AU Western Klaine. Kurt Hummel, son of Governor Hummel, is on his way to visit his father when his train is raided by bandits. What happens when they discover who he is? And how much is Burt willing to pay to get him back? Or, after meeting a dazzling golden-eyed man, will Kurt even want to go back?
Klaine (Kurt/Blaine) Characters:
Blaine Anderson, Kurt Hummel, Sebastian Smythe, Sue Sylvester, The Warblers
Adult Only Content:
Action/Adventure , Hurt/Comfort
Warning: Abuse and character deaths
1. Chapter One by Annabelle Graceton
2. Chapter Two by Annabelle Graceton
3. Chapter Three by Annabelle Graceton
Chapter One by Annabelle Graceton
Kurt Hummel sighed as he stared out the window, watching the nonexistent scenery pass by. No matter which direction he looked, all Kurt could see was dry, barren land.
"We're about to pass through the old Westerville territory," a voice commented from beside him. Kurt turned away from the window to look at the man sitting beside him.
"Oh?" he replied, trying to sound interested. Kurt would take any excuse for a distraction from his boredom. "Is that so, Sam?"
The tall blond nodded, a smile spreading across his lips that were slightly larger than normal and were often compared to that of a fish.
"Before the town of Dalton went bankrupt, this area used to be very populated," Sam explained eagerly, happy to have someone to listen to his tales. "Now it's become the land of the thieves, bandits, and outlaws."
"Which is why we need to be on high alert passing through here," another voice added. A tall, darkly tanned man dropped down into the seat across from Kurt. A thick, black mohawk ran down the back of his head, making him look very intimidating, which was perfect, considering what his occupation was.
"Aww, lay off, Puck!" Sam sighed. "They hardly ever hit the trains, so Kurt is perfectly safe!"
Kurt sighed as he watched the two bicker. Sam Evans and Noah Puckerman, better known as Puck, were his bodyguards, hired to escort him on his way to Lima to visit his father, Burt Hummel, who just so happened to be the Governor. Kurt hadn't wanted the "babysitters", but his father had insisted, worried for Kurt's safety because of the fact that he was the Governor's son.
"And I'm telling you, they won't hit the train!" Sam exclaimed suddenly, drawing Kurt's attention back to them. "It's too high risk! And why hit a train where you could end up with hardly anything when you can rob a bank and be assured that you're going to come out with your hands full?"
"If they knew that someone influential or important like Kurt was on the train, then yes, they definitely would take that risk!" Puck argued, his voice rising slightly. Sam quickly hushed him, glancing around to see if anyone had heard him. Kurt quickly glanced around as well, catching a couple of slightly annoyed glances in his direction, but nothing in their eyes gave away that they knew who he was. With a smile, Kurt turned his eyes away from the other passengers and back on his companions, greatly relieved.
Though Kurt's name was recognizable, he himself was not. Not many people actually knew what Kurt looked like, which helped him to blend in in normal circumstances. But right now, surrounded by two buff, gun-carrying men, there was a higher chance that someone could notice him. After all, only important people needed bodyguards, so why would this skinny, pale boy need them?
Kurt sighed as he ran his fingers along his pale coloured arm. Though the sun blazed down on him every day, he never seemed to darken or tan at all. Then again, Kurt didn't spend all that much time outdoors anyway. He usually spent his time inside, either sewing new outfits or practicing a new song so that he could show up his best friend and rival, Miss Rachel Barbra Berry, at their weekly tavern sing-off.
"How much longer until we get there?" Kurt asked, looking back out the window. Though he loved visiting his father, Kurt didn't make this trip very often as his father was usually busy, being the Governor and all, and Kurt had his own life and responsibilities to attend to.
"We've still got quite a ways to go," Sam replied, giving him an apologetic smile. "We're only about half way there. It could still be another couple of hours before we get there."
"Alright," Kurt sighed, standing suddenly. "I think I want to go for a little walk." Sam stood as well at his statement.
