Kidnapping – can sometimes end in the making of new friends
Iload my groceries in the trunk and slam it shut before grabbing my shopping cart to return it. But when I begin to push the cart forward, four men move to block me. I don’t recognize any of them, but guessing by the scowls on their faces, I’ve pissed them off.
“Can I help you?”
“You’re coming with us,” a man who’s several inches taller and wider than me says.
“I am?” They don’t appear threatening in their shorts and t-shirts with flip-flops, but I’m not in a hurry to go anywhere with them.
“Yep. It’s about time we did another kidnapping,” another man says.
The third man slaps him on the shoulder. “We didn’t kidnap you.” His words do not reassure me of their good intentions, despite the police uniform he’s wearing.
“You did, but it’s okay. It’s payback time.”
“I can’t believe this is why you told me there was an emergency and I needed to return home immediately,” the final man grumbles.
I narrow my eyes at him as he appears familiar, but it’s hard to figure out how I may know him when his beard covers half of his face and the rest is in shadow from his ball cap.
“Come on,” the one dressed in a police uniform says and waves a hand toward a car. I’m happy to see it’s not a police car.
“Where are we going, officer?”
The big guy snorts. “Again with the officer. I swear you make us do these kidnappings to listen to people call you officer.”
His words stop me cold. “Kidnappings?” As in plural? Are they serial kidnappers? Is there such a thing as a serial kidnapper? Too bad Lilac isn’t here. She’d know. But the woman is avoiding me.
“Don’t worry about it,” the man who’s slightly shorter than me says. “We won’t harm you. Too much.”
I glance around the parking lot, but no one’s around. I’m not going to be a sissy and shout for help. At least not until I know what’s happening here. I allow them to herd me into the car.
“What bar do you recommend?” the driver who appears familiar asks.
Bar? They’re kidnapping me and taking me to a bar? And here I thought this encounter couldn’t get any stranger.
“The White Stag?” Although it won’t be crowded this early in the afternoon, it’s on the main avenue through town. If I can get away from the men, I can make a break for freedom.
The officer clamps his hand down on my thigh. “Don’t worry. There’s no need to make a run for it.”
I keep my mouth shut. I have no idea what’s going on but talking my way out of this doesn’t appear to be an option considering the police officer can read my mind.
We park on the street in front of the bar and climb out of the car. I glance up and down the street wondering if this is my chance to escape, but the officer wraps a hand around my bicep and motions to the door.
Inside the bar is dark. I frown as I scan the room. It’s practically deserted, and the current patrons are not going to be of much help. Not when several of them appear to have passed out if their snoring is any indication.
I try to sit at a table near the window, but the big guy stops me before motioning toward a booth in the back. There goes my chance for signaling to a passerby. At least the booth in the back is near the rear hallway and emergency exit.
I take a seat and the big guy sits next to me. Crap. The only way I’m getting out of here without him moving is by crawling. Considering how my shoes are sticking to the floor, I don’t think crawling is a viable option.
The man I’m convinced is in a disguise sits across from me and removes his beard and hat.
I gasp when his face is revealed. “Holy shit. You’re Maverick Langston.”
He grins as he shakes my hand. “Always happy to meet a fan.”