Brainwashed

Evelyn Rose Williams had always been an independent woman, a rare and uninviting thing in the 1930's. It wasn't until a man saved her life and showed her a side of herself she didn't know she had, did she realize how much help she was going to need in the world she was now dropped in. Death, chaos, love, pain and torture, a mixture so deadly no one can survive....no one but them. Evelyn will do everything thing she can to take him back, even if that means falling down the same rabbit hole.

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4. The Red String

Chapter 4 ~ The red String

October 27,1935

    The days leading up to saturday went by in a blur for both Evelyn and Bucky. Bucy spent his time rehearsing lines with Steve, who was laughing the whole time. Evelyn focused on her studies but in the back of her head she was thinking about him. Her thoughts on him had changed somehow overnight, she couldn’t stop thinking about his sweet smile. She could smell his cologne even if she wasn’t near him. A tiny smirk would appear across her lips when her mind mentioned his name. Neither of them could keep each other out of the others brain. The only antidote for their madness was the Fair, and one of them was more tempted for the cure than the other.

“You can come too ya know,” Bucky said as he pulled down on his newsboy cap, “Have some fun, go on a ride or two. You don’t have to stay in this house.”

“ I’d feel like a tag along on your date. I think I’ll just stay here, besides I have a book to finish,” Steve rubbed the back of his head as he stood up from the steps. Bucky sighed and nodded in agreement. He began to check his outfit, making sure the vest was tucked in along with his shirt. His pants were pressed and his shoes were shined. He even made sure to shave the sorry excuse for stubble off his face.

Bucky checked his watch, it was thirty minutes before five o’clock. It would take him half that time to get to the fair and wait for Evelyn, which was what he wanted to do. He pulled out his wallet and began counting and recounting his money. He calculated that he had enough for two rides and some snacks. He knew Evelyn wouldn’t want to stay out late, so he even planned the time he would take her home. This time he would insist on taking her home, giving her the cold hard fact that it’s what a man does after a date. He wasn’t going to let anything mess this up.

After saying goodbye to Steve, Bucky headed off to the fair, taking long steps so he wouldn’t be late. He started to think about Evelyn in the way she looked and smiled. It was a small and secretly coy smile, like a sweet but unknowingly dangerous smile. A snake with blue eyes, a poison so sickly sweet you drank the whole bottle only to have a deadly aftertaste. Her hips swung in a rhythm so alluring Bucky feared that if he followed it, it would lead him right off a cliff. He was attracted to her, that much was sure to him. He liked the danger, the unknowing if he would lover her or live to tell her rejection.

Bucky entered the fair, it’s loud humming crowd and flashing lights giving him a relief that he made it in time. He didn’t waste any time getting the tickets and then standing under the ferris wheel. He stood outside its gate with his hands in his pockets, scanning the crowd for his mysterious date. He knew what she looked like and could spot her out of the crowd with ease. He made it a habit for the past weeks after he met her, to study her features over and over in his head. His hands began to get sweaty in the cloth, he was scared. Evelyn was a hard person to convince of practically anything, he was worried she didn’t want to come. His heart beat in his chest, he could hear it over the off key music from the games. He scanned the crowd for her, back and forth, stopping at anyone who might resemble her. Then he saw her, his heartbeat slowed down and his hands tightened into fists.

Evelyn, wearing her olive green dress and brown heels, broke through the crowd. Her auburn hair was curled neatly, a flower pin held one side of father curls to her head. She locked eyes with Bucky and immediately began to blush. His face was a reaction of pure astonishment. To him, she looked even better than she did at the dance.

“Five on the dot, just as promised,” Evelyn smiled as she reached bucky's side. Buck was out of words, trying to find them as if had dropped them on the floor. His breath was taken away at the sight of Evelyn’s peachy skin and the brush of freckles across her nose and cheeks. Her forest green eyes with a small ring of brown in the center, captivated him.

“Would you like to go on a ride or are you hungry?”Bucky was able to stutter out. A breeze blew between them but their gazed upon each other didn’t break.

“I could go for something to eat,” Evelyn responded as she rubbed her hands to warm them. Bucky, without taking his hands out of his pockets, offered his elbow to her. She looked at him for moment before placing her delicate hand on his forearm.

They walked a while before reaching a booth for food, their feet crunching under the dirt and gravel of the fair grounds. There was a silence between them, but it was comfortable. Though their hearts raced in both of their chest like thunder in a cage, they kept quite. Bucky pulled Evelyn gently to the side where a booth was selling slices of Italian pizza and drinks. He didn’t ask her which one she wanted, he knew which one she would enjoy. He thanked and paid for the slices and oddly sweet drinks.