"Alone," Kurt continued, narrowing his eyes at his companion.
"Sorry," Sam shrugged. "One of us has to be with you at all times. It's part of the agreement."
"Fine," Kurt huffed, moving past Sam and heading towards the back of the cart. Kurt was sure that he had seen a bar on their way in and he could definitely use a drink right now. Kurt stopped at the door, waiting for Sam to catch up, which didn't take long.
"What, does Puck not want to come?" Kurt smirked, glancing back at the other man who was still sitting.
"Someone has to stay with your stuff," Sam replied. "We wouldn't want anyone rooting through your bags while we're gone, now would we?"
"No," Kurt sighed, turning back to the door and quickly passing through it, his tail quickly following behind him. They had to pass through three carts until they finally found the bar.
"One on the rocks, please," Kurt said, sliding onto one of the stools. Sam slid onto the stool beside him, politely declining a drink from the pretty blonde behind the bar.
"What, nothing for you, Trouty Mouth?" a sassy voice remarked. A deeply tanned Latina slid onto the bar stool beside Sam, quickly ordering a drink from the girl, whom she seemed to affectionately refer to as Brit.
"It's a long train ride and you're not going to have anything?" the girl continued, her dark eyes flashing over Sam seductively. "Unless you're wanting something else?" She gave him a little wink as she moved her body closer to his.
"I, uh, um, no, I-" Sam stuttered, getting quite flustered. "I-I'm on the job right now. No drinking for me... or anything else." The last part sounded forced, almost as if he regretted having to say it, which Kurt couldn't blame him for. The sassy brunette was gorgeous, though totally not Kurt's type. No, Kurt's tastes were A LOT different.
"Are you a unicorn?" the pretty blonde, Brit, asked Sam innocently.
"A what?" Sam asked, turning his gaze to her. "A unicorn? How does that even-"
"She's asking if you're gay," the brunette remarked casually, accepting her drink from the other girl. "So, are you? I'm assuming yes because otherwise we'd be making out in the bathroom back there right now."
"I'm not gay!" Sam replied sharply, though he immediately turned to Kurt after and mumbled, "Sorry." Kurt just shrugged. He was used to people not accepting the fact that yes, he was gay. He had known that he was practically all of his life, only truly admitting it, to himself and his dad, when he was about fifteen, almost six years ago.
"So you're gay then?" the brunette commented rather than asked, picking up on their short exchange.
"Yes," Kurt replied sharply. "Do you have a problem with that?" The blonde was the one to respond.
"Nope," she grinned, bouncing on her toes. "Cause me and Santana are unicorns too!" Kurt couldn't help but smile at the girl's giddiness. She looked like she could have been about the same age as himself.
"So, Santana, is it?" Kurt grinned, leaning forward slightly to look at her from beside Sam. "It's nice to meet you. I'm Kurt." Something flickered in her eyes briefly.
"Kurt's a pretty unique name," she commented, stirring her drink, very casual-like. "Pretty unique around these parts, at least. There's only one person I know of with that name." Kurt noticed Sam's hand slowly start to slide towards the gun holstered at his side. Santana noticed the movement as well.
"Oh, chill," she said, rolling her eyes. "I'm not gonna hurt him. Just wanted to see if I was right, which I was. Besides, like Brit said, we're all alike. Our kind has to stick together."
Kurt couldn't help but smile at her words. It felt nice to be accepted by someone who didn't care what his sexual preference was. Kurt's relaxed vibe must have worn off on Sam, as he slowly let his hand drop, falling away from the gun. If Kurt trusted them, then Sam would trust them too. Kurt's instincts about people were always right, so if Kurt felt comfortable around these people, then Sam knew that they were no threat to him.
"Hey, Kurt," Sam said suddenly, turning to his charge. "Do you, umm, mind if I step away for a sec?" He crossed his legs uncomfortably in front of himself. "I kind of need to... You know... Go."
Yes! Kurt screamed in his head. Go so I can finally be alone for once!
