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The Passion Paradox

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 “Doctor Kenobi! Help, please!”

My coworker at the other end of the hall, Doctor Tico, was struggling to restrain her patient and give him a sedative. He was screaming and yanked her into the bars, drawing a squeal from her and knocking her glasses off her face, and she nearly poked herself with the Thorazine.

I rushed over to hold his arm so she could administer the injection. The patient cried and withdrew into his cell, essentially a cage, and Rose slammed the gate shut, cutting him off from us. She panted and we both laughed. Our hospital, Mercy Institution for the Criminally Insane, was one of the last left in the United States. Most of them had already emptied out.

Our patients weren’t easy to care for. We did what we had to for our own protection and theirs.

Dr. Tico caught her breath and gathered her folder. “Hoo boy, he’s a strong one! Thanks for the help.”

 “No problem.” I smiled and flipped open my folder, scanning it casually. “I hope we get CCTV installed soon. I’ll feel much safer knowing the patients are constantly monitored.”

 “Yeah, me too. Security is pretty much useless here.”

We went through the cold, dilapidated building to the reception area on the first floor. It was a hellscape like always. I neatly avoided a half-naked man screaming and running past me and followed Rose to the cafeteria for lunch. All the quiet, gentle patients were home nowadays on a cocktail of drugs to keep them under control. Antipsychotics in particular had helped trigger the wave of deinstitutionalization.

But there would always be people who were too sick to go home—and at Mercy, our patients were also criminals. It wasn’t exactly a job people were jumping for but being in an interracial marriage left me little room to move elsewhere. It was legal, but it was still heavily frowned upon. My husband, Finn, worked as a mechanic from out of our home.

I lived on the fringes of society, in a quiet little Rhode Island town, and that was fine with me.

We went back to work after eating our salads. I trotted off to Wing A, my typical assignment, where the patients were slightly safer than Rose’s on Wing F. They put her there deliberately. None of the men running the hospital were terribly fond of employing two women, especially one of a different race. It was an attempt to force her out or get her killed.

My last patient of the day was Joe Peck, a nice man who flew into a psychotic rage and tried to kill his wife. I wasn’t scared of him. I smiled as I entered his room and he waved and smiled back. His wife would visit once a week or so to check on his progress. He was bipolar and only the strongest medications could keep him under control. It wasn’t safe for him to leave.

 “Hey, Joe,” I said, idly scribbling in his chart. “How are you today?”

Most of us didn’t sit around to give talk therapy. The patients were herded together every few days for group therapy and we kept them on a steady diet of pills and dry hospital food. It wasn’t the best. I knew that. But I wasn’t in a good position to change anything.

Joe was blonde and tall and lanky. He shrugged. “Pretty good. I feel foggy.”

 “Mhm. That’s the Haldol. Why don’t you go for a walk? The grounds were just mowed.”

He agreed glumly and I gave him a pat on the back before I left. He really was a nice guy—but we couldn’t let him potentially hurt his wife again.

I wandered down the long corridor to the stairs and ran into our medical director, Dr. Poe Dameron. He was about ten years older than me—forty—and we got along really well. I smiled, then groaned when he handed me a chart. He ran a hand through his graying black hair and laughed.

 “Sorry,” he said, shrugging. “Kaydel and I have dinner plans.” He turned for the stairs, pointing at me while he walked down. “There’s an armed guard there already, so enjoy!”

Armed guard? I scowled and flipped open the chart, hissing angrily when I saw firstly that it was a man and secondly that he was labeled a ‘serious threat.’ Great. Good idea to give him a female doctor.

 “Thanks!” I snapped over the stairwell.

 “You’re welcome!” Poe called back.

I stormed off to the dreaded Wing F with the chart. Kylo Ren, a Russian immigrant who had been institutionalized for ‘depraved behavior.’ I sighed and flipped through the pages to find he’d been convicted of all kinds of crimes, mostly notably rape and murder. Excellent. It was like med school all over again, taking on the difficult, dangerous patients while my male counterparts had their pick.

Dr. Tico emerged from a room, huffing, and glared up at the guard who was smoking outside. He smirked at her and she arranged her glasses on her face.

She beamed when she saw me and roughly shoved the guard aside to follow me down the hall. I could see the room behind a heavy metal door with two guards standing outside. Rose picked through the chart and I put my hands in my white lab coat, sighing. I couldn’t wait to go home and take my ponytail out. Maybe Finn had dinner started.

Rose snorted. “This is ridiculous. Who gave you this patient?”

 “Who do you think? Dameron, on his way out to another date night with his new wife.” I rolled my eyes and took the chart back. “It’s fine; I have guards. I’ll just get this over with and pass him back off on Poe tomorrow. Do you mind calling Finn for me? I’m going to be home late.”

 “Sure! I actually have to stop by your house, anyway. I left my scarf during our last dinner date.”

We waved goodbye and I picked through the chart again before nodding to the guards to let me inside. I’d been around plenty of dangerous patients during my short career. This was no different.

The door groaned open, metal scraping on the linoleum floor, and I flinched at the sound. This was a high-security cell with nothing except the essentials: a small cot with a thin sheet, a sink, and a toilet. The window was barred and the floor was cold, cracked cement. Brr. Winter was just around the corner and they hospital was poorly heated as always.

I stepped inside and clicked my pen and lazily raised my eyes to my patient.

Kylo was sitting by the window, deceptively calm. He was dressed in the same off-white jumpsuit we put on every patient with matching white shoes, but he was tall and broad-shouldered and it was tight in his arms. His black hair, starkly contrasting his pale skin, hung in a tangle around his sloping jaw and distinctive nose. He was… attractive, in a strange, completely professional way.

His green eyes flickered to me, bright and hungry, and a small smile touched the corners of his full lips. Slowly, he rose to his full height without taking his eyes off mine and I stood there in frozen shock as he took three meandering steps to stand a foot in front of me. He searched my hazel eyes, hands in his pockets. My mouth was hanging open.

Kylo smiled wryly and tapped the bottom of my chin with a long index finger to remind me to close my mouth. I stared at him, gradually closing my mouth as he guided my chin, and jumped when the door slammed shut behind me. He quirked an eyebrow, rolling his lips like he was trying not to laugh.

I drew away, clearing my throat. “Hello, Mr. Ren. I’m Doctor Kenobi and I’ll be your intake physician. Doctor Dameron will take over your care tomorrow.”

Kylo ambled away from me to the window, sighing. “All these changes are so distressing… I would prefer to keep my current physician.” He glanced smugly over his shoulder at me. “For my health, of course.”

 “Due to your history with women, that’s not appropriate. Now, I have a few—”

He sat down with a slight laugh, interrupting me. “Oh yes, my long and storied history with women. No need to sugarcoat the truth, Doctor. Due to my being a serial rapist and murderer…” He motioned in a few short waves of his hand. “So on and so forth with the obvious.”

 “…Yes, well.” I stood near the door and tried not to let him ruffle me. “It doesn’t need to be involved in polite conversation. Anyway, I have to confirm a few things with you.”

 “What’s your first name?” Kylo asked. He didn’t care about following the conversation.

 “Rey. Is your date of birth—”

 “Rey.” He said it like he was tasting a fine wine. “Rey Kenobi. Pretty.”

Irritated, I glared at Kylo sitting on a bench under the window. He tilted his head and smiled back at me. It didn’t reach his eyes, though. It was cold and empty.

I clenched my jaw and cleared my throat. “Your date of birth, Mr. Ren?”

 “…August twenty-third, nineteen-thirty-six.”

We managed to get through the rest of the questions. He was from Volgograd, Russia, and both of his parents were dead and buried. He had no siblings and no other family. Otherwise, he was a bit… dull. I expected more childhood trauma, or alcoholism; something that would’ve been a trigger. But he was calm and quiet and collected. I wrote things down, anyway, and checked my watch to find it was already seven o’clock. Ugh.

I arranged my papers. “Doctor Dameron will be here tomorrow morning to pick up where I left off.”

 “I’d like to rape you, I think.”

My heart skipped a beat. I made the mistake of glancing up and Kylo cocked his head and narrowed his eyes, lips pouted like he was thinking. He nodded to himself and rose from the bench again. He was so tall—that alone made him intimidating, without factoring in his predatory green eyes and jet black hair.

 “Yes,” he murmured, sauntering closer, “I think I would.”

I swallowed, but my mouth was dry. “There are two guards outside, Kylo.”

 “I know.” He took slow steps with his hands in his pockets and circled me, hovering like a vulture. “I didn’t say I would, Doctor Kenobi—only that I’d like to.”

Something in me bristled at his words and I glowered as he stopped in front of me again. Another man trying to scare me. I wasn’t afraid of him.

 “I’m not afraid of you,” I said in a low tone, echoing my inner thoughts.

 “I enjoy breaking into the home,” Kylo said, once again ignoring me. “Violating their safe space… Making them unable to sleep in their own bed again.” He stepped closer but I refused to back up, glaring up into his eerie green eyes. “I’d rape you here, though—this is your safe space.”

I knocked twice on the door and the guards promptly opened it. Kylo’s fingers brushed my ponytail as I turned and walked out of the room without another word. I rushed down the hall, heels clicking on the linoleum, and shuddered. Thankfully he wasn’t my patient for much longer.

Chapter Text

Finn and I lived a few blocks from the beach in a small, old house with gray cedar shakes. Rose’s car was in the driveway when I arrived home and Finn had locked up the repair shop for the night. I turned the lock in my own car door and walked up the porch, keys jangling. They were laughing inside the all the lights were on, but that was a typical night. She stopped over a lot to visit.

They were in the living room when I stepped inside. Rose had a glass of white wine and Finn was drinking a beer. He beamed when he saw me and loped to the foyer to kiss me chastely on the cheek. I smiled and greeted Rose, who waved and ate a grape from the plate she and Finn set out. The Mary Tyler Moore Show was playing in the background.

 “That patient was awful,” I complained, stepping out of my heels. “Just unpleasant and gross.”

I headed out to our yellow kitchen and heated up the soup Finn had left out on the stove. We still couldn’t afford a microwave, but to be fair, they were really expensive. He went back to talking to Rose instead of me and I rolled my eyes as I poured chicken noodle soup in a bowl.

Finn put an arm around me when I sat on the couch to chat with him and Rose. He was covered in grease like always and smelled faintly like oil and gasoline. I dug into my dinner and helped myself to the snacks on the coffee table, watching TV. He and Rose were both a little tipsy.

 “So, why was your patient awful?” Finn asked, squeezing my shoulder.

I shrugged, training my eyes on the show. “He was saying disgusting things; trying to scare me. But he’s going back to Dameron tomorrow, so it doesn’t really matter. What’d you do today, babe?”

 “Couple oil changes, some brake work. Nothing exciting.”

Finn and I met when I was going to med school in Virginia. We became close friends and feelings developed, so we decided we should get married and move up north. Sometimes I thought we’d mistaken intense, platonic feelings for something more than they were. But we were married, and I did love him in my own way.

Rose was still talking to him when I went upstairs to take a shower and get ready for bed. I laid there for a while in my white nightgown, staring at the white ceiling in my floral-printed sheets. There were some cracks in the drywall that needed to be fixed. Last year we had to have a bunch of electrical work done, though, so money was getting kind of tight. I sighed and rolled on my side.

Our house was old and small, with two bedrooms and a single bathroom. It was worth it to be so close to the beach, though, and I didn’t mind fixing it up. Finn had to turn over most of his money back into the repair shop so we more or less lived off of my income. It was enough. I was happy.

My husband joined me upstairs late in the night. He yawned and slipped into bed beside me, wrapping his arms around my waist, and murmured into my neck. I smiled sleepily and turned slightly to let him shift on top of me and settle between my thighs. He kept smacking loud kisses down my neck and we both laughed as I shimmied out of my panties and pushed off his briefs. Sex was always quiet and gentle with Finn. He didn’t have a bad bone in his body.

Finn was already working when I woke up at seven. I stretched and got dressed for the day in heels and a green dress. Breakfast was eggs and bacon and I knocked on the garage door to give Finn a kiss before I left for the day. Usually I was home around five, but it depended on the needs of the hospital.

It was a quiet drive to Mercy. The temperature was plummeting so my car was rattling, but Finn said it was normal knocking in the engine. I spritzed on some perfume in the parking lot and made my way inside to another hellish disaster in the waiting area. Guards struggled to rein in the patients and I quietly slipped past them to my office to review my patients for the day.

It was small and cramped of course. I sat in my rolling chair and leafed through four folders, scowling when I reached the last and saw ‘REN, KYLO.’ He wasn’t my patient!

I angrily stormed out of my office and went straight to Poe Dameron’s. He was talking on the phone, laughing, and blanched when he saw me. He’d just married Kaydel Connix a few weeks back and she was half his age. They were always flirting on the phone.

 “Take him back!” I snapped, tossing Ren’s folder on the desk.

Poe groaned and made a few kissy sounds before hanging up with his wife. He picked up the folder and handed it back to me.

 “He likes you,” Dr. Dameron said. “Besides, you have an armed escort.”

 “I don’t care! He’s disgusting and he violated my personal space!”

Poe leaned back in his chair and rubbed his forehead. “We don’t need a situation with Kylo, Rey. What if you just take him and… who’s that one you like? Joe Peck? Just take the two of them for now and that’s it. How’s that?”

I hesitated. It was a tempting offer. Joe was easy enough, though Kylo essentially surmounted to several patients at once. I clenched my jaw and folded my arms over my chest.

 “Just them?” I reiterated.

 “Yes—and you’ll have the guard with Kylo.” Poe sighed, rolling his eyes. “He insisted on seeing you, and I’m busy enough with other issues.”

 “…Fine.”

Poe waved me off and I snatched up the folder and stalked back to my office. It gave me time to work on a new research paper about psychopathic personalities and the implications on society. I tapped away on my typewriter, carefully avoiding mistakes, and reviewed Joe’s file. I wanted him to go home sooner or later. He’d just made a mistake.

Joe was eager to go out for a walk with me. He laced his lanky arm through mine and we chatted about all the recent changes in society: birth control, interracial marriage, and the steady progression of desegregation. Joe was a lawyer before being committed and likened himself to a modern Atticus Finch, which was what he and his wife intended on naming their baby boy. The world was changing. I thought about that while we walked and gazed at the cloudless blue sky.

My new schedule gave me plenty of time to spend with Joe. We talked for hours about his family and alcoholism and how he needed to control himself when he eventually went home. He hoped his wife, Kitty, would bring their son to the hospital when he was born so Joe could meet him. I smiled faintly and wondered how such a gentle man had committed such a violent act.

Kitty nearly died. Joe had flown into an episode and tried to slit her throat with a razor from the bathroom. She made it, thankfully, but admitted he had been unstable for some time. He was doing better without the influence of alcohol and with the help of Haldol. I wanted him to go home someday. I prayed for it, and I wasn’t big on that stuff.

Joe took a nap and I wasted time talking to Rose before going to see Kylo. We had a lunch of turkey and biscuits and Rose said she’d like to stop over again for a Friday night dinner. I shrugged, opening my biscuit to lick the butter off. We were all close friends. No big deal.

Soon I couldn’t avoid it anymore. I shifted nervously on my feet at the entrance to Wing F and wandered closer, hoping the room would evaporate into thin air. But I came upon the heavy metal door and gestured to the guards and they opened it for me, allowing me back in the small cell.

 “Oh—hello, Doctor Kenobi.”

My spine prickled at the sound of Kylo’s voice. He was lounging on his cot with a book—20,000 Leagues Under the Sea—and smiled faintly when he saw me. His black hair was clean and brushed into a ponytail and he slowly sat up to assess me. I smiled back, taking a seat on the bench near his window.

 “It seems I’ve been selected to be your physician,” I said tersely.

Kylo blinked innocently. “Have you? Well that’s a welcome relief.” He sat up, leaning on the wall, and patted the cot beside him. “Sit, doctor. Let’s chat.”

I raised an eyebrow. “I’d prefer to remain over here.”

 “…Hm. Unfortunate.” He clasped his long fingers in his lap. “What can I do for you?”

 “I’m sure you’ve met enough psychiatrists to know what I want. Explain your past, what drives you to commit crimes… the usual.”

Kylo sighed, rolling his eyes. “I enjoy it. What more is there to ask?”

 “Why?”

He seemed annoyed. I knew he’d been asked the question a thousand times, but I still wanted my own answer.

 “Don’t waste my time with inane questions,” he said coldly. “Why don’t we discuss my first kill and my last? At least I’ll get some pleasure out of this drivel.”

I flipped through his chart. “Your first was… Anya Sabosen. You raped her and slit her throat. The last was Patricia Reed.” I clicked my pen, indifferent. “You raped her and slit her throat. Hardly interesting.”

 “Why don’t we have a bit of quid pro quo, Rey? I’ll tell you my true first and last victims, and you will tell me a bit about yourself.”

 “…But those are the ones in the police report,” I said stupidly.

Kylo smirked, studying me, and pressed his temple and jaw with his fingers shaped like an ‘L.’ “Anya was the first of my adult life, yes—but my first victim was a fifteen-year-old when I was sixteen. She lived in a village outside of Volgograd. My first rape.” He gestured vaguely with his long fingers like it bored him. “I took her in the hay in her family’s barn, which was an unpleasant way for both of us to lose our virginity. She didn’t scream, though. She laid there and let me fuck her senseless.”

I wrote it down in a hurry. He could still be prosecuted for the crime.

 “And your la—”

 “Ah, ah, Doctor Kenobi.” Kylo motioned to me once with his fingers. “Your turn.”

I huffed in annoyance. “What do you want to know?”

 “What is your husband like?”

 “…I’m not married.”

 “Don’t lie to me,” Kylo said, smiling.

Ugh. I clicked my pen a few times and gave a vague description of Finn. Kylo folded his thick arms over his chest and kept the same shit-eating grin on his face while I talked.

It went on like that for a while. He admitted his last crime had been against a seventeen-year-old girl but wouldn’t divulge her name or location. I tried not to show emotion while he detailed what he did to her and stared back blankly when he tried to get a reaction out of me. He tapped his fingers on the mattress when he was through, clearly agitated that I didn’t give him what he wanted.

Kylo rose from the bed and swept across the room to sit beside me on the bench. He was suddenly in my space with one large hand resting behind me and his warm breath on my ear. I kept writing. If I looked startled, he’d know he had the power to scare me, and that was the last thing I wanted. He craved power over women. I’d starve him of it.

 “I’ve given some more thought to how I would rape you,” he murmured.

I started writing down random diagnoses. “Obsessing over the impossible? Maybe I should up your dosage of Haldol.”

Kylo laughed quietly and leaned closer. He wasn’t touching me, but he was getting close to it.

 “Such a smart mouth,” he cooed, tapping my pen to interrupt my writing. I clicked it open again and he slipped the pen from my grasp. “Have those sweet little lips of yours ever been put to better use, or did you marry the first safe bet you could find? One who wouldn’t dream of asking you to suck his cock?”

I stiffened and felt my face flush with embarrassment. “Finn wasn’t a safe bet. I love him.”

Kylo made a subtle sound of derision and began idly drawing on my notepad. “I’m sure you do.” Then he sighed, and I felt him touching the back hem of my lab coat. “I’m sure he warms your bed well enough and peppers the long week with tepid lovemaking. Cooks your supper, works with his hands… In few years you’ll be scheduling sex until the marriage ends in an amicable divorce. Droll.”

 “Our marriage is perfect,” I snapped, ripping my pen from Kylo’s long fingers. “It’s interracial, too. We both risked a lot to be together.”

 “Hardly. The two of you won’t be burned at the stake.” He idly flipped through his own chart and I felt his shoulder touch my back. “You married a friend for security—the racial dynamic has the added bonus of giving you an excuse to sequester yourself away from a society you’ve never quite fit in to. Ooh—what a brilliant diagnosis, Doctor Kenobi! Psychopath. Groundbreaking.”

 “I’m not going to argue with you, if that’s what you’re after.”

Kylo was getting too close. I stared ahead at the wall as he flung the folder across the room, scattering my papers on the cement floor, and brushed my far cheek with his fingertips. He pressed gently to turn my head towards him and I had to look up into his haunting green eyes. I steeled myself under his knowing smirk and wondered if he was even human.

 “I’d like to tear you free of your cookie-cutter life,” he whispered. “I can show you how pain and suffering are the greatest pleasures, and that safety is the worst form of bondage.” His thumb drew across my lips, rolling my lower lip to expose the wet flesh inside. He gazed at my mouth. “Yes… such a sweet little mouth, but so full of venom. I’d start there. Teach you how to properly suck a man’s cock; how to debase yourself to a drooling, mewling whore. I can set you free, Rey.”

I gritted my teeth. “I’d appreciate some space, Mr. Ren.”

Usually feigning indifference worked with patients like him, but it seemed to be egging him on. He cupped my jaw and squeezed, dragging me closer, breathing through his mouth like he was tasting my fear. He tenderly kissed my forehead before I shoved him away.

Kylo licked his lips as I rose and gathered my paperwork by the door. He looked pleased with himself.

 “Your skin tastes sweet,” he called softly as I knocked on the metal door. “Strawberry lotion? Just for me, Doctor? You shouldn’t have.”

I kept my cool and didn’t respond as the door slowly groaned shut. From within, Kylo started laughing.

Chapter Text

 “This is insane, Poe! You’re putting me in danger!”

Doctor Dameron was clearly nursing a hangover when I came to berate him about Kylo the next day. He had his sunglasses on and his normally primped wavy black hair was all a mess. He rubbed his temples, sighing, while I tore into him about how ridiculous it was that I had to take Kylo on as a patient. I was fuming mad. Usually I took my assignments without much fanfare, but this?!

He took a sip of water. “I don’t see a problem, Rey. Bring a guard into the room if you’re that worried.”

 “He won’t talk with a guard in the damn room.”

 “Well then I don’t know!” Poe snapped. “You have two guards right outside the door with guns. What more do you want from me?”

 “Take him back!” I spat.

Poe shook his head, groaning softly. “I already have a psychopath and I’m not taking another.”

 “I’m not going to be tormented every day—”

Abruptly, Poe stood up and his chair clattered to the ground. I took a nervous step back from his scowl and he took off his sunglasses. He leaned on the desk, fixing me with his dark eyes.

 “Take care of your patient, Doctor Kenobi,” he said coldly, “or you can find other employment.”

Furious, I snatched up Kylo’s folder and stormed out of Poe’s office, slamming the door behind me.

It had been a week and Kylo was growing increasingly bolder. He didn’t touch me again but loomed in my personal space, following me around the room whenever I’d get up and move. I didn’t know what to do. My usual tactics weren’t working and Poe refused to help me.

Angry tears gathered in my eyes when I got back to my office. I dropped the folder and tried to hold them back but ended up sobbing into my hands, cramped up in my miserable office and miserable life. Mercy was such an awful place and all I did was drug people into a stupor to keep them under control. I hadn’t genuinely helped a patient since I was an intern.

I got a hold of myself, sniffling, and went back to work on my research paper. It was due at the end of the month; a condition of employment, to ensure we were keeping up-to-date on the issues. I wiped my eyes so tears didn’t drip on the paper and cleared my throat. Happy. I was happy. Finn was a great guy and we loved each other, I made a decent salary, and we were both healthy.

Rose swung into my office a while later and we chatted for a bit. She was done for the day and getting ready to head home and take her dog, Millie, to the vet. I had divulged about my platonic feelings for my husband to her and she was, as always, a good friend about it. She would work in the garage with Finn sometimes and ferret out his feelings for me—which was not commonplace in ‘perfect’ marriages.

 “Finn’s been kind of distant lately,” I said, shrugging while I typed. “And now I have to deal with this god-awful patient, and write this stupid paper, and I have no clue what’s going on with my own husband. He wanted to take me fishing this weekend, but I’ll be burning the midnight oil, I think. I feel terrible. He works so hard and just wanted to go out for once.”

Rose glanced up from playing around with my hourglass. “I can go.”

 “Really?” I paused and sighed heavily. “That would be great—I can get some peace and quiet and finish this damn paper. Can you drop Millie off Friday night after work?”

 “Sure!” She beamed and hopped to her feet. “Let me go call Finn.”

I waved as she walked out the door. “Thanks, Rose. And hey—” I pointed to her, teasing. “Don’t steal my husband.”

She laughed after a second and darted away. I took a deep breath and went back to my paper with renewed fervor. Okay, good. Finn would be happy, I could get my work done, and do some research on how to deal with Kylo. Good, good. Everything had a solution.

Joe’s wife, Kitty, had come by for a visit and was waiting for me outside his room. She beamed, resting a hand on her swollen pregnant belly, and laughed when I told her she still looked like a supermodel. She did, honestly: long blonde hair always straightened and primped, tall and lanky like Joe.

 “I feel like a whale,” she complained as I unlocked the door. “Thankfully he’s due in two weeks.”

 “Bring him by whenever you can! Obviously Joe wants to meet him but you know I love babies.”

Joe leapt to his feet the second he saw Kitty and hesitated around her belly before giving her a hug. She hugged him back, beaming, and laughed when he knelt to press his ear to her stomach. I stepped aside to let them go for a walk around the grounds and waved when they turned the corner to the stairs.

They were a nice family. Personally, I didn’t know mine. My parents gave me up for adoption when I was little, but I ended up bouncing around foster homes until I was emancipated at sixteen. I worked hard, put myself through college, and like Kylo had to rudely pointed out, found the cookie-cutter life I wanted.

No—not cookie-cutter. Peaceful and stable, and there was nothing wrong with that.

I couldn’t delay the inevitable. Sighing, I went upstairs to Wing F and waved idly at the guards when they opened the door. Tomorrow was Friday so I just had to get through two more visits before my weekend off. Finn would be off having fun and I could have some peace and quiet.

I walked in the room with my eyes closed, counting to ten as the door slammed shut behind me. When I opened them, I almost lost my cool.

Kylo was sitting on his bed, leaned against the wall, masturbating. He groaned low in his throat and his green eyes flickered to me, lidded like he was drunk with pleasure. My mind ran a mile a minute, trying to figure out the right reaction, and I ended up staring back at him. Oh god. Oh god.

His open, panting mouth curved into a smile and his breath caught as he climaxed while I stood there in frozen shock, staring into his eyes like he wanted me to. It was silent in the room, save for Kylo’s groans as semen spilled across his fingers and spurted on the floor. He laughed when he was done and held out his cum-drenched hand, breathing heavily.

 “Do you want a taste?”

I was so terrified that I just backed into the metal door before remembering I had to knock. Kylo rose from his bed in the meantime, tucking his penis back in his pants, and walked right up to me. My lips trembled but I couldn’t scream. I closed my eyes and whimpered when he smeared his cum down the side of my face, knocking on the door with a trembling hand draped at my side.

Kylo leaned close to my face. “I’ll be thinking of that look tonight. Will you be thinking of me?”

Keys rattled. I desperately wanted his cum off me but I also didn’t want to touch it. He gave a short, derisive laugh under his breath and kissed my forehead before the door groaned open.

I spilled on the floor, scrambling to get away from him, and the guards turned into his room. Kylo grinned down at me while casually sucking his own spend off his fingers, and his green eyes flickered between the guards. He laughed when one of them punched him hard in the stomach and I kept staring until the other one came over to help me up.

 “Jesus Christ!” the guard said, appalled. “I’m so sorry—are you okay?!”

I just nodded and stumbled away, heading for my office. My head was spinning. I could hear the other guard join in on beating up Kylo as I turned the corner and walked down the stairs. My ears rang.

The office felt even smaller than usual. I quietly shut the door behind me and collapsed in my chair, staring off into space. Some of the cum dripped to the corner of my mouth and seeped along the cleft. I could almost taste it.

 “Rey?!”

Rose burst in and I didn’t move. She gasped in horror, helping me to my feet, and brought me down the hall to the bathroom. I started crying when I saw myself in the mirror and Rose hurriedly wiped off my face, but a sticky residue remained. My tears washed the semen in my mouth and I tasted it for the first time, all salty and gelatinous like snot.

We stayed in the bathroom for a long time scrubbing my face. I rinsed my mouth out a few times and almost vomited. Rose was trembling with rage and she dragged me down the hall to Poe’s office. He sighed heavily and said ‘come in’ and she burst inside with my tailing behind her.

 “Take him back!” Rose snarled. “Now!”

 “No.” He was toying with a bauble from his desk, half-ignoring us.

Rose slammed her hands on his desk and Poe shot her a dirty look.

 “He sexually assaulted her! He needs to be moved to a different hospital, or you need to take him, and Rey needs to take a vacation!”

Poe rose to his feet and glowered at her. “Kylo Ren is a research subject. I’m not shipping off a valuable commodity because Doctor Kenobi can’t use her words and call for help.” Then his dark eyes shifted to me. “As I said in our prior discussion, Doctor Kenobi, you will keep him as your patient or your employment will be terminated.”

 “You’re a monster!” Rose spat.

 “Hardly.” Poe sat in his chair again, waving us off. “I’ve been spat on, pissed on, shit on, and jizzed on. It’s a consequence of the job. But I guess she can have next week off to ‘recover.’

It wasn’t like I could afford to quit. Finn didn’t make enough money to support both of us, and we didn’t have the money to move. Rose swiped all the stuff off Poe’s desk and he called her a bitch when we left the office. I was trapped taking care of a monster and my own boss wouldn’t help me.

Finn was home when I pulled up. He peeked out of the garage, covered in grease, and frowned when he saw me barely holding back tears. I cried for hours that night and scrubbed my cheek until it was an angry bright red. But I could still see the sadistic gleam in Kylo’s green eyes while I stared up at him in terror, and that was exactly what he wanted.

Finn brought dinner upstairs for me that night—grilled cheese and tomato soup, my favorite sick day meal. I thanked him quietly and he rubbed my back while I ate. He was my best friend and he was good to me. We’d never get divorced.

 “I’ll stay home from the trip,” he offered when we went to bed.

 “No… it’s okay. I feel better.” I stared at him through the darkness and swallowed hard. “Can we try something?”

My husband frowned but nodded. Heart pounding, I rolled on top of him and kneeled between his thighs, trying to tell myself I wasn’t trying this because of Kylo. Finn laughed nervously when I craned my neck towards his cock and gently cupped my chin to make me look at him.

 “Um, Rey,” he said, “I don’t like that stuff.”

I didn’t push the issue, embarrassed by his rejection. When I straddled his hips to try having sex with me on top for once, he grabbed my waist and rolled over on top of me instead. I clung to his back and stared at the ceiling while he gently flexed his hips, moving slowly inside me like usual.

To my great shame, I couldn’t stop thinking about Kylo.

Chapter Text

In the morning, I saw Rose and Finn off. They both kept insisting they could stay home if I wanted them to, but I waved it off. Millie was a little chihuahua and surprisingly affectionate, so I’d have some company over the weekend. I waved as they turned around the corner in Finn’s SUV and took a deep breath. One more day of Kylo Ren, then I had a week off—paid.

The hospital was quiet. Joe was with Kitty and a guard at a doctor’s appointment, so my only patient for the day was Kylo. My façade had cracked, though, so I didn’t know if I’d be able to salvage my already tenuous hold over him. I’d just go see him, give him his Haldol, and leave. That was what most doctors did, anyway, and it wasn’t like he could be fixed.

The guards offered to go in with me, but I shook my head. That would just show more weakness. They nodded and apologized again. It wasn’t their fault. I froze up.

I walked in the room to find Kylo sitting on his cot, reading another book. He glanced at me and smiled. Rage bubbled beneath my skin, and I was never angry. I glared back at him as the door shut.

 “Back for more?” he asked innocently.

I didn’t say anything. I kept glaring.

Kylo’s smiled faded. He set his book aside and rose from the bed to loom over me, continuing to stare into my eyes as he unzipped his jumpsuit near the crotch. I clenched my hands into fists.

 “I thought about you,” he whispered, searching my eyes. “That fear on your face. I’ve never come so hard in my life.” His breath caught and his eyes flickered back. “Did you think about me, Rey, when you tried to convince your husband to smear his seed on the same cheek I did?”

Still, I didn’t respond. I let my expression relax into calm indifference while Kylo grew more irritated. He clenched his jaw and stepped closer, still not touching me, to pant in my ear. I kept my gaze level with his chest and didn’t move a muscle. Don’t react. Don’t react. If I showed anger or disgust, that was still a reaction. I had to pretend it didn’t bother me.

Kylo groaned. “He refused, didn’t he? Poor girl.” His breath was warm and uneven. “I can come on your face, my pet—or maybe down your throat. I’ll be generous and let you choose.”

I kept ignoring him. He was silent for a minute or two and all I could hear was the slick sound of him masturbating. Kylo growled under his breath and wrapped an arm around my waist.

The levee broke.

 “HELP!” I screamed.

The guards burst into the room before either of us could blink. Kylo seemed like he came out of his sadistic reverie and fear flashed in his eyes as the guards tore him off me. They set to thrashing him with their night sticks on the floor while I stood and watched with my arms crossed over my chest. Kylo caught my eye, shielding himself, and I smiled coldly.

They waited for me outside the door when he was ‘under control’ and I sauntered closer to loom over him like he did to me. He spat out blood and rolled on his back, still half-hard, and laughed.

 “Laugh all you want,” I whispered. “I still know it hurts.”

I turned and left without another word.

The rest of the day went by fast and I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I went for a walk with Joe and smiled while he told me about the appointment and how the baby looked like he was doing just fine. It was exciting for them, but sad that the kid might end up growing up without Joe around. Kitty was living with her parents so she had support. Down the road, though? Anything could happen.

Millie was begging for a walk when I went home. I put her on the leash and we went down to the beach, strolling past the last stragglers of the day. She barked and chased sandpipers until I yelled at her to cut it out and we went back home covered in sand and sea water. I gave her some of the dry food Rose left and changed into pajamas before sitting on the couch to read.

It was a quiet night. I showered and went to bed with Millie sleeping in Finn’s spot. She growled at something out side the window in the middle of the night and I groaned and told her to shut up.

When I woke up the next morning, she was gone. I yawned and stretched and laid there for a few minutes, gazing sleepily at the ceiling. A little alone time was nice…

I looked around the room guiltily and slipped my fingers down my panties. Sometimes I would climax during sex, but I usually couldn’t. I didn’t want Finn to feel bad about it, so I’d wait until I was in the bath or home alone to touch myself. I bit my lower lip, trying not to moan, and finished as quickly as I could. I feared my mind wandering to Kylo again.

Millie ate her breakfast and I sat on the porch with a cup of coffee, watching life go by. It was getting colder and colder and most of the leaves had fallen from the trees. I sipped and smiled when I saw a group of kids riding past the house on bikes to beachcomb. Finn and I were thinking of starting our family soon, but until then, I was on birth control.

I managed to get my research paper done by the end of the day and rewarded myself with another beach walk with Millie. She went after seagulls instead of the sandpipers and I rolled my eyes. Whatever—the gulls were basically rats with wings.

We watched TV together and I passed out on the couch up to the middle of the night. I woke, blinking blearily, and went upstairs to take a shower and go to bed.

The clock ticked down the hall. I started the water and rubbed my eyes while Millie whined and scratched the door. She was so needy. I mumbled ‘I’ll be right out’ and stepped under the spray to wash off the stress of the week. Finn would be home Monday afternoon, at least. I could spend—

 “Is this that lovely lotion you use, Rey?”

My fingers froze in my hair and my blood ran cold. I slowly raised my head, heart pounding at the sound of that awful, familiar voice, and started when the shower curtain was yanked back.

There he was, like a nightmare, dressed in jet black clothes. I stared at him, trembling. I had to be having a nightmare. There was no way Kylo Ren was standing in my bathroom.

His green eyes raked down my naked body and he cocked his head, raising his eyebrows like he was pleased, growling in his throat. “Such a strange sensation when the reality matches what you’ve pictured in your mind so precisely.”

