Secret Desires Pt. 13bymadam_noe©
Copyright Nora Quick 2012. If you are viewing this story on any site other than Literotica.com it has been reposted without permission and is violating the copyright. Please notify email@example.com immediately.
"Cher, you don' know what you gettin' into," Nick said sleepily.
Having a half-baked plan made the awkward morning easier, and once he'd pulled on jeans and lit a cigarette, she passed around the coffee they'd picked up."Look, I know Adele went missing, butt it makes sense! She grows the Belladonna and sells it to Mingham, who's the Belladonna killer. He works for the Piementes, taking them out. Aiden and the rest of the bureau take down the Piementes, the only people out are the don and the Belladonna killer.
"Then Parker comes along like an idiot and decides to play land developer. He goes after the land and takes possession before Adele can kill off her Belladonna. Fearing discover, Mingham swoops in. The lawyer gets involved and begins blackmailing them. Everyone's happy, except Parker who begins skimming money to pay off the blackmail. He grabs Suzie and runs off like a damn fool and Mingham kills the lawyer, and all the other landowners, cleaning up. He comes down here and gets Parker, but Suzie escapes. It means the only people he knows that can I.D. him are Adele and Suzie.
"Suzie's gone to ground and so has Adele. These will be his next targets. But if he thinks we know and have some proof, he'll find us."
"No," Nick said darkly, sitting at the table with coffee and cigarette in hand. "Me or homme here, fine, but if we do this, you go home."
"Nick-" Aiden began, but Shannon put her hand up.
"No. I'll always be with you two, I'll be perfectly safe."
Nick stubbed out his butt and sat back. "Homme, you want to tell our girl here just how bad dese people are?"
Aiden was pacing the hotel room, still dressed for jogging with a sheen of sweat on his skin."Shannon, they moved up from New Orleans three years after you left. People started dying, houses caught fire. They cleared territory. The bureau lost four agents, two of them undercover, to the Belladonna killer. People died, good people, for no crime other than they had a boat and a fishing path too close to where the drugs dropped.
"We got everybody, it took seven years, but we got everybody but the don and his pet killer. For all we know, Mingham is both! He has no conscience, no remorse, and won't hesitate. I won't let you be a target."
"Look, Aiden, if you get the bureau to track down Adele, she won't talk to you or them. She's been supplying a serial killer with his trademark. She needs to feel safe, and I'm not threatening."
"Cher, no. Suzie is already in so much danger, we won't put you in de same risk."
She slammed her hands on the dresser. "So we just sit around, waiting for him to find Suzie, kill her, and hope the slow, plodding art of CSU finds him? No! I won't lose her!"
"Shannon," Aiden said pleadingly.
"No!" She rounded on them both. "Aiden, put the FBI on Adele. That will take a couple of days. We'll use that time to work on a plan we can all live with, but for God's sake, quit wasting time.
"No," Nick said.
"Okay," Aiden said at the same time.
"Homme!" Nick shot to his feet, balling his hands into fists. "Dis is madness!"
"She's right. We need to find Adele anyway. Suzie's testimony might not be enough, but Adele's will put Mingham away. It could take one day or two, depending how afar she got. It's enough to put our heads together and figure something out."
"God damn it," Nick cursed. He grabbed a shirt and shoes and stalked out the door.
"Shannon!" Aiden grabbed her. "Let him go. It was his deputies that were supposed to watch Adele and they've had no luck finding her. Bringing in the FBI is an insult to his pride, and neither one of us wants to see you in danger. Let him work through his anger his way."
And alone was Nick's way, but she didn't like it. Everything felt so fragile then, the three of them, the investigation. Even her plan, which both men were fighting. It wasn't even ten a.m. and she wanted a drink. "Fine. I'm taking a shower, you make the call."
Without waiting for a reply she flounced into the bathroom, and locked the door. Shannon lingered in the shower until the water ran cold and forced her out. She toweled off, blew her hair dry, and put on full makeup, armoring herself for the day. It was foolish, she knew, it would melt off before lunch, but she felt safer.
"Aiden, would you toss me some clothes?" She asked through the crack she'd opened the door too. Silence greeted her. "Aiden?"
Pushing the door open she found the room empty, a note on the bed. He'd written that he'd called the local field office and was headed in, Nick would meet him. It was to be a joint hunt for Adele, Aiden's attempt to win Nick back.
