In the Name of Love

Inanna Publications
Mukherjee, Sam
Fiction
Active
12/07/2014
2013-07-12 12:17:05: Nomination was created
2013-07-12 14:46:36: payment successful from Paypal (order 92)
Luciana Ricciutelli
Editor-in-Chief
Inanna Publications
lucianaSPAMFILTER@inanna.ca
Feature film
Television
Series
Action
Comedy
Drama
Romance
Suspense/Mystery
Sam Mukherjee’s first novel, CHOPPED GREEN CHILLIES IN VANILLA ICE CREAM is in second print. His second, IN THE NAME OF LOVE is currently in first print and third, PERFECT TANGERINE – THE GIFT OF MIRACLE DALEY will be releasing in 2013. Sam lives in Toronto with his wife and son.
Book is selling well and receiving positive reviews. Rights are being negotiated with a publisher in India.
An attractive young Indian woman visiting Toronto is kidnapped and sold at the city's most dangerous brothel and faces an international human auction.
Rimana Sen, a young Indian woman, is thrilled to be recruited by a company in Canada and pleased to escape her mother’s expectations of marriage. On the flight to Canada, she meets Jug Ducati, a dashing young Canadian. By the time their flight reaches Toronto, they are well on their way to falling in love.
They leave the airport separately but when Jug fails to hear from her, he enlists the support of his two best friends, the daredevil Omar Khazana, and the over-cautious movie buff, Mark Willis, and begins to search for her.
Soon they are stunned to discover that Rimana has been sold to a Middle Eastern buyer and are introduced to the sinister underworld of international human trafficking and sexual slavery.
Rimana Sen: Stunningly attractive but made to feel too tall and too dark all her life. Her spirit is indomitable. Even when forced into sexual slavery, she will not break.

Jug Ducati: Fearless and in love with Rimana, he will go to any length to free her from the clutches of her captors.

Omar Khazana: A daredevil with formidable strength, he is ever ready to put bad guys in their place.

Mark Willis: Heir to the wealthy Willis breweries, he is perpetually concerned about his reputation. Mark is a movie buff with the habit of recalling movie scenes even in extreme danger.

Nadira: Ruthless owner of Paradise, the most opulent brothel in Toronto. She is instrumental in trafficking thousands of vulnerable women from around the world.

Axe: Nadira’s confidante. A cruel and dangerous man who conducts human auctions and makes sure no one escapes from the brothel.

Sultan: A pimp who once worked for Nadira. Now her arch rival.
Stories grow out of materials already in history and human experience. Human trafficking is a huge international problem. And it has raised its ugly head in Canada. It is a current theme and many Canadians are not aware of it happening in our cities.
In the Name of Love is fast paced, always moving forward with the visuals doing a lot of the storytelling. It was originally written as a screenplay at the Vancouver Film School. So the scenes are short and moves like a screenplay.
Men 18–34
Women 18–34
Men 35-54
Women 35–54
Seniors
Other (e.g., mystery fans)
In terms of pacing and the theme of international human trafficking, it could be compared with Liam Neeson’s action flick, Taken. But there are no ex-commandos coming to Rimana’s rescue. Here, her rescuers are ordinary people attempting the extraordinary.
Chapter Ten:

Paradise nightclub was opulent and unlike any other nightclubs in the city. It made no qualms about the fact that it catered to only the very wealthy. Well-dressed men and women excitedly walked around, while raunchy music played in the background. Customers spoke cheerfully with exquisite hostesses bouncing back and forth between a gentlemen’s club on the first floor and the nightclub on the ground floor. As a somnolent city made preparations to retire for the day, Paradise woke up to cater to its nocturnal needs.
It was impossible to determine the world of muck hidden inside the huge building spanning half a block. Clientele arrived in flashy cars and quickly walked in through the ornate doors. Everyone who entered had to be cleared by the doormen, who were experts at discerning the financial worth of their potential customers. Even on very busy days, no customer was kept waiting in line on the street. Nadira was very clear that Paradise was not just any nightclub. It was exclusive and each customer deserved to be treated like royalty. So while a set of people went through metal detectors and were frisked by bouncers, stunning hostesses chatted up the ones waiting to be led through the front door. It made them feel important and the humiliation of having to wait outside for clearance before entering the club disappeared from their minds. No one had ever heard of any customer trying to take advantage of the hostesses who stepped out to keep them company as they waited to be ushered in. There were security cameras inside and outside the building, and anyone with half a functioning brain knew that if they became a security hazard, they would be tossed out immediately. Few customers had met Nadira, and fewer knew of her stronghold on the people who ran the city, or the nefarious deeds taking place on some of the upper floors of the building that were heavily guarded and open only to those specifically invited.
