Ashley Bennet – Conned
Ashley hung by her arms for another half an hour before Maxine and Jeffries finally came in for her. She had tried to take the weight off of her arms and shoulders by standing on her tip-toes, but she had no strength left in her legs.
“For tonight you’ll merely be on display.” Maxine said as they unfastened her wrist cuffs from the over head hook only to reattach them behind her back. “We’ll replace this,” she worked at removing the spider gag, “with this.” Maxine held up a large ball gag.
“Please, Maxine, you can’t do this to me.” Ashley pleaded. “I work for the FBI, they’re going to be looking for me, and when they find me you’re going to prison. OWW!”
Maxine had stuck Ashley harshly across the face. “You will call me Mistress!” the muscular woman shouted. “They won’t find you, whore. By Thursday you’ll be out of the country, and there’s nothing to lead your friends to us. No trail of crumbs to follow. Your one contact with the FBI was Master Wexler. No one knows you were ever here unless you told someone. Did you?”
Paula’s face flashed through Ashley’s mind but she wasn’t about to tell them anything. She looked down and shook her head and mumbled, “No.” A second later she cried out as Maxine slapped her breast.
“No, Mistress!” Ashley said.
“You could still cooperate with us; it’s really not too late.”
“I won’t betray my country to the likes of you.” Ashley said, and then added “Mistress.”
She looked up, “I’ll escape sooner or later, and your ass will be in prison, Mistress.”
Maxine smiled as she fitted the large ball between Ashley’s teeth and buckled the strap in back.
“You won’t be escaping, and you’ll live a very hard life as a slave. Did you know that in Saudi Arabia they treat their goats better than they do their slaves?” The woman attached a chain to Ashley’s wrist cuffs then dropped it down to her ankles where she locked it to a short hobble chain running between Ashley’s ankles.
Ashley was then led out through the orange door and left to the far end of the hallway where there was an elevator that took them up to the Gold Club. To the right of the stage there was a lit platform to which Ashley was led and bound, her arms brought up over her head and locked to a ring in a vertical pole. She now stood naked and on display.
* * *
Trent and Dick gained access to Ashley’s town home after showing their credentials to the building supervisor. They searched the unit for any clues to her whereabouts. While Dick searched some of the spare bedrooms and the living room Trent searched Ashley’s bedroom. The bed had not been made and Ashley’s clothes were just thrown near the hamper. That didn’t match the tidiness he had seen before.
He opened some of her bureau drawers and then the drawer of her night stand. The drawer was filled with Ashley’s bondage gear. He looked up to see if Dick was near-by then quietly closed the drawer and headed out to the kitchen. No sense in telling him about that. It was obvious that Special Agent Umbridge was very protective of Ashley.
In the kitchen there were dishes in the sink, but nothing to indicate that she’d been home recently. There was no water in either sink basin, and the food on the dirty dishes was crusty.
There were several pictures on the wall near Ashley’s kitchen. One in particular attracted Trent’s attention.
“Hey, look at this photo,” he called out. “There’s Ashley husband with another soldier…his name tag says Umbridge. Any relation?”
Dick looked over at the picture, “It’s Tommy, my son.” Umbridge touched the glass over his son’s image. “They were in the same unit and were killed in the same roadside blast.”
“I’m sorry, Dick.” Trent said.
“I met Ashley at the funeral for the first time. She was already working at the Bureau but it was after that that I helped her to get promoted into my unit.” There was silence as Umbridge gazed at the picture of his son. “She’s been with me ever since.”
Trent spotted a business card on the floor and picked it up. “Look at this,” he said as he held the card out to Agent Umbridge. “Jeremy’s. That’s like four blocks from here.”
“The adult book store?” Dick asked as he took the card. “Paula Gionni. Let’s go see if she’s working tonight.”
Five minutes later the two were entering Jeremy’s. Trent looked around and saw a young woman behind a counter helping a customer.
“Miss Gionni?” Trent asked.
“Yes?” Paula looked up and Trent opened his badge holder.
“FBI ma’am, may we speak with you when you’re finished here?”
Paula looked at the badge and then up at Trent and Dick. “Sure, of course, I’ll just be a minute.”
A few minutes later, Paula joined the two agents. “What’s going on? How can I help you gentlemen?”
“We’re looking for a colleague of ours, Ashley Bennet. Do you happen to know where she is?”
Paula thought for a moment. “Ashley Bennet? I’m not sure I even know her. What does she look like, do you have a picture?”
“We found your card in her town home, and thought that you might have given it to her, or that she was one of your customers.” Trent showed her the card he had found on Ashley’s kitchen floor.
Paula took the card and looked at it, and then saw the red heart on the back.
“Oh! Jessica, yeah, I just found out the other day that her real name was Ashley. I’m sorry, I forgot about that. What’s wrong?” A sudden look of fear spread across Paula’s face. “Has something happened to her? Oh my god! What is it?”
In a calm voice, Trent said, “Tell us what you know, Ms. Gionni, when was the last time you saw her?”
Clearly shaken, Paula said, “We spent most of the day together on Sunday. It was after five, when she got a call from work. Wait a minute; you said she was a colleague…she works for the FBI?”
“Yes, Miss Gionni, and it’s very important that you help us find her.”
“Oh my god!” Paula stumbled to a chair and sat down. “I had no idea. Well, like I said, we were…”she was going to say ‘in bed’ but stopped herself short… “at her place and the phone rang. She told me she had to go into work and I said I thought she didn’t have to go in on Sunday’s. She told me they were going to interview her for some other job.”
“Did she say what, or who she was meeting with?”
“She didn’t mention any names.” Paula thought for a moment. “It’s like…a gold level or something at the club.” She shook her head. “I thought she worked at the Golden Slipper.” She looked up at Trent, “Didn’t she work at the Golden Slipper?”
“She was working there for me,” Trent said, and then added, “Undercover.”
“Oh shit…and now she’s gone? On no, not Jessie.”
“We’ll find her, Ms. Gionni, we’ll find her and she’ll be alright.” Dick Umbridge hoped his assurances would prove to be true. As it was, he was getting a very bad feeling.
“We’ll let you know when we find her, and if you hear from her, please call us right away.” Dick handed the woman his card.
Five minutes later the two FBI agents were walking up to the door of the Golden Slipper.
“How do you want to do this?” Trent asked.
“Actually I would follow your lead on this, Trent. You tailed her; do you know who’s who in here? Should we just act like we’re just looking for her, or go in with our badges?”
“I think we could just ask for her casually.” They went into the club and sat at one of the open tables. Amanda came over and asked them for their drink order.
“Oh hi,” Trent said, “You’re Amanda, right?”
Amanda’s smile lit up, “Yes.”
“I’ll take a Bud lite.”
“Make it two,” Umbridge said.
“Say, Amanda, have you seen Jessica tonight? She’s usually in on Tuesday’s isn’t she?”
Amanda looked around, “Well, now that you mention it, I haven’t seen her tonight. Huh. She’s totally hot isn’t she? You know she works up in the Silver section now?”
“Yeah, I just wondered if you’d seen her.”
Amanda skipped off to get their drinks.
“Not a good sign.” Dick said.
