Delphine Laurent sat at in her home office after her shower and considered the video open on her computer. The windows opened out over the gardens, and a cool evening breeze raised goosebumps on her wet skin, even under her bathrobe. Delphine lit a cigarette. She watched the smoke curl in the low light for a bit, then took a pull and let the exhaust billow slowly from her nose. Only then did Delphine, expressionless, play the video.
“My name is Charlotte Laurent. Hello, mother. I am deeply hypnotized.” Delphine’s daughter stared at the camera, affect blank, breasts on display. “I am completely compliant. The pictures you have received in addition to this video show what manner of depravity I can be induced to perform. If five hundred thousand francs are not transferred to the following bitcoin wallet, I will perform public sex acts on the Paris metro for twenty-four hours. If you do not wish to see me become a whore, mother, please do not hesitate to pay. I love you.”
The video cut to an electric wallet ID. Delphine sat in silence. Her tense fingers had crushed the filter of her cigarette. She snuffed it in the ash tray with force. Delphine got up from the chair and paced back and forth. After several laps around the room, Delphine returned to her desk and played the video again.
“I am deeply hypnotized… I am completely compliant… pictures you have received in addition to this show what manner of depravity I can be induced to perform… I will perform public sex acts on the Paris metro for twenty-four hours… see me become a whore… I love you.”
Delphine shifted in her chair, pressing her thighs together. She massaged her forehead and ran her fingers down her face and neck, finally lingering at her collar bone. Delphine stared at the ceiling for a moment. Then she played the video again.
“…deeply hypnotized… completely compliant… what manner of depravity I can be induced to perform… public sex acts on the Paris metro… become a whore… I love you.”
Delphine’s legs kept rubbing together. Leaning back, Delphine slipped a hand inside her robe and shuddered at the contact. She started to massage herself, nice and slow, as her shoulders slowly unclenched. Delphine’s head rolled sideways in order to look at the computer. Her breath sped up. Her composure failing, Delphine played the video again.
“…deeply hypnotized… completely compliant… depravity… public sex acts … become a whore… I love you.”
She groaned with unraveling tension. Her hand worked efficiently. Still, it wasn’t enough, even when her other hand finding it’s way to her nipple. Delphine was a woman used to getting what she wanted. Now, with this itch eluding her, her vaguest feelings of guilt had already given way to demanding irritation. She played the video again and got to work, already with the wordless idea germinating in the back of her mind, that she would not be paying the ransom.