tagBDSMMessy Ch. 22

Messy Ch. 22

byTheStoryTeller2342©

Author's note:

The penultimate chapter of Messy contains absolutely no sex. If that's what you're looking for, please read one of the previous chapters again, or wait a week for the first half of chapter 23.

Chapter 22 contains a description of a previously mentioned crime. If you are sensitive to graphic language or a description of violence, please do not read the following.


*

"Fuck that noise, you need to go," Deirdre exclaimed as I barged in the back door of my home.

"And fuck you, I ain't running," Tori shouted back.

"What's going on?" I barked, stopping before the two women raging at each other in the living room. They both turned to look at me, Deirdre's hand leaving her service weapon as she realized it was me.

"You need to go," she said, low and steady. "You all are i -- "

Tori cut her off. "We ain't going anywhere. Let'em come. They've pushed us around long enough!"

"Both of you shut up for a minute, then someone explain to me, clearly, what the fuck is going on." I turned to find Sienna standing in the doorway looking nervous and scared. "See, go upstairs and change into something...else."

The blonde sprinted past the women in glaring at me, and I sat down at the table, set the gun that had been hanging heavy in my hand since I stepped out of my vehicle on the table. "Ok. Deirdre, shoot. Tori, you go after her."

Deirdre sat down at the table across from me, and I marveled at how different she looked in her uniform. She looked...severe. A harbinger of bad news. "You're under threat right now, Gary. The people who killed your friends, they know we're closing in on them, and we're pretty sure you -- you and Victoria here - on the top of their to-do list."

"Back up, I thought we killed those people." My voice was sarcastic.

"You were investigated initially, but all that publicity, that was just cover so we could keep investigating the real killers. This is huge, Gary. Like, terrorism task force huge."

"Terrorists. Really?" I kept going with the sarcasm."Explain to me how I ran afoul of ISIS."

Deirdre looked at me like she wanted to punch me, cry, or kiss me. "Not ISIS. But you did piss off a bunch of religious fundamentalists gunning for you for defiling their daughter, whom they honor-killed after they were radicalized by a distant under-surveillance uncle who snuck down from Toronto last year."

Oh. Fuck.

My head spun.

Nina's FAMILY.

"Surely you guys cleared the family after her death. Right? I mean, that's like police work one oh one."

"You ever pay attention to Minneapolis crime statistics, Gary? Like how something like sixty percent of our homicides happen in like two square miles, and only thirty percent get solved? There's a huge community out there that doesn't talk to police, stonewalls police, hides people from police. They didn't want to be found, so we couldn't find them."

"And now you've found them?"

"Not...Exactly..." she hedged. "Do you know Maynard Postelthwaites?"

"It doesn't ring a bell. Sounds like a chemistry nerd."

"Did you hear about the shooting this weekend?"

I shook my head. "I've been out of town since Friday. I assume Mr. Pocket Protector is involved?"

"You could say so. Some of the people responsible for the murders you were tied to tried to attack his...convoy...on Saturday. They got, to put it bluntly, fucked up."

"One, that's fantastic news, two, who is this Maynard guy? What does he have to do with anything?"

She shrugged. "I figured you guys knew each other, you run in kinky circles and you apparently had his address on your computer. He's a big oil exec who lives out in the woods, travels with a heavily armed retinue. He looks kinda like Kevin Spacey, has a really hot blonde wife that rarely leaves their property. Ring any bells?"

"Dammit, that's The Senator. He's, he's a guy I run into occasionally at meetups, Tori sold him some furniture a while back." I snorted at the idea of the dignified man being named like a lab geek.

"He's not a senator," Deirdre told me pointedly. "In fact, he's under investigation for using his money to hire hitmen and mercenaries outside the country. Probably the same ones that stepped up to defend him on Saturday."

"And what does he have to do with all of this? I barely know the guy, Nina met him maybe once, James knew him a bit better, but not like, spent time with him, were best buds or anything."

"There was one survivor of the attack on Postelthwaites's caravan," she continued. "The responding officers said it looked like something from Syria. We found one guy, started questioning him as soon as he was out of surgery. You left your laptop unlocked, Gary, and they're pulling names off it and trying to kill anyone they think may have 'defiled' your friend Nina."

"Those aren't Gary's names," Tori interjected, a horrified look on her face. She sat down heavily in another kitchen chair. "They're mine."

