RANSOM Chapter 4 on Eat Sleep Write

Ransom - Chapter 4 by Erica Sutherhome
December 22, 2013
posted by Adam Scull

Triana woke stiff-necked on the cot.  Her senses strained.  She tried to listen for movement in the building, wherever she might be.  The last thing she wanted was another confrontation like she’d had with her captor yesterday. 
A need suddenly pressed on her belly, and she moaned in distress.  She rose, and grateful that she did not have the hindrance of the ropes, she sought out a way to relieve herself.  When she located a small bathroom, she made use of it quickly and washed her hands.  At least she didn’t have to shame herself by peeing all over the place. 
Shuddering at the thought, she began to walk around the room to try to get a feel for it.  It was pretty nondescript, had probably been used as a workshop of sorts because it was full of tools laid upon a workbench, tools she was pretty sure would not help her escape in any case.
But, a pretty good sized monkey wrench might be a useful weapon if Mr. Hot Lips decided to make another attempt.  With a victorious grin, she hefted it and slid it beneath the mattress. 
When she heard footsteps, she sat down.
The door unlocked and her captor strode in with a tray.  He cast her a cursory glance and set it on the cot beside her.
“What is it?”
She looked over the tray.  “A sandwich?”
“Slim pickings here, I’m afraid.  I’m sure you’re used to better.”
Her eyes narrowed on his face.  “What does that mean?”
He crossed his arms over his chest, but did not comment.
She sighed.  “You haven’t laced it with anything?”
“What, like poison?  No.  I’m not that stupid.”
“That isn’t what I meant.”
“Rufies?”  He laughed derisively.  “Give me more credit.  If I wanted to seduce you, I’d use old-fashioned methods.”
Yes, he certainly already had used those.  And they were pretty successful.  Well, she had a weapon this time.
Thinking it was best to ignore his attempts to rile her, she took a bite of the ham and cheese sandwich.  It was good at least, nothing spoiled in there.  The lettuce was fresh, and the bread wasn’t moldy.  It could have been worse, she supposed.  She took a sip of the soda on the tray and sampled the potato chips.  “Never had a breakfast like this.  I’ve had eggs and toast, cereal, but not a sandwich for breakfast.”
          He smiled, though it didn’t quite reach his dark eyes.  “You don’t have much room to complain, do you?”
          “No, I suppose not.  You could be starving me.”
          He frowned, looked as if he’d reply, then shook his head.  “That wouldn’t be conducive to why we want you.  The client didn’t sign on for damaged goods.”
          She nearly choked as her imagination soared.  What if they meant to use her for some kind of human trafficking?  Or to transport drugs to another country?  What would she do?  Anything, she realized.  She would do anything to survive.  But, could she kill a man?  No, probably not.  She’d have to think of something else.  Temporarily incapacitate…that might be a better option.
          She frowned.  “Who is this client?”
          He lifted a brow.  “Do you really think I’m that stupid?”
          She frowned, wondering why he kept saying that.  “No, I don’t think you’re stupid at all.”
          The hard look on his face cleared, and he smiled briefly.  “It’s good for you to know who you’re dealing with.”
          “I have to agree with you there.  But, I don’t really know what you’re capable of.”
          “I guess we’ll have to see then, won’t we?”
          “Yeah, I guess so.”
          He left then, but he visited her several times throughout the day.  He made vague comments when she asked questions, and he didn’t try to attack her.  She thought his behavior was completely different from the day before.  She couldn’t figure him out.  A man who kidnapped a woman rarely was honorable.  He wouldn’t let things get in the way of what he wanted.  And if the way he’d kissed her was any indication, he wanted her.  Not that she had had much experience in that realm.  It was just common sense.
          Later, he came back and pulled up a chair next to the cot.  He gazed at her.
          His steady eyes on her were disturbing.  “What?”
          He shook his head, smiled at little as if amused.  “I mean you no harm.  I want you to know that.  You’re here for a reason.  But, I will not hurt you.”
          “And you expect me to believe that?”
          He shrugged.  “It doesn’t matter if you do.  It’s the truth.”
          “But, you can’t blame me if I suspect you’re trying to get in good with me to get something?”
          Her captor frowned.  “No, I can’t blame you.  But, if I wanted something from you, I wouldn’t be so underhanded.”
          His words did not calm her.  “You took me from my home.  I can hardly trust you.”
          “I know,” he replied quietly, and the stark pain in his eyes gave her a moment’s hesitation.
