The night began like any other night. I started my shift at Nova's Local Diner in downtown New Jersey at about 3PM. Older people were trickling in immediately, leaving me a dollar tip here and a 50 cent tip there. I kept staring at the clock between customers wishing that midnight would come soon. That way my shift would be over and I could get some much needed shut eye. This was my life. A never ending cycle of burgers, French fries, milkshakes, and bad tips.
11:50 pm came around, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I finally finished waiting on a young couple, obviously in their first date, who couldn’t afford to give me a tip. Then I began to total up all of the tickets from the night while my fellow waitress, and best friend Emily finished bussing tables.
"Emily, do you ever think that this job isn't worth it?" I said as I angrily typed in numbers into the calculator on my phone.
"Where did that come from Piper?"
“I don’t know. Its just, don’t you ever feel like we are just stuck here? Like, for instance we hardly enough money to even pay our rent let alone other bills and utilities, but yet we cant leave?" I said in an over exaggerated tone. Emily laughed as she finished wiping the last of the tables clean.
"Well yeah I guess you do have a point. But Pipe we both don’t have a college educations. This is the best that we can do at the moment. " she grinned and walked over to me "just think, maybe in a couple of years old Nova will pass the place down to us. Then we can be making the big bucks and hire other people do their work and our work too!" She flopped down next to me, almost sending all my tickets flying.
"Oops... sorry" she giggle and helped me gather the few fly always. "So how did we do in tips tonight?"
"We got a grand total of $280.75 cents. " I scoffed. "Since you got the extra change last time I'll get it this time. So that makes 140 for you and 140.75 for me, that's just enough to cover my electric bill this month!" I divided the tip money and went to close the cash register out. "I'm ready to go home and hit the sack. I am totally beat. These late nights are about to kill me.”
"Speaking of that. Let me take you home tonight Pipe. I hate you walking home alone this time of night."
"Emily. I told you I'm a block from my apartment. There is no since in you taking me home. Plus I could use the exercise!” I said an patted my stomach.
"Oh stop it. I insist on taking you home.”
“No, I am fine walking.”
"Em. Stop I'm fine. All I have to do is cut down that alley and I'm at my front door. Ok? I promise ill be fine."
"Ok... I just don’t have a good feeling."
"Do you ever?" I laughed as I went to clock out and grab my coat.
"You're right. Just promise me you will be careful?"
"Yes I will! See you tomorrow same time?" I hugged Emily and headed out the door.
“Love you P!”
“Love you E!” I yelled back to her.
It was really a beautiful night. The New Jersey air was cool but not so cold that I was chilled. It was a welcomed relief from the stuffy diner air that reeked of burgers, onions and stale bread. I took a deep breath as I turned down the alley way towards my apartment. My eyes fell on my front door and I almost sighed in relief. I could almost hear the bed calling my name. That was until I heard the thundering sound of gun fire behind me. I ducked quickly behind a garbage can and felt myself for wounds. I was not in any pain and I seemed clean so I knew it was not me that was shot. I turned around to face the alley entrance where I had just walked in. There stood the silhouette of a man, gun in hand pointing it towards a heap on the ground. The heap moaned and rolled over. I stared in fear as the realization that the heap was a man.
"You got something else to say?" The man with the gun yelled and kicked the helpless man.
"Please.... stop....I..." the man cough and I could see blood sputtered out of his mouth. Before he could say anything else he was interrupted with another ear curdling shot from the hand gun. I covered my ears and pressed my back against the wall behind me. I was trembling with fear, but I knew I had to be quiet and still or I would be next. I glanced at the two men again. The one on the ground had stopped moving completely. The realization hit me, he was dead.
"That will teach you to mess with The Boss." The man at the mouth of the alley scoffed. He was about to turn and walk away, when a sob fought it's way out of me. My eyes widened as His head snapped in my direction.
“Who the fuck was thag?” he yelled and began jogging down the alley. I jumped up and ran from behind the trash can. "Oh shit!" He exclaimed and ran at me. I screamed and scrambled to get to my door as fast as I could. But my legs felt heavy and didn’t want to move me, which caused me to trip and land face first inches from my apartment. Before I knew it the man had his hands around my throat and was pushing me against my door.
"You little bitch. Who sent you!?"
"I... uh... no one.”
“Don’t fucking lie to me. Who sent you?”
“No one! Please let me go. I was just going home from my job." His grip loosened from my neck, but he still had me pinned. I could smell the weed emanated from him along with very strong aftershave. "Please just let me go!" I sobbed and tried to get loose, to no avail.
