tagRomanceSaving Sabrina Ch. 01

Saving Sabrina Ch. 01

byLord_Dane81©

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Author's Note:

This is my first attempt at writing something to share here, though I've lurked around this site for years. It's a little rough since the only editing was mine, but if I can find an editor and there are changes, I'll update it.

Fair warning, there is no sex in this chapter, as this is story with a slower build. The sexy parts will come when they come, no pun intended. I hope you enjoy!

Lord_Dane81


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"Damn, that was a long day. I don't know how you do it, girl."

Sabrina St. Claire laughed as she carefully worked a sponge around her eye, removing her makeup. This shoot had required a lot of it to get the exact look they were going for and it was a complete pain getting it all off.

"You'll get used to it, Beth. It just takes a while. This is what, your fifth shoot?"

"Yeah, but none of the others took this long." The brunette sitting next to her said.

"It all depends on the photog and the layout. Sometimes it's quick and painless, sometimes it's like today. I think they got some really good shots though."

Sabrina had gotten into modeling her senior year of college to make some extra money and take a little of the burden of her education off her parents. The mother of one of her sorority sisters knew a scout and gave a few of the girls a chance to get their foot in the door. In the two years since graduation, she had moved to New York, signed with a major agency in the city, and become a regular in magazine and ad work.

A tall, willowy blonde with bright green eyes played well in clothing ads, although she avoided catwalk work. There was too much stress and pressure to be stick thin in that world. Sabrina certainly wasn't overweight, but she had too many curves to fit that scene.

"I just hope there are a couple good ones I can add to my book." Beth said, packing up the small case she'd brought with her.

Beth was a newly-signed model with the agency and their boss had asked Sabrina to show her the ropes. This was the second shoot they had done together, and another was scheduled in a few days. Sabrina had quickly come to like the girl and had offered to let her use the spare bedroom she had in her apartment while she was in town. Since Beth was still in college down in Florida, it would only be for a few weeks.

After cleaning up and getting dressed, they spent an hour and a half with the photographer and layout editor going over the shots. Sabrina found a couple to add to her portfolio, as did Beth, and had them sent on to the agency. The two grabbed a bite to eat at a nearby bistro and headed for the apartment.

Over the next two days, the girls relaxed while Sabrina coached Beth on some of the things she needed to know about the industry. Like clockwork, Sabrina called her sister Sasha back in Kentucky on Wednesday evening. She had promised her a weekly call when she went off to college and the tradition had continued after she moved to New York.

Late the next morning, before the girls headed for their shoot, a call came in from Sabrina's best friend, Cassie. They had met years ago when Cassie chose Sabrina as her little sister in their sorority. She had been a great help to Sabrina who had never been away from her family before and was more than a little nervous about college life. Cassie had even invited her to her parent's home in Maryland for a few weeks one summer.

Thinking about that trip always brought one image back to Sabrina's mind. Cassie's brother, Andy, who had returned home from the Marines a few days after they arrived. Tall, muscular, with amber eyes and dark brown hair cut high and tight, Andy looked like he could have stepped off a recruiting poster when he walked in the door.

She'd always had a thing for men in uniform and the sight of this gorgeous young man in dress blues shot straight through her. She had always what would have happened if either of them had made a move, but apparently it wasn't to be. Although they spent some time hanging out with Cassie around the pool, they shared nothing more than a hug before Sabrina left.

The most recent news Cassie had given her about Andy was that he was working for an investigation and security firm. Apparently, one of his friends from the Marines had gone to work for his father's agency and, after struggling to find a job that he enjoyed, Andy had called and got an interview. He was living somewhere in Virginia but he travelled all the time.

The shoot on Thursday went well and was much shorter than the previous one, leaving both girls in a great mood. On the way back to the apartment, they debated going out for the evening and decided to see if they could get tickets for an off-Broadway show one of the other models at the shoot had mentioned was worth checking out.

As they got off the elevator on their floor and turned the corner, Sabrina spotted a white box sitting outside their door, which struck her as odd. She hadn't ordered anything and, even if she had, it would have been left with doorman in the lobby. As they got closer, she saw that it wasn't even labeled.