I didn’t budge. Kylo smirked.

 “Turn the water off,” he said gently.

Something—maybe fear of death—defrosted my muscles and I fumbled behind myself to turn off the spray. I shivered in the cold as he continued to stare at me, scratching the arch of his jaw, either tormenting me or genuinely deciding what he wanted to do. He looked even bigger out of his small room. How the hell did he escape from the hospital?

Kylo gestured lazily with his long fingers. “Now get out of the tub.”

I couldn’t speak. I managed to step over the edge of my clawfoot bathtub and waited in silence. He clicked his tongue and paused for another minute, then unscrewed the lid on the lotion and set it on the sink. My gaze flickered down when he unzipped his pants and I felt hot and embarrassed all over again when he began masturbating.

But I wasn’t just to torture me this time. Kylo tilted the open end of the lotion towards his cock as he climaxed with a guttural groan, and some of it squirted inside. The rest was all over his hands and the bottle and he wiped as much of it as he could inside. He capped it again and shook the bottle, staring at me and smiling. His chest rose and fell as he caught his breath.

 “Your skin looks a bit dry,” Kylo murmured. He offered me the lotion. “Rub this on.”

 “Kylo—”

He reached back with his free hand to draw a long steak knife from his belt loop. My eyes locked on it as I scrambled to take the lotion and Kylo smiled and tapped the blade on his cheek. I’d humiliated him Friday afternoon and this was how he’d get his revenge.

Don’t fight back. He’ll kill you.

I didn’t cry. I quietly applied my lotion like I did every night, legs first all the way up my body. I deliberately avoided my face. He watched the entire time without saying a word, lackadaisically tapping the knife on his jaw.

 “And the face,” Kylo said when I snapped the lid shut. “Especially the face.”

Quivering, I squirted more on my palm and couldn’t help dry heaving when I smeared the concoction of my cheeks. He began nodding as the heaves turned into soft sobs.

 “Good girl,” he crooned. “What do you think I’m going to do to you?”

 “How did you get out?” My voice was breaking, but I figured I was about to suffer something horrible, so pretending to be brave didn’t matter.

 “Ah, ah, Doctor Kenobi. I asked you a question.”

I shook my head and cried as I rubbed the lotion on the back of my neck. “I… I don’t know. Please let me go—please don’t hurt me.”

Kylo sauntered closer and circled me once like a vulture. He took the lotion back with a murmured ‘thank you’ and set it aside. He drew the blunt edge of the knife across my shoulder blades and came to a stop inches in front of me, violating my space, and used the blade to tilt my chin up so I was forced to look at him. His calm expression had faded into one of malice and irritation.

 “If you ever summon the guards again,” Kylo whispered, “I will come to your bedroom in the middle of the night, slit Finn’s throat, and rape you right beside his corpse. I’ll let you live, though, so you can wake up each morning remembering me fucking you in a pool of your husband’s blood.”

 “I—I won’t.” My lips trembled, eyes watering. Don’t cry again, Rey.

 “Apologize.”

 “…I’m sorry.”

He smiled and wiped tears from under my eye with his thumb, smug.

 “It looks like you are afraid of me after all.” Then he began to back away towards the door and returned the knife to his belt loop behind his back. “Oh—by the way—you look sweet when you masturbate. I came very close to taking you right then and there. But slow down next time, if you don’t mind—” He gesticulated vaguely as he opened the door. “Moan; say my name. Put your heart into it.”

Kylo winked as he walked out of my bathroom.

It took a few minutes for me to find the will to move. First I screamed, stumbling around my bathroom, then I threw on my bathrobe and ran downstairs for the phone. Millie followed with her tail wagging and tilted her head when I picked it up and didn’t hear a dial tone. I pulled on the cord and found it had been severed and dangled limply.

 “Don’t bother.”

I jumped when I heard his voice again as Kylo walked past me with an apple. He tossed it in the air, smiling at me, and slapped my butt when he passed. I jumped again and knocked into the wall.

The front door opened and he turned slightly to regard me. “You really should slow down when you touch yourself. It almost seems like you’re trying to get it over with, and I’m sure that’s not the case during your passionate once-a-week romps with Finn.” He raised his eyebrows, frowning sarcastically. “You do want to prolong sex… Right?”

Then Kylo laughed and took a bite of the apple as he shut the door behind him.

Chapter Text

My eyes snapped open.

Gasping, I flew up in bed just to be brought back down to the pillows by a splitting headache. My ears rang and I groaned as the room spun, rolling from side to side to make it stop. It had been years since I last got drunk, but I felt like I was suffering a hangover from 1964 Rey.

Birds twittered outside my window. I found the willpower to sit up and felt along my body to make sure I was still in one piece. My nightmare…

No, it wasn’t a fucking nightmare. It had been as real as the sunlight spilling on my sheets when I rubbed the concoction of cum and lotion all over my body. But I didn’t remember anything past him walking out the door, and the hadn’t I been wearing my robe?

Millie barked for breakfast. Trembling, I managed to get out of bed and rummaged through the nightstand for Finn’s pistol before leaving the room with the dog. My skin didn’t feel sticky—maybe I was so upset that I blocked out part of the night. I cocked the gun and paced slowly through my own home, heart pounding. Maybe I just had a really demented nightmare.

First I checked the bathroom and found my lotion undisturbed under the sink. My robe was hanging up behind the door and looked clean. I carefully walked downstairs, gun shaking in my hands, to see if the phone line had been cut—and found that it hadn’t. Nausea and confusion bubbled up in me as I unwillingly checked the fruit basket on the kitchen table. Five apples, just like yesterday.

 “No,” I mumbled, rubbing my forehead. “No… I…”

I knew Kylo had been in my house. I… I knew he had been. I could remember the cold bite of steel across my shoulder blades and under my chin. It wasn’t a dream.

Dizzy, I reached over to scratch my upper arm and felt my fingers draw across a square bump.

My spine prickled and I turned my arm to find a small band-aid printed with yellow smiley faces was stuck there, mocking me. I ripped it off but there was nothing underneath other than a small bump. I stared at the spot and my stomach twisted up in knots. I had a foggy memory, nausea, and a horrible headache. Had I been drugged?

There was unfortunately only one way to find out.

I fed Millie and went upstairs to get dressed, trying to steel myself for another visit with Kylo. This couldn’t go on. I had to quit. Finn and I could get by until I found another job.

Sundays were quiet at the hospital. I flashed my ID to reception on my way upstairs, since I was in street clothes, and went straight to Wing F to confront Kylo. There was only one guard today and he smiled as he opened the door. I smiled back as best as I could and slipped inside.

 “Don’t you know how to knock?”

Somehow, he sidled up behind me. I closed my eyes, clenching my jaw as his long fingers brushed down my arm like feathers, raising goosebumps. His breath was on my neck.

Kylo sighed in defeat. “Ah—I suppose I can’t be upset with you. You smell lovely today, Rey.”

 “What did you do to me last night?”

 “…Pardon?”

I pulled away from him and turned to look up into his green eyes. Kylo had an eyebrow raised and the usual smug smirk he wore was wiped off his face. He reached out to touch my hair and I slapped his hand away, which brought the infuriating smile right back. Asshole.

I stepped closer, arching on my tiptoes. “You were in my house last night. You made me smear lotion mixed with your bodily fluids all over myself.”

 “…Which ‘bodily fluids’? There’s an entire range of possibilities, and only one—” He paused, puckering his lips. “…Ah, no, blood or cum would work. Maybe both together...?”

 “Semen!” I spat.

 “Oh, cum. Forgive me—I assumed a doctor pushing thirty, and a woman who’s been fucked, could say the word ‘cum.’” Kylo gave me a pitying look. “Your sex life must be tragic.”

My fury simmered right up my arm and I slapped him across the face before I could think about it. It was a solid hit, jerking his head to the side and ruffling his black hair. Kylo pushed his tongue inside the cheek I hit and smiled as he slowly turned his head to regard me again.

I pointed at him. “I don’t know what you’re doing or how you’re doing it, but if you threaten me in my own home again, you’ll regret it.”

 “I’ve no idea what you’re talking about, Doctor Kenobi.”

Our conversation was going nowhere. All it did was make me even more confused than before. I glowered up at Kylo, gritting my teeth, and he edged closer.

 “Your non-answers just prove you were in my house,” I hissed, refusing to back down. “I bet the med charts will be off, too, when I go check them.”

 “Skimming a little off the top, are we?”

 “What did you use? Librium?”

Kylo cocked his head and rolled his eyes. “How on earth could I steal drugs, escape the hospital, and waste my night tormenting you when I could do something useful instead? I’d much rather fuck a prostitute and kill her when I’m through than listen to you sob about your pathetic little life. I listen to that drivel five days a week.”

My hands curled into fists. His eyes flickered to them and back to my glare. He smiled, patting his other cheek, daring me to hit him again. I trembled angrily. What an absolute monster.

I started past him and Kylo seized my jaw before I’d moved two inches. He dragged me in front of him again and swiftly craned his neck to kiss me hard on the mouth.

A surprised squeal came out of me before I could stop it and he roughly tugged my jaw to bring me up on my tiptoes. Kylo slipped his tongue in my mouth, bearing down on me, and wrapped his other arm around my waist to lift me clear off the floor. He let go of my jaw to run his fingers through my hair while I kissed him back dizzily for a minute, clinging to the front of his jumpsuit. It was hot and hungry and not tepid or hesitant at all. His mouth tasted like strawberries.

Then I remembered myself and bit down hard on his tongue. Copper blood filled my mouth.

Kylo grunted and we broke apart, but he squeezed my cheeks to keep me from talking and pressed his forehead to mine, green eyes bright. I could see bits of black in them.

 “Think of that when you’re playing with yourself tonight,” he whispered. His grip tightened on my cheeks and his gaze shifted to my lips. “I’ll be thinking of filling this sweet little mouth with cum.”

He shoved me away and I tried to slap him again, burning with hatred and maybe something else, but one huge hand caught my wrist before I made contact with his cheek. Kylo smiled and it slowly morphed into a sinister sneer as his grip intensified until I whimpered in pain. Shit. My knees buckled and it gave him an opening to push me to the cement floor, threading his fingers through my free hand.

 “I’ll snap your skinny little wrists if you try that again.” Kylo made an amused sound in his throat and the malevolent edge in his voice went away. “Ooh—coincidentally, this is exactly where you’re meant to be.” He released my wrist to fist my hair on top of my head, yanking my neck back so I had to look up at him. His smile was gone. “On your knees.”

I puffed angrily through my teeth and hit him right between the legs with my free hand.

The six-foot-three serial killer crumpled like an old newspaper, collapsing to the floor in front of me with a yelp. He groaned when I stepped over him and I considered stomping on his face.

 “Same to you!” I hissed.

He coughed, trying to laugh. “Sharp… rebuttal…”

That was enough Kylo for the day. I knocked twice and left him on the floor to check the chart in the med room. Sure enough, everything checked out, but I still knew he’d been in my house. 

It wasn’t safe to stay there, obviously. I gathered up Millie and a few other things and went to stay at Rose’s instead, hoping Kylo didn’t know we were friends. There was no way I’d have the same screwed up dream twice in a row, so if he showed up at the house, I knew my nightmare hadn’t been too far off from reality. I chewed my lower lip and wondered if I was just being paranoid.

Millie was ecstatic to be home. She barked and jumped up on the furniture like she wasn’t supposed to and I double-checked all the locks in the house to ensure I wouldn’t have any unwelcome visitors. I had Finn’s pistol with me, too, just in case, and I knew how to use it. Rose had a cute two-bedroom house with yellow siding and white shutters in the middle of a nice neighborhood, so I wasn’t too worried.

Still, I fought sleep that night. I stayed up until one in the morning, which was incredibly late from me, before shuffling to Rose’s blue and white bathroom in defeat to take a shower. Millie padded along with me and I kept her outside the tub while I washed my hair and occasionally peered around the curtain for Kylo. He couldn’t get in. Nevermind that—he couldn’t get out of the hospital.

I was fine. I’d just had a trying week with a new patient who I couldn’t fucking escape from. Knowing that, I decided to help myself to a glass of red wine in Rose’s cabinet. Couldn’t hurt.

Millie seemed confused when I decided to sleep on the couch but she still hopped up and made herself comfortable behind my bent knees. I left all the lights on and buried myself in blankets. My head throbbed and I fell asleep much faster than usual.

Rustling sounds woke me up in the middle of the night.

The dog was growling by my feet as my eyes rolled open. It was dark and the room spun and waved into ripples as I blinked slowly, trying to get my bearings. My ears buzzed and rang as I blindly reached out for the coffee table and miscalculated how far away it was so I fell on the floor in an ungraceful pile. I groaned softly, dizzy, unsure if I was awake or having a lucid dream. The pain up my arm from landing on it definitely felt real enough.

Bewitched played quietly in the shadowy living room, flickering light across Rose’s glass coffee table as I reached out for it and struggled to get to my feet. My limbs felt like lead. I panted and listened to the rustling sounds for another minute before rolling over and slapping my palms on the cold hardwood floor, dragging myself free of my blankets. What the hell was happening to me?

Rain pattered on the windows. I moaned, head spinning, and got up on all fours to crawl towards her phone near the kitchen. My heart pounded in my ears and I thought I might end up passing out…

 “And where are you headed, Rey?”

The confusion just got worse as I slowly raised my head to find Kylo standing over me in all black again, casually popping grapes in his mouth. He raised his eyebrows imploringly when I stared up at him. Neither of us spoke for a full minute while I tried to process what was happening and I found my mind wasn’t cooperating.

I draped my head, bewildered and exhausted. “…There’s no way you’re here.”

 “Perhaps, perhaps not. I’m only here for a little chat, anyway.”

Somehow, I doubted that. I tried to crawl past Kylo and he stepped in my path, licking his fingers, and kept shifting just in my way. Agitated, but too confused to do much, I blindly grasped his black slacks in a fist near his knee and tried to use him to pull myself to my feet.

 “Use the belt,” he drawled.

I ground my jaw and reached higher with both hands to hook my fingers over the slick leather belt. Kylo ran his fingers through my hair and yanked back at the top again to arch my neck back and force me to look up at him. My elbows felt weak and wobbly and I fought to keep my eyes open. He smiled at me and kept eating his grapes, eyeing my mouth.

…Maybe it was a dream. I stared back at him and licked my lips when I felt warmth pooling in my belly as my thoughts began to wander. Drugs, possibly, or a very strange dream—either way, maybe I could…

Kylo tilted his head. “Did you think you could hide from me here?”

 “…Yes.”

 “Mm. It seems you were mistaken.” He shoved me away and I collapsed on my side, gasping. “Strip, then crawl upstairs on your hands and knees to Doctor Tico’s bedroom.”

I leaned on my elbow, glaring into his hungry green eyes. “No.”

He finished his grapes and grinned. “I was hoping you’d say that.”

The ceiling flickered and spun like a black flame as Kylo advanced on me, broad shoulders blocking the light from the kitchen. I scrambled backwards, rolling on my stomach to escape, and he stepped hard on my back with one booted foot. The air whooshed out of my lungs and I gasped and scraped my nails on the cold hardwood beneath my palms as he exerted more weight on my spine. Shit—fuck!

He sighed, easing down to his knees to straddle my hips. “Don’t worry, Rey—I’m not going to fuck you tonight.” My pajama top stretched tight and I heard tearing. “That will be much more satisfying in your marital bed. Someone should fuck you properly in it, don’t you think?”

My eyes wandered unseeingly around the room as Kylo cut my shirt off and slipped it from my arms. He leaned back to yank my pants and panties off and the tip of the knife kissed my throat.

 “Crawl,” he commanded. “Now.”

I swallowed and the blade pressed into my skin. Woozy, I pulled myself out from under him with my sweaty palms but he crept forward with his arms on either side of me so I couldn’t get up on my hands and knees. It went on like that for a few more feet until I scowled into the floor and cleared my throat. His body was looming over mine like a thinly veiled threat.

 “I can’t get up with you hovering over me,” I croaked.

 “No?” Kylo nosed in my hair at the back of my head, inhaling deeply. “Maybe I’ll move if you ask nicely.”

No—no. I struggled to get on my hands and knees and he pinned me to the floor by the back of my neck. Furious and writhing under his iron grip, I spat out ‘please?’ in the most venomous tone I can manage. He gave one more squeeze before getting to his feet behind me.

I fumbled on the stairs a few times while he lurked on my periphery like a specter. The house was cold and quiet and even Millie was keeping her distance from us, like she could smell the evil on Kylo. We slowly left behind the recorded laughter of Bewitched as we moved further into Rose’s house, and the walls seemed to breathe. I could only hear my own breathing and the quiet click of Kylo’s shoes on the floor.

 “What do you want me to do to you, Rey?”

His voice was distorted, even deeper than normal. I gazed languidly at the warped door at the end of the hallway and ignored him, focusing on my breaths and staying conscious. This had to be a dream. My knees ached from crawling and my palms stung but I kept going, hoping I’d wake up when I reached the bedroom. It was the end of the nightmare, right? When I’d wake up on the couch with Millie snoring by my feet, alone in Rose’s small house.

When I crossed the threshold into the bedroom, I yelped in surprise as Kylo scooped me up under my stomach to drop me on the bed, still on my hands and knees. He curved his broad body around mine and his cool breath ghosted across my ear like an autumn breeze. He gently moved my hair to one side of my neck and leaned his weight on my back to force me to bend at the waist into the pillows.

Kylo’s tongue licked along the shell of my ear. “Touch yourself.”

Quivering, I twisted a hand between my legs to do what he said. Kylo gripped my hip with one hand, stifling a groan, and curled the fingers of his other hand around my throat. My breath hitched as he slowly rocked against me and squeezed the sides of my throat.

 “Good girl.” He panted at the junction of my neck and shoulder and dug his fingers into my hip. “Tell me you want me to cum in your mouth.”

 “I… I…”

 “Is that what you’re thinking about?”

I reddened and shook my head, trying to move my hips as little as possible. “No!”

 “I think it is,” Kylo sang in a taunting tone. “Always trying to flit away from the truth, aren’t you? Don’t worry, little bird—your secret’s safe with me.”

Inexplicably, my body coiled at his words and I gasped and whimpered as my climax abruptly came, lilting my whimpers into desperate cries. Kylo laughed in my ear and his hand kept tightening around my throat while he mocked my bucking hips until I was swallowed and spit out by darkness.

My mind came rushing back to me as I woke up in Rose’s bed with a wild gasp, drenched in sweat. I scrambled to sit up and realized I’d been lying on my stomach with a pillow under my hips. My pajama top was still on, undamaged, and I could feel the telltale pulse of my orgasm ebbing away between my legs. I covered my mouth with a trembling hand and heaved a sob.

I had to get my damp panties off and destroy the evidence—then I had to get the hell out of here.

Chapter Text

It was a long wait for Finn and Rose to come home the next day.

I washed Rose’s sheets three times before throwing them out and running to the store to buy her a new set along with new pillows. My hands trembled when I offered the cashier my money and she gave me a weird look, snapping her gum. I wasn’t going to admit what happened. Maybe she wouldn’t notice.

Millie yapped her head off when I came back and I stripped the bed and hurriedly changed it before giving her breakfast and leaving. The dog got homesick. That’s what I’d say.

My house was quiet and still. Quivering, I walked inside with the gun in my hands, expecting Kylo to emerge from some dark recess to attack me. I’d called my friend Daisy to ask if I could stay with her, but I wasn’t sure if Finn could take the week off work, and I wasn’t about to leave him alone. Heart pounding, palms sweating, I made my way through the entirety of my own home like I didn’t belong in it.

I cried until I vomited when I was certain Kylo wasn’t hiding somewhere, then sat on my bathroom floor and kept crying, head spinning. What the hell was happening to me?

Finn came home without Rose an hour or two after I had gathered myself and showered. I flung my arms around him when he came in the door and he smelled like campfire and pine needles. He stiffened, hesitating for a second before patting me on the back like I was his mother.

 “…Hey, Rey,” he said. “How was your weekend?”

 “Awful. Fucking awful.” I buried my face in his chest and took a wavering breath. “I had these vivid nightmares and that patient—”

A nervous tingle went up my spine and I opened my eyes into Finn’s gray sweater. Oh… god. I’d been so upset about the nightmares that I forgot I kissed Kylo—and he was a patient and a serial killer—oh god.

Finn gave me another empathetic pat. “It’s okay. I’m here now.”

I cheated on my husband. He kissed my forehead and I arched up to kiss his lips, trying to forget Kylo’s, and Finn kissed me back for a minute. But when I tugged his sweater to bring him towards the stairs and up to our bedroom, he drew back and walked away from me.

 “I can’t,” he said.

It felt like a vice around my heart. I knew it wasn’t fair, but I still followed him into the kitchen to demand to know why he didn’t want me.

 “What’s your problem?!” I snapped. I was terrified and humiliated and he didn’t even care.

 “I’m just not in the mood, Rey. Jesus Christ.”

 “Someone should fuck you properly… don’t you think?”

Overwhelmed with the swell of emotions in me, I bit down on my tongue to keep from saying something dumb in a fit of frustration and stormed upstairs to stew bitterly in my bedroom.

I paced, running my hands through my hair, trying to get a grip. Finn didn’t want me—he barely wanted to touch me anymore—and I had sunk low enough to kiss a man who raped and killed women. Now I was having lucid, bizarre dreams about him, and he was harassing me to that point of disturbing my relationship with my husband. I rubbed my forehead. I had to quit.

Finn came upstairs an hour or so later and sat next to me on the bed. He put an arm around me and listened to my increasingly erratic story about my nightmares and Kylo invading my space and how I had a week off because of the semen incident. But I left out a lot of details, like kissing my patient, and the sexual nature of the dreams, and my own concerns about whether they were real.

 “I have to quit,” I whispered after I’d blurted everything out.

 “You can’t. We don’t have enough cash to move.” He kissed my temple. “You’ll figure it out. You always do. Maybe he’s just throwing you off because you’re used to ‘easier’ patients?”

I shrugged. No. That wasn’t it.

The week went by quickly. I spent most of it reading or doing yoga and kept trying to call Rose to see if she wanted to get together, but she was always busy. Finn didn’t try to initiate sex and neither did I. We’d sleep turned away from each other and one morning I noticed lines of red scratches on his neck.

It made me feel sick all over again. I tried to ignore it and reminded myself that Finn was my best friend and Rose was a very close friend and… No, I wouldn’t even give those thoughts the time of day.

I laid next to him in bed on the second to last night of my vacation, staring at the ceiling.

 “Rose hasn’t answered any of my calls.”

Finn shifted. “Huh. That’s kind of weird.”

 “…Yeah, it is.”

Neither of us said anything more. I turned over on my side and stared at the wall instead. Rose and Finn wouldn’t do that to me.

The phone rang in the middle of the night. Finn was out like a light so I rolled my eyes and shuffled downstairs to answer it, yawning, kind of hoping it was Rose calling to tell me she’d been sick. That would explain her clearly avoiding me.

 “Doctor Kenobi?”

I blinked in surprise. “Uh… This is her. Poe?”

 “We had a bit of an incident tonight. Joe Peck has been attacked.”

The phone clattered to the floor and I didn’t bother going upstairs to put clothes on. I slipped into my jacket and put on slippers and rushed out the door to my car in a hurry.

There was a flurry of activity at the hospital. Poe was standing at the reception desk, dressed up to the nines as usual and talking to a police officer. His dark eyes appraised me and he raised an eyebrow.

 “Nice pajamas,” he called as I ran past him.

 “Thanks!” I snapped back.

Joe was being wheeled out on a stretcher. His eyes were closed and he was clearly unconscious, and the paramedics wouldn’t let me any closer. I could see a huge gauze-wrapped wound on his head, though, and blood was pouring down his face. It was all blotchy and mottled with bruises, like someone had beaten the shit out of him. I lingered by his door and watched them bring him down in the elevator.

And I knew.

Outraged, I charged upstairs to the quiet, dark Wing F. I pushed my sleeves up to my elbows when I got to Kylo’s door and pounded on it. There were no guards around, but that didn’t matter. He was getting out somehow, and he attacked my favorite patient. I tapped my foot impatiently.

 “Well this is a pleasant surprise.”

I whirled around just in time for Kylo to slam me against the door. My breath was taken and I coughed and squirmed while he whistled and casually opened the door to his own cell. He wasn’t wearing black. His green eyes glowed in the darkness, black hair drawn in a ponytail as he forced me inside the room.

He cupped my face in both huge hands, dragging me towards him to shut the door with his back. “Couldn’t stay away from me, hm?” Then he kissed me hard, just for a few seconds, and drew back with a loud wet pop. “I know the feeling.”

 “You attacked Joe!” I hissed, digging my nails into his chest.

 “Me?! Impossible.” Kylo gasped like the thought horrified him and wrapped his arms around my waist to keep me from struggling away. “I wouldn’t dream of attacking your favorite patient, little bird.”

I stiffened, craning my neck to meet his eerie green eyes. Kylo smirked in a smug, knowing way and raised his eyebrows. Don’t worry, little bird—your secret’s safe with me.

 “You—” I shook my head and my eyes widened. “Oh… god.” My struggling came back with renewed fervor. I wanted to puke. “Oh no—no, no, no—”

 “Ah, ah, ah,” he chided gently, laughing and taking a breath when I jerked in his arms. “Shh—shh. Don’t you want to know what I did to you? I’m sure the Valium twisted things up a bit. Allow me to untangle the memories for you.”

It didn’t matter. He would lie either way, and I’d never truly know what exactly happened those two nights. But he would.

I screamed and thrashed and tried to bite or kick Kylo wherever I could, desperate to run the hell away and never look back. He clicked his tongue like I was an errant child and wrestled me down to his flimsy cot to squeeze my cheeks in one hand, shifting his knees between my legs. Terrified, I clawed at his chest, trying to find a way to hurt him, and he gently threaded his fingers through mine to pin my hand beside my head. My lower lip quivered. Don’t cry… don’t cry…

It was quiet and dark. Tears rolled down my cheeks and he pouted his lip and furrowed his eyebrows with sadistic false empathy. I shook my head and he shook his, too.

 “You don’t want to know?” he offered. His gaze wandered to my puckered lips. “How many visits do you remember? One?”

I shook my head as well as I could and swallowed. “Thoo.”

 “…Two?”

I nodded emphatically. Kylo idly tilted my head from side to side, studying my lips, then gently rested his body on mine. The cot creaked and I whimpered. Why wasn’t anyone looking for me?

 “I knew you’d come running if I bludgeoned him,” Kylo said, suddenly changing back to the original topic. He sighed, sliding his hand from my cheeks to wrap around my throat. “Like a lamb to slaughter.”

My heart pounded in my ears and a strangled, weak breath passed through my lips as he began choking me. For a second I thought he intended on killing me, but that would be too easy. Kylo kept gradually tightening his grip until I was clinging to his wrist with both hands and writing underneath him. The room swirled and lights flashed in my eyes and I gulped for air—

The pressure let off and I took a rattling gasp. He kissed my cheek and settle on top of me, breath on my ear, and the cot clinked in light protest. I was coughing as Kylo began slowly rolling his hips into mine and he ignored my fingers scrambling to push him off me, blindly clawing at his ribs and hips. He was to tall and heavy for me to do anything but lie there and squirm miserably.

One of his hands curved under my shoulders to restrain me, pressing my mouth to his shoulder so I couldn’t speak, and the other hitched my thigh higher on his hip. All I could manage was panting ‘stop’ over and over as he set a tortuous, slow pace between my legs.

 “Oh, if I had a nickel for every time I heard that word.” He licked the shell of my ear and I shuddered. “This is nice, isn’t it? No guards to interrupt us, no Valium slipping you into a stupor—” Kylo suddenly thrust harder, drawing a whimper from me “—while I enjoy the feeling of your soft little body squirming to get away from me.”

Heat coiled where his cock throbbed against me, stiff and insistent, and I panted in terror. No, no, no—I had to find a way to float out of my body before it betrayed me. I bit down hard on Kylo’s shoulder and he groaned.

 “Good girl. Fight back.”

The door suddenly began keening as someone pushed it open. Kylo hesitated for a second and looked up, allowing me to crane my neck back to see who was coming to save me.

Rose was standing there in her pajamas, too, panting from the exertion of opening the door. She pointed a gun at Kylo—Finn’s gun, that I had definitely brought home with me—and scowled.

 “Get off her.”

Chapter Text

Rose was trembling.

The gun noticeably quivered in her hands and Kylo smiled above me. He leaned back on his heels and kept his eyes on her as he turned me over on my stomach. I grunted and kicked my legs and he twisted my arms behind my back, straddling my hips. Christ, he was fucking heavy.

 “So nice to see you, Doctor Tico,” he murmured. “Would you like to watch us, or participate?”

 “Rose,” I panted, “go get Poe—”

Kylo covered my mouth with his other hand. “I can do quite a bit of damage while you’re gone. Kill her, even. Are you willing to take that chance?”

I flailed under him—if she just fired the gun off the police would come running—but all I could do was make muffled sounds into Kylo’s palm. He easily suppressed all my attempts to get free and Rose’s frightened brown eyes flickered between the two of us.

A tense, quiet minute passed, and Kylo sighed. The bed creaked as he stepped out of it and began to pull me along with him, maybe to use me as a shield. Rose shifted her stance and her lower lip trembled.

 “Well, Doctor Tico,” he began, “while I’m enjoying watching you—”

A shot rang out.

Kylo crumpled to the floor with a surprised hiss and lost his hold on me. I scrambled away from him, collapsing on the floor, too, in my haste to get away, and gasped in horror when I saw a bloody bullet wound in his calf. He touched it delicately and laughed when he saw the blood on his fingers, then arched forward to clench his jaw before starting to get to his feet.

Rose shot him again, this time in his thigh of the other leg, and Kylo spat a sharp ‘fuck!’ before falling to his knees again. He huffed in pain as he rolled on his back and groaned, trying to keep himself from screaming. Blood poured across his jumpsuit and stained the floor as I got to Rose and took the gun from her before she ended up shooting him in the head.

 “Rose; what the hell?!” I snapped.

 “I—I’m sorry! I just panicked!”

The police and Poe arrived, and figuring out how she got a hold of my husband’s gun was less important than defending her decision to shoot a patient. It descended into an argument and Rose was taken away by the police while I ripped into our medical director about what a moron he was. Kylo was wheeled away on a gurney, too, but I didn’t bother looking.

 “This is insanity!” I spat. “He’s breaking out of Mercy, he just tried to assault me, and he attacked another patient!”

Poe started walking away from me and I grabbed his arm. He spun back on me to seize my arm, too, and stepped closer. I stood firm and glared up at him.

 “Keep your voice down, Doctor Kenobi.” His fingers tightened. “Or you’ll regret it.”

 “Is that a threat?”

 “A friendly warning.” Poe leaned closer and lowered his voice. “Your patient is going to the hospital—I suggest you get some rest and go check on him tomorrow morning."

Then he walked off.

Fuming, I went to see if I could get Finn’s gun back and wasn’t surprised that the police were keeping it for the time being. I headed back home feeling even worse than before.

Finn was awake in the living room when I got back. I tossed my keys in the basket by the door and shuffled over to stand next to the couch. Bewitched was on again. It was dark, but I could see that he’d been crying. His eyes were puffy and his cheeks were streaked with lightly dried tears.

 “There was an emergency at work,” I said.

He nodded. “Rose stopped by to get my gun. She said she knew where you’d go.”

 “Yup.”

I hovered there for another minute before heading upstairs. Finn slept on the couch.

In the morning, I felt a bit better. Kylo was at least bedridden for now, so he wouldn’t be breaking into my house or attacking me in his cell. I took a shower and took a deep breath when I was dressed and ready for the day. One thing at a time. Psychopath patient first, then come home and deal with my husband’s possible—probable—affair. It made me sick to even think about it.

So I pushed it out of my head on the drive to the medical hospital about twenty minutes north in Richmond. It was the closest ER for about forty-five minutes and Rhode Island could be crossed in a little over an hour, so there wasn’t really anywhere else for them to bring him.

I locked my car and headed inside. It was an old, old building, crumbling in some spots and undergoing a ton of modernizations that were taking way too long to complete. Reception directed me to Kylo’s room upstairs and I tapped my foot on the elevator while I ascended with a hunched over old lady. Too bad Rose didn’t hit an artery—that would’ve solved all my problems.

The hall was quiet. Kylo was at the end, again with an armed guard, and I showed them my ID to be let inside. The room wasn’t locked, which I found kind of odd.

I peered inside the wide room, with eggshell white walls and a brown linoleum floor, and saw Kylo’s bed smack dab in the middle. There was an IV in his elbow, probably pumping his veins with morphine, and a monitor beside his bed softly beeping in time with his heartbeat. I was tempted to punch his bandaged thigh that was resting above the white sheets but settled professionally into the chair next to him instead. The rails were up and his right wrist was cuffed.

He looked… peaceful. Usually being around him was like watching an animal pacing its cage, but here he was just another sleeping human. I watched him for a bit, admittedly intrigued, then cleared my throat when he groaned and winced in his sleep.

Kylo’s green eyes rolled open, still half-lidded and groggy, and settled on me.

 “Hullo,” he slurred, smiling wide. He tried to move his right hand and gawked when he saw it was attached to the rail. “Oh…” Blinking hard, he shifted in bed and yawned. “…Leg hurts.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Just one? Rose shot you twice.”

 “…Oh.” He licked his lips and his hooded eyes came back to me. “Did I rape you?”

 “You did not.” I clicked open my pen, casting him a cold smile. “And somehow, against all odds, I’m still here wasting my valuable time talking to someone who lacks a conscience.”

Kylo laughed and flinched when he accidentally moved his leg. “That’s because I own Poe Dameron.”

What? I tried not to let my surprise show, still not sure if I could trust his words or if they were ramblings fueled by the morphine. But Kylo was more than happy to keep talking without my prompting, and he nodded, licking his dry lips again. I tried not to stare.

 “Ask him about his wife,” Kylo suggested in a whisper. “Where she came from.”

 “Kylo—”

 “That’s not my name.”

I furrowed my eyebrows and tried to press him, but his eyes glazed over and any rational thoughts were lost. He shook his head by lazily rolling it side to side on his pillow and mumbled the name as the nurse came in to check on him. …Ben Ben Ben Ben Ben Ben…

I watched him nervously and tried to smile at the nurse. “Um… is he okay?”

 “Hm?” She blinked and waved me off, laughing. “Oh, that’s just the morphine. It’s strong stuff.”  

Kylo’s eyes were half-open and flickering around, unseeing. I smiled and nodded to the nurse and leaned closer to him when she left to put my hand on his. It drew his attention and I was grudgingly relieved when he turned his head and managed to open his eyes, smiling at me.

I glanced at the open door. “What do you mean about Kaydel?”

 “Dameron’s whore?”

 “…Yeah, whatever.”

Kylo laughed, breathless, and his throat bobbed. “Suck my cock and I’ll tell you.”

Ugh. I rolled my eyes and started to pull away, but Kylo whined and shook his head. He snatched my hand and tugged me back to him. It didn’t feel threatening—more like desperate.

He swallowed hard, searching my eyes. “She isn’t twenty. She’s sixteen.”

I couldn’t help it—I barked a laugh and shook my head. “You’re so full of shit.”

But Kylo didn’t laugh or smile back. He shrugged. My spine prickled and I thought back to my few interactions with Kaydel, trying to think of anything that would’ve indicated she was a teenage girl. She certainly looked young, but I figured that was just luck on her part. I went to their wedding and she seemed happy enough when she said her vows to Poe… But they did get married pretty fast.

I slipped from Kylo’s grasp, shuddering. “That’s impossible.”

 “Ask him, little bird. See how he reacts.”