          She wondered if he regretted his actions.  If that was the case, why didn’t he let her go?
          An interesting ringtone from a cell phone rang out, cutting through the silence in the room.  Her kidnapper jumped, took out his phone and answered it.  It was clear he didn’t like the caller because he scowled.  “Yes. I’m doing it.”  His eyes widened after a moment and he muttered a curse.  “I understand.  No, you don’t have to come here.  I’ll do it.  No, Sanson.  I-“  He pulled the cell phone away from his ear and looked down at it.  “Damnit.”
          He was obviously upset.  She wanted to help him, but her reaction infuriated her at the same time.  It was good that things weren’t going well, that he wasn’t pleased.  He deserved it.
          He cursed again, a long string of words that were both disturbing and imaginative. 
          “You don’t like your client.  Or maybe it’s your boss?”
          “You think?” he countered.  But, he shook his head.  “You’re not getting answers out of me, dear, so don’t try it.”  He paced away.
          She moved her hand beneath the cushion, grasped the cool metal of the wrench, eased it out so that she could hide it behind her.  “Maybe I can help?”
          “How?  That bastard is coming here.  Now I have to deal with him.  Why couldn’t he just leave it alone?  Why did he have to know?”
          Know what?  He wasn’t making any sense.  Not that it mattered.  If the man that was coming was worse than her captor, she had a lot to fear.  She had to get out of here, and she only knew one way.  When he was turned away, she eased up slowly and advanced on him, raising the arm that held the wrench.
          He turned back in time to see her, his brows narrowed, and he caught her hand, easily knocking the weapon aside.  He grasped her shoulders, shaking her, his face in hers.  “Really?  You want to mess with me now?”
          Fear surfaced then, and she shivered.  What would he do?
          He kissed her, his mouth bruising on hers.  He jerked her tighter against him, moved with her to the mattress, sank down on top of her.  His weight was too much suddenly, she couldn’t breathe.  Panic erupted inside of her. 
          “No,” she whispered, moving her head away.  “Not like this.”
          His lips gentled on hers, sampling slightly.  His hands caressed her slowly.  Even as he leaned over her, he drew back to stare into her eyes.  His pupils were so dark, she was utterly captivated for a moment. 
          “You’re right,” he said hoarsely.  “Of course, you’re right.  Forgive me.”  Then he shook his head and got up.  He grabbed the wrench and left the room.
          Still shaking, she looked at the locked door.  She was grateful, of course, that he’d stopped.  She thought she knew that now, at least.  He was not the kind of man that would rape a woman.  And though it was some comfort, it was also disturbing.  Because if he really meant to have her, she was not sure she had any defenses against it.
          Sometime later, she heard shouting and roused, she got up and went to the door.  Her eyes widened.  The door was ajar, open just enough that she thought she might squeeze through.  Maybe.  It was worth a try, worth the escape.  Had her captor accidentally done it, or had he felt so remorseful that he’d allowed it? 
She edged up to the space in the door and froze when she heard a curse.  The sound of male voices nearby.   Through the crack in the door, she saw her captor with another man, a portly man with a sinister look to his features.
“What did I ask you to do?”
“To wait…to wait for a signal.”  That was him, her captor.  He had never seemed so hesitant before.
“No, what did I really ask, Mr. Redding?”
“I don’t understand.”
A gun clicked and Triana’s heart leaped into her throat.  “Yes, I asked you to wait, but that’s all.  I didn’t ask you to gain her trust, to befriend the girl.  You kidnapped her!”
His eyes blazing, he turned on the man, ignoring the threat the gun posed.  “I did not kidnap her and you know it.”
“You know what I meant.  I was talking about the rest of it.”
He sighed.  “I didn’t ask her to trust me.”
“Of course you didn’t.  You aren’t playing the role then.  Or maybe you’re too good to try to be bad.  This may put a damper on Louis’ situation.”
“I’ll try again, Sanson.  Please…”
“I’ll give you a second chance.  But think about it, Redding.  How can a man like you frighten a girl like her?”  Then he turned on his heel and walked out.
Triana frowned.  What was going on?  And why did the man call him Redding?  Was that his name?
She eased back, quietly shut the door.  In any case, they would have seen her try to escape.  She could have been in serious trouble then.  She returned to the mattress that was her haven. 
That man had held a gun to her captor’s head.  She didn’t allow herself to think why her kidnapper’s death would affect her.  She just knew it would.
But, there was something else going on here, something that didn’t fit.  None of that man’s threats had made any sense.  What was really going on?