CHAPTER THIRTY NINE
Perspiration began to dribble down Brian’s forehead as he stared into Fren’s dark, malicious eyes. “W – what?” he stammered, not wanting to believe what his mind was yelling at him but having no choice as the cold truth was evident in the way Fren laughed at him.
“I’m taking you to get your punishment,” Fren hissed.
“P-punishment? But I didn’t do anything!”
“You know what you did Brian, you murdered someone!” He practically screamed the words at him and Brian winced at hearing the word said to him.
“I didn’t mean to,” he whispered as his eyes began to water.
“Quit crying like a three year old!” Fren snapped. “And come on!”
Still holding onto the chain of the handcuffs, Fren began to pull Brian down the empty aisle towards the door at the far end. Brian tried to dig his feet into the ground, but his shoes merely slid along the shiny floor. All of a sudden his claustrophobic cell did not seem so bad. Anything seemed better than this.
“Come on!” Fren said impatiently, giving the chain a sharp yank to drag him forward.
“No, where are you taking me?” Brian begged.
“I told you, you’re going to pay for what you did. A friend of mine is very anxious to meet you.”
“Please, no!” Brian could feel his voice rising in fear.
“Be quiet!” Fren hissed, staring about them nervously.
Brian noticed Fren’s eyes darting about them in fear of anybody hearing them and cleared his dry throat. “Let me go!” he screamed, summoning as much energy as he could to make his voice even louder. “Help! Help!”
Suddenly the fist connected hard with his face. Brian cried out in shock and tried to slump to the floor in an instinctive protective position, but he was prevented by Fren’s cruel hands as they seized his wrists in vice like grips.
“Shut your fucking mouth, Littrell!”
Brian could feel tears in his eyes. He had thought it was almost over, but it seemed as if the nightmare was about to take a horrifying new twist that would plunge him into yet more fear and despair.
“Help!” Brian screamed again, ignoring the numbing pain in his face. He had to get help! He had to get away from Fren!
“That does it!” Fren suddenly pulled a roll of gaffer tape from his pocket and he found the end and pulled it out threateningly.
Brian’s eyes widened and he opened his mouth to scream again, desperate to bring someone, anyone to his aide! Surely someone had heard him? “He - ”
Fren clapped a hand over his mouth to muffle Brian’s frightened cry while he fumbled with the tape in his other and. He tore a piece off and then stuck it firmly over Brian’s mouth.
“That should shut you up!” he snapped, pocketing the tape again.
Brian whimpered slightly in response. Fren smiled at him, satisfied with the lack of noise Brian was now making. He patronisingly patted him on the shoulder and grinned at the fear he saw on his face. “Don’t worry, it’ll be over soon!” He gave a sudden laugh. “Now let’s go!” Brian did not like the sound of this. He was shivering and he felt sick. Whoever Fren was working for was serious trouble. They’d had his brother beaten up, Nick shot and were probably associated with Liam Baker who was known as being an exceedingly dangerous criminal.
He tried to gulp to dampen his dehydrated mouth, but he only succeeded in making himself feel sicker with the tape sealing away his mouth. He could feel his eyes wriggling about heir sockets, praying for somebody to see them.
Fren pulled on the chain of Brian’s handcuffs and began to drag him forward again. Brian resisted, unwilling to allow himself to be led into a darker part of the nightmare and what was almost certainly going to be his death.
Fren grunted in irritation and gave the chain a vicious yank which caused Brian to give a muffled cry as he stumbled forward clumsily.
“Don’t play awkward with me, Littrell. Unless you want to lose some blood.” Fren suddenly pulled a knife from his pocket.
Brian whimpered in terror as the blade flashed tauntingly close to his eyes and he squirmed away desperately, his eyes closing to shut out the awful, frightening sight. His cheeks were beginning to grow wet, but he couldn’t hide the tears away. Life was becoming too much for him now. He wanted to die. He wanted to end the nightmare, but he was afraid. He didn’t want to die.
“Behave,” Fren whispered.
Brian opened his eyes and saw Fren placing the knife back in his belt. He glanced about them and then began to lead Brian towards the door and the stairs that led to the floor above. Brian’s eyes were on stalks as he was dragged awkwardly up the stairs, trying not to trip on the steps in case it angered Fren. His steps were slow and he could hear faint, muffled sounds of fear escaping his lips. He stared down at the floor, trying to see where his feet were going and clumsily followed Fren on his leash of chain.
“Come on!” Fren began to try and pull him reluctantly forwards even faster and Brian gave a faint cry as he almost tripped and fell on the steps.
Finally they reached the top and Fren crept forwards on tip toes almost, anxiously staring about them in case another police officer came. He tugged on the chain and hurriedly dragged Brian down the corridor.
Where was everyone? Brian eyes were red and sore from tears and he could hardly walk forwards anymore. Why hadn’t someone realised that Fren was on the wrong side? He should have known… bad things only happened when Fren and Peters were around. Fren had probably been passing on every piece of information he had to… whoever it was who wanted to meet Brian.
Fren must be good to have hidden himself so well from the police… Either that or the force was just too idiotic to spot him…
Suddenly Brian’s ears heard something… voices…
Hope filled his heart for a moment as he saw Fren’s face fill with fear at the voices emanating from a room a few doors away from them.
“Quiet tonight isn’t it?” a man’s voice asked.
“Most people are out working on that shooting at the concert,” another replied.
“Speaking of which, hadn’t someone check on the one we’re watching?”
‘Yes! Yes! Brian needs help!’ Brian screamed inwardly.
“Fren’s doing it.”
‘No! Help Me!’
Why hadn’t he accepted Kevin’s offer to some and stay with him? Maybe he would have been safe then… or maybe Fren would have killed him before taking Brian. Fren breathed a sigh of relief and turned to smirk at Brian.
