Chapter Twenty - Five
Apollo sat in the great room sipping on a beer, constantly looking at his watch. Five thirty. Sateria was now late. He called her cell phone again, and she still didn’t answer. He’d been calling her desk all day, and she never answered. Ten minutes later, he decided that he would go to the gym and see if she was there. Maybe her cell phone did die and she didn’t have a charger with her.
Arriving at the gym, he went in. He peeked in on an aerobics class that was going on, and he didn’t see his woman’s fantastic legs he loved so much. He turned and made his way to the weight room. Hoping she was sitting on a bench somewhere resting between reps, he walked the room. She was not there. Perhaps she was at the mall getting a manicure. If she wanted one, the mall would be the only place she could get one at such a late hour.
Apollo shook his head. He remembered that when Sateria wanted a manicure, she had her manicurist come to the house.
He decided to call her at the office again. Almost in tears that he was unable to locate her, he began to pray that she would answer the phone. Her desk phone rang five times, and her voicemail picked up.
“Fuck!” he yelled. He looked at his watch. It was close to seven thirty. Knowing there was no way she would be this late coming home without calling, instinctively, he drove to the office.
Pulling in the parking garage he was relived to see her car. He took a deep breath and parked next to her. Using his key card to get up the reception area, he rode the elevator prepared to give her a piece of his mind for making him worry about her.
The elevator opened and the elevator bay was dark. Not unusual for this time of night. When he stepped out, the automatic lights clicked on, and he again used his key card to go through the glass doors.
The reception area dark as well he made his way down the hall to the enormous corner office. The door was open, and it was also dark. Apollo’s heart sunk. Where in the hell is she?
He stood in her office and called her desk again to be sure nothing was wrong with his phone. He then tried her cell phone again. No answer. Before he left the building, he called Pheonix.
“Are you busy?” He asked, voice wavering.
“I’m coming over,” Apollo said and hung up the phone.
Making his way back to the parking garage, he looked inside of Sateria’s car to be sure she wasn’t there. He wanted to check the trunk, but he didn’t have her spare key. He now wished he’d brought it, but he didn’t think he would need it.
Getting into his car, he sped across town to Pheonix’s house. Ringing the doorbell, when he really wanted to knock the door off the hinges, he waited. The door opened, and Apollo was surprised to see Max.
“What’s up, Apollo?” Max asked.
“Is Pheonix here?”
“Sure, come on in. We were just watching TV.”
Apollo walked in. With Max on his heals he entered the living room to find Pheonix sitting on the couch.
“What’s going on Apollo? You sound upset.”
“Sateria is missing.”
Remembering the pain they suffered a few years earlier, Pheonix was instantly concerned. “What?”
“Yes, missing. I’ve looked all over the place, and I can’t find her anywhere.”
“Oh my God. Do you want us to help look for her?”
Apollo shook his head. “Can you think of where she might be? I mean I’ve been to the gym, and to the office. Her car is still in the parking lot which tells me she never made it into the building this morning.”
“Have you called Troya yet? Maybe they are together.”
“Well wait here. I’ll call her now.”
Pheonix made the phone call, and let Apollo talk to Troya himself. She had no idea where Sateria was either.
Apollo plopped down on the couch, put his face in his hands, and sighed heavily. Pheonix moved close to him and rubbed his back trying to keep him calm. She’d seen him like this before, and for his sake, she prayed that Sateria wasn’t dead.
“Do you want us to help you look?”
Apollo shook his head. “No. I’m gonna go see if Jayden can help me. You two enjoy your evening.” Apollo got up and quietly left the house.
Pheonix looked up at Max. “We have to do something.”
“What do you want to do, Pheonix?”
Not really having an answer, she sighed. She only knew she didn’t want to lose one of her closest friends to suicide. She was certain that if Sateria was somewhere dead, Apollo would soon follow her.
Apollo had to keep calm and not let his temper get the best of him. He turned on some music in the car in the effort to calm his nerves. As calm as he could, he drove to Jayden’s house.
Pulling up in the driveway of Jayden’s multimillion dollar mansion, he recognized several of the vehicles. A few of them once belonged to Johnny. Of all of them, the Maybach was Jayden’s favorite, though he didn’t drive it very often.
