Friday, December 3, 2021

Free Read - Renata's Revenge, Part 1

 Renata's Revenge - Free Part 1

I always enjoy a good revenge story.  

There’s something deliciously satisfying about seeing the villain finally get his just desserts, especially when he’s arrogant and unrepentant.  It's a great feeling of release.

That’s the vein of my newest book, Renata’s Revenge.  In addition to being written in my 'unputdownable' style, there's a mind-blowing twist at the end.

The idea for the story was prompted by the Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell ‘sex island’ trafficking scandal.  

You'll find Part 1 below, after the synopsis.

You can buy the whole novel on Amazon or my bookstore  for only $4.99.


The moment fresh-faced American college student Renata Richardson is snatched off a Mediterranean beach and methodically gang-raped by seven filthy-rich businessmen, they all know everything there is to know about her.

They know her height, weight, birthday, taste in music, favorite Hollywood actors, her relationship history, even the sound of her soft, sensual voice. They also know exactly what she looks like in a bikini, how she keeps her lithe, supple body in shape, and the style in which she most likes to wear her long, silky natural blonde hair.

All these details ratchet up the sexual excitement and make her all the more desirable.

Equally important, they know that she is from a financially struggling middle class family, with a deceased father and no powerful relatives that could help her, once the deed is done.

The most titillating fact they know about Renata Richardson is that she is a 22-year-old virgin.  This alone makes her a rare find in the 21st Century, a most coveted conquest.

The one, simple fact they do not know about Renata Richardson is something that could not be gleaned from hacking into social media networks, cloud computer storage, and bank databases.






Chapter 1

Priveza Island, Greece

The sleek, fifty-million-dollar Gulfstream jet descended gently through the night sky, banking towards the small Greek island of Priveza.

There were seven passengers aboard, all male.

Despite the fact that they were all wearing black silk masks covering the top half of their faces, so their identities were hidden, some of them knew each other.

They were among the wealthiest individuals on the planet. Members of an elite social class all their own and not well known by the general public, they sat on the boards of the largest corporations in the world, donated billions to global charities, and served as behind-the-scenes advisors to presidents and prime ministers.

When you have so much money that you’ve exhausted all the standard exotic pleasures life has to offer, boredom turns you towards the dark side, and you explore your deepest urges—the taboo impulses that originate in the more primitive parts of the human brain. And there were always opportunists prepared to help meet those needs.

“Before we land,” Baltmann said to the group, “I want to remind you to wear your masks at all times. The way I’ve set things up, none of you should encounter a single human being while we are on the island except…well, let’s call her the ‘subject’.”

The men all nodded.

“And please do not speak. If you absolutely must communicate something to me, do it in a whisper, so there’s no chance of your voice being recognized later.”

The aircraft’s overhead speakers clicked on. “We are about to make our final approach,” the co-pilot said. He and the pilot were the only other people aboard.

Baltmann smiled, motioning to the men. “Buckle up, gentlemen.”

They all fastened their belts and settled back in the plush leather seats.

As the jet continued to descend, the yellowish lights of the hotels and bars along the coast could be glimpsed out the windows.

The air inside the cabin seemed to become charged with electricity, to throb with the collective anticipation of what they were about to experience. They had all seen her pictures. In fact, they knew practically everything there was to know about her. They knew her height, weight, birth date, her taste in music, her favorite Hollywood actors, her relationship history, even the sound of her soft, sensual voice. 

They also knew exactly how she looked in a bikini, how she kept her lithe, supple body in shape, and the style in which she most liked to wear her long, silky natural blonde hair. 

All these details ratchet up the excitement and make her all the more desirable.

“Do you think she should be blindfolded?” one of the men asked uneasily. “Just as an extra precaution?”

“No way,” said one of the others. “That would take the pleasure out of it.”

Chapter 2

Renata Richardson was known as a prude.

At twenty-two, the green-eyed beauty might have graced the front of any top fashion magazine. Tall, with impossibly long legs and an enviable figure, she was a natural blonde and blessed with a lightly freckled complexion. Her cover-girl face was “as fresh as a mint julep,” as her grandmother used to say.

Renata didn’t smoke, drink, or take drugs. And—horror of horrors—she was still a virgin.

All of this was particularly ironic since her job this summer was working as a waitress at a beach bar on an island with a motto of being a haven for every kind of hedonism known to man.

“Another Margarita, please, love?” a voice called from afar, a little slurred. The chubby British tourist was one of the few customers still sitting in the reclining lounge chairs near the water’s edge, fighting off mosquitoes.

Renata waved at her and veered over towards the bar, slogging barefoot through the soft sand, which incredibly, was still warm from the sun. At least her legs were in great shape.

She did not even glance up at the small jet  passing through the sky, descending towards the airport.

Chapter 3

The beach bar’s seaside service stopped at ten p.m.—if you wanted a drink after that time, you had to order it from the small, bamboo-built bar yourself.

Renata was just making rounds at the tables for last call when an Indian kid of no more than fifteen sauntered up to her. “Hi, Renata,” he said shyly, and she said hello. His name was Shivay, and he had been hanging around the last couple of days and been friendly to her. Apparently, his parents were staying at the far end of the beach, in the seaside huts, but she hadn’t seen them around.

