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Pen Your Pride

(Chapter 1)

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 Okay. You’re stuck in a locked car, with a stranger. You have nothing to defend yourself with, while the stranger has a gun. He wants to kidnap you and ransom you back to your parents. How are you meant to feel? Scared? Even…terrified?

Not me.

“Hey, can you pass me the toffee popcorn?” I asked, done with the massive Costco size twenty-pack of chocolate bars.

My kidnapper, the guy who was still nameless, glanced at me unbelievingly.

“You finished the chocolate already? That was meant to last us a month or so!”

I wiped some of the melted yummy-ness off my mouth.

“Whatever. I get hungry when I’m being kidnapped. You know, by a creepy nameless stranger. What’s your name, by the way?” He glanced at me, disapprovingly. Okay, I changed my mind. He wasn’t creepy – not at all. He was totally sweet-looking, with his big brown eyes and his brown hair – not the kidnapping kind of guy at all. From his biceps, I would say he was a Jock or something, and was about my age. Lucky me – the last guys who kidnapped me were old, bald, and boring.


I nodded. A cute, normal name. Why would a guy like him kidnap someone, and threaten them with a gun? Not that I was scared. I've been kidnapped three times before already. It happens when you’re family is rich, and your bodyguards suck. Not that I had a bodyguard anyway. I should get one of those.

“Cool,” I said, snapping open the pack of toffee popcorn. Okay, I swear normally I’m not that much of a pig, but it’s like a natural body reaction; eat while you can. I flicked the radio on, without asking, and tuned to my favourite radio channel.

“Oh my GOD I love this one!” I yelled through the loud music, humming along to Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream. “Isn’t she amazing?”

He didn’t respond.

“Come on Josh, sing along, you have to know this one! Oh my god, I just had the best idea! This can be our song! You know, whenever you kidnap me, you should play this song!”

He finally reacted, by flicking the radio shut again.

“I hate Katy Perry,” he said, but I couldn't help noticing that the cutest boyish smirk that played around his lips.

“Fine,” I muttered, getting my iPod out of my jacket pocket, and untangling the wires of my headphones. You know, the cool DJ ones. In pink. I shoved the ear pieces into my ears, and played some music. “I’ll just listen to my good, tasteful Katy Perry music in private.”

He was smirking for real now. He had a cute smile. Why would a guy like this do something like kidnap me?

I’m over-thinking it. I’ll just wait until my Dad pays the ransom, and then I can go home. But do I even want to go home in the first place? What was the point of going back? Isn’t that why I’d let myself get kidnapped? Josh was clearly an amateur, and I knew all the tricks. I could have taken him down whenever I wanted, even with the gun in his hand. I had no idea where we were going, and I don’t think Josh did either.

Whatever, I thought. Just enjoy life while it lasts.

I closed my eyes, and leant my head against the cool glass.


“Vegas!” I yelled. I’d woken up, finally, and now I was surrounded by the shinily tacky, glitzy lights of Las Vegas. “I love Vegas! Can we go gambling?”

He raised an eyebrow.

“Rich girl knows how to gamble?”

“No…” I said, hesitating. “But I’ve seen movies with gambling in it.”

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