It was almost time for me to head to the office. I stopped the water and grabbed my towel, drying off, rubbing my hair dry with it after. I threw on my robe and decided to check my phone that was on its charger at the time. Seven missed calls and five text messages, I counted, and they were all from Mr. Black himself. They all read:
"Answer my calls, Miss. Hale."
"Call me back ASAP."
"Rosalie, I know you're there because you've always got that phone in your hand, now call me back."
"This is no joke, Rose; I need you to get here earlier for a meeting, now call me!"
"Damn it, Miss. Hale! You better have a good reason as to why you're not answering. I better be getting a call from you in the next five minutes."
This was laughable. I couldn't stop grinning. The time stamp on the last text was about seven minutes ago so I was going to be reprimanded for that. My phone went off just as I was about to dial his number.
"Ten minutes ago I sent that last one, Miss. Hale! You're late."
Alright, alright. Good lord, the guy couldn't hold his panties down for a few minutes. I regretted it, but I dialed his number anyways. He answered on the second ring.
"Miss. Hale." No hellos, just my name. Alright, I would play along.
"Mr. Black." I could just see the huff he blew into my ear as I responded back.
"Why weren't you answering me?"
"Can't a girl get ready for work instead of answering her phone?" I asked, my tone sarcastic.
"No, Miss. Hale. You can't. You work at my office; your life is mine."
"Really now? Did you seriously just say that to me, Jacob?"
"I did, and you will show me respect and call me Mr. Black. Am I clear?"
"Good, now I need you to get to the office for a meeting right away. We have some things to discuss."
"As you wish, my Lord." He sensed my sarcasm and hung up. No goodbye or anything.
This guy seriously had everyone by the balls, assuming they had any. I blow dried my hair as best I could and then dressed in my black skirt, with a white tank and a jacket over that. I grabbed my makeup, bag, and keys then headed for my car. This was the time where I had to put my mastery skill to work. Doing my make up as I drove. My job called for that a lot.
I grabbed a few things that I would put on and started the ignition. I pulled from the driveway and I started to head to work putting on my liner first. I had the wheel in my hand at the same time, looking around me and watching as I drove. I put on the mascara next, and with the last swipe I was pulling into the parking lot of our four story building. I flashed the security guy my badge and he opened the gate. I parked and headed in.
Mr. Black's office was at the top of the building so he can regain his dominance over everyone, or at least he thinks so. I pressed the button for level four and it took me upstairs. I smoothed down my skirt, pulled my shirt down, and straightened myself before I knocked lightly and then entered his office. He was at the desk, rapping his fingers along the surface as he always did when someone was late. He said nothing and I stilled. There was another knock on the door before the person walked in. It was him. My rival. My enemy. Mr. Emmett Cullen.
We stared at each other before Mr. Black broke our attention by clearing his throat and we looked to him. He pointed to the chairs.
"Have a seat, both of you."
I couldn't help but wonder what business he wanted us to do together this time. Last time I worked with Emmett he got a huge head and acted as if he was better than me. I focused all of my attention on Mr. Black as he began speaking.
"I've called you both into my office for this meeting because you two are my best associates. Now, do either one of you object to working together?"
I did, but I wouldn't say that. Neither would Emmett. We both wanted to be the best and it would be a competition to see who came out on top. We both stayed silent.
"I will take that as a no then. Good. This company thrives on clients. We need the best of the best. I have received word of a client out there for us to win over. It will be a struggle to get him on our team, but we can do it with the two of you working him over. It won't be easy though."
"So you're making us work together to capture a man's money?"
"Exactly, Rosalie. Your beauty, Emmett's charm-the both of you will have this guy eating from your hand."
"Well, I'm down. Sit back, pretty girl. This isn't child's play," he said, sounding almost too confident.
"Oh, you wish you were that good, Emmett Cullen. I will crush you like a grape!"
"Enough!" Mr. Black slammed his hand on the desk, breaking up our argument. "You will both work together and that is final. So get used to it. The client isn't staying around here. He's in another state. So you two will be traveling to go see this guy for a meeting with him." He smirked then shifted to the side of the desk we were on and sat on top of it.
