Dear readers: I've been working on this story for quite a long time. I believe I started it at least a whole year ago. I've built onto it as time passed. I've finally decided to put it online, as I believe that I probably will never get the chance to publish this, since I'm so indecisive about continuing it. So far there are a good thirty chapters completed, so enjoy, as I will continue to add on throughout my college career as a full time student. This work came from the biggest fantasy of my heart, so I hope you like it!

The radio hummed quietly in the background. I switched the station a few times, eager to find a station that I could settle with, annoyed that none of them suited me. This always happened and I knew it too. That's why I always ended up turning off the radio and heaved a sigh, kind of like I did just now.

I pulled my car up into the driveway of my house and got out of the old bronze Toyota. After locking the door, I walked into the house. My mom was already cooking something, something that smelled amazing. This was rare; after the divorce, she'd stopped cooking nice foods because it reminded her of dad. But after the new marriage she'd only cooked on special occasions. I wondered what today was.

I walked past the kitchen. Well, not really past it, since I had to walk through it to get to any other part of the house other than the living room anyways. Mom was boiling something, but I could tell something was baking too. I don't think she saw me, but that wasn't unusual. She tended to focus her sight elsewhere these days.

I heard kids laughing farther back into the house; it must have been Traiciona and Odio. The two were practically toddlers, despite their elementary age. Traiciona was nine and Odio was seven. The two were watching TV while eating Mac and Cheese on the sofa in the dining room. Hayne sat in the lazy chair, not doing much. Our family was a bit segregated; Odio and Traiciona came with Hayne when Mom remarried. The three all had the same brown hair and the same brown eyes and the same pale skin. Mom and I were a bit different; we had dark brown hair too, but green eyes.

"Hi," I said quietly to Hayne. He was reading the news.

"Hey," he muttered without looking up or moving even an inch. I never appreciated Hayne that much. He had an enormous beer belly that grew in the past few months and his head was balding. A thick pair of glasses sat on his face.

I sighed and walked into my room. Tonight was the Christmas party that our home room was having. I knew Mom would be angry when I told her, especially since today was some type of special occasion. I sighed again and changed. I brushed my brown hair and fixed myself up for the cold winter weather outside. I grabbed my keys and headed outside.

They were all sitting in the dining room at the table already, looking like they were prepared to start eating.

"Danny!" Mom called, pointing at the chair next to her for me to sit in.

"Mom, I have a party tonight, remember?" I didn't forget to tell her a week in advance.

"What?" her face looked confused.

"I told you a week ago."

"Honey, tonight's special. It's Hayne and my anniversary."

The room was silent for a minute.

"But mom—"

"Just go." She looked down at her plate and then looked at Hayne for a prayer.

I sighed, knowing this would happen, and shuffled around, trying to find my bag. I heard them say "Amen" behind me and start eating.

Mom sounded like she'd gotten over our little conversation, laughing at something Traiciona did.

"Danny, why can't you just stay and eat with us? Don't you appreciate our marriage?" she asked me in a more polite manner.

"But you said that I could go last week and you promised," I said quietly.

I heard her put down her fork, her anger rising. She sighed heavily.

"Danny, I don't understand why you can't just spend more time with your family."

"I'm sorry."

"I don't want to hear those words anymore. Just leave." I knew she must have been truly angry, because now she acted like nothing happened at all. She only did that when she was trying to turn a cold shoulder to whomever or whatever she was mad at.

I sighed, found my bag, and headed out the door.

"Careful on your way out!" called my mother as I ran out the door in a hurry. She was still acting like nothing happened, her apron still wrapped around her waist. "And don't be back any later than ten, got it?" I hated when she did that to make me feel bad.

I didn't reply. I grabbed a pair of boots and the keys and hopped into the car. I started the car and waited for the engine to heat up from the cold weather as I slipped on my comfy black boots. I quickly picked up my phone that had been ringing for a while now before I missed the call. It was from Lorayne, my best friend. We'd met in kindergarten and been together since.

"Hello?" I answered.

"Where are you Danny?!" her voice exclaimed, "Everyone's here but you!"

