Sure, it was all very well knowing what they’d taken and how they got in, but who had been, and why they did want Danielle (?) was still unclear.
I started shaking, and hyperventilating and I soon found that I’d collapsed; I couldn’t control my body. I was in too much shock.
My whole world evolved around Danielle – it felt like an eclipse; being in the dark, and not being able to see, not being able to control a single thing: breathing for example, was a big problem.
Joe, as always, had more composure than me; as soon as he had assessed the situation, he had his phone in his hand, and was on the phone to Sally before I could say a word, even though speaking is very difficult when you are hyperventilating.
Joe was speaking to Sally so fast that I couldn’t pick up any of what he was saying. Before he’d finished though, his eyes went all distant, and he was in a trance-like state, though only briefly, and I took it that he was telling Sally what he’d seen. He then appeared to be arguing, and then he put his phone back in his pocket.
He walked over to me (well, strode would be more accurate), so he strode over to me, where I was laid down on the floor, curled up into a little ball, and he put his arms around me, shielding me, as if protecting me from some unknown and unseen force, some form of enemy.
At his touch, I calmed down dramatically and could actually make my words sound comprehendible.
“What? Who? When? Why?” I stammered.
“The Vamdeveri came – they knew we’d be ready to fight them off. That’s why they did it on the sly.” He whispered, as if scared that he’d be heard.
“I absolutely hate them.” My lips curled back over my teeth as I said this.
“I know – it all seems to come down on us.” He spoke my thoughts aloud.
“What were you arguing about… on the phone?” I asked.
“Sally didn’t want us to go to get Danielle – she thought it was too risky. She said that if we’d managed to have a child once, that we could do it again.” He hung his head at the thought of this.
“It’s that risky?” I choked out; nobody hated lives being wasted (such as Danielle’s) as much as Sally did.
Joe just nodded, and suddenly there were tears streaming down his usually-composed face. I hugged him tightly, and rocked him gently, as if comforting Danielle – something I longed to do.
‘We are going after her.’ He thought determinedly.
‘No, we’re not; I’ll go. I couldn’t have both of the people that I love in the same place as the Vamdeveri. I hate them, and I’d hate to have you put your life in danger to protect her, or me!’ I wouldn’t let him go. I’d have one of his siblings chain him to a chair if I had to, and I hoped he heard that.
‘I have to be there.’ He thought.
‘No; I’m going and that’s that.’ I thought and my heart shattered.
‘You don’t know where it is.’ He pointed out.
‘You can give me directions.’ I imagined shrugging, which he gave a weak laugh at.
‘I’m coming; whether you like it or not.’ He thought, angrily.
‘Please don’t risk your life for anything though.’ I realised that I was fighting a lost battle.
‘I don’t plan to outlive you by long.’ He took an oath.
‘Well don’t look at me; I’m not outliving you.’ I sighed.
We got our shoes on (no coats, seeing as it was going to be very warm where we were going), and then went outside.
“No matter what happens, I love you.” Joe gazed, lovingly at me.
“And I will always love you, though I never deserved you.” I caressed his face, and then he kissed me, crushing my lips in the process, they way he had when he had left those long months ago, that seemed like a lifetime.
We were then running, faster than I’d ever run before. It wasn’t right though; the thrill wasn’t there. Instead it was replaced with tension and stress, and anticipation.
We ran at a lamppost (him going first, never letting go of my hand), and yes I know it sounds a lot like Harry Potter, but I think Harry Potter was sort-of a lot less nervous than me. Then we were suddenly falling from a door-looking thing. The fall was short, but it was enough to send your pulse racing – if you have one, that is...
“We thought we’d see you shortly.” The tall, lean one said.
“Where is she?” I demanded of him.
“With Oliver” He replied, patiently, and that was what made my hand reach out, and slap him across his face.
Lots of bodyguards pounced on me then, and one held Joe in place so he couldn’t come over to rescue me.
“That wasn’t a wise choice, young one.” He tutted, but then waved his hand as if to make the bodyguards release me and Joe, which they did.
I strode over to him at once, and took hold of his hand.
“Now, I think you should apologize.” The smaller, skinnier one said.
“Sorry” I muttered.
“Call me John.” The taller, leaner one said.
“Fine then, John, my greatest apologies, but I suppose you would understand my position, had I taken away one of your children, had you any.” I spoke formally.
He nodded in sympathy, and as I could hear his thoughts, which he was unaware about, he was not intending on letting one of the three of us (Danielle, Joe or I) out alive.
I thought about going searching for this Oliver guy, so I could find my little Danielle, but Joe warned me that it wasn’t wise.
‘All three of us might and probably will, get killed if you go looking for her, without their consent.’ He explained, mentally.
‘Oh, well, I’ll ask then, unless he gives us permission.’ I decided.
‘It’s not that easy.’ Joe warned.
‘We’ll see.’ I smiled, and Joe shot me a warning look.
“May I ask what you’re smiling at?” John asked sweetly.
“Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.” I replied, my tone layered thick with sweetness; so sweet in fact, that it would make a normal person feel sick.
“You are a wise one, for so young.” John chuckled.
“Thank you, and my apologies.” I apologized.
“I’m sorry; this must be a tad distressing for you.” John smiled ruefully.
“Yes – would you kindly show us where our daughter is? We’re a bit pushed for time at the moment, you see.” Joe explained, politely yet casually to John and Smee – the name Smee reminded me of Captain Hook’s sidekick, from Peter Pan.
“Well naturally; you need to go back to Sally and co. to tell them that the big, nasty Vamdeveri aren’t going to kill you after all.” John chuckled darkly, and evilly.
“Well naturally” Joe repeated almost as exact as John had said it.
“Follow me then.” John smiled, and we followed him down a dark, narrow corridor that reminded me vaguely of a prison, until he stopped at a door that had a notice on it reading:
‘DANGER! ANIMAL INSIDE.
MAY OR MAY NOT POSE THREAT. TAKE CAUTION.’