"Damn!" He yelled aloud. "Ok... think. Think! Who was the last.. Arturo!" He ran out of the room in haste, heading to the other dorm areas of the university.
"Pardon, do you know where I could find Arturo ..uhh.. Barrola? Arturo Barrola?" Diego thanked the man as he ran off in the direction pointed out.
His mind reeled - but one thought remained constant - he would kill Arturo if he laid one hand on her!
"Where is she?" Diego demanded, keeping a slightly cool head; Arturo opening the door smiled. He opened the door fully and pointed for Diego come in. Diego halted in his steps when he saw Brighid tied to a chair and gagged. He turned around and grabbed Arturo by the collar of his shirt and held him against the wall.
Arturo just smiled as he snapped his fingers and Diego heard the cocking of a flintlock and the pressure of its nuzzled against his back. He let go of Arturo and stepped back, sneering at the freshman.
"If you hurt one hair on her head I'll...."
"Don't worry - no harm has come to her, and no harm will." Arturo stated calmly, seating himself at his desk, reclining with his feet on the desktop. He lit a cigar and began puffing on it mockingly. "Tell me, Diego, what is this girl worth to you?"
"What's it to you?" He sneered, never taking his eyes off of Arturo's.
"Hmm.. It could mean a lot to her. Please, be seated," he smiled.
Diego remained standing with the same ominous glare that was beginning to annoy the young freshman.
"What do you mean by that?"
"You see... I was hired to get her back." The word "back" made Diego slightly panic. "But, I did not quite like the low price; but, needing the money I said yes. I was thinking about it and it came to mind that I could make a lot more money off of you with ransom!" He laughed as he sat straight in his chair pulling from his drawer a pistol, and wavered it towards Brighid. Diego glared at the young man with hatred, but could do nothing at the cost of his life, or the girl's.
"How much?" Diego was trying to resist the urge to run this man through; here and now. If he was thinking what he thought he was thinking - he could be in for a lot of trouble.
"And by noon today, or she goes back," Arturo knew that Diego was fully aware of what he meant.
"Why don't you settle this like a man by answering my challenge?" Diego asked with threat eminent in his throat.
"I never heard one," he stated, rising from his chair.
"You just did." Diego continued to glare at him and it slightly unnerved Arturo.
"I might as well run my self through!" Arturo laughed and Diego smiled.
"That would save many troubles for the both of us. Fine, coward, you will get your king's ransom. And when you get it, you'd better run with all your might and get as far away from here as you can."
"Or you die." Arturo made a sly grin, and nodded, sealing their deal.
The pistol still pointed at him, and another at the girl, Diego went to Brighid's side and brushed the tears away from her cheeks. "Don't worry. I'm going to get you out of here. Did he hurt you at all?"
She nodded no slowly and shut her eyes, feeling over barringly scared.
"Ok. It's all right. I'll be right back, ok? Trust me," he put a smile on his face for her sake and she nodded yes hesitantly.
He brushed her cheek softly with the back of his hand and rose to his feet, giving Arturo one last warning.
"If you lay one hand on her while I'm gone - you're a dead man."
"You can only kill me once, Diego."
"Oh, believe me... I can kill you over and over." He sneered, storming out of the room, and began running back to his room.
15,000 pesetas. That would almost clear the rest of his account at the bank. But he could not let her go back; not after seeing what they had done to her.
He ran into Bernardo and told him what had happened. Bernardo stood there with a wide eyed look of hatred and worry. Looking back to his patron he could see the same emotions written on his face.
"Come my friend... we must get the money, before they get Brighid." Bernardo nodded, and followed his patron.
Arturo sat at his desk once again and stared at the young girl. She was quite beautiful, in an odd kind of way. She lowered her head when she noticed him staring at her, and prayed to her god that Diego would return and get her away from this place. She didn't think things could get worse, until she heard a knock at the door.
"You're early," Arturo stated hesitantly.
"I like to be. Now... where.. ahh.. there's my girl," the man smiled and Brighid's eyes went wide with fear. She tried her hardest to undo her binds and get away, but it was no use. The man squatted next to her and made her look him in the face.
"So it was de la Vega?" He asked, not facing him.
"Yes." Arturo said simply.
Another knock came at the door and Diego walked in, uninvited, with a sack of money.
"Ahh, Diego... have you met Seņor Fuentes?" Arturo asked in mock seriousness. He knew perfectly well Diego knew him.
"Ricardo Fuentes at your service, seņor," Ricardo made a slight bow and Diego nearly jumped the man.