Officer Kate Morgan stood dumbstruck by the scene before her. It felt as though she had somehow stepped into a frame from a horror movie, and it was no more welcoming to her than it would have been there. Seeing her fellow officer’s patrol car parked outside, she hadn’t known what to expect when she entered. There had been talk about Officer Marlow, whispers amongst the force about his idiosyncrasies and his general oddness. There had been talk that he was a “dirty” cop, but she had never known whether to believe it. When she’d received the report from a local that a police car was seen driving down an out-of-the way road a few times, she’d been suspicious. She’d assumed that he was involved in drugs or one of the many other mundane things that bad cops were always drawn to. But the questions and whispers she had heard about him had not prepared her for the scene before her.
The room itself was small and outfitted like some sort of torture chamber. It was the sort of setting you would expect to see in a haunted house, not in an old and abandoned mill. But, where those scenes were often cheap and clearly fake, there was nothing artificial about what she was looking at now. The stocks and racks and chains that filled the room were nothing short of real. That much was obvious even beyond the way in which they were currently being used.
The first girl was standing up high on her toes with her back to Kate. She couldn’t see the captive girl’s face, trapped as it was on the other side of the heavy wooden stocks that enclosed her neck and wrists. Kate could see the distress in the other girl’s trembling body, however, forced to remain high up on her toes with her legs pressed together, making herself as tall as possible to avoid the obvious pressure of the wood against her throat. With each little motion the girl made, Kate could hear the tight handcuffs on her ankles clank together.
The second girl knelt on the floor. Where the first girl wore a harness of black leather straps around her body, the second was adorned in white. Kate winced at the way that the second girl’s upper body was compressed by the tight leather corset that pressed into her. She wore knee-high boots of matching white leather, but where there would normally be feet, Kate could see the hoof-like shapes of their bottoms. She could see the way that the boots held the girl’s heels up aloft, but without the support that heels would offer. The girl’s arms were trapped behind her back inside some additional leather contraption that Kate could only glimpse from her position.
The second girl’s face, however, was the most shocking sight to Kate. Thin white straps pressed into her cheeks and wrapped around her head. Her mouth was forced to remain open in a disturbing grimace by the gleaming steel bar that the girl clutched between her teeth. And the look in the girl’s eyes sent a chill down Kate’s spine. She saw horror there, and terror of what was happening to her. But then, as the girl’s eyes fell upon her, she saw hope. It was a frightened, desperate glimmer, but hope nonetheless. There was something familiar about the girl’s face, even distorted as it was, but she couldn’t place where she might have seen her before.
“Freeze,” Kate demanded, lifting her pistol as Officer Marlow turned to face her. He was still in his full police uniform, though his badge and nametag were conspicuously absent. The fact that he would wear his uniform for such activity revolted her. His face was concealed behind a black ski mask, leaving only his mouth and eyes open. She saw his eyes narrow as he faced her, his hands down by his sides.
“Officer Morgan,” he spoke slowly, and she thought she saw the hint of a smile on his lips. “What brings you to my family mill?”
“Hands up,” she ordered, clutching her pistol in both hands as she kept the barrel trained on him. She stood in a shooter’s stance with her feet wide. It was a position she’d taken countless times at the shooting range and in her training, but one that she had never actually used in the field.
Shaking his head, he slowly raised his hands from where they rested too close to his own firearm at his waist. He stopped when they were at shoulder height, elbows bent.
“There’s nothing to be alarmed about, Officer Morgan,” he spoke again. She could hear the light nature of his voice, almost as though he were on the verge of laughing. “I can explain everything.”
“You can explain everything?” she asked in disbelief. “I sincerely doubt that. Are you going to try and tell me that this is just some sort of sex party I’ve stumbled on?”
“Oh no, nothing as inconceivable as that,” he answered, and this time he did laugh. The sound of it sickened her. That he could laugh in a place of so much obvious suffering spoke volumes about him. “I wouldn’t insult your intelligence with that brand of nonsense.”
“Then what?” Kate demanded, her finger hovering over the gun’s trigger. “What exactly are you going to explain to me that can’t wait for a holding cell back at the station?”
“Well, if you go through with that threat, then you will have missed the opportunity of a life-time,” he spoke, holding her gaze. “Something that would make that pathetic pension they hold over us seem like the joke that it is.”
“Are you offering me a bribe?” she asked. She held his gaze, keeping the gun’s sights aim directly between his eyes.
