William Tate was walking down the street. Just heading to the corner store in this run down little town in the middle of nowhere, Wisconsin. Winter had been running them all over the country, keeping them out of sight ever since Bo's amber alert had gone up. He guessed it was smart enough, but he hated it. he was a city man. A man who wanted excitement, though, this was a bit more excitement than he had ever intended on having in his life.
He had left Bo at the safe house, knowing Winter would be there before she even woke up. He had also left a note, explaining where he was and how long he would be, in the off chance Winter wasn't there on time. He sincerely doubted he needed to have written the note, as he hoped he would be there before Bo woke up himself but it would be stupid to ignore any possibility. Especially since Bo was so stubborn. He rolled his eyes just thinking about it. He put his hand on the door to the store and pushed, groaning as he realized it was still locked.
He turned to start heading back, so he could come back later, when suddenly he was grabbed in a full nelson hold. He was lifted off the ground and a bag was thrown over his head. He had no idea, who or what had grabbed him but he knew he needed to fight back. He kicked and squirmed, trying to get away from the big beefy body holding him. He managed to land a kick to the thigh of his captor, and he heard a manly 'oomph', but the man kept his hold. This time he aimed his foot a bit higher, and landed a hit to the groin. The man let out a mighty yell, and dropped him, but before he could even lift his hands to the bag on his head, he had two more men grabbing him. He could tell they were men from the sound of their grunts, and the simple size of them. No woman could be that large.
One of the men landed a punch to his temple, making him see stars. As he was disoriented they tied his hands together, behind his back. He vaguely felt himself being lifted high off of the ground and tossed, he flew through the air for a short time before landing with a metallic clang in the back of what he could only guess was a van. He felt a jab in the side of his neck.He felt the drug enter his system, and he immediately fell slack.
A woman's voice soothingly whispered into his ear,"That's right Mr. Tate, nice and easy," and then, all was Black.
Bo woke up, hearing the door of the safe room open and close. She stayed seemingly asleep, listening carefully to the footsteps in the hallway. No attacker would suspect a sleeping ten year old after all. The footsteps got closer and closer until she felt a hand on her shoulder and Milton's voice telling her to wake up. Her eyes sprang open, and she flew up wrapping her arm's around him in a huge hug. She grinned and released him from her hold.
"Hey there sweetheart," he said as he smiled warmly down at her. Channing entered the room just then, her eyes ablaze with anger. "Where's Tate?" she spat, venomously.
Bo looked around. "I don't know. Did he leave a note on the fridge? That's where we decided he would leave notes if he was going to leave me alone for a bit" she explained carefully. Her and Tate had had a few conversations about that exact scenario. Channing scowled and walked to the kitchen, returning when she had said note.
"Bo," she read,"I needed to go to the corner store for some food. You drank all the milk, and I used the last of the bread on dinner last night. Be back in about half an hour. If I’m not back by then, wait for Milton. Do not leave the safe house, unless absolutely necessary, do you understand me? Good. See you in half an hour. If I am not back in one hour, something happened. Wait for Milton- Tate," she finished glaring at the note. She was livid. Why would Tate leave Bo unattended like this?!
"Ms. Channing, I'm sure it's fine. He probably thought that he would be back quickly enough that there would be no problem. Plus the corner store is not that far," he said carefully, trying to calm down the woman. She growled and walked back into the kitchen to see if she would find any indicators as to how long he had been. Bo looked up at Milton showing distress in her eyes. "What if he's in trouble?" she asked carefully. Milton smiled sympathetically at her.
"I'm sure Mr. Tate is fine. He is a capable man" he said. She still looked anxious, so he added, "If he isn't back in an hour starting now, we'll look for him." Bo smiled gratefully up at him, as Channing stormed into the room, prepared to protest. Obviously she had been listening. He held up a hand, and she firmly shut her mouth.
Tate woke up, slowly, groggily. He blearily opened his eyes and blinked at the bright light of the room around him. He attempted to move his arm to wipe his face but found that he was shackled to the ceiling, in the middle of a small dirty room, probably a basement of some kind. He was shirtless and shoeless, his feet barely touching the ground. He groaned and glanced around him. How long had he been out? Where was he? What had happened?
A familiar voice sounded from across the room.
