Written by CJS :: [Thursday, 08 August 2019 22:08] Last updated by :: [Thursday, 08 August 2019 23:49]
Beth looked up as the man approached her cell. It was the man who had leered at her earlier.
“Let’s go, your terms are fine,” he said, unlocking the cell door with the key from the hook, and gesturing for her to exit. She still wore the handcuffs, so she took a moment to right herself and stand. When she moved out the door, Beth glanced back at him and saw his eyes travel up and down her body. She looked away.
As he directed her from the barn toward the farmhouse, Beth counted six men walking the grounds. Three of them talked among themselves, walking together, while the other three marched alone. All six men gazed at the beautiful woman walking toward the farmhouse.
When they reached the house, she noticed two more men downstairs, milling about in the hallway. One of the men was tall and lanky, while the other was bald, with tattoos covering his head. They held handguns at their sides, and eyed her from down the hall.
She glanced toward the room holding her costume and necklace, but the door was closed. With a nudge, the man behind her directed her up the stairs. She reached the top of the stairs, stepping into the middle of a short hallway with a door at each end, and one straight ahead.
After waiting for direction from the man behind her and getting none, she turned to face him. He looked between the three doors, hesitating, before nodding to the door on the left. She walked to it.
He opened the door for her. She glanced in, doing a quick scan to see if any items jumped out at her for O’Shea to use to pick the cell locks. She needed more time to find out.
“There are towels in the bathroom,” he said. “Sorry, but no change of clothes.”
“I can’t exactly shower with my hands cuffed,” she said over her shoulder, holding up her hands.
He stared at her. A battle seemed to go on his mind, as he bit his lip and shook his head. A smile came to his face after a few moments.
“Why don’t I help,” he said, and gave her a push into the room. She stumbled and whirled to face him as he kicked the door closed. Their eyes met, and he was on her instantly.
She tried to get her cuffed hands up, but he plowed forward, wrapping one arm around her. As he pulled her close, her arms were pinned against her chest. She opened her mouth to scream, but he clamped his other hand over her face. He forced her backward and pushed her onto the bed. He leaned into her, and she felt his hot breath on her face as he spoke.
“You’re a high class piece of ass,” he said, breathing heavily. “You ain’t fooling me with that innocent face. The way you move that hot body. That ass. You want this, don’t ya? It can be our little secret.”
She tried to bite the hand over her mouth, but he pressed down on her with enough force she could barely get her jaw open. Beth froze his other hand slipped from behind her back and tried to work its way between their bodies. He leaned back to give his hand room as he reached for the button at the front of her jeans.
When he leaned back she saw her opening, lashing out at his throat with her cuffed hands. She didn’t hold back, hitting with all her strength, and keeping her fingers tucked in and her knuckles extended.
As the blow smashed into her attacker’s larynx, his eyes bugged out in surprise, and he wheezed and reached both hands for his throat. Beth jabbed again, extending her fingers and going for his eyes. As she connected, he opened his mouth to scream, but only a sharp wheeze came out.
Her attacker stumbled back, reaching for his eyes instead of his throat. Beth’s eyes darted about, spotting the lamp on the nightstand. She lunged for it, sliding away from him. She seized it with both hands, coming up swinging.
“You bitch!” he wheezed, just before the lamp crashed into his head. The frantic woman lost hold of the lamp on the rebound, but directed its fall toward the bed, where it landed on the mattress. She turned back toward him, ready to fight, but the fight was over. The man lay unmoving on the floor.
Beth’s heart felt like a stampede in her chest, but she pushed the feeling aside. She needed to act quickly. Thanks to her blow to the man’s throat, and her redirection of the lamp onto the bed, the encounter had been fairly quiet. But someone might come at any moment. There were two armed guards downstairs and at least six outside.
She bent next to the man, searching him and finding a keychain filled with keys. After finding the key to her handcuffs and freeing herself, she tiptoed to the door and put her ear to it. The hallway outside was quiet.
She reached for the doorknob but pulled back. There were more men down there. But so were her costume and necklace. Beth reached for the doorknob again and again pulled her hand back. She balled her fists in frustration, wrinkling her nose and staring at the doorknob as if it were mocking her. As much as it pained her, she had to be realistic about her chances. She wasn’t ready to give up on getting her items back, but she couldn‘t just wander into sure defeat.
With a grumble, she moved to the window, eased back the curtain, and peaked out. Nobody was below.
It looked to be less than a twenty-foot drop. She could use the blankets, tied to the bed, to lessen the distance. With a nod of determination, she slid the window open. The window was halfway open when movement below caught her eye. A guard came into view, marching around the corner. She quickly slipped back behind the curtain.
Beth balled her fists in frustration. The man appeared to be taking laps around the house. She couldn’t get the blankets out the window and lower herself to the ground without being seen.
