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- A sharp sting across my left cheek woke me. The dim room came into focus, as did the large man standing in front of me.
- His balding pate shone in the light from a bare bulb hanging a few feet over his head. I couldn’t feel my hands.
- They were tied behind me, and my legs were tied to the wooden chair I sat in.
- "Valerie, she’s awake!" He grinned at me, his missing front teeth leaving a dark hole behind his upper lip.