 “It’s impossible. It’s illegal.” I screwed up my face in a look of revulsion. “And he’s forty.”

Kylo leaned back into his pillows. “Mm. He is.”

We were both silent for a while. I crossed my arms, gnawing the inside of my cheek, and kept going over Kaydel’s looks and mannerisms, unsure if it was worth confronting Poe about. Kylo must have… procured her for Poe. That didn’t need to be pointed out to me. How and for what price? That was a different conundrum.

I chewed my nails and glanced at Kylo again to find him smiling stupidly at me. He was a beast, but at least he was stationary for now. It gave me time to figure things out before I decided what I wanted to do. I needed to talk to Rose and Finn, talk to Poe, and settle my issues—and maybe figure out why Kylo was repeating the name ‘Ben’ under his breath.

It was strange that he had no triggering factor for his violent, psychopathic personality traits, but his medical history was sparse and riddled with errors. He was a Russian immigrant from Volgograd—I could get a hold of someone in the census office and inquire about Kylo Ren, maybe.

I rested my chin in my palm, staring at Kylo. “What do you want from me?”

His green eyes were hazy and hungry and he smiled slightly.

 “Everything.”

Hm. I smiled back and slapped his thigh hard as I left. Kylo groaned and laughed from within his room but I knew I’d be able to go home and sleep easy. The beast was contained while I did my research and found my answers.

Chapter Text

Tracking down the phone number for the census office in Volgograd was harder than I thought. With being in the midst of the Cold War and half of the country’s young men being forced to fight overseas in Vietnam, I shouldn’t have been surprised. I tried the library and the librarian suggested I check with the Russian embassy in Washington D.C., since they had a direct line and could translate, need be. It wasn’t exactly a day trip, so I intended on going over the weekend.

Finn and I avoided each other while I got ready for work on Monday. Rose had been cleared of charges and I’d have to figure out how to begin the incredibly awkward conversation about her sleeping with my husband. I wasn’t looking forward to it, but I had to hear the truth from her mouth.

First, I went to pay Poe a little visit—which I was looking forward to. I knocked on his office door and let myself in without his approval to find him yet again talking to his wife on the phone. He rolled his eyes and said something to her in a foreign language and my spine prickled. It was either German or Russian.

 “What now, Doctor Kenobi?” he asked irately as he hung up.

I casually sat in the chair across from him, tilting my head and smiling. “Hm. Kaydel is Russian?”

 “Yes.” He shuffled some papers on his desk, pointedly ignoring me. “She’s not a spy sent by the KGB, if your thoughts are going that route. What do you need? I’m busy.”

 “Oh, nothing. Just came by to chat. How did you two meet, again?”

Poe’s dark eyes briefly flickered to me. “At the bar.”

I nodded slowly, puckering my lips, and folded my arms across my chest. We were both quiet for a minute while he scribbled something down and I spun my wedding band around my finger. The clock ticked on the wall. Feet shuffled past outside and voices drifted from down the hall.

 “Now they’re letting sixteen-year-olds in bars?”

Poe stopped writing and finally looked up at me. I raised my eyebrows and whistled.

 “Times sure have changed, haven’t they?”

A myriad of emotions passed across his face before he settled on a smile. I kept the same shit-eating smirk on mine as he wriggled his mouth, trying to decide if he was going to threaten me or deny it.

Poe leaned back and laughed. “Kaydel is twenty-two, Rey. Want to see her birth certificate?”

 “Is that your proof of purchase from Kylo?”

We lapsed into silence. Poe’s smile faded into a scowl and I scowled, too. I’d always had a tenuous relationship with him, due to him being a brash, conceited jackass, but he was usually a halfway decent boss and did right by the patients. Buying a teenage girl rendered all of that irrelevant.

He crossed his arms, too. “He told you?”

 “Of course he did. He’s obsessed with me.” I shrugged and idly picked up one of Poe’s framed pictures of his wife to examine her face again. “Is that why I’m being forced to keep him as my patient, despite the assault and stalking? Is that why he can waltz out of the hospital?”

 “You have no proof.”

 “No,” I said offhandedly, “I guess I don’t. But I’ll find a paper trail somewhere and find the name of whatever village Kylo snapped her up from.”

Poe clenched his jaw. “Kaydel is happy with me. Besides, Kylo doesn’t… acquire them. He has a contact in Russia who does that, and Kylo arranges drop spots for the girls.”

Drop spots? The girls? Nausea bubbled in my stomach as I set down the picture of Kaydel smiling back on Poe’s desk. Kylo could add ‘human trafficking’ to his list of crimes, then. I wanted to fly to Russia and find the sick freak who was Kylo’s ‘contact’ and beat him into oblivion.

 “What’s his name?” I asked coldly.

 “Snoke.” Poe rolled his eyes and looked at the picture of his wife. “Sorry—Supreme Leader Snoke. Good luck finding him, because the FBI can’t. Kylo was captured when they brought in Kaydel so the new contact is Armitage Hux, up in the boonies in Maine. Lots of open coastline there and the woods are thick, so the girls get lost if they manage to escape.”

 “Thanks for telling me your evil plan, asshole.”

Poe laughed. “Kylo’s going to tell you, anyway. What are you going to do, Rey? Drive up there and set ‘em all free? I’ll just call Hux and tell him to take you out.”

 “Yeah right.” I rose from the chair and politely pushed it back in. “I’m going on a trip this weekend to get more of Kylo’s medical history.”

 “Don’t bother. Snoke is the only one who knows anything about him and Kylo is his star pupil. If you want to know why he does the evil shit that he does, I’ll make it easy for you: he was practically raised by a violent psychopath, and—tell me if this is too esoteric for you—became one himself. Not exactly the shocking trauma you were hoping for, huh?”

I shoved papers off his desk on my way out the door.

It wasn’t that simple. People didn’t descend to the depths of brutality like Kylo unless something awful happened to them or they had a truly horrific childhood. Gein, Kemper… People weren’t born evil—they immersed in it and it soaked deeper and deeper into their skin as time went on. If Snoke had treated Kylo that horribly, he would’ve been his first victim.

…Maybe. Maybe they had a traumatic bond. Kylo’s biological parents were dead and he didn’t have much of an accent. He could’ve been fleeing Nazi Germany with them and something happened, and Snoke found Kylo. That would’ve created a very deep bond, depending on how old Kylo was. He didn’t have scars or injuries to suggest he was ever beaten… Maybe he was sexually assaulted and attacked women to take out his pain and anger on them.

All conjecture for right now.

 “Hey—Rey!”

Ugh—the conversation I didn’t want to have. I turned and smiled slightly when I saw Rose hurrying up to me. She walked alongside me with her chart hugged to her chest and cleared her throat.

 “Crazy night Saturday, right?”

 “Yup.”

 “…When Dameron called me, I knew right where you’d be.” She smiled. “I figured I should have some protection, so I went and picked up Finn’s gun just in case. Good thing I did.”

 “Good thing.”

We fell into silence. I stopped outside my new intake’s door and ignored her while I read the chart. She shifted from foot to foot and cleared her throat again.

 “Is something wrong?” Rose asked meekly.

I shrugged, struggling to rein in my anger. “I don’t know, Rose: between my patient constantly threatening to rape me and my best friend sleeping with my husband, I’m not sure which to pick.” I opened the door and smiled tightly at her. “Maybe you can go talk to Finn about it?”

It slammed shut with her standing there staring at me like a deer in headlights.

That was all the confirmation I needed. I went back to my office and cried for the rest of the day, and no one came to bother me. I’d given everything to be with Finn—I cut off friends, moved from sunny, warm Arizona to fucking tiny, boring Rhode Island, dealt with the glares during college, and gone to protest after protest until the Loving verdict passed. We both cried because we were so happy and kissed right there in front of the courthouse in the middle of a huge crowd, and through the swells of cheering and laughter, it felt like we were the only two people there.

And he threw it away, and threw me away, like garbage.

The house wasn’t empty when I came home. Finn was sitting in the kitchen with his head in his hands and I saw tears on his face when he looked up at me. But I wasn’t in the mood to be calm and rational. I laid into him, screaming and crying and smashing the chalice that was still sticky from our wedding wine. He was reticent at first, but when I tried to slap him he grabbed my wrist and shouted back at me.

 “You’re like a sister to me!” Finn sobbed, seizing my shoulder so he could give me a hard shake. “I do love you, Rey, but it wasn’t in the way I thought!”

 “Get your hands OFF me!” I hissed. “I gave up my whole life to be with you, and this is how you repay me?!”

 “You always talk about me like I’m a fucking burden; always try to make me feel guilty for the choices you decided to make! In college you were happy to cut people off and go to the rallies with me and hold my hand when we walked down the street. Then we moved up here because you said we could go out in public together more—so why don’t we? Why don’t you want me visiting you at work? Did we just move here so it’d be easier to hide me? Are you afraid of ruining your reputation now that you’re a doctor?”

I slapped him so hard that his head snapped to the side. Finn seemed to realize he’d gone too far and I realized he was partially right. Both of us became silent, standing in the middle of shattered dinnerware, and in a poetic kind of way, our marriage shattered, too.

I didn’t blink as I stared at the broken chalice. “I want you gone by the end of the week.”

 “…Okay.”

It was too painful to be in the house. I wiped my eyes and got my keys at the door and shut it softly behind me. Finn didn’t budge.

Sniffling, I took off down the road with my windows rolled down, and the bitter wind helped dry my tears and drown out the noise in my head. I cried for a while longer and went to the drive-thru when I had calmed down to have a burger and fries. It tasted like ash in my mouth but I forced myself to eat, anyway, occasionally choking out a sob over happy memories.

Around seven I was staring at nothing with my swollen red eyes when I heard a tap on the window. My gaze wandered lazily to find a tall, slender man with red hair and a beard standing there. He waved once and smiled, so I rolled down the window and kept trying to fix my face.

 “Sorry,” I mumbled, “am I in the way or something?”

 “No, not at all.” He extended a hand, also lithe and graceful. “My name is Armitage Hux. Kylo Ren sent me—he wanted me to give you a gift.”

I froze, staring up at Hux. This was the guy who brought in trafficked women. He must’ve known his reputation preceded him because his smile took on a sinister edge and he drew his hand back. I kept staring as he offered me a silver gift bag through the window.

 “For you,” he said. “Enjoy.”

Trembling, I took the bag and set it on the passenger seat. Hux politely inclined his head and turned and left without another word, hands in the pockets of his black suit. I waited until he drove away in a black car before rummaging through the bag to find a card and a wrapped silver box.

I frowned and ran my index finger along the inner edge to get the card out. It was pink and covered in flowers with the words ‘My Deepest Sympathy” in elegant bold white font on the front. I clenched my jaw as I unfolded the card to read the inside.

 Rey,

              The dissolution of a marriage is always difficult, but I hope you’re doing well so far. Remember to keep yourself well-hydrated with plenty of fluids (cum counts, if you’re interested), and don’t forget to brush your teeth and bathe. Self-care can falter when one is depressed.

              And take some time for yourself, little bird—perhaps you can pick up a new hobby, like painting or needlework. Who knows? Maybe you’ll enjoy them. You’ve expressed disinterest in my hobbies before, but I’d like to offer them to you again on this long road to healing. Rape can be very cathartic.

                                           Hugs & kisses,

                                                                        Kylo

              P.S. You do live alone now… Right? :)

My jaw was clenched so tight that my teeth hurt. I ripped the card in half and threw it back in the bag, muttering to myself, and decided I’d open the box, too. It wasn’t very big and I tore through the wrapping paper in a few seconds.

A vibrator. Of course it was a vibrator. Furious, I ripped a small note off the thing and read it, too.

 For practice and those long, lonely nights. Make me proud, little bird.

 “Motherfucker!” I spat. I threw the thing on the floor and started my car. I was going straight to the hospital to punch him in the goddamn leg.

Chapter Text

Kylo was sitting up in bed eating Jell-O when I stormed into his room. He looked much better than the previous day and his green eyes were lucid and bright. He smirked when he saw me and almost spit out his snack when I slapped his thigh right over the gunshot wound. The TV flickered quietly in the background while Kylo laughed and took a sharp breath through his teeth.

 “I’m guessing you didn’t like your gift?” he asked with a grin.

 “How did you find out so fast?”

He ate another spoonful of Jell-O. “Hux came down for a little visit and I asked him to keep an eye on you while I recover. Such a sad revelation—sleeping with your best friend? Do you think he cums in her mouth?”

 “Shut up.” I grinded my teeth and stood over him with my arms crossed. “Poe told me everything: about you, and the human trafficking, and your friend Snoke.”

Kylo shrugged and set down his empty cup, moving on to picking at a muffin instead. “Well I have to pay the bills somehow, Doctor Kenobi. Besides, all those girls would end up spending their lives wallowing in some shithole village. Better to be warm and safe with one man, hm?”

I glared at him and sank into the seat next to his bed. He smiled while he chewed and brushed his hair back with his fingers into a bun, then went back to eating. When my divorce from Finn was settled, I had every intention of moving back to Arizona and never coming back to Rhode Island. Soon I’d be rid of Kylo Ren and Poe Dameron and all the shady, awful things they did.

I’d tip off the police somehow. Unfortunately, walking in and making wild accusations wouldn’t get me anywhere, but if I could find the compound in Maine… that would be a good start. It’d all eventually lead back to Poe and Kylo. Kaydel did seem like she was happy, but she was still a sixteen-year-old kid who didn’t need to be married to a forty-year-old man. She shouldn’t be married at all.

 “How did you meet Snoke?” I asked, changing tactics.

 “I was an orphan and he took me in.”

 “And when did he start molesting you?”

Kylo barked a laugh. “Looking for my tale of woe? Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t have one.” He patted his mouth politely with a napkin and pushed the rolling tray from his lap to the other side of the bed. “I just happen to enjoy raping and killing women. It’s pleasurable.”

 “But why?

 “Don’t know, don’t care. Maybe I’d give it some thought if I had a conscience, but—” He shrugged, beaming brightly. “I don’t, so I go on my merry way of not giving a fuck.”

I folded my arms and puckered my lips. Kylo smiled back at me.

Maybe I’d just drop a tip to the police and leave everything behind. I didn’t have to find Kylo’s medical history or worry myself with how he became a serial killer. It wasn’t my problem. Once I moved back to Arizona, all the bullshit would stay behind in Rhode Island.

…Unless he followed me—and I knew he would.

I rubbed my forehead. “How did Poe pick out Kaydel, anyway?”

 “He came for a tour of our facility, where we have pictures of all the girls. They’re one hundred thousand each with an extra twenty thousand to bring them into the country. Kaydel was procured from a ghetto outside Volgograd and she was quite taken with Poe. A virgin, too—but that was changed rather quickly.” Kylo’s smile widened. “She bled quite a bit.”

 “Lovely.”

 “We keep some to rent out, too—three thousand for twenty-four hours.” He changed the channel on the TV and squinted at it. “Don’t worry, little bird: I won’t be sharing you with anyone.”

 “Also lovely. Why exactly are you so obsessed with me, anyway?”

Kylo started to speak but winced and clutched his head. He growled under his breath and bowed his head, rocking back and forth like he was in real, serious pain. I frowned and leaned forward to touch his upper arm with my fingertips. Just because he didn’t feel empathy didn’t mean I couldn’t.

 “Want the nurse?” I asked.

 “No—morphine makes the headaches worse.” He breathes hard for a minute or two before sitting up, rubbing his face. “Fuck—fucking hurts.”

Headaches? I pressed my palm flat to Kylo’s bicep, but he seemed… out of it. His green eyes were hazy and watery, and he kept clenching his jaw.

I turned a bit. “Well they can probably give you a nerve-blocker to help, or a triptan. How long have you been having headaches?”

 “As long as I can remember. It’s nothing.”

Yeah, right. I rolled my eyes and went out to the hall to get the nurse, politely suggesting sumatriptan, and she came back a few minutes later with an injection. Kylo smiled broadly at her while she administered it and she blushed before bustling out of the room.

Triptans worked quickly. Kylo blinked like he was surprised and I turned my hands up, now the one with the smug smile.

 “I’m a doctor,” I said. “I know what works.”

 “Mm… true.” He closed his eyes. “You could’ve let me writhe in pain, you know.”

 “I’m not a sadistic psychopath like you.”

Kylo laughed. “Also true.” Then he opened one eerie green eye and studied me. “You’d like to know why I’m ‘obsessed’ with you, then?”

 “Clarification would be nice.”

Machines beeped quietly from the hall and nurses shuffled past. Kylo didn’t speak for a moment, then pulled himself up higher in the bed, flinching when he moved his leg. The doctors had inserted tubes to keep the bullet wounds open and draining. He’d be back on his feet in a week.

I watched him, feigning indifference, but my heart was pounding. Usually I knew everything about my patients within a few sessions, yet Kylo remained a mystery. I was having bizarre dreams about him, thinking about him at inappropriate times, and wasting my time and energy trying to solve the mystery of his past. I kept my expression impassive. Why did I care so much?

Kylo searched my eyes, unsmiling. “At first it was the usual—I like tormenting my psychiatrists—but there’s something else, I suppose… Something I don’t quite understand.”

I sighed heavily and rose from my chair. “That was a crappy answer.”

 “Emotions aren’t my forte.” His throat bobbed as he swallowed. “You’re leaving?”

 “I should probably help Finn move his shit out of my house.”

We stared at each other for a minute or two, both thinking deeply, then I muttered under my breath and left the room before Kylo could say anything else.

The house was empty when I got home. I tossed my keys in the basket and fell to my knees in the foyer, sobbing and cupping my face in my hands. Finn left a note letting me know he’d be back in a few days to get the rest of his things, and I cried and tore into a bottle of wine in the kitchen.

That was how I spent my night. It was depressing, but it was all I had. I began packing my things for the move back to Arizona and sobbed while I moved through all the memories with Finn. The house was dark and quiet otherwise, and I knew Kylo wouldn’t be randomly popping up.

I passed out on the floor in the bedroom.

 “Hello there, Rey.”

My eyes rolled open, but this time I knew I was dreaming. Kylo was looming over me with a knife in his hand, smiling, and I blinked blearily at him. He leaned over to tangle his long fingers in my hair and dragged me to the bed, throwing me on the blue sheets, and I moaned. He crept on top of me and pressed the knife to my throat when I turned on my back.

I panted nervously. “Wh—What do you want?”

Kylo ripped through my pajama top. I squirmed and cried as he yanked down my pants and he silently settled his hips between my thighs. Blubbering, I pleaded with him to stop, but he abruptly sank inside me without another word. He kissed my cheeks and moved fast and hard while I cried. It felt so good… But no—no it didn’t. I alternated between flexing my hips and trying to push him off me.

 “I know,” he whispered. “It’s easier if you pretend you don’t want it, right?”

 “I don’t! Get OFF ME!”

He pressed his forehead to mine, green eyes bright. “Liar.”

The dream carried on. I drew a sick sense of pleasure from it; from pretending to struggle against Kylo and pushing on his shoulders. He grunted and kept thrusting until I screamed and demanded he get off me, which made him cover my mouth with his palm and laugh.

 “Stop, Rey. You’re not fooling anyone.”

I woke up in the middle of the dream on my stomach, panting, and slipped my fingers down my panties. I was so groggy and disoriented that I didn’t care about the content I was masturbating to, and I moaned into my pillows and rotated my hips on my hand. My breath came in sharp pants as I thought about Kylo throwing me down in my bed and taking me and I climaxed with a keening wail a minute later.

Shame rippled through me afterwards. I shuddered and took a shower, trying to wash out the guilt, but it stayed stuck in my skin like a burr. My pulse raced as I dressed in clean pajamas. Fuck Kylo.

 “Yes… fuck me.”

I wake up with him curled against my back. He pushes inside me without another word and kisses the back of my neck. My spine tingles as he wraps his fingers around my throat and squeezes. He’s swelling up inside me, hot and hungry and hard, and it’s all I want.

 “Good girl.”

Groaning, I woke up yet again with pressing heat between my legs. I lazily slipped a hand under my panties, lying on my back, and yanked it back when I realized what I was doing. I whimpered, rolling from side to side, then gave in and touched myself again. My mind spun. I thought about Kylo draped over my back, whispering in my ear and filling me with cum.

It was awful. I wanted to leave right then and there, but I had to wait out my last week of work and pack my things.

I avoided visiting Kylo and made sure Finn came over when I was at work to get the rest of his stuff. Rose avoided me at work. I emptied my joint bank account with Finn and prepared the divorce papers with my lawyer. It was a painful final week in Rhode Island, but necessary.

On Friday afternoon, I didn’t bother saying goodbye to Poe. I went home after work and finished getting my belongings together for the long trip to Arizona. They’d be sent to a storage facility near Tucson until I found a house or apartment. I didn’t mind paying the monthly bill—I just had to get the hell out of Dodge. Every day I spent in my empty house made me feel worse and worse.

It was my last night in my home. I went upstairs to lie on the floor and stare out the window. Finn was gone, and so was Rose, but I’d start over. I’d meet someone new.

 “Rey?”

I lifted my head to find Finn standing in the bedroom door, dressed in his pajamas. He smiled faintly and crossed our room to lie beside me on the floor. I was too tired to keep fighting him.

 “How’s Rose?” I asked.

 “…Good. She’s upset.” Finn looked at me. “I love you, Rey. I hope you can find happiness.”

I shrugged. “Me too.”

We ended up turning on our sides to embrace each other. I thought of the Johnny Cash song—“Sunshine”—and got teary-eyed at the memory of dancing slowly with Finn. It was over.

 “Isn’t this sweet?”

Ice slithered down my spine. Finn and I looked up to find Kylo Ren standing in the bedroom doorway with a knife in his hand. He wasn’t the same weak man I’d visited earlier in the week and was dressed in all black clothes. He smiled and twirled the knife in his grasp.

Finn rose to his feet. “Man—don’t hurt her, okay?”

 “Oh, it’s not Rey I’m after.” Kylo exposed teeth in his smile. “It’s you.”

I screamed when Kylo advanced on Finn with the knife glinting. He kicked the bedroom door shut and slashed his weapon across Finn’s throat before I could get up and defend him myself. I covered my mouth in horror and shrieked as Finn collapsed to the beige carpet with his throat slit wide open. Blood gurgled forth and Finn’s brown eyes searched blindly before they closed, and he didn’t stir.

Kylo’s eerie eyes flickered to me. “And now…”

Screaming and crying, I backpedaled on my palms and tried to flee from Kylo. He descended on me, one knee on my back, and tossed the knife aside to wrestle me down with his bare hands. I shrieked shrilly as he cupped my jaw and flattened his huge, heavy body against mine.

 “Good girl,” he cooed. “Your bed is gone, but I’m still going to fuck you here.”

 “GET AWAY FROM ME!” I screamed, thrashing. “GET AWAY!”

He cooed and pressed his huge hands down my sides. “Shh—shh. Quiet, little bird. This won’t hurt.”

 “You killed my husband, you FUCK!”

Kylo forced a hand underneath me, between my legs, and stifled my attempts to escape. He kept laughing and panting in my ear as his fingertips gently stroked my clit. I panted and shifted and tried to get away from him but there was nowhere to go. Sobbing softly, I rolled my hips into his touch and he murmured appreciatively in my ear.

 “Such a good girl,” he whispered. “Do you like this, Rey?”

 “No… no…”

 “I think you do.” He resisted another struggle from me and took deep breaths in my hair, rocking his hard-on into my butt. “I think you want me to fuck you.”

My dream drifted back to me and I screamed as loud as I could. Rapist... fuck! Kylo shushed me and used his weight to keep me from moving away, manipulating his fingers between my legs like he knew exactly what to do. I shrieked into the carpet, clawing for freedom, while he whispered in my ear and gently rocked himself against my ass. No… no! I squeezed my eyes shut and ignored my body’s prompts.

Kylo suppressed a groan. “It’s okay. He betrayed you.” His enormous hand clasped under my jaw to hold me in place. “I won’t. You’re all I want.”

He was too heavy. Trapped, I could only sob softly while his fingers kept stroking me until telltale heat coiled in my belly. We struggled in my quiet bedroom with Finn’s cooling corpse a few feet away and Kylo murmured bizarre compliments in my ear. My crying lilted into whimpers and soon I was shamelessly rubbing myself on his fingers until the tension tightened and snapped.

Moaning, I climaxed from Kylo’s touch, bucking my hips to completion. He laughed, more with joy than condescension, and kissed my temple as I panted and came down from it. I trembled and Kylo kissed the back of my head before tugging on my pajama pants. I knew what he was going for next.

 “No!” I snapped. “Stop!”

Kylo huffed. “Why? You’re mine and I want to cum in you.”

I squirmed a few inches and he dragged me back. Furious, I turned on my back and slapped him hard across the face, stunning him. Kylo blinked in surprise as I sharply raised a knee between his legs.

He yelped and collapsed on top of me, but I writhed from underneath him and rolled his heavy body off mine. Kylo laughed when I went to check Finn’s pulse and felt nothing throb under my fingertips. Sobbing, I closed his eyes and staggered out of the bedroom. Oh my god… oh my god.

Kylo kept laughing. “You can’t get away from me! I’ll fucking find you!”

I sagged on the door and looked at him over my shoulder. “Good fucking luck.”

Chapter Text

Screaming floated up the staircase. I skidded to a stop in front of it, panting, and saw Hux holding Rose at the bottom with an arm around her neck. He pressed a knife to her throat while I stared at them and I spun around when I heard Kylo getting to his feet. Rose was sobbing, hysterical, and dressed in a pink babydoll nightgown. It was dark and hard to see but Hux’s green eyes glowed like Kylo’s.

Rose screamed again. “Rey?! Rey is Finn okay?!”

 “Oh good—Doctor Tico is here.”

I spun around and Kylo grabbed my throat. He swung me down to the floor, knocking my feet from under me, and pinned me to the ground. Coughing, I flailed under his chokehold and he leaned over, smiling coldly. I couldn’t scream because his fingers were so tight and I kept spluttering and kicking my feet uselessly while he stood over me and kept on squeezing.

Kylo cocked his head. “What do you think I’m going to do to you, Rey?”

 “Fuck you!” I spat into the floor.

 “Well… ironically, yes.”

Hux dragged Rose up the stairs and threw her into the wall when she tried to bite him. She moaned in pain as Kylo shoved me back down the hall towards the bedroom until I collapsed on my knees in the doorway. He laughed when I tried to scurry away and flipped me on my back, crawling between my thighs and screaming back at me when I shrieked in terror.

 “Guess I didn’t need that much luck, hm?” Kylo kissed me hard, slipping his tongue in my mouth, and threaded his long fingers through my hair to keep my head in place.

Rose was dragged past us toward the bathroom and the door slammed shut. I broke away from Kylo and reached towards the door while he kissed along my neck and down to my collarbone. He pinned my wrists above my head and used his free hand to tug on my pajama bottoms while I kept screaming and thrashing my legs. Of course, he’d attacked tons of women before—he knew how to control me.

We wrestled like that for a few minutes, me constantly thrashing and writhing in my fight to escape, and I managed to wriggle free once or twice. Kylo growled irately and pulled my pants past my thighs, then quickly switched to unbuckling his belt. I took my chance.

My hips shifted up and twisted enough that I could get my feet on his thighs and I dug my heel into the gunshot wound. He tried to pull my foot away and I used the momentum of his turning body to kick him right between the legs again.

Kylo tried to tighten his grip on me but I easily rolled over on top of him and ripped free of his hands. His face was screwed up in pain and I slapped him hard across the face before stumbling to my feet, backing out of the bedroom. He laughed and hissed in pain.

 “What about your friend?!” he called as I ran down the hallway. “Hux is raping her—is this how you’re going to let her die, Rey?!”

I staggered at the top of the stairs and almost fell down them in my haste to escape. There was no one else blocking my way and I snatched my purse as I bolted out the front door to my car, dropping the keys twice, and slammed the door shut. Kylo hovered by the open door and watched me pull out of the driveway and take off.

Phone—I needed to find a phone to call the police. I was terrified and overwhelmed by everything that was happening but I could at least use some of my reasoning. I drove until I found a telephone booth and rushed to it, struggling to close the door behind me and dropping coins in my haste to make my call. It was the middle of the night so I left my car running with the headlights aimed towards me.

The line clicked. “Nine-one-one; what’s your emergency?”

 “Uh—” I looked around, eyes wide. “I live at fourteen Cherry Street and a man just broke into my house and killed my husband. I think he’s going to kill my friend, too.” It felt like Kylo was going to pop up behind me. “I—I got away and I’m in a phone booth. Please hurry.”

 “Ma’am, what’s your name? Do you know the man who attacked your husband?”

 “I’m Rey Kenobi and yes, I know him—he’s a patient from Mercy Institution—Kylo Ren.” My heart was pounding too hard. I had to get back in the safety of my car. “Please hurry!”

I hung up and trembled as I left the booth and scurried to my car.

There was no way I would stick around or go back to the house. I’d leave all my things behind and the house could stay empty—the mortgage was paid for a few more months. All I had to do was drive down to Arizona and forget everything that happened: forget Finn, Rose, Kaydel, Poe, Kylo; especially forget the trafficked women trapped somewhere in Maine.

I tightened my grip on the steering wheel. It was an easy decision. So why wasn’t I going?

 “Fucking moron,” I snapped to myself, cranking the wheel to the left. “Think about yourself for once.”

As usual, I knew I had to make the stupid decision that was the morally correct decision. I’d figure out where exactly the compound was—even if I only learned the town—and tip off the police, then leave. Maybe I could kick Kylo in the balls again, too.

The shock of Finn’s death was on the back burner in my head. I figured I had more important things, like not dying myself, to worry about. I stared off into space while I drove to Poe’s house, hoping Kaydel could give me a tip or maybe join me on my trip. Probably not. Like Kylo said, she was happy where she was.

Or it could all backfire on me. That was a possibility, too. But I had nothing to run off and no idea of where to look so I had to start somewhere.

It was the middle of the night on a Friday during Poe’s rotation in on-call and I had just reported an escaped patient. As expected, his Mercedes wasn’t parked in the driveway of their sprawling stone mansion on top of a carefully manicured hill. Kylo probably knew I’d go to Kaydel for help, but he’d have to be very careful with the cops sniffing around. Hopefully they’d keep Joe heavily protected.

I kept my eyes peeled for danger as I walked up the wide staircase to the front door. Most of the lights were off but Kaydel answered the door after I rang the bell once.

She really did look like a teenager, especially now, when she didn’t have any makeup on. Her wispy brown hair was drawn into two buns like ears and she smiled when she saw. Her shimmery pink shorts and strappy top didn’t leave much to the imagination.

 “Hi there, Doctor Kenobi,” she said, smiling and leaning down to scoop up her brown and white Pomeranian. It kept yapping as she stroked its head. “Poe just went to the hospital. Did you need something?”

Looking at her made me feel sick. She had her huge diamond engagement ring on but now it wasn’t just a pretty rock—it was like a mark of ownership.

 “Can I come in?” I asked. “I wanted to ask you a few questions.”

 “Um… sure, yeah.”

Kaydel shut and locked the door behind us and led me to their living room with ornate old furniture and a huge oil painting of Kaydel in a dress. She offered me a drink and I politely declined, trembling as I sat down and adjusted my pajamas.

She cocked her head and let the puppy free so it could come sniff me. “Don’t worry; Beulah’s harmless. You look pale, Rey. What’s up?”

How did I broach the conversation? ‘Yeah, I know your husband bought you’? I smiled tightly and wrung my sweaty hands. Now or never, Rey.

 “I… I know about where you’re from, Kaydel,” I said as gently as possible. “And I know how old you really are.”

Her smile faded. She crossed her arms as a scowl gradually settled on her pretty face.

 “How do you know that?” she asked icily.

 “Kylo Ren told me.”

 “…Oh. And the compound? Hux?”

I nodded. “Yeah, all of it. He just broke into my house and killed my husband and Doctor Tico, Kaydel, and now he’s coming after me. But… I was hoping to go to Maine and find the compound to help the other women get free so they don’t end up—“

 “I’m not some kind of captive!” she snapped, eyes watering. “Poe loves me, you know!”

 “I know,” I said quickly, “but the others might not be as lucky. Look—I’ve worked with Poe for a long time and I know he’s not a bad guy, and I have no intentions of trying to change your situation, but the others need help.”

Kaydel shifted her jaw and averted her hazel eyes to the wall instead of looking at me. I watched her sniffle a few times and rise from the couch to pace the living room with her arms crossed over her chest. Tears rolled down her cheeks but she didn’t sob.

I wasn’t sure what to say. Growing up without a real family had been difficult, but I had the benefit of living in a relatively safe country with support systems at my fingertips. Kaydel wasn’t so lucky growing up in the post-World War II Soviet Union. And from what Kylo said, the women Snoke picked up weren’t exactly coming from good situations.

Kaydel touched her lips and gazed out the window. “…Poe has never forced me to do anything. Just so you know.” She tilted her head, smiling faintly at a memory. “He was so sweet the day he picked me up from the compound… I’d been there for a few days and listened to the other girls screaming and begging and thought I’d end up with the same fate. But he brought Beulah with him because he knew I loved dogs, and he took me shopping and let me try all the American food I wanted. He didn’t even try to kiss me for weeks and asked before he did. Does that sound like something a monster would do, Rey?”

 “Poe isn’t a bad guy but you’re so young, Kaydel. There’s a whole world of opportunity out there and I’d hate to watch a sixteen-year-old throw it away for nothing.”

She shrugged, and I could see the type of pain and sadness in her eyes that I’d never be able to understand. Sometimes I saw it in my patients and those were the times that I doubted everything about myself and my profession. I didn’t get it. No amount of talking would make me get it and no pill would ever make it go away.

 “I have a warm, safe place to sleep,” Kaydel said. She stared at her engagement ring, letting the diamond catch the light. “And that’s much more than I ever thought I’d get.” She paused, then: “The compound is in northern Maine, near Acadia. I’m not sure exactly where. Hux brings in drops on Mondays and Wednesdays.”

I perked up. “The National Park?”

She scooped up Beulah and kissed her snout. “Around there, yeah. Sorry I can’t be more specific.”

 “It’s fine—that’s a huge help. Thank you so much.”

 “I just want the others to get away from there. I know not many of us are as lucky as I am.”

Kaydel led me upstairs to give me a couple changes of clothes, since we were around the same size, and some unopened undergarments Poe bought her. I made a face when she turned her back, but I wasn’t one to look a gift horse in the mouth. It was all lacy pink crap.

She went downstairs to the foyer with me. “I’m sorry abut your husband, by the way, and Doctor Tico was always sweet. Poe doesn’t talk much about work when he comes home but I’ve met Kylo and I know what he’s like. Rumor has it he’s just as much of a victim as the rest of us, though. Phasma, one of the women who helps around the facility, knows a bit about how Kylo and Snoke met.”

 “He’s a monster.” I adjusted my backpack, scowling. “I hope I never meet her.”

 “They’re all awful—but I heard through the grapevine that Kylo isn’t a Soviet at all. My friend Oola said he’s actually from Poland, and Snoke found him when his family was fleeing the Nazi invasion in thirty-nine. Wild, huh?”

Before I could process what she was saying and press for more answers, there was a polite knock on the door.

I froze, but Kaydel cocked her head and went to answer it. Beulah started yapping as I grabbed Kaydel’s arm and shook my head, pressing a fingertip to my lips. She frowned but stayed quiet.

Silence settled across the house, save for Beulah’s barking. The doorbell rang a minute later and my heart pounded in my throat. Neither of us budged as we listened to heavy footsteps outside scuff the porch before stepping down the stairs, slow and relaxed, until they crunched in the driveway.

Slowly, I tugged Kaydel towards the stairs to the second floor. Beulah panted and clicked after us as we silently and quickly booked upstairs to the first bedroom we could find. I slammed the door shut behind us and twisted the lock while Kaydel went to the phone to presumably call Poe.