There was a car in the driveway, however, that he didn’t recognize. A red BMW. Maybe Jayden bought a new car and he was unaware of it. However, he wasn’t going to take any chances. He went to his trunk, opened up his gun box, loaded his weapon, and hid it in the small of his back underneath his shirt. No one was going to take him out before he found out what happened to his woman.
Walking to the front door, he rang the door bell. Moments later, Jayden answered the door. Seeing the look on Apollo’s face, he almost felt sorry for him, but there was no way he was going to give up his secret before Apollo told his.
Trying not to let on that he was actually beaming inside, Jayden pretended to be concerned. “Hey man, what’s up?”
“Can I come in?”
“Yeah, what’s going on? It’s almost nine o’clock.”
Suspicious that he might get attacked, Apollo asked, “Who else is here?”
Jayden grinned widely. “My girl.”
“Oh, I’m sorry I interrupted, but Sateria hasn’t come home, and I haven’t heard from her all day. I’ve been everywhere looking for her, and she’s nowhere. Her car is still parked at the building.”
“Every since this morning?” Jayden feigned concern.
“Yeah,” Apollo said quietly.
“How can I help?”
“Come help me look for her.”
Jayden hesitated. “I wish I could, but I’m kinda busy. How about we look for her first thing in the morning?”
Apollo began to get angry. Why didn’t Jayden want to help look for Sateria right then?
Apollo’s distress quickly moved from his face, and he began to turn red. “What in the fuck do you mean look for her in the morning, Jayden? I came over here so you could help me now. Tonight. She could be dead by morning.”
“Man I would, but my woman is-”
Just then Venus walked into the foyer. “Jayden what is taking so long you said-” she stopped abruptly when she noticed Apollo in the house.
Apollo’s mouth dropped to the floor. He couldn’t believe it. Now he knew why Jayden kept his woman a secret. A million questions started going through his head. How long had they been together? Was Venus cheating on Brad with Jayden? Was Venus cheating on Johnny with Brad and Jayden? It was almost too much to process at once. He then came to the conclusion that one of these two may have actually killed Johnny to get his collection, and one of them definitely knew where Sateria was.
Apollo’s blood pressure went through the roof, and he only had one question before he ripped Jayden’s head off.
“So Jayden, how long have you been sleeping with Venus?”
Jayden smirked. “I don’t believe that’s any of your business.”
Apollo lost his cool. He grabbed Jayden by the collar, slammed him into the wall, pulled his gun, and shoved it against Jayden’s temple. Venus screamed. Knowing Apollo would take his head off if he didn’t get the answer he was looking for, Jayden froze.
“Look here, you smug son of a bitch. I know everything. I know it was you who shot Sateria. I know it was you who broke into my house and stole the collection. I know it was you who went to Olney to look for it. When you couldn’t find it, Sateria disappeared. I don’t give a fuck about my place anymore, and I sure as hell could give a damn about you. But if you don’t give up the location of my woman right now, I’ll take your fucking head off and go look for her myself.”
Jayden had to think of something, and he had to think of it quick. He wasn’t about to tell Apollo where Sateria was without knowing the location of the collection first. He had to fake it, and he had to fake it well.
Jayden slowly shook his head. “Man, I don’t know where she is, I swear.”
Apollo gritted his teeth and pushed the gun harder into Jayden’s temple. “Liar!” he yelled.
“I don’t know where she is, Apollo, so why don’t you put the gun away?”
“Not until you tell me where she is,” Apollo said firmly.
“Apollo, seriously think about this. I was at work today, all day. And if you don’t believe me, you can ask Donna. I promise I don’t know where she is. I had nothing to do with Sateria’s disappearance.”
Without letting him go, he turned to Venus. “What about you Venus? What do you know about my girl?”
“Nothing. Apollo, please don’t hurt him.”
Jayden grinned trying not to seem so afraid. “Yeah, Apollo, don’t hurt me. Look, I’m sorry I burned you out man, but the joke seems to be on me as well.”
Apollo tipped his head to one side. “What the hell does that mean?”
“Take your gun out of my face, and I’ll tell you.”
Apollo still expected to be ambushed at some point, barked an order. “Venus, you come over here and sit down. Keep your hands where I can see them. You move from your seat, and I’ll kill him.”
Venus sat down on the sofa, crossed her legs, and put her hands in her lap. Satisfied, Apollo pulled the gun away from Jayden’s head.
Jayden sighed. “Thank you.”
“Don’t thank me yet, talk.”
“Um, you still haven’t let me go.”
