Courtney has been hurt many times in her life. Her mom left when she was only 6 months old and her father disappeared the same night. Now Courney is seventeen and lives with her foster parents, Reagan and Ronnie.
Courney has never been loved by anyone. At school she is severely bullied with no friends or support. Courtney has lost all hope in ever finding someone who cares and has numbed all of her feelings in fear of being hurt again. When one day she meets Hunter, a new kid who just moved from Florida, he tries to reach out to her. Courtney ignores him, fearing to be hurt and abandoned again. But When everything Courtney knows becomes a lie and she is stuck in the middle of a web of secrets and mystery will Hunter be the only one there to help her? Hunter cares for Courtney as more than a friend, but does she realize the obvious? Can she save what she thought was lost? But most importantly can she love Hunter back, or will her feelings and emotions be forever numbed...


10. Chapter 9


     The men opened the cell doors and walked in, grabbing Hunter to hold him back.  The next second I was being picked up by the last one and flung over his shoulder.

    "Ah, this will be nice!" Boss cackled loudly.

    "Where are you taking her?!"  Hunter bellowed, trying to pass the men.

    "None of your business boy!"

    I screamed but it was no use, he was too strong!

    "Calm down, princess!  We won't hurt you too much, yet"

    I watched the screens and messy desks pass me upside down.  The sound of Hunter yelling and being punched in return.  The bang of the doors behind me.  The footsteps in the hall that echoed.  It all passed in a blur.  I finally was taken through another door and the smell of blood and sweat filled my nostrils.

    "Oh, How are you doing Mr. and Mrs. Coolman?  I was about to take Courtney here for a little fun!  Wish to join us?"

     My heart stopped.  What was he talking about?  He had just said my parents were dead!  But now he spoke as if they were alive?  I replayed his words in my head, over and over.  Never had he used admitted to killing them, only knowing what happened. I listened for a response.  All I heard was a muffled moan and the breathing of myself and the men beside me.

    "Shut up!  Stop all that noise!"  Boss commanded my "dead" mother.  My body was moved.  The strong man plopped me onto the ground and positioned me to look at the tied up couple.  I shrieked.  A man and woman were before me, their hair tangled and streaked with dried blood.  Blood, it was everywhere.  From their scraps of clothing to the ground which they sat on, tied up to a pole.  Both of their faces were oh so pale with bruises and cuts hiding every feature and square inch of heir face except for their mourning eyes.  The Man's eyes were bloodshot and full of fury as they seemed to pierce into me.  Yet his eyes weren't normal, they were like mine.  One green one blue.

     "You see this?!  You will look like this very soon if these people don't give me what I want" The Boss and man cackled.  I kept staring in horror and confusion at the Man's eyes.

    "W-W-Who are these people?  Why have you hurt them so?  What do you want?"  I stuttered quietly.

    "Don't recognize them, do you, Girlie!  These are your long lost parents!  You think that I would let something so precious die?!  No, no.  Your parents have information that I need, and they refuse to surrender the facts!"  He was clearly agitated at this fact and sent my "parents" a disapproving glance.  My parents, he had my parents.  They were alive.  They were alive.  It took a while to sink in.   I started to feel dizzy, this was too much.  I forced myself to speak. 

    "What do you want from them? Money?"  My voice was trembling uncontrollably.  I knew that my fear showed in my voice and in my face, but I didn't care.

    "Oh no no, not money.  It's not time for you to know that yet, precious"   I was pulled up by the collar of her shirt, yanked up to at least three feet above the ground.

    "Enough talk!  I'm not a fan all this chit-chat, wastes time"  Boss scowled.  "Lets get back to business!"  

    I was thrown onto the ground and picked back up again just to be thrown down once more.  I groaned as a stinging sensation travelled around my whole body.  I quickly pushed away the pain and stood back up.  As soon as I was steady a punch knocked me back down.

    "What is the point of this?!"  I screamed.

