Disclaimer: This is a work of pure fiction. Any resemblance to anyone, living or dead is purely coincidental. The characters are fictional and of my own creation. The place, time, and incidents are purely fictional. Copyright © February 2004.
This work is rated as adult material because it involves a relationship between consenting adults of the same gender, and because anything can happen in my stories. If you are easily offended please read something else. If any of this is illegal where you live, stop reading. Beyond this you may wish to take the following immediate actions. First, move. Second, if it is your wish, resume reading. Let no one dictate what you may or may not read, except you, the only person who should be in control of your life.
Warning! This section contains violence and extreme language.
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Inevitable Destiny 09
They were at the bar, Tanya behind it, again making an attempt to get some food while Samantha caught Phyllis up on what was happening. The pictures lay spread before them, a picture of Luca, a.k.a., Lance on top of the pile.
Phyllis, after rapidly downing her first drink had recovered considerably. Currently she was torn between studying the beautiful woman before her or the one beside her. She was still unable to see her friend in the stunning brunette, though the voice was definitely Samantha's. As for the other one, she was quickly finding she liked several things about her that she hadn't considered before, her initial fear of the woman overriding her natural inquisitiveness. Tanya's voice now seemed much more pleasant and she had noticed how graceful she was in her movements and actions. Tanya was leaning on the bar beside her and she didn't mind the closeness at all.
Tanya was covertly studying the redhead. The more she saw of her, the more she liked her. She suddenly realized she had softened her voice and reined in her natural bluntness while they were studying the photos and talking, clinically interested in her own reactions to the woman next to her. Right now, as she waited for the nuker to announce her food was ready, she was leaning on the bar next to her a little disconcerted that Phyllis was in her natural space and her body was allowing it. Normally she would automatically move away from someone this close to her, feeling uncomfortable, but she actually liked being that close to her and those gorgeous gray eyes were definitely worth another look.
"...so we came here to check out these," Samantha said, pointing to the photo's, "and I was right. Lance is Luca Stephanos."
"He's the guy that put the contract out on you?" Phyllis asked, still staring at her.
"Yeah, he's.... uhm, Phil?"
"What's so interesting?"
"Huh? Oh, sorry, Sam, I just... I can't see you. I mean the voice is right, but wow, you look so different!"
Samantha smiled. "Yeah, I have a problem myself. Tanya really did a good...."
The smile froze on her face and she gasped. Tanya looked up from studying Phyllis's profile immediately alert to trouble.
"What? Samantha?" When there was no answer she reached across Phyllis and shook her arm. "Samantha?"
"Sam!" Phyllis added, seeing something frightening in her faraway stare.
Sam's face fell and her eyes glittered with unshed tears. She gasped again. "Angel's in trouble." Her eyes turned to Tanya, pleading for her to do something.
Tanya lifted her phone and speed dialed a number, watching Sam. No answer. She dialed another and got the same result. Her face had gone hard by the time the third number answered.
"Lou don't answer and neither does Pete. Check it out, Marty."
She hung up staring grimly at Sam. "How did you know?"
"I...I'm not sure. I just suddenly... knew. It's like... like she called out to me for help." Samantha replied, obviously shaken. "Is she... did...."
Tanya had moved around Phyllis and now she reached a gentle hand out.
"Wait for the call, honey. They might have snatched her. She still might be okay. Marty will send a team."
"Then you think something did...." She couldn't finish the sentence.
"Yeah. Louise didn't answer and neither did Pete. Louise is the nurse that was with her and Pete was watching the building."
Phyllis was totally confused. "Samantha? What's going on?"
Something's happened to Angela, Phil." she answered absently.
"You could sense that?" Phyllis asked in confusion. "How?"
"I don't know. I just know she's in trouble." Her eyes flicked to Tanya as Tanya lifted her phone again.
"Talk," Tanya said then listened, her face going harder. "Damn." Her eyes dropped for a moment. "All right. See to them and get on it, Marty." She hung up then looked back up to Samantha. "They snatched her, Sammy, so she's okay for now."
"What about Louise and Pete?"
"They're dead. Come on, we need to move on this. Your Angel may not have much time."
"Samantha...." Phyllis started.
Samantha turned to her for just an instant. "I've told you everything I can. Get on it, Phyllis. Bring that son of a bitch down and clear Angela." She slid off the barstool and hurried after Tanya.
"Back to Audra, baby. Just in case."
"'Kay, sugar," she answered as the door closed, leaving Phyllis staring open, mouthed after them.
The microwave bleeped into the silence.
* * *
Waking was gradual again. She didn't remember waking or how long she had been awake for that matter, the drugs still muddling her awareness, but as she lay there her body started to hurt in many places, mainly in her back. She finally managed to pry her eyes open. Her vision was blurred and she couldn't really make out much of anything. Wherever she was the light was dim. She blinked several times and slowly her vision improved. While she waited for her vision to clear, she became aware that her hands and feet were handcuffed to the bed, a different bed, this one hard against one wall with something over it.
