An endless meadow, dotted with sprigs of brightly colored wildflowers, stretched out before her feet. It was enough to lift Vivian’s spirits instantly.
But the gorgeous landscape went unappreciated and unremarked by Vivian, who only had eyes out for her lost child.
“Come on. Let’s walk around and see if we can find anything,” Finnick pressed. He thought he could say with some confidence that he’d figured out what they were here for.
The person dearest to Vivian’s heart had been kidnapped. It must be why she’d come all this way to save him.
Having judged Finnick’s proposition to be reasonable, Vivian decided to follow him forward. After all, this was indeed too much of an open area for the shady exchange that was about to take place.
Besides, with the car right next to them, Vivian and Finnick might easily have gotten away with both the child and the money.
Her mind thus lost in thought, Vivian failed to register the extraordinary warmth that flowed from Finnick’s hand to hers.
Suddenly, Vivian patted her pocket and realized that her phone was still with her.
She turned to Finnick and declared, “You may go now.”
Finnick gazed at his vacant hand and smiled ruefully, looking at Vivian.
“Don’t follow after me,” Vivian warned. She was well aware of Finnick’s obstinate character.
When she noticed him following behind her, Vivian snapped, “What on earth are you trying to do?”
She was in no mood to engage in a discussion of any sort with him. There was absolutely no way Vivian could allow Finnick to discover Larry’s existence.
“I’m coming with you no matter what,” Finnick said stubbornly. He met Vivian’s gaze steadily.
Vivian knew that it would be impossible to shake Finnick off now. What was of paramount importance, then, was Larry’s safety.
She decided not to waste her breath squabbling with Finnick.
After they had traversed a short distance, Vivian’s phone rang. It was the kidnapper.
“Hello, where are you? I’ve brought the money with me,” Vivian immediately announced, demanding the kidnapper’s precise location.
“There’s a little hut up ahead. Bring the money in with you,” the voice on the other end instructed.
“OK,” Vivian answered. She could not risk defiance now, with Larry’s safety still hanging precariously in the balance.
Vivian approached the entrance of the hut with Finnick following close behind. He stuck fast to her, and there was nothing she could say that would effectively deter him.
At least there was now one more person on her side.
After they had entered, the door slammed violently shut and locked itself.
Vivian ran back and yanked at it with all her might. Despite her valiant efforts, however, the door remained firmly shut.
The kidnapper had indeed been meticulous in his design. He’d even chose such a sturdy door!
Finnick stepped forward to examine the door. Upon confirming that it could not be reopened, Finnick pulled a chair over and sat Vivian down on it.
“Are you going to keep on hiding the truth from me? Who’s been kidnapped?” Finnick demanded. If I’m going to be trapped here with you, I have the right to an explanation, at least!
After vigorously racking his brains, Finnick had still been unable to figure out who among the Morrison family was significant enough to warrant a kidnapping.
“That’s not for you to know,” Vivian said with a toss of her head.
At that moment, the phone rang yet again.
“Toss the money and your phone aside. You’ll stay in this room until morning.” Over the phone came the next set of cryptic orders.
Why can’t he just tell us everything all at once? Why the piecemeal instructions? Vivian puzzled.
“Where have you brought him to?” Vivian yelled in retaliation.
Despite being at her wits’ end, Vivian still remained adamant about not revealing Larry’s identity to Finnick.
Before she could finish her sentence, however, the line on the other end went dead.
The only audience to Vivian’s fury was the beeping dial tone.
Helpless, Vivian flung the phone away from her, as well as the money she had brought. She collapsed onto the chair and sat mutely in the room.
Vivian could only hope that morning would come quickly and bring Larry along with it. She would then take him somewhere far, far away, where nobody recognized or knew either of them.
As Vivian and Finnick waited with bated breath for the first sliver of daylight to appear, Benedict was furiously analyzing the movement of vehicles within the area.
Noah sat beside him, slogging away with equal measure. Neither of their efforts yielded any result. The only lead they had was of a rented car that had passed by. However, the car plate was too blurry for it to be anything more than a dead end.