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Now, I see what they’re trying to do here. Deprive a girl of normal human interaction for a few weeks, torture her until she’s on the brink of death (but not actual death, that’d be far too nice), and then throw her into a room where a hot boy is her interrogator. I haven’t broken down yet, what makes them think that I’m going to now?

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1. Chapter 1.

I’m an idiot.

No, really.

I got myself into this mess, and I shouldn’t have. I’m a class A idiot.

There is a single light bulb dangling from a string that disappears into the ceiling, casting a sickly, yellowish glow. I stare at it from my sorry excuse for a bed, the slightest movement on my part causing it to drift eerily back and forth.

I’m an idiot.

***

I’m stuck in a room with four cement walls and a single metal door. There is no handle on my side, only a slot that opens when they decide to feed me. (Which is rather infrequently.) I have a cot, a basin in which I have to pump for hours to get a trickle of clean water to wash my face and brush my teeth, and a bedpan. There’s a tiny table with two chairs bolted to the floor, and they’ve done nearly everything in their power to make sure I have very little sharp objects to attempt to kill myself with.

I’ve tried before.

***

They interrogate me twice a day. I’ve been here for three weeks, and I can only decipher that from the light that seeps beneath the door. A window lies just on the other side. They pull open the slot and shove in a tray filled with the exact bare minimum; a serving of everything on that stupid food pyramid to keep me coherent enough to answer their questions.

Today is different. Instead of the usual scruffy, scary-looking man who appears as if he hasn’t bathed in a month (but then again, neither have I, so who am I to judge?), there’s a boy.

I suppose I shouldn’t really say boy. He has all the qualities of a man just entering manhood: Hair that curls around his neck and drifting to his nape. Green sparkling, hooded eyes framed by unfairly long lashes. A smirk that slices a dimple into his right cheek. He’s made up of the strangest combination of features that they’re almost distracting. I wonder what food rations they’ve got him on.

Now, I see what they’re trying to do here. Deprive a girl of normal human interaction for a few weeks, torture her until she’s on the brink of death (but not actual death, that’d be far too nice), and then throw her into a room where a hot boy is her interrogator. I haven’t broken down yet, what makes them think that I’m going to now?

“Fucking finally,” I mutter, weakly forcing myself up off the bed. I sit down at the table, laying out my wrists for them to cuff. Attempt to stab a guard with his own pencil one too many times and suddenly that makes you a criminal. Is nothing sacred anymore?

The boy’s smirk widens for a brief second before he forces all emotion from his face. Robotically, he wraps the cuffs around my wrists, but even I can tell he hasn’t done them tight enough. What’s he playing at?

When he sits, there is nothing but silence for a few agonizingly long moments. I observe him. He’s long and gangly, but seemingly well muscled. He carries himself with an air that suggests he thinks he’s God’s gift to earth.

Splendid.

“Agent Caulwell. First name Sophia. Middle name Hollis.” He’s just stating facts. “Can I call you Holly, love?” Does he think accentuating the fact that he’s British will change things? I trained in the English country side for three years, the charm tends to disappear after being hit on by one too many chavs.

“No,” I say flatly. Something flickers beneath his eyes, giving them a depth I hadn’t noticed before.

So he’s still got some humanity left in him. Interesting.

“You seem pretty young, Holly. Any reason why your superiors chose to send you on this mission? Seems like something someone more experienced would be trusted to do.” Ah, a dig at my capability. I’ve suffered worse at the hands of men crueler than him.

“They chose me. That’s all you need to know.” The emotionless tone I’ve begun to take on scares me a little bit. You can only pretend for so long before pretending eventually becomes reality. I don’t want to be an emotionless robot.

“Well that obviously didn’t work out,” he mumbles, loud enough that I can hear him. I ball my hands into fists. “Would you care to enlighten me on how you came to be here?” His eyes float around my cell, doting on the washbasin and the bare cot shoved against the wall. The yellow bulb above our heads flickers, swinging again back and forth.

I grit my teeth together. “That’s already in your file. Don’t bother asking what you already know.”

