Tripp has one main job, and that’s to get into the cult’s compound to save the two remaining hostages. The best way he knows how to do that is to get caught himself and thrown into one of those cells. He’s an expert at locks and can get out of anything. He’s not worried until the guards put him in a cell with Jacob Klein. It’s only then that Tripp starts to panic for the little man’s survival.
Paulo Carreiro just needs to find work after retiring from the military, and he doesn’t want to ask his brother Locke for a job. When Phillip Avery calls him to come work for him, Paulo gets a weird vibe. The minute he sees the compound he knows something isn’t right. It’s his dumb luck that the very place he gets a job his brother is investigating for kidnapping gay men and holding them hostage.
It took three of those bastards to finally catch him and take him down. The only reason Tripp McConnell went down in the first place was because one of the idiots accidentally kicked him in the balls. He was pretty sure they were trying for the stomach, but the guy couldn’t get his leg up high enough. The goal of running around acting like a crazy person was to get caught. But did the bastards really have to send his balls up to his fucking throat? Tripp never wanted children, which was a good thing, because after today he’d never be able to have them anyway.
Shit. That fucking hurt.
The assholes forced him to stand up when two of the guys grabbed his arms. The third guy stood off to the side until Tripp growled. Tripp would have laughed when the guy took a couple steps back and got a scared look on his face, if he weren’t in so much pain.
“Filthy faggot,” one of the men said and punched him in the ribs.
Tripp grunted in pain and stumbled on his own feet. He took the key in his hand and put it in his mouth, tucking it on the inside of his cheek. If he were these guys, he’d be very suspicious of someone who just got done yelling and screaming, laughing like a lunatic, running around the front of the building, before suddenly going stone silent.
People saw what they wanted to see, something Tripp always counted on. These people were no exception. They lived in their own little bubble and shoved their religious ideals on other people. They thought he was the exact same way. They thought he was on the other side trying to get them to think that being gay was okay because he was loud and obnoxious—that was his standard operating procedure before getting kicked in the balls, anyway. If Tripp could get them focused on the message he was trying to send, then they wouldn’t search him for the damn key. That key was his ticket out of the cell they were about to put him in, and it was the only way out for the others also being held.
The layout of the building was pretty straightforward. It was basically a big rectangle with rooms on both sides of the main door. The center area was a big open space. He started to fight them a little as they took him down a set of stairs.
“You should be scared, faggot,” the man that hit him just seconds earlier said.
“A faggot is a cigarette, not a gay man. I’d offer you one, but you’re not my type,” Tripp said to the man with a wink.
“Fuck you, faggot,” the man said.
Tripp blew a kiss at him and chuckled when the guy paled.
Tripp inwardly laughed and hoped this man saw his face when Justin finally did arrest all these bastards. That was always the sweet spot when he accidently on purpose got caught by the bad guys.
Yeah, this wasn’t the first time. It wasn’t even the third time he’d had to infiltrate the enemy this way. He had made a little name for himself by doing some crazy shit. Most people would think getting thrown in a cell on purpose was self-destructive, especially with the way in smelled down there.
To say the smell in the basement was bad would not do the stench justice. If Tripp was handing out awards for the worst thing he had ever smelled, it would go to this place. It smelled like the gardener’s compost pile when he was growing up. Throw in a few unwashed bodies and that pretty much summed up the award winning smell.
There were six cells, three on each side, going down a long hallway. The hallway had a window at the end of it that must have been the one Ryan had stood beneath when he handed Tripp the key just a few minutes earlier.
They opened the middle door on the left and shoved him inside. Something rolled against his shoes as he came in and then rolled away from him.
“That cell has someone in it already, dumb-ass,” one of the men said to the other.
The door slammed shut. “Who cares? That kid is probably dead in there, anyway.”
“He better not be. Father Phillip will not be happy.”
“I’m not moving him now. Just tell Ted to put extra water in that one. And tell him to shut his mouth.”
Tripp heard feet move away and a door closed.
Tripp stood still in the small cell, letting his eyes adjust to the dark. If someone else was in here, he didn’t want to hurt whoever it was by tripping over them. He took the key out of mouth. “Hello,” Tripp said into the dark, not wanting to scare the man in here with him.