CHAPTER THIRTY NINE
Dr Chantler stared at the empty bed in front of him, restraints hanging limply over the rails, monitor leads running like spaghetti over the mattress. The equipment which monitored his patients vitals had been unplugged from the wall; the unconscious nurse on the front desk unable to respond to the lack of readings anyhow.
What had happened here?
Chantler picked up the emergency telephone situated at Brian’s bedside and dialled a number. It rang a couple of times before being received.
“Security? We have a problem.”
“What do you want me to do?” Brian trembled, standing outside in the middle of the deserted woodland. He was confused.
“I want you to dig…”
His heart caught sharply in his chest as he breathed in. What was he digging? Why did he have to do this?
“Wh-why?” he whispered, his voice tiny. Billy placed a hand on his shoulder.
“In time, Brian, you will find out, but right now, I just want you to dig.”
He stood back and watched as the younger man fought with his internal demons. Being kidnapped, taken to a deserted wood with a man who hated you with a vengeance and being taught to dig was probably a chilling thought. He wanted to make him suffer before he told him what he wanted from him.
“Please. I don’t want to do this.”
Billy was getting tired of this. Grabbing Brian’s hair roughly and dragging him around to face him, he revelled in the yelp which escaped the kid’s lips.
“Listen, Brian, I’ve had just about enough of your whining. You will do this, or I’ll just take this gun I’ve got in my back pocket and shoot you right here. If you don’t believe I’m capable of that, then I’ll take you somewhere else to dig, and you’ll see the evidence to prove that I am.”
Brian grasped the shovel in his hands tightly, and continued to dig. What was he doing? Was he digging his own grave? Wasn’t that just a saying?
It was cold, and he was weakened. He wouldn’t be able to do this for long, but if he stopped, what would his captor do? Would he shoot him? He felt like a slave, forced to work far beyond his own capabilities. He had never felt so scared and hopeless in his life.
If he gave him the gun, he’d shoot himself right then and there.
“What do you mean, he escaped? He was in restraints.”
Jackie Littrell was mad. How had her son, in his delicate state of mind, been allowed to wander out of the place which was meant to take care of him? Dr Chantler shook his head, face filled with concern.
“He couldn’t have got out of those himself. They’re made specially to be inescapable by the person wearing them. Our receptionist was knocked out cold, and the cameras had been tampered with. By the looks of things, he was taken.”
AJ shook his head.
“So Billy fucking Fernandez might have him right now? Well that’s just great. He’s only put him in the hospital once before, and he’s now got a revenge wish on his mind.”
Kevin placed a hand on AJ’s arm in an attempt to stop him from scaring Brian’s parents. They were scared enough as it was.
“I’ve got security checking the CCTV footage right now. We might be able to get a picture of them yet. And I’ve called the police.”
Kevin sighed. Would the police be looking for an escaped suspect or a kidnap victim? The thought made him sad. Brian was just a victim. Maybe they’d realise that soon.
“I’m sure they’re on it”, Harold said to Jackie, who had tears streaming from her expressive eyes.
“He’s my baby. He has to be safe.”
Maybe the police would close in on them soon.
The house was junk filled and dirty, with nude pictures of celebrities plastered over the walls and beer cans scattered over the floor. It looked like the type of house you’d see in a crime movie. It was a complete and utter cliché.
“Jesus Christ, this guy brought chicks back to this place?” the young Asian cop commented, his nose wrinkled in disgust. His colleagues had to agree. It was a disgrace.
“Do you think this is the guy? Do you think he was stupid enough to give his actual address when he hired that car?”
The bearded cop shrugged his shoulders. “They never expect to be caught, Chico.”
It was a little stupid, but the car rental company had a policy. The person hiring had to give a valid residence, and one of the guys dropped the vehicle off to them. It was kind of a security thing. They assumed that the guy was going to report it stolen, only he’d been caught up in other things, like blackmailing Brian perhaps…
“What are we looking for, boss?”
Beard frowned. “Anything useful. Documents, addressed envelopes, keys, money…anything you can get your hands on.”
He just needed something which might tell them where he was. Anything. Perhaps he had a warehouse somewhere where he hung out. His type normally did…
“What about blood?” the young Asian asked innocently.
“Yes, because it’s all over the bedsheets.”
This was worse than they were expecting.
"Thank you, Officer."
Dr Chantler replaced the phone, and closed his eyes.
"What is it? Did they find him?"
Chantler shook his head. "No, but they went to the apartment which they suspect belongs to him. There was blood on the bedsheets."
"Oh God", Nick said, fearing the worst. If anything had happened to Brian, if ANYTHING had been done to him, he’d kill Billy without a second thought.
"The blood was dry. It seemed to have been there awhile", he added, hoping for a little positivity in the room.
"So it wasn’t his. Big fucking deal. If he had hurt someone, he’s obviously capable of hurting Brian. You have to find him before."
Kevin couldn’t finish the sentence, but everyone knew what he meant.
"Police are still searching. They’re hoping to find an address or something. In the meantime, they’ve told us to stay put in case anything happens."
Mrs Littrell dried her eyes, and looked into Chantler’s face.
"How was he? Brian, how was he today?"
Chantler smiled gravely; thoughtfully. "Scared."
The hole was big enough for him to step into, now, but he was getting tired. He didn’t know how much longer his body would keep him going. He was functioning on pure adrenaline, now, and if it weren’t for that, he’d be flat on his back.
