A/N: I want to first apologize for allowing 2 years to go by without posting! I had no idea that much time went by! I will try to post monthly since this story should have been finished years ago! Thank you all for your patience! I hope you enjoy this chapter as much as I have enjoyed writing it! The next chapter is written but as always, I have to go over it because new ideas always pop into my head and I have to make sure my chapters flow correctly. So please excuse my neglectfulness! Read and enjoy!
"Corrine! Lucas!" Josie exclaimed as she ran towards her friends. The fear that once gripped her body soon turned into unexplainable happiness.
"Josie!" With open welcoming arms, Corrine ran quickly towards her roommate to embrace her with a hug. Lucas, still in shock, stood frozen at the entrance of the room.
"Oh my God I can't believe we've finally found you!" Corrine exclaimed, trying to hold back tears.
She and Josie broke away from their warm embrace and both wiped the tears away from each other's eyes. Corrine examined her newfound friend, making sure she was all in one piece. At that moment she noticed the bandage on Josie's head.
"What happened to your head? Are you ok?" She asked with great concern.
Josie gently touched her bandage. "Oh this? Yes I'm fine. It's a long story about how I got that." She replied with a slight chuckle.
She then looked at Lucas and immediately ran over to him for a hug. Lucas was at first taken aback from her embrace, but then slowly wrapped his arms around her waist and gently placed his chin on top of her flaming red hair. He closed his eyes and inhaled a deep breath as he instinctively tightened his grip around her small waist, holding her body even closer to his.
Corrine watched her friends with a knowing smile, taking first notice of Lucas's firm grip on Josie.
Josie soon broke away from Lucas and smiled.
"I'm glad we've finally found you." Lucas replied, smiling back.
"I'm so glad to be found. You guys have absolutely no idea what I've been through. Hopefully Vaughn is safe…we have to find him!" Josie replied anxiously.
At the mere mention of Vaughn's name, Lucas's smile disappeared. It wasn't because he didn't want Vaughn to be found. It was because he was reminded of the growing bond between Josie and his romantic rival, which now seemed to be unbreakable now that they've gone through this traumatic event together.
"So where do you think Vaughn might be?" Corrine asked Josie.
"I'm not sure. The last time I saw him was when we were separated after we woke up in a small cell. He was captured again and I tried to get him out but something happened to me."
"What?" Lucas asked anxiously.
"I passed out. Someone stuck me with a needle or something but before I blacked out, I saw a man's face. He had glasses and short brown hair. I didn't recognize him at first, until I later found out his name." Josie struggled to say as she recounted her nightmare.
"Well who was it? What's his name?" Corrine asked.
Lucas and Corrine's hearts nearly jumped out of their bodies.
"You mean Professor Middleton? He's here?" Lucas exclaimed.
"Yeah and he's behind me and Vaughn's kidnapping." Josie replied.
"Are you sure because Professor Middleton has been missing for almost three and a half years now." Corrine stated.
"Yes I do know for sure it's him. He's the one behind this. I happened to stumble upon his room when I woke up from being unconscious. A tool fell on my head and that's how I got this nasty bruise on my head." Josie explained.
"Does your head still hurt? I hope you don't have a concussion." Corrine asked concernedly.
"It throbs a little bit but that's only when I bump it against something."
"Well we need to get out of here fast so that you won't get hurt anymore." Lucas suggested.
"Guess who else is here." Josie began suddenly. "Victor Pearson!"
"Victor Pearson is here? Where is he? Lucas asked.
"He's in this small cell in the other side of the building. I wanted to save him but I couldn't because there were two people after me." Josie replied.
"Who?" Corrine asked.
"A gross looking little man and Madison."
Lucas and Corrine widened their eyes in surprise. Their hearts nearly stopped at the mention of the head cheerleader's name.
"Madison?" They both exclaimed in unison.
"Yes Madison. She's another one who is behind this drama." Josie replied.
"So that explains why she was sneaking into Professor Z's office every night to go through the wormhole." Lucas concluded.
"Wow what is going on?" Corrine asked.
"I don't know but we have one heck of a journey ahead of us." Josie replied wearily.
"Dad!" Vaughn shouted.
"Vaughn!" Victor exclaimed.
"Tyler?" Samantha and Ryan said simultaneously as they all stood face to face in the desolate hallway.
Victor Pearson and Vaughn quickly ran towards each other, while Tyler, Samantha, and Ryan stayed behind on opposite sides of the hallway, watching father and son embrace each other. Samantha and Ryan averted their eyes to Tyler, who was still watching Victor and Vaughn.
"Can you believe he's here?" Samantha whispered to Ryan.
"No…I thought he was gone a long time ago. We need to keep an eye on him." Ryan whispered back.
"Dad I can't believe you're here! How did you get here? How did you find us?"
"Professor Zachary told me that you and Josie were kidnapped when you were in the library. I granted him permission to find you and Josie with the help of the Science Club."
"The Science Club is here? Have you seen them?" Vaughn asked excitedly.
"No…I haven't seen them since they left to find you and Josie. I don't know if they got here."
"How did you get here?"
"The janitor…he showed me where to go through the wormhole…in the basement of the school."
Vaughn then turned his attention to the former Blake Holsey High student standing a few feet behind them.
"What are you doing here with my dad?" He asked Tyler.
Before Tyler could answer, Vaughn went on an angry rant. "Dad you can't trust him…he's bad news!"
"Yeah that's what we want to know, Tyler!" Ryan said as he slowly walked towards where Vaughn stood. Samantha followed. "What are you doing here?"
At the sight of Ryan, Victor froze in horror. He'd remembered the troubled teenager who was the first student to go missing from Blake Holsey.