    "Shut up girl!"  The Boss spat at me.  He walked over and removed the gags from my parents faces.  "You either answer these questions or there is no telling what we'll do to your daughter!" His voice was demanding and loud, making me jump.

     "Keep Courtney out of this! You promised, Halock!"  My Father retorted, mustering all the strength he could into his voice.

     "Who cares what I promised?  I'll do what I please!  Let me remind you who is in ropes, Mr. Coolman. Not me!"

     "Let her go"  My Mother now found her voice.  Looking straight into my eyes, she didn't move. 

     "Will you give me the information?  Everything I want?"  Boss persisted.   

      Both of my parents stayed silent, neither answering the question.  I wanted to scream.  These were no parents of mine!  They cared more about whatever secrets they were keeping than their own flesh and blood!  So much for Motherly love, she just stared at me with those vacant eyes.  My freaking father wouldn't even meet my eyes!  This had turned into a nightmare, all I wanted was to wake up.  

    Boss turned away from my stubborn parents and signaled the man behind me to start beating my again.  A kick landed in my gut and a punch to my face, but I just ignored it.  I wasn't going to feel pain.  If my own long lost parents didn't care about me then nobody did.  If I was gonna get beat up until my corpse lay bloody on the cement floor, so be it.  If Hunter and I died there in that cell....  I didn't finish the thought.  Hunter couldn't die, it wasn't right.  He had pulled into this by me and nothing should have happened to him, it was my fault.

     "If you won't give me what I want, FINE!   Just watch your daughter suffer until her dead body lays next to yours, rotting, decaying.  I always get my way, and you know it!  Boss's voice echoed through th e room.  When he got no reaction the wrinkled face scrunched up in anger.  again he signaled to the man and again I was flung over a muscular back.   I heard my Mother start to scream my name, my Father try to calm her.  Those heartless people!  It's as if they couldn't even feel!!!  Oh, wait..  is that what Hunter thought of me?  When I was thrown back into the cell and the men left Hunter came up to me and wrapped me in a warm embrace.

    "Are you OK, Princess?"  He whispered, his low tones soothed me, just like usual.

    "I-I-I don't know....."

     He persisted, "What happened?"

    "My parents, they are still alive.  They know something that Mr., Halock wants.  Yet my own parents were willing to let my be beaten just to keep their secret" I paused and looked at Hunter's overwhelmed face.  "Now I know how you feel, thinking that someone has no feelings, like they don't care"  Hunter's green eyes met mine and he kissed my lightly on the forehead.

    "Courtney, you have feelings, they're just hidden under hurt"  I ignored him, I wasn't in the mood to fight.

    "What are we going to do?"  I asked him, hugging him and laying my face on his chest.  Probably less that twenty-four hours ago I had been loathing this guy, rejecting him in every way.  Now I was looking to him for help and support.  For now the problems at home had slipped away and this was our reality, although it felt like a dream. 

    "I don't know, I guess we try to escape.....after we save your parents"

    "They're tied up in a secluded room, it'll be a bit hard to get to them unnoticed. Don't ya think?"  I added sarcastically, "Hey, Boss, yep, we're just gonna come take your prisoners!  Haha!  Ya so see you later pal!"

     "That's not funny.  They'd beat us bloody" Hunter's hand instinctively moved up to his forehead.  Immediately regretting my words I forced myself to look at his bandaged head.   I slowly removed my torn T-shirt bandage to reveal a large cut.  I knew that it would end up scarring him.

    "How bad?"  Hunter was trying not to cy out in pain and I knew it.

    "Uh, you'll be fine.  I just wish I had some actual supplies so that it doesn't get infected" I mumbled under my breath.

    "It's fine, you should rest"  Not another word was said.  We both laid down on the floor, trying to get comfortable.  He ended up falling asleep with his arms still wrapped around me.  I giggled.  Laying still, I tried to calm down and get to sleep.  It was impossible, every time I closed my eyes all I saw was my parents, bloody and bruised staring at her.  I wish that I knew something, anything, but I was ignorant.  I listened to Hunter's steady breathing and the occasional whispering of "Courtney".  Soon I was able to relax enough to doze off into sleep.  But no sweet dreams welcomed me.  My parents desperate faces, A gun on Hunter's forehead, and blood dripping down his face and wrist filled my sleep.