“I am offering you a business opportunity,” he answered, seemingly un-phased by the barrel of the pistol that bore down on him. In the small room, he was only a few feet away from her. The close proximity of the madman was a little unnerving to her as she kept her grip steady on the weapon.
“A business opportunity?” she asked in disbelief. “No, I’m sorry; I’ve never really considered kidnapping to be the right sort of business for me.”
“Oh, but it’s so much more than that,” he replied, his smile growing. “You would be a fool if you didn’t, at least, hear me out.”
“I don’t need to hear anything about what’s going on here,” Kate responded coldly. “I just need you to turn around and put your hands behind your head.”
“What about if I told you that my little enterprise here is raking in an easy $100,000 per month,” he offered, cocking his head slightly to one side as his smile grew. “You’d rather arrest me than get a part of that?”
“Yes,” Kate answered quickly. No amount of money would make her turn a blind eye to the look she’d seen on the girl in white’s face. “Now, turn around and keep your hands up where I can see them.”
“So that you can call this in,” he spoke calmly, holding her gaze still. “So that you can call for backup. You’re here all by yourself, aren’t you?”
“No,” Kate lied. She hadn’t called it in because she was investigating a fellow officer. If she’d called it in over the radio, he would have heard it, too, and would have been alerted to the fact that she was coming. She wondered now, having seen what he was doing here, what he would have done with those few minutes of warning. What would she have walked into then? “My backup is sweeping the perimeter now.”
“You’re a terrible liar,” he answered with another laugh.
“Stop right there!” Kate quickly demanded as he took a step closer to her, finger beginning to press on the pistol’s trigger. “Do not think I won’t shoot you.”
“Oh, I have every reason to believe you would,” he answered, still smiling. “I can see the disgust on your face. You don’t hide it well.”
“I’m not trying to hide it,” she answered with a sneer. “Now, turn around and keep your hands up.”
“No backup, here all alone,” he continued, ignoring her demand once more. “And your heart is racing a mile a minute. I can see it. You’re literally on a hair trigger, right now, aren’t you?”
“Yes, you bet your fucking ass I am,” she replied coldly. “I’m having a hard time coming up with reasons not to shoot you right now. One more step and the decision will be a much easier one.”
“Shhoookk… Ghim…” The words came from the unseen lips of the girl who was stretched up on her toes, the one in black. From the distorted nature of them, Kate could tell that the girl must be gagged in some fashion, like the other in white.
“Nevada, you’re going to regret saying that,” Officer Marlow spoke. Kate could hear the firmness in his voice. More than that, she could hear his conviction. He truly believed that he was still going to continue his sick game.
“Everything’s going to be fine, Nevada,” Kate added, seeing the girl’s body quivering as she struggled to stay up on her splayed toes out of the corner of her eye. She didn’t dare to take her eyes off Marlow, standing so close to her now in the small room. “Now, this is your last warning. Turn around, now.”
“Do you recognize her?” he asked, cocking his head to the side again and gesturing toward where the girl in white knelt. “You should. She was all over the papers recently.”
Keeping the gun trained on Marlow, Kate slowly lowered her eyes to the girl on the floor. She had looked familiar. Who was she? The girl’s cheeks were stained with tears now as she looked back up at Kate hopefully. Kate kept her eyes averted from the sight of the girl’s small, bare breasts heaving as they glistened with fallen tears. She focused on the face. Where had she seen her before?
“Miller,” Kate finally spoke softly as she recognized the poor girl’s face from the many times it had been splashed across the newspaper and local news reports: the mayor’s daughter. The girl had been reported missing and then found dead in a horrific car accident. Kate felt her stomach drop at the thought. Had the girl been here all this time?
“3… 2… 1…” Marlow spoke slowly. The standing girl, the one in black, suddenly screamed in terror and then Kate heard a horrible gagging sound.
Kate began to raise the barrel of the pistol again, her eyes quickly returning to the other officer as he spoke. The girl in the stocks was convulsing, her body jerking wildly as her bare feet jerked up off the ground, stopped only by the tight cuffs on her ankles and the chain that linked them to the floor.
And then Marlow was moving. Kate pulled the trigger, but she knew instantly that her aim was off. She heard the bullet hit something across the small room from her as he ducked low and dove forward toward her. She felt his shoulder hit her abdomen hard, knocking the wind from her as she toppled backward under the weight of him. She brought the pistol grip down, aiming for the back of his head, but it struck his shoulder instead as he drove her forward. They hit the ground hard, Kate’s bottom driving into the cement floor with Marlow on her lap. As she toppled backward, she felt the back of her head hit something hard and she saw stars for a moment. The cage, she realized. He’d knocked her back against the cage.
