Excerpt for Not My Daughter by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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Copyright 2017 Art Tole

Published by Art Tole at Smashwords

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He watched from the entrance to his tent as a returning patrol led a line of captives into the camp. Slaves for Rome that would serve the over indulged citizens that never dirtied their togas by traveling more than a hundred miles from their villas. Slaves that would be sold to pay for the Legion that he commanded. The trip into Germania had been successful so far. The primitive tribes that they faced were no match for his well trained men.

“A successful patrol from the looks of it,” said his second in command. “Shall I bring you one of them or would you like to choose her yourself?”

He pointed to the young girl in the line and said, “See if that one is worth the soap and water it will take to clean her up. And see if we can get the smell to a decent level; most of them smell like they sleep with their pigs. You know what to do with her when she is ready.” He turned back to his tent and resumed studying the maps on the table.

His second designated a slave to get the girl ready and chose one for himself also. He laughed as the slave, a Greek of 60+ years, dragged the screaming and struggling girls toward the river. The Greek would enjoy himself and make certain that the girls were ready for him later. Walking back to the tent he walked in and said, “Araxis is having fun with them.” He studied the map and the smile on his face turned into a frown as he said, “That route could be dangerous.” He looked at the steep hillsides that forced the primitive road into a narrow pathway.

His superior and friend, laughed and said, “So far the rabble that we have faced are untrained and undisciplined; we will raid the towns out to here,” indicating a point on the map, “and then start back to Rome. The scouts have just returned and reported that there was no sign of any resistance out to there. I enjoy the campaigning, but I know that most of the men will want to return. We have been gone for almost a year and it will be nice to get back for the festivals.”

The two ,men spent the next few hours with Centurians, laying out the next day’s march and then retired to his sleeping quarters. The girl was waiting for him, naked, bound and gagged, she watched them with wary eyes as he removed his tunic. She was attached to the center tent pole so that her feet barely touched the carpet that covered the floor of the tent. His second in command said, “Well I can’t smell her from here so Araxis did a good job. From the looks of the hair between her legs she is about fourteen. I will say good night and see what mine looks like,” he saluted casually and closed the tent flap behind him.

Alone with her, he lit more candles to see her better; breasts still forming, delicate cones that shook as she trembled in front of him. The barely visible pubic hair was a soft fleece that matched the sandy color of her hair. He pulled her head back and looked at her face, her eyes startled him; dark brown, but with flecks of gold in them. He didn’t see fear there; it was more anger and defiance. She tried to pull away when he touched the soft pubic hair between her legs. His whip changed that; every time she recoiled from his touch he lashed her soft white bottom. It took only a few lashes before she understood and submitted to what was expected of her. He removed her gag and forced her mouth open, checking her teeth the way he did when buying a horse. He was surprised to see them clean and her breath pleasant. With her feet forced apart he used his fingers to explore the space between her legs. She gasped as first one finger and then two penetrated her, but she didn’t struggle. The brief and sharp pain made her cry out and he withdrew his hand with the small amount of blood on it. She knew what was going to happen next.

The Legion stretched out as they approached the mountains, forming a column more than a mile long as the narrow pass closed in around them. She could barely walk from the pain in her groin, but managed to stay close to his horse. She didn’t know when it would happen, only that it would and wanted to be ready when the trap was sprung.

The earlier encounters with the Romans had been easy because the best of the fighters were massing in the mountains waiting to see which way they would go. They didn’t have the weapons that the Romans possesed, but in the mountins, rocks and spears were effective weapons. He leaned over the ledge that concealed him from the Romans and searched the column of soldiers. Finally he spotted her. She was close to the leader of the Legion. When his mother had found him in the mountains to tell him that she had been captured, he knew what would happen to her. She is young and beautiful, they would not be kind to her, and she probably would not live through the attack that was about to begin. They had no future together. Her position close to the Legionaire told him who had done it to her. He had his target picked out and now waited for the signal.

