Four months had passed since Angel had become my slave, and some things in my life had changed dramatically. For one thing, I never got around to sharing her, and I never invited another woman to my apartment again. Cynthia had called a couple of times and asked if she could come over, but I always made up an excuse. I couldn’t have said why to anyone else, but Angel was just too special to do that to her. It was the longest I had ever had only one partner since I lost my virginity at sixteen.
In the four months I had her, I had added to her jewelry. In addition to her collar and cuffs, she now wore gold nipple rings and a gold clit ring. She was still an exceptional housekeeper and cook, and she took care of all my needs, sexual and mundane. She had my clothes set out every morning, made sure I ate a good breakfast, and had dinner ready when I got home on weekdays. During the weekends and some evenings, I introduced her to the culture of New York City and the surrounding area. She had never been to an art gallery or the Natural History Museum or any of the other dozens of museums in the city. She had never been to Broadway or Times Square, and I made sure she experienced all of these things. I also introduced her to sex on the subway, sex in a movie theater, sex in a restaurant, and sex in Central Park among other places. She was now the perfect slave in all areas but one, and it was that one area that had me pacing the living room, clenching and unclenching my fist around my phone and willing myself not to throw it through the window.
She was late. Again. She was supposed to have been home at four, and it was closing in on five thirty.
At least once a week for the past four months, I’d had to punish her for being late for something. Sometimes it was dinner, sometimes it was getting ready to go out, and sometimes it was just because I told her to be somewhere at a certain time. I had tried everything to break this bad habit of hers: putting her in the corner, withholding her allowance, making her clean the apartment nonstop for an entire afternoon, refusing to let her serve or service me, orgasm denial—everything I could think of that didn’t involve my hand or a belt on her ass, but that was going to change tonight. Tonight, she was going to feel my belt on her skin until she begged me to stop. I was sick of this shit.
She had called me over an hour ago to tell me that she had lost track of time while shopping for groceries—again—and that she would be home soon. She pleaded with me not to be angry with her—again—but it was far too late for that. I wasn’t just angry; I was furious, and I was attempting to calm down before she came home. I didn’t want to belt her when I was this upset, but I wasn’t having any luck with my temper. It didn’t help that she wasn’t answering my texts anymore or my calls. I figured it was probably because she was scared, but the fact that she was ignoring me only added to my rage.
I was just about to call her again when my phone buzzed. I looked at it and saw that it was her. I answered and snarled, “Where the fuck are you, Angelina? Why haven’t you answered your fucking phone?”
The voice that answered wasn’t hers, and I froze in mid-pace.
“She’s been a little tied up, Borget. Sorry she made you wait. Maybe if you kept her on a shorter leash, she wouldn’t have been so easy to find.”
“Palardy. What the fuck are you doing with Angel’s phone?”
“Oh, so now she’s Angel again? What happened to Angelina? Or is that only when she’s in trouble? Makes sense. The only time my mother called me Theodore was when she was about to take a belt to me. How about you, Brenden? Have you beaten her yet? Has she pissed you off enough for that yet? I didn’t see any marks on her, so I’m going to guess not. That’s going to change soon, though.”
“Where is she, Ted? What did you do to her?”
“Do to her? Nothing yet, but you’d better get here fast. I can do a lot of damage in a very short amount of time. Kind of like you and your friends. I wonder if my knife is as sharp as yours was.”
“That wasn’t me, you fucking bastard! When I left that club, you were intact! But I swear to God that if you harm her in any way, you will not live to see tomorrow.”
“You’ll have to catch me first, you fuck! I’m going to hurt her like you hurt me.” I heard the sound of leather connecting with flesh, and Angel screamed. “You’ll find her at 145 Merrick in Jamaica. Like I said, you’d better hurry. I’m not sure she’ll be conscious when you get here. As a matter of fact, I think she’ll probably have to spend months in the hospital just like I did!”
The call was disconnected, but I had already grabbed my jacket and bolted out the door. Eduardo saw me coming and opened the door without a word. God must have been smiling down on me, for one of my neighbors was just exiting a cab as I ran out onto the sidewalk. As soon as they were out, I jumped in and gave the driver the address in Jamaica.
