She regained consciousness to the sound of the truck's air brakes hissing. The chain pinching her narrow waist locked behind her. Attached cuffs held her hands against her belly. Her ankles were crossed and chained. A third chain drew her into a ball. Reinforced adhesive bandages covered her eyes and mouth. The air was rank, a combination of sweat, exhaust fumes and perfumes.
(What happened? Think, Elise! Think! We left the tournament. The girls were excited because they'd placed second. We were on the freeway when a tire blew out. The bus swerved and slowed to a stop. The driver got out to check the tires. We started getting sleepy. Then - nothing.)
She heard muffled moans and the road noise of the truck.
(Oh, my god, we've been kidnapped! Okay, Elise. Calm down. What should I do? Yes! Cooperate! Don't give them a reason to kill you. Wait for rescue. That's it. Cooperate and stay alive. At all costs, stay alive!)
She bounced against the wood floor of the truck as it slowed and turned.
(Who would do this? Miss Howard's fiancé? He's rich and powerful. Did he know she was having an affair with the football coach? But why all of us? Why?)
Her sweat flowed in the heat of the sealed truck. She fought the wooziness, the nausea. The truck stopped and a door opened.
(Remember, Elise, cooperate! Stay alive at all costs. Do whatever they ask, but stay alive!)
"All right. Let's get them unloaded," a harsh female voice said.
"There are nineteen," a male voice replied.
"Nineteen? The order was for seventeen. What happened?" the woman said.
"Two unexpected passengers. We didn't want to leave them, so we took them all."
"Which ones are the extras?"
A hand in Elise's hair yanked her face upward.
"This one," the male said. "Probably a mother. And that one there." Her head hit the floor with a thud.
"Oh, what a precious child, " the woman said. Elise heard tape being ripped off skin.
"Please don't hurt me."
(That's Lana! My baby! Leave her alone. She's only thirteen. Goddamn you, leave her alone!)
"I'll hurt you if I want to... and I want to. You'll learn to like what I do to you. You'll learn to enjoy the pain," the woman hissed. Her voice was evil, so cloying and cruel.
"Please don't," Lana whined in a pathetic sob.
(What kind of beast is that woman? What are you doing to my baby? Don't cry, Lana. Don't cry. I'm here, baby. Momma's here!)
Elise struggled against her bondage, her muscles tight, but she couldn't move.
"Doctor!" It was a different voice, a cold, commanding, male voice.
"Yes, Master," the woman replied.
(She called him Master. Who could be master of that devil woman? Oh, God, what's happening?)
"Have you identified the ones we've sold?" the male said.
(Sold? Someone's been sold? No. I didn't hear that. Not slavers! Not in this day and age! Not in California! I can't be living this. It's a nightmare.)
"Yes, Master. All of them. There are two unexpected arrivals. This child and an older one."
"Set them aside. I'll decide what to do with them. Separate the sold ones and let's start processing the keepers. We've got a lot of work to do."
Hands lifted her like a sack of sand. She smelled the pungent odor of the man who carried her and felt the wetness of his sweat-soaked shirt against her cheek. He grunted from her weight as he stepped off the truck, walked several paces and set her on the ground. A hand in her hair lifted her to a sitting position. The tape was ripped from her eyes. The man holding her hair said nothing. When her eyes adjusted to the light, she was staring into a cold, craggy face with ice blue eyes. She shivered.
(He's merciless. Merciless! Oh, God, he'll kill me! Don't panic, Elise. Cooperate. At all costs, cooperate. For Lana. For Lily. For yourself. Please, God, I don't want to die!)
"I'll ask questions. You'll speak only to answer them. Say anything else and you'll be punished. Do you understand?"
She nodded. He ripped away the tape over her mouth.
"Please don't hurt me," escaped her. Anger flashed in his eyes. With his left hand behind her head, he sealed her mouth and nose with his right.
(No. Please. I meant no harm.)
She felt fire in her lungs. Involuntarily, she struggled, twisting against the chains and his hands holding her head. Her bladder gave, the warm pee soaking her skirt. Her world began to darken.
(I'm going to die!)
When he released her, the fire in her lungs intensified as she gulped air.
"Next time be obedient," he said.
