Hamish marched into the room and barked orders at Dan, accentuating each one with a kick.
“Up, boy! Raven should not be kept waiting for scum like you!” The kicking paused long enough for Dan to crawl to his feet. He followed Hamish out the door while holding his stomach. Dan moved slowly, still recovering form the kick. “Get moving! Raven is waiting for you.”
Dan followed at a fast pace. It was not long before he saw the shadowy form of Raven. Dan could see the smile plastered to the man’s face even from the distance. The sight sent shivers down Dan’s spine.
Raven began speaking while Dan was still some distance away. “Your friends will be joining us today. They long to see you.”
“What do you mean, ‘joining us’? You tricked Alice into coming here or forced her into coming?” Dan’s voice shook with anger as he spoke but he tried to keep his temper in check.
“No matter what methods I used, she is coming. She has asked for you to meet her at the bridge. Continue co-operating; she and her brother will not be harmed.”
“You said that before but you also admitted that you have plans for them. How can you keep them safe while using them?”
“Now is not the time for questions, Dan. Come, we have some traveling to do.”
Dan opened his mouth to protest but he had to swallow his words. The look Hamish gave Dan told him that words would make no difference. Hamish gripped Dan’s arm and dragged him after Raven.
Dan desperately pulled at the arm Hamish held. “What is this all about?”
“All your questions will be answered, Dan. Just be patient and wait for Alice. I abhor telling the same story twice. We want to make sure that you both have all the information you need. You wouldn’t want her to be hurt, now would you?”
“You’re the one trying to hurt her!”
“Come, Dan. Don’t be so dramatic – you have no reason to be so.”
“No reason!” Dan repeated in disbelief. “You kidnapped me and Timothy and threatened Alice!”
“And no harm has come to any of you. There is no reason to be so temperamental.”
“Just tell me…”
Hamish cut Dan off with a sharp reply, “If Raven says you are being unreasonable than you are. Now walk or I’ll drag you!”
Dan knew that Hamish’s threats were not empty so he shut his mouth and picked up the pace. Dan could only hope that the answers would come to him before these men had Alice in their clutches.
He racked his brain, searching for something – anything – that could save him and Alice but Hamish knew exactly what to do to prevent this from happening. He jerked Dan this way and that. Pain surged up his arm from bruising grippes and bumps. The sudden jerks of pain stopped all thoughts and forced worry to the front of Dan’s mind. Focusing on anything was impossible… These kidnappers seemed to know him well and the thought terrified Dan.
“Who are you?” Dan’s curious nature forced him to ask question after question.
Hamish jerked Dan with even more force after he asked his question. He expected that this was the only answer he would get but Raven surprised Dan.
“I thought I already explained: I am a sorcerer. We are the same, Dan. We would both do anything to protect our own. You are going to do anything to protect Alice and Timothy. I have already risked much to take you. It is the only way to protect all I care for.”
“How can kidnapping and threatening protect anyone?”
“As I said, all the answers will be revealed after your friends arrive.”
The three of them continued walking in silence. Hamish never lessoned his grip on Dan’s arm even after he walked quickly and willingly after them. Dan expected them to let their guard down eventually. He was not sure if he would be able to escape but he thought that they would see that he would not fight them if they left Alice alone. Raven had said that the two of them were alike – that they would both do anything to protect the people they loved – and Raven was right.
Dan wanted them to know that they did not need to hurt anyone but he was afraid to say it aloud. Raven seemed to at least hint that t hey knew already – they knew that they had him. But it seemed the larger man would not take any chances. Hamish would not stop being suspicious of Dan. Dan could not shake the feeling that Hamish would punish Alice for that distrust.
Dan was so lost in his own thoughts that he did not feel the pull of the bridge. They three of them were practically at the whirling gateway before Dan felt the urgent tug.
“Do you feel the bridges too?” Dan asked Raven.
“Many people share that talent, Dan.”
Dan glared daggers at Raven’s back. The crazy man could not even answer a simple question! Secrets and lies were the only language men like him – like the Master – seemed to speak. Despite Raven’s insistence, Dan and he were NOTHING alike. Dan spoke in simple truths and honesty and he wished that more people would just speak bluntly. Things were confusing enough without talking in circles.
Luckily, Dan did not have long to lenient over his thoughts… the bridge began to open. A petite figure stepped out of the swirling gateway. Dan held his breath when he saw that the figure was not Alice.
“Amy,” he breathed out in surprise. Could Alice be safe after all?