Summer Kids

When Lucas Tweedle, leader of Left Hand Private Investigators, receives a box containing a film he hasn't seen in years, he is prompted on a road trip across miles and years. He has to save Eva Grey, the only girl that ever loved his teenage self.
She may be in the clutches of the Nemesis Crime Ring but the memories of the summer after college graduation haunt the both of them.

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40. STICKY SITUATIONS

 

CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE – STICKY SITUATIONS

EVA

 

She woke in sticky shame, watching as the morning light filtered into the warm afternoon light. They had napped, Eva feeling the weight of Victor against her bare back under the hotel sheets. But now that awareness seeped in again she tried not to crawl away from the man, knowing what she had done and what she had been expected to do. Finally, she breathed out, Victor’s arm around her middle relaxing a bit as he rolled away and he escaped his grip. She stumbled naked to the windows, basking in the orange glow reflected from the blinds. She leaned down to her packed bag, pulling on shorts and a tank top to cover herself.

“Don’t cover yourself for my sake,” Victor’s voice grumbled out. He had rolled to face her, his smirk smug against his ruffled hair.

She threw a grin over her shoulder, wiggling her hips for a second before halting in her movements. What now?

“What are our other plans for today?” she giggled, bouncing back on the bed. She was not surprised when Victor’s arms came back around her, trying to pull her down again, but she refused this time.

“Well,” Victor drew the word out, knowing that it would irritate her, “I have a surprise for you.” She tried to school her expression into something gleeful and didn’t know if it was well received or not.

“Well there’s no time to waste is there?” she threw Victor’s pants at him, laughing as they hit him in the face. That laugh was genuine, not forced like the rest of her actions had been. If only this was with her real husband if only these feelings and these actions had been truly meant.

Victor looked at her, his head cocked to the side and then he placed his feet in the pants, moving out of the bed to retrieve a top. He looked at the ruffled sheets fondly and threw an arm casually over her shoulders as they walked out of the room.

“The quicker I show you this, the quicker we can get back to the bed,” Victor murmured in her ear and she couldn’t resist blushing and tucking her head down as they passed another couple. Victor stopped at the check-in desk and left her to relax in an armchair, perusing over stereotypical gossip magazines.

Before she had been kidnapped she could become immersed in them but now she felt too on edge to focus on the page, her eyes hovering over the top to see what Victor was doing.

Were there missing posters for her? Was her face plastered on fences and lampposts? Would people recognise her and take her away from this monstrous reality?

Those questions went unheard as Victor laughed at the hotel clerk and received a set of keys from under the desk. He herded her over and soon the arm around her shoulder resumed its position and they were out of the hotel, going around the back and Victor used his keys to unlock a service door.

“Where are we going?” she asked, annoyed when Victor just shushed her. He led her down some stairs, his hands reaching for a light switch to give way to the growing darkness.

What lay in front of her was something that made her breath catch. They were in a basement, series of pipes leading off to a water tank. She knew it was a water tank because the lid was unscrewed and she could hear the sound of it lapping against the container as the pipes pumped some of it out.

“I think you need a final test so you’re going to climb into that water tank and you’re not leaving this room until you do.”

All of her breath left her in one go, her lungs starved so quickly, “Why?” it was the only question she knew, the only one that worked its way out of her mouth in time.

“Because I know you lied to me about the Priest, I have spies everywhere.” He paused and pushed her towards the tank when her limbs didn’t want to move, “Who do you think told me about Amy hurting you? Will did. But who do you think told me that the two of you had kissed? That was all my doing, I saw the glances you had when you entered that meeting room, the nervous ticks that Will displayed when you were there and when you left. He confessed himself when I held his head over the fire. Did you know that he's afraid of fire?” His voice was observational as he walked around her in loose circles, watching her every move. She didn’t say anything, she didn’t need to because Victor knew enough. “I don’t take to cheating lightly but you’ve abated my anger by your actions earlier, now your punishment has been reduced. All you have to do is climb into that tank and you’re fine with me. You won’t be punished anymore. If you refuse to go into that tank then we’ll see what happens from there.”

She took a single step forward, her limbs frozen. In all of her tests, while in the Compound she had never been subjected to going this far, she had been forced into the box while water dripped down on her, her head had been dunked in a sink full of water and she had been forced to take baths and stay under. Baths didn’t scare her anymore but large bodies of water still did. Victor probably knew that. He didn’t know about the pool and about Lucas but he knew about her fear of water, he knew it all.

“You’ve beaten the box, you’ve beaten all the tests that I’ve thrown your way, just do this one and there will be no more tests.”

“You said that officially when I agreed to be your wife,” she muttered.

“Ah well I truly do mean it now,” and his hands were on her elbow, grazing against her hip. She knew what that water was like, cold to the bone, weighing down limbs like anchors, forcing the lungs to stop even though they sunk to her knees. The pool back at the summer house had done enough; the darkness of the water, the isolation of the water had done enough. She didn’t want to go into that water tank.

“I–“ she stuttered, sweat coming onto her skin, her heart beating erratically, “I can’t.”

