“That child’s going to be the death of me!”
John Svenson was pacing furiously in the living room of the family mansion, raging on. It was morning, and Adam was still missing. The boy had not come back at all, and had spent the night out. He hadn’t even called home to reassure his now worried parents. Svenson was absolutely infuriated. Adam had often demonstrated a rebellious, almost wild streak, but he had never gone this far before.
“I can’t believe it! How dare he put us through all this worry? How could he put YOU through it?” Svenson looked at his wife, sitting on the sofa. She had not slept at all, the preceding night, sick with concern for her missing eldest child. She had been crying a lot, John could see that on her face. Her hand was resting on her overgrown belly, as if she wanted to make sure that the baby she was presently carrying was still there, safe and sound. This third pregnancy wasn’t an easy one for Sarah Svenson, as she wasn’t able to get all the rest the doctor had advised. And now, with Adam being his perfectly annoying and selfish self, running away like that… It wasn’t good for her at all.
Peter was sitting on the floor, at her feet, as if he sensed that his mother needed to feel his presence. He was flying a model plane, making sputtering sounds with his mouth. John frowned, looking down at him. “Not too loud, Peter,” he admonished the five-year-old boy. Peter’s voice instantly dropped, but he continued to fly his plane. John raised his glance toward Sarah. “How are you doing, my darling?” he asked her. “You must be tired…”
“I’m all right,” she answered in a murmur, keeping her eyes down.
“I worry about you. The baby…”
“…isn’t due for another eight weeks, so you don’t have to worry about it. You’d better worry more about Adam, and getting him back soon.”
“With a little luck,” Svenson grumbled again, “this one won’t cause us so much trouble when she’s born.”
Taking no notice of his wife’s plea, Svenson turned toward the other man in the room with them, who was watching the couple patiently from an armchair, a cup of coffee in his hand.
“You think you can find that ungrateful brat, Mike?”
Michael Ellis, Sarah Svenson’s brother, and a detective lieutenant in the Boston police, looked into his brother-in-law’s angry face, himself remaining very calm. “You’re sure you don’t want me to make this an official police search, John?”
“Absolutely not!” Svenson replied swiftly, before his wife, obviously very keen on that idea, could give an answer of her own. “That’s not necessary. I want YOU to search for him, unofficially. Adam’s run away from home because he’s angry with me! He wants to get back at me, to punish me because I forbade him to go to that game! And what did he do? He sneaked out of the house and went anyway!”
“His coach told us he WASN’T at the game, yesterday,” Sarah remarked bitterly.
“I don’t want reporters to come nosing around and blow this whole thing out of proportion!” Svenson replied. “I don’t need bad press at the moment!”
“So that’s it, is it?” Sarah came back, this time annoyed by the remark. “Our son is missing, and all you can think about is all the bad press you might get from it!”
“Sarah, that’s not what I meant. Adam is being stubborn again, and absolutely selfish. He doesn’t think about the harm he’s doing us…”
“He spent the night outside,” Sarah noted dryly. “He’s never done that before…”
“I’m sure he WASN’T outside.” John Svenson turned again toward his brother-in-law. “He must have spent the night at one of his friends’ homes…”
“WHICH one?” Sarah insisted. “John, we called everybody we know! None of them has seen him!”
“Well, ONE of them is lying!”
“I’m not sure. Michael, I want the police in on this. I want them to find my son.”
“Wait a minute, Sarah, you’re NOT giving that boy the satisfaction of seeing us call the police on him!”
“What satisfaction is there in that, John? I don’t think he’s doing this on purpose! He would never do this to us. You should know that. Adam is not like that!”
“You know how angry he was with me…” The sounds coming from Peter had increased again, and to John’s ear, they had mounted into a crescendo he was finding more and more annoying. He had been trying to dismiss it, but he found he couldn’t. It was exasperating. As exasperating as this dispute he was having with his wife.
“Peter!” he called angrily to the young boy. “I thought I told you to stop that!”
The sounds died instantly on Peter’s lips. The blond little boy looked up at his father. He failed to see how angry he really was, and showed him his plane. “Look, Daddy… That’s Adam’s plane. He gave it to me.”
“REALLY kind of him,” Svenson grumbled, turning away.
“I wanna be a pilot like him, when I grow up,” the boy continued cheerfully. “Then we’ll go flying around the world together.”
