Author’s Note: Last chapter. Thanks for reading.
The police outside shout in their headphone a few times. Inside the room, Lee is just calm but he knew there was no way out. He wouldn’t give up without a fight. He had lingered there for too long. His plan had failed.
“I see you called your friends” Lee looks at Ben
“You better do as they say”
“Who made you the boss? Shut up I have to think” Lee raises his voice and gets to the window
There were at least 5 police cars outside. The officers were standing behind the car doors with the gun pointed at the motel. Mandy and Ben are sitting on the bed looking at him.
Lee gets to them and grabs Mandy’s arm so she stands up. Ben tries to grab her hand but Lee drags her to the bathroom. He locks the door behind them.
“This is what I want you to do. Go outside and tell to the cops to back off. Say I want to get my car and a free getaway and I’ll promise no one will get hurt. Can you do that?” He lays his hands on her shoulders and looks in her eyes
“You can’t tell me what to do anymore”
He steps back and looks upset at her.
“That’s where you are wrong. Do you really think I wouldn’t keep hurting you? I lied, I love taking you with force. I love the power. The first time I saw you I wanted to make you my sex toy. That’s what you’re doing to me. That’s the reason I killed your friend and Sara. They tried to seduce me so I stopped it. I did it all for you. So you actually own me a favor”
“No I don’t. You only say that because you think it turns me on. But it doesn’t. I want this to be over. Turn yourself in. Do it for me if you really love me” She looks upset at him
He didn’t want to hear none of it.
“So you’re gonna refuse me? You can say goodbye to your precious Ben” He storms out of the bathroom
He’s been hiding a gun inside his jacket pocket and points it at Ben. He quickly gets up and steps back. Mandy gets there quickly but before she can do anything, Lee shoots him in the right knee. Ben collapses on the floor and grunts in pain. The police have heard and they storm in.
“Put the gun down and get slowly down on your knees with your hands behind your head” One of the cops commands Lee and he drops the gun to do so
Mandy gets to Ben and gets down on her knees beside him. He was in terrible pain. The ambulance is called. The cops arrest Lee for murder and kidnapping. Before they take him away, he wanted to give her a last kiss and she lets him.
“I’m sorry” Was his last words to her
She was relived she was finally free.
Later in the hospital Mandy sits by Ben’s bed. Luckily the bullet only injured a small part of his knee. He would be alright again.
“Will you ever forgive me?”
“It wasn’t entirely your fault. I should have listened to you. I’m just glad I got you back. Let’s promise each other we’ll never be part again” She takes his hand in hers
“I promise” He smiles and they kiss
Mandy would never see Lee again. He had been found guilty and sentenced for 15 years of man slaughter and other crimes he had committed. It wasn’t the first time he had got arrested. It turned out he had raped and insulted several women before she met Mandy but he had always got away with it. He was a great manipulator and knew how to exploit his good looks.
Mandy’s hell was over. The only thing that would remind her about it was the child she was expecting. It didn’t matter who the father was. She and Ben were happy about their new family. After 10 years they finally get married. Their experiences made them stronger. Nothing would take that happiness away again.
Lee drives all night long. Mandy hadn’t woken up once. They were getting to the border. It was only 10 miles away. He had to make a final stop and then it was time for goodbyes. He would meet his partner in crime in a motel close to the border at 9 am. The motel was situated in a quiet place where not many people were moving around. The sun was shining and it was a little windy. Mandy wakes up when he opens the door on the passenger’s side.
“We’re here” He opens the door wider
She was still disorientated when she steps out of the car. She wipes her eyes with her left hand and leans against the car a while. He closes the door. When she moves her fingers away, she sees a man standing at a front door to the motel. At first she doesn’t see who it is. It couldn’t be? He was still in London. When she finally opens her eyes completely, she sees a familiar face.
Happy she runs to him. She wraps her arms around his waist.
“Ben, am I happy to see you” She hugs him tightly, tears running down her cheeks “What are you doing here?” She sobs
Lee has walked after her and stops on the porch. He keeps looking around.
“I came to take you home” Ben hugs back
“You can say your hello’s inside” Lee hurries them
Mandy didn’t want to let Ben go so he carries her over the doorstep. Lee closes the door.
