“What do you want from us?” asked Laura again. “Who are you?”.
“I am that same man that you met all them years ago. I knew I would never forget your face and I haven’t had to forget Chloe’s as I’ve been keeping an eye on her for the past 2 years”. Chloe tried to scream but the tape over her mouth silenced her.
“I don’t understand. You held me for 24 hours without laying a finger on me. And now Chloe. Why?” asked Laura. She had longed for this opportunity to question him ever since her ordeal and never thought she would get the chance to do so.
“Well ever since that night 7 years ago when you and Chloe joined me on the ride into town for your birthday, I haven’t looked back”. He began to walk slowly around the room, circling Chloe whilst not averting his gaze away from Laura. “Those few minutes were not enough. I needed more. Time goes so quickly in our world Laura. The 24 hours I spent with you were perfect. How could I resist having the same with Chloe? I must admit, I do feel a bit greedy having both of you with me this time”.
“Hang on. What do you mean ‘ride into town’?” Laura asked.
‘Well you didn’t think it was just coincidence that we managed to meet twice tonight do you?” he said.
“Twice?” she replied.
“Does this help?” He slowly lifted the mask that had hidden his face for so long.
“I knew i recognised that voice. How could you?” Laura asked. Before her stood the man that had only hours earlier been laughing and singing with them on the way to the restaurant.
“I even came to dinner with you and sat only a few tables away unnoticed. When I saw you speaking with the waiter it was the perfect opportunity to somehow hide my actions. I knew my text would immediately put him in the picture but now you know my true identity it makes me feel even closer to you. And to you”. He stroked Chloe’s hair making her turn in disgust.
“All I wanted to do was spend more time with you both that’s all. My wife and I were robbed of time when she was taken from me almost 8 years ago”. Laura looked at Chloe trying to offer some gesture of comfort but failed to find one.
Police now surrounded the house and it had turned into ‘operation unknown’ with them having no idea who the abductor was.
“Sir we have a man on him now. He has been described as approximately 6 feet, dark short hair with a moustache. Possibly of Middle Eastern decent”.
“Get Ivan here now. We need to know how he has got caught up in all this” replied the officer. A car left the scene in pursuit of Ivan.
Fifteen minutes later he was back and a confused looking Ivan climbed from car to car shuffling across the back seat nervously.
“Ivan I take it?” asked the officer.
“That’s right yes. What is happening here?” he asked.
“Two girls have been taken hostage inside this house and until now, we believed you to be our man Ivan. Can you tell me what may have made us think that?”
“I honestly have no idea”. The officer showed him a relatively blurry still image that they had managed to capture.
“Any idea who this man is?” he asked.
“No. I remember him coming into the restaurant though just after the birthday girls came in. He sat at a table on his own and just had coffee. I left the restaurant shortly after that”.
“And why did you leave the restaurant so early?” the officer asked.
“Oh er, I was not feeling well. I had a bad stomach”. The officer turned to his colleague with a look of disbelief on his face.
“And do you know these two girls?”
The officer passed Ivan a photo of Chloe.
“I recognise her from last night but I do not know her. Who is the the other girl?” he asked. The officer passed him the photo of Laura.
“Oh please Jesus no”.