Chapter 1:1 - Cate
Catherine ‘Cate’ Elson was going for a night on the town with her best friend Shania. The girls spent hours getting ready—singing, dancing and drinking. They were already well on the way to sloshdom by the time they reached the first bar—a shot of tequila in there, and another in the next bar, and so on, by the time they had reached the nightclub at the end of Main Street, they could barely stand. They were so drunk the bouncer was about to refuse them entry when a voice from behind them said, “I’ll vouch for them.”
“Yes, Mr Chianeon,” the bouncer said.
“Thank you.” Cate turned to thank her benefactor. She had to look up. The man was huge, easily six feet four, compared to her five-feet exactly. By the time Cate had dragged her gaze up his muscular torso encased in a shimmering white shirt, to his face, her eyes had widened. Her benefactor was beautiful, and he smiled, at her. He had green eyes, a chiselled jawline, tanned skin, short, wavy dark blonde hair, and perfect lips.
“Never let it get said that I stopped a pretty young lady from enjoying herself,” Mr Chianeon said with a smile that made Cate’s heart quicken its pace. It came to an almost abrupt stop when she saw that he had both his arms around two incredibly beautiful blonde women.
’Oh well, I never stood a chance with him anyhow.’
She said, “Thanks,” once more and made her way inside the club.
Cate danced for about an hour after going deliberately onto soda water to try to sober up. “Sober water,” her mum called it. Mr Chianeon sat in a booth with a group of people, flanked on either side by the two beautiful women. Her gaze frequently alighted on his handsome face—each time it did, he was looking right back at her—even while he was nibbling on one of the blonde women’s ears and had his hand in a place that it shouldn’t be in public, his gaze remained firmly on Cate.
Shania also repeatedly looked towards him, she even waved at him once, but he did not acknowledge her. Shania was a pretty girl with a perfect pout, long dark luscious locks and big dark eyes which she always accentuated with plenty of eyeshadow and false eyelashes. She was not the kind of girl to tolerate getting ignored—especially not in favour of her pretty, but nowhere near as pretty as her, mousy-haired friend Cate.
“He’s out of your league,” Shania said, spitefully, as she shrugged her shoulders to give the air that the situation had not rattled her. Cate knew better—Shania was livid.
“Head hurting?” Cate heard the man’s voice before she opened her eyes. When she did, her vision was blurry. Inwardly she began to panic, she had heard of this, date rape. A wave of anxiety came over her again, but she could not stay awake. She could not open her eyes again, let alone keep them open. Her head felt like a pneumatic drill was going off inside, but it also felt like lead that was glued to the bed for she could not lift it. Sleep pulled her back down—it was impossible to fight, leaving her altogether at his mercy.
The next time she roused from sleep, her eyelids felt like someone had glued them together—she panicked and clawed at them to get them open. They opened, they had stuck, crusty with sleep, but not glued shut, and even with blurred vision, she could see that she was not in her own room. It had not been a nightmare—she had heard a man speak to her earlier. Why was it only her head hurting? Surely if he had raped her, she should hurt down below. The thought of getting raped caused vomit to rise in her throat—she leaned over the side of the bed and threw up over the floor. ’That’ll teach you to kidnap and rape me.’ Unable to fight it any longer, after lying her head back on the pillow, sleep pulled her back down.
The next time she awoke, her mouth and throat were dry. They probably had been the first two times, but this was the first time the discomfort was on par with the pain in her head. This time she managed to open her eyes, which were also dry and still crusty, but she opened them without panicking that someone had glued them shut.
There was a nightstand next to the bed—on it sat a glass with a note which said, ‘Alka Seltzer.’ For all she knew, it could be more drug, but she was so thirsty that she was willing to take the risk. She managed to lift her head slightly, bringing the glass to her lips, spilt lots but managed to swallow most of the half-pint glass. It tasted foul, but it did at least taste like Alka Seltzer. When she looked over the side of the bed to where she had vomited, she was surprised that someone had cleaned it up. Laying her head back on the pillow, she rolled onto her back, causing the room to spin. She nearly vomited again but managed to keep the liquid down. ’This is a comfortable bed for a rape victim.’ He had not chained or restrained her in any way. The Alka Seltzer must have contained more drug as she could not keep her eyes open. Sleep pulled her back in, her eyes rolled, and she gave up fighting the unconsciousness.
