Chapter Seven: Three forms of Evil
Allyne looked up from the file she was perusing to stare yet again at the three boxes of chocolates in front of her. The first one arrived at eight AM, just minutes after she got to the office. It was five minutes to eleven and she knew another box will be delivered.
As if on queue, a knock was heard on the door. She glared at it but etiquette forced her to answer albeit tersely, "Come in."
Susan gulped at her boss' countenance but said in a small voice. "This just came in." She was carrying a red box and it was not hard to figure out what was in it.
"Put it on top of the last one." Allyne instructed with a scowl.
The poor secretary carefully did what was instructed and left quietly. Susan had known when to stay away from Allyne at certain times and now was definitely one of them. She couldn't quite figure out why she was so angry. Judging by the boxes of chocolates, it was obvious that someone was enamored with her boss.
Susan was surprised when her boss showed up at 7:50 AM with a gorgeous tan. She had always been so snow-white pale. Her mood didn't change though. This was the third day she had been bombarded with gifts.
Last Monday, it was balloons and cakes. She asked her boss if it was her birthday but all she got was a smoldering look that made her think if she was going to get fired because of her audacity.
Yesterday, it was fruits. She didn't know strawberries could grow that big. She was still in awe that she was about to ask who they were from but her boss cut her off.
"It's not my birthday nor is my office a fruit stand. If you want them, take them. Give them to whoever wants them. I don't care. But if you ask me who is it from or what the occasion is, you will have to start looking for another job."
Her boss then raised her perfect eyebrows; it was no question that she was dead serious.
Susan made a move to go out of the office but she stopped on her tracks when her boss asked in an annoyed tone, "Where are you going? I told you to take them."
Good thing she was quick on her feet. She took all the fruit baskets out of the office except for the one with fake oranges in it. She was told tersely to leave that behind.
The entire office floor was still in agog that someone would dare cross and provoke the ice queen. They have been drilling Susan who would come out gleefully bearing presents which they would later enjoy in the pantry. She had no answers of course, knowing the ice queen; she wouldn't be offering any information.
Susan went back to her spot outside her boss' office and smiled sheepishly at the onlookers who gave her pitying looks. She was used to it though. So with a sigh, she continued working on the task given to her.
Back in her office, Allyne glared at the red box as if it was taunting her by just being there. She didn't expect anything after that brief interlude in the yacht. In fact, she took it for granted that like other men, he would just move on to the next prey.
She didn't expect an invasion.
She didn't expect him to call. Every single night.
Not that she took any of his calls as she went out of her way to avoid him even when he went to her house.
He was supposed to stop.
He was supposed to leave her alone.
Why isn't he following every playboy's golden rule?
She rubbed her nose bridge with her two fingers in attempt to alleviate the headache she had been nursing since they started to play this stupid hide-and-seek game.
An alarming thought came to her then. He wouldn't dare show up in her office, now would he? She has always been shaken by his unpredictability. It leads her to do stupid things that made her an easy target for him.
She leaned back on her chair, giving up all hope of working when she realized she wouldn't be able to concentrate. She knew she had one thing left to do, face the predator. At the rate they are going, there are no signs of him stopping and worse, he seemed to be enjoying himself.
She knew what she had to do. She was going to have to talk to him, make him stop. Not that it would help but it was worth a try.
So, with a huge sigh of resignation, Allyne Haulbrook caved in and dialed his number.
He answered after the first ring with a "Hello Sweetness."
"You honestly didn't expect anything else from it did you?" was the first thing that came out of her mouth.
"Hmmm… I don't know what you're talking about. What do you want for lunch? Not the salad again, please. We both know you don't need to loose weight." He said knowingly.
"Stop it." She hissed. She didn't want a reminder of what happened. She had enough of that on her own.
"The claws are out again. That's more like it." He chuckled.
"Why are you doing this?" She asked exasperatedly.
"I don't know." He answered quietly.
Silence reigned for a second before he continued on, "Fine. You can have your salad but I get to choose the place."
"Fine." She gritted out like nothing happened. She took note of the directions he gave before adding, "And no more chocolates, please..."
"Ally… you haven't even opened the new one I sent."
"How did you know that?" She asked before she could stop herself.
"Wouldn't you like to know." He chuckled.
"Never mind." She grumbled before reaching for the red box. "What in the world..." She sputtered when she saw the contents of the box. She could hear his guffaws on the other end.
They were chocolates, all right. But on top of each one was a sketched Kama Sutra position. She had a hard time keeping her mouth closed while checking each position rather each treat.
They were twelve of them.
