“Place your hands on the roof of the car, and spread your legs,” he ordered.
She followed his commands, ‘assuming the position’ as she’d heard it called in movies and on television cop shows. It was a very different feeling to experience in person, she quickly discovered. Little pebbles of gravel slipped between the soles of her feet and the thin, flat sandals as she slid them out across the ground. Her short skirt rose, baring more of her thighs as she spread them. It was a terribly vulnerable feeling. She was being treated like a criminal without knowing why. Her heart pounded in her chest in growing fear of what was coming. Was she going to be arrested?
“Ms. Miller, are you aware that there is an active warrant for your arrest?” the policeman asked calmly behind her.
“A warrant?” she asked quickly, in disbelief, “for what? There must be some sort of mistake.”
“For attempted armed robbery.”
“I’ll admit that it sounds a little surprising to me, too, Ms. Miller, but until I can look into it further, I have no choice but to take it seriously. Very seriously. Do you understand?”
“Yeah, sure, I guess,” she answered quickly, finding herself grateful that the warrant wasn’t for something legitimate, like the unpaid parking tickets that cluttered up her glove box.
“Have you ever been arrested before, Ms. Miller?”
“No,” she replied, “but please, you don’t have to arrest me. I mean, come on, I’m not a robber. Can’t you just call my dad?”
“Are you carrying any weapons, Ms. Miller?” he asked sternly, ignoring her question.
“No, I’m not carrying any weapons,” she laughed, the situation taking on an absurd quality as she stood there facing the car.
“I told you that this is serious, Ms. Miller. I’m going to pat you down now.”
She winced as he ran his hands over her body. Her feet shifted nervously in the gravel as his palms grazed across her breasts through the thin white material of her shirt. His fingers played across her belly. She felt her cheeks blushing slightly as his hands seemed to linger on her hips before moving down across the soft denim of her skirt. She gasped as his right hand slipped up under its hem to search the bare flesh of her inner thighs. She was grateful when he finally removed his hand, and she pressed her lips together as he ran his palms down her legs. The caress of his hands to the bare skin of her legs infuriated her, and she couldn’t help but think that he was taking advantage of an opportunity to just ‘cop a feel.’ She couldn’t imagine that he sincerely thought that she was hiding a weapon underneath the sandal straps that were wrapped around her calves and tied in place. When this mess was squared away, she would definitely let her father know about this.
Finished with his ‘search,’ he stepped in close to her and reached to the roof of the car to take hold of her right wrist. She didn’t resist as he turned it, bending her arm at the elbow to place her hand behind her back. She trembled slightly as she heard a ratcheting sound and then felt the cold steel of the cuff close tightly in place around the slender flesh of her wrist.
“Please, do you have to do this?” she asked, but did not resist as he drew her other arm back behind her and closed the second cuff tightly in place on it. “I’m not going to do anything.”
“Sorry, Ms. Miller, but it’s procedure,” he answered grimly, taking hold of her bare upper arm and leading her back to his car. “I can’t put you in the car unless you’re restrained.”
Jessica walked at his direction back to the patrol car. Her hands explored the cuffs behind her, and she was surprised to find them different than she had expected. Instead of a chain between them, she found a hinged bar that allowed them very little movement or flexibility. She clasped her hands together tightly behind her back, the sound of the clinking metal sending a shudder down her spine.
Watching the road, Jessica was grateful that no one drove by to see her being taken into custody. At the waiting police car, he opened the back door and helped her to sit down inside, his hand on the back of her head to maneuver it without hitting the roofline. The seat was made of hard, formed plastic and was cool against the bare backs of her thighs. The cuffs were uncomfortable, biting into her tender wrists, and she was grateful for the cutout in the seatback behind her where they could rest without her weight pressing against them. She was surprised to see the policeman squat down next to her before closing the door, another pair of cuffs in his hands.
“Wh-what… what are you doing?” she whimpered as she saw him reach for her left ankle, her voice seeming somehow small to her. “What are those for?”
“I told you,” he spoke softly as he got a firm grip on her calf above the ankle and placed the open hasp of the cuff against it, “you have to be restrained.”
