Chapter 16 - Captured
“What did you do?!” Sebastian roared.
“We couldn’t get hold of Nikos Demakis. He was simply too slippery. But we knew we needed a source of money so we tried to capture his wife instead.”
A muscle in Sebastian’s jaw ticked with anger at his men’s incompetence. Also, another emotion assailed him but he tried to push it away.
“What happened?” he asked in a deadly whisper.
“We failed because the mercenary, that bastard Smith showed up. It seems as if he was watching her and he knows of us already.”
This time, his hands itched to draw his weapon. Alex Smith had been too much of a nuisance to him already.
“Many of our men died and they escaped. Now we’ve lost them.”
The man flinched after he delivered his report. He waited for his boss’ burst of anger but he seemed deep in thought.
Sebastian’s phone rang and he moved away from his men when he saw who was calling. It took him several minutes before he returned to them with a smile on his face.
“They’re in Greece. If my guess is correct, they’d be heading to Demakis’ private island. Get them there.”
“Right away, boss!”
“And Kristoff? Do not fail me this time.”
November 19, 2013
The Amphitrite (Nikos’ Yacht)
Somewhere in the Greek Coast
“It’s going to be a thirty minute ride to the island. Make yourself comfortable,” Nikos told Cassia and gestured towards the deck where there were several plush chairs. “The sun will rise in a couple of minutes. It’s a beautiful sight to watch up deck,” he added.
Cassia quickly climbed and settled herself on one of the sofas. She chose one near the railing of the boat and closed her eyes as she savored the cool air against her cheeks. She looked excitedly to the horizon. It had been a long time since she enjoyed life’s simple pleasures like looking at the beauty of the sun as it rose.
While waiting, she found herself dozing off but she instantly awoke when she was picked up from the sofa and cradled into a hard male body.
“Shh. There are people following us. We have to go below deck where it’s safer,” Nikos whispered.
Cassia craned her neck to catch a view of what was happening before they went to hide. She noticed three smaller vessels behind theirs. She also saw their bodyguards with their weapons drawn. Two of them were behind Nikos, quickly ushering him below deck.
Fear took hold of her once more and she tightened her grip on Nikos. The moment he closed the door to their bunker below deck, the unmistakable sound of gunshots were heard.
“What’s happening?” she hissed.
“Get down!” Nikos shoved her on the floor.
He covered her body with his and Cassia lifted her hand to cover her ears. The sound of heavy gunfire was followed by the shouts of her guards and their assailants. Cassia’s fear increased with every minute that passed. Nikos continued to hold her against his body to protect her but when she looked up she saw that he was pale and that his body was clenched tightly.
The two guards who were with them in the room crawled towards the door. When the sounds of mayhem stopped, they quickly dragged one of the tables towards the door as a buffer. Then, they reached for the radio behind them and tried to communicate with the others.
No one answered.
Their guards tried to radio the tower near the docks. Cassia sighed with relief when she heard another voice. Her guards quickly relayed their situation and asked for backup. Nikos also added that they should call Alex Smith for he was his head of security and gave them the number. Now, all they could do was wait.
“Shh. It isn’t over,” he whispered in her ear.
Cassia shivered at the thought. She saw the fear in Nikos’ eyes and it made her panic. He was a calm and composed man and if there was something that caused him to be like this, then their situation was really grave.
Suddenly, the door was kicked open.
Cassia screamed but her loud cry was drowned out by the sound of more shots fired. There were muffled thuds as bodies fell onto the wooden floor. Then there came the metallic stench of blood. Quick as a flash, she was jerked upright and shoved behind Nikos.
“Greetings, Mr. and Mrs. Demakis,” one of the masked men approached them.
“Stay back!” Nikos shouted.
“Don’t worry. We’re not here to hurt you. We only need you to come with us willingly.”
“What do you want? The boat? Take it! It’s yours!”
“I already told you what we want. We want you to come with us willingly and no one gets hurt.”
The man approached them and Nikos aimed a kick at his groin. He landed a solid hit to the man’s privates and he doubled over in pain and growled something in Greek that Cassia didn’t understand.
All the remaining armed men quickly rushed towards Nikos and separated both of them.
“Cassia!” he shouted as he kicked and punched his way towards her.
But he was trapped and he was only one man against many.
“Nikos...please...stop it. You’ll just hurt yourself further,” Cassia pleaded.
Two men also grabbed her and tied her hands behind her back. This caused her arm to throb painfully and she felt as if her wound was reopened. She was not able to stop the gasp of pain that escaped her lips.