Fine, she thought. She'd do as they said and stay in, but maybe go back to the pool to think. She put on her bathing suit and clothes over, and ordered room service for lunch first. Looking around the room memories of the night before warmed her anew.
They'd taken an important step, but what did it mean? She was still unsure Nick and Aiden would happy together, alone, without her. She would miss them, but what life awaited her if she stayed?
The three of them in Nick's house, the nights would be pure pleasure, but the days...She'd do the grocery shopping and have to listen to the whispers about the slut meat in their little sandwich. She'd be compared to her mom. Aiden was safe, working forty minutes away, but Nick would have to deal with it as well.
Sure, she could pass the bar in Louisiana and go to work with Lucy, but nobody would hire them. They'd become known as the law firm of Town Slut and Best Friend. They could hire Suzie to be their secretary and really give the town something to talk about.
She shuddered at the thought of being trapped anew in the life she'd worked so hard to escape. Still, what did she have to go home to? Winters defending her dug-out parking spot to the death? A cold little apartment that felt sterile and had leaky windows? Scrounging for work, chasing after people to give them summonses they didn't want?
She just didn't know any more.
A knock came at the door and relieved, she stood and crossed to open it, expecting her food. Instead a man stood out in the hall that she didn't recognize. He was short, stocky, had salt and pepper hair, and empty eyes. When her gaze reached hiss gun, her heart stuttered.
"What is this?"
"Get inside. Do as I say and you won't get hurt."
She backed up, holding her hands palm out. He followed, kicking the door closed, and motioned at a bed with the gun. "Sit down."
Too late her panicked mind caught up with reality. "Oh my god, you're him, you're Charles Mingham."
"In the flesh," he inclined his head.
"I want you to pack a change of clothes, any toiletries and medicines you'd need for a few days."
"We're going someplace together, for a few days."
Icy cold fear gripped her body. Shannon knew the first rule of safety was to never go anywhere with a man who had a gun, it meant certain death. A quick plan assembled itself in her mind. She'd get the bag and clothes, slip her cell phone in, go into the bathroom and dial 911 as she locked the door.
"All right, just don't hurt me."
"Do as I say and no funny moves and you'll be fine. I need a hostage. If I can't find your little cousin, I'll make her come to me."
"What is it you're after, exactly?"
"Quit stalling and move!"
She flinched at the shout and rose slowly. From the side of the bed she drew her bag and opened it, slowly walking around him to the dresser. He kept his eyes and gun on her all the while. With shaking hands she withdrew a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, a bra, panties, and socks. She set them on the dresser atop her phone as she worked and hoped he didn't notice, trying to shield the action with her body. She scooped it all up and turned.
"I said nothing funny!" He hit her with the gun and she dropped the clothes and phone, woozy as starts danced. Crumpling to her knees she opened her mouth the scream, felt a sizzle, and the world went dark.
Shannon opened her eyes to darkness, a closed space, and a rumble. She was in a trunk, and she was tied up, tightly, hands behind her back. Hell, she was fucking hog-tied, some foul cloth was in her mouth as a gag, and another was over her eyes.
Closing her eyes, she tried to concentrate on the ropes at her hand but they were too tight, but at least she could wiggle and slide the blindfold off. She felt fear ball in her chest but had to believe that Aiden and Nick would be back soon and piece it together. Yeah, right, she thought miserably. They would assume she'd run off on her own, either after Suzie or Adele. Shannon had doomed herself with that persistent fear-of-commitment that was her calling card.
She would figure a way out, there had to be one. If he hadn't killed her yet she had time, Shannon thought desperately. He intended to kill her but he wanted something from her first. In any other situation Shannon would have said rape, but there was something else here. Rape was still a real possibility, and she fought panic anew.
Still, whatever he wanted she could use to stall. If he wanted to draw Suzie out perhaps she could talk Mingham into letting her send a message. If she could convince him Nick and Aiden had a way to contact Suzie, she could send the message to them and pray they read between the lines.
She had to be smart. Shannon couldn't afford panic. If she kept calm, cool, and collected she could find a sign of weakness in Mingham's plan, perhaps an opportunity to escape. She'd lived a life blessedly free of danger but as a single girl in a big city she'd toughened up and learned not to act a fool. Besides, her aunt Charlotte would kill her if she lost it.