     "I watched as my arm turned red with the blood.  Boss had cut my shoulder. 

    "Tell me!  Tell me!"  I heard him shout.  I heard the grieving cries of my mother, the shout from my father, but all I was able to decipher was the soft cooing of Hunter. 

    "It's Ok Courtney, ok, ok ,ok....."  Then I started to fall.  This pit seemed to have no end, just like my troubles. 

    "Courtney!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"   The piercing sound broke through and suddenly........."    

     The cold floor started to take form below my body.  My dream slowly came back to me.  The blood running down my arm stayed vivid in my mind.

    "Courtney!  Wake up!"  My eyes fluttered open, the light room blinding me.

    "Courtney?  Are you ok?  You must have been dreaming, you screamed quite a few times"  Hunter put his arm under me and propped me up.

    "Ya, I was with..."  My explanation was cut off as Boss and his men entered the room.  His pinched features looked extremely hideous today, maybe it was because he looked so mad.

    "What is all this noise you little rat?!"  He scowled and put both of his hands on the bars of the cell.  Hunter spit in his direction.  As if he found that amusing Boss smiled and gave us a miscevious grin.

    "Well, since your up, it's best we get down to business then.  Right, dearie?  Wouldn't want to waste time?  Your parent's clock is ticking away"  He made a back and forth motion with his finger, clucking his tongue.

    "You wouldn't harm them, they hold very valuable information, as you know"  I cooed, standing up.  Hunter got up too. I continued "What do you suppose I will do to change their minds about giving this secret to you?  Do you really think they care about me anymore?  Do you think I care about them?" Boss was looking quite confused and his men looked as if they were still half asleep, not caring what was happening.

     "Enough! I don't know what you're blabbing on about girl!  You are to meet you parents in private!  They boy will go with you, to save us trouble.  Now get out!"  He reached over and unlocked the door.  Hand in hand Me and Hunter pushed it open and, for the first time, were taken out of the cell without yelling or a struggle.  Our hands were tied behind our backs and guns behind our backs.  I could feel the shimmering tip even through my thin clothes.  At any moment the trigger could be pulled, and I would be dead.  I pushed this thought away and started to walk.  We were escorted through a short hallway and taken through a door.  Inside was a table and four chairs.  Hunter and I were placed at the right side and our bonds were removed.

    "Don't cause trouble.  We expect for you to have a.... heart to heart with your parents.  Don't be shy!" Boss instructed us as he strolled out the door.  "Oh, they will be here soon"  He finished and the door slammed behind him.  Hunter put his hand in mine and squeezed it.

    "We can't let them talk too much, you know that the Boss is listening"  He whispered.

    "Yes, but I would like to know what this secret is and why it is so important"  I whispered back.

     "We can't tell you"  The voice came from behind us and me and Hunter both jerked our heads around.  Apparently they had been escorted through the door much more silently then we had.  Now they stood before me, in rags.  The couple stood there, staring back at us.  Their bonds had been removed and the blood had been attempted to be washed away.

    "Courtney, My Courtney!"  My Mother shouted as she ran towards me.  She wrapped her arms around me and hugged me so tightly I thought my lungs would burst.  Hunter kept looking at my Father with sad and questioning eyes.   It came to me then, I didn't know my own parent's names!  I pushed my mother away and motioned toward the chairs opposite of me.  With an understanding nod they both walked over and took their places.

      "We know you must be mad..."  I cut my Mother off before she could continue.


    “We- we-we wanted to protect you…”  She started again.

    “Well you did a great job of it!  You get an award for failing!” I said sarcastically.

     “Our names are Gary and Amanda.  But Excuse me young lady, we are your parents and you not speak to us in that manner!  You will apologize immediately!”  My Father’s face grew angry as he went along.  I got ready for a fight and stood up.

