This is the fifth and last chapter of the series “Jailed!“. I would advise that you read the previous chapters before you read this one.
I felt a presence near me and instantly awoke and sat on my bunk bed. For some reasons they had isolated me for my last night, and I had unfortunately no time to ask Jenny if this was a normal procedure … I assumed so, but was a bit surprised that none of the girls told me about it. Standing in front of me, arms crossed, was Judge Davis.
-“What…what are you doing here?” I asked in a croaky voice, still semi-conscious and not fully awake.
Judge Davis smirked.
-“You did not forget we are setting you free today, did you?” she asked. I shook my head, fearing a trick to extend my sentence. As if she were able to read my mind, she continued. “No worries Palen, there are no changes in the plan. Now hurry up, I could change my mind anytime,” she threatened.
In seconds I was on my feet. She secured me in cuffs and escorted me to the admitting room, the same room to which I was taken when I entered this wicked prison. Everything was silent – the whole prison was still sleeping and the sun was barely starting to show. I looked around, still shocked at what had happened in this very room. I knew all of the girls had gone through the same horrendous and humiliating process during their admission. Suddenly I felt my cuffs loosen as the judge unlocked them and put them on a nearby table.
-“Strip! I am going to fetch your box in the meantime.” she said, as if I were a little girl with no concept of modesty.
I suppressed a sigh and started to undress. By the time she came back with the same box I had left my clothes in, I was naked as requested. I was so happy to see that box – it meant this was indeed happening, I was freed! She gave me a stern look, examining every square inch of my skin. I immediately felt ill at ease. Now that I recall it, I am pretty sure she did it on purpose, to lower my guard before lecturing me.
-“I hope you learned your lesson, Miss Exhibitionist!” she said with what seemed like half a smile. Her expressions changed so quickly, it was very hard to catch her mood. I simply nodded. “I beg your pardon? I did not hear anything” she continued.
-“Y.. yes, lesson learned, Your Honor” I finally replied in a broken voice.
-“Good! Someone is waiting for you outside.” she said.
-“Oh, yes … I think it’s my friend Kod.”
-“That was not a question dear,” she continued, “… as for your friend Kod, hmmm – I am not sure he is a good influence on you, so we did not send him the notification that you would be out today.”
-“What? Are you kidding me?” I said, furious.
-“Mind your tone, Palen!” she snapped. “We are taking great care with ex-con re-integration, so now you’re going to listen to me – is that understood?” Still naked in front of her like a poor little girl, I was terrified. The only thing I had in mind was leaving this place, I was ready to do anything to have that door leading outside opened. So I simply nodded. “Good!” she said, appreciating my willingness. “You probably noticed your sentence has been very light, correct?”
-“Yes … I am definitely very grateful for your underst…”
-“Silence! I don’t want to hear your thanks. There is a reason for this leniency, Palen.” she kept silent for a long time before continuing. “Mussar promised he would take care of you when you were released, and he has all my trust! He is waiting for you outside and you are going to follow him, do I make myself clear?” she asked.
-“Ye … yes, very … very clear Your Honor” I said.
She handed me the box with a smile.
-“Perfect! Now dress!” she ordered.
I quickly slipped on my clothes, then realized I was wearing the same outfit that caused my arrest. The judge stared at me from head to toe and frowned.
-“Better keep pulling at the hem of your jumper, you don’t want to get arrested again, do you?” she smirked.
-“No … no I don’t” I said in a toneless voice.
She nodded and walked towards the exit door. For some reason I was like paralyzed, afraid of making a mistake that would prevent me from leaving that damned place. The judge arched her eyebrows, looking at me:
-“So what? You enjoyed your stay with us and want to stay?” she said sarcastically.
I shook my head and joined her near the door. She chuckled and finally unlocked the door, opening it slowly. It was still early morning and the air had a very particular scent … the scent of freedom. I made a few steps outside, still fearing that something or someone would deny my freedom at the last minute, but it did not happen. The judge said from behind me:
-“Enjoy your freedom, Palen! I hope to never see you again!” Then she slammed the door shut with a a sinister metallic sound. I shivered.
