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Love Behind Lies
I was walking home from school, like always, with my two brothers Oscar and Thomas, we’re triplets. We always walk to and from school, since our house is close enough. Sometimes my sister, Margaret, would drive us in her convertible. My parent gave it to her for her birthday, but the whole family shares it.
Some people say that my brothers and I all looked alike, but really only Thomas and Oscar look the same. They both have brown hair. Not too short, but not so long that the hair was in their brown eyes. They were average height, which was much taller than me. I never really understood why my twin brothers could be some much taller than me.
The three of us always had the same friends. I don’t know how it worked out that way, but it did. My girlfriends are friends with their guy friends. It makes everything a lot easier. We used to always hang out over the weekend. Sometimes we would stay at our house and sometimes we would go out. Maybe to a movie or something.
Lately, my family has been too busy, and some of my friends have stopped talking to me. Now, I only talk to my friends at school. They aren’t close enough to talk to outside of school. If I ever need to talk to someone about issues, it’s my sister.
Thomas, Oscar, and I were in most of the same classes, which is sometimes a good thing. We would always help each other with the homework from that day.
Oscar and Thomas hang out all the time. They are like best friends that live in the same house. I think that it is pretty cool. Neither of them really care about school, though. Thomas’ grades aren’t as bad as Oscar’s. Oscar is too much of a jock to care about school. Thomas, gets by with his grades.
The difference between Thomas and Oscar, is love. Thomas has had way more girl friends that Oscar has. Thomas also cares about me. I know that Oscar cares about me, he just doesn’t show it as much as Thomas does. Thomas is always there for me, and he is always protecting me. He is the one that makes me feel safe.
My family was pretty smart. My mom is a doctor and she never got a “B” in her whole school career. My older siblings, William and Margaret, are very smart too. I guess it just runs in the family. Until you get to Thomas and Oscar. I do most of their homework. I guess that they just aren’t motivated enough to work on their homework.
I guess you could also say that our family is popular. William is the football star, Margaret is the Girly-Girl, I am the hot geek, and I guess that Oscar and Thomas are just along for the ride.
It was a sunny Thursday, as we walked home. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it was about 70 degrees outside. This warm weather was just making me want summer even more. I am really excited for the weekend. The school year was almost over and every weekend meant a week closer to summer.
Today William had football practice until 4:30pm and my sister, Margaret, was working on her math test that she didn’t finish during class. So it was just Thomas, Oscar, and me walking home.
“How was your day, guys?” I asked my twin brothers.
“Pretty good. I am really mad at our history teacher though. I wish that she would have moved the test day back. I don’t think that I am ready for it.” Thomas replied.
“Yeah, I agree. I really don’t want to have to study tonight,” Oscar said. “How was your day, Kate?” Oscar used one of my many nicknames.
“Really confusing actually. You know Loren Dorn and his friends?” I asked. Both of my brothers nodded. “Well Nate Hoder, one of Loren’s friends, came up to me at my locker. He started talking to me, but he seemed really nervous. Then Loren, Sam, and Nick came by and they all started making fun of me, except for Sam.” I paused before I continued.
“They said that I was stupid and they were telling me that I was ugly. It made me so mad. But, then Sam stuck up for me. He told his friends that they should go to their next class and they listened to him. He talked to me for a couple minutes and then went to his next class, leaving me speechless. The whole thing was just too confusing.” I finally finished.
“That is kind of weird.” Thomas said.
“I would just forget that the whole thing ever happened.” Oscar told me.
“I was planning on it.” I replied.
“They’re seniors right?” Thomas asked.
“Yeah,” I said. Thomas just shook his head.
We stopped talking for a while. I guess that no one had anything to say.
“When is dinner tonight, Katie?” Oscar asked me, breaking the silence.
“I think it is at 6:30pm, if you were listening to mom this morning,” I said. Sometimes, my brother’s annoyed the hell out of me. We kept walking towards the farmhouse that we have lived in all my life.
Our house is big and white. It is located on the corner of Maple Street and Central Road. There are trees surrounding my house, so much so that we can barely see our neighbors. The porch is big too. It wraps all the way around the house and makes the house look even bigger.
We lived in one of the nicer neighborhoods, but most of the houses in the area are older too. Our house was old, but still nice. There are a lot of rich people that live near me, and most of them go to my school. It’s really scary on the other side of town. There are a lot of gangs there. My family almost never goes over there.
We walked into the giant kitchen when we got home. My mom, Elizabeth, was making dinner there. The kitchen was huge. All of the cabinets were the same wood as the floor. We had granite countertops too. My dad was always cleaning the appliances too. That was the only thing my parents didn’t like about our kitchen. All the appliances were stainless steel, making it harder for our house to be spotless.
My mom spends most of her time in the kitchen cooking. When she isn’t in the kitchen she is in her small work room. My mom is a retired doctor, so she doesn’t work anymore, but she does the bills for the family, which keeps her very busy. She still goes to meetings and is sometimes called into a long shift at night, if the office really needs her.
My siblings and I never talk to our mom about any problems we are having. We mostly rely on each other. We don’t want to stress my mom out too much.
“What are we having for dinner,” I asked, setting my backpack down by the stairs.
“Some home-made pizza. Is that okay with you?” my mom replied.
“Yeah, sounds good,” I said. “William and Margaret won’t be home for another half an hour.”
“Ok, well dinner should be done in about an hour, so they’ll be here in time,” Mom said. “Why don’t you guys go and work on your homework until they get here.” The three of us went upstairs and to our separate rooms.
I was so glad that we didn’t move last year when my dad was offered a new job. I would have to share a room with my older sister Margaret.
I don’t mind Margaret. She is really nice and is always there for me. It’s just that sometimes she can be a little annoying. She likes to whine to everyone about her problems, hoping that whining will help her with her problems. She can also be a little drama queen, which makes everyone want to mess with her. The boys always play little jokes on her every now and then. Margaret gets so mad and stomps around the house sulking. I even think that it is funny.
Sometimes I am jealous of Margaret, though. Yeah, we are both pretty popular, but she has a lot more friends than I do. She is always hanging out with her friends, but I don’t have anyone close enough to me to do that with. Whenever I have any problems, I always go to her. She always knows what to do, and sometimes she has been in the same situation.
Margaret is really smart too. We always work on homework together. She acts like she is dumb, but deep down she is smarter than most girls in her class. Being smart, and pretty, makes it easy for her to get boyfriends too. Margaret always has a guys following her around. She has gone out with a lot of boys, but she never stays with them long.
When I got to my room I began working on my homework and finally finished just as someone knocked on my door.
“Come in,” I said.
“Hey,” William said. “What are you doing?”
“Umm, I just finished my homework. Do you need something?” William, or Will for short, doesn’t usually come in my room to see what I was doing. There must be something wrong.
“No, I was just checking in. What’s for dinner?”
I gave him a questioning look. “Mom’s home-made pizza. How was football practice?” I was so confused.
“Fine I guess. Coach made us run three miles in all of our pads and gear. I am really tired.”
“I bet you’re tired. Do you have a lot of homework?” I asked Will. I was still trying to figure out the real reason of why he was in my room.
“Yeah, so I won’t be able to go to bed until 11:00pm because I have to take a shower still.”
“Have fun with that.”
“Dinner is ready,” Mom yelled.
“We better get down there fast. Is Margaret home,” I asked.
“Yeah we walked home together. But it was weird because she didn’t say anything to me at all. She met me at the corner across the street from the school too. It was like she wasn’t at school doing her test. It was weird.”
So that is why Will was acting so weird.“Weird is right.” I said as we walked down the stairs to dinner.
Will was pretty good looking if you ask me. He had dark brown hair that hung loosely on his head. He had brown eyes like most of my family. His height helped him in all the sports that he played in. He is basically the star in every one too. He also has almost every girl. It seems that everyone wants to go out with him. I don’t blame them, I guess. William has good looks, a funny personality, and he is smart. What else does a girl want in a guy?
William and I were pretty close. He sometimes beats up on me, along with my other two brothers, but most of the time it is just for fun. My family gets along pretty well and we have fun, most of the time. I like my family, and I know that Will does too. He always protects my family. He is almost like a second dad, and when my dad is out of town, he helps out so much.
We were all sitting down at the table. The pizza smelt so good. I could see the steam rising from the pizza. I think that my mouth was watering when I began eating the pizza. Margaret wasn’t talking at all, which was not normal. Usually she is talking up a storm about all the problems she dealt with during the day, but right now, she wasn’t.
I looked at William and I sensed that he was noticing it too and I guess Oscar noticed my concern. Oscar tapped my arm and gave me a questioning look. I tilted my head toward Margaret and Oscar saw what I was talking about.
“So how was your day, Margaret,” Oscar asked.
“Fine,” Margaret grumbled. Margaret was barely touching her food. She was just staring at it. She loves my mom’s pizza. She would be on her third piece by now, if she was acting normal.
I looked back at William; he didn’t know what to say.
The rest of dinner went by with very little talk. Mom asked all of us about how our days were. And that was about all we talked about. It was one of the weirdest dinners my family has ever had. My dad was usually good for staring a conversation, but since he was gone our dinner was silent.
My mom was the first to finish eating. She put her dishes away and left the room without saying anything else, leaving the kids alone.
When the kids in my family are alone, we always end up talking up a storm. Usually Margaret starts up a story, but she had nothing to say.
“So, what is everyone doing this weekend?” I asked my siblings.
“I am hanging with some friends from school, I think,” Oscar said. “Thomas, do you wanna come?”
“Sure!” Thomas said. “Kate, do you wanna come too?”
“I dunno, maybe. I will have to see what else is goin on.” I replied.
“I think that I have a date, with one of my guy friends,” Margaret spoke up.
“Wait, you don’t have a boyfriend right now?” Oscar asked sarcastically.
“Don’t get to happy.” Margaret said laughing. “He might be my boyfriend by the end of the week.”
“I don’t know what I am doing,” Will said. “I guess I might hang out with some of my friends.”
“Since when do you have friends?” I asked. Sometimes Oscar and I like to rile our older siblings.
“Very funny, Kate. Have you been hanging around Oscar too much. I think his badass attitude is starting to wear off on you!” Will said.
We all laughed. We had finished eating by now, and we all got up from the table to put the dishes away. Since, my dad was in Rome, Italy until the end of this week because of his work, it is the kids’ job to do the dishes. Usually, that was his job, but when he was gone we were in charge.
My dad is always gone. He seems to travel a lot for his job. He is a salesman, and brings in a decent amount of money. He never really has anything to say about his job. Sometimes he comes home with bruises and scratches, but he tells us that they are because he is clumsy. My dad and his job are just one big question mark. I have never understood my dad.
As soon as the dishes were clean we all left the kitchen. The boys went to their separate rooms and Margaret and I went to our separate rooms. I am glad that we all got to talk like that. It made me happy to see Margaret smile, especially since she must have had a bad day at school.
I had just sat down on my bed when someone knocked on my door.
“Come in,” I said.
“Hey, can I talk to you?” Margaret mumbled, stepping into my room.
“Yeah, what’s wrong?” I asked with concern.
“I had a horrible day.”
Margaret was a very pretty blonde. No one knows where the blonde came from, but I think Margaret likes it. Her short hair was stick straight, same as mine. She had brown eyes, same as everyone else. She was the girl version of William. All the guys wanted her. By the time that I find out that she has a boyfriend, she has already moved onto some other guy. Margaret is very responsible too. So my parents trust her when she leaves the house to hang out with her boyfriend.
“I noticed that you weren’t talking as much as usual,” I prompted.
“Yeah well Loren and his friends asked me to go out with them.”
“Margaret, they are trouble. That’s all I know.” I didn’t want to tell Margaret about my encounter with the same boys today.
“Yeah and they all wanted me to come over to Loren’s house.”
“And did you go?”
“Yeah. Right after school. They practically dragged me there. I told them that I didn’t want to go, but I guess they over rule me.”
“But I thought that you were finishing a math test. You need to stay away from them Margaret. You know what they are known for.”
“I was just making up an excuse, so don’t tell anyone any of this.”
“I won’t! Just tell me what happened!”
“They brought me to Loren’s house first. That was the scariest part. He lives on the other side of town. When we got there, they walked me to his house, and all his neighbors we staring at me. It was ridiculous.”
“When we got into his house, they tied me to this chair that was in his room. His parents weren’t home, so they could do whatever they wanted. They wanted me to drink and smoke. I told them no, and they just laughed at me. Nick was one that had the drugs. Loren held me down and made me open my mouth.”
“All while you were over there? What happened? Did you do it?” I couldn’t believe this. Margaret never got into this much trouble with guys. Margaret is known for not smoking, doing drugs, or having sex. All the guys wanted to change that, especially Loren and his friends.
“ I didn’t do anything. I kicked Nick when he got close enough and I started screaming really loud. All the boys got nervous after that. I think that they were scared that someone was going to hear me. Then I told them I had to leave and they got really mad at me and told me to be careful around school. They also told me that I have to watch my back and not to go anywhere alone. They threatened me!” She was almost in tears.
“After that, they let me go. Sam drove me back to school, but I was shaking the whole time. I was so scared. Sam said something to me, but I don’t remember what he said. I was too scared to pay attention to what anyone was saying to me.
“Scary. What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know! I thought that maybe you could help me.”
“Yeah, It will be ok.” I think that I was starting to get a little bit more freaked out than she was. How am I not supposed to tell anyone? I had to tell William at least. He was the second oldest in the family. He had to know what to do. “Listen, we need to tell someone. Can I please tell William? He will know how to handle these boys.”
“Yeah, but, I don’t want to be there, and you have to make sure that he doesn’t tell Mom. He obviously knows the boys too.”
“Oh, right. So it was Sam Knight, Nate Hoder, Loren Dorn, and Nick Sayner. Right?” I verified.
“Yes,” Margaret agreed.
“Ok, I will ask and see what he has to say. Are they in any of your classes?”
“Yeah they are in my homeroom and our teacher doesn’t care what we do. I am screwed.” Margaret put her hands over her face. I could tell that she was very stressed out.
“It’s okay Margaret,” I said putting my hands on her back. “I would stay as close to your teacher as possible or go to the bathroom a lot. What hour is your homeroom?”
“Ok mine is during that same hour, so maybe we figure something out. Why don’t you go finish your homework and I will talk about this “issue” with William.”
Ok so this conversation was kind of weird since my sister was a senior in high school and I was only a sophomore. Aren’t I supposed to be going to her with my problems? Oh well, I love it when Margaret comes to me because it makes me feel like I can trust her too.
She left my room without saying anything and I was left alone. I sat in my room and thought all about this issue and how to handle it. William, who is a junior in high school, had never had any issues because he was the cool guy. I guess that Margaret, was cool too, but she just doesn’t know how to handle these kinds of things. Will has always had good friends that never smoked or drank. And Oscar and Thomas and I were still getting used to being in high school. The three of us had had no drama our freshmen year, so none of us were used to this.
In Evansville, Indiana, my hometown, there are many schools, but there is one school system that is all on the same campus; the Central Campus. There is the Central Elementary school and then right next to it is the Central Middle school, and then across the street from those schools is Central High School, where my whole family is attending. It is the biggest high school in Evansville. There were barely any trouble at the high school either. That’s why I was so surprised by what Margaret told me.
I finally left my room and started down the hallway to William’s room. I was worried about how he would handle it.
When I knocked on the door to William’s room, no one answered, so I just walked in. William was laying on his bed listening to his iPod. No wonder he couldn’t hear me. As soon as he saw me he took off his head phones.
“Hey, what do you need,” he asked.
“Well Margaret just came into my room and told me why she wasn’t acting herself,” I replied.
“Well, are you going to tell me?” Sometimes, Will can be so impatient.
“Yeah but you have to promise not to tell anyone. Not even mom. Okay?”
“Yeah, okay.” William was sitting up now, he was anxious to hear what I had to say.
So then I told him everything that Margaret told me. He sat their silently until the end. He didn’t really have any questions for me. I told him the names of the boys and he just shook his head.
“Those boys are bad news,” Will told me.
“I know. That was what I told Margaret, but she didn’t seem to take me seriously.”
Will said he wanted to think about it some more, although there was nothing we could do. I left the room after about fifteen minutes and the conversation was over.
William had been interested in the story. Margaret’s story had explained all of William’s questions. Why Margaret was on the other side of street when William had met her, and why Margaret wasn’t talking at all.
I decided that I should probably study for my test that I had tomorrow in History. I was a pretty good student, one of those that barely needed to study to get an “A”. I decided to study for about fifteen minutes. I had already studied earlier this week.
After I put everything away, and was all set for school tomorrow, I looked at the time. It was almost 8:30pm, and I really felt like going on a walk. I go on walks a lot. Usually it is to get out of the house, but tonight I wanted to sort everything that had happened to Margaret out. I was actually confused by the whole story.
I left like a rebel, as I grabbed a jacket out of my closet. It was my plan not to tell anyone that I was going on a walk. I didn’t want to answer any questions, and I wanted to be by myself.
I opened the door to my room and Thomas was standing right there. I jumped.
“Hey, sorry,” he said
“That’s ok. What are you doing,” I asked. So much for no one knowing about my walk.
“I just had a question on our history test.”
“I can’t help you right now. Sorry. I have to go do something, but I should be home in thirty minutes. I might be able to help you then. Please ask questions later.” I put my hand up because I could see that he was about to ask a question. I haven’t gone on a walk by myself in a long time. “And, please, don’t tell anyone that I’m leaving. Bye.” I started to walk down the hallway and all I had was my phone and a jacket.
I walked to the front door without saying anything to anyone else. It was a good thing that there was no one in the kitchen, otherwise I would have had some more explaining to do.
I reached for the handle of the door knob, but someone grabbed my wrist. I jumped, and then realized that it was Thomas.
“I can’t let you leave, Katie.” Thomas said pulling me away from the door.
“Thomas, why not? I’m not going to get into any trouble, I promise.” I told him.
Thomas gave me a questioning look.
“I promise. I am just going on a walk to sort out my thoughts. Trust me. I have my cell phone too.”
“Fine, but if you aren’t back within thirty minutes, I’m going to tell mom.”
“Okay, whatever. But promise me that you won’t tell anyone that I’m not here.”
“Promise.” Thomas said and let go of my wrist.
I guess the reason that I wanted to keep this whole thing a secret was that our mom never lets us out of the house alone, especially at night. I didn’t want her worrying about me. I opened the front door and left.
Whenever I go on a walk, I always go the same way. It’s just around the block. I take Central Road, most of the way. That road takes me right past the high school. Then I turn onto 5th street. I think 5th street is the scariest part of my walk, there are only two lights, on the whole road, making it really dark. When I come to the corner I always turn on to Hegin Street. I take that sidewalk all the way to Maple Street, which leads me back to my house.
I was almost to 5th street, when I started getting scared. I had already figured out my thoughts, about Margaret and the boys. She just had to try to avoid them at all costs. I was getting closer to 5th street with every step.
I rounded to corner and looked down the 5th street sidewalk. There was no one on the sidewalk, but it was still dark and scary. My first thought was to turn around, but I wanted to finish my walk. I had walked this sidewalk in the dark plenty of times before.
I was almost to the first light post, when I felt like there was someone following me. I turned around, but there was no one there. My heart was pounding, matching my steps on the pavement. I stopped again, when I got to the first light post. I looked left and right. There were some bushes on my left and a road to my right. I could see no one.
I took about ten more steps, before I stopped again. I knew for sure that I had heard footsteps. I kept walking, even though I knew for sure that there was someone following me. I stopped walking again and grabbed my phone from my pocket. I was going to call Thomas.
“Please don’t call anyone.” The voice had come from nowhere. I jumped and dropped my phone. The back flew off and the battery was laying about two feet from me. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.” The voice rang out again.
“Who are you?” I asked. I was almost scared of my own voice. Then someone stepped out from the bushes. The person put his hand over my mouth, quickly, before I could scream.
“Promise me that you won’t scream.” The person said. I just nodded my head up and down. He slowly removed his hand from my mouth. My eyes were wide open. I was so scared.
“Brent and Jake, you can come out now.” The man said. I took a step away from the man that had put his hand over my mouth, and backed up right into someone else. I jumped and stepped forward again.
I turned around to see who was behind me. There were two boys, probably Margaret’s age, standing behind me.
I picked up my phone and started to put it back together. I was going to call Thomas.
“It’s okay, don’t be scared.” One of the boys said, touching my hands. He didn’t want me to call anyone.
“We just want to talk to you about something.” The other boy said.
I was speechless. I was so scared, I had no idea what to do. I started to run into the middle of the street, that being the only way away from these guys. One of the boys grabbed my arm and pulled me back. He held me against him.
“Please don’t run. We aren’t going to hurt you. We just want to talk to you about something,” the man said to me.
I just nodded my head. “Who are you?” I finally managed to get out.
“We work for the ASO, the American Spy Organization.” The man said.
“Why do I need to know you guys?” I asked.
“Just please let us explain.” The boy behind me said.
“Okay, fine.” I said. I was mad now.
The man that had talked to me first spoke. “First, let me introduce myself. I am Evan Coore, the director of the ASO. Brent Cloud, is the one behind you, and Jake Johnson is the one next to you.” Evan said. I looked to the boy next to me. He smiled, but I didn’t respond.
“You still haven’t answered my question.” I insisted.
“We can’t really explain that to you now.” Evan said.
“Well then I am leaving.” I said, trying to pry Brent’s hands off my arms.
The man called Evan stepped forward and put his hand out. “No, stay. I will explain everything. You just have to promise not to tell anyone. I mean everyone.”
“I promise,” I said, not knowing what I was getting into.
Evan took a deep breath before he began again. “What does your dad do for his job?” Evan asked.
I hesitated before answering. What did my dad have to do with anything? “I don’t know, he says he is a salesperson, but he always comes back with bruises and cuts all over him.” I paused and no one said anything. “He works for you.” I realized, finally.
Evan looked at me. “Yes, he does, and we think that he is in some trouble. What is your dad doing right now?” He asked me.
“He is in Italy, for work.” I said.
Evan shook his head. “He shouldn’t have done that.”
“Do what?” I asked.
“Your dad is in trouble, and it would have been better if he had stayed at home.”
“What kind of trouble is he in?” I asked
“Do you know who Nick Sayner is?” Brent asked me.
“Yeah, he goes to my school. He is a huge bully.”
“Well his dad has threatened to kill your dad.”
“What?” I asked, totally surprised. “Why?”
“Well, your dad and Nick’s dad were working together a couple months ago. They were trying to track this criminal in Italy. His name is Jared Storm. One day, your dad caught Nick’s dad talking to someone on the phone. That person was working with Jared; trying to keep him safe.”
“Your dad notified us about what Nick’s dad was doing and we fired him for communicating with the enemy. Nick’s dad argued with us for long time. He said that he was trying to figure out where Jared was, and that the guy that he was talking to knew where they could find Jared. The whole thing was just a misunderstanding, and we fired Nick’s dad for no reason. Obviously we didn’t know it at the time, though.”
“After we fired Nick’s dad we decided not to let him back into the business, no matter if it was a misunderstanding or not. He didn’t like that at all. His family had to sell a lot of their stuff, and move into a small apartment.”
“So, a couple weeks ago we received a phone call from Nick’s dad. He said that on your dad’s next mission your dad was going to die. We told your dad not to go on that mission, but he insisted. So, now, your dad is in Italy, trying to finish the case that he was assigned to do with Nick’s dad.” Evan finished.
“Well we have to do something. I don’t want my dad to die!” I screamed.
“That’s exactly why you are here.” Evan said. “Brent is planning on going to Italy to help your dad, but he needs a partner.”
“Why can’t he bring Jake?” I asked Evan.
“Jake is leaving us, and can’t go on the trip.”
“Why can’t you just use someone else? Why me?”
“Because you know your dad. What he would do, and where he might be. You can communicate with him, without him knowing you are with us.” Evan finished.
“Does this makes sense?” Brent asked me. His voice surprised me and his breath was cool on my neck.
“Yeah, I guess so.” I said with a shiver.
“So will you take the job?” Evan asked.
“I don’t know. It seems sort of weird. Why all of a sudden? Can I think about it over night, or can I tell my brother?” I asked.
“You can think about it over night and call Brent in the morning. You can also tell your brother, but you have to make sure that he doesn’t tell anyone.”
I hesitated before saying anything else. This whole thing could be a huge joke, and I would never know. “Okay, I’ll call you tomorrow, then.” I managed to get out. Brent’s hands left my arms.
“Good,” Evan said. “I will be anxious to hear your answer. Thank you for your time.” Evan offered his hand to me and I shook it. Jake followed Evan without saying another word to me. Brent stayed behind, and watched them walk away.
“Shouldn’t you be going with them,” I asked, slowly back away from Brent.
“I brought my own car. That way I can talk to you longer than them. You are kind of cute. You know that?” Brent asked.
I was blushing. This is so embarrassing. “I have been told that before, but only by the gay boys in my class. Why are you talking to me?”
“I wanna get to know you better. You will be working with me, obviously. And it is easier to work with a partner, when you know them well.”
“I guess that makes sense.”
“Yeah, so where are you headed to now?”
“Home. My brother is probably worried about me.”
He laughed and took my hand in his. “Can I walk you home then?”
Brent’s hand was warm as it held mine. He felt strong too. I was thinking more about Brent’s hand, then the question that he had just asked me. “Yeah, sure. Just make sure that no one sees me with you. I don’t want them to start questioning me.”
We walked home. There wasn’t that much further to walk. We didn’t really talk much, but I was glad that he was with me. I wasn’t as scared anymore.
When we got to my street, we decided that he should leave now. We stopped walking at one of the light posts.
“So before I leave, I want to give you my number. You can call me tomorrow, when you have your final answer.” He wrote it down on a sheet of paper and handed it to me.
“Yeah, sounds great. I’ll call you tomorrow. Bye.”
“Bye,” he said. We turned away from each other and walked away.
I was a little confused. I had never seen Brent around, let alone talk to him. It was kind of creepy actually. But he was one of the first guys to tell me that I was cute. My mind was racing and I didn’t know what to do. Brent was very handsome. Better than my brother, I think. He had dark brown hair that was shorter that my brothers, and he had bright blue eyes. I almost thought that he was wearing contacts to make his eyes that colored.
Brent was tall too. Taller than my brother, who I thought was tall. Brent was very fit as well. His biceps and abs made his shirt tight. So tight, that I noticed his muscles. His hands were soft and strong too. I could feel his strength when he held my hand.
I looked down at the sheet of paper in my hands. The number was scribbled on the sheet of paper. I could barely read the handwriting. I then realized the problem that I have on my hands. What was I supposed to do? The whole thing seemed like a joke to me. What if it was? Would I get myself hurt?
I decided not to worry about it until I talked to William. He would be able to tell whether this was a trick or not.
After my weird encounter that night I couldn’t stop thinking about what happened. I had finished the short walk home as fast as I could. I couldn’t wait to tell William what had just happened.
As soon as my hand touched the door, my mom opened it up. She looked worried.
“Oh my gosh! Catherine Grace! Where have you been?”
“I was taking a walk.” I said calmly, even though I was shocked by her outburst. “I’m sorry. I thought I told you,” It wasn’t a complete lie. I was on a walk, but I didn’t tell her where I was or what I was doing.
“You had me worried sick. I can’t believe you did that!”
“I’m sorry. I won’t do it again. At least not without telling you!”
“I’d hope so. I am not letting you leave the house anymore!”
“What? I have places to go, friends to see. You can’t do that!”
“Fine. You can’t leave the house unless William goes with you.” I was easy to change my mom’s opinions on things like this. She is too sweet not to.
I smiled remembering that Brent gave me permission to tell William everything about what happened. So I was glad that mom gave me this punishment. Mom saw me smiling, so I stopped.
“Ok. Well can I go upstairs now?”
“Yes, and tell William that he has to make sure that you don’t leave the house without him. Other wise you are both grounded.”
I left the room and basically ran up the stairs. I couldn’t wait to tell William everything. I didn’t even hesitate when I came to his door.
I knocked and went in. He was doing some homework it looked like.
“Hey,” I said
“Oh hey, where have you been. Mom was freaking out. I couldn’t believe you left without telling her. I was about to—.” He said.
I cut him off. “Yeah I know. And now she won’t let me leave the house without you.”
“What? I am your punishment?” William was standing now.
“Yeah. But I am glad,” I said.
“Why? Are you ok? Why would you --.”
“I would like to tell you where I was and what I was doing, but you won’t stop asking questions.”
“Ok. I’m sorry. I don’t like it when my little sis is missing. I’m ready. You can tell me.”
So I went on and told him everything about what happened and what Brent said. I also told him about the encounter that I had with Loren and his friends. William couldn’t believe it. He thought it was weird that the same day that Margaret and I ran into Loren and his friends, was the same day that these boys came to me.
He was glad that I told him everything and he would be glad to come with me whenever I needed to. I did make him swear not to tell mom or dad or anyone. He promised. I left his room.
I passed Thomas’s room and hesitated. I told him that I would talk to him later. I knocked on his door.
Thomas opened the door slowly and peeked around it. “Hey,” He said. Opening the door wide enough to let me come inside. Thomas’s room was a mess. I could barely see the floor. All of his drawers were open and there were clothes all over the place. “Sorry, about the room.” Thomas must have noticed me gaping as I looked around the room.
“No, it’s okay.” I said walking further into the room.
“You going to tell me what’s going on?” Thomas asked.
I took a deep breath. “Look, Thomas, I can’t tell you. I could only tell one person and that person had to be William. Since I left, Mom won’t let me leave the house without him, so it only made sense for him to be the one to know.” I looked up at Thomas.
“So why did you come here then?” Thomas asked.
“I just wanted to make sure that you didn’t think that I was blowing you off. I told you that I would talk to you later. So I am talking to you. I’m sorry.”
“No, it’s okay. I understand.” Thomas looked disappointed.
I walked over to him and gave him a big hug. He wasn’t expecting it. I usually didn’t give my brothers hugs. I just felt bad for Thomas.
“Promise me one thing,” Thomas asked, pulling away from the hug.
“Yes?” I asked.
“If things start to get out of control will you tell me?”
“Yes, if it ever comes to that.” I turned away from Thomas and left the room. I headed towards my room. I was so tired. When I got to my room I collapsed on my bed and fell asleep.
Friday morning was normal. I woke up got ready for school, ate breakfast, and left the house with all my siblings. It was about 11:00am when I realized that I had forgotten to call Brent this morning. Should I call him during the day or just wait until tonight? I decided to call him during free period. William had said that it was okay to take the job. But, he also said that if I ever feel like it was a trap , to back out and leave the boys alone. The only reason that we were even considering was the fact that my dad’s life was on the line. William didn’t want my dad to die either.
I was walking down the hall to the bathroom so that I could use my phone. It was weird because there was no one in the hallway. Usually there were a lot of people walking around trying to ditch classes.
I kept walking down the hall and came to the bathroom. I walked in and called Brent’s number. The phone only rang once.
“Hey, I thought you would never call! Aren’t you in school right now,” Brent seemed happy to hear my voice.
“Yeah, I forgot to call you this morning and remembered that I needed to call you when my friends were talking about Steven Brent.” I laughed at my stupid story. “And yeah, I am in a free period,” I said.
“Oh, so what were you going to tell me about?”
“Ok. So after I was scolded by my mom for going on a walk without telling her, I went up to my brother’s room and told him everything. My punishment for leaving the house is that I can’t leave the house without William, my brother. So I thought that everything worked out perfectly since you told me that I could tell William and that he could come with me to the meetings and stuff.”
“Yeah, everything works out great. So what is your final answer?”
“Yeah, I think that I can do it. Although I don’t know if William will let me come with you to places without him. So that I am kind of worried about, but this whole thing kind of seems like a scam. I mean it was just really random and everything.”
Brent sighed heavily and it sounded like he was going to tell me that I was right but he just let it go.
“Ok. So how about tonight at 9:00pm, you and William can meet us. We will be at the same street, by that light pole, and we can just talk. Although, make him promise that we can be alone with no one listening at one point during the meeting.”
“Ok,” I said not knowing what that meant.
I walked out of the bathroom and ran into someone.
“Oh, sorry,” I said, not looking up to see who it was.
“Hey, it’s no problem. You okay?” I looked up and saw Sam Knight. At first I was shocked to see him standing there. Then I realized how hot he looks when you are standing right next to him. I stared at him for a moment before snapping out of it. I guess I was just in shock.
“Oh, my gosh! I am so sorry that I ran into you. I won’t do it again. I promise.” I tried to walk away. I didn’t want Sam to beat me up or something.
“Don’t worry about it.” Sam said, calmly. He grabbed my arm so that I wouldn’t leave.
“What?” I asked in disbelief.
“I don’t care that you ran into me.” Sam repeated. I think that my heart was racing.
“Oh, okay.” I said.
“Where are you headed to?” He asked.
“Back to free period.” I replied.
“Oh, okay. Well I will see you later.” Sam said, and then laughed. I think that he knew something I didn’t know.
I gave him a questioning look, but just smiled back. “Don’t worry ‘bout it.” He said. Then turned and walked away. It was like he was reading my mind.
I was confused by the whole thing. I’ve never talked to Sam before, and now I am talking to him on a daily basis. And what did he mean, by “I’ll see you later”?
After my encounter with Sam, again, the day finished really slow. I guess that meant that I was a little excited for tonight, and worried about what Sam meant. I didn’t know what to expect. William could go all weird on me and try to protect me or he could just let everything slide. I had no idea what William would think about the whole thing. He seemed ok about it when I told him the whole story. The other thing that I was worried about was what Brent wanted to do. Alone. William would never let that happen. I was so worried.
