Authors: J. B. Reed
Vivie could hear Ryan and Shane snickering.
"Come on Vivie, let’s have a go; you know I have to try out the goods before I put it out on the streets for the paying customers."
Tommy placed his left hand on Vivie’s breast. At this Vivie spat in his face.
"Fuck you, Tommy Flannery; I’ll burn in hell before the likes of you will touch me."
Tommy grabbed Vivie, and shoved her back against the wall, ripping the front of her uniform open.
"Fucking bitch, you need to learn a little respect….."
"Let the young woman go."
Vivie turned toward the voice; it was Michael, coming out of the double doors of the kitchen.
"Who the fuck are you?”
"Didn’t anyone ever teach you how to treat a lady, boy?"
"Don’t you know you I am? My father owns this joint. I’m Tommy Flannery."
"I don’t give a shit who you are. It’s time for you and your little friends to leave; now."
Michael walked over and stood between Vivie and Tommy.
"You’ll regret this. You don’t know who you’re fucking with."
"And I don’t care. Now, like I said, it time for you to go."
Michael took another step toward Tommy. Shane and Ryan started to walk toward Michael but Tommy held his hand up, signaling them to stop.
Tommy looked at Michael and then at Vivie. "Like I said Vivie, you need to learn some respect; this isn’t over girl."
Tommy then turned to Shane and Ryan and all three left. Michael took his coat off and gave it to Vivie.
"How did you get in here? I know I had locked the kitchen doors."
"Are you okay?"
"Yes, I’m okay. I’m a little shaken but I’m okay. I knew he was up to no good when he came in tonight. I thought he was here to take the money; I did not think he would try this. If you hadn’t come in when you did…."
"But I did come in and you’re okay. But someone needs to teach that punk some manners."
"It will do no good. Tommy has been this way for years. Ever since his mother died, Shawn has been unable to do a damn thing with him. He has been in and out of trouble. He runs with gangs and works the streets. There is no helping Tommy. And the other two, they're the worst of the worst."
"Well then, we need to concentrate on keeping them out of here, at least when you’re in here alone."
"Michael, that’s impossible. I close up four nights a week. There’s no one here but me; Tommy and his crew can come in whenever they choose."
"Well, maybe I will have to come in for a late night cup of coffee then."
"No, I’ll not have you babysitting me. Now that I know what Tommy is capable of I will be ready for him. I’m not afraid of him or anyone like him for that matter."
"Little Vivie is a spunky one, now isn’t she?"
"You’re damn right I am. I learned from an early age how to take care of myself."
"Vivie, if you don’t mind my saying so, you were not doing such a good job of it tonight."
"That’s because Tommy took me off guard Michael."
"And you think he won’t do that again? Really Vivie, are you that naive?"
"If you hadn’t busted in like you did I would have taken care of him…once I pulled myself together."
"Pulled yourself together? Christ Vivie, do you know what he was about to do to you?"
"Good night Michael, it’s time that you be on your way, I have some closing up to do."
"Alright, I’m going. Good night Miss Vivie."
"Michael, how did you get in here tonight? I know I locked that kitchen door."
"Good night Vivie."
"Good night Michael."
Michael did leave the pub, but only to walk to the corner where his car was parked. There he waited until Vivie left the Pub. Michael then followed her the six blocks to her apartment building. He would make sure Vivie was safely home whether she was aware of it or not.
Weeks went by without Tommy returning to the pub or further incident. Life was pretty normal if you can call life normal in Hell’s Kitchen. Michael continued his daily visits to the pub and he and Vivie’s friendship grew. Michael learned of Vivie’s dreams and hopes for the future. Vivie learned very little of Michael’s dreams. Michael was very cautious about any information he gave to Vivie about his current life situation. Vivie started to wonder if perhaps Michael may be married, but how could he be, he was spending so much time with her, if he had a wife, would she not be wondering where he is and who he is with? Why has he not spoken to her of his business? Why is he so secretive?
Two weeks after the incident with Tommy, Michael failed to come into the pub. Four days passed and Vivie had not seen him. Vivie began to think that maybe he is married and his wife caught on to him. Maybe she took a frying pan to his head. After such a long time of his constant companionship, for him to disappear, it just did not make any sense to Vivie. Maybe he would show up tomorrow. Vivie turned out the lights in the kitchen, grabbed her coat and purse and walked through the double doors to leave. Vivie’s blood ran cold; there stood Tommy, Shane and Ryan.
