Janice's desk phone rang. By the pattern of the warbling tone she could tell it was an outside line. "Evening Herald, Janice Long speaking."
"Miss Long, my name is Carol Winston. I'm Samuel Bidwell's secretary. Mr. Bidwell is very unhappy about your story in today's paper. And he wants to remind you that this is 1983, not 1883. The days when a newspaper could libel people with impunity are long past."
"Libel? Everything I wrote was true, and he knows it. And if he's unhappy now wait till he reads the next installment. He committed the biggest fraud this city has ever seen, and when I'm through with him everyone will know it."
"That's very unfair, Miss Long. Everything he did was legal and proper, and besides Mr. Bidwell has been retired for over five years. Why do you want to rake up the past?"
"Because the statute of limitations runs out in a few months and I don't want Bidwell to slip through the net. I don't like scum, even retired scum."
"But you haven't heard Mr. Bidwell's side of the story! Why can't you reserve judgement until you see the entire picture?"
"I tried to get his side, but I didn't even get a 'no comment'. Bidwell's known as a recluse for good reason. As far as I know he hasn't talked to anybody in the last five years."
"He's not a recluse, he just lives a private life. Anyway, he's willing to talk to you today. Can you meet him in his apartment at five thirty?"
"His apartment? How about my office, here in the Herald building?"
"Mr. Bidwell doesn't like to go out. His apartment, take it or leave it."
Janice paused for thought. It would be a scoop to get an interview with the reclusive Bidwell, and she knew her editor would like it. "All right Carol, I'll meet him at his apartment. What's the address?"
"417 East 24th Street. That's just north of downtown."
"I know where it is. What's the apartment number?"
"It's the penthouse. Just ask the doorman for directions. Goodbye, Miss Long. We'll see you at five thirty."
"Bye." Janice checked her watch. Not a lot of time to spare. She walked across the reporters' bullpen to the city editor's office and knocked on the open door. "I got something hot, Carl."
"Sam Bidwell's secretary called. Bidwell wants to talk to me, today at five thirty. He's not happy with my story."
"I'm not completely happy with it myself. You really sure of the facts?"
"Of course! I gave you the Xeroxes of the financial records that document how Bidwell defrauded the city."
"I'd really like to see the originals. And I'd like to talk to your source."
Janice shook her head. "He won't talk to you. He promised to testify if Bidwell is prosecuted, but he'll only talk to me until then. He has too much to lose if Bidwell is free to come at him."
"OK, I trust you, Janice. Go get Bidwell's side of the story. If he files a libel suit it will help us if we talked to him. And remember, all I have now is just your copy for tomorrow's paper. When are you going to give me the rest of the story?"
"Soon, Carl. I may have to revise it if Bidwell gives me something good. Gotta run. See you tomorrow." Janice scurried to her desk, put the cover on her typewriter, and took her purse out of a desk drawer. Then she ran downstairs and caught a cab.
Janice got out of the cab across the street from Bidwell's building and looked it over while she was waiting for the traffic light to change. Built in the early 1930s in the then popular Art Deco style, the building's limestone facade and eighteen-story height were now overwhelmed by the modern glass and steel skyscrapers flanking it on all sides. The building occupied the corner of 24th Street and 4th Avenue, and was very small. The long side, along 24th, was less than a hundred feet long, and the short side was no more than thirty feet wide. A narrow alley parallel to 24th separated the building from the skyscraper next door, but the short side away from the corner was up against the neighboring building. Janice wondered why the old structure hadn't been demolished and the site incorporated into the adjacent property.
Most of the building's ground floor was occupied by a bookstore, but there was a small lobby at the end away from the corner. A sign on the door read, 'Apartments available. Inquire within'. The vacancies confirmed Janice's impression of a building overdue for renovation, or demolition. The 'relic of the past' theme carried over into the lobby. It wasn't exactly shabby, but it was clearly dated, with a white tile floor and a limestone wall decorated with Art Deco bas-relief carvings. Three elevators were centered against the outside wall to the left of the door, with a stairwell beyond them.
A portly middle-aged man in a light blue security guard uniform sat behind a desk near the door. "Can I help you, Miss?" he asked.
"Yes, I have an appointment with Mr. Bidwell. My name is Janice Long."
The guard picked up a clipboard and ran his finger down the list it held. "Yes, here it is. May I see some identification, please?"
