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~ 24~

The Interrogation

“Tiss is for you.” I said as I handed the boy a picture of a dragon I made. I used to love making dragons and monsters. Even back then I was fascinated with that stuff.

“Thanks.” The older kid said.

I reached for another crayon and picked a huge red one. I put it in my mouth, which was something I did often. I loved putting things in my mouth. Crayons were sweet. “He’s eating crayons again!” The blonde kid said.

My mother walked over to me and took the crayon out of my hand, “No Andrew, that’s icky and will make you sick.”

I started to cry but was distracted by the older boy who was now dancing around the room like a monkey.

My mother looked over at the blonde boy and smiled, “Good work Nickolas.” She said to him. “Andrew really loves you.” And I remember thinking, “yes…I really do….”

My head hurt really badly as I tried to open my eyes.

“He’s waking up.” I heard as I tried moving my head a little bit. I couldn’t remember what exactly happened. All I knew was I felt like I had been stabbed about a hundred times.

“Guys! He’s waking up!!” The voice said. This time it was louder and thankfully familiar.

When I opened my eyes I saw Brian’s concerned face staring down at me, “Thank God…you gave us all quite a scare buddy, how are you feeling?”

He was quickly joined by AJ and Howie. “Nicky, can you hear me?”

“Of course I can D; you just yelled that into my ear.” I rolled my eyes and tried to sit up, only to find myself too weak and falling back into my bed again.

I suddenly felt so cold. My lips in answer to my brain started to quiver. “Get him another blanket AJ, he’s shivering again.” Brian barked out to AJ. I guess just like Howie became Kevin when he was gone, AJ took over my role as gopher when I was… wait.…Kevin…

I did sit up that time, “Guys, we have to find Kevin!! I was at the dumpster and there was a body…” I looked at Brian’s face. “I think Kevin’s in there!”

“It wasn’t Kevin.” I turned to the sound of my uncle’s voice. “There was a body in that dumpster but it wasn’t your friends.”


He smiled and sat beside me on the bed. “That was a stupid thing you did, going out there all by yourself. Didn’t I tell you all not to go out?”

“But the guy in the room…” That made me look around the room only to find our prisoner wasn’t anywhere to be found. “Where did he go?” I asked, now trying to stand which I quickly regretted. I felt so dizzy I fell all the way back on my pillow to the sounds of gasps.

“He’s still in your room. You’re in my room, Nicky.” Howie said, placing his hand on my forehead. “Maybe we should get him some more aspirin?”

“Aspirin would be good.” I said as I once again sat up. “How did I get up here? I thought someone grabbed me. I tried to break free but I couldn’t.”

“It was me.”

“You?” I asked my uncle.

“When I got back to the hotel, Brian met me in the lobby and said he saw you run outside. I followed you to the dumpster.”

“I don’t understand. Why did you strangle me?”

“I didn’t strangle you. You passed out.”

I looked at him suspiciously. I definitely remember someone’s hands around my neck. “But…you didn’t say anything. I…”

“Why don’t you lie back down? You need your rest.” He stood up to leave.

“Wait! What about the guy? Did he tell us anything about Kevin? And if it wasn’t Kevin in the dumpster, then who was it?”

“We’re working on that but the good news is, I don’t think your friend was taken by these people. It doesn’t add up.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because this kid was shot by someone and left behind. I doubt they did it to him which means someone else probably did.”

“Wait, are you saying you think KEVIN did that?”

Max got a huge kick out of that one. “That’s a good one. No…”

“Then what are you saying?”

“I’m saying that Kevin probably had help.”

“So, you think Kevin got away and is with the good guys?”

“Yeah, something like that.”

“But, aren’t we the good guys?” Max was making my head hurt but I was fine with that because for the first time in a long time, I was feeling hopeful. His explanation was actually making sense. I had even thought the same thing.

“Whoever shot that kid in there probably has your friend with them.”

“Has he said anything else?”

Max shook his head. “I was just about to interrogate him when they said you were awake.”

“Interrogate him?” That sounded so ominous and I know that sounds stupid coming from someone who tried to strangle the guy, but my latest dream had me softening up a little bit.

