Each time Chloe had slipped a little cash out of the safe and into her purse she'd told herself there was no danger. There had always been dozens of envelopes in there, each over-stuffed with grubby tens and twenties. As long as she replaced what she took before the accountant did his end-of-week tally she figured nothing could possibly go wrong. How could she have known someone else had been doing the same thing, but not bothering to replace the money? How could she have anticipated the hidden security camera the accountant had installed once he had discovered the series of thefts, or that she would be the only one caught by its incriminating eye?
Now, sitting in the accountant's Brooklyn loft, Chloe thought about Marat Tilic. It didn't matter that she hadn't actually stolen any money from him. He'd be forced to 'deal with her' based on the camera's damning footage alone; the same way he dealt with those who were unable to pay back his loans, or refused to pay for his protection.
She reached toward the coffee table, opened the box again. The box and its accompanying envelope had been on her desk when she arrived at work. Inside the envelope had been a key, an address, and a note signed by the accountant: "5pm. Choose any three.".
Taking an object from the box at random she found herself holding a fur-lined cuff in her hand, its twin jangled softly at the other end of a polished chrome chain. Staring down into the box she tried to objectively catalog what she saw: crotchless panties, blindfold, dildo, a long length of scarlet rope, riding crop, gag with a ball, conical rubbery thing with a flared base (what the heck was that?). She closed her eyes. shuddered. Three items. What a conundrum she faced.
New word: Pantomime