Yeah, that rejection was a bit of an anticlimax. Thanks for the big compliments! I hope you enjoy the next part as it is a little different.Oh come on! It was pretty obvious that Jenna has feelings for Aiden. How could he reject her? I understand he is stressed by the game and maybe only sees Jenna as a friend but... Come on!
Having said that... I loved that chapter.
It feels so realistic. The descriptions of each position and tie are great, each conversation... even the fact that Aiden rejects Jenna because his mind has been basically thinking only about the stress of the abductions game, it works perfect because it feels natural... It's really, really awesome. Congratulations
18. A cold welcome in the family
Sunday, April 28th, 3 P.M.
“Jenna, are you awake?” Aiden asked. He knew the answer as she panted and lay motionless, instead of breathing regular and twisting. She had done this all night, and Aiden had no idea about the whereabouts of their blanket.
“Yeah, why? Are we getting freed?” Jenna drowsily replied.
“Dunno. Lost track of time. Four o’clock would be my wild guess.”
“Only half-way in the night? Fantastic.”
“Yeah, it’s a rough one.”
“Could be worse. I will endure. Good, comfy knots,” Jenna said while a deep, unabashed yawn left her mouth. “Best bondage I’ve ever slept in.”
“Yeah, these silk scarves are neat. Much better than my cocoon.”
“Your family knows what you can handle, Aiden, so be a big boy and don’t complain,” Jenna said. “Oh, right. Oops. You fell me. Sorry. Am I moving too much?”
“A little, but it isn’t bothering me,” Aiden replied, glad she got his hint. Jenna had kicked his ankles, punched his sides and head, and tossed her long hairs in his face all night. Rolling around and squeezing him against the wall or almost over him had happened a few times. The cellar was less than 3 feet wide, and two slender people fitted in if they lay still. Naturally, or with ropes. Jenna’s bonds were far from secure, but Aiden had not dared to disturb her sleep.
“Sorry. I’ll try to be more careful.”
“It’s no problem.”
“It is. Otherwise, you would sleep like a log now… Or is something else bothering you?”
Jenna sounded alert as silence fell. Not only her twisting and turning had kept him awake, Aiden thought. Maybe she grasped his brain better than himself.
“Ehm, yeah, but it’s a little awkward. You...”
“No worries. Tell. I won’t judge,” Jenna interrupted him.
“Well,” Aiden stumbled. “Tonight, you said something. You know, on my lap, and my reaction was not nice. You caught me by surprise. I panicked. I...”
“You mean me having a crush on you?” Jenna interrupted again. “Don’t worry about that. It’s okay. If being friends means doing this, I won’t complain. I shouldn’t...”
“That’s not what I meant,” Aiden cut back. “I was naive. Blind. I hadn’t considered it and felt forced to reply. It went way too fast.”
“It’s okay. I understand. That was uncool of your family.”
“Yeah, it was. But now I thought about your words and concluded I don’t even understand that sentence. How do you imagine me as your boyfriend? I mean, what would expect of me?”
“Oh, Aiden, we can do it exactly as we want. Our adventure. There are no rules for these things. I mean, some talking, being together, and doing cool stuff together sounds awesome to me. No worries, I have no clear image too.”
“Sounds good to me,” Aiden laughed. “So, eh, Jenna, will you be my girlfriend?”
“Aiden, it’s not supposed to be negotiation,” Jenna laughed. “But yes, I would love to be your girlfriend.”
“Did I mess up already?” Aiden asked. He got no response, as Jenna turned on her stomach and lifted herself up with her hands, kissing his cheek.
Aiden closed his eyes and heard Jenna shriek when she lifted her head up. She had forgotten how low the ceiling was.
“Yeah, that hurt.”
The baby monitor cracked, and Lilian’s voice filled the cellar. “You sure? I can get you an ice-pack.”
“Nah, I’m okay. Only me being stupid,” Jenna replied to the voice from the wall.
“Lil, have you been listening?” Aiden shouted.
