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Authors: Wodke Hawkinson

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Betrayed

Betrayed
Wodke Hawkinson

Betrayed, a Novel by Wodke Hawkinson Brook, a Denver socialite, seems to have a good life until she becomes the victim of a botched carjacking. In a matter of minutes, her life is forever altered. She is abducted, transported, and held for days by three brutal men in a remote mountain location. She escapes only to end up barefoot, nearly naked, and hopelessly lost in the Colorado wilderness at the beginning of a harsh winter. Lance, a man who has shunned society, lives like a recluse in a rustic cabin far removed from the modern world. He likes his solitary life. But his world is about to be turned upside down. Advisory: Contains sexual violence and strong language.

Betrayed

by

Wodke Hawkinson

 

 

©
2011 by Wodke Hawkinson

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Acknowledgement

We thank our spouses and families

for their support and encouragement.

 

 

Alone Looking at the Mountain

All the birds have flown up and gone;

 

A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.

 

We never tire of looking at each other -

 

Only the mountain and I.

-Li Po

 

 

Chapter 1

As they entered their six-car garage, Brook reached for the keys to the Cayenne Turbo S. With its 520 horsepower, it was capable of handling even the most extreme conditions and Clark always insisted Brook drive it in the winter. Now, however, Clark placed his hand over hers to stop her from taking the keys.

“Why don’t you drive the Ferrari? This might be the last day of the year you’ll be able to take it out.” He smiled and kissed her cheek as he grabbed the keys to his Spyker D8. He tossed his briefcase through the backward-opening rear door, slipped into the driver’s seat, and pressed the garage door opener. Blowing Brook a kiss, he exited into the late autumn morning.

Brook took the keys to the Spider, slid into the luxurious interior, entered the address of her destination into the GPS unit, and backed out of the garage. Moving into the street, she glided past million dollar mansions that sat on two to three acres of well-manicured land. She exited the gated community, nodding to Jerry in the guardhouse. Jerry waved and smiled. Brook saw him bend to record the time she left and what vehicle she was driving. Security at Pinion Plateau was state-of-the-art. No one entered or left without their presence being noted.

The brisk air held the threat of impending snow as Brook made her way through town. They’d had a couple of small snowfalls already, but for now the roads were clear and the Spider moved in and out of traffic like a red blip on a radar screen. Clark was right, the day was beautiful, and Brook basked in the bright morning sunlight that slanted through the windshield as she went about her errands.

She knew it wouldn’t be long before the first big snow hit and then driving would become a chore, if the town didn’t shut down completely. Forecasts were calling for a real whopper.

At the GPS unit's prompt, she signaled for a right turn and zipped down an unfamiliar byway. The Ferrari was as responsive as a lover under her hands.

Soon, Brook had left the city-major behind. She didn’t care for the looks of the area she was now entering. She tapped her manicured nails nervously on the steering wheel as she sat at a stoplight. A group of young men loitering on the corner noted her discomfort and watched with amused looks on their faces. She pulled away quickly as the light turned green.

She'd decided to get this chore out of the way before running her other errands, after which, she would grab some lunch at Maurice’s. Then, she could go home, tend to daily household chores, relax in the hot tub, and shower before Clark returned home from work. Maybe she would have Rachel whip up something special for dinner. She could use some intimacy. Clark had been working long hours lately and they’d had little time together. As she drove, she reflected on the lack of companionship she had recently been feeling in her marriage. She missed the closeness that had filled their lives before…well, before the tragedy that had changed everything. She shook her head, pushing away painful memories and focused instead on the reason for this particular errand.

That morning at breakfast, completely out of character, Clark had asked her to do him a favor. He wanted her to go to a bookstore on the south side of town. He said he had done some research and this was the only shop he could locate that carried a copy of a rare book his boss had mentioned. Clark wanted to surprise Harold with the book on his upcoming birthday. He had stressed several times that this was the only store in the state with a copy and he didn’t want to miss the opportunity to make the purchase. The book was being held under his name. She had watched him as he finished eating, took a final sip of coffee, and then began stuffing papers into his briefcase. He had seemed nervous, fidgety, but she couldn’t imagine why. Their usual morning conversation had been stilted and they had parted in the garage shortly after.

