Seduction--Part Four

In the eerie blackness, Todd writhed in silent agony. Painful images flashed all around him--his mother’s face, her tearful, heart wrenching goodbye... Peter--night after night--torturing, beating him, holding him down on the floor, ripping his mind and body into little pieces... All the girls, the women, the endless parade of females that he had tried to impress, wanted to love--but had only ended up scaring, hurting, losing... The fear, the insecurity, all the hatred, violence. He felt himself disintegrating under the weight of it...I want to die...he begged the black emptiness around him... please...please just let me die...

His mother’s face returned, floating before him. As he gazed at it mournfully, the picture slowly dissolved into a vision of Téa, fixing his bleeding hand that night so long ago in the jail cell...

She's always tried to take care of me, to straighten me out...he thought. But she had pushed him too much...tried to get him to change...she never understood what was going on inside...

Téa, Téa... His mind latched on to her image in pain and panic...always making demands, always wanting more...more than I could give.... What have you done to me...to yourself....?

The thought of her out there alone with “it” was unbearable. He didn't understand why he couldn't see what was going on. In the past he had always been a silent observer when the rage took control. He was always aware of what was happening--but totally insulated, like he was dreaming, just floating and watching, not really participating--and there was never any pain...

Over time, he had learned to block it, force it back down before it got a good hold on him. Then it only partially impacted his behavior, resulting in fits of temper and impulsiveness that he always regretted and paid for later. But when it over ran his defenses and took full control of him, he was helpless. He had never really been coherent enough to put up a fight, to try to tackle it head on when it had a solid hold on him. Frantic with concern for Téa, he began to push against it, testing for weaknesses. The ever increasing pain unnerved him, threatening to break his will, but he continued to struggle, to push...

The resistance was impressive, but not as solid as he had expected. He willed himself to concentrate on Téa, fighting through the thick curtain of pain. At first, he got nowhere--then slowly, mercifully, the pain began to ease and the resistance began to fade. He began to become more aware of his physical surroundings. He began to hear, see, to feel things again, to have some small control of his body...

“Todd!” Téa managed to choke out his name in spite of the strangle hold that he had on her. “Todd, please...let go....” She reached for his hand on her throat, and reached for his face with her other hand at the same time. Just as her fingers made contact with his skin, she felt his grip on her throat ease considerably. Her mind raced, trying to come up with a way to divert his attention. Feeling slightly foolish, but desperate, she made use of the only weapon she possessed--she pulled his hand away from her throat and placed it firmly on a spot she knew he would have trouble resisting...

The reverberations echoed throughout Todd’s psyche, penetrating all the layers of personality. They all felt it, the warm softness of her partially exposed breast--even through the maddening haze of confusion and darkness...

“There, that's better,” she said, keeping her own hand over his, praying that her silly idea would work. “I thought you'd like that...” I've got to keep him focused on the present...she thought...his childhood memories make him crazy... She searched her mind for a tactic, a way to keep his libido working instead of his pain... My chances of surviving a sexual assault are better than surviving a strangling...she thought grimly... I've got to make him focus on me as a woman, not as the personification of his painful past...

Todd became more and more aware of what was going on. He could see through the fog better now, he could feel himself touching her, but he couldn't connect with her face clearly. He continued to push, but the other presence was still there, partially blocking the way, denying him full access...

“I thought you promised to make me feel good, Todd,” Téa teased, stroking down his neck with her fingers. She continued cautiously, feeling her way. “After all, it's my wedding night--that's what it's all about, right...? We came here to make love...didn't we? Don't you want me anymore?” She touched his lips hesitantly with her fingertips. “What's the matter...can't handle it now?” she purred shamelessly, hating the stupid, desperate game she was playing...

Something changed--Todd's hold on her loosened. He released the back of her neck and slid his hand slowly down her back, his eyes never leaving hers. There was a pause... Then with the speed of a striking snake, he snatched her up in a vise like grip and kissed her savagely. Oh, God--hang on, here it comes...! Téa braced herself mentally to meet her impending fate...

But nothing happened... She had closed her eyes tightly, hoping to block out some of the ugly violence she assumed was about to come crashing down upon her. Slowly, hesitantly, she opened them. His face was poised above hers, so close she could have touched him by moving only a scant centimeter. Long, soft strands of his hair brushed the sides of her face and neck. His eyes were locked on hers, their intensity glittering darkly, but there was no other hint of a definable expression for her to read...

