Emancipating Emily - Chapter 1
The feel of his hand supporting her lower back was having an unexpected effect on the former child sex slave, turned catholic novitiate, turned convicted kidnapper.
She wasn't used to feeling cared for, you see. And though it was outwardly pleasant, it also gave Jane goosebumps and made her tummy do unwelcome things.
"I'm not a good dancer," she whispered into the man's ear, but he only pulled her closer, pressing his firm chest into hers, until all she could do was feel the rise and fall of his breaths.
"Just a bit longer. We need to make our presence known. So that we become a comfortable sight."
Jane knew the plan, but still she did not like it. For one thing, too much depended upon the Welshman not recognizing her.
The former priest must have realized her nerves were getting the better of her, because before she knew what was happening he was sweeping her off the dance floor and out onto the bustling midnight street.
"That should be good enough for our first time," the lean man with emerald eyes breathed into her ear, as he brushed back a piece of blonde hair, which tickled her neck.
Shivering, Jane caught her bottom lip between her teeth to stop it too from trembling. And then she said, "I'm hungry. Can we go back to the motel?"
The former priest (and her savior) nodded and then smiled one of his 'knock you over' grins.
Twenty minutes later they were eating burritos and nachos on one of the queen sized beds which took up most of the small motel room.
"The more natural our presence is here, the fewer alarms we'll raise once we start putting our plan into action," Caleb told her with a smile, though it was a pained smile, as he knew well enough the incredible danger he was leading her into.
Jane smiled, her normal sad smile that still comforted somehow, despite how forlorn it always seemed.
"I know better than anyone what the man is capable of. I understand what we're walking into," she told him around a rather large bite of food.
"He'll get rid of the evidence, and move again," she told him, after she had swallowed, then she stared him in the eye until the former priest was forced to turn away.
Because the evidence Jane was talking about was the four young girls rumored to be living with the Welshman.
A ghost if ever there was one, the man known only as The Welshman didn't have an actual job, or address, or social security number for that matter. What he did have, however, was the largest child pornography distribution ring in known existence.
A dark-web feature, the man had eluded capture for the better part of thirty years simply because he was a tech genius. That, and because he had safely hidden his true movements behind a plethora of holding companies.
He'd also been doing it since long before he took Jane, back when Sykes was still her pimp.
It was a difficult thing the former priest would confess later, sitting next to Jane and not weeping, after he'd seen the videos the Welshman had made of his time with her.
Caleb swallowed hard and doubled his attention on the last few bites of his food-truck burrito.
Because the last thing on earth he wanted was for Jane to realize what he'd seen.
Because no one was strong enough for that. No one.
But he had seen it, the hours and hours of torture the young girl had sustained all in the name of 'entertainment'.
It had come up in his research when he'd been trying to locate the man.
And though he hadn't wanted to see his friend brutalized in such a way, he hadn't been able to turn away either.
And once down that particular rabbit hole... well, all the man had been able to do was cry, and cry, and cry. And then swear that one day justice would be hers.
Even if it was the last thing he did on this God's green earth, Caleb Mahoney (the former child thug turned hit-man, turned priest, turned hit-man once again - was going to kill the man they called The Welshman. He was going to skin him alive - on camera - for all of his sick cohorts to witness for themselves.
As a warning - as to what's coming for them. What's coming for them all.
"Our job is to convince his lieutenant I'm capable of supplying him with a steady supply of young girls. It's the only way he'll let me into his compound. Then, once I'm inside I'll find a way to get you in."
It had been Caleb's plan all along, for him to deal to The Welshman, while Jane saw to to the kids. Because quite frankly he couldn't think of anyone better equipped to understand what those girls have gone through than the only person known to have survived.
Of course the fact that Jane was the only known survivor of a visit to The Welshman's - well... that was another thing Caleb had to choke down whenever he thought of it.
Caleb smiled a big, confident grin at the woman, once he was capable of looking her in the eyes again, yet even though he had a gorgeous mop of auburn hair and the body of an Olympic athlete, and even though his smile was both warm and devilish, the woman who'd survived simply by learning to read people (like children's books) knew the man was much more haunted than confident.
Though Jane would never tell him so.
"The Welshman himself almost never leaves his compound but I'm told he has access to camera feeds from all of his establishments - so he sees well enough what's going on. I've mapped out over there where most of the cameras are. You'll need to study it, so you can avoid looking directly into any of them."
Jane snorted and then tossed a crumpled up napkin at the man's head.
"I know... but it can't be helped. We can't have him recognize you too soon. It's our only weak spot. But the blonde hair and blue eyes should fool him. God knows it fooled me."
There was an uncomfortable silence as Caleb recalled the moment Jane had first stepped out of the motel bathroom after drastically altering her appearance from her normal long dark hair and dark brown eyes to a short blonde bob and blue eyes.
For a quick second Caleb had been mortified the true length of his interests were visible through his tan khakis.
But Jane had been too busy staring at herself in the mirror to even notice.
"We'll need new names," he told her as he cleaned up after their midnight meal.
"Can I be Emily?" Jane asked immediately and in such a small voice Caleb almost didn't think she'd really asked it.
With a tilt of his head he questioned her motives.
Jane blushed a bright pink and then simply said, "she was a girl I used to know."
"Sure," the former priest turned once again hit-man said with a gentle smile.
"And what should we call me?"
"Anson, Anson Pitt," the woman now called Emily said with such a delicate smile it almost had the man swooning.
"Why Anson Pitt?" he asked, as he pushed her feet aside so that he could sit next to her on the cheap mattress.
"Well..." the suddenly coquettish woman began, "I used to know a boy named Anson. And there's an actor I think is pretty hot with the last name Pitt. You don't think it's too obvious do you?"
"Ummm" the former priest began, but the smile he tried to contain overtook his face and suddenly all he could do was laugh.
Or rather giggle, like a little boy to be exact.
Which at first stung the young woman with the incredibly short fuse.
But then he pulled her in and hugged her, not allowing her to pull away as was her normal reaction.
Slowly, ever so slowly, he was getting her used to trusting his touch.
"I don't think I can claim to be a Pitt, not with a straight face, love," he remarked brightly with more than a bit of an Irish accent leaking through.
"How about you be Emily Callahan, and I'll be Sean Callahan, your newlywed husband. Sound okay?"
The woman with so many scars you'd almost think it was an intricate full-body tattoo that had simply faded over time smiled and then tilted her head to one side - mimicking back to him his own gesture.
"Sean was my younger brother, and Callahan's was always my favorite pub growing up."
Now it was the full-blooded Irishman's turn to blush a bit at the memory of where so much of his life had gone so terribly wrong.
"Married..." the woman now known as Emily inquired, kinda letting the word hang there like some fence jumping alien caught in a headlight.
"We won't have to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, love. Certainly nothing more than what we did today, just a bit of dancing, maybe some hand holding," the man who had never in his life had a serious relationship told the woman who had never even dated.
Her face though was a mask of deep thought and revealed nothing of what was taking place internally.
Finally, after a very long pause, she simply remarked, "I could give you a hand-job in one of those VIP booths, or something. That would probably make them feel a whole lot more relaxed. Seeing us get our kinky on."
And suddenly, once again, the man who thought nothing on earth could get to him turned a crimson red, and then he coughed, and then he excused himself from the room.
(to be cont.)
© Raena Exe 2023
*All characters, places, and events are completely fictional.
*All rights reserved.
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