“Hurry!” I yelled at him, and he floored it once he got into traffic. I took my phone and dialed Andrew’s number. When he answered, I told him what was happening.
He immediately said, “Let me call Ella. She’s a lot closer than you are, and Thomas can help.”
“Fuck, Andrew, what am I going to do? I can’t lose her.”
“Don’t worry, Brenden. Let me call Ella, and I’ll call you right back.”
He hung up, and I dropped my head in my hands. “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!”
The driver spoke up. “Did I hear you right? Someone’s got your girl?”
“Yes.” I looked up and saw that he had increased his speed.
“At the address we’re headed to?”
He didn’t say anything else to me, but he immediately got on the radio. “Jimmy, you there?”
“Yeah, Charlie. What’s up?”
“Where are you right now? Anywhere near Merrick in Jamaica?”
“Hey! You psychic or something? I just dropped off a fare a block away from there. Why?”
Charlie glanced at me, and I nodded. “I need you to go to 145 Merrick. Some asshole has a girl there and is probably beating the shit out of her right now.” My phone rang, and I answered it. It was Andrew again.
“You’re in luck, buddy. Thomas is in Jamaica right now. He went down there for Ella, and she’s contacting him now. He’ll get her, I promise.”
“Call Ella back. Have her tell Thomas not to do anything but get Angel out of there and make sure Palardy doesn’t escape.” I growled deep in my chest. “He’s mine, Andrew.”
I hung up and started tapping my foot against the floor of the cab. I knew Charlie was going as fast as he could, and I appreciated that. A lot. But I knew it would take at least half an hour to reach Jamaica even at this speed, and I literally bit my tongue so as not to scream at him to go faster.
Five minutes later, my phone buzzed, and I saw Angel’s number on the screen. I answered, and a deep voice said, “Is this Master Brenden?”
“Yes. Who the fuck is this?”
“My name is Thomas, sir. I work for Mistress Ella. I just wanted to let you know, sir, that Angelina is with me, and the fuck who had her is here waiting for you. He’s not going anywhere, sir.”
I breathed a sigh of relief. “Let me talk to her.”
There was the sound of rustling, and then Angel’s voice, thick with tears, said, “Master?”
“Angel, baby, are you all right?”
A sob was wrenched from her, and my blood boiled. “No, Master. He…he hurt me.”
My hand clenched around the phone so tightly I thought I would shatter it. “What did he do to you?”
Through her tears and sobs and broken sentences I made out that he had strung her up from the ceiling, punched and kicked her, whipped her with his belt, and, the thing that made me want to slit his throat, raped her with a baseball bat. Most of that had been done before he ever called me. Only the belting had been after. There was no longer any doubt in my mind. That fucker was going to die tonight. Somehow I’d figure out a way not to get caught, but his life was over, and he was going to die in the most painful way I could think of.
By the time we reached the abandoned warehouse that was surrounded by more abandoned buildings, I knew exactly what I was going to do to him. When Charlie screeched to a halt behind a second cab in front of the building, I said, “Stay here,” and jumped out. I raced into the building. What I saw when I got inside caused me to stagger to a stop.
Palardy was hogtied on the floor with a gag taped in his mouth, and he was already sporting a black eye. When he saw me, his eyes bulged out of his head, and he started squirming on the floor. A man, who I assumed was Jimmy, was sitting near him, and he frowned at me. I barely noticed this, though. What captured my attention was my Angel. She was also curled up on the floor, but she was naked except for her collar and cuffs, and her head was in the lap of a huge man. He was softly petting her hair, and he looked up at me when I entered.
“She’s hurting, Master Brenden. I think she needs to go to the hospital, sir.”
I knew he was right. Both her eyes were blackened, her bottom lip was swollen to twice its normal size, and she was clutching her stomach. I could see blood dripping onto the floor from between her legs and out of her mouth, and I could see bruises already forming around her throat and wrists and ankles where he had obviously tried to take off the gold rings. Her nipples were bleeding, and I could tell he had just ripped her jewelry from her. I knew without looking that her clit ring had been ripped out, too. I rushed to her, took my jacket off, draped it over her, and gently lifted her into my arms.
