Meet Me Here

The address written on the note said 153 Larkin Street.

Alice didn’t want to be there, but the note, which read “Meet me here,” and nothing more–besides the address–had also included a snapshot.

“Damn it, damn it, damn it!” Alice paced back and forth in front of the door, afraid to knock. She wanted to throw the envelope, snapshot and all, to the ground and stomp on it and run away. Far, far away.

Jesse would find her. There was nowhere she could go; he would chase her to the ends of the earth if he got his hands on this.

She pulled the photo out of the envelope and stared at it. There she was, standing in the window of Matt’s bedroom, wearing black silk panties and nothing else. The lacy curtains had not concealed a thing; it was very clearly her face, her self-satisfied smile, her bare breasts thrust against the window as she reached up to pull the cord and close the blinds.

“Stupid, stupid, stupid!”

Clearly, she was going to be blackmailed. Why else would anyone send her this note? Why else would she be in this seedy neighborhood, pacing and swearing and working up the nerve to knock on a door she had no desire to go through?

Whoever was behind that door was doomed to disappointment. She had no real fortune; the money belonged to Jesse, and he kept careful tabs on her spending. He was more interested in that, really, than he was in her whereabouts during the day.

Before Matt, she’d spent nearly all her time alone.

Well. It seemed she’d be going back to that–lonely days and nights. Matt would have to run, no matter what else happened here today.

She took a deep breath and knocked on the door.

When it opened, the first thing she saw was Matt, tied to a chair, gagged and unconscious. Then, the man moved into the doorway and glared down at her.

Jesse!

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