Watching the young woman walk down the Cartagena Beach toward the clubhouse, I immediately noticed that she was wearing the same style green bikini that I was wearing, and that she seemed close to my own height and weight. [See "Young Woman" Pic] Well, close. I had to concede that she filled out the top of the suit more than I did, but I was pretty sure that she had some artificial help in that regard. On the other hand, I was ... well, I was all me, and I wouldn't trade my slender body for her more "over-proportioned" one, even if more men preferred women that way. I rose from my blanket and pulled my white t-shirt over my suit top. No reason to advertise that my bathing suit was not one-of-a-kind. [See "My" Pic]
I walked about 20 yards behind her as she headed toward the clubhouse, keeping about half a dozen people between us. I waited a few more seconds before following her inside. The food court was active, though not crowded. I walked down the hall toward the women's locker room, and moved slowly past the rows of lockers. Nothing in the first. Or second. No one in the third row, either, but there, laying on a wooden bench in the middle of the row, was the green top of the woman's bikini. The woman herself was not in sight. She must have gone to the rest room, I figured.
I pulled my t-shirt off over my head and reached around to unhook my own top as I walked quickly to the discarded one on the bench. Within seconds, I put my own top next to where hers was, picked up hers and put it on. As I thought, even though some enhancement had been built into her suit, it still was a bit loose on me. I pulled my t-shirt back on over it and walked out of the clubhouse back to my blanket, trying to maintain a normal walking pace, not wanting to draw any attention from anyone. When I reached my blanket, I picked up my things, folded the blanket under my arm, slipped into my sandals, and headed back toward the parking lot, my car keys in my hand. I had made certain to park toward the far end, away from most of the traffic.
I was surprised when, just before reaching my car, I noticed another car pull next to it, even though there were dozens of empty nearby spaces much closer to the beach. Of more concern, though, was the man who got out of the car and stood by it, still speaking on his cell phone. I stopped about 20 feet away, swore to myself under my breath, but loud enough that he could hear me, "Shit. I left my cell phone in the clubhouse." I turned around to walk away from him ... and found myself staring at another man five feet behind me, who walked up to me, took my elbow and turned me again in the direction of the two cars. "You're too young to have Alzheimer's, aren't you?" he asked in response to my feigned forgetfulness. I would have resisted except that his other hand held a small-caliber pistol that he now pushed directly into my back.
I saw the first man put his cell phone back in his pocket, while the other man opened the back door of the car parked next to mine. "We need to ask you a few questions," the man with the gun explained. "That's all. Just down the street." Just down the street? There were only warehouses "just down the street"? On a Sunday? The warehouse district would be entirely abandoned. Well, apparently not entirely abandoned if the men had their way. No, I was not going there with them. Not voluntarily at least. I turned again toward the man, ignoring his pistol.
"Don't make it more difficult for yourself than it has to be," he spoke before I even said a word. "But you're ..." I began to respond when I felt the other man's arm wrap around my neck and saw him raise a handkerchief to my face. My body tensed as he pressed the cloth firmly against my nose and mouth. I struggled feebly for a few seconds before I felt my body falling backward, as he took my keys out of my hand. From somewhere that seemed very distant, I heard one of them say something about the basement in the warehouse. I felt my feet lifted off the floor, after which ....
My head was pounding. I opened my eyes, but my world remained dark. I tried to move my hand to my head, but could not. It took me a few moments to realize that I could not move my hands or my feet at all. And a few moments more before I felt the chains holding them. I was on some kind of a board or table. My wrists were chained shoulder-width apart above my head. My ankles, too, had been chained apart, so that my body was in the shape of a capital X. And I could feel the blindfold around my temple when I turned my head and rubbed it against the wooden board.
I listened for any sound other than my head pounding. Straining to hear even the slightest noise, I heard what sounded like a woman's scream in the distance. The warehouse, I finally remembered. I was probably in the warehouse. And this other woman might be in a different room. As my memory returned, I had a good idea of whom she might be.
I breathed in deeply and slowly. Wanting to learn more of my situation, but not wanting anyone who might be in the room to see that I had regained consciousness, I twisted my body ever so slightly. My movement, and the chill in the air, told me that nothing restrained my breasts. I could sense the hardness in my nipples, more, though, from fear than from the cold, I was sure. I could not feel any cloth between my back and the wooden board when I rubbed my back against it. So I was certain that my bikini top had been removed and that I was naked from the waist up. Sucking my stomach in and out a few times, and rubbing my backside against the board, I could feel my bikini bottom inch slightly down, so I knew that I was not completely naked. Not yet. I spread my toes. My sandals had been removed. Naked except for one small piece of green cloth.
How long before they began questioning me -- and I had no doubt that I would be questioned -- I had no idea. I hoped that I would have time before they did to figure out a story to tell them that they might believe. But I doubted they would believe any story. In fact, they probably would not admit to believing the truth, even if I told them everything. This was not good. I thought that I could still hear faintly the sound of a woman screaming. As long as they focused on her, they might not be back to begin their work on me.
My reprieve, however, was short-lived. I heard a heavy door open, and, suddenly, the sounds that I thought I had been hearing were crystal clear and loud. Definitely a woman screaming, shrieking, in pain. Begging her captors to stop. After a few seconds, the door closed again, relieving me of the terror of listening to her, but adding to my terror of what I too was likely soon to face. I closed my eyes, even under the blindfold, and tried to remain still. I needed more time. Particularly after hearing this woman's plight.
Someone moved toward me, and I could feel his hand touch my neck, feeling my pulse. I was certain that my fear would increase my pulse enough to give me away. But, after a second, he removed his hand and said, apparently to someone else in the room, "She's still out." The voice was that of the man with the gun in the parking lot.
"Sal, let's make sure that, if she comes to before we come back, she's really terrified. That will help get her ready for us." The same man spoke. My heart started to race, and I fought to remain motionless.
"No harm in that," the man he called Sal responded. I assumed Sal was the man who had been standing by the car. I felt a pair of hands at the side of my bikini bottoms, and, an instant later, I could feel them release and wrap themselves around my left leg. He must have cut one side. I was now exposed completely to them. "Hey, Sal, she's completely shaved." I tried not to twitch, knowing that both men were now certainly staring between my legs. "Guess she wanted to look her best for us, huh?"
"Let's give her a little action, Sal," the other continued, and I felt two fingers move slightly inside of me, and a hand touch my right breast. "That's part of the preparation, isn't it? We can't get in trouble for preparing her, now, can we?" I forced myself not to shudder in revulsion from his touch, or from the question that they were now debating.
"Right, Jack. You do it without his permission and the Captain will kill you when he finds out. And you know he will," and a second later the fingers and hand withdrew from my body. I relaxed just a bit.
"You are a real pussy," Jack replied. "OK. I'll wait. He'll give us permission if she resists. I can wait. But we can still add a bit more terror, can't we?" I felt the blindfold pulled up and off my eyes and out from under my head. I kept my eyes closed. "Let her see her situation as soon as she comes to." I could hear the men's footsteps move toward the door. "And let her hear what's in store for her." The door opened again, and, although I could hear the men depart, the door remained open. And the woman's screams had not lessened.
Slowly I opened my eyes, and, after making sure that no one else was in the room, I looked around it. I was in what appeared to be a basement room. Stretched horizontally on a table about three feet off the ground, spreadeagled and now completely naked except for the thin bit of green cloth wrapped around my left leg. As I strained my eyes to look toward my chained left wrist, I could see that the chains from its cuff led to what looked like ... no, to what was ... a roller bar. I turned my head to the other side. My right wrist was chained in the same manner. This was not just a wooden table, I realized. This was a rack. I was chained naked and spreadeagled on a rack in the basement of an empty warehouse. Empty except for two men who were now in another room torturing another woman. It took all my willpower to keep my body from trembling.
"Who were you two women working for?" The male voice shouting the question was not familiar to me, but there was no doubt that the second woman to whom he referred was me.