With some difficulty, Janice extracted her wallet from her voluminous purse and rummaged through it until she found her driver's license. The guard inspected it carefully and handed it back. "Thank you, Miss Long. Use the elevator on the far end. Push the 'P1' button."
He pressed a switch under the desktop and the elevator door opened. Janice got in the elevator and inspected the control panel. There were only three buttons, labeled, from top to bottom, P1, P2, and L. She pressed 'P1' and the door closed and the elevator began a slow ascent. Janice assumed that Bidwell would also want to see some identification, so she slipped her license into the pocket of her dress instead of putting it back in her wallet. Finally the elevator stopped and the door opened. Janice stepped into a narrow but tastefully decorated foyer. The carpet was thick and plush. A wide wooden door centered in the wall opposite the elevators was flanked on the left by a small table holding a vase of roses.
On the other side of the door was a mirror, and Janice checked her appearance. Janice was thirty one, but her profession had caused her face to take on a cynical cast that made her look older. To counteract this she dressed in a youthful style. Today she was wearing a simple beige dress, not much different than what she wore when she was a college student. Her dark-brown hair was in a soft, shoulder-length bob. Her plain brown shoes had low heels. Satisfied that she didn't look like the hardened reporter she was, she rang the doorbell.
The door was opened by a very pretty woman with short blonde hair. She was about the same age and the same size as Janice, except for her larger breasts, and she was wearing a gray skirt, a white blouse, and black high heels. "You must be Janice Long. I'm Carol Winston. Mr. Bidwell is expecting you. Please come in."
Janice entered and Carol closed the door. Janice said, "I wondered why a supposedly retired man needed a 'secretary', but seeing you in person explains that". Janice didn't say ''whore" out loud, but her manner clearly implied it. Carol flushed with anger, but suppressed any comment.
The front door opened onto a comfortably furnished living room. In the wall opposite the front door an arched opening to the right led to a a dining room, and a door in the center connected to a hallway. Carol said, "Please follow me," and entered the hall. She stopped in front of a closed door to the left and knocked, then opened it and motioned to Janice. "Please enter, Miss Long."
A tall, fit man in his late forties was seated behind a desk in a room equipped as an office. He stood as Janice entered. "Pleased to meet you, Miss Long. I'm Sam Bidwell."
"Yeah, I recognize you. You haven't changed much in the last five years. I'm surprised somebody as rich as you would live in this old dump. I expected you to have a mansion someplace."
"The building is old, but it's solid. I actually own it, although one of my corporations is the owner of record. I have the top two floors, and that's all the space I need. I'm a man of simple tastes."
"Were all of your financial transactions as crooked as your deal with the city?"
Bidwell smiled. "Already on the offensive, Miss Long? OK, so much for small talk, down to business. Carol has something to show you."
Janice turned to Carol, who had moved up behind her. She just had time to see the brass knuckles on Carol's right fist before it hit her in her stomach. She folded up like a wet paper doll and collapsed, hitting the floor with a thump. As she lay there, struggling to breathe, Bidwell pulled her hands behind her back and locked handcuffs tightly on her wrists. Carol locked leg irons on her ankles while Bidwell took a black ball gag from a desk drawer. He tossed it to Carol, who jammed it into Janice's mouth and tightly buckled the strap.
Bidwell said, "I'm not gagging you because somebody might hear you scream, Jan. I just find futile threats and pleas for mercy tiresome. You'll have an opportunity to talk soon enough." He picked up Janice and steadied her as she tried to recover enough to stand. "I'll take Jan to the cave, Carol. You take care of that other matter. Join me as soon as you can."
Bidwell took Janice's upper arm in a painful grip and hustled her down the hall and across the living room. He paused to inspect a small TV monitor that showed a view of the foyer, and then opened the door and left the apartment, carefully closing the door behind him. Janice was starting to recover from the physical and mental shock of the surprise blow. Bidwell wasn't watching her closely, so as they waited for the elevator she took her driver's license out of the pocket of her dress, dropped it on the floor, and used her foot to push it into the gap next to the elevator door. I don't know what good that'll do, she thought, but I've got to do everything I can if I hope to get out of this mess.
When the elevator door opened Bidwell shoved Janice inside and turned to the control panel. Janice tried to see which button he pressed, but Bidwell's body blocked her view. The door closed and the elevator started to descend.
