Chapter 13

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"Where.. What? We left last time."

"No, I made you think you left. I just walked you around the building."

"What are we doing here this time?"

"You're gonna take a shower, you're rank." He tossed me a green towel from his bathroom.

"Then you're gonna eat."

"Are you kidding?"

"Do I look like I'm kidding?" He said seriously.

"No.. Why are you doing this?"

He rested his back palms on the counter.

"No one should be treated like an animal. No matter who your father is."

"Go take a shower before I change my mind."

I didn't have to ask again. I went in the bathroom and shut the door.

It was small and cramped. The sink was rusty as well as the shower. But it was better than the conditions I was in before.

I used the toilet. After my satisfying reliefs  I struggled with the knobs to turn on the shower. The water was hot. The soap made my skin soft and light. I  never scrubbed with a bar of soap so hard. I never wanted to leave the warmth of the water.

"You better not have escaped." Clarke pounded on the door.

"I'm here, I swear!"

He backed off. My fingers were pruny, signaling my time to get out, despite my desires not to.

I dreaded the thought of slipping back on my filthy clothes. My dirty underwear. Gross.

"Hey, uh. I have clothes you can use." I opened the bathroom door with the towel tied around my waist.


"Yeah, just until yours get washed. Don't want them to get suspicious tomorrow."

"Yeah, alright. Thanks, man."

"How's your thumb?"

"Better, I think." He tossed me a ball of fresh clothes. I went back in the bathroom and changed into the basketball shorts and T- shirt he had temporarily given me.

"I also made you this." He pushed a plate on the fold up kitchen table with fold up chairs around it. A high stacked sandwich waited for me with water and some chips. My stomach growled, calling for it.

"You've got to be kidding me. Did you poison it?"

""With your level of appreciation, I should have."

I sat down next to it.

"No, sorry. Thank you so much. You're the best person alive."

I bit into the sandwich, holding it with my good hand. I ate it so quickly I barley could taste it. All I focused on was the final ability to eat again. My breathing was staggered between bites.

Clarke studied me carefully. Perhaps he was judging me, but I didn't care. I finished the sand which of lettuce, meats, and processed cheese.

My stomach dropped and turned. My punishment for eating too much at once. I drank water in attempt to parch my thirst and calm my stomach.

I looked around Clarke's place of living. A one room apartment, except for the tiny bathroom that could barley fit two people. The floor tile was peeling off, as was the wallpaper. The refrigerator hummed loudly. Down below, the large factory room I was tied in.

"Is this some kind of office?"

"Was.. I converted it to this." He chose his words carefully, making sure not to give me any important information.

"Lived here long?"

"Don't try to make small talk."

"Okay.." I quietly ate my chips.

"What's going to happen tomorrow? Can you tell me?"

He said nothing, of course. I turned away.

"Tell me anything. Please. A scrap of detail. Am I going to survive to tomorrow?"

"I can't answer that... Only your father can."

My father? He believed I left town. I doubted they were searching for me.

"My father?"

"You'll see, Liam."

I didn't say anything after that. I quietly ate the remains of my salted chips and drank the rest of the water after. I didn't want to ask for more.

"You done?" He pointed to the paper plate. I nodded and he tossed it in the trash.

He checked the time.

"Do you want to... Sleep here?"

I raised my brows in question.

"Sleep? Here?"

"A few more hours until sunrise. It's nothing fancy, your majesty.  Unless you'd rather try to sleep on that chair down there."

"No, no. I'll sleep here."

Clarke was being incredibly kind. It was strange to see Mr.Strong and Silent so soft hearted.
Maybe it was some sort of tactic. I had no information to spill.

I laid in his single bed smashed behind a reclining chair.

He popped open a beer and watched me.

"If you try to escape, I'll shoot you. You understand?"

"Loud and clear, big guy."

I buried my face into a flat pillow and fell asleep immediately, within seconds of closing my eyes.

I was woken from the peaceful darkness in which it felt like moments later.

"Liam, we need to go. Put your clothes on." He threw them in my face. I dressed back in my grey shirt, jacket, and jeans before going down. I went to the bathroom one final time and slipped my shoes on.

I knew something big was going to go down that day. I knew it involved my father. It had to be some sort of ransom or rescue mission.

Clarke's eyes looked droopy, like he'd fallen asleep. What a perfect opportunity to form an escape attempt, but I was too raveled into sleep I couldn't possibly pull out in the middle.

He took me downstairs and applied the rope on the chair.

"Back to the chair." I murmured.

"Why did you tie me to the pole yesterday?"

"I had to make sure they were gone before I brought you up. The pole was closer."

Clarke crossed his arms and stepped back in time for them to enter.

The woman in red's heels clicked. She was followed by the same people she left with yesterday.

"Are you ready Liam?" She placed her hand on her hip.

"What are you going to do to me?"

"After we kill you we'll chop you up into little pieces and dump you into the river."

Terror stock me.

"Just kidding. That's plan B."

"What's plan A?"

"This." Her goon handed her a knife.

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