Page 50 of Beta (Alpha 2)

After tying me up and gagging me, Gina and her silent goon had left me here. I expected immediate torture, rape, and death. But no. They just left me here to shiver and rot.

Just as that thought entered my head, I heard a key in a lock, and the door creaked open. Gina entered, a thin, cruel smile on her lips. She was dressed for the club, it seemed to me, wearing a short, tight blue dress that revealed more than it covered, clicking over to me on Louboutin high heels. Her hair was bound in a ponytail high on her head, the end hanging over one shoulder. Her nails were long sapphire-blue talons. She held a Christian Dior purse. I noticed all this, registered the high-end brand names as if they mattered. I watched her approach, worked hard to keep the fear from my eyes, my breathing slow and even and regular.

My knee throbbed. Gina’s goon had wrapped my wounded knee while Gina explained that she wouldn’t want me to bleed out before she’d gotten some fun out of me.

“Kyrie, darling.” Gina crouched in front of my face, dragging a finger through my hair, pulling a lock out of my eye and placing it behind my ear. She set her purse on her knees, opened it, and withdrew a black folding knife. “Sorry to leave you for so long. I’ve been monitoring Val’s attempts to reach you. So far all he’s doing is drinking that vile Scotch of his with some friends. He plans to come for you, of course. I’m counting on it. So I’ll have to have my fun with you now, before things get really exciting.” She turned toward the door and snapped her fingers. The goon came in, dragging a young blonde girl. “She’s going to be part of the fun. Her name is…what was it? Lucy?”

The girl wasn’t bound or gagged. She was clothed and showed no sign of blood or bruises. She was clearly terrified, though. Rightfully so. “L—Lisa. My name is Lisa.”

“Ah, yes. Lisa.” Gina stood up slowly, unfolding to her full height in a smooth, sinuous motion that reminded me of a spitting cobra rearing back. “Feel free to scream, sweetheart. No one can hear you.”

“What? What are you—what are you going to do to me?” Lisa backed away from Gina…right into the chest of the goon.

“Me? Nothing.” Gina quirked an eyebrow at the man, and a lecherous grin spread across his ugly face. “Tobias, now…he’s been talking about his plans for you since we picked you up.”

“Please…p-please…don’t hurt me. What do you want from me?” Lisa tried to worm out of Tobias’s grip, but in vain.

His hands were circled around her biceps, and she might as well have been struggling against the bulk of a mountain. He pressed his nose to her ear, latched onto her earlobe with his teeth. Lisa froze, head tilted sideways, clearly wanting to pull her head away but knowing she’d risk ripping her earlobe if she did so. She couldn’t even scream, panic choking her, as he bit down hard enough to draw blood.

“We only want you, girl.” He licked his lips after speaking, his voice guttural and thickly accented. “You are nothing. Only example.”

“Oh, shut up, Tobias. Just get on with it.” Gina moved around behind me, one hand clutching the knife, the other latching into my hair.

I screamed through the gag as she dragged me upright by my hair, chunks coming out at the root. I had no way to even try to balance myself, but once I was sitting on my haunches, Gina crouched behind me and kept one hand on my hair, making sure I didn’t fall over.

“This is for you, Kyrie. This is what’s in store for you.” Her voice slithered against my ear. “I want you to watch.” The point of her knife touched the hollow behind my ear. “If you close your eyes, I’ll cut off your ear.”

I swallowed hard, tasting bile and horror and the bitter gall of the sock in my mouth. I didn’t dare close my eyes, but it took every ounce of willpower to keep them open. Being forced to watch what Tobias did to that poor girl…it was a living nightmare I would never forget.

I sobbed past the tape.

Eventually Tobias stood up, buckled his belt and wiped his bloody hands on his pants leg.

He glanced at me. “You are next, bitch.”

He licked his lips, knelt in front of me, reached down between my legs and shoved his fingers hard against me, missing my entrance and gouging hard enough to nearly break the skin. I curled forward, almost fell, and screamed through the gag.

He laughed. “Just a bit of fun, this little bitch.” He gestured at the ruin that was Lisa. “You? I’m going to have hours with you.”

Gina whispered in my ear. “A little secret about Tobias? He’s really fucked up in the head. He can’t get off until they’re dead. He can go for hours. It’s sick, really. But he’s very useful.”

Tobias grabbed Lisa by the ankle, jerked open the door, and dragged her out by the foot. I heard her moaning, protesting, crying, and then the wet impact of a foot on flesh. The moans stopped.

The door closed, and Gina stood to move in front of me, bending over and ripping the duct tape off in one fast motion. I spat out the sock, gagged, and then vomited all over her Louboutins. She watched dispassionately. There was no warning, just the flash of her hand and the sudden burst of pain as the back of her knuckles cracked across my cheek. And then she was kneeling in front of me, her breath on my face. She had my hair in her hand, gripped tight at the scalp. I held my breath, refused to let myself think or fear or react.

Her other arm reached around behind me, her nose an inch from mine, her eyes on mine. “These were my favorite heels, you little cunt. Now I have to change.”

She moved to stand behind me, and I felt a tugging at my hair, felt her knife hand moving. Gina rocked back on her feet and stood up, the length of my hair clutched in her hand. I stifled a cry at the sight of my hair in her fist, cut raggedly from my head. Opening her hand, Gina let the long blonde strands flutter to the floor at her feet, into the puddle of my vomit.

She wasn’t done yet, though.

I ground my teeth together, gritted them against the pain as she grabbed a hunk of hair at the crown of my scalp and scraped it from my head. I choked on my screams, trembled to contain my need to thrash, to fight. It was just hair…it was just hair. It would grow back. But fuck did it hurt, the razor-sharp blade slicing into my scalp as she got the angle wrong, scraping across my head, slicing, cutting. She didn’t stop until every last strand of hair was gone, leaving me shaved as bald as a brand-new military recruit.

She stepped back, glancing down at her hands, which were coated with smeared blood and hair, and then back to me. “There. Not so beautiful anymore, are you? It’s a start, at least.” She titled her head to the side, assessing me. “Your features are still too perfect, really. I mean, you are a very beautiful girl. Or at least, you were. You won’t be when I’m done with you.”