"Where you going, Vivie? You’re not leaving now are you? The party is just getting started."
Tommy was holding a fifth of whisky in his hand; it was apparent they were all hopped up on pills and booze.
"Tommy, you need to leave me alone. I am going home. Do what you want here, it’s between you and your father, but I’m leaving."
"No Vivie, I don’t think you are. You see, it’s like I told you the last time, you need to learn some respect. We were interrupted before but I don’t see your Prince Charming here tonight."
All three men laughed, mocking Vivie.
Vivie ran over to the counter and grabbed a steak knife that was hidden beneath. Tommy grabbed her by the wrist and whirled her around, holding her tight, laughing at her.
"Shit Vivie, now whatcha think your gonna do with that? Fix me a steak? That’s not what I’ve a taste for."
Vivie turned around scratching Tommy’s face, bringing blood. Tommy hit her with his fist, knocking her to the floor.
"Fucking bitch! I told you, you need to learn some respect." Shane, Ryan, get over here and pick her up."
Shane and Ryan picked Vivie up off the floor, holding her in front of Tommy. Tommy, walked in front of Vivie, smiled at her and again hit her in the face, busting her lip. He then hit her in the stomach, doubling her over.
"Hold the bitch up", Tommy demanded of the other two men.
Tommy grabbed Vivie’s uniform and ripped it open. Leering at her breasts, he picked up the knife Vivie had tried to use on him and ran it across her breasts. He then used the knife to cut her bra open.
"Damn, would you look at those tits boys!"
Tommy grabbed both of Vivie’s breasts with his hands and squeezed them so hard it made her cry out in pain.
Tommy then cut Vivie’s panties off.
"Jesus boys, she’s a true red head!" All three men laughed at the remark as they stared at Vivie’s nakedness.
"Bring her over to the table and lay her down."
Shane and Ryan pulled Vivie over to the table in the back of the pub and laid her on top.
"Ryan, strap her arms down to the table legs at that end. Shane spread her legs and then strap them to the table legs down at that end.” Tommy kept the knife at Vivie’s throat so she would not move.
"Why don’t you just kill me Tommy? I would rather be dead than to have you touch me."
"You’ll change your mind Vivie. Once I bang you. Wait and see; you’ll be chasing me all over Hell’s Kitchen begging me to bang you again and again. And if you’re a good girl I’ll let you work for me and I’ll even bang you myself from time to time…just for kicks." Tommy then hit Vivie in the face again, this time blacking her eye.
"Okay, she’s all tied down", Shane called out to Tommy.
Tommy ran his hands over Vivie’s body as Vive shuddered at his touch.
"How many men you had in this thing Vivie? Am I gonna need to get me some shots when I’m threw with ya? Maybe we need to disinfect first, what do you think boys?"
Tommy grabbed the whisky bottle and poured it between Vivie’s legs. Tommy unzipped his pants and crawled on top of her.
"You're gonna love it Vivie, I promise."
Tommy raped Vivie in such a violent manner that even Shane and Ryan looked away. He continually beat her as he raped her. When he was finished, he offered her to Shane and Ryan. By this time, both men were only concerned about getting out of there before Vivie died. The last thing either of them wanted or needed was to be seen leaving the scene of another homicide.
"Let just leave Tommy. You got what you wanted now lets go." Shane was worried about what Tommy may want to do next.
"Ryan, do you think we should give her what she wants? Should we go ahead and kill her?" Tommy, looking at Vivie, sneering, was wondering if perhaps she was going to die anyway, from the beating he gave her.
"No Tommy, let’s just go man. We’ve got other things we need to do." Ryan, like Shane just wanted to get out of the pub.
"Alright then, we’ll go. Cut her loose. “It’s been a pleasure Vivie. We’ll have to do it again real soon." Tommy blew Vivie a kiss as he walked away from her.
"Let me know when you’re ready to go to work for me."
Vivie lay on the table, too sore to move, her whole body felt like it was broken. She wanted to get up but could not move. She felt herself drifting into unconsciousness. She thought that maybe she
dying. All she could think about was Michael.
Vivie heard the bell on the door ring.
