. “We'll get you some aspirin. I'm sure you're hungry, I am as well. What do you want for dinner?”
  572.  
  573. She shrugged, and he grabbed one of her cold hands and started to bring her upstairs with him. The girl was very obedient and ate her dinner without communicating anything to him, not even looking at him.
  574.  
  575. That evening they watched some of the television shows that they both enjoyed. He half-coaxed, half-demanded that Quiet sit on the couch next to him. As the evening went on he became engrossed in the television, and was a little surprised when she scooted close to him, pressing her body against his ribs and forcing her way under his arm. He was happy to accommodate her, and rubbed her shoulder as she nestled against him. There were tears in her self-loathing eyes. He kissed her on top of her head. “Is this your way of apologizing?”
  576.  
  577. She nodded, her face still pressed against his chest. The hatred boiling inside of her was practically palpable, but this was how she had to beg him to be the one to torment her so that no one else would.
  578.  
  579. “I accept, Quiet. You're a good girl, I know. You just got scared. But everything's okay. We won't do anything tonight, just cuddle.”
  580.  
  581. The girl sighed as if in relief, and Vincent ran his hand up and down her back to comfort her.
  582.  
  583.  
  584. Even with the promise of only cuddles, she shook uncontrollably when he brought her back to his bedroom. Her steps were slow and rigid. Vincent undressed himself, disappointed that she didn't want to stare at his body. "You undress as well, now," he told her.
  585.  
  586. Her head turned and she looked to him with mouth open, devastated.
  587.  
  588. "Just cuddles," he said. "But naked. Naked cuddles."
  589.  
  590. She looked betrayed, but her arms reached for the buttons of her tunic. Vincent stood with arms crossed, watching her hands fumble miserably with the button until she hung her head and wheezed a sob, then made a weak whistle to ask for his help. Beaming, he obliged her. He sat on the bed behind her and reached around her front, unbuttoning one at a time. She got out of the rest on her own, and then he wrapped arms around her midsection and pulled her to him, under the covers.
  591.  
  592. He stroked her hair and then ran a hand down her side from her ribs to her thighs as he held her back to his chest. Her hands made tight fists full of the sheets, but they relaxed slowly as he pet her.
  593.  
  594.  
  595. He woke her up with a forehead kiss. She opened the eye that wasn't swollen shut and looked at him hollowly. He kissed her forehead again and she shut that eye with a flinch. "Up," he commanded. "Time for a bath."
  596.  
  597. She got up and gathered her clothes to leave and bathe, but he called after her, "No, no. Together. We'll use my bathroom."
  598.  
  599. The girl straightened up to look at him.
  600.  
  601. "It's not a trick," he said, then pointed to his bathroom and snapped his fingers. She hung her head and followed his command and pointing finger. He went behind her, and started the water. "You have enjoyed baths here, I know that."
  602.  
  603. She nodded, eyes fixating on the water. She looked at his soap and shampoo and held a loofah curiously before getting in the water when the tub was only half full. She pointed at her head and gestured with her hands as if it were exploding.
  604.  
  605. "Still have a headache?"
  606.  
  607. She nodded. He opened the cabinet hidden behind his mirror and got her pills, then brought them to her while he got in the tub. She ate them gratefully and leaned her head back. The tub was big enough to accommodate them both. He was quick to grab the loofah and soap and pull in Quiet. Feeling her Ghost skin on his tan skin was such an illicit and dirty pleasure. She grabbed onto the lip of the tub at first, but then relaxed her grip once he started to clean her off. He soaped her torso up. He scratched her flesh gently with the loofah, careful not to hurt her pink nipples with it, but liberally ran his palms over them until he saw them harden. The heat of the tub had already made Quiet's cheeks turn pink. He left her soapy and breathing slightly hard.
  608.  
  609. "My turn," he said, handing her the loofah and soap. She took them, looked at him, and then awkwardly repeated what he had done, more or less. Her stare again became blank as she ran the soap and loofah over him. He shut his eyes and smiled to feel her soft hands occasionally on his skin and the intensity with which she dug the loofah into him. It felt like she was trying to strip his skin off, but he liked it rough. When his torso had been adequately scoured he again pulled the girl into his lap.
  610.  
  611. "Eyes shut," he said. "Shampoo."
  612.  
  613. He wet her hair, he poured the shampoo in, he scratched her scalp to later it. Quiet's back arched almost at once with his touch, and he raised an eyebrow inquisitively as he heard a small gasp come from her.
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