Andi felt herself being led away and frantically tried to loosen her bonds.
A gruff male voice whispered by her head. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Miss Carter.”
Andi felt a barrel of a gun shoved at her back. She grew numb all over. “What do you want me for?” she asked, trying not to betray the quiver of fear in her voice.
There was a harsh laugh. “You have us mistaken, Miss Carter.” The voice replied.
Andi shuddered. Us? There was more than one?
“How do I have you mistaken?” she asked carefully.
The barrel of the gun shoved harder into her back, and Andi grew rigid.
“The less you know, the better,” the voice hissed.
Andi drew away, but was forced back with the ever-present gun. There was silence, and Andi tried to think of something, anything, that could get her away.
She was led uphill for some time, and she tried to remember the path, but with her guides switching directions every mile or so, it was impossible. When her captors sat her down and removed her blindfold, Andi was completely lost. She looked up at her kidnappers, and gasped.
One was Johnny Wilson, whom she had thought was safe in military school, and the other was Troy, her brother-in-law, whom she had supposed was safe in jail. They stood over her, apparently enjoying her discomfort. Andi felt her anger rising up inside her, but she was truly at their mercy.
“Well, what do you want me for?” she asked coldly.
Troy grinned and sat down next to her, and Andi shrank from him. He chuckled, obviously taking pleasure in her mood. “This is no way to greet your brother,” he said, his breath smelling of bad cigars.
Andi wrinkled her nose in disgust. “I don’t think this was a very good way to greet your sister in law,” she replied, shrinking as far as she could away from Troy.
He laughed harshly, shifting his weight on the rock Andi had been put on. “Maybe not, but I didn’t bring you here just for a friendly reunion with me. I have something I want you to do.” He beckoned Johnny Wilson closer. “I believe you know this young man.”
Andi turned a cold shoulder to him. “If I did, I certainly wouldn’t want to admit that,” she said, noting with satisfaction Johnny’s face darkening.
Troy noticed both things, and seemed satisfied. “Of course. As I was saying, I have a job for you to do, but until you fulfill it, you have to be kept under lock and key so to speak, so this Johnny Wilson has offered his services.” He leaned closer to Andi. “Apparently, he has a reason not to like you,” he whispered.
Andi looked at her brother in law. “What are you getting at?”
“What is my job going to be?” Troy grinned, pushing his hat back on his head. “Now you’re talking!” he exclaimed. “My job for you is this: I want you to write a letter to your family that you are a captive right now, and that your ransom is going to be $5,000, cold cash.”
Andi gasped. “$5,000! Why?”
Troy looked at her. “$5,000 for me to be free from jail and be well on my way to fame and fortune. It’s the least my family could do for me.”
Andi glowered at him. “It looks as if you’re already out of jail.”
Troy grinned. “I had to take things into my own hands, naturally, but I would prefer to be completely free from charge, with a clear conscience.”
Andi snorted, even though she knew well that it wasn’t ladylike. “A clear conscience?” she asked. “It’d take a whole lot more than $5,000 to make your conscience clear again, T.J.”
Troy stood up, his face clouding over. “Are you going to write that note, or do I have to leave you up here with Johnny while I take care of other business?” he said, his mocking grin gone, and in its place a snarl.
Andi swallowed, hard. Troy was growing impatient. “The decision is yours, Andrea Carter. Take it or leave it.”