To my readers, please feel free to leave feedback for me so that I know that you liked my stories, what you would like to see, and perhaps maybe suggest one. Please also vote on how you liked it, every vote does count. If you'd like to read it over and over again, favorite it and come back to enjoy it like an old friend. I look forward to hearing from you...K'Anne
"You invited me in Kathy, you taunted me into this, now you must pay the price" his voice haunted her through the telephone lines.
"I did no such thing" she returned angrily, shrilly, fearfully "you put that Trojan virus on Kit's computer, there is no way a child could know that a stupid game would contain something so harmful."
"All is fair in love in war Kathy, I have all your personal information now, it's just a matter of time and you will be mine!" he declared triumphantly.
Kathy was afraid, she was genuinely afraid, this man had become her nightmare, she didn't know what to do anymore, she didn't know anyone who would or could help her. The police didn't believe her, she couldn't afford to hire a private detective, he was a menace, and he had as good as threatened to enslave her.
"Think of what I could offer Kit, the toys, the benefits, and in a few years who knows how grateful she would be" he taunted.
That was it! She slammed the phone down. It immediately began to ring. She picked it up and slammed it down again and then listening for the dial tone she left it off the hook. She didn't want it to go to the answering machine; she didn't want it to be heard by her eight year old daughter, even accidentally. She knew he would keep calling, he would show up eventually, she could run, that's it! She would run! And then she realized she couldn't, she had moved once to get away from this awful man, she had hidden them away she thought in this safe little corner of the world but he had found them, he had stalked them, he was convinced they were meant to be together, forever, until death parted them. She shuddered at the thought.
Kathy had dated Eli once, and only once. He had given her the creeps immediately and all her warning signals told her to get away from him. By the end of the meal though he had been charming, informed, and congenial and she had relaxed for a moment. The ride home though he had become nasty, masterful as he put it, and demanding. He felt they had a connection, that she would make a perfect sub to his master. He wanted her to obey him, to come home with him, to do absolutely anything he commanded. He told her in no uncertain terms what he wanted her to do, to strip for him, to make herself available to him and his friends, in any way he commanded, any position, any deviant behavior he demanded. She escaped at a stop light and ran out of the car. She thought herself safe from the pervert but the calls had begun immediately. He had resources she didn't realize existed. Just from her phone number he got her address, he followed her to work, he followed Kit to school, he compiled information on her until he turned her world upside down. The thought of them being under his thumb, of what he would do to her, of what he would turn Kit into made her frightened, truly frightened.
The police didn't believe that Eli Watson was capable of this type of behavior. He was a well-respected citizen and when she made her claims it was dismissed as a lover's quarrel, no one believed her. Someone of his position would certainly not jeopardize it and she was made to feel that she was making claims against this honorable man unjustifiably.
She moved, she changed her phone numbers, she got a new job, she invested in security locks but still he found her, still he stalked her and preyed upon her. She was scared more for her daughter than for herself and she was sure that was what he counted on. She didn't know what to do.
Kathy spent an uneasy evening, jumping at every sound outside. She had to try to be normal for Kit's sake but it was difficult. Kit was a normal chatty eight year old with a sunny disposition. The move had been hard on her to start over with new friends but she had adjusted. The one phone call to an old friend had been harmless or so Kathy had thought until the envelope with the video game had arrived. It contained a Trojan virus that spread through her computer and when they went on the internet sent information to Eli Watson about every aspect of their life.
Have you ever thought of how much information you keep on your computer? What data like that could do to you in the wrong hands? Every letter, every search engine you have used, any games you have played...all could be used against you in the mind of a deviant such as Eli. And he did use every nuance, threatening dire things against her, she became paranoid, seeing things around every corner, hearing things outside that never existed or maybe they did. Kathy became haggard over the loss of sleep, over the worry, over the fear that this man was going to get a hold of her or her daughter. She walked Kit to school every day, seemingly bright and cheerful as she delivered her safely into the hands of her teacher. The school was aware that no one, and she stressed no one was to pick Kit up or take her from school for any reason. Kit's father was dead so it wasn't a matter of custody, just an overzealous parent protective of their kid and she let them believe that.
Kathy was isolated; her friends were gone or far away, her parents dead. How could she burden any of them with this? How could any of them help? No one would believe her. Eli Watson was too prominent, too rich, and too secure in his little world of deception, no one would believe that he was capable of such evil, of such despicable acts, of such terror to a woman and her child.
Kathy worked from home, transcribing medical records for doctors from various firms. She was about to lose her job over the repeated interruptions to her work. The quality of her work had suffered and not from the work she did but as she sent it out it contained viruses and suddenly became incomprehensible to those reading it. It was Kathy's work so she was responsible for it. She knew though that somehow Eli, rich and devious Eli had somehow messed with her computer. She looked around her home again that day to see if he had been in it, she already felt violated by him. She had put a string across the door but it was not disturbed and she didn't know if she could figure out something to trap him with. He was already in her computer, she had wiped it once already but still the work became suspect. One doctor's office had already told her that her work would no longer be necessary. She needed every job that came her way to support them. She was becoming frantic. She didn't know what to do, where to turn, or who to ask for help.