I was thinking about this as I walked home, with Oscar and Thomas. They didn’t really have much to talk about usually, but today was different. Thomas and one of his friends were talking a few steps behind Oscar and me. Oscar had been talking to me the whole time about our really easy History test. Usually Oscar blows off the test as soon as it is over. Now, he couldn’t stop talking about it. He finally seemed like he was about to stop talking when he started talking really quietly.
“So, what really happened last night,” he whispered so soft that I could barely hear.
“Oh, nothing,” I lied
“You sure, because you like ran home as soon as you saw our house. You walked right in and then ran to William’s room.”
“Oh. So you were watching me.”
“Yeah, sort of. I wanted to see what you were up to.”
“Like I said, it was nothing.”
“Then why did you run right into William’s room. You never do that unless you really need help.”
“I just had a few questions for him.” Oscar knew I was lying. I could tell by the way he was looking at me. Like he was trying to scan my brain for information or something. Then, suddenly Thomas screamed. Thank God that conversation was over.
“What the hell,” Oscar and I said at the same time. I guess, that’s what happens when you have a twin.
“Oh, sorry. I just knew that Kate here needed to be done talking with you.” Thomas pointed at Oscar like he did something wrong.
“What?” Oscar and I asked at the same time, again.
I looked at Thomas. I smiled at him as a way of thanking him. He smiled back. Sometimes my brothers were alright. I was surprised that Thomas did something though. Last night he seemed really mad at me for not telling him. I thought that maybe he would take it out on me, but I guess not. He was still going to stick up for me. Maybe it was because he actually cared about me. Maybe it was because I promised him that if I ever need him, I would talk to him. Either way, I am glad that he is still on my side.
I was thinking this through when my mom interrupted.
“Katie? You ok?” She asked.
“Yeah. I was just thinking about something.” I replied.
“Kate, you just ran into me,” Oscar said.
“What?” I asked, still a little bit out of it.
“You just ran into me,” Oscar said again.
“Oh, sorry,” I said and walked up to my room.
It wasn’t until Margaret knocked on my door that I remembered about what Nick, Nate, Sam, and Loren had told Margaret the day before. I felt so bad about forgetting.
“Hey,” I said. Letting Margaret know that she could come into my room.
“Hey,” she replied.
“How was your day?”
“It actually wasn’t that bad. The boys stopped me in the hallway and asked me why I left and I told them that I had to go to dinner. They seemed to believe me because they left me alone for the rest of the school day.”
“Well that’s good then.”
“Why? What happened?”
“They came up to me at the end of the day and they told me that they were still mad at me for leaving them. I ignored them and left, but the whole way home I felt like I was being watched. It was really creepy and I think that they followed me home.”
“Yeah, that is kind of creepy. I am going on a walk tonight with William so, we will check everything out and make sure that everything is ok.”
“Ok. Thanks. Did you tell William about yesterday?”
“Yeah, he knew the bullies, but not very well. Otherwise he had nothing else to say, really.”
“Ok. Thanks again. I’ll see you later.”
I didn’t want to tell anyone about what had happened between Sam and I the last two days. I guess it didn’t seem as important.
When Margaret opened the door she jumped because William was standing right outside the door. I guess my room will be very busy for a while. Margaret gave William a questioning look and then left the room.
When William came in and shut the door, he looked angry.
“What?” I asked.
“Nothing, I just wanted to talk to you about Brent and everything,” he replied without sounding angry at all.
“Oh. Ok, then. Ask away.”
“So did you call them back this morning?”
“Yeah, I told them that I would do the job. We are meeting them at the same street at 9:00pm. Brent wants to talk to you but he is making you promise that Brent and I can be alone to talk for a little bit.”
“Yeah that’s fine. Wait, What?”
“I don’t know. I think that Brent likes me or something. He kept talking about how partners need to know each other pretty well before they can work together.”
“He must like you, then. Well I’m not going to let him hurt you, but you can be alone with him. Only for a little while though.”
“Ok. Thanks. Anyways, on our way home we need to check all around the house.”
“Why?” William sounded a little nervous.
“Margaret, thinks that she got followed home by those four boys.”
“Ok. That’s bad. I think that we should tell an adult.”
“Ok. Well let’s just figure out some more information and then we can turn it over to the police, if that’s what it comes to.”
Then there was a knock at my door. I groaned because I knew it would be Thomas or Oscar or both.
“Come in,” I said.
“Hi,” Thomas and Oscar said.
“Hi. Do you need something.”
“Yeah we wanted to talk to you about the walk home.” Oscar said. Thomas just rolled his eyes. I could tell that Thomas didn’t want to talk about it, especially with Oscar in the room.
I looked at William. I hadn’t told him about what happened, because it wasn’t that big of a deal. He looked at me and looked confused.
“Fine. Sit down,” I said
They did as they were told. This felt so weird because I had all the boys in my room.
“What is going on?” William finally said.
“Katie didn’t tell you?” Oscar asked.
“Tell me about what?”
“What happened on the way home? She is hiding something from us. She won’t tell us where she was last night and we want to know why.”
“Ok. Just tell me what happened,” William demanded.
“Ok. So Thomas was walking behind Kate and me because he was talking to his friend. I was talking to Kate about our test today and--,” Oscar said, getting cut off.
“Wait. You were talking to Katie about a test you took today,” William asked. Oscar was only shocked for a few seconds and then finished the story, finally. Thomas and I laughed.
“So what is really going on, Kate?” Oscar asked.
“Nothing is going on. She is fine,” William cut in.
“Wait you know something about this,” Oscar asked.
“Yeah, I do. Just leave her alone. I’m taking care of her. You ask her about it one more time I will kill both of you,” William said jokingly.
“Why can’t you just tell us?” Oscar asked.
“William is right. Let’s just leave her alone, like I told you.” Thomas said.
“She was told to only tell one person and that person was me, so like I said, leave her alone,” William said, sounding angry.
“Fine,” Oscar said. Then Oscar and Thomas got up and left the room. Now, just William and I were in the room.
“What was that?” I asked
“We can’t tell them anything and they are never going to listen to you. They needed to hear it from me,” William said.
“Well, what if they tell mom and I get caught anyways?”
“I will go tell them not to tell anyone about this conversation.”
“So, they want us at that corner at 9:00pm. We should leave at about 8:50pm and then we can check the house on our way back home.”
“Ok. Well I should probably get out of your room. I think that dinner is going to be ready soon too.”
“Ok. Bye,” I said.
“Bye,” William said and left the room.
Five minutes later dinner was ready and I left my room and went downstairs. There was something going on. Something didn’t feel right, but I couldn’t figure it out. As we sat down at the table, everyone was quiet. I looked at William, but he just shrugged. Maybe he felt like there was something wrong too.
Dinner seemed to be going fine, but I was more focused on tonight’s meeting. I couldn’t tell if I was nervous or scared. I was pretty sure that when Margaret told me that she thought the four boys followed her home, I was scared. I knew that I would be fine because William would be with me. Right? Or would we both be traumatized and never be able to reach home.
I was focusing on that thought when there was a knock at the door. I looked up at William and he looked nervous. Margaret looked scared too. My mom got up and answered the door. There was a man there dressed up in a delivery uniform.
“Hi, my name is Max. I am here to deliver your new T.V,” he looked really young.
“Oh, well I don’t think that I ordered a T.V,” my mom said.
“It says that it is a gift from Richard Stone.”
That was my dad’s name! Just then I knew this wasn't right. This must have been what I was feeling earlier. I looked at the man closer. I gasped and the delivery man looked straight at me, smiling. It was Sam Knight. I looked away and looked at William. The man had stopped looking at me and was now looking at Margaret, who was really confused. I mouthed Sam to William and he stood up. My mom turned around and looked at William.
“Yeah, we don’t know a Richard Stone so if you could please leave, I think you have the wrong house,” William lied.
“William, honey--,” Mom tired to say.
William interrupted her. “Come on mom just shut the door and we can finish eating our dinner,” William said. Pointed at the telephone and mouthed Brent’s name to me.
“Are you sure you don’t know who Richard Stone is,” Sam Knight asked.
“Yeah, we are sure,” William said as he shut the door.
I ran upstairs and grabbed my cell phone. I called Brent’s number.
“Hello?” Brent asked on the other line.
“Brent! We need help. Loren and his friends are hiding around the lot! And--,” I tried to say.
“Catherine, relax,” Brent said.
“What?” I asked again.
“We are watching your house because we saw the four boys follow your sister home.”
“Then why didn’t you stop them yet?”
“Stop them from what?” Brent asked.
“Sam just tried to get into our house. He said that we had ordered a new T.V.”
“When did this happen?”
“Oh, well I didn’t see that. I am really sorry. We just got here,” Brent seemed sorry. “Okay, so instead of the meeting on the street we are going to come into your window on the second floor. It will be just me and Evan. Jake is going to stay and watch the house along with two other men. Have William in your room in 10 minutes without anyone knowing anything. And make sure you lock all the doors and windows.”
“Ok, but why didn’t you warn me that they would try to get into our house.” I said confused.
“I didn’t know that they were trying to get into your house, until you called me, Catherine. Just relax please. Oh, and did you talk to your brother about having a little bit of alone time with me,” Brent said really calm.
“Yeah, he said I could but for only a little bit.”
“Ok. I will see you in 10 minutes then.”
The phone was silent.
Well that was confusing, I thought to myself. Sam wouldn’t have tried to get into the house if Brent and his men were there watching. Brent must have been right. He must have just shown up, as Sam was leaving.
I looked at my phone and then the time. It was almost 8:30pm. I was guessing that Brent would be here soon.
I calmly went downstairs. Everyone was sitting back down like nothing ever happened.
“Hi,” I said.
“Where did you go,” Mom asked.
“I had to go write myself a note to remind me about something,” I lied.
“Oh, ok,” she replied.
Everyone was done eating a few minutes later. William and I offered to cleaned up the dishes and then went around the house and locked all the doors and windows. Then we both went upstairs. We had a few minutes to kill before Brent and Evan showed up.
“What did you tell Mom after I left,” I asked
“I just told her that the man was trying to get into our house and that we should lock all the doors,” William replied.
“So, she seemed to really believe it?”
“Yeah, I think so. Did you call Brent?”
“Yeah, he said that he was going to watch the house with four other men because he saw them follow Margaret home. But, they had just shown up when Sam was leaving. They only missed Sam by minutes. Brent also doesn’t want us to leave the house tonight, so he is going to come here and climb up through the window.”
“Oh, ok. I guess that I agree with everything. How is he going to get up here?”
“Oh, I don’t really know. But Brent is bringing Evan with him and he still wants that ‘alone’ time,” I said.
Just then there was a knock on the window that made me jump. William got up and looked out. Brent was somehow right outside the window. William opened the window and Brent climbed in. A few seconds later Evan showed up and climbed in as well.
“Hi,” I said. Brent looked amazing. He looked even hotter than he did the last time I saw him. I couldn’t believe it.
“Hi,” Brent said, a little out of breath.
“How did you get up here?” I asked, still shocked by Brent’s presence.
Brent smiled at me before responding. “We have a ladder thing that extends really high and is still really strong.”
I got up and looked out the window. Sure enough there was a really long ladder leaning against the side of the house. I turned around and sat on my bed right next to William. Brent was sitting on my chair by my desk and Evan decided to keep standing.
“Hi, William. I’m Evan, director of American 33 Spy Organization. Otherwise known as the ASO.” Evan paused before he continued.“This is Brent. He is my top spy at the moment and he travels with me everywhere. Brent and his friend Jake work together a lot. Anyways, Jake is leaving and Brent needs a new partner and I suggested that it be a girl. I believe that Catherine has told you everything about your dad and stuff, so I don’t need to go into detail about why this is happening,” Evan said.
“Yes, Kate has told me a lot about what is going on,” William said. I couldn’t tell if William thought that that was a good thing or not.
“Yes, and not to be rude but we need someone on watch. Would you be so kind in to standing at the door in case someone decides to enter, William?” Evan was being totally serious.
“No, I don’t mind at all. Whatever you need,” William said and walked over to my bedroom door. I loved my brother; he would do anything for me.
“Catherine, do you have any questions for us?” Evan asked. Now, looking at me.
I paused, trying to think of a reasonable question for Evan and Brent. “Yeah, what am I looking for?” I asked. I didn’t know what to expect for an answer.
“Good question,” Brent said,
“I would look out for Nick Sayner and his friends trying to sell drugs or anything. You don’t really need to worry about Nick’s dad at the moment. Brent has that covered. But, even getting to know Nick and his friends would be helpful when you are up against his dad.” I looked at William who was looking at me. “I would--,”
“What?” Brent asked interrupting Evan. He stepped towards me and William, making me shrink backwards in my bed.
“Oh, nothing,” I said, sounding nervous. Brent must have noticed William and me staring at each other.
“Ok then,” Evan said, a little confused. “As I was saying, I would also watch for them skipping classes or walking around during class or passing notes,” Evan paused. “Did I answer the question?”
“Yeah I think so,” I said. Brent was scaring me. He must be very serious about his job. That is probably why he is the top spy in the organization.
“I am sure that Brent will inform you about stuff you need to look out for while you are on your trip, too. If you ever have any other questions then you can just ask Brent or me. Ok,” Evan finished off.
“Ok”, I said. Well that was quick. Evan must have somewhere he needs to be.
“Ok, well, Brent told me that he wanted to talk to you for a little bit, alone. I am going to go down the ladder and walk around the house a few times and William can leave. I think that there might be something going on down there. I can hear extra voices. Brent, you can just come down whenever you’re done,” Evan said as he climbed out the window.
A few minutes later it was just Brent and me in my room. Brent came over to my bed and sat down next to me. I was shaking before, so he took my hands in both of his. Now I felt like I was dripping with sweat. I must look like a freak.
“Cat, you ok,” Brent asked.
“What? I mean, yeah I’m ok.” Since when did I have a new nick name? When Brent talked to me, I felt like I was going to explode with energy. I heart was beating so loud; I was convinced that Brent could hear it, and my stomach was in butterflies. I think that I am starting to like Brent.
“Ok. Good. I want to talk to you about something.”
“What do you want to talk to me about?”
“Well, I am a senior and you’re a sopmore.”
“Yeah.” I was trying to figure out where he was going with this.
“I’m going to be with you a lot so maybe we should get to know each other first. I want to get to know you very well. If you know what I mean. I kind of like you.”
I didn’t know what to say. Was he asking me to be his girlfriend? “Yeah, we should probably get to know each other fast.” I sounded more sure of myself that I thought.
“Ok. I’m cool with that,” he sounded really excited. His smile was huge. He looked so happy. I hoped that maybe I would be his girlfriend soon.
Then he gave me the biggest hug I have ever had. It felt good and I think that I was a little excited about it too. I was happy that it was Friday night, because that meant that I wouldn’t have school tomorrow and I wouldn’t have to think about Brent during all of my classes.
I have decided that I really like Brent. From what I know, he seems to be nice and loving. He has a great personality and lot of people know him and like him. I think that he is very good looking too. I was having a hard time piecing all this together.
Then out of the middle of nowhere, there was a loud sound outside. Brent stood up quickly and looked out the window.
“The ladder is gone. They boys must have taken it, knowing that I was still in here. I have to call Evan.”
“What are you going to do?” I asked.
“I don’t know! Just let me call Evan real quick, ok Cat?”
Then he got out his phone and pressed one button. He listened to the phone as it started to ring.
“Hello?” a voice said.
“Hi, who is this?” Brent asked.
“This is Loren Dorn and I bet that you are looking for Evan.”
“What did you do to him?”
“What do you want Loren?”
“I want to talk to Catherine.” I must have looked really confused because Brent came over and sat right next to me, putting his arms around me. My stomach was in butterflies again. He looked worried and still hadn’t responded to what Loren had answered.
“How did you know about her?” Brent asked Loren
“Evan, told me. I had to work it out of him.”
“Fine. Why do you want her?”
By then I knew who they were talking about. Loren wanted me. Brent didn’t know why, but he wasn’t too happy about it. Why would Loren and the rest of the boys want me? Why not Margaret?
“I want her because she is something that is very special to you and you would have to choose between her and Evan. I know why you need her, Brent.”
“Can I talk to Evan?” Brent asked, ignoring Loren’s statement.
“You can come out here and talk to him as long as you bring Catherine.”
“Well, I need to get out somehow.”Brent sounded very mad.
“Oh, right. One minute,” Loren responded.
“Fine, where do I meet you?”
“You mean we, and I’ll have Sam bring you to us. See you soon.”
Brent just looked at the phone.
“What just happened?” I asked.
“Ok, I’m sorry Cat, but they want you,” Brent responded.
“Don’t worry. I’m here to keep you safe. I just need to see what is going on. I just need you to trust me. Promise me that you will trust me.”
“I promise,” I said, not sure what I was getting into. I was scared and didn’t know what to do.
A few seconds later there was a loud noise again and Brent went over to the window. Brent rushed me to the window, making me forget about William. I should have told William that I was leaving, but this was an emergency. Hopefully no one would come looking for me while I was gone.
“Ok. We can go down now. I want you to stay close when we go down the ladder, ok?” Brent asked.
“Ok,” I said.
Brent started to climb down the ladder. He was always looking right at Sam. Probably to make sure that Sam wouldn’t do anything stupid. Now, I knew what Sam meant when he was talking to me earlier.
“Ok, Cat, you can come out now,” Brent said.
I looked out the window. It was a long way down to the ground but I had to be safe. Brent was there, right?
I started to climb down. I thought I was only about half way when Brent said that I could step off the ladder. I must have been lost in my thoughts.
Brent grabbed my hand and started to walk over to Sam. If we weren’t going out, then why was I holding hands with Brent? I don’t mind holding hands; at all! This is a good thing. Maybe we are going out secretly, we just don’t know it yet. Either way I decided that I liked Brent, a lot.
Sam was ahead of where Brent and I were walking, so Brent whispered some tips into my ear. “Ok. So from now on there is nothing that you need to say. If they ask you a question, answer it, carefully. You can tell them the truth, but tell them carefully. You don’t need to go into complete detail about everything. Just keep the stories vague,” Brent said.
“What about the rest of my family? My window is wide open and with the ladder there anyone can climb in,” I said.
“When we get there I will talk to Loren. They should be fine. Loren didn’t say anything about them.”
I decided not to say anything more. Brent knew what he was doing and even though I basically just met him, I trusted him. I knew that he was going to keep me safe, and that I would be home soon.
After a few more minutes we reached a clearing in the woods that I never knew was even there.
“Ah. Good. You brought the girl,” Loren’s voice seemed to come from the middle of nowhere. I then realized that we had stopped walking.
“The girl’s name is Catherine,” Brent said.
“Oh, is that the name?” Loren laughed. I then realized that Loren’s voice was coming from behind me. “There are a lot of nicknames that can go alone with that name. I am sure that is why your mom named you that.” He had his hand on my left shoulder. I tried to shrug it off but he just held on tighter. I squeezed Brent’s hand and he looked at Loren.
“Stop,” Brent yelled.
“Oh, why? You don’t like it when I touch your girlfriend.”
“She’s not my girlfriend. Just leave her alone. She has nothing to do with any of this!”
“She’s not your girlfriend…yet. Oh, and I believe she has everything to do with this. First, her sister doesn’t listen to us. Then her dad. Then you ask her to work with you. And now you are basically going out with each other. How does she not have anything to do with this?”
“My sister has nothing to do with this,” I blurted out. I knew right after I said it that I shouldn’t have talked. Loren’s hand moved from my shoulder to my face and back very quickly. My cheek was now stinging.
“Don’t talk, unless I ask you too!” Loren’s voice was so loud.
“You don’t need to slap her!” Brent was mad now.
“She is just too irresistible though,” Loren replied.
“Yeah I mean she is pretty cute. All I want to do is touch her,” another voice rang out. I tensed up as I felt another hand on my other shoulder.
“Be quiet Nate, I think you are scaring her,” another voice whispered.
I felt Brent’s hand tense up next to mine. My stomach in butterflies once again, but for a totally different reason. I felt like I was going to throw up.
“Shut up Sam!” Brent yelled.
“Maybe you should be slapped too.” Sam replied.
“What do you want with her?” Brent asked angrily; ignoring Sam.
“We just want to ask her some questions,” answered Sam.
“What if she doesn’t want to?” Brent asked.
“Then you don’t get to talk to Evan,” Nick said.
“I’m not leaving her side,” Brent said.
“That’s too bad because neither are we. At least until you let go of her hand and let Nick take you to Evan,” Loren said.
“Then we will all stop touching her,” Sam said. It was then that I realized that there were three hands touching me. Loren on one shoulder, Nate on the other, and Sam was on my waist, and I could feel his cool breath on my neck. His breath was sending shivers down my spine. Loren moved so that he was standing in front of Brent and me; his hand still on my shoulder.
“Just let go of her and we will let go of her. You can even talk to her for a few seconds before Nick takes you to Evan. You can talk to him for five minutes and then Nick will bring you back to her and you guys can go home.” Loren was very clear with what he wanted.
“I doubt that will actually work,” Brent said.
“It will as long as you listen, because if you don’t, we keep Kate,” Loren sounded so serious.
Brent’s hand tensed up one more time before he let go of my hand. Brent must trust Loren a lot to let me stay with him, alone. As soon as my hand was free Loren and Nate let go of me. Sam’s hand lingered at my waist before he let go of me. They all stayed where they were though. I could feel Sam standing right behind me. It was like I wasn’t even there. He was practically standing on top of me.
Nick, who was standing off in the distance earlier, grabbed Brent by the arm and started to pull him away.
“Wait,” Brent said.
“What?” Loren asked.
“You said I could talk to Kate for a little bit.”
“Oh, yes. You’re right. Nick let them talk.”
Nick let go of Brent and he walked over to me. He gave me a hug.
“No matter what happens tonight, I will always keep you safe.” Brent smiled at me. Then I knew that we were going to be going out soon, just by the way he was talking to me. I smiled back at Brent. “Try to answer the questions with simple answers and don’t get yourself hurt. I should be back to get you in five minutes. Ok,” Brent was talking really fast. He must have been worried.
“Ok. And I trust you Brent,” I said. Brent looked at me one last time and then he left; still smiling to himself. He followed Nick into the darkness.
I turned around to find that Loren, Nate and Sam were all watching me. Loren whispered something to them and they started to walk towards me, with evil smiles plastered on their faces.
Nate and Sam grabbed my arms, and started to walk back towards Loren.
“If you do not answer these next questions that I have for you, you will never see Brent or your family again. Do you understand?” Loren seemed angry.
I nodded and then he slapped me right across the face. My face was still burning from his earlier slap. I winced and tried to move away, but Sam and Nate held me tight. Why was he so mad at me?
“What was that for?” I asked. I suddenly regretted it because Loren’s smile was one of the most evil smiles I had ever seen. He just stared at me.
“I just wanted to see how feisty you were and I think that by what you just did, we are going to have a lot of fun tonight.”
I glared at him and he turned around. He started to walk away and Nate, Sam, and I followed.
I had spent my time walking trying to get to know the faces of the guys that were kidnapping me.
Nate was tall and very strong. He had dirty blonde hair that was cut short. His face was skinny, matching the rest of his body.
Sam was hot. He wasn’t short, but he wasn’t tall, either. He has brown hair that was only a little bit longer than Nate’s. His hair almost matched how tan he was. Sam was strong and bulky. If he weren’t kidnapping me right now, I would feel safe standing next to him.
Loren isn’t as tall as Nate, but he was taller than Sam. He had dark brown hair that stood out next to his pale skin. He was strong too, but his body didn’t show it as much as Sam’s.
After I got to know the faces of Sam, Nate, and Loren, I had nothing to do. I stayed quiet. I didn’t want to get slapped for talking again.
Either Sam or Nate were really slow walkers or they didn’t want Loren overhearing their conversation. We were so far behind Loren that I couldn’t even see him anymore.
“So, Kate, how do you like Brent?” Nate asked, breaking the silence.
“Why do you care?” I replied, very agitated.
“Just answer the question,” Sam snapped.
“No,” I said, trying to twist out of their grip on me.
“Loren was right. We are going to have fun with her tonight,” Nate said to Sam.
“Too bad Brent isn’t here to watch it all happen,” Sam said to Nate
“I have a question for you,” I said. I was trying to relax.
“We might have an answer,” Nate said, relaxed.
“Is Loren the leader of this ‘group’?”
“Yeah, I think that you could say that. Wouldn’t you Sam?”
“Yeah. We always listen to him, but we sometimes take turns. Like last week I lead most of what we did.” Sam said.
The forest was silent for the most part. Except for the occasional trees rustling or animals moving, and our footsteps of course.
“Will you please let go of me?” I asked. Breaking the silence.
Nate gave Sam a questioning look.
“As long as you don’t run,” Sam said.
“I won’t.” They let go of me but stayed really close. “But what would happen if I did?”
Nate tensed up before answering. “We would probably chase you and bring you back.”
I was just about to ask another question when Loren’s voice interrupted.
“Glad that you guys caught up. Now if you would please go inside and sit down.” I was glad that I could actually see Loren. I looked over the building before I entered it. The house was small. It looked nice from the outside, but knowing Loren, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a dump.
I was really nervous and scared. When I walked into the building, there were two couches, parallel to each other, with a table and chairs off to the side. There was a small coffee table between the two couches. There was a mini fridge in the corner.
The small one room building almost felt like a cabin. There was a fire place on the far wall and most of the structure was made out of wood. There were blankets and pillows scattered around the room too. As I was looking around the room I began to wonder if I was still on my land or if I just never knew that this place existed.
Just then the door opened and Loren walked in. Sam and Nate had already sat down in some chairs on the other side of the room. They were talking quietly to themselves. Loren sat down on the couch opposite me. Sam and Nate had stopped talking and were now sitting on the couch with Loren. Loren had one of those evil smiles plastered across his face again. Making me nervous.
“Hi, Catherine,” Loren said.
I just looked at him.
“What do you prefer I call you? Catherine, Kate, Katie, or Cat?”
The last name got to me. That was what Brent had called me. That was the first nickname Brent had made up for me. I tensed up as I heard the name. Obviously Loren noticed because he smiled.
“What will it be?” Loren asked again.
“Catherine,” I said quietly.
“Good. Now that we got that out of the way, we want to ask you some questions about yourself and your family,” Loren said.
I didn’t even look at him. I was looking down at my hands. They were intertwined together and turning different colors. I hadn’t realized that I was taking my anger out on my hands. I was squeezing them so hard. I relaxed my grip on my hands and looked up to see Loren looking at me.
“How many people are in your family?” Loren continued, knowing that he had my attention. “We know that there is you and your sister, Margaret, and of course William and your dad.”
I didn’t respond. I didn’t want to be here. I didn’t ask for this to happen, so I wasn’t going to answer any questions. Why would I give these answers to strangers, whether or not they go to the same school as me.
“Catherine, answer the question,” Loren said and then whispered something to Nate and Sam.
“No, I don’t want to,” I replied. “There is no reason for you to know about my family. I don’t even understand why I am here! It’s not fair! You guys are a bunch of idiots!”
“So that is how it’s going to be. Well then I guess I should start by telling you that your family is in danger right now. If you don’t answer the questions then we will lock you up in here and you will never see your family or Brent again. So, I will ask you one more time.
“How many people are in your family?”
“Brent said that he was going to talk to you about how safe my family was!” I protested.
“I understand. But we don’t always do what we say. So please answer the question. Or I will call one of my friends. He is just outside your house. Waiting for me to tell him to go inside your house.” Loren took the phone out of his pocket.
“You’re threatening me!” I yelled.
“Yes, we are. Please answer the question!” Loren’s voice was louder than mine. I shrunk back into my seat. I was scared of Loren.
“There are seven of us,” I replied, defeated.
“Thank you! Seven? I thought there were only five. Ok, tell us some more.”
I hesitated, not wanting to tell him too much, but Nate stood up and walked towards me. “I have two brothers Oscar and Thomas. We are triplets. My mom is always inside, and she rarely leaves the house. That’s why you never see her.” I rushed. I didn’t want Nate to come any closer. He had stopped walking as soon as I started talking.
“Oh, ok. I understand now. Thank you for answering the question. Now, how did you meet up with Brent? Are you working for Evan?” Nate went and sat back down next to Loren.
“I don’t want to answer that question,” I said quietly, looking away from the boys.
Loren whispered something to Sam and Nate and they stood up. I inched backwards on the couch once they started to walk towards me. They sat down on either side of me and grabbed me. Sam was on my left side and Nate on the right. They had grabbed my shoulders. I could barely move.
“Ok, now answer the question or else these two will pick you up and lock you in that room.” He pointed to a small door in the corner of the room, across from where I was sitting. “Right now we have no one moving towards your house, but we can change that as well.”
“Fine, I’ll answer the question.” Loren was pissing me off. He was acting way older than he actually was, and it was ridiculous.
“Good,” Loren said with a smile.
I then proceeded to tell Loren, Sam, and Nate everything about what had happened. When I was finally done Sam and Nate stood up, yanking me off the couch with them. They walked over to the door towards the front of the small building. Then Loren opened the door and we started to walk. Hopefully back to where Brent and I had gone separate ways…but who knows.
Nick barely said anything to Brent as they walked from the clearing to a small shelter on the other side of the forest. The walk was short and it wasn’t awkward for the two boys. They used to be best friends, but then Nick got tied up into the wrong group and Brent had joined the spy organization; no one knew that though. The two just grew apart; it was that simple.
When they finally arrived Nick told Brent where to find Evan and then sat down on bench right outside the shelter. Brent didn’t hesitate. He opened the door and walked in . He went down one hallway and took a left. He came to the first door on the right and opened it.
Sure enough Evan was inside the bare room. The floor, ceiling, and walls were all made out of cement. The only thing that was in the cold room was a metal chair. Evan was tied to the chair and had duct tape over his mouth.
When Evan saw Brent, his eyes widened. Brent went right over to him and took off the tape.
“Oh, thank you so much,” Evan said and little out of breath.
“What happened?” Brent asked while untying Evan’s wrists.
“Once I got down the ladder they captured me and brought me here. They asked me questions about what we were up to and then tied me up. They told me that they were going to go and get you and Catherine. Where is she? Is she okay?”
“She’s with them. They wouldn’t let me talk to you unless she went with them. “
“They are probably going to ask her questions. She is going to tell the truth.”
“Yeah, she will, but it shouldn’t matter to them. I told her to be careful what to tell them when we were on our way over to meet them. What did you tell them?” Brent asked.
“I told them simple answers, some of them not completely true, but they shouldn’t notice the difference between how we all answer.” Evan said. “We just have to make sure that she doesn’t tell them the exact reason of why she was asked to work with us. You haven’t told her have you?”
“No, I haven’t. I never want to.” Brent said.
“Well you are going to have to sometime. Just make sure it’s the right time. Otherwise she might back out of the job, and that would be bad.”
“Yeah, I understand, and everything should be ok. I am supposed to meet them back there pretty soon and it was a long walk back here. I’ll come back later.”
“Ok. Good luck, Brent and keep her safe. We need her,” Evan said.
“Yes, I know Evan,” Brent said as he left the room.
By the time I got back to the clearing Brent had been waiting for me for five minutes. He looked worried, but I was glad to see him ok.
“Brent,” I said. I got slapped in the face by Loren.
“Don’t talk,” Loren said. Brent stood up and started to walk over to us. “If you take one more step you will never touch her again.” Brent stopped walking. Nate and Sam were still holding on to my shoulders, and had no sign of letting go.
“I assume that you were able to talk to Evan,” Loren asked Brent.
“Yes, I was. Thank you,” Brent replied.
“Good, well Catherine here was a very good girl for us. She listened nicely and answered all of our questions. So, you can have her back, for now. We might want to talk to her later, but that is out of your control.”
“Can I have her back then?” Brent asked.
“Yes, here you go,” Loren said. I was then pushed really hard and I slammed into Brent who didn’t even move, but put his arms around me. Having Brent’s arms around me made my stomach flip.
I felt so much safer near him. Yes, he had just delivered me to these boys that were in high school, but Brent knew what he was doing. At least that’s what I thought.
“Can’t wait to see you again Catherine,” Nick said and laughed quietly. He has just entered the clearing.
“You will never be seeing her again,” Brent replied for me.
“Don’t be so sure, Brent,” Nick replied and started to walk away with Loren. They laughed quietly. Nate followed Loren and Sam stayed behind.
“I’ll walk you back to your house, Catherine,” Sam said. “We wouldn’t want you getting lost.”
“Thanks but I think I can handle it,” Brent replied. Taking a step towards Sam. Brent grabbed my hand and I took a step towards Sam as well.
“I’ll make a deal. I’ll walk her home and you can go and get Evan from his room and bring him home as well.” Sam said, touching my arm.
“How do I know that she will be home safely?”
“I’ll let her call you when she gets there. Or William could call. Trust me. Loren and Nick want me to keep her very safe. I won’t let anything happen to her.” Brent looked over at Sam one more time.
“Fine, but if she isn’t safe I am going to call the police. You got that?”
“Yeah, I understand. Now let go of her so I can lead her to safety.” Sam was smiling.
Brent slowly let go of me and Sam grabbed my hand. Sam yanked me towards him and put his arm around my shoulder. I looked back at Brent and he looked really sad. I smiled at him, and he smiled back at me. Then I turned around and, let Sam walk me back towards my house, while Brent turned the other way and walked even deeper into the forest.
As soon as Brent was out of my sight, I shook Sam’s arm off my shoulders. He stopped walking and looked at me, but I kept walking.
“Hey! Come back here,” he yelled at me.
