Uncovering Lily (MacKay International Book 1), page 1
~ MacKay International, #1~
By: Rene Webb
Text Copyright © 2018 Rene Webb, All Rights Reserved
Table of Contents
Also By Rene Webb
Excerpt from FINDING SUNSHINE
About the Author
Rene Webb Online
For: All my Game Night friends.
Virgin, Lily MacKay has been drugged, kidnapped and imprisoned in a Hong Kong brothel with no way of escaping. And she’s tried. Will the man she’s been given to for the night be her worst nightmare or her rescuer?
Businessman, Xavier Finch was at the brothel to meet with a potential investor. He never intended to spend the night. When he sees Lily he instantly recognizes her, but she doesn’t remember him.
Now Xavier has only one night to make her his.
Are you ready to spend the night with Xavier?
Disclaimer: The persons, places, things, and otherwise animate or inanimate objects mentioned in this novel are figments of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to anything or anyone living (or dead) is unintentional.
Also By Rene Webb
PINETREE ROMANCE SERIES
FINDING SUNSHINE (A Pinetree Romance, #1)
LOVE FOUND (A Pinetree Romance, #1.5)
A WHITE HOT CHRISTMAS: Novella
~ Lily ~
Mid-April – Hong Kong
The sounds of partying and sex have finally ended, and the house has grown silent. Sneaking out should be easy.
Grasping the door handle with a shaking hand I whisper to myself, “It’s now or never.”
The knob turns, and the door thankfully opens—my captors haven’t locked me in the small prison-like room. Two days ago, at least I think it was, I woke up disoriented from whatever drugs they had injected me and with the worst hangover I have ever experienced. Last year’s tequila fueled New Year’s doesn’t even compare!
The small room swam in front of my eyes, and I was too dizzy to comprehend what was really going on. I only knew one thing: I had been kidnapped. I have since been able to deduce that I’m most likely not in Paris. They aren’t speaking French, rather what I assume is Chinese Mandarin, so I have not understood a fucking word they’ve said to me through the drugged-induced haze.
Last semester I should have taken Mandarin instead of fucking French. It would’ve been a hell of a lot more useful! Who needs to speak French anyway? Most of the French I met in Paris spoke at least some English, and many of those were eager to practice their English with me.
Once the fog started lifting from my mind, I drank every drop of water they gave me to try and flush out whatever drug they’d injected me with. I also exaggerated the effects, making them think the drugs were still having an effect on me. By last night I felt almost human again.
Now it’s time for my escape.
From looking out the small window, I know that I am being held on the third floor of a large residential home. I feel pretty confident in my abilities since I have had plenty of practice sneaking in and out of my house in high school. I have been eagerly waiting until the house quiets. Hopefully, everyone is asleep.
I’m still wearing the same black dress I was kidnapped in, but my shoes have gone missing, so I tiptoe out of the room barefoot. The long hallway has several doors on either side, and in the darkness, I can make out a staircase on the far end. Slowly I make my way down the hall, keeping in the shadows and using the rug running its length to muffle my footsteps. I inch my way toward the stairs and slowly descend to the landing, leaning my weight onto the railing so my steps are lighter on the treads, until I enter another long hallway.
This one is brighter, and it’s not long before I come to another railing overlooking the open entryway. There I see the early morning sun coming through the windows. The large front door is in sight! My heart is pounding in my chest so loud I can almost hear it.
I move slowly toward the staircase but freeze when I see a large man dressed in a suit walking to the door and standing by it like a sentry. After several eternity-like seconds, he touches his ear almost as if someone is speaking to him and moves off down an adjacent hallway until I can no longer see him. I quickly hurry down the stairs. Throwing open the door, I bolt outside and down the cement steps, ignoring my feet protesting the cold and rough terrain.
I make it down the driveway and come to a decorative gate. I attempt to push it open, only to find it locked. Fuck. I am forced to crouch down in order to crawl under. I wince as I scrap my palms against the icy broken concrete. My dress’s flimsy material barely covers my knees and I can feel it beginning to tear. Once on the other side, I attempt to stand only to snag my dress on one of the gate’s unwelcoming spikes. Panicking, I tug myself loose, ripping a hole in the back of my dress.
Shaking and sweating, but not wanting to risk being caught, I continue to run down the busy sidewalk.
I don’t get too far when I freeze in my tracks. A black car has pulled up in front of me and several large men in black suits get out. I turn to run the opposite direction, only to run directly into more men.
One of the men picks me up and carries me over his shoulder. I kick, scream, and fight as they drag me back to the house. The street is busy, and pedestrians pass by, but no one attempts to stop them.