"Yeah, sure, go right ahead," he nodded, giving the blond a reassuring smile. "I'll be fine right here with Brit and Santana."
"Okay," Sam smiled, looking relieved as he slid off the stool and headed towards the back of the cart. "I'll be right back." As soon as he was gone from sight, Kurt hoped down off the stool, quickly slapping a couple of coins down on the bar top.
"Thank you, ladies, for your lovely company," Kurt smiled at them. "But I think that I'm going to use this opportunity to explore a little on my own."
"Are you sure that's such a good idea?" Santana asked, her voice more curious than worried. "I mean, what if someone recognizes you and isn't as understanding as me?"
"I'll manage," Kurt replied, grinning. He turned and started to take a few steps away, when suddenly, the train started to slow.
"Are we there already?" Kurt asked, moving over to the window to look outside, seeing only the dry, barren land again.
"No," Santana replied tensely, suddenly beside him. "We're not."
They both looked out the window, trying to look towards the front of the train to see why they would be slowing down. And then Kurt saw it. The out of place clouds of dust spiraling towards them.
"Santana-" Kurt started to say, just as she suddenly muttered a curse word under her breath. Kurt looked at her in surprise, but she continued to watch the approaching cloud, muttering one more word.
Chapter Two by Annabelle Graceton
The clouds of dust were closer now, finally revealing six horses bearing whooping and yelling riders. They drew up alongside the steadily slowing train, leaping onto the giant metal machine with ease.
"What do we do?" Kurt asked Santana, panicking slightly. He quickly looked around, trying to find Sam, but he couldn't see the tall blond anywhere.
"We've got to stay calm and hide," Santana responded quickly, grabbing Kurt's arm and pulling him away from the window. She hopped up and slid over the top of the bar with ease, most likely having done it many times before. Kurt mimicked her actions, though he was not as smooth and graceful as she was at it. They sat down on the floor, much to Kurt's dismay as that would dirty his outfit, with their backs pressed up against the bar. Within a couple of minutes, loud voices came crashing into the room.
"That's right, people, keep moving!" a thick voice whooped. A woman's small cry, along with the whimpering of a small child and the gruff, arguing voice of a man also filled the room. Kurt wished that he could see what was happening, and soon found his wish granted as Santana slowly raised a mirror up to peek over the top of the bar.
In the reflection, Kurt saw two rough-looking men, covered in dirt and dust, pushing forward a small group of people. A third man was going through the cabinets in the room, looking for anything valuable.
"Unhand me!" a familiar voice growled, and suddenly Kurt saw Sam getting shoved into the room. The gun at his hip was gone, but he did not seem to be hurt.
"Keep an eye on this one," the man who had brought Sam in told the other two men who were watching their prisoners as he shoved the tall blond towards them. "He's a feisty one." The two men nodded, inclining their heads slightly as if they had just been given an order by their superior. And maybe he was.
Kurt regarded the man with interest. He was tall, with light, chestnut brown hair that stuck up like spikes at the front. He wore a cocky, self-assured grin as he looked around the room victoriously.
"This room's clear, Bas," the brown haired man who had been searching the room announced. The man, whom had been addressed as Bas, smiled, glancing one more around the room.
"What about the bar, Trent?" Bas said, eyeing their hiding place suspiciously. Kurt gulped subconsciously, the sound louder than he had expected it to be. Bas' eyes flashed as he drew out the pistol from his waist and moved closer to the bar. Santana dropped her hand, cutting off their view of the room, taking Brit's hands in her own instead. Having no one to hold, Kurt hugged his arms around himself, hoping that they would be overlooked.
"Well, well, well, what do we have here!" Bas' voice cooed above them, making Kurt look up. "Hello, gorgeous, what's your name?" Kurt's eyes widened as he realized that the man was talking to him. When Kurt didn't answer, Bas' eyes narrowed unhappily.
"Not much of a talker, huh?" Bas scoffed. "Well, I can fix that. On your feet. All of you." With a pistol pointed at your face, how can you say no?