"I'm coming, I'm coming," I replied, "Is Conner there yet?"

"Yeah he's here all right, but you're not."

I smiled. "I'm almost there. See ya."

"Okay um… hurry!"

I laughed and parked in the driveway of the five star hotel. It was Christmas night and some of my friends were having a Christmas party. This was the first time I've spent time with Conner, my boyfriend, in a while. I took out the keys and walked in through the front doors. The lobby was mildly quiet, but I knew which direction to go when I saw the jam coming from the party room not too far up ahead.

I quickened my pace a little, eyes locked on the dimmed party room. Then suddenly, I ran into something—someone. Looking up, I saw that I had run into a man with round gold eyes that gleamed fascinatingly. He had shoulder length, straight, dark red hair. His body was rather angular, clothed in a dark suit and a silver trench coat. He blinked his long dark eyelashes straight at me and smiled.

"Oh, um, sorry…" I said quietly, a bit dazed by the mysterious stranger.

"S'okay. Watch your step," he replied. His voice was deep and strange. He winked, and moved out of my path. It was only then did I notice the five other darkly clothed men who had frozen in their footsteps. I told myself that it was coincidence and moved on.

I smiled weakly and slowly began walking towards the party room. When I reached the room, Lorayne greeted me excitedly.

"Finally. I've been waiting forever," she exclaimed. "I tried not to let them start without you, but you took so long!"

I took one last glance back, only to find the man's eyes still on me.

"Are you okay?" Lorayne asked.

"Yeah…" I answered uncertainly. Lorayne handed me a questioning look.

"Hey!" came that familiar voice from behind us. Conner showed and gave me a hug. He dropped his arm, leaving me a bit disappointed, and walked me around. I looked at the couple next to us, the guy's arms around his girl. It made me a bit jealous and I looked at Conner. He wasn't even standing next to me anymore—he had left me to talk to some of his friends by the door. I sighed and looked for Lorayne, but she had gone to flirt with the boy from chemistry she'd had her eye on.

I glanced around and saw the bathroom, and made my way over to check over myself again, seeing how I was forced to spend most of my time at home convincing my mom to let me come. I walked into the nicely decorated bathroom and looked into the full body mirror. I was wearing a pair of dark blue jeans and a thin purple sweater my friend gave me for Christmas last year. A thick grey jacket, the most comfortable and warm one I owned, rested on my back. My wavy brown hair fell all the way to the middle of my back and a black scarf wrapped itself around my neck. My pale cheeks were flushed and my lips were cold.

I sighed at myself, and fixed my windblown bangs. They hung down to about the middle of my ear. Suddenly, I noticed the dark figure that had been in the stall all along—one of the guys that had been outside earlier. He too had gold eyes, and immediately had a gun pointed at my head and a hand at my mouth to muffle my nonexistent cry. I simply gasped as I saw him smirk. He too had red hair, but a bit brighter. His body seemed less dominatingly large than the man I'd ran into earlier. He had prominent cheekbones and a strong chin.

"Hey, girl," he mocked me.

I glared at him as he pushed me out the door. Several students around me gasped and backed away when they saw what was happening. Soon, the noise died out and all that was left was the music. Two of the dark clothed men were by the party door, and the other three were outside in the lobby, one with a gun pointed at the hotel clerk's head, one guarding the front exit, and the last drinking champagne.

"Move forward for me, girly," the man holding me hostage said. A path cleared as the two of us made our way out the party room. At the door, a man that looked exactly like the one holding me looked at me intently with a sneaky smile.

"I want everyone to come into the lobby," one man said, holding a machine gun towards the ceiling. Fearfully and without a choice, the students from the party room cautiously made their way into the lobby, and the two men locked up the party room behind them. I noticed all the people I knew were eyeing me nervously while looking around—probably for an escape. Even the jocks and the preps had lost their cool, Jenny, Dylan, and Mitchell, all looking around nervously.

