Times Running Out

Chapter 20 - "Have it your way..."

"Zac..Zac man, wake up buddy. Come on, open those eyes. Please Zac, you're scaring your brothers. You need to get better." Scott whispered into his ear, leaning over the inert teen to quiet his voice.
It had only been a day since Zac's beating but it felt like an eternity to the young men who were trapped in the room. They still didn't know the cause of the brutal treatment, nobody had the bravery to ask and nobody volunteered to tell them. If the youngest Hanson knew, he wasn't telling. He was yet to gain consciousness, but he was quite verbal when he had nightmares. They'd found out how he was brought to his bloody condition. Jamie and Will had him tied to a chair and proceeded to severely beat him, never showing mercy. The screams definitely attested to that.
Dave crawled over the sleeping bodies of Clint and Taylor to squat next to Scott, "How's he doin? Has he woken up yet?"
Scott sighed and rubbed his eyes fiercely, "He's the same and no."
"No what?"
"No he hasn't been awake yet."
"Oh." Dave replied quietly. He'd never been so scared of anything in his life when he heard his younger friend's screams. He wished he knew how scared he was, he didn't know why he felt this way but he did. Perhaps he wanted to understand where Zac would be coming from, to make condolences easier. He just didn't know.
Scott and Dave grabbed at each other when a voice suddenly croaked, "Ike...Tay?"
"Oh my god Zac! Are you ok? What hurts? Zac, come on stay awake! Zac are you ok?" Scott repeated himself out of shock and worry.
"Shut up...god Scott, go have a hissy fit somewhere else." Zac moaned, "Where's Tay and Ike?"
Two shadows spoke up beside him, the voice belonging to Isaac, "Right here Zac man. How ya feelin?"
"Don't ask...I..I think I'm gonna throw up." He groaned.
Dave started to panic when Taylor said, "Get the extra bucket, hurry Dave!"
And Dave wasted no time as he ran over a sleeping Bob's leg and scurried to the closet doors and heaved one of the extra buckets into his grasp and did a one eighty to return the way he came. Bob was now sitting up holding his bruising leg in pain with the other sticking straight out in front of him. As he heard Dave's running approach he yanked it up to his chest, but wasn't fast enough to duck as the plastic bucket whapped him upside the head.
"Damn it Dave!" He screeched, one hand on holding his leg and the other his head.
"Stuff it Bob." Dave muttered as he dropped down to Zac's level, "If you're gonna throw up, just tell us so we can pull your hair outta the way and help you up ok?" He assumed a nurse like tone while saying this.
"Yeah, thanks." Zac mumbled softly, feeling the churning in his stomach and throat, "Just...just don't leave me ok? I.I don't think...just don't leave." He ended in a quiet cry.
Isaac winced along with Scott as he rubbed his little brother's back, "We aren't. We're gonna try to keep those ass holes away from you 'k'? We aren't goin anywhere."
Zac's unseen tears picked up their pace as he leaned towards the sound of his brother's voice. He heaved a sigh as he felt his body being cupped by Isaac's and allowed himself the rare luxury of relaxing. This ended only a moment later as he began throwing up violently in the bucket. This continued for a short while as Taylor's stomach twisted in knots. He snapped his fingers at Bob to get his attention.
"Huh?" He asked in return.
"Get the candle and the lighter."
Bob frowned and replied, "Clint can get it. I'm gonna die from severe head trauma thanks to Dave."
Taylor grit his teeth, "Fine. Clint, hurry your ass up and grab the candle and lighter."
Clint rolled his eyes at Bob and moved towards the center of the room where these items were located and grabbed them both up quickly. A bunched up blanket suddenly jumped out of the middle of the darkness and grabbed Clint's feet as he fell to the floor with a grunt and a long string of cursing as he crawled the rest of the way over. Nobody had the heart to laugh at him as Zac's attack began tapering off.
"God damn it Clint, taking freaking forever dip shit." Taylor cursed, highly irked by his friends slowness.
Clint bristled, "Scuse me for bein blind. Christ!"
Bob smacked Clint lightly in the arm, always the peace keeper of both groups.
Taylor shook his head angrily and with shaking hands, he lit the candle and turned it so it was facing the bucket as Zac leaned heavily into Isaac's open arms. Taylor's faced paled.
Dave closed his eyes and said, "Tell me that isn't blood…please somebody tell me that's not blood." Though it wasn't much, it was still enough to cause worry.
Zac began crying again, fearing the worst as Taylor forced himself to calm down. He held the candle up to see Isaac's eyes looking into his with concern etched in his face. The Moffatt brothers were all looking scared and helpless so Taylor just ignored them and gestured to Zac.
"Open your mouth for me, wide." He ordered.
Zac did as he was told and felt his brother's fingers on his lips.
Taylor pulled Zac's lips back to see several deep cuts along the bottom that no longer seeped the crimson fluid, but definitely looked like they did. He examined the top lip and found nothing.
"Stick out your tongue." Taylor said gently, feeling the four other teenagers pressing against him from behind for a look.
Zac shook his head, "Huh uh, it hurts too much. It hurts to talk even."
Taylor used the tone his mother used to get Zac to listen to him, "Now or we won't know for sure where the blood came from."
Taylor smiled when a pink tongue slid past bruised lips, "Lift it up."
He examined the bottom and found a deep bite mark on the bottom that matched the other bite that went in fairly deep. It wasn't cause for stitches, but it would take sometime healing.
"You swallowed blood from the cuts on your lips and tongue. You're gonna live." Taylor pretended to act disappointed for a moment before relief made him smile.
Light entered the room as the door opened slowly.


