There you are! What took you so long?" One of them asked. He was a sandy blonde boy, and looked to be younger than I. He had some smudgy glasses that were in danger of slipping down his nose and was wearing a loose blue and white striped shirt. It was strange for the middle of summer.
"We have a problem. She was a decoy. This was no coincidence. Her boss promoted her the night that Clavin was scheduled to get into Canada." Jack explained briskly.
"Are we really taking her with us?" Seth asked again annoyance evident in his voice.
"Yes, she has to come." Jack said stubbornly.
"I have no problem with bringing a woman aboard." Said a tall young man with a thick Texan accent while he stepped forwards and slipped an arm around my shoulders. He was inexplicably handsome but I was too afraid to be impressed.
"Jordan." Jack said warningly, "There will be plenty of time for you to hit on her later. Could you go get her suitcase? It's in the trunk." He said. I noticed he didn't give Jordan a key. Then I realized what he'd done. Jack had hot-wired the car! Unbelievable!
"Fine," he said stalking off towards the car.
"Now, Scarlet," he said, "You've already met Cam," he said pointing to the larger man who'd picked me up before. I shook his hand, which was nearly twice the size of mine. "This is Dylan," he said gesturing to the man wearing the ball cap with the glasses. He looked quite a bit like Seth. "And the con man coming towards us is Jordan." He said and I turned to watch him stroll in lugging my suitcase.
"Nice to meet you, Miss. Scarlet." he said shaking my hand.
I smiled at the Clue reference, "Nice to meet you too, Jordan." I lied with a bit too bright a smile.
"And what are you going to be? Our cook?" Joked Dylan. This stereotype irritated me.
"How does hostage sound?" I snapped casually.
A few of the guys snickered and Dylan had the decency to look embarrassed. I laughed loudly while no one else did, "This is your crack criminal team? Wow, Jack." I rounded on him shaking my head, "You really are stupid! But then you always were-"
"Listen princess, I could make life a whole lot worse for you.." He threatened.
"Really?" I said annoyed, "Well, will you at least tell me why you wanted to kidnap the other girl?"
"No questions." He snapped, "Or you won't be conscious for much longer."
That's when I shut up. If I was going to escape, I needed to be aware of everything. Being drugged would only hurt my chances. And as much as I wanted to cut Jack down to size at the moment, I also wanted to be on my guard at all times.
"We ready to go?" Jack asked.
"I think so, just got to load up this." Jordan said unzipping the suitcase.
"Hey! What are you doing?" I cried watching my possessions fall to the ground.
"Lightening the load." He said tossing me a black backpack. I stared at him. He expected me to leave all my things in this warehouse for people to steal? He was crazy!
"Give them a chance. Just take what you need." Jack said in my ear and again it made me shiver.
I gave him a death glare and reached for my favourite pair of jeans and stuffing them into my new bag. I was not going to do this willingly. I ended up leaving a huge pile of my things at the warehouse, but my bag was light. Jordan had kept my dealer's uniform in spite of protests from the other guys and my solemn word that I would never wear it as long as I lived.
We all climbed in a white van that had been transformed into a small room with a fold away table and comfortable chairs. It was actually quite cozy and there was even a small lamp in the corner. I ended up sitting in between Dylan and Jordan. They were all talking to me at once and asking how Jack and I knew each other.
"We were friends in collage." Jack said wanting to end it.
"Were you ever more than that?" Dylan asked looking between us expectantly. I thought about the kiss before we left and found myself wondering what he would say.
"No," he lied. I didn't argue. If he didn't want to tell them that we had been together, he must've had a good reason for it. I made a mental note to find out later.
"So," I said changing topic and deciding on a new, reformed team-player attitude. If I was going to escape, they were going to have to let their guard down around me, "Where are we headed?"
"You're on a need-to-know basis and you don't need to know." Jack cut me off.
"Aww come on!" I said exasperated.
"Yeah, Jack. No more movie quotes." Dylan protested.
I snorted and ignored Jack from then on. We swapped storied about our lives and at around three o'clock, Cam passed out sandwiches. I nearly choked on mine. They were awful! The bread was stale, the meat smelled funny and the whole thing made me want to throw up. They really did need a cook.
"You ok?" Jordan asked.
I nodded and sighed. Jack had been right; this life wasn't glamorous at all. I covered my mouth with my hand. I wished I was home again with Grandma not sitting with my abductors pretending to my family and friends like I was on my honeymoon. I felt someone's arm around me and saw Jordan tying to comfort me.
"Homesick or are the sandwiches really that horrible?" he asked, "You can tell me. The chef can take criticism."
"Where do I start?" Dylan said taking advantage of this, "The bread is disgusting, the beef smells like fish-"
"Not from you!" he said and more softly to me, "You're family now, don't worry about it. Just think of all the countries we're headed to." He said. Family? Right! Like I would ever want to be part of this family! But I smiled and went along with it.
"So, Seth," I said making a point not to ask Jack, "Where is Clavin going?" He looked like he was about to protest, but Seth cut in first.
"I think she's planning for England, but she'll usually hit the capitals of each region first. So, we're headed for Toronto, the capital of Ontario now." Seth explained.
"Isn't the capital of Ontario Ottawa?" Cam asked. This launched a whole debate on the capitals of Canada, which I wasn't really a part of. I grew up in Canada so I knew all this. I just let them suffer it out and sat by. Once this stopped everyone lapsed into silence and I pulled out a book. I didn't really read it. The truth was I had read it at least 6 times. This just gave me a cover to think of how to escape. I decided Toronto was safest. My older brother lived there with my sister-in-law working in some office downtown. I didn't know where we would be stopping but all I would need would be a payphone or a cab, as long as I had my purse.
I looked over at Jack. He was watching me with a calculating stare and I quickly looked away. He would pay dearly for putting me through this. I would have the whole police force after them! They wouldn't stand a chance. I grinned behind my book. Maybe I should tease him first just to make my point. I thought, After all, he has been a royal pain. In the end, I decided against it. They wouldn't let me out of this van if they thought I would make a run for it the first chance I got. I played along like a member of this stupid team.
The minutes dragged by and I found myself repeatedly asking Cam, who was driving if we were in Toronto yet. I knew it was nearly a four-hour drive, but I couldn't sit still! I would be free and this whole nightmare would be over. As I knew my grandmother would say when I told her, "This'll be one of those stories you'll tell your grandchildren."