*Click For Audio Drama*
“Come now, stop being stubborn,” Matthias tutted softly once he saw the food prepared for her remain untouched.
Leyla remained unmoving on her spot, eyes refusing to look at him.
“What a selfish woman you truly are, Leyla. Thinking of no one but yourself.” Matthias continued, sighing out in disappointment, before he rose from his seat to approach Leyla.
It had been clear in a short time to Leyla that no amount of resistance from her would ever convince him that having her with him was more of a loss than releasing her. As such, she was resolved to become as lifeless and as boring as a doll towards him instead.
And so she refused to eat, drink, and even talk at all. She moved when he moved her, and stared off into space even as he forced her to look at him.
She would only exist and sleep in his presence.
“Think about our child.” He hummed beside her.
“My child…” Leyla’s raspy voice softly protested. “You’re not the baby’s father… you’ll never be a father.”
It was soft, and raspy, the first time she spoke again since she’d been threatened not to utter Kyle’s name again. It was also a testament to how dry her throat had become when he was not forcing drinks and food down her throat.
It’s only been half a day since they met again, but already it felt like the nightmare was endless with him around.
Despite the continued rejection of his paternity to their child, Matthias ignored her as he busied himself to forking up some food to feed her. Satisfied, he smiled at her as he firmly held up the fork, filled with food, against her lips.
“I’m willing to take full responsibility for you and our child, Leyla.” He hummed softly, “I’m sure you know very well how well I can provide for both of you.”
“I don’t care!” Leyla hissed at him, “It’s my child. It won’t have anything to do with you. So I don’t need your responsibility.” She huffed out, turning her chin away from the food he was holding up for her.
“If you don’t want my responsibility, then how about my will?” Matthias grinned at her when she turned back to glare at him, “After all, aren’t I your god? Isn’t my will supposed to be done?”
He gently placed the fork down her plate, as his hands dropped to take hers in his.
“After all, it was also my will that created this child.” He smiled lovingly at her. He then led her hand towards the plate, curling her fingers on the fork, guiding it as it dug through the delicate meat on her plate.
Satisfied she was partially cooperative once more, the grip on the fork tightening up, Matthias sent her another pleased smile before going back to his own seat to finish his meal.
Leyla stared at him as he leisurely dined across from her. In her indignation, her grip on the fork tightened up, and she threw it down on the floor as she shot up to her feet, dragging some food along with it as it spilled across the floor.
It fell onto the floor with a dull thud. Her eyes burned holes into him with rage. Matthias sighed in disappointment once more, raising his head to meet her gaze before frowning at the spilled food on the floor.
“If you’re going to kill me, then do it!” Leyla demanded, “Don’t sit there and feed me like a pig for slaughter! Just kill me already!”
She heaved as she demanded him to do as he promised, and Matthias let out a despondent sigh, before standing up once more and bent to pick up the fork she threw away. He placed it back on the table, eyes still holding her gaze.
“Oh believe me, I plan to do just that.” He said soothingly towards her, “After all, I’ve turned quite desperate lately.” He mused with a light smile that didn’t really reach his eyes.
“I did plan to do it as soon as I found you but, unexpected surprises came.” Matthias smiled as his gaze dropped to her stomach, “If you were still on your own, you would be dead by now, Leyla. But alas, our child doesn’t deserve to die with you. So you’ll have to live on a little longer, wouldn’t you agree?”
Swiftly, he turned around to leave the room, grabbing the fork in tow. Leyla heard the familiar sound of a lock clicking into place, and knew she’d be unable to leave the room.
She was trapped like a mouse in a puzzle box. She immediately walked away from the table, standing firmly in front of the window and looking outside at the army slowly turning Sienna into part of Berg.
Shortly after he left, he came back, in his hands now a new and clean fork. A shiver went down her spine upon his entrance, ears straining to hear his every movement.
In the reflection of the mirror, she could see him grabbing a steak knife on the table.
“Without you looking at me, I suddenly feel so confident.” Matthias mused to her, and she couldn’t help but shake with rage.
“Get out! Get away from me! Let me out already!” She demanded incessantly, but Matthias let her rage on, before responding in a calm manner.
“Oh Leyla, I thought you were smarter than this.” He hummed, the fork now placed on the table, right next to her still full plate. He now toyed with the steak knife in his hand.
Leyla eyed him warily. He gestured to the bedside table.
“There’s a gun right there, all this time.” He hummed, before clicking his tongue in disappointment at her having missed it.
He eyed her, and the window behind her.