Ten minutes previous

Tony was still locked in his room when he heard his father approach the door. He made sure to stay in the shadow next to his dresser, hiding the baseball bat along with his body. The door opened quickly and without caution as Tony swung out quickly.
Bill ducked quickly and grabbed the wooden object and yanked it out of his son's hands and backhanded the stunned teenager.
"I was bringing you something to eat, but fuck that boy!" Bill bellowed, landing a punch to his despairing son's stomach that sent him to the floor, winded and teary eyed.
Bill stood there for a moment, knowing Tony wanted to speak.
Finally Tony looked up and took a deep breath, "Why're you doing this to her? She's been through so much and she's still alive. Now you're killing her soul doing this to her and those boys."
Bill rolled his eyes, "She'll live. You won't if you keep your shit up." And with that, he marched out of the room and locked the door.
Bill left his son to his devices and approached Star, who was crying softly having heard everything.
"Listen. You're gonna tell us or the rest of your brothers or buddies, whatever they are, will end up like the little one did. Well?" He asked expectantly.
"Go screw that dead bear." She spat out with venom.
Bill thought this was meant to be funny and let forth a bellowing laugh and smacked her shoulder, "That's good. But you're gonna tell or one of em's gonna get a nice beating.... but we won't hold back this time."
Star's eyed went wide. She thought they hadn't been holding back before, how bad would it get now? She knew she couldn't tell, her and her father's honor were at stake. This was one of the last ties she had to her family and these men were trying to kill her new family just for gold!
"Don't...don't hurt anybody please! It's pointless, I'm not telling you anything!" She let him know.
"As you wish." He smiled cruelly and grabbed his cordless phone and dialed up Mac.
"Hiya Mac. Yup. She's not telling us anytime soon. Yeah, grab another one. Just make sure he can take a beating will ya? -Laughs- For sure. Ok, call back when ya get him set up. Bye." He hung the phone up and glanced at a white faced Star.
"You have one more chance. They're pulling out the arsenal this time, no holding back as you heard. Care to tell?"
She started sobbing loudly, "Please! Don't do this! They don't deserve any of this! It's my fight not theirs! Beat me, not them!"
Bill rolled his eyes and waited for the phone to ring.


Mac shook his head and sighed. This wasn't turning out anywhere near how he'd thought it would. In his own sick, morbid little world he was enjoying himself while performing this difficult task. Who knew teenagers were this difficult?
He walked into the front room where Jamie and Will were playing poker, using packets of hot cocoa as the dealing chips, and grinned stupidly.
"Idiots." His mind stated.
"Ok, one-two-three!" Jamie counted off, each man smacking his closed fist onto his palm, Jamie coming out the winner with paper over rock.
"Go fetch Will." He taunted him.
"Shut up ass munger." Will stated, flipping him the bird.
Jamie got up to get the living room ready for the newest torture victim.


"You swallowed blood from the cuts on your lips and tongue. You're gonna live."
Will stood at the door, checking the room for Scott only to find him missing. His stomach did a flip in anxiety before he saw the closet door open and the missing boy suddenly wasn't missing anymore.
"You, come on. Your turn." He stated coldly.
Clint, Bob, and Dave all jumped up to fend off Will. They'd seen what happened to Zac quite clearly and that upset them badly. But one of their own blood would damn near kill them.
"You three best move unless you wanna join him out there."
Clint lifted his chin arrogantly and turned to his brothers, "Come on then." Bob and Dave followed willingly before a shot gun barrel was jammed into Clint's midsection that sent him sprawling to the floor in silent agony. Scott spoke up.
"No, you guys are staying. I love you." He stated before Will grabbed his collar and drug him out of the room.
Clint flung himself at the door in a lame attempt to get Scott back, but his stomach started hurting again as he sank to the floor crying.
"I wanna go home...I wanna go home…Dave I wanna go home!" He wailed.
Dave nodded with tears of his own dripping down his cheeks.