"Ah! Good morning Mr. Tate!" She chirped. He groaned as the memories of what had happened hit him like a freight train. He groaned again and lifted his head. He looked at the women across from him. She was quite pretty, with long brown hair tied back in a ponytail, tanned skin with freckles across her nose. She was fairly small, but he could tell she was strong. Her eyes were large and dark brown, almost black and held very little emotion. Her face smiled, but her eyes were cold and hard as ice. She had a black T-shirt on and raggedy blue jeans, with what looked like red spatters across them. He didn't know if that worried him or not, but he didn't let it show.
"What do you want?" He asked, glaring at her.
"Ah! You see, I like that Mr. Tate. A man who gets right down to business, that is. What I want is for you to tell me where the little girl is," she said warmly, the smile she wore growing larger. He chuckled. "You see little lady, not gonna happen."
She was suddenly right in front of him, shoving her 4 inch stiletto shoe into his groin. He grunted but said no more.
"Ah, you see William, Can I call you William?" she asked, but before he could make a snide remark she continued, "You see William, you will tell me. Whether, you want to or not. And I don't like being called little," she finished. He rolled his eyes. "Now tell me where the girl is." He stayed silent and she sighed, turning and walking to the door.
"Gary, Mark? It looks like I may need you," she said sweetly. Two large men walked into the room, wide and malicious grins spread across their faces. Tate paled but stayed silent, glaring at the trio. The taller of the men walked over. He had long brown hair tied back, and a stubbled face. His eyes were blue and he looked happily at the man. The shorter one with short cropped blonde hair and green eyes stayed back with the woman.
"One more chance William," she said. When he didn't answer, she nodded to the tall man and he delivered a swift punch to Tate's gut. He grunted, and attempted to curl in on himself, but the manacles locked his arms in their place above his head. The woman giggled. "Nice one Mark!" She said delightedly, "Gonna tell us anything yet William?" she asked sweetly. He shook his head. He would not betray Bo. She sighed and pouted at the floor. "Alright Gary," she said referring to the blonde one, "I guess we need to get involved as well."
"Milton! It's been over an hour!" Bo whined, distressed. Milton sighed and nodded his head. He had promised her.
"Alright, Ms. Channing. We promised," he said pulling himself off of the chair he sat in with Bo. She quickly followed suit, grabbing her shoes and coat. Channing rolled her eyes.
"Milton, he's probably dead already," she said carefully to him.
He shook his head. "No. He knows where Bo is. I'm certain this is Orchestra's doing" he said, "They'll keep him alive, if barely, to get to her," he said quietly, not wanting Bo to hear. She nodded reluctantly agreeing. She knew he was right. She wasn't heartless, she wanted Tate back, she especially wanted him not to be dead. But she had to think of Bo. Bo was their only hope at taking down Orchestra, and she cared for the little girl. She didn't want to rush her into danger like this. She didn't want her to be so hopeful at finding Tate, only to find a corpse.
Milton went ahead and walked out to the car, Bo leading the way, and Channing reluctantly following. They climbed into the car, and sat through a short, but very awkward, tense and silent car ride to the store Tate had likely gone to. As they drove, Channing tore apart her wallet looking for Her and Milton's fake police badges. She found them just as they parked outside the store. Bo was the first to jump out, but Channing put her back into the car. "Stay here. If we're going to pretend to be cops, we can't be seen with a girl on amber alert, or with a girl at all. It wouldn't be believable," she explained and she shut the door, leaving Bo to stare out the window. Maybe she would see something outside, or something. Probably not, but the girl could dream. Bo stared out the window huffily as the two went in.
Channing and Milton walked in and approached the young man at the counter.
"Hello, how can I help you?" he asked warmly, smiling brightly at the two.
They pulled out their badges and showed them to him. "Police. We were wondering if anything odd has been seen, heard or found in this area," Channing said professionally. The man's smile wavered but he shook his head. "No nothing at all," he said. Channing raised an eyebrow. "Uh huh," was all she said. Milton cut in and told the man, "We need access to your cameras. We'll be out of your hair before you know it," he said carefully. The young man sighed and raised his eyebrows, smile gone now. "What is this about?" he said, sounding aggressive. Milton chuckled.
