He jerked awake, the stupid words still echoed through his head. That was not right. He knew that rhyme, having learned it as a child, from a kind man who always seemed like he would care for him. Every night, he would say the rhyme before bed. Some children would say their prayers, but he was forced to say the rhyme.
The strange thing was, the words echoing through his head were not the correct ones. They were close, but not correct.
At long last, they took the tape off his mouth. He did not even realize that he had been speaking until it was too late to stop the words from pouring out of his mouth.
"Beware Pandora's box and the secrets that it hides. Or else you will die alone, with foolishness and lies. From ashes to ashes, dust to dust, the only truth lies in our thoughts, thanks to Pandora and her obsession with the box."
They were looking at him strangely, but he ignored it, seeing as most people gave him the same look as soon as he opened his mouth. That rhyme was familiar, and comforting, unlike the other one that left him feeling unsteady.
Maybe it was the slight difference in wording. Maybe it was because he treasured those nights when he had learned the rhyme in the first place. More likely though, the reason for his discomfort laid in the words themselves. While the one he had learned as a child was slightly more whimsical, the one in his dreams seemed darker in a way that he had never felt with the other one.
He shook off the feeling and focused on the people watching him. He considered apologizing, but decided against it. He could stay silent when he had the desire to, and right now, he simply wanted to mull over the words.
His captors exchanged a look that he knew well. It was the 'what have we gotten ourselves into by taking a person who's already lost their minds' look. Trey tried not to smirk. He rather enjoyed making every person who had abducted him have the same look and back or scoot away from him in weariness.
He usually got the look by talking. Either he would say something sarcastic, or he would use words that their puny brains failed to comprehend. It was a bit of a personal challenge to see how quickly he could create the look amongst his captors.
The woman looked hesitant, and gestured something to one of the guys that had been looking at him like he had his head screwed on backwards. She was clearly hoping that one of the other men would knock him out again, but they looked helpless. Apparently, someone wanted him awake for the moment at least.
A part of him wanted to say the words that the rhyme had morphed into, but he was unsure. They felt extremely private, and just the thought of letting anyone else hear the words in his head made him want to squirm in his seat.
That said, it would be rather interesting to see exactly what they made of the second one. So, he made his voice light and airy, unlike the quiet whisper of the first one, before saying those annoying words out loud. "Beware Pandora's box and the secrets that it hides, or else you will die alone with foolishness and lies. From ashes to ashes, dust to dust, humanity was doomed thanks to Pandora and her eternal tomb."
He was careful not to let the people surrounding him hear the unease he felt in his stomach, and simply picked one of his captors to stare at directly in the eyes. For some reason, it was rather satisfying to have someone so much bulkier and taller than him squirming in their seats like a scolded child. His other flight- mates seemed even more uncomfortable. He knew that he didn't sound like himself, but he supposed that was the point. He didn't want those words associated with his usual self.
Not that they were going to live long enough to tell anyone about them. He ducked his head to hide his grin, before wiping it away with careful thought. These people may be scared of him, for now, but that did not mean that it would stay that way. As far as he knew, these people had been ordered to kill and dispose of him before they landed, and while making them uncomfortable was extremely fun, that didn't mean it was a good idea. They were strange people after all.
He wanted to keep playing around with them, and see exactly how terrified of him that he could make them, but it was probably for the best that he stayed quiet. He really wanted to scare them though. Oh the horrors of having to be mature in hopes of saving one's own life. Now that he was actually paying attention, he noticed a weird dynamic between his captors, how one of the men never seemed to stop glancing at the others, or how the woman tried to be more independent than she clearly was. He couldn't help but wonder if they were siblings. That would certainly explain the strange behavior between them, or maybe they grew up together. Either way, they seemed way more comfortable with each other than even Trey had ever been with his sister.
In that moment, he missed his little sister more than he probably should. He did not know the day, or where he was headed, but he was almost positive that even if they dropped him off right in front of the place where his sister and step mother stayed, Estelle would not let him see her. It really was unfortunate that Elaine had such a horrible woman as both a mother and a role model. That did not stop him from worrying if she would be kicked out of the academy if he did not get back home soon.
Oh how he despised being left alone with his thoughts.
That was one of the main reasons he worked so often, even though he could probably make his way financially with one less job. His mind moved from topic to topic, finding a single word in a sentence, and changing his entire train of thought based on that word. From there, he could fling around from idea to idea and never stop. If he was working, on the other hand, then he could drown out the noise in his head.
It was not like he slept much anyway, and working three jobs, while demeaning in a way, helped him be able to pay for the things that his step mother and sister wanted, without having to take out huge loans.
Now that he thought about it, he was almost positive that most likely he had been fired from at least one of his jobs. He wondered who would notice first that he was not at his apartment. Maybe someone had already reported him missing. He doubted it, though. Sandy Jenkins, the general manager at the clothing store he worked at, hated his guts, and made it very clear to him that as soon as he made his first mistake, he would be fired.
