Sixteen-year-old Gemma is on your average family excursion to Vietnam for an art show when she gets into a fight with her mom at the airport and storms off to get some coffee. While there, this creepy guy who's been following her since she left her hometown of London shows up and offers to fund her caffeine fix. He then walks away with her cup to put sugar in it. Um, you probably shouldn't drink that, Gemma.
Ah, but Gemma does drink the coffee—and yes, it's drugged. The guy changes Gemma's clothes and makes her wear a wig, and then he gets her on a plane to Australia using a fake passport. Then, he drives her to this house in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of rocks and scary outbuildings. Really, the whole thing looks like the set of a horror movie.
The kidnapper, a bad dude named Ty, tries to get Gemma to like him and be excited about living in the middle of the Australian desert forever, but for some reason (we can't imagine why), she just can't get too stoked about this. In fact, she's totally terrified of him. As if kidnapping her didn't make him creepy enough, Ty tends to have a lot of weird mood swings, episodes of violence, and dreams where he screams in his sleep. He also spends a lot of time in one of the outbuildings, which makes Gemma think he's really just waiting for the right time to kill her.
Ty starts revealing a lot about his past to Gemma. He tells her that his mom abandoned him when he was little and that he lived in the Australian outback with his dad for most of his childhood. Then, his dad disappeared, and Ty was taken away to the city and put in foster care. Since Ty was super attached to the natural environment he lived in, this was a huge cultural and emotional shock for him. He got another shock years later when his mom contacted him and said she wanted him to come live with her in England. When he went there to try to find her, though, she seemed to have disappeared.
It was also during this time that he first met Gemma. Wait—these two have a history? You bet they do, even if Gemma is not yet aware of it. See, they met in a park when Gemma was 10, and for the next few years, Ty began keeping an eye on her, even rescuing her from a perverted classmate who tried to corner her in the dark on a walk home from a party. At that point, Ty began crafting a plan to take Gemma away from her conventional yuppie life in London and bring her to Australia to live with him.
Gemma is understandably creeped out by this and keeps asking Ty to let her go. Of course, he's not having any of that. At one point, after discussion of the topic gets serious, Ty agrees to let Gemma run away and see how far she can get. He does this, however, knowing there's no possible way she can survive alone in the desert. In short, Gemma crashes Ty's car into the sand and ends up stripping off her clothes and walking through the desert until she passes out.
Ty rescues her, and from that point on, things start to improve between them. Gemma starts to trust him more, and he even shows her the paintings of the Australian landscape he's been doing in the outbuildings. Slowly, Gemma realizes that she's grown dependent on Ty and even likes him. One night, they watch the sunset illuminate one of his paintings and then fall asleep in the sand together, and Gemma actually feels safe.
Then, just like that, things go bad again. Gemma is bitten by a snake, but while Ty has antivenom on hand, it doesn't do the trick. He has a choice to make—try to cure Gemma with Australian voodoo medicine that might kill her or take her back to civilization, turning himself in in the process. Ty decides to take Gemma to an airstrip, where she's flown to a hospital. He agrees to come along with her because she begs him to, knowing this means it's the end of the line for him. He's arrested when they land.
As Gemma recovers from both her snakebite and the ordeal in the desert, she struggles with some really confusing emotions. Even though she's back with her parents, she really just wants to be with Ty and finds the city environment jarring and loud. She's visited by a wide array of counselors, all of whom think she has Stockholm syndrome. As a way of working out her issues, a psychiatrist tells her to write a letter to Ty—the contents of which is the book we've been reading.
While Gemma debates lying to the jury and saying that she and Ty plotted to run away together, she eventually decides she has to tell the truth—but also include in her testimony the compassion and kindness Ty showed her. She hopes that once he gets out of jail, he can be the tender person she knows is in there somewhere.
Section Break 1
- Gemma and her parents are passing through the Bangkok airport on their way to Vietnam, and things aren't going well. Her mother and father are arguing and exhausted, and her mom's also picking a fight with Gemma about the skimpy top she's wearing.