“No, I don’t want to,” I said back. He ran up to me and grabbed my arm. He yanked me back towards him so that we were only inches away from each other. He was breathing hard and his breath was cool. “Do you need something?” I asked, trying to back away from him.
“Yeah, I need you to behave, or else we won’t go back to your house.” His hands were on my lower back, making sure that I didn’t move.
“How do I know your taking me there right now?”
“If I wasn’t, I would be in really big trouble with Loren, if he found out.”
“Why do you even have to bug me and my family?”
Sam sighed and let me go. We began walking again before he answered my question. “Well, Loren thinks your sister is hot and then we realized that Nick’s dad used to work with your dad until your dad got him fired him.” Sam paused. “So, Loren wants to get to know your sister and Nick is just mad at your family.”
“What about you and Nate?”
“We both just think you’re cute.” He laughed at that. Then he grabbed my hand as we were walking.
We walked in silence for awhile and all we could hear was our footsteps. I tried to pull my hand from his but he just held on tighter.
“Can you please let go of me,” I asked, breaking the silence.
“No,” Sam replied, as if it was obvious.
“I want to hold your hand for as long as I can before I have to leave you.” Sam smiled.
“Well I don’t want to hold your hand.” I pulled as hard as I could but my hand didn’t move. Then I stuck out my leg and tripped Sam. Sam fell to the ground and my hand came free.
“What was that for?” he asked.
“For not letting go of my hand,” I replied with a laugh.
I started walking again be he jumped up and wrapped his arms around me so that I couldn’t move. Then he leaned down a little bit and whispered in my ear. “Tripping me was a very bad idea, by the way, Catherine.”
“And why is that?” I asked, his breath sending shivers all over my body.
“You didn’t listen to me and you let go of my hand.”
“And your point is…?”
“Shut up!” Sam shook me. “I don’t care what you think, but now you are in big trouble. We are going to turn around and go straight back to Loren. He will know what to do with you.”
“You promised Brent that you would bring me home,” I said a little worried that Sam was serious.
“I don’t care. I don’t have to listen to anybody right now. You are coming with me whether you like it or not.” I struggled against his grip around me, but I couldn’t move. Sam was too strong for me.
“What do I have to do to make you bring me back home?” I asked sadly, knowing that I had lost that battle.
“Oh, so now you will listen?” he asked me.
“Just tell me what I have to do.” I was not happy.
“Well you could let me touch you and bring you home safely and when we get there I want a kiss.”
“No! I am not doing that! Are you crazy?”
“Ok, then I will bring you back to Loren.” He smiled, knowing that he was going to get his wish.
“Fine, but nothing else.”
“Good,” he said, sounding really happy.
He slowly let go of me and grabbed my hand. We began walking again without talking. It seemed like forever, but we finally reached the fence that surrounded my house. Sam stopped walking and he let go of my hand and grabbed my shoulders.
“You happy,” I asked Sam, with a smirk.
“I will be happier after you kiss me,” he replied.
My smile vanished. “Do I have to right now? Or can we wait until I see you again?”
“I guess it doesn’t really matter, but you have to promise me that I will have a kiss from you before the week is over. I’ll talk to you at school if I don’t.”
“Fine. I promise.” I said. “Speaking of talking to me at school. What’s going on?”
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“I mean, you were so nice at school. Why are you being so mean, now?” I asked.
“You are the one who is being stubborn. I am just trying to do my job.”
“And, why do you keep running into me in the hallways?”
“Because I feel like it.”
“Whatever. Oh and I see what you mean about seeing me later.” I said.
“I told you not to worry about it.” Sam said.
Then he let go of my shoulder and we walked towards my house. When we reached the ladder, we said good bye and I began to climb up to my room.
When I reached my window, I slowly lowered myself into my room and shut the window. Finally I was home and safe, for the most part.
I called Brent as soon as possible.
“Cat? Are you okay,” Brent asked.
“Yeah. I’m home. Where are you?” I asked him.
“I am just outside the fence to your house. I will be there in 30 minutes. Just let me say goodbye to Evan.”
“I’m sorry, Cat.”
“It’s okay, Brent.”
The line went dead and I shut my phone.
I went downstairs and found my mom working at her desk, and my brothers watching T.V. There was no sign of Margaret.
“Where’s Margaret?” I asked my mom, worried for a few moments.
“She is upstairs working on homework. Why?” my mom asked.
“No reason. William, can I talk to you?”
“Yeah, I’ll be right there,” William responded.
I went back to my room and shut the door. A few minutes later William walked into my room.
“Where were you?” he asked spastically.
“In the woods,” I replied, as if it were no big deal.
“Doing what?” William asked throwing his arms in the air.
I then proceeded to tell William everything that happened. He looked so worried.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I didn’t have to time to call you! They wouldn’t even let me talk to Brent, let alone call you! I’m sorry.”
“Well I’m not letting you leave the house anymore without me knowing about it.”
“You are lucky that I thought you were still with Brent, otherwise I would have thought that you were missing again. I would have gone crazy. I can’t believe you! You go from being a perfect angel one week to a rebel the next. This isn’t you Katie.”
“I know. I’m sorry. I will be safer.”
“You better be or else I’m going to have to tell mom everything.” Then he got up and left my room. Closing the door with some force on the way out.
Well that went well, I thought to myself. I didn’t know that William cared that much about me. I don’t want to go to school on Monday. I see Sam everyday in the hallway. Why can’t Brent be a normal teenager and be able to go to my school? I wish that my life could go back to normal. That way I wouldn’t have to worry about all of this. I would only have to worry about whether Brent was my boyfriend or not.
I sat there thinking about all of this, when there was a knock at my window. My heart jumped and I got up to reach the window. I opened the window and was very happy to see Brent. My head was pounding like crazy.
“Hi,” Brent said as he climbed through the window, barely out of breath.
“Hi,” I replied. As soon as he was in my room safe he gave me a big hug. I felt much safer than I had for awhile. We stood in the middle of my room hugging for what seemed like forever.
“I’m sorry,” Brent whispered in my ear.
“For what?” I asked.
“For getting you into this. It wasn’t my idea to use you, but I am really glad that Evan decided you would be good. I think that we are going to have a lot of fun.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll be fine. I trust that you will keep me safe, no matter what.”
“You don’t need to worry. I will always keep you safe.” We sat down on my bed that was in the corner of my room. We leaned against the head board and relaxed.
“What happened after I left?” Brent asked.
“Sam and I walked home,” I replied.
“You know that you can’t lie to me. Tell me what really happened.”
“Well he wanted to hold my hand, but I wouldn’t let him and then he was going to bring me back to Loren. Then I promised him that he could hold my hand.”
“Cat, I know that there is more. Tell me. I won’t be mad.”
“He made me promise that I would kiss him before the end of the week.” I smiled, a little embarrassed.
“Ahh, I see. So did you kiss him when you got home?”
“No, I didn’t want to. I was too mad.”
“That’s ok. Was it really that hard to tell that?”
“No.” I laughed a little and he squeezed my
hand. Then he slowly turned toward me and grabbed my chin. Our faces were only inches apart. My heart beating rapidly. “Cat, I really like you,” he whispered to me and then gently kissed my lips.
His other hand reached around my back and pulled me closer to him. Brent was very gentle with me. Almost as if I was a piece of glass. The way his hand moved from my chin to my neck. I barely even felt it. I have never been kissed like this before. So, I enjoyed this moment knowing that it wasn’t going to happen often.
Our lips finally parted and we were both breathing heavily. He kept holding me tight to his chest. We sat there and there were so many things going through my mind that I almost didn’t hear him whisper “I really do like you,” again into my ear. I looked at him and he looked at me. His eyes were like the sky when there are no clouds. They were very blue right now. Probably because of how happy he was. I couldn’t take my eyes away from his. Then he let go of my hand and stood up. Leaving me on the bed. He walked over to the other side of the room where his backpack was sitting on my desk.
He unzipped the front pocket of his bag and took out a small box. “Evan said that I could give this to you. It is a laser ring. It can burn through almost anything. If I give this to you it will make me feel better when I’m not around you. Since we don’t go to the same school I am barely ever around you during the day.”
“Thanks,” I said and he took my hand again. The ring fit perfectly and it was beautiful. He kissed my hand and then pulled me up to him. He hugged me again and then let me go.
“Do you want to know how it works,” he asked.
“Yeah!” I responded. I was anxious to see how it worked.
“Ok. So say you where tied up with your hands around your back with chains. All you have to do is rotate the diamond three times and it will start to laser through anything in its path.” Brent pulled out some rope from his backpack. He rotated the diamond three times and the rope began to burn.
“That’s cool!” I stood up and walked over to where he was standing.
“Yeah! But you have to be very safe with it. Promise me you will be safe with it?”
“Yeah, I promise.”
“Show me,” he said with a sly smile. Then I reached up and kissed him on the lips, smiling. He pulled me closer to him and he kissed me back.
We broke apart and then he hugged me.
“I should probably go. I’ll see you later. Text or call me if you need anything.”
“I will, and Brent?”
“What do I do about Sam? Should I just ignore him?
“Oh yeah. I don’t want you to get yourself in trouble. So just be safe and do what you think is best. I know that you won’t fall for him. Call me if you need any help. Oh! I almost forgot. You have to rotate the diamond clockwise three times for the laser to work and then if you rotate it counter-clockwise it calls me. That way you can reach me even if you don’t have your cell phone. Also, if you rotate it twice counter- clockwise, my phone beeps and tells me where you are. That way if you can’t call me I can still find you.”
“Ok. I think that I got it. Thank you so much Brent!”
“Bye, Cat. Sleep good ok? And try not to think about what happened tonight with the other guys.”
“Ok. Bye Brent.”And then he was gone down the ladder. I already missed him. I didn’t know how much I really liked him until I kissed him. Now I really wish he went to my school. I think that I could get used to Brent being boyfriend. He is prefect!
I only sat in my room for a little bit longer, before I got ready for bed. I was excited to sleep in tomorrow and maybe seeing Brent. Saturday’s were my sleep in days, because my family usually went to church on Sunday morning. But I was glad that it was Saturday because that meant that I had the whole weekend to enjoy still. I wanted this weekend to last forever. School, on Monday, was not going to be fun.
I was still tired when I woke up the next morning. My phone was ringing. I looked at the time, 8:05 A.M., and then answered.
“Hello,” I asked still sounding tired.
“Cat, you ok,” Brent’s voice was more alert than mine.
“Jake disappeared last night and wanted to make sure that you were ok.”
“I don’t know what happened. He was supposed to meet me for breakfast. When he didn’t show up, I went to his apartment and the door was unlocked so I walked in. He was nowhere to be seen.”
“Where do you think he is? Did he leave a note?” My voice was getting louder and I was breathing heavily.
“Yeah, but I don’t recognize the handwriting. The note says, ‘I need to talk to Catherine. I need something from her.’ And then there is a smiley face.” Brent sounded angry.
I knew exactly who the note was from. Sam wants a kiss from me and he knew that he would get to me by taking away Brent’s best friend.
“Cat? You still there?”
“What? Yeah, sorry. Just thinking.”
“You know who the note is from don’t you?”
“Yeah, it’s from Sam. He wants that damn kiss.”
“That was the only person I could think of too.”
“What do we do?”
“Let’s just see how the day goes and then you can go to school on Monday and work everything out there.” I shuddered at the thought of seeing Sam at school on Monday. I was not looking forward to that at all.
“But, you won’t be there. What if something happens to me or to Margaret and if-?”
“Cat, Relax. You will be fine. You will always have the ring and just stay close to your teachers and friends.” I didn’t respond. He was right. I needed to relax. Brent must have known that my mind was still whirling.
“I’m coming over right now,” Brent said without warning.
“Ok. Give me 15 minutes to get ready.”
“Ok. Everything is going to be fine. Don’t worry. Trust me, Cat.”
“I trust you.” Then the phone was silent.
I set the phone back on my nightstand and then flopped back onto my bed. Ugh. This is not what I had in mind on my Saturday morning. I didn’t know what I was going to do. What if this didn’t work out and something happens to my family. I laid there on my bed and thought all of this through. I then decided that I should probably get ready. I got up and walked to the door.
When I reached my door, I hesitated. I didn’t want to see anyone right now and just wanted to be comforted by Brent. I finally opened the door and looked down the hallway. There was no one in sight. I quickly ran down the hallway to my bathroom. I turned up my music and proceeded to get ready.
I was almost finished getting ready when there was a knock on my door. I opened it a little bit. It was Margaret.
“Good morning. You’re up early,” Margaret said.
“Yeah, I guess,” I replied still tired.
“What are you doing?”
“For what? A date?”
“It’s ok. Just go back to bed,” I said. I really didn’t feel like explaining anything to anyone, especially Margaret.
“No! Explain to me about this date.”
“I don’t want to right now. Maybe later.”
“How old is he?”
“Senior, I think. Same age as you.”
“Fine. We will talk about this later young lady.”
“Ok.” I laughed a little. I was finally ready and I walked downstairs. I grabbed I piece of toast from dinner last night, that was sitting on the counter, and a bottle of water. It was really quiet downstairs. No one was up yet. I looked out the window and saw Brent walking up the sidewalk. I my heart leaped again. I guess I was happy to see him.
I opened the door before he knocked. He looked surprised but only for a moment. Then he shut the door and walked inside.
“Hey,” he said.
“Hi,” I replied, sounding more awake.
“How did you sleep last night?”
“Pretty good, I guess. You?”
“Yeah, I slept well too. I missed you a lot,” Brent said. I was pretty sure I was blushing. “Well, what do you want to do?” Brent finished off.
“I don’t care. Whatever you want to do.”
“Do you want to go somewhere or do you want to stick around.”
“William would have to come with us if we left, and he isn’t up yet. So, let’s just chill out here for awhile.”
“Ok. Sounds good to me.”
“We can go up to my room. I think that my sister is the only one that is awake.”
“Ok.”Brent sounded content. I led him up to my room and shut the door quietly. I didn’t want to wake anyone up.
As soon as I shut the door he grabbed me and gave me a hug.
“What was the for,” I asked.
“I’m so sorry. I feel so bad about all of this.”
I stared at him a quick moment before I spoke. “Don’t worry. It is ok. I think that we should make a deal.” I grabbed his hand and sat down at the end of my bed. “We won’t feel bad about anything that happens to each other from here on out. No matter how serious it is, we won’t get mad or feel bad about what happened. Deal?”
He smiled a little bit. “Deal,” he said, and then put his arm around my shoulder.
“So, I think that we should get to know each other a little more,” Brent said, sounding happier than before.
“I think that’s a good idea. You can start by asking me a question,” I replied.
“Ok. Well I know that you go to Evansville High School and I know that you are in 10th grade. So, what grades are your siblings in?”
“Oscar and Thomas are obviously in 10th grade, William is a junior and Margaret is a senior. What about you? What school do you go to?”
“I go to a small school right outside the cities. You wouldn’t know the name of it, it’s that small. I am in 12th grade. We are only a couple years apart.” Brent paused, trying to think of another question. “Ok. When is your birthday?”
“March 17th. You?” I was excited to learn about Brent.
“You’re lucky. I wish that my birthday was in the summer.”
“Yeah I like having it in the summer...”
We talked for a long time. We laughed as we shared stories from when we were little. I thought that it was weird that no one had come in my room yet, so I thought that I would go and look around.
“Hey, I’ll be right back. I am going to see if anyone is up yet,” I told Brent and let go of his hand.
“Ok. Hurry back.” Brent smiled at me before I left my room.
I laughed as I left the room. I opened the door and walked downstairs. My mom was working at her desk and Oscar and Thomas were watching T.V.
“Good morning sunshine,” my mom said as I walked in the door. Oscar and Thomas turned their heads toward me.
“Good morning,” I replied. “Where is everyone?”
“Well, we are here, Margaret is still sleeping as far as I know and I don’t know where William is. I think he might be in his room.” Thomas replied for mom.
“Ok. Thanks. I think that William and I are going to go downtown for the afternoon.” I informed my mom.
“Ok. Have fun!” I walked up the stairs and knocked on William’s door.
“Come in,” William’s voice sounded tired. I opened the door. “Hey,” William said.
“Hey,” I replied as I walked into his room.
“What do you need?”
“Just wondering when you were going to be ready to go, because Brent and I want to go into town.”
“Oh. Well thanks for telling me you were going and not just leaving. Give me about 15 minutes and I’ll be ready to go. Do you want me to knock on your door when I’m ready?”
“Sure. We also need to find a way to get Brent downstairs without mom seeing.”
“What? Is he already here?”
“Yeah, he has been here since 8:45 A.M.” I looked at the clock. It was almost 11:00 A.M now.
“Oh, ok! Well I will hurry then.”
“Ok. Thanks.” I shut the door and walked to my room. I opened my door. Brent was still sitting on my bed but he had my year book out from last year.
“Oh, hey,” he said, setting the book down to his side.
“So, William is going to be ready to go in about 5 minutes. We can leave then and go into town if you want.”
“Yeah! That sounds like fun. It will keep our minds off of things for a while too!” He stood up and walked towards me. He gave me a big hug and then we sat back down and began to wait for William.
“I have a question,” I told Brent.
“Yes, what is it?” Brent was curious.
“When you were talking with Sam, before he brought me home he said that Loren wanted me to stay ‘very safe.’ Do you know why?”
Brent hesitated. It almost seemed that Brent knew the answer, but he didn’t want me to know. “Evan and I have been thinking about that for awhile and we sort of have an idea. We don’t want to tell you yet because we aren’t sure of the real reason.” It almost seemed like he was lying again.
“Okay,” I replied, still wondering what it could mean and if he was lying or not. Brent looked away from me, so I stood up and walked to the door. I had heard a slight knock and I knew that William was ready now. Brent stood up and followed me towards the door.
About twenty minutes later we were driving into town, down the main road in Evansville. We arrived downtown and parked on the side of the street. We stayed in the car while we tried to figure out where we were going.
“Where do you want to go,” William asked me.
“I don’t care. Whatever you guys want to do,” I replied. William and Brent hadn’t talked much on the way here. I think that William might be mad at Brent for the whole forest incident from last night.
“Well do you want to get something to eat,” Brent asked.
“Sure. I haven’t eaten yet today,” I replied
“Where do you want to eat,” William asked.
“I don’t know!” I was angry that they kept asking me the questions. It was silent for a little bit. “William, why don’t you go somewhere and meet up with us later,” I asked.
“No! I’m not leaving you alone with him,” he yelled back.
“So that’s what this is all about? You don’t feel that I am safe with Brent,” I said. Brent grabbed my hand. He was trying to get me to relax.
“Well, after you basically got kidnapped in the forest, don’t you think that I have a reason to be worried about you with him?”
“I’m still safe, and I am with you. If I were missing right now, I would understand. But, I’m not missing, am I?” William was silent. “Ok, let’s go get something to eat. We can just walk down the sidewalk until we find something we like. Ok?” I received two head nods and that was it. I was mad at William. There was no reason for him to talk about Brent that way, especially with Brent in the car.
I got out of the car and began to walk. Brent grabbed my hand and William stayed behind us.
“Sorry,” Brent said.
“You need to stop being sorry, right now,” I said. Brent laughed a little.
“I know, but I just feel so bad for you.”
“It’s ok. Don’t feel bad. You’re just going to make me angry if you keep apologizing.” I said and he started smiling and I smiled back, trying not to laugh. “I’m serious.”
“Are you sure that you are serious, because your smiling.” Brent asked me, making me laugh.
“Yes, I’m sure,” I said smiling.
“Hey, you two love birds,” William said behind us. We both turned around and slowed down. “Do you want to stop here to eat?” Brent and I looked up and the sign and then we both shrugged.
“Sure,” I said.
We walked into a small Mexican restaurant. The restaurant is usually full of life, but that’s always at night. Since it was pretty early in the morning, there were not that many people there. The main room where everyone sat was bright. The walls were colored red and there were lights lined up where the ceiling met up with the walls. The lights were dimmed, letting the light from outside seep in.
We followed the waitress further into the restaurant. She led us to a booth in the corner of the main room. We sat down in the small booth and began looking through our menus. Brent and I sat on one side and William sat on the other.
“You guys hungry,” I asked.
“Yeah, I guess,” Brent said.
“Yeah, I don’t think that I have eaten since last night,” William said.
“What did everyone do last night,” I asked William.
“We basically just sat around. Some of us started to get hungry after dinner. Mom just made us some toast for us to munch on.” William responded.
“Yeah, I saw that on the table.” I said.
“Yeah, and then Margaret went to see someone and was gone for an hour or two. Thomas and Oscar played video games until mom wanted to watch the news. I worked on homework and sat around. Nothing special. You certainly didn’t miss much.”
“Well that sounds exciting,” I replied. “What did you do after you left last night,” I asked Brent.
“I went home and watched some sports and then went to bed. I was really tired and didn’t really feel like doing anything.” William laughed. I glared at William and Brent must have noticed because he squeezed my hand under the table. I looked at him and he gave me that look saying that it was ok. Ugh. William needs to know that there is no reason to be mean to Brent.
“If you keep being mean to Brent, I’m not going to tell you when I’m leaving and where I’m going,” I said to William.
“Fine. But it’s not going to change the way that I feel about all of this.”
“That’s fine. I could care less what you think about this. Your opinion does not impact me whatsoever.” I snapped. William had nothing to say to that.
The rest of the lunch went by slowly. There was very little talk and all you could here was the sound of forks clanging. When we were all finished eating we paid and then left. William walked beside Brent and me as we walked down the sidewalk toward the car. When we reached the car everyone got in and we drove home. As soon as the car stopped in our driveway William was opening the door and getting out.
“Sorry, about William. I’ll talk to him,” I said to Brent.
“Cat, you can’t lecture me about being sorry and then start apologizing all the time,” Brent said. We were both smiling because we both knew he was right.
“I know, you’re right. But I’m still going to talk to him.”
“Ok. Whatever you want. Hey, I found Jake by the way. I texted Sam earlier and I told him what you told me. He seemed amused, but he told me where he was and Evan went to pick Jake up. Jake is at home now. But, I would listen to Sam. He might do something else if you don’t listen to him.”
“Ok, good. I will try to figure that one out.” Brent must be a fast text-er. I hadn’t seen Brent’s phone the whole morning.
“Call me if anything happens.”
“Ok. I will and thank you for taking me out to eat today.” I said.
“No problem. It was…interesting. I’ll talk to you later. Bye.”
“Bye.” I opened the car door and got out of the car. I walked up the path to my front door. I opened the door and walked inside. William must have already been up in his room because he was no were in sight.
“Hey, where were you,” Thomas asked. He was sitting at the kitchen table, looking at a sheet of paper.
“Out. Why,” I replied.
“Just wondering.” He didn’t even look up at me.
I started walking up the stairs. I stopped for a one second at William’s door and then decided to keep walking down the hall to my room. I would talk to William later. I was more worried about my day at school on Monday.
I worked on homework, and sauntered around the house all day on Sunday. I didn’t want to do anything else. I went downstairs for dinner and then came back upstairs as soon as I was done. I had to get ready, mentally, for my school day on Monday.
As soon as I got into my room I got ready for bed, on Sunday night. I didn’t want to stay up late thinking about tomorrow. I just wanted to get it over with. I was really nervous that I was going to get beat up or something. I cleaned my room and made sure that the laser ring was still working. Maybe I should test it out on something before I rely on it tomorrow. I walked around my room and found a piece of clothing that I didn’t need. I did what Brent told me to do and it worked perfectly. I was pretty amazed that it actually worked.
I set the ring down next to my bed and climbed in under the sheets. I turned off the lights and then took a big breath. I closed my eyes and began to think. I am pretty sure that I fell asleep almost instantly. I didn’t even dream. I must have been so tired, because I slept through my alarm the next morning.
“Catherine! Are you up,” someone was knocking on my door and yelling.
“What,” I asked, I was trying to figure out what was going on.
“Are you up? We are leaving in 30 minutes and you need to get ready,” The voice was Margaret, and she had opened the door slightly so that I could hear her.
“Shit! I must have slept through my alarm! Thank you Margaret and I’ll be ready soon.” I jumped out of bed and jumped in the shower really fast. I got out of the shower, ran a brush through my hair, and got dressed. I went to my room and grabbed the ring and my backpack and then headed downstairs for a quick breakfast. My hair was still wet, but it was already drying straight.
“Don’t you love how straight our hair dries? If you are running late in the morning, you don’t have to waste time blow drying it and stuff. I love it,” Margaret said.
I laughed and grabbed a granola bar. Then I said goodbye to mom and we all walked out the door. My family was pretty close so we didn’t have any problem walking to school together. We did every morning.
Once I got outside I took at deep breath. I had been rushed out of the house, and I had a big day ahead of me. I was not excited to see Sam whatsoever, or any of those boys for that matter. I need to prepare myself. I walked behind the rest of my family in silence, trying to make myself feel better.
“Hey. You have to watch your back today and play everything safe. Ok?” William asked, breaking the silence.
“Yeah, I got it. I am just really nervous that something bad is going to happen and I haven’t seen them since that night.” I didn’t need to be descriptive. William knew that I was talking about the four boys and the kidnapping incident in the forest.
“You will be fine. Don’t worry. And if anything happens to you, and it has to do with Brent, you’re never going to see him again.” Well that made me a feel a ton better.
“What? He has nothing to do with this. You can’t do that to me!”
“Then don’t get into any trouble.” I was gaping at William. I couldn’t believe him. William just smiled at me.
“Whatever.” We walked in silence for only a little bit more before we came to the school’s entrance, and William had already put me into a bad mood.
“We will all meet here after school. Everyone got that,” William was looking at me when he said that. I rolled my eyes and Oscar, Thomas, and I all walked towards our first class.
“What was William talking to you about,” Thomas asked.
“None of your business,” I replied.
“Why don’t we ever get to know anything,” Oscar asked.
“I promised that I wouldn’t tell anyone but William. If I ever get the chance, I will tell you guys some day.” They both looked at me with a confused looks, but we kept walking.
Then my phone vibrated. I looked at the text message.
I dont think that I can meet in the hallway during homeroom today.
The text was from Margaret. Our plan was to meet and stay together, so that Margaret didn’t have to deal with Loren and his friends. I didn’t know what was going to happen now.
Ok. Hopefully your day will go good. =)
I shut my phone and walked towards my locker. I was really nervous. I guess that I am lucky that Sam, Nate, Evan, and Loren aren’t in my grade. I feel bad for Margaret. I hope that everything goes okay for her today.
I went to my locker and still no sign of the boys. When I opened my locker a note fell out. My stomach fluttered. I was trying to think of who the note could be from. I unfolded the note and examined the full sheet of paper.
The note said:
Meet us in the main hallway during 5th hour. After lunch. If you don’t show up we will spread rumors all about you and your family. You don’t want that do you?
I couldn’t believe it. The boys were going to get to me by words rather than in person. That’s ridiculous. I was about to text Margaret telling me that she couldn’t meet me anymore, but then remembered what she just texted me. I bet she got the same note, which made me even more mad.
We were both supposed to meet them after lunch. I began walking to my first class, when I realized that I was probably walking into trouble again. Hopefully this time won’t be as scary. Maybe I can stand up for myself.
I reached down and touched the ring that was resting on my finger. Brent was probably busy with school too. If I needed him, he might not be able to come. I took a deep breath and walked to my first hour class. I walked into my classroom just as the bell rang.
The first half of my day went really slow. I never really thought about what I was going to do after lunch. I once thought about texting Brent, which was probably a good idea, but I knew that I was going to be fine. I also had the ring if anything got too out of control.
After lunch I went to my locker and put my stuff away. I wasn’t missing any class because it was my homeroom. Students don’t have to report to their homeroom at my school. Instead of having a study hall, my school has free period after lunch. That extra time let’s kids go home or get some homework done. I was using my free period by meeting the boys and my sister.
I walked down the main hall in my school. I heard footsteps behind me and I turned around. It was Margaret.
“Hey,” I said to Margaret, turning around and slowing down.
“What are you doing? I told you that I couldn’t meet during this time,” Margaret said, catching up to me.
“I’m not coming here to meet you. I’m coming here to meet someone else.”
“Who are you coming to meet?” Margaret looked confused.
“Loren and his friends, the ones that we talked about, a couple nights ago.”
Margaret’s smile disappeared. “Uh oh. That is who I am meeting.”
“Well this will be interesting,” I said, we were still walking down the hallway.
Suddenly four figures stepped out from behind the wall right in front of us. Margaret stopped walking, but I didn’t. I could tell that Margaret was scared.
“I’m so glad that you showed up. You would have been pretty mad at us if you didn’t show up,” Nick said. I just glared at him. Margaret had taken a few steps and was standing next to me.
“What do you want from us,” I asked.
“You know what I want from you,” Sam said to me, smiling. I glared at him.
“Whatever, Sam. Leave us alone. You may never get what you want after this, anyway.” I paused. “Why did you need to talk to Margaret,” I asked.
“You know that too! Why do you have to keep asking us questions that you already know the answers to,” Loren asked, laughing.
“You think that Margaret is hot and that’s why you stalk her,” I snapped. I looked at Margaret who didn’t look shocked.
“Yeah pretty much. Do you have a problem with that--Cat,” Sam asked.
“Yeah I have a problem with that! Why can’t you just leave us alone? And don’t call me Cat,” I yelled, glaring at Sam. He made me so mad.
“Maybe we should take her somewhere before someone hears her,” Nate whispered to Loren.
“Yeah and quick,” Loren replied. Loren grabbed Margaret who didn’t even look surprised. I tried to help her, but Sam caught on to what Loren was doing. Sam grabbed me from behind.
“What are you doing with us? Where are you-,” I yelled. I couldn’t even finish my sentence because Sam’s hand covered my mouth.
“I suggest that you stay quiet from this point forward. We don’t want people to know what we are doing,” Sam whispered into my ear. I struggled against his hold on me but he didn’t let go. Where was everyone? Why weren’t there any students in the hallway to witness this? I have never seen the hallways so empty.
I gave up on freeing myself. I knew that even if I did get free Sam would just grab me again.
“I like the feeling of you struggling against me,” Sam said. I pushed my elbow back as hard as I could and hit him in the gut. He dropped to the ground and I was free. Loren turned around with Margaret, and Nate and Nick came running towards me. I tried to run, but Nate grabbed my arm and pulled me towards him. Nate was much stronger than Sam so I didn’t struggle at all.
“Nice try Catherine,” Nate said to me as he started walking again. Where were we going? The only places down this hallway were the locker rooms and we couldn’t go in the guy’s locker room and the guys couldn’t go in the girl’s locker room.
“Where are we going,” I asked.
“A special room that no one knows about except us,” Loren said.
“Great,” I mumbled. Sam finally caught up to us again and was only a few steps behind Nate and me. He must have been really angry at me because he was breathing really hard.
Loren finally stopped walking and let go of Margaret. Margaret didn’t even move. She must have been terrified. Nothing like this has ever happened to her before.
“Catherine. I think that you should learn from your sister. She is a very good listener,” Loren said to me. I just glared back at him. Loren took out a key and unlocked a door and I have never seen before. Loren opened the door and led us all through it. I was nervous and Nate still had a strong grip on me as we walked through the door.
When we got in the room I could see that there were two chairs and one table. The walls were bare and the main part of the room was a square. In the back left hand corner there was an opening leading to another room. There was only a desk in that room, that I could see from where I was standing.
Nate brought me over to one chair and sat me down. Then he got some rope and tied my arm around the back of the chair. I couldn’t move at all. I struggled, but that only made my wrists hurt more. Margaret was tied to the chair across from me, and unlike me she didn’t struggle at all. How can she be so calm?
“Ok. Well now that this is all settled, we are all going to class. Well, except for you two. We will come and get you after school is over. Don’t try to get out because the rope will never be able to untie. It has wire through the middle,” Loren said, sounding strong.
I didn’t reply to him as he walked out the door followed by the others. Sam didn’t say anything else to me, which was good. They had taken our cell phones and anything they thought could help us get out. Everything, but the ring.
After they left, it was silent for a little while and then I saw tears run down Margaret’s cheek.
“What’s wrong,” I asked her, sincerely.
“What’s wrong?” She asked, screaming. “We are tied to some chairs and are going to be kidnapped! What do you mean what’s wrong,” Margaret sounded stressed out. I ignored her. She needed to relax before anyone could talk some sense into her.
I wriggled my hands so that I could get to my ring. My fingers brushed up against the diamond. My heart was beating so hard, that I thought Margaret could hear it. My fingers finally grasped the stone and I rotated it clockwise three times. I then rotated the whole ring so that it was facing the rope and not the ground. Suddenly I heard sizzling coming from behind me and I could feel the heat from the laser through the back of my chair. Finally the ropes came loose and my wrists were free. I stood up and walked over to Margaret.
Margaret was amazed at what I had just done that she was speechless. My laser burned through here rope too and she stood up. I looked at my ring and then rotated it counter-clockwise once. I needed to call Brent. The ring made a small noise and then Brent’s voice was being projected throughout the room.
“What’s wrong?!” Brent’s voice was frantic.
“Margaret and I are locked up in secret room at our school. The ring helped us untie ourselves from the chairs, but we can’t get out of the room. Loren somehow locked it from the outside. He said that he was going to come back for us at the end of the day. Margaret and I don’t know what to do!” My voice got shakier as the conversation went on. By the time I was done talking I was crying and Margaret was trying to comfort me.
“Ok. Cat, it’s ok. You’re going to be fine. Don’t worry. I’m in my car on my way to you and Margaret. The ring has a tracking device on it, so I know exactly where you are. I’ll be right there. Ok?”
“Ok.” I was still crying.
