Realistic/Modern The Visitor

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #3,551
"You're not dying." Ava said to her, moving some hair out of her face. When she started dry-heaving again she just gently rubbed her back. "You're in cold sweats. You've got a bad fever." She said, "I couldn't steal much from the medicine room without them noticing, but, I managed to get the laxatives for the revenge, and... I had a feeling you were going to need these." She said, and she pulled two packets from her back pocket.

Oral crystals. To replenish vitamins and lost bodily fluids. Mix with water and consume.

Simple stuff.

"We can find more medicine for you when we go by there." She said. She shuffled around again and lifted Riley's head to set it down on her lap. "You're not dying, Riley, I'm not going to let that happen." She said, quietly, and she started rubbing her shoulder. She wet the cloth down again and pressed it on the sides of her head, on the temples. This would help to reduce her temperature a little bit quicker.

"Just take deep breaths. Riley, you won't get far if we try and escape tonight. The withdrawal symptoms are going to last a while and you'll die if we try and run." She said. "You need to rest. If we can overdose these guys, they're going to be down a lot on manpower and we'll be good to leave first thing in the morning. But we can't leave with you like this. You can hardly even sit up."

She gently laid her head back down. She even gave her her pillow as well, just so she was propped up a little more. She removed the blanket from her. "You probably feel cold. But you're not. You're burning up." She ran and got another glass of water and tore open a pouch of those crystals. She poured it into the water and used the packaging to quickly stir it around. It was better than nothing.

Now, Riley had a nice glass of... What would basically taste like seawater. But it would help keep her body functioning, and her kidneys wouldn't 'what the fuck' out of operating.

"You need to drink this." She rushed back over and sat her up again. She didn't risk putting the glass in her hand. She put the glass to her mouth and let her drink it at her own pace until the whole glass was empty. "Okay, okay, lie down again." She laid her down on her side this time.

The bucket was probably easily half-full by now. She grabbed that and ran and emptied it into the toilet; she got rid of that, rinsed the bucket out, and brought it back to her.

She sat with her again.

"We leave in one hour and eighteen minutes exactly." She said, "By then, the lockdown is all complete, and they settle to play cards and drink." She said. "Leo patrols around the lower floors as people from the basement often try and escape when it gets late. He makes sure to not let them get out and he teaches them a hard lesson for them not to try again." She explained. "The other men will be too drunk to really notice us sneaking around." She said.

She rubbed Riley's arm.

"Are you sure you're going to be okay? You should try and sleep until we need to leave. I'm going to stay with you. You don't need to be scared." She cradled Riley the same way a mother would cradle her child. Ava was very genuine. A calming spirit. "Say it with me - I'm going to be okay."

Because being mentally positive would help a lot, too. As long as she could keep that drink down, she'd stabilize a little.

--

"See? Was that really so hard? And to think I had to hurt you so much. You truly are a loyal dog. Shame. You would have made a great cop." Max said.

He got everything he needed. Names. Locations. Businesses. Main clients. He had it all and now he knew what he had to do. He could be the hero of this whole thing - he could be a local legend in a Canadian town. He could live with that, and he could get Riley back as well.

He couldn't leave him like this?

Okay.

"You're right."

He quickly drew his gun from his jacket and pulled the trigger. The man was silenced as a bullet hit him right between the eyes.

He had what he needed. Time to find Tommy.

He went upstairs and found Tommy in a room, taping gauze to a very bloodied up Michael. Jesus. How was that guy even alive still?

He wanted to shoot him. He really did. But Tommy was there and Michael was a victim in all of this as well. He couldn't just execute him - it was clear he went down protecting Riley in one way or another. He just stared at him.

"You're tougher than you look." Max said.

"I don't have long left." He coughed. "Riley... Is she okay? Did she get away?"

Max just shook his head.

Michael shut his eyes. "God forgive me." He whispered.

"It ain't god you have to worry about, buddy." He said. "Come on, for Christ's sake. We're getting you to a hospital." He said.

"Jesus, just let me die, for Christ's sakes." He spluttered, barely being able to get off the ground as Max lifted him.

"No. She wouldn't want me to." He whispered.

They got Michael out to the car. Max had a feeling that saving him is what Riley would want.

--

"Lacey?"

She was completely jaw dropped and lost for words. Even when she asked about the furniture breaking. Of course he broke furniture with her but that wasn't the point. That wasn't necessary information. None of it was. What she got up to in the bedroom didn't matter right now.

LACEY WAS FUCKING AWAKE.

"Don't move."

And she hung up.

Within ten minutes the door flew open and Kate was stood there with George, Scott, Amy, and Adam all at her side.

She was in tears.

She immediately sprinted to the bed and wrapped Lacey up in the biggest fucking hug possible.

"I thought I'd lost you." She sobbed into her shoulder.
 
Lacey was a little surprised hearing the phone click off. Maybe ahe did something to piss kate off on whatever happened.

Big blinding lights thats all she remembered.

But her confised state was answered as kate came in not even ten minutes later barrelling her into a hug. Lafe hugged her sister tightly.

"Come on....you know me better than that. I cant die." She gave a squeeze. She looked over. All the kids were u harmed.

Adam had a giant scsr on his neck.

"Did you and i get hurt the same time?"

"No. Different. Welcome back."

Lqce could hear the gurgled hoarse sound. "Alright then looks like you had your fair share od shit while i was on vacation. I talked to tommy too. Hes with max hes alright. Anyone want to fill me in on what happened?"

There was a lot to say there.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #3,553
"If you claim you can't die, I'm going to retort and say you came pretty damn close." She said, rubbing Lacey's arm. She took in a sigh. She was just happy she was alive and okay. She was awake and not braindead. She looked over to Jack who was still hugged to Lacey's side.

"I bet you're having the best day of your life, Jack." She let out an emotion-filled laugh.

He nodded, "Yeah." He squeezed Lacey a little tighter.

Kate looked over to the kids, "Hey, guys. Any of you want to come and give Lacey a hug?" She asked. She was only offering - not forcing. She knew that Scott didn't really... Know Lacey all that well at all, so, she wasn't about to force him out of his comfort zone.

Amy and George, however, ran up and immediately hugged her. They were happy to see her awake.

"A lot has happened." She said. "A lot more than you'll probably believe." She said, "We've..." She sighed and shook her head. "Me and Adam got attacked. All the children were with us. In our house." She said. "They've found out who the killer really is. Elijah Mueller. Theodore Mueller... Twins." She said, "The big one, we think... We think that's who got to you. Yeah, if you can't remember, it was... One of them." She said.

