I looked out over the rolling fields of green grass blowing in the wind for the 10th time today, hoping to see him come over the hill towards me. It’d been years since I’d last seen him. I got a letter a few months ago telling me to expect him today, but nothing other than grass was moving out here. That’s when I saw it. Way off in the distance, a thin trail of dust getting kicked up from someone going too fast down the dirt road. Feeling my breathing pick up, I leaned over the railing around my little balcony as far as I could, squinting to see the vehicle better.
“Oh my god. It’s him. It’s gotta be him.” I murmured to myself excitedly. The vehicle turned towards the house and I felt my heart start racing in my chest. Darting inside, I sprayed on a light mist of perfume and fluffed my hair a bit, hoping to make him fall for me all over again. I flew down the stairs as fast as my feet could carry me and hustled out the front door. The car came to a screeching halt in front of the steps. The engine didn’t shut off but the driver’s door slowly opened, letting a black leather shoe land on the ground. A pair of black slacks covered the top of the shoe, but I could tell that it was an expensive pair when the other shoe landed next to it.
“Sandra? Sandra Marks?” came a voice from the top of the door. My eyes flew to the face that was about 2 feet above the door. It wasn’t who I’d been hoping for and I felt my shoulders fall.
“That’s me. Can I help you, sir?” I asked.
“Come with me, please.” he said, opening the back door.
“Please come with me. Your presence has been requested.”
“You seriously expect me to crawl in a car with a total stranger? And who requested my presence?”
“Yes, Ms. Marks, I do expect that. Your presence has been requested by someone of great importance and I’m to personally deliver you to him in the next 2 hours.” he said. “Now, please come get in the car.”
“No. You’re a total stranger. You don’t just pull up to someone’s house, tell them to get in the car, and expect them to do it because someone important wants to see them. That’s not how things work.”
“That is how things work when Mr. Holstein requests your presence. We’re going to barely make it to him in time as it is.”
“Who’s Mr. Holstein?”
“My employer and a man of great importance. Please, Ms. Marks. Do not dilly dally any longer.”
“Tell him I said tough shit. I’m waiting for someone.”
“Trey Wilson is with Mr. Holstein, ma’am.” My jaw dropped.
“How do you know Trey?”
“I will explain on the way. Please, get in.” I got in the back seat and waited until the guy was driving back up the road.
“Start explaining how you know Trey or I’m jumping out of this car.”
“Trey Wilson has worked with Mr. Holstein for the last 5 years, Ms. Marks. I am the driver for Mr. Holstein and all of Mr. Holstein’s associates.”
“Ok. So who is Mr. Holstein? And if you say he’s a man of great importance I’ll jump out. That doesn’t tell me who he is.”
“Mr. Holstein is not a man that can be explained by anything else, Ms. Marks.” We were already halfway to town and it’d only been a half hour.
“Humor me and try anyway.” He glanced in the rearview mirror at me an huffed out a sigh.
“Mr. Holstein is a wealthy man that dabbles in many things. He has dealings with everyone from foreign diplomats to hired guns, although his name isn’t known outside of those that he deals with.”
“How did Trey meet him?”
“Mr. Holstein called Trey to his place for a meeting 5 years ago. Much like he’s doing with you now.”
“What was their meeting about?”
“I don’t know. I’m not privy to that part of Mr. Holstein’s life.”
“What is my meeting with him about?”
“Again, I’m not privy to that information.”
“Why does he want to meet me?”
“Ms. Marks, if you intend to ask me the same question in different ways, I would prefer not to speak.”
“Can we stop for a moment? I need to use the restroom.”
“You can use it at Mr. Holstein’s house.”
“Fine with me. I’ll just bleed all over these perfect leather seats. Then you can buy me a new pair of pants, too.” He swerved to the side of the road and stopped at a gas station.
“Please hurry, Ms. Marks. This is a time sensitive issue.” I rolled my eyes and went into the station. As bad as I wanted to see Trey, I wasn’t sure if I could really trust this guy so I bought a soda and slipped out with a large group of people, heading back towards the house. I knew I was in for a long walk, but didn’t care. A car flew by me and did a 180 after a minute, screeching to a halt in front of me, blocking my path. “Ms. Marks, your presence was requested. Please do not hold us up again. Now get in the car.” I sighed and rolled my eyes, getting back in the car.
“I want to talk to Trey.” I said as I closed the door.
“Unfortunately, I cannot permit that as of right now. You will see him when we arrive at Mr. Holstein’s house. Hopefully I can still make it on time.” I was pressed further into the seat as he pushed the gas pedal harder. It’d already been an hour since he picked me up at the house and we were now nearing the outskirts on the other side of town. I looked out the window debating on if I’d survive jumping out at this speed and heard a click. “You’re not getting out again, Ms. Marks.” came the driver’s voice.
“I was looking at the scenery for your information. I don’t make it out this far very often. Everything I need is right in town.” I said rudely, slumping back into my seat.
