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Deadly Persuasion - Chapter 4

Ayden


I struggled against my restraints, each attempt ending in failure and frustration. What did this intruder want? Money? If that's all, he could take it and leave us in peace. Silently, I prayed for him to find whatever he sought and vanish from our lives. Perched in my chair, I could only glimpse the dimly lit hallway beyond our bedroom doorframe. The sound of him rifling through our belongings echoed through the room, his shadow a barely discernible presence in the darkness. Then, the realization hit me—I wasn't alone. Trinity was with me, her trembling form a testament to her fear. Our eyes met, hers pleading for reassurance, for comfort. I tried to convey solace through my expression, but words failed me. Helplessness washed over me like a suffocating wave, leaving me feeling utterly powerless.

As he ransacked our home, the gentle buzz of my phone on the dresser shattered the eerie silence. I held my breath, silently praying that he wouldn't notice. The last thing I wanted was for him to draw near my phone, to invade yet another piece of my privacy. Glancing toward Trinity once more, I found her gaze averted, her expression no longer one of sorrow but of disdain. It cut deep—her disgust seemed directed at me, as though I were somehow to blame for our predicament.

The sound of approaching footsteps sent a shiver down my spine, each thud echoing ominously as he drew nearer to our bedroom where he'd left us. I forced myself to still, suppressing the urge to fidget with the knots around my wrists so I wouldn’t arouse his suspicion. The ropes chafed against my skin, their tightness a painful reminder of my failed attempts at breaking loose. Then, he entered the room, cradling my laptop with care in one hand, the pistol still gripped tightly in the other.

He approached me, his demand for my banking information ringing in my ears. I knew better than to provoke him further, so I complied without resistance. 'It's just money,' I reassured myself, trying to quell the rising panic. Material possessions could be replaced, but life was irreplaceable. With over a few hundred thousand spread across multiple bank accounts, I chose to offer details for the account with the least to lose.

He stood at the dresser, attempting to input the information I had provided into the laptop he held tightly. Frustration creased his brow as his efforts proved futile. In a sudden burst of anger, he dashed toward me, where I cowered and struck me across the mouth with the back of his hand, the cold metal of the gun adding to the force of the blow. Pain exploded through my jaw like a searing bolt of lightning, sending shockwaves of agony coursing through my entire being. Dazed and disoriented, I tasted the metallic tang of blood as it welled up from the deep gash inside my cheek, each heartbeat throbbing in synchrony with the relentless ache that now pulsed through my shattered jaw.

“You want me to kill your ass, huh?” He snarled.

“What the hell did I do? I’m not doing anything wrong,” I retorted, my vision still swimming from the earlier blow, my voice trembling with fear and defiance.

He took the laptop and thrust it into my face, the error message glaring on the screen. At that moment, a realization struck me—I had changed the password a few weeks ago.

“I changed the password. I just... I forgot that's all. I am not trying to deceive you,” I pleaded, desperation lacing my words as I provided the correct details. Relief flooded through me as the input was accepted. But then, a sinking feeling gripped my heart as my phone chimed with the arrival of the one-time password from my bank.

He picked it up and noticed the notifications. “What’s the code for the phone?” he demanded suddenly, catching me off guard.

“You don’t need to access that. If you could choose the option to receive the code via email. You can access my email right there on my laptop,” I suggested hastily, trying to divert his attention.

“What… is… the… damn… code…?” he yelled, his voice echoing through the room. Trinity and I were startled at the sudden intensity.

“Just give him the damn code, Ayden, please!” Trinity pleaded. Her agitation is evident in her high-pitched scream."

I became even more helpless. “Please don’t make me give you that.”

“All right,” He shrugged. “I’ll just shoot your wife.” He said. He rushed over to her, placing his gun on her temple.

He turns her head roughly with his hand, forcing her to meet his gaze. Gripping her chin firmly, he lifts her head to face him. “I’d hate to put a hole in that beautiful face of yours, but your man here is daring me,” he taunts, a cruel grin spreading across his lips as he lets out an evil cackle.

“AYDEN!” she shrieked.

“Okay, okay, all right. I’ll give it to you. Just please, don’t touch her,” I begged, his voice nearly breaking with fear and desperation. He paused, turning to face me, his expression urging me to reveal the code without further delay.

“It’s 6610.” I blurted hesitantly.

“Who’s Jennifer?” he inquired as soon as he logged into the phone. He glanced at Trinity, questioning if she knew who that was. She shook her head in confirmation. As he continued to scroll through the phone, his eyes widened.

My heart sank as he scrolled further.

“Wow. You’ve been a naughty boy, haven’t you?” he joked, looking up at me.

“Can you read this out for me? What does this line mean?” He approached me, attempting to make me read it. But I refused.

 

“Hmm, so we're quiet now, huh? You and this lady sure had a lot to talk about in these texts. Since cat's got your tongue, I’ll do you a favor and read it all out loud for everyone to hear.”

Jennifer: Had you taken care of her correctly on the trip, we wouldn’t be dealing with this shit now. FIX IT!

“Now, what exactly does this mean?”  He said.

I wouldn’t dare admit that I was willing to take this secret to my grave before Trinity, but I wasn’t about to let him bully me into telling him anything.

“Okay, we quiet again? Cool. Once I drain your accounts, we’ll ask Jennifer to come over and have her explain these cryptic messages,” he said.

I grew increasingly irritable as he pried into my life, leaving me feeling defenseless.

As he transferred the money, my mind raced with every possible thought. Losing that much money was undoubtedly painful, but the prospect of the truth being exposed felt even worse. I couldn’t let Trinity know what I had done. I tried to think of ways to reason with him. I wished he would just take my money and leave me alone with my secret.

I started to wonder why someone would break into our home and meddle in my business, peeking through my texts and questioning who I’d been messaging.

Once he was finished, he pulled out a small, black cell phone, distinct from the usual smartphones. Returning to my phone, he read out a number. As he reached the last digit, I realized it was Jennifer's number. My eyes widened in alarm.

“What the hell are you doing?” I growled, my agitation mounting as I attempted to loosen my hands, only succeeding in worsening the cuts on my wrists.

He stepped back, dialing the number. Jennifer answered with a faint 'Hello' as she picked up the phone, unaware that it was on speaker.

Disguising his voice, he spoke, “Yeah, it’s Ayden. Something's happened. You must do exactly as I say and follow my instructions without question. Understand?” He paused for a moment before continuing.

“I need you to come over to my place immediately. Leave your phone behind, and don’t attempt to call this number back.”

“What happened? Where is she, and why do you sound like that?” Jennifer's voice came through the phone, filled with concern and confusion.

He cleared his throat, attempting to compose himself. “I've been drinking. I’ll explain everything once you're here. Come to the bedroom. I left the front door open.”

Then he abruptly ended the call.

“Why would you do that? Why the hell would you do that?” I roared, my voice echoing with fury. Glancing at Trinity, I saw her seething with anger. At that moment, I realized it wasn't directed at the burglar but at me. Anger surged within me, not just towards the intruder for invading our home and putting us in this perilous situation, but also at myself. I knew I had to act swiftly before the situation escalated further.

Suddenly consumed by a torrent of anger that had been simmering since the unfortunate incident began, I sprang from my seat, hands still bound, and charged toward him. I lunged, managing to seize the collar of his shirt, but the tie around my ankles caused me to stumble, sending me crashing into him. He shoved me aside, seizing me by the neck with his free hand and squeezing with brutal force.

“Just for that,” he snarled, “I'm gone give you something to remember me by.” With brutal force, he slammed me back into the chair.

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