Pregnant? I’m not pregnant. I just had my period…

Shit.

“How the fuck was I to know?” Marshall says. “After the last one wrecked her pussy, I thought she was barren.”

Walking around my chair, Marshall comes to stand in front of me with a look of triumph on his pale pudgy face. “Hello, Lily.”

Snarling against the gag, I glare murderously at my ex-husband and fight against my ropes. He’s dead if I get my hands on him.

The older man says something in Japanese again.

The younger one translates, “It’s going to affect her price on the market considerably.”

“Not many want to have a go at dumpy hag with a bun in the oven, eh?”

The older man laughs and the younger one shakes his head. There’s some back and forth between the two in Japanese before the younger one nods his head. Turning back to Marshall he says, “We’re prepared to offer you twice your asking price, as long as her condition remains.”

Marshall seems to mull that over. Making a great show of tapping his chin and furrowing his brow. “Well, I suppose I can go easy on her… as long as she tells me what I want to know.”

The younger man nods. “It would be worth your while.”

With a great sigh Marshall’s hand drops from his chin and he nods back at the other man.

Their business done, Marshall takes a step forward and drops down to a squat, putting us at eye level.

“I’m going to remove your gag. If you scream, I’m going to punch out your teeth.”

Reaching around me, he unties my gag and I spit it out of my mouth.

Tongue dry, I press my lips together as Marshall grabs me by the back of the head. Tugging on my hair, I cry out as my scalp lights up with renewed pain.

What the fuck is up with these guys and all the hair pulling?

“One question. All you have to do is answer one question, Lily, and we’ll be done here. You’ll never see me again.”

Panting through the pain, I stare into his eyes, showing him I’m not afraid of him. “You’re going to die for this.”

“I haven’t asked the question yet, bitch.”

He pulls on my hair again, and my scalp is so abused, so raw, it takes every ounce of strength I have not to scream. Not because I’m afraid of him punching out my teeth, but because I just don’t want to give him the satisfaction.

Breathing through the pain, he waits for my pants to quiet before he’s staring into my eyes again. “Are you ready for your question?”

I don’t answer him at first so he tugs on my hair again.

Gritting my teeth together, I grind out, “Yes.”

“Good,” he grins. “Now, all you have to do is tell me where the family portrait that was hanging over the fireplace is, and we can be done with all of this.”

Is he serious? He can’t be serious?

“Where is it?” he hisses and tugs on my hair.

Dammit it all, my scalp is so raw I’m really close to screaming. “What portrait?” I hiss, buying time.

“The one that was hanging over the fireplace, you stupid bitch.”

“Oh, that one…Why do you want it?”

He yanks on my hair, hard, and this time I scream. I just can’t help it. It feels like my scalp is detaching from my head. “I’m the one asking the questions.”

“Tell me why and I’ll tell you where it is,” I cry out.

He pulls on my hair some more but all I do is scream.

Finally, when he realizes he’s not going to get an answer out of me like this, he relents.

I hear some rapid Japanese being spoken but I still don’t understand it or get the gist.

“My grandfather is not pleased with the amount of stress you are causing. If she loses the baby we will drop the price.”

“Fine, fuck. I’ll stop. Don’t drop the price.”

Pulling his fingers from my hair, Marshall drops the chunks he’s pulled out to the floor.

Shaking his hand, he tries to shake off the strands that have wrapped around his knuckles while he tells me, “I’ve written the numbers for my offshore accounts on the back of it. Happy? Now tell me where the fuck it is.”

I can’t help it. It’s just too perfect. Even though my head is pounding like mad, I can’t stop my head from tipping back. I can’t stop the laughs that come bubbling up.

“What the fuck is so funny?” Marshall demands.

I have to suck in a big breath to even tell him, “It’s in the trash!”

“What?!” he snarls. “What do you mean it’s in the trash?”

“It’s gone!” I gasp and bend forward, straining against my rope as I struggle to catch my breath. “Just like our marriage, broken and thrown away.”

“You stupid bitch!” Marshall roars and I don’t even see his fist coming, it just pounds into me.

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