"I wasn't working for anyone. I was just spending a day at the beach." The woman's voice was frantic.
"Lies," the man shouted over her, and once again the woman began screaming. I couldn't be sure what exactly was happening to her, but I knew that, whatever it was it, it must be horrible. Her pleas and screams were now mixed with hideous cries that did not sound human. This continued for at least another minute before there was another pause.
"I ... I ..." The woman could barely get the words out now. "I just had to go to the bathroom. There's no crime in that. All I did was go to the bathroom !! And that man was standing there when I came out." I wondered whether "that man" was Sal. But now I knew for certain who the woman was.
"No, my love," the man's voice was now cold and even, and the woman's screams began again. I could hardly imagine what forced a woman to make screams like that. After another eternity, it seemed, the screams again stopped and the man continued. "You planned this exchange. Now tell me for whom. Cali is my guess. This seems its style." The second largest Colombia drug cartel, after Medellin. Again the screams resumed, but now the woman's voice was growing so hoarse, and her strength so weak, that they were not nearly as loud as they had been. But still they continued. This last comment was interesting. Their captors must be either the government or a rival cartel. Medellin itself perhaps.
"So someone has been eavesdropping, I see." The man's voice, coming from my right side, the side away from the door, startled me. I hadn't realized that anyone had entered my room. And I recognized it as the same voice that had been questioning the other woman. He had obviously entered while my full concentrate had been focused on her.
"Your friend Tina continues to deny your roles in the conspiracy, which is too bad for her. And for you. Now if she would have told us the truth, it would have made things so much easier for all of us." My breathing quickened involuntarily. I could see him staring at my chest as it rose and fell ... and I trembled. "Do you want to know why she is screaming?"
My eyes widened and I stared up at him, standing in the middle of the right side of the rack. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to know. No, I really didn't, knowing that the truth might be even worse than what I could imagine. But I said nothing.
"Of course you do," he continued. "She is seated on a metal horse, with one leg on each side. Gradually, we are adding more weight to her ankles and are reducing the angle of the metal point, which forces more and more pressure directly between her legs. This last time we reduced the angle to the point ... no pun intended," the man laughed, "where we were able to tie her ankles together underneath the horse. I think it feels to her now like the top point of the horse is a razor that is about to split her entire body in half."
My own body was now bathed in sweat and I could barely catch my breath. This was not lost on the man. "Hmm. Either this kind of thing excites you or terrifies you, because just look at you and we haven't even yet started, have we? But I guess we'll soon find out which, won't we?"
Jack now re-entered the room. "She has passed out, Captain" he reported, "but it is hard to believe that her mind will let her remain passed out for long, not in that position. So are we ready to start on this one?" he asked hopefully.
I pulled on my bonds, which offered no give. The front of my entire naked body was accessible to these sadistic men, and the only way that I could avoid their tortures was ... no, actually, there was no way I could avoid them, and the thought forced a gasp out of my throat. If I did not tell them what they wanted to know, they would torture me. If I did tell them, I would have nothing more that they needed from me, and they probably would still torture me, no matter what promises they made to me to get me to talk. In any dictionary in any language, I was now the definition of the word helpless.
"We know that your name -- or at least the name you are using -- is Joanne Kramer." They had found my false identification information in my belongings. "Is there anything else that you care to tell us, or should we just assume that you will need encouragement?"
"Why ... why have you taken me here? Why are you doing this?" I managed to get the words out, trying to feign innocence but knowing that would not ... and should not ... be believed.
Immediately I felt Jack's hand grab my left breast and squeeze very hard, forcing a cry of pain from my lips. He held it firm. "The Captain asks the questions, Joanne. You need to remember that." He squeezed my breast for a few seconds longer, staring into my eyes to make sure that his message got through to me, then released it.
"He's right, you know," the Captain smiled. "That's why I'm the Captain." I felt a creaking sound and realized that Jack had stepped to the front of the rack and turned the roller until I heard a click, as my arms were pulled higher, stretching my entire body taut. Not yet painfully taut. But I knew that would take only a few more clicks.
"But first ... tell me, Joanne," the Captain continued, "what were you doing at the beach today?"
"I'm ... I'm a student at university." Only a partial lie. I was enrolled part time, though I seldom attended class. "I had ... just finished finals and I was taking a break. To relax. And to think. What I wanted to do with my future. So I wanted time alone."
"And you decided that, in your immediate future, you wanted to participate in a conspiracy with your friend Tina? Is that what you mean?"
"No. I don't know what you mean. I ...," but before I could say more, I felt my body pulled tighter and heard a metallic click. I squirmed, trying to relieve the pressure. I felt some pain, nothing that I couldn't handle, though I knew that the next click would likely be much different.
"The one thing I will not tolerate, Joanne, is a lie. So be warned. Now, once again, why were you there? When did you receive your assignment?"
I didn't have time to think how much sense my story would make, but answered the Captain's question quickly with the hope that my answer might sound truthful. "I don't know who this Tina is!! I went to the ladies' room, that's all. I took off my top briefly to check a bruise that I felt on the underside of my breast. It looked fine. I put my top back on and went out to get my things and come back to my car. That's what I did!! What do you think I did?"
I had forgotten the rule that I was not to ask questions, and immediately paid the price. The next click stretched my wrists and shoulders and hips and ankles so tight that I had no choice but to scream. The Captain stood over me and moved his face close to mine. "I can leave you in this position, or worse, for hours, and I will if you don't tell me the truth!!"
"I am telling you the truth !!" I lied, knowing that the lie was not likely to be believed and would probably result in more pain, but knowing that the truth would definitely lead to more pain.
"No. I think that you will need some other kind of incentive." I could see the Captain move away from the table and take a seat on a chair near the wall.
A split second after the Captain sat down, I felt Jack grab my hair to hold my head down against the board. He reached to the side of my neck and pulled out of the board a half-circle metal ring that I soon learned was just the right size to fit around my throat and lock into the board on the other side of my neck. I was left staring straight up at the ceiling, unable to move my head in any direction. While this did not add to the strain that I was feeling in my limbs from the stretch of the last click of the rack, it seemed to focus my attention on that pain.
I felt Jack pinch my nose with the thumb and forefinger of his left hand, and, when I instinctively opened my mouth to breath, he slipped an o-ring inside and under my teeth, forcing my mouth open. Releasing his grip on my nose, he secured the leather straps attached to the ring behind my head. Since I could think of only one purpose that an o-ring had, I didn't need to see the leer in Jack's eyes to know what he had in store for me. And this time he appeared to have the Captain's permission.
I couldn't see him remove his clothes, but, when he climbed onto the board, his knees straddling my stomach, I could see that he was completely naked. I could also see that I ... or, more likely, my situation and his anticipation ... had already excited him. He pulled himself up on the board until he was sitting on my chest, his scrotum dangling above my open mouth. He leaned over and whispered in my ear. "I'm so glad that you didn't tell the truth."
Leaning back up, Jack grabbed his erect penis and forced it down into my mouth. I tried to move my tongue as far down in my mouth as I could, and force my teeth and lips as wide as possible, wanting to touch as little of this monstrosity as I could. But he filled up my mouth, although he was frustrated that he could not seem to get into a position where he could thrust himself down my throat. Still with him sitting on my chest and my mouth filled with his penis, I could barely breath and I started to gag, which seemed to excite him even more.
I figured it would just be a matter of seconds before he would be unable to control himself and would ejaculate into my mouth, but, to my amazement, he did not. Instead, after thrusting himself in and partially out of my mouth half a dozen times, he suddenly removed himself. "Don't worry, Joanne. I'm saving myself for where I can give you the most pleasure."
Jack moved his knees down until his entire body was on top of mine. In an instance he directed his penis into me, and I realized that I was moist enough to make his work easy for him. My body's protective mechanism, I knew. It didn't mean that this ogre turned me on.
