Author Note:

Hello Everyone,

I have been away for quite some time. Who knew that once you graduated college, adulting would take up a lot of time. However, that is just an excuse. I am here to tell you that I have recently gotten back into writing and taken my time in going back through my story. I personally felt like this story had a lot more potential and I had rushed through it, leaving out so many ideas and details along the way. This note is to inform you that tonight or tomorrow I will be posting a revised Kidnapped Chapter One. I will be taking my time with each chapter and adding a lot more details...including a new arena and backgrounds for characters.

This being said, my goal is to have a new chapter out at least once a week. I am giving a time frame so that I can be held accountable because I don't want to let anyone down. Once I have finished with revising Kidnapped, I will work on Kidnapped: Jack's Revenge. I couldn't continue writing that story because this one did not feel finished. I want to thank all of you for your support and understanding. The fact that people read my story and leave such encouraging feedback means the world to me.

I will be deleting all of the chapters following the first Chapter once I have uploaded the new one and begin all over again. So, if this is the only chapter you see, then it has already been updated. I hope this is worth the patience!

Well, that is all I have for now. Again, thank you so much for your understanding and I hope I haven't been away for too long!

Kidnapped

"Go! Go! Go!" I heard Anthony yell through the phone. I jumped over the fence and went on pursuit after the victim with the darkness chasing after me. She was running away from me as fast as she could, but we both knew I'd catch her. Each second I grew closer and closer to her.

She sprinted through the door into her house, slammed it shut, and locked it. I grinned. She thought she was safe. I ran straight for the window and busted through it, doing a James Bond roll as I hit the ground. Turning to my left, I saw her looking at me wide eyed. Slowly she started backing up toward the door.

"Don't even think about it," I told her as I got up.

She turned quickly and opened the door, to be unsuccessful. I had set my hand on it and slammed it shut. My arms were now on the outside of her, pinning her to the door. She looked up at me with fear in her eyes. I smirked in victory.

Before

Hi, I'm Alex and I'm eighteen years old. My job is to kidnap the people we receive a hit on. From there my boss gives me the orders on where they are and where to take them. He took me in when I was only a little kid. I like to think that I'm paying back my debt, but in reality, it's all I know how to do. He has taught me everything about kidnapping and being a guard. I was never usually a guard though because he had other people who were in charge of it.

I am one of the best there is. My boss focused more on me when it came to training since I was the most loyal. As far as the company goes, we are only given the information we need. We never get to know who ordered the attack. We are just in it for the money. The procedure we go by for each kidnap is...

1. We go kidnap them.

2. Take them to the underground arena.

3. Play until final three escaped.

4. Finalists shipped to final arena.

5. Finalist there is set free.

6. Start again.

I'm not proud of what I do, but it makes a living and I'm good at it. I live in a hangout down in the subway. There is a couch that has rips and tears all over it and a few sleeping bags that reeked of smelly things. A large trashcan is in the center with a fire burning to help keep us warm. Just because we are pro kidnappers doesn't mean we never suffer. We have even gone as far as making our things smell bad so that we could accomplish the hobo disguise. Especially since no one ever expects a bunch of wanted criminals to be living right around them.

Anthony was the scrawniest of us all. He had no muscle to his bones, but his brain certainly made up for it. He had light blond hair and green eyes. He was always wearing a pair of jeans, black converse and a t-shirt with some nerdy quote. Today was a shirt from Nike that said "Try to stop me". He also always had some sort of electronic device with him. However, I couldn't complain because the GPS had saved us on more than one occasion.

Jack, on the other hand, was a complete psycho. If I hadn't grown up with him, I would be terrified to be around him. He lived off hurting people and I don't mean shoving a little kid to the ground. I mean cutting off fingers, breaking bones, and castrating. He also loved paying women for sex. It may sound crazy, but at eighteen he had already gotten away with murder multiple times. But then again, we all had, so did it really sound that crazy? I can't stop him though. It is not my place. He prides himself in muscle shirts and military haircuts. Even with his gruesome tendencies, he believes in clean cut.

As for who we work for, he barely comes out in the open and when he does, he wears a mask. He thinks its best he not be vulnerable to enemy fire. Yes, we get shot at A LOT. It's not as bad as it seems, but if you get shot and you can't run, you are left behind. Luckily no one has been hit…yet.

So, there I was, sitting on the couch by the fire. Waiting for my phone to ring, waiting for a new mission. Anthony and Jack were asleep on the floor. Funny thing about them was that Jack was the one drooling over everything while Anthony snored loud as hell. You just couldn't escape from their annoying sleeping behaviors. Every once in a while, I'd actually have to step away so that I wouldn't have to deal with the loud snoring.

Suddenly, my phone vibrated in my hand and everyone jumped up, wide awake, ready for anything. Another part of our training was to be a light sleeper. At any moment, we could be attacked and shot at so it was essential. We each gave a quick glance to each other then I answered it.