The first barrage hit the commander and knocked him from his horse. In the panic that followed she rushed to him, drew his dagger and slit his throat before she was run through with a Roman sword.

He watched them as they came out of the train cars. Carrying the few meager possesions they had saved from their former lives. His men went to work, efficiently separating them first from their possessions and then the men from the women. Finally removing anyone that would not be useful for the short time remaining of their lives; the old, the sick and unaccompanied children. Children stayed with parents for the most part, just to keep the parent from being a problem. Most of them went to labor barracks, but a few, a select few, came to him. Out of these hundreds he would get about two dozen women to play with. He had no problem with the final solution for the refuse of humanity that he welcomed into his camp. They would provide labor for the Fuhrer before they died of exhaustion and malnutrition. His second in command approached and saluted before saying, “There are twenty-one new playthings Colonel. Six of them are Gypsies, the rest are Jews.”

He turned and looked to where his playthings were being led, some of them crying, some looking back to where they had been separated from their children or parents. He turned to his second in command and said, “Let’s go watch them being processed; you can pick out the one that you want.” His second in command was Karl, they had been friends since they were boys. His name was Johan Niemann, young compared to the men in his command, he had not been able to finish the engineering curriculum before accepting a commision in the army. The war had been going on for years and now they were taking boys barely old enough to lift the rifle they gave them. He had risen rapidly in the ranks due to attrition and ability, and was now a Colonel. He had taken this assignment to avoid the Russian front and brought Karl with him. It had bothered him at first, and Karl too, they had talked about what was happening. Neither of them wanted their friends and families to know about the camp and what they were doing there. It was orders; do it or someone else would, and they would go to the Russian front. It had taken awhile, but they had become numb to the atrocities they participated in every day. That was how they had gotten started with the women in the special compound; they reasoned that this was better for them than the labor barracks and slow starvation. The women would not live much longer than the others but they would live better.

The guards had lined the women up in front of the special compound. Now the guards stood around watching, grinning, anticipating what was to come. Johan did not disappoint them, he ordered the women to strip using the most coarse words of the most common of the European languages; even if someone didn’t understand they would get the message when the rest of the women began removing their clothing. They looked around embarrassed and were slow to comply. Johan chose one, she looked older than the rest, and struck her with the baton that he carried. “Strip,” he said again and again, and each time he said it he struck the helpless woman who lay bleeding at his feet. They moved faster after the first scream the doomed woman uttered and in less than a minute, stood naked in front of him using their hands to cover themselves and huddling together in one last attempt at modesty. He looked down the line and raised his baton again telling them to stand straight as he brought the baton down one last time to crush the skull of the helpless victim at his feet. He was certain that there would be no further resistance from any of them. Walking slowly down the line followed by Karl, he stopped in front of a girl, she looked to be about sixteen years old. Her features were those of a Romanian Gypsy. He looked at the woman next to her, older, but a family resemblance, probably sisters. “Process them,” he shouted as he turned and walked to where Karl was waiting, “Well did you see anything that you want to keep?”

Karl smiled, “The little Jew at the end of the line will do. How about you?”

Johan said almost indifferently, “The young gypsy.” He looked around, “Bring them to our quarters when they are ready, give the rest to the guards for now. They will go to the pleasure barracks in Schicklinburg in a few days.” He walked away in the direction of the camp administration building.

Karl watched the women being washed and given physical inspections by camp inmates. A Jewish doctor, whose life was spared so he could serve as the camp doctor, gave them a quick pelvic exam and checked for other health problems. Johan’s only concern was that they not have diseases that could be passed on to the soldiers who would use them as sex slaves. Later when some of them became pregnant or came down with a venereal disease they would be sent to the new gas chambers.

