Salt and Pepper


Salt, sugar and pepper shakers.
Image via Wikipedia

We were a team,

Rappin’ to each other,

We were real close,

Like he was my brother,

 

Each day we met up,

And wrote our poetry
down,

Cause that’s what
rappin’ is,

It makes the sweetest
sound,

 

Salt and Pepper were
our names,

Seemed to us they fit,

Close friends could always find,

The ways we could
benefit,

 

 We were together at parties,

Next to each other at
school,

Combined we were
unbeatable,

Salt and Pepper together
were cool,

 

But Pepper went
searching,

At a party last night,

Looking for his special
girl,

Got into a real nasty
fight,

 

And when the shooting
started,

I should have been at
his side,

I could have taken his
bullets,

Or at least pulled him
inside,

 

Now there’s no Pepper,

And the Salt don’t
quit,

Until the score is
evened,

And I get to the end of
it,

 

What kind of hard life,

Is destined for me,

Without Pepper around,

Where will I be?

 

Things aren’t going
right,

On this side of town,

I’ll stay out of the
shadows,

I’ll stand my ground,

 

But who’ll be there,

 At the next attack,

I have no friend,

To watch my back.

 

 

 

The Coin (Part 7)


Pain in acute myocardial infarction (front)
Image via Wikipedia

Derek stepped quickly
from the elevator in an attempt to elude Vanna but she took his elbow as if he
was a gentleman escorting a lady.  Vanna
smiled smugly at everyone as they passed. She knew all eyes were on them and
she wanted the whole office to know she was there.  Whispers and gossip filled the void as Derek
rushed onward.

He led her to his
office, closed the door behind her, and offered her a chair. “Do I know you
from somewhere?” he asked.  “You look
familiar.” 

“Don’t you think you
would remember if we had met?  We’ll have
time to discuss that later.  Right now
the clock is running and the thirty minutes I gave you is now down to twenty.”  Her gaze was unwavering and Derek felt chills
running up his spine.

He had to act
fast.  He didn’t even consider arguing
with her.  She sat there smugly as if she
held the perfect cards and deep inside he knew she wasn’t bluffing. But the terrifying
part was the understanding that she was backed by someone or something
powerful, someone who could crush him in an instant.  He needed more information.  He would ask about that later, if he dared.

 There weren’t many big offices that fit her
specifications.  The owner of the company
had the biggest office.  Derek, the CEO,
had the most impressive one.  Five large
offices belonged to other important executives, and one smaller office which
the owner’s son frequented.  Derek had
always considered the owner’s son to be an unnecessary appendage, someone who
got in the way and impeded progress.
Taking that office would mean war with the owner, but what else could
Derek do?

Derek led Vanna to that
small office, hoping to appease her.  “I’ll
have his things moved right away so you can move in.”

She took a quick glance
around the room.  “No, this room doesn’t
satisfy my needs.  I’ll tell you when I
see the one I want.”

Derek was
flustered.  Vanna was being uncooperative.  He would have liked to send her away. He didn’t
want to be forced to do things but he had no choice. Something was making him
do whatever she asked.

Derek and Vanna went from
office to office, interrupting private conversations and meetings.  He knew this was not how to run a business
but at this moment everything was out of his control.

 Beads of perspiration were on his forehead and
Derek dabbed at them with a monogrammed handkerchief.  All the rushing about and she had not claimed
an office. He seemed puzzled at her silence and her reluctance to choose.

 “Okay, now what?  You’ve seen them all.”

“There’s one more you
haven’t shown me.” Vanna had that intense look again.

“But that office is
mine,” Derek sputtered.  “You can’t have
that one.”

Vanna smiled sweetly
and said, “I only wanted to see it for comparison purposes.  Now that you told me I can’t have it, I’ve
changed my mind.  It’s a woman’s
prerogative.”

Reluctantly he led her
down the hall, past the receptionist’s desk and through the doors with the large
gold initials, D. G.  He walked around a
large desk and sat down ceremoniously.
Seeing him seated in a position of power might calm her down. He leaned
back in his chair and braced himself.  “Who
are you and what do you really want?” he snapped.

“Don’t you recognize me,
Derek? We spent hours together.  You
tortured me endlessly and gave me no mercy.  Didn’t you think I would find you?  Or did you even care? You thought I was
disposable.  Easy to get rid of.  I’m not going to be a victim any longer.  It’s your turn now.”