“But my feet?” she whimpered as he closed the cuff in place on her, struggling to blink back tears as the situation worsened. “I’m not going to run away.”
“You’re not now, are you?” He looked up at her as he closed the other cuff in place on her right ankle.
With the cuffs locked on her feet, he stood up again. Reaching down, he placed his hand on her shoulder for a moment, giving it a squeeze that somehow felt anything but reassuring. And then the door closed ominously, and she was alone in the back seat. She pulled at the cuffs on her ankles, looking down in disbelief at the confining anklets and the short chain between them. Her festive sandals and toenails, painted a pale pink, seemed starkly out of place with these new additions.
She watched him go back to her car, the view obscured some by the mesh of the cage that separated her from the front seat of the cruiser. He spent a few moments inside it before closing it up, locking it with its keyless remote. He walked back to the patrol car, carrying her purse. She pressed her thighs together as she sat impatiently in the mobile cell that was the back seat of his car. He entered the front seat of the patrol car without a word, placing her belongings on the seat next to him.
“How long will it take to get things straightened out?” she asked, looking at the officer’s face in the rear view mirror as he put the car in gear.
“To get what straightened out, princess?”
“The warrant mistake,” she responded icily, “and please don’t call me that.”
“You don’t like being called princess?”
“No, I don’t.”
“That’s none of your business,” she snapped, twisting her wrists in the cuffs behind her back in frustration. “Now, how long is it going to take to get this warrant thing fixed, and get me out of here?”
“There are a few complications with that, princess.”
“I asked you not to call me that,” she hissed angrily, “and what do you mean by complications.”
“This doesn’t seem like a very fair conversation, princess,” he spoke as his eyes met hers in the rear-view mirror for a moment.
“What are you talking about?”
“You want me to answer questions for you, but you won’t answer them for me.”
“What the fuck does you calling me princess have to do with anything?” she snapped angrily in response.
He continued to drive in silence without answering her question. Looking out the window, Jessica watched them turn off the road they’d been on and onto a winding country road. The chain between her ankles rattled as she shifted her feet nervously.
“It’s what my dad calls me,” Jessica finally spoke softly.
“And why is that a bad thing?”
“Because he only calls me princess when he’s not really paying attention to me,” she answered slowly, “so it just brings up bad memories.”
“You don’t like it when people don’t pay attention to you, do you?” he asked her, once more meeting her eyes.
“No, I don’t,” she replied flatly. “So what are the complications you were talking about?”
“Well, for starters, there is no warrant.”
“Wh-what? What do you mean?” a chill ran down her spine as she asked the question.
“I’m afraid that I made that part up.”
“Is this some kind of sick joke?” she demanded, suddenly realizing what might be going on, as hope began to surface in her mind. “Did my father set this up? Is this some kind of screwy birthday gag?”
“Do you think your daddy would have had someone feel up his little princess as a birthday gag?” he asked cruelly, looking back into her eyes in the mirror.
“Then what… then what…” Jessica tried to ask the question, but was finally overcome by tears, her voice breaking as they began to stream down her cheeks.
“I’m afraid that you’re being kidnapped, princess. And I’m going to hold onto you until I can get what I want from your precious daddy.”
“But you… you’re a policeman… they’ll know you pulled me over. They’ll question you.”
“Nobody knows I pulled you over, princess,” he said, laughing, “I didn’t call it in, because I knew exactly who I was pulling over. I never ran your license. This traffic stop never happened, as far as the rest of the world is concerned.”
“But… but they’ll find my car.”
“Yes, they will. But that’s all they’ll find.”
“Help me!” she screamed, kicking at the door of the car, tears streaming down her cheeks as she cried out hysterically, “someone please help me!”
“A shame you picked such a lonely road to drive down, isn’t it?” he asked cruelly as her hysterics gave way to muted sobbing. “When I was dreaming up this plan, I was worried that someone might see you in the back seat and recognize you. I can’t tell you how happy I was when you turned down that old road.”