"Now, now, little bitch you know I can’t do that. You're coming with me. Boss might like having another little bitch play toy." He jerked me from the wall and led me down the alley passed my apartment. I couldn’t help the uncontrollable sobs ripping their way through my chest. "Shut up before I make you!" Another uncontrollable sob came against my will. The man stopped and looked me dead in the eyes. A sadistic glimmer shined through his eyes. He reared back his hand and with all the force he could muster he brought it down on my face, causing me to fall to the ground. I went blind from the pain as the shock creeped in and my breath caught in my throat.
He jerked me up an carried me to a black SUV parked on the curb. He yanked the door opened and threw me in the back seat, slamming the door behind me. I laid motionless, sprawled out in the back seat with my dinner outfit hiked up, revealing my underwear. I was afraid to move to move to adjust it. I could hear the faint sound of him running to the drivers side of the car. He jumped in and as he hit the gas his tires protested.
I could feel myself blacking out from the throbbing pain in my cheek. Silent tears began to fall down my face as I was hit with another realization. This was it. I was going to end up like the man on the ground. I was going to die at the hands of a mad man with a gun and a cocky attitude.
Suddenly I hear the man talking on the phone. "Boss.... yeah its done... yes in the alley you told me, but boss.... boss there was a complication. " I could hear the gruff voice on the other end say "what the fuck are you talking about?"
"Boss there was a girl in the alley... I didn’t see her until it was done. She saw the whole thing... no of course I didn’t let her go. I got her in the back seat now.... yes boss, I know I'm so sorry.... ok boss." That's all I heard, because the shock slowly took me over and I was slipping in the dark abyss of my mind.
I didn’t know the span of time I was out, but suddenly the roughness of hands jolted me awake and out of the back seat. "Come on you little bitch wake up!" the man jerked me in the direction of a very tall, very immaculate house. It was dark and I couldn’t make out outer details but it was obvious whoever owned this house had a lot of money.
The man pulled me through the front door and locked it behind us. I could hear the distinct sound of a party going on in a nearby room, but I was too scared to look around to confirm. I just let this man lead me down a hall.
We came to a door where he put a code into keypad. Then we went down another hall and came to another door where he scanned a finger print. This next hall was long, and hardly any lights were on. I was just being blindly lead by this barbaric man and I kept bumping into walls I couldn’t see. Finally we came to a red door, the man pulled out a key and unlocked it. When he opened it the sharp smell of cigarette smoke and booze wafted out. He pushed me forward. When we came through the room, I was shocked to see about 20 people all dressed in black and red suits and dresses. The conversation stopped instantly and all eyes fell on me in my dirty, bloody waitress uniform.
A woman gasped and ran towards us. "Rico what the fuck did you do!?"
"Regina, butt out of this. Where is boss"
"He is in his office, Rico... her face."
"She didn’t want to come quietly" he jerked me away from the group's view and led me to the stained wooden door in the corner. The man now known as Rico knocked. I heard a gruff voice on the other side tell him to come in. Rico lead me through the door.
There was a large oak desk covered in neatly piled paperwork. There were expensive nick knacks all around and shelves covered in books. Expensive looking books. At the desk was a large leather chair turned away from us, but I could see cigarette smoke wafting up from behind the chair. So, I knew someone was seated there.
"Rico what the fuck did you do?"
"Boss, I'm sorry, I had no idea she was anyway around."
"Yeah I imagine it was all the marijuana you have inhaled lately that has clouded your judgement."
"But sir I didn’t..."
"Don’t fucking lie to me Rico. I smelled it on you as soon as you walked in. No amount of cheap aftershave can cover the amount you smoke." The chair turned slowly, revealing one of the most stunning men I have ever seen. His dark black hair was a deep contrast from his piercing blue eyes that fell on me. His gaze made it way all the way down my body and back causing me to shiver in fear. He stopped at my face and stared at what I assumed was my swollen cheek.
"Seriously Rico? Hitting women now to cover up your drug habit?" He stood and made his way around the desk. He was tall and lean. But you could see the muscles poking their way through his tight button up shirt. He made his way over to me and took my chin in one of his hands. He turned my swollen cheek towards him and ran a thumb over it. A gasp escaped through my gritted teeth and he pulled back.
"Rico... I have no choice but to put you on clean up duty for the next few months."
"But Boss! I can’t do that. You know I only got one more time going to jail before they never let me out."
"Well then, I advise that you stop the bull shit weed smoking before I send you out on a Hit and fuck up again." The Boss stared at Rico for a while "do I make myself clear?" He said and stepped towards him with a balled up fist.
"Yes boss." Rico said and looked away from The Boss.
"Now, leave my office. "
"Yes sir," he said and started to lead me out of the room.
"Leave the girl." The Boss said sternly. Rico grinned sheepishly and released me and walked out of the office.
