Lip and Annie Ch. 04byjake60©
They checked in separately and met at the elevators where they discovered that they were in adjacent rooms. As they were standing almost side-by-side using their key cards to enter their respective rooms, Annie said, "Well, if we decide to go out together for supper, we won't have far to go to meet." Robert was laughing in agreement as they both entered their rooms.
About a minute later, Robert was knocking at the door separating their two rooms, and when Annie opened her corresponding door he said, "It's going to be even easier to get together. These rooms are connected. I hope the wall between us is well insulated in case I snore."
Annie laughed in response before replying, "You had better hope that I don't snore. You might be the one that won't be getting any sleep."
Neither of them planned on heading for the poker room immediately, as Robert still had a bit of work to catch up on, and Annie said she wanted to relax for a while. They agreed that Robert would knock on her door when he was ready, and they would decide on when they should go for supper at that time.
Robert was engrossed in his work for a lot longer that afternoon than he had anticipated. It was 4:30 when he finally completed his jobs and knocked on the connecting door. It took a full minute for Annie to answer the door, and when she did open it, the reason for the delay was fairly obvious.
She gave every indication of having been asleep and quickly confirmed that she had dozed off. Both of them wanted to freshen up before going for supper, so they agreed to take 20 minutes before they would get together and go down for their meal.
Both of them were ready to leave their rooms when Robert knocked at the connecting door a second time. Annie had once again transformed herself into a vision of understated good looks, wearing a white blouse, with yet another long sleeved sweater; which this time was totally unbuttoned.
It seemed that she was being a little more conscious of her appearance, because she was wearing a pair of formfitting slacks and had also applied a bit of makeup. Robert approved of her choices, but kept his comments to a simple whistle that seemed to embarrass her.
After having a pleasant supper together, they headed for the poker room, but not before Annie did up all of the buttons on her sweater, which turned out to be another of her baggy selections. Robert was a bit disappointed, and said, "And here I thought you were about to go Jennifer Tilley on us." His remark elicited a hearty laugh from Annie, who simply said, "In your dreams."
They played together at the same table for a little while, but after about two hours the floor manager came over to close the table when the players had dwindled to five. They were moved to fill empty slots at other tables, and the two of them were separated. The evening went by quickly, and after an initial run of poor luck, Robert finally connected with consecutive good hands that let him win two medium sized pots.
When Annie came by at midnight to say that she was quitting play for the night, Robert decided that since he was still a couple of hundred dollars ahead, it might be a good time for him to do the same. Annie waited for him for about five minutes as he wanted to play until the big blind reached him. It didn't take long for the two of them to be walking side by side to the elevators.
"So how did you do, Robert?"
"I guess I'm ahead about $200 in chips right now. I had a couple of good pots earlier. How about you?" Robert glanced at her as he asked the question.
Annie grimaced and replied, "I'm down $100. I got beat while I had pocket Aces and I'm lucky that they gave me $100 from their Bad Beat Fund, or I'd really be down right now. That's the first time I've collected on it."
Robert had a short laugh at Annie's expense, and then said, "You're a good player Annie, and I know you'll do okay tomorrow." He stopped walking towards the elevators, prompting Annie to stop with him, and then continued, "It's not that late, yet. Would you feel like stopping at the bar for a drink before we go up? I think they have a band there."
Annie gave him a quick look and sort of laughed before saying, "You really want to be sure that you killed that 'I've never been on a date' idea, don't you? Sure, we can go have a drink... but just one, okay?"
As they changed direction to head to the bar instead of the elevators, Robert replied, "Oh, I think we've been together for enough meals to qualify as having been on at least one date by now, but just in case we still haven't crossed that line, let's do it; I feel like having a beer."
There was a band playing, and they both stretched out their drinks until the band went on a break. While Robert had a cold beer, Annie enjoyed a glass of white wine, something she said she hadn't had for quite a while. It was almost one o'clock when they finally got back to their rooms. Both of them had enjoyed their time together.