“Sweet Jesus, he’s coming back, he’s going to kill me.” Vivie knew that Tommy was back to finish her off.
"Hello? Vivie? Are you still here?"
It was Michael.
Vivie tried to call out to Michael but she was too weak for him to hear her.
Michael started to walk back to the kitchen when he saw Vivie lying on the table.
"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! Vivie…what has happened to you?"
"Michael, help me; please."
"Sweet Lord in heaven, Vivie. Who has done this to you?" Michael helped Vivie sit up and covered her with a tablecloth.
"I have to get you to the hospital."
"No, no hospital."
"Then you have to get home to your mother."
"No, I can’t go home, my parents can never know about this. It would kill them."
"Christ Vivie, what do you want me to do? You need help."
"You help me."
"Me? What do you want me, to do?"
"Take me home, with you, to your home."
"Oh Vivie, you do not know what you are asking."
"Please Michael, just for tonight. I can’t go home."
"My sweet Vivie. What animals did this to you?"
Michael had a good idea who was responsible and he would deal with him soon enough, but right now he had another problem. Vivie wanted him to take her to his home. He could take her home with him but could he keep his secret from her if she was living in his home? Michael put his coat around Vivie, picked her up and carried her to his car. He then drove her to his apartment on the Upper East Side. He had worked so hard to shield her from the truth for fear of how she would react if she knew. How
this sweet girl react if she learns how he makes his living? What will she do when she learns that he is a hit man… a cleaner….an assassin?
For the next forty-eight hours, Vivie lay in Michael’s bed, slipping in and out of consciousness. Michael, never leaving her side, would alternate between lying by her side, cradling her in his arms and sitting in the overstuffed chair next to the bed. He was still torn that he had made the right decision in bringing her into his home instead of taking her to a hospital. Vivie was beaten so badly, that he hardly recognized her. Had he not known her by her beautiful red hair, he would not have been sure it was actually his beautiful Vivie laying on top of that table, bruised and bleeding, her face swollen so badly that she could not open her eyes. She had teeth marks on her breasts and the inside of her thighs. Tommy Flannery and his bastard crew were responsible for this, Michael knew this without any doubt and they would pay with their very lives.
"Yes, Vivie, I’m here darlin.”
"Where am I Michael?"
"You’re at my apartment Vivie."
"How did I get here?"
"You asked me to bring you here. Do you remember anything about what happened, Vivie?”
Vivie was quiet, through swollen, tear-filled eyes; she stared straight ahead, unable to look at Michael.
"Yes, I remember. How long have I been here?"
"About two days. Vivie, would you like a glass of water, or something to eat…anything?"
"No, I’m not hungry Michael."
"Vivie darlin, who is responsible for doing this to you?"
Vivie was silent for a moment, avoiding looking Michael’s way. "I don’t want to talk about it."
"You cannot just let these animals go free; they must pay for what they’ve done to you."
"Michael, I can’t talk about this right now; please." Vivie began to weep and turned away from Michael.
"Very well, Vivie. I will be in the kitchen. Sleep as long as you like. When you feel up to it, if you feel like a shower, the bathroom is the next room here. I have laid out a robe for you. If you need anything else just give me a shout."
Vivie lay quiet on the bed. Michael walked out of the bedroom and closed the door behind him. When Vivie closed her eyes all she could see was Tommy’s face leering down into hers, his fist coming toward her face. She could feel the beatings. She could feel the searing pain as his hand ripped at the flesh between her legs, jamming his filthy fingers inside her, and then the agony as he rammed his penis into her vagina, tearing her, and taking her most precious possession; her virginity. Vivie began to sob uncontrollably. Not so much for the physical pain, she was experiencing but the sense of mourning for her loss of innocence. Vivie must have cried herself to sleep because when she awoke the room was dark except for a small bedside lamp. Vivie looked around the room. The bedroom was the nicest room she had ever seen. Expensive looking paintings; statues; books in a bookshelf that took up a whole wall. If this was Michael’s apartment, he must be a wealthy man indeed. Vivie began to wonder what the rest of the apartment looked like if the bedroom was this elegant. She remembered what Michael had said about the bathroom and decided a bath did sound like what she needed. She needed to get the stench of Tommy Flannery off her flesh. As Vivie opened the door to the bathroom, she stood in amazement. The bathroom was nearly as large as the bedroom. It had marble floors, marble on the vanity, a glass, walk-in shower in one corner of the room and a large bathtub, big enough for two people, in the other corner. Dark green plush rugs covered the marble floor. Vivie opted for the shower. She had always taken a bath at home. It would be nice to have the water running over her body, nice to have the filth of Tommy running down the drain and into the sewer where it belongs, where he belongs. After Vivie stepped out of the shower, she stood in front of the mirrors, a whole wall of mirrors. From this wall, Vivie could see every angle of her body and every bruise, and cut and hand print left by Tommy. She stared into the mirror, looking at her face, her eyes still swollen, her lips swollen and cut. Her eyes welled with tears again. Only this time the tears were from anger, anger for Tommy, how could he do this to her? She could feel the hatred for him growing inside her. This was a new emotion for Vivie. For all of her 21 years, Vivie had never truly hated anyone, until now. Vivie slipped on the robe Michael had left for her. It was a little big but it gave her comfort, it was like having Michael’s arms wrapped around her.
