The Hunter And The Hunted

It was raining like it did every fucking night in the city.  The weather people say it’s because all the asphalt heats up in the sun and that hot air rises and meets cooler, wet air above the city.  That and all the smoke from the fires causes the moisture to condense and come down as rain.  The tall buildings make it worse by funneling the heat up and by slowing the flow of cold air around them.

It wasn’t a big problem until the city collapsed because there were few fires.  Once it did, there was no electricity for heating and cooking, so the residents started burning anything that would burn.  On the rare day when it doesn’t rain, you can see the columns of smoke from all the fires rising.  The smoke particles attract moisture like a hooker sucking a cock, and the result is rain later on.

I was being very careful because not being very careful meant I’d probably end up being very dead.  Daylight in the city was dangerous enough, but it was about two AM and the animals were on the prowl.  It was one of those animals I was hunting that night.  

That’s what I do.  I’m Rich Anderson, and I’m a hunter.

I learned my trade courtesy of Uncle Sam and a stint in Special Forces.  I get plenty of jobs because like kids have always been, there are some who think their parents are too strict and think the city with its lack of rules would be better.  Their parents want them back, and they hire me to find them and bring them back.  It’s sort of like the old Frank Buck movies, except my quarry is an errant son or daughter instead of a lion or leopard.  Sometimes I think lions and leopards would be safer and easier.

Chastity Meadows was her name.  Her father was an ultra-religious minister who had clamped down on her from the time she was born.  It was the religious revival movement of the 2050’s I suppose.  In 2053, Iran launched nuclear warheads at New York, Chicago, Miami, Denver, and Los Angeles.  They were destroyed by the US missile defense system over the Atlantic and Pacific, but it scared the shit out of people.

Preachers and priests and rabbi’s across the US blamed the way society had sunk into the depths of sin for the attack.  It was going to be like Sodom and Gomorrah if society didn’t get back on the correct track.  God would not allow any society to continue to exist that wasn’t of a pious nature.  A lot of people believed them and it seemed like half the goddamned country went from being normal people to being ardent church-goers and trying to live pious lives.

To most of those people, being pious meant treating other people like they would want to be treated and doing their best to be good citizens.  To the ultra-religious, piety meant no drugs, no alcohol, no music other than music proponing belief in God, plain non-revealing clothes, sex only to reproduce, and praying for anything, everything, and everyone.  Most of their kids didn’t know any better and fell in line like they were supposed to.

Most isn’t all, though, and a few, like Chastity, didn’t like wearing long dresses and listening to religious music all the time.  She wanted more freedom and there really aren’t any rules in the city.  One night about six months before, the nineteen year old slipped out of her house, managed to make it over or through  the fence of the gated community where Reverend Meadows lived, and headed into the city.  She left a note saying she needed to see what the rest of the world was like and that she’d be back if she didn’t like what that was.

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The open entrance to the storm sewer was just high enough I could stand up and it had water running a couple inches deep in the bottom, but at least I was out of the rain.  That storm sewer was my entry point into the city.  It had originally had rebar forming a barrier at the new city limits, but I’d cut that open two years before so I’d fit through.  The sewer was apparently never inspected by anybody on either side of the city limit because my hole stayed open, so I had a hidden, if dark, wet, and nasty, way into the hell of the old city.   

At the other end was a concrete raceway that led storm water from that sewer in the old city to the river that ran west through the suburbs.  The trees along the edge of part of the raceway were where I’d parked my truck.  Nobody ever came down to that part of the raceway either, so my truck would be there when I got back.

I lifted the night vision goggles from my eyes and perched them on top of my camouflage rain hat, then took the picture from the inside pocket of the camo jacket under my camo rainsuit and clicked on my little flashlight.

Chastity was the picture of a girl just budding into what would one day become a beautiful and sensuous woman.  She was blonde with innocent eyes and a smile that looked impish.  The long dress didn’t show me much of her figure because it didn’t fit tight, but even so, it was obvious she had pretty big tits for so young a girl, and her ass was already the wider ass of a woman.  

The description I got from Reverend Meadows and his wife said Chastity was five seven and weighted about one ten.  The height jived with the picture.  The weight, maybe.  It was hard to tell because the dress didn’t fit anywhere.

I put the picture back in my pocket, checked the mags and chambers of the two nine mil’s on my belt, and then picked up the MK-18 assault rifle I’d leaned against the sewer wall and checked its mag and chamber.  I also checked the mag and chamber of M-26 shotgun system attached to the rifle.  The mag for the MK-18 only held fifty rounds and the one for the M-26 six, but I had six more mags for the MK-18 and four for the M-26 in my vest.

The rifle and shotgun system are illegal for a civilian to own, but when a US Congressman asked me to bring his son out of the city, I told him I’d probably need some significant firepower if I was to have any chance at all.  I said my two nine mils probably wouldn’t be enough since there were M16’s and AK’s all over the place there.  Two days later, there was a knock on my front door.  

When I opened it, there was nobody there, but the box lying on the step contained the MK and M-26, fifteen mags for the MK, and a thousand rounds of ammo for it, half of which were armor piercing with a tungsten carbide core.  The box also contained two hundred 12 gauge buckshot rounds for the M26 and ten mags.  

After pulling the night vision goggles back down, I picked up the MK-18 and started toward a run-down house ten blocks from the storm sewer.  There didn’t seem to be anybody walking around, but I still kept in the shadows of the buildings.

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The city hadn’t just collapsed over night.  It took a lot of years to turn a once-thriving center of finance and industry into the fucked up shit hole it is today.  There are a lot of theories as to why that happened, but they’re all just the bullshit ramblings of educated idiots who make a living by publishing that bullshit without having to do anything about it.

The real reason was politics.  The liberal politicians proclaimed it was society’s duty to take care of the poor of the inner city, and promised them pretty much a free ride through life.  That was to get them the votes they needed to stay in power in the city.

The conservative politicians also needed votes so they were agreeable to all of those promises except they wanted the people to work or get an education and eventually get off the dole.  That let them keep control of the suburbs.

Both sides were worse than the philosophizing fools who write about the causes.  They stood on their platforms every election year and spouted off their policies, but once elected did nothing except increase their fortunes and buy posh houses in exclusive communities outside their districts.  The result was a population of city residents who didn’t work, didn’t have many of the things the suburban  residents had, and turned to crime to get what they wanted.  

Crime rose, then rose again.  While the politicians were promising to end crime – the liberals by paying the people to be good citizens and the conservatives by putting the offenders in jail – the city began to change.

Industry left first and along with the jobs, took the tax money they’d been paying into the city coffers.  Finance left next, transferring their corporate headquarters to new buildings in the suburbs and taking their tax money with them too.  When industry and finance left, so did their employees.  

Those employees moved further away from the city and just to be safe, changed the suburban areas into gated communities with fences and armed guards.  As those areas grew, they became a new city with fences and guards that effectively kept it isolated from the old.  In only about fifty years, the old city became an entity walled off from the rest of the state.

As the tax money ran out, the old city was forced to reduce the size of the police force.  It didn’t take long before the city residents figured out their chances of being caught robbing a store or selling drugs ranged from slim to none.  They also figured out that killing the victim reduced those chances even more. As crime increased again, those stores closed up and moved outside to the gated communities.  The drug trade flourished as well, fueled by dealers who supplied the drugs and by people frantic to escape what life had become.

Within seventy five years, the city was basically run by the gangs of drug dealers.  The politicians had fretted and fussed and made more promises.  The gangs took a more practical approach.  They knew they could have complete control if they played their cards right and those cards were the election system.  In one election, the mayor and most other elected officials of the city were removed from office and replaced by candidates controlled by the drug dealers.  There were rumors of a fixed election, but nobody would come forward and testify, so the election results stood.  The few remaining relatively honest politicians resigned and retreated to their nice homes outside the city.

