No sooner had she skidded to a stop by the double doors at the far end of the airport than two men appeared, each grabbing an arm and hustling her through them and into a waiting car. Emma took note of their appearance committing each to memory. She couldn’t get a clear look at the driver as the divider between them was up. No one spoke.
Emma asked where they were going but other than a sneering look in her direction, they completely ignored her presence. The only time she was on their radar was when she moved.
They finally told her to put her head down and placed a black bag over it and she could see nothing at all. She took a couple deep breaths in anticipation of what was to come. One of them pushed her upright again as they continued wherever they were headed.
Emma determinedly listened hoping to glean their whereabout from anything she could hear. Unfortunately, the music they were playing was blasting and she couldn’t hear a thing and the ride was comfortable and smooth telling her little about speed direction or impediments like railway tracks or speed bumps that could assist with a direction.
It seemed like hours before they finally stopped and as one man got out the other gave her a shove in his direction and she slid across the seat and out. Both of her arms were grabbed in vice-like grips and she was impelled forward nearly losing her footing on the uneven ground. She got the feeling they wouldn’t care whether she fell or not but someone said something in a muffled voice and their grip tightened and they hauled her up several steps.
She was suddenly surrounded by the fragrance of flowers, African Violets if she wasn’t mistaken … a hot-house of some sort. As she was dragged along, the smell of potting soil and fish meal assailed her nostrils. She was halted abruptly turned and shoved onto a chair.
“Emma, at last, we meet. How wonderful. I knew you’d come. Your Achilles heal is family, of course, why wouldn’t it be. Nathan’s is you.”
“I take it that’s why you’ve abducted me. Where is Julie?”
“Safely ensconced in her family’s arms, I’m sure.”
Emma’s sigh of relief was audible. “I see that pleases you.”
“I can’t say I’m not relieved.”
“No, my dear, you were my target. Having you means I hold all the cards.”
“It simply means you have me. Nothing more, nothing less.”
“You underestimate your worth, Emma. That doesn’t sound like the woman I’ve come to know.”
“You know nothing about me.”
“Oh but I do, dear Emma. I have made it my goal to study you, to know everything about you.” He rattled off several facts that anyone could obtain, her life was practically an open book. Minus a few chapter’s she’d recently added such as the self-defence Nathan had correctly instructed her on. Her journalistic and photographic memory added a perception he’d never understand. Knowing her family was safe and sound was all that mattered to Emma. She could handle herself.
“You’ll remain here in these humble surroundings until Nathan comes for you. Relax. You are among friends!” he laughed at his own joke thinking himself quite amusing.
“Of course we’ll have to make some adjustments.” With that, her arms were lifted and shackles placed on both wrists. “Should you require the amenities, they are to your left, please feel free to use them. I’m not completely without heart.”
He turned and left and Emma listened to his receding footsteps until the nearly silent swish of doors indicated he’d left. The black bag was ripped off of her head and she blinked until her eyes became accustomed to the light which was minimal at best. She watched her two captors saunter toward the far doors and they too disappeared.
Time to take stalk. The shackles were solid with five-foot chains attached giving her some room to move. Indeed there was a bucket should she require it and a long table with planting implements, nothing more.