Chapter no 4‌ – The Diamond

Hunting Adeline

“I can save you.”

Something shakes me, sending fresh waves of pain spearing through my consciousness.

“Wake up, I can save you.”

The voice penetrates the deep fog swirling in my brain. Blackness surrounds me, and it feels I’m like floating in a starless galaxy, but an icy chill is snaking throughout my body. Warning me of something dangerous.

A hand is on my arm, and it roughly jostles me again. “There’s not much time left. I need you to wake up. I will help you.”

A fissure of light cracks through the never-ending darkness. I focus on the light, and as someone continues to jolt my body, the crack widens until blinding light pierces my eyes.

I groan, clarity beginning to surface. The firm grip on my arm tightens, and the voice rousing me from sleep amplifies.

I’m shaken once more, and the harsh movement finally jerks me awake.

My eyes snap open, and for reasons I’m not sure of yet, my heart is beating out of my chest, pounding against my rib cage as violently as the person who had been shaking me.

An old, wrinkled face and dull blue eyes come into focus, only a few inches away from mine. I rear back, blinking at him with panic and confusion.

“What’s going on?” I choke out.

Within seconds, reality comes crashing down, and I’m reminded why I’m here. Who I’m with.

I was in a car accident. Ran off the road. And then was kidnapped and brought to a doctor who clearly practices illegally.

Dr. Garrison.

The man who is currently in my face, staring at me with urgency. “I’m going to help you. Please, get up.”

The bone-chilling cold that penetrated the fog worsens as his hand grabs onto mine and pulls me forward.

I yelp in response, the aches in my body have increasingly gotten worse. It feels like a hot poker is being stabbed into every one of my nerve endings.

“I know it hurts, sweetheart, but we have to hurry before Rio comes back.”

He gently tugs on me again, and it’s then that I notice the IV has been removed from my arm.

I resist, and in an effort to stall, I ask, “H-how long have I been out?” “Only for a night, sweetheart. Now get up, please.”

Leaving me with no other choice, he helps me up, rushing me forward while attempting to handle me carefully.

“Where are we going?”

I’m nearly frantic, and confusion is muddling my thoughts.

Mainly, I can’t figure out why the hell he’s helping me. Isn’t he in on this, too?

It’s then he looks at me, a crazed smile on his face.

“I’m going to take you somewhere safe. No one will ever find you, I promise.”

A rock forms in my throat, and I work to swallow as my situation becomes more apparent.

No one will ever find you.

He may be saving me from Rio and Rick, but that doesn’t mean I won’t need saving from him, too.

“Why are you doing this?” I breathe, my eyes bouncing across the room, searching for a solution to get me out of this very big problem. There’s only one exit that I can see, and he’s leading me straight toward it.

For all I know, he’s going to lock me in a box and feed me through a glory hole. The image disturbs me so profoundly that I think I’d rather take my chances with Rio and Rick.

“I became a doctor because I like taking care of people. But the hospitals never let me take care of my patients the way I wanted.”

My heart drops, and he peers at me demurely like a little boy admitting his crush to the prettiest girl in grade school.

His smooth, cold hand slips into mine, holding it like he’s about to drop to one knee and ask me to marry him. “I want to take care of you, sweetie. I-I’ll treat you better than these people ever will. I promise I’ll be good to you.”

My mouth opens, but no sound escapes. The fuck does he expect me to say to that?

Yes, please, whisk me away to your creepy lair. Nothing would make me happier.

I want him to let me go home. Not into the arms of another creep that will trap me for the rest of my life.

Taking a step back, I carefully pry my hand from his grip. His face drops, and hurt flashes in his pale blue eyes as he watches my fingers slip from his. He acts if he did get down on one knee, and I’ve just rejected his proposal.

“I… I’m not sure that’s a good idea. They’ll know it was you,” I say, attempting to reason with him.

I don’t want to reject him flat out. His mental state seems unhinged at best, and I have no idea what this man is truly capable of.

He shakes his head, swoops my hand rather angrily, and tugs on me. I bite back another cry as he explains with impatience, “Not if we hurry. I have a plan; I just need you to come with me.”

When he continues to drag me after him, my fight or flight instincts kick in. Pain be damned, I yank my hand out of his hold and scramble back.

“No, I don’t want to go with you,” I snap.

His face morphs into a snarling demon, and that coldness radiating from him crystalizes. This man is dead on the inside. He’s no more than an icy, decaying tomb.

I feel the burst of pain lancing across my cheek before I register him moving. My head whips to the side, and fire erupts on the side of my face.

I gasp, my mouth popping open while I clutch my smarting cheek, feeling something wet coat my fingers. Pulling my hand away, I find several drops of blood staining my skin. He backhanded me with a fucking ring on. A wedding ring.

A cocktail of disgust and fury curdles in the pit of my stomach, but I keep my mouth shut. This is a very precarious situation, and I no longer have the luxury of doing or saying whatever the hell I want without severe

consequences. And as much as I’m tempted to throw down with the old fart, I can hardly move.

Shit, Addie. Think.

