It's practically my fault. I was the one being beaten, me, not her. If only I wasn't in the wrong place at the wrong time, that girl would be home with her dad instead of stuck with those four psychopaths. Benedict looked broken when we visited him. Now, Johnny, Ben and I are all sitting in the van, scoping over data we have collected.
"Soon, maybe not right now, but soon we will find her," Johnny reassured Ben, who was sitting over the information very seriously.
I wished we had her now, I wished to heaven and back that we could find her alive. I prayed that the boys would pay for what they had done.
We turned on the television, an ongoing news report flooded the screen, explaining what had happened to Lily Collins just over a month ago and the search was still in action. They didn't know the guys, I wanted to find them myself, arrest them myself for what they had done. That was why I hadn't told anyone but Johnny.
"Okay, we have years worth of information about each guy. But how do we find them?" Ben asked. "If you were a psychopath, holding a seventeen year old girl hostage, where would you go? Think people. Where are there the only places in this country that these guys would be able to take someone and store them with no hassle?"
I piped up. "Abandoned house, warehouses. No one uses them, but there is no guarantee that the government won't check on them every once in a while. It's risky, but definitely a possibility. Or their houses, maybe underground."
"We checked their house, remember, I think that would be too risky," Johnny said. "Underground could be a choice. We'd need to check the police file database for any signs of struggle coming from underground. We locate wherever there are underground locations that could be holding a hostage and four boys, we look."
And with that, we started driving towards the offices in the middle of the town. There was a definite possibility about an underground hideaway, but to me, the abandoned houses were far more likely. Underground has just as many risks as overground. There are sewage and electricity lines, there are many hotspot cameras that could signal them out within two minutes if it needed to.
We were able to get into the offices simply and look up any database we needed. There were only three spots big enough for what we were looking for, and lucky for us they were close.
The first one, which was precisely five miles from where we were, consisted of a storage-like area. It was in someone's back garden, but still had as much chance of being a hideaway rather than a storage hole. The house owner was fine with us searching around, but after twenty minutes with nothing, we left and went to underground location 2.
It was near a warehouse, which I suspected had the most chance of being our victory location. But all joking aside, there was nothing under this piece of ground except for a broken-up, rotting shed and some rats. The warehouse looked promising, but we had no time to visit inside. Johnny said there was probably no one inside, so he led us away.
Ben looked to the sky as we reached the third possibility. He prayed that we find her here, alive. But once again, it ended in disappointment, as the only things we found of use were a few pieces of furniture, a smashed car and some paintings. "The smashed car looks interesting. But not what we are looking for, come on," Johnny said, reappearing overground and walking towards the van.
"We'll find her," I said to Ben as we jumped into the van and drove into the night.