"I personally like the first one on the third line. I'm sure you'd agree." He chuckled.
"You…" She started.
"Temper, temper." He warned patronizingly.
"Marcus!" She yelled this time.
"Yes sweetheart?" He said in false sweetness.
"I am going to hang up now." She said with as much control she could master.
"Okay, okay. I'll see you at the restaurant." He hung up before she had the chance to cancel their lunch date.
She closed her eyes to control the impulse of throwing her phone to the wall. She calmly placed it back on its cradle beside the open red box.
She stared at the treats inside and a slow smile crept its way inside her. She took the one out and sunk her teeth to it.
Dark chocolate. Her favorite. She guessed she had Snow to thank for that.
She sank back to her comfortable chair with a slow smile curling on her lips.
She stared at the empty slot on the third line and was again engulfed by memories that caused a shudder.
She forced herself away from those thoughts and closed the box, putting it back on top of the others. She didn't want to ruin her appetite. Knowing Marcus, he probably had something sumptuous in mind for lunch. She didn't believe for a second that he was going to let her get her salad.
Time flew for Allyne. Before she knew it, it was 1:00. She waited until the others were gone before coming out of her office. She didn't think she was hiding but people will say what they want. She took the elevator down to the parking lot just below the ground floor.
The moment the elevator doors opened, she knew something was wrong.
The security guard who normally greets her at this time wasn't at his usual spot.
An eerie silence greeted her as she stepped out of the elevator. She was carefully taking a few steps towards her car when she saw the security guard, lying face down on the ground. Whether he was dead or alive, she didn't know.
The hairs at the back of her neck began to rise and that was how she knew she wasn't alone. She panicked and started fumbling inside her bag for her cell phone but it was suddenly yanked out of her arms.
Three men wearing black masks appeared out of nowhere. She was surrounded before she even knew it. The man, who took her bag, threw it on the wall not caring for its contents.
He appeared to be their leader.
Her father had warned her about this. She didn't know that they would be confident enough to confront her here. She was told that she had angered people in position which prompted the said meeting 'at home'.
She wasn't given the details but was told tersely to stay 'home'. She didn't, of course.
Someone was trying to scare the shit out of her and they were succeeding. Thoughts raced through her brain from kidnapping to death by execution.
The three of them lined up in front of her. They did not say anything. They just stared.
It was all she could do not to run the opposite direction. "What do you want?" She managed to get out albeit shakily.
The said leader chuckled, "Now that's a question." The other two joined him in laughing.
"Look, you can take my car if you want."
That made him cackle all the more, "We don't want your car bitch. Although we've been told it's nicer than most."
It was then that they brandished their knives from their pockets, making her scream.
"That's it. Scream bitch! They say you don't even know how to be scared. I think we just proved them wrong didn't we?"
"Who are you people?" She whimpered, gripping her arms, trying to unsuccessfully compose herself.
"That's not important." She knew it was said with a smile. His delight in seeing her scared witless, was even more petrifying. She threw caution to the wind and ran only to have one of them caught up too quickly. She knew she didn't even make ten steps.
"This one's feisty." The one who caught up said before pushing her back to where they were.
"You shouldn't have done that." Their leader said again.
"How about, we take her out for a ride?" This came from the last man, who had been silent till now. For some reason she knew he was the one she should be most scared of. It seemed like he was one who didn't take to following orders.
Allyne knew what that meant. Rape and murdered. Is that how this is going to end? She looked around and started screaming, "Help! Help! Please! Someone!"
"No one's here sweetheart." He continued taunting her. "I like your hair, its' pretty." He reached out to touch the strand that came loose.
"Don't." She pleaded.
"I like a girl who knows how to beg." He chuckled before tugging on her hair.
"Please…" She sobbed.
Her plea made him guffawed harder. "I like you. I want to keep you. You'll make me very happy for a long time."
"No! Please." She said, putting her hands out in an attempt to protect herself.
"Such a pretty face. Your boyfriend must be really proud."
"That's enough." The leader ordered.
"It's your lucky day sweetheart." He said before stepping back.
The said leader then nodded his head toward her car. The other guy grabbed her arm and hauled her to where her car was parked.
She was pushed to their leader's side. She didn't know what they were going to do next but she knew that it was something she wouldn't be able to stop.
The other two looked at their leader and at his nod, they slashed her tires viciously. One of them then crouched down on the other side of her car and when he got up he had three baseball bats with him.
"Oh my God!" She screamed, thinking that she was going to be bludgeoned to death. She then began to struggle in an attempt to get him to release her arm to no avail.