“Oh, there’s her manager.” Trent nodded towards the petite woman standing near the bar.
“The cute little blonde in the business suit?”
“Yeah, the cute little blonde. She’s French or something, and pretty handy with a riding crop.”
The drinks came and Trent asked Amanda what her manager’s name was and if she would ask her to come over to the table.
A moment later Fiona approached the table.
“Good-evening gentlemen,” Fiona said, her French accentuating her speech, “Can I be of zome help to you?”
“Well, actually we were hoping to see Jessica this evening, is she not in?”
A second delay and an ever so slight facial tic told Trent that what was coming next was total bullshit.
“I believe Jezzica has ended her employment wiz us.”
“Why do you say that?” Dick asked.
“Jezzica did not appear for ze work and has not called. Ziss iz not acceptable.”
Trent studied the woman’s face and saw some sadness in her eyes. He motioned for her to sit and then reached in and withdrew his badge holder. He slid it across the table to her and watched as she opened it.
“Ze FBI? I do not understand. You want Jezzica? For what reason?”
“We only need to talk to her. It’s not related to her work here. When was the last time you saw Jessica?”
Fiona looked at the serious faces of the two men who sat before her. She had long ago suspected the owners of manipulating Jessica, and she wanted no part in whatever they were into.
“It vas on Sunday night. She came in to interview for ze job in Gold Club. I sent her to zee right place. Maybe she iz zare now.”
“You haven’t seen here in the Gold Club tonight.”
“Monsieur, ve are two separate clubs. I have no access to ze Gold Club. I run ze Slipper. That is my job.”
“Who runs the Gold Club?” Dick asked.
“Monsieur Harold Wexler owns both clubs. He iz not in ziss evening, I can give you ze phone number?” Fiona wrote the number on the back of a business card and handed it to Trent.
“Nothing else?” Fiona asked.
“No, you’ve been most helpful.” Richards replied.
Fiona stood and headed back to her office.
“Straight to the phone I imagine. Let’s get out of here and see what we can get find out at the Gold Club.”
Ashley had been tethered to the pole for over an hour. Many men had come up and looked her over, only a couple looked Middle Eastern. It was hard to tell if the men were sizing her up because they were going to buy her or because she was a naked woman tied to a pole. Either way, it was pretty embarrassing!
It was probably a good thing she had the gag in her mouth because had she not been gagged more than one of the guys would’ve gotten an earful from her. Judging from the chaos she witnessed out in the club she probably would have been whipped or worse.
She could see bound women getting shocked with little cattle prod like wands. All sorts of torture devices were being used. Bound women with their breasts squeezed between ropes or little boards, tongues clamped by various devices, some looking like common mouse traps.
Some of the women wore chastity type belts with dildoes or vibrators locked in underneath. Most bare backs and asses were red and covered with light welts from being whipped or caned.
One section of the club seemed to have several women bound to tables with their legs spread. Food was being served on their stomachs, various objects sticking out of their hairless pussies.
A movement to her right caught Ashley’s attention and she saw Bruce and George coming her way. Oh great, Laurel and Hardy.
To her surprise they began to untie her from the pole and then she was led back to the elevator. She saw that a special key was used in what was supposed to be the fire control key hole. After the key was turned it was pushed in. The elevator descended the two levels to the sub-basement where they had been holding her prisoner.
The two men escorted her into the room with the small cage and she was pushed inside and left alone. Wonder what this is all about? Maybe everyone who needed to see me has seen me. Oh well. As Pig would say, safe and sound in my cage.
She realized that Laurel and Hardy had not bound her to the cage so she had some amount of freedom, albeit with her hands locked behind her.
Ashley scooted back as far as she could against the door of the cage and probed with her fingers outside the cage. She felt the latch and then the lock. Crap! The idiots hadn’t forgotten to lock her in.
Once again trapped, she moved back and tried to find a comfortable position. Who knew how long she would be in the stupid cage.
* * *
Trent and Dick sat in Trent’s car outside the Gold Club.
“You know how badly I want to find Ashley, but I’m not sure blazing in there is going to be the right way to do it.” Dick said. “They’ve probably gotten her hidden away by now.”
“I agree. I have no doubts that Fiona immediately called Wexler. I think we may need a search warrant and a team.”
“Judge Evert will give me one based on your evidence of blackmail.”
“No, that evidence was obtained illegally. We need to get it based on an informant’s information of suspected blackmail. This evidence doesn’t exist yet until after we get the search warrant, and then we can ‘discover’ it again.”
The two men sat silently, thinking.
“Listen, Dick, I want Ashley to come out of this unscathed as much as you do. We have to work this so that instead of going undercover for this Wexler ass, she went in for me. She can be my informant.”
The two men pulled out of the parking lot and drove around for the next two hours discussing the plan.
The following night an entire undercover FBI team moved into the Gold Club under Trent’s leadership. Fully disguised and fully armed with weapons and warrants, the agents spread themselves throughout the club. It had cost a small part of Dick’s discretionary funds to buy memberships, but they were in without causing an alarm and scouring for Ashley.
Trent had made secret arrangements with the Nashville office to fly the team in early that morning. He was careful not to disclose any information to anyone in their own building other than Gary, who was part of the team. Gary and two other members of the team had infiltrated the Golden Slipper to secure Wexler’s office when the shit hit the fan.
Meanwhile, Ashley was being prepared for her entrance to the club. She had been bolted to a wooden box on wheels. She lay on top of the box with her arms secured underneath the top of the box. Her ankles were tied to her calves and then her knees were pulled apart and tied off with heavy chains. This left her legs spread widely apart, totally exposing her pussy. A spider gag once again held her jaws apart.
This is not going to be good, Ashley thought. She tried to steel herself for what was probably going to happen to her. She knew that she was going to be badly abused in this position. She went to lay her head back but found no support under it. If she put her head back it just hung off the end of the box.
Ashley heard the door open and Maxine walked in. “Ah, my little whore, I am so excited for you. Tonight is a big night.” The woman stroked Ashley’s hair.
“I have something for you.” She held up two syringes and then laughed at the look of horror in Ashley’s eyes.
“Ah yes, you have every right to be scared. This one especially, has been shown to greatly enhance the sensitivity of your nervous system. It’s actually used in interrogations because even moderate torture techniques are felt to be severe by the one being tortured. Believe me; it will greatly enhance the pain you’ll feel tonight.” Ashley closed her eyes as the needle jabbed into her arm.
“Now I know you are prone to black out easily. You’ve done it to me too many times and ruined my fun. But not tonight! This second one is a strong stimulant. You won’t lose consciousness with this in your system. In fact, you’ll probably be awake for the next twenty four hours.” She injected the contents of the second syringe into Ashley’s other arm.
“I’m hoping these two are compatible, I’ve never mixed them before.”
After Ashley was securely bolted into place, the box was rolled out of the room and into the elevator. Once in the club Ashley was rolled to an area where several men and women sat.
“This is the slave I have called you here to see, gentlemen.” Jeffries said. “She’s an FBI agent and must be removed from the country tonight or tomorrow at the latest. We have information that her colleagues are narrowing their search, so speed is of the utmost importance. You may begin your examinations now, and then text your bids to the number I gave each of you earlier.”
