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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9. CHRISTENING

 

CHAPTER EIGHT - CHRISTENING

EVA

She descended the thin, rickety steps on her own, kicking her dress forward to avoid tumbling down the stairs.

She knew where she had to go, there was only one room between the stairs and the main chapel, the room where she had to climb into the dress and men had to make sure that she looked as perfect as she could be.

Victor Able sat on a pew pretending to pray to a God that would normally condemn his actions. He was a tall man, with hair that looked like slicked back pasta and eyes that were the colour of water but hot like fire. She didn’t trust him. She wouldn’t trust him even if his aura told her to. He wore white like she did but with blue slacks and what looked like steel capped boots, the laces tied in neat bows.

She didn’t interrupt him, she would be liable for punishment otherwise. She wanted to go up and slap him, unleash her rage into the man that had wrecked it all, but she did not.

Instead, she waited for beats at a time until his head flicked up slowly and his eyes blinked into clarity. “Ah, my dear Evie-girl,” he crooned and she hated him. She wanted to tell him that that wasn’t her name but her lips remained shut, locked under the stillness of fear. “You look beautiful Evie-girl.”

He stood and made his way over to her, standing so close that there was a narrow gap of space in between their noses. She wanted to push him away, to take back control of her own body but she couldn’t. He had her body now, but he didn’t have her mind so at least she could hate him in silence.

“Come,” he whispered into the gap and then withdrew, placing her wrist in his hand just to direct her through the chapel. Eva let herself be pulled by him, glad that he wasn’t holding her hand. In all of the time she had known him he had never held her hand and for that she was extremely grateful. She didn’t think that she could stand the feeling of sweaty palms and murder against her own skin.

They were out of the chapel and into the light. She had never seen the compound at face value but this time she could; the compound consisted of two buildings and empty space. There was the chapel they had just exited, and a ways off, about a field over, was an extensive network of Warehouses, all industrial crates stacked on top and beside one another. She recognised one that looked like a barn but revitalised as a warehouse and her spit nearly choked her. That was where she had been kept, she was sure of it. But Victor did not take her there. No he took her into the warehouse and up some stairs, to the highest point of the middle section.

Then it looked like a series of rooms, with doors leading off into more rooms. He took her to one in the middle and opened the door.

It was a bedroom, not stale by any means like the Wives Quarters, but furnished in light woods and greens. She could tell that this was his room but it didn’t seem to fit the character of the leader of the Ring.

He pointed to the bed and Eva had no choice but to sit on the edge of the green covers. Victor shut the door behind them and locked it with a sharp motion. Eva had to stop herself from wincing.

“I’m sure my wife has told you about this Christening,” Victor mentioned as he sat next to her on the bed.

“Naomi has said a couple of things,” Eva said this meekly and she thought that saying this instead of asking which wife he was talking about was the safer bet.

“Well basically I tell you about being a Wife, while giving you a massage,” the massage part sounded dubious but Eva couldn’t exactly decline and run out of the room screaming, “So take your shoes off and lay on your stomach.”

She did what he asked, kicking the cream pumps off delicately and hesitantly turning over so that she lay against the green duvet on her front. Her head was turned to the side so that it didn’t smash into the pillow and so that she could count the swirls and dips in the beach wood bedside table next to the bed.

Distractions were best in times like these.

Victor kicked his own shoes off and straddled her middle, not sitting on her exactly but hovering over her as though he was scared to touch her. Victor wouldn’t be scared even if he forced it, he wasn’t human enough to be scared.

His rough hands came to her shoulders and they were warm from where he had been praying. The straps didn’t even have to be removed since they were so string like they offered no coverage at all.

“I deliver in my promises when I said that you’d never have to go back in the box again, you don’t even have to go into your old room anymore. You live with the Wives and you do a job three times a week. The jobs you can try out are Scouting, Surveillance or Up Keeping the Compound, two of the other wives up keep the compound so it’s easier if you go for that. You have this week to get yourself asserted into the compound, basically you get to do nothing but relax and see me twice a week, and then you decide your job.”