Derek had a wild look
in his eyes. The veins on his forehead bulged.  His hands were opening and closing as he
stared at her throat.  Perhaps he could
have made one quick move and his tormentor, Vanna, would be lying in a heap.
Instead, his face violently contorted and his hands clutched his chest.

Derek pitched face
forward and fell at Vanna’s feet. “Help me,” he pleaded. “I’m  having a heart attack.”

Vanna went around his
desk and sat in his chair.  She looked
out at the city below.  “I would have
enjoyed this view every day. It’s a pity it was wasted on you.”

She sat there a few
seconds before she got up. She hesitated next to Derek, just in time to hear
him gasp, “Please help me.”  Vanna
stooped down and whispered, “Revenge is sweet.
You were just the first.  There
are three of your friends I still have to see.”

As she entered the
elevator someone yelled, “Call 911!  Mr.
Goodman had a heart attack!”  By the time
she got to the ground floor the building was alive with people running in all
directions.  She tried to look concerned
as she waited for the next bus. 

At precisely at 12:05,
the next bus pulled in.  “I’m sorry,
folks,” the driver said slowly, “I had to wait for all the emergency vehicles
to clear the area.  I guess somebody
important died.” 

He seemed impatient to
make up lost time. Then he noticed Vanna, waiting on the steps, blocking the
line of people. “What do you want, Miss?”

“Does this bus go by
the Superior Court?” she asked sweetly.

(To be continued)

The Coin (Part 6)


Calderilla coin
Image via Wikipedia

Life
takes us in directions,

We
don’t wish to go,

Yet
that is how we gain experience,

That
is how we grow,

We
learn to survive hard times,

How
to accept a loss,

Then
we learn to face the wind,

Though
around us waves toss.

Vanna woke with a start.  What time was it?  What about her job?  Then all the memories rushed in.  There was no time for self pity.  She had to start looking for a job.  Where would she go? Jobs were scarce now that
the economy was floundering.  Did she
even have a chance to find one that she liked?
She lay back against the pillow and her confidence returned.  She would go out and see what she could find.

Vanna dressed quickly but primped to look
her best. For the first time in months she would wear earrings. She selected a
pair and put them on. She patted the coin and murmured “thank you”.  If she only had one chance she wanted it to
be a good one.

She turned from the vanity and remembered, “I
have to have the coin.” She needed the coin.
It made her feel good.  It also
seemed to affect those who were around her.  Where would she keep the coin all day?  She didn’t have pockets in this dress.  Her purse?
What if it got snatched or she left it unattended just for a few
minutes?  She didn’t dare lose it or let
it be taken from her.  She finally
decided to put it inside her bra where it would be close to her heart.  Vanna smiled.  She knew the coin’s vibrations would remind
her all day long that its power would be there if she needed it.

On her way downtown the bus ride was
uneventful.  When the bus stopped at one
of the tallest buildings the coin vibrated and Vanna stepped outside.  She looked up and stared in awe at the impressive
and intimidating building.  Already a steady
stream of suited men and neatly dressed women were entering through the
revolving doors.

Ready
to flee rather than enter, Vanna took several deep breaths.  The coin began pulsating and her courage
returned.  She pushed her way through the
doors and walked directly across the room to a directory on the wall.  She studied it carefully trying to decide
what to do next. “Full speed ahead.  Why
are you hesitating?”  She was shocked by
her own thoughts.  She had never been this
bold around those she called the big shots.

A voice startled her.  “Could I help you, young lady?”  A well dressed man in a pin striped suit
approached.  He had a kind face but there
was something vaguely familiar about his mannerisms.

The coin was vibrating and Vanna took that
as a signal that she must react. “Yes, Sir,” she answered.  “I’m on my way to the top.  I want a job where I can see the city.”

He smiled and offered his hand.  “I’m Derek.
I’m on my way to the top floor now.
I’ll be glad to escort you, Miss….?
His voice trailed off as if waiting for her to offer her name.  There was no action from the coin so Vanna
only said, “Thanks. That would be kind of you.”

She felt isolated in this world with only
the coin for protection, and yet, the coin was enough.  A sharp tingle jolted her breast as the coin
began to hum.  The elevator climbed
steadily up.  It did not stop even as
others waited and punched the button for the top floor.  Vanna felt a sudden chill and she could
picture Derek undressing in a dark room.
No, not a dark room.  A dungeon!  Her fury rose within while outside she
remained calm and cool.

