A loud buzzing reverberated through the van, and they held his leg tight. Neal fought. He knew the anklet couldn't be cut by a simple pair of scissors and the buzzing didn't bode well for his ankle.
“Quit struggling”, a gruff voice said.
Neal didn't, he wanted out, away, and wouldn't give up without a fight.
“You want us to cut your entire fucking foot off?”, one of the men said.
Neal stilled. Okay, he'd rather risk a minor cut from whatever tool they were gonna use than risking the entire foot – that would definitely cause problems for his future escaping possibilities. The buzzing became louder as soon as the tool hit the anklet, but it only took a moment until it went through. A brief connection with the skin, Neal hissed, but the pain was bearable and pretty much felt more like a minor cut when your finger got in the way of a knife cutting vegetables. Neal heard the sound of the alarm and felt kind of comforted by knowing that Peter would be alerted in just a few seconds. Something was wrapped around his ankle, and then his legs were released.
Neal started struggling again when he noticed the one guy leaving him. It was just for a moment, though, apparently to hand over the anklet to a third guy Neal hadn't been aware of.
“Get rid of this and get going!”, the gruff voice said.
The words came from the front of the car, the driver probably, Neal thought. The car started moving in the same moment Neal felt both guys on him again. The one pressing him down had definitely been fighting hard to keep Neal from getting out of his grip. He was short of breath when he asked:
“How far did the other one get?”
The other one? Mozzie? Neal did NOT like the sound of that.
“Not far, I see him now!”, the driver said.
Even though Neal fought hard it didn't take long for the two men to secure him tightly with zip ties on hands and feet and connecting them behind his back. Neal was well and truly stuck!
The van slowed down, but didn't stop completely, before the side door was opened, and Neal heard the two men jump out. He heard a brief sound of surprise, followed by: “What the...” and then a bit of struggling and heavy breathing. Though he couldn't see a thing, Neal knew... He just knew!
“Mozz!!”, he yelled. “Don't you dare hurt him!”
But it was to no avail, because Neal both felt and heard the sound of a person being dumped next to him.
Neal squirmed, tried desperately to get the hood off. To be able to see him, to make sure Mozzie was alright.
“Tie him up!”, one of the guys said, “And you” - he grabbed Neal's hair through the hood - “shut up and stop moving around. We didn't hurt him”, he chuckled. “Not that much, anyway, he just needs to sleep it off. You know... We wouldn't even take him if it wasn't because of you. We don't really need him. But we know you wouldn't run without him!”
He let go of Neal's hair, got up and apparently found a place to sit close by. Neal's heart sank. He knew that Peter, the FBI, the Marshals, everyone... everyone would think that he cut the anklet himself. That he cut it and ran. He and Mozz.
“Don't do anything crazy, Neal!”, Peter's words rang in Neal's head.
“Peter, I didn't”, Neal thought. “Please, believe that I didn't run!”
Who were these guys? What did they want?
“I'm about to become the last person on Earth who knows where you are!”
Maybe in this moment, the man in the fancy boots was right about this, but Neal was going to prove him wrong. Whatever he set his mind to, he could do, and lying there in the back of the van, Neal set his mind to getting out of this as soon as possible. He could do this! He and Mozzie had been in trouble before, but they were smart – and slippery, as Hagen had said it – and as soon as the chance presented itself, they would get out of this mess.
The van was moving at a faster speed now, and Neal concentrated on the way it moved while counting the seconds that soon became minutes. Then his phone rang! His god damn phone was ringing in his pant pocket. These guys weren't professional enough to get rid of his phone, yet they knew about both the anklet and his friend- and partnership with Mozzie?