CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN
Brian lay on the cold floor of the van shivering. Earlier, he’d taken his jersey off and wrapped a freezing cold Sammy in it. Then he had held him tightly and tried to stop himself from shivering as he knew that Sammy would refuse to take his jersey if he thought Brian was cold.
He wondered where they were going, as Sammy slept in his arms. He still had no idea what they wanted. They had gone to a lot of trouble to kidnap him and Sammy, but why? They obviously didn’t want money or they would have raided his house. It was Sammy that they wanted. What possible use could they have for a five-year-old?
Sammy stirred in his sleep and whimpered.
“Hey, it’s all right,” Brian said soothingly.
Sammy whimpered again and then yawned. He rubbed his blue eyes with his little hands and sat up.
“Are we there yet?” he asked. Sammy, like Brian, was tired of waiting. They just wanted to know why they had been so ruthlessly kidnapped.
“I don’t think so. We’ll have to stop soon, though. I’d guess that we’ve been driving all night.”
“I wanna go home.”
The van suddenly stopped. Brian heard his heart pounding as he there was a slamming of doors. He began to breathe quicker. Was this it? Had they arrived?
The doors were pulled open by a grumpy Carl.
“We’re here now. Get out,” he said.
“Where are we?” Brian asked.
“I said get out!”
Brian slowly stood up with Sammy and clambered out of the van, careful not to hit his head.
“Give me the kid,” Carl instructed.
“No,” Brian replied, clutching Sammy.
“Give him to me!”
Carl got his gun out and pointed it at Brian’s face. “I won’t get into too much trouble if I kill you.”
Brian felt the sweat on his head. He gulped. “He’s scared. Let me keep him. I can’t give a kid to someone with a gun!”
Dustin stepped forward but Carl stopped him. He looked at Brian. “You’re a stupid fucker. You really don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. If you knew what was best for you, you’d put Sammy down right now.”
Brian could fell Sammy trembling. He shook his head. What did Carl mean by that?
“Fine,” Carl said, shrugging. “It’s your neck. Right, follow us. No funny stuff, or someone gets hurt.”
Carl set off across the warehouse. Dustin clumped behind Brian and Sammy.
Brian’s eyes darted about the place nervously. They were in an indoor car park. It looked like the kind you found at warehouses. There was a blue van parked next to Carl and Dustin’s vehicle.
He could feel his legs turning to jelly. He didn’t want to follow Carl. He knew that he was taking Sammy, and himself, into danger. But he had no choice.
Carl stopped in front of a red door. “In,” he said, gesturing with his arm.
Brian nodded and stepped inside. His legs felt weak and his stomach was doing summersaults.
It was an old, dusty elevator that he stepped into. God, where were they taking him? What did they want with his baby, Sammy? He held him tighter.
Carl and Dustin stepped in after him. Carl pushed a button on the panel and the elevator gave a groan as it began to ascend upwards.
Sammy’s hands were clammy as they tightened around Brian’s neck. He pressed hi face against Brian’s and he could feel tears on the boy’s face. He wanted to tell him that it was all right, but he was certain that it wasn’t. Tears were coming to his own eyes. He brushed Sammy’s hair back and kissed him on the cheek. Carl glared at him and shook his head. “You’re dead.” Brian heard him mutter.
Brian felt dizzy with fear. His arms ached from holding Sammy for so long and blotchy bruises had formed where he had been tied up. The pain wasn’t as bad as the fear, though. The fear made him quiver and bought a sickness to his throat.
The elevator creaked to a halt. The doors opened. Carl pushed him forwards. Brian swallowed his sickness and complied. He was in a dusty corridor. The only window had been boarded up and a naked light bulb dangled from the ceiling. The place looked abandoned. Not good. Brian felt hopelessness beginning to rise in him. Sammy whimpered and Brian patted his arm.
“Move it!” Carl hissed, shoving him to the left.
Brian moved off along the corridor until he came to a door at the far end.
“In there?” he croaked.
Brian fumbled with the door handle, careful not to drop Sammy and used his shoulder to push it open.
There was a gun pointing at his face. It was held by a man grey with age. Brian couldn’t stop his own slight cry at finding a gun less than inch from his face. Sammy turned his head, saw the gun and hid his face on Brian’s shoulder.
The man laughed. “Aww! All a little too much for you, eh? Get inside!” he snapped, standing out of the way and pointing inside with the gun.
Brian shuffled inwards. It was a dark room, covered in dust. There was a desk, a broken chair and several crates on the floor. He turned to see the man handing Carl and Dustin a packet of money each.
“Here ya go, boys. I’ll take it from here.”
“Bye,” Carl said, with an evil smirk. “Have fun, Pete,” he added to the man.
Pete shut the door and turned back to his prisoners.
“Put Sammy down. Now.”
A bullet shot right past Brian’s left ear. He winced and a drip of sweat trickled down his forehead. Sammy cried out.
“This is no fucking game! Put him down!”
“I – I can’t!”
“P – put m – me down, d – daddy,” Sammy whispered. “I don’t want you to get hurt.”
Brian felt a tear trickle down his face. He couldn’t stop them this time.
Pete still held the gun. His face had turned purple with rage. Brian could see his finger against the trigger.
“Do as Sammy says,” he said, his voice tight with pure anger.
Brian lent down and let Sammy go. He didn’t want to release him. Sammy was crying. He kept hold of one of Brian’s hands.
“Step away,” Pete said.
Another tear escaped from Brian’s eye. His legs felt like lead and it took all of his energy to drag himself away.
Pete strode towards Brian, grabbed him and then threw him roughly onto the floor. Brian cried out in shock. Sammy screamed in terror.
“That’s where you belong! On the floor with the rest of the dirt!” Pete screamed, hatefully. His eyes burned with fury. “This is not your daddy, Sammy, and don’t you ever call this bastard that again!” he roared at Sammy. He turned back to Brian and kicked him. Brian gasped in pain and clutched his knee.
“Don’t hurt him!” Sammy yelled.
Pete ignored him. He kicked Brian around the face and then seized him by the collar. He brought Brian’s face to within an inch of his own. Brian could feel Pete’s awful breath. He was trembling madly now. The pain seared in his jaw and he could taste blood in his mouth. He could feel it dripping down his chin.
“Why did they give him to you?” Pete said. “Why you! A stupid rich brat who hardly looks old enough to have lost his virginity, let alone look after a kid! Why did they let a balless wimp like you take him, huh?” he kicked Brian in the groin and Brian screamed at the pain. He gasped and coughed as blood trickled down his throat. Sammy was screaming and crying. He ran to them but Pete grabbed his arm and pushed him back.
Pete glared back down at Brian. “Oh, you do have balls after all. Now tell me! What makes you special? All your stage make up? Why did they give my son to a fucking, bleary eyed freak like you?”