1 - Kidnapped
Hacker Rule #21: Never kidnap the key asset.
“I can’t believe you fucking lost her!”
“I didn’t lose her! I just... forgot… which room I... locked her in...” Tyler gave Jason a cold, hard glare. “Oh, come on, Ty,” Jason said, rolling his eyes as he sat perched on the computer desk. “It’s not like I planned this.”
“Maybe if you weren’t trying to get into her pants all the damn time, she wouldn’t have gotten one over on you like that.”
“Well, fuck me, she’s damn hot! He didn’t say she’d be hot. That was a very important detail he forgot to mention. Her fine ass caught me completely off guard,” Jason laughed as he tossed a baseball in the air. Tyler groaned in frustration as he anxiously roamed the fourth room in his search. They had been looking for almost an hour now, but the woman they had kidnapped was still nowhere to be found. “I wonder if she’s single,” Jason said, tapping his chin with his finger. “Think she’s into white guys?”
Tyler looked at Jason like he was crazy. “Are you kidding me?! We kidnapped her, Jason!”
“Can you take this fucking seriously?!” Tyler blurted.
Jason sighed as he hopped off of the table. “Relax, Ty. She’s clearly still here, and she won’t get very far without her phone,” Jason said, pulling a cell phone out of his pocket.
“Shit... shit shit shit!”
Tiana peeked down from the hole in the vent and watched her kidnappers roam the room, looking for her. Her wrists still burned from rubbing free from the rope they had used to bind her. And she swore she was missing a layer of skin on her lips from ripping the tape off of her mouth. She was still trying to figure out just how in the world she even ended up in this situation. Only a few hours ago she was sitting in the campus computer lab doing the one thing she did best: coding.
And now she was hiding in the ceiling of some old warehouse factory from two guys twice her size, who she imagined only had plans to kill her and sell her organs on the black market.
Tiana was heavily confused as to why she of all people would be kidnapped. She was a rather ordinary girl who kept to herself and had only two friends that she hung out with on a regular basis. Aside from her obsession with Beyoncé, Janelle Monae, Shake Shack and 90s movies, Tiana didn’t feel there was anything about her that warranted her being chased around the campus computer lab by two men in ski masks and stuffed into a vehicle.
She eyed the guy scrolling through her phone and had to physically cover her mouth to keep from shouting and cussing him out for being so damn nosy.
“This chick doesn’t take enough pictures. There’s nothing but memes in here. I was hoping I’d find a nude pic,” Jason pouted.
“Are you gonna help me find her or not, you fuckin’ asshole?!” Tyler snapped, searching in another room.
Jason rolled his eyes as he continued to scroll through her phone. “She’s got a couple of texts from a girl named... Shae... oh, and of course... Owen,” he smirked.
Tyler quickly poked his head out from a closet he was searching in and looked at Jason with concern in his eyes. “... shit...” Tyler muttered.
“I’m gonna leave her a nice gift. Some good material to flick her bean to when she’s bored,” Jason grinned. He lifted his shirt, revealing his thigh abs and snapped a picture. He analyzed the picture for a second before unbuckling his pants.
“JASON! I swear I will fucking hurt you!” Tyler threatened. Jason laughed out loud as he tucked her phone back into his pocket.
“I can’t believe I almost let that jackass kiss me!” Tiana muttered in frustration. She had first met Jason when he approached her at Central Park, while she was waiting for her best friend. Owen was often late, but his lateness that day was so egregious she nearly ditched.
That was until Jason showed up.
He was one of the finest-looking men she had ever met. With the way his sweater clung to his muscular arms and the rigidity of his abs evident through his shirt, he was definitely not ashamed to show off his physique. The boy was cocky as hell. Tiana wasn’t into egotistical men, but the way he smiled at her when he first introduced himself had her nibbling rabidly at her bottom lip.
But Tiana thought he was flirting with her, not plotting her demise… She thought that smile said ‘I wanna get in them draws’ not ‘I wanna kidnap you and chop you into tiny little pieces.’
“Ted Bundy headass,” she said, sucking her teeth. She eyed the other guy who seemed to be a bit more anxious. He was certainly taking the situation way more seriously than Jason as he searched frantically throughout the room. “Ty...why the hell do I know that name?” she whispered to herself. The name sounded familiar. In fact, he looked familiar, but she couldn’t tell from where. She thought she might have seen him on campus before, but... that could just be her paranoia since she was currently hiding for her life.
Tiana held her hands out to the side, feeling the walls of the vent. It was cramped, and she was already feeling claustrophobic in such a tight space. The air conditioning vent that led to the ceiling was the first opening she saw when she escaped from her restraints. She had hoped it was a window. Analyzing her surroundings, she wished she had some type of weapon to at least fight her way out. But they stripped her of all her belongings the minute they tied her up. She looked down at them again, trying to size them up. They were both too big for her to take on by herself. She had to be smart about this.
She analyzed her tight surroundings. Not many options. Looking ahead, she saw a small light which could only mean there was an opening. Her possible escape? She wiggled a little, trying to make as little noise as possible until she got to the opening. She was nearly through, but then... her hips got stuck. It was at that moment she regretted eating four Krispy Kreme donuts instead of three. Tiana was ready to burst into tears.
She shook her head, refusing to allow this little obstacle to keep her from escaping and wiggled a little bit further. Then suddenly, she heard creaking. Her eyes widened as she felt the vent beneath her move before the ceiling collapsed. She fell through the ceiling and landed hard on top of Tyler.
