Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Romero stared out into the beautiful sunset, a smile briefly lighting her face as the colors in the sky turned from pink to orange to red and then finally a dark indigo blue as the sun finally set, to far gone for the eye to see. She felt a touch on her shoulder and turned around to see her foster mother looking at her.
“You should come inside now. Everyone’s waiting.” She spoke quietly, trying to ignore the tears in Mercedes’ eyes so she wouldn’t start crying herself.
“Mama, I don’t want to leave with him.” She threw herself into her mama’s arms, desperately wanting to find some form of peace. The older woman gently stroked her hair.
“He’s your father now. Aren’t you happy someone wants to adopt you?” Mercedes shook her head softly. “Here in Mexico, we’re poor. After your parents died, the orphanage decided you should live with us, mere friends. We want you to stay, but we love you enough to know you can’t. In the United States, you will have a better life. You’ll have a new school, make new friends. Who knows?” She smiled, encouragingly. “Maybe you’ll even get your own car.” Mercedes burst into tears.
“I don’t care. You’re my family. I don’t even know him.”
“Ah Mercedes. Give him a chance. You are fortunate to have found such good people who are willing to take you. So many here don’t even have family to speak of.” She forced Mercedes’ gaze to hers so she could look into her eyes. “You will have a good life. You need someone to take care of you. You’re not ready to take care of yourself yet.” Mercedes nodded, halfheartedly, rubbing the tears from her eyes. She walked back inside the small house, badly in need of repair. Her mama was right. Maybe she would have a better life. Timidly, she entered the tiny dining room. All conversation stopped as she paused to stare at a tall man she took to be her new father. His face was kind, though something akin to greed seemed to glint in his eyes when he looked at her. Mercedes chided herself, sure it was only her imagination. Slowly she walked closer, moving to accept the hand her “father” was extending towards her. His grip was firm, holding onto her hand perhaps a little longer than needed. She pulled away, anxious. Her papa spoke up, breaking the silence with his heaving Spanish accent, speaking English so the stranger could understand.
“Mercedes. This is your new father, Jason Bennett.” He then motioned to a small younger woman with sandy colored hair. “This is his wife, Adrienne.” Adrienne looked at Mercedes, her expression warm but painted on somehow.
“Mercedes. I can’t tell you how much I’ve been looking forward to meeting you. We were very excited when we found out about you.” Mercedes only smiled. Looking at her papa, she spoke to him in Spanish.
“Why are you making me go with these people. We don’t even know if they are who they say they are.” Her papa laughed nervously at her suddenly cold expression. Nodding towards his confused guests, he attempted to explain.
“She’s just nervous. She needs time to adjust. I’m sure after she leaves with you tonight, she won’t be so afraid.” Mercedes stared at him. She wanted to cry but dared not. The last thing she wanted was for these strangers to find her weak.
Twenty-five-year old Jason Bennett stared at the girl in front of him. He’d never dreamt anyone so young could be so beautiful. Her black waves framed her slightly tanned face. She was a little taller than the average woman, but not to tall. When she looked at him, Jason could swear she was staring right through him with those big black eyes, fanned by thick lashes. Her lips were full, boasting a deep, wine-red color. On her neck, he could almost see her pulse beating steadily, claming she was not as calm as she appeared. That spot seemed to beg for a hard, passionate kiss. His palms began to sweat as he looked at her, all else blocked out. Jason stopped. The way he was looking at her was painfully obvious. This was the wrong time to be thinking about things like this. A voice interrupted his reverie. He saw Mercedes standing there, her voice angry though he hadn’t the least idea of what she was saying. Her “father” was looking at them apologetically and then muttered something cloaked in a thick Mexican accent. Jason nodded absentmindedly, not really understanding or caring. Looking at Mercedes, he searched her with his blue eyes.
“All the papers are in order. Are you packed?” Mercedes nodded.
“Yes.” Her voice was deep, sultry, with only a slight hint of the Spanish accent her foster parents had. “I’ll go get my bags.” Jason watches as Mercedes stepped from the room, enticed by the slow swaying of her slim hips. She retuned dressed in a tight black spaghetti-strapped top and ripped low-rise jeans. She’d pulled her black mane up into a loose bun and carried her one bag over her shoulder. Jason reached out, offering to take it. Mercedes shook her head, a small smile lighting her face.
“Thanks. I’ve got it.” She moved towards her foster parents, embracing them. Jason could see her body shake softly with pent up sobs yearning to be released. He gently took hold of her arm, leading her away.
“We don’t want miss the plane.” Mercedes pointedly ignored him. Looking at her mama and papa, she waved to them, trying not to cry at the sight of her Mama’s tears.
“Goodbye, Mama. Goodbye, Papa. I’ll be fine. I love you.” Her face crumbled slightly as she stepped in the car, but she refused to cry. She looked out the window as they drove down the dusty road, staring at the quickly fading figures of her parents.
Mercedes looked out the window of the 747 aircraft. She’d never been in a plane before but was too tired to be nervous. She leaned back in the first leather class seat, lulled by Jason absently drumming his fingers on the armrest next to her. Mercedes could sense his eyes piercing through her even as his wife sat just on the other side of her.