"Your business," I said.

Her voice was quiet. "I shared your laptop cuz I didn't want to shell out for a copy of Excel."

"We think that your home invasion was the work of a couple members of this group. They're growing bolder according to the one we have in the hospital. They started with that red paint on your door, and that out of town radical uncle keeps whipping them up to bigger fervor."

"That would explain my cut brake lines", I mused. "And my...oh fuck... They know about the cabin." All the feeling of violation and danger I'd felt after the break-in came hurtling back.

"You have a cabin? Where?" Deirdre seemed shocked.

"My parents left it to my sister when they died. She gave it to me but it's still in her name. That doesn't make sense though, I don't have that address in my computer, I'm sure of it. No one knows about it."

"Wait, what are you talking about?" Deirdre looked confused.

"We spent December up north at the cabin," Tori replied. "Someone sabotaged his snow mobile, he almost died."

"Ok, so how did they know where it is? All they have is the laptop, if that wasn't on it..."

I shrugged. "Nina knew. Sienna knows. I emailed one colleague at the college to come up for some hunting two years ago."

Deirdre pulled out a notepad. "Name? We'll go talk to him."

"Dennis Everet. He's an accounting professor. Back on topic. So these guys are dead or in the hospital. You were telling Tori we needed to run."

"They're not all dead or in the hospital. They've got probably ten to twelve left, and they have to know we're connecting the dots after they botched that attack on Postelthwaite's caravan. They're still pissed they missed the two of you, and if they think we're closing in..."

I glared at her."We have jobs. Lives. This would be the second time the police have forced us to give those up. I'm not going anywhere just because you show up on my doorstep and say some radicals want me dead. Do you know how ludicrous that sounds? Almost as ludicrous as accusing us of fucking murder."

"The fuck you're not running," the redhead growled. "Your friends were viciously murdered. I know because I was there. I saw what they'd gone through. I fucking SMELLED it. You don't get to tell me your part-time piece of shit job is worth more than what I experienced. I will not do that again." Her voice went quiet. "Not for you."

"Ok, assuming you're right, what do we do, witness protection?"

"You a witness to anything?"

"Fuck," Tori breathed.

"Go to a hotel for the week. Find the tiniest town you can pick off a map, stay in a Motel Eight until the end of the week."

"What happens then?"

"We'll have them. We'll get it out of the asshole we've got in the hospital, and we'll put them in prison. Take a week off, and everything will be wrapped up by next Monday. I promise."

I thought of Jessie, sitting in her rocket. "I can leave the state next week?"

"Yeah."

I heaved out a sigh. "What about the cabin, can we go there?"

Deirdre shrugged. "If you think it's safe. I mean, we have no idea if they were there, how they would've gotten the address. That was probably some bored kid messing with your snowmobile. We're very confident they're in Minneapolis right now, so yeah, going somewhere remote is a good idea. We have the makes and models of their vehicles, we're on the lookout, if they try to leave the city, we'll roll up on them."

"What if we just stay here? Go to work tomorrow, sleep next to our guns, and wait." Tori sounded small but resolute. Her golden brown skin had an ashen tone, and she reached out to grip my hand ferociously.

"They might not come for you. If they do, you'll die. These sick fucks will kill you, no exceptions. They don't fear death, they've got a lot of firepower, and they think you dishonored their family. That's why they butchered three people on a highway in the center of town in December. They're going to keep coming for you, keep killing, and if you think a couple of nine millimeters are going to stop them... You're wrong. They will kill you. And it will be fucking ugly. For you two, especially ugly."

I felt overwhelmed. My ears rang loudly, and the world seemed to narrow, like I was viewing it through the wrong end of binoculars. Someone wanted to kill me. Cause me unimaginable pain and then turn off the lights, end everything I was, like flipping a switch. It was brutal, disgusting knowledge of the basest kind, and I fought the sour taste of panic in my throat. "Ok," I croaked. "We'll go up north. But this had better be finished next week. We can't live like this."

Deirdre covered our hands with hers. "It will be. Hang on, I'll be right back." She left through the front door, and Tori and I looked at each other. The Latina seemed to have aged ten years since I'd walked in, and I reached out and stroked her cheek. It wrenched at my heart to see her afraid, in pain. "We're gonna be ok. I promise."

She sucked in a breath, grinned feebly. "I know."

