Yes, it's a delicate balance to maintain because I do want the reader to see his humanity in his own mistakes and trials with her. He needs to dominate her in the room because he is the interrogator and Katie should be contract greatly with AB. (AB broke his hand on the last day of their time in the bunker.) Katie's normalcy makes him awkward because he hasn't dealt with a regular person inside the bunker before.
There's the next two scenes. One is kind of in the same vein but the other is out on the course.
“What was the question again?” Katie sat on the chair with her elbows on knees with head down on the floor and hands in her hair. She couldn’t be sure how long ago he’d asked the question but she knew it had been complicated. She wasn’t even sure if she’d fallen asleep. Her eyes closed even though she fought it. Her body jerked. Leo snorted.
“Did your mother, or father for that matter, sabotage your desire to act upon attraction to males.”
“No wonder why I fell asleep.” Katie ran a hand over her face. “That’s a terrible question.” Leo picked up a picture taken during a friend’s wedding. Katie’d had her hair done and put on more makeup than she ever thought possible. It embarrassed her in this light to see the stupid thing; it felt desperate.
“You’re not ugly. You should be receiving male attention.” She rolled her eyes.
“That’s not how I look every day. It was for a special occasion.” Was not being ugly the same thing as pretty—or better yet beautiful? And did it matter that she was generally accepted as pretty or specifically noted by him? She shook her head to make it think clearly. “No real woman looks like that in real life.” She jerked her head to finish with, “And let’s just get something straight. I never said I don’t receive attention from males. I said I don’t play their games. I’ve had relationships and that’s where I learned they’re all full of bull.” Leo opened his mouth, “And no, my mom’s opinions don’t influence how I feel.”
“If I said yes, I meant yes.” Katie leaned back in the chair and softly advised him, “I’m bored and thirsty.” Leo put his hand underneath his wood seat. Katie squinted as something was ripped from its taped position under the chair. Her mouth dropped open in astonishment as he tossed her the bottle. She barely missed dropping it while clumsily grabbing for it, which made him laugh.
“You’ve answered a lot of questions, Wren, so I decided to give you the opportunity to find the water. You,” one side of his mouth dropped into a neutral position that made the other side look more devious. “You apparently weren’t smart enough to be aware of your surroundings.”
“But—but is that normal?” Her nose wrinkled as she asked before gulping down the water. She forgot to pay attention to his answer as she concentrated on hydration. When she finished a simple question ran through her mind. “How old are you, Leo?” He chuckled.
“Are you afraid your parents won’t support the match because they think I’m too old for you?”
“I don’t actually care how old you are. I was trying to fill the conversation void,” Katie declared. She lobbed the plastic bottle with an inch of clear liquid dancing in it at him.
“That’s very generous of you.” Leo tipped his head back and finished it, letting the final drips land on his tongue. A twinge of desire ran through her. She shouldn’t have offered the rest of the water to him. “I’m older than you.” He did not elaborate. “I think our session has grown stale.” She mumbled something about hating for anything to become stale but he ignored her. “It’s time to go back on the course.”
Since their first sit down, Katie understood that she had exceeded his expectations in the field. He hadn’t been prepared for her willingness to not hide to not be found but to jump out on him. Today was no exception. It had cost her bruises, which she might have winced at when the received them but did not acknowledge during their talks. He didn’t seem to worry about her safety outside of the room anyway.
She hugged her position, watching him pass near her though not able to find her. She breathed through her open mouth to avoid noisy nostril breathing. She had practiced running in this area of the course before and knew that he couldn’t hear her footsteps. Well, she assumed he couldn’t if she couldn’t either. By now she wondered if he was actually trying to find her or just content with walking around in circles until she came out to confront him. If she were a super star on the course, she might be insulted by the quality of captors he had normally.
He was ten feet ahead, with his eyes in the opposite direction. She knew her chance would line up for only a few seconds. She counted to three and burst forth in what she assumed was silence. She sprinted, just starting to accelerate when she jumped up to attack and Leo took a step to his left to sidestep her. Katie reached out and snagged his clothing as she went down, dragging Leo down onto the ground. He landed on top her and her eyes instantly watered. She attempted to suck in air. The scraping, ineffectual noises escaping her mouth frightened her. Leo scrambled up from lying over her to straddling.
“Focus,” he forcefully spoke and gestured with his index and middle fingers towards his eyes. “You got the wind knocked out of you. Keep trying to breathe; it’ll come.” Katie nodded and fought to expand her lungs until finally they did. Her chest burned but relief felt so sweet. “You’re doing fine; just rest.” Katie nodded because he sounded like he knew what he was saying. Did he have medical training or had this just happened over and over again on the course while doing dangerous stalking games? How many women had been damaged out here?
Katie’s mind got the better of her and she dropped her gaze, which had looked panicked a second ago. She tried to turn to her right side, obeying his instruction. Leo climbed off; Katie brought her legs up into the fetal position. She felt dirty, tired, and pained as the pad of her right middle finger wiped away a bit of water near her eye. Katie waited for him to say something more as she lay on the ground but he didn’t. So a hoarse, weary female voice uttered “How’d you know I was coming?”
“I don’t have to see you or hear you. I can feel you coming.” She started to giggle in a breathy way, causing her to inhale a bit of sand. She contorted from coughed and laughing. “I didn’t mean that as a double entendre,” which moved her into hacking and more eyes watering. As an afterthought he said, “It works just as well that way though I suppose.” Once exhausted from sand, falls, and laughing, she sighed. “Let’s get you up.” She waived him off before twisting up onto all fours. He stood back.
“I’m going to need a nap,” and some aspirin.
As she stood he said, “I’m surprised you thought it was so funny.”
“I was thinking of I can feel you coming in the air tonight, hold on.” He mumbled a short but foul-worded challenge.
“It’s I can feel it coming in the air tonight.”
“Whatever,” she induced saliva production to spit a couple of time in the hope to clear her mouth of grit. “Water,” she simply stated. She wanted to rub her lips on the shoulder of her t-shirt but it was far too dirty.
“I’ll give you a shower instead.” Katie widened her eyes and coughed to hide her smile. It sounded ridiculous but his tone let her know that’s not what he was thinking.
“Then food,” she managed to add before realizing it had only been one single day since he had offered her the shower to inspect her arms and legs. This would be strange, the whole idea of opening silly wounds that hadn’t been silly over a decade ago. And then Katie realized it made her sad and strange. She kept silent as they walked back to the concrete building, contemplating with dread how much this would humiliate her. But it meant being clean even if for only five minutes and then getting back into her dirty clothes. And she couldn't be humiliated without giving permission.
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