After that, the city became more of a third-world country than a city.  The fences around the city had been intended to keep people in the city and out of the suburbs.  They also served to keep anybody who wanted to change the new order out of the city.  The new mayor formed his own police department and stationed them around the periphery of the city to keep out people the new government didn’t want interfering in their affairs.  The state responded by cutting off the electric power and natural gas that fed the city.  

When that didn’t change anything, the state essentially gave up and turned the city over to the residents.  I suppose the state politicians thought the residents would eventually repent and beg for support from the state.  Maybe they thought the residents would quickly kill each other off and the state could regain control.  I don’t know which it was, but the city turned into a hell of gangs, drugs, whores, and the murders that usually go hand and hand with those ills of society.

In spite of all the crime, the city actually had something resembling an economy and that economy was environmentally friendly, well, except for the whores and drug dealers.  It was based on salvage of anything in the city that could be removed and put on one of the cargo planes from South America that landed at the old airport on a weekly basis.  You’d think the Federal Government would have stopped them, but doing so would have meant shooting them down.  That would have probably killed some innocent people, and letting those planes fly into the city didn’t hurt anybody, so they didn’t try.

The plane would unload a supply of food, booze, clothes, guns, ammo, and of course, an assortment of drugs.  These were taken to the city exchange run by the drug dealers.  You took your copper wire or toilets or marble or auto parts or whatever to the exchange and were given something the drug dealers deemed of equal value.  Food was the highest sought, with weapons second and clothing third.  If you already had what you needed, you asked for drugs.  They were the currency of the old city.  Those salvaged items were then taken to the plane.  It dropped them off at recycling centers in South America on its return trip.

Just my take on what really happened.  I should know.  I grew up in that hell before realizing I’d probably not live to see thirty.  My dad had been killed by a rival gang when I was fifteen, and my mother had OD’d two years later.  The night of my eighteenth birthday, I took my birth certificate out from under one of the boards in my closet and cut my way through one of the fences.  The next morning, I enlisted in the US Army so I’d have a place to live and food to eat.   I suppose listing the city as my place of birth when I enlisted in the Army was how the Congressman found out about my past.  

My Army training told him I had the skills required.  All he needed was to convince me to go back once I got out of the Army.  He had money and I didn’t, so that was pretty convincing. After I brought his son back to him, I started getting more requests.

Anyway, I was heading to that house because of what I’d learned on a trip into the city a couple days before.  I have a few semi-trusted informants in the city, and I wanted to talk to a couple of them.  I say they’re semi-trusted because they’d sell me out to anybody if they had half a chance and the price was right, like maybe a quick hand job or a warm bottle of beer.  They’re willing to cooperate with me only because they know I’d cut their balls off if I thought they were even thinking about that.  The two bottles of bourbon I brought along were just my way of asking politely.

One didn’t know anything about a blonde or about anybody named Chastity.  The other looked at the picture for a couple minutes before saying, “Yeah.  I seen her last week.  She’s shacked up with Lady Madison in her whorehouse over on Elm.  Didn’t talk to her ‘cause Lady Madison don’t like men talking with her bitches, but I heard her call the blonde Chastity.  Nice tits on that girl.  I like more ass on a woman, but she had really nice tits.”

I knew about Lady Madison because I’d grown up about ten blocks from her whorehouse.  She was the lesbian madam of the business known as “Madison Spa and Massage”.  She’d managed to not only stay alive in the city but also to start a business that kept her fixed pretty well.  She’d managed that by being more ruthless than anyone who tried to take her down.  

Lady Madison’s real name is Sharon Morgan, and she started whoring at the age of eighteen.  Sharon liked girls, but she didn’t like men at all.  She only did it to survive, and if the story I heard is correct, never fucked even one man.  She only sucked cocks.  

She had higher aspirations than just giving guys blow jobs, and started hiding part of her take from her pimp.  I take it he was pretty pissed when he found out so he tried to beat the hell out of her.  He made a big mistake in trying that, because Sharon was ready for him.  He was starting toward her with his fist raised when she pulled a small pistol from her bra and shot him in the belly.  He was still alive, or so I’m told, when she took a knife and cut off his ears and nose.  

After she had four of the girls drag his body out to the street, Sharon took control of the whore house and started calling herself “Lady Madison”.  Word spread fast that you didn’t fuck around with Lady Madison, and she earned the respect of the drug dealers in the area.  They left her alone and paid to use her girls.  She didn’t suck cocks any more, but she had a few girlfriends who would suck her clit for her.

With any luck, Chastity was one of those girlfriends, and that made me feel a little better.  I wasn’t sure what Reverend Meadows would do if I brought him back a daughter who’d been fucked by a couple hundred guys.  If she was one of Lady Madison’s girlfriends, she’d have been spared that.  Lady Madison doesn’t like to share.

Madison Spa and Massage had light in most of the windows when I stepped between the two piles of garbage in the alley behind it.  The light was from candles placed in each room, so it was pretty dim, but the night vision goggles let me see what there was to see.  I had time to look because it was only a little after two.  The johns would still be coming for a while yet.  After that, things would settle down and I could start looking for Chastity.  I had a fair idea of where she would be.  There was a room on the first floor in back with the curtains open, and the inside was definitely not a whore’s room like the rest.  The rest, at least the ones I could see inside were pretty sparse.  

All I could see in them was a bed and a chair, and the few sessions I watched showed me why both were there.  The bed…well, it’s obvious why it was there.  The chair served to hold the john’s clothes while he did his thing.  The girl usually wasn’t wearing much more than panties and a bra.  She just pulled the bra down under her tits and the panties off one leg, so she didn’t need a place to put them.

That other room wasn’t really a typical woman’s bedroom, but it was a far cry from the whore’s rooms.  The bed was there, of course, but so were a couple of fancy chairs and an ornate wardrobe.  The wardrobe was on the wall I could see, and there were a couple large pictures of nude women hanging beside it.  

I didn’t see anybody go in there either.  That probably meant the room was Lady Madison’s bedroom.  As soon as the last john left, she’d probably go there for the night.  She’d probably take a girlfriend or two with her.  With any luck, one of them would be Chastity.  If not, I’d have to look through the house until I found her or go home and come back another night.  I knew Lady Madison employed several armed guards, so rummaging through her house wasn’t very appealing.

Nobody bothered me while I waited except for a couple rats almost as big as housecats, but I hadn’t expected anybody to come down the alley.  Before, when there were cops on patrol, most bad guys used the alleys so they wouldn’t be seen.  Now, with no cops, they used the streets.  Alleys were just a place to pile up garbage and other stuff and let it rot.  The “other stuff” was the result of the electricity being shut off; the water plant stopped supplying water so the toilets wouldn’t work.  That made a stinking mess and that was another reason nobody used the alleys.

Along about three, I started seeing the light in most of the rooms go out, and by three-thirty, only that one bedroom was still lit.  As I watched, a woman with short hair and dressed in a satin gown walked by the window.  She stopped beside the bed, and stood there until two other women walked up beside her, a red-head and a blonde.  The red-head untied the robe and the blonde slipped it off Lady Madison’s shoulders and then walked away from the window.

Chastity might have dyed her hair but the red-head looked too tall for Chastity.  When she took off her top, I was sure she wasn’t Chastity.  Her tits were barely there, and the only reason they showed much at all was her bra.  Once she took that off, well, I’d seen men in the army with bigger tits.  Her ass was too wide as well unless Chastity had put on quite a bit of weight.

The blonde walked back in front of the window then.  She was naked and when she turned to look out the window, I knew I had Chastity.  Her eyes didn’t look quite so innocent, but her nose and mouth were the same, and judging by how far up the window frame her head came, she was the right height unless she was wearing really high heels.  She also had really big, really soft looking tits.

