Alanna looked up at her fellow captives and picked herself up. She wiped her face with the back of her hand and said cheerfully, "Hey Guys! What'd I miss?" But it didn't fool Rayne whose sharp eyes spotted the tearstains on her face.
"Are you ok? What happened?!" She jumped to her feet and ran across to where Alanna was standing.
"I'm fine. He just scared me a little, that's all." Alanna's tomboyish nature stepped in and she backed away from Rayne's caring arm. Rayne looked at her, her expression one of total skepticism. "Really, I promise. I'm fine." Alanna insisted, smiling. She hated the feeling that all five of them were staring at her, feeling sorry for her. She shrugged and walked into the bathroom and turned on the faucet, cupping her hands underneath it. Quickly washing her face, she stepped outside. To her relief, the others had resumed their conversation. She slipped into the circle and joined in, pushing the episode with Bill into the furthest recesses of her mind.
"Don't' you guys feel weird, having girls screaming at you the whole time?" Thom asked curiously.
"It can get crazy sometimes, but most of the time…"
"It's pretty cool." Taylor started off, only to be interrupted by Isaac. After a short silence, Zac spoke up.
"Y'know - you know who we are - and you have a basic idea of what we're like…but we know absolute jack squat about any of you! Pretty unfair, wouldn't you say?" He said, looking to his brothers for support. They nodded, amused. Grinning, he continued, pointing to Rayne, indicating that she should start. "You first!"
"What do you want, my life story?!" She laughed. "It'll put you to sleep in two seconds flat!"
With much laughter and teasing, they got to know one another, going through everything, from their worst fears to their greatest dreams and back. As Alanna trailed off, finishing what she was saying, the six fell into silence.
A silence that was suddenly broken when Zac said, "Are your eyes really purple, or are they contacts?" Alanna grinned at the familiar question.
"They're real. Don't ask me how it's possible to have purple eyes, 'cos I don't have a clue. My parents were on holiday in Africa when I came. I was early. Half the doctors thought I was an angel born to help mankind, and the other half thought I was possessed by a demon!" This brought a shout of laughter for her companions, the wry expression on her face only adding to their amusement.
"So which half was right?" Rayne queried, smiling mischievously.
"As far as I know, I'm no angel - but then again - I'm not exactly satanic either!" A dimple appeared in her left cheek, giving her smile a slightly lopsided effect.
"I guess we'll have to wait and see, huh!" Isaac grinned.
"Guys - not to put a damper on this and all - but what's going to happen to us now? I mean, these guys mean business." Rayne pondered aloud, bringing to light the topic that had consciously been left out of all previous discussion.
"We can't do much right now other than wait and see what happens next. I mean - we don't know anything about these people. I guess, we just have to be careful and try not to piss them off too much." Taylor said quietly. "And we should stick together - you know, try not to fight or whatever." He added as an afterthought.
"Taylor's right. I know we don't know each other really well or anything, and I know I sound like the biggest dork, but it has to be said. If we don't' stick together, we aren't gonna make it." Thom spoke firmly, his pale gray eyes serious. The others glanced at each other and nodded in agreement. The mood in the room had fast gone from light and fun to heavy and tense.
Unexpectedly, Alanna yawned widely, covering her mouth quickly. Zac and Rayne followed suit.
"Geez, this kidnapping business can really tire a guy out!" Zac said jokingly. "Hey, where are we supposed to sleep?!" They looked around at the sparsely furnished room, equipped with merely the six chairs they had been bound to, and an a/c unit.
"I guess we're roughing it tonight." Isaac muttered sleepily. They stretched out on the floor, and with mumbled threats to those who dared snore, they fell asleep. Or, most of them did. Taylor lay on his side, wondering what the next morning would bring. With a troubled mind, he, like the others, asleep before him, traveled to the land of dreams, uneasy and worried.
"C'mon Bill, why'd we really get these kids? There's got to be something more than the ransom money here - you already got enough money! What's going down here?" Alex narrowed his eyes suspiciously. He had known Bill the longest, and could tell when he was hiding something.
"Yeah, I don't' really need the ransom money - not after all the boosts I've pulled." He admitted, grinning.
"Would you believe I did it for the excitement?"
"No." Alex's flat, sure response provoked a sigh from Bill.
"Well, more money never hurts, and some dude is paying me a truckload full of cash for getting these kids for him. Plus, getting revenge on Trebond - that's just an added bonus though." He shrugged.
"What does this guy want with the brat pack?" Bill shook his head at the question.
"Part of the deal was no questions asked." Alex stared at Bill for a long time, as though processing the information he had been made privy to.
"When's the dude gonna come for them? It's been a day already! And what could he do with them in a month?!"
"That's his business." Bill replied shortly. Clearly the discussion was over. Alex rose to his feet and headed for the door. "Oh, Alex. If you breathe a word of this to the guys, I'll slit your throat, take out your vocal chords, and feed them to you - is that clear?"
It was not a threat, but a statement of fact and Alex knew better that to argue. He nodded curtly and left, shutting the door behind him. After staring blankly at the door for a few minutes, Bill sighed and picked up the telephone, dialing a number he had committed to memory a long time ago - since the planning for the kidnappings had commenced.
"We got the kids - what do you want us to do with them? And when do I get my money?"
"All in due course. Pack them into the cages and have them shipped to my villa. You have the map, I presume?"
"Yeah, when do y…" Bill was cut off by the sound of the dial tone in his ear. "Self indulgent, overbearing English bastard." Muttering obscenities under his breath, he walked out of his office and entered the kitchen, where the rest of his team was relaxing.
"Separate the kids - it'll be easier that way. Alanna alone, the twins together, and the Hanson pack. Make it snappy - we're moving them out."
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