Desecrating Solomon: Book 1 of 3 (Desecration Series) (3 page)

BOOK: Desecrating Solomon: Book 1 of 3 (Desecration Series)
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Solomon remembered his latest catch for Miss Mary, sitting at home in its little cage. “I have a present for you too by the way.”

She sucked in her breath. “Oh?”

He smiled at how innocent she acted, like she didn’t know it was what she’d oh so casually wished for. “Yep. At the house. I was planning to bring it to you in the morning.”

“Well it’s probably morning now.”

He stood with a chuckle, as exhaustion from the night’s escapades hit him. “If you don’t mind, I might have a nap before heading back over.”

“You dressed for bed, may as well sleep here.”

“Nah, I have things to tend to at the house,” he half lied. He was positive he’d not be able to sleep anywhere. And really, he still felt the need to have another look around the woods. The dread from earlier had abated but was still there.

He picked up his gun and headed to the door with Mary following. “Keep it locked till the sun comes up, will you? I told you about the mountain lions,” he fussed lightly at the door. “I’ll get rid of all of these pets of yours if I come back and find these doors open after dark. I’m not going to be responsible for your mauling.”

“Well tarnation you’re a meanie pants, aren’t you?”

“And I’ll get you a couple of fans if you’re hot.”

“I don’t need no gadgets.”

“They’re fans, not spaceships. Everybody in West Virginia and all the US owns one. Or two or three even,” he exaggerated. He didn’t dare mention air conditioning. That was the devil’s freezer to her.

“Well when you come back, I’ll have yer coffee fresh and ready and eva thang. Did I tell you I want to do an herb garden? And vegetables too?”

“You did,” Solomon opened the door carefully, just in case. “Already ordered the seeds, mademoiselle.”

Mary gave a tickled laugh as Solomon opened the screen door next and the second he did, it hit him. The dread and terror from before, hit him like a tidal wave, stealing his breath. Something was wrong. Just not here.

Solomon took his time getting home, searching the woods as he went. When he turned down the road leading to his own drive, the notion that all of it was in his head, began to nag at him. He pulled into his driveway and sat there, his body revved up with bad energy. There was no way he could sit still feeling like that.

Solomon put the truck in reverse and again combed the woods, looking. He ended up at the little grocery store not far away. Aunt May’s Tack and Grub Shack. He sat there in the dark, truck idling. Turning on the radio, he searched for anything that would explain his episode. Maybe something major had happened in the world.

If it had, the old radio in his truck wasn’t picking anything up. Shit. Maybe he should go to a McDonald’s where they had Wi-Fi. That would require him to go get his phone. He looked down. And clothes. He put the truck in reverse and looked around one last time then headed home.

Chapter Three

 

Solomon rounded the final corner before the end of his driveway and a flash of red sent his foot smashing down on the brakes. Sliding for ten feet, he craned his neck, staring through the back window of the truck. He threw the truck in reverse and sped back ten feet, his heart hammering as he aimed his headlights somewhat to the right and squinted. The red appeared again just beyond the tree line. It seemed to be swaying slightly back and forth.

He crept the truck slowly toward the ditch, keeping the light trained on it. Maybe it was a piece of material blowing in the trees.

“Oh fuck,” he gasped, making out human hair. Red. White skin next.
Oh my God.
Solomon grabbed his gun and opened the door. He rounded the front of the truck and stared at the surreal nightmare. “Oh Jesus,” he whispered, finally making out what he was seeing. It was a woman. Hanging upside down.

Danger exploded in his head and he searched around, crouching closer to the truck. Not seeing anything, he held his gun tight and two steps brought him to the ditch and another angle. “Oh Jesus, oh Jesus. Oh God.” She was so bloody, hanging by her bare feet in a tree. The red dress she wore was tight enough to hug her body, covering her up to her knees. Solomon jumped across and made his way closer. Was she dead or alive?  That was the first thing he had to find out. While a yard away, he slowly reached up to her neck with two fingers. His breathing had turned ragged as he fought not to vomit at the sight. Her face was lopsided, like somebody had taken a bat to it. Her lips were bloody, ballooned with the rest of her face. Cuts everywhere. He fought to keep his fingers still long enough to feel for a pulse.

“Sol…”

“Oh fuck!” he gasped, jerking his hand back.

“S-Solomon… Gorge.”

The croak sent ice through his blood. “Oh my God, oh my God,” he whispered, feeling dizzy and nauseated while looking up at her feet. “I’m here, I’m getting you down,” he said. How the fuck did she know his name? She was the one, the one he heard screaming. “I have to go to my truck,” he whispered, looking all around. “I’m going get something to cut you down, I’m not leaving you.”

