Chapter One :Chapter 1

Ava parked her car and got out. She couldn’t help but yawn as she got the groceries out. After working since seven am, and it now being well past ten in the evening, she was exhausted. The hospital was short-staffed when it came to nurses, and she had agreed to stay and work an extra shift. They needed the extra money and Ava always felt bad for her colleagues if she didn’t help out. It wasn’t like she had kids or a husband waiting for her at home.

She looked at the house, it was strangely dark tonight. Her aunt and uncle usually would be sitting in the tv-room, watching one of their shows, by now. But there was no flickering light coming from the window. Maybe they had gone out. Sometimes uncle Jonas took aunt Laura out for the evening. Ava didn’t like when the two of them went out. They usually came home in the middle of the night drunk and loud. Aunt Laura was an honest drunk and would not shy away from telling Ava what she needed to change about herself. Weight being on top of her aunt’s list, closely followed by helping out more around the house. Ava didn’t think she was that overweight, and she did her best to help out. But her aunts words always seemed to find her weak spots.

Ava sighed and started up the three steps that led up to the front porch. They needed to be replaced, the first step flexed as she put her weight on it and gave off a moaning sound.

Ava did the maths in her head, she wouldn’t be able to afford a handyman to come out. But maybe she could use her day off and get the materials and do it herself. She was sure she could find a tutorial on the internet that showed her how to do it. She got her keys out to unlock the front door but found it to already be unlocked. Ava frowned, had her uncle and aunt not locked it before they left? She stepped into the dark hallway and switched on the light. Nothing looked out of place. She walked into the living room and dropped the bags she had been carrying as she saw her aunt and uncle lying on the carpeted floor, tied up. It took Ava’s brain a second to register what was happening. But when it did, she rushed forward towards her relatives. As she got closer she could see their injuries in the dim light of the lamp in the hallway. Her aunt had a split lip and was tied and gagged. Her uncle was more black and blue than skin-coloured and he was out cold. Blood oozed from several wounds on his face and his nose and mouth.

“Aunt Laura, what happened?” Ava asked as she started working on loosening her aunt’s gag.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, poppet,” a coarse voice said from behind Ava. Ava jumped in shock, but before she could do something, someone grabbed her by her ponytail and yanked her back. Ava cried out from the pain and the terror that now coursed through her system. She tried to grab the hand that was holding her to get it to let go. What is going on? She thought as she tried to break free.

“Now, now, don’t be a stupid bitch,” a second voice told her. She turned her head and looked up at a rough-looking man. He was skinny but looked like he could handle himself in a fight. He had cold eyes that looked down on her without an ounce of remorse or pity.

“Please, what do you want?” Ava shouted at him. He backhanded her over her mouth and Ava could feel the taste of copper in her mouth.

“Shut up and do as your told, bitch,” the man snapped at her. She heard a laugh coming from the man behind her, holding her hair. She couldn’t see him. Ava was yanked to her feet and the man behind her grabbed her wrist and twisted it up behind her back. She cried out in pain as she felt her shoulder straining.

“Fucking whining bitch, can’t even stand a little pain. We’ll see how long that lasts,” the man that was now in front how her laughed. He was short, Ava realised as he barely came up to her nose. She looked down at him and felt pure fear as she met his eyes. She was in big trouble, and she knew it. What she didn’t know was why.

“Please, we don’t have much, but I can show you where the silver is, and I have some jewellery you can have. Just don’t hurt us,” Ava tried pleading. Her attempt was rewarded by another backhand.

“I told you to shut up. Fucking bitch, we don’t want your tacky jewellery or fucking silver,” he hissed at her. Ava let out a sob. Her left cheek was on fire and was starting to swell up, her lip was split, and she was beginning to fear for her life. If they didn’t want their valuables, what did they want?

“Come on, let’s get out of here,” the voice behind her said. Ava felt a wave of relief wash over her, they were going to leave. When they left, she could untie her uncle and aunt and get her uncle to the hospital. The short man shrugged and started to walk toward the door to the garage. Ava’s relief was short-lived as she felt the man behind her drag her in the same direction.

“W-what are you doing?” she desperately asked. There was a burst of cold laughter coming from hind her.

“You didn’t think that we would leave a poppet like you behind, did you?” A voice whispered in her ear. Ava could feel the wet breath against her skin, and she shivered in revolution.

“Please, don’t take me. Please, please,” she begged and started struggling against the man who was pushing her forward.

“Stop that or I’ll let my friend fuck you in front of your aunt and uncle,” the voice behind her said. Ava stopped struggling as her insides turned to ice. “That got your attention didn’t it?” he chuckled. “Don’t tell me you are a virgin, not with a fuckable ass like yours,” he said, using his free hand to grab and squeeze her ass. Ava was a virgin, but there was no way she would admit it to the man. She just shook her head. “Didn’t think so. My friend wouldn’t mind giving you a quick fuck to shut you up. Me, I’m not into that. No, I would want to get you somewhere private, far from nosy ears. The things I would do to you with my knife, you would be a piece of art when I was done,” he told her in a whisper. Ava’s heart was beating like the wings of a hummingbird at the same time as her body felt cold. Her mind had turned into a black hole of nothing. Pure fear was running through her veins. As the man was pushing her through the door to the garage, she hooked her legs through the banister of the three steps leading down. She wrapped them tightly around one of the posts and refused to let go when the man tugged on her arm. “Let go,” he growled. Ava shook her head and clung to the banister, her life depended on it. In the corner of her eye, she saw the short man walking over to them. She heard something clicking and felt cold metal against her temple.

“Let the fuck go, or I will put a bullet in your fucking brain,” the short man told her in a low voice. For a moment, Ava considered letting him pull the trigger. Whatever they were planning on doing to her once they left the house, she knew it wouldn’t be anything nice. Would it be better to die? But she changed her mind. No matter what, life was better than death. And maybe if they took her somewhere else, she could get help from someone. There was no hope in death, only life offered that. Ava let her legs go limp and when the two men dragged her away to the big, black SUV, she started sobbing. The man behind her took her other hand and pulled it behind her back as well. She felt and heard zip ties go around her wrists and tighten.

the short man pulled open the back door and she was shoved inside, laying on her stomach across the seat. Someone grabbed her legs, bent them, and fastened zip ties around her ankles before closing the door. Ava was laying, face down, with tears streaming down her face. She felt the set getting wet as she continued sobbing. “Stop that. That crying shit is fucking annoying,” the short man said. He had got into the front seat and the other man sat down in the driver’s seat. From what Ava could see, he was a large man with muscles that bulged under his black t-shirt. He was bald and the skin that stretched over his muscles was covered in colourful tattoos.