The Love Shack

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Chapter 7

We were heading north. It was all I knew for certain; I’d lost track of our movements on Iron Workers Memorial Bridge.

Our abductors were alarmingly quiet, and the inside of our cell—as dark as a bunker—was covered in soundproof foam panels that Elena had revengefully decorated with the contents of her stomach multiple times since she’d regained consciousness. I couldn’t breathe. The oppressive, thick air was charged with her pungent stench. Screaming was useless. We were muted out of the world. The engine’s throbs and the wheels’ purrs sedated us with their deadening lullabies. It was all my fault. I should have listened to Isaac.

I was stroking Lee’s head while crazedly humming our favorite country songs when an abrupt turn to the right sent us crashing in the opposite wall, and the tires crunched to a stop on a gravel road. Footsteps. Faint. I huddled against Elena’s shivering body, hissing the last notes of Jolene over her feeble whimpers. The side-door slid open. It was time; they were going to kill us.

A woman’s features appeared in the dim moonlight, and a whiff of her flowery perfume got Elena hollering on repeat, “101! 10—” She’d completely lost her mind.

“Get out,” the mysterious woman said in a silvery voice. “Ivan will carry your friend. She can’t walk.”

I complied fatalistically and followed them down the road that weaved in and out of the forest. The pine trees were so tall that they seemed to be tickling the stars, reminding me of the time I could ride my horse at sunset in the green plains of Alberta; absolute freedom. How I missed home.

For lack of courage or out of eternal loyalty to my best friend, I shook away all thoughts of escaping. One of the men’s breath hit my neck at each forward step, and those pumps wouldn’t get me anywhere far in the mud. Running away wouldn’t save any of us from our imminent fate, that was a fact.

A long white cloud came obstructing the spectacle above my head. At the end of the road, smoke spilt out of a massive cylindrical chimney which stood upright on a moss-covered roof. If it hadn’t been for that chimney, I would have never seen the house. It was built in the mountainside, as though hiding itself from the rest of the world.

The more I approached it, the faster my heart beat, and it all started to make sense. A fictitious rounded door carved with runes all over. A bright neon light above it. A rhythmic boom below my pumps, and Taara Bakshi, dressed as a Viking warrior, opening the gate to Valhalla. I fell down to my knees, crying tears of relief…and rage. No, we weren’t dying tonight.

“You had us followed, kidnapped and brought to The Love Shack?”

My blood boiled in my veins when we entered the lobby. Taara didn’t even deigned to look at me. She fetched a water bottle to Elena, who vegetated in a wheelchair, as though she’d done it a thousand times before.


“Why?” I cried, slamming both hands on the rough-cut stone counter. It was surprisingly cold. The lobby was as hot and dry as a sauna, thanks to the giant glass tube of a chimney which spiked the room in its center from floor to ceiling. The front desk wreathed around it, carved in more runes and sex scenes from Norse mythology. I didn’t know Thor had such a big—“We follow all new members. Security measures.” There wasn’t an ounce of regret in Taara’s voice. She forced the bottle’s neck between Lee’s lips, but the latter spat the water out, too weak to swallow.

“What have you done to her?”

Taara crouched at Elena’s feet and delicately cupped her face, handling a porcelain doll, “Pressure points in her neck. She’ll be fine.”

“101,” Lee whispered again. It broke my heart to see her like this, and it seemed alas though I was the only one to worry about her miles around. Taara—fucking—giggled, “We did have a good time last week, 1307.”

Oh, my God. My hands failed to clench into fists, making my nails bend on the hard countertop—and I didn’t feel a thing. Lee hadn’t lost her mind at all. She’d recognized Taara by the smell of her perfume, and the woman she’d had sex with was also the brains behind our kidnapping. What an evil, crazy bitch. I had to do something. I couldn’t let her go unpunished.

“You’re a monster!” I screamed, eyes blurry, “I’m going to the police—” and strode down the creaking floor to Elena’s wheelchair, but Taara stepped in front of me.

“Be my guest,” she furrowed her brows, “But I’m afraid they’re busy at the moment,” and shot a glance at her lapdog of a bodyguard; whatever that meant. Her eyes narrowed as I vented my spleen, “You had no right to kidnap us or hurt Elena! We were coming here! On our own free wi—”

“Because you had the right to break the rules, maybe?” she asked, or rather stated, her tone authoritative. Two sharp fingers poked my belly, forcing me to step back toward the chimney.