He chuckles, a dark sound emitted from the base of his throat. “The file seems to lack the… personalized account. I’d much rather hear it from your point of view, Holly.” Sick sadistic bastard.

“I was caught.” The words crawl up my throat like battery acid.

“How?” He’s grinning like he’s in on some kind of joke. I want to take that grin and shove it somewhere the sun doesn’t shine.

“My… partner. She went to cross the street. Looked the wrong way, both of us were nearly taken out by a semi-truck.”

“Where’s your partner now?” My eyes snap up to his face, but I am not seeing him. Instead I’m seeing Olivia, my partner, my best friend, running across a street, looking right instead of left for oncoming traffic. The horn beeping frantically as the driver attempts to break before hitting her.

I had run faster than I thought I was capable of to reach her, my fingers brushing the fabric of her shirt before I gripped it, but it wasn’t enough. We were both hit, but Olivia took the brunt of it. The mark we’d been tailing knew immediately who we were, and I watched his shiny black shoes tap tap tapping on the pavement approach Olivia’s unconscious and bloody and broken body. I was losing consciousness fast, the black cloud of nothingness slowly encroaching on my vision.

I saw him pull out the gun.

The shot was the last thing I heard.

My throat is constricted as I fall painfully back to reality. I blink back tears. I will not cry in front of this asshole, he’ll probably get some kick out of it. They always do.

“She’s dead.”

He leans forward, invasive. It’s almost intimate, the way he purses his lips as if telling me a secret that was near and dear to his heart. “What if I told you that she wasn’t?”

I freeze completely. I think my heart skips a few beats, that the blood in my veins becomes solid for a moment in time.

“I’d tell you to go fuck yourself.” The reply is out before I can think. Olivia is dead. I won’t get my hopes up because he fucking thinks he has the right to own me, to control me. No fucking way in hell.

“Holly.” Playful. His voice is playful. He knows what he’s doing to me and he sitting there with that god damn smirk and I want to take the pencil he’s fiddling with between his fingers and stab the point into his jugular. The cuffs are loose. I could do it in all of ten seconds. They’d kill me for it, but death would be welcome. Death and I have become quite good friends these last few weeks.

“No,” I snap, rising up with exception of my hands. “Don’t play this game with me.” My eyes scan the sheet of paper he has in front of him. There’s a name on it, typed in blocky print. Harry Styles. “Styles, if that’s your name, I hope you know that I think you’re the scum of the earth, that I hope you get hit by a fucking truck and die painfully and slowly, that you know that with every second that passes with you in front of me I come up with a thousand different ways to get that pencil you’re holding lodged in your throat. So don’t test me, because dying doesn’t scare me. At this point, I’d very much welcome death, especially if it means I get to take you out with me.” I take a deep breath, but it is not calming in the slightest. “I hate you.”

I’d been yelling. My throat is raw, screams bubbling up my trachea and the door is thrown open by the guard meant to keeping watch in the hall. His nightstick raps against my knuckles, my ribs, and my shoulders. My wrists are yanked from the cuffs as I’m thrown against the wall. The wall of black is coming closer, and I want to reach for it, I want it to wrap me up in its embrace and finally stop the pain. I want it to end.

“Stop.” Harry’s deep and raspy voice stops the assault on me only temporarily.

“She threatened you, Mr. Styles,” the guard spits through his teeth, a bloodthirsty look in his gaze. I spit at his boot, and he swiftly kicks me in the stomach.

“Leave her be. She’ll get what’s coming to her later, I’ll ensure that personally.” I meet his gaze and glare at him, but he stares straight through me, expressionless. The swinging light casts shadows on his face, twisting his features into something monstrous.

The pair of them leave, shutting the door with a bang forceful enough to cause vibrations.

I attempt to crawl up onto my cot, but the pain is too much. I curl into a sad and pitiful ball on the concrete, and I allow myself to cry. Wracking sobs rip through my, tidal wave after tidal wave of pain and daggers stabbing into my heart and twisting. I cry myself to sleep.

In the morning, I am lying on the cot. For the very first time, there is a blanket draped around my shoulders.

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