She could make out one word in ten, possibly in nine. Possibly less than that. They weren't speaking in the slow diction she was accustomed to as a tourist. No "s'il vous plait," no "juste un instant." As they dragged her along, she grasped numbly at minor prepositions, pronouns, and some of the crude slang her French-learning friends had snickered to her in high school. It was those that she recognized most.
A door opened, and she was falling to her knees on concrete. Jane didn't even try to muffle the agonized scream as pain shot through her leg. All that kept her from doubling over was their hold on her arms, tight, out to her sides.
A man got up from a desk on the edge of the room. Panting, she somehow already knew enough not to raise her eyes to him.
"Qu'avons-nous ici?" The voice asked, blue jeans and black cowboy boots-both well worn-coming closer to her. He didn't remove the cigarette from his mouth when he spoke. His voice was gravelly, deep, a smoker's voice. The room smelled like an ashtray. Stale. Musty. Sweaty.
One of them answered him in French. Jane caught the word "américain."
"Ah," he responded, and took another long drag before throwing the stub on the ground and crushing it once, firmly, beneath his right boot. He asked another question. Both that and the response were unintelligible to her.
"Êtes-vous sûr?" He laughed, a low rumble, and swiftly and without preamble drove the toe of his boot into her left knee. She cried out, again, and tried to double over, but her arms were stretched taut. Her muscles shook from neck to knees, undulating, in spasm, as her fetal instinct was denied.
The smoking cowboy turned and grabbed the old metal chair at his desk, brought it closer to her, and sat backwards in it, facing her. She was panting hard, trying to fight the urge to vomit, willing the stars to leave her vision. The faint chuckling behind her fought the blood rushing through her head for dominance in her aural periphery.
The man in the chair lit another cigarette, sucking it red, then told her matter-of-fact: "Your kneecap is shattered."
The room laughed. One of the men mumbled something in French, and they snickered again. She concentrated on breathing.
Almost as if he heard her thoughts, and was willfully denying her, the smoker lifted his head in her direction, exhaling smoke. "We're not making our American guest feel welcome." He had no accent. None at all. "Isn't that right, girly?"
She looked up, finally. Solid. Dark hair, wiry, streaked with coarse grey. Olive, ashy skin. A handful of wrinkles. Tar-pitch eyes, sunken. They met her gaze, and after a moment, almost wavered. He motioned to the two men holding her up by her arms. They dropped her.
Instantly, she crumbled to the ground, relieving the pressure on her broken knee. Her back spasmed as she worked through the pain. For a moment, no one said anything.
The voice from the chair broke the pause. "I didn't say you could move, Jane."
She froze. Her blood turned to ice and pinpricks needled her back from neck to tailbone. She looked up at him, feeling the sweat blossoming at her armpits, warm and close.
He knew her name.
He nodded, recognizing her fear, and his tone was deliberate, smooth, without anger. "Back on your knees, before we take out the other one."
Jane had frozen crouched, animal-like, her legs bent under her, palms down in front. She studied this man, tentative, hesitant, weighing whether or not to obey. His eyes were black. Glimmering. Onyx. Biting her lip, she reared herself back, balancing, a hand on either side of her torso as she raised herself onto her knees. Her muscles trembled as she tried to shift the weight to her right side. Slowly, painfully, she moved her hands to her sides, straightening, fingertips dusting the floor. A tear slid out when she wobbled momentarily to her left knee. She did not raise her eyes.
"Porcelet poli," he said, with a thick, low edge to his voice, and there was more snickering.
He'd been idly thumbing his lighter, and now leaned back, tucking it into his jeans pocket, eyeing her. "You don't know who we are," he said, in his perfect English, "but we know you." She shook before him. "We make it our business to know who we take. But let's remove some of the mystery for you." He gestured to one of the men, who tossed him a roll of duct tape. She sighed, resigned, as it flew through the air, still looking down.
"We're mercenaries," he said, as he unwound a length of tape. "We hunt for money." He bit the tape off and watched her, waiting, patient. Jane's brow creased. The roll was now a bracelet on his arm as he leaned toward her, hands holding the adhesive edges.
