Author’s note: Please excuse the writing of this chapter. I wrote it over a course of many days because of how sick I’ve been. I apologize in advance for anything that comes off crappy. I just really wanted to get this chapter out, it’s been a while! I hope you enjoy it anyways.
Ryder’s Point of View
What the- Why am I on the couch? Last thing I remember is passing out on the floor after losing my lunch or err… well can’t say that considering I haven’t eaten in like two days. I don’t understand who would want to move me off the floor. Everyone in this mansion could care less about anyone else. I know for a fact James didn’t have one of his men move me; why would he care about my comfort?
I rubbed my eyes, “Oh god, I’m so hungry.”
A voice from the floor giggled, “Boy, I bet. You lost anything that could have possibly been in your stomach! Good thing I cleaned it up and moved you somewhere comfy, huh? You looked terrible!”
What the heck!? Why is this woman on the floor and why is she giggling and staring at me? Talk about creepy!
I shot up, “Who in god’s name are you?! And why the heck are you on the floor lady?”
She giggled again, “I dunno, I just found you fascinating to watch.”
“But I was asleep… how entertaining could that have been for you?”
She stood up and grinned, “More entertaining than half the stuff around this crappy place. Everything here is just so boring and there are too many rules.”
I stood up myself, “You still haven’t answered my question; who ARE you??” I sighed, frustrated.
“Oh.” she laughed, “How rude of me…” she took a step closer and whispered, “Name’s Eve; I’m James’ daughter. He told me to come down here and tell you that you need to feed your sister and her little girlfriend. I was going to wake you up but… well, you were just so adorable.”
I gulped, “James’… daughter?”
Oh god, that’s just what I need; the offspring of the crazy man.
“Yeah, don’t let that get you all scared cutie. I’m not going to hurt you or anything. Plus, my dad doesn’t really let me do much considering I’m only 19. So I basically just roam around the giant mansion under lockdown- So boring.”
She sighed again and then started towards the door, “There is sandwiches out on the little table out here and to open the glass just type in the pin code correctly and have it scan your lock thingy. Oh, don’t type the code in wrong because it will set off this big alarm and we don’t want that. OH,” she turned back around, “There is a different code for each lock and they change every day, so don’t even try to remember them… not that you could anyways. Well, see yah!”
“WAIT!” I shouted, “What’s the code??”
She stopped, “It’s 395345. Bye!”
Oh god, please don’t forget that… please don’t forget that… 395345… 395345…
Just like she said, there was a plate of sandwiches on a small table and a code box right next to it. Okay Ryder, you can do this. You don’t have to be nervous or scared that you’re going to alert the entire mansion to come after you. The code number is 395535? No… no wait… it’s 395435. GOD, this is so frustrating!
I gulped and then proceeded to type in the numbers. The lights flashed green and then the little box requested a scan, so I lifted my arm and let it verify who I was. After a split second I heard loud noises coming from the next room so I quickly grabbed the plate of food – inhaled a sandwich for myself – and then proceeded into the next room.
Oh god, this was so nerve wrecking. My sister and her girlfriend were going to see me and then all the questions were just going to start bursting out of them. I don’t want to tell them why I’m here or why I’m feeding them like some prisoners. I can’t even bare to look at them like this let alone speak to them. It’s just not fair! If I do anything that I’m not supposed to they’re going to hurt me or kill me or something. I just can’t risk dying knowing they are still in here but how am I ever going to get them out?? It’s like I can’t win no matter what I do! For now though, I’m just going to try and play it cool. I know for a fact they have cameras all over this place. I mean, what kind of screwed up secret facility wouldn’t? There are probably dudes watching my every move.
And just like I said…
“RYDER!?” Sam gasped, “What the heck are you doing here?!”
Kylie eyed me up and down, “Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. What the heck is he doing here? And why does he have freaking sandwiches with him?”
Oh god, I can’t answer these questions. I just have to give them the food and then get out!
I threw the sandwiches on the ground and tried to make a run for it. Although, before I had the chance to do that, the glass slid back into place and I was trapped with them. Oh no! What the heck am I going to do now?! Those jerks, I know they did this! I know James is messing with me, or testing me! He probably wants to see what I’ll say to them! CRAP!
“RYDER!” Sam screamed again, “What in god’s name?! Stop ignoring us! I know you’re not deaf!”
Yeah, not yet! If I mess up, I know they’re going to do something horrible to me.
Sam charged over to me and spun me around, “For crying out loud, would you just answer me already? Ryder what is this place and why are you here too? Did they kidnap you as well? All I remember is me and Ky looking down the site of a barrel… and then… they knocked us out cold with some rag.”