The leader who had a vice-like grip on her arm pushed her to the wall just in front of her car and was told to "Stay there."
She wasn't about to make the same mistake twice. She didn't want to have to face the one person she was scared of from this pack.
The man who retrieved the bats from where he stashed them then threw one at the leader who caught it and the third man who caught it fluidly as if he was anticipating this moment.
The leader then caught her attention when he said, "You should have kept your opinions to yourself." Then started pounding at her windshield. It broke after the second hit. The others did the same to all her windows and the doors.
Glass flew everywhere, some hitting her and others lodging on her skin. She screamed in pain but that didn't stop them. They continued what they were doing until her car looked like it was run over by a bulldozer.
By then, she sustained cuts on her face and arms. Her right arm had one huge gash that was over ten inches. She didn't have to look at it to know that the glass was still on the wound. She felt pain on her forehead and left cheek from the glass that shattered.
She stared horrifically at what was her car.
Her attention was then caught by the leader who started the whole thing. He walked towards her dragging the bat on the ground, making a deathly sound that bounced around the walls of the parking lot.
Right when she thought she was going to have the same fate as her car, he stopped in front of her and hit the wall using the bat. It broke into pieces scattering on the ground.
"Back off." She was told coldly.
There wasn't a doubt in her mind that this wasn't the first time he had done this.
He walked away towards to where their van was parked.
The second guy followed suit toting his bat on his shoulder.
The last one however stayed where he was. He took one step toward her but was stopped by a "Let's go" command from their leader.
He shook his head and chuckled, "Till we meet again sweetheart." He then ran towards where the van was parked, the moment he got in, it sped away.
Allyne fell to her knees sobbing. She didn't notice the glass that penetrated her skin. She continued to sob; she crawled to where her bag fell from where it was thrown.
She tried to find her cell phone inside but couldn't. Frustrated and terrified of the thought of them coming back, she emptied he contents on the ground. Through her tear-stricken eyes, she found her cell phone.
Hands shaking, she dialed 911.
She was asked to stay in the hospital overnight.
Ten stitches on her arm. Gashes on her knees. Cuts on her face.
The doctors say that there was no permanent damage, physically, that is. She had been a wreck when the police arrived at the scene. The paramedics came and was about to patch her up when she gave them her name.
The circus then happened.
She was rushed to the hospital and was given VIP treatment. All these for the minor injuries she suffered. The name Haulbrook was enough to make sure that she was given the best even if she didn't ask for it.
After she was thoroughly "fixed", three policemen then came in headed by the Chief of Police.
They started asking her questions she didn't have answers to. They thought it was someone who had a personal vendetta against her. Like Trenton. Only that wasn't his style. She knew he wouldn't have the gumption to do this.
It was for this reason that the Chief of Police was here. He had been there the last time. He knew Trenton and she also knew that he had something to do with his out-of-the-state trip.
"Miss Haulbrook, I'm detective Bertoni. I would like to ask you a few questions about what happened." The man who had obviously been selected to do his duty asked in a pompous tone.
She stared at the detective, knowing they were going to probe and poke at issues she didn't want to discuss. She knew she didn't have much of a choice but that doesn't mean that she was going to make it easier for them.
At her unnerving stare, the detective started to fidget. Satisfied that she had the upper hand, she gave him a nod.
He had been warned about her but as someone who had just gotten a promotion, he knew he was just put in his place. He took a deep breath before he started probing, "Do you know anyone who might have a grudge or someone who feels strongly against you?"
One raised eyebrow.
That and her unsettling stare, made the detective look for help at his fellow officers. Not that he would get any from that area. They were all 'busy' writing on their pads. This would teach him not to be too cocky next time.
A commotion outside shifted her attention from him, a welcome disturbance, from the detectives' point of view.
In came Snow and Marcus who were both visibly concerned.
"Ally! What happened?" Snow rushed over to her side, carefully smoothing Allyne's hair off her face then gasped at the cuts.
"I was waiting in the restaurant when Susan called." Marcus reached for slack hand lying on the hospital bed. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine." came a flat emotionless voice.
Snow and Marcus exchanged knowing looks. Then they stared collectively at the Detective standing by the foot of the bed.
"Good afternoon, I'm Detective Bertoni. I'm going to have to ask Miss Haulbrook some questions about what happened. If you both would please step outside. I'll send for you when we're done."
The slack hand that Marcus held came alive in a grip. "They stay." She fairly snarled at the Detective.