"But-but I don't understand," she stammered, quickly. "I don't have money. I don't have secrets. I'm just . . . I'm a nobody. I promise." She looked up at him. "I prom-" and he took the opportunity to slap the tape across her mouth, snapping it at her neck.
"Yup, Jane," he said, in a voice one would use with a slow child. He took her arms and pulled them behind her back, taping them together above her elbows, at her forearms, at her wrists. Jane cried out as the pressure returned to her shattered kneecap, her body twisting, trying to self-correct. One of her shoulders dislocated with a pop; she screamed into the gag again, and the tears began trickling down her face.
"No, you're a picture-perfect little lady," he said, returning to his seat. "No one's hiring us to get your money, or information, or cooperation. In fact, no one's paying us a fucking cent for you." Her eyes pleaded, frantically. "But did you ever think, 'holy fuck-how do these badasses get so good at what they do? How do they steal people in the middle of the night, with no trace? How are these brilliant geniuses never caught?' Hmmm?" She sniffled and shut her eyes in reply.
"Practice, Jane." She closed her eyes, and two more tears escaped past her lashes. "Practice taking. Practice torturing. Practice killing. Practice raping." He looked at her for a reaction, but received none. She had known that part of the equation since the moment they took her. "Because without practice, what would we be? Would we be able to carry out our orders, to fuck up innocent people, just for the money? Or would we become a bunch of fucking cunts, too fucking chickenshit to follow through?"
One of the men behind her muttered something, nudging her in the back with his knee. She whimpered.
The man in the chair leaned in. "Practice is necessary. I can't run the risk of some of my men not being able to . . . perform." More snickering.
"But practice should have incentive, right? Practice needs reward. And that's where you come in." He took hold of her jaw with his hand, softly, holding her head up to look at him. "My boys work hard. My boss asks a lot of me, and I in turn ask a lot of them. I ask them to check their morals at the door, to give up their lives to be a part of this little company. And I repay them," he said, standing, letting go of her chin, "by giving them you."
In her right periphery, one of them unzipped his pants and started stroking himself, languidly.
"Now," the man in front of her said, looking down, those black eyes twinkling sickly, "now, do you get it?"
She didn't move.
"You understand, pig?" Jane felt like she had forgotten how to breathe. "Look at me." He bent to her level, waiting for her eyes to meet his. "We're going to fucking kill you," he said. Two more of the men had started jerking off behind her, their breathing shallow and even. The room suddenly seemed warmer. "You're going to die as one of our fucking test drives."
The one who had first started stroking himself stood before her, skinny chic in a dirty Expos hat, his member dangling angrily in front of her face. "Je vais battre la merde hors de vous, chatte," he sneered. And with that, he punched her head-on, the blow connecting with her jaw.
She fell to the ground, the inside of her cheek bleeding where she bit it, her arms pinned painfully behind her, breasts up and out, in a mock invitation. They, accepting, began climbing on top of her.
"Attendez," said the smoker. "Ralentissez, tout vous foutus abrutis." He pulled them off of her. "You'll all get your piece." He towered over her, his cigarette threatening to rain ashes over her. "Tell us about your boyfriend, Jane."
More snickering. He kicked her legs apart, cruelly aiming for her knee. "How often do you fuck him?" She squirmed nervously below him. He bent down and ran his hands up the sides of her torso, slowly. With sudden violence, he ripped her shirt off of her, exposing her bra. "Ever let him fuck you up the ass?" He took a sheathed knife out of his back pocket, drew it out, and sliced through her bra. Jane's plump breasts, straining against the bondage of her arms, sprung free. There were laughs and catcalls. All the men but the cowboy were touching themselves at this point.
"Regardez les mésanges sur ce grosse chienne!" One of them yelled, and the rest laughed.
The smoker traced the knife along the curves of her breast. Her breath flinched in response. He leaned over her, took a deep drag on his cigarette, bent down, and exhaled it, covering her nose with his mouth. She coughed, gagging, shaking. He laughed, sitting back, proudly. "Elle sera amusement, oui garcons?" They all chuckled. "Oui."
