“Come on, let’s go over there and take a look,” Benedict said as he strode towards the door. Vivian hastily followed.
Just then, the phone in Vivian’s hand rang shrilly with a call from an unknown number. Vivian looked at Benedict hesitantly as a sudden sense of foreboding rose within her.
“Hello, may I ask who’s calling?” There was a slight tremor in Vivian’s voice as she answered. For someone to be calling at this moment, could something really have happened to Larry…?
“Your son is with me. If you want him to live, bring 1.5 million in ransom money to Coast Haven,” a male voice growled over the phone. “Remember, don’t call the police. Or you’ll pay for the consequences.”
When Vivian heard that Larry had indeed been kidnapped, she immediately collapsed with despair. Her worst fears had been confirmed. She shrieked into the phone, “Who are you? What have you done to my son?”
Benedict’s face fell the moment he heard Vivian speak those words. He anxiously stared at the phone she was gripping in her hand. Has something really happened to Larry?
“Your son’s fine. But if you don’t bring the money over, I can’t promise that he’ll stay in this good shape for long. I’ll give you until tomorrow morning latest. I need to see the money,” the menacing voice on the other end said with an air of finality.
“I’ll bring the money immediately! But you have to promise me that nothing will happen to my son,” Vivian bawled. “Where should I bring the money to? What’s the place called, what Haven? Is my son there?”
“Coast Haven. Remember, you can only come with the child’s father, Finnick. If I catch sight of anyone else other than the two of you, your son will be in grave danger,” the voice threatened.
“Where’s Coast Haven? And how do you know that Finnick is his father?” Vivian asked doggedly. She’d never even heard of Coast Haven before.
No reply came. The kidnapper had abruptly ended the call.
“Hello? Hello?” Vivian stared at the phone in a daze, her heart pounding. When she had calmed down slightly, she reasoned that for the kidnapper to have selected Larry as his prey, he would have done a thorough check of Larry’s background. Beyond that, further analysis of how the kidnapper had come by the information regarding Larry’s father exceeded the current capacity of Vivian’s mind.
As she reflected on this, Vivian couldn’t help but resent Finnick. What if Little Pumpkin is just being used as bait to trap Finnick? Finnick’s really a jinx!
“What did he say? What happened to Larry?” Benedict tugged at Vivian’s arm, asking urgently.
“Ben, Little Pumpkin’s really been kidnapped,” Vivian said tearily. “They’re asking me to bring 1.5 million to a place called Coast Haven for his ransom, and they said… they said only I could go, or they’ll kill Little Pumpkin!”
After this hurried explanation, Vivian took out her phone to locate Coast Haven. Its precise position turned out to be on the fringe of Sunshine City.
With this confirmation, Vivian grabbed her bag and dashed out the door. She had to acquire that money now. Every moment she frittered away was another moment Larry spent in danger.
Benedict grabbed hold of Vivian and said solemnly, “Vivian, you can’t go alone. What if the kidnapper doesn’t keep his word and kidnaps you as well?”
“But the kidnapper said that if he saw anyone else but me, he’d kill Little Pumpkin! I can’t take that risk!” Vivian had worked herself up into a frenzy. Larry was everything, even life itself, to Vivian. She could not afford to lose him under any circumstances.
Besides, Vivian wasn’t planning on bringing Finnick along. She believed that she could get her hands on 1.5 million without his help. If Finnick found out that he had a son, he would never be willing to relinquish his custody of him.
Upon hearing the resolution in Vivian’s tone, Benedict found himself at a loss. Benedict was equally unwilling to put Larry in danger. However, he was also reluctant to let Vivian put herself in harm’s way all alone.
There wasn’t much time to think. Vivian had already wrestled herself free of Benedict’s grip and continued her headlong dash out the door. The only thought in her mind was that of saving her son. There was no room for anything else.
Just as she ran out, Vivian found herself barricaded by Finnick, who had been quietly standing outside all this while. Observing Vivian’s tear-stained face, Finnick looked at her with concern written all over his face. “What’s wrong, Vivian? Why are you crying? What on earth happened?”