Chapter 1: First Meeting
Stepping outside the airport, Nora thought, “Finally.”
She left her family. It was too much. Too much drama. Too many problems. And too much...
Nora got a called a Uber, and went to her new home. The area looked nice, not too shabby or too luxurious. My apartment is on the second floor, from outside I could see the big windows with a little balcony. I had bought it in full cash, I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of monthly payment. I went into the office, got my keys and headed upstairs.
After entering, the first thing I did is change my lock, it’s a habit I have. I checked the whole apartment for any hidden cameras, when I was convinced its safe I took a shower and a nap.
I woke up around 9pm, my stomach growling. I got dresses and decided to go to a diner. On the way out, I saw a man standing by the desk, looking at his phone. I ignored him, stranger danger. A few more steps, and I heard someone say my name.
Turning around, I see the tall guy I had just seen by the desk. He is tall and handsome, but it doesn’t mean he is a nice person. “Who are you? And how do you know my name?” I ask, backing away a little.
“Hello, I am Jouran. Owner of this apartment complex. And don’t worry I am not gonna hurt you,” he smiles a little, a dimple showing.
“ha...no, I am new here, and you called my name...it scared me a little,” I said with an awkward laugh.
“Well, you seem to be on your way out, I won’t hold you for long. Let me know if you need or need a tour around the city,” Jouran says.
“Actually, I am hungry and was about to go looking for food. I mean a restaurant. You have any recommendations?” I might as well ask someone rather than wandering around.
“Yeah yeah. I was about to go eat too... If you don’t mind, I can take you to a restaurant I know,” he offered his arm.
What harm would it do to go out in a new city with a total stranger? “Sure,” I took his arm.
We took his car, he asked about my family, which I tried to avoid as much as possible. He talked about his, his sister is soon to be married. I ask about him. He is 26, two years younger than me. He’s in real estate, owns a few more complexes around the city, a pub, and a few restaurants. It wasn’t surprising, for some reason, he looked, and he had the vibe that he’s from a rich family. He likes reading, art, and music. All those things that I admire in a man, it makes them attractive.
When he asked about me, I told him I am 25, I own a company. He asked what’s the name, he may know it. When I was hesitant, he said, “it’s fine, you don’t have to tell me.”
We went inside the Paradise. The place looked dark, booths with women and men, whispering. As we went in deeper, I noticed the employees were glaring at Jouran. Something was off about this place.
Eat and then get out of here. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
We ignored everything, ordered food, and talked bit more. Our food arrived, I immediately dig in. Halfway through my food, I noticed a few men gathered together, looking at us. Something was definitely wrong.
This is the harm in going out in a new city with a total stranger.
These people were probably Jouran’s enemies or rivals. What am I thinking? He doesn’t seem the type to be involved in.....
I was about to say, “we are in danger,” when something hard hit me knocking me out.
Few hours later
Ugh, my head. It’s throbbing. I opened my eyes, it’s dark. As I tried to look around and force my eyes to adjust to the darkness, there’s a sudden flash.
Wait. My arms and legs, they are tied. I tried to scream, my mouth taped.
“About time!,” a voice. Male. He sound middle age.
“Who are you? How do you know Jouran? Where is his hideout? Where is he keeping his....” Questions after questions being asked. I looked at the man who had first spoken.
I rolled my eyes. How can I talk with my mouth taped.
The middle age man, the leader it seems, looked around and said, “Remove the tape. Get the info.”
One of the man was about to remove the tape. Almost. A man in the 20s burst through the door, “He’s gone.” He looked at the leader and then me and then back to him.
“FIND HIM! RIGHT NOW!” the leader yelled. Everyone at once filing out the door. He looked back at me, “I’ll deal with you later.”
After what felt like eternity. (Few minutes actually)
Someone slowly opened the door.
Here we go again. I thought.
It was a guy. He came right behind me and started cutting the ropes that tied my legs and hands.
I was ready to start yelling and thrashing, but he was helping me. I am not stupid to attract attention right now.
For a second, I dared to hope it was Jouran.
He took off the tape, took my hand, and pulled me toward the door, around the corner to an underground tunnel. I didn’t question him or say anything to him. I just felt it would be better if I kept quiet. I still didn’t see his face.
We got in a car that was parked right outside the tunnel. He started the engine and lights turned on. I finally saw my rescuer.
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