It was dark and eerily still. She picked up the phone and her hazel eyes turned on me, wide with fear, and she mouthed ‘no tone.’ I nodded and yanked the curtains shut hung around a humongous open window that overlooked more gently rolling hills in their backyard. They had a balcony and I panicked at the thought of Kylo scaling the house and smashing through a window.

We settled in the closet, clinging to each other with Beulah between us, when the lights in the bedroom flickered and died under the closed door. Kaydel took a sharp, terrified breath and was soon trembling just as much as I was. Even the dog seemed to understand there was danger and whimpered.

I swallowed thickly. “…Did you have any open windows?”

Kaydel didn’t answer, just began crying and whispering ‘I’m sorry’ over and over.

Through the tense, foreboding silence, the floorboards creaked from the hallway. She hid her face in my neck, smearing my skin with tears, and I tried to hug her and tell myself it would be okay. I wasn’t scared for myself—but I was afraid of what Kylo would do to Kaydel. Beulah whined nervously and nosed under my arm to be closer to her owner.

A low, long whistle broke through the quiet, like a hunter calling back a dog. Our restrained breaths filled the closet and I squeezed my eyes shut.

 “Little bird,” sang his deep voice, muffled a bit by the walls. “Come out, come out wherever you are.”

Kaydel’s nails dug into my back. Go away… go away…

Kylo heaved a sigh. “Don’t you want to see Doctor Tico one last time? I kept her around just for you. Closure is important during the grieving process.”

He was close. Beulah began growling low in her throat and Kaydel frantically shushed her, trying to do everything except holding the dog’s mouth shut. I stiffened when I heard the loud footfalls of Kylo’s boots as he followed Beulah’s increasingly more frightened yelps and growls, straight to our closet and straight to us.

The door creaked open. Kaydel wrestled Beulah into her lap as the slow, predatory steps continued, and I knew we were about to be found. Panicked, I shoved Kaydel deeper into the closet, on top of some pillows and blankets, and covered her in blankets just as the door swung open.

Kylo smiled down at me, knife in his hand crusted with blood, somehow even more threatening in the darkness. He didn’t look away when Beulah ran past his legs.

 “Look,” he murmured.

He opened his other hand, dripping blood, and I screamed.

Chapter Text

Four mangled human eyeballs were clutched in a tight circle, stringing along their optic nerves and dented from being clenched in Kylo’s hand. His smile widened and I scrambled backwards when he idly stepped in the closet and sheathed his knife in his belt loop. He undulated his fingers to make the eyes move and came closer to stand an inch away from me while I scrambled to escape and screamed as they edged closer to my face.

Kylo threaded his fingers through my hair and yanked back to make me look up at him. “Unbuckle my belt.”

Hysterical, I clawed blindly at his pants and struggled to get away from the goopy mess of human eyes. Rose and Finn, Rose and Finn; they were from fucking Rose and Finn. Kylo heaved a sigh like I was inconveniencing him and unbuckled the belt himself with one hand.

 “Zipper,” Kylo drawled. “Don’t be difficult, Rey.”

 “NO!” I shrieked. I yanked back on his grasp and flailed my legs. “NO!”

He stilled my head with a hard pull. “Well something is going in your mouth tonight. Either my cock, or…” His long fingertips waggled again. “An exotic snack.”

My stomach turned and I retched at the thought of it. Kylo edged closer and pressed his crotch against my face until I twisted my head to the side so it was on my cheek instead. He murmured ‘zipper’ in a gentler tone and I screamed and cried and clung to his pants at the thigh. But he wouldn’t stop rubbing himself on my face and the handful of bloody eyeballs moved closer and closer.

 “Privet! Otoydi ot neye!”

Kaydel had emerged from the blanket fort and was shrinking back right after her command to Kylo. He raised an eyebrow and casually let the eyeballs fall in a pile between my legs before addressing her.

 “Posmotri, kakoy ty smelyy, Connix. Ocharovatel'nyy. Sdelay sebya skudnym, prezhde chem ya tozhe provozhu tvoyego muzha.”

She faltered. “No—”

 “Proshchay, Connix.”

Kaydel scrambled past Kylo and out of the closet without another word. He huffed after her like an irritated bear then turned his green eyes back on me.

 “Proceed,” he cooed.

 “Fuck you!”

He sighed and reached his hand back, flipping the knife in his grasp before pressing the blade to my throat. I swallowed hard, arching my neck away from the weapon, and he idly wormed the serrated edge back and forth on my skin. My hands trembled as I blindly unzipped his pants.

Kylo brushed my hair back. “Good girl. Lick your lips.”

I stared blankly, wetting my lips, as Kylo slipped his bloody hand into his pants to free his cock. Whimpering, I turned my head away and the sticky tip touched the corner of my mouth, but he guided my chin back and rolled down my lower lip with his thumb.

 “I told you I’d find you—didn’t I?”

I nodded and flinched when the head of his cock stroked the wet flesh of my lower lip. He nodded back and used his hand to control where he was going around my mouth, casually drawing the weeping tip across my lips. It was warm and smooth and I hated it.

Kylo loosened his grip on my hair a bit. “Stick your tongue out. Hold my belt.”

Head swimming, I did what he said, hooking my fingers over the edge of his belt, and he massaged his head on my tongue in slow, careful movements. I closed my eyes until he yanked my hair and snapped ‘open!’ and once again considered biting his dick off. Part of it was covered in blood and I knew it was from the eyeballs. I tried to pull away, twisting my head against the wall, and he shushed me and began pushing down the length of my tongue into my mouth.

I gagged—it tasted like salt and blood—and tugged my head toward the wall to keep me still. My fingernails scratched his hips as he pushed deep enough to bring tears to my eyes.

 “Ah, ah,” he chided, “relax. Roll your lips over your teeth. Suck.”

It was awful. No wonder Finn didn’t want to do it.

Kylo pressed the blade to the side of my neck and rocked his hips in slow, steady thrusts. I kept gagging but when I would struggle, the knife would bite into my skin and remind me to hold still. My eyes watered until tears ran down my cheeks and I clung to his belt and waited for it to be over.

 “Such a sweet little mouth.” His green eyes were lidded, hazy with lust, and he let go of my hair to brace himself on the wall. “Such a good girl. You like this, don’t you?”

My mouth was too full for me to talk. Saliva drooled out of my mouth and I coughed and shook my head, squirming my legs on the floor. It felt like he was getting harder and his pace picked up as more precum dribbled in my mouth. Again, I gagged and Kylo sheathed the knife to choke me instead with his long fingers curled under my jaw.

He groaned, drifting into a pleased hum and gazing down at me. “Shh… You’re doing so well, Rey.” He pulled out on my mouth and his throat bobbed. “Beg me for it.”

 “No—” I shook my head, pushing on his hips. “No, no—”

Kylo’s grip tightened on my throat and he guided the head of his cock across my lips again. “No? You don’t want this? Why don’t you give it a kiss, hm?”

I cried but did what he said and kissed the tip. He murmured ‘again’ and I did, a bit longer, then he pushed just the head into my mouth and told me to suck. A minute went by and he sank inside up to the hilt again and continued at a punishing rhythm that made it hard to breathe. My fingers slipped down to his thighs, clinging to his pants desperately, and Kylo’s breath caught.

His cock twitched in my mouth and took fast breaths through his nose before spitting out ‘fuck!’ and I struggled to pull away. But I felt him pulse as he came down my throat with a guttural groan, sharply flexing his hips in time with the spurts of cum. I writhed and blindly reached for his belt again, trying to get his attention and make him stop, but it was far too late. I could taste it as it slid down my throat.

Kylo panted and laughed, slipping out of my mouth. He slapped me lightly across the cheek and my head turned so I could stare at the floor, retching, shielded by my hair.

 “Not bad,” he said offhandedly. He stomped on the pile of eyeballs, grinding them under his boot. “We’ll have more time to practice at the compound.”

I braced myself on my palms and spat out the taste of his dick in my mouth. Usually I hated vomiting, but I was hoping my stomach would gurgle and spew out what Kylo had just put in me. My skin felt cold and clammy like I was coming down with something and my ears rang. But despite all of that, I could still feel the telltale coil of arousal between my legs—and that made me even more nauseous.

 “I hate you!” I sobbed.

He crouched next to me to kiss my temple. “No, you don’t.”

Kylo dragged me out of the closet and dropped me on the floor in the bedroom. Hux peeked inside with his hands clasped politely behind his back and approached with a set of handcuffs. I screamed and Kylo pinned me to the floor with a knee to my back, then restrained my wrists before getting up.

 “She’s still not shutting up,” Hux muttered. “Tape?”

 “No, she’ll wear herself out sooner or later.” Kylo smiled down at me, drawing his hair into a loose ponytail. “She has a full belly now, so I assume she’s ready for a nap.”

 “I’ll fucking kill you!” I snarled, rolling on the floor, trying to get up on my knees. “I’ll cut your fucking throat, you subhuman troglodyte—”

Kylo crouched beside me again, frowning and pouting his lower lip. “Such ugly words from such a pretty mouth.” Then he raised his eyebrows and smiled in a slow, eerie way. “Don’t tell me you’re aroused, little bird. That would be… repugnant. I better check—just to make sure.”

He pushed me on my back and straddled my hips while I uselessly flailed my legs underneath him. I wormed around and scraped at the carpet with my bound wrists. Kylo loomed over me, smiling, and shifted his jaw side to side as he shoved a hand down my pants and roughly jerked a finger inside me. I shook my head back and forth, sobbing and struggling to use my feet to lift myself up.

 “Ah, you are,” Kylo cooed. He clicked his tongue, tilting his head to look down on me. “Like a wild animal in heat. Can’t you control yourself, Rey?”

 “Get away from me!” I begged. “STOP!”

 “Well someone needs to punish you for your depraved behavior. Perhaps a little positive punishment will do the trick.”

I bit down hard enough on my lower lip to draw blood when his thumb rolled gently around my clit. It was like a nightmare that wouldn’t stop repeating itself, trapping me in the same fucked-up situation over and over again. Kylo rested his weight and his elbow and seized my jaw to force me to look at him while his fingers moved in slow, torturous motions and I dug my nails into the carpet to keep myself still.

It went on for a few silent minutes with Hux watching in boredom from the doorway until I couldn’t keep back a small whimper. Kylo smiled and lazily kissed along my face as my body gradually began betraying me again. I didn’t understand how. Or maybe I did, but I wasn’t about to admit it.

His tongue licked along the shell of my ear. “You really are a mewling whore, aren’t you? I’ve never made a woman orgasm during an attack. You want me, don’t you?” His fingers dug into my cheeks when I shuddered. “Mm. I know. I’m enjoying forcing you to grapple with it.”

Kylo kept going and I pressed my thighs together to try pushing him out of my pants to no avail. He tenderly kissed my jaw the entire time until I squeezed my eyes shut, teeth grinding, and climaxed while holding my breath. He hummed appreciatively and withdrew his finger in a slow line through my pubic hair and up to my belly button.

 “My little bird—so naughty.” He sucked the blood off my lower lip and smiled smugly, resting his chin on his palm and sucking on the middle finger that had been inside me. “Surely you’re ready for a nap now? I’ve made you come twice, face fucked you, killed your husband, killed your friend, and made you scurry around town like a nervous little mouse. How about a glass of warm milk before bed, hm?”

 “Dameron is here,” Hux called impassively from the doorway.

Kylo sighed and lifted me into his arms. I really was exhausted and nearly dozed off on his chest when he had an arm around my back and underneath me to keep me in place. My legs hung languidly around his hips as we left the bedroom and went downstairs to the foyer, where Beulah was barking her head off. Kylo tapped Kaydel on the shoulder and politely asked for a bottle of water for me. She scurried off in an instant and he adjusted his grasp.

Poe tiredly opened the door and waved when he noticed Hux and Kylo. Kaydel came back with the water and flung her arms around Poe’s neck, sobbing. He patted her on the back and rubbed his eyes.

 “The police are setting up a perimeter,” he said. “You two should get out of here.”

 “Oh. Good to know.” Kylo petted the back of my head and rested his temple on me. “I have my prize, so I suppose our business here is done. Thank you for your cooperation, Doctor. The Supreme Leader will reward you, I’m sure.”

Poe nodded and wrapped his arms around Kaydel, closing his eyes. “I have all I need.”

We went out into the chilly night with the things Kaydel gave me. Hux slid into the front seat of his black car and Kylo sat in the back with my head in his lap. He hummed and drew his long, bloodstained fingers through my hair, gently working through the knots, and I fought to stay awake. But all my exhaustion from the past two weeks won out and I fell asleep in the dark car.

Chapter Text

 “Little bird—time for a break.”

A car door slammed. For a second, I forgot where I was, until the coppery scent of blood wafted to me. I moaned and Kylo cooed and clicked his tongue, stroking my hair like a fretting hen. He stepped out of the car and lifted me into his arms like a ragdoll before he nudged the door shut with his hip.

It was cold, and my teeth chattered while we walked. I hesitantly opened my eyes to find we were at a rest stop with no other cars in the parking lot and the faint silhouette of a bathroom a few feet away. A thick mesh of trees lined the grassy edge of the property, ominous under the soft glow of moonlight. No crickets chirped; no creatures stirred. It was eerily silent and still.

Kylo set me on my feet in front of the bathroom door and took out a pack of cigarettes that he smacked on his palm a few times. “Make sure you wash your hands.”

 “You know that doesn’t do anything, right?”

 “What, hand washing?” He slipped a cigarette out and raised an eyebrow, shielding the tip with a curved hand as he lit it. “What Cracker Jack box did you get your medical license from?”

 “Hitting the carton on your palm, jackass.”

He took a long drag and watched moths flitting around the bathroom’s outdoor lamp. “It packs the cigarette. Now go piss before I change my mind.”

I scowled and stalked towards the bathroom, and Kylo took the opportunity to smack my ass when I turned around. He raised his eyebrows and smirked, pulling from his cigarette again when I whirled around and gave him a dirty look. I glared for another minute before heading inside.

Fluorescent lights whirred overhead. More insects had come flying inside and I checked my stall for spiders before doing my business. As expected, the bathroom was disgusting, so I hurriedly washed my hands and turned to leave.

At the other end of the room, the window rattled.

I hesitated near the door and slowly turned to face the window. It was wide open, letting in a cool breeze from outside that scattered the bugs and raised the hair on my arms. Maybe…

Swallowing hard, I peered through the doorway to check for Kylo watching me, then quietly edged toward the window. If I could slip out, the forest was maybe fifteen feet away, and I’d be lost in the thicket before Kylo realized I was gone. It was cold and I wasn’t dressed for it, but anything was better than being trapped in the middle of nowhere with a violent psychopath—even death.

Thinking of Kylo stuffing his cock down my throat gave me the last push I needed. I looked over my shoulder again before punching out the screen with one swift kick.

It rattled when it hit the ground and I scrambled out of the empty space, spilling on the cold, hard earth with a muffled ‘oomph.’ I clawed back to my feet and bolted for the woods without checking for Kylo chasing me, too terrified to think of anything but escaping the horror movie unfolding in the parking lot.

My pulse roared in my ears as I ran barefoot through the woods. Branches snapped at my arms, raking gashes across my skin, and pine needles bit the soles of my feet. All my thoughts tilted towards escape and nothing else in the fucking world mattered or took my attention. It was cold and painful and I had no idea where I was going, but I was getting away from Kylo Ren, so the icy chill creeping into my feet didn’t concern me in the least.

The burst of adrenaline ebbed away after a while and I slumped against a tree to catch my breath. My lungs burned and I kept turning in circles, eyes wide, scanning the darkness for the glint of a knife or the crunch of a boot. He’d of course already realized that I ran away and would come right after me. The woods were forbidding and dangerous but Kylo wouldn’t give up until one of us was dead.

I panted and swallowed down my dry, scratchy throat. The wounds on my arms and legs began to pulse with pain as I staggered a few feet further, turning in a circle and wondering where to run. Was I running off into the mountains to certain death, or was there a town nearby? I didn’t even know what state we were in and I didn’t have my wallet with my ID and money. How would I pay for food and shelter?

 “Uh… are you okay?”

My heart leapt in my throat and I spun around to see a small group of people watching me warily. They had hiking boots on as well as hats, gloves, and thick coats, but it looked like it had been thrown on over pajamas. One was a tall man who looked middle-aged, the girl in the middle looked like a teenager with long blonde hair, and the last person was a man who had the same round face as the other two.

The older man squinted at me through the darkness. “You came from the rest stop? I knew we were too damn close to the highway, Evan.”

 “My bad, dad,” Evan muttered. “Megan, why didn’t you check the map?”

 “You were supposed to!” she snapped.

I held up my hands imploringly. “You three should get out of here—it’s not safe. I’m being chased by—”

The father held up a pistol, not as a threat. “Is it a bear? Can’t believe they come down this far.”

The three of them started chatting about bear encounters and muffled out my pleas that they flee to safety. Megan wrapped an arm around my shoulders as they escorted me back to their camp about a hundred feet away, and Evan gave me an extra pair of his wool socks to wear to protect my feet. Apparently, they heard me running and thought I was a deer or a wolf.

Their camp was small, dotted with three tents. The fire had been snuffed out a long time ago but their father, Dale, insisted on relighting it so I could warm up a bit. Megan brought me a blanket to wrap around my shoulders and gave me her red hat and gloves. Evan opened their cooler to get a few hot dogs and threaded one on a stick for me to roast.

It was the type of kindness you never saw in the world anymore—thoughtless; as natural as breathing. The fire crackled to life and I shivered, hunching my shoulders and glancing between their three smiling faces. Dale had a pistol and promised to stay up all night and watch for danger. They were also unwilling to hike in the darkness and I couldn’t take their own map to head out on my own. Rest would be good. Rest and food and good company.

We chatted until the feeling had returned to my feet. Megan set me up in her one-person tent and sang to her brother as she climbed in his to his loud groans of protest. I laid down in my sleeping bag, curled in a tight ball, and stared into the darkness for a long time. Dale was staying on guard. It would be okay… for once. It would be okay…

And it was.

I woke in the morning, sleepy but rested. Birds twittered in the trees outside my tent and I slowly sat up to stretch my arms in front of me. A fire crackled outside, and I could smell bacon and eggs.

Somehow, I made it through the night. I tried my best to fix my hair and crawled outside to brush my teeth beside the tent, then rose to my feet and stretched again. My three rescuers were sitting around the fire in their folding chairs, quietly watching breakfast cook, and I padded over to thank them again. A thin veil of mist clung to the ground and the scent of leaves swirled through the camp.

I smiled as I rounded the chairs. “Thank you so much for… every… thing…”

All three of them had their throats slit from ear to ear. Blood caked their necks and their eyes were wide open but there was no emotion in them anymore. I watched a fly land on Megan’s eyeball.

 “Breakfast, Rey?”

Kylo emerged from Dale’s tent in gray sweatpants and a white tank top. He shivered theatrically, rubbing his upper arms with his hands, and sauntered over to kiss my forehead. I didn’t move. I stared at him in blank shock as he casually picked up a spatula from Evan’s curled, frozen fist and flipped the bacon on its other side. My ears rang.

He sighed, drawing his hair into a half-ponytail that concealed his ears. “Brr—getting cold out, isn’t it? You look well-rested, though. Nice toasty sleeping bag, hm?”

I stared up at him, still unmoving. Kylo smiled wryly and leaned over to kiss my lips in one slow, tender motion, then ran his fingers through my hair. My eyes watered under his evil green gaze.

 “None of that, little bird,” he cooed. He searched my eyes and cupped my cheek in one big hand. “Sweet, naughty girl—flitting away from me again. I appreciate your tenacity. It will ultimately make overpowering you even more satisfying, and that will be…” He gestured vaguely. “Transcendent.”

 “Why won’t you just get it over with?” I whispered.

Kylo drew away from me to fetch plates and filled our plates with breakfast. He took my hand loosely in his fingers and drew me to the picnic table, sitting beside me with two cups on coffee. I stared blankly into the forest, now twittering with life, and he kissed the bare skin on my upper arm.

 “Eat,” he murmured. “After all that running last night, you need your strength.”

Slowly, I scooped eggs in my mouth and nibbled on bacon. Kylo rubbed my back and closed his eyes, taking a deep, cleansing breath. A squirrel watched us from the trees.

I finished eating a while later and drank the coffee at Kylo’s behest. He peppered kisses up my arm and dipped his lips to my neck, licking and sucking and ignoring my trembling. His hand slid around my ribs and he nuzzled under my chin, humming contentedly.

I clenched my fists on my thighs. “…Are you going to kill me, Kylo?”

 “Kill you?” He barked a laugh and ate a piece of bacon I’d left. “No, I’m not going to kill you, Rey. I’m enjoying our little game, even if you’re a pisspoor player. No—I like you. That’s why I’m prolonging fucking you, though it’s tempting at certain times. I’ll wait for the opportune moment… I’ll wait until I can overpower and defile you.” He looked around, frowning. “Which is not here.”

Kylo cleaned up the table when we were done and led me towards my tent. I balked, silently trying to pull away, but he unzipped the front flap and pushed me inside. I rolled on my back as he loomed over me like a character from my nightmares, green eyes bright with malice. He crept on top of me, shushing me when I panted in fear, and nosed into the hair alongside my head.

 “Please just get it over with,” I begged. “I can’t keep living this way!”

 “No?” Kylo wrapped us in the sleeping bag, lips drifting along my neck. “You want me to fuck you, then? Want me inside you?”

 “No—no; just get it over with and—”

He gave a hard thrust to shut me up. “It doesn’t matter what you do or what you say. You can resist me, or comply, or remain silent. Nothing will turn me away, so do whatever comes naturally.”

Screaming came naturally. I bit down on my lower lip and did just that, thrashing and clawing into his back. Kylo groaned and yanked the collar of my top to bite down on my collarbone until I burst into tears, begging him to stop and let me go. It made me feel better.

 “I’m not even fucking you, Rey.” He rocked his hips and clenched a fistful of my hair, laughing. “Didn’t your boyfriends in high school hump you? How is this worth tears and anguish?”

 “You’re a murderer!” I spat. “And no, they didn’t! I wasn’t going to get pregnant like my—”

Both of us stopped moving. Kylo breathed on my neck, turning over the implication that I was afraid of getting pregnant too young and ruining my life like my mother ruined hers. Dad had a part in it, too, but mom as the one who had to carry me for nine months and dump me on a hospital doorstep.

Kylo smiled into my skin. “You’re afraid of pregnancy, aren’t you?”

 “No! I was when I was a teenager, so—”

He leaned back, arching his back under the low roof of the tent, and unzipped his pants to slip his cock free. I squeezed my eyes shut when he grabbed my hand and pushed it on him, then strangled me until I complied and rolled my clenched fist back and forth. Kylo groaned, squeezing my jaw and thrusting into my hand, growing harder in my grasp until his panting reached a fever pitch. He buried his face in my hair and grunted as he came on my stomach, soaking my shirt.

I tried to squeeze to hurt him but Kylo ripped my hand away and shoved it down the front of my pants. My breathing caught as he forced my fingers dripping with cum through my folds and choked me with his free hand. He pressed his forehead to mine, smiling.

 “There we go,” Kylo murmured. “Such a good, sweet girl. Masturbate.”

 “Fuck you!”

Sighing, he swiped up cum with his hand and unceremoniously pushed a finger inside me. I gasped in shock and tried to go back to touching myself instead, repulsed by the thought of him bringing me to completion again, but Kylo pumped his finger and stroked my clit, smearing me with his cum.

He stifled my attempts to escape. “Shh—stop, stop. Be good.”

I screamed shrilly and he pushed my head back, eyeing me with his chin tilted, tightening his fingers on my jaw. Kylo watched me slowly lose the fight with my hungry, weak body.

 “Mm.” He kissed my temple. “You like my cum inside you, hm? Does it turn you on?” His lips wandered to my ear as he stroked inside me, drawing whimpers from my lips. “I know, I know—you’re such a hungry slut, but I don’t mind. You can drink from my cock as often as you like.”

 “Get… away… from me…”

He wormed his finger in my mouth and smiled. “Say my name.”

 “NO!”

Kylo drove my head into the sleeping bag and squeezed my jaw until I shrieked in pain. He clenched his jaw and spat ‘say my name!’ until I gave in and sobbed it over and over. He kissed me hard and rolled his hips with the thrusts of his finger and strokes of his thumb until my climax was torn out of me, kicking and screaming just like the rest of my body.

He hummed and his kisses turned gentle as he idly gathered his drying cum from my shirt to stuff it inside me while I shuddered and cried. The fire crackled and the birds sang and the world continued to turn with no concern for my suffering.

Chapter Text

Morning dew dampened my ankles as Kylo shoved me along through the woods. The frigid air gnawed down to my bones, but he didn’t care. He’d put me in his black dress shirt, opened in the front, and bound my wrists behind my back. My feet turned numb from the hard, cold earth and I stepped on pinecones and upturned roots that tore into my skin. I didn’t have pants on, either—another way to humiliate and hurt me.

I panted, head spinning, and wandered in wide circles with Kylo strolling along behind me smoking a cigarette. He’d shove me if I hesitated or wandered off the trail he’d created. This time I fell hard on my knees and staggered, struggling not to faceplant in the mud, but wound up tilting over and hitting my shoulder. I moaned in pain and Kylo walked up to stand beside me, dragging from his cigarette.

He raised an eyebrow. “How’d that feel?”

 “Fucking fantastic!” I snapped.

 “I’d be happy to carry you, Rey.” Kylo took another pull, smirking, and exhaled a curl of silvery smoke. “Just ask nicely.”

Mother… fucker. I glared up into his green eyes and he raised his brows in an impish, imploring way. My feet prickled from the cold, my legs stung from cuts and gashes, and I couldn’t take another minute of stumbling through the woods. So, I did what didn’t come naturally, to save myself further pain.

 “Please carry me,” I muttered.

Kylo circled me, smiling. “Nicer.”

I closed my eyes, gritting my teeth, and exhaled. “Please carry me.

Mud caked my left side and it was cold and uncomfortable. Kylo could sense my misery—he was a connoisseur of it—and he kept walking around me with a beastly smile on his lips. He stopped in front of me after another minute or so and sighed like he’d never been so inconvenienced in his life.

Then he scooped me up and threw me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. My hips writhed as I teetered towards the ground over his back, but he wrapped an arm around my thighs to keep me in place. I swayed on his shoulder and my wrists twisted in the cuffs.

 “What should we name our firstborn?” Kylo asked. He clicked his tongue, thinking. “My parents were Leia and Han, but I suppose neither of those is very Russian. I’m quite attached to Liev—or Viktoriya in the off chance we have a girl. Any thoughts, Rey?”

 “No.”

He laughed and slapped my butt. “I fucking detest children, anyway. Little shits.”

We arrived right where I fled from a couple minutes later. Kylo set me on my feet and I noticed Hux smoking on the other side of the car, watching the traffic go by. Kylo seized my jaw and gave me a bruising kiss, dipping his tongue in my mouth and shoving me when I pulled back. I kissed him back, grimacing at the taste of cigarettes on his tongue, and he kept squeezing my jaw. He had me flattened against the car and raised a few inches so I could only kick my feet in protest.

Hux retched. “Get a room, you fuck.”

Kylo broke away with a wet pop, trailing a line of drool from our mouths. His green eyes flickered to his partner in crime. “I suggest that you close your eyes when she blows me in the backseat, then.”

 “Disgusting,” Hux grumbled.

That amused Kylo again and he laughed as he opened the door and shoved me in the car. I fell on my knees and he dragged me back to him to give one last humiliating roll of his hips on my ass. I wriggled away, swiveling on my back and lashing out with my legs. He caught my ankles and kissed down my calf with his sinister green eyes drilling into mine.

We left with my head in Kylo’s lap; the exact position from yesterday. He hummed and combed his long fingers through my hair. I trembled in fear and pain, but soon fell asleep.

Slamming doors woke me. Kylo kissed my temple and coaxed me out of the car into his arms, where I realized I was no longer handcuffed. I draped my elbows loose around his neck and rested my cheek on his shoulder. He shut the door behind us, adjusting me on his hip like a mother with a toddler, and we crunched along a gravel driveway. My eyes fluttered open.

A canopy of enormous trees surrounded us, blotting out the sun and any helicopters that may pass overhead. I turned my head to see Hux walking alongside Kylo and I with a grim look on his face. The car faded into the distance and I stretched my quivering fingers towards it, longing for freedom.

 “Phasmaaaa,” Kylo sang, drawing out the last syllable, “we’re hooooome!

A metal door screeched open and I heard a distinct, feminine peal of laughter. Kylo kissed the side of my head and they all chatted as we walked inside. Tears welled up in my eyes and I reached towards the door until it slammed shut with an ominous boom.

Phasma circled behind Kylo to look me in the eyes. She was tall and stern with short blonde hair and bright blue eyes that rivaled Kylo’s in the eerie factor. I noticed she was wearing bloody scrubs and a lab coat and my heart skipped a beat. She smiled, searching my eyes.

 “Hello, Rey,” she trilled. “So nice to meet you. If you happen to fall pregnant, or Kylo would like you spayed…” She waggled her long fingers and grinned wide. “I will handle it.”

I stared at her until she vanished with a smug expression, back to walk at Kylo’s side. He rubbed my back and they joked about sterilizing me. My belly gurgled with nausea and I tried to remember as much as I could about my surroundings. Steel walls, steel floors, dimly lit… I looked around until Hux tied a blindfold around my head and suffused me in darkness.

It grew colder. They talked about a ‘fresh shipment’ due in three days and when it would be safe for Kylo to wander from the compound. I breathed on his neck, trying to hide my face from the horrible shit unfolding around me. Captive women lived here—women who were sold off for a high fee as slaves. I had to stay in Kylo’s good graces so I wouldn’t meet the same fate.

Another metal door groaned open and Kylo carried me inside without the rest of his entourage. Eerie silence pervaded the space when it clicked shut.

He laid me on a soft bed, rolling me on my stomach, and cuffed my wrists behind my back. I grunted and scowled, desperate for a shower and to get my vision back. His shoes clicked on the floor.

 “I’m going to lie low for a while,” he said. “You know—escaped psychopath and all. I’d take you on a tour of the facility, but you’ve been so… slippery. Chasing you through the woods wasn’t how I planned to spend my Friday evening.” A fingertip traced up my tailbone to the bump at the back of my neck. “I wonder how I should punish you, little bird. Clip your wings, perhaps.”

That either meant breaking my legs or breaking my arms. I buried my face in the sheets and laid still, waiting for his verdict. Arguing wouldn’t do a damn thing.

He clicked his tongue. “I’ll be back.”

I stiffened and listened to the door open and shut again. The quiet room made it easy to tell if he was just hanging around waiting for me to think he was gone. I couldn’t hear him breathing or any other signs of life, so I knew he was truly no longer inside the room. I let out an anxious breath that lilted into whimpers and sobs. Soon I had the sheets under my head soaked with tears.

No way out… no way out… no way out…

I’d never considered something like this happening. I met my fair share of insane patients—ones who threatened to kill me, or rape me, or stalk me, but nothing came to fruition. Kylo Ren’s brand of evil had a depth of depravity that I knew I’d never witness again. A true monster. If he wanted something, he took it. For all I knew, my hair might’ve looked especially shiny one day, and that made him decide to systematically torture and destroy me.

Kylo returned and I hastily reined in my crying. He gasped when he saw me and crept on top of me to lick the tears from my cheeks. Being on my stomach, I could only claw at his shirt, brushing my fingertips along it. I flinched with each stroke of his tongue.

 “Look at all these wasted tears,” he cooed. “Save them for future events, Rey. For now, I thought of an amusing little game for us to play together.”

He turned me on my back and my calves curled around his hips. I heard him unzip his pants and braced myself for the inevitable rape, but instead heard the unsettling familiar sound of him masturbating. It almost made me roll my eyes. Like that could get any more degrading.

Kylo pressed the head of his cock to my entrance, taunting me through my panties. “What do you think? Should I fuck you now, or let the fear ferment like a fine wine? The longer I wait, the sweeter it tastes.”

 “Do it now.”

He laughed and drew away. “Oh, you’re no fun.”

Loud and dramatic as always, Kylo climaxed a couple of minutes later, like he needed to prove that he could last. Odd sounds ensued—plastic, wrappers—and I thought for a second that he was going to try to fuck me, anyway. He took one last breath and sighed, sated. I felt a plastic tip touch the corner of my mouth and tasted a salty, familiar goop.

My breath caught in my throat and I jerked away on instinct. Kylo seized my jaw and stroked the tip of what I assumed was a syringe along my lips. One push and I would have a mouthful of semen, and I knew that would make me fucking vomit.

 “Let’s play,” Kylo whispered, “’Which Hole Would I Prefer Filled With Cum?’, the exciting game show where you—Rey Kenobi—decide where you’d like me to inject my cum.” He wormed the tip through my lips, drawing whimpers from me. “I’m your host, Kylo Ren—donator of tonight’s semen.”

 “Please don’t—”

It slipped from my lips and pushed through my panties to my entrance, squirming in a few inches. “Would you prefer it here instead?” His breath was on my ear and I cried all over again. He moved the barrel in and out, tormenting me. “I would love to impregnate you with a turkey baster. But if we decide—as a couple, of course—to go a different route, Phasma performs a clean abortion.”

 “My mouth,” I rasped, “just put it in my mouth!”

 “Ah, ah, ah.” He drew the barrel out slow and began downwards. “You have one more orifice as an option.”

I thrashed at the thought of that and Kylo knew which choice he’d make for me. He flipped me on my stomach and dragged my hips up to a better angle while I kicked and screamed all the way. His other hand slipped underneath me to my clit but I was nowhere near aroused. I screamed so hard that I lost my voice as Kylo hummed, slipping my panties down, and shoved the syringe in my ass.

 “Oh, always so dramatic!” he laughed, suppressing my squirming. He leaned across my back to pant in my ear, holding the plunger firm. “You won’t know what to do with yourself when I fuck you with my cock. That will hurt much, much more.”

Exhaustion won out. I ended up lying there in a graceless pile of myself, mouth half-open while Kylo slowly pumped the barrel in and out of me until I was sure he drew blood. My inhaled the scent of my hair and kissed my shoulders. When my sobs were reduced to hiccups, the unpleasant sensation of liquid flowing in me the wrong way brought out a keening wail.

He tossed the thing away and made a show of adjusting my panties to the exact spot they’d been in before the assault. I slumped to the mattress when he let go, and Kylo spent the next hellish slice of eternity kissing every square inch of my body he could find. The gashes on my legs and feet throbbed, my butt was leaking him, and saliva drooled from the corner of my mouth.

I began to understand the motives of my suicidal patients.

Chapter Text

 “Where did you attend medical school, Rey?”

Disoriented, I forgot for a blissful moment that I was trapped in the den of Kylo Ren. The dimly-lit room swam as I opened my eyes and tried to take in my surroundings.

The acrid smoke of cigarettes hung thick in the air. I coughed and felt muscles tighten underneath me—Kylo had me between his legs on my stomach with my head on his chest. He gave me a lackadaisical kiss on the crown of my head and I heard the crinkle of a page turning. Sensation trickled back to my body bit by bit, but my head spun and I had to squeeze my eyes shut again.

Kylo tapped his ashes in a dish beside us. His pale bare skin was hot and hard on mine. My fingers twitched near his ribs, hungry for revenge, but I could only lie there and be miserable. He drugged me.

 “Cracker Jack box, then?” Kylo drawled.

 “What did you give me?” I rasped, ignoring his inane question.

He took a noisy drag of his cigarette. “Ketamine.”