"What's that?" Beth asked as their reached their unit.

"I don't know." She replied, picking it up. It wasn't very heavy, but she could hear something sliding around inside. Her first name was written across the lid and a red ribbon had been used to secure it.

Once the girls got inside and dropped their bags, Sabrina sat the package on the table and carefully undid the bow.

"Wait, I wanna see!" Beth laughed and ran over, standing next to her.

Sabrina lifted the lid off and looked down into the box. Her brain couldn't fathom what she was seeing. There was something green and red laying on a layer of crumpled up white tissue paper with red marks all over it.

"What the hell?" Beth exclaimed, jumping back in surprise.

A snake's head, bloody from where it had been cut away from the body, stared up at her.

"Is it real?"

Sabrina nodded her head, unable to speak for a moment. Her throat had tightened instantly at the sight of the grisly gift.

"I think so."

"What's that?" Beth asked, pointing at a small envelope inside the box.

It took Sabrina a moment to work up the will to reach in and grab it. She quickly pulled her hand back. Again, her name was scrawled in red across the envelope. She didn't want to open it. She knew, instinctually, that whatever was inside was going to be just as horrible as what was in the box with it.

Trembling fingers slowly raised the flap on the envelope and removed a small white card, which was blank on one side. She turned it around and gasped as the message, written in what appeared to be blood, sank into her brain.

"You're next, Bitch!"

Two hours later, officers from the NYPD had come and gone. It seemed to both Sabrina and Beth that they didn't take this as a serious threat. They made a report, took the box and it's contents as evidence, and told the girls to avoid traveling alone and to keep an eye on their surroundings.

As soon as the girls were alone again, Sabrina called her sister and told her what had happened. As soon as she heard, Sasha offered her the use of the guest bedroom and told her she should get out of town. It was an offer that would be repeated constantly over the next few weeks.

The next morning, Sabrina woke to her phone ringing. She didn't recognize the number, so she didn't answer. When her phone dinged and told her she had a voice mail, she listened to it and was amazed she didn't drop the phone. The message consisted of female screams with demonic sounding laughter playing over them. At the end, it all stopped and an obviously disguised voice that sounded like a creepy computer said, "Not even the police will keep you safe, Bitch!"

Again, Sabrina reported it to the police. They listened to the message, made a recording of it, another report, and gave her the same common sense precautions as last time. She changed her phone number that afternoon.

Next, it was an envelope stuffed into her locker while she was at the gym. It contained a picture of her from a magazine spread with her face burned off and the message "Vengeance is coming for you, Bitch!" Then it was another phone call, to her new number, with the same screams and the same creepy voice threatening to make her suffer for eternity. The last straw was a note slipped under her door one night while she was sleeping, threatening to gut her like a fish.

After each incident, she notified the police, who made a report, took the evidence, and gave her more advice that wouldn't help. Finally, she reached the limits of her endurance. Beth had returned to her parent's place the week before, so Sabrina packed up her bags, locked her apartment, and caught a flight to Louisville to stay with her sister.

Sasha met her at the airport with a hug and a plea that she stay until she felt safe. That night, laying on her sister's guest bed and trying not to cry, she did the only thing she could think of. She called Cassie for help.

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Andrew Riley woke to the pitch black surroundings of his bedroom and the annoying buzz of his phone vibrating on the nightstand. Reaching for it, he looked at the screen and sighed. It was a few minutes after four in the morning, meaning he had only been asleep for five hours. If it was anyone but his baby sister, he might have ignored it.

"Cassie, how many times do we have to talk about the time difference between here and Tokyo?" He asked as the call connected.

"I didn't forget, Andy. This is important. I need your help!"

Those words worked better than a triple-shot of espresso to bring him from half-asleep to wide awake and sitting upright in bed. He had been against his sister taking a three-year contract to teach English in Japan, but the money was good and Cassie had her heart set on the job. Their parents had finally taken her side and ever flew over with her, helping Cassie get settled and meeting some of the people she'd be working with.

"What's up, sis? Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, everything is good here. Do you remember Sabrina, my little sister in college? The one who spent a few weeks at our place a couple years ago, right around the time you got out of the Marines. The one you had a crush on?"