Her self-esteem should have been low, but she
surprised herself when she turned and said, “Derek, just what kind of job are
you going to find for me?  I don’t want a
small office.  I want a large office next
to the windows.  I told you I wanted to
see the city and that’s what I expect.”

Derek’s jaw dropped.  This lady was not intimidated by him.  There was a glow in her eyes that scared
him.  He thought he could hear a slight
hum but then again he could have been mistaken.
His knees felt weak and his heart pounded.  “You’re kidding, right?”

Vanna stared at him without blinking.  “Derek, you’ve always stepped on those that
are vulnerable and innocent.  In your
path you’ve left a trail of victims.  You’re
heartless and don’t care about people.  I’ll
give you a chance.  In thirty minutes I
want my requests arranged.  Do you have
any questions?”

Right in front of him this beautiful young
woman had changed into someone he didn’t like. He had been a football star, an
Army Ranger, and a mercenary in several small wars. He could always be counted
on to confront and rout the enemy.  He
had faced fabled lawyers and won, bullied his way up as he raced to the top of
the financial world.  Now he found a
small woman making a bold demand and he could not speak.  For the first time in his life Derek felt
fear.

(To be continued)

 

Just Call Me Number Five


Capt. Kate Gowel, bottom row, left, poses for ...
Image via Wikipedia

If I didn’t
have siblings,

I wonder how life would be,

What names
would Mom,

Have called
me?

 

She seemed
to forget,

Which name did
I get?

Was I older
or younger,

It didn’t
matter, her ways were set,

 

It became an
endless game,

When she
couldn’t remember my name,

What meaning
did I derive?

Mom, just
call me number five,

 

Sandwiched
in between,

I was hardly
ever seen,

Six siblings
that did everything right,

So of course
I had to fight,

 

Whatever
your name is, come here,

You shouldn’t have been scrapping there,

Like a bee
from a busy hive,

Mom, just
call me number five,

 

Throughout
life I fought for fame,

Tried to get
people to remember my name,

But to the
inner circle of family and friends,

I was, you
know, that one, the one that grins,

 

Six great
siblings all with names,

Always around
for credit or blame,

Each of them
worthy to note with pride,

Their names
all shining, none to hide,

 

So if you
ask me I’d say I was special,

Probably one
of the luckiest men alive,

If you can’t
remember my name,

Just call
me, you know, number five.

 

 

 

Why I’m Telling You Goodbye


After Tonight
Image via Wikipedia

Your eyes
are focused on me,

I think
you’re waiting for me to say,

“I missed
you tonight,”

But you went
out when I asked you to stay,

Telling me I
would be there any old day,

 

My heart is
ready and eager to give in,

But my world
is already way out of whack,

I won’t cede
to your crazy whim,

Neither will
I argue and go off track,

I think my
pride will hold me back,

 

You made a
choice to seek him out,

Yes, I
missed you tonight,

But you
won’t hear my voice give doubt,

I’m not sure
if it’s wrong or right,

I’d much
rather be holding you tight,

 

But you
chose him and not me,

Oh, how I
wanted you tonight,

Yet I can
see how it’s got to be,

My heart is
breaking but I won’t fight,

I’ve got to
be somewhere out of your sight,

 

I’m not
willing to let you watch me cry,

For the last
time you left me high and dry,

Oh, how I
needed you tonight,

But a man
shouldn’t break down and cry,

That’s why
I’m telling you goodbye.”

 

 

 

The Coin (Part 5)


Calderilla coin
Image via Wikipedia

All
that had been inflicted would be repaid to each one of the men, including
Reggie. She had survived and now she must deal with her world.  She had no job, no money, and no future.  She was starting with nothing but she walked
with her head high. Having the coin filled her with confidence.

As Vanna rode the city bus home, she worried
all the way.  “What will George say?  Will he even listen to me?  Can we still be friends?  Can I tell him what happened? Will he snap
and go off the deep end?  Will he want to
kill me or Reggie?  Should I avoid George
and just run away?  Maybe I dreamed all
of this.  Maybe none of this happened at
all.”

While she worried and reasoned,
inadvertently she reached into her pocket and touched the coin for
reassurance.  It was still there but this
time it did not feel cold and metallic. The coin was warm and vibrating.
Passengers on the bus stirred from their normal isolated lethargy.  As if on command they turned in unison and
smiled at her.  Their smiles turned to
concern.  “You poor dear,” one woman
said, “Did someone hurt you?”  Others
joined in with their concerns.  Then one
of the men said quietly, “Tell us who hurt you and we will take care of them.”

