Try to imagine this. You come home from work, park your car in the garage, and walk through the door that connects the house to the garage as you call out "Honey, I'm home." The door closes behind you before you see two men with guns and next to them you see your frightened wife tied to one of the swivel stools at the breakfast bar that separates the kitchen from the family room. She appears to be unhurt, but she has duct tape across her mouth. One of the men waves his gun at you and says:
"Be quiet, listen, and do what we tell you to do and you will get out of this unhurt."
That was the nightmare that I walked in on, but to understand what was going on you need to know the story that led up to it.
I met Annie when I stopped in at my insurance agency to talk to my agent. I had just acquired a 2009 series ten dollar gold coin which was graded MS 70 and I needed to add it to the insurance policy that I had on my collection. My great-grandfather had begun saving gold and silver coins because he did not trust paper currency and when he died he passed on his horde of gold and silver to my grandfather who added to it. When he died my dad got the collection and then it came to me.
When Franklin Roosevelt ordered the confiscation of gold in 1933 my grandfather had said in effect "Fuck you!" and he had hidden the collection. My father had kept it hidden also, but he had started adding to it only by then it wasn't just coins he collected, it was gold. He added some krugerrands, Canadian gold Maple Leafs and even a British golden Crown that he had found somewhere and he moved the collection to a bank safe deposit box.
Just before cancer took him he gave the collection to me and told me to keep quiet about it or it would come under some kind of tax and would also let the government know where it was. He had inherited my grandfather's fear of government confiscation. His position was that the government had done it once so it would be likely to do it again someday if the economy went to hell like it had during the Great Depression. I didn't suffer from the same paranoia so a year after my father died I had the collection appraised and then I insured it. While I didn't inherit dad's paranoia I did inherit the 'gold bug' and I started collecting gold coins. The collection I had was valued at just over two hundred thousand.
I was leaving my agent's office when I saw Annie sitting at a desk and my heart started racing. She wasn't all that beautiful, but she had an aura about her — an aura that said, "Take me, I'm yours" and I wanted to go over to her, throw her over my shoulder and run for my cave. I decided that I had to take the chance. I'd been shot down before and it hadn't killed me. I walked over to her desk and said:
"Hi. My name is Rob Daltry and I just could not leave here without asking you to have a drink or a cup of coffee with me."
"You are in luck Rob Daltry. I'm Annie and I have a thing for guys who go after what they want. I get off at four. I'll meet you out front."
We hit it off and dated for the next six months and then I asked her to marry me and she said yes.
The next six years were among the happiest of my life. A wife I loved, a job that suited me just fine and then my perfect life came under attack. The company sent me to Salt Lake City for a week of training. The second day I was back I got off work and there was an envelope under the windshield wiper on the driver's side of my car. Inside the envelope were two photos that had obviously been taken by a cell phone camera and a typewritten note. The note said:
"The man's name is Alan Pendergast and she left with him."
The first photo showed Annie kissing the man and she had her arms around his neck and he had his hands on her ass. I recognized the setting. It was the Alhambra Lounge. The second one showed her with her tits out of her dress and the man's mouth on the left one. It was like a blow to my stomach. I staggered and then I threw up all over the side of the car. It took me several minutes to get myself under control. I opened the trunk and found a rag to clean my face and then I got into the car and headed for a gas station with a car wash.
When I walked into the house Annie smiled and ran to me to take me in her arms. I pushed her away and when she asked, "What's wrong Rob" I dropped the note and the pictures on the breakfast bar and then just stood there looking at her. She looked from me to the breakfast bar and then she went over and looked at the pictures. Her hand flew to her mouth and she cried out:
"Oh my God no; please God no" and she started crying and tears ran down her cheeks. "No Rob, no. I didn't Rob; honest to God I didn't. It isn't what it looks; I swear Rob, it isn't what it looks like. Please Rob. You have to believe me. You have to. You just have to."
"How could it not be what I think Annie? That is you in the pictures."
"No it isn't Rob; that isn't really me. That is a woman who was drunk out of her mind and who didn't know what she was doing and what was being done to her. The woman in those pictures was not only drunk; she had been drugged. That is not me Rob; that is not the real me."
I loved Annie and I was sure that she loved me so I gave her a chance to tell me what had happened. Four of her girlfriends who knew that I was out of town asked Annie to meet them after work for drinks. They had dinner and then they hit a lounge where they happened to have live music. Naturally five attractive women drew male attention and men were asking them to dance and were buying them drinks. Annie, Cora and Carol were married and knew that they would be going home alone, but Sally and Martha were single and open to being picked up by the 'right' guy. They settled on two guys and the guys were invited to join the group at the table and then it snowballed as the guy's buddies came over and several tables got shoved together.
