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The proposition, p.36
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       The Proposition, p.36

           Jessica Schlafer
 
Chapter 35

  The next two weeks passed with nothing of note. Mostly I stayed in my apartment. I went out a couple of times to find a dress to wear to the wedding. The invitation said that women must wear either red or black. I was able to find a strapless, red sequined dress and black, strappy heels.

  The day before the wedding, I had arranged for a car service to take me to the Cape and I had a room for the next two nights. I even had an appointment at a spa the day of the wedding to have my hair and make-up done.

  The stylist had pinned part of my hair up, letting loose curls fall around my face and down my back. I had the smoky eye look for my make-up, with bright, red lipstick. I had never dared to wear anything so extravagant.

  The wedding was amazing. I cried when David and Jameson exchanged vows. The reception was one of the best parties I had ever been to. There was a lot of dancing and a lot of drinking. I saw so much love in David and Jameson that, when I left the party, I was smiling from ear-to-ear.

  At the hotel, I wandered around, the lobby, still floating on cloud-9 when I heard a familiar voice.

  “As I live and breathe, if it isn’t the lovely Abigail.”

  No.

  I turned and came face-to-face with Merritt.

  “Aren’t you going to say ‘hello'?”

  “No, I don’t have to be nice to you anymore,” I said, trying to remain calm.

  “Oh, Abigail, I think it’s in your best interest to be nice to me,” he said, reaching for my arm.

  I dashed to the open elevator and pressed all the buttons, hoping to reach my room before I saw him again. I knew there was no way I would be able to stay in this hotel tonight.

  “Don’t think I forgot that you live in Boston. And don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’m here tonight,” he called after me.

  In my room, I tore my dress off and threw on a pair of sweat pants, a tee shirt, and a baseball cap. I threw everything in my room into my suitcase and called for a car service. I waited in my room for the driver to call and I dashed out of the hotel the minute he arrived.

  I gave the driver directions and finally started to calm down when the car was a safe distance away from the lights of the town. I tried to call Paul, to let him know that I’d run into Merritt, but he didn’t answer. I got the same response from Nick’s phone. I sent both of them a quick text.

  ”CALL BACK ASAP. NEED HELP.”

  The driver dropped me at my apartment and I ran inside, still worried that Merritt was close by. Upstairs, safely inside, I locked the six locks on the door and pushed a table in front of the door. Once again I tried to call Paul and Nick, still no answer on either line. I sat in almost complete darkness, watching out the window that faced the street, waiting for Merritt’s car to show up. The sun had come up and I could barely hold my eyes open, so I gave up my vigil and made my way to my bed.

  What is that sound?

  I couldn’t open my eyes or move my arms or legs.

  What the fuck? Where am I?

  I tried to move my body in any way, but to no avail. I forced my eyes open and found myself in a darkened room. There was no light and no sound. My hands and feet were tied, I think, but I couldn’t make them move. My mouth was taped shut. I tried to scream, but the sound was muffled.

  There was a sound, movement outside the door. I could see shadows under the door.

  I found the door!

  The door swung open and Merritt came in. He didn’t look the same as he did any of the times I’d seen him. He was finally wearing clothes that seemed to fit. His hair had been cut, it looked like he’d had a facial, and some of his acne had cleared up. He almost looked handsome.

  Vomit!

 

  “Oh, dear, sweet Abigail. I’m happy to see you waking up. As you’ve probably guessed, we had to drug you to get you here. I ‘m terribly sorry about that.”

  I tried to say something to him, but it was muffled by the tape over my mouth.

  “Darling, please, there’ll be enough time for begging soon. Save your energy.”

  A shiver ran through my body.

  “The good news is, Paul and Nick are on their way. Your texts were enough to get them here. So, thank you for that.”

  Again I tried to speak.

  “Abigail, you’ve really gotten yourself into a terrible predicament, haven’t you? I’ll tell you what, you help me kill Nick and Paul and I’ll take you with me when I leave. Whaddya think?”

  I tried to yell every obscenity at him. I was crying.

  Merritt laughed, “You know, I thought you’d say something foolish. I’m glad I didn’t take the tape off your mouth. Are you in any pain, dear?”

  I nodded, I couldn’t lie. My leg injury was just throbbing.

  “Let me find out if I can give you anything for the pain. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

  He even gave me a little wave as he walked out.

  Okay, figure out where you are!

  I knew I was lying on the floor, but I was on a mattress. It was cool in the room. I could hear nothing. I could be anywhere. It was mid fall on the East coast, so it starts getting cold. I had no idea about what happens in Portland. Then again, I could just be somewhere with air conditioning. I started to cry. I was certain that I was going to die.

  At some point, I must’ve fallen asleep because I woke up and the room was a little brighter, but still dark. I assumed it was day time. I was finally able to move my arms and legs, but they were bound with something. My whole body hurt from the position I had been forced to lay in for so long. I was able to wriggle around to make myself a little more comfortable, but my arms were bound behind my back, so it was still painful. My throat was on fire, I needed water. I worked my jaw up and down, trying to move the tape over my mouth, but it did little to nothing.

  I started to cry again. I guessed that my sniveling brought attention to me because I saw movement outside the door and it opened again. The light from the door way blinded me.

  “Good morning, Abby,” Dmitry said, sitting in a chair. “How are you feeling today?”

