TICK TOCK

The clock.

 

You stared at it. Stared and stared until your eyes ached so hard you thought that they might turn to stone. This sense of encroaching doom was a constant, dreadful weight, dangling above your fragile little head.

 

Quickly, you got back to scrubbing. Polishing. Dusting. Cleaning every inch of this cramped house for his lordship, the dual-haired psychopath who'd caught you in his web. He was like a massive spider, a demon inhabiting the shadows and crawling out to bring you into his clutches whenever he felt ready to end the agony.

 

Yet it would just be the start of it, wouldn't it?

 

It made you feel nausea to the strongest degree. Enough to make your stomach churn, and suddenly you were bent over the edge of the kitchen unit and having a panic attack.

Stay calm stay calm.

You ripped the pink rubber gloves off your hands and flung them haphazardly into the still full sink. Dirty dish water splashed onto the draining board.

Stay calm.

 

How could you!? Half of this wasn't even done yet, and he'd be home in half an hour, and what then? What then, would he make you endure? What would it be this time?

A burn? A scratch? A gouge? A broken limb?

 

Another one...

Your bitter eyes cast towards where the splint was still secured against two bandaged fingers. It only made cleaning harder when the soap seeped through and stung your open wound.

 

He did everything roughly, even first aid.

 

“Shit...what am I gonna do...?”

You asked nobody in particular, looking to the ceiling for answers and finding only the lightbulb glaring down at you fiercely. No comfort here, just the cold.

 

Eerie. Silent. Alone.

 

“...I...I need to get out of this place...”

You knew it was true. When you looked across the way at the door to the apartment, it was like a siren's hand, beckoning. Urging you to take your chance and go.

But if you crossed that line...and even then, where would you run to beyond that? What chance did you have?

 

He'd make sure you never walked again.

In fact, he'd ensure you never even lived.

 

That was his intention it seemed. To break you down and then kill you when he finally felt like it. It was a petrifying thought.

You wondered though. Was it just better that way? If everything could end...maybe you'd finally be free...

 

No...you had to keep hoping there would be some way of escaping this nightmare. As hopeless as it was...you had to...

 

You'd have faith...

 

The hallway was next. You steadied yourself, inhaling the air that smelled like the bleach, nostrils burning rawly as you made your way out onto the wooden floor and wiped it up and down. From the threshold to the invisible barrier, never crossing, yet wishing you could.

 

You knew he left the door unlocked. It was his way of tempting you, teasing you. Dare you try?

You knew what would happen if you failed.

 

“...Fuck...”

Tears welled and spilled, splattering on the freshly polished floor. Trembling arms and nails that dug into the wood, but were still so paranoid about leaving a dent.

 

This was inescapable.

 

...Click.

 

The door swung. His figure revealed itself.

Sangwoo.

 

He sported a slacking sort of sweatshirt, and a dazed kind of look as normal, like a bored teen who was only pretending to listen. His dark rimmed eyes flitted down in a blink and stared at you.

 

Then he smiled. That smile...so cocky...arrogant...sickening.

 

“I'm home~ How'd you do, huh? Did you clean everything I asked you to?”

'Asked'. That was funny. He only demanded.

 

Sangwoo walked in while you nodded, treading close by you and looking beyond his socks at the floor below, spying out any dust or dirt. You'd done a good job though, and as expected, you weren't an inch past the line he'd made. It was satisfying just seeing you give in and acknowledge who you really belonged to now.

 

He could only revel in it, and imagine how defeated you felt. How greatly you regretted coming here in the first place...

 

Strangely though, he was enamored with you. A twisted love that manifested in violence and intimidation. Sangwoo expressed it with the edge of a blade.

 

Now he wanted an excuse, so he scoured the house to find a fault, and finally smirked when he located it.

The dishes in the sink.

 

“Wow...tut tut...”

You hadn't budged from your spot kneeling on the floor, not wanting to move without an order from him, but hearing his tongue click made you scramble to catch up, practically lunging through the kitchen doorway.

 

What did I forget!?

 

The dishes. You forgot the dishes.

How could you forget the dishes!? They were the most obvious thing, no!?

 

Suddenly you were cowering again, pressing your back and palms against the wall's surface and lowering your head. Your own heart was pounding with sheer anxiety.

No, it was beyond that.

 

You feared for your life.

 

Sangwoo slowly turned to look at you again. His eerie silence, and the fact that he was still smirking, made you shiver and bite your lip hard enough it almost bled in response. It seemed a given that he'd hurt you, the true fear was wondering how badly.

 

He started to pace towards you, gradually, step by step.

 

“I did ask you to clean everything, didn't I? Or did I imagine that?”

“N-no you...I...”

 

What do I do!?

He's gonna-

 

Sangwoo's deft finger slid beneath your chin and tilted your head so you would have to look at him. Those dark and hollow eyes stared back ceaselessly, as he leaned in closer, and allowed his lips to brush by your ear,

 

“I'll give you five seconds to make it better. So act fast.”

 

He pulled back again, and flashed that devilish smile with a tap of his watch.

 

“Tick tock...”

I'm Vanille!

 

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