“A man came look for you,” the kid said in broken English, as Renata wiped off one of the tabletops. 

Renata looked up at him, surprised. “A man—looking for me?”

Shivay nodded.

“What man?”

“From America.”

Renata frowned at him, holding her cloth in mid-air. “I don’t understand.” There were no Americans here at the moment, at least not that she’d seen.

The boy said, “From your school.”

“Oh. You mean, one of my classmates?”

Shivay nodded.

Renata was astonished. She didn’t really think of her male classmates as ‘men,’ since she’d known some of them since kindergarten. “Did he mention his name?”

Shivay thought for a moment, wrinkling his brow. “Jacob. His name Jacob.”

There were at least three Jacobs she had classes with at the university—it was a very popular name. “Jacob Wiley?” Renata said hopefully.

Shivay looked at her blankly.

“Did he have longish black hair?” 

The kid grinned and pointed at her. “That him!”

Oh my god! Renata thought, excited. She couldn’t believe it. She’d been so lonely since arriving here in June. Her best friend, Hannah, had planned to come and work with her, and had been hired in advance. But then Hanna had failed Statistics and had to stay home and take the class over again this summer, or she would not graduate until next year.

Jacob Wiley wasn’t a close friend, but he had been dating one of her classmates for a while. The two had broken up right before the semester had ended, and Renata kind of liked him.

“Where is he staying?” Renata asked, feeling a twinge of excitement.

“The huts,” the kid said, pointing in that direction. “Number 8, next to us.”

“With his parents, or—?”

The kid nodded. “Parents.”

The boy turned and dashed off, kicking up sand with his tawny feet, and disappeared around the far side of the bar.

“Jacob Wiley,” she muttered happily, and quickly finished cleaning the rest of the tables.

Chapter 4

Renata had completed her shift and was washing up in the women’s restroom. She had considered walking back to her own apartment to change out of her shorts and T-shirt, into a summer dress, but it was already well past ten. She decided that if she wanted to see Jacob tonight, she better walk straight over to the huts and find out if he was there, and still awake. 

She had a bathing suit in her handbag. She always kept one there in case she decided to take a dip—she loved swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. The water was so warm and clear. When you were standing in it neck-deep, you could see your feet as clearly as if you were standing in a swimming pool. And there were no sharks or jellyfish to worry about.

Maybe she and Jacob could take a midnight swim.

She dried her hands, pulled out her phone, and checked again to see if Jacob had sent her a message, but there was none. She doubted he had any way to contact her. It was probably just a spur-of-the-moment thing for him—his family had come here for a vacation, and he knew she was working here for the summer, and he just wanted to say hello. Nothing more than that.

Deep down, she’d been hoping she might have a summer romance here, but had assumed it would be with some swarthy local guy, or a tourist with a sexy accent from some European country.

Renata had a boyfriend, of sorts. Matt, a guy she’d been casually dating since the start of last year. She had settled on him because he seemed to be the only one who was willing to put up with her commitment to remaining chaste until she was married. They fooled around, of course, and did practically everything there was to do without having actual intercourse. Unlike the other guys she’d dated, that was okay with him.

Matt was a devout Christian, but religion had little to do with Renata’s desire to preserve her virginity—she simply thought the notion very romantic, giving herself to her husband on her wedding night, letting him be the first to have her. 

Renata loved to read, and her favorite books were historical novels. She often wished she had been born in an earlier time, where life was simpler.

In the fall, she was starting a program in library science. She loved the feeling of being in a library, surrounded by all the books…the wonderful smell, the peace and quiet. Libraries were almost magical spaces to her. 

She also loved doing research. She completely lost herself in that kind of work. Time flew by, and all her problems disappeared, temporarily. 

She was intent on becoming a librarian. 

This was a big joke among her friends and classmates, of course—Renata the virgin, destined to become a ‘dried up’ old maid by forty, surrounded by shelves of dusty books and maybe a half dozen purring cats. Some of them scoffed and said that search engines and artificial intelligence would soon make librarians obsolete altogether.

Renata didn’t care. She wanted what she wanted, and nobody could dissuade her.

Chapter 5

At ten-fifteen, Renata was heading up the beach at the water’s edge, carrying her sandals in one hand, letting the warm waves lap at her feet.

The “huts,” as they were known, were a good hike away and would take her about fifteen minutes to reach. The cluster of circular dwellings were the last commercial lodgings before the beach narrowed and became too rocky to navigate.

She wasn’t afraid to walk alone at night on the beach here. On this side of the little Greek island, which they called the ‘tourist side,’ it was perfectly safe. Most of the debauchery took place on the other side of Priveza, a half hour drive from here, where there were a number of fancy hotels, dance clubs, and casinos. It really made no sense, but locals called that side the ‘resort side.’

Anyway, she could take care of herself. She was in great shape, had been on her high school swim team and track team, and still worked out and ran every day, no matter how much studying or work she had to do. She’d also had Taekwondo training for five years as a kid, went all the way to red belt, but got tired of it at age eleven and became interested in competitive swimming.

Now the huts were coming into view, dotting the farthest visible strip of the beach. Most of the round dwellings looked pitch dark inside. Tourism was down this year, Renata had heard often, and few of the lodgings were ever more than half-full, at least on this side of the island.

