Out of Sight, Into Mind; chapter seventeen, part two

“This way.”  He pushed me through a door, then we were turning this way and that.  Soon, we reached a door that was marked, ‘Jamie’s Office.”  He pushed open the door and shoved me inside.  Once we were past the door, he pulled the gun out of his pocket and showed it to me.  “Now, Miss Scarlett.  It would be a shame to have to shoot you and mess up that lovely suit of yours.  However, I can’t let you run free, either.”  Before I knew what he was doing, he spun me around so I was facing away from him.  He yanked my arms together behind me so hard, I cried out.  “Shut the fuck up.”  He was binding something around my hands.  If I’d had to guess, I’d say it was a tie.  Maybe stockings, though it didn’t feel filmy.  “This should keep you for the time being.”  He turned me back around, his eyes dark.  Staring at me, he abruptly crushed his lips to mine.  I struggled to get away, but he held my face tightly with one hand as he pushed his tongue into my mouth.  He grabbed my ass with his other hand which also held the gun.  I thought about kneeing him, but he was too close.

“You taste as good as you look.”  Jamie broke off the kiss and looked me up and down.  “Let’s see how much better you look.”  He pulled my jacket down as best he could with my arms bound behind me so that I was only wearing my camisole on top.  “Very nice.”  His pants were tenting, but I couldn’t believe he’d take time to cop a feel when he was obviously under so much pressure.  He shoved a handkerchief into my mouth and bound it with duct tape before I could protest.  “That’ll keep you.”  He squeezed my breasts from under my camisole before pushing me to the floor.  It hurt like hell because I couldn’t use my hands to break my fall.  I landed on my side, winded by the jolt.  “I’ll be back, Miss Scarlett.  Make yourself nice and ready for me.”  With a laugh, he left me there.  He also left my purse dangling from my arm.  My purse which contained my cell phone.  Fat lot of good that did me when I was trussed up like a turkey.

Even though I tried not to think about it, I could feel his hands and mouth on me.  My body burned with the shame, and I recoiled at the remembrance of his tongue in my mouth.  It had been unusually thick and felt out of place as it probed the inner cavity of my mouth.  I wanted to rinse my mouth and take a hot shower for as long as I could stand it, but I had to focus on getting the fuck out of here.  I had no idea what Jamie was doing, but I hoped it didn’t involve Matt.  I knew my best hope was to get my hands loose in order to reach my phone, so I worked on that no matter how desperately I wanted to free my mouth first.  I felt as if I couldn’t breathe which was ridiculous because Digger had left my nose alone.  It was psychological, but no less terrifying.

I started working my wrists back and forth.  It burned as the cloth bit into my wrists, but I ignored the pain and continued.  Digger must have been in a hurry because the binds weren’t as tight as he probably thought they were.  After a few minutes of frantically twisting my wrists this way and that, I managed to create a slight separation between them.  Not enough to free myself but enough to give me hope.  I redoubled my efforts even though my wrists were screaming out in pain by this time.  I knew that if I failed to release myself, it would be that much harder to get out of this ordeal alive.  I also had to free my hands if I wanted to talk on my cell phone because I had to get this damn gag out of my mouth.

I moaned in frustration as my entire body was beginning to ache.  I wondered if I should sit up before continuing, then decided that would be a waste of time.  I could feel welts rising on my wrists, and I knew that I’d have to be extra-nice to them if—when!—I got out of here.  I sent them a silent apology as I continued turning them every which way.  I even yanked them straight apart to see what effect that would have.  Nothing but more pain, I was sorry to say.  I managed to create more separation between my wrists which spurred me to try even harder.  I had no idea when Digger was coming back, but I wanted to be nearly done by the time he returned.  Ideally, I’d be free before he came back, but I didn’t think that was going to happen.

I just about had it when the door burst open and the man who’d been staring at me in the club came flying in.  He flashed something at me, but I couldn’t see what it was.  He was also shouting something at me, but I couldn’t make out the words.  I gathered he was saying something about the police, but I didn’t much care as long as he wasn’t on Digger’s side.  It became clear that he wasn’t because he hauled me to my feet and sliced through my bonds with a pair of scissors on Jamie’s desk.  I dipped my head in thanks before pointing to my mouth.  He carefully sliced that away as well before removing the tape.  That fucking hurt, but I was glad to be free.  I spat out the handkerchief, eager to breathe again.

“Can you walk?”  He asked, proving he was a cop by not wasting time.  He grabbed me by the arm, and we started for the door.  Just as we reached it, it opened again and in came Jamie dragging Matt besides him—Brenda lagging behind both of them.  Matt looked worse for the wear with blood oozing from his mouth and from various parts of his body.  I didn’t even want to know what they’d done to him, but I desperately wanted him out of their clutches.

“Freeze!”  The man said, dropping my arm so quickly, I almost toppled over.  He whipped out a gun and trained it on Jamie before anybody could react.  With incredible speed, Jamie pulled out his gun and pointed it on Matt’s head.  I tried to keep silent, but I couldn’t help letting a moan escape my lips.

“Drop it, asshole, before I kill this motherfucker.”  Jamie’s tone was nothing like before as it was nearly shrill.  Brenda stood behind him, dithering.  I could see movement behind her, but I wasn’t sure what it was.  My savior must have seen it, too, because he slowly started lowering his hand.

“Ok, ok, I’m putting down my gun.  See?  I’m putting it down.  Just don’t shoot.”  The man’s voice was soothing as he bent over to put down the gun.  Suddenly, Brenda was whisked away from the door; Jamie’s head was turned backwards, and his gun flew in the air as Jamie lost grip on both the gun and Matt.  Matt crashed to the ground without uttering a word.  I started to move to his side, but my savior pushed me behind him, straightened and shot Jamie in the arm.  I screamed as the blood spurted out of the wound, but it didn’t appear to be life-threatening.

