Ok, guys. I'm teasing y'all today. Hey, it's Saturday! Why not tease ya a little? ;)
No, not like that, you pervert! :) I'm giving you all a taste of Unbreakable Hostage. This is chapter 17 (which just happens to be one of my favorite parts in the story! Yay!), which is featured on www.omnilit.com I think you'll REALLY like it!
So, without further ado...
As they continued on their aimless journey through the dark winter night, Lareina felt her leg was increasingly aching and hurting. The pain was considerable. Thinking that it was because she constantly slipping, twisting her ankles and falling on the uneven frozen terrain because of her kitten heels, Lareina nonchalantly slipped them off as they hiked through the forest. She didn't know if they would help lead to her rescue but she hoped it would at least ease the pain in her leg.
Tony wasn't giving her any time to slow down, so hopefully walking barefoot would help her to keep up with his brisk pace. He again hardly gave them enough time to eat, rest, or even relieve themselves. Lareina prayed with each step, though, that she would somehow be found.
“Ok, my turn to ask a person question,” Tony said, just a few steps ahead of Lareina.
“Ok?” She skipped a few steps to catch up and walk within listening distance of him.
“Lareina, you told me that you weren't dating when we were in class; and you had never...well, ya know.”
Lareina paused for a moment before she understood what Tony was referring to. “Oh! Yes, that’s true. So?”
“Well, why not, Lareina?”
“Tony, it's hard to explain. I – it – it just means a lot to me and my family.”
“How so? I want to understand.”
“Ok. Well, I'm Boricua.”
“I'm Puerto Rican, Tony. Even though my parents have always been legal U. S. citizens, they still had to work very hard – just like immigrants - when they got here.
“My parents, my brother and I all had to learn a new language. We had to learn a new language and adjust to a new culture. My parents came here with so very little. They had to work extremely hard to get everything they had.
“They took on so many jobs just so that my brother and I could have a good education and potential opportunities that simply did not exist in Puerto Rico.”
“I don't see what that has to do with you dating.”
“It’s simple, really. I saw how hard my family sacrificed just for me and I was not going to let that be in vain.
“I wanted to show them how much I appreciated what they had done for us. So, I studied hard and I always worked. It was all for them – for their sacrifice. My first obligation is to my family, not to just any man. The right man would understand; they always told me that and I fully believe it.
“Besides, I was raised to be a good Catholic. My parents instilled morals into my brother and I. Between my family and my beliefs, I was simply living my life the best way I knew how.”
“But, why did you always turn me down, Lareina?” The sound of Tony's voice saying her name was grating to Lareina's ears.
“Because like I said, my first obligation was - and always is - to my family, not to any man. They wanted me to have a good life and career, so that was always my top priority.”
“But if you would have just gone with me...”
“What? What do you mean?”
“You made me take you. You made me bring you out here. You made me do this.
“If you would have just said yes – if you would have just gone out on one date with me, things could have been so much simpler. We could have just dated normally. We wouldn't have to worry about the police tearing us apart like we do now.”
Lareina sighed at Tony's twisted perception. He clearly had no understanding of boundaries or respect. Unsure of how to respond to his comment, Lareina simply replied, “well, things always happen for a reason.” It was all she could think of to say. She detested the idea that her personal beliefs had been disrespected and broken simply because she held no romantic interest in Tony at all.
“I guess they do. It doesn't matter, anyway. You're mine now. I own you; that was already established.
“When we consummated our love, you gave me something that you can't give anyone else. That means you're mine.”
Lareina dare not say what she really thought. She knew that there was neither consummation of a marriage, nor any love in Tony's evil and selfish act. She refused to be owned by him, or to allow his act change her beliefs or self-perception. She had not been a willing participant. Her love and her body were still hers to give to the right person at the right time. She quietly reminded herself of that constantly to help take away the power from Tony's words and actions.
Lareina continued to walk behind him in silence, despising Tony more and more with each passing moment.
“Where is that tree, Lareina?” Marc whispered to himself. He had been searching the area all around the lake where the car had been found for nearly an entire day. There were no walking paths to be seen, nor any trees with an “x” on them.
