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Brian gasped as he lie on the floor. Pete swore loudly. Brian had rolled out of the way just in time to avoid the bullet. There was now an ugly hole in the floor where he had been sitting. That hole would have been in him if he hadn’t of moved quick enough.

Sammy was sobbing. He ran to Brian and held out his arms for him. Brian pulled him into his own arms.

A siren suddenly sounded outside. A police siren. Brian closed his eyes. Someone had found them.

Pete ran to the window and peered out. He fired the gun out of the window. Brian felt Sammy jump in fright.

“I know you’re here for the fucking popstar! Well, listen up! Unless you let me get out of here, I’ll shoot him all right?” Pete yelled out of the window.

Pete suddenly grabbed Brian by the hair and pulled him to his feet. Brian gave a yelp of pain as Pete dragged him away from Sammy and to the window. There were about five cop cars outside and the police, themselves, were armed with guns. Brian gulped as he felt the pressure of a gun against his temples.

“Okay, calm down, Pete,” a police officer yelled back at them.

“You heard me! Let me go or I will kill him!”

Pete yanked Brian back away from the window.

“You’re fucking lucky. If I didn’t need you, I would shoot you! And make no mistake that I will kill you as soon as we lose the cops!”

The malevolence in his eyes brought dread to Brian’s heart. He couldn’t let Pete kill him. Someone needed to be here for Sammy to help him through this. He had to get him away from Pete.

“Listen up, sport,” Pete said to Sammy. “We need to get out of here. You’ve got to do as I say, all right?”

Sammy stared up at Brian with those big blue eyes full of tears. He shook his head.

Pete’s face began to turn crimson with anger. “You are my son and you will do as I say! If you don’t, then your pal here.” He gave Brian’s hair a vicious tug. “Gets his brains blown out, okay?”

Sammy stayed where he was. He was visibly trembling. He began to sob.

“Y – you’re frightening him!” Brian said.

Pete shook him. “Who the fuck told you, you could speak?” He looked back at his crying son. “Don’t cry, Sammy. It’ll be over soon.”

Sammy still didn’t move. Brian didn’t blame him. He was too young to cope with all of this…

“Move it!” Pete yelled, waving the gun.

That made Sammy moved. Shakily, he made his way to the door and pulled it open.

“Go down the corridor to the elevator, okay?” Pete said, following Sammy out of the door and dragging the bruised and battered Brian with him.

Brian stumbled and almost tripped over, Pete continued to drag him by the hair. Brian could feel the burning on his scalp as Pete held him tightly. Sammy stopped outside of the rusty red elevator.

“Press the ‘call’ button,” Pete instructed. “That’s the yellow one with the ‘c’ on it.”

Sammy pushed the corresponding button and they waited in a tense silence as the elevator began to creak upwards. When it arrived, Pete pushed Sammy inside and then followed with Brian.

“Press the button with a ‘1’ on it,” Pete told Sammy.

He did so and then backed away to the far wall as the doors shut. He stood close to Brian and Brian felt Sammy squeeze a tiny hand into his own. He held it tightly.

Suddenly, there was a loud bleeping noise. Brian jumped and felt the pressure of the gun against his head increase. He closed his eyes expecting to feel the exploding pain of a bullet in his head any second.

“Ooh, is little Bri Bri scared?” Pete mocked. “No need to be so fucking jumpy.”

Pete released Brian’s hair and pulled a battered blue mobile from his pocket. “Don’t you dare try anything,” Pete said to Brian. He pointed the gun at him and then answered his phone. “What?” he asked. Brian saw his face go pale and then contort with anger. Sammy pressed closer to Brian. “How the fuck did you get this number?” Pete said, hatefully. “Carl and Dustin? You caught them? Fuck them! Listen up! This pop brat has a gun pointed at him. So if you don’t want a load of angry Backalley fans or whatever on your back, you’ll be smart and let us get out of here!”

Pete hung up and threw the phone on the floor. It began to beep again. Pete moved the gun away from Brian just long enough to shoot the phone. It’s frantic bleeps ceased. Sammy gave a cry of fear and Brian, trembling, pulled him closer.

“Get you filthy hands off of him!” Pete shrieked.

Brian didn’t want to let him go. Sammy needed him. Slowly though, Sammy shuffled a few paces away from him. Brian felt his heart ripping as he saw the terror on the boy’s face. He’d been brave up until now but it was all getting to be too much for him.

“Don’t worry, kiddo,” Pete said. He patted Sammy on the head and the boy cringed further away. Pete glared at him and pushed the button to open the elevator. “You two first,” he said to Brian and Sammy.

Sammy exited first and Brian followed. He felt Pete press the gun into his back and he struggled to stop his own cry from coming out.

