~~Lydia took me to a small room on the other end of the main house. I stepped inside and cautiously looked around. A beautiful mahogany sleigh bed took up the entire space leaving no room for any other furniture. There were no windows, only two large skylights on the vaulted ceiling. She stepped into the room behind me and closed the door. I turned to face her noticing for the first time the damage I had inflicted. Underneath both of her eyes was bruised and swollen. Her nose was not only swollen but a deep shade of purple as well. It wasn't enough, she deserved much more than that, but I didn't have the energy or rage to do anything more to her. I felt dead inside. My heart hurt with a kind of pain that can only be le compared to the kind of pain I felt when my parents died.
"Alivia…I understand that you hate me…you should hate me, but please you must know that I truly didn't have a choice…it was either tell him about you or die…"
I glared at her not even attempting to disguise the hate on my face.
"No Lydia…apparently Luther loves to give people choices…would you like to know the choice he gave me? … He told me to turn on the man I love and help facilitate his murder or be repeatedly raped and beaten until I'm broken enough to sell without a fight… that's my fucking choice, Thank you for that."
She looked at me wide eyed, feigning horror. "So you must understand my position, you must understand that there is no good choice…that this couldn't be helped."
I stepped towards her until I was mere inches from her bruised face "What I understand Lydia, is that you are a selfish coward who manipulated my father into helping you… all so you could get back at Luther for stopping his affair with you…" She stepped back away from me and shook her head.
"No, No that's not true… I swear Alivia" I put my hand up stopping her.
"I don't care, and it doesn't change a fucking thing now does it? My parents are still dead and I'm here so please stop pretending you give a shit okay. I just want you to think about something… how long do you think Luther will keep you around…because after I'm gone you will be useless…"
She was silent for a few moments' tears welling up in her eyes again. I rolled my eyes and turned away.
"I will leave you alone now…there is soap and everything you need in the bathroom, even some clean clothes on the counter. I will bring something in for you to eat. Just remember the door is locked from the outside and you will not be able to leave the room until I come get you in the morning… and Alivia I never wanted any of this to happen. I wish every day that you never knocked on my door in Georgia…" I flinched, but didn't respond. That part was true…I did start this entire rollercoaster of shitty events myself.
I heard her leave the room and lock the door behind her. Quickly I stripped down and headed into the bathroom anxious to wash the filth of this place off of me. The water was near scalding, and I stood underneath letting it pelt into my face. What was I going to do? Luther was pure evil…his business was kidnapping, rape and murder. I didn't care how he tried to sugar coat it… he was a monster and I knew Lydia was simply his puppet. I also knew that regardless of the reasons Lydia had told my dad about what Luther was doing... the fact remained he was doing it, and my dad would have tried to stop Luther and help those girls even if he knew what her motivation was...my dad was a good man. He had a soul.
A jumble of thoughts bounced around in my head as I stood under the water. Where was Delaney? Did he know where I was? Was he close? I stayed in the shower until the water ran cold, then reluctantly got out and dressed in the sweat pants and tank top Lydia left on the counter for me. The clothes were a little big but I was grateful to be in something clean. I dried my hair and combed it through with my fingers since I didn't have a brush as I walked back into the bedroom.
On the bed was a tray with some food and a cup of water. There was baked chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans… a far cry from the bologna sandwich and stale bread from earlier. The room, the shower, the clothes, the food… It was clear that this was just another part of Luther's attempt to sway my decision into helping him kill Delaney …He thinks I am so weak that this will convince me to help him. The truth was I would never help him … I knew that if I did help him he would probably end up breaking me in and selling me or killing me anyway…I mean I doubt he really would just let me hang out around the house here indefinitely… Besides what kind of life could I possibly have if I knew that I was responsible for Delaney's death…? I would be no better than that piece of shit Lydia…no better.
I was scared about what would happen when I told him I wouldn't help him. Undoubtedly I would be raped and beaten …but I also knew I would fight and with any luck they would just kill me… I sat on the bed eating my dinner and an odd sense of peace came over me. I realized that I would not be giving Luther what he wanted… that mentally I had won.
I finished my meal and placed the tray on the ground. I got under the covers and sunk into the soft bed. It was quite comfortable and with my decision made and it was easy for me to finally rest.
The sunlight beamed down onto my face from the skylights waking me up. I opened my eyes and briefly forgot where I was. I stretched and looked around the room and it quickly all came back to me and the heaviness in my chest returned. I closed my eyes and prayed… I hadn't really prayed since my parents had passed but I felt I needed to today…
God listen… I know I have made poor decisions and haven't been as faithful to you as I should but please help me… I'm really scared right now. Please give me the strength to fight and the courage to endure the pain if I lose. … Amen
I went to the bathroom washed my face and then sat on the bed starting at the door waiting for Lydia to come get me. It wasn't long before I heard the keys and saw Lydia timidly stick her head into the room.
"Good Morning Alivia, I brought you some breakfast" She walked into the room holding another tray with a plate full of eggs and a croissant.
"I'm not hungry, can you just take me to Luther so I can get this over with?"
She nodded and placed the tray down onto the bed. "Okay, you can eat it when you come back then."
"I doubt I will be coming back" I replied my voice cracking despite my best efforts to remain emotionless.
"What do you mean?!" Her voice suddenly panicked "Alivia, you aren't going to help him?"
I shook my head "I am not".
She reached over and grabbed my hands "Do you know what will happen to you if you don't? Alivia please, please don't do this to yourself."