“You stupid fucking bitch,” Marlow growled as Kate recovered quickly. She tried to bring the gun around, grateful that it was still in her hand. And then she felt his firm grip on her wrist, strong fingers digging into her flesh through the sleeve of her uniform. “You almost ruined everything.”
Kate kicked out hard, trying to get her legs between her and him as he held tight to her wrist. With her free hand, she reached for her belt, grabbing at the taser’s holster there. She could see the crazed look in his eyes as he grinned down at her behind the mask, moving to straddle her legs as he faced her. She hissed with relief as she felt the snap on the taser’s holster pop free.
Without warning, he rammed his forehead hard down into hers. White flashed across her vision as the impact sent her head backwards, crashing once more into a metal bar of the cage against which her back rested. She cried out as she felt him twist her arm through the fog of pain that consumed her mind. She felt her fingers releasing the gun as he turned her over to face the floor. All of the joints of her held arm ached from his sudden fierce pressure on them. He was on her back now as she lay on her stomach, her arm twisted up oddly behind her, hand bent at an awkward angle.
“If you reach for that taser again, I’m going to break your arm,” he said coldly as he held her. “You know I can do it. You’ve done this before.”
Kate remained silent. He was right. He had all the leverage.
“Now, grab one of the bars of that cage with your free hand or you’re going to need surgery,” he demanded.
“Fuck!” Kate cried out in pain as she felt him increase the pressure on her wrist. She quickly moved her free hand away from her belt and up to grab one of the cold metal bars of the cage, as he’d ordered. “You’re making this worse for yourself, Marlow.”
“Am I now?” he asked, and then Kate heard the ratcheting sound of a handcuff opening, metal grating on metal. “I don’t know about that.”
“I don’t know how you got away with this so far,” Kate spoke firmly, trying to keep her voice steady as she felt him close a cold metal cuff around the wrist of the hand that held the bar. “But do you really think you can keep three missing women here and not get caught? And one of them a cop? Kidnappers always get caught.”
“Because kidnappers are always stupid,” he answered. Kate heard the rattling of chain against metal. “But I’m smarter than all those amateurs.”
Kate breathed hard through her nose, teeth clenched, as he slowly adjusted the hand that he held behind her back. He kept the pressure on her wrist, bending it painfully as he moved it out to her side and then reached it up toward where her other wrist waited. She tried to pull away, but then only cried out anew in pain as he twisted her held wrist painfully. For a moment, she thought it would snap, but then she relaxed and he returned to moving it almost gently to meet the first. She winced as she felt him close the cuff tightly around her wrist. Lifting her cheek from where it rested on the cold cement floor, she saw that the chain between the cuffs had been run around one of the bars of the cage.
“I found you, didn’t I?” she asked as she tried to fight back the shudder of fear that ran through her body. She could feel his weight on her back, pinning her to the floor. She was cuffed to the cage in this house of horrors. Why hadn’t she just shot him when she had the chance?
“Yes, you did, and we’ll have to spend some time talking about that later,” he answered. She felt him shift on her back, turning to face her legs. He kept the pressure down on her, bearing down with his weight and not allowing her a chance to kick free. He moved down along her body, stopping when he was sitting on the backs of her thighs. “You’ll have to tell me all about the events that brought you here, so that I can make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
“Harris knows I’m here,” Kate spoke, feeling him lift her left foot off the ground. She felt his hands on her boot and quickly jerked it away from his hold. “When I told him about my suspicions, he let me go look. If he doesn’t hear back from me, he’ll know that something happened. He’ll know that you’re behind it.”
Kate tried to remain still as she felt him shifting against her body. She turned her head, craning her neck to see what he was doing. Harris hated Marlow. She knew that, and Marlow knew it, too. Harris knew that Marlow was dirty, and had been looking for a way to bring him down for at least the three years that Kate had been on the force. She caught sight of him just in time to see him pivot at the waist, still sitting on the backs of her thighs. She tensed as she saw his raised fist in the air and then cried out in pain as he brought it down hard against her back, driving it into her kidney. She coughed, sputtering for breath as her body convulsed beneath him from the wicked strike. Pain radiated out from her lower back as she felt tears stinging her eyes.
