Romeo slapped me hard across the face, much harder than I had been slapped all night. Then he shocked me with a stun gun. Then Cody doused me with cold water, which was the worst part by far. When you get hit with a stun gun, it lasts a second. When someone throws cold water on you, it makes you miserable for hours. I hadn’t thought about cold water before this. I had thought about guns and billy clubs and knives. It never occurred to me how desperately I would want to stay dry. Now I would have gladly taken another jolt from the stun gun in exchange for a fresh T-shirt.
“I know this was originally meant to be a fake kidnapping,” the voice said.
“And I know that you guys did your homework on me, and that you know I went to prison for a while.”
I do know that.
“But there are other things about me that you don’t know, Drew. And the reason you don’t know them is because you never asked.”
That was the moment it felt real. That was the moment I was paying for.
I loved his safe word.