The quiet footsteps in the hallway of her apartment building woke her from her, now always, uneasy sleep. She reached for the gun tucked under her pillow and clicked off the safety even as she opened her eyes. The steps slowed at her front door and she slipped out of bed and into her shoes. She kept the gun trained on her bedroom door and slid silently to the window to peek out the blinds. She heard the tiniest sound from the doorknob and knew she had to go.
She slid open the window, climbed out and hurried down the fire escape, dropping the last few feet to land on the snowy sidewalk. After allowing herself a quick moment to scan the street and seeing no one, she ran.
She made it to her car before he caught her.
He slammed into her from behind, pinning her body against the side of her car, twisted her left arm painfully behind her back and gripped her right wrist in his vise-like fist, which caused her to drop the gun. A quiet voice spoke roughly, inches from her ear, and made her shiver with fear. "What did you do wrong?" She struggled briefly to free herself but was only pressed more firmly against the car and she answered his question with a whisper. "I don't know."
He increased the pressure on her left arm just slightly, making her gasp at the pain in her shoulder. "Yes, you do." He growled.
Her mind raced as she struggled to find the answer. "I… I went for my own car." The pain in her shoulder ebbed as he relaxed his grip, and she knew that she'd answered correctly.
"Why was that a mistake?" he asked, and she detected a note of anger in his question. "They… know my car. They'd have been watching me. Someone would have been waiting." He kept her pinned but bent down to pick up the gun she'd dropped. "Why did you do it?" he continued to question her. "I didn't know what else to do…" She had known that she needed to get as far away as possible as quickly as she could, and her car was her best option. She struggled to explain. "I had to get to the car to get away."
He spun her around to face him and when she looked at Jason she saw an unexpected smile on his face. "I'll just have to teach you how to steal a car, I guess." He brought his left hand to her face and said "You did great. You almost got away from me." Then he kissed her. The kiss was rough, almost possessive, and left her feeling breathless. He stepped back from her and she felt the coldness of the night air for the first time since exiting her apartment and shivered. He handed her the gun and then turned toward her apartment.
She took a deep breath and let the cold air clear her head as she smiled to herself. That was the first compliment he'd given her. These 'games' he played with her were his way of teaching her. He believed that she'd learn best from experience and knew that she wouldn't make the same mistake again. She followed him, still shaking from the experience but trusting him, as always, to know what had to be done.