Fuck. That explained why I couldn’t fucking move. I gritted my teeth and managed to shift an inch, which inspired Kylo to put out his cigarette and rub my back. A TV show played quietly in the background as he slipped a hand under my shirt. My breasts pressed on his bare skin, so I assumed he’d dressed me up like a doll in another button-up of his.

He traced my spine, rolling his fingertip across each ridge. “Where are you going, little bird?”

 “You drugged me with ketamine, so nowhere.” I opened one eye and saw the bedroom door about six feet away. “That’s my Johns Hopkins education in action, by the way.”

 “Ooo; such a smart girl. You lack common sense, unfortunately.”

 “Better than lacking a conscience.”

Kylo laughed and set his book down. “I suppose; if you’re a masochist. Let’s go take a bath, hm?” He nuzzled my hair, humming. “You’re so filthy after your little jaunt through the woods.”

The ash tray clicked on the nightstand and Kylo lifted me by my armpits higher on his chest. He wrapped an arm around my waist and stepped out of bed with me like I weighed nothing. My fingers were too weak to cling to his shirt but his second arm curled around me, so I didn’t snap back like a newborn. I could only sag in his arms groggily and struggle to lick the drool seeping from my mouth.

We went through a wooden door within the bedroom to the bathroom. It wasn’t anything exciting—no torture implements, no dead bodies. The floors were the same ugly yellow tile every house had, and the bright color made me even more nauseous. I groaned, wincing, and took deep breaths through my nose.

The ketamine dulled my pain at least. I couldn’t feel the various aches from my ‘jaunt through the woods,’ nor could I feel the throb from Kylo’s syringe assault. The buzz gave me a pleasant sensation of floating outside my body and I could almost pretend I was having a nightmare. Almost.

Kylo turned on the water. “Did you enjoy our game, Rey?”

 “Loved it,” I slurred, wiping my saliva on his clavicle for my own petty revenge.

 “Oh… I see. The screaming and crying had me convinced otherwise.”

I laughed. “You shoved a cum-filled syringe up my butt. Fuck you.”

He didn’t say anything more until the bathtub was filled. The air turned thick with moisture and heat, which didn’t help me in my fight to stay awake. Kylo set me on my feet and I slouched on his chest while he gently moved my arms through the sleeves of my shirt. He hooked his fingers over the hem of my panties on my hips and knelt on the floor as he slipped them off. My weak, trembling hands crept along his body as he knelt until I had to lean on his shoulders to stay upright.

I panted, dizzy. “I… I’m gonna fall.”

 “You think so?” Kylo murmured. He held the back of my thighs and kissed just under my belly button.

 “I’m so dizzy—”

He dipped his mouth between my thighs and I squeaked in surprise. I arched on my tiptoes, struggling to stay upright, gasping as his tongue moved where Finn’s had never been. Kylo’s soft, wet lips felt amazing and I was so heavily drugged that I moaned and rolled my hips, chasing fleeting pleasure. His fingertips pressed into my skin as he jerked me closer and shifted on his knees.

His tongue focused higher and soon I had my nails dug into his shoulder blades while I shamelessly bucked against his mouth. My knees buckled and I panted, wobbling but too driven by desire to stop. I closed my eyes, huffing, and Kylo clutched my thighs to keep the tension tight. It built fast until I couldn’t take it anymore and whimpered as I climaxed.

Kylo sucked gently while I rode it out, bare toes clinging to the tile. He caught me as I slipped down, torpid, and lifted me into his arms to kiss my temple. He stripped out of his clothes with me dozing off on his shoulder and a minute later I was submerged in warm, soapy water.

It splashed over the edge as Kylo adjusted me between his legs with my back to his chest. He yawned, lazily kissing my neck, and reached up for a loofa. I shivered and sank deeper in the water.

 “Did Finn ever lick your pussy?” Kylo asked.

 “…No.”

 “Mm.” He dipped the loofa in the bath and began washing my collarbone first, stroking in long, slow circles. “Tragic.”

The water bit into my cuts, but it was dulled by the ketamine. Kylo sucked my skin while he washed me, and I dozed off on his chest for a bit, lost in the sleepy warmth and quiet.

I woke to water cascading down my head and the subtle scent of cucumber shampoo. My hair felt lighter and cleaner and the water had turned murky. Kylo kissed my forehead when I stirred, and his long fingers crept across my thigh underwater, slipping to their apex. My legs writhed, knees breaking the surface, and I whined and tried to pull him away by the wrist. He nipped my ear and rubbed my nipple in slow circles with his other hand.

 “When did you lose your virginity?” he whispered, nose tracing the curve of my ear.

My eyes roamed blindly. “College… junior…”

 “Finn?”

 “…Yes.”

Kylo laughed into my dripping hair and idly wormed a finger inside me. “How sweet. Did you have an orgasm?”

 “No… it only lasted for a few minutes.”

 “My poor Rey.” His fingertip stroked along my inner wall. “All those years of lethargic sex have you so tight.” Another finger joined the first and I shook my head groggily. “Don’t fret—I’ll fuck you properly. I won’t stop until you’re screaming my name.”

 “No—” I reached for the edge of the tub and my hand slipped back into the water. My drugged mind buzzed anxiously. “I—no—”

Kylo didn’t try to keep me in the tub. He let go and I scrambled out, wet skin sliding on porcelain, and wound up with my hips hooked over the lip. I whimpered and wriggled my hips in vain as he rose from the water and seized my hips. He jerked me closer and droplets slid down my spine towards my neck. My fingers clawed at the tile. I couldn’t move—I’d basically presented myself to him.

He clicked his tongue, crooning appreciatively. “Well would you look at this. How convenient. Shall I fuck your pretty little pussy right now, Rey?”

Frantic, I shook my head. I redoubled my efforts to escape when I felt him rub the head of his cock in a small circle around my damp entrance. He dipped inside an inch or so, groaning, and the blood rushed to my head. No—no!

 “Shh,” Kylo whispered, “shh. Don’t struggle.”

I put all my remaining strength into twisting my hips off the edge of the tub. Kylo laughed and stepped out after me as I turned on my back, palms slapping on the cold, wet floor. He smirked down at me and I kept my eyes on his. He knew how imposing he was, with coiled muscles and broad shoulders; tall enough to brush his fingers on the ceiling. I glowered up at him and panted as I crawled back.

He pouted, sauntering after me. “Where are you going, little bird? There’s nowhere to hide. No gilded cage to flit back to with your sweet, safe husband.” His feigned calm expression stretched into a wide, sadistic smile. “It’s just us now—the way it’s meant to be.”

 “I hate you!” I spat.

Kylo hooked his fingers over the top of the doorjamb and watched my wet body scramble into the bedroom. He cocked his head, licking his lips and looking down on me with pity.

 “I’d imagine you do,” he said dryly.

The room wasn’t very large. The walls were painted bright white and a high window with thick metal bars let in some sunlight from outside. I kept crawling back on the carpet with Kylo casually strolling along at my feet, unabashed by his nudity. He had half-moon scars on his arms and I realized with a sinking feeling that they were probably bite marks from the women he attacked.

I had nowhere to go. Soon my back was literally to the wall and he tangled his long fingers in my hair to jerk my head back where he wanted it. I squeezed my eyes shut and hesitantly opened my mouth.

Kylo didn’t say anything. My heart hammered as I waited to feel his cock on my lips and hear him murmuring, but nothing happened. His grip loosened in my hair and I frowned. What was he doing? Putting it off until later to spring on me?

A loud thud answered my question.

I opened one eye to find Kylo passed out on the floor, lying halfway on his stomach with his lips parted. His ribs rose and fell with breaths, but he didn’t budge otherwise. No groan; nothing. He fainted.

I stared at him and thought about the headaches he admitted to in the hospital. Maybe he had a brain tumor. That would be a nice, painful death; the slow agony he deserved. Quivering, I climbed to my feet with the wall for support and watched the slumbering beast on the carpet. He needed to be put down like a rabid dog. There was nothing human in Kylo.

A vial with ‘KETAMINE’ scribbled on the side caught my attention. I’d no idea what the lethal dose was, but I figured two hefty injections would do the trick. I drew the fluid up, glancing over my shoulder at Kylo’s prone form, and gave him two doses in the bicep. He still didn’t wake.

The sun was up and I knew the compound was active, but it was my only chance to escape. I smashed the bottle of ketamine and threw on a black long-sleeved shirt of Kylo’s with gray sweatpants that I bound around my ankles with rubber bands. My hair snapped into a bun and I stole one of his sweaters for good measure. I’d just run through the woods. I didn’t care anymore.

My stomach lurched from the ketamine and I vomited near the door on my way out. Was it cold in Maine this time of year? How far would I have to wander through Acadia until I found someone? The drug would impede my focus and if I was getting sick I wouldn’t last long in the wilderness.

But anything was better than this hell—even death.

I layered up and opted to use a few pairs of wool socks instead of my shoes. Kylo’s switchblade was in the desk drawer, and I glared down at him with it in my hand, considering slitting his throat. But I wasn’t a violent person like he was, and I figured the ketamine would be a much slower death. I dragged open the heavy metal door and slipped out.

Chapter Text

The vague sobs of imprisoned women floated along the poorly-lit hallway. Bulbs in metal cages flickered above my head as I nervously picked my way along grates, away from the crying. It was cold, even with all my layers on, and I squeezed the hilt of the knife in my sweaty palm. My vision swam.

 “I have to get out of here,” I mumbled, stumbling. “I have to get out of here.”

Loud voices down the hall quickened my pulse. I panted and ran across the grates with no idea where I was going, knife drawn. I’d stab anyone who got in my way.

But the ketamine still had a hold on my mind and I wandered in a zig-zag, clutching my head and fighting to keep the hall from spinning. I was almost as much of a danger to myself as I was to other people with my switchblade swinging wildly through the air. Kill or be killed. I couldn’t go back. I wouldn’t go back. I’d stab myself in the fucking gut before I let Kylo Ren drag me back to Hell.

I wiped tears from my eyes and stumbled to a hard fall on my knees. The grates gave an incriminating rattle and I heard the voices turn into shouting. Terrified, I clambered along the floor until I could drag myself back to my quivering legs and limped along around a corner—

A tall man in a white lab coat materialized before me, brandishing a needle, glasses flickering in the low light. His shadow eclipsed what pinpoint light there was in the hallway and I felt like an ant under a boot. He smiled as I shrank back and whimpered like a cornered animal.

 “Shh,” he whispered, reaching out long fingers towards me. “I’m here to help, little dove.”

A bizarre thought struck me—was this how I looked to my patients? Did I jeer? Did I clench their Haldol in my fist like a glowing white demon from the bowels of Hell?

I lashed out with the knife, swinging wildly, and he managed to prick my forearm. But the med didn’t plunge through before I sliced clean through his throat, drawing a spurt of blood. The stranger gurgled and collapsed face-first on the floor, twitching and drowning in a torrent of his own blood. I panted and stared at the back of his head with my knife dripping before tearing the needle from his fingers.

Ketamine. Fucking ketamine. Where were they getting all this fucking ketamine?

The voices picked up and I took off running. Adrenaline kept me from ruminating over killing a perfect stranger—I had to escape. I had to find freedom. I breathed hard and fast as I ran loudly over the grates until I turned a corner and saw an enormous, ominous door.

Pouring sweat, I put all my strength into turning the knob, gasping and checking over my shoulder for the next attacker. My arms screamed in pain, but fear kept me going until the door finally groaned and gave way. I was so terrified that I wriggled through the small gap instead of pushing it open, and I spilled out into a pile of leaves in the middle of the woods.

Birds twittered pleasantly as I clawed at the damp, rotting leaves to stand back up. I backtracked a few steps and fell again, panting and barely holding in screams. The cool breeze only tickled my face thanks to all the layers I had on and I felt like I might sweat to death, but I wasn’t taking a damn thing off. I bolted across the hard, cold earth and didn’t look back. I’d never look back. I wouldn’t become Kylo Ren’s pillar of salt.

It was midday by the looks of it. I ran through a thin veil of mist until my lungs burned and ended up vomiting next to a tree. Trembling, I wiped my mouth and kicked leaves over the evidence. What if they had tracking dogs? Could they pick up my scent with the fog clinging to the ground?

 “Help me,” I sobbed to no one. “God help me.”

I wandered after that. The adrenaline ran out and I was dizzy from the puking and the ketamine. My socks shuffled through dense leaves and soaked up water and mud, scattering orange newts getting ready for hibernation. They squirmed away from my mumbling, shivering steps. The sun filtered through the twisted, dead canopy overhead, and soon I was looking for a place to lie down and die myself.

Insidious darkness descended on the forest. The little animals skittered off to their burrows and nests while I staggered about like a wendigo from a nightmare. I must’ve looked strange to them. I could imagine their beady eyes watching me aimlessly meandering to certain death.

Step by step, my feet lost sensation. I chattered and finally had to stop as the moon dappled the pitch-black forest in hues of white and blue. My legs burned, my fingers shivered, and my eyes drooped. I had to rest. If I wanted to escape and win, I couldn’t die in the middle of nowhere.

So I found a ring of trees and curled up within their tight embrace, clutching myself and hoping I’d wake up the next morning.

 “I’d like to rape you, I think.”

Life hummed back to me as I woke with a startled gasp.

Sunlight, warmth. The birds danced in the crackling tree limbs above me, quirking their heads to watch the curious human shivering down below. I rubbed my face and exhaled. It was morning. I made it.

But I wouldn’t make it another night. I got to my feet and headed off into the woods again with a much clearer mind. The ketamine had worn off while I was asleep.

Things seemed much brighter. Kylo hadn’t found me yet, which was a very good sign, and I was still alive. I figured I could follow a river to a town, but I was in the middle of Acadia National Forest in one of the least-populated states in the country. For all I knew, I could wander the woods until exposure ate away at my fingers and toes and gnawed right down to my vital organs.

There were bears, too. And wolves. I flipped my knife out and kept on walking.

Hours passed. I grew bored after a while and was pleased to find my toes could wiggle again. Soon I was dragging the knife across random trees to throw Kylo off my trail. I whistled as I walked, dragging my feet lazily through the leaves. I’d find someone soon. Tons of people camped in Acadia, right? Curious, I let out a louder whistle than usual.

A long, high-pitched whistle answered me back.

I stopped dead. My chest tightened at the sound of leaves scattering behind me and I made the mistake of turning to look over my shoulder, eyes wide with fear.

A squirrel cocked its head at me and darted off into the underbrush. Heart pounding, I turned in a small circle to evaluate my surroundings and tightened my grip on the knife. The forest was open now but crested with hills and mossy rocks. I swallowed hard and paused to listen. Maybe I was—

Another whistle echoed through the trees, lilting like a song. I bolted.

My body didn’t have anything left to give me, but it had to. Lungs aching, I flung myself through the tightest spots I could find, ripping my face as I fled through overgrowth. Spider webs stuck to my clothes and I didn’t bother wiping them off. He’s here. He’s here. HE’S HERE.

A shot rang out and I couldn’t bite back a scream of terror. I clawed through branches and nettles until my fingernails bled, squirmed past rocks covered in millipedes; I wasn’t going to fucking go back. I’d NEVER GO BACK. I’d run through a thousand spider webs and feel the horrible legs of a million millipedes before I let Kylo Ren violate my body again.

I slipped through a thick set of trees and down a steep bank to the edge of a fast-moving river. Moaning, I rolled on my back and watched the gnarled tree limbs swirl against the gray sky. My ankle throbbed. Fuck. I tried to turn it and whimpered in pain. Fuck.

But I wouldn’t quit. I stabbed my knife into the mud and dragged myself into a sitting position as the cheery whistling drew closer. Furious, I panted and glared in the general direction it seemed to be coming from, trembling, but refusing to let the fear show on my face. I’d fucking kill him. I’d cut open his stomach and leave him for the animals.

 “Little bird—come out, come out wherever you are.”

Part of me wanted to scream ‘I’M RIGHT HERE, FUCKWIT’ but my rationality managed to win out. I licked my dry lips when leaves crunched up ahead and ripped my knife out of the dirt. I’d stab him in the face.

Kylo casually stepped from behind a tree, turning about like he had no idea where I was. He was dressed in camo with heavy black boots and a pistol in his gloved hand. I noticed he had a backpack as well and a bottle of water hanging from it. My parched throat went dryer at the sight.

He blinked at me and burst out laughing, stowing his gun. “There you are.” He swung his backpack off his shoulder as he looked around, nodding and smiling. “And look how far you managed to get! Such a smart little bird you are—but it’s time to go home.”

 “Back to my cage?” I croaked with as much venom as I could muster. “You must be fucking nuts if you think I’m going back there.”

Kylo rummaged in his pack. “Hm. Looks like I do need to clip your wings.”

 “Stop using stupid metaphors, you sick fuck.”

 “Oh… Okay.” He straightened up with a menacing grin and a hypodermic needle glinting in his fist. “I’m going to dose you with enough ketamine to keep you sky-high until the Rapture—then I’m going to break those skinny little legs. Is that more to your liking, Rey?”

 “Much better,” I spat back, “but that’s not going to happen.”

He raised his eyebrows. “How do you figure?” I held out the knife and he laughed again, shaking his head and starting toward me. “Ah. I think I’ll take my chances.”

I stared at him, fear lancing through my heart, and the knife quivered in my grasp. I’d die before I was dragged back to Hell. I’d die. I’d die. I’d rather fucking die.

Frantic, I rolled my beaten body the two feet I needed to fall into the freezing cold river.

It snapped at my cuts and abrasions and I hadn’t felt more alive in weeks. I gasped as I surfaced, spluttering, and found a floating log by some stroke of pure luck. Shuddering, I slapped my icy fingers over the rough edge and hung on for dear life as the river quickly pulled me along. My eyelids hung heavy and I dug my knife into the log as a lifeline.

Kylo screamed in rage and pointed the gun at me, but he trembled, too, and never did shoot. I drifted off into the unknown with my glare lasered on his, and watched him turn away and scream again.

Chapter Text

The next thing I knew, I was vomiting river water.

Someone crouched beside me and rubbed my back while I trembled and threw up until my stomach literally had nothing left to give me. The river rushed past beyond my pile of bile and I wiped a freezing cold hand across my lips. My thoughts ran amok, trying to make sense of where I was and how I could still be alive, and I raised my eyes to my rescuer. Please don’t be Kylo, please don’t be Kylo…

A familiar face beamed down at me—Jessika Pava, one of my friends from high school. If I had more energy I would’ve gasped and hugged her, but I could only manage a surprised half-laugh. She was still tall with dark hair drawn through a blue baseball cap and dressed in outdoor gear like Kylo’s. She offered me a sip of water and shook her head when I guzzled down a few drags. I slowed and stared at her.

 “Hey there, Rey!” she chirped. “Fancy seeing you here.” She nodded towards the river. “I just fished you out of there, y’know. You were unconscious, so I gave you a few rescue breaths—saved your knife, too.” Jessika flipped the weapon in her hand and offered it to me.

I shivered, already covering my vomit with mud. There was no time to catch up. “We have to get out of here, Jess. One of my patients is chasing me and he’s fucking crazy.”

 “All the way out here? Gee.” Jess rose, pulling me with her, and slung my arm around her shoulders. “Guess that explains why you’re swimming in such cold water. We need to warm you up first, Rey. It’s at least an hour drive to the hospital and I don’t know if you’ll make it.”

 “Please, Jess, you don’t understand—”

She swung a pistol off her hip at that moment, eyebrow raised. “I think I can handle him.”

I pleaded with her on the walk back to her cabin, stumbling along, semi-conscious, but she wouldn’t listen. Just like the campers, I knew this was going to end with another dead body.

Jessika had always been a free spirit. She didn’t like being held down by anything and became a Park Ranger right out of high school. I’d gotten along with her pretty well, but we were always in different cliques and never became very close. I thought about it while we walked, wishing she would listen to me. I was in no state to drive myself or walk, so I was at her mercy.

Her cabin was small, with a thatched roof, and circled by a grove of trees. She helped me limp along past her Jeep and opened the front door with a small set of keys to let me hobble inside first.

There was a tiny living room with a bookshelf and a galley kitchen with the essentials. I grimaced when I saw rabbit meat drying on a rack. Euugh. The realities of living in the middle of nowhere.

 “Jess,” I said firmly, collapsing on her couch, “we have to get out of here. I’m serious.” My teeth chattered, and I curled a quilt around my shoulders.

She waved me off, headed through a door. “I’ve killed bears—you think I’m scared of some human man? No siree; not me. Let me get you something dry to wear.”

Well… the river carried me off much faster than Kylo could run. I could shower, rehydrate, and convince Jess that we needed to get the hell out of here.

She helped me limp to the bathroom, where I took a lukewarm shower and tried to keep the weight off my ankle. Afterwards I brushed my teeth and grimaced when I saw my bluish toes and fingertips. Jess gave me a cup of tea to help warm them up, along with gloves and clean wool socks. I shivered on her couch while she stoked a fire.

The cabin was… nice. It was woodsy and quaint, but Jess had some decorations and kept all her things neat and orderly. We chatted for a while and I grew more and more nervous as the sun set.

 “I feel a lot better,” I lied. “Can we head out now?”

 “Come on, Rey,” she laughed, “I have a gun. What’s safer than that?”

 “So did the last people who helped me, and now they’re all dead.” I shook my head and tightened my grip on the blanket. “He’s not going to stop until he finds me.”

Jessika waved me off again. “Relax, you’re perfectly safe here. Want some wine?”

Only the fire cast a glow across the cabin. I stared at Jess for a second, exhausted mind struggling to make sense of her behavior. When I came up short, I knew something wasn’t right. She wasn’t right. She should’ve showed some fear or apprehension—but here she was, offering me wine.

I swallowed hard, nodding. “Sure. That sounds great.”

 “That’s the spirit!”

Jess rose from the couch and headed five feet to the kitchen. My heart fluttered faster and I watched while she poured the glass, looking for signs of tampering. Ketamine could be ingested, too.

She edged her back at just the right angle to hide the glasses and I knew my suspicions were right. Jess was the gatekeeper of the whole operation. She was probably sent out to look for lost women and they told her I’d be wandering around—that was how she just ‘happened’ to find me.

I couldn’t fucking drive. I could barely walk. If I had more ketamine, I’d be down and out for at least another couple of hours. My toes were still numb, I needed sleep and food…

Jessika turned with our glasses, smiling down at me, and offered one with her fingers coiled under the base. I wanted to disappear into my blanket. What the hell was I supposed to do now—sit and wait for Kylo to show up? Or was she going to drug me and do a hand-delivery in the morning? My body had its limits and I had just about reached mine.

I smiled, apologetic. “On second thought, maybe I’ll hold off on that wine.”

 “Aww.” Jess pouted and swirled the red liquid. “I think it’ll help you sleep better tonight. Right?”

 “Well I’m already dehydrated, so—”

Jess sighed and turned away in the middle of my sentence. I watched her rinse the glass out and open a drawer, rattling some things around. She whistled the same way Kylo did in the woods.

 “This is too bad,” she said, shaking her head. “Tragic, really.”

My eyes widened when she turned with a needle between her first two fingers, liquid beaded at the tip. She smiled brightly and flicked the barrel with her nails to push out the air bubbles. Her dark eyes glittered with malice, reminding me of a shark.

We stared at each other for a few breathless moments.

Jessika moved first, brandishing the needle, and I groped for my knife on the coffee table. She held out a hand to grab my wrist and I slashed across her forearm, drawing a spray of blood like I had in the compound. She yelped in pain and I had to look away as I plunged the blade straight through her throat. It sank into her skin like it was cutting butter. Jess gurgled and dropped to her knees—sticking my thigh with the needle in the process and plunging the medication into my leg.

Her body collapsed with a squelching thud. I screamed and flung the syringe away, waving my blood-drenched hands, and scrambled off the couch to the front door. I twisted the lock and left another smear of gore there, like I was marking the house with lamb’s blood.

 “NO!” I shrieked. My ankle gave out when I tried to walk, and I dragged myself toward the bedroom. “No—no! Why is this happening to me?!”

The ketamine hit quick. I clawed my way inside Jess’s bedroom and sobbed when I saw a myriad of weapons and chains scattered on the floor, all used to collect the women who escaped. The bed was neat and tidy, at least, resting underneath an open screen window. I pushed aside blood-encrusted handcuffs and heaved my weak body on the bed to yank the window shut.

The drug took my last vestiges of strength and hysteria-induced willpower. My screaming faded off into incoherent mumbling and I laid there on Jessika Pava’s bed, hands soaked in her sticky blood, in a veritable torture chamber. My fingers loosened around my knife.

Click, click, click.

 “Liiiittle bird.”

Groggy, I came to at the sound of Kylo’s voice. The room spun and I was too heavily drugged to even raise my head. I moaned softly and heard him murmur somewhere beyond me.

He clicked his tongue. “Mm—look at me, little bird.”

My room was empty, but my wandering eyes fell upon his tall, menacing form hovering in the window. I whimpered in fear and he shushed me in a gentle tone that didn’t sound natural. Other things slipped into my awareness: he’d hacked the shit out of the screen, but it was too narrow for him to fit through the window. His hands were perched on the frame and his dark eyes studied my every move, like a starving wolf keeping tabs on a fawn with a limp.

I couldn’t help it—I laughed.

 “So close,” I croaked.

 “Yet so far.” Kylo jerked back from the window and paced, staring at me in the silent darkness. “It took me all fucking day to get here, Rey. All day.” He clenched his jaw to hide his irritation and smiled tightly. “And thanks to Miss Pava’s incompetence, this is what I come to find.”

I smiled. “She’s not totally useless. I got a hit of ketamine before she died.”

 “I can see that.” Kylo folded his arms on the windowsill and leaned his head on the frame, expression loosening to a calm smile like usual. “Did you enjoy your swim?”

 “Very refreshing.” I shrugged languidly, enjoying his thinly-veiled frustration. “I wasn’t surprised that you couldn’t pull the trigger.”

He shoved away from the window without another word, boots crunching through leaves. I managed to roll over in bed just as he began pounding on the door and heard a knife gnawing into the wood. My boneless limbs struggled to move, strained from my running and weak from the ketamine, but the thought of Kylo breaking into the cabin gave me the adrenaline I needed.

I hit the hard floor with a low groan. He rattled the door handle and I squealed in surprise when a gunshot rang out. Panicked, I crawled across the cold floor to the bedroom door and dragged myself on my knees, panting, and leaned on the doorjamb. My body screamed at me to stop; nausea gurgled in my stomach—but I couldn’t stop. Ever.

The front door banged open against the wall and Kylo Ren stepped inside, dark eyes on me. He stowed his gun and crossed the room in the blink of an eye, but I managed to slam the door shut in his face. I screwed my face up in pain as I reached up a half-numb hand to twist the lock.

Kylo took a few deep, angry breaths as I slid down the door into a pile on the floor. He growled and abruptly screamed like he had in the woods and kicked the door so hard that I was knocked away from it. I heard the pistol cock and a bullet ripped through the wood just above my head. My ears rang and I moaned in agony, wincing and once again resisting the urge to vomit.

The cabin fell silent for mere moments. Kylo paced outside in his heavy boots and I rested my cheek on the floor, eyelids fluttering. Fuck. I was so goddamn tired.

His fingers squealed down the door. “What a lovely way to kill Jessika. So much blood.” It groaned from his weight and I heard him breathing hard. “Do you like slitting throats?”

 “About as much as you like faceplanting in the middle of your bedroom,” I cackled.

 “All that poison you injected me with for ‘treatment’ is still leaving my system, so that little event was entirely your fault, Doctor Kenobi.”

I rolled my eyes. “Between that and the headaches, I wouldn’t be surprised if you…”

Through the thick haze of ketamine, realization dawned upon me. My sentence trailed off and I lapsed into silence, struggling to think further; hoping I wouldn’t lose the thought. Of course.

Kylo busied himself with digging his knife in the wood to worm the door open. I took some deep breaths and flipped over on my back, flinching when my stomach gave a warning gurgle, then gingerly sat up. I slumped forward and clutched my head with both hands. Maybe I knew why Kylo did what he did, even if he thought it was just for kicks.

I swallowed. “Explain to me again why you kill women?”

 “Ooo, a little dirty talk?” He rose to his feet and clomped around the cabin. “Humanizing me by blaming my actions on some vague childhood trauma? Will that make it easier to climax when I break in that room and fuck you? We both want it—no need to be shy when you squeal my name.”

I gritted my teeth. “Is it that shocking that a psychiatrist wants to know what motivates a prolific serial killer?”

 “You don’t care about that,” Kylo hissed, kicking the door. “Don’t imagine yourself to be any less of a self-righteous drug peddler like the rest of your lot, doctor. You’re a pitiful psychiatrist. You wear every passing emotion; every flicker of thought on your sleeve. I caught your little glance the first time we met, when you gaped at me like a starving dog before a meaty bone. You want my cock deep in that sweet little—”

 “I think you have a traumatic brain injury,” I interrupted in a sharp tone.

Kylo fell silent. For the first time, he didn’t have a snarky comment on the tip of his tongue. I peered at the door through my fingers and waited with bated breath for him to speak.

A TBI would make sense. They still weren’t well understood, and with Kylo growing up in a literal war zone, he could’ve knocked his head in any number of circumstances. The headaches and fainting fit the bill. The only way to know for sure was a CT scan, but those were still expensive and invasive. Any regular doctor would wave it off and blame nature or nurture. It was easier that way.

What if he had been a sweet, if slightly disturbed little boy before some tragic accident? TBIs often made patients violent and aggressive—if Kylo had a predisposition to those behaviors and a handful of blows to the head… It could’ve damaged his prefrontal cortex enough to cause a severe, violent personality to develop that blossomed in his dangerous environment.

But it was just a hunch. Maybe Kylo Ren was as simple as he claimed.

He broke his silence after a long while and I knew he was sitting down, leaning on the door and thinking. Crickets chirped outside as Kylo shuffled his boots and drummed his fingers on the floor.

 “Explain,” he said, cool and calm.

So I did, to the best of my ability, fighting to remember facts through my drug-induced stupor. A small sliver of me held out hope that I’d see another flicker of the same man who couldn’t shoot me in the river. Empathy, maybe—or something deeper even he couldn’t ignore.

Two inches of flimsy wood stood between me and Kylo Ren. There was no way out, so I just kept talking.

Chapter Text

We lapsed into tense silence when I grew too tired to keep prattling on. I kept fighting my heavy eyelids though, refusing to give in to my body’s desperate basic needs. It was all coming back to me now as the ketamine haze began to withdraw—the throbbing pain in my ankle, every single stinging cut across my skin, and raw, hot hunger in my stomach. I moaned and blindly searched the room for my next move. Now how would I defend myself?

Kylo stirred. “Is this the way you’d like to die? Alone in a room in the middle of nowhere?”

 “It’s better than spending the rest of my life running from you,” I croaked.

 “Hm.” Clothes rustled—he was standing up. “How irrational.”

I listened to his boots clomp across the floor to the front door. The grogginess of being drugged was quickly replaced with the sheer agony of a battered body pushed too far. The pain made it even harder to move, but I heaved my tremor-wracked limbs back to the bed to get my knife. I said I’d die before I let Kylo Ren drag me back to Hell, and I meant it.

The front door closed with a soft click as I knocked the knife on the floor. It clattered a foot away and I reached out, straining my numb fingertips, brushing the hilt. Come on, come on…

A jarring crack startled me so much that my lidded eyes snapped to the bedroom door. I paled when I saw the business end of an axe buried in the wood, wriggling and tearing wood as Kylo ripped it free. He kicked the door and it rattled, sprinkling shards of wood on the floor. For another two strikes I just stared in terror and shock as he hacked a hole in the door.

Trembling, I pawed at the knife and yanked it back to me. I felt half-dead, anyway. What difference would it make if I survived? Kylo would never stop hunting me until one of us was dead.

He tore a big enough hole in the door to casually reach in a gloved hand and grope along the inside door handle for the lock. My heart thundered in my ears as he twisted it in one fluid motion and slowly slipped his hand back outside. The handle turned. I leaned against the bed and held the knife to my throat with my quivering arm, eyes welling up with tears. Maybe I’d see Finn and Rose again.

Kylo nudged the door open with his boot, hands in his pockets, green eyes immediately flickering to the knife at my throat. He raised an eyebrow and studied me. My sweaty palm tightened on the hilt and I tilted over, narrowly catching my weight on my palm before I collapsed.

Kylo cocked his head. “Don’t slit your throat, little bird—it’s a miserable way to die.”

He took a step towards me and the blade kissed my skin. I stared into his haunting eyes, panting, and realized it was the last thing I would see, just like all the women he’d killed. At least it would be on my own terms.

I slashed the knife across my wrist in a hysterical panic at the thought of Kylo running me through the gut. A bright flash of red bloomed across my tan skin and I wailed in agony, clutching my forearm as torrents of blood flowed freely from the gash and dripped to the floor. It was so painful that I collapsed on my side and screamed as I writhed and wished I would fucking drop dead already.

Kylo kicked aside a set of handcuffs and knelt beside me. “I’m very impressed, Rey.” He tugged a sheet off the bed and tore it down the middle to wrap a makeshift bandage around my gory wound. “You’ve slit two throats, avoided me at every turn—and here you are, still clinging to life.”

 “It doesn’t matter what you do now!” I hissed. “I’ll be dead in a few more minutes!”

He hooked an arm under my knees and behind my back to lift me onto the bed. I cried in pain, waiting to be released from my brutalized body, and he peeled off my socks and whistled. My feet throbbed angry red and some parts of skin were weeping and turning black. Frostbite. The same thing happened to my fingertips, though I could thankfully still move them.

Kylo touched the top of my foot, examining my toes. “The cut was too shallow to be fatal. You’re going to bleed for a while, but you won’t be joining Finn any time soon.” His green eyes flickered to me and he smiled. “You’re still be right here with me, little bird.”

I shivered, blubbering miserably, and hoped he was wrong. I didn’t have the guts to slit my own throat, so I figured slashing a wrist open would get the job done. It felt less permanent.

Kylo left the room for a few minutes. He came back in just a white tank top and his camo pants with his hair in a bun and a metal tray in one hand. I stiffened when I saw surgical supplies and a syringe, but my body was worn out and I could hardly think of even lifting my head. He set the tray near my feet, rolling his eyes when my lower lip quivered. He snapped on vinyl gloves.

 “It’s been quite a while since I last saw wet gangrene,” he said, gesturing toward my feet. “After assisting with a handful of amputations in Vietnam, I made sure I kept my feet clean and dry. In the field we had no access to medications like—” He picked up the syringe, waggling it in his fingertips before plunging the needle into my upper arm “—Valium, so we’d give victims a rag soaked in booze instead.”

Oh, thank god. Pain relief. I sighed and blinked lazily up at Kylo as he pulled off my clothes and inspected my abrasions and bruises. The Valium washed away all sensation, leaving me a languid, shapeless pound of flesh under Kylo’s surprisingly gentle hands. The Soviets had been in plenty of skirmishes since the end of World War II, and I was sure Kylo saw most of them. It made him worse. War traumatized all of us. No one emerged victorious in the end.

Finn went for a brief tour in Vietnam and wasn’t quite the same when he came back. We figured out it ran much deeper when he had a panic attack on the Fourth of July.

I licked my chapped lips, beginning to relax. “…Were you in any other wars?”

Kylo puckered his lips and drew his eyebrows together. He was cleaning the cuts, but I couldn’t feel it.

 “Korea—briefly. The Battle of Stalingrad marked my sixth birthday. That was a treat.”

I smiled. “So… you do have a vague childhood trauma.”

He shrugged but didn’t smile back. “No more than any other man.”

We fell quiet. Kylo continued binding and cleaning my wounds and I drifted off under the influence of Valium. I woke up to the smell of cigarettes and soft flutter of wings.