"So," said the one drinking champagne—the one I had run into earlier, "we are, uh, raiding this hotel…" he looked intently at his drinking glass to wipe away a smudge. "And," he said, sighing, then looking back up as if this were a frequently executed trial, "you all will be held hostage. There is only one way out, all the others have been sealed off." He turned to the hotel clerk. "Your security system in the lobby is down, and all communication has been cut off—only from the lobby, of course. All of your electronic movements are being monitored from the outside. And don't worry about your emergency button. We already cut all seven of them off." He smiled at the clerk and returned his attention back to the mass population. "If anyone decides to do anything… stupid…" he looked at me and smiled, "this young lady here will be killed." Murmurs spread through the small crowd.

I looked for Connor, but his fearful eyes were constantly dashing from one exit to another. I tried to get his attention so that I at least had some sort of comfort to rely on. His gaze was truly a hard one to catch, so I gave up. I furrowed my brows and grimaced.

Then, just that moment, Iliad, the quarterback of the football team charged at the man with champagne, getting ready to tackle him. But right when they were about to make contact, the man with champagne stepped back and stuck out his left leg, tripping Iliad and sending him flying into the front desk. Murmurs spread violently through the little crowd as he lay limply, covered in blood, on the ground.

The man with champagne simply cleaned his teeth with his pinky finger and licked his teeth. His eyes were only half open, making him seem bored and a bit tired.

"So…" said a man who had been in the lobby and is now part of the crowd, his voice a bit timid and cautious, "what are you doing now?"

The man drinking champagne lifted an eyebrow and looked at his watch.

"Well you see," he began, "I'm a bit early, you know, more convenient for the boss, but now I'm just waiting for the call and all… so we'll just sit still for a bit alright?"

"What are you going to do with us?!" exclaimed Jenny, more frantic than she had ever been.

"Mmm…" the man glanced at his nicely polished leather shoes, "you know, that's a good question. Whatever the boss wants t' do with you." He slowly lifted his gaze to meet her eyes. Jenny was a very nicely bodied girl, with long blonde hair and sparkly blue eyes, and what she wore tonight could fall into the category of skanky. He looked her up and down as she backed into the crowd, although she had been known for several scandalous acts herself. Several other rather attractive, nicely dressed girls retreated with her deeper into the crowd. Only then was I thankful for spending so much more time negotiating with my mom.

"Heh, maybe some of 'em will end up as one a 'em test subjects like las' time," snickered the man with his gun pointed at me. I had forgotten the man was still there. As a matter of fact, I had forgotten I had a gun pointed at me at all. I felt a bit brave for getting used to the seemingly terrible feeling.

"Shu' up y'ass hole," the man that looked just like him remarked jokingly. They could have been twins, sharing the gold eyes and red hair. They looked a bit boyish, probably either in their early twenties or late teens. I almost felt like I was being held by someone from my own age. "Dun' f'get when he used you as one a 'em test subjects."

The man with a gun pointed at me bit his bottom lip and pointed his gun at his twin. "Sha' up y'ass hole!"

"Quiet down, Fyss," said the man with the wine as his phone rang.

The man holding me, Fyss, adjusted his gun to point at my head again. The room fell dead silent as the man with champagne listened to the phone call.

"Mhmm…" he murmured, then furrowed his brows, "'kay, you got it, boss." He hung up the phone and turned towards the man wrapped in black fabric and a dark grey bandana that covered most his face. He rather reminded me of a regal dragon. He had wide turquoise eyes and thick, straight, chocolate-colored, incredibly lengthy hair that was braided down to his waist with loose strands falling out. He had a graceful build and cream-colored skin.

"Take them onto the truck and lock them up. Have Fyss and Nass drive them back. We'll gather up here and leave on the van," he said to the darkly wrapped one, who bowed and turned away to give orders. He looked at Fyss and his twin, Nass, and nodded his head.

They nodded, and Fyss shoved me towards the back exit, the only exit.

"Go on, ye' heard 'im," said Nass. The two had a noticeable mixed but dominantly western accent, although the two looked otherwise.

