No Escape

 Alexi’s heart started pounding and he leaned back on the seat. Dammit! The woman earlier must have been sent by Raul. Fuck! No wonder she was nervous pouring the second glass of wine. His skin felt like he was being bitten by fire ants. He picked up his phone and called one of the bodyguards in the SUV following them. “Go back to the Black Swan. Tell Niko to give you a woman. Bring her to the penthouse. Make it fast. I was drugged.”

  “Yeah Boss.”

  The bodyguard told the man driving to turn the car around and go back to the bar.

 “Why?”

 “He wants a woman.”

  “Are you messing with me? I thought the Boss was gay.”

  The bodyguard stared at him, “If you want to keep your little life I wouldn’t repeat that.”

   He called Niko, “Have a woman ready. I will be there soon to pick her up.”

   Nico was looking over the day’s receipts and his brow wrinkled, “I don’t have any available women. Why didn’t he ask when he was here?”

  “The Boss was drugged at your club. Find one if you don’t want to bear the consequences.”

   After he hung up Niko slammed his hand on the desk. Where am I going to find a woman on such short notice. I can’t drag one out from the rooms that have been booked.  He stormed out into the bar and looked around for a possible candidate. His eyes lit up when he saw Merri sitting at the end of the bar talking to Danny the bartender. 

   When he reached the bar he called Danny over, “I need you to drug Merri Winslow. I have an impatient client and no other women available.”

   Danny gulped down his saliva, he had never liked this part of his job but he had a family to support in the countryside. This was the first time he truly felt repulsed at the idea. In a barely audible tone he resisted, “Boss…she isn’t one of them. Can’t you find someone? Why not one of the customers?”

  “Are you crazy? The women who come here are all rich and connected. I would be shooting myself in the foot if I used one of them. If you want to keep your job, do it. I will give you a big bonus in your next check…isn’t your little sister getting married next month?”

 Danny had a guilty expression looking at Merri sipping the glass of wine. He has always liked this cheerful and innocent girl, even considered asking her out on a date. When she said he could give her a ride he was excited..now..I have to destroy her beautiful innocence…no..I can’t do it.

He hesitated and Niko glared at him, through clenched teeth he growled, “Now! They will be here soon to pick her up.”

“What about Danielle, I’m sure if you offered her money she would do it.”

 Niko took a moment and located the leggy blonde in the crowded bar. She was serving a drink to a balding man, bending over exposing her ample breasts while coquettishly smiling at him. He shook his head, Although she is pretty  Alexi would not be happy with her. She wears heavy makeup and always has a strong fragrance on her body. He has an aversion to women to begin with and well… someone like Danielle he might just kill when he finished fucking her. At least Merri might survive the lunatic’s wrath because of her pure appearance and timid personality, Alexi might even enjoy her serving him in bed. 

 Danny was encouraged when Niko didn’t immediately reply, but his hopes were dashed by the next sentence.

 “Now.”

  After Niko walked away Danny tightened the grip on the white bar towel he was holding. Merri, I’m sorry but I desperately need this job and with the extra money my sister can have a decent wedding. He opened the drawer under the cash register and took out a small packet containing white powder. Danny’s hand was trembling as he poured a glass of Chardonnay and observed the white powder dissolve in the wine.

  He saw Niko watching him and he knew if he didn’t drug the girl Niko would have someone else do it. She can’t escape tonight, I might as well make the money. He had sweat beads forming on his forehead as he approached Merri. Standing in front of her he adjusted his expression and smiled, “Merri, this glass of wine is on the house. Mr. Ninski said you worked hard tonight.”

  Merri looked up from the application she was filling out on her phone, “Really?” She smiled brightly, she wanted to order another glass but didn’t feel she could afford a second. “Tell him thank you!” Maybe Mr. Ninski feels bad his friend fired me.

  Overwhelmed by guilt Danny couldn’t watch as she drank the spiked glass of wine. The aphrodisiac from the last delivery was too inhumane. Not only did it make the person thirsty for sex but the drug had hallucigenic qualities. The customers liked it according to Niko because all inhibitions were eliminated and the person would be engulfed in their own fantasy world. Danny wanted to give her one of the older packets but there were none left.