As she opened the bedroom door and stepped into the next room, she could see the soft glow of a fireplace in the far corner of the room. Vivie glanced around the room; another wall filled with books….more paintings; one of a woman, naked, looking up toward the heavens with cherubs looking down at her. Vivie could hear Michael in the next room talking to someone. She hesitated for a moment, not wanting to enter the room, as she did not know whom Michael was with. She could only hear Michael’s voice; it was low, almost in whispers. After a few moments, she realized Michael must have been talking on the telephone. She could not hear what Michael was saying but hoped the conversation was not concerning her. Instead of entering the room, Vivie decided to walk over and sit on the floor in front of the fire. After just a few minutes, Michael came in.
"Vivie, I didn’t know you had gotten up. How are you feeling darlin?"
"I’m better Michael. The shower helped. Your home is beautiful."
"Thank you. I want you to be comfortable here Vivie."
"I need to apologize for asking you to bring me here Michael; I had no right to ask that of you."
"What else could I do? You refused to go to the hospital and you did not want to go home and I was not about to leave you at the pub. Vivie, it was Tommy and his crew, wasn’t it? They are the ones who did this to you?"
"Shane and Ryan held me while Tommy beat me and they tied me to the table, but it was Tommy that…that hurt me."
"The other two didn’t touch you, in that way?"
"No; it was only Tommy."
"He’ll pay Vivie, I swear to you and to God; he’ll pay for what he’s done."
"No, Michael, you must leave this alone. I do not want you getting yourself into trouble over the likes of Tommy Flannery. I will be okay, I will survive this, but you going off and doing something you should not be doing will only make matters worse. You’ll be arrested and Tommy will end up going free."
"What are you going to do about your family Vivie? What are you going to tell them when you go home?"
"I’m not going home Michael."
going home, Vivie? You’re just going to let your family think you have disappeared?"
"I’ll write them a letter and tell them I have ran away to get married. They will not like it but that is something they can at least accept. I will find a place to live and a job and I will be fine. I’ll just never go back again; ever."
"I don’t believe you can do that Vivie."
"We don’t know what we’re capable of doing Michael until we’re faced with it."
"But I do know; I know very well what a person is capable of my darlin Vivie. You know you are welcome to stay here, with me until you can find a job and a suitable place to live."
"I won’t take advantage of your kindness Michael. I’ll not stay any longer than absolutely necessary. You know, Tommy sarcastically referred to you as my Prince Charming but that’s truly what you have been to me."
"Prince Charming, eh? Me? I’ve never been referred to as Prince Charming." Michael laughed softly, thinking to himself if Vivie only knew the truth of her Prince Charming.
"Have you stayed with me all this time Michael?"
"Of course I have."
"You haven’t been to work? Your employer must be ready to give you the boot."
"I have flexible hours. I pretty much set my own hours. I do what I have to do in my own time."
“Sounds like a wonderful job. Do they have any vacancies at your office? That sounds like a job that would be perfect for me." Vivie smiled at Michael through swollen and bruised lips.
"Actually, I don’t think they’re hiring at the moment, but I’ll keep you in mind if anything becomes available." Vivie as a hired killer…..the very thought was ridiculous.
Michael, I’ll not put you out of your own bed, I’ll sleep here, on the couch."