"Fair question. We had a report of a sighting of a Ms. Bo Adams. The young girl who was kidnapped. We are simply following a lead," he said convincingly. The man in front of them visibly relaxed, his smile returning. "I see. Of course you can see the cameras, if you have a warrant."
Milton didn't falter as he pulled out a warrant, one that he had faked many years ago. Hopefully the man wouldn't put up a fight, and ask to see it. He knew it wasn't convincing anymore. Thankfully he didn't. He just lead them to the back room of the store and handed them the copy tapes. "All of our cameras produce two copies of the footage. Here is the spare," was all he said. Channing took them, and they both thanked the man before rushing back to the car and hopping in. Bo looked at them and Channing just smiled, showing her the tapes.
Tate looked up. His hair was limp and damp with sweat, blood ran freely down his bruised torso. "You see Will," she said mockingly, "you can stop this whenever you want, just tell us what we want to know," she said as she was heating up a metal pole with a propane torch. He growled at her, and then yelled out as a long slit was cut down his back by one of the men, he couldn't even tell which was which anymore. There were so many wounds. He was on fire, every part of him screaming in agony.
"Tsk tsk tsk, Gary be more careful," she said walking over, "we can't have him bleeding out!" she pressed the iron rod to the wound Gary had just inflicted.
"But Roxy, it's so fuuun," he whined and she giggled. Tate rolled his eyes, panting heavily. "You three truly are disgusting," he spat venomously. He could tell that this Roxy Chick wasn't happy with that remark as she stuck the torch to his left thigh, holding it there. He screamed, the pain was blinding, making him see stars, and all he wanted was to throw up from it. She laughed. She released his leg and sighed.
"Almost out of fuel," she said sadly. Tate continued to pant, his eyesight beginning to come back. He could see her looking to Mark. She nodded, and he let his head hang against his chest once again. He felt pure fiery agony rip from his chest, Gary had just taken a plank to it. He heard the crunch, and felt the bone snap.
"Y'know Will," Roxy stated, "I don't enjoy this. I only do this, since my employers are so willing to pay our, rather high fees," she explained pulling out a tiny scalpel. Employers?
"Who hired you? One of the guys from my gang days?" he asked, spitting blood from his mouth.
"Oh William, that would be telling. Telling would be naughty, naughty of me," she said in a sing song voice, as she cut into the tender flesh of his right shoulder. He screamed as she twisted the blade around, able to hear blade on bone. She smiled in glee. Suddenly she yanked it out. "OK boys, time for a supply run," she sang, snapping her fingers, "Gary you stay here. Might as well let our guest here get some sleep. He'll need his rest for all the fun we're going to have when we get back," she grinned and walked out the door, Mark following close behind. Tate groaned and felt Mark send a quick and painful punch across his right temple. He blacked out almost immediately.
"We got lucky this time Milton," Channing said carefully.
"What did you find?" Milton asked walking over to where she sat, in front of her laptop.
"The car on the video was stolen from a dealer in Milwaukee, but they took out the chip," she said matter of factly. Bo stayed sitting and stared at her hands. She squeezed her eyes shut and concentrated on Tate. Suddenly she saw a house. She was standing in front of an old house. She walked in and Tate was hanging from the cieling hurt, and unconscious. She gasped and ran out of the house, looking for the address. She grinned seeing it.
"I know where he is! Let's go get him!" she said enthusiastically, her eyes jumping open. Milton shook his head. "Where are they?"
"29764 crescent drive," was her response. Milton shook his head, "What does the house look like?" he asked.
"It's white with black trim. There's a white picket fence, and it's two floors, a blue door. Its on a dirt road, in the middle of the woods. A big front porch," she said in a hurry.
Channing typed in the address and hit the closest link.
"The closest address that fits that description is in rockport," she said quickly, her fingers flying over the keyboard.
"That's a two hour drive. Go get your stuff Bo," he said and she ran off.
"Milton we need a plan," Channing scolded.
"I am aware of that Ms. Channing."
"Do you have on?"
"I will tell you in the car," he said seeing Bo bouncing worriedly by the door. Channing huffed and walked over to join her. It was obvious Bo was scared for Tate. They had no idea exactly how long he had been gone, and they knew it couldn't be good. They hopped into the car and sped away down the road, all of them praying that Tate would still be alive when they got there.