Marc knew that Lareina was always precise; he was simply not looking in the right area. As he walked back around, Marc saw an exhausted Chief Wilmont sitting by his car.
“Chief, where is that cabin you were telling me about? The one in the Dominick Covelli case?”
“Not too far from here, Raymer. Go up that way, about a half mile,” the Chief pointed behind himself. It was clear that he wasn't moving.
“I want a few uniformed officers to go with me.”
The Chief sighed. “Fine. I'll send you up with Learner, Pasternak, and Martinez.”
“I should have a few CSI investigators there as well, just in case.”
“God damn it, Raymer! How the hell do you not drive your Chief just absolutely insane?!” Chief Wilmont sighed again. “Alright, I'll dispatch a crew to meet you up there.”
“Thank you,” Marc replied firmly. He then began the arduous task of hiking up towards the cabin, the last light of the day illuminating his path. The uniformed officers weren't too far behind him.
As Marc walked away, he thought he heard the Chief telling one of the uniformed officers that Lareina had to have been murdered by now and that this was all just a wild goose chase. Marc refused to accept the Chief's cynicism as truth. He knew they were close, and he was bound and determined to bring Lareina home alive.
After a decent half mile trek, the trees separated and there before Marc stood the infamous cabin. It was old, dirty and looked abandoned. Marc quickly grabbed a large flash light.
Marc called the uniformed officers over. “Have your weapons drawn and be prepared for anything. We don't know if they're still in there or not.”
Stealthfully, the four policemen approached the cabin.
Leading the way, Marc, with his gun drawn, kicked in the front door. There were no obvious signs of life. Marc turned on his flash light. He then signaled for them to all spread out and search the entire dwelling.
The officers did not find any people, and marked the cabin as clear. Then the group began fully examining the cabin. The floor creaked underneath the feet of all the officers.
“Hey, Raymer! Check this out!” Pasternak was in the back room which had once been used as a kitchen. Marc ran back to find a propane tank, a blanket, dishes, and some miscellaneous food stuffs left on the floor. Tony had definitely held her here. Marc figured the visit from the police on Dominick's case had frightened Tony enough that he packed up what he could and went running with Lareina. He couldn’t tell how long it had been since they had been in the cabin, but he knew they were definitely on the right track.
“Collect all of that as evidence. Also, have the CSI team check it for finger prints, DNA – the whole nine yards,” Marc ordered.
Within moments, a few members of the CSI team then went into the kitchen to take pictures and collect the evidence as Marc had instructed.
Marc continued to walk around the cabin, inspecting every inch of the floor and walls. As he walked around, he found a small door. He opened it. It must have been used as a closet at one time. It was quite narrow, and very dark.
As Marc glanced around the closet with the aid of his flash light, he found a drop of blood on the floor. “I need a CSI here now!”
A CSI investigator ran over to Marc and joined him in the tiny closet.
“Take pictures of that blood stain, get a swab and take it back to your lab for testing. This is important. This is good. It's a really good sign.”
“A good sign, sir?”
“It's just one blood drop. It means that Lareina is probably injured, but she is still alive. It's not a significant amount of blood. One drop of blood simply does not equal murder. Based on this, I think it's more than safe to say that she is still alive.
“By the way, I want a rush on that sample. It could be the difference between life and death for this girl.”
“Yes Detective Raymer,” the CSI investigator then did as she was told.
Marc walked around the main room of the cabin. It was clean – too clean. Marc knew the room should not look this good. The entire building was dilapidated, and yet this room seemed to be in decent shape. Going on his hunch, Marc borrowed a black light from one of the CSI investigators.
Methodically, he looked over every inch of the walls. There was nothing. No signs of life, bleach or other cleaning products. The walls had not been touched.
Marc then scanned the floor. There was evidence of large areas that had been bleached all over the floor. Marc’s heart sank. These spots were large and numerous. He feared that they might have been used to clean blood off the floor. Marc’s mind now raced with thoughts that Lareina had been murdered by Tony Covelli.
Lareina's leg still hurt severely as they walked the day away. A new morning and afternoon had long come and gone, and yet the pair still had not rested. Lareina still refused to let on that she was in any pain. She feared that Tony would take advantage of it. Lareina looked over the river's horizon. The sun was going down on another day in her captivity.