"How many boys have you let fuck you, Jane?" He asked. He grabbed her hair, forcing her to look at him. "I want an answer." He shook her by her hair. "Shake your fucking head, pig. Got it?" She nodded.
He traced the knife down her abdomen. "Twenty."
She moaned and shook her head no.
He dug the knife in under her jeans, flicking the button off from the inside. "Fifteen."
Another no. Her eyes pressed out a few more tears.
"Don't tell me it's only five," he teased, as he snaked the knife between her bare skin and her underwear. He sliced through the shorts. "Regardez ceci, garcons. We have a fucking nun on our hands." They chuckled. "Jane, chubbies like you are always fuck-happy, trying to prove to Mommy and Daddy that you're worth something. Right?" He scratched the blade at her belly, emphasizing the point. "So you're either a nasty slut or a stupid fucking prude. Which is it?"
She froze, unable to answer yes or no to this question. But her eyes said all that was needed. For the first time, something registered with the cowboy. His dark eyebrows jumped on his forehead.
"No fucking way," he breathed. She turned her head, miserably. "Fuck you, no fucking way," he said. He quickly pulled her pants and underwear off her body, and crudely, without ceremony, shoved his hand to her crotch. She squirmed from his touch, then resigned to it.
"Connerie, elle est une vierge," one of the men stated, dumbstruck, and stroked himself faster.
"You bet your fucking pecker she is," the man over her breathed, as he inserted one finger, then two, and stared down at her. "My lucky fucking day."
"Elle n'est pas si joufflu," another said, and as Jane looked up at the voice, a blonde, angelic face spit down at her.
Slowly, the cowboy raised himself off her, stood, and started unbuckling his belt. His eyes never left her body, roving. Hungry. "Partez, vous tous-vous connaissez tous les règles," he said, and with mumbled protests and laughs, all the others began exiting the room. Jane sobbed, once, twice, her breasts heaving, and tried to roll onto her side.
He pulled his shirt off, then his undershirt, throwing them onto the bed in the corner of the room. A chain around his neck came next; he tossed it to the desk, metal clanging against metal. He snapped his belt-loudly-twice, watching her body jerk to the noise. That he dropped to the floor, beside her.
"Jane, I tell you, I don't know who's luckier-you or me," he said, walking over to her. "You see, I leave most of the maiming, the beating, the blood, the death-I leave all that to the boys." He stopped, a couple feet from her. "Now, don't get me wrong-I've done my share of killing. And I've fucking enjoyed some of it." He unzipped his jeans. "But really, I just like the fuck." He took a last drag on the cigarette and threw it to the ground. "Turn around, baby."
She sighed, crumpled into a ball, her taped arms turning purple and blue behind her, debating whether there was anything to be gained from resisting. Slowly, she turned over to face him.
"Good bitch," he said, squatting down in front of her. He rolled her onto her back, and began softly stroking her left thigh, stopping before he reached the bruised knee. "And, see, here's how I figure it's our lucky day-spread your legs, cunt." His voice was calm, even, not at all vicious. Just matter of fact. Her being a cunt was not up for debate.
She moved her legs apart.
He reached his hand up and cupped her pubic mound, leaned over her, and took her right nipple in his mouth. He hummed on it, and she sobbed again. She could feel the cold of his zipper pressing into her thigh.
He pulled away, and leaned over her, kneeling between her legs. "I pull rank here when it comes to virgins. I break them in." He eased his jeans down past his buttocks, and stroked himself through his underwear. "That's always an honor reserved for me. And, being a gentleman-" he rolled his underwear down, his penis springing free, "-I think all cunts deserve a good fucking before they die." He ripped the duct tape off her mouth, crumpled it, threw it to his side. "I'm gonna make you cum hard, meat."
She licked her lips, her mouth dry from silent screaming. He leaned down and kissed her, hard, his tongue pressing against her teeth. "Open for me," he whispered. She did, and he explored leisurely, licking the recent cut on her inside cheek, his hands roving her breasts. "See, normally the only virgins I get are young babies or old lesbians-you're no lesbian, are you, Jane?" She shook her head no, silently crying. He turned her face to one side, nibbling on her neck. "Yeah, this should be easy. It's not hard to get soft, young meat to respond. You want it." His mouth was wet, and warm, and she felt her pulse wherever his lips touched. "You're ripe, you're ready to be fucked." He smiled to himself, and let his teeth graze her ear.