The entrance was large enough for Jug, Omar, and Mark to walk in side by side. Mark was impressed with the tight security and the courteousness of the doormen, all large and muscular, all strong enough to deftly handle any situation. He had an eye for all things aesthetic and complimented the expensive furniture in the waiting area. A sign read, “You Are Now in Paradise. Our Angels Will Look After You.” As they were being frisked, a giant screen played the adventures of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. It never failed to amuse Nadira when she saw how many customers crowded the entrance to watch the antics of their favourite cartoons before entering the club. After the security clearance, customers entered a large room that was filled with small, cozy tables and plush armchairs. It also had a spectacular dance floor. Soft lights lit the room and the long, marble bar that dominated one side of the room. Drinks were expensive, but the array was mind-boggling and the club was a favourite spot for connoisseurs of fine wine and spirits.
The wall behind the bar had a concealed revolving door that led to a separate washroom reserved for the hostesses. The arrangement had been made for the safety of the workers. In the early days of Paradise, when the hostesses and customers shared washrooms, an inebriated man had strayed into the women’s washroom. A hostess with a queasy stomach was relieving her discomfort, when to her horror, she saw the drunken man unsuccessfully trying to climb into her stall. The hapless hostess could not run away and screamed at the top of her lungs. Luckily for her, another hostess alerted the security guards. The overzealous customer was subdued and taken to the back alley. He was never seen again. The incident was a lesson learned, and as Paradise grew, Nadira ensured the employees too had privacy and every possible comfort.
There were two sets of washrooms, one beside the exit and the other on the opposite corner of the room where a winding staircase led to the first floor. Although the first floor was reserved as a gentlemen’s club, many of the customers were women.
The rumours Mark had heard about the club were correct. The third floor of the club housed a very exclusive and expensive brothel. It was accessible to customers only after clearance had been assured from the lower floors and only after negotiations were complete.
Jug, Omar, and Mark were enveloped by suggestive music as they entered the massive room and approached the bar. One of the things that made the nightclub so popular was the number of hostesses it employed who were dedicated to ensuring that the men who frequented the club had a good time. Tara was the hostess who had served Omar the one time he had been there before. Omar recognized her as she walked toward him with Roshita and Kiya, two equally stunning women. They walked up to the trio and extended a warm welcome.
Tara put her arm around Omar’s shoulder as if they had been classmates since kindergarten. “Hi, handsome.”
Omar flashed his playboy smile. “Hello angels.”
“Hi boys,” Roshita and Kiya approached Jug and Mark.
“Friends?” Kiya inquired.
Omar nodded. “Yes. Meet….”
Mark was terrified that Omar would give away his real identity. He jumped in. “Hi, I’m Richard.” He quickly pointed to Jug to save his friend from losing his anonymity as well. “And this is Steve.”
Roshita smiled at Mark. “Dick?”
Mark was not sure he heard her correctly. “Excuse me?”
Tara elucidated, “Dick, as in Richard. Like Bob, as in Robert.” Everyone laughed at Mark’s relieved expression.
Mark relaxed. “Yes, yes. Dick, as in Richard.”
Omar offered the women a drink. “What will you ladies have?”
The three hostesses had just begun their shifts and wanted to loosen up a little. Kiya asked, “Don’t you guys want a table?”
Omar had come to have a good time and was in no hurry. “Sure.”
Jug looked around. Enthusiastic people kept pouring into Paradise. They were greeted by other hostesses. The music was not too loud. Management did not expect customers to attack their hostesses the minute they walked in. “Talk is sexy and Paradise is all about being sexy, feeling sexy. Cavemen can go elsewhere,” Nadira told Fanny when he proposed to emulate competitors who played louder music. Nadira intended to keep Paradise as elegant as possible. Mark looked around to see if he could spot any familiar faces. He still felt that coming to a place like Paradise without a disguise was not wise and he was somewhat embarrassed to be there. Clearly, it was more than a nightclub. It was evident from the way Tara, Roshita and Kiya had pasted themselves to Mark and his friends.
Omar pointed to a cozy table close to the bar. “Let’s take that one. Is beer okay with everyone?”
Tara and Kiya approved. Roshita was pickier. “A vodka and cranberry for me please?”
Jug asked Omar to hold the table while he bought the drinks. Mark felt safer in Jug’s company and was ready to give him a hand. Omar headed to the table, his arms around the hostesses who were eager to please him.
Fanny was busy supervising the waitresses at the bar. The crowd was slowly building up, but it wasn’t a packed house yet. Longer days in summer meant the peak hours were pushed back by a couple of hours.
Mark’s mind was suddenly plagued with a burning question. “I wonder why they are called angels.”
“It’s Paradise, Mark. They are angels in Paradise,” Jug pointed out the obvious reference.
“Duh!” Mark raised his eyebrows at the revelation. “How could I miss that?” He laughed at himself. The music had relaxed him. He continued, “Anyway, which one do you like?”
“Does it matter? They’re all stunning.”
Mark agreed. “They’re like the women in Playboy. One prettier than the other.”
“You don’t want to take them home, do you?” Jug wondered.