Svenson turned on his heel and came back to his youngest, his eyes blazing. “You stop that this instant. I don’t want to hear any of this! I have enough trouble as it is right now with ONE son having crazy ideas like that, without him putting the same foolish dreams into the other’s head!”
Sarah Svenson had protested vehemently. She looked down and saw the dismayed expression on Peter’s face; the little boy was very near to tears. With great difficulty, she got to her feet, and took the boy’s hand. “Come, Peter, I think it would be better for you to go play in the nursery with Carrie.”
“Daddy?” Peter stood up, and looked expectantly at his father; the latter averted his eyes. His outburst was uncalled for, he knew. He couldn’t bear to see the hurt in the eyes of his younger son. Seeing that his father wasn’t about to answer him, Peter addressed his mother. “Should I give the plane back to Adam, Mommy?”
“No, Peter. It’s yours. Adam gave it to you. He would be sad if you gave it back to him.”
“All right, then…” Bowing his head, Peter let his mother lead him toward the door. Sarah called Carrie, the children’s nanny, who was near the door, and instructed her to take the boy back to the nursery, where he would be able to play quietly. Before leaving, Peter gave a tentative look behind him, toward his father. John Svenson had his back turned to him. “I’m sorry if I got you mad, Daddy…”
Svenson didn’t answer; he felt that he should say something, but he was unable to. He just had too much anger in him – toward his older son – to just open up and address a couple of gentle words to the younger. He was afraid he would snap at him again.
“Daddy’s not mad at you, sweetie,” Sarah reassured the child. “He’s just very concerned at the moment. He didn’t mean to shout at you.”
“Sure wish Adam would come back soon,” Peter murmured, as he left the room to follow Carrie. Sarah closed the door behind him and then, giving a frustrated sigh, turned around to address her husband.
“The least you could do was say you were sorry!” she snapped angrily.
John turned around, furrowing his brow. He dismissed the problem with a wave of his hand. “I’ll go talk to him later. I’m sure he’ll understand…”
“Oh, like Adam understood?” Sarah scoffed loudly.
“What’s that supposed to mean? I’m not responsible for his running away!”
“Oh, you’re not, are you? According to you, he ran away to get back at you! So if that’s really the case, then maybe you should wonder what it was you did wrong!”
“I DIDN’T do anything!”
“Think back, John Svenson: you broke a promise you had made to your son. You’ve put your job before him too often.”
“My job IS for him! It’s for you, and Peter, and this baby you’re carrying…”
“I know that! And I can accept that. If I had not been able to, do you think I would have married you, ten years ago? But Adam can’t understand. He’s just a boy who wants his father to be near him.”
Michael Ellis cleared his throat and stood up from his seat; this argument between his sister and her husband was becoming very unsettling for him. “I think I’d better leave you two to settle things between yourselves…”
“No,” Sarah replied swiftly. “You stay, Michael. We’ll still need you to find Adam for us. And I’m not so sure we won’t need the official help of the police for that.”
“Sarah…” John sighed heavily. His wife had presented him with strong arguments. He KNEW that Adam running away was partly his fault. He KNEW he wasn’t always there for his son, and that more often than not, he had changed the plans he had made with him, to accommodate his work. But that was not an excuse for the boy to run away like that and put his parents – especially his pregnant mother – through such a terrible ordeal. “I’m worried too, you know? That’s why I snapped at Peter like that. I know I have much to blame myself for but…”
“Can’t we JUST find Adam?” Sarah cut in, her voice cracking. “John, that’s all I want. To see him back here, in this house. Safe. Then I want you to make your peace with him. It’s as simple as that.”
John Svenson had a moment’s hesitation. He didn’t even have the time to answer, as suddenly something came through the window right next to where his wife was standing. John had seen the thing coming and had quickly grabbed his wife’s arm to pull her away from harm and protect her as best he could with his own body. She let out a cry of surprise when she heard the crashing of the window, and bits of glass flew all around them.
John only received a small cut to his arm, but nothing more serious than that. His wife had escaped unscathed, and in his mind, that was the important thing. He saw the object fall at his feet and separate in two. A piece of cloth stayed where it had fallen, while something heavier – looking like a ball – rolled away behind the armchair.
Mike Ellis had rushed to the window and was looking outside, trying to catch a glimpse of whoever had done this. He couldn’t see anybody around.
“Whoever that joker was,” he grumbled, “he’s gone by now.”
John was looking in disbelief at the object at his feet. The Red Sox logo was staring him right in the face.