When they were finished Karl called the two girls over to where he was waiting and started to leave, but the older sister of the girl suddenly rushed at him before the guards could stop her. The force of the impact knocked him to the floor. She scrambled to get the pistol that he carried in a holster at his belt. Two guards quickly pulled her off, laughing as they did it. Her hands were tied and she was bent over a chair. No one but the other gypsies understood the stream of explitives that poured from her. Even the first blow of the whip did not stop her from cursing and yelling; nor the second or even the third. Her sister cried and begged Karl to make them stop, but he just looked away. He made the two girls watch as the whip finally silenced her and the guards decided who would rape her first. All of them were hard core army veterans who had witnessed far worse things in the last ten years. The sight of helpless women being abused had made many of the men horny. The first one forced his way in with out a lubricant and the pain roused her to the punishment that was to follow.

Karl turned and motioned to the two girls to follow him. They looked at each other and then down at their feet as they meekly followed him out the door and across the open space to another camp building. He showed them to his and Johan’s rooms. Their eyes widened as he showed them the lingerie and clothing they would wear. He explained their duties; keep the boots polished and the uniforms clean, do the laundry and clean the rooms as well as anything else that needed to be done. He didn’t tell them that the women who had previously lived there and worn that lingerie, were now dead. They and all of the other women were sent away after a few months, it was better that way; no complicating feelings of attachment for them. They were not sent to the pleasure barracks as prostitutes though, there were medical experiments being conducted that needed healthy people. They were healthy when they left because of the clean life style and good diet. Karl always waited after sending one away; he didn’t want another one. But, after a few months of having a male camp prisoner take care of his things and not having sex, he would weaken and chose one. Johan was never without a sex slave. The walls were thin and Karl could hear him whipping her occasionally. In his mind he saw what was happening, and the erection that it produced would accelerate his weakening and taking another slave. Johan’s slaves were probably happy to leave when he finally sent them away, even when they found out where they were going.

Johan examined his slave. He enjoyed this part of the game; they trembled as he walked around them, touching them gently in places that no man had even seen before. He could tell that the little Gypsy wanted to fight him, but the memory of the woman he had sacrificed in front of her was too fresh. He tilted her head back and looked into her eyes, dark brown with flecks of gold. Was it fear or anger that he saw in those shining eyes? She looked familiar somehow, but he was sure that he had never seen eyes like those before. He didn’t really care.

After a month of enjoying their new slaves, Johan received word of the approaching Allied forces. The gas chambers and ovens ran twentyfour hours a day now and plans were being made to move able bodied prisoners further into Germany. The last night in the camp he whipped her longer than usual; a good bye gesture. He was sending her with the rest of the prisoners in the morning. After using her to relieve his erection, he fell asleep. She moved quietly, he was snoring when she stood up and took his razor from the wash stand. It was sharp, she had sharpened it for him just that afternoon. He had jerked at the first touch but it was only an instant to slice through vocal cords and arteries. His blue eyes stared at her in a mixture of anger and fear as he struggled to scream. She smiled as he squeezed the hand that held the razor; not even trying to break free of his grip. Slowly his hand relaxed its’ grip on her arm as the gurgling noise subsided and his body relaxed in death. She was covered in his blood as she walked barefooted to the next room. The little Jew had left the door unlatched and waited with her eyes open as she curled up into a ball next to Karl. It required only a single stroke of the razor to finish the work. The girls shaved each others heads so that they looked like the other women in the camp. They had managed to hide old clothes to wear. Then they left the building, staying in the shadows until they reached the administrative compound kitchen. They joined the prisoners preparing meals for the guards to eat on the next day’s journey. Guards came before dawn and ordered them into the line of prisoners ready to move. They were ten miles down the road before the guards discovered the dead men. But that was not far enough to avoid the retribution that followed. The guards caught up with them and killed everyone in the section they were traveling with.

Chapter One

Kristin sat next to the young woman on the couch in her office and tried to get her to talk to her. With her eyes half closed she seemed to be falling asleep. She blinked very slowly and just stared straight ahead, seeming to see something beyond the wall opposite them. After a few minutes she gave up and called for her head nurse to take Sarah to her room. “Keep her on suicide watch. I need to talk to her mother before we decide on a course of treatment.”

