I never name my chapters but if I did, this one would be called “Cane’s Homecoming.” As a bit of trivia, it is one of the only chapters featuring the shapeshifting vigilante that does not start with the sentence “The ____ that calls him/herself _____.” Writing a character that takes on many forms is a difficult task, so I usually started the chapters that way to let the reader know who it really was. This was a fun chapter to write, and for all you fans out there waiting on the rest of the series, this is not the last time that Elaine will be featured. The second book is complete and waiting on publication and the third book is nearly done (I should be editing it soon).
There are no spoilers below, so read freely!
Elaine woke to a sudden jolt as if her body had been bounced against something. Feeling it the second time confirmed it. She was in the back of a van. Her vision was still blurry, and she could feel that her arms and legs were fastened behind her back. She lay on the floor of the van. Her stomach and breasts pressed hard onto the cold metal.
What did he tie me with? Feeling around her binding, she could only imagine that something that thin and hard must be a zip tie. Good, I can remedy that, but she had to make sure that no-one was watching her. Straining her neck, she tried to peer upwards focusing her eyes. She could only see random objects and plain white walls. She struggled to turn her head the other direction, which caused a loud grunt to escape her lungs.
“Keep it down back there, sweetheart,” she heard in a deep southern drawl, “we’ll be there soon enough.” He laughed!
Son of a bitch, we will see who laughing soon.
Straining to look upwards, she finally caught sight of him, not enough of him to make an identification, but enough to see that he had the rearview mirror pointed down at her. Damn, she had to see what he looked like before he killed her, or knocked her out again, and she could not remove her bonds while he was looking. The last thing she wanted was to wake up in a shallow grave, or God forbid while being tossed on a fire, or worse.
Her muscles were beginning to tighten and she had to save her energy. So she relaxed her neck and listened to the road. Cane could tell the speed by the clump, clump of the road, and direction by natural instinct. She had to let him take over. This was his game anyway; she was just the bait.
Her opportunity came suddenly and without warning. The van turned sharply on what she thought was an exit ramp, so she let the momentum roll her to the left side of the van. She gave added an extra push and let out a grunt to make it seem more dramatic; causing the son of a bitch behind the wheel to let out another guttural snicker. That confirmed her original suspicion; he was a sadist. This was going to be a long day if she did not get her bindings off.
Her position was perfect now as she lay on her left side, behind the driver’s seat. Her legs were pressed against the wall of the van, which loosened the pull on her wrists. Since she had landed on her side, she was able to survey her surroundings. There was a shelf over her head, and what looked like plumbing gear along the opposite wall. Jim Dumler would not carry this kind of gear for a plumbing job, so this guy’s job had to be similar yet different.
She would have to worry about that latter. For now, she pressed herself against the wall of the van and managed to reach her hands to her waist. She dug into the belt line of her shorts and found the pocket that she had sewn in. There was another pocket with the same items sewn in the front as well.
A girl never knows what direction a guy is going to tie her up in.
Digging in the pocket, she found the small blade, and it only took a few seconds to carve through the plastic holding her wrists together. As she felt around behind her, she realized that there were three zip ties, one for her wrists, one for her ankles, and one to attach those two together. The one on her ankles was going to have to wait. She wanted privacy for what she needed to do as much as this prick wanted time alone with her. She needed some sort of distraction so that she didn’t end up knocked out again from another dose of chloroform, so she gently tugged on her tube-top to expose her left breast.
Before long, the van came to a rolling stop after what seemed like an eternity on a very bumpy road. She heard the driver’s door open and shut. The moment of truth. Let’s see what this prick has in store. The back door of the van swung open on rusty hinges.
This asshole was humming! “Are you ready sweetheart,” he said, and noticing her exposed bosom, he laughed and added, “I guess you are. Well, I have a surprise for you too.”
Elaine readied her own surprise as well. The small syringe that she had tucked into her hidden pocket was now in her right hand. Carefully, she flipped off the cap exposing the needle. She just needed him to get a little closer and this would all be over. At least now she had seen his face, so if the worst happened she could figure out who he was.
Surprisingly, he was not that bad looking for a complete psycho. Most of the men like him that Cane had encountered were disgusting both inside and out. This jerk was actually ruggedly handsome. A bit thick in the middle but he could work that off over time. He had black hair that desperately needed a trim. His long, fu-man-type goatee obscured a face that had good structure. He was wearing faded jeans and a black wife-beater that exposed his finely chiseled arms. He also had a barbwire tattoo circling his
left arm, which was going to be a problem, but nothing to get too alarmed about.
He reached out and grabbed her nipple. Pulling on it roughly, he smiled and ran his other hand up her inner thigh. “We’re gonna have some fun today, bitch.” He drawled in a very familiar accent.
Well at least it was familiar to Cane though Elaine could not quite place it.
She swung her arm around and planted the needle deep into his neck. His face went stark white and his smile dropped. He staggered back and slammed into the opposite wall of the van clutching his neck. Elaine pulled the gag from her mouth, as he carefully removed the syringe and stared at it wide-eye and pale.
“Oh yeah, asshole,” she spat as she wiped her mouth and added, “We are gonna have some fun.”
Leaving the limb body, she stepped out of the van onto a gravel driveway. She stretched her body upwards to relieve her aching back and legs. As she inhaled deeply, a rush of images passed through and lingered in her mind, and she knew instantly that they were not her memories or even Jim Dumler’s. The memories that failed to leave her belonged solely to Cane.
Stepping around the open door, she confirmed the lingering aroma that filled her nostrils with the scent of both longing and decay. She gazed out across the old decrepit dock leading out into the marsh and river beyond. The tide was low, though not quit fully receded, and thousands of oysters peeked up through the pluff mud and spewed their sent of mold and sweetness that only few could really call pleasant. To her the aroma was pungent but the view that expanded across the river toward the setting sun was something to behold.
Cane wanted to breathe it in and savor the moment. The vision brought with a sense of yearning and thoughts of simpler times.
He completely took hold of Elaine and left her tucked into a corner of their mind. He left the thoughts of the serial killer that he had finally captured behind him, and took in all that his senses would allow. For he knew instantaneously that he was home.