Bound and gagged, I laid helpless on the floor of the van while they sped away from the bank. The driver was definitely speeding, I could almost feel the ground rushing past beneath the floor of the car. With no seatbelt, I rolled and bounced with every bump and turn of the road.
I tried to listen to them, my fear making all the voices and sounds blend together so I couldn't understand a word. Tears spilled out of my eyes as we hit a bump and I flew into the seat in front of me, banging my head on the armrest.
Unlike before, when time passed as slowly as the last few seconds of a basketball game, these seconds were flying by.
When the car finally came to a stop, and I was untied and helped out of the car, I caught a glimpse of the digital clock on the dashboard. It had felt like a mere five minutes, but in reality, it had been an hour and a half. I was now an hour and a half away from Andrew, and my parents, and my school, and my friends. Everything I had ever known, I was that much farther away.
"Walk." A threatening, furious whisper in my ear.
I nodded, my feet hitting the still, solid ground for the first time in an hour and a half. My legs shook, kind of like when you get off a ship after a long cruise. The man that had lifted me out of the car kept a firm grip on my shoulder, though to any bystander it would only look as if he had his arm around my comfortingly. He made me follow a woman down the sidewalk.
My legs moved mechanically, without me telling them to, letting my mind focus on other things. Like where I was.
My eyes wandered around us, taking in every detail of the friendly neighborhood surrounding us. I scanned the sides of the street for a street sign, or any clue to where we were.
"Whatshe lookin at?" a voice from in front of us said softly.
"Nothin. I got her. Don't worry." He put his hand on my head and turned it frontwards. "Dont screw this up," he hissed at me.
I frowned, my mind flashing back to the guns they had held in front of the bank, wondering if he had a gun right at that moment, hidden beneath his thick sweatshirt.
We followed the woman up a driveway and into the garage of a small house that was painted brown, with white shutters on the windows, and a well-kept garden along the porch. The beauty of this soon-to-be prison struck me.
Inside, his grip on me tightened, and as the garage door slid shut, i was thrown against the back wall, and then onto the ground. As soon as I was laying flat on the cold cement floor, three of them surrounded me, holding me down as the woman retied my hands and feet together, and gagged me.
"Shut it, please, please be still," the woman said, attempting a soothing tone. "Jack?" she said.
One of the men stepped forward and held my shoulders down, making it impossible for me to struggle against them.
I thought I knew what was going to happen. My heart started pounding in my chest, and I tried screaming, only to have it muffled by my gag. I kicked and struggled against his strong grip as best as I could.
"Knock it off!" he exclaimed. "We're not going to hurt you."
I shook my head, not looking him in the eyes, still fighting against him.
"Hey!" He yelled.
I stopped, startled. My eyes met his for the first time.
"I said, we aren't going to hurt you. Do you understand?"
I nodded, something about his voice calming me.
Or maybe it was the odor coming off the handkerchief that was being held over my mouth and noise that was calming me. Was I being drugged? From far away in the back of my mind a distant memory rose. Me, at nine years old, cross-legged on my bed, eyes wide with wonder as I read another Nancy Drew novel, imagining what it would be like to be drugged with- what was it called?- oh. Chloroform. Yes, that was it. In almost every Nancy Drew novel, someone was drugged with-
Everything started to blur around me, I blinked furiously, trying to keep my eyes from staying shut.
He let go of my shoulders and undid the gag. "What's your name?" he asked.
"Tessa," I murmured as I slipped into a dreamless sleep.