“What do you mean? Where are you? Breathe Garrett and tell me slowly.” Spence says trying to not freak out.
“I’m at the police station waiting to give my statement. Can you tell his mom?” Garrett asks between sobs.
“What happened? I’ll tell Cheryl for sure if the police are not already here.” Spence says changing direction to drive to the deli instead of the gym.
“We came out of early practice like usual. I stopped to tie my shoe and they grabbed him. I got a picture of the van it happened so fast, He was just a few feet from me.” Garrett says crying again.
“It wasn’t your fault. Garrett you couldn’t have stopped it and getting a picture was brilliant. Is someone with you? Did you other team mates see anything?” Spence asks.
“No we stopped to talk to the trainer about a knock Ocean took to his elbow yesterday, he was fine.” Garrett says.
“l will call your coach, you call your parents. I’ll call you in a few minutes.” Spence says.
“Thanks, sorry I could have called coach, I was brought straight here and I didn’t think.” Garrett says.
“You did great to call me, it means I can be with Cheryl right now. I’ll call in 10 okay?” Spence ask.
“Okay.” Garrett replies.
Spence swiftly calls Ocean’s coach to ask someone to go and sit with Garrett and to find out if there is news.
“I’m just at his mom’s place now. I’ll call if I hear anything.” Spence says.
“We are all in shock here. We’re cancelling practice and trying to get the word out everywhere. I will get someone down to be with Garrett, I didn’t know he’d been whisked away, they told the rest of them to stay here and the police would come to take statements.” Coach says.
“Thanks.” Spence says and gives Garrett a call but he’s on another call so leaves a message and texts him.
“Hey Spence, what’s up?” Cheryl asks.
“Have the police not called?” Spence asks.
“What? Why?” Cheryl asks going pale.
“Garrett just called. Ocean has been taken.” Spence says and Cheryl just stares at him in shock.
“So, what is happening?” Gervais asks. They’ve been flown in a private plane to the airport near home and are ushered into an office building close to where Gervais used to work for Jeremy.
“Ocean has been kidnapped. Blue and Chris have been taken to a safe house and will not be told of the situation at this time. You two will be taken home shortly, we know the two of you would have cut a trip short in the circumstances.” Aled says gently.
“Are your kids safe?” Gervais asks instinctively.
“They are with their grandparents well away from here. Fortunately, it was a planned visit while Will is away so they won’t be a part of the commotion.” Aled says.
“Is there a ransom? Are they asking for Chris and Blue in exchange? Or for money?” Larry asks.
“As yet there has been no contact. There are search teams out there, we know the vehicle that was used initially. We have all four of your phones, there have been no calls, or texts, can you unlock them all so we can keep an eye on all message types?” Aled asks and Gervais nods and unlocks them all, happy he knows Chris and Blue’s passcodes.
“You’ve locked Blue and Chris away so they don’t play the hero?” Larry asks.
“No one wants anything to happen to Ocean. But we need Chris and Blue alive and safe.” Aled says.
“For Ocean or for all the appeals and hearings that are still to come?” Gervais asks cynically.
“Has something triggered this? Is there something happening?” Larry asks.
“We can’t give you any more information. I assume you are happy to turn up at home pretending you were traveling and have come back due to hearing about Ocean on the news?” Aled asks.
“Of course we will. When can we go? We really want to get out and help. Be there for Cheryl.” Larry says.
“Soon. We really will do everything to get that boy home safe.” Aled says.
“You better, because this is your fault.” Gervais says and Aled looks away, feeling guilty for his part, taking his eye off the ball, being more focused on making a life with Will, and not keeping everyone safe.
“Can I call my dad? Let him know I’m safe and on my way?” Larry asks.
“That is a good idea, come through and use my office phone.” Aled says.
Spence, Andy, Marsha and Cheryl sit feeling hopeless in Cheryl’s kitchen. The police are talking but none of them are taking it in. The TV is on showing pictures of the vehicle that Ocean was snatched in abandoned.
“Why now?” Spence asks breaking the silence. “Why Ocean and why now?”
“They knew Ocean was being targeted after that boyfriend of his went loco.” Andy says.
“How are you holding up? Is there anything I can do?” Mike asks coming through the door.
“We are waiting for an update. These guys are as out of the loop as we are.” Cheryl says motioning the cops.