He turned and left Ashley in the middle of the circle of buyers.
Colleagues are narrowing their search!!! Who? Who could possibly know about me? Unless Paula reported me missing, but why would she? She doesn’t know who I really am.
Ashley searched her mind for some explanation, but found that it was becoming increasingly difficult to focus her thoughts. The drugs!
“Well, gentlemen,” said one Arabic man, “I don’t mind beginning.” He took a long thin cane and brought it swooshing down on to one of Ashley’s creamy white thighs.
She tried to be brave, to not give them the satisfaction of hearing her cry out. But by the fifth stroke she was screaming out through the spider gag, her pleas lost in the general noise of the club.
“Nice reaction to pain. I’m glad to see she has not been conditioned yet.”
Another lashing struck her other thigh. And then the cane was passed to the next man.
“I agree, it is best to get new slaves untrained so that they can be molded to your own expectations,” said another of the men.
While the second man caned Ashley’s thighs, a woman came up to her and tugged on Ashley’s piercings; first her nipples and then her pussy rings, inspecting them as she tugged. She traced a finger along Ashley’s shaven slit and then separated her labia, inspecting her vagina. She nodded her approval and went back to sit behind her man.
One of the men stepped forward with some leather straps that looked like garter belts and looped the bands around Ashley’s thighs, connecting the ends using a small clasp. Ashley lifted her head and looked down to see the man adjust the hanging garter straps so they were on the inside of her thighs. Then she screamed out when he grabbed a hold of her labia and pulled it outward towards the garter strap. He released the clip onto her labia and Ashley bucked in her bondage. The process was repeated with a second clip on that side and then two clips on the opposite labia.
Ashley thrashed and screamed out from the pain. Even without the drugs Maxine had given her she knew she would have been in great pain, but this was intense!
The beatings with the cane continued and one of the men leaned forward and probed her open cunt with his fingers. Ashley was startled and extremely embarrassed to feel a warm sensation building in her loins.
Not only did the drug enhance her pain, but also her pleasure. Ashley wondered if Maxine had considered that.
As the time passed, Ashley found that the buyers were become bolder with their probing of her limits. More canes were found and soon she was being struck by more than one person at a time.
Ashley suspected that had she not been hyped up on the drugs, she probably would have passed out from the pain already. As it was, though, she continued to endure their torture, which seemingly went on for hours.
After what was actually only two hours Jeffries returned and collected the canes. “I wouldn’t want who ever collects this prize tonight to have too much damage done, so if you will consider your bids I will remove the slave for now.”
Peter wheeled Ashley away and pushed her through the crowd with a bouncer ahead of him clearing a path. He wheeled her over to an area with several people sitting around on plush couches forming a semi-circle.
“You’ve all provided me with good information for the past several years now, but in this you have failed me. You said she would easily break, but she didn’t crack even a tiny bit. Do you even know her?” Jeffries berated the woman sitting in front of him.
“I have no more time to try and get her to work with us, so I have to sell her off before she gets too hot. But, as you requested, I’ll allow you some time to play with her before she leaves our little family. Have fun, but don’t damage her too much. One of those men over there probably already owns her.”
Ashley lifted her head up when she saw Jeffries leave and then looked down to see Cheryl Donovan and Barry Franks with devilish smirks on their faces.
“You bastards!” Ashley garbled through the gag. “You’re dead, all of you.” But with the noise and the gag, nothing intelligible was heard by her new tormentors.
Now she knew who had set her up. Fucking Donovan, she’s never liked me! What did I ever do to her?
In her drugged haze, Ashley actually tried to think back to anything she may have done to piss off Donovan. But her thoughts were scrambled and she quickly forgot what she was even thinking about.
Franks ran his hands over Ashley’s naked flesh. “Oh shit, she’s fucking firm. I had no idea. Christ Donovan, look at her.” Ashley tried to escape the man’s probing hands, but could barely move an inch in any direction.
“Oh shut up Barry.” Donovan looked at him with disgust, but she had to admit Bennet was physically very fit, and well proportioned. But what had her pissed was what Jeffries had said. He hadn’t been able to break her! She wondered what they had put her through. She knew that they must have had a DVD on her and she wondered what was on that DVD and why it wasn’t enough to make her cooperate. Didn’t she care if everyone in the world saw it?
Donovan thought back to the pictures Jeffries made of her going down on those strippers. She sure didn’t want anyone seeing those! She would do anything to keep that a secret. But now she was in for so much more. All of the intel she had provided Jeffries. There was no doubt in her mind any more that Jeffries was a front for the mob. She was in way too deep to be salvaged now.
Donovan looked down at Ashley, lying naked strapped to the box, legs held widely apart. She admired the way her hairless pussy was pierced.
Wonder when that was done, before or after Jeffries got a hold of her? She looked at the way Ashley’s pussy lips were stretched out, completely exposing the entrance to her cunt.
In another setting Donovan could picture herself bending down and licking that pink flesh until Ashley was squirming in orgasm. But not with this nimrod Franks right here.
She looked at Franks, his hands roughly groping Bennet’s breasts. His fingers tugged at her nipple rings making her groan with each action.
Donovan looked around for one of those damn server girls and motioned one over. The nude and semi-bound woman carried a tray, one end connected to her corset, the other held up by small chains attached to nipple clips. On the tray were an assortment of goodies from which Donovan selected a large vibrator and a tube of K-Y Extreme. She looked up to see Franks licking and sucking Bennet’s large breasts.
Dick-weed. She hated that ass-hole.
Ashley’s head hung down off the end of the box, but her bound torso was writhing. Franks was not hurting her, so Donovan had to conclude that what Frank’s was doing was turning on the little mink.
Well let me really turn you on, bitch.
Donovan coated the dildo with the K-Y Extreme and pressed it against Ashley’s pink hole. Ashley’s head whipped up to see what was going on. Her eyes went wide when Donovan held up the tube of K-Y.
“You’re going to love this, Bennet. It’s supposed to really help you get off.” Donovan plunged the goo covered vibrator fully into Ashley’s pussy and rotated it around and around.
“NOOO!” Ashley cried out through her wide open mouth. “Oh God, NO!” she instantly felt a heat growing inside of her pussy. As advertised, it was intense! The sensation grew hotter and hotter, as did her arousal. Ashley suddenly felt like a dog in heat. She ached for more stimulation even though she knew that the drugs were supplying her with an additional kick. Her pussy was on fire!
Franks reached down and began coating the smooth skin outside of Ashley’s pussy with the gel that was seeping out of her hole. He also used the discharge to coat her breasts. While he was doing that, Donovan had picked up a cat of nine tail whip and had begun to flick it over Ashley’s crotch.
Ashley felt the whipping begin and looked down in horror at her ‘former’ colleague. She lifted the whip, holding onto the ends, and then released them so they could flick against Ashley’s vulnerable crotch. Ashley jumped as the ends smacked her naked flesh smartly. The pain! It was so intense!
Donovan continued flicking the whip ends onto Ashley’s pussy. Then, after several minutes of abuse, Donovan flicked the switch on the end of the vibrator sending a blast of vibrations deep inside Ashley’s needy cunt.
