Jared’s face darkened when Millie hit him. He held his burning cheek in one hand while the other twitched nervously. He didn’t hit her back though and Millie went from smug to uncertain.

“I wouldn’t try me, Millie.” Jared threatened, “Sure, you didn’t know me then. But I guess you still don’t ‘kuz you must have no idea what I can do to you. So, fine. Go ahead and try me. See how far you get.” He walked out of the room in jerky movements, leaving Millie stifled in fear.

Jackson walked back in minutes later but Millie was still standing in shock against the wall, breathing heavily.

“Are you okay?” Jackson asked hesitantly. Millie nodded quickly, not wanting to have a conversation with this kidnapper. “I’m the … nicest ... of the three I guess so you don’t have to worry about me … hurting you or anything.” She nodded again. “And you can talk to me … I promise—swear I won’t do anything.”

Millie cleared her throat and said in a cracking voice, “So what if he tells you to? What will you do then?”

Jackson bit his lip, stepping closer to Millie. “I’ll let you sneak out at night.” Millie gaped at him in shock, her mouth opening with a pop! noise.

“You’re lying.”

“No, I’ve done it before. Jar—he wanted me to er get rid of this one girl and I let her sneak out.”

“Wha … what did he want with her?” Millie whispered uncertainly.

“She … um … told some cops that he beat her up at school one day. A complete lie though.” Jackson nodded his head like he was trying to convince himself. It was too obvious he didn’t approve.

“Not a lie. I … was … um there.” She glanced at the floor to avoid his eyes but she could see his feet rushing toward her.

Jackson got right up in her personal space and she cringed away. He took a step back then, apology written all across his face. “It was my sister’s best friend. I haven’t seen her since then.”

“And what about you? And your sister?”

“What about us?”

“Where is she while you’re here? And your parents—”

He cut her off with a sigh, “Are dead. Stephenie lives with an aunt but I’m eighteen already.”

“So you live here with Jared. And do his dirty work?”

Jackson shrugged his shoulders, sighing again. “Shut up. I’m not supposed to be talking with you.”

Minutes later, Millie whispered almost inaudible, “So that’s a yes.” And Jackson sighed long and deep.

“Shh.” Jackson hissed, settling in a comfy chair. Millie slid down to the floor, her back pressed against the wall. She pulled her knees up to her chest then groaned and put them back down.

“What does he want with me?” She asked, hoping for an answer. Jackson, like Chuck, was fairly easy to read. He didn’t seem to like leaving things without closure. Millie remembered him answering Chuck’s question in the silent car. He would surely answer her.

She looked expectantly up at Jackson and his face surprised her: twisted with rage and disgust.

The End

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