Annie was kept on the dance floor and every time she came back to the table there was a fresh drink waiting for her and from the effect they were having on her she later came to believe that they were probably doubles. Somewhere along the way someone must have slipped something into one of her drinks.
"I don't remember kissing that man Rob. I don't remember my breasts being bared. Some how I lost an hour or two. I remember being on the dance floor and then the next thing I remembered was Carol and Cora dragging me away from some guy who had me on the back seat of his car. Cora hit him with something and Carol was hollering that she was going to call the police. Carol wanted to take me to the hospital for a blood test to prove I was drugged so she could send the cops after the guy, bur Cora wouldn't let her."
"Why in the hell not?"
"It was at the same time that the girl up in Connecticut had been drugged and gang raped on the pool table in the bar and even though the guys were guilty their lawyer made the girl look like trash and Cora didn't want that to happen to me."
"Did he fuck you?"
"I don't think so. He had my panties off of me and I think he was just pushing into me when Carol and Cora got there. I can't swear for sure, but I don't think he actually fucked me."
"Were you going to tell me about it?"
She looked away from me and softly said, "No."
"Because I was ashamed. Because I didn't want you to know how stupid I had been and behaved."
"You behaved stupidly?"
"I was out with my girlfriends to have a drink or two and relax and there was also the fact that I really didn't want to go home and be alone. When the men started moving in on our group I should have gotten up and left. I'm not naïve; I knew what they were hoping for. I knew that they weren't going to get it, but even so I should have gotten up and gone home. Instead I fell into that "Just one more and then I have got to go" mode and it kept on being "just one more." I felt so damned guilty the next morning. It was my own fault that I got into that situation and I didn't want you to ever know."
I loved her; I trusted her and I could see how it happened so we put it behind us. Well, that wasn't strictly true. I have always been a strong believer of "Trust, but verify" and on separate occasions I 'ran across' Carol and Cora and thanked both of them for coming to Annie's aid. Cora said:
"I'm just glad we got there in time to keep that asshole from actually doing Annie."
Carol said, "I'm just sorry that I didn't have a knife with me. I would have cut the bastard's balls off."
Once Annie and I had settled back into our relationship I started pressing her to start a family. Before we had married we had talked about kids and Annie had said that while she did want kids she wasn't in any hurry to tie herself down.
"We need to go places and do things Rob. We need to spend some time enjoying each other before saddling ourselves with the huge responsibilities that children bring."
When I started suggesting that it was time I could see that she was reluctant and she kept giving me reasons why it shouldn't be right away like:
"If I get pregnant now I'll be going into the hot months of June, July and August seven, eight and nine months pregnant and I'd be miserable carrying all that weight in the heat.'
A year went by and then it was Annie's twenty-eighth birthday. One of Annie's paid holidays was her birthday and normally I would arrange to have the day off so we could go somewhere and do something together, but that day I couldn't get off. I told Annie I would get off early and then take her to dinner and then a movie. It would be my last chance to take her out before I went on my weekend hunting trip. I left work at a quarter to four and was home by four-thirty. I'd stopped and gotten a dozen roses and a box of Annie's favorite chocolates and I had them in my hands as I walked from the garage into the house and my worst nightmare.
Two men with guns were standing there. The dark haired one was standing next to Annie with his gun pointed at her head. The blond haired one had his pointed at me and he said:
"Be quiet, listen, and do what we tell you and you will get out of this unhurt."
He pointed at the stool next to Annie and said, "Sit." I put the flowers and candy down on the breakfast bar and sat down on the stool. I reached to pull the duct tape off of Annie's mouth and the dark haired man hit my hand hard with his gun and snarled:
"Just sit there. You don't do nothing but sit there and listen."
The blond man said, "You are going to go to your bank and clean out your safe deposit box and bring the contents here. Do not get cute and try to withhold any of the coins because we know exactly what you have in your collection. Once we have the coins you will be tied up next to your wife and once we have put enough distance between us the fire department will get an anonymous call. You will have one hour in which to do this. Understand me on this next part. What we have done with your wife is kidnapping and kidnapping is a Federal crime and it carries the death penalty. If you call the cops and they come running we will kill your wife. We have nothing to lose. Kidnapping or murder; it is the death penalty either way. Do be clear on that."
I looked at Annie tied there on the stool and I saw her eyes beseeching me to help her.