“What?” Victor said, “What was that?” but he knew what she had said and she wasn’t repeating it again. She had never seen a man as angry as Victor was then and there, “So first you cheat on me and then you refuse to do as I ask?” his voice rolled with waves of anger and his grip on her tightened. Then he was dragging her to the water tank, her body falling to meet with the concrete floor. Victor was dragging her, her fingernails against the floor as she tried to stop him, then there was the panic, the rising forest fire of panic and the need not to go into that water. He dragged her into his arms and threw her into the open water tank, her body sinking as fast as a boulder, her panic swallowed by fear and frozen water.

It was in the darkness that her mind edged to the day she and Lucas argued like there was nothing left in the world to do but argue. She had locked herself in their room and refused to cry, she couldn’t cry, there was a void where her tears normally would have been and where they had been when she had been dragged out of the pool. Then her recklessness overwhelmed her and she was packing everything in the room, sometime during the early morning she opened the door and found Lucas asleep against the sideboard, she stepped over him, not knowing what she would do if she stopped and swept away that awry piece of hair on his forehead. She left and called a taxi, and when it came she sobbed all the way home to Newcastle, finally filling that void, throwing herself into her mother’s arms when she arrived.

 

NAOMI

 

Now that Eva and Kate were gone she and Melanie could finally begin to plan the rebellion on their side and they didn’t have a moment to spare. “We need the guns, and the knives from the inventory,” she motioned to Melanie.

The lockdown meant increased guards around the fences but without guns at their side, no violence just captivity.

“I’ll get the knives, you get the guns,” Melanie nodded to her and when they shook hands they departed their separate ways. Melanie headed to the warehouses for the store cupboard and Naomi headed back to the chapel to hunt out their Priest. Eva had let on that the Priest knew a lot about the guns and Naomi herself had blackmail to deliver.

The Priest was kneeling in prayer and didn’t hear her as she entered and walked behind him. “I know there are guns left in the locked chest in the storage cupboard and I have a sneaky feeling that you have the key or know the whereabouts of that key.”

The Priest opened his eyes and rose from his kneeling position, “What would you need a bunch of guns for?”

“I think you can guess,” the Priest wasn’t stupid and he should know by now that the women were unhappy with their situations.

“Escaping wouldn’t please Victor.”

“Victor be damned, the man I married is no longer in the building, no longer on this Earth in fact, now give me the key or else I’ll reveal the feelings you have for Eva.” The Priests eyes narrowed dangerously at that now that he faced her, now that she held his attention. “Victor wouldn’t be happy with that now would he?”

“Victor already knows, I confessed my sins to him at the meeting last night.”

That did not deter her, however, “Does he know about the stalking? About how you watch her from the window of the chapel, how you go to bed at night and think of her, how you sometimes make your way up here and stare at her. That’s not normal, not even for a Priest and definitely not towards a married woman.” She had to admit that sometimes she woke up in the middle of the night and found him at the door, never further, no he was too much of a coward for that, but being at the doorway of their room was more than enough. "Oh how about I tell Eva that you were sent out to kill Lucas Tweedle, her best friend? I bet Eva wouldn't return your affections if that was revealed." The Priest cursed underneath his breath. “Now that’s not very fitting of a Priest,” Naomi chided and waved the knife from underneath her dress. “Are you going to give me the key or not?”

He cursed again but his eyes swept to the knife and back again, without a moment's pause he shuffled a set of keys from a drawer and Naomi followed him at knifepoint to the Warehouses, staying close enough so that the knife wasn’t visible between them as they walked to the storage room. There she met with Melanie, who was busy stuffing knives into a burlap sack.

“Ah so you had leverage on him,” she clucked and didn’t take offence as the Priest swore at her angrily. Reluctantly the chest full of guns was opened, eight guns lay still in box, boxes of ammo lying next to them almost innocently. With one smile she picked up a gun and slammed the butt of it into the Priest’s head as he tried to turn and run away. He collapsed like a bag of bricks and Melanie tied his wrists to the metal storage unit with rolled up sheets. “We don’t want him getting away from us do we?” she smirked and picked up the set of keys that the Priest had bought. They quickly supplied their guns with as much ammo as they could hold and together they made their way to the cattle sheds to free the women who deserved to take their lives back.

“Eh, you wives can’t be in here, it’s lockdown, sorry Naomi,” a grunt said, who Naomi hadn’t bothered to learn the name of.

“That’s alright, we know where we should be.” Naomi tutted and without any resistance because she knew the anger that settled in her bones over all the terror that she had helped Victor to cause, she shot the man and she didn’t watch as he fell back with a grunt and a yell. More men would come, three were already on their way from the sound of rushing footsteps. She looked over at Melanie who stared at her in disbelief, “Set the women free, the keys are in his pocket,” she nodded to the fallen man and Melanie was quick to comply.

Naomi thought of the poor girl in the freezer, the poor girls that Victor and his father had killed and tortured, the stolen life that Naomi herself could have had if none of this had happened and readied her gun again.

There was no time for hesitation, not in this war.

 

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