Dammit. Typed up a bunch, loving the banter and Daniel’s attitude, and then got to the page where I was rewriting it from James’ perspective. So y’all get an early version of the longer unfinished piece. Content note: kidnapping/abduction
The doctor was glaring at me. Possibly because there weren’t many other places to look, since he’d claimed the free corner of the shipping container as his own once the kidnappers had left.
“I already said I was sorry, John,” I said shortly. How could this be so boring?
“James,” Rowan corrected quietly. I could feel her hands twisting in his bonds and I wrapped my fingers around hers.
“Someone could have warned me before I moved in,” James said.
“This is the first time we’ve been kidnapped.”
“There was the incident with the New Lunians two years ago,” Rowan said. Her shoulders were tensed against mine. Being restrained wasn’t bothering her, but her training couldn’t help her loathing of being manhandled. My not having showered yet that day was likely contributing as well.
“We weren’t kidnapped.”
“I’m not sure Dr. Bailey would find being held in your apartment any better.”
The shipping container lurched and the crates James was leaning against creaked.
“I’m going to die, crushed by…” He craned his neck to read the label. “… oh god.”
“Please share, Dr. Bailey,” Rowan said dryly.
“You don’t want to know,” I said quietly. I’d already read the tags but Rowan had lost her glasses in the struggle and it was likely too dark for her to read it. “And you’re not going to die, James. If they wanted us dead, they would have killed us already, instead of loading is onto a plane.”
“Not ship?” Rowan said. “Are you sure?”
“Quite,” I snapped.
“Fine, we’re on a plane, in a box full of dildos.” Rowan’s breathe hissed as she tried to tense more. “I don’t even have a passport.”
“Adult novelties,” I said. “You chose the only stack of insertable items to lean against.”
“Not better,” Rowan said prickly.
“I wasn’t going to tell you.”
“What’s her problem?” James said.
“Not your concern.” Rowan had a disgust of sex and it extended to its accoutrements. Some found it comical. They didn’t consider the distress it caused her.
Rowan had gone still. A decision made then. “Daniel.”
“No.” Her shoulders pulled away from mine, disapprovingly.
“What?” James said.
“He could get us loose,” Rowan said.
I huffed. I wasn’t used to a second variable in this equation – usually the client was quite enough. “That would be rash with how little information we have. We could be flying anywhere – likely either America or East Europe considering the distance travelled so far and our captor’s accents. Trying to surprise them when they seem reluctant to harm us is unwise.”
“They kidnapped up,” James said.
“Yes, and threatened without injury.”
“So we play along until they tell us what they want?” Rowan said bitterly.
James forced a bitter smile.