The air in dank room was filled the smell of old blood and rotting flesh, with a faint note of bleach wafting underneath. Pete watched in horror as Cheryl squirmed on the wooden chair. Above her, a bucket filled with water was attached to a rope and pulley system, hooked up to the beams. As far as Pete could tell, they were in a basement.
Cheryl’s T-shirt was slick with water spilled from the bucket; her ordinarily bouncy curls stringy and sticking to her neck. She was a wreck. But solid. Not once had she revealed secrets, their role or her identity. What a woman.
This bloke who held them captive was hard core. Pete glanced to the bench where the tools were laid out with the care and attention given by sociopaths. Each of them designed to extract knowledge through pain and torture. He shivered. When would it be his turn?
Pete watched as their captor trudged up the stairs.
‘Psst,’ he whispered. Her eyes flew open, bright with terror. ‘Don’t be a hero, yeah?’
‘You shittin’ me?’ Cheryl’s voice croaked. ‘We can’t give up now.’
Pete realised then that he was the weak link. He’d be the one to vacillate under pressure. His best intentions of remaining tight-lipped would waver at the very sight of one of those tools near his balls. He’d sing like a canary.