The car made a few more turns, paused, and then rolled a few feet and stopped. She heard a car door slam and the sound a mechanical garage door lowering. Shannon held her breath but couldn't slow her heart as the seconds passed like eternity and then the trunk opened.
"Got the blindfold off, eh? I'm going to put it on and untie your legs. Walk with me nice and slow, but try to run or lose the blindfold again and you get another bite." Mingham calmly raised a large black plastic box as he spoke, pressed the sides, and an arc of electricity shot between two prongs.
Shannon flinched but nodded.
The blindfold returned and then for long minutes he worked on the ropes hogtying her. He didn't look that strong but easily lifted her from the trunk and set her standing on the hard cement ground. She wavered and nearly fell, her legs all pins and needles from the cramped position.
Mingham grabbed her arms to steady her and she felt the cold prongs bite into her skin and cried out, sobbing.
She did for agonizing seconds as the prickling in her legs turned painful and then passed. At last he let go, grabbed some things from the trunk, and pressed the prongs into her back. "Walk forward two steps and turn left."
He guided her and they walked through a door and unlocked it. A one or two car garage. There was a short walk to a house and up three steps to a small stoop, then inside. He set something heavy down and forced her to another door, then guided her carefully downstairs to a basement.
"I'm going to chain you then let you use the bathroom."
She held still and felt something heavy clasp around her ankle. There was the snip sound of a padlock of some kind closing and then he withdrew. Her hands were cut free and then the foul cloth left her mouth, and the blindfold came off.
The basement was one large room with two doors, the windows tiny and looking into wells filled with gravel. There was a bed, a table with chairs, and a small chest of drawers with a TV on it, a remote next to it. She wore a shackle on her leg with a long, slack chain secured to an eyebolt through the center support column in the room.
"Bathroom is the door on the right. The left one is laundry and utilities and locked. The chain will only get you halfway up the stairs. You'll be free to move. Use the bathroom and I'll be back in five minutes with your bag, food, and drink."
He looked like a normal business man, not a crazed killer or mafiaso. His eyes weren't crazy or mad, but tired. She was numb, in shock, her plans far from her mind as she tried to take it all in, so Shannon nodded.
He went up the stairs and she found the bathroom. A small chunk had been cut from the corner allowing her to pass the chain through and close the door, though there was no lock. Inside was a pedestal wink with a bar of hotel soap, a small handtowel, the toilet, and a shower with a sliding door. There were no bath mats, nothing in the medicine cabinet, nothing that could help her.
She did the necessary and splashed cold water on her face. Her pupils were blown, her eyes wide with shock. This was no good, she had to figure out a way to escape.
She washed her hands and dried them, and walked back out. She turned on the TV and saw it only got local channels. Great. She didn't like television but what else was there to do?
He came back down with a small tray and her bag slung over his shoulder. Mingham set the tray on the table and put down a paper plate bearing a sandwich and chips, and a blue plastic cup. He tossed hr the bag and she caught it automatically, blinking.
"Put your clothes away in the drawers, then you can eat."
"I'm not hungry."
"I didn't spike the food or poison it. You're no good to me dead...yet. When I contact your cousin she'll want to talk to you, so I need you awake and healthy. Put the clothes away."
She stood and did as bade, filling the small drawers beneath the TV. He took the empty bag from her and left without a word.
He didn't, and the door closed. She heard the tumbling of a lock.
She inspected the sandwich, it was bologna and cheese with mustard, the chips plain and ridged. The cup was filled with milk. She'd missed lunch and by the light visible she could only guess, but it seemed afternoon. The TV had soaps and court shows, supporting her guess.
She heard footsteps overhead, eventually the low murmur of his voice. He was probably on the hone. She couldn't see where they were from the windows, could only see a small sliver of sky. The panes were nailed down.
The bed, table, and chest of drawers were bolted down. The chairs were flimsy plastic lawn chairs, she had no weapon of any kind. Shannon could despair, or wait it out to find out the plan. She had weapons after all, her wits mostly, and she would do what it took to survive.
