The cloud of smoke thins. For the first time, I see my captor. He is standing across the room, and his features are a blur. The hair is a mucky brown, the skin a pale olive tone: his outfit, an assortment of dark gray. I struggle against the rope that’s tied around my stomach. The more I struggle, the closer he comes, until his face is just a mere inch from my own. I quiver; his mouth opens, then closes. I can feel warm breath against the nape of my neck.
“Oh,” he says quietly. “It’s you. Welcome to my home,” There is something cynical in his voice.
“Why am I here?” My voice cracks uncomfortably.
“You’re my house guest,” he grins. His arm extends and he grabs my shoulder, yanking with all his strength to pick me up. And then he walks me up the stairs; no, he walks, he carries me, and with a long, painful throw I am tossed onto a dirty mattress. He climbs up next to me and lays his head next to mine. His mouth finds my ear, and so delicately speaks: “Now please, make yourself at home.”