“What are you talking—”

“I have surveillance cameras outside and in the lobby every night. I’ve got proof that you two flouted The Love Shack’s rules, bringing a camera inside! Nobody disrespects my rules!” I bumped into the chimney. Shit, Lee’s camera.

“She just wanted memories—ugh!” She shoved me further into the burning glass, cutting my breath for a moment, and pushed my face to the right, “Look down.”

Her eyes dared me to disobey, “What do you see, Miss O’Neil?” and mine widened.

The chimney wasn’t just a chimney. It was so much more. My breath hitched in amazement at the sight of this incredible piece of architecture. The tube—so large in the room—was nothing compared to what had been erected below ground: an enormous cement cone that went down hundreds of feet, giving the flames at its base a paltry look from up here.

Masks and Vikings were partying on the countless wooden balconies that hung around the curved wall. The strongest of them were on elevator duty. Up and down the packed cages went along the taut cables on which bodybuilders restlessly pulled, showing off their muscles at the horny crowd.

“People,” I mumbled, lips crushed against the glass. It was so hot that the beads of sweat dripping from my chin evaporated once they landed on it.

Taara was as frail as a match. I could crack her easily and free myself from her grasp, break a bone or two, even. Yet, I had Elena to think about and the idea of fucking my nerves out with somebody tonight was growing more and more appealing each passing second. Damn Love Shack!

“Let me be clear about something,” she let go of me but pulled herself closer to my body, baring her teeth, “Those people have secrets, and I know each and every one of them, no exception.” She lingered on her last words, a smile curling in the corner of her mouth, and placed a hand on my belly as mine desperately fanned the heat off my face. What did she know about me?

“My most precious secret is The Love Shack. It’s one I share with my members. In a snap of my fingers, this could all disappear—Poof! I won’t let anybody destroy what took us five years to build, and I’ll protect them until my dying day.” Her hand trailed up between my breasts and curled around my neck, “Consider the kidnapping a warning,” she whispered, “Break the rules again and I will destroy you.”

In a dramatic strut, she made her way to a secret elevator in the back of the room, keeping her head high the whole time. Before she stepped inside, Philippe jumped out of it and stumbled a few times on his fake braided wig. It was too long for his tiny body. How could he let his boss humiliate him? If Taara had enough money to invest in her lavish parties, surely, she could buy clothes that actually fit him.

“I want the original tapes next Friday,” Taara pointed at Elena, whose lashes batted in a doe-like manner. What the hell, Stockholm syndrome, now?

“Don’t even think about copying those videos, I’ll know. This is your last chance.”

She swayed her hips around, put a hand on her waist, and brandished her best fake smile, “Philippe, be a charm and take good care of our two…repenting guests. Ivan will stay at the counter.” Her eyes darted to me, “Now put your mask on, or are you going to break that rule, too?” Just like the annoying Goddess she was, she disappeared into the wall.

She left me speechless. I could understand the mandatory digging into people’s past to ensure everybody’s safety, The Love Shack being an illegal business; but having us stalked and kidnapped for an innocent, harmless camera? That was pointless. I hadn’t watched Elena’s videos—I doubted she had either—but I could put my hand to cut that these images were crap. The Love Shack was too dark to shoot anything with Lee’s old straw.

I couldn’t stand the heat any longer. We had to get out of here. The small Viking traitor startled me out of my thoughts with a friendly hand on my arm, playing all naïve and innocent. As if he didn’t know.

“Hey, Lee. We’re going home now,” I said, bending over her. Her face oozed with pride as she mumbled, “I fucked Taara Bakshi,” and cracked a smile with new-found energy.

“I know. She’s a bitch, though. Come on, let’s leave this place,” I went for her chair, but with a strength I didn’t expect her to have yet, she gripped my neck and pulled me to her mouth to murmur, “No. You take that white mask and find as much as you can about this place.”

“We have to talk about that camera of yours. Let’s go.”

“You’ve seen the look she gave Ivan. She’s hiding something.”

Thinking about it, Taara had oddly reacted to my mentioning the police, and I had a feeling she had a hidden agenda or an army of other precious secrets. She’d made a terrible mistake in threatening me. It only reignited my inexhaustible curiosity and I wasn’t one to lower my head at the first bite on the neck. Little did she know what I was capable of: I’d scrape every corner of The Love Shack if I had to.