The instant Ashley felt the vibrations she climaxed. She was close as it was with the stimulation she was receiving, but this sent her over the top. Ashley closed her eyes as wave after wave of ecstasy coursed through her body. Her head hung limply from the edge of the box and she no longer struggled against her bonds, but rather lay twitching, cum dripping out of her slit onto the box.
* * *
“Red leader, this is Red Four.” Trent concentrated to hear his tiny ear bud in the noisy club.
“Go ahead Red Four,” Trent said, lowering his head to speak into the mic hidden inside the lapel of his shirt.
“Possible visual on subject, first floor, far south-east corner, strapped to table of some sort.”
“Roger that, will investigate. Red One, assist.”
“Copy.” Trent heard Dick’s voice in his ear.
Trent was not in a good position to get to that part of the club, but he did his best to cut through the crowd. He looked over to see Dick, even further behind him, making his way in that direction, too.
Trent reached the edge of the second level where he could look down into the melee of the first floor. In the corner he saw a naked woman bound to a table, her legs splayed widely apart while some woman sat between her legs striking her with a leather whip. Some guy was feeling up the bound woman’s tits. Trent couldn’t see the bound woman’s face, but he caught a glimpse of her tormentor. Fucking Cheryl Donovan!
Trent headed towards the stairs leading down into hell.
* * *
“Well, Ashley, I’ve really enjoyed playing with you. But all good things must come to an end sooner or later.”
Donovan reached down, picked up her purse, and withdrew a syringe.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Franks shouted over the music and screams of the club.
“She’s seen us. If she ever gets free she’ll blow us out of the water. I don’t want to go to prison, Franks. I’m going to end this threat right now.”
“Are you out of your mind? They’ll fucking kill us.”
“It’s Tetramorphine. It’ll take 2 or 3 hours to hit her heart, and they’ll never suspect us.”
“Us? Fuck you, I’m outta here.”
“Suit yourself, but if you tell them anything, you’re next.”
Ashley had gathered the strength to lift her head and had heard the entire conversation, albeit through a hazy tunnel like vision. The sights and sounds of the club were registering on her brain like some carnival gone amok. It was like a nightmare she couldn’t wake up from.
She was beginning to wonder if the two drugs Maxine had given her were incompatible. Her brain felt like it was frazzled. She heard Donovan’s words like they were coming through a tin can, but somewhere in her brain the meaning registered.
She’s going to kill me. Oh thank god.
The pain and the whipping combined with the massive uncontrollable orgasm she had just had was overloading her mind. She needed quiet. She needed rest. She needed out of this hell.
Ashley watched as the needle punctured her thigh and let her head fall back, awaiting the bliss of quietness that would soon wash over her. She felt a slight pressure on that spot and hoped it would be painless.
* * *
Trent was half way down the packed staircase when he saw Donovan jab something into Ashley’s thigh.
“All available assets move in, subject in immediate danger.”
He heard several “Roger” responses and noticed three of his team making their way over to the corner.
Fuck! They’re too far away!
Then, Trent saw a large black woman rise up behind Donovan and wrap her huge meaty hands around the bitch’s throat.
“What you doing to my little Jessie!” Ms. Tucker screamed. “I be looking for my girl for two day. You hurt my girl I kill you.” The pressure on Donovan’s neck was intense. The agent clawed at the huge hands around her throat but could not budge them.
Donovan began to see stars and then blackness as she passed out from lack of oxygen. She hung loosely from Ms. Tuckers hands and then fell to the floor.
Barry Franks looked up terrified at the large woman coming at him. He scrambled backwards and right into Trent Richards.
Trent flipped him and pressed him down onto his stomach. “You’re under arrest, Franks.” Trent motioned for one of his team members that had just arrived to cuff him, but the man was going for Ms. Tucker who was moving towards Ashley.
Trent waved him off and flipped his badge out for Ms. Tucker to see. “FBI ma’am, will you stay with Jessie until I get back?”
“Of course, no one will touch my Jessie girl.” Trent eased the syringe from Ashley’s leg and handed it to the other agent to bag. Trent knelt down and spoke to Ashley, “It’s okay Ashley, we’re here for you. Ms. Tucker is staying with you, it’s over.”
“All assets move to secure prime targets,” Trent shouted into his lapel mic.
Ashley, barely able to move or comprehend, turned slightly to see someone next to her. She heard her name…her real name and… Ms. Tucker? The man… had seen him before. Where? Ms. Tucker was here?
Don’t see me like this. Oh please don’t watch me die Ms. Tucker.
The man’s face…so familiar. The voice, sounded like Trent Richards.
No, that’s stupid. We’re here for you…who’s here? Where’s here? Ashley’s mind was clouded, the sounds of the club assaulting her senses.
“Red Three, call in the ambulance right now.”
“Roger that Red Leader,” Gary responded, “and the target is secure.”
“Roger.” Trent said knowing that Gary had secured the computer and the files.
Ashley’s felt her systems shutting down. Still her mind raced. The drugs! Won’t they let me die? That face…seen in the DVD! Same guy. Who is that?
“Scratch Jeffries.” Trent heard in his ear bud. Jeffries had been apprehended.
“Three employees bailing from rear fire door, scratch’em.” That must have been Red Six, stationed outside the club with Red Seven.
“Red Leader, this is Red Four. Scratch Wexler. Stairway near the entance.”
“Roger that, Red Four. Escort to the van.”
Trent knew that the large site control van would have been pulled up to the side of the building by now. Five other agents from the Nashville office would now be entering both clubs to move customers out and to hold employees until things could be sorted out.
With the important work done, Trent headed back to Ashley, removing his disguise as he ran, pushing his way through the panicked crowd. He saw that the medics were working on unbolting her from the table and that Ms. Tucker was standing over them like a mother hen, pointing to this and that and issuing orders.
“Ms. Tucker, isn’t it?” Trent said as he approached her with his hand held out.
She took the hand in hers and shook it, “Mm-mm, I am.”
“Ma’am, you most likely saved Jessica’s life. Thank you for watching out for her.”
“Who the hell are you folk?”
“We’re friends of your Jessie’s, too.”
“Well, thank you for being here, too.” Ms. Tucker said as she clapped Trent on the back, practically sending him to his knees.
“We’ll be taking her to the hospital, now. Thank you for everything. Will you allow my colleague to get some information from you and then escort you out?” He motioned to one of the Nashville agents who stepped up next to them.
“Okay.” Ms. Tucker said. She watched as the medic pulled a blanket over Ashley’s naked body on the stretcher and then bent down and kissed her on the cheek. “You be okay, my Jessie girl.”
Ashley moved her head and mouthed, “Thank you Mistress.”
Ashley felt herself being moved. Little bits of light flashed by overhead.
Am I still alive? Why am I still alive? Where’s my favorite little Pig?
Ashley smiled. Why would I say something like that? Oh yeah, the drugs. I don’t have a favorite pig? Wait, was it a pig or a cow? I’m loopy. Oh yeah, the drugs. Here piggie, piggie.