She crossed the beach at an angle, put on her sandals, and picked up a stone path that led into the cluster. There were wide wooden posts at the head of each curving walkway that numbered them. She paused and squinted at it in the dim light.

Number 4.

Swatting at a mosquito that had landed on her upper arm, she meandered down the paths, which crisscrossed through the palm trees, until she reached Number 7.

In the distance, she could make out that windows were completely dark, with the curtains closed.

Shivay's parents must be asleep, she thought. She wondered, with some worry, if they knew the boy was wandering around the island, or if maybe he’d snuck out.

When Renata moved farther down the stone path and found the wooden marker for Number 8, was relieved to see that the lights were on inside. She had almost started to turn back, afraid Jacob and his whole family were sleeping.

Smoothing back her hair, she stepped up to the front door.

Just as she raised her hand to grasp the brass knocker, the door swung open.

Her eyes widened as she saw a man standing before her in a black mask.

She heard rapid footsteps on the path she’d just walked down—somebody was rushing up behind her.

“Get in there,” the masked man growled, an instant before she was shoved across the threshold.

Chapter 6

Baltmann stood back in the shadows of the semi-dark room, watching the seven men strip the hysterical, thrashing girl as they had been told to do, following the instructions. 

She was a little stronger than predicted—she had managed to kick one in the stomach and elbow another one on the neck, but now they had her under control.

They forced a leather, BDSM-style, rubber ball gag into her mouth and fastened the leather straps tight around the back of her head, so she could not scream.

Then they proceeded to strip her naked, methodically, one man holding each limb firm while the others went about their work, being careful not to tear any of her clothing.

“Gently, gently,” Baltmann reminded in a whisper, when they were removing her thong panties. “Remember: not a scratch on her.”

Once the girl was fully nude, they proceeded to tie her to the wooden bed frame. The four-poster design made this relatively easy, and they followed the instructions to the letter, using soft, three-inch wide, satin restraints on her wrists and ankles so that no chafing would occur. Her full bottom was near the edge of the plastic-covered mattress, her legs were spread open, wide and pulled back to provide “maximum accessibility.”

Baltmann nodded approval.

“She’s as pure as new fallen snow,” one of the men whispered shakily under his breath, his head bent down to get a better view of her.

“She better be,” another one whispered.

“Shhh!” Baltmann scolded.

Some of the other men were already so worked up they rubbing their crotches, pinching and pulling their growing erections, picking up the primal ‘wolf pack’ vibe in the room.

The lucky British man who had drawn the longest straw on the plane had the privilege of “having the first go,” as he delightedly put it. He was forty-five and built like an ox. Unfortunately for her, he was also hung like a mule.

His trousers were already bunched around his ankles, and he was stroking himself steadily, bringing his throbbing member to maximum turgidity.

She writhed against the restraints, staring wide-eyed at him, screaming continuously, but very little sound escaped the gag.

He shuffled closer, pressing the swollen, purple head against her womanhood.

“Darlin’, you’re gonna love this…”

* * *

Renata screamed, the pain in her groin so bright and sharp that she thought she would pass out.

A paralyzing terror gripped her very soul, clawing at her insides, a terror unlike anything she had ever experienced. When the British man pulled back and showed off his blood-smeared penis to the others, and then nodded and smiled in approval, looking envious, it was as if she was watching herself from a camera mounted to the ceiling. No, not herself. It was some other girl tied to the bed.

What is happening to me? she thought dully, taking in the other men in the room as her eyes seemed to roll around aimlessly in her head. She suddenly felt nauseated, and thought she might throw up all over the men surrounding her…but then she realized she had the gag in her mouth and would only choke on it.

I’m being gang-raped, that’s what’s happening to me, she thought with a combination of revulsion and disbelief.

A confused montage of images and sounds spun around in her head—Shevay pointing her and saying “That him!” Wiping up the last tables and then walking along the beach, looking forward to seeing Jacob Wiley, such an unexpected surprise…

Then, coming back to the present, something strange happened. The pain began to fade. She felt detached from the unthinkable situation…and then disappeared altogether.

It was as if she’d had one of those spinal blocks some women have while giving birth—she could feel nothing at all from the waist down. The terror inside was still there, only ratcheted down, as if she’d taken a tranquilizer. 

It’s a defense mechanism, some part of her realized, to keep her from going crazy.

She found herself thinking more clearly for the first time since she was shoved through the door.

This was planned, she thought, as the British man squeezed her breasts, pounding away at her. This was all carefully planned in advance…

The man grunted a few times and then pulled out again, almost collapsing backwards with exhaustion.

Now she became concerned with what they would do with her afterwards. They were going to kill her, throw her dead body in the surf. Remember, gentlemen: not a scratch on her. It would look like she’d drowned while swimming by herself.

The second man was stepping between her legs, dropping his pants. From the wrinkles that were visible around the mask, he must have been sixty. As he clumsily tried to make himself harder, some higher thinking part of her brain kicked in.

These men are not hardened criminals or street thugs, or drunken fraternity boysthey’re rich and successful. And well-educated.