Lareina followed Tony as best she could through the darkening woods. She struggled immensely on the rugged, cold, and uneven ground. She fought to keep a normal, steady walking pace, but with each step immense pain shot up through her entire leg. Fearing for her life, Lareina battled her affliction silently and followed in Tony's path.
Countless hours of walking had passed when Tony finally took the blanket and laid it out for them.
“We'll eat and get a bit of rest, but we can't stay here long,” he said.
Another dinner of crackers and river water would have to suffice for nutrition. After a silent meal, Tony laid down on the blanket and pulled Lareina close to him. Lareina lay with her back towards Tony; she sighed, and waited for the sky to become completely black.
Once the stars had been sitting in the sky for a while, Lareina slowly wiggled away from Tony. Lareina was thankful that Tony was a deep sleeper and he did not notice Lareina's absence.
By the light of the moon, she quietly rummaged through her purse and found a receipt, a pencil, and another sanitary pad. On the back of the receipt, she drew an “x” with the coordinates to the cabin. She then marked the path that she and Tony had been walking. She drew circles where she had left her shoes, the pen, and other random items along the way. She continued the line of their path to an approximate location where she and Tony were now. It was a crude and simplistic map at best, but she thought it might just help to guide the police to her.
As quietly as she could, she walked back a few steps. Suddenly, Tony stirred. He grunted and rolled around on the blanket. Lareina stopped, holding her breath so as not to wake him. Her heart raced at the thought of him discovering her. She stood perfectly still, frightened for what may happen next. He grunted again, rolled on to his side, and then there was silence. After a moment of pure stillness, Lareina realized he was still sleeping. Lareina sighed a huge sigh of relief.
She then continued to walk back quietly. She wanted to post her map where the police would find it, but also where Tony wouldn't suspect anything.
Lareina finally felt she was far enough away. She took the napkin and wrapper and used them to stick the map to a tree. She put it just below eye level so that Tony wouldn't notice, should he look back for any reason.
Moving quickly, Lareina made her way back to the blanket and eased her way back down. All she could do was hope all of that her clues were bringing someone closer to saving her.
Marc decided to broaden his search around the cabin. The Mustang sat dripping and water pooled around it on the cold ground of the forest. The water on the car glistened in the early morning sun. The police still waited for confirmation that it truly was Tony's car. Marc figured he could still find more clues while they waited for the confirmation.
Marc looked all around him. All he could see were trees. He was fixated on Lareina's message that “x” marked a specific spot. He was bound and determined to find whatever that “x” might have been.
As he walked around the forest, Marc could not help but be taken in by the size of the trees that surrounded him. They were endlessly tall, magnificently colored; they were awe inspiring. Marc continued to walk through the forest looking for any sign of an “x” - perhaps even two trees that crossed and formed an “x” shape. So far, his search had turned up nothing. He could not find an “x” in any way. He knew there had to be an “x” in the area somewhere and he would continue to search until he found it.
As Marc continued to wander through the forest, he noticed one particularly large, brightly colored and very thick tree. It was significantly larger than the other trees around it. There was something very unique about this tree; it stood out from the others. It would be quite a walk to get to it, but Marc decided that he needed to investigate this large tree.
Marc eventually reached the tree. He put his hand on its large, thick trunk. It was strong and solid. He was inspired by the impressiveness of this one particular tree. He walked all around the wide tree, with his hand still touching its trunk when something slapped him in the eye. Startled, Marc looked up. A piece of fabric had been nailed into the tree and it was waving in the wind. The nailed fabric was on the inside of a large carved “x” on the tree. Marc stared at the carving and fabric. It was the “x”! Lareina had carved that “x” into this tree, and somehow nailed the piece of fabric into this tree in order to gain attention, and help guide them to her. This was the “x” that Lareina's message had been referring to all along. The coordinates, the “x.” It all came together.
Marc was more than impressed - he was very proud of her. Lareina showed a strength, intelligence and resourcefulness that he rarely saw in other abducted people. She was indeed a fighter. Seeing the “x” and the fabric, Marc knew without a doubt that she was still alive.