Vanna squeezed the coin.  The passengers turned back around, the
incident forgotten for the moment.  Vanna
was shocked by their response. There was more to this coin than she had thought
possible. Her mind raced as she wrote down ways she could test the coin’s power
and capabilities.  She would have to be
very careful not to let others know the coin even existed.

Preoccupied with thoughts of the coin, Vanna
stepped from the bus and walked towards her apartment. Oblivious to the world
she crossed the intersection.  Drivers
from both directions stopped, waiting patiently as if she were royalty.  Then traffic resumed as if nothing had
happened.

George had slipped messages under her door,
taped messages to her door and left messages on her phone.  They were overwhelming. She didn’t want to
read them or respond. Vanna just needed rest and time to think.  The answering machine clicked on and George’s
voice said, “I miss you. I’m worried about you and you know I love you.  Where have you been?”

There was nothing she wanted to say to him
right now.  Any kind of conversation
could go on and on. She would have to face him sometime, but not now, not
today, and maybe not even tomorrow.  She
cared about George.  Anything she said
would hurt him deeply and that would break her heart.  How could he understand if she didn’t
understand everything either?

She locked her door, unplugged
her phone, swallowed several sleeping pills, took a long hot shower and scrubbed
until her skin was raw, then fell into bed.
She would ignore George and the world for awhile.  Tomorrow would be a new day.

Vanna’s dreams were not pleasant.  Shapes and voices were everywhere, telling
her what to do, making her apologize for not cooperating, for not being eager
to try new things.  She awoke, drenched
with perspiration.  She lay there wide
awake staring at the ceiling.  But even
there she saw shadows and thought they might be moving.

Afraid of her dreams she decided to look at
the coin again. When she touched it on the bus it had been so soothing. Perhaps
it would comfort her a little.

She had placed the coin on her dresser in a
small box with her earrings,  earrings without
matches she had found while working, on the street, and even at church.  Without a matching earring it would be
ridiculous to wear any of them.  Yet she
couldn’t throw them away. They were just to remind her that someday when she
had money she would find their mates.

The coin was difficult to find because the
box was crowded with earrings.  Confused
by this turn of events she flicked on the light switch.  There were more earrings than she remembered.
“Impossible,” she murmured. She stared blankly for a moment before the truth
hit her.  All the earrings were matched
and organized!

Another thought.  “Was the coin still there?” To her relief the
coin was there, almost covered by the extra earrings.  Vanna gingerly removed it from the box and
held it in the light. Vibrating gently the coin warmed her hand, her arm, and
slowly warmed her.  It was almost singing
to her.  “Strange,” she whispered.  Remembering she was tired, Vanna lay back on
the bed, calm and content for the moment.
She placed the coin under her pillow and fell into a deep, restful
sleep.

(To
be continued)

 

The
Coin  (Part 6)

“Why, oh Why, Am I in the Who’s Who”?


Anaxagoras, presocratic philosopher.
Image via Wikipedia

I breathe, I
sleep, I eat, I find ways to exist,

The world
has too many good things to list,

I see the
rich running at a frantic pace,

How can they
enjoy the world they face,

I get questions from those in the know,

As I travel
my path going to and fro,

“Why are you
here, from where did you come?”

“What does
it matter if I follow my own drum?”

Whatever I
asked for, (You might think this is funny),

There was
nothing to be shared in this land of milk and honey,

I didn’t
have a roof over my head,

“You can’t
sleep here, hit the road instead,”

So off I
walked from town to town,

Nowhere was
I allowed to rest and stick around,

“You’re
looking good, you’re so thin,

Tell us your
secrets you keep within,

We’ve tried everything
, the latest fad,”

I said, “Don’t
eat sometimes,” and they went away sad,

When the
world told me what to do,

I didn’t
listen because I was just passing through,

When their
sails puffed up with pompous air,

Should the rudder
listen or should it care?

The same
flowers are there for all to see,

Can that
beauty be kept from you and me?

And the
wonder of the glorious sky,

Is there for
all who have an appreciative eye,

All my needs
each day are met,

Can’t you
see the humor yet?