Slowly, he leaned back on his haunches, his jeans crumpled at his ankles, the cold toes of his boots pressing into her thighs, beating himself off. "I'm gonna break you now, baby," he said, placing one hand on her thigh to steady himself. "And it's gonna hurt. Don't you fucking dare look away from me. You got it?"
She nodded. He grabbed her hair, not satisfied. "Got it, Jane?" He barked.
She licked her lips again. "Yes," she whispered, hoarsely.
"Yeah," he said, slapping her upper thigh lightly with his dick. "Yeah, you'll do it," he whispered, and lowered himself before her. "You want this," he exhaled, using his hand to keep his dick steady.
Jane tried to unclench every muscle in her body, tried to isolate her vaginal wall and relax it, but the receptors in her brain were too damn focused on survival. She felt the skin of her hymen tear and rip, a burning at the bottom of her inner labia. She winced as he entered her further, her vagina dry, the muscles inside it like rubber baking in the sun. She could feel the sensitive, thin skin being pulled further, dragged along into her by his penis.
"Holy fuck, you weren't kidding," he breathed, an almost pained expression on his face. He fed his prick into her, guiding it with his thumb. "Fucking Christ, you're tight." He groaned, and began to slowly work himself in and out, gaining an inch or two with each thrust. The room was quiet besides the sounds of shuffled flesh against flesh, the squeak of his boots against the floor, and Jane's sniffles, every few thrusts.
"Oh, God, baby-how many cocks you sucked, Jane?" He asked her, pulling her nipples tight while kissing her face, tear-streaked. "Answer me."
"None," she answered, her voice cracking.
"No," she said, and barked a small sob.
He reached behind her and lifted her up into a sick embrace, her ass on the floor, her purple taped arms cool against his own, working himself faster. "Are you a fucking lesbian?" She shook her head no. He began pumping into her, moving himself around inside her, one hand on the floor for leverage, the other firmly gripping her lower back. "So you like cock? Just waiting for someone to give it to you, to take pity? Eh? Does this feel good?" He hissed into her ear.
She shook her head. "No!"
His chest was hard against her, firm, inescapable. Suffocating. "No? A part of you doesn't want this?" He looked up and down the length of her as he fucked her, pleased. His hands moved up her back, to her shoulder blades, sticking out because of her bondage. His hair bounced as he moved.
He groaned, sinking in deeper. "Oh, baby, what the fuck are you going to do when the other guys get a piece of you?"
She started sobbing. "Please," her voice vibrating with each of his thrusts.
"You'll be begging for me."
"Please . . ."
He slowed down, lowering her back to the floor. "Until they cut out your fucking tongue."
She closed her eyes. "Please," she whispered.
He smacked her face. "Open your fucking eyes." Her gaze was a stubborn mass of hurt, anger, frustration, and muted resistance. He rocked back and forth over her, his hands planted on either side of her head. On his right arm he had a tattoo, starting half-way up the bicep and ending mid-forearm. She focused her energy in trying to make out what it was.
He bent over her, their faces mere inches apart. She could count the individual beads of sweat on his forehead, the gray hairs in his dark eyebrows. She could see Jesus clearly on the tiny gold crucifix around his neck. "Now I just gotta find your spot. I just gotta find your sweet spot." One hand moved down to her genitals. "An hombre keeps his word."
She squirmed at his touch. "You keep fucking looking at me," he panted.
She willed herself to hold his gaze, to be stronger than him, to beat him at his game. She locked her eyes with his, in broken defiance.
His fingers were probing, delicately, and his thrusts had become more rhythmic. His breath tickled her neck, and his tongue flicked, warm and moist, to her earlobe.
"You here?" He found her clitoris and rolled it, gently, between his fingers. She squirmed and drew a breath, sharply. Every time he rocked, she got goose bumps where his hard nipples brushed against her. "Hmmm? Is that you?"
