Chapter Thirteen - Clarity in Storage
I was holding my eyes closed very tightly, waiting for the woman with the large weapon to shoot me. I could not move or anything, because I was waiting for the moment when I was going to die.
I nearly wet my panties while the silence that had fallen around me echoed for what seemed to be minutes as I had waited. Nothing came, and I realized that the only thing I was hearing was the pounding of my heart..
I then heard a voice come out of somewhere very close to me, one that I had been expecting all along when I had opened the door..
" Let her go, Auntie... let her go right away..." This voice said kind of loudly, instantly that identified the person was Ashley.
" Ashley??" My mind asked me, trying to figure it all out.
As I pondered that question, still holding my eyes closed in reflex to things that were happening. The voices kept going
" I take it that you know this girl, Ash..." The woman said as she continued to pin me up against the door, her voice seemed very stern but now was softening.
" I do... and very well, Auntie..." Ashley said, hearing the blushing she must have been doing through her words. " You could say very, very well..."
" Who then is this?" The woman’s voice said, as I felt her grasp on me was loosening a little bit.
" This is my Girlfriend, her name is Jenny." She said back, as she grabbed my hand.
" Your... girl?" The woman said, her tone was softening a little.
" She is, Auntie dear..." Sighed Ashley.
I felt the woman’s strong hand finally let me go and I opened my eyes as I was able to breath better. The fear was beginning to drain out of my body as I tried to compose myself, but I could still feel it like a stone in the pit of my stomach. I now could see Ashley standing there with this very tall woman, and I felt not scared any longer.
The very tall woman was sheathing her gun away into a holster that was tucked under her right arm, the steel like look she had been giving me was rapidly fading and she seemed almost friendly. It was at that time that I saw there was a very shiny police badge attached to the belt on her pants.
I was very confused at the moment... was this woman that had slammed me up against the back of the door while almost making me end up pissing myself... actually a Policewoman? And if so, why was she here at my school... and what was thing about Ashley calling her Auntie? So many questions and zero answers.. I felt so flustered, because I had never felt this confused before.
I looked at Ashley, not knowing what the hell that was going on. I was very much confused at this point. Nothing was making any sense at all
" Auntie? Police?" I stammered, as my heart still was beating a mile a minute in my chest. " Ashley... what is going on here?
" This is my Aunt Heather Caleb... My Aunt and who also happens to be a police officer as well." She said, so matter-of-fact.
I found myself able to move again, after the initial fear had passed fully. I looked at Ashley’s Aunt, and then right at Ashley herself. This was making my brain hurt worse than a very tough Algebra exam... almost feeling as if I was in some sort of twilight zone rerun on late night television.
" Would someone mind explaining what in the heck is going on here??." I said, getting bold enough to speak my mind finally.
Sheepishly, the girl looked at me... but I was not in the mood to be amused with her.
" It is... a little hard to explain in a very quick way, Jenny." Ashley finally said, her eyes looking right into mine.
" You better try... I have just gotten yanked in to this room like I was a sack of potatoes, slammed up against the door... pinned there while seeing that there was a gun staring me in the face so I was thinking that I was going to die..." I said feeling beyond exasperated and more angry than I ever had been.
" I can try..." Said Ashley, here eyes showing a little meekness in them.
I paused for a moment, then I felt my anger actually welling up as I looked at Ashley and her Aunt. Even if I could have stopped what was going to flair right out of me at that time, I honestly did not want to stop it from doing that... or even try to sugarcoat it a little. I was downright mad, and that was that!
" I think that you can really damn well go ahead and try and explain all of this for me." I said flaring, ignoring the strange look that was in the girl’s eyes.. I was mad, and it was coming out right now. " After all of this crap...Dammit!!! I think I deserve to have it... and a whole lot more coming from you!!"
The once scary looking woman broke a smile, and put her hand on Ashley’s shoulder. The lady’s face was now a very friendly and inviting sort of gesture to me, a far cry from what she had looked like to me a few moments ago when she held that gun.
" Let me try to explain all of this to Jenny, Ashley..." Ashley’s Auntie Cop said with the sweetest of voices which oddly calmed my anger right off the bat. " It is the least I can do, after scaring the living crap out of her..."
" yes Auntie..." Ashley said, seemingly relived at not having to face me right then.
She looked at me, and started, in a very matter-of-fact sort of way, although it was not out of intimidation.
" I am one of the main Officers that is working in a multi department operation against Child Pornography and abuse that spans many different Police services along with many other Federal Law Enforcement agencies from all over the country and even has branches internationally as well..." She started.
I was a little shocked at what the lady had just told me so smooth like.
" You mean like child abuse and stuff like that?" I asked with inadvertent bluntness, shocked with what she had said to me.