“Here, I think you might like this food. It comes from Italy,” Bucky handed her the food and drink before guiding her to a place to sit and enjoy their food. Evelyn looked at the new food, it warm in her hand. She reluctantly took a bite, chewing the delicious morsel of food and swallowing. She smiled widely, a kid riddled with excitement.

“Them Italians really know what they are doing, huh?”

“This is delicious!” Evelyn practically yelled, “I have never tasted something this good in my life.”

Bucky laughed as he watched her take bite after bite, gracefully of course. Her smile, to him, was a light he had never seen before. It was true and real, something she wasn’t trying to hide or force out of herself. They laughed together, watching people pass by them as they finished their food. Evelyn wiped her mouth tastefully with the napkin she had splayed across her lap. She perked her head up and looked around for something fun they could do.

“What shall we do next?” Evelyn asked in a cheerful tone.

“ I think it’s time for the ferris wheel, unless you are scared of heights?” Bucky offered, being sure to ask if she was okay with it. Evelyn bit her lip, she was scared of heights, a fear she had since she was a child. She looked at Bucky who looked eager to go. She didn’t want to ruin his fun. She shut her eyes tightly, nodding her head rapidly. She answered before she could say no.

Bucky smiled an untamed and fiery smile. He grabbed her hand and pulled her to her feet, giving her time to grab her unfinished red drink. The began rushing through the crowd, against the tide  of small kids and the even smaller patience of their parents to the ferris wheel. Evelyn’s stomach began to churn in fear. She gulped, rapidly shutting and opening her eyes, hoping it would cancel out the feeling but it only made her want to puke.

“Tickets please,” A tall man asked as he slowly held out his hands to receive the payment. Bucky didn’t let go of Evelyn’s hand as he picked his pocket with his free hand. He pulled out two tickets and placed them in the man’s surprisingly clammy and cold fingers. The man, trudging to the open metal cage, lead the two to their seats. Bucky allowed Evelyn to sit first following right after. The yellow cart was cold, feeling like a death trap to Evelyn.

The man clamped down the metal bar in front of them, jiggling it to make sure it was secure. Evelyn let out a shuddering breath, a fog exiting her mouth. Her feet barely grazed the metal lip of the cage, she was paralyzed with fear. She watched as the man dropped his hand onto the control lever, it was too late to jump off. The machine whirred as it started up, rattling the cage. The man hit the red button and the ferris wheel began to take off. The cage lurched forward, causing Evelyn to yelp. Bucky wrapped his arm around Evelyn to comfort her.

“Want me to stop the ride?”Bucky asked, his eyes filled with concern. Evelyn avoided his gaze, gulping down her fear as she shook her head. She gripped her cup between her thighs, both of her hands on the metal rod in front of them. Bucky grabbed Evelyn’s hands and placed them in her lap. She forced herself to look at him. His calm eyes released her tension, her stomach unravelled its knots.

“It’s okay Evelyn, just look at me. I’m not going to let anything happen to you,” He spoke softly. Evelyn searched his eyes, she didn’t respond to him. There was a silence between them, growing with every foggy breath they took. The cold air nipped at their cheeks, sending a shiver down their spines.

Bucky leaned in slowly, evelyn didn’t stop him. He inched closer to her face, to her lips. She could feel his hot breath on her icy, pale cheeks. Her heart beated in her throat, pounding, trying escape her mouth. The ferris wheel was coming to the very top. Bucky gulped, trying to swallow his fear as he inched closer, so close their lips grazed each other. Before Bucky could kiss Evelyn the Ferris wheel jerked to a stop, causing Evelyn to spill her drink all over her lap. The red liquid instantly stained the fabric as it bloomed even farther across her legs. Bucky was forced away from her.

“Damnit!” The curse word slipped from Evelyn’s well-mannered lips. She gasped and placed a hand across her mouth. Bucky looked back in shock, taken aback by the fowl word that exited what appeared to be clean lips. He laughed. He laughed at the awkwards silence minutes before. He laughed at his own embarrassment, at Evelyn’s response to the stain.

The Ferris wheel started to descend as Evelyn began to laugh to at her choice of words and the silence. Then, there is was, the red string. A small red string that brought the two of the teenagers together. The string of fate, tied invisibly to their pinkies, that would never break or knot. It was that night that would cement their connection to one another, forever.

When they reached the bottom they were still laughing at their night of misfortune. It was the longest laugh Evelyn had ever personally experience, she hadn’t had a good laugh with someone other than her father in years. Her stomach began to ache from the hard laughing. Bucky’s eyes crinkled up until you couldn’t see them from laughter.

“Let me take you to my house. My cousin might have a dress you can borrow,” Bucky spoke after they exited the ride. Evelyn smiled politely, taking the offer,” Do you want something to cover that up?”