Kylo was lying beside me in the bed, one arm curved under his head and the other resting on top of my thigh. We were naked under a green blanket as far as I could tell, and big moths fluttered into the screen, seeking the fire glowing through the hole in the bedroom door. He lifted his hand from my leg to take a drag of his cigarette and leaned over to dash the ashes on the floor.

His black hair was still in a bun and he was gazing impassively at the moths. He didn’t look at me when I whimpered and stretched my legs. My feet were wrapped up and I could feel bits of gauze and salve across the rest of my body. My fingers twitched and I realized they were wrapped up, too.

I stared at Kylo’s profile in the darkness. “…Why are you doing this?”

He shrugged, like I asked about his favorite genre of music. “I enjoy a little orgasm denial occasionally. That feeling of desperation and anger these past two days…” He closed his eyes, nodding, and took another pull from his cigarette. “That’s when I want to fuck you—in our most heightened states, with both of us at full strength.”

 “I’m at full strength right now,” I rasped.

Kylo’s long fingers wrapped around my thigh and his pinkie drifted to my apex. He idly stroked his finger through my folds while I panted quietly and struggled to move without hurting myself. His digit slipped just inside me to draw wetness in a slow line to my clit, and he circled the spot, eyes closed.

 “Is that what you think?” he murmured.

My eyelids fluttered. “Ah—stop—stop—”

Kylo rolled his eyes, popping his pinkie in his mouth to suck my essence. “Mm. That’s what I thought. Anyway, I’ve given some thought to your theory about traumatic brain injury. It’s an interesting idea.”

I rubbed my thighs together and tried to ignore the pulsing tension there. Tears pricked in my eyes, but I was too damn tired to let them roll down my cheeks. It’s squeezed my eyes shut to listen to the crickets singing outside and took deep breaths.

 “There are a lot of factors,” I said. “The brain injury, your natural propensity to violence, how you were raised, maybe PTSD from war… it’s complicated.”

 “Yes, it is.” He was quiet for a minute and leaned over again to dash out his cigarette on the floor. “Do you know why I’m so taken with you, Rey?”

 “You’re an impulsive psychopath. I’ll never know.”

Kylo stretched his arms toward the low ceiling and I saw thick, knotted scars twisted along his skin. His hands were calloused and rough like the rest of him, riddled with veins and protruding tendons. He yawned, bobbing his Adam’s apple, and scratched his five o’clock shadow.

 “I’ve met women like you before,” he said. “You live in a delusion of safety, and if it’s disturbed, interesting things begin to emerge. Peel away the layers—Finn, Doctor Tico, your career—and I can see what’s really festering underneath your façade.”

 “Normalcy isn’t a façade, Kylo.”

He shooed away a moth, laughing. “Of course it is. Do you honestly believe that the complexities of humans can all be stuffed into the same arbitrary definition of ‘normal’? If you do, you’re a much worse psychiatrist than I thought. I’ve met enough people and witnessed enough horrific shit to know that the most dangerous people are the ones you’d least expect. White picket fence, two children; all that drivel.”

 “Well I didn’t have either of those things,” I sniffed. “And Finn was—”

 “Black; yes, yes,” Kylo interrupted irately. “Everyone on this goddamn planet knows because you never shut the fuck up about it. You have the same white savior complex as every other activist in this day and age. I’m sure you enjoyed every smug second of your rallies, dredging Finn through the muck like a badge of martyrdom. It’s no wonder he slept with your friend. She had a genuine interest in him beyond his usefulness as a pawn.”

Anger and a spit of shame swelled in my gut. I bit down on my lower lip and looked away from Kylo to the wall, furious. Fucking asshole.

Kylo turned on his side to face me, resting his jaw in his palm and gazing down at me. His fingertips drifted in lazy circles across my skin.

 “You were very calculating in marrying Finn. Selfish, too. You assumed he would be grateful and would never dare leave you after all the time and energy you invested. Yet, it turned out that Finn is a human, too, and just as fallible as the rest of us. How disappointing for you. Have you mourned his death yet? What about the two people you killed?”

I glared into his eerie green eyes. “That was self-defense. I’m… I’m still in shock about Finn and Rose.”

 “Mm.” Kylo didn’t look the least bit convinced. “You find a sense of safety in those masks of emotion; those false fantasies of normalcy.” He smiled, shifting closer to kiss my temple. I flinched away from his warm breath on my ear. “That’s why you can’t stop thinking about me, little bird. There’s no wool pulled over your eyes; no safe haven of ignorance. I am what I am, and there is no comfort to be found in it. Just sticky nights spent masturbating and a pounding heart and a sense that the abyss you’ve plunged into has no bottom.”

My chest felt gnarled and tight. I tried to laugh him off and Kylo slipped his middle finger between my legs, now kissing down my neck. He gently pushed inside me and stroked along my ribbed front wall while I licked my lips and tried to keep still. Fuck him and his fake fucking psychoanalysis.

Kylo breathed evenly on my skin. “You and I are quite similar, Rey. You know it as well as I do. You see a reflection of yourself in me, and that’s what truly upsets you: staring into a mirror and knowing exactly who is staring back.”

I grunted, agitated, and barked a laugh. “Is this where I’m supposed to suddenly give in and fall in love with you?”

 “No,” he cooed, “I like you right where you are.”

The crickets’ singing gave way to the early morning twitter of birds. Kylo nuzzled into my neck, brushing his black hair along my cheek, and guided my wrist to his cock. Panting, I curled my trembling fingers around it to his praising murmurs and the sticky touch of his cock on my outer thigh. He rolled his hips into my grasp and groaned in my collarbone.

My head swam. I was all sensation; wet, throbbing, and hungry. Kylo wrapped an arm under my neck to hold my shoulder like we were lovers embracing and I broke a small smile between restrained moans. Us, lovers. Yeah right.

He kissed my temple, now two fingers deep inside me. “The farm girl I raped in the hay—it wasn’t so much rape as it was a humiliation for me. I climaxed after two minutes of fucking her and was so embarrassed that I slit her throat to hide my shame. I loved the spray of blood.”

I spoke before I realized it. “I’ve had dreams about you. Vivid dreams.”

 “Mm. Good girl.” His head turned and I knew he was watching his hand moving between my legs under the blanket. “Did you think about me when you let your husband roll around on top of you?”

 “…Yes.”

 “My independent little bird doesn’t like being pinned to the ground, does she?” Kylo brushed my hair from my forehead to kiss me. “I’ll let you bounce in my lap when I fuck you—if you behave. Otherwise, I’ll have to pin down those skinny wrists and fuck you from behind like a bitch, and Rey Kenobi is no one’s bitch. Except mine. Do you understand?”

I nodded and Kylo mumbled Russian nonsense in my hair, palm flat across my forehead. It picked up in a quick hiss when I climaxed two minutes later with a strangled cry, tightening my grip on his stiff, swollen cock. He clenched his jaw and grabbed my hand on him to squeeze and help me bring him to completion. We panted in unison until Kylo made a throaty groan of pleasure and shifted his hips to spray my stomach with warm, sticky ropes of cum. He breathed hard in my hair, using my fingers to express the last drools of cum dribbling from his head.

We didn’t say a word. The Valium and my orgasm ebbing away left me exhausted yet again, and Kylo slid down in the bed to curl up beside me. He smeared his cum between my legs, inside and out, and kissed my neck while I squirmed in silent protest.

 “Shh,” he whispered, “shh. Be good, little bird.” He hummed and traced my jawline with the tip of his nose. “We all have to face our fears sooner or later.”

He seized my cheeks to pucker my lips and forced his cum-soaked fingers in my mouth one by one until they were sucked clean. I passed out with Kylo staring at me, tracing his fingertips across my hairline.

Chapter Text

The rhythmic thud of a hammer woke me in the morning.

Grimacing, I tried to sit up on my cot and found I was in too much pain to move. I moaned, flinching each time the hammer struck wood, and groped along the wall to pull myself up. Fuck—fuck; everything fucking hurt! My toes throbbed and I realized I couldn’t bend them more than a centimeter.

The hammering stopped. I laid on the cot under a thin green sheet and whimpered miserably. Footfalls preceded Kylo peering into the bedroom, still wearing the white tank top and camo pants. His black hair was drawn in a bun and he had a sheen of sweat glistening on his skin. I stared at him, panting.

He wiped sweat from his brow with his forearm. “It’s two in the afternoon, lazy bones.”

I reached for the window sill and noticed he’d patched the torn screen. It would take at least a week for me to walk again, and maybe longer for the other aches and pains to go away. Kylo was obviously anticipating that and settling in for the long haul.

He sighed and crossed the room to my bedside. I scrambled to wrap my arms around his neck when he lifted me without warning, hooking an arm under my knees and shoulders. Kylo carried me through the sea of chains and handcuffs to the bathroom just around the corner. I shivered and nausea gurgled in my belly.

 “Gonna be sick,” I mumbled as he laid me in the tub.

Kylo pressed his lips to my forehead and nodded as he drew back. “Fever. Jessika should have some antibiotics floating around.” He started the water in the tub and peeled my clothes off.

I retched, then leaned over the tub and clawed for the toilet bowl to vomit. Kylo wrapped my hair in a ponytail and crouched at my side, rubbing my back while I puked up the little bit of food I’d eaten. The cold water in the tub crept up my legs and I shivered when I was done vomiting. My lips were smeared with puke and I felt dizzy and exhausted and cold.

Kylo rose as I slipped in the tub and sank up to my collarbone. I stared at the faucet, shivering.

He came back with a toothbrush and cloth. I brushed my teeth and spat out the excess in the toilet and wiped my mouth. The cold water felt kind of nice after I trembled enough to get used to it. It numbed the aches throughout my body and suppressed hot flashes from my fever. He flushed the toilet and leaned on the lip of the tub to watch me.

I glanced at Kylo. “…I have to pee.”

 “Aren’t you demanding today?”

He smiled wryly and lifted me out of the tub. I clung to his chest, quivering from the cold, and he wrapped a soft towel around me. Kylo nuzzled into my neck and enveloped me in his arms. My feet stung.

 “My fragile little bird,” he murmured.

I winced until he let go and left the bathroom. Fragile? Did he not spend two days chasing me through the woods? I was still alive after all that shit. I wasn’t fragile.

When I was done I teetered into the hallway and managed to make it to the couch. Kylo stood by the front door finishing repairs and glanced over his shoulder at me as I collapsed with a soft groan. He smirked around the nail between his lips.

 “Lonely in the bedroom?” he asked, too smug for my liking.

 “No. I don’t like sleeping surrounded by torture equipment.” I positioned myself against the armrest and tugged a blanket across my lap. “Is there any water?”

 “Of course. Ask and you shall receive.”

Kylo walked to the small fridge and took out a small pitcher. He filled an old glass and sat by my feet on the couch, offering it to me. I took it without a word and tried to take small sips so I wouldn’t barf again.

We didn’t speak. Kylo leaned back with a book from the coffee table, Pride & Prejudice, and I nursed my glass of delicious water. No TV to distract us, just the sounds of nature and unfamiliar silence. I eyed his distant green gaze and fiddled with my glass.

 “…What happens when I’m better?” I asked.

 “You can take Jessika’s truck and go where you please.” Kylo smiled. “I’ll find you again.”

 “Yeah, I know. How does this end? Does one of us have to die?”

Kylo raised an eyebrow. “No—though I suppose death is your only escape from me.” He opened to a page halfway through the novel and shrugged. “I suppose I could hold you captive at the compound... Or I’ll let you live your droll little life and pop in occasionally to see how you’re doing.”

My stomach turned thinking of finding Kylo standing over my bed in the middle of the night. I sipped my water and watched him read for a bit. He didn’t have a predatory look to him. The only indication was his eyes, and that wasn’t something he could control. He looked like he could’ve been a goofy teenager with protruding ears and a wide smile.

Appearances could be very deceiving.

I shifted down on the couch and closed my eyes. Turned out I really was exhausted and I ended up falling asleep for a while longer. My body had a lot of healing to do and I was flirting with an infection. I’d mostly eat and sleep for the next week or so.

This time I woke to scratching sounds. I yawned and look around lazily to find Kylo sitting at the desk across the room. He had a bowl and cup beside him and was hunched over, writing in slow, long lines. Frowning, I noticed a bowl of stew and a glass of water on the coffee table alongside two pills. I sat up a bit, wincing, and had a bite of soup.

Kylo glanced at me. “The antibiotic may make you nauseous, but I suppose it’s better than dying.”

I shrugged and nodded. “What are you doing?”

 “Drawing.”

Ha! A snort of laughter almost made me spit out my soup. Serial killer and artist. How charming.

Kylo smiled ruefully and continued his work. “Are you laughing at my hobbies, Rey?”

 “I didn’t know you had any besides murder and rape.” I popped a pill, shaking my head. “Guess it makes sense. Hitler was an artist, y’know.”

  “I’m not sure I’m on par with the architect of the Holocaust.”

 “No, but you’re both terrible people.”

Kylo laughed, nodding in agreement. “Fair enough.”

We lapsed into silence again. I picked at my nails for a few minutes, bored beyond belief, then turned a bit to inspect the small table behind me. I pulled the drawer open and found red yarn resting beside old crochet hooks, amongst torn magazines and baubles. Better than nothing.

Kylo watched me settle back in my spot with the yarn and hooks. I picked a mid-size one; the same size I used when I’d spend my winters making Finn scarves and gloves. Hey, it was cheaper than buying winter-wear. Once you lived in poverty, you never forgot it.

 “Look how quaint and domestic we are.” Kylo picked up his drawing pad and turned it to face me. “What do you think, Doctor Kenobi? Is this telling of my psychological state?”

I set my first stitch and glanced at Kylo’s drawing. It didn’t shock me to see he was a good artist. He’d drawn me in a toga-like gown with a crown of flowers, gazing off into the distance with my hands positioned like the Virgin Mary. One hand was raised and the other gestured toward my chest.

Behind me loomed Kylo, shaded in to look more menacing than usual, with one hand on my lower stomach and the other touching the elbow of my hand over my heart. His lips were at my throat like he was whispering to me, black hair bound back in a bun, and most of his body was wispy dark shadow.

I went back to my crocheting. “Want me to put it on the fridge?”

Kylo looked at the drawing and smiled faintly. “Persephone and Hades… are you familiar with the myth, Rey?”

 “I went to eight years of college, so no.”

The chair scraped and my gaze flickered up. Kylo brought his drawing under his arm and sat at my feet on the couch, lifting my ankles to put them in his lap. He gazed at the drawing for another moment, then flipped the page to begin a new one.

 “There are two versions of the myth,” he said, “but they both boil down to the same essence. Persephone is the beautiful daughter of the goddess Demeter, and Hades is quite taken with her. He decides to kidnap Persephone and take her as his wife, and she gradually begins to enjoy her life in the Underworld and falls in love with Hades. An ancient tale of capture-bonding.”

I barked a laugh. “You see shades of us in that? You think I’m going to fall in love with you?”

Kylo smiled at his sketch pad. “You’re halfway there.”

Ugh. I wouldn’t dignify that with a response. I rolled my eyes and went back to crocheting. I’d make a scarf. Finn always loved them.

Darkness fell. Kylo rose to light a few lamps and I peered over at his new drawing: a small house with a wrap-around porch. It had open windows and two rocking chairs on the porch, and a big front door with a welcome mat. I raised an eyebrow. Much less exciting than drawing a Greek myth about love and abduction.

Kylo took a shower and came back without a shirt on. He lifted me from my spot and carried me back to the bedroom, which had clean sheets. The cuffs and chains were pushed in the corner.

 “Seems your fever has gone down somewhat,” he said, peeling back the comforter to lay me down.

 “Yeah, I feel better than I did earlier.”

Crickets chirped as I settled in to bed on my back. The cabin could’ve been peaceful—a getaway.

Kylo set a bucket beside the cot. “If you’re inclined to vomit. I’ll be on the couch if you need transportation to the bathroom.”

I nodded. He left the bedroom without another word, tinkering with his belt on the way out.

The quiet night stretched on. I heard an owl hoot a couple times and after a while, even the crickets fell silent. A breeze through the tattered screen helped soothe my fever and keep away thoughts of Hades and Persephone. I was a psychiatrist—I was in no danger of falling in love with Kylo Ren, especially after his bullshit psychoanalysis.

Nope. No danger at all.

 “Ben… Ben… it’s BEN!”

A loud scream woke me in an utter panic. I flung my sheets off, hissing when my brutalized body seared with pain, and squinted towards the bedroom door. Kylo breathed heavily but I couldn’t see him. I swallowed and moaned in pain.

 “What the FUCK are you yelling about?!” I snapped.

Something crashed to the floor. I shrank back when I saw Kylo stumble to the doorway, chest heaving, and saw the first flicker of fear in his haunting green eyes. He stared at me for a minute with his mouth open as he struggled to catch his breath. His black hair was a mess and he shone with sweat.

Kylo staggered towards me, shedding his pants so he was only in briefs. I blinked in shock as he climbed into bed behind me with trembling arms and yanked my back to his chest. He shuddered.

Obviously his PTSD was acting up. I wasn’t sure if he was sleepwalking through his nightmare, but I knew interrupting it could have disastrous consequences. I swallowed nervously and stayed quiet while Kylo shivered and mumbled behind me. He’d mentioned the name again: Ben. I knew Kylo Ren wasn’t real. Who the hell would curse their child with such a bizarre name?

He nosed in my hair. “…Head hurts. Gotta tell Bazine.” His fingers drifted beneath the hem of my panties. “Makes it better if I…”

Kylo’s sentence trailed off. I bit my lower lip as he went straight to my clit, and he held me fast when I rolled an inch. Then he changed his mind and maneuvered me underneath him so I caught his hazy green stare again. He settled between my thighs and began rubbing his cock against me in long, slow motions. I couldn’t help it—I whimpered a moan and clung to his ribs.

 “Feels good,” he mumbled into my neck. He kissed me sloppily and his voice took on a hard edge. “She’s not… taking you… too. You’re mine.

 “Who?” I whispered. “Tell me, Ben.”

 “M’name’s Ben.” His words slurred and I knew he was about to pass back out. “Told ‘em. Told ‘em it’s Ben. Bazine made me a man—and now it’s Kylo Ren.”

Who the fuck was Bazine? He’d never mentioned her. I brushed his hair back and tried to keep talking, but Kylo dozed off after his last sentence. So I ran my fingers through his hair while he slept on top of me, chewing my inner cheek.

I had a very bad feeling about Bazine.

Chapter Text

 “Who’s Bazine?”

Another quiet day was already underway with my psychopath patient. Kylo woke up beside me a few hours back and immediately left the cabin with his gun. He came back with a dead rabbit, like he could sense that was the animal I was least interested in eating, and didn’t speak to me all day. God forbid he show any weakness. Climbing into my bed shivering and muttering in the middle of the night was probably humiliating.

Kylo didn’t glance up from his drawing. He’d already cleaned the rabbit—though I’d honestly rather starve.

 “Don’t remember,” he said. “Perhaps I raped her at some point. They blend together after a while.”

I shrugged. “Whatever you say, Ben.

He stiffened and finally gave me the irritated glare I was hoping for. I raised my eyebrows innocently and kept crocheting away at my red scarf. I knew there was more happening than Kylo let on. Something strange was at play; maybe something he kept repressed and didn’t understand himself.

His green eyes studied my face. “I have nightmares sometimes. What of it?”

 “Your real name is obviously Ben and someone renamed you. Kaydel said you’re Polish.”

 “I’m Russian. Snoke found me wandering around some shit stain village without my parents.”

 “How kind of him to pick up abandoned children,” I mused. “What, were you the cutest orphan there? Wonder why he decided to pick you?”

Kylo kept drawing. “I don’t know.”

Weird for Kylo to not be insatiably curious about how and why Snoke came to pick him up. I puckered my lips and snatched up a pen and the copy of Pride & Prejudice to write on the inner cover. Things were linking together and I wanted to write it all down and see how the pieces connected.

We lapsed into silence. Kylo began tacking his art on the walls, ranging from the Persephone and Hades drawing, to the house, to vague shapes and eyes. I tapped the pen on my lips.

Kylo was born close to the onset of World War II, and the German invasion of Poland marked the beginning of the war. Kylo’s parents could’ve been fleeing the Nazi occupation and had several satellite countries to run to, depending on where they lived in Poland. If he had a traumatic brain injury when he was three, it could’ve caused severe enough damage to warp his memories. Along with witnessing the first brutal steps in the European theatre of the War, he likely suppressed tons of memories.

Snoke was Russian—supposedly. The Soviets invaded Poland from the East soon after Germany invaded from the West, leaving few places for people to run. Maybe he didn’t happen to stumble across Kylo by accident. Maybe he was part of one of the invading forces and had a run-in with Kylo’s family. I still didn’t know what would possess a Soviet or Nazi soldier to pick up a Polish toddler, but it was all conjecture anyway.

I could pretty firmly assume Snoke had been, or still was, a Nazi, though. Human trafficking was Nazi-level evil. They performed horrendous experiments too, with no regard for…

I slowly looked up at Kylo, who was now staring off into space. Snoke wasn’t necessarily a soldier—maybe he was a scientist. In the mass confusion following the invasion, he found a family no one would notice missing, but he only needed their son…

 “Who’s Bazine?” I asked again, firmer than before.

Kylo rolled his eyes. “I already told you—”

 “You said she made you a man and your name was changed after. I’m guessing your first time wasn’t the non-consensual romp in the hay you brag about.”

 “I’ve no idea what you’re talking about, Rey.”

 “You knew a lot during your PTSD freak-out last night.”

He jerked out of the chair so fast that it clattered to the ground. I stared at him impassively as he strode over to loom over me, one hand on the back of the couch and the other on the armrest. His gaze flickered to what I’d written down in the book and I turned it to face him.

 “I’ve got nothing else to do,” I said. “Might as well think up wild theories, right?”

Kylo scanned the page and laughed. “This reads like the plot for a bad movie. Why do Americans always blame Nazis when they don’t understand something? Your boogeyman in this shithole country, I suppose.”

I glanced up at him and reddened. “I think it’s pretty good considering I have nothing to go on—and you’re a pathological liar.”

 “Me?!” Kylo gasped. He ripped the book out of my hands and nuzzled in my hair. “I’ve never lied to you, little bird. How’s your crocheting coming along?”

 “…Fine.”

He gently grasped my chin and leaned down to kiss me. He stroked my lips with his thumb for a moment, then kissed me again, slipping his tongue in my mouth. I squeezed my hands in my lap and tensed when I heard him unbuckling his belt. I should’ve known it would only be a matter of time until he wanted that again.

Kylo stood straight and smiled down at me. “Do you want to do this the easy way, or the hard way?”

I gritted my teeth. Clearly I was closing in on a sore spot and he was trying to punish me. I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of jamming his dick down my throat. He stroked my hair as I hesitantly reached out and finish unbuckling his belt, which he yanked from the loops with an ominous hiss. It snapped next to my ear and I flinched, fingers trembling and clumsy on his zipper. Just get over with. This time he didn’t have eyeballs in his hands so I could close my eyes and float away from it.

Kylo looped the belt around my throat and drew it tight. Before I could protest, he yanked to pin my neck to the back of the couch and the leather bit into my windpipe. I gasped and tugged on the belt while Kylo shushed me and swung my legs around to make me sit upright. He straddled my hips on the couch and braced his free palm on the wall, smiling while I struggled with the belt around my throat.

 “Keep going,” he murmured. “I never told you to stop.”

The couch creaked under our weight. I swallowed, digging the cold leather into my skin, and finished opening his pants. Birds sang outside in the bright daylight as Kylo gently praised me slipping his cock free and curled his fingers around the back of my neck, tracing my throat with his thumb. He watched me take him in my mouth with both hands and groaned, green eyes flickering with pleasure.

I sheathed my lips around his cock and tried to bob my head, but Kylo yanked on the belt and banged my head off the wall. He laughed at my flinch and scowl and held me firm so he could ‘face fuck’ me, as he so eloquently put it the last time. It was better that way. I didn’t have to feel guilty if I liked it a little bit.

Kylo rolled his hips slowly, belt tight and thumb pressing along my throat. His lidded green eyes stayed right on mine as saliva drooled from the corners of my mouth and I shifted and choked.

 “Shh,” he whispered, “shh. You’re doing so well. This is much easier than screaming and crying, isn’t it?” He glanced at my clenched fists. “Touch yourself.”

I grunted but obliged, sliding my fingers under the hem of my panties. Kylo had brought a few pairs with him, which was creepy as hell. He wiped away saliva with his thumb and leaned back to watch me masturbate, like he needed to make sure I was actually doing it. I tried to avoid stimulating myself, but it was hard to ignore the tension building between my thighs. I rubbed them together and moaned in my throat.

Kylo cupped my cheek. “Do you like drooling on my cock, little bird?”

He was losing his predatory edge the closer he came to climax, now barely able to catch his breath. I slipped my other hand around the base of his cock and stroked a few times, aiming to get him to finish faster, and Kylo’s breath hitched. He stared at me for a second and clenched his jaw as he climaxed without much warning. He groaned and jerked his hips and I felt some twitching before warm cum squirted in my mouth.

My fingers drifted up to the head and pushed underneath to dribble the rest out on my tongue while Kylo watched, panting. It wasn’t something I had to do—but I knew that as well as Kylo did.

The couch squeaked as he knelt on the floor in one fluid motion and yanked my panties down to my ankles. He grabbed my hips and pulled me up a few inches to his mouth and I bit my lower lip. His tongue was damp and soft and felt much better than my fingers. At first I tried my best to stay quiet, but Kylo’s lips stroked the right spots and I let a few tentative moans out.

Kylo suddenly stopped, arching between my knees to press his forehead to mine. I panted, eyes half-open and searching blindly. What the hell was I doing?

 “Say my name when you come.” He buried his face in my neck and slipped his fingers down my panties. “Say my fucking name.”

 “I—I’m con—”

A finger pushed inside me and I hissed through my teeth. Kylo leaned closer, boxing me in on the couch, and rubbed a tight circle around my clit. My frozen toes wanted to curl but I had to settle for writhing my hips instead. Kylo pushed me back down when I’d arch too far and pulled on the belt. He kissed down the edge of my throat and bit down a couple times. I felt trapped, like I had no choice but to finish, and… I liked it.

I grabbed his shirt with both hands and swallowed hard. “I… I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

 “Yes you do,” Kylo murmured in my ear. “You’ll get there sooner or later.”

I was there, but I wouldn’t admit it.

It wasn’t much longer for me to climax. I clung to Kylo and gasped his name when he demanded it, and imagined his cock was inside me instead of two fingers. He thrusted his hips against the couch like he was thinking the same thing and groaned as my walls fluttered around him. We both fought to catch our breath, and I combed my fingers through his hair while he kissed my neck and collarbone.

 “You’re so obedient when you’re sick,” he mumbled under my jaw. “Did that feel good?”

I nodded and my stomach turned.

Kylo seized my hips and flipped me lengthwise on the small couch. He was tall as hell but it didn’t stop him from bracing himself on a knee above me and tugging his shirt over his head. He pushed his pants down to his knees and nudged mine apart so he could lie down on top of me. The couch was way too small—he had to brace one hand on the wall and yank my hips up to his, one foot still on the floor. My heart pounded in my ears as he panted over my head and struggled to adjust us.

The door suddenly opened.

Kylo’s head snapped up first and he yanked up his open pants to his hips. He scooped up his gun from the coffee table and stood in front of me as two people ambled inside.

The first was taller than Kylo, but very old and hunched over. He had on a golden gown and slippers, but nothing to hide his deformed face and bald scalp. He looked like a monster and I immediately knew it was Supreme Leader Snoke. The stupid name made sense now—for a Nazi.

Behind him came a slender woman who was slightly taller than me. She had dark, sharp eyes and a skintight black getup on with a utility belt hanging off her hip. Everything about her was near flawless, from her perfectly arched eyebrows to her unblemished pale skin and short black bob. She had a pistol in her long fingers and smiled wryly at Kylo.

I glanced up at Kylo and was surprised to find him trembling a bit. His green eyes flickered between the two newcomers until the woman spoke. She leaned an arm on Snoke and raised an eyebrow.

 “Are we interrupting something, Ren?” she asked in a thick accent. German?

 “I think we are,” Snoke said in an eerie soft voice. “Is this the woman you’ve wasted so much time on?” His blue eyes shifted to the strange woman. “Bazine, why don’t we free him of this distraction? He always seems to find them.”

I stiffened when she pointed the gun at me and smiled.

 “With pleasure,” she murmured.

Chapter Text

Before I could take a breath, a shot rang out.

I flinched and covered my head, waiting for the pain to sink in and the white light to appear, but nothing happened. The crack of the bullet firing from the chamber echoed in the small cabin, ringing in my ears, and I had to gather myself before opening one eye to see what happened.

Kylo’s long arm no longer trembled, holding his pistol steady towards Bazine. Her dark eyes stared in disbelief at the small hole in the floor between her feet and I quickly realized that Kylo fired a warning shot at her. Her pretty face melted into a terrifying scowl and she turned the pistol on Kylo instead of me. I blinked in shock at his broad back.

Snoke laughed and placed a gnarled band on Bazine’s shoulder. “Apparently this is a toy he’d like to keep. Let’s let him for a while, shall we? Simple pleasures such as these nourish the soul.”

Bazine clenched her jaw, glaring at Kylo, but holstered her pistol. He tucked his in the back hem of his pants and turned his attention to Snoke. I took issue with being referred to as a toy, but wasn’t in much of a position to complain.

 “What brings you two to the States?” Kylo asked brusquely.

Bazine folded her arms over her chest. “Hux told us you escaped your imprisonment. Naturally, we wanted to catch up, so we came across the pond with the new shipment of girls, just to find you’d run off into the woods after this whore.”

 “It was more of a leisurely stroll, really,” Kylo said. “A survivalist, she is not. But she did manage to kill Miss Pava, so we’ll be needing a new scout to pick up stragglers.”

 “You can assume that responsibility for now, Kylo. I’m sure you’ll be in hiding for some time until the dust settles.” Snoke shuffled closer, smiling at me. “What a quaint little creature. She will certainly sell well on the market when these bruises and scrapes have healed.”

 “No one’s buying me,” I spat.

Kylo turned to regard me and wrapped the belt around his wrist, twisting it up to strangle me. I coughed as he yanked my head back and leaned over to affix his green eyes on mine. Snoke watched with his spindly fingers linked loose before him and Bazine cracked a cold, cruel smirk. I held Kylo’s wrist with both hands, breathing hard and fast through my nose.

He raised his eyebrows. “I don’t recall telling you to open your mouth.”

My ears rang and I had to part my lips to heave for air, lungs rattling from strain. An emotion I couldn’t place—maybe disappointment?—flickered in his eyes before he suddenly slapped me across the face.

It stunned me, dragging a gasp from my screaming lungs, and I clawed to get my throat free of the belt. Bazine leaned on Snoke’s arm and they watched with dreamy pleasure as Kylo slapped me again and ripped me off the couch to the cold floor. I yelped on the way down and scrambled for the bedroom, just trying to get away, still half-naked and now in severe pain. Now the whole gang was here and Kylo wanted to impress them.

He hooked his fingers under the belt behind my neck and I pulled away, but couldn’t move an inch. Bazine circled in front of me with her arms folded and crouched down, slowly cocking her head. I stared at her as Kylo moved between my thighs and yanked my hip to get me in a better position. Snoke watched from the doorway with his fingers in a steeple. Smiling.

Bazine ran her fingertips along my hairline. “Doctor Rey, hm? I’ve met ‘doctors’ of your specialty before.” She drew her thin fingers under my chin and smiled. “You like forcing people to comply—how does it feel when the shoe is on the other foot?”

I shifted limply and sobbed, horrified that we would have an audience. Kylo struggled more with restraining me than usual and ended up leaning back to take my hips in both hands. I’d never enjoyed forcing anyone to do anything—I only ever wanted to help people.

 “Ben!” I cried his real name before I realized it. “Please, Ben—stop!”

Bazine gasped. “Oh, you know his old name?! Do you think that’s going to help you?”

I felt Kylo’s grip loosen on my hips for a moment, but he was being watched; studied for weakness. He didn’t take his time and talk to me like usual: I felt his head for a split second and was abruptly full of him. It happened fast, like he wanted to get it over with, and he controlled my hips instead of driving into me. My body adjusted to him with each thrust but it stung in more ways than one.

Bazine gazed at me for a while. I struggled a few more times, shocked to silence, and wound up lying on the floor with my eyes wide open. Kylo was likewise quiet except for an occasional sharp breath. Bazine rose to her feet and I felt her nails dig in to my skin between Kylo’s fingers.

 “Good boy,” she whispered. “I was worried you’d grown too attached to this one, but I can see you haven’t changed a bit. How does she feel?”

 “Fucking sublime.” He said it fast though his teeth, like he was afraid of saying anything more.

 “Is she tight?”

Kylo grunted. “Only fucked her husband.”

 “Mm. What a sweet girl.” Bazine pressed her thumb to my tailbone, rolling in circles. “Are you going to cum inside her, Ben?”

Kylo ignored her and leaned over me. He dipped his lips to my ear, thrusting erratically. I didn’t know what to think or feel. It was like being an empty husk for him to hump and fill; like I was only the sum of my parts and nothing more. And like a husk, I felt nothing—just the sensation of Kylo’s cock, the same thing a host of other women had felt against their will. I wondered if they felt anything before death.

Kylo nuzzled close to my ear. His wet lips brushed my skin and he lowered his voice. “I’m hurrying.” His breath caught and he groaned into my jaw. “Mmf—fuck, fuck—going to cum—be quiet ‘til they leave.” He kissed my jaw, thrusting faster. “Oh god… oh god. Whisper my name.”

I opened my cracked lips. “Ky—”

“Real name.” Kylo threaded his fingers in my hair to turn my lips toward his ears. “Whisper it to me.”

Bazine’s shoes clicked on the floor and I heard her murmur to Snoke. I cried as I did what Kylo said and whispered ‘Ben’ in his ear until his groans dipped to a guttural growl. He panted as he climaxed inside me and I could feel him throb with each wave of pleasure he experienced at the cost of my dignity. Kylo bucked against my behind until his orgasm tapered off, making him lean his weight on his forearm and struggle to catch his breath. Just like that, it was done. He got what he wanted from me.

Bazine clapped from the door.

 “Record time!” she laughed. “Though you’ve never liked an audience. Remember when you lost your virginity, Ren? You didn’t know what to do with me bobbing on top of you and the Supreme Leader watching.”

Kylo’s teeth clicked next to my ear. He swallowed and gave me a kiss on my temple that I figured was supposed to be comforting. I trembled as he leaned back, slipping from my body so his essence spilled out of me. He lost his virginity to her?

 “How he’s changed,” Snoke murmured. “No condom, Ren? Hoping for the patter of little feet?”

 “I wanted to fuck her, so I did,” Kylo replied coldly. “Phasma can take care of any unwelcome pregnancies.”

 “Oh—How is Phasma?” Bazine asked.

They left me alone in the bedroom on the floor. I stared blankly under the bed and didn’t move. Kylo’s spend dripped out of me.

Did I lose somehow? What did it mean? I’d been running nonstop since I met Kylo, and now… it was over. It wasn’t like I’d been a virgin, and I wasn’t entirely opposed to the thought of sleeping with him. I fled from him on principle, because fucking a raging psychopath who had raped and murdered other women was wrong. But here I lay, on the floor with his semen inside me, and I didn’t feel… anything. No anger, no sadness. Nothing.

Bazine left with Snoke after night fell. I hadn’t moved from my spot and continued to lie still when Kylo stood over me. Neither of us spoke for a long time.

I blinked slowly. “…You lost it to her?”

Kylo remained silent. I swallowed and moved, lifting my weight up on trembling palms, and he leaned down to pick me up. It was a short walk to the cot and I had the sheets up to my neck before I realized it. My various wounds stung in protest from all the movement.