She sighed in resignation. She would need to find another way. Perhaps she could at least find a tool to help O’Shea pick the cell lock, which had been her original reason for coming to the house. If she found something helpful, and hid it in her clothes somewhere, maybe she could get it to him. That assumed they would take her back to the cell, rather than exact revenge on her.
As Beth scanned the room again, her heart sank. The place didn’t appear to occupied and was practically devoid of any miscellaneous items. There was the lamp she had used as a weapon, and one other lamp on a dresser. All other surfaces were bare.
Beth moved to the dresser and pulled open each drawer, finding them to be empty. She had similar luck with the nightstand.
She was about to take her search to the bathroom when she spied a wood cabinet door built into the wall, at about chest level. The young woman pulled the door open to see an empty opening. Beth realized this wasn’t a cabinet, but the remnants of an old dumbwaiter. She glanced down into darkness.
Tapping her lips, Beth apprised the opening. Before she could consider the matter further, she heard footsteps from outside the door, coming up the stairs.
“Dale?” a voice called.
She eyed the dumbwaiter, and with a shake of her head grabbed the sides and pulled herself into the opening. It was a tight fit, but with her feet extended she could press her back against one side and her feet against the other, and hold herself in place. She reached out with her hands and pulled the dumbwaiter door closed behind her.
Just in time. She heard the door to the room open, and the footsteps get closer.
“Shit, Dale!” she heard a voice say. The footsteps paused before moving past her hiding spot, likely to the open window. Moments later they darted past her position and out into the hall. Beth remained still for a moment, before getting to work. It was time to go down.
The descent was slow and uncomfortable. She was ten feet down when she almost lowered her upper body too far and started sliding. She shot her legs and arms out and caught herself, jerking to a stop. After taking a deep breath, Beth resumed her downward climb. Just as she thought her arms and legs would buckle under the strain, she reached the back of a door identical to the one on the second floor.
She waited for a moment, listening for activity, before pushing the dumbwaiter door open. She looked out at the room where she had talked to the large man, Demarco Dominick. More importantly, it was the room where she had seen her costume. The door to the room was still closed.
Her heart leapt in her throat. Her costume no longer sat on the end table, but now rested on the sofa. The main part of the costume and was draped over the back of the sofa, while her tights, boots, gloves, and necklace sat on a cushion.
Excitement coursing through her, Beth scrambled out of the dumbwaiter. Her feet hit the floor, and she scrambled to the sofa. Her necklace reeled her in like a lifeline. With no hesitation, she stripped off her clothes as if she were in a race. Within seconds she was slipping into her costume and fastening the necklace in place.
A smile crossed her face as the familiar surge of power coursed through her body. She finished by sliding on her boots and checking her appearance in an ornate mirror on the wall. She radiated an aura that defied the fact she had been bound in a dusty barn for hours. It was as if she were on a Hollywood runway, with spotlights sparkling off of her. The costume hugged her slender curves, with the short skirt highlighted her thin, slightly muscled legs. Even her blonde hair gleamed in the light, framing her stunning features.
There was no time to admire herself. She hid her clothes under the sofa, before moving to the door and turning the handle. It was time for business.
“It’s just over that ridge,” Stanley said, pointing off to their right. He had pulled the SUV off to the shoulder, under the canopy of a copse of trees. “This is probably the safest spot to check things out. We can’t risk them watching the main drive. We can go on foot from here.”
“No offense, Stanley, but you’ll never make it up that hill,” Ethan said. The hill rose at a steep angle and was filled with rocks and rough brush. The climb would be easy for an experienced climber, but impossible for an old man well past his prime.
Stanley sighed. “That’s why I brought you, Ethan. In case we ran into something like this.”
Ethan wrinkled his brow as he studied the hill, before nodding. “I can do it.”
“Here’s a two-way radio, and a camera with a zoom lens,” Stanley said, extending a small bag. “Just see what’s happening over the ridge. Find out if Beth is here. Don’t play hero. Find out, get a few photos, and get back down here.”
Ethan didn’t argue, but took the bag. After testing the radio, he exited the car, gave Stanley a nod, and started his climb.
The way was rough, and he nearly tumbled down on more than one occasion. By the time he reached the top his jeans were torn and his knees were cut. But in 20 minutes he had reached the summit.
He crept forward through some thick growth, staying low to the ground. His heart beat with excitement. He was afraid, but hadn’t felt this alive in as long as he could remember. He was doing something real, and not sitting at a computer or doing schoolwork. He didn’t have to remind himself, though, that this was serious. Beth was in trouble and counting on him.
The growth parted to afford Ethan a view of a small clearing below. An expanse of forest surrounded the clearing on three sides, with the hill on the other. A field covered in weeds sat to one side of the clearing. Ethan saw an old farmhouse, with faded paint, sitting across from a low structure that looked like a covered animal pen of some sort. A decrepit barn sat off to the left. Long grass, well in need of a cut, lay between the buildings.