He crept forwards again and Brian realised that they would have to walk right past the doorway. Wouldn’t the other cops see him through the window?
Fren gave Brian a warning glare and began to drag him forwards quickly, anxious to get past the door as quickly as possible.
Brian tried to glue his feet into the carpet and tried to root himself to the spot as he tried to scream as loud as the tape would allow. Fren’s face filled with fear and then he seized Brian roughly by the neck and yanked him forwards.
Brian’s eyes stared through the window but every single cop had their backs to him! He sniffed in despair as Fren grinned triumphantly.
He turned to the right and Brian saw a fire exit door ahead of them. He tried to root himself to the spot again and then he dropped to his knees, determined to waste as much time as possible to allow someone to see them.
“Get up!” Fren hissed.
Brian shook his head and refused to let Fren drag him back to his feet by turning himself into a heavy weight.
Fren suddenly pulled the knife out again and before Brian could move he had brought the blade down upon his arm.
Brian screamed in agony but the only sound to be heard was a muffled moan. His handcuffed hands immediately went to the wound to try and protect it. He shuddered as the blood rolled down his arm and he thought back to ‘that night’. It was all going to come bubbling back now. He could feel it. Someone was going to force him to think about it again.
“If you don’t get up, I will drive to the hospital and I will slit your precious Nick’s throat! I don’t care if I get caught because at least you’ll be in misery!” Fren threatened.
Brian sobbed and he slowly pulled himself to his feet. Nick was close to death enough as it was and he wanted nick to live. Nick was so young and so full of energy. No matter how scared Brian was, he could not allow Fren to hurt him.
“Move it now quick!” Fren said giving him a fierce shove in the back.
Brian staggered forward towards the door and stopped when he reached it. This was the end now. Once he was beyond this door, nobody could save him.
Fren leaned over him and pushed down on the bar and the door swung open. Fren breathed in the night air and then seized hold of Brian’s chain again to pull him forwards and out into a deserted back road.
The cold wind stung Brian’s face as he was yanked outside and into the dark, unfriendly night. Brian anxiously twisted his head about and began to scream as loud as he possibly could but the gaffer tape prevented any sound except faint squeaks from being heard.
“You can scream all you want, no one will hear you!” Fren cackled.
Brian suddenly saw a black, sleek car waiting at the side of the grubby road with black glass in the windows shielding the driver from view. For some reason the very sight of it filled Brian with dread. This was it. This was the moment Brian had been dreading all o his life. His death. He knew the second he stepped into that car, he would never be seeing his family or friends again.
Fren suddenly gave him a fierce shove in the arm which sent Brian sprawling forwards and onto his face. He groaned and felt his cheeks stinging as they connected with the concrete pavement.
Fren ignored him and stepped over his sprawled body to the car. A window was slowly wound down and Brian lifted his head to try and see who the driver was and who his stalker was, but all he could make out was a dim, shadowed face. Fren whispered something to him and Brian heard his snigger as he turned to glance back down at Brian. He nodded to the driver and then returned to Brian. He seized his shirt and dragged him to his feet.
“You’re going for a ride,” he said smiling that same smile which put Brian in mind of a snake which was about to bite you.
Fren opened the back door and then seized Brian’s arms from behind and tried to steer him into the car, but Brian had other ideas. He didn’t want to be led to his death. He immediately kicked up his legs to connect with the sides of the car and pushed his weight against the car to prevent Fren from pushing him inside.
“Mo, mmm mot! Mo!” Brian screamed, all intelligible sounds blocked by the tape. ‘I am not going in there! You’re not getting me in there!’
Fren tried to shove Brian in again, but Brian kept his legs on the car frame. He could do this all night. Someone would come at some point… wouldn’t they?
“Fine! Have it the hard way!”
Fren suddenly released Brian’s arms and Brian found himself smacking into the ground as his support was taken away.
Fren wasted no time in dragging the stunned Brian to his feet and then forcing him into the car of death.
Dazed, Brian stared about him and then Fren yanked the strip of gaffer tape from his mouth.
“All yours,” he said.
The door was suddenly slammed shut leaving Brian alone with the driver.
What happened next was almost like a horror film. The driver, a big dark haired man turned his face to stare at Brian.
Brian screamed as he found himself staring into the face of the man he had murdered.
A coldness enveloped Brian, like a thick oppressive blanket of crushing, icy snow that soaked through into his veins and flooded him with bitter chills. He could felt the numbing stabs running all over his body in a sensation that was almost physically painful.
The dark eyes scrutinised Brian with a look of amusement as he watched the fear creep over his face.
Trembles of dread began to shake his body as he saw those murderous eyes glaring at him with hatred that pierced his soul. He was alive… but how? They had found the body? How? How!
“N – no!” Brian stammered, his very lips quivering. His mind could not take this in, he could feel himself growing faint. It wasn’t possible…
“Aawww, what’s wrong? Didn’t you want to see me again? Were you hoping I was dead, you fucking murderer!”
Something was wrong. Brian was missing a part of this mystery. If he was alive, he couldn’t be calling Brian a murderer… but there was a body…. How could there be two Liams?
“Fucking answer me! Did you think you could get away with killing my brother?” he screamed.
A faint cry, barely more than a pathetic squeak bubbled from his dry lips and he began to instinctively curl up into a ball and back away from the enraged man before him. One fist would be enough to squash Brian and this guy had a reason to do that.
Brian had murdered his brother.
His hand brushed against the door and his eyes slid down to the handle. The fear suddenly seemed to metamorphis into adrenaline that surged through his body and he found his hands furiously reaching for the door handle and viciously tugging upon it, but the door did not allow him into freedom.
The man laughed slightly. “Don’t even bother, the door’s locked and I am not letting you get away.”