Chapter 23 Little Bambi
Showing no emotion, Caroline rose from the armchair and started walking away. “Congratulations, Ms. King.” Caroline stopped on her tracks to turn back and look at him. She smirked and continued walking, leaving Liam reminiscing the image of her gracefulness in his mind.
Before going down the stairs, one of her bodyguards placed her white fur boa over her shoulders. She went down the stairs and was greeted by old acquaintances. Caroline spent an hour going around the casino greeting executives and politicians.
When she met with the last politician and finished her conversation with the politician with the typical, “please, excuse me. I must go to the pouter room.” Caroline slipped away and her bodyguards followed her. “Politicians are a pain in the ass. They’re just full of shit,” Caroline commented, making the bodyguards chuckle.
Caroline entered the ladies’ room and looked at herself in the mirror. She touched up her makeup and washed her hands.
When she walked out of the bathroom and got back to the casino as Dave rushed to her. “Ms. King, I’ve been looking for you.” He looked at the watch on his wrist and grabbed onto her arm. He led her into the elevator and the bodyguards stopped him from pressing any buttons.
Looking at the tall buff men in black suits, Dave felt a cold sweat drop creep down his face. Caroline smiled and said, “I’m not going anywhere without them.” Dave leaned closer to her and whispered in her ear, “Ms. King, we’re going to the auction I told you about.”
Caroline looked at the bodyguards and dismissed them. “It’s okay, boys.” They let the doors of the elevator close and Dave placed the special key in the elevator, enabling the penthouse button of the elevator. Dave pressed it and the elevator started running, but instead of going up, it started going down.
“Why are we going down?”
“You will see, Ms. King,” Dave responded.
When they reached the floor below, Caroline could not help but wonder how it was possible for there to be a floor below the building. Then recalled the remarkable architecture of the building. Caroline followed Dave along the long, dimly illuminated corridor until they reached the door down the corridor.
The dark automatic doors and Caroline went inside the room first. She looked around and the only light in the room was the lights on the ceiling, illuminating the stage. Before they stepped further into the room, Dave grabbed Caroline’s hand and signaled her to grab a mask from the collection laid out on the table next to them.
Caroline grabbed a black lace mask with feathers and a black rose at the left top corner of the mask. She put it on as Dave put on his mask. He handed her a card with a number and they stepped inside the room filled with chairs and only two chairs left empty.
The auction was almost about to finish. There was a sapphire set of jewelry displayed on the screen. The bidders continued to raise the bid until it reached forty thousand dollars. The set was sold to a slightly old man. It seemed he bought it for his trophy wife, who was sitting right next to him, thanking him.
“Before this auction comes to a conclusion, we have one last object to auction,” said the man standing in front of the podium. The way the man said the word “object” pondered in Caroline’s mind.
The curtain was lifted and only one light was left beaming, illuminating the young woman sitting on the floor. The woman wore pigtails and was dressed in a school uniform. Caroline’s blood boiled when she saw the girl on the floor. She could not help but get angry at how the man referred to her as an object.
“Here, we have a nineteen-year-old, virgin." When the man said “virgin,” the crowd of men suddenly got more interested. “Her name? It doesn’t matter. You can call her whatever you want because after you pay for her, she will be yours.” Caroline clicked her tongue. “Men are truly disgusting.”
"We will begin the bid at fifteen thousand dollars.” The money began to rise quickly as the men in the room rose their cards, stating their bit. The bid had already risen to half a million dollars. Caroline looked at the woman on the stage and couldn’t help but think of her as a girl. Technically, she was just a girl that had just become a legal adult not long ago.
Caroline could not help but wonder why the woman was there. She looked scared and as if she was forced into the situation, she was in. Caroline could not help but feel a bit of sympathy for the girl. Caroline met eyes with the girl on stage. She looked like she was about to cry. She looked into her eyes and decided to rescue the girl from the old men that were bidding uncontrollably for the girl. “No wonder why this place is hidden underground and why are taking such measures with identity. After all, no one in this room would want to face charges for human trafficking,” she said to herself.
Caroline rose her card with the number twenty-five and said, “One million.” The room fell silent. The other bidders turned to look at the voice that came from the back row of the room. “One million five thousand,” said a man. Then the offers followed.
Caroline rose from her seat and said, “two million.” Seeing the man up on the stage’s hesitation, she added, “cash.” The room was instability silent for a few seconds before it broke out into murmurs.
When the man finally reacted, he said, “two million going one. Two million going twice... Sold, to the woman in the back!” Joseph, who had sneaked inside the room earlier, walked closer to Caroline as she stood up from the chair. He handed her a briefcase and she went to the man up on the stage. She opened the briefcase, revealing the stacks of green papers inside the briefcase.
Before the man could his hands on the money inside the briefcase, Caroline closed it and gave the man a skeptical look. The man walked closer to the girl in the middle of the stage, her cheeks flushed and tears streaming down her face. He grabbed the woman’s hand and dragged her to the side of the stage where Caroline was standing.
The man pushed the woman closer to Caroline as she handed him the briefcase. Caroline took a grasp of the woman’s arm. She leaned closer to her ear and tenderly said, “let’s get out of here.” Caroline and Joseph left the room together with the woman. Joseph had taken off his blazer and placed it over the woman’s shoulder. They got on another elevator, which would take them to a deserted hallway in the casino.
