When Lyla had strolled along the outdoor mall that morning, the delicious new and fragile warmth of Spring had sunken into her skin. She had tingled from it’s caress and the thrill of anticipation towards working the Spring show. But the Australian nights could dip into winter temperatures just as you’d begun to relish in the kiss of a stronger sun during the day. So now, in the midnight air after the fashion show she was shivering in her thin blouse and cotton skirt, her skin prickled with cold beneath a clear black sky.
Vivienne was no where to be found. The guests and staff exiting the store slowed to a scant trickle. The other stores in the outdoor mall were sparsely lit and shuttered for the night. Barely a soul around. Lyla didn’t see anyone familiar. She sighed and turned to make her way to the tram stop when, with the silence and deftness of a prowler, ‘Davos’ stood in her face. Literally in her way, and he was……grinning.
“Hey Lyla!” he smiled. His pudgy oversized hands crudely trying to rest on a waist that didn’t exist. She didn’t smile back. Instead she stepped sideways to avoid him. He blocked her.
“I’m trying to get the tram” She gestured towards the stop.
“You don’t need the tram....” he declared.
“Actually..... I do. Vivienne was supposed to take me home but she....”
“I told Andy I’d take you... so they could get going.”
Lyla stared at him incredulously. “So.. they’ve gone?”
He didn’t reply, just took her arm and began to lead her towards the road.
“NO!.. “ She said sternly, trying to yank her arm free, trying to stop walking, but he
had gripped her elbow like a vice, rendering her submissive.
“I’d rather take the tram...wind down a bit on the way home....” She appealed, breathless with anxiety, determined that she seriously did not like this man.
“You don’t want to wind down.. the party’s getting started.” He retorted, still ‘escorting’ her towards his car at the curb. His shiny red Mercedes with a neglected rip in the soft top was parked at the end of the mall. Illegally parked. Where the hell was a cop when she needed one!
“NO..!” she yelled, hoping someone would hear and intervene. “I’m exhausted, and I just want to go home...I..”
Davos cut her off..."Aw don't be a bore!"
Then suddenly in what seemed only seconds they had reached the car and one of those same ugly hands was opening a door for her, the other firmly on her back as he was ‘guiding’,shoving her in.
“Ok. I’ll take you home. “ he said and smiled again. It appeared a futile attempt at being genuine. She wanted to believe him. That inner barometer that was screaming silently ‘WARNING WARNING WARNING’ was all Lyla could hear and feel! She tried to dismiss it…Davos wasn’t technically a stranger, he wasn't a total stranger, but more importantly, Andrew really knew Davos. Reason allowed Lyla to glean a sense of security from that relationship. She allowed herself to believe him. And besides, she was already in the damn car……just..like…that!
So she believed him. She shouldn’t have believed him. The reality was, Lyla didn’t have time to think. It all happened so fast and in that split second where escape might have been possible, judgement escaped her..... she wanted to believe him....and then it was too late.
“Where are we going?” she asked annoyed, noting he'd done a U turn away from the direction of home.
“You know I live with Viv on the.....”
He was ignoring her. They were literally speeding in entirely the opposite direction, towards the Western edge of the city and the great bridge. The bridge that lead across the bay to the wrong side of the tracks. Where there was no public transport and row upon row of hideous small, single-fronted brick houses all joined together with concrete yards, and sad looking neglected geraniums. The neighborhoods there, everyone knew, were home to the new immigrants who rarely spoke English.
Lyla had never intentionally been on that side of town, only passed through once. That part of town was completely foreign. She had absolutely no idea where she was. Not a single landmark to guide her home or even to safety. Little by little as if inching her way across a crocodile infested river, she disturbing sense of danger she was feeling grew. Her intellect took over and she sought a way to change the status quo.
“Maybe we should go for a drink somewhere..” she suggested, reasoning in silent earnest he would take her somewhere public.
“That’s just what I was thinking!” he replied and slid his hand between her thighs. “ I know the perfect place.”