" Yes...Sexual crimes, criminal neglect or anything that would end up hurting or exploiting children in any way..." She answered back. " That is what I do."
I looked at the woman, feeling my anger now was slowly leaving my body after hearing just this stuff.
" Big job..." I commented, not quite knowing what else I could have said after hearing that.
" One that I am glad of being involved in..." She added in. " Big job, very disturbing at times... but it is something that is so rewarding at times as well...."
I had fallen quiet for a moment, that information hitting me hard. I looked at the woman, and saw the kindness that had not been there when they thought I was a threat or something.
" So you’re here at St. Tomas... because of your work..." I said, trying to sound surprised and in a questioning way, but with what I knew in my head... it probably was obvious that my mind was thinking about things.
The woman did not seem to notice my tone, and just started to explain herself in a much clearer fashion as I listened to her.
" We have tracked the origins of some extremely disturbing photographs coming out from this campus over the past few months, and I had identified a few girls involved in it, whether they were involved voluntarily or not..." The officer said. " ... in fact I am here because of investigating one specific young girl in particular who really seems to be deeper involved... and perhaps she is more than what she knows..."
I went to say something, but I was shocked with myself as soon as I had opened my mouth.
" Louise..." Was the name that I had gasped out, not being able to stop myself from letting that out. I was stunned
The policewoman that was the Auntie to my girlfriend seemed to hang for a second, staring at me right after I had said what I had said. She seemed more than just a little shocked with what I had inadvertently had let slip.
" Louise Anderson... that is the girl I was here to interview if possible, but I am now investigating her odd disappearance." She said looking at me with a questioning look, one that told me that I had really let the cat leap out of that bag. " How did you know that name, Jenny?"
I swallowed really hard, as both Ashley and her Aunt were looking at me. I could not believe that I had just gasped out Louise’s name in reflex like that, I was betting that this officer had a idea that I knew a whole lot more than she ever imagined I had, and now she was looking at me with that look people had when they discover something out.
I felt myself get instantly nervous, because I was stuck in a corner with no wriggling room what so ever.
" You know that I had something going with her before you and I..." Said Ashley, seeing that I was hiding things
" I do..." I said, knowing now that I honestly did have to spill the beans.
" You know something more..." Said Ashley, squeezing my hand. " You don’t wanna hurt me by saying something... I see it in your face..."
" Sort of..." I said, thankful that I might now shed the weight of the secrets I had at this point, been wearing.
Ashley’s’s aunt looked right at me, and seemed to sense the fact that I was in big time conflict withe myself. The woman looked at her Niece, then back at me, her face had became softer looking
" Do you know of something that I may need to know for my work?" The officer asked. " You seemed to jump on the fact that I was looking into Louise... something that I had not told you yet.... in fact there was no name out there yet"
" I do know something..." I said, knowing that I had to say it all.
" Then start when your ready..." The officer said.
" First off, let me just clearly state that I was never was ‘with’ Louise at any time..." I said, not wanting either Ashley and her aunt to get the wrong idea before I could try and explain things.
The tall lady cop looked at me, her eyes were very soft and comforting, and that was how I came to notice the strong family resemblance between this woman and Ashley... it was very clear that they were directly blood related.
" I sensed that much.. Considering how you were looking at my niece just now...." She smiled. " But I also could see that you have something locked tightly up in yourself... something that you felt almost forced to deal with all on your own."
" You... do?" I blinked, feeling so very surprised at this woman being so observant of me.
" I kind of had the same sort of an idea like that as well... but never said..." Smiled Ashley, her words were so soothing to me.. " Jen... You are one not that is able to hide things very well from anyone."
" That clear?" I asked.
" Crystal!" Said the pretty girl, her eyes locked on to mine.
With a momentary pause, I knew that I could not keep what I knew a secret any longer... I had already decided to tell Ashley before being dragged into this little room... so what ended up happening next, came pretty much naturally. I took a deep breath, then I spilled everything that my mind had been holding forth. I launched into telling them everything that I knew almost as if I had sprung a huge leak... which had been like a ten ton stone in my heart. As I did, I felt the weight of it all now was lifting, and I held back absolutely nothing in the way of information. From that damned promise I had made to Louise to seeing her with that man having sex, and everything else that had happed all just came out of me... I held nothing back.
When I was done, I instantly felt the this feeling of being so damned tired... drained to be exact, yet it was that moment that realized how holding all of this inside of myself had been weighting me down. By the look on both Ashley and her Aunt’s faces... They were hit by that weight as well, the weight of what I had held back for so long already.
The woman spoke, because it was clear that my beloved Ashley was unable to say a word after all what she just had heard..