Once again my thought that he could not last much longer proved wrong, as he thrust himself in and out over and over. Now, though, I could not stop my body, stretched and pained as it was, from feeling some pleasure, and, had I not forced myself not to, I would have screamed in a manner that neither Jack nor the Captain would have misinterpreted as indicating pain. Another time, another place, this heathen had probably made a lot of women scream. Both in pain and in pleasure.
I could feel my body begin to tingle and I knew that, if he kept this up much longer, I was going to orgasm. Jack must have sensed this because he immediately quickened his pace, and, after a few more thrusts, he pushed inside me as deeply as he could and held himself there as his fluid squirted into me. Too soon. Just a bit too soon. Intentionally too soon. He pulled himself out of me and lifted himself off the table. I was breathing rapidly, chest heaving even though the heaves stretched my body just a bit more. And I could feel Jack's hot white liquid dripping out of me.
Through the corner of my eye, I saw Jack and the Captain walk toward the door, heard the door open, and the accompanying frantic cry of the woman in the other room, "No. No more. No more. Please," before the door closed and I was again alone. If I'd forgotten for a second what awaited me, I forgot no longer.
I could not say how much time passed. Jack had left the loop around my neck, so I could not look around, but was forced to stare at the ceiling. He had also left in the o-ring, so my mouth remained open. My throat dry. Hard to swallow. Limbs remained stretched taut. My wrists and shoulders began to ache tremendously. Here I was, chained on a rack in the basement of a warehouse awaiting further questioning from the Captain as to why I was at the beach in a green bikini identical to one worn by a woman whose name, apparently, was Tina, and who was already in the process of being tortured in the next room for the very same information.
I had never seen Tina before seeing her on the beach. I had no idea when or exactly from whom she had received her assignment or what she was told, but I knew when I had gotten mine. Yesterday. And it had been such a simple and safe assignment. Or so I thought. Or so I had been told.
I had been dating Dante for four months. Well, dating isn't really the right word, since he seldom took me anywhere. So let's be more accurate and say that I had been fucking Dante for four months. I lived in a small apartment. Dante lived in a massive compound. I knew who owned the compound before I ever set foot in it. Everyone in town knew. The El Dorado cartel. And I knew that Dante had worked for the cartel for quite a few years. He was the older brother of my roommate, and one day she told me that she had shown him a photo of me, and he asked if I'd like to come visit him at the compound. Everyone knew that Dante was doing very well for himself, though perhaps not legally, and it sounded so exciting, so I accepted. And found myself that same night with the most powerful prick I'd even known. Yes, figuratively and literally.
After that I spent more time at the compound than not, and there was enough to do there -- private screening rooms, parties and, of course, drugs of every kind -- that there was no reason to leave it. Well, no reason for me to leave it. Dante had his work to do, so he had to leave for that. After a few months, after he began to trust me, he started to tell me a bit about what he did. Although I already had a pretty good idea. Mostly drug deals. Big drug deals. Deals where everyone was nervous, and, if anyone got too jumpy, or didn't perform to the letter of the deal, it could, and sometimes did, get ugly ... and fatal. I let Dante know that this all was a turn on for me. And, particularly on the nights when he came back after a particularly big deal or one or one that hadn't gone quite according to plan, his love-making was even more passionate than usual. And so was mine.
About a week ago, I let slip that I might find it exciting to participate in one of these deals myself, and, if I did, I might come back more passionate than he'd ever seen me. Dante resisted the idea, so I didn't raise it again. But yesterday he told me that he had learned through a mole in the Cali organization that it was going to pass a relatively small amount of cocaine from one of its branches to another by sewing it into the top of a bikini, and having two of its cartel women switch bikini tops at the beach. It figured that, wearing so little clothing, the police would not suspect. Large bikini tops on young women usually indicated something other than cocaine. The mole told him where he could find one of the two women.
The small amount of cocaine that was involved wasn't worth Dante's time. But he said that he thought that disrupting the exchange might cause some nice inner turmoil between the Cali branches, and he was also sure that, since it was such a small exchange, there would be no security. Just the two women on their own.
So the day before, Dante's men had subdued the woman fingered by the mole as she returned to her apartment, and taken her -- and the green bikini that they found in her bag -- to the compound's interrogation room, where they tortured out of her the details of the plan. [See "Captured Woman" Pic] Dante told me that he left this to his men. I don't know if that's true, and I shudder to think that my love may have treated this woman just as Tina and I were now being treated by Jack and Sal and the Captain. Dante did not tell me the woman's ultimate fate, but I know that it could not have been pretty, since, once he had learned the details of her plan, she was of no further use.
He said that he had a small and safe assignment for me. That he needed a woman to take this captured woman's place and make the exchange, and that she and I were similar in size. I guess that his love for me made him overlook the obvious fact that we certainly were not similar in all sizes. But I wasn't going to point that out to him, since this is exactly the kind of thing I had been waiting for. When I got back, I was going to make Dante very happy.
And it was exciting, especially when I finally saw her, wearing the same suit as mine, and I followed her, just like a real spy. Exciting, that is, up to the time when a handkerchief pressed into my face and I found myself chained, naked and spreadeagled, in this room. At which point I was faced with more excitement than I ever imagined. Or wanted. Not that excitement was any longer the right word.
I was startled to see Jack looking down at me. I guessed that I had been thinking about the past 24 hours and had not heard him enter the room. Mercifully, he removed the o-ring from under my teeth, allowing me to close my mouth for the first time in hours, and unhooked the loop around my throat so that I could once more lift my head. Not that there was anything for me to see when I did. Nothing except my taut naked body to remind me of the helplessness of the situation that I was in.
"By now your limbs have probably stretched enough that it's time for another notch," he said matter-of-factly. I couldn't believe my ears. Another notch would ...
Before I could finish my thought, I heard the click. My body was instantly lifted off the board until only my shoulders and heels remained in contact with it. I screamed from the pain, which was now intense. I was sure that my shoulders were about to dislocate. I could feel my muscles contract and spasm and could see -- maybe it would have been better if I still were unable to lift my head -- my stomach twitching. I was sure that, within the next thirty seconds, my limbs would be torn from my body and my torso would crash back to the board, leaving my arms and legs attached only to their restraints.
"In case you wondered," Jack continued, "we're ready to start with you." Start with me? My God !! I was stretched nearly to the breaking point, screaming, and they hadn't even started with me ?! I realized that the door was open and that I did not hear screams coming from the other side. "And we're going to begin with a special surprise."
I heard a noise from the direction of the door, and saw the Captain and Sal dragging between them a young woman. A naked young woman. A naked young woman who I could see, when they held her upright at the foot of the rack, had been horribly beaten. Whip marks cross her body in jagged lines, with blood partially clotted where it had struck the deepest. Thick lines of blood dripped down the insides of the woman's thighs. I remembered what the Captain had told me about the metal horse, and I knew where those lines originated and what had caused them. Dark-haired Tina must have been beautiful just several hours earlier. She wasn't beautiful now.
The Captain grabbed her hair and pulled her head up so that I could look directly into her face. Her eyes and mouth was open and she was breathing hard. I could barely recognize here as the woman I had followed into the ladies' locker room.
"Tina," the Captain screamed at her, but her only reaction was to blink hard. "Is this the other woman who was wearing a green bikini?"
What were they asking her? I thought there was a chance that she might spot me in the locker room, but she was in the bathroom when I made the switch. She didn't see me. She could not identify me.
Tina did not respond for a few seconds. "Tina," the Captain asked again, "is this the woman?"
I could see the panic in Tina's face increase. She didn't know what to say. She was afraid that any answer -- yes, no or "I don't know" -- might be the wrong answer. She was trying to figure out what answer the men wanted from her that might avoid further punishment.
"Tina, answer the question or we'll go back in the other room for some more time on the horse. Do you want that?" With these words from the Captain, Tina's body began to tremble all over. She would have fallen if the men were not holding her up. Finally, she decided.