Teddy Thompson was a different story all together. He was always willing to give him extra hours whenever he needed them. Then again, when there are only three of the kitchen staff that are competent, it made sense to hold onto the dependable ones. Teddy was one of the nicer people he had worked with, but he still kept the man at arm's length.
That was mainly because James Edison, or, as he mentally called the scumbag, the betrayer. James Edison had been a friend, his best friend back when he went to the prestigious academy. They had been close. When he lost everything, James abandoned him to the wolves and the streets. That was alright, because he could survive. However, a few months later, he walked into his third job, which at the time had been his first, and found out that his old friend had decided to get a job as the GM, simply to remind him of what he, in his old friend's words, would never have again. James made it very difficult to stay at the job, but he had long ago learned to ignore the other.
It was strange how a skill, such as tuning out a specific voice that one learned as a child was the only reason he still had his sanity intact as an adult. As a teenager, the man had been annoying, but funny and kind. Sadly, he seemed to have lost all of the traits that made him one of the few people Trey actually trusted.
Time had not been kind to his old friend.
And, he was doing it again.
He wished there was a way for him to keep his mind on a single track. Sure, as a child, it had been useful to be able to move from one topic to another, but as an adult, it drove both him and the people around him insane. He wished there was a way to control it. And there was, in a way. He had to exhaust himself for his mind to slow down. He had to be on the verge of collapsing in order for most people to understand him outside of work. Now that he had a nap, he was rested, and his mind was moving too quickly once more. It was extremely irritating for him.
He glanced out to the side of the plane, surprised, once again, by the lack of windows. It had to have been a few hours now since they took off, and he was starting to panic. No one else had spoken even a word, and there was no window near him to tell which direction he was going.
There had to be a way to find out, but at the same time, a part of him didn't exactly want to. It wanted him to stay on the little jet, where it was safe. His common sense reminded that part that he was only safe until either they landed, or they got near the dumping ground. The little part shriveled up and tried to hide. Unless he wanted to be rotting in an unmarked grave in the near future, he needed to think.
No, he needed information. How could he plan his escape if he had no information? How could he even think about escaping if he had no idea where he was escaping from, let alone where he was going to go to?
There was movement, and his eyes snapped open. Most likely, they thought he had fallen asleep, and now that they were not expecting him to be awake, he could, hopefully find out something to get him out of this mess.
He narrowed his eyes, and watched as his captors interacted silently. It was almost as if they could not speak, but he somehow knew that they could if they wanted to. There was something not right about the way they were communicating. One of the men seemed distressed, his movements and gestures were messy and sharp. Another was soothing and soft, yet he knew that that brother was not, in fact, the one in charge of this set up.
In fact, the more he watched, the more he was sure that these five were not the bosses, but the pawns. Some of them seemed unwilling to do anything in the first place. He wondered what it was that the people in charge of this mess had of the family's that would make them willing to kidnap someone in the first place.
Because they were not of any type of military that he had ever seen, he was sure he could talk some sense into them if he really tried. However, that could get both them and himself into a lot of trouble if they were being listened to.
He wondered if they wanted to do this, or if someone made them. The more he watched, the more obvious their distress was. It was almost as if they were stuck in a state of limbo. They may or may not have even had the capacity to make their decisions, or they may be impaired by the threat hanging over their heads. It probably did not help that at least one of the brothers was in what appeared to be a dissociative state. The final brother kept moving between the cockpit, and the area where he was being kept. He looked very smug about something, but Trey had a feeling that what he was seeing was not what was actually there.
He watched their interactions closer, focusing on the smug brother, and realized that he knew what word he should have been using. The smug brother was not smug at all, in fact, he was actually oleaginous. He may have been projecting smug, but everything about this brother was false.
That decided, he knew that the oleaginous brother was no threat, despite how he wanted to appear. That brother opened his mouth, clearly to speak in a didactic fashion, and was silenced before he could speak by the panicking brother elbowing him in the side.
They must have had strict instructions not to speak to him, or to let him hear their voices by someone their either feared or respected. Somehow, he doubted it was the latter.
That was when he noticed. The panicking brother seemed to be the deferred to brother. Everyone seemed to revolve their own actions and reactions based off of his. He was clearly an integral part of the family dynamics, and Trey had a feeling that he knew it, and used it to his advantage.
He was starting to feel like he was a delinquent again, and back in a juvenile detention center, trying to understand the integral dynamics of the place before he was hurt or killed. He remembered watching, and seeing how everyone acted like a family of sorts. Some kids hated other kids, some seemed to band together in order to survive the hell hole they had been cast into, and still others were unable to understand what was going on. Those kids were the prey items that the hunters seemed to be able to sense. Being alone in a place like that was pretty much suicide. Normally.