Renata did not know exactly how she knew these things—it was simply a combination of their expensive clothes, the way they carried themselves, the way they moved their heads, arms. All of it signaled wealth, power, and high society.

They’re not going to kill you, she desperately assured herself.

The old man seemed to have successfully entered her, as he was rocking his hips back and forth, but now she was only gazing at his face. At the brown eyes behind the mask, at his wrinkled neck, balding head…

Renata, you have to remember at least one detail about each one of them, a voice told her from somewhere deep inside. Details to remember for later, to help identify them. They will not get away with this!

She strained her neck to glance around the room—one, two, three, four, five, six…seven of them. Not counting the one giving them the instructions.

She tried to tilt her head back to find him, but that one was out of sight, somewhere behind her, to the right or left of the king-sized bed, or maybe sitting on the mattress directly behind her.

The first one was British, she remembered, and glanced at him—he had pulled his pants partway up and was standing at a distance, still breathing hard, watching. He wore a pinkie ring on his left hand. It was made of gold, but that’s all she could see—he was too far away.

The old man leaned forward and took her right nipple between his fingers.

“Don’t squeeze too hard,” the voice of the leader whispered. 

Yes, he was directly behind her, overseeing this heinous act like an orchestra conductor. “No marks.”

Chapter 7

When the sexual nightmare finally appeared to be over, Renata just lay there on her back in a cold sweat, utterly drained. She was still tied up in the same position, her legs spread apart in the most lewd fashion she could imagine. Maintaining her detached, rational mental composure, and self-numbing the pain, had consumed more energy than running a 25k marathon. Silent tears were running from her eyes down to her temples and to her neck.

The men were milling around the bedroom, mostly in front of her, buckling their belts. Some of them stealing glances at her as if to check her condition.

Did any of them feel guilty about what they’d just done?

At least two seemed to be avoiding eye contact, so they must have been, she reasoned.

She swallowed hard, a shudder passing through her.

They’re going to kill me now.

Out of nowhere, two latex-gloved hands moved into view. They took hold of the gag in her mouth, and began to turn something attached to the rubber ball, some kind of screw or insert.

“I’m going to release a strong liquid tranquilizer into your mouth,” a voice whispered in her ear, “and you’re going to swallow it. You will wake up in a few hours on the beach. This will all seem like a bad dream, and you have to tell yourself that’s all it was—a bad dream. Do you understand?”

This is a lie, Renata thought, terrified. They’re going to poison me.

The gloved hand inserted a syringe through the opening in the rubber ball, and slowly began to push the plunger. She felt a cold fluid entering her mouth.

“Swallow,” the voice whispered.

There was a faint medicinal taste and smell.

Her throat was tightly constricted—she stared up at the canopy over the bed, the poison welling in her mouth.

“Swallow,” the voice said, and suddenly fingers pinched her nostrils together.

Unable to breathe, Renata bucked once against the restraints and instinctively tried to open her throat to take in oxygen. Some of the ‘tranquilizer’ went down her throat, and she coughed a few times, and then the rest went down, and her nostrils were released.

Now the hand was stroking her sweaty forehead, and within a minute or so she began to feel like she was falling down a long, dark tunnel.

“When you wake up,” the voice whispered, “go directly to your room. There, you will find something that will make all this more tolerable.”

Chapter 8


That was the first thing that Renata saw when she opened her eyes.

Flying gracefully back and forth across the dawn sky, cawing at each other…and what a sky it was! 


A riot of color before her, as if the gods of light had created the awe-inspiring display for her private viewing—hues of deep blue and violets, smattered between bright oranges, yellows, and reds…it was breathtaking!

Renata felt like she was experiencing some kind of spiritual rebirth, lying there on a firm plane of damp sand, angled up at the natural fireworks, the waves gently breaking only a few feet below her bare feet. A balmy breeze off the sea tousled her hair. The steady whoosh of the surf seemed to hold her in some kind of magically sublime state. She was afraid to move, almost afraid to breathe, thinking that it would all vanish.

She finally glanced to the left and right, expecting to see someone lying next to her—Matt?—enjoying the experience alongside her…but there was no one. Only her sandals, which had been neatly placed together, facing the water, and her handbag, sitting on top of them.

She was on the beach where she worked at her summer job…but how had she gotten here—?

When she raised her head, there was a sudden, undulating pain that felt like a lead ball was rolling around in her skull…and her entire body ached, especially her groin, as if she’d been…

The events of the night before came rushing back all at once, with the force of a violent electric shock. 

She gasped, sitting upright. 

The brilliant colors in the sky now looked positively evil, the red hues reminding her of the blood smeared on the first man’s…

Her stomach clenched and, letting out a wail of anguish, she rolled onto her side and threw up…but nothing came out. Dry heaves.

“I was raaaaaaaped,” she cried pathetically, and sat up again. She peered down at her T-shirt and shorts, remembering the men’s hands all over her, pinching her nipples. She then shakily climbed to her feet, then staggered forward, into the water. 

She hit the oncoming waves head-on, letting them batter her, spin her around, knock her sideways and backwards, while she frantically scrubbed at her body, trying to get her skin clean of whatever filth was still there. She yanked her shorts and underwear down and flushed her vagina out as best as she could, desperate to expel all remains of those monsters from her body.