"This should be fun. A whole trip with Big Head himself," I spat.
"I guess you'd be the one to talk. You're the one with the issues with traveling."
"Jesus, Lord. You guys are worse than children! Here." He swiped two tickets from the desk, handing each of us one. We looked at them.
"These are dated tomorrow. We have to leave for the flight tomorrow and you just told us?"
"Yes, Rosalie. Now go take the day off and get ready and well rested. You both have a big day tomorrow and you do not come back till this guy is eating out of your hands."
"Yes! Trip, here we come! Well, me and the mouse," Emmett shouted. We both left the office.
Game day! I was excited to get out and go do something new in another state to capture this man's heart and money. Sounds harsh, but that was our job. You almost had to be heartless.
I stood at the gate to our plane and, of course, Rose was not here. I knew she would chicken out. Anything with me helping, she'd rather die. I have a tendency to do that to her. We were rivals; of course we hated each other.
I turned at that last thought and saw her strolling up to the gate as stiff as could be. She made it in time because the stewardess announced we could board the plane and, just as they said it, Rose stopped a few passengers behind me, freaking out. She froze as the line started moving and everyone started ramming into her.
"NO! I will not board the plane! Please don't make me!"
I nodded to the attendant then went to Rose and stood by her. "Rosie, you have to go. This is your job. This is the first time he's letting the two of us go-do you want to prove him wrong?" I couldn't believe I was helping my rival but I needed the competition.
"You win-I'll tell him so-but I am not going, Emmett! Go have fun and, as you heard, don't come back without the guy's interest," she said, her voice shaky. With that, she grabbed her bag, starting to turn, but I grabbed her arm and the luggage she had and gently guided her to the attendant and gave her our tickets. She went in depth describing where our seats were and told us to have a good flight.
I seated Rose, put her luggage up, and then looked down at her. Her fingers clenched the arms of the chair as she stared ahead but I saw tears streaming down her face. At that moment, I could swear I had a heart because I felt like an ass for making her join. It should have been her decision. I touched her cheek then I told her where I'd be if she needed.
The plane took off and Rose started screaming. Her bloody murder screams could knock anyone down. The stewardess was trying to calm her but it didn't work. Rose was badass but planes were her weakness. I went over to her, switching my seat with another passenger. I needed to calm Rose down and keep her calm before they decided to turn the plane back around and kick us off.
A few years ago, Rose's job was really taking off for her so anything that would get in the way or jeopardize that, she'd refuse. Her parents were going on a vacation and she decided to stay back. She saw them off, standing at the window to wait for their plane to take off. Just as it did, the plane blew up. The impact blew through the window and knocked her down, glass and plane parts flying everywhere. Her parents died right before her eyes and she couldn't do anything about it. She didn't believe it. She couldn't.
I knew the story because she told our boss and then the paper had every detail in an interview with her. Everyone's heart broke. I should have known before having her board with me this would happen, or that the heartless Mr. Black would understand and not send her. I looked over and she was bracing herself, stilled and lost in her own thoughts. I just hoped she was okay.
"Rose, it'll be okay. We'll be okay," I said in what I'd hoped was a soothing voice while rubbing circles on her back with my palms.
She looked up with tears in her eyes and shook her head but said nothing.
I pulled her into my arms and held her while she cried into my shirt. Rose and I might be bitter enemies-I still didn't know why that was-but I was not a heartless bastard. I knew when a woman was hurt, even scared, and I would comfort them, no matter who they were.
I held her while she cried and, after an hour, she finally dozed off; she had cried herself to sleep. I leaned her back into her seat and put my jacket under her head so she didn't wake with a crick in her neck.
I put my headphones on and jammed out to my favorite metal band 'Metallica,' leaning my head against the seat to try and relax a bit. We had a long three-hour flight ahead of us.