Forcing a bright smile at Philippe’s quizzical expression, I straightened back up and played along, “Yes, let’s go down. You could use some ice in your water. It’s too warm up here.”

Phil acquiesced with a shrug, “Sure, they can even squeeze some oranges for her at the bar. She’ll need all the vitamins she can get,” and wheeled Lee to the elevator, his head floating above her sitting level. My fist bumped into the button and resentment took over me as I watched him wave a bag of potato chips at her. Damn, he knew exactly how to win her over.

“I don’t trust you,” I said spitefully, “You knew this was going to happen, and you didn’t do anything to prevent it. You’re supposed to be her friend.”

“If you think Taara tells me all about her plans, think again. I saw you get out of the van in the surveillance camera.” He rubbed his painted face, “That one’s on you. You shouldn’t have let Elena carry that camera around.”

“It’s not my fault that she likes to break rul—”

“Rules,” he cut off, “Are the reason The Love Shack’s still standing today. Don’t act like you don’t care about it, you love it already, like the rest of us!” I paused for a second, admitting to myself that he was right, “Yes, but the kidnapping was way too—”

“Agreed!” he yelled, bringing our electrical conversation within the elevator’s four aseptic walls. Needless to say, I wasn’t fond of him, but the way he defended The Love Shack was proof that his loyalties lay where common interest presided, and altruism was hard to get by these days. Maybe I had some esteem for him after all.

Wasting no time, Elena waved the white flag between us and called for truce with 666’s mask in her hand. Philippe gulped loudly at the sight of it, “Where did you get that?” His words blended in the loud beeps of our masks as we both stashed away the recognizable features of our identity for the night.

The elevator quailed down, and the robotic voice greeted us with its most platonic voice, “1307, 666, touch screen to apply changes.”

Two tablets appeared under our noses, and I didn’t get to answer Philippe’s question that he’d already shrieked, “Don’t touch that tablet!” arms floundering up to the precious device in my hand, in vain. Lee didn’t budge, meaning the only thing she’d be raiding tonight was the bar. Fair enough.

“Chill, I’m not changing anything, just having a look,” I said, and Philippe crossed his arms to pout. My eyes sparkled with desire as I scrolled down 666’s quiz. Every answer added to the mystery of his character. The love thief was a straight softy who only swore by the deep sensations of slow sex, for some secret reason, and I almost envied the unswerving trust and confidence he had for his body; the only part of him that was strictly off limits was his butt hole—the rest was an all-you-can-eat restaurant.

Another beep got me looking at my friend. Weirdly contorted in her chair, she peered at me, waiting for the slightest sign of a dirty secret all the while vacuuming her chips through the small slit of her mask, “So? Tell us! What’s his weakness?”

“He doesn’t have any,” I lied.

“Oh, honey, believe me, they all do,” Philippe grudgingly joined in.

I shook my head. Of course, he did, but it wasn’t a secret I wanted to share with those two. Maybe it was a little presumptuous of me to think so, but in that moment, I felt special and intimately tied to him, being the only one to know that he revered a woman’s lips around his love lure.

Putting the tablet back on its holder, I gazed at Philippe, who nervously tapped his fingers on Elena’s chair. Why was that elevator so slow?

“You should have given me that white mask before we left the lobby!” the Viking growled in a nasal voice.

“Why is it so much of a prob—Ouch!”

A monstrous syringe pierced through the wall and punctured my arm in the exact spot where a blue vein lay, making me curse, “Freaking blood test,” as it tarried to retreat, taunting me with my blood in its belly. Across from me, Elena was so amazed by the technology that I thought she’d be asking Taara for a job by the end of the night.

“Because you’re a woman!” Philippe went on barking, “You have different tests!”

“Like what?”

“A pregnancy test, each week!” His face turned a frightening purple. It was only a matter of seconds before steam blew out of his ears.

“Relax, the quiz asks about contraception, remember? I’m on the pill.”

“Well, people lie in their quiz, Avery! People lie!”

“Don’t worry,” my eyes rolled back in.

“I do! White masks can’t be—” he dropped his head to his feet not to crumble under my pressuring, squinting eyes, “Well?”

His head turned farther away, and with a lump in his throat, he wheezed, “I can’t say.” Elena was watching our ping pong match with an imperturbable attention, and eventually intervened to take my side, “No, Phil, spit it out, you’ve said too much already,”

“Ugh. Fine.” I knew the guy loved a good gossip, but I didn’t think for one second that he’d be so easily convinced.