"Yes. Yes. I'm pretty sure that this is ...." Tina looked at the Captain, then at Sal, to see if she was giving the answer they wanted, but they gave no reaction. "No. I'm positive. Yes. She's the one." Tina decided it would be safer to be sure than only pretty sure.
All three men knew that Tina did not have a clue about anything except that her job was to go into the locker room, take off her top and disappear for a few minutes before returning to put her top back on. Whether she was told or not, she must also have known that the first top had been filled with cocaine and that the second top was not, which would have confirmed her suspicions about her mission. But she didn't know who else was involved. Only that the leader of her branch of the Cali cartel had instructed her to do this.
My limbs had stretched enough by this time that I could lower the bottom half of my body back onto the board, though with great strain. But my back remained arched. I saw that Tina's wrists were cuffed behind her back. By the time the Captain released her hair, she had gathered enough strength to hold her head up on her own.
The next question was directed to me. "Is this the woman, Joanne, whom you followed into the locker?"
What was the point of denying it, I thought. They knew that Tina and I were the two women who made the exchange. They had both bikinis. They knew that one had pockets to hold pouches of cocaine. My confession to this was not going to tell them anything that they didn't already know, and, while it wouldn't necessarily bring me relief from the pain, I knew that it would be worse if I didn't answer.
"Yes," I answered softly. I could see Tina's eyes narrow in contempt for me. She had withstood so much more before breaking than I had. She had hoped for more from me. But feeling that my limbs were about to be torn off my body, I could not offer the same degree of resistance, or withstand the same amount of pain and torture, that she had before reaching her limit.
I saw the Captain and Sal lift Tina onto the board, on her knees, between my chained ankles. "Tina has been kind enough to tell us that she is from the Cartenage branch of the Cali cartel and that its leader sent her on her mission," the Captain stared at me. Tina continued to look straight ahead. "So we know where the information was headed. We don't need anything more from her, which means that it's time to concentrate on what you know about where the information originated."
What was he saying? Where the information originated? I never heard cocaine referred to as information. And I wasn't originating it. I was receiving it. I could feel the cocaine in the new bikini top when I put it on. What was he talking about?
Before I learned the answer to that question, though, I learned what it meant to the Captain when he didn't need any more information from you. I heard two loud pops from behind Tina, saw her body jerk and stiffen ... and then her naked body tumbled down on mine, her face hitting my chest, then turning to its side, her weight pushing my entire body down on the board, further stretching it.
I screamed, but not from this increased physical pain. No. I screamed when I saw the blood oozing out of two small bullet holes in Tina's back to create two small red circles. And from the blood that began dripping from her open mouth onto my chest. Her eyes remained open After waiting what seemed like an eternity to me, Jack and Sal grabbed Tina's arms and pulled her off of me and off the board, and dragged her limp and lifeless body out of the room.
"Now, Joanne," the Captain stood over me and smiled, as I continued to scream. "Let's talk about you."
I watched him move to the head of the rack and stand next to the roller. I finally stopped screaming, Tina's blood still all over my body. I could not stop my trembling, though, listening for the dreaded sound of another click that would tear my limbs from my body.
But it didn't come. Instead, I heard his voice. "Let me make it easier for you and tell you what we know. You work for the Medellin cartel. No other is strong enough to be involved in this plan." What? Medellin? No, wrong. "Strong enough to be involved in this plan"? A plan to steal a small amount of cocaine? What the hell was he talking about? "So confess that much as a start," he continued, "and I won't have to give the wheel another turn."
I have no idea what he's talking about, and he wants me to confess as fact something that is totally false. After that, he'll want me to explain what I don't know, and, when I can't, or can't convince him, he's going to turn that roller. What the fuck am I supposed to do?
"Not interested in cooperating, Joanne?" I could feel the sweat that now bathed my body. Yes, I've heard that men sweat and women perspire. Bullshit. I was sweating. And I had to make up my mind what to do. The Captain's hand was on the roller handle.
"No, that's not the truth," I shouted, but I knew that was not the right thing to say. That just sounded like resistance, so I quickly continued, "but I'll tell you the truth. I'll tell you !!" Anything to avoid hearing another click. Yes, I knew. Telling him everything might still not save me from that fate. But not telling him definitely would not ... and worse.
"That's better," I heard his voice and saw him move to the middle of the rack. He grabbed my face, his thumb on one side and the rest of his fingers on the other, and turn it toward him. "So what is the truth?"
"Not Medellin. Not Medellin." The Captain's eyes indicated surprise. "El Dorado. From El Dorado," I repeated, wanting to make sure that he understood.
"El Dorado? How did El Dorado get involved in this?" He asked.
Shit. I realized that he was going to want far more information than I had. But I had started down this path. "I don't know. I just know what I was asked to do. I was asked to come to the beach today and exchange bikini tops with a woman who would be wearing the same style suit as I was. That's all I know."
"Hmm. No, I don't think that's all you know." Fuck, fuck, fuck, I thought. It was all I knew. Well, just about all I know. What else could I tell him? "Why were you to make this exchange?"
I relaxed just a bit, since I knew that I could at least answer this question. Relax wasn't the right word. Not with my naked body now stretched near its breaking point. "The other woman's top would be stuffed with cocaine. It was a way for us to steal some cocaine."
"Steal?" The Captain seemed truly puzzled.
"Yes. But can you please loosen me a bit. Please. I can't think with this pain. Please. I will tell you everything I know. But please."
"I'm afraid that's not how it works, Joanne. You did the fetch, and now you'll do the stretch." The Captain laughed. How many times before had he used that line, I wondered, in situations like my present one. "So I suggest that you just concentrate as best you can on telling me the truth. And don't let minor distractions interfere."
"I was told that Cali was sending some cocaine from one of its branches to another in the tops of bikinis. That we ... El Dorado I mean ... had learned of one exchange, and decided to steal the cocaine by sending me wearing the same suit." There. That was the truth.
"Who told you?"
Damn. Now I had to lie or involve Dante. But wasn't it Dante with his "this is a small and safe assignment" who got me into this. Screw him, I thought. And not in the way I was used to screwing him. "My boyfriend. His name is Dante."
"Dante Barza," the Captain seemed surprised. "So you're Dante's girlfriend. For how long?" His knowledge and comments told me that he was either Medellin himself --no, wait, he had thought I was Medellin. No, he was government. I was captured by the government. What the hell was the government interested in such a minor drug exchange? But my immediate concern was to answer his question.
"Hmm. Long time for Dante. You must be great in bed." I was in no position to respond to his insults. Well, that actually wasn't an insult, was it?
"So Dante told you this was a minor cocaine theft from Cali. What happened to the other woman who was supposed to make the exchange. You were wearing her suit, weren't you?"
"Can't you please loosen me just a bit?" I begged. My entire body was so pained, but especially my wrists and shoulders. Without a word, the Captain moved back to the roller, and I was grateful. Maybe my cooperation would save me, though I had no way of knowing for sure.
But when I heard the click, and felt my body stretched even farther, I knew that I was wrong, my mind spinning so fast that my screams sounded like they were coming from somewhere else. From another woman.
"I told you already," the Captain screamed at me. "Just concentrate and tell me the truth."
What was the question? I couldn't remember the question. Oh, about the other woman. The woman whose suit I had taken. "Dante captured her and made her reveal the information about the exchange. I don't know what happened to her after that. He just gave me her bikini and the instructions that I've already told you."
"So El Dorado decided to interfere in what you understood was a small drug exchange between Cali women, is that what you're telling me?"
"Yes. Yes. Exactly," I nodded. The Captain looked to the side, and I realized that Jack and Sal had re-entered the room. They both shrugged, indicating that they were not sure if I was telling the truth. But not indicating, either, that they believed that I wasn't.
"And your boyfriend, Dante, told you this?"
"Yes. Dante." I prayed the Captain would believe me. It was, after all, the truth.