10 minutes after they had entered their rooms, Annie knocked on their connecting door. Robert called out, "Come in, Annie. I'm decent." He had removed his shirt and shoes, but hadn't yet gone to bed, preferring to check his email first.
Annie opened the door slowly, and then peeked around the edge. "I don't want to keep you up, Robert. Let me know if you're anxious to get to bed. I'm wide awake right now, and I wondered if you wanted to talk for a little while."
When Robert quickly agreed to sit and talk with her, Annie slowly opened the door and entered Robert's room. It was immediately obvious that she was a little bit nervous, so Robert quickly moved to the chair that was the farthest from the now open connecting door and offered her the one in which he had been seated.
She slowly walked over to the offered chair, sat down and pulled her feet up beneath her. She was wearing a pair of plain cotton pajamas with a full-length housecoat firmly belted around her. It was very obvious that she was nervous now that she was seated across the small table from Robert, with his laptop between them.
She was fidgeting with her hands, but finally said, "I hope you're not offended because I'm so nervous, Robert. This is a big step for me, sitting here in my pajamas in your room." She laughed to break the tension and then added, "And I don't even have my Taser with me."
Robert smiled and said, "I really want you to be comfortable around me. I meant it when I said that you would have nothing to worry about from me." He got up and picked up his shirt from the bed and put it on, hoping that his action would send the right message.
When he was seated again Annie said, "I guess you must work out a bit. You look pretty fit."
"Thank you. I belong to a fitness club at home, and I try to get there at least three times a week." He laughed before continuing with, "I have too many bad habits, like the beer I had this evening, to be able to get by without some sort of fitness regimen. You look pretty fit, yourself. Mind you, it's awfully hard to tell right now the way that you're bundled up."
Annie looked flustered when he said that, but replied, "Thank you. I have a treadmill and an elliptical trainer at home. I need the privacy I have at home. I could never go to one of the fitness clubs, as I could never wear my workout outfits in public."
Robert was very serious when he asked, "Why is that, Annie? Are you afraid to show yourself off, now that you've been attacked by some lowlife? You should talk to your Doctor about that."
Annie was looking around almost as though she were trying to avoid answering his question and then asked, "Do you have any soft drinks or bottled water here, Robert? My throat feels really dry."
Robert let her know that he had nothing at all to drink in his room, and offered to go get a couple of Cokes from the vending machine area. She quickly took him up on his offer, although she preferred a 7-Up or similar drink if it was available. Robert was quickly back with two cans of 7-Up and a bucket of ice.
After she'd taken the first sip from her glass, she said, "I guess I should just explain to you the whole story of why I'm like I am. Maybe after you hear all of it you won't be so anxious to be around me."
Robert leaned forward and said, "I can't believe that. If you're comfortable with talking about it, go ahead, but I don't want you to feel pressured to do it."
Annie picked up her glass for another sip of 7-Up, and then began her story. "It was a Friday night, and I had just finished my shift on the pediatric floor. I was walking to the bus stop, just like I always did, and I don't remember seeing anything that was even a bit suspicious. I was walking past a white van, just like the vans that contractors use, when all of a sudden I was grabbed and something was put over my face that made me lose consciousness: later I found out it was ether."
"When I came to I was in the back of the van, naked and with a gag in my mouth. I was on my back on an old blanket, actually one of those pads that the movers put around furniture so it won't get scraped up in their truck. My hands were on either side of my head, and I was handcuffed to two rings that were welded on the floor of the van. I must have made some sound, because the man who had grabbed me got out of the driver's seat, came around to the side door and got in the back with me."
"He never said a word, and with the gag all I could do was make a few sounds. He took off his clothes, and then he raped me...twice." She stopped to take another sip from her glass of 7-Up, and looked up at Robert to see what his reaction has been to what she had just finished saying. It was obvious that he had found her story sobering, and when he didn't make any comment, she continued with it.
