Chapter 44: Amsterdam

Light flooded the room, and both Cam and Shana blinked in the sudden brightness.

They had been fed twice since they had been sold, so they estimated that at least a day had gone by. They hadn't been given the opportunity to talk; Shana's gag had been put back in, and Cam had been fitted with a ring and inflatable just like hers, and with the lights off, they hadn't been able to sign to each other. They had been able to hear each other breathing, and make unintelligible but still audible sounds behind the gags, but for the most part communication had been limited. When they came in with food, Cam was unchained first, gag released and she had to eat with the guards watching; then when she was done, she was chained again and a knife held to her throat while Shana was unchained and allowed to eat. The first time they had done this she had thought about trying to make a break for it, but they'd pressed the knife to Cam's throat hard enough to draw a thin line of blood and Shana quickly rethought her strategy. This wasn't going to be a good place to escape from.

Better to wait until they got to wherever this rich man who'd bought them lived. It would probably be easier to escape from his estate than it would be to escape from here. And she still needed to talk to Cam, find out how she'd gotten here to Amsterdam. Had she been captured in the jungle like Shana had? How was she dealing with this? She was full of questions but there was no chance to ask them, or to get answers.

Both women stirred from their cramped positions, sitting upright with their backs to the wall, wrists still firmly chained apart. Shana glanced warily at the two guards who entered the room and took up positions just inside the door; then in came the man who'd bought them, Master Damien Something, in his motorized wheelchair; and another man, shorter, thinner, with a thin, cadaverous face. Chills raced up and down her spine when she saw that man; there was something about him that was just wrong, from the thin pale face to the almost absurdly dark hair, the sunken eye sockets with eyes that burned like dark coals. Shana almost expected when his lips pulled back from his teeth in a smile that he was going to have pointed, vampiric fangs. His whole demeanor reminded her of a hungry hovering vulture waiting for its prey to settle before he landed and took a bite. And from the wary, half-afraid look on Cam's face, she knew Cam got the same impression too.

"Hans, these are my new slaves. The redhead was billed on the brochure as Testarossa, the other scarred one was called hole by her last master."

Last Master? Shana looked at Cam, question in her eyes, but she didn't have time to think about that as Master Damien went on. "I paid an exorbitant sum for the two of them. The Testarossa is mine, no one will touch her, but the scarred one, the hole—she will be for the staff's amusement. I want you to look both of them over, make sure they are sound and fit, make sure I got what I paid for before I take them out of here."

Hans snickered. "It will be my pleasure, Master," and Shana felt herself recoil in disgust. His tone might have been subservient, but his eyes were full of glee as he bent over her. As his pale, skeletal hand reached for her, unreasoning fear took over and she kicked out, her only thought was to keep him away from me!

Hans stepped back from her as her foot sliced the air just past his ear. Damien laughed at his underling's discomfiture, then waved one of the guards over and took the cattle prod from his hand. "Come now. You're going to let me doctor look at you or things aren't going to go well for your friend." He scooted his wheelchair close enough to point the cattle prod at Cam.

Shana tried to hide her shudder—she remembered what it had felt like when she'd been shocked with that prod, and she wanted, with all her heart, to spare Cam that. I don't know if she was ever hit with one when she was imprisoned before, but Jesus, getting trapped as a sex slave again has to be killing her. I don't know how she's taking all of this calmly. I have to try and save her if I can. This is a nightmare. But she didn't lash out again as 'Hans' crept forward and released the valve on the inflatable gag in her mouth, then pulled it free.

"She has all of her teeth," the doctor said as he shone a penlight into Shana's mouth through the ring gag, checking her teeth as if she were a horse purchased at a horse sale. "Got a couple of fillings, but nothing major. She takes care of herself." He reached for Shana's arms, running his hands along her upper and lower arms. "Lots of muscle, not a lot of body fat. She may have lost weight recently but she hasn't lost enough of it for her health to suffer. Good strong bones, she ate well, had a balanced diet." He looked up at Damien. "All in all, almost perfect and in mint condition. You got yourself a collector's dream."

Shana wanted to kick him, to scream at him, something. Anything. I am not a thing, a piece of property to be bought, sold, talked about like I'm not here, I am a human being and when I get free you're going to regret every minute of this!

