Chapter Eighteen

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Chapter Eighteen

Hadley

"She's pretty," came a gruff voice.

I squeezed my eyes shut and prayed whoever was talking about me would think I was still asleep.

"Did I do good, Pops?" asked Caden.

Pops? Where am I? What has Caden done?

I could hear what sounded like a hearty pat on the back.

"Yes, you sure did," came the unfamiliar voice, followed by a chuckle. "She's pretty too."

My heart thumped rapidly in my chest. Does Caden's dad think this is normal? What the hell is wrong with this family!

"Do you think we can bring her in the house?" asked Caden meekly.

Someone cleared their throat and spit.

"I don't know..."

"She'll be different from the others," pleaded Caden. "I promise!"

The others? Did Caden bring Bianca and London out here?

"Mmmm, why don't we give her a few more days out here first. If she doesn't cause any trouble, you can bring her in Sunday, after we get home from church."

Church? You think it's okay for your son to kidnap someone and then go to church like it's no big deal?

"Okay, Pops," said Caden. "That sounds fair."

Fair? Is Caden's entire family deranged?

"Now, come help me get lunch ready. You can let her sleep a little bit longer," said Caden's father.

Even though he said nothing, I could sense Caden's hesitation.

"She'll be here when you get back," said his father in a cold voice.

"Yes, sir," responded Caden quietly.

The sounds of footsteps retreating filled the air.

Are they gone? Too scared to open my eyes, I counted to fifty and forced myself to take ten deep breaths.

Peaking out of one eye, I took in dilapidated structure. Sunlight filtered in through the rotting wooden siding and splayed out in patterns on the dirt floor.

Confident that Caden and his father were gone, I opened the other eye and tried to sit up. Immediately met by a sharp pain, I laid back down.

Since Caden had taken me, he had drugged me on several occasions. Upon waking up from those terrifying experiences, I always had a pounding headache and dealt with an upset stomach the rest of the day.

I focused on my breathing and tried to calm the stabbing pain.

After a few minutes, I slowly eased into a sitting position, rubbing my temples and trying to ignore my unsettled stomach.

Is this Caden's family home? Is this barn on his family's property? If I start screaming, will anyone hear me?

The chains holding me against my will clanged together as I stood up.

There's got to be a way out of here, I thought as I looked around the old barn.

I glanced at the chains tethering me to the cement block in the corner of the horse stall. Trying to flex my wrists, I winced. The cuffs were tighter then usual and dug into my flesh.

Maybe I can crack them off if I bang them on the cement?

I crouched down and tried to hit the edges of the cuffs against the cement that the chains were embedded in. Pain immediately shot through my wrists and reverberated down my arms.

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