Jamie finds that all is not what it seems.
Recap: Jamie managed to escape Pedro and Delilah’s place and made his way to a house not too far away where Evelyn and her Diego afforded him some much needed sanctuary. It was there, whilst hiding behind a couch he was reunited with his much loved teddy bear; Oscar.
Things then took an unexpected turn for the worse when Evelyn and Diego announced a money making scheme at his expense. Their plan entails making Jamie’s abductors pay a ransom to get him back but never actually handing him over. It’s a risky plan which Jamie wanted nothing to do with.
He was introduced to a couple of Ukrainian friends of Evelyn and Diego’s; Anastasia and Dymtrus. They have agreed to act as Jamie’s protectors throughout the fake ransoming procedure.
Part Thirteen picks up in Eve’s living room where Dymtrus has just received a call regarding proceedings.
El Chico Traviso
“Zdrastuyte,” said Dymtrus, and then continued the conversation in Ukrainian for a short period. He ceased talking and put his hand over the phone. “Speak of devil and he goes cellular. First contact has been made. Pedro and Delilah want to talk to you Jamie; then want to be sure we’re not playing the…er…how you say, the bluff?”
“Be the swift little fox,” thought Jamie.
Eve’s grip tightened like a choke chain, as Jamie attempted to slip his hand, whilst Dymtrus retracted the cell phone before he could snatch it as planned. He stared over at Diego, who was shifting toward the door in anticipation of an escape attempt, and then at Anastasia. She seemed indifferent to the possibility that he might flee.
“I put it on speaker and we all hear,” said Dymtrus, pressing a button on the phone’s keypad. “Better, no?”
“Yeah…whatever,” mumbled Jamie.
“Hi Jamie, I see you’ve made new friends,” sounded an all too familiar voice. “Are they treating you okay?”
“As well as can be expected…sir.”
“They’re asking me to pay money for your return.”
“So I understand.”
“Do you think they could stop me from taking you back without paying?”
“I don’t know.”
“Perhaps Del and I are better off without you…there are plenty of other kids out there to choose from.”
Jamie stared gobsmacked at the cell phone and carefully considered his response. The underlining threat of how his desertion could eventuate in some other luckless child and family going through a similar ordeal was unsettling. Part of him felt drawn to selflessly sacrificing his freedom and dismissing the statement as mere scare tactics.
“Screw you, Pedro,” he retorted at last and then winced as Eve grip tightened further, almost crushing his fingers.
“Brave words from a distance, Jamie,” said Pedro. “But I guess I deserved that for throwing you in the pool. Anyway, the hired goon wants to talk to Dymtrus, will talk to you later.”
“Wait…before you go, I’m sorry about breaking that crystal vase your grandma got you and Del last Christmas.”
“That’s okay Jamie; truth is; we never really liked it anyway.”
“Yeah, see ya.”
“Pohovory zi minoyu…” said Dymtrus disengaging Speaker Mode.
“Okay that’s all for now Jamie,” said Anastasia. “We’ll let you know when we’re ready to proceed with the next step.”
“It’s all bullshit,” affirmed Jamie, once Eve had escorted him back to Grayson’s room and left him there.
“What is?” asked Oscar.
“All of it…that wasn’t Pedro I was speaking to.”
“Then who was it?”
“I don’t know…I don’t want to know and I don’t really care. All I know is that it wasn’t him. It couldn’t be. He would have done the haka if I’d called him Pedro instead of Sir and never once did he call meBoy.”
“Maybe he’s just being nice to you in hope of winning your allegiance during the up and coming hostage negotiations.”
“I thought of that, but no. Part way through the call, I apologized for breaking an ornament Pedro’s grandmother gave him last Christmas and he said he like forgives me.”
“Pedro’s Grandmother passed away about twenty years ago and the only vase I broke was one from a second hand store…I’m telling you Oscar, these guys are up to something and I don’t want to be part of it.”
“We’ve already been through this Jamie, you can’t just leave.”
“Well I’m going all the same…you’re welcome to join me if still want to.”
“Of course…but please, be very careful.”
“What could possibly go wrong?”
Jamie placed his left ear against the closed door. He could just make out four separate voices conversing in the living room. Nerves tensioned and his heart beat became heavier.
“Are you really sure you want to do this?” asked Oscar.
“Yeah,” replied Jamie, pacing over to the opposite side of the room. He gently eased up the shale coloured roller blind, and then opened the window and quietly as he could. “Staying here’s insane.”
He tossed his beloved teddy bear out the window before climbing out after it. Heavy rain quickly drenched his dry clothing as he retrieved Oscar, and hastened along the outer rim of the house. Hidden prickles within the lawn jabbed at his bare feet, but he managed to supress his urge to wince.
“Where the hell are you going?” fretted Oscar; when Jamie started veering toward the front entrance.
“Gotta get my shoes,” whispered Jamie. “I’d be like going no-where fast in bare feet.”
“No Pal, it’s too risky…you’ll get caught.”
“It’s too risky not to.”
Jamie came to an abrupt halt just before reaching the veranda. He took a couple of deep breathes to steady his nerves before peering around the corner and gasping. His shoes were gone. He cursed under his breath but knew he had already gone too far to simply give up.
Suddenly, the front door burst open and Eve raced out. She grabbed hold of his upper left arm before he could flee and dragged him back inside. He struggled valiantly and almost broke free but Anastasia joined the fray and slammed the door shut; impeding his departure.
Eve marched him down the hallway, passed the living room, and back into Grayson’s bedroom. Fear overwhelmed him and tears started trickling down his cheeks.
“Did you really think I’d just let you run away, when we’re in the midst of negotiations?” she reproached, wagging her index finger at the tip of Jamie’s nose. “What were you thinking?”
“I…um…I don’t know…um…” fumbled Jamie, between sobs.
“I went out of my way to help you out, Jamie. I allowed you to have a shower, and gave you dry clothes…and even put your wet clothing in the drier and this is how you repay me?”
“Sometimes saying sorry is not enough. Your disappearance would have wasted everyone’s time. It was a very irresponsible selfish act for which you deserve to be punished. ”
“What are you going to do to me?”
“I’m confiscating that bear for starters.”
“Oscar? No...Please don’t take him from me.”
“Give him here Jamie.”
“No please Eve, no…”
Jamie held onto the bear as tight as he could manage, but Eve proved a lot stronger than she looked. His mind flashed back to the tug-of-war he had engaged with Deacon over the game controller. It seemed such a long time ago and he felt intolerably homesick.
“You’re being very naughty Jamie; let go this instant or I’ll smack you!” warned Eve.
“You hit me and I’ll tell the police; you nasty insane bitch!” he retorted.
"Don't be cheeky!"
Jamie stumbled sideways as Eve's open palm struck his left cheek. He tripped over his feet, landed on the floor and then started bawling like an injured toddler.
Eve watched on with cold indifference for a brief period, before storming out the room with Oscar and slamming the bedroom door behind her.