With a wince, Sanya rolled over to the edge of the bed to sit up with the taste of blood still lingering in his mouth. Prodding around his torso concernedly, he found that Jofre had left him severely bruised with at least three broken ribs from what he could currently assess. As he became vertical, his head swam and his vision flashed as he rubbed his face while letting out a raspy groan. Sitting there looking at the dried blood on his hands, Sanya wondered why he had not built up the courage to leave as a dull ringing overwhelmed his hearing.
Two years ago, Sanya traveled to Italy to attend an art exhibit by himself as he would often do. However this time around, he met someone who seemed to be quite enamoured with Sanya. Jofre had an aura about him that captivated Sanya. Something in the way Jofre’s voice sounded, those dark chocolate eyes, the darker curls upon his head. A devilish smile that Sanya mistook as kindness and love. There was nothing idle about Jofre, and yet Sanya found himself feeling at ease around him.
The young Italian man talked in depth about his dreams. Talks of how Jofre wanted to bring the world together through art, how he believed it would bring peace to humanity resonated with Sanya. Nothing seemed out of reach for Jofre, and Sanya ate up every little bit of it. As Sanya opened up about his own struggles and dreams, Sanya fell in love with how Jofre’s curls bounced when he nodded, patiently listening to Sanya’s every word.
Sanya slowly stood up from the bed and made his way to the bathroom as steadily as he could manage. What stared back at him in the mirror felt more foreign than anything he had ever laid eyes on. Dark circles, thinning face, unmanaged stubble, and hair that hadn’t been dyed in months left Sanya wondering what was left of him. He couldn’t remember the last time he had a good amount of sleep. He couldn’t remember the last thing he ate. He couldn’t even remember the last time he was allowed to bathe. When had Jofre last left? Sanya was hazy for several days at a time whenever Jofre decided to have fun with him.
Shaky hands turned on the sink faucet as Sanya realized how thirsty he had been after having grown accustomed to the sensation of pain coursing through his body. Carefully he bent over, drinking directly from the stream. Sanya swished some water around in his mouth before spitting out blood. A gulp of water after that made him realize there was something wrong in his mouth. With a frown, Sanya reached in with his hand and yanked out a loose molar. Staring at it in his palm, Sanya grew dizzy again as the pain built up again. He fell back against the wall before sliding down to the floor as his body grew limp. Watching the tooth roll away, the sound of the bedroom door opening could dimly be heard before Sanya lost consciousness on the cold bathroom tile.
Something sharp jabbed into the skin of his arm, causing Sanya to jerk awake. With a pained gasp, he looked up to see Jofre peering down at him with bemused eyes. “Wh--”was all Sanya could mutter as he glanced around only to realize he had been tied up to the bed frame. Eyes still struggling to focus, he looked to his arm. What he found was a tattoo needle, and a strange man speaking in Italian.
“Oh relax. I just thought I’d do you a favor of branding what’s mine so you don’t have to go through the hassle of people bothering you anymore,” Jofre said with a tone that made it feel more like a threat than anything else.
Sanya squinted with disdain. “Why are you doing this?” he struggled to ask since his throat was still dry.
A sadistic chuckle drifted into Sanya’s ears before Jofre responded. “You’ve given yourself to me, remember silly? How could I possibly ever let you go? You’re a fantastic asset to my already massive fortune. I can exploit you for your art, your body, your money. Anything I want really. And the best part of it all?” Jofre brushed a strangely gentle thumb over Sanya’s swollen lip while leaning in to whisper in his ear. “No one is going to believe you, and you’ll never see your family again.” A sharp laugh burst out. “You didn’t even tell them where you went!”
The buzz of the tattoo needle rang out as Sanya found it difficult to comprehend what was going on. What was he being treated like this? What had he done to deserve Jofre’s cruelty? His lip trembled as Sanya fought back against the urge to cry. Focusing his eyes on the ceiling, he started to devise a plan to get out of this mess. He had to do something or Sanya was going to be lost to this man forever. With deep breaths, Sanya calmed himself down as the needle continued to dig into his arm. Something had to change, and soon.
A tired sigh fell from Sanya as he stayed crouched in the corner. The name Jofre Capello was etched deeply into his arm as he glared down. He felt betrayed by his own skin for accepting the ink with ease. That only added more fuel to his fire of hatred and need to escape. Tugging the blanket closer to himself, he kept the weapon he found tucked tight against his chest. All he had to do now was wait for Jofre’s return.
