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"Oi. Blondie." A gruff voice brought her back to the waking world and she looked up, wincing when her cold dress pressed against her skin, "'Bout time you woke up."

The man before her was tall, extremely muscular and had shocking blue eyes. But before she could bite her tongue, she spoke up, her frustration getting the better of her, "You're blonde too you know."

His eyes narrowed and she looked away, pink tinting her cheeks. She was with a rather power looking man and she was talking back to him. She knew from experience that it never ended well for her.

"Listen here Blondie." His hand fisted in her hair and forced her to look at him, "I have questions for you and you will answer them. Got it?"

She tried to nod, but his hand stopped her from moving so she licked her lips, "Yes."

"Good. Now look here. My name is Laxus Dreyer. I'm captain of this ship and the crew answers to me. Which means you better stay on my good side... or else." She paled, brown eyes wide in understanding, "At least you can listen well enough."

She flushed, biting down on her tongue, the sharp tang of blood stopping her from lashing out again. He took her silence as obedience and removed his hand from her hair, moving to lean against the bars on her cell.

"Fairy Tail don't take kindly to demands, as you can already tell, considering your down here and not in one of the crews' bed." He chuckled as she gagged, a sinister smirk on his face, "Who are you? You're not from a whore house considering your dress is… was made of the good stuff and you're too well-groomed to be sleeping with all the scum in the slums." He crossed his arms, glaring at her, "Tell me your name?"

She looked away, worrying her lip before she answered, "Lucy." She hesitated on her last name and flinched when he growled, "My name is Lucy Heartfilia. Heiress to the Heartfilia Conglomerate."

Laxus felt his eyes widen, staring at the sorry state of the missing Heiress, "You know you've got a reward on your head that could have everyone on my crew live comfortably for the rest of their lives." He huffed, pressing off the wall to approach her, "What makes you think that I won't just hand you over for the reward."

Her cheeks puffed in anger and Lucy turned to glare at him, "You can try. My father is not a forgiving or honest man. Unless I stay in the mansion you won't get your payment." She pressed into the wall, "Besides, nothing you do will make me go back."

"You wanna test that theory?" Laxus growled low in his chest as he crouched down in front of her, his hand reaching out to grab her. She choked on a cry as she flinched away, her hair falling away from her neck and making him freeze. Bite marks littered her skin, a line of bruises crisscrossing her throat. He watched as she swallowed, the skin on her neck straining against her injuries.

"Who... did that do you?" His fingers caressed her skin, tenderly checking for the extent of her wounds.

"Phantom..." A tear dropped on his hand and he felt the guilt build in his stomach, "My father hired Phantom to get me home. He wanted me to marry to marry to expand his control. They tracked me down, but they had no intention of returning me. They just wanted money. When they realised not even Black Steel Gajeel bothered me they moved onto more... invasive methods. They stopped only when I said it would make me less valuable..."

Laxus sat back on his heels, staring at the woman in shock. To have gone against Black Steel Gajeel was no easy task. Especially when she was obviously beaten by him, "How do I know this isn't some elaborate lie because you just wanted to run away from home?"

She glared at him, "If you untie my hands I'd be happy to show you the proof."

They stared at each other, neither wanting to give in first. But Laxus sighed and leant over her, feeling her tense against his chest as he undid the bindings before moving back. Before he could react she stood up, back ramrod straight as she stared down at him. Her eyes were glazed, hands fisted at her sides as she shook. The red in her face could be easily seen as she looked away before burying her hands in her torn skirt. She bunched it in her hands, revealing more and more of her dirty leg.

He was about to stop her, uncomfortable with her being so close to revealing herself completely when she turned her leg to show him the angry, marred flesh on the inside of her thigh. The blood still stained the surrounding skin which was crudely torn into the rough mark those that she had fled from. He traced the mark with his eyes, taking in the horrible wound in disbelief. The cirlce at the top was a stab wound, no doubt inflicted by Gajeel himself. And the rest of the shape was carved into her skin with some type of crude weapon obviously not meant for cutting.

Laxus nearly gagged at the smell of infection seeping from the brand and he moved away, standing from his place on the ground as she lowered her skirt.

"Is that proof enough?" Lucy choked back a sob, refusing to meet his gaze. She didn't look up when she heard the door to her cell open and close. She didn't even breath until his footsteps faded up the stairs that led out of the ship's lower deck.

She slumped against the wall, her hands buried in her hair as she cried. Despair was all she felt and the horrible emptiness in her chest was nearly suffocating. There was no escaping this time.

Countless hours went by before she moved, her head heavy as the boat rocked sharply. A muffled explosion and yelled reached her and she tensed.

"This is it..." She sighed, head thumping against the damp wall. But before she could dwell on the thought when she heard running, multiple feet slamming against the wood of the floor above. The door to the lower levels of the ship, the level she was on, smashed open and a booming voice echoed down to her.