Page 9 of The Good Bad Man

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“What’s happening?” I lick my dry lips.

“Water is there.” He points to the nightstand, ignoring my question as he releases his hold on me. “I only want you to take one pill this time. If you think you need it.” I shake my head that I don’t need it. “Maybe try moving your leg before you say no.” I shift. The pain isn’t too bad, actually. I grab the water and chug half of it down, ignoring the pill altogether.

“I have to pee.”

“All right. The doctor said you need to try and put some weight on your leg today.” He offers me his arm.

“Oh God, you carried me to pee before,” I recall suddenly. My face warms. I’m not sure why. The man saw me pretty much naked and washed me. Hell, he’s hand-fed me at times.

“Take my arm,” he orders. I do as I shift over to slide my legs to the side of the bed to get down. My feet hit the floor and a bite of pain sears through my thigh, causing me to wince. “Laurel, take the damn pill. I don’t want you in pain.”

“It’s fine,” I rush to say. Why does he care if I’m in pain? “It was sharp, but it went right away.” He eyes me with that irritated expression on his face. I don’t know why, but it makes me want to giggle when I should be peeing myself. Everyone knows not to play with Kane Santino. Yet I can’t help myself. I enjoy pushing his buttons.

“All right.” I give him some of my weight as we walk together toward the bathroom. My leg actually starts to feel better with each step I take. My thigh muscle begins losing the tension in it. “You called me Laurel.”

“It’s your name.” Of course, he knows my name. I’m sure he’s pulled up everything there is about me out in the world. I’m not sure there is much. It’s weird hearing him call me by my name. Now, I’m the one that’s irritated for some weird-ass reason.

“I’ve got it from here,” I say when we make it into the bathroom and are close to the door that goes into the toilet.

“I’ll be back with some clothes. I’m guessing you want out of the robe?”

“Yes, please.” He nods, stepping back. I try to close the door, but he grabs it, stopping me.

“Door stays open.”

“Got a peeing kink?”

“What I’ve got is a little bird who wants to take a nosedive any chance she can get.”

“It was only one time,” I huff.

“One time,” he scoffs. “You put a fucking gun to your head and tried to pull the trigger.”

“Wrong,” I toss back. “I pulled the trigger.”

“Door stays open.” He swings it all the way open, making it bang against the wall. A sliver of fear rushes up my spine at his anger. He takes another one of those deep breaths. Does he always do that or do I cause him to? “I’ll be back with your clothes.”

The second he turns to go, I sit down and pee quickly so I’m done before he gets back. I actually make it to the sink to wash my hands before he reenters the bathroom. He sets a pile of clothes down on the counter.

“Toothbrush and anything else you might need are in here.” He pulls open a drawer that’s filled with girly crap. I don’t know why seeing those things in the drawer annoys me, but it does. “I put a new bandage over your wound. You can shower with it on, but when you’re done, we need to take it back off.”

“I, ah…”

“I’ll be right here, so don’t think you can try anything. There is nothing in this bathroom you could use to harm yourself or me. The bench in the shower should make it easy for you if it becomes too much for you to stand.”

“I get to shower alone now? I must be on good behavior,” I half-heartedly tease. Kane’s face for once doesn’t become irritated at my tiny jab at being his prisoner. I’m actually not sure what this expression is.

“Is that how it worked with your father? You did what you were told and that kept you out of the cage?” Even his tone has changed. An unexpected ball of emotion lodges in my throat.

“No, I always did as I was told. He just enjoyed his control and power.”

“As you think I do?”

“I really don’t know, Kane,” I say honestly. As much as I want to lump him in with my father, I can’t bring myself to do it. Not with how the last few days have played out. My father enjoyed inflicting pain. I can’t say that about Kane. Well, not when it comes to it being directed at me. I’ve heard some stories about him, but who knows what's real and what’s gossip? I’m sure the truth lies in the middle. That still makes him someone you don’t toy with. Yet, somehow I keep getting away with it. Again, I ask myself why? “You confuse me.”