Gretchen nodded and said, “Come with me Sarah,” as she gently placed her in a wheel chair and guided the traumatized young woman from the room.

Kristin went into her outer office and said, “Mrs. Bellamy would you come in please?”

Catherine Bellamy rose quickly and as she passed Kristin said, “It is Ms Bellamy; I’m not married Dr. Braxton. Please call me Catherine.” The tall blonde woman exuded an air of confidence. At five feet ten inches tall she was taller than Kristin by at least an inch and the high spiked heels that she wore added even more. She stood straight almost as if to scream to the world that she was proud of her height. Her clothing said she had money and good taste. Everything about her reinforced the first impression that Kristin had of her; this was a woman who was used to being in charge, not someone who sat back and watched what was happening around her.

Kristin admired the tailored, rose colored suit as she followed her into her office and closed the door. By the time they were seated Kristin had decided that the woman was not a delicate person that she needed to treat gently. In a very business like way she said, “My head nurse is helping Sarah get settled into an apartment. I will take you there, but I wanted to talk to you first about Sarah. She has obviously been seriously traumatized by her experience. The head injury occurred three days ago, at the same time as the rape according to the medical records. You already know that Catatonia will clear up quickly, probably in less than two weeks. Until then we won’t know for certain what damage was done by the head injury. I’d like to know more about her as a person; what can you tell me?”

Catherine allowed herself to relax into her chair and thought for a moment, “Sarah is very intelligent; finished high school in three years and is a pre med student at Stanford. She was just finishing her freshman year and will be 18 in a couple of months.” A dark cloud seemed to cross her face as she continued, “She went to a party a few days ago. The next day someone found her on campus; she was the way that you see her now. Campus police called the local police and they took her to a hospital. The doctor that examined her ordered a rape kit. The blood on her was her own; she was a virgin when they raped her. She evidently hemoraged pretty badly when they did it. There are a lot of bruises on her arms, legs, and breasts. There was no alcohol and no sign of drugs in her system, although I understand that some drugs do not stay in the system long.”

Kristin said, “I am sure the police investigated this as an assault; have they found anything yet?”

“The campus and the local police checked with her friends and found out where the party was, but no one saw her being attacked or even saw her leave.” Her hands were gripping the arm of her chair tightly, but her voice was controlled as she said, “I have hired a private investigator to look into what happened; so far the police have found nothing. I don’t have much confidence in the police, to them she is just another student who got drugged up and had a bad sex experience. I will find the person who did this to her, they can’t do this to her and get away with it; not my daughter.”

Kristin could understand the anger and was not surprised by it; she often met family members who felt the trauma of their loved ones deeply enough to want revenge; few acted on it. “What about Sarah’s father? I don’t see his name on the admittance form.”

Catherine said somewhat indifferently, “He is not important. She has never seen him and I have not seen him since she was born. He was a foolish girl’s mistake. Not one that I regret since it gave me Sarah.”

“Are there any men in her life who would represent a father figure to her? I may need their help.”

Dismissively she replied, “There are none. The only men that she has ever interracted with are the teachers at her schools.”

“Boy friends?” asked Kristin hopefully.

Catherine shook her head, “She never mentioned any. The only dating that she did in High School was with her group of friends. I think the boys were intimidated by her intelligence. And before you ask, no, I don’t believe that she is a homosexual.”

“Would she have told you about a boy friend or if she was a homosexual?”

Catherine nodded and didn’t hesitate to say, “I believe that she would. We have a good relationship.” She said wistfully, “The last disagreement that I can recall was when she was in the third grade; she wanted to wear a striped blouse with a plaid skirt and I put my foot down,” she laughed at the memory. “She can be stubborn when she has her mind made up about something. She never seemed to have the time to learn fashion. Science yes, but not fashion. She didn’t really have to though; I own a design studio and have always taken care of that for her.”