"Hello?" I asked.

"There is a 16-year-old girl, out in the country just outside of Nevada, Missouri. She goes by the name of Bailey. There will be Minimum security." The voice told me. "You will receive a text with her photo once you get to Nevada."

Before I could reply the line was dead. After sharing the information with Jack and Anthony, we got our gear of rope and tape then jumped into our black mustang. We had to hide it in an alley underneath a tarp so that no one would see a bunch of men dressed up in shitty clothes drive away with a nice car.

I was driving while Anthony navigated and Jack sat watching us in the back seat. The speed limit was sixty mph, but I was going eighty-five mph at least. The sky was black so I just kept dodging a bunch of lights that were coming towards us. We had a device in our car that would beep every time it would track down a cop using their radar which made driving over the speed limit easier.

It had taken close to four hours for us to reach our destination and that was going thirty mph over the speed limit so it goes to show that we were pretty far away. I slowed down, turned the head lights off and parked, making sure not to blow our cover. We all glanced around looking for the suspect named, "Bailey". My phone lit up and revealed our victim.

She had long dark brown hair, and the brownest of eyes. The photo was a close up of her walking down the street with a beanie on her head and a long-sleeved baggie sweatshirt that almost covered her knees. Below the sweatshirt were black skinny jeans with rips on the shins. Then to finish the look, she wore black converse.

The place we were at was indeed a farm house. It had a long white picket fence surrounding its property that held horses and cows. Within the boundaries of the fence there was a large white house. It had to be at least two stories high with scattered windows, revealing all the rooms. A front porch light illuminated the small pathway the house had that led from the driveway to the front door. Surely we wouldn't be using that pathway, unfortunately. That would make our job much too easy.

Slowly I got up and snuck over to the fence and waited for Anthony to tell me when. Our plan was for him to sit up in a tree and yell for me to go when he saw that the coast was clear. I was going to sneak in and take her while she slept. The code minimum security meant that she would be the only one home so we knew it'd just be a game of cat and mouse. That all changed when Anthony saw her running across the yard. We had been spotted. He quickly yelled," Go! Go! Go!" Then I jumped over the fence after her.

Present

She opened her mouth to scream, but I quickly covered it to block the noise from escaping her lips.

"Shhh…Keep quiet and I won't hurt you, ok?" I told her in a whisper. There was no one around, but it was always safe to stay quiet just in case someone didn't do their job correctly on figuring out the security. "Besides, you can't fool me. I already know that you are home alone."

She slowly nodded her head and kept her eyes on mine. I pulled a cloth from my pocket and tied it around her mouth, then tied her hands behind her back with a rope so that she was unable to make a sound or try and get away. Once that was done, I lifted her up over my shoulder and carried her to the car as she thrashed and kicked around. I opened the back-passenger door and threw her in next to Jack, then ran to the driver's side and got into the car.

"Bout time," Jack told me.

"You try running after someone for a change," I said.

"I'd be faster than you," He said with a grin.

"I'd like to see that," I replied back.

Once again, I was driving eighty-five in a fifty zone. Bailey kept screaming through the cloth, so I turned up the volume on the radio to make them deaf. I turned off the highway and drove about a mile away then took a right into a dark alley. I parked the car behind a dumpster and we all got out, waiting.

About five minutes later a black truck pulled up and the driver slipped out of the car. He was bald on the top with brown hair around the sides and back of his head. He had a belly that hung out of his white shirt which had grease stains all over.

"Got her?" he asked us as he walked over to us, popping his knuckles.

Jack nodded and looked at me. I walked over to the passenger door then pulled her out of the car. She thrashed around and tried to break free of my grasp, but I managed to keep hold. I handed her over to the driver and backed away.

He grabbed her and threw her over his shoulder then trudged over to his truck. He opened the back of it revealing all the kidnapped tied up. They were of all ages and sizes but all of them wore the same scared look. Two of them stood up and made their way to run, but the driver threw Bailey at them and then slammed the door close.

"Be waiting for a text soon." He told us then got into his truck and drove away. We hopped back into our car then I drove us back to the subway and waited for tomorrow night to come.

As I laid on the cushioned lump they called a couch, I pulled out an old photo of our old partner. Normally she would've been waiting with us, but not anymore. I traced my thumb along the length of her long curly brown hair. Her eyes were lit up in happiness and her smile was wide. I remember taking the photo like it was yesterday.

"You know that she is never coming back, right?" Anthony said as he slumped down beside me.

I could feel my chest drop at his words. "You know that doesn't make me feel any better?"

"It wasn't supposed to make you feel better, Alex. What she did can't be forgiven."

I nodded. He was right. Betrayal could never be forgiven. I slipped the photo back into my pocket as Jack sat down beside us.

"So how about that catch tonight? I thought she would get away. Alex, you are losing your touch."

I smirked then slugged him on the arm. "We could have a little race to see who is losing their touch if you'd like."