“I can’t believe it,” he murmured. He bent down and irritably snatched up the baseball cap he knew was the one he had given to his son. He was beside himself with anger. He gave the cap to his wife, who had gone white from all the emotion. “That’s the cap I gave Adam last week, when I told him about the Sox game we were to see together.”
“Yes, it looks like it,” she confirmed, nodding faintly.
“He could have hurt somebody, throwing it through the window like that!”
“Oh, John, you can’t think it’s Adam who just…”
“What am I to think? That boy was so ANGRY at me last time we spoke! Remember what he said to me?”
Mike had left the window and was now in search of the other, heavier object that had been used to weight the cap. He had seen it roll away, behind the armchair. He found it underneath the chair, and pulled it out. He frowned as he looked closely at it.
“What is it?” John asked.
"A baseball.” The ball was almost entirely wrapped in crumpled brown paper. Mike took the paper off the ball and unfolded it to look inside. What he found disturbed him.
“He’s gone too far this time! I swear, when he finally comes back, I…”
“John, Adam didn’t throw the ball through the window,” Mike suddenly interrupted his brother-in-law, trying to keep his voice even. He beckoned Svenson closer. John left his wife and walked toward Mike, his brow furrowed, wondering what it was about. He couldn’t see that, behind him, Sarah was examining the cap more closely.
Mike showed the large piece of paper to his brother-in-law who went to take it, but the detective stopped him right away. “I’d rather you didn’t touch it, John,” he whispered. “Please, keep calm…”
Raising curious eyes to Mike, wondering what that strange remark was all about, John could see he was glancing in Sarah’s direction, a concerned look on his face. A sudden worry crept inside his mind. There was something not right, about all this. This paper…
He looked down at it. He felt his heartrate suddenly increasing, when he saw the newspaper letters pasted on it, forming threatening words that sent a shiver of fear and pure horror down his spine.
“We have your son. You can have him back for $5,000,000.00. Don’t say anything to anyone and don’t call the police or your son is dead…”
There was more, probably instructions on how to deliver the money, but Svenson found he was unable to read any more. He was staring down in disbelief at the note, suddenly white-faced, gasping, as if desperate for air.
“Oh, no!” he murmured. “No, this can’t be happening…”
He glanced at Mike, as if he wanted to ask him if this was simply some kind of sick joke, but he could see, by the gloomy look upon his brother-in-law’s features, that unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the case. Unable to keep his legs from shaking, and feeling like he would lose his balance, Svenson reached for the armchair, to keep himself standing straight.
“Oh, no, no, no…” he murmured again. “Mike, this is…”
“Stay calm, John,” Mike urged him, putting a hand on his shoulder. “For Sarah’s sake…”
“What have you found there?” That was Sarah’s voice calling to them. Svenson straightened up suddenly and turned to go to her, followed by Mike. Both men were unsure what to do, how to tell her about the note. For the moment, she had turned back her attention to the cap she was turning around in her hands. She seemed quite agitated.
“Sarah, I… You’d better sit down, honey. There’s…”
She was hardly listening. Something had suddenly caught her attention. She shoved the cap nearly under her husband’s nose. Her face was deathly pale, and her lips were trembling.
“Look at that!” she said, her voice shaky. “Look, John! Those marks on the cap… They… they look like…”
She was unable to say more. John gently took the cap from his wife’s quivering hands, and examined it, Mike coming closer to do the same. Both of them could saw dark, reddish stains on the cap. John stared at Mike with an enquiring look, hoping he was mistaken – that his wife was mistaken. The grunt he heard from his brother-in-law was eloquent enough, but the nod and the word that followed were enough to send all sort of torturous thoughts tumbling through his mind.
“Blood,” Mike murmured, rubbing his thumb and index finger on the stains and then looking down at what they had left on his fingers. “I’m sorry, but…”
What little colour was left in Sarah’s face totally drained then. “Blood? That’s what I thought. I… What’s happened to Adam? Was he hurt, or…” She saw by the looks of his husband and brother that they knew something she didn’t. “What is it?” she asked suddenly. “You’re hiding something from me…”
“No, we’re not,” John replied, still unsure how to say it. “My God, Sarah… We… We just found out…”
“Found out what?” She saw the devastated look on his husband’s face, the way her brother was trying to avoid her eyes. Then, she saw the brown paper in Mike’s hand. She caught a glimpse of the cut-out letters pasted on it. She pointed to it with a shaky finger. “What… what is that?”