“Good girl,” Marc whispered. He stood in awe of her work for minutes. It was quite spectacular to behold. He had no idea how she would have been able to create such a marvelous sign, but she did. Marc was thoroughly impressed.
Marc knew the piece of fabric was going to be crucial in her retrieval. It looked like it had been from a piece of her clothing. Using that fabric, canine units would have a much easier time following her scent and finding her.
Marc still stared at the tree, and took out his police radio. “Fresno PD, anyone on this channel?”
“Wilmont, Chief of police.”
“Just the man I was looking for! Wilmont, it's Raymer. You need to come up here now! I found something good – something amazing. And you'll need to dispatch as many canine units as you can. I think - no, I know we're close. Damn close.”
Chief Wilmont sighed into the radio. “Raymer, I am really getting sick of your circus. Did you know that your Chief, Karl Hamilton, has already fucking called me three times about you and this damn case just this morning alone?!”
“Good! Now you can call him back and tell him we have a viable lead, and we will be bringing her home within the next twenty four hours or so.”
“You just don't get it, do you Raymer? I do not have the time, money or man power to continue to chase down a fucking dead woman!”
“We haven’t found a body yet, now have we?”
There was silence before Chief Wilmont finally spoke. “No,” he unwillingly agreed.
“Well since there's no body Chief Wilmont, we need to keep searching. Unless and until you can prove to me that she's dead, I want people working this case around the clock.
“Now, get up here. I'm north of the cabin by about a quarter mile. And dispatch those canine units to this same locale, do you understand me?”
No answer. Marc waited. After several moments, the Fresno Chief grunted, indicating that he would comply.
“Honey, get up!” Tony was nudging Lareina. “We slept too long. Dawn has already broken, we really need to go.”
Lareina moaned. Her body was so weak, mal-nourished and dehydrated. It took every ounce of her strength just to keep her eyes open.
“I – I can't, Tony,” she mumbled.
“I know you're tired, honey. We just have to go a little further. We can't let them find us.” Tony pulled her up by the arm. Lareina's body collapsed in his grasp.
“No, Tony...” Lareina's voice faded off.
“We have to go!” There was panic in his voice.
Lareina wearily looked up at him. He could see she was weak and exhausted. He desperately wanted to keep on their expedition east, but he also feared that she could possibly die from exhaustion. Losing her was a risk he didn't want to take. Tony wanted Lareina to be with him for ever. Losing her to exhaustion was simply not an option for him.
Tony sighed. He refused to carry her while hiking through the woods. He wanted her to be able to walk on her own. Tony looked at her for a moment, unsure what to do. Lareina's eyes rolled back, and then she flopped backwards in his arms.
Gently, he placed her back on the blanket. He let her lay there sleeping. He wouldn’t - he couldn't let her rest for long, though.
The Fresno Chief was also quite impressed by Lareina's handiwork. He and Marc waited for the canine units by the large carved tree.
“You gotta give that girl some serious credit. Not many people would think or even be able to do something like this,” Chief Wilmont said.
“Indeed. She's a smart girl. She's irrefutably a fighter, too.
“Once we get the canines on her smell from this, we'll finally have her safe and away from this asshole. We’re so close to getting her home safely.”
“Let's hope so. I do think you have a good point, Raymer; but we still can't be sure he hasn't done anything to her out there. I just really hope you're right on this one. But if she can do this, I can’t imagine she’d give up without a fight.”
“I thought you had completely given up on her, Chief.”
“I had. But, you're right, Raymer. I'm man enough to admit when I was wrong. If she can do this, then she is probably still alive around here somewhere.”
“Now you understand why I’ve been so obsessed with this case, Chief.” Marc said.
“Yeah,” Chief Wilmont softly replied.
The canine units arrived a few minutes later. Five officers each with their own canine companion stood in a row. Chief Wilmont then called all the involved police over to the tree.
“Ok, guys. Listen up! This material has the scent of missing person Lareina Oliveira. We need you to use this material - and her scent - to help lead us in her direction.” Chief Wilmont said.
Marc spoke up next. “Remember everyone, she has been abducted and is still with her kidnapper. As far as we know, they are on foot. More than likely they haven't gotten too far without a map and sufficient food supplies.
