I hope everyone is enjoying my free chapters of Kidnapped. Just so you know, I am providing the entire book for you to read, chapter by chapter each week. I would love to hear some comments on how you are enjoying the book. I’ve decided to hold a contest. At some point in the next few weeks I will ask a question pertaining to the book. Everyone who answers in the comments section will have their name put into a draw and the winner will recieve a prize from my Cafe Press store. http://www.cafepress.ca/shielasbooks
Now, on to Chapter 3 of Kidnapped.
Her stomach growled reminding her she hadn’t eaten anything since the poached egg and croissant for brunch. She had no idea of the time, but she guessed it to be late afternoon, maybe even close to the evening. She’d been working on loosening the ropes for hours now and her wrists felt pretty raw. Clueless to where her abductors were, Liz knew that at any moment, one of them could come up to check on her. So she needed to work fast.
She wasn’t going to wait around for them to get what they wanted from her father. She could hear birds chirping from somewhere behind her. Twisting her head, she tried to get a look at the window. Unable to see it clearly, she huffed.
The place didn’t look new but lived in. The walls were a light creamy color but looked as if they’d been painted that way a good long time ago. From her viewpoint she could see the door off to her left and a dresser off to her right. On top sat a TV no bigger than a microwave. How did a person watch something that small?
Wiggling, she tried to get the ropes to loosen. The heat made her sweat, her face and body growing damp from the exertion. The room was hotter than a sauna. Blowing air over her face, she longed for the cool, air-conditioned apartment she lived in. Her car, she suddenly remembered, still sat in the parking lot of the restaurant. Bonnie and Moira would see it still there, and wonder what it was doing there and why it was running. Surely they would have called the police by now. Maybe someone saw her being abducted and called the police?
She wouldn’t have to be rescued if it wasn’t for her father’s notoriety. She tugged the ropes in frustration. It had always been his fame, and she’d always been the victim of it. As far back as she could remember she had been hounded because of her father. As an infant, her parents paraded her for all to see, always dressed in the finest garments, her hair meticulously styled. She’d been sent to the finest boarding schools and spent more time there than at her home, her parents rarely having time for her. And as she matured, they insisted that she act like a lady and never do anything to sully that image, never to misbehave in public and always smile. God, there had been times she’d wanted to scream at the cameras that flashed at her from everywhere just to leave her be.
But they hadn’t, and as she had grown into a young woman, they had often caught her in the arms of her companions, writing nasty stuff about her being a lush. She had been photographed leaving a party, after having a tad bit too much to drink, and stumbling as she tried to walk to her friend’s car. She’d been labeled trouble from that day on, and so she had gone with it.
For years she listened to her father condemn her for not trying harder to be like him, for not accepting the roles he shifted to her, for wanting her to be someone she wasn’t. So she’d rebelled, and hard. Though she hadn’t touched drugs, she made good use of any bottle of alcohol handed to her. By the time she turned nineteen, she had developed a sour reputation and learned that no amount of alcohol could mask the pain she felt inside.
Under the guise of Stephanie Parsons, she fled to Paris, and to her utter relief, she hadn’t been followed. She’d drawn her hair up under a plain black wig of short hair, worn dark glasses and frumpy clothing. She hadn’t looked anything like herself, and it made her feel free for the first time in her life.
He entered her life, sweeping her off her feet and showed her the attention she so craved. There hadn’t been any clues to lead her to believe he was married. In the five months they were together, she never suspected him of having a wife or two young children. She might never have known if she hadn’t been window shopping and seen the tabloid, with her and Jacques in a heated embrace. The caption had read, ‘Mistress breaks up happy family’. She bought the paper, read the story and had been devastated.
Catching the very next fight, she left Paris with the paparazzi hot on her trail, and they hadn’t let up for months after the incident. Her father had been furious. Fed up with her antics, humiliating him in the public eye, he’d locked her in her room for two days. If it hadn’t been for their cook, Millie, she might have gone a little insane. Not only had Millie snuck her food, but came to her at night to talk. The woman had been Liz’s confidant and she’d been the one who’d told Liz she needed to make some choices in her life, choices that would allow the true Liz to come out.
But who the real Liz was, not even she knew. So she’d tried different things. The fundraisers her father insisted she do didn’t interest her; school didn’t look appealing, so she’d struck college from her list. She had no talent whatsoever to fall back on, though she’d been told by her acting coach that he saw potential. But she didn’t want to act; it was the last thing she wanted.