Kylie scoffed, “You’re wasting your breath Sammy. I just have a bad feeling that your brother here isn’t trapped like we are. What are you hiding Ryder? Enlighten us.”
Sam glared at her, “Shut up Kylie! Don’t say that about my brother! Ryder would never do anything like that.”
I laughed nervously, “No, ne-never…”
She sighed, “Well? What happened to you?”
Okay, I need to make up some bull crap so she’ll believe it. Oh heck, Samantha is smarter than that. I’m probably better off just telling her the truth. Oh god, what am I thinking?! I can’t tell her I killed someone! What am I crazy!? Come on Ryder, THINK!
“Well, you see… I was on a date with some girl from school and someone working for the commander was watching me. So he calls up the big man and he comes to me and tells me he can make, uh, all my dreams come true. Yeah, like money and stuff. So I follow him and then I find out it was just a trap to get me to work for him. So I basically am stuck doing whatever they tell me to do.”
Oh there is no way she is going to believe that load of crap.
“ARE YOU INSANE?!” she shouted, “Who the heck follows a guy because they promise them money?! You’re an idiot RYDER! At least me and Ky weren’t dumb morons like you! Dad is probably going crazy not knowing where you are! GOD I can’t believe you actually did that! You’re almost 16 for crying out loud; I don’t even think a 10 year old would do that!! How the heck are you an honor student?! UGH!”
Okay, I deserved all of that. I can only imagine what she would have said if I told her that the “make my dreams come true” was actually “get rid of my dead body”.
“Well SORRY I’m not perfect like you are! Oh, wait, I forgot… you abandoned dad and then started working at a bar.”
Just have to change the subject… I’d rather be arguing with her than talking about why I’m in here.
She glared at me, “OH I see, so that’s how you really feel? You think I just ‘abandoned’ him, not that he drove me away with how selfish he was being??”
“You’re one to talk about being selfish Samantha. You broke his heart by being away for so long. No matter how hard he tried to bring you back you always just kicked him to the curb. You are practically making him beg on his hands and knees like your some sort of god. He’s our dad, you don’t do stuff like that to your parent. Especially since he’s the ONLY one we have!”
“He HURT me Ryder! I wanted to forgive him but how did I know I could trust him again?! I mean, I forgive him now and I realize how stupid I was… but you have to see it from my point of view.”
And, just as she said that, the glass door opened up and I knew that was my cue to get out of there. I couldn’t bare it any longer anyways. I didn’t want to lie to my sister or argue with her. I love my big sister and I hate that I have to treat her like some sort of prisoner… This sucks so badly.
Just as I stepped out, the glass closed shut right behind me. Sammy and Kylie ran towards the glass and just started banging and kicking and screaming. I wanted to help them so badly, but all I could do was just stand here and cry. If only they knew the real truth about this terrible place…
“Darn it Ryder, I know you’re out there!” Kylie screeched, “I know you can let us out!! Open the dang glass up, this isn’t funny!”
“Please Ryder!” Sam begged, “Please don’t keep us locked up!”
I’m not doing this to you! Please don’t blame me… I’m so sorry.
After everything happened I found my way back to my room and flicked on the light furiously. I was so over whelmed with so many freaking emotions that the next thing I knew I was shouting loudly and then punching a wall as hard as I could. It hurt like crazy but I didn’t even care. I just wanted the pain to be inflicted somewhere else; I was so tired of all the pain coming from guilt eating me alive.
“God DANG IT!”
Adam jumped out of his bed, “What the heck man?! I’m not completely deaf; I can still hear you hit a freaking wall at 2 am!”
I turned to him and sighed, “I just can’t take it here anymore! I’ve only been here for like two days and I already just want to jump out a window! I can’t stand watching my sister be tortured or her girlfriend for that matter. I hate knowing my life is always at risk and that I’m watched every waking moment! I can’t even take a piss without thinking someone is watching me! How in the world do you manage to live through each day without cracking!?”
He sighed loudly, “It’s because I already have cracked, dude. I’ve been through all that crap where I tried clawing at doors and windows so I could escape. I even went as far as to try and break the lock off of my arm but then I stopped myself. I’ve been here so long, but you never really get used to it. You just basically have to accept it for what it is. I know I’m only 17 but I’ve already been through much more than I should have. Just leave it at that.”
I stepped closer to him, “I’m sorry dude, but there has just got to be a way to get out of this place. I don’t want to turn into some crazed loon who starts rocking back and forth and then finally accepts his reality. I want to be able to find a way out and stay calm while doing so.”
