«Your husband owes us a lot of money, Mrs. Joy… Now, you could continue working eighteen hour days for the rest of your life, or you could come with me and settle the debt another way… Who knows, this might actually be enjoyable for you.»
“What other way?”
“Why don't you come and find out?”
~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~
“Mrs. Joy,” he said, opening the door forcibly and walking inside despite my protests. “Your ex-husband owes as a hundred grand and I intend to collect.”
I gaped at him, opening and closing my mouth a few times. “A hundred grand?” I choked. “What kind of idiot would lend him that much money?!” I gasped before I could take it back. My blood ran cold as I waited for his response.
He had made himself comfortable on my couch. The rain had misted the window completely, blocking the view of my neighbors. I closed the door quietly behind me.
He chuckled low, “Yes. I assure you. That 'idiot' has been properly dealt with.”
I kept my mouth shut.
“Mrs. Joy, I do intend to collect. Since Mr. Joy is not around, I'll collect from you,” he said.
“Please stop calling me Mrs. Joy,” I said. At his curious look, I added, “My name's Alice.”
He interlinked his fingers and turned his dark eyes at me, his expression carrying none of the mirth earlier. «Now, you could continue working eighteen hour days for the rest of your life to pay off your husband—sorry—ex-husband's debt. Or you could come with me and settle the debt another way… Who knows, this might actually be fun for you.»
“What other way?” I eyed him suspiciously, distrustful for good reason. My phone sat in the table between us and I wondered if I needed to call the police.
He grinned then, a cruel, slightly sadistic grin that sent shivers down my spine and solidified my thought that I wouldn't want to get on his bad side. “Why don't you come and find out?” he asked.
“I'd much rather not,” I responded without thinking.
“Alice,” he said standing up, towering over me easily as he stood in front of me. I leaned so far back against the couch that I wondered if it was going to swallow me whole. “Alice, you seem to think this is some sort of discussion. I'm offering you a way out of paying a hundred thousand dollars and possible earn a little more.”
I had a fleeting thought of being caught in the airport with a luggage filled with illegal goods and shuddered. “When Mr. Joy comes back, I'll let him know he has to pay you,” I tried again, choosing to stay strong despite the fact that he was radiating danger. Maybe I just didn't care anymore.
“I'm willing to bet you will be changing your mind real soon, Mrs. Joy,” he growled, leaning down so that his eyes met mine and our breaths mixed together. Our lips parted and we breathed each other's air. For a moment, I wondered if he was going to kiss me. It was absurd.
“Keep your distance, Nick,” I said with as much venom as I can muster. He was intimidating, his strong arms on either side of my head, trapping me in my seat.