The Runner

by Jack Patrick

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© Copyright 2021 - Jack Patrick - Used by permission

Storycodes: M/m; kidnap; bond; outdoors; cuffs; gag; spandex; tape; nc; XX

Rich stepped outside his house and checked his watch. 3:03 am. He suppressed a yawn as he started to stretch. He enjoyed running but did not look forward to running in this cold weather. It was early January and it even got cold from time to time in St. Augustine, Florida. Not like northeastern cold, but northern Florida had its mornings of cold weather – and this morning was one of them.

His iPhone said it was 30 degrees and felt like 23, but Rich thought it was colder than that. He finished stretching, adjusted his wireless headphones and turned on the music app on his phone. He was dressed all in black. A black Nike long-sleeve shirt and a matching pair of black Nike running tights. He had a black beanie on his head, black spandex gloves on his hands and black Brooks running shoes. He thought to himself as he started running on the cold deserted street that if any of his neighbors were dumb enough to be up at this ungodly hour they would think he was a cat burglar.

Rich was training for a marathon in April and today he was planning on running 20 miles. It was a quiet Saturday morning and he planned to run out of his subdivision and onto US 1. He would run ten miles and then turn around. If he ran his typical seven-minute per mile pace he would be at the turn around point a little after 4:20 am and home by 5:40 am. Rich figured he could cool down, stretch, take a long shower and go back to bed before the sun came up. He planned on a few hours of sleep and then would have the entire weekend to himself. And a weekend to himself would be very welcomed.

Rich was 30 years old and recently divorced. His ex-wife had left him for a former college boyfriend she found on Facebook. The divorce proceedings went quick but it was painful and he only wanted to get on with his life. Luckily, this training for the marathon was an excellent way of clearing his mind. He found it very therapeutic.

He exited the subdivision where he lived and turned south onto US 1. It was technically not a road one normally ran on, but Rich liked the wide shoulders, the straight and level ground and there was hardly any traffic at this time of the morning. An hour later, Rich knew he was nearing the turnaround point. He checked his watch and saw it was 4:15. He started to remove his iPhone from the sleeve on his right bicep to check the exact mileage and see his pace when he stepped into a pothole with his right foot.

His right ankle rolled slightly and he tried to compensate and that’s when he felt his right hamstring pull awkwardly. Rich stumbled and barely kept footing and stopped running. A classic Guns N’ Roses song blasted in his ears as he gingerly walked around and tested his injured right thigh.

“Shit!” he winced and a stabbing pain shot throughout the back of his thigh.

He felt through his tights and did not feel anything swelling or bulging, but it hurt like the dickens. He tried to jog but the pain quickly told him he was done running for the morning. He checked his watch again and it was only two minutes later. He could not think of any friend that would be up this early that he could call for a ride. He pulled up the Uber app on his phone and there were no rides available.

Probably because they have the good sense to be in bed right now unlike me, Rich thought.

He turned back to the north and knew it was going to be a long and uncomfortable walk. After about 20 minutes, he noticed headlights coming from the south. He turned around and saw what appeared to be a big rig. It was not until it passed by him that he thought he should try and hitchhike and chastised himself for not putting his thumb out.

Then he noticed the truck had slowed and pulled to the side of the road less than half a mile ahead of him. Rich saw the backup lights come on and the semi began to slowly make its way back toward him. When it closed the distance to about 100 yards, it stopped with a hiss from the air brakes. Rich stood there as a man walked around the rear of the trailer toward him.

The man was big. That was the only thing Rich could see in the darkness. He walked up to Rich and said, “Are you okay, buddy? I saw you limping pretty badly and figured I had to stop.”

Rich smiled. “I appreciate it, mister. I was running and popped my hamstring. I live in Palencia.”

The big man whistled. “That’s gotta be six, seven miles from here! You ran all that way?”

Rich laughed in spite of himself. “Closer to ten.”

“I can give you a ride if you’d like,” the man said. “I’m heading in that direction.”

“I can’t thank you enough,” Rich said.

“Let me help you,” the man said as he placed Rich’s right arm over his shoulder and supported him as they both walked toward the passenger side of the truck.

Rich could not believe his luck. He studied his savior and smiled at the stereotypical trucker. He was big, at least 6’5”, and heavy, probably north of 270 pounds. He had a scruffy beard and unkempt hair under his John Dear Tractor hat, he wore overalls and a long sleeve t-shirt under it. Rich knew he was strong by the ease of which he supported his weight.

“You look like a ninja,” the man said.

Rich laughed again. “Yeah, I guess I do.”

“My name is Kevin,” the man said. “Kevin Bagwell. I’m glad I was able to help you.”

“Rich,” he said. “My name is Rich Graham and I’m thankful beyond words, Kevin.”

When they got to the passenger door, Kevin reached up and opened the door. Then he helped Rich into the cab by putting both hands on his butt and pushing him gently upward.

“Please excuse me, Mr. Rich,” Kevin said. “I’m not trying to grope you or be rude.”

