A half-hour had passed since her captor had left. The pills she'd been given must have been simple painkillers after all; Yuki's head was quickly clearing. She'd drank half the bottle of water, and was propped up on her elbows, looking around. There wasn't much in immediate evidence that her first painful look hadn't already told her. She was in a bedroom on some kind of houseboat. It was stale-smelling, undecorated, and long overdue for a remodel. The small dresser she'd seen earlier had a thin layer of dust on its top. The room was small enough that from her position she could reach it, and she had quietly checked the drawers—nothing in any of them. The single, curtained window was out of reach on the other side of the room.
Yuki was frightened, but a little angry too, and that was keeping her focused and thinking. She'd heard voices in the houseboat's main area so there were at least two of them. Once when someone had moved around it had rocked the place quite a bit. Either that person was pretty heavy, or the houseboat was really small. Maybe both.
She heard the sound of people moving, and the houseboat rocked gently again. Then the door opened and the man returned. Yuki sank down on the bed and pulled the sheet up to her shoulders. The man brought a metal chair in to the room, fumbling a bit to get it in and close the door. He then sat down backwards on it, with the chair's back between them.
"How are you feeling?" he asked.
"Scared."
"That's understandable." The man replied. "Headache gone?"
Yuki nodded.
"Good. Now I promised I'd explain things to you, as much as I can. We have to keep you here for a couple of days."
"Why?"
"I don't know all the reasons. I'm just the guy they hired to do this part of the job."
"Who's 'they'?"
"Now, c'mon, Yuki-san. You know I'm not going to be able to tell you that. And before you ask, I don't really know why we had to take you, either. It has something to do with your parents."
"They won't cooperate," she said.
"That's not my worry."
"So you'll let me go after my parents do whatever it is that your boss is trying to make them do."
"That's the plan."
Yuki couldn't bring herself to look at the man. She was trembling slightly.
"And what happens to me if they don't do it?"
Chain leaned back in the chair and regarded her. The room was small enough that he could rest his back against the wall.
"Nobody's said anything to me about hurting you." He said evenly.
Yuki was silent for a moment, then:
"Where's the other one?"
"He's out on the deck. If things go well you'll never even see him. That should make you happy. He's a scary, dangerous man."
"But you're a real nice guy, Right?"
"By comparison, yes. Do you need to use the bathroom?" The man asked.
Now that the suggestion had been made, Yuki realized that she did. She nodded.
"I hope that you won't try anything silly," the man said as he fished a key out of his pocket, and uncuffed her ankle, "We'd really rather not have to hurt you." He then led her out into the houseboat's main cabin, and indicated the door to the head. Yuki was still a little unsteady on her feet, but was recovering quickly.
"My partner's outside, watching." He said. "No tricks."
The houseboats head was tiny, and not very clean. The window was curtained, and too small even for her to fit through. She resisted the urge to peek out, not wanting to know how close the mysterious partner might be "watching". When she was finished, she let herself be led back to the bedroom, where the man reattached the handcuff to her ankle.
"Now just relax," the man said, "I'll bring you something to eat and some fresh water in a while."
After the door clicked shut behind him, Yuki allowed a little smile to play across her face. She brought a small metallic object out from under the sheets and held it up in triumph.
It was, of course, the key to the handcuffs.
Yuki felt a good deal better once the metal fetter was off her ankle. The strangest thing about it was not that Yuki knew exactly what to do next, but that she knew not to do it yet. Her heart was beating like crazy, and every nerve in her body was screaming go, but she waited. If the man came back and found her leg uncuffed…well, she'd just deal with it, wouldn't she? It was unlikely that the he and his friend could catch her again. But when…?
Soon.
But why not now?
……
No answer to that one. It simply wasn't the right time yet. Yuki Sighed and settled back on the bed. She wasn't particularly good at being patient.

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