“White masks are first edition shackers; the founders of The Love Shack: VIPs and wealthy donators. Second edition’s color was blue, then green, red, and this year’s black. If that mask’s owner complains, you’re a dead—”

Butterflies danced in my belly as I imagined 666 as a businessman. Why would he complain about me? I hadn’t done anything wrong.

“Going to The Basement, 666. Please, wait.”

“What’s happening?” I asked, holding onto the rail as the walls abnormally trembled. Philippe went cuckoo. His fingers fiercely hit the up button until it stuck in its socket, and the elevator voice kept repeating its destination in a monotonous tone. Going to The Basement. “No, no, no, we gotta go back up.” Going to The Basement.

“What’s The Basement, Phil?” Elena yelled, clapping her hands excitedly. Going to The Basement. He turned around, not knowing what to do, “Not a place for black masks!” and tugged on his fake hair. “You are at The Basement. Have a good night, 666.”

The doors opened to ear-splitting rave music, blinding spotlights, and a strong smell of tobacco. Chaos. Philippe tightened his grasp on Elena’s wheelchair to prevent her from rolling away.

“Go!” she screamed at me.

Timing couldn’t be more perfect. This was one of Taara’s secrets, right in front of me, and I hadn’t even started my investigation yet. Did 666 come here every week? Being the curious girl that I’d always been, I stepped out of the elevator, determined to make The Love Shack spill its darkest secrets.

“Get inside!” Philippe ordered, “We have to go up before Taara notices!” I didn’t move. The doors closed behind me, taking Elena’s brightest smile with it, and I smiled back so satisfyingly it hurt my jaw. So, Love Shack, show me what you’re hiding.

Horror filled me the way naked women filled the stone-cold cave, assuredly swarming in ever corner of their allotted space. They were either pole dancing, stripping, or more. Their bodies were showered with bills each time they deserved it by a handful of white-masked men who rejoiced in eating the crumbs of a distant—yet so present—past. This wasn’t the twenty-first century. It couldn’t be, and I couldn’t believe that Taara would tolerate such a place under her roof. It didn’t make sense.

Although The Love Shack had birthed the dawn of a new era for the sex industry, being the answer to many sex-related issues in most developed countries, The Basement was the shadow of an ancient, immortal monster that no revolution had ever dared to overthrow, the burdens of History too heavy on the executive’s shoulders to spawn a new beginning. “The business of sex is as old as the hills,” they said, but never questioned its roots, nor its ways. Sex as a business was fine by me, as long as every party involved was equally treated in a respectful way—like in The Love Shack.

I sat at the bar, ordered a double scotch, in need of something strong, and observed the morbidity of my surrounding environment.

These men knew one another. I seethed at the way they talked, laughed and touched those girls. They were sharing them in a playful fight for dominance, like they owned them. The longer I sat there watching, the more it sickened me to the bone.

My presence here was quickly noticed. I was the only white-masked woman. One of the men stared at me longingly from a couch across the room, eyes glimmering through the dark, as two women shared the part of his body where he wanted to be entertained most. Zipping his jeans up, he stood up and lurched down to me, sending a wind of beer and sweat my way. When I saw the beard under his mask, I panicked. The guy. The guy who touched me the first night. It was him. How could he be here? I thought— Overwhelmed, I gulped my whole drink down and fled through the nearest door; it was the washroom’s.

“Please, don’t let him come in,” I prayed to myself, shutting the door close behind me. Keeping my gaze on it just in case, I walked backward…and bumped into somebody’s back.

“Ah!” I screamed. It was him. He was here, washing his hands. How did he get in? The man slapped his dripping hand on my mask, as if it could prevent me from screaming, “Shh, don’t make a sound,” he dragged me to one of the cubicles and locked us in.

“Please don’t touch me, just let me go, I—” I pleaded, out of breath.

He brought a finger to the cardboard lips of his mask, “Shh!” and I noticed his chin was beardless. This wasn’t him.

“Help me, he’s going to—”

“I know.” He stepped closer and leant over to whisper in my ear, “Calm down. I mean you no harm. Just do as I say, and everything will be alright.” There was no dominance in his eyes, and the minty smell of his breath soothed me instantly. His voice. Something was so familiar, so safe, and yet so wrong about his voice. So deep, so melodious, so fake. I closed my eyes, taking a deep breath, and popped them open as the truth came crashing down on me.