"I'd rather not wipe the floor with you. If I won, we'd have no reason to keep you."

"All right, Kids. Let's stay friendly," Anthony interrupted.

I let out a sigh then stood up. "I wonder what scared her in the first place."

"Yeah! It's not like we were loud," Jack replied.

"Well we still got her so it doesn't matter," Anthony shrugged.

"Yeah, I guess." That answer still didn't seem good enough, but I would likely never get one.

"I hate waiting!" Jack yelled. "This is no fun at all."

"The text will come before you know it, Jack. Just calm down."

He frowned then stood up. "This is the first arena since last year. We've been waiting and waiting. I just can't wait to cause some pain again. This catching stuff isn't for me."

"Go do push-ups or something," Anthony insisted.

"I'm going for a walk," Jack said before he took off.

Anthony groaned. "I wish I had the muscles to knock him out."

I laughed. "I'd pay to see that."

"Sometimes I really wonder. He has psychopathic tendencies. He really shouldn't be around people."

I nodded. "There is nothing we can do about it. Not to mention he is probably in the perfect profession for what he wants to do."

Anthony looked at the ground. "I feel bad for whoever gets stuck with him."

"I couldn't agree more."

Our voices died until all we could hear was the flickering of the fire. As I said before, I wasn't proud of what I did, but it was all I knew how to do. Of course, I knew that this wasn't the most moral job in the world, but when you have to be loyal to the man who saved your life there wasn't supposed to be any questions.

"Where do you think she is now?" Anthony asked.

I knew he was talking about Alyssa. Before it was us three, we had Alyssa too. Anthony hadn't gotten much of a chance to really get to know her, but she had been a good friend to him. He wouldn't have gotten through a lot of things if she hadn't been there to help him along. She and I became more than friends eventually and then my everything. She got me through each day just by standing next to me. However, she then began questioning her own morals and left. We tried to save her from the wrath of our boss. I went the extra mile to get her back, but we were too late.

"I have no idea, Anthony. I try not to think about it."

"Me too, but—"

"Guys! Let's head out! We need to get ready for tonight!" Jack interrupted our conversation.

Anthony looked up at me with a hint of despair in his eyes. He never liked the games once they took place. Especially the first round. That was when the most killing on our end happened. Anthony was brought onto our team because he was great with electronics. He was initially one of our kidnapped who made it to the final round. Before the arena, my boss gave him a chance to either join us or try his best in the arena and see what happened. He was quick to accept the offer and join us.

"Come on!" Jack jumped into the driver's seat of our car and barely gave us enough time to get in before he floored it.

I stared out the window as we drove through the country. The sun was just about to set over the horizon, making the sky a vibrant array of colors. The scenery was an endless view of hills with an overgrowth of weeds. The windows were down, with the fresh air pouring in and pushing my hair in all sorts of directions. The air was slightly chilling because of the fall time. The coldness sent a calming sensation through my bones.

I took note that the next few months would not give me any sort of peace. After the first arena, I would need to watch the kidnapped and train them. This year the boss wanted to let everyone view the slaughter fest of the final kidnapped. Anyone who gave us their target would get a special invite after the first arena. It was going to be entertaining to say the least.

Once we finally got to our destination it was dark and the sun had long since passed. Jack parked the car next to an old abandoned house. This house wasn't the greatest thing to look at with its broken door and windows. That was the point. It stood two stories tall with wood that had changed into a dark grey as time passed.

Shingles from the roof were missing and either laid on the ground beside it or disappeared in the wind. Darkness filled each open space to reveal its abandoned state. Spiders and rats most certainly filled the small cervices in-between the walls and floor. You're probably wondering why the hell we would meet here. My first time I wonder the same thing.

Below this old piece of shit house was something so monstrous and wonderful all at once. A maze of prison chambers and the arena were beneath the ground. We would likely not see the sky again for days. After the many years of practice, I was used to it. This was only one of the many locations. Each had their own unique arena trait to differentiate them all.

We got out of the car once we saw our boss emerge from the darkness. The only way we were able to see him was the small flashlight he held in his hand. The rest of him was dressed in total black to hide himself. This was his usual attire. We rarely saw him without a ski mask on his head.

"Are you three ready to prepare for tomorrow night?" His deep voice called out to us.

"As ready as ever," Jack cheered.

"Yes, Sir," Anthony and I both replied.

"Good. Let's head on down and see what is left to be done."

His flashlight disappeared into the house as he turned around. The three of us ran to catch up to him. We stopped once he got into what would've been the kitchen of the house. The air was so stale that breathing felt more difficult than outside and dust would linger with each movement. The floor boards would let out an occasional creek that echoed throughout the house.

Our boss pointed the flashlight directly at us then asked, "Did anyone follow you here?"

"No," Anthony answered. "There hasn't been anyone since the city." He was the only one smart enough to pay attention. Jack and I were having an adrenaline rush just thinking about the games.