When she was breast deep in the water, she dove forward into the next wave, and the next, rubbing her face vigorously with her hands, shaking her head back and forth to clean out her hair…

She was only half-aware that she intended to keep moving into deeper and deeper water, to commit suicide, or at least some part of her did. The knowledge of what had happened to her was simply too much to bear, too shameful to deal with.

On top of gang-raping her, those men had robbed her of her virginity, her most cherished dreams of the future—and they had known they were doing it!

She’s as pure as new fallen snow,…

She better be…

But deep down, she knew she couldn’t drown herself any more than she could stop her heart from beating. She was an expert swimmer. Her body, with its years of disciplined training, simply would not allow it.

Eventually, she let the waves roll her to the side, and then, one after the other, let them carry her back to the shore.

* * *

When Renata washed up on the wet sand where the waves were breaking, she was sobbing so intensely she could only crawl out of the water on her hands and knees.

After a few seconds, she looked up to see a chubby old Greek woman in a beige scarf, perhaps fifty feet away. The woman held a small basket in her hand and was bending to collect something or other that had washed up on the beach. When she straightened, she did a double-take, seeing Renata staring at her, there on all fours on the steep incline where the waves washed up, only a few feet from where she had woken up, where her sandals and handbag were.

She dropped the basket and came running over, and then helped Renata to her feet.

“I’ve been raped,” Renata wailed.

The woman’s eyes widened. 

“I’ve been raped,” Renata repeated, and fell forward into the woman’s arms, sobbing uncontrollably.

Chapter 9

Priveza’s police station was located in a village in the interior, about halfway between the two built-up sides and not far from the airport.

The woman who had encountered Renata on the beach had used her phone to call her husband. Ten minutes later his jeep arrived, and they had driven her to the police station.

They both seemed sympathetic, but as they drove along, Renata could see that neither one of them wanted to get involved.

When they pulled up to the station, the woman climbed out to let her out of the back seat and simply pointed at the building and said, “Police.”

Now, at least six or seven long minutes had passed since Renata had entered the low, wide concrete structure. Being indoors, and around ordinary people, with the bright morning sun streaming in the windows, had grounded her. She had regained her wits to some extent. Even though the clock on the lobby wall read 7:10 a.m., the station was already quite busy—a half dozen tourists were standing there in front of her, waiting in line to report various petty crimes, it seemed.

“It is just an ordinary wallet,” the man at the front said to the one officer behind the desk. 

“But you must describe, please.”

“Describe? What is to describe?” The man spoke with a light Middle Eastern accent. “It simply a brown wallet.”

“Brown,” the officer said, and typed something on his computer keyboard, which looked ancient, the gray plastic yellowed.

The other five in line were muttering to themselves in various languages, one elderly couple arguing softly in Spanish. It was already hot inside the building—a ceiling fan turned lazily overhead.

Renata heard the rumble of a jet taking off nearby. Those seven rich, sadistic bastards, and their awful ‘leader’—they might be getting away! Or they might have already left the island.

Where was my wallet stolen?” the Middle Eastern man was asking incredulously. “If I knew that, I would not be—”

Renata abruptly stepped around the others and wedged her way between the Middle Eastern man and the desk officer. “Look, I’m here to report a serious crime—a violent crime.”

The mustached cop glanced up at her, his chubby fingers still hovering over the dirty-looking keyboard. “What crime?’

“A gang rape,” Renata said, in a kind of gasp, unable to believe she was uttering those revolting words again.

Several of the people in line turned to look at her.

“Who was raped?” the desk officer asked.


Now the room was still and silent except for the faint squeaking of the fan overhead—even it seemed to have slowed down to listen.

Gazing at her for a long few seconds with an expression she could not read, the officer picked up his phone and fired off a couple of sentences in Greek, then hung up. “Sit over there,” he said, pointing. “Someone talk to you in a minute.”

* * *

The ‘in a minute’ stretched out to fifteen before another uniformed officer finally emerged from a door beside the front desk. He looked about fifty, had a pot belly and a pockmarked face. There was a paper cup in his hand.

He waddled up to her and quietly said, “You want report a sex crime against you, yes?”

She nodded, standing up.

“Come with me.”

Renata was led into a small, stale-smelling interview room. There, a female officer was waiting, sitting at an old desk, a laptop in front of her.

They introduced themselves—both were detectives.

“So,” the male cop said, sitting down on a chair backwards, but facing her, “tell us what happen.”

Renata steeled herself and launched into the story, starting with Shivay’s message and ending with her waking up on the beach after being drugged. Her voice trembled as she spoke. She left out the most graphic and embarrassing details, such as her being a virgin and the blood.

While she talked, both of the cops were looking her over—glancing at her still-wet shorts and T-shirt and damp hair, which she had tied in a knot.

The female cop began taking notes, typing on the laptop most of the time.

When Renata finished, the two officers exchanged a glance.

“So,” the male detective said, “first, you are gang-raped, then you sleep on beach, then you take swim, then you come here.”

Renata recoiled. “I didn’t ‘sleep on beach’—I told you, they gave me some drug, and I passed out. And I didn’t take a casual swim—when I woke up and remembered what happened, I was so horrified and disgusted I ran into water to wash all the…filth off my body.”