“I will see you in about five minutes. Stay calm and take deep breaths. Don’t make any loud noises because we don’t want the boys to come back.”
“Okay.” I hung up and began to cry again. Margaret hugged me as we sat back into the chairs that we were just tied up to. We sat in the room and waited.
“Who was that,” Margaret asked. I had totally forgotten that she had no idea about Brent and the spy organization.
“He is just a good friend of mine. He is going to come and help us out,” I replied, still trying to relax.
“What’s his name?”
“Brent.” I said.
I stepped away from Margaret and took a deep breath. I had finally stopped crying and I was walking around. I wanted to see more about this room. I have never been in this room and it was basically empty. I wonder why the school doesn’t know about this room.
There was one desk on the opposite side of the room and I walked over to it. I was trying to find my cell phone. I was pretty sure that Loren put it in one of the drawers.
I began opening drawers. I found my cell phone in the first one. I kept looking through though just to see if there was anything else. In one of the filing drawers there were some papers. I read through them and then kept them on the table. We could give these to Brent.
Suddenly there was a knock on the door and I looked at Margaret. She looked worried. Then there was another knock on the door and I began to walk to it quietly. Once I got to the door I touched the handle, but waited. There was one more knock at the door and I slowly pushed down the handle. I opened the door very slowly and little by little.
“Aren’t you supposed to be tied up right now?” Sam scared me. I jumped back letting the door go. I grabbed it quickly before it shut.
We were screwed. Sam made no move toward me or toward the door, so I didn’t try to shut the door. “What do you think you are doing?” I didn’t answer his question. Brent should be here soon.
“Where is everyone else,” I asked Sam.
“In class. They just sent me down here to check up on you.”
“Then why did you knock on the door, especially since you knew that we were tied up.”
“Because, believe it or not, I knew that you were going to find a way out. I knew that you would probably be up walking around.”
“I thought that we were locked in here though. How was I able to open the door?”
“I unlocked the door before I knocked.” Sam was smiling and I had nothing else to say. Sam took one step towards the door. I reacted quickly and attempted to shut the door before he got in. I knew that nothing would help him stay away. Sam let the door close all the way. All he had to do was lock the door again, and I wouldn’t be able to get out.
Sam had tricked me. I had never heard the door lock and Sam didn’t try to open it. Now, the only thing that I heard on the other side of the door, was voices. Did Brent finally arrive?
“Who was that,” Margaret asked from behind me.
I hadn’t known that she was there. She had scared me since my heart was still racing.
“Sam.” I replied. “He came to check up on us, and just as I shut the door I heard voices. I think that maybe Brent showed up.”
“Ok. Good. Let’s hope we can get out of here then.” I walked back towards the door to see if it was still unlocked. I tested the handle and the door opened a little bit. There was no one in the hallway, but the door across the hallway that was just shutting.
I ran across the hall and caught the door before it shut. I walked into another room and I could hear Brent’s voice. I followed his voice down a hallway and then to another door. Brent was on the other side of the door, and he was yelling at Sam. I pressed my ear up to the door. I wanted to hear what Brent was telling Sam.
“You need to leave them alone!” Brent sounded really angry.
“No, I can do whatever I want!” Sam sounded strong, but deep down I knew he was a scared.
“If you lay your hands on either one of them you will go to jail for many years. Do you understand?”
“I don’t care what you say. I want Catherine!”
“You can’t have her! Why don’t you understand? She doesn’t want you!”
“How do you know that? Have you asked her?”
“Yes, I have. Now can you just take my advice and leave Catherine and Margaret alone?”
“I can’t make any promises. I only listen to what Loren tells me to do.”
“Then you better tell him that you are done with him! Do you understand?”
“Yeah, sure whatever.”
“Now, leave these guys alone. I am going to bring Catherine and Margaret home, after I talk to the front desk.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t do that.” Sam said.
“Why?” Brent asked.
“Loren said, that if anyone finds out about what happened today that he was going to send people to Catherine’s house. And that he was going to make sure that Catherine’s dad was going to die.”
“Fine, then. I won’t tell anyone about today.” Brent said, defeated.
Brent started walking and I ran back to the hallway and then back into the room that Margaret and I had been in all afternoon. Margaret was still in the room, sitting on a chair, when I came back.
“Where were you,” she asked when I came into the room.
“I found Brent yelling at Sam in another room, and they are on their way back,” I replied.
“Oh, so we are going to be able to go home soon?”
“Yeah I think so, but make sure that you tell no one about what happened today.” I didn’t want to tell Margaret why, but she listened to me.
We sat their waiting for Brent to come back for about 10 minutes. Then there was a knock at the door and I walked over to it. I opened the door and Brent was standing there. He didn’t even say hi as he walked into the room.
“How are you,” he asked.
“We’re fine. How are you,” I asked.
“Fine. Let’s get you out of here.” He sounded mad still. He didn’t even smile when he saw me.
“Wait.” I said, making Brent stop walking towards the door. He turned around. “I found some papers in this desk.” I finished off.
“Oh. Good.” Brent smiled at me for the first time. “Why don’t you bring those and I can look over them when I get home.” I grabbed the papers and then followed Brent out the door. Margaret followed me quietly.
We all began walking down the hallway towards the main entrance of the school.
“Do we have to check out or something,” Margaret asked.
“No, I already told the main office, that you were leaving, and they are all ok with everything,” Brent said.
We walked out of the school without saying anything else. There was only 45 minutes left in the school day. We walked into the parking lot and all got into Brent’s car. The drive home was very slow and quiet. Brent dropped us off at our house. Margaret was the first one out of the car.
“I’ll talk to you later. Ok?” Brent asked.
“Ok, and thanks for helping me out and not saying that you are sorry. Don’t tell William what happened,” I said.
“Anything for you, Cat. I promise that I will keep you safe from this point forward. Keep in touch, ok?”
“Ok. Bye!” I got out of the car.
I went straight to my room when I got inside my house. I didn’t even stop to see what was going on. No one was home except for mom, but she as probably in her office. She wouldn’t see Margaret and me come through the door.
When I got to my room I looked at my cell phone. William had texted me.
How is your day going?
The text said.
It is going great! : )
I replied, lying. He was going to find out soon enough and I would never be able to see Brent again. I wonder when, if ever, I was going to see Brent again. My phone vibrated again. I looked at the text, but I didn’t recognize the number. I read it.
Where r u?
Why would someone reply to that? I wonder who it was. Then my phone vibrated again.
This is Sam btw :)
How did he get my number? I never gave it out to him.
Im not talking to u! Leave me alone. Wait until Brent finds out you are textin me, you JERK!
I replied to him. I was angry because Brent was right. If Brent had never liked me, I would not be in this situation right now. I didn’t want to see what Sam would say. I turned my phone off and went to lie down on my bed. I needed to relax and think.
I had been home for almost a half an hour and I haven’t talked to Brent since I was in the car with him. He didn’t even text me. I was still confused; on whether I was going to school tomorrow and if I was going to see Brent anytime soon. I decided that I need to go and do something though, so I decided to go downstairs.
I walked down stairs quietly. I didn’t know what time it was, or when everyone would be home. I really hope that William doesn’t find out anything from today. William would be so mad at me. Hopefully, Brent won’t say anything to him about it.
When I got downstairs, Margaret was watching T.V.
“Hey, how are you doing,” I asked, sitting down next to her.
“I’m doing ok. I’m still shaken up a bit, though,” she replied.
“No, it’s not your fault. I brought this all on you. If I didn’t bring you into this we would both be fine.” This was annoying. She doesn’t even know that I was kidnapped by the same guys that tried to make her do drugs. We were on totally different pages. She has no idea what has been going on in my life since the end of last week. The worst thing is that I can’t even tell her about it.
“Trust me. It’s not just you,” I said.
“What do you mean?”
“I can’t tell you. If I could tell you, trust me, I would. I could only tell one person and I chose William. Sorry.”
Margaret looked confused. She had the right to be confused though.
“It’s ok. Don’t worry about it. Seriously. I have it all under control. Trust me,” I ensured her.
“Ok. But promise me that if it gets out of control that you will tell me?” Margaret was serious.
“Yeah, I promise.” We sat there in silence. Hopefully mom won’t come downstairs before everyone gets home. I don’t know how long we sat there. Maybe 15 minutes, but it felt like forever. The next thing I knew William was standing over Margaret and I. He looked so angry.
“Would you like to explain something to me?” He asked. I was scared to look at him. I decided to stare at my fingers.
“No, I don’t think so.” I replied keeping my head down. Then suddenly I was yanked off from the couch by my arm. I didn’t scream. I knew it was coming. William basically dragged me up to my room. Why didn’t Margaret have to come with us? That’s not fair.
“Catherine! Explain to me why you were home before us.” William was yelling at me. I was sitting down on my bed and he was standing right in front of me. I didn’t know what to say. I could lie, but William would know, or I could tell him the truth and never be able to see Brent again. “Now!!” William yelled.
“I don’t know.” I whispered.
“I’m sorry, what did you say?” William said, sounding very mean.
“I said, I don’t know!” I said it a little louder.
“Stop lying to me Kate. Tell me the truth.” William had relaxed, and wasn’t yelling at me anymore.
All I did was shake my head. I didn’t want to talk about what happened today. I wanted to see Brent. That was all.
William sat next to me on my bed. He put his arm around me. I tried to shrug it off, but William insisted.
“Sorry I yelled at you Katie. I am just worried about you and I was scared when neither of Margaret or you showed up at the end of the day. You also lied to me when you responded to the text I sent you. Something happened and you’re not telling me.” God, why was he so smart. Now I am really screwed. I should just call Brent and tell him never to talk to me again. I took a deep breath.
“You’re right.” I said, exhaling.
“About what?” William asked.
“Ok. Good. Now will you tell me what’s going on?”
“I will, but you need to promised me that you won’t get mad and Brent.” I held my breath and waited to William to explode again.
“I promise.” William said very relaxed. He even gave me a small smile. I was so surprised. “I know how much he means to you, so I am not going to get angry at either of you. I know that you are safe and that is all that I care about. Now, please tell me what happened from the exact moment I left you this morning.”
I took another deep breath and began to tell William about my intense day.
My room was silent when I finished my story. William had left my room about five minutes earlier and I was left alone. It was almost time for dinner so I didn’t even start doing my homework. Instead I turned my phone on.
Hey Cat! Sry again for what happened today. I promise that nothin will ever happen to u w/o me being there to keep u safe. We dont need to have a meeting tonight, so I will see u tomorrow morning. I will meet u and Margaret at school in the morning before school. I will talk to u then.
That text was more like an email. How was I supposed to respond to that?
Ok sounds good. I’ll see u tomorrow then.
I hope that would work. I didn’t know what else to say. My phone vibrated again.
I felt better now. After dinner, I would go to bed. My mind wouldn’t be going crazy, trying to figure things out. I would go to school like normal. And everything would be perfectly fine.
I was thinking about what William had said. He wasn’t too angry. I could tell that he wasn’t happy, but I knew I was going to be able to see Brent. My phone vibrated again. I opened my phone confused because I wasn’t expecting Brent to text me back.
Brent wont find out that Im texting u. If he does, you won’t ever see him again.
Shit! I forgot about Sam texting me! Now what do I say to him?
What makes u so sure I havent already told him?
I kept thinking about Brent. The more I thought about him, the more I realized how quite he had been lately. Whenever I talk to him, it seems that he is trying really hard to choose the right words. It almost felt like he was hiding something from me.
My phone vibrated.
I trust you.
Sam replied. I can’t believe he said that! I barely even know him!
Well I don’t trust u! So just leave me alone!
I replied back. I was so angry. I didn’t care about Sam.
I shut my phone and put it on my desk next to my computer, and went downstairs. Dinner had to be ready soon anyways.
When I got downstairs the table was set, so I knew dinner would be in about five minutes. I went and sat down on the couch next to Thomas, who was playing video games.
“Hey! How’s it going,” Thomas asked.
“Fine.” I grumbled back.
“Where were you this afternoon?”
“None of your business,” William said as he walked in the room. I looked at William and he smiled at me. Now I was certain he wasn’t angry with me. I smiled back.
“Okay,” Thomas said sounding a little confused.
“Dinner is ready,” Mom’s voice yelled out over the T.V.
All of us got up and walked over to the table and sat down. The beginning of dinner was quiet and no one really talked much. When we were almost done eating Mom began to talk.
“So, your dad called today with some bad news. He said that the people he was working with in Italy want him to stay for another month.”
“What?” William asked. He looked at me. My heart was racing. What if something has happened to him?
“Well you guys all know that for his last three trips he has been going to Italy. He works for a company there for two weeks and then comes back home. Well, this one company that was working with, for the past two weeks was doing badly until your dad started helping them out. Now they are doing great and they are back on track, so they want your dad to stay there and help out a little longer.”
The table was silent. No one knew what to say.
“It is going to be ok guys. He will be sending us more money than usual and he will stay safe over there too.” My mom didn’t even look happy.
In the silence, I thought I heard a window opening and then walking around upstairs, but I was probably just imagining things.
“Okay, well I guess that is a good thing then, right?” Margaret asked. Margaret was always the positive one.
“Yes, it will be very good. I’m sure the time will fly by fast. There is nothing to worry about.” Mom replied.
“Ok, well I’m going to go upstairs. Thank you for dinner mom,” I said and then got up, put my dishes away and then walked up the stairs.
When I got to my room I hesitated at the door. I thought I heard voices, and then I remembered what I heard when we were eating dinner. I was scared to open my door.
I was about to go back downstairs when a voice came from inside my room.
“Who’s there?” I recognized the voice as Sam’s but I wasn’t sure.
“It’s Catherine. Who the hell is in my room?” I was so scared I was shaking. I felt like I was going to puke.
“Oh, Catherine! Come in. Don’t be scared. It’s just me, Sam.” Oh yeah, there was nothing scary about Sam being in my room. I opened the door and looked in. Sam was sitting on my bed like everything was normal. “Hi. How are you?” Sam asked. Sam was acting so innocent.
“What are you doing in my room,” I asked, quickly shutting the door.
“I just wanted to see what you were up to.”
“Ok, well I just finished dinner, so you can leave now.” I went over to my desk to grab my phone so that I could call Brent. “Where is my phone?” I turned around and Sam was smiling at me.
“Oh, you don’t need that,” Sam said, standing up.
“Actually I do. You broke into my house, you idiot!”
“Do you really think that I care?”
“What is your problem? I want you out of my house now!” I ignored his question.
“I’m afraid, I can’t do that,” Sam said, with a smirk.
“And why is that?” I asked, putting my hand on my hip and raising an eyebrow.
“Well you see,” Sam paused and took a step towards the window. “When I was climbing through your window, my foot hit the ladder and it fell. I came here by myself, so I could have someone put the ladder back against your house.” Sam was smiling, and I could tell that he was happy.
“What,” I asked, in disbelief.
“The ladder fell,” Sam said, his smile vanishing.
“And you expect me to believe that the ladder fell by accident?”
“Yes. I do!” Sam’s excitement came back to life.
I walked over the window and looked down. Sure enough the ladder was lying on the ground. I turned around and then jumped. While I was looking out the window Sam had walked over to me. He was now standing right in front of me. I took a deep breath, preparing myself for what was about to come.
Do you need something?” I asked. Even though I already knew what he wanted, I still felt like asking. I tried to take a step back, but the window was the only thing behind me.
“What is the point of even asking if you know what I want from you?” Sam was looking in my eyes, but I wasn’t looking at him. I was looking behind him. Sam’s eyes scared me.
I didn’t respond. He took my chin in his hand, forcing me to look at him. I struggled a little bit and Sam smiled.
“There is no point in struggling against me. I’m always going to win.” That smile never left Sam’s face.
“Well, you’re not winning this one.” I basically spit the words at him.
He smiled again and put his other hand on my back, pulling me closer to him.
“I wouldn’t be so sure.” He kept smiling. “Where is Brent tonight?” I didn’t answer. “Hmm?”
I started to look away from him again and he jerked my head back so that I was facing him. I winced because he bent my neck the wrong way.
“Oh, sorry. Did I hurt your neck?”
“Give me what I want!”
“No! Are you crazy! After everything you have done to me, my sister, and Brent?”
“If you put it that way, then I guess I am crazy.”
I couldn’t take it anymore. I punched him in the stomach. He let go of me and stepped aside. I didn’t waste any time. I ran towards the door
Sam must have recovered quicker than I thought he was going to. He grabbed my wrist and yanked me toward him. I was only inches from the door knob. I thought that my arm was going to come out of my socket. I yelled, but it was cut short, because Sam’s hand came over my mouth.
“You speak or try to get away one more time, and you will never see your family or Brent again. Do you understand?”
I nodded. I wasn’t sure if he was being serious or if he was just saying that to scare me. I was shaking again.
“Now I want to be able to trust you. So, I am going to let go of you. Then I am going to shut your window and come back. If you move, well you know what happens then.” Sam he let go of me. I don’t think I even took a breath. I didn’t want him to think that I moved. I was actually scared of him.
He walked over to the window and slid it shut and then locked it. Why did he need to lock the window. I wasn’t going to jump out of it.
“Thank you for not moving. Now I want you to walk over here to me.”
I slowly walked toward him. I was shaking. I should have ran downstairs when I knew there was someone in my room.
When I was a foot away from Sam, I stopped walking. He obviously wasn’t happy with that because he grabbed my shoulder and pulled me closer to him. We were only inches away from each other now.
“You don’t like to listen, do you?” Sam asked me. I didn’t respond in any way. Once again he put one hand on my chin and the other on my back. I squirmed a little bit, but then he pulled me into a very tight hug. I could barely breathe. I relaxed and put my arms around him. I gave up. I was too tired to fight anymore.
“You don’t listen, but you learn very well.” Sam was pleased with himself, even though he didn’t get exactly what he wanted—yet.
Sam smelt really good. When I gave him a hug, I almost forgot about what was really happening. It was like Sam was putting me under a spell. The first couple of times that I had talked to Sam he seemed really nice and sweet. Since then, he has just bullied me and been mean to me. Right now, his sweet side was coming out, and I liked that sweet side.
It seemed like the hug was never going to end. Finally he let me back away, but only as far as his arms could go. Both his hands were on my lower back.
He kept staring at me. “Can I have what I want now? What you promised me?”
A crap. I forgot that I promised him that I would give him a kiss. I thought that I could get away saying I didn’t promise. Now, I was screwed for sure.
“Let’s make a deal. I still have your phone, I’m still in your room, and I have a secret for you, but I can’t tell you what it is. Sorry.” Sam smiled at me, before he went on. “If you kiss me I will give you what you want. Except for the secret. You will figure that out soon enough.”
He pulled me closer to him again and he grabbed my chin. He lifted me up so that I was on my toes. Our lips were so close together. I was so tempted to kiss him. I was under his spell again.
“Can I talk now?” I asked him, smiling.
“Yes.” He whispered and then our lips touched. That little touch was all the Sam needed, but he wasn’t going to stop there.
He kissed me for what seemed like forever, but I knew it wasn’t really that long. One of his hands moved up my back and rested on my neck, pulling me closer to him still. I wrapped my arms around his neck to see if he would stop faster.
Finally he stopped kissing me.
“Thank you.” He was smiling again.
“So can I have my phone now?” I asked.
“Is that all you really care about?” Sam paused and when I didn’t answer he went on. “Let me ask you a question. And don’t lie because I will know.”
“Did you enjoy that?”
“That kiss?” I smiled, a little embarrassed. “A little. But don’t get any ideas, because I still like Brent more than you.”
“Yes, I know that you love him. But I just wanted to know if that kiss was really that bad. There could be another kiss if you would like.”
“It wasn’t as bad as I thought, but I never want a kiss from you again. I want you to leave me alone. And I want my phone too.” I stomped my foot.
“I’m afraid that you will be seeing me a lot after tonight, but right now I can’t tell you why. A kiss might come later though, and yes, you can have your phone.”
He reached into his back pocket and grabbed my phone. He handed it to me and then gave me another hug. I tried to back away but Sam was stronger. He just laughed and hugged me harder.
“And now, you can go. Now.” I said, shooing him away from me.
“Yes, Catherine. I will see you tomorrow morning.”
“Wait what? Before school?”
“What? Explain to me now!” I was so confused. I thought that it was just me, Brent, and Margaret.
“No, you told me to go.” Sam was smiling at me again.
“Sam, stay here and tell me why you will see me tomorrow.”
“So you want me to stay now?”
“No, I don’t. I will figure it out tomorrow morning. You can go.”
“One more kiss?”
“Fine. Goodbye Catherine! I had fun tonight!”
I didn’t respond. I watched him pull a string and the ladder was pulled up to the window. I didn’t notice the string before. I hated him even more now.
Sam climbed out and down the side of my house without saying anything else. I shut the window as soon as I could. I locked it and then went downstairs.
I was in a bad mood now. My eyebrows were all scrunched up and I didn’t want to talk to anyone. Sam had made me so mad, and the worst part is, is that I bought his whole story. I even halfway enjoyed the kiss. That is just disgusting. He broke into my house, told me lies, stole my phone, made me kiss him, and then left me on the edge with so many questions. This is no fair.
When I got downstairs there was nothing really going on. The boys were playing video games again and Margaret and Mom were in the kitchen cleaning up. How long had I been upstairs?
“There you are. I was wondering where you had gone,” William said standing up.
“I was in my room,” I replied.
“Oh, well I was just going to come up and talk to you.”
“Yeah, and I would still like to talk to you. So we can go back up to your room?”
“Yeah, sure.” I gave him a confusing look.
We walked up the stairs without saying anything else.
When we got to my room, I sat down on my bed and William leaned against my desk.
“So, what have you really been doing up here. I thought that I heard you scream, but I was pretty sure that I was imagining things.”
“Oh!” I began to laugh. “You really want to hear what happened?”
“Yeah, I do.” He looked a little confused.
I began telling him my story, beginning with what I heard during dinner. By the time I finished my story I thought that William was going to explode. I told him everything. Even what I felt like after kissing Sam.
After thinking about the kiss, I realized that I actually liked it better the Brent’s kiss, which worried me. Maybe that was why I was so worried about seeing Sam and Brent tomorrow morning.
“Okay, that was not what I was expecting at all,” William was still trying to figure everything out.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t know what to do.”
“I think what you did was right. Maybe not in Brent’s mind, but I think that listening to Sam is better than him kidnapping you. Don’t you think?”
“Yeah, I guess. I still feel bad about it though.”
“I guess that’s what happens when you ‘cheat’ on your boyfriend, whether it is forced or not.”
“Yeah, I guess. Thank you.”
“Worrying about me and helping me out.”
“Oh, yeah. No problem, that’s what I am here for. I will stay with you until the last minute tomorrow morning. Ok?”
“Yeah, ok. Sounds good.”
“Ok, well I am going to go back downstairs. I’ll talk to you later then.”
“Bye.” William left the room.
I sat on my bed and thought about what happened tonight. William was right though. About everything. I should feel bad. All I wanted to do right now is talk to Brent. I guess I don’t have to feel that bad. Brent would understand. Right?
I went over to my desk and grabbed my phone. I had two messages.
The first one was from Brent.
Hey! Sry to bug u again. About meeting early in the morning, I think that we should meet at least 30 min before school starts. I want to make sure we have enough time. What do u think?
I needed to tell Brent about what happened tonight first. That was going to take a while to.
I think that will work. I need to tell u something too, but I don’t think that 30 min. will be long enough.
Brent was probably going to go crazy over my response.
I moved down the list in my inbox to my next unread message.
Have u told Brent about tonight yet?
I didn’t have to look at the name to know it was from Sam.
Why do u care?
I replied. Sam just made me so fricking angry!
I sat on my bed. There was so much going through my head that I just wanted to go to bed, but I wanted to stay up and see what Brent and Sam had to say to me.
My phone vibrated. I expected it to be from Brent, but Sam responded.
Don’t tell him anything.
Once again, what if I already did?
My phone buzzed at me. This text was from Brent.
Ok? What do u have to tell me?
Brent seemed to be more relaxed then I thought. What do I say now? According to Sam, I couldn’t tell him. I’ll wait to see what Sam tells me.
My phone vibrated again.
If u did then u won’t be happy tmrw. Plz tell me if u already told him!
Sam was hiding something from me. I already knew that he was going to be at school early tomorrow, but he knows something I don’t.
No. I havent told him….yet.
Sam must be right next to his phone because my phone vibrated right away.
Plz dont tell him. I want to be there, with u, when u tell him. It’ll be great! If u tell him when Im not there, u will never see Brent again and u will never get rid of me. U got that?
I didn’t know what to say to that. How come I am always threatened with not being able to see Brent? What were they going to do? Well, I wasn’t going to figure it out.
Fine. I won’t tell him. Happy?
I texted Sam. Why does he keep winning.
Sorry I can’t tell you right now. I will tell you later.
That was my final response to Brent. Hopefully he won’t get too angry. I pressed the send button at the same time that my phone vibrated again.
I will be happy! See you tmrw!
Sam said. I swear! I was going to kill Sam. I hated him so much! UGH! I wasn’t even going to respond to his text.
My phone vibrated. I was scared to look at Brent’s response.
Ok? I trust that u will tell me.
Ok. That wasn’t that bad.
Thank you. I will see u tmrw morning! Goodnight.
I was hoping Brent would understand.
He responded quickly this time.
Good night. Stay safe plz.
I was happy now. Well not happy exactly, but definitely ready for bed.
When I woke up Tuesday morning, Sam and Brent were the first thing on my mind. I also had butterflies in my stomach. I shouldn’t be excited to go to school. Not today at least. This could be the worst morning of my life. Sam might make me tell Brent about everything, and there is some big secret that I am not allowed to know!
I got out of bed and went to the bathroom. I was getting ready and then Margaret knocked on the door to the bathroom.
“Hey!”Margaret sounded wide awake.
“Hi.” I replied, still half asleep.
“You excited for school?”
“Why would I be excited for school? I am never excited for school.”
“Yeah, good point. I guess I don’t know why I’m excited. The last time I was there I was kidnapped and tied to a chair. I shouldn’t be excited.”
I grimaced at the thought of what happened the other day. “Yeah, probably not.” Wasn’t Brent supposed to talk to Margaret and I about not going to school for awhile because of what happened?
“Hey, we are going to talk to that guy who drove us home. You coming right?” Margaret asked.
I paused and thought for a second. “Shoot! I forgot we have to be there 30 minutes before school starts!”
“Kate, Margaret! We have to go in five minutes!” William even sounded excited.
“Okay,” I yelled back.“I have to get ready!” Now I was really nervous.
I got ready in five minutes and was in the car driving to school, basically on time. Brent wouldn’t mind. We were only going to be a few minutes late. We would have been even later if we would have had to walk. Thank god my mom was able to drive us today.
We pulled into the parking lot of my school and my mom, who we encouraged to drive us, dropped us off at the door.
“Thanks for the ride,” I yelled as I shut the door.
My mom drove off and Margaret, William and I were left standing on the sidewalk. It wasn’t long before I heard my name.
“Cat!” Brent must have come up behind me. He gave me a huge hug and lifted me off the ground. Evan was behind him. Margaret looked confused.
“Hi, Brent!” I was actually happy to see him. I felt safer now. The butterflies and all my thoughts about Sam vanished for the time being.
“Hey Margaret. I am glad you came this morning, because I actually had to talk to you about something.” Brent paused and looked and Margaret and me before continuing. “I was talking to the school board this morning and I lied to them. I told them that you guys are going on a trip and won’t be going to school for a week or so. I also had them call your mom and they told her that you were allowed to skip school. They have agreed to let you stay home for the rest of this week. I couldn’t get them to excuse you from all of your homework from this week. But other than that, you are all good to go.”
“Really?” Margaret asked her smile coming out.
“Yeah! So, you can actually walk home and go back to bed if you want,” Brent said. He squeezed my hand. He was pleased with himself.
“I think that I might actually do that! Bye Katie and William. I’ll see you later!” Margaret basically skipped home. She seemed to be pretty happy.
“Now, as for you. We need to talk.” Brent went all serious. “Sam, Nate, and Loren are going to be here soon, but I just want to prepare you. William, you don’t have to stay. I promise I won’t let go of her. If I do you won’t ever see me again.”
“Okay.” William paused, as if he was contemplating on leaving me or not. “I’m just going to go inside though,” William finished, making his way to the door.
“That’s fine. Thank you.”
“No problem.” William turned around and left. Now it was just me, Brent and Evan.
“Cat, we are going to tell you some things that are probably going to tell you more about the issue with your dad. I just wanted to warn you.”
“Yeah, okay.” That’s all that I could get out at the moment.
“Cat, look at me.” I turned my head to face him. He grabbed my chin in his hand. “I am never going to let go of you. You heard what I just promised your brother. Trust me okay?”
“Okay.” I mumbled. My mind seemed really foggy all of a sudden. I could barely hear Brent. There was so much going through my mind.
“Thank you.” Then Brent pulled my towards him and gently kissed me on my lips. The kiss ended too short, but it was reminding me of last night.
“I trust you,” I whispered, snapping out of my head.
Brent smiled. “I trust you too,” He whispered back at me.
I stepped away from him and, as he promised, he never let go of me. He wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me towards him. I felt very safe standing next to Brent.
I was thinking about what was going to happened next, when someone tapped my shoulder. I jumped and Brent looked my way and then narrowed his eyes. I turned around. Sam was standing right behind me. I didn’t hear him come up behind me at all. I must have been lost in my thoughts again. I seemed to be doing that I lot more lately.
“Good morning, Catherine,” Sam sounded so excited. Sam was going to be mean to me again. I liked the Sam that was sweet to me better. The Sam that was in my room with me when we kissed.
“Hi,” I mumbled the words. My stomach was in butterflies and I couldn’t concentrate.
Brent squeezed me tighter against his side.
“Hello Brent. I am sure that you are excited about this morning,” Sam sounded serious now.
“I am not excited at all. I am pretty sure that you are the only one, Sam,” Brent sounded tired as he talked.
“What would make you think that I was excited to be here?”
“Sam, you haven’t stopped smiling since Kate was in your sight.”
“Oh. Really? I guess I didn’t notice.”
“Sure you didn’t,” Brent said under his breath.
I was scared to look at Sam. Scared that if I did, Brent would catch something that he wasn’t supposed to know yet. Suddenly, I was not happy to be here.
Brent didn’t say anything else as Sam stood in front of us. Loren and Nate had showed up and were standing behind Sam. Nick was missing, but I could really care less. Now, it looked like Sam was the leader. Evan came and stood next to me, opposite Brent. It was quiet for awhile.
“How much does Catherine know, Brent,” Loren asked. Everyone was serious now.
“Not much. I’m not sure she knows anything actually,” Brent said.
“Do you want me to tell her,” Sam asked.
“No,” Brent said. He had tensed up beside me.
“I will tell her,” Loren responded. “Catherine, we have some bad news. I’m not even happy to be telling you this. You’re father isn’t actually staying in Italy because the company wants him to.” Loren paused and I looked up at Brent. He pulled me even closer to him. “He has actually been kidnapped by some man in Italy. He was assigned to kidnap him. We think that the kidnapper brought your dad to Rome.”
It was hard for me to take this. I would have probably been more concerned about my dad if he had been at home more lately. When my mom was telling us about my Dad staying in Italy longer, I immediately thought that something was wrong. Now, there is for sure something wrong, and I am pretty sure that no one in my family knows about it. I remembered that Nick’s dad was the one that wanted him dead and Nick was still missing from this meeting. I wonder where he was.
“As of right now this is the plan.” Loren paused again.
“Brent has decided that you and him go to Italy and try to find your dad.” I just nodded my head. “Now, you must be wondering why Sam, Nate and I are even here.” Loren paused and took a deep breath. “Brent proposed the idea of you and him going to Italy to Evan. Evan decided that it was too dangerous for just the two of you to go. He thinks you need someone who is more your age, strong and who is experienced in this kind of work. Evan decided to call us.” Loren stopped talking and took a step forward. He was now right next to Sam.
“You know Sam, right,” Loren asked.
“Yes,” was all I could say.
“Good. Now, Sam, why don’t you tell her the rest of the story.” Loren stepped back again.
“Yes, Loren. I love this part of the story.” Sam hadn’t stopped staring at me. He took a small step towards me and Brent stiffened.
“So, Evan called me. He knew I was strong and he knew that I had experience to do the job!” Sam sounded so excited.
I should have expected this. Why else would Sam and his friends be involved? My jaw must have dropped open because I had to shut it.
“So, I get to go to Italy with you guys!”
“Why?” I mumbled the words. I relaxed my head, letting it fall backward. It landed on Brent’s arm and he seemed to let out a laugh. I rolled me head to my left, letting it rest on Brent’s chest.
Sam and Brent both said something to each other, but I wasn’t listening. It was silent for awhile and it seemed that the meeting had ended.
Evan walked over to Loren and Nate, after saying a few words to Brent. Now, Evan walked away with Loren and Nate.
It was just me, Sam, and Brent now.
“Cat, listen. You’re not going to school today and neither are Sam and I. Would you like to go somewhere and talk about this?” Brent asked.
All I could do was nod my head. There was so much going on in my mind right now I couldn’t even speak.
School had started, so I never got to talk to William, but there was nothing really to say. I texted him quickly, telling him that I was okay and that I would see him later. Hopefully he would understand.
I climbed into Brent’s car and we left my school.
“Are you ok Cat?” Brent looked concerned.
“Yes, I’m fine. I’m sorry Brent, there is just a lot going on right now.”
“Yeah, I get that. It’s okay to feel that way.”
“Brent, Sam’s going to want me to tell you something, sometime today, but I don’t want to wait for him. Sam came into my house last night and made me kiss him. He scared the crap out of me.” I told Brent.