It was then that she thought of Constance. Connie had been a college roommate. Funny, irreverent, and beautiful in her own way, she used that beauty to lure and trap men throughout her college years. Kathy was certain she never did any of the work assigned her instead she let the men do it for her. She probably had blackmailed more than one college professor over the years. She was kind and considerate of her friends, sharing some of her surplus of men with her college roommate as well as being able to find dates for anyone in their small group of friends. But Connie had died the previous year, Kathy hadn't been able to afford a trip to attend her funeral but she had sent a loving card, remembering happier times. She vaguely remembered meeting Connie's sister once or twice, what was her name? Ali? No, Aileen? Eileen? She couldn't remember and with Eli on the brain it was making it difficult to remember.
She wasn't getting any work done so she pulled out her college yearbooks and paged through them remembering happier times, fun times, irreverent times, the dates, the pranks, the absolute solidarity of these women. They were all scattered now. Connie had married many times and to men subsequently richer than the previous ones. She had been a widow just like Kathy; the difference being that her husbands had been incredibly wealthy and Kathy's had left a pitiful life insurance policy that barely covered his death bills. She came across a picture of the five of them, five? There had been four of them in their little group, the fifth one was what drew her attention, that had to be Connie's sister! Hadn't Connie written once that her sister was a successful stock broker or something? She quickly looked for letters she had kept, the written word so much more valuable to her as computers stored things forever and these were so much more personal, valuable to her. She realized that Eli must have read all her letters on her computer by now and the intimate details she had shared with her friends were now in his decidedly dirty hands. She shuddered but kept looking for the packet of letters she had from her friends over the years.
There they were! She quickly opened one and then another, quietly reading through them looking for some clue, something that might help her, she didn't know of anything that could but maybe someone, a stranger could help her, could help Kit. Maybe this sister of Connie's could help. There, there is a reference to Alice, Alice Weaver! She had it now. She went to grab her phone to call information and then hesitated. She was certain he had some sort of tracking device on her car, she was also certain her phones were bugged or had tracking devices at least on the cell phone. She wasn't defeated. She carefully packed away the letters again, picked up her purse and the phone and walked outside, carefully locking the door to the house behind her. She headed down to the bus stop and waited for the next bus to take her downtown. As she waited she thought about Connie and of course Alice, they were equally pretty, not beautiful but yet they were in their own way, something about Alice though had seemed more attractive in some way, she wasn't with them much but when she was they all had a lot of fun. Her bus arrived and she looked around, positive someone was following her. She got off a block before she needed to so she could try and see if she was being followed, she couldn't tell, but then she wouldn't would she if he was that good or if he had someone else following her. She felt so paranoid that she almost hesitated at what she was about to do. She very deliberately put her phone in the roadway and waited for a car to run it over. The first car missed it, the second car missed it, she was about to go out into the traffic and move it when a speeding car hit it dead on, the destruction was total and absolute. She picked it up gleefully and put it in a shopping bag, all the pieces she could find and headed the extra block to the phone store.
"May I help you?" a pleasant faced young kid asked her.
She nodded "I seemed to have dropped my phone, I have insurance on it and I'd like to get another" she held up the bag and the boy took it from her gingerly.
"You sure did this one in" he joked as he reached for the only piece large enough to hold up, the cover, the rest was damaged beyond use. "You say you have insurance?" he asked her and she nodded again. "Well let's take a look" he put the piece back in the bag and put it on the counter as he pulled up something on his computer screen. "What's your phone number?" he asked.
She hesitated but knew he would put that down to the fact that people didn't remember their own phone numbers readily. She gave it to him and then asked "I'd like a second phone, for emergencies on my line or can I change my number?"
They discussed several possibilities. Her number and account were in good order and he convinced her to buy a second phone, it would only cost an additional $10 on her bill per month and offer her peace of mind (if he only knew) she thought. The replacement on her phone was $100 and she nearly reeled at the cost but she hoped she was doing right by getting rid of the other phone. What if he could somehow trace the number though? It was why she was getting a second phone; she hoped this would help her, that she could call someone without him knowing. By the time she left the phone store she had two new phones, identical and had marked one with a sharpie marker so she knew which was the original number and which one was the new number. Using the new number she called information to try to find one Alice Weaver in the Los Angeles area.
It took some doing; she had to stop by the library to use their computer, getting a new library card in the process. She didn't dare use her own computer, she didn't trust it. She thought she found Weaver Investments and crossed her fingers as she typed the number into her new spare phone.
"Weaver investments, I'm sorry we are unable to take you call at the moment, please leave your name and number at the tone" an impersonal voice toned over the line. Kathy left her name and number and nothing else, hoping that she had the right Weaver and hoping that it would be Alice that called her back. Then she realized she had left her regular number and not the new cell phone number! She called right back, waited for the voicemail to go through its spiel and left the new number, stressing that she needed to be called back on that number instead of the first one. She felt like a fool, she was grasping at straws. She headed home; she might as well work with the work she did have left and hope that the last wiping of her computer had eliminated some of what Eli was doing to her work.