All the tech
and all the toys, all the cutting edge,

The gossip,
the drama, the rich person’s wedge,

I was thrown
in jail for having no visible support,

My space was
limited with no place to cavort,

A committee
was formed, my case to review,

“I know,”
said one, “Let’s list him in “Who’s Who”,

He’s a
philosopher, a poet, a religious freak,

A traveler,
a health nut, his experiences we’ll tweak,

He’ll be a
hero to the downtrodden throughout the land,

But even
better he’ll be off our hands,”

A penniless
traveler will be on the marquee,

A bum that’s
footloose and fancy free,

Rubbing
shoulders with the filthy rich,

What a
hoot!, The thought makes me itch,

The wealth
of the world is the beauty I see,

And the
earth shares it with the “Who’s Who”, and me.

 

 

 

The Coin (Part 4)


Calderilla coin
Image via Wikipedia

Instead of gaining freedom Vanna merely
advanced to the next stage of their pleasure. One of the men placed an iron
collar around her neck.  A long chain was attached before she was released from
the stocks.

She was prodded towards a smaller room. Twice
she slowed but electricity jolted her to a faster pace. The room was even
darker than the dungeon. At first she could see nothing, but as her eyes adjusted
to the darkness she noticed floodlights.
They were suspended from the ceiling and focused on a bed in the middle
of the room.

Vanna heard a familiar voice. Reggie was
back. He said nothing to her but he was carrying the coin again.  Slowly he carressed the coin and the pain
inflicted by torture began to disappear. Warmth raced through her limbs and her
body once again responded to his thoughts.

Reggie made a slight wave and floodlights
splashed across the bed. A cameraman sat on a platform behind two cameras
waiting for a signal. “Action, please,” Reggie said loudly and nodded to the
waiting men. They took her, one by one, exploring and dominating her.

There was a thirty minute break and then they
were at her two at a time. For the finish all three were there, using her and
enjoying all she had to offer.

During that time there were voices and
laughter and shadowy shapes that appeared and disappeared.  But Vanna was beyond all reasoning and beyond
any experiences she had ever had.  She
could not push away nor did she want to.
While Reggie held the coin she had no choice but to submit and enjoy.
Wave after wave of passion swept over her as she made love again and again. Within
each moment she found pleasure.

She awoke to find herself alone, exhausted,
and filled with sadness.  In the back of
her mind were dim memories of a world that had changed overnight.  She began sobbing uncontrollably. Her plans
to use him had failed miserably.  She had
been used instead.

Stumbling around she found her way back to
his office without encountering anyone.
Her clothes were scattered about just as she had left them.  Hastily she slipped them on. She wanted to
slip away, take a shower, drink some tea, and think.  She was disoriented and confused.

Worse yet, she had little knowledge about
last night.  She only had vague
recollections about the music, the liquid, Reggie, and the three men.  She was terribly disgraced.  There was nothing she could do to change
anything. What words could she say when there was nothing left but pain? How
could she stay when there was nothing left to gain?  For her, life’s meaning was slowly slipping
down the drain.

She took one last look around the room. A
small gleam from Reggie’s desk caught her eye.
She moved towards it.  A coin! He
had left a coin on his desk.  She quickly
put it into her pocket and headed out the door.

A woman stopped her before she got very far.
Sternly she said, “It’s time you left.
There’s nothing here for you.
Life will go on after you’re gone.”

“What about my job?” Vanna wailed.  “Where is he?”

For the first time Vanna realized how
desperate she sounded.  She dug into her
pockets searching for a tissue.  Her
fingers touched the coin.

The woman’s demeanor was immediately
different and her tone of voice softened.
“I’m sorry, Miss. He’s gone.  Last
night several people packed up everything and left.  When I came in this morning everything was
gone except for you.  You must have had
one fine time last night.”

Vanna was stunned by what she heard.  Everything had happened so quickly.  She could remember little of last night, except
for shapes and voices.  But as her
fingers played with the coin her memory began to clear.  This coin had kept her under a spell.  It had power to make her do things she didn’t
want to do.

With growing excitement it finally dawned on
her. She had the coin! He could not control her if she had the coin. At first
that was all that mattered to her.  She
was free!

