Authors: Rosemary Rey
“Eric? How are you?”
“Good. Do you need a ride back to the office?”
“Yes, but I have a driver. If you give me back my phone, I’m just going to give him a call.”
“I can drive you. Spare him from having to come all the way out here.” Eric responded.
“No. He should be around. My phone, please.” I extended my hand. Eric put my work phone in his back pocket.”
“I think we should talk as I drive you. You owe me that much.”
“We can talk when we’re back in the office.” I countered, not wanting to spend any time alone with him. Eric grabbed my arm and tightened around my flesh.
“Eric, what are you doing?” I asked, fear gripped me.
“I need you to come with me, Perla. You’ll be okay, but I need you to come with me, please.” Not feeling like I had much of a choice, I didn’t resist when Eric pulled me away from the entrance where I was to meet Manny. I had my other cell phone with me, but I didn’t want to alert Eric to my having one in my possession. Eric led me to a black SUV at the opposite end of the construction site. He opened the door for me to enter, and I slid in, sitting on the end of the bench seating. Eric entered and closed the door, sitting beside me. He wasn’t driving.
I looked to the driver’s side. There was a clear partition. I flashed to the night I was held captive by the cab driver. I looked in the driver’s rear view mirror and stared into the eyes of my captor. I could never forget his deep set eyes with the thick eyebrows. His eyes curled upward at the corners. He was smiling at me in recognition or salutation, I couldn’t tell. I didn’t notice when Eric had put the seat belt on me. When the car started moving, I realized the man I trusted with protecting me and Matt by editing the sex tape had just conspired with my captor to kidnap me.
While tending to my patient, checking on surgical sutures for a complete tear of the meniscus of a fifteen year old female soccer player, a knock on the door disturbed the discussion I was having with my teenaged patient and her father. We were done going over orders for continued PT and to visit in another three weeks. I left the room to find Annie standing beside the door.
“What is it Annie?”
“There are two men here to see you. They say it’s an emergency. One man said his name is Ken.” My heart sped up knowing Ken was here with another guard.
“Where are they?”
“Out in the waiting room.”
“Bring them to my office, now.” I walked to my office, wanting to ensure privacy. All sorts of thoughts and possibilities coursed through my mind. I’d hoped the emergency was actually information about her captor.
“Sir. We have a problem.” My fears were realized in that moment, nothing more had to be said to know Perla was no longer under their watch.
“We believe Feather was taken from the construction site after her tour. She had a meeting with the VP of Operations, a Mr. Nickel Salter in his office. When she walked out of his office, she said goodbye to the staff and walked out with her phone in her hand. None of the office staff heard any screaming or struggle which means she went willingly or under duress because of a weapon. There were two sets of boot prints on the dirt. I confirmed Feather was wearing boots for the site visit. The other boots appear to be male because of size and width. The prints led around the site to an entrance for larger sized equipment. The prints stopped where large tire tracks commenced. We followed the tracks to the gate. Access to the entrance would require a passcode. We have people questioning the employees about breach in access. We are fingerprinting the site in hopes of identifying who had punched it last.
When we walked through the closed gates, looking around for more clues, we found Feather’s cell phone. It had been tossed, as if from a window; not just dropped. We also have it for fingerprinting because we’re unsure if she was forced to abandon it or it was thrown by her captor. We did check the phone for her last phone call, and she was in the process of calling Manny to pick her up because his contact number was open. All she had to do was press to call him, but we believe she didn’t have a chance. We’re analyzing security video.” I paced around my office as Ken rattled off the information.
“Do we have any idea where she is being taken?”
“We have been interviewing all of your business partners.”
“Based on what you told us about Saturday evening, we tried to communicate with Brady Clay . . .”
“We were told by his personal assistant Mr. Clay took off in his airplane. He didn’t file a flight plan. He gave his assistant two destinations to give to the pilot. We believe he may have selected a flight plan once they were up in the air to avoid detection of their destination. Tracking his plane would be difficult without registering his plans.
“Did he take his girlfriend with him?”
“We’re investigating now. We’re not sure. There’s no sign of either of them at his apartment in the city. We’re checking his Belmont home now. We don’t think there is anyone there either.
“Did you send anyone to the airport?”
“Yes, sir. The plane had already taken off. We asked how many cars pulled into the hangar, and they claimed it was just Brady’s. We forced them to give us their security tapes and we have someone reviewing it now.”
I tried to remain calm, thinking how I could help with the investigation. Panicking wouldn’t help get Perla back. “Has anyone called his mother or his brothers? Maybe he’s told them where he’s going?” I offered.
“His assistant reluctantly gave us their number and addresses after we told him he could be implicated in a kidnapping. We have people going over to each of his two brothers and his mother’s home.” I nodded. My thoughts were jumbled trying to sift through steps they may have missed.
“What about her phone?”
“We’ve asked the phone company to give us coordinates. It takes them a while to do, sir. There are many concerns with that option. The phone has to be on, so if the battery is dying or it’s off, it will be a problem to determine her actual geo-location.”
I rubbed my face, closing my eyes, and trying desperately not to scream. With an even voice, despite the quivering I felt inside my body, I said, “So what you’re saying is, my wife, whom I entrusted a team of professional bodyguards, to which I pay really good money to, allowed her to be taken from a busy construction site in broad daylight?” My voice ended gruffly.
“Sir. We had no indication she was in danger after the first incident.”