Another glance exchanged between the two detectives, this one clearly doubtful. 

The detective asked, “You drink or take drugs last night?”

“No,” Renata said firmly. “I don’t drink or take drugs. At all. Ever.”

The two cops as if they both found this hard to believe.

The female detective said, “There are no visible signs of struggle. You do not look like you have been attacked. Your clothes are not torn—you have no cuts or bruises, do you?”

“Not that I know of. I told you, I was tied up.”

The woman reached out and took Renata’s right hand, gently turned her wrist, inspecting it, and then did the same with the other one.

“There are no marks—they used some very soft, wide bindings. Silk or satin, I’m not sure.”

The female cop nodded, then made a note. Now Renata remembered another detail about Priveza, a scandal that had taken place here a few years ago. She had run across it when she was first considering the summer job and had been researching what it was like to live and work here. There was a news story about four Spanish guys, college age, who had been accused of gang rape by a young British tourist. After they had been thrown in jail to await trial, and their reputations ruined, the girl had admitted she had fabricated the entire incident because they had made ‘perverted comments’ to her at one of the clubs.

“I’m telling you the truth,” Renata said, feeling desperate. “I’m not just trying to get attention or get people in trouble. I don’t know even who these men were. I just know they seemed rich, and what they did to me seemed carefully planned out.”

The door opened and another uniformed Greek woman entered, wearing latex gloves and carrying a syringe wrapped in plastic. She stepped up, swabbed Renata’s arm, and began to draw blood.

During that time, both detectives pulled out their phones to make calls, which Renata guessed had nothing to do with what had happened to her. 

“You people aren’t taking this seriously enough,” Renata finally said, unable to control herself. This caused the female cop to cut her call. “Listen, Miss—”

“Those men may escape from the island—they may have already—while you two worry about stolen wallets and passports!”

The detective sighed. “I know you are upset, Miss, but you are not the only victim of a crime on this island. Last night a Spanish tourist was killed by a hit-and-run driver, and this morning I had to call his wife and tell her that she and her five children no longer had a husband or father.”

Renata swallowed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”

“I know what you’ve been through is traumatic, but at least you are lucky enough to be alive and in one piece to talk about it.”

Renata nodded. She certainly didn’t feel very lucky.

“We have a procedure we have to follow in any case like this,” the detective went on. The woman drawing the blood sample had finished, and was labeling an envelope she’d put it in. The detective motioned to her. “She’ll take that straight over to the hospital and the lab will give it top priority. You have to be examined by a forensic gynecologist, and he’s on his way to the hospital, too.” She glanced at her watch. “We can meet him over there in about forty minutes.”

Renata nodded. “Okay. Thank you.”

She was informed that they needed a urine sample, too, and she was led to a restroom and given a plastic cup.

When she finished and returned to the interview room, the male cop had finished his call. He eyed Renata skeptically. 

“You say this assault happen in huts on tourist side?”

“That’s right. Hut Number 8”

“Rich people usually go to other side Priveza,” he said doubtfully.

“If you take me over there, I’ll show you exactly where it happened—I’m sure there must be some evidence.”

* * *

A few minutes later, the three of them were cruising down a winding, bumpy road—at least the detective was driving fast, as if it he took her claim seriously. Then again, all the locals drove like maniacs here.

They turned in a dirt driveway, the vehicle leaving a trail of dust until the road became sandy, and then pulled up at a round wooden building that was just like all the other huts, but larger.  The word RECEPTION was painted along the side, along with more words in Greek.

Both detectives climbed out and male cop opened the back door for Renata. She followed them both into the building. 

There was a sweaty, heavyset Greek man sitting behind the desk, and he rose as the detectives greeted him—they evidently knew each other, as most of the locals did. It was a very small island.

They exchanged a few words in Greek, and the man turned and pulled a key off a hook that was labeled as Number 8.

They followed the man outside and down one of the stone paths, winding in and out of the palm trees. Renata did not think they told him why they wanted to inspect the hut.

Renata felt sick as they approached the wooden door. 

The man casually unlocked it, and threw it open, stepping back so they could enter.

Renata followed the cops inside, shuddering at the living room interior, which she had barely glimpsed, and into the master bedroom.

The furniture and carpet were spotless. The bed was neatly made up, the bedspread so smooth and tightly pulled that you could have bounced a coin on it.

“This where it happened?” the male cop said, turning to Renata.


“Where what happen?” the Greek man said.

Neither detective answered.

Renata moved about the room, frantically checking the carpet, easy chair, and bed for any tiny bit of evidence that a rape had taken place here last night, but there was nothing, not even a strand of her long blonde hair anywhere that she could see.

“Are you sure this is—?” the female cop began.

“I’m sure,” Renata said, cutting her off.

Renata rushed over to the foot of the bed and pulled up the coverlet and sheets to reveal the edge of the mattress where her hips had been positioned…but it was white and spotless, too. Then she remembered another detail.

“They had plastic over the mattress,” Renata said.

“They who?” the Greek man said. “This my hotel! Nobody stay in this hut for five, six days.”

The female detective said, “Is there a family from India staying here?”