“Sarah… somebody has our son, and… and they want…”
“My God, no!” Sarah simply didn’t listen to the rest of her husband’s uneasy explanation. The rest was drowned as she suddenly broke down in tears; she didn’t need to hear more, as she had understood all too clearly what was going on. She shook violently, and John had to take her in his arms and help her to sit down on the nearest chair. She was crying on his shoulder without being able to stop herself. They were tears of despair, and fear, and rage, also, as she pounded her husband’s shoulder in helpless rage. “And you thought he had run away!” she cried out. “My God! John! Our boy… Somebody has our boy!”
“Shh! I know, I know…” John’s voice was trembling; he was so near to tears himself, and it was all he could do not to break down like his wife. He was trying so desperately not to, he wanted to be strong for her… to reassure her. But it was so difficult. He tried, but was painfully aware of the inadequacy of the attempt. “I’ll find him. I’ll bring him back home, you’ll see…”
“How?” she cried out again. “They’ve already hurt him!”
“No. No, you must NOT think that.”
“What do they want? Why did they take our baby?”
“They want… They want money… They…”
“Give it to them! Give them everything they want! I just want my boy back!”
“Sarah, please, calm down…”
“Sarah, listen to your husband.” Mike’s voice suddenly made itself heard over Sarah’s loud sobbing. It was smooth, and gentle, but at the same time firm and reassuring. The despairing parents looked over to him as he approached and stood in front of them. He still had that awful piece of paper in his hand, and the sight of it was making John sick.
“They’re going to have it,” John grumbled, anger now taking the place of his despair. “I’m going to give them everything they want. So long as they give me back Adam, I…”
“You can’t do that,” Mike protested. “That what I wanted to tell you, John, you can’t pay these guys…”
“Like hell I can’t!” John barked with fury. “I’m going to do what they want. I want my son back!”
“And what makes you think they’ll return him, even if you pay up?”
“Would you please SHUT UP?” John yelled. He didn’t want to hear these words, and he was concerned about the effect they would have on Sarah. He took a deep breath, trying to calm down, before continuing. “Stay OUT of this, Mike!”
“I can’t, John. I can’t leave you two alone in an ordeal like this. I can’t leave Adam in the hands of these people. I’m going to call for some backup. We’ll help you.”
“NO! They said no police!”
“Unfortunately for them, I AM the police, John. A fact that they certainly don’t know about. Please, listen to reason… The police can work it so these people won’t know we’re involved. We’ll be careful…”
“Mike, no. Please!” By then, John Svenson was choking down the tears threatening to overwhelm him. He had so much trouble keeping himself in check. He knew he was about to break down. “They said… They said if the police were to be involved, Adam…”
“John…” Mike replied in a softer voice, one behind which John could hear regret and sorrow. “They have ALREADY hurt him.”
Despair filled Svenson’s heart at the same time as the tears began to flow from his eyes. Mike was showing him the cap. Adam’s cap, stained with his son’s blood. His son who had already suffered at the hands of these people. That was enough for him to understand that even if he was to follow the kidnappers’ demands, his son would never come back to him alive. Svenson bowed his head, drawing his wife to him and suddenly sobbing with her. He closed his eyes and finally nodded his consent to his brother-in-law.
“Bring him back to us alive, please,” he murmured, his voice full of pain.
Mike grimly nodded in turn. He put a reassuring hand on the grieving father’s shoulder. “We’ll find him, you’ll see. I promise you that.”
It was then that, looking down once again at the cap, Detective Michael Ellis suddenly saw that some of the bloodstains drew strange patterns in the lining fabric… Patterns that made him frown in complete disbelief…
* * *
The sounds of people talking all around him made their way to John Svenson’s mind and snapped him out of his reverie. He turned his eyes away from the window through which he was staring at the clear blue sky, without really seeing it, and looked around. One of the first-class stewardesses was approaching him. She leaned toward him to ask, with the brightest of smiles, if he needed anything. He refused politely and she went on her way, to ask another passenger. Svenson returned his attention to the view outside the plane. In fact, he thought, he needed a drink. Desperately. But he didn’t dare to take even one. He was so depressed, feeling so totally useless, that he was afraid he would not be able to stop. And becoming completely drunk, at a time like this, would certainly not help Adam.
Now confronted with this dreadful situation of today, John Svenson’s mind kept coming back to those terrifying moments he had lived through with his wife, twenty-five years ago. Never in all his life, before or after those events, had he ever had to face something so horrifying as the kidnapping of his eldest son.