“But Brady was confronted on Saturday and has an ax to grind. He may be taking her to God knows where. I want you to interview and determine all his associates. Maybe there’s someone out of my Pentagon circle who helped with her kidnapping. Gill, her assistant can give you a list of her friends. Maybe she called them.”
“We have people working on all avenues, Sir. We’ve covered all our bases.”
“I want every man and woman investigating where my wife is. I want Brady’s plane found. I don’t want any expense spared on this. And I want her back immediately. Now get out my office and find my wife.” I yelled.
When they exited the door, I restrained myself from tearing up every square inch of the room. I took many deep breathes.
“Annie.” I barked. She ran inside my office.
“Yes.” She answered meekly.
“What do I have left this afternoon?”
“You have one more appointment. They’re already here.”
“I will see them, but once I’m done with them, I’m done for the afternoon. I need you to cancel my appointments for the rest of the week.”
“The entire week? You have consults, follow-up and surgeries.” I shook my head.
“I have a family emergency. My priorities have changed. Please rearrange everything with the other partners and I’m leaving after the last appointment.” Annie nodded. My focus had to be on Perla. I vowed to take care of her and keep her safe.
Throughout the appointment, I was like a robot. My years of training and practice, taught me to care for my patients and push all other thoughts away. I was able to complete the consultation with the older female patient with carpal tunnel. I may have rushed the consultation because my mind drifted in and out on my wife’s safety. When I concluded the examination, I said ‘good bye’ and departed for my office, locking the door behind me.
I called Zipper, Kent and Lark on the conference call line. Not only did I have to consider one of my good friends kidnapped my wife, but it was time we discussed the future of Pentagon. Even if my wife were found safe and sound, the five pillars of the corporation were slowly crumbling.
It was so quiet in the SUV as we rode to where Eric and my captor were driving me I could hear my own galloping heartbeat within my chest. With Eric in the back of the truck with me, I dared not try to escape once again. I feared to speak, but my mind kept telling me to fight for my life. It was important to try to find out where Eric was taking me.
“Where are we going?” I asked Eric. He ignored me, looking arrogant and angry as he sat in the sumptuous black leather bench seat. “Please, Eric. If I meant anything to you, you’ll just tell me where we’re going.”
“That’s the thing, Perla. You don’t mean anything to me. You’re just a job. I’m following orders. You’ll know where you’re going as soon as we get there.”
“Whose orders are you following?” I asked. Eric remained quiet, looking ahead without any indication he would answer me. “Is it Brady Clay? Did he put you up to this? If he hired you to do this, I can pay you more. I’m sure my husband and I can come up with the money you need to let me walk away. I promise . . .”
“Your husband . . .” He smirked. “Your husband used you, or did you forget. Your husband treated you like a common whore, using you for the access and information you had which he used against you. You chose him despite the truth. I gave you information to walk away. You didn’t. You used the information to your advantage, had me edit a sex tape, and got him to marry you. You’re not the woman I thought you were. Now, my boss wants you to pay for your mistakes.”
“You’re going to be party to kidnapping?”
“What kidnapping?” Eric shrugged. “I’m escorting one client to see another client who have a shared interest.”
“Are you taking me to Brady? If you are, you should know he’s done everything in his power to destroy my life. I think he’s obsessed without me. If you take me to him, I might be harmed. Please, don’t do this.” I pleaded with him, hoping to tap into his empathetic nature. Eric ignored me the rest of the time. Everything I’d ever read or heard about kidnappings was summarized by one thing, ‘never let them take you to another location.’ I tried the door handle, like I’d done weeks ago.
“You won’t be able to escape this time. Also, the windows are reinforced.” The windows were heavily tinted which made it difficult for me to see out and determine our location. “You’re riding just like the President of the United States. No expense was spared this time in taking you to your final destination. I must say, you’re quite clever and strong to have foiled Tony. He’s the best driver in the Northeast. Unfortunately, we didn’t know you had bodyguards watching over you. Your ‘husband’ was smart to put a team on you. But they weren’t smart enough to ensure to keep at least one guard with you at all times.” Eric concluded. The tears welled in my eyes. All I could do was say a little prayer that I suffer little, my family recover from my loss, and Matt not feel guilty and find love again.
A buzz broke the quiet. Eric pulled his phone from his belt-holster. He looked at me and said, “We’re here.” I furrowed my brow. The car pulled to a stop. Eric got out of the car first, slamming the door behind him. I tried to open the handle once again, and the door opened. Outside stood my captor, Tony. He extended his hand to have me exit the vehicle. I refused to take his hand and exited the car on my own. I could hear the sound of engines whirring in the background. When I turned to my left a private plane’s propellers were turning. I was at the airport.
I knew then I was going to be taken away from Boston, away from Matt and everything I’d ever known and loved. I felt myself swaying. Eric grabbed me by the arm and Tony sidled up to my other side and grabbed my free arm. They walked me toward the steps of the plane. When we approached, I saw a figure walking down the steps. My vision adjusted in the bright light of the sun. When I focused on the apparition before me, I realized it was a woman. I gasped and thought, ‘the bitch is back.’ Feeling like I was walking through a tunnel, I saw darkness fading the image before me. My legs collapsed under me, and I fainted.
For the next book in the series, published in
Winter of 2014
Bound, The Pentagon Group, Book 3 by Rosemary Rey
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