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Chapter 1: 3 years later

The hand that was gripping his upper arm tightly, let go abruptly as the young man was pushed into a small room. He fell to the floor, supporting his body on his two hands and knees. He was gasping for air and coughing violently. In the background he could hear the sound of the door slamming shut and being locked. When he finally managed to catch his breath he took a look around in the dungeon-like room. The floor was cold and wet beneath his hands and knees, the walls were gray with ripped wallpaper. The air was humid and in the corner of the room stood an old bed, mattress slightly ripped and a thin blanket lying on top of it, unfolded. There was a small window, right across from the door that was barred from the outside, so it was no point in breaking it.

The young man shuttered. Whether it was from the cold or the fright he was experiencing he couldn't tell. The young man wasn't looking too good himself. He was thin, dressed in a black oversized shirt and dark brown sweatpants. His dark, curly hair was to the point where it reached to his shoulders. His face and neck was bruised and his feet were bare.

"They're gonna kill you." came a hoarse voice from behind him. Still on his hands and knees the man turned his head before flipping over his whole body, so that he was sitting on the wet floor, sill supported by his hands. His heart was beating faster than ever and he was breathing rapidly, nearly hyperventilating.

It turned out the voice had come from another young man, who had stood leaning against the wall, right beside the door as he was thrown in to the room. This man looked to be about the same age as himself and looked just as ruffled as he did, with dark clothing too big to fit him, and long blonde hair that reach all the way down to his shoulders. His face, neck and feet were just as bruised and abused as his own and his blue eyes were completely empty, lacking any emotions whatsoever.

He let his dark eyes scan the figure where he stood, hands buried in his pockets, before answering the statement that still hung heavily in the air.

"Yeah, I know." Slowly he stood up. The blonde started to walk towards him, not letting him go with his eyes.

"And then they're gonna kill me…" he said, still showing no emotions.

He swallowed. "How do you know they won't take you first?" he asked but the blonde just smile at him. An empty smile that made the brunette shivered and sweats at the same time.

"They won't." the blonde answered. He walked over to the bed and sat himself down. He removed the blanket from where it had lain and threw it to the other end of the bed and reviled and envelope that had been hidden underneath it. He then looked at the dark-haired man. "That is why I need your help"

His eyebrows furrowed and he looked at the other man confused. "How?" he asked.

The man who had been sitting down slowly stood up and walked over to him, handing him the envelope before answering.

"Over the last…at least 5 years, hundreds and hundreds of kids have gone missing from different places and I am willing to bet my soul on the fact that no one has linked all the disappearances together. With this, at least they know they have a case." Still confused the man eyed the blonde with suspicion before opening the envelope.

His eyes widened. Drawings, loads and loads of drawings of every single kid who had been in and out of this place for the last three years, maybe even more. He looked up at him.

"Did you make these?" he asked the blonde, but he just shook his head.

"That's not important; the important part is that you get these pictures out there. I don't care how you do it; just make sure someone gets them. They're gonna kill you anyway and you know it, so it doesn't really matter if you try to make a run for it and fail. Either way, you're going to die."

It felt so cold and cruel, hearing it coming from this man. Like it didn't even matter. Like his life didn't even matter.

"Listen to me," the blonde continued "You and are going to die here. We're going to die and no one is ever going to know what happened to us, but with this we could save the rest of the people stuck in here. At least then our death won't be in vain, and we did leave something of worth behind us"

"Why aren't you here?" he asked and waved the drawings in the air, dark eyes gazing the man in front of him intensely. But he just shrugged.

"I'm gonna die before anyone figure it out…Might as well act like I never was here." he mumbled.

"Still…" he answered, shoving a few curtly locks away from his eyes and tucking them behind his ear "Don't your family deserve to know what happened to you…How long have you been here anyway?"

"Five years…" he mumbled. "And you?"