"You’ll do no such thing. Besides, I have two other bedrooms."
"Then I shall have one of those. It’s not right for me to have your bed Michael and have you displaced in your own home."
"Do not argue with me woman, as king of this castle I insist that you have the master suite." Michael laughed and leaned over and gently touched Vivie’s arm. Her reaction was not what Michael expected, although, had he been thinking, it should have been. Vivie jumped to her feet at Michael’s touch and turned quickly away, facing the fire.
"I’m sorry, Vivie, I didn’t mean…."
"I know Michael, no need for apologies. I think, if you don’t mind, I’ll go to bed, I’m still a little tired."
"Sure Vivie, if you need anything, just call out, I’ll hear you."
"Good night Michael, and thank you, your kindness means so much to me."
"Nothing any Prince Charming wouldn’t do. Goodnight Princess Vivian."
Michael watched Vivie as she walked into the bedroom and closed the door behind her. She is putting up a brave front but it is going to take some time before she is ready to leave; Michael thought to himself. Pouring himself a scotch, Michael’s thoughts again turned to Tommy and his crew. He could not leave Vivie alone tonight, but tomorrow, during the day, if Vivie felt comfortable staying alone for a while, he would take a trip back to Hell’s Kitchen. The time had come for a chat with Mr. Tommy Flannery and his boys. For now, Michael needed to do a little housekeeping. It would not be good for Vivie to accidentally come across the tools of his trade.
The next morning Vivie awoke and the room was still dark. She looked at the clock on the table beside the bed, 5:30 a.m. The heavy curtains kept the light of dawn from creeping into the room. The smell of freshly brewed coffee permeated the room. Michael must already be up. Perhaps he is going to work today. Vivie got out of bed and slipped on the robe. She walked through the living room and cracked open the door to the kitchen.
"Ah…good morning darlin. How did you sleep?"
"I slept well Michael, thank you. Your bed is very comfortable, very big; you could get five people in that bed."
"Hmmmm, I have never thought of trying that Vivie but thank you for the observation." Michael smiled that beautiful smile Vivie loved so and gave her a little wink.
"Sit yourself down. I have prepared a breakfast fit for the princess that you are."
"I don’t eat breakfast Michael, but I would kill for a cup of that coffee."
Michael found Vivie’s reference to her need for coffee almost comical. He had killed for a lot reasons but never for a cup of coffee.
"Now Vivian Clancy, you have not eaten for several days. If you do not eat something, I will be forced to hold my breath until I turn blue. Now do you want to be responsible for an Irishman turning blue?"
Vivie laughed aloud. "No, Michael that would not be a good thing. I will have a piece of bacon and some toast. Are you going to work today?"
"I should check in but I wanted to see how you are feeling this morning before I made any definite plans, because if you…."
"Michael, please, go, go to work, I’ll be fine here. You have so many books I’ll probably spend the day reading if that would be okay."
You are more than welcome to read all the books in the apartment. Now, this afternoon, we need to go shopping."
"Yes, darlin, in case you haven’t noticed, you have no clothes."
"Oh, I guess that’s true.” Vivie clutched the top of the robe, looking down at her lap, feeling slightly embarrassed.
"If you would allow me the privilege, I would love to take you shopping and buy you whatever you need and maybe a few things you just want?"
"That would be wonderful Michael, but only on one condition; that you allow me to repay you for every cent you spend on me. Once I get a job. I will not have you spending your money on me. You’ve not taken me to raise."
"Very well Vivie; whatever you say."
As Vivie finished her coffee and toast Michael went into the other room to finish getting ready to leave. When he returned he was not wearing his normal suit and tie that Vivie was accustomed to seeing him wear but was dressed in black jeans, boots, and a leather jacket. He was also carrying a briefcase.
"You’re going to work dressed like that?"
"I think what I said was, that I was going to go check in. I don’t plan to work today, just want to let them know I am alive and well and to check to see if there are any emergencies I need to attend to. I should not be gone long. We do have a date this afternoon, remember?"
"I remember. Michael, what am I to wear when we go shopping? I have no clothes."
"That is a bit of a problem, now isn’t it? Would you mind if I pick something up for you while I’m out; just something for you to wear today?"
"That would be fine, Michael, thank you."
"Make yourself comfortable, I’ll be back soon."