Robyn's just been dumped.

To be honest she saw it coming, he'd done it before, she just believed it was her lot in life to continually deal with it.

But things are changing, Robyn's opening her eyes and starting to realise that her life isn't as mapped out as she once thought. Fate has something interesting in store for her. But is she ready for it?

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent- Eleanor Roosevelt


4. Kidnapped

I stretch, cat-like, endeavouring to squeeze out all the aches after a long, deep sleep. I try to savour the handsome stranger that I saw, feeling a little guilty doing so as I'm laying next to my boyfriend.

I don't open my eyes. If I open them, I'll have to get up, making sure not to rouse Leo (who will have crashed out in the early hours after finishing his computer game for the night). I'll look down at him briefly, like I do every morning, and wonder how he can do this every day. How he can stay in the house, only getting up to visit the bathroom or kitchen before settling in for another day of nothing.

I'll go to work, be rushed off my feet trying to manage three publisher's schedules, write neverending 'No' letters to potential authors and clean-up after the receptionist's hapless filling. Then I'll  go straight to job two: Francoise's, changing into my waitressing uniform on-route (most multi-taskers have nothing on me. Driving while changing clothes is kind of an artform). I won't stop long enough to catch my breath as I rush to get food out as quickly as possible, somehow managing to keep order in the kitchen between the two dishwasher boys who are always fighting over the latest football scores (I know nothing about football so i've christened the perspective teams 'Red' and 'Blue'). Then i'll go home, to a very excited puppy but less-than-interested boyfriend who only talks to me long enough to beg me to stick a pizza in the oven as he hasn't moved long enough all day to do it. 

I squeeze my eyes tightly shut. Not yet. Five more minutes. I just want to hold on to the dream a little longer before reality truly hits me. I hear Rosie yapping softly, happy about something. I'm guessing she's heard me move and knows she'll be getting her morning walk shortly.

'In a minute Rosie' I mutter, as I turn and sink my head into the pillow.

I hear a soft chuckle. It's not Leo, he hardly ever laughs and not like that. Another male voice. I bet he left the TV on again. Our electric bill is going to be astronomical if this carries on. I sigh. So much for another five minutes. 

My eyes take a few seconds to adjust as I start to come round. Suddenly I sit bolt upright. This isn't my bed. I'm in the leather-covered backseat of a huge car, cocooned in a blue blanket with the sun starting to rise in the east, it must be about 5am. I untangle myself and see the gorgeous guy from my dream in the front seat, Ethan, and Rosie sitting contently next to him, looking at me with her golden-brown eyes. She yips excitedly and Ethan looks in the rear-view mirror:

'Morning sleepy head. I thought you'd never wake up. I was considering a detour to the hospital.' Ethan says, a small smile playing on his lips. He's gorgeous, but i'm fuming.

'Why've you kidnapped me?' I stare straight at his reflection in the mirror, my jaw set tightly. 

'Er, well we had to go, and you were out so I thought you could sleep while I drive?' Ethan mutters quickly.

'We had to go? I don't even know you. Take me home. Now!' I shout. Rosie cowers, she hates it when I raise my voice. Ethan gently strokes behind her ears. She relaxes. Traitor. 

'I can't do that Robyn. You can't go back there. They'll find you.' He reasons.

'Do you really expect me to believe this crap? Stop the car now, or I'm jumping out.' I say, searching around outside. We're currently driving down a small country lane, not going too fast. I estimate I'll only have minor injuries If i'm forced to jump out. I look back to the front seat. Rosie. Pants. I can't leave her with this crazy, beautiful, madman. 

Surprisingly, Ethan does listen to me, obviously believing that I will infact do a movie-style drop and roll out of the car, and pulls over in a layby. I immediately reach for the door handle hoping for a dramatic flourish out of the car, a quick grab of the dog and smart march to the nearest phone. The handle doesn't move. Child-safety locks. Really? Ethan stumbles out of the car and opens the door for me in an attempt to placate me most likely. I'm not so easily appeased. I move to fetch Rosie from the front seat but Ethan blocks me. I attempt to get past him but he moves in time with me, a barrier to mine and Rosie's escape.

'Get out of my way.' I say through gritted teeth.

'No, Robyn listen to me.'

'Ha! I'm not falling for that one again. Last time I did that I wound up unconscious on your back seat.  I'm not sure what stunt you pulled to make it look like...well, whatever it was, but I'm not falling for it again. Move.' 

'You need to listen to me' Ethan reasons. I've had enough. Remembering a short assembly on self-defense at school a few years ago I reach down and pinch his inner thigh, a very soft spot. He stumbles back shouting obscenities. I grin, quite proud of myself. Everyone thinks that you should go for a sharp kick in the groin when you're in situations like this but interestingly it's counter-productive, as the immediate reaction is always doubling-over in pain. Therefore, being head on, I would have been headbutted and rather than incapacitating my attacker I'd probably have been knocked out myself. A sharp pinch to the inner thigh doesn't illicite that natural response but is almost as soft and quite pliable. Much safer. For me anyway.

While Ethan continues to mutter profanities he stumbles backwards into a pothole and falls right over. I see my chance and make a dash for the front seat and open the door. Rosie jumps out obediently and we make a dash down the road. Suddenly Ethan's in front of me. How did he do that? He's breathing heavily. I sense it's through anger rather than exertion. I look him straight in the eyes preparing myself for another argument. But instead of shouting or making another run for it, I continue to stare at him, transfixed. His eyes hold me.

In his anger, the sky-blue I remember so vividly from last night is almost black now, or so it seems. His pupils are large, empty black holes ringed by golden halos with just a hint of blue. I can almost feel the effort it's taking him not to react to his anger. An aura of heat and tension surrounds him. It draws me in. I want to reassure him. To calm him. To hold him. Instead I just stare, unable to move my eyes from his. We stay like this for a while, staring each other down. Both unable to move. His laboured breathing the only sound and movement from either of us. Eventually his breathing slows and returns to a steady pace. The black holes collapse inward until his pupils are back to normal and I once again see the bright blue of the previous evening. He's back. I breathe out, I must had been holding my breath, I hadn't realised. I mentally shake myself and finally take my eyes from his.

How did I not see it before? Two huge, white shapes of energy are behind him. His wings are pulsing and vibrant. As if all his bodily tension from a few moments ago has been absorbed and magnified. I also notice, for the first time, that he's hovering ever-so-slightly off the ground.

I'm at a loss for words. This is becoming quite frequent. You can't really blame me though.

'Please, please Robyn. Listen to me.' Ethan whispers, momentarily exhausted by the focus necessary to win back control of himself. I look into his eyes once again.

'OK.' I hear myself whisper back. I'm not sure I'm capable of leaving just now anyway. Closing his eyes, we break contact and his wings swiftly retract into his back his feet touching the floor once again. He quickly walks back to the car, leans against the boot and turns to face me. Forcing myself not to copy his movements I slowly move up beside him and cross my arms across my chest protectively. And I listen.




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