Kurt quickly scrambled to his feet with the two girls, raising his hands helplessly, praying that he would not die today.
One by one, they each slid over the bar top, each being forced towards the ever growing group of prisoners. Kurt was the last one to cross over, and his arm was instantly grabbed by Bas as soon as his feet touched the floor.
"My, you're even prettier up close," he grinned, leaning in closer to inhale Kurt's scent. Kurt found himself involuntarily shuddering at the man's closeness.
Kurt looked up at Sam, who looked like he was about to go wild and rampage over to him, but Kurt quickly mouthed the word, "No," to him. It didn't seem like these guys had recognized him, but if Sam came raging over, they might start to question Kurt's importance.
"Come on, Bas," the guard with the long, black hair sighed. "Wes wanted us up front immediately. A clean, quick sweep. Nothing else. You don't have time forplaying." Kurt shuddered at the man's words.
"Aww, Nick, you're such a buzz kill!" Bas sighed, finally pushing Kurt forwards with the rest of the group. "I was just having a little fun!"
"Play time's over, Bas," Nick's blond companion stated, starting to move the prisoners forward. "We've got to go."
"Fine," Bas sighed, shoving a man behind Kurt forward. "Get moving, people!"
They quickly passed through the three carts that Kurt had traveled through not that long ago, stopping in their cart where more bandits waited. There apparently weren't that many people on the train today, because everyone seemed to fit in the one cart, even if it was a little uncomfortable. Kurt was shoved down onto a seat by a bandit he hadn't seen before, Sam following right behind him.
"Sam, what do we do?" Kurt whispered when the bandit turned away.
"Just stay calm and stay quiet," Sam replied cautiously. "They don't recognize you, so that's good. They'll probably just take what they want then leave. We've just got to sit tight until then."
Kurt nodded to show that he understood, not trusting his voice at the moment. Kurt hoped that Sam was right and that soon this would be all over.
"Quiet down!" an authoritative voice yelled over the noise in the room. Kurt eyes immediately snapped up to the dark haired Asian standing up on one of the tables. Once everyone's attention was on him, he continued.
"Now we know that you have something valuable on board here," the man started. "We've seen how many guards are waiting at the station. So our question is, what is it that's so valuable on here? Give it to us, and then we will leave you be. If you cooperate, then no one will have to get hurt." The entire room was silent. No one spoke as the man glared around the room.
"What? No one is willing to fess up?" the man exclaimed. "You don't want to give us your precious treasure? Well, then maybe you need a little persuasion." He motioned to two of the men standing by the door, who quickly opened it to reveal two more men dragging another man between them. Kurt nearly gasped out loud as he realized who it was. Puck. Kurt felt Sam stiffen beside him as he recognized Puck as well.
Puck was brought before the man on the table and shoved to his knees. He tried to fight against his captors, but it was no use as his hands were bound uselessly behind his back. He glared up at the man and yelled what Kurt imagined was many curse words and profanities through the gag in his mouth. The man just smiled down at him before looking back at the crowd in front of him.
"We know what trained guards look like," the man said, staring at each person intently as he looked around the room. "And this man is a guard. Now, what we want to know is, what was he guarding? Tell us now, and his life will be spared. If not..." The man pulled his gun from its holder and held it to Puck's head. "I would really hate to get blood on such a nice carpet, so how about somebody tells us what he's guarding?"
Kurt wanted to stand up and tell them that it was him that they were looking for, but he felt Sam's hand press against his leg in warning. As much as he hated seeing his friend caught in such a predicament, he had sworn an oath to protect Kurt with his life, so as much as he wanted to, he could not help Puck.
"Really?" the man exclaimed, slightly surprised. "No one is going to step forward? Well then, I guess if no one wants to save you, I'll be doing you a favour then." The man cocked the gun, pressing it against the flesh between Puck's eyes.
"One last chance," the man warned. "On the count of three, I'm going to blow his brains out."