“Wow. Okay, I didn’t know that he was planning on breaking into your house. Why didn’t you call me?” Brent asked.
“Sam stole my phone before I came into my room.” I told him.
“Oh, I guess that makes sense then. Cat, it’s okay. You don’t need to worry about it at all. I trust you.”
I looked over at him. Brent just smiled at me.
Brent reached over with his hand and softly stroked my cheek. He let his hand slide down to my shoulder, where it rested until we got to the restaurant.
We had arrived at a restaurant downtown. Sam had taken a different way so he hadn’t arrived yet. Brent and I sat in the car, silent.
“Sorry.” Brent broke the silence.
“For what,” I asked.
“I thought we made a deal.” I kept my eyes forward.
“I can’t take it anymore.”
“Are you okay,” Brent asked me.
“Yeah, are you?”
“Cat, I can’t explain to you how bad I feel.”
“It’s okay. Don’t worry about it.”
I leaned over the arm rest and kissed Brent gently on the lips. I rested my head on his shoulder and took a deep breath.
“Cat, I never want to lose you,” Brent said to me, resting a hand on my back.
“You won’t lose me. I’m not going anywhere.” I said, but Brent never responded.
My phone vibrated.
You ready to go? Or are you going to stay in the car?
Sam texted me.
“Where is he,” Brent asked. He must have been looking at who the text was from.
“I have no idea,” I replied to Brent.
“Well, we should probably get out then.”
“Probably.” I opened the car door and got out of the car. Brent followed me and we walked into the restaurant together.
Sam was already sitting at a table.
“How did you get here so fast? I thought you were behind us,” I asked.
“I sped here. I wanted to see you.” Sam smiled and then laughed.
“Stop talking.” Brent snapped. He pulled me closer to him and we sat down opposite of Sam.
We told our waiter what we wanted to drink, and then we waited patiently for her to come back. After she gave us our drinks, we began to get serious.
“So, what is our goal,” Sam asked.
“Before we do all this, I think you should fill me in on what is going on,” I said.
Brent took a deep breath. He was choosing his words again. “Cat, it’s going to take awhile. I don’t even know where to begin. Loren told you most of it. What do you want to know?” Brent sounded really concerned.
“I guess I don’t know. I just feel really lost and I want to know more about those questions I asked you the other night. I am still sort of flustered by all this, I guess.” I replied. Brent shook his head. He didn’t know what to do.
“That makes sense, Catherine, but Brent talked to me about those questions, and none of us can answer them. Only Loren and Evan can; he knows the most about the situation. And they might not be able to answer the questions.” Sam paused and looked a me. “Don’t worry about it though. We will figure all this out. We will all have fun! We are going to Italy!!” Sam was so excited. He was almost jumping up and down in his seat with excitement.
“Yeah, I’m sure it is going to be a ton of fun,” Brent said sarcastically. “So, anyways.” Sam and I just stared at Brent. “We are going to be leaving on Wednesday, tomorrow, by plane.”
“Are you sure that will be enough time,” I asked the boys.
“We have to find your dad soon. Something could happen to him if we don’t Cat.” Brent reached over and grabbed my hand.
“Yeah, I guess that makes sense,” I replied. It was silent for a moment. “How long are we out of school,” I asked.
“Until we are ready to come back,” Brent said.
“That is sweet!” Sam was even more excited.
There didn’t seem to be much to talk about. Everyone acted like there was something missing, something that everyone didn’t know about. I think that was what was bothering me. I could tell for sure that Brent was keeping something from me, but I knew for sure that he wasn’t going to tell me anytime soon.
“Are we done talking? I have no other questions.” I was really bored, and it seemed that there were no answers to any of my questions.
“Yeah, I think so.” Brent sounded bored too.
“Cat, can I talk to you for a moment.” Sam was serious. “Privately?” Sam looked toward Brent.
I looked at Brent, who nodded back at me. He got up and left, leaving Sam and me sitting in the booth.
“I wouldn’t try anything. He is probably watching you,” I told Sam, as soon as Brent was out of the restaurant.
“I wasn’t going to try anything. Trust me,” Sam replied. He stood up and grabbed my hand. He pulled me out of my seat before I answered.
“Why would I want to trust you?”
“You should trust someone you will be working with for the next week at least.”
I moaned. “I don’t want anything to do with you.” I took a step away from Sam, taking my hand from his.
“I don’t believe that. I know that you loved kissing me more that you loved kissing Brent. I could tell by your reactions.” I looked away from Sam’s stare. “Have you told him that you kissed me?”
“I told you not to tell him unless I was around!” Sam’s voice was almost whiney.
“I am not listening to you.”
“Why should I?”
“Cat, you are going to have to like me at some point. Like I said, we are going to be working together for a long time.”
“Don’t call me Cat! You don’t deserve it!” I was making my way towards the door.
Sam grabbed my hand and pulled me towards him. The restaurant was almost empty. Thank God. He wrapped his arms around me and I could barely move.
“Let me go!” I struggled against him.
“There is no point in trying. I thought you said that Brent would be watching.”
“He is. He’s just waiting.”
“What in the world do you think you are doing!” Brent’s voice was so loud.
Sam let go of me quickly. I couldn’t even feel Sam’s presence anymore. He must have taken some steps backwards too. I walked over to Brent who had a death grip on my arm. I winced, but made no effort to make Brent let go. I still felt safe.
“Let go. You’re hurting her,” Sam said, looking at me.
“You should stop talking. You don’t have to go on this trip with us if we don’t want you to.” Brent let go of my arm and I began to rub it.
“I am coming with you,” Sam said.
“Only if we want you to.” I said.
“Catherine, you know you want me to go.” Sam looked right into my eyes. I twisted under his stare and looked away.
“Stop it! We are going home right now and we will see you at the airport on Wednesday morning. If you have any questions call me. Don’t text Cat.” Brent’s voice was stern.
“Yeah, I got it.” Sam laughed and we walked out of the restaurant, leaving Sam to himself.
What Sam had said about me wanting him to go really hit me. I realized that part of me did want him to go. I wanted him to be there with me. Even if that meant danger for me. I liked Sam, but I loved Brent. I just wish that Brent would have waited a bit longer before he kissed me. That night seemed to rushed, and I wasn’t sure of what I was getting myself into. Sam has taken the time to get to know me, a little bit. Now, whether it was in a good way or a bad way, I have still gotten to know Sam pretty well.
Sam was also right about the kiss. I did enjoy it. I enjoyed it more than Brent’s kiss. Was it because Sam’s kiss was forced?
I couldn’t organize my thoughts at all. They were all over the place. Between Brent, Sam, and my dad, I was about to explode. The worst thing is that I can’t do anything to help my dad without Brent and Sam.
I took a deep breath and tried to control my mind. I had gotten into Brent’s car and we were on our way home. I couldn’t let Brent see my confusion over everything. He would start to question my relationship between Sam and me, and I couldn’t let that happen.
Brent must have been very mad at Sam, because he said nothing to me about it until we were almost home.
“What was going on back there,” Brent asked me as we pulled into my driveway.
“I don’t know,” I responded.
“What was he talking to you about?” Brent unlocked the car, and we both got out.
“Trust,” I said, once I was out of the car.
“What about it?”
“How I need to have some in him.” We were making our way to my front door.
“Why would you have trust in him? After everything he has put you through?”
“That’s what I told him and he blew up.”
“He makes me so angry.”
“I’m sorry.” Brent said before we opened the front door.
“For what,” I asked, with a sigh.
“Sam. I wish there was some other way that we could save your dad without having to drag Sam along. He is very smart and he is perfect for the situation, but he’s not right for you.”
“Don’t worry about it. I have you, right?”
Brent took another one of his deep breaths. “You will always have me,” Brent said as he tried to open the front door. The door was locked, but we had a spare key under the mat. I grabbed the extra key and opened the door, leading into my huge kitchen. Margaret was either out of the house or sleeping, so we kept sort of quiet. Everyone else was at school, and my mom had some meetings today. So, she was out of the house too.
“What do you want to do,” Brent asked me after we had settled in.
“I don’t care.”
“There has got to be something.”
“Okay. Do you want to watch T.V. or something?”
“Sure! That works for me. I never get time to watch T.V. anymore.”
We went over to the couch that always sat in our living room. I turned the T.V. on and sat down next to Brent. He wrapped his arms around me and I leaned against him. I was really tired and didn’t really feel like watching T.V. I closed my eyes and fell asleep.
About a half an hour later I was jerked awake.
“What’s going on,” I asked Brent suddenly.
“I’m not sure yet. Someone just knocked on your front door and then on your back door. It sounded like they were hitting the door with something metal too.”
“Just stay here, okay?”
I didn’t say a word. I sat up a little bit and watched as Brent slowly walked over to the window. The banging had stopped for the moment. Brent opened the curtain to the window that the last knock had been at. When the curtain was pulled back all the way there was nothing outside. Brent looked around but found nothing.
Then, there was another knock at the front door. Brent hurried over to it and opened it. It was Sam.
“What the heck are you doing here?” Brent asked Sam. “I am not supposed to see you until Wednesday.”
“Just messing with you,” Sam replied, taking a step into my house.
“Were you the one knocking on the windows and doors?”
“Yeah, I was just seeing your reaction.” Sam laughed.
“It’s not funny.”
“Well, I thought it was.”
“You woke Catherine up from a nap.”
“Oh. Sorry Kate.” Sam actually looked sorry. Sam stepped all the way into my house and shut the door.
“You don’t mean that,” Brent said.
“Actually I do.” He started to move towards me and Brent followed him.
Sam sat down on the couch next to me and Brent sat down on the opposite side. I didn’t know what to do.
“You can fall back asleep if you want, Catherine,” Sam said putting his arm around me. It felt so right for it to be there. I was instantly tired and wanted to lean on Sam and fall asleep.
“Yeah, on my, shoulder.” Brent leaned over and wrapped his arms around me and pulled me away from Sam. I was now on Brent’s lap and his hand was pushing my head into his chest. I closed my eyes and relaxed.
“She can trust me,” Brent whispered to Sam.
“She will learn how to trust me in time,” Sam said. He stood up, grabbed the remote to the T.V. and sat back down. He muted the T.V. afraid of waking me up again, the two boys sat there and did nothing, while I slept.
I didn’t know what time it was, but I must have been sleeping for a long time. The sun was setting in the west. I was still on my couch, but Brent must have moved me off his lap. I was sitting on the couch with my head on his lap. He was relaxed and he was watching T.V. Sam was still there. He was on the other side of me. I was surprised that Brent hadn’t made him leave awhile ago.
The boys must have noticed that I was awake, because they turned the T.V. volume down and began whispering. I was still too tired to comprehend what they were talking about.
“Cat, you awake?” Brent asked very sweetly.
“Yeah, still tired though,” I replied. “What time is it?”
“Around 6:30 P.M. When does your family get home,” Sam asked.
“They should be home by now.”
The room was silent as I was thinking, but then I remembered.
“But, William had a football dinner. Thomas and Oscar had a party for a kid in my class, right after school, and Margaret had a date tonight. Did she leave?”
“Yeah, she left right before you woke up,” Brent said to me.
“Oh. Okay. My mom has a late shift at work today, after her meetings, so she won’t be home until 8:30 or so. She should be the first one home,” I said to the boys.
“So we are home alone until 8:30?” Sam asked.
“Yeah, but don’t get any crazy ideas. Why are you still here?”
“I was never asked to leave,” Sam said.
“Oh. Okay.” I relaxed my head again.
The room was silent for a little longer. I was thinking about what we were going to do for the rest of the night. My stomach growled and we all laughed.
“Should we get sleeping beauty something to eat,” Brent asked.
“I think we should,” Sam said, standing up.
I sat up and I had a major headache. I was still very tired. Who cared if I was hungry? I still want to sleep.
“Come on,” Sam said to me. He put his hands out offering to help me up. I took his hands and he pulled me up.
“Thanks,” I mumbled.
“No problem,” Sam said as he walked towards to kitchen. I turned around to help Brent.
He grabbed my hands, but instead of me helping him, he pulled me back down. I was sitting on his lap again. We both laughed and then he pulled me closer to him for a tight hug.
I climbed off his lap and I offered to helped him up again. He took my hands, and I helped him up. He let go of my hands on the way up and grabbed my face between his hands. He kissed my very softly on the lips. The kiss was unexpected, but very sweet. That was what I liked most about Brent, how sweet he was.
“Do you two love birds want something to eat?” Sam’s voice sounded happy but irritated at the same time.
I pulled away from Brent and walked over to where Sam was. “I am very hungry, Sam,” I said.
“Yeah, I thought you would be.” Sam smiled at me and I had no choice to smile back.
“What do you think we should have for dinner,” I asked Sam and Brent.
“I don’t really care. We could order pizza or something,” Sam said.
“That doesn’t sound bad,” Brent agreed.
“Okay then. Let’s order some pizza.” I went over to the telephone and called the pizza shop that was downtown. The boys mouthed what they wanted and then we went back on the couch to wait for the pizza.
About 20 minutes later the door bell rang. I got up to get it, but Sam pulled me back on the couch and Brent stood up to get to door.
“What the heck? I was going to get the door,” I snapped at Sam.
“Don’t worry about it. Just relax,” Sam said to me. He patted the couch space next to him, but I just stood up and went into the kitchen.
Sam had no idea how badly I wanted to sit down next to him with his arms around me. But I couldn’t here, not with Brent in the house.
The pizza was good that night, but there was too much on my mind to really enjoy it. I was worried about Wednesday. I didn’t want Sam to come on the trip to Italy, because I was scared that I was going to actually start to like him. I used to hate him, he kissed me, things changed. I really like Brent and I can’t find any reason to “break up” with him, not that I am planning on it anytime soon.
After dinner I cleaned up and put everything away. It was 8:00 P.M. when I sat back down on the couch in between Sam and Brent. Brent put his arm around me. Brent wanted to make sure that Sam wasn’t going to touch me. I smiled to myself and laughed in my head.
I think that Brent knew that there was something going on between me and Sam. It wasn’t that hard to figure out. I still didn’t trust him, but when Sam looks at me I can tell he never wants to stop. I guess that kind of bugs me because I already have a boyfriend. I don’t want to have to worry about cheating, even though Sam has forced me to already.
As I was thinking this through the boys were talking about the trip to Italy. I didn’t really feel like listening so I kept to myself. I stood up and they stopped talking. I walked up into my room and lay down on my bed. I was really tired and didn’t really want to be with either of them right now.
It didn’t take long for the boys to realize they missed me. I was only in my room for five minutes before I heard a knock on my door.
“Come in,” I said, expecting it to be Brent.
The door opened and Sam walked in.
“What do you want,” I asked him.
“Brent said that I could talk to you,” Sam said.
“He must really trust you, then.”
“I told him that if I mess up I won’t go with you guys to Italy.”
“Can I sit next to you?” Sam walked closer to my bed.
“Sure.” I moved away from where he was about to sit.
“I just want to talk to you.”
Sam laughed and then began talking again. “I just want to clarify what is going on between us before we go to Italy. There won’t be a lot of time that the two of us will have together and I thought that this was the only good time.” Sam paused for a little bit. “I like you Catherine, a lot. I want you to know that. The only thing that I am not looking forward to during the trip is seeing Brent claim you. I hate it when his arm is around you or anything. I just want to punch him in the face. It makes me so jealous.” He paused and waited for me to look at him. When I did, he began to talk again.
“I haven’t had that much time to get to know you, but from when we walked through the forest, the last time we were in your room, and the incidents at school, I have grown to like you, a lot. I think that you might have noticed that.” I nodded and Sam kept talking. “I guess I just have a question for you.” I looked up at him and he smiled at me. “Do you like me?”
I took a deep breath before I answered this question. I knew that Sam was going to ask me this question sooner or later. I had my answer too. I just didn’t want to mess up anything that I already had with Brent.
“This is a hard question to answer, Sam.”
“I know, but I have been thinking about it all afternoon.”
“Yes.” I looked down at the floor. Sam grabbed my chin gently and forced me to look at him.
“You know, I already knew that. I just wanted to hear you say it.” He smiled again and I pulled my face from his hands, looking back at the floor. “Tell me more,” Sam requested.
“Okay. I used to hate you. That was obvious. Sometimes I think that you are just so mean. I started thinking about you after you ran into me in the hallway, and when you stood up for me in front of your friends. Everything changed after you made me kiss you. I realized that I liked you. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. But, Brent has done more for me. Yes, I enjoyed your kiss, but I can’t base who I like by how they kiss. It’s unfair. Also, I sometimes get confused. The incidents at school and during our kiss, you seemed really sweet, and I felt like I was under a spell. But, when we were in the forest you were so mean to me and that’s when I hated you. I like you, Sam, but I like Brent more. I want to get to know you more, and I guess that is why I actually want you to come to Italy with us.”I took a deep breath and waited for Sam’s response. I had been rambling.
“Can you say that again, please?” Sam was smiling.
“Are you serious. I don’t remember all of that!” I said.
“Just the part about you liking me.” Sam’s eyes were shining.
“Sam, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you and that kiss.” I said, looking down at my hands.
“I know. I haven’t stopped thinking about you either.”
“But, I still love Brent.” I said.
“Yeah, that makes sense. The first time I talked to you I was sweet, like you said. The second time we talked to each other, I was kidnapping you in the forest. I can see why you would be confused.” We both laughed.
“Thank you for talking to me Kate.”
“You’re welcome, but just because I agree that I like you, doesn’t mean that you can do whatever you want to me. What you did at the restaurant was not fun. Please do not do that.”
“I’ll try.” He smiled and I just shook my head. Maybe I liked that too; when he teased me.
We walked down the stairs and I sat next to Brent on the couch. He put his arm around me and I instantly thought of how much that made Sam jealous.
There was nothing that I could do about that though. If I moved away, Brent would think that I was mad at him or something weird like that.
I just sat there and thought. Everyone would be home soon and the boys would have to go anyways.
There was a knock at the door. I looked at Brent and he immediately got up to get the door.
I moved towards Sam who put his hand in my hand. As soon as he touched me, I forgot everything. I literally had to shake myself to focus on who was at the door. I recognized the voice. It was Loren.
“What is he doing here,” I whispered to Sam.
“I have no idea,” Sam replied. He ducked down so it looked like he wasn’t there.
“What are you doing here,” Brent asked Loren, who was waiting outside.
“What are you doing here,” Loren asked Brent.
“Catherine and I are hanging out.”
“So, answer my question.”
“Oh, yeah. I just wanted to talk to Catherine, that’s all.”
“Why do you need to talk to her,” Brent asked.
“I wanted to talk to her about the Italy trip.”
“What about it,” Brent was getting very mad.
“Just please let me talk to her.” Loren was fed up too.
“Cat, Loren wants to talk to you.” Brent yelled at me. I got up, leaving Sam on the couch and walked over to the front door, where Brent and Loren were.
“Hi, Catherine,” Loren changed his tone of voice.
“Hi,” I mumbled.
“Can I talk to you out here for a moment,” Loren asked me.
“No! You can both come in here,” Brent snapped. “I will leave the room.” Brent shut the door, sat us down at the table and winked at me. I knew that he remembered that Sam was on the couch, and would listen in, or help me if I needed it.
“So, what’s new,” Loren asked me.
“I thought we were talking about Italy,” I said.
“Why are you so stubborn?”
“I don’t want to talk to you, so let’s get this over with.”
“Fine. Do you have any questions?”
“Yes, but I don’t want to ask you anymore.”
“Oh, did he tell you everything?” I knew that Loren was talking about Brent.
“I don’t know.”
“Okay, can I tell you some things? There are some important details and I don’t think that anyone has told you them.”
“What do you mean?”
“What do you know about your dad?”
“That he was kidnapped.”
“Do you know why?”
“I think so,” I said hesitantly.
“So you don’t know for sure?”
“No, I don’t know, why?” I just wanted Loren to leave.
“I think that they left out something very important.”
“What do you mean?” I was very confused.
“Why do you think that you are going with?” He kept asking me questions.
“I don’t know I guess.” I was starting to get mad.
“They haven’t told you why you are going?”
“I don’t think so. I thought I was just going to help out.” My voice was shaky and anyone could tell that I was scared to death.
“Would you like me to tell you why you are going?”
“Sure,” I wasn’t sure what to say. I was shaking.
“Stop talking Loren! You are scaring her.”
Loren’s head snapped up in surprise. Sam sat up and walked over towards where we were sitting in the kitchen.
Loren was speechless. He had no idea Sam was in the other room. Brent came into the room as well. I think Brent heard Sam snap at Loren.
“What?” Loren was so confused.
“Sam said you were scaring her. And I don’t think that you need to be telling her that information,” Brent said. His face was serious. I wasn’t going to ask any questions. I was going to make Brent and Sam tell me later. I had to get Loren out of my house first.
“I know what Sam said. What is Sam doing here?” Loren snapped.
“I am hanging out with Brent and Catherine.”
“Right.” Loren seemed very angry. “You’re switching sides.
“I think you should leave now,” Sam said, ignoring Loren.
“We will tell her. She is going to want to know, now that you brought it up.” Brent was mad.
“Fine, I will leave then, but don’t be surprised if I check back in. She deserves to know.” Loren smiled and walked to the door. He let himself out without another word.
Once the door was shut and I was sure that Loren was gone, I stood up and went to the couch.
“What was Loren talking about?” Sam asked, Brent as I walked over to the couch.
“Nothing, you need to worry about, Sam.” Brent said, with no expression.
I wasn’t sure if I still wanted to know. This could be something bad, something I didn’t want to know. What I wanted to know was why I wasn’t told earlier and why Loren thought he could come over to my house and tell me about it.
Now I was 100% sure that Brent was keeping something from me. And I don’t think that Sam knew either, but for some reason I don’t think he knows what he is getting into either.
I sat on the couch for about five minutes. The boys were in the kitchen talking, but I wasn’t paying attention to what they were saying. They had to shake me to focus, after they had been standing right in front of me. I couldn’t focus on anything right now.
“You okay, Cat?” Brent asked. He took my chin in his hand and forced me to look at him. I nodded my head and then laid down. I was suddenly tired. The rest of my family would be home at any time.
Brent didn’t try to keep me awake after I laid down. He seemed content to let me sleep.
I slept hard this time. When I woke up, someone was tapping me. I jerked awake and Thomas jumped.
“What are you doing,” I asked.
“I don’t know. I was seeing if you were awake.”
“Obviously I wasn’t. What time is it?”
“Around 10:00 P.M.”
“Where is everyone?”
“Brent and Sam are trying to distract mom from the kitchen. I think that they want to get her out of the house, maybe grocery shopping or something. William, Margaret, and Oscar are working on homework. And I am here, with you.”
“Oh.” Thomas had always been there for me. He was much nicer that Oscar and wasn’t always asking me questions about my personal life. He would occasionally, but not as much as Oscar did. Thomas was my favorite brother. He was my age, had the same interests, and actually cared about me.
I started to get up off the couch, but suddenly Brent was next to Thomas. He wanted me to stay sleeping.
“Let me get up.” I told Brent.
“No, you need your rest,” Brent replied.
“I just slept and I am hungry, let me get up!” I began sitting up, but another hand had rested on my shoulder.
“Lay down.” Sam’s voice was strong and convincing.
“Fine, but why?” I asked, giving in.
“You really need sleep, and the time difference is big between here and Italy.” Brent explained, but I didn’t buy it.
“Okay, seriously, he should be telling us something, but he won’t tell us until we are in Italy.” Sam said, looking at Brent, who didn’t make eye contact. Now, I was convinced that Brent was keeping something from all of us; not just me. Sam seemed oblivious to what Brent was keeping to himself.
“What does that have to do with me getting up,” I asked.
“It doesn’t. We just want you to stay sleeping. We are trying to figure out where your dad would be, compared to where we are staying. It’s just a bunch of maps. You don’t need to be worrying about stuff like that.” Sam told me and went over to Brent. “Stay with her until she falls asleep. Thomas, you stay and make sure she stays safe. We can’t let her leave our sight.”
“What is going on? I asked.
“Nothing, just go to sleep,” Sam said and then walked away.
“I can’t tell you, Cat,” Brent said. He wasn’t smiling.
I looked at Brent and then Thomas. “Do you know what is going on,” I asked Thomas.
“Yes, Catherine, I know everything, except for what Sam just said. I know more than William, and I am the only one in the family who knows everything. Mom doesn’t know anything either. I know more than you. The only thing I don’t know is what Brent is going to tell you.” Thomas replied.
“Oh.” I relaxed. Brent told Thomas to go sit somewhere else and Brent laid down on the couch next to me.
“I’m sorry Cat. I don’t know what to do. I want to tell you so bad, but Evan is making me wait until we are in Italy,” Brent said.
“It’s okay Brent. I understand, it’s okay don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.” I knew that Brent was lying to me, but I wasn’t going to let him know that.
“I can’t help but worry about you. I worry about your family too, but not as much as I worry about you.”
“What was Loren talking about earlier?”
“Loren was going to tell you what I am going to tell you, and I couldn’t let that happen.”
“Brent! I need you here now!” Sam sounded mad.
“I’m coming,” Brent yelled to Sam. “Sorry Cat.” Brent got up and left.
I closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep.
When I woke up again, it was even darker than before and even Thomas was sleeping in the chair next to me. I felt like such a slug. I had taken multiple naps this afternoon. As soon as I moved, Thomas jerked awake.
“Katie, you okay,” Thomas asked.
“Yeah, Thomas, thanks,” I replied.
Brent walked over to the couch with Sam close behind.
“How you doing Cat,” Brent asked.
“Good,” I smiled at Brent and he sat down next to me. Brent put his arm around me and pulled me towards him.
“Any new information,” Thomas asked.
“Yeah, actually. We learned a ton. I think we have enough information to make sure everyone stays safe on the trip,” Sam said.
“Okay,” I said a little confused.
“Look Cat, you don’t need to worry. We have everything under control. The only think you have to do, is listen to us and be smart,” Brent said.
“We might actually bring someone else with us,” Sam said.
“Who,” I asked.
“Thomas, if that’s okay with you,” Sam said, smiling.
“Really,” I asked excitedly.
“Yeah,” Brent said.
“Sweet!” I jumped off the couch and gave my brother a hug.
“So I can come,” Thomas asked.
“Of course,” I replied.
“Cool! Thanks Katie!”
“Let’s get back to business though,” Brent told us.
“Okay,” Sam said. He sat on the couch leaving space for me and Thomas. Brent was going to stand. I sat between Sam and Thomas as Brent explained, to us, what the plan was.
“We are leaving tomorrow morning. Sam and I will pick the two of you up at 9:30A.M. Our flight is around 10:15 A.M. We are hoping to get to Rome, Italy around 7:45 P.M our time which is around 1:45 A.M in Italy, which is also the next day. When we get there we can talk more. We can also talk on the flight there. There isn’t really that much going on.. You guys don’t need to worry, we have it under control.”
I smiled at Brent and he smiled back.
“So, Cat, we have some info that we can tell you. Do you wanna know?” Brent asked me.
“Yes!” I replied.
“Okay, so you need to stay safe, very safe, because we are playing into the hands of the kidnapper. He captured your dad so that he could get to you. That is why Evan wants me to keep you safe. Loren wants to keep you safe, because he made a deal with your dad. They know each other because of Nick and his dad. You’re dad knows that you are on your way now, but earlier this week his kidnapper told your dad he was going to come for you. That’s the main reason Loren wants you safe.” Brent paused. “My job is to keep the kidnapper from you.”
“Okay,” I was trying to wrap my head around this new information. “So my dad’s kidnapper wants me, and he is going to come and find me. That is why I have to stay safe?” I clarified. So this was new, but I still felt like there was something Brent was keeping from me.
“Yes,” Brent paused. “Loren is sort of mad at your dad for bringing him into this situation, but that doesn’t really matter anymore.”
“Thank you Brent,” I understood now, and I had no more questions. But Brent was still keeping something from me.
“Okay then. I think that is it for right now, Thomas you can leave. Sam, I don’t care what you do, but I’m going to leave. I have to get ready for tomorrow. Goodnight Cat.” Brent bent down and kissed my lips gently. He left without saying another word. Thomas left the room too.
“You okay, Catherine,” Sam asked.
“Yeah, I think so,” I replied. I leaned towards him and put my head on his shoulder. He put his arm around me and pulled me closer.
“I’m sorry about everything, mostly about your dad, and getting you into this. I know I didn’t really have a lot to do with it, but I still feel bad for you.”
“Its okay, Sam. Please, don’t worry about it.”
“Okay, I won’t. I promise.” Sam’s arm around me tightened and I never felt safer. I liked this Sam, the sweet side.
“Can we go up to you room and talk please,” Sam asked.
“Yeah, sure.” I replied.
We both stood up and walked up the stairs. When we got to my room I sat on my desk chair and Sam stood by my window.
“Are you nervous for tomorrow,” Sam asked me.
“No, I don’t think so,” I said.
“You shouldn’t be. There is nothing for you to worry about.”
“Are you nervous?”
“No, not really. I think that Brent has is under control. “
It was silent for awhile and Sam walked over to me and pulled me towards him. He hugged me and then pulled me with him towards my window.
“Do you know what I would like before we go to Italy,” Sam asked. I barely had to think.
“Yes,” I mumbled. He wanted a kiss, but I wasn’t going to give him one. I felt bad already for kissing him while going out with Brent. I don’t think that I would be able to tell Brent again. Brent trusted Sam. If Brent didn’t trust Sam, he wouldn’t have left Sam at my house alone.
“What’s wrong,” Sam asked.
“I can’t do that to Brent,” I said.
“Brent doesn’t have to know.”
“It doesn’t matter, Sam. I don’t want to kiss you.”
“Katie, I know how much you liked it the first time, stop lying to me.”
“I can’t do it, Sam.” I tried to step away, but Sam pulled me closer to him.
“Katie, tell me the truth. Who do you like kissing more?” Sam had his hands on either side of my face. He was looking deep into my eyes.
“You.” I paused. “But that doesn’t matter.”
“Why not?” Sam asked, throwing his arms in the air.
“It just doesn’t.”
“Katie, you’re lying to yourself again.”
“No, I am not!” Sam gave me a questioning look. “Okay, fine, maybe a little.” I gave Sam a small smile.
“I’ll take that. Now, will you please kiss me?”
“Why not? You know how much you like it.”
“That does not matter! My boyfriend is Brent, not you.” Our conversation was going in circles.
“Brent doesn’t have to know, Katie.” Sam ensured me. I gave up. I pulled myself away from Sam and walk towards my desk.
Sam grabbed my arm, and put it around his neck. Then, he pulled me close to him. His arms tightened around me, and I could barely move. I tried to get away.
“Struggling is going to get you nowhere. I would’ve thought that you’d learned by now. If you kiss me, I will let you go.”
“I don’t want to kiss you.”
“You’re lying to yourself again.” Sam tightened his arms again, and closed his eyes. I could barely breath.
I had no choice but to kiss him. He was right; I did want to kiss him, very badly. That’s why I was worried.
I stopped struggling, and he opened his eyes.
“Ready?” He asked, smiling.
“No,” I replied.
Sam’s arms around me loosened enough for me to reach on my toes to get to his mouth.
I kissed Sam barely on the lips, but his hand moved up my back and to my neck. His hands forced me closer to him. There was no going back now. I put my other arm around his neck. My stomach was in butterflies, and I didn’t want to stop, but I had to.
I started to back away, but he followed me. I tried to push Sam away with my hands, but he was too strong. I tried to move away from him again, but he wasn’t buying it.
One of my hands left his neck and rested at my side. I kept the other hand at his neck and waited for him to stop. One of his hands left my neck and grabbed the hand at my side. He obviously didn’t like it there. He raised his arm so that my hand was on his shoulder, and then his hand rested on my back, pushing us closer again. His touch was soft. I could barely feel him touching me. His movements were subtle, but rough enough for me to listen.
I was done kissing him, now. I took the hand, that was at his neck the whole time and punched him in the stomach, like I did the other time. He stopped kissing me, finally.
I was mad. I was not counting on that. Yeah, it was nice, but it was bad. I just made out with someone who isn’t my boyfriend.
“What’s wrong,” Sam asked, out of breath.
“I was trying to stop and you wouldn’t let me,” I replied.
“I wasn’t done.”
“Were you ever?” I asked throwing my hands in the air.
“Yes I was going to be done. Now, come back here,” Sam said. I was on the other side of my bedroom and his bad side was coming out.
“No,” I replied.
“Katie get back here, or else I won’t let your brother come with us to Italy.”
I slowly walked over to Sam. I was scared he was going to grab me and start kissing me again.
“I’m not going to do anything.” Sam sounded too innocent.
I kept walking and when I got to him he put his arms out.
“All I want is a hug Kate.”I gave him a quick hug and he kissed me on my forehead. “Was it really that bad,” Sam asked me.
“No, but I’m still mad,” I replied.
“I’m sorry Katie, you’re right. I shouldn’t have made you kiss me when you have a boyfriend. You are just so hard not to like. I want to kiss you whenever I see you.”
“Yeah, you should be sorry.”
“Can I at least kiss you on the cheek?”
“No! I don’t want you to touch me,” I snapped.
“Katie, you can’t do that to me!”
“I just did.”I turned around and reached for the door.
Sam’s hand grabbed my shoulder and spun me around. His hand was still resting on my shoulder.
“I told you not to-” Sam interrupted me. He pushed me up against my door and began kissing me again. I kissed him back for a short time before I realized what I was doing. I pushed as hard as I could on Sam’s chest. I tried moving my head, but Sam kept it still with both of his hands.