Lady Madison sat down on the bed, then rolled over on her back and spread her legs.  The redhead crawled on the bed and started playing with Lady Madison’s tits.  The blonde climbed up between Lady Madison’s legs and knelt down.  She was barefoot and I hadn’t seen her stop to take off her shoes.  It had to be Chastity.

I sat there and watched as the redhead sucked Lacy Madison’s nipples and squeezed her tits, and had to rearrange my cock a little when Chastity stretched out between Lady Madison’s legs and started fingering her pussy.  Lady Madison just laid there for a while, but once Chastity started licking her pussy, she started wiggling around a little.  A while later, I could imagine the sounds she was making when she jerked her pussy up into Chastity’s face.  

By my watch, it took them twenty minutes or so to get her off and I got ready to go as soon as they blew out the candles in the bedroom.  I had to wait another half hour though.  I thought Chastity got up to blow out the candles.  Instead she switched positions with the redhead and they started in on Lady Madison again.

Finally, Lady Madison arched up into the redhead’s face and grabbed the sheets.  She must have stayed up in the air like that for a full minute before flopping back down on he bed.  Chastity curled up on Lady Madison’s right side and the redhead got up and walked away.  A second later, the bedroom went dark.  I figured the redhead had blown out the candles and then climbed in bed on Lady Madison’s left side.

I gave them another hour to fall asleep.  I couldn’t afford any more than that.  It was almost five, and was starting to get light enough it would be easy to see me running toward my sewer with Chastity in tow.

In the movies you’ll see the bad guy with a glass cutter quietly making a hole in the window, then reaching through that hole to unlock the window.  He’ll raise it slowly and cringe at the squeak it makes, but the victims never seem to wake up.  He’ll climb in through the open window and do what he came to do.

In real life it doesn’t work that way.  People will almost always wake up to an abnormal noise in the night, and it takes time to climb through a window, time they use to either run or find a weapon.  The best way is a rapid entry, preferably with some noise for shock value.  The victim will wake up, but by the time they come to their senses, you’re in the room and taking control.  

That was my plan.  I figured Lady Madison had at least one guard, but they’d have been in the front.  I could be almost done by the time they got to her bedroom.  If they were faster, well…I’d take care of that when and if it happened.

The buckshot from the M-26 smashed the window into shards of glass that covered the floor inside when I grabbed the windowsill, heaved myself up and then rolled through the opening.  The three women were just starting to sit up when I got to my feet, and it was dark enough they really couldn’t see me.  The night vision goggles let me see them, though.

Lady Madison was my first concern.  She’d earned her reputation by more than  just by shooting her pimp and cutting off his ears and nose.  Over the years, more than one pimp had tried to take over her whorehouse.  Usually they were stopped by Lady Madison’s small army of guards.  A couple were smart enough to get to her.  They just weren’t smart enough to know how ruthless she was.  One was found in the park a block away hanging by a rope tied around his dick and balls.  He’d been shot too, but the way his dick and balls were swelled up, she’d let him hang there for a while before pulling the trigger.  On his naked chest was pinned a gold paper crown with the initials “LM” on it.

Another hadn’t been quite so lucky.  Lady Madison didn’t kill him.  She just cut off half his cock and let him go.  He almost bled to death before he made it to a former Army medic who serves as the doctor in that section of the city.  The medic sewed up the stump of his cock and he lived, but sort of lost his status among the other pimps.  They called him “Shorty”.  

She was sitting up and reaching for the drawer of a night stand when I knocked her back down, flipped her over, put my knee in her back and used two of the zip ties in my vest to tie her hands behind her.  The strip of duct tape I pulled from the sleeve of my shirt went over her mouth to keep her quiet, and another pair of zip ties kept her from going anywhere.

The redhead was scared shitless because she couldn’t see what was going on.  She didn’t resist when I tied her hands and feet with more zip ties, and then taped her mouth.  

The blonde was feeling her way to the door when I grabbed her by the shoulders and said, “Chastity”.

She turned and there was fear in her eyes.

“Are you going to kill me?”

“No, I’m taking you home.  Get some clothes on and let’s get the hell out of here.”

“I don’t want to go home.

“Well, your daddy paid me to come get you, and you’re going.  You can either walk, or I can tie you up and drag you out naked, but you’re going one way or the other.  Which is it gonna be?”

I was reaching for two more zip ties when Chastity said, “I’ll go with you, but I’ll just run away again.”

She pulled on a shirt and a pair of jeans that were laying on the floor beside the bed and then started for the door again.  I grabbed her hand and stopped her.

“Not that way.  Out the window.”

I had to push her out the window but thankfully she landed on her ass instead of her head.  A second later I was on the ground and pulling her to her feet.

“You stay close and don’t try to get away.  Any minute now, Lady Madison’s guards will have found out what’s happened and they’ll be looking for us.  You know her reputation.  Whadda you think she’d do to you if she caught us?”

“Probably make me go with men like she does the other girls.”

“Right, and believe me, you don’t want that to happen.  Now get your ass moving.”

It must have taken the guards longer than I expected to get into Lady Madison’s bedroom.  We were three blocks away from the whorehouse before I heard the shouts of people trying to find us.  It wasn’t daylight yet, but it was getting there and it wouldn’t be long before it would be easy to see Chastity’s white blouse.

“We’re gonna have to run.”

“I can’t see anything.  I’ll fall down.”

“Grab the shoulder of my vest and hang on tight.  I’ll keep you away from anything that would trip you.”

When we made it to the entrance of the storm sewer, it was light enough I wouldn’t need the night vision goggles until we got deeper inside, and I needed clear sight in case anybody had found us.  I pulled them up to sit on my hat, then pushed Chastity into the opening.  Just as I was going in, I heard a burst of fire from an AK and the concrete to my right exploded into dust and rocks.  Chastity screamed and ran back to my side.  

I pushed Chastity behind me as I backed down the pipe and jacked a round into the M-26.  As soon as a guy ran into the open, I pulled the trigger.  He went down like a sack of flour, but three more ran around the corner of the building he’d been behind.  I thumbed the safety on the MK-18 to “burst” and let go six, three round bursts.  Two of the guys went down.  The third ran back behind the building.

I turned to Chastity.

“I bought us maybe a couple of minutes.  Start walking down the pipe by staying in the water at the bottom and don’t stop.  I know you can’t see, but if you stay in the middle, you won’t run into anything.  When you get to the grate, feel your way through the hole and start walking again.  I’ll be right behind you.”

She started walking.  I pulled my night vision goggles back down and started slowly backing down the pipe.  When I got to the grate, Chastity was on the other side.  I went through and ran to catch up to her.  A hundred feet from the grate, I stopped her.

“Sit down at the side and stay quiet.  They usually won’t come this far, but they might.  I don’t want you running off.  If you do, I’ll tackle your ass and tie you up.  Understood?”

Chastity nodded.

“OK, now we wait to see if any of those assholes are brave enough to come this far.”

For about five minutes, I heard voices in the sewer pipe and they kept getting louder.  Then, they started losing volume as whoever was following us turned around and walked back out of the sewer.  They’d given up like they usually did.  I didn’t know what they’d tell Lady Madison, but I figured if they didn’t have a good story, there’d be more than one guy in the city with the nickname of “Shorty”.

Chastity was sitting where I’d told her to stay and she was shaking.  I put my hand on her shoulder.

“They gave up.  All we have to do now is take a short walk and you’ll be safe.  Let’s go.”

My short walk was actually about a quarter of a mile.  Chastity didn’t say a word.  She just stayed beside me until we walked out into the sunlight that bathed the concrete raceway the sewer pipe fed into.  She took three steps into that sunlight before I saw the limp and the bloody footprints she was leaving.  I hadn’t realized she’d left her shoes behind and had been walking and running barefoot.

“Chastity, you’re hurt.  Sit down and let me take a look.”