There he was, standing displaying a half-smile in the chilly and slightly foggy morning,. I shyly walked towards him until I was two meters away.
-“Glad to see you’re out!” he said in a warm tone.
-“Thanks!” I said, without any emotion, or at least trying to conceal any.
I was in such a strange mood. I felt like I wanted to smile and cry at the same time. I did not know if it was a normal feeling but I knew it was something I did not want to experience anymore. It was like my feelings were torn apart in my poor and damaged soul. I was denied to express any of them by the presence of this stranger, I did not want to show him any weakness even if I was craving to talk to him, to let my feelings out.
Mussar simply nodded, noticing my outfit:
-“This is what got you arrested, right?”
-“Yes!” I said in a cold tone, pulling on the hem of my jumper.
-“Do not worry Catherine… I am not here to judge you, but to help you. We are going to work together on this inadequate behavior. All this will soon be bad memories, you will never forget of course, but it will only be memories. Come now, we are going to put you in a safe place.” he added, gesturing toward his limo.
As soon as I approached the luxurious car, the chauffeur went out and opened the door for me … never in my life did I experience this luxury. I hopped in the car and Mussar got in behind me. The chauffeur closed the door behind us and soon the limo was in motion to … I did not know to where.
-“Where … are we going?” I asked with a tight throat.
-“To a haven of peace, Catherine.” he answered mysteriously.
I looked out the window to hide from him that I was crying. The landscape was moving quickly, we were on the highway and I finally connected the dots … we were heading to the airport! I was not going to stay in the neighborhood. He probably noticed my anxiety and sadness.
-“Relax, Catherine!” he said. “You have nothing to fear as long as you are with me.” Having said that, he opened the minibar and served me a glass of water. I made the mistake of accepting it … five minutes later I felt into a very deep sleep.
When I woke up, I was laying on a king size bed in a very luxurious bedroom, naked. I feared the worst had happened, but as far as I could tell I felt OK. A large ceiling fan was spinning above my head, I took a few minutes to observe its slow motion and finally stood. I found my clothes folded neatly on a nearby armchair and quickly dressed: it was time for me to figure out where I was.
I wandered the corridors of the huge house – everywhere I looked was luxury, it was just amazing. I felt like Scheherazade, lost in the “Tales of the Arabian Nights” palace. I was exploring for fifteen minutes when, passing in a corridor, I heard a commanding voice that made me jump.
-“Nice to see you are awake,” said Mussar.
I froze and, recovering from my surprise, walked to where I thought the voice came from. I passed through a wide portal leading to a large living room, it was actually more the size of a ballroom. Mussar was there, comfortably seated in an armchair. He was gazing and smiling at me with the calm attitude of a man in power. I stood a few meters from him.
-“Where …. where am I?” I asked, trying to conceal my anger.
-“In my modest home sweet home!” he replied confidently. “Do you like the place?”
-“That’s …. that’s not the question! You … you drugged me!” I said pointing a finger at him.
He stared at me and chuckled which made me even more furious.
-“Awww Catherine … you needed some good sleep! I just helped!” he said, not an ounce of regret in his tone. “Calm down and have a sit,” he said, gesturing to a nearby armchair. As I sat down he continued, “I hoped you slept well, how do you feel today?”
-“I … I am ok, thank you” I replied coldly. “Seriously, Mussar, where are we?”
-“You don’t need to know where we are … not yet. The only thing you need to know is that you are under my protection. As I told you yesterday, you have nothing to fear, so relax and enjoy your time with us.”
-“Us? You’re not living alone here?” I asked, a bit relieved to know that there were other people around.
-“Yes, us. You and me, my three wives and our servants.” He paused and smiled. “My wives took care of you when you arrived yesterday but you probably do not remember, you were so … deeply asleep.”
-“So you … you did not … you did not touch me?” I asked anxious.
-“Awww, you hold me in very low esteem,” he said. “No, I did not. My wives put you to bed. Actually, they reported you are a great and rare beauty,” he added, staring at me.
I instantly blushed, unable to contain my embarrassment. He chuckled.
-“You’re even more beautiful when you blush, actually. Now come, I will show you your new home.”