She smiled again when an image flashed through her drugged mind. A face…a really goony, funny face. It made her smile once when she was helpless and scared.
PIG and COW! The women’s faces sprung to life in Ashley’s consciousness.
She forced herself to stay awake. I’m dying...somehow I’m okay with that. Wait! Must tell them! Pig and Cow! Where are they?
Ashley stirred on the stretcher. “Pig and Cow!” she cried out, “Must find!”
“Whoa, Miss Bennet, easy now.” The medic tried to calm her. Ashley was trying to lift herself off of the stretcher. The medic struggled to hold her down, wishing now he had followed protocol and had restrained her.
“Downstairs…under club. Find them please.”
“Who, Miss Bennet? Find who?”
“Pig and Cow…downstairs…orange door.” Ashley sensed a darkness clouding the edges of her mind but she fought it off. “Tell them…tell them Swan said come out.”
The darkness slowly crept across her consciousness until she felt herself floating into the blackness.
“Agent Richards, medic evac, be advised, subject has requested search of lower levels for one pig and one cow.”
“Medic Evac, Richards, say again please?”
“Your friend was adamant that we locate a pig and a cow that are downstairs.”
“We’ve searched the building and there’s no livestock in there.”
“Roger that. Oh, she mentioned an orange door, too.”
“Haven’t seen any orange doors. Anything else?”
“One more thing, she said, and I quote, tell them swan said come out.”
“Thanks, medic evac, will search again.”
>>Richards took three of his team and headed down the stairs. The rooms on the first sub-level were all storage rooms for the club. They went through each room carefully, looking for anything that looked like a pig or a cow. Maybe there was some evidence that was hidden in a statue of a pig or a cow. What had she found? Nor did they come across any orange doors. After half an hour of searching they moved down to the lower sub-basement. This level was perplexing because it was basically a hallway with an elevator at one end.
“What the fuck is this place?” One of the agents asked.
“Beats the hell out of me, there’s nothing down here except for this stupid elevator.”
“That really makes no sense.”
The men searched every square inch of the area, but there was simply nothing there to find. They returned one more time to the first sub-level but came up empty.
“Well, let’s call it a night. I’ve got to get over to the hospital,” Trent said as he headed towards the stairs.
“Roger that,” said one of the men as he followed Trent out.
Trent woke with a start, hand going for his gun. He felt a gentle hand press against his, preventing him from drawing his weapon.
“It’s okay, Agent Richards, no danger.” Trent heard a female voice coo softly.
Trent shook the cobwebs out of his head and sat up. He was still in the hospital, a small waiting room outside of Ashley’s room. Doctor Sheila Jefferson squatted in front of him.
“I’m so sorry, Doctor.” Trent moved his hand away from his firearm.
“It’s okay; I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been drawn on while waking a police officer or federal agent.” The doctor got up and sat in the chair next to him. “I’ve gotten pretty good at waking you guys up now.”
“Any news? How’s she doing?”
“I’m very optimistic of a full recovery at this point. We’ve identified all of the drugs she’d been given and we have her on an IV that’s safe, and replenishing her fluids.”
“What had they given her?”
“Well, we know from the syringe you recovered that she was given Tetramorphine. In the dose that was in the syringe it would’ve been instantly fatal if given intravenously. Injected in the muscle as it was, it probably would have killed her in four to five hours. Luckily only a very small amount of the drug actually made it into her system.”
Trent gave himself a mental note to drop a dozen roses off at Ms. Tucker’s house in the morning.
“Additionally, she was given a high dose of MDMA, you know it as Ecstasy, mixed with Modafinil. We think that was definitely given to keep her awake and alert. However, there were high traces of another that we couldn’t identify. About an hour ago we got information from the DOD that the drug signature matched G580XT, a drug produced in Eastern Block countries during the Cold War to use during interrogations.”
Trent sat forward, “And what’s the purpose of the drug?”
“It’s a psycho-intranervous system drug, administered to heighten the sensitivity of the sensory and nervous systems.”
“English please.” Trent said nervously.
“Basically, every nerve in the body becomes hyper-sensitive.”
“So everything happening to her was magnified like twice as much?”
“Like ten times as much, I would say.”
Trent sat, shaking his head. How did she survive?
As if reading his thoughts the doctor said, “Frankly, your friend should be dead. This combination…” The doctor trailed off, lost in thought. “And you say she was still conscious and speaking as they were transporting her?”
“Yes, but not coherently. We haven’t figured out what she was talking about yet. Something about a pig and a cow.” Trent had interviewed the medic to get Ashley’s exact words, but it didn’t shed any new light on the perplexing statements.
The doctor gave him a funny look.
“I know, I know. She was really out of it.”
“Well anyway, we’ve got her on a drip that will keep her unconscious for awhile to give her body time to recuperate. I’d hate to think of the pain she would be in if she were awake right now. This is the best thing we can do for her.”
Trent went to get up but the doctor placed a hand on his arm. “There’s more.”
Trent settled back down in his chair.
“There’s every indication that Ms. Bennet was sexually assaulted, several times. There’s also quite a bit of scarring from whip wounds, days old, along with the fresh wounds from last night. I strongly suggest she talk to our victim therapist and maybe your agency has some programs she can have access to.”
“Thank you so much for your help doctor.”
The two stood up. “I’ll call you when she regains consciousness,” the doctor said as they shook hands.
Trent went home and got some sleep. At 8 AM he was woken by his phone. Gary had found unedited video files of material that had not been put on Ashley’s DVD. He also informed Trent that a more thorough search of the Wexler’s office had been completed and that the DVD made to blackmail Ashley had been discovered. Gary had everything at his place, which for the moment was more secure than at the office.
Trent showed up at his door half an hour later. The video was a horrendous thing to watch. It showed everything that Ashley endured after showing up at the Gold Club, supposedly to interview for a job. As much as the video disgusted him, he had to admire how much abuse Ashley had actually put up with. They were quite brutal with her, and she never gave in to them, never compromised herself or the Bureau. The rape sequences were extremely difficult to watch, but now he knew what she had gone through.
The two men spent the next four hours going over the list of people who had been blackmailed. Dick Umbridge had arrived with an Assistant US Attorney in tow. The legal system had a lot to sort through in a very short time period. Internal Affairs had quickly swooped down on several people within the Bureau and they were already in Federal custody.
All of the employees of the Gold Club and Golden Slipper had been taken into custody. Many of the servers and bartenders had been released after their statements had been taken. But Trent was going to be interviewing several of them later in the day.
He also made time during the day to contact Paula Gionni and let her know that “Jessica” had been found and gave her the room number at the hospital. He called the agent in charge at the hospital and told him to expect Paula and to allow her in if she came by.
Lastly, before heading into the office, he stopped by the florist and picked up a dozen roses.
Trent, Dick, and Gary spent the next two days between the hospital and Gary’s secure basement. All of the files had been sifted through and information released to Internal Affairs or the US Attorney, as appropriate.
The unedited material covering Ashley’s captivity in the sub-basement was put on a disk and then totally obliterated from the hard drive of Wexler’s computer. Their own files were amended to show that Ashley had been working for Trent Richards the entire time and this was a planned agent insertion from the get-go. Umbridge had supporting approval letters in his files. Gary had supporting electronic intel on his computer. If anyone ever looked into this whole affair, it would appear to be a sanctioned operation gone awry.