She took Lacey's hand.

"Tommy and Riley were there, but, they didn't get too hurt. Riley busted up her ankle pretty bad but it wasn't severe. Tommy... He got... Strangled a little." She ran a hand through her hair. "But he's okay. They're both okay aside from what's going on now. Tommy ran off looking for Riley but Max found him." She looked down at the bed, "She means a lot to him, clearly. He... He's willing to do a lot." She leaned in close. "He stole around five grand from Phillipe and Elena for the journey." She whispered.

She proceeded to fill her in on just about everything.

Montgomery.

Alice and Pat.

Jason and the Prescotts.

And what happened to Fran.

And finally? Something a little more joyous.

"Scott honey, come on over here." She said. Once he walked over she sat him up on the bed beside her. "This little guy is officially part of our little big family now." She kissed the top of the boy's head. "You guys met briefly. I think." She said. "Scott, why don't you tell Lacey about the business you, Jack, Amy and George started together?" She said. Encouragement was always nice for a kid.
 
Isn't that sweet Foster cooed. She cared about you. Wants to see you live. Makes you wonder how many girls she saw die in the spot you're in. But then again, how many girls asked her to put her life at risk the way you have?

Riley felt her entire body was close to shutting down. She was sweating, but she felt freezing. Her body shook violently with very little control. Her skin had gone paler and almost a sickly green just staring at the water and fluids Ava presented to her. Deep down she knew it was good, but all she saw was it coming out of her throat again. Riley vomited then in the bucket, dryheaving for a solid five minutes before she took the fluid Ava presented to her.

"I'll be ok," she repeated what her friend said. "Whatever time you need me to get up...I'll be ok."She reached out and grabbed her hand, giving it a gentle squeeze. "We're in this together."

Don't get too emotional.

That voice? That voice was Dad. He was on the other side where Foster was. Ava watched her friend just stare at an empty space as if someone was there. I'm proud of you kid, but you can't get too emotional. You only have one shot.

"We're going to be ok..." She nodded just nestling into her new friend passing out. It was going to be a long hour and eighteen minutes. But they would have to do it.

ONE HOUR AND SIXTEEN MINUTES LATER

Riley opened her eyes, feeling the cold sweat of her body against Ava and herself. Her clothes were completely soaked through....but she had lasted the entire hour without vomiting. That...well...that was a win of itself. She looked up at her new friend and struggled to sit up. "Ok, let's go." She said. It took her a minute to stand, her body wobbling and falling, but...she was standing.

Yeah, they could do this.
--
The only times Jack had been ripped away from Lacey's side was when Lace had to leave for tests and well...when Doctor Roads had to give her the results and his medical opinion. Good news. Baby was healthy. Healthy as a peach. Lace? Well...she was alive. She'd worry about the rest later. Roads had mentioned there was a legion on her brain stem cell, but it was caught early, so take some medicine, do some physiotherapy and it would shrink. If it didn't, they would have to schedule a surgery to remove it.

Lace asked what happened if it didn't get removed. Currently it would give her vertigo, fatigue, mood change and well...what usually happened to most patients with that left untreated was less and less oxygen to the brain....eventually you return to the coma and might never get back up again. Telling all of them that she was a ticking time bomb and could end up just never waking up again...randomly? Yeah, she'd hold off on how to break the news there.

Let alone listening to the good doc explain that for now, there was too much undetermined to figure out the long lasting damages. Her personality could completely be different, memory retention, lack of empathy, severe mental disorders. Most people had anxiety after experiences like that and would get into panic attacks that would result in heart attacks.

Fun stuff.

Right now she was just holding her boy, running her fingers through his hair. Kate would notice the tremor going on from her fingertips, that didn't appear normal, but well...her friend was alive. "It's going to be even better when your Dad comes, Riley too. I haven't missed your big tournament yet, right buddy?" She only grinned when Amy and George came running, She enveloped all three of them and showered them with kisses on the top of their heads.

Scott, ducked behind his uncle and would not move. He stayed there basically FROZEN in place not wanting to touch a stranger.

Kate filled her in. On ALL OF IT. It was hard to swallow. They had been through so much in such a short window, Lace looked at Kate and just everyone trying to take it in. "Jesus Kate....someone in a coma shouldn't be considered the lucky one but somehow we found a way."

Scott shook his head not wanting to move. Adam placed his hand down on the boy's head. "It's alright, she's Kate's family."

The little boy bit his bottom lip and then eventually stepped over, squeezing Kate's hand like it was a death grip. He didn't say a word.

"You look like a bite sized version of your uncle. You're identical."

He looked at Kate unsure then took in a deep breath. "We made bottle of our secret formula to get your dogs to stop biting things they shouldn't.

Lace blinked. "You adopted a very bright kid, Kate. That's some deep critical thinking. I'd like to try it. We got two puppies at home."
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #3,555
That hour and a bit was soon to begin. It was going to be the longest hour of Ava's life. She knew now that Riley had things to get back to outside of here. She had a family, a boyfriend who was no doubt suffering with every miinute she was gone, based on what she'd been told about their relationship so far. She had a father who had no doubt traveled a long way to find her - she didn't want him getting here only to find that he was too late to help her. But that was what Ava feared. She watched Riley's body convulsing and trembling and she just had the feeling that Riley wouldn't see the morning. She hoped that wouldn't be the case.

"I'll be right here when you wake up." Ava gave her a sad smile.

If she wasn't so sick, she'd held her to the shower. They had one in here. It was a shitty one, sure, with weak water pressure and not all that much pleasant about it - it was either too hot or too cold most of the time, but, Ava managed to find the temperature sweet spot on hers, one that she was willing to sacrifice if it meant cooling Riley down.

She'd let her sleep it off for a while, she'd keep her aired and at least as cool as she could manage while she was passed out and unable to move.

Poor girl.

That whole hour and a quarter, she didn't dare move. She didn't even get up to use the bathroom. She stayed there monitoring her friend's temperature, fanning her with the old book she'd been reading, and just letting her rest. Just over an hour on, she was still alive, and she even woke up. Oh, the relief that Ava felt.

After an hour of fanning her, wetting her head down, and wondering if she'd ever wake up again... She woke up.

Ava was suffering her own withdrawals, too, but not as badly as Riley. She was sweating a little but she didn't have sedatives in her system and a fucking double dose of LSD. Riley certainly tanked it, and she made it through - albeit by the skin of her teeth. If she'd been left unattended, her temperature would have stayed at or above 104.