He pulled himself up on his knees, and dragged her bottom half with him, her thighs now resting on his, her rump off the ground. He kept thrusting. She kept eye contact. "Or," he began, one hand still on her nub, swirling his fingers around it, caressing it, the other moving to the area above her pubic bone, tickling her skin, "are you here?" He pressed down firmly, squarely skewering her Grafenberg spot between his thrusting penis and the palm of his hand.
Jane cried out, her body instinctively pushing back against him. "Oh God!" she called out. A plea.
He slid her back down again, keeping pressure on those two places. He climbed over her, his body tight, his breath flushing her skin. "Yeah, I found you," he whispered. "And now, meat, it's lights out." He resumed the speed of his thrusts, jackhammering into her. "We gotta save some fun for the rest of the boys." His balls made a sickening "thwack" as they slapped against her. "I'll tell them-ungh-tell them you were on your best behavior."
"But," he panted, looking down at her, still fondling her two most special places, "always-the-consummate-unh-gentleman," he sank into her, paused, held it there, resumed, "I always say-oh god-ladies-first."
And with that he did something, moved some way, that sent her uterus into its knee-jerk orgasmic reaction. Jane cried out again, her breathing shallow, whelping noises coming from her throat. The pressure in her cunt was almost unbearable, rising, building, overtaking her gut until she thought she'd explode, when it suddenly boiled over, the valve released, simmering her insides with radiating warmth, a crushing roll of lava undulating through her, leaving each spot numb in its wake. She shuddered, her eyes rolled back, and then, wretchedly, miserably, she went limp. Her crying resumed.
"Look at me, baby." And she turned to face him again just as she felt his scrotum quiver against her labia. His dark eyes squinted, he clenched his teeth and breathed through them, the veins in his neck bulged, his adam's apple bobbed up and down. "Oh, yes, Jesus, thank you," he grunted and pumped deep within her.
She watched him as he spent himself, trying to ignore the feeling of warm slush inside her numb sex, willing her eyes to burn holes, literal holes, into his head. Instead, she had to comfort herself with the limpening of his penis as he took in her expression. His eyebrows flickered and fell, like he knew he should be angry at her. He gave out one last grunt, and then fell to the ground next to her. His retreat from her body brought one last, unexpected shiver from her.
He rolled her onto her side, facing away from him, cutting the tape from her elbows. "How does it feel for your body to betray you?"
She took a deep breath. "It didn't betray me," she answered, with just a slight quaver.
"What?" He panted, freeing her forearms.
"It responded, just like it's supposed to." She sniffed snot back into her nose and hoped to Christ she sounded somewhat pulled-together. "All you did was prove that everything is in working order."
He snorted and, after a pause, sliced the tape from her wrists. Her arms remained limply behind her, the blood rushing back into the limbs with painful sluggishness. He rolled her back over, pulling them out from under her. He fell back again, wiping the sweat from his brow, leaning on his elbows, panting up toward the ceiling.
"Really," he said, fishing in his rumpled jeans' pocket. "So, let me get this straight, meat: You're telling me you didn't just fucking cum when your owner raped you?"
The room spun. She closed her eyes, tightly, pursing every muscle in her body. No one would gain access to any part of her, ever again. "I feel sorry for you," she said, almost spitting out the words, "if you've always been dumb enough to think that when a woman orgasms it means she must've enjoyed it."
His mouth dropped open, torn between laughter and rage. The laughter won out. He lit another cigarette, puffing smoke out the side. "I'd kick the shit out of you," he said, cigarette clamped between his teeth as he pulled up his jeans, "but I think it will be more entertaining to watch the guys do that. They're more inventive then me." He got up and walked to the door, opening it. "And you should really start feeling sorry for yourself, meat," he said, rearranging himself in his pants. "You'll need all the pity you can get."
She opened her eyes as she heard the voices, and saw now that there were four men-one with rope, one with barbed wire, one with a whip, and one with a black hood. They rushed over to her, picked her up, and dragged her out onto the floor of the warehouse.
"Have a nice life, bitch," He said, giving her a mock bow as she was dragged out of his room. He slammed the door closed.
His tattoo is a spider. And the hood swallowed her up.