“No! Don’t touch her!” he shouted.
There was a crazed look in his eyes and it made Cassia very afraid of him. She remembered the rumor about his kidnapping. Now, she was thinking it wasn’t a rumor at all. Nikos wouldn’t be this afraid if he had not experienced it firsthand.
“Stop struggling, Mr. Demakis, or we’ll carve her skin,” one of the men shouted.
He appeared to be their leader. He grabbed Cassia, retrieved a serrated knife from his pocket and held it against her neck.
Tears spilled from her eyes and Nikos’ throat clenched with fear. When he was kidnapped, he was also held like that. He could still recall the fear he felt then and how he felt when he thought he was truly going to die. Now, his wife was facing that.
“Let her go!” he snarled.
“Behave and we will,” the leader replied.
Even though it was hard, Nikos let the fight leave him and he just slumped forward in his captors’ grasps.
He was hauled to his feet and then dragged from the lower bunk. Cassia was also dragged behind him and he winced with her every gasp of pain. They were led up the deck and transferred from his yacht to one of the boats.
They were forced to sit on the edge and their hands were tied to the railings on each side of the boat.
When the men left them, Nikos moved closer to Cassia.
“Are you all right?”
“I swear I am going to get us out of here. I won’t let them do to you what they did to me before,” he vowed.
Her eyes widened. “I had no idea that the rumors were true Nikos. The company’s PR department covered it all up. They didn’t even tell me what happened. I’m so sorry.”
Nikos’ gut clenched. Antonio was right. It was not that she didn’t care what happened to him; she simply did not know.
“Don’t be. It’s all in the past now. But I won’t let it happen again. We will escape as soon as we can,” Nikos replied.
The men approached them again and placed blindfolds over their eyes. They’ve been travelling maybe over an hour or close to an hour. Maybe they were already near and the men didn’t want them to see the location. Their bound wrists were removed from the railings and then they were tied together. Nikos’ right hand was handcuffed to Cassia’s left.
They were led from the boat toward some sort of vehicle. More minutes passed before the vehicle went to a stop and they were dragged by their kidnappers once more.
Their blindfolds were finally removed and both Cassia and Nikos blinked at the brightness of the lights.
“Welcome to your new place. It isn’t as good as the luxury you’re used to. But then again, you don’t have any choice,” the man laughed and his men followed.
It was a small, windowless cell. There was a pallet and some blankets in one corner and then a toilet and sink in the other one. Aside from those items, there was nothing else. The walls were also bare and it was made of cement and not bricks.
“What do you want with us?” Nikos growled.
“Man, I just work here. Save your questions for the boss. But what I can tell you Demakis is that you seem to have pissed off the wrong people.”
Where did that come from? Nikos racked his brain for a list of his enemies.
He knew he had many because of the competition in the business world. But he didn’t know of one who would go to great lengths such as kidnapping him.
He simply had no clue.
“Money? How much do you want from us?” Cassia asked.
“Ma’am, again, I just work here. Better ask the boss. I think he’ll be arriving pretty soon,” the leader sneered.
Who could these people be? Was this truly just all about the money? If it was, it would be easy. Once he gave them whatever they wanted, they’d be set free. But if the leader was right and there was something about revenge in this, then they were doomed. They wouldn’t be leaving this island at all until the person’s idea of vengeance had been satisfied.
“You two best behave until the boss arrives. If I catch anything funny, you’re in for some serious trouble,” the man told them before he turned around and left.
The door shut after him and they were plunged into total darkness.
Cassia panicked instantly and Nikos felt her jolt. He quickly wrapped his arms around her.
“It’s okay. I’m still here,” he whispered softly.
She relaxed a bit and he felt her lean against him.
“What are we going to do now?”
“We are going to find a way out of here. I do not know if this was the same island that Antonio and I escaped from but I have a feeling it is.”
“Can’t we just give them whatever it is they need?” Cassia asked hesitantly.
“If there was one thing I learned before, it was that these people never really negotiate. If they’re in it for the money, it would be easier. But you heard what the man said. If I pissed off someone then this may be something about revenge. Maybe one of us pissed someone off enough that they had us kidnapped.”
Cassia was silent for a long time as she tried to recall if she made any enemies.
“I don’t think someone hates me enough to do this. Well, maybe my grandfather then,” she scoffed.
“Why would Costas want to do that?”
“I don’t know. He hates me. If ever I pissed someone off, I think it’s him.”