He’s breathing heavily, fury evident on his ruddy face. It’s like staring into the eyes of a corpse, animated only by the evil inside him.

“I would treat you like a queen. You would want for nothing,” he spits vehemently, slashing a hand through the air angrily with his last word.

I nod my head. “Okay,” I placate gently. “But you’re scaring me just as much as they do.”

His spine straightens, and I watch the rage bleed from his stare like it just now dawned on him that he’s acting like a goddamn lunatic. So quickly, his face transitions from hysteria to sheepish understanding.

“You’re right, I’m sorry,” he says, taking a step forward. “I’m just… if I’m going to get you out safely, we need to hurry, and you’re not cooperating.”

I tense but refrain from retreating as he grabs my hands in an apologetic manner.

“I’m sorry I slapped you, sweetheart. I’m just trying to help you. Please, come with me. I promise you’ll be happy with me.”

The panic and adrenaline heighten to dangerous levels, causing my heart to thump painfully against my chest. It’s hard to fucking think when he’s staring at me so eagerly, and my entire body feels like it’s been pushed through a fucking meat grinder.

But this could be the perfect opportunity to escape if I play my cards right. I need to get out with as minimal noise as possible, so I don’t alert the terror twins, which leaves me with two options. Hit this clown over the head and run or let him take me away and find a different way out. Regardless, I’m not staying here.

“Okay,” I whisper, wheezing in a breath through my tight lungs.

When he sees me visibly relax, he quickly follows suit, victory sparking in his icy pools. Grabbing my hand again, he urges me toward the door with a flickering red exit sign above.

I glance around, shivering from the cold, dankness of the room. Everything in here is gray and diluted, and the light fixtures whirring above are corroded with dust and bug carcasses. There isn’t anything here that gives this place… life.

Jesus, how does he operate in here? It looks like we’re in a morgue rather than a hospital room. I’d hate to die here, though it seems like many have.

It reeks of sterile death.

We pass by the table littered with instruments, several of them sharp. If I stab him in the jugular, he won’t be able to scream and will be dead within minutes. Then, I can make a run for it. I’ve no idea what the fuck I’m going to do once I get out of here, but there will hopefully be somewhere I can find help.

With one quick glance, I note that his focus is straight ahead, intent on his mission to take me for his own. I snatch the scalpel from the metal table, but he hears me coming and turns right as I go to plunge the knife into his neck, slicing his nape instead.

Blood spurts onto my face, and I turn away in an attempt to avoid getting any in my eyes.

He screams loudly, turning and backhanding me once more, sending me crashing into the unforgiving ground.

I land awkwardly on my tailbone, and I yelp from the impact. Agony shoots up my spine, taking my breath away, and he’s on me before I can think of what to do next, let alone breathe.

“You bitch!” he shouts, his hands circling around my neck and roughly banging my head into the concrete.

Stars explode in my eyes, preventing me from seeing anything for several seconds. It feels as if the back of my head has been cracked open, but the hands constricting my windpipe bring me out of the pit of agony.

Panic takes over, so intense it feels like poison in my veins. I claw at his hands, leaving bloody scratches in their wake, but they don’t deter him. Dr. Garrison’s face is contorted into pure rage, his pupils dilated until they’re nearly black, and his teeth bared, every single yellow, crooked tooth on display.

I thrash and fight, but his hold doesn’t lessen. And it’s then that my life flashes before my eyes like an old movie reel.

My mother, gracing me with one of her rare smiles when I say something ridiculous. My father, lounging on his chair and yelling at football players on the TV—the most excitement he’s ever shown in his entire life.

Daya, with her head tipped back and laughing loudly at something I said or did, displaying the tiny gap between her front teeth. Something she’s always hated, and I’ve always loved.

And then Zade. The fucking wrecking ball of a man who has brought out such a burning fire within me that I crumble like ash beneath him. Yet, he made me feel so strong. So brave.

He made me feel so damn loved and treasured. Just like a diamond.

Although, Zade would never call me something as trivial and common as a diamond. He’d call me the rarest jewel on earth.

I should’ve told him that I…

Just as darkness overwhelms my vision, only a pinpoint of light remains, his hands loosen and something wet and warm floods over my face. Instinctively, I open my mouth, gasping desperately for oxygen as my lungs expand.

The taste of copper invades my tongue, and I suck in so deeply that my eyes bug from my head. It takes a few moments to process that only half of Dr. Garrison’s head is suspended over me, a mere second before his body topples onto mine.

A mixture of coughing and a gurgled scream fights for dominance over my throat. My eyes widen impossibly further as the mangled mess of the doctor’s head rests on my shoulder, the pool of crimson seeping into my gown. I nearly convulse from the coughing fit still seizing my throat, and the swirl of emotions of being trapped under a corpse with blood dripping in my mouth.

More of his brain matter is on me, than in his head. Or what’s left of it.

“Stop freaking out, you’re fine.” Rio appears above me, staring down at me with annoyance and a tinge of anger.

“Get used to the sight of dead bodies, princess. You’re going to see a lot of them where you’re going.”