When he did I could feel my legs start to wobble and I stumbled. The Boss scoffed at me, but he pulled out a chair at his desk and motioned me to sit. I gladly listened.
"What’s your name?" He asked me sternly.
"My name is Piper. "
"Piper... hmmm its suits you. " he stared at me for what seemed like an eternity. Finally I broke the silence.
"Please, please just let me go."
"You see I can’t do that. You did witness one of my guys killing a man. That doesn't go to lightly in mob mentality."
"Please. I promise I wont say anything to any one. I just want to go home."
"You want to go back to that shabby one bedroom apartment where the stove doesn't work half the time and your hot water heater last about 5 seconds before the water runs cold?"
"What? How... how did you...?"
"After Rico called I had your place scoped out to be sure you weren't one of our rivals mobs. Upon examination, you most definitely are not. " he scoffed and grinned at me. I looked down at my grimy shoes. I could feel tears welling up and burning my eyes. I held them back.
"What are you going to do to me?"
"I don’t really know yet. But you aren’t leaving. I officially own you now." When he said this I began to tremble. "Get over it. What's done is done. My man may have screwed up by not making sure the coast was clear but YOU were the one who kept looking. You should have looked the other way." I was still looking at my shoes. I couldn’t bare the thought of those blue eyes and chiseled face staring coldly at me.
"I will decide what to do with you tomorrow. But for now you need my medic to look you over. Rico did a number on you. " he reached over to a button on the desk. "Mikey. Come to my office please." he said casually and released the button. Seconds later a tall African American man walked in the room. His hair was long and braided and He had the braids in a pony tail. He was not dressed like the others outside. He wore dark black scrubs.
"Yes boss?" Mikey replied with a thick southern accent.
"Mikey, please examine Ms. Pipers injuries." He said and walked out of the door.
"Yes sir." He turned and focused his attention on me. He smiled at me "Hello Piper. My name is Mikey. I am the medic here. Looks like you have some pretty severe swelling here on the right side of your face. I'm going to give you a good check up and make sure everything is ok. Is that ok with you?" Mikey's voice was genuine and his bright smile was contagious. So I nodded. "Ok good. I'm going to listen to your heart so take nice deep breaths for me" he placed the stethoscope on my chest and I did as he directed. I winced and clutched my side as I did so. "Your heart rate is elevated but that is very understandable given what you have been through tonight. Could you maybe undo your uniform and let me see your side. I'm worried about the wincing you did when you were breathing." I looked at him nervously. "I understand. I will look away as you do so and I promise to only look at your side ok?" He turned his back to me and faced the door. I grabbed the zipper at the back of my uniform and undid it. Pulling it down just below my naval. "Are you ready for me to turn around?" Mikey asked
"Yes" I responded. He turned right around and I watched as his eye went directly to my side, as did mine. I could see the distinct bruising all along my ribs. It was the shape of a hand print. Mikey sharply inhaled and placed a gloved hand on my side. He pressed lightly. "Oh a scale from one to ten how bad is the pain?"
"About a 4 or 5. "
"That Jackass Rico. Based on the bruising and the fact your pain lever is no higher than it is. I say you may have a bruised rib. I'll give you some pain medication for that. You may pull up your uniform now. " he turned and waited for me to do so. Once he heard it zip he turned his attention back to me.
"As for your face I think that you will have some bruising but the swelling should start to go down. I'll give you some anti inflammatory pills to help with that ok?"
"Thank you so much... for being so kind to me. "
"I know it's a shock being thrown in here like this. But The Boss is a good man. He takes care of his people. " he smiled and knocked on the door. The Boss walked back in.
"Rico is a dick."
"Well I know that. How is the girl?"
"She’s going to be ok. I'm giving her some anti inflammatory pills for the swelling and pain meds for a bruised rib that Rico gave her."
"Damn. Maybe I need to put him back on my protective team if he inflicts all that on an innocent bystander." His gaze fell on me again and those damn blue eyes shot daggers through mine. "Alright. Thank you Mikey. You may go now"
"Ok Boss." Mikey said as he gathered his things and exited the room. With that I was once again alone with The Boss
"Follow me. I'll show you to your room." He turned and started out the door.
"Yes. Either your come willingly or I make you. And I can assure you, I’m worse than Rico." he glared at me and walked out of the door. I got up and followed him back out into the room that was once full of people, but now there was not a soul around.
I didn’t speak as I followed him down another hall. There were many doors down this hall and as we passed each one I could hear TVs turned up on full blast, conversation being made and couples making love passionately and very loudly. This must be where everyone went after the party.