  I mumbled, reminding him my mouth was taped.

  He smiled and walked over, taking the tape off my mouth.

  “I need water,” I begged, my voice hoarse.

  “Of course,” he said, sitting in the chair.

  “I’m in a lot of pain.”

  “It’s almost over, Abby.” He stood and walked out of the room. “I’ll be right back with some water. Don’t move,” he laughed.

  What did that mean? “It’s almost over?” I’m so scared.

  I waited just a few minutes and he returned with a bottle of water, a straw, and Merritt.

  “Dearest Abigail, you’re awake again.” I nodded. “Dmitry says you’re in a lot of pain?” I nodded again, tears forming in my eyes. “I have some mild pain killers, but you’ll have to give me something in return.” I recoiled in terror. Both men laughed. “You are such a foolish girl. Untie her hands and give her the water.”

  Dmitry untied my hands. I slowly worked my arms to the normal position and took the water he handed me. I tried to drink it slowly, but my thirst took over and I finished the bottle. Dmitry quickly stepped out and brought two more bottles of water back. I opened my second bottle and drained about half of it. All the while, Merritt just watched me.

  “Do you feel any better, Abigail?” I nodded. “Good, now for my favor. You want something for the pain, don’t you?”

  “Please,” I begged.

  “I bet that leg hurts,” he said, cruelly. “I’m going to call Nick, you need to read this card exactly. Can you do that?”

  I nodded.

  Dmitry handed me a phone and it immediately started ringing.

  “Yeah?” Nick’s voice.

  “Nick?” I whimpered.

  “Abby! Where are you? What have they done?” he sounded panicked.

  “Nick,” I cried.

 
Are you okay? Please, God.”

  “I’m okay,” I was reading from the card. “They haven’t hurt me, yet,” my voice caught. “Do you have what they’ve asked for?”

  “Yes.”

  “Good, bring it to the address they’ll text you. You have one hour and then they’ll start to hurt me.” I whimpered. “Oh, Nick.”

  Dmitry snatched the phone away from me. “She’s alive, now do as you’re told.”

  He disconnected the call and thrust the phone in his pocket.

  “Very good, Abigail,” Merritt clapped his hands. “You can have these now.”

  He handed me two pills, I wasn’t sure what they were, but I just wanted the pain to stop. I swallowed the pills and the remainder of my second bottle of water.

 

  “You want me to tie her hands back up?” Dmitry asked.

  “That won’t be necessary, we’ll be on the move in just a few minutes. Get her cleaned up and change her clothes.”

  Dmitry stepped out of the room again, leaving me alone with Merritt. He stared at me, lecherously. I felt my stomach turn.

  “Abigail, I’m going to untie your legs. I want you to stand up and take all of you clothes off.”

  I felt tears in my eyes again. He cut the tape around my legs and sat in Dmitry’s chair. I slowly moved my legs, making sure I could move. I slowly and painfully rose to my feet and started to take my clothes off. Tears were streaming down my face at this point. I was facing away from Merritt as I removed my bra.

  “Turn around,” he commanded.

  I turned back around and dropped my bra to the floor. I lowered my sweat pants and stood, facing Merritt.

  “I said take all of your clothes off.”

  I pushed my panties off and stepped out of them. Merritt stood and walked toward me. The look on his face made me want to run and hide. He circled me, running his finger over my bare skin on my arms, back, and above my breasts. I tried to cover up with my arms, but he pushed them to my sides. He leaned into me, smelling my neck and then running his tongue over my neck, down my chest, and toward my breast.

  He pulled back, smiling. “Mmmm, Abigail. You taste as good as I imagined. We don’t have time for me to finish. However, we will be finishing.”

  “You’re no better than Ben.”

  Merritt swung back and punched me in the face, with a closed fist. I flew back onto the mattress, pain stinging my face where he had punched me. He flew after me, pulling me to my feet by my hair.

  “You listen to me, you little bitch,” he spat at me. “I can kill you right now. I don’t need you. You’re just baggage that I’m transporting. It’d be a whole lot fucking easier without your dead weight dragging us down. If that’s what you want, we can do it right now.”

  “No, please,” I begged. I could taste blood.

  “You’d better watch your fucking mouth, then.”

  He let go of my hair and shoved me backward. I stumbled a bit, but did not fall again. The pain in my leg was almost unbearable. It was not wrapped in the bandage, which was part of what kept the pain at bay.

  Dmitry came back in with a white dress. “Put that on,” he said, thrusting the dress at me.

  Dmitry didn’t look at me but Merritt watched me intently as I pulled the dress over my head. There was no bra and no panties. The dress was a white, billowy, sun dress style. It almost looked like a wedding dress.

  “Much better,” Merritt said. “Follow me, Abigail.”

  Both men turned to walk from the room, I limped along behind them, very slowly.

  “Come on, Abby,” Dmitry said, turning around, annoyed.

  “It’s hard for me to walk without my cane. I haven’t had any of the physical therapy, yet.”

  “Oh, for fuck’s sake,” Dmitry said.

  “Go get her the cane,” Merritt said.

  Dmitry disappeared again and returned with my cane. I followed them along a series of hallways until we were in a parking lot. There were six black SUV’s with men standing around.

  “Gentlemen,” Merritt announced, getting the attention of the men. “It is time.”

 
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