"Alright then," he sighed. "One. Two. Thr-"
"Stop!" Kurt didn't realize that the word had come from him until everyone's eyes turned to fall on him. Kurt stared back at all of them in fear and shock. Puck looked livid, Sam looked panicked, and the man on the table looked surprised. But that surprise quickly turned to pleasure.
"Bring him to me," he ordered and suddenly three of the men were advancing on him. Sam stood up, suddenly drawing out a gun that he must have had hidden on him that the bandits hadn't found.
"Stay back!" he yelled, holding the gun out in front of him with one hand as his other arm was held out protectively in front of Kurt. The man in charge seemed annoyed with this new development, but all he did was simply wave his hand at a couple more of the bandits.
It did not take them too long to disarm Sam and grab Kurt.
"Now," the man in charge said, hopping down from the table to look at Kurt who was now kneeling before him, a bandit holding onto each of his arms tightly. "What's on board here that's so special? I'm assuming you have the key to some sort of hidden chest or something? Well? What is it? What's so special that you needed to have two guards with you?"
Ignoring the fervent glances from Puck, Kurt solemnly looked up at the man and sighed.
Chapter Three by Annabelle Graceton
"You?" the man raised an inquisitive eyebrow at him. "And why is it that you are so special?"
Kurt nibbled on his bottom lip, unsure of what to say. Should he lie? But what would he say? What would they do if they knew who he really was? Kurt lowered his gaze as his mind whirled, trying to think of a response. Fingers suddenly gripped his chin, yanking his head up to look at the man.
"I asked you a question," the man snapped, his fingers uncomfortably tight on Kurt's chin. Kurt figured that he would probably get a bruise there... that is, if he lived long enough for it to bruise.
When Kurt still didn't respond, the man let go and stepped away, back towards where Puck and now Sam were kneeling.
"Maybe you need a little help jogging your memory," the man said, pulling out his gun again and pointing it at Puck's head. "This seemed to work so well last time."
"Wes, is this really necessary?" the blond from earlier asked cautiously.
"Silence!" the man, whom Kurt now could address as Wes, growled. "I'm in charge here! I'm the one who makes the decisions!" Turning back to Kurt, his eyes flashed with impatience. "So, boy, what is going to be?"
Kurt's eyes widened with fear. What should he do? Save them and risk his own life? Or be a coward and potentially be the cause of their deaths? Kurt sighed, knowing that his choice had already been made.
"Please, don't hurt them," Kurt pleaded, watching as Wes moved the gun back and forth between Puck and Sam's heads. "I'll tell you what you want to know."
At his words, Puck and Sam started to thrash against their captors' hold, screaming what Kurt guessed was angry nos into their gags. Wes just smiled as he stepped away and returned to Kurt.
"That's more like it," he grinned. "Now, why are you so special? Who are you?" Taking a deep breath, Kurt answered.
"Kurt," he replied. "Kurt Hummel." A murmur rose through the room as people recognized the name.
"Well, well, well!" Wes grinned triumphantly. "Looky who we've got here, boys! The Governor's one and only son! No wonder the station's so heavily guarded! They're waiting for you! I bet that your daddy would pay a pretty penny to get you back safe and sound, now wouldn't he?"
Kurt hung his head in shame. How could he have been so weak to give in that easily? In his heart, he knew why. He was too caring, a quality that he had been told that he had gotten from his mother. He just wouldn't be able to live with himself if someone else were to come to harm because of him.
"Aww, don't worry, Hummel," Wes chuckled, tipping Kurt's head up to look at him. "I'm sure that Daddy Hummel will instantly pay whatever we ask to get you back. But until then, you get to come see what life is like on the rougher side of the tracks. Tie him up, boys! And ready the horses! We leave in five!"
