“Chris! Chris! Is it true? Are you having sex with your sister? Chris!”
The cacophony of reporters’ voices assaulted him when he walked out to his car after practice. They were behind a gate but their questions penetrated the short distance from it to the parking lot. His jaw tightened as he listened to their questions.
He stopped and turned to Jackson. “What’s up?” he asked waiting for his friend to catch up to him.
“How you doing?” the big guy asked concerned.
“I’m fine,” Chris answered weakly.
“No you aren’t. What’s going on? How’s Emma?”
“She’s fine as long as I keep her away from the TV and Internet.”
“Yeah. It’s been a long two weeks.”
“Yes but nothing we can’t handle together.”
Jackson nodded his head. “Let me know if you need anything my friend. Keep her safe.”
“Thanks man.” They hugged as men do.
He got into his car and pulled into the drive to leave the parking lot.
“Shit,” he whispered. Protesters were standing there with signs.
SIN WILL KILL U!
REVELATIONS 2:20 JEZEBEL LOVER!
“Motherfuckers!” he yelled when the first tomato hit his car. Several more hit his windshield and passenger window. As much as he wanted to run them over, he sped away quickly.
He went right to his auto detailer. It would take over an hour to clean the car. He began to worry when Emma didn’t take his call. She knew to always answer him. It was too late for her to still be sleeping. He texted her. No answer.
Something was wrong.
“Hey man,” Chris said to Jackson who answered his phone call on the third ring. “I need a favor.”
“Sure man. What do you need?”
“I’m stuck at Jerry’s. I can’t get ahold of Emma. Do you think you could give me a ride home?”
“Yeah, yeah. No problem. I should be there in ten minutes.”
Chris kept trying to call Emma on the drive home.
“Nothing still?” Jackson asked observing his friend who looked as if he were in physical pain.
“No. I’m worried.”
“It’ll be ok.”
“I have a bad feeling.”
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There could be any number of reasons why she isn’t answering.”
His friend didn’t look any less nervous.
Jackson had barely put the car into park before Chris was out of it and running to the front door.
It was open. “Shit,” he sneered. He entered a silent house. Some of the furniture was toppled over like there had been a struggle. “Emma!” he called out as he checked the rest of the house. He noticed that some of her clothes were missing. Nothing he had bought her, only the pieces she had brought with her. Her backpack was gone as well as the other bag she had brought.
Quickly he went to the laptop in his office. He opened it and clicked on the security system icon. After clicking a few more times, a screen opened up and started playing video from earlier in the day.
At nine that morning, he saw Emma change into a bikini and lay out on the deck with her tablet. He fast-forwarded through thirty minutes of her reading. All of the sudden she startled and started to get up. Three men entered the shot. He turned up the sound.
“Well look what we have here,” one of the men jeered. “The whore is out and about.”
“Who are you? What do you want?” Emma asked. Chris’ jaw tightened with anger at the fear he heard in her voice. “Get out!”
“No slut, it’s you who needs to get out.”
“No!” Chris gritted out when one of the bastards grabbed Emma roughly. He dragged her off the deck into the house. Chris changed cameras to one inside. He watched helplessly as his girl struggled to get away from the intruders.
“Damn it,” Jackson said looking at the computer screen.
Chris got up and walked away from the laptop so that he didn’t have to see what happened next. He could still hear though. Her scream was cut short by a slap to the face. Shutting his eyes tight as he listened to her crying out “no” over and over, he knew he would never forget the sound of his girl being gang raped.
“Those fucking bastards!” Jackson roared as he watched them hurt her.
“Now you need to get away from here bitch,” one of the men said once they were all finished with her. “Chris isn’t going to want our sloppy seconds.”
“If you don’t leave,” another one began. “We plan on making an example of him.”
“Wha – what do you mean?” she asked. Chris could hear the alarm in her voice. He went back to the laptop and sat down. His heart broke seeing her cowering on the floor, naked. Her whole worry was about him though and not her own situation.
“He’s a sinner,” one of them said. “He’ll be punished accordingly. But if you’re gone he won’t sin anymore. You’re the problem. He’s just a man.”
Chris flinched when he heard her yelp as one of trio grabbed her by the hair and pulled her up to her knees. “If you don’t leave slut, we’ll break his arm. He won’t ever play football again.”
“No. I’ll leave. I promise. Please don’t hurt Chris.”
“We’re going to make sure you leave. Get up and pack your shit. We’ll take you to the bus station.”
“Oh fuck!” Chris yelled at the screen as his girl scrabbled to get dressed and packed. “Jackson can you take me to the bus station?”
“Yeah man, but it’s been over three hours since they took her there.”
“I have to start somewhere.”
“Ok. We’ll call the police on the way.”