It was several days later, and they were all sitting around a table laughing and joking and chatting. Reiner was genuinely starting to feel better and not at all afraid. Suddenly, Reiner's cell phone rang. It was an unknown caller. Thinking it was just a soliciter, he answered it right there at the table.
"Hello?" he answered.
"I've been watching you, Reiner," the voice said. Reiner froze, paralyzed. His blood turned to ice. The others stopped what they were doing and focused on Reiner. They all knew who it was.
"Marcus," Reiner muttered. The man on the other end let out an unholy cackle.
"That's right," he said. "You think having all your little friends by your side is gonna stop me, you're wrong. So very wrong," Marcus said coldly. "I'll just make you suffer in front of them, and when I decide that you've suffered enough, I'll kill them all, and pry all of their valuables from their cold dead corpses. I'll kill them right in front of you, Reiner," he spat. "You will watch them die, helpless and unable to stop me like the pathetic weasel you are."
Reiner's fury rose, and in a burst of rage, he kicked his chair backwards and slammed his fist on the table. The other three stared in shock.
"What do you want from me!?" Reiner snarled. Marcus snickered.
"There is nothing that I desire from you, Reiner. No compromise we can reach. All I want is to watch you scream and beg for mercy as I destroy everything that ever mattered to you, after you've suffered every ounce of pain you deserve," Marcus hissed.
Reiner was so furious, frustrated, depressed, afraid, and sad that he let hot tears roll down his cheeks. He didn't try to wipe them away. He was done hiding, done being afraid, and done fighting. He sighed.
"I will do whatever you ask, I swear to you, if you just leave my friends alone," he whispered. Marcus paused for a moment.
"But then that would defeat the whole purpose of everything I just explained to you, wouldn't it?" Marcus stated cruelly. Reiner had had enough. He slammed his fist on the table again and broke down into a full-blown meltdown. Tears poured out of his eyes relentlessly.
"What did I ever do to you!?" he plead. "Why do I deserve this!?" Marcus laughed.
"You never did anything to me, Reiner. That's the beauty of it." Then he hung up, leaving Reiner more scared and aggravated than he's ever been in his whole life, and although his friends were there comforting him and cursing Marcus under their breath, Reiner had never felt more alone.