Full Circle by Erin – Chapter 11

Republisher’s Note: Mick and Carmen are holding Michelle hostage.

Full Circle by Erin – Chapter 11

I struggle to my feet, no easy task with my hands still handcuffed behind me.

My hair is a tangled mess around my face, which is smudged with dirt. I know my lip is still dripping blood.

But I throw my head back and look straight at Carmen.

“I should have known you were behind all this.”

Carmen laughs, a harsh, joyless sound.

“Look at you. Still so disrespectful to me. Even now.”

Mick grabs my arm and I emit a tiny shriek, hating myself for showing how much he scares me.

“That’s right, Michelle,” he hisses. “Show my mother the respect she deserves. Don’t make me have to hurt you.”

His hand runs over my hip.

Carmen strides forward and slaps her son. “Dammit, Mick, you keep your hands off of her.”

She turns hateful eyes to me. “What is it about you, Michelle Bauer that brings out the…baser impulses in BOTH my sons?”

I keep my eyes on hers as I say simply, “My name is Michelle Santos.”

I can actually see the rage that starts in Carmen’s heart and spirals through the rest of her body.

My triumph at getting to Carmen is short lived. Mick grabs my arm and shoves me into the building, Carmen following close behind.

Goosebumps break out all over me as I gaze at my surroundings. The inside is much worse than the outside, which says a lot. Cobwebs hang from every corner and there are no windows. The boards in the floor look close to rotting. There’s no furniture except for a lumpy mattress tossed in the middle of the floor.

Carmen pivots, her hands held up. “Look around you, Michelle. You thought my house was a prison? Well, after a few days in your new home, I bet you’ll have a very different idea of captivity.”

By now, I’m shivering so hard, I can barely speak. But I manage to get out, “Why? And how?”

Carmen walks towards me, her heels making muffled clicks against the filthy floor. “The why should be obvious, Michelle.”

I shake my head, confused. “But Mick’s alive! I didn’t kill him!”

Carmen shrugs, her eyes cold. “A minor detail. The fact still remains that you destroyed my family, turned my son against me.”

Tears choke me and I can barely see through them as I sob, “I don’t understand! You may hate me, but you’d never hurt Danny. And Mick said he’d kill him if I screamed.”

Carmen turns angry eyes to Mick. “You said that?”

Mick looks away. God, what a coward.

Carmen turns back to me. “Well, it appears you believed my son’s idle threat. Nothing can touch Danny.”

I offer a quick prayer of thanks heavenward.

“Of course…” Carmen says, her face inches from mine. “He will be heartbroken when he returns from his uncle’s to find his wife has left him.”

My legs give out and I sink down onto the mattress. “What?”

Carmen laughs again. “It’s really a brilliant plan. I told Danny his uncle needed him. I knew you’d be angry about him going. So, the seeds of discord were planted. It won’t be too hard to believe you left him.”

I don’t care that I’m crying now. “No! No! He c-can’t…he won’t…”

Carmen grabs my chin. “He can. And he will.”

I jerk my face from her grip. “So why not just kill me? Why lock me up?”

Carmen looks at Mick, who steps forward and begins hooking up my handcuffs to a long chain.

“Danny’s a smart boy,” Carmen says. “He might suspect at first that you’ve been…disposed off. And we can’t take a chance of having your body turn up. Or not finishing the job. Miracles happen. Look at Mick. You left him for dead, but he managed to crawl up the beach where Dietz found him.”

My world is spinning crazily. “So you knew? You knew the whole time he was alive?”

Carmen runs her hand over Mick’s hair. “No. Mick thought it would be best to lay low for awhile. He didn’t come to me until after your wedding.”

I lay my head down. All this information coming at me at once is making me feel sick.

Carmen and Mick turn to go. “Don’t count on anyone rescuing you, Michelle. No one knows about this place and my men will keep an eye on it. Anyone who gets within 10 feet will be shot on sight. So I wouldn’t scream if I were you. And after Danny believes you’ve left and moves on, I’ll be back. And this time, your departure from our lives will be permanent. Understand?”

I nod weakly. When Danny believes, I’ll be killed.

Carmen smiles again. “Good.”

For a moment, I consider screaming out that I’m having her grandchild.

She can’t leave me like this and she can’t kill me.

But I take one look at her stony face and Mick’s flat, hollow eyes and know it wouldn’t do any good.

So I just keep my eyes on the floor.

And when I hear the door bolt behind them and their car drive off, I start to cry.

And cry.

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