He survived rather well by himself, easily using words to confuse those who came after him, and making sure that he was swift enough to dodge any attacks sent his way. He never had been a fighter, mostly because of his smaller stature, but that did not mean he was an easy target.
By the end of his six month sentence, most of the people just pretended he did not exist. That was more than alright with him though, because he too, preferred to ignore the existence of the other delinquents.
Ah, the good old days, he thought with a silent smirk. He knew that the action would cause confusion in the fools who were escorting him. That was fine. These people were inexperienced enough that dealing with them was simple.
The way that the men and woman were acting reminded him of those days, when he had been trapped, and asked on some days to go to isolation because the people were driving him mad. They also seemed to be doing what he saw the other kids doing when the warden had his back turned. They knew each other well enough to be able to translate the small tilts of the head, the rolling of their eyes, or any of the other small gestures that they seemed to be making.
Trey could not help but wonder if they realized what they were doing, and did it solely to confuse an outsider, or if they were so comfortable with each other that they did not need to use their words to communicate. Either way, it was slightly annoying.
Then again, knowing himself as well as he did, he knew he could easily be over complicating things, as he had a bad tendency of doing. Sometimes, one simply had to see what was in front of them and realize that it was nothing more than it seemed. Too bad for him though, that he was not able to simply take things as they were.
He knew that being kidnapped as often as he had been as a child had ruined any chance of him not over complicating the rest of his life. It was a control thing, he could admit. If he could not control even the smallest part of his life, then how could he expect anyone to be able to understand him? When he saw or heard something, he never took them at face value.
Even he could admit that there was something wrong with that. He knew at twenty- six, he should have gotten over everything and that he should try to become a useful part of society. He had gotten over it, mostly, but he had yet to deal with the after effects. He may not have been a particularly well liked part of society, but that did not mean he was not a useful part of it.
Sometimes, he wished he had been able to live up to the expectations of others. It would make his life so much easier if he could just be what they wanted him to be. When he was younger, he knew where he would be by his late twenties. He would be in charge of Sherwood Enterprise, and probably married to a trophy wife of his own. He and his wife would most likely not like each other very much, and they would have been forced to wed if his father had his way.
Most likely, he would have also had a child, or several, to take over the business. Probably a son who he could attempt to teach away from his father's presence, and a little girl to spoil in place of his little sister. He had not really liked the thought of being married and a father, but he knew that if his father had lived, that would be his reality. How strange life was to change so drastically.
As it was, there was no Sherwood Enterprise to take over, nor did he have the time, or the finances, to attempt to marry someone. He had no one that he was even slightly interested in. He was just too busy, and the only people he interacted with were his coworkers. He hid a shudder at the thought of dating those buffoons. No, never.
Of course, a few months after his father had died, he knew that all of the expectations of living a high class lifestyle would be taken from his shoulders, if only because it was rather difficult to live in luxury, and work three jobs while paying for two different apartments.
By the time he dropped out, there was a completely different set of expectations on his shoulders. He would be a delinquent, probably in and out of jail for the rest of his life, with more than one child running around by different women. He would probably be a drunk, or an addict of some kind too, if they had their way.
That was one set of expectations that he had been happy to shed. He had been in and out of jail as a minor, but had not been arrested since he was seventeen. He had no kids simply because he had no time to create them in the first place. His life was hectic, that was true, but Trey thrived on chaos. He always had. That was what made him so good in the business world in the first place.
Chaos was never as it seemed, and the more time you spent trying to understand it, the more complex it would become.
That was one of the biggest reasons he had done more than simply shed his name. Sure he had changed it from Terrance Reginald Sherwood to Trey Michael Sherwood, but none the less, as Trey, he could be as chaotic as he wanted. Everyone who was expecting Terrance would have no idea what to do with Trey. Nothing about him had to make sense like it did when he was younger. He could dress as sloppy as he wanted, and frequently did when he was not wearing one of his uniforms. He could look messy and if he was tired, or upset, he could show it. Yet once he opened his mouth, his roots would always show. He could change the way he looked, and the way he held himself, but he could never change who he was.
He was a twenty- six year old man who used words most people had not even heard of, not because he was trying to show off, but because he was trying to honor his roots. The vocabulary he used on a daily basis came from the words he had grown up hearing often. He would never use words like stupid or idiotic. Not because he could not, but because whenever he used degenerates or incompetence, he would remember being very young and asking his mother what the words meant. She always told him the day he looked them up was the day that she had been the proudest of him.
He never used those words, not because he thought he was too good to, but they felt as foreign to his tongue as the words he used would be to most people. It was a product of how he grew up, just like the chaos in his mind had been.
And said mind had already thought of at least ten different scenarios that he could use.
