Italian Rhapsody Ch. 03

bykevklein©

When he was getting ready to leave, he tried taking her into his arms again. "I want what I've been wanting since I first saw you." He tried to kiss her, but Roxie turned her head away. He laughed. "Maybe you won't have quite so much fight in you once your lover is dead."

Now she knew something was very wrong. Fear froze her for a few seconds. She had to get away, warn Daniel he was in danger. Vladimir Trakirov was not Daniel's friend. Something had come unhinged inside him. But even as she struggled to free herself, she saw another man coming toward them from the open door. At first she thought it was Daniel and tried to cry out a warning. She was reaching for the door knob of the bedroom, but Vladimir's hand slipped around her neck and clamped over her mouth and nose, pulling her back against his hard body. Her fear deepened as the other man moved from the shadows into the moonlight, but she didn't recognized him. Neither did she understand his words.

"Let's get this over with," he said in Russian to Vladimir.

"Hurry up," Vladimir replied in Russian

Vladimir dropped his hand from her mouth long enough to pull a saturated cloth from his partner's outstretched hand. In the brief instant it took for him to raise it to her face, Roxie opened her mouth to scream, but barely a sound got out as he slapped the cloth over her mouth and nose, stifling the noise. Panic bubbled up inside her. She couldn't breathe. Within seconds the fumes of whatever was saturating the cloth, overpowered her. Her knees buckled and she slipped silently into unconsciousness.

Her body was placed in the second man's car, and the men left with their victim unconscious in the back seat.

"When can I have her?" Vladimir's partner asked when they were on a paved road, heading to Messina, on the Strait of Messina. They intended to take her to Vlorë, Albania, and from there, to the region of Tropojë. It was there in the northwest where young girls and women were sold as sex slaves, was especially bad.

Never, he wanted to tell him. She's mine. "When we get to our destination," he replied, "take her aboard the ship, and lock her in my cabin. If she wakes up, inject her with the drug I gave you."

"And when can I have her?" he asked again.

"Not until I tire of her. Understand? I don't share my women."

Daniel was waiting in a bar when his phone rang, and he dug it out of his pocket. He looked at the caller ID and saw Vladimir's name. He flipped it open, holding it to his ear. "Vlad! Where the hell are you? Are you coming or not? I'm getting impatient sitting here while Roxanne is all by herself."

"Really? Good to know."

Vladimir's voice sounded different. Somehow, Daniel knew something was very wrong. Fear tore through him. "Vladimir! Where's Roxanne?"

"Where you think? Your pretty lady is with me, keeping me and my friend company. I got to tell you, Daniel, she is quite good in bed. She and I have enjoyed each other very much."

Fury churned in his chest, gripping his heart like a vise. He had to clamp his lips together to keep from screaming out profanities and threats. Caution was required when it came to Vladimir's violent tendencies. He was a very dangerous man, and he fought down the crazy part of him that longed to kill to evil bastard. His free hand plugged one ear to dull the bar sounds and he lowered his head to growl into the phone. "What did you do to her? If you hurt her, I swear I'll find you and kill you myself."

It was too rash; he knew it as soon as he said it.

"Watch your threats, Daniel. Understand? I have woman you love." The sound of Vladimir's voice convinced him to back off.

"What did you do to her?" Daniel repeated the question.

"Why? You want her back? You love her?" Vladimir taunted. "Maybe I tell her about your involvement in her brother's death. I don't think she like it very much if she knows about you working for her grandfather."

Daniel knew Vladimir's past involvement was in human trafficking, and that meant that Roxie was in serious trouble. He couldn't believe he befriended the Russian. If Roxanne found out from Vlad about him being there when her brother and his wife got killed, it could very well be that she would hate him and wouldn't want anything more to do with him. If the man were standing in front of him, Daniel's hands would be around Vladimir's thick neck, choking the life out of him.

"How much you think I could get for her, Daniel?" he goaded. "Five thousand? Ten thousand? Maybe even fifty thousand? I know some men that would pay much more for woman like Roxanne. She's is pleasantly plump for my rich Arab customers. Yes, I figure out that I could make lot of money selling her. Nothing personal, Daniel. Just business. You understand, right?"

"Let...her...go, Vladimir," he said with emphasis. "She doesn't deserve what is going to happen to her. She doesn't need to know about me being there when her brother died. I didn't kill him, his grandfather did. If I could have saved him and his wife, I would have. If I would have intervened, I would be dead also. You know that. I love her and I don't want to see her getting hurt."

"You think I care?" His voice had become calm. "I care not if you love her or that you marry her. If you married her. What I care about is getting money. More the better. I have buyers waiting to have look at her lovely, plump body that I have enjoyed so much."

"I'll give you double," Daniel offered in desperation. "I have enough money."

"I can still get more even if you give me double, Daniel."

"You greedy son-of-a-bitch. I'll give you triple."

"No deal. I rather tell on you so she forget about your betrayal."

"You are a dead man, Vladimir," Daniel shouted in fury. "I'll hunt you down and execute you myself you fucking animal. I promise that I'll find you."

"Good luck," Vladimir said, and hung up.

Daniel knew that Vladimir would most likely head to Tropojë. It was a very bad part of northeast Albania. Human smugglers from there were especially brutal. And if he'd run into anyone from there, he was going to kill them, no doubt about it. For the misery they caused countless girls and women, men like them didn't deserve to live.

Note: For the readers who have enjoyed this story so far, I just hope I didn't spoil it by the way this chapter ended. Depending on the critique I will get from this chapter will determine the way the story will go on. I'm still not sure if I should have had Roxanne do what she did by allowing Vladimir to have sex with her. I hope the critique will be more positive than negative. Because of the villain, I thought I would include it and the problem of sex trafficking.

To be continued...hopefully...

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