“So, Mercedes.” Mercedes looked up at Adrienne, doing her best to look interested and hoping it wasn’t another one of her feeble attempts at conversation. “I really think you’re going to enjoy your new home. Boston is just bursting with vivid excitement.” She paused as if waiting for her daughter to respond, then tried a different approach. “We’ve already enrolled you at a very good private school for girls.” Mercedes looked at her.
“They’ll take me without an interview?”
“For you they’ve made an exception. We’ve already told the board you’re very smart. They’re willing to give you a chance.” Adrienne leaned back in her seat, a dreamy look on her face. “Think of it. You’ll finally have a real chance at education, at life. We can give you what you really deserve.” Mercedes had to fight to keep her composure. Who did this woman think she was? She had the personality of a spoiled brat. Everything she did and the way the acted, spoke of her sheltered, genteel upbringing. Her constant attempts at conversation were driving Mercedes crazy.
“I was just fine before you came along.” The smile on Adrienne’s face dissolved and her expression turned frustrated despite her obvious attempts to cover it. “My life was just fine.” She rose from her seat and walked back to the bathroom, trying to stop the torrent of feminine tears from breaking through.
Jason pulled out the silver key to his estate and opened the door for Adrienne and Mercedes. He took the bags from his chauffer and led them into the house. Mercedes looked around, awed. She couldn’t help but be attracted to her new surroundings. Her shoes clicked along the marble floor and her eyes gazed at the plush leather furnishings. All around her, everything was absolutely perfect. Too perfect. Mercedes felt almost uncomfortable as Jason and Adrienne led her to a large room upstairs. Inside was a canopy bed, white shelves filled with books and a walk-in closet. Mercedes looked at Jason, a question in her eyes.
“This is your room.” He said, as if sensing what she wanted to ask him. He left with Adrienne, leaving their daughter to get settled.
Jason lay awake that night, satisfied at how his plan was progressing. Mercedes was his now. When he got her pregnant her vast fortune would also be his. She, of course, knew nothing of this. How could she? All her life she’d assumed she was an orphan, penniless, without a future, while all along she was the kidnapped daughter of one of the richest men in the U.S. Her father would pay millions to anyone who found her. Since he was all the way in California, and this was Boston, not many people knew about it; but Jason had special connections. He would do anything for money. As his only child, she was heiress to his entire estate. By getting her pregnant, Jason would have access to that. She would be dependant on him. As the baby’s father, he would have a hold on her.
Midnight-5 days later-
Jason stepped quietly into Mercedes’ room, his silhouette bouncing off the moonlit walls. He walked over to the bed, drawing open the gauzy white canopy. She lay there wearing only a black lace bra and silky underwear, partly covered by her down covers. Jason watched her, mesmerized by the curves of her body and the firm outline of her buttocks. He moved to caress her dark mane, the dark waves left to trail wherever they pleased. Jason let his hands travel through her soft silk-like tresses. Mercedes murmured, a small smile on her face. She moved from her side to her back, allowing him the pleasure of seeing the full outline of her firm breasts. Jason could barely contain himself as she raised her arms behind her in a mock stretch and moved her legs out from under the covers, slowly allowing her thighs to caress the soft covers. He reached out to touch her cheek, then the warm softness of her full lips, sucking in his breath as she opened her mouth, taking two of his fingers in her mouth, her teeth biting them. Slowly he removed them. Ignoring her disappointed murmur, he moved forward to kiss her full on the lips, pleasure cursing through his spine as her hands closed around his neck, pulling him closer. Still asleep, only conscious of her erotic dream, Mercedes shoved her tongue into the warm crevices of his mouth, smiling at his eager response. Jason pulled himself completely onto the bed, so engrossed in his desire he barely knew what he was doing. His breathing came faster as he kissed her harder, allowing his body to fully cover her. He pressed his lips against the warm crevice of her neck, feeling her pulse pound under him.
Mercedes murmured before her eyelids suddenly flew open, her eyes widening in shock. Moving away, she stared at him, pulling the bed sheets to her. Jason moved towards her, smiling, slowly kissing her lower lip. When she spoke, her voice shook.
“What…what are you doing here?” She seemed genuinely confused, with no trace of the erotic passion Jason had felt from her before.
“You wanted me here.”
“I…I did?” Her voice bore none of the hardness she used against him and Adrienne during the day.
“You did.” He caressed her cheek with the back of his hand. “I had no idea you were so experienced.” Mercedes pulled away sharply, her former fire restored.
“Get out.” Her voice was low, angry. Jason thought he could also detect a note of fear.
“It’s not wrong. Your 17 and I’m 25. There’s nothing wrong with-”
“I’m your daughter, not your whore.” Mercedes looked at him, taking pleasure in her hold on him. “Get out.” Jason moved away from her. She could see he was angry in the way his muscles clenched when he walked out of the room. He obviously wanted her, needed her. She sunk back into the bed, puling her blanket around her, suddenly unable to sleep. He could never know that for those few disgusting moments, she’d actually desired him, yearned for his touch, desperately needing him. If he knew, that would be her downfall.
Mercedes walked through the halls of the Sacred Hearts priory for girls, searching for her classroom. One girl noticed her confused expression.
“Hi. You must be new here. Do you need help with something?" Mercedes looked up to find a girl around 17 or 18 looking at her. Her blonde hair was pulled up into two pigtails and she was dressed in the same white blouse and plaid skirt as everyone else at the school. She smiled causing Mercedes to look down, suddenly shy.