When they reached the first floor of the casino, they got off the elevator and walked to the door at the end of the hallway. They went through the door and Caroline’s chauffeur got off the driver’s seat and walked to the door. He opened the door and Caroline walked the girl who was still sobbing and led her in the car.
Caroline walked to the other door and took off the mask she was wearing. She threw the mask on the street and got on the car. She closed the door and Joseph got on the front seat of the car. The driver drove off to where Joseph had directed him.
When they arrived at the residential building Caroline owned, they went to Caroline’s private garage. They got off the car and Caroline led the woman to the elevator. They went to the penthouse of the building.
After Joseph left, Caroline stayed in the penthouse with the girl. Caroline held a lit cigarette in between her fingers as she watched the woman weeping on the couch. Caroline took a puff of the cigarette and walked to the kitchen. She grabbed a glass of water and walked back to the dimly illuminated living room. She walked closer to the girl sitting on the couch and reached over the glass of water.
The woman gazed up at her and refused the glass of water. Caroline clicked her tongue and placed the glass of water on top of the glass coffee table. She walked to the white armchair in the corner of the living room. She took a seat and crossed her legs. “Little Bambi, you can stop crying now,” she said, showing no emotion in her tone, “you are safe here.”
The woman lifted her gaze to look at Caroline. “Wha- What?” Still showing no emotion, Carline responded, “I will not do anything to you. In fact, I brought you here to save you from those men.” The woman said nothing. “Little Bambi, I only brought you here out of pity. I couldn’t let you just be sold off to some disgusting old man.”
The woman embarrassedly looked down as she clenched her fists whilst grabbed the hem of her skirt. “Why- why would you do that?” Caroline took a puff and responded, “considerate charity.” The woman looked up after hearing Caroline’s cold tone. She could not help but feel intimidated by her. Her strong aura, her intimidating demeanor, and her overall character gave the girl goosebumps.
Caroline took another puff before talking. “What’s your name, little Bambi?” The woman looked up again and softly spoke, “Breanna Rees.” Despite her low tone, Caroline was able to make up the name. She took out her cellphone and texted Joseph.
Afterward, she put her phone away and looked at the woman. “Umm- what’s your name?” Caroline showed a faint smirk before saying, “you don’t need to know my name.” Caroline stood up from the armchair and walked closer to the woman. She put out the cigarette and left the cigarette butt in the ashtray. “tell me, little Bambi. Why was a girl like you at a place like that?” Breanna felt Caroline’s tone a bit warmed than before. Caroline crouched down next to Breanna’s legs and reached out her hand. She tenderly wiped away the tears that had nearly dried on the woman’s face.
“I needed the money. They promised to give me fifty percent of the money from the bidding.” Caroline laughed, taking Breanna by surprise. She caressed Breanna’s cheek and said, “you are quite naïve, little Bambi. You were never going to get such money.”
“They- they also said I could ask for more money to whoever bought me.” Caroline rolled her eyes as she said, “of course they did.” Caroline retrieved her hand and grabbed her cellphone, which she had placed on top of the glass coffee table. With her smartphone, she turned on the lights in the penthouse. She was able to get a good look at Breanna’s face.
“You are quite pretty, too.” Caroline stood back up, she turned around and looked out the floor-to-ceiling window. “Though it does make me wonder why you would go to such lengths like selling your body for money.” Caroline turned around and made eye contact with Breanna before she lowered her head. Caroline crossed her arms, expecting an answer from Breanna.
“Do you have any family, little Bambi, how do you think they would feel if they knew what you were doing?”
“My parents died in a car accident when I was young, I’ve been an orphan since then.” Caroline’s expression suddenly changed. Breanna looked up and spoke, “my boyfriend is in the hospital fighting for his life. The doctors were going to get him off life support if I didn’t pay the money.” As she spoke, she dropped her head again, breaking off eye contact with Caroline.
Caroline’s look changed again when she heard Breanna did what she did to save her boyfriend. “Little Bambi, are you really a virgin?” Startled by the question, Breanna rose her head and looked at Caroline’s serious expression. “Yes- yes, I am.”
Caroline rose her eyebrow. “How long have you been your boyfriend?”
“Four years? That’s quite some time. Tell me, little Bambi, how do you think your boyfriend would feel if he were to find out you tried selling your virginity? How do you think he would react?” Breanna looked at the floor once more and Caroline added, “obviously, he would not take it well after knowing you sold what he desperately wanted to have.”
Breanna looked back up and said, “he-he loves me. He would understand I did it for him.” Caroline chuckled as she stepped closer to Breanna. She placed her fingers under Breanna’s chin, guiding her gaze to meet hers. “You are stupider than I thought, little Bambi.” Breanna tried to look away, but Caroline forced her face back to look at her in the eyes. “Stop lowering your head.”
Just then, Joseph stepped off the elevator and walked to the living room. “Here is what you asked.” He handed Caroline the designer-branded paper bags. Caroline looked inside the Balenciaga paper bags and then reached it out to Breanna who had stood up as soon as she saw she saw Joseph come in.
Breanna grabbed the paper bags and Caroline said, “this is the best we could do at this time. Joseph will take you to the guest bedroom. Take a shower and get rid of that hideous costume.” Breanna nodded and said, “thank you,” before following Joseph.