Apollo let Jayden go and backed away slightly. He wasn’t however going to allow him to move from his position on the wall.
“I’m waiting, Jayden.”
“It seems that I got played. You lost your penthouse. I lost just about as much. In order to attempt to keep the trail of the stolen collection cold, I slowly put certain items on the exchange. Someone I hired purchased them for me, and delivered them back to me. Once the job was finished, I paid them ten million dollars for their trouble, and well, they have since disappeared.”
Though it wasn’t funny, Apollo let out a huge booming laugh. Jayden also not finding it funny only stared at him.
“Ten million. Is that it? Ten million? I fucking lost my life, Jayden!” Apollo yelled. “Because of your ass, I have nothing now. The only thing I have left is, Sateria. And if she turns up dead, you better be in the wind, cause believe me, I will hunt you down like a dog, and will defiantly kill you like one, got that?”
“Yeah, I got it.”
Certain that Jayden killed Johnny, Apollo didn’t want to say it so he asked, “So which one of you killed Johnny?”
“Neither one of us did. Johnny made us rich. Sateria is the one who killed him, Apollo, and we both know it. That’s why you are going out of your way to protect her.”
That was the wrong thing for Jayden to say. As quickly as he’d said it, he found himself on the floor, his face stinging from cold hard steel.
“Fuck you! Sateria did not kill Johnny! Say it again, and I’ll kill you.”
Jayden touched the side of his head to find he was bleeding. “Well then. Seems that we disagree. All right I won’t say it, but it won’t stop me from believing it.”
“I’ll ask again Jayden. Where is she? You aren’t fooling me for a second.”
“I honestly don’t know. Now if you’ll be kind enough to leave my house, I’d appreciate it.”
Apollo stood for a second staring at Jayden, anger seething from his pores and quietly walked out of the front door.
Apollo made sure to let Jayden know he wasn’t finished with him. On the way to his car, he shot a hole in the side of the Maybach. As much as he hated to ruin the beautiful eight million dollar car, he felt Jayden deserved it.
Apollo got in his car and sped home.
Jayden got up from the floor with a little help from Venus.
“Are you okay?” she asked, concerned.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I’m gonna go clean myself up. When I’m finished, we’re leaving.”
“Where are we going?”
“To see Brad.”
“You didn’t tell me you found him.”
“Because I wasn’t expecting to have to tell you so soon. Apollo is a smart man, and I’m sure that he knows who bought the jewels. We have to go take care of him.”
“Take care of him? What do you mean?”
“Don’t be stupid, Venus. You know exactly what I’m talking about.”
Jayden made his way to the bathroom to deal with his wound.
Sateria sat on the cold floor, thirsty and most definitely hungry. Her captor was true to his word as long as Sateria stuck to her guns. She sat and really began to contemplate if this was all worth some precious stones. She wanted Apollo to find her so he could hold her in his arms and tell her that it was okay. But she couldn’t give up the collection. It was one of the last things that Johnny possessed, and she wanted to keep it. She wasn’t going to say anything as long as there was hope that Apollo would find her.
She heard footsteps coming down the stairs, and she smelled food. Cruel. He knew she was ravenous at this point.
“I know you are ready to eat. I have whipped up my mother’s spaghetti and meatballs. Very good. All you have to do is tell me what I want to know, and I’ll let you eat.”
Smelling the food, any food, was driving her crazy. But she had faith Apollo would find her.
“Will you take this hood off so I can eat?”
Chuckling. “Not a chance. You tell me what I want to know, and you get to eat. Bottom line. If not, I am perfectly willing to let you starve.”
“Please let me eat,” Sateria begged. “I’m so hungry.”
“I know. So when you tell me where the collection is, I’ll let you eat.”
“I need to go to the rest room too.”
Her captor didn’t want a mess on his hands. Cleaning up someone else’s waste was not his idea of fun. “Fine. I will let you go to the rest room. Do the best you can but I will not untie your hands nor will I remove your hood.”
He untied Sateria from the post, and led her upstairs with her blindfold on. Leading her to the restroom door, he stopped.
“Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. Perhaps you will try to escape.”
Needing to pee, she begged, “Please. I promise I won’t. I have to go to the bathroom badly.”
“Maybe we will leave the door open.”
“Whatever, I just have to go.”
“I will be here. Do not try anything funny.”