“Do you really plan to go like that?”
“What choice do I have? I don’t plan to go back with you! Never!” She screeched at him, stepping away from the window this time, and putting more distance between them…
“I don’t want to be your mistress! I’ll never return with you!”
Matthias suddenly chuckled, shaking his head, before sighing out. He looked at Leyla for a moment.
“Are you so certain that’s really what I want?” He asked her with a smile. Leyla stilled in place, her brows frowning as she wondered what he was getting at. “Do you really think that I’m the same man as I was? So easily tricked by a mere mistress?”
Leyla’s thoughts drew to blank at his words.
This was different. This man was different.
This wasn’t the Matthias von Herhardt she’d grown to know and observe. This was so different from how she once knew him, and it made her so confused! His eyes landed on her stomach once more.
“Leyla, don’t you know you’re killing the baby?” He hummed thoughtfully, as she clenched her fists on her side. He then chuckled lowly at her, before his eyes turned cold. His fingers balanced the knife between them.
“What do you want from me?” Leyla hissed at him in a whisper, eyes trailed on the ground. She moved again, her back to the window once more, pressing up against it.
Matthias shrugged at her, effectively dropping the knife with a dull thud onto the floor.
“Eat first, then we’ll discuss what I intend to do to you afterwards.” He commanded her with a smile, holding out a hand as he gestured for her to take her seat back on the table like the gentleman he portrayed himself to be.
“After all, I need to feed my child, don’t you?” He asked her with a tilt, and Leyla glared at him with a thinly veiled disgust.
“It’s not your child.” Leyla declared, “No matter how many times you say it, I’ll keep denying it.”
“Leyla,” he sighed out, “I fully understand, and intend to do as I promised to kill you. But it’s quite difficult to do so while my child is still inside you. Rest assured, as soon as it’s out of you, your wishes will be granted.” He smiled at her serenely.
A clink, and he looked down to see the knife on the floor.
He clicked his tongue in slight distaste, lightly kicking the fallen knife away from him, before taking a second knife on the table, and began to cut out her steak for her, himself.
“As such, these are difficult times we have ahead, so eat up.”
“I don’t mean to be rude, but it upsets my stomach to eat food with the likes of you around me.” Leyla huffed out, turning her cheek away from him as he cut up her food for her. The glistening in the corner of her eyes made Matthias bark out a laugh.
He wondered what else he could say.
So indignant, and stubborn, she resembled a spoiled little puppy who had yet to encounter the harshness of the world around it. Ah, but Matthias did not feel too bad about it. He forgot how refreshing it was to witness someone act so blatantly disrespectful of him.
It’s one of the things that made her so interesting to him. Ah, if only she knew it was her stubborn refusal and rejection of him that only drove him further mad about her, then she would have long abandoned such treatment of him.
“Then how about you act?” He dropped down, to whisper it right next to her ear, “You’re good at acting, aren’t you?” He teased her, and Leyla whipped her head around, face flushing in hardly concealed anger at his words!
Matthias then grabbed his cup of water and took a sip from it, soothing his throat.
“To be honest, I was quite amazed at how effectively you managed to pull it off.” He praised her, “Who knew you could act so perfectly like that?” He smirked at her and Leyla shot back to her feet!
“Quiet! You don’t know what I’ve felt going through it!” She exclaimed, clasping both hands around her ears. But Matthias only blinked at her in confusion.
“Why are you so mad? It was a compliment, really.” Matthias pointed out to her, but she only stubbornly shook her head, arms still covering her ears in protest. “After all, it was of your own brilliant acts that our baby had been conceived.”
“It’s mine! Not yours! Never yours!”
“In fact, you were acting so well at being in love with me, perhaps we could call it our love child isn’t it?”
“Yes, though you were acting, it was the principle of the acts wasn’t it?”
“I said stop!”
“You were acting you love me, so it was a child made out of love, isn’t it?”
“I said stop it! Stop talking about my baby!”
Matthias grew quiet as he watched Leyla curled into herself, hands still pressed firmly against her ears, eyes squeezed shut in front of him. His long, slender fingers circled the rim of his water glass as he observed her, waiting for her to eventually calm down again.
Tears fell from her eyes, and Leyla began to sniffle and whimper softly in front of him. Matthias chuckled, shaking his head slightly, before dropping down beside her on one knee, lowering himself further to whisper in her ears…
“So act like it again.” He told her.
She acted like she loved him so well because she wanted so badly to run away and escape him, didn’t she?
