Becoming Frank Carragher’s assistant/mistress had been a bit of a mixed blessing for Nicole. It enabled her to be reunited with Arielle. At the same time, she felt like a traitor to her family and country, even though she was merely faking in order to assist the growing resistance movement in the district. As a chilly rain fell outside, Nicole and Arielle huddled under a blanket sipping hot chocolate and watching the cartoons Arielle had once loved. Carragher had permitted Nicole to have the day off. Carragher wasn’t in the mood to spend an entire day at the office and opted instead to go golfing with some high-ranking federal government officials who were visiting from Vancouver.
Carragher entered the house. He was wet and feeling miserable. Nicole went into the foyer to greet him.
“How were the links today?”
Carragher took off his jacket and hung it in a closet.
“First hour or two was amazing. Sun was shining. Looked like it was going to be a nice day. Then this godforsaken rain started. I hope you have dinner cooked because I’m starving.”
“It’s all in the oven. Meatloaf, baked potatoes and green beans fresh from the garden. Oh, and there’s apple pie for dessert.”
“One thing’s for certain; you certainly know how to please a man…in more ways than one.”
Carragher smiled lewdly. Nicole returned the gesture in kind. What pleased Nicole the most was the undeniable fact that her ‘benefactor’ was playing right into the trap she was slowly laying for him.
Carragher parked his hefty frame on a large armchair across from Nicole and Arielle.
“North American Police units have just obliterated the home of an individual who supplied weapons to your former boyfriend and his gang of domestic terrorists. Nothing left of the place except for a smoldering flame. I have teams out searching those mountains for every base and hideout they’ve been using. Even though you have completely renounced your old ways, I felt you should know about this.”
Nicole stared blankly at the wall across from her. She fought viciously to choke back a sob. Betraying her emotions would be the death knell for both her and Arielle. Nicole was sickened at the thought of never being with the love of her life again.”
“Jake was always like that. Believed he could beat the system. To be honest with you Frank, I can’t believe I actually once loved that asshole.”
Arielle was confused. She had fought against the brainwashing herself but was forced to succumb to it-at least partially.
‘Is my mother serious or is she just making this up?’
Carragher got up off of his chair.
“Needless to say, I’m impressed with the progress you’ve made Nicole. Keep up the good work. Soon, you will be placed in a high position within the government. That will ensure stability for both you and your daughter.”
Sarah Jane had not been having a particularly easy time adjusting to life locked up like a condemned criminal. Paynter and some of the female guards were consistently harassing and hitting on her. Sarah Jane worried constantly about Mallory but also Jake and Kevin, whom she had grown to love very much. For at least one hour each day, Sarah Jane was interrogated by NAP intelligence agents. They were not satisfied with the information she was giving them, most of which was false. Sarah Jane feared that the NAP would torture her into revealing the exact location of the abandoned mine where Jake, Kevin and Mallory were holed up in.
Sarah Jane picked away at the monotonous-looking food on her tray. It was noontime. She was exhausted from having to sit through three back-to-back ‘re-education classes’. Like Nicole before her, Sarah Jane had found a trusting friend in Bridgette Shaw. Sarah Jane felt for the devoted mother and wife.
“If I lose any more weight, I’m going to resemble a skeleton,” Sarah Jane said.
“The food may not be glamorous, but you have to keep your strength up.”
“Bridgette, do you believe that we will ever get out of here?”
“I wish I had the answer for that sweetie. Truly, I do. We just have to stay strong and keep praying every day.”