“S-Solomon…,”

“Don’t talk, don’t talk,” he whispered, covering his mouth when he couldn’t tear his eyes from her brutalized face. God, her eyes. They looked like giant plums in the sockets. “I’m here, I’m coming right back,” Solomon assured as he walked in reverse, nearly tripping.

He finally turned to run for the truck, remembering the ditch the second his boot sank into mud. “Shit.” Yanking it free, he stumble-ran to the passenger door. His hunting knife was in the glove box, please be there. Feeling his way in the dark, he opened it and quickly found the prized knife his uncle had given him for whittling. 

Racing back with it, he stared up at the girl, trying to think around the nightmare hanging before him. She was too high for him to just cut the rope without having her fall to the ground and possibly break her neck. He stashed the knife in his boot and hurried to the tree, circling the massive oak. The lowest limb looked fifteen feet up. After several running jumps for it, Solomon knew he’d have to somehow climb the base. Stabbing the knife into the tree as high as he could, he used it to pull himself up. Yanking the blade out, he stabbed higher again and scooted up the tree, ignoring the bark tearing the flesh of his inner thighs. It was all he had to really grip the tree and he held on tight enough to not fall and have to repeat the process.

Finally in reach of the lowest branch, he put the knife between his teeth and grabbed it with his right hand. Pulling himself onto it, he made his way to the limb that the rope was tied to and shimmied across it. He looked down and focused on the rope leading from her ankles to the tree. Reaching with both hands beneath the limb, he pulled up on the rope and created enough slack to wrap his right hand in it.

“I’m going to cut the rope, but I’ve got you, I’m holding it,” he called, mostly to keep her conscious and hopefully alive. Solomon began sawing at the rope with the sharp blade and four swipes did the trick. Solomon grunted with the sudden jolt of her weight on his right hand. “I’m going to lower you now,” he strained. Putting the knife between his teeth again, he reached with his other hand and held the rope. “I’m lowering now,” he said around the blade, praying she didn’t thrash and make him drop her. Inch by inch, he let the rope pass through his hands now on fire from the strain. Fuck he couldn’t tell how far off the ground she still was.

Who the fuck had done this to her?

He silently continued lowering her, grunting as he maintained strict focus on the ground beneath her head. The four feet quickly felt like four hundred at the slow rate he lowered her. But any faster risked the rope slipping and breaking more than there already was.

He needed to get her to a hospital. Visions of him bringing her in while half naked suddenly seemed like a bad idea. Would be quicker and safer for her if he called for an ambulance at his cabin.

Finally, she touched down and the rope went slightly slack. Gasping in strain and relief, he ever so carefully lowered her until her full body was safe on the forest floor. Solomon stared, momentarily dumbstruck at the surreal, horror below him.

Putting the knife back in his boot, he allowed himself to hang by both hands from the limb then let go to drop and land a few feet away from her.

“I’m going to lift you now,” he warned, working one hand under her knees and the other under her bare shoulders. Solomon didn’t let himself look at her face as he lifted her carefully. She began to whimper as he walked, making Solomon cringe in fear of hurting her. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

Getting to the passenger door of the truck, he managed to open it and work her in oh so slowly.

“M-Mas…”

“I’m here. I’m taking you to get help.”

This time her whimpers sounded scared. Solomon didn’t have time to debate it and raced around to the driver side. Driving extra slowly but as fast as he could, he parked the truck as close to the cabin as he could get.

“We’re at my home,” he said, winded more from fear than fatigue now as he looked around. What if the monster who’d done this was still around? He felt around on the floorboard for his shotgun. Panic hit as he realized he’d left it on the ground where he’d found her. Looking around one more time, he considered all the possible weapons he could concoct in his cabin. 

Making his way to the other side of the truck, he again slowly removed her, apologizing at her every moan which was ten times a second. At the first step on the porch, he froze. Just beyond the screen door, the cabin door was open. He darted a look around, his heart back to hammering as his muscles braced to run back to the truck.

He could’ve left it open earlier in his panic.

Shit. Staying outside another second felt like a bad idea too. Carefully and quietly, he made his way to the cabin with her. Pulling the screen door open, he leaned his head in, looking around as far as he could see. One kick to the door banged it against the wall revealing the place was empty. Solomon didn’t waste another second kicking the door shut and hurrying her to the bed to put her down and race back to lock both locks.

Approaching the bed slowly, he stared at her, constantly moaning now like she was in a lot of pain. He raked both hands through his hair and pulled, pacing and staring at his bed with the half dead woman in it. His mind raced with a million things, calling the police, the dream, the scream, knowing his name, where was the culprit, would they return, why did they put her there?