It took less than a heartbeat for Andrew to dredge up the memories of that summer, since they were never far from his mind. Although he was in and out of the house looking for a job, a place of his own, and catching up with friends after being gone for eight years, he very clearly remembered their visitor. Long blonde hair, a very nice body, a beautiful face, killer smile, and the most incredible green eyes he'd ever seen danced around in his head as he throught about her.

He had spent as much time as possible hanging out with his sister and Sabrina. They were taking things easy after a long year of classes and seemed to spend most of their time by the pool. He remembered Sabrina in a modest but still sexy bikini, lounging on a deck chair and chatting with his sister. He also remembered her in a little black dress, heels, and makeup when their parents treated everyone to a nice dinner.

"Yeah, I remember her." He said, not responding to Cassie's teasing.

"I think I told you that she was studying to be a teacher, but one of the other girls in the sorority talked her into doing some modeling and she actually made it. She's got a contract with a major agency and has been living and working up in New York City."

"So what happened?" Andrew asked.

"Somebody has been stalking her. She's been getting phone calls, letters, emails, and all kinds of creepy stuff. She tried changing her number and email address, but they still got them."

Now things were started to make sense. After struggling to find a decent job in their hometown, Andrew had gotten in touch with a friend he'd served with who was working for his father. The agency did private investigation and security work and Andy managed to land a job there. Rather than working out of a specific office, he was an investigator-at-large who traveled wherever the agency need him. He had just gotten back from a job in Portland, Oregon seven hours ago and, after filing his last report and unpacking, collapsed into bed just after eleven.

"Is she still in New York."

"No, she got scared when she realized that the police up there weren't going to do anything to keep her safe. She hopped a plane to Louisville, Kentucky and is staying with her sister."

"We've got an office in Indianapolis, so I can have a couple guys drive down to keep an eye on the place until I get there. Do you have the address? I'm going to need a phone number to get ahold of her too."

It wasn't even a question of whether he would help. He knew that Cassie and Sabrina had remained close friends, even after his sister graduated and left for Japan. Sabrina even sent their parents a Christmas card every year. He remembered her being sweet and polite, even to some of his wilder friends when they threw a big pool party. Besides, he'd always been a sucker for a damsel in distress.

"I got all the information from her when she called me and I just sent it to your email. Thank you so much, big brother. I know Sabrina will feel a lot better with you there looking out for her." Cassie said, clearly pleased that he brother was doing what she wanted.

"No problem, sis. It's what I do. I'll try to call you after talk to Sabrina and get things arranged." He replied, climbing out of his bed and crossing the room to where he'd left his laptop case.

"Ok, be safe! I love you!" She said before hanging up the call.

Once he had his laptop set up, he found the email from Cassie. It included a number for a Sasha Anderson, apparently that was Sabrina's sister. He dialed the number and listened to the phone ring a few times before going to voice mail. When it let him, he left a message.

"My name is Andrew Riley and I'm trying to reach Sabrina St. Claire. I got this number from my sister, Cassandra Riley, who was Sabrina's sorority sister. Please call me back as soon as possible."

He ended the call, added the number to his contacts, and started packing his bags. He had just closed his suitcase when his phone rang again. It was Sasha's number. He quickly answered it.

"Hello?"

"Andy?" A quiet voice asked, one he recognized if his memories weren't playing tricks on him.

"Hey Sabrina, is that you? Are you safe?" Her voice was shaky as she answered him.

"So far, I think so. I haven't been checking my emails and I left my phone in my apartment in New York. This is all freaking me out."

"I know it is, but everything's gonna be okay. I can have a couple guys from the agency I work for at your side in about two hours and I'll be there as soon as I can. I'm driving from Virginia, so it'll be sometime this afternoon before I can get there." Andy could hear the stress in her voice and spoke as calmly as he could, trying to relax her.

"Cassie said you could help, but I really didn't believe her. When will your friends be here?" She asked.

"They're up in Indy, so it won't take long for them to drive down. I just need to call my boss and get his okay, but he's a good friend so I know he'll help."

