Home > Obsession Mine (Tormentor Mine #2)(5)

Obsession Mine (Tormentor Mine #2)(5)
Author: Anna Zaires


“Insane? I know.” I grimace, grateful she can’t see my pained expression. Between lying to her and the continued headache, I feel like absolute shit. “I’m sorry, Mom. I didn’t want you to worry, but it’s something I had to do. I hope you and Dad understand.”

“Wait a minute. Who is this man? What is his name? What does he do? Where did you meet?” She fires off each question like a bullet.

I turn to look at Peter, and he gives me a small nod, his face impassive. I don’t know if he can hear my conversation, but I interpret that nod to mean I can tell my parents a few more details.

“His name is Peter,” I say, deciding to stay as close to the truth as possible. “He’s a contractor of sorts, works mostly abroad. We met when he was in the Chicago area, and we’ve been seeing each other ever since. I wanted to tell you about him at our sushi lunch, but it didn’t seem like the right time.”

“Okay, but… but what about your work? And the clinic?”

I pinch the bridge of my nose. “I’ll get it all settled, don’t worry.” I won’t, of course—this kind of bullshit won’t fly with my hospital-based practice even if Peter lets me call them—but I can’t tell Mom that without making her worry prematurely. She’ll have a panic attack soon enough, when the agents show up on her doorstep. Until then, she and Dad might as well think I’ve gone crazy.

A daughter belatedly acting out is infinitely better than a daughter kidnapped by her husband’s killer.

“Sara, darling…” Mom sounds worried regardless. “Are you sure about this? I mean, you said yourself you don’t know much about this man, and now you’re leaving the country with him? This is not like you at all. You didn’t even tell me where you’re going. Are you flying or driving? And what is this number you’re calling from? It’s showing up as blocked, and the reception is all weird, like you’re—”

“Mom.” I rub my forehead, my headache worsening. I can’t answer any more of her questions, so I say, “Listen, I have to go. Our plane is about to take off. I just wanted to give you a quick update so you wouldn’t worry, okay? I’ll call you again as soon as I can.”

“But, Sara—”

“Bye, Mom. Talk to you soon!”

I hang up before she can say anything else, and Peter takes the phone from me, his mouth curved in an approving smile.

“Good job. You have a real talent for this.”

“For lying to my parents about getting kidnapped? Yes, a real talent, for sure.” Bitterness drips from my words, and I don’t bother toning it down. I’m done being nice and agreeable.

We’re no longer playing that game.

Peter doesn’t appear fazed. “You told them something that will allay the worst of their worry. I don’t know how much the Feds will disclose, but this should reassure your parents that you’re alive and well as of today. Hopefully, it will be enough until you contact them again.”

That was my thought process as well, and it bothers me that we’re on the same wavelength. It’s a small thing, reasoning alike in this one instance, but it feels like a slippery slope, like a step toward that partnership Peter mentioned. Toward the illusion that there is a “we,” that our relationship is in any way genuine.

I can’t—I won’t—fall for that lie again. I’m not Peter’s partner, his girlfriend, or his lover.

I’m his captive, the widow of a man he killed to avenge his family, and I can’t ever forget that fact.

Fighting to keep my voice even, I ask, “So I will have a chance to contact them again?” At Peter’s affirmative nod, I press, “When?”

His gray eyes gleam. “Once they hear from the FBI and have a chance to digest everything. So in other words, soon.”

“How will you know whether they hear from—? Oh, never mind. You’re watching my parents too, aren’t you?”

“I’m monitoring their house, yes.” He doesn’t look the least bit ashamed. “So we’ll know what the agents tell them and when. Then we’ll figure out what you should say and how to contact them again.”

I press my lips together. There’s that insidious “we” again. As if this is a joint project, like interior decorating or choosing a bottle of wine for a family gathering. Does he expect me to be grateful for this? To thank him for being so nice and thoughtful with the logistics of my kidnapping?

Does he think that if he lets me alleviate my parents’ worry, I’ll forget that he stole my life?

Gritting my teeth, I turn away to stare out the window, then realize I still don’t know the answer to one of my mom’s questions.

Turning back to face my kidnapper, I meet his coolly amused gaze. “Where are we going?” I ask, forcing myself to speak calmly. “Where exactly are we going to be figuring all this out from?”

Peter grins, revealing white teeth that are slightly crooked on the bottom. Between that and the small scar on his lower lip, his smile should’ve been off-putting, but the imperfections only highlight its dangerously sensual appeal.

“We are going to be figuring it out from Japan, ptichka,” he says and reaches across the table to gather my hand in his big palm. “The Land of the Rising Sun is our new home.”

 

 

3

 

 

Sara

 

I don’t speak to Peter for the rest of the flight. Instead, I pass out, my brain turning off as though to escape reality. I’m grateful for that. The headache is relentless, the drummers beating inside my skull every time I try to open my eyes, and it’s only when we start our descent that I wake up enough to drag myself to the restroom.

When I return, I find Peter in the seat next to mine, working on a laptop. I think he might’ve been there throughout the flight, but I’m not sure. I do remember falling asleep while he held my hand, his strong fingers massaging my palm, and I recall him tucking the blanket around me at some point when the cabin got extra chilly.

“How are you feeling?” he asks, looking up from the laptop as I step around him and sit down in my plush leather seat. Now that the initial shock of the abduction has passed, I realize the jet is quite luxurious, though not very big. Toward the back of the plane, there are two more rows of seats besides ours, each seat big and fully reclining, and in the middle is a beige leather couch with two end tables attached to it.

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