Page 22 of Tobias

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Virginia watched the interaction and knew that something was terribly wrong. Her husband was an excellent businessman who knew how to invest his clients’ money, making them ten-fold what was invested.

“I don’t have time to recoup, Jason. So, I’m going to make a proposal to you. Something involving a different part of my business.”

Jason stared at his wife and mouthed the words, ‘I’m sorry.’ She was sympathetic in her expression. But she wouldn’t be for long. In a while, she would hate him. Despise him.

“Please don’t do this, Eddie. Please.”

“I have to,” he grinned.

He turned to Virginia and smiled. She was a lovely woman. Probably mid- to late-thirties. Maybe a few too many injections in her face, a nip and tuck here and there, but she damn sure wore that dress well. She wasn’t exactly what his clients looked for, but she would do for the weekend. He’d dress her up in something young, something sexy and slutty, or maybe a schoolgirl. They’d love her.

“Virginia? Do you enjoy the theater?” he asked. Virginia stared at the man, confused.

“Yes, I suppose I enjoy a good production. I particularly like musicals, but Jason prefers plays.” Eddie laughed. So did the two men standing with him.

“No, my dear. Do you enjoy acting? You know, playing a part.” Again, she looked at Jason, begging for clarity. “Let me ask this. Do you and your husband ever role-play in the bedroom?”

“That’s not something I’m comfortable speaking to,” she said with a haughty air. The men chuckled, shaking their heads.

“Well, get comfortable,” growled Eddie. “You see, your husband risked all of my money and lost it. All of it. This weekend, I have some very important clients coming to my mansion in the Hamptons, and you’re going to be the starring attraction.”

“Wh-what?” she whispered.

“Oh, it won’t be so bad. I mean, some of them can be a little rough on occasion, but I’m going to bet you’ll enjoy it and return a totally different woman.”

“Jason?” Her husband just shook his head.

“I’m sorry, Virginia. I’m so fucking sorry, honey.”

“No. No, what are you saying?”

“I’m saying, darling,” smiled Eddie. “You’re going to come with us. My guests will pay one hundred thousand a piece for two hours with you. And they will get to do whatever their hearts desire. Jason over there is going to gather all your jewelry, and my men are going to take the cars. That should cover about a fourth of what I’ve lost.”

“I’m going to be sick,” she said, racing to the wastebasket. She gagged several times as the men watched. Jason went to his wife’s side, rubbing her back.

“Jason, just give him his money back. Give him our money! Give it all! Sell the house, sell everything!”

“I-I can’t. I wish I could. We don’t have enough, Virginia.”

“Daddy? Are you and mommy leaving?” asked Phoebe, standing with her little sister by her side. Eddie’s smile grew wide, and he looked at Jason and Virginia. The woman popped up, shaking her head.

“No! No, you won’t fucking touch them!” she growled. “Phoebe, take your sister upstairs, honey. Go see Nanny. Mommy and Daddy will be up soon.” The little girl turned and walked back upstairs.

“I’ll do this,” said Virginia. “But you will stay away from my children.”

“Virginia, honey, we’ll find another way.” He reached for her arm, and she jerked free, glaring at him.

“Obviously, there is no other way. I’ll do this, but you will never invest for this man again.”

“Oh, sweet, sweet Virginia. That’s where you’re wrong. See, I am the only man that Jason invests for. The only fucking one. The deal is I make him a lot of money, and he makes me a lot of money. When that doesn’t happen, we get our money a different way. For instance, when I wasn’t able to pay his commissions a few years back, I gave him this mansion. When I couldn’t give him a paycheck for three months in a row, I gave him the mansion in Miami. The cars, the jewels, all of it is actually mine. You’re stuck with me. For life.”

On Sunday night, Virginia was returned to her home, unable to walk by herself. Jason took his wife to their bedroom, undressed her, and bathed her battered, bruised body. Fortunately, her face had not been touched, so the children were able to see her. It took nearly a year for her to look at her husband again.

Nine years later, Eddie was at their door again. This time, Virginia was too old for his purposes, and Phoebe was taken. She had just been crowned Miss New York. Two weeks after Lucas and Amy were married, Eddie showed up again.

“Your family has made me a lot of money, Jason,” grinned the man. “I want the younger one. That beautiful redhead of yours.”

“No,” said Jason. “No. Gail is too young.”

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