I pushed again and this time he stopped. His lips were still less than an inch from mine, though.
“I told you-” Sam cut me off and began kissing me again.
I then realized he was going to keep kissing me until I stopped talking. I pushed him away and didn’t talk.
“You learn fast,” Sam said. I was still pinned up against the door. Sam wasn’t touching me but his arms were on either side of my body.
“Now, I am going to ask you a few questions, and I want you to answer them by nodding your head. That’s it.” I nodded my head. “Did you enjoy the first kiss?” I nodded my head. “What about the second?” I shook my head. “Are you mad at me?” I nodded my head up and down until his hands stopped it.
Sam backed away and reached his hands towards me. I began walking towards him without speaking. Sam was smiling at me.
When I reached him, I gave him a hug. “You can talk now,” Sam said.
I had nothing to say. Sam changed my feelings from mad ones to happy ones with three simple questions and a hug.
“I only have one thing to ask,” I said.
“Anything Katie,” Sam replied. We were still hugging.
“Please don’t make me tell Brent.”
“Katie, I won’t make you tell him. He doesn’t ever have to know.”
“Thank you, Sam.”
“You’re welcome Catherine.” I backed away from Sam. “I should probably go, shouldn’t I?”
“Probably,” I said walked to the bedroom door.
“Okay, well goodnight Katie. Sorry about tonight, I will see you tomorrow morning,” Sam said.
“Goodnight Sam, I’ll see you in the morning. Bye.”
“Bye, Katie,” Sam said as he left my room and walked downstairs.
My mind was racing. I didn’t know what to do. I had never been in this situation. Maybe I should talk to Margaret, but I won’t see her until I get back. Could I talk to Thomas?
I was convinced that Brent was still hiding something from me. I meant to ask him about it, but he never gave me a chance. I knew for sure that Sam wasn’t hiding something, and I am pretty sure that he hasn’t caught onto Brent. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe Brent wasn’t hiding anything from us.
My mind was going crazy. I couldn’t control it whatsoever. The only way to control my mind was to go to bed. So, I decided to lay down. Tomorrow was going to be crazy too, so it was best that I went to bed. I lay in my room for awhile before I actually fell asleep. My brain still didn’t want to relax.
When I finally did fall asleep, I slept like a rock. I never woke up and I don’t remember dreaming.
My alarm was brutal on Wednesday morning. I didn’t pay attention to it, until my phone started ringing too. I looked at my phone. Brent was calling me.
“Hello,” I asked.
“Good morning Cat! How did you sleep,” Brent seemed wide awake.
“Pretty good. You?”
“Good! Are you ready to go?”
“Yup. I just have to get dressed. When are you and Sam going to pick us up?”
“In about 15 minutes.”
I rushed out of bed. I already packed and gave my suitcase to Brent, so I didn’t have to worry about that. The only thing I had to do, was get myself ready.
I got dressed and did my hair. I was walking down the stairs when the door bell rang. Thomas was already downstairs when I got the door. I opened the door and Sam was standing in the doorway.
“Good morning Catherine,” Sam sounded so happy.
“Good morning Sam,” I answered, almost as happy.
“Good morning,” Thomas told Sam.
“Are you guys both ready,” Sam asked me.
“Yeah, I think so,” I replied. I walked over to the stair well and said goodbye to my mom. She was sad to see my go, but knew that I was going to be okay, especially if Thomas was coming with us. She didn’t know the real reason we were going, or even where we were going. My mom thought that we were going to New York to visit some old friends.
We left the house as soon as possible. Thomas and I were very excited and I think that Sam and Brent were too. Our trip could be very dangerous, but it could be fun too.
As we drove to the airport, Brent went over the agenda for the next couple of days. I was sitting in front of the car and Sam and Thomas were in the back. Brent’s black Porsche was the nicest car I have ever been in. I was almost scared to touch it. Whenever I was in the car I just sat; nothing else.
I didn’t realize that we were at the airport until Brent’s car turned off. I hopped out of the car and grabbed by bag.
“You ready to go?” Brent asked me.
“Yeah, I think so,” I replied.
We all walked towards the elevator. No one was talking. I don’t know why, but I guess there was nothing to talk about.
The airport was actually very busy. We had to wait in line for 30 minutes before we even got through security. We chatted in line, and finalized our plan for the next couple of days.
We made it through security and we were now waiting by our gate. The plane was supposed to be here any minute. Brent and Thomas just left to go to the bathroom leaving Sam and I alone.
“So, how did u sleep last night?” Sam asked me, breaking the silence.
“Good, I guess, you?” I didn’t really want to talk to Sam about last night.
“Pretty good. I missed you though.”
“Katie? Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. I guess I just feel bad about last night.”
“Kate, you don’t need to feel bad. There is nothing wrong with what happened.”
“Sam, are you blind? I kissed you, twice, and I have a boyfriend! And that boyfriend is definitely not you!”
“Katie, I thought we talked about this.”
“That was before you made me kiss you. I think you brain washed me or something.”
“No, I talked some sense into you. The only thing that you did wrong last night was lie to yourself. You knew that you wanted to kiss me, but you just kept on denying it!”
“I still knew it was wrong! I should have been smarter.” I slouched in my chair. I didn’t want to talk about last night anymore. The only thing it did, was stress me out, and there was no good in doing that.
I could sense Sam staring at me. He wanted talk to me some more, but that wasn’t going to happen. He put his hand on my thigh, trying to comfort me. I liked it there, but suddenly Sam’s head snapped up and his hand disappeared.
Brent and Thomas were back from the bathroom. Thank God. I was for sure done talking about last night, for the moment at least. But I really liked Sam’s hand there.
“Everything okay here?” Brent asked Sam and me.
I gave a stern look to Sam who smile back at me.
“Yeah, everything is fine,” I grumbled.
A few minutes later the plane pulled into the gate. The plane was small. It was one of those special planes that spies got just for being a spy. We needed a direct flight to Rome, Italy. No stops. That would just be wasted time. This was the only plane that offered us that.
I then realized that we were the only ones waiting for this plane at this gate. The rest of the people were waiting for the plane at the next gate over.
The four of us stood up and gave the check in lady our tickets and then began to make our way to the plane.
The plane was amazing. There were leather seats in the front for the passengers and a lounge area in the back. There was a mini fridge, and a T.V. I had never been in plane like this before.
The food was amazing, and it never ended. Even the drinks tasted better than what I usually got.
The plane trip was long. I slept for most of it. When I wasn’t sleeping I was talking to Brent. He sat right next to me and never took his eyes off of me.
When the plane finally landed in Rome, I was wide awake. Go figure. We were going to go back to the hotel and sleep, because Brent was right. It was about 1:45 A.M. on Thursday in Italy. There was nothing we could do at that hour.
We all got into a nice car that Brent set up for us to use on our trip. It was a black BMW. Where does he get all these nice cars?
We drove to our hotel and checked in. We were sharing a suite. When I walked in the door I was speechless. I had walked into a full kitchen. Nicer than the one I had at home. I walked through the kitchen and into the living room. The view was amazing. The whole back of the suite was one huge window. The room had two big couches and a couple of chairs. There was also a humongous T.V. on the main wall. There was a mini fridge that was already stacked with drinks for us. My stomach was in butterflies just being in the room.
I turned to my left and kept walking and found myself in a bed room. It had two big fluffy beds and a walk out porch. The bathroom, that was attached, had a Jacuzzi and a shower with two heads. It was the nicest bathroom that I had ever been in.
I went back into the living room, leaving my suitcase on the bed.
“I’ll sleep in that room over there,” I pointed to the room that I had just come from.
“Okay, sounds good. There are two more bedrooms on the other side of the suite.” Brent was talking over everyone. “Either two of us can share a room or one of us can sleep on the couch. Catherine gets her own room no matter what.”
“I will take the couch,” Sam announced.
“Okay, thank you Sam. We will be staying here for the whole time that we are in Italy. So, make yourselves at home.” Brent smiled and then went into the kitchen.
It was still dark out in Rome. There weren’t that many people on the roads either. Rome was a big city. Many people live here, and knowing that my dad is somewhere nearby was kind of scary to know. He could be in the same hotel as me right now, for all we knew.
Thomas and Brent had disappeared into their rooms, and I was stuck with Sam in the living room.
“I am mad at you,” I told Sam, breaking the silence.
“I figured,” Sam sounded sad.
We stayed silent. I didn’t want to say anything else to him.
“So, is this going to be how this whole trip goes?” Sam asked me.
“I don’t want it to be this way,” I replied. I walked towards him and sat down next to him on the couch.
“Why did you come and sit next to me?”
“Fine, I’ll leave.” I started to stand up, but Sam grabbed my hand, pulling me back towards the couch.
“What can I do to make you not mad at me?” Sam asked. He was serious too.
“I don’t know. I feel like I can’t be too close to you anymore because I’m still in a relationship with Brent. But who knows how that will turn out.”
“Fine.” Sam sounded mad now. He stood up and left the room. Now I was the sad one. I got up and walked to the kitchen. I was getting something out of the refrigerator when someone knocked on the door. I looked at the door surprised that someone would be knocking on the hotel door at this hour. I began walking towards it. I was sweating and shaking.
I was a few feet from the door when someone put their hand over my mouth and their arm around me.
“Be very quiet,” the voice was a whisper. I think it was Sam.
The hand came off my mouth and grabbed my hand. Yes, it was Sam. Thank God. Sam led me towards my bed room very quickly and quietly.
Someone began pounding on the door again. It scared me and I clung to Sam.
“Who’s going to get the door?” I whispered.
“Brent is.” Sam’s voice was very quiet.
“I’m so scared.”
“It’s okay, come over here.”
I tiptoed over to Sam who was sitting in a chair in the corner of the room. I sat on his lap and he put his arms around me. I felt much safer now.
“How you doing?” Sam asked me.
“Better, thank you,” I replied.
“You’re always welcome.”
We were silent for awhile then. The pounding stopped, but I never figured out if Brent answered the door or not. I don’t think that he did. I wonder who it was.
Someone knocked on my bedroom door and I jumped.
“Can I come in?” Brent’s voice had no emotion.
“Yeah, come on in,” Sam replied.
Brent opened the door and walked over to where I was sitting with Sam. I got off of Sam’s lap and rushed over to Brent. He gave me a big hug that never seemed to end.
“Are you okay?” Brent asked me.
“Yeah, thanks to Sam. I was scared and he kept me safe.” I replied.
“Thank you, Sam,” Brent told Sam.
“Anytime,” Sam mumbled.
“Where is Thomas?”I asked.
“He’s out in the living room. He’s okay.” Brent said. He was still holding me.
Sam stood up and left the room. Brent and I followed him. We all sat down on the couch.
“Okay, so I put a camera outside the door when we came in the first time. I was just looking over the film and I didn’t recognize the man. He didn’t leave a note either, so I would try not to remember him,” Brent shared with all of us.
“Catherine, we need to keep you safe. If you don’t know the person don’t even try to talk to them,” Sam sounded mad again.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t know what to do.” I replied.
“Just stay away from the door, okay?” Thomas’s voice was serious.
I nodded my head and stayed quiet.
The next couple of hours were silent. We decided that we should probably get some sleep. Everyone slept in their own room. By the time that everyone woke up from their nap, the sun was out and it was time to eat.
“Okay, is anyone hungry?” Brent asked the group.
“I’m hungry,” Sam said.
“Should we order room service, or what?” I asked.
“I could go get something from somewhere,” Thomas offered.
“That sounds like a good idea! I could go with you,” Sam agreed.
“Yeah, that works,” Brent said.
Brent and I gave Sam and Thomas our orders and the two boys left.
“So, what are we doing today?” I asked Brent.
“Not sure yet, Cat.” Brent replied. “Come over here, on the couch, by me.”
I walked over to him and sat next to him. He put his arm around me. I rested my head on his shoulder, and we just sat there.
“How you doing?” Brent whispered.
“Good. How about you?” I replied.
“Missing you. I feel like I haven’t seen or had anytime with you lately.”
“I know what you mean, Brent.” I moved my head so I could see him. He sat up more and moved his hands so one was on my chin and the other on my neck. He was pulling me even closer now. I could feel his breath on my face and there were butterflies in my stomach.
When our lips met, it felt like the first time I kissed Brent. It was amazing. I put my arms around Brent’s neck and pulled him closer to me.
Brent’s hand on my neck was strong too. He wasn’t letting me go anywhere. I never wanted this kiss to end. It was a real kiss, from my real boyfriend. It felt good and I was happy.
“I’m going to keep you safe Cat,” Brent whispered to me before kissing me some more. I had nothing to say to that, so I just kissed him back.
I don’t know how long we were kissing, but when we were done I basically collapsed in his arms. We were still on the couch and I had my head on his chest. His arms were around me and I didn’t ever want to move.
“Promise me that no matter what happens after this trip you will always be my friend and love me,” Brent whispered.
“I promise,” I replied a little confused.
“Cat, I love you,” Brent said, telling me for the first time.
“I love you too,” I responded.
About ten minutes later, Thomas and Sam arrived. They brought our food in and put it on the kitchen table.
“You guys ready to eat?” Sam asked as he walked into the living room area.
“Yeah, I think we are,” Brent replied. He kissed me gently on the lips before letting me go, allowing me to stand up.
“What did you guys do while we were gone,” Thomas asked.
I looked Brent and we smiled. “Umm, we just…talked.” I replied.
“Oh, sure,” Sam replied, smiling at me.
“So, what do we have to eat?” I asked Thomas and Sam.
“Oh, a little bit of everything, Kate,” Thomas replied.
“Good! I am so hungry,” I said. Brent’s hand was intertwined with mine, as we walked over to the kitchen.
We ate breakfast fairly quickly. After that we finished settling into the hotel. We all unpacked our bags and got ourselves ready for our first day at work.
Our first stop was where my dad was called into work the first time; before he was kidnapped.
“Okay, I’m going to talk. The rest of you please be quiet. Oh, and if something goes wrong everyone fights for themselves, except Cat. Sam I trust you to keep her safe.” Brent was getting down to business.
Brent looked at me and then to Sam, who nodded. Sam then looked at me and smiled and I smiled back. Sometimes boys were so confusing.
We walked into the tall building and Brent talked to the guy at the front desk. He seemed to recognize my dad’s name and gave us new directions.
We went around the city; from person to person. We didn’t find any new information until our last stop. It was the restaurant that my dad was supposedly last seen in.
It was an old Chinese restaurant. The man behind the counter in the back of the room was older. As we approached him he looked up at us. Brent slowed down his pace, and I suddenly felt like I was in danger. Sam moved closer to me and so did Thomas.
“Hi, we have a couple questions for you,” Brent said cautiously to the Chinese man behind the counter.
“What questions could you possibly have for a Chinese man?” The man spoke with a strong Chinese accent.
“We were wondering if you have ever heard of a guy by the name Richard Stone.”
“Why do you need that information?” The man tensed up and looked away.
“We are just trying to find him.”
“Yeah, I have heard of the name,” the man paused, as if he were trying to choose his words. “He left my restaurant without paying. One second he was here and the next he was gone.” So that’s why the man tensed up. He seemed like he was lying though.
“Oh, okay,” Brent seemed disappointed. “Do you have any idea where he is?”
The man didn’t make eye contact with Brent and shook his head.
“Do you mind if I look around the place?” Brent asked.
“Yeah, actually.” The man’s head snapped up. “You can’t do that. It’s against the rules.”
“Why? I don’t see any of the rules written down,” Brent was testing the man.
“Do they have to be written down to be followed? Just listen to me!” The man was getting very mad.
Suddenly, another man came from the back of the store.
“What is going on out here?” The man asked. I didn’t realize until then, that Brent and the Chinese man were yelling.
“This man wants to search our restaurant, because he is trying to find Richard Stone,” The older man exclaimed.
“Why does he need to do that?” The other man said. This guy was much younger, maybe in his thirties. He was Chinese too.
“Apparently he knows him.” The older man said.
“You know who Richard Stone is?” The younger man asked Brent.
“Yes, actually,” Brent replied. “Do you know where he is?”
“Yes, I know where he is!” The young man yelled. Then he looked at me and started smiling. Sam and Thomas took one more step towards me and then stopped. Brent backed up keeping an eye on the two men.
The younger man started walking towards me and I began moving back towards the door we walked in. Brent’s hand moved around to his back signaling me to stop moving backwards.
“Where is he?” Brent asked the men.
“We’re afraid we can’t give you that information.”The older one replied.
“Why would we tell some random guy where he is?” The younger man was still yelling at us.
“We know who he is!” Brent yelled back. The two men gave Brent a questioning look. They had stopped walking towards us, but the younger man never took his eyes off of me.
“Prove it!” The young man shouted. Brent hesitated, how could he prove that Thomas and I were Richard Stone’s children? Our passports! That was why Brent wanted us to bring our passports.
Brent fumbled around in his pocket until he found something; my passport. He handed it over to the younger man who hesitantly took it. The young man opened it and he read over the information. A piece of paper was folded up inside the front cover. The man took it out and unfolded it. My birth certificate; that should do it. Then Brent handed over another passport; Thomas’s. The man did the same thing and looked at his birth certificate too.
The man looked at Brent and then at me and Thomas.
“I see,” the young man said; quiet now.
Brent just nodded his head. I felt like I was missing something.
“If you come back here with those two,” The man pointed at Thomas and I, “tonight around 5:30P.M., we will tell you where Richard Stone is, and that is it.”
“Why do they have to come with?” Brent asked the man.
The man gave Brent a questioning look before answering. As if, Brent should already know the answer. “We think they should answer some of our questions. We won’t hurt them if that’s what you mean. You can come too if you want.” The man was pointing at Sam. “But, I am pretty sure that you already know why we want them to come back…”
“Okay, promise me that these two won’t get hurt and we will all come back here tonight.” Brent said. Brent seemed to ignore what the Chinese man had just said.
“We promise.” The two men said at the same time. I believed it. Maybe I was the only one, but still.
“Okay. We will see you later then.” Brent said and then slowly turned around and began walking back towards where the rest of us were standing. “Let’s go,” he said under his breath.
We quickly walked as far away from the restaurant as possible. None of us talked. It wasn’t until we were in the car driving back towards the hotel that someone spoke.
“So, are we going to go back there tonight?” It was Sam who asked the question.
“Yeah, I think we should. I believe them, I think.” Brent said. If he believed them, then we all could.
“Okay. So we have to be back there in an hour and 45 minutes. What do you guys want to do? Go eat dinner? Go back to the hotel?” Sam was throwing out options all over the place.
“I think that we should go back to the hotel.” Brent said. “We can get something to eat there.”
“Okay, that’s good with me,” I said, still a little confused on what just happened.
“Kate, are you okay?” Thomas sounded concerned.
“Yeah, I think I have some questions though.” I replied.
“Ask away,” Brent said. He smiled at me, but this smile was different. This smile almost made him look scared or worried. I wasn’t used to that smile.
“Why was that Chinese guy staring at me?” I asked. “And why do they seem to want me?”
Brent took a deep breath before answering my question. “Look, Cat, he obviously knew of your dad. Whoever kidnapped your dad did it for a reason.” Brent took another breath. “Cat, please don’t get mad at me.” I looked at Brent and then nodded my head. “The only reason your dad was kidnapped was so the kidnapper could get to you, but you already knew that. I told you before we left. Right?”
“Yeah, Brent. I knew that. Tell me more.” I was about to explode. I think that the truth was about to be revealed.
“I am the delivery man. It was my job to bring you to the kidnapper.” He paused but the car was silent. “The company really needs your dad back. We don’t even care about you, to tell you the truth. The first time we met, that was a big lie. Evan wanted me and you to get close. Close enough for you to trust me. That way, the whole exchange would be easier.” Brent stopped talking. He was letting everyone soak it in. “But it’s actually harder, because I actually fell in love with you.”
I stared forward. I was mad. I know that I promised Brent that I wouldn’t get mad, but how could I not? “So the only reason I ever met you was so that you could free my dad. This whole thing was just a joke?” I was so angry now. There were tears running down my cheeks.
I turned around and looked into the back seat where Sam and Thomas were sitting. They both looked as surprised as I did. The only person that knew this information was Brent.
“Cat, I’m really sorry. I’m still not going to let that happen to you! You still have to trust me!” Brent reached across and tried to wipe my tears off my cheek. I slapped his hand away and moved as far away from him at possible.
“Why would I trust you when you have been lying to me all this time?”
“I don’t know! Promise me you still trust me.”
“I don’t think so Brent,” I said, lowering my voice. “And the only reason that I am going back to the restaurant tonight, is to free my dad. Not because I trust you, and not because I love you, Brent. Not anymore, at least.”
It was a good thing that we were in the parking lot of the hotel. I got out of the car as fast as possible and made my way to the front door.
Sam caught up with me. He put his hand in mine and slowed me down. We stopped walking and he forced me to look at him. “I am so sorry Katie. I had no idea that’s what the plan was.” His hand was resting on my cheek. Sam actually looked sorrowful. I turned and looked at Thomas, who was standing to my left; he was almost in tears.
“I can’t believe he tricked all of us!” I yelled.
We had all made it back into the hotel room except for Brent, he decided to stay in the car for awhile. I was so mad at him. I couldn’t believe what he did.
I stomped off to my room and I think that Thomas and Sam did the same. After a while I heard the hotel door open and someone come in. My guess was that it was Brent. He went straight to his room.
About five minutes later there was a knock at my door.
“Who is it?” I asked, hoping it wasn’t Brent.
“Sam,” Sam’s voice was low.
I went over to the door and opened it slowly. Sure enough, Sam was standing outside my door.
I opened the door wider and let Sam slip inside. I shut the door and then turned to look at him. I could tell that he was upset. Before he said anything else he gave me a big hug.
I buried my face in his shoulder and began to cry again. I squeezed him hard, never wanting to let go. Sam was the one that really cared about me. He had been right this whole time. I should have followed my heart from the beginning. I knew that this whole thing was a scam.
“I am so sorry, Kate. I had no idea.” Sam’s voice was muffled by my hair. He kept telling me how sorry he was and I hugged him back. I was crying and Sam was holding me. I don’t know how long we were standing there, but I didn’t care. I was safe and being comforted by someone who truly loved me.
When it seemed that no more tears could leak from my eyes Sam pulled me over to the bug comfy chair that was in the corner of my room. We sat down and I let him comfort me. I felt much better after those fifteen minutes.
“Thank you,” I whispered to Sam.
“You’re always welcome, Katie,” Sam responded.
I don’t know how much longer we sat there, but awhile later there was another knock at my door.
“Catherine, we have to go back to the Chinese restaurant.” It was Brent’s voice.
I looked at Sam and we both stood up. We walked to the door and Sam opened it. Brent didn’t look surprise that Sam was in the room with me.
I didn’t say anything to Brent as we walked to the hotel door. I didn’t even look at him. Thomas must have gotten the memo because he was right behind Sam and me.
I was now in the back seat, between Thomas and Sam. I didn’t want to be in the front with Brent anymore. Sam held my hand the whole way, making me feel a ton better. It was a long time before someone finally talked.
“Okay, so we are going to go in there and just listen to what they have to say,” Brent acted as if nothing ever happened. No one in the back seat responded and I surely wasn’t going to say anything.
We arrived at the restaurant and we walked in silently. The restaurant had been closed for a little bit by the time that got there. The two Chinese men were waiting in the back of the restaurant. Brent lead us to them.
“Well, it is nice to see you again,” the older man said to our group. “By the way, my name is Chang and this is my nephew Kang.” Chang smiled.
“So let’s get down to business. Where is Richard Stone?” Brent was serious.
“The only thing that I can tell you right now, it that he is still in the city. He isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.” Chang laughed and then stepped towards Brent. “I could give you more information,” Chang said to Brent, and then he looked at me. I took a step back into Sam’s arms. I felt safe there. Sam wrapped his arms around my torso and squeezed tight.
“She has nothing to do with this.” Brent said to Chang.
“Then why is she here?” Kang asked.
Brent hesitated before answering. “Well, I was told that the kidnapper wanted her, so he kidnapped her dad.”
“Oh, I see,” Chang smiled.
Brent didn’t smile back. Inside I knew Brent still cared about me, but there was no way I could forgive him for putting my life in danger and keeping his plan from me.
No one spoke for awhile. It seemed that everyone was thinking.
“You are right,” Chang told Brent. “But it’s not me that wants the girl. I was the kidnapper, but I was hired from someone else. He is the one that wants the girl, but he doesn’t really need the boy.”
“Well you don’t get either,” Brent said.
“Why not?” Chang asked.
“There is no point in having her.”
“But she is so pretty that I just want to eat her up. I also know that someone else wants her too.”
“Too bad,” Brent said smiling.
“How am I going to get my father back?” I asked.
Everyone turned and looked at me. They didn’t expect me to talk. Chang began walking towards me. Brent stepped in front of me, but Chang pulled out a knife. I gasped because Chang had put it at Brent’s throat. I was so scared I couldn’t talk.
“Move away from the girl,” Chang said. Everyone around me took a couple steps away from me except Sam. His arms were still around me.
“Please let go of the girl.” Chang asked Sam.
“No, she doesn’t deserve this.” Sam replied.
“Yes, she does. She was the one who showed up. If you don’t let go I will kill him right now,” Chang was talking about Brent.
I flinched but stayed in Sam’s arms. Sam squeezed me one more time, kissed my head and then slowly released his arms from around me. “I’ll be back. I’m not leaving without you,” Sam whispered. He took a couple steps back.
“Thank you.” Chang paused and then looked at Kang. Without talking, Kang moved towards me. I was too scared to move. He grabbed me so hard I gasped again. He had both of his hands on my shoulders and he pushed me to the back of the restaurant.
When he got there, he turned me around so that I was facing Brent, Sam, and Thomas. One of his hands was holding both of my wrists behind my back. The other hand was holding a knife which was positioned at my throat. I could barely breathe. This was the scariest thing I have ever been through.
“Don’t touch her,” Sam screamed.
“Why not?” Kang asked.
“She has nothing to do with any of this!”
“Well I can tell you that you are lying. If she has nothing to do with this then why is she here?”
“It’s my fault,” Brent gasped. Chang let go of Brent and Chang began walking towards me, smiling.
“Why?” Kang asked.
“I tricked her. I made her come without her knowing why.”
“Well that wasn’t very nice,” Kang said to Brent. “Are you mad at him?” Kang asked me quietly.
I moved my head up and down as I stared at Brent
“Too bad she might die because of you,” Chang announced.
“She will not be dying anytime soon,” Sam replied.
“What makes you so sure,” Chang responded.
“I won’t let it happen,” Sam said.
“Oh, okay!” Chang replied laughing.
“Where is Richard?” Brent asked.
Kang’s grip on me tightened and Chang was standing next to him now.
“Actually, he is here, in this building,” Chang said smiling.
I fought against Kang’s grip, but he only tightened his grip and pulled me closer to him.
His head was resting on my left shoulder and I could hear him breathing. He was sending shivers down my spine.
“How do we get him?” Brent asked.
“You don’t, unless you let us keep the girl. Or, we will keep both for awhile before giving them back. That is, if they aren’t dead.” Chang said.
“That’s not fair!” Sam yelled.
“Fine! We keep the girl and you can have Richard right now!” Kang yelled back.
“How do we get her back?” Thomas asked, saying something for the first time.
“I don’t know yet. We don’t want anyone else, so maybe we will just kill her.” Chang said. “Otherwise, we could talk to our boss.”
“You can’t kill her!” Sam screamed.
“Try me,” Chang said.
Then Kang twisted me and began pushing me towards a door in the back of the room.
“We didn’t make a deal!” Brent exclaimed.
“Too late,” Chang said. “You can have Richard though.”
Brent was about to argue when Sam walked up behind him.
“Let her go. I know it is hard, but if we have Richard he can help us get her back,” Sam whispered into Brent’s ear, talking to him for the first time since Brent told us the truth about the trip.
Brent just nodded his head trying not to show any emotion.
“Fine. Bring Richard to us,” Brent said to Chang who turned around and left the room.
“Nobody say a thing,” Brent informed the group. “They might have camera or voice recorders. Just stay quiet until he comes back.”
When Chang returned Richard was with him. Everyone kept quiet.
“Are you happy?” Chang asked Brent.
“Not as happy as I could be, but we will take it.” Brent replied. “Don’t be surprised if we come back before the end of the week.”
Chang just nodded his head and pushed Richard towards Brent.
Brent turned around and began walking. Sam and Richard followed. When the boys reached outside no one talked. Thomas ran to his dad and gave him a hug, but then the happiness was over and there was some explaining to do.
No one talked as the boys drove home either. It was silent.
The car finally arrived at the hotel and everyone got out. They all walked upstairs and into their room. Everyone’s minds were reeling. They had no idea what the next move was. They were scared and nervous.
“Let’s all go and sit down on the couch,” Brent told the group.
They all sat down on the couch and Brent stood, as usual. Then Brent began talking telling the whole group the story.
“Okay first of all. Richard, I am Brent Cloud. I work for the A33 or the American Spy Organization, same as you. I work in a different department in the organization. That is why I never see you. This is Sam Knight. He goes to school with Margaret and William. He knew Catherine very well.”
“How do you know my family?” Richard asked.
“Please let me finish.” Brent replied and then went on. This time he was informing the whole group. “A few months ago, my boss Evan Coore asked me to keep a close eye on Richard’s family. He said that since Richard had Nick Sayner’s dad fired that there could be some trouble later on down the road. The organization had had problems with the Sayner’s previously.” Brent paused.
Sam couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“Sure enough, something happened. Nick’s dad asked Chang and Kang from the Chinese restaurant to kidnap Richard when he was on a business trip to Italy.”
“When this happened I was told to go and get Richard and bring him back no matter what. Right before I was about to leave, Evan stopped me. Chang had contacted Evan. Chang told Evan that the only way to get Richard back was to give Chang Catherine.”
“Nick’s dad was working with Chang and Nick told his dad that he wanted to get to know Catherine better. So I bet that Nick is in that building right now.”
“Are you crazy?” Sam stood up and began walking over to Brent. “She loved you Brent! She trusted you and now you are just pushing her to the side as if nothing happened?” Sam had Brent pinned up against the wall.
“Guys, stop fighting!” Thomas was up off the couch too and trying to separate the two. “We aren’t going to get Kate back if you two are fighting.”
“Can someone please explain more. I am still lost.” Richard said, still sitting on the couch.
“The rest of the story.” Brent pushed Sam off of him and began again telling the story to Richard as if Sam and Thomas weren’t there. Everyone else sat down. “Evan told me to meet with Catherine and talk to her about working with me. She accepted. We stayed together and then Sam came into the picture. His friends kidnapped Evan for the night and Sam was able to talk to Catherine. After that, Evan asked me to ask Sam to join us and he agreed. We needed one more person to go to Italy. Then we were at home talking and Sam and I decided to bring Thomas with us too. Catherine trusted him and she wanted him to come. The next day we all flew here.”
“So you basically tricked all of us into coming here,” Sam sounded bitter.
“Please! Be quiet,” Brent snapped and then finished his story. “We spent all day today looking for clues on where you would be.” Brent was talking to Richard. “When we stopped in at the Chinese restaurant we knew you were close by and the Chinese men told us to come back later. When I was talking to Catherine after that I told her the reason why she came and she got really mad at me.”
“Then about an hour ago we showed up at the restaurant, again. We negotiated and talked with the men and they took Catherine away from us and gave you to us instead. And that brings us to where we are now.”
Richard was shocked by the story.
“You’re trying to tell me that my daughter is where I have been for the past couple weeks?” Richard was appalled.
“Yes, sir,” Brent said. “I’m very sorry, sir.”
Richard had nothing else to say. He put his head between his hands. He was shaking his head, in disbelief.
“Well how are you going to get her back, Brent?” Thomas asked. He was so mad. “Because this is all your fault.”
Brent stood up and looked at everyone in the room. It was quiet and everyone was thinking. Brent left without saying another word, leaving the group in disbelief.
But about an hour later all the boys were crowded around a table sharing ideas. They had a plan forming and it would take a lot of work. But it would only work if all four of the boys worked together, and that would be the hardest part.
I was almost in tears by the time Kang brought me downstairs. We had walked through a lot of very small hallways and I was totally lost. The only thing that I knew, was that we were below ground. We had gone down one flight of stairs at least.
Kang finally stopped walking and unlocked a door on the right hand side of the hallway. He opened the door and pushed me through. Then shut the door and locked it.
It took me awhile to figure out what was going on. The lights were on and there was a couch and a T.V. And Nick Sayner was sitting on the couch. He was just sitting there. He was staring at me, and didn’t act surprised to see me at all.
I groaned and didn’t move.
“Why aren’t you happy to see me?” Nick asked; jokingly.
“Why would I be happy to see you? The last time I saw you was in the woods after you kidnapped Evan.” I replied a little more sure of myself.
“I guess that makes sense. Why don’t you come and sit down next to me.”
“Why am I here?”
“Come sit next to me and I will explain everything.”
I slowly walked over to him and sat down next to him. He moved closer to me and put his arm around me. I tried to shrug it off, but he wouldn’t let go of me.
Nick sighed and then began his story. “I will start from the very beginning. Your dad and my dad worked together. One day, your dad told the company to fire my dad. My dad couldn’t get another job and we had to sell our house and move into an apartment. My family has a history. All my grandparents were murderers, and let’s just say it gets worse from there.” I grimaced, before Nick moved on. “Our family is also know for not getting caught. My dad decided that kidnapping your dad would be the best option. That way he could get whatever he wanted, by threatening to kill your dad.”