Eventually, that would have turned to heat stroke. Unattended, heat stroke would lead to her body going into shock (which is what Ava was sure had already happened with all the shaking), then there would have been brain damaged caused by it, and following that, organ failure. Ultimately that would have ended in death.

A horrible, horrible way to go.

"You're awake." She let out a little laugh and gave Riley a big hug. Oh, thank god. "Right, come on." She slowly helped her up to her feet. "It's good you can stand. That's good. You're recovering slowly. But you need to take a cool shower when we get back. You're still burning up and that will help." She said, "Here." She got yet another glass of water for her and had her drink that, nice and cold.

Now, it was time. It was time for revenge.

"I know the way from here. We're fine to make a move." She said. Once Riley was okay on her own two feet, she released her and lead her to the door. "Stick close to me, and if I stop, you stop. It's important we stop in the right places." She said.

Moment of truth.

She slowly opened the bedroom door, and now it was time for them to move. She knew exactly where she was going. First place they went? Straight down the hall to the right. Then they took a sharp left (as they walked by the rooms they no doubt her the crying and groaning of other kids that had been drugged up or beaten by their captors), and they came to the end of that hallway. Once they were at the end, Ava stood them behind a wardrobe that was set up in the hallway there.

Surely enough, a guy walked by, slowly, whistling a tune to himself. Not a second late, either. It was just a moment after they'd gotten in cover.

That meant one thing: Ava had found a way to sneak around or at least get out of her room before. Most likely by illness or something like that, or even her first couple of nights here - each time after being with the client, maybe.

Not much further now.

Another right turn, and they found themselves at a door with a glass window, no lights on. But they didn't need lights. Ava didn't even need to see labels. She knew where each one was and she already had what they needed. She lead Riley into the relatively-dark room and straight over to the medicine cabinet. They had all sorts in there - everything from paracetamol to mophine.

But then there was a big plastic tub - 'Sliced Peaches In Peach Juice'. Only it wasn't peaches in there. It was pills. Blue pills. It was filled to the brim. Ava grinned at Riley, "This is them." She said, picking it up and handing it to her.

"And we have these." She pulled the bottle of fast-acting laxatives from her pocket again. "This is going to make them pay." She said.

While they were there, though, she grabbed a random bottle from the shelf. She didn't hesitate, she knew what it was. It would help treat Riley's fever. She pocketed that.

"The kitchen is two doors down. They make a stew every night for themselves. Or a soup. Something easy to make." She said, "I know not all of them eat it, but, most of the muscle in this place do. Seeing as they work through the night." She said. "You ready?" She asked. "We've got around eight minutes before someone comes to stir it." She said.

--

The only times Jack was ripped away from mom were the times that he freaked out. The first time she was told she had to step out for tests, Jack got that look about him where his chest tightened and his eyes widened. He looked at her and gave the expected, 'why do you have to go for tests?!' as response. Yeah. He was going to have some pretty bad separation anxiety with her. He didn't want to be apart from her for so long, really. It was the longest time of his life - and he did sit with Elena and heavy-breathe until mom returned.

Those tests? Waiting for them to get them over and done with were potentially the worst moments of his life in recent days. But he made it through it. Just about.

Soon enough he was back at her side and he was there getting all the love and attention he could ever want from her. He was making up for lost time right now. He snuggled up to her and nodded to her words. "Dad's going to be really happy to see you awake again, Lacey. He missed you a lot." He said. "He's been really sad but me and Riley and Tommy have helped him as much as we can." He explained.

Yeah. He liked to think that they'd been there for his dad enough for him to be okay.

As for Kate... Well.

"I don't think it's much to do with luck. I don't even know how to explain it." She sighed.

And yes. Best not be too blunt about that brain thing, Lacey. Jack will develop sleep anxiety if you tell him about that. Let the kid be happy for the time being.

Kate looked back down to Scott and hugged him to her side, "Don't be scared, honey. Lacey's real friendly." She said. "I've known her for nearly seven years now. You don't need to be scared of her." She said. "I used to look after her girls for her quite a lot. She really likes my home made pancakes, just like you do. And she worked in a big business before. She really helped my business get a lot of attention - she might be able to do the same for yours one day." She said.

"She does't bite." She kissed Scott's head again.
 
Ava had done this before. This much was evident. She had a firey spirit that no matter what these fuckers had put her through, had not been put out. Riley admired it. But it also broke her heart inside as well. They slinked quietly through the halls. Riley followed Ava's lead, and despite the trembling and look of death about her, she was silent. You could hear a pin drop before you heard those two.

Professional burglars, that's what those two could have been in a different life. Riley did think about that. Ava with the eidetic memory to look at maps and have the route, Riley hacking into computer systems to turn off alarms and security cameras. Tommy, the badass getaway driver. She missed him. She had to make sure that whatever anxieties he had from this got calmed down...if that fucking doctor locks him up again for a few days she'd go out of her way to murder him.

There was a fucking thing called extenuating circumstances, and your girlfriend getting kidnapped by human traffickers and sold for sex counted for that. She didn't want to see him gone again.

And maybe she was a little jealous of whoever that girl was he talked about....the one he wrote letters too. AND RYAN TOO...if that continued Riley was going to seriously do some digging on who this girl was to 1. make sure she wasn't a threat and 2. make sure she understood Tommy was hers and she was his.

Basic tranquilizers/LSD...your mind wondered to weird places.

Riley looked at the pills and out towards the door they came in. "Then let's go." She grinned. Her smile did falter for a second. "Ava...how many times have you tried getting out?"

She feared the answer was well above 50.

The two slunk to the kitchen ducking into one of the bottom cabinets by the sink when footsteps were heard. A large burley man was singing My Girl as he was slicing and cutting carrots. She held Ava's hand as they stayed inside, knowing that if they breathed the wrong way, it would give away where they were. So right now?

They had to wait, and it could cut into whatever time Ava had mapped out for this.

The man didn't seem to be going anytime soon. Five minutes had passed until they heard. "ULRIC, WANT IN ON THIS BET?"

"When do I say no?" he shouted back leaving the kitchen. Riley waited 10 seconds before opening the cabinet and quietly slipping out. She grabbed Ava's hand. Blue pills and laxatives were then dumped into the large stew. The girls could have easilly figured out the mathmatics of what they would need to do the job, but Riley in this moment? DUMP ALL OF IT, fuck them. Let them suffer the way they made others.

No measurements. Just as much as they could possibly fit in.