“Where is my passport? I should be leaving”
Mandy couldn’t believe what she heard. She was finally free? Ben takes her arms away.
“Um about that” He pauses and looks down
“I’ve thought about what you said and I can’t let you get away with it. You killed two people for crying out loud” He looks up again
“What are you saying? You’re not gonna help me?” Lee was surprised
Mandy didn’t understand a thing. Now when Ben was there, she was free to talk again.
“Wait a minute, two people?” She’s puzzled
“Should I tell her or should you?” Ben looks at Lee
He looks angry at Ben. When no one says anything she turns to Ben.
“Ben, care to tell me what this is about?”
“What do you say now, jerk” Lee interrupts and looks his way
“Mandy, he killed Annette” Ben looks in her eyes
Shocked she looks at Lee and anger was growing inside her.
“No, I don’t believe it. I refuse to” She looks at Ben again
“It’s true” He replies
She looks angry at Lee and gets closer to him.
“You killed my best friend. How could you? You let me believe it was some homeless guy. After all you’ve done to me. All those disgusting men you forced me to have sex with. All the confidence you took away from me. It was all because you wanted to get away with murder. You bastard” She slaps his face with her hand with all the force she has and he just takes it
She gets back to Ben. All the anger she had built inside her was now coming out.
“If you really want someone to blame look to your left” Lee says in a minute
She does and Ben looks away. She steps back from him.
“You?” She was even more confused
“It was all his idea so why don’t you scream at him” Lee gets upset
The truth was finally coming out. She couldn’t trust anyone. What had she done to deserve this treatment? The only person she could fully trust had betrayed her. She wanted to run away but she wanted to know the truth.
“What is he talking about?” She waits for Ben’s reply “Ben?”
He really was embarrassed. Lee was getting agitated. He should have been in Canada right now but he was stuck.
“Sorry for interrupting but I really have to go so could you hand that passport, please?”
“Shut up” Both Ben and Mandy yells at him
“OK” He gets to the window to look outside to see no cops were around
“The things is, I didn’t think it would go this far. I just wanted to have a change to our relationship” Ben tells her and sits on the bed
“So you hired this sex expert to spoil it all” She points at Lee
“I didn’t know at the time what kind person he was. I’m not responsible of his actions. I just wanted proof you would be faithful to me and as it turned out, you weren’t but I didn’t stop you either. It did prove our sex life, didn’t it?”
“You knew he was following me. You knew he raped me several times. You knew everything and you did nothing to stop it. How can I ever trust you ever again? I’m disappointed in you Ben” She sits down on a chair near the wall and starts crying
“I didn’t think it would go this far. How would I have known he’s a sick bastard?”
“Hey that’s an insult” Lee yells by the window
“But you are. I can’t believe I ever made a deal with you in the first place. I really hope the cop gets you” Ben yells angry at him and then get down on his knees beside Mandy
She looks at him but she was still not convinced. She didn’t know him anymore. She had been totally heartbroken when he left her.
“Were you even in London or was that a lie too?” She stops crying and dries her eyes
“I really was. That’s the truth but I was only there a few days. The day I met him was when I was waiting for you in the bar after work”
“Wait a minute. I was waiting for you. You were late and Annette said maybe you were stuck in traffic” She was confused
“No I came there before you but left and then came back again”
It confused her even more. Lee was impatient so he gets to them.
“Is this gonna take long? I don’t want to hear some history lesson here”
“Just leave then” Ben got upset which he didn’t do very often
“Give me my passport and I will”
“There is no passport. I lied to you” Ben stands up
The guys stood face to face, Lee being about one head taller.
“Is that so?” There was anger in his eyes
“Yeah what are you gonna do about it?” Ben pushes him a little
“You want to test me, huh? Keep trying and you will”
“You think you’re tough because you’re taller than most people. But in fact you’re nothing. You just beat woman when they don’t do what you want. Rape them; force them to do things they don’t want to”
“What do you know about it? You can’t even please your own woman. You need someone like me to do it. Mandy really was a good lay. I doubt you’ll never be as good as me. She will always compare you with me”
Mandy felt there would be a fist fight in a minute and she just wanted this to be over. She stands up.