Her captor lead her to the toilet put her in the proper position, and let her go. “Now. All you have to do is sit down. I’m going to be right outside the door, and I will be watching you, don’t try to escape.”
Sateria nodded, and did her best to pull up her skirt so she wouldn’t urinate on her 500 dollar suit.
As she went to the rest room her captor watched to be sure she was true to her word. As he did, he decided that he would give her a little food. He was doing a job as a favor to a friend, and wasn’t as cruel as he pretended to be.
Sateria stood up relieved. “Okay. I’m done now.”
“Good. I would like for you to tell me where the collection is now, Miss Murphy.”
“I already told you. It was stolen.”
“Maybe if I let you taste one of my mother’s meatballs you will change your mind.”
He led her back down the stairs, and retied her to the post.
“Be right back.”
Happy that she was going to get something to eat, she waited.
He returned with one meatball on a plate. He cut it into quarters.
“Smells good, right?”
Sateria nodded. “It does.”
Smiling widely, he poked a quarter of the meatball with his fork. “Open up.”
Sateria opened her mouth and waited for the meat to dance on her tongue. She smiled as she chewed. Happy that she had finally gotten something to eat without divulging her secret, and also because the meatball was as good as promised.
“So, you ready to tell me what I want to know?”
Sateria shook her head. “Look, whoever you are. I’m new to this game. The collection was stolen from my boyfriend. I don’t know anything more. So why don’t you just let me go?”
Though she couldn’t see him, he shook his head. “No dice. You stay here until you tell me what I want to know. I’m not super cruel. That is why I let you eat a bit. But until I hear what I am certain you are going to tell me, I have to hold you here. Sorry, Miss Murphy. It’s late. I’m going to bed. Promise me you won’t escape. Good night.”
Her abductor left the basement, and went to bed just as he said. Now was her chance to try and really get away. Had she not had to go to the restroom, the ropes would be slightly looser. But she was not about to ruin her clothes. Sateria struggled for as long as she could before she herself fell asleep.
Arriving back at home, Apollo was extremely upset. He wanted to destroy things in the house, but decided against it. If and when Sateria came home, she would surely chastise him if he destroyed any of her property. Instead he put his face in his hands and cried. Being alone before he found her was something different. Now that he’d found love again, being without her was killing him.
He stayed awake until he was certain his parents were awake. He had no one else to talk to. At seven thirty, he pulled into his parent’s driveway. Not sure how much to tell them, he was certain that they would know of his pain.
“Apollo. How are you son?”
Apollo shook his head. “Not good. Where’s mama?
“On the patio.”
Apollo’s mother sat in her high dollar lawn furniture smoking her cigarette. She was surprised to see her son in her back yard so early in the morning. She looked up at him and spoke in her native language.
“Apollo, what’s going on? Why are you here so early? Do you want me to fix you something to eat?”
He replied in English. “No mama. I just wanted to be close to you.”
“You only want to be close to me when you are in pain. You look like you haven’t slept. What’s going on? Where’s Sateria?”
Apollo close to tears hung his head. “I don’t know, mama.”
Scrunching her face. “What do you mean, you don’t know son?”
Afraid to look into his mother’s eyes, Apollo allowed his tears to fall. “I don’t know, mama. Someone has taken her from me.”
Apollo’s mother did not want to see her son in despair. She’d seen that once in her life and was determined not to see it again.
Apollo told his mother the whole story, not leaving out one bit. She was shocked. “Son, do what you have to do to find her. Your papa and I will help you if you want. But do not give up. I know you love Sateria. If you do not find her, I know we will lose you. What can we do to help?”
“Pray for me. Pray for Sateria. When she is home safe, I have plans for us, but not until I can hold her again. Look, mama, I have to go. I have to think. I will keep you and papa informed, okay?”
Nodding in agreement. “Okay son. Do what you have to do. I will see you soon.”
Leaning over and giving his mother a kiss on the cheek, he said, “I’ll call you when I know more,” and he was out of the door.
Apollo got in his car and didn’t know what to do. He called Pheonix and Troya, and neither one of them had any new information on Sateria’s whereabouts. Apollo even called the office and left a message for Donna. If Miss Murphy comes in the office, please have her call me. Thanks, Donna.He started his car and pulled out of the driveway. Not knowing where he was headed, he knew he really needed to relax. His body went on autopilot, and he headed toward the highway. Before he knew it he was driving on interstate highway fifty-seven, going south headed for Olney.