"That was just the start of it. He kept me in that van for two days, two days that I can hardly believe that I survived. Every few hours he would get dressed, move the van to a new location, then get in the back and do things to me; some of them were unspeakable things. I lost track of how many times I was raped. I... I still haven't told anyone but Dr. Maier about everything that happened in that van. I can't tell you, either." She looked up at him, and he could see that there were unshed tears in her eyes. Once she had wiped them away she continued.
"He didn't make any attempt to hide his face from me, and after a while, when I saw how his van was equipped as a... a dungeon, and he had all these things he used, like the handcuffs, the different types of gags and how he took pictures of certain things he did, I knew that he intended to kill me. He had knives and... things, hanging on the wall, attached to pieces of plywood, the way most guys would put their tools in a workroom. My dad had tool racks like that." Her eyes were fixed on a spot on the wall, and it was almost as if she was reciting a piece of memorization, or maybe she was reliving the events as she spoke.
"He never said anything to me except instructions on what to do next. I might have slept or lost consciousness for a few minutes here and there as he drove around, but I don't really think he slept much at all. A couple of times he left me tied down with only one handcuff on, and I started looking around the van trying to figure a way out of their, some way to escape before he killed me. I found a few things that were interesting, but nothing that I could use to defend myself, or to get the handcuff off my hand."
"Finally, on Sunday night, just when I expected to die, a miracle occurred. He had me on my back, gagged, with both hands handcuffed, and he had started to cut me with one of the knives. There was blood all over me, and the pain was something terrible. He had just undone the handcuffs to move me to another position. I think he was going to stand me up and handcuff me to a bar that was attached on the ceiling, when somebody pulled up behind us."
"They weren't really close to the van, but their headlights were shining on the windows in the rear door. The glass was painted with something, so they couldn't see in, but I think the lights scared him a bit."
She stopped to take another drink from her glass, and it seemed obvious to Robert that she intentionally avoided looking at him. Finally she continued with her story. "I was still on the floor when he jumped up to see what was going on with the vehicle behind us. He got out of the side door, but when he tried to close it the corner of the furniture blanket blocked it, and stopped it from latching. I'm sure he didn't notice that, because it would have been so easy for him to move the blanket and slam the door shut. If he had done that, I don't think I could've gotten it open in time to escape."
There were tears slowly running down her cheeks as she carried on with her story. "I could see the movement through the windshield as he went around the front of the van to get into the driver's door and drive away. Somehow I managed to get up and get out of that side door before he noticed me. I was running towards the car with the headlights when he shouted behind me. I never looked back, and when I got to the car, and the couple inside got out to help me, I looked back and saw the van driving away. I was naked and covered in blood, but the couple never hesitated to get me into their back seat and drive me to the hospital."
She was clearly crying now as she stopped for a moment for another sip of 7-Up. "I was hysterical and feeling faint from the loss of blood when they got me there, and if the emergency department hadn't immediately rushed me into an emergency operating room, they told me that I would've lost too much blood within the next few minutes. As it was, they were able to quickly stop the worst of the bleeding, and get me transfused. I kept saying I had been raped, and they took swabs to get his DNA while I was under anesthetic. When I finally woke up I was in a recovery room hardly able to believe that I was still alive."
Robert took the opportunity presented when she stopped speaking, seemingly out of enough energy to continue. He asked, "Did they ever catch the guy? Did his DNA lead to them figuring out who it was?" He suddenly thought better of his urge to find out more and said, "I'm sorry, Annie. Just forget I asked. I can see that you're wiped out from having talked about what happened." He felt the urge to put an arm around her shoulder, but was afraid that doing that would alarm her, or maybe do her emotional harm, instead of being taken as a comforting gesture.
She wiped away her tears before saying, "That's okay, Robert. My doctor says that it's better for me when I talk about what happened, but it's hard for me to do. They did catch the guy, but it wasn't the DNA that helped them do that. When I was looking around in the back of his van, I found a pair of license plates. I remembered the number that was on them; they were from South Dakota."