“My place is too risky. Can we go to yours?”
“They do seem eager; a little too eager actually. Just have to make sure they’re not … they’re not you-know-what.” Jug did not want to say the word“prostitute” within the confines of the club.
“How will we do that? Can’t ask them, can we?” Mark was in a dilemma.
“We’ll find out soon enough,” Jug assured him.
“You know the one I like?” Mark had made up his mind.
“The one in the blue bra,” Jug stated a matter of factly.
“How did you know?” Mark was astonished.
“Elementary.”
Mark wanted a proper answer. “Have you gone psychic, or what?”
Jug laughed. “The bigger the better?” indicating that he knew his friend’s preferences.
Mark tried to justify his choice. “She was staring at my crotch.”
Jug shook his head. “Your jacket’s Armani, the shoes Bruno Magli, and the watch Rolex. Could you be more obvious?”
Mark complained, “But that’s what I wear.”
“That’s not what most of the world wears,” Jug pointed out.
“Most of the world doesn’t come here. This is a rich boys’ club.”
“I agree. But still.”
Mark began a speech, “Everyone wears some brand or the other and…” when he was interrupted by a pretty bartender wearing a shiny gold bra who moved so fast that the cups struggled to contain her breasts.
She bent dangerously low to take their order and her breasts almost spilled out on the reddish-brown marble countertop. “Hello there, what can I get you guys?”
Marks eyes were transfixed.
Jug was just about to place their order when he noticed a well-dressed man standing near the counter, several hostesses in tow. He looked vaguely familiar.
Fanny saw him at the same time and called out, “Imaaaaaan, you sneaky bastard, when did you get here?”
The sudden mention of the familiar name, sent a cold chill down Jug’s spine. His attention was riveted to the two men bantering at the bar only a couple of feet away.
Imaan returned Fanny’s warm gesture by imitating his tone. “Fannyyyy! You look very sexy tonight.”
Jug suddenly remembered Imaan. An image of Rimana leaving with Imaan and another man flashed through his head. “I have to be sure,” Jug thought. And then, another image flashed through his head: Imaan’s apparent discomfort when he shoved his creepy partner away from Rimana.
The bartender snapped her fingers and smiled. “Hello? What can I get you?”
Jug bounced back to attention. His heart was racing. “Sorry. One vodka and cranberry juice, and two pitchers of Heineken. Thanks.”
“Sure. Be right back.” She disappeared behind the counter.
Mark could not take his eyes off all the hostesses that were gliding throughout the room. A bunch of overenthusiastic Japanese customers were cheering on a magically agile hostess that more than entertained them as she swung her almost bare bottom seductively to the music. They showered her with dollar bills the way snow comes down to fill the streets in winter. The performer enjoyed the attention and the dollar bills kept disappearing into unknown crevices of her superbly toned body.
“Never seen that in a regular club before. This is one happening place,” Mark was thoroughly amused. But Jug had tuned out.
The music was turned up and Fanny had to speak loudly. “Rimana refused to eat again. So Nadira asked her to work tonight.”
Jug was stunned. He could not believe what he had just heard. Could it be? Did he really hear Rimana’s name, or did he just imagine it?
Imaan did not look happy. “That’s not good.”
Fanny took the side of his employer. “If only she behaved.”
Imaan took out a handkerchief and wiped a sweating forehead. “But she’s leaving this week. Right?”
Leaving? Where? Jug forced himself to concentrate. He strained against the music to listen to the conversation. Fanny replied to Imaan’s question, but it was not clear. Mark continued to watch the mirth of the Japanese businessmen, totally oblivious to what was happening next to him. A broad smile lit his face as though he were posing in a photo studio. He had forgotten all about his worry of being seen by someone who might know his father.
The pretty bartender arrived with the pitchers and the cocktail, and pushed the drinks toward Jug. “There you go,” she said with a big smile at Jug’s generous tip.
Mark continued to gaze shamelessly at the buxom hostess and tapped his foot along with the music. Only after Jug had paid for the drinks did he finally notice that the pitchers had arrived.
He volunteered, “Here, let me hold the pitchers. You get the other drink.” Mark picked up both pitchers with shaky hands. They were not as light as he thought. “Shit, did they put stones at the bottom?”
Jug was concerned Mark might drop them. “Hey, can you handle both?”
Mark winked. “I can handle all three!”
Jug’s mind was too preoccupied to appreciate Mark’s immature humour. He followed Mark towards the table where Omar was busy amusing the three hostesses, drawing from his collection of ribald jokes. He turned to make sure that Imaan was still at the bar and was dismayed to find he had vanished. Omar had cracked a crude one that got the women laughing when Mark placed the pitchers on the table with a loud thud. Some of the cold liquid tried to escape, stopping just short of flowing over the rim.
Omar’s arm darted towards the pitcher like a snake that had only a fleeting moment to bite off the rickety leg of a frog before it disappeared into the depths of a lagoon. Suddenly he noticed the expression on Jug’s face and knew that something was wrong.