The final nail in that coffin was the plea deals with Wexler, Jeffries, Maxine, Bruce, and George. They were all given the chance to evade human trafficking charges if they would never bring up the con Wexler pulled on Ashley. They all saw the value in the deal because the trafficking charge would have brought an automatic life sentence.
After interviews with Nicky and Fiona, it was decided to hold off prosecutions until after Ashley woke up.
Around lunchtime on Saturday, Trent sat in the small waiting room outside of Ashley’s hospital room thinking back to Wednesday night, when all hell had broken loose at the club. From all accounts Ashley should have been either dead or unconscious. But she had forced herself to stay awake long enough to tell someone about a damn pig and cow! It had to be something important. He wished they would wake her up, but still her body needed the rest.
Pig and cow were downstairs through an orange door. There was no god-damn orange door in that whole fucking club! Tell them swan said come out. Them? Tell the animals that a swan wanted them to come out? A talking swan?
It made so sense at all, but it was very important to Ashley. It was so important that a woman in agony that he could not even comprehend forced herself to remain conscious to say.
The agent jumped when his phone vibrated in his pocket. He looked at the caller ID and saw that it was Dick Umbridge.
“Hey, Trent, I was thinking about that Pig and Cow thing.” Dick said.
“No kidding? I was just doing the same thing!”
“Listen, we missed something. Remember the DVD we were watching of them torturing Ashley?”
“What about it?” Trent knew he would never get those images out of his mind if he lived to be a hundred.
“Where was that shot?”
“Where was it shot?” Umbridge repeated. “Too quiet to be in the club. But we know Ashley’s been in that building since Sunday night. Where did they have her?”
The realization that they hadn’t seen any of the rooms that were on the DVD hit Trent like a ton of brinks. “I’ll meet you over there.”
“I’m already on my way,” Umbridge said as he ended the call.
Trent stood up and walked to the door of Ashley’s room. He eased the door open and peeked in to see Agent Harper drawing her weapon and then ease it back when she saw him. He made a motion with his hand to indicate that he was leaving and the agent waved and sat back down.
Inside the club, the two men began to search the basement levels again.
“It’s nuts Dick. I’ve searched this place top to bottom. Where the hell could they have kept Ashley for all of that time?”
“I don’t know, but it’s got to be here somewhere.”
“Let’s go down to the next level. That is one bizarre place, there’s no purpose for the level at all. It’s just an access for the elevator.”
The two men went down the stairs and used their flashlights to search the area.
“Look at this on the floor.” Dick Umbridge was shining his light down near the wall. “Those are scuff marks of some sort.”
“You’re right.” Trent went along tapping the walls. “Right here. Listen.” He tapped the walls again.
“Oh yeah, that’s different.”
The men began fumbling around with the walls until Richards said, “Here, push towards me.” The senior agent came over and leaned against the wall, pushing towards Richards. Slowly the wall began to slide to the left revealing on orange door.
“Son of a bitch,” Dick exclaimed as he reached for the handle.
Trent touched his arm and Dick looked to see that Trent had drawn his gun. He did the same as they went through the door.
Inside the men saw all of the torture devices bolted to the floor, and Trent got a very sick feeling in his stomach. Oh Ashley! This is where it all happened.
Room by room the men searched until they came to one with two cages in it. The smell of feces and urine was strong. Inside the cages were two bound, naked women. The women looked up at them but did not speak, even though they were not gagged.
“Are you by chance, a pig and a cow?” Trent felt like an idiot saying that.
“Yes Master, I’m Cow.” The pretty brunette said.
“And I’m Pig, Master. May we serve you?” The red-head asked weakly.
“We’re going to take you out of here now.”
“Oh Master. Are you taking us to our Mistress?” Cow asked.
“No.” Trent didn’t even know what she meant by that, but knew he wasn’t taking them to any mistresses today.
The men searched for the keys to the locks and finally found them in a cabinet against the wall. The doors to the cages were opened but neither woman came out.
“Okay, come on out, you’re free to go.”
Neither woman moved.
Dick gave Trent a perplexed look and raised his hands as if to say, what gives?
“Oh I have a message, swan said to come out, to go with me.”
This got the brunette’s attention. “Swan said that? You’ve seen Swan, Master?”
Enlightenment swept over Agent Richards. Ashley was the swan! The women were all given animal names.
“Yes, she’s my friend. She said you should come out and go with me.”
The women slowly backed out of the cages and stood up. Trent looked around for some blankets and then sent Dick out to look for some.
Trent took out his cell phone and dialed the hospital’s emergency services. He asked them to send an ambulance over right away and to contact the Victims Crime Unit for female ride along.
Trent began to search for keys to their wrist, arm, and ankle cuffs.
“In the next room, Master,” said the brunette, Cow, “Our Mistress would never keep our keys in the same room as we are in. Bad security.”
“Of course.” Trent couldn’t help but notice how beautiful both women were. Even though they were hot and sweaty from being held in the cages, they were both knockouts.
He ran to the next room and found the keys on a peg near the door. He returned and quickly removed the cuffs and collars.
“May we clean up, Master?” Cow asked.
“Um, sure…sure go ahead.” He knew they had soiled themselves, but didn’t know what they were going to do to clean up.
The brunette went outside into the hallway and came back pulling a thick water hose. Trent was shocked when she turned the nozzle and began spraying down the red-head. The red-head turned around in the cold spray, giggling, and then bent over so the flow could be directed at her ass. When they were satisfied, the redhead took the hose and sprayed down the brunette. Then while they waited for the blankets, the redhead sprayed down the cell.
Holy shit, they’re well trained! Trent thought as he witnessed this whole bizarre scene.
Dick finally returned with blankets and the women were wrapped in them.
Pig held hers and smelled it, “Oooo, thank you Master, this is really nice! Look, Cow, blankets!”
“Yes, Pig, they’re nice. Are we going?” Cow asked Trent. “Can we see Swan? Where is she?”
Trent wondered how much to tell them. “Swan is in the hospital.”
The women looked at him with fear in their eyes. “Is she… is she okay?” Pig asked.
“Yes, she’s doing fine. I’m more worried about you right now, when’s the last time you ate?”
“Oh Master, please takes us to her.” Pig pleaded, totally ignoring his questions.
Trent was slightly taken aback from being referred to as Master so many times. These women had obviously been brainwashed or something.
“You’ll be transferred to the same hospital; I’ll try to arrange something as soon as I can. But please be patient. Swan needs some time to recover.”
“Yes Master,” they both said sullenly.
“Let’s go ladies.” Trent said as he motioned for them to go into the hallway.
“Oooo, ladies, is that us Cow?”
“That’s us Pig. Things are going to change now I think.”
“Is it okay if things change, Cow?”
“Yes, Pig, it’s okay. We’ll be together okay? No matter what.”
“Yes, no matter what.”
