Again, No I don't know any of these guys!
Oh, what had given him such a headache? Carlos shook his head but soon wished he hadn’t done that as a wave of dizziness swept over him.
He tried to reach up to his head but for one or other reason could not move his arms.
Carefully he opened his eyes. The room was fairly dark. A fact his head appreciated very much.
Ah, that explained one thing. Looking down he noticed he was sitting on a chair, all tied up, hands bound together behind him, feet tied to the legs of the chair and just to be on the save side, another rope around his middle.
He was not that warm, so why was his back feeling wet and sticky? He lifted his head to look around him. That brought on another wave of dizziness and nausea. He closed his eyes again quickly.
Breathing deeply, he let the nausea pass before opening his eyes again.
To his right was a wall and a door in it, in front of him, another wall, to his left . . . .
Hold on, he recognised those boots.
‘Urs?’ he said quietly.
No reaction. Trying to see a bit more behind him, send another shock of pain through his head but he had to know. The pair of boots was attached to jeans clad legs, lying very still on the dirty floor.
‘Urs!’ Carlos tried a bit louder.
‘Look who has finally woken up.’ A voice said behind him.
‘David?’ Carlos was surprised to hear his friend.
‘David, is that you? Can you untie me?’ Carlos asked.
‘I wish I could but . . . .’
The noise of chains being shaken could be heard.
‘I’m a bit tied up.’ David continued.
‘What has happened to Urs?’ Carlos needed to know.
‘I don’t know. I can’t reach him. But he hasn’t moved in a while. And neither has Seb.’
‘He’s here as well?’ Carlos said startled.
‘I’m afraid so. Carlos, are you ok? You were out a long time.’ David asked worried.
‘Beside a splitting headache and being tied to this chair, I’m fine.’ Carlos lied to his friend. Truth be told, he was feeling terrible. Not just his head was hurting but the ropes pushing against his ribs and abdomen, made sure he sat as still as possible.
‘Well, that is not surprising. From here, that looks a nasty wound.’
‘At the back of your head. It finally stopped bleeding but . . .’
Carlos had closed his eyes again. So that had been the sticky wetness he had felt on his back. And that was the reason he was feeling so dizzy and nauseated.
‘Hey, you ok there?’ David called him back to the present.
‘I think I’m going to be sick.’ Carlos just croaked.
‘Breathe through it. You know how to.’
The next few minutes, Carlos tried just that, keeping very still.
Finally he was feeling a bit better again.
‘David, how did we get here?’ he asked.
‘Don’t you remember?’ David asked worried.
‘I’m trying hard not to use my brain for the moment.’ Was all he could say.
David smiled a little.
‘To be honest, I was hoping you could tell me. Last thing I remember was walking out of my dressing room for the sound check and getting a bag over my head. I was brought here and chained to the wall. After a while, you were carried in and they tied you to the chair. Seb and Urs were dragged in a while after you. As far as I can see, only you got hurt. It’s a bit dark here but I can’t see immediately any blood on them.’
‘Are you hurt?’ Carlos asked worried.
‘Only my pride. It happened so fast I was not able to put up much of a fight.’
‘What is the time now?’
David angled his watch so he would get a glimpse of the numbers.
‘The show . . . ‘ Carlos said quietly.
‘We’ll reschedule. But first we need to get out of here.’ David tried to pull at the chains again. All afternoon he had been working on the bold that held the chains to the wall. If he could get that out, at least he would be able to move around and check on his friends.
‘Carlos, can you try to remember what happened? They must have been really pissed with you to tie you up like that?’
David expected an answer but all remained quiet.
‘Carlos?’ David asked worried.
But no reply was coming. Carlos had lost consciousness again.
‘You are not going to the concert. I’m telling you!’
She laughed at her husband’s outburst. Each time it was the same. She had tickets for the Il Divo concert for tonight, joining her three friends as usual. And each time he made such a fuss about it all. She didn’t stop him from going out with the guys and drinking until early morning. So why should he stop her from going to the concert.
‘It’s not like I’m going to run off with any of them. They all have ladies themselves. And . . .’
She approached him, looking seductively into his eyes.
‘Don’t you like how hot they make me and how I need to take care of you when I get back?’ She smiled but he pushed her away.
‘Oh yeah, I really love it when I kiss you and all you say is ‘Yes, Urs, more please’ or ‘Mmh, David’ or ‘Carlos, now’. But my all time favourite when you came last night you shouted ‘SEBASTIEN’. A man really wants to hear that when he is making love to his wife.’
‘I was only joking!’
‘Some joke. I’m off to Steve.’ Turning away from her, he grabbed his car keys.
‘Tell Nicola I’ll be there around lunch time. And you do know one of you guys needs to drive us to the venue. So don’t start drinking yet.’ She shouted after him.
He only grumbled and left the house.
Slamming the door as he walked into Steve’s shed, he was handed a beer immediately by his friends. For a moment all four men sat in silence drinking, brooding, annoyed with their wives.
‘And she has the audacity to say it’s good for me.’ He finally blurted out.
The others just nodded. They knew exactly what he was talking about: Il Divo. It’s not that they did not like the music but why did these guys have to be so good looking and charming and well dressed. A normal man can’t compete with that.
They had argued about it often over beers in the shed. In the end, they were drunk, got laid when the wife got home and live continued until the next time these divas walked into their town. Then it would start all over again.
‘Well, not this time! There is not going to be a show tonight. I’ll take care of that!’
Nicola called her husband to take her and her friends to the concert venue. She walked into the shed finding her husband with his friends.
‘Hello, guys.’ She smiled sweetly.
‘We are ready to go, Honey. Can you please take us?’
‘Sure. Be there in a moment.’ He agreed easily.
Nicola left them. They were behaving strange. But she could not spend time on that now. Four gorgeous men were waiting at the other side of town.
‘Everyone knows what to do? I’ll see you around the back of the building.’ Steve closed the door behind him, knowing his friends still needed some time to finish the preparations of their plan. Walking to the front of the house he met his wife and her friends, all excited about the coming concert. He got into the car and started the motor, waiting for the ladies to get comfortable for the one hour drive.
Steve did not have to say anything. The girls were chatting away, looking at the small gifts each of them had made to give to the men of Il Divo. Soon they arrived and Steve dropped off the girls. They didn’t notice that he drove around the corner in stead of heading for the motorway again. Slowly Steve drove passed the back entrance, looking closely at the security and service people all walking about. He made three more passes before parking the car and waiting for his friends.
Half an hour later a van came around the corner. Steve quickly moved to it and got in unseen. Behind the van drove a police car. Both stopped in an abandoned dead end street. Inside the van Steve quickly changed. Bob, the policeman, had been able to secure four uniforms. It had taken some convincing before he wanted to be part of this set up. But they had promised nothing was actually going to happen to the men from Il Divo, just give them a message and send them on their way.
All looking the part, they got into the police car. Bob drove to the back entrance to the venue. As expected he was stopped.
‘My sergeant sends us over to help with the security. We don’t want any of these good people getting trampled, do we?’
The security man was not swayed easily.
‘Name and badgenumber.’
Bob gave him his name and badgenumber. The security man called someone else. After 5 tense minutes, he turned back to Bob.
‘Your boss says to enjoy the concert with the wife.’
Bob smiled knowingly at the security man while they were let into the building.
Step one had worked. The man had never asked for any identification of the others in the car.
They left the car where they could reach it easily. Walking backstage they soon found four doors with names on. It was not difficult to hide between all the crates stacked high. And now the waiting game started. They did not know where each of the men were. So in stead of wondering about, attracting attention, they would hide here.
Was it luck, or just coincidence? But only 5 minutes later David walked out of his dressing room. Bob quickly came behind David, putting a bag over his head and his hand over his mouth. A quick tap on the head from the but of his pistol made David slump to the floor. Bob and Pete quickly hid him behind the crates. The others joined them.
‘Get him to the hide out now. We’ll stay here.’ Andrew said. He wanted the man coming out of the door marked Sebastien.
Bob and Pete picked up David and carried him to the car, pushing him in the boot before anyone else would pass by.
Driving out the building again they assured the security man they’d be back.
‘Just want to have a quick drive around. We’ll be back in a little while.’
They would use a long abandoned points cabin from the old railroad to hide the men.
No one saw David being dragged into the building. He was still out to the rest of the world. Bob pulled of the bag and locked the chains around David’s wrists. Sure he was not going to be able to escape, they left him in the dark.