“You didn’t tell Harris,” he spoke calmly. “Whatever you thought was going on out here; you didn’t know that it involved me.”
“You’re wrong,” Kate panted and then she cried out once more as he struck her hard, his fist hitting her in the same spot again. She pulled hard at the cuffs that held her wrists trapped against the bars of the cage, her body tensing at the impact of his fist. She coughed again, almost gagging on the pain that consumed her.
“You didn’t tell Harris. If you’d told him, he would never have let you come out here alone. He hates me,” he spoke venomously. “Do you know why I hit you?”
“Because of what I said about Harris?” she asked. He shifted again. For a brief moment, she felt the pressure of his body lift from her. And then she cried out as he yanked on her legs, pulling her away from the cage until her arms were stretched out towards it before he settled into place on her legs once more.
“No,” he answered simply. She felt his hands on her foot again.
“Then it’s because you like hitting women,” Kate answered, lifting her head from where it rested on the ground to look up along her outstretched arms to the cuffs that held tight to her wrists. She groaned, her breathing quickening as he lifted her boot again with a sick laugh.
“Actually, no, I don’t enjoy hitting women much,” he replied. She felt him tug the laces of her boot free.
“Then why?” she asked.
“Because you pulled your foot away from me,” he responded simply. “You will quickly learn that I get my way here. But we’ll have plenty of time for you to become intimately familiar with that fact.”
Kate felt her boot loosen and then he pulled it free to uncover her foot and its sock below. Her sock came next as he held her foot upright, and she wiggled her toes a little in the air as it came free. He lowered it to the ground, and she felt the cool cement against her bare foot.
“Is that what this is about?” she asked as he lifted her other foot and she felt her boot loosening like the first. “Some bitch at home that doesn’t let you have your way so you take it out on others? I’ve seen your type before.”
“Would it make you feel better to believe that?” he asked with a laugh as he removed her boot and then the sock. “Would it make you feel better about the situation you’re in right now?”
“Fuck you,” Kate spat as he released her second foot and allowed her to lower it to the ground with the first.
Kate grunted as he shifted again, rising from her body. She tried to pull herself forward away from him by her cuffed hands, but he was holding her in place by the back of her belt now. He took hold of her hips and turned her over roughly. The chain between her hands twisted as he flipped her easily, the cuffs biting painfully into her wrists. She glared up at him as he sat down straddling her thighs again.
“You’re Spanish, right?” he asked and she watched his hands move to her belt, slowly opening the buckle there.
“Portuguese,” she hissed as he tugged the belt free. She felt a dread settle into her as she watched him turn his attention to the button of her pants, opening it and unzipping them. “What the fuck does that matter?”
“Oh, I suppose it doesn’t matter, when you put it that way,” he answered as he began to tug downward on the waistline of her pants. She watched, helplessly as they were drawn down her thighs. The bottom hem of her uniform shirt was revealed, and then bare thighs beyond. He moved back along her legs as he pulled down her pants. “It’s just something I’ve been curious about ever since you joined the force.”
“Oh, so you’re a racist and a chauvinist?” she spat as he stopped when he reached her ankles. She watched him unclip her own handcuffs from their spot on her belt, swinging them open and dangling them above her. “Aren’t you special?”
“Curiosity makes me a racist?” he laughed as he brought the first cuff down, closing it around her left ankle as he pulled the pant-leg free from it.
“The fact that you noticed is a sign,” she answered, watching as he pulled the other cuff away, threading it through a waiting ring set into the floor. He held tight to her other ankle as he pulled the pants away from it, and then closed the second cuff in place around it.
“You know, I’ve never been a big fan of the race card,” he said as he moved alongside her on her knees. She pulled at the cuffs on her wrists and ankles, feeling the tight metal against her flesh, keeping her drawn out between the cage and the ring on the floor. “I feel like it’s just over-played.”
“Funny, but I’ve never met a white man who felt differently,” she returned angrily. She could only watch as his hands moved to the buttons of her shirt, starting at the bottom and slowly opening them.
“Ah, but you see,” he said softly. She watched as the bottom of her shirt fell open, revealing her white cotton panties beneath. “I don’t hold your race against you. And I think very few people ever have. Your skin, for example,” he said softly as the taut flesh of her stomach was revealed beneath the shirt as it continued to fall open. He ran a finger along the bare skin there, making her breathing quicken as a flutter ran through her belly. “It’s simply intoxicating. How would you describe it? Tan? Mocha? White girls like Jessica spend a fortune trying to get just this shade.”