"And what else did he tell you?"
"Nothing. That was all. Exchange bikini tops with a woman wearing the same style of suit. Hers would be padded with cocaine. I did. And it was. That's everything !!"
If he didn't believe me now, I was doomed, since I had told him everything that I knew.
Jack handed the Captain the top of a green bikini, and the Captain reached inside its left cup, showing me exactly what he was doing, slid his fingers into a pouch at its top and removed a small plastic bag of white powder. Then he did the same to the right cup.
"Yes. Yes. See? Just as I told you !!" He had proven that I was telling the truth. I had been afraid that he would tamper with the evidence to condemn me.
"This was the top that Tina had first worn and that you took from the locker room?"
"Yes. Just as I told you. It was padded with cocaine, just as Dante had told me it would be. I didn't check inside, but I could feel it when I put the top on." What more did he need to know?
The Captain handed the top back to Jack, and now Sal handed him a second green bikini bra. "And this, then, is the one that you wore originally, and that you left for Tina when you took the other. Is that correct?" He held it in front of my face.
"I ... I think so. It looks like it. But it was not mine. It was the other woman's. The one that Dante questioned. It was a bit too big for me."
"Well, this one isn't padded to carry cocaine, is it?" He pushed both of its cups inside out to show that there was no padding inside of them. I said nothing.
"How then, Joanne, do you explain this?" He moved his fingers to the top of the right bra cup and slide them inside, just as he had with the other bikini. I had not realized that this bikini had a pouch like the other. I hadn't check it, since, when I put it on, there was no padding in it.
After a second, the Captain pulled out of the pouch as small piece of paper, folded over once, and opened it. "Do you know what this is?"
I shook my head no. "I ... I didn't even know that suit had a pouch. No, I never checked."
"Oh, dear Joanne. I hope that's not true. I mean, that you don't know what this is. Because, if you cannot tell me, it is going to be very painful for you." The Captain nodded to Sal, who stepped out of my field of vision.
"I don't. I swear to you. I don't," I told him nervously. "I've been telling you the truth. You know that. I wouldn't start lying now. Not to save that scum Dante who got me into this."
"Maybe," the Captain stroked my cheek. "Or maybe not. But we will soon know for sure one way or the other." He moved away from the rack to his chair by the wall. His place was immediately taken by Sal, who then climbed onto the rack, standing and reaching toward the ceiling. I could see that he was holding some kind of a chain, and looping it through a metal ring in the ceiling. When he finished, and climbed back off the rack, I could see that the two ends of the chain had dropped almost to my body. Almost. And they hung just a few inches above my chest.
Without a word, Sal attached an adjustable metal clamp to each end of the chain. His purpose was now obvious to me. Within a few seconds, these two clamps bit into my nipples. That pain was bearable compared to all else that I had already endured. What was not as bearable was when he adjusted the length of the chain holding the clamps to force me to raise my back up off the table to prevent the clamps from pulling my nipples completely off. I knew that I could not hold myself up in this position for very long. And it added to the stretch of my already overstretched body.
"Now," the Captain spoke, but remained seated in his chair, so I could not see him, just hear his voice. "What is this paper that was hidden so carefully in the suit that you wore?"
I started to cry. "I don't know. I don't know. You must believe me. I don't know." And I felt myself lose control of my bladder, my urine running down and gradually soaking into the board between my spreadeagled legs. I could feel my strength to hold my back up off the board already waning. And as my back slowly began to sink back toward the board, I could feel my nipples stretch. Whether they could stretch enough to remain attached to my body when my back finally hit the board I was not sure. And I sure as hell did not want to find out.
I again heard the Captain's voice. "Well, Joanne, how about if I tell you? First, you must know that this was not a simple exchange of a small amount of cocaine by the Cali cartel. What sense would that make? No, the cocaine in Tina's suit was a pure decoy. In case the police should suspect anything. The purpose of the exchange was for Medellin to transfer to Cali the information on this paper." I imagined that he was holding out the paper, but I could not see it.
"Did Dante tell you that the woman that he captured was working for Cali? Well, she was not. She worked for Medellin. Her job was to pass the information in the paper to Tina, who was working for Cali. Cali and Medellin were planning a coordinated attack against government forces. That's what the paper did. Coordinate the attack. By now you must know that we are the government. We too learned of the exchange and vowed to stop it. As did, as you learned. We were prepared to capture both Tina and the Medellin woman at the beach." By now my back was quickly tiring and slumping even more, pulling my nipples hideously. I had been used by Dante. To play a key role in a very dangerous mission.
"But now you have told us that Dante interfered," the Captain continued. "He captured the Medellin woman. Which means that he must have slipped a different paper into her bra top. One with false information that would have led to the rout of the cartels when they tried to implement their plan against the government. If I had known that before, I would not have interfered with your exchange. I would have considered that he and you were doing us a service. But I didn't learn of his involvement until just now when you told me."
I was desperate. "I didn't know any of this," I screamed in the direction of the Captain's voice. "Dante betrayed me. He lied to me. I knew nothing of this."
The Captain said nothing for several seconds. He appeared to be thinking. Then he rose from his chair and left the room without a word. I struggled to keep my body raised. Jack and Sal stared at me to see how long I could last in this position.
After what seemed an interminable time, the Captain returned. He nodded to his henchman, and Jack and Sal immediately moved toward me. I closed my eyes in dread, waiting to hear another click, waiting to feel more pain, waiting for my body to fall and tear my nipples off.
But, to my astonishment -- and to my great relief -- the two men removed the clamps from my stretched nipples, and unchained my wrists and ankles from the roller bars. The Captain believed me !! I still did not have the strength to lift myself off the board. I resisted the urge, though, to curl into a fetal position. I just lay here, body still spreadeagled, but now unrestrained.
"So, your boyfriend's a prick, wouldn't you say?" I could once again see the Captain standing at the foot of the board. "He played you. He sent you on a dangerous mission to try to disrupt a major conspiracy between the two largest cartels in the country. He must have known that the police might well be aware of what was going on and be ready to pounce. But he didn't care. If you succeeded, your new message would help bring turmoil to both cartels, for El Dorado's benefit. If you failed, as you likely were to fail and you did fail, well, that's the way it goes. You would be mercilessly tortured and unable to provide any significant information about his true purpose. You would tell us about a small cocaine deal that we would be sure was not the truth. So your life would be forfeit. But playing with your life was worth the risk. Although he didn't bother to tell you that that was what he was doing."
I was seething. For how long had that mother fucker Dante been setting me up to play his stooge? Maybe that was my sole purpose to him. Maybe that's all I meant to him. He needed a woman for this assignment. Why not use one that he was apparently growing tired of anyway? I shut my eyes hard and clenched my teeth.
"So," the Captain noticed my reaction. "Do you want your revenge on him?"
I couldn't say "yes" fast enough. I finally pulled myself up to a sitting position, turning my legs to hang over the board. Sal brought me a robe to cover my nakedness, of which I had become totally oblivious.
"Good," the Captain responded. "But I will be straight with you. Which your boyfriend -- or your former boyfriend -- wasn't. What I will ask of you will be very dangerous. And you will have to begin immediately if it is to stand a chance. If you succeed, you will help put a dent in the two largest cartels. And likely destroy El Dorado at the same time." I listened attentively. Maybe when I finished this new mission, it would be the Captain who would benefit from the heightened passion that I would surely feel.
"First," the Captain began, "you will go to the Cali branch for which Tina worked. You will wear the green bikini top with the paper in it. The paper that Dante put in it. The wrong paper." Shit, I thought. I did not want to ever see another green bikini, much less wear one, and even less wear the same one I was wearing when I started this last assignment.
"You will tell the Cali branch leader who sent Tina that no one from Cali showed and your instructions were not to return without completing your mission. You knew that your contact was from this branch. So you went right to the source."