“My dad decided to call some old friends here in Italy and they drafted a plan. They decided that when your dad came into the Chinese restaurant that the managers would kidnap him. Your dad had to finish a business deal here, that was how we knew your dad would come in here.”
“Now, that is all I know. I don’t know how Brent got into the equation. My guess would be that the ASO had their eyes on my family and decided to have Brent trick you into coming here so that the ASO could get your dad back safely. I told my dad that I wanted you, so that’s basically why you are here.” Nick finished.
“Do you have any other questions?” Nick was smiling.
“I hate you.” That was all that I could get out.
“That is really unfortunate, because you are stuck with me for awhile, unless you miss behave. Then we might just kill you.”
I stayed silent and didn’t even look at Nick.
“Well, you must be tired. You can go ahead and sleep if you want. I promise I won’t hurt you if you listen to me. I will wake you up later.”
Nick moved away from me and then pulled me down so that my head was resting on his legs. His arm was on my back.
He was right, though. I was tired. I fell asleep almost instantly, but I did remember one thing. Brent’s ring. What was it? Rotate the ring counter- clockwise twice? Yeah, that was it. I rotated it twice and then fell asleep peacefully in Nick’s lap.
Brent’s phone started beeping. It was late in the night and they boys were almost done with the plan for helping Catherine.
Everyone went quiet when they heard Brent’s phone. When he looked at the screen he started smiling.
“What?” Sam asked.
“Cat, is okay.” Brent replied.
“How do you know?” Richard asked.
“The first time I met Cat I gave her a ring. If she rotates it twice counter- clockwise it sends a message to my phone telling me exactly where she is. She must have had some time alone, because I now have the exact location of her.”
The week had gone by fast. I couldn’t believe that it was Friday when I woke up the next morning. The only thing I knew was that Nick was gone. He left a note though.
I have stepped out for awhile to get something for you to eat. Please don’t try to leave. I might have to kill you and all the doors are locked anyways. I will be back soon.
I couldn’t believe it. I was so mad at Nick. Hopefully Brent was sent my exact location and help would be on the way soon. I don’t know if I could take Nick any longer.
I few minutes later there was a knock at the door. I got up and was about to open the door when I remembered that it was locked. I stood there and stared at the door and then the door opened slowly. I was confused at first but then Nick’s face popped into view. He was smiling.
“I am glad that you are up! I found us some food.” Nick had so much energy.
I just glared at Nick, and shut the door.
“Why are you so angry. I let you sleep for ten hours.”
My emotions didn’t change. I kept glaring at Nick. He moved around me and set the food down on the table in the middle of the room. I followed him with my eyes, making me turn away from the door. He walked back to where I was. Now he was standing right in front of me. We were only inches away from each other. I could feel his breath on my face.
He suddenly wrapped his arms around me. One on the back of my head and the other on my lower back. I put my arms in between us and pushed as hard as I could. I was not going to kiss Nick. That is just disgusting.
“Please, don’t fight this.” Nick whispered. Then he pulled something from his pocket. It was a small knife. I suddenly felt like I was going to throw up again. My stomach was in the my throat. My arms stayed on his chest. Nick’s arm on my lower back tightened as his other hand came closer to my neck. I could feel the blade on my skin now. “You ready now?” Nick was serious. “Put your arms around me, now.” I did as I was told. My heart was racing. I put both my arms around his neck, but one of my hands stopped at his fist with the knife. I uncurled his fingers, making him drop the knife.
The knife hitting the floor sounded like a bowling ball. The room had been so quiet. I moved my arm so that both my hands were around his neck. Nick then leaned towards me. In the spilt second I brought my leg up and kneed him right in the stomach. He groaned and let go of me. I picked up the knife and held it in front of me.
Nick looked up and began smiling. “You have learned well.” He paused. “Now, drop the knife and kiss me. Otherwise I will beat you up, and I will kill you. Please, I really don’t want to kill you.”
I slid the knife under the door so that Nick couldn’t get it. He smiled at me. “Fair enough.”
Then he took another step towards me, put his hands on my back and neck and pulled me towards him. My heart was beating so fast. I didn’t want to kiss Nick at all. I wanted Sam, the only boy that seemed to actually love me.
Nick didn’t care what I wanted, though. He began to kiss me and the only thing that I could do was kiss him back. As Nick kissed me he was pushing me towards the couch. I was trying to resist but he was much taller than me; not to mention how strong he was. Nick basically picked me up and moved me over there.
This whole time he never stopped kissing me. Occasionally his lips would move down to my neck and then move slowly up towards my lips again, but I could barely feel him. His lips were so soft on my skin and I was trying not to pay attention to what was going on.
I was still struggling when he stopped kissing me. We were sitting on the couch now and his hands were on my back and neck. We were both breathing hard, “Stop struggling! You aren’t going to get your way so stop trying!” Nick was so serious.
“Did it ever occur to you that I don’t want to kiss you?” I asked.
“Obviously you don’t, but you will learn to like it over time.” Nick was smiling as he came towards me again.
Nick lifted me up so that I was laying on top of him. He pulled me closer to him and started to move his hands. The one on my neck slowly crept down my back and to my upper thigh. Nick’s touch made me shiver, but I couldn’t let him know that. I took one of my hands and grabbed his hand. I tried to move it back up to my neck, but his hand didn’t budge.
The only thing he did was squeeze me closer to him. I could barely breath. Now, his other hand began to move. His left hand slowly began to slide down my side to my hip. His hand was creeping under my shirt.
In an effort to stop Nick from touching me, I moved, only to have him roll over. Now, I was on the bottom and he was pinning me down to the couch.
“Stop fighting,” He panted. Then his lips locked on mine and his hand moved farther up my shirt.
There was no way that I was going to let this happen. Neither Brent or Sam had done this to me.
I quickly brought my knee up again and hit Nick right where he didn’t want to be hit. He snapped up and rolled off the couch. I quickly got off the couch and ran towards the door. I knew that the door was locked, but it was just an instinct.
Nick was right behind me when I turned around to see how he was doing.
Nick’s hands grabbed my arms and pinned them up against the door. He came towards me one more time, but this time he didn’t kiss me. His face was so close to my face that I was scared to breath. “You have done a very bad thing, Catherine. I am done giving you chances. Tomorrow morning, I am going to take you out. By myself.”
Then he let me go and shoved me towards the couch. “You better sleep. Tomorrow will be very stressful.”
I sat down on the couch and he sat next to me. He pulled me down so that I was laying on his lap again. He covered me with a blanket, but by that time, I was already dreaming about Sam.
When I woke up the next morning I was scared. I didn’t know where I was or who I was laying on. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I was in the same room that I had kissed Nick in the night before. Nick was shaking me.
“You need to get up now!” Nick was telling me.
I sat up and rubbed my eyes. I was trying to adjust to the lighting in the room.
“We are leaving this room in an hour. So if there is anything that you need to do, do it now.” Nick got up and left the room without saying another word.
I was left in a quiet room, to think about my own death.
I didn’t know what to think about. Whenever I tried to think about Sam, my mind would wander. I began thinking about Nick; mostly about his kiss from last night and how much Nick scared me.
Before he kissed me, I was scared that I might enjoy it. I didn’t want Nick, at all. I wanted Sam, that was it. But last night’s kiss was different. I didn’t enjoy it. So I must have wanted to kiss Sam after he broke into my room. I enjoyed his kisses, not Nick’s.
“Come on we need to hurry! They might have killed her by now!” Sam was going crazy. He couldn’t take this any longer. He wanted Kate, safe, in his arms. Right this minute.
Brent was basically speeding down the main road in Rome, Italy. The boys had been up all night getting ready for this afternoon. There was no time to waste. Brent had just dropped Richard off at a subway station, which had access to underground tunnels.
Sam and Thomas were being dropped off at the back door of the Chinese restaurant and Brent was going to go in the front of the restaurant; by himself.
Brent pulled into a parking spot about a block away from the back of the Chinese restaurant. The boys couldn’t risk being seen until the right moment.
“Now, be patient or else this plan isn’t going to work. Thomas make sure you keep Sam patient,” Brent instructed to the two boys.
Thomas nodded and set off running with Sam on his heels.
Brent was only a few blocks away from reaching his destination. He had to park farther away from the building. As soon as he parked the car he jumped out and began running to the front door. He would walk once he got closer to the building. He didn’t was the two Chinese men to wonder why he was breathing so hard.
Richard was walking really fast through the underground tunnels. He knew them like the back of his hand. Richard had lived in these tunnels for almost three weeks.
He walked through the hallways until he found the one that he was looking for. Richard remembered where his room was, and Brent had told him that Catherine was only a couple doors down from his old room. He searched the hallway, looking for his room. He found it, and then looked for the number that was on his daughter’s door.
Richard came to Catherine’s door and stopped dead. All of a sudden he was nervous. He couldn’t bring his hand to the door. He was scared of what he might find.
Sam and Thomas had just reached the back door. Sam was ready to pounce and try to find Kate, but he knew better. Thomas was trying to keep him calm.
The plan for Sam and Thomas was to listen for any commotion on the inside of the restaurant. When they heard anything they would open the door and attack. So now, all the two boys had to do was wait.
Brent was only about six steps away from the front door and he was breathing hard. Not because he had just been running, but because he was so nervous. What if the plan didn’t work? Would the Chinese men really kill Cat?
Brent slowly opened the door and walked inside the building.
I was shaking so much. I don’t think that I have ever shook so much in my life. Nick was just staring at me.
“Are you ready to go?” Nick asked, like nothing was going on.
“Why in the world is this happening?” I asked.
“You should have been a better guest.” Nick looked at me and I scowled back at him. Nick just began smiling at me; which made me even more mad.
Nick grabbed my hands and headed to the door; to my death.
As Brent walked into the restaurant he was relieved to find no costumers there this early in the afternoon. The restaurant opens at noon, and it was about 12:15pm, now.
Chang was sitting in the back of the restaurant.
“Can I talk to you for a moment?” Brent asked casually.
“Why?” Chang asked. “I know why you are here. You are here to kidnap Catherine, but you are too late. If Nick was thorough enough, she is already dead.” Chang was totally calm.
Brent snapped. He was so mad, he couldn’t take it anymore. He ran to the back of the room and started pounding Chang. Chang didn’t know is was coming, and was caught by surprise. Chang didn’t expect Brent to beat him up.
Brent made sure that he made enough noise for Sam and Thomas to hear him. But the only thing he was thinking about was Cat. He didn’t know what he would without Cat in his life, especially since it was his fault that she was here.
He forced himself and Catherine to fall in love, but after awhile he actually began to love her. Yes, he felt so bad after he told her what the plan was the whole time, but what hurt the most was when he knocked on her door and Sam was in the room with her. He tried not to show how disappointed he was, but deep down, he was really depressed.
Brent was also mad, because he totally deserved everything that he was getting. He wasn’t good enough for Cat anymore, that was obvious. Sam has been right for her from the beginning. Brent and Sam both knew that. Brent just had to suck it up. He had probably lost Cat forever, but he still wanted to fight for her to be safe. It was his fault from the beginning.
Brent was about to stop fighting. Clearly he was winning. Chang was over in the corner trying to catch his breath when Brent stopped thinking about Cat. It was quiet in the room, but suddenly Kang came running in. Sam and Thomas were right behind him. Brent smiled and ran towards Chang. He was going to finish him off.
Richard was about to reach for Catherine’s door when the door opened. Richard jumped back in surprise, but also happy to see his daughter still alive. The bad thing was that her wrists were tied behind her back and she had tape over her mouth. Nick was holding on to her. Catherine’s eyes widened. She must have been as surprised as Richard was.
It took a moment for Richard to realize what was going on, but he soon got a hold of Nick and told Catherine to run. When Catherine was out of sight, Richard began to hit Nick hard. Nick was barely even trying and he didn’t stand a chance against William.
Sam was about to hit Kang over the head with a glass bottle when he saw Catherine.
“Kate! You are alive!” Sam screamed.
“Sam focus!” Thomas yelled. Sam hit Kang over the head and then rushed to Catherine. Sam gave her a big hug that lifted her off the ground and then started to inform her about the plan.
“You need to go out the back door.” Sam pointed behind him. “Go around the building and Brent’s car should be somewhere on that street. Get into the car and stay there. We will meet you there when we are done.”
Sam grabbed her hands and untied her wrists. He took the tape off of her lips too. Sam and Catherine stared at each other and then Catherine leaned forward, putting her hands on either side of his face, and kissed him, but before Sam could say anything Catherine was already headed towards the door.
Sam kept smiling, but then realized that he had a job to finish.
Brent and Chang were right next to the front door. Chang kept looking at the entrance to his restaurant and Brent realized that Chang might make a break for the door. Brent protected the only exit for Chang. That was until he saw Catherine run by it. Brent stopped fighting and stared at her. He was surprised to see her, and happy that she was alive. Brent was shocked.
He snapped out of it when he realized that Chang was chasing her down the sidewalk, with a knife.
Brent burst out of the restaurant and ran as fast as he could. He was right behind Chang. Brent jumped aiming for his enemy.
I didn’t know what was going on. I knew that someone was chasing me down the sidewalk, but I didn’t care who it was. It was a good thing that Sam had taken the tape off of my mouth and the rope of my wrists. It would have been really hard to run with my hands tied behind my back.
I was almost free and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me, until I heard a loud crash. Then I stopped running. The street was silent. I turned around and found Brent and Chang laying on the concrete; both motionless.
When I took a step closer it looked like they were both dead. I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. I got in a little closer. I wanted to see for sure if they were dead or not.
Suddenly, Brent’s arm began to move. Then his whole body was moving, but Chang still looked like a statue. Brent was standing now. He was standing across from me and we were both looking down at Chang.
Brent slowly bent over and rolled Chang’s body over. When Brent did this I gasped and turned away. The knife that Chang had been running with, was now almost all the way through his chest. Chang’s eyes were open and he was dead. Brent quick checked Chang’s pulse, and declared him dead on his terms.
Brent turned towards me. I was looking right at him. I knew what Brent wanted and it was not what I wanted. When Brent came walking towards me, I felt like dying.
Brent stopped about five inches away from me. I tried to take a step back, but he grabbed both my hands and pulled them up to his neck. I rested my hands there. He placed his hands on my back and pulled me towards him. I let my hands relax and they slowly slid down to Brent’s chest. My heart was beating and I knew couldn’t let this happen.
“Brent, I can’t do this.” I whispered.
“Cat, I am so sorry. I wish that none of this would have happened. I love you so much.” Brent brought me closer to him for a tight hug. “This wasn’t my plan exactly. I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with you like this. I just want to have you back again.”
“It’s too late now, Brent. You blew it.” I stepped away from him and began walking towards the Chinese restaurant that I had just escaped from.
The streets were silent for the most part. It seemed as if everyone in Rome, Italy had decided to sleep in. There were a few people that drove down the street, but no one wondered why there was a man on the ground. There was also a couple walking down the sidewalk on the other side of the road. But they were too busy talking. They hadn’t heard a thing.
Brent caught up to me. He put his arm around my waist and escorted me back to the building. When we walked back inside the doors of the Chinese Restaurant, I was scared. I took an instinctive step towards Brent who held me close.
As we neared the back of the restaurant I found Sam and Thomas. They were both hovering over Kang’s body.
“Is he dead?” Brent asked.
“No, unconscious. Sam hit him over the head with a glass. Then he fell over and hit his head on the table.” Thomas replied.
Sam and I said nothing. We just stared at each other. I loved Sam so much, which seemed so weird considering that at the beginning of the week, I hated him.
I walked over to Sam who gave me the biggest hug any man has ever given to me. Sam kissed my head and I could tell that he was truly happy to see me. I squeezed him hard, never wanting to let go. I felt safe in his arms. I felt strong. I felt like I could rule the whole world when I stood next to Sam.
Of course, Brent had to ruin the moment.
“We should go and check on William.” Brent murmured, obviously disappointed to the attention I was giving Sam.
We all walked down the stairs to find another body laying on the floor.
“Is he dead?” Thomas asked. He was talking about Nick.
“No, just unconscious. I put him in a dead lock until he passed out. He should be fine by tomorrow.” Richard sounded relieved.
Richard looked up and his eyes met mine. I began to cry. I have never been so happy to see my dad. I rushed over to him and gave him a big hug. Everyone joined in; relieved that the hard part was over.
There was so much going on that we all forgot what had just happened. We were all talking about how cool the plan was, and what had happened since we had been separated. Through all the commotion, I remembered that Chang’s body was laying on the sidewalk, and there were two more unconscious bodies in the building.
“Now what do we do?” I asked the boys. “Shouldn’t we call the police or something?”
“Yeah, we probably should. There are three bodies laying on the floor.” Brent replied to my question.
“Here I got the number.” Richard said.
Brent took out his phone and began dialing the number. The hallway was quiet. It was almost as if nothing had happened.
We all walked upstairs to wait for the police. Will, Brent, and Thomas wanted to talk to the police. I am sure that they want to talk to me and Sam too, but we have to wait until the police get here. Sam and I stayed in the back of the restaurant.
“I am so sorry that this happened to you, Katie.” Sam grabbed my hands and held them. I pulled my hands from him and wrapped my arms around this torso. He pulled me closer to him and wrapped his arms around me. He kissed my head again. “Catherine?” Sam asked.
“Yeah?” I replied.
“I promise to always keep you safe. If I am with you, you will be safe. Okay?”
“Sam, that was the same thing that Brent said to me.” It wasn’t that I didn’t like Sam, it was just that I was scared of what boys could do to me. There have been too many boys in my life recently and I feel like I am drowning.
“Kate, I am not Brent. What can I do to make you know that I promise to keep you safe?”
“I don’t know Sam.” I got on my tiptoes and kissed him gently. “But, I do love you.”
Sam smiled at me gave me a big hug. “I love you to Catherine.”
By then the police had shown up. Brent, Thomas, and Richard were talking to them as Sam and I joined in.
“I still don’t understand why Nick should be arrested,” the policeman said.
“The only thing I know was that when I saw my daughter, her arms were tied behind her back and her mouth was taped,” Richard spoke up.
“Well is your daughter here?” The police questioned.
“Yeah, I am his daughter.” I stepped forward, out of Sam’s arms.
“Ah, I see.” The policeman was observing me. “Tell me what happened after you were taken into the room downstairs.”
“I was locked into the room with Nick. He made me sit on the couch with him and he never stopped touching me. He made me kiss him multiple times and when I kicked him he told me he was going to kill me the next morning. So, this morning he tied me up and was on his way upstairs when we crossed paths with my dad.”
“Did he threaten you in any other ways?” The man was serious.
“Yeah, actually. He held a knife to me. That was how he made me kiss him.” I smiled. The boys laughed.
“She’s the stubborn one,” Sam said from behind me. Then he stepped forward and slid his hands undermine and wrapped his arms around my stomach. I leaned back on Sam, trusting him, and relaxed. I was so happy right now. When Sam touches me I feel like I could fly. Brent never made me feel that way.
“Okay, well we have been warned about this happening, we just couldn’t figure out where it was. I think we have enough information. Thank you guys for your help. Stay safe.” The policeman left without saying another word.
The whole group breathed a sigh of relief. We all relaxed, but stayed quiet.
“So what all happened?” I asked, breaking the silence.
“Kang was arrested. Nick is going to jail for a couple days, but then being released the same day we are leaving. The police have actually asked me to make sure he makes it home safely. He won’t be in too much trouble. Chang’s body was taken, but I don’t know what the city is going to do with it,” Brent informed everyone.
“What happens if Nick and his family decide to do something like this again?” I asked.
“I have been talking to Evan Coore and he has decided that I switch jobs. Instead of leaving to take missions I am going to stay in the area. He wants me to keep an eye on Nick’s family, and keep you and your family safe, Cat.” Brent was looking down at the floor.
I almost threw up. Sam squeezed me. I’m pretty sure that he could tell how disappointed I was. While I was trying to relax, everyone else was congratulating Brent. I didn’t even make eye contact with him.
“Well, what is next?” Thomas asked.
“We can stay until tomorrow afternoon; that is when our flight leaves. I think the plane takes off at 10:45 A.M. on Saturday. So, until then, I guess we can do whatever we want.” Brent told us.
We all decided to leave the restaurant. We were walking down the middle of the street towards Brent’s car. Richard was talking to Brent and Thomas so Sam and I were able to talk a little bit.
“I hate Brent.” I told Sam.
“Katie, you don’t hate him.” Sam replied.
“No, I am pretty sure that I hate him. Think of what he did to me!”
“Kate, listen. I understand. I was devastated for you. I loved you Kate. The whole time, I loved you. I have loved you since the day we met. I was obsessed with you before we met. Whenever I saw you at school, my stomach flipped. I just didn’t have the guts to talk to you. When I heard that Loren and Nick, were going to talk to your sister, Nate and I joined, hoping that I could talk to you. I am so glad that I did. Anyways, I am mad at Brent too, but we don’t hate him.” He paused and looked at me. I gave him a questioning look. “Trust me, he stole the girl I love from me, and he almost delivered her to her death. I am really mad at Brent.”
I slid my hand into Sam’s before continuing. “Fine, Sam, I don’t hate Brent, either, but I am really, really, really mad at him. And I never knew about you liking me before. Is that why you stuck up for me that one time, and why you ran into me the other day?”
“Yeah,” Sam laughed. “I must have seemed nice and then I was mean to you later in the week. You must have been really confused.”
“I never stopped thinking about you.” I smiled at him and he smiled back.
By the time we had finished talking, we were at the car. We all squished into it and began our journey back to the hotel. The car ride was silent. There wasn’t really much to talk about.
We arrived in the parking lot of the hotel about ten minutes later.
“Where is my dad going to sleep?” I asked Sam.
“I don’t know. That’s a good question. Don’t you have two beds in your room?” Sam replied.
“Yeah, I do. Why?”
“I could sleep in that bed if you want, and your dad could take the couch.”
I smiled up at Sam and he smiled back. “You might have to talk to Brent about that first.” I told Sam.
Sam shrugged and we walked through the lobby and into the elevator. Brent and Richard were talking about something, but I didn’t know what it was. I was surprised that my dad was even talking to Brent. Did he know the whole story?
As soon as I got into the hotel room I went to my bedroom. I took a quick shower, changed into some comfortable clothes, and laid down on my bed.
Dinner was just around the corner by the time everyone had settled in for the night. We had been at the restaurant for a long time. It was around noon, when I first saw my dad. That was right after the restaurant had opened, since it only serves late lunch and dinner. It was almost 5:30 now. I guess the boys had talked to the police and helped clean the restaurant up for awhile.
There was a knock at my door.
“Come in.” I said.
Sam opened the door a little bit. “Are you going to want something to eat?”
“No, thank you.”
“Okay, if you get hungry you can have some of mine.”
“Okay, did you talk to Brent?” I asked.
“Yeah, he said he didn’t care. Not that he would have been able to stop me, but your dad is going to take Thomas’s room and then Thomas is going to sleep on the couch. Brent seemed pretty depressed when I asked him about the sleeping arrangements though.” Sam told me.
“Did I?” Brent’s voice came from behind Sam.
“Yeah, you did.” Sam said turning around, surprised.
“Oh, I will try to sound happier when a friend asks to sleep with my girlfriend.”
“I didn’t know that she was your girlfriend still. You broke her heart pretty bad.”
“Can I talk to Cat, please.” Brent asked Sam, ignoring Sam’s comment.
“I don’t know. You may have to ask her.” Sam said.
“Cat, can I talk to you for a little bit?” Brent asked me stepping beside Sam in my room.
“No, Brent. I don’t want to talk to you.” I replied without looking at Brent.
“For God’s sake! I am going to talk to you right now!” Brent was yelling at me. I jumped back in my bed. Brent had scared the crap out of me.
“Brent! Leave the room right now!” Sam was yelling too. He had stepped in front of Brent and was trying to get him to leave the room.
Brent’s hand came up and punched Sam in the stomach. Sam bent over and fell sideways.
“Sam!!” I yelled. I got out of my bed to see if he was okay, but Brent’s hand came out, motioning for me to stop. I stopped dead in my tracks, scared of what Brent was going to do. Where were Thomas and William?
Brent rolled Sam over, helped him stand up and shoved him out of my hotel room. Sam was almost in tears. Brent closed the door and locked it.
“What are you doing?” I asked Brent. I was so scared.
“I am going to talk to you.” Brent said. His voice was much quieter now. Brent walked over to my bed, I crawled into my bed and Brent sat down next to where I was laying.
“Brent. I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t love you anymore and I am definitely not your girl-” Brent’s index finger met my lips. I stopped talking.
“Come here.” Brent was telling, not asking. I hesitated before moving closer to him. We were both leaning up against the back board of the bed now. Brent turned our bodies so that we were facing each other.
Brent’s hand came up to my face. He hesitated and then his hand made contact with my face. I jumped a little bit, surprised by his touch. His hands was holding my check. Brent smiled at me.
“I love you, Cat.” Brent told me. “Come closer to me.”
I didn’t move. I was scared. Brent saw my confusion and pulled me closer towards him. I tried to move away, but Brent was much stronger.
“Please don’t do this to me Cat.” Brent pleaded.
“It’s too late.” I replied.
“No, no it is not.” Then Brent leaned forward and kissed me.
I was furious. This was the last thing that I expected. I tried to pull away but Brent’s arms were wrapped all the way around me. I had no chance. The only thing I could do was kick him. I brought me knee up and kicked him as hard as I could. That seemed to be the only way to make boys stop kissing me.
Brent yelled and then let go of me. I took this chance and ran for the door. I knew it was locked so I was ready to unlock it. I opened the door and ran into the open room. Sam was sitting on the couch. As soon as he saw me he stood up. I ran to him and he wrapped his arms around me. I felt safe now.
There was no one else in the room, and I was happy. I didn’t want to have to explain to my dad.
I hadn’t realized it at first, but I was crying. Sam was trying to calm me, but the only thing I could think of was Nick with his knife. Brent had brought back those memories. Memories that I had intended to store away forever.
“It’s okay Katie. I have you now.” Sam said. He was rubbing my back, trying to comfort me. Sam stood there with me for almost five minutes before Brent came out of my room. Brent didn’t look mad though. It was almost as if he knew that he deserved that.
“I am sorry.” Brent said.
Sam let go of and stood right in front of Brent. “Sorry for what? Bringing back the memories of Nick holding a knife to Kate’s neck? Sorry for tricking her into loving you? Sorry for getting her kidnapped? Brent she loved you! She trusted you! And what did you do? You stepped out from behind her and watched her fall. And the sad thing is, is that you knew this was coming. The whole time! From the very beginning! From the time that you talked to Katie at the corner! I can’t believe that you could have done that to Katie. She doesn’t deserve any of this. And she certainly doesn’t deserve you.” Sam told Brent. Sam was poking Brent’s chest hard, hoping that he was getting his point across.
Brent didn’t say anything else. He just walked past me and Sam and went into his room.
Sam walked back over to me and sat on the couch. I sat on his lap and laid my head on his shoulder and relaxed, relieved to be in his arms. Sam had basically read my mind. He knew that what Brent did had reminded me of Nick. That’s why I like Sam so much. He know what I am thinking without me having to say it.
“Where is everyone?” I asked Sam, I was still crying.
“They went to get dinner, but don’t worry about them. You need to relax.” Sam’s voice was soothing. I relaxed and stopped crying. I just let Sam hold me.
Sam rubbed my back and laid his head on top of mine. I was so happy right now. I was happy to be in the arms of someone who truly loved me with all his heart. With that, I relaxed and fell asleep.
It was dark when I realized that Sam was shaking me. I opened my eyes and looked at him. He smiled at me and I smiled back. We were both sitting on the couch still, but my head was now resting on his legs. I looked around the room which was a mess. There were plates and cups all over the place. I must have been out. I don’t remember any of this happeneing.
“Richard and Thomas brought some food back after you fell asleep. We haven’t had time to clean it up yet.” Sam informed me. It was like he was reading my mind again. “Your dad said he would clean it up before he went to bed. So we can leave the mess. I thought that you might want to go to your own bed though. I was sort of falling asleep too.” The only thing I could do was nod my head.
Sam moved me off of his lap, stood up and then helped me up. We walked back to my bedroom. On the way back I could hear Thomas and my dad talking. They must have been in the kitchen. I was scared of sleeping in the bed that Brent was in earlier so I insisted on sleeping in the other bed. Sam rolled down the sheets and fixed the pillows. I crawled into my bed and Sam crawled into his. The room was pretty much silent, now.
I was up for a long time after that. I couldn’t fall asleep. The memories of the past day kept haunting my thoughts. I twisted and turned and I still couldn’t fall asleep. Awhile later Sam started to move. I stayed very quiet to make sure that I didn’t wake him up. Then there was a body next to me. Sam’s body was very comforting. My stomach was in butterflies.
“I’m here now, Catherine.” Sam’s voice was quiet and smooth. I could barely hear him. He wrapped his arms around me and kissed my head.
After that, I slept like a rock. I don’t know what it was, but as soon as Sam was next to me all the bad memories went away and everything went back to normal again. That was why I loved Sam so much.
Saturday morning was brutal. As soon as I woke up all the memories flooded into my head. I shuddered and squeezed my eyes shut. Then someone squeezed me. My stomach went into a flurry when I remembered that Sam was next to me.
“You okay?” Sam asked me.
“The memories keep coming back!” I choked out before the tears came. I rolled over and buried my head in Sam’s chest. He squeezed me tight, showing no signs of letting me go.
“I got you, Katie. Don’t worry. You’re safe now.” Sam assured me. I relaxed a little bit and held in my tears. We laid there and Sam just held me. That was all that I needed right now. Sam knew me so well.
After everyone got up and ready we left the hotel and headed towards the airport. The past three days all blended together, and I didn’t want to remember any of them.
Everyone was pretty much silent as we walked around the airport, trying to find our gate. I stayed near Sam as much as possible. I never had to worry about Brent. It seemed as if he was almost trying to stay away from me, but I was okay with that. I didn’t want to deal with him either.
The five of us waited for the plane that was going to bring us home. Nick was brought to us, by police, as we were waiting for the plane to show up.
The whole morning was pretty boring. No one talked and everyone kept to themselves. I guess there was nothing really to talk about.
The plane finally arrived and we all boarded the plane Saturday afternoon, including Nick. Nick kept to himself though. He didn’t talk to anyone else. He just sat in the back alone. I sat by Sam. Richard and Thomas sat by each other and Brent insisted on sitting by himself. The flight went by fast and I only slept for a little bit of it. We arrived in Indianapolis around 2:15 P.M. on Saturday afternoon.
As, we departed the plane I took a big sigh of relief. I walked off the little plane that took us to Italy and was relieved to be back in Indianapolis. The airport wasn’t crowded that bad, so six of us got out of the airport pretty quickly.
Again, the drive was silent. We were even more squished than normal. We had added Nick to the equation, and we made him sit in the front. Sam, Thomas, my dad, and I sat in the back.
After awhile, everyone was still in the car, except Nick. We had already dropped him off at his house. He hadn’t said anything to any of us on the ride home.
My mind didn’t wander too much that afternoon. I was happy about that too. I didn’t want to think about Brent, and I didn’t want to think about Nick. I just wanted to be home, away from everyone that had betrayed me. I wanted to feel safe again.
The next thing I knew we were pulling into my drive way. Sam was probably going to end up sleeping over night and I had to do something about Brent. I actually missed his voice.
Brent turned the car off, and we all got out. We were silent as we walked to the front door. Sam and I brought up the back.
My dad was the one who knocked on the door. My mom answered and was overly surprised by his presence. Oscar, William, and Margaret came to the door to see what was going on. My mom made us all come inside. I think we had a lot of explaining to do.
I was happy to see Margaret. I missed her a ton. I would have to talk to her about all my boy troubles. She would know exactly what to do.
We all settled down in the living room. My dad wanted to tell his side of the story. As he went, the rest of us would probably fill in the story.
Everyone sat in the living room for almost two hours. By the time that the story was finished it was almost dark outside. My mom had a couple of questions, but everyone was just happy that we were home, safe.
One by one, everyone got up and left the room. After about ten minutes, Sam, Brent, and I were the only ones left, and it was silent. I couldn’t take the silence anymore, and I was really tired. I stood up and began to walk towards the stairs.
“Cat,” Brent said.
“Katie,” Sam said. The two boys were almost in sync. I turned around.
“What?” I asked.
“Can I talk to you?” Brent asked.
“No, I don’t trust you anymore.” I replied.
“I won’t do anything to hurt you, I promise. I just want to gain your trust back, please.”
I hesitated. I wanted to give in, but only a little. I looked at Sam, who shrugged, not knowing what I should do.
“I’ll wait for you, Katie.” Sam said after a few seconds. Which gave the go ahead for Brent to talk to me.
“Fine.” I said, unhappily.
Brent stood up. “Can we go to your room?” He asked.
“Sure.” I said. I was scared that he was going to bring back the memories again.
We walked up the stairs, leaving Sam in the living room. The walk was silent. I had nothing to say to him.
When we got to our room he pulled up a chair and I sat on my bed.
“Cat, I am really sorry.” Brent took my hands in his. “I didn’t mean for any of this to happen. I knew it was going to happen, just not like this. Do you understand what I am trying to say?” Brent asked.
I just nodded my head.
“I still love you, Cat. I know that I forced you to love me from the beginning and I didn’t expect us to fall in love like this.”
I still said nothing.
“I really don’t know what else there is to say. I just want to be with you again, Cat.” Brent sounded like he was about to cry.
“Brent, I can’t do this.” I pulled my hands from his. “I understand why everything happened the way it did, but I just don’t think that we can do this,” I told Brent.
“Please, Cat, no. Don’t do this to me.” Brent begged.
