"I got that white powder, you know what I'm saying? $20 for a bag," the man said as he looked at Mike, who had dotted needle marks up his arm from Jakes shooting him up with whatever the hell it was he shot him up with. Mike just shook his head and looked at Jakes, not speaking as Jakes made his way into the house. He'd been following Jakes around like a shadow the past few days because he was required too as Jakes' personal slave.
God, he hated this. He'd tried to escape twice, only to nearly be beaten to a pulp each time. He'd rarely escaped a brutal punishment by seconds the second time. Jakes was pissed.
Mike wasn't going to roll over and take this but he wasn't going to be stupid, either. Jake pointed to a corner of the floor and Mike slunk down. Jakes had two tracking anklets and a necklace that tracked and monitored Mike's movements after his last escape.
He was worried about Johnny, too. He hadn't seen Johnny in two days. Jakes had kept him locked in his room whenever he was allowed back at "base." That's what they called the area where they kept all the sex slaves.
They'd recently opened a new brothel and they were all being required to work every night. The girls looked exhausted. Mike knew there was some shake-up in the ring because they were being tougher than usual, or at least that was what he'd gathered from the rumors.
Jakes grabbed him and bashed his head against the wall, hissing, "I said sit the fuck down and don't move. Don't look up at anyone. You look at the ground. Got it?"
Mike numbly nodded as Jakes handcuffed him to the cabinet.
Another few people came in then but Mike barely paid attention. He wanted to, he wanted to take notes. But he'd barely eaten and Jakes had given him a good dose of whatever that was supposed to help him but was seriously screwing with his immune system. Twenty minutes passed and Jakes uncuffed him and steered him out to the car. Mike sat in the back, looking out the window, trying to figure out where they really were.
He'd come to the conclusion that Jakes was likely guilty. He'd been sent here to investigate the man, sure. But he knew he was also sent here to do undercover work.
He wondered if anyone knew he was missing yet. He guessed so. He finally gave up on figuring out where they were and closed his eyes.
Briggs threw his keys down on the table and glanced up at Paige. "Have you been able to get in touch with Jakes?"
"No, and I don't get it. I went in his room and all of his stuff is gone. I closed the door and called you, but you hung up on me before I could mention that part." She looked slightly irritated. Charlie joined the two.
"Wait, what?" she asked, flicking back her hair.
"Gone?" Briggs echoed.
"Yeah, like totally gone. Look."
"Fuck," Briggs muttered as he got up the seat he'd sat down on only seconds ago and moved up to the room. It was completely empty and only a note was written.
Sorry. Got reassigned by the DEA. Call my case handler if you have questions. Been great working with you.
"That's it?" Charlie asked. "That's bullshit." With that, she flipped open her phone and stormed out of her room.
"I think he's involved somehow," Paige said.
"You think? Considering he never mentioned a transfer assignment to us? I mean, I know that he's a quiet guy but…"
"Yeah…" Paige sighed as she checked under his bed and in the closets. "Nope. Everything is gone."
"He must have moved it this afternoon when we were all working on the case."
"That son of a bitch." Briggs ran his hand through his hair. "I knew he was acting fishy because I asked him about Mike and Johnny and he accused me of being a suspect. But up until that point I didn't think he was that much involved. Now I'm rethinking things."
"Yeah." Paige closed her eyes.
Charlie stormed into the room. "Guys, I have news. He wasn't reassigned."
"He wasn't reassigned?" Briggs asked. "If he wasn't reassigned…"
"Do we suspect foul play at this point?" Paige asked.
"No, I don't think so. Jakes has had suspicious behavior recently. I think if someone abducted him here there would be a lot more evidence and the note would not be written. I think it's tied in with the current case of Mike and Johnny missing. We find Johnny and Mike, we figure out what the fuck happens to Jakes. Any leads on your contact?" Briggs questioned Paige.
"We've narrowed it down to them being tracked to a small town in Mexico. The town is pro prostitution, pro drugs, pro all things criminal," Paige said. "I got permission from my boss to take a few days to go down there and see what's going on."
"Forget permission, I'm going as soon as I throw on my shoes. Charlie?"
"I'm in. We need to work out a cover story and all that shit, but let's go find our boys and bring them home before we beat the shit out of Jakes if he's guilty. If he's not guilty, we beat the shit out of him anyway, for not telling us what he's working on."
"Sounds like a plan to me."
Three days later
"Mike," Johnny said as he ran over to his coworker and friend. It had been three full days since Johnny had been allowed to see him. He wasn't sure what was up, but he knew something was. Mike was laying down on the floor, his body slumped over. Johnny made sure he was still breathing, then checked his forehead. Finding him not overly hot, he took a sigh of relief.
Mike started to stir. "Johnny, what happened?" he asked. "Where are we?"
"I don't know. Are you okay?"
"No…." Mike rolled up one of his shirtsleeves. "I'm bleeding."
Johnny rolled up the shirtsleeve to find Mike bleeding. He grabbed one of the towels from the first aid kit that Jakes had left out and said, "What happened?"
"I d-don't know." Mike stirred as Johnny patched up the wounds. "When can we leave?"
"I hope soon," Johnny said as he patched up the cuts. There was no needle so Johnny couldn't do stitches. Not that he would anyway, his sewing skills were shit. He waited until they stopped bleeding, then grabbed the gauze. "Do you remember how you got cut?"
"Jakes was angry," Mike said as he blankly stared out the wall.
"Dunno." Mike shrugged and fiddled with his arm in a way that said Mike did know but didn't want to talk about it. Johnny waited, wrapping the arm in silence after counting the marks. There were 12, and Johnny wondered if that was how many days they'd been missing. He didn't know.
Johnny had lost count of how many people he'd been forced to sleep with to pay off his none-existing debt. They couldn't turn down any clients, and the clients never even gave them any time to talk. Jakes had decided that Johnny would pay off the debt for both him and Mike, and that Mike would be Jakes' personal sex slave until Johnny got it off. So Johnny's debt was somewhere around $300,000. They'd slashed Mike's in half but barely gave Johnny any of the money he made.
They'd never get out of there at this rate. With twelve days he'd barely made a thousand dollars. He was given a notebook to keep track of everything. The system was BS, he knew that. He knew that given time he and Mike could escape.
In the meantime he and Mike had to hang in there and try and survive. At least Mike didn't have to work in the brothel. It was brutal. Johnny only survived because he was able to block most of the one-on-one time out. It was the only way to cope.
Jakes opened the door then and motioned to Johnny. Johnny moved towards the door and glanced at Jakes.
"He's not doing so well," Jakes said. "I gave you the first aid kit, right?"
"Yeah…" Johnny said, not liking where this was going.
"Fix him, you have 24 hours. I need him to be able to handle me again."
"I'm not a doctor," Johnny said. "And I don't even know what happened."
"Well, you're going to become one. As far as for what happened, you figure it out. Are we clear?" Jakes locked eyes with Johnny, who sighed.
"Good. Then there should be no problems."
24 hours to cure Mike and get the hell out of here, Johnny thought, because the hell we're waiting for you.