“Nah, that bloody scream woke me. What happened, I should not know? What’s my little bro’s big secret?” she laughed, knowing this was none of her business. “All right, all right, you get your privacy. I mute this thing for half an hour. Don’t wake me again afterward. Okay? Remember, I’ve to untie in the morning.”
Aiden and Jenna spoke some more before deciding sleeping was sounder. Lilian’s final sentence had been a clear threat. Aiden tired, fell asleep first, dreaming about Jenna, knots, the game, Jenna, this cellar, Jenna, oil drums, and Jenna. Jenna kept him asleep, either shifting less or awake, but Aiden did not care. He slept like a rose.
“Jenna, stop...” Aiden uttered hours later, half-dreaming. Someone tickled his feet, and he tried to pull his legs away. His bonds made this hard, and a ballgag disrupted him, throwing him back into reality: Playtime was over. Jenna shared his fate, judging by the sounds of screaming and kicking. The petite girl was quickly subdued by three people, a calm Aiden assessed. They lifted her up and tied her further up on the floor.
Aiden fought his bonds for the first time. Earlier, there had been no reason to escape. The fabric was tight, and he attempted to navigate his fingers out. He got stuck and retried. Failure. The safety pins made this impossible. Meanwhile, Jenna’s noise and banging stopped, so she had not been victorious.
“Either some prank or my end,” Aiden believed while he was raised, received earplugs, and carried in a car’s tiny trunk. He cooperated. He could twist his body, but that was useless and wasted energy. Escaping or overcoming his captors was improbable. Besides, he landed on a soft pile of pillows and blankets. No murderer would do that.
Jenna, on the other hand, arrived squirming. Her head was placed next to Aiden’s as their silent kidnappers closed the door and drove off after a little while, giving Jenna a panic attack. They did not notice or care, so Aiden did what he could: rubbing his cheek slowly against hers soothing her. Her tears stopped as Aiden displayed his calmness. He felt Jenna wore a bitgag, like yesterdays.
From this, Aiden deduced this was family business. The burglars had entered rapidly and found the hatch under the carpet. Then they seized the two bound, sleeping teens without hesitating and threw them in a prepared car. Yeah, that sounded familiar. His mother’s family was involved and brought them to one of their homes. Now the question was, whose and why?
Jenna was the single variable that had changed, so some family initiation, Aiden deemed. Messing with them, as the word of their young relation had spread. So, Aiden guessed, grandpa maybe. Or uncle Mike, always asking him about his success with girls.
After half an hour, the kidnappers halted and drove into a garage. They took Jenna and left Aiden alone, such that he could roll out of the trunk. But freedom was unattainable. His bonds were inescapable. Landing on hard concrete or stone would be his sole feat.
Several minutes later, someone returned to pick Aiden up, threw him over his shoulder, and seated him on a chair. Still not talking to hide his identity, but his posture and huffing were masculine. Aiden’s captor fastened thick woolen shawls around him to keep him in place and removed his earplugs. His blindfold was ripped off at once with the tape, blinding Aiden.
He saw his cousin Colin, wearing a simple camo shirt and blue jeans, and they were in his bathroom. He pressed his left index finger on his lips while pointing to Jenna in her pink checkered pajamas with his other hand. She was in a strict hogtied with black ropes, blindfolded, and gagged, laying on the shower tray. Emily sat on another chair, sipping from her coffee.
Colin removed Jenna’s earplugs and threw them in the trashcan. Then he started the shower, waited until it reached a suitable temperature, and put the showerhead back on its mount, aimed at Jenna.
“Okay, lass,” Colin spoke. “Sorry about the circumstances, but we need to make a living too. You only need to answer our questions, okay? How quicker that happens, how faster you can leave. Simple, isn’t it? If you don’t answer, the water will get colder. If that does not change your mind, some other tools might. Understood?”
Jenna nodded in horror. Aiden assumed she had never been in such a situation as she believed this to be real.
“Now, I’ll remove your gag. Remember, screaming means a colder shower, and we’ll continue by nodding and shaking no. So stay quiet.”