“Fuck,” he groaned. Tyler felt a sharp pain shoot up his back when he landed hard on the ground. He opened his eyes to see Tiana sitting on top of him as her long braids dangled in his face. They looked at each other stunned for just a moment before her lip curled up in anger. She punched him point-blank in the face, knocking his head back against the floor. “Shit! Tiana!” he blurted, grabbing his nose. But her survival instincts kicked into overdrive as she immediately scrambled off of him and ran as fast as she could to the nearest exit. “DAMMIT! GRAB HER!” Tyler yelled.
Now that she was up and running, Tiana realized she had no idea where the hell she was. The whole building had the size of a large warehouse but the features of a dingy laboratory. There were computers, car parts, and electric wires everywhere. Jason and Tyler were on her heels. She was convinced the only reason she was outrunning them was because Tyler was still in pain from her ass landing on top of him from the ceiling, and Jason simply did not care.
As she was running, she saw a couple of boxes stacked pretty high. Thinking it would be the best opportunity to gain some headway, she picked up her pace and turned around to push them over, hoping to block their path. But just her luck... they didn’t even budge. “There are either bricks in those damn boxes or I’m weak as fuck!” she blurted.
Tiana kept running as fast as she could and passed an Asian guy sitting in front of four large double-screen computers. He quickly looked over at her confused. “Hey, what’s-” he started to speak, but she wasn’t sticking around to find out.
“WHERE THE FREAK IS THE EXIT?!” she shouted to herself. She breathed a quick sigh of relief when she saw the stairs. She flew through one of the double doors of the main floor and immediately started running down the stairs. She could finally see a way out.
“COÑO! YOU IDIOTAS LET HER GET AWAY?!” She heard a girl start cussing in Spanish. Glancing to the side, she saw a woman with tan skin and dark hair flailing her arms about wildly. She looked pissed off.
“Must be Dominican,” Tiana muttered as she kept running. The guys were gaining on her, and she really was not trying to end up on the back of a milk carton. She didn’t believe she could outrun them for very long now that there were officially four people on her tail. She decided to forego the stairs and take a risk by jumping the railing and skipping over the next eight steps. She grabbed the railing and put those old gymnastic classes her mom used to make her take to the test as she leaped over the banister. She expected to land on the floor like a superhero.
But instead, she landed hard on her knee, nearly breaking her kneecap as she twisted her other ankle. “Motherfucker!” she blurted in pain as she started hobbling towards the exit. “You’re almost there, Tiana,” she told herself as she pushed past the pain and hobbled faster. She could finally see the door and rushed to grab the handle.
“STOP! TIANA, JUST FUCKING WAIT!” Tyler was yelling for her, and she almost laughed at the absurd notion that she would actually stop now that she was so close to being free. She glanced over her shoulder and scrounged up her nose as she gave him the middle finger. Feeling quite proud of herself, she turned back around ready to make another run for it and ran smack into something hard. Really hard. She stumbled backward and collapsed on her butt.
She rubbed her head and looked up at what cement brick wall just gave her a concussion. And her eyes widened in shock. “OWEN?!” she screamed.
Owen lowered his hand to help her up as she struggled to stand to her feet. Why the hell was her best friend here? “What the fuck?! Are you hurt?!” Owen said, noticing her ankle.
“Forget that! Owen! We have to get out of here!” she said, trying to push him out the door.
“No, T...” Owen said, blocking her exit. Owen’s signature joker smile was not on his face. Tiana realized that her best friend of three years was looking at her with guilt in his eyes.
“Owen! Move! We have to get out of here!” she said, trying to push him again. But his body was like a brick wall.
“At least one of us is fucking useful,” Tyler said exasperated once he caught up.
“Is that a shot at me, ya dick?” Jason said, feigning offense.
Tiana turned around just in time for Jason to grab her by the waist and haul her over his shoulder. “GET THE FUCK OFF OF ME! PUT ME DOWN!” she screamed as she started hitting his back.
“Shit. She’s stronger than she looks,” Jason snickered as he readjusted her over his shoulder. She scratched and mauled and pounded his back, but it was like she was just poking him. She had no effect at all whatsoever.
“Try not to lose her this time, yea, asshole?” Tyler snapped.
“Yea, yea, fuck off, Ty,” Jason said flippantly.
Tiana looked up at her now EX-best friend to see an uncharacteristic frown on his face. “Tyler, this wasn’t the fucking plan,” Owen said angrily.
“Well, the first plan fell through cause Jason is a dumbass. We had to improvise. I told you this shit was a bad idea from the get-go, but you motherfuckers are so damn impatient. So, just deal with it!” Tyler snapped.
Tiana couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Did her best friend really set her up? “PLAN?? WHAT PLAN?!” she shouted.
“... Dammit... dammit!” Owen said regretfully. “Jason, be careful with her. You morons already injured her. I told you not to hurt her,” he said, frustratingly.
“She’s the one who ran away,” Jason shrugged as he tightened his grip on her thighs.
“OWEN! HELP ME!” Tiana screamed at him.
“I’m sorry, T. I’ll explain later. I promise,” Owen said.
“YOU BACKSTABBING TRAITOR! YOU LITTLE BITCH!” she screamed at him as Jason continued to carry her away. Normally, she would never speak like this to her best friend. Tiana loves Owen like a brother.