The best I could figure, Chastity had stepped on the glass shards from the broken window and they’d cut her feet in several places.  She also had several cuts on each hand, probably from holding on to the window before I pushed her out.

I carry a small first aid kit on my vest, but it didn’t have enough stuff to take care of this.  I used some water from my canteen to flush off the blood on her feet and saw the sparkle of broken glass that was imbedded in some of the cuts.  I had to get her somewhere to take care of that, but it couldn’t be a hospital.  If the hospital found out where she’d come from, they’d have fixed her up, but then they’d have sent her back.  People escaping from the old city were not welcome in the new one.

My house was the only answer.  I was no doctor, but in Special Forces, you’re taught more first aid skills than the average grunt learns.  

I put Chastity’s right foot down.

“You’re cut up pretty bad.  Why didn’t you say anything?”

“I was afraid.  I was afraid you’d leave me behind and then those men would kill me.”

“I wouldn’t have left you behind.  If I’d done that, I wouldn’t get paid.  We have to get those cuts cleaned up.  My truck is about a hundred yards from here.  I’ll carry you there and then take you to my house.  Put your arms around my neck.”

Chastity bled all over my floorboards on the way to my house, and I didn’t try to stop it.  I was pretty sure there’d been some nasty stuff on the ground and in that storm sewer water, but letting her bleed meant the blood would probably flush out any bacteria she might have picked up.  I kept watching her to see if she was turning pale, but she stayed pink and didn’t faint, so I figured she wasn’t bleeding that bad.

My house was half an hour from the raceway, and I stayed at the speed limit the whole way.  The last thing I needed was for some cop to pull me over and then see Chastity sitting there bleeding like a stuck pig.  As it was, I didn’t see any cops except one and he was watching the other two lanes of the expressway.  A little over half an hour later, I keyed the remote to open my garage door, pulled inside, then keyed the remote to close the door again.  I got out and walked around my truck, then opened Chastity’s door and picked her up.

After carrying her into my bathroom and sitting her down on the john, I took off my belt and vest.  I took the flashlight from the vest, then got the tweezers and a bottle of rubbing alcohol from my medicine cabinet and knelt down beside Chastity.  I tried to be gentle when I sat her feet on the side of the bathtub.

“This is gonna hurt some, but you’ve got broken glass in some of the cuts that has to come out and I need to disinfect the cuts.  Don’t scream, OK, or I’ll have to tape your mouth shut.”

Chastity nodded.

It took an hour before I was satisfied I had all the glass out of her cuts.  There might have still been some in there, but I couldn’t see any sparkles with my flashlight.  Some of the cuts probably should have been stitched, but I didn’t have needles and sutures.  I did have super glue, so after I doused both feet with the alcohol three times, I used the super glue to glue the cuts back together and then wrapped each foot with gauze and taped the gauze so it wouldn’t come undone.  Then I started on her hands.

Her hands weren’t as bad as I’d thought.  Most of the cuts weren’t deep and they’d stopped bleeding.  I cleaned and disinfected them all and used butterfly bandages on the couple that looked like they needed it.  The rest got band-aids.  I stood up and turned on the shower to flush the blood and alcohol down the drain, then looked at Chastity.

I’d been so absorbed with fixing her cuts I hadn’t really looked at her.  She hadn’t said anything other than to whimper a little when I probed deep with my tweezers, so I hadn’t had to.  When I saw her face, I felt sorry for her, both because she’d obviously been in a lot of pain, and also because I’d caused that pain.  Her cheeks were wet from the tears she’d cried and she’d bitten her lower lip until it was bleeding a little.

I tried to smile, but I’m sure it didn’t come off like I intended.

“Pretty rough, huh?”

Chastity nodded.

“Well, were done.  I got all the glass I could find, and I got the bleeding stopped.  Other than that, you feel OK?”

She nodded again.

“I can’t take you back home like this.  You’ll have to stay here until you heal up a little.  I have a spare bedroom you can use.  Do I need to tie you to the bed or will you stay put?”

She looked up at me.

“You’re not going to take me home?”

“Not for a while.”

“How long is a while?”

“I don’t know.  It depends on how fast you heal.  I’d guess maybe a week or two.  I don’t want your daddy thinking I did anything to you except bring you out, and if he sees you like this, that’s what he’ll think.”

“Won’t he be suspicious if you don’t take me home right away?”

I shook my head.

“No.  I never give a client a date because I never know how long it’s going to take.  All I tell them is they pay me half up front and don’t pay the rest until I bring their kid back to them.  Some take a couple days.  One took two months.”

“You’ve done this before?”

“Yes, it’s how I’ve made my living for the last five years.”

“What happens to the people when you take them back?”

“I don’t know and I don’t give a damn as long as I get my money.”

The look on her face was a little sad and a lot afraid.

“I know what will happen to me.  I’ll get sent to be re-educated.”

“Re-educated?  I haven’t heard that from any kids before.”

“You wouldn’t because you’re not one of them.”

“Who’s them?”

“People like my father.  They’re all religious and everything unless you don’t think like they do.  Then, they start telling you you’re wrong and if you don’t change, they’ll fix it so you do think like them.”

“How could they do that?  Nobody could change how I think.”

Chastity had fire in her eyes when she answered me.

“Yes they could.  Then can change anybody.  I know because they changed Jeremy.  He was like me and didn’t believe everything they said.  He wanted to find out for himself, but he made the mistake of telling his parents.  The next thing I knew, he was gone.  His brother said he’d gone to a Bible camp.

“He came back a month later, but he wasn’t the same Jeremy.  He was…well it was like they took Jeremy out of his body and put somebody else in there. All he did was carry around his Bible and talk to everybody about religion.  I don’t know how they do what they do, but they can change people.”
 
“And you think they’d do the same thing to you?”

“I don’t think it; I know it. That’s why I didn’t tell my mother or father before I left.  They’d have sent me off to that same camp and I’d have come back a zombie like Jeremy.”

I wasn’t sure I believed Chastity, but it was obvious she believed what she said and it was possible.  I hadn’t been entirely honest with her when I said nobody could change how I thought.  In Special Forces training, we were taught several interrogation techniques so we knew how to use them, but also so we’d recognize them if we were captured.  We were also taught about the side of prisoner treatment nobody ever talks about because it’s too cruel to imagine.

It depends upon the person, but given the right combination of sleep deprivation, mental and physical abuse, and the right drugs, it’s possible to turn a person’s mind into silly putty and then rebuild it like you want it to be.  It’s against military regulations in most of the civilized world to engage in that sort of thing.  We were told we were being taught only so we’d recognize the signs if one of our unit had undergone the treatment.  Our instructor said it is used by some countries, and the risk was real.  During the training, we watched videos of people who had gone through that in Nazi Germany.  It gave me chills to think someone could actually do that to another person.  It was like murdering the person without actually killing the body.

As my old drill sergeant would have said, I now had my tit in the wringer.  In spite of what I’d told her about not giving a damn about the people I brought back, I do.  If I did nothing and took Chastity back and she ended up like her friend, I’d never forgive myself.  

If I didn’t, I’d have to tell her father I couldn’t bring her back home.  That wasn’t a huge issue because it had happened to me before.  I’d found out a kid’s location only to then learn he’d OD’d or had been killed.  Her parents would be crushed, but they’d get over it.  What was an issue was now that I had her, what the hell was I going to do with her if I didn’t take her back home?”

Chastity interrupted my thoughts.

“You don’t believe me, do you?”

“I don’t know.  What do you want me to do if I do believe you?  Take you back to Lady Madison?”

“Oh God no.  Please don’t do that.  I don’t ever want to go back there or anywhere else in the city.  I didn’t like that woman, but it was either do what she wanted or do what the rest of the girls did.  Anywhere else in there, I’d either get killed or raped or I don’t know what all might happen to me.  I heard there are some people there who kill and eat other people.”

