Mikey's worst fears confirmed?
“What do you think?” I heard Ray ask.
“I don’t know,” Gerard replied. “He’s still acting a little weird. Don’t worry, I’ll keep a close watch on him.”
I gasped as I stood back from the door. They knew I was still suspicious, but of course their reaction only served to confirm my greatest fears. I still wanted to believe it was an accident, but now I knew Ray was aware of what had happened, it threw doubt on the whole idea. I couldn’t go to the police, he was my brother after all and I just couldn’t face the idea of betraying him, no matter what he had done. Well, no, that’s not strictly true, but what had he done? I wasn’t certain and there was no proof. There was only one thing for it, I’d have to convince myself of my suspicions and to do that, I had to find the shirt that Gee had been wearing the night before.
Gathering my belongings into my small case, I replayed the events of the previous night as I remembered them then I wrote them down on a sheet of hotel notepaper, pushing it deep into my case. If anything were to happen to me, at least there’d be a record of it. What was I thinking now? That Gerard was going to kill me? I felt paranoid and angry with myself. Grabbing the suitcase from the bed, I headed to the lobby where I knew the others were waiting. I was met with a sea of stony stares. It seemed that everyone in our party was aware of Gerard’s version of events. I had to play along, I had no idea who was involved and I couldn’t risk alerting them all to my suspicions or I’d barely be able to move without them watching me. It wasn’t until Gerard hugged me that the accusatory glances faded away and we trouped out.
Piling into the two cars, we headed off to our next destination, which if memory serves, was St Louis, Missouri. It was going to take us about five hours to get there, which meant an overnight stop in a hotel then off to the signing the next morning. Because it was believed I was coming down off a huge bender, I was excused driving duties. I was grateful to tell the truth, I wanted to sleep as much as I could; I had a feeling I’d be awake half the night checking on Gerard. I guess my general tiredness and silence was considered to be confirmation of the story that Ray and Gerard had spun and, right now, I was content to let them think what they wanted. Right now, all I wanted to do was sleep.
It never occurred to me at the time that it was a stupid thing to do, but when I woke up, I knew it had been. I woke slowly, groggily, as if from a very deep but short sleep. My mouth was dry and I was confused about my surroundings. The last I remembered was being in the car with Gerard and Frank, the next this. I barely know where to begin, suffice to say, I was scared. I was in a small room with a frosted glass door, the top half of which was broken. Along the wall just under the ceiling were a series of small windows, some intact or cracked, others smashed. Through the gaps, I could see beyond the room, it was huge, some sort of warehouse maybe. Then the worst of it, my hands were bound behind me with what felt like a leather belt. No, I tell a lie, the actual worst of it all was when I saw my ankles bound with a belt I knew belonged to Gerard.
“Please let me go!”
My heart pounded as I heard the small, terrified female voice pleading with someone. No! He can’t be doing this! I heard a scream and crying. It was more than I could bear.
“Aww,” Gerard cooed mockingly, “play nice, sweetheart. Are you saying you didn’t want this?”
“No! You’re hurting me!”
A slap! I just wanted to die. He was really doing this. It wasn’t my imagination, I wasn’t drunk, he was really doing it. I closed my eyes tightly, as if it would make it all go away, but it only seemed to make things worse. Where the hell was Frank? Was he in another room, tied up too? Could he hear what was happening?
Then of course, it dawned on me. I was bound with two leather belts; one belonged to Gerard and I suddenly knew exactly where Frank was. As if to confirm my fears, I heard him.
“Well, maybe if you didn’t struggle so much, it wouldn’t hurt,” he laughed as he paused before continuing. “No! I’m just teasing; this is going to hurt! It’s going to hurt a lot!”
I panicked. What could I do? They had tied me so tight I could barely move. There was only one option left to me; I couldn’t just do nothing.
“Leave her alone!” I yelled. “Let he go!”
“I told you you didn’t use enough!” Frank snapped.
“Well, you know so much, you go and do it!”
“Why should I? He’s your brother! And me and Jackie here are just about to get acquainted.”
The conversation made me feel sick. Frank too? Was Bob involved? I had to assume he was, but it was just too hard to take in. Then I heard a loud moan followed by a peal of harsh laughter from Gerard.
Frank’s voice sounded strained and immediately the sound of a hard slap and a scream followed.
“Looks like you’re in no state to get acquainted now,” Gerard laughed. “Better see to Mikey and let me finish up here.”
“I’ll make him pay for disturbing us!”
“You’ll do no such thing!” Gerard growled. “Just drug him okay? And not too much. I don’t want a hospital trip, and him mouthing off. I want him where I can see him, understand?”
“Yeah, I understand, you like messing with his head as much as you do theirs. You’re an evil fuck, Gee.”
“Yeah, I know!” he chuckled. What should have been a shocking insult, he wore as a badge of pride.
I heard footsteps coming towards the door, almost drowned out by the sound of the girl’s screams. Looking up as it opened, slamming back against the wall shattering what was left of the frosted glass.
“Poor Mikey left out of the party?”
“Let her go, Frank!” I shouted angrily at him.
He dropped to one knee in front of me and, grabbing my chin, forced me to look up.
“We can, and will do whatever we want and there’s not a damn thing you can do to stop us!”
“I can go to the police!”
Frank laughed in my face.
“Can you Mikey? Can you really? And what exactly will you tell them? Where are we? Who’s the girl? Our alibis are watertight. What’s yours? We’ll just say you disappeared again, so if you know about a murder, it must have been you.”
I could only stare in return, petrified as Frank opened a box that lay nearby and lifted out a pre-filled syringe.
“We had it ready, just in case. Night night, Mikey, sleep well!”
Her screams filled my ears but just before I was overcome by the drug, the screaming stopped abruptly and tears spilled easily from my eyes. I was at once terrified and heartbroken and I sank with some relief into the blackness of sleep.