5. The journey

5. The journey

A Chapter by Lynaelee

"You can't just take us. It's kidnapping. At least on three accounts. I'm the only one who is 18. I'm just an abduction," Ryan announced from the seat behind me; he was on my right. I felt the seat beside me shift. I assumed it meant Ronnie moved to the back to intimate Ryan. I wish I was wrong. I heard a loud, hard smack followed by some cracking and sharp intake of a breath. I knew instantly Ryan had been punched in the chest and possibly had sustained a broken rib. 
"That way. Hersh. Was harsh. Ru-" another sound of a fist connecting with flesh hit my ears as Adam was vocally silenced, but I could hear him gargling. It appeared that he was sitting in the same row as Ryan, but the noise was muffled so I couldn't tell where he was exactly. Broken nose, most likely I thought. 
"Wait! Don't! Please don't hurt them! I'll take it! I'll-" my voice faltered as I gasped, sputtered, and choked as I felt a strong hand around my neck from behind me. Yep. Ronnie was standing between me and Adam, that's why it Adam's response seemed muffled. That also meant that there was a small gap between the boys. 
"D****t! We must not hurt them yet, Ronnie, release her. The boss has plans for them. Now, precious, you'll take what?" A hand rubbed my right knee. I squeezed both of them together and the hand was removed. Ronnie slowly released his grip on my neck, but moved his hand to my shoulder. I winced as he applied pressure. Unable to rub my neck, I coughed twice before answering. 
"Everything. Their punishments, rebukes, and whatever else you want to do to hurt them. You can't hurt them. Please," I pleaded as another spell of coughing took over me. 
"Because I'm offering to take it all. I can't stand to see people hurt. Especially if there is anything I can do to prevent it. Just please stop," my pleading voice seemed to echo in the car. Adam coughed and seemed to be spewing blood. Ryan I could tell was fighting the urge to whimper, but his short breaths came out in a wheeze. Lauren was definitely crying as she sniffled in the far back seat. After what seemed like an eternity, our driver spoke again. 
"I'll consider your option. I had a feeling, Ms. Annette, that you would be the self sacrificing type, but I was under the impression you wouldn't care about someone who is just a peer - after all, you barely make any effort to make friends. What is your number? One friend, maybe two?" The driver was trying to rile me up, or maybe rile up my classmates.
"I care about everyo-" I spat, only to be cut off again with another hand around my throat.
"Leave her alo- oof!" Adam slurred as another hit resonated through the vehicle. I closed my eyes as I gasped again.
"Annette's friends with everyone," Ryan yelled at the same time.
"Don't. Hurt," I breathed as the grap around my throat loosened slightly.
"Stop talking. All of you shut up!" The driver yelled, my throat was released and I gasped for air. Once again, I felt my leg being rubbed. "Like I was saying, your friend count is low, so I didn't think you would care about these hooligans."
"They're not hooligans," I whispered, desperately wanting to rub my neck.
"Don't, Ronnie. Don't hurt her just yet. Put the knife against her throat. If she speaks again, cut out her vocal chords. Hell, if any of them make another sound, cut her throat. She offered to take their punishments, let's make it happen. If you hurt her, just make sure she lives though," the driver ordered and a cold blade was pressed against me, under the bag. I sighed and heard tears being expelled loudly behind me. "There's more to you than we originally thought, darling. Yes, you're strong and compassionate, but this is so much more," he mused, finally removing his hand from my leg. Unable to keep quiet any more, I tilted my head back, and coughed again. "Ronnie, this trip is going to take longer than I thought. Three quarters of our guests are hurt already. This won't do. We need to give them some water. Let me find a place to stop. I'll help," he emphasized. Ronnie gave my shoulder another hard squeeze and released his hand. I heard him settle back in his seat between the boys. My stomach churned. This was not going to turn out well. The van slowly pulled to a stop, and the engine was turned off. The driver got out and shut his door. 
Ronnie cocked his gun. "Give me a reason. Go ahead. Scream for help. I'd love to use my toy. And Annette, was it? I'll do more than take out your vocal chords. We have big plans for you, darling. The rest of you, you're just collateral damage," his deep, gruff, gravelly voice came out with a warning dripped in venom. I couldn't see him, but I could picture him smile slyly as he uttered those words. Quiet seconds ticked on. I kept holding my breath waiting for the resounding bang that was sure to come. What did they want with me? How did I end up on their radar? The side door opened and I jumped, but remained quiet. Lauren let out a surprised gasp. The boys didn't say anything. The door slammed shut and a voice spoke up beside me.
"I got you all a bottle of water. I'm handing them out now. Here you go. There. Now they're all new bottles. No poison." A cold bottle was placed in my hands. "Ha! I would, but the boss says he can use all of you. Now, angel, can I open this water for you?" His voice was in the back; he was talking to Lauren. "Ronnie, help those gentlemen with a drink. I can smell the booze on them from here. Sober them up." I heard the distinctive click of two water bottles opening up almost simultaneously. "Here, angel. Let me dry those tears. Now. What's your name?" 
