Chapter Fourteen: The Salesman
Ariel turned in her sleep. Something was waking her from her beautiful dream. The horrible ringing penetrated her mind as she woke with a groan. She reached behind her and picked up the phone on her nightstand.
“Hello.” She answered groggily.
Ariel sat up straight in bed. “Meranda, are you okay?”
“I am fine. But I think I know where the shipment is coming in at. I have a friend who is trying to smuggle her little sister into the country. I overheard her talking to someone on the phone about a shipment coming in tomorrow night at dock twenty-two.” Meranda said in a whisper.
“That’s splendid work, Meranda. We will have the man who took your sister from you soon.” April promised as she got out of bed.
Meranda sighed. “Wish I could get my sister back, but this will be second best.”
“I wish I could help you with that.” Arial said as she paused with her pants halfway up.
“Just get the bastard.” Meranda said with a growl.
Ariel pulled her pants the rest of the way up and smiled. “We plan to.”
“And don’t forget to break his nose.”
Ariel laughed. “You’ve got it.”
She hung up, then pulled her nightshirt over her head and pulled on a t-shirt. She needs to call Luka and hope that The Sapphire Dreamer comes by tonight.
“Okay, is everyone ready?” Luka asked into his earpiece. He got a chorus of confirmations and nodded.
“Why is she here?” Abraham asked as he looked at Ariel.
“She’s here because she’s the only one who knows what Brayden Riley looks like.” Luka said as he looked at Ariel. “Are you ready?”
She nodded as she looked around for any sign of The Sapphire Dreamer. He hadn’t come by her place, but she hoped he had heard her talking to him in her yard, or saw them getting ready for this.
“Is The Sapphire Dreamer ready?” Abraham asked as he looked at her.
She shrugged. “I haven’t seen him.”
Abraham snorted. “A lot of good, his sorry ass is.”
“Let’s go.” Luka said when he saw men gathering around the dock in question.
“That’s him.” Ariel whispered before they moved. “The one in the gray suit. That’s the bastard.” She said with a silent growl.
“You stay here.” Luka said as he looked at her.
“No, buts.” He said as he studied her face. “I can’t do my job if I have to worry about you.”
She sighed. “Okay.” She said with a nod.
He nodded, then led his team down towards the dock.
She watched them move down to the men on the dock. Where was the masked man? Shouldn’t he be attacking those men about now?
Luka motioned for his partner to go right and motioned for the rest of the team to go straight as he went to the left. He got to a spot where he could see all the men and got ready.
“Now.” He said into his earpiece when the men opened the container.
“Freeze!” A dozen officers in bulletproof vests said as they jumped out of the bushes, their rifles aimed at the men gathered around the dock.
“What is the meaning of this?” Another man asked as he raised his hands.
Luka and Abraham came out from their sides, holding their guns at Brayden Riley.
“Do you know what you are buying here, sir?” Abraham asked as he looked at the businessman.
“Yes, I do.” The man said with a nod. “Toilets.”
Luka and Abraham looked at each other than at the container as two officers opened the doors. They moved over to the container and looked inside. It was filled from top to bottom with toilets.
“Sorry for the inconvenience.” Luka grumbled as he motioned for them to leave.
“Luka!” Ariel hollered from her place above them.
Everyone, including Brayden Riley and the businessman, looked up at her.
“What the hell is she doing?” Abraham asked as they watched her run down the hill towards them.
She almost stumbled in her haste. But she will not allow this asshole to get away again. When she made it to Luka, she was out of breath.
“What are you doing? I told you to stay up there.” Luka said as he caught her before she fell over.
“Look…” She said out of breath. “Look behind the toilets.” She finished, still trying to catch her breath.
Luka looked at his partner, then at the toilets.
“Go ahead; there’s nothing back there.” Brayden said with a smile.
Luka motioned for the surrounding officers to move the toilets out of the container. They removed every toilet, until all there was, was the back of the container.
“Happy now?” Brayden asked with a smirk.
Ariel looked at the back, then at the size of the container. “That’s not the back.” She said as she looked at Luka.
“What?” Luka asked, confused.
“That is definitely the back, Ariel.” Abraham said as he entered the container.
“Luka.” She said pleadingly. “Look at the size of the container, then at where the back is.”
Luka looked at the container than at the wall. How had they not seen that? “Abraham.” He said as he entered the container.
Brayden grabbed Ariel and placed a gun to her head. “Nobody moves!” He hollered as he dragged her away from them.
Everyone stared at him as he backed away, the gun still at Ariel’s temple.
“You there, get everyone inside.” Brayden said to the businessman.
The businessman pushed the officers into the container, then closed and locked the doors.
“What about my goods?” The man asked as he looked at Brayden.