“Yeah.” He continued towards the door.

“He wasn’t willing to talk to anyone besides me.”

“I’ll get him to talk.”

“I think it should be me.”

Max smiled at me, “Yeah, I know you do.”

He walked out of the room and closed the door behind him.

“I hope that guy tells Max what we need to know.” Brian said, sounding as hopeful as I was feeling. He then turned to me, “Don’t you ever go running off like that again!”

“Sorry.” I looked over at AJ who was standing in the corner of the room way too quietly. “I’m sorry for shoving you AJ.”

“I’ll kick your ass for that later.”

“I know you will.” I said as I grabbed my aspirin from Howie and lay back down.

I still didn’t feel right, not only physically but mentally. Max’s story wasn’t sitting well with me and that had me troubled. I wasn’t sure whether or not to confide in the guys, especially since Kevin was missing. We needed now more than ever to stick together and trust one another but if they started thinking Max wasn’t on the up and up maybe they would think that way about me too. It was nice of Brian to not blame me for this, but how could they not blame me?

I sat back up and swung my legs off the side of the bed, “Where do you think you’re going now?” Howie asked.

Both Brian and AJ were sitting on Howie’s bed while D, sat on a chair.

“To ask Max some questions.”

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to bother him while he’s with our guest.”

“Oh, is that what we’re calling him now?” I asked as I raised my eyebrow at him.

“Sounds less disturbing then Russian spy.”

“Yeah, that’s true.”

“He seemed really concerned about you.” Brian added.

I looked over at him, “Max?” I said probably a little more desperate then I wanted to. The thought of my uncle caring enough to be worried actually made me feel good.

“No, the other guy.” I tried not to look too deflated.


“Yeah, Max carried you back into your room before he knew that’s where our guest was and he looked really distraught and worried. He even asked if you would be okay.” He stopped for a second, it seemed like he didn’t want to say what was on his mind.

“What it is Frick? Did something else happen?”

He let out a small breath before he continued, “After he asked if you were okay, he yelled something in Russian at your uncle and that’s when he threw us out of the room and brought you in here.”

“Did it seem like Max understood what he said?”

“Not sure. It was hard to tell.”

“mhm.” I started to wonder if he was the blonde kid in my dream. He did say I knew him, but then again, maybe I had that dream because of what he said? Like Jane, my dead therapist said, your brain is a very tricky thing to try to understand.

“Did Max say anything about knowing that guy?”

Brian shook his head, “No, but it’s weird. The guy seemed like he knew who Max was. Why do you ask?”

“While I was out of it, I had another dream about a blonde kid who looked a lot like our ‘guest,’ my mother knew him well and I really enjoyed being around him.”

“And you think it’s the guy in your room?”

“I don’t know, maybe? My mother called him Nickolas.”

“This keeps getting weirder and weirder.” AJ decided to add.

“That’s what I want to go ask Max. If he knows what this kid’s name is.”

“I still think you should wait until he’s done.” Brian urged as I got myself out of bed.

I walked out into the living room and across the hall to my room but stopped when I heard grunts and groans. “Nicky, don’t go in there.” Howie said as he tried to stop me from walking in.

When I opened the door, there was my uncle, straddling our ‘guest’ and repeatedly smacking him across the face. “MAX, STOP!” I yelled.

He turned to me and quickly climbed off of the guy tied to the chair. The way he went at me, I was actually afraid he’d smack me next so I found myself backing away from him. When he saw me flinch he put his hands up as if showing me he meant no harm. Our ‘guest’ seemed thankful for the reprieve.

“I need to talk to you.” I said in a quivering voice.

“Fine.” He walked out of the room, passed the other three guys who had looks of horror on their faces then he motioned for me to follow him. “What is it?”

“What are you doing to him?”

“Interrogating him.”

“It looked like torture to me.”

“Do you want to know what happened to your friend and your father?”

“Well, yes but…”

“Then let me do what I need to do.”

“Has he said anything?”

“Not yet, but he was just about to before you interrupted me.”