“Um. I’m looking for my math classroom. I’m in A.P. calculus. Do you know where that is?”
“Sure. I’m in that class, too.” She looked at Mercedes. “What’s your name?”
“I’m Sarah.” Sarah walked quickly, leading her towards the classroom. They were the first ones inside. Slowly sitting on one of the chairs by the desks, Mercedes busied herself pulling out her books from her backpack, hoping to go through the rest of the day, unnoticed. Sarah immediately spoke up, smashing any hope of that. Her voice was not directed to Mercedes but to someone else. She looked up to see a guy, not much older than herself, sitting in the desk at the front if the classroom. He wore his hair spiked and kept his white shirt partly open, not wearing a tie or a black suit like the other teachers she’s seen. Sarah’s voice interrupted her reverie.
“Mr. Taylor, this is Mercedes. She’s new here.” Mercedes sucked in her breath as he looked at her, his brown eyes resting on her for a moment. Rising from his chair, he walked over extending his hand towards her, his grip warm, inviting.
“Mercedes. I’ve looked forward to meeting you for some time now.” From somewhere inside herself, Mercedes found a smile.
“Thank you.” She replied, holding his gaze in hers, as if daring him to turn away. “I’m told I missed a lot of work. If you’ll give it to me, I’ll start on it tonight.”
24-year-old Matthew Taylor closed his book; relieved the day was finally finished. He was just about to leave when a quiet nock at his door drew his attention away from his task.
“Come in.” He looked up from his desk, surprised to find his new student walking into the room. His breathing immediately quickened. Mercedes. The small frown on her face only brought her more beauty. She was absolutely exquisite, her white uniform blouse perhaps just a little too tight, framing her slim waist, and her plaid skirt higher than regulations allowed. “Mercedes. What a surprise.” She wasted no time with small talk.
“I’ve been waiting around for I while, and it’s pretty obvious my parents aren’t going to pick me up. Could you tell me where the bus stop is?” Matt stopped, his mind going blank for a moment.
“No need for that. I can drive you home. I was just on my way out anyway.” He saw her hesitate, unaware of her inner struggle.
“If it’s no trouble-”
“No trouble at all.” He smiled encouragingly. Leading her outside towards his car. Mercedes stopped at the door.
“Won’t people get the wrong idea?”
“Not at all.” Matt replied, more sure than he felt. “Besides, almost everyone’s gone now.” He stepped inside the car, waiting so she could get herself settled into the seat next to him. They drove in a strangely comfortably companionship, the blue mustang working its way along the roads and highways as Mercedes gave Matt directions. She looked at him, suddenly feeling hot, not from the weather but from his heated gaze on her. Unbuttoning her blouse, she implored him with her eyes.
“Do you mind?” He only nodded, as if incapable to do anything else, trying no to stare as she pulled off her blouse, wearing only a tight black camisole underneath. Trying to get his mind off of her, Matt opened his mouth to speak.
“I noticed you were ahead of many of the other students today. It looks like this class is pretty easy for you.” Mercedes sighed running her hands through her hair, as if tired, fully aware of his eyes on her.
“I leaned a lot of it before in my high school in Mexico.” She decided to change the direction of the conversation. “I hope this isn’t going out of your way.”
“Not at all. I live just a few blocks down from your area.” Matt turned another corner. “Is this it?” Mercedes nodded.
“Yah. This is it.” She gathered her books and backpack and opened the front door.
“Need some help?”
“No. I think I’ve got it.” Mercedes smiled as he helped her out of the car. “Thanks for the ride.” She smiled, waving as she walked away.
“No problem.” Matt stepped back into the car and turned on the radio, doing his best to rid his mind of his beautiful new student.
Mercedes stepped into the large stone house, wondering if Jason hadn’t driven her home because of how she’d rejected him earlier. She walked upstairs, stopping midway at the sound of voices.
“Jason, she’s so cold. I barely know how to react around her. Every time I see her she gives me this murderess look.” The voice sounded like Adrienne’s.
“I know baby, but giver her some time. She just got here a few days ago.” Mercedes was disgusted. It was obvious the only reason he wanted her here was to vent his desires.
“Maybe we should send her back. I’m sure that foster family she was living with would be quite eager to take her.” Mercedes heard a kiss and then a low sultry voice. “Think about it, baby. I’m going to tell Maggie to start dinner. Before she could move away, the door opened and Adrienne stepped out. When she spoke, her voice was cold.
“How long were you listening to our private conversation?” Her voice was hard, as if Mercedes were the one in the wrong.
“Just long enough to know you want to send me back.” She stepped further up the stairs so she could look into Adrienne’s eyes. “Why don’t you just do it?” Ignoring the shocked look on her adoptive mother’s face, she walked past her.
Mercedes knew they would be expecting her to skip dinner, which would be her very reason for doing just the opposite. After finishing the homework she hadn’t finished after school, Mercedes took a shower and rubbed herself dry, brushing her hair until the dark waves gleamed and fell softly down her back. She pulled on a tight black halter dress going only to her mid-thighs, knowing how much Adrienne liked for everyone to be dressed up for dinner. Mercedes put on a pair of chandelier earrings but left her neck bare, wanting Jason to think about the kisses they’d shared the night before. Wanting him to think about how he’d taken advantage of her in her sleep. If he even thought about sending her back, he’d probably think twice about that tonight. She realized now she did have a better chance at life here. However much she longed to go back, she knew she had to think about her future.