The small crowd jumbled their way out the exit towards a truck outside, where about five men guarded both the passageway, the exit, and the truck itself. Fyss still held on to me, and Nass slid open the back door of the truck, and eighteen wheeler. Inside against the truck's wall were a large number of shackles, maybe twenty or so. Slowly, one by one, each hostage was loaded onto the truck and locked up in one set of shackles against the wall. I was loaded in as the last one by Fyss himself as the others hopped out of the truck.

After he locked me up, he turned towards everyone and said, "If any 'o ye' wanna try to escape," he looked around and smirked, "go ahead. Ye' 'ain't be getting' anywhere." He laughed to himself.

"What are you going to do with us?!" exclaimed a middle aged man who had been in the lobby earlier. He looked like a businessman, a wealthy and successful businessman, who was there for…business. His expression looked terrified, and beady sweat ran down from his pores.

"'Tsa surprise," said Fyss, "Merr' Christmas." And with that, Fyss hopped off the truck. He did not yet close the truck door, but instead sat at the end of the truck opening with his legs hanging over the edge and examined his silver handgun carefully.

Outside, the most visible to me, several men were carrying bags of money onto a black van not too far from the truck. The man who had been holding the champagne directed orders quickly, his breath visible in the cold winter night air.

Suddenly, a little slit opened near the front end of the truck that connected the driver to the "cargo". Nass's face appeared as he spoke to Fyss.

"Watch 'em babes, 'cause we're leavin'," he called to Fyss.

"Yes'm," Fyss answered as he simply closed the door and stayed in the back with us. He locked the truck door at the bottom, placed the key on a chain, sat next to me, at the end of the row, and continued examining his gun. Within five minutes, the van began to drive. One single light bulb hung down from the center of the truck's ceiling. Its light flickered as the truck made its way through the streets. The little slot near the front was closed, and I had not the slightest clue where we were headed.

About ten minutes into the ride, Jenny's phone rang. She had a hip little ring tone, and Fyss's eyes shot up to her bag, where the ring came from. Carefully, Fyss stood up and walked towards her. Jenny's expression looked a bit mesmerized. Then I realized that they must not have been as professional as I had once thought to not even take up the cellular devices.

Fyss used a pocket knife to cut off the straps of Jenny's bag, making her exclaim in protest.

"That is a seven hundred dollar coach bag you—" she began.

But in response, Fyss, without even looking at her, pointed the sharpest end of the pocket knife straight at the center of her neck. Jenny silenced herself, although her expression remained terrified.

Fyss shifted the knife away and sat down next to her, rummaging through her bag.

"Hmm," he murmured to himself with interest. He picked up her wallet, stuffed with cash and credit cards. "This is nice…" he trailed off, examining the nicely leathered black Coco Channel wallet. Then he picked up her phone. It was, of course, the newest model apple had lately come out with. Fyss sniffed his nose and looked at the missed call. "Who's Eric?" he asked.

Her face whitened as she shot her gaze towards Tanner, her current boyfriend. He glared at her, his shimmering pale blond hair messy and wet from the being dunked in water from party. Fyss looked up and saw the exchange, making him smile.

"Ohoho! What've we got 'ere?!" Fyss exclaimed.

Jenny said nothing and looked down at her feet. This made Fyss smile a bit wider. Then the phone beeped once—it was a text message. Fyss opened up the message and read it aloud.

"Hey babe, I wan' t' see ye' t'night," he read, "from Eric."

Tanner glared more at Jenny's beach blond head that slowly lifted up to face him.

"Tanner, I can explain—"

"You don't need to explain anything," he cut her off. "Now I know more about you than I ever knew before."

"No! Tanner! I—"

"Shut up!" he yelled at her. His face was red with petty anger.

I was surprised that Fyss had not done anything to stop them. In fact, he seemed to be enjoying the scene as if he were watching an entertaining movie. He was leaning against the truck wall, eyes shifting back and forth from one side to another. Then suddenly the little slit opened once more and Nass spoke.

"Will ye shu' up a'ready?" Nass exclaimed.

"Shhh," Fyss shot back, "They be 'avin' a bit' of a quarrel 'ere. 'Ts quite en't'tainin' if ye ask me."