Kurt was roughly pulled to his feet and his arms were forced in front of him and tied tightly with a thick rope. A less than pleasant looking bandana was shoved into his mouth and tied around the back of his head. And, to top it all off, another bandana was tied around his eyes, leaving him completely vulnerable. Just before the dirty cloth blocked his vision, Kurt was able to see Puck and Sam staring at him with despair and defeat, knowing that they had failed to protect him. Kurt wished that he could tell them that it wasn't their fault and that he didn't blame them, but they were already gone from his sight.
"Tell Governor Hummel that the Warblers have his son and that if he ever wants to see him alive again that he'd better be willing to pay the price," Kurt heard Wes say, presumably to Puck and Sam. "Tell him that we will send a messenger in two days time with our demands and the location of a meeting place. Kurt will not be harmed as long as he meets our demands, but if he fails to meet any of them, then he can say goodbye to his precious boy." Two muffled cries sounded into Kurt's ears, followed quickly after by the sound of something heavy hitting the floor.
They only knocked them out, Kurt told himself, trying to calm down. They wouldn't give them a message then kill them. That wouldn't make sense.
"Come on, Hummel," Wes' voice suddenly filled his ear as a hand roughly grabbed his arm and quickly started to pull him away. Kurt was forced to stumble along with the man, not really having much choice in the matter, and was soon met by the sun's heat. He was roughly lifted down off the train, then up onto a tall horse. His bound hands were tied to what Kurt guessed was the saddle horn before another person slid into the saddle behind him. Kurt heart started to pound, worrying that it could be the creepy man from earlier, Bas, if he remembered correctly.
"It's okay," a familiar voice whispered in his ear as arms enclosed around his sides to grab the reins. "You're in good hands." It took Kurt a couple of minutes to pinpoint who the voice belonged to, but he was able to conclude that it was the blond that had been apart of the group that had found him, Santana, and Brit. Kurt suddenly wondered what had happened to them.
I hope they're okay, Kurt worried. But they should be fine, right? I was the only one that they took.
"Here we go," the blond whispered again as the horse beneath them suddenly started to move.
Kurt tried to cry out in alarm, but it only came out as a muffled "Mmph!" through his clearly unsanitary gag. He hadn't ridden a horse in years, not since the accident, so feeling the powerful beast moving beneath him greatly unsettled him, making him grip onto the saddle horn that he was tied to more tightly.
It seemed like they rode for hours, stopping only a couple of times for very short breaks to water the horses. During those times, Kurt's gag was removed so that he could be given water as well, which he greedily accepted, but his blindfold was never removed once. It wasn't until they stopped well after nightfall that the blindfold was removed.
He had been taken down off the horse, which was for the first time since they had put him on the beast, making his legs very wobbly. He was quickly led over to a solid object, which he quickly distinguished as being a tree, where he was forced to sit down. He was tightly tied to the tree, the rough bark pressing uncomfortably into his back. It was only once they were sure that he was secure did the blindfold come off.
Kurt blinked as he was finally able to see, finding his golden haired companion crouching down in front of him. The man carefully eased the gag out of Kurt's mouth, letting it fall down around his neck.
"Better?" he asked, smiling slightly.
"Yes," Kurt's voice croaked in response, earning him a wider smile from his captor.
"Here, this will help," he said, holding a flask up to Kurt's lips, which he drank heavily from. "I'm Jeff, by the way."
"Kurt," he replied, giving him a small smile. "Though I think you already knew that."
"Jeff!" Wes' voice called out, making him turn away from Kurt.
"I'll be right back," he said, standing and going over to where the other men were gathered around a slowly building fire.
Now that he was alone, Kurt was able to assess his situation. It was dark now, the glow from the campfire being one of the only sources of light apart from a couple of torches lining the outside of their camp, which appeared to be inside of a forest. That surprised Kurt as he had not seen any source of life from his view on the train. They must have ridden quite a distance from the time that they had taken him till now.
Kurt watched the bandits as they shuffled around the camp, going about their duties. He quickly counted about twelve of them in total, including Wes who was very clearly the one in charge as he barked orders to the other men around the camp.