-“My new … home? To be honest, I don’t understand anything, Mussar” I said in a desperate tone.
He smiled warmly.
-“Well … this is your new home until I feel you are … ready to come back to the world you are used to. Clearly, your behavior … has been unacceptable, and judge Davis gave me the mission to, well … fix you if I can say it that way. So until I say it is over you are my guest.”
And this was when I understood I was actually still in prison. A different prison, more comfortable – but still a prison.
-“So … if I tell you I am gonna leave now?” I asked very provocatively.
-“You can leave of course … all the doors are open, you can go anywhere. But let me tell you that outside of this palace I cannot protect you … and without your passport you won’t go far,” he concluded, arching his eyebrows.
-“I see” I said, resigned.
-“Now come! I will show you around. But first you are going to put this on,” and he handed me over a headscarf. “In my house, no women go without a headscarf, it’s indecent and inappropriate.”
He helped me to set it properly on my head and finally took a step back, looking at me.
-“Much better! You’re nearly decent now … well nearly only, we will fix your inappropriate clothing a bit later.”
We spent one full hour while he showed me all of what he called his palace. Actually the place was immense, but surprisingly we did not meet a single soul at any moment.
I started to wonder if the supposed inhabitants were a lie when he said,
-“I am going to introduce you to my second spouse … Halima. I am sure the two of you will get along well together.”
We entered into a different quarter of the palace through a small door that I did not notice before. I realized that the part of the palace I had visited so far were his private quarters only. I followed him through a maze of corridors and we finally arrived in front of a nicely carved wooden door. He knocked on it.
-“Come in,” came the answer from a feminine voice.
He pushed the door open and a veiled woman, wearing black from head to toe, was standing there. She walked toward him and knelt at his feet, hugging his legs tightly.
-“Sahib,” she simply said.
-“Halima” he replied. “Good to see you. You may rise.”
I watched this scene, aghast. I could feel his stare on me as Halima stood and came to face me. She bowed and I did the same in return.
-“Catherine, this is Halima. Halima, you remember Catherine?”
-“Of course!” she replied. “You are welcome in this house, Catherine” she added gently.
-“Did you prepare some clothes for Catherine as I asked you?” he enquired.
-“Yes Sahib, they are here”. She pointed to a small pile of clothes, actually a skirt and a shirt. “We are going to give her some privacy to change, aren’t we Sahib?”
-“Very good Halima,” he complimented her. Then turning to me he said, “Yes, we are. We will be in the living room at the end of the corridor. You cannot miss it.”
He opened the door for Halima and they both left, closing the door behind them. I stripped and put on the conservative shirt and long skirt, unfortunately Halima did not bring panties for me. Something, however, was bizarre with the skirt. I checked the lining and found an envelope pinned to it with a safety pin … it bore a single word “Catherine”.
With shaking hands I opened the envelope: it contained my passport, a lighter, and a letter.
You are in danger, but I am going to save you. I do not want you to face the same fate as me. Mussar is what they call a trader. Make no mistake, he is not in finance. His business is human trafficking. He bought you, and now you are going to be trained as a slave. He will sell you for a higher price, or if you are lucky he will force you into marriage. This is a very profitable business as you can judge by the house we are living in.
There is a secret pocket inside the skirt, behind the lining – hide your passport in it. You will flee today after lunch, but first I have to give you something and then I will lead you outside where a friend will drive you to the airport. Until then, keep a low profile and play his games. This is the only way we can save you.
Use the lighter to destroy this letter once you have read it.
I was in shock … was it a trap? Or was it my only chance to escape this place? Who was I to rely on … Halima or Mussar? I had no time to think, but I started to connect the dots: Judge Davis sold me to Mussar, this was why my sentence has been so light. The judge was part of the scheme and provided girls to Mussar. I made my decision and decided to take a chance with Halima … I hid my passport in the secret pocket and burned the letter cautiously.
My heart beating hard I made my way down the corridor to the living room where they were waiting for me. It was not only the two of them actually. Halima and Mussar were sitting on a comfy armchair with three large cushions spread in front of it at their feet. One of the cushions was occupied by a woman who was completely naked.
