It starts with a phone call.
Brad passes a pink phone to Ray. “It’s untraceable,” he says, and “Don’t screw this up.”
”I know what I’m doing,” Ray says, scowling. The number he types is a number they both know by heart, and he holds a hand up to silence Brad as it starts to ring.
They don’t have to wait long. The Senator answers with a shaky “Hello?” after a few seconds.
”Long time no see, buddy,” Ray replies. He clicks a button, turning on the speaker phone. “Haven’t heard from you in a few days, just thought I’d call to check in.”
”I told you, I’d get you your money,” Fick says. “I just need a little more time.”
”You know, most people would consider it rude to skip the pleasantries and jump right to business,” Ray says. He drums his fingers on his thighs and smirks at Brad. “It’s almost like you don’t like talking to me. I’m affronted. I am a fucking awesome conversationalist.”
Brad gives Ray a pointed look, but Ray waves him off.
”I’m sorry,” Fick says. “I don’t have time for this - ”
”Oh, I’m sure you’ll find a way to make time for this,” Ray replies easily. “Especially when you find out what lovely incentive we have for you to hurry the fuck up with our money.”
”Excuse me?” Fick asks, confused and wary, even over the tiny speakers.
Brad glances at Ray, before his eyes flick over to the third person in the room. When he looks back at Ray, Ray nods.
”Why don’t you say ‘hi’ to your son, Chris,” Ray says. “I’d offer to let you two catch up, but he’s a little tied up at the moment.”
Brad glares at Ray, a silent are you fucking kidding me? hanging between them at Ray’s word choice.
”Nate!?” Fick is nearly screaming, and Ray holds the phone away from his ear. “You leave my son out of this, you manipulative motherfuckers - ”
Ray nudges Nate’s shin with his sneakers, and Nate stirs slowly. When Ray tugs the gag out of his mouth, he immediately licks his lips. “Say ‘hi’ to your daddy, Nate.”
”Wha?” Nate asks blearily. He groans, lolling around in his bonds weakly.
Brad takes the phone from Ray, rolling his eyes as the Senator continues to yell over the speakers. “Shut the fuck up,” Brad says impatiently. “You have five more days to get us our money. Your son is a good kid. I would hate to have to kill him to make a point.”
”Nate - ” Fick says again, but Brad ends the call and silences him.
”It’d be such a waste,” Ray says, stroking his knuckles along Nate’s jaw.
Nate squirms, trying to move away from the touch, but he’s still too tired and drugged to put up a fight.
”Put the gag back before he tries to scream, Ray,” Brad says.
”Spoilsport,” Ray huffs, but he slips the gag between Nate’s teeth again.
Nate struggles weakly. He’s starting to wake up.
”Now we wait?” Ray asks.
”Now we wait,” Brad confirms.