He frowned. “No. Only two huts occupied now—one family from Germany, one couple, man and wife, from Japan.”

“No children are here at all?”

The Greek man shook his head, then stepped over and gave Renata a dirty look. He started making up the end of the bed as if he were insulted.

Renata was frustrated and had trouble controlling her temper.

The female cop’s phone rang, and when she answered it, she glanced at her watch, said something in Greek, and then cut the call.

“The gynecologist arrived at the hospital—he is ready to examine you now.”

* * *

By the time the three arrived at Priveza Hospital, Renata was feeling dejected and helpless. It was obvious that nobody believed her. Her only hope was that the gynecological exam would reveal something that confirmed that she was raped.

The doctor was a man, and Renata was relieved when the female detective entered the room with her.

“I’m just here for protocol,” the detective explained.

Renata nodded. “Thank you.”

As the doctor washed his hands and donned gloves, Renata pulled off her shorts and underwear, which were both still a little damp. He was Greek, perhaps sixty. He went about his business mechanically, as if he performed these exams twenty times a day, which he probably did. 

First, he swabbed her, which she barely felt. But she winced when he touched her vagina, and did so several times as he continued to examine her. 

He glanced up at her face. “Was there anal penetra—”

“No,” she said.

The doctor took off his gloves and tossed them in the trash. He donned a new pair and examined her wrists and ankles, then asked her to remove her T-shirt and carefully examined her breasts, shoulders, neck, back, and the rest of her body.

“You can get dressed,” he said.

He began filling out a form that was attached to a clipboard. He said something in Greek to the detective, and then he left the room, taking the clipboard with him.

“What did he say?” Renata said, pulling on her T-shirt.

“He has a couple of rounds to make—he’s going to have the swab analyzed immediately and will be back shortly with the results. We can wait here.”

* * *

A long half hour later, the doctor returned, the clipboard still in his hand, along with what looked like the printout of a lab report. He donned a pair of reading glasses and began talking to the detective in Greek, indicating something on the printout.

“What’s he saying?” Renata interrupted.

“He says…” The detective motioned to the doctor. “You can tell her yourself.”

He looked at Renata over his glasses and then glanced at one of the papers. “Your blood work is done—no recreational drugs, just a rather high amount of estazolam.”


“It is a prescription sleeping medication.”

“Oh.” She nodded at the detective. “I told you they gave me something.”

“However,” the doctor went on, “I could not find any evidence of a physical attack or struggle, only evidence of vigorous vaginal activity.”

Renata frowned. “What does that mean?”

He shrugged, glancing down at her lower abdomen. “Just what I said. There is evidence of vigorous sexual intercourse…but not necessarily with a partner.”

Renata let out an offended gasp. “What do you think—I did this to myself with…with some object?”

“I am just saying there is only evidence of vaginal activity—inflamed and slightly torn tissues. No sperm was found from the swab.”

“What was found?”


Renata stood there a long moment without speaking. She became so humiliated and angry she could feel her pulse pounding in her ears.

She opened her mouth to say something else, then sharply turned and left the exam room.

“Wait a minute,” the detective said.

Renata was so furious she barely heard the woman. She briskly walked down the hallway, passed the emergency room, went through the lobby, and out into the summer heat.

Across the parking lot, she spotted a junky-looking taxi parked in the shade of a large tree, and she headed straight for it.

“Miss, wait!” the cop said, and started running until she caught up.

Renata did not slow down. 

“I don’t disbelieve your story, Miss, but we need hard evidence, something we can use in court. So far, we don’t have anything concrete.”

“I’m not interested,” Renata said, as she reached the taxi.

The driver looked like he was asleep, his head tilted back, a Panama hat sitting crookedly on his head.

The detective said, “Look, let me at least give you a ride back to your—”

“I’m not interested,” Renata said, whirling on her. “Leave me alone!”

The detective recoiled.

By then the taxi driver had woken up and was staring at them.

Renata yanked the back door open and climbed inside.

“Take me over to the tourist side, please,” she said, as calmly as she could muster.

As the taxi pulled away, Renata didn’t even glance out the window.

Chapter 10

Renata had the taxi driver drop her off a short distance away from the hotel where she worked, and she paid him. Amazingly, the men who had raped her had left everything in her purse completely intact, including the little cash she’d had in her wallet—there was no indication that they’d even opened it.

She took the long way around the building, hoping to avoid any of her coworkers. As she made her way towards the little studio apartment that was provided for her, she half-wondered if she might have dreamed the horrific incident in its entirety.

But the pain between her thighs told her it was no dream.

During the taxi ride, she had experienced wild swings of emotions, becoming so angry she was afraid she would start screaming uncontrollably, and so upset she thought she might burst into tears.

She made plans to call the nearest American Embassy, which was in Athens—surely they would help her. But then she visualized taking the actual steps of doing so, and what she would say to them, and she realized she would end up in exactly the same place. They would contact the police here and come to the conclusion that she had either made the entire story up, for attention and sympathy, or had dreamed or hallucinated it.

Her studio apartment was on the second floor of the hotel, and as she climbed the steps, she stopped, on the verge of another crying jag.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself, she thought, with a sniffle, and wiped her eyes. Like the detective said, at least she was alive and in one piece.


