Another major twist is revealed in this chapter. Intrigued? Good. Keep reading. Click here for the last twelve chapters.
Connor looked at me, holding his phone in my hands, like he was seeing a ghost. His past coming back to haunt him much quicker than he thought. He hesitated, then kicked me in the shin—my splinted shin.
I dropped the phone and to the ground, screaming and cursing at the same time. Connor grabbed his phone and shuffled back to his feet. He kicked my crutches out of reach. Then he redialed the number, his deep, nervous breaths slowing down a little as he waited for her to pick up. He was regarding me like I was some type of wild animal. I noticed the side of his lip was puffy and bleeding, and what with the pain in my leg I wished I had hit him harder.
“He knows,” said Connor, panting. “Wyatt’s twin.” I couldn’t hear what she was saying, but I could make out from Connor’s nervous, defensive replies that she wasn’t in a good mood. “Well, what should I do?” he asked, almost yelling. “I have him right here… Yeah, he can’t even walk.” He continued listening, the lines of his forehead getting more pronounced as the conversation went on. “Well, how long is that going to take?”
“Not very,” said a deep voice behind me, one I immediately recognized from earlier today.
“How’d you get here so fast?” asked Connor.
“I was here half an hour ago,” said Diesel. He picked up the crutches and handed them over to me, in what I might have considered to be a friendly gesture if not for all the events of the last six hours. “You’re coming with us.”
“No.” I would not let myself be taken hostage again. Twice in one day was just too much. I looked down the corner where Kathy, Wyatt, and Sean had run off, hoping they’d come back quickly.
“Or I could just take you by force,” said Diesel. “Your choice.”
It suddenly hit me just how stupid this whole situation was, just like when I was five years old and my parents would tell me to do something, I’d say no, then they’d start counting to three. Sure enough, I’d break at the last moment, and I’d always feel weak and inferior afterwards. I always hated that count-to-three game. Why did I even listen?
“Fine,” I said. I’d have end up going anyway. I followed them, using my crutches, making sure to walk as slowly as possible. A middle aged woman walked past us, walking her dog, and I thought about asking for help; tell her exactly what was going on, and hope she calls the cops or something. But the whole idea just seemed ridiculous. Diesel and Connor would just laugh, act like I was their friend, and tell me to stop messing around. If I didn’t look like an idiot I’d just look like a pushover instead.
Either way, by the time I thought this all through, she was already behind us. I looked back down the sidewalk as we turned the corner in the hopes that Kathy, Wyatt or Sean would finally make their way back. But they didn’t. Of course not.
“Why didn’t you help out?” asked Connor to Diesel, as they walked. “When Wyatt was pointing a gun at me.”
“I didn’t know he was in the house,” said Diesel. “I must’ve got here after they snuck in. I was just told to keep lookout.”
Diesel stopped next to an old, scratched and dented car, and nodded at Connor to open the back door. I made a short attempt to get away, but before I got two feet Diesel had grabbed me, one arm around my neck and a hand around my mouth, and shoved me into the back seat. Connor slammed the door shut.
“Am I coming with you?” asked Connor, his voice muffled from inside the car. I tried opening the door—who cares about the crutches? I could hop—but the handle wouldn’t work. Both doors were unlocked but wouldn’t move no matter how hard I pulled.
Diesel knocked on the door. “The child lock’s on. Don’t even bother.” He turned back to Connor. “Nope, you stay home. Boss said so.”
Connor nodded, looking relieved to finally be left out of this whole ordeal. He said goodbye and Diesel got into the front seat. I briefly considered trying to choke him out from the back, but decided against it.
“Sorry about kidnapping you,” said Diesel as he started driving. I said nothing back. After a lengthy silence he continued, “and about all the injuries. We were looking for Wyatt. I would’ve known you weren’t him, but James is… unstable.”
He tapped his fingers against the wheel and blew air out of his mouth. I was watching him in the same way Connor was watching me earlier, when he was calling back Fiona. I considered, for the second time, whether or not to try choking him out. Not when he’s driving.
“What’s Fiona doing in all this?” I asked. Fiona didn’t seem to have a mean bone in her body. I didn’t think she had it in her to organize a kidnapping.
“Simple, she wants the gum business. Well, mostly the money that comes with it. She asked James to make sure Wyatt was out of his house today, and James took that to mean ‘kidnap him in the middle of the school day.'”
“Why would you go along with it?”
“He’s blackmailing me.”
“Oh.” He didn’t say what he was being blackmailed for, and I didn’t ask.
“Basically,” said Diesel. “James is obsessed with Fiona, in a really obvious way. It would be funny if it weren’t so creepy. And Fiona’s using him to get the money.”
“Why would she even want the money?” I didn’t know much about her family’s financial situations, but I knew she was living comfortable enough to bring an iPad into school, so chances were she wasn’t poor.
“Greed, boredom, popularity. I don’t know. But she’s in way over her head, that’s for sure.” He laughed a little. “I think she’s just starting to realize how insane James really is.”
I looked out the window and realized we were pulling into the parking lot to Walmart. “I’m not going to take you hostage,” he said. He took out his phone. I knew that at this moment I could’ve easily choked him out. He wasn’t driving, and I wouldn’t have killed him; I’d only get him unconscious, then leave the car and get to the nearest phone and call Kathy. Then I could put this whole day behind me, and maybe take a long, twelve hour nap. But for some reason I refrained, and listened as Diesel explained.
“I’m going to call Wyatt,” he said. “Get him over here, where we could talk without Fiona or James interrupting, and convince him to let this all go.”
“He’s not going to do that,” I said. I decided not to mention Wyatt’s gun.
“He will when he realizes how pointless this thing is. I take it he doesn’t know about Fiona yet?” I shook my head. “Well, he’s going to learn a lot of bad news real quick. Good thing that’s a fake gun he has on him or I’d be screwed.”
“Why would he be any more mad at you for this?”
“Well, Fiona being involved isn’t the worst part,” he said. “I’ve been lying to him too, since the beginning. We all have. Wyatt put way too much trust in us, you know, that’s his problem. He thought we’d all just tell the truth and give him the exact commission every time.”
“What, so you lied about your sales, pretended you sold less than you did?”
“No, we actually exaggerated the price,” he said, staring at the wheel. “We’ve been giving him counterfeit money for months now. All of us.”