“You know what you have to do,” the deep voice taunted from the shadows.
Calvin Sanders stood in the empty warehouse. The scent of mold, urine, and excrement filled the air, threatening to gag him while he examined the picture of a stunning blond man who glowed like trapped sunlight.
How had his life come to this?
“I capture him and bring him to you.” He squinted against the dark, trying to make out the shape of the speaker, but his vision couldn’t penetrate the deep blackness of the warehouse. “And what do you do to him?”
“That’s none of your business,” the stranger growled. “He killed my brother. Bring him to me, and I’ll see that your sister won’t be the next person to die.”
“She’ll be returned safely?” Calvin asked. Against his will, his gaze went back to the picture of his sister tied up, her eyes wide with terror. In front of her was a newspaper, held up so he could see the date. Yesterday. His poor little sister was at the mercy of these psychotics since yesterday. Tremors shook his frame as he thought of all they could do to a twenty-year-old girl in twenty-four hours.
“She’ll be released.”
Calvin didn’t miss the speaker’s avoidance of the word ‘safely’. He didn’t trust the man who wouldn’t tell Calvin his name or show his face, but what choice did he have? Leaving his sister in the hands of this obviously unbalanced individual wasn’t an option even if he had a hard time believing this innocent-looking man killed anyone. Of course, whether the blond killed anyone or not didn’t matter in the scheme of things—he wanted his sister back.
“She’s all right?” He couldn’t keep the pleading tone out of his voice even as he wished he could take it back. This stranger who kidnapped Calvin’s sister wouldn’t show mercy.
“You’ll have to hope so, won’t you?” the unpleasant man replied.
“I want to talk to her before I do this,” Calvin said firmly.
“You’re under the false illusion you have options, Mr Sanders. You only have two choices here. You can do as I say and save your sister, or you can choose not to and I can have her body delivered to you in pieces.”
Calvin closed his eyes, fighting against the urge to cry. He wasn’t a strong person, not like one of those action-movie heroes who would’ve come in guns blazing and killed all the bad guys before saving the girl and possibly the world. He was a woodworker who had tried hard to raise a little girl who had lost her parents way too young. He had thought he’d done a good job right until he’d become the reason she was kidnapped.
He was never going to take a gig working for paranaturals again.
They both knew he had no options, but the thought she could already be dead was a sharp pain in his heart. He took a deep breath. “I’ll do it.”
“I knew we’d come to an agreement,” the man said, his voice rich with satisfaction. “Don’t take too long to capture him. I don’t have much patience, and I can’t guarantee your sister’s safety longer than a week.”
Calvin nodded, his stomach churning as he fled the warehouse to the sound of laughter.