He rolled his eyes, “Thanks for calling me a crazed loon… I appreciate that.”
My eyes widened, “No, I didn’t mean it like that! I was just- I wasn’t trying to- God, I’m sorry.”
“It’s alright, I’ve been called worse… trust me. Just, as someone who knows what James is capable of, don’t do anything stupid. Just follow what he tells you to do and you should be alright for the most part. I know you wanna escape and are determined to do so – trust me you’re not the first – but you really do have to accept this life at some point or another. There is seriously no freaking way out of here… ever.”
“Adam, what exactly is this place? James wouldn’t tell me anything at all.” I sighed.
“Heck, if I knew. He only tells what he does to the people he trust. And even he doesn’t trust them completely. He’s always for himself and himself only. He doesn’t even trust that whore of a daughter he has. She even wears one of these locks. I don’t know what he does, but in all honesty… I’ve always wanted to know. I swear, if I could just find out something… Oh what am I thinking?” he scoffed, “There is nothing I could do anyways.”
I smirked, “You never know, I mean, we do seem to make a pretty good team.”
“Well, well, well…” a voice laughed from behind us, “What are you two dumb freaks talking about? Trying to come up with a plan to escape? Do you know how many of you punks I’ve heard say that and yet it still makes me laugh every time. You two do realize we can see AND hear you? Blue told me to tell you to get in bed or he’s going to make you.”
Blue? I think that was the man that James was talking to in his office; I’m not quite sure what he looks like though.
Adam gulped, “Yes, Kriss, sir… I was just getting in bed.” he looked at me, “I mean, we both were, right Ryder?”
I looked at him, realizing I was on his deaf side, I just nodded.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought.” Kriss chuckled, walking out of the room, “Night darlings.”
I know that James trust that man but yet… he still has a lock on his arm. Wow, Adam wasn’t kidding. Even the people he trusts he doesn’t fully trust. This place is so freaking screwed up.
After Kriss left the room I climbed up on my bed and just lay there with my eyes closed. Thousands of thoughts were rolling around in my head until one particular thought came to mind. If there was a way to gain James’ trust to the point that he removed my lock… I would have complete control to do whatever I wanted. If there was a way to actually get so close to him, not just in business but in friendship as well, I know for a fact that I would have the upper hand. How I would do such a thing, I have no clue, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out. There has just got to be a way to win that man over… there just has to be.
Noah’s life felt meaningless since his children were gone. He couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t eat and he couldn’t think. He quit his job at the law firm to continue to search for his babies but he gained no luck in finding them. The police have been working hour after hour on this kidnapping but have nothing but a video surveillance from outside of Samantha’s job. The video barely shows the men who took them and no voices can be heard. All Noah can do is sit and wait, watching the clock tick by slowly and listen to the slow and painful beats of his aching heart. It hurt Noah to lose his one and only love – Riley – but as he sits there knowing that his children have been taken… the pain of losing his wife is nothing in comparison to knowing his children could wind up dead.
On top of not knowing where his two oldest are, he constantly finds himself checking in on his youngest child- Ryan. Noah fears that since they took the first two, it won’t be long before the third one is stolen as well. That is why Noah feels he mustn’t sleep, for if he sleeps for just a moment… he could lose his infant son.
On top of having to painfully keep watch over my sister for weeks on end, James thinks it’s funny to make me clean as well. I’m not the freaking maid! Why the heck do I have to be the one to do this crap?! I know it amuses him because he must have gone back and forth through the kitchen at least 12 times. Each time he doesn’t say a word to me but I know he’s loving it. He just wants to torture me in any way that he can. Well the jokes on him because I’m done giving him a hard time. He’s going to see that I’m going to be the best freaking worker-slave-prisoner he’s ever had. He’s going to gain my trust one way or another; I’m going to make sure of it.
See what I mean!? There he goes just frolicking through the kitchen again. You just don’t know how bad I want to say something to him- Although, I’m not going to. I’m just going to stand here like a good little boy and let him mock me with his smirks and grins.
“You still need to clean the fountain.” he muttered out, as if he could hear my thoughts.
I sighed, “Right away sir.”
He stopped in his tracks. What? What did I say wrong this time?!
“Ryder.” he said without turning around, “After you are finished, I have a task for you to do that involves driving. You do know how to drive right?”
Driving? What the- Why does he want me to drive?
“Good, then after you’re done go get your sister and her little girlfriend and bring them outside. I’ll let you know what to do from there.”