So I would be going into the Cali lion's den. The Cali leader might fear that I had been followed. He might suspect that I was a spy or government agent. But he also might think that I was dedicated to my mission. Or afraid to go back without having completed it. My chances sounded about 50/50 to me. That was an improvement over how I viewed them just a few minutes ago.
"Medellin and Cali will be defeated, and also set against each other, when Cali acts according to the false plan and Medellin acts according to the real plan. And we will be ready."
"I can do that. I will do that." I tried to sound confident, but I was scared.
"If that were your entire mission," the Captain explained, "then we would be no better off than if we hadn't stopped you originally. No, we can do better. We can not only put a dent in both of these cartels, and set Medellin against Cali in the future, but we can also destroy El Dorado. And Dante." A small smile crossed my face. My first smile in a very long time.
"After you deliver the first bikini top to Cali, you will deliver the second, the one with the cocaine, to Dante. You will explain that you were late getting back because you were brought in for questioning by the police. In case he sent anyone to watch you who saw us pick you up. You will tell him that the police falsely claimed that the tags on your car plates had expired, just wanting to take in to the station a pretty woman with a great chest. Fortunately, they never made you disrobe and never examined your bikini top under your t-shirt and therefore never discovered the cocaine. They just liked having you around for a few hours to look at and have the power over you to make you worry what they might do to you, but then they let you go. The sort of thing turns cops on, you can tell him, and explain that it's happened to you before.
"Later, when you can do so naturally, tell Dante that you actually met the woman with whom you exchanged tops. Tell him that you know that you weren't supposed to, but she was waiting for you in the locker room. And, as you exchanged tops, she told you what the real mission was. See if you can find out where the real paper is, and bring it back to us so that we can publicize the real Medellin/Cali plot to the public. And blame El Dorado for leaking it to the government. That should get the two cartels very interested in destroying El Dorado. This part of your mission is extremely dangerous, because, if Dante suspects anything, you are doomed. And you know that he will not hesitate to sacrifice you, since he thinks that he already has."
Less than an hour later, I found myself at the security booth of what everyone knew, but no one ever said aloud, was the Cali compound. "I have instructions to make a delivery to your boss." I pulled my t-shirt over my head to reveal my green bikini top underneath it. The guard was startled by my action, but did not seem to object. He stared at my chest for a few seconds.
"What kind of delivery?" The guard in the booth asked, skeptically, still staring at my chest as I pulled my t-shirt back on.
"What you just saw," I explained. "A green bikini top." I saw the guard give me a quizzical look. "Just tell your boss, if you know what's good for you," I told him forcefully.
He closed the window to the booth, picked up a phone and pushed a few buttons. I couldn't hear what he said. When he put the phone down and re-opened the window, he motioned me to leave. "No one knows about any delivery of that kind."
"Your boss does. Did you talk to the boss?" I was firm. "Not an underling. The boss."
I could tell that he was nervous about bothering the boss. But he slid the window closed and again got on the phone. This took longer. Finally, though, I saw a man leave from the building behind the booth, and signal me to follow him.
Without a word he led me into the building, then down several halls, and around a corner to the last office. There was no name on the door. He motioned me to go in, but did not follow me.
Inside the room were three men. The boss was obviously the one seated behind the expensive wooden desk. Two large men stood, one to each side, their arms folded. After I entered, one of them moved behind me, closed the door and stood in front of it.
"You're not supposed to be here," the boss said coldly. "I should kill you just for coming here."
"You can," I replied. "But if I disobeyed my own instructions, my own boss would kill me. So I had no choice but to take my chances with you."
"The instructions were for things to happen at the beach."
"Yes. I know. I did my part to make that happen. But your woman didn't show. And my instructions were to get what I was to give her to you even if I didn't get what I was supposed to get in return. Didn't make sense to me, but it's not my job for my instructions to make sense. It's my job to follow my instructions."
The Boss thought for a few seconds. Then he looked at the man at the side of the desk. "Is Tina back yet?" So Tina was her real name. Of course, I knew that Tina was not back yet. And would never be back. In fact, Tina had died slumped across my chest. The man shook his head.
"Look, I don't know what went wrong out there. But I don't like it. And I don't like your being here."
"That's your privilege. I would have rather things had worked out at the beach, too. That would have been a lot easier. I wouldn't be standing here risking my life with you if they had. But I can't go back without having giving you what I was told to give you."
"Which is what exactly?" The Boss apparently wanted to test me.
"This." I pulled my t-shirt up enough to reveal the green bikini top under it.
The Boss looked at me for a few seconds. "Clasp your hands behind your neck."
I started to question why, but quickly stopped myself and obeyed. The man standing next to the desk moved forward. Instead of reaching to unhook and take my bikini top, as I expected, figuring that this was all designed to give these men a good look at my chest, he unsnapped the shorts I was wearing and pulled them down to my ankles, signalling me to step out of them, which I did. He examined them, then tossed them on a chair at the side of the room. Next he told me to step out of my sandals. Again I obeyed. He examined them and tossed them on the chair next to my shorts. Then he pulled my t-shirt completely over my head and off, leaving me standing in the same green bikini that I had warn when all of my trouble had started.
Finally, he stepped behind me, pulled the bikini strap around my neck over my head and then unhooked my top, pulling it off into his hands. I made no effort to cover my naked breasts with my hands, but kept them behind my neck as I had been ordered. To my surprise, the man simply tossed the bikini top onto the chair with my other clothes. A second later, he yanked my bikini bottom down to my ankles, and lifted my feet to step out of it, and tossed it onto the chair. I was now completely naked in the presence of three men -- seemingly my natural state this day -- with my hands clasped behind my neck. Get a good look, boys, I thought.
"Examine them," the Boss directed, and the two men picked up my clothes and left the room. "We'll see if you are who you say you are. Or if you are just a spy," he said, as soon as the men had left. He had no basis for thinking that, I convinced myself. He just wanted to see my reaction, so I made sure that I gave him none.
"What is it that you are bringing to me?" he asked.
"I don't know. I wasn't told. I didn't ask." I tried not to tremble. It was cold in this room. And I knew that I was now in the presence of a man far more powerful than Dante. A man who could, and would, have me killed if he suspected that I was not from Medellin. Or had lied to him in any way. And I knew that I was not and that I had.
After about 10 minutes in which I just stood there and the Boss pretended to be working behind his desk on other matters, but looked up at me every minute or so, the two other men returned. They handed the paper to the Boss that had been in the bra pouch. He opened it and examined it. Then he looked at me, trying to see my reaction, trying to get a hint of whether I had been aware of this paper. I made sure to keep my breathing steady, to do nothing to let him know how fast my heart was pounding.
"Shall we call Medellin, sir, to inquire further about this woman?" I knew that, if they did, they would discover the truth. The woman that Medellin had sent, the one that Dante had captured, was blond. If Medellin described her to them, I did not want to think about my fate.
The Boss paused, stared into my eyes, then looked down my body. I did everything in my power not to shake, not to show fear, to show a lack of concern. But I am not a trained actress. I did not know how good a performance I was putting on. Still, he did not answer, as his eyes now began to look up my body until they again stared into my own eyes.
"No." Inside I breathed a huge sigh of relief, but tried to show nothing on the outside. Well, I was already showing everything on the outside, I guess. "She carried what we expected her to carry. She can go."
I lowered my hands, then turned as one of the men handed me my clothes. Everything except the bra. I said nothing. I slipped on my bikini bottom and my shorts, then pulled the t-shirt on and slipped into my sandals.
"We will give you a ride back to your Medellin branch," the Boss offered.
"No, no, that is not necessary," I realized that I responded a bit too quickly. "It has been a very trying day, I'm sure you understand," I added immediately, "I need some air. I am going to walk for awhile and then I'll get a cab. Thank you, though, for your kind offer."
Half of my new mission was now complete. Cali had the false plans in its position.
Now it was time to for a little payback to my dear friend Dante. Dante the Screwer, I hoped, would soon become Dante the Screwee.
