The Cold Darkness of the Night: Chapter 18

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Chapter 18 

 

Doctor James Mctiege stepped inside his house. The bespectacled, aging man turned on the light in the entryway, and began slowly putting his dark brown shoulder bag on a nearby chair. He dropped it halfway through the motion, and lurched involuntarily, completely startled.

 

“Hello, Doctor,” a person James had never seen before greeted him, with mocking civility.

 

The woman who was the source of the voice sat in Dr. Mctiege’s white armchair against the wall opposite the front door. With shoulder-length blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and alabaster skin, she was stunningly beautiful. This was complimented by her luscious red lips, a youthful face, and a slim but curvaceous body. The woman wore a bright green sleeveless top with a plunging neckline, revealing her ample breasts. Clad in cut-off blue jean shorts, her long legs were on display. Her outfit was completed with shiny red high heels.

 

The doctor breathed a sigh of relief, no longer feeling threatened.

 

“Hello,” he replied in a jovial, yet suspicious tone. “Who are you, and what are you doing in my home?”

 

“Have a seat,” the woman offered, motioning to the adjacent couch. “We’ll have a discussion,” she proposed with a polite smile.

 

As he moved to his sofa, the doctor’s apprehension dramatically increased. Two men materialized on both sides of the woman. They were mountainous, weighing at least 250 pounds each, and were in expensive suits. Their outfits were exquisite, demonstrating finely tuned sartorial skill. The guard on the woman’s left side wore a blue suit. A black suit had been chosen by the man on her right. Both of them had designer sunglasses on, which was odd since it was late at night, and they were indoors. They also wore serious, grim expressions. These guards gave off the distinct impression of guys who it would be really unwise to piss off.

 

“I must apologize for these theatrics,” the woman in charge offered as the doctor gingerly sat on his couch.

 

“I thought that if I simply came to your door, you might be reluctant to invite me into your home, given my subordinates. I also thought it would be rude to have my companions bust in your door if you refused my request. While what I’m doing now is clearly none too appreciated, I nevertheless believe this is the most unobtrusive way to do what I came here to accomplish. This way, we can have an uninterrupted conversation without any effort on my part to convince you to do it. I realize that this is intimidating and unorthodox, but I additionally wanted to be sure that you don’t alert any neighbours, friends, or authorities, about me occupying your home against your will.”

 

“…Okay,” Dr. Mctiege responded hesitantly, after thinking for a moment. “What do you want to tell me about?”

 

“I believe you have a right to know this, so I’m doing you the courtesy of telling you what your current predicament is,” the woman informed James with a polite yet condescending tone. She intertwined her fingers, and laid her hands on her lap.

 

“Please refrain from asking questions until I finish speaking. You will be hearing a lot of information, and some of your concerns may in fact be satiated by the time I tell you all of the details of the situation as it currently stands.”

 

The doctor nodded his head as she continued.

 

“My name is Jennifer,” she said, leaning toward the doctor to shake his hand. He did so cautiously.

 

“Here is what is happening that concerns you,” she continued. “My employer is the principal funder of an organization that is attempting to run nearly identical drug trials as your company; using the exact same manufactured substance. Like you, we thought we were the only people currently sponsoring human trials of Dilopyroxene.”

 

“Therein lies the dilemma. The business representatives of our research group are insinuating that someone from your camp stole the formula for the drug. I don’t particularly care whether anyone stole the necessary information. We just need you to stop the Dilopyroxine drug trials post-haste and permanently.”

 

Dr. Mctiege started to feel a warning sensation creeping up his spine and subtly overtaking every cell in his body. An extreme sense of foreboding overpowered him as the matriarch continued her monologue.

 

“I realize you may be thinking you have no reason to fulfill my request. We were considering simply paying you, but based on my research on you, it doesn’t seem like you’re the kind of man who could be bought off, especially under these circumstances. My next option was to kill one of your family members if you refused to comply. However, since you have no living relatives, that point is moot.”

 

“Therefore, I had to do background checks on your entire list of patients, in order to find someone to use as leverage. I found someone with mob connections, so our next move was to kidnap his daughter. Your job is to get this man to use his influence to stop the Dilopyroxine testing. He can use his connections to convince his boss to cease testing immediately and forever. This will allow us to release his daughter.”