He pushed the window open over the bed. “Are you hungry? I have jerky from the rabbit.”

 “…No. I’m fine.”

I’d expected Kylo to gloat about fucking me, but he didn’t. He crouched beside the bed and tentatively brushed my hair away from my face. I could feel his sticky cum on the inside of my thighs.

 “Call if you need me,” he said. “I’ll be awake.”

I didn’t say anything until he was at the broken door. Kylo touched the torn wood and his green eyes looked distant and sad and I latched on to the slight display of humanity in him.

“I know you had to do it,” I called.

Kylo didn’t move. His fingers hooked on the wound he’d torn with the axe. He wanted me to say more.

I wrung my hands under the sheet. “If they knew what I mean to you—they’d kill me, wouldn’t they? You’ve been attached to someone before and they killed her, didn’t they?”

 “…Yes.”

My heart pounded as Kylo turned to face me in the darkness. I knew there was something hidden in his past when we first met, not that it changed anything he’d done. But it changed him for me. I could see deep, repressed pain in his haunted green eyes, and I wanted to fix it like I fixed everything else.

His throat bobbed. “If you use anything against me, Rey—I will kill you.”

That was his demented way of saying he trusted me. I nodded and tried to sit up in bed, patting the spot beside me. Kylo lingered near the door before edging closer like a dog that had been struck one too many times. It gave me a rush. He trusted me. He showed empathy in the only way he knew how. Someone else had made Kylo Ren and I could peel back the layers until the battered image of Ben shined through. I could fix him.

I outstretched my hands to him. Kylo smoothed his fingertips along my palms and up my inner forearms and climbed into the cot with me. His bright green eyes were guarded as he settled beside me, then leaned on the pillows and drew me between his legs. I leaned on his chest, trembling as he touched my inner thighs with his fingertips. Crickets chirped. We were alone in our cabin of sin and no one could hear us.

Kylo breathed in my hair. “…Bazine took my virginity when I was thirteen. It was awful.”

I nodded, trying not to let my revulsion show. He shivered when I ran my nails up his forearms. I’d figure this mystery out. I’d fix him.

 “Were you scared?” I asked.

 “Yes… I was. Snoke watched us.”

We lapsed into silence again. Kylo stroked my thighs and hummed when I clasped my hands over the top of his. He had enormous hands, all riddled with scars and knots. I wondered what exactly his hands had touched—how many dead bodies and screaming women had they desecrated?

He nosed in my hair. “I think the War did most of the damage in the end. Snoke performed his experiments… but the death and destruction twisted my mind in the worst way. I learned to disregard the suffering of others. They became meat sacks to me.”

I could feel his heart beating against my back like any other man’s would. A human man lived in Kylo’s body, but he would never come back. War had consumed another victim, like millions before, and it would continue its path of destruction through him. Through his hands, through his words—Kylo was still a slave to the horrors of the wars he’d witnessed.

But he had still been born rather violent, and the influence of Snoke has certainty turned his heart. Kylo was a weapon constructed by those around him, and he’d continue the warpath until he died. He didn’t know anything else, and that was heartbreaking.

I stared at his hands. “I shouldn’t feel bad for you.”

 “Empathy is not a weakness, Rey. Feeling the full spectrum of human emotion and relishing in it? It’s admirable. You’ve always looked through the surface to what lies underneath, sometimes to your own detriment. You’re too rare for this world, I suppose.”

 “Or I’m just a moron. That’s more likely.”

He laughed, squeezing my fingers in his. “I suppose. But you and I are still quite alike. Polar opposites that somehow meet in a gray area.”

We were quiet again. Kylo combed his fingers through my hair and I dozed off, listening to the flutter of moths and bats. I didn’t know what to think anymore. I just wanted to sleep.

Kylo shifted. “Did you enjoy fucking me?”

Ugh. I didn’t want to wrestle with those emotions. I shrugged, feigning indifference.

 “I don’t know. I didn’t like them watching.”

 “Neither did I.” He cleared his throat. “I’d prefer you call me Ben from now on, Rey. Please.”

Uh… I nodded but felt confused. Call him Ben? What, was that his new ‘thing’? Ben nodded too and patted my stomach as he settled into bed behind me. Ben. It felt weird on my tongue, but it fit him.

I waited to feel angry and sickened about earlier, but it never came. Ben hummed and I fell asleep between his legs while his long fingers drifted along my cum-smeared thighs. 

Chapter Text

Rain drummed on the windows all night.

Kylo seemed to be asleep behind me, but I couldn’t be sure. His thick arm curled around my waist, breaths slow and even in my hair. The lights were out and the moths had fluttered off into the darkness, leaving us alone together in the quiet cabin.

I blinked slowly, staring at the broken door. It would take at least a week for me to start walking again and even longer for my other wounds to heal. It was a strange thing being trapped in the tiny cabin with my psychopath patient sleeping behind me, maybe a hundred feet from a car and freedom. Even stranger: I didn’t really want to leave.

Time ticked ever onward. Alone with my thoughts, suffused in sin and silence, sleep evaded me.

Kylo stirred as the hazy, soft sunrise crept through the trees outside. Birds twittered to herald a new day and I could imagine morning mist clinging to the ground, transforming the forest into a dreamscape. What an ironic juxtaposition to the horror within the cabin.

I stared at the handcuffs and chains strewn about the floor as Kylo shifted closer to me. He kissed my hair, settling his hips under the sheet, and clasped his long fingers around my hip. The cot creaked and he silently began rolling his half-hard cock against me, pressing his fingers into my skin to keep me in place.

The room remained quiet as the blue glow of dawn trickled through the torn screen above us. It was cold and I shivered, drawing a sympathetic murmur from Kylo and a kiss to my jaw. He slipped an arm underneath my head, cocking his elbow to stroke my hair with his fingertips. His soft lips brushed my cheek but he still didn’t speak. I closed my eyes and tried to float away to a less confusing, disturbing place.

Kylo tugged my panties to my knees and pressed his cheek to mine. He ran his palm up my ribs to my breasts, gently brushing my nipples, and back down across my stomach. Goosebumps prickled on my arms. His fingernails drew down my thighs and he dipped between them.

I clung to the sheets, swallowing, and arched my behind into Kylo’s dripping erection. My head swam as he pressed back and pumped his middle finger with careful, gentle motion inside me. I gazed into the darkness behind my eyelids as my lips parted with a small moan. I didn’t want this. It was a chemical, biological reaction.

Kylo’s hand slipped away. He curved his body around mine and slowly kissed my cheek all the way down to the corner of my lips. The head of his cock pressed for entrance, hot and insistent, and instead of pulling away or refusing, I silently arched my hips to give him better access. Kylo took his time, dipping in and out the first few centimeters to tease me, then tightened his arm around my head as he pushed inside.

My skin buzzed like a live wire and I squirmed to adjust my hips to help him. Kylo brushed his fingers through my hair and the bed creaked with each shallow thrust that took him deeper inside my body. He breathed hard through his nose but couldn’t hold back a groan of pleasure as he sank to the hilt inside me. I opened my eyes a little and bit my lower lip. I felt so full of him and I should’ve hated it.

We didn’t speak, still lying on our sides as Kylo began slow, rhythmic thrusts. I must’ve been especially tense because he slid his free hand to the apex of my thighs and gently stroked my clit. Warm pleasure tingled under his touch and I rolled my hips. Kylo Ren was fucking me without a condom and I was enjoying it. What the fuck?

I’d never had an orgasm during sex and it came faster than when I masturbated in the tub. My eyes popped open and I panted in surprise as it came on abruptly, throbbing through me even stronger than usual. I moaned and leaned into Kylo to roll my hips and enjoy the strange sensation of my walls spasming around his cock buried inside me.

 “Fuck,” he groaned. He grabbed the edge of the bed, burying his face in my neck. “Mmf—fuck!”

It was the only word spoken during the whole thing. Kylo grunted and seized my hip as he twitched and pulsed to climax inside me with uneven thrusts. I could feel him through the whole thing, up until his hips stilled and he caught his breath in my hair. Finn and I never had sex without a condom. I swallowed nervously at the sensation of cum squishing inside me, already leaking on my thighs.

Kylo tugged down the shoulder of my shirt to pepper my skin with kisses, groaning, still inside me. He slipped out after a while and the kissing slowed until I heard him mumble in his sleep. Cum trickled down my thighs but I couldn’t get out of the bed. I laid there silently, afraid that rousing Kylo would make the sin I had just committed feel more real.

The sun rose in the sky and life began to awaken outside. Bugs flew round to inspect the torn screen, maybe attracted by the heavy humidity and smell of sex. Sunlight streamed in the room and soon it was too hot to have the sheet on. I pushed it off as best as I could until Kylo yawned behind me and grasped the edge of the mattress to stretch. He wound up pressing his soft cock against the wet mess on my thighs.

 “What’s this?” he mumbled sleepily.

His arm wound under me, gently shifting me onto my stomach. I winced in pain from being moved but otherwise stayed quiet as Kylo threw the sheet off the bed and laid across my back on top of me. Our skin was sticky with sweat; I tasted salt on my upper lip. I laid there in anticipation, watching him lean his weight on his forearm next to my head.

Now was the time to say no. It was broad daylight, I was already dripping his cum, and I was hot as hell. I figured if no one was around to see… Our last time this way had been nonconsensual and I wanted to feel it without eyes on us.

Kylo slipped his hand underneath my hip to play with my clit. Two fingers dipped inside me and he hummed appreciatively. I closed my eyes again and pretended he was someone else, or I was someone else, and rolled my hips into his touch.

His breath was on my ear but he didn’t say anything. Soon he was hard and I angled my hips again to help him sink inside me. It was even better than the other position, stretching and filling me, and I was still damp from his cum. He clicked his teeth and jerked forward roughly, drawing a surprised squeak from me as he hit my cervix. Ah—ow!

 “Sorry,” he muttered.

I huffed. “It’s fine—Ben.

He laughed and kissed my neck. “Are you mocking me, Miss Kenobi? After I’ve been so gentle?”

 “Mhm. I have to.”

Kylo withdrew and turned me on my back. He gazed down at me as he guided his cock inside my body again, and I bit my lower lip and met his green eyes. Now I couldn’t ignore the obvious. I was willingly allowing this man to have sex with me. Would it be better if I fought back, even if I knew I didn’t want to? Would that save my soul?

He sank inside me to the hilt and craned his neck to suck on my nipples. I clung to his ribs and rolled my hips, following the occasional flickers of pleasure from my clit. Kylo rocked forward and went back to kissing my neck, whispering while I squirmed under him. He was heavy and hot and hard. He filled me up to the brim and I wanted more.

 “Good girl,” he crooned. “My good girl.”

 “Just fucking cum in me.”

Kylo grinned. “Is that what you want? You want my cum?”

 “I guess,” I mumbled.  

Kylo kept thrusting until I met his hips. I whimpered and bucked until I climaxed with a keening wail, clenching around his cock. He grunted and did the same, finishing inside me without much fanfare. I felt him twitch like the other two times and pulled on his hair. It felt so good. I loved being full of him.

We settled into quiet panting and sighs of satisfied pleasure. Kylo kissed my throat, resting on top of me, and nuzzled under my chin. I ran my fingers across the knots on his back. I wanted to know where each one came from. I wanted to fix them. I wanted to heal Kylo Ren. It was within my power to repair a broken man.

He hummed. “I haven’t had consensual sex in quite a while. It’s a bit droll.”

 “Lovely.” I shifted underneath him and watched the moths flutter at the window. “I still don’t understand why you… assault women. Are you expected to?”

 “I was trained to enjoy it, yes.”

 “…Why?”

Kylo went quiet for a minute, then slowly sat up, looming over me on his knees. Cicadas buzzed outside. The sticky heat in the room beaded sweat on Kylo’s broad, pale chest as he suddenly flipped me over on my stomach and pressed his weight across my back. I could feel his tense muscles and soft cock. I laid still, waiting for him to speak. He nuzzled my cheek.

 “Men are simple creatures, Rey—hungry, possessive beasts who wage war and spill blood over whatever cunt they want to split open.” He spoke in a soft whisper, lips grazing my skin. “In the midst of war, when one wants to demoralize the enemy, nothing gets the job done like raping their women.

“It’s easy when adrenaline is high after capturing a city—chasing down the shrieking Nazi whores and tearing their infants from the tit for another man to dash its brains out while you fuck its mother. Sometimes the enemy encampments were close enough to hear their sisters and wives and mothers screaming. If they weren’t, they knew exactly what happened when their cities were captured—just like we knew when they took ours.”

I swallowed hard, shuddering at the thought of Kylo in uniform pinning down a thrashing German woman. It was a tactic; that much I knew. It was also a war crime.

 “So, that’s why you chase me,” I said. “It’s what you know. It’s so deeply ingrained in you that it’s become your sexuality, maybe like how victims of child sexual abuse sometimes grow up to become abusers in turn.”

 “Maybe.” Kylo kissed the back of my neck. “Maybe I just like the way you squirm.”

Lots of ‘maybes’ with Kylo. I shrugged and closed my eyes while he continued to pepper my skin with light kisses and the sun rose higher in the sky. Who could be blamed for him, in the end? War? Snoke? Biology? If only I could pick one to pin Kylo’s atrocities on… but each had a hand in creating him.

Finn always asked for permission before penetration—Kylo didn’t. I’d dozed off on my stomach and woke up to the warm pressure of him gently easing inside me, inch by inch. He touched my cheek to make me kiss him and I arched my hips to give him an easier angle. The bed creaked under our weight as Kylo seated himself inside me, again from behind and without a condom. It wasn’t like he’d agree to wear one, anyway.

He breathed in my ear. “I always enjoyed fucking them from behind, like dogs. Sometimes another man could restrain the arms, but I learned to hold them down on my own.” Skin slapped on skin, wet and sticky. “Did Finn ever fuck you like a dog, my love?”

 “No,” I mumbled, breaking into a breathy pant as Kylo picked up his pace.

 “No? Perhaps that’s why you’re so misbehaved.” He tangled his fingers in my hair and yanked back to arch my neck, and my spine arched in turn. “You like being fucked like a bitch, don’t you?”

I scowled. “No.

Kylo seized my jaw in one hand and clenched part of my throat, too. He held my hip, squeezing on my throat until I gasped and clawed at the sheets.

 “I think you do,” he whispered.

Birds sang outside. The world kept turning. Kylo continued dipping in and out of my body like he owned it. I closed my eyes and listened to him groan and felt butterflies in my stomach. I was just getting attached because of the adrenaline. All these weird feelings would fade away when I escaped.

He slipped out of me and turned me over on my back again. I blinked up at him hovering over me, broad-shouldered and pale and riddled with scars. He leaned on his heels and drew his hair back, staring back at me. The muscles in his stomach tensed as he idly grasped his cock and began stroking it—still staring into my eyes. He tilted his head and smiled.

 “I like this position,” Kylo said, green eyes raking down my beaten body. “It’s more… intimate. I can feel their little claws dig into my back when they try to escape.” He snapped his fingers. “Up. Suck my cock.”

 “…That was just in my vagina.”

He raised his eyebrows. “…And?”

 “I’m not putting it in my mouth,” I laughed.

Kylo kept stroking himself, studying me, the silently slipped out of bed. I sat up a bit to watch him as he left the room and found even more twisted scars curving their way along his thighs. It made my stomach turn. They looked like they came from a whip.

He returned a minute later with something in his hand and flipped me on my stomach again. I frowned and heard the crinkle of foil and a a squishing sound, like a shampoo bottle.

 “Ben—”

 “I’d come pick the escapees up from Miss Pava,” he interrupted casually. “We kept some supplies around, in the event I was in the mood for fucking one of them. Or Miss Pava.”

I felt something cold and wet on my tailbone. I shivered, stricken through with a sense of dread, and took a sharp breath when Kylo smeared the stuff exactly where I didn’t want it. My mind flashed back to the syringe being shoved up my butt and I tried to pull away from him, whimpering.

He dragged me back by the hips. “Shh, shh. Relax, little bird, relax. I’m even using lube.”

My heart leapt in my throat when I felt something much bigger than a syringe prodding me. I struggled to escape and Kylo pushed down on the side of my head to keep me pinned, using his other hand to force his cock inside me.

I screamed at first, petrified by the pain, and burst into tears and pleaded for him to stop. It didn’t give way pleasantly like my vagina did and I could feel the muscles resist every inch despite the lube. Kylo groaned and swore under his breath while I uselessly kicked my legs and cried.

He panted in my ear. “When I tell you to do something—you fucking do it. You can’t say ‘no’ to me. I fucking own you.” His breath hitched and he grasped my butt now that he was far enough inside it. “Oh, god—fuck!

 “Stop!” I begged. “Stop—STOP!”

 “Do you think that I’m you’re fucking boyfriend, Rey? Hm?” Kylo rested his forehead on top of his hand, grunting. “You think you can piece me back together and we’ll live happily ever after? That I’ll come home at five every night and you’ll call me Ben?”

Blistering agony overwhelmed my other faculties. I sobbed while he stroked my cheek with his thumb and sank inside me completely, then gave a few hard thrusts. He kept swearing and wrapped his arm under my stomach to drive deeper. It hurt so badly I thought I might puke or pass out before it was over.

Kylo swallowed hard. “I don’t fucking love you. I think you’re a fucking bitch. I’ll knock you up and make you drop the little bastard off at the dirtiest fucking foster home in the state so you can be just like mommy and daddy.”

Words failed me. I fell silent for a few seconds, shocked by his words for some reason. Kylo seemed to climax right after he stopped talking but he stifled his breath like he didn’t want me to hear it. He panted and swallowed and tried to catch his breath. Thunder rumbled outside.

Kylo drew out of me slowly and I heard him snap the condom off. I laid there stone still with tears drying on my cheeks until he flipped me over again. He seized my arm and raised his hand like he was about to backhand me. I flinched.

Seconds passed and nothing happened. I opened my eyes and found him glaring down at me with a contorted expression on his face like he was angry and confused. He didn’t show much emotion other than smug superiority, so I found it very strange.

I stared back at him, trembling, and watched tears well up in his haunted green eyes. Tears—real tears, the kind that made your sclera red and your lower lip quiver. He abruptly got up and left the room, walking straight out of the cabin.

I didn’t move a muscle. I stared wide-eyed at the ceiling while Kylo screamed outside.

Chapter Text

…I have done it again. Like the cat, I have nine times to die.

 “How’s your wound, little Ben?”

My last fleeting memory is my mother’s frantic hands clawing for me—then darkness.

I remember the scent of her perfume: like berries… strawberries. I tasted it again on Rey’s skin. Ah. Home. The karmic cycle consumed itself like an ouroboros and I was delivered back to the safety of my mother’s arms. Rey is where I am meant to be.

But I have nothing left to give in this black husk of a body. My life cycle is nearly complete: dust to star to supernova; I have consumed all the matter within me and now collapse inward. Perhaps I’ve been a black hole my entire life, devouring the light in my midst, and I saved my denouement for the literal final Rey of light. I’ve no need for her physical death—just the small flicker within her has sufficed.

Thunder snarls and lightning cracks the dark sky. I stagger in the rainy, black forest, delirious to the point of introspection. Peering into the abyss yields no results—I learned that long ago. I know what I am and what I’ve done, and I have little need for self-reflection. I’m an impulse, like a bolt of lightning, and I snap and seize when the urge strikes me.

Nine times to die… I suppose this is the last.

Bereft, I wander among the pines, a specter haunting the forest in search of salvation. There is none. I’ve come here to die. Perhaps I’m a dog, rather than a cat. Dogs wander from home to embrace death on their own. Cats come home to die.

I can cut off my tongue and flay my cock and smash my fingers, but it’s false penance. The evil swirls deeper, entrenched in every fiber of my being, and only physical death will free me of it. I’ve consumed all I can. My collapse will follow.

The chill in the air doesn’t bother me. I’ve suffered worse. I’ve slogged through piss and shit and mosquito-infested bogs; I’ve smelled the gas chambers at Auschwitz: the reek of unfettered evil has poisoned my lungs. This is a stroll. The air is crisp and cool, and smells of soil and pine. Ah… if only I brought along strawberries.

My throat burns and my lungs ache with a swell of unwelcome emotion. I stare ahead as I squeeze my throat and imagine the sting of Snoke’s whip on the back of my thighs. Pain substitutes emotion. My ears ring, vision swimming before I cease strangling myself. My mind empties once again to the blank visage of—

She’s a goddamn mess. I glare through the torn screen at my woman lying in a tangle on Miss Pava’s cot. Crusted with blood—her hands, her hair, her face. I pace and slice my own forearm in frustration. The pain brings back my focus. I still see red.

 “Motherfucker!” I spit, weeping before I can regain control of myself. “FUCK!”

If I trust her and she betrays me, I’ll have to kill her, and if I kill her, I’ll have to kill myself. It’s a complicated situation. Snoke can smell weakness. He won’t hesitate to take her like he’s taken all the others and left me with nothing except Bazine. Bazine is a fucking cunt. I should’ve shot her between the eyes. Maybe I will before I die in this godforsaken forest.

My mind is in a constant tailspin and I have a tenuous grasp of the controls. Snap judgments kept me alive through war after war and I find myself unable to shift my mode of thinking. I read situations quickly and infer the next action a person will take. Rey bypasses my system and gums up the controls like a goddamn virus and I should do the reasonable thing and kill her. But I don’t.

I pause, gazing into the inky forest, drenched to my aching muscles that are heavy and scarred with sin. The pounding rain is to blame for the moisture bleeding from my eyes. I close them and see what is always there: wide, glassy eyes, dead and staring back at me. I’ve looked in to so many. They flicker and waver but they’re always there.

I’ve a new sensation, though: a curious sensation beneath my left rib.

Thunder rolls and I wet my lips and follow where the strange shiver is tugging. There’s nothing waiting for me wherever it leads, but my heart will rip from my body if I try to resist. I can’t die quite yet. I need to make sure the glimmer of hope is gone. If it isn’t, and I die alone in these woods, I’ll remain here in purgatory forever.

I draw my knife and stumble through muck and puddles, allowing the red thread to guide me. Bring me back home. I think I’ve found it, in strawberry lotion and ketamine and campfire smoke. I’m not sure. It’s new, and frightening, and beautiful. Naturally, I want to smash it to bits, but I think that will kill me. I think I like to watch it watching me, brow furrowed, brown eyes rolling with derision. Yes… I think I like it arching into my touch and stroking my hair and haphazardly stitching my ruined heart back together.

But I think I’ve polluted it beyond salvaging. It’s home, and I’m afraid of going home, but setting the house ablaze has left me staring into the charred skeleton I’ve left behind. I’ll fix it. I’ll rebuild.

My blade glints in the moonlight as I begin my penance walk with a long slit across my cheek. I’ve no human tears left—and if I did, they’d never be enough. I’ll etch my shame clear across my skin. Maybe it’s enough. I hope it’s enough, and I’ve learned that hope is a petty, worthless thing: but I’ll cling to it.

…I think I need to hear her call me ‘Ben’ one more time. Like the cat, I’ll go home to die.

Chapter Text

The sky opened up about ten minutes after Kylo left. His screaming faded into the woods and I figured he was wandering around wrestling with emotions he wasn’t used to feeling. He sounded like a wounded animal and I thought I heard him crying.

I stared at the ceiling, listening to rain drizzle on the roof while my heart pounded in my throat. Kylo Ren was a beast. That was all he’d ever be. He didn’t deserve my empathy; I didn’t have to solder the shreds of his humanity back together at the expense of my dignity. I didn’t owe him a goddamn thing.

Jaw clenched, I rolled out of bed, slapping my palms to catch myself, and crawled to the bathroom. I managed to start the shower and kneel under the spray to wash him off me while I bit back angry tears. Blood swirled down the drain.

I didn’t want him to love me. I fucking hated him. I’d shoot him right between the eyes when he came back and I wouldn’t flinch. I couldn’t.

The shower helped clear my head. I didn’t know exactly what set him off, but me refusing to blow him seemed to be the trigger. We were getting too chummy and he wanted to reestablish how much of a monster he could be, to put me in my place and to convince himself he didn’t feel human emotion. I knew it. He attacked me in the worst way possible, spat out my deepest fear as a petty insult, and snapped that he didn’t love me. He was trying too hard to push me away. Just one method would’ve sufficed.

Trembling, I crawled out of the shower and knelt at the sink to brush my teeth. All of me throbbed with pain. I couldn’t drive. Running into the woods would just get me killed. I was trapped with this fucking beast until I had enough strength to do something. I had to keep playing his game, which seemed easy at first but was quickly getting complicated. Real feelings were involved. Love, maybe, which wasn’t something Kylo was used to feeling. Whenever he let himself in the past, it was ripped away from him.

So that would be where his fear stemmed from: anxiety that Snoke would kill me. It was easier to push me away and force himself not to care. At least, it should’ve been easier. I was at sea: if I continued to challenge him, he’d retaliate. If I didn’t, he might get bored and kill me, anyway. Being compliant had to be the best course of action. I had to lull him into a false sense of security, which wouldn’t be easy with a paranoid psychopath on the brink.

Kylo wanted me, though—beyond sex and lust. He wouldn’t be able to resist something more. I… I could. I would. I just… I had to get some space. It was being trapped in the damn cabin that screwed with my head. I’d grieve Finn and Rose and the wellspring of emotion would pop back open.

I crawled to the bedroom and peeled off the dirty sheets. I wasn’t about to go out looking for Kylo in the woods, but I’d be ready to grovel when he came back. It pissed me off, but I didn’t have any other choice. Until I was walking again, I had to figure out what he wanted and give in to it.

The storm raged on. I fixed the bed with fresh sheets and crawled to the living room to sit and continue crocheting. The cabin was dark and cold. I shuddered while I worked, occasionally glancing at the door for Kylo’s dramatic entrance. He’d be angry.

My eyes burned with fresh tears and I chalked it up to anxiety. But I kept wondering why he didn’t slap me, and that was pathetic, and that made no sense.

I’d finished half of the scarf when the front door groaned open. My heart fluttered at the sound and I closed my eyes to take a steadying breath before I looked at him. You can do this, Rey. You can do this.

 “Don’t tell me he left you here all alone, Doctor Kenobi.”

Bazine slunk inside the cabin like the demon she was, slipping back her black hood with spindly fingers to reveal a cruel smile. The soft sound of rain and scent of petrichor drifted behind her as she gently shut the door with an ominous click. I stared at her in thinly-veiled terror, clutching my crochet hook. Fuck.

She raised her eyebrows. “Well? Did he?”

I shook my head and didn’t speak. Bazine cocked hers, studying me, and wandered about the small room with all the idleness of an apex predator. She brushed her long, red fingernails across the drawings Kylo had pinned to the wall and paused beneath the one of Hades and Persephone. Rain clattered on the roof, echoing in the cold, dark cabin.

 “He isn’t much of a cuddler,” Bazine drawled. “Well… he was, I suppose, before I was through with him.” She traced her nail along the curve of his jaw in the drawing. “But I suppose the seed has been sown and he’s gone off to find food for his mate, like any other wild animal would.”

 “I’m not pregnant, if that’s what you’re implying,” I said coldly. “And he’ll be back soon.”

She peered into the bedroom, vaguely curious and dismissive of me. “Mm. I’m sure you will be soon. The Supreme Leader would like a whelp out of him, and I was fixed long ago. Where has my Ben gone, then?”

 “None of your business,” I spat with more vitriol than intended. I clenched my jaw, spewing more venom before I realized it. “Don’t call him that.”

My chest tightened and my wounds from our last encounter throbbed like I needed a reminder. I didn’t owe him a goddamn thing. I didn’t have to shred my dignity for the salvation of a irredeemable beast. New revelations didn’t excuse Kylo. Suffering wasn’t a write-off for murder and rape, and worse yet, relishing committing the crime. He was a rabid dog that needed to be put down. There was no cure for his strain of sickness.

Bazine leaned back and smiled. “Do you think monsters are born, Doctor Kenobi, or do you think they’re created?”

My mind twisted in, already wracked to a frenzy by that constant rumination. Was he born, or created? Both. So how did I reconcile my feelings with the painful reality of what Kylo had done and would likely continue to do? What did it mean when I saw shades of myself in the eerie green eyes of a beast? Was I…

 “I think you were born a monster,” I retorted, again brushing away the dark abyss yawning open in my mind.

 “Oh, yes, I certainly was.” She leaned on the wall and folded her skinny arms. “However, Kylo was not. He sniveled from the moment Snoke tore him from his mother—he’s always been a weakling with a sentimental streak. It’s why he was selected.

“So, how do you repair something that’s been compromised from the start? Beat it? Break it? Brainwash it? That’s how armies are created. Break down the man, rebuild the warrior. Shatter the ego and the super-ego and rebuild them to your liking. But there is a deeper drive beyond our control: the id. How do we access the id?”

 “I’m more of a Jung girl,” I said, “but the id is inaccessible. You’re born with it.”

Freud had his uses, but I found most of his work to be complete misogynistic nonsense. Not that Jung was winning any medals as a feminist, but at least he didn’t stamp his name on a theory called ‘penis envy.’

Bazine bared her teeth in a feral grin. “Everything is written in the brain, Rey. We are all nothing more than a conglomeration of gray and white matter with circuits strung through. If that fragile system is disturbed, though—starved of oxygen, maybe, or… shaken up—all these circuits will begin to break and rewrite in interesting ways.”

I glared back at her. “I already know he has head trauma. You can spare me the details.”

 “But the details are the best part.” She crept closer, and drew a knife from under her coat. “You don’t create a killing machine without having some fun along the way. For instance, I enjoyed holding Kylo’s head underwater until he went limp. He’d come back a bit different each time, and the subtle damage was the most interesting to witness.

“But the drama was found in beatings. They’d surprise him, and he’d fight back at first. But as it went on, he’d sit silently and wait for them to finish. We knew he was ready when he fought back again and snapped a neck, and we turned him loose with his little girlfriend, and he did the same thing to her that he did to you.”

Bazine advanced with the knife, but Kylo wasn’t around to save me. I brandished my pathetic crochet hook as a weapon and my heart thundered in my ears. I’d get one strike in before she killed me.

Then the same stroke of fate that brought Kylo Ren and I to the same corner of the earth at the same time struck again.

He stepped inside, soaked to the bone, black hair plastered to his head and strewn in a tangled mess across his face. Bazine stopped and turned to speak to him as his green eyes assessed the situation through a black veil. Kylo advanced without uttering a word, and both Bazine and I assumed he was coming for me. I was so terrified that I could only see his bright eyes in the pressing darkness.

She gestured to me with the knife as he stepped in front of her. “Doctor Kenobi—”

Kylo flipped his knife and plunged the already bloody blade straight up through the soft tissue under Bazine’s chin. He didn’t flinch or blink at the sound of cracking bone and squelching tissue, but I almost lost my lunch of rabbit jerky.

Bazine didn’t have time to gasp or utter a word as blood gurgled from the wound and filled her mouth. Kylo ripped the knife back out, turning it again, and drove the blade through the top of her skull as she sank towards the floor. It crunched through and he let go of the hilt, and she fell in a bloody pile of limbs. The cabin returned to silence, and the tension in the room shifted.

We stared at the dead body for a while. Kylo’s bloodstained hands trembled and I saw a dripping slash across his cheek. He was unnaturally quiet. Why? Was he done putting on a show? Was it time for me to start acting?

I frowned at him, trying to hazard a guess, until his throat bobbed with the first signs of life. He didn’t look away from Bazine.

 “Do cats come home to die?” he croaked.

Rain pelted the windows and blew in through the open front door. I stared at Kylo’s profile in the near-darkness and wondered what exactly I was looking at. I’d probably never know.

I shook my head. “No—dogs do. Cats like to die alone.”

 “…Oh.” He blinked. “Not as poetic.”

We lapsed into silence again. I realized what killing Bazine meant, but I wasn’t going to forgive him that easily. Or ever. There was no goddamn way I’d forgive him, the evil son of a bitch. I set my jaw and glared at his profile and ground my teeth when I felt tears. Motherfucker. Maybe I’d rather die than give him another ounce of satisfaction.

Kylo turned over his bloody hands and gazed at his palms. “I think I feel… remorse.”

I wanted to fucking scream. My fists clenched but I bit back my scream to question instead.

 “For Bazine?” I asked tersely.

 “No.” His hands trembled again and he opened and closed them, cracking blood into the folds of his palms. “If it’s a strange sort of ache in the ribs, then it’s for you.”

Before I could blow up, Kylo tore my crochet hook from my hand and raked the pointed end down his bicep. Doctor-brain flew into a panic at the sight of self-mutilation and I arched on my knees to grab the hooked end. It bit into my palm but stopped Kylo, and he redirected his anger towards me.

He seized my throat with his blood-soaked free hand and gave one small squeeze before strangling himself instead. I had no idea what was going on, but I yanked the crochet hook away and threw it across the room, then went for his fingers curled around his throat. Kylo snatched my wrists and shook me hard once or twice.

 “Stop interfering!” he snapped.

 “I know these emotions are overwhelming,” I said, wincing as he squeezed, “but you can’t cope with them by mutilating yourself, or by hurting me!”

He pressed his lips in a tight line. “Well that’s all I know! Some fucking psychiatrist you are, worthless fucking—”

Kylo’s long face clouded over and he shoved me into the couch, then clenched his hands and screamed. He turned away and screamed some more. I didn’t make a peep.

He stopped after a minute and peeled off his wet shirt, tearing it in half as an afterthought. My heart pounded as I was again faced with the myriad of scars across his broad, pale back.

I spoke slowly. “You’re in control, Ben.”

 “No I’m not!” he retorted. His voice cracked and he turned, eyes shimmering. “I’m going to fucking kill you—” He took a sharp step toward me and screamed again, clutching his head. “MotherFUCKER!”

 “Ben,” I said, struggling to control the fear in my voice, “can I suggest an idea?”

He paced, glowering at me. “What?!”

 “Maybe you should handcuff me.” My stomach flipped at the thought. “That won’t bother me. What do you think?”

Kylo breathed hard a few times and nodded stiffly. He washed his hands in the bathroom, then scooped me up and carried me into the bedroom. I laid still on my side where he dropped me on the bed and watched him pace back and forth through the chains strewn on the floor. I didn’t dare move.

Lots of things were in flux in his mind, and he would lose his shit if I misspoke. I’d just stick with the original plan and do whatever he wanted. He needed to feel like he was in control; it would give him a sense of security he could grasp on to. Ultimately, like most of us, Kylo craved control—but his needs were pathological and without the restraint of empathy. Sexual assault was, besides murder, the ultimate expression of power and control.

I broke out in a cold sweat at the thought of Kylo shoving my face in the pillows and attacking me again, especially with the wounds being so fresh. He was on the brink. I didn’t know if I’d be able to keep from screaming.

But he was feeling remorse. In my humble opinion, it was a tenant of being human to be capable of feeling implicit guilt for causing other people pain. He wasn’t feigning it. It was just there like it was in every other non-psychopathic person, and it had sprung up with a violent flourish after he hurt me in the worst ways possible. I was completely at his mercy and he still restrained himself. I could’ve cried.

Kylo let out a deep breath and rubbed his forehead. “I want to rape you.”

 “Okay. Why?”

He opened and closed a fist. “Because you can’t stop me, and it will shut your mouth and relieve the tension.” He bent over and snatched up an ominous set of manacles. “And because it’s pleasurable.”

I watched him weigh the chain in his hands for a minute. If I let every flicker of light from Kylo give me a sense of hope, I’d drive myself insane. But I couldn’t help myself. I didn’t know if it was personal weakness, or a flaw in me, or the echoes of familiarity between us, but I didn’t think I’d be able to give up on him. Maybe I’d already been driven to the point of insanity. This man had tortured me and betrayed my trust, and yet…

My pulse picked up when he dropped the manacles. Kylo shuddered, flexing his hands, and started crying in the next breath. He stumbled and covered his face.