“Give me another of your world-class acts, because this time, not only your freedom, but your life depends on it as well.” He murmured against her, kissing her lightly against the back of her ear.
“I won’t,” she sniffled, “You can’t make me do anything anymore with your cruel tricks.” Leyla seethed at him, and Matthias quirked up a brow.
“Tricks?” Matthias asked incredulously, before laughing in amusement, “Ah my Leyla, this isn’t any trick, but a mere toleration of your continued existence.” He sighed out.
“Either way, I won’t drink even a single drop of water until you let me free.” She hissed at him, “No matter what you do, or what’s at stake, I won’t do a single thing to prolong my life.”
Even now, he still managed to get underneath her skin, to make her feel like bugs were crawling in her veins. He still had the power to humiliate her completely.
And maybe that will always be true. Because she couldn’t change her past, no matter how hard she tried.
She would always be the woman he’d violated, coerced to be with for the whole of winter and some more to be his lover. For her to be so shamelessly and horribly paraded like his trophy…
There was nothing else he had to hold over for her.
“You should get changed.” Matthias suddenly piped up, interrupting Leyla’s morbid thoughts. He then stood up to his full height. Just as he was about to move away to get her a change of clothes he wanted for her, he paused and turned back to her.
“Did you know that Kyle is currently imprisoned right now?” He casually asked her, and Leyla’s eyes snapped up to him, all wide and full of worry. “Yes, because of you, that I had to take drastic measures.”
“What?” Leyla asked dumbly, before she struggled to rise back to her feet, “Prison? You locked him up in prison? How could you do that!?”
Matthias frowned at her with a slight pout.
“It’s unfair how you’re blaming me for this Leyla,” he reasoned out, “After all, it wasn’t my influence that led him to be insubordinate, and attacking his superior, isn’t it?”
“Liar! It’s your fault!” Leyla shot back at him, tears falling from her eyes and Matthias smirked at her before shrugging.
“Either way, he’s still in jail, and ah,” Matthias suddenly piped up, “Probably starving as well.” He told her with a smile. “So you see, it’s not my fault he got dragged to prison, that’s yours.” He told her.
“But the starvation, that’s my doing.” Matthias smiled at her proudly, before sitting on his chair and leaning back against the backrest to recline himself as he crossed his legs.
“You see I specifically gave them an order to not give him any food yet.” He elaborated for her, “I’m only going to order them to give him as much as you eat after all. So if I don’t see you eat, or drink anything then… neither does Kyle Etman.” He finished off with a smirk in her direction.
Leyla eyed him hatefully, tears flowing freely down her face as she stood before him.
“Are you even human?” She couldn’t help but ask in a soft voice.
First he dangled her father’s freedom in front of her.
Now he dangled Kyle’s health and life above her head once more.
“Always, always, you keep doing this to me…” She whispered to him. Her hands grabbed onto the edge of the table, knuckles turning white with quiet rage. “First Uncle Bill, and now…” she bit her lips, preventing herself from uttering Kyle’s name.
Now that’s a name he hadn’t heard for a while now. And the first he’d heard from Leyla since meeting her again. But Matthias schooled his expression back to indifference, when Leyla slammed her palms over the table, its contents rattling against the sudden impact.
He watched as her body wracked in front of him, before he saw her hands fist the tablecloth’s seams. It wasn’t difficult to predict what she would do next.
In no time, Leyla pulled on the tablecloth, dragging every plate, food and drinks on the table, sliding them off and wasting them all so she won’t be able to eat anything at all! The utensils clattered noisily on the floor, plates and glasses shattering to pieces as they hit solid ground.
She eyed Matthias hatefully as she did so. He could only hum in thought at it.
“Poor Kyle Etman,” He mused out loud before sighing as though he didn’t want to do it, “I guess he’ll be starving then.”
He flicked his napkin to lightly dab on the sauce that splattered on his clothes before he stood up and started to turn away from her. She watched as he went up and out the door, closing it behind him softly.
It was soon followed by a series of sounds of locks and chains clicking into place, before she heard his footfalls begin to fade…
And then cold silence began to keep her company once more.
She sank back down into her plush seat, body shaking with barely contained rage, frustration and fear.
In the warm light of the afternoon sun, Leyla remained alone in the storm she had made around her. She wrapped her arms around her, trying to emulate the way her father used to wrap her safely in his arms and squeezed her eyes shut, hoping to block out the mess she was trapped in.
Sometime later, a soldier on-duty passed by the locked door in the hallway. It had once been the Major’s assigned room, but now, with all the hastily made locks, and chains outside, it might as well be a makeshift prison.