"Good." My boss grumbled. "Ever since that bitch left us, all of our main arenas are compromised."

"Any luck finding her yet?" I couldn't help, but ask.

"No. There is no trace of her. It's been six damn months and there is still nothing."

"She will let up eventually," Jack mumbled.

"And when she does, we will kill her."

I averted my eyes to the ground after hearing his words. After everything we had been through, I still didn't want her dead. I wasn't sure how I would react when I finally saw her again. Just the thought of it made my stomach uneasy.

"Well, let's get down there and get things ready."

We nodded in agreement. My boss pulled out a remote from his pocket then pointed it at the ground and hit a button. Suddenly beams of light shot out from the floor boards and the ground started to open. The huge hole revealed a hidden elevator with no top. The entire elevator was a bright white and lights encased all around. Jack was the first to jump down into it. I was next. I let my body fall until my feet hit the ground. My knees bent to help the impact and my hands touched the sleek ground. I stood up straight and waited for everyone else.

Once we were ready, the roof of the elevator closed and we started moving down. The ride was short lived because the elevator was so quick. In reality, we were actually several hundred feet underground. It made finding us more difficult.

The elevator doors opened and revealed a long dark hallway. These hallways always reminded me of mining tunnels. The air was more humid, but the cement walls were cold. Most of the arenas appeared this way, except for the new ones. Those were a lot more modern and bright. However, since Alyssa left and we didn't know where she was, this was one of our only options.

Once my boss picked a location, he had his cleaning crew go in and clean it. Most of the time spiders and rats would build up to the point that it was inhabitable. Then mattresses would need to be replaced and cells cleaned out. Luckily for the three of us, we wouldn't have to deal with that any more.

Lights hung on the ceiling and provided just enough illumination to get to the next one. They didn't like giving the prisoners much light because with darkness came fear. When I first became a part of this I wasn't a huge fan of these hallways, but now it was nothing new. I had grown used to the conditions.

As we walked down the hall, there were cells on each side of us with individuals inside. Most of the scared faces I recognized because I had captured them myself. I could see the hate in their eyes whenever they looked at me. For all the knew I was the reason they were in this situation. Little did they know that I was not behind their capture. There were each here for a reason.

We continued walking down until we got to what we called the control room. This was where all of the techy guys created traps for the kidnapped and controlled everything. They could manipulate things like the weather, water flow, temperature, oxygen levels, etc. The whole arena was an intricate design that they only knew the details to. I had once tried to learn, but I discovered that I was better at catching people.

"What's the status?" My boss asked.

Someone with their head behind the computer answered. "We are ninety percent complete. The only other thing to test are the traps. We will be ready within the hour."

"Very well. Alex, Anthony and Jack, go get the suits for the kidnapped and take their clothes to the furnace downstairs. Once this is done we should be ready to go."

"Yes, Sir."

The three of us left the control room and headed down the hall to the room with all the kidnapped suits. We liked to keep the kidnapped in the same clothes for the arena. This made it so there weren't any advantages or disadvantages between them.

One by one, we distributed the suits to each cell and told them that if they didn't undress and put those on, they wouldn't be alive when we got back. Slowly, the hallway began to fill with articles of clothing that they kidnapped had been wearing when we got here. Jack and I continued to hand out the clothes while Anthony drove down the center with a cart, picking up original clothes.

Once we were finished we all walked down together to the incinerator and began piling the clothes in the flames. These clothes were the last things the kidnapped had that differentiated them. Now they were all the same. Equals for the arena.

"Who do you think will win it all?"

I looked up at Anthony. His hair was matted down in sweat and his clothes hugged tightly to his skin. The heat from the flames were almost unbearable. Looking at him made me realized how sweaty I truly was.

"I don't know," I answered.

"Definitely not a girl," Jack laughed. "They never win."

Anthony shrugged. "Maybe this time is different."

"If a girl does get through, I call dibs," Jack smirked.

I smiled. No girl had ever been in the arena and survived past the first round. Even if one did make it through, there's no telling what horrific things Jack was willing to put them through. Death would be the better option.

"You know some of these clothes are actually nice," Jack mumbled as he held out a long sleeved black shirt. "It seems a shame to throw it all away."

"Yeah, because this is all evidence that needs to be burned, you Nitwit."

Jack paused for a second longer before he wiped the sweat from his face and tossed it into the flames. "Yeah, I know that, Smart Ass. I was just thinking out loud."

I smirked at the two as they bickered back and forth. It was like watching the angel and devil argue on your shoulder. They fought each other most of the time, but deep down they knew that they would need to get along.

"I have to go take care of something. Will you both take over," Jack asked, bringing me away from my thoughts.

"Yeah, sure."

"Sweet. See you soon." He turned around and left. Now it was just me, Anthony, and the sound of the crackling flames as the clothes burned.

"Hey, Alex? Does this ever get easier?"

I looked across the pile of clothes and raised an eyebrow. "Does what get easier?"