The elevator stopped and the door opened. Bidwell propelled Janice into a foyer, the same size as the one by Bidwell's apartment but empty of any furniture and with a bare concrete floor. He took a key from his pocket, opened the door opposite the elevators, and dragged Janice inside. The room was windowless and the walls were painted black. The only illumination was provided by a circular florescent light protected by a wire grill. The room didn't have any conventional furniture, but it wasn't empty. Janice didn't know what all of the equipment was for, but she recognized the pillory and the rack. Oh, shit! Bidwell is into pain in a big way. I may not be able to talk my way out of this.
A steel cable ran from a winch mounted on a wall through a pulley attached to the ceiling, and the cable end dangled near the center of the room. Bidwell unlocked a steel cabinet and removed a shiny choke-chain dog leash. He looped the leash around Janice's neck and clipped the free end to the hook on the end of the steel cable. Then he cranked the winch until Janice had to stand on her toes to keep from strangling.
Bidwell removed the handcuffs. "Take your clothes off, Jan. And do hurry, or I'll hoist you off the floor and take them off your body."
Janice did hurry. She unzipped her dress and shrugged it off her shoulders. She unfastened her bra and let it drop. She pushed her panties down her hips as far as she could reach, but she couldn't get them off. Frantically, she tried to explain that she was trying her best, but the gag garbled her words.
Bidwell understood her anyway. "That's OK, Jan. I'll take care of the rest." He unlocked the leg irons, removed Janice's panties, shoes, and nylons, and untangled everything from her feet. Bidwell reattached the leg irons and handcuffed her wrists behind her back again. Then he slacked off the cable so Janice's feet were flat on the floor, much to her relief. He picked up the shoes and smoothed out the dress and folded it over his arm. "This is what I want. Don't go away, I'll be back in a few minutes." He went back into the foyer, closing and locking the door behind him.
Janice was still off-balance. She could not really believe what had happened, it was totally outside her experience. What could Bidwell want, and how did he think he could get away with this outrage? But Carol's attack was obviously planned in advance, and this room with its sinister equipment was certainly acquired before Bidwell even knew she existed. Fear started crowding out Janice's anger as she thought about all of the ominous portents.
It wasn't long before Bidwell returned. He removed Janice's gag. "Now we can talk. I have some questions for you, and I'm sure you have some questions for me."
As soon as Janice could make her jaw work she exclaimed, "You can't get away with this! People know I was visiting you. The police will be here looking for me."
"I'm expecting them. I'll tell them that you left after about half an hour and I have no idea where you went, and when they look at the tape from the camera in the lobby they'll see you leaving. Carol looks a lot like you if she's wearing your clothes and a brown wig, especially in a grainy black-and-white video. She just had to wait until the guard left the lobby to use the can, and presto, proof that you left here unharmed."
"They'll search your apartment! They'll find all this!"
"This isn't my apartment. And even if the police suspected something they'd never find this place."
Janice was very frightened now. If she disappeared Bidwell would be the obvious suspect, but what he said, and the way he said it, made it clear that he thought he could get away with it. Time to negotiate. "All right. What do you want from me?"
"I want to know where you got your information, and how much you have that hasn't been in the paper yet. Those numbers you published could have come from several sources, and I want to know which one is leaking so I can plug it."
"And if I tell you will you let me go?"
Bidwell laughed. "Of course not. You're not stupid, Jan. You know I can't let you go."
"Then you're going to kill me."
"Kill you? Absolutely not, that would be a waste. You'll just become one of my guests." Bidwell unclipped the leash from the cable and gave it a tug. "Come along, Jan. Showing you will be easier than telling you." He pulled Janice towards a door opposite the front door. "I'll introduce you to your new companions."
The door opened onto a short hallway with two closed doors to the left and another closed door at its end. Janice now realized that 'the cave' was just another apartment, with a layout identical to the one Bidwell lived in. The doors weren't the same, though. They were metal-covered, with a small window made of wired glass, like the doors in a mental hospital. Instead of a lock with a key the doors each had push-button combination locks. Bidwell looked through the window of the first door, then unlocked and opened it. "Step inside, Jan, and I'll introduce you."
A naked woman was lying on a thin pad in the center of the room. When the woman heard the door open she quickly knelt and put her forehead on the floor. Janice gasped when she saw the swollen red welts that crisscrossed the woman's back and bottom.
