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“I wonder how Brian is getting along?” Nick said.

“We’ll find out soon. We’re almost there now,” Kevin said, pulling off onto another road.

Nick had hitched a ride from Kevin to visit Brian. He had not seen much of him lately. Brian had wanted to get Sammy settled in properly before he resumed his usual life.

Kevin slowed down. “Oh God,” he whispered.

Nick looked up from his comic book and his mouth fell open. There were cop cars all over the street outside of Brian’s house.

Nick jumped out of the car along with Kevin and both of them dashed over to the nearest cop.

“What happened? Where’s Brian and Sammy?” Kevin demanded.

“This is a crime scene. I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” the man replied.

“Brian is my cousin!” Kevin shrieked. “I want to know what’s happened!”

“I’ll deal with this,” another man said, coming over to see what all of the commotion was about. “My name is Daniel Harsen. I’m in charge of this investigation.”

“ Investigation? Where’s my cousin? And where’s little Sammy?” Kevin asked, desperately.

“I’m afraid we don’t know,” Harsen replied, regretfully. “We got a call last night from a neighbour saying there was a disturbance here. When we arrived to see what the problem was, the front door was unlocked and there was nobody home.”

“Cut the crap,” Nick said. “What happened?”

“We think they’ve been kidnapped.”


Kevin had tears in his eyes as he walked into Brian’s house. Nick waited outside, trying to contact Brian’s parents and the other guys.

It was easy to see why the cops suspected they’d been kidnapped, there were plenty of clues. A cabinet had been smashed and Kevin felt ill when he saw the blood on the carpet. Had that come from his sweet cousin or little Sammy?

In the kitchen there was a lot of glass over the floor, as well as a pile of sugar.

“What’s Sammy’s room like?” Kevin asked.

“The kid’s room? There’s a broken lamp but no blood. We’re not sure if the stuff on the carpet came from one of the kidnappers or Brian Littrell. We’ll have to send a sample off for testing,” a police officer replied.

“Anything else?”

The cop shuffled uncomfortably. “A bullet in the wall,” he said.

Kevin felt himself go numb. He imagined the terror that had flashed through Brian’s mind. Then there was Sammy… how would a child react to a gun being fired in their own home? At least the bullet was in the wall, though, and not, he prayed, in Brian or Sammy.

“Where’s Tyke?” Kevin asked.


“Brian’s dog. It’s a brown Chihuahua.”

“Oh, the dog. Someone took it to the vets. He was kicked or something. Poor thing had a broken leg.”

Kevin gulped, dreading what kind of people had kidnapped Sammy and Brian. His eyes flickered to the blood again. He couldn’t stop the tears from falling.


He turned to see Nick. He was almost crying, though he was desperately trying to push the tears back.

“I’m sorry,” Kevin said, rubbing his eyes. “I’m so worried about them.”

“Me too,” Nick confessed. “What do they want with them? Nothing valuable was stolen.”

“I don’t know,” Kevin replied. “Did you get hold of the others?”

“Brian’s parents are coming up here straight away. AJ says he’ll find Howie and meet us at the police station.”

Nick’s looked about the house in dismay. He saw a cop poking at a hole in the wall. “Where did that come from?” he asked.

Kevin didn’t reply. He looked away.

“Kevin!” Nick said, urgently.

“A – a bullet hole,” Kevin said, quietly.

“Someone was shooting at them?” Nick asked, his eyes brimming with tears.

Kevin sad nothing but he reached out and put an arm around Nick as tears fell down the younger man’s cheeks.

“Where are they?” Nick sobbed.

“I don’t know. But I’m sure they’ll be all right,” Kevin said, praying for their safety.


Hours later, Kevin and Nick were joined by AJ and Howie at the police station. Harsen said he had some news for them.

“I found some connections,” Harsen said.

“What kind of ‘connections’?” Howie asked.

“Well, I’ve been working on the accident involving Sammy’s mother Chloe and I was called out to Sammy’s old foster home when there was a break in there,” Harsen explained.

“I read about that,” Kevin said. “You think people were after Sammy?”

“Sammy told us that he thought him and his mother were being chased. At the time, I thought he was imagining things. It seemed so unlikely – then we found something. One of the tyres of Chloe’s car was flat. And there was a bullet in it.”

There was a moment’s silence as this fact sunk in.

“Someone was shooting at them?” AJ asked, quietly.

“It looks like someone shot the wheel to stop the car. Chloe lost control and crashed. There were other wheel marks in the ground where her car was found, like someone had stopped beside her.”

“Could the wheel marks have come from somewhere else?” Kevin enquired.

“Well, they didn’t come from the people who found Chloe in her car, the marks don’t match. I was told that they were from a much heavier vehicle, more like a van. Sammy told us that a white van was chasing them.”

“So, the people were after Sammy?”

“It fits perfectly. They tried to take him from Chloe, but she tricked them by making him hide by the road. Then, the home that Sammy was staying in was broken into but nothing was taken. Finally, they went to Brian’s house. This time, they got what they were after.”

“Why’d they take Brian as well, though?” Howie asked.

“We don’t know. We’re trying to put all of the clues together now but we still don’t know who these people are,” Harsen said. “Maybe - ”

“Security cameras!” Nick said, suddenly.

“I beg your pardon?”

Nick stared at Harsen. He didn’t seem to be aware that he had spoken aloud. “Brian has a couple of security cameras. He had them put up after Tyke was kidnapped,” Nick said.

“We didn’t see any cameras,” Harsen replied.

“They’re hidden because someone threw stones at his last lot. There’s two round the back and one at the front, I think. I called him paranoid when he got them.”

“If they were switched on, then they might have recorded who took Brian and Sammy!” Howie said.

Harsen grabbed the phone on his desk.

“I just hope they were on,” AJ said, quietly to Kevin.


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