"You know…All of this. The burning of clothes, killing people, kidnapping, etc."

I had to remember that Anthony had only been a part of this for a year. It was only his second time dealing with all of this. Last year it didn't seem like he would get through it at all. He was a complete wreck throughout the whole thing.

"I still struggle with it sometimes. I think you have to be completely heartless to not even hesitate."

He stared at the clothes burning in the flames and nodded. I felt bad for him. Anyone given the choice to go through the arena or join us would've done the same thing. It was different for me. I had no one to go back to.

After another fifteen minutes, we had finally finished with the clothes. My own clothes were soaked in sweat that tightly hugged my skin. This only made me sweat more. The ash from the flames had caked on our skin so that we looked like we had been cleaning chimneys. I would need a shower before the big day. Preferably a cold one.

"Let's go get Jack," Anthony mumbled. I could tell that this alone used up most of his energy.

"I'll go find him. Why don't you go take a shower and prepare for tomorrow?"

I could see the gratitude in his eyes as his muscles relaxed and he left the room. I followed behind him out of the room, but went a different direction. I knew exactly where Jack was.

"You're all going to die!" I could hear Jack's voice echo down the hallway with prisoners.

I closed my eyes and signed. Jack had once again had too much to drink. He took these days as an opportunity to drink as much as he could. Much like his father, alcohol made him very loud and abusive. I, myself, didn't really enjoy the taste.

"You! I will kill you first!"

My feet led me down the hall before I had time to think about what I would do. If Jack were to hurt any of the kidnapped, we would all be in trouble. Suddenly I heard a loud crash. It was a bottle. Now I was running to stop him.

After a few seconds, I could see Jack rattling the cell doors and swinging fists through the bars. His punches weren't landing on anyone because they were all backed up against the wall. Most of them held looks of terror. Others glared at us with venom. Now that they all wore the same clothes, the only thing that differentiated them was gender and height. I could no longer remember who was who.

"Jack! Knock it off!"

He turned toward me and smiled. "Hey there, Alex."

I pushed him off the cell doors. "You idiot!" I could smell the alcohol on his clothes and breath. "You're drunk the night before the arena?"

He bobbed his head back and laughed. It looked like he could barely support the weight of his own head. When he pulled his head back forward it kept going until his chin touched his chest, causing him to stumble forward. I quickly caught him and straightened him out.

"Jack, it had been barely thirty minutes since you left. How are you this toasted?"

"Iiiiiii just wanted to have some fuuuuun," He slurred.

I sighed in irritation. "Okay. Let's get you to bed. We don't need you doing anything stupid."

"But Alexxxx… I was just about to have fuuuun."

"Let us out!"

I glanced up to see someone standing with his hands grasping the bars. His face was visible between his hands. He looked to be in his late twenties. His body was heavily overweight. That explained the big mouth. I didn't recognize him as someone I helped capture.

All eyes were now on us. I hated being the center of attention. I could see a smug smile on Jack's face. He wanted to get a reaction out of me. That always seemed to be his goal.

"You had better back up from the door before I make you an example of why not to speak out."

Quickly I saw the bravery disappear as his shoulder sank and his eyes met the floor. He stepped away from the door and disappeared behind the kidnapped who were in the cell with him.

"Does anyone else want to speak up?" I scanned each cell, wanting someone to say something, but the room remained quiet.

"Good. Jack, let's go get you to bed. You don't want the boss to see you like this."

He nodded before we left the kidnapped. I was exhausted and ready for bed. The walk to our bedroom seemed long and endless. I had to help Jack along because he couldn't walk straight. Every time he stumbled he would break out in laughter. This would only upset me more. We were already in charge of babysitting the kidnapped. Jack was acting like twenty of them added together.

Finally, we reached our bedroom. We burst through the door and Jack quickly fell onto the closest bed. I let out a breath of relief now that his weight was no longer against me. My whole body shook as I tried to gain back my strength. I basically had to carry him the entire way and it didn't help that he couldn't balance.

"Tomorrow isssss going to be a greeeeat day, Alex." He slurred. "I can't wwwwait."

I rolled my eyes. "Let's just hope that you don't wake up with a hangover."

The door behind us creaked opened and I spun around in fear that it was our boss. However, it was only Anthony with three bottles of water and a bottle of Advil. I let out the air I had been holding in before I closed the door behind him.

"Sorry for startling you. I heard the commotion and figured this would help."

"Thanks," I said as I took the Advil and water from him.

Jack was looking up at me again with his eyes barely open. If it weren't for his chest rising and falling, I would assume he was dead. I lifted him upright then gave him two tablets of Advil and the bottle of water. His body swayed back and forth as he downed it all. Once he finished, he dropped the empty bottle and fell back onto the bed then closed his eyes. Within seconds he had already passed out.

I looked over at Anthony and noticed that his hair was wet and he had changed into fresh clothes. I was relieved that he hadn't taken a long shower. It saved me from having to go get everything for Jack.

