Tommy hadn’t really opened up, but said we may be going back, at least for a while, so that he could help out more. Dario and he had been working together remotely but I knew Tommy was itchy, itchy to get things over with and itchy to be doing something more.
We had more wooden patio furniture out back and he was also working on an old canoe. He was taking a plain canoe and refinishing it and adding some gorgeous carvings into it, very much like the tribal ink pattern on his arm.
He tried to spend more time with me. He was trying, but something was weighing on him. Finally, he gave me some insight. We were in bed and cuddling after some sweet and leisurely lovemaking.
“I found out something,” he said.
“Pop was deep into a sex slavery ring.”
“You’re not shocked.”
“Why would I be shocked? You threatened to send me to be pimped out in Thailand or Mexico.”
He looked green around the gills.
“When I said that, I knew he knew people. I’d met a few of them. But, first: I’d never have done it. Even if I’d known he was involved. Second: I thought we just knew a couple people. Didn’t know he was one of those people himself.”
I still wasn’t surprised. That was, I wasn’t surprised until the next sentence came out of his mouth.
“Lisa came to Pop from a sex slavery ring.”
Well, that did it… stunned me. Speechless.
“We’re still fact-finding, but he was heavily involved in human trafficking where they keep women in some sex resort to cater to every fetish. She was taken and trained and became an asset that he turned into a wife. Not long after he put out a hit on Stacia, his third wife.”
“Oh my God.”
Tommy wasn’t saying much about it, said he and his brother had to figure out what to do about the news, but said that he and Dario were now part owners in that same human trafficking business and getting out of it might prove tricky. The men who owned a business like that didn’t tend to look favorably on someone simply resigning with all that knowledge of their secrets. Dario was on a fact-finding mission, apparently, and this left Tommy unsettled.
He told me this had been stressing him out, said other stuff was happening too that’d been weighing on him. For him to actually admit to stress felt like a step in the right direction.
“What can I do?”
“You do good for me just by being you, baby girl. Keep at it. Keep all this under your hat for now. I’ve got more to tell you, big shit, but still figuring some of it out first. Okay? But, be patient with me. We’ve got a big mess on our hands.”
I cuddled in and we watched television until we fell asleep. But, all evening long, my every interaction with Lisa flashed through my mind.
Was she happy Tom was gone? She didn’t seem happy. How could that be when he ‘owned’ her? You’d think she’d be relieved.
My mind was fucked up over the matter, wondering about what she’d been through.
A few hours later he was thrashing in bed again. I rolled off the bed and onto the floor before calling his name. I was out of reach.
“Sorry, baby. Please tell me I didn’t hurt you.”
“No. It’s okay. You were just thrashing.”