"One hour" the blond guy said. "One hour and one minute and you are not here we will be leaving and you won't like what you find when you do get back."
Annie's eyes screamed at me, "Get me out of this Rob; please God get me out of this."
"Hold on Annie" I said, "I'll do what they want."
I hurried out of the house, got in my pick up truck and headed down the street. I turned the corner and parked. I got out and started walking back to the house. I could get there and get in the back door of the garage without being seen because there were no windows on the north side of the house. I didn't know how things would turn out; I might even be making a huge mistake, but I had to do what I was going to do.
I was not stupid. If I did what they told me to do Annie and I were both dead anyway. They had not been wearing masks or hoods so Annie and I had both seen their faces and could identify them and they knew that. No; I go in and hand them the coin collection and say "Okay, now turn Annie loose" and they would laugh and say "So long sucker." A call to the cops would probably turn out the way they had predicted so it was going to be up to me to get us out of the mess. The one thing they would not expect would be me coming back at them.
I let myself in the back door of the garage and went over to the pile of gear that I'd set out in the garage for my weekend hunting trip. I took the shotgun out of the gun case and loaded it. It was only birdshot, but in the enclosed space of the house and at short range it should more than do the job. Even so I was going to need a touch of luck. When I came through the door from the garage into the house I would need for both men to be away from Annie. From the door to where Annie was sitting it was only about seven feet. The shot pattern at that distance should still be pretty tight
Possible scenarios flashed through my mind. Both men away from Annie and readily visible with the element of surprise in my favor I should be able to get a shot at both before they could react. Annie was on the stool which was high so you could eat off the breakfast bar. Annie was only five foot one so her feet would be at least two feet off the floor. If one was standing next to her I'd blast his ankles and that should take his legs out from under him and then I'd swing and take the other guy and then swing back to the asshole on the floor.
Worst case would be if one or both were close to Annie and be where she was between us. Both men were tall and Annie was short, but she was up on that high stool and I didn't know if I could get away with going for head shots or not. A hundred things — Shit! A thousand things — could go wrong, but it was a case of damned if you do, damned if you don't. I made sure that the safety was off and then I moved to the door. I very carefully and slowly turned the knob and pushed the door open just a crack. I put my ear to the crack to see if sound would tell me where the two men were. I recognized the voice of the blond guy as he said:
"Are you sure he will do it?"
"Of course he will; he loves me."
"I figure twenty minutes to get to the bank, ten to take care of business and twenty to get back. That about right?"
"Give or take five minutes" Annie said.
"That gives us enough time for a quickie" the dark haired man said.
"Do me on the kitchen table."
"Because it is just the right height for your cock to get in my pussy while I suck on Andy standing next to us and if you do me hard and fast there will be enough time for both of you to do me before he gets back."
"You've done it on the table before I take it."
"A couple of times."
"Your hubby likes doing you in the kitchen?"
"He has never done me in the kitchen. In fact I've done it in every room in the house and on almost every piece of furniture, but he has only ever done me in the bedroom."
The blond guy laughed and said, "God, but you are such a slut."
"That's what attracted you to me wasn't it?"
"Yeah, I guess it was."
"Hubby have any idea of how big a slut you are?"
"He caught me once, but I convinced him that it was only a one time thing and only happened because a guy got me drunk, drugged me and then took advantage of me."
"He believed that?"
"My two girl friends backed me up."
"How did you manage that?"
Annie laughed and said, "One was on the bed next to me with three guys and the other one was in the spare bedroom with two."
"How long did you keep the guy around?"
"He spent the whole week hubby was gone in my bed with me and I still see him from time to time."
"How the hell do you get away with it?"
"Like I said; he loves me."
"But you don't love him."
"He's a nice enough guy, but he isn't any good in bed and he keeps after me to have kids. I don't want any brats hanging onto me."
"So what are you going to do with his life insurance and your share of the coins?"
"I vaguely remember you saying something about going to Jamaica for a while and setting me up for a gangbang on a sandy beach."
"Are you going to watch or leave the room?"
"I don't want to watch, but please make it quick and as painless as you can. I don't want him to suffer."
I heard the table legs skid on the floor and then the dark haired guy said:
"I can't believe how hot and tight you are."
Annie giggled and said, "Muscle control."
The blond haired said, "Here honey; control this" and then he laughed and said, "I can't believe that she took half of it down her throat in one gulp" and the dark haired one said, "She was born to be a cocksucker."