" So this girl Louise was, for lack of a better word for it, ‘screwin’ this scumbag willingly for just some money... but had no damned clue that this scumball was in fact streaming video of her onto the computer and selling it to all of his pervert friends on line?" Officer Caleb asked
I nodded to let them know that was exactly what was, because Louise had told me exactly that when I had met her the other day. In was now wondering if I was scared of her being in trouble for a good reason.
" That was what she had told me when we had met behind The Saints hall..." I nodded. "She had actually bragged about it that day that I had caught her in the closed off wing of the school building..."
" Having sex?"
" They were..." I nodded.
" Bold, isn’t she?" Ashley’s Aunt mused, with a air of sarcasm to it.
" She is..."I said, knowing that she was just that.
" And now... she is just vanished into thin air..." She mumbled, obviously tossing everything around in her mind.
I watched the woman think over things for a second, obviously going over everything that I had said to her. I waited quietly, knowing that there were many more questions... and I was not about to start to hide things.
" ... And you have no idea if she has just ran off or have any clue that it might be because of that man doing something to her?" Ashley’s Auntie asked me.
" I was just as shocked as anyone when I heard she had ran off like that." I said, what else could I say. " I was suppose to have met her at the Angel’s Mug last night to talk over things... but she never showed up."
" So your not too sure of which one it is?" Said the woman, jotting down some of the details. " Whether she had ran off, or something a little more serious than that..."
" I just do not know..." I agreed. " I heard about her disappearance only a short time ago this morning." I paused. " Do you know who this man is.
The officer nodded, but you could tell that her mind was rolling every thing over again and again, but answered me with a little nod.
" We have a suspect in mind... His name is Carl Luthier, and has been a worker here at ST. Tomas for what we have found to be only about three years" She said, then she seemed to get a little more serious. " Does this slimebag of a guy know in any way that you know all of these types of details?"
I was pretty sure that the creepy looking school workman I now knew as Carl Luthier did not know that I actually knew any of this... or the fact that Louise had suddenly confided in me about pretty much everything that she had been involved in with him The scary thing was that I was not one hundred percent certain of that little point. The thought of that now was coldly clutching my soul.
I looked right into the woman’s face and shook my head a little.
" As far as I know... this man doesn’t know that I had seen him and Louise together, or that I actually knew anything about it in the first place...." I said, feeling a little more than worried. " Louise seemed to be very scared about everything when I talked to her the last time... yesterday morning"
" That was the very last time you actually talked to her in person?" Officer Caleb asked
" Yes..." I said.
Ashley suddenly seemed to snap out of whatever state she had been in for the last few minutes. She looked at me, and took a hold of one of my hands
" Is there any chance in your mind that this man might know of you, even if you don’t think so?" Asked a extremely worried Ashley, as she now was able to make proper words finally.
I took a second to really think about that, finding myself realizing that I actually had not thought about that possibility still... but now I was feeling more than simply concerned about it. I thought on it for more than a few seconds, my stress rising... as was my level of fear at the thought of that man knowing... and maybe coming after me to keep me quiet on it. That was scary.
" I... an not sure if he does or does not know, Officer..." I said shakily, knowing that was the way it was
Truth be known... I was about ninety-nine percent sure that this very creepy and mainly unkempt school worker did not know anything at the moment... he had not even seen me as I had stood there watching him have sex with Louise in that empty classroom where the work was being done in.. It was that nagging one little percent I did not have any answer for which fuelled my fear now... that fear now was feeling like a gigantic brick wall that I had slammed into.
The officer just sighed and was writing some of what I had said down in a little black notebook, like she had been doing for a little while now. Ashley and I stood there holding hands, as the woman finished up what she was doing. We did not know what else to do, nor did we know what else could have been said.
Ashley’s Aunt finally finished, and looked at us.
" I am going to do a little more investigating with the information Jenny has given me, so the both of you two just act normal then..." She said, looking over what she was writing in. " I have some things to look into... and hopefully that will lead us to find out if Louise is safe, or we have another crime here."
"Act... normal?" I asked, with a gasped.
" Or as close to it as possible..." She replied with a sort of smirk..
" How do we do that?" I asked, because of everything... it seemed that nothing was normal.
" Kind of hard to do that, Auntie..." Came in Ashley.
My girls’s Auntie let herself give a little giggle... hearing that the both of us had that exact same question for her. She rubbed her forehead as she nodded.
" Good point..." She finally said, after a moment of reflection on out concerns.
She then simply told us to try and just go about out lives as normally as usual, while keeping an eye out for this man who I had just implicated in all of this. We agreed to trying to really doing that, and she seemed happy with that.
The officer then just slipped out of the small storage place without another word to either one of us, only patting her niece’s shoulder as she left.. It was a strange sort of feeling as the woman had left so abruptly that I was left feeling almost a little empty inside of myself... an odd little feeling.
