This is the beginning of Chapter One of my recent suspense novel, Web of Destruction, available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I will be sharing the first chapter in the next few weekly blogs, and will supply links occasionally to any medical or crime-related issues in my work.
Dana Donato’s heart raced like a jet engine as she tried to scream through the duct tape. She gagged at the wine-colored spatters on her white blouse. As she tried to turn her five-foot-six frame on the single bed, she realized her wrists were handcuffed and her ankles tied with rope around a pole against the wall. Her wrists burned and throbbed as she struggled to free herself while the musty odor in the room overpowered her senses. Head pounding, she was sure she had been drugged, once they had arrived at the house earlier, but had no idea how long she had been unconscious. She remembered her captor pulling into the driveway of a single home in the northeast section of Philadelphia where he cut the engine and blindfolded her. A pinch to the neck had been her last memory.
Her pulse quickened when she looked up to easels, canvas, paint and brushes in the center of what looked like a dungeon. A noise near the stairs accelerated her breathing as heavy footsteps creaked on each step, the hair on her arms standing to attention. Ringing came from her pants pocket. Pressing her arm against it to activate her cell phone, she winced as the cuffs dug deeper into her flesh.
“Hi, Dana. It’s Mom. We haven’t heard from you in . . .”
A tall, husky blond male rushed across the room, pushed her down and ripped the phone away, tearing the material. He dropped it into his scruffy jeans pocket.
“I’m ready for you.”
A guttural sob escaped from Dana as he wrenched the tape from her lips. One hand clutched the back of her hair while the other covered her sore mouth.
“Scream and I’ll cut you,” he warned. His upper lip curled, exposing stained teeth.
“Please, let me go,” she begged.
His large calloused hand trailed down her neck toward her breasts. Repulsed, she turned away. The back of his hand ripped across her face, leaving a sting.
The handcuffs removed from her wrists and the ropes from her ankles, he pulled her up. Her attempt to run toward the stairs cost her a swift punch in the chest. Moaning, she fell to the floor. A growl like that of a dog came from inside him as he towered over her. She looked up to the twitching of his eye and cheek.
“Either you cooperate or I have ways to relax you.”
“No, please,” she cried, as he pulled her to her feet.
Up the dilapidated stairs, he dragged her as splinters from the old wood jabbed at her skin. Hauled through a trap door that led to a kitchen, she caved into a panic attack, her chest prickly as if needles were stuck in every nerve. Out-of-control, drops of sweat trickled down her neck, her body warmed from the feet up. Frantic, she bolted across the kitchen to the sink and threw cold water on her face and neck with one hand, while sticking her fingers down her throat with the other. It slowly brought her heart back to normal. Raising her head out of the sink, she turned to a crazed look in her captor’s icy blue eyes, two inches from her dripping face.
To be continued . . .
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