Cassandra leaned back, looked into the burly man’s eyes, and said, “I brought what you ordered.”
(Did you miss Episode 5?)
The man stepped to the side and ran his eyes up and down Delilah’s body. It was like he was appraising a piece of property. “She’ll do,” he said. Suddenly, he stepped forward and grabbed her by the arm. She shrieked in pain as he dragged her toward Richard.
“Cassandra,” she said, “What...what is going on? Aren’t you? Aren’t we?” she trailed off as the pieces of the puzzle fell into place in her mind.
“What did you tell her?” the burly man asked Cassandra, looking away from Delilah for a second. Delilah tried to bolt, pulling her arm away from his loosened grip. She made it all the way to the door before he caught up with her. “Trying to run already?” he asked. Then, to Cassandra, “Couldn’t you have picked a less feisty one?”
“You didn’t give me much time,” Cassandra explained. “She was an easy target.”
The man pushed Delilah into the chair next to Richard’s and began binding her legs with the same white rope that held Richard. She felt the rope cutting into her bare legs. Then he bound her arms to the chair.
“What is going on?” Delilah asked, a whiny, scared note creeping into her voice.
“Isn’t it obvious?” the man said. “You’re our hostage.”
“I...I don’t understand,” she said. “I thought you were...I thought Richard was...that he put you away, and - “
The man cut her off. “Look, sweetie,” he said, “I don’t want to gag you, but I will if you don’t stop asking questions.”
Delilah nodded silently, a tear escaping from her eye. It reminded her that she hadn’t had time to apply her makeup yet. She felt like if she had, she might be a bit more confident right now. Like the amazing Hotsy Totsy Metallic Eyeshadow in her bag would magically make this whole experience disappear.
Across the room, Cassandra emptied Delilah’s makeup bag onto the couch and pawed through it. “This is some nice stuff,” she said to Delilah. “42 Dubonnet. Their packaging is awesome.” She was acting like she hadn’t just kidnapped Delilah and delivered her into the hands of a bunch of scary, dangerous people.
“Sweetie pie. Richard,” the burly man said. “This is what’s going to happen. We’re going to call your parents, if they’re alive and care about you, and your friends, if they don’t, and we’re going to tell them to bring us money. If they don’t, we will...well, I won’t get into that right now.”
“Screw you,” Richard said. He spat on the floor.
The man walked over to Richard and kicked his shin, hard. “Aaaaah,” Richard yelled.
“Do you have anything else to say?” the man asked. “Other than 305, or whatever your parents’ phone numbers are?”
Delilah thought about her mom, blissfully living in her little house in Boulder, Colorado, with no idea about what was happening to her daughter. She imagined her sitting in her craft studio, painting a landscape scene of the Flatirons, humming to herself.
Delilah’s mom didn’t just have no money. She had negative money. She’d spent most of her life as an artist, going to craft fairs and selling her paintings and jewelry. Her entire bohemian existence was paid for by credit cards.
Her dad, on the other hand, had plenty of money to ransom his daughter. But she wasn’t sure if he would deem her a worthy investment. When her parents split 10 years ago, she’d sided with her mom and purposely shoved him out of her life. She couldn’t remember the last time they’d spoken. Maybe on her birthday 5 months ago?
The burly man stepped forward and thrust a cheap cell phone into her hand. “Time to call mommy and daddy,” he said.
Delilah took a deep breath and dialed her father’s number. She heard the phone ring once, twice, three times. Then her father’s voice. Thank god he didn’t ignore all calls from unknown numbers like she did. “Hello?” he asked.
Before she could say anything, the burly man swept the phone out of her hand. “We have your daughter,” he said into the phone.
(Did you miss Episode 5?)