“I don’t think you should be hurting him like that. He’s already been shot.”

Max folded his arms in front of himself. If he was bald, he would have looked like Mr. Clean. “Nick, the time to be nice is over. We don’t have much time. Like you said on the phone, they know you are here and it’s only a matter of time before they try to get you. We need to make a move and this guy could be our only way out of this mess.”

“Do you know him?”

He seemed surprised by the question. “No, why do you ask?”

“Because he said he knew me.”

“Of course he would say that. He probably wants you to think he’s a friend. He’d say anything for you to let him go. He knows you’re just a kid. But you know what he’ll do when you let him go?”

I didn’t say anything, just shook my head.

“He’ll stab you in the back.”

“Did he tell you his name?”

“No, but I don’t care about his name. You shouldn’t either. In fact, I don’t want you going anywhere near him, do you understand me?”

I nodded. Max had a way of making me feel like I was five years old. “Good, now let me go back in there and do my job.”


“What?” He sounded annoyed.

I wanted to ask him about my mother. Why he didn’t tell me she was alive, why he lied about strangling me and so many other things but instead I just said, “Never mind.”

He nodded and then walked back into the room, shoving Brian, AJ and Howie out as he shut the door. “He’s in pretty bad shape in there.” Brian said, with a great amount of unease in his voice. “I think we should stop him.”

“I don’t think he’ll just stop if we ask him to.” Howie answered, glancing over at me.

“He said this was the only way to get the answers we need.”

“There’s always another way.” Brian said. “I think we need to go in there and make him stop.”

Max came back out of the room before I had a chance to agree with him. “I will be right back. I just need to go to my room for something. Do NOT go in there!” He warned us all. “He will say anything to get you on his side. Remember that he’s the enemy.”

He gave us all one more look and then left. Once the door shut I made my way to the room. “What are you doing? He just said not to go in there.”

“I know AJ, I heard him.” I said as I opened the door and walked over to our prisoner who wasn’t looking very good.

His head was slouched downward and a small stream of blood was coming from his mouth. “Hey.” I whispered to him.

He slowly looked up at me. “Are you okay?” He asked me, which took me by surprise.

“I’m fine.”

But I could tell our ‘guest’ was not. He had a black eye and his face was beginning to swell. One of his eyes was so swollen it seemed sealed shut. “I’m sorry he did this to you. Please just tell him what he needs to know and he’ll stop.”

At that, our prisoner laughed and then spit out some blood. “He’s not going to let me live.”

“That’s not true. We just want to know what happened to Kevin and my father. Once you tell us that, he’ll let you go.”

“I’m not telling him anything.”

“Then tell me.” I begged.

“Why are you with him?” He asked me. “He’s a very dangerous man.”

Just looking at the guy it was hard to disagree. Max had really done a job on him. “Is your name Nickolas?” I decided to ask out of the blue.

He paused for a second and then smiled at me, “You do remember me.”

“You used to dance around like a monkey to make me laugh.”

He smiled again. I could tell he was going back in time, probably to a happier time than this. “I enjoyed making you laugh.”

“Nickolas, please just tell me why you guys are after me and my uncle will stop hurting you.”

He looked surprised, “Your uncle?”


“Andrew, listen to me. That man is NOT your uncle. He’s a very dangerous man and you have to get away from him. Do not trust him.”

“What? But he’s my mother’s brother. He had a picture…”

“Andrew, no he’s lying. You have to get away.”


“What did I say? Goddamn kid! Why do you NOT listen?” I turned to the harsh sound of my uncle screaming at me. He walked over and grabbed my arm so tightly I thought it was going to break off.

“You’re hurting me!” I cried out in pain as he continued to walk me to the door.

“Leave him alone!” Nickolas shouted before continuing on his rant in Russian.

“Max!” But he didn’t let me finish. He shoved me out the door where I fell on my ass. He locked himself inside with Nickolas while the four of us stood helpless outside the door just listening.
Chapter End Notes:
Hope you enjoyed and Happy Halloween! I'll be back next week with chapter 25. :O) Thanks for reading!