Spinning In An Orbit


Betelgeuse is a red supergiant, one of the lar...
Image via Wikipedia

You’d think
I had forgotten,

Those nights
we were alone,

When stars
above shone brighter,

Like diamonds
on a queen’s throne,

 

The crisp
cold air kept you there,

Snuggled against
my chest,

And all the
while I studied the stars,

I denied
what my heart confessed,

 

Those
faraway stars were icy cold,

And your
love I refused to claim,

Then you
were gone and I was alone,

With only
myself to blame,

 

Not even
those magic moments,

From memory
will I let go,

Too late I claimed
my love for you,

Myself I did
not know,

 

You’d think I
would not remember,

Those kisses
that seared my lips,

But once
tasted and you draw near,

My heart
still stops and flips,

 

The years
have crept along time’s highway,

My feelings
are hard to hide,

If I had a
chance to do life again,

I’d have you
by my side,

 

For all this
time I loved only you,

Drifting
light years farther apart,

And yet I
stayed close by spinning,

In an orbit
around your heart.

 

The Coin (Part 3)


Calderilla coin
Image via Wikipedia

After work she was greeted by lightning and
thunder.  The heavens opened and rain
poured down.  Vanna dashed to her car but
she was immediately soaked.  As soon as
she arrived home she peeled off her
clothes and showered.  While she
sipped her tea she thought, “I never would have guessed it.  Storms are so unpredictable.”

The
following morning her work day was lighter.
There had been no parties so she began dusting and vacuuming.  She went in and out of his study several
times wanting to see his reaction.  He
was holding a coin again, rubbing it, talking to it, and then looking at her. His
gaze became more intense. Oddly her temperature rose as he watched.  It disturbed her at first to discover she was
aroused and moist.  She stayed out of
sight for awhile, afraid not for what he might do but afraid of what she might
do.

When she returned Reggie was still holding
the coin.  His gloves were off and he was
rubbing the coin slowly.  He looked up
and she was immediately mesmerized.
Reggie turned on some music.  It
was primitive and unexciting at first but Vanna found herself listening
closely.  It drew her in, her feet
sliding gracefully in time with the beat.

Reggie began rubbing the coin more
vigorously.  The pace quickened yet she
danced on, not able to quit or falter.  Her eyes closed and she was in a dream, her
dream, the one she had the previous night.
Now she danced solely for him, twisting, writhing, spinning.

He sat there smiling, waiting, and knowing.  There was more to this dance and he continued
holding the coin, his very thoughts becoming her moves. He rubbed the coin once
more and wet his lips in anticipation. She looked at him blankly then smiled
and nodded. She began dancing slowly, suggestively, moving closer and closer to
him. With each spin she took off clothing until she stood bare and
glistening.

He rose and beckoned. She followed
obediently and was led into a nearby room.
He gave her a vial of liquid which she drank slowly.  Circles of color bounced about the room and
her skin tingled with electricity.  Her
dream was getting stranger by the minute. Now she was having an out of body
experience. Vanna could feel herself floating as Reggie led her down a long
flight of stairs.  How could she protest
when she wasn’t even in her body?

They stopped before a massive door.  He pulled it open and they entered a large
room lighted only by candles.  “A
dungeon,” she thought. “Why are we here?
Aren’t dungeons for torture?”

She was led to a wooden structure. She was
told to put her hands and her head on the beam. Her life was not her own and
she still had no thought of resisting.  A
wooden bar swung down, locking her neck and wrists in place.

Three men stepped out of the shadows.  “What do you think, gentlemen?” he said
loudly.  “What are you willing to pay for
this fine lady?”  Reggie stood before her
holding a paddle.  He circled behind
her  and swatted her buttocks with a
resounding whack.  Vanna howled with
pain.

Her senses were returning and she screamed a
protest.  “Don’t do that! Let me go or
I’ll report you to the authorities!”

“See what I mean, gentlemen?” Reggie
purred.  “Somebody will have to tame
her.”  He hesitated and then said,
“Unless all three of you want to do the job.
Of course, that’ll be extra. Divide the cost between you.  Pay for two, get one free.” Reggie chuckled
at his own sales pitch.

The three men looked at each other and
nodded.  “Of course,” Reggie said,
“payment comes first and the lady must remain alive.  Other than that, she’s all yours.”

Vanna struggled at first as she dealt with
one humiliation after another.  Each time
she protested other devices were added that stretched, pulled, or penetrated.  In this dungeon there was no mercy. The three
men were devious in their methods. For awhile she protested and threatened as
she endured the atrocities. Then she realized it was pointless to complain or
object. Those tactics worked against her.

At
some point she began aiding her tormentors because they treated her better when
she was compliant. She progressed from one stage to another. Gradually she learned
to beg for pain, beg for new experiences, beg to be degraded. When they stopped
torturing her she rested and waited, thinking she might be released or that she
could find a way to escape.

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