Wiping his forehead with his arm, he hurried to the kitchen table in the far corner for his phone. Ahhh fuck! Of course it would be completely dead. He lost track of how many times he’d planned to get a new battery because it barely held a charge. He raced through the cabin, searching for the charger like a madman. After he had everything moved, tossed or knocked over, he still had nothing. Three steps brought him to the kitchen-laundry-bathroom area of the room to check his jean pockets, already sure it wasn’t there.

Jesus, really? He raked his hands in his hair, looking around at where the
fuck
he might have possibly put it. The truck? He couldn’t even remember the last time he’d used the phone, he rarely used it out there.

The dazed and confused sensation he’d gotten several times that night hit him again. Mumbling came from the bed and Solomon rushed to her side, listening, hoping for details that would point him in some direction. Like who to call or what to do.

“S-Sol…” Her head lolled left and right as she tried to raise her hand only to have it flop back down. “Master….”

“Master? Who is Master?” Solomon asked, kneeling next to the bed. “Is that who did this to you? Who hurt you? Can you hear me? Can you tell me your name? I’m going to call an ambulance,” he soothed. Even if he had to drive to town to do it.

Her head shook a little. “No… no… telling.”

No telling? What the hell. “Why can’t I tell? Did he threaten you?”

“Y-Yes.”

“You’re safe here,” Solomon assured, although without a shotgun or a fucking phone, the assurance felt moronic. “You don’t have to talk, just rest.”

“No… telling.”

“No telling, okay. Just rest. We’ll get you better in no time,” he said in sheer faith. “Then you can tell me who to call. Family, a friend?” A husband? He regarded her dress then. Where was she coming from, a party? A wedding? He needed to give her medicine. Was she allergic to anything? Was anything broken?

“I need to ask you some questions and what I’m going to do is hold your hand, just your hand. All you have to do is squeeze once for yes and twice for no as I ask you questions. You need to save your strength and not talk. Are you understanding me?”

“Yes,” she barely whimpered, like she was in pain.

Solomon took careful hold of her small hand, ignoring the dried blood all over it. “Are you cold?” She certainly was to the touch but she squeezed his hand twice.

At the communication success, Solomon thought about what he needed most to ask. “Do you know your name?”

She didn’t squeeze right away then finally gave one squeeze.

“Okay,” Solomon nearly cooed to her. “That’s a good thing.”

“Do you remember what happened tonight?”

This time she hesitated even longer before giving a no. So she knew her name but couldn’t remember what happened. Or she wasn’t telling.

“Okay, that’s okay.” Solomon got closer to the bed so he didn’t have to reach so far. He needed to ask questions about injuries but for some reason details about the monster seemed eminent to their safety in that second. “Are you scared of the person who did this to you?”

He got an immediate hand squeeze with that one, making Solomon’s gut clench.

“Has he hurt you before?”

Another immediate hand squeeze.

“Is he… your husband?”

A slight pause then two hand squeezes.

“A boyfriend?”

Another two hand squeezes.

“Your father?”

Again two hand squeezes.

“A friend?”

Two hand squeezes.

Solomon sat there, trying to think. “A relative?”

One hand squeeze.

A relative. Then they likely lived near. “Was it a brother?”

A slight pause then another yes. But why the pause?

“A stepbrother?”

Two hand squeezes had Solomon officially stumped.

Did he really need to know if she’d been raped? Surely she had and what good would it do him to know in that second? Nothing he could think of. “I’m going to try and figure out where you’re most injured. I’ll name a body part and then I’m going to start from ten and work my way down to zero. You’ll tell me how much pain you have in each thing I call out. Okay?”

Single hand squeeze.

Solomon started with her feet and worked his way up her body, bypassing the private parts as he went. By the time he’d covered every body part his knowledge as a masseur offered him, he discerned she was in agony in all her body. It had Solomon trembling and sick to his stomach. “I’m going to let go of your hand and find you something for pain.”

She squeezed his hand tighter. Solomon looked at her fingers now gripping his. “Okay, you don’t want me to get your medicine?”

“Don’t… leave me,” she barely croaked.

“I’m just going to look in the house for it, I’m not leaving.” Her grip very slowly lessened. “Okay,” he whispered, untangling his fingers from hers. “You’re okay with that?”

She nodded barely and he laid her hand on the bed, stroking it a few times when it seemed she was suddenly lost without his touch. “I’m here. I’m not leaving. I’ll talk to you while I look.” Solomon did what he told himself not to—stared at the horror of her face. The years Solomon had spent wondering what had happened to his fiancée, imagining her lying in a ditch somewhere in this very condition, sent fury and pain burning in his gut. Whoever did this was worse than a fucking animal. They were insane and in need of putting down. And Solomon was suddenly ready to up his trapping game and see to it personally.

BOOK: Desecrating Solomon: Book 1 of 3 (Desecration Series)
9.84Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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