Kurt glanced down at his hands, which were still tied in front of him. In the firelight, he could see the start of a deep red rash from where the ropes were chaffing against his wrists.
"Don't you just look perfect sitting there," an unpleasantly familiar voice exclaimed. "Sitting there all tied up like a present." Kurt looked up and glared at Bas as he crouched down in front of him. "A present just for me."
"Leave me alone!" Kurt snapped at him, wishing that he could back away from the unpleasant man, but unfortunately couldn't due to the tree currently jabbing into his back.
"Aww, but you're so pretty!" Bas cooed, reaching his fingers out to brush Kurt's face, which he instantly flinched away from. "And so perfect. You're skin just looks so smooth..." He ran his fingers along the bare skin on Kurt's arm, making him shiver uncomfortably. "Not rough at all, like these men I've been stuck with. No, you're fresh and new. Untouched. Perfect. I would kill to stroke that fine-"
"Screw you!" Kurt blurted, spitting in Bas' face, which had gotten way to close to his own. Bas wiped the spit off his face, anger flashing through his eyes for a second before he grinned.
"That's the idea," he replied, leaning closer as his hand touched Kurt's thigh and slowly started to slide higher. "We never said that we had to return you exactly the way that we found you. Besides, you can't be a virgin forever, right?" He leaned closer, his lips drawing closer to Kurt's as the hand also slid closer. He was just inches away from-
"Sebastian!" the voice jolted the man away from him and Kurt let out the breath that he hadn't even known he'd been holding. Kurt looked up to see his saviour, Jeff, storming over to them, a bowl in his hands.
"What the heck do you think you're doing?!" Jeff yelled, attracting the attention of the other men. "Just because he's our prisoner doesn't mean that you can use and abuse him like you do with everyone else!"
"Is there a problem here?" Wes' cold voice joined the conversation. Sebastian lowered his head submissively as he stood and stepped away from Kurt.
"No, Sir," he muttered, sending a quick glare in Jeff's direction.
"Very well then," Wes nodded. "I believe that you were on horse duty tonight. You'd better get back to work if you want to eat."
"Yes, Sir," Sebastian mumbled, nodding his head before turning and storming off in the direction of the horses.
"Jeff, I want you and Nick to be the ones to guard him," Wes said, motioning towards Kurt, his voice surprisingly soft. "We can't have Sebastian trying to pull another stunt like that again." He started to turn as if he were going to leave.
"Thank you," Kurt called out after him, making him stop and look back with a surprised expression on his face. "That is very kind of you." Something flickered in Wes' expression that Kurt wasn't able to read and suddenly he was crouched down in front of Kurt, gripping the front of Kurt's shirt in his fist.
"Listen, Hummel," Wes growled. "We're not your friends, okay? The reason I won't let Bas touch you is because I said that as long as your father paid up, you would be returned unharmed. I am a man of my word, believe it or not, and when I said you would be returned unharmed, I meant it." Kurt shot a glance down at his sore wrists and raised his eyebrows questioningly. Wes caught the action and rolled his eyes.
"No irreversible harm will come to you," Wes explained. "If you try to run, you will be beaten. If you disobey, you will be beaten. If you talk back, you will be beaten. Cuts and bruises heal, Hummel. Even broken bones will. But some things will not heal and it is that kind of harm that I will not allow to befall you, got it?"
"Y-Yes," Kurt nodded, and Wes let go of his shirt.
"Oh, and one more thing, Hummel," Wes said. "For as long as you're with us, you will address me and everyone else as 'Sir'. If you remain compliant and submissive, then you should get out of this relatively unscathed. You got that?"
"Yes," Kurt nodded again. He was rewarded with a sudden slap across the face.
"Yes, what?" Wes growled, narrowing his eyes at Kurt.
"Y-Yes, S-Sir," Kurt stuttered, lowering his gaze submissively.
"Good," Kurt could hear the pleased tone to his voice. "Keep that up and, with a little help from dear old dad, you should be out of here in no time."
