15. Vicious Circle

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The sun had just come up in North London when Harry finished his last sparring set with his trainer, Marshall.

Squirting water into his mouth, he hopped out of the ring. "Good set pal."

"Yeah man, same time Tuesday?"

"I'll be here." Harry grinned. He bumped his fist with Marshall's outstretched one and said goodbye.

In the bathroom, he dropped his clothes and water bottle on the bench next to the small shower, where he noticed the light on his cell blinked green. It didn't really matter when he woke up, business was always up earlier, and Harry decided it could wait another five minutes while he showered.

Out of the shower, dressed and refreshed, Harry had already taken two phone calls before realizing there was a text in his inbox from an unknown number. Strange, because colleagues didn't usually text, and it was far too early in the day for any of his friends to be calling.

He opened the message.

Help garden of eden

No context, no punctuation, and it took reading the message three times before he realized it was from the phone he'd given Eve. For someone who prided themselves on being organized, he couldn't believe he'd forgotten to add the number to his own contacts. But regardless.

It was time stamped 6:42am. He looked at the clock. 8:15.

He didn't know what Garden of Eden meant, was it a clue? Her name was Eve, after all. But she had said help.

Harry thought about it for a while. Eve hadn't struck him as the type to ask others for help. She seemed independent and street smart, and his instinct told him to take the message very seriously. He knew that the orphanage was not a safe place for girls like her. He knew that Dunville woman was involved with dangerous people, and that if Eve was in trouble, she likely had something to do with it.

Fuckland. That's what someone had called it. After dropping her off the night of the party, Harry had gone home to find his friends partying in his hot tub, and after hearing enough questions about who he must've left with, he had reluctantly told them about giving her a ride to the Falkland orphanage.

Harry could clearly remember a friend of theirs spitting in his drink and clarifying that he had met a fuckland girl- according to him they were all high-class prostitutes in training.

He'd sent them home shortly after. But that didn't stop Harry from wondering if there had been truth to it. When he had spoken to her at the charity event, she had all but confirmed the rumors, blindsiding Harry with her nonchalance and putting him in his place for judging her.

But that was all beside the point, if Eve was in real trouble, then perhaps a confusing text was all she had been able to afford.

Harry determined then that he had not had enough coffee, and immediately set to work on how to move forward.


Eve hadn't spoken in 48 hours.

As she had guessed, once the guard was found, cameras had been checked and she had been dragged downstairs to be reprimanded for what felt like hours. They demanded to know where the phone was. They taunted her efforts, knowing the phone was dead and that she had no way to use it after all her hard work to steal it.

They turned her room upside down, but failed to find it, and she had been slapped around by a man who looked like he loved his job. The fact that she wouldn't reply to anything they said, and repeatedly dropped her eyes to her lap no matter how many times they told her to look up, only angered them more. She honestly couldn't find it in her to care. Now that she hadn't had food or a drink in over a day, she was starting to reconsider that decision.

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