“Larry and Gervais are on their way back. Larry called just now. They haven’t heard anything more than what is on the news.” Mike says and Andy and Spence share a shocked look.
“l just want to get out there and look but I know we have nowhere to start. Have you heard from Clara?” Spence asks.
“No I called Willow and asked her to relay a message.” Cheryl says and Marsha bristles.
“l thought Larry was overseas.” Andy says.
“No, apparently they’ve been touring wine country and been hiking in the mountains. Sounds like they’ve had a good time. Luckily they hadn’t left the country yet.” Mike says his eyes sparkling.
“Anyone heard from Will or Robin yet?” Marsha asks.
“No, I’ll call them now.” Spence says walking outside. He knows Robin has taken Will to see Blue but with Gervais and Larry on their way back something must have happened and he is deeply worried.
“l feel like we need to do a roll call of everyone. I just want to know everyone else is safe and accounted for.” Cheryl says.
“Just focus on Ocean. Everyone else will be okay.” Andy says half-heartedly.
“Will and Robin are coming back in the morning. They are fine and at a hotel.” Spence says coming back in. Andy looks at him quizzically.
“Did they not find what they were looking for?” Andy asks.
“No, they were too late.” Spence says with a sigh.
Ocean wakes feeling disorientated. He remembers stories of people who were abducted kicking out tail lights and signaling for help but as he comes round he realizes he isn’t moving. He’s in a small wooden room. He aches, everything aches.
He’s alone there is a stack of water and protein bars in the corner and his gym bag is next to them. His phone is unsurprisingly gone from his pocket. He checks his bag which has been riffled through, they’ve taken the scissors from his tape kit but nothing else. He empties everything out and checks inside his chalk bag and smiles. They missed his secret phone, he’d hidden it in a block covered in chalk, just waiting for a way to contact Gervais.
He switches it on, it’s fully charged. No signal.
Ocean checks around the room, he feels woozy, so drinks some water, trying to not be too greedy and then grabs a banana from his gym bag suddenly worried that the food that is left might have been drugged too.
He checks the phone again, he’s shocked to realize he’s been gone 2 days, he switches it off to conserve charge, He has no memory of anything after he was grabbed. He checks himself over again and figures he is okay, just hungry. He feels around the room and finds a panel that slides upwards creating a door.
He’s in a densely-wooded area on a steep incline. They must have carried him up here but he has no idea how long it took. They clearly have no real interest in him, no plans to torture him or hold him for ransom. Or not while in the same location. They just want to smoke out Blue and Chris, Ocean concludes.
They must think either him disappearing, or him being found will bring them out. And it might, Ocean worries.
Knowing it is already getting too dark to set off Ocean sets about discovering his immediate surroundings. He contemplates lighting a fire that might help search teams but he has no idea how far from home he is and worries it would get out of control and he would get hurt, the area is very dry.
Not finding anything but trees and worrying he might get lost in the dark Ocean heads back into the room. With the small amount of light from the door he realizes there are windows covered over with blankets, he unpins them and uses them to make up a bed with, rolling up the spare sweats from his gym bag for a pillow.
No longer worried if the food will knock him out Ocean grabs a protein bar and works on a plan. He feels so lucky he had all those summers at the lake, all that time camping and fishing and going on nature walks. He isn’t daunted by the challenge of getting to safety but he knows he could be at risk of injury or lunch to bears.
Running through his supplies over and over and worrying about shelter for the next night Ocean falls back to sleep.
Blue and Chris are pacing their bedroom. They feel like they are in prison. They are in a high rise apartment with the windows blacked out. No access to any electronics, including TV and radio. They are going stir crazy not being told anything, not being able to do anything.
Its been 2 days and it feels like three months.
“Maybe we could break the window and jump.” Blue says.
“Too messy.” Chris says.
“I wouldn’t have to clean it up.” Blue laughs.
“You missing G?” Chris asks.
“I do, like crazy. He’ll find me. He always finds me.” Blue says.
“I am going to marry Larry when I track him down.” Chris says.
“Double wedding.” Blue says.
“No way. You are catering my wedding and being best man.” Chris grins.
“What’s on the menu?” Blue asks, it’s a game they have played over and over.
Before Chris can reply the door opens.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” Chris says in disbelief.