Tate was awoken by a splash of cold water on his face. He spluttered and sprung his eyes open. When he could actually see, he saw Roxy, Gary and Mark grinning at him. Roxy had a gun trained on his knee. "OK Will, you ready to tell us?" she asked. He spat on her face. She scowled and a bullet went off. He screamed, agony burning from his knee. Fire ran through him and he screamed until he was punched for it.
"Shut it, asshole," Mark said maliciously. Tate grit his teeth and stayed silent. He needed to at least survive this, and he knew that if he didn't do as they said his chances of doing just that were dwindling. He could tell these guys were getting annoyed.
"Oh Will, I know you'll just love all of our new toys," she said and grabbed a hammer, then kneeled in front of him. "I'll give you one chance before I do this," she said carefully. He grit his teeth, and stayed silent but for his pants and wheezes. She sighed and sent the hammer flying onto his foot, breaking one of the bones. He grunted, his throat too raw to scream. She looked up expectantly and when he continued to not answer, she repeated that to the other foot, then each toe.
"You know Will," she said carefully, moving from his feet, "I am quite surprised you've lasted this long, most men crack way before this," she said deciding what to do next. He didn't grace her with an answer. The pain was burning, like a fire. A constant reminder of what he had gotten himself into. He only knew at this point that he couldn't let these people get Bo. Who knew what they would do to her?
At this point both feet, and all his toes were shattered. She moved to him holding pliers. She gripped his toenail in the pliers and yanked it free of the toe. She did that to all of them.
His feet were twice their regular size and an angry purple color. He groaned and tried to lift his head to see where the bitch had gone. She had a small white bag of something. She poured a white crystal powder into her hand and walked back to him. She nodded to Gary, who slit open his chest, over top of where he knew a rib had broken. She then put the powder onto the wound and he felt the pain sear through him. He felt like a thousand bees were stinging him at the same time. He realized then that what she had bought, was salt. He let out a low yell and tried to jerk away, but he was too weak and tired for the attempt to work. He felt sticky and crusty, hot and cold blood all over him. Everything ached and he was cold. Roxy laughed. "You gonna talk yet?" she asked. Tate stayed quiet. She rolled her eyes and continued on with the salt.
"Mark you take the left hand, Gary take the right," you know the drill," she said grinning maliciously. She continued with the salt, while Gary and mark did to his hands, what she had done to his feet.
"Turn left here!" Bo exclaimed, recognizing the street. Milton took a sharp left and then they saw it. The house. they parked just a little ways down the street and Channing pulled out her gun.
"Now Bo, you're certain?" Milton asked. She nodded. "Yes! Now go!" she exclaimed jumping from the car. No way was she staying there while they went in to get Tate. She knew the plan though.
They walked onto the porch, and they could hear faint screams from within. Bo gasped and Channing opened the door, slowly, not letting a single squeak sound out. They walked into the house, guns at the ready and Bo prepared to use her mind. The screams were getting louder as they went through the house.
Suddenly, it was silent. They began to hurry towards the basement. The door to the stairs opened and they saw a woman followed by two men.
"Drop the guns!" Channing yelled. The woman looked at them wide eyed, with shock. She motioned for the men to grab the guns, and took Channing and Milton's distraction to lunge at Bo. She shrieked and Bo tried to use her ability to put up a wall. It didn't work and she was knocked to the ground. Shots rang out and the woman dropped off of Bo, her blood dripping from her chest onto Bo's. The men had fallen down the stairs.
"Let's go!" Channing said loudly.
Tate was on fire. Salt and blood mixing and dripping from his limp and burning form. He pried his swollen eyes open and looked at the hypnotic sight. How long had he been here? How much blood had he lost? Was Winter coming for him?
He watched the blood and salt flowing and dripping off of him. He was surprised there was no fire, just the burns from the torch. The others were gone and he couldn't breath. He tried once again to lift his head and swallow the much needed oxygen, but he was too weak. He blacked out again.