Jason walked into the dining room arm in arm with Adrienne. He found himself disappointed Mercedes wasn’t there, but then, after her outburst with Adrienne, he hadn’t really expected her to be. He sat down after pulling out a chair for his wife and motioning for the footman to proceed. He pasted a smile on his face for Adrienne just as Mercedes walked in. She looked at him, moving towards her seat as if in slow motion. Her black eyes, enhanced by dark eye shadow, pierced through him, slowly analyzing every bit of him as if able to sense his very thoughts. Mercedes sat down, casually tossing back her dark hair and smiling at the startled couple.
“Sorry I’m late.” Somewhere in his gut, Jason knew she’d planned it this way. Why else would she be smiling at him? Why else would he be sweating the way he was? This had to be some sort of punishment for the way he’d taken advantage of her last night. He saw her twist her neck upward, smiling endearingly at the footman serving her while casually twisting her hair between her long fingers. She then slowly dipped one into the gravy on her plate, pointedly staring at him while she stuck it between her red lips, licking it sensuously, before bringing it down to her lap. Jason knew she was once again reminding him of the night before. He didn’t think he could make it through dinner. Mercedes was playing with him and he was responding just the way she’d hoped.
When dinner ended, Mercedes made sure she stood up first; leaving the room before Jason so he would have a chance to once again stare at her beautiful figure. She walked upstairs, pleased at the look on his face when she disappeared into her bedroom without him.
Mercedes knew Jason would return that night. She knew he would return to her hot with his own desire, a desire she’d refuse to fulfill. She switched off her light, making sure she left the window open so the moonlight could dance across of her body and her hair. Closing her eyes she waited, not surprised when she heard a click at her doors and then footsteps moving closer to her bed. She smiled slightly, enjoying the sound of his breathing, quickening as he reached out to pull away her blanket, revealing her body, dressed only in a tight black silk dress, stopping at the tops of her smooth upper-thighs. The dress clearly revealed the tops of her breasts and outlined her firm waist. Mercedes felt Jason reach out, timidly pulling the string holding the top part of her dress closed. Just as he pulled, Mercedes grasped his hand firmly, gently removing it from the top of the short, low-cut outfit. She opened her eyes slowly, licking her full lips, taking her time with each one.
“I knew you’d come.” Mercedes whispered. He didn’t respond, only reached down and kissed her firmly before turning her body around so her back was to him. Jason tore off the criss-crossed ribbons in the back of the dress before pulling it off altogether. Frustrated, he saw she still wore a red-lace bra and matching low-cut red silk panties. Jason leaned down, kissing her lower waist before working himself up to her neck. Mercedes lay there, softly moaning, encouraging him to go on. She wanted him to be dying of want for her before she sent him away. He turned her over again, so the front of her body was to him. She saw him stop as if in hesitation before grasping her small waist in his hands and burying his face into her neck, his lips searching for her pounding pulse. Jason pulled himself completely on her, running his hands through her hair, softly bighting her lower lip.
“I need you so badly. Don’t deny me tonight.” Mercedes moved away from him, disgusted by his pathetic plead. Jason pulled her back, attempting to pin her under him again. She slapped him. Instead of the submissive reaction she’d expected from him, Mercedes was surprised to feel a stunning blow on her left cheek. She looked up into his furious expression, her eyes a mixture of fear and anger. When he spoke, Jason’s voice was low, angry. “You took advantage of me.” Mercedes didn’t say anything. “I saw the way you looked at me during dinner. I felt the way you responded just now and last night. Don’t think I don’t know what you want. You want me just as much as I want you, so don’t pretend you’re so in control of yourself.” She looked at him, no less disgusted.
“You’re sick. Why don’t you just admit this is a one-sided relationship instead of forcing yourself to believe the fantasy?" Jason looked at her, his expression hard.
“Why would you lead me on like that? Do you need someone to control so badly?”
“I wanted to see how far you would go. I wanted to see, if I let you, would you actually be so low as to take advantage of your own daughter.” Mercedes moved closer to him, lightly brushing her lips against his, noticing how his muscles tensed. “Congratulations.” She whispered. “You’ve just proved my point.” Jason pulled away, beyond angry.
“I don’t know whether to rape you now or leave you satisfied with your accomplishments tonight.”
“It’s your decision.” Mercedes made sure he noticed as she lay back down, pulling the covers over her exposed body. Jason got off the bed, furiously walking to the double doors before turning around.
“Next time you do this there will be consequences.” Mercedes only turned over so her back was to him, another way of saying she didn’t care what the hell he did.
Jason stalked out of the room, beyond angry. He’d been so close. He’d wanted her so badly, not only because he had to make her pregnant but also because he’d actually desired her. Jason had to admit, he hadn’t thought her to be so smart. Mercedes was every bit the little whore he’d assumed her to be. Jason slipped between the sheets of his own bed, deciding against waking Adrienne to vent his desires on her. She knew nothing of his plan. He stared at the dark ceiling, the moonlight flickering slowly across it. This wasn’t over yet. When the time was right, he would make Mercedes completely his.
-1 month later-
“Congratulations, Mercedes. You are officially done with extra work. You’re all caught up.” Mercedes smiled at Matt.