"Nearly there", Billy said. Brian let out a strangled breath.
"Is this going to be....my grave?"
Terrified as he was, he just wanted to know. He wanted to know if Billy was capable of that kind of perverted torture. Billy smiled. He’d been aiming towards that.
"Brian, honey, you ask too many questions."
"TELL ME!" He yelled it this time. "I at least have to know."
Fear made him angry. So angry that he would love to turn around and hit Billy square in his jaw, but he was the one with the gun, and all Brian had was weakness.
"Brian, Brian, am I not the one in charge here? Calm yourself down. Shouting isn’t going to get you anywhere."
"Besides, you’re done now. That’s as deep as it needs to be."
Brian breathed a sigh of relief. At least he’d be put out of his misery.
"For me. It’s deep enough for me."
He said it so quietly that Brian barely heard him.
Did he really just say that it was deep enough for him? What the Hell was going on here?
CHAPTER FORTY ONE
“I think I got something, boss.”
“What is it?”
The bearded cop snatched the note from his younger counter-parts hands, looking over it carefully. “It has an address.”
Faintly written, but an address all the same. Maybe they were on to something.
“I can’t live with this any more, Brian. I can’t live with what that bastard turned me into.”
Billy sat on the ground, pulling the earth up roughly between his fingers, then throwing it violently to the ground. It was almost ritualistic in its simplicity, but it seemed to calm him. Brian, meanwhile, stood inside of the dug-out, utterly confused.
“So you want me to….kill you?”
“You fucking owe me that. You can throw all of that soil right down on top of me. You’d like to see that, wouldn’t you?”
“I’m not going to do it. I can’t kill you, Billy. I’m not a killer.”
Billy laughed through his tears.
“And you think I am? Do you think I killed that woman by choice? I was driven to it. I’m not the man I used to be.”
“So you just build yourself up to get revenge? You’d turn me into a killer?” His voice shook, but he had to say it. “You’d be as bad as he was.”
Angered, the older man stood up, pushing Brian to the ground and pulling out his gun. Brian trembled with fear as he waited for the blow. Billy merely dropped the gun from his shaking hands.
“You think I’d kill you and put you out of your misery? Where’s the satisfaction in that. One of us is going to die today, Brian, and I hope to God its me.”
Shaking like a leaf, Brian replied. “You can get help. You can get counselling.”
“I’m beyond help. I prided myself on being a man, and what am I now?”
“You’re no less of a man because of this.”
Billy pulled up his sleeves to reveal healing welts on either of his arms, obviously healing attempts at suicide. They were ugly, red scars. Constant reminders of his ebbed away desire to live.
“I wasn’t strong enough to go through with it. That’s how much of a fucking man I am. You’re going to do the job for me, and hopefully, I’ll die knowing that your skinny little ass is going to rot in jail for what you did to me.”
Brian closed his eyes, feeling sickened by the delusions. “But it wasn’t me”, he whispered.
Kevin bit his nails nervously in anticipation of news. AJ and Howie had both hit the bottle, their nerves taking precedent over their strength, and Nick had just remained quiet. He always worried in silence.
“I hope this isn’t just a wild goosechase.”
“It won’t be”, Nick said. “I’ve got a feeling about this.”
Nick’s feelings were famed for being wrong. In fact, not once had his feeling been right. It wasn’t a good thing to say on Nick’s part.
“I can’t do it. I won’t.”
Brian backed away; further and further away as Billy crawled his way into the hole. The grave that Brian had dug. He held the gun that Billy had forced into his hands shakily, frightened he might drop it and end up killing him anyway.
“You will do it, Brian, because I have this pistol aimed right at your head. I told you…one of us has to die.”
“Why are you doing this?” He was crying freely now, feeling as though he’d die himself if he pulled the trigger.
“Because I want out. I want out, and I want to take you down with me. You deserve to suffer for what you did to me.”
Brian screamed. “I DIDN’T DO A FUCKING THING, BILLY.”
The suicidal man just laughed at the anger that surfaced in gentle Brian.
“I know I hurt you, Brian, but you fucking deserved it with all of your Spice Boy shit. All I ever wanted was to be your friend, but NO. You fucking turn me in to the cops and have me banged up for three months.”
“Three months that turned me into a fucking faggot killer. You don’t feel responsible?”
Brian shook his head. “I didn’t rape you, Billy. That was Ned. Remember his name? Ned?”
“How could I fucking forget?”
“I’m sorry, Billy. I’m sorry for wanting to protect myself, but you shouldn’t have acted the way you did. None of this would’ve happened…”
Billy interrupted. “Are you saying that this is my fault?”
He lifted his gun further up into the air. Brian gasped as he looked at the angry man in front of him. Which one of them would it be?
Bearded cop nodded his head. “He’s been in before. Guess what for?”
Chico looked on in interest. “What?”
Bearded smiled. “Assault. On Brian Littrell”.
He had never expected to be caught, or so it seemed. Either that or he had wanted it. Nobody could be that careless without a reason.
“Bingo”, Chico smiled and carried on driving.
“It’s a little far out, isn’t it boss?” he asked.
“In crime, the further out the better, Son.”
Criminals often located themselves just out of town in remote areas. The quieter the better. Seemed strange to think that drug dealers could be shacking up next to Grandma.
What a shit world this was.