Grabbing the scruff of Dr. Garrison’s collar, he lifts him up and suspends him over my face again. Immediately, I’m drenched in even more bodily fluids and brain matter. Barely closing my eyes in just enough time, I cover my face as Rio laughs and wrenches the body off of me, dragging him to the corner of the room.

Finally, the pressure eases, and I am able to breathe without coughing, but then a low whimper leaks past my lips.

My body curls in until I’m a tight ball, trying not to think about how blood is in my mouth yet thinking of nothing else.

I gag, my stomach revolting from the thought.

Something hard nudges my shoulder harshly, halting my retching. I lift my head enough to see Rio’s boot, and then proceed to spit on it, pure red splashing on the black leather.

Two birds with one stone—a fuck you and an attempt to rid my mouth of Dr. Garrison’s blood.

Rio doesn’t appear bothered by it, though.

“You’re going to be fine. The dude was trying to kidnap you.”

“Just as you did. So, you’re saying you deserve the same fate, right?” I hiss, my body beginning to go into shock. I’m trembling violently, and there’s a numbness crawling up my arms and legs.

Stay calm, Addie.


Just breathe.

Rio laughs while I close my eyes and work not to freak the fuck out.

His presence closes in on me. I know that he’s crouched down, and hovering above me. Warm breath fans across my ear as he continues to chuckle.

“You have a smart mouth on you, but in this world, it’s not so smart. My advice? Dumb it down until the only words you’re capable of speaking is yes, sir. You’ll last much longer that way.”

A tear drips from my eye and I feel the beginnings of a sob forming at the base of my throat.

“Isn’t that what I’d want? To not last long? Better than suffering forever, right?”

He sighs wistfully. “You’re right. You’re going to die here anyway. I guess it’s not a matter of how long you last, but rather, how bad it hurts when it’s over.”

My lip quivers. He sighs again, and the frustration has seeped back into his tone.

“Come on, get up. We need to get moving.” He stands and walks a few feet away, looking back down at me. Waiting for me to follow.

Dazed, I manage to sit up. The pain is starting to settle back in my bones, making itself known once again.

“Can I at least shower first?”

Rio’s eyes sweep my crimson-stained body, and he grins at me. “Sure, princess. You can shower. But you can’t get those stitches wet on your back, so it looks like you’ll need my help.”




Eyes boring into my ass were more tolerable than being covered in the entrails of a dead man. I kept my back to him while rivulets of blood washed from my skin. I nearly puked when I saw chunks and fragments of bone swirling toward the drain, too.

I mainly stayed out of the water and used a fresh rag and bar soap to clean up. Rio directed me on areas to avoid on my back, but didn’t touch me, and for that, I thanked the She-Devil above.

The hardest part was washing and rinsing my hair without bending too far over and giving him a view of what he called the “money maker.”

Fucking asshole.

The shower was in a quaint little apartment on a higher level in the building, much nicer than the makeshift hospital room below, but still no better than a cheap apartment in New York City.

I assume it’s where Dr. Garrison slept when he wasn’t operating on people brought in from human traffickers. He wore a wedding ring, though I saw no evidence indicating that a woman lived there with him.

Dear God, I hope she’s not chained up somewhere.

Now, I’m in the backseat of a van again with a dark sack over my head, sopping wet, and shivering in my bonds like an old engine. The bastard failed to mention that there were no clean towels and got a kick out of watching me use a hospital gown to dry off. Even more so when I attempted to wrap one around my hair.

He wouldn’t let me wear it, stating my hair is too pretty to bundle up in an ugly blue gown, but really, I think he just enjoys being a dick.

The clicking from my chattering teeth is swallowed by the hard rock music pouring from the speakers. My thick hair is still soaked, and the heat is on low—not nearly enough to keep me warm. If it weren’t for the lack of body contortion and levitation, it’d look like I’m in the middle of an exorcism from how hard I’m shivering.

It feels like I am. Everything hurts so goddamn bad, and with every tremble, the pain intensifies.

I’ve never been more miserable in my fucking life.

“Don’t worry, diamond. We’re almost to your new home,” Rick croons, the sound grinding against my already frayed nerves. “Francesca is going to love you.”

The ominous tone in his voice tenses my body further. Something about the way he said it makes me feel like I have more to fear from her than any man who comes my way.

“W-who is she?”

He’s quiet for a moment, but it’s not Rick who answers. “The one person you want to impress the most,” Rio says, his voice grave.


“Because she will determine just how miserable your life will be until you’re sold.”

My head drops and I squeeze my eyes shut. It’s only been six days, and I feel defeated already. I’ve been gone for such an insignificant amount of time, and my spirit is already fissuring.

I take a deep breath and blow it out, slow and steady.

I’m not going to give up. I know with every fiber of my being that Zade is going to do everything in his power to find me. But I’m not going to sit around and wait either. I’ll meet him halfway if I can.

So, if winning over Francesca is what I need to do, then I’ll do it.

I’ve always been stupidly brave—to the point where I’ve been more stupid than brave. I’m not going to stop now.

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