“Angel, my Angel, I’m here.” She moaned, and her hands tightened in my shirt.
“Master, it hurts! It hurts so much!”
“I know, baby. I’m going to get you help.” I glanced at the man who had held her, and he nodded.
“He’ll be here when you get back, sir. I already talked to Mistress Ella. She’s fine with me staying here as long as necessary.”
“Thank you, Thomas.” I carried Angel out to the cab and got in.
“Holy shit!” Charlie immediately pulled out into traffic without me saying anything. “Jamaica Medical Center is ten minutes away, sir. I’ll get you there in five.”
“Thank you, Charlie,” I said as I cradled Angel to my chest. “Hold on, baby. We’re not far.” As we drove, I removed her collar and cuffs and stuck them in my jacket pocket.
True to his word, six minutes later, Charlie slammed on his brakes in the emergency parking lot of the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. I reached into my pocket, threw a hundred dollar bill over the seat, told him that he and Jimmy knew nothing about what had happened, and got out of the cab after he assured me they wouldn’t say anything to the cops. Carefully, I carried Angel inside the hospital.
As soon as we entered, a nurse saw us and ran to help.
“She called me,” I said. “She said she’d been beaten and raped. I got her here as quickly as I could.”
“Put her on the gurney.” I tried to, but Angel had such a tight grip on me that I couldn’t.
“No!” she screamed. “No, please, Brenden! Don’t leave me, please!”
I sucked in my breath when she said my name. “Baby girl, let go. I’m not going anywhere.”
She slowly did as I said, but I held onto her hand after I laid her down.
“Sir,” the nurse said, “you have to let her go.”
“Not a fucking chance. I’m staying with her.” I glared at the nurse, and she glared back for a moment before sighing and nodding.
“Fine, but you have to stay out of the doctor’s way. Understand?”
We moved her to a curtained area, and the nurse said, “I’ll get the doctor right away.” I just nodded and stepped close to the gurney.
“Listen to me, my Angel,” I said softly when the nurse disappeared. “You don’t know who did this to you, do you understand me?”
“Yes, Master,” she whispered. “I understand.”
“He is mine to deal with, not the cops. You can tell them where it happened and what happened, but not who did it.”
“Good girl.” I gently kissed her forehead just as a doctor and two nurses stepped up to the gurney. They quickly transferred her to a bed.
“Sir, you have to step back. Let us examine her,” the doctor said.
I pulled my hand from hers. She whimpered, and the sound went straight through my heart, but I just said, “It’s all right, my Angel. I’m still here.”
She nodded, and then the next fifteen minutes or so were spent with the medical personnel hovering over her and checking out her injuries. At that point, another nurse came up to me.
“Sir, I need her information. Can you come with me, please?”
“Just a second.” I stepped to the end of the bed and caressed Angel’s foot. “Baby, I need to go do something. I’ll be right back.” When tears started dripping down her cheeks, I squeezed her foot lightly. “Five minutes, Angel, I promise.” I stepped back and followed the nurse to the front counter.
After filling out the paperwork and telling the nurse that Angel had granted me Medical Power of Attorney, I pulled out my phone and dialed Andrew’s number. He answered immediately.
“Brenden. How is she?”
“She’s fucked up, Andrew, but not nearly as much as Palardy will be,” I said softly. “I need you to do something for me.”
“Move him. Angel is going to tell the cops where she was raped, and he can’t be there. Move him somewhere safe for me. Tell me later where he is, and I’ll take care of the rest.”
“You got it. So, he raped her? How?”
“With a fucking baseball bat,” I growled. “That’s the least of what I am going to do to him tonight. He's a dead man, Andrew.”
“Fuck! I know just where to take him, Brenden. I’ll call you later with the location.”
“Thanks, Andrew. I owe you big time.”
“No, you don’t. You’d do the same for me if it was Heidi.”
“Yeah, I would. I gotta go now. I don’t want to leave Angel alone too long.”