The front door opened and I resisted the urge to dump a magazine through it. Deirdre, thank goodness. She held out a tan satchel, and I took it, started rifling through the contents. "It's my bailout bag," she explained. "I figured it's the least I can do."

The bag held a tourniquet, Glock nine-millimeter magazines, a knife, gauze, other first aid supplies. I smiled at her, stood and shook her hand. "Thanks. I appreciate it. You didn't have to, not after the way I treated you last time."

Bright moisture glittered on the corner of her eyes and she pulled me into a strong hug. "Just don't tell anyone, ok? I'd lose my job, get in tons of trouble if they found out I spilled this."

"You're safe."

Deirdre stepped back and smiled softly at me. "Go. Run. Please don't die." She lunged forward and kissed me awkwardly, then turned and practically fled out the front door.

I looked back at Tori. "Well. Shit."

Sienna padded down the stairs, now clad in flannel pajama pants and a t-shirt, the clothes at odds with the makeup she hasn't yet washed off. "Is it safe to come down?"

I sighed. "Yeah. How much did you hear?"

"All of it." She ran over and gave Tori a quick hug and then wrapped herself around me. "You ok?"

I gently pushed her back. "Gonna be fine." I checked my watch. "I've gotta call my boss before he goes to bed. Hang on."

My mind raced as I dialed the bank managers phone number. What was going to happen with my job? What was I going to do about Sienna?

My boss was pissed that I called him at home and right before bed, but being a former army guy, he was fairly sensible about people being in danger, the details of which I danced around significantly. He remembered the situation under which I was hired, and promised I'd still have a job in two weeks, though the hours might not exactly what I wanted.

I hung up and sighed heavily, pressed my head to the wall. One crisis down, one more to go.

Sienna was downstairs, and every step down from my bedroom echoed through my mind like gunshots. Every footfall felt like a period, a full stop.

Finality.

The blonde looked up from where she was sitting at my desk, peering obsessively out through the shade. "Still have a job?"

"Yeah. For a while longer."

That earned me a sad, nervous smile. "That's good, at least."

"It is. See...I --" I choked on the words. Why was this so hard? "I need you to go."

"What?" Her voice was small.

"I need you to leave for a little bit. Out of state, preferably. Wisconsin, the Dakotas, hell, New Mexico would probably be a good choice. I don't want you around in case this goes bad. In case..." I left the violence and death unsaid.

"No, I ain't going anywhere." Sienna stood, fists clenched at her sides, anger blazing in her eyes. Despite her fury, she looked...ridiculous - a model's warpaint on a slim girl in her pajamas.

I laughed and it sounded dark. "The fuck you're not. Around me is NOT safe right now, and I'm not going to be responsible for you getting hurt or dead. This is not a discussion."

"You're right its not a discussion. I'm not leaving. I'm with you. That's my place."

"This isn't some bondage, power exchange bullshit situation, See. This is literally life and death and I refuse to risk your life or be the cause of your death. Your place is staying alive."

"And I will. You heard that cop, they might not even know about the cabin. And besides, you can take care of us, you know how to shoot, so does Tori, she taught me." The blonde's voice was rising with anger and she'd started pacing.

"Yeah, I'm LEARNING to be pretty good. Tori WAS pretty good like half a year ago. You know which end is the pointy end. I, we, cannot protect you, and that is a risk I am not willing to take. Go upstairs, pack a bag, and get out of dodge. I'll see you next week."

"What about my life? My job? College? I'm just supposed to run away from that? What if its longer than a week? Start a new life in a new city because of some vague threat?"

"If that's what it takes, yes! If that's what you need to do to stay alive, absolutely! Do you even know what these sick fucks DID to...to my FRIENDS?" I'd advanced on her and my voice was approaching a shout.

"No..." Sienna looked up at me and she suddenly looked vulnerable. Hurt. Scared. Nearly a decade younger than me, barely out of her teens, and pulled into violence and terror most people can't deal with. And she didn't understand. How could she?

"They machine-gunned one man to death. Imagine all those rounds you fired up at the cabin, tearing through your skin, breaking your bones, shredding everything inside you. They stomped another guys head flat. Like American History X, crushed his face on the pavement until he wasn't even recognizable as having a head. I've known those guys for years, grew up with one of them!"

