After talking to Candace, I hurried back to my room. The halls were empty, so I thought I could sneak into my room unnoticed. I was wrong and saw Ben sitting on the bed. He had his book open across his lap. I wanted to turn around and slam the door, but I knew there was nowhere to run in this locked wing of this house.
“Where were you?” he asked.
“Where were you?” I asked back.
Ben looked shocked at my response. He closed his book and motioned for me to sit beside him. I shook my head.
“Are you okay?” he asked raising an eyebrow.
“Can we talk?” I asked.
“Of course,” he said. “Why don’t you sit down?”
“Why did you not tell me about Alexis?”
I silently cursed myself for asking that. I was never smooth, but that was painful.
Ben let out a deep breath and ran his fingers through his hair.
“Who told you about her?” he asked.
“Candace,” I said.
He was silent for a few moments before getting off of the bed. He walked toward me, but I stepped back. My knees shook as I stepped out of his way. I was not going to let him trap me against the wall again.
“Diana, you can’t believe what she says,” he said.
He kept walking forward. His body blocked me from being able to go out of my door or being able to jump over my bed and run into his room. I looked behind me to see that the bathroom door was wide open.
“Candace hates me,” he said. “She has always hated me. She had a crush on me when I first came to this dinner and I didn’t feel the same way. Ever since she has been a nightmare.”
“That doesn’t explain why you never told me about Alexis,” I said.
“What did she tell you about her?” he asked.
“That she killed herself,” I said. “She didn’t say much.”
We stood in silence for a few seconds. My heart was pounding in my chest. I extended my one leg back. I was ready to run.
“I didn’t tell you because I was afraid you would do the same,” he said. “I was afraid you were going to kill yourself too in order to get out of this.”
“You thought I would kill myself?” I asked.
“I didn’t know, and I was so worried. I can’t lose you, Diana.”
I let out a shaky breath. Ben’s blue eyes looked at me softly. He raised one hand, but I pushed it away.
“Leave me alone,” I said. “Get out of my room.”
“Di, please don’t be mad at me,” he said. A sense of panic was behind his voice.
Ben bit down on his lip and it looked like he was trying to stop himself from crying. My chest ached as I saw Ben’s pain.
I was upset that he never told me about Alexis, but I guess she would have not naturally come up in our conversation. He probably did not want to upset me.
That is not all that Candace said though.
She said Ben was acting polite and respectful for all of these dinners. He told me he was always trying to escape. She could just be jealous and trying to spread lies about Ben. From how everyone else talks about her she does not seem like she should be trusted.
“I just need to be alone to think,” I said.
“Please,” Ben said. He grabbed my shoulders and pulled me into a tight hug. “Please, don’t let Candace come between us. I told you I would get both of us out of here. We’re getting out of this together.”
I took in the scent of his cologne. He tightened his grip on me and my cheek was pressed against his hard chest.
He had already gained Oliver and Bethany’s trust. He could get us out of here. It would take me a long time to gain that amount of trust. I had to keep him happy, and then I’ll be back home.
“I’m not mad,” I said.
Ben let out a deep breath and I felt his body relax. He pressed his lips against my temple.
“I should get back to studying,” I said.
“We’ll get out of here before Oliver turns you into a surgical nurse,” he said.
“How do you know that?”
“I’ve been planning it. We should be able to get out three days after we’re back in Canada.”
“Wait.” A horrible realization hit me. “You won’t be going back to Oliver’s with us. You only came to teach me how to act for their dinner.”
“I’ll be there soon.”
“How do you know that? Because they’re friends?”
“Because they’re engaged.”
He let out a chuckle, and the corner of his lip pulled into a smile. He leaned forward and rested his forehead against mine.
“If you haven’t noticed yet they’re not good people,” he said.
I couldn’t stop myself from laughing. Ben kissed my cheek before letting me go.
“Is there anything else I should know?” I asked.
He shook his head. “No.”
I stayed in my room for the next few days. I locked the door connecting my room with Ben’s. Leta knocked on my door three times a day asking me to come down to the dining room. I refused, and Oliver would bring me food into my room. I told him I was spending my time studying, so he didn’t complain. Every night he would bring me a glass of water and my pills.
Normally, Oliver would leave my room after checking that I took my pills. This time he sat on the edge of the bed. I had already changed into a pair of pajamas and had my hair tied up. Oliver put his hand on my bare leg, and he ran it down my smooth skin. The air was thick with humidity, but I shivered.
“Dr. Phillips and the others will be coming throughout the night,” he said.
I looked up from the book.
“When is the dinner?” I asked.
“Tomorrow night,” he said.
Oliver’s hand ran up my thigh. My heart pounded and I pulled my leg away. I scurried my way to the other side of the bed.
“Dr. Alexander calls me into his office at least twice a day,” Oliver said. “He really wants you. He keeps offering me more money for you.”
“You’re not going to sell me, are you?” I asked.
“Don’t worry, Kitten,” he said. “I won’t.”
He stood up from the bed, but his eyes were locked on me.
“Leta will bring you a dress in the morning,” he said. “I want you to look pretty for tomorrow.”
I squeezed my eyes shut to stop myself from shuddering. He didn’t say another word as he left the room. I threw myself off of my bed and ran to Ben’s room. He was sitting on his bed and reading his book as usual. I sat down next to him and he wrapped his arms around me. He laid me down on the bed and was leaning over me.
“How have you been?” he asked. “I’ve barely seen you.”
“I’m just anxious to get home,” I said.
Ben smiled. I was shocked that he wasn’t knocking on my door these past few days. I was worried that he may have lost the feelings he confessed to me, but by his reaction, all my fears were gone.
“We’ll get away from all of this soon,” he said.
He leaned down and kissed me. The heat rushed to my cheeks. He chuckled when he saw this and rested his head against mine.
“You know the dinner is tomorrow night, right?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said, turning his head to kiss my cheek. “Do you remember what I told you? Are you nervous?”
“Yes,” I said. “I just can’t wait for this to be over.”
“Soon it will be.”
Ben propper himself and stared at me. He was smiling as he tucked a loose strand of hair behind my ear.
“Have you been talking to Candace again?” he asked.
“No,” I said.
“Okay. Stay away from her. Trust me, she is a liar.”
I nodded. Ben rolled onto his side and held me against his chest. He pulled a blanket over us and turned off his lamp. He kept his arm tight around me all night.
My mind was racing with what both Candace and Ben had said. I did not know who was telling the truth, but I knew that I wanted to get home and Ben was going to get me there.