"Three…" he carefully put back the drawing in the envelope before he reached out one hand. "I'm Ethan Gold"

It felt weird saying he's own name. When they were brought here they were just given numbers, and that had been their names. They had been introduced and referred to as nothing more than the numbers they had been given. Ethan was called 0216.

The blonde took his hand and shook it lightly "Justin Taylor."

The name sounded familiar, and suddenly Ethan froze. "I remember you" he said, eyes big. "I remember when you went missing. You ran off to New York and then never came back…" Justin looked like he was blushing, but the light could very well be betraying him.

"Well, what can I say, I was young and stupid." he said with a shrug, hands once again buried it the pocket of his sweatpants.

"I'm from Pittsburgh to and I remembered it because…I thought it was so unfair…A young gay boy runs away and no one even seemed to bother with it, then a few weeks later a young straight woman was kidnapped and everyone was turning the entire world upside down to find her," Ethan shook his head "It felt so wrong."

Justin looked at him for a while before shrugging "Yeah, well…That's just life" he said mumbled.

"Yeah but still…" Ethan pressed. "I'd like to think they haven't given up on me yet…" he scratched the back of his head.

"Have they given up on me?"

Ethan blinked, it was the first time he sensed some emotion in his voice…Was it disappointment? He swallowed, feeling like a complete asshole as the next words left his mouth. "Yeah…They just…assumed that you were dead and closed your case. There was even a funeral." Justin's eyebrows furrowed and he sucked in his bottom lip into his mouth, letting it go as he finally spoke.

"With no body?" he asked and Ethan nodded, eyes fixed on the ground. "How do you know all that?" he finally asked, receiving nothing but a simple shrug form the other man.

"Let's just that…I was really in to the case" he said.

"Why?" Justin asked, having a hard time understanding why anyone would be interested in his disappearance. "I was just a little kid who ran away when his parents couldn't accept that he was gay…What was so special about that?

Ethan sighed, looking thoroughly bothered. "I don't know…I, I guess I just…related. I mean, you were my age, you were from Pittsburgh…I guess it just upset me, and in a way…I wanted to see if there was something I could figure out that the police couldn't, seeing since they weren't really that into it to begin with" he shrugged again. "I guess…I just wanted to think that if it was me, someone out there would do the same…"

"And now?" Justin asked "Do you still think someone out there cares? That after all these years they still give a fuck about you?" his voice sounded so harsh, Ethan didn't know whether to make eye contact or concentrate on the cold, hard floor.

"It what's keep me going." he finally said, letting his eyes wander up and meet the blue ones that was staring at him in an almost mocking way.

"And now you're going to die," Justin said, almost looking amused. "They're gonna shove you in to that car, drive you off to the woods, throw you on the ground and then execute you, like a goddamn dog"

"I know the routine!" Ethan snapped, how the fuck could this guy be so calm if he knew that he was the next one to go? Justin took a step forward.

"Then you know you have to run," He said, eyes boring into him in a way that almost hurt. "Run your fucking legs off, and make sure someone gets it" he said pointing at the envelope. "I don't care who it is, a fucking stray, a billionaire or a kid walking his dog. You give this envelope to them and you tell them to get it to the nearest police office. Chances are that when they look at these drawing they gonna recognize at least one of these kids and hopefully, they'll get it."

Ethan had to agree. There must have been at least over a hundred drawings in there.

"Are you sure about this?" Ethan dared himself to ask. Justin shook his head.

"Nope…Not in the least, but…We have to try" Ethan nodded.

The sound of approaching footsteps, a rustle, and the sound of a key being inserted in a lock, twisted and a loud "click" made the two boys jump. Panicked Ethan stuck half of the envelope down his pants, resting against his back and the other half he covered with his shirt. A man, different from the one who had thrown him in here to begin with, swung the door opened and glared at the two boys.

"Come on 0216," he said, voice rough "Time to go."

Exchanging one last looking between each other Ethan started to move towards the doorway. This was it. They both knew that and they both were praying to god that this would work.


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