They finished dumping when the footsteps sounded like they were returning. Riley quickly grabbed Ava's hand and the two darted out, no words given. Ulric would see the door swinging and no one there. He didn't pay much mind to it. He just won 500 bucks. He went and tasted the soup. "Needs salt," he concluded adding more to it.
--
Every moment he panicked and got scared when Lacey got back she would just rock him in her arms and let him know how brave he was. He saved her. He protected the baby, he was the man in charge. She boosted that ego as much as she could. What Jack did get to enjoy? When the baby was being checked out with an ultra sound, she kept Jack right by her side and showed him the baby. He got to be the first one. Dad didn't even look because they had just found out from it all. It was still too early. Now? Now Jack was the first. He got to hear his little sister had a clear bill of health right now.

"You had a fat fuck," she looked down at Jack. "Fat moron," she corrected herself. "Come and call in a serial killer because land wasn't sold? That's...I don't....Jesus."

Kate definitely got pulled in a tight embrace and hug. Kate felt the tremor in her friend's arm as well. She just held her there. "We'll get through this. I don't know how yet...but we will."

Scott scooted closer to Kate's hip nearly hiding behind her leg. "The boogie hit her that night?" he looked up and asked. He was there with Kate, all the little ones. They hadn't seen what happened. All they saw was the flipped car and trails of blood from both Tommy and her. "tommy got hurt real bad."

Lace made a mental note of that. She tried picturing Tommy crawling out of a damn flipped car just to make sure she was alright. The kid was probably terrified or worse from it all.

"Kate's right you know," Lace mused. "I'm very good at getting people to notice a business or product."

"That's what Amy does..."Scott said. He was almost defensive and protective of what each contributed to the team. Amy was the best at drawing and coming up with plans of exposure.

Lace admired that actually, it was a good sign that the kid would grow up respecting his peers and what they contributed instead of doing what Foster did. "Sounds like Amy and I are going to sit down and I'll teach her a few things. Be ruthless like me kid, but know when to be compassionate like your mom." That sentence was directed to Mini-Kate or Ames. Zoe and her looked so much alike. Scott still looked at her like she had three heads. "How did you and George become best buddies kid?"

"I asked if he wanted to catch rabbits...then we caught a fox."

"Someone's a boyscout. My dad was one."

"Really?" his face lit up.

"Uh-huh. He specialized in ropes and knots. And when I was a kid, the fire department would have this giant fundraiser for lung cancer and burned victims. He'd build these amazing rope obstacle courses."

Let's just say the kid was immediately won over taking a seat next to George so he could hear more about this rope expert.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #3,557
Tommy wasn't going to be talking to his doctor about this one, hands fucking down. He didn't want him knowing, because if anything? This whole situation was just a 'let's lock Tommy up, he's been through too much' excuse. They could put him away for weeks and he didn't want to take that chance, which was fair enough, wasn't it? He was still with Max right now, and they'd actually just dropped Michael off at a hospital. Michael said some guys attacked him on the side of the road.

He wasn't going to let police go back to a house where there were 3 or 4 dead guys, one of which had been tortured extensively.

He thanked Max and even shook his hand. Tommy's, too. He apologized to Max for everything he'd done to him so far. He apologized for all the trouble he caused and asked him to pass an apology on to Lace, too.

However, for the girls... How many times had Ava tried getting out of here?

Yes. It was more than fifty. On the first day, they could hardly keep track of her. On the second day, she was injured enough that she basically had to drag herself along the floor... The third day, well, she got lucky and they found out about her gift. Without that? Right now she'd be rotting in a cesspit somewhere if it wasn't for that.

She rubbed her wrists, uncomfortably.

"I'll tell you about that later." She whispered. She almost felt ashamed of the things she'd done, what she'd tried.

Things took a nice turn, though, and she watched as Riley poured all the drugs into that soup. Ava poured the laxatives in there and she grinned like a fool. Oh, the joy this was going to be. She couldn't wait to hear them crying out and suffering in the distance - they'd be able to hear it from their room.

They were straight out of there. Ava was confident they had a solid run back to their room - and they did. It was a clean stretch. A quiet jog got them back to where they needed to be. Finally, back in the safety of their... Well, bodily fluid-smelling room. The smell would fade eventually. It was just good to be back safe.

With the door shut, she immediately turned to Riley and grinned.

"We did it!" She shout-whispered and immediately hugged her as tight as she could manage. Hugs were always nice. She missed having them, evidently. It would probably be nice for Riley, too - despite the pain from the bruising that would no doubt flair up, but they were both victims of that.

After pulling away from the hug, she placed the bottle of pain and fever relief medication in her hand. "You should take some of this and take a cool shower like I said. You can't let yourself get too hot again." She said.

And of course, Riley's clothes were drenched. She couldn't stay in those.

"I can wash your clothes for you when you rest." She said.

Riley still wasn't out of the woods. If they ran, they wouldn't get far, and considering neither of them had eaten since... Well, this morning, they wouldn't have the energy to run for hours. It left them partially stuck, but, these guys were going to have up to 10 men out of action after tonight. They can't instantly recover from that.

--

It was all going to be a happy chat, hopefully. Kate didn't want Scott to be scared of strangers. She was going to gradually help him get used to the idea of talking to new poeple. Going to a new scout group would help with that, too. There were always going to be new people coming into his life. She wanted to help set him up for those situations so that he could handle himself okay. He needed it, really. It was important that they got that down.

At the same time he was only six, so, there was no need to rush it. He had plenty of time.

"I try and do a good job." Amy said. "I'm new to it but I know we gotta' save money from the things we sell so we can buy more stuff to make the things we sell." She said. "Jack does... All of the talking stuff." She said. "And the demonstrations to show the people that it works. He's good at talking to people."

Jack smiled.

"But yup." Amy shrugged, "I learned from mommy. She always used to talk about saving money for the business so that's kinda' what I do. Like she does with hers."

"That's right, honey." Kate chuckled and gently ran a hand over the top of her head. It was funny, but her heart also melted. Her daughter knew her shit. She was proud.

Kate held Lacey's hand, "As you can see, it's not always been terrible while you've been gone." She sniffed, "We sold the house, though, or at least it's selling soon." She said. "We're staying with you guys at the moment. Surprise." She laughed a little and wiped at her eyes, "We get through a lot of bread, milk, and toilet paper with all of us combined. But we're trying to do our part, I promise." She nodded and let out a small laugh.
 
It would take time but Scott would get better. Scott would start to see the world as bright and wonderful instead of the cesspit of pure survival. Things that he considered luxuries like friends and kindness would become a staple in his life instead of the unattainable.

