"I ... I know itís ... just that. To be in the same place that they are .."
"Itíll be ok Jace." Lance butted in from his seat on the over stuffed couch "They wonít even know you are there. Come on heís not going to settle. lets get this over with." Lance grabbed his coat and kissed Chris bye as JC shrugged on his jacket. The whole trip down to the precinct was conducted in silence, Justin and Lance tried to ignore the fact that their friend had sat huddled in the furthest corner of the SUV his forehead resting against the glass, eyes squeezed tightly shut. He jumped as the car came to a halt, and allowed himself to be led into a small room with a two way mirror. JC stood shaking as a line of men were led in. The mirror darkened as the light was turned off on the other side.
One by one the men were asked to read a card. As the fifth man spoke JC shuddered, and began to hyperventilate. He staggered backwards as Justin and Lance leaped to catch him. The manís voice reverberated around the small room as the fragile man sagged in his friends arms unable to talk, unable to breath, tears flowing down his cheeks like a river over a waterfall, unable to stop as the thick Irish accent pressed down on his lungs. "G ...get out ... I got to ... to get out." He clawed at Justin trying to reach the door. Gosman yelled for help as JC became more and more unmanageable. A sharp prick to his arm and he slumped forward, his erratic breathing smoothing out as the sedative took effect. Justin swept him up in his arms and carried him to an office with a couch laying him down, drying his face as he whispered soothing words. His face stung where JC had scratched him in his mad panic to escape. He could feel the blood running down his neck. Gosman handed him a wet cloth "I think we can safely say Josh identified Garrett Buckfield donít you? Now if he can identify the other two."
"Not today ... Iím taking him home, make some tapes ... Iím not putting him through this again."
"Justin I know youíre concerned but when this goes to trial Joshua is going to have to stand in a witness box with the three of them looking at him and describe everything ... and unfortunately I do mean everything they did to him, If he canít do that then they will just be charged with abduction with intent to extort money."
Justin dabbed at his face "Heíll be ok." He planted a small kiss on the sleeping mans cheek.
"You said youíd know more." Lance asked as he sat down on the end of the couch lifting JCís feet onto his lap absentmindedly rubbing at his calves.
Gosman coughed "Humm Excuse me. Yeah we know where they kept him."
"Are you going to tell us or should we guess?" Justin snapped.
" Would you believe ten houses down from his parents house in Bowie."
"What?" Lance and Justin both yelled at the same time.
"Yep the smug bastards took him to his home town, the same street his family live in. They had the basement sound proofed. We found blood samples and hair that belong to Josh, seamen stains again belonging to Josh, some belonging to Buckfield. They had him chained in a small specifically constructed metal box, tiny air holes drilled in the top not big enough for him to see anything, just enough to allow him to breath."
"Bastards" Justin gritted his teeth as the terrible conditions his lover had been forced to endure were described in detail to him.
"We also found his cell phone in the basement and the hammer they used to smash his hand. We lifted Chuck Buckfieldís prints off the handle."
"If thatís the case" Lance asked "Why was it so important to put Josh through this damned identification crap?"
"Look boys the more we can defiantly pin on these bastards the better it will be for JC."
Lance looked at Justin before he spoke gauging his mood. "We were wondering about the money?"
"All safe and sound boys, Youíre about a million down but the rest is still in ABN Amro bank, The account has been frozen, it will be held till the end of the trail as evidence after that youíll get it back, plus interest apparently.
JC woke with a start to find himself on his bed, his quilt pulled up round his neck, the blinds pulled down. His mouth was dry so he sat up intending to go and get himself a drink, The room did a somersault and he landed with a loud bang on the floor. He automatically put out his hands to stop himself and screamed as his bad hand took his full weight.
Justin came running closely followed by Chris and Lance. " Iíd only gone to get a drink, I wasnít gone that long."
The accusatory look that Lance had shot him put him on the defensive.
"Not Justinís fault Lance, I was thirsty. Owww it hurts." Chris was trying to assess the damage. "Sorry dude, look I think he needs to go to the hospital." Justin snatched JCís jacket from the chair and draped it over his shoulders. "Iíll take him."
"Weíll all go."
"Lance I said Iíd take him. Back off. Heís my boyfriend not yours." The tense atmosphere was interrupted by a loud moan.
"Justin, now, please. It really hurts."
"Iím coming babe, Just back off Lance. Worry about keeping your own man happy."
Left alone Chris nuzzled his boyfriends neck. "Iím thinking itís time for us to give them some distance babe."
"Iíll go to the real estate agent tomorrow find us an apartment if you like."
"You asking me to move in with you Frodo?" Lance grinned, his green eyes flashing mischievously.
Chris shrugged "Yeah I am. But you call me that again and Iíll kick your ass."
Lance laughed "Did you say kick my ass or kiss my ass?"
"Do your worse Frodo."