Authors: Liliana Rhodes
Veronica Clark was lonely. She moved to the city of Portsmith a few months ago after being offered her dream job as a reporter for the Times Daily, the largest newspaper on the east coast.
She didn't have that big of a family and most of them didn't keep in touch, so the 1,000 mile move didn't seem like a big deal to her but things were different in her town and she felt isolated.
She sat in her small apartment and drank a glass of wine which was going straight to her head. She never drank much. She never had much of a social life either but she was used to that. Being shy and quiet she never met that many people or had many friends, but since moving to Portsmith she felt more alone.
In the background she heard a tv commercial for a dating website. Her last and only boyfriend was in college but they broke up just before graduation, three years ago. Since then, she had been set up on a few dates but they never amounted at much. Veronica was looking for her prince, her soulmate, and she wouldn't settle for less.
She brushed her wavy blonde hair out of her blue eyes and focused more on the tv.
"Meet your soulmate. Our test algorithms are so accurate, you don't pay a dime until you meet someone."
"Yeah right." She laughed and lifted her glass towards the tv. "Maybe I'll just take you up on that."
She pulled up the site on her laptop and looked around at all the pictures of good looking, happy couples. She shrugged and started filling out the form which was mostly a bunch of personal questions. Lastly she needed to upload a picture.
She used her webcam and didn't think it came out bad. She thought she was kind of pretty with her small nose and high cheek bones but plain. Some of those old dates told her she was beautiful but she knew men would say anything to get into a girl's pants. When she was done, she looked over her answers while she chewed her bottom lip, then closed her eyes and hit 'send'. She figured she'd never hear from the site again.
Two Months Later
Veronica looked at her watch then around the fancy, crowded restaurant. She felt so embarrassed to be sitting there by herself. She was sure everyone knew she got stood up and that her date wasn't coming. She took another sip of the wine she ordered and tried to look calm and relaxed.
About a week after signing up for the dating site, she got an email from Dr. Andrew Tallingham, a doctor, and your basic tall, dark and handsome package which she kept thinking was too good to be true. Veronica and Drew had been emailing and chatting online for the past two months, it became part of her after work routine.
She asked about talking on the phone or even via webcam but he always said no. She tried to make excuses for him but the only thing she could imagine was that he was secretly a troll and not who he pretended to be. Then one day Drew asked if she wanted to meet in person. She was hesitant at first but he easily convinced her.
As she waited at the restaurant, she kicked herself for joining the dating service in the first place. She felt ridiculous sitting there by herself, all dolled up. Her normally wild hair was neatly held in a clip and she had taken her time applying a little make up, making sure her blue eyes popped. She wore her go-to little black dress which showed just enough of her ample cleavage and shapely legs without looking trashy.
She nervously bit her lip then looked at her watch again. Twenty minutes late. She checked her email but no messages.
Maybe he got called into the hospital for an emergency
, she thought as she considered possible scenarios for his not being there. Unfortunately she kept tormenting herself, thinking that he saw her and left thinking she wasn't pretty enough.
"Would you like something else?" The waiter asked. He had an accent that was Eastern European with a touch of something else she couldn't place.
"No, thank you. I guess I'll be going." She grabbed her phone and wallet.
"No, please. It's such a pleasure having a beautiful woman in my serving area. Let me at least get you another drink...on the house." He smiled as he spoke revealing a gold tooth.
She nodded and smiled. She figured she didn't have anything better to do and maybe Drew would still show up. She wasn't much of a drinker but sipping another drink wasn't going to make a difference. She took a cab just in case, so she wasn't worried.
The waiter brought her a drink she didn't recognize but drank anyway. It was a pretty blue color in a tall glass with an umbrella and she nursed it for twenty minutes before deciding it was time to leave. The waiter called a cab for her a few minutes earlier and it was waiting outside the restaurant.
She stood up from the table and almost lost her balance until the waiter caught her.
"Whoa, thank you. I guess I didn't realize how strong that last drink was." She said to him, his arms still around her.
"No problem. That's a special drink from my country. Happens to everyone. I'll help you get to your cab."
She slipped her arm through his and felt his long, lean muscles through his sleeve. She briefly thought he seemed too muscular for a waiter but pushed that out of her head and decided he probably did something else and waited tables to get by. As a writer, she was always making up stories about other people.
She looked out the car window as the cab exited the city. The lights of the city were a blur as they sped past. She felt the effects of the alcohol suddenly take hold of her and decided to close her eyes for the rest of the ride.
Voices woke Veronica.