He saw movement, too. Six men were in view, and at least some of them appeared to be carrying weapons. He needed to get closer to determine if there were more.
As he edged forward, a click sounded near his right ear. He froze and glanced sideways to see the end of a barrel of a shotgun, inches away. He looked up from a pair of black boots to a man in jeans and a black t-shirt, with a thick beard almost as dark as the shirt.
“Doing some spying on us, boy?” the man said. “We’ll see about that.”
As she inched the door open and looked down the hallway, Sapphire Angel looked for the two men she had seen upon her arrival at the house. Three men, not two, stood down the hall to her left. A tall, lanky man in the middle was speaking, while a bald man and a bearded man laughed at his words. The bald man’s head was covered in tattoos, while the other man’s beard was so thick and unkempt he looked like he had come straight out of the wilderness.
The front door was to her right, unguarded, and the men hadn’t noticed her. She could easily flee now if she so chose. But she wasn’t here to flee.
The men’s heads jerked up in surprise as she burst from the room and darted down the hall at them. They raised their handguns, but Sapphire Angel was among them before they could shoot. The stunning heroine batted one weapon away with her left hand and threw a punch at the bearded man with her right. She suppressed her full strength, throwing off her timing. She still landed a glancing blow to his face, which was enough to send him to the ground.
Before the men knew what was happening, the costumed woman spun and swung at the tall man. As her first smashed into his face, the man’s eyes went blank and he dropped to the ground. A smile crossed the blond beauty’s face. She was slowly getting the hang of how to control her strength.
She turned to the bald man, who was only now getting his arms up. As she swung her forearm, intent on whipping it into his face, arms wrapped around her ankles and pulled. It was the bearded man. She had hit him hard enough to knock him down, but not out. She toppled toward the bald man, and his fist shot toward her face. They met with a crunch. It was a one in a thousand blow, thanks to her fall forward and the angle of his punch. Even with the power of her necklace, her head snapped back and her vision went black for a moment. She slumped forward directly into the bald man’s grasp, as he wrapped his arms around her torso.
“Gotcha!” he said, and lifted her off her feet with a fierce squeeze.
“Ahh!” she cried out. The man was thick and strong, and she dangled and squirmed in his arms, unable in her dazed condition to break free. Although her necklace seemed to protect her from the full effect of his onslaught, she still felt it.
“Hold her for me!” the bearded man yelled. The bald man spun the stunned woman without letting go. He seized her in a chicken wing and pulled back on her arms, exposing her flat stomach. The bearded man was on his feet, but wobbly. He reared back and drilled Sapphire Angel in the stomach. Her body convulsed and she let out a feminine cry.
The attacker drew back and swung again, even harder, and the impact crushed Sapphire Angel’s slender body into the man holding her. Before she could recover, the bearded man lashed out with a jab to her face, snapping her head back. He came up with the other fist, again drilling her in the face. She sagged even more in the bald man’s grasp as the beating started to overwhelm the necklace’s protection. One more blow and she might be done.
The bearded man reared back, taking two step backs, getting ready to tee off again. He roared and leapt forward. Sapphire Angel gritted her teeth, fighting past the pain, and lashed out with her feet before his blow reached her. Her feet drove past the man’s punch, into his chest. He flew back, slammed into the wall, and slid to the floor.
Sapphire Angel tensed, pulling her arms forward with all her strength, and broke the hold of the man behind her. As she dropped, she threw an elbow, connecting with the man’s stomach. As he gasped, she spun and jabbed a punch into his face. This time she used more force, no longer worrying about the damage she might do. His face slackened and he fell to the floor.
Sapphire Angel’s eyes darted about, trying to find the next target, but all three men were down. She bent at the waist, hands on her knees, wincing and breathing heavily. That should have been easier. If she had measured her initial blows properly, she would have taken all three men down with three punches. Instead, they had gotten in some shots and made it a fight. She still had much to learn, including how to take a punch.
Three down, but how many more to go? When they had taken her from the cells, she had counted six men outside, two men inside, plus the man leading her. That was nine total, meaning there might only be six opponents left. She didn’t know if there were more men she hadn’t spotted, though. She had a feeling she would find out.
Her pain was already subsiding. She allowed herself a slight smile, marveling at the power of the necklace, before darting for the front door. The men on the ground wouldn’t be rejoining the fight soon.
When she opened the door, she spotted two more men at the bottom of the rickety stairs. She launched off the porch at them as they turned toward her, smashing into the closest man’s face with the heels of her boots. She landed, whirled, and sent the other man flying with a punch before he had a chance to react.
“Sapphire Angel!” a voice from her right yelled.
She spun, her hair and skirt twirling about her trim figure, and saw a man holding a handgun. He looked to be about forty, with thinning brown hair and a missing tooth in the front of his mouth.