Then, visiting a sick friend in the hospital, she’d stumbled onto the wrong floor. The sweetest little girl she’d ever seen approached her, asking her shyly to help her find her room. Her face had been pale against a dark head of brown thinning hair. Her brown eyes were hollow with dark circles beneath the lashes and as she lifted her arm to rub her nose, Liz saw how thin she truly was. Taking the child’s hand, she led her to the nurse’s station for assistance in finding her room. It was then she learned the child had terminal cancer.
When she helped her to her room, Liz saw the many faces of the children, sick with one disease or another, looking lost and lonely. She’d realized then what she wanted to do. She wanted to help the children. So she began volunteering at the hospital, reading to them or watching movies together. Once a week, she brought people in, and gave all the girls a make over. They loved those days the most. And while the girls received pampering, Liz played video games with the boys and was getting pretty damn good at it.
Today was her day off from volunteering, and she wished desperately that she hadn’t listened to her father and gone out for brunch with Bonnie and Moira. She wouldn’t be sitting here, tied to a rock hard chair, being held by two men with God knew what on their minds to do with her
Sighing, she worked on the ropes once more, wondering what the children would do without her if she didn’t break free soon.
She heard the sound of boots on the stairs and once again her body tensed. When the door opened, she didn’t know what to expect.
“Chow time, princess.”
Her teeth gnashed together at the way he called her that silly nickname. Then she saw the plate in his hand and all thoughts vanished to her hunger. “You’re feeding me?”
“Well it’s not the finest cuisine, which I am sure you are used to, but it’ll serve its purpose.” Setting the plate on the nightstand, he moved in behind her and loosened the ropes on her hands. “There you go.”
She pulled her hands to the front of her, gave her wrists a rub and noticed the dark red rings forming on her skin.
She took the plate he offered and saw the plain sandwich. Lifting the top piece of bread, she saw there hadn’t been much effort in constructing this sandwich. One piece of ham, processed no less, and a glop of mustard. How appetizing.
“You’re welcome,” he said snidely as he pulled up another chair from the corner of the room by the window.
Her lip curled as she swallowed the bland sandwich. “Thank you,” she replied without a hint of the disdain she felt towards him.
Grabbing the TV remote on the bedside table, he clicked the TV on and began strolling through the channels. “How’s the sandwich?”
“Fine.” Dry, lacking in taste, and whole wheat bread would have been better, she thought snidely. “Have you contacted my father yet?” Nibbling on her sandwich, Liz examined the man before her. His chest was broad, the shirt he wore stretching to accommodate the muscles. His hair curled in black strands over the bottom of the mask. He had wide arms and big hands, long legs and big feet clad in dirty work boots. From the looks of him, he wasn’t the sort you tussled with if you wanted to win.
“You don’t need to concern yourself with such trivial matters, princess.”
“Stop calling me that,” she blurted out and instantly her eyes lifted with worry.
“I think it’s suited to you.” He pulled out a cigarette and casually lit it up while Liz picked her sandwich apart.
“Why, because I have money?” Good God, she’d lost her mind. He looked big enough to crush her with his bare hands and she boldly argued with him.
“There’s that, plus the high and mighty attitude you exude.”
She bit her tongue, preventing the many retorts that came to mind. The last thing she needed to do is piss off her abductor. “May I have something to drink?”
Without a word, he walked to the bathroom, dropped his cigarette in the toilet then taking a paper cup from the container on the wall he filled it with water. “Here you go.”
Her eyes shifted to the paper cup and the water inside of it, and she cringed. “Thank you.” Taking it, she sipped the tepid water, despising him even more.
“Yes, I am.” Ready to use the plate to smash him in the face, she huffed when he scooped it from her lap and placed it on the floor before she could act. If she couldn’t use the plate, there were other means of defense. Curling her hand into a tight fist, she smashed it into his jaw and instantly regretted it.
Shaking her throbbing fist, Liz feared her attempt to knock him out would be the end of her. The guy’s jaw was like rock, and when he grabbed her hands, she expected he would retaliate. When all he did was tie her back up, she stared at him with complete surprise.
“You’ll have to hit me a hell of a lot harder than that, princess, to knock me out.”
She watched as he carried the plate to the door, closing it and locking her in as he left. It baffled her that he hadn’t done anything to her for her acting out. Surely the other guy would have smacked her back, yet this one hadn’t even seemed fazed.
Hmmm, she wondered, and started working again on the ropes to break free.