Or Even Longer – Part 5

Connor knew, when his captor had removed the blindfold, that the man didn’t intend to return him to his home. At first, he’d been afraid the man intended to kill him. Now, he knew the truth. The man would profit from the kidnapping twice.

First, he would sell Connor to the Berklian slavers. Then, he would collect the ransom that Ceinwyn was getting together. Connor squirmed helpless in the bindings around his wrists and ankles.

The door to the little hut where he was being held opened. His kidnapper entered, followed by the slavers. They were typical Berklians: tall and dark. He wasn’t so different from them and Connor wondered if he was a citizen of Shynia or if he’d come from Berklia for just this sort of operation.

One of the slavers caught Connor’s chin, tilting it upward to look at his face. “Handsome enough,” he said. He tugged off Connor’s glasses and then chuckled. “He’s got enough Cygman in him that he’s all-but blind without these.”

Connor blinked owlishly at them. Then, the slavers were closing in around him. He tensed, knowing what they intended to do. He’d been to enough slave markets to know how Berklians presented their slaves.

Soon, he was lying back on the cot. He squirmed as they cut his shirt and trousers away. When he was just in his underclothes, they caressed his body, gauging his reactions to their intrusion. When one tried to do more, Connor let out a cry of protest.

“Ah,” the slaver said, as his fellow chuckled softly. “Yes, out client will definitely enjoy this one. You did will in selecting him, Roland.”

“Thank you,” the man who’d kidnapped Connor said. He sounded pleased by the praise. “I’ll continue the operation, then, shall I? You tell me what you’re looking for and I’ll do my best to find someone suitable.”

“Yes,” one of the slavers said. They stood and stepped away from Connor. “In fact, we have a few more… orders to place with you now. Then, we’ll pay you for this one and be on our way.”

“Of course,” Roland said. Then, they headed back out of the little hut, leaving Connor alone.

Connor shivered and blinked away tears from his eyes. Crying wouldn’t do any good. The only reason he shed any tears was to give his captors a false sense of security. At least, that’s what he told himself. He tried to ignore his trembling and his pounding heart. He needed to focus on trying to get away from them.

He squirmed against the bindings on his wrists once more. He couldn’t loosen the knots or slip his wrists free. However, he might be able to get his legs through his bound arms. Then, at least, he’d be able to untie the bindings on his ankles and escape.

Connor bit his lip and squeezed his eyes closed as the action sent pain through his shoulders. He squirmed and slowly, painfully, he managed to force his legs through the loop of his arms. He bit off a cry of pain and then sat up. Blinking away tears, he worked at the knots on the bindings around his ankles.

Finally, he was able to tug the knots free. He pulled the bindings away. His ankles seemed to throb as normal blood flow was returned to them. He stood and moved as quietly as he could manage towards the door. He opened it and squinted outside.

He could see the blurred forms of Roland and the two slavers by the water. He blinked as he caught sight of movement much closer. He squinted as the small blurry form darted through the brush towards him. It shot into the room, darting between his feet.

Connor gasped and shut the door, then he whirled around. “Trenton?” he breathed, recognizing the blurred form of the man that was now standing in the little hut with him.

“Hey, Connie,” Trenton whispered. He knelt and lifted something off the floor. “This should help,” he said, holding it out to Connor.

Blinking, Connor took the object. Then, he realized that it was his glasses. Sighing in relief, he slipped them onto his face. He gave Trenton a weak smile as the other agent untied his wrists. “You did come,” he said, unable to keep the surprise out of his voice.

“Of course,” Trenton said, nodding. He took off his jacket and gave it to Connor. Then, he frowned. “Think you can walk without shoes?”

“I’ll manage,” Connor assured him. He’d walk barefoot over hot coals if he had to, in order to get away from these people. “He sold me!”

“Yeah, we’d guessed that much,” Trenton said. He opened the door and peered outside. “Holly’s taking pictures of the transaction. Once we’ve got the evidence we need, she and Rowan will move in.”

“I want to help,” Connor said. When Trenton gave him a doubtful frown, he said, “I’m just as much an agent as you are, Trenton. This guy kidnapped me and called my wife and upset her!”

Trenton gave him a tight smile, then he nodded. “Fair enough,” he said. He glanced back outside and said, “There’s a dartbow in the pocket of that jacket.”

Connor nodded and check first one pocket, then the other. He found the piece tucked into the inside pocket and drew it. “Ready,” he said, nodding.

Nodding, Trenton stepped outside and knelt, holding his other dartbow out. Connor stepped out behind him, also holding out his weapon. Holly was doing the same and Rowan was swooping in on them, his claws extended.

He knocked the weapon out of the hands of one of the slavers. Then, the other three agents told them not to move. Things happened very quickly after that. Rowan grabbed one of the slavers, who had tried to run. Holly shot the other. Roland, however, stood stock still, his eyes wide with shock and his hands up.

Connor sighed and relaxed as three men were taken into custody. He could hear sirens in the distance, approaching the scene. The local constabulary was on the way. He glanced at Trenton and smirked. “Think they’ll let me get some clothes before I give my statement?” he asked.

“They’ll probably even let you go to the clinic and get checked out,” Trenton said.

Nodding, Connor sat down in the doorway of the little hut. “I missed the party,” he said, sounding disappointed.

“I think we’ll have another,” Holly said, as she ruffled his hair. “One to celebrate that we got you back safely?”

Connor smiled and nodding. “Thanks, Holly,” he said. He looked over at Trenton and said, “That goes for all of you, really! I couldn’t hope to work with a better group than the six of you – both on the set and off.”

“Any time,” Trenton said, nodding his head politely.

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