Trust in Me(5)

By: Samantha Chase

Maggie looked around the lobby in search of what, she didn’t know. She had no money, no form of transportation and no form of ID. Martin had seen to that. They were three thousand miles from home on the other side of the country; he was smart to choose now to hatch his disgusting plan. There actually was a conference going on but Martin had very little interest in it; his interest was in seducing Maggie.

She felt sick. Any moment she was sure she was going to be ill. Collapsing on one of the opulent sofas in the hotel lobby, tears began to fall. “What am I going to do?” she cried gently, knowing that no one was there to answer her.

“Excuse me, miss,” a gentle voice asked. “Are you okay?”

Tears streaming down her face, Maggie looked up and saw a man in his possible late-fifties staring down at her, his face one of calm concern. Who was he? Did Martin send him to find her?

“I…I’m fine,” she lied.

The man sat down at the opposite end of the sofa, not wanting to scare her more than she obviously was. “Are you sure? Is there someone I can call for you?”

The thing was, there wasn’t anyone that Maggie felt she could call about this situation. She didn’t want to alarm her family and she had no close friends and no one who would be able to pay for a flight home for her – especially when she had no ID to present when she got to the airport. Shaking her head, a fresh wave of tears began to fall.

“Whatever it is, I’m sure it will be okay. Please, tell me what’s going on? Do we need to call the hotel management? The police?”

As much as Maggie had wanted to say yes, Martin’s taunting words came to mind. As she had been clawing to get out of the hotel room he mocked, “Go ahead and call the cops or hotel security. I’ll just tell them we had a lovers spat and you are trying to blackmail the boss. I believe they call that extortion and it’s a crime, Mags.”

“No!” she cried, coming back to the present. “No, please…no one needs to call the cops or security. I’ll…I’ll be fine.”

The man looked at her with obvious disbelief. He had a briefcase at his feet and he reached for it, pulling it into his lap and opening it. Without a word, he handed her his card. “I’m William Montgomery. I’m from Charlotte, North Carolina. That’s where my company is, too. It’s been in my family for three generations and, God willing, it will go to my sons and they’ll carry on long after I’m gone. I’ve got three sons; always wanted a daughter, though,” he said lightly.

“I don’t normally come to these conventions; seem like a great waste of time. Most of the attendees are here looking for a break from work, not to learn more about how to do their jobs more effectively.” He sighed wearily and then smiled. “We drew straws, my sons and I, to see who would come and check this place out. I lost.” He gave a light chuckle and felt relief when Maggie gave a small smile. “I’m too old for nonsense like this. Conventions are a young man’s game.”

William looked around the lobby, curious for any clues as to what had this woman so upset. Her vehement denial and her plea for him to not call any of the authorities only stood to confirm that something had happened and he was unwilling to leave her in such distress.

“Although, most of the young men I met here today need to learn a lot more not only about business but about respect in general.” Maggie nodded and wiped at her tear streaked face. William reached for a handkerchief in his pocket and handed it to her. “I don’t know about you but it certainly makes me lose a little bit of faith in this generation.”

“I agree,” Maggie said softly.

William couldn’t help but smile. He wanted so badly to help this woman but she was clearly spooked. Something had happened and he may not ever find out exactly what it was but he knew that he had to get her out of the hotel and to someplace that she’d feel safe.

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