(Continued from Chelsea – 7)
Beth Barton mingled with her guests constantly glancing toward the driveway hoping to see Duke or any of the others that she knew were coming on their way. But they weren’t. Nothing. There had been two more motorcycles slide in separately since Duke had left and now there were four strangers huddled beside the fire at the edge of the group. Why was nobody else coming?
She phoned Buzzy but it went straight to voicemail which further unnerved her. He should be there or on the way. She glided toward the fire and nonchalantly texted her husband that something was definitely up with these guys and he should hurry home. She decided quickly to hit 911 and was focused so didn’t notice that one of the strangers was at her shoulder until be snatched the phone from her hand.
“9-1”, he said reading the screen. “Ninety-one? That’s not much of a number is it?” With a smirk he tossed it into the fire.
“Who are you?”, she asked angrily.
“Doesn’t matter”, he said taking her by the arm and leading her toward the rest of the group. He hadn’t drawn his weapon, but it was obvious in his belt. She assumed a .45; Duke had a couple so she was familiar. The others had drawn their pistols and were in the process of zip-tying her guest’s hands and feet. One, Tom McGowan, spoke up but really didn’t get a word out before the butt of a pistol knocked a tooth onto the patio.
“HEY!” she yelled. “There’s no reason for that…! OWWW!” she cried as he tightened his grip on her arm and pulled her close.
“I’m the one who gets to say what we do. Reason or no”, he spoke quietly and evenly. “Get it? This isn’t your party anymore, it’s mine. Right?”
She glared at him.
“Right?” he asked again squeezing harder. His face was close enough to count the pores in his nose.
“Right…” she muttered then gasped as he covered her mouth with his hand. Before she could clamp her lips, he inserted his thumb between them and ran it over her teeth finally grabbing her lower jaw and opening it roughly. She choked slightly as his thumb pushed on her tongue and she tasted him-salty, dry and smoky. Her eyes widened as he inserted two fingers into her mouth then a third as he squeezed her arm harder.
You’re dead! She thought to herself. I’m going to fucking kill you. She gagged when his middle finger tickled the roof of her mouth then the back of her throat. He grimaced a smile as, choking and unable to breathe, her defiance turned to panic. He kept his fingers where they were feeling her throat spasm until the last moment before pulling it out.
Beth gasped and bent at the waist coughing and gagging, knowing she wouldn’t puke. She wasn’t a puker-even when she wanted to. She regained her breath and her coughing subsided leaving her sore in the stomach. I’m so going to kill you, she thought hands on knees. Will cut your balls off and gut you like a deer… She let none of these thoughts betray her as she stood, presumably cowed.
“What do you want?” She rasped, wiping her eyes.
“Come on Mrs. Barton. We know you have money here. Quite a lot of it.”
Good, she thought. He said money. Doesn’t know what he’s looking for. “We have eight hundred, maybe a thousand in the desk inside.”
“A thousand? Really? Isn’t that something? Look at us Mrs. Barton. There are four of us and one up on the road. You think we’re pulling this off for two hundred each?”
“It’s what we have. I’m sure everyone here has something…wallets…credit cards…”
She didn’t see the slap coming. When it struck her full across the face her head spun far enough to wrench her neck. She would have fallen had he not yanked her up by the arm. Bright yellows and reds exploded and swam behind her eyelids. “You know what we want”, he said menacing but feeling menaced. Time was of the essence he knew.
“Tell me where it is…”
“Right hand drawer of the desk in the foyer”, she turned back painfully, blood staining the corner of her mouth. He half turned ready to hit her again. Had already closed his fist, determined to break her nose but keep her conscious when his eyes lit upon the toy table. He of course knew what kind of party this was but seeing crops, canes, whips, floggers, straps, hair brushes and…paddles arrayed in such a utilitarian display piqued his sadistic interest. Especially the heavy wooden paddle at the end of the line: light oak waxed to a high sheen, with six holes drilled down the center. Beth wasn’t following his eyes, consumed as she was with trying to straighten her neck back around and dabbing at the blood that trickled from her split lip.
“You and you”, he ordered his accomplices. “Take her”. They holstered their weapons each taking one of Beth’s arms. Only when he picked up the paddle was she able to fully focus on what was happening. Outwardly she remained stoic and defiant but inwardly she begged for Duke to show up. For someone to show up. She was walked over to the hors d’oeuvre table which he cleared with a swipe of his arm scattering smoked meats and cheeses over the ground.
“Pull her pants down!” he ordered. They paused. They’d come for the money; they were thieves, not rapists. Or whatever this was. “Turn her around and Pull. Her. Pants. Down”, he repeated. They moved quickly but deliberately then, spinning Beth to face the table and roughly yanking her belt open and pulling her jeans down to her knees.
“Those too”, he barked referring to the hot pink high-cut panties that she wore for the evening. She hadn’t been sure if anyone was going to be gifted with seeing them tonight. She was going through a period of discomfort with her body that she would never admit to and would have likely, as hostess privilege, demurred from the games.
She felt her panties come down hastily, a thumbnail digging a stinging path down her thigh. “Magnificent”, he mocked staring at her bare buttocks. “Bend her over the table and hold her.” They did as he took a moment to drop to his knee and zip-tie her ankles together. “I was always afraid of kicking horses…” he mused patting her rump.
A severe blonde in a leather corset spoke up from where she was tied. “Hey! You don’t have to…”
He pulled his gun and leveled it at the woman. “I need her alive for the moment. You? I give no fuck. Say one more thing.” Reading the truth in his eyes, she demurred and tried to shrink into the background. “Good”, he said. “But I’ll look for you if I need a second up here. Love to see if you’re a natural blonde.”
Smirking at his little joke he turned back and without warning or pause swung the paddle high and hard. It landed with a sickening “SWAT!” dead in the center of Beth’s bottom. The blow was harder than anything she’d ever felt. Her mouth flew open but she would make no sound.
“Give us what we want and we’ll be gone.” Hearing no response, he swung again. SWAT!
“Tell me where the money is Mrs. Barton.” SWAT!
She would remain as strong as she could, but her captors felt the tension in her muscles. In back, he and everyone else, could see her bottom tighten and quiver in anticipation of the next blow. Being branded could not have hurt this much.
“Tell me!” SWAT!