“Thanks. It’ll be nice not have so much work anymore.” She began gathering her books.
“So. How’s living with your new parents.” Mercedes briefly stopped working.
“How do you know I’m adopted?”
“The board told me before you got here. I must admit they will a little hesitant about admitting you, especially about an interview.” He saw the questioning look on her face. “Don’t worry about it. I’ve heard nothing but good things about you. Everyone brags about your quick mind and excellent work.” Mercedes smiled. “You didn’t answer my question. How’s life at home?”
“Pretty good.” She replied, hoping he couldn’t see through her lie. Matt only smiled in return.
“Does your father know I drive you home every day?”
“I didn’t see a need to tell him.”
“I’m almost eighteen. I don’t thinks it’s going to matter.”
“Exactly, ‘almost eighteen,’ not legally an adult. You’re still a minor, I don’t want people getting the wrong idea.” Matt couldn’t help but feel destroyed at the wounded look on Mercedes’ face. “Mercedes I-”
“No. Please. If you didn’t want me riding with you, you could’ve just told me.” Before he could say another word, she fled from the room. Matt sighed. He didn’t deny his frustration. He was very attracted to Mercedes. He couldn’t help himself. At first it had just been her looks, but slowly he’d grown to love her smile, her laugh, her intellectual abilities. He could really talk to her. She was hardly an immature child. She knew more at her age than many knew in a lifetime.
All that didn’t matter. Matt knew what would happen if anyone knew of their relationship, however innocent it was. He knew he could loose his job or worse. Besides, he hardly knew anything about Mercedes. He could sense she was hiding something from him. Matt didn’t want to judge her until he knew everything.
Mercedes pounded her fist against the desk in frustration. She couldn’t concentrate on writing this research paper to save her life. Sighing she tried again, reading the information on the web page slower. A voice interrupted her.
“What’s the problem?” She looked around to see Jason, an amused look on his face.
“What the hell do you want?”
“I want to know why you’ve ignored me for the past month.” He replied, amusement gone.
“I don’t know Jason.” She replied sarcastically. “Could it be because you tried to rape me and then got mad when I resisted you, or is it that you come to my room almost every bloody night and pound on my door like some drunken bastard? Which one do you think?” Jason stared, lost in the fire of her eyes.
“Adrienne’s pregnant.” She looked at him curiously, unable to determine why he’d made the conversation take such an obscure turn. “Are you jealous?” He knelt down behind her sitting form, kissing her neck. Mercedes turned towards him.
“No. I think you’re disgusting. It’s obvious because you didn’t succeed with me you turned to your wife instead, your second choice. That’s what she is, isn’t she? Your second- rate whore.”
“Oh? And who, may I ask, do you think I desire the most.” His eyes pierced through her, daring her to say what he already knew.
“Me.” Jason laughed, standing up.
“You place yourself on too high a pedestal.”
“Do I?” Mercedes stood up. “Why is it then, that every night, you come to my room first?”
“Why else would you want me to admit I want you more than my own wife?”
“You’re twisting my words. I never wanted anything from you.” He laughed sarcastically, and then leaned in towards her.
“Listen to me, Mercedes. What I feel for you and what I feel for my wife are… different.”
“What’s the difference?”
“What I feel for my wife is…love.” Mercedes stared at him.
“That’s really funny.” She walked away from him. “I’m done talking.”
“Oh so that’s it? You think you can just dismiss me?” Jason leaned into her, pressing his lips to her left ear. “I’m coming tonight. You will not lock your door, and you will give me all the pleasure I want. Is that clear.”
“Why would I do that?” Mercedes struggled to keep her voice from trembling.
“You don’t want me to get you kicked out of school because of your little ‘relationship’ with your teacher, right?” Jason didn’t miss the furious glint of fire in Mercedes’ eyes.
“How do you know about this?”
“How could I not? He drives you here every day after school.”
“There’s nothing going on between us.”
“We’ll see about that.” Jason murmured. “See you tonight.”
“With pleasure.” Mercedes whispered, sarcastically.
When it came time for dinner, Mercedes could hardly eat. Jason didn’t try to hide his passion for her, knowing his wife was too ignorant to notice. His heated gaze bore through her, silently reminding her of the promise she’d made to him. Mercedes excused herself as quickly as she could after dinner, walking quickly through the hallways and up the stairs to her room. She stripped and showered, trying to forget herself as the warm water washed over her. Pulling on a short dark blue corset-topped dress, she sat on the bed, nervously staring out the window. When the knock at her door came it was almost two hours later. Mercedes jumped, surprised. Jason laughed.
“I see you didn’t forget about our little date.”
“Whatever. Let’s just get this over with, o.k.” She walked over, pulling him down, kissing his lips and driving her tongue into his mouth. Mercedes heard his breathing quicken as he quickly pulled away.
“Hold on a second. Not so fast. I don’t just want to ‘get this over with.’ I want you to be a willing partner in this.” Mercedes laughed, sarcastically.