 “I can’t bear it anymore,” he moaned. “I can’t take another loss—especially you. But if I kill you—”

 “If you kill me, you’ll have control over it. But I’ll be gone forever, Ben.” I slowly sat up, quivering, and kept my eyes on his. “I’m not going anywhere. I don’t want to. Let me help you.”

His Adam’s apple bobbed. “I killed Bazine for you.”

 “I know. Thank you.”

 “I’ve raped you.”

 “…I know.” I didn’t look away from his watery green eyes. “But I think we both suffered from that. Right?”

Kylo’s lower lip trembled and he nodded once. I nodded too, and hesitantly opened my arms, palms up and open. He eyed me for a minute like a beaten animal being let out of its cage. The cabin fell back to dark silence only broken by the drizzle of rain.

Thunder rumbled and Kylo swayed on his feet. He didn’t come straight to me like I assumed.

 “I’ll do it again,” he said, staring at me blankly.

I didn’t blink. “I know. But I hope you won’t.” My arms trembled, but I managed to smile. “We’ll figure it out, Ben. I promise.”

We were quiet again. Kylo’s pale chest heaved a few times as he gazed at me, then he started unbuttoning his pants. Dread bloomed in my stomach like a poisonous flower but I didn’t flinch as he approached, and I tried to focus on the dried tears in his cheeks. Real human. Real human.

His hands cupped my face and he gently kissed me on the lips. I grasped his wrists and began lying back, but Kylo kept me still. He clenched his jaw and exhaled hard through his nose.

 “Do you want to?” he asked.

I nodded, ignoring the pressure in my chest. “Of course.”

He squeezed, looming over me, green eyes tinged red. I couldn’t look away.

 “Do you want to?” he repeated, quieter.

Common sense and survival told me to say ‘yes,’ but whatever odd connection I had with Kylo made me slowly shake my head and brought tears to my eyes.

 “No,” I whispered, “I don’t.”

He nodded, searching my eyes, and kissed my forehead just a little too hard. I squeezed my eyes shut and waited for him to slap me or force his cock in my mouth.

Kylo rested his damp forehead on mine. “I do. I want to rape you right now.”

Oh god. I held back tears and sniffled and waited for him to start— but the attack I expected never came.

He stroked my cheeks with his thumbs and abruptly drew back without speaking another word. I found myself reaching for him as he turned away from me and went for the dresser in the corner. The rush of adrenaline was fading and I wanted it back. I needed it, like I… like I maybe needed Kylo.

But he dressed in a rush and swept out of the bedroom before I could say anything more. I watched him leave the cabin with his knife in his hand, dripping blood, glinting in the low light.

 “I’ll be back.”

The door shut, and I was left alone with my thoughts again.

Chapter Text

 “Hei, Russki.”

My spine stiffens at the slur. I turn on my heel, stepping back two paces on the concrete floor to glare through the iron bars at the offending prisoner.

Some South Korean cunt. Her black hair is strewn across her beaten face and she has two shivering children curled to her lackluster bosom. She glowers at me, dark eyes alight with the spark of defiance. I raise an eyebrow and sweep my gaze down her torn clothing. I’d like to beat her face in with the butt of my weapon.

 “Looking for another beating, Kimchi?” I drawl, inserting my own slur.

 “These children are hungry.”

 “Oh.” I draw my pistol and aim for the little female child. “Let me make them feel better.”

The woman pulls the children closer, unflinching. I consider shooting them just to upset her, but cock my head. What a curious creature she is.

 “The war is almost over, Russian dog!” she spits. “Soon the Americans will liberate this prison!”

I crouch in front of the bars, frowning. “What’s your name?”

 “…Sarah,” she mutters.

 “No, your real name.”

Her jaw shifts. “Ji-woo.”

The compound is quiet, but my memories are not. I wander through the halls toward the holding cells to find a victim who will bear the brunt of my uncontrollable urges. Perhaps I can control them—but there’s no denying how excruciating that is.

 “Oh, god—don’t stop!”

My heart pounds at a feverish pace as I fuck Bazine from behind, panting and clinging to her hips. She’s supposed to resist me so I can practice pinning her down, but she’s enjoying it like she usually does. I groan and fight the urge to cum at her words—

And I do, like I usually do. I gasp and drive deeper and drag her along my length as I climax too soon yet again. Bazine moans but Snoke seizes my jaw mid-orgasm and locks his cold blue eyes on mine.

 “Control yourself, Ren,” he hisses. He yanks me from Bazine’s body and I desperately grasp my pulsing cock to finish. “At the mercy of your impulses again.”

Staff passes by me, pressing to the walls when they sense my approach. I’ve an aura about me, I think, that ‘normal’ people actively avoid. It repulses them like it should repulse Rey.

I rub my throat, tracing the bony protrusions on my trachea. Ah. Fuck.

Ji-woo licks her fingers clean of the apple I’ve given her and I watch from outside the bars. The two children she cares for, who aren’t even hers, have dozed off in her lap. Her facial wounds are healing but she has a sizable burn across half of her face. I imagine she was pretty once upon a time.

She shrugs. “You’re sixteen, right? Most teenage boys finish fast. Think about your mother or something—that’ll deflate your cock.”

I smile. I like her candor. We’ve been chatting for several months now in her dim prison. I supply her with fruits and snacks and she becomes my sounding board. I’ve not had a… friend since the Great War. Snoke brought me to Auschwitz for some time, and I met a gypsy girl named Oola. I watched her choke in the gas chamber. I remember the smell and Snoke’s arm around my shoulders.

I snap from the memory, back to Ji-woo. “I would if I remembered her. How are the little ones?”

She pets the boy’s head. “Geun is feverish. I’m not sure if he’ll last much longer. His sister is doing well.”

It’s a strange thing, sitting outside this cage with this woman and these children before me. A… family, maybe. I frown and study the sleeping boy. I’m not sure I’d be indifferent to his death.

 “Kylo Ren—what an honor!”

I’ve made my way to the holding cells for the fresh meat. I shove aside the bony caretaker who is hastily zipping up his pants while a girl no older than sixteen slumps against the wall. Her eyes are lidded and searching and her mouth is smeared with saliva. I’m not sure why, but it angers me.

I turn and backhand him, sending him sprawling to the floor. He splitters in surprise as I grasp the collar of his shirt and thrash his head off the concrete floor a few times. Blood sprays. I’m still hungry. I draw my knife and slash his throat open.

The man slouches into a puddle of blood and gore. I stand, panting, and turn to regard the girl on the wall. She’s semi-conscious but smiles at me. Her eyes are soft brown and sweet, and she has her brown hair buzzed down—lice, I assume. Some of the girls we collect are filthy.

My mind turns. “Ty mne dolzhen.”

She nods, licking her lips, and opens her arms to me like Rey did. I’m cognizant of her drugged state, but it feels right. I’ve no concept of morality anymore. Killing the girl’s attacker indebted her to me, and she’s accepting it, and offering herself. I’ll be gentle. Maybe.

I scoop her off the floor and leave for my quarters. It’s better than subduing one of them. I’ll still be worthy of Rey without harming her. I’ll be gentle. I can be gentle. But I’ll still get what I need.

Bazine combs her spidery fingers through my hair. “We wanted to do something a bit different today, Kylo.”

Ji-woo is curled in the corner of my bedroom, naked and trembling, and staring at me. I know what I have to do—but I don’t know if I have the strength to do it.

I advance. I push down Ji-woo on the bed and push down my sentimentality, even though they both kick and scream. Her skinny wrists are easy to pin as I pin back my urge to sob and strain closer to her warm cunt. I’m hard. I’ve wanted to fuck her for some time, but restrained myself.

She lies quietly when I sink inside her with a low groan. I work her hips and feel an orgasm building quickly from the excitement and wet heat. But I know something that will keep me from climaxing. All I have to do is close my eyes and think of a shivering South Korean boy, and my arousal dies back.

It feels good. It feels like power and control. I fuck Ji-woo until my muscles ache and I can’t take it anymore. She’s gone slack when I climax with sharp breaths and eager thrusts.

I hate looking them in the eyes when I come. I have six more times to die.

Rey told me I was wrong—that cats leave home to die. I think of that with this teenage girl splayed out underneath me, dipping in and out of consciousness while I tenderly fuck her languid body. This is my ninth life. I’m still the cat. I’ve left home to die.

She sighs when I’m through; when I’ve had my fill and pumped her full of cum. I withdraw from her body as she drifts off to sleep with ketamine guiding her way, and I glance at my spend sleeping from between her legs. This is still rape. I’ve never raped a woman under be influence like this. It feels… bad?

I stand. I’m not worthy of Rey any longer. I’ve consumed all I can, and now I have to fade into the cosmos. I begin with the girl, slitting her throat to ensure any progeny I create will be through Rey’s womb alone. At least the fetus will have a chance of normalcy if suffused in her light and warmth.

I’ve taken eight lives and felt myself die in turn. The first was Oola, then Ji-woo, and Anya, and Victor, and Beom, and Zoe, and Rey—and now this nameless girl from a nameless village.

Did Ben die first, or just now? Chicken or the egg, I suppose. It was the catalyst to a new beginning either way: to Kylo Ren, or to whatever festers underneath his skin.

This is all I can take. I dress and hear a knock, and turn my knife in my grasp. This is all I can take.

Snoke smiles beyond the door. “Hello, Ben.”

He raises a gun, but I’m faster with my knife.

Chapter Text

 “Ah, Ren—look at that one.”

We’ve begun our business buying and selling women, and first begin by traveling the United States. Our latest stop is in Arizona, an unbearably hot state completely unlike the Motherland. It’s 1958 and I’ve recently turned twenty-two. I’m waiting to deploy to Vietnam while helping Snoke on the side.

I don’t belong in this insufferable heat and light. I tug on my collar and glance up from the dusty earth, squinting in the light at a teenage girl dancing in the park with a gaggle of other girls. We’re in the shade on a bench like reasonable people.

She’s shoeless and her hair is drawn into three buns.  She twirls in a flower-patterned white dress. I watch her for a while, studying the curves of her slim body and round face, and watch the sunlight dance across the flowers woven through her hair. She’s a bit plain—but bright, somehow.

I pucker my lips. “Looks sweet. Should I collect her?”

 “Seems a shame to spoil her fun,” Snoke murmurs. He tips his hat to hide his heavily scarred face. “We’ll let that one ripen on the vine before she’s plucked.”

He leaves me to meet with his contact, and I’m left alone to watch the strange girl playing with her friends. She appears no older than sixteen. The longer I watch, the more intoxicated I become. I rub my index fingers to my thumbs and consider following her home from her rendezvous with her friends. She looks trusting.

I click my tongue and sigh. “Ripen on the vine indeed.”

Before I go, I hear her name called: Rey.

I think of it when I arrive in the swampy hell of Vietnam, weighed down with gear and preparing myself for another handful of years spent fighting someone else’s war. My hair is shaved and I gaze at the black pile by my feet and think of Rey.

We wade through bogs filled with venomous snakes and vines as thick as a man’s forearm, swatting at mosquitoes with our guns resting on our shoulders. I squint at the sky when we emerge on the muddy banks, drenched, soaked to the bone with humidity and stagnant water. It’s misery. But I think of her dancing nymph feet and check mine each night, and catch the gangrene before it spreads. Rey.

My daydreaming about her flower crown makes me avoid tripping a land mine that sprays me with the hot guts of the soldier two feet behind me. The men fly into a panic, but I smile and wipe gore from my cheek. Rey.

I wish I had a memento; something to touch and think of her by. I don’t know her, but she seems to be helping me evade death. I think about her when I crawl into centipede-infested foxholes and drop bullets as I reload, trembling from the screams and explosions outside. If I want to know more, I can’t blow up in Vietnam. So, I reload and refocus and kill Americans like I always have.

At night I lie under the stars by the fire and think about her, and I’m not sure why. But I do.

Beom is a South Korean we capture in ’62. I’m certain my pain in shooting him was his vague resemblance to Geun. But I do it all the same, and clench my jaw when the deed is done. It’s nothing personal.

Victor is a man in my platoon. I’m sick of Vietnamese whores, so I fuck him in ’64 and kill him the next morning. Can’t have the other men finding out. But he does have a soft, round face, and I think of Rey, and I’m run through with guilt.

Anya is my first capture when I come back from Vietnam in ’66. I’m having nightmares about snakes and mosquitoes and occasionally hear someone scream ‘GRENADE!’ in my ear, so I’m rather short-tempered. She tries to get away from me, and I bash her head in until there’s nothing left but a pile of ooze and brains. I cry for the first time in… hm. Years, I suppose.

Zoe is a pretty blonde gift from Snoke that I raise for a year to be slaughtered in spring. I stare into her eyes as I strangle her and my mind shifts. He gives me these attachments. My deployments to Korea and Vietnam are his doing, where I touched all those lives and permanently tainted them.

He smiles as Zoe’s body is taken away. I wander off in my beaten body and think of all the ways I’ve defiled it. Rey… I want to see Rey. She can save me again.

I’m not sure my mind can withstand any more loss. Snoke is the festering root, so I cut myself free and take the next ship bound for the States.

I smoke three packs a day during the voyage and gradually sink deeper into my misery. I’m in pain, I think, but I’ve felt it for so long that I can hardly tell. I’m plagued with nightmares and a ravenous obsession with a teenage girl I watched one sunny afternoon ten years ago. I’ll never find her now.

For some time I wander about like an aimless tomcat in search of my mate, filling the nights with what I do best. I rage out of control, inflicting pain and suffering as I was built to do, tearing a bloody, screaming path across the country. But every kill and rape feels like a thousand microcuts across my soul; shrapnel from each time I explode and rebound and gradually, painfully, take to inwardly bleeding. I drink and smoke and fuck and the wounds fester.

But I have no fear of death, so I rot. Only a strange, subtle sensation beneath my ribs bears resemblance to someone inhabiting my boneless body as it withers and shrivels. I feel I’m in a coma and I’m screaming as the plug is about to be pulled.

Snoke summons me. Poe Dameron has made a selection and she’s elated, like she’s going to play house with him in America. Shit goes south, and I find myself imprisoned in no short order. I’m kept alive and shuffled to Dameron’s psych ward, where I can escape in due time and return to ‘work.’ I’m instructed to put off my escape for a few months and let the dust settle.

As I gaze through the window of my little retreat on a lazy Wednesday afternoon, contemplating the dreary weather, Atlas shrugs with a sound like thunder.

The door closes as I raise my eyes to meet hers. The stars have aligned, the stage has been set, and I am run through with unfamiliar emotion. My dancing nymph has pirouetted back to me, older and paler, but still bright. I can’t breathe. She suffuses me in light and warmth and it casts shadows that I’d lost sight of in the darkness. My wounds scream, but I’m a masochist and I can’t look away.

Rey. Swamps and centipedes and gory showers in Vietnam seem inconsequential. I stare into her hazel eyes for a moment as she stares at me, and I’m overwhelmed by the sheer insanity of it. All these years and all these oceans and mountains between us, and here we are.

I let nothing show. She can’t know how deeply she burns me—she can’t know the power she has. I slip back into my skin as if I haven’t been desperate to escape it for the past decade.

I want her in the worst way possible. I want to suck her in to the churning, screaming madness inside me and force her to share my suffering until I consume her completely. It’s all I know, I suppose—the only way my warped, depraved mind can digest emotion, and the only way I know to express it.

I can trap her light in a bottle and never let it out, but then I can’t admire the way she catches on the shards of my soul and sets my hollow insides aglow. She’ll wither and die with so much exposure to the dark and cold. I have to let her dance to her heart’s content—but every so often I can drag her back to hell with me; just for respite; just for a taste. She’ll survive. She’ll bloom again in the sunshine, and the world can enjoy her for a time.

I twist the knife in Snoke’s gut, staring blankly into his endless blue eyes. Atlas shrugs again, and I’m not sure why, but I’ve never felt more alive.

Chapter Text

“Well that’s a lame ending.”

Rey picks along behind me through the dark house, stumbling over broken bits of furniture and cursing under her breath. I touch the top of the doorframe into the kitchen with my fingertips and turn a bit to smile at her. Always with the smart mouth.

“The rest isn’t nearly as enthralling,” I say, offering my hand when she wanders close enough. “No more daring chases or emotional outbursts, just the domestic tedium of a tamed beast and his mate. Watch your step, my love.”

She stumbles anyhow. I follow her into the dilapidated kitchen where I watched my parents prepare supper, sometimes happy, and sometimes hissing and spitting like cobras.

The house has gone into serious disrepair after the general public learned that the Kylo Ren lived in it. It’s been ransacked and spray painted, and there’s evidence of a few occult rituals. They thought he was the devil in human flesh, and I suppose he was. After all, my mother wrote in her diary that he had spawned the antichrist.

Rey huffs, setting her hands on her hips. “Okay, but when were you born? Did they get married? When did they move here?” She snaps her fingers and rolls her eyes. “I need answers, Ben. I’m too invested now.”

 “Are you?” I murmur. “If only you’d invest yourself like this when we fuck, Rey.”

 “Oh, ha ha, hilarious. Even funnier with your fucking robot voice saying it, rapist dick.” She twists her lips like she’s trying to swallow back words, but they spew forth anyway. “And my name is not Rey—it’s Penelope.”

I smile down at Rey, still somehow charmed despite her smart mouth. She’s my mother’s spitting image like i’m my father’s, but she burns hotter, and I knew we were meant for each other when I laid eyes on her. Her little temper is endearing, like a kitten nibbling on my fingers, and sometimes I enjoy fanning the flames. Blind obedience bores me—I need just enough fear to keep her under control.

She growls like a puppy when I cup her jaw in my palm and stroke her lips with my thumb. I can crush her like a grape. I’d like to fuck her here, but my bed is long gone and I’ve no idea what types of germs fester throughout the house. I cannot stand the thought of tainting my body with germs.

 “Rey,” I repeat with a smile, pressing my fingertips into her skin, “what more would you like to know?”

 “…I don’t know. Just bring me up to speed on how you were born and stuff.” Her tongue flickers past her sweet pink lips and laps at my thumb. “And let go or I’ll bite you.”

 “Such a tease.”

I release her and resume wandering about the kitchen. Same peeling, faded yellow paint, same white tile floor, now cracked and chipped. I haven’t seen the house in years, not since I visited after completing undergrad ten years ago. I’m thirty now and post-doctorate for six or seven years of that decade… oof, I’m getting old.

I’m not sure why I’ve come here, though. Perhaps I’m growing sentimental as I age. I brush my fingertips along the splitting countertop and gaze out the window into our small backyard ringed by a dense thicket of trees. Kylo ensured my mother and I would stayed hidden between his visits, but the isolation took a toll on her. My father and I weren’t exactly good company.

Rey arches on her tiptoes, peering through the shattered sliding glass doors. “Were they ever happy?”

 “Sometimes, yes. Kylo’s brain injury made him more violent and unpredictable as he aged, but they were usually quite happy when I was small. Alcohol made my father much worse.”

“Hm. Was he delusional like you?”

I don’t dignify her sarcastic question with a response. Rey huffs again and follows me back into the living room and up the rickety staircase to the second floor.

The bedrooms are here; just the two of them. I remember listening to my parents having sex through the thin walls, and I remember the first time I heard my mother being raped. She never screamed, but she’d cry while my father whispered to her. Stockholm syndrome had sunk its claws deep into her mind at that point, and he knew she wasn’t going anywhere.

My father would cry afterwards and disappear for a week. I didn’t cry. I didn’t particularly care.

I meander into my old bedroom with Rey close behind. She jumps when a cockroach skitters past our feet, nervous little mouse she is, and clings to my arm with her hazel eyes wide. I detest kissing, but I make small exceptions for her, including the chaste peck I leave on the crown of her skull.

The house is admittedly dark and eerie, full of creaks and groans from disuse in the middle of the woods. The trees shift their leaves outside with soft whispers as I take a gander inside my closet to find nothing but broken beer bottles. Rey holds tight to me and looks around. Maybe something else hangs over the house, like a veil of grim sadness for the misery that played out within its walls. I can’t sense it, but I’m sure she can. She’s a perceptive creature.

I sigh and shrug. “I suppose there’s nothing of interest here. Where to next, my love? We have some time before I meet with Palpatine and the others.”

Rey casts me a scowl. “You didn’t finish the story about your parents. Don’t I deserve to know if they’re the reason you kidnapped me?”

I raise an eyebrow and slip my arm around her waist to guide her back to the hallway. I’ve no interest in visiting my parents’ room.

 “I’m not sure why you’re so interested,” I muse, “but I did say I’d finish. Where did I leave off? Snoke?”

 “Yeah, after Kylo stabbed him in the gut. Kind of hilarious that he was okay with gangrene and you lose your shit when you see blood.” Rey smirks on our way down the stairs and hops off the last step. “Guess you didn’t get his strong stomach, huh?”

 “Oh, you know me, Rey…” I step in front of her and wrap one hand around her throat, nearly enclosing all of it. “I much prefer strangulation. Cleaner. Less mess to mop up.”

Her throat bobs under the pad of my thumb. She’s a wispy little thing, all bones from malnutrition—though I’m trying to prepare her for pregnancy. I’ve seen it in a dream… one black-haired child. That’s it. Rey won’t be ready to carry a pregnancy to term for some time, though. Too young, too thin.

But her pretty round face tightens with the contempt I find oddly alluring and she smiles coldly. “Right. Sorry I forgot. Where are we? Maine? Let’s go south. I want a warm beach.”

 “Your wish is my command.” I kiss her forehead, eyes closed, enjoying the salty warmth of her skin on my lips, and rub my thumb along the ridges of her trachea. “Florida, maybe?”

 “Yeah, sure—but finish the fucking story. What happened after he stabbed Snoke?”

I slide my hand to curl around the back of her neck instead and guide her from the empty house. It’s where my story began, and perhaps where it will end. I know every moment of my parents’ lives from beginning to end, and I know I won’t fall victim to the same sloppy mistakes.

 “Well,” I begin, “of course Kylo went straight back to my mother…”

Chapter Text

This is my biggest story, and I know my AO3 is very disconnected from Tumblr.

Stalking has escalated to the user hunting down my Facebook to “prove” I’m lying about my ethnicity (I’m 1/4 Native). My Facebook has public info, like my husband’s name and my place of work and where I live.

At this point it is now escalating to a report with the FBI. This user has invaded my privacy and is bordering on doxxing. I have to step back to compile a report and care for my mental health. I have many printed posts to detail the harassment from multiple users. This disagreement over a fictional story in a fictional universe now has real-life consequences that I cannot ignore.

Cyberstalking is a crime. Cyber bullying is a crime. You have violated my sense of safety and I will now pass it into the hands of the FBI.

Chapter Text

 “Rey.”

Rain rattled on the windows as I blearily woke in the middle of the night, wrapped in a blanket on the couch. I yawned and turned to find Kylo looming over me with a bloody knife in one hand and…

My eyes widened as he raised Snoke’s disemboweled head for me to look at. He’d hacked it off in a hurry, tearing into the tissue and tendons, and I could see part of his spine hanging beneath. I stared through the darkness at it, with only the sound of the rain around us. Kylo stared at me.

I grabbed the front of his shirt and dragged him into a sloppy kiss, clacking our teeth together. The knife clattered to the floor and I heard Kylo throw the head somewhere as he wrapped his arms around me and smeared blood on my back. We pawed at each other’s clothes, frantic to get closer, and Kylo ended up ripping my shirt off.

He didn’t waste time with foreplay. Once my pants were down to my ankles, Kylo unbuckled his belt and pushed inside me without a word. I hissed through my teeth in pain, but didn’t complain otherwise. He groaned in my ear and gave a sharp thrust to sink up to the hilt with me squirming underneath him.

There wasn’t much time for thinking. Maybe there was… but I didn’t care. We kissed hungrily, leaving trails of saliva across each other’s skin, and Kylo pressed his forehead to mine. I dug my nails into his shifting shoulder blades as he moved at a slow, even pace, and we stared and didn’t speak.

But the couch wasn’t working that well. Kylo got annoyed after a while and kicked the coffee table over, then dropped the blanket on the hardwood for us to lie on. I clung to him during the short shift to the floor and he laid me down so he could lean back and pull his shirt off. I finished kicking off my panties and slipped out of my torn shirt and Kylo took off his pants. He crept on top of me again and I was full of him after a few more breathless pants.

Teeth scraped teeth, we tore scratches along skin, and I sucked hickies along Kylo’s pale neck. He rolled my lower lip through his teeth, hard enough to draw blood, and I did the same to him. We breathed heavily and moaned in the dark as the rain drizzled on the cabin, and the scent of wet earth drifted in through the windows, cool and refreshing. Maybe I would stop thinking.

Hours passed. The rain came and went. Kylo didn’t let up until he couldn’t hold himself back anymore, and I laid in a trembling heap of satisfied bones and flesh as he climaxed with a guttural grunt. That’s all we were in the end. Two bodies looking for something, maybe just because of biology and impulse, but coming together all the same.

Kylo panted into my neck when his hips stilled, and rested his weight on me. Heavy, but nice. I ran my fingers through his knotted black hair while he caught his breath and kissed my neck. Normal post-coital glow—a first for us.

 “I love you,” Kylo mumbled.

 “…I know.”

We didn’t do much else for the next week. I kept crocheting the red scarf and Kylo drew pictures. He stayed quiet. I assumed he was working through his feelings on his own, since that was his nature, so I didn’t but him. We’d have sex a few times each day without using condoms, both of us understanding what the consequences could be.

One night, while I laid across his sweaty chest, listening to another rainstorm, he spoke.

 “I’ve known you for a long time, Rey.”

I frowned and looked up at his long, melancholy face. He’d grown more somber in recent days.

 “You have?” I echoed.

Kylo nodded once, green eyes distant. “I’d think of you sometimes—during combat. I never thought I’d see you again, until we met in the hospital.” He shrugged. “Fate, perhaps.”

Huh. I blinked at him a couple times, then leaned up to kiss his cheek. Kylo glanced at me and smiled.

 “Maybe,” I agreed.

My legs grew stronger. Soon I could walk again, and we both knew our time in the cabin was over. Kylo watched me from his chair amidst rows of drawings, gazing blankly as I stumbled through the living room on wobbly legs. I almost wanted them to never heal so we could stay in our bubble forever.

I cleared my throat. “I probably need another week—”

 “No, you don’t,” Kylo interrupted coldly. He rose, shirtless and tense. “We’re done here.”

Panic set in. He strode into the bedroom where we now spent our mornings lying quietly together, and came back with car keys. I managed to catch them when he threw them, then he stood there with his arms folded. The birds sang outside.

 “Get out,” Kylo snapped.

I squeezed the keys and stared at him, but didn’t speak. He clenched his jaw and took a step closer.

 “Get out,” he repeated.

Again I didn’t answer. My heart pounded as Kylo grew angrier and took another sharp step nearer. He snatched his knife off the desk.

 “Get out!” he shouted, gripping the knife tight.

Stubborn, I shook my head. His face clouded over furiously and he strode right in my face, pressing the knife to my throat to draw a bit of blood. I stared at him and he glared down at me. His knuckles turned white on the hilt.  

Kylo’s teeth clicked. “If you don’t leave now, I’ll never let you go.”

I nodded once, still gazing into his haunted green eyes. I know. His lower lip trembled.

 “…Things won’t always be this simple, Rey. I could still hurt you.” The knife bit into my flesh. “Kill you, even. I’m giving you an out.”

 “I don’t want an out.” I swallowed hard and pressed my quivering palm to his bare chest. “I want you.”

Kylo shifted his jaw and opened his mouth to spit more vitriol, but chucked the knife and hugged me instead. He lifted me off the floor as I struggled to embrace him too, and felt his tears dripping on my skin before I heard him sob. I clung to him and cried, too. We were both so tired.

So we left together. Kylo was still a wanted man, so we couldn’t just stroll out in public. We traveled to Arizona to sell my things, and I sold my house, then used the money to buy a place in the backwoods of Maine. The cabin was peaceful, surrounded by nothing but trees and silence.

We didn’t speak much—but we didn’t have to. Many nights I’d sit on the porch with Kylo beside me and listen to the crickets and the wind shifting through the trees. Things were easy.

Then we found out I was pregnant.

Kylo scratched the back of his head while I paced the bathroom in a panic. He wasn’t bothered in the least by the news, just indifferent like always. I had to figure out where I’d give birth, how the kid would get an education, and what the hell would happen to the kid in the long term. Holy shit.

I sat down on the white tile. “What are we going to do, Kylo?”

 “Might as well keep it.” He threw out the test and patted the top of my head. “You’ll have something to entertain you while I’m away. I’ll secure a midwife.”

 “We can’t raise a child in the middle of the fucking woods. What does he do when we die?”

Kylo laughed. “Who cares?”

Thankfully Kylo had the sense to take care of me during the pregnancy. I’d spend most of the time puking or eating pickles with frosting in front of the TV, watching reruns of Bewitched. He’d bring me food and medical supplies and take my blood pressure. My belly grew over the months. I did yoga outside in the backyard.

Kylo came and went as he pleased, but he was almost always home watching me. He seemed only vaguely interested until the night the baby moved inside me while we were sitting on the couch.

I gasped at the flutter, shocked. “Holy shit!” Excited, I grabbed Kylo’s wrist and pressed his hand to my stomach. “Feel! He’s moving!”

The TV flickered white as Kylo felt the baby roll around inside my womb. He raised an eyebrow.

 “So it’s still alive,” he drawled. “Lovely.”

But I knew Kylo was obsessed from that moment on. He had to fuck me from behind now, usually outside when I was in my skimpy yoga clothes, and his fingers would drift across my stomach. At night he’d curl up beside me and wander his palm until the baby kicked. They’d do that for a bit until the baby lost interest. Kylo would mutter like he was offended.

Kylo was of course obsessed with pregnancy sex. He became more insatiable the more I swelled up until I was too crabby to keep going. Raping the pregnant mother of his child was thankfully not in his wheelhouse. He’d pout and jerk off next to me in bed, though, and try to get his hand down my panties.

Being gentle didn’t come easy to Kylo, but he got better as time drew on. I’d lie on my side when we had sex and he’d slowly draw in and out, kissing my neck and stroking my clit until I climaxed with whimpers and moans. It felt awkward with the baby rolling around.

 “He can’t hear,” Kylo whispered in my ear one night. “Maybe he likes the contractions when you come.”

 “…Gross.”

Kylo laughed and held my thigh while he gently thrust inside me. “Nature isn’t always appropriate, Rey. Did you know fetuses have been known to masturbate in-utero?”

I scowled, revolted. “Jesus Christ, Kylo!”

 “Nature is ugly and horny, just like us.” He kisses along my jaw and laughed again. “Besides, he’s pissing and shitting in you, anyway. Isn’t that worse?”

For some reason, I let him climax, even though I should’ve bitchslapped him.

After a couple weeks of calm, Ben made his screaming entrance into the world, with only his father and me there to witness it.

The pain was unimaginable. I wailed when I was done, slack in a tub now full of blood and afterbirth, while Kylo cooed and cleaned our baby off. I made it. I fucking made it. No pain meds with only Kylo Ren to help coach me. Ben was crying and alive and so was I.

I heaved and cried. Kylo settled Ben on my chest, and I saw a shock of black hair. His eyes were blue like most newborns. He squirmed and hiccuped as I tried to angle his mouth to my nipple, then he latched on without hesitation. My eyes widened as Kylo drained the tub and calmly cleaned up the afterbirth.

 “Is… should this feel good?” I whispered.

Kylo glanced at me. “Yes. Your milk is letting down. It’s a bonding experience—don’t apply your bizarre puritanical shit to it. He’s alive and already eating.”

I’d refused the name Liev. Ben was much more fitting. He had a sharp nose already just like his father’s. I stared at him suckling and burst into tears at the sight of it. I had a baby with Kylo Ren. I had a baby with Kylo Ren, and he was too perfect for me to hate. I never could. I’d love him until he probably killed me.

Kylo took Ben when he was full and placed him in a small bassinet, swaddled in the red scarf I’d crocheted. Then he came to me to kiss my sweaty forehead and rinse off the blood and grime. Everything hurt, but I didn’t care. I could only think of the sleeping baby a few feet away.

 “Well done, my love,” Kylo cooed. “Very well done. Always so strong.”

 “It hurts,” I admitted. “I’m so tired.”

 “I know, I know. I’ll only wake you for feedings. You need a few days to rest and recover.”

Kylo carried me to our bedroom when I was cleaned so I could do just that. I passed out in a heartbeat and woke to the sound of Ben screaming a couple hours later. Kylo helped me sit up and supported Ben while he drank greedily. I fell back asleep sitting up.

It went on like that for a few years. Kylo didn’t leave much for the first five, but grew distant as Ben aged. They looked exactly alike. Ben had my eyes instead of his father’s and was eerily calm and composed. I considered myself lucky.

Kylo and I watched our son playing outside one snowy afternoon. Ben had recently turned eight and had never known another child his age. I glanced up at Kylo and sipped my coffee. He had a vasectomy. We wouldn’t be having more children.

 “He’s lonely,” I said.

 “No.” Kylo tilted his head, eyeing Ben. “He’s calculating. He likes the solitude.”

I rolled my eyes. “He’s eight. Let’s worry when he’s sixteen.”

 “Mm. One should always worry early on.”

But I didn’t. Sure I was a psychiatrist, but my son wasn’t being abused. I doted on Ben, spending all my time teaching him about the animals and plants and making sure he learned what he’d be taught in a normal school. Kylo brought us books. He’d hardly offer Ben a glance.

The years dragged on, and dragged me with them.

Kylo became worse. I knew it was because of the brain injury, but there was nothing I could do. We’d been together for over a decade and I loved him too much to risk losing him. I began obsessing over finding a fix, or a cure, and cry myself to sleep.

Ben watched. He saw me try to placate his father and scream and fight back when he slapped me. I knew he heard us in the middle of the night when Kylo pinned me down and raped me from behind. Trapped. Trapped. Trapped.

Kylo would cry after and run away for a week or two. Ben didn’t say anything. He’d stare at me while I cried and smashed things in the kitchen. I loved Kylo so much, but I couldn’t take it anymore.

Ben turned sixteen. He was bright beyond his years, quiet and brilliant, and destined to do great things. One night he went out for a walk, and his father came home for a monthly visit.

I gazed at Kylo from the couch. Sixteen years—now it was 1987. I’d turned forty-four, and my Kylo was fifty. We were both aged beyond our years, and tired, and sad that we couldn’t be together the way we wanted. I stared into his green eyes and cried.

He shut the door. “I can’t do this anymore, Rey.”

 “Neither can I, Kylo.” I slowly sat up, weakened by the onset of some disease taking my muscle tone. “I’m so tired.”

Those green eyes I’d first gazed into so many years ago wandered closer. He sank into the couch beside me, chilled from the snowfall, and pressed his forehead to mine. We fell silent. The fire crackled.

 “There’s something better,” Kylo whispered. “I know it. A place where none of this comes into play. We can be together the way we’re meant to be.” He traced my twitching upper arm. “No more disease—no more pain. Just us.”

My eyes prickled with tears. “And Ben?”

 “He’s never needed us. He’ll be fine.” Kylo smiled ruefully. “Remember when he was born? He took to the breast immediately. He knows what he needs to do. He always has.”

We were both too sick to carry on anymore. I’d be dead soon. Kylo often lost consciousness. Our time was over, and we’d begin the next step of our journey together. We’d always be together.

Kylo offered me a pill on his palm. I sobbed as I accepted it and held it between my front two teeth. Kylo did the same with tears running down his face, and we tried to settle into the couch. We never really could get comfortable.

Then we chewed in unison, the same being until the end, and the last thing I saw was a haze of green.