-“Haaaa you look much better like this: finally a respectable woman,” Mussar said as I entered the room. “Have a seat, Catherine!” he said. I remained frozen, staring at the naked woman who looked like a statue bowing down, not daring to make a single move or sound. “Forget about Nayla … she is another lost girl like you, Catherine. She is with us for one month now, forbidden to talk or wear clothing. She needs to learn humility. I would normally have applied the same rule to you, but since you are an exhibitionist, you would have probably enjoyed it … so, different treatment for you. An idea of my dear Halima‘s.” Halima looked at him and smiled. “Now sit, Catherine.”
He was probably expecting me to protest but I did not. I saw surprise on his face as I sat at his feet. Halima discreetly nodded, getting the message that I had read her letter. My fate was sealed.
-“The outfit fits you perfectly, Catherine,” Halima said.
-“Thank you, Halima.”
-“Yes, I agree with Halima… very good choice my dear,” he said, looking at her. “How do you feel, Catherine?” he asked.
-“Good…I am good” I lied.
-“Hmm … do you feel a little humbled?” he asked, arching his eyebrows.
-“To sit at your feet on cushions while you have a proper chair … yes definitely, but well I am a guest so I have to comply with your rules, right?”
He looked at me, very surprised again. I had to remember not to be too obvious, the last thing I wanted was to raise a doubt in his mind.
-“Very good, Catherine … we might be able to make something of you after all. Okay,} let me introduce a few rules right now. Are you ready to hear them?”
-“Yes Mussar … I am.”
-“All right. First thing, you will address me as Sahib, just like Halima does. Then, you will never sit on any chair before I give you the authorization to do so. Now … sitting on the cushions, you have to adopt the correct position: on your knees, sitting on the back of your legs.” I corrected my position and he nodded. “Very good, knees apart! Yes like this, more, more… yes perfect like this! Hands on your thighs and palms up. There! Perfect, Catherine. Are you comfortable?”
-“I … I guess so” I said doubtfully, looking at the poor naked Nayla in an even worse predicament.
-“Perfect. Now listen and do not speak until I tell you so. Halima is going to tell you her story. Halima, my dear?”
Halima told us her personal story and how life led her here. She talked for half an hour, taking her time and choosing her words carefully, which made me feel she had an education. It turned out she had been a brilliant student who at some point threw everything away and started living against all the standards she had been taught. She lived in the street for two years, hitting the pavement to survive … she was doomed until “Sahib” (as she called him) found her and taught her the way of the just and the good. The whole time I stared at her, trying to detect if she was lying or not … as far as I could tell most of her story seemed true … except for the fact that, given her letter, she did not consider Mussar as her savior at all. A long silence followed, during which I felt the heavy stare of Mussar on me.
-“So, Catherine? What do you think? Do you want me to save you as I did Halima … as I am doing with Nayla?”
I was taken by surprise. I was not ready to answer such a direct question, and I had to be convincing. So I put on my best acting skills and, raising my gaze to his, said:
-“Given my current situation, I … I do not have anything to lose, right?”
-“Good, Catherine, you are taking a wise decision.” he said with a big smile. “We will start your training tomorrow.” Then he turned to Nayla. “Nayla, you may leave now. Go into the kitchen and prepare us a meal.”
The girl stood and vanished down the corridor.
-“As you are going to become a new person, Catherine, I have decided to give you a new name. From now on you will be known as Chaima. Is that clear?”
-“Yes Sahib.” I replied. “I am Chaima.”
He looked at me and smiled. I was scoring points apparently, Halima’s advice has been good so far. While waiting for the lunch to be ready, Mussar told the story of how he found me to Halima, who nodded the whole time. We both did our best not to reveal we were accomplices.
We finally moved to a large dining room where a succulent meal was served by two maids, both completely veiled. I did not eat much, I was way too stressed to be able to eat anything substantial. And of course I did not drink anything. I was drugged once, he could do it again.
-“Let’s show you your quarters, Chaima,” said Mussar, again leading the way.
The room was pretty large but I was to share it with Nayla. There were no actual beds, just boards linked to the wall by heavy chains. There were no real mattresses either, but instead cushions that would make nights very uncomfortable … and the worst of it was that the room was directly accessible from the garden, with no doors and no privacy. What if the weather became chilly? It was more a covered courtyard than a real bedroom.