“Will you two stop it? I’ve had with you testosterone filled crap. I just want to go home. I’m been through hell and I just want it to stop” She was upset
“You heard the lady” Ben steps away
“What a coward you are but what to expect”
Just when Lee is about to turn around, Ben tries to punch his face but misses by one inch. Lee just laughs and is about to walk away when Ben tries again. He succeeds but it makes Lee furious. Suddenly there are sirens outside.
“This is the police. Come out with your hands above your head!”
The cops had arrived. Ben smiles.
“Hello” Mandy replies carefully
She thought he would yell at her but by her surprise, he’s calm.
“He’s there now, is he?” Ben says in the other end
“He sent these photos to me. Do you know?”
“Mhm” She keeps saying
“I understand now. You were drunk, right? You didn’t know he took them. Don’t reply I know the answer. Um, I know I shouldn’t have been angry. It’s not your fault he stalked you. I shouldn’t have left for England”
Mandy looks up at Lee, who still looked angry. She was too afraid to talk. He was getting impatient. He grabs her mobile from her hand.
“If you want to talk, come here and say it, coward” He yells into it and switches it off
He throws it on the floor and steps on it with his foot so it breaks. Mandy didn’t like it at all.
“What is your problem?” She raises her voice
“Oh I’m sorry. Did I hurt you?” He looks closely at her
She wasn’t afraid of him. He had broken her expensive mobile and yelled at her. No one could tell her what to do and get away with it. She stands up. She didn’t care about his childish behavior. She never thought she would see this side of him. If he acted like this all the time, Ben was a much better choice.
“I don’t know who has upset you but you should not take it on me or on another person” She stood up for herself
“Shut up” He pushes her back on her chair
He walks back and forth nervously in front of her desk. She keeps looking at him. He stops and sits down in front of her desk. She slowly moves her hand across the table to touch his hand he had laid on the table. He doesn’t even look her way when she does. He stands up again and looks at the time on his wrist watch. She still had work to do so she moves closer to her desk. He doesn’t react to that. Maybe he had calmed down. But when the elevator opens and Ben steps out, he get agitated again. Mandy stops looking in her computer and keeps sitting down.
“What is going on?” Ben stands beside the desk when he gets there
“So you showed up? Must have taken a lot of encouragement, huh” Lee snaps at him
“What do you want?” Ben was calm
“So those photos didn’t give you a hint?”
“Was that a hint? A hint that you make a girl drunk and then force her to do things she usually wouldn’t do?”
Luckily Ben was also quite tall and he wasn’t intimidated by him.
“You must remember who your girlfriend is. She might look innocent but deep inside she’s wild. That’s something you have never experienced” Lee glimpse at Mandy with a grin
Ben looks at her but she looks away embarrassed.
“It looked to me that your stalking got out of hand” Ben looks at Lee
He takes his mobile and search for the photos he didn’t send. He shows the screen to Ben. There was a picture of Mandy with another woman doing things to each other. On another one she’s thrusting something inside her while another naked man is watching. There were a few other shocking photos that were too disturbing to print. Ben was shocked.
“I especially love this one. Gosh it turned me on” Lee looked at one more without showing it
Ben looks upset at Mandy.
“How could you do these things? I know when you get drunk you can do weird things but this. This is too much”
“I’m sorry Ben, I didn’t know before I saw them. Can you ever forgive me?” She stands and gets closer to him
Lee couldn’t stand it but he didn’t interfere. Ben kept looking at her. He was speechless. He never thought a 10 year old relationship would end like this. He mostly blamed himself for not giving her enough of affection. Instead she went to someone else.
“I’m sorry Mandy but it seems this wasn’t just a stalking thing. It was an affair I can’t accept. Maybe it’s time for us to separate. I will always love you but now it’s time to say farewell. I’m sorry”
Tears were running down her cheeks when she listened to him. She noticed Lee’s was amused. She wraps her arms around Ben’s neck to get that grin out of his face. She gives Ben a final kiss and they move away from each other and smile. She keeps looking at him until he gets inside the elevator. Then it was all over. She looks upset at Lee and then sits back in her chair.