“So what now?” she asked as she sniffed back more tears, gaining some semblance of control over herself again. “You just keep me out of the way until my father pays you?”
“That’s pretty much it.”
“And where are you going to keep me?” She pulled desperately at the cuffs on her wrists, trying to squeeze her hands out of them while she talked, but
they were too tight, the effort only serving to chafe her tender flesh.
“I’ve got a very special place in mind, princess.”
“You can’t get away with this, you know,” she whimpered as hot new tears stung her eyes. “Kidnappers never get their money. Please, just let me go. I swear I’ll just pretend it never happened.”
“Oh, don’t you worry your pretty little head about it,” he laughed, “I know exactly what I’m doing, and I’m going to get exactly what I want.”
She looked away from the steely glint in his eyes, scanning the road for sign of any other travelers, but it remained empty. After a few twists and turns, he slowed and turned off the road onto an old dirt track that was almost entirely overgrown. The car, obviously designed for smoother terrain, bounced and jostled through the deep holes in the road. She heard it bottom out a few times. She slid on the smooth seat, unable to do much to stop herself until her body thrust against the door, though she managed to turn herself enough to get a hold on the armrest.
After what felt like an eternity on the bumpy road, they reached a clearing next to a swiftly flowing river. Built next to the river was an old gristmill. The headlights of the car glinted off the water that was still scooped up and carried by the ponderous wooden wheel as it turned in the river. The building itself looked old and worn, though still supported itself admirably.
“My family’s owned this old mill for over a century. My dad actually worked for my grandpa in it when he was a little tyke, though it’s been decades since it’s seen any real use,” he told her, sounding almost wistful. “This mill supported our family for a long time, princess, though it’s never made the sort of money it’s going to produce through you.”
“I bet your grandpa would be really proud of you right now,” Jessica hissed.
“My grandpa died penniless in a nursing home,” he responded, putting the car into park and killing the engine in front of the old mill. “I intend to do no such thing.”
When he exited the car and moved toward the door against which she rested, Jessica frantically moved away from it, pushing herself across the smooth seat to the other side. Like the other door, she found no handle for release. Pressing her back into it, she looked about frantically, feeling like a trapped animal. He opened the door across from her and began to reach into the car. She kicked out at him, sandaled feet forced to move in unison by the chain that locked them together. He laughed as he easily deflected the blow, grabbing her right ankle firmly.
“No! Stop it! Let me go!” Jessica screamed as he yanked her from the car by her ankle.
“We can do this the hard way, if that’s how you like it,” he chortled as she slid easily across the smooth seat to hit the dirt driveway with a thud, landing painfully on her cuffed wrists. “Because that’s definitely how I like it.”
She screamed out in pain and frustration as he dragged her across the hard ground toward the door of the old mill. Rocks and roots bit into the flesh of her back and ass as her shirt and skirt rode up under the rough treatment. Twisting onto her side, she tried desperately to find something to grab with her cuffed hands, but could find no purchase. As they approached the door, she was grateful that the terrain beneath her turned from the dirt of the track to softer grass, though it did nothing to help the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach.
“Help me! Somebody please help me!” she screamed when they reached the door, hot tears stinging her eyes.
“Shut up, you stupid little bitch,” he ordered, kicking her hard in the stomach.
Jessica curled into the fetal position as his booted foot hit her hard in the midsection, the air exploding from her lungs. Gasping for breath, she struggled to rise up onto her knees while she watched through bleary, tear-filled eyes as he worked a key in the old lock. As she reached her knees, the door creaked open and he grabbed her hair, his fingers twining themselves in her shoulder-length tresses. She cried out as he pulled her the rest of the way onto her feet, yanking painfully at her scalp and dragging her with him into the dark interior of the mill.
In the darkness of the old building, he threw her forward and she cried out as she was tripped up by the cuffs on her feet, falling to her side on the hard floor. Turning quickly onto her back to look up at him, she saw his silhouette framed in the doorway for only a moment before it closed, blinding her in the seemingly complete darkness of the mill.
“You’ll notice I made a few updates to the old place,” he spoke softly, his voice almost a growl as he flipped on a light switch.