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Uncovering Secrets

“Good morning, Jackie,” the doctor started. “Did you connect with your attorney since we met last?”

I shook my head, “No, I didn’t reach out to her. I kind of figured that if she found something out, she would have let me know by now.”

“Is that the only reason you didn’t reach out?”

“Yes, it is…” I answered, but I could tell by the look in the doctor’s eyes that he didn’t believe me. “Fine… I didn’t reach out because I don’t know if I really want to know now or not. Part of me wants to know that they did care about me enough to attempt to search for me, but the other part of me doesn’t want to know, because I would be upset if they didn’t reach out at all.”

“Thank you for being honest with me. I could never imagine that feeling or the dilemma you are facing right now,” he responded.

“Yeah, well I’m not sure many people have had to face this dilemma,” I sighed.

“I’m sure you are right on that,” he said. “Are you ready to continue with the next chapter of your story?”

“I guess,” I answered. “I left off with things going pretty well with Don and me. I started my job at the high school and classes started right after Labor Day. I had a good group of students in all my classes, which I was grateful for being my first year and all. I really can’t think of anything that sticks out during that time...

It was winter break that my life started spiraling out of control and I couldn’t reel it back in…”

******

“Do you really have to go to work today?” I asked Don the day after Christmas.

“Yes, baby, I do. I’m not a teacher where I get a week or two off for the holidays,” he answered with a chuckle.

“I know, but…” I whined. “You always work, and I rarely see you anymore.”

“I’m sorry, but things are really busy right now, with the new year and new ads coming out and getting those spring ads ready to go. I have to keep my people on top of it,” he explained.

I gave Don a pouty face, before curling back up in the covers of our bed. I didn’t want to push things with him since I was finally getting him to loosen up and even joke around so much more than in the past.

“Hey, I’ll tell you what,” he said, pulling the covers off me. “Why don’t you come with me today?”

“Really?” I asked.

“Yes, really,” he replied with a smile.

“I’d love to, if you’re sure about this.”

“I am positive about this. Get up and get dressed. We leave in twenty minutes.”

I quickly got out of bed, showered, brushed my teeth and hair, and got dressed. When I came downstairs, Don had some toast and coffee waiting for me, so I ate quickly, grabbed the mug of coffee and we set off to his company.

I spent most of the morning visiting with a few of the models and photographers while Don did some office work. He also had a couple of meetings that he needed to attend, that I was not to be a part of. It was the meeting after lunch that I got bored and started wandering around beyond what I had been already shown.

So, I mentioned before that in the building there were a few studios and a couple of offices that were utilized pretty regularly and always had people in and out of. But the building was so much bigger, so I wandered through an unmarked door to see what else was there, or if it just sat empty.

At first, I thought it was empty hallway until I heard voices and other sounds coming from various directions. My curiosity got the better of me, so I followed the sounds. The first couple of doors I passed were closed, so I kept walking.

What I saw in the next room, caught me off guard. The door was half open and I could see a girl lying on a couch or cot barely dressed. It looked like she was posing for pictures, but definitely not like the other models I had watched.

I got a little closer to the door, without being seen, and heard someone talking to her and giving her instructions on how to pose, and the sounds of a camera clicking. She was told to pose in very explicit positions and even told to touch herself, while he was taking the photos. I could hear the photographer moan as if he was pleasuring himself while watching this girl.

I backed away from the door and walked further down the hall. That’s what I heard more moans and heavy breathing coming from another room with the door open. I first saw a girl on her knees, and then an older man kneeling behind her as they were having sex. She looked younger than me, but I couldn’t tell if she wanted it or not. Does Don know that this is going on in here? I thought to myself, as I snuck passed the room.

I saw one more open door and walked towards it. This time I saw not one, but two girls sitting on a couch while the photographer or someone was across the room telling them what to do. Again, they were in compromising positions and touching each other, while the man was getting turned on.

At this point, I think I was in shock, and I didn’t hear someone approaching me, until I was grabbed by the arm and taken to an empty room. “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING BACK HERE?” I heard Don yell, and I snapped out of my trance.

“I…I,” I stuttered. I didn’t have words right now.

