Read Hide & Seek Online

Authors: K. R. Bankston

Hide & Seek (2 page)

BOOK: Hide & Seek
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*****

Kaitlyn was trying to orient herself. She’d been ushered into the small room after what she assumed were photos being taken. She heard the soft click of shutters going off while she sat blindfolded and bound to the chair. Her hands had been untied once she reached the room and was pushed inside. Kaitlyn immediately removed both the gag and the blindfold. The room was small but comfortable. It held a twin sized bed, adorned with a colorful patchwork comforter and two pillows. Glancing to her left she found a small desk with paper and pen. In the right corner she saw the television set, VCR, and DVD player. Kaitlyn also saw a small assortment of tapes and DVD’s. She heard movement at the door and turned her attention to it. The tray came through the large opening at the bottom as Kaitlyn stood looking at it. It held a beautiful oriental tea pot, with cup, a bowl of soup, and half a roast beef sandwich on sourdough bread.
Her favorite, but how would they know that,
she thought praying the food wasn’t drugged. She was famished.

After her meal, Kaitlyn continued her exploration, finding the bathroom and all the accessories left for her. She found a small closet with several outfits her size as well as shoes. Kaitlyn found underwear and sleepwear also enclosed in the closet and a note telling her to make herself comfortable.
What in the hell is going on,
she thought still completely on guard. Picking up the remote, Kaitlyn turned on the TV hoping to find a channel that would give her an indication where exactly she was. As she flipped she found she could only access cable channels, no local.
So much for that idea,
she thought once more leaving it on A&E and heading into the bathroom. Deciding a shower might just clear her head a bit more and relieve her headache; Kaitlyn turned the water on and let it run as she went to retrieve the sleepwear left for her. Returning moments later, she stepped under the steaming hot spray and let it run down her body as she tried to figure out why she’d been taken and if she would live to find out the answer.

*****


You take care of the message,” Tariq asked as he watched Kaitlyn finish her shower and dress.


Yeah Top, just like you told me,” LaRon replied.


Good,” he returned and said nothing else for a while.


Tell Role, if he ever calls her a bitch again, I’ll kill him,” Tariq spoke again coldly.

He’d overheard the man complaining to another comrade about the six stitches he needed to close the wound Kaitlyn inflicted. LaRon sighed lightly recognizing the tone. His friend was deadly serious and he knew it.


I’ll tell him,” he replied as Tariq sighed and dismissed him from his presence.

Alone again Tariq continued to watch the woman he loved, undetected. She was still so beautiful to him.


We should have never been apart,” Tariq said aloud draining his glass of vodka and pouring another.

Tariq chuckled to himself at how surprised Kaitlyn would be at the new him. The Tariq Taylor she knew was dead, just as she thought and believed. The man he was now was nothing like the soft failure he used to be.

Tariq sighed deeply as Kaitlyn finally lay down and closed her eyes. He watched her until she fell asleep, clearly exhausted, before he finally turned away from the two way mirror. Closing his eyes his mind went back to that fateful night exactly two years ago. The EMT told him they’d pronounced him and called the coroner. Keifer, the paramedic on duty that night, told him his gut just wouldn’t let him give up. Against the wishes of his partner he’d set the defibrillator at a slightly higher setting and shocked Tariq once more. To Keifer’s delight and amazement, he began to breathe again, short raspy breaths, and the paramedics sprang into action loading him into the ambulance, siren wailing as they rushed him to Grady Trauma center. As soon as they arrived, Tariq was hustled to surgery and then ICU, saving his life. Tariq had spent almost six months in the hospital, then another five months of rehab before finally being released. He immediately began looking for Kaitlyn finding out bit by bit all the things that had transpired during his admittance to the hospital. It was then Tariq made up his mind to take back his life and to have the woman he loved share it.

He knew the only way to beat Ice was to play the game better. Tariq wasn’t a hustler. Not in the true sense of the word anyway, but his rage and revenge drove him to learn. Starting with a couple of the street hustlers who showed him the ropes, Tariq learned quickly and began to make bigger and better deals than his teachers. He acquired the nickname Top from his constant drive to run things. He started taking over territory, people wanted to connect, and follow his lead. After about eight months he was running a pretty successful operation of his own. He was nowhere near Ice and Ryan’s league, but that would soon change. True he’d asked for the money, but that was simply to invest in his growing enterprise. Tariq already had what he wanted and she was lying in the next room. Still he couldn’t reveal himself just yet. He wasn’t going to make the same mistakes of last time. Ice had beaten him, taken away his life, his brother, his heart. This time Tariq was following a different plan, one that would ensure him the victory and all the spoils that entailed. He had to be careful though, extremely careful. Tariq knew Ice’s hands reached deeply into every illegal enterprise. He also knew the man had plenty of enemies and those were the people he was trying to reach out too. Tariq heard the short scream and turned back to the mirror, seeing Kaitlyn sitting bolt upright in bed, sweating profusely.
Bad dream,
he thought wanting very much to go and hold her, assuring her everything would be all right.
Soon baby,
he thought as she lay back down and closed her eyes once more.

*****

Kaitlyn’s eyes popped open moments later as she rose stealthily from the bed. After the dream she hadn’t been able to fall back to sleep. Waiting until her sight adjusted to the darkness she rose, dressed, and made her way to the door, gingerly turning the knob and finding it unlocked. Smiling slightly at her good fortune, Kaitlyn carefully opened the door praying it didn’t creak and give away her position. Holding her breath she finally opened it far enough to slip her body through it. She looked down the short hallway leading away from the room seeing darkness except for the flickering light of what she assumed was a TV set.
Shit,
Kaitlyn thought. That was the only way out that she saw and obviously there was someone in the room to impede her escape. She turned her head in the opposite direction and spotted the small window at the end of the hallway.