David startled awake, finding himself all alone, in a dark room, chained to the wall. Panic gripped him.
‘Help!’ he shouted on the top of his lungs. But everything was quiet.
‘Please, don’t leave me here alone.’
He tried to be strong. Being the tallest, everyone always expected that of him. But he hated the dark. He hated not knowing where he was. He hated being chained to a wall. Pulling up his knees, he put down his head and for a moment let the tears run down his face. He didn’t want to be here.
‘Why do you want to get this Sebastien guy so much?’ Steve whispered to Andrew.
‘She called out his name last night. A joke she said. But I’m fed up.’ Andrew hissed between clenched teeth.
Suddenly the door opened.
Andrew quietly snuck up behind the man who had just left the dressing room with the name Sebastien. He had brought his baseball bat and swung hard. The man never saw it coming. The force of the blow throwing him meters further on the floor, behind some crates. Quickly Steve and Andrew went to the man.
Looking down at the now unconscious Carlos, Steve asked.
‘Are you sure this is the one called Sebastien? I don’t know them.’
‘Has to be, he came out of that room.’
Andrew looked down at the crumpled body and kicked hard against Carlos’ ribs.
‘Hey, we said no damage. You already got him pretty hard on the head. Look at all that blood.’ Steve stopped Andrew.
‘He’ll be fine.’ And just for good measure he kicked Carlos again.
Seeing the police car drive back into the building, they quickly picked up Carlos and put him in the boot. They could not leave immediately as that would be noticed too much. So they walked around the building for a while.
Unaware of what was happening to their friends, Urs and Seb were in Urs’ dressing room trying out some different cords on their guitars.
Half an hour later, Steve and Andrew took the car and drove off. It was not far to their hide out. Before going in, they put some balaclavas over their faces, just in case David was awake already.
They opened the door. David tried to get up but the chains prevented him from doing so.
‘What do you want from me?’ He asked immediately, only then noticing the unconscious Carlos between the men. One had brought a chair on which they now put Carlos. David gasped at the sight of the wound on the back of Carlos’ head.
‘What have you done?’ he shouted angrily.
The men ignored him, tying Carlos to the chair. Without a word spoken, they left the room in darkness again.
‘Carlos!’ David shouted. But there was no reaction.
Perhaps it was selfish but he felt a bit better already. At least he was not alone anymore. But he was very worried about his friend. Why had they been so brutal with him?
A knock on the door, brought an end to some strange musical concoction in the room.
‘Yes.’ Urs called to the door.
‘Time for sound check.’
Urs and Seb walked out.
‘Are Carlos and David with you?’ The stagehand asked.
‘They are not in their dressing rooms. Perhaps they already went the other way to the stage.’ Lifting his shoulders, he walked ahead of Seb and Urs. Getting to the stage, David nor Carlos were anywhere around. They stood waiting for a while but nobody came.
‘Let’s find them.’ Seb said to Urs and they both walked back to their dressing rooms. Looking everywhere but not finding a sign of either David or Carlos, had Seb and Urs worried by now. This was not normal. A couple of policemen were standing backstage. They walked to them.
‘Have you seen either David or Carlos?’ Urs asked.
‘I’m sorry, Sir. I only got here a moment ago. But no, I have seen no one passing by this way.’ Pete said casually.
‘Thanks’ Seb said while turning back. They walked on a bit when suddenly Urs stopped Seb.
‘Look!’ he pointed to something on the floor behind some of the crates. They walked a bit closer and noticed it was blood. Urs kneeled down.
‘It’s still wet.’
‘We need to get someone. Those policemen.’ Seb turned back and called for the men to come closer.
‘Look, we found some blood. Can you get some more help? I’m afraid something has happened to our friends.’ Seb said anxious.
‘Of course, Sir.’
But in stead of calling for help, Bob grabbed Seb’s hand and catapulted him against the opposite wall. Seb was out for the count. Urs jumped up but did not get a lot further as the second police man, Pete, kicked his legs from underneath him. Urs landed hard against the wall and a dark mist enclosed him immediately.
Pulling Seb and Urs behind the crates, they were out of sight for a moment. However, Andrew and Steve were not back with the car yet. And a real search would be on soon. Opening one of the crates, there was room enough in there for two bodies. Quickly Pete and Bob picked up Urs and Seb and dumped them in the crate. Putting a piece of cloth in each mouth and tying their hands behind their backs, would make sure they could not shout out immediately.
The venue was all in a panic. None of the Divos could be found now. More policemen arrived and started looking around. Bob and Pete had pulled the crate with Seb and Urs over the patch of blood. Just to be sure, they had also put another crate on top. That allowed them to join the search through the building without loosing their precious cargo.
An hour later, the search was called off and the police took matters in hand. It was obvious by now that something terrible had happened. Everyone was questioned. Including the returned Steve and Andrew. Bob did all the talking for them and no one suspected any police involvement. So they were allowed to leave the venue. Corridors were even more quiet now. That allowed them to move the crate closer to the car and when no one was about, they quickly put Urs and Seb in the boot of the car.
No one paid any attention to a police car leaving the building. It had done so several times during the afternoon. Now was no different.
They drove to their hide out. Soon they dumped Urs and Seb behind Carlos.
‘Please, what do you want from us? Talk to me.’ David shouted.
Before leaving the hide out, one man turned around.
‘Your concert has been cancelled.’ And he left.
‘Urs! Seb!’ David tried to reach them but was unable to do so. He just wished someone would wake up and help him with these chains. He was trying hard to pull the bold out of the wall but it was not easy.
The brief moment Carlos had been awake was over too soon. With more effort now, David set to work on the bold. It slowly started moving. And with one last pull, it finally came out of the wall. Allowing himself a moment to rest, he carefully rubbed around his wrists, all bloodied now after wrestling with the chains all afternoon. He first crawled over to Urs. He pulled out the cloth in his mouth and undid the rope around his hands.
‘Urs.’ David shook him carefully, not knowing if and how bad he was hurt.
With a jolt, Urs sat up, looking around startled.
‘It’s OK.‘ David quickly assured him. Urs sat back for a moment, rubbing the back of his head.
‘Are you ok?’ David asked worried.
‘Yes. What happened?’
David already crawled to Seb.
‘We were all taken.’ Just as David wanted to take the cloth out of Seb’s mouth this one woke up, eyes wide open, pulling back from the hand in front of his face.
‘Seb, it’s ok. It’s me.’
Seb settled on David’s face and relaxed for a moment. It was dark in the room but a bit further he saw Urs sitting.
‘Merde!’ was the first thing he shouted.
David quickly undid his ropes as well. Seb rubbed the front of his face. That had been one big smack against that wall.
‘Guys, can you help me with Carlos. He’s not doing so good.’ David got their attention immediately when he moved to the chair.
‘What happened to him?’ Urs asked startled, seeing the blood at the back of his friends head.
David just shook his head.
‘Hold on. Let’s put something over this wound first while he is sitting upright.’ Urs pulled one of his sleeves from his shirt and made it into a make shift bandage. Carefully he wound it around Carlos’ head.
Seb and David had already undone the rope around his legs and his hands. While Urs held him steady they now also undid the ropes around his torso. Very careful, all three each held Carlos while they laid him on the floor. Even in his unconscious state, Carlos moaned. And then he slowly opened his eyes. It took him a moment to focus but soon saw his friends around him. He tried to get up but had to lie down again.
‘Is everyone ok?’ Was his first question.
‘Yes, we are ok. How are you feeling?’ David answered.
‘Help me up, please.’
‘Are you sure?’ Seb asked worried. He had never seen Carlos as bad as this.
Carlos carefully nodded once. With his eyes closed, he was helped to a sitting position.
‘Here, lean against me.’ Seb offered.
Carlos breathed deeply, obviously in pain.
‘Where does it hurt? Besides the head. That one is obvious.’ Urs asked.
Carlos felt his head and the bandage around it. Opening his eyes he noticed the missing sleeve on Urs’ shirt.
‘Never mind my shirt. You can buy me a new one. Where does it hurt?’ Urs needed to know.
‘Ribs and abdomen. Feels like I was kicked.’ Carlos said with difficulty.
‘Don’t you remember?’
‘Not really.’ He took a moment to think.
‘I was looking for Seb. But you were not in your dressing room. So I walked out and . . . and that’s it.’