I tried to sleep but my mind had other plans. And a couple hours later we landed. I nudged Rose awake, we left the plane to go get our luggage, and then went to the motel where our reservation was at. We checked into the room at the motel that Jake had reserved for us. I thought it was a little ironic that he only reserved one room with one bed in it for Rosalie and I. I chuckled at that thought. But it would do since we were not going to be here long. Rose had finally stopped shaking since we arrived an hour ago. Once we settled in, I ordered pizza and had it delivered. We watched television for a little while and, with the jet leg, fell fast asleep. We had a big day ahead of ourselves tomorrow.
Today was the big day; The Challenge. Today we would be testing our skills to see if we could capture the man and his money.
We had a time and place to be there and I was already ready, but where the hell was Em? I rolled my eyes at that thought. The big bear was still passed out on the only bed that was in the room. I couldn't believe we had to sleep in the same bed last night. That reminded me: when we got back home and to the office, I was going to have a word with the big boss man. I grabbed a glass of water and filled it with ice cold water, smirking at the thought of Em's reaction to what I was about to do. I walked up to his side of the bed and poured the full glass onto his head. His arms flung out and grabbed me so I pulled a Katniss and grabbed him by the throat, pushing him back against the bed.
"If I wanted a bear, Emmett, I would have gone into the woods. Now get your ass up, we have a job to do!"
"You are a rude-ass bitch, Rosalie. Wake me up like that again and see what happens." He glared at me.
"That sounds fun." I winked while removing myself from atop Emmett. "Now get your ass in gear; we don't have all day. If you're not ready in ten minutes, I'm going alone."
That shut him up and got him moving. Five minutes later, he was ready and out the door, pulling me with him. The rental car was waiting outside when we stepped out in the sunlight. Emmett climbed in the driver's seat while I got in the passenger. I dug through my purse for the address and typed it into the GPS. Surprisingly, with Emmett's driving, we made it to the address safely. The place was eerie, creepy, and downright scary; a pumpkin patch. I double checked and triple checked to be sure this place was right and, sure enough, we were in the right place.
"I didn't realize we were going to pick out pumpkins for Halloween this year?" Em said, sarcastically.
"No, but I'm guessing we're meeting with a Mr. Pumpkin," I tried to joke but Em wasn't laughing his usual laugh.
"Well, let's get this over with," he said as he parked the car and we stepped out.
He started walking towards the patch and I followed suit. There was a hut so Em walked over and knocked on the door or what looked like a door. It creaked open on the third knock. If that wasn't creepy enough, the floor sounded like it would shatter under us as we walked over it.
"Never thought I'd say this, but can I get back on the plane please?" he said as he laughed eerily, looking at me.
"What's wrong Emmy bear, you scared?" I tried to make another joke to lighten the mood but the door slammed shut and made me jump. I hid behind Em when a voice spoke up.
He sounded eerie.
"Em, let's get out of here and tell Jake that we couldn't persuade the guy," I said as a bad feeling came over me.
"You ain't going anywhere, pretty little lady," the man threatened.
Before we knew it, he had us bound, gagged, and in the basement. Emmett looked furious while I was really scared. Millions of horrible thoughts ran through my mind as we sat there, waiting for our fates to be decided.
"Don't worry, my dears. This isn't one of those 'capture the girl and have my pleasure while the guy watches' sort of things." I exhaled through the gag at those words. "Then again, I will be hurting each of you as the other watches. Maybe tear off a limb. A finger. Who knows?" My eyes went big and panic struck me. The guy sighed; he was loving my reactions too much.
He withdrew a knife from the counter behind him and played with it in his hand, swinging it as he spoke. "I let your boss think he had a chance with winning my money. He sounds like an ass. He didn't hesitate to grab his first two associates and technically throw them under the bus. He didn't know where he was sending you-hell, he doesn't even know me-but he sent you here anyway. Now the question is, how will you die? Will the pain of my torture be too much so your body shuts down, or will I get too bored and just carve out your hearts? Who knows? But, either way, it's going to be fun hearing you scream." He shrugged at that. He was having too much fun making me scared shitless.
I could see all the muscles in Rose tense as the knife fell right through her leg and she screeched around the gag in her mouth. Her breathing got heavier and she braced herself against the pain. How I hated seeing her go through this. I should have just let her go home like she wanted. The guy was gone. I couldn't see him anywhere but I hated that we were captives to a man that was not even human. All I could think about was turning into Emmett the Hulk and breaking free so I tried. I felt pressure around my neck and my eyes were bugging out of my head. I was being choked by him. This is totally not a fair fight here, I thought. I fell back as much as I could once he let go of my neck and struggled to breathe.
