“Welcome to our home,” she said in a friendly voice.
He flicked another glance in her direction, but only nodded in reply. He was so wound up with dread and anxiety from the drug, he could barely communicate; yet he was not so unnerved or disorientated that he didn’t notice her breathtaking beauty.
He couldn’t work any moisture into his mouth. His throat was too tight and his shaking so bad, he knew he would stutter unintelligibly if he tried to utter a single word.
“Are you cold?” the woman asked.
He shook his head, still unable to speak.
“What’s your name?”
He looked up again and then back at the ground. He opened his mouth, but nothing came out. Coughing, he tried again.
“Jake. I like that.”
Something in her tone, or maybe it was just his fear of being close to another woman with power over him, sent an icy shiver of dread down Jake’s spine.
“So, you’re not cold,” the woman said, “but you’re trembling like it’s twenty below. Did they give you the drug before you left?”
He nodded again.
She rested a hand on his arm and looked up into his face. He wanted to pull away, but something in her eyes held him immobile.
“You won’t have to suffer that again for as long as you’re here…”