“Catherine, it’s nearly three in the afternoon, are you ever going to get up?” the man’s voice coaxed, not quite how she would expect a kidnapper come rapist to speak to her. “I knew going out with that girl was a mistake,” he continued, and she felt the bed depress at the side of her. “How are you feeling? Did the Alka Seltzer help?” She felt him stroke her face with his finger—she was too scared to move and could not fathom what was happening? She had seen something like this in a movie—where a woman held a man hostage by breaking his legs. Did she answer him? What would he do if she did not?
“There’s a jug of water with lime on the side—I think you need to hydrate. You were pretty drunk…” Cate opened her eyes at the mention of water and lime, cutting him dead in his tracks—it was her favourite drink. Not only was it her drink of choice, but when her eyes stopped rolling, and her vision cleared—it was just the way she made it at home, a jug with a whole lime sliced into thin pieces with crushed ice.
“Thank you,” she managed through her dry throat, although she was not sure why she should be thanking him. “Do you know where my phone is?”
The man came around to her side of the bed. She could make his features out now. “Mr Ciagis? Ciagy—Miyagi?”
“Chianeon?” he offered, the expression he wore was one of complete, almost amused confusion.
She “Mmm’d,” him in response.
“It’s here on the nightstand. It’s a good job I didn’t leave it where you dropped it, or you would have vomited all over it—it’s charged,” he said and gave a questioning expression before handing over the phone.
It most definitely was not her mobile. This cell was a top of the range toy for rich people that she could never in any lifetime afford. Still, she took it—any phone was better than none. Out of habit, she put her security pattern in and much to her surprise, it worked.
“Catherine, are you feeling all right?” Mr Chianeon asked, with evident concern on his face and in his voice. Was it possible that she had come here under her own volition? She never imagined that someone who kidnapped and raped her could be so thoughtful. He filled the glass with water, taking two tablets out of a packet marked ‘Advil’, he handed them to her. She lifted her head, wincing at the pain. She took the glass and looked at the tablets, then glared at him as if he was trying to poison her. “You would prefer paracetamol? I think we have some in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom if you want?”
Cate shook her head as much as the pain would allow—the painkillers would do just fine if they were Advil.
Mr Chianeon made his way through a door. Cate took the tablets—they had ‘Advil’ written on them, and the packet appeared authentic. If they were some form of date rape drug which by now she highly doubted, she would know soon enough.
She picked up the phone and was astounded when her security code worked a second time—it had not been a fluke. There under recent calls was her mum, she hit dial and was surprised when Tara answered on the first ring.
“Mum I am so sorry about last night. It appears that I met someone and went back to their place…”
“Oh, my God, Catherine, what have you done? What about Malachi? Here’s what you do, you go home and tell him you came here last night.”
“Who is Malachi?” Cate asked.
“I am,” a voice said from the doorway as her mother continued berating her down the phone.
“Malachi? Your husband. Catherine, are you feeling alright?” Tara said as Malachi stood in the doorway, an expression of doleful concern on his face.
“Put the phone on loudspeaker, please?” he asked. “Tara, it’s me.”
“Malachi, oh, thank heavens. What is this? Some sort of joke?” Tara was distraught.
“Not a joke. I have a horrible feeling that someone has drugged Catherine. I’m going to speak with doctor Stana.”
“I knew it was a mistake her going out with that girl—she has always been jealous of your marriage…” Tara continued her conversation with Malachi—Cate glanced at him, confused. Why did he and her mother think they were married?
The next person she called was her friend Shania.
“What happened last night?”
“You were proper messed up. I was getting worried you were going to die or something.” Shania continued with her rundown of thinking Cate had been spiked as she was perfectly fine.
“Did Malachi go nuts when you got home?” Shania asked with more than a hint of hope in her voice. Cate froze—Shania had spoken like as if her going home to Malachi was a normal state of affairs.