Jug nodded ever so slightly, a sign that only Omar could read. He jumped out of his seat. “If you’ll excuse us ladies, we’ll be right back.”
Jug was glad that Omar had picked up the subtle signal. He addressed Mark, “Wait for us. We’ll be back in a minute.”
Mark’s accumulated confidence evaporated instantaneously. “Hey, where’re you guys going?”
Omar laughed. “You’re abandoned. Like Rambo.”
For the first time, Mark did not find a movie reference funny. He croaked, “No, wait.”
Roshita assured Omar, “We’ll keep your friend busy. But don’t be too long.” Tara pulled Mark’s jacket sleeve and he staggered onto the vacant seat next to her. Before he knew it, Kiya’s hand had crept up along the inside of his thigh.
Mark groaned and asked Jug, “Where are you off to?”
“The washroom. Where else?” Jug tried to appear as casual as he could.
“Hold the fort. We’ll be right back,” Omar announced like an army officer commanding his troops to ward off heavy artillery shelling.
Mark had begun to raise another mild protest, but Jug and Omar were gone.
“Do they always piss together?” asked Roshita. Kiya and Tara burst into peals of laughter.
It took Jug a few seconds to describe what he had seen and heard. A quick decision had to be made. Omar remembered his one and only visit to the upper floors of Paradise. He was drunk and had decided to pay for sex, as soon as he realized the option was available. He had regretted it later and promised himself that if he came back to Paradise again, it would only be for a visit to the nightclub. He had kept this from his best friends and had told them that he had simply scored with someone he met at the nightclub. He realized it was time to come out with the truth.
“The rumours are true. She could be somewhere in the building,” Omar said without any hesitation. Saving a life was more important than protecting his reputation.
“How do you know?” Jug asked and figured out the answer to his question at the same time.
“Just that once.”
“You didn’t tell us?” Jug was surprised that Omar had not told them the whole truth before.
“I was embarrassed,” Omar confessed. “But there are rooms on the upper floors.”
“We need to work fast then,” Jug’s mind was racing. He would have to pretend he was interested in some company. That would be the only way to reach Rimana. They stepped out of the washroom and walked purposefully to the bar. If Jug’s fears were true then there was no time to waste. From a distance, they saw the three hostesses playfully caressing Mark. He seemed to be having a good time.
Omar noticed Fanny supervising the bar and leaned on the counter with his powerful elbows. “Hello?”
Fanny recognized Omar. He remembered clearly the last time that Omar had been there. Fanny had been stumped by Omar’s six-foot-two frame, and his glimpse of Omar’s eighteen-inch biceps. He had not been able take his eyes off Omar’s strong legs and hip-hugging jeans. He had dreamt of spending a night with Omar. Fanny had planned to suggest just that when a voice snapped him out of his fantasy. Omar had asked him something. Fanny’s heart was beating fast, like a rag picker who had suddenly discovered a million dollars abandoned in a trash heap. Omar had asked if they had Wyborowa vodka and Fanny had been eager to assist him. Normally he would have asked a waitress to provide the drink, but he had not wanted to miss that opportunity to please this godlike creature. Omar had understood immediately the effect he was having on Fanny. He quickly chose a hostess to entertain him throughout the evening. When Fanny had returned with his drink, he was heartbroken to find a hostess hanging from Omar’s bicep like a chimpanzee from the branch of a tree. Omar had thanked him. Since then, that perfect smile had come back to haunt Fanny off and on for many days. Fanny’s failure to lure the handsome stranger to his bed had caused him many sleepless nights. And, now, here he was, again. Fanny could not believe his eyes.
Omar knew what Fanny had in mind and he decided to use it to his advantage. He touched Fanny’s arm and squeezed it gently. “Hey, good to see you.”
Fanny’s heart skipped a few consecutive beats. He recovered quickly and gave Omar a warm smile. “At your service, sir.”
Omar leaned over the counter, bringing his face dangerously close to Fanny’s. Fanny filled his lungs with the musky fragrance of Omar’s cologne. He discovered that he had an erection.
“See my friend here?” Omar asked.
Fanny’s trained eyes switched to Jug. He smiled and exchanged nods.
Omar continued, “Look, he has this thing for Indian girls. If you have one, I’d consider it a personal favour.”
Jug did not have to wait for Fanny’s reply. His response was immediate, as if he had been waiting for such an offer. “You may be in luck, sir. But first let me check.” Jug and Omar exchanged a look. It seemed like their request was about to be granted.

Nadira watched the bar on closed-circuit tv monitors from her room on the third floor. The evening was heating up and customers were having a great time. Axe’s main duties were to smuggle women out of the country, organize auctions within the walls of Paradise and over the Internet. He maintained connections with the police and entertained high profile guests. All that left him with little time to pay too much attention to the gentleman’s club and escort business, cash cows that generated huge income. He reported only to Nadira and had a free hand in making important decisions about the lives of the innocent women they enslaved. As the business grew, Fanny was entrusted with more and more responsibilities at the gentlemen’s club and escort services. He was also a permanent fixture at the nightclub. Seated next to Nadira, Axe was nursing a single malt when his cell phone rang.