He was already exhausted just telling them this little bit. He closed his eyes again.
‘Rest a bit.’ David said.
‘Urs, can you help me with these chains? I need two hands to pull them apart.’
With joined effort the chains were soon on the floor.
Suddenly the sound of a car was heard on the outside. David and Urs stood up in front of Seb and Carlos, tensed, waiting for the next thing to happen. Four pair of eyes looked at the door slowly opening.
Four men with bright lights walked in.
‘Get back.’ One of them shouted as Urs wanted to get closer. When Urs did not move immediately, he showed a large baseball bat.
‘Back, or you’ll meet the same fate as your friend Sebastien.’ The man shouted again.
‘What do you mean?’ Seb asked, not understanding. But Carlos squeezed his hand quickly to make him shut up.
‘Yes, Urs. You don’t want to be in my position.’ Carlos said.
Understanding, Urs slowly backed away.
‘Good. So you all freed yourselves. Fine. Get up. . . . NOW!’ the man shouted again when Carlos did not get up fast enough. David helped Carlos, supporting him just to be able to stand upright.
‘Where are you taking us?’ Urs asked defiantly.
‘You are really looking for it, aren’t you, boy.!’ Urs slowly lifted his hands, a sign of surrender. Walking to the door, he saw a small van parked.
‘Get in.’ Another man said.
Urs got in and then helped Carlos climb in. When all four sat on the floor of the van, the doors were closed. They started driving.
‘Carlos, they wanted me. I’m so sorry.’ Seb said distraught.
‘Any time, my friend. Well, actually, no. Just try not to make any more enemies.’ Carlos tried to comfort Seb.
Where were they taken now?
Carlos kept drifting in and out consciousness during the hour long drive. They had left the major roads now as the van was advancing on some bumpy roads. Finally it stopped. They heard another car as well and wondered what would happen next.
‘Carlos.’ Seb gently shook Carlos. He opened his eyes slowly.
‘The van has stopped.’ Seb answered his unspoken question.
The doors were opened.
‘OUT!’ The man shouted.
Seb jumped out first and turned to help Carlos. But just as Carlos wanted to put his foot down, the man grabbed his shirt and threw him down hard on his hands and knees. Eyes furious and hands balled into fists, Seb wanted to attack the man. But the back of someone else’s hand striking him hard send Seb dazed to the ground, next to Carlos.
‘And how about you two clowns. You coming out nicely or you want to eat dirt?’
Urs and David carefully jumped out of the van, trying not to antagonize the men any more. They hurried to Carlos and Seb, helping them up again. Seb shook his head. He could actually hear bells ringing in his head. Still he managed to ask:
‘Why did you do that?’
He just could not believe anyone could be so violent without any reason.
‘Because my wife keeps calling HIS name in MY bed! Not any more.’
Stunned into silence, the four Divos stood, waiting to see what was next in store for them.
‘That way to the next town. Don’t come back to ours, EVER.’ The message was clear.
The van and car drove away, leaving the men in darkness in the middle of nowhere.
‘Sebastien, have a word with your Sirens.’ Carlos sighed and sat down carefully. Seb looked down at his friend. Tears close to being shed, he felt so guilty for what they had done to Carlos. How would he ever be able to make up for this.
They looked around. It was dark but it was obvious there was not a house in sight.
‘We need to get back to town. Carlos needs a doctor fast.’ Seb stressed while kneeling down next to Carlos again.
‘Yes, but which way?’ Urs wondered.
‘Well, they did not drive that fast. So I reckon we are about 90 kilometres out of town. We don’t know how far it is to the next town. So I say we go back.’ David reasoned. Looking at the others, there was not a lot to say. They nodded and helped Carlos up again. Slowly they started walking.
It became obvious very quickly that keeping at the slow pace Carlos was setting, would not get them into town anytime soon.
‘Let’s rest for a moment.’ Seb suggested. Carlos just sat down, unaware of his friends standing around him.
‘We need to carry him. I’ll take him first.’ Seb said determined.
Urs and David nodded in agreement.
‘Carlos, you are going to piggy back on us.’ Seb told his friend.
Carlos shook his head.
‘No, just leave me.’ He was so tired already. All he wanted to do was lie down and close his eyes. ‘Leave me.’
‘As if we’d ever do that.’ Urs simply stated while helping Carlos up again.
Seb bend his knees a bit and soon Carlos was on his back. His arms hanging over Seb’s shoulders and his head resting, Carlos was soon unaware of the slow walk back to town.
She was so annoyed tonight. She had driven into town early in the day. She had it all planned out, even got herself a nice hotel room. The one time he was in her town and now she did not even get to see them. The Il Divo concert had been cancelled under very strange circumstances. She had waited for hours before deciding nothing would happen tonight. She had checked out again and started the long drive back to her farm. She was so angry at not being able to see her favourite Divo, Carlos. She had spent a lot of money getting a ticket close to the stage so she could see him up close. Driving fast in the dark was not a problem for her. She knew these roads like the back of her hand. But she never expected people walking along the narrow roads. Skidding to a halt she only just missed the first man. Her car lights lit up the startled faced. With a shock she realised who was in front of her. There was David, Urs and Seb. Where was Carlos?
She quickly got out of the car and only then noticed the unconscious body of Carlos on the ground. Ignoring the others, she ran straight to him.
‘What have you done to Carlos?’ she shouted angrily.
‘What have WE done?’ Urs could hardly bring out.
‘OK, Miss. All we need is a ride back into town. We’d appreciate it very much if you could help us.’ Seb tried to stay calm.
‘No time for town. That is still a few hours away. Come to my farm.’ She insisted.
The guys looked at each other, not sure what to do. This woman had already accused them of hurting Carlos.
She looked up and softened her face.
‘I’m sorry. I should not have jumped to conclusions. My only excuse: I’m a Cutie.’ She got up and held out her hand.
‘I’m Beth. You all seem to have been in the wars. Please, come home with me. I can get a doctor out in no time.’
Slowly and still a bit unsure, David shook her hand.
Things went very quickly from there. Carlos was put on the back seat with Seb and Urs. David sat in the front. Within 15 minutes they arrived at a dark farm. Beth quickly walked in to put the lights on and showed Seb the way to the bedroom as he carried Carlos in his arms.
She grabbed the phone while walking ahead of him and dialled the number for the doctor.
‘Doc, you need to get to my place now.’
‘No, I need you now. It can’t wait. You know what will happen if you don’t come.’
Seb was only half listening to the conversation while putting Carlos on the bed carefully.
Beth joined him.
‘The doctor will be here in a minute or two. I’ll take care of him now. You need to rest with your friends.’ She manoeuvred Seb out of the bedroom and back to the kitchen. Urs and David were sitting on some chairs at the kitchen table.
Beth poured them all a cup of old coffee. Normally they would not have drunk anything like it but they were so tired, it did not really matter.
Beth was right. The doctor arrived within minutes. Nodding to the three friends, Beth showed him immediately to the bedroom. Seb, Urs and David followed but stayed at the door so they would not intrude on the doctor.
Beth had gotten some warm water and helped clean out the head wound.
‘This will need some stitching.’ The doctor murmured.
‘Hey, are you sure what you are doing?’ Seb stopped the doctor. He had noticed the shaking hands.
‘It’s OK. Doc is a good friend. He knows what he is doing.’ Beth tried to sooth Seb. After a few minutes, the doctor had put some stitches in and was now putting on a dressing.
‘Doc, can you also check his ribs and abdomen. He got kicked.’ Urs asked. With Beth’s help the doctor removed Carlos’s shirt. Carefully feeling along his ribs, it was easy to see where they were cracked. The doctor could not find anything wrong in his abdomen.
‘Probably bruised badly. Beth you know what to look for during the night.’ Beth nodded. The doctor put a bandage around Carlos’ ribs to end with. There was not a lot left he could do now. Leaving some painkillers he walked back out to the kitchen. David, Urs and Seb followed.
‘So, young man. Let’s have a look at that eye.’ He turned to Seb.
Seb sat down on the chair and let the doctor have a look at his face. Getting hit twice in a day, had caused some damage. He was developing a serious black eye. The doctor put some drops in his eyes to make sure no further damage was done. Then he turned to Urs.
‘I’m fine.’ There was something about this doctor he did not like.
The doctor moved to David and looked at his wrists. Putting some crème on and then some bandages, made David feel a lot better already.