Damien noticed her anger and chuckled, making Shana even angrier. "The slave is angry. I find that funny, like a child who thinks that her temper tantrums matter to an adult." He smiled and turned to Cam. "Now her. I want you to check her thoroughly. That's a lot of scar tissue on her body and it looks like burns but I want to be sure. The dealer in charge of the pen she was in said that she came from Alan Singletary, and we all know what sort of condition Singletary's slaves come in when he decides he's tired of them. Do a full inspection. Oh, and you don't have to worry about being gentle."

He wasn't.

The gag was deflated and pulled out of Cam's mouth, and her teeth were similarly examined. "Her teeth are in pretty good shape, looks like a cavity starting back here but otherwise okay. Younger than your Testarossa."

He moved further down her body, grabbing her right breast, the intact one, and squeezed it so hard Cam cried out. Shana made an inarticulate sound of protest, but subsided as the cattle prod waved in her direction—and as Cam gave her a tiny, negative shake of her head. Don't.

"She still has feeling in that one."

"She can still feel pressure. I wonder if she has surface feeling." Hans pulled his hand back and slapped her chest hard. Cam cried out again, her arms yanking against the chains and shackles that held them. She was crying, tears streaming down her face, babbling incoherently through the ring gag that held her mouth open. "Lee…lee…sa…" Please, please, stop.

Shana sobbed in anger and frustration and anguish. Her friend was being tortured, right in front of her, and there wasn't a damned thing she could do about it! She swore revenge on Hans and Damien and every person in the market, down to the guards still standing on either side of the door watching Cam's torture silently. God damn you all to hell!

Cam was still crying as Hans reached down and put his hands on her knees, attempting to pull them apart. She let him open her legs unresistingly, knowing what he was going to do, and willing to let him do it. The more he does to me the less he'll do to Shana. Her chest hurt, but her pleas had been mostly for their satisfaction.

She let him open her legs, knowing what he would see there and cringing in shame at the knowledge of what she looked like but willing to let him do whatever he wanted to do as long as they left Shana alone and as long as they never looked too closely at her head. She was experiencing a constant low-level headache from the tracer implanted in the skin under her ear, and the knowledge that it was capturing every sound made her flinch, but she shoved it away determinedly. Don't think about it. Don't acknowledge it. Forget it's there. If they drug you, you might tell them it's there and if they know, they'll kill you immediately and that will be it. Shana will be on her own and you can't leave her alone in this mess. She's completely helpless and lost right now and you CANNOT leave her alone!

And then it wasn't hard to forget as Hans reached between her legs, and oh Goddess, but this was so much worse than last time, so much worse than when she had been a captive of her aunt and uncle. There was a whole new level of shame and humiliation this time.

Hans saw her unwilling response, the way her hips arched toward him even as the rest of her body tensed and tried to stay still, and laughed. "Keep the prod on the redhead, boss," he grinned, and then beckoned the guard forward. "Unlock her. This will be the test—is she going to fight me knowing that her friend will pay the price for her resistance?"

Cam stared at him, anguish plain in her eyes as she stared at him, unbuttoning his pants, then at Shana, pinned up against the wall with the twin leads of the cattle prod held against her throat. It was a no-win situation; she could submit, or resist and watch Shana scream in agony—an electric shock to her neck would be particularly painful.

I promised. I promised Snake Eyes I would try to save Shana from as much of this as possible. I've been through it before, I survived it then and I'll survive it again. And she squeezed her eyes shut and let him do what he wanted.

He finished with her finally, and she couldn't think, couldn't breathe, couldn't do anything except curl up on the floor and cry. This was so violating, it was so much worse, oh Goddess, she hadn't thought it was going to be this hard when she volunteered for this…she wanted to go home, desperately, wanted Charlie to hold her, comfort her, wanted to curl up in his arms and cry and cry… Charlie, she whimpered, although it came out as garbled nonsense. Charlie, oh Goddess, I'm so sorry…you were right, oh please, please forgive me…

Tears were streaming down Shana's face as she sat and watched helplessly. There was nothing she could do to make it any better. Anger and loathing and horror mixed with sorrow and pity as she heard Cam whimper Charlie's name, barely coherent behind her gag but still recognizable to Shana. She's married. She's married, oh God, when we get out of this if Charlie refuses to stick with her I'm going to kick his ass from here to kingdom come. Cam, oh Jesus, Cam, I'm so sorry…she knew Cam could have fought the guy off; could have kept him from raping her, but not until Damien fried Shana's brain with the electric shock. And so she'd submitted rather than put Shana in danger.

