Seventeen-year-old Rochelle has a rare medical condition: her tears are pure diamond. Hunted by a mysterious man known as “Prospector” for her priceless tears, Rochelle has nowhere to turn except the father who abandoned her – a man with dangerous secrets of his own.
In my experience, kidnappings are never particularly subtle—but this one’s ridiculous. A white van pulls up beside me, the front tyre clipping the kerb. The passenger door opens and a man dressed in black jumps out, a hood hiding the top half of his face.
‘Do you have time?’ he asks with a Russian accent.
I know this one. In about two seconds, when my head’s down, the side door to the van will open and the guy, along with a couple of his friends, will pounce. They’ll cover my mouth to stop me from screaming, snatch at my arms and legs so I can’t run or fight, and drag me into the van.
Not happening, arseholes.
I hate running, but even before the side door opens, I bolt. The guy dives towards me, his hands snatching, but all he grabs is the plastic bag in my hand, which he tears from my grip.
‘I just—stop,’ he yells, followed by something angry in Russian.
His feet slap hard on the pavement behind me. It’s a dreary Sunday afternoon and the streets are empty. No witnesses, no one to help.
The van peels away from the side of the road, the tyres grinding against the tarmac and filling the air with the acrid smell of burning rubber. There’s no way I’m outrunning that.
I’m only a few streets from home, but I can’t go there – if this is anything like last time, there’ll be others waiting for me. Time for my back-up plan.