After I had left the Cali compound and walked about half a mile, I called the Captain at the number that he had given me to memorize. "One is down," I said, exactly as he had instructed if my Cali mission had been successful. Now I had to get back to El Dorado and Dante as quickly as possible and satisfy him that all had gone according to plan, despite my tardiness in returning.
When I reached the gates of its compound, I figured that I was about four hours later than I was supposed to be. I couldn't blame this on Tina not showing up on time, as I had at Cali, because I had to tell Dante that everything had gone smoothly. I couldn't think of anything better than what the Captain had suggested.
"Those mother-fuckers," Dante reacted when I gave him the story. "You're lucky. I would have thought they would have raped you and then denied it. Thank God they didn't." He hugged me tightly. No, they hadn't raped me, Dante. You were the one that fucked me under false pretenses, you piece of shit. Which is the same as rape. But, of course, all I could tell him was how exciting it had been. To play a role, even in such a minor operation as stealing a bit of cocaine from Cali. But worse, I had to pretend how much it turned me on, and make love to him as passionately as ever. I wanted to kill him right there, in a lover's embrace. But I couldn't. If I wanted to make sure to keep the Captain off my back -- and off my front -- I had to find the real piece of paper, so that the Captain could add El Dorado to the cartels that he would damage or destroy.
Exhausted after our love making -- damn, he was good, even if I hated him -- I sat up in bed. Dante rolled over to look at me. "One more thing, love," I began the speech that I had worked over repeatedly in my mind on the way back. "The woman who I made the exchange with. She waited for me. I know that I wasn't supposed to let her see me if I could avoid it, but she didn't take her top off in the locker room and leave, as she was supposed to. She just kept it on and waited for me to arrive." Dante eyes widened. I knew that he had not wanted the Cali woman and I to meet, fearing that the Cali woman might somehow figure out that I was not from Medellin, and report that back to her superiors. Of course, I couldn't tell him that he need not worry about that, because the Cali woman was dead.
"She told me," I continued, "that she wanted to check while I was still there that my top had a paper in it. I didn't know what she was talking about, but we exchanged tops, and I could feel the padding in the bra that she gave me, which I knew from what you told me was the cocaine. So I knew that I had received what I was supposed to receive. But she checked her new top and pulled out a piece of paper. Then she told me that the cocaine was a decoy, and that the paper was really what the exchange was about, put it back into her bra, and left. What was that all about?"
"Why would she tell you that?" Dante's brow wrinkled.
"I have no idea. Was she telling me the truth?'
Dante hesitated for a moment. "She was. The mission was more dangerous than I wanted you to know. I know that you would have wanted to do it anyway. It wasn't going to help for me to scare you before you set out. So I didn't tell you. The paper was one that I wrote that is going to help start a war between Cali and Medellin that will benefit El Dorado."
"How did she know to look for a paper, though?"
"Let's just say that is one of the things that we learned from our captive. I just replaced the real paper with a false one." I saw him unconsciously glance toward the table at the side of the bed, on which he had rested his wallet. This was going to be so easy. He didn't even know that he had given away the real paper's location. But, to make sure that he didn't go back over in his mind what we had just discussed, I moved back on top of him, and slid myself down until my mouth could replace my hands on his penis. Not yet erect again. Well, I could do some work on that. And this time, somehow, I didn't really mind. I considered this a kind of farewell fuck. Since, tonight, while he slept, I would take the paper from his wallet and say "farewell, fuck." If I had a chance quietly to slit his throat, I might just do that before I left, too. All in less than 24 hours since I arrived at the beach in my green bikini.
I was exhausted. Fortunately, so was he. But I had set my mental clock to awaken early. I saw that the clock read 5 a.m. I looked over at him. Eyes closed. Mouth open. Breathing evenly. Sound asleep. Time to move. I had thought better of murdering Dante. Too obvious who had done it. So I'd have to settle for just getting him into a whole lot of trouble by taking the real paper, and letting the government handle the rest.
I showered and dressed quickly and quietly in clothes that he had bought me that I kept there, not wanting to do anything differently than I usually did in case he should awaken. Black bra and panties. Black skirt, dark green shirt. I guess green was my color today, I thought. Black heels. The bedroom was carpeted, so they made no sound as I walked up to the bed, saw that Dante was in the same position as before, and picked up his wallet. Thin. He didn't carry much in it. The paper was right there, as I thought it would be, folded once among several 50 dollar bills. I took it out and slide it under by shirt and into the left cup of my bra. The real paper this time. I put the wallet back exactly in the position that I had found it. 5:30. I walked to the door.
"Don't I get a kiss?" I was startled to hear him speak.
"Of course. I didn't want to wake you at this hour." I turned back and walked to him. "Not after last night's marathon." I smiled at him. He had gotten out of bed and was standing, wearing only his boxer shorts. I put my arms around his neck and kissed him hard on his mouth, my tongue probing. I was relieved when he put his arms around my waist, and did not try to pull me down on the bed. The last thing that I needed was for him to want to extend our love-making and remove my bra.
I finally pulled away from him. "I have to drive to my sister's. I said I'd have breakfast with her this morning before she went to work, and she starts work at an ungodly hour. And your place is all the way across town from where we agreed to meet. I didn't think of that when I spoke with her." I was getting good at this lying stuff, I thought.
"Don't you have just a few minutes? I mean, shit. look at the time. How early can you eat breakfast?"
Thinking he meant time for a quickie, and knowing that I couldn't let that happen, I shook my head. "No, I really mu...."
"I want you to see a surprise that I have for you downstairs," he interrupted. "Now that you've earned your wings, I want to show you the other woman."
I looked at him, not exactly sure what he was telling me.
"The woman we captured two days ago is downstairs in the basement. I thought that you just might want to see her."
I hesitated for a second. I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. My mission was complete, and, with what I had stolen in my bra, I was in danger every minute that I stayed. But it might be valuable to see this woman. I doubted that I could get information from her -- she would be in no condition to talk to me, I was sure, and, even if she was, I certainly would not be left alone with her. Still, if I told the Captain that I had passed up the opportunity to see the Medellin woman.
"All right. But I only have about 10 minutes."
Dante pulled on his pants, and, bare-chested and shoeless, walked with me out of the bedroom and down two flights of stairs. I had been to the main floor often, of course, but I had never been down to the basement. I hadn't even known that there was a basement. And, from Dante's description of what awaited, this basement was not going to be too much different than the one that I had previously occupied in the warehouse.
Dark and cold, I listened for sounds. Last time, I had heard Tina's screams every time the door to my room had been opened. But now I heard nothing. The woman was probably unconscious. Sleeping, if she were lucky. But I didn't envision her lying on a cot, but hanging in chains. It might also be useful to the Captain to learn how Dante and his men treated their captives.
The basement extended beyond the one building, apparently filling much of the property under the compound. We walked down several long hallways, passing at least half a dozen rooms, before Dante stopped in front of a heavy wooden door. "Prepare yourself," he warned me. "The woman is chained against the far wall on the left. It is dark in the room, so let your eyes adjust as you walk toward her. Stop about three feet in front of her. I will walk behind you. Your work yesterday earned you the right to more participation with our organization. Do you accept that?"
"Yes," I lied. "That is what I have been hoping for. Yesterday was very exciting."
"Yesterday will not be the last exciting day that you have with us." He opened the door.
The room was dark, lit only by a few small bare bulbs along the middle of the side walls. I could see that it definitely was an interrogation room, with chains hanging all along each wall, and tables scattered around, each with ... well, I couldn't make out exactly what was on the tables, but I certainly had a general idea.
I turned left, as Dante had instructed, and walked toward the far wall. I squinted to try to make out a figure against it. I could see, in the middle of the far wall, a heavy wooden pole that ran from the floor to near the ceiling. Hanging from it were chains, no doubt used to hold the subject's wrists overhead and behind the pole with his ... or her ... back against the pole. And at the base of the pole, where it met the floor, were chains for the subject's ankles. I stared hard at the pole, from its high wrists chains down to its ankle chains, and saw ...