"Jan, this is Joyce. She's my ex-wife. When we divorced I offered her a fair settlement, but she wanted half of my business, a business I built without any help from her. When she and her greedy lawyers threatened me I was forced to adopt this alternative arrangement. Joyce was on a cruise in the Bahamas when she apparently fell overboard. Perhaps you remember the incident. It happened about six years ago, and made quite a splash at the time, if you'll pardon the pun. This should also reassure you, Jan. It would have been easier and cheaper for me to have actually pushed Joyce overboard. If I didn't kill her I'm unlikely to kill you."
Bidwell commanded, "Stand up Joyce. I want you to meet Jan. She's a new member of your sisterhood."
Joyce was thin, with sagging breasts and unkempt gray hair, and looked ten years older than her actual age of 41. Thick steel cuffs on her wrists and ankles were connected by short heavy chains, and another chain linked the centers of these chains to a ring on a wide steel collar around Joyce's neck, so when she was standing her hands were held at her waist. Another chain from her collar was bolted to the floor, and it was just long enough to let her stand up. Her eyes were dull and her face was slack, with no expression.
"Say hello to Jan, Joyce."
Janice was shocked. "What have you done to her?" she cried. "She's like a zombie."
"On the contrary. Joyce is quite spirited, and is constantly testing me. You saw the marks left from our last confrontation. That chastened her a bit, but in a few days she'll be her old self again."
"And this poor woman has been your prisoner for six years? And you constantly torture her? I'd rather be dead than live like that."
"You say that now, Jan, but in my experience the will to live is quite strong. Hope never dies, and you do have a chance of being rescued, slim as it may be. There may indeed be times when you might wish you were dead, but I'll be careful to only stretch your limits, not smash them. I want to play with my toys, not break them." He jerked on the leash. "Let's go now and meet my other guest, and then you can answer my questions."
Bidwell led Janice out of the room and, after carefully checking that the door was locked, down the hall to the door at the end. He again looked though the window before punching in the combination that unlocked the door. He pulled Janice inside. As before, there was a naked woman lying on a pad, and when she heard the door opening she too knelt and put her forehead on the floor. This women had a few red stripes across her bottom, but no swollen welts.
"This is Penny, Jan. Stand up, Penny." Penny was young and petite, with long red hair, an innocent, freckled face, and small firm breasts. She also wore heavy cuffs connected by thick chains on her wrists and ankles, but there was no connecting chain linking them. She too wore a heavy steel collar that was chained to the floor. "Say hello to Jan, Penny."
"Where did you get her, Bidwell? At a junior high school?"
Bidwell laughed, "No, but she does look young, doesn't she? That was an asset in her previous line of work. How old are you really, Penny?"
"Twenty one, Master."
"What do you mean, her previous line of work?
"Penny was the bait in the old Badger Game. She tried it on me in Las Vegas about three years ago."
Janice laughed. "You're joking. Playing the Badger Game in Vegas? Who'd fall for that?"
"Penny had a variation. You see how young she looks. She had a fake birth certificate that said she was fifteen. Her accomplice, who pretended to be her enraged father, threatened to have me jailed for statutory rape unless I paid up. Naturally, I pretended to go along with it until I could make certain arrangements. Then the con man quit the business permanently and Penny joined me here. She has adapted quite well. Now she's the one I trust to do the cooking and the other chores involved with tending my pets. She is also authorized to administer discipline if you give her any trouble, so don't piss her off." Bidwell unlocked the padlock that connected Penny's collar to the floor chain. "Time to get dinner ready, Penny. There'll be three of you from now on."
"Yes, Master." Penny bowed and left the room.
"Now it's time for our talk, Jan. Let's go into the torture chamber." Janice hesitated, but Bidwell yanked the leash and she had to follow him or choke. Once in the former living room Bidwell unlocked the steel cabinet and took out a cloth tape measure and used it to measure Janice's wrists and ankles. "You have a standard size, Jan, so I've got shackles that will fit. I didn't really plan on acquiring a new pet, but it's always wise to be prepared, don't you agree?" He removed the leg irons and handcuffs and replaced them with the heavy steel cuffs connected with short chains, the same as the other women were wearing.
As the last step he removed the choke chain and locked a heavy steel collar around Janice's neck. She grunted as the weight pressed on her shoulders. "Sure these chains will hold me, Bidwell? I suppose you can't be too careful around women."