"Tie em down there." Mac indicated the same blood stained chair Zac had been taped to.
Scott's eyes went wide as he began violently struggling against his captors who were dragging him in that direction, kicking and close to screaming. His rear had barely made contact with the chair as he shot back up standing and jerked his arms away and bolted for the kitchen. He saw a door and twisted the handle repeatedly, cussing colorfully when it wouldn't open. He felt hands grasp his arms painfully and he managed to pull an arm free and slam his closed fist in the eye of Jamie and spit in his face as he tried in vain to get away.
"Fuck, you little shit!" Jamie balled his own fist up and winded Scott with a fierce punch to the stomach.
Scott doubled over as he was drug to the other room and shoved into the chair. His vision, which had blurred from the punch, now returned with a sharpened contrast of the area around him and he gasped. Knives, pepper spray, and various other chemicals lined a small metal cart Mac had fetched. He pulled against the duct tape as hard as he could, hearing it give a little and he pulled harder and harder in vain. Will just added more tape and avoided the spit Scott aimed for him.
"You best stop spitting at me, I'm not as forgiving as Jamie is." He sneered.
"Star…this feels like familiar territory doesn't it? Last chance." Mac stated.
"Scott…I'm so sorry! I can't say anything." She cried out from the phone.
It took Scott a moment to figure out where the voice came from but he soon spotted it, "Star...whatever it is can't be so important as Zac's life! They almost killed him!"
Star's voice wavered, "Scott...is he ok?"
Scott's nausea began climbing again when he realized her last statement was saying she wasn't going to tell, "He'll...he'll make it." He breathed in shakily, fearing these men even more then before.
"But Scott here isn't gonna be so lucky. We were easy on Zac, just wait and see what Scott has in line for him. Tell us or he pays the price!" Mac screamed.
Scott heard a whimper, "I'm so sorry Scott...I'm sorry." After that she refused to speak at all.
Mac picked up a knife and started over in the trembling teen's direction, "I hope you're hearing this Star."
"Oh she is, trust me, she is." A voice came from the phone.
Mac leaned over and looked Scott in the eyes and asked quietly, "You sure you can't get her to spill? She seems to care a lot about you, but we need her to tell us."
Scott nodded his head yes, but Will interjected, "He can't. Nobody can. Just get on with it."
Mac nodded and pulled Scott's face up and pressed the hunting knife against his cheek, a mere inch underneath his eye and pulled it across his skin quickly, leaving a shallow but very painful cut behind.
Scott yelped in protest, jerking his head away from the cold steel. This didn't stop Mac as he proceeded to do the same to the other side of his face. He then put the knife on his chin, right under his lip, and pulled down slowly but with little pressure.
Scott's screaming made Mac's ears ring and he made himself jerk the knife down abruptly to get the boy to shut up. Scott started whimpering the second the knife was pulled away and he said to Star, "Please...why won't you tell? It can't be that bad! Please! Star, tell them! No...get away please don't do this!" Scott started screaming when Mac grabbed the pepper spray.
"Those cuts aren't gonna feel so hot when you get maced ...will it Scotty boy?" The man sneered, "Star...screaming like this only happens when somebody gets pepper sprayed."


"Have it your way.." And Mac pressed the lever.
The liquid sprayed straight into Scott's open eyes and the open cuts. The young man's screams were nothing compared to the screaming and pounding coming from down the hall from the other teenagers, so Mac sprayed a hefty amount to top off when he'd lain down before.
"Ok I'll tell you! Please stop! Make him stop screaming!" Star's voice rang.
"With pleasure!" Will stated, grabbing his shot gun by the barrel and hitting Scott in the back of the head. The screaming stopped immediately and Star's cries could be heard easier.
"Where is it?" Bill demanded.
Star felt her soul being tore into a million little pieces and she thought of her family. She felt as if they were disowning her now but she had to save Scott.
"It's at 117 Sunset Road in Tulsa. There'll be an old photo album in my room with a map in it. The gold's in my wall of my room." She stated dejectedly.
"Good girl. Get on it fellas." Mac ordered Will and Jamie who left the room to contact their Tulsa accomplices.
"See sweetheart? That wasn't so hard now was it?" The line went dead as Bill hung the phone up.
Mac sighed and carefully removed Scott from the chair making sure not to touch his face or body lest he get any of the pepper spray from Scott onto himself. He knew how painful that could be. He opened the door and threw the inert teen in the room, atop the triplets and slammed the door shut.
Clint grabbed up Scott's face in his hands and examined the cuts seconds after he landed on the floor. They weren't that bad, why had he been screaming so much?
"You guys, these cuts aren't bad enough to scream like a banshee. Why'd he scream so loud?" He asked, tears dripping down his cheeks. He pulled his hands to his eyes and rubbed his finger tips into them to clear the tears.
"FUCK!! HOLY SHIT! OW! Oh damn it...damn, my eyes!" He started screaming.
Dave said, "They maced him…they maced him! How could they ...they do that!?"

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