"Remember that, your moms smart. She knows what shes doing." Lace smiled. She immediately thought of riley and zoe. Zoe wrote an essay that only eight year olds could really right. She wanted to be like her mommy showing the world girls can be strong too and take on the world. For kate tonsee amy apply what her mother taught was a very proud feeling. Her heart rose and sun at once as she thought of Riley and where their relationship was at this moment.

Fix it with time as Max put it.

"What are you kidding? Youre a fanominal cook. We might just tell you that you cant leave so you cook all the time." She laughed. Only to stop "no wait. Max cooks too and i want to avoid the question from him or you whose food i prefer better."

She tapped her nose. "That you dont tell dad. Youre dating amy that question will come up on you too mister and we both dont need that." Lacey teased him.
--
There were a few things worth pushing through the ache and pain for...hugging Ava in that night was one of them. "We did it." She grinned. She high fived her friend the shakes returning but that was worth it too. "About time they got back what they gave us."

Tomorrow roughly 3/4s of the men upstairs would be in severe pain and hallucinating out of their gorgs....but tonight it was just them.

Ava would give rikey spare clothes. She eould shower and the two would curl up on the same bed and sleep. She was keeping her warm while her temperature needed to drop.

It would be ok.

"Im glad i met you." Riley said. "I wouldnt change what happened today cause i got to meet you through it."

At around 5am that morning....almost a full 24 hours of what she had been kidnapped. Ava and Riley would wake up to screams of pain, high laughter, crying along woth the wafting overpopulating smell od vomit and diareah.

Riley sat up nudging her. "Ava...it worked. It really worked."

It was time to get on the shoes and leave. Riley was still pale as a ghost and her fever was roughly 101 but it was going down. Shed survive.

They just had to get out before leo deduced it was these too...and before she had yo sre her candian dirtbag.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #3,559
Be ready for that to be spun around on you, Lacey.

"Maybe when you get better at cooking you can beat both of them." Jack suggested.

Now, that wasn't meant to be a quip or an insult in any way. But you know what kids are like. They say things without really thinking what sort of context it could be taken in and... Well, there you go. Boom. A sick burn comes flying out of their lips with not a moment of hesitation.

Kate only laughed.

"Well, the truth has been spoken." She winked at Lacey. "Well. I'm glad you like my cooking so much. This little guy has been enjoying it." She playfully ruffled Scott's hair. "But yeah. We're keeping the house as clean as we can. With three young ones..."

She looked over at George, who gave a shy and cheeky grin.

"It can be tough. But they behave." She said. They were indeed good kids. "Max has cooked for us a few times. He's pretty good, Lace. If he was twenty years younger he'd be my Head Chef without question. Oh, and if he wasn't bent on the law side of things." She said. "Let him know the position is available for when we open in Portland, though." She winked.

Max would sooner die than work in a kitchen - Kate was only sort-of-kidding anyway.

Jack snuggled to Lacey again. He still wasn't letting her go. Not a chance.

--

It was going to be a good night of rest so they could get out of there in the morning. Those laxatives were going to take effect in fifteen minutes, as was the LSD. Those poor guys would be suffering all night long. A lot of them would die from organ failure or heart attacks, purely from the LSD alone. But that was what a lot of them deserved for the sick trade they dedicated themsevles to. Leo was going to hear the screaming and crying in the wee hours of the morning, and he was going to go down there only to find them all swimming in shit, vomit, and... God, whatever else was there. He was going to find a few bodies, too.

One thing they had in common? They all ate the soup.

It wasn't going to take but one look at the medicine room to see the drugs had gone missing. That was literally thousands of dollars worth of drugs all shit out all over the floor. Literally.

He wasn't going to be happy.

In the meantime, though...

"I'm glad I met you, too. Everything I've been through as been worth it." She hugged her again.

She did indeed wash Riley's clothes while she took a shower. The shower had a curtain, so, Ava was safe to wash the clothes out in the sink while Riley maintained some sort of privacy. Ava wouldn't have been in there, otherwise. Those clothes would be dry by the morning, hopefully, because she hung them up across the room and made sure they were aired out. Plus, it was quite warm in this place.

Either way. She passed out at Riley's side soon enough.

The world could break a lot of things - but it wouldn't break them.

The following morning, Ava rolled over and grinned at her.

"It did work." She laughed. She shakily ran her hands through her hair.

She was starving.

But she'd brave it.

"We can get out of here soon." She said, uneasily climbing to her feet. Running on little energy. "Just a moment." She said, and she walked off to the bathroom to pee and wash her face and everything. Hey, they'd had a long just-under 24 hours now. Human needs have to be fulfilled eventually. Either way...

It was going to be the day they got out of there. She got her sneakers on, struggling to tie the laces tightly, but she managed.

She looked at Riley.

"Riley, there's something you need to see before we leave. You asked me last night how many times I tried getting out." She said.

She sat down on the bed again and bowed her head. "I lost count, and I..." She gulped. "I gave up. Not long after I got here." She said, shakily.

She rolled up her sleeves and revealed scars that went across both wrists. Two straight lines, fairly deep, but they (obviously) weren't fatal injuries.

"I should have told you sooner, I just..." She took a deep breath. "I don't want this for you." She sniffed. "We need to get out of here."
 
If the two did not escape today they would surely be killed. It would only be a matter of time before someone deduced who drugged them all. Only one girl would know where the drugs were.

And that was ava. She spent the entire night keeping Riley alive. Now it was her turn to keep Ava alive. She went down on her knees seeing.her friend struggle to tie her shoes. Ava didnt need to ask. Riley untied them and then tied them tightly. No need to worey about loose shoe strings. It was then that riley saw the scars.

Ava had tried killing herself as a means of escape. Riley then pulled the girl into a tight hug. Realizing that what she went through told her deatb was the better option broke her inside. "We will get out of this I promise. This one is going to work today."

Was it? Both girls knew that if this attempt didnt eork....given the fact the two of them murdered real men....they were going to be killed.

Either way....they had reached the end.

Riley had helped pull Ava to her feet. "Come on, lets get going."

The door was unlocked and right now the hallways were clear as almost every man was shitting and vomiting at once.

They were in the clear.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #3,561
A big hug to seal in the win they'd just gotten. Some would consider it an ill-gotten victory seeing as men and women died from what they did. But it was something all of them deserved. Now they just had to hope that they didn't feed it to any of the kids they had captive here. That would truly flip the switch on their plans. But there was no need to assume that was a possibility.

