William cursed as he saw the red and blue lights ignite behind him. He pulled to the curb, then reached into the glove compartment for his registration. As he did so, a uniformed policewoman stepped up to his side of the car. “Sir, please step out of the vehicle.”
“What’s the problem, Officer?” he asked, fishing out the registration.
“Please, just step out of the car, sir,” the officer repeated.
Reluctantly, William traded the warm interior of his car for the cold, rainy evening.
She directed him to the sidewalk, then ordered, “Face the fence and place your hands on it, away from your body.”
Startled, he began to turn around, but the policewoman grabbed his shoulder and shoved him against the wet chain-link fence. “Spread ’em,” she commanded, roughly kicking his legs apart.
Slowly, William raised his hands, confusion and annoyance warring within him. “Ma’am, if you could just tell me what I’ve done…”
Instead of an answer, rough, impersonal hands frisked him. It was strangely intimate, as the officer leaned forward, brushing up against his back and hips. He felt a shiver run down his spine and was dismayed to find himself responding to her as she reached into his front pants pocket to withdraw his cell phone and keys. Moments later, a cold steel bracelet wrapping around his left wrist brought him back to reality as his arm was twisted behind his back. A strong hand grasped his other wrist, bringing it behind him as well and locking it into the cuff’s mate.
Alarmed, William asked, “Why am I being detained?”
“Sir, please step over to the police car,” she ordered, as though she hadn’t heard a word he’d said.
Unable to see an alternative, he moved toward the police cruiser. The officer opened the door and guided him into the car, making sure his head did not connect with the door frame. After he was seated in the back of the vehicle, she slammed the door closed, used his keys to lock his car, then returned to her cruiser.
Uncomfortable with his hands fastened behind him, he tried again. “What precinct are you taking me to? The courthouse isn’t open this late.”
But the officer in the front seat kept her eyes on the road and her mouth tightly shut.
She narrowed her gaze as she maneuvered skillfully through traffic, smiling to herself, remembering the first time she’d seen William. It was at the district courthouse, and he had obviously been late for an appointment. He’d been hurrying along the corridor, and he’d brushed past her without a glance. Only a few feet farther on, he’d bumped into a young Asian secretary, causing her careful stack of papers to splash across the floor.
When he bent down to help retrieve the papers, he had gifted her with a perfect view of an amazing behind, taut and sculpted without being overdone. Indeed, the fine wool of his trousers caressed one of the best bottoms she had ever seen.
Though he had no way of knowing it, that view of his behind had led directly to the events of this evening.
It had taken her almost four months, but her homework had been thorough, and she had taken satisfaction from the careful preparations. Finding out who he was had been simple, although tracking his movements and known associates had not been as easy.
Piece by piece, she had gathered key information, and the details had told her what she needed to know. He was in private practice, making very good money and paying his staff generously, though he himself lived modestly. He was single, never married. He had once been engaged. He gave generously to charities, especially to those that benefited children. He was well liked and respected by his peers, and he had a married sister living in California, but no other close relatives. His parents were both deceased.
He didn’t smoke, drank only in moderation, and confined his betting to wagers on Redskins games with a few close friends. He dated fairly frequently but had no long-standing attachments. He was a Candidate, and his methodical, predictable lifestyle had yielded a treasure trove of information that she was now ready to put to good use.
For instance, she knew that tonight William was on his way home to his three-bedroom house in the suburbs where he lived alone. It was Friday night, so he would head straight home, heat up a microwave dinner, and spend the evening reading or watching TV. She, however, had different plans for tonight. And for him.
She checked her prisoner in the rearview mirror, maintaining her silence as she drove toward their destination.
As the patrol car traveled away from the city center, toward dirtier, more run-down neighborhoods, William’s apprehension increased.
“What’s going on here?” he questioned. “Where are you taking me?”
While attempting to rein in his nervousness, he admitted to himself what had already become clear: they were not going to a police station. He looked out the window again and realized that he was lost. He had no idea where they were and had not paid sufficient attention to how they’d gotten there.
Okay, think, he told himself. What can I do to gain control of this situation? Locked in the back of a police cruiser with his hands cuffed uncomfortably behind him, he grudgingly admitted that the only thing he could do was bide his time and wait for the situation to change. He was concerned…but his curiosity was piqued. That curiosity was William’s major character flaw, and it had resulted in some interesting situations over the years…but nothing like this.
Eventually, the car turned onto a gravel road, heading toward a large, dark warehouse. The building was obviously abandoned, with broken windows and NO TRESPASSING signs attesting to its disused state.
The officer parked the patrol car next to a rear entrance, where her car and passenger were out of sight of the road.
Alarmed, William demanded, “What’s going on here? Who are you? This isn’t proper police procedure, and we both know it!”