He didn’t point the gun at her. He pointed it at Ethan, who stood in front of the man with his hands raised. She opened her mouth in shock at the sight of her friend.
“Make another move and he gets a bullet,” the man said in a nasal voice.
Her eyes darted from the gun to Ethan, who was looking at her with wide eyes. Not a trace of recognition was on his face. Only a mix of awe and fear.
There was no way she could reach the man before he fired. If he did, at that range, Ethan was dead.
Sapphire Angel held up her hands. “Let’s be calm,” she said. Her voice was steady, but inside her stomach was turning. She couldn’t let the man harm Ethan.
Two more men rushed around the corner of the house and came into view. They aimed weapons at her, although they also looked at her with unmistakable lust in their eyes.
“Holy shit, Vince, it’s that super babe. Sapphire Angel,” one of them said.
“Yes it is,” the gunman, Vince, said with a grin. “We’ve nabbed ourselves the city’s new superstar.”
Sapphire Angel gritted her teeth, wishing she could pummel the man. But then she considered Vince’s words. Neither he nor the others seemed to realize that Beth and Sapphire Angel were the same person. Dominick and the stocky man must not have told the other men her secret. Yet.
“Don’t bother with the guns, fellas,” Vince said. “She’s bulletproof from what I hear.”
“What should would do with her, then?” one of the men asked.
“Do either of you have your handcuffs?” Vince asked.
“I do,” they both said in unison, all too eager for her liking.
“Sapphire Angel, put your wrists together behind your back. Try anything, and he’s dead,” Vince said, nodding at Ethan. “Jerry, cuff her.”
“Don’t listen to them, Sapphire Angel,” Ethan said sharply. It seemed strange to Sapphire Angel to have Ethan call her by other than her real name. It seemed even stranger he didn’t recognize her. That was probably for the best. If these men knew that Ethan was her friend, they’d have even more leverage over her.
“Shut up, boy, or I’ll shoot you now,” Vince said. “Do what I said, girl.”
Sapphire Angel set her jaw and balled her fists. She needed to keep them occupied, so she could find a way to defeat them that wouldn’t endanger the lives of any prisoners.
“You guys are done,” she said. “I rescued the girl in the house. She’s going for help as we speak.”
Vince narrowed his eyes and set his jaw. He grabbed a radio from his belt.
“One of the prisoners might be lose,” he said, speaking into the device. “Search outside the perimeter, too.”
He clicked off the radio and turned his attention back to Sapphire Angel, not realizing that the object of their search was standing right before him.
“Now put your hands behind your back,” he said, with more urgency in his tone.
She saw no way out, at least right now, without risking Ethan’s life. She needed to hope her bluff worked. She put her arms behind her back. Jerry came forward, a rusty pair of handcuffs in hand, with a grin on his face. His eyes traveled over Sapphire Angel’s body as he got closer. He moved behind her and held one of her gloved wrists as he clicked the handcuff into place on the other. He finished by cuffing her other wrist.
“Now let’s take her and this guy to the cells,” Vince said. “Boss man will be here soon. He can decide what to do with them.”
“I say we have fun with this one first, Vince,” Jerry said. He was standing close now, and she felt his breath in her ear. She pulled away as one of his hands ran down her bare upper arm, and the other rested at her waist.
“I wish we could,” Vince said. “We need to find the other girl. Her chances of making it where somebody can find her are slim, but we can’t chance it. We need everyone on alert, and a few men to make a sweep of the perimeter.”
“I bet I could make this one talk,” Jerry said into Sapphire Angel’s ear. “She’d tell me which way the girl headed.”
“I doubt the girl even knows where’s she’s going. Let’s get our costumed captive, and this guy here, to the pen.”
With a grumble, Jerry took Sapphire Angel by the arm and pushed her forward in front of him. The other man took Ethan and fell in behind them, with Vince bringing up the rear.
Sapphire Angel’s eyes darted left and right, trying to find something, anything, that might provide salvation. She needed to get the men away from Ethan. But even if she did, could she fight three men with her hands cuffed behind her back? Perhaps she could snap the cuffs. She still didn’t know the limits to her strength.
Vince moved in front of them when they reached the cell building. He opened the door and waited as Jerry and the other men led their captives inside.
A murmur went up from the prisoners as they entered. Sapphire Angel heard a few of them say the words, “Sapphire Angel.” They couldn‘t have been here as long as some of the others, if they knew of her.
They shoved Sapphire Angel and Ethan into the only empty cell, which was Beth’s cell from earlier. The door slammed shut after them, and moments later Vince locked it.
“Jerry, keep an eye on them,” Vince said. “And no funny business with her. The boss will be back soon.”
Sapphire Angel watched as Vince returned the key to its spot by the door and left the building with the other man. She was with the prisoners again, right back where she started. But she was no longer helpless.