Chapter 5: Reflection
My body tensed above the young woman I had pinned underneath me. I didn't want to tackle her, I didn't even want to be in this situation in the first place…but I had no choice.
"Skye?" I questioned as he stepped from the side door of the van and raised his hand with the blunt end of a crowbar. His body shaking slightly as I saw a conflicted emotion stir in him - it was the same one he used when Aura died. There had been no tears - there had only been loss and sadness. A year we worried about her, a year we wondered what Colton and Cillian would do and then just like that, she was gone.
Now here we are again, in the same boat with a girl who I didn't even know and yet, could somehow understand.
The blunt end of the crowbar was taken and forced down across Ella's temple. All I could do was catch her eyes as the light faded from them.
"Get her into the van." Cillian ordered as I crawled from on top of her to my feet again, watching Skye throw the crowbar back in the van before helping me lift Ella's unconscious body into the small fitting space.
My eyes were glued to the door waiting for Colton. We were drenched with dishwater but that was of little concern. The thing that concerned me was where we were going to go, especially with our new found prisoners.
"Secure the girl." Cillian nodded to Skye as he looked around for the duct tape we kept on hand in case of emergencies. I hated the stuff, I spent a year getting acquainted with it…quite closely I might add.
"Jessie? Check her pockets, look for identification." Skye said quietly as he found the duct tape underneath one of the balaclavas we kept in the van.
I was confused as to why Skye would want her I.D but didn't question it. I think at this point in time between being drenched with cold water and the situation that was unfolding around us - nothing was shock worthy.
I looked through the pockets of her work pants and found a small folded up black wallet. I opened it up and found what Skye wanted, without a word I handed it to him as he took it up to Cillian leaving me to secure her.
I did as Cillian had asked and secured the girl's hands to the front, taping her legs with the same effectiveness.
"Well this won't do us much good, it's just a post office box address." Cillian muttered as he looked up suddenly from the commotion that was taking place inside the shop.
"Sounds like Colton needs help." Cillian muttered as he took his gun from the back holster of his jeans and hopped from the van, glancing at Skye expectantly.
Skye sighed but followed his lead out of the van, running towards the door as the noise got louder. A moment later it stopped.
Confusion remained apparent in my face for several moments. As I began to worry, the door reopened - revealing Colton, Cillian and Skye surrounding the less then compliant hostage as they forcefully walked him towards the van, his mouth covered by Cillian's hand while the other had a firm grip on his arm. He was fighting but with three guys all manhandling him - it was a losing battle. I know that from experience.
"Help us get him tied up and in the van." Colton demanded, his teeth clenched together as the younger man tried to jerk back from their arms again, his voice coming out muffled from Cillian's hand as he protested as loud as he could.
"Yeah, sure." I relented weakly, hopping from the van.
I peeled the tape back, keeping my eyes to the ground as I met them a few feet away. That's the only time I allowed my eyes to lift again, seeing the three of them force the guy down onto his knees before pushing him down on his stomach completely.
Cillian and Colton wrenched his hands behind his back in a quick brutal motion, twisting his wrists so his palms faced upward.
I flinched, remembering all too well of the feeling.
"Cross his wrists together and I can tape them without putting anymore strain on his limbs. You broke my wrists doing that and you're about to snap his - so, unless you want to snap his wrists and have no use for him, by all means." I gestured sarcastically.
Colton growled but let up and allowed me room to kneel on the side.
I carefully stuck then end of the duct tape to the guy's flesh and started wrapping it around, twisting the tape in certainly places to allow his wrists to remain crossed, covering his fingers so he couldn't work his way out.
I wanted to help them but I knew the risks outweighed the worth. I had Skye to think about, I had my own self-preservation. It was selfish but those thoughts are what keep you alive.
"Get his mouth." Cillian grunted feeling the edge of Kalen's teeth pinch into his skin before feeling him bite down completely.
"Not yet, I want to find out some things first." Colton spoke as they pulled him from the ground and the rest of the way to the van.
