The meeting at the law office was a bit quicker in the event planning than the previous evolution from New Mexico to New York had been. Once Tori gave the okay, she was put into a town car to be taken to the airport. Only this time it was not on some economy flight, she was in a private jet. It wasn't until the flight had landed that Tori had second thoughts about being sent to Stockhome straight from Mr. Kenton's office because she had subsequently missed her appointment for the bone marrow donation. Tori was afraid that she would be banned from being able to enter the donation list again in the future. Probably the most curious thing that Tori never considered had been a mystery was that the men she saw at the airport from New Mexico to New York were members of a security company contracted by her father. This finding did not make Tori feel safer, in all actuality, the contradictory effect of Tori being immediately unsettled by the idea that she was followed took hold when Mr. Kenton explained it to her before she even got onto the G650 as he was not going to fly out of the country with her, and had one of the men escort her instead.
In Sweden, the plane did not arrive at an official airport. It landed on a private landing strip outside of the city. This was where Tori then was ushered to a very posh mansion in another black town car. She hardly had time to process the scenery before she met her father's most trusted lawyer Mr. Peeters at the main entrance. He was a snide, elderly gentleman, who held himself with a distinct amount of guile toward those he interacted with. Tori felt both insecure and loathed before she had even shaken his hand for the first time. She pulled her arm away from him signaling that she preferred for that courtesy to be forgone. Mr. Peeters moved along without any issue as he walked with her to see her father in his personal living quarters. The only information Mr. Peeters imparted to Tori was that her father was "in need of rest" and he was "exhausted." Tori wondered what the man would look like. She envisioned her father to be like the men she saw dropping off and picking up the other students when she was in school. She assumed he would be middle-aged, wearing a warm knitted sweater, and probably had a beard.
When Mr. Peeters opened the door to the master bedroom, Tori had to stifle a gasp. The man Mr.Peeters pointed out as her father was in a large bed surrounded by what looked like medical personal. As Tori approached she could see that her father was well into his eighties. Trying to be positive as she had come this far and her father had obviously been looking for her, she smiled at the sickly man who was propped up by pillows. In return, he scowled at her and spoke to the people in her orbit as if the effort to acknowledge her was too lowly for him to bother with. His English was proper but brunt in the manner in which he addressed others. It was obviously not his first language. Tori regretted her intention to befriend him as soon as he looked at her with eyes that were both aged and filled with utter contempt. A doctor in the room told her to sit down as she was to start a blood transfusion immediately for him. Not a single person in the room asked Tori if she consented to this though. As passive as she was a person under normal conditions, Tori stood back with fearful hesitation, moving away from the doctor as he motioned for her to be seated by her father. She did not want to help the man who she could see even from across the room as a hateful, bitter wretch. The entourage in the room began to bustle with agitation toward Tori when she did this. They had assumed that finding out that she had a rich relative would have been enough to keep her like a mule following a carrot on a string; never reaching it, but always trying as an attempt to weasel into his good graces.
With the room now full of panicking staff, Tori briskly excused herself by jogging out the way she came in, heading toward the front entrance of the building. No-one stopped her or held her back. They thought the grand display of wealth would have done those things for them. Mr. Peeters, being the ever unflappable man that he was, simply leaned over the stairs as Tori hurried away and asked "will you wait on it then? Possibly sleep on it here, that is?" Maybe it was because she was already tired or that she was so far from home, either way, Tori stopped, feeling as if she needed to know how this would end. The conclusion between her and this journey had not come to completion as of yet. She answered Mr. Peeters from the steps saying "where will I stay?" He pointed to a maid who had already scurried up the stairs to meet Tori, she then showed Tori to a grandly adorned room. Tori wondered if she was only being allowed this because they wanted to have a well-rested body to drain of blood later. The one thing she knew about her place in this new environment was that she was not among a single soul that was kind or without motive. This suddenly made her feel so very sad for her mother who had probably been in this place for much longer than she had let onto. Instantly, Tori knew not to make herself comfortable here. Ironically, now that she was in the most lavish mansion she had ever visited, she could think of nothing else but to escape to go home to her crumbling trailer.