"The police came to see me as soon as I got out of the recovery room, and I told them about the license plate number. The FBI and State Police were waiting for him when he returned to his home in South Dakota."
"There was a shootout, and he was killed. I found out later that when they searched his home and garage they found evidence that he had killed at least five women. His DNA was already on file in two of the cases, but the other two hadn't been connected to him until they found the things that they called his 'trophies'. He was keeping the five blood soaked furniture blankets in plastic containers in a freezer, as well as underwear and jewelry in a drawer."
"They told me that the DNA from the blood matched the four bodies they had found, but there was no record of who the fifth woman was, or where her body was."
Annie finally looked up at Robert and held his gaze as she took another drink of 7-Up and then continued speaking, "Later I realized how lucky I was that he was killed in that shootout. If he had survived, I would've had to testify in court about what had happened, and I don't know if I could have survived that. It's been five years, and talking to you right now about it is as hard to do as it was the first time I gave my story to the police."
Robert very much wanted to console her, and took the opportunity that presented itself when she hesitated in her story to ask, "I really think you need a shoulder to cry on. I'm offering mine, but I'm scared it might upset you and make you feel worse. Please don't be upset by my saying this."
Any looked at him in a strange way, almost surprised at his offer. She slowly got up from her chair and then said, "I think a hug is called for right now. Dr. Maier told me that since I have begun to trust you, and you're not my Dad, it would be good to talk with you. I guess a hug would be the next step."
Robert got up slowly, and went to stand in front of her with his arms open. He was still hesitant about what her reaction might be, so he let her make up her own mind. Annie slowly moved towards him and then very hesitantly put her arms around his waist and her head on his shoulder. He felt her flinch when he put his arms carefully around her, but she soon relaxed. He didn't notice it at first, but soon he could feel her shaking as her emotions got the best of her and she began to cry again.
As he held her the sensation of her pressing against him, the scent of her hair, and the emotional content of what they were doing combined to push his feelings beyond the simple bounds of friendship to something more than he was used to. While she cried on his shoulder, he said nothing nor did he attempt to progress beyond simply holding her.
They stood like that for well over five minutes, and during that time her crying became more obvious and louder. He could feel her tears on his shoulder as they soaked through his shirt.
He didn't really notice when it started, but he had become aware of her breasts pressing against his chest, a sensation that he was a little more used to than Annie's tears. He thought back to his times with the four girls from the escort service, and immediately became concerned that he would react to the closeness that he felt with Annie in that age old way of all men. His concern that he would cause her harm if he let her realize that he found her sexually arousing overrode his normal reaction, and that made it all a non-issue.
She appeared to have almost cried herself out when she slowly began to relax her grip on his waist and raised her head from his shoulder. He took her actions as a cue to let go of her, and she slowly stepped back from him. She appeared a bit embarrassed by her actions and said, "I got your shirt all wet; I'm sorry." She wouldn't bring her eyes up to his, and slowly sat back down in her chair. Robert returned to his seat, and waited for her to continue the conversation.
Eventually she said, "I really needed your shoulder tonight. It has been a long time since I repeated that story, and even though I didn't give you all the details I'm sure you're imagination can fill in a lot of the blanks. I'm almost surprised that you could bring yourself to touch me, as I'm sure that you were imagining what some of the things were that that animal made me do. I still feel unclean from some of what happened."
Her comment shocked Robert, and he said, "I don't for one second hold what happened against you. You are a victim, and you did what you had to do to survive that horrible situation. Don't ever think that I, or anyone else, should have cause to think less of you because of what you went through."
"Hell, I could say the same thing. I've told you that I spent a dozen evenings with four different... prostitutes, and I'm sure you can imagine what happened during those 'appointments'. When they found out that I was a virgin, they took it upon themselves to try to completely educate me. I even think they competed amongst themselves on that."