“After everything that you did to me, I am not allowed to break up with you?” I asked.
“Cat, I don’t want to lose you.”
“Brent, I trust you. I love you. But, I think that we need to be away from each other right now. You can come over, and we can hang out, but I can’t commit myself to you right now. I need to recover.”
“Fine. I understand. Just promise me that you will still talk to me. Call me if you ever need help. We can even hang out sometimes. Please promise me.”
“I promise, Brent.”
Brent got up and sat down next to me on my bed. My heart jumped, only because I was scared.
“Trust me, Cat.” Brent whispered. I tried to relax, but it wasn’t working. The memories were coming back.
Brent’s arm came around me. He pulled me towards him. I was shaking and my whole body was tense. “Relax,” Brent told me. I tried to relax. Then little by little I let my whole body relax. I put my head on his shoulder and took a deep breath. Brent’s head came down on mine.
My mind was still racing, though. I remembered my confusion when I first met Brent. I remember thinking about how I thought the whole thing was a scam. It came out of nowhere. My instincts were right. The whole thing was made up. It was a huge trick to get my dad back.
As I thought all of this through, I fell asleep. I was surprised that I was able to, considering that I was unable to sleep unless Sam was with me the night before.
Brent must have picked me up and laid me down so that my head was on my pillow instead of Brent’s shoulder. I woke up a little bit after that and all the lights in my bedroom were off. There was someone sitting in my chair at my desk.
“It’s okay Katie, I am right here.” Sam’s voice was always so reassuring.
“Where did Brent go?” I asked.
“He left after you fell asleep. Are you guys on better terms?” Sam asked.
“Yeah, I guess so.”
“Do you still love him?”
“No, I like him. I love you, Sam.” Sam didn’t say anything to that.
“Do you want me to come lay next to you?” Sam asked.
“Yes, please.” I replied.
I heard Sam stand up. He walked over to my bed and laid down right next to me. He wrapped his arms around me and squeezed tight. I rolled over and kissed Sam on the lips. When I pulled away his hand came up to my head and he kissed me again. His other hand was sliding down my side, on its way to my leg. I wrapped my arms around Sam. My stomach felt like it was going to explode.
Sam never seemed to loosen his grip. His hand on the back of my head was intertwined with my hair. He was pulling me closer to him every second. His other hand was resting on my upper thigh. His thumb was moving back and forth there, comforting me.
He rolled over, and now I was on top of him. Sam was still pulling me closer to him. Every inch of my body was touching him. The hand on my thigh moved up to my lower back. His hand was under my shirt. At first it scared me. Nick had just done the same thing. Then I realized that I loved Sam, and that he was allowed to do that.
I broke the kiss long enough to take a quick breath, but then Sam was pushing my head towards his face again. When I kissed him this time, I thought that my heart was going to break through my chest. I was so happy right now.
Sam’s hand had made it up my shirt and was resting on my bare skin, but I could barely feel it on my upper back. Sam’s touch was too soft.
My hands were on either side of Sam’s face. One of my hands moved down his stomach, to his waist. I slid my hand under his shirt and brought it up to his chest. I let it rest there, just like his hand was resting on my back. Sam barely seemed to notice that it was there.
I broke the kiss, and laid my head down on his chest. “I love you,” I whispered. I pulled my hand out from under his shirt, and wrapped both my hands around his torso.
“I love you too, Catherine,” Sam said, breathing heavily.
Sam gave me a tight squeeze and kissed my forehead. He rolled back over so that we were both facing each other on our sides. Then he pulled me in close and just hugged me. I took another deep breath and closed my eyes. I was happy to be in the arms of Sam. He kissed me one more time before we both fell asleep.
It was still dark out when I first woke up on Sunday morning. I had woken up from a bad dream.
In my dream, Nick and Brent were both threatening to kill Sam and I had to watch. I was tied to a chair in the corner of a room. And they were asking me questions. If I didn’t answer them fast enough they were going to whip Sam. I was crying in my dream, and when I woke up I was still crying.
I couldn’t remember what questions I was being asked in the dream, once I woke up. All I knew was that I was witnessing Sam’s death. I wiped the tears from my eyes; happy that it was just a dream. I opened my eyes. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t wake Sam up. When I looked up at Sam his eyes were open and he was just staring at me.
I gasped. Sam had scared me. I hadn’t expected him to be up. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Sam squeezed me hard, knowing that I had been crying.
“I didn’t mean to scare you. Are you okay?” Sam asked rubbing my back.
“No, it’s okay. I didn’t expect you to be awake. That is why you scared me.” I whispered back.
“Right.” Sam smiled. “Are you okay though? You are crying.” Sam tilted my head, so that I was looking Sam straight in the eye. There was no way that I could lie to him now. He knew that there was something wrong.
“Just a bad dream,” I said, hoping that Sam would leave it at that.
“You’re not going to get away with that,” Sam said, smiling. “What was it about?”
“You,” I said.
“What about me? Why are you crying?”
“You were dying.”
Sam stayed quiet. I guess there was nothing he had to say.
“Brent and Nick were torturing you, and I had to watch. They were whipping you.” Tears started to roll down my cheeks again.
Sam used his thumb to stop the tears from flowing. I started to cry harder, and then Sam gave up. The tears were coming too fast. Sam just pulled my towards him, and held me there.
“It was just a dream Katie. Don’t worry. I am right here. Everything will be just fine.” Sam was whispering into my ear.
I tried to push all of my thoughts about Brent and Nick out of my head, but even with Sam there, I couldn’t fall asleep again.
I had nothing to say to Sam and Sam had nothing to say to me. We just laid in my bed together. After about an hour, we had both fallen asleep. We were both tired from the trip to Italy, especially because of the time change.
The next time I woke up, it was light out and I hadn’t woken up from a bad dream. Sam was still laying right next to me; making sure that I was okay.
“Good morning sunshine,” Sam said, after he saw my eyes open. “How are you feeling? Better?”
I twisted and turned, trying to wake up more. “Yeah, I am feeling better, thanks.” I sat up, trying to get my eyes to adjust to the light that was streaming into my room.
“I am sorry about last night.” Sam said.
“What are you sorry about?” I asked.
“The dream. I wish that none of that would have happened.” Sam paused. It was obvious that he had more to say, so I stayed quiet. “I was awake for a long time before you woke up.”
“You talk in your sleep. I first woke up when you screamed. I tried to wake you up, but you never moved. Then I just sat there quietly, and watched you. You were saying my name, and you had a look of confusion on your face. I was sort of amused, but then you said Brent’s name. That was when you began to cry. I shook you as hard as I could, and you finally woke up. I was watching you suffer too. It was a horrible experience.” Sam said.
I hadn’t realized that it was Sam that woke me up. And I didn’t know that I was talking while I was in my dream. I wonder how much Sam really knew.
I didn’t know what to say, so I laid back down, kissing Sam. His hands were instantly around me, and he was kissing me back. We only kissed for a little bit, but that little bit was amazing.
“Sam, I will keep going out with you if you promise me one thing.” I looked at Sam.
“Anything for you, Katie,” Sam replied smiling.
“Promise me that you will never leave me. I want to be able to trust you, whole heartedly, always. Please don’t ever step out from under me. I love you, and I want to keep you.” I smiled, because I knew that Sam would never leave me.
“I promise that I will never leave you. You will always be able to trust me and I will never step out from under you. I will never watch you fall. I want to keep you forever, and I love you with all my heart.” Sam replied. Then he kissed me again.
This kiss was his promise to me, so he made it good. My stomach was doing back flips and my heart was pounding. This kiss was even better than last night’s.
Sam crept down my neck with his lips. He was now kissing me on my collarbone. He stayed there for awhile before he made his way back up to my mouth. Both of his hands were under my shirt, holding me to him. Sam was rough during this kiss, but his touch was still gentle enough that I could barely feel him.
I broke the kiss, because someone had knocked on my door. Sam had heard the knock and was staring at me.
“Who is it?” I asked.
“It’s me, Thomas,” Thomas sounded very tired.
I looked at Sam, who seemed to be fine. Thomas wouldn’t care that Sam had slept over. “Oh, you can come in then.” I replied to Thomas.
Thomas opened the door and crept in, closing the door behind him. “I knew that he was already in here, if that was what you were worried about.” Thomas said, sitting on my desk.
“Oh, okay then. Do you need something?” I asked.
“Well, Margaret said that he was going to go on a walk. She hasn’t come back yet.” Thomas was looking at me like it was no big deal.
“Have you tried to call her?” I asked. I had grabbed Sam’s arm.
“Yeah, she won’t answer her phone. We haven’t told anyone yet.”
“William and me.”
“Oh. Did she tell you where she was going?”
“Okay. Well, what should we do?” I looked at Sam. Sam shrugged his shoulders.
“We could call Brent.” Sam suggested.
I made a face, and then reached for my phone. I had a text message.
I need help. I am with L and N.
The text was from Margaret. I read the text out loud after I read it to myself.
“L and N?” Thomas asked.
“Loren and Nick?” Sam asked.
“I think that it is Loren, but Nick shouldn’t be causing trouble. Could it be Nate?” I replied.
“Oh, I bet that is it.” Sam replied.
“Okay, so who do we call? Wasn’t Brent supposed to be making sure that my family was safe?” I asked.
“He was supposed to keep us safe from Nick and his family, not Loren and Nate.” Sam pointed out.
“So he ditched me again?” I asked Sam.
Sam just shrugged. He didn’t want to answer my question.
“Do you have Loren’s phone number?” I asked Sam.
“Yeah, why?” Sam asked, pulling his phone out.
“I want to call him.” I said. I took Sam’s phone and found Loren’s number. The phone only rung once.
“Hello,” Loren’s voice sounded tense.
I freaked out and quickly gave the phone to Sam and told him to say hi.
“Hi, Loren this is Sam.” Sam replied.
“Oh, I assume that you are looking for Margaret?” Loren asked. Loren’s voice was loud enough for me to hear.
“Yes.” Sam responded.
“Well I will tell you where we are, but you have to bring Catherine with you. We won’t hurt her, we promise. We just have to ask her questions, because Margaret doesn’t know any of the answers.”
“Where are you?” Sam asked.
“We are in the forest, where Catherine and I talked. In that little house. Do you know how to get there?”
“Yes, I do.” Sam flipped his phone shut. “Come on. We are leaving right now.” Sam grabbed my hand and pulled me out of bed. Sam and Thomas left the room, as I got dressed. Thomas had to stay home, so Sam and I left without another word.
Once we got outside, Sam started telling me what to do. “I think that you should text Brent real quick. Just tell him what is going on.”
“Sam, I don’t know what is going on.” I replied, holding Sam’s hand.
“Right. Okay, then. I will call him real quick.” Sam opened his phone and called Brent.
Brent’s voice was loud on the other line, when he answered. “Hello?” Brent asked.
“Hi, this is Sam.”
“Well, Catherine and I are on our way to the forest again. Loren and Nate found Margaret, and she needs help. I know that you were told to only look after Nick and his family, but I think that there is something else going on. Something that we are all missing. I just wanted to give you a heads up. I don’t think that you need to come over here, but I just wanted to warn you.” Sam was talking really fast.
“Okay, wow. That’s really surprising.” Brent’s voice was shocked. “I will see what I can do. Thank you for calling me and please keep Cat safe.”
“Always.” Sam replied, and then hung up.
“They took her to the forest?” I asked Sam.
“Guess so.” Sam replied.
“What are we going to do once we get there?”
“They wanted to ask you some questions. They said that Margaret didn’t know that answers to some of them. They also said that they weren’t going to hurt you, but I am not sure that I trust them.” Sam said.
We were walking really fast through the forest. Sam was holding my hand and had no intention of letting go.
It was about 11:30 am by the time that we showed up at the little house and I was breathing hard. Sam knocked on the door, and Loren answered it.
“Thank you, Sam, for coming.” Loren said.
“Where is Margaret?” I asked.
“She is inside, don’t worry, Katie.” Loren said to me sweetly.
I was now leading Sam. I was not scared of these boys anymore.
Margaret was sitting on the couch that I sat on about a week ago. It was a scary thought. I let go of Sam and rushed towards her, but was stopped short. Someone had grabbed me around the waist, and was pulling me backwards.
I was kicking. The body was familiar, but I was positive that it wasn’t Sam. I was taken backwards, away from Margaret. The person behind me set me down in a chair off to the side. He tied my hands behind my back.
I tried to twist myself around to see who had captured me, but he had grabbed my head, and twisted it forward.
“I would sit still if I were you.” Now, I knew who was behind me. Brent had tricked us. He wasn’t shocked at all. He was there. Brent was the one that had tied me to this chair.
I was furious, and I shook in my chair. Brent’s hands rested on my shoulders. I tried to shake them off, but his hands weren’t moving.
I looked over at Sam. He was just sitting in a chair. He wasn’t tied up or anything, but Nate was standing behind him.
Margaret and Loren had stayed quiet this whole time.
“Okay, well now that we have that settled, we can begin.” Loren informed the group.
“What is your guys’ problem? Why can’t you just leave us alone?” I was yelling at Loren.
Brent walked around my chair so that he was facing me. He bent down so that he could look me straight in the eye. He grabbed my face so that I couldn’t move it.
“I am going to suggest something to you Cat. I would stop talking. I really don’t want to hurt you.” Brent seemed really relaxed, but it was like he forgot everything that he had promised me last night.
I just glared at Brent, until he stood up and returned to his position behind me. I tried to shake his hands off my shoulders again, but his hands stayed there. Brent had a death grip on my shoulders, and I could tell that he was trying to keep his cool.
I tried to shake off is his one more time, just to see if he would snap. Suddenly, I was flipped over, and I had skidded across the room. I wasn’t hurt, but I was smiling. Brent had lost it. He had flipped me.
Brent walked over to where he had thrown me. He untied my wrists, and yanked me off the ground.
Sam tried to stand up, but Nate’s arms held him down. Nate’s had a knife to Sam’s throat, and he was whispering something into Sam’s ear.
Brent led me to the front door, and then outside. He was furious.
“I only brought you out here so that I wouldn’t make a scene in there. Do you understand?” Brent asked. His hands were in fists, because he was so angry. He had let me go, but I wasn’t going to run, and he knew that.
We were just standing there. Brent was huffing and puffing and I was looking at the sky. Then suddenly Brent’s hand came out and slapped my right across the face, knocking me to the ground.
My face hurt so bad. I began to cry, knowing that Brent wasn’t going to comfort me.
“You deserve every bit of this.” Brent spat at me.
“How do you believe that?” I asked, standing up.
“You should have stayed with me. You would have been much safer.”
“How do you figure?” I asked. “I thought that we figured all this out last night.”
Brent’s hand came out and punched me right in the stomach. I couldn’t breathe.
“I don’t know, and I thought that we did too, but Loren pulled me into this.”
“After everything that you have done to me and my family?” I asked, regaining my strength.
Brent came at me, without saying anything else. I tried to kick him, but he dodged it. Brent grabbed me so hard that I screamed. His hand came over my mouth.
“Stop talking.” He ordered and then removed his hand slowly.
“What is wrong with you?” I asked, ignoring Brent’s rule.
Brent grabbed something from his pocket; a knife. He held it to my neck. Now, I was nervous. One of his hands was on my lower back, pulling me towards him. The other held the knife, but it was still a ways away from my face.
“Please, Cat. This is so hard for me you have no idea. Just please listen. I don’t want to hurt you. I still love you remember?” Brent asked me.
I hit Brent’s hand, making the knife fall to the ground about four feet away from us. Brent took a step, as if he was going to grab the knife, but I grabbed his arm stopping him from moving. I was furious. How dare he ask that question?
I remembered the conversation that we had had the night before. I stared straight into his eyes. “I used to love you. Do you remember that? I used to trust you too. Do you remember that?” I paused. “I do. We had so much fun together. I loved you, and you loved me. We trusted each other, and we had a great time. Then, you left me. You turned me in, for no reason. You let me fall. You tricked me. You almost got me killed. And now, you ask me why I left you?”
I was standing very still. I could tell that Brent was relaxed, but I was huffing and puffing. I was trying so hard not to punch Brent in the face. I knew that would only get me into more trouble.
A took a deep breath and decided to finished what I had started to say. “The only person that you should be mad at, is yourself. I gave you everything that you wanted from the beginning. And what did I get? Nothing. I got nothing in return, except a very painful stab in the back.”
Brent’s arms were still around me, and I was almost done talking. “I am sorry, Brent. I really am. But there is no reason to hurt me. I didn’t do anything, but what you asked me to. You are the reason that all of this happened. Not me.”
I turned out of his hands and began to walk back into the building that everyone else was in. Brent had said nothing, which was good. I wanted him to think about everything that he had done.
I walked back into the building. I must have interrupted something because everyone was staring at me, when I walked into the room.
“Katie, are you okay?” Sam’s voice seemed very concerned. Nate had removed the knife from Sam’s neck.
“Yes, Sam, I am fine.” I replied, grabbing my chair and setting it up right. Hopefully Sam didn’t see my face too well. It still hurt like hell.
“Well okay then,” Loren said.
I sat down in my chair. “What did I miss?” I asked.
“Nothing,” Loren said. “We were just waiting for you. Where is Brent?”
“Right here,” Brent said, walking into the room as well.
“Oh, okay. I guess that we are all set then,” Loren said.
Brent came up behind me. I tensed up anticipating his hands coming down on my shoulders, but there was nothing. Brent was just standing there. He didn’t tie my hands up, and he didn’t put his hands on my shoulders.
“She isn’t going to go anywhere, is she Brent?” Loren asked.
“No, I don’t think so.” Brent replied.
“Good.” Loren replied smiling. “Now, Kate, we have some questions for you.” This was just like my dream, from the night before. I tensed up, but I knew that things were going to go differently.
The questions that Loren asked weren’t hard to answer, and I didn’t have to lie, that much. I had totally forgotten about the dream when Loren informed me that Nick was now in jail here in Evansville, and that he won’t be leaving for awhile. I guess the rules in Indiana are different from the rules from Italy. Nick was receiving more punishments.
Loren didn’t have a chance to talk to Nick, before he was put into jail, so Loren was counting on me to fill him in on what happened. My guess was that Loren had no idea that any of this was going on.
Loren seemed surprised by what I told him. He didn’t think that Nick would have done any of that in the first place.
I was asked a variety of questions. It all started from when I first met Brent. Loren wanted to know what I thought about his ideas, and I told him that I knew it was scam the whole time. Loren asked me what my reaction was when Brent told us this was all a scam. I didn’t have a hard time going into detail about that.
The last thing I was asked was what I did with Nick and what happened after I was rescued. That was the hardest part. I didn’t want to go into detail about what Nick had done to me. I was still having trouble going to sleep at night. Nick haunted me in my dreams.
At one point, while I was explaining the one night I spent with Nick, I began to cry. I was shaking and I started crying. The memories were coming back to me. Brent’s hands came down on my shoulders. But this time, they weren’t there to hold me down. They were there to comfort me, just like the Brent I once knew would have done.
I finally got through the whole story. All the way through to what Brent and I had just talked about, outside, by ourselves. Everyone was filled in on everything. Even Margaret.
“So why did you think that Margaret would know the answers to these questions?” I asked Loren, after I was done explaining.
“Well I knew that you wouldn’t come, if I texted you and told you to meet me somewhere. You are too smart now.” Loren paused. What he said had made total sense to me. “I didn’t want to come knocking on your door, just to ask you questions about your trip, either.” Loren finished.
“I guess that makes sense.” I replied. “Why did you want to know? And how did Brent get caught up in this?”
“I wanted to know the whole story. I knew that there was something different about Nick, and when I heard about this I wanted to know all of the details. It all makes sense now.” Loren paused. “I called Brent when I couldn’t figure out how to get to you. He knew that Margaret would come out and here and that she would get you to come out here too. The whole thing was virtually his idea.”
“Oh okay.” I replied. Brent’s hands were on my shoulders still.
“So what is next?” Margaret asked, speaking for the first time.
“I actually want to talk to Catherine, alone.” Loren requested.
“I do too,” Brent said.
I looked at Sam. He stood up and came over to me. He took my hand and brought me in for a tight hug.
“I will be waiting outside for you, love.” Sam told me. He kissed me gently on my forehead. He let go of me and walked out the door.
“I will take Margaret home,” Nate said, walking over to Margaret, who stood up.
“I’m going to wait outside. I will talk to Cat after you Loren.” Brent said.
“Brent?” I asked.
“Yes, Cat?” Brent replied.
“Please don’t do anything stupid. Sam is out there you know.”
Brent just nodded as he walked out the door.
I stood up and walked over to Loren, who motioned for me to sit opposite him. It was just the two of us in the room now.
“I am sorry Catherine.” Loren said. That surprised me. I never expected Loren to apologize for everything he did to my family. “I know that you probably hate me right now, but I wanted everything to be right between us.”
I looked up at him.
“I never should have done what I did. I know what I did was wrong, and I will try not to do it again. From now on, I am going to leave your family alone. Not just you and Margaret, either. I am leaving everyone alone. I am also breaking this group up. Sam is obviously glued to you. Nick is in jail, and he was the one we got all the drugs from. Nate is a really sweet guy and I have my own life too.”
I was still staring at him.
“Do you forgive me?” Loren asked.
“Yes, I do. Did you already apologize to my sister?” I asked.
“Yes. Yes, I did.”
“Then I think that everything is good between us.” I said.
Loren smiled and stood up. I did the same. Loren came closer to me, but I wasn’t scared. He gave me a quick hug, and that was it. He was now my friend. Not an enemy.
Loren and I separated and then Loren left the building. The room was only silent for a couple seconds before Brent was with me.
Brent came right over to me. We were both standing.
Brent grabbed both my hands in his and waited until I looked him straight in the eye.
“I am sorry Cat,” Brent began. “I know that you trusted me, and I know that I probably lost your trust again. Please forgive me.”
I didn’t want to say anything. I looked down at the ground. One of Brent’s hands left mine and went to my face, forcing me to look at him.
“I am sorry.” Brent said again. “I guess I just lost control.” His hand brushed up against where he had slapped me. I winced, because of the pain. There was probably going to be a bruise there. He kept his hand there. “I didn’t mean to hurt you.” He paused. “In any way, I mean.”
Brent was talking about abusing me and leaving me alone on the Italy trip.
I just stared back at Brent. I really didn’t feel like talking.
“Cat, I understand now. I understand what you must be going through. I don’t expect you to forgive me anymore. I promise that I will leave you alone forever. From now on.” Brent was dead serious.
“Brent…” I said.
“I am serious, though.” Brent said.
“Please, don’t leave me for good. Stay in town. Come and visit me. I thought that we had this all planned out last night.” I replied, whining a little.
Yes, Brent had hurt me, badly, but I still loved him. Deep down he was truly a nice person, and I love having him around.
“I know what I promised you, but--” I cut him off.
“Please don’t break another one of our promises.” I said.
Brent just let his head fall. He kept his hand on my cheek, but let go of my hand. He moved his open hand to my back, and raised his head.
“So, you want me to stay, forever?” Brent asked.
I nodded my head.
“Even after everything I have put you through?”
I nodded my head again.
“And you forgive me, for everything that I have done?”
I nodded my head once more.
“Then I guess I will stay.” Brent said smiling. I smiled back. Brent brought me in for a tight hug. “Can I ask for one thing from you. I will never need one after this. I promise you.”
“No, Brent,” I said. I had a small idea.
“Please, Cat. One last time.” He begged.
Brent backed away from me enough so that he could see my face. Both of his hands came up to my jaw line and stayed there. Brent pulled me closer to him now, and I had shivers going down my spine.
“Please don’t,” I said. Brent was just ignoring me.
“I want a kiss.” Brent said.
“No,” I said, trying to pull away.
“Please.” Brent said. I decided to stop arguing. He obviously wasn’t listening to me.
This was going to be my last kiss, from Brent, and I wasn’t excited about it. Our lips met, and it was like the first time we kissed. He had a lot of energy, and I was just along for the ride. Brent’s hands stayed where they were. I wasn’t going to let him move them anywhere else. I kept my hands around his neck, not wanting to make it too obvious that I didn’t want this.
I was the one that broke the kiss.
“Thank you Cat,” Brent said, a little bit out of breath.
“Did you talk to Sam? Is everything alright between you too?” I asked Brent.
“Everything is worked out for the most part. I am still extremely jealous of him, but there is nothing that I can do about that,” Brent said, smiling. He grabbed my hand and walked me to the door.
I think that Sam was happy to see me. I wasn’t really gone for that long, but I am pretty sure that Sam doesn’t like it when Brent and I are alone.
“Katie, you okay?” Sam asked, stepping towards me.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I replied.
“Are you ready to go home, then?” Sam asked.
“Yup.” I said. Brent let go of my hand and I took Sam’s hand instead.
“Can I walk home with you guys?” Brent asked.
“Sure,” I said. Sam didn’t seem to mind.
Most of the walk home was silent. We didn’t really have anything to talk about. We had been with each other for the past week basically. We talked about school for a little while, but that was it.
We walked into my house, about 15 minutes later. Brent had left when we got to the front door. I had given him a hug, and said goodbye.
Sam lead me up to my room. We both flopped down on my bed when we got there.
“What time is it?”I asked Sam, sitting up.
“Almost 1:00pm,” he responded.
It was silent after that. I guess there wasn’t that much to talk about.
“What did you and Brent do?” Sam asked. Now he sat up too.
“He apologized.” I replied. I didn’t want to go into detail.
“What else?” Sam pried.
“He told me that he was going to leave forever.”
“I asked him to stay.”
I took a deep breath. “I still care about him, Sam.”
“I understand that, don’t worry. I know you love me.”
I gave a sigh of relief. I was hoping that was going to be Sam’s reaction. I didn’t want to argue with him now.
“What else happened?” Sam asked.
“He said he would stay.” I replied. I didn’t really want to tell Sam about the kiss, but my guesses, were that Sam already knew. He just wanted to hear me say it.
“Nothing.” I responded, looking away.
Sam grabbed my chin, forcing me to look at him.
“You kissed him.” Sam told me. “Because he asked you to. As an “I’m going to miss you, without actually being gone” kiss. Am I right?” Sam asked.
I nodded my head.
“Damn I’m good!” Sam exclaimed.
We both laughed. I laid my head down on his lap, and he brushed my hair out of my face. He lightly touched the mark that Brent had left there. I grimaced again.
“Sorry, Katie,” Sam said. “I should have stopped him.”
“No, I am glad you didn’t. I needed to talk to him. He was a little confused, I think. I knocked some sense into him,” I told Sam, smiling.
“I believe you,” Sam said.
Sam bent over and kissed me gently on the lips. He was careful not to touch the cheek, where I had been slapped.
“I bet you Brent feels bad about leaving a mark.” Sam told me.
“I think that he does,” I replied. I sat up and looked Sam in the eye. “I think he still loves me.”
“What are you going to do?” Sam asked. He actually seemed worried about something.
“I’m staying with you. I just wanted to tell you that. You don’t need to worry about me. I am not leaving any time soon.” I rushed. I didn’t want to make Sam mad. I shouldn’t have said anything. Sam gave me questioning look. “What?” I asked Sam.
“Do I need to be worried?” Sam asked.
“No,” I argued.
“Katie,” Sam said, dragging my name out.
“Sam! You don’t need to be worried! I love you and that’s that!”
“How?” I asked.
Sam got up and locked my door. I stood up from the bed. I was actually kind of scared.
“Relax, I am not going to hurt you. I just don’t want anyone to interrupt us.” Sam smiled. I must have looked alarmed. Sam raised his hand and used his finger to beckon me towards him. I walked to him automatically.
When I reached Sam he slipped his arms around my hips. “I gave you my promise, so now you have to give me mine.”
I reached up to his lips, and touched them quickly. My hands were resting on his arms.
“Really? That’s’ it?” He asked. I just smiled back at him.
“Do you remember our first kiss?” I asked Sam
Sam laughed. “Of course I remember! You hated me.”
“Yeah, what did you expect me to think? You forced me to kiss you.” I wrapped my arms around his neck.
“Yes, I did. I don’t blame you.” Sam replied.
“The good thing is…that you don’t have to force me to kiss you anymore, and I love you.”
Then I made my lips lock with his. He smiled for a second before we both got swept away. Technically, Sam was forcing me to kiss him. He had locked to door.
Our kiss, was gentle at first. We were both standing in my room. Sam’s hands were under my shirt and on my back in no time. His hands crept up my back and rested right on my shoulders. Sam always kept them there.
Sam pushed us over to my bed. We laid down relaxing a little. Sam tried to unbutton my shirt.
“No, Sam.” I said, breaking the kiss.
“Please, Katie.” Sam begged.
“Absolutely not.” I replied. “I’d rather have you leave if that’s what you want.”
That got Sam’s attention. “I’m sorry, Katie. I swear that I will never do that again. I promise.”
I smiled and began kissing him again. I wrapped my arms around him. I couldn’t get Sam close enough to me. One of his hands left my back, slowly moving to my thigh. He pulled my leg up to his hip, and held it there.
He was the one that broke the kiss this time. “I love you, Katie. So much.” Sam said. He relaxed his head.
“I love you too,” I replied, laying my head on his arm. “Was that a good enough promise?” I asked.
“Yes, Katie, it was. But I would still love you if it wasn’t.” Sam’s lips brushed up against mine one last time, before he was off the bed.
“Let’s go do something,” Sam said.
“What are you thinking we should do?” I asked, wanting him to come back over to me.
“I don’t know. But do you think that we have to bring William with us?” Sam asked.
I shook my head. “Let’s go get something to eat. I haven’t eaten yet today.” I said.
“Good plan.” Sam grabbed my hand and led my down stairs.
It was a short walk downtown from where I lived. We walked the whole way. When it was just Sam and me, there was so much to talk about. We never stopped talking as we walked to the restaurant.
The sky was blue, and there were no clouds in the sky. What a wonderful day. Sam and I walked down the side walk hand in hand. We had no problems to fix, and at the moment, there was nothing I needed to worry about. I was happy, for the first time in two weeks, and I plan to keep it that way. That is, until I run out of time.
About a week later, Sam, Margaret, and I went back to school. It was hard to get used to doing again, but the school year was almost over anyways. We didn’t even miss that much. Loren and Nate returned to school too. The rumors about Nick had died down by the time that the week was over. Sam and I stopped the rumors as soon as possible.
Sam and I were both mad at Nick, but we needed to stick up for him. We were all done with being enemies, we wanted to be friends. Friends that were nice to us, and actually cared about each other.
Brent and I still talked almost every day. He is my new best friend, that isn’t my boyfriend, that is. We never have nothing to talk about. Deep down, I know that Brent still loves me, and there is a part of me that misses him too. I am still mad at him, but he accepts that. That makes Brent all the more nicer.
Speaking of boyfriends. Sam and I are still strong, but Margaret is the one that I am worried about. After Nate walked Margaret home that night….well everything changed. Nate and Margaret are glued together at the hip.
I guess that Nate really liked Margaret. No one knew it though. Nate and Margaret are just like me and Sam. They are able to talk about anything together. They love each other with all their hearts too.
Sometimes Sam and I will hang out with them. They are really funny when they are together and I think the Nate brings out the best in Margaret. She is always hanging out with him, not that I should be saying anything, but I am glad that Margaret has found someone that she can actually trust.
All of Margaret’s other boy friend’s from the past have dumped her for a dumb reason, or she has broke up with them because they cheated on her. I know that Nate wouldn’t do that to her, and I think that she knows that too.
My dad is now safe and sound. He has a new job that keeps him at home all the time. He barely ever has to leave the house. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing? I don’t know.
After he got back to the United States, he decided to quit his job. Nick’s dad was working with the ASO, but only because that was one of his conditions. Otherwise he would have killed my dad. He got enough money to move his family back into the house they once had, making everyone happy. Nick was even released from jail early.
My dad and Nick’s dad aren’t the best of friends at the moment, but they definitely aren’t enemies. They will talk on the phone, or email every now and then, but nothing more than that. I think that my family is just glad that everything is over.
William is doing great. Me and him are closer than we ever have been before. We talk all the time, and I can tell that he really cares about me. He hasn’t had a girlfriend for awhile, but I think he likes it that way.
My twin brothers are as crazy as ever. I feel like I have grown closer to them too. I really like it that way. They are always bugging me about Sam, but I have grown to ignore it. They make both Sam and I laugh all the time too. They are just so much fun to have around. I think that they are jealous, because I have a serious boyfriend and they haven’t had girlfriends for almost two months.
My mom has decided to come out of retirement, although she wasn’t fully retired to begin with. She now has shifts at the office almost every day. She loves being a doctor and everyone can tell. All her friends at work love having her back, and I know that my mom is happy to be back too. She spends less time at home, but she doesn’t seem to mind.
All in all, I think that my family has changed drastically since my dad was kidnapped in Italy. I almost want to thank Nick and his dad. That incident, helped me find the love of my life, brought me closer to all my family, and taught me a couple lessons along the way, and I’m thankful for that.
Everything and everyone is pretty much back to normal, now. Sam is like a brother to the rest of my family. He is over almost every day. It’s a good thing everyone likes him. We are almost never apart, and everyone at school knows almost everything that we do. We are basically the hit couple. Us, and then Margaret and Nate too.
There hasn’t been any trouble lately. I have been as happy as can be. Sometimes I get a little stressed out, but that is what boyfriends are for. Sam and Brent have taught me so much, and I love them both. Brent and I have learned from our lessons, and are doing great now. Sam doesn’t mind it when Brent is around either, and that’s always good. I am glad that they got everything straightened out.
My life has been pretty normal and I plan to keep it that way for a long time. I guess we will just have to wait and see.