He picked up. “Fanny?”
“Is Rimana ready yet?” Fanny’s voice came on. The music in the background was faint, which indicated that he had stepped away from the bar.
Axe put down his glass. “Do we have a safe caller?”
Fanny nodded. “A customer wants an Indian angel for his friend.”
Axe inquired further. “Old customer?”
Fanny was ready to please the man with the stainless steel biceps in any way possible. He vouched for Omar. “Yes. He’s safe.”
Axe was ready to investigate Jug. “The friend?”
Fanny assured him, “Said he’s been here before. He looks like the college-going type. I don’t think he’s trouble.”
“In ten minutes then.” Axe put his glass on the table and headed toward Rimana’s room.
Fanny had disappeared to make a few inquiries. He was back. “You’re in luck, sir.” He smiled at Omar, hoping that the hunk would return his favour someday.
“Great. Thank you.” Omar shook his hand. His strong grip sent a shiver through Fanny’s body.
He forced himself not to imagine Omar’s hands all over him and bowed to the duo. “My pleasure. Cash or credit card?”
Omar knew the right answer. “Cash. One hour.”

In less than a minute, the transaction was over. Fanny said that the hostess was getting ready to receive Jug and chatted with them for a few minutes. Jug’s mouth was dry in anticipation and he struggled not to show the tension on his face.
Finally Fanny was ready to lead Jug into the inner chambers. “Please come with me.”
It was time for Omar to move away. He gave Jug a thumbs up.
Jug walked away with Fanny, wondering if this was going to be just a wild goose chase that would not yield any concrete results. And what if the woman they were taking him to was not Rimana? Then what would he do? How would he ever find Rimana?
As they entered a winding corridor, Fanny stopped. “Oh, one thing.”
Jug stopped along with him. He had not had much time to think of anything since he had seen Imaan a few minutes ago. His emotions were mixed. He wanted to find Rimana as quickly as possible. He also wished with all his heart that she had not been sucked into the darkness of such an undesirable world.
“Sometimes with new workers from out of town, you have to deal with a lot of whims,” Fanny was saying.
“Right,” Jug agreed.
“So feel free to assert yourself if you have to,” Fanny advised.
“Sure,” Jug readily consented, but he was not sure what that meant. “But please be kind to the hostess. She’s in training,” Fanny said coolly.
Jug felt sick. She may not be Rimana. But she was a woman. She was a human being. “Of course.” He tried to give Fanny his most friendly smile as they began climbing the stairs to the third floor.
Downstairs, Omar had returned to the corner table.
Mark had grown restless. When he saw Omar he was relieved. “Where the hell were you?” Then he noticed that Jug was absent. “Where’s Richard? Sorry, Steve. I mean, er, um, our friend.”
Everyone laughed again, this time at Mark’s failure to remember the false names he had conjured to protect their real identities.
Omar apologized for the delay. “Sorry Richard. Sorry ladies. Steve found his soulmate. That’s why it took us a while.”
“What?” Mark could not believe that Jug had left their side to be with another hostess.
“He’s gone to the second floor. To the gentlemen’s club. He’ll be back in an hour,” Omar said casually.
Kiya complained, “Oh no.”
“I know. Life is not fair,” Omar sympathized with her. The hostesses had been generous with their time, and he knew that they were counting on more from the three friends. Jug’s sudden departure had upset the equation. Omar did not want the women to disappear. They were providing great cover. He smiled, “Don’t worry, it’s Richard’s birthday today. So we can all be together.
The hostesses knew it was a lie. Roshita and Kiya cheered but Omar’s idea did not appeal to Tara. She decided to go her own way. She stood up and smiled, “I just saw an old friend. You guys carry on.”
Mark wondered if Roshita and Kiya were also on the verge of leaving.
“I know Richard would love to be with you,” Omar told Kiya. She knew why. She was aware as to where her strengths lay. Proudly, she adjusted her turquoise blue bra.
“How did you know?” Mark asked, surprised.
Omar guffawed hard. Mark had not expected this. He was nervous all over again. The hostesses laughed at his dilemma. Kiya gulped down the last of her drink and stood up. “Come on, lover boy. Let’s dance.” She pulled Mark to his feet and gestured to Roshita to join them.
Mark was suddenly confident. “I shall accompany these lovely creatures to the dance floor. Would you like to join us, Roberto?” He had once again forgotten the fictitious name he had assigned to Omar only to realize that Omar did not have one. Mark’s ridiculous attempt generated laughter all over again.
“I’ll have another beer and join you. You guys go ahead,” Omar waved them away. Mark pranced away to the dance floor, Roshita and Kiya in tow.