His proximity made her skin prickle, she was acutely aware of every point where his body touched hers, how close his soft lips were. She ached to put her mouth to his, but didn't dare. As she met his gaze, she felt a warmth spread over her in spite of her situation. This is idiotic, I'm hopelessly deranged... The man's about to eat me alive and all I can think about is that beautiful mouth, those incredible eyes...his size, his strength... I'm just as sick as he is...she scolded herself, finally admitting to the scope of her own suppressed obsession with him. Maybe this is what I secretly wanted...?

A cold chill ran down her spine as memories of another time, long ago, flooded back to her. No...no, I can't accept that...sure, I wanted a little danger--but not all out violence...his gentleness is the real turn on...the thing that turns me inside out...because it's always so unexpected... She felt him pull back from her slightly, loosening his grip. Now what...? What's happening... ? Why is he staring at me...? “Todd, what's wrong...what's the matter...?” she breathed softly.

Inside his head, chaos reigned supreme. Emotions swept through him--anger, fear, love. Todd felt dizzy, disoriented, but continued to fight for control. He felt centered again, but he was surrounded with distorted images of himself. He couldn't seem to shake them. He could feel and hear all of them at once...

Come on Todd, get a grip! Téa wants to play...are you gonna leave her out there with him all night...he doesn't want to have fun with her, he wants to scare her, make her run away...we don't want her to run away...we want to keep on touching her...

Si, Todd--save her for us, yes? Do not let the nasty one frighten her away. He has not hurt her yet...we can still have her...she is still responding in a positive way...such a delightful, delicious way...you must stand up and fight for her like a man...

You ignorant idiot...who the hell do you think you are...do you really think you can be happy....? Who are you trying to kid....? Let me get rid of her for good... She'll destroy you...she'll tear you up and leave you bleeding all over yourself just like all the rest of them... Has any woman ever stayed with you...has any woman ever been able to stand who you really are...what makes you think this one is any different...?

What is going on in there...? Téa searched Todd's eyes questioningly. He was looking past her now, as if he couldn't see her. She sensed that there was a struggle of some sort going on... Whatever happens...whoever, whatever emerges, I'm not backing down... She squared her jaw defiantly. I know why he is so afraid now... I think I understand where he's coming from...

When he looks at women, at love, all he sees is betrayal, abandonment...abuse... She felt the steady beat of his heart under her hand as she pressed it gently against him... And I've done that to him myself... I've pushed him, let him down, I've thrown things up in his face...tried to hurt him, because he hurt me...because he wouldn't fit into the neat little mold that I wanted him to crawl into...

She closed her eyes in pain... I won't do that anymore... I will not let him feel those things again... I know who he is... A single tear rolled down her cheek. He's like me...broken deep inside... But he's never had any love from anyone...at least I had some semblance of a family, I knew that people loved me...

She opened her eyes and searched his. They had softened a little. She could see the hurt, the loneliness. Compassion flooded over her... All those years growing up, he had nothing...no one...he was completely alone...and he was so cruelly abused... Her eyes began to brim with tears... All he wants is to feel safe, to feel like he's somebody that's worth loving... He's so cruel because he can't believe anything good will ever happen...he can't let himself take the chance of hoping, of being hurt again...he's more afraid of that than of being alone, than of even dying...

She reached up and pushed some long strands of his hair behind his ear, lost momentarily in his beauty, his eyes, and the depth of emotion that she was feeling... You hate yourself so much, quérido... and the hatred keeps you safe... The beast is your fear concealed in hate and it protects you... That's okay... I can deal with that... I'll love you anyway...monsters, demons, alters, and all...

“Todd, come back to me,” she whispered. “Forget the fairytale... I don't need it. All I want is you... The little boy, the romantic, the beast--they're not strangers to me, they're all you, Todd... I love them all... I love you.” As she traced the scar on his cheek, his hand suddenly came up and closed over hers. She froze, looking into his eyes. Although he looked directly at her now, she could see no one there that she recognized, nothing but sadness, longing...

“Todd, are you okay?” she murmured, then jumped involuntarily as his hands slid to her waist and gently began to turn her around...

To be continued...

Part Five

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Back to Remember Roger Howarth