By the time the doctor finished with them, Beth walked into the kitchen.
‘Carlos is fast asleep again. I’ll keep an eye on him during the night.’
‘We need to get back to town.’ Urs insisted.
‘Why don’t you stay the night and then it’s a lot easier to find your way back in the light. Besides, you all look exhausted.’ Beth argued.
‘I’ll get you all some soup and then you can crash here for the night.’
Reluctantly Urs agreed. They were feeling like crap. Some sleep would do them good.
‘Thank you. If it is not too much bother.’
Beth smiled and went to the stove to warm up some soup.
‘Beth, see you around.’ The doctor waved and left the house.
‘Can we use your phone?’ Urs asked.
‘Sure. It’s still in the bedroom.’
Urs walked in and saw Carlos tucked safely into bed, looking more relaxed now. He was fast asleep. Briefly touching his face just to make sure Carlos was ok, Urs dialled the number and soon spoke to some very worried people. Walking back into the kitchen, he finished the call.
‘They cancelled tonight’s show. But they’ll send someone to pick us up in the morning.’ Urs informed David and Seb.
‘That’s good news. Now sit down and have some soup.’
Beth poured them each a bowl. Quietly they each ate the hot liquid, relaxing. They must have been more tired then they knew. Half way through his soup, Urs put his head on the table and fell asleep, fast followed by Seb and David. Beth smiled as she saw them sleeping.
9 am. A soft knock on the door. Beth opened it and in front of her were two policemen. More people were walking towards the house.
‘Good morning, Madame. We are here to pick up the gentlemen.’
Beth looked surprised.
‘I don’t understand. This morning when they woke up they insisted on leaving already. I gave them my car and they left around 7. Did you not come across them while you drove out here?’
One of the policemen walked back to the other people gathered. After a short conversation he came back.
‘Can we look in your house?’
Beth stepped aside.
‘Sure, please come in.’
The police did a quick search around the house but found it empty. As they walked out again, they heard some banging on the wall. They turned around again.
‘What was that?’
‘It’s my pigs around the back. One of them is in heat.’ She smiled while walking to the back of the house. Indeed there were some pigs walking about on the outside. The policemen could see more movement in the shed. Walking back to the front of the house, the policemen reported back. One by one the cars left. Beth watched them go, smiling slightly.
The banging started again. Beth lifted her eyes and stormed back into the house. Walking into the now empty bedroom, she pushed the wardrobe to the side. Behind it was a door giving way to a hidden room.
‘Will you stop it now. They have left. No need to keep at it. I told you they would not find you. Now behave like good little boys should and maybe I’ll give you something to eat later on!’
She looked angrily at the three men sitting on the floor. She had tied them up well and gagged them so they could not shout out. They remained still, not understanding what was happening.
‘Now, let me go back to Carlos. He needs me.’ She turned her back on them and closed the door, plunging the room back into darkness.
One minute they had been eating soup and the next they wake up in this stinking hell hole, all tied up. What had they missed? Had there been a sign: you are walking into the house of a mad woman? No, nothing that simple. Perhaps they had just been too worried about Carlos to notice the details. And what was she doing with him now, to him even?
Beth had stirred gently in the soup, thrilled by the fact she finally had Carlos in her house. And slowly a seed grew: she did not want to let him go. She’d make sure he stayed with her forever. But what to do about his friends? That’s when she had picked up the bottle of sleeping tablets and added a handful to the soup.
Giving each a bowl to eat, Beth had made herself a fresh cup of coffee and waited. It did not take long before Urs was the first to succumb to the inevitable sleep. She saw him push away his bowl and put his head down. David was soon to follow. Seb had taken a bit longer. But then he had been eating very slow, looking back to the bedroom once in a while, obviously worried about Carlos. For a brief moment she wondered what that was about. Seb had been the one carrying Carlos in as well and interrupting the doctor. But even Seb fell asleep. Seeing them sleeping she smiled.
Making sure Carlos was fast asleep, she continued her plan. She pushed away the wardrobe, revealing the door behind it. Back in the kitchen, she first removed Urs’ shirt and boots, before dragging him to the back room. She pushed a piece of cloth in his mouth and used some old rope to tie his hands behind his back and his feet together. Pushing him in one corner, she left him to sleep. Next she walked to David. She liked David a lot as well. He was funny. But now she had Carlos. So David had to be locked up as well. Pulling of his t-shirt and removing his shoes as well, she soon dragged him to the back room. For a split second she considered leaving his hands untied because of the bandages. But then she thought of Carlos and soon forgot why she even wanted to do that. Last she also removed Seb’s shirt and shoes before dragging him to the back room, gagging and tying him with some more rope.
Beth locked the door and pushed the wardrobe back. They would be asleep for a while longer.
She looked at the sleeping Carlos, oblivious to what was happening to his friend. Carefully she lay down on the bed, next to him. That was it, this was her place. Next to Carlos. And she’d make sure he wanted her next to him as well. She closed her eyes and fell asleep.
Around 6 Carlos woke up briefly. Beth noticed immediately.
‘Where are the others?’ He asked quietly.
‘Fast asleep. Are you in pain?’
‘I’ll get you something.’
Beth left to get some water from the kitchen. She was just walking back when Carlos appeared in the kitchen.
‘Carlos, you need to rest, Sweetie.’
Beth wanted to push him back to the bedroom.
‘I need to see them. Are they ok?’ Carlos insisted.
Beth sighed. Why had they developed such a strong friendship? Did he know something was not quite right?
‘Don’t worry about them, Baby. I’m here to take care of you. Here, take these tablets.’
Carlos swallowed the tablets one by one. Beth took his arm and walked him back to the bedroom. But she did not help him to the bed. Instead she walked him to the wall. Pushing gently against the panel, it opened up and showed another bed. There she made him sit down again. The tablets did not take long to work. Carlos put his head on the pillow and was asleep again. Beth made sure he was all covered up before closing the panel in the wall.
Now, no one would know she was hiding four men. Now they were hers to do with as she pleased.
She spend the next hour cleaning the house, removing any trace of their presence. She drove her car behind the barn so no one could see it. Then she could relax.
Urs opened his eyes but everything around him was dark. Was it still the middle of the night? He couldn’t move. Why was that? Something had been pushed in his mouth. He was tied up, AGAIN! Slowly his eyes adjusted to the darkness and he noticed Seb and David in the same position as he was in. But they were still asleep. At least, he hoped that was all it was.
He heard cars arriving and people talking. He had to attract their attention. Turning on his back, he kicked hard again the wooden wall. He noticed his boots were missing so it was hard to make a lot of noise. He stayed quiet again, trying to listen if anyone had noticed. He heard people walking about in the house. They didn’t find him. Again he kicked the walls as hard as he could.
All the noise woke up David and Seb as well completely disturbed by their predicament.
Urs heard the cars leave again. Frustrated they had not found them, he kicked out again. That’s when she had opened the door and shown her true colours.
Around 12 Carlos finally opened his eyes, completely disoriented. He was lying in a bed, everything around him was quiet. He slowly turned his head and looked straight into her smiling eyes. He smiled at her, recognising the girl from the evening before. She was sitting on the floor, just looking at him. How long had she been there?
‘Hello, how are you feeling?’ Beth asked.
Carlos had to think about it for a moment. He was feeling better.
‘Better, thank you.’
He tried to get up.
‘Yes, a bit.’
He got up carefully, a bit unsteady on his legs, holding his ribs. Feeling naked without a shirt, he looked at Beth.
‘Do you have something I can put on?’ He asked shyly. Beth smiled at him.
‘You don’t have to on my account.’ She said but got him a shirt anyway.
They slowly walked to the kitchen. Carlos had expected to see his friends there waiting for him but the room was empty.
Beth helped him to sit down at the table.
‘Where are my friends?’ Carlos asked.
Beth walked to the stove and started stirring the soup.
‘They left early this morning.’
Carlos was surprised.
‘They left me?’ He could not help but ask.
Beth turned around.
‘Only because they knew I was taking good care of you. They were driving back but said they’d come and pick you up later. Don’t worry, you are safe here.’ She assured him.
Still Carlos was disturbed. He never would have believed his friends would just leave him with a stranger. They always made sure they got home together, wherever they went. That’s what brothers do.
Beth put a bowl of soup in front of him.
‘Try and eat something.’