Brook assumed Clark hadn’t sent his assistant on this errand for fear Harold would hear about the book and the surprise would be ruined. Anxiety rose within her as she found herself amid abandoned stores intermingled with porn, tattoo, and head shops. Splashes of graffiti scarred the forsaken buildings. In a weed-choked lot, two groups of rough-looking youths sat atop parked cars and hollered lazy insults back and forth. Further ahead, posturing gang bangers strutted their colors, advertising their menace. A ragged homeless woman shuffled through the garbage-strewn streets.

Adding to Brook’s discomfort, her shiny red car was drawing unwanted attention from watchers with desire written on their faces. With each passing block, her surroundings became more sinister. Low---riders cruised up and down the street, and men with low-hanging pants stood in small groups volleying banter and invective between them. They all stared at her car, some blatantly, others from beneath downcast eyes.

Brook peeked at the GPS display and checked it against the paper on which Clark had scribbled the address of the bookstore. She appeared to be in the right location. She scanned the names on the buildings and found Bill’s Bawdy Book Barn stuck between Fanny’s Massage Parlor and The Dragon’s Den tattoo shop. As she stared aghast, the GPS informed her she had reached her destination. Brook frowned, muttering in disbelie f.
This is the place? Oh, lord!
To her right was a narrow parking lot, the cracked asphalt strewn with wind-blown debris. She pulled in and guided the car into an empty space.

She hesitated before stepping from the vehicle. Her eyes darted nervously from side to side and then to the rearview mirror. Why would Clark send her here? He couldn’t possibly have realized how bad this part of town was, or he surely would have taken care of this himself. Although Brook wasn’t easily intimidated, she also wasn’t usually exposed to this sort of living or the vibes of danger that radiated from the men on the street.

Brook gathered her courage and stepped from the car. She felt exposed and vulnerable. Holding her Bottega Veneta handbag close to her midriff, she walked briskly from the lot to the sidewalk. Turning the corner, she took perhaps half a dozen steps before she was accosted by a young man.

Shaggy brown hair hung in greasy strands around his face, and his clothes were torn and dirty. “Well, well, well. Whadda we got here?” He moved to block her way and Brook stopped, uncertain how to proceed. “Come to Bobby, baby,” the man said, rubbing his crotch suggestively. “Let me show you what a real man can do for you.”

Brook turned and hurried back to her car, her heels tapping a quick staccato on the pavement. Behind her, Bobby laughed derisively but made no move to follow. She pressed the keyless entry as she approached the car. She was intent on getting inside, locking the door, and getting away from this place. Anger flared within her, distracting her for a second or two.
What
had Clark been thinking? She didn’t belong here. He could send someone else or call and have the book delivered to the house, because
she
wouldn’t be picking it up for him. She chastised herself for not driving right past; never stopping.

As Brook slid into the car, she sensed a movement behind her and turned her head in time to see a fist rushing towards her face. She couldn’t even manage a small scream before the blow caught her on the side of the head. Brook fell, dazed, backwards into the car. Tears sprang to her eyes.

She heard a man’s gruff voice mumble, “Shit! People!”

He reached in and shoved her roughly across the console, gouging her back on the gearshift before unceremoniously pushing her legs across to clear the driver’s seat. “You say one fuckin’ word and I’ll kill you,” he snarled. “Get down on the floor. Now, bitch!”

Brook dropped to the floorboard, shaking in fear and confusion as tears rolled unchecked down her cheeks. Bewildered, she watched the man slide a key into the ignition; not her key, she still had wits enough to realize she held that in her hand. She opened her mouth and took a deep breath, prepared to scream bloody murder. Before she could even squeak, a gun was pressed to her temple. “Don’t do it, lady.” Brook clamped her mouth shut, obeying her captor. “Put your head down and cover it with your hands.”

Brook complied, heart trip-hammering against her chest.
What’s happening? What does he want? Where is he taking me? Oh god, I’ve got to get away!
These thoughts and more raced through her head as the car moved into the street and away, the sound of the tires on the road keeping pace with her rapidly beating heart.

“Don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me,” Brook pleaded through her tears. As she huddled on the floor, her words became a chant she could barely hear over the ringing in her ears. They had only gone a short distance when she felt the car bump and then rise up a ramp into darkness. She peeked up through her hair and tried to see where they were. The driver got out and her hopes rose.
Maybe he’s leaving. Maybe he’s going away.
She was reaching furtively for the door handle, heart slamming against her chest, when the door was jerked open and a hand grabbed her by the hair and pulled.

“Out, now,” her assailant’s voice demanded.