"Yes doctor, very healthy." A woman's voice said.
"I think Stavros will be quite please. She's a natural submissive too. Based on the tests, she also appears very fertile. Exactly what he's been looking for." The doctor said.
She looked around, her mind in a haze. She was strapped down to an examination table with a thin sheet covering her body. Above her was a large examination lamp that was turned off. She turned to her right and could see palm trees outside the long wall of windows.
Palm trees? There aren't palm trees in Portsmith.
She turned her head to the left, towards the voices. Standing by a steel grey countertop with cabinets and a sink, she saw a man and a woman. The man was wearing a lab coat like a doctor and the woman was wearing scrubs like most nurses wear. She forced her eyes to focus thinking the man looked familiar.
"Drew???" She croaked, her voice a hoarse whisper, her throat very dry.
The doctor turned towards her and smiled. His eyes twinkled and some wrinkles appeared at the corners. He tapped the nurse's arm before stepping towards Veronica.
"Well hello Veronica! You've done quite well so far. Just go back to sleep and everything will be explained to you later."
"What? Drew?? What do you mean?! I don't understa–" Before she could finish her sentence the nurse gave her a shot of something clear and she felt the world rush away from her again.
When she next opened her eyes, Veronica immediately sat up not sure what to expect. She was wearing a thin, shapeless cotton dress, similar to a hospital gown and nothing else. She wondered what happened to her clothes and how she got there but the more she thought, the more her head hurt.
She rubbed her eyes and tried to focus, expecting to see the examination room she was in earlier but saw that she was somewhere else. It was dark and looked like a jail cell. The walls were made of cinder blocks and there was a tiny window through which she could hear the ocean.
She got up from the cot she was laying on in the corner of the room and walked towards the large, closed wooden door when her neck was jerked back with a loud clank. She reached for her neck and felt a leather collar attached to a thick metal chain bolted to the floor and began screaming.
"What's going on?! Let me out of here!!"
"Please relax my dear." It was a calm, soothing female voice and Veronica thought it sounded similar to the nurse when she last woke. "We cannot let you out. You are here for a purpose."
"A purpose? You've chained me like a dog for a reason??" Just please let me go. I don't know why I'm here. I don't even know where I am. I just want to go home. There will be people looking for me you know." She pleaded.
The voice laughed.
"No one will be looking for you, Veronica. That's one of the reasons you were chosen. No one will notice you're gone."
She was quiet. She knew the voice was right and she hated it for that.
"Why? Why did you take me?" She sat on the cot and began crying with her face in her hands.
The sound of a loud buzzer filled the air and she heard the clank of heavy locks pull back from the door. She looked as the door opened expecting to see whoever had the female voice, instead it was Drew.
She leapt to her feet and ran to attack him, forgetting she was chained to the floor. The collar yanked her back, taking her off balance, and she fell to the cold, stone floor.
"I never expected so much spunk from you Veronica." Drew laughed as he entered the room and sat on the cot. "Now stop acting like a child and sit with me. I'll explain why you're here."
She seethed with anger but knew she didn't have a choice. She got up, fixed the hospital gown she was wearing to cover herself and sat on the other end of the cot.
"How could you? I trusted you." She shot daggers at him with her eyes.
"Yes, yes. Trust. Well I was just doing my job. No need for hostility." He crossed his legs and smiled at her.
He was a very handsome man with his black hair and smiled-creased face. Veronica found it disarming and hated him even more for it.
"Just tell me why you did this. Why am I chained in a cell like an animal?!" She reached out and slapped him hard across his face. He grabbed her arm and pulled back his other hand ready to slap her back.
"No." A strong male voice spoke over the speaker. "You will not touch her." The voice was deep and had a thick Greek accent.
"Sir, I was wrong. Everything indicated she would be submissive, but she is fighting," Drew said.
"I see what you don't. She is perfect. Bring her to me."
"Yes sir." Drew let go of Veronica's arm and glared at her. "You're one lucky girl."
Using a special key, he unlocked the chain from the floor. Still holding the chain he motioned to Veronica to follow.
She got up from the cot dazed and confused. She couldn't help attacking Drew but now she wondered whose voice that was and what he planned to do with her. She immediately thought it was a sexy voice and wondered if that was just because he rescued her from Drew.
She followed Drew into a bleak hallway. He held her chain as if he was walking a dog. She walked in silence, her bare feet feeling the chill of the stone floor. She listened to the clicking of Drew's dress shoes as he walked. She felt ice move through her veins as fear gripped her, not knowing where she was or what to expect next.