On the fourth day, Ashley began to stir. Agent Sarah Harper was on duty in Ashley’s room at the time and she immediately pressed the call button near Ashley’s bed. Within a minute, Dr. Jefferson was at Ashley’s side monitoring her vitals. The lights had been turned down for Ashley’s comfort.
Ashley opened her eyes slightly and then blinked several times.
“Well hello there Ashley. I’m Doctor Jefferson. You’re safe, you’re in a hospital and everything is all right. Do you understand?”
Ashley nodded her head and looked down at the other woman in the room.
“This is Agent Harper, from your Bureau’s Internal Affairs office. You’ve been guarded around the clock since you were brought in. You’re perfectly safe.” The doctor knew that in cases like this it was paramount that the patients understand that they’re completely safe.
Ashley tried to speak but her throat was so dry, only faint sounds came out.
Dr. Jefferson took a squeeze bottle with water in it and gently squeezed a small amount of water into Ashley’s mouth. It tasted so good! Ashley swirled it around her mouth before swallowing.
“How long?” she rasped.
“Four days?” Ashley’s expression changed to one of sheer panic. “I have to tell someone… important… two women in the club…”
“You mean Cow and Pig?”
Ashley looked up at the doctor with wide eyes, “Yes! Are they… okay?”
“They’re fine dear, thanks to you. They’ll be in to see you very soon I’m sure.”
“How… how did they…?”
“I’m not clear on a lot of the details, but Agent Richards has been pretty much living here since you were brought in, would you like to see him?”
Trent? Why is he here? “I… I’m not sure.” Ashley clutched the sheet that covered her as if for protection.
“It’s okay.” Dr. Jefferson patted Ashley on the shoulder. “You let Agent Harper know when you’re ready to talk to anyone and she’ll get word to them. You rest now, and welcome back.”
“Thank you, Mist… doctor.” I almost said Mistress! I’m so fucked.
Ashley motioned for Agent Harper to come closer. The woman sat in the chair next to the bed.
“What can you tell me? How did I get here? What happened in the club? Do you know anything?”
“I know that a rescue mission was launched by Special Agent Umbridge, Agent Richards, and a team called in from Nashville.”
“Yes, thanks to information you uncovered in that club we found several people in our building that were on the wrong payroll. To make sure the raid was kept under wraps, they used a team from another field office for the assault.”
“How did they know I was there?”
“I’m not sure on that one, but I think Agent Richards was the one to figure everything out.”
“Why have I been here so long? What did they do to me?” Ashley’s mind was still a blank. She couldn’t remember how she got there.”
“You were given several drugs, one of which almost killed you. Again, not sure of the details there.”
Ashley lay quietly for a long time. Her mind was still very foggy and she was so tired.
“Thank you, Agent…”
“Harper, Sarah Harper.”
“Thanks Agent Harper. I’m so tired. I think… I think I need to close my eyes.” Her voice was weak and trembling.
“I’ll turn the lights down some more, but I’ll be right here, don’t you worry. My partner Helen Owen may be here when you wake up, so don’t you worry about a thing. You will not be left alone.”
Ashley’s eyes were already closed and Sarah wondered how much of what she had just said got through to her. She looked at the sleeping woman and marveled at what she did know about her ordeal.
She’d been one of the first to arrive at the hospital when they brought Ashley in. She had seen her body when they laid her on the bed and began to take blood samples and cringed when she saw the lash marks across her crotch and buttocks. She had been in the room when the nurses had covered her welts with salve; Ashley was unconscious, but had still reacted to pain stimuli. The doctors were rushing against time to identify the drugs so they could treat her.
Could I even take a beating like that? The agent sat down and watched the sleeping woman. How did she even survive those drugs?
After a while she stepped outside the door to Ashley’s room to call Agent Richards and give him a quick update.
Ashley slept through the night and woke up refreshed the following day. Her appetite had returned and she was eating a light breakfast of fruit and yogurt when Dr. Jefferson came in to see her.
“How are you feeling today Ms. Bennet?”
“A little groggy, but happy to be alive.”
“Are you up for visitors? There are two ladies here who have been dying to see you, and I don’t think I can stall them off any longer.”
“Pig and Cow?”
The doctor smiled, “Yes, and they have good news for you.” She walked to the door and opened it, allowing the two women in. They were both dressed in casual clothing.
“Wow! Look at you two!” Ashley exclaimed.
“Swan!” Pig cried out as she rushed to the bed and gave Ashley a big hug.
“Ah-hem.” Cow cleared her throat loudly.
Pig immediately corrected herself, “I mean…um…Ashley!”
Cow came over and gave Ashley a big hug.
“It’s so good to see you guys!” Ashley gushed. “I’m so glad you’re okay, I was so worried that you would be left behind.”
“We were left behind but your Master found us and… and he…”
“My Master?” Ashley asked. I have a master?
“I’m pretty sure they’re referring to Agent Richards,” Agent Harper said from her chair against the wall.
“He set us free, Ashley,” Cow said as she sat down next to the bed. “And he has reminded us of our real names.”
“Our human names!” Pig said with excitement. “Mine is Annabelle Clark!”
“That’s a beautiful name! And yours?” Ashley turned towards Cow.
“Clair Mason,” Cow replied. “My sister is coming here to see me.”
Ashley saw that Annabelle was looking down at her hands, folded in her lap.
“Annabelle has no family, but me. Annabelle will be in my family if she will have us.”
Annabelle looked up, teary eyed. “You mean it Cow? I mean, um, Clair? I can be in your family?”
“Of course, I love you more than anyone in the world, Annabelle.”
Annabelle began to sob and with some effort, Ashley sat up and reached over to hug her.
Everyone in the room began to cry, including Agent Harper who turned away so no one would see her tears.
That night, Ashley had a vivid dream. She was bound naked in the basement of the club, watching the DVD of herself working in the club. She felt really, really horny! She had enjoyed working in the club, and was thinking that even though she was a stupid fool for falling for the con she had still really enjoyed working with Nicky and Fiona and all of the girls. She was getting hotter and hotter as she watched the video.
Oh yeah, that guy! She HAD seen him in the club a few times but never thought much about it because he was always in someone else’s section. Was that on purpose? He didn’t want her to get too close?
Ashley moaned aloud as her dream shifted to the night she was to be sold. Her dream closely resembled her perception of that night. In her drugged state the club seemed like a carnival on acid.
The noise was intense and her bound body was on fire with pain from the caning inflicted by the potential buyers. But she was being wheeled someplace… and then she saw Cheryl Donovan and that guy… from CID… Barney something… no Barry.
Ashley screamed out as the whip came down on her exposed pussy. Again and again Donovan whipped her naked flesh. She felt the straps pulling her labia out to the side, allowing the strands of the whip to strike her tender inner flesh.
Ashley screamed again, but then saw that man… she heard the words this time, “It’s okay Ashley, we’re here for you. Ms. Tucker is staying with you, it’s over.” It was Trent Richards. She could see some of his disguise had been removed. Then she felt the blackness sweeping in on her. Pig and Cow! My friends!
Ashley’s screams had brought Agent Harper flying through the door, weapon drawn. She quickly scanned the room and determined there was no threat.
What nightmares this poor woman will have!
