The Candy Shop

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“I’ve arranged for you to stay at a hotel downtown for a couple of days,” Landon said, as his driver maneuvered the black Mercedes through highway traffic. “You don’t need questioning neighbors hounding you like vultures.”

“How am I going to explain that to Frank?” Kira objected.

“Don’t you worry about Frank. I’ll take care of it.” Landon smirked. “It’s for your own protection and Frank will certainly understand that. He won’t want his wife being harassed by the police and dragged into a very public police investigation.” Every word from Landon’s lips seemed to mask an underlying threat, like if she didn’t cooperate he’d make sure her face was plastered all over the news as a suspect in the serial killings.

“I’ll need to pack some things,” Kira said quietly.

“Already done. You’ll find your hotel room contains everything you’ll need,” Landon retorted. “You’ll also report to work tonight promptly at 7:00pm. Lucas will meet you upstairs and give you instructions.”

“I’m not working there,” she argued.

“Oh, I think you are,” Landon grinned. “Your client has been asking for you. I think you call him, ‘Mr. Green’?”

Kira’s face flushed at the realization that Landon or someone had been listening to her conversation with Mr. Green that first night. What else did he know? Probably everything. “I don’t want to go there,” Kira said. “Please, Landon, I don’t want any part of that place.”

“It’s too late for that,” Landon seethed. “Once a piece of candy, always a piece of candy; and everybody likes candy.” He laughed and Kira fought the lump welling up in her throat.

With the barrel of a .45 digging into her ribs, Landon escorted her to a suite on the top floor of the Adams Mark hotel. “A car will pick you up at 6:30pm. You will be escorted from your room to the car and to your job. At no other time are you to step outside of this room or let anyone inside. Is that clear?”

Kira nodded.

“Good girl,” he said and ran his finger down the side of her face. “Keep being a good girl and you might just live through this.” Landon walked toward the door, turned on his heels and grinned at Kira. “I’ve bought out the entire floor and the rooms directly below your suite, so attempting to scream or pound on the walls, ceiling or floor will be a waste of time and energy; energy you will undoubtedly need for your evening with Mr. Green.” Landon let his eyes traipse the length of her body. “Do what you’re told.”

Landon no sooner left, closing the door behind him than Kira rushed to the phone sitting on the desk and dialed 9 for an outside line. There was no dial tone, just dead air. She hung up and then pressed 0 for the front desk. Again, she heard nothing but dead air. She then tried to make a room-to-room call, but it didn’t work. Somehow Landon had rendered her hotel phone inoperable. She rushed to the door and tried to pull it open, but it wouldn’t budge. It was locked from the outside. She tugged several times and then backed up and sank onto the bed. Landon had taken her purse with her wallet, cell phone and the 357 Magnum she had retrieved from Frank’s closet. Turning toward the window, Kira leapt up and tore open the curtains. The windows were the kind that didn’t open, not even an inch, and they were painted solid black. She was trapped like a princess in a tower; a prisoner and the only way out was to return to The Candy Shop.

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