I'd heard enough. It was a set up. Annie had set me up. She had been lying to me for years. I had believed her when she told me about her 'one time' with Alan. I had believed her because I loved her and I had thought that she loved me, but quite obviously she didn't. And I didn't miss the part about "his life insurance" either. Annie had set me up to be killed. The sounds of Annie being fucked on the kitchen table faded as I quietly closed the door and hurried back to my pick up truck.
I took out my cell and pushed the buttons for 9-1-1.
"Fairview Emergency Response Center. What is the nature of your emergency?"
I quickly explained that my wife was being held hostage and why and what I was expected to do to get her released. She took down my address, home phone number and cell phone number and then I described myself and my truck and told her I would wait for the police on the corner of Sunflower Way and Prairie Grass Lane. Seven minutes later two squad cars arrived and I started to describe the situation, but the officers told me to save it until the SWAT team arrived.
Five minutes later the SWAT team arrived. They had aerial photos of the house, courtesy of Goggle Earth, and the SWAT team commander spread them out on my tailgate. I pointed out the places where they could approach the house without being seen, how they could get into the garage unobserved, described the two men and then explained the interior layout of the house.
I told them about what the blond haired guy had said about what would happen if I called the cops and I saw two of the SWAT team members look at me with disgust and I could read their faces. They said:
"What a fucking asshole. He chose his fucking money over his wife."
I saw the looks change when the team commander said, "Anything else you can tell us."
"It is obvious that they intended to kill both me and my wife when they got the collection. They weren't wearing masks or hoods so the wife and I both saw their faces and can identify them. To me that says they are stone assed killers and have done this before. You guys are the only shot I have at getting Annie out alive. Maybe I can go in the front door and while their attention is focused on me you guys can come across the back yard and take them from behind."
My offer was refused as I knew it would be and then I was told to go sit in a squad car with one of the regular policemen and I understood that it was going to be his job to sit on me and make sure that I stayed out of the way. As I sat there I wondered how it would go down. Would the SWAT team assault the house using the element of surprise and if they did would Annie somehow end up as collateral damage? One could only hope.
Would they call the assholes on the telephone and try to negotiate? If the two assholes were taken alive would they roll over on Annie? Would she be the one to roll over? Then I had a nasty thought. What if the two guys decided that they were toast any way it went and decided to do the 'gentlemanly thing' and not give up Annie? She would get a free pass and keep on pretending to be my loving wife. What would I do then? Too fucking bad I didn't have a tape recorder with me when I was listening in on them.
So back to what would I do if the assholes gave up and didn't roll over on Annie? I had no proof of Annie's involvement and that meant the only way I could get her out of my life would be to divorce her. That would mean an asset split of fifty/fifty and I would probably end up having to pay alimony. To a woman who had set me up to die? No fucking way! I'd kill her before I would let that happen and I'd make damned sure that she knew why I was doing it.
Naturally since my worst case scenario was the one that let Annie walk it was the one that I got.
Three hours after the SWAT team arrived the two assholes came out of the house with their arms up and their hands clasped behind their heads. As they were being put in the back of police cars the blond guy looked my way and I waved at him. The SWAT team commander came up to me and said:
"Your wife is okay. Just a little shook up, but some TLC should take care of her."
He turned to leave and I said, "There is one more thing." He turned back to me and I said, "They weren't in this alone. Someone had to tell them about the coin collection. I know damned well that they didn't walk around town asking people for information on who had coin collections. And the blond one said something that was quite telling. He told me not to bother holding anything back as they had a list of what was in the collection. I'll sit down and make a list of everyone that I know who knows what I have in my box at the bank. I'll bet that those yahoos you just cuffed will give their informant up if you play it right."
He looked at me for a second and then said, "Get your list to Captain Meyer as soon as you can" and then he left.
I went into the house to face a distraught and very pissed off Annie. Instead of throwing herself into my arms she scowled at me and snarled:
"You bastard! They told you they would kill me if you called the police and you called them anyway."
"It was a chance I had to take."
"A chance you had to take? That was my fucking life you took a chance with, not yours."
"It was the only chance I had of saving your life. The moment those assholes had what they were after we were both dead. If they were going to let us go they would have worn masks, hoods or some kind of disguise. They didn't and so we saw their faces and could describe them and they knew it. Calling the cops was the only way I had of saving you. The only other thing I could think of doing was to get the stuff and hide it and then come in and tell them to let you go and then I'd tell them where the stuff was and then I realized I couldn't do that. All they would have had to do was grab a knife and start carving on you and I would have given in."
I almost barfed when I said, "You are just too precious to me for me to even think of letting them hurt you."
"Oh my God Rob; you're right. I never even thought of that."