“Anthony Covelli, the abductor, is considered to be armed and dangerous. We need to use all precautionary tactics when approaching him.
“We do not know the physical condition of Lareina Oliveira. If she is still alive, and we do have full reason to believe so, we need to get her medical treatment as quickly as possible.
“I know this has not been an easy case on any one. I greatly appreciate the help and cooperation of all you from the Fresno PD.
“We've got 'em, boys. We are right behind them. Let's go find them and bring and end to this case!” Marc said to the group.
One canine officer pulled down the fabric and all the dogs began to sniff it. Within just seconds, the dogs began pulling and racing to the East.
“I guess we’re headed to the east,” Marc said to Chief Wilmont.
The group of police officers all started walking and running east, hoping they could get to Lareina in time.
Lareina and Tony walked slowly in broad daylight. They had gotten a much later start than Tony had wanted, and Lareina was still visibly weak and tired. Tony was worried that he could be losing her. He wanted to get her help, but knew that he couldn't get her the medical attention she needed right now.
Lareina's leg was obviously red, and she sporadically limped on it, though she said nothing. She knew that Tony could see her fatigue, but she still insisted on putting on a facade that she was physically able to carry on. So, she silently followed Tony. With each step, she hoped that her ordeal would soon be over.
They had been walking for most of the day when Lareina thought she could hear dogs in the distance. She assumed her weary state was causing her to hear things. She continued to limp in silence.
Tony stopped walking just a few moments later. “Did you hear that?”
Dogs could in fact be heard. It wasn't just her imagination, Tony heard them too! They could also hear various voices shouting, though they could not make out what was being called out. The voices and dog barks sounded as if they were getting closer; but they still sounded to be an infinity away to Lareina.
Lareina looked up at Tony puzzled. Could it be that she would finally be rescued?
“Did you do this?” Tony angrily grabbed her by the arms.
“What? No, Tony. I did nothing. How could I have gotten anyone here? You threw away my cell phone days ago, remember? It's just been us, Tony. There's no way I could have contacted anyone.
“Unless – Do you think Dominick would have said something? Is it possible that after the investigation with that little girl he said something to work out a deal?”
“Ya know, that is a possibility. I never thought of that, but my asshole of a brother would do anything to save his own ass. Fucker!”
Tony rapidly wrapped Lareina's hair around his wrist and began dragging her behind him. She soon fell down and Tony started to fall backwards from her weight. Quickly, he yanked her back up with all his might and he started to drag her again.
“Tony, please! Stop! I'll walk as fast as I can!” Lareina begged him.
“No.” He stopped, let go and dropped her to the ground. She fell face first onto the dirt, rocks and leaves. Lareina spat out a leaf.
Dazed and beaten, she hesitantly looked up at her captor.
He looked down at her. There was anger and rage in his eyes.
“Tony, what's going on?”
“If I can't have you, no one can! You're mine! They won't take you from me! I won't let them!”
Tony pulled Lareina up by the back of her shirt. He dragged her along the ground until they got to the river bank.
With hardly any effort, Tony threw Lareina into the river face down. His fat hand pressed down upon her shoulders to keep her in place. Lareina felt him using a tremendous amount of strength to hold her down. Her arms and legs flailed around, but it was of no help. Her breath was escaping her quickly. She fought and twisted her head from side to side trying to suck in any air that she could, but all she took in was water. Seeing her struggle, Tony pushed her down even harder. Lareina's arms continued to splash around. She desperately tried to hit Tony, but she was defenseless against him. With her air supply almost completely gone, Lareina's arms began to flap less and less. Slowly, her struggle decreased until she finally stopped moving all together.
Tony continued to hold her down for a few more seconds. It took some time before the reality of what he was doing set in. Seeing her motionless body frightened him. With as much thrust as he used to force her down, he pulled her back up and onto the bank of the river.
Tony pressed on Lareina's chest a few times. Finally, her eyes opened and she spat up a large amount of water and began coughing and gasping for air.
Tony looked down on Lareina, and she saw an odd, frightening tenderness in his eyes. “You're safe with me, sweetie. No one will ever hurt you, I promise,” he whispered.
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