    “Well, GARY, who should be apologizing?!  You two are worthless pieces f crap to me! If you haven’t noticed yet, you chose to keep that stupid secret instead of help the daughter you supposedly love!!  What is this darned secret anyway?!?!  Why is it so important?!?!”   Hunter gave me a warning look and touched my arm as a sign to sit down.

     “Courtney, we can’t tell you all of it.  But may I ask, who is this young fellow?  You seem quite close…”  A quiet smile crept onto my mother, apparently Amanda’s, face .  I was fuming.  They had just totally changed the subject and already wanted into my personal life!  Who did they think they were?!  Hunter looked a bit uncomfortable but looked both of my parents straight in the eye.

    “Hunter Lapet, son of Michael and Mary Lapet”  He introduced himself.  Gary and Amanda’s eyes grew hid.

    “The billionaires?!”  They said in unison.  Hunter gave a small nod.

    “Ya, the…the moneymaker”  He mumbled.

     “So are you two…together?”  He raised an eyebrow at me.

     “He is cute”  My mom whispered.  This was horrible.  Hunter’s cheeks had turned a light pink, but he tried to hide it You meet your parents and they try to embarrass you.

     “Whatever, we are just friends, now you have some explaining to do!”  Hunter looked relieved that the subject was going to be taken off of him, and I didn’t blame him.   Hunter’s hand went searching for mine and I grasped onto his firm hand as if it was my life.  Here it was, this dangerous secret that my parents had ruined my life for.   He lightly rubbed his thumb over my fingers.  My parents gave each other a look before they started talking.

    “I will tell you the consequences of Mr. Halock getting to these secrets, but I can’t tell you just what they are.  I will only tell you what Halock already knows”  Gary was dead serious now and his gaze seemed menacing a dark.

    “Halock?  You mean the Boss?”  Hunter questioned.

    “Don’t call him the boss!  That is giving him authority, only his henchmen call him that!   Yes, Mr. Halock” Amanda erupted and Hunter shut his mouth.

     “Let’s go on without interruption, shall we?”  Amanda calmed her voice and regained her composure.  Hunter and I both nodded silently, afraid to say another word.

    “I guess we could start at the beginning, which was quite a long time ago….”  Gary was talking again and I hung on to every word.  “Your great great grandfather was a scientist, an amazing one.  His name was George James Coolman and he worked for one of the most top secret societies is the world, the E.H.S. or Elite Hacking Society.  They could get any piece of government information from any country, anything they wanted was is their grasp.  George and a couple others were the top dogs of the E.H.S. and became quite…greedy, wanting more power.   Being called crazy all his life, George wanted to prove all those people wrong, to hurt them like they had hurt him; in the heart”  “Just like I want Jack to be hurt”  I thought to myself.  I glanced at Hunter, who’d face was dead serious, before turning back to my Father.

    “Before anybody could stop him he had created a satellite.  This satellite can shoot out a chemical, causing complete distortion of thoughts and memory.  What George planned to do with it we have no idea, but we know exactly what Halock would do.  He would overthrow every country and we would be living in a worldwide war, practically like the Jews in the Holocaust”   Both of their faces looked dark and grave and I hesitated before speaking, but I did.

    “So, what do you have that is stopping him from doing…this?”

    “We know where the contraption is and how to activate it.  Halock will do everything he can, maybe bombs, maybe….who knows.  But he will do anything to get to this, we don’t know why it is so important to him, but it is” It all went silent after Amanda said these words.  I didn’t know what to say, it all felt too much like those horror films.

      “So…..” Hunter sighed and ran his hand through his hair.  He closed his eyes for a second and Amanda took that chance to point at him and give me a wink and cheesy smile.  I rolled my eyes but I couldn’t hide a small smile.  When Hunter opened his eyes he also started talking.

      “My father….” But he was cut off when Halock and a group of his men barged in.

     “Time’s up!  It’s time to leave”  Halock announced.


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