The gun in his hand came from one of the kitchen staff that took pity on his situation, and they made sure he was well-stocked with bullets. As they put it, “Why kill one bad apple when you know the whole bunch is rotten to the core?” Taking this thought into consideration, Sanya realized Jofre’s entire family would try to stop him from leaving. The only solution was to put an end to the Capellos entirely.
The door opened casually as Jofre strolled into the room with his confident gait and relaxed smirk. Sanya’s blood boiled, but he held back the urge to jump out at Jofre. His hand curled a little tighter on the grip of the gun as he carefully cocked it. As Jofre drew nearer, Sanya refused to look away even as a ball of anxiety started to form in his stomach.
“Awe, won’t you come out of the corner for me, pet?” Jofre teased as he pulled out a knife from a sheath on his belt while stepping closer. “I came all this way just to see you.” As Jofre pursed his lips, he squatted down to Sanya’s level. “And now you won’t even say hello?” A glob of spit flew out from Sanya’s mouth, barely missing Jofre’s eye. With a grimace, Jofre pointed the knife at Sanya. “I never taught you to be so rude,” he spoke with disgust before pressing the knife to Sanya’s cheek.
Finally Sanya spoke up. “I never asked you to teach me anything,” were his final words to Jofre before he whipped out the pistol and fired off a shot right in the middle of Jofre’s forehead. The gunshot rang out, but Sanya already knew how soundproof the room was. Jofre made sure Sanya was well aware of the fact that no one could hear his screams.
As Sanya slowly stood up, he dizzily stumbled around as his stomach panged with hunger. He picked up Jofre’s knife and stabbed it into his bicep while gritting his teeth for a boost of adrenaline. Sanya then sifted through Jofre’s pockets as a pool of blood started to form on the floor. Something useful had to be inside. Rummaging continued until his fingers grasped onto a thin piece of plastic that Jofre had slipped into his back pocket after entering the room. Sanya opened up Jofre’s shirt and took out the needles of hallucinogens that had been used on him several times over the past half a year. Dry heaving took over Sanya’s body as he shakily slid them into his pockets. He doubled over onto the floor and held onto his abdomen tightly as he writhed in pain from starvation and the horrible flashbacks of the horror Sanya had endured. He closed his eyes tightly and focused on the scent of blood. On the floor in front of Sanya was Jofre’s corpse.
“Dead… He’s dead… Nothing more he can do… Nothing he will become…” Sanya chanted repeatedly until he soothed himself enough to stand back up. The blood running down his arm dripped onto the carpet, mixing with Jofre’s. Sanya would have to figure out a way to cover this entire mess up once he could return home to his family.
Sluggish as he was, Sanya forced himself to move toward the door with the cardkey in his palm. Carefully sliding it into the slot proved to be difficult as he was fruitlessly steadying himself every five seconds. After finally getting the card in correctly, the click of the lock eased Sanya’s mind before filling it with more anxiety. What was he going to find on the other side? He vaguely recalled the layout of the house since he had not been let out of Jofre’s room for at least three months from what he could gather. Sanya did not even know who was going to be on the other side of the door. How many brothers does Jofre have? Were the parents out for dinner? Would Sanya have to take out the servants? Where was the nearest phone he could use to call V? Thousands of thoughts ran through his head as he finally opened the door, taking his time in hopes of remaining anonymous to the rest of the household.
Peeking out into the hall, Sanya slowly scanned the corridor before dashing out to the side of a bookcase for cover. He peered around and tried to decipher the best route to the kitchen, granted he had no idea where that was. Sanya also considered he would have to find a silencer for his gun at some point, or a quiet weapon that wasn’t currently lodged in his arm to prevent blood loss. Wishing he had some idea of a direction, he pushed forward down the hall with the gun raised in front of him.
A distant clattering of dishes gave Sanya an idea of where he could find food. He breathed deep while slowly inching toward the staircase. Hugging the wall as he went along, Sanya peered around the corner to see a few servants busily moving through the foyer down below. He had ones on the front door, and eyes on dishes of food being moved about. A glance outside told Sanya it was almost even which meant that dinner must be underway in the Capello household. Checking the clip on the gun, he had about nine bullets left. Not enough to share with the whole family unfortunately.