Kristin thought about it and said, “It may take awhile, but she will come out of it eventually.” She stood up signaling an end to the interview and they exchanged personal contact information before she took Catherine to Sarah’s apartment. It was a quiet room with a large window and nothing to indicate that it was part of a hospital. A professional decorator had furnished it the way that a woman would furnish her own bedroom and bathroom.

Catherine sat down on the edge of the bed and looked around the room before looking at her daughter. Sarah looked so small under the light blanket. A single tear managed to escape down her stoic face and irritated, she brushed it away as if she resented that small reminder of her emotional nature. Holding her daughter’s hand she talked softly to her, “This is a pretty nice place; nicely decorated. I think that you will like it here. Come back to me when you can Boots. I have to go, but I will be back tomorrow.” She kissed her daughter’s forehead before standing up.

As she passed, Kristin said, “Boots?”

Catherine smiled, “Just a nickname I gave her when she was seven. She fell in love with a pair of pink cowgirl boots and wanted to wear them with everything. Thank God for growing feet.”

Kristin smiled at the story and said quickly, “You are welcome to spend the night here anytime you wish to. I will have the adjacent room ready if you need it.

Catherine thanked her and left.

When she was gone Gretchen came in and they talked about how they would proceed with Sarah. As they were leaving Gretchen said, “The new nurse is pretty sharp. He will be a great help with patients, but once she wakes up I will keep all of the men out of here.”

“I liked his resume; although this is his first job as a civilian nurse. He doesn’t seem very ambitious though; he will probably work on his Physician’s Assistant License eventually. Although he didn’t seem to want to discuss it when I interviewed him.” Kristin smiled, “He is pretty easy to look at too; even for you.”

Gretchen laughed, “I can appreciate beauty where ever I find it.”

Kristin paused, “How is Emily? I haven’t seen her in awhile.”

Gretchen grinned, “She loves her job in the Pediatrics ward. Maybe a little too much; she is starting to hint about having children. I have been putting her off but we are both pretty stable now and there is no reason to put it off any longer. We are starting to look at some of the options available.”

Kristin said, “That is wonderful; you two will make great parents.”

Chapter Two

That night Gretchen met Emily at the door and after a long kiss they moved out onto the patio where she had already poured the wine.

“Okay what’s the occasion? Don’t get me wrong, I like where this is going, but it isn’t a holiday and tomorrow is still a work day for both of us,” said Emily with a smile.

“I think that it is time that we got serious about becoming parents.”

Emily’s face changed to one of a more serious nature, “I agree, but we have talked about this before. I want to have a baby. Are you ready to deal with the reality of me being pregnant?”

“You still don’t want to adopt?” said Gretchen more as a statement than a question. “So yes, I am ready for you to be pregnant.”

“And you still don’t want to be a mother, to experience child birth?”

Gretchen shook her head, “No, that is something that I have never wanted. I love children and I want to adopt a child, but pregnancy is not one of the things on my bucket list.” She took a drink of her wine and said, “I want you to be happy. I love you and I will love our child; I just wish that I could be the one to get you pregnant.”

Emily smiled and said in a blunt, matter of fact way, “Then we need a donor. Sperm banks are my last choice. There are a couple of men that I work with who might be willing to help us. I will ask as discreetly as possible.” Then she began to imagine herself walking up to the handsome doctor that she worked with and saying, ‘Would you mind filling this vial with sperm for me? Better yet, would you have sex with me?’ I really would like to get pregnant the old fashioned way, she sighed, but that would hurt Gretchen. I can’t think of any way to make it happen; even if Gretchen liked him. Still there might be a way.

Gretchen said, “That means that the father will know about our child. I would rather not have him involved in our lives.” What she really meant was that she was jealous of men who came near Emily; the reason didn’t matter. Gretchen thought about it and began to giggle, “Maybe we should just kidnap one of the muscle bound, beach boys from Venice Beach and bring him home.”

