Ch26: Stolen July 12th part 2
By lisa h
The afternoon plays out slowly and if I don’t get Ian to leave soon, he’ll be here for the night. Since I realised he’s lying to me about my parents, I am analysing every word that comes out of his mouth. Has he played me for a fool the whole time? He’s telling me about the farms he manages, he calls it his estate. Is this lies as well? Does this island even belong to him?
I realise that staying here, hiding away with an unexpected pregnancy is beyond foolish. I decide I need to test Ian’s resolve in keeping me here.
“I want to go home.”
I’ve interrupted him, and for an instant, that dark look flashes at me. Then he’s giving me a sympathetic smile, and reaching for my hands.
“Emily, I’m sorry. I have to go with your parent’s wishes on this. You have to stay until they tell me you can come home. They are trusting in me to keep you safe.”
I shake free of his grasp, angry now. “I am an adult, not a child. They have no authority in keeping me, and neither do you. I want to go home, right now.”
“But your parents and a well-respected therapist want you here…”
“I don’t care. Take me back.” I stand, challenging him. “I know you’ve been lying to me.”
Ian sighs and sits back, arms folded across his chest. “You deserve the truth.”
“Come on, then, out with it. Then you can take me back to Mainland.”
“It’s more complicated than that. I still can’t take you back. I really am protecting you.”
“By keeping me prisoner, that’s what it’s called, you know.” My voice is getting louder, my temper is about to pop.
“When you disappeared, your parents were frantic. When I called them and told them you were in Scotland, they went ballistic. They put an order out to section you. When you go to Mainland as soon as anyone knows who you are, you’re going to be forced into a psychiatric hospital. You might make it as far as Aberdeen, but I doubt it.”
I stare at him, my eyes narrowing. I don’t believe a word he’s saying. “That’s my risk. Take me off this island.”
“Well, I don’t feel able to take that risk for you. That’s why you need to stay here, where you’re safe.”
“You have no right to keep me here!” I scream at him. “Give me the keys to the boat. I’ll take myself off the island.” I grab at him, trying to get to his pockets.
Ian slaps me hard across the face. I stagger back, holding my hand to my face. I remember my weapon, the log under the sofa. With him sitting right above it, it’s not the right time to make a grab for it. I back up to the fireplace and wait for an opportunity.
“You are ungrateful little bitch.” He gets up and comes right up to me, so his face is inches from mine. “I feed you, clothe you, give you a wonderful place to hide out. I protect you from a great injustice, stop you from being locked up as a psychiatric patient, and this is how you repay me?”
He leaves the cottage, slamming the door behind him. I run after, I realise what he’s going to do.
“Don’t you dare leave without me!” I shout, grabbing at his arm, trying to stop him. “You have no right to keep me here!”
Ian shakes free and continues to march towards his boat. “My island, my rules. I have every right.”
We’re almost to the pier now.
“You’re letting me on that boat, or is it ‘your boat, your rules’ as well?”
He sneers at me. “Quick learner.”
Ian unties the boat and climbs on. I jump on before he can start her up. I sit down and hook an arm around the railing.
“You’re not leaving without me.”
He gives me an odd look. “Fine have it your way.”
Ian’s expression frightens me. He starts the boat and pulls away from the pier. We don’t get far before he cuts the power. Before I know what he’s doing, he has a hold of me. I push him back, but he’s so much stronger than me.
“Leave me alone!” I scream, holding on with both arms now.
Ian grabs me around my chest and pulls hard. I try and kick him away, but he’s immovable. He pulls, almost breaking my arms as he rips me away from the railing. Before I can get free Ian tosses me overboard.
The shock of the cold water knocks the breath out of me. My clothes are soaked through in an instant and as heavy as lead weights. I sink below the surface of the water. Kicking hard I somehow come up, coughing and spluttering as air hits my face.
“Hope you can swim,” he says.
I start trying to paddle back to boat. I’ve never swum fully clothed, and I can barely keep my head up.
“Here, just in case.” He tosses me a life jacket. It hits me on the head and stuns me for a moment and I’m below the surface again. Water threatens to flood my lungs and I kick for my life, coughing the water out and grabbing the life jacket before it floats away.
The engine roars, water half-drowning me as he speeds away.
I grab the jacket and hold on tight. The water is frigid, and I know I can’t stay in it for long. Kicking hard and using the life jacket to keep me from sinking, I make it back to shore. For a moment I lay on the shingle, panting and shivering. The wind’s picked up and I’m unbelievably cold. I can’t stay here, I’m sure I’ll get hyperthermia.
Somehow I get back on my feet. My legs are wobbly from the swim. My wet clothes cling to me and rub at my skin. A biting wind hits my soaked shirt and trousers and chills me to the bone. On the way back to the cottage I fall several times. My sodden shoes aren’t helping.
As soon as I’m inside, I strip and run a hot shower to warm up. Even after that, my teeth are still chattering. I dress in my warmest clothes and stand up against the aga. My shoes need rinsing of salt water, then I’ll put them in the cool oven to dry. Thinking about using the stove reminds me that I need to feed the fire soon. Then I realise. Ian’s gone off with the coals. They were still in the boat when he left. I’ve got two day’s supply built up and then I’m stuffed.