Once trembling and limp, she rose taut and lithe. Pain from countless bruises and deeper insults ebbed, replaced with a knowing numbness. All that remained was a sensation of heat deep inside in contrast to the basement’s damp chill, a coolness transmitted through her hand clenched around the metal pipe.
He heard her approach, “Leise, leise, fromme waise.” His words mocked, though his voice retained its tender timbre, the confessor’s tool for prying loose a reluctant tongue.
Through the musty tinge his cologne seeped through, invaded her, acrid and insidious. She stopped, out of arm’s reach but close enough to feel the wafts of heat from his breath. One waltz step back, and he was in half light, filtered down from the door, the portal, the one escape.
Ever so softly he made a chiding noise then asked as sweet as a doting a mother, “Kuss in ehren…oder notzϋchtigen?”
She felt them all like stones in her gut, submission the furthest thing from her mind.