“You’re lucky they didn’t arrest you. I say, get what you can and get out of dodge.”
“What about you?”
“I have something, not the best, but it will do to get me out of here.” He said as he dragged Ariel to his car.
“You won’t get away with this.” Ariel cried out.
How could she have been so stupid as to let herself get caught again?
“Shut up.” He said as he shoved her into his car and pushed her over into the passenger seat. “I don’t think so.” He hollered as he grabbed her when she went for the door.
“Stay.” He ordered as he shoved her against the back of the seat and placed the gun to her side.
Where is her hero?
Luka hollered as he banged on the locked door. “Ariel!”
“Calm down, Luka. We won’t get to her if we panic.” Abraham said as he paced the compact space of the container.
“She shouldn’t have been here.” Luka said as he leaned his forehead against the wall.
“Shh. Listen to that.” Abraham said.
They all held their breaths so they could hear. A whimper came from behind the fake wall. Luka and Abraham moved to the phony wall, where they found a hidden door and opened it. They shined their flashlights over more than a dozen faces.
“Well, what do you know? Your girlfriend was right.” Abraham said as he looked at the immigrants huddled against the far wall.
“Now we need to get them out of here, and ourselves, and get to Ariel before that bastard does something to her…”
“Relax friend. She has her own hero, remember.”
“Ladies, it’s time to pack.” Brayden said as he entered a room and tossed Ariel to the floor. “Hannah!”
“Yes, master.” A girl said as she bowed to Brayden.
“Get her as dolled up as you can. I won’t be able to make much with those scars, but we’ll get something. We’re leaving for a new world people, lets pack.”
Ariel stared at the girl as she fluttered around her.
“Hannah, Hannah Kieran?” Ariel asked as she watched the girl.
Hannah paused as she looked at Ariel. “Do I know you?”
“No. But I know your sister. She’s worried sick about you. We thought he had sold you.” Ariel said in the woman’s native tongue.
Hannah wiped a tear off her cheek. “He decided he liked me and kept me. Do you honestly know my sister? How is she?”
“She’s married and has a baby on the way.”
Hannah cried harder. “Oh, that’s wonderful. I am so happy for her. But that doesn’t help us…”
“I have friends.” Ariel said with a smile.
“Yeah. That’s what we all thought.” Hannah said with a frown. “Let me do your makeup and try to hide those scars. The more master can get out of you, the happier he will be tonight when he comes for me.”
“Oh, Hannah.” Ariel said with a frown.
Ariel sat still as Hannah dolled her up. She knew she didn’t need it; her friends will come to her rescue. But she didn’t want to cause any more problems for Hannah.
“What did you two get yourselves into this time?” Davis asked of his detectives as he and the backup team opened the doors to the container.
Luka and Abraham helped the women out of the container.
“Well, I’ll be.” Davis said as he helped. He took the hand of a girl who looked to be no more than twelve and shook his head. “Damn animals.”
“If you have this, captain, I need to go rescue my reporter.” Luka said as he jumped out of the container.
“Again?” Davis asked as he shook his head.
“Yeah, you would think there’s a magnet for trouble glued to that woman’s rump.” Abraham said with a laugh.
“We caught one of the other guys escaping. See if you can get some information from him on where to find this Brayden Riley.” Davis said as he looked at his detectives. “And take back up.”
“No time to wait. You ask the questions and call me.” Luka said to his partner as he ran to his car.
“Captain said to take backup!”
“They can go with you. I’ll see you there.” Luka hollered as he jumped into his car and took off.
Ariel stood in a room, all dolled up. Brayden Riley and a few other men walked around her as they looked her over.
“Her face is pretty messed up.” A man said.
“Put a bag over her head.” Brayden suggested.
Ariel shuddered at the suggestion.
“Her arms too.” Another man said as he held up Ariel’s arms.
It was taking all of Ariel’s willpower not to pull away from these men. Her friends will be here soon to rescue her; then she can break Brayden’s nose and get the hell out of here.
“She has a nice body, though, makes up for the scars. Were you a whore, darling?” Another man asked as he stopped in front of her.
She refused to answer, and Brayden slapped her with his whip. She ground her teeth as she glared at them.
“No.” She said as she shook her head. “I was sliced up by a madman.” She said as she looked around the room at the men who were openly ogling her. “Not much different than you lot.”
Brayden raised his whip to hit her again, but the man held up his hand.
“I like a woman with an attitude. I’ll take her.”
“How much?” Brayden asked with a grin.
“I don’t know what she’s worth. Have you bedded her?”
“No. You can take a free go in that room over there and give me your price after.” Brayden said with a wicked smile.
“Oh, good.” The man said, then took hold of Ariel and dragged her to the room.
Where are her friends? Where is her hero?