They take me through the back door and into what I now know is the holding room for any drunk or abusive clients. They are careful not to hit my face as they beat me with wooden canes, and laugh at my expense as I curl into a tight ball, protecting myself.
I am then forced into my now familiar closet, with only a pillow and blanket. I can barely move or breathe.
I’m stuck. Trapped.
But not raped. Yet.
The following morning, I am dragged out of my closet and taken to see the overseer, a balding middle-aged man who runs the house.
“You behave, or I have you beaten again,” he says, spitting and jabbing a fat finger in my face. “Until Sir comes for you, you work for me now.”
Since every man who enters the house is called “Sir,” this doesn’t tell me anything.
The only thing I can do is keep breathing—no matter how painful it is.
After my escape attempt yesterday, I’ve come to realize that I need to learn as much as possible about my surroundings before I attempt another escape.
Lying alone on the floor of this tiny, stuffy, closet with only a pillow, blanket, and my thoughts for company, I try to piece together what is happening to me and why. The rest of the day I sink into despair and silently cry myself to sleep unable to control my emotions. But I quickly realize that this isn’t going to help me escape.
The next day no one will tell me why I am being held captive. And I have asked, repeatedly. The other inhabitants of the house barely speak to
All the women, from the maids who cook and clean to the girls who service the gentlemen, all seem to be here of their own free will. They smile, laugh, and eagerly greet the men who visit. None of them are locked in at night to prevent their escape.
As the days pass, I’m able to piece together several things, one being my location. After hearing one of the gentlemen talking to another I’ve figured out that I am now in Hong Kong. How I got here from Paris I still have no fucking clue. I don’t dare ask any of the men who visit for help. They barely acknowledge my existence, except to try and cop a feel or order a drink.
Nothing makes sense.
At first, I thought that I was being held captive for ransom. My late father’s company, MacKay International, is a multi-million dollar corporation and one of the largest textile importers in the country. Clearly, this isn’t the case otherwise I would be free.
My throat tightens and my chest painfully seizes whenever I think of my family. They must be going crazy wondering where I am and what has happened to me. I imagine my stepfather, James, and cousin, Peter, are frantically scouring the globe looking for me. And my poor mother, who’s already lost so much, is probably sick with worry and pretending nothing is wrong.
I need to get home to them. Now, all I have to do is figure out how!
~ Finn ~
The tiny doorman pushes open the heavy, solid wood door. Upon entering the cold interior of the McMansion’s large entryway, I am met by my host Robert Ban who says jovially, “Mr. Finch I’m so glad you were able to make it.”
I have no desire to be in a Hong Kong brothel, but it is important that I meet with Robert and ingratiate myself with him. No matter how distasteful I may find my surroundings.
“Call me Finn,” I tell him, reaching out to take his pudgy hand in a firm handshake. You can tell a lot about a person from their handshake: whether they are weak and easily manipulated, or if they are aggressive and overly self-assured. Robert’s handshake is a happy medium.
“Let’s get business out of the way, and then we can relax and enjoy the night’s entertainment.” He smiles, leading me into a small sitting room and flopping down on the overly stuffed couch. I sink into the chair kitty-corner to him and attempt to relax.
My business partner, Peter Stein, had put me in contact with Robert, who is now the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of his family’s tech firm, Ban and Sons, telling me he would make an excellent contact for the private deal we have been working on.
Peter and I have known each other since our days at Oxford and have recently been working on combining some of our business interests. His uncle, who he’d been like a son to, passed away five years ago, but he’d verbally and privately promised Peter a piece of his company, MacKay International. Although Peter is now a large shareholder and member of the board of directors, the new CEO limits his power thus complicating our efforts to merge. The company’s manufacturing interests would pair perfectly with my transportation company, and it’s been our goal to combine them into a new, larger, more powerful corporation.
We haven’t given up. After several years, despite the complications, we have raised the capital we need and are working on finding some struggling manufacturing corporations we can take over at a discount price. We also need a state-of-the-art tracking system for our new company, to more efficiently track our products from manufacturing to transport and distribution. That’s where Robert and his company come in.
But right now I’m exhausted. Since I left Boston, the last two days have been non-stop traveling and meetings. It started with a contentious brunch in DC with several overpaid lawyers, followed by unproductive cocktails in Chicago, and then a red-eye to San Francisco before flying here to Hong Kong only to be swept up into more mind-numbing meetings where nothing ever seemed to be accomplished.
