Skyla gets ready to leave with Shannon and the crew to go find Jared; Jared is finally brought to light in this chapter, not knowing where he is or how he got there.
When Skyla stepped outside of the Starbucks to head back to the motel she was staying at, she noticed Tomo had headed on but Shannon had stopped. He turned and looked at her and waved. He was on the phone, but he quickly hung up.
"Hey," Shannon said, jogging up to her. "I just called Jared again; it went to voicemail." He had a depressed tone to his voice. Skyla almost wanted to hug him.
"I'm heading back to my motel; I guess Jessey and I are heading out soon," Skyla said, carelessly waving a hand toward the Super 8 that was down the street.
"Care if I walk down that way with you?" Shannon asked.
"Of course not," Skyla told him. She gave him a sly grin.
"Well let's go." Shannon offered her his right elbow, and Skyla took it.
"So, where do you think Jared could be?" Skyla asked him.
"Honestly... I don't know. I've asked everyone to try and get ahold of him but no luck. Tomo's wife, Vicki, is staying at our place in L.A. in case he goes there, but..." Shannon trailed off.
"He hasn't shown up there yet either?" Skyla said seriously.
Shannon shook his head. By this time they were in front of the Super 8 motel. "Listen... you're leaving tomorrow right?" he asked her.
"Yeah. I'm going to get some more stuff that I have and explain everything to my parents. Then I'm leaving Jessey there and I'm probably going to head back." Skyla wasn't even sure of how she'd do everything. She was just saying the stuff that came in her head.
"We're going to leave North Carolina tomorrow and look for Jared elsewhere. We'll follow you and get you then," Shannon told her.
"That sounds good." Skyla gave him a smile. "We'll find him Shannon. Don't worry," she assured him.
Shannon gave her a tight hug. "I really hope so."
MEANWHILE IN AN AREA UNDISCLOSED
"STOP IT!! I SAID STOP IT!!" a man screamed. His captors took no notice of his tears of pain streaming down his face. He screamed again.
"Shut up you fucking asshole!" one of his captors said.
"Yeah, shut up!" another said with a kick in the abdomen.
The man coughed and sputtered. He laid on the ground in a bruised heap, his cut lip still bleeding. He heard his captors' leader come into the room.
"Well, well! Look who we have here! Jared Leto," he said gleefully, spreading his arms wide.
"Don't you dare say my name, you pathetic excuse for a human!" Jared managed to say. It earned him another kick.
"I see we have a feisty one on our hands. Let's hand him over to our brother gang." The leader had a nasty grin on his face; Jared could make out the snake tattoo around his left bicep.
"LET ME GO!" Jared yelled at the top of his lungs. He couldn't get up, no matter how hard he tried.
His futile attempts to stand drew a large amount of laughter from his captors. "Watch him try to stand!" "The famous Jared Leto can't stand!"
They tormented him over and over. "Let's get him ready for the Spanish division to load," one of the dumber ones said.
"Huh? Spanish?" Jared lifted his head to figure out where he was at. He saw an Italian flag hanging by the only exit. "Holy shit." He was in Italy, home of the Italian Echelon, mobsters, and Italian food. And somehow, he went from being in the United States to being in Italy overnight.
"So you guys are sending me to Spain?" Jared asked. His answer was a kick in the shin.
"Yes. Now be quiet while we arrange for your transport." Jared watched as they sent a text message to someone to arrange his transport.
His captors were true asses.
BACK IN THE UNITED STATES
"Jessey hurry up!" Skyla protested. She despised waiting on Jessey.
"Coming!" Jessey stopped texting and closed the motel room door. "We got everything, right?"
"Yeah." Why was Skyla just now finding out how annoying Jessey was?
"Why did 30 Seconds to Mars cancel the show?" Jessey whined. "We have all weekend; why don't we just stay?"
"No, I think it's best if we go back." Skyla had told Shannon they'd be back in Tennessee by Friday night and they exchanged emails to keep in touch in case something happened.
"Okay. Whatever." Jessey shrugged and got in the driver's seat. "I'm going to drive first, okay?"
"Yeah sure." Skyla was distracted. Something was off with her friend.
They pulled out of the Super 8 parking lot, stopping just long enough for Skyla to slip the room key to the tendant behind the glass. "Thanks a lot!" she said breathlessly.
The drive to Chattanooga was long and tedious; Jessey quizzed Skyla about where she went the night before.
"I went to Starbucks; I ran into Shannon and Tomo," Skyla said nonchalantly. She remembered the promise she made to Shannon and Tomo — "We haven't said a word... and we expect you not to either." She was definitely keeping that promise when her best friend was a huge blabbermouth!
"Shannon as in Leto and Tomo as in Miličević?!" Jessey squealed.