"Lauren," she whimpered. "What did you do to them? Are they okay?"
"Shhhh. Lauren, everyone is fine. See, big fella there had a little blood but Ronnie will take care of him. Come on now. You must be thirsty. There you go." 
"This is going to hurt, but then the bleeding will stop for a bit. Then you drink this. All," Ronnie instructed at the same time our driver was dealing with Lauren. A loud snap produced grunts and wails from Adam. A smile played on my lips. Setting a broken nose hurts, but he was milking it too much. "Now drink." Why were they so intent on getting us to drink? I ran my hands up and down on the cold bottle in my hands. I couldn't take the driver's words for truth; they tampered with these bottles somehow. I had to figure out a way to get out of here. Another bottle was opened. 
"If we're just collateral damage, I'd rather not make it easy for you. I know that your plan is to break Annette, and I won't be used for that. She's remarkably selfless, but you need to kill me because I won't let you use me against he. Besides, I'm not thirsty right now. Thanks, man," Ryan stated. 
"You drink or I make you drink," Ronnie snarled.
"Hey now, gentlemen. Behave. Son, we're doing you a favor. This will be the only chance you have to drink anything. I know it's not a beer, but bottoms up," our driver interfered.
"SHOVE IT! Lauren and Adam-" Ryan yelled. Once again, I heard the sound of someone being hit again. 
Unable to stop myself, I blurted out a petrified response as I looked over my shoulder trying to break free from my binds, knowing I couldn't see or do anything. "Ryan, don't make this more difficult! Please! I said I would take it. Stop. Ryan, please! Just drink the water," I begged. I heard a bit of struggling, followed by deep gulps. They forced him to drink. This was worse than Joe and Pat making me eat this morning - especially seeing as how they didn't force feed me. Food! That could be my escape! I hadn't eaten since I had the toast! Hmmm. Well they could bring me food and force feed me. That wouldn't get me out the van. Another thought popped in my head as I felt the seat move beside me. Somebody was sitting down. He removed the sack from my head. My body stayed tense and alert as I looked at him.
"No tears? I'm disappointed, but not surprised. I've heard quite a bit about you, sweet Annette," the driver stated calmly as he cupped my jaw gently with his left hand and used his thumb to stroke under my eye towards and ear. "What is going on in that pretty little head of yours? We've watched you for the past five months, only at the restaurant, but I can't read you; neither can anyone else." 
"That's not creepy at all. Thanks. Guess I know now how you know my name," I replied sarcastically. "Well I was thinking mainly just how tired and hungry I am after a busy shift. And how badly I have to use the restroom. I tend to forget about my needs when I'm at work. I haven't used the bathroom since I left for work at five this morning. And I've only had toast to eat all day." I kept my voice low as I met his icy stare. His hazel eyes, spotted with flecks of chocolate brown in them and surrounded by thick lashes, seemed lifeless and dull. He gave me a half grin as he continued to stroke my cheek. A movement out of the corner of my eye made me look toward the back of the vehicle. From my position, I could only see Ryan. His head slumped on his chest and his eyes were closed. 
"Ryan? Adam? Lauren?" I panicked as he turned my head, forcing my eyes back to his face. 
"This pink shirt is a nice compliment to your skin tone, but the blue you were wearing earlier made your eyes pop more. This pink just gives you a nice feminine glow, and it is very intoxicating. You're tired and hungry huh? Well I can help with one of those. Your buddies are just sleeping, soon you will be too. Simple breakdown, we found a way to amplify melatonin's reaction time. Non-lethal. Effective. A chemical normally found in the body. Works almost as good, if not better, than a medical anesthesia. You can drink your water now and simply drift off in under a minute, less if you drink it all. Or, I'll let you loose to go use the bathroom over there and you will take the pill form in front of us for an immediate slumber. No funny business. Ronnie is a big man, but he's quick and loves enforcing stuff and hurting people. Now, 'Nettie, what do you want to do?" 
"Where did you get that name from?" I asked frozen. 
"From my understanding, only one person called you that and we have a lot to thank him for. Now your choice," he threatened, tightening his grasp on my jaw. I clenched my jaw and winced.
"You hurt him? When? Where?" I asked as I felt the tears forming. "Noah! Say it ain't so," I thought. Dad couldn't be right; Noah couldn't be dead.
"Don't worry about that, precious. Make a choice or I make it for you," he warned. 
"Bathroom," I confirmed with a nod. Slowly he remove his hand from my face, traced down my arm, unbuckled me, and then he took out a knife from his pocket. He reached across my lap and cut the zip ties holding me in place. Slowly he sat up and with an icy stare came closer again. I rubbed my wrists and held my breath. He placed his other hand on my right shoulder rested his head there while he used his other hand and traced alongside my jawline and neck with his knife. 