Reluctantly Carlos ate some of the soup. He was quickly starting to feel tired again. Beth noticed.
‘I think you have already overdone it walking to the kitchen. We better get you back to bed.’
Carlos started feeling like in a daze. Beth helped him up and he willingly walked back to the bedroom. Seeing she was not expecting anyone anymore, she put him back on the big bed.
‘How about a nice sponge bath? I still need to clean off that blood from your back.’ Beth soothed Carlos.
Carlos felt something was wrong but he did not have the strength to do anything about it. Beth helped him back out of his shirt. She let her hands roam over his bare skin. Carlos closed his eyes.
‘I’ll take good care of you’ she whispered in his ear.
She had gotten some warm water and now used it to clean away the dried up blood in his neck and on his back. She was careful not to dirty the bandages. When she finished with his upper body, she laid him down on the bed again. But when she tried to undo his trousers, his hands stopped her.
‘Thanks. I’m ok now. I’d like to rest a bit.’ He said with eyes closed but firmly holding on to her hands.
Beth pulled an angry face, something he did not see. Reluctantly she gave in to his request. They would have more time together.
‘No problem. I’ll get you your tablets and then you can rest some more.’
He swallowed the tablets without question. Then he laid back down and she covered him up. It did not take long for him to be fast asleep again.
Beth waited another hour, sitting on the edge of the bed, just looking at her Carlos. She heard movement behind the wardrobe. Sighing at the intrusion into her day, she pushed the wardrobe aside and opened the door.
Urs, David and Seb had moved closer together, trying to undo the ropes around their hands. They looked up, scared.
Beth shook her head.
‘Boys, you only had to wait a moment. I said I’d give you something to eat if you behaved. And you were good. So I’m going to get you something to eat and drink.’
She closed the door again and walked to the kitchen. Picking up a bottle of water and a loaf of bread, she also collected a knife and her riffle.
She opened the door again and put the food and water down. Then she moved to Urs and cut his ropes. He rubbed his wrists to get some feeling in them again. Beth backed up and pointed the riffle at him.
‘Now you can cut the ropes of David and Seb as well.’
Urs pulled the gag out of his mouth and crawled to his friends. He cut them free as well. But when he tried to cut the ropes around his feet, Beth stopped him.
‘Last time I looked, you didn’t need your feet to eat.’
She pushed the bread and water a bit closer.
Urs took the food and gave some to David and Seb. He could not keep his eyes of Beth.
‘What are you looking at?’ She finally shouted.
‘How is Carlos?’ Seb asked.
‘He’s fine. Resting comfortably.’ She said smiling.
Suddenly Urs’ eyes got bigger, looking at something over her shoulder, or rather, someone.
Beth noticed immediately, turning around and seeing Carlos up again. Quickly she closed the door and turned to him.
‘Baby, what are you doing up?’ She walked to him smiling.
Carlos wasn’t sure what he had seen, half asleep and numbed by the tablets.
‘Was that . . . . .?’
‘It’s just a pantry, Sweetie. Nothing for you to worry about. Come back to bed.’
He let her lead him back to bed and soon he was fast asleep again.
Beth was furious. Her plan had nearly failed.
Opening the door again, riffle aimed at the men, she very much felt like shooting.
‘You have a choice here: keep quiet and I may not hurt Carlos or make a noise and it’s the end of Il Divo.’
She gave them a minute to think about it. But no one spoke.
‘Good. I’ll be back!’
She backed out of the room, locked the door and pushed the wardrobe back in place.
Plunged back into the semi darkness, they stayed quiet for a moment.
‘She just made her first mistake.’ Urs whispered quietly.
David and Seb looked at him. Urs pulled the knife from underneath him. With everything that had been going on, Beth had forgotten to ask for the knife back. Quickly Urs cut the ropes around their feet. They rubbed their legs hard to get the blood flowing again. Urs and David continued eating their bread. But Seb was very quiet.
Urs looked up at him.
‘Seb?’ He only had to say. Tears were running down his face quietly. David now noticed as well and immediately dropped his piece of bread.
‘Hey, Sebastien. What is the matter?’ David asked worried.
Seb just shook his head, unwilling to voice his pain. But it did not take much for his friends to know what was wrong.
Urs put his arm around his shoulders and pulled him close for a moment.
‘You do know this is not your fault, don’t you.’
Seb pushed away from Urs, shaking his head more vigorously.
‘If . . . if it had not been because of me . . . . Carlos would not have gotten hurt . . . We would not have gotten kidnapped . . . not ended up with this nutcase of a woman . . . locked in this stinking hole. . ‘ He managed to say in between his tears.
Urs and David smiled for a moment.
‘No, dear friend. It is not your fault. There are just some very weird people in the world. Please dry your tears and eat something. We need to keep our strength up to get out of here.’ David tried to comfort Seb.
Seb looked from David to Urs, seeing they meant it. He nodded and wiped the tears from his face. Picking up the piece of bread he had been given, he quietly forced it down with a bit of water.
‘OK there are two things we need to accomplish now. One, we need to get a message to Carlos that we are still here. Secondly, we need to find a way out of here. Seb, finish your food first and rest. David, what will Carlos always hear?’
For a moment David was confused but then he knew.
‘Music, he will always hear music. But how are we going to make music here?’ David questioned.
‘We don’t have to make music, just tap the beat. Look, he is in a bed on the other side of this wall. We tap on the wall. Even in his sleep, he will hear it, I’m sure. So who does he love listening to?’
‘Tom Jones.’ Seb said in between bites.
‘You think you can tap the beat of one of his songs on the wall?’ Urs asked.
David nodded again.
‘I’ll start working on this wooden wall with the knife. With a bit of luck, we can break through. After 30 minutes we’ll change places so we all get to rest a bit as well.’
Finally they had some hope, a plan of getting out of here.
Before starting anything, they listened carefully for any sound from the other side of the wall. But all was quiet.
David and Urs started implementing their plan while Seb tried to finish the crust of bread he was playing with.
Hours later, Carlos finally woke up again. Something in the back of his mind had woken him up but he could not pinpoint what it was. Tom Jones was singing in his head. Weird feeling. He opened his eyes just as Beth walked back into the room. It was getting dark outside.
‘What is the time?’ he asked casually.
Beth looked at her watch.
She sat down on the bed.
‘Have my friends come back already?’ He asked hopefully.
Beth looked sadly at him. He saw a tear in her eye and did not know what to make of it.
‘Carlos, I don’t know how to say this.’
That had Carlos worried.
‘Go on.’ He said hesitantly.
‘Carlos, the police passed by when you were asleep. The car, . . . . . it got of the road. They didn’t make it to town.’
Carlos was not following, not willing to believe what she was saying.
‘What are you saying?’
‘Sweetie, they went off the road. Police said they probably did not suffer.’ She said quietly.
Carlos’ head started turning. This could not be true.
‘No, . . . . . NO!’ he shouted.
On the other side of the wall, three men held their breath, trying to hear what was being said. Why was their friend so upset now? What had she done?
‘You are lying. They are not dead!’ Carlos got exited and shouted out his grief. He did not know how to handle this. He was feeling sick, more so then before. But he did not know if it was his body or his heart breaking that made him feel the way he did.
Beth came closer to him and held him close, trying to comfort him. But Carlos pushed her away, getting up from the bed and walking through the bedroom. He needed something to hit but there was nothing.
‘Please, Sweetie. Be careful.’
She had hoped he would fall into her arms, take her into his heart. But all he did was call his friends names, weeping but at the same time pushing her away.
She looked at the nightstand and the tablets standing there. Quickly she got some of them out and walked to Carlos.
‘Please, take your tablets. You need to calm down.’ She put the tablets in his hand. Pushing his hand to his mouth she made sure he swallowed them all.
Carlos had to sit down again. His body was not feeling well at all. Within minutes, he had collapsed on the bed again. Beth covered him with the blankets.
‘Now you are all mine.’ She said before leaving him to sleep.
On the other side of the wall, David, Urs and Seb had heard Carlos’ reaction. They were more determined then ever to get out of this predicament.
Carlos was restless all through the night. His dreams were haunted by his friends. Time and time again he saw their car going over the side, plunging into the deep, screams bouncing up to him against the sides of the mountains, heart wrenching screams of people facing their death. And then he was next to them, seeing their broken, blood covered bodies. But nothing he did helped them. They were gone to him forever. And all the while Tom Jones was singing in the back ground.