Word on the street was the Major was keeping a pregnant woman inside it. And no one would enter, or leave it, aside from him, and him alone. Whenever the Major left, he’d ensure all the locks were secure and in place.
Ever since he’d arrived in Sienna, he hadn’t been the same aloof Major. Others theorized he’d finally gone mad with the war.
Trepidation began to fill him, as his shaky hands reached out towards the locks, eyes darting left and right to make sure no one was coming.
There were orders issued not to enter. But this time, he’d been ordered to do differently.
“It’s only for a little bit,” he whispered reassuringly to himself, “Yeah, just a small peak.”
Softly undoing every lock and wrap of chains, he slightly cracked open the door to the room, quietly clearing his throat in his nervousness. As soon as he peeked his head in, a woman, who’d been sitting in front of the windows turned around.
His eyes first trailed onto the mess on the floor, looking absolutely aghast at the state of the room.
“This is…” He muttered softly, before locking eyes with the only person in the room. She looked paler than she should have been.
He gulped, his grip on the meager meal he’d brought tightening as she narrowed her eyes towards him critically. He held it out for her, like a peace offering…
“H-here,” he stuttered, “Eat this at least.” He softly offered for her, eyeing her baby bump nervously, “If not for you then your child at least.” He added softly.
When she still eyed him warily, he decided to continue.
“Don’t worry, Major Herhardt doesn’t know I’m here.” He added, as a small consolation. She might have been under the impression he was ordered to give it to her.
He was. But he wasn’t about to say it to her lest she might not eat it some more.
He didn’t understand what this all was for, nor why she was even being detained. The rest of their problems would be solved if the Major would only let this woman go. Either way, there was nothing he could do but follow orders.
“Don’t worry, he doesn’t know I’m here. You won’t get in trouble for eating it.” He encouraged when she still refused to move from her spot, “I promise he doesn’t know.”
Meekly, he placed the food onto the table, backing away slowly.
“I’ll be back in half an hour to get the plates. Eat well then,” he whispered to her as he backed out of the room, grabbing hold of the knob to close the room back up.
His task was done, and the food the Major had ordered to be given to her had been successfully delivered, if not received. She was still looking at his retreat, before her eyes looked down on the silver domed covered meal.
He paused, wondering if perhaps he should stay instead to watch her eat? Or should he just come back later to check up on her instead, like he said?
“Hey…” a soft voice called out to him, and he looked up immediately to see the woman now anxiously fidgeting in front of him.
He made a small, startled noise, before calming himself down.
“Kyle,” she whispered, “Is he really in prison, right now?”
The soldier blinked, before trying to recall the ones recently tossed to prison.
“Kyle, Kyle… oh, Kyle Etman? The medical private?” he inquired further to clarify, and she gave him a terse nod.
“Yes, that’s him.” She confirmed softly, “So… is he really in prison?”
He frowned at the question in confusion, before eventually nodding at her.
“Yeah, he did get tossed into jail recently. Something about insubordination and attacking a commanding officer.”
Silence reigned between them once more, and the soldier squirmed. He didn’t have a good feeling about interacting more with this woman. It was best he left now before he’d inadvertently insult or slight anyone powerful.
“Well, eat up. I’ll be back shortly.” He hastily bid goodbye, before she piped up once more.
“Can you give this to Kyle, instead?”
The soldier paused just as he was about to close the door behind him. He opened it back up to look at her incredulously.
“Can you give the meal to him instead?” She asked him again, in her hands now the tray he’d left on her table.
So many things could go wrong if he were to give in to the woman’s wishes. Firstly, he’d directly disobey orders, undermining his superior’s authority. He could very well follow Kyle Etman to jail for disobedience as well!
They might even have cells right next to each other!
“I, I don’t know.” He murmured, “I could get in real big trouble if I do that.” He told her apologetically, and watched as her shoulders sagged.
“I, yes, that’s true.” She huffed out in resignation, “I’m sorry for asking you to do it. Thank you though, for the meal.” She told him with a slight smile.
He gave her a terse nod, and softly shut the door on her, quickly replacing and securing the locks back into place.
Before he could close the door though, he watched as she approached the meal, and uncovered it to reveal a piece of sandwich and a can of soda. He couldn’t help but feel slightly affronted by the poor meal he had prepared.
It was a far cry from what he knew the noble officers ate, however, it was impossible to have the meal changed to something more substantial for a woman of her condition instead.
He only hoped she would eat it as soon as he left.