Chapter 59

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Skip the long and uncomfortable walk through the ship back to the gangplank, onto the quiet dock and then across the road into the long maze of shipping containers and I'm beginning to wonder if we might be going for a little road trip to some other abandoned dock where no one will ever find me. Instead we stop in front of the Yergen Industrial warehouse where our bikes are parked. Danny removes the deadbolt on the door and we go inside.

The warehouse is full of machines that look like they were built in the 1800s. There's a workbench in the middle of the room covered in tools and a sheet of plastic on the floor under a chain that hangs from the ceiling. I feel like I'm on the set of Dexter.

So this is where Garcia gets his dirty work done.

I'm strung up by the wrists with my ankles tied together. Already I can feel sweat pouring down my back. I've never been in a situation quite like this before and it terrifies me. I'm about to get tortured while we wait for Garcia to arrive and torture me more, probably because he's in denial and thinks it's my fault Carole killed herself. All the while, Nick is in danger and I'm not there to help him.

Lurker is one of those sleaze-bags with disgusting fetishes. I can see where this is going. Fingers cut off, lots of face-punches and probably some groping. I wouldn't be surprised if he rapes me. Hey, it's been done before.

My heart is racing. I'm full of adrenaline and my senses are heightened, likely from the knowledge of the pain that's coming.

"Garcia had no idea," says Lurker as he starts going through his tools. He does the typical interrogator technique where he picks up each weapon and makes a show of how dangerous it looks just to scare me. I've watched these things go down, standing by just like Danny on the edge of the plastic sheet. I've never been the one to receive the torture.

"What do you mean?"

"That you were there to kill him the other night."

"That's what I'd hoped for," I say.

"I don't get it though. You had plenty of opportunities to kill him before that night. You've been in his house once before, it would have been easy to poison him or set up a trap."

I use my sleeve to wipe the sweat from my brow and try to pretend I'm not in pain from only just being able to touch the ground.

"You got so far Jess, and yet you weren't smart enough to go through with it."

I roll my eyes. They have no idea that I'm just some street rat who was threatened into this gig. I consider it a compliment that I've come so far as to be tortured by Garcia and not just handed over to the cops. And that he had no idea until now.

"Not very talkative then," says Lurker and I swear his eyes turn black like his soul. "Let's see if we can get you to scream."

He approaches me with a wrench and I start to shake with fear, just like any normal person would when their imagination gets the better of them. But then there is loud clang from somewhere in the warehouse. The main door hasn't moved, and it didn't sound like something falling.

We wait and hear nothing. Maybe it was just a back door slamming shut in the wind. My heart sinks and I grit my teeth, ready for what's coming.

Lurker starts by ripping off my shirt. He makes a crude joke about my body but I tune it out or else I'll start vomiting. It makes Danny look slightly uncomfortable too. I think Lurker touching me is worse than being beaten by a wrench.

But that hurts, don't get me wrong. It's worse when he hits the bone directly, like my hip or my ribs. What hurts more though is the feeling of a burning poker against my bare skin. That comes after the wrench.

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