In the morning Tori was brought breakfast in bed. The serving tray had perfectly prepared liver and kale with fresh-squeezed orange juice. The skill of the chef shown through as this would normally be hardly palatable if it had been whipped up by anyone ordinary. Mr. Peeters let himself in behind the waitstaff as Tori ate her food feeling like a sacrificial lamb being fattened before slaughter. "These are nice things are they not?" Mr. Peeters said as Tori tried to ignore him while she chewed. He went on anyway, "We were so disheartened to learn that your mother had passed the way that she had." Tori looked up for a moment, knowing that this man was no good. "The woman was of value to a man like your father, despite her bringing forth an illegitimate child like yourself into the world." Tori could tell he was fishing for something, possibly to get a reaction out of her or something else. Tori who was still in a borrowed set of silk pajamas with an unknown monogram on the pocket from the night before got up feeling as if she would lose her temper with Mr. Peeters. She walked over to the armoire where the clothes she had traveled in were cleaned and pressed on a hanger for her to claim. She had met enough bullies in her life to know when to end a conversation. She took the clothes to the adjoining bathroom and changed there while Mr. Peeters remained in her room, completely unfazed by her attempts to stonewall him. "I see you are ready to visit your father again" Mr. Peeters was undeterrable when she came back in to get her small backpack of things. "Why? Why would I help the man who let my mother die? He has made no effort to help us at any point in my life. Who does he think he is?" Tori fired back at Mr. Peeters, wishing she had said it to her father the night prior as she once went toward the exit.
"How could he have known?" It was all that Mr. Peeters had said and it was enough to get her to stop in her tracks. She wanted to ask what he met by that but he could read her expression as she turned to face him and answered for her, "Your mother hid her life from you? The things that she did here?" Mr. Peeters closed in on Tori as he spoke, then referring to her mother again said, "She was a paid conquest. Nothing more. She likely never knew who your father was. How could he have been a benefactor of any type to a derelict like her?" Hearing that wiped out what little patience Tori had for these people. Whether Mr. Peeters was telling the truth or not, it didn't matter to Tori. She would never help a man like her father. However, she realized that she was very far from home and had no return ticket. In an effort to play ball Tori asked Mr. Peeters if there were ever any return plans for her, as in a ticket home. He scoffed at her and said that she had to figure that out on her own before he pointed to the road leaving the property from the window. Not sure what to do Tori took her bag and started to walk, feeling defeated by the disappointing ordeal. Outside it is cold. Tori only had on her button-down top still. She wondered if this is what happened to her mother when she had her interaction with the man who is now her father. She made it halfway down the long driveway before Mr. Peeters drove up to her offering to send her home, with full "accommodations" if she would reconsider. Tori could feel the goosebumps on her arms as she stood there, trying to force a plan that did not involve her returning to the mansion to pop into her mind, but nothing came of it. She was trapped.
The driver opened the car door for her as she went with Mr. Peeters back to the mansion. She knew she had run out of ideas and had been carefully trapped by the seedy nature of those in her father's employment. Without much fight, she went up to the room she had departed the night prior and submissively donated a pint of blood to the wretched old man. Afterward, she went back to her room. As dizzy as she was from it, she did take note that Mr.Peeters had disappeared, not saying a word about sending her home. She feared she was now a bag of young blood to be squeezed out to prolong a terrible person's life past its expiration date. She laid in bed all day and into the night. It was then that she started to truly take in her surroundings.
The mansion is never really asleep as people were walking at all hours of the night in the hallways. This did not bring Tori comfort. All she wanted was to go home. She did not like it there, regardless of the waitstaff or the luxuries that were provided. As far as she was concerned every person there was totally unbearable. As the poorest girl in her school, she at least felt like a human being, albeit an unglamorous one. Here she was treated as a thing, not directly spoken to, only spoken at. The staff would not look her in the eye and if she tried to speak to them they nodded, bowed away, or went about their task having been appointed by another person to do so. Tori was more alone there than in her trailer, she hated it.
In the morning as she dressed again, she cringed at the idea that she had bent to the will of others so quickly. She was scared by how fast she had been controlled. When she had sat in that chair and the needle was pressed into her arm, her father didn't speak a word to her. He was sickeningly appeased, Tori felt so violated. There were no visible chains in this house, but Tori might as well have had a choke collar around her neck. It was terrifying. Being forced to do something is appalling, being compelled to as she was another level of subhuman treatment Tori had never known to exist. She had been willing to participate in the bone marrow donation because it was for something that she deemed of value and of her own free will. The blood transfusion to her father was a manipulative con put over her that she received no benefit from other than not having to hitchhike back to New Mexico without a passport.
This had to end before she became the role she was expected to play without question. She planned to go to the nearest government building to ask for help. This plan though was never followed through because, before she could walk herself out, she found the house to be in quite the stir. Tori could see the servants shifting around not sure what to do and some were mumbling to one another. Of course, as soon as Tori was within view they scattered, thus annoying Tori who desperately wanted to know what was going on. She stood by her father's door, the place where the commotion seemed to be most concentrated. Mr. Peeters came out, his face calm and removed as it was the day before. "Your father has suffered an acute hemolytic complication from the treatment. Please pay your respects now before his body is to be removed as he is certainly dead."