He unlocked the chain holding her in a ball. Without waiting for her aching muscles to respond, he forced her to lie flat. He tucked her skirt into the chain around her waist and pulled her panties down to her ankles. His hands were on her, testing, probing. He rolled her face down. His hands dug into the cheeks of her ass, traced the curve of her thighs. Strong hands. Demanding hands.
(How dare you! Someone will see me. My body's mine. Go away, you bastard, leave me alone!)
He rolled her on her back again. He pulled at the tuft of her dark bush. Effortlessly, he jerked her into a kneeling position and hunkered opposite her. She tried to close her knees, to be ladylike.
"Never take your eyes from mine. Spread your knees widely," he said very softly. She did as he instructed. A finger touched her knee and slowly traced its way upward.
(Oh, God, don't let me react to him. Go away. Please! Go away. Don't touch me there. Think of something else, Elise. Don't think about what's happening.) She looked at him, but she saw sights a thousand miles away.
"You act like you're enjoying a strange man playing with your pussy in public. Do you do it often? Oh. Cat got your tongue? Well, I'll help you get it back. But your dignity? I own that now. You'll have to earn it. Do you want me to make you cum?"
(He's toying with me. The bastard! The goddamned bastard! He's humiliating me and laughing at me while he does it. I can't react to him. I can't!)
He caressed her lower lips, tugged at her bush. Stroking. Gently. She quivered and her hips moved. Her eyes focused on him now. She saw his pleasure at her reactions. The lips of her mouth parted as he parted her other lips. She gasped when his finger entered her. She groaned as he moved back and forth. She couldn't stop her hips from moving. He sucked his wet finger clean, and grinned, if that intense and controlling expression could be deemed a grin.
She almost thanked him when he lowered her skirt again. He removed her jewelry: the wedding ring, bracelets, the diamond necklace her husband had given her for their anniversary. Someone raised her hair, leaving her neck exposed. Her eyes never left his.
"I have a new necklace for you," he said softly, but not gently. "See. It's a steel slave collar. It locks around your neck and will never be removed unless I sell you. You're mine. I own you now, like I own my dog. Like my dog, you'll obey me happily. Listen for the click of the lock. It sounds the beginning of your new life as my slave. Listen!"
The steel collar fit snugly. The lock click sounded like a rifle shot to her. She flinched and began shaking. She tried to be still and keep the tears from rolling down her face.
(Speak. Scream. Do something! No. No. Cooperate! He'll kill you if you resist. Stay alive! For yourself! For the girls! Do what he wants.)
"Be still," he said. He cut away her blouse and bra, leaving her naked to the waist. His giant hands felt hard and hot on her breasts as he played with them.
"Are they natural?"
She didn't reply. He slapped her face twice.
"Yes," she said stunned.
"You'll always call me master. Answer again."
"Who plays with them besides your husband?"
"No one, Master. Oh, god, don't!" she screamed as he crushed the flesh of her breasts in his hands. It oozed between his fingers like bread dough.
"Don't ever lie to me!"
"There have been others, Master."
"Many, Master. Ten or twelve."
"You're a slut, aren't you?"
"Yes, Master," she sobbed. She didn't care who knew how many men she fucked, about her adulteries and dalliances. She didn't care about anything but staying alive.
"No wonder you liked me playing with you as others watched. You did like it, didn't you?"
"You lied, but it makes no difference. You'll learn to love it with a hundred people watching you. Is the young girl yours?"
"What's her name?"
He turned to a man standing beside him. "Get me Sara," he said. He again looked at Elise.
"Which of the others is yours?"
"Oh, yes. Sweet little Lily. I can tell the family resemblance."
(He knows her? How? Don't speak! He'll hurt you!)
"You have a very expressive face. I can read you like a book," he said. "Yes, I know Lily. I know them all. I know their IQs, their school grades, what positions they play and how many goals they've scored. I know a lot about them, but I don't know everything. You'll tell me what I want to know, won't you?"
"What's your name?"
"Elise. Elise Johnson, Master."
"Pretty name for a pretty woman. If you're good, I'll let you keep it. Can you have more children, Elise?"
"No, Master," she replied, her expression quizzical.
He grinned again.
"Have you ever had sex with another woman?"
(Another woman? No. I've wondered... )
.... There is more of this story ...