Tears shown in Sienna's eyes and she sat down on the couch with her hands over her ears. "Stop!" she screamed, and it sounded anguished.

I didn't care. I had to explain, I had to hurt her until she got it, until she realized this wasn't a game, this was life and bloody death. I dragged her up by her wrists, pinned her arms at her sides and shouted into her scared face. "Do you know what they did to Nina? What they do to women? They raped her. Dozens of times. And then they circumcised her and cut off her breasts, dug a knife into her flesh and sawed off everything that identified her body as a woman. They cut words into her skin as an insult and then they crushed her head. And they'd do it to you too. Because you're not as modest as they think you should be, or they think god tells them to, or they just decided to regress to the fucking stone age. And I'm not fucking letting that happen to anyone else I know!"

Sienna collapsed against me and I held her as she sobbed. "I'm scared too," I whispered. "But I can't get free of this. You can. I have to face what's coming because it's coming for ME. Me and Tori. I'll see you in another week and this will all be over. Everything can get back to normal."

"I'm still not leaving you," she whimpered into my chest. "I won't do it."

I pushed her away. Her face was puffy and wet from crying, makeup smeared over her skin from tears and pressing against my shirt. "Are you fucking stupid? Did you not hear anything I said?"

She straightened. Sniffed. Squared her shoulders at me and blinked away tears. "You can't just throw me away. I'm WITH you."

"See, I'm not -- "

"I fucking saved your life!" She screamed at me. "Twice! You're my master, you own me. I belong to you. I... I love you..."

Oh.

Dammit.

Suddenly a lot of shit came into focus. The constant attention she'd given me in school, her insistence on a relationship -- any kind of relationship -- to the point where she'd do anything she thought would please me, Hazel's revelation of an abusive boyfriend, hell, the way she'd controlled the action all weekend.

She was obsessed with me. She probably thought she loved me, probably rationalized it that way. She wanted what she wanted, and the fuck with everything else.

I had a sudden flash of Sienna sitting in her apartment with bandaged ribs and a bruised face, Hazel side loading Selector onto her phone, her searching for all the things she wanted to try sexually and finding me, coming to the realization that I was within her orbit and unlikely to be abusive or immature.

And I'd gone along with it. At first, because it was fun. Because there was a spark.

And then later, I'd gone along with it well after the spark had guttered and died, because I was trying to...I was trying to make her my new Tori, because I'd been comfortable and I didn't want anything to change.

I'd given this obsessive, manipulative, messy girl hope because I couldn't accept my life the way it was now. Because I wanted things to go back to the way they were. And she'd given me that, in her own way.

Fuck me.

I knew I should be pissed at her for manipulating me, but I only really cared that she was in danger. The fact that she'd been trying to -- and succeeding at -- controlling our relationship was secondary.

Mostly I was pissed at myself. But right now that didn't matter.

I tried to smile, tried to relax, tried to find some softness and sympathy. "And we'll talk about that. But if you really do love me, if you think I protect you and take care of you, then you need to go. As far as you can get and then farther. Please. I need you to."

"No. My place is with you. I go where you go."

"You really think you're my property? That I'm in charge? Then do what I fucking say."

She shook her head. "You can beat me until I cry, but I'm gonna disobey you on this one."

"Fine then. You want this lifestyle so bad, maybe you'll understand this. Pineapple." I didn't want to say it. The word sounded like it was ground out of me, forced past jagged rocks in my throat.

I had to take back control. And this was the only way.

Confusion crossed Sienna's beautiful, messy face. "What? What are you talking about?"

"That's the safeword, remember. Yours and mine. Someone says it, the scene stops. Or the relationship. Everything. I'm done. Walking away."

"You're... What?" Sienna swayed in place like she was dazed.

"Get out of here. We're done. Over. I'm not gonna be in a relationship -- of any kind -- with someone who doesn't respect me, manipulates me, doesn't take care of themselves. So it's time for you to go." The words left a void in my gut and a burning sensation around my heart.

"You're not serious. You're not gonna leave me." She didn't look like she believed me, or was afraid to.

"No, you're gonna leave me. Leave this house. Pack what you need, come back in a week, grab everything else. We're through." I headed upstairs, found her duffel bag in the closer, started loading it up with sensible looking clothes.

"Gary, wait. Let's talk about it. Please..." She stood against the doorway, looking deflated and wrecked.

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