Ramari lay down in the backseat. They had been driving backroads for a while now, getting farther and farther away from anyone who could save him.
His wrists and ankles were bound, and duct tape had been wrapped around his head several layers thick over his mouth. There was a sheet thrown over him, so that people looking in wouldn't see him, and he couldn't see outside the car. But he could tell they were no longer on pavement.
His father sat behind the steering wheel.
Ramari was trembling. He fully expected for his father to bring him all the way out here and just beat him to death.
Finally, the car stopped. Randy got out of the car and dragged his son out of the backseat, keeping the sheet over his head. He was pulled into a cabin. The door was closed, and Randy pulled away the sheet for Ramari to get his bearings.
The windows had all been covered, giving Ramari no indication as to where they were. He knew it was far away from anyone who cared about him, though. He sat at his father's feet, trembling and just waiting for the beating to start.
"I don't blame you," Randy said. Ramari looked up, confused.
"That nosy girl, she's the one at fault. She pried into our affairs," he continued. He looked at Ramari.
"Don't worry, I won't let her take you from me again," he said. Ramari whimpered, bowing his head.
It wasn't Kay's fault. Kay had rescued him. He'd practically crawled to her, begging to be saved. She could see that he was in trouble. She saved him.
But it had been a brief respite.
Randy hauled Ramari by his arm over to the couch in the small room, laying him on it.
"You understand, don't you? Why I have to use these?" he asked, tugging on the ropes binding Ramari. The boy nodded, and Randy smiled.
"Good boy. Then you understand," he pulled Ramari's ankles up to touch his wrists, and bound them together as well. "Why I have to do this?"
Ramari blinked back tears as he nodded again. Randy's smile grew.
"And you know I have to punish you, correct?" he asked. He didn't wait for an answer before he dug out his pocketknife and started to cut away Ramari's clothes, leaving him in his underwear. Ramari trembled, whimpering some more as he was turned over to lay on his back. Randy used his knife to carve letters, in red, on Ramari's chest.
"Just so no one is confused as to who you are," he said. He spelled out the word he wrote.
"M. I. N. E. There, that looks nice," he said. Ramari shook hard now, looking down at his chest, at the title he had been labeled with. He looked up as his father spoke again.
"Now, all I have to do is teach you to live up to your title. Shall we begin?"