"Thank you, Riley." She whispered to her. They were going to get out of here. They were going to be okay. The only issue they were going to face? Ava was blind outside of this building. She had no idea where they were or where they had to go. They were going to have to rely on instinct and just a lust for survival to get them any further.

Bottom line... They weren't going to make it very far.

In the hallways it was a clean run right to the front door. The front door had various bolts to undo but that was easily enough done. There was always someone posted on this door to watch it.

Not today. He was currently being loaded into a bodybag.

But they got out.

Ava mustered all the strength she had to open that door up. And soon the crisp morning air hit them.

Ava stepped out, slowly.

And she immediately burst into tears. She looked around in pure disbelief. They'd made it out. They really made it.

She took Riley's hand.

"I don't believe it. We really made it out." She sobbed. "Oh my god..." She looked around again. "We need to go now. Before anyone sees us." She said. "I can't... walk fast or far, Riley. I'm too weak. We need to find help."
 
Crisp morning air. They could smell the car engines and streets.

They were in an abandoned, bad section of a city....whatevee city in Canada. They could make due with this. All Riley had to do was pick pocket a phine and call Dad.

Easy enough right? Oh silly Riley....nithing was easy.

She slung an arm around ava holding her for support. Riley only had a day of abuse....she was on the mend...ava had been here months or years...it was rileys turn to carry her.

"Good thing you arent walking alone." Riley smiled.

They started when riley noticed a dumpster on wheels. "Wait."

She walked over pushing and sliding it to cover the door they just escaped. Just in case anyone spotted them. Just in case some of them tried this door.

Time was a luxury they needed to buy right noe. This would give them that.

Riley then held ava to helo support her and they started walking along.

Ava had been locked in the dark for so long thw sound of cars people....everything really must have been an overload to the senses. The two managed to walk out through an alley way into a street that seemed somewhat busy."

"I can steal a phone...maybe a wallet. Get food in our bellies. Real food. Then call dad. You remember your dads number? We are calling him too."
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #3,563
The door was blocked and now it was just down to them to survive and get to safety. It was early. The streets could only be so busy. It was still terrifying - it felt like some Silent Hill style shit right about now. The town they were in was small and isolated. That made it even more dangerous. In a city you could hide- in a place like this it was a lot harder to do so without being found out.

She smiled at her friend. She was helping her walk.

"Thank you." She said. "I do remember my dad's number so if we can find somewhere to use a phone we can both call our dads." She said.

Riley suggested just stealing a phone or a wallet. But weren't they in rough enough shape to avoid potentially even more trouble? Or maybe they were so rough looking that they'd be mistaken for pickpockets. Homeless kids who just wanted to steal from someone.

"Maybe we can just ask for help. Someone will believe us." She said. "Maybe we can find the police."

But they weren't going to be able to walk that far. It was now or never. Ava seemed to become heavier and heavier to support as time went on. She was in a bad way.

"My father needs to know I'm alive. He'll come and help, too." She said. "I'm so tired. So hungry." She whispered.
 
Being considered a thief wasnt the end of the world. They could get pulled into a police station and have access to phones.

Unless there were corrupt cops that would take them bsck. Rileys thoughts went to arden who kidnapped both her and Tommy. That would be the last thing they needed.

"We will get help. Just hang in there with me. We will get real food. Hot warm and drug free food. Whatever food you want. You must miss something right? Think of that because thats the first thing we are getting."

Riley helped Ava along. Tge first thing she spotted was a pay phone old and absndoned. It sat right outside a bar. The two walked over. "My mom. She showed me a trick. If you dial 001 before your call its free. Its like some emergency thing."

She dialed that and held the phone out. " call your dad first. Tell him ky dads gonna drive you home"

Ava deserved to be tge first to let ger family know she was alive. She deserved it.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #3,565
Corrupt cops was a likely thing in a town like this one.

Small town, cut off from everything else, probably poor wealth distribution - most cops with nothing to lose would take the chance to go corrupt here. After all, it was just a bunch of kids with no ties to them whatsoever, right? If they found the missing kids and handed them over, they could make a few hundred grand, potentially millions if the kid they found was of a type in high demand with clients. In a little place like this, who wouldn't do such a thing if it meant making enough money to retire before 30?

It was a fucked up thought.

But it was a thought that had sadly done more than just tempt officers of the law here. It had already won quite a few of them over.

All in good time, though.

"I just miss eating decent food." She whispered, "For breakfast... Bacon and eggs, maybe some sausages, beans. Everything. Toast with butter." She smiled and looked at the floor, but her stomach growled. "It needs to be soon." She nodded. "I can't wait."

And soon, an even bigger saving grace.

A payphone.

She didn't have to be told twice. She took the phone and smashed in her dad's number as if she had it written down right in front of her. She even smiled. She placed the phone to her ear and-

".. Voicemail...?" She gulped. "It didn't even ring." She hung up the phone. She picked it up and dialled her mother's number instead.

Answerphone.

She hung up.

She picked it up again. She dialled a family friend's number.

"Hello?"

The phone was old. Audio leakage was high. Riley heard all of it.

"Monica?"

"Speaking? Whoever this is better have a good reason for calling this early, because I've-"

"It's Ava." She blurted out.

Silence.

Pure silence.

"Ava... You're alive?"

"Yes." She coughed, "I'm trying to find my parents. They're not answering their phones. Can you please tell them I'm okay? I need to speak to them."

More silence.

Silence.

Silence.

"Ava... Your parents went looking for you a while ago." She said, "I'm... Both of them... There was a car accident. I'm so sorry."

The world stopped spinning. Ava went blank. She went completely flat and looked at the phone in her hand, and then she immediately hung up and fell to her knees, staring at the floor.

Her parents, gone.

Tears streamed her cheeks, but she didn't sob. It was just silent heartbreak.
 
Voicemail.

Shit.

Voicemail.

Oh fuck....

Riley watched the first click and felt her heart drop. She watched the second and felt a kick to her own stomach. Ava had been raped over and over and over again for months or years holding onto whatever hope she had left to muster that her dad would find her.

If she called and found Dad dead?....she knew Tommy would follow and there would be nothing. Shed feel all the will she had left just zap right fucking out of her.

The third call? There was an answer....but riley saw the color drain from avan and she knee then and there what ava heard. Avan collapsed on her knees and then broke down.

The smart thing eould have been to call Dad right then. He would find them. The survivor in her wanted to do that.

Her soul? She went down on her knees and listened to that instead. She pulled Ava into a tight hug and just held her there. Held her and put as much comfort as she could in that hug.