He would not, though, until he was sure of where he was. The last thing he wanted to do was to escape, only to end up in the ocean once more. He had more than his fair share of time in the ocean for the next few years.
He knew how to get out of the restraints, and even how to get to the doors without getting shot in the head. The only thing he was waiting for was information as to his actual location. Maybe some would consider him incompetent because he was waiting and not taking a chance, even though technically speaking, every minute he spent with these people was taking another chance with his life. However, he would not rush into this. If he did, he could not only get hurt, but get himself killed. Besides that, he knew that these people really did not want to hurt him, and if he somehow got lost in the chaos of the transfer from the plane to where ever they were going, then maybe whatever they were being bribed with already be either freed or resolved.
He knew they would be flying for at least another few hours, and tried to think of the best way to accidently get lost without losing his head. In both a metaphorical as well as a literal sense.
If this was like a normal flight, then there would be at least two people steering the jet, and thus the number of his captors was raised from five to seven. Seven people would be slightly trickier than five would be, especially since he had no idea what the relationship to the people watching him was to the people flying the plane. If they were acting like the ones he saw, it would be easy enough to simply slip away if he really needed to.
He stiffened suddenly, watching as the others did the same, sitting up straighter. Something had changed. It was subtle, but whatever it was, it took away the semi-safe feeling that he had. One man came out of the cockpit, and the woman was dragged forward by one of the other men. The new man had dirty blonde hair, a few days worth of stubble, and a scar over the left side of his face.
Trey mentally dubbed the man as Scarface. With some luck, he wouldn't take after his name sake. Scarface approached with a strange smile on his face. Trey realized too late that he must have had some type of challenge in his eyes.
"Oh, I am going to have fun with you." Scarface muttered, leaning close enough for his sour breath to reach Trey's nose. The man touched his face, stroking his cheek with a large hand. "Too bad the boss doesn't want you hurt, yet, pretty boy."
Trey's icy blue eyes narrowed. "Do you call everyone such a deplorable name, or am I special?" He sneered, trying to seem unaffected. He tried to tell himself that he didn't need or want the man to touch him, but he knew he was probably a bit touch starved. He knew as a child, he was used to being held or hugged. He didn't need it as an adult. He didn't want anything to do with these people, and if they tried to build a rapport with him, it would ruin everything that he was attempting to do. He needed to think. He needed to be calm, and cautious with this. He needed Trey at the forefront of his mind, not the clingy child he had been.
Scarface though his head back, laughing for a few moments. The man had clearly seen the small flinch as he fought against his body's attempt to move closer to the touch. It made everyone else uncomfortable, but Trey knew better than to let it show. Trey knew he had been wrong. This man was in charge at the moment. He was clearly a boss of sorts. Trey doubted that this was the man who had the bright idea to kidnap him in the first place, but he was clearly trusted by whoever wanted him.
The man smiled at him, a toothy, thing with no actual happiness in it. "Does the kitten have a set of claws? You really think talking to me like that, pretty boy, is a good idea? When I could let my knife accidently slip across your throat?"
Trey couldn't help but scoff. "I know you are trying to deliver me somewhere, and if you kill me now, I doubt that whoever is paying you would be very pleased with you. I also know that you are the only one that I have met thus far who is used to things like this. Tell me, where did you get the children? Did they talk a big game, impress your employers, and suddenly cower away at the thought of committing a crime? Have you had to hold their hand this entire time?"
"The mouth on you..." Scarface snickered again. "They are new hires, if you're that curious. You'd better learn some respect before you meet the boss though, or he might let me have some fun after all."
"And who, exactly, is your boss?" Trey asked, hoping for at least a little bit of solid information. He honestly couldn't think of anyone who he could have possibly offended. Everyone in the higher society knew that he had already fallen from grace, and couldn't exactly fall much further."What does he want with me?"
He could see everyone else backing as far away from them as much as they could without looking weak, and knew that Scarface had probably seen it too.
"Why, pretty boy? Scared?"
Trey rolled his eyes and leaned back a bit. If the man had not already stated that he was practically untouchable, he wouldn't have dared make such a bold move. "Of you? Please. What could an incompetent fool like you do to me?" He noticed the people that had been with him for most of the flight cringe. That was a sign he went too far, and was just as clear as the butt of a gun against his temple.
"I can make you relive your worst nightmare over and over until you scream, little boy. I can't wait to see the look on your face when I break your spirit." Scarface hissed in his ear.
His vision started to darken, and he fought the coming unconsciousness the best he could."I'd like to see you try." Trey slurred as the black seemed to grab him. He had no idea what had happened, if he had been drugged, he couldn't feel it. The man hadn't hit him in the head, nor did that large hand wrap around his hand like he feared it might.
The last thing he remembered before he clearly, mysteriously, passed out was Scarface looking down at him with a sadistic smile that had taken over his features.