“Of course sir.” I sighed again.
Where does he want me to drive them? WHY does he want me to do this?? I just know he has some hidden motive; what was this guy up to?
So that’s exactly what I did. As soon as I was done with my stupid chores I went down into the basement and let my sister and her girlfriend out.
“Ryder what’s going on? Are they letting us go?!” Sam exclaimed.
I shook my head, “No, they’re not. James gave me orders that I have to follow, so come with me.”
“What the crap Ryder?!” Ky screeched.
“Yeah, seriously! Stop treating us like this, we’re not your freaking prisoners!”
“Just please…” I mumbled, “Come with me so you don’t get in trouble.”
They put up a pretty good fight but gave in after another few minutes. It hurts so bad that Kylie and Sammy take all their anger out on me for this. It’s not like I locked them in there and held them captive! I’m a prisoner myself in this place.
Before going outside with the girls James handed me a piece of paper with strict instructions to take them to this one address. It told me exactly how to get there but not how to get back. The paper said I would be escorted back to the mansion and the girls were to stay at the address I was to take them to. I don’t get it, why are they being moved?
“God NO! I’m not getting in some creepy black car and having my kid brother drive me anywhere! Plus where the heck are we going Ryder and why the heck do you have to do this?!”
That’s the same question I’ve been asking myself.
“Just get in the car, stop asking so many questions Sam.”
With the help of Blue and Kriss I was able to get Samantha and Kylie in the car. Well, okay, they kind of threatened them and then they ran and jumped in the car. Once we were all in I followed the directions to the tee. It was pretty hard to figure out considering they were so far back in the woods, but once we hit some ACTUAL roads it became a lot easier to handle. It must have taken us at least 2 hours just to get out of the woods! What made things worse was that James’ directions made sure to take you in spirals and twist and turns just so it wasn’t easy to memorize.
“I can’t take this anymore Ryder. You have a car and we’re in the middle of nowhere yet you won’t drive for home?! I just don’t understand why you would just follow their orders. Do you honestly think they could find us out here?!”
They’re probably tracking me right now. There might even be cameras in the car…
“I’m just doing what I’m told.”
Sam looked back at Kylie and then to me. Sam quickly jumped in the back seat and they tried to escape but the doors had no handles.
“Let us OUT!” she screamed.
I shook my head no.
She leaned over my seat and started twisting the steering wheel and struggling over top of me. I tried to keep control but when Kylie helped her the entire vehicle swerved and went down a steep hill.
The car went flying down the hill and smashed right into a tree. It hit so hard the wood actually went THROUGH the car! If Samantha was still in the front seat she could have been killed! What was she thinking!? Why in the world did she risk all of our lives like that?! Doesn’t she understand that I COULDN’T just drive off? They would have killed me on the spot and then just came for Samantha and Kylie again. No, of course she doesn’t understand because I’ve been too much of a wuss to tell her anything. I just couldn’t though! What if I would have told her too much or acted out and then they killed me?! Like that matters now… I’m already as good as dead.
Since there were no handles anywhere besides the driver’s seat, Samantha and Kylie climbed over top of me and then started running off into the woods. Before they did that though, as Sam was climbing over me, she whispered ‘I love you’ in my ear and then took off. I didn’t have the energy to stop them and even if I did… I wouldn’t want to. I’m just so happy that Sam found a way to escape herself. I can actually die now and know that she’s going to be okay.
I’m thinking since they were in the back seat they didn’t get as hurt as I did so that’s why they had the energy to escape. When the car smashed into the tree my whole face smacked the steering wheel and parts of the tree that came through the car. I was bleeding and bruised but the only thing I cared about was my lock. As soon as I saw the impact coming, I quickly covered it up so nothing would happen to it. I guess in a way I put myself in more danger by trying to shield it but I don’t even care. Just as long as I don’t die by being poisoned… I just can’t die that way.
“Uggggh…” I groaned, “Everything hurts…”
I strained to open my eyes; everything around me was becoming blurry and unclear. I tried to stay focused for as long as I possibly could but the impact my head received was just too much for me to bare; within moments I was knocked out cold.
“Ryder, get up!” A familiar voice shouted at me.
I tried to move but my body was so weak and my head was so heavy. I opened my eyes at least 5 different times but everything was still blurry and hard to see. It was then that I released my glasses must have come off during the crash. It’s funny; you’d think that would be the first thing I would notice.
“He’s not moving commander.” Blue added in, “Is he dead?”
James scoffed, “He’s not dead, he’s just being hard headed!”
