This is Issue 56 of Hope On The Rocks, entitled "Kevin Gardner".
This issue is Esther-centric.
508, Kevin Gardner
Four days ago, I was taken along with Kerri and Lia. We were branded and brought down to this basement, where we are now sitting, naked. I am worried about the baby. I haven’t felt anything the last couple days.
“You okay?” One of the other women, Dani, asks softly. I look, seeing the black girl, kneeling, looking at me with a tilted head.
“Yea...” I say with a smile. “I’m pregnant, that’s all.”
Dani opens her mouth as to speak, though she just looks down. She doesn’t say anything, and neither do I.
I look to my left, seeing Kerri and Lia talking. Lia is crying, Kerri is trying to comfort her.
Back when Ridley asked me to marry him, I said no. I said no for one reason, and that reason only. I cheated on him with his friend, Danny. I know it was wrong, but it just happened. We promised not to tell Ridley anything. I’d wish I could tell him before...
My thoughts are instantly interrupted. I look up, seeing Bobby Lunar entering with another man. The man is smiling, his short beard’s light brown colour matching his hair.
“Wow.” The man says, smiling to Bobby Lunar. “You have quite an assortiment here.”
Bobby Lunar fakes a smile. “Thank you, mr. Gardner.”
“Just Kevin.” The man says, placing his hand on Bobby Lunar’s shoulder. “So how does this work? I just pick one and pay you afterwards?”
Bobby Lunar makes a very slow nod, saying “Vice versa.”
“Of course.” The man, seemingly named Kevin Gardner, says, his smile fastened. “I have two Taurus’ Model 669? Is that of any interest?”
He takes out two revolvers from a duffelbag, swung over his shoulder. Bobby Lunar takes them with a nod.
“The bedroom is there. You have an hour.” Bobby Lunar says, nodding to a door.
Before I know of it, I am standing in the bedroom, naked, hands tied. Kevin Gardner closes the door. I look down. I don’t want this to hurt anymore than it has to, so I’m just going to do as he says.
Kevin Gardner walks towards the bed, sitting down. He takes a deep breath, and slowly moves his hands over his face.
“It has been a long day, huh?” He says. “For me at least. I don’t know how bad it’ve been for you guys.”
I don’t say anything. I just keep looking down.
“You know there’s a safe zone in Scranton? I just came from there.” Kevin Gardner says, now looking at me. “I heard rumors about this deal with hookers. Had to check it out.”
I take a quick glimpse at the man. He is looking at me, his smile from before has disappeared. I am nervous.
Kevin Gardner shakes his head and smiles. He then gets up, heads towards me and raises his hand, as if he wants to shake my hand.
“How rude of me. I’m Kevin.” He says with a smile.
I don’t know what to do. Confused, and carefully, I look at him. He smiles, slowly nodding.
“Esther.” I mutter, taking the hand. Kevin shakes it, and then returns to the bed. I stay where I am.
“I am not going to hurt you, Esther. I want to help you. You and your friends out there.” Kevin says.
Curious, I look up. Kevin makes a fading smile and continues. “Nobody at Scranton Safe Zone wanted to help, so I hoped you knew someone who could. Or maybe some of the others do?” Kevin says, refering to the other women out there. “Just because the human race has been destroyed, doesn’t mean we can’t keep our humanity, right?”
“I...” I say, carefully, not knowing if he’s saying the truth.
“Yea?” Kavin says, after I don’t continue to speak. “You can trust me. I ain’t like Lunar out there.” Kevin smiles. “I’m one of the good guys.”
I decide to trust him. I mean, what do I have to loose?
“I might know someone.” I finally say, and Kevin tilts his head to listen.
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