In the heady clutter of the night, Omar said a silent prayer for Jug and Rimana. Then he poured himself another beer.

When Axe walked in with bad news, Rimana was standing next to the only window in the room. She had been moved to a larger room with a view when she complained that she needed to see the outside world to retain her sanity. It was an eight by six feet bulk of clear, unbreakable glass through which she could look at the floor beneath. She had been forced to wear a revealing dress and looked ravishing in subdued make up. She had the urge to rub it off but did not dare in the presence of Axe, who stood and supervised. Although Axe had not harmed her in any way, Rimana was terrified of him. She was speechless the first time she saw him. Boma Shastri’s words had come true! “Do you know anyone with a tattoo of a knife, or a blade, or an axe, or anything sharp on his body?” she recalled him asking. “Beware of such a man,” he had warned. Instantaneously, she had developed faith in the amulet resting quietly on her wrist. Generally Nadira, Tabasco, or Fanny would be present along with Axe. But this time he was alone. There was something sadistic about him, and every time he looked at Rimana, she knew that he was hoping for an opportunity to hurt her. She looked at the door, wishing someone would follow him into the room. Being stuck in a room alone with Axe made her hands and forehead cold and clammy.
“The time has come to serve your first customer. Congratulations!” Axe announced. Rimana had been careful not to raise her voice in his presence for fear of being beaten up. Once, she had tried to bolt as soon as the door to her room had opened. She had managed to push Tabasco out of the way, but Axe had caught her in an instant. He had lifted her off her feet like a feather and Rimana got a first hand idea of his brute strength. But she could not afford to be afraid any longer.
She yelled back, “I won’t do it!”
Axe got the opportunity he was waiting for. He closed in on Rimana and grabbed her crotch. With his free hand, he pushed her face on the window and pinned her to it.
He whispered in contained rage, “Nadira will not tolerate this nonsense anymore.”
Rimana felt more violated than terrified. “You’re hurting me,” she barely managed to blurt out from the side of her lips smashed against the window. Her entire face had fit into Axe’s huge steel grip. She was concerned his fingers would dig into her eyes.
Axe had to send the message home in a hurry. “Listen carefully. If the customer has anything to complain about, I’ll tie you to the bed and let everyone that walks in here fuck you tonight. For free. That’s a promise. So don’t try my patience.”
Rimana felt Axe’s fingers violating her. She was breathless and struggled uselessly to get out of his grip. She had promised herself that she would never cry to enhance the pleasure of the savages holding her, but it was impossible to hold back the tears any more.
“Please, you’re hurting me.”
Axe smiled viciously. “Do you understand what I’m saying, or will I have to squeeze harder?”
Rimana barely managed to say, “No, please.”
Axe whispered into her ear, “Speak up!” and suddenly spoke loudly, startling Rimana, “Say, I understand!”
Rimana thought she would pass out. Desperate to free herself, she complied at once. “I understand.”
Axe’s teeth were clenched in sadistic fury. “I can’t hear you.”
Rimana gathered all her remaining strength and tried harder. “I understand.”
Just then, with her face still pinned to the glass window, Rimana saw a young man walk into the lower level lobby.
“There’s your man.” Axe informed her. You will serve him for an hour. Remember, if you screw up, then everyone in downtown Toronto gets to fuck you tonight. I’ll be right outside.”
Axe released Rimana and she slumped to the floor, breathless, and trying to recover. He walked up to the bedside table to fetch some water. There were no glass items in the room. Everything was stainless steel, a precautionary measure against suicidal prisoners. Rimana drank the water and coughed. Her eyes were glassy with tears. With his muscular arms, Axe lifted her like a fallen leaf and took her to the bed.
There was a knock on the door. Axe glared at Rimana and she wiped her tears away with the back of her hand. He opened the door and greeted Jug. “Hi there. Come on in.”
Jug walked in. Although he had braced himself to make an unsavoury discovery, he was shocked when he actually saw Rimana. He had seen her only once and remembered every detail of her clothing and earrings. She looked different in a low cut and very short, bright red dress. Their eyes met as Axe moved over.
Rimana could not believe that of all the people in the world, Jug had just walked into her hell hole. Her eyes swelled with tears again. But she quickly wiped them away. Jug had found her! How was this possible?
Axe reminded Jug, “You have an hour, sir. Please be nice to the lady.”
“Sure,” Jug nodded.
“Any trouble and you can reach me by pressing the red buttons in all four corners of the bed,” Axe pointed out.
“Thanks,” Jug smiled.
Rimana had learned during her stay at Paradise that all beds were fitted with small, red buttons. In the event of a customer harming the ladies, the prompt press of a button could have serious consequences. Depending on the extent of the injury inflicted upon the hostess, the customer could end up with a broken arm or find a baton lodged into his colon. Only on very rare occasions would they have to disappear. But sometimes, customers also had to be warned of attacks from reluctant hostesses. Axe left, slamming the door behind him.