I hung up and went back to my Angel. The doctor was just finishing up with her, and he said, “Mr. Borget, my name is Doctor Namur. I just wanted to let you know that the police have already been called and should be here soon. We’re going to take Angelina for a CT scan. I think she has some internal injuries. She told me she was raped with a bat. Is that what she told you?”
I scowled and said, “Yes, and if I ever find the fucker who did this…”
Doctor Namur put his hand on my arm. “Let the police handle it, son. That’s their job.”
I just nodded. “Can I come with her?”
“You can’t be with her during the scan, but you can wait in the hallway. I’ll let the nurse at the front desk know to send the police there. They’ll have some questions for both of you.”
I walked beside Angel’s bed as they pushed it down the hall. I held onto her hand, but she looked like she was about to fall into unconsciousness, and her grip was lax. When we reached the CT room, she was out, and I frowned deeply when Doctor Namur said, “Don’t worry, son. We’ll take good care of her.” They disappeared behind a swinging gray door, and I began to pace the hallway.
Only a few minutes passed before a man in a shabby blue suit walked down the hallway toward me. I knew he was a detective, and I stopped pacing and dropped into a chair across the hall from the CT room. He took a seat next to me.
“Mr. Borget?” he asked.
“Yes, that’s me.”
“My name is Detective Donovan. I understand that you brought Miss Wykes in?”
He pulled out a notebook. “And what is your relationship with Miss Wykes?”
“She lives with me.”
“As your roommate or as your girlfriend?”
I looked him in the eye. “Girlfriend, Detective.” Not true, but I couldn’t very well tell him she was my slave.
“And what is your address?”
I told him, and he asked what had happened, to tell him in my own words. I did, to a certain extent.
“I got a call about two hours ago. It was Angel. She said she’d been beaten and raped and left in a warehouse in Jamaica. I immediately got in a cab and went there. I found her in the warehouse at 145 Merrick. She was bloody, and she had obviously been raped. I brought her here as fast as I could.”
“You didn’t call us?”
“No. She was hurt, Detective. I wanted to get her help first. Besides, I knew the hospital would call you. I didn’t want to waste any time.”
“How is she?”
I sighed and dropped my head. “Not good. The doctor thinks she has internal injuries.” I looked at him without raising my head. “She said he raped her with a baseball bat, Detective.”
“Really? That’s not good. Did she say who it was?”
“She said she didn’t know him. She was grocery shopping, and he grabbed her from behind. He threatened to kill her.” My breath caught, and I rubbed my eyes with the heels of my hands. “He almost did.”
At that moment, the door across the hall slammed open, and Angel’s bed was rapidly pushed down the hall. I jumped to my feet.
“What the fuck is happening?”
Doctor Namur stepped up to me. “She started hemorrhaging, Mr. Borget. She’s being taken to surgery to see if they can stop it.”
“Surgery? Is she going to make it?”
“I don’t know, Mr. Borget,” the doctor said, and I took a step toward him. He backpedaled, and I felt the detective’s hand on my arm.
“Is she going to die, Doctor?” I growled, and he just shook his head.
“I don’t know. Maybe. There’s a lot of internal damage, Mr. Borget.”
Maybe. Maybe my Angel would die. I sank to my knees in the middle of the hallway and stared at the floor. She couldn’t die. I couldn’t live with that.
“Mr. Borget,” Detective Donovan said softly, “is there someone I can call for you? Someone who can come be with you?”
“Andrew Maddox,” I said mechanically. “His number’s in my phone.”
A hand dipped into my jacket and pulled out my phone. I vaguely heard someone talking, but my brain was shutting down, and I sat down on the floor, my back against the chairs. I pulled my knees up to my chest and wrapped my arms around them. I heard a soft moaning surrounding me, and I wondered where it was coming from. I dropped my head onto my knees and started to rock back and forth. The moaning was still there, just as I was still there, hours or minutes later, when I felt a strong hand on my shoulder.
“Brenden, I’m here, brother. It’ll be all right. She’ll be all right.”