“You know, if you intend to lie to a person, you should make sure that you’re not mumbling about your plans beforehand.”
“No language like that around Mr. Holstein.” he said sternly.
“Are you kidding me?”
“Ugh. This is gonna be a long meeting. How much longer?”
“Only another 20 minutes. I’m surprised at the time I’ve made on this one with all the trouble you’ve given me.”
“Oh please. I barely gave you any trouble.”
“Barely gave-? Are you insane, Ms. Marks? You refused to get in the car when requested to do so, you made me stop under the pretense of you needing a restroom for womanly matters, you made me go pick you up when you left the gas station... Is there anything I’m forgetting?”
“I refused to get in the car because you’re a freaking stranger. I made you pull over because I still don’t trust you or that you have good intentions. I never asked you to come pick me up when I left the station, you did that on your own so don’t even try to blame me for it. And no, you’re not forgetting anything because I’ve barely given you any trouble so quit your bitching.”
“No language, Ms. Marks. Mr. Holstein does not like language and functions perfectly fine without the use of it. Therefore, he expects none in his presence. Do not use it again.” I rolled my eyes and shut my mouth, crossing my arms over my chest. We spent the rest of the ride in pure silence. He opened the door and offered a hand to help me out of the back seat, but I shoved it away from me.
“I can function fine without assistance so get away from me.”
“Sandra Marks?” said a woman by the door. I nodded. “This way, please.” She started walking off and I hustled to keep up with her.
“Can you tell me what this is all about?”
“Mr. Holstein will explain.”
“Mr. Holstein. Mr. Holstein. All I’ve been hearing for the last 2 hours is Mr. Holstein. Who the hell is he?”
“No language in his presence, Ms. Marks.” she said. I rolled my eyes and huffed out a sigh. She stopped outside of a large wooden door and knocked on it twice.
“Enter.” a deep voice rumbled from inside the room. The woman pushed open the door and walked in, motioning for me to follow. I stepped over the threshold and saw Trey sitting in a chair in front of a man that looked rather perturbed.
“Ms. Sandra Marks as you requested, Mr. Holstein.” He gave a curt nod and the woman disappeared, leaving me standing in the middle of the doorway.
“Well, come in. Don’t just stand there like a buffoon, Ms. Marks.”
“Watch how the hell you talk to me.” I snarled out. I saw Trey wince and assumed it was for using language in the guy’s presence, but I couldn’t care less. He stood and walked to me. I was small at 5′4" and had to look up to meet the eye of most people, but this guy was ridiculously tall. He stopped in front of me and reached a hand forward, gently gripping my chin and making me look up at him.
“Were you not told how to speak in my presence?” Ignoring the question, I smacked his hand off my face.
“Don’t touch me, prick.”
“You are feisty. Hopefully I’ll get to have lots of fun. Go sit down.” he said, motioning at the open chair by Trey.
“Sandra, come sit by me, please?” Trey asked.
“Why should I? You sent me a letter months ago saying that you’d be home today and the only vehicle that shows up is some ass saying that my presence has been requested by another ass?” A hand swatted my backside and made me stumble forward a step.
“Watch the language, Ms. Marks. Now go sit down.” Mr. Holstein growled out. I stormed across the room, moved the chair a few feet away from Trey and slammed myself down in it, trying not to wince as pain seared across my butt.
“Sandra, please. I thought I was going to be coming home when I wrote that.” I crossed my arms over my chest and looked towards the window.
“Now that we’re all here. Mr. Wilson, why don’t you explain to me why I shouldn’t have you killed?” My head jerked in their direction and I saw Trey pale a touch.
“Killed? For what? What happened, Trey?” I felt tears start to build, but did my best to hide them.
“Because I’m human and mistakes happen, Mr. Holstein. I can only promise to try harder since promising it won’t happen again may be a lie. I cannot see the future and therefore do not know if it will happen again.”
“Trey, what happened?” I asked again.
“Close your mouth and do not speak unless spoken to, Ms. Marks.” growled Mr. Holstein. “You are correct, Mr. Wilson. You are human, mistakes do happen, and promising it won’t happen again would be a lie. I’m impressed that you can tell the difference. Not many can these days. What can you give me to prove that you will try your best to get back into my good graces?” Trey shook his head as his eyes widened a touch.
“Please, no, Mr. Holstein. Don’t ask for that. I cannot willingly give that to you and be certain that I’ll get to keep it at the same time. Something else, please.”
“No, Mr. Wilson. You know exactly what I want that will ensure you try your best.” My eyes were flicking back and forth between them, completely confused on what they were talking about.
“Is there any way to change your mind on that, Mr. Holstein? Please, I’ll give anything but that.”
“No. That’s what I want and getting that will ensure you try your best.”
“Can I talk to Sandra alone for a moment? Please, Mr. Holstein?”
“Neither of you leave the room. Not even an open window.” He stood and left, closing the door behind him as Trey looked at me.
“Sandy, please understand why I’m doing this.”
“You’re gonna give me to him, aren’t you?” I whispered out.