"Im sorry....im so sorry ava....we will figure something out. You are not alone." She wouldnt leave her. Wherever she wrnt she was going yo make sure her new friend was here as well.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #3,567
It was the worst day of her life by far.

Probably the worst day of her life forever, really. Nothing else would top this. But she wasn't going to tempt fate. She just wanted to... Go back in time and undo all of this. She just wanted to be back home with her mother and her father. Her parents died looking for her. How the fuck was she even meant to respond to that? How was she meant to get up and brush herself down when all she knew in the world was gone? She'd worked hard to impress her parents, to do well for herself. The last time she saw her father...

Thinking of it just made her cry more.

The last time she saw her dad was when she got up to go to the bathroom in the mall, as has been said already. He was sat there at a table in a food court restaurant. He watched her walk off, and he had that proud look on his face. His daughter was moving up in the world.

And within ten minutes he started to panic. He went to where the bathrooms were and asked a woman to go in and check on his daughter. Even told her to call her name.

There was no response. Her father died thinking he was never going to see his little girl again.

Ava immediately shook her head at Riley's words. She didn't want to object, but this time she did.

"There isn't anything to figure out." She sobbed, "What can we figure out? There isn't anything. There's nothing to work out at all. I'm all alone. My parents are dead. They died looking for me and that's it. I've got no other family anywhere and I'm all on my own now. We can't figure that out. There isn't a way to figure it out. It's only a matter of time before I die on my own or until I end up somewhere similar to where we just were, or- or I get thrown into some rough foster home." She cried, "It's over for me, Riley."
 
Riley rubbed Ava's back and refused to let her go. She couldn't even begin to imagine the pain Ava felt. Her mother being in a coma, Riley felt her entire world crumble beneath her feet and she hadn't been the same. Tommy and Dad had to witness her run off and just find her in her mother's bed, or attempt to run away because she blamed herself for her mother being in the state that she was in. That feeling was in no way a comparable feeling to what Ava felt now.

Both her parents were gone.

That meant whatever she was feeling was just doubled, tripled to that black hole Riley felt....because Riley had family and she had support. Even losing Zoe...Zoe was a gaping hole in her heart....losing her Riley still had support.

Ava was alone.

But Riley wouldn't let her be.

"I'm not letting you go to a Foster Care system," Riley shook her head. "You're stuck with me. I'm not abandoning you. Not now, not ever. I'll call my Dad, he'll come...if we can't wait I'll steal some money, we'll get on a bus and we'll go to Maine. I'm not letting you get brought back to that place or anything like it. You and me are in this together. Ok? Right now...right now we gotta get up and keep moving. If we don't keep moving they'll find us."

Riley struggled to pull Ava back on her feet but she did.

She went to dial Dad. Be ready, Max.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #3,569
Ava shook her head. She wanted to believe Riley - she did believe her, deep down, but her emotions right now made her shut it all out. Back to Portland? There was nothing there for her, at least she didn't think so. Riley was a great friend who clearly cared a lot about her, but, that wasn't the point. The point was that she was without parents - it didn't matter if she was going to become a princess in a castle. She was on her own. Her mom and dad were dead and it didn't feel like there was any suitable alternative. It was truly a horrible feeling, and the worst part was she wasn't even going to get a chance to grieve. She was just going to have to keep running until she was safe.

Would she ever be safe?

There was no such thing as 'safe' anymore.

But still.

"Okay." She choked.

She didn't have any other words just yet. She stood aside while Riley started dialing Max's number.

Max answered on the first ring.

But things weren't going to be that easy. She may have been able to make a call to Max, and he may have been able to answer the call while he was on the way to where she supposedly was, but... No, it wasn't going to be as easy as that.

A van screeched to a halt behind them. It was important to keep in mind that time spent =/= to distance traveled. They spent a long time walking because of how weak Ava was. But that didn't mean they got any further than practically down the street. And the streets weren't as busy as they needed them to be.

In that van, three men jumped out. Two out of the back, of course - one of them being Leo.

The first person he went for was Riley. He forcefully pushed her head forward to smack it against the payphone, and then he ripped her away from it.

"Riley?" Max called out down the phone. But by then it was too late.

"You little fucking bitch. You're going to pay for everything you did." He said.

And just so he could get her into the van without too much resistance, she took a swift knee between the legs.

Ouch.

Ava was hardly any struggle at all. She didn't have the power to pull away from the captor.

In fact, she gave up. She knew there was no point in fighting. She was going back. She was going to live this way until the day she died.
 
"Dad," She managed to let out a sigh of relief hearing his breath, hearing the click of answer. Only to see the screeching van. There was zero time to say she loved him, Zero time to give their location. There was only one thing she could do.

"HRGS43" she shouted as loud as she fucking could "HRGS43!"

SLAM

Riley felt her head bash hard against the payphone, the line dropping "HRGS43!" She yelled again only to get kicked in the crotch like she never had before. Riley felt her head spin. She didn't stop struggling. Riley managed to get one hard swing to the jaw of whatever man picked her up as her legs just buckled under. "HRGS43!" She screamed.

Please God let Dad hear it. Please fucking God. He was alive. He was coming. They were going to get out.

"Shut the fuck up," One of the men snapped, he clocked her right in the head and Riley blacked out. "We fucking lost good men because of you bitches. Good fucking men."
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #3,571
"Son of a BITCH." Max's voice screamed out.

He hung up shortly after hearing the commotion. He heard the license plate. It took him a few seconds to realize that that's what she was screaming, but he realized it eventually. His girl had just been snatched again and now there was going to be hell to pay for whoever was taking her. Little did they know, Max was in Canada. They were all going to assume he was too stupid or clueless to track her down to hear. They all assumed he was just going to tell the police what the license plate was.

By that point, they could flip the plate and change it to something else.

He was proud of her. He sped up. He was going to be in that town within fifteen minutes - then it was going to take an hour or two to find the van. He'd check that place she was first at beforehand, but... He wasn't going to find much there other than dead bodies.

And a lot of drugged up kids.

But he'd worry about them later.

Leo looked at Riley, he slapped her cheek a few times. "Don't pass out on us, sweetheart. Once we've got you two cleaned up, we're going to hand your little friend here to her client - He's really going to hurt her today, you know." He said. "He gets a longer session for the same price, and he can use whatever he wants and be as rough as he pleases. These are all things you've caused with your antics." He said. "When are your buddies getting here, then?" Leo asked. "Mr. Murderer and daddy? Where they at?" He asked. "Because you screaming the license plate for them isn't going to do anything. By the time they've got the police on us, that plate will be dead and gone." He said. "You're fucked now, kiddo."