You ever see those movies where the characters ran and ran to get away from something but that something was floating and there was no figure there? That was us. Only this thing could appear human. Only in movies? Yeah, right! That was what I thought, too!
I heard a chuckle coming toward us but I couldn't see him. I looked over to check up on Rose and her eyes were as wide as saucers. Tears streamed down her beautiful cheeks as she began to hyperventilate. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the knife floating in the air and her head dropped back as she tried not to scream at the sight of her blood oozing from her leg. I saw the gash in her leg and then the knife turned toward me. I froze and took shallow breaths as it got closer. My phone took that moment to ring and the knife stopped in its tracks.
The guy hummed before speaking. "I wonder who that could be?" His laughter was an eerie sound.
He continued toward me with the knife. I closed my eyes and held in a scream when the knife came down on my arm. I wasn't about to give him the satisfaction of hearing my screams and seeing my reaction. I refused to let him revel in my pain. When I opened my eyes to look at him, he was storming away and out the door. Emmett and Rosalie 1, psycho 0, I thought.
I woke up feeling like a damn truck had hit my head a thousand times. My eyes felt glued shut and I couldn't get them to open. I kept feeling wet, like something was dripping on me. Struggling and panicking, I forced my eyes open but they would only open part way. The room finally came into focus and it wasn't the same room I was in earlier. Red dripped down and hit me in the forehead and it was then I realized this fuck had me tied upside down, draining my blood. I had to dodge the splashes before they got in my eyes and blinded me. My dizziness was getting worse and soon I'd be dead if I wasn't let go. Footsteps came then I felt a stinging in my leg. He was digging his nails into my stab wound. I screamed.
"Did you really think you were going to be free, little lady?" He shoved his nails further in and I swore he could grow them because I felt them to the bone. I shuddered under his torture. He was laughing.
"What the hell are you?! Stop!" I struggled more but nothing would help me. My screams turned into painful screeches and I was making myself sick.
"Nah. It's fun to watch you squirm in pain."
"I won't give you the satisfaction of hearing me scream or beg for my life anymore!" I huffed as he withdrew his nails and my blood oozed down, pooling under me. The tips of my hair were blood red.
"Maybe next time you'll think before meeting strangers." He smirked then chuckled and disappeared, leaving me in my misery. It was then I heard a gut wrenching scream from Emmett.
He brought him back into the room, dropping him to his knees. I saw Emmett with a board wrapped around his neck and his arms in holes, like they used in medieval days. Emmett moved his head up to look at me and the spikes attached to the board around his neck dug into his skin, not deep enough to cause any fatal injuries but deep enough that he felt it-the blood curdling scream was evidence of that. The guy took his nails and drilled the bolts into the floor, securing the board that was holding Emmett captive. Emmett hung his head in defeat. My heart melted at the vulnerable side of The Bear.
I felt myself slowly drifting off into a cloud as the dizziness took over but I forced myself to stay awake. I refused to submit to this monster's evil plan.
This asshole had us under his control in every way. There was no way of escaping this terrifying nightmare. I only wondered if we'd make it out alive, die, or spend years being tortured before they actually found us. Emmett's board was red with his blood that dripped down his chest and to the floor. We were both losing consciousness. My eyes shut and I, once again, was in the darkness of my mind.
The door creaked and a dark figure slithered in holding an axe, creeping in towards me. My hands were still bolted to the floor and knees so weak from sitting on them I couldn't move. Rose's beautiful body was still hanging upside down, draining. It'd be a shame if she had died already but then I didn't want her going through anymore torture. The axe rose above me and, as I tried to move, the spikes dug into the back of my neck. A dream, it was just a nightmare-at least the part about the axe was, I thought as I looked at my surroundings. I sat back up and realized Rose was gone. This son of a bitch killed her! I forced myself up off my wobbly knees and then tried to pry my hands off the board but it hurt so badly I had to stop. I leaned against the wall, bracing myself.
