He curves that finger inside me, and I gasp as he presses on some sensitive spot deep inside. It makes me tense and tremble—but this time, not from fear.

As he pushes that curved finger in and out, I feel a pressure gathering inside me. My heartbeat skyrockets, and I suddenly feel hot, as though I’m burning from within. And then a powerful orgasm tears through my body, originating at my core and spreading outward. It’s so strong that my vision blurs for a moment and I almost collapse on the bed.

Before my pulsations even stop, he gets on his knees behind me and begins to push in.

I’m wet and his entry is relatively easy, though he still feels huge inside me. My inner tissues feel tender and sore from last night’s hard use, and I can’t help a slight gasp of pain at the invasion. When he’s in fully, his groin presses against my burning bottom, adding to the discomfort.

Grasping my hips, he begins to move in and out, slowly and rhythmically. Despite the initial pain, my body appears to like the feeling of fullness, of being stretched, and responds by producing even more lubrication. As his pace picks up, my breathing accelerates and helpless moans escape my throat each time he pushes deeply into me.

Suddenly, with no warning, my muscles tighten as my senses reach fever-pitch. The release ripples through me, the pleasure stunning in its intensity. Behind me, I can hear his groan as my climax provokes his own—and feel the warm spurt of his seed inside me.

And then we both collapse on the bed, his body heavy and slick with perspiration on top of mine.

I wake up slowly, in stages. First, I feel the tickling sensation of my hair on my face. Then the warmth of the sun on my uncovered arm. For a moment, my mind is floating in that soft, comfortable limbo between sleep and wakefulness, between dreams and reality.

I keep my eyes closed, not wanting to wake fully, because this is so nice.

Then I realize I can smell pancakes cooking in the kitchen.

My lips curl in a smile. It’s the weekend, and my mom decided to spoil us again. She makes pancakes on special occasions and sometimes just because.

The hair tickles me again, and I reluctantly move my arm to push it off my face.

I’m more awake now, and the warm feeling inside me dissipates, replaced by harsh, gnawing fear.

No, please let it all be a dream. Please let it all be a bad dream.

It’s not a dream. I can still smell the pancakes, but there’s no way it could be my mom cooking them.

I’m on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, held captive by a man who derives pleasure from hurting me.

I stretch carefully, taking stock of my body. Other than a slight tenderness in my bottom, I seem to be mostly fine. He had only taken me once last night, for which I am grateful.

Getting up, I walk naked to the mirror and look at my back. There are faint bruises on my buttocks, but nothing major. That’s one of the benefits of my golden-tinted skin—I don’t bruise easily. By tomorrow, it should look completely normal.

All in all, I seem to have survived another night in my captor’s bed.

As I brush my teeth, I think back to last evening. The dinner, my silly plan to seduce him, my feeling of betrayal at his actions . . .

I can’t believe I had begun to trust him even a tiny bit. Normal men don’t kidnap girls from the park. They don’t drug them and bring them to a private island. Men who like normal, consensual sex don’t keep women captive.

No, Julian is not normal. He’s a sadistic control freak, and I can never forget it. The fact that he hasn’t hurt me badly yet doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a matter of time before he does something truly awful to me.

I need to escape before that happens, and I can’t take my sweet time seducing Julian. He’s far too dangerous and unpredictable.

I need to find a way off this island.

After I take a quick shower and brush my teeth, I go downstairs for breakfast. Beth must’ve already been in my room because there is another fresh set of clothes laid out. A swimsuit, flip-flops, and another sundress.

Beth herself is in the kitchen, and so are the pancakes I’d smelled earlier.

At my entrance, she smiles at me, yesterday’s tension apparently forgotten. “Good morning,” she says cheerfully. “How are you feeling?”

I give her an incredulous look. Does she know what Julian did to me? “Oh, just great,” I say sarcastically.

“That’s good.” She seems oblivious to my tone. “Julian was afraid you might be a bit sore this morning, so he left me a special cream to give you just in case.”

She does know.

“How do you live with yourself?” I ask, genuinely curious. How can a woman stand by and watch another woman being abused like this? How can she work for this cruel man?

Instead of answering, Beth places a large, fluffy pancake on a plate and brings it to me. There is also sliced mango on the table, right next to a bottle of maple syrup.

“Eat, Nora,” she says, not unkindly.

I give her a bitter look and dig into the pancake. It’s delicious. I think she added bananas to the batter because I can taste their sweetness. I don’t even need the maple syrup, although I do add a few slices of mango for additional flavor.

Beth smiles again, and goes back to doing various kitchen chores.

After breakfast, I leave the house and explore the island on my own. Beth doesn’t stop me. I still find it shocking that they’re letting me wander around like this. They must be completely confident there is no way off the island.