Her vision cleared enough to see the edge of the bed and the handcuff that disappeared over the side of the bed and attached to something there. The IV needles were still in the backs of her hands the tubes turning up past her shoulders and disappearing. She could hear no machines this time. Nothing disturbed the silence, which was oppressive, ominous.
As her vision continued to clear she realized that the dimly lit gray walls were metal, stained, rusted and peeling in places, including the wall the bed was attached to right next to her. Even the door was metal, with metal dogs to hold it closed. She was on a ship, an old ship, the stale air smelling of oil and faintly musty decay. A single portable light, on a small built in cabinet near the door, feebly pushed the shadows into the corners.
She felt panic well up in her but she pushed it back down. She needed to think clearly. Panic could come later.
Time dragged and she dozed off a couple of times, her mind still fuzzy÷but less so each time÷from the drugs that were wearing off and presenting her with pain; lots of pain.
She woke to a grating groan as the door opened. A dark head entered the room, then a familiar face, smiling at her and her dread increased. He came into the room, depositing his load carefully on the deck before coming to the railing and looking down at her, after first checking her equipment and her shackles.
"Hi, Angela. Welcome home," he said, his grin widening. "This is so much better than prison, isn't it? I even got you an officers suite, do you like it?"
She glared at him and he chuckled.
"Sorry little sister, but the intimidation thing loses its effect when you're handcuffed to the bed. This time you will have to do as I say, because you don't have any choice." He brushed his hand gently through her short hair and she tried to pull away. "Can't say I approve of your new hairstyle, Angela. Prison do that for you?" He laughed then his eyes hardened. "You're a hard bitch to kill, little sister, but I think I've got you this time. Oh, and don't expect any help from that irritating little blonde you hired. Seems she was speeding and hit a tanker truck. Big explosion. Lovely barbecue. It was such a pleasure watching her fry."
"I'm going to leave you with a tape loop, showing her glorious death over and over. I thought you'd appreciate that." He reached to brush away her tears. "See, I'm going to leave you on this old mothballed ship. When I leave, the light goes with me, but you will have the TV image to light the room for a few hours, until the battery fails. Then I'm afraid you will be in the dark." He grinned again. "Forever."
The dread was building in her, but at the same time she felt such an overwhelming sense of loss, when he said that Samantha was dead, that she was numb.
He slapped her, hard. "Pay attention when your big brother is talking to you, bitch!"
Her eyes snapped back to him with a new sense of hatred; hatred she had only felt for one other; Corporal Jeffrey.
He patted her cheek and smiled. "That's better. I think I have your attention now, but in case I haven't, and just to make things interesting for you, it seems that your poor little sister has gotten lost in this great big ship somewhere. If you listen real close you might hear her screaming through the vents. Juliana got herself locked in one of the many rooms on this derelict, just like you did. Seems I just don't need her anymore, what with your impending death and all."
She spit at him and he backed away laughing. "That's what I like, spirit." He grabbed her by the throat, strangling her. "She's gonna die here, just like you are." He shoved her back against the bed sending waves of pain through her and she gasped.
"I so love that you're in pain, Angela. I want you to know that it's going to get worse. I cut off your drugs, but I made sure the saline drip will run nice and slow to help you live longer. I want you to suffer, little sister, the longer the better. I figure you'll last a week or more, hopefully much more. I figure that in a couple of days an average person would go mad. I'm betting you will stay marginally sane for the entire experience, unless listening to poor little Juliana scream is too much for you." As he spoke he set up a small color television with a built in VCR on a small stand, close to her bed, almost within her reach, but not quite. He turned it on but didn't start the tape yet.
"Oh, I had your plumbing fixtures removed too. I love the thought you are going to die in your own stink. Helps me feel better about the millions your meddling has cost me. It would have been much easier to let someone just put a bullet between your eyes, but it's so much more satisfying to make you suffer. Wish I'd been there when they beat you at the prison and I hate that I missed watching when you were shot, but this really helps make up for it some."
He started the tape then set the remote on top of the television so she could see the edge of it, then turned to her and patted her cheek, pulling his hand back when she tried to bite him.
"So long, Angela. I should probably say I'll miss you, dear sister, but I won't. You've been a pain in my ass for the last time. When I leave here I'm going to have a nice steak dinner, a big baked potato with all the goodies you like, some nice vegetables, and lots of champagne. Oh, and let us not forget a large sundae drizzled with plenty of lovely chocolate."
He chuckled as her stomach growled, though she could no more eat right now than fly to the moon.