The door's hinges groaned as the door slowly opened. This brought back to memory the nightmare I had and I was praying to whoever was out there that protected us that it wasn't Mr. Psycho himself. A few moments later, he walked in. I was scared shitless, thinking that he was going to kill me. He walked over to me slowly, knelt down, and unbolted the boards from the floor. But he left it around my neck as he dragged me through the door and to the pumpkin patch. He was really going to kill me, I thought to myself as my heart rate picked up. He threw me on the ground and laughed when I screamed in agony.
"Who the hell are you and what the fuck do you want with us?" I demanded in a shaky voice. "Where the hell is my friend?"
"I'm your worst nightmare! And you're my enjoyment!" He laughed at my last question. "Wouldn't you like to know?!"
He had a flamethrower in his hand and he hit the switch showing it to me. I was shaking my head, screaming even begging him to do nothing with it. He would tease me, bringing the fire closer to me then away and repeating it. The last time it had caught my board on fire. Fire soon flowing around my head all the way. I started hoping it wouldn't get closer and burn my face. The heat got too hot and I felt like my face was melting so I closed my eyes counting my last moments but then the heat was gone and his laughs got louder.
"You really think I'm killing you both? You're so much more of an amusement and worth to me alive. I can torture you over and over again to hear those wonderful screams of pain and begging me not too. Or how your girl has passed out while I drained her." He was laughing. "Speaking of which, let's take a stroll shall we?"
He yanked me up from my knees with the board in his hands and he dragged me into the back of the patch that had been fenced in with one of those high fences. There was a table and blonde girl was naked to just her bra and panties, strapped down. It was her, my Rose. We moved closer and she had been tortured more. There was a needle going through her arm, hanging off of a tube like IV.
"What the fuck did you do to her?!" I yelled.
"Well, after she lost her consciousness, I dragged her here, stripped her down and strapped her in. Tied her hands so she wouldn't be able to move on me. I gave her blood so I can keep the girl alive, though she hated that treatment. It was fun watching her scream and writhe as things were happening to her." He smirked staring down at her. "You two are fun. Come in here acting all bad and confident but once the torture begins, you're begging for your lives. Amusing really."
I had no idea what to say to him but I was beyond pissed.
She isn't even moving but I can slowly see her chest heaving with breathes. He lit the thrower again and he took it down to the stab wound in her leg and he made the fire go across it. It was bleeding and then it glistened through the fire as her skin melted together. He stopped after a few, but it had left a black mark. She never even budged for that. I had a feeling she was on her last breathes and that the IV was actually poison.
Next thing I knew he was by me with a drill and drilling holes into the corners of my board and then latched hooks through the holes attached to chains above me. He pulled the lever and I went up, hanging from the ceiling. I had to test my strength because the spikes still dug into my neck. This is going to be the death of me, was the thought going through my mind.
From this angle I could clearly see him torture Rose. I desperately wanted him to torture me, instead but he wouldn't.
"Why don't you pick on someone your own size? Leave her the fuck alone!" I demanded.
He just ignored me and continued his assault on Rose. I've never been so weak in my life. He took every bit of dignity I had left.
It's been two weeks since I sent Rose and Em to win over that client but they have yet to check in let alone come home. They were supposed to be back a week ago but here it is two weeks later. I was fuming. Where the hell are you guys? I thought to myself.
There was a knock at the door before, Angela, my assistant walked in.
"Mr. Black, there's a phone call for you on line one," she informed me.
"Who is it?" I asked, concerned. I may be a jackass but I was beginning to worry about Rose and Em.
"It's Emmett's mother," she replied with a frown.
My heart dropped. Esme didn't call unless something was desperately wrong. "Put her through."
Angela went back to her desk and obeyed my command.
I tried to keep the worry out of my voice as I picked up the line, "Mrs. McCarty, what brings you to call me?"
"Jacob Black, what's happened to my boy?" I chuckled slightly. Em's mom could never admit that her son has grown up and has an interest in women. "And how many times do I have to tell you boy, the name's Esme, no Mrs about it."