"Are you ready for tomorrow," I asked.

He looked at me and laughed. "No, not at all, but that doesn't exactly mean anything. I guess it could be worse. I could be locked up again like one of them."

I nodded, "Or dead."

His smiled faded and he looked at the ground. "I am starting to think that might be a good idea."

"Anthony…I know this is hard, but is death really better?"

"Alex, the people I love most don't even know that I am alive. They never will. What's worse is that the crazy nut who put me in this arena is out there with them. This whole thing is messed up."

I didn't know how to answer that. I hadn't thought about his family out there. When I came I had no one to worry about and no one to think about. That made this transition easier. It wouldn't be that way for him.

"I'm sorry."

"Thanks. I think I am going to turn in. I'll see you in the morning." He jumped up onto the bed above Jack and turned so that he faced the wall.

I took a quick shower before finishing off my bottle of water and following suit. Tomorrow would be a big day.

The next morning, we all woke up to a loud voice on the intercom telling us that we had one hour left. Jack, Anthony and I quickly dressed in our camo attire since we would be in the arena with the kidnapped. We didn't want to be easily noticed.

"You guys ready?"

Jack was never a morning person. Except for these days. It was like a little boy waiting to open his presents on Christmas morning.

"Ready for today to be over…" I heard Anthony mumble.

"Come on! Let's go!" Jack ran out of the room and we followed.

Our adrenaline was rushing because it was fun watching the games that were done in the arena. My boss would step out in front of all the kidnapped civilians and announce that they had an hour to try and survive. Little did they know, there were traps planted all around the arena.

My personal favorite were the traps of doom. They were giant pits about ten feet deep with spikes at the bottom. Some bear traps were set around the arena also. Then the river around the arena was controlled. We chose when to dry it out and when to let it rush through. Sometimes it'd drown people when it pulled them under because of its strong current and sometimes it was harmless. Depended on how lucky you were.

It didn't matter if they made it out anyways because they would just be taken to the next level, so the last one standing would be the one really to escape this nightmare. In all my time watching people, I had noticed that the ones rushing into the game were the first to die because they had no clue as to how it all worked.

The whole game was known through the entire country, but no one knew exactly where it was since we had arenas underground and in all different locations. The police had a huge search group going after us and they'd try to stop us, but we always managed to get away. No one ever saw what was done in them, however. That was for our eyes only for now. This wasn't a huge game that had crowds of people watching the torturous events that occurred. It was more like a sick game that satisfied our boss's needs and others. This was a lot more fun than the typical assassination.

Today would be the jungle arena. There would be trees, vines, snakes, wild flowers, etc. I'd have to say it was my personal favorite. I myself am the jungle type of guy. It was always fun when the people had no clue what they were doing. They'd run around frantically tripping over tree roots and falling down holes. In my opinion, slow and steady did win the race.

Our boss was dressed in his usual dark black clothes and black mask over his face. The mask only revealed his eyes. Everything else was hidden behind it. Even though his face was covered, it didn't hide his chubby features or his large stomach. We all had to stay fit for anything while he just sat and watched. I guess that's how big of an impact money has on things.

"Let the fun begin," he said in a deep voice.

I smiled and nodded, then turned and watched as the people we kidnapped walked in blind folded with their hands tied behind their backs. Their clueless faces made it even funnier. They acted like chickens with their heads cut off. Completely clueless.

My boss led the way down through the arena where we all took our spots and waited for the kidnapped civilians to be seated. There were only around thirty people that were captured each time.

"Everyone sit now," Boss demanded.

Once everyone was seated onto the dirt floor, Jack went through and untied them. All of their eyes blinked from the light adjustment, and then widened in fear once they saw what was going on. Questioning looks and small murmurs were exchanged through everyone.

"Welcome to our game. You are all probably wondering how you got here and why. I'm here to inform you that you will never know and it's pointless to worry about it. Majority of you won't make it out of here alive. Even those who do will never be the same.

Behind you is a jungle with many hiding secrets. While you should be worried about the secrets, you should also fear the people around you. There are no friends. You are all enemies. I would watch my back if I were you. Now for the rules of our little game.

For the first time ever, we will have it where if you survive one hour, you make it onto the next round. The next round is not the final round though. We will be having three total arenas."

I looked at Anthony and Jack with a raised eyebrow. This caught all of us off guard. We had never had more than two arenas in one set. I didn't know yet if I liked that or not.

"You can run, hide or fight. Doesn't matter which of the three you do because they will all get you killed. Your goal is to be one of the last ones standing. If you think that you can get away with simply hiding, I would try something else. There are cameras everywhere. You can try and escape, but you won't succeed."

