The six children exchanged looks of horror as they listened to the man speak to their parents. They had been gagged so that they wouldn't shout out to their parents. Alanna felt a tear well up in the corner of her eye and shook it away impatiently. Rayne started shaking, her misty grey eyes round with fright. Thom sent his twin a sympathetic look, concern filling every bone in his body. The eldest Handon, Isaac, glared at the leader, his eyes snapping with fury. Taylor gave Zac a look that clearly said 'we're in big trouble!'. His pale blue eyes clouded with worry.
"Well, we might as well get aqquainted with our prisoners - don't you think?!" The leader looked at his partners in crime and pulled the taller of the two girls into his arms, nuzzling her neck. She smiled and snuggled deeper into his embrace.
"I'm Bill, this wildcat is Deena, the other girl is Delia - they're sisters. The guys are Gary, Raoul, and Alex, in order of height - Gary's the tallest."
The six captives looked over their kidnappers. The leader, Bill, was tall and handsome, with the exception of a long scar running across his right cheekbone. Deena was tall and willowy, with dark brown hair and catlike green eyes. Her sister, Delia, had the same green eyes, with reddish highlights in her hair. Both were beautiful, but Deena was evidently favoured by Bill. Gary and Raoul were big made, with blonde hair and light brown eyes. Alex was the darkest of the six, with black hair and dark brown eyes, he moved with the quiet grace of a panther. While the six children learned the faces and names of their jailers, Bill started speaking again.
"Here's the deal. We have nothing against you kids - we're just in this for the money and some fun. Y'see, your parents might need a little encouragement to get that money together fast, so we'll have to provide that. You do as we say, and we won't hurt you - much. We'll be untying you, but you'll stay in this room. If you need to relieve yourselves, there's a bathroom over there. You'll get food when we feel like giving it to you. Don't piss us off, or you'll be sorry - very sorry. Any questions?"
As the gags were still in the children's mouths, there was no response. He just smiled and nodded.
"Good. Now don't try any funny stuff while we take off the ropes." Each kidnapper undid the bonds of one of the children, who put up no resistance. As soon as this was done, the kidnappers walked out, locking the door and bolting it behind them.
"Just a little something to remind the parents of their little darlings." Captain Black read the note out aloud, his powerful voice shaking. Mrs. Trebond cried out as she recognised her daughter's bracelet. Mr. Trebond put his arm around her comfortingly as he tried not to show his fear. Diana Hanson held her sons' hair and chain and wristwatch in a white knuckled hand, shaking. Tears trickled down Mrs. Philips cheeks as she picked up the lockets of her children, each containing a picture of the other, smiling contentedly. Mr. Hanson made his wife sit down, trying to quell the nagging sensation of worry that was on his mind. Mr. Philips paced around the room, the fear he felt for his children evident on his expressive face. The room fell silent as every adult realised that the children were probably in for a very harsh time. Captain Black was a stern mask, hiding the worry he felt as he barked out orders to the officers around him. As some of the officers ran after the messenger, the captain did his best to quell the fears of the parents. The messengar, however, had disappeared a long time ago, making himself scarce as soon as the package had been delivered.
"Well, what are you going to do? How are you going to find my children, dammit!" Walker Hanson yelled out in frustration. The other parents murmured in agreement, looking to the captain for a response. However the response they received was not the omen they'd hoped for.
"We wait." The captain sighed heavily, sinking into his chair.
"We wait? That's IT - we wait? You want us to wait while our children are being held captive by madmen who would probably kill them in the blink of an eye?!!" An irate Susan Philips screamed out, on the verge of hysteria. Her husband held her in his arms, trying to comfort her.
"I'm sorry. We have no leads, there's nothing we can do until they contact us again. Might I suggest that you all convene at one house for a while to make contact with you as easy as possible."
"Thank you captain. We appreciate your help." Alan Trebond spoke wearily, as if he had aged tremendously in the house following his only child's disappearance. After a brief discussion, the parents decided that the Philips' residence would be most convenient to use as a temporary home. Mr. and Mrs Hanson sent the younger children to their grandparents' home in Florida, and closed up the house, cancelling all arrangements. They informed the record company of what had happened and were relieved to discover that they would be given full support. Mr. and Mrs. Trbond took a long leave of absence from their jobs, as did Mr. and Mrs. Philips. The Trbonds closed up their house as well, and in two days, the three sets of parents were convened at the Philips' residence, awaiting news of their beloved children.
Back at the warehouse, the kidnappers had convened at the dining room to discuss what to do with the captive children.
"I want to have some fun. Let's play with the parents minds for a bit!" Gary spoke up, grinding his right fist into his left palm.
"Talk sense Gary! We can't hurt the kids too much just yet!" Delia leant back against the wall, exasperated at her fellow kidnapper's mentality.
"Delia's right. If we harm them now, we won't have anything to torture them with later." Alex pointed this out calmly, sitting in his chair, relaxed.
"I dont' recall putting this up for discussion." Bill called their attention to himself. "The kids have to be shown that they're under our control. We can't let them try to escape or else things will get too complex. However, as much fun as it might seem to torture them, we will not do so unless provoked. Keep them in suspense, let their imagination terrify them."
Bill's voice was reasonable. He spoke in a cold detatched way that made most people very nervous.
"Get the Trebond girl into the room. I have something to talk to her about." With that order, he walked into the adjoining kitchen and shut the door firmly behind him.
"Who's gonna go? Five of us aren't needed to get one little girl in here!" Gary grinned, looking around for volunteers.
"I didn't sign up to be a slave or a nanny. I'm not going." Raoul grumbled, speaking for the first time since they'd left the children's room.
"Let Deena go. She looks like she'd like to get her claws into someone." Alex drawled, lounging on his chair with serpentine elegance. Without waiting for a reply, Deena rose from her place on the table and strode swiftly out of the room.
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