Wilson Grover had made more than one mistake, which had brought about his downfall. For a long time, John had been wondering whether the gardener would have thrown that ransom note through the window if he had known that Michael Ellis was at the house that day. John never knew that for sure, he was just guessing that the kidnapper would probably have waited for the parents of his victim to be alone, before making his move. One thing that was for sure was the fact that, if Grover knew that Mike was Sarah Svenson’s brother, he had never been aware that he was a police detective. That was rather difficult to believe, though, seeing how his sister was married to one of the most influential financiers in North America. The Ellises themselves came from a respectable, if certainly less wealthy family, operating a small but rather profitable marketing business. But Mike was not part of the family business, as everybody would assume, and it always came as a surprise when they found out about his successful career in the police force.
Grover didn’t know that, and it was to cost him dearly, as Mike had made a vow not to rest until he found his nephew, got him back safe and sound to his parents, and brought his kidnappers to justice.
Right from the moment he had read the ransom note, Mike Ellis had realised that it had come from someone close to the family. That person had gone through the home security system without a glitch. Mike knew that security system well, he was the one who had recommended it to the Svensons. So, that lead Mike to believe that it could be a member of the domestic or estate staff, probably someone who had come in to work that very morning, as if nothing had happened, so nobody would suspect him or her. Or, somebody who knew his way around the property well enough to avoid security.
It didn’t take long for Mike to realise how right he was, just a few minutes after he had read the note; confirmation was in the bloodstained baseball cap he held in his hands…
The other important mistake Grover made was to underestimate young Adam’s resourcefulness. And in retrospect, John thought, it was easy to understand the man’s reason for the obvious hatred he had for Adam. For it was the then nine-year-old boy who had beaten him at his own game, when Grover provided him with the tool he needed to find a way to get himself out of the dreadful situation he was in. Grover never imagined, for one second, that his victim himself would be the one to indicate to the police who his kidnapper was. Mike Ellis just had to follow the trail back to Grover, back to that house where he had kept Adam…
Back to where the young boy was finally located.
In spite of himself, John Svenson shivered violently, thinking back to that. He wasn’t actually there, when Grover had been arrested, and Adam had been found. Mike had told him all about it, how Adam was barely alive, how Grover had tried to get rid of the boy, even though his parents had confirmed that they would pay the ransom. It was probably a good thing that John had not been there. The way he reacted at the hospital afterwards, when he finally got the chance to see his battered son, was a good enough indication that he would probably have strangled Grover with his own hands if he had come face to face with him.
Adam had been right about Grover. All along. Strangely, he had felt that the man wasn’t to be trusted, and was wary of him. In his childish way, he had tried to warn his father, but, and Svenson was deeply aware of this, he had refused to listen, and had even forced his son to approach Grover, to “be nice” with him. He had himself given to that despicable man all the chances he needed to make his move and further his dark plans. John felt an overwhelming guilt about the responsibility he bore. He knew he should have taken heed of the boy’s warning. His failure to do so had brought upon Adam the most terrifying experience a child of his age could possibly endure. That had almost cost him his life.
The stress of the whole affair, the agony of not knowing what would happen to her eldest son being too much to bear for her, Sarah had been rushed to the hospital, where she gave birth early to a beautiful little girl, whom the proud parents named Katherine. Mother and child were fine, but the anguish and concern for Adam, first missing, and then fighting for his life, tarnished that beautiful moment. The tiny, premature baby had to stay at the hospital for long weeks, before she was strong enough to be allowed to leave with her family. And Sarah came out of the ordeal so very tired, that it took her a long time to recuperate. When, a couple of years later, she became pregnant with David, John was understandably worried that this child might be too much for his wife. He needn’t have worried though, as it was far easier than might have been expected. But it was to be the last child for the couple.
After Adam’s kidnapping, John and Sarah became concerned that it would happen again. Having gone through it once, that was their biggest fear. They weren’t sure how they would handle it a second time, and although they took the fullest precautions they could, they knew they had no guarantee that their children would be safe.
Fortunately, they didn’t have to face that dreadful eventuality again.
Until today, John thought grimly, biting down on his clenched fist in anguish and frustration. And this time, he didn’t have Michael Ellis’ help to get his son out of this mess. He couldn’t even tell his wife, or anybody else. He was alone, forced to accept Grover’s demands, in fear of seeing his son killed in front of his very eyes.