“So, if I don’t take you home and I don’t take you back inside, what will you do?”

Chastity sniffed.

“I don’t know.  Just don’t take me back there or take me back home.

“Well, you have a week or so to think about it.  Want something to eat?  I don’t have much, but I think there’s a pizza in my freezer.”

Chastity ate that pizza like she was starved to death, and asked for a soft drink when I offered her a beer.

“I just turned twenty last month.  You’re not suppose to give me alcohol.”

“OK.  I just thought it might help with the pain.  It always helps me.”

“It doesn’t hurt much.  A soft drink or water will be fine.”

After we ate, I showed her to my spare bedroom and the bathroom, and warned her about trying to leave.

“There are towels and wash cloths in the bathroom cabinet along with soap and shampoo if you want to clean up.  Just don’t get those bandages wet.  You won’t need to lock the door because I won’t bother you, but you can if you want.  The windows and outside doors are all locked and alarmed, so if you try to get out, I’ll know and I’ll catch you again.  If you do try, I’ll handcuff you to the bed.”

“I won’t try to get away”, she said.

I slept until about noon, then got up and started making something to eat.  I’d made coffee and was frying some eggs when she limped into the kitchen.

“You hungry”, I asked.

“Yes.”

“You drink coffee?”

“Yes.”

I reached into the cabinet and handed her a coffee cup.

“There’s coffee in the pot and creamer and sugar on he table.  You like scrambled or fried eggs?”

“Fried will be fine.”

Chastity didn’t say a word while she ate.  I knew she was thinking about something, but I didn’t know what.

“You’re pretty quiet this morning.  Something wrong?”

The fire came back in her eyes.

“No, of course nothing’s wrong.  You just dragged me through broken glass and then made me walk through a filthy pipe and brought me here and told me if I tried to get away you’d tie me to the bed.  I smell like I slept in a toilet and it hurts to walk.  I took a bath but I still smell because the only clothes I have smell that way.  Next, you’re going to take me to my father and he’s going to turn me into another Jeremy.  Everything’s just fantastic.”

I smiled.

“At least you still have your sense of humor.”

“I wish I did.  I keep thinking about what’s going to happen to me next.”

“Where is this Bible camp you talked about?”

“I don’t know.  Jeremy said it’s a farm with a big barn and the barn has a cross painted on the roof.  He said it’s a wonderful place.  Yeah, right, a wonderful place where they erase your brain and then put in it what they want.  Why? You can’t do anything about it.”

“Probably not, but I can find out if you’re telling me the truth or not.  Did he say anything else about it?”  

“No.  Well, he did say it took about an hour for them to bring him back.  He knew that because he wanted to be back home before dinner so he could say the prayer before they ate.  He said they started about four and he got home at a little before five and he got to say the prayer.”

“Did Jeremy live close to your house?”

“Yes, two blocks away.”

“So, maybe an hour or so from your house?”

“I suppose so.”

“Well, let’s go see if we can find the barn.”

I pulled up the global map website on my laptop and typed in Chastity’s address.  An hour on the road would be probably forty or fifty miles, so I used the distance tool to draw a circle of fifty miles radius with Chastity’s house as the center.

The suburbs filled up most of the circle, but there was one section to the east that was pretty empty of houses.  I scrolled over to that area and then zoomed in a little and started scrolling again.

The barn was there, just like Chastity had said.  The cross was white and under it were the words, “CONFESSION WILL SET YOU FREE”.  There were four other buildings beside the barn.  They looked like the old, run-down motels you sometimes still see along the older highways in the state - tiny little houses that only have one room and a bath.

They could have been houses for chickens or something else, but I’d only seen buildings surrounded by a chain link fence with barbed wire on top in a few other places.  One was at a military prison where I’d been temporarily stationed before going into Special Forces.  The other was a POW camp in Iran when I was there during the war.  The words on the barn roof were a little too close to the words on the main gait at Auschwitz too.

I looked at Chastity.

“See that fence and the barbed wire?  I think I believe you.”

“I thought you didn’t care.”

I closed the laptop and then looked at Chastity.

“Chastity, I do what I do because people want their kids back and they’ll pay me to make that happen, but I lied when I said I don’t care about them.  I get emails from some of those families saying their kid has turned his or her life around and they’re a family again.  

“That’s just as important to me as the money because of my background.  I grew up in the city not very far from where I found you, so I know what life there is like.  It makes me feel good to know I got some kid out so they can make something of themselves.  The emails tell me most do and that tells me I’ve done something good.

“I won’t feel good about you if what you say will happen does happen.  Nobody should be able to tell anybody what to believe, much less do anything to make them believe like they want.  That goes against everything I believe and everything I’ve lived for.  I won’t take you back if it means something like that, but I need to know for certain.”

“I don’t know how you’re going to find out for certain.  They’d never let you in there and tell you what they do.”

I smiled.

“No, probably not, but I might have another way.”

I opened my laptop again and pulled up my email.  I hadn’t used the email address for three years, so I hoped Tom hadn’t changed it.  

Tom Jackson was one of my instructors in Special Forces school, and when the war started he shipped out to Iran with my unit.  We became pretty good friends.  Once the war was over, Tom got out of the Army and went to work for the FBI.  I didn’t know what he was involved in there because he wouldn’t tell me, but I hoped he might have some information about a farm with a cross painted on the barn.

His answer came the next afternoon.

“Hey there, Asshole.  I thought you’d probably got your sorry ass shot by a jealous husband and that’s why I haven’t heard from you.  I hope you’re doing fine and getting yourself fucked on a regular basis.

I can’t tell you much about the place you described because it’s classified, but I do know about it.  For a while, they were on our watch list of suspected domestic terrorists.  That’s because the place is run by an ex-CIA agent who was involved in some right-wing protests that got out of hand and some people got hurt.  We put them on a different list after we learned what he was really doing.

Like I said, what he’s doing is classified so I can’t tell you that.  Sorry.

By the way, I was thinking about you the other day.  Remember those training sessions when I taught your class about interrogation?  You never did learn how to interrogate anybody worth a shit did you?  I should have failed your sorry ass, but it looked like we were going to war.  I figured if I failed you, you’d get to stay home, play guard, and fuck my girlfriend while I was over there sweating my balls off.  If I passed you, you’d get your ass shot off and I’d have my girlfriend all to myself, so I let you pass.  

Well, sorry I couldn’t be more help, but you know how the government works.  You keep your shit wired tight and your dipstick wet and stay in touch.

Tom

Chastity had been reading over my shoulder.

“Well, he wasn’t any help.”

I looked back at her and grinned.

“Oh yes he was.  He told me everything I need to know about your Bible Camp.”

“But he said that was classified and he couldn’t tell you.”

“Yes he did, but that paragraph about him teaching an interrogation course – that was it.  Part of that course was the techniques and results of some pretty severe brainwashing.  He was reminding me of that as a way of telling me what goes on at that farm.”

“So you believe me now.”

“Yes.  Now, I just have to figure out what to tell your father and what to do with you once you heal up.  You have any ideas?”

Chastity grinned.

“This place is a mess.  Could you use a maid?”

“No. I couldn’t afford to pay you.”

She frowned.

“I don’t know then.  I wish I could just be somebody else.  I wish I had some different clothes too.  These were Trixie’s but they were the first thing I could grab that night.  I need some shoes too…and some underwear would be nice.”

Well, that explained why Chastity’s tits were pushing out the front of the blouse so much.  I hadn’t really looked the night I’d brought her out, but I’d been looking since.  She had to leave the top three buttons of the blouse undone because there was no way she could get them buttoned around her tits.  It also explained why her jeans looked so baggy.

“We’ll get you some clothes as soon as you don’t need your feet bandaged.  Until then, I’ll give you some T-shirts and some of my boxer shorts.  They won’t fit, but they’ll cover you up.”