"Ryan? Ryan Channing?" Victor said in disbelief.
"Yes it's me Mr. Pearson."
"How…why…how did you get here?" Victor asked.
"It's a long story Mr. Pearson, but all I can tell you is that I have been a prisoner the whole time I was here. Professor Middleton is out to get you Mr. Pearson…and so is he!" Ryan replied as he pointed a guilty finger at Tyler.
Tyler's heart nearly stopped. His eyes widened in surprise.
"Wait, no I'm not out to get Mr. Pearson!" He replied, raising both hands in defense.
"Yes you are! You used to work for Middleton! You and Middleton were conspiring to ruin Mr. Pearson as well as everyone else who was affiliated with Blake Holsey!"
"You were working with Middleton, too!" Tyler quipped back accusingly.
"Yeah I did until I realized what he was doing! You knew for a long time about his dangerous plans but still went along with it! You also lied to Middleton and told him that Samantha was planning to do something about his plans!" Ryan quipped.
"I only went along with him because I knew he was a psycho and would harm me if I didn't agree with him! Don't you know what he did to me?" Tyler then stepped closer to Victor.
"Please Mr. Pearson, you have to believe me. I mean no harm to you or to anyone. Yes it's true that I followed Middleton but I only did that to keep safe."
"Are you telling me the truth Tyler?" Victor asked.
"If I was working with Middleton, do you think I would have freed you from the cell?" Tyler asked.
"Well how do we know that you freed my dad only to lead Middleton to us? Or you did this just so that Middleton can let you go?" Vaughn asked.
Tyler sighed in frustration. "Did your two friends over here tell you what happened to me? Did they tell you what Middleton did to me?"
Vaughn glanced at Ryan and Samantha. "Samantha told us that he tortured you. But you caused Samantha to get hurt. He put her in suspended animation because you lied on her!"
"Yeah…you would do anything to save your own ass." Samantha quipped.
"I'm sorry Samantha. I should have never done that to you. I felt awful for what he did to you. He put me in suspended animation, too…or so he thought he did." Tyler apologized.
"What do you mean he thought he did?" Ryan asked.
"When they injected me with the serum, I had on double padding under the sleeves in my shirt. I pretended to be unconscious and when the coast was clear, I fled to the south eastern part of the building where they rarely go." Tyler explained.
"It serves you right to get what you deserved from him." Ryan replied.
"Tyler had informed me of his dealings with Middleton and Avenir when he freed me. From his willingness to give me that information, I can say that I trust him so far." Victor mentioned.
"But dad you can't trust him just because he told you his story and he set you free." Vaughn added.
Victor placed a reassuring hand on Vaughn's shoulder. "Vaughn please…if you don't trust him, trust me." He then leaned into Vaughn's ear and whispered. "I always have a plan when a former enemy suddenly becomes my friend. If he should happen to turn his back on us, I have a way for us to get out of the situation."
Vaughn still felt a little conflicted about Tyler. His father looked into his eyes, reassuring him that he knew what he was doing.
"Okay dad…" Vaughn said with a weary smile.
"Guys we can't stay out here in the open. We need to go somewhere." Samantha said.
Tyler thought for a moment and then remembered a safe haven he stayed in on the southern most side of the building.
"I know of a great place to go. Follow me!" Tyler said as he walked past Ryan and Samantha towards a door at the end of the hallway.
Everyone hesitated for a moment, for they did not fully trust him. Tyler opened the door and looked back, realizing that they were not behind him.
"Come on guys! This way!"
They all looked at each other wearily. At that moment, a dark familiar figure appeared by the door where Tyler stood.
"Look guys! It's the shadow man!" Samantha said.
"I think it wants us to go where Tyler is going!" Vaughn said as they all decided to walk down the hall.
Once they reached the door, the phantom disappeared.
Tyler held the door open for everyone as they all in single form, walked into the next room. Ryan was last in line and glared at Tyler.
"You'd better be leading us to a safe place…or else." He threatened.
Slight anger welled up inside Tyler, but he'd managed to keep cool. Once Ryan walked through the door, Tyler quickly followed the group, and closed the door behind him.
"As long as we get to the south area, we'll be okay…" Tyler kept telling himself.
If he only knew that where they were headed was no longer a safe haven...
Back at Blake Holsey, Principal Durst was at her wits end. The science club, including Mr. Pearson were now gone for more than six weeks. Finals were quickly approaching and the remaining students in Professor Zachary's class were asking questions on the whereabouts of their lost teacher. She had to tell them that he went on sabbatical. When people asked about the science club, she had to lie and say they were on a science trip. Her lies were starting to become confusing and unbelievable. She could not keep up with them. One student threatened to tell her parents that a conspiracy was going on and Professor Z and the missing students were in fact missing. Durst had to do all she could to keep that student quiet. What made matters worse was that after finals, the students were to move out for summer vacation in the next three weeks.
"What am I going to do?" Durst asked as she walked through the busy hallway of the school, making her way to her office.
Once inside the office, she paced around the room, thinking of what she should do. The janitor told her that Josie and Vaughn were kidnapped, but she was not aware of the reason why.
Finally, an idea came to mind. "Perhaps Josie's mother can help? Maybe she knows what's going on? I should call her!"
As soon as she ran over to the phone and picked up the receiver, she quickly realized that she just had a student pretend to be Josie to speak to Ms. Trent when she called two days ago. Realizing that she was stuck, she placed the phone down and sat back in her chair in agony.
"I don't know what's going on! What am I to do?" She said aloud to the empty room as she placed her head in her hands and cried.
A/N: So what do you think? Can Tyler be trusted? What awaits them through the door? How will Josie, Lucas, and Corrine get out of the room? More to come! Thanks for reading!