His hands pushed circular patterns into skin, kneading like her shoulders were bread instead of shoulders.

She couldn’t complain that his motions were a bit on the hard side. It was not the time for that.

“Thank you for a week of relaxation Husband,” the words were prescribed, something that an underling had told her to refer Victor as whenever she had to address him now.

“I like how polite you are to me Evie-girl,” he said and pushed out more knots. Eva wasn’t surprised that her shoulders were in knots because ever since she had been taken from her home the situation had called for her to be tense. “For that you get to ask a question.” He finished off, kneading a particular tough knot.

Like asking a question was a reward for good behaviour. God this was twisted.

“Why did you choose me?” Eva asked stopping in her endeavour of counting the rings in the wood.

Victor’s hands stalled in their massage and Eva rolled her shoulders in his distraction.

“Because you’re special,” Victor started, “You didn’t break and even then you didn’t beg or plead or negotiate, you took it like a trooper. You have spirit Evie-girl and that is what I love and look for in a wife.”

She didn’t know that being a wife was better than the alternative just yet, maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t. Maybe she didn’t want to know. She wanted to know why he had multiple wives but she felt like that was stepping a bit too far so early in the race.

He leaned close to her ear then, “I love how like a lion you are, resilient and powerful even when you have no power.” The breath on her ear made her shiver and he chuckled a low laugh at that. The laugh cracked her mind, letting flashbacks tumble in.

“If you so much as scream then you will be thrown back in, do you understand me?” Victor had asked.

Eva had said nothing. Her skin tingled with fear but she had to not let it get to her.

Victor chuckled at her purposefully shut lips, and without warning hauled her into his arms and chucked her feet first into the box.

She did not flail or kick, or try to evade his hold.

She took it because that was all she could do.

Victor’s hands dipped lower leaving her shoulders and going more onto her back, “When I ask for you to be here, you will come here, when I say for you to do something you do something. You go to the Chapel every day to pray, the Priest will tell me if you do not. Do you understand me?”

“Yes Husband.”

“If you do anything reckless like try to run away, to harm someone, especially harm one of my wives then you will be punished by God and by myself. These rules were written in our wedding vows but I feel like I need to reassert them just to make sure that you understand.”

“Yes Husband.”

His hands dipped even lower. Eva froze. His fingers came to the corset on her back. He began untying them with simple twists of his fingers. Eva still remained frozen.

“No Husband.”

Victor stopped, but put more pressure on her back as he no longer hovered over her, “What?”

“Stop.”

“Did the word Christening not imply something to you. Maybe I forgot to tell you that all newly married couples have to consummate their marriage.” Victor sounded smug and like he was simplifying his words to make someone as stupid as Eva understand what he was truly saying.

She was not having sex with this man. She drew the line at that.

“I am not consummating this marriage with you Husband.”

She had kissed him, married him but she was not having sex with him. She didn’t want his body, to lie with that cruel body, to be with that criminal of a body. That was too much for her.

His hands were back on her shoulders, pressing hard enough to grind against the bones. “Are you sure you want to make that choice?” he hissed into her ear.

“Yes,” the lack of a husband on the end of that answer infuriated him. But he had said that he had liked the fire within her and how she was like a lion, so maybe he had bitten off more than he could chew.

He was off of her and pulling her up from the bed. The movement awkward as she lay on her front. “Well then you don’t have anyone but yourself to blame,” he spat and hauled her out of the room, unlocking the door with anger in his fingertips.

They were both bare footed, Victor only wearing socks on his feet, and Eva’s corset was half tied, showing the majority of the pale skin of her back.

She didn’t let out a squeak even though he was holding her hand, roughly and tightly. She was right, his palm was sweaty and awful against hers but she couldn’t pull away even if she tried to.

Eva didn’t recognise where he was taking her until they reached a part of the warehouses that looked too familiar, the cattle sheds stacked against the walls. Rows and rows of bars and women peering through them with dirty faces.

Her mind cracked.

“Can someone help me?” she whispered to the walls, scratching her nails against the concrete. She begged for someone to hear her.