I'm her commanding officer. She's my subordinate. I'm supposed to be protecting her! And with that her military training kicked in, finally remembering the core of who she was after weeks of being drugged. I'm her commanding officer. She's my subordinate. We are in a POW situation. I have a responsibility to shield and protect her to the best of my ability. I've lost sight of that, but that's essentially what this is, a POW capture. Just keep holding on to that, and we'll eventually get out. Determination hardened her soul. We are going to escape. We are going to get out of this. And then, suddenly, she realized her legs were shaking, and cursed. Withdrawal kicking in…

Damien saw it too, and smiled as he prodded Shana's neck with the end of the cattle prod. "I enjoyed watching that, but now it's time to go. Hole. Get up and put on this military uniform." He threw a set of black/green/brown fatigues at her, US Army issue, but not the current pixilated version. "Practically all armies around the word use the green and black, so it doesn't matter what country I say you're from. Put that uniform on and lie down in that coffin." He saw her look. "No, I'm not going to kill you. I'm going to shoot you so full of drugs that you'll go into s death-like sleep, and when you wake up, we'll be home. I can sneak you through customs disguised as a couple of dead soldiers I'm taking home for a burial." His smile was like a cobra who'd just eaten a very large fat, tasty meal.

Cam struggled to her knees and grabbed for the clothing with tear-blinded eyes, and Shana saw blood. You'll pay for this, I swear it! Charlie's going to tear you to pieces for what you just did, and I for one am not going to stop him.

Cam stuffed her limbs into the fake uniform and lay down in the coffin docilely. All of the fight seemed to have gone out of her; she didn't even try to take the ring out of her mouth. She didn't try to jerk her arm out of Hans's hands, barely even reacted when the needle slipped under the thin skin of the inside of her elbow, and as Damien started to unchain Shana and haul her to her feet, Shana saw a tiny bit of relief as her eyes closed. Go ahead, Cam. Sleep. God knows you need it. Maybe Charlie will be there in your dreams, for you. It'll be kinder than staying awake and having to remember what this son of a bitch just did to you.

She got dressed in the uniform and lay down in the coffin, feeling the drug craving sneak into her consciousness. She offered her arm almost eagerly for the needle, and as she felt the first rush of euphoria, then the dizzy sleepiness, she prayed desperately that when they woke, they would be somewhere where they could attempt an escape, because she didn't know how Cam could survive any more of that.

She didn't know if she could survive seeing that again.

Damien smiled as Hans closed the lid on the Testarossa's coffin. "All set?"

"All set," Hans grinned and rubbed his hands, "You sure got a couple of good ones, boss, Whatever you paid for them was worth it. Did you see the look on the hole's face when I hurt her?"

"Did you see the look on the Testarossa's face? She looked like you were hurting her little sister." Damien's smile turned thoughtful as he looked at the two coffins with their occupants sleeping inside. "When they wake up I have to get one of them to tell me how they know each other. I have never seen a bond that strong between two people, let alone two slaves."

"Whatever you want boss. As long as I can have the hole."

"Oh, of course. You and Rosa both. You know Rosa would love the pleasure of torturing a female—it's been a few slaves now since I let her practice her skills. Hole is ideal for it; she's already scarred, no one's going to notice a few more."

"Or a few less if Rosa decides she wants to keep some skin as a souvenir."

Damien smiled thinly. "Not that it'll matter anyway, this is the hole's last stop. She wouldn't even have sold if I hadn't discovered her connection with the Testarossa. Another couple of days she'd be killed, loaded on an oceangoing vessel and dumped over the side as soon as the vessel got far enough away from harbor that the bodies wouldn't wash up." It was the usual disposal method for those the dealers couldn't sell. "All right, let's get going. I do have to be back in the office in a couple of days, but I want to settle them in on my private island in Fiji first."