"Yep." Skyla yawned. The exit where they turned off on yesterday to eat and swap places was coming up.
"Hey turn off here. Here's the exit." Skyla was shifting in her seat.
Jessey turned and they found a place to eat. Thirty minutes later, Skyla was behind the wheel and was speeding toward Chattanooga.
"Whoa, slow down!" Jessey imitated holding onto a hat.
"I think my brother is leaving to go back to school today; I want to see him before he leaves," Skyla lied.
"Oh." Jessey turned her attention to a new text message.
When they arrived in Tennessee, Jessey was still texting and Skyla had her eyes on the road. Skyla took Jessey by her house first.
"Later," Skyla said.
"Bye," Jessey said. She grabbed her bag out of the backseat and went inside.
As Skyla was driving home she received an email from Shannon: "In Chattanooga. Meet me at the aquarium at 8 p.m. so we can leave. -S."
Skyla smiled and pulled in her driveway. Her parents were home, thankfully. She grabbed her bag and went in.
She told her parents everything, excluding the reason why Shannon and Tomo wanted her to go with them. She made it seem as if Jared was still with them.
"So, this band wants you to go with them on their tour?" her mother asked.
"Yes. Shannon, the drummer, is going to talk to—" Skyla started.
"You can go; we'll talk to your school about your graduation," her father said.
"Neil, you can't possibly... She can't possibly..." her mother said.
"They want her to go. If we say no she'll go anyways." Her father looked at her. "Be careful, Skyla, okay?"
Skyla hugged her dad. "Of course, dad."
Skyla emailed Shannon back and told him that she would meet him at 8 p.m. She then grabbed her bag and ran upstairs to pack more clothes and her bathroom toiletries. She dumped it all out on her bed and grabbed her passport and stuck it in her purse. She then started rolling clothes as tightly as she could and put them in a backpack. After 8 pairs of jeans, 4 pairs of sweatpants, 2 sweatshirts, 12 T-shirts and 4 pairs of socks, she tried zipping the backpack; it shut easily. "Wow," she mouthed. she grabbed 4 more pairs of socks and 2 bras, along with about 30 pairs of underwear. She folded them and put them in along with another pair of sneakers and the backpack still shut easily. She decided to put her laptop and her purse inside a carry-on. She shut it and carried it down the stairs.
"Got enough?" her father asked.
"Yeah," Skyla answered. The suitcase was no bigger than a backpack. She set it by the stairs and headed back in to say goodbye to her parents.
"But it isn't 8 p.m. yet!" her mother protested.
"I want to walk along the Riverwalk," Skyla said.
Her parents hugged her and as she was heading out the door, she caught a glimpse of the time: 7:45 p.m. No harm in being a bit early!
Jackson was waiting by the driver's side of her car. "I'm driving this time."
Skyla didn't care. She got in the passenger's side and buckled up; Jackson took off.
"Where to?" he asked.
"The aquarium," she said. She was excited.
On their way out, Skyla saw Jessey leaving in her car. She ignored it.
Jackson drove her to the aquarium. When they arrived, it was 7:55 p.m. and Shannon was waiting outside the aquarium.
"What is going on?" Jackson asked.
"I'm going with them on tour," Skyla answered. "But only for a short while."
She grabbed her backpack and carry-on from the trunk and left her brother idling at the curb. She waved bye to him as she walked up to Shannon.
"I have never known a girl who can carry her shit in a just a backpack and a carry-on; even Emma and Vicki carry a rolling suitcase!" he laughed.
Skyla giggled. "Yeah, well... I have some experience traveling!" she proclaimed.
"Let's go. We gotta meet up with everyone," Shannon said.
BACK IN SPAIN
"Ow! Careful!" Jared said. He was positive he had a few bruised ribs. "Where am I?" he asked his new captors.
"Spain," one of them told him through a thick Spanish accent. "Our leader will be here momentarily; she will tell us what to do with you."
Sure enough, Jared heard a shrill girl's voice yell at his captors a few hours later: "WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT TALKING TO OUR PRISONERS?!"
A teenaged girl stepped out of the darkness and came into the area where they were holding him. She held up his face and looked him in the eye.
Jared grabbed his chance: he spat in her face.
"This one is not well-behaved. Our brothers in Italy could've done better!" she said, disgusted. "Jared Leto. Your life, your entire existence, hangs in the balance here. You DARE spit in my face?"
Jared felt like he was two inches tall. "I only spit in it because you spit in mine," Jared stammered.
The girl shrieked with laughter.
"What is your name, anyways?" Jared asked Witchy-Poo.
Jared narrowed his eyes. He didn't like this Jessey Vargas. Not one bit.