Emily made a face as if she took the remark seriously and said, “He would probably be pretty enough, but I am not sure about the brains part. It isn’t like we are in a rush to do this. I enjoy our carefree lifestyle; that will all change with a baby. And by the way, we split the midnight wakeup calls 50/50 right?”

“I will be a wonderful father.” Gretchen drained her wine glass and said, “Come on, let’s go take a shower before dinner.”

Emily grinned, “Yeah, shower, I know what you want.”

Gretchen grinned back, “You just have a dirty mind. I am sweet and innocent.”

They headed for their bedroom where they helped each other undress. Gretchen’s hands roamed over Emily’s body as she removed her hospital scrubs and let them fall to the floor. She unfastened the pink lace bra and tossed it aside as she began to kiss the young, pointed breasts.

Emily began to squirm as her body reacted to the attention that her breasts were getting. Gretchen finally stopped and began to pull Emily’s panty hose down exposing the thin, bikini underwear that matched the delicate pink bra. Gretchen helped her step out of the stockings and followed them quickly with the delicate underwear. She held her hips tightly and buried her face in the young girl’s crotch.

Emily gasped and curled herself forward as she hugged Gretchen’s head, spreading her legs to make it easier for that evil tongue to reach her. ‘Oh Gretch, you do that so well.”

Gretchen finally stood up and Emily raced for the drawer that held all of their play things. She took out Gretchen’s harness with the double ended dildo and rushed to put it on her. Gretchen smiled as she watched Emily hurrying to lube her end of the dildo. Sighing softly, she let Emily push it into her without her help. Emily stood in front of Gretchen smiling as she pulled the straps tight. Pushing the dildo down so that she straddled it she held Gretchen tight against her body as she kissed her, letting her tongue explore Gretchen’s mouth. Emily stepped back, letting the dildo spring up, and then she caressed Gretchen’s breasts with her finger tips. Kneeling in front of her she gently stroked them and sucked until Gretchen was purring and stroking Emily’s hair. Emily worked her way down to Gretchen’s crotch and took the dildo into her mouth, letting Gretchen move it in and out.

“You are so bad,” said Gretchen softly, as her eyes took in the sight of the beautiful young woman on her knees with her penis in her mouth. Her hips moved gently as her mind filled with the fantasy she enjoyed.

Emily grinned as she stood up and wrapped her hand around the dildo, moving it in and out for the small amount the straps allowed.

Finally Gretchen could not stand it anymore, she guided Emily onto the bed and knelt between her legs. Using her tongue on the girl’s clitoris one more time, she followed it with a savage thrust of the dildo into Emily’s wet pussy. They rocked together gently, stroking each other’s breasts slowly until Emily pulled her on top of her and cried, “Now Gretch, really fast and hard.” The climax came quickly and they both sank into a fatigued slumber.

The next day Emily waited for a chance to talk to the doctor that she worked with. She had worked with him for the last two years and considered him one of the best doctors in the hospital. The thought of seducing him and getting pregnant the old fashioned way entered her mind, but she just as quickly rejected it. Still, if he wants to do it that way, I could tell Gretchen that it was artificial insemination. He would keep the secret. She unconsciously shook her head no, doing that would destroy our working relationship and friendship. Besides I like his wife and could not do that to her. He was 30ish, handsome, average height and seemed healthy enough. “Dr. Shaw, could I talk to you privately for a few minutes?”

He looked up from his computer and smiled. He enjoyed working with Emily; she was beautiful and competent. They knew each other well enough for him to know that she was married to another woman. He also knew Gretchen and liked her too. “Sure close the door. Have a seat. What’s up?”

Emily had thought about what she wanted to say and now her brain didn’t seem to work. “My wife and I want to have a baby, and we were wondering…,” she blushed.

He saw her blushing and said gently, “I think that I understand, but you should probably say it anyway.”