Once we got to the final door The Boss opened it and held it opened for me. I walked passed him and took a look around. The room was 10 times larger than my apartment was and the floors were made of white and red blood marble. The furniture was just as exquisite. The couches blood red In sharp contrast with the black tables, chairs and appliances. I looked back at The Boss and he motioned for me to keep looking around.
I made my way to the bedroom and find a California king bed with a large black canopy with red netting. "Oh my..." I couldn’t help myself.
"You like it?"
"Yes! This room is bigger than my entire apartment." I turned around to look at him. He was propped up against the door frame staring at me.
"This room is yours. But you have to work for it." He said seriously.
"Work for it?"
"Take off your uniform." His voice sounded hungry, almost ravenous
"What?" I shivered slightly. This was not what I was expecting when he said I had to work for the room.
"I said, Take. Off. That. DAMN. Uniform." He didn’t move. He Just stood there watching me with his hands in his pockets.
"Oh… uh…Ok..." I reached around to undo the zipper. My hands trembled and I fumbled with it for a while. Finally I grasped it and pulled it all the way down. I looked at him as I slowly pulled my uniform down below my hips and let it fall to the ground. I heard his breath catch as I stepped out of the dingy uniform on the floor. There I stood in only a bra and panties in front of this mobster king pin I didn’t even know. The man who was technically keeping me a prisoner now.
I looked away from his gaze, focusing on his feet. He moved from his perch in the door way and approached me. I felt his hand on my chin and he brought my gaze back up to his. "Don’t ever look away from me. I am your boss now. And I will be treated as such. Understand?"
"I'm sorry what?"
"Good. Now go take a shower." He turned away from me and sat down on the bed. I made my way to the bathroom.
The bathroom had the same blood marble in the floors and even the huge shower. All the facets and counters were the same jet black as the rest of the appliances in the house. I would normally have stopped to admire such a beautiful lay out , but my mind was focused on not getting myself killed tonight.
I could feel The Boss’s eyes on me as I took my bra and panties off and left the on the floor. I turned the water on and let it heat up to the point where steam wafted out of the shower and swirled around the bathroom. Then I nervously stepped in.
The shower felt good. I let the hot water run down my body and I watched the dirt and grime wash down the drain. I felt tears fall down my face and I began to shudder as sobs came. The events of the night took over me as I started to scrub my body. I spent a long time in the shower partly because I felt like I couldn’t get clean enough, but mostly because I was scared of what The Boss wanted to do to me.
My experience with men was little to none. I had a couple of hook ups with some guys that Emily introduced me with but other than that I didn’t know. But based on the way he looked at me, I could almost see what his intentions were.
After I was all clean I slowly turned off the water and stepped out. I blindly reached for a towel and was met with one and when I looked The Boss was holding it out to me. I gasped and nervously took it. I wrapped it tightly around myself and stepped out of the shower. On the bathroom counter was some my pajamas from my house.
"You brought my clothes?"
"Just your pajamas. I have cloths that are more appropriate for you to wear around here."
"Oh... well... thank you." I said and began to put them on.
"Stop" The Boss ordered. I froze and swallowed nervously. "Come to the bedroom.” He turned and walked out. I grabbed the towel tightly and followed him. He stood next to the bed and began to undo the buttons of his shirt. I looked away, not really knowing what to do. "Look at me Piper."
I did as he asked and watched as he let his shirt fall to the floor. I gasped at the sight of him, not just because of his rippling muscles but because the left half of his body was covered in scars.
"What happened to you?" I stepped forward to get a closer look.
"In time you will find out. Drop your towel." Again with the ravenous voice. I let the towel hit the ground and I stood there in all my nakedness. I watched him as his eyes burned their way down my body. "You have a very beautiful body. I'm going to enjoy making you work to keep this room." He stepped towards me and grabbed my chin. Then in a flash his lips were on mine, hot and dangerous. He devoured me.
He let go of my chin and grabbed my waist with both of his hands. He pulled me to him. My naked body pressed tightly his chest, and I could feel his muscles move has he turned me towards the bed. This was it. I was about to become his sex slave.
He stopped kissing me and let me go. He stood there for a minute, just inches from my lips. I was beginning to wonder if he was going to kiss me again, when his phone rang. He groaned in frustration and pushed me on to the bed. He turned from me and left the room to answer the call. My body was a bundle of live wires, of fear, desire, hate, and lust all at the same time. I scooted myself in the bed and covered my body with the black and red satin comforter as the sound of him talking loudly came into the bedroom.
All of a sudden a wave of sleepiness over took me, and I could feel myself dozing. I vaguely heard him come back in the room, only because the comforter was suddenly brought closer to my neck and I felt his hand on my cheek. The next thing I know I'm off to a deep dark sleep abyss.