"They'll do. Until you show me you've accepted your fate I'll connect your wrists, ankles, and neck with a chain like Joyce's, but that'll get in the way right now." He put the dangling hook around Janice's wrist chain and cranked the winch until she was standing on tiptoe. "Carol has taken a dislike to you, so I promised her she could do the heavy persuasion, but you've also pissed me off. First of all, I don't care for your insolence. Second, you are never to say my name. You call me 'Master', and you call Carol 'Mistress'."
He walked to a wall display of whips, crops, canes, and floggers and selected a thin bamboo cane. "This will warm you up for Carol's main event." He struck the back of Janice's thighs. Janice had been bracing herself, but she was shocked by the intensity of the pain and she screamed. She screamed after every blow, and when Bidwell finally stopped caning her thighs and bottom she was crying and begging.
"Don't carry on so, Jan. That was just a routine punishment. You ain't felt nothin' yet. Carol really knows how to hurt a woman." The front door was unlocked and opened. "Ah, here she is now."
Carol was now wearing a tight black leather skirt, a black silk shirt, and black stilleto-heeled knee boots. If Janice hadn't been in so much pain she would have laughed at the bizarre outfit. She wasn't so amused when Carol selected a long black whip from the wall display and cracked it.
"Now you're going to answer my questions, Jan. Don't hold anything back. I want to know who gave you the information, I want to know how much he gave you, and I want to know where it is. Everything you tell me will be checked, and if you lie to me what you experience now will seem like a back rub compared to what we'll do to you later. Begin, Carol."
Carol laid a full-strength lash across Janice's back. The pain was so bad that Janice was too shocked to scream. "Who's your source, Jan? Tell me!" Janice was sure that if Bidwell found out who her source was he would have him murdered, and she resolved to say nothing. Her resolve melted away as the whipping continued, and by the end of the torture session she had spilled everything she knew.
* * *
A large white van with a 'Santoro Elevator Service' logo parked in the loading zone in front of Bidwell's apartment building and two men dressed in coveralls and carrying toolboxes got out. One was in his forties and the other was in his twenties, and they looked alike, which was logical, since they were father and son. They went into the lobby and the older man said to the guard, "Hi Phil. How's it goin'?"
"Hi, Tony, hi Bill. I'm OK, how about you?"
"Not bad. Time for the routine maintenance. Did somebody tell the tenants we'd be workin' on the elevators today?"
"Yeah, I did it yesterday."
"OK, we'll start with the farthest one and work back this way."
As they walked to the stairwell Bill chuckled. "Funny how superstitious people are. This building doesn't have a thirteenth floor. See, the indicator skips from 12 to 14."
"That ain't superstition, that's the real estate business. The rents are higher on the top floors. Notice how the lobby is only two stories tall but the first floor above it is floor five? That also bumps up the floor numbers."
They descended the stairs into the basement and after disconnecting the power began cleaning out the pit at the base of the elevator shaft. There was the usual trash and dirt, but suddenly Bill exclaimed, "Hey, I found a driver's license. Janice Long. Isn't that the reporter who disappeared three or four days ago?"
"Yeah, I read about it in the paper. She was here, visiting Bidwell, so she must have dropped her license then. But I don't think it means anything. The paper said the cops checked him out and he's in the clear. The camera in the lobby saw her leave the building."
"Should we tell the police about the license anyway?"
"Naw, I don't want nothin' to do with them. Me and cops don't get along."
After they cleaned the pit they reconnected the power. Back in the lobby, Tony summoned the elevator and pressed the 'P1' button to take them to the top floor. From there they took the stairs to the roof and serviced the equipment at the top of the elevator shaft. Once that was done they got back in the elevator to return to the lobby. As he was pressing the 'L' button Tony noticed something unusual; a small hole, less than a sixteenth of an inch in diameter, marred the shiny surface of the control panel. "That's funny. I never noticed that before."
"This hole. What's it for?" Tony used his key in the override switch to stop the elevator. He got a screwdriver from his toolbox and removed the control panel. Directly behind the hole was the flat pushbutton of another switch. "This is really strange. You could use a paperclip to press this hidden switch, but what's it for?" Tony started the elevator and pressed the switch. The elevator descended a few floors, stopped, and the door opened.
Bill looked out at the bare foyer. "What's all this, Dad?"
"I think we found the thirteenth floor." Tony disabled the elevator and got some lock picks from his toolbox. They were leftovers from his youth, when he worked in a different trade. It took him only a few minutes to open the door to the apartment.
