The Billionaire's Obsession(7)

By: J.S. Scott



“I hardly think I’m anybody’s dream,” Zane said drily.

Ellie suddenly remembered how she had gotten in her current condition in the first place, horrifying memories flowing back into her brain as she struggled to sit up in bed. “Oh, God. I have to talk to Chloe. James—”

He pushed her back down gently. She didn’t have the strength to really move, much less sit up.

“Is dead,” Zane finished. “He killed himself, Ellie. Before that, he was in the hospital because he was stupid enough to hurt our sister. That’s why you didn’t get food and water. You were in bad shape when I finally found you in that cabin.”

“Chloe—”

“My little sister is on her honeymoon. She married Gabe Walker, a man who will take good care of her.”

Ellie’s head was spinning by the time he caught her up on what had happened to Chloe, and how she’d been blackmailed. She’d missed so much, and so many things had happened while she’d been held captive by James.

“Thank God,” Ellie whispered and let her head fall back onto the pillow. “After I saw those videos, I was so afraid for her.”

“He knew that you knew about them?”

Ellie nodded. “He caught me with his laptop. I was on my way to Chloe when he kidnapped me at the office and tossed me in the trunk of his vehicle.”

“Christ!” Zane cursed vehemently.

“I was unconscious for a while, so I didn’t know how far he’d driven. I didn’t even know exactly where he had me hidden. All I knew was that I was in some sort of cabin, and I assumed it was remote. I never did figure out why he didn’t just kill me.”

“Insurance,” Zane grumbled. “I have no doubt that after the wedding, he would have stopped caring whether you were alive or dead.”

“Everybody thought I was dead?” she asked quietly.

“Pretty much,” he agreed. “But Chloe and I never stopped looking. Since your car was missing, most people assumed you had either left or were already dead.”

Ellie shuddered. Her poor Blue Turtle had been in the office parking lot. Obviously, James had gotten rid of it. “I think I was almost dead. Toward the end, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted James to come back, or just let me die.” His visits hadn’t been frequent, but they’d always been painful.

“Don’t say that,” Zane rasped. “I know he beat the crap out of you. Did he rape you, Ellie?”

“No,” she told him, embarrassed. “I was too fat for him in the beginning, and I think he got more joy out of torturing me. Once I got thinner, he told me I was a dirty, disgusting pig.”

Zane stroked her hair absently. “I’m so damn sorry I didn’t find you earlier.”

She smiled up at him weakly. “I’m grateful you found me at all.” She hesitated before saying, “I wonder what he did with my car. He could have taken my keys, but I wonder where he hid my old Blue Turtle.”

“Your what?” Zane answered, confused.

Ellie sighed. “I called my car my Blue Turtle. I had it for so long, but it just kept on going. It just got a little slower over time.”

“It was never found,” Zane confirmed.

“I assume that once you found me, you brought me here. Where are we?”

“Denver. It was closer, and has medical facilities better equipped for the condition you were in. I did what I could the first night of the blizzard, but when you still weren’t coherent the next day, I headed down from the mountain. The snow had let up some, and I had to take the chance of getting you somewhere for treatment.”

“I lost track of time. How long did James keep me there?” Ellie had lost her senses a little at a time, and the days and nights had all run together.

“About seven months,” Zane answered reluctantly.

Ellie’s mouth dropped open in shock. For a while, she’d counted the days and weeks that passed, but eventually she’d slept most of the time when James wasn’t there. After she’d tried everything she could think of to get herself free, her hopes of being rescued had faded. Little by little, her energy had gotten depleted, and she’d started rationing her food and water, never knowing when she’d get some again…or if she ever would.

“My mom. She’s probably been heartsick.” If she’d been missing for months, her poor mother was probably worried.

“I called her. Saying she was happy would be an understatement. She’s on her way here from Montana.” He waited a moment before he asked, “Do you want me to tell Chloe?”

“No,” she answered immediately. “She deserves her time away after what happened with James. It sounds like she’s healing. I can see her when she gets back. I hope I’m healthier when I finally see her.”

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