“I think I can make it to your house,” Evelyn walked alongside Bucky, gripping at his shirt. Bucky’s tan vest and shirt were untucked, the tail of the button-up hanging half hazardly in the back. Evelyn’s hair began to fall in small strands, away from it’s pin formed. The dying sunlight carved out their faces, the orange and purple light falling on them.

Their steps echoed through the street, trailing down the allies. The fog of their breath billowed out as they fought the night’s growing cold air. Evelyn drew herself closer to him, trying to gain some warmth. The stain on her dress was still wet, and getting cold with each gust of wind that blew by. Bucky looked down at her, seeing the top of her head resting against his right arm. He drew out a ragged breath at the sight of her red locks. Her sweet perfume filled his nose. There was an aching feeling inside his chest. He tried to kiss her.

On the ferris wheel, he had tried to kiss her. He got so close and he wondered how he was able to do so. She didn’t stop him. Their lips grazed each other and he swore he never felt anything so soft and warm before. As they came up to his street, Bucky began to panic. His neighborhood wasn’t exactly clean or safe. The street lamps that lit the sidewalk slowly began to disappear as they walked farther down the street. The buildings looked like they would fall apart if you even tried to climb one step. Bucky could see his apartment light on, the third floor. Caitlyn was home and more than likely reading a book.

“Uh this is it. Sorry it isn’t something fancy, but it’s home,” Bucky spoke softly as he started for the stairs. Evelyn noticed him blushing, a pale pink spreading itself across his carved face. It wasn’t the cold, it was embarrassment.

“It’s charming, I like it,” Evelyn spoke sweetly. Bucky turned to face her, chuckling loudly as he searched for his keys. Right as he was about to pull them out of his jacket, Caitlyn jerked the door open. She stood in the doorway with a smug look on her face. Her black hair was out of its curls, now draped down her back. She was in a pink silk night top and teal pants. She cocked her head to the side when her eyes met Evelyn’s.

“Taking her to our house already? You really do work fast, don’t you?” Caitlyn muttered as she slid to the side. Bucky scoffed at her remark, motioning Evelyn to follow him inside. Bcky’s shoulder bumped into Caitlyn’s causing her to stumble slightly backwards. As Evelyn entered the threshold, Caitlyn growled under her breath.

“I brought her here because she needs to borrow a dress from you. Can you try and be nice?”

“Borrow a dress from me, boy you are sure asking for a lot on the first date girly,” caitlyn directed her wrath to Evelyn, who stood in the corner of the living room. Caitlyn noticed the now brown stain on Evelyn’s dress, “Oh.”

“Yeah, I spilled a drink on the ferris wheel and it stained my dress. You don’t have to give me anything, I realize that it is a bit much to ask,” Evelyn bit her bottom lip out of embarrassment,” I should actually be going, it’s getting late.”

Bucky’s eyes grew wide as Evelyn was turning to leave. She felt unwelcomed in the presence of his cousin. He spun his head to look at Caitlyn, giving her the death glare. Caitlyn shrugged it off until Bucky stepped closer to her, threatening to punch her.

“Wait!” Caitlyn sighed, throwing her head back in defeat. Evelyn turned away from the door, “I think I have something you can wear, follow me.”

Evelyn smiled shyly and followed behind Caitlyn down the hall to her room. It was a very small apartment, smaller than Evelyn’s. It was cold and dim, few lights on the ceiling to light the rooms. The carpet was matted, coming up at the edges. Despite the house looking like it would cave in on them any second, the house was spotless. Everything looked to have its own place, and it was decorated with taste. Caitlyn open the door to her room, it was small, smaller than Evelyn’s. With what little things she had in her room, things looked organized.

Caitlyn glided over to her tiny looking closet and pulled out a orange dress. She measured it to Evelyn and then placed it back in the closet. Caitlyn had a smaller chest then Evelyn but not my much. She pulled out another option and threw it to Evelyn. Evelyn caught it and began to get undressed. Caitlyn turned her eyes away from the girl and sat on the edge of her bed.

“Why did you say yes to my cousin?” She asked quietly, “ You seemed so tempted to say no when he saved your life a week ago.”

“I don’t know really,” Evelyn answered absentmindedly as she legged herself into the dress, “ It was genuine and he said he wanted to go on the date to repay me for the jacket. I don’t really understand why but it seemed rude to decline.”

“Ah I see, you are doing this to get praise,” Caitlyn smirked, “Typical. That’s what women like you want. You honestly think he would want to go on a date just because of a jacket. I can really seen now why you two are so different. He wanted a date and you wanted praise. The only thing I don’t understand is why he chose you.”

Evelyn paused for moment, not knowing what to say to the remark made. She was angry and yet confused. She felt stupid because she didn’t see it clearly before. It wasn’t a date to repay her, it was simply a date. He didn’t want to thank her for the jacket, he wanted to go out with her. Evelyn zipped the back of dress and put on her heels. With her dress in hand she stepped out into the hall.