He woke up, relieved to find himself alone in the room. He was grateful to Beth for her help but there was something strange about this woman.
His bandages were soaking wet. His head was hurting more again but it was different. It was just the wound now. It felt wet. And together with the shivering feeling, he realised he must be fighting a serious infection. So the doctor had not been as good as Beth had said. How he wished his friends were around.
There was something else, tapping, yes, that was it, tapping. Something or someone was tapping the wall. Carlos could not make out what it was or where it came from.
Pulling the sheets over him to cover his bare shoulders, he got up from the bed and walked to the window, watching the sun slowly rise. Silently he shed tears for his friends again. His head started spinning and he had to hold on to the wall to avoid falling over. Wiping the tears from his face, he decided today he had to go. He had to get back to town. If indeed his friends had died, he needed to be there, to comfort family and friends. He just wished he felt better.
‘Stop the tapping already!’ He suddenly shouted to no one in particular.
The silence was overwhelming for a moment. Had he only imagined it? And then the tapping started again, more urgent now, a pattern in the noise that finally fell into place: a Tom Jones song.
Before he could locate the source of the sound, Beth walked into the room and the tapping stopped.
‘Sweetie, you should not be up.’ She rushed to him to help him sit down on the bed again. He held the bed sheets closely around him.
‘I wanted to see the sun rise.’
‘I love the sun rise too. They are so beautiful here. When you are feeling better, we can watch them together every morning.’ Beth beamed.
Carlos shook his head.
‘Beth, I’m very grateful for all your help but I need to get back to town today. Family and friends will need me after the accident.’
Beth’s face changed ever so briefly.
‘I’m sure they are ok. You are not ready to travel yet.’
Carlos started getting angry. He wanted to get away from here.
‘Beth, I’m going today.’ He nearly shouted.
Beth watched him. He was never going to stay with her willingly. He was never going to love her like she loved him. But if he was not going to stay willingly, then forcibly would do just as well.
‘OK, I understand. No need to get all agitated.’ She tried to sooth him again.
Carlos was leaning his head in his hands. It hurt so much.
‘Please take some more of your tablets and once you have rested again, we’ll see about getting you to town.’
She handed him some of the tablets and a glass of water. Reluctantly, Carlos took them from her. Beth watched him as he swallowed the tablets and curled up on the bed again. Slowly his eyes closed and he soon was sleeping again.
As soon as Beth left the room, Carlos opened his eyes and spit out the tablets. They would be so welcome now. He was hurting, his body in the grips of a spiking fever. It would be so nice to just settle in the arms of bliss unawareness. But he could not. Where had the tapping come from? Who was it? Carlos lay still, listing for any sound.
Taking turns, they had all worked hard to attract their friend’s attention on the one hand and cutting away at the wooden wall on the other hand. But they had needed rest as well during the night. Seb continued tapping a rhythm on the wall while Urs and David tried to sleep a bit. But now he was getting tired as well, nearly nodding off when suddenly Carlos had shouted at him or at least at the tapping. Immediately he was awake, keeping quiet, trying to hear if anything else was being said. Then he started tapping again, a bit louder this time. He did not dare to make it too loud just in case Beth would hear them. Seb heard the bedroom door open and stopped immediately. Did Carlos get the message? Did he realise they were close to him? Seb closed his eyes for a moment, listening to what was being said in the other room. In the morning silence, he could easily pick up Carlos’ baritone voice. He heard him say that today he would leave. Seb was sure Beth was not just going to let him.
Quietly he moved to Urs and David, waking them up carefully.
The lights in Seb’s eyes told them immediately something had happened.
‘Carlos heard me. I’m sure of it. But he just told Beth he wants to go back to town today.’ He whispered.
‘She’s not going to like that.’ Urs simply said.
They all crawled closer to the wall, trying to hear anything that was being said. It was quiet again. The only sound was a door being closed louder then it should have been.
Seb waited a few more minutes and then started tapping again.
When the tapping had stopped, Carlos thought he had just imagined it. But now, lying very still, it started again. The same beat over and over again. He pinpointed the sound coming from the wall behind his head. He carefully turned around, hoping the bed would not make to much noise and get Beth back in here. He listened intently and then started tapping in time with the other sound. Immediately it stopped. Was this all in his head? Then a lot of tapping. Yes, he had made contact. But with whom? Wait, a Tom Jones song had been going through his head all this time. It had to be the guys. But how to find out? He did not want to make to much noise.
Urs: one tap. One tap returned.
Da-vid: two taps. Two taps returned.
Se-ba-stien: three taps. Three taps returned.
Carlos smiled. They were all there.
Two taps: Car-los. Quickly he tapped twice.
On the other side of the wall, three men smiled and hugged each other briefly. Now to get away from this place, all of them!
They were so exited now. Carlos knew they were still alive. Urs pulled David and Seb to the other side where they had been working on the wall.
‘I think with one good kick I can get a hole it in big enough for us to get through.’ He whispered. They all nodded. Urs got down and angled his feet to kick hard against the wooden boards. One fierce kick and the wood cracked.
Suddenly they heard another noise.
Beth quietly walked into the bedroom, making sure not to wake Carlos who seemed to be fast asleep now. She wanted to get some bread and water to Urs, David and Seb while Carlos was fast asleep. She pushed the wardrobe to the side and unlocked the door. As she got her riffle ready to aim, a noise came from the inside. Quickly she opened the door only to see the last of Urs disappear through a hole in the wall. Beth was furious, aiming at his feet. But David and Seb quickly intervened, standing in front of the hole allowing Urs to get away. She turned and locked to door, running out of the house, around the building.
Urs pushed through the wall and fell into the mud on the other side. Getting up he struggled between the pigs and the dirt. He finally made it to the end of the pen and jumped over the fence. He had a quick look around, noticing only then that his friends weren’t following. But he did not have a lot of time. Running towards the barn at the other side of the farm, he soon heard running footsteps behind him. He didn’t dare turn around. But when some buck shot hit the ground close to him, he did slow down a bit. He did not know where to run to. In the corner of his eye he saw a car parked. Aiming towards it, he heard some one shout:
‘Urs, you better stop right now.’ And with it came another shot aimed at him. Although most of the pellets hit the ground around him, some bounced up and buried themselves into his upper leg. Immediately the pain first numbed his leg, making him collapse on the ground. For a moment he did not understand what had happened until the pain hit his brain. He could feel at least four pellets embedded in the fleshy part of his leg. All in all he had been lucky she had shot him from that far.
Beth reached Urs and pulled his face up by his hair.
‘I told you to stop. You have just signed the end of Il Divo.’ She hissed furiously.
Still holding his hair, she pulled him up and pushed him in front of her, back to the house.
Carlos had not been asleep. As soon as Beth rushed out of the room, he got up and walked to the door. He quickly undid the lock and was welcomed by two smiling faces.
‘Carlos!’ Seb called out and gave him a big hug.
‘You look terrible.’ David said honestly.
‘I feel terrible. Let’s get you out of here. You can tell me later how you got locked up in here.’ Carlos said while turning around again. It was a good thing Seb was standing close to him as his head started spinning again, swaying on his legs as he took a step forward.
‘Hold on there.’ Seb caught Carlos in his arms.
But Carlos pushed him off.
‘We need to get out of here. She can be back any minute.’ He said anxiously.
‘To late.’ A voice said from the door. Beth pushed Urs in front of her. He collapsed on the floor.
Beth aimed her riffle to the four men and smiled.
‘I was wondering how to get rid of the three of you without Carlos noticing. Now it doesn’t matter any more. Sebastien, help Carlos back to bed. He needs to rest.’ Seb looked at his friend. Carlos just nodded. Soon he sat on the bed, looking at Beth.
‘What are you going to do with them?’ Carlos asked.
Beth just smiled.
‘Seb, Urs, get on your knees, face towards the wall and cross your legs.’ She ordered.
‘I can’t. You shot me.’ Urs objected.
‘Don’t give me that. Or you want me to kill you right here and now? David, help him.’
David helped Urs to his knees. The bullet holes had started bleeding and his jeans were slowly getting wet. Seb sat down next to Urs, worried about what would happen next.
‘David, get the ropes we used earlier and tie their hands behind their backs.’
Reluctantly David walked back in their cell and got the ropes out. He tried not to pull the ropes too hard around Seb’s and Urs’ hands. When he was finished, he turned back to Beth.