Her skin immediately crawled with repulsion at his uninhibited, unwanted degrading touch. Instinctively she knew she had to get away from this vile man. Just as she imagined a cafe scenario that would provide some protection from him in the company of strangers, a place she could ask for help to get home safely…even call police if things got out of hand, Davos surprised her.
Speeding past a strip of restaurants, neon still emblazoned indicating they were open, he turned down one sleepy dark street after another. Each one getting Lyla further and further lost in both direction and hope. Suddenly he swung the car into the driveway of, sure enough, an ugly single-fronted brick terrace.
Her primal instincts jolted violently into a ‘fight or flight’ response. She was in trouble. Just how much she didn’t know. Lyla was in way over her head. She had no clue how to get out of what was now a perilous situation. She had to stay calm, stall for time to think of a solution. Act like she wasn’t terrified.
“Um...Where are we?...I thought we were going for a drink?...” she tried to enquire casually, feigning confidence, hiding her rising fear. Could she possibly smart talk her way out of this?
“Oh.. this is my brothers house....he’s taken his family to Torquay for the long weekend..... we can have a drink here, be alone… really get to know each other.”
The only thought that was circling her mind was, “Shit, shit, shit...what the Hell am I going to do?” her mind racing as fast as her heart. Quickly, nervously, she blurted out… “Davos, there’s something you should know....I have ‘the clap’.”
He stopped and stared at her for a brief moment. Then he tipped his head back
and…. laughed, a raucous deep throated vibration that sent shivers right through her.
“I don’t believe you!” he chuckled.
Her panic rose a hundred percent, her face grew hot, her ears burned and her palms became instantly sweaty. She made no attempt to get out of the car. There was no where to run, where he couldn’t overcome her.
The mere notion of this revolting man’s intentions sickened her. She tried again…. “Look Davos, you’re obviously a decent guy...” she lied. “I’m just not attracted to you..”
He could sense her fear, she sensed he reveled in it and her obvious repulsion of him. As soon as those words left her mouth Lyla new it was a mistake.
In an instant his demeanor changed, his arms were around her shoulders pulling her from the car. God he was strong! There was no chance to scream! His hands were over her mouth as he easily dragged her light body to the door and in an instant she was thrown to the floor inside the dismal dark house. The house that housed her cage.
Davos fervently turned and locked the door. He stood there facing her, his fat chest heaving, grotesque veins bulging from his temples. His neck she noticed for the first time was as wide and thick as a bulls which made her worry that it wasn’t fat beneath his shirt, but the bulk and strength of muscle. He was standing between her and escape.
Fear shot through her like an exploding bullet. He attempted to compose himself exhaling loudly. Were those beads of sweat forming on his forehead? He wiped his upper lip on the back of his hand as he began…“Don’t you think it’s best to get sex out of the way at the beginning of a relationship? Takes all the pressure off getting to know each other doesn’t it?” It was rhetorical of course.
Lyla rose from her splayed landing on the carpet to all fours, paralyzed with panic coursing though her, her legs felt as if anchored with anvils. She needed a minute to regain her strength. Her breath stuck in her chest. Her throat restricted and she could hear every beat of her heart pounding inside her head. Throbbing in repulsion of the circumstances. All she could focus on was how earnestly he’d locked the door. He’d locked the door….. locked the door. The key he’d quickly shoved in his pants pocket.
She was trapped. She had been right on the catwalk, to feel as if she was….his……prey. Suddenly, out of nowhere, there were voices, men’s voices, more than a few, and when Lyla turned in their direction she became aware........that she and Davos weren’t alone..... and.... it hit her with the same frightening intensity of an unexpected car wreck, she was about to loose her virginity… in the most reprehensibly vile experience of her young life.
Davos grinned at her terrified expression. Cold evil gleaming in his ghostly pale eyes was not imagined as he spat his words with a sickening grin… “Welcome to the party…..you ugly Bitch!”