The air outside has dropped below the freezing point, making the room cold as ice even though the heater is on and the windows are closed. She takes another step into the room, a shiver running down her spine. She can’t really explain it, but warning bells goes off in her head as she takes another step into the dark room. The hair on the back of her neck rises, and that eerie feeling of being watched settles deep in her belly. She tugs the blanket tighter around her, her mind subconsciously wanting to protect herself from both the cold and the strange feeling that she’s not completely alone.
She casts a look around the room when her eyes have finally gotten used to the dark. She could have sworn she left one of the lights on, she always does in case she needs to feed the baby in the middle of the night.
Maybe she forgot tonight?
Her baby’s cries brings her back to the moment, and she remembers why she’s out of bed in the middle of the night. She scurries towards the kitchen, all but running through the pitch black living room. She hurriedly mixes the formula and heats the bottle before she runs back out again.
She’s rounding the corner of her baby’s room when two, strong hands grab her from behind. The assailant pins her back to his front, one arm wrapped around her middle and the other locked across her throat, slowly crushing her windpipe.
“You actually thought you could hide from me?” The man snarls in her ear. “I told you I would find you no matter where you ran” The arm pressed against her throat disappears for a few seconds, only to reappear again. Only this time she doesn’t have a forearm pressed against her throat, this time something sharp presses painfully against her skin.
“Fucking bitch. Did you really think I wouldn’t search for you? He’s my son!”
Her mind is screaming at her to struggle, to scratch, claw and call for help, but no matter how much she tries to will her body to react, it won’t listen. Instead she’s frozen in place, petrified that he’ll press the sharp object harder into her throat. She needs to fight for her baby. She needs to get them both to safety.
She swallows hard against the lump of fear lodged in her throat and wills her voice to function, but no matter how hard she tries to speak, the words wont come. Her mouth closes again and she curses herself inwardly. Where did she fail? How did he find them? She repeats the questions over and over inside her head, searching for answers she knows she’ll never get.
She probably won’t be alive long enough to get them.
“A — Are you going to kill me now?” She manages to whisper, the blade of what she assumes is a knife nicking her skin when she speaks. A small trickle of blood trails down her throat before it disappears into the material of her t-shirt.
“I wish I could. I wish I could slide this knife across your throat and watch the life in your eyes disappear, but that would take me away from my son, so I’m not going to do that” He whispers threateningly, his harsh breath tickling against the side of her face, making goosebumps rise to the surface of her skin.
“Instead I’ll stand here with you until the cops come. I’ll watch as they take you away in cuffs. Then, when your trial starts, I’ll sit in the courtroom and watch you every day until you get a guilty verdict that’ll put you in prison for a long, long time. After that I’ll live happily with my wife and son. I’ll watch him, hold him and love him, something you’ll never be able to do again”
“He’s my son” The protest falls from her lips automatically, and as soon as it does, the blade pressed against her skin tightens just a fraction more, making more blood run down the slope of her throat.
“You really are a delusional bitch, aren’t you? He’s mine and my wife’s son, not yours. You didn’t carry him in your stomach for nine moths before finally giving birth to him, my wife did. I watched her in agony for hours as she brought our son into this world. You had absolutely nothing to do with it” He says through gritted teeth.
She’s opens her mouth to answer him when the front door suddenly bursts open and a rush of cold air sweeps into the house. Several boots hits the hard wooden floor, a man announcing that they’re the police before calling the father of her sons name.
“Down the hall and to your left” He yells back to them before moving the knife away. He turns them so her face is turnet towards the police heading down the hallway. The light of a flashlight gets directed at her face, blinding her. She tries to get away then, seizing her chance now that he’s removed the knife. He feels the movement and quickly moves to press his forearm against her windpipe again, pressing so hard her breath becomes shallow.
“I knew we should have hired another nanny. You have crazy written all over you”