She pointed the riffle at David and smiled again.
‘You know, if I hadn’t had Carlos, I would have picked you.’ She tried to sound seductively but missing the disgust on David’s face completely.
‘As it is, join your friends. On your knees, cross your legs, hands behind your back.’
Reluctantly, David sat down, glancing briefly at Seb and Urs. Urs was leaning his head against the wall, pain showing on his face. Seb was just frightened, breathing too fast.
‘Seb, calm down. It will all be ok.’ David whispered.
‘Sweetie, I need your help. You will need to tie David’s hands for me.’
Carlos looked at Beth. Noticing he did not get up immediately, Beth walked to Seb and pressed the riffle against the back of his head. Seb closed his eyes. The message was clear without further words. Carlos got up from the bed and used the rope to tie David’s hands.
‘Thank you, Baby. You can get back to bed now.’
Carlos sat down. Beth moved closer and pushed him down with the riffle.
‘Cross your legs and put your hands over your head.’ Carlos complied with effort. Lifting his arms up was painful with his cracked ribs.
Beth put the riffle down and took some more rope. She took Carlos’ right hand in hers, gently caressing it while bringing it to the bed frame and tying it down firmly.
Carlos shook his head.
‘Beth, there is no need to do this. I’m not going anywhere.’
Beth moved to the other side of the bed and took his left hand, bringing it to the frame as well and tying him down.
She looked at him and smiled again.
‘I know it is not necessary, Baby.’
She got onto the bed and sat astride Carlos. He tensed, unsure of what she had next planned. He dare not look away from her piercing eyes.
She leaned over to him and gently kissed his nose and then his chin. She nearly touched his lips when he turned to his friends.
‘Beth, if we are going to do this, I’d rather not have an audience.’ Carlos whispered to her. That made her smile.
‘Are we going to do it, Carlos?’
Carlos feigned a hurt expression.
‘Let them go and I’ll show you.’
Beth sat still, contemplating his offer. She seemed to make up her mind.
Getting of the bed, she took her riffle again.
‘OK, I’ll first get rid of them. Then we can have our time together.’
‘Sweetheart, just set them free, let them go.’ Carlos pleaded.
But Beth shook her head.
‘No, they’d come back for you. No, I’ll take care of them, my way.’
Seb was shaking ever so slightly as she approached the men again.
‘Now, who to start with? Eny, Meeny, Miny, Mo’ She counted down. Her finger pointed at Seb.
‘Looks like you are the lucky one, Sebastien.’ She said.
‘Beth, please. Don’t do this. Let them go. I promise I’ll stay with you.’ Carlos called to her, hoping to dissuade her from whatever she planned to do. Beth turned towards him.
‘Promises, promises. The last guy promised to stay for ever. In the end, Doc had to put him out of his misery.’ Beth said dreamily.
‘He was very handsome. I loved him very much.’
Carlos swallowed. He did not really want to know what that doctor had done to this man.
‘No, this time I’m taking care of things properly.’
Turning back to Seb, she ordered him to his feet again.
‘Let’s go. Now you guys be nice. I’ll be back in a moment.’
Pushing Seb through the house, he exited in bright sunlight. His eyes hurt with this much light after all the dark of the last days. The ground was already getting hot. He felt it burn through his socks.
‘Round the house, to the back, there’s a good boy.’ Beth forced him.
Seb walked as slowly as he could.
‘Go on, a bit faster. I have a date with Carlos.’
‘The dirt on the ground, it hurts my feet.’
Beth was exasperated.
‘Don’t be a big baby. Soon it won’t hurt any more.’
They finally reached the barn and walked in.
‘Now what to do? See, my turkeys I just chop of their heads. My pigs I hang upside down and cut their throats. Yes, I think I’ll do that.’
Seb turned around, startled at the prospect.
‘Or I could just drive a pin through your brain.’ Beth hesitated. Just imagining what she could do, made her smile already.
‘Please, don’t kill me.’ Seb pleaded.
‘Oh, don’t worry. You won’t feel a thing. Now sit down.’ She pushed Seb hard so he fell on his backside.
Beth took a piece of rope and tied his feet together. A bit further in the barn was a chain hanging from the crossbeams. She put his roped feet over the hook and slowly pulled Seb up until he was hanging fully upside down, his hands just not touching the ground. Beth walked around him, caressing his naked chest and back.
‘No fat, just lean meat. I like a nice piece of meat.’
She laughed loudly as Seb tried to push her away.
‘Don’t worry my little pig. You can hang there for a moment longer. I’ll first get your brothers.’
Beth turned to the barn door, still laughing. She never saw the piece of wood that struck her hard in the face. Her unconscious body was thrown inside again, landing under Seb.
Scared and with the sun half blinding him, Seb tried to see who the figure was standing menacingly in the door.
David stayed quiet for a moment longer after he heard Seb and Beth leave the house.
‘Carlos, what were you trying to do?’ He asked smiling a bit.
‘Dave, don’t. . . .’ Carlos was too sick to say more.
‘Urs, hold on. I’ll help you in a moment.’ David caught his friend’s attention.
Urs shook his head, not understanding.
David leaned back, pulling his trousers up to reveal the knife hidden in his sock. He got it out and soon had his own ropes cut.
Quickly he cut Urs’ ropes and helped him up, sitting him down on the edge of the bed, before now also cutting Carlos’ ropes.
‘Thanks.’ But Carlos made no effort to get up. David did not have to get any closer to feel the heat radiating from Carlos’ body.
‘Urs, are you going to be ok? I need to get Seb.’
Urs just nodded.
David quietly ran out of the house, looking around all the time, fearing he had taken too long and Beth would be on her way back in. If she found his friends released, there was no telling what she would do to them all.
But he heard her in the barn. Chains rattling, he quickly glanced into the barn to see Seb hanging upside down. He had to do something quickly before she would hurt him even more. Looking around the property he noticed the piece of wood. He was all prepared to rush into the barn and attack her when he heard her say she was going to get the others first.
She never saw it coming, hiding behind the barn door and hitting her at just the right moment. Still trembling with the adrenaline and shock of hitting a woman, he stood in the door.
‘Please, don’t hurt me.’ Seb looked scared at him. David suddenly realised Seb had not recognised him yet.
‘It’s ok Seb, it’s me.’ He rushed to his friend. Seb closed his eyes and let out a long breath.
‘Get me down, please.’
David released the chain and slowly helped Seb on the ground again, quickly undoing his ropes.
Beth had not moved. They did not want to find out how she was doing. David grabbed the riffle on the ground and with Seb ran back to the house.
‘Urs!’ They heard Carlos call out when they walked in again.
David and Seb feared the worst. They found Urs unconscious on the bed.
‘He just passed out.’ Carlos said with difficulty.
‘It’s probably the shock. We need to get out of here.’ David looked at his friend’s leg.
‘But first we need to put some kind of bandage around his leg and stop the bleeding.’
Carlos nearly tumbled out of bed.
‘Use the sheets.’ Carlos struggled. Seb shook his head and helped Carlos up again.
David had pulled one of the sheets free and now made strips of the cotton, winding it tightly around Urs’ leg. Then he walked to the kitchen and got some cold water in a basin.
Using some more of the cotton sheet, he washed Urs’ face. Within moments he woke up again.
‘David, pass me the water. We need to cool Carlos down as well. He is burning up.’
Seb needed to hold his friend or he would have fallen down again.
As Urs sat up again, he looked at David.
‘Beth?’ he asked.
‘I knocked her out. At least I think that’s all I did. We left her in the barn.’
‘We need to get out of here. There was a car near the barn. I saw it.’ He said quietly.
‘I’ll get.’ David was already on his way out, riffle in hand, just in case.
Seb kept cooling down Carlos. But it was clear he needed professional help. His breathing was getting impaired as he sat on the side of the bed.
Urs got up.
‘What do you think you are doing?’ Seb asked.
‘Clothes?’ Urs carefully hobbled to the kitchen in search of something more to wear. But Beth had destroyed everything.
Urs made it back to the bedroom.
‘Nothing. Seb, help Carlos up. When David gets the car here, we need to leave immediately.’
Seb nodded. Cooling the piece of cloth one more time, he threw it over his shoulder and helped Carlos up. Urs grabbed the blankets and slowly they made their way to the front of the house.