“That wasn’t part of the deal. You think I actually want you here? Think again.” She stared into his blue eyes. “Listen. You’re here. You take what you want and you leave. That’s the way it works. You may own my body right now, but you don’t own my soul.” Jason didn’t say anything. “Got that?” He nodded, unable to say anything else as she unbuttoned his shirt and kissed him again, slowly, seductively. He knew she was trying to get him to move faster. All she wanted was for this night to be done. Jason didn’t bother being gentle with her, loving the way she squirmed uncomfortably under him as he bit and kissed her. Mercedes was no longer in control of herself. He couldn’t help but love the power he had over her, power she’d once held. One thing he couldn’t do was seduce her. Even as he caressed her bare body, Mercedes did nothing but stare at him with empty eyes, one small tear slowly making its way down her cheek. Jason slowed, gently kissing her smooth lips. Wiping the tear from her face, he looked into her pain-stricken eyes.
“Mercedes, please. I only want to make you feel like you belong here. There’s nothing wrong with what we’re doing.” She stared at him, seeming to see through his lie.
“What did I ever do to you? Why the hell are you torturing me like this? I didn’t do anything to hurt you.” Much to her chagrin, she let out a sob, the tears trailing down her exposed body. Mercedes didn’t move when Jason gently cradled her in his arms, his touch making her skin crawl. Jason sighed. A woman’s tears had always undone him. He was moved by her sobs, but what he felt from the closeness of her naked body was stronger. Ashamed, he knew he couldn’t stop. Even as her quiet sobs continued, he pressed her to the bed, once again covering her body with his. He finished her off, noticing the way her body tensed in shock before she let out a loud scream of pain. Jason quickly leaned over and covered her mouth with his, muffling her cries of agony. He gently stroked her hair, whispering softly.
“I’m sorry it had to be this way.”
“Don’t waste your sympathies on me.” She turned away from him, closing her eyes in exhaustion, biting her lip to keep herself from letting out another sob. “Just go. You have what you want.” She whispered. Stung, Jason pulled away, slowly walking back to his room, away from her.
-1 month later-
Even a month after Jason raped her, Mercedes still felt sick. Her eighteenth birthday had passed. Every day was agony. She felt tired but couldn’t sleep because of the amount of homework she had to finish. The only time she could rest was before school because she arrived earlier than anyone else. Mercedes knew she was pregnant. What else could it be? She wanted to cry. She hated Jason for what he’d done to her. Every spare moment she had was spent either throwing up what little she’d eaten or sobbing over her present unbearable fate. She just wanted to go home, to have her mama hold her and tell her everything was going to be fine.
Mercedes walked into her empty calculus classroom. She looked at the clock. As always when she arrived, it read around 6:00 a.m. Exhausted, she dropped her things and sat on a desk, closing her eyes as she leaned her head over. Minutes later she felt herself being awakened, a gentle touch closing over her hands. She looked up, her breathing quickening when she realized it was Matt staring at her.
“Hey. What’s up?” His face was concerned as she sat up suddenly dizzy. Mercedes feigned a smile even as her head swam.
“Nothing. I’m fine, just a little tired, that’s all.”
“You’ve been ‘tired’ every day for the last few weeks, and look at you. You’re so skinny.” Mercedes looked away.
“Then why are you taking bathroom breaks to throw up?” Mercedes looked up, for the first time truly angry with him.
“What are you getting at?” She didn’t bother to ask how he knew of her little escapades to the bathroom.
“Either you’re anorexic or-”
“Or what.” Mercedes looked into his eyes, daring him to say it.
“Or pregnant.” He said, quietly. She was about to respond just as Emily, another student, strode into the room, oblivious to the tension. Matt didn’t move his gaze from Mercedes’.
“We’ll talk about this later.” Mercedes nodded, trying to bight down the nausea quickly taking over her body. Ignoring it, she lay her head on the desk again.
Mercedes fought back her tears as she threw up, choking out everything she’d eaten for lunch that day. She was glad it was the end of the school week. Quickly wiping her tears, she composed herself as she walked out of the bathroom, only to bump into Matt.
“There you are. I was hoping to talk to-” He stopped at the sight of her tear-stricken face. “You look terrible. Let’s go. I’ll take you home.”
“No, please. I’ll be fine.”
“I won’t pressure you to tell me what’s going on, but you can’t stay by yourself when you feel like this.” He looked into her eyes, watching as she nodded slowly, reluctantly.
“O.k.” Mercedes whispered, allowing Matt to lead her to his car, her sickness still remaining with her even as the car started. She was too tired to be curious as to why he wasn’t asking her questions as she closed her heavy eyelids.
Matt watched Mercedes as she slept, her face calm, no longer in turmoil. She was probably pregnant or she wouldn’t have evaded his question that morning. He couldn’t help the protectiveness welling up inside him as he remembered her tearstained face from a few moments ago. Matt soon reached her house. He looked down at her serene features, hating to wake her. He touched her gently, hating himself as she moaned softly in disappointment. Her eyes was clouded, her eyelids drooping in exhaustion. Mercedes sighed softly as another wave of nausea came over her.
“Thanks.” She murmured. Matt touched her shoulder, turning her so she could look at him. “Anything you want to tell me?”
“You said you weren’t going to ask me any questions.”
“Yeah. I did, but sometimes it helps to talk about it.” He saw her hesitate.
“I’m… pregnant.” Mercedes looked at him. What she saw in his face was not pity, but something else. Sadness. “You’re disappointed in me?” For some reason, she felt upset about that.
“No, I’m not.” He paused. “Who’s the father?” Surprised, he watched as she collapsed, bursting onto tears. Pulling her towards him, he held her. She looked up at him.