Rimana could not control her emotions any longer. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She placed her hand over her mouth to prevent her voice from carrying outside. Jug ran to her and took her in his arms. They clung to each other like best friends who had been reunited by chance thousands of miles away from home.
“Oh my God, oh my God. How did you get here?” Rimana fought back the tears.
Jug felt awkward offering an explanation. “I thought I’d never see you again.”
Rimana said nothing. Jug kept holding her, feeling miserable, and sensing a silent rage building inside him. Suddenly it occurred to Rimana that Axe might be listening. She freed herself from Jug’s embrace and led him to the bed. She had to act normal. “They may be watching us,” she whispered.
Jug was thoughtful. “I doubt that. This place has a reputation for being very exclusive. And I don’t think they’d care. They’ve been paid and to them it’s all that matters.”
Rimana disagreed. “I’m being punished for being a rebel. They are putting me up for a sale.”
“What do you mean?” Jug had no idea what she was talking about.
Rimana began to unbutton him.
“What’re you doing?” Jug asked.
“ Just relax so they don’t suspect that we know each other.”
“They may not be watching for all you know.” Jug didn’t know what else to say.
“We can’t take a chance. It’s too risky. Make it look real. Undress me.”
“Rimana?” Jug hesitated.
“I trust you,” said Rimana.
Jug did not hesitate any longer. Rimana’s dress slid along the fine contours of her body and dropped on the floor. They huddled under the light comforter. Rimana kissed his face. Jug was uncomfortable and it was hard for him to concentrate on working out an escape plan. He was relieved to know that Rimana had not been raped.
“I’ve never missed anyone like this before,” he confessed.
Rimana was quiet. She did not know what to say. Then she broke her silence. “You came here because you missed me?”
Jug shook his head, “Don’t get me wrong. We came to the nightclub downstairs. There, I saw Imaan.”
“My God!” Rimana could not believe the coincidence. “But how did you find me?” She wanted to know.
Jug quickly explained how he had heard Fanny and Imaan speak at the bar. Omar’s confession had confirmed his suspicion to be true.
Rimana held his hand and placed it on her breasts. Jug flinched. It was hard to play act. She whispered, “It’s okay. You don’t know how dangerous these people are.”
It was Rimana’s turn to tell Jug about the human auctions on the top floor of the building and the continuous bidding for women over the Internet. She had been able to gain some knowledge about Paradise during her chats with Tabasco.
“I can’t believe this has happened to you. You see such things only in the movies,” Jug was stunned to hear Rimana’s account.
“I’ll be sold, Jug!” Rimana whispered.
Jug was adamant. “No, you won’t.”
“This is a fortress. I can’t get out alive.” There was desperation in her voice.
Jug tried to calm her down. “I’ll get you out of here.”
Rimana shook her head. “Even the police won’t touch them. They’re so well connected.”
Jug racked his brains. “There must be a way.”
“That’s all I’ve done since they brought me here. Every single day. Every single moment. All I’ve thought of is escaping. And I think there may be only one way.”
“What?”
Rimana took the next few minutes to explain what she had learned about Paradise. There may be many women like her in the building, being held against their will. There were also women from several East European countries who had come of their own accord to find husbands and settle down. Most had done so to escape poverty. They were trained to parade and dance naked in front of rich clients who picked them up and took them along either as wives or mistresses. Then there were women who worked at Paradise as prostitutes and there were a huge number of them. They were local and could not be distinguished from regular citizens. Rimana belonged to an entirely different category. A rich sheikh in Yemen had liked her picture and had purchased her.
“It’s a world you cannot imagine,” Rimana stated. “Get on top of me.”
Jug rested his body against her. It was hard to talk this way, but he had no choice. “What else have you found out?” Jug wanted to know everything.
Rimana confessed that sadly, she did not know much more about the functioning of Paradise. Tabasco had been her only source. He spoke with her more than anyone else, often playing the inadvertent role of therapist. She figured there were checks and balances in the organization, and he likely had to be careful as to how far their conversations could go.
“But you said you had an idea,” Jug encouraged her to think of everything. Any little information might come in handy..
“Yes. There’s a gangster called Sultan. He’s Nadira’s rival and wants to destroy her. It must be very hard to find such people, but somehow if you can reach that man, he may help us.”
“You heard that from Tabasco?”
“Yes. Mostly.”
“He could be lying to you. There may be no one called Sultan.” Jug thought aloud and Rimana considered the possibility for the first time.
They switched positions. Now she was on top. Her breasts had swung free and obstructed Jug’s view of her face. She moved as she spoke, “That’s possible. But I’ve heard Tabasco talk about him three times with other people who were complaining how much trouble Sultan was causing Nadira. I’m pretty sure he exists.”
Jug accepted the idea. But playing one gangster against another? That would add to the complication. Time was not on their side. He made a decision. “We’ll come back tomorrow with a plan and get you out of here.”
Rimana looked puzzled. “We?”