- Parents fighting on a long trip isn't exactly weird, but what is weird is that there's this guy with scary blue eyes who's been following them the entire trip and checking Gemma out.
- Needing an excuse to get away from her parents, Gemma says she's going to get coffee and will meet her parents at the gate. Oddly, the blue-eyed dude goes along, too.
- So, just to recap, this book is called Stolen, and there's a guy creeping on Gemma in an airport. Yeah, something bad is definitely about to go down.
- Gemma orders a coffee and tries to pay for it, but the shop doesn't take British currency. In swoops the stalker-ish blue-eyed guy to save the day and buy it for her.
- Then, he offers to put sugar in it. Okay, that's weird. Either he's just being chivalrous or—as Gemma later suspects since this book is being told retrospectively—he's about to drug her.
- Gemma and the guy, whose name is Ty, take a seat with their respectively drugged and un-drugged coffees and start talking about Gemma's family. Her parents are going to Vietnam because her mother is an art curator and looking for paintings.
- Ty is also a craftsman of sorts; he makes art and gardens, and he builds things. He says he's from Australia. When Gemma asks what it's like there, he tells her she's going to find out—and we have this bad feeling that he means literally.
Section Break 2
- At this point, Gemma starts feeling really woozy—because that's what happens when a strange guy puts drugs in your drink. On top of that, Ty asks how she's feeling, which is pretty much a dead giveaway.
- With Gemma drugged and progressively losing control, Ty begins to drag her through the airport.
- He talks his way around some security personnel and then takes her to a dumpster and makes her put on new clothes and a wig.
- He also keeps giving her chocolate, which is weird. (Like the rest of this isn't … ha.)
- While the details are kind of lost on Gemma, she puts everything together later and realizes that Ty must have thought of every last detail, including a new passport and plane ticket.
- They board another plane and get off at another airport, where Ty puts her in an old, noisy car.
- Gemma falls asleep.
- When she wakes up, the heat is blistering and she is in pain.
Section Break 3
- Gemma wakes up in a bedroom and can't move, but she is thankful that Ty didn't tie her to the bed. Little victories, we suppose.
- She feels sore all over and begins examining her body to make sure she wasn't sexually assaulted.
- Ty seems to catch wind of what she's doing because he tells her that he didn't rape her. He also tells her there are clothes for her next to the bed. None of them are hers.
- Ty tells her that she feels sick because of the drugs and that while she's going to feel pretty whack for a while, the blurred vision and dizziness and hallucinations will eventually pass.
- Gemma demands to know why he's brought her to wherever they are. Ty explains that he had to and won't give her any indication of where they are except to say that she's safe there.
Section Break 4
- The main thing Gemma notices about her new location is that there is no noise—like, at all. No people, no cars, no traffic sounds. Instead, the room is just oppressively hot.
- She also notices that she has to pee, so she decides to get dressed and go hunt for a restroom.
- Instead, though, she starts exploring the house and gets this idea that maybe she can find a way to escape. At one point, she actually does find a bathroom but decides that getting the heck out of there is more important than her bladder.
- She explores the house. It's really creepy—there are dark curtains everywhere along with the heat, and there's no sign of Ty anywhere.
- She finally makes her way outside and realizes why she can't hear any noise: Ty's house is in the middle of nowhere. Like, we're talking nothing around for miles. No people, no other buildings, zip.
- To make things worse, Ty sees her. Gemma tries to run away but doesn't succeed—Ty starts chasing her in his car. He eventually gets out and tackles her, telling her there's nowhere to go but back to the house, and she bites him and pees herself.
Section Break 5
- Back at the house, Gemma tries to attack Ty again, then she goes into the bathroom and starts smashing things. Ty warns her to stop or else she'll use up all of their supplies.
- Her main concern is this: Typically, when a creepy dude gets a girl alone in the middle of nowhere, his only intention is to kill her. She grabs a piece of glass from a broken bottle to use as a weapon, but Ty continues to tell her that fighting is no use.
- Gemma finally locks herself in the bathroom and talks to Ty, who's in the hallway. He tells Gemma he isn't going to kill her, but she's not exactly convinced.
