If he hadn’t touched me like he owned me.

Is that his thing? Ownership? Does he want a sex slave? If so, why did he choose me? Was it because of my reaction to him at the club? Did he guess that I would be a coward, that I would let him do whatever he wanted to me? Did I somehow bring this upon myself?

The thought is so sickening that I push it away and get up, determined to explore my prison further.

The door is still locked, which doesn’t surprise me. I’m able to open the window, and warm, ocean-scented air fills the room.

I can’t open the screen on the window, though. I would need to do that in order to climb out. I don’t try too hard. If Beth is to be believed, escaping from this room wouldn’t help me at all.

I look for something that could be used as a weapon. There’s no knife, but there’s a fork left over from my meal. Beth would probably notice if I hide it. Still, I take a chance and do it, concealing the utensil behind a stack of books on a tall bookshelf that lines one of the walls.

Next I explore the bathroom, hoping to find a bottle of hairspray or something else along those lines. But there’s only soap, toothbrush, and toothpaste. In the shower stall, I find body wash, shampoo, and conditioner—all nice, expensive brands. My captor is clearly not stingy.

Then again, anyone who owns a private island can probably afford a fifty-dollar shampoo. He might even be able to afford a thousand-dollar shampoo, if such a thing exists.

The fact that I’m thinking about shampoo amazes me. Shouldn’t I be screaming and crying? Oh, wait, I did that yesterday. I guess there’s only so much crying a person can do. I seem to be all out of tears, at least for now.

After exploring every nook and cranny of the room, I get bored, so I take one of the books from the bookshelf. A Sidney Sheldon novel, something about a woman betrayed who seeks revenge on her enemies.

It’s engrossing enough that I’m able to mentally escape my prison for the next couple of hours.

Beth comes and brings me lunch. She also brings me some clothes, folded in a stack.

I’m glad. I’ve been wearing the bathrobe all morning, and I would like to dress normally.

When she puts the clothes on the dresser, I again think about tackling her and trying to escape. Maybe using the fork I’ve got stashed away.

“Nora, give me the fork,” she says.

I jump a little and give her a startled look. Could she actually be a mind-reader?

And then I realize that she’s simply looking at the empty tray and noticing that the utensil is missing.

She lets out a sigh. “You know what fork. The one you hid behind the books. Give it to me.”

Another one of my assumptions proven wrong. I don’t know why I’d thought I had any privacy.

I look up at the ceiling, studying it carefully, but I can’t see where the cameras are.

I retrieve the fork and throw it at her. I think I’m secretly hoping it spears her in the eye.

But Beth catches it and shakes her head at me, as though disappointed in my behavior. “I was hoping you wouldn’t act this way,” she says.

“Act what way? Like a victim of kidnapping?” I really, really want to hit her right now.

“Like a spoiled brat,” she clarifies, putting the fork in her pocket. “You think it’s so awful, being here on this beautiful island? You think you’re suffering by being in Julian’s bed?”

I stare at her like she’s a lunatic. Does she honestly expect me to be okay with this situation? To meekly go along with this and never utter a word of protest?

She stares back at me, and for the first time, I notice some lines on her face. “You don’t know the real meaning of suffering, little girl,” she says softly, “and I hope you never find out. Be nice to Julian, and you just might be able to continue living a charmed life.”

She leaves the room, and I swallow to get rid of the sudden dryness in my throat.

For some reason, her words make my hands shake.

It’s evening now. With every minute that passes, I’m starting to get more and more anxious at the thought of seeing my captor again.

The novel that I’ve been reading can no longer hold my interest. I put it down and walk in circles around the room.

I am dressed in the clothes Beth had given me earlier. It’s not what I would’ve chosen to wear, but it’s better than a bathrobe. A sexy pair of white lacy panties and a matching bra for underwear. A pretty blue sundress that buttons in the front. Everything fits me suspiciously well. Has he been stalking me for a while? Learning everything about me, including my clothing size?

I am trying not to think about what’s to come, but it’s impossible. I don’t know why I’m so sure he’ll come to me tonight. It’s possible he has an entire harem of women stashed away on this island, and he visits each one only once a week, like sultans used to do.

Yet somehow I know he’ll be here soon. Last night had simply whetted his appetite. I know he’s not done with me, not by a long shot.

He walks in like he owns the place. Which, of course, he does.

I am again struck by his masculine beauty. He could’ve been a model or a movie star, with a face like his. If there was any fairness in the world, he would’ve been short or had some other imperfection to offset that face.