Since I was on the ground, anyway, thanks to my savior’s push, I laid down and closed my eyes.  I was exhausted and didn’t think I could move any time soon.  I dimly wondered if Matt was ok and what had happened to the bad guys, but all that faded into oblivion as I settled into the floor.  I knew that I should get up and see what was going on, but I couldn’t move—despite someone prodding me and calling out my name.  The voice sounded vaguely familiar, so I opened my eyes to see Martinez looking down at me.

“Hi,” I said drowsily, squinting so I could see him better.  “Has anyone told you how cute you are?”

“Yes, but she didn’t remember,” Martinez said, gently helping me to my feet.  He ran his hands over my body in a brisk fashion to ensure that everything was in place.  “Are you hurt?”  His tone was mild, but the look in his eyes was anything but.

“I’m ok, I think,” I said, my head still muzzy.  I reached out to pat Martinez down as well, but he took my hands in his before I could touch him.  I fell towards him, and he caught me in his arms.  The other guy looked at us curiously, but didn’t say anything.  “Who’s he?”  I asked, pointing at my savior.  “Is he one of yours?  If so, he deserves a raise.”  I pulled free from Martinez, wobbled over to the other guy and kissed him on the cheek.  He turned bright red, but he didn’t look as if he minded the attention.  “Thank you for saving me.”  Before he could reply, I turned towards Matt who was lying on the floor, EMT around him.  I gave a little cry and rushed to his side.  “Matt, can you hear me?”

“Yes, Scar, I can hear you,”  Matt said weakly, struggling to sit up.  His clothes were soaked with blood.

“Lie still, sir,” one of the EMT said, carefully pushing Matt back to the floor.

“Oh, Matt!  I’m glad you’re alive.”  Since I couldn’t hug Matt, I patted him on the shoulder which seemed to be the only part of him which wasn’t bruised or battered or bloodied.  I got back to my feet and looked out the hallway where Jamie was lying on the ground, moaning and groaning.  He had EMT around him as well, and I had to squelch an impulse to kick him in the balls.

“Scarlett, come over here,” Martinez said, guiding me back into the room and away from the action.  “What do you think you were doing, coming here tonight?”  Though his words were harsh, his tone was anything but.  “Do you know how afraid I felt when Rogers told me what was going on?”  It took me a moment to realize that Rogers was the name of my savior.

“Was he staking out the place?”  I asked, belatedly realizing how stupid I must sound.  “Of course he was.  That’s how he got to me so quickly.  You got here pretty quickly as well.”

“I was on my way over to spell him when he called,” Martinez explained, his arm still around me.  Apparently he didn’t care if Rogers knew we had a thing going.  “I broke every traffic rule to get here.  I—”  He stopped, but his eyes said everything that needed to be said.

“Martinez!  I got here as soon as I could!”  It was Daily, huffing out of breath.  She was in a black dress that flattered her dumpy figure, and I hoped she’d been on a date.  Martinez dropped his arm, but not before Daily saw it around my waist.  She scowled at me as she came near us.  “Ms. Hsu.  How funny that you’d be in the middle of things.  She needs to be questioned, doesn’t she, Martinez?”  Daily looked hard at Martinez who calmly returned her gaze.

“Yes, she does, Daily.  Why don’t you do that while I talk to Mr. Reynolds?”  Martinez nodded once before going to Matt’s side.  I knew why he was throwing me to the wolves, but it didn’t make me any happier to be talking to Daily who looked as if she wanted to clock me one.  I decided to preempt her for a change.

“Look, Detective Daily.  I know you don’t like me very much, and I don’t much care.  However, I refuse to feel guilty about what that Japanese woman did to you or because I’m seeing Detective Martinez.  You could have asked him out yourself, you know.”  I held up my hand as Daily looked as if she was going to interrupt.  “Now, I’ve been through a horrific experience, and I’m not about to put up with you treating me like a criminal.  I have no objection to being question, but I will not be harassed.  Understand?”

“How did you—”  Daily caught herself before she could ask the question, but I knew what it was.  She wanted to know how I knew about the Japanese woman when she hadn’t told anybody on the force, and, of course, she wanted to know how I knew she liked Martinez even though the latter was fairly obvious.  Well, I wasn’t going to tell her if she wasn’t going to ask.

Daily must have realized I meant what I said because while she wasn’t exactly warm to me, she was civil.  She ran me through the paces, making me retrace my steps exactly.  She made me tell the story over and over until I wanted to scream.  At first, I didn’t want to tell her what Jamie had done to me when we were alone in his office, but she drew it out of me.  To my surprise, she actually looked sympathetic as I stuttered my way through the details.  I had to work hard not to cry as I talked about it because every word I said brought back the horrible experience.  Somehow, the thought that I might die didn’t bother me nearly as much as the memory of his hands on my body.  I knew that was wrong and messed up, but I couldn’t help feeling that way.

I looked somewhere to the right of Daily as I talked, which made it easier for me to get the story out.  I still didn’t know what had happened to Matt, but Daily wouldn’t tell me even if she knew, which she didn’t.  I glanced over at him and saw that the EMT had him all trussed up.  Martinez was talking to Matt in a low, soothing voice which seemed to have a calming effect on Matt.  It looked as if the EMT were going to take Matt from the room, so I asked Daily to give me a minute.  She nodded her head curtly, which was progress in my estimation.  I hurried over to Matt so I could talk to him before he went.  He was semi-lucid, which was better than unconscious.

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