I’m not trying to be difficult! I just seriously can’t lift my head!
A second after he said that he charged right over to me and kicked me in the chest! The chair went flying sideways and I smacked back and hit the wall. What in god’s name!? Is he seriously that impatient?? I was in a freaking car accident and I probably have a concussion! Give me a second to wake up before you kick me to the point I can’t breathe!
“There.” James laughed, “He’s awake!”
Once on the ground I noticed that Adam was in the room with us. What in god’s name!? Why is he in here?!
“Pl-please stop hurting him!” Adam cried out, “Please, don’t kill him!”
Kriss looked over at him and laughed, “You don’t want me to hurt him? Oh you mean like this?”
He walked over to me and kicked me in the shin! I cried out in pain and Adam curled up closer to the wall covering his right ear.
“Such a wuss.” Kriss retorted.
I was sitting against the wall in pain when a thought came to me. I know why he made me take Samantha and Kylie and I know why he made me watch over them.
“You knew…” I muttered out.
All three of them turned away from Adam and pointed there attention towards me.
“I knew what?” James questioned, raising his eyebrow.
I stood up, “You knew that if I was the one to take Samantha and Kylie that something would go wrong. You also made me watch over them for the same reason. You wanted something to happen!”
Kriss and Blue looked at me and then to James. James stood there in silence for a few moments before a giant grin spread across his face.
James grinned, “Well Ryder you certainly are smarter than you act. You’re right; I did want something to happen. And, just like I predicted, something did.”
“But WHY!?” I shouted, “Why would you want this to not work out?”
“Well, if you mess up that just gives me all the more reason to punish you. It’s not as much fun to just do it without a reason. I like there to be some kind of action involved with this. Besides, I can easily find your sister and her little girlfriend. I didn’t put tracking devices on them, but that was just to spice things up. If I knew exactly where they were then that would just be boring.”
What the heck is wrong with this man?! It’s like this some sort of game to him!
“Blue, Kriss, go get my special liquid.” he laughed.
Kriss and Blue left the room but were back in moments with this black pot filled with some sort of liquid. I had no idea what it was but I’m afraid it won’t be a mystery for much longer.
“Since you failed to do as I asked you must be punished. Don’t you agree Ryder?”
I was about to tell him no, that I didn’t deserve this, but I held my tongue because I remembered my plan. Instead I just agreed with what he had said.
His head shot back and he laughed, “You agree with me? Well, that’s not what I expected from you but alright.” he continued on, “This liquid is a powerful acid that burns if touched. If left on for too long it will burn and eat away at your skin until there is nothing left. I’m going to use this liquid to not only punish you but to rid you of your fingerprints as well.”
My heart sank to my stomach and my eyes widened, “M-my fingerprints?!”
“Yes, your fingerprints. Just see it as a 2-for-1 deal. You’re getting punished but at the same time I’m ridding you of crucial evidence. I know that you’re not in the system but I want to make sure to keep it that way.”
“WAIT!” I shouted, “James, please, you don’t have to do this! I’m sorry I screwed up! I promise I won’t ever mess up again! PLEASE!!”
“Kriss, grab him.” James sighed, “Ryder, stop making this harder than it really has to be. I promise this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.” He laughed loudly.
Oh GOD, I don’t want to lose my fingerprints or burn my skin! I give up; I just want to go to jail!
Right in the midst of my panic I noticed Adam still against the wall. He was freaking out and crying and he wouldn’t move his hands away from his ears. Oh god, how many times have them made him watch stuff like this?!
Before I had the chance to let my thoughts run any further, Kriss took my arms and shoved them inside the pot. He then quickly pulled them out and took a few steps back. I could feel the acid burning my arms and sizzling as it ate away at my skin!!
“GET IT OFF!” I shouted, “PLEASE!! IT HURTS SO BAD!!”
They just stood back and laughed at me. James kept it on longer than it’s supposed to be just to teach me a lesson! He set this all up just so he could stand back and watch me suffer!
“Always watching you suffer makes up for everything!” he laughed loudly.
I didn’t even know what he was talking about, and nor did I care at the moment. I didn’t care about anything. I just wanted to die!
God… please save me!
So okay, that was pretty harsh… but I did warn that this generation would be disturbing at times. So Ryder has been trying his hardest to play it cool so that James will someday accept him and trust him completely. His goal is to make sure that happens so he removes the lock from his arm. He knows that not telling his sister everything was wrong but he was afraid if he said too much they would kill him. I did say that things Ryder will do this generation you won’t always agree with…