A Penny For Christmas Chapter 12

(Parental guidance is advised)

By Anthonia Nicol

She woke up to darkness and the stale smell of rotten food, with her hands tied behind her back and her cheeks throbbing. She was in the garbage room.
He assaulted her again.
He saw her approaching and ordered the bouncers to grab her. The punches were swift and firm, bursting her lip and her left eye. ‘You are not only useless. It appears that you’re stupid as well. You couldn’t wait to die, so you had to come to your death instead?’ he asked her.
She was barely conscious.
‘Did you think that by coming to me, you could save them?’ He smiled. ‘You will die, and they will make me money. Take her away!’
That was the last thing she remembered.
The ropes binding her hands were thick, so thick that she couldn’t move her palms, and they were going numb. Why didn’t she think this through? He would go after Penny next, or maybe Daisy or maybe, she thought, with a lump in her throat, Christopher!
Christopher, she thought as tears burned her eyes. He was back in the middle of this mess after all she did to keep him away. ‘He doesn’t deserve this,’ she said aloud, as her head fell in defeat.
‘Who doesn’t deserve this?’ said Herbert in the darkness. He was watching her. ‘The rich boy?’ he continued. She could see him emerging from the shadows. ‘A little bird told me he has been asking around for you.’ ‘He will never find you, and if he does, he won’t leave here alive!’
‘Please, Hebert, leave him out of this,’ she begged. ‘You have me. I’m not going anywhere. Leave him alone!’
He laughed.’
‘Leave him? I lost everything because of him! He would have been fine if he never came back into our lives, but he poked his nose where it didn’t belong!’
‘Please!’ she said again. ‘Leave Christopher alone. We have taken much from him already.’
He squeezed her cheeks, and she suppressed a yell.
‘We didn’t take enough. The guy is now a mega-millionaire, from what I hear! Too bad he doesn’t want Daisy anymore, but Penny! Yes, I saw that little brat holding on to him that day. They are close. I can use her…’ He stopped.
‘Where in the world did he meet Penny?’ he asked, curiously.
She put her head down.
‘Is Penny his?’ he asked intently.
‘No!’ she responded quickly. ‘She’s your daughter, Herbert. You know she is.’
‘You are a terrible liar, Sarah,’ he declared. ‘Of course. No one in our families is as brainy as that little brat. She always stood out like a sore thumb.’
He shot her a devilish look. ‘You lied to me! All this time, I have been wallowing in poverty! You will pay for this!’
He hit her across the face.
‘Finally, I have my gold mine,’ he rejoiced, retrieving his cell. He dialed a number, ‘Go to my house and find out if the wee one is there. If she is, bring her to me!’ he ordered. He waited on the phone for a response, and when he got it, he lunged at her.
His hands were on her neck.
‘Where is she?!’ he bellowed.
‘I don’t know!’ she responded.
‘How can you not know? Are you not her mother?’ he snapped, trying to snuff the life out of her.
‘I can’t breathe!’, she said, choking.
He let her go because he needed her to find the brat.
His phone rang again. ‘What is it?’ he barked.
‘You are a particular son of a bitch, Heb!’ said the voice at the other end. ‘I just lost one of my long-standing clients because of you. How dare you send me someone else’s daughter to train?’
‘What the devil are you talking about?’ Heb asked, confused.
‘Daisy! Her dad came and took her. You bastard! You owe me. Best pay up or else!’
The line went dead.
Christopher, he thought. He took Daisy. If he was with Daisy, he had to be with Penny too.
Now, he had to find money to pay Madam Brenda what he owed her; money Daisy would have made him if she worked there for another two years.
His leverage was gone.
Wait! he thought. Penny would want her mother, he thought. They had a weird relationship he could exploit.
He dialed a number.
‘What now, Heb?’ said the voice at the other end.
‘You say Christopher Wallace was there? I want his phone number.’
The voice hesitated. ‘Heb, Don’t mess with Wallace. You know he’s famous. Don’t go looking for trouble. I doubt your brother will help you this time.’
‘Shut up and send me his number!’ he snapped, looking at the almost unconscious Sarah, gasping for air.
‘Alright. It’s your funeral. Just don’t call me if things go south!’ the voice warned.
Ten minutes later, he received Christopher’s number in a text.

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