Bill pushed past him and stopped in surprise when he saw the black walls and the strange furniture. At that same instant Bidwell opened the door from the hall and stepped into the room. When Bidwell saw Bill he acted immediately, punching him on the jaw and knocking him down. He sat on the stunned Bill and started to choke him. He didn't see Tony, who clicked open his switchblade and expertly stabbed Bidwell in the back. Out of habit he twisted the knife, and Bidwell collapsed. Bidwell was dead by the time Tony dragged his body off Bill.
"Are you all right, son?"
"Yeah, he just took me by surprise."
They were interrupted by a shriek as a black-clad Carol ran into the room. "You killed him, you killed him!" she screamed. She started slashing at Tony with the riding crop she was carrying, but he dodged her wild swings and punched her jaw, knocking her out.
"What the hell is going on here, Dad? I never saw anything like this."
"I have." Tony closed and locked the front door. "Let's look around. But we'd better fix Blondie first. I didn't hit her very hard and she'll wake up soon." Tony looked around the room. "No shortage of ways to tie her up. Fasten her to that X-shaped thing." Bill held Carol against the St. Andrew's cross while Tony tightened the leather straps around her wrists, ankles, and waist.
Bill and Tony entered the hall and looked in the window of the first room. Joyce was asleep on her mat. Bill exclaimed, "She's chained and naked!"
"Yeah, I noticed. Let's look in the next room."
Janice was face-down on her mat, trying to remain absolutely still, since every movement hurt. Bill recognized her. "That's Janice Long! I saw her picture in the paper. God, look at her back! It's like hamburger." Bill rattled the door. "Can you open this kind of lock?"
"Yeah, but it'll take some time. Blondie probably knows the combination, we can ask her when she wakes up. Let's see what's in that room at the end of the hall."
Penny was sitting in a chair reading a paperback book. When she saw Bill looking at her through the window she waved.
Bill exclaimed, "She's just a kid! Wow, what a body she's got, and she's really cute too! We've got to get her out of there."
"Yeah, in a little while. Let's check out the rest of the place first."
They didn't find anything interesting and returned to the front room. Carol was conscious now, and when she saw Tony she said, "You murdered my Sam." Then she started to cry.
Tony grabbed her chin and shook it. "Enough with the waterworks. What's going on here? Who's that man?"
"That's Sam Bidwell. You didn't know? Then why are you here?"
"We found the place by accident. Who are you, and why are those women chained up back there?"
"My name is Carol Winston. I am... was... Sam's secretary. Those women are people who threatened Sam. He didn't want to kill them, so he kept them here."
"Yeah, I saw how he kept Janice Long. From the way you dress I guess you get a kick out of hurting women too."
Carol struggled against the straps. "If you let me go I can make it worth your while. I have access to Sam's bank accounts, and I'll give you some of the money."
"Some of the money? I'll think about it."
Bill pulled his father away from Carol and said in a low voice. "Aren't we going to call the police?"
"Nope. I don't want to face a murder rap."
"But it was self defense! Bidwell was trying to kill me!"
"Yeah, but I stabbed him in the back with an illegal knife, I've got a record, and the cops don't like me. And what do you think Blondie will tell them? She already called me a murderer."
"But what will we do with the body?"
"I'll call Uncle Vito. He'll take care of it, he owes me a favor. Now let's get back to work. We got two more elevators to do."
Some months later...
Phil greeted Bill and Tony as they entered the lobby. "Hi, guys. I see from the tenant list that today's your six month anniversary here. Any regrets?"
Tony replied, "I wouldn't live anyplace else, Phil. This building has hidden charms. It was lucky I came into some money so I can afford the rent."
They entered the elevator and Bill pushed the button for their apartment on the seventh floor. "Who's turn is it tonight, Dad?"
"Carol and Janice, together. You ought to give them a try. And Joyce isn't bad either. She's so grateful when I fuck her."
"Yeah, I suppose it's better than being whipped." He dodged Tony's half-hearted swing. "Just kidding, Dad! No, Penny is all I want. She told me she loves me."
"Remember she was a professional con artist, son. So she says she loves you. Fine, maybe she does, but she's still goin' to stay on the thirteenth floor. And keep her chained. Keep them all chained."
Copyright© 2012 by Zack. All rights reserved. I welcome your comments. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org