Alice heard the machine pick up. She was busy surfing the net for information on an investment she was considering, she didn't want to be disturbed. She couldn't help but hear the message. She frowned when she heard the name, it sounded familiar and yet she wasn't sure why. When the woman called back a second time though and stressed that a return phone call be to the second number only she stopped what she was doing to concentrate. The name, the name, she wasn't sure but she knew it from somewhere, she hated that when she couldn't place where she knew something from. It was a sign of stress, or being too busy, or age, she wasn't sure which but she didn't like it.
Since she was at the computer she put Kathy's name into a search engine. This wasn't Google or Yahoo; she had a unique search engine installed on her computer, a little better than what the police had but not quite up to what the FBI had in their database although she knew where she could get that information if she wanted it. Kathy Jenson was a common name but sorting through the data she narrowed her eyes as she began to see pictures and one caught her eye. She went downstairs to her garage and began sorting through some of Constance's boxes, finding a set of college yearbooks she began to sort through them rapidly looking for the name Kathy, something that would tell her why this woman was so damn familiar, she was sure she had met her through Connie but wanted to be sure before she returned the woman's phone call. There, there was a picture of the four amigos. Connie's roommates in college, they had been so tight and had welcomed Alice in as a fifth wheel although they never made her feel that way, they had shared their friendship whenever she visited her sister. There were their names spelled out Constance Weaver, Andie Wilson, Portia Spiros, and Kathy Potter, now Jenson. Kathy was a pert little brunette with a great straight smile and a hint of dimples on her cheeks as well as a cleft vaguely hinted at on her chin, her eyebrows were as dark as her hair and her eyes seemed to be a dark brown with long brown eyelashes, it was a pleasant looking package. With that name in her mind and now a photo imprinted in her mind she put the books away went to another box that contained the cards that she had received for Connie's funeral and paging through them she came across one from Kathy Jenson. It was a heartfelt letter of condolence, a plea for her understanding that she just couldn't afford to travel, how much she missed her friend and how sad she was for her passing. Alice nearly cried over its simplicity and sweet sentiments. That wasn't like her but she still felt a little raw over the way her sister had died. Revenge had been sweet but not necessarily healing.
Thinking for a moment she wondered why Kathy was calling her after all this time and why her? She had been Connie's friend, not hers. She shrugged, these three women had been Connie's best friends, she had shared everything with them in the four years they went to college together, and she had shared everything they did with her own sister whose single mindedness hadn't allowed her friends like this, ever. She had envied and enjoyed her sister and her friends when she visited and she didn't know why she was feeling sentimental but she would return the call and find out what Kathy needed or wanted.
"Hello" the voice answered the phone cautiously.
"Kathy? This is Alice, Alice Weaver" she said cheerfully.
"Alice? Oh my goodness, it's so good to hear from you, thank you for returning my call. I wasn't sure you would remember me..." she began.
"Of course I remember you, it took me a minute to remember Jenson but of course I remember Kathy Potter" Alice teased.
Kathy smiled at her maiden name, she remembered how she had been teased about having a name that could be deviated into so many delicious differences, and she had learned to take it because if she objected it only got worse as she learned in high school. In college though it had been done with affection and her friends stood up for her. She had loved those woman, they had been her best friends. "I'm still so sorry to have not been at Connie's funeral, how are you holding together?" she asked with genuine concern.
Alice smiled, of all the people she met in this world she knew that Kathy was genuine, real, not pretending for forms sake, she really cared how Alice was doing "I'm doing okay, coping" she answered. I also killed and had revenge on the mother f'rs that caused my sister's demise but for some reason she didn't feel like she should share that tidbit.
"If there is anything I could do, I wish I could, if you need to talk...." Kathy began.
"No" Alice shook her head and said firmly "that isn't necessary, really I'm okay."
"I just didn't want you to feel you were alone, we all loved Connie as a sister."
Alice smiled again; she had known that which was why she had loved them for it.
"Have you heard from the others? Andie, Portia?"
"Yes, they were at the funeral" Alice replied remembering them vaguely but really not, she had been numb at the time.
"I still wish I could have been there but I couldn't afford to travel and I have a little girl now..." she started to choke up but held herself in check.
"You do? How wonderful!" Alice said honestly "what's she like?"
"Oh she's the sweetest thing, she's eight now and quite the inquisitive little girl, I wouldn't be surprised if she ends up being a super sleuth, a private investigator, and she's so smart!"
"Eight? Wow, you must have gotten married right out of college."
Kathy nodded as she relaxed; talking with Alice had reminded her of better times. "I did, Pat was killed though in Afghanistan when he went over there on a story, I think that's where Kit gets her inquisitiveness."
"Oh, so you're a widow?"
"Yes and trying to get ahead raising a kid on your own is over rated" she joked.
Alice laughed a short little chuckle "I bet it isn't easy."
"How about you? Have you married?" Kathy asked wondering how Alice's life had turned out.
Alice laughed, a genuine laugh "they only just made it legal here" she said with a wry little smile.
"Legal?" Kathy asked musingly and then remembered, Alice was gay! "Oh yeah, I forgot you like girls!" she said it just like she would have in college.