I am beginning to seriously question the viability of several of the companies whose CEO’s I met with over the past two days. These men had very little interest in actually discussing anything business related unless I came prepared to agree with them carte blanche, and instead of negotiating they attempted to impress me with their golf handicaps. If you have time to play enough fucking golf to have that good a handicap, then you must not take your company too seriously. And I won’t be giving you any of my fucking money or contracting you to work for my company.
Not surprisingly, it was the women-run textile companies I met with this morning over breakfast which had their fucking shit together and came to the table ready to actually negotiate. With them, I was able to make several lucrative deals. Afterward, they probably went out to buy knockoff handbags and shoes, because every smart businessperson knows when to cut corners, and I got ready to meet Robert and come to this fucking overpriced brothel.
This isn’t your typical low-rent establishment. For security and secrecy, you aren’t even told where you are. A driver picks you up at your hotel, and then you are driven in a dark sedan with blackened windows to the destination. If it was my business and I wanted to avoid being found, I’d also have a number of houses across the city. That way I could change locations at unpredictable times, but not have to cease normal operations. Not that I would ever own a brothel. I may be a lot of things, but I’m not a whoremonger.
A waitress, who I am assured by Robert does not understand English, brings us drinks, and we quickly get down to business. From Peter’s intel, I know that Robert’s company is in talks with our major competitor and it is up to me to get him interested in our fledgling company, to convince him there is more potential growth with us. Ban and Sons has not only the technology but also the infrastructure to handle our needs.
Our meeting isn’t long, and I am struck by how intelligent and diligent my host is when discussing business. He came actually willing to negotiate and have a productive conversation. We may not have come to any finite terms, but I’m well on the way to convincing him that his company should work with me. I like him already.
Once our meeting has concluded, we walk down the hall and enter a large cigar-smoke-filled lounge. I am surprised to see the CEO of one of my company’s largest subcontractors, LDC Limited, there with several of his associates. They are sitting on the large soft leather sofas and chairs in front of a small raised platform where several women are dancing, as close to the action as possible.
I choose the couch furthest away and closest to the long bar that runs the length of the room. Robert drops down next to me and looks around the room expectantly. Casually peering at my watch, I wonder when I can make my exit without insulting my host. I got what I came for—a private, productive meeting with Robert. Now it’s time to leave.
“Sir. You are back,” a tiny woman says excitedly in Mandarin, trotting over as fast as her heels can take her. She wraps her slender arms around Robert’s neck and sits on his lap. I watch as his face brightens and he blushes with the attention. The tart is barely dressed and has enough makeup caked on for ten women. Definitely not my type. I prefer my women with a natural look.
“What can I get you, sir?” a soft, quivering female voice asks in perfect English, catching my full attention and making my head snap up and look at its owner. Beneath the mounds of dark makeup, nervous green, familiar, eyes stare back at me.
I shake my head, still not believing what—whom—I see standing before me. It cannot possibly be Peter’s cousin. I have seen plenty of pictures of her throughout the years, and her resemblance to my friend is undeniable. There have been no rumors of her missing, and my friend would have told me. Is it really Lily MacKay? I need to come up with a way to get this girl alone, to find out for sure.
“A scotch, but only one ice cube.” I take a deep breath and suppress the building anger within. I would bet money,
“I have never seen an American here before,” Robert says in perfect French, surprising me. His serious scowl and switching to another language that presumably many around us don’t understand quickly tells me he also senses something is off.
“Don’t worry,” I reply in the same language. “I’ll make sure she is okay.”
He nods his head, seeming satisfied with my answer and is quickly distracted by the woman on his lap who is kissing his neck and touching and stroking his chest. One of the other tarts moves to sit on my lap, but I gently push her off, crossing my legs to discourage any further attempts.
Lily soon reappears next to my chair holding a tumbler of my favorite amber liquid.
“Thank you,” I say politely as Lily hands me the drink. When our fingertips touch, a warm spark floods through me. I know it’s not the alcohol; I haven’t even taken a sip yet. When I look up, I catch her gazing down at my left hand as if looking for something. It is not the first time I have caught a woman checking to see if I am married.
From my vantage point, I can see a majority of the room. Pretending to be entranced by the performance on the stage, like the rest of the men, I let my gaze follow Lily around the room. She serves several men drinks, and they barely acknowledge her. The ones that do, she deftly sidesteps their wandering hands like a pro. Several of the men who casually attempt to molest her are the same fucking men I have done business with—not anymore.
I make a point of ignoring her. You never know with some of these competitive assholes, they might notice my interest and then automatically decide Lily must be worth having. Or worse, they could recognize her. Several of them have had dealings with her late father’s company. Hopefully, she hasn’t recognize any of them either.