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Authors: Kathi S. Barton

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BOOK: Khan
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Anthony Barr had been hurting her for
nearly two years. The police in her hometown had done nothing to help her. She
knew that going to them had been a waste when she found out that Tony was the
senator’s son. And that everyone was afraid of him.

But Tony had decided that she was his. And
after he nearly drove her nuts for two weeks, she went out with him. Hoping
that he’d leave her alone afterwards, she tried her best to make it the worst
date he’d ever had.

About halfway into their dinner, he
reached across the table and hit her. Her head swam with pain, and she stood up
to leave him. But he pulled out a gun, put it to her head, and made her finish
her dinner.

No one helped her. The waitress that served
them never looked at her and continued serving them as if Tony wasn’t forcing
her to sit there. When it came time for dessert, he asked her politely, even
with the gun still to her head, if she wanted some chocolate. He said he knew
it was her favorite. While she was shaking her head, he ordered them both
coffee and talked to her as if this was a perfectly fine way to dine. After
that, things got really bad.

The police told her to let him have his
way and when she’d tried to get in to see the senator, Tony was there waiting
for her. He had hit her again then and had used one of his father’s statues on
his desk to beat her. She’d ended up in the hospital where she had run the
first time. And she’d been running since.

Monica went into the Pepper and watched
from the doorway into the street. Tony drove by, and she nearly bolted, but was
stopped when a large man held her back. When she tried to peel his fingers off
her arm, he told her that he was Shaver and that Caitlynne had told him to
watch for her.

“Which one of them hurt you like this?” His
voice left her no doubt that he was pissed off. “You say his name and he’s as
good as dead. Nobody hits a woman and lives to tell about it when I’m around.”

“No. You can’t. His father, he’s really
important, and he won’t help me anyway.” She was babbling and turned toward the
street again. “No one will help me get away from him.”

Caitlynne walked in, said her name, and
Monica turned to see her. The woman was simply the most beautiful person she’d
ever seen. When she told her that she was parked in the back, she went with
her. Mr. Shaver handed Caitlynne a large bag of what smelled like heaven and
spoke in low tones to her. As soon as she nodded, Caitlynne came toward her and
helped her into the big truck. Soon they were flying down the highway.

“Walker is staying behind for a couple
of days, but I have to go back to DC. That’s where you and I are headed. Once
we’re there, we’ll get you some clothes and some medications to make—”

“Thank you for helping me, but I can’t
afford clothes or medications. I don’t have any money other than the fifty
dollars that George gave me. I know I said I’d be fine going with you, but you
don’t know what kind of person the man who’s chasing me is, and Khan is your
relative. I think if you would just drop me off near the bus station, I can
make it somewhere on my own.”

She didn’t say anything for several
minutes. Her phone rang twice, but she ignored it and drove on. When she did
finally say something, Monica wasn’t sure if she should believe her or not.

“I work for the CIA. Actually, I run it.
I have some very powerful people, the president for one, in my corner. If this
man fucks with you, he fucks with me, and I don’t like to be fucked with. Understand?”

“No. No, I don’t. You run the CIA and tell me you have the president on speed dial.” Caitlynne snorted. “Okay, you might not
have him on speed dial, but it doesn’t matter. That man is a danger zone, and
when he finds me, I’m either going to be killed by him or kill him myself. I’m
so sick of running all the time.”

“Good for you.” Then she smiled at her.
“But you’re going to Washington with me.”

Chapter Five

Tony looked everywhere for Monica. She
was out there somewhere and needed him and he couldn’t find her. Driving again
past the last place he thought he’d seen her, he nearly had an accident
thinking he’d seen her go into a restaurant. By the time he parked and went
inside, she’d disappeared again. And the people inside were of no use to him.
He didn’t even know why those types of people, foreigners, were allowed to work
in this country.

Going back out to his car, he stopped on
the street and looked. Nothing. He wished now he had simply broken down the
door to her hotel room and made her see reason and come back with him. The girl
just needed a little more help in understanding that he was trying to help her.

He had been looking for her for a month
now. He tried to remember the last time he’d seen her or talked to her before
this morning and all he could recall was that she’d been defiant again. Sassed
him as well. He’d only hit her to show her that she needed to have respect for
her betters, and that when he told her to do something, she should simply give
him what he wanted. Like everyone else did.

Tony stopped at the hotel he’d found her
in and watched a big man come out of the room. He didn’t look like anyone he’d
ever met before and wondered what he was doing in his fiancé’s room. He was
just pulling into the lot of the hotel again when the man got into his truck
and left. Tony stared after the man for several seconds before he realized he
should have gotten the license plate and had his daddy run it for him.

And following him was out of the
question. He’d been going in the opposite direction of where his own hotel was,
and he didn’t feel like driving any more tonight. So Tony got back into his car
and went back to his room in the Hamilton Hotel. He’d had to push his weight
around there as well. But they knew who was in charge and had even told him the
first night was free. Tony had called his dad to get that little favor taken
care of, but he didn’t care. What the hell was his daddy good for if not
helping his only son out once in a while?

The room had been cleaned from his stay
the night before. He laid on the bed and thought about the girls he’d had
brought up, as well as the coke his buddy Steve had hooked him up with. It had
been one hell of a party. And he thought maybe he’d try to top it tonight. His
phone ringing had him rolling over and reaching for the bedside table.

“What are you doing down there, Anthony?
Do you have any idea how much extra it costs us when you trash a room like you
did that one?” His mother was not his favorite person. “I want you to come home
this minute. This obsession with this girl has gotten out of hand.”

“I love her. And I’m going to marry her.
She just needs to learn to listen.” He looked at the bruise on his hand as he
continued. “You said you liked her when I told you about her.”