The officer turned around and, smiling calmly at him, said, “You’re right. It’s not by the book. But we’re here, and there’s not much you can do about it. Why don’t you go along for the ride and find out?”
At a loss for words, he silently fumed, aware of the truth of her words…and his current helplessness to change the situation.
She opened the rear door, absentmindedly murmuring, “Watch your head,” as she pulled him out of the vehicle. Then, after reaching for something inside, she closed the car door.
“Down on your knees,” she ordered.
William looked at her as though she had lost her mind. “What? You expect me to kneel down in that
?” He looked at the puddles of water and mud at his feet in disgust.
“Get down on your knees, or I will plant you face-first in the mud,” the officer stated flatly, an edge to her voice.
Outraged but believing her threat, he obeyed, grimacing as the cold water penetrated his woolen trouser legs. As he knelt, he took the opportunity to peer up at his captor. He guessed her to be in her late twenties or early thirties, about five and a half feet tall, and she looked strong and sturdy. She wasn’t model thin; instead, she was soft and curvy. Her blonde hair was cut bluntly at shoulder length, and her slender hands looked capable. Unable to determine the color of her eyes in the fading daylight, William noted her heart-shaped face, high cheekbones, and deep-set eyes.
As if in response to his scrutiny, she walked around behind him, reached over his head, and drew a black fabric blindfold over his eyes, fastening it securely behind his head.
At the sudden loss of his sight, William froze, truly panicking for the first time since the bizarre events of the evening began.
“P-please take the blindfold off,” he whispered raggedly. “I’ll cooperate…do whatever you want.”
He felt her fingers touch the nape of his neck in an unexpectedly gentle caress, but her words were firm. “Yes, you will. And right now, I want you to stand up. You will wear the blindfold until I decide to take it off, and you will do what you are told.”
Confused and frightened, he had little choice but to obey. Her firm hands guided him to his feet, chivvying him toward the warehouse. Haltingly, William placed one foot in front of the other, expecting to fall or bump into something at any moment. It took all his concentration to rein in his panic.
As they entered the building, a musty smell of disuse assailed his senses. With no chance to adjust, he stumbled as she hustled him forward, then pulled him to a halt. He cried out in pain as his elbow cracked against an adjacent wall. The floor lurched beneath his feet, and he gasped in fear, then realized he must be in an elevator, beginning a slow ascent. Unprepared and disoriented, William sank to his knees, breathing hard, struggling to control his alarm.
The elevator stopped, and he was jerked to his feet and pushed roughly forward. Guided through a maze of turns, he was finally brought to a halt.
Her firm hands spun him around. “There is a chair directly behind you. Sit down.”
William bent his knees and slowly lowered himself until his thighs encountered the chair. He felt a flash of pain as his arms were abruptly pulled back and up, then down again. He realized that he was sitting on a straight-backed chair with his arms behind the chair back. He heard a metallic click
, then the sound of his captor walking around in front of him again. William settled back as best he could as he realized that his handcuffs were now somehow attached to the chair.
His heart pounded as he attempted to regain some small measure of control over the situation. “So,” he said, “are we finally here? Do you feel like telling me what this is all about now, or are we going to play twenty questions?” He grimaced. “I’m obviously not able to play charades at the moment.”
“Very good,” she murmured. “It is
time for some answers, so here they are. First, we are in an abandoned warehouse in the middle of nowhere. There is no one here but us; no one will hear you if you shout. Keep that in mind before you provoke me. Next, as long as you behave and follow instructions, you will not be harmed. And last, when this is all over, you will be returned to your car and permitted to go on your way.”
“But who are you? What do you want from me? Is it money?”
“Who am I? For tonight, I am the mistress of your fate. As for what I want from you…” He jerked in surprise as he felt her straddle his lap and cradle his face in her hands. Then, below the edge of blindfold, she lowered her mouth to his, planting a soft, heated kiss on his lips. “…it’s not money.”
Startled, he pulled his head back. “Wha --”
Recapturing his mouth, she kissed him again…slowly and sensuously.
He sighed his surrender and submitted to the probing of her tongue, allowing her to deepen the gentle kiss. Taken aback by her actions, William waited warily for what would happen next. This has got to be the strangest night of my life, he thought to himself. But despite her threatening actions earlier, it didn’t seem as if he was in any immediate danger.
She broke the kiss, pausing as though considering her next move. He again jerked as her hands slid between them and unbuttoned his suit jacket, forcing it off his shoulders, bunching the sleeves tightly against his wrists and the handcuffs. Next, she loosened and removed his conservative tie. He heard the silk slither through her fingers as she dropped it carelessly on the floor beside them. Finally, she untucked and began unbuttoning his white cotton shirt.
“Just what do you think you are doing?” William asked in his most formidable courtroom voice.
“I’m having my way with you.”