They were only on a short drive from there, they came to a bar. Riley couldn't see that, though.

"Here's how this is going to work." He said. "We're bringing people to take you somewhere a little more secure. You're going to behave and be a good little girl, or I'm going to take Ava out back and break both her arms, do you understand?"

This bar was owned by them, clearly.

Was this the end?
 
Riley's head pounded but her eyes eventually opened as Leo slapped her a few times. Her cheek was going to be black and blue but that would match the rest of her body at this point. Riley was hurting, hurting really bad. Her bum leg didn't help with them trying to escape and it sounded like they didn't get very far in the first place....fuck.

Her father WAS the fucking police you moron. But Riley bit in her thoughts. Her blue eyes set a firey gaze of hate and rebellion. Leo didn't break her spirit and there'd be nothing left of it. "You'll see Dad soon." She said. "And he's not going to be happy."

"Good, then you can watch him die," The man who clocked her retorted. He was pissed, he lost five of his closest friends. He didn't eat the soup last night because he wasn't hungry....oh but boy was he fucking livid out of his mind.

It was when she heard what they were going to do to Ava...what they were going to put her through if Riley acted up. "Let me go instead." She meekly said. "New girl...just let her rest tonight....please."

She'd behave...she didn't want to get Ava hurt...she'd behave until Dad caught up. And he would. He'd come by today. This wasn't the end. There was still hope.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #3,573
"Oh, that's a very noble offer." Leo said. "But no. Our client's a fam of Chinese food." He gently patted Riley on the head.

Ava was also the victim to racial abuse from Leo. Nothing went amiss when he was involved. It was just one of those things, really. One of those things where he would do anything to break them and knock them down. He was a real bastard. "Don't worry. We'll dose Ava up nice and well. She won't feel a thing until the next morning." He smiled, sickly. "On the upside, you two get a nice meal for your breakfast. That'll hold you through until tomorrow, I'm sure. Or next week, depending on how well-behaved you want to be."

He got them out of the van and dragged them into the little bar and grill.

It was a nice place. Rustic, comfy. It was the sort of place that Max would actually enjoy spending his time. A bitter realization for Riley, no doubt. Maybe they could indeed get a drink once Max came in and cleaned up.

Either way.

They were dragged over to a booth at the back, in view of a piano that was set up.

Leo nodded to the barman. They were in the wolves' den now.

"You girls be good. Don't move. You've got Gregory over there watching you." He pointed to a man across the room, "And if you try and go anywhere unsupervised he'll hold you down and rip a few teeth out with some pliers." He said. He got up with the other guy and walked over to the bar.

They had a window to talk.

Ava looked across the table at Riley and linked her hands with her.

"Riley, please just give in." She sobbed out. "I don't want you to die to this. Just give in and do what they ask and we can survive it together, somehow." She sniffled, "Don't sacrifice yourself for me. Just survive with me and we can get out whenever we have a chance in the future. But we can't keep doing this. There's no point."

It was the moment she was defeated.
 
Riley wanted to spit on him. She wanted to spit on him and kick him in the balls as hard as she could. He ridiculed Ava, he put her down, he made her feel so small and worthless. She didn't like it one bit and she didn't like him. He was a horrible human being and the day she got out of this place she'd hurt him. She'd hurt him in ways he didn't think were possible. Ava deserved better. Her parents were dead...she had been through this song and dance several times.

She was there seething, waiting for them to leave so it was just the two of them. She went to turn to her friend and give her suggestions on what they could do. "I got an idea. we can..."

She trailed off when Ava begged. She begged her to stop and begged her to behave. Riley tried not to whimper. "They are going to kill us...we won't last long..." She tried.

But Ava looked so broken....so defeated. Riley's lip twitched and her head went down a little. "I won't do anything that will get you hurt...I promise...I'll do whatever I have to here so you don't get hurt...we're in this together."

Ava needed that more than them running around pushing the limit every time they could. Riley did grab her wrists, where the long jagged scars were.

"Just you gotta promise me you don't try to get out by other means either ok...pinkie promise." she extended her pinkie out.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #3,575
It was going to be a hard thing to promise, after all that had happened and all that had been revealed. But she'd promise it. She would.

She nodded to her and sniffled. "I promise. We're in this together." She said, simply, and she held both her hands and put her head down on the table. She just needed to rest... Just for a little while. She felt so drained and unwell. She felt sick, in truth. She needed something to eat and something to drink, and that, funnily enough, was exactly what they were going to get. They had food ordered for them. There was the smell of food cooking in the kitchen - and that was enough to make Ava's stomach howl for food. She was starving but she was convinced she wasn't going to get a chance to eat until after she'd been with her client.

It was quite the opposite, though. Leo eventually returned to their table and threw down two plates of food. Cooked breakfast. They had the whole show.

A fried egg, sausages, a few strips of bacon (Canadian bacon, though), beans, toast, grilled tomatoes. It was all food, and they were both served a glass of cold orange juice with it. The drink wasn't discolored or anything - none of the food looked tampered with, either. It all seemed fine to eat.

Ava didn't even hold back.

She was forking that into her mouth instantly - and she didn't die or pass out after the first few bites, so that was a good sign. Leo didn't lie about that. They were given food.

It would see them through.

Not that they'd need it, ultimately. They'd made one mistake - assuming that Max wouldn't find them. Because Max first went to the place he saw in the picture (it wasn't hard to figure out where it was) and soon found nothing but chaos and teen girls walking around all drugged up and zombie-like. It was fucked up. He found guys lying on the floor, some of them dead, some of them just constantly shitting and throwing up - and he could only assume one thing when he didn't see Riley there. She'd caused some trouble for them. She gave them a lot to deal with, really, and that was all.

But then it was time to have a look around for this van. He had the license plate in his mind. He knew what he was looking for. He was most likely looking for a big vehicle like a van that could hide them.

And he was right.

Well over an hour passed. They were there sitting at that table, more or less on their own for that whole time...

But then the front door opened.

Riley probably thought she was hallucinating again, but this time it was definitely fucking real.

She saw Max and Tommy standing there in the doorway. Max casually nodded at the barman, but, based on how Tommy looked? Yes. This was no hallucination. Tommy looked shocked to see her. He stared at her and studied her face. She was alive. She was here.

Max walked with an arm around Tommy and sat him down in a booth across the bar from them.

He looked at Riley and put his finger to his lip for just a second.

Ava looked at the strangers that entered, then at Riley.

".. Riley?" She whispered. She was confused.
 

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