I lifted my head and couldn’t understand why Andrew was blurry. “But…” My voice caught, and I realized I was crying and that the moaning was coming from me. “Andrew, what if she’s not? I can’t lose her. I can’t. I love her, Andrew. I can’t lose her.”
He sat down on the floor next to me and put his arm around me. He pulled me close and asked, “Does she know?”
I spat out a bitter laugh. “Of course not! Because I’m a fucking prick without the guts to tell her. And now I may never get the chance.”
We sat there in silence on the floor of the hospital for an eternity before a doctor in green scrubs walked down the hallway and stopped in front of us. By then my grief had turned into rage, and I was trying my best not to run out of the hospital and beat the life out of Palardy.
“Which of you is Mr. Borget?” the doctor asked.
I scrambled to my feet and Andrew followed me. “I am.”
He smiled. “My name is Doctor Oberson. I’m pleased to tell you that Miss Wykes’ surgery went very well. There was a lot of blood loss, but we stopped it. There was also a lot of internal damage, however. We had to repair several lacerations to her bowels and perform a partial hysterectomy. She still has her ovaries, but we had to remove the uterus and cervix. I understand she was raped with a bat?”
My growl was the only answer he needed, and he nodded soberly. “Well, she’s in the PACU right now, but as soon as she wakes up, she’ll be moved to the ICU. You can be with her then.”
“How long until she wakes up?” I asked.
“She should be awake soon, but it’ll take a few hours before she’s aware of what’s happening around her. If you’d like to go to the surgical waiting area, I’ll let you know when you can see her.”
“Thank you, Doctor,” I said, holding out my hand. He shook it with a nod and disappeared.
“Come on, Brenden. Let’s find this waiting room,” Andrew said as he guided me toward a nurse. After we asked her where to go, we started in that direction.
When I knew we wouldn’t be overheard, I asked, “Has it been taken care of?”
“Absolutely. I was going to call with the address, but I can just tell you now. County Road 659 off of Fish House in Kerny. Antoine’s Shipping. A buddy of mine owns the business, and he had no problems with holding the fucker for you.”
I just nodded as we got to the waiting area, and then we sat and waited. And waited. And waited. After twenty minutes, I got up and paced. After half an hour, my fists were clenched, and my pacing had turned into a silent, stationary fuming. After an hour, Andrew was trying to keep me from punching someone. Anyone. At one point, I almost took a swing at him, but I knew he’d retaliate, and I really didn’t want a fight in the middle of the hospital. Finally, Doctor Oberson walked into the room. I whirled on him, but he just held up a hand.
“Please, Mr. Borget, sit down.”
I just stood there and scowled at him.
“Brenden, sit,” Andrew said, and I turned the scowl on him. He shrugged. “Never mind. Stand if you want.”
“What is taking so long, Doctor? I thought you said she’d be awake soon. Over an hour is not soon.”
“No, it isn’t. I have some bad news for you.” He gestured toward one of the chairs. “Please sit down.”
“No, I think I’ll stand.”
He sighed. “Fine. Miss Wykes should have been awake by now. Groggy, but awake. She’s not. Her vital signs are good, but she’s still unconscious. We did a CT scan of her brain, and there is no swelling or bleeding, so it may be that she simply doesn’t want to wake up. It’s possible she’s retreated into herself as a result of her trauma.”
I growled, and Andrew put his hand on my arm. I yanked it away from him and took a step backward toward the door. “When will she wake up?”
The doctor shrugged one shoulder. “There’s no way to tell. It could be minutes or hours or days. I know she had some head trauma, and that may be the cause, even without swelling or bleeding, maybe it was the loss of blood, or her brain may have just decided to protect her by staying asleep. There’s no way to know.”
“When can I see her?”
“Not for a while. A few hours at least. We’re still running some tests on her.”
I turned to Andrew and said, “Give them my cell number.”He just nodded, pulled his keys out of his pocket, and handed them to me. He said nothing but had a slight frown on his face, and I turned and walked out of the room, out of the hospital, and into the parking garage. I pushed the button on the fob until I saw the flashing lights, and then I broke every driving law on the books as I raced toward New Jersey.