Rescuing Eve (Guardian Hostage Rescue Specialists #4) - Ellie Masters Page 0,2
I hate the spa. It’s only ever used by the girls who are being put up for auction. Benefield wants them looking their best as he sells them to the highest bidder.
I’d refuse, but I know better than to upset my monstrous host.
As I make my way to the spa, I walk on pins and needles, doing everything in my power not to be noticed, which is silly.
Everybody notices me.
I’ve been singled out for special treatment, deference extended to me where it’s not for any of the other girls.
Unable to get over the feeling my fortune is shifting from bad to worse, I’m on edge, and the fear I battle, each and every day, takes on a sharper edge.
It digs in and takes root.
I feel it in the air—a change coming—it swirls around me, infesting the cloying humidity that thickens each breath. It lingers in the muggy tropical heat and saps my strength.
I cross an extravagant courtyard, guard in tow. Landscaped to perfection, my surroundings display the opulence and power of the owner.
I’m a captive within a secret compound, hidden somewhere in the forests of a tropical paradise. I believe I’m in Colombia. At least that’s where the shipping container arrived.
The shipping container.
Thirteen of us endured a tortuous journey locked inside a cargo container. Opened once a day to provide meager rations of food and water and to remove a foul bucket of waste; we survived only to endure what came next.
After making port in Colombia, half were loaded onto the back of one truck, and the rest were loaded onto the back of another. I have no idea what happened to the seven girls in that other truck, but I know what happened to the five who went with me.
We came here.
Over the next three weeks, those girls were tortured, trained, and forced to serve. They learned how to serve the needs of monstrous men and how to turn their anger, fear, and hatred into docile obedience. One month later, they were sold and a new set of girls arrived.
This is how I measure the passing of time; each week, a new shipment arrives, and a little piece inside of me dies.
The lingering effects of my summons throw my body into chaos. Adrenaline races around my body. My heart picks up its frantic pace, galloping around the inside of my chest as it feeds off my adrenaline-fueled fear. But while I may be shaking inside, outwardly, I display the calm, cool demeanor of the socialite I was born and raised to become.
I hurry along, trying to ignore the beauty and elegance all around me. It’s all a lie.
Breezeways break up the thick walls and pull the eye away from the multi-leveled turrets, manned day and night by diligent guards. Designed to keep slaves inside and outsiders where they belong, it serves one purpose.
I’m locked inside a fortress. Wrought iron gates give the illusion of decoration, but they are the bars of my prison.
Men with depraved tastes are entertained here. Tonight, they’ll congregate in the banquet hall for the finale of their weeklong depravity.
It’s Auction Night.
The last week of every month, men descend on this lush paradise to sample the merchandise and ultimately purchase the greatest indulgence: a broken woman formed into a docile slave.
I continue over the courtyard’s travertine stone, making my way around the fountains and weaving between the locked cages holding parrots, macaws, and cute little spider monkeys.
I pass by the Oasis, a room designed to look like the inside of a sultan’s harem, and hold my head high. The deep rumble of men’s voices carries in the air. The lightness of feminine sounds layer on top, light titters that are fake but sound real. The girls are well-trained to please. Failure isn’t an option.
To the uninitiated, it looks like a sensual paradise, but all I see are ugly men, rotten to the core, touching girls too fearful to pull away.
I endure the stares of our most recent guests. Their interest heightened only because I am untouchable.
Mr. H, in particular, can’t keep his oily gaze off of me. An oil tycoon from Texas, he’s absent morals and lacks basic human decency.
A shiver works its way down my spine as his hungry gaze sweeps over me. His slow blink churns my gut, and the way he makes a point to lick his lips brings bile rising to the back of my throat. His desire is quickly turning into obsession.
The guards never touch me. They’re not allowed that privilege,