Rich snorted. “Not like I care, Kevin.”

Once inside, Kevin closed the door and walked around the front of the truck and opened the driver’s door. He hoisted his large frame into the driver’s seat and closed the door.

Rich took off his black beanie and gloves and placed them on the dashboard. He put his earphones and iPhone in his hat.

“Why didn’t you call someone to come get you?” Kevin asked.

“It was so early I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone until it was at least daylight,” Rich said.

“What about your wife or girlfriend?”

Rich shook his head absently as he massaged his right thigh. “Nope. Just got divorced.”

Moving incredibly fast for such a large man, Kevin threw a punch that landed squarely on Rich’s left ear. Rich was completely unprepared for the punch and his head lurched toward the passenger door and impacted with the doorframe. He was still conscious but was stunned and had no idea what had just happened.

Kevin grabbed Rich by the left arm and tossed him behind the seats. He landed on his stomach in an open floor area at the foot of a sleeper bed. Kevin followed Rich into the back area and removed a pair of handcuffs from his overall packet. He grabbed Rich’s right arm, pulled it behind his back and snapped one of the cuffs around his wrist. He then grabbed Rich’s left arm and snapped the other cuff on his left wrist.

Rich only vaguely knew what was happening and was unable to put up any resistance. But when the second cuff ratcheted shut around his left wrist he tried to pull his hands apart to no avail.

“What the fuck are you doing?” Rich snapped as he pulled again at his secured wrists.

Kevin reached onto the bed and grabbed two items. The first was a pair of dirty socks. He shoved them into Rich’s mouth as he was about to voice another stupid question. The socks filled his mouth and choked off his next statement. The second item was a roll of silver duct tape. He wrapped the tape around Rich’s mouth effectively gagging him. Kevin then spun around and wrapped the tape tightly around Rich’s ankles. Then he repeated the action around the area just below Rich’s knees.

Kevin looked at his handy work and figured the entire process took only three minutes. Four at the most. He stood up, made his way to the driver’s seat and checked his mirrors to ensure they were still alone. When he was sure no one was approaching from either direction he turned back to Rich who was still on the floor.

Rich was on his side and struggling to get loose while looking back at Kevin with pleading eyes.

Kevin climbed back to the rear area and sat on the floor next to Rich.

“Can’t believe my luck,” Kevin said. “What are the odds I’d run into some wounded bitch that no one will be missing anytime soon?”

Kevin began to rub Rich’s spandex covered rump tenderly. Rich tried to squirm away, but Kevin grabbed him roughly by the buttocks and pulled him closer.

“You don’t move away from me unless I say you can,” Kevin said slowly and menacingly. “Unless you want me to pop you in the head again.”

Rich stopped squirming and Kevin continued exploring his body through the tights.

After a minute, Kevin said, “I want to fuck you right now.”

Rich’s eyes flew open wide and he began to yell ineffectively into the gag.

“But I can’t,” Kevin continued. “But I will. Soon. But I’ve got to get you to the farm.”

Rich renewed his attempts to get loose. Kevin ignored Rich’s struggles, picked him up and tossed him on the sleeper bed. He then unlocked a door on the floor where Rich had been lying. He opened the door to reveal a small compartment that was empty.

“This should do for now,” Kevin said.

He grabbed Rich and pulled him into the compartment. It was tight, but Kevin arranged him in a fetal position on his side. He reached to the dashboard and retrieved Rich’s iPhone and earbuds. He returned to the compartment and crammed the ear buds into Rich’s ears. He then turned off Rich’s iPhone and connected the earbuds to his phone. Within seconds, death metal blasted through Rich’s ears. Kevin then closed the door and locked it without saying anything else.

Rich was enclosed in utter darkness with the pounding of some screaming metal music in his head. He felt the engine crank to life and then felt the semi-truck start to move. He tried to spit the foul tasting socks from his mouth so he could scream for help if the truck was stopped by the cops or in traffic, but that was not going to happen. The duct tape was ungiving and the socks filled his mouth and pinned his tongue down. He tried to get his wrist free from the handcuffs but they were too tight. There was no possible chance he was going to slip a hand free. He tried to maneuver his feet and legs but the tape was like steel bands, his sore thigh would not cooperate and it was too cramped to get any leverage. Finally he tried to force the door above him open but was unable to make it budge in the slightest.

Rich was scared. It took a monumental effort for him to not start thrashing around which would only tire him out and most likely cause more injuries to his cuffed wrists and injured right thigh. He tried to calm himself and figured he’d have to wait for an opportunity to escape.

Kevin pulled the big rig back onto US 1 and continued north. He figured it would be at least two hours before they reach the farm and he could start enjoying the fruits of his endeavor. He removed the sim card from Rich’s iPhone, bent it and tossed it out the window. Next he tossed the iPhone out. Now, no one would be able to track Rich and find his location. They would only find out the last place he was at before the abduction, but that would not be for days – possibly longer.

Kevin knew he had lots of time to play with his new toy…


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