Colton's hair was sticking ridged, his shirt and jeans soaked. It was safe to say the 'talk' Colton would have with this guy would not end without some sort of violence being done to his person.
I helped Skye and Colton get him into the van as Cillian nursed his bitten hand. During that time, I took the liberty to replace my hand over his mouth until the doors were shut and we were heading down the road towards a place less populated.
It was only about a mile until I noticed the forced air coming from underneath my hand. I didn't want to take the chance but I also sensed something wasn't right so I cautiously uncovered his mouth.
"W-why? W-what?" He asked, struggling more and more to breathe.
"You need to calm down." I told him, looking up to where Colton sat driving, Cillian in the passenger and Skye beside me in case I needed backup.
I looked behind him and saw Isabella still asleep, with the hit to her forehead she would be out for quite a while.
"Behind you. Now, I'm going to ask you some questions and you're going to answer them. Alright?"
"Ok, first off what is your name?" I started easily, hoping it would break some tension.
"Kalen Harrison." He answered shakily, his eyes sizing me up through the dim light that reflected from the front of the van.
"I'm Jessie, this is Skye. The assholes upfront are Cillian and Colton." I greeted darkly, my eyes turning to glare toward the front.
Though Cillian didn't turn around I could heard the low chuckle that left his throat. At the same time Colton letting a breath of air through his teeth.
"You really don't know when to stop sticking your foot in your mouth, huh Jessie?" Cillian asked, his eyes staring through the front mirror into mine.
"They're dead anyhow aren't they? What's the difference if they see our face or hear our names? I mean for fuck sake you had me tackle a [i]deaf[/i] girl! They don't have a chance."
My voice was stony. I hated to put the fear of God into him but…it would be the only way either of them got out of this thing alive. Fear invokes a passion for escape and as long as he had that set in his mind there was a very good chance he and the girl would get out of this alive - but then again, hope only carried you so far. I was proof of that.
I shook the thoughts away as I saw Kalen's body go ridged, his arms twisting every which way they could.
"Calm down!" I yelled, placing my hands on his shoulders and pressing my weight down.
It took a moment but he stopped struggling, I continued to try and get more information out of him. We needed a safe place to stay. That was the main thing at the moment.
"Ok, is anyone expecting you home?"
I could see the wheels turn in his head and knew what he was about to say. It was the same thing I had told them and it did not end well. I didn't want him to make the same mistake.
"Before you answer, I will warn that if there is anyone that suspects you missing - we will go to their house and we will take and kill them. Think very carefully." I advised, glancing back to his face as the look of disbelief danced across his eyes.
"No. I moved here a few year ago. I'm alone."
I could hear the sincerity in his tone and knew that he was telling the truth. Which was what I was counting on.
Nodding my approval I continued.
"Do you live in a residential or rural area?"
He laid his head down on the cold hard floor of the van in defeat staring up at the ceiling with a desperation I had only seen once before.
"Residential. I have neighbors. I live in an apartment."
I hummed in thought before glancing behind him.
"What about Ella, do you know if she has any family here? Do you know where she lives?"
"No family as far as I know. I was at her house…once. About six years ago. It's in the country. Neighbors are scarce, it's mainly farmlands. Just off of Easton Drive. 15 Easton, in Lampasas. About an hour and twenty minute drive from Brownwood here."
I didn't respond, just looked to the front to see if there was anything further that they might want to know. I didn't have to wait long for instruction.
"Gag him, we got what we needed." Colton ordered as I picked the duct tape up from the floor again with a sigh.
"If this means anything at all to you man, I'm sorry you and the girl got involved."
His breath came out ragged again.
"Wait!" He pleaded as I ripped the tape open and stuck it to his lips, lifting his head slightly to wrap it around before breaking the end off with my teeth.
He tried coughing for a moment or two before going quiet. I could hear the air he tried to calmly force out through his nose, it brought back unpleasant memories - but what choice did I have? In this situation it was live or die and I still had hope, no matter how slim it was.
Closing my eyes I leaned against the doors calming my thoughts as they slipped away.