- She tries to cut herself with the shard of glass, but he comes in and stops her. He puts her in the shower and tries to stop the bleeding.
- While struggling, Gemma hits her head on something and passes out.
Section Break 6
- Gemma wakes up in the bed again, this time with her legs tied to the bedposts.
- Ty is staring out the window. She notices his face is bruised and assumes that she probably did it in her attack.
- Ty tells her not to freak out and try to hurt herself again. Gemma demands to know where she is, but all he says is that she'll eventually find out.
- He offers her food and water and promises that he isn't going to do anything to her.
Section Break 7
- For the next two days, Gemma stays tied to the bed. Ty comes in every once in a while and asks her if she wants a shower, food, or water, but she refuses every single time.
- Finally, he asks if she would like to go outside. Gemma tells him she'll only go if he'll take her somewhere populated, but Ty says there are no towns anywhere nearby.
- He manages to break her down, though, and she agrees to go out—mainly because she doesn't believe him when he says there's nothing nearby.
- Outside, he shows her a towering pile of cracked boulders with vegetation sprouting from them. He calls them the Separates because they're cut off from the rest of the property; Gemma notices what looks like a pathway between them.
- Ty tells her that he found this place once when he was a child and stayed here for two weeks living off the rocks, which gave him dreams and water.
- He tells Gemma that she belongs there because, like the rocks, she's beautiful and natural and separate. Also, he wanted company. And he plans to keep her there forever.
Section Break 8
- Ty takes Gemma to the porch that leads into the house; here, he has a bunch of kerosene lanterns stockpiled, as well as a generator that runs the whole place. Gemma considers attacking Ty with one of the lanterns, but he can somehow read her thoughts and tells her it won't work.
- He takes her back to her bedroom, where he shows her that he's bought her clothes. Everything is the same beige color, but the sizes are right. He even tells her he has dresses for her in her favorite color, green.
- Gemma discovers a room with games and books in it. All of the games are ones she remembers playing with her family, and the books are all titles she has studied in school. She also notices a book of Aboriginal languages on the shelf and puts it together that she's in Australia.
- Ty tells her that they are so in the middle of nowhere that the place isn't even on the map. He also tells her that nobody saw them at any point on their journey and he made sure she wouldn't remember. He even drove out here with her in the trunk and put a wig and different clothes on her in the airport.
- Memories begin to come back to Gemma of changing her clothes and being so stupid on drugs that she wanted to kiss Ty. Suddenly, she flies into a rage and tells him she hates him.
- Seems pretty reasonable.
Section Break 9
- Gemma can't sleep and begins to plot to throw a lantern at the door the next time Ty comes in. Still, getting him out of the way doesn't solve the problem of being in the middle of nowhere and totally isolated.
- She tries to make herself go to sleep by thinking about her friends Anna and Ben back home, as well as her parents, but all of her thoughts continue to return to Ty and what he's done to her.
- When she finally does go to sleep, she dreams she's back home watching her parents and Anna talk to the police and reporters about her disappearance. Trying to get their attention, she screams, only to get sucked away from the dream and wake up in her room at Ty's.
- The next thing she knows, Ty is holding her and comforting her and telling her he'll never let go. That's a little too Titanic for us, Ty.
Section Break 10
- Gemma wakes up and has to pee. Afterward, she decides to wander around the house looking for a way to communicate with the outside world. You know, like a tin can telephone or that walkie-talkie thing from the first season of Lost.
- In the living room, Gemma finds a knife in a drawer and takes it. In the kitchen, she finds a locked drawer and then uses the knife to pry open a cabinet full of food. Ty walks in and catches her.
- He tells her that they have plenty of food, and that the outbuilding outside has plenty more. Eventually, though, she'll acclimate to her new environment and they can go hunt for food. He even plans to catch a camel, which sounds weird, but whatever.
- Ty tells Gemma that the drawer is locked to keep her from hurting herself again and that lunch will be ready soon.
Section Break 11
- Gemma lies awake that night with the knife in one hand and the lantern in the other, convinced that Ty is still going to try to make a move despite his repeated claims that he won't hurt her.