Nikos gritted his teeth as he let her lie roll through him. How dare she lie to him about her grandfather again? It was a well-known fact that Costas doted on her. She was his only granddaughter and heir! He gave her everything! He even caught him for her when she set her eyes on him. How dare she say this now?
“Cassia, stand up,” Nikos ordered. “I need to check our cell for anything we can use and if we could really escape.”
They were still handcuffed together and in order for Nikos to walk around their tiny cell, he would have to drag her with him. Cassia stood up but she winced in pain from her wounded shoulder. Nikos approached the bars and tested their strength as he pulled. They didn’t budge.
He sighed and slammed his palm forward.
“We watch the guards. We find one that would be easy to bribe.”
“Ne. In these men’s world, money is everything. If we find one that would clamp its jaws on the bait then maybe we could escape.”
“I hope we find one,” she sighed heavily.
“I will keep watch. You take some sleep first.”
She nodded and they both settled back to one corner of their cell. Nikos grabbed the blanket from their pallet and wrapped it around his wife as best he could. When her breathing evened and she was deeply asleep, he bent his head just so he could inhale her sweet vanilla fragrance – a small reprieve from all the chaos.
“Call whoever has access to your money and tell them to wire one hundred million dollars to your account now! We also want you to transfer your company stocks to us! Have them ready the certificates!” the harsh words were followed by a punch that made Nikos’ lips bleed.
He was sitting on a simple wooden chair with his hands tied behind his back. He was so weak from the beating he received that he was barely awake. His kidnappers then doused him with cold water which instantly made him alert.
“No,” he growled.
The leader of his kidnappers raised his hand and his goons began to punch Nikos in the chest and in the stomach. He tried to curl into a ball to avoid the pain but his bindings restricted him. One punch to his chest knocked all the breath out of his lungs. He also felt that his wound reopened and that it was bleeding freely again. He spat out blood but still he refused to do what they wished.
“Last chance, Demakis. Do it!”
“Have it your way then.”
The leader then reached into his pocket and withdrew a jagged knife. He approached Nikos with an evil glint in his eyes and waved the knife in front of his face.
“Let’s see if you’ll still look that pretty when we carve the hell out of your body,” his captor said and then all the men inside the room chuckled.
Cassia jerked awake when she heard Nikos shout and felt the chains binding them together yank her arm. She felt his body twisting in their cold, dark cell and she instantly reached for him. Sweat covered his forehead and also his entire body. She squinted against the dark and saw that his eyes were closed.
“Nikos!” she shouted as she shook him awake.
He was still screaming and she was afraid that any time now, their kidnappers would come to investigate.
“Nikos. Please. It’s all a bad dream,” she explained when he finally opened his eyes.
The feral look was back in his gaze and his eyes looked terrified. Cassia forced him to look at her and she gazed deep into his eyes.
“Nikos. It’s me, Cassia. You’re fine. It was just a nightmare.”
The tension in his body eased a little bit and he started to look around his surroundings. He focused back on Cassia.
“No...it’s not a nightmare. We’re here and in the same situation so it’s all real...”
Cassia winced at the pain in his voice. Good thing it was dark or he would’ve seen the pity in her eyes. Nikos was a proud man and she was sure he would not appreciate those emotions for him.
“It may be real. But you said we’re going to escape here. I believe you, Nikos,” she said to calm him.
The lights were switched on and brightness flooded the room. After a few seconds of adjusting, Cassia was able to see every inch of their cell once more. The door to their cell opened and two trays of food were pushed inside.
Cassia was so thirsty that she began to reach for the water. Nikos stopped her by grabbing her hand.
“That may be drugged or poisoned.”
Reluctantly, she huddled back to her corner.
“Suit yourself.” The young man who brought their dinner shrugged.
“Hey, Jason, get your ass back here!” one of the other men outside shouted.
The boy who brought their dinner rolled his eyes and cursed.
Jason continued to curse and mutter insults about the other men as he pushed the second tray inside Cassia and Nikos’ cell.
“Those good for nothing assholes just sit on their asses all day doing nothing and they get paid thrice of what I get. Fucking damned unjust world,” the boy kept on muttering.
He placed another glass of water inside their cell.
“It isn’t poisoned lady, you can drink that. They don’t pay me enough to poison your food,” Jason informed her before he turned around and left.
The lights were switched off and they were plunged into darkness once more.
“I think he may just be our way out of here,” Cassia whispered after the boy left them.
Nikos thought hard for a few seconds.
“...if we play our cards right.”