“You could have skipped that kiss”
“No I didn’t have to. I just wanted to make you jealous. I hope you’re happy now” She didn’t look at him
“More than happy. Now you’re all mine” He gets closer to her and kisses her neck but she shuts him out “I’ll wait in the car” He then leaves
The day was over soon. Annette never got back. Things that had happened earlier totally outshone Mandy’s worry about her. When she closes her computer, she remembers again. She gets to her room and notices something was on her desk. It was blood. It wasn’t much but it was enough. Something had happened in there. She had to call the police. This was more important than going home to be taken advantaged off. Annette had to be found.
Mandy walks down the street from the café they usually went to lunch. She was upset for getting fired and losing a good friend. The battery on her mobile was dead so she couldn’t call. For a few weeks she hadn’t kept in touch with Ben like they were supposed to do. He was probably too busy anyway. She had been too concentrated on her personal feelings towards Lee. What Annette had claimed sounded harsh but when she thought about it, some of it could be true. He was capable of doing bad things but not to her. That was one of the reasons she didn’t believe her friend at first. When she came out of the building she thought of going back to Lee’s car but it was gone. Sometimes things felt strange. He was always around when she thought about him. How did he know? It was all a mystery to her. Maybe it was just a coincidence.
She didn’t know where to go so she went to the park to think it through. It was nice and a warm day and people were walking or sitting on a bench with their lunches. She sits there a while and then decides to go back to the office to apologize so she could get her job back. When she gets to the floor, there’s no one there. Not even Annette. She sits down by her desk and opens her computer. She lays her mobile in the charger and sees a few calls had arrived. It was from Annette a few times and one was from Ben. She looks at the time on her computer. It was already 2 pm. Since no one was there, she begins to work. She replies to a few emails from clients and then she goes to Max room. She sits down by his desk and opens his computer. There are a few personal emails but those were private so she didn’t read them. She sends a few files to her computer from his and then closes it. When she gets back to the hall, she’s sees a man sitting by her desk looking through her mobile. By her surprise it’s Ben. In a shock she stands behind him a while. What Lee had said about going back to him, entered her mind. But now she didn’t care.
“Ben?” She asks and he turns around
“Hi Mandy” He smiles and stands up “I was just about to write you a message on your phone”
She wraps her arms around his neck to hug him. She didn’t expect him to come back this soon. In a way she was happy but also worried it might be the last time.
“What are you doing here?” She says after the hug
“I’m going back in a few days but I missed you so much, I had to see you” He runs his fingers across her cheek and gives her a kiss on her lips
“I missed you too. I’m sorry I haven’t kept in touch like I promised”
“It’s OK. I’ve been quite busy”
“So how is the play going?” She sits down by her desk while he sits on the edge of it
“Really great. Full house every night”
“I’m not surprised. You’re great” She smiles
“Thank you, love. So how have you been?”
“Busy with work. I almost got fired though but I guess it was just a misunderstanding”
“Oh what happened?” He’s surprised
“Annette just upset me sometimes. It’s a long story. I don’t know where she is now. She was gone when I came back”
“It seems she left in a hurry. I looked in her office and there are papers everywhere and the computer is on. She must be somewhere in this building”
“Maybe she’ll turn up soon. Sorry Ben, I need to continue. Max is not here so I have to do his job too”
“Where is he?” He stands up
“Ill, which is weird since he’s never away”
“Even Mr. Healthy gets ill sometimes” He smiles a little
“Of course” She smiles back
“OK I leave so you can finish. Meet you at home. Bye love” He gives her a kiss on her lips and then leaves
She looks at him until he enters the elevator. Seeing him there was sure a surprise. She didn’t really know if she still loved him. It was different but compared to Lee, the same passion wasn’t there. She continues working on her computer. Once in a while she looks towards Annette’s room. It was soon 3 pm and there was no sign of her. She decided to call her but there’s no reply.
Suddenly the elevator door opens and an angry Lee steps out. He had changed his clothes to blue jeans and dark grey tee with a dark blue jacket.