-“This is a modest room Chaima … but as I said you have to learn humility,” he concluded. “Now if you will excuse me, I have things to attend.”
-“Of course, Sahib,” Halima said, “I am going to show the garden to Chaima.”
-“Excellent idea!” he said, leaving us alone.
We kept silent for one long minute, after which Halima left, following Mussar steps. By the time she came back to me I was totally stressed, my hands shaking and my teeth clacking.
-“Okay, Catherine, we do not have much time.”
-“Where is he?” I asked, afraid.
-“In his bedroom … the bastard is fucking our two maids.”
I opened my eyes wide.
-“The good thing is that he is busy for some time… but we have to act before Nayla returns. She is doing the dishes at the moment, but she can be pretty efficient sometimes.” She fetched a folder from under her dress and handed it over to me. “Take this and give it to the embassy of my country when you are back home … it can save us all here.”
-“You’re not coming with me?”
-“No! Unlike you, I do not have my passport. Our only chance is you! Let’s go!”
She grabbed my hand and ran, pulling me after her through the lavish garden surrounding the palace, until we reached a small door. She pulled the latch and the door opened on the street.
-“Catherine, this is where our path separates. A friend is waiting for you 200 meters on the right from here. Do not stop, run to there.”
-“How will I recognize him or her?”
-“You will know.” she said. “One more thing, you have to hit me hard – to keep up appearances.” She handed me a large stick that she must have stored there on purpose. She turned her back to me. “Hit hard, it has to be credible!” she said.
My hands still shaking, I took the heavy stick and hit her on the head – she fell, unconscious. I hoped I had not killed her. I checked on her and her heart was still beating. In panic I dashed through the door and shut it behind me. I ran as fast as I could, clutching the precious folder to my breast. I crossed the first intersection with no one noticing. I continued, not knowing the distance I had covered … maybe 200 meters already, how could I be sure? Then suddenly the loud noise of a powerful motorbike was behind me. Was I being chased already? I was not sure. I turned to look and there on a bike was Kod … Kod, my dear friend, coming to the rescue.
-“Hop in!” he said, “Quick!”
I did my best to sit behind him on the motorbike, but with a long skirt it was not an easy thing to do. Finally I forgot all good manners, hiked up my skirt and rode the motorbike, readjusting it afterward. I put my arms around his waist, pressing the folder against his body as he finally set his powerful machine in motion. It took us less than twenty minutes to reach the airport, where Kod parked the bike. My hair was a real mess, but that was a lesser evil. We bought tickets for the first flight and were in the international zone less than an hour after. I have never been that nervous waiting for a plane – which, for a change, was on time and we finally boarded the plane. Kod was nervous as well, checking everything, making sure we were not followed, but our fears were unfounded, we were safe.
It took five hours before we finally landed in France. We were not able to talk in the confined space of the plane, so we had to wait until we finally reached Kod’s house. I was able to tell him the whole story and he told me how Halima reached him using my phone. He had not been hard to convince as his requests to visit me at the prison were all denied. He knew something was wrong and was actually very worried about my fate. Halima and Kod then set up a plan and synchronized their actions using my phone.
The following day I was at Halima’s embassy to deliver the precious folder containing all the details of Mussar’s ‘operations’, which she recorded carefully. The employee we we met there seemed pretty excited about what we brought him. I was submitted to a long, detailed questioning the entire day by different people from their information services. I was not sure, and would probably never know, but I guessed that ‘Halima’ (Helen was her true name) was one of their implanted agents.
It took me months to be able to sleep after that, but slowly I recovered. I was checking the news all the time expecting the good news to come about Mussar’s arrest. Nine months after the event it happened: the scandal was making the headlines. The house had been invaded by the police and the women there freed … Halima was not mentioned, it is was if she never existed. It comforted me to think she was a secret agent. Arrests occurred in ten countries, and Judge Davis was one of the accused. My life was finally going to take its normal path again …
… and, believe it or not, it did not heal my exhibitionist tendencies.