Chapter Twelve: Forgive Us, Our Trespasses Dante had dropped Angel off at the club, as promised. He had left fairly quickly afterwards too.
She seemed to suddenly not trust him, when he had awoken that morning. He had made her breakfast while she showered, but she refused to eat. She had sat outside smoking for a while, and when Dante invited her back inside, she ignored him. When he tried to talk with her, she sat silently. When he held the door open for her to get into the passenger seat of his car, she got in the back seat instead.
The drive to the club was painfully silent, and Dante could not figure out what had gone wrong. Now Dante sat at a table in a conference room of the local police department, a faded manila folder rested on the table, holding what few bits of information Dante had collected on Rich, Frank, their prostitution business, and their underground kidnapping and selling of girls, including minors, on the black market. It wasn't much, and Dante wasn't getting anywhere further with it all. He couldn't concentrate.
The prior night's events replayed in his head as he tried to assess what he did wrong. Was it the way he had laid her on the bed after she had ran to the bathroom vomiting? Was it the fact that he helped her pull off her vomit-soaked clothes, and cover her with the blanket? Was it the way he held her when she whimpered in pain as she clutched her stomach?
Was it the fact that he pushed her away when she insisted on stripping him and pleasuring him? Was it the warmth he gave her when he pulled off his shirt and clutched her close as she shivered and shook violently with chills and pain? Was it the fear he saw in her eyes when he swatted her hands away from his pants? Or was it the fear she may have that she was only able to stay conscious long enough to pull off his pants?
Dante wasn't sure. He wanted to help the girl, but he seemed to have somehow lost her trust. The door to the conference room clicked open, and John slipped in before quietly shutting it behind him. Dante barely heard the door open, let alone John's greeting of "hey man." John sat across from Dante, and for a long moment, they sat silently, John staring at Dante, Dante staring at empty space. "I don't know what to do," Dante finally mumbled quietly.
John sat quietly, listening to Dante's recollection of all the times with Angel. "She's insanely damaged," Dante recalled. "She's covered in scars from years upon years of abuse. Internal ones that prevent her from any satisfaction, ones on her skin that are faded but still littering her body. She won't open up, she's jumpy, insanely untrusting, and independent. She's so mentally damaged that I'm not sure I can help her. And she won't open up, so I'm not getting anywhere." John waited patiently, listening carefully.
"You're going to have to push her." "She'll know." "She already knows." "She doesn't know everything." "She's not stupid." "No, in fact she's quite smart." "So push her." "She'll close up." "Sounds like she's already in a fight or flight mode." "Exactly why I can't push her." "This is her way out though. She'll realize that." Dante shook his head, unsure of what to do, or if it would work.
"This entire case depends on her," John said quietly, leaning closer to Dante, his voice stern to get his point across. Dante shook his head again. "I can't. I care about her, I can't just use her like that. She'll never trust me again." John's eyes narrowed as he spoke, his voice almost a low growl, "and how many others are you willing to let suffer like her?
You want to help her? Then help her by breaking her chains and bringing down the men who hurt her, Aaron." Dante looked up, surprise showed in his eyes at hearing his real name used. It wasn't often anymore that someone called him anything than his undercover name.
John leaned back, catching the surprise in Dante's eyes before the man was able to conceal it. "You've already lied to her." +-+-+ Angel was applying the last bit of her make-up when one of the other club girls tapped her on the shoulder.
Angel turned swiftly, her elbow extended, and almost clipping the girl. The girl jumped back, her blond curls bouncing off her perky chest in surprise. Her blue eyes were wide, with a shocked, almost offended expression frozen on her face.
"What?" Angel asked, almost annoyed that the girl had disturbed her and then stood there with her mouth gaped like an idiotic, typical blond bimbo. "You're wanted upstairs" the girl finally managed to say, still gaping. "Who? What for?" She shrugged, getting her composure, making it clear that she really was a snobbish, typical blond bimbo, sneering at Angel as if she was the idiot.
"I don't know, they just told me to get you." The girl turned, flipping her blond curls prudishly at Angel before leaving. "You're tampon string is showing" Angel called after her. She smirked as the girl gasped and quickly fumbled around with her bikini bottoms and turning red with embarrassment, before realizing that Angel was only joking.
Angel turned, catching only a glimpse of the blonde's angered expression before she stood and headed out of the room and into the main room of the club. As Angel made her way up the stairs to the balcony that overlooked the stage and the rest of the club, she wondered why she had been summoned. It wasn't often girls were called up there, and usually it was for private entertainment to the men up there.
Angel could only assume why her presence was requested. She rounded the corner at the top of the steps, looking for Rich. A high-pitched whistle called to her. Her head snapped in the direction of the whistle. Rich waved her over from the far end of the balcony, where he was seated on a red velvet sofa, in the corner.
He was surrounded by other men, and their female "companions," all joking and laughing with one another. The yellow light above him gave him a glow, that made him appear almost as a modern religious figure, surrounded by his enthusiastic apostles, anxious for him to perform miracles.
Angel made her way over to the group. Rich held a hand out to her, motioning with a quick jerk of his head, for the girl next to him to move.
He pulled Angel down next to him, pulling her legs over his left knee. Angel glanced around at the others, careful not to make eye contact. To make eye contact with a male would mean she was challenging their authority as a pimp.
It could also anger Rich, if the other men thought she fancied them over Rich. She recognized many of them, all friends and "colleagues" of Rich. Others she guessed were high spending clients. Many of the clients seemed a bit uncomfortable, but were still willing to laugh and joke with the rest of the group.
"So," one of the men Angel recognized as a pimp she had seen around the streets, pushing girls around and yelling into their faces, spoke up. "So this is the little prodigy you're always griping about, Rich?" Angel's body tensed as she felt numerous pairs of eyes turn to her.
