Jason returned carrying a small flat wooden box with dark curling patterns carved into it. Jane was too weak to actually convulse any more and her body simply shivered in waves that trembled through the ropes that bound her, wrists and ankles, to Isabella. The larger woman was breathing with the deep and easy rhythm of sleep, her face a classic aquiline portrait calm over the top of Jane’s matted hair. The hemp ropes that bound them were a dark crimson, the color of blood, and they pulled the women’s limbs out into an X on the futon. Isabella’s skin looked ruddy and almost luminous in the ambient light of the room, in stark contrast to the pallid tone of Jane’s body.
She was laying face down on Isabella, breath shallow and gasping. Her earlier brief moment of lucidity had been completely overcome by the shock of her ordeal. Blood still flowed from wounds in her nose, breast, and from between her legs, leaving scarlet trails across Isabella’s body and gradually staining the coverlet with dark red blood.
As Jason opened the needle case he glanced worriedly at Patrick. “I don’t think that bleeding is slowing down for any good reason.” […]