“Stop talking,” a voice hissed back, coming from the right of her, from the next cattle shed over, “It’ll get everyone killed.”

Her hunger for companionship was quelled by the ultimatum. Her body ached for company but her mind ached for life.

She shut up and she didn’t try again.

Silence between women was written in the concrete walls and something told her that it had been written there with bad experiences and brutal force.

Then he took her to the room where he swore he would never take her to again.

“I told you that you wouldn’t be in the box again but I never said that you’d never be in this room again.” Victor snarled and pulled her over to the row of chains that hung from the ceiling. On a few of the chains there were hand cuffs hanging from the ends and he pulled her wrist through one of them, securing the metal ring harshly to the wrist that he held in his grip.

She was stood in a white dress, handcuffed to a chain a few feet away from the box, and Victor disappeared.

She was left with the rasping of her own breath as she tried not to look at the box. She wouldn’t be back in there. She wouldn’t be back in there.

But what was the purpose of this?

To be scared out of her wits? To eventually say yes to giving Victor her body in all means possible.

It took a few moments before Victor returned, another woman in his grip just like she had been moments before. The woman noticed something in the room and it wasn’t the box, no her gaze went too far left for it to be the box. Eva looked in that direction and found a chair that she had only saw in American crime films; a shock chair.

The woman tried to escape Victor’s hold but he was too strong and one reaction away from knocking her head into the hard ground just to shut her up.

The shock chair had a head guard and wires attaching it to a control, with a series of buttons, which was sitting on the ground near the chair.

Victor hauled the women into the chair and tied her in, the woman whimpering and stilling as her head was fastened into the guard. A mouth guard was also placed in between her lips so that her whimpers tapered off into silence.

Victor picked up the remote control and made his way back to Eva. “Now my dear wife you’re going to press these buttons starting from the one farthest to the left and working your way to the far right.”

“But it’ll shock her.” Eva said like she was captain obvious.

“That’s the point.” Victor was nodding, crossing his arms to appear more imposing.

“I’m not shocking her.”

“You are otherwise you’re going back in the box.”

This was the ultimatum and she stilled completely.

“But you said that you’ll never let me in the box again.”

“I’m the leader, I can do what I want.” Victor shrugged and handed the remote control to Eva, pressing a button to the left which lit the remote in red.

The remote was activated and the woman in the chair flinched, just anticipating what was going to come.

“I—“

Victor grew impatient, “You’re going to press the first button when I count to three or so help me God.” The whole point of kidnapping women for Victor was to expose them to their true fears. He felt like it was his mission appointed by God to rid people of those fears, and by ridding them he meant exposing the phobic stimulus to them until they broke or got over it. Those who survived were worthy and those who died in the process were punished by God for not surviving.

“1…” Victor counted. This woman’s fear was being shocked, and Eva had been in her place many times before. But in this situation it was kill or be killed. Maybe literally because these buttons weren’t labelled. “2…” She could be administrating deadly shocks to a woman who she didn’t know but who she empathised with. If she didn’t do this her fears would come back to kill her once and for all. “3…”

She didn’t have a choice.

The woman looked at her with tears in her eyes.

Oh God.

She pressed the first button just after the number had left Victor’s mouth.

The woman flailed and shook in the chair, the shock going through her body. Then she stilled, her chest heaving in her terror. The shock was finished running through her.

“Again.” Victor’s voice was cold and unforgiving and she never thought that she’d be here. On the other side of the power instead of the one being tested.

She had the sick power and she hated it. She didn’t want this power, her veins rejected it but she didn’t have a choice. What sort of power was that?

Eva cleared her mind as she pressed the next button, no doubt delivering a higher charge.

The woman shook and this time her mouth tensed around the mouth guard, spit raining down onto her chin. The woman wanted to scream but she did not. Eva had been in this position before.

The woman continued to writhe, from the charge and from her own fear.

Then she stopped.

Please God let this stop.

But there were four more buttons to press and Victor was smiling in the corner, bare footed but with arms loose at his sides, as free as a bird.

“Again.” 

 

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