Section Break 12
- Gemma begins studying Ty's daily routine as part of planning an escape. It's pretty simple, really—he gets up early, takes a shower, then goes outside, and works in the outbuilding.
- After a while, he comes back in and has breakfast, then goes back to the building.
- She starts carving notches into the bed to remind herself of how long she's been there.
- Meanwhile, Gemma decides to start giving herself challenges as a way to survive. She talks to Ty, asks him questions, and finally decides to eat with him. They eat a disgusting chicken dish; Ty says that he found chickens on the side of the road on their journey to the house and is keeping them.
- She asks him what he does when he goes to the outbuilding, and he tells her he makes things. He also says she can come and see what he does provided she doesn't try to run away. Gemma lies and says she won't.
Section Break 13
- Gemma and Ty have breakfast the next day, then set off outside to see what Ty has in the outbuilding.
- On the way, he points out a spot under the corner of the house where he says a snake lives. Ty says as long as she wears shoes, though, it won't pose a danger to her.
- Ty shows Gemma a dried-up herb garden he's been trying to grow, saying that the plants in the Separates grow better. He tells her maybe the next day they'll go there and look at them.
- They walk out into the sand and examine both it and the local plant life. Gemma continues to be awestruck by how isolated they really are.
Section Break 14
- On the way to the outbuildings, Gemma takes a peek in the car to see if Ty by chance left the keys there. No luck. Also, the car is a mess.
- Ty gets the key for the outbuilding and tells Gemma he doesn't want to take her in if she isn't ready. When he unlocks it, it's dark and shadowy inside. Understandably, Gemma immediately becomes afraid that he's going to kill her in there.
- Once inside, Gemma freaks out and starts screaming while Ty holds her by the arm and demands that she stand still or else she'll wreck something. Wreck what?
- Gemma falls on the floor and lands in something sticky and wet. Oh no. We've been waiting for pages for this to turn into a horror movie, and it just did. Understandably, Gemma can't stop crying and screaming, especially since she's probably covered in blood and guts.
- Then, Ty opens the curtains, and she sees everything.
Section Break 15
- Gemma is literally sitting in the middle of a painting. The floor is covered with red paint made from the rocks, as well as flowers, plant needles, and vegetation.
- Ty stares at her with anger and then begins to cry. He tells her he's been working on the painting for a long time, but maybe now that she's part of it, it's actually better.
- He tells her that he knows she thought he was going to kill her and acknowledges that neither of them can go on dealing with her fear and heightened emotions.
- Gemma asks him to please let her go, and surprisingly, he says yes. He will let her go and come and save her when she needs him to.
Section Break 16
- Gemma heads toward the Separates and onto the path that runs through the rocks next to one of Ty's water pipes. It gradually becomes cooler and narrower, closing her in, but eventually it leads to a clearing where she finds a shocking amount of green vegetation, as well as the chickens.
- She keeps following the pipe as the vegetation gets deeper and thicker.
- Gemma discovers a pool of water right by a cave. The water is cool and clear and obviously the water source for all the plant life.
- She tries two other paths that stem from the pool, but both are dead ends, causing her to go back to the main clearing. Ty still hasn't come after her.
- And then, she gets an idea …
Section Break 17
- Gemma climbs an enormous tree, dodging falling limbs and scary looking spiders as she heads for the top.
- Once she reaches it, she looks out across the expansive view. Ty was right: There is literally just desert as far as she can see. She sinks down into one of the tree limbs and cries, thinking of her parents and what they must have done at the airport when they realized she was gone.
Section Break 18
- From the tree, Gemma sees Ty's car pull up; she watches as he begins assembling a fence around the Separates out of chicken wire. What the heck?
- Gemma decides to make her way back to the clearing, then wait until dark to test the fence and see if she can get through it. Then, she plans to start looking for a road.
- She figures she has to find something eventually.
Section Break 19
- Gemma stays in the rocks until it gets dark—and ridiculously cold. As hot as it is during the day, all the heat seems to vanish once the sun is gone (so it goes in the desert). She can hear Ty patrolling the area in his car and wonders if he knows where she is.