"That should add to your torture a little." He glanced at his watch. "Goodness, look at the time. I'd love to stay and chat some more but I have to run. Lots of things to do. Celebrating your eminent death comes immediately to mind. Bye-bye little sister. I hope your final days are filled with terror and your nightmares are even worse." His final grin was malicious. "I like this much better than the prison. Have a nice day, bitch."
She watched him leave, taking the portable light and closing the heavy metal door, the panic gripping her throat and her heart like a living thing. By the light of the television she watched him dog the door. He tapped on the door as a final goodbye and she faintly heard him laughing.
Reluctantly she turned to the fiery scene on the television, the sound barely audible, but high enough for her to just hear the reporter's words. There was a raging fire on the screen, black smoke billowing into the sky; several fire trucks with water cannons were trying to cool the intense blaze and keep it contained. "Authorities say that the resulting explosion shattered windows for three city blocks. Reportedly the smoke plume can be seen as far away as New Jersey. Authorities at the scene told reporters that it may be several days before the wreckage has completely cooled and the remains can be positively identified, but evidence at her apartment parking space and two witnesses have identified her as escaping an altercation, and leaving in her car at a high rate of speed. The Firm of Pike, Lewellen, Maranze, and Talbot released a brief statement saying that Ms. Coulter was a very valuable employee who will be sorely missed. She is survived by her parents and a younger sister, who were unavailable for comment."
A man appeared on the screen briefly, then the screen suddenly flickered and changed to a woman with a picture of Samantha in a cream business suit in the background over her left shoulder.
"...Joann McMasters. At the top of the news this evening, rising legal superstar, and darling of the courtroom, Samantha Coulter, apparently died this afternoon...."
The guttural cry of anguish that escaped her would have frozen the blood of anyone in hearing range, but there was no one, only the barren walls, and a small television endlessly repeating a scene of death and destruction that seemed to consume her heart.
* * *
They had been driving aimlessly for several hours after Samantha lost the feelings that were guiding her, mainly because she refused to allow them to call it off, but Tanya was about to insist when Samantha gasped.
Tanya turned to her. "What is it?"
"Go that way!" she exclaimed. Her whole body was shivering with the frightening sensation.
"East, Mikey," Tanya said absently, concentrating on the shaking woman beside her.
"Got it." The big car turned right at the next intersection.
"What is it, Samantha?" Tanya repeated.
"She... hurting and afraid. I can... I can feel it. Oh, god, Tan, something's happening to her, something really bad. Hurry!"
* * *
Lesha yawned then shook her head to clear her fatigued mind. It had been one hell of a long day. She picked up her cup of lukewarm coffee and took a sip, grimacing a little as she reflected gloomily that she would be deep in dreamland if Chet hadn't called in a favor. Instead, here she sat, after a very long shift, her feet propped up on the beat up old desk in the tiny office given them by PLM&T, listening to mostly silence interspersed with the shuffling of papers or the clattering of a keyboard. Phyllis was almost as bad as Samantha was for burning the candle into the wee hours. She unconsciously reached up and reseated the earplug in her left ear then lifted her book off her leg and found her place. It was a good story, with plenty of action and lots of spice but she was having trouble staying awake even in the good parts. Not for the first time she regretted letting Chet talk her into taking his shift. Probably right now he was wrestling around with that cute little brunette he was taking out. She should have told the bum to get laid on his own time, but she did owe him. Oh well, back to the book. She reread the page she had realized she hadn't a clue about when she stopped, then settled in for the anticipated chase as she half listened to Phyllis talk to one of her teammates. The woman sure had a pleasant voice. She sighed. Too bad the boss seemed to be taking an interest in her. Tanya had mentioned her several times, asking how she was doing and commenting on her enough that Lesha at least, realized that her boss had more interest than just her usual thoroughness in dealing with clients. Privately she hoped something came of it. Tanya was such a loner. She knew and associated with a lot of people but she was very much a loner, never seeming to have any sort of personal life. Tanya would have been amazed to know that Lesha was not the only one of her employees that almost idolized her, considering her more a close friend than employer. It bothered her that Tanya had helped so many people lead better lives but had no one in her own life. She sighed again and focused back on her book and the phone conversation Phyllis was having.
"All right. Yes. No. No, Jason... no, Samantha wants us to concentrate on Luca. Look, I don't care if you have a lead on Marcus. No. Just table it for now. We'll get back to it later. All right. Yes. Thanks, Jase. I know. You guys are doing great work. But let's stick to the main issue for right now. Okay. Thanks, I'll be down later." Phyllis reached behind her and hung up the phone, staring out the window. "Damn guy's got a one track mind," she muttered.
"I could say the same of you."
Phyllis squealed and jumped, her hand going to her heart as she turned and looked towards the door.
