23 October 2011
Lying face down, with my knees on the floor and my face in the back seat, it was an uncomfortable ride at an awkward angle. The hood over my head, and my arms tied behind my back only made my misery more profound.
When the car stopped, I was dragged out more roughly than necessary and guided into a building. A few moments later, the door shut and the hood came off.
"Harry! Have they hurt you?"
"I'm okay," I assured him, knowing he could see the terror on my face.
We were shoved forward with an order to "Move!" and allowed to walk side by side ahead of the armed men. With our arms still tied, we weren't going to get far trying to escape.
We were in a long corridor with thick, sealed doors on either side that looked somewhere between meat lockers and jail cells. The walls and floor were stained with age and featured the odd bit of graffiti sprayed many years ago.
We weren't permitted to talk, any attempts cut short with a punch to our heads from behind. At the far end of the corridor, we found ourselves at the top of a steeply raked auditorium that ended with a pit.
Empty cans of beer and coke lay scattered around the auditorium, descending to the rim of the arena. We followed its edge, passing into a side room that was as cold and old as the two rooms we'd just been through. In here though, were the first signs of other life.
Two guards stood just inside the door on either side. They seem unsurprised by our unannounced entry and barely glanced at us as Josh and I were ushered into the room. Directly in front of us, a man stood with his back to us, drying his hands on a towel.
He was taller than both Josh and I by at least two feet and I could already tell just how much beefier he was too. Broad shoulders strained against a dark vest that exposed bare, solid arms. The vest hung freely but couldn't hide the way his back tapered into in a decent waistline and a tight arse that was evident through his tighter jeans. His short dark hair was wavy and in need of a trim.
His eyes first fell on Josh, then he did a doubletake at me.
"Who's this?" he asked, the rich timbre of his voice matching his manly impression.
"Insurance," one of our kidnappers said. "This one almost took three of us out. We needed to ensure he behaved."
"Really?!" the man seemed impressed and finally looked away from me, returning his gaze to Josh. He stepped right up to Josh and tried to stare him down. Josh didn't flinch.
The man eventually smiled and I was surprised to see his whole face light up. In any other situation it would have been a winning grin. He reached up with both hands and tore Josh's shirt open. Josh stumbled back a step and the man ripped open his shirt further. One of the guys behind us hooked his arms through Josh's tied arms, holding him in place while the man ran his palms over Josh's chest and clasped his pecs.
"Very nice," he said. "You're going to be popular."
Josh struggled and the man squeezed hard on his pecs. Josh gasped and froze as he arched under the pain. The man smiled again and released Josh, letting him collapse back into the one holding him.
"Induct him," the man said and turned his attention to me as Josh was dragged from the room. I wanted to call out to him, chase him even, but the mere presence of this new guy kept me frozen to the spot.
"It was a mistake to bring him here," the man said to the others while looking me over.
"Sorry, Jacob! Sorry! You want us to get rid of him?"
My eyes widened in fear while the man called Jacob considered his options.
"Actually, no," he said at last. "Bring me a collar."
Jacob circled me while one of his lackeys left the room.
"What are you going to do to me?" I asked, unable to hide the tremor in my voice.
"You and I are going to have a lot of fun," he said, bringing his face into mine. He leaned into my neck and sniffed deeply. I whimpered as the door opened again and a dog collar was snapped around my neck moments later. I was on a leash!
My hands were untied and I grabbed the leather leash straight away as Jacob tugged me towards him.
"Just so you know, your collar has a few wires in it," Jacob said. "If you try to remove it, or you don't make me happy…" An electric shock suddenly zapped my neck. I spasmed and fell to the ground gasping.
"That was a mild shock," he said, helping me to my feet. "It's up to you how strong they'll have to get." He looked up at the others. "Now let's see how well the monkey performs."
The other men sniggered and Jacob tugged at my leash, dragging me out of the room.