"Don't be stupid, precious. And no dilly-dallying. You have three minutes to get back here. After all, the three of them back there aren't the only prisoners I have," he whispered menacingly. I nodded. He sat up, but not before slicing my t-shirt diagonally across the front. "Ready for mobile guard duty, Ronnie? She needs a walk. And get rid of her shirt." 
"Gladly, boss!" Ronnie beamed. The driver got into his seat as Ronnie reached over and dragged me to the door. "I'll take this!" He boasted and ripped the shirt off my body. He threw it into a metal box and took out a lighter from his pocket. He lit my shirt on fire and we watched it burn. After a minute of burning, he took the water out of my hand and poured it on the fire. He pulled out piece after piece of my shirt. No logo on the front and now, all that remained was a muddy, charred shirt, with just a hint of pink left. Holding up three fingers, the driver gave me a warning glance and pointed to his watch. Ronnie opened the door and we went inside the gas station we were at. Along the way, he dumped the shirt in the trash. I didn't recognize this gas station; I had no idea where we were. The restrooms were in the corner of the building; there would be no escaping even if I wanted to. After looking around, Ronnie shoved me into the female's bathroom and joined me. It was just a single room. No partitions. Private, if alone. Ronnie faced the door and locked it. 
"I can't go with you watching me," I ventured. 
"I'm not watching and I'm not leaving," he replied haughtily. 
"I can't run away in here or talk to anyone," I tried again. 
"No funny business!" Ronnie barked. I gave up and used the bathroom. I looked around to see if there was some way I could leave an inconspicuous note. The toilet paper roll had enough toilet paper for me to wipe with, and I had nothing to write with since all my pens were in my apron back at work. Flustered, I finished, flushed, got dressed, and washed my hands. I watched from the mirror as Ronnie moved away from the door and looked on the wall, floor, toilet, and the toilet paper holder making sure I left nothing behind that identified I was here. Although my neck was still sore, I had no bruises visible enough I could point out to someone to help me, if I saw someone close enough. I sighed in resignation and turned off the water and pointed to the paper towels. Ronnie rolled his eyes and gestured towards the hand dryer. "There's nothing wrong with that. You don't need both," he huffed. I shook my hands of excess water and shrugged; the hot air was too noisy and I wasn't a fan of unnecessary noise. He rolled his eyes and opened the door, allowing me to walk out first. We walked back to the van in silence. Ronnie opened the door for me and I climbed in. He stood in the doorway, crossed his arms and glowered. 
"Under two minutes. I'm impressed. Sit in the seat closest to the door. Open up," the driver ordered handing me a pill the size of a tic-tak. 
"I have a few questions first," I stated. Ronnie grunted and the driver glared at me. "For starters," I rapidly continued, "can I have a swallow or two of water to get this pill down? Do you want me to buckle up? And what do we call you? Ronnie and 'boss' just doesn't have the right ring to it." Ronnie's fist connected with my shoulder. I looked at him and smiled. "Oh and thank you, Ronnie for taking me to the bathroom. I know it can't be a fun job. If you're going to hit me again, can I have it on the other side? I like to stay balanced." He locked his jaw and clenched his fists. I continued to smile sweetly at him. "It'd be easier if you brought your knife out again, at least with that, you got my silence," I taunted. He smirked and reached in his pocket.
"Hold on there, big man. No water. The pill is sweet. As soon as you drift off, Ronnie will secure you in again. My name is none of your concern, but if you need to call me something Ark has a nice ring to it," the driver divulged, pointing a cocked pistol at me. "My patience is wearing out. You'll live, but it won't be a pleasant experience. Not to mention, you'll get blood all over my vehicle and that would greatly upset me." I took the pill with two fingers, stuck out my tongue, and placed the pill on top; I could already feel it dissolving. So I swallowed it quickly and opened my mouth again. Lifting my tongue up and sticking it out. My eyes began to droop and I felt my head get heavy. I leaned back as best as I could into my seat, but I felt as if I was weighed down with heavy rocks. A hand pushed my head to lean against the seat and then pulled my hands together. A tightening around my wrists registered in my head as I blacked out.

© 2017 Lynaelee

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Added on November 1, 2016
Last Updated on July 1, 2017

If only



Sometimes I feel like I need an outlet to express myself. I have never been good with verbal communication, but I have always found an out in writing. I hurt. I bleed. I make mistakes. I cry. Yes,.. more..

If only If only

A Book by Lynaelee

1. *Prologue* 1. *Prologue*

A Chapter by Lynaelee

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