Chapter I. kidnapped
“Who the hell are you and why the hell are you in my living room?”
Today should have been like any other day. Usually at 5pm, I’d come back to my empty apartment from college and procrastinate on homework. But today at 5pm, there was a six foot tall stranger dressed in a dark suit leaning against the doorframe.
“Is that any way to speak to your guests?” The man states. There’s a subtle dimpled smile appearing on the edges of his lips.
I couldn’t tell if he was joking or not. If so, this was the worst stand-up performance I’d ever seen.
I grab the stool close to me just in case I need to fight him off. Although judging by his tall frame, athletic build, and array of weapons fastened on his belt, there would be no way for me to win.
The intruder raises his eyebrows at me when I pick up the stool.
“Do you really think that’s going to work?”
Slowly, I put the stool down in defeat. He was right, it was a pathetic attempt. The only other way I could get out of this situation was to run. My fingers grip my thirty ton backpack and ready myself for an escape. That probably wasn’t going to work either.
I think the universe is telling me I need to exercise more.
“You didn’t answer my question,” I say in my best authoritative voice. “Who are you?”
The stranger gives me a smirk that I immediately want to slap off. “Miss Octavia Snow, my name is Ace Blackwell. I’m with the CIA—you’re going to have to come with me.”
My eyes narrow in his direction. Surely he either had the wrong person or he was crazy. “No thanks, I’m really not a big fan of kidnapping.”
The man slowly shakes his head and strides towards the door. His hand lingers on the doorknob. He looked like he was going to leave, but do my dismay, he locks the door instead.
“Sorry Cupcake,” he says not-at-all apologetically, “you don’t have a choice.”
Suddenly, the intruder wraps a strong hand around my waist and throws me over his shoulder. I punch his back, but he doesn’t even seem fazed by my vain efforts. Just annoyed.
“Stop doing that! This suit is designer!”
“Listen to me you piece of—”
Ace uses his other hand to muffle my mouth before I could finish my sentence.
“Would you stop making this difficult?” He seethes as he throws me into the back of a van.
“How else am I supposed to react to a stranger kidnapping me you wank stain?” I scream.
Ace glares at me. But then, when I unwillingly shudder from the cold, his gaze softens. He takes off his jacket and drapes it over my shoulders.
What a chivalrous thing to do when you’re kidnapping someone.
I flip him off.
Ace scowls at me. “Behave. If you don’t, I’ll turn up the AC until your middle finger freezes off.”
“Mark my words Ace Blackwell, I will kill you someday.”
“I’ll take my chances, Cupcake.”
Then the doors slam shut. Complete darkness surrounds everything. Hazing gas starts to seep through the corners of the van, causing everything to become blurred.
“Is this the new recruit?” An unknown voice says in the front.
“Unfortunately. The director was right about her,” responds a voice I recognize as Ace’s.
The last thing I remember before numbing darkness was his unbearable cocky look.
My senses come back one by one. After what seems like hours in darkness, a slight buzzing sound eventually jolts me from unconsciousness. The source of the noise are the harsh fluorescent lights glaring down on my eyes. I survey the suspiciously white room I’m trapped in.
A giant one way mirror covers the face of a wall. Metal handcuffs grip my hands as I try to jerk them off. I’m sitting in a white chair pulled up in front of a table and another empty chair.
Even though the room is innocently white, the true cynical purpose of the room is not lost in translation—this is an interrogation room.
Ace suddenly enters. I observe my kidnapper under the white glow of the room.
He had dark hair, olive skin, and a built physique. His eyes were a strange mix of hazel and oak. In this light, they looked almost golden. Perhaps under any other circumstance, like if he wasn’t holding me hostage, maybe I’d find him attractive.
But he was also deadly. He was clearly trained. He didn’t seem like one to fool around much, and the myriad of weapons he always carried didn’t distort that image.
I breathe in to steady myself. It’s okay. Just act smooth and in control.
Despite the cold features of the room, there was warmth. I realized it was because I was still wearing his jacket. I make an effort in trying to throw it off in defiance, but it backfires because of my handcuffs. Instead the jacket drapes awkwardly by my thighs.
Well that wasn’t very smooth and I certainly wasn’t in control.
Ace gives me a cold look. “Are you trying to intimidate me, Cupcake?”
I want to punch him in the face.
“Stop calling me Cupcake. It’s so random. It would be like if I started to call you Banana Bread.”
Ace’s expression changes into shocked amusement. “Murderers, dictators, and international criminals have all sat where you are sitting now. Banana Bread, by far, is the most creative insult I’ve heard so far.”
I scoff in his face. “Trust me, they were all thinking it. Now are you going to tell me why I’m here Banana Bread?”
“Pleasure.” Ace tightens his tie and his gaze turns serious. “Octavia Snow. So you’re the one who’s been causing so much chaos at the agency.”
A pulse of adrenaline washes over me. “I… I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I lie.
“Drop the act Cupcake. We know you’re the one who keeps hacking the Pentagon and leaking classified information.” Ace’s tone is more entertained than stern. It’s as if he enjoys watching me sweat. Judging by his relaxed body language, he seems to think he’s won this battle by capturing me.
But if there’s anything I hate most in the world, it’s losing an argument.
I roll my eyes at him. “Congratulations to the bureau for finally catching me. Took you long enough. I mean seriously, seven months? You guys had all the resources of the US government and it still took you seven months?”
Ace folds his arms over his chest almost in a defensive manner. He says in a dry tone, “Imagine my surprise when I found out it was a teenage girl in college majoring in English who hacked into the most sophisticated cyberspace in the country.”
“I like my Shakespeare,” I retort.
“Regardless, what you’ve done is treason.”
“Then why kidnap me?” I challenge. “Why all the theatrics? Just charge me already. I have a six page essay due tomorrow that I can probably get out of if I’m arrested by the CIA.”
Ace chuckles humorlessly. “We’re actually offering you a deal.”
I become silent.
“What kind of deal?”
“We’re putting together a team of highly specialized individuals. Each of your talents are too valuable to be locked away. So, Miss Snow, either join this team for a year or go to prison for the rest of your life.”
An audible breath of air that I didn’t realize I held in escaped my lips. I absolutely hated giving in, but in this case, it was the only option.
“Where do I sign?”
Ace smiles at me. He takes out a manila envelope from his briefcase and slides it across the table. I glance over the contract. By signing it, I would essentially give away all my rights for an entire year.
Ace unlocks my handcuffs and gives me a pen. I write “screw you” on the dotted line in place of my signature.
And with that, I became his prisoner.
Octavia: “Like, and I’ll be your best friend ;)”