“That’s not all I need.  In about three days, I’ll have my…I’m going to have another problem clothes won’t fix.”

“What?…Oh…that problem.”

“Yeah, that problem.”

I waited until four in the morning to drop by the local Walmart.  Chastity had given me the brand of the tampons she used and I picked up four boxes.  I didn’t want to have to do it again.  I was glad there was a self-checkout.  

I put off talking to Chastity’s father for two days.  The easy way was to tell him she was dead.  That’s what Chastity wanted.  She was worried that as long as her father thought she was alive, he’d still try to find her.  I had to find a way to convince him she was never coming back.

I was trying to think of a way when Chastity and I ate dinner that night.  It was hard enough just to sit there and eat, let alone think.  My T-shirt didn’t fit Chastity anywhere except around the bust and since she didn’t have a bra, that fit kept pulling my eyes from my plate to her chest.  It had been that way since she walked into the kitchen in my T-shirt and a pair of my boxer shorts.  The shorts fit better, but that was only because her ass was wider than mine and the way they fit her was really interesting too.  

She caught me looking and frowned.

“You’re looking at me like the guys looked at the girls at Lady Madison’s.”

“No I’m not.”

“Yes, you are.”

She grinned then.

“I didn’t say I didn’t like it, just that you were looking.”

“Maybe I was, but what I’m really trying to do is think of a way to convince your father you’re not coming back.

Chastity pulled a small, gold ring from the little finger of her left hand.  

“I’ve been thinking about that too.  Tell him I’m dead and give him this.  My grandma gave it to me a long time ago.  He knows I’d never sell it or give it to anybody.”

“You sure you want to give it up?  I can’t very well show it to him and then take it back.”

Chastity smiled.

“Grandma was a lot like me.  She ran away from home when she was sixteen and married her boyfriend.  She always told me to do what was in my heart and not what other people said I should do.  She gave up everything to do that, just like I gave up everything but her ring to go into the city.  If losing the last thing I have left from her means I’m free to do what I want, it’ll be worth it and she’d understand.”

The next day, I drove to Reverend Meadow’s house and knocked on the door.  He smiled when he opened it, but then frowned.

“Where is she?  I don’t see her in your truck.”

“Sir, I don’t know how to make this easy so I won’t try.  Chastity won’t be coming home.  She’s still in the city…she’s dead.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“I don’t have any reason to lie to you, Sir.”

“If that’s true, what happened?  How did she die?”

“I found her like I said I would.  She was working in a place where men paid to…well, you’ve probably heard of places like that.”

“You don’t have to tell me the rest.  I can imagine what she was doing.  I told her mother that was probably what would happen to her.”

“Well, she did want to leave with me, if that’s any consolation, but when we left the place, one of the other women saw us and told the man who runs it.  He chased us to the hole in the fence I made to get in, but just before we got there, he started shooting at us with a shotgun.  If Chastity hadn’t been behind me, we’d both have been killed.  She was though, and she stopped the buckshot that would have killed me.

“I took care of the guy and then tried to help her up, but she was …I don’t want to tell you how bad she was hurt, but there was no way she was going to live.  I saw men in Iran who weren’t hurt as bad but still died.  

“Before she died, she asked me to tell you she was sorry for what she did, and she asked me to give you this.”

I took the ring out of my breast pocket and handed it to him.  He took it and then frowned.

“Probably for the best.  My congregation thinks Chastity is doing missionary work in Columbia.  If she did come back and they found out what she’s really been doing, they’d leave my church and I’d lose my income.  This way, I can say she decided to stay there and continue her work.”

I toyed with the idea of asking him for the second half of my money.  I wasn’t going to keep it.  I thought Chastity could use the money to make a new start someplace.  A second before I was going to say I’d found her and it wasn’t my fault she’d gotten killed and I still wanted paid, he looked me in the eyes.

“You don’t expect to be paid now, do you?  Our agreement was for you to bring her back and you didn’t.”

“Well, Sir, like I said, I couldn’t bring her back.”

“You could have brought back her body.  At least that way I could have told my congregation she was killed in Columbia doing God’s work and had a funeral.  That would give them a higher opinion of me and my family.”

I was getting pissed at the guy.  The self-righteous bastard didn’t really care what happened to Chastity as long as it didn’t embarrass him.  I was certain then that what Chastity had said was true.  If I had brought her back, he’d have sent her off to be brainwashed into a mindless robot who’d do whatever he told her to do.

“Sir, I didn’t want to have to tell you this, but the guy was pretty close and the  buckshot nearly cut her in half.  If I’d tried to pick her up…”

I watched him for any sign of grief or shock after that statement, but I didn’t see any.  He just stared at me for a second, and then said, “I think  you need to leave now.”

Two weeks later, I took Chastity shopping in a town two hours away from where I lived.  She came back to my place with a bunch of new clothes and three pairs of shoes.  It put a dent in my cash, but she wouldn’t be parading around my house in the T-shirts that had bumps where her nipples were or the boxer shorts that sometimes showed me the crack of her ass.  

It was time to tell her she had to leave, but I was having a hard time doing that.  Once she knew her father wasn’t looking for her anymore, she relaxed a little and started doing little things that caught my eye.  

The refrigerator got cleaned and the kitchen floor got mopped.  The dust on my TV disappeared, and the bathroom looked spotless.  She was also getting friendly, a lot more friendly than I thought I wanted.  

The fact I had Chastity stashed in my house didn’t mean I could stop working.  I continued to get emails from other parents, and even one from a man who said his wife had gone into the city and he wanted her back.  I spent most days either answering those emails or getting information about the kids I’d agreed to track down.  

The first time Chastity came into the living room while I was working, she said she’d made lunch if I was ready.  Her nipples were trying to poke holes through one of my T-shirts.  I didn’t think much about the lunch.  After all, she had to eat too so making another sandwich was pretty easy.  I was thinking about her tits and nipples though.  When she walked back into the kitchen, I was thinking about her ass because my boxers had slipped down and the crack of her ass was showing.  The dinner she fixed us probably tasted good.  I don’t remember because I kept wondering how her nipples would taste.

After she got up before I did the next morning, made coffee, and was sitting at the table when I walked into the kitchen, I started to wonder how her pussy would taste.  She was slumped down in the chair and my boxers had ridden up into her crotch.  I was sure one of her pussy lips was peeking out at me.  

She looked up at me and smiled.  

“I know how to make pancakes and you have some mix and some syrup.  Want some for breakfast?”

By the time her feet had healed up pretty well and we’d gotten her some clothes, I was starting to feel uneasy.  I mean, I liked not having to cook and clean, and Chastity was good at both, but I’d gotten used to being alone.  I had to remember she was there if I wanted to sit on the couch in my shorts and have a couple of beers before bed.

Then there were her baths.  She usually took a bath every other night except for that week when she had her problem.  Then it was every night, and once she’d finished her bath, she’d walk through the living room where I was watching TV.  She had to do that to get to the spare bedroom.  She didn’t have to do it wrapped in a towel with most of her slender legs and her soft shoulders showing.  She could have taken a change of T-shirts and boxer shorts in the bathroom with her, but she never did.

Once she’d dressed again, she’d come back into the living room and watch TV with me for a while, except I couldn’t really get into the program again.  My boxers were a silky material that seemed to ride up Chastity’s thighs when she slouched down on my couch.  Every once in a while, I’d get a glimpse of fine, blonde hair sticking out of the leg of those boxers.

I’ve had my share of women, and if any one of them had done what Chastity did, I wouldn’t have been backward about taking it further.  With Chastity I couldn’t.  It wasn’t that I hadn’t thought about it.  After she’d gone to bed, I’d thought about it and jacked off more times than I care to tell about.  I was getting more used to her but more uncomfortable by the day.

At dinner, two days after our shopping trip, I asked Chastity what she wanted to do now that she was pretty much free from her parents.  She looked at me for a second and then said, “I want to stay here.”

