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Dinner, deployment, cave songs, closing in.
'Look man, let me make it up to you, I didn't mean to offend. What are you buying?'
'I was getting a round, 8 beers,' Robbie said curiously, unsure whether he would agree to get the whole round.
'9 beers please mate,' he said without hesitation and the barman nodded, producing the beers which the stranger quickly paid for.
'Tom,' the stranger said, holding out his hand with a small smile.
'Robbie,' Robbie said, shaking it awkwardly. 'Look man, thanks for the drinks and all, I should probably take them to my mates.'
'You'll need a hand surely, you can't carry all eight drinks yourself?'
'Oh,' Robbie said, eyeing up the drinks but accepting that he would be right. 'Ok, thanks.'
We soon reached the team, Tom following behind me with a handful of drinks. I passed them around the group, taking them from Tom two at a time until there were only two left in his hands. He handed one to me with a smile.
'Cheers,' he said.
'Yeah, cheers,' Robbie said, taking a huge swig from his glass. Before long he had finished his drink and he said his goodbyes to the team and Tom and left the club.
The fresh air of the quiet night was a blessing for his throbbing head. He breathed it in deeply, checking his phone as he walked down the street away from the club. He swore under his breath as he saw it was flat, he'd have to walk home. Burying his hands in his pockets he began the walk, the bustling city giving away to quiet dimly lit streets. His head was still spinning, which surprised him, he thought he would feel better by now but if anything the further he walked the dizzier he became.
'Wow,' he muttered, as he staggered to a stop, holding his head as the street and trees blurred into one. He found himself falling before he could stop himself, laying like a rag doll half in the gutter. He vomited and groaned, rolling away from the puddle, attempting to pull himself up, but his arms shook violently and his nausea grew dangerously in his throat again.
How had he gotten this drunk? Nothing makes sense. He had only had a few pints, and yet he was unable to stand? Light blinded his eyes and stopped his thoughts as he raised his hand to shield his face. The foggy sound of a car engine filled his ears and the noise of a car door opening and closing.
He felt someone helping him to his feet, but the darkness hid their face. Whoever it was was strong enough to lift him easily to his feet and to the car, loading him into the back of the seats, laying across them with his eyes closed, his body weak and unresponsive. He had a pang of dread that perhaps this was a police car, before he slipped into unconsciousness.
He awoke with a groan. His mouth was dry and his body was sore all over. He felt hot, and could feel sweat caking his bare skin. Bare skin? He opened his eyes to see he lay in an unfamiliar dim room on a stained double bed, naked but for his boxers. His wrists were tied together with several zip ties attached to a chain leading to the bedpost, a short chain that left him in an awkward position.
His heart beat rapidly in his chest, as he tried to dreg up any memories of how he got there. He remembered the club, Kevin and the team, a pretty girl smiling at him, and...
'Morning sleepy head,' Tom said from where he leaned against the doorway with a smug grin.
Robbie had no words as he looked at the man in horror, Tom seemed to expect this as he strutted into the room confidently, looking down at his helpless form.
'I bet you have a lot of questions, but all you need to know is that your life is over. No one will find you, no one will rescue you, you're mine, and the sooner you realise this the easier it will be for you.'
'Eat shit,' Robbie spat and in a split second Tom's fist connected with his cheek. The pain was excruciating and Robbie fought against the tears springing to his eyes.
Tom chucked darkly, 'now now Robbie, play nice. I know you must be thirsty, and hungry too. Do you want something to eat and drink yes?'
Robbie gritted his teeth, ignoring the pain in his throat and rumbli