He'd somehow found her and kidnapped her. He was going to kill her. She needed to escape.
"You—let me go!" Cried Savannah, as his powerful arms constricted her.
She raked her nails across his face, and he cursed loudly. Regardless, he lifted her in his arms and dropped her into the bed.
"Don't -" He warned, pointing the finger at her.
She froze like a deer in headlights.
He slowly sat down on the sofa in the corner of the bedroom, cross-legged: "Judy."
"Yes, sir." Said the maid, Judy checked Savannah's feet. Luckily, there were only cuts to her feet. Judy hurriedly disinfected the cuts and bandaged them. Then she left the room.
The atmosphere of the room cooled down. But Savannah didn't feel like the storm had passed, more that she was in the eye of it. "I…Why am I here?"
She had figured this was his house already, or at least one of his houses. This guy was rich. Mega rich. That somehow explained why Devin gave her to him, she guessed.
"I saw you faint outside Devin's apartment," Dylan said, drily.
The memory flashed across her mind, and she involuntarily recoiled, scrunching up her face. Was it a loss? Sadness…? No, humiliation. "And my clothes?"
"Judy undressed you."
She sighed with relief.
He grinned, but to her, it looked as if he were sneering: "Still shy? I've already seen…" His eyes wandered to the tops of her thighs, "everything."
Biting her lower lip, Savannah turned her head, away from him and this place.
But he questioned her closely: "Why haven't you broken up with Devin yet? And why on earth go back to him?"
How did he know? Unless… he'd followed her. Of course. What worried her more, however, was what he wanted with her now. She doubted it was a kindness that brought her here. Maybe for another round of sex, her his toy to be fucked senseless and left speaking gibberish afterward.
She bit her lip, "Look, any deal you made with Devin involving me – well, it is off. I'm out, okay? You and that sick fuck can just go fuck each other."
She got out of the bed and limped slowly towards the door.
"Wait a minute." His tone was cool and calm.
Savannah stopped and looked at him, warily: "Anything else?"
"Without Devin, your uncle's workshop will close. You don't want that. So how about you find another partner?" He lit up a cigarette.
His impassiveness chilled Savannah: "What do you mean?"
"Your uncle forced you to make up with Devin, right?"
She bit her lower lip tightly.
"After everything that has happened, are you really willing to go back to Devin?" She could see that Dylan had planned his little speech and, she supposed, much more besides. Confidence bled from him.
Dylan breathed the cigarette deeply, his grey eyes flashing dark and dangerous: "I can help you to break off your engagement, and aid you in keeping your uncle's business."
Savannah turned to face him.
"But I have conditions," Dylan added.
She held her breath.
"Be mine." The cigarette head flickered between his fingers. His eyes were stormy and shocking.
Savannah stood dumbfounded. She had never seen a man talking about ownership of a woman so casually.
"You are crazy." She eventually said, staring daggers at him. "I'm leaving and don't you dare follow me." She asked her clothes from Judy, got changed, left the villa.
Dylan watched her leaving. A ghost of a smile touched his lips.
Seven o'clock in the morning.
When Savannah got back home, it was morning, and a slant of lemon-colored sunlight lit up the kitchen. The radio was on, and it smelt of burnt toast. Dalton was at the dining table, reading a newspaper, and drinking a black coffee. "Was Devin angry?" He asked, stubbing one out. "Have you made up with him?"
Savannah looked over at Valerie: she was eating breakfast in a yellow dress, gentle and quiet, and oh so pretty. It was as if nothing had happened. She felt another of her heartstrings snap.
Exhausted, Savannah wordlessly went to her room. As the fever swept over her again, Savannah snuggled deeper into her bed, thought about all the hate she now felt towards her family and slept.
She awoke in the evening to a knock on the door.
Dalton called her outside: "Savannah, Devin is here! Come out!"
Savannah dragged herself up and opened the door.
Dalton took her aside and said in a low voice: "What's wrong with you? Your aunt and I finally convinced Devin home for dinner. Now grow up and apologize to him," he said, leaning in close to her face.
Savannah forced down the barbed wire ball in her throat, changed clothes, combed her hair, and walked down to the living room.
Devin was slouched on the couch, between Norah and Valerie. Norah smiled at him: "It's all Savannah's fault. Her uncle and I told her; Fights between lovers are common. Just - forget it!"
Valerie had rested her hand on his thigh and said: "She can be such a drama queen sometimes."
"Savannah, come and talk to Devin." Norah winked at her.
Savannah stared at Devin silently.
A long moment passed and Devin began to squirm under her gaze: sense the anger and humiliation and hate in it.
"Savannah!" Norah shouted.
She suddenly snapped out of it. "Can you come with me?" Said Savannah, a calmness overtaking her. "I want to talk to you." She left for the garden.
Norah sounded relieved and smiled apologetically to Devin: "Savannah's just shy. Why don't you both hash it out in private?"
Devin left, and Valerie glared after them, a storm passing over her face. Envy stabbed at her heart: She longed for him to take her and marry her. She'd given herself to him, and he'd accepted, filling her and completing her in ways she didn't know was possible. It wasn't enough, she decided, to be hidden away. Why couldn't he acknowledge their love? Because of Savannah? What a joke. And deep inside, a plan started to form.
It was warm out. The sun was low, and the sky was like orange peel. Birds sang loudly overhead, and a light breeze stirred the long grass. Savannah blurted it out: "Set me free, Devin. Just let me go."