Eli's eyes slid to the motionless form on the ground before letting out a shaky breath and embracing his kid brother. Tanner melted into the comfort before Eli broke away, all buisness again.
"Alright, I think it's time we take our leave before Mr. Crazy regains consciousness," he took charge before there was a click and menacing voice behind them.
"I don't think so boys. Now be good and turn around very slowly."
They turned staring straight down the barrel of a gun.
"Hand it over boys," the guy drawled motioning towards the machete with his gun, "I'd hate to see either one of you get hurt."
Unconsciously, Eli shuffled so he was standing in front of Tanner and the gun. He felt Tanner's small hands curl into the back of his jacket but he didn't care. This guy was crazy and Eli was protective. He did, however, hand the machete over.
"Good," the guy continued motioning for the boys to seperate. When they didn't, he fired.
Eli flinched. Tanner screamed.
Eli spun around half expecting to see his brother bleeding out on the ground. Instead, he saw a pale and terrified Tanner on his knees shaking violently. There was no blood or bullet wound though. When Eli looked up he saw the small hole in the nearest tree before glancing up at the smirking guy holding the gun above them.
"That's just a warning shot," the guy warned making his way over to them and pulling Eli away from his brother and burying the gun in between his ribs, "And I assure you that next time, I won't miss."
Tanner looked up and impossibly grew even more pale then he already was.
"Please don't hurt him," he begged climbing to his feet, "Please, he's my big brother. Don't hurt him. He's all I've got left in this world. Don't hurt him."
"Aw. How sweet," the guy purred before shoving Eli forward, "Come on kiddos. We're going to go on a little adventure. Unless you want big brother here to be filled with holes." Eli's jaw tightened but he remained calm as he stared in Tanner's wide eyes. Slowly, Tanner shook his head and obediently followed them.
Soon they arrived at the entrance of an underground cellar. The gun was pressed harder into Eli's back signalling for him to open the doors. He risked a glance at Tanner who was hugging himself and staring at the ground before he was shoved forward again. He obeyed and as soon as the doors opened he felt a hand shove him from his back and he tumbled down several steps.
He looked up in time to see Tanner shove by the guy with the gun and down the steps. A blurry image of the kid knelt down in front of him and gently touched his forehead. Eli blinked and his vision cleared.
"Okay boys," the guy called causing both of them to turn their attention to their captor, "I'll be back before high tide."
The doors closed and darkness enclosed around them. Light filtered in through several holes on the roof and the room was damp and barren. Tanner knelt back taking in the room with gray eyes.
"What do you think he meant by that?" he asked before glancing at his brother's face and frowning. "What?"
"Are you alright?" Eli demanded gripping Tanner's shoulders painfully, "Are you hurt?"
Tanner frowned before teasing, "Shouldn't I be asking you that?" When Eli's hands just tightened their grip he frowned. "Ow, Eli. I'm fine, okay. Look, nothing's broken and I don't even think I'm bleeding. My lip's even stopped. See?"
Eli did see and he let out a shuddering breath before moving them both forward so they could press their foreheads together. Tanner remained still and soon it was over. Eli was pulling away and already looking for a way out.
"What do you think this was used for?" Tanner asked conversationally as he helped his brother search for an escape.
"I don't know," Eli replied honestly and soon they had checked the entire room only to find there was no escape other then the locked doors above them. Eli slid down the wall in despair and he felt Tanner move over beside him. A warm head of hair was placed on his shoulder and the brothers just sat there in silence lost in their thoughts.
"I'll be back before high tide."
What had he meant by that?
The answer came faster then Eli would have like and it was not good.
There was a swooshing sound followed by water pouring through the holes in the roof. Eli and Tanner scrambled up as the water quickly started filling up their tiny prison. Desperate and out of options, Eli moved towards the doors and started banging on them. He heard Tanner do the same.
"Help!" he cried as the water continued to pool on the bottom, "Help! Someone, help us! We're trapped in here! Help us!"
The water reached their chests and Eli felt Tanner go under. He took on last breath before the water closed around him. Tanner was several feet away thrashing like mad. He made his way over to him and tried to calm his panicked brother down. Tanner just punched and kicked that much harder once the hands touched him before his eyes rolled back and he went limp underneath Eli's hands.
Panic closed around Eli's heart as he scrambled to take hold of his brother. Dark spots danced around in his vision and he was aware of his awareness dimming. None of that matter. What mattered was Tanner already out of reach and floating towards the bottom.
With his last bit of strength, Eli dove down and hugged Tanner close to his chest.
This was the end. They were going to die by the ocean.
Eli wanted to laugh at the irony but couldn't find the strength.
Eli takes in one last breath.
Water fills his lungs.
Darkness closes in.
And then he's being pulled out on dry land dry heaving and coughing up sea water. Beside him, he heard Tanner doing the same.
Bleary eyed and confused, Eli turned to see a tall man with broad shoulders standing over them, their machete in his hand. He watched as the guy tossed him the weapon and Eli's hands closed around the familiar weapon.
"Run," the guy commanded.
Eli didn't need to be told twice. He grabbed Tanner and forced him to his feet before dragging them both through the woods far away from the cellar. He heard the big man follow behind them.
Only once Eli was sure they were far away from the cellar did he turn to face their savior, fire in his eyes and machete raised for any signs of hostility.
"Who are you?" he attempted to ask but swallowing the salt water made his throat sore and scratchy. He cleared his throat and repeated this time more menacingly, "Who are you?"
The guy just smiled sadly as he raised his hands up in surrender. When he spoke, he spoke in a kind quiet voice.
"Boys, don't you remember me? I'm your father."
And there you go. Another day, another cliffhanger. Don't worry, I'll try to update soon but the more reviews I get, the more likely I'll update faster. :P