I felt like I was having a strange out of body experience as my head swam around in the fuzzy darkness. I tried to pull myself back into consciousness but the more I tried the further it slipped away. As panic and fear had almost taken complete hold of me I could feel myself surfacing.
"What am I meant to do with her now?" The familiar voice of the man in the elevator cut into my consciousness, giving me something to hold on to. "You told me that we needed a hostage so when the opportunity arose I took it."
"Wait for further instructions." I could tell that this was a different voice, it was deeper and with an accent I couldn't quite place.
"I can't wait forever," my captor said. "She'll be missed soon and then they'll come looking for her."
Where are they? I thought, my mind jumping straight to my friends. My heart ached at the thought of Ian. What I wouldn't have given to have him holding me at that moment, telling me that everything was going to be alright and making me feel safe. They'll find me, I reassured myself. They won't stop until they find me.
"We'll send you your next set of instructions shortly," the strange voice insisted. "You will be given another location to move to, one where they won't be able to track you."
"How on earth am I supposed to get her out of here?"
"That's your problem, Aleksei. Just don't get caught."
I forced my eyes open, fighting off the drowsy delirium that seemed to be shrouding me from the rest of the world. My vision was blurry as I stared around the darkened hotel room. It appeared to be exactly the same as the one I was sharing with Ian except without the same clutter. I was on the bed and my captor was sitting at the desk by the foot of the bed, his back to me. There was no other person in the room so it took me a while to work out who he was talking to. It wasn't until the unknown man spoke again that I realised my captor was talking to him via a video link on his laptop.
"Don't mess it up, Aleksei," the voice warned again before my captor shut the screen and leant back in his chair.
While he wasn't looking I tried to get up from the bed and see if I could sneak out silently while he wasn't looking. But as I shifted my weight upwards I realised that my hands and feet were tied and I only succeeded in making enough noise for Aleksei to notice.
"Oh shit," he exclaimed as he turned around and saw that I was awake.
"If you don't let me go then I'll scream," I said, trying to hide the fear that was taking hold of my gut and twisting it tightly in knots.
"You don't want to do that," my captor said, reaching out and taking hold of a handkerchief from the side of the bed.
I opened my mouth to scream but before any sound could come out I received a punch across the face, knocking all the air out of me and sending my muscles into spasm. Before I could recover from the hit, Aleksei had pressed the handkerchief firmly over my face and there was a sweet smell filling my nostrils.
"It's better if we keep you knocked out," my captor explained with a little too much enjoyment in his voice. "I'm sure you understand."
I slipped back into unconsciousness feeling sick to my stomach and terrified of what might happen before I woke up again.