“I’m sorry. I-”
“Don’t be. I know this is tough on you.” He handed her a tissue, watching as she daintily wiped her eyes. His hand brushed her cheek as he cupped her face in his hands. Mercedes felt no calculating cruelness at her touch, only warmth, gentleness. She moved closer, her lips brushing his. He pulled away slightly, looking at her.
“It’s o.k.” She whispered. “I’m old enough now.” She kissed him again, smiling slightly when he responded, holding her body close as if she were something special. Matt felt himself shaken with a feeling he’d never felt before as her arms when around his neck, pulling him closer. Her lips tasted like raspberries, smooth and deliciously sensuous. It was then he realized he loved her, despite her obvious faults.
“Mercedes. We should stop.”
“Why?” Her voice was innocent.
“I don’t want to take advantage of you when you’re upset.” Mercedes looked at him, confused.
“You don’t understand. I’ve never felt this way before.”
“Not even with him?” She was taken aback at his sudden question.
“I don’t feel that way about him.”
“That’s just the way it happened.” Matt saw he’d upset her. He reached out to touch her, wounded when she pulled away, angry with himself for hurting her.
“Mercedes, I’m sorry.”
“It’s my fault it happened.” Her voice was dull, emotionless.
“I made him want me.”
“You don’t have to tell me.” She nodded, nervously gathering her things.
“I should go.”
“I’m sorry I only made it worse.”
“No.” She gave a small smile. “I feel a little better talking about it.” She stepped out of the car. “Thanks.” Matt didn’t drive away until her retreating figure disappeared into the house.
“You don’t have much of an appetite tonight, dear.” Mercedes looked up at Adrienne from her seat by the dining room table, wondering if she suspected anything.
“I’m not very hungry tonight.”
“Are you sick?” Mercedes felt her temper rising. She wanted to scream. She wanted to run upstairs and cry. She wanted Matt to hold her like he had that afternoon. Jason was smiling at her. No doubt he would come crawling to her room again that night.
“I hope you’re not going anorexic, because that would be acting downright spoiled and rebellious.”
“I said I’m fine.” She raised her voice a few notches so she could get her point across quicker.
“Well. Someone’s on edge today.” Adrienne smiled, satisfied as Mercedes rose from her chair, making it to screech against the expensive wood floor, and leave the dining room. Jason looked at Adrienne.
“Do you have to upset her like that?” He sounded irritated. Adrienne looked up from her plate, surprised.
“She was the one over-reacting.” She eyed him closely. “I don’t know why on earth you’re so worked up.”
“Whatever.” He got up, off of the chair. “I’m not hungry anymore.” Jason left the room, intent on seeing Mercedes. He could see she was sick. He hadn’t noticed right away, but lately he’d seen how thin she was, how pale she’d turned, how she often refused her food. Walking upstairs, he walked through the hallways until he reached her room. Mercedes didn’t notice his arrival. Her attention was directed intensely towards a long, narrow object in her hands. Jason walked over to her, but he didn’t get far enough to see what she was holding before she turned around in shock, guilt and pain written all over her face. “What’s the matter, angel?” She turned away.
“Can’t you knock?”
“I didn’t feel like it.” Jason saw she was hiding something. “What are you hiding?”
“Don’t play sweet and innocent with me, baby.” He pulled her to him.
“I don’t know what-” Mercedes stopped as Jason pulled the pregnancy test from her hands. He stared at her coldly after seeing it was positive.
“Is he the father?” She didn’t respond. Jason shook her until tears ran down her cheeks. “Is he the father?”
“No.” She sniffed, rubbing the tears from her eyes. “You are.” Jason stopped. He couldn’t say he hadn’t expected differently. Still, he wanted to continue her pain, paying her back for not telling him this before, tormenting him, making him wonder if he’d succeeded with her at all.
“I would think differently from the way you two were acting in his car this afternoon.” Mercedes didn’t let him see her anger.
“He’s never touched me.” Jason gripped her chin firmly in his hand, forcing her gaze up to his.
“He better not have. If I find out otherwise, you’ll have something to grieve about, Mercedes. I don’t want to see you with him again.” He roughly released her, walking towards the double doors before suddenly stopping, looking back at her. “I’m happy about the baby, Mercedes. I’d like to see you again tonight.” Mercedes nodded, knowing she had no other choice. When he left, she sat in the corner, crying softly.
Jason knocked at the door of the imposing stone mansion. A short while after he’d dropped off Mercedes, he’d noticed she’d left a copy of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM in his car. Since it would be Saturday the next day, he would have had to wait until Monday to give it back to her. This would be the quickest and most enjoyable way. He just hoped her parents wouldn’t get the wrong idea. A woman dressed in a French maid’s outfit opened the door.
“I’m here to see Mercedes.”
“Who may I say is calling?”
“Wait a moment please.” She soon returned.
“The family is at dinner right now. Would you care to wait?” Matt thought about just leaving the book with the woman, then decided he’d rather deliver it personally.
“I’ll wait.” She led him upstairs to what looked like a library.
“They should be finished soon.” She smiled before leaving. Matt didn’t have to wait a long time before hearing footsteps coming towards the closed door. He readied himself only to hear them pass the room, entering the one next to it. He thought he heard soft sobbing and then a pause before more footsteps passed the library. Confused, he walked towards the wall facing the room next to his, clearly hearing snatches of the conversation. Matt knew the woman’s voice was Mercedes’, but he couldn’t identify the man’s voice. Only parts of the conversation could be heard.