Jug’s discomfort had increased with Rimana’s steady motion on top of him. The comforter had slipped away slightly. He pulled it up, covering her bare back as much as he could.
Readjusted, he said as a matter of fact, “Omar and Mark.”
“Who are they mourning?” Rimana asked.
Jug was amazed to see that under such incredible stress, where eternal enslavement awaited Rimana, she had retained her saucy sense of humour.
“For me,” he replied.
“You could get killed.”
Jug nodded. “I know.”
Rimana’s eyes swelled up with tears again. She bit her lips. “Why, Jug?”
Jug kissed Rimana on her lips. “That’s why.”
Rimana held him closely. “Oh, Jug.”
Jug glanced at his watch. “I have to leave now. My hour is almost up.”
Rimana felt she was sinking into an abyss all over again. Seeing Jug in that improbable situation was the best moment of her life. “I don’t want to let you go.” She held his hand so tight that her knuckles lost their colour.
Jug felt miserable to leave her behind. “Stay calm. Cooperate with them. Get them to trust you. Okay?”
“Okay.” Rimana was determined to fight.
The unplanned rendezvous had filled Jug with confidence. “I know we can do it. And we will do it.”
Rimana tried to appear brave, but her eyes had already shrunk in the great trepidation of not being able to make it out of Paradise.
Jug got dressed. “I’ll be back tomorrow and somehow we’ll get out of here. We won’t go down without a fight.”
Rimana acquiesced. “Okay.”
They wanted to hold each other one last time before parting for the night, but decided against it.
Axe was waiting in the first room in the corridor, close to the staircase, and only a few metres away from Rimana’s room. Thrice in the past hour he had watched her servicing the customer and was satisfied that she had willingly given in. As Jug passed his room and headed to the staircase, Axe stepped out and stood in front of him.
“Everything okay, sir?” he greeted Jug warmly.
Jug winked. “Awesome.”
“Have a good night.”
“You too,” Jug wished him.
As he walked down the stairs, he thanked his lucky stars that he had heeded to Rimana’s embarrassing plan. He was certain that Axe must have been watching. It could not be a coincidence that Axe opened the door to his room exactly when Jug was passing by.
In the nightclub below, Omar and Mark were perched on bar stools along with Roshita and Kiya. Paradise was packed and entry had been restricted. Omar was quiet.
A very buoyant Mark was having the time of his life. He was in a rush to take Kiya away from Paradise. In his restlessness, he was smoking like a chimney, “What on earth is taking Jug so long?”
“Patience bro.” Omar glanced at his watch.
“Maybe we should check on him,” Mark suggested.
“Relax. He’ll be here any minute now,” Omar reassured his friend.
Before Mark could continue, they saw Jug walking quickly toward them.
Omar could tell right away that Jug had met Rimana. He was not sure if he should be relieved or concerned.
Mark was ready to leave. He picked up his jacket and put his arms around Kiya. “Shall we?” Kiya nodded.
Jug reached the bar.
“How was it?” Mark beamed.
Jug kept his response as brief as possible. “Good.” He was keenly observing the layout of Paradise in order to facilitate a successful escape the next day.
“Let’s go.” Omar jumped to his feet.
Mark asked again, “How good? Low, medium, high?
Omar folded his hands and bowed to Roshita and Kiya. “I’m sorry, ladies. We have to leave right away. Something important has come up.”
Mark, Roshita and Kiya had exactly the same reaction. “What?” they asked in unison.
“We promise to be back next week,” Omar smiled pleasantly at the hostesses, who were too perplexed to contest the change of plan.
“What are you talking about?” Mark realized something unusual must have happened for Omar to turn into their spokesperson. He trusted his friend but hesitated at the prospect of leaving behind the lovely women. Omar nudged him with his elbow. “Come on, we have work to do.”
Mark grunted, “Fuck man. Is that an elbow or a tree trunk?”
Jug urged him on, “He’s right, we have work to do. Let’s go.” Jug and Omar started walking towards the exit.
Mark smiled sheepishly at Kiya and then, apologized to the bewildered hostesses, “Sorry ladies. Some other time.” He hurried behind Jug and Omar and called out to them, “Work? At this hour? What work? Hey, wait for me.”
Roshita and Kiya had never been left in the lurch like this before. It took a while for them to recover from the sudden departure of the men who they had stuck to like glue, until only a minute ago. Kiya shrugged, “Whatever,” and moved on. But Roshita was less forgiving, “Jerks,” she cursed the three men with venom.

In the Name of Love was initially written as a screenplay and then altered to become a novel. But it retains the velocity and less descriptive tone of the original screenplay written at Vancouver Film School, a few years ago. The reviews of the book (refer AMAZON - http://www.amazon.com/In-Name-Love-ebook/dp/B00BZ95TX8 ) suggest that the readers empathize with the characters, seeking their desire to escape from the traffickers; some even clearly stating that reading it was like watching a movie.
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