“I’d describe it as get your fucking hands off me,” Kate growled as he continued to play the fingers of one hand along her flesh while the other moved up along the shirt, opening it as it traveled. But the words sounded hollow, such an empty threat, even to her.
“You had me, you know,” he said as he continued to unbutton her shirt. She watched as it fell away from her breasts, revealing where they rose and fell quickly behind the simple material of her matching white cotton bra.
“Yeah, and I should have just fucking shot you when I had the chance,” she replied as he finished the last of the buttons, her collar falling open to either side of her. “I won’t make that mistake again.”
“Well, sure then, too,” he chuckled. Kate gasped as his hands moved to her breasts, grasping them through the material of her bra. She felt his fingers digging into the soft flesh of the round globes, mauling them as she clenched her teeth. “But I’m not talking about then.”
“Get your fucking hands off me, you piece of shit,” Kate hissed angrily as he continued to fondle her breasts, but his hands did not respond to her powerless demand.
“Aren’t you at least curious as to when I am talking about?” he asked, his hands stopping their movement to simply grip her breasts.
“Fine, I’ll play your game,” Kate spoke as she squirmed against the concrete, glaring up at him. “When did I screw up?”
“You went for your taser,” he answered softly, and she felt his hands tighten on her breasts through the material of her bra. “What’s the most powerful weapon that you have? The first thing you’re trained to go for when things go wrong?”
Kate scowled, turning her face to look away from him, around the small room. She knew exactly what he was talking about. It had been engrained into her, into all of the recruits, at the academy. It had been right there on her belt next to the taser, her constant companion.
“My radio,” she finally answered, turning her eyes back from the terrible sights the room had to offer to look up at him again. She saw the smile on his lips at her words, and the cold steel look in his eyes.
“That’s right, Officer Morgan,” he chuckled as his hands resumed their fondling. “Your radio is the most effective and powerful tool in your arsenal. And, for a moment, I thought you had me. I thought that’s what you were going for. Just the touch of a button, and all of this would have come crashing down around me.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Kate answered weakly. “It’s all coming crashing down regardless. You’re not going to get away with this.”
Kate tried to jerk her head away as one of his hands moved to lightly caress her cheek. She felt his fingers move to weave its way into the tangled mess of her thick black hair. She winced as his grip tightened, taking firm hold of the roots of her hair.
“Oh, but I am,” he replied, glaring down at her. “Though I have to admit, it’s going to take me a little while to figure out exactly what to do with your sweet ass.”
With a final, fierce squeeze to her breasts, he thrust himself up onto his feet. She looked up at him as he stood above her, the chains on her wrists and ankles rattling against their secured points as she struggled against them to no avail.
“I have to go get a few things to get you properly prepared,” he said as he looked down at her. “I’ll leave you and the ponies to get acquainted. I know that it will be a rather one-sided conversation, but maybe you can help them come to terms with the fact that their knight in shining armor failed them. I’m sure that your incompetence has left them more than a little rattled. You must have really had their hopes up for a moment.”
Kate watched as he moved to the girl in black, the one held so firmly in place by the wooden stocks that enclosed her neck and wrists. The girl’s body was covered in sweat from the effort of keeping herself up on her toes. He slowly ran a fingernail up along the girl’s taut, quivering belly. The girl in black jerked wildly. Kate could hear her sputtering and coughing.
“And maybe you can make poor Nevada here deal with the guilt she must be feeling,” he continued as his hand continued to roam across the girl’s stomach. “She did give me just enough of a distraction to get you, didn’t she?”
“Fuck you,” Kate hissed angrily, pulling at her chains.
I should have been your hero, Kate thought to herself as she watched the girl in black’s body heave with her sobs.
“Nevada here was the new girl for only a short time now,” he said as he moved his hand to grasp the girl’s bottom through the sheer black panties that covered them. Kate could see the girl’s body tense. “And you’ve interrupted her training. I’m sure that she’s also quite upset with you for that.”
“I’m sure she’s just –“ Kate began, but her words were cut off as Marlow took a quick step toward her and then abruptly kicked her hard in the side. The impact of his boot against the side of her stomach robbed her of her breath, leaving her panting on the floor as he began to walk out of the room.
“Officer Morgan,” he said coldly, stopping at the door for a moment. “I don’t give a damn what you think. Remember that.”
Without another word, he left the room, leaving Kate to gasp for breath on the cold floor.