He noticed a bookcase across the hall from him and wagered it would be worth the risk to check through it for some time of arsenal given this family’s shady history of art smuggling. They must have bullets lying around somewhere at least. Crawling over to the other side of the hall, he kept himself close to the floor and tried to ignore the pain of his broken ribs and the knife in his arm. As he started to rummage through the books looking for any that had secret compartments or a clue as to where something useful could be, Sanya realized something. How was he going to get out of this without drawing the attention of the authorities? How could he cover up the massacre of an entire household, servants and all? He could not afford to leave any witnesses to such an atrocity.
Chewing on his swollen lip, Sanya thought anxiously in an attempt to devise a better plan. Gripping at his hair, his eyes lingered on the gun. His best chance at a clean escape would be to try sneaking out at night. Fewer servants would be around at that time, and the family should all be in bed. Yeah, that ought to work in his favor. As Sanya quietly crept back to the room where he had been imprisoned, fear welled up inside of him. Was Jofre’s body still there? He’s still dead, right? Right???
Panicked breathing kicked in as Sanya got to the door frame and closed his eyes tightly. Jofre was dead, had a bullet shot into his brain at point blank. Dead, he could only be dead after that. Sanya reluctantly stepped into the room with his eyes shut before he cracked one open to convince himself that Jofre was actually dead. What stood there absolutely mortified him.
One of Jofre’s brothers crouched down next to his sibling’s body, calculating what had transpired in the room half an hour or so ago. Sanya swallowed slow and hard as he quietly pushed the door behind him and raised the gun to aim at the man’s head. As an audible click of the lock rang out, the brother turned around while reaching for his weapon. Sanya rapidly fired off three shots, dropping yet another corpse to the carpet. Ringing filled his ears as his vision blurred.
“Crap, now we’re in deeper shit aren’t we?” he muttered to himself.
“Well yeah, what did you expect was going to happen? You’d just waltz on out of here all willy nilly?” Sanya responded.
“Was that so wrong to hope for?”
With a sigh, Sanya accepted defeat at arguing with himself. He shuffled across the room and sat down with apprehension as his ribs caused his breathing to hitch. Without wanting to waste any more time, he grabbed the gun that was being reached for by Jofre’s brother. Fortunately for Sanya, this one had a silencer and there were magazine clips in the dead man’s pockets. After ripping off the left sleeve of the suit coat to make space for the knife still stuck in his arm, the sigh of defeat turned into a sigh of relief as he pulled on the jacket to make it easier to carry his growing arsenal.
“Now what? How many different possibilities are there to this situation? Two dead people in the room…” Sanya muttered to himself as he counted the magazines in his coat. “...currently fifty three bullets on hand. Possibly more depending on who’s packing heat in the house. Security must be roaming around armed to the teeth. Gotta make sure they don’t see me.” Persevering through his one-sided conversation, Sanya noticed the brother also had a bullet-proof vest on. “Ah, you were about to head out for the night, weren’t you?” Slipping it on under the suit jacket, he felt a little more secure. But, was that going to be enough to get him out of this alive?
“Think, think, thi--” Sanya stopped mid-sentence as he heard something ringing inside of the suit jacket. Reaching into the pocket making noise, he pulled out a cellphone. “... Why didn’t I think of that? Clearly if he was about to go out, he would have his phone with him,” Sanya concluded as he stared at the cute blond on the screen trying to call a very unfortunate dead man. “Sorry, sweetheart. No one is answering your call tonight.” As the call came to an end, Sanya made quick work of getting into the phone by holding the brotherly corpse’s thumb to the unlock button. “Now then, what is V’s phone number?” Sanya wondered as he opened the dial pad. “Wait, is he even going to answer? Maybe a text would be better…” Opening the internet browser instead, Sanya logged into his email and sent an SOS message to V containing coordinates and the current situation. “I just hope he gets here soon…”
As Sanya slid down the wall, his stomach howled in anguish. Deciding not to risk being caught and leaving the rest in his brother’s hands, Sanya could only hope that V could do something in time before someone came looking for the missing bodies lying on the floor beside him. Looking to the ceiling, Sanya gripped the phone tightly to his chest and prayed.
“Please let me leave this place alive.”