“Head for the blue van,” Pete said. They were in the car park again.

Sammy was barely moving he was so scared. Pete had to almost push him to the vehicle. He was getting more and more annoyed with Sammy by the minute.

“Would you just stop bawling! We’ve gotta hurry up!” Pete yelled, but Sammy wouldn’t move.

“Come on, Sammy it’ll be okay,” Brian said, nervous in case Pete lost it and tried to shoot Sammy.

“I toldyou to shut up!” Pete screamed, smacking Brian around the head.

“DON’T HURT HIM!” Sammy screamed.

Brian’s head was reeling from the blow. He felt dizzy. Then another blow came to his head making him cry out as he felt a tooth loosen with an awful cracking noise. His legs were knocked out from beneath him and he sunk to the floor with a groan.

“Stop it! Stop it!” Sammy screamed hysterically.

“Get to the fucking van!” Pete screamed back.

Sammy whimpered and ran to the blue van. Pete grabbed Brian’s collar and pulled him to his feet. He almost fell over again as the whole car park spun wildly. Pete tried to drag him but he fell over. He couldn’t see properly and his whole body hurt from the abuse from Pete.

“Fucking move!”

Brian clambered to his feet and out a hand to his head. Before he could steady him self, Pete was pushing and shoving him towards the van. When they reached it, Brian leaned against it, thankful for some support. Sammy sniffed and leaned against him.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Sammy whispered.

Did he think this was all his fault? Brian was about to try and comfort him but Pete yanked Sammy away from him and opened the van door. He picked Sammy up and pushed him inside. He gave Brian a prod with the gun.

“Get in.”

Brian nodded. There was nothing else he could do. He clambered inside. The door slammed and Pete ran off to open the warehouse doors. Brian feebly tried to open the van doors – maybe they could hide and wait until the police came… but it was locked. Sammy was crying.

“Listen Sammy,” Brian murmured, stroking the boy’s hair. “I swear, no matter what, I will see you safely out of this, all right?”

Sammy nodded and put his arms around Brian. “H – he h – hurt you!” Sammy wailed.

“I’m okay, just a few bruises,” Brian said, ignoring the aching pain all over his body. He wiped Sammy’s nose using his sleeve and kissed him on the head. he looked out of the window and saw Pete fiddling with a box on the far wall. He held Sammy close and gave him another kiss.

There was a loud creak and Brian looked up to see the warehouse door in front of them slowly open to reveal the gleaming sunlight. Pete came running back and wrenched open the front door to their left. He glared at the two of them, his eyes lingering on Brian with their cold hatred.

“Swap places,” he said. He pointed the gun at Brian. “I want you next to me so I can keep an eye on you.”

Brian gulped. He preferred it this way. At least Pete wouldn’t be able to reach Sammy again to hit him. Brian had felt like killing Pete when he had struck his little baby so hard. Carefully he reached out and pulled Sammy onto his lap, then placed him the other side of him so that Brian was now next to Pete.

Pete jammed the key in the ignition and the engine gave a roar. They began to accelerate towards the daylight. Sammy placed a hand in Brian’s. Pete didn’t see the gesture and Brian squeezed the hand. He fought to stop himself from trembling.

‘Stay calm,’ he told himself. ‘Stay calm and you’ll think of something. Be calm for Sammy’s sake.’

It was one of the hardest things to remain calm while Pete drove the van out of the warehouse, one hand on the wheel, the other holding a gun at Brian.

The police were waiting outside. Brian’s mouth went dry when he saw that they had guns.

‘Don’t let Pete flip,’ he prayed.

Pete rolled his window down and grabbed Brian by the hair so that the cops could see him and the gun by his head.

“I’ll shoot him! He’ll have an extra hole in his head if you don’t let me go!” Pete yelled.

The police lowered their weapons. Pete smirked and released Brian’s hair.

“It’s your lucky day,” he murmured. “You get to live for a little while longer.”

Brian gasped and rubbed his head. He felt the sweat sliding down his face. He had no doubts what so ever that Pete would try to kill him. All he had to do was to look into the man’s eyes to see that he was a deranged psychopath capable of anything.

Pete rolled up the window and accelerated as fast as the engine would allow him so that they left the cops behind. Brian’s heart rate increased. How were they going to get out of this?

Pete turned them onto a dusty road. Brian caught a flash of sunlight out of the corner of his eye. He turned his head slightly so that Pete wouldn’t noticed and glanced in the wing mirror. Sammy followed his gaze and a little smile lit up his face for a moment. He held Brian’s hand again.

Brian gulped. He couldn’t let Pete see what he had just seen. He turned back to looking out of the windscreen, but now there was a faint glimmer of hope within him.


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