"Yes ma'am. I sent Rose and Em on a job. I'm supposed to hear back from them sometime today," I tried, a lie for sure.
"Jacob Eugene Black, don't you dare lie to me. I'm not one of your damn clients you have to woo and remember, I practically raised you, I know when you're lying. Where is my son?" she sounded furious.
"Esme, he's fi…"
"Don't you dare tell me he's fine. What did I say about lying to me?" I heard a click on the other end of the line and then the phone went dead.
Oh shit! I thought, mama Es is on a rampage!
I busied myself on the computer, checking email to see if either Rose or Em sent me an email even though it was in vain. I typed out an email to Em and Rose both again to see if one of them will respond.
Hey where are you at? It's been two weeks, TWO FREAKING WEEKS, since I sent you to woo over that client. You haven't checked in like planned and you haven't been back. You were supposed to return a week ago. Where are you? This is not like you two to disappear without a trace. Did something go wrong with the meeting? Are you hurt? Is everything alright? I'm worried about you and so is Esme. What's going on? Please respond or contact Esme and let us know you're okay!
I sent the email off and waited, in vain I knew, for a reply that would never come.
Three days later I was checking my email to find that I got a response from Rose and Em.
I am sorry that it is taking so long. We have found that even working together we are having trouble wooing our client and we need a few more days please tell Esme that we are both fine.
~Rose & Em
After I read that email even though it was brief it gave me some reassurance that everything was fine and I would hear from them in a few days with the good news.
Later that day Esme came barging into my office like a hurricane.
"Jacob, what the hell is going on?" she yelled.
"Calm down, I just got an email saying everything was fine," I replied.
"Let me see this email for myself," She demanded.
I showed her the email and it took her all of two seconds to figure out something was not right.
"Jacob, this doesn't not sound right," she informed me, concern in her voice.
"How do you know?" I demanded.
"For one, Em does not call me by my name he calls me mom," She reminded me. "The second thing, when have they ever called you Jacob?" She asked.
Once I actually took the time to reread the email I started noticing the items that Esme pointed out to me.
"Esme, please go home, I will contact you as soon as I figure out what is going on," I told her.
"Okay, but I will give you 24 hours to get in contact with me," She warned.
"I promise," I whispered.
After she left I tried to think what i would do to find out what was going on with Rose and Em but I was having a hard time so i decided to send another email.
Rose & Em,
I thought that I would hear from you by now regarding what is going on with the client. I hope all is going well and that I will have you back really soon. Please call me as soon as you get this email so I know how things are going.
I went about my work and contacted Esme to let her know that I sent another email and was just waiting to hear back from them. A few hours later I heard a chime on my laptop and when I opened the email I was horrified at what was on the screen.
The first picture I saw was Rose tied up to a board with multiple wounds about her naked body and an IV stuck in her arm. The next picture was Em in a stockade hanging from the ceiling with blood dripping from his neck. The picture just kept going on and on until I finally got to the end.
Don't talk to strangers, didn't your parents teach you that? I guess not because this is what happens when you send goons to take money from strangers. You picked the wrong client, but thanks for making things fun for me.
My heart dropped at the wickedness in the email. What have I done and what the hell am I going to tell Esme? She's gonna be devastated at what has happened to her son and Rose and she's going to be furious with me, I thought to myself when I finished reading the email. Then I heard a gasp behind me. I turned and there she was, peering over my shoulder.
I sighed as I closed the laptop and stood. I wrapped my arms around her, letting her tears soak my shirt until she couldn't cry no more. I walked us over to the couch that was in my office and sat us down. I raised her chin and let out another breath before speaking.
"Esme, I'm so sorry you had to see that email from that monster," I whispered.
"Did he just send a threatening email or was there more?" Esme sniffed.
"He sent pictures along with it," I said and when she froze I continued. "They were horrible. Don't ask because I won't let you see them like that. But don't worry we will get them back."
She looked at me then asked, "how?"
"You just leave that to me. We'll bring them home," I assured her. And I meant it. I don't know how but we will bring Rose and Em home if it's the last damn thing I do!