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 Falling In Love With The Devil

Episode 11

My heart pounded in my ears, each beat so loud I couldn’t hear anything else. I shook the cuff on my wrist, though it was useless. The men whispered to each other, their voices too low to make out any of the words. Though, with the ringing in my ears, it was hard to hear anything else.

I tried to scream, but nothing came out. My throat was dry and so damn raw it hurt to move my chapped lips. I’d once read in a survival magazine that a person could live for up to twenty-one days without water.

How long had I been in that room? I had no way of knowing, but it felt like my end was near. And my body couldn’t take much more of the abuse.

They closed the distance within a matter of seconds. As much as I wanted to run, I was helpless. One man got on top of me while the other grabbed my arm. With them this close, I got a better look. Both men had slicked-back hair, one overweight and the other thin, wearing a leather jacket.

I swatted my hand, attempting to use the chain to hurt him. The thin one grabbed my ankles as the other man unshackled my wrist. Swinging with everything I had, I slapped him in the face.

“Knock it off, bitch,” he growled.

This was a different man than the one who mutilated my body for the camera. It was no use fighting them. They were too strong to overpower. They worked in harmony as the chunky man clamped my hands together, each of them holding me in place with cable ties.

I knew there was no point in resisting anymore. There was nothing I could do to stop them from taking me. A blindfold slid over my eyes. Then they wrapped a cloth around my mouth, tying it at the back of my head.

The scent of cheap, musky cologne burned my nostrils.

A man lifted me from the bed, and before I knew it, we were moving out of the room. Through the blindfold, I couldn’t see a thing. I listened carefully for any sound out of the ordinary, attempted to memorize every noise, and commit it to memory.

A crisp breeze smacked me in the face as a door opened and shut behind us. With my face pressed into this man’s neck, a streak of sweat and cologne slid across my cheek. A familiar scent hit my nostrils—the smell of saltwater. This time, there were no crashing waves in the distance.

When we stopped, someone opened a door. The man heaved my body over his shoulder, my face smacking hard against a leather bench. Reaching out in front of me, I gripped onto what felt like a seat belt buckle, the metal cold in my hand. Someone slid in next to me and pushed me to the other side of the car, closing the door behind him.

My nose twitched at the foul stench of cigars that forced me to choke the bile down. I rocked back and forth as the car pushed forward. The uncomfortable silence which followed scared me to death.

They were going to kill me.

We drove for a few minutes before the man on my right removed my blindfold. He was in his late forties with dark hair and a mustache. I blinked a few times as my captor came into focus. He stared at me with cold, dark eyes. He wasn’t the same man who had subjected me to hours of torture. If I ever saw him again, I would put a bullet in his head before Luca had the chance.

I glanced out the window, noting the flashing lights and massive hotels that swept across the skyline. My eyes must have been playing tricks on because it looked like we were in Atlantic City. Luca had taken me for the weekend for my twenty-fifth birthday. We stayed in a penthouse suite at Portofino, a hotel and casino owned by connected men.

The driver punched the gas pedal, running through the red light. He grumbled under his breath to the man in the passenger seat. They spoke in a foreign language, arguing back and forth. The driver looked in the rearview mirror, then turned his head to get a better look out the back window.

More conversation ensued between them, and he picked up speed. He weaved in and out of the thick traffic on Atlantic Ave, shouting to the men beside me. They opened their windows and shot at the people behind us.

Someone tapped our bumper, rocking me to the side as my seat companions took another shot. We were in the middle of a crowded city, where anyone could see this shit going down. As gunshots rang out around me, a newfound hope reignited inside me. I knew Luca would come. He was an asshole on a good day, but he wouldn’t let anyone hurt me. I attempted to angle my body to get a better look. But it was useless. They had bound me so tightly I couldn’t do more than move from side to side.

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