“Mathew? Is that you?” I muttered. He hopped away from me, taking his clean hands with him, and tilted his head to the side. His hazel eyes pierced through mine. That stare. That loving, sad stare I’d been served with when I broke up with him. He scanned me from head to toe, “A-Avery? What—How—” and I did what I wasn’t supposed to do: I slid my mask up to the top of my head, and he hurried to do the same.

His handsome square jaw, the ripped muscles of his neck and shoulders, his all so colorful V-shaped T-shirt, his sexy tight grey pants. We stood there for a minute or so, taking in the other’s face and body. Five years had gone by, and we were both the same, yet so different. Adults.

“What are you doing here?” I asked. He leant back against the wall, eyeing the toilet between us, “Same as you apparently.”

“No, I mean, here in Vancouver?” I would have never believed Mathew Morrison capable of leaving Edmonton, ever. Working my dad’s horses had been his whole life since childhood.

He ran his hand about his short jet-black hair and neck, “I, um, I live here, now.”

The door to the washroom squeaked open, “Kitty, kitty, kitty!” and heavy steps on the floor followed.

“Shit. That guy…He…I can’t…Matt, please, do something,”

“Come on, I know you’re hiding. We didn’t get to finish what we started the other night.”

Matt murmured, “Keep quiet,” and placed both hands on each side of my face in a protective gesture. He parted his lips, sending me right down memory lane. Those lips had loved every inch of my body, once.

“Oh, it’s a game, then… Fine, I’ll smash those doors down if I have to. And when I find you, you’ll be sorry you bit me the other night!”

My heart was racing so fast my breathing couldn’t keep up with its inhuman pace. Mathew dropped his head between his shoulders—inches away from my boobs—and shook it. Oh, God. This wasn’t the time for a naughty game.

“Fuck, Conor really wants you,” he forced his tongue out to the side, thinking. Some things hadn’t changed. Steps. Thud. One door down. Thud. Two doors down. The third was ours.

“Ave, kiss me,” he spurted.

“What the—In your dreams!”

“I’m trying to help, kiss me already.” Muddy black shoes appeared under the cabinet. “Now!” What the hell. I wrapped my hands around his neck and pulled him close to my face.

I kissed him. At first, it was an innocent smack, but once our lips touched, the nostalgia of our younger days hit us simultaneously, rekindling an old fire that made us crave a heated smooch. He forcefully grabbed my hands and stretched them out, heaved me up against the tiled wall, and pulled himself closer to my core. My legs curled their way back around his waist easily. His tongue snaked into my mouth, and I relaxed against his tense body, wetness leaking down my lower lips, heart fluttering to the squeeze of his hands on my thighs.

The door slammed open behind us, and Conor laughed, barely standing. I forced my eyes shut, hoping Matt’s plan would work, our faces glued together the whole time.

“Oh, Matty’s got himself a kitty. I’m out of here. None of these whores turn me on anyway. Enjoy that one.”

The door squeaked again; silence. He was gone. Matt’s pants were pretty tight against me, and when we realized what we were doing, the moment became awkward as shit.

“Thank you,” I said in a low voice, our lips the last part of our bodies to part.

“Don’t. Any other decent guy would have done it.”

We placed our masks back on, and I tugged on the hem of my dress to cover my thighs as fast as I could. Mathew’s eyes were devouring them.

“Why are you here, Avery?” he demanded, his voice patronizing all of a sudden. Of course. I fixed my hair, ignoring him, “Since I last checked with myself, you’re not entitled to ask.”

“So, now that you’ve lost, what, half your weight, you like to fuck around in The Love Shack?”

“Excuse me? Oh, my God! Not you, too!” What was it with people who didn’t give a shit about me now suddenly telling me what to do with my body? Natalie, Mathew, who would be next? I walked back to the washroom door.

“Avery!” he shouted and turned me around to face him. I was in no mood to listen to him. Yet, thankful for his help with douchebag Conor, I swallowed all the slurs that could fit his mansplaining, and went with a more gracious response, “You, of all people, have no right to judge me!”

His eyes turned a bright red, and his hands tightened around my arms, “Faceless strangers, huh? Is that what turns you on, now?”