“What a hell was he doing here?” He yells at her
“I’m not. I told you not to see him”
“I can’t help it if he gets here. I can’t send him off either. Besides how did you know he was here?” She was calm about it
“That’s beside the point. OK, as you wish” He takes his mobile and looks through it “Say goodbye to Ben” He shows the screen where the photos are and he’s about to press send
“No!” She jumps off her chair to stop him “He’s gonna leave in a few days”
“That’s not good enough. I’ve had it. You’re mine and no one else should have you” He presses send anyway
She starts crying and sits down on her chair. Her relationship with Ben was over. He would never want to see her again. The trip back home was unnecessary now.
“Anymore boyfriends I need to know about?” He’s still angry
“No” She says through her tears
“How about Max? Will he be any trouble?”
She doesn’t reply which makes him furious. He gets closer to her and drags her up aggressively.
“Say it” He yells in her face
“Leave him alone. He’s just a friend” She looks at him
He’s about to say something when her mobile rings. It was Ben.
“Answer it” He pushes her down on the chair “Dry your tears first”
She wipes her eyes with her sleeve and tries to calm down. Picking up her phone has never been so difficult. She would be either be told off of or a last goodbye.
Next morning, Mandy wakes up earlier than usual. She couldn’t sleep. When she got back to the office, there was a text message from Ben. He had called but there was no answer. He had been free for lunch after all. He even went to the office where he had met Annette. She hadn’t seen her either. They assumed something had happened. After work at home Mandy kept denying everything was fine. She wanted to tell him about the sexual assault but that would reveal her infidelity. She also couldn’t take the guilt for leading Lee on. Without that it wouldn’t have happened. Now she couldn’t take it back. She wanted to call herself sick but it was Friday, she had to get to work. It’s only 5 am but she makes herself some coffee. She sits by the kitchen table with her cup and just looks at it. Soon she would be sitting alone in the kitchen. Ben would fly to London on Sunday. She wished she could go with him. Something had happened to their relationship and it would change even more when he was away. She knew her affair with Lee was the reason.
“What are you doing up?”
She startles when a sleepy Ben suddenly gets to the kitchen.
“Gee Ben. Never sneak in like that”
“You’re jumpy” He says and sits across her
“You would too if someone came in like that”
“I’m sorry. So why are you up?” He rubs his eyes
“I couldn’t sleep”
“Something bothering you?” He says less drowsy
“I guess it’s your trip. I wish I could come with you” She looks at him
His hair was all messy but he didn’t care at all.
“It’s only gonna be a month. Besides don’t you have work?”
“I could take a month off”
“I don’t think you will like it there. I’m gonna be busy and we won’t see each other that much”
“That’s better than being here without you”
“Why the sudden urge to come with me? This is not the first time you’re staying home alone. Has something happened?”
“Why can’t I come? Is there a reason why I shouldn’t?”
“You’ll be bored”
“Bored in London? No way”
“I’m there to do a job and if I want to do it well, I don’t need distractions”
“I think that’s just an excuse. Is there something you don’t want me to see? Someone else?” She didn’t know why she even doubted that
“Don’t be silly. I’m not that easily misled”
“What do you mean by that?” She’s getting agitated
“Nothing. I should get some sleep” He says and is about to stand up
“You mean I let a stalker get into our lives and you think I’m easily misled”
He sits back and sighs.
“You totally misunderstood me. I didn’t mean anything by it”
“You said you still haven’t forgiven me for what had happened and I guess you still won’t” She looks down on her coffee cup
“It depends if he’s still around”
“I said no” She looks upset at him
“But I don’t know if you mean it”
“You don’t trust me?”
“It’s not that. I met him and I don’t think he would give up”
“And yet you don’t want me to come with you”
“You took it up. I didn’t even think about it until you mentioned it. It makes me wonder why you react this strongly. It’s like you want to leave as soon as possible”
“I do. With you. I hate being alone. In London I would at least have you near me” She says and touches his hand
“I wish it was that simple. I’m sorry Mandy but you can’t come. But I call you everyday” He says touching hers
“I will miss you. A month feels like forever”
“You’ll be fine. When I get back we could go somewhere. I’ll make it up to you” He says and gives her a kiss across the table but she doesn’t want to stop
“Oh Ben” She moans and runs her right hand fingers across his chest
They both stand up and undress each other. They make love on the kitchen floor with her on top. They move to the bedroom to continue. Even if they had differences, they still loved each other. This was something she would miss. But a month would go quickly and soon they would be together again.