Many of the kidnapped had faces that matched the white of their clothing. Some cried and others looked around watching for who the weak ones were. My boss usually always made the game seem like it was the last one alive wins, but there were a couple exceptions he left out. For one, the arena was timed. He would only tell them once things got boring. Then two, there were instant winning spots. If a kidnapped ran into these, they automatically made the next round. This was his way of giving the underdogs a chance. There were only supposed to be three of these spots though. If they all filled then the game would end automatically. However, he had already announced how long they needed to survive and it sounded like he hoped for more than three survivors. We had no idea if those spots would be available this round. I was slightly pissed off that he didn't warn us ahead of time. What was he getting at?

I stood on the right side of my boss while he gave out instructions. I zoned out on what he was saying and just stared down at the people sitting in front of us. Some were shaking and holding someone else, while the others showed no fear what so ever. I smirked. They had no idea what was in store for them. We had one time where one of the prisoners decided they had a better chance of escaping before my boss was done explaining the rules. I bet he didn't even make it ten feet from where he had been sitting.

Suddenly a loud noise rang through the room. Everyone was looking to see what the loud noise meant and where it came from. Some had flinched and covered their ears. I looked around the crowd of people and their frightened faces. This would be the last time I saw them. Some of their lives I would take myself.

"The next time you hear that noise, you will want to turn around and fight for your life."

I looked over at Jack who was staring at them with a wide smile. I could see in his eyes that he was choosing his victims one by one. He typically did most of the killing. Mainly because he enjoyed it most. His techniques weren't the most humane to say the least. He often liked to play with his food first.

Anthony on the other hand was staring at the grassy floor beneath his feet and shifting his weight back and forth. His hands held each other and appeared whiter than normal. He looked like he might be sick. I knew that he hated this, but I had expected him not to be so obvious. We had to appear strong in front of the kidnapped.

All of the sudden a loud buzzer went off meaning the horror had started. All the people stood up and took off running. A couple of them sat still as if to protest the arena until Jack pulled out a knife and pointed it at them. Both of their eyes widened and they turned around then disappeared into the jungle. Almost instantly, cries and screams of terror were heard throughout the arena.

"You know what to do, Alex." My boss reminded me. I nodded then took off into the jungle. I was to observe all of them and see how they react to each and every little thing. If they were too many people that died from a certain trap then we'd want to decrease the amount so there was more entertainment. If there were some traps that didn't work at all they'd either be modified or completely removed.

Within one hundred feet I had already found a man who found a trap of doom. The spikes had impaled his left thigh, stomach, chest and neck. His eyes were lifeless and his mouth wide open. Most likely from screaming…Or at least trying to. The ground beneath him was pooled in a deep red liquid.

I continued forward to find the next victim of our game. It was a woman in her mid-twenties. She had long blond hair that covered her face as she tried to pry the bear trap open on her foot. Her leg looked disfigured from the distance I was at. I could tell that the bone had snapped beneath. Even if someone were to stop and help, she wouldn't go far. She was as good as dead.

"H-help. Please. I need help!" She called out.

I wanted to watch the outcome so I crouched behind a bush and waited. Within a couple minutes, someone ran up to her. This was an older man. He crouched down beside her and tried his best to pull it open. His muscles would tighten and then shake from the strain of trying to get it open. All this did was slam the mouth of the trap shut and cause her to scream. Not only did that worsen her wound, but it also gave out their location.

"Oh god. I am so sorry! Please stop being loud. Someone is running around killing everyone. I saw it with my own eyes," he said as he continued to try and open it.

"Please get me out of this," She sobbed.

Another kidnapped ran by them and told them to run away. "He's coming! Run!" Now my curiosity had peaked. Who was he running from?

"I'm so sorry. I can't get this open!"

The man helping her jumped up and took off running. She screamed and cried out so loud that her voice began to falter. Each time she tried to open the trap, her hands would slip from the blood and let it clamp shut. It was only a matter of time before someone found her. I felt slightly bad. That was a rough way to end the game. Especially this early.

Another kidnapped emerged through the forest in deep blood-stained clothes. He was very tall with a bald head. His muscles bulged through his sleeves. He looked to be in his forties. There was a large jagged scar that ran down the left side of his face. He had a rough demeanor in his physique. His eyes were dead set on the woman begging for her life. I knew too well what that look of his meant. Within seconds he had straddled her and began choking her. She tried to fight back by pushing his face away, but all that did was piss him off.

I watched as her body thrashed around until it stopped. He waited a few more seconds before letting go and getting off her. When her body didn't move after he got up, I knew she was dead. Her eyes were wide open along with her mouth, facing upwards. The bear trap had her leg mangled in all sorts of directions. Some of the bone was evening showing. Boss would enjoy this kidnapped very much. He was certainly not afraid of taking a life. My guess was that he had quite the criminal record. I would bet money to see him in the-.

I spoke too soon. As if on cue, the ground beneath him began to make a loud noise and it caved in. He reached out to grab anything to hold himself up. The shock in his face was the last thing I saw before he was completely gone. A loud cry rang through my ears before there was silence. A large cloud of dust covered the trap before slowly disappearing with the lack of movement.

