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Free Preview – Love – 40

add_book2Where am I? What s happened? Celeste could feel the dirt floor pressing against her cheek. Through foggy vision, she could see she was lying on the floor of a deserted barn that once had served as a refuge from the bitter Iowa winters for cattle and other farm animals. The smell of animal excrement still lingered.

She tried to get up but couldn t. She soon learned that her wrists had been manacled behind her back. She wanted to struggle but had not regained sufficient strength to attempt it. She lay there listening yet heard nothing but the blustering wind that relentlessly came and went through the loft and the partially ajar front door. The longer she lay there the clearer her memories of her experiences as a young girl came to mind. Her environment became very familiar.

She heard nothing but the wind and felt only the throbbing pain in her head and left cheek pressed firmly against the hard dirt floor. She was cold. Her coat was gone. Though the lighting was poor, streaks of occasional sunlight sliced through the cracks in the ramshackle walls, and some light descended from the loft where the door had fallen off many years past. She was horrified and bewildered. Why would Simpson do this to me?

A car door slammed. Her heart began to race. She twisted around toward the door. The squeaking door opened a little wider. She was breathless with fear. Simpson came in carrying his briefcase and an old piece of wood that had Chekovic Farm painted on it and tossed it into the corner.

“I see you re awake. Took me more than an hour to find this place. I was beginning to wonder if you d come around. For a while there thought I d screwed up. figured I d already killed you. That would ve ruined everything. You and I haven t had our fun yet. Not only that, but you haven t suffered enough. More importantly, that sorry-ass husband of yours hasn t. But before I m through today, he s gonna have plenty of reason to,” he chuckled, cracking an iniquitous smile.

She looked up at him, pleading through a torrent of tears. “Please let me go. Why are you doing this? I ve never caused you any harm.”

“Oh really! Guess what? My lover didn t do anything to your cop husband either, but he s dead now. Dead. Do you hear me? He s gone. All because of that cowboy husband and that damn wop partner,” he said, stepping closer and kicking her in the right side of her rib cage. She gasped for air. The pain was intense. Survival of this nightmare would require a miracle, she thought.

He squatted down and popped open his expandable briefcase, quickly inventorying its contents to make sure he had all the tools and materials needed: a razor-sharp penknife, ten feet of half-inch nylon rope, a roll of duct tape, a white linen napkin, black marking pen, a rectangular piece of art board, and the High E-String from his guitar all of which wouldn t have raised any questions at the airport. He unfolded the napkin and carefully placed each item on it.