Colin removed her gag, and Jenna panted. Aiden gave her ten seconds to recover. Then he kneeled next to her. “What’s your name, little girl?”
“Jenna, Jenna Lanegren,” Jenna stumbled, speaking to the bottom of the shower tray.
“Still living with your parents?”
“Yes. Yes, I am.”
“Great, is your relationship with them good?”
Jenna was taken back by this question. “Eh, yes, I think. Not sure what you meant.”
“Okay, Jenna Lanegren. This one is on the house, but I expect clearer answers from now on. So, do your parents love you?”
“Better,” Colin replied, smiling. He was enjoying his playlet while Emily sat relaxed, watching with interest. “So, would they pay a ransom?”
“Yes. I hope so.”
Colin laughed. “Yeah, that would be beneficial for us both. Okay, we also found a boy near you. Do you, by chance, know his name?”
“Aiden, Aiden Gilvear.”
“Nice name. How did you meet him?”
“Classmate of mine.”
“Great, so you’re friends?”
“Well, yes, we’re friends,” Jenna replied. She blushed, and Colin knew he had found a soft spot.
“Friends or something more?”
Jenna’s drenched face was now crimson red. “Yes, he’s my boyfriend.”
“Any sweet stories you want to share? How did it happen?” Colin continued, and Aiden saw Emily had trouble managing her giggling.
“Eh, is that relevant?”
“I ask for it, so it is,” Colin said before the water temperature dropped without warning. Jenna shrieked but recovered, scared for further consequences.
“Okay, Okay! He asked me last night. In that cellar thing.” Jenna was panicking while trying to keep it together.
“Yeah, that was odd. Two teens tied up under a living room. We almost missed you. Kids make more profit than tablets and phones despite being more effort, so we got lucky. How did you end up in there?”
“I don’t know. It went quickly. Stupid joke from Aiden’s family and we went along.”
“Strange family. Do these things occur more often?”
yeah, I believe so. Tonight was the first time I was involved.”
“Cool, typical Arkalay. Those kids are easy prey. I guess they have safewords?”
“Yeah, they have.”
“And the whole family takes part?”
“Yeah, I heard so,” Jenna said, before realizing what was going on. She made circles with her head as good as the hogtie and shower tray allowed.
“Okay, Jenna, you want out?” Colin said in a more friendly tone.
“Yes, please,” Jenna said, unsure what this question meant.
Colin turned the shower off and removed Jenna’s blindfold. She had lost a couple tears as her eyes were bloodred. He let her study her surroundings before introducing himself.
“Hi, I’m Emily, Colin’s girlfriend. I hope he didn’t frighten you too much. You won’t believe me, but he’s friendly and kind,” Emily said. “Mind if I loosen your knots?”
“Yes, please! They’re tight,” Jenna said in confusion. “It’s that water. The ropes contract. Aiden, allow me to ask, were you involved?”
Aiden, still gagged, couldn’t answer, so Colin did. “Nah, he wasn’t. It was a surprise for him too. He would recognize my voice, so I let him watch. At first, we wanted to pretend we would electrocute him with some shocking device for dogs and then tickle him, but you were pretty stressed already.”
“One more question: Why?” Jenna said, still trying to understand what was going on.
“Good question,” Emily answered while untying a particularly nasty knot. “Aiden’s mom mentioned you craved to be kidnapped, so we offered our help. Of course, it had to be unexpected. Otherwise, it would be boring and fake. So, we came up with this. Was this in line with your wish?”
“Not really. It was a bit much,” Jenna said, not wanting to explain she, for real, had feared for her life. These games were more frightening than she had expected, and this family extremer than anything she had been a part of.
Emily took some more time untying Jenna, while Aiden watched and Colin emptied Emily’s mug with coffee. Afterward, Emily examined the severity of the rope marks on Jenna’s arms and legs. Then she left her alone, so she could stretch her muscles and think about the events of this morning.
“Okay, Jenna, take a nice hot shower. Here are your bag and your clothes. You’ve deserved it. Breakfast is served downstairs.” Colin picked Aiden up together with the chair, and they left the bathroom.