Please, Suzie, don't answer the phone, don't fall for his trap, she thought constantly. Night fell and there was no mention of anything on the news. If Aiden and Nick knew she'd been kidnapped there would have been something, but they probably assumed she'd run from them. And all because they took that step the night before, and she pushed them into both accepting what had begun almost two decades earlier.
Now Suzie would come into an ambush and die, and then it would be Shannon's turn. Aiden and Nick would mourn her...if she was ever found. When would it come, her death? How? Could Mingham resist bringing his pet killer to slip her Belladonna, and when she struggled to breath, squeeze the life from her neck, or shoot her?
Damn it, thinking like that would only make her despair. She took one bite of the sandwich and waited half an hour. Nothing. She tried the milk but it had gone warm and funky, so she rinsed out the glass and had water.
She finished the sandwich just as the door opened. Mingham had showered and changed, his hair was damp. He bore another tray and tsked at her uneaten chips. He'd brought a bag of fast food with a drink from there as well.
"I had a feeling you'd be suspicious of my food, so I got takeout, still wrapped. Just so you know, Belladonna has a distinct taste. I wouldn't put it in your food, I'd make a solution and inject it. The butt or the thigh works well, but in a pinch the neck will do."
She stared at him, slowly coming to realize her jaw had dropped. "What?" She managed.
He'd been opening the food, unfurling the paper around the burger, sliding it and fries onto a Styrofoam plate. His eyes glanced up, brows raised.
"You mean, you didn't know? I've been watching you, you and those two fags."
Shannon flinched at the word, but couldn't bring herself to argue, her mind was tumbling so fast.
"I thought you were smarter," Mingham continued. "The three of you got further than the rest of the cops. Didn't think you'd find Parker so fast, nor that bitch."
"Georgia. A mistress should know that a man will talk, and know how to keep his secrets. She told Suzie everything, what she hadn't figured out."
Shannon began to shiver, her mind struggling to understand. "What?" she repeated, drawing her knees to her chest and hugging them. She was on the bed and he stood at the table, yet her skin was crawling and she had the urge to push back into the corner.
Mingham laughed. "Oh, perhaps you're slower than I thought. Must come from screwing two handsome young men like a wanton whore. Though to be fair, for a woman like you I'd be willing to share, but not like they do. The only reason I haven't touched you is because you're filthy, and perverted."
The words made her flinch as he spoke what she feared most hearing in her small town.
"You're pretty damn stupid, the good looking ones always are. I'm the Belladonna Killer," he said loudly and slow, enunciating as if she were half-deaf.
"It's me! That's why you're here. Your even stupider, even more of a slut cousin has the only proof in the world. You're the only thing that will make her come out of hiding, so you're my bait. Once she's here and that proof is in my hands, I'll make both your deaths quick and painless."
"Why? Just let us go!"
He tipped his head back and laughed, the sound sending chills down her spine. "All right, you're going to die and I'm not one for torture. Plus, I want to see the fear in your eyes, girl."
Grabbing a chair, Mingham turned it and sat down. "Let's go back to the beginning, so you know it all. My mama is a good woman, tough. She had me long after my daddy ran off, and it wasn't easy in those days. She got married to make ends meet, but the bastard moved her up here and didn't want me. So mama sent me to live with my grandma in Natchitoches, and I took her name, so nobody would know.
"My mama hated her husband, he used to beat her around. So one day she told me, 'Charley, I got this stuff growing around the yard. I give it to your step-daddy an he'll sleep, then you smother the sumabitch, all right?'" Something about the way he spoke imitating his mother's voice jarred Shannon's memory, but she couldn't place it.
"Belladonna, it was. He was out cold and I saw the bruises. I hated him so much I choked him. I wanted him to wake up, wanted him to fight back, but he just laid there and died so easy. Mama and I put him in the swamp and she asked if I liked it. I sure did.
"So she gave me a job. Worked just fine, working for the Piementes, and dumpin' bodies in the swamp." As he spoke an accent came out in his voice that wasn't local.
It was from Texas...Adele! Adele was his 'mama' and here she'd been worried the Belladonna Killer, Mingham, she corrected herself, would be after the woman.
"Somebody saw us one time, and it was a little while before we could get to him. Had to kill three people in those months, couldn't risk dumpin' 'em, so we buried 'em on mama's property. We bought off or got rid of everyone blockin' the swamp and everything' was fine.