David approached the barn carefully. But she was still lying where he had left her. He found the car where Urs had seen it. Luckily the keys were on the dashboard and he started the vehicle. Quickly he drove to the front of the house, where he saw his friends walk out. David rushed to help Urs in the back while Seb helped Carlos get in on the other side. Assured their friends were comfortable in the back, David took the wheel with Seb sitting next to him. Looking to the back seat once more, David nor Seb noticed what was happening outside the front of the car.
David pushed the accelerator when suddenly something jumped onto the car. The angry snarling, bloodied face of Beth was staring at them. David startled, pulling the steering wheel hard to the side and nearly colliding with a tree. But the quick movement, made Beth loose her grip and she tumbled of the car.
As David sped away from the horrifying scene, Seb looked back one last time. And then they were gone, escaped from this place. And for the first time in a long while, Seb sat back in the front seat, looking ahead, his shoulders dropping down as his body finally relaxed a bit.
Everyone was exhausted. David took his time driving back to the town. He did not really know where he had to drive to so he just headed for the centre of town, hoping to find someone who could point them towards a hospital.
He took a couple of turns when suddenly a police siren sounded behind them.
‘Great, finally you see a cop when you need one. I’ll just go and ask him where the hospital is.’
David immediately stopped the car on the side of the road, got out and started walking toward the policeman.
‘Please stop there, sir.’ The policeman shouted at David.
‘But officer, I just need some information.’ David did stop as he noticed the policeman putting a hand on his gun already.
‘Please stay with the car.’ The policeman warned him again.
David didn’t know that the car had been reported stolen. So the policeman did not want to take any chances.
In the car Seb was making sure Urs and Carlos was comfortable, pleased it would not take too long any more before they would get to the hospital, sure the policeman was going to jump in his car any minute now and give them an escort. What took David so long? He tried to see what was happening. He could not see the policeman very well but noticed David had stopped and was waiting. Seb decided to get out of the car as well. Turning towards David and the policeman, all colour drained from his face. There across the top of the car, he was staring straight into the face of the policeman who had knocked him out at the venue.
Seb ducked back down into the car and grabbed the riffle. Slowly he came back up and walked around the front of the car. Hiding a bit behind David to start with, Seb first took aim at the policeman and only then revealed himself.
‘David, get back in the car, NOW!’
David turned startled at his friends actions.
‘Do it now, David! This is one of the men who took us!’ Seb explained.
Bob had recognised the men from Il Divo as well, hoping they would not recognise him. But Seb had seen the face, had been manhandled by this cop. He would never forget him.
David opened his door and got in again. As Seb wanted to walk back around the car keeping an eye on the policeman, Bob pulled his gun and fired.
Seb was thrown against the open car door, dropping the riffle as the bullet buried itself in his right arm.
David grabbed Seb, pulling him into the car.
Seb turned the car key and pushed the accelerator hard before Bob could reach the door.
Trying to see enough through half closed, tearful eyes, Seb pushed the car on. David looked back. Bob was calling for help. And within minutes more sirens could be heard, closing in on their position.
‘David, help.’ Seb was trying to hold on with one hand, his right arm useless in his lap.
David held on to the steering wheel, trying to keep them on the road. They were nearing a busy area around shops. At least they would be amongst people.
‘Seb, try to get us parked close to the shops.’ David shouted.
But in stead of pushing the breaks, Seb pushed the accelerator moments before loosing consciousness. David only had time to throw his hands over his head as the car catapulted over the sidewalk, turning over and sliding down the road on its roof.
The silence that followed was deafening. People were frozen into place by the violent accident. Police cars approached from all sides.
Then the first flames started caressing the car.
It was only when people saw the flames that they got into action. Both men and women rushed to the car, forcing open the doors. There were four men in the car. The people did not take time to get them out carefully. They had to get them away from the burning wreck.
Bob rushed out of his car as well.
‘Put them down. They are criminals!’ He shouted, drawing his gun.
One by one the people left the young men on the road, afraid all of a sudden. But should they be afraid of the men or the policeman and his gun? It was obvious the unconscious men were not going to do anything. So why was he pointing a loaded gun at them, with so many people around him as well?
More policemen were getting closer.
One of the young men suddenly started moving.
David pushed himself up. His head was turning, his vision blurred by the blood running down his face from a cut above his right eye.
But he saw enough to notice the policemen and their guns pointing at him. He looked around, noticing his friends were on the ground next to him. Suddenly behind him, the car exploded as the flames reached the petrol tank. David ducked but he was far enough away. People started screaming and in the background the fire brigade were closing in.
‘Please, help us.’ David pleaded.
A large group of people had gathered in the meantime, looking at the half naked men on the ground. They did not look like criminals, more like victims, dirty and wounded each of them.
David looked around and caught the eye of a woman. With pleading eyes he held her gaze.
‘You are David.’ She suddenly realised.
‘You are David. And that is Urs, Carlos and Sebastien!’ She shouted out.
More people now recognised the men. And as one they started moving towards them, ignoring the policemen and their guns.
‘People, get away from them!’ Bob tried once more.
But David had been helped up by now and pointed to Bob.
‘That man and three of his friends kidnapped us!’ He made sure everyone heard him.
The crowd went quiet. One by one, women came forward. Sirens, Cuties, Ubers and Divas formed a protective wall around their men. Bob started trembling. The other policemen looked at him, wondering if the man’s accusation had been right.
‘It was Sebastien’s fault.’ Bob shouted turning back to his car and driving off afraid of what the crowd might do to him.
David turned back to his friends still on the ground. But by now, their head was resting on jackets and sweaters.
‘Please, we need help.’
David sank back to the ground, next to Seb who was just coming round. Startled he looked around at the crowd, scared of what they had gotten themselves into now.
‘It’s ok, Sebastien.’ A woman next to him calmed him. ‘You are save now.’
Looking around, he saw different people taking care of them. It brought tears to his eyes.
Slowly he opened his eyes. OK, this looked better. At least he was not tied up. Actually, his body was feeling remarkably better. Lifting his hand to his head, he felt the clean bandage. Looking down, he found himself wearing one of these hospital gowns. At least they had left him some clean underwear. And what were those long white socks for?
Focusing at the scene around him now, he saw he was in a large room, flowers everywhere and get-well-soon cards by the dozen. There was a large settee. In the right corner, David was fast asleep. He had a big plaster over his right eye and clean bandages around his wrists. Leaning against David was Seb, also fast asleep. His right arm in a sling, his black eye starting to turn slightly purple already. And in the left corner slept Urs, his leg up on the table, also wearing a hospital gown and the same white socks at least up to where the bandages started. All of them were sporting several additional cuts and bruises.
Carlos looked at his friends and smiled. They had made it through.
Turning around he found a box of tissues on his side cabinet. He took it and aimed at his friends, throwing the box to the settee.
Urs opened his eyes, smiling. Slowly he got up, holding the hospital gown closed at the back. He hobbled to the bed.
‘How are you feeling?’ Carlos asked.
‘We’re ok. You had us worried. You did not wake up for two days.’
By now also David and Seb had woken up and walked to the bed.
‘Two days?’ Carlos was surprised.
‘Two very long days for us!’ He confirmed.
‘And how are you feeling now?’ Seb asked.
‘Someone has funny taste in clothing. They have given me this long shirt, no trousers and funny long socks.’ They all laughed.
‘Didn’t you know? This is our new gear for the show. We two are ready. It’s just David and Seb that need convincing.’ Urs joked.
‘I’m sure the ladies will like that, especially when you forget to hold the back closed!’ Seb could already image it, trying to pull Urs’ hospital gown open, all laughing.
‘Joking aside: our fans came through for us when we needed them. If it had not been for them, I don’t know what that policeman would have done.’ David shuddered just thinking about it.
Carlos was not quite with him but he was sure he’d find out soon enough how he had gotten to this hospital.
‘Guys, thanks.’ He suddenly said seriously.
‘What for?’ Urs asked.
‘For not leaving me, either on the side of the road or with that mad woman.’
They looked at each other.
‘That’s what brothers are for!’
No more cancellations: Il Divo continues to bring their wonderful voices to thousands of people.
And Andrew, Pete, Bob and Steve? They were arrested, jailed and served with divorce papers.
And Beth and Doc? Police had a rough time arresting her. Scattered around the farm they found the remains of four more men. Autopsy would show they had been patched up several times to then be put down by Doc. Both were locked up for a very long time.