“I most certainly did not. I told you to
fuck her and get her out of your system. But now you’ve gone beyond what we can
cover up by chasing her across three states and hurting her every time. She
keeps running away. Why don’t you get it through your sick mind that she doesn’t
want anything to do with you?”

His head pounded when she yelled at him
like this. He put the phone on the bed and began beating his fists against his
forehead to make her stop. Over and over she yelled at him, and he couldn’t
take it any longer. He didn’t even know why she thought she had any say in what
he did any longer. She and his father were divorced and had been for nearly
three years.

Picking up the phone again, he tried for
calmness. “Mother, I want you to stop calling me if you don’t have anything
good to say. I love this one, and I’m going to make it work this time. You’ll
see. Once she learns her place, we’ll be able to live happily ever after, and
you’ll come to love her as I do.”

When she started talking again, he
leaned over and hung up the phone. When it rang almost immediately, he put a
pillow over his head and tried to block it out. When that didn’t work, he got
up and left his room. She had done this. Driven a stake through his
relationship with his mother. Now he had to go home and fix this.

He drove all night, only stopping for
gas. Tony was near her home nearly thirty hours later and pulled into the next
street to wait. He knew that on Wednesdays his father came to visit her and he
wondered what day of the week it was. Pulling out his cell phone, he realized
it was Wednesday and was excited. He was going to get to see them both and have
a little talk with them. Closing his eyes, he leaned back on the seat and
waited.

He woke around dusk and drove to his
mother’s home. He didn’t see his father’s car in the drive and thought he’d
missed him. Just as he was about to turn the corner to simply go in and have a
little talk with mother dear, he saw his dad pull in. He completed the circle
and came back around to park across the street from them.

He walked up the sidewalk and knew just
how this conversation was going to go. She was going to yell and his dad was
going to tell her to calm down. After a few tears, they would try to tell him
that this girl was like the others and that they didn’t want to have to take
care of another family. He would tell them she had none, that he’d already
thought of that. He slipped his key in the door and tried to turn it.

She’d changed the locks on him. Tony
stepped back and tried to see in the windows, but all he was able to see was a distorted
view of the furniture he knew lay beyond. Instead of knocking, because he knew
where they’d be, he went around the back of the house and walked up to the
glass doors that led into the summer room. Pulling out his knife, he slit the
screen, then punched a hole in the glass. Reaching in, he unlocked the door and
stepped inside.

The stereo was on full blast with music
that made his head pound. Going through the house, he picked up two things from
the kitchen and made his way to the living room where they both were. His mom
was sitting with her back to him, and his father was sitting in the chair to
her left. They were both holding a glass of wine. There was a tray of cheese
and crackers and a bowl of fruit.

As a child, he’d wanted to eat in front
of the fireplace, but they’d never let him. He’d tried once to have a cookout
in here, roasting marshmallows in the fireplace until he’d gotten tired, but
someone hadn’t come to check on him soon enough and the carpet had caught fire.
When he’d gotten burned, a scar he held today, he had hated any sort of fire
near him. He glanced down at the quarter-sized scar and sneered at it.

Walking up behind his mother, he yanked
back her head and sliced open her throat with the knife he’d picked up in the
kitchen. When she made a noise, his father jumped up from his chair and started
for him. Tony stabbed him in the chest with the corkscrew.

Dropping the knife he’d used on his
mother, he went around the couch and toward his father. Reaching blindly for
the things on the fireplace, he grabbed up the poker there and hit his father
in the head. Liking the sound it made, he continued hitting him until his arm
hurt. Dropping it on the floor, he sat down in his father’s chair. Taking the
cheese and crackers, he tossed off the ones covered in blood and finished off
the food. He didn’t care for the fruit, but ate what was blood free and then
sat back in the chair.

“I tried to tell you. I did. I said if
you didn’t let me have my way, I would make you pay. Both of you.” He kicked
out at his father. “And what are you doing here in the first place? I’ve told
you several times that I didn’t want you seeing her, that she was bad for me,
and here you are.” He laughed.

Yes, he thought, here they were. Both of
them paid for making him upset. Tony realized he was getting the chair dirty
and stood up. He knew that the cleaning person would be upset with him so he
took off his shoes and carried them up to the bathroom.

He had clothes here, he was sure. What
kind of mother would toss them out because her only son had moved on? Besides,
he’d told he not to do it, and most of the time, she listened. This time, he
was glad that she had.

Getting out of the shower, he dried off
and put on the clean clothes. Putting his dirty ones in the hamper, he wondered
if they would ever be clean again. He went down the hall to his mother’s room
and looked for anything of value. He took all her jewelry, as well as the three
grand he’d found in her purse. Tony didn’t take the card because the last time
he’d done that, she’d simply canceled them. It had been embarrassing and a
waste of her time.

His father had a room here too, but he
didn’t find anything much worth his effort. There was about three hundred
dollars in his wallet, and Tony took his car keys as well. He’d never been able
to drive it and had decided that he’d take it out for a spin before he left.

Going back out, he started the car and
drove it carefully around the house. He didn’t want to dent it; it really was a
nice car. When he was near the pool, he got out and uncovered it before he went
back to it. Leaving the door open, he gunned the engine and rolled out as it
splashed into the pool. He closed the cover back over it and went to his own
car. Going back, he locked up the house again and left.

Tony was nearly an hour away when he
realized they’d never gotten around to talking about Monica. He’d meant to tell
his mother that he wanted her to have a big wedding with all the trimmings.
Next time, he decided; the next time he came for a visit, he’d speak to them
about it.

BOOK: Khan
9.07Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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