Kurt listened as he stood up and walked away, not raising his gaze again until he was sure that he was gone.
"So, Kurt," Jeff said, sitting down beside him. "You hungry?"
"Yes, Sir," Kurt replied with a heavy sigh.
"It's okay, Kurt," Jeff chuckled lightly. "You don't have to do that with me. You can just call me Jeff. I think it suits me better than 'Sir'." Kurt looked up and caught the smile on Jeff's face, quickly realizing that he was joking. Kurt couldn't help but smile as well.
"Thank you," he said, giving Jeff a small but honest smile. "For helping me with on the horse today and for this and for stopping Sebastian and for everything."
"It's no problem," Jeff grinned. "I rarely get a chance to do anything nice for anyone, since people look at us and automatically think that we're bad people."
"Well, robbing and kidnapping people doesn't really help make you look like a good guy, now does it?" Kurt joked, though he instantly regretted it the second he said it. He gave Jeff a wary glance, worried that he had overstepped, but all the man did was laugh.
"I like you, Kurt," he grinned, making Kurt relax.
"You're not so bad yourself," Kurt replied, grinning as well. "You know, despite the whole kidnapping me part."
"I have to follow my orders," Jeff just shrugged. "Now enough talk. Here, you need to eat this before it gets cold." He gently scooped something from the bowl and lifted the spoon to Kurt's lips. Kurt eyed it warily, but, deciding that he could semi-trust Jeff, opened his mouth and allowed himself to be spoon fed.
A surprisingly vibrant amount of flavours filled his mouth and he hummed with pleasure, making Jeff smile. After the first bite of the tasty stew, he eagerly opened his mouth for the following spoonfuls. The bowl was empty all too soon, but Kurt's stomach was surprisingly satisfied, even though he hadn't eaten very much all day.
"That was really good," Kurt sighed happily, leaning his head back against the rough bark of the tree and closing his eyes.
"Yeah, Nick is a great cook," Jeff replied. "It's one of the many things that I love about him."
"Love?" Kurt commented, raising his eyebrows. There had been a very passionate emphasis on that word. "Are you-"
"Boyfriends?" another voice finished for him, which, when Kurt looked up, turned out to be Nick himself. "Yes, we are." Nick smiled as he sat down beside Jeff, passing him one of the two bowls that he was carrying.
"I'm Nick," he said. "Though I think that you must have figured that out by now."
"Yes, I remember you from on the train," Kurt nodded, returning the smile, though not as enthusiastically. "You stopped Sebastian from... I don't even want to think about it."
"Yeah, Bas can be like that," Nick sighed. "He's gotten used to the idea that whatever he wants, he gets."
"Can I ask you something?" Kurt asked slowly. "I've heard you call him Bas, while others call him Sebastian, so-"
"It's just easier to say Bas rather than his full name all the time," Nick shrugged. "Really the only time anyone ever calls him Sebastian is when they're pissed at him." Kurt nodded, showing that he understood. Seeing how carefree the two seemed, Kurt thought to attempt asking another question.
"So what's the deal with, Wes, is it?" Kurt asked cautiously. "One second he's protecting me, then next he's threatening to kill me. I don't get it."
"He's just under a lot of stress," Jeff explained through mouthfuls of stew. "He really wants to impress the boss after the whole gavel incident." He and Nick laughed, sharing in some private memory.
"Wait, so Wes isn't the boss?" Kurt asked, surprised. "But I thought-"
"He's the leader of this raid, but he's not the leader of our group. No, he's more like the bandit version of a deputy. Not the head sheriff, but still powerful and authoritative. You'll meet our real leader tomorrow."
"Tomorrow?" Kurt replied. "When? Where?"
"I think you've asked enough questions for one night," Nick chuckled lightly, exchanging a glance with Jeff. "You should get some sleep. We have another half a day's ride ahead of us tomorrow."
"Where are you taking me?" Kurt pleaded.
"Home," Jeff grinned. "Our home."
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