Encouraged, Emily took a deep breath and blurted out, “Would you be a sperm donor for us?”

He tried to be as neutral as possible in his expression and words, “I am flattered that you would ask me, but the answer is no.” He continued, trying to help her understand why, “Because of my career field I get asked for this frequently. I don’t want to be just a sperm donor of any child that I help to create. I believe that every child should have a father and a mother even if they do not live together. I see nothing wrong with you and Gretchen raising a child, but I hope that you will let the child know who his or her father is too. I don’t think that I could fill that role in every child’s life; not with all of the requests that I have received. I have talked to my wife about it and while she doesn’t have strong feelings against it, I know that she would prefer that I didn’t. You obviously know about sperm banks where you could get an anonymous donor;” his expression was a questioning one, “not an option for you?”

Emily said, “I might go that direction, but I would prefer to know the person whose baby I am carrying. It is more than a question of genetics; I want to know that they are a good person.”

“I understand. It must be difficult for you and Gretchen, how does she feel about it?”

“She would prefer the anonymous donor. But I will look into it a little more.”

“I wish you luck. One other thing that you have going against you, if you do not want him to be part of his child’s life, is how the courts would treat the father’s rights to the child. A donor may think that he is just donating the sperm, but if anything happened to you he could be financially liable also.” He shrugged, “And he may have second thoughts of his own and want to know his child.”

Emily said, “Thank you,” a thanks that she didn’t really feel. She was disappointed, but said, “Well, we both have things to do. I will get back to work now.”

“If you find someone, talk to a lawyer before you do anything. Good luck.”

David lowered the weight on the exercise machine that he had been using and checked his watch. It was time to take a shower and get dressed for work. He spent 45 minutes each morning going through an exercise routine that he varied occasionally just for the variety it afforded. The hospital exercise room was almost always empty at this time of day and it afforded him an opportunity for an almost meditative experience. The focus that he put into his exercise routine enabled him to free his mind of the memories that had deprived him of peace. He left Afghanistan almost a year ago and it was only recently that he was finally able to get a good night’s sleep.

Gretchen watched David as he prepared for the tasks that would care for their patients; the more she saw and worked with him the better she liked him. They started having lunch together and slowly got to know each other. She knew that he had been in combat, but he never talked about it. She learned a lot about his life growing up on a farm in Minnesota, but nothing about what he had done in the army after his medical training. She had grown up in a small town in Minnesota, so they had that in common. She liked the way that he related to patients and could see that the patients liked him too. After a couple of weeks she felt comfortable with him, enough to tell him that she was gay.

David thought, you had to be, most women are much more obvious about wanting to be ‘friends’. “I saw your wedding ring, who is the lucky person?”

“Emily and I were married a year ago, but we have been together for three years.”

“What does she do?”

“She is a pediatrics nurse at City Central. How about you? Wife, girl friend…?”

“David shrugged, “Neither at the moment. Well I had better get to work.” He began his mornings and afternoons with a visit to Sarah’s room. She had only been there a couple of days, but he already felt a connection to her. The attraction to her was confusing, but he was certain that it was just a sympathetic reaction to her condition. She was barely out of high school and from her chart she was only seventeen. As he checked the equipment in the room, he began talking to her, about the weather and anything else that he could think of leaving out any distressing affairs going on in the world. When he was done he would lift her gently out of the bed and let her sit in a chair by the window.

Chapter Three

The three girls huddled together in the basement of the Biology building. All of them were dressed in lab coats and old clothes. None of them would have gotten a second glance from the average American male. The large glasses covered faces that were scrubbed clean of make up. The overall appearance of each of them said ‘don’t look at me and leave me alone’, but it was unfair because their appearance was more the result of an obsessive interest in their career fields. Regardless of why they looked the way they did, being alone was not a problem in the labs located on the lowest floor of the building.