She glanced over the stair railing. It was Frieda, the retired German lady who lived in the apartment directly beneath hers. 

The heavyset woman was watering a set of potted herbs that she kept outside. She peered up into the morning sun at Renata, then squinted. 

“Vhat’s wrong, darlink?” she said, in her thick accent. 

“Nothing,” Renata said, and wiped a tear. “I…just had trouble with some rowdy customers at the bar last night.

“Agh,” Frieda said, with a wave of her hand. “People are so rude these days, like vild animals, without any manners. Pay them no mind, darlink.” She motioned to Renata with her watering can. “Have some tea vith me. Make you feel better.”

“Thank you,” Renata said. “Maybe later. I have to go to work soon.”

The aging woman nodded, still concerned, but went back to watering the plants. Fortunately, she knew better than to butt into someone else’s business.

* * *

Renata continued up the steps to her apartment door, and paused again. Frieda was the first person she had seen that she knew, a casual friend, and she had nearly fallen apart.

Go to work? she thought, and pulled her door key from her handbag. How can I just go back to work after all this? Act like nothing happened? 

And then: am I really going to let those monsters get away with what they did to me?

It had become painfully clear to her that she’d been chosen very carefully by the men, and/or their leader, for their entertainment, which is all it was to them, making them feel powerful to have their way, in gang fashion, with a relatively helpless young woman. They knew a lot about her, they must have—that she was from a relatively poor family, that she had no father or powerful relatives…they even knew she was a virgin, somehow! 

The thought that she had been studied under a microscope, perhaps with her cellphone and social media accounts hacked, so that they could choose someone who did not have the resources to fight them after the deed was done, made her feel even more sick.

With this thought, she turned the key to her door and opened it.

She took only one step forward before she recoiled, staring.

There was a small suitcase sitting beside her dinette table.

Her first thought was that someone had moved into the studio, maybe by mistake…

And then the last sentence that was spoken to her last night popped into her head.

When you wake up, go directly to your room. There, you will find something that will make all this more tolerable.

She had completely forgotten it until now.

Standing motionless just inside her doorway for a good thirty seconds, she finally gathered the courage to take another step towards the suitcase…and then another. 

With each forward movement, she glanced around to make sure nobody else was actually inside the one-room apartment. It was so small there was nowhere to hide but in the bathroom, and that door was wide open, with the shower curtain pulled back.

But no one else was in here—the only thing out of place, and the only foreign object, was the suitcase.

Renata took one more step, now close enough to bend down and reach the handle. Peering at the front, sides, and back, she could find no markings on it at all—no luggage tags, airline baggage stickers—nothing. Just an old, black slightly banged up carry-on suitcase.

When she finally took hold of the handle and lifted slightly, she was surprised by how heavy it was.

She hoisted the suitcase up onto the table, set it on its wheels, and carefully set it down face-up.

There, you will find something that will make all this more tolerable.

For some reason, this time, that thought triggered the grotesque yet satisfying image of the first-in-line rapist’s severed head inside, wrapped in a bloody towel.

That would definitely make everything more tolerable.

It took all her willpower to grab the zipper tab on the suitcase and run it around the three sides of the bag.

With a hard swallow, she gripped the suitcase top and slowly raised it, still unsure of what she would find.

She found herself staring at money.

A lot of money.

Neatly-stacked bundles of US $100 bills, rows and rows of them.

Renata took a half step back. What is this? she thought as anger stirred inside her. What did they call it—hush money? A pay-off to keep her mouth shut about what had happened, to simply do nothing and carry on with her life?

She stood there staring at the cash for several minutes, trembling, trying to make sense of why they had given her this money and what they thought she would do with it.

The first step is to count it and see how much is there.

* * *

A few minutes later, the cash was piled in neat rows on the table, the same way it had been in the suitcase, which was now back on the floor.

There were exactly one hundred packets of one hundred-dollar bills, and each packet contained ten thousand dollars. So, one hundred packets times ten thousand dollars equaled one million dollars.

She used her phone’s calculator just to make sure, staring at the final number in the display.

One million dollars, total, in cold, hard cash.

She had never seen anywhere near that much money in her life.

Renata picked up one of the packets, flipped through the bills with her thumb. and then tossed it back on the stack.

The thought of those horrible, disgusting men giving her this keep-quiet money incensed her. 

Didn’t they realize she could use it to hire a high-powered lawyer, like the rich people and celebrities did when they got into trouble, to track them down and put them in jail? But then she realized that, of course, they knew that. They also knew they’d covered their tracks so well that justice, through the legal system, would be nearly impossible to come by, even with the help of the most expensive lawyer in the world.

Which meant they had assumed that she would forget all about what they’d done to her the moment she laid eyes on the money in front of her. That greed and small-mindedness would prevail.

They thought they knew her…but they were badly mistaken.

Oh, they were so badly mistaken…

All at once, Renata knew exactly what she was going to do with the money.

She set the suitcase back on the table and began transferring the cash back into it.

She didn’t want justice.

She wanted revenge.

(End of Part 1)

Part 2 will be posted on Monday (December 6th, 2021)

You can download the complete Kindle novel here, and for other ereaders and apps (ePub format as well as Kindle) from my bookstore here.

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