“THIS IS NOT FOR YOU TO SEE,” he yelled again. “TELL ME, WHY YOU ARE BACK HERE?” he shook me as he squeezed my arms with his fingers.

“I didn’t… I didn’t know what was back here. I just wanted to explore what I thought was an empty building,” I answered, shakily.

“Well, it’s not empty and you have no right to be snooping around places you don’t belong,” he spat in my face.

“I’m… I’m sorry,” I replied, trying not to cry as he squeezed my arms tighter. “What is going here, Don? Do you know what they are doing in those rooms?” I asked, knowing I should have just shut up.

Don started laughing as he let me go and walked around the room. “Do I know what is going on in these rooms?” he repeated, laughing some more. “I damn well do know what is going on in these rooms.”

“You are running a sex shop?” I asked, not knowing what to call it.

“Oh, mi amor, you do not want to know what this is,” he looked directly in my eyes.

“How old are these girls?” I asked as my voice shook.

“Old enough,” he smirked.

“Have you…”

“Have I what, baby, spit it out.”

“Have you been with anyone in these rooms?” I asked, not really wanting to know the answer.

“And what if I have? What are you going to do about it?”

“I…”

“That’s what I thought. You won’t do anything about it. You are mine and I will not let you go, so don’t even think about trying to leave me. Is that understood?” He asked, grabbing me again.

“Ye…yes,” I answered him. “How long have you been doing this?”

“Since long before I knew you, baby, in fact…”

“In fact, what?” I pushed. “Tell me, Don. I at least deserve to know if I was to be one of your… whatever these girls are.”

“Yes, I was on that stupid chat site to find girls to get involved in the business. I had every intention of pursuing you, but…”

“But what?”

“But I fell for you and didn’t bring up the modeling gig I usually talk about to get girls here, or in California where this started. I never thought you would actually show up on my doorstep, but you did, and I had to protect you.”

“Protect me from what, Don? This life?”

“Yes, baby, from this life. I didn’t want you to get involved in this, and I didn’t want my partners to find out about you either. So, I hid you from them, and when we moved here, it was my chance to expand things. Since we were already married, no one would be able to touch you,” he explained.

“So, you thought that keeping this a secret from me was for my benefit? I can’t believe you could run something like this…this is disgusting, Don. I can’t…”

“SHUT UP RIGHT NOW!” he hollered at me as he pushed me against a wall, with one hand around my neck. “You have no idea what goes on here and have no right to tell me how to run my business! I make good money to provide you everything you need, so don’t even think about trying to run from me. You have nothing without me and no where to go. Do you want to live on the streets?”

“No…No, I don’t,” I answered as the tears ran down my cheeks.

“I didn’t think so,” he said in my ear. “Now that you know what really goes on here, you are going to help.”

“No, I won’t, Don. I can’t and I won’t help you. This is wrong,” I said, before he punched me in my stomach with his free hand. He let my neck go and I dropped to my knees.

“Oh baby, you will not do what these girls do. Oh no, no other man will ever touch you. You are going to help me get more girls in here to allow more clients to visit,” he whispered in my ear as he bent over me.

“Please, Don, I don’t want to be a part of this,” I whimpered.

“You are already a part of it, mi amor. And you will do what I tell you to do, or you will be on your own with absolutely nothing. Is that what you want?” he asked, grabbing my hair. I shook my head. “Good, I didn’t think so.”

******

“I knew at that point that my life was no longer my life. I was completely at Don’s mercy and if I didn’t do what he asked of me, I would have been left on a street corner somewhere or severely injured, if not, dead by his hands.”

“He had you right where he wanted you. He had made sure that you had no support and no where to go if the truth were to come out.”

“Yes, he did. I should have noticed before then that something wasn’t right, but I never had a reason to question him. I mean, he brought me to the studio and the girls I talked to never hinted that something like that was going on there. Or maybe, they were still too new and hadn’t been moved to that level yet, where the other girls were involved longer.”

“Or they were told not to say anything to anyone. He did the same to you every time he beat you, am I correct on that?”

“Yeah, I guess. He often threatened that if I told anyone what he did to me he would make me suffer even more.”

“My guess is that he did the same with all the girls he hired,” the doctor replied, and I nodded my head in agreement. “So, now you know what he does and are getting pulled into his dirty work. What did he make you do?”

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