You know that typical cologne smell? The one that very girl falls in love with? It's light, it's dark, it's everything, and still indescribable. The thick envelope that sat unopened in front of me, with no return address smelled heavily of it. I was weary to open it, I never received anything other than bills and advertisements, this was the first letter. Not caring about the envelope, my fingers tore the top. The paper inside was folded perfectly into thirds, with no imperfections. I felt the color drain from my face as I read, and reread the letter.
" Elaina grace,
I know this must be scary, recovering an anonymous letter, but you have nothing to fear if you listen to me carefully. I've waited two year to have you, and I won't wait any longer. I want you to pack one suitcase full if clothes and any other necessities. You will then meet me at the diner on 5th at 7 sharp. If you aren't there, or you're late, I'll make you regret it. You're coming home tonight, with me. Don't tell anyone, or I'll give the word to have your brother James killed. I'll see you tonight princess"
The letter floated to the ground before I had time to process the bangs on my front door. Carefully peeking out the peephole, I was relieved to see Yasmin, my best friend. I opened the door and dragged her inside.
"Ouch Elaina. Don't pull off my arm, I kinda need it."
"Sorry babe, but they can't see you or they'll kill my brother." Tears stung my eyes, my brother was all I had left.
"Kill your brother? Who's going to kill your brother? What are you talking about?"
"Someone sent a letter and said I have to go live with then or they're going to kill James and force me to. Yazzy, I'm scared" tears flowed freely down my face as I told Yasmin. She picked up the letter and read it before crumpling it into a ball. We made our way to my bedroom and she sat on my small twin mattress while I dragged the duffle bag out of my closet.
"You're not seriously thinking about going are you? I won't let you." Yasmin's voice was worried but comforting.
"I don't think I have a choice. Maybe it's a prank? I can't risk it Yazzy." I shoved random pieces of clothing and shoes and books and pictures into the bag. I had two hours until I was supposed to meet L.T at the diner. Yasmin begged me not to go, and I kicked her out at 6. I slipped a kitchen knife in between the stack of clothes, so if I truly needed it, it would be there. At 6:30 I walked to the diner and ordered a cup of hot chocolate. The minutes ticked by slowly, and at 6:45 a black range rover pulled up right outside the window I was sitting in front of. Nobody got out and I started getting the feeling that the letter was a prank. At 7:05 I would leave. Only 20 minutes, and I'm in the clear. I texted Yasmin that no one had shown up, and it was 6:59. At exactly 7:00 I pushed myself off the stool and grabbed the bag I packed for no reason. I started towards the door with a feeling of relief, but was also angry that someone sent such a stupid prank letter. The bell above the door rang as I let the wind whip my face. I walked a few steps away from the diner when I heard a car door slam. Thinking nothing of it, I kept walking. My bag hit my leg after every step, I stopped to switch the bag to my other shoulder. A hand wrapped around my waist and the intoxicating smell of the letter hit me. My body didn't move. I was paralyzed with fear.
"Sorry I'm late sweetheart" his voice was high, but still masculine with a strong British accent. My mouth had gone dry, this was actually happening. My captor could probably feel and hear my heart beating, as I remained still; entrapped in his embrace.
"If you run, I'll kill you right here. Understood?" I nodded as I felt the barrel of a gun dig into my side and his arms let go of me. My bag was slid off of my shoulder and onto his, gun still keeping me in place.
"Walk" I walked in step with him, upon the simple command. I should be fighting. My adrenaline screamed run, and my brain screamed stay. The black range rover that had parked outside the diner sat running in the same space. The back door opened from the inside making my heart plummet further. The man walking with me pushed me towards the open door at my hesitance. I shakily slid into the car next to the other man. I hadn't seen the first man, but the second was gorgeous. His hair was chestnut brown and curly. His eyes were vibrant green with gold flecks. The front door slamming snapped me back to reality.
"Hazza, can you take care if her please?" The man up front asked. Hazza, the curly haired boy next to me, leaned over the back seat and grabbed something out of the trunk. I was involuntarily shaking. The sight of duct tape and rope sent me over the edge. Tears left my eyes and sobs choked out. The car pulled out as Hazza scooted closer to me. I pressed myself against the door, as far as I could.
"Hey. Shhh. It's ok love." He also had an accent, but his was deeper and more sultry. He gently pulled my wrists into one of his large hands. The coarse rope bit my pale skin, no doubt leaving marks. I pulled and twisted, but nothing stopped him from getting my wrists, and my ankles tied. Hazza bit off a small piece of duct tape and pressed it over my mouth. My claustrophobia clicked in, and I felt as if I couldn't breathe. I tried to focus on breathing in and out of my nose, but black spots started clouding my vision. I cried harder, and within a minute of struggling, the black completely took over.