"Thank you so much, Andy. Will you call me back when you know for sure?" She still sounded scared but the idea that help was coming seemed to be calming her.

"Of course, I will. I'll talk to you in a little while." He replied, dialing John Hunter's number as soon as Sabrina hung up. It rang a few times before a gruff, sleep-filled voice answered.

"What the hell are you doing calling me at four thirty in the morning, asshole?" His boss and best friend asked.

"Sorry, John, but I've got a situation and I need some of our people to help me resolve it." Andy replied, forwarding the information Cassie had sent him to John's email.

"What kind of situation? Didn't you just get back from wrapping up that Oregon job?"

"Yeah, but my sister called me a little while ago. One of her best friends has a stalker and needs some help."

Andy knew that John's wife, Camille, had gone through something similar years ago, an ex who wouldn't let the past go and had followed her from California to Virginia and threatened her. She had contacted the Hunter Agency for help after the police were unable to protect her and John had come to her rescue. A year later, they were married with the first of their three children on the way.

"So, are you calling it a family matter? And what do you need?" John asked, quickly waking up. Andy could hear Cami's sleepy voice in the background telling him to keep it down or take it to the office.

"Yeah, it's definitely a family matter. I need a couple of our guards in Indy to drive down to Louisville to keep an eye on things until I can get there. I'm almost done packing and I'll be on the road as soon as I've got everything arranged."

"That's no problem. I'll call Eddy and have him send his best guys down. I met a couple high ranking folks at Louisville Metro when Cami and I went to the Derby last year. I'll see if I can't get them to send over a unit to babysit until we our people get there."

Andy wasn't surprised to hear that. It seemed that John and Cami knew people everywhere and could always find someone will to lend a hand when needed.

"What's your next move once security is in place?"

"Not sure yet. I need more information than Cassie gave me, so I'll have to keep the plan loose until I'm up to speed. I'd imagine I'll need someone in New York to check things out, since this all started up there."

"Alright. Send me whatever you've got, and I'll get things rolling. As soon as I know who Eddy is sending down, I'll make them the point of contact until you get there." John said.

"I already sent it to you. Thanks, boss." Andy replied, very glad that he worked for a man like Hunter.

"No problem, just remember this the next time I need a favor. Or a babysitter." John said, laughing before he ended the call. He called back twenty minutes later once everything was arranged. He also forwarded pictures of the guards they were sending to Sasha's so Andy could send them on to Sabrina for safety. When he called Sasha's phone, a different female voice answered.

"Hello, is this Andy?" The woman asked.

"Yes, is this Sasha? Sabrina's sister?" He replied.

"Yes, it is. She'll be back in a moment, but I heard my phone ringing and I knew she was expecting your call, so I answered. Were you able to get a hold of your boss at this time of night?"

"I was, although his wife wasn't happy about it. Two of our people are already on the road, driving down from Indianapolis. He's also trying to get the Louisville police to send a car over to keep an eye on things until they arrive."

"That's great news. It should make Brin feel better, I know it does for me. This has all been pretty scary." Sasha said.

"I can only imagine. I've got a long drive to make, but I'll be there sometime this afternoon, depending on traffic and how much speeding I can get away with. Once I'm off the phone, I'll be sending you pictures of our guys so you'll know who to be expecting."

"That would be great. This whole situation is making me kind of paranoid and I know Brin feels the same way. Thank God you were able to-" Sasha cut off in mid-sentence as a loud scream filled the background. Andrew could hear what sounded like Sasha running through the house, yelling for her sister.

"Sasha, what's going on?" He asked, his heart beginning to race.

"Oh my god! What is that?" He heard Sasha ask but he didn't hear the reply.

"Sasha? Sabrina? Somebody talk to me!" Andy shouted into the phone, trying to get their attention.

"Andy?" Sabrina asked, her voice barely a whisper.

"Sabrina, what happened? Are you and Sasha okay?" He asked quickly.

"We're okay. I came upstairs to change my clothes after I spilled some coffee on my pants. When I walked into the bedroom, I noticed something in the window and turned the light on. It was..." She stopped talking, taking a deep shuddering breath before continuing.

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