Bo ran down the stairs and burst through the last door at the very bottom. "Tate!" she shrieked and then she saw it. The blood spattering the walls, the blood pooling beneath him, the blood flowing and mixing with salt as it dripped off his body. "Tate!" she screamed again and ran to him, followed closely by Milton and Channing. the blood dripping off of him and mixing with salt and the blood flowing from his open wounds. He was covered in bruises, wearing only burned and tattered jeans, if you could call them that. they were so tattered Bo really wasn't sure. She ran over to him, calling his name again. Milton and Channing walked in, and were shocked at what they found.
"Tate? Tate? Tate!" Bo was calling as she tried to reach his head to slap him. She was scared, but she needed to wake him up. Channing ran over to her and started working at the manacles.
"He's not breathing!" she said anxiously to Milton and he sprang into action, helping with her. Bo kept calling his name, tears erupting from her eyes and racing down her cheeks.
Tate woke up in a fog. He felt someone pressing on his ribs and he heard a little girl. That wasn't right. This hell was no place for children. He heard it then.
"Daddy?" a small voice whispered to him and he opened his eyes. Bo was looking down at him, staring into his eyes. He smiled a small smile and then it was dark again.
Milton and Channing were shocked at Bo calling Tate that, but they didn't show it. They just kept working.
"What are we going to do? We can't take him to a hospital, the police are looking for him!" she said in a worried whisper. Milton shook his head. "Let's get him into the car first, and then I'll make some calls," he said.
Channing nodded and moved to his feet, while Milton took his shoulders. They tried not to jar him too badly, but it couldn't be helped. They carried him to the car and laid him across the backseat, his head in Bo's lap.
"It's going to be OK dad, it's going to be alright," she said carefully, patting his hair from his eyes. She could hear Milton on the phone, but she couldn't bring herself to listen. Tears streamed from her eyes, flowing. She had to keep wiping them away to prevent them from falling on Tate's face.
The next time Tate woke up it was in a bed. He felt warm and comfortable and confused. He could hear beeps and feel needles in his arms. He opened his eyes, blinking up at a light. He was in a bed looking at a regular apartment ceiling. He blinked and tried to sit up, but all he got from that was searing agony. He gasped and fell back. Suddenly Bo was hovering over him.
"Hey," he said, smiling a small smile at her.
"I'll go get Milton" she said.
She ran off and Tate winced, sitting up grunting in pain. Agony ripped through him. He was covered in bandages. His hands, his feet, his torso, everything had bandages, gauze, or casts. He groaned, feeling a wave of dizziness come over him. Just as he was getting a handle on his breathing, Milton, Channing and a woman he hadn't seen before was coming through the door.
"What are you doing up?" she squealed and ran over pressing her hands to his shoulders. He winced in pain as she guided him back down.
"I wanted up," he said bluntly, "but apparently that's too much to ask. Who are you?"
"Manning, Jennifer Manning," she said smiling. He nodded.
"How long was I out?"
"A week," Milton said carefully. Tate raised his eyebrows, surprised.
Bo hugged him fiercely. "Ow ow ow, kid still sore," he said, but he returned the hug.
"Sorry," she said sheepishly as she got off of him.
"What's all wrong with me?" he asked the doctor.
"All you're fingers and toes are broken, four broken ribs, shattered hands and feet, a ruptured stomach and liver, severe burns, a fractured skull, broken cheekbone and chin, torn muscles, extensive bruising and many cuts," she listed in all seriousness. He winced. No wonder he was so sore.
"Where are we?" he asked Milton. Channing answered. "A safe house. This woman looked after Bo for a few months." He nodded. Of course she had. "How long do we have to stay?" he asked, anxious to get Bo to a new location before anyone could come get her, and hurt her.
"At least a month!" Jennifer said coming through the door. He sighed, rolling his eyes. He would make that a week, if it killed him. Jennifer came over to him and injected something into his IV. He immediately began to feel woozy. "Come on, let's let him rest," Jennifer said. Bo shook her head. "I want to stay with him."
Milton nodded. "Alright sweetheart but not for too long."
She grinned and sat down next to him on the bed. "So kid, daddy huh?" he asked through his haze of painkillers. She nodded, blushing a bit with embarrassment.
"If that's OK," she answered.
He nodded, "That's perfectly fine," he said with a smile. He felt Bo curl into his side as he drifted into the peaceful black haze of painkillers.