“Oh, shut up! I bet you don’t even remember the faces of all the girls you humped behind my back!” I roared, fists ramming into his chest; and when I was done, his hands grazed down to my wrists, gently, without the challenge of a fight. I’d just hit the right nerve.

“You shouldn’t be here.”

“And you should?” His palms turned up to the ceiling, freeing me, and he bent forward a little, “Yes! I’m working!”

Working? With a white mask and a breath that reeked of liqueur? “Not passing my ass around in this wretched place! What would your dad think?”

I couldn’t find the words to answer, the stab of his words made my heart bleed. In an instant, all the bitterness from our past wreck of a relationship bubbled to the surface. Bringing up my father was one clumsy move but reducing me to my ass was a low blow. Luckily for me, my mask vibrated and turned green. I grabbed the knob, but he slammed his palm on the door, preventing me to go.

“Avery, don’t go, please. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt—”

“You’ve always had a habit of doing just that, I don’t believe you could ever do any better.”

He pulled me against his chest and leant his forehead on mine, like he’d done so many times to apologize—too many times. For all the beautiful moments we’d shared, I could have fallen for it again and stayed with him the whole night, but his hand on my neck also stirred up all the memories of the times he’d destroyed me. I’d made a promise to myself two years ago, and it included staying the hell away from his toxic, darkened heart. After a couple minutes of fighting my old self, I managed to back away, I looked at his mask, shirt, and felt the need to ask, “Was it you, last week?”

“Last week?”

“Were you one of the two men who knocked Conor’s filthy hands off me?” His Adam’s apple bobbed like crazy, “Are you saying Conor laid a hand on you?”

I didn’t move, and it was all the reaction he needed to take my hand and intertwine our fingers, voice trembling with regret, “Please. Stay with me so I can protect you. I miss you.”

What a disgusting liar. “I don’t miss you, Matt, not anymore. And I don’t need anybody to protect me,” and exited the room with nothing but anger in my heart. It was pounding to the point of clogging my ears; I almost didn’t hear his last words, “Conor won’t stop!”

It took me all the way till I was safely back in the elevator to realize I’d held my breath this whole time, and as I attempted to soothe my nerves down with deep breaths and a hand on my belly, I crashed onto the floor, his words playing over and over in my head in the same irritating way that my mask vibrated. He’d always known how to use words to get to me. Yet, his words hadn’t torn my heart to pieces five years ago. They’d covered up for his thoughtless actions. Now that he lived in Vancouver, that my body had changed, and that he that he missed me—or so he’d said—I could forecast a lot of Mathew’s seductive rain showers on my doorstep in the upcoming weeks.

I was so grateful for the freedom of choice that The Love Shack offered me—against some people’s wishes—yet so scared that Matt might be right about Conor. I’d have to learn how to protect myself, because I wouldn’t let any man save or hurt me ever again, especially if I was going to dig into that Basement thing alone.

When the doors opened to the dark, stone tunnel, I wanted nothing more than to release some of tonight’s pressure with somebody who’d hold me and love me like 666 had. I strode down the rows of blazing torches to the platform, supported by the cadence of epic tambourines blasting through the speakers.

After my mask beeped, every part of me stiffened. It was 666’s mask I was wearing, and he only liked women. No, no, no. Shit, what had I just done?

“Looking for suitable matches,” the robotic voice said, but no loud clicks or green lights followed.

“Hold on to the rail.”

The platform suddenly zoomed up another giant tube above my head, propelled in the air by a hydraulic actuator. I could see the stars far up in the sky through the roofless top as I passed by countless doors, hollowed in the cement wall. It smoothly stopped, and a rounded door clicked in front of me, probably twenty feet above ground. I stepped onto the green wooden balcony. How the hell could I go down now? The only way out of here seemed to be through.

I looked up the door, and automatically, goosebumps invaded my skin as the whirlwind of tonight’s emotions washed over me, thankful tears welling up in my eyes.

I always knew it would be a hot night. Room thirteen. The kidnapping, the mask, The Basement, Conor, Mathew…but of all the things I’d hoped would happen, I hadn’t expected that. The intercom under my eyes flashed green under the torch’s flickering flame, and I almost let the tears run out when I read these words, written in bold letters: You have chosen 1308. I turned around. All other balconies were red. How was this possible?

A/N : Next chapter is going to be...steamy. So, what do you think is going to happen? Do you think 666 is a character that’s already been introduced or not? Place your bets ! :)
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