I couldn't help, but laugh at the irony of it. Here was this macho man running around killing people and he got taken out within seconds. This was something I enjoyed about the games. No one could predict the winner. We had tried multiple times. Not once had we gotten it correctly.

I moved from my crouch position and continued on. Many of the traps of doom had been found by unlucky people. A little too much. I would need to take note and have a few removed for next time. We need to have a good show. Especially if this would soon entertain guests. However, Boss has been saying that for years. I slightly doubted it would ever happen. I don't think he minded having this all to himself.

Some people saw me run by and begged for help, I kept running until I collided into another kidnapped. We both fell to the ground next to each other in a daze. It was a man of his thirties who was just slightly taller than me. Instantly his hands wrapped around my neck and he tried to choke me as we wrestled around on the ground. He was a lot heavier than me, but I continued to push him off. Or at least attempt to.

Just as my vision started to get blurry an axe tied to rope swung down from the trees and slammed into the guy's side. He fell to the ground on impact and cried as he tried to pry the axe out. My neck felt horrible, but I stood to my feet and walked over to the man and placed my foot onto his chest. He grabbed my ankle to pull me off only to cry out in pain when I clutched the axe handle.

I yanked it out from his body making blood pour out of him. He reached up toward me, begging for my help. Without hesitating I raised the axe above my head and slammed it down into his skull. He twitched for a second then laid motionless beneath me.

I looked up at one of the cameras hidden in a tree and nodded my thanks to the crew who had paid attention and saved my life. I would have to send them a gift basket for that one. I threw the axe onto the ground then started running again.

Just as I turned in another direction another axe hurled passed my head and embedded itself in a tree that was only a couple feet away. My reaction was to tuck and roll out of the way in case they threw another. Once I was in place, I stood up to find the big mouth from yesterday.

"You should've killed me when you had the chance!"

I smiled at him. This was my domain. He would die here and now. I placed my fists out in front of me and moved a few steps toward him. He followed suit before running at me. He didn't even make it two feet before tripping over a tree root and face planting in the ground before him. I couldn't help, but laugh.

"Wow, that was something else."

He picked himself up off the ground and glared at me with an incredible amount of hate. I almost felt bad for him because of how large he was. His shirt had lifted well over his stomach to reveal fresh scratches from his fall. The rest of his shirt was tightly stuck on him from his sweat. The fall must've used the rest of his energy. He couldn't even stand up straight.

"Just turn around and run. You could actually make it that way. Make one more advance on me and I will kill you."

He kept staring at me, but I could tell that he was contemplating. I wouldn't mind killing him. That made things-. Suddenly a loud snap filled my ears behind me. Someone was sneaking up on me. I smiled. He thought he could trick me. Then I noticed that he wasn't looking directly at me. He was looking past me.

"The same offer goes to you behind me."

I saw the shock in the chubby man's eyes. I quickly turned around to see a woman with the axe from the tree in her hands. Her black hair was tied back in a ponytail and her white clothes revealed everything she had been through in the last thirty minutes. Blood, grass stains, dirt, you name it. The innocent woman who entered this arena was no longer there. She didn't hesitate any longer and ran at me with the axe lifted above her head. At the same moment, I could hear the other guy running at me too.

I braced myself before them. She was running much faster than him. I would need to take her out first. I positioned my body toward her and as she brought the axe down, I moved out of the way at the last possible second. The weapon quickly buried itself in the ground forcing her body to bend with it. The axe was too heavy for her and that would be why she died.

I grabbed the back of her head with my hands then thrust my knee into her face. I could feel her nose crack and her body stiffen from the pain. She flew back and landed on her butt, holding her face. I quickly turned around just in time to see the chubby guy's fist flying at me. I ducked in time to see an opening in his defense. I put as much strength as I could to punch him right in the stomach. He hurled over his knees and fell to the ground. My next instinct was to grab the axe that was in the ground and slam the back of it into his side so that he fell to the ground crying out in pain. I kicked him so that he rolled onto his back and stared up at me with the fear that he should've initially had. It was too late to take back his empty threats. I would kill him now.

I lifted the axe above my head then put as much force as I could into cracking his skull open. It split just like a watermelon. Blood splatted everywhere and his body twitched violently. The woman who had tried to help screamed so loud that I had to cover my ears. She jumped up from the ground and took off running in another direction.

"Please! Please don't kill me!"

I didn't chase after her. Someone else would have their fun. I needed to get back to examining the arena. I waited a few moments before moving on. I needed to catch my breath. As much as I loved surprises, I had, had enough fun for one arena. This one held too many rebels for my own liking. I kept running till I saw the Bailey girl from yesterday. Curiosity over took me. What was she doing?

Author Note: Hey, so I've had many people compare the start of this story to the hunger games, but I promise this story is nothing at all in relation to the Hunger Games except for the arena in general. That being said, thanks for reading and I hope you guys all enjoyed chapter one of Kidnapped! :)