  As he walked away Merri had a serious expression while typing on her phone. She scrunched up her nose and puffed out her cheeks. He felt his heart tighten and wanted to rush back to take away the glass but stopped. What is done is done…Merri …I hope you can forgive me…

Merri sighed, this job doesn’t pay as much but isn’t far from my apartment. She pressed Submit then picked up the glass of wine and gulped down the dry white wine…I just need to make it until the Competition, if I win I can use the money to go to Paris and study. 

Alexi’s bodyguard rushed into the club and headed straight back to Niko’s office. He frowned when he entered, “Where is the woman?”

 “ She is at the bar wearing a black and white dress. A white coat and scarf are draped over the back of the seat. ” He considered she might cause a scene then said, “Forget it. I will have the bartender bring her to your car. Are you parked in the back?”

 “Yes, the black SUV. Hurry.”

  NIko picks up the phone and calls the bar. Danny answers, “Yes.”

“Is she ready?” The drug enters the bloodstream rapidly so she should be.

Danny turned towards Merri and the wine glass was empty, “Should be.”

“I need you to bring her to the back parking lot and give her to the man in the black SUV.”

Danny had resigned himself to what he did but was hoping not to be further involved. Now he needed to directly hand her over and he had a knot in his stomach. She will know I did this despicable deed. “Okay.”

 He walked out from behind the bar, “Merri, I’m off we can go.”

  She felt a little dizzy and picked up her coat. Danny helped her put her arms through the sleeves then tied the red knitted scarf around her neck. As his fingers brushed across her soft black hair he had second thoughts. I could take Merri to my apartment and put her in a cold bath to relieve the symptoms. I can find another job and my sister…well..we already planned on a simple ceremony. He felt relieved after deciding to help Merri.

 Her legs felt weak and she couldn’t focus so she held onto the back of the bar stool. She touched her head, “Danny, maybe I shouldn’t have had that second glass. I feel dizzy.”

  He held her by the shoulders, “You will feel better once you are home.”

  She looked up at him and her smile was dazzling, “Danny, thank you.”

  Listening to her soft voice Danny had a determined look in his eyes, fuck Niko Kinski! I won’t deliver this sweet girl to the pervert!

  He changed direction and headed to the front exit, I will walk down the street then call a taxi. I can pick up my car tomorrow.

  The bodyguard sitting in the SUV parked at the edge of the back lot happened to look out the window. Narrowing his eyes when he noticed a woman wearing a white coat with a bright red scarf leaning on a thin man exiting the club. Isn’t that the chick? He furrowed his eyebrows, Where is that kid going with her.

  He quickly pulled to the front of the club and told the man sitting next to him that was the woman. He jumped out of the car and grabbed Merri then impatiently pushed Danny. Moron! you were supposed to go out the back!

 Stunned by the muscular man suddenly grabbing Merri he tried to pull her back, “This is my girlfriend! I don’t know what you are talking about!”

  The man hesitated for a moment then said, “Girlfriend or not who gives a shit! The slut is coming with us.”

  Danny wouldn’t let go of Merri and the man sneered, “Little man, unless you want that pretty face of yours turned into a raw piece of meat, let go.”

 Merri was like a rag doll being held by the two men. Her mind was muddled but she could sense the terrifying aura surrounding the muscular man on the left. Deep inside she knew she couldn’t escape her fate. They must be human traffickers ,through blurry eyes she gazed at Danny, “It’s okay. I will go.”

  “NO!” Danny attempted to drag Merri behind him and the bodyguard was out of patience. He punched Danny in the face and he fell down. Before he could stand up the man tossed Merri into the back of the SUV and screeched out into the empty street. Danny’s mouth was bleeding and his jaw felt broken as he staggered to his feet. His eyes were full of desolation and remorse as he watched the SUV speed away. I’m sorry Merri.

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