“Is he the father?” Matt thought she must have told whoever-he-was she was pregnant, but he wondered who “he” was. He stopped short at Mercedes next words.
“It’s yours.” Whoever was in the room with her was the father. There was a short period where he could only here small muffles and then soft sobbing before footsteps passed the library again. Matt waited awhile before stepping quietly from the room and walking to the one next to it. Knocking quietly, he waited; looking around to make sure no one was coming. A small voice from inside the room interrupted him.
“Go away. I’m not ready yet.” She was obviously mistaking him for someone else. Slowly opening the door, he walked inside. Mercedes was sitting on the bed, staring out her window. He tight strapless dark red dress fit her perfectly, complementing her slim figure. “I said, leave me alone. Come back la-” She turned her head, surprised to see Matt standing there, watching her.
“What are you doing here?” Her voice was strangely cold, nervous.
“I came to return this.” He handed her the book, relieved when she smiled softly.
“Thanks.” She whispered. Matt waited before speaking.
“Who is he?”
“What?” He thought he detected a note of fear in her voice.”
“That guy you were just talking to. You said he was the father.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Her voice was innocent, but he didn’t miss the way she looked away from him when she spoke.
“I heard it, Mercedes. I was in the next room.” Matt could see her composure crumbling.
“I… I can’t say.”
“Mercedes, please. You’re only hurting yourself.” Mercedes looked up at him, tears in her dark eyes.
“My father.” She ignored his shocked expression. “Please, you have to go. He’s coming back in a while and… it wouldn’t be good if he found you here with me.”
“I can’t just leave you here with him.” Her face hardened as if she were trying to keep herself from crying.
“It’s not your business. I can take care of myself.”
“I won’t do it. I can’t.” Mercedes stared at him.
“Stay if you want to, and watch me get punished because of it.” She walked away from him. Going into her bathroom she changed into a black corset and a pair of Juicy Couture pants, hoping when she walked back out, Matt would be gone. He wasn’t.
“I can’t leave you, Mercedes.” He paused. “I’m in love with you.” She stared at him, but he wasn’t done. “When I kissed you today… I felt something… something beautiful. I would be sorry if I never got to feel that again.” Tears began to stream down her cheeks, leaving wet traces behind.
“Why would you love someone as dirty and defiled as me?” Her breathing quickened as Matt walked closer, slowly gathering her body in his arms. He looked into her eyes.
“You’re perfect to me.” Matt leaned in to kiss her, tasting the saltiness of her tears on her sweet lips. He pulled her closer so she was crushed against him and he could clearly feel the pounding of his heart on his body. He removed the rubber band holding Mercedes’ hair together, running his fingers through the soft silkiness. Mercedes felt a warm surge erupt inside her body. She murmured in pleasure as he softly kissed her neck before returning to her lips, softly massaging her tongue with his while firmly gripping her waist, caressing her abs with his thumbs. They were interrupted by a knock at the door. Matt felt Mercedes tense in his arms. She stared at the door, suddenly unable to function properly. It opened, Jason striding in, taking in the seen in from of him.
“What have we here?” Looking at Mercedes, he let his angry gaze penetrate her.
“Jason… Nothing happened. I-”
“You expect me to believe that?” He walked closer, enjoying the way she trembled softly. “You betrayed me, Mercedes. I was wrong to trust a whore like you with our secret.” He reached out, caressing her cheek, surprised at the fist slamming into his face, splitting his lip in the process. Matt grabbed him by the collar, pushing his body against the wall.
“Don’t touch her again.” Jason spit in his face.
“She’s mine. I have legal papers for her.”
“She won’t be yours anymore when word gets out you sexually abused her.” Jason wrenched himself from Matt’s grip.
“She’s mine and there’s nothing you can do about that.”
“Mercedes is eighteen years old. She’s legally old enough to make her own decisions.” Jason looked at her stricken face.
“So what’ll it be, baby? Are you going with him or staying with me?” Both men stared at her. Matt was confused by her silence. Did this guy have some strange hold on her that she had to actually decide whether to stay with him or not?
“I… I’m not going with either of you.” She paused. “I’m leaving.” Jason laughed, amused.
“Where are you going to get the money, angel?” Mercedes stared at him, hating where he was pushing her in the conversation. Matt spoke up. She sensed it was to save her any embarrassment.
“I won’t try to influence you, Mercedes, but you should come with me. You shouldn’t be around him right now.” She nodded slowly, knowing he was right.
“I’ll go with you.” Jason’s confident smile left his face. He rushed over to her gripping her shoulders as she moved to collect her things.
“You can’t go. I’m the baby’s father.” Mercedes could sense he was loosing his control. She turned around to stare at him.
“You raped me.”
“You believe that? I saw the way you responded our first night together. You wanted it.” He moved to kiss her, angry when she pulled away. “You wanted it bad.”
“I shouldn’t have been so liberal with my attention to you, but I didn’t want you, and what you did was still wrong.” She turned back to her packing, quickly finishing her job and walking out the door with Matt. Jason called after her.
“I do want the baby. Don’t even try to do anything stupid, Mercedes.” She ignored him, leaving even as he screamed her name in one last desperate attempt to regain her for himself.