Nothing !! I waited for my eyes to adjust a bit more and stared again at the pole, then all along the far wall. Nothing. No one !! The room was empty !!
I turned to ask Dante where the woman was ... and saw not just Dante, but three other men standing near him. I recognized them instantly. How could I not, after spending several hours with them earlier that same day. The Captain, Jack and Sal !!
I saw Jack and Sal walk toward me, one on each side. "Wha ...?" I could get nothing more to escape from my lips. Jack and Sal were quickly at my side, pushing me back against the pole, grabbing my wrists.
"I'd like you to meet my friends," Dante spoke. "Oh, wait, I think you've already met them, haven't you?" He laughed. I could hear the click of the cuffs attached to the chains as my wrists were secured high over my head, locked behind the top of the pole. "Yes, they work for me. Well, they work for the government, but they work for me at the same time. I pay better than the government, don't I, Captain?" Both laughed. By this time my ankles had also been chained behind the pole, forcing me to stand on my toes, by body leaning forward. Their work finished, Jack and Sal stepped back so that all four men stood about 10 feet in front of me, in a line.
"The Captain and I had a minor mix-up yesterday," Dante explained. "He was prepared to break up the exchange of information coordinating the Medellin and Cali conspiracy that he learned was going down at the beach. He has his own sources." This wasn't telling me anything new. Sal and Jack had been at the beach, and they had captured me right after the exchange. I wasn't sure who had captured Tina, but it didn't matter. I tested my bonds, which held firm, as I knew they would. Even if they had not, I wasn't going anywhere and I certainly wasn't going to be able to overpower all four of them.
Dante continued. "The Captain didn't know that I had captured the Medellin woman and sent you in her place, with the false information. So he really didn't have to do anything to prevent the exchange of the real information. I had already taken care of that. But when he captured you and the Cali woman, well, he interfered with my interference, you could say. Which he only learned when he questioned you and you revealed that you were working for me."
Dante shook his head. "Kind of a two rights making a wrong situation. So the Captain needed to send someone to complete the transfer of false information to Cali so that the cartels wouldn't know that the exchange had failed and make other arrangements to transfer the information. And who better than to send you? The woman I had sent myself. So, after calling me, and confirming what we each had done, he sent you along your way with your instructions to make things right."
And I had obeyed those instructions. Which sent me here. Into Dante's bed and into his trap. With me playing a mouse who thought she was a cat.
"You broke so easily and betrayed me to him, not knowing our true relationship, that he figured you were a danger to us. You were even willing to accept his suggestion that you steal the real information from me." Jack now walked back toward me, grabbed my shirt with his hands, and tore it open, then moved back.
"And I'm betting," Dante walked slowly forward, "that you did steal it, since it is no longer in my wallet. Well, actually, the real information was never in my wallet, just a piece of paper that I made look a bit similar to someone who really wouldn't have much time to examine it closely."
Set up, I thought. Totally set up. Not that it really mattered if I'd stolen the real information, since I would have turned it over to the Captain anyway. I had bought into his story. And my desire for revenge against Dante had proven my downfall. Of course, given the Captain's relationship with Dante, I was doomed once I confessed to the Captain that it had been Dante who had sent me. Since, by breaking, the Captain had seen that I was weak and could not be trusted. But the pain ... What choice did I have?
"So let's see, shall we," Dante reached his hand inside the top of the right cup of my bra, "whether I can find where that paper has gone." Feeling nothing but my breast, he move to the left cup and quickly found the hidden paper, pulling it out with a flourish. "So," he turned away, "now we know where your loyalties rest." He turned back toward me when he reached the others. "With the government against El Dorado. And, unfortunately for you, none of our main loyalties rest with the government." All four laughed.
There was no point arguing or begging, I knew. They would do with me what they wanted no matter what I said or offered. Offered? Shit. They could take what they wanted from me. I had nothing to offer them. What? That they could have my body? Two of them already had had it, one of them many, many times. And the others weren't going to be asking me for my permission if they wanted it, too.
"But you are lucky in one respect," Dante again walked toward me and kissed me on the cheek before I realized what he was doing. My body started to shiver. There was no mistaking what he had done. All my hope evaporated. The Kiss of Death. I fought the urge to beg him for my life, but my body continued to tremble.
"And why ... why am I lucky?" I asked desperately when he didn't volunteer an explanation.
"Because all four of us have seen enough of your naked body -- and wasted enough of our time on you -- that we are not going to bother to strip you completely again or fuck you or torture you any more. Read the sentence." Dante looked at the Captain, who moved a few feet forward.
"You have been tried and convicted of treason against the government by conspiring for its overthrow ..." he began.
I broke once again. I could not remain silent. "I conspired to steal some drugs, that's all. At Dante here's request !! He didn't tell me about the paper. And the paper had false information. Transferring it would have helped the government. You just said so !! And you stopped me from doing it. You stopped me from helping the government !! So it's not me who's the criminal here." No, I wasn't making complete sense. I knew it. But I made my point. Not that it meant anything. This wasn't a debate.
The Captain paused and stared at me, then continued. "... and you have also been tried and convicted of treason against the El Dorado association ..." Association? Nice touch. "... by betraying its cause." Treason for not supporting a criminal enterprise ?!
"Only because I was trying to help the government," I screamed, "instead of stealing from it like you do!" My words were once again ignored, as I knew they would be.
When the Captain stepped to the side, I could see that Jack and Sal were standing in front of me, while Dante and the Captain moved to the side, neither apparently wishing to dirty his hands with me. I expected that the first of the last three words that I would ever hear would be "ready." But no one said anything. Instead, Jack walked slowly up to me, taking out of his pocket a small 22-caliber Beretta pistol. When he reached me, he too kissed me on the cheek. He yanked my bra down until my breasts popped out of it. My eyes, though, were on his right hand, holding the pistol. He put it in between my breasts, then turned it to push it from the side against the middle of my right breast. And fired ...
The bullet immediately tore completely through my breast and into the far wall of the room. My breast seemed to explode in a burst of red that covered my face and chest with blood and breast tissue. I blinked hard to try to clear my eyes. My mind reeled from the pain. And the knowledge that my body was now maimed forever. Not that forever was going to be very long for it. I let out a scream and pulled frantically at the cuffs holding my wrists and ankles.
I hurled out a stream of curses as Jack walked back to the others and Sal approached. He too held a small Beretta. I had no doubt what his intentions were. Small minds believe in symmetry. I started to shake my head as he kissed me on the cheek and pushed his pistol into the side of my left breast -- I hadn't noticed that he was left-handed, which made it so convenient for him. This time I closed my eyes. And heard the shot a split second before the pain reached my brain and felt more of what had been part of my body splash against my face and torso.
I feel as far as my chained wrists allowed, until my elbows were straight, my knees bending slightly. With no strength to hold my head up, my head slumped to my chest. Or what was left of my chest. I could no longer control anything about my body, and I felt the little urine I had left in my bladder release into my panties. I had not eaten anything for an entire day, so my bowels had little to give, but they added what they had.
I could hear nothing as my mind started to fade from the loss of blood. I tried not to focus on the pain, but the pain now consumed my entire world. I blinked hard and opened my eyes to try to awaken from must be a horrible nightmare.
Then I felt someone grab my hair and lift my head, fastening a cord around my neck and the pole, forcing me to stare straight ahead, even as my body sagged.
"Good bye, love," I could barely make out that it was Dante's voice. "You should know, though, that you really were not as good a fuck as you thought you were."
I could see the outlines of Jack and Sal move about ten feet in front of me. They raised their pistols. I heard two shots, and felt the bullets penetrate my stomach. My body jolted, then again sagged. My eyes started to close when I heard two more shots and felt them hi .....