Lisa said, “There is no doubt in my mind that they did it. I searched every piece of social media using the school’s computer software and at the time Sarah disappears, these three disappear also. I don’t know where they did it, but they did it.”

Catherine Bellamy closed her phone. She had been talking to the private detective agency that she had hired to look into her daughter’s assault. Two possibilities, but no proof to take to the police. She looked at the two names that she had written down: Bruce Bunnell and George Baum.

Later that day she went to visit her daughter and saw a young woman at the gate waiting to enter the hospital grounds. She noticed the university stickers on the red, Volkswagen Beetle and heard the girl pleading with the gate guard to let her in. Curiosity made her ask the guard about the girl when he came over to her car to sign her in.

The guard said calmly, “Hello Ms Bellamy. She claims to be a friend of your daughter, but she isn’t on the visitor list so I have to check with Dr. Braxton before I can let her into the hospital.”

Catherine got out of her car and walked over to the sandy haired young woman. Her first thoughts were, poorly dressed, just like an academic. This is what Sarah would look like if not for me. She definitely needs a mother. Those glasses are beyond belief.

Tina looked at the well dressed woman approaching her and smiled, “Mrs. Bellamy, I am Tina Lowell, a friend of Sarah’s, but they won’t let me in to see her.”

“It is Ms not Mrs and you can call me Catherine. How did you know my name?”

“I have seen your picture in Sarah’s apartment. She told me all about you.” She suddenly felt self-conscious about the way she looked. Sarah had described her fashion obsessed mother in detail.

Catherine nodded, “And she has told me about you and the other two ‘lab rats’, her words not mine, that she hangs out with,” she said it with a smile. “It was nice of three seniors to help a freshman.” She turned to the guard, “I will put her on my daughter’s visitor list.”

The guard smiled and said, “Then I hope you have a nice visit with your daughter.” The gate swung open and they drove through.

When they got to Sarah’s room they watched as a tall, muscular, handsome man lifted Sarah gently out of bed and placed her in a wheel chair. Sarah gave no indication of knowing that anyone was there. He pushed her into the hall and said, “There is a lounge at the end of this hall where you can sit and talk to her. I will take care of the room while you are gone.”

Catherine frowned, but said nothing as Tina pushed Sarah down the hall.

Gretchen appeared and said, “Hello Ms Bellamy.”

Catherine said coldly in a very controlled voice, “Why was there a man taking care of my daughter? A tall, blonde man, he is in her room right now.”

Gretchen tensed, “That ‘man’ is Nurse David Joos, a highly qualified nurse. He has worked with people far more traumatized than your daughter. More importantly he is strong enough to lift her by himself. I understand your concern and if Sarah becomes more responsive, I will make certain that she is tended by women until Dr. Braxton says otherwise.” She added more gently, “It would take two women to lift her or a hoist and they would not be as gentle as he is with her.”

Catherine realized that she was right. Softly she said, “I see, thank you.” She turned and followed Tina.

After a few minutes of talking to Sarah and getting no response she talked to Tina instead. She began to take an interest in the plain, young woman who wanted to do medical research.

After a few minutes Tina said, “Another friend of Sarah’s thinks that she knows who did this to her.”

Catherine’s eyes opened wide, “Have you told the police?”

Tina nodded, “They don’t believe us. Lisa got the information by analyzing all of the video and photos that she could find from the party. It isn’t proof that they did it, but we are certain that it was them.”

“Do you have their names?”

Tina picked up a magazine that was nearby and wrote the three names on it. She tore off that half of the page and gave it to Catherine. She seemed to shrink a little as she said, “Lisa is afraid that she will get into trouble if we tell anyone else; she didn’t have permission to use the school’s computer for that.” She had a guilty look on her face, “It’s an expensive computer.”

Catherine looked at the three names; two were identical to the ones that her detective agency had come up with. “Thank you; it is probably best if we don’t mention this conversation to anyone else. I have a private detective looking into it for me.”

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