Her book flew out of her hand as Lesha's feet hit the floor and she launched into a dead run, her heart pounding, a wrenching twist in her gut at the tone of the strange voice. She cursed the bureaucratic idiot that insisted they maintain their office on eight. She blasted through the door into the hallway scaring ten years growth off of one of the cleaning crew as she ricocheted off the wall and raced for the stairs.
"Marci! Oh, my god, you scared the daylights out of me!" she exclaimed. Then she frowned. She had never much liked the distant and cold Marci Sowicki, Lester Maranze's executive assistant.
Marci stepped away from the door, coming slowly toward the desk, her hands behind her back, studying Phyllis. Phyllis suddenly felt very uncomfortable about her presence here on eleven.
"What are you doing here this late?"
Marci ignored her question. "So. Interesting conversation you were having, Phyllis."
"We're still working on the case Sam started us on before...." She paused, shuddering in real grief. All she had to do was think of the horrifying scene on the news and she didn't have to act.
Marci chuckled. It wasn't a pleasant sound. "Save the crap, Phyllis. I heard you talking to Jason. Samantha's alive and I want to know where she is."
Shit! She had a really bad feeling about this. "Marci, that's ridiculous. You saw the...." She had started to stand but froze half out of her chair, her hands braced on the desktop, when Marci lifted her right hand. The long barrel on the small automatic, she realized, was a silencer. A knot of fear wrenched at her guts. "Marci... that... you don't need that."
Oh, god, T will kill me! Lesha took the steps two at a time hitting the ninth floor like a moving freight train, barely touching the landing before she was flying up the steps to the tenth.
"I don't have time to listen to your fabrications, Phyllis. Tell me where Samantha is."
"I don't know."
The impact of the bullet knocked her back into the chair, the pain washing over her in waves. She wanted to scream, but her system seemed to have shut down in shock. Tears welled from her eyes and ran down her face and she could feel her life's blood oozing from her right thigh, staining her skirt a dark crimson. The path the bullet burned through her seemed on fire with intense pain. She looked up in disbelief, unable to say anything because she was gasping, hyperventilating, and the movement was adding to the pain, but she couldn't stop.
Fuck! Lesha barely touched the landing on ten before she was flying up to eleven.
Marci stepped closer to the desk and Phyllis realized she was no longer sitting right at the desk. When she fell back into the chair it had rolled back away from the desk.
"Tell me where she is, Phyllis," she repeated, the pistol pointed at her heart.
She was going to die. She was probably already dying.
"I don't know," she repeated.
She knew it was coming but the intense pain in her upper chest shocked and surprised her. This time her system didn't freeze and she screamed.
Lesha hit the landing, pulling her gun as she yanked the safety door open. She was going so fast that she bounced off the far wall and hurtled down the hallway, slamming a cleaning guy out of the way.
Marci stepped around the desk and approached her; the pistol aimed right at her face.
"Last chance, Phyllis. Tell me and I'll let you live."
Phyllis was silent for a moment staring at Marci past the barrel of the pistol aimed at her face. Where are you when I need you, Tanya? The thought came unbidden. She looked up into the dark cold eyes and smiled.
Lesha slammed the door open and went through the door on the run, to see a woman behind the desk with her gun pointed a Phyllis's head. She fired, the explosion of her nine-millimeter automatic drowning the pop of the silenced weapon but she saw it buck and saw Phyllis slammed back against the chair, the chair rotating slightly as she fell sideways then off onto the floor. Her first bullet went through the woman's arm, and into her chest, the sound of the slamming door and her gun causing the woman to turn, swinging her and her gun around, her shocked face towards Lesha, as she fell away from her towards the window. Lesha pulled the trigger as fast as she could, watching small holes appear in the woman's white silk blouse, the bullets slamming through her. She seemed to stumble backwards, as the bullets went through her and shattered the window behind her. Lesha's automatic locked back on empty as her last bullet caught the dead woman in the face, blowing the back of her head off as she fell through the window. She automatically dropped out the spent magazine, slamming another one home and jacking one in the chamber, thumbed the safety on, and tucked the weapon in the small of her back even as she hurried to Phyllis, knowing she had to be dead.
The woman's last bullet had struck the right side of Phyllis's head. Blood covered her cheek and matted her hair, and Lesha dared hope that her heart was still pumping. The fluttering pulse in her neck galvanized Lesha into renewed action. She flipped open her cell phone and speed dialed as she raced to the bathroom.
"Shut it, Toni. I need an ambulance and the cops yesterday. They got Phyllis. Send them up to her office. Tell them to ignore the stain on the sidewalk, the bitch was dead before she went out the window." She clicked the phone off, knowing Toni would take care of it faster than 911 could, and grabbed a handful of towels out of the cabinet racing back to Phyllis's side.
* * *
Inevitable Destiny 11
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