 

By this point, Dr. Mctiege was on the verge of full-fledged panic. He felt horrified, and involuntarily shivered in the throes of a sudden cold sweat. Hairs stood up on the back of his neck, an icy chill rushing up his spine, slowly penetrating every fibre of his being. The sensation was like a virus, maniacally and surreptitiously infecting its host. He knew whose daughter had been abducted before the malevolent woman informed him.

 

“The person whose daughter we have kidnapped is Michael Sholes,” Jennifer continued, confirming the man’s preconception. You may already be aware of his social status and family associates. I want you to contact him, and provide him with the information of which I have just informed you. Your goal is to facilitate the process of him enlisting the aid of his notorious uncle, Marcel Sholes, in order to shut down the Dilopyroxine trials.”

 

“Why are you doing this?” James demanded, with sorrow and devastation in his voice.

 

“I would think that the answer to that question is completely transparent,” replied the gorgeous woman, un-phased by the doctor’s emotional outburst. “It is in our best interests for this to occur. Otherwise, my employer could stand to lose a significant amount of capital. This isn’t about malicious intent. We are merely pursuing business interests.”

 

The man protested further, anger outweighing self-preservation. “You fucking evil bitch! How can you not even fret about abducting an innocent girl just because you’re afraid of losing money?! What if she gets hurt? Is that even consequential in your eyes?!”

 

Jennifer frowned indignantly at being insulted, and then said the word, “Gentlemen,” which sounded like an order.

 

The immense thugs descended upon the doctor, and violently inflicted pain on him. One of them thumped him in the face with a fist, disorienting him. His glasses cracked in the center of the frame and were nearly broken in half. The other goon grabbed the man by the shirt, and slammed his body against the large coffee table in front of the couch. The table impacted with his solar plexus, winding him. He crumpled to the ground in a heap, clutching himself in agony and lying in the foetal position. The bodyguards finished the beating with one of them kicking him in the stomach, and the other’s foot connecting with his back.

 

The subordinates moved back to their master, leaving Dr. Mctiege to be overcome by shock and throbbing, white-hot agony. He was too incapacitated to move. James was dumbfounded at how fast the men had utterly mangled him, without even breaking a sweat.

 

Jennifer stood over the man lying on the floor, underscoring his defeat, and her power over him. “Don’t misunderstand me,” she said with cold authority. “This is not a negotiation, and I won’t tolerate being disrespected. If you don’t do as I ask, I’ll torture and kill the girl, but merely inflict pain on you and her parents. I will grant you the privilege of life. The same consequences apply to you doing something so fatuous as seeking help from the police, or anyone else. That way, you’ll have to live the rest of your life with the knowledge that you could have saved the child if you had only listened to me. Her death will be on your conscience.”

 

The beautiful, reprehensible woman crouched down and grabbed James’ hair, pulling his head off of the floor to face her. The man winced. Her stunning blue eyes bored into him, making it clear that she was emotionally dead, and possessed no compassion. It was obvious from the lack of feeling and humanity in her eyes that she was a psychopath. The woman was incapable of empathy. Her facial expression reminded Dr. Mctiege of a predator stalking its prey, focusing intently on movements, right before it leaps in and violently ends a life. Jennifer slapped him forcefully on his left cheek, leaving an aggressive stinging sensation and a huge red welt.

 

“Do we understand one another, doctor?” the maniacal criminal condescendingly questioned. Her gaze penetrated every facet of him, and her eyebrows were raised enquiringly.

 

“Yes,” the beset man emphatically replied before he could be hurt any more.

 

She smacked him again in spite of this. “Say it!”

 

“I understand! I understand!” Doctor Mctiege reprised, so terrified that he was on the verge of tears.

 

This action made the authoritative woman let go of his hair, his head dropping to the ground with a dull thud.

 

“All right then,” Jennifer stated with finality, standing up from her crouch.“ I’m glad that we’re in agreement. Our people will be monitoring you so I can feel secure in trusting you to accomplish this task.”

 

She turned on her heels and walked to James’ front door, her subordinates falling in step behind her. “It was a pleasure doing business with you doctor,” she added without so much as a backward glance at the battered man, opening his door and exiting the house. The rear bodyguard closed the door after stepping out of Dr. James Mctiege’s home, leaving him to lie on the floor, overcome by anguish.

 

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