He wasn’t even sure that anything he could do would be enough to save Adam and himself but he realised there was little he could do at the moment, but to follow the instructions he had received…
… And pray for some kind of miracle.
* * *
It was so hot in here, so hot that Captain Blue was drenched from head to toes. His wounds were burning from the salty contact of his own sweat, which made his position even more uncomfortable. The heat was so stifling in this closed room, he was gasping for air, each breath hurting like crazy. He was sure he had at least one broken rib, following Grover’s harsh beating. He had tried again and again to get free, but his efforts had only served to drive the ropes deeper into his wrists. His hands were now so numb, he could hardly feel them.
He had the impression he would not be able to hold on, but he was still fighting to keep conscious, not willing to give up. He would not give that satisfaction to Grover. Not so easily. Even though he was so close to despair.
He had found himself in tight situations before, in the WAS, when he was head of security. He had foiled murder attempts on his life, and found the culprits. He survived even worse situations after joining Spectrum. The Mysterons had kept him on his toes. He always came out nearly unscathed.
This time, it was hitting too close to home. The threat was coming directly from the darkest period of his past, something he had had to face when he was still only a young boy, and that had left its mark on him. Something no child in the world should ever have to be confronted with.
He had survived that early trial, and was determined to do the same this time. Too much was at stake. His life. His father’s. Maybe other members of his family were also threatened, for all he knew. None of them was safe, until Grover was stopped.
There also was Karen’s life, and the future he was planning with her. If only for that, he had to keep fighting.
“Still holding on, kid?”
That was Grover’s voice mocking him again, from a distance. Blue had not heard him coming into the room. But now he could feel his presence, taunting him, trying to hurt him again. He had come to relish the spectacle of his prisoner’s sufferings. Surmounting the pain he was in, Blue stood as tall as he could and took a deep breath, before answering back to his tormentor, between clenched teeth.
“You will not break me, Grover.”
Standing in the doorway of the dark room, Grover shook his head thoughtfully. He hadn’t expected his victim to be this resilient, nor this brave. It was obvious to him that he didn’t have in front of him the kid he once had kidnapped, so many years ago. The man he had become was a tough, hard-boiled son-of-a-gun… Not so easily intimidated as when he was a boy.
“Don’t fool yourself, kid,” he told him in a quiet voice. “You’re helpless. I have you, and you can’t escape. Your old man is coming for you, and when he gets here, we’ll be able to settle things between us.”
“My father won’t pay you one penny,” Blue growled.
“That should be the least of your concerns.” Grover gave a sly smile, as a thought occurred to him. “Oh, we almost forgot somebody in our little get-together… Your lady friend.”
Blue’s heart skipped a beat. “I told you to leave her alone,” he said in a threatening tone.
“I’m sure she won’t say ‘no’ to my invitation to join us, kid.”
“You don’t have her,” Blue realised upon hearing those words.
“Not yet. But it’s almost done. It’s just a matter of time. It’s a sure deal. She can’t escape me any more than you can.”
“You’re lying. You’re just saying that because you want to see me suffer.”
Grover cackled maliciously. “Now, you can’t really know that for sure, can you, Svenson?”
Blue swallowed hard. Indeed, if only he could be sure… “You don’t need her, Grover. Let her go.”
“Sorry, kid,” Grover replied with a sigh that was unconvincing. “But you could say she brought it on herself the minute she hooked up with you.”
Now the anguish was apparent in the prisoner’s face. Grover was enjoying this tremendously, and his smile had broadened.
He was unpleasantly surprised, when he saw his prisoner suddenly lashing out, pulling on his bonds.
“Don’t think you’ve won! This is not finished yet, Grover!”
Blue’s despair had only lasted a very short moment. He had remembered that it wasn’t just any woman Grover was threatening, but Symphony. And she certainly wasn’t somebody who would roll over and play dead, if Grover were to get to her. There would be hell to pay, before he could get his hands on that girl, and that certainly wasn’t something Grover would expect.
“I’ll see you dead before I let you hurt my girl!” Blue went on, with a tone full of dire promise.
There was a short pause, during which Grover pondered the younger man’s words. He entered the room, and limped toward his prisoner; stopping in front of him, he looked at him, with a cold flash in his eyes. Then his voice made itself heard again, in the small, dark cell, with a very ominous and cold edge to it.
“It’s me who’ll see you dead, kid. You can be sure of that. But before that, I WILL break you. Oh yes, I’ll break you… And I’m gonna take real pleasure doing it!”