She wasn’t smiling and she wasn’t grinning.  Her face looked…hopeful is how I’d describe it.

“Chastity, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“Why not?  I can take care of all the other things while you work.”

“Don’t you have anything you’d like to do with your life?”

“Yes.”

“Well, what things would you like to do?”

“You wouldn’t understand.”

“Try me.”

Chastity looked at her empty plate for a second, then looked back up at me.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed about the day I could have a family of my own.  When I played with my dolls, I was their mother, and I took care of them just like I imagined I’d take care of my babies when I grew up.  Grandma understood that, because that’s how she was too.  When I went to visit her, she’d tell me all about how to take care of babies.

“When I was at that age, my mother told me about boys and what they would want to do.  She said it was a sin to do that unless it was to make a baby and an even worse sin if I did it before I was married.  Grandma told me a different story.  She said it was a wonderful thing that I should save for a man I loved, but that once I found him, it was something we should do a lot because it was a way to show each other how much in love we were.  She also told me I shouldn’t tell my mother and father about our talks.  She said they wouldn’t understand because my father and mother were in love with their church and not with each other.

“My father wouldn’t let me go out with boys, so I had to just imagine how it would be to be with one.  I imagined a lot.  I imagined my husband coming home from work and eating the dinner I fixed.  I imagined going for walks in the park with him.  I imagined going to bed and doing what Grandma called making love.  She never said ‘having sex’ like my mother.  She always said ‘making love’.

“I’m twenty now, and I’m still imagining how those things would feel.  I thought since in the city nobody tells you what you can and can’t do, I might find out, but I was wrong.  They still tell you what you can and can’t do, and what they want you to do dirty and awful.  All I’ve ever wanted to do is feel how it feels to be married and have a family because it’s what I’ve dreamed about so long.”

She smiled.

“Pretty crazy, huh?  I should be wanting something else like a nice place to live and money to spend.”

“No, not crazy.  A little simplistic maybe, but not crazy.  The problem you’re going to have is you can’t find that guy if you’re staying here with me.”

Chastity looked down at her plate again.

“What if that guy is you?”

You could have hit me with a ball bat right then and I don’t think I’d have felt it.

“Me?  Chastity, I’m not the kind of guy you want.  You’re just thinking that because I helped you out.”

She looked back up.

“That’s what I thought too, for a while, but then I noticed you watching me all the time and I started watching you too.  Rich, you’re not a man my father and mother would approve of.  You swear all the time and you drink beer and what you do to make money is something most men would think is terrible.  Grandma told me not to look at what a man does and says.  She said I should look to see how he treats other people.  She said if he treats other people like he cares about them, he’d care about me too.

“If you didn’t care about me, you wouldn’t have done what you did, not the part about taking me out of the city, the part about letting me stay here and taking care of me and telling my father I was dead so he’d leave me alone.  You’ve done everything you could to make me feel safe and to feel like I wasn’t alone.  You said you care about the other people you’ve helped too, and I believe that.  

“I don’t know if I love you or not because Grandma couldn’t tell me what that feels like.  She just said I’d know because I would trust the person and wouldn’t want to be without them.  I think I did find that person, once, but it was different than with you.  What I do know is you’re the only person in this world I trust and that I don’t want to leave you.  I’m hoping you like me enough to let me stay.”

“You mean like get married?  I’m not ready for that and I’m not sure I ever will be.  It didn’t work out very well for my mother and father.  I remember them fighting all the time about what my dad did and about my mother doing drugs.”

Chastity, put her hand on mine.

“I don’t know if I’m ready for that either.  My mother and father never fought, but that was because my mother did everything my father told her to do no matter what that was.  I couldn’t live that way, just being a slave to a man.  I don’t think that’s how you’d be, but I don’t want to rush into anything and find out I’m sorry later.”

“So, you want to just live here in my spare bedroom forever?”

Chastity smiled.

“No, I want to live here with you like Grandma lived with Grandpa.  

“But I thought you said they got married.”

“They did, but that was after two years.  Before that, they just lived together.”

“I don’t know Chastity.  I do like having you here, and I like what you’ve been doing, but I think you can do better than me.”

Chastity squeezed my hand.

“I don’t want to do better.  I just want to try it with you.”

I had to think about that for a while.  I hadn’t lied to her when I said I liked what she’d been doing.  My house was as clean and neat as a pin, and my pantry was stocked with real food instead of just canned and frozen stuff.  The third week, Chastity had given me a list of things she said she’d use to cook for us.  I went to the store and brought them back, and since then, I’d been eating better than I had in years.

It was also nice to have somebody there to watch TV with or just to talk.  It wouldn’t have been good if people knew what I did for a living, so I never tried to make friends.  Chastity knew and it didn’t seem to bother her.  She’d even asked me to tell her about some of the kids I’d taken out of the city.

If I said she could stay, how long could I take her parades through the living room wearing just a towel?  It was getting harder and harder not to stare at her.  It was getting harder and harder to stop thinking about her every night when I went to sleep.

I looked at Chastity.  She looked a little hopeful and a lot like she was ready to cry.

“Chastity, I don’t know how this is going to work out, but I suppose you can stay for a while.”

I saw both tears and a grin on her face then.  She squeezed my hand and said, “I promise you won’t be sorry.”

Chastity got up and started clearing the table then, and I went to watch some TV.  A little later, she walked through the living room on her way to the bathroom.   Like always, she came back out wearing just a towel.  Unlike always, she walked over to the couch and sat down beside me.

She watched me for a few seconds, and then grinned.

“Rich, why are you looking at me like you are?”

“Well, usually, you get dressed before you come back to watch TV.”

She grinned again.

“Maybe I don’t want to watch TV tonight.  Maybe I want to do what Grandma said and follow my heart.”

“What is your heart telling you to do?”

“It’s telling me you should take me into your bedroom so we can start living together like Grandma and Grandpa did.”

“Chastity, you know what will happen if I do that, don’t you?”

She scooted closer and in the process, the towel came un-tucked.  She put her arms around my neck and the towel fell away from her breasts.

“I’m hoping you’ll make love to me.”

“You said your Grandma told you to save that for the man you love.”

“I did, the first time.  That was Jeremy.  After being with you, I don’t think I really loved him.  He was just the only person I knew who was like me.  I do think I love you.  Can’t we pretend it’s the first time?”

If Chastity had been a virgin, I’d probably have told her I couldn’t.  I mean, I was almost seven years older than she in years and about twenty years older in life.  I couldn’t tell her no when she kissed me.

Chastity didn’t kiss very well, but that was because she’d not done a lot of kissing.  She just pressed her lips lightly to mine.  When I opened my mouth a little and stroked her upper lip with my tongue, she pulled away and I saw that her eyes were open wide.

“Is that how you’re supposed to kiss…with your tongue?”

“Well, sometimes.  Did you like it?”

“Wow…I never felt anything like that before.  It was like this little zing went from my mouth all the way down to my tummy.”

I smiled.

“Try doing it again.  It’ll get better.”

Chastity did, and I helped her out a little by finding her little tongue with mine.  She moaned, but she didn’t stop kissing me.  I finally had to push her away gently so I could breathe.

“You learn fast”, I chuckled.

Chastity didn’t say anything.  She just stood up, took my hand, and walked to my bedroom.  Once we were there, she sat down on the bed and held out her arms.

“I need to learn a lot more.  Show me everything.”

I’d forgotten about how a woman responds when she doesn’t know what she’s supposed to be feeling.  I’d only had the experience once and that was a lot of years before that night.  I’d also forgotten how erotic that response is when it’s a woman unconsciously reacting to what she’s feeling me do.