Brook cried out as pain ripped along her scalp. Her hand flew to her head and the key she had been holding fell unnoticed from her fingers. She stumbled from the car to a dirty surface, bruising her knee through her custom-designed slacks. Brook climbed unsteadily to her feet and turned toward the sound of voices. She gently probed her scalp. Relief flowed through her when she found her fingers free of blood. Examining her surroundings, she realized she was in the trailer of a dark and musty semi-truck. The only light came from the open loading door, its feeble glow barely enough to illuminate the three men who stood gawking at her. Even in her terror, Brook tried to record their faces into her memory. She wanted to be able to give accurate descriptions to the police when she got out of this mess. She stared openly.

Arguing with her attacker was a tall, skinny man whose straight, medium-brown hair fell over one eye and most of the other. He had a mustache and small beard. Brook noted his bad teeth when he bared them in a snarl at the first man. “Damn it all to hell, Benny. What the hell is
this
?” He gestured towards Brook who regarded them with an expression of fear.

Ok, Benny! Benny’s the one who attacked me. Watch him. Remember him!

Benny glared at her from deep-set, dark eyes. He was of medium height and build. His face was long, tapering to a pointed chin with a scraggly thin beard. Sparse whiskers grew over his lip and down the sides of his face. His hair was over-the-collar length, neatly combed and swept across to one side, barely missing an eye. His clothing was more like that of a business man and totally inconsistent with his actions, she thought, as she noted his khakis, button-up shirt, tan sports jacket, and loafers. She filed her impressions away for future reference.

“She came back to the car too soon, Pete. Fuck! She wasn’t
supposed
to be there. It wasn’t part of the plan. And then there were too many people around. I couldn’t just dump her out in the parking lot without being seen.” Benny shrugged as he gave Brook the once-over. “Anyway, look at her. She’s kinda cute.”

“Kind of cute? Are you for real? Kind of cute, my ass!” Pete shook his head.

Pete! The guy with bad teeth is Pete.
Brook made a mental note.
Benny abducted me and Pete is his accomplice.

The third guy was a trucker through and through. Jeans, button-up shirt open over a wife-beater t-shirt, and tennis shoes. His belly hung over a large belt buckle shaped like Texas. Graying on top, he wore a crew cut and was clean-shaven. He spat to one side as he said, “I don’t give a flying fuck about none of this. Ya all need to get the hell out of my truck. I need to move this merchandise and don’t want no part of whatever trouble this little lady is gonna bring.” He pointed to Brook when he made this statement. Her heart squeezed painfully in her chest as all three looked her way.

Benny said, “Mind your own fucking business, asshole.” Oblivious to the flash of anger on the trucker’s face, he turned to the tall guy. “We’ll just have to take her with us, Pete. Come on, let’s move.”

“Man, Benny! Jase is gonna be pissed,” Pete proclaimed.

“Fuck Jase,” Benny spat angrily, but Brook detected a hint of concern behind his bravado.

As the two argued, Brook saw a chance to get away. She started backing towards the open loading door. Slow and easy, shaking badly, she put one foot at a time behind her and moved backwards, keeping an eye on the men the entire time. She reached the door, turned and ran awkwardly down the ramp, her heels slowing her. Behind her, she heard the trucker laugh and say, “Your little woman is leavin’.”

“Shit!” Pete yelled.

Brooklyn ran for her life down a deserted alley. She heard a thump as someone leapt to the ground behind her. She needed to lose the heels but knew she couldn’t take the time to stop and remove them. Keeping her eyes straight ahead and gasping for breath, she screamed, “Help! HELP!” She could see no one, and there was no response to her yells.

Brook didn’t make it far before she was tackled from behind and knocked off her feet. Her face hit the pavement and bounced back off, abrading her cheek as she scattered a pile of rubbish from an overturned trash can. The sleeves of her beautiful jacket were stained with rotted garbage, the odor stinging her nostrils. She cried out in pain and fear as the weight of her assailant held her down.

“You stupid bitch,” Benny, lying across her, growled. “Why do you want to be this way? You’re just making this whole thing harder than it has to be.”

Brook heard the screech of tires, and hoped against hope that it was someone coming to rescue her. She tried to raise her head to call for help again, but her call was cut off when Benny crawled off her and yanked her to her feet. An SUV skidded to a stop beside them, its deep green paint sparkling in the sunlight. The windows were so dark Brook couldn’t see the driver. Benny opened the rear door and flung her inside before he crawled in behind her. He shoved her head down into the seat.

 “Go,” he growled to the driver.

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