"I would never be able to live with myself, and if he succeeded I wouldn't want to live anymore anyway…" She looked at me sadly and lowered her head. She was truly surprised by my decision. I pulled my hands away from her and stood up. "Let's go now…please"
She reluctantly stood up and nodded as she led me out of the room. When we stepped into the hallway I could tell immediately that the house was buzzing with people. Yesterday it had seemed so empty Sergei, Kostya, Luther and Lydia were the only people I saw at all on the property.
"How many people are here? It sounds very busy downstairs" I whispered to Lydia
She studied me for a moment before answering. "There are a total of ten of Luther's people on property today…including myself. Vitally came back last night and then there is Sergei and Kostya whom you know. Today some of the girls are being transported to their new…homes so there is a little more staff here at the moment than there is usually… if you are planning on making a run for it…today isn't the day, and just so you know we are at least 20 miles away from the next property…and even further from a town… Alivia it's hopeless, I beg you to reconsider…please."
I shook my head, "Well then, I guess my only hope is that they kill me quickly…" She looked away from me quickly and kept walking.
We were standing in front of Luther's office again and I waited as she knocked on the door. Luther's voice boomed from the other side telling us to come in. Lydia pushed opened the door and allowed me to enter first.
"I am sorry for interrupting you Luther, but Alivia insists on speaking with you immediately" She said to Luther her voice apologetic and weak. He nodded at her dismissing her before turning to me.
I stepped further into the office and saw that we were not alone. Vitally the man I shot was sitting in one of the chairs in the corner of the room. I looked at him and quickly back at Luther.
"Do you recognize him little one? He is the man you shot… lucky for us it was only a flesh wound and looked much worse than it is. Now come sit Lydia says you were quite anxious to come see me." He was smiling and leaning back in his chair. His arms crossed behind his head he looked completely relaxed. I walked forward at sat down in the same red leather chair that I had sat in the day before.
"I…I have made a decision." I said as clearly as I could manage.
"Excellent! I do love a girl who knows what she wants. Now tell me…what is your choice?"
I took a deep breath and gathering all the courage I left, looked him straight in the eyes. "I will never help you Luther…never. You can do you what you please with me now, but understand that Delaney will find you…whether it's too late to help me or not, but he will find you and he will kill you and that fact alone gives me peace."
I watched his smiling face transform before my eyes. His smile melted into a scowl and his eyes were ablaze with anger that I was sure the devil himself would be scared. He was silent for a few moments and he looked over at Vitally, who was looking back at both of us shocked. You could hear a pin drop, and I tried to brace myself for what was coming.
"Well it is unfortunate for you Alivia but the fact that you chose this gives me peace. It is a good thing all of my men are here today… I doubt Sergei and Kostya could break you on their own." He laughed a little as he picked up his phone.
"Sir, please…" Vitally stood up interrupting his phone call "Let me take her down and have some time with her first…I would love to make to make this little bitch bleed and feel some pain…" He put his hand on his side referencing his own wound and glared at me with rage filled eyes.
Luther placed his phone back onto the desk and smiled. "Do you think you are up for it my friend? She will put up quite a fight…"
Vitally looked me over slowly and smiled back towards Luther… "The more fight the better the reward…"
"Indeed. Very well then, take her down do as you please. Let me know when you are through I know Sergei is itching for the opportunity with this one"
Vitally walked over to me and grabbed my arm yanking me up from the chair. He was incredibly strong and didn't look injured at all. My heart was pounding but I willed myself not to cry…
He wrapped my hair around his hand and pulled my arm behind my back as he led me out of the house. "Make one fucking attempt to run away from me and will fuck you in the middle of the courtyard in front of everyone…and then let them have their turn… do you understand?"
I would have nodded but his grip on my head was too tight. He quickly pulled me through the courtyard and down the stairs of the stable building. I was back in the dark hallway lined with doors. He pushed me into my room and let me go to shut the door behind him. Once he let me go I immediately punched him as hard as I could on the side he was wounded on. He doubled over with pain and I tried to grab the keys from his hands. His grip was tight so I bit him as hard as I could trying to get him to drop the keys but he had regained his composure by then pushed me off of him with such force that I flew through the air a few feet before landing with a thud on the hard cement floor. The wind was knocked out of me so I tried to scramble away from as he approached. He was quicker than me and grabbed my foot before I could get out of reach and drug me across the floor into a corner of the room.
I began to scream, knowing nobody could help me but I couldn't help it, I didn't know what else to do. He pushed me against the wall and covered my mouth with his hands stifling my screams. I tried to bite his fingers and kick him as he was holding me but it was a futile effort.
He lowered his head to my ear, "Stop struggling, I'm not going to rape you…" I immediately froze. He pointed to the camera in the ceiling above us. "They can't see us from this vantage point, I'm going to let you go but do not move. I have something for you…from Leon Delaney." My heart nearly stopped beating at the mention of his name. Vitally let me go and I stood motionless staring at him. He reached into his pocket and pulled out my cellphone. "His men showed up at the doctor's office where Sergei left me immediately after they dropped me off. I guess your GPS led them there. Since I was the only Russian with a fresh gunshot wound in the place it was easy for them to pick me out…"
I gasped, remembering how hopeless I had felt when Sergei tossed my phone and panic button in the parking lot, not thinking even once that they would find it and Vitally there.
"Where are they? Are they coming? Why are you helping me?" My heart was racing.
"Yes they are coming. They needed me to find out where on the property you were exactly, and that you were alive and well.
"How do I know I can trust you?" I asked scared to feel the hope that was bubbling up inside of me.
"Mr. Delaney has my family…. He promises me that he will kill them if anything happens to you…"