Rich laughed playfully, "she certainly is my pride and joy." "A gem," someone said. Rich ushered Angel to stand. "Turn for us," he commanded, and Angel slowly turned, her eyes low. Someone reached up and tugged on Angel's black pleated mini skirt. She quickly jerked away. "She a good bottom girl? Good at training?" "No, she's not a bottom," Rich snapped.
"I train the girls, have them shadow others sometimes." "Except this one," one man chimed in. Angel turned, stealing a glance at him. She could also feel Rich's glare at the man. A tense, strained moment passed before a loud "woooooo!" came from the floor below, causing everyone to break their attention to the tense scene at hand. A few men stood and left to check out the excitement downstairs where a man had jumped up onto the stage to dance with a topless girl.
After a while, all the men had left for one reason or another, except the one man that had so purposefully caused the tense atmosphere only moments before. Angel glanced between the two men. Rich was glaring warningly at the man, and the man was smirking back at Rich, knowing he had publicly made a fool of Rich. Angel still stood between the two men. She glanced quickly at Rich when the man ran his hand up her leg and under her skirt. Rich made no move to stop the man, much to Angel's disapproval.
The man pulled Angel to him, hooking his fingers into her fishnet tights. He turned her, making her face her owner, then forcefully bent her at the hips, grabbing her netted ass. He let out a low growl of approval, seeing no panties or thong in the way of showing herself fully to him. Angel tried to quickly pull away from the man, but his grip on her leg tightened, and he slowly slid his hand between her thighs before inhaling the scent off of his hand.
Angel looked up at Rich with anticipation that he would stop this unbusiness-like conduct. Rich's cold, piercing gaze was still on the man. Angel let out a gasp as the man pulled Angel onto his lap, parting her legs with his knees as she still faced Rich. The man flipped up Angel's skirt, showing her fully to Rich. He slipped his fingers between the netting of her fishnet tights and delved them inside her.
Angel gasped again, trying to quickly shut her legs and pull away from him, but he used his free hand to hold her still.
She knew better than to fight the man in front of Rich, but she couldn't understand why Rich didn't stop the man. "Now I understand why she's your gem," the man hissed. His fingers working vigorously, he snickered happily at Rich "just a little fuck thing, isn't she?" A low growl was forming in the pit of Rich's stomach and had slowly worked it's way into his throat.
At the man's last snickering laugh, Rich grabbed Angel by the arm and ripped her free from the man, the trespasser of his property. Angel yelped at the hard yank, and the pressure it put on her shoulder.
When she turned from her spot on the velvet couch, where she finally landed after being flung, Rich had pulled a large pocket-knife from his back pocket, flicked it open, and held it to the man's throat, who was still snickering.
"I admire how you keep your girls," the man finally hissed through his snickering, "I have some merchandise you might be interested in." +-+-+ "It's always the young, innocent ones who bring in the most business," Frank said as he dangled a key in front of Angel's face.
She snatched at it, not looking up at him. He quickly moved the key away, giving her a stern look before holding it out again. This time she simply put her hand out, and he dropped the key into it. Angel swiftly turned and headed out of the main building and down the long walk to room eighteen. The handle turned with the key, and the door squeaked open. A blur of a girl quickly sprang from the bathroom doorway, onto the bed. She quickly tried to compose herself, expecting to be in trouble for not being prepared and ready for the umpteenth man who paid for her body.
Her eyes relaxed as she saw Angel but her body was still tense, still waiting for a man to come for her. "Where's your clothes? Your bag?" Emily didn't say anything. She just wrapped her arms around her body, shivering with fear, pain, and cold. Angel quickly found the girl's bag and belongings. "Here, put these on," she said, putting the girl's shoes in front of her. She then tossed an oversized sweatshirt, and the girl promptly put it on.
Angel slung the bag over her shoulder before helping the girl to her feet. Dark, ominous bruises spotted the girl's legs, and Angel didn't doubt they continued up her body.
Silently she helped the girl limp her way out of the room and down the walkway to Rich's truck. Rich held the door open as Angel helped Emily into the back seat, and then clicked her seatbelt in place. He started the truck while Angel quickly returned the key to Frank, and then crawled into the passenger's seat. Angel couldn't look at Emily. She blamed herself for the girl's suffering.
She should never have called Rich and told him about Emily being high. She should have ran upstairs and stopped Rich when she heard Emily screaming and begging him for mercy. She should have volunteered to take her place when Rich dropped her off with Frank.
The girl would never forgive Angel for what she had done, and what she had failed to do. Logically she knew that there was nothing she could have done, Emily's fate would still be the same. Rich glanced back at the pathetic girl in his backseat a few times.
Girls these days were wild and reckless. They had to be broken first before they could be built. The wilder the girl, the harder it was to make her crumble. That's why he let Frank do his dirty work for him.
He had no doubt that Frank had visited the girl between her clients. He had no doubt that the majority of the bruises on her body were from Frank. The girl would be fine though.
They always are, once they realize it is in their best interest to obey. Angel was anxious to get home. The car was tense, and she still felt violated from the man at the club.
What was the matter with Rich? Why hadn't he stopped the man? If nothing else, it was a violation of property rights in the unwritten code of pimpdom. Never touch another man's property without paying up. It was an unbreakable rule; unforgivable. There was no physically testing of the merchandise.
If you liked what you saw, you paid. If you didn't, you looked elsewhere. The rules of pimpdom were pretty simple. Sitting up a bit straighter, Angel glanced around. Where were they going? Rich had just missed the turnoff for the house. She glanced over at him, wondering if he had even realized his mistake. He shot her a warning glance. It wasn't a mistake. He had some other destination in mind…