Her head was throbbing, her limbs aching and her mouth was dry. So tired. So thirsty. She didn't think she could go on much further, but he was right behind her and there was no choice. She felt his hand push against her shoulder, urging her forward. 'Keep moving' he said for 100th time, his voice drummed in her head.
The heat of the forest was intolerable. Sweat poured down between her shoulders, and she could feel a river of droplets pooling in the small of her back. Damn him. Why was he doing this and where was he taking her. The trees of the forest stood tall and threatening around them, but even they did not protect from the sweltering heat, the sun managing to wind its way through the thickest of branches to torture the ground below.
She needed to pee, and she needed to drink. She was not going to do or ask for either. A million questions raged in her head, a million scenarios on how this was going to pan out and she was unable to stop the tears as they flooded her eyes. Blinded she tripped over a leafy obstacle, and jumped as he reached for her arm, steadying her and preventing a fall. She flinched. He was strong, and his grip was firm and in other circumstances she would have appreciated that. Annoyed at her clumsiness and ashamed of her vulnerability she pulled her arm away.
She marched on as instructed, pushing away branches that hung low from the grizzled and blackened trunks of the forest trees; cursing as many swung back in her face, and hoping that the ones that missed her would get him. Small pleasures. They had left the path long ago, and there was no hope of any human contact this far into the forest. He seemed to know exactly where they were going, and moved forward confidently and with purpose. She had given up pleading and begging miles back. He would not be moved in his intentions. She wondered if he intended to have sex with her. She doubted he would use a condom and would it matter or make any difference to her fate?
'Nearly there.' He sounded excited. The trees seemed to be getting further apart and she glimpsed green in the distance. A small clearing in the denseness of the forest.
She picked up speed. It was nearly over and she welcomed the fact. She screwed up her reddened face and blinked as she walked out into the sunlight. It was beautiful. A place of peace and tranquillity.
She felt his presence behind her, and turned to face him as he swung his huge backpack down on the grass. 'I told you it would be worth the trek didn't I' he said grinning at her adoringly, 'now you sort out the food while I set out the wine and picnic blanket, we'll be needing it later'. He winked and she forgave him.