Now alone with Ashley in the small confines of the small storage area I had started to wonder on just how Ashley’s Aunt was going to sneak out of this dorm without ever being seen that she had been talking to us, but Ashley’s musical sort of giggling and broke my bout of self questioning.
" You are thinking how she as going to sneak outta here without being seen, aren’t you?" Audrey said, with a smirk on her prettiness.
" You read my mind..." I said, more than merely a little shocked with how observant she was.
She looked right at me and winked.
" Auntie Heather graduated from St. Tomas about twelve years ago or so..." Mt lovely Ashley explained. " She said long time ago that she knew some of the many secret exits and hallways and the locations of hidden rooms that we heard only to be rumoured about around here."
I looked at my young girl with probably one of the more curious sort of looks I probably ever had. I could see her smiling back, ready for me to say anything at all.
" Secret exits?" I asked with a lilt in my voice
" That was what she told me about may times over the years..." Ashley explained. " Since I started here at St. Tomas."
Ashley giggled and nodded.
" I know from her that there a quite a few in different Dorms and buildings all over Campus." She said, with a giggle.
Giggling, I knew almost nothing about any of this stuff, even though my very own mother had graduated from here what was even before her Aunt had.
" I have heard nothing about this...?" I said, feeling more than a little intrigued with this little piece of information.
" Auntie told me story about how she used them, but she never told me exactly where any of them actually were... neither did my own mom who had gone here too." She giggled.
" Not even a clue?" I asked, knowing my mom also had never told me any of this about hidden rooms or exits in St. Thomas. That was just like my mom.
" She said that in me finding them is the main sort of fun, Mom and Auntie Heather always told me that." Ashley said
" But have you found any of these places for yourself?" I asked, finding myself a little interested in all of this..
She shrugged a little, but kept smiling.
" Found a couple of places that are good hiding places in some of the schools other buildings and stuff... but only a few..." admitted Ashley." But I have not stopped lookin’ either."
" Show me the ones you have found sometime?" I asked, playfully.
" Sure..." She said blushing, obviously her mind had went to a more perverted sort of place.
I shook my head and looked at the girl, dirty thoughts were also going through my head all of a sudden... the power of suggestion was always strong. Damn, my father was right about that one.
" So... uh... now what do we do?" I said, a little overwhelmed at this point and wanting my mind to get out of the gutter so to speak..
" I think that we need to get some breakfast before it is all gone, and school starts." She suggested.
I shook my head and made a sour look right at her.
" Don’t think that you are really wanting to have the served up breakfast they have for today..." I suggested, as we readied to sneak out of this little room.
" That bad?" She asked, probably seeing the grimace on my face as my mind remembered that breakfast we had waiting for us.
" Yes!" I said giggling.
" Stomach pump bad?" She asked with a laugh.
" Close to it..." I broke out with a howl, remembering how bad it was.
Ashley sighed and looked at me., then tried to stop a giggle from passing her wonderfully formed lips... but never did succeed.
" Then we just have some of the coffee and save our stomachs from a fate worse than death." She purposed
" Would be the best... too bad the others might not do that" I said.
Let the truth be known the coffee was the safest thing on the menu today... and might save more than a few lives. I laughed at my own thoughts... for it was so true.
Ashley and I then exited the little room, making sure that we were not seen as we stepped out and into the small utility hallway. We looked down the small passage way and held out breaths as we listened for any movement before going into the main hallway that ran the entire length of this building.
Her dorm building was sounding as empty as any of the mausoleums that were on the school grounds far on the southern edges of the campus. You could hear only us at the time. We felt beyond lucky right now, so we hurried to get that cup coffee before school was going to start in only twenty five or so minutes. It had been more than a interesting morning already, and I was dam glad that it seemed to be calming down finally.
As we hurried down the hall to the main stairs, I thought I had caught the sight of a figure far down the hallway by way of my peripheral vision. After what Ashley’s aunt had warned us about, I immediately found myself thinking that it might have been that freaky man that had been with Louise... that was where my mind quickly had jumped to.
I took quick but a long look down the full length towards where my lover’s dorm room was located. To my relief, I found nothing... actually there was less than nothing down that hallway. There was no shadowed figure, no movement or that sleazy worker that my mind had instantly went to. It was just the hallway sitting in the dead calm of early morning.
With everything I had been told and warned about, I was guessing that my little bout of paranoia was probably going to be par for the course. I put it out of my head with a internal chuckle, and hurried off to get that coffee with Ashley. I needed to be wary, I knew... but getting paranoid was not going to help things.
Even though I was satisfied, my mind still worried if I had actually seen someone following us in that hall... but I was not going to let myself think about that for the time being.