Again taking her time and being as quiet as possible, Kaitlyn headed for the window, praying it didn’t have a lock or that like the door, it was open. It was a bit tall and she would need a chair to stand on to get out of it. She quickly glanced around, all the while listening for any sound of movement from her captors in the other room. She didn’t see anything but remembered the small chair in her room as she turned and hurried to get it. As soon as she stepped completely inside the room taking the three steps needed to reach the chair, the door slammed and she heard the lock click.


No,” Kaitlyn screamed. “Let me out of here,” she continued to scream, beating on the door with her fists.

She was absolutely furious with herself. “Let me go,” she screamed again angrily.

She wasn’t prepared when the door suddenly opened with great force pushing her back and causing her to fall to the floor. The men with masks were inside and on her before she could react. Gathering herself quickly Kaitlyn fought back with all she had, kicking, biting, and punching the two men who were struggling to contain her. They finally managed to subdue her, holding both her arms and legs prone as another hooded figure entered the room.


Who the hell are you,” Kaitlyn screamed at him as he stood looking down at her.

*****

Tariq sighed gently. It was killing him as he looked through the 2-way mirror again, to see Kaitlyn struggle but he couldn’t reveal himself yet. It wasn’t time. He watched as LaRon straddled her, sitting on her chest, and forced the pill into her mouth. Kaitlyn was trying desperately to spit it out as he poured water down her throat and held her nose making her swallow. After they were satisfied she’d taken the pill the men let her go and left the room as Kaitlyn drew herself into a corner, hugging her knees tightly still coughing and wheezing from the experience. Tariq’s heart broke when she started to cry. He hated to see the fear and hear the pain of her sobs as the drug began to work. Kaitlyn was once again unconscious in a matter of moments.

He entered the room, picking her up from the floor and placing her on the bed. He tenderly dried her and changed her clothes, kissing her lips softly from time to time. Tariq brushed her hair and laid her on the pillows, covering her with the comforter. “This is going to be over soon, KiKi,” he told her lovingly, kissing her one last time before leaving and locking the door behind him.


LaRon,” he called out as the man materialized in front of him. “Who left this door open,” he asked calmly.


Role,” was the simple reply as Tariq’s eyes narrowed.


Send him to me,” he said simply and walked away as LaRon smiled slightly and turned to go get him.

2

Week One

 

Everyone was on pins and needles this morning. There was still no further contact from the abductors and Ian was on an extremely short fuse. Word was buzzing all over the streets that Kaitlyn was missing and that Ian was paying top dollar to find out where she was.


Yo, Ice,” Dixon called out as he entered the office where Ian sat.


Yeah,” he answered testily.

Ian was anxious as hell. Spending last night without Kaitlyn, wondering if she were still alive, hurt, if they’d raped her, was driving him slowly off the deep end. He definitely wasn’t in the mood for any bullshit today.


This homeless dude says he saw something last night,” Dixon told him as Ian never took his eyes off him.


He high,” Ian asked.

Dixon told him the man appeared to be totally lucid.


Hmph, OK, bring him in,” Ian barked as Dixon hurried away to do just that.

Moments later he returned with the disheveled man standing in front of Ian, visibly frightened.


What’s your name,” Ian threw out trying to keep his impatience in check. “Eddie,” the man returned in his gravelly voice.

Ian looked him over taking in the dirty and torn clothing. The man’s face and hands however appeared to be very clean and reasonably cared for. Ian assumed the man had a usual clean up spot of some sort where he gathered himself on a daily basis. His hair was cut very close to his head and still neat, leading Ian to again surmise the man hustled enough money in his daily existence to get the occasional haircut.


OK, Eddie,” Ian began again. “Tell me what you saw,” he replied as Eddie grimaced slightly but said nothing.

Ian sighed gently before pulling two $100 bills from his pocket and laying them on his desk.


Now,” he began again, once more maintaining eye contact. “Tell me what you saw,” he finished his tone leaving no room for error that he was impatiently annoyed at this point.

Eddie took a deep breath and began to speak, his eyes greedily keeping the money under surveillance.


The lady, she came out and go in her car,” Eddie told Ian, as he paid rapt attention to each word. “She didn’t crank up right away, her head was on the steering wheel, like she was thinking or something,” he continued. “I see these 2 guys, they sneakin’ up on the car, and I know then they up to no good,” Eddie told Ian nodding his head as in deep thought.


OK, then what happened,” Ian asked prompting the man to continue.


The one guy on the driver’s side, he pulls out the stick or whatnot, and breaks her window,” Eddie began again.


The lady screams, but the man does too,” Eddie told him beginning to chuckle slightly. “She cut that fool, guess he ain’t expect that,” he told Ian as he smiled slightly.

That’s my girl,
Ian thought of Kaitlyn’s actions.


I see her reaching and I’m thinking’ maybe for her phone or something,” Eddie told Ian.

He knew otherwise, Ian thought to himself. The .9mm was still between the seats when they found the car.


But the other one, sneaky dog, he jumps into the passenger seat and puts this rag over her face,” Eddie told him as Ian finally understood.


After they knock her out, they open the door and pull her out the car,” Eddie told Ian as his mind began to race. “The put her in their car, somebody else was driving’,” he explained as Ian continued to listen wordlessly. “It was one of them nice cars, Lexus or Acura, I think,” Eddie told him.


Do you know what color it was,” Ian asked.


Dark color, navy or black, I believe,” Eddie answered.


Mmph, okay,” Ian returned. “Is that all you saw,” he asked ready to make some moves of his own.


EWC,” Eddie returned as Ian gave him a quizzical look.

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