Dr Gillian Foster was hard working, punctual, professional and reliable. These are all excellent traits in a businesswoman. Unfortunately, they are also perfect traits in a target; it had only taken the observers nine days to be sure that she always arrived at work, alone, just before eight o'clock in the morning.
Gillian turned the car off and got out. Locking the car, she started towards the office doors. She had only taken three steps when an SUV came hurtling around the corner and screeched to a halt directly behind her. She barely had time to realise that she was in danger before she was grabbed from behind and bundled into the back of the SUV. Gillian screamed as they grabbed her and tried to fight but she was no match for her attackers and within seconds she was being pressed firmly into the cushions of the back seat as they drove away. Terrified, she realised that all of her abductors wore ski masks and that one of them was pointing a gun at her,
'Shut up! And don't move!'
The young male voice was on the edge of panic and Gillian obeyed him instantly, knowing that she needed to let him feel in control if she was going to stay alive. She made no attempt to resist when they tied a bag over her head, cutting off her vision, instead concentrating on listening. Listening to the sounds of their voices and to the sounds of the traffic and the city, searching for clues to where they were going.
The security guard from the adjacent offices heard Gillian scream and looked out just in time to see her being pushed into the SUV. He came rushing out, hand reaching for his gun, but he was too late, the car was already two blocks away. Pulling out his phone, he dialled 911.
Cal Lightman grunted with irritation as the police patrol officer waved him to a halt. Winding down his window, he said,
'What's going on?'
'I'm sorry, Sir, but there's been an incident. I'm going to have to ask you to take a different route.'
'I can't. I work just there.'
As Cal waved towards the offices of the Lightman Group, he saw a cluster of patrol cars all centred around their office and he felt a sudden sick feeling in the pit of his stomach.
The young officer followed his gesture and said,
'Do you work for the Lightman Group, Sir?'
'Yes, I'm Cal Lightman. What's happened?'
Swallowing, the young officer said,
'Wait here, Sir. I'll get someone to come and talk to you.'
'Bollocks to that!'
Cal got out of his car and rushed over to the cluster of DCPD detectives, the cold feeling in his gut intensifying. As he reached the group, one of the detectives came and took him by the arm, saying,
'Cal, come and sit down.'
The compassion in the man's voice hit Cal like a brick and he said,
'It's Gillian, isn't it?'
'Yes, but we think she's all right.'
'You think she's all right? What the fuck does that mean? Where is she?'
He looked wildly around and the detective gritted his teeth and said,
'She's been kidnapped.'
Cal stared blankly at him, desperately looking for any doubt at all. But there was none. Gillian had been kidnapped.
Cal let himself be led to a police car and sat down, oblivious to everything except the screaming inside his head.