Surprised at the animosity coming from the victim, the detective acquiesced. "Alright... Going back to what we were talking about earlier, can you think of anyone who might have a grudge against you?"
The raised eyebrow was back. This time with a cold question, "You mean people who hate me?"
The detective winced at her tone, but nodded.
"You have just described most of the people I know…Detective." she the last part derisively. She obviously caught on the fact that the detective was putting enough importance on his job title.
Everyone on that room could tell what the detective was thinking. She is a bitch and made sure anyone within a yard knew it.
The detective wasn't stupid of course. But he decided to continue on, "Do you have the names of these people?"
"I'm not good with names detective." She said with both eyebrows raised.
"Look, if you want us to find who did this, you're gonna have to do better than that." He spat out, running out of patience.
"Get out." This time it was Marcus who snarled. Like a lion whose territory was trespassed, he didn't take it too kindly when his other half was attacked.
At this the Chief of Police intervened. "I'll take it from here Detective Bertoni." He said a little forcefully.
Chagrined, the detective acquiesced. "Yes sir.", then stepped out of the private room.
"Newly promoted. A little too excited I must say. I apologize, Miss Haulbrook." The well-known rough Chief of Police said beseechingly.
This was familiar territory to Allyne. People in power, are mostly on her fathers' payroll. They fear him and the Chief of Police was apparently no exception. "I'm tired. Don't bother kissing my ass because it isn't going to work." She said frostily.
Flushed and humiliated, the Chief said softly, "We'll let you rest. Do let us know if remember anything of concern. In the meantime, we'll have officers stationed outside for your security."
She nodded regally at this.
He tried to leave with dignity but was not able to hide the fact that he couldn't wait to get out of here.
The hand that Marcus held was now relaxed. It was telling. She was shaken badly and wasn't about to let a stranger in her bubble. While he was ecstatic to be in it, it didn't sit well with him that someone was out to get her, "You have got to know something."
"Hey!" Snow intervened. "She's been through enough today, okay?"
"I'm just saying…" He tried to reason out but was cut off.
"Enough!" Snow admonished.
"I really don't know…" Allyne said, leaning back on the hospital bed and sighed
"Did something happen recently?"
She closed her eyes and pretended to sleep.
"I know you can hear me." Marcus annoyingly tried to get answers to questions she wouldn't share to the police.
"Stop it." Snow hissed.
A loud noise outside caught their attention.
"Out of my way!" came a command that was expecting to be followed.
"Here we go…" Snow muttered.
"What…" Marcus tried to ask but was again cut-off.
"Whatever happens, don't say anything." She warned.
He tried to ask again but was waylaid by Snow.
"Don't even think opening your mouth."
Amidst this, Allyne looked calm despite the fact that there was now a death grip again on Marcus' hands.
Three men, above six feet tall, dressed in tuxedoes came inside the room.
One, checked the restroom, the other, checked the windows, closing the blinds and stationing in one corner. After the security check, they nodded to the third man who them opened the door.
Sure, heavy steps were heard before he was seen.
David Haulbrook, admired by some, hated and feared by many. Some say he's the wealthiest man in the world. Up close, Marcus couldn't quite contain his awe. This was a man who has been known to destroy anyone who crosses his path. A trait he seemed to share with his daughter if she put her mind to it. There was no doubt in Marcus' mind that she was his fathers' daughter.
His furious green eyes sliced through the room, showing his displeasure at the company his daughter kept. "Leave us." He ordered his voice brooked no argument.
At that, Snow nodded to Marcus, indicating that they should leave. But the grip on Marcus's hand was still strong. He looked at Allyne and found her looking with acute dislike at her father.
"They stay." It was said calmly but like her father, she didn't expect an argument.
At that, David Haulbrook let it all loose. "I warned you but you never listen!"
Greetings Fp'ers! How have you all been doin'? I know I haven't updated in a while but a lot has happened since my last post a year ago. I'm not gonna bore you with the details. Don't worry. I promise it won't happen again.
Moving on, you guys finally got a first look at David Haulbrook. You will see more of him in the next few chapters. I didn't have that much time to edit this but if you see anything out of place, let me know.
So listen, even though I've been "absent" for a while, I remained a loyal reader of FP. Recently, we found out that grave offenses have been done to the BEST of our writers here. Plagiarism is intolerable. I trust that anything you find plagiarized will be reported.
Like most people, I let myself be tempted and now I'm just a tweet away! (See profile for link)
Last Song Syndrome : Battlefield by Jordin Sparks (help!)
I'll try to work on WLMH next but I might forgo it for CM's 8th chapter. Who knows? Hahaha!