Tanner continued to glare at Jenny, who continued to throw apologetic glances towards him whenever their eyes met.

Nass looked back and forth between the two, trying to understand what was happening.

"She cheated," Fyss whispered loudly and teasingly towards Nass.

Nass smirked.

"Wai'!" Fyss suddenly exclaimed. "Who's drivin' th' truck!?"

Nass hadn't taken his eyes off the back once, and the truck had been moving forward the whole time. Then the slit opened wider, exposing another man driving the truck.

"Hey!" called the driver. The driver took a quick glance back towards us, his face exposed for only a second from the hood of his white jacket. He had short blond hair, green eyes, and skin as pale as snow. Yet his smile was brilliantly uplifting and reached his eyes. He made me feel… optimistic about this strange adventure.

"Jammy!" exclaimed Fyss. "What the 'ell a' ye doin' 'ere!?"

"Well the boss wanted me to do some cleaning," said Jammy, "and I got a bit lazy. So I escaped."

There was a pause.

"Then who's doin' th' work?" asked Fyss, suddenly shocked, alert, and frightened all at the same time.

Jammy chuckled. "I made Dahe do it."

Fyss laughed a bit. "You're gon' get it from Dahe."

Jammy laughed and said, "let's see him try."

Then the slot closed and Fyss dropped the bag back down, taking the wallet and stuffing it into his back pocket.

"Hey!" Jenny exclaimed in protest, but Fyss ignored her and returned to his seat by me.

After he sat down, he took a glance at me. I had been watching him the whole time, intrigued by the laid back way him and his comrades had acted. I had been searching for a clue, a hint, anything, that displayed how professional this business really was, possibly revealing how easy it was to escape. I had noticed that they hadn't even bothered to take up any phones. Did that mean that the truck was a dead, connection-cut-off vehicle? If so, then how were they to contact their comrades? And how was Jenny able to receive a call and text? Or did the location of the truck not matter because we were being brought to a separate place and then our phones were thrown out to distract the police? Now he was looking down at his shoes, seemingly to be thoughtful of something.

Then he suddenly looked up at me.

"S' ye hair nat'rally brown?" he asked. The question took me off guard, my own thoughts much more serious.

I looked up at this man named Fyss. I looked not only at his messy red hair, not only at his pale skin, not only at his slender fingers which rested in his lap. I saw past that. I looked hard, and I looked past his ring, his tattoo above his eyebrow, his cow-like nose piercing, and his thin red eyebrows. I looked into him, trying to understand why anyone would do this. Sure, he must be part of some mafia, some gang, some something. But why had he joined? Why had any of them joined? I looked over towards the slit near the front. Why had the ones at the front joined? Had they no family, nothing left? Did they despise the world? Or were they just bored and had nothing better to do with their lame lives?

"'Ello there missy," he said, "can ye 'ear me?"

I looked back at him, forgetting that he had talked to me at all. His accent reminded me almost of a pirate.

"Yes," I answered, to both his questions, "It's naturally brown." My voice was not loud but it wasn't soft either. It was actually quite thoughtful, and I continued to observe him. He wore a tight black sweater and grey business pants. Shiny black leather shoes padded his feet and he wore a single, golden ring with the symbol of a black bird on it.

He stared right back at me, his eyes mixed with confusion and curiosity. After several minutes of continuous staring, he said in a soft voice, "What'r we doin'?"

I blinked a few times. None of the other hostages had noticed our exchange, most of them fumbling around, either trying to free themselves or trying to figure out how.

Then, unconsciously, I smiled, a little, curious, embarrassed smile. But suddenly I realized that smiling at the man that was holding you hostage with a truck of other hostages was probably not normal, so something must have been wrong with me.

But he smiled back. His smile was also little, kind of cute, very curious, and almost… adorable. He blinked twice, widened his mouth as if he thought of something amazing, and slowly turned his head away to face forwards. He said nothing, and never looked back at me again.

I looked away and dozed off for the rest of the ride.

I thank you for reading, and if you wish to read more, please do. Leave comments. I, too, am curious as to how I did, since after all, I did write this when I was only in high school.