It was like Chastity couldn’t get close enough to me or feel enough of me touching her.  I’d stroke her breast and she’d moan and pull my hand tight against her.  I couldn’t stroke then, but I could reach her nipple.  When I pinched it gently, I though Chastity was going to jump off the bed.  She caught her breath, her tummy rolled and her hips lurched up.  Then she murmured, “do that again”.

I did, but this time with my mouth.  Chastity moaned again and as I was sliding my hand down over her flat tummy, I felt it tighten and then relax.  It did the same thing when I gently pinched with my lips.

Chastity stiffened a little when I touched the blonde hair on her mound.  I didn’t rush her.  I shifted my fingertips to her thighs, first on the top, but as she opened them a little, to the inside.  She caught her breath again at the first touch to that smooth, satin skin, and then started to breathe a little faster as I worked my hand up.

It wasn’t until Chastity opened her thighs more that I let my fingertips swirl through those blonde curls.  She pulled my face to her other breast then, and gasped when I lightly sucked that nipple and stroked her slit.

Her lips seemed a little puffy, and when I worked one fingertip between them, I felt wet warmth.  I thought she’d take a while to get that way since this was just her second time, but she was way ahead of me.  She got even wetter when I stroked her long, slender inner lips and then rubbed beside the bump at the top of her slit.

Chastity knew what was supposed to come next and began trying to pull me between her thighs.  I resisted, partly so I could catch up and partly because I was a little worried she might be really tight.  Instead, I sucked her nipple pretty hard and slipped my fingertip down to find out.

Chastity gasped when my fingertip slipped inside her entrance, and started pulling on my back harder.  I moved my mouth to hers, kissed her, and then whispered, “just relax and let me do what you need me to do.”

She hugged me with both arms then, and opened her thighs as wide as she could.  My fingertip probed deeper, then deeper still until I felt the tight little ring of muscle.  I stroked in and out there until Chastity started rocking her hips up and down.  I figured she was as ready then as she’d ever be.

Chastity tightened up again when she felt my cock head pressing against her lips.  I leaned down and whispered, “I won’t hurt you, Chastity.  Just relax.”

She did, a little, until I withdrew and then pushed in again.  This time, my cock head met that snug ring and stopped.  Chastity gasped and her hips lurched up.  That drove my cock head past the ring and on inside her.  She didn’t tighten up again.  She started pulling on my back to pull my cock in deeper.  

I made a few short strokes then just to enjoy myself, and Chastity seemed to like it too.  She started pulling on my back and breathing in the same rhythm as those strokes.  After a while, she was breathing faster than my strokes, so I pulled almost all the way out and then eased my cock back inside her all the way.

Chastity moaned and tried to clamp her legs around my waist.  After that, it was just stroke my cock in and out and listen to the little symphony of moans, gasps and panting breaths Chastity was making.  By the time she pushed her heels into the mattress and tried to lift us both, I was doing some groaning myself.  Chastity was tight and I was stroking too fast.  

I tried to slow down, but when I did, Chastity just pushed her body up and down faster and then faster still.  By the end, I was trying to keep up with her tight passage as it massaged my cock.

Suddenly, Chastity gasped and then held her breath.  I watched as her head rolled to the side of the pillow and she grabbed the bed sheet with both hands.

“Oh…OH…OH, OH, OH”, she gasped, and then arched up off the bed a little.

She fell back to the mattress when I pulled my cock back out, then groaned and arched up again when I stroked back in.  Chastity didn’t fall back the bed then.  She gripped the bed sheet tight enough her knuckles turned white, and then cried out and her hips danced up and down so fast I couldn’t keep up with her.

She started back down, then arched up again quickly and cried out again.  There was no way I could hold back then.  I rammed my cock inside Chastity as deep as I could and felt the surge race from my belly and the out the tip of my cock to splatter inside Chastity.  She was still arched up and her hips were still dancing when I shot the third spurt.

As quickly as she’d arched up, Chastity fell back to the bed and pulled me down on top of her.  She panted for a while as she stroked my back.  As we both started to breathe a little more normally, she pulled my face to hers and kissed me, then stroked the back of my head and whispered, “I never dreamed it was like this.  Grandma was right.”

I made one last trip into the city after that night.  The kid had been gone only for a month, but three of my informants knew him and exactly where he was.  They knew because he’d evidently decided he should be the one dealing drugs and tried to beat up the dealer who’s territory he wanted.  He was a big guy, but he was no match for the dealer and three of his street guys.  One of the local whores had taken pity on him and hid him after the dealer left him for dead.  When I got to him, he could walk again, but just barely, and I doubted he’d ever see out of his right eye again.

His parents were happy to see him and he was happy to be home again, but two things soured me on the hunter thing after that trip.  

One was that I was tired of seeing kids destroy themselves when they had so much to live for.  You’d think they’d have enough sense to find out what the old city is really like before heading there, but they don’t.  They just walk into the snake pit thinking they won’t get bit and they’ll come out with a fancy new snakeskin belt or purse.

The second was that Chastity told me she thought she was pregnant.  She was so happy I couldn’t get her to calm down for an hour.  During that hour, I thought about why those runaway kids did what they did, and decided no kid of mine would ever want to do that.  If I was going to make sure that didn’t happen, I couldn’t go sneaking around through storm sewers and cutting through fences and risk getting shot or stabbed.  I’d have to become what most people think is normal.

I wouldn’t be missed.  There were a handful of other hunters who hunted the city, so those lost kids would eventually get brought back home assuming they lived long enough to be found.  I also figured five years was long enough if I was going to hold on to any sense of civility.  It had been getting easier to shoot instead of run, and that worried me.

Chastity and I moved to a little town in Montana and I found a job working in the sporting good store there.  The owner was impressed by my knowledge of firearms and by the survival skills I learned in Special Forces.  I teach survival classes for the store now that draw people from Montana as well as several other states.  Though the risk of some economic catastrophe or war is less than several years ago, people still don’t trust the government and want to know how to fend for themselves.

On the way to Montana, we spent two months in an ancient motel in Minnesota that had been converted to senior housing.  The reason for that was Chastity had left all her identification behind - driver’s license, Social Security card, the whole nine yards.  The only way to get those replaced is to have a copy of your birth certificate.  

They were easy to get by mail through one of the on-line services that partner with the states.  I was just a little leery that somehow her father would find out she’d requested one and try to track her down.  When we requested a copy, we used the motel address.  If he did try to find her, all he’d have is a motel we’d left behind with no forwarding address.  I paid the fee via Western Union instead of with my credit card, so that was untraceable too.

If her father had filed a death report, requesting a birth certificate for her might set off some alarms, but I didn’t think he’d done that.  He’d just go on telling his congregation about all the good work his daughter was doing in Columbia.  If he told them she was dead, he’d have to explain how that happened, and I didn’t figure he’d take that risk.

I was right.  Three copies of her birth certificate showed up in the motel mailbox a week and a half later.  Once we had those, we packed up and headed for Montana.  We were married by the Justice of the Peace there, and the next day, Chastity got a Montana driver’s license for Chastity Anderson.  Once she had that, we drove to the nearest Social Security office and requested a corrected Social Security card.  Chastity was now about as hidden as she could get without changing her first name and having plastic surgery.

There are a lot of hunters in Montana.  Every fall they go out after deer, elk, bear, and a whole lot of other animals.  They come to the store after their hunt and brag about how hard they had to work to get that bear or antelope or whatever they brought back.  

I just smile and pretend I’m impressed.  They don’t know what real hunting is.  I do because I’ve been there.  They’re proud of what they brought back and they should be.  I know about that too.  I brought back a girl who ended up being the woman who means everything to me, and a month ago, she gave me a daughter.  

She looks like she’s going to have dark brown hair like mine, but she has Chastity’s eyes.  We named her Emily.  That was Chastity’s grandma’s name, and Chastity thought her grandma would like knowing the granddaughter who was so much like her had found what her heart wanted.  I think she would too.

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