“Thank you...for the dress,” Evelyn spoke and then she made her way down the hall. She didn’t stop walking as she entered the living room towards the door. Bucky has been sitting on the couch. He now stood to his feet as he watched her exit the building. He grabbed his jacket and gave chase.

“Hey where are you going!” Bucky called out. Evelyn was already half way down the street and she showed no signs of stopping. Bucky trotted after her. When he reached her he placed his hand on her shoulder. She whipped around and stared at him, a cold and icy stare. She had fallen into his trap.

” This wasn’t about the jacket was it? This was about something more,” Evelyn inquired. Bucky sighed and released his hand off of her. He had a feeling Caitlyn spoke to her about the date.

“Yes it was about something more. I wanted to go out with you on the date. It had nothing to do with the jacket,I’m sorry I lied.”

“Why?” Evelyn asked as she looked at him. His eyes glistened over as he avoided her gaze. Evelyn, to her surprise, wasn’t angry that he lied. She was curious.

“I-I figured you wouldn’t want to go with me if I just simply asked without a good enough reason,”Bucky confessed, “ I like you, a lot. You are different than the other girls at our school. You’re beautiful and I just wanted to take you out and show you a good time...even if it was only once.”

The comment took Evelyn by surprise. It wasn’t a lie, he was telling the truth. She could see it in his shameful eyes. He ducked his head between his shoulders. Evelyn couldn’t bring herself to yell at him or hit him. He told his feelings to her and she couldn’t get mad at feelings. They were his and in a way, a feeling not yet explored fully, she felt the same way. She said yes to him. She felt she should have known that this was the real reason he wanted to go out. Why would someone want to go out on a date for a jacket?

“Well I must say your cousin has a pretty sharp tongue. She spilled a lot of facts tonight,” Evelyn smirked, “ I had a lot of fun tonight, more than I care to admit. I think it’s safe to say that a second date is in the future.”

“Oh sorry about her she can be very protective when it isn’t needed,” he stumbled over the words, “A second date? Really?”

“Of course, that is if I can keep my drink in its cup,” Evelyn chuckled. Bucky smiled and wrapped his left arm around her shoulder. They began walking down the rest of the way to her house.

They chatted about anything that came up. Bucky tried to tell some good jokes and some managed to make Evelyn laugh. For once she was able to be free from her dependent shield. Her smile became something that felt like it should always be there. She didn’t want to not smile, it felt weird not to. His arm around her didn’t feel out of place, it was right where it was supposed to be. She felt like she was comfortable, not out of her skin.

Bucky couldn’t stop smiling and quietly admiring his date. He caught her and it didn’t take as long as he expected. He didn’t feel he needed a prize or something to tell him he won. He wanted her and that was it. He had started planning the second date in his head. He was hopeful that this one wouldn’t end up like the way this one did. Though it was nice and pleasant, he wanted something more than this.

Evelyn and Bucky turned the corner after two blocks of laughter filled walking. They legged the one flight of stairs to her apartment door. Smiling like fools, the stopped in front of the entrance. Bucky sweeps a couple of strands from Evelyn’s face. She turned her face into his hand, smiling sweetly.

“Thank you for the date tonight...and for saving me at the dance. I know I should have said it earlier but pride got in the way of that.”

“It wasn’t a problem at all. I’m hoping the next one is a little better,” Bucky chuckled as he stepped away from the door, allowing Evelyn to open it.

An old man sitting in an even older chair, struggled to stand to his feet. When he was able to stand up, he inched to the doorway. Bucky peeked to see the figure in the door.

“Eve? Is this your date?” John asked in a grumbling voice, sounding like he had been previously sleeping. Evelyn nodded. Bucky walked to the door and stuck out his hand for John to shake.

“James Buchanan Barnes, sir. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I was just making sure your daughter was getting home safe.”

John looked at him before shaking his hand firmly. John eyed Bucky up and down then smiling back at Evelyn. There was silence between the three of them. Bucky took it as a sign to leave. He nodded towards the both of them before turning to head down the stairs. Evelyn quickly caught him, causing him to turn to her. She smiled sincerely as she planted a small,soft kiss on his cheek.

“Goodnight,”she spoke as if in a whisper. John had already turned to head inside. All Bucky could do was blush before jogging down the stairs and out of sight. Evelyn watched him from the railing by the stairs until he turned the corner and out of sight.

She entered her apartment,closing the door behind her. John watched her as she made her way into the hallway. He chuckled as he picked up today’s paper. Evelyn smirked as she turned to her father.

“Never seen you do that before kiddo. What makes this guy so special?” John asked as he licked his thumb and finger to turn the page.

“I’m not sure yet.”

 
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