She sat next to Ashley and felt her forehead. She was drenched in sweat and Agent Harper pulled some of her covers down to cool her off. She took a towel and dabbed her forehead, face and neck.
Ashley began to stir and soon woke up. She focused on the woman’s face and then weakly smiled. “Agent Harper, I had a horrible dream that it was all happening to me again.” A tear rolled down her cheek and Agent Harper caught it with her towel.
“Is it late? I’d like to see Agent Richards if it’s not too late.”
“He left instructions to be called at any hour if you wanted to see him. I’ll call him now if you’d like.”
Ashley was sleeping again by the time Trent made it to the hospital. He, too, slept in the outer room until Ashley woke up again and asked for him. When he went in, Agent Harper stepped outside the door, guarding it.
“Hey, Ashley, how are you feeling?” Trent said as he stood by her bed. Ashley pointed towards the chair that was near her head and Trent sat down.
“Water, please.” She pointed towards the pitcher and cup on her tray and Trent poured her a glass and handed it to her.
Ashley sipped the water and handed the cup back to Trent.
“Thanks.” She lay there for a minute collecting her thoughts. Finally she said, “I feel like such a fool, Trent.” Tears rolled down her cheeks. “I can never face Special Agent Umbridge again, I’m so ashamed. How could I be such a fool?”
Trent reached over and took Ashley’s hand. “Dick Umbridge knows everything about what happened to you Ashley, as do Gary and I. We’re the only ones that know the whole truth. Not one of us thinks you’re a fool, Ashley. You were set up by people who’ve been blackmailed by the mob and conned by two experts. There’s no way you could known it wasn’t a legitimate assignment.”
“But I believed him! I was so gullible.”
“Yes, he was very convincing, and you were very eager to do what ever you could to help Special Agent Umbridge.”
There was a moment’s silence and then Ashley asked, “How did you know? Why were you in the club in disguise?”
Trent looked shocked, “You recognized me?”
“No, no, but in my dreams I think I figured it out.”
“Don’t get mad at me, and Dick Umbridge almost kicked the shit out of me for saying this, but I began to suspect you were on the take when I was in your place that one morning. I started to tail you everywhere you went, and followed you to the club.”
“You’ve known since then?”
“No. I didn’t know anything. The more I looked into your past and got to know who you are, the more I came to the conclusion that you were clean and that you were just doing the waitress job for the fun of it.”
“You saw me naked in the club.” It was a statement.
Trent blushed a very deep red and said, “Well, yes, I did. But I’d decided that I was going to stop tailing you, oh what was it… last Sunday, a week ago.”
“I met with Wexler in a restaurant that morning.”
“If I had left your place before you went out that morning, well… I’m not sure we’d be here today having this conversation. I decided to follow you one last time, and I was in the restaurant with my audio equipment when you had your meeting. I’ll tell you this Ashley, if I live to be a hundred years old, I’ll never forget the look on Wexler’s face when you told him about the blackmail files you had found. I thought he was going to have a stroke!”
“Yeah, he did look pretty surprised. But I was a little shocked that he didn’t jump all over that news. How did you find out they were holding me at the Gold Club?”
“Well after that meeting I knew that something bad was going down.” Trent went on to tell her about Gary’s involvement and how he and Dick had tracked down Paula.
“Paula? You spoke to her?”
“Yes, she was very helpful and very concerned. She’s been here a couple of times to sit with you, by the way. I called her yesterday to tell her you were doing better.”
“Thank you.” Ashley said softly.
“Your boss, Fiona, was also very helpful. Dick and I decided to enter the Gold Club with an extraction team. We didn’t know if we would find you in there or not, but luckily we did.”
“It’s all very fuzzy in my head, Trent. There are some images, but not a lot makes sense. I remember Maxine giving me something in hypodermic needles; I know that I was beaten pretty badly. I remember Cheryl Donovan being there and giving me something else. And I sort of remember you talking to me and Ms. Tanner being there?”
“Ms. Tanner saved your life Ashley. I interviewed her at her home a couple of days after we got you out. It seems she learned that you had interviewed at the Gold Club and when you didn’t show up for work she upgraded her membership in hopes of finding you there. She must have spotted you that night and was sitting right behind Donovan, waiting to see you. When she saw Donovan stab you with that hypodermic she freaked out and nearly killed her. Dick and I were on our way to you when I saw the needle go in. I cursed myself for not having someone closer get to you first, but then I saw Ms. Tanner stand up and reach over that couch.” Trent smiled. “She wrapped those big hands of hers around Donovan’s neck and lifted her off of her feet like a rag doll.”
Ashley had to smile at that, too.
“I thought she had killed her, but luckily Donovan had just passed out from lack of oxygen. I knew you were safe with Ms. Tanner standing over you, so I left you in her care while I helped nab the bad guys.”
“She is such a warm hearted woman.”
“I took her a dozen roses earlier in the week.”
“Oh Trent, thanks for doing that.”
The two sat for a moment in silence and then Ashley said, “I’ll be quitting the Bureau when I get out of here.”
“You don’t have to do that, Ashley.”
“I’d be too embarrassed to go back into the office.”
“Everyone there knows you’re responsible for cleaning house in our building, Ashley. Everyone is waiting for you to come back, to congratulate you.”
“It’s all a lie, though. I humiliated myself for over a month, in a strip club. It will come out sooner or later and I’ll be humiliated all over again.”
“It’ll never come out, Ash. But, I’m not going to sit here and argue with you. The decision is yours. But remember, whether it was a con job or not, you went in undercover and totally outwitted the con men. You took your chances and came out with information that put the mob back ten years. You single-handedly wiped out all of the mob contacts in our office, and in this city. You did this Ashley, and I’ve never been prouder of one of my agents as I am of you.”
Trent looked at the young woman lying next to him. “And don’t get me going on integrity. Under the most horrendous conditions you refused to cooperate. You refused to break your cover. They finally gave up on you and blew their con themselves. And never forget that even when you were drugged and quite frankly should have been dead, you saved the lives of your two friends. No one would have known they were there, and those assholes weren’t going to say anything about them. It wasn’t until three days later that your pleas for them ate away at me and Dick and we discovered them in that hell-hole. You saved their lives, Ashley.”
“Why did it take so long to get to them? Why weren’t they found right away?”
“There was a false wall that hid the orange door. We searched that entire building looking for an orange door, and anything that looked like a pig or a cow. Finally, Dick and I went back with flashlights and searched the basements again. Your friends were severely dehydrated, but alive.”
“Yes.” Trent backed his chair up. “Would you like to know anything else?”
Ashley thought for a moment, not letting go of Trent’s hand. “No, I don’t think so. I just really wanted to thank you for saving me, Trent. I owe you my life.”
Trent leaned over and kissed Ashley’s forehead. “Take care of yourself Ashley Bennet, and if you ever need anything you can call me any time.”
“I will.” Ashley closed her eyes as Trent slipped out of her room. Everything Agent Richards had just said to her looped through her mind. Had she been a real agent she would have been proud of everything she had accomplished. Maybe one day she could look back at it with pride, but not yet. She felt she had a long road ahead of her to just come to terms with what she had been through. And maybe figure out why she got so freaking horny when she thought about it!