Among the Echoes (Wrecked and Ruined #2.5)

by Aly Martinez


"Kill her."

"No! Please! I didn't see anything!" I scream, backing into the corner.

"We all know that's a lie." His accent curls over the paralyzing words.

"I swear. Please, I won't tell anyone."

"You got this, Marcus?" he asks the large man with long, brown hair and an evil stare.

"I got it," he confirms, raking his eyes over my body with a scary calm.

My stomach rolls as I glance to the man who is no doubt going to kill me. His disgusting smirk is unmistakable, and it lights my body in a rush of fear.

"Stop. My family knows where I am. I gave my boyfriend the address before I left. They will come looking for me," I lie, wishing with all of my soul it would somehow miraculously become the truth.

"You are full of shit. We never would have chosen you if you had a boyfriend." The man in charge smiles pridefully.

"I do! He will look for me."

"No one will look for you. Sadly, my love, that's the only reason why you are here right now. No one besides elderly Rich and Margaret Lane from next door even know you exist. When they see the moving truck tomorrow morning, they will dismiss you as nothing more than just a passing memory." His grin grows even wider.

"No, wait!" I frantically try to formulate a plan or angle that will end with me alive, but his final words come all too quick.

"Kill her," he repeats roughly as his partner rushes forward.

"Please." I fold down, curling into the corner, desperate to escape his touch.

"She's attractive. Take her to the boys for a little fun first," he orders while tossing a cigarette onto the carpeted floor and walks from the room.

"They'll look for me. I swear they will!" I fight against his every touch.

"You fight and I kill you now. Your call. You come willingly, you see tomorrow. I promise you that," he says with a thick Spanish accent while holding my eyes. He curls his lips in annoyance and disgust as the tears finally escape.

I hate him, but tomorrow is more than I had a few seconds ago. I don’t know what will happen if I go with him. I'm not questioning that he is absolutely going to kill me. The real question just became: how long do I want to live?

It feels like years that I've been here, but I think it's only been a day. I honestly have no clue. All I know is that I'm bound to a bed in a dark room. I know it’s a house based on the silence. There are no sounds from apartments above or below us. No neighbors coming or going. No one to hear me scream. With the exception of bottles of water being brought in randomly and the man who occasionally ushers me to the restroom, I am completely alone.

I've long since been stripped naked. My hands are tied to the top of the bed, my legs spread wide and anchored to opposite posts on the footboard. I'm exposed for anyone who happens to pass by. While no one has touched me yet, I can hear the parade of footsteps passing through the room. I can feel the prickle on my skin that lets me know someone is watching. Always watching.

The door opens, and from the light in the cracked doorway, I make out a man's silhouette. I've never seen him before. He's older and heavy, and the stench of a cigar wafts through the room. I try to memorize his features so I can give my description to the police. Maybe. If only I live long enough to get out of here.

He pulls his lips tight, biting his bottom one and moving my way.

He walks over, assessing me. His disgusting eyes drag across my body. I know from the look on his face that this man is not here to help me. Just as I get up the nerve to speak to him, he reaches out and roughly twists my nipple. I cry out in pain, but the real tears flood my eyes as he drops his pants. If I had some silly notion of making it out of here unscathed, they vanish.

I made the wrong decision. Dying would be better than what I know is to come.

"You make her bleed, I make you bleed." I hear the voice of the man, Marcus, who brought me here. "Save some for the rest of us."

The rest of us.

A sob catches in my throat.

"I won the first f**k." The new man drags a finger down my body as I squirm, unable to escape.

"Please let me go. I'll do anything you want if you let me go." I hysterically try to reason with him. I'm not lying. In this moment, I would give this disgusting man my body willingly if it meant that I’d live through this nightmare. Survival is the only reward that could come from this.

"Shut up." He slaps me across the face, forcing my pleas to go silent, but the tears still slide from my eyes and into my ears. "Marcus, I want her on her knees!" he yells, and the door opens again.