Angela reopened her tightly closed eyes when the pressure on her disappeared. All the men who struck her fell to the floor with painful moans. Some of them bled as if a blade cut them. Bewildered, her eyes slowing followed a trail of blood, and gradually a man came into sight. He held a shiny silver sword at an angle. Said the man, wiping the bloody blade with his glove.
“Planning on staying there?”
Angela’s brain was still processing the sequence of events, struggling with the wonder if he was addressing her. A moment later, relief washed over her as she saw the gang running away.
Angela had every intention of getting up from her current position but was hindered by her tied hands that she could not release by herself. As soon as she got up a little, she noticed an unpleasant smell of medicine in the bundle of cloth.
The more she struggled, the more she breathed in, the more her sense of vertigo seem to overwhelm her. Seeing Angela’s vain attempts, the man approached and removed the cloth from Angela’s mouth and released her from the confines on her hands. Angela took a deep breath of liberation. Anxiety moved her stiff tongue.
The man didn’t seem to care; instead, he pointed to her chest with a chin gesture. Mortified, Angela covered her chest and bowed her head. The front part of her dress was torn vertically, and the chest was clearly exposed.
She felt her pride crumble into a thousand pieces, ashamed that she was so naked.
Angela felt her face turn red when I thought her savior had already seen it. Flustered and afraid, Angela realized there was no way she could go home in this state. Wouldn’t she be targeted again?
“You will need clothes.”
Surprised, the voice lifted Angela’s head. The man raised his sword and pointed to the carriage behind his back. It seemed to be the carriage he had been riding on.
She looked at him with confused eyes. Said the man in a low tone.
“I’ll give you new clothes. Get in the carriage.”
Angela hesitated for a moment before deciding to accept his favor. I don’t really have a choice.
The man readily opened the carriage door. Unlike the modest outer appearance, the interior was comfortable and luxurious.
As soon as Angela sat down on the cozy seat, drowsiness threatened to overwhelm her. To keep her wits about her, she started to pinch her forearms and shook her head. Suddenly, a horrible thought crossed her mind.
What if you’re not trying to help—But planning on kidnapping me? How could I be so naive? Immediately accepting the favor of a strange adult man!? There is a coachman outside… but he is this man’s man. It is clear to follow the employer’s will.
Angela’s mouth ran dry. Her pale hand trembled into a fist with doubt and fear.
Angela moved toward the door in case she needed to jump off at any time. Then she glanced at the man with an alert look.
The man sat quietly at the end of the opposite seat and looked out the window. He seemed to be deliberately ignoring her.
What are you looking at? The lights of wagon barely light up the streets. It’s only dark.
Angela released a little bit of tension from her hand, comforted by his disinterest and apathy towards her.
There’s no need for pretense; if he were planning on harming me, he would already. I am worrying for nothing.
Angela’s mind ran around with optimistic thoughts. The longer the carriage traveled, the more the feeling of relief eroded her alertness.
It was then. Traveling up Angela’s toes, a strange feeling came up. It was warm and itchy. Her feet were sore, and her thighs tickled. Angela rubbed her knees and shook her skirt up and down. A heat was pooling in her lower belly, and her whole body turned into mush as if she had lower herself into a hot spring.
Her breath hitched, and her lips opened.
Angela’s lips bleed as she bit down, trying to get her wits about her. But the pain only further eroded her will and energy. A bite mark remained. Angela snuck a look at the man across from her.
Is it due to the noise of the wagon wheels? He seemed not to notice Angela.
Angela felt fortunate that he didn’t notice, but there was a lingering scratch of regret. Angela couldn’t control her feelings. The heat spread from the tip of her toes to the top of her head.
Why am I like this? Angela was puzzled, and at the same time, she remembered the cloth that had temporarily blocked her mouth. There was a nasty smell of medicine. A creepy thought occurred to her. Surely… !
But rational judgment was there. From her belly to her back and armpits, Angela was trapped by the feeling of her burning chest.
The man’s long fingers mesmerized her, and she couldn’t stop staring. A breath later, the carriage rattled, and the turbulence shook the gentlemen’s arms off the windowsill. He inadvertently looked at Angela. An anxious, flushed face was staring back at him.
The man gave Angela a stoic look. He got up and walked in front of Angela.
In anticipation, she moistened her lips with her tongue—of what she wasn’t sure. Perplexed, she gazed up into his face.
He grabbed her outstretched wrist, and his fingers read her pulse. Without hesitation, he grabbed Angela’s chin and pushed two fingers into her open mouth. He inspected her mouth, even her teeth. A fingertip gently pressed her tongue that stuck out. As he touched the roof of her mouth, Angela felt she was going to crumble and lifted her hand to pull away from him. But he didn’t even budge. Angela felt nauseous. Her eyes were sore, her neck cramped; it was clear she was in pain.
“Are you okay?”