- She waits until his next circle around the area and makes her way to the fence. She can't climb over it, so she tries to crawl underneath, through the rough dirt and the wire pulled tightly to the ground.
- Then, Ty drives by. He notices her and asks her to please come back home with him, telling her there's no way out except going with him.
- Gemma finally agrees, so Ty cuts a hole in the fence to let her out.
Section Break 20
- Ty gives Gemma something hot to drink and tells her again that there is no way to escape him. It's hard for her to listen to the truth, but she knows now that getting away will be impossible.
Section Break 21
- Closing her eyes, Gemma imagines walking through the house until she reaches the place underneath it where the snake lives and waits for him to get her. Then, she goes to sleep.
Section Break 22
- Gemma sleeps for a long time and begins to dream.
Section Break 23
- Gemma dreams that her mom is singing her a lullaby and holding her.
Section Break 24
- Then, the dream changes. In this one, Gemma is older and home sick from school, arguing with her mom about whether she's allowed to watch morning talk shows. Her mom insists on Teletubbies, which is really evil to inflict on a sick kid.
- Gemma asks her mom if they can play hide and seek. She begins looking for a place and eventually finds herself at the bottom of the ocean in the belly of a fish. She waits for her mother to come find her, but she never does.
Section Break 25
- In the next dream, Gemma is in the hospital on life support. Anna and Ben are there, along with her parents and a nurse who says it's important for them to keep talking to Gemma.
- Gemma screams to get their attention, but her mouth won't open—then, she opens her eyes to find Ty by her bed.
Section Break 26
- Ty attempts to talk to Gemma and bring her things, but Gemma refuses to talk to him. Instead, she struggles to remember her family—their morning routine, the color of her dad's tie, her mom's facial features. She feels guilty for not being able to remember.
- She thinks about her best friend, Anna, who's gone away with Ben for the summer, and she wonders if the two of them even know she's gone.
Section Break 27
- When Gemma wakes up next, Ty is sitting in a chair next to her bed, watching her. She continues imagining that she's at home and Ben is the one at her side, not Ty. She lies still and refuses to talk to him or look at him.
- Ty tells Gemma that he knows what it's like to not want to talk; when he was younger, after he found this place, he stopped talking altogether. He moves to distract her, causing her to look at him.
Section Break 28
- Gemma finds an empty notebook on her bedside table, along with a pencil. She jabs herself in the finger with it.
Section Break 29
- Gemma tries to draw pictures of her family and friends in the notebook, but she's a terrible artist and they look nothing like the real thing.
- Then, she tries to write a letter to her parents but gets overwhelmed with everything she has to say to them.
- Finally, she starts writing down synonyms related to being in captivity; then, she scratches them out.
Section Break 30
- Gemma finds herself in pain and unable to sleep anymore, so she gets up and puts on some of her new clothes, then pees and washes her face.
- She finds Ty in the kitchen with a bunch of small glass bottles spread out around the tabletop, making notes on a piece of paper. Gemma suspects he's using drugs, which makes an already dysfunctional situation way worse than she thought. Oh, good.
- Gemma walks out onto the porch and stares at the Separates, contemplating whether she could write "help" in the sand and actually have anyone fly over and see it. She realizes it's hopeless.
- Ty joins her outside and says he's glad she got up. He offers her food, which she declines, and asks if she wants to talk, which she's also not really willing to do.
- Eventually, he starts talking about his plan to get her out to Australia. He says the plot to kidnap her took two years to develop but that he'd actually been watching her for a lot longer than that. Like, six years. Whoa.
- This is obviously really creepy, and Gemma doesn't want to believe it. At the same time, though, she recalls some memories of a weird guy being around and wonders if it could have been him.
- Still, to Ty, she denies ever meeting him before the airport. He tells her, though, that eventually she will remember.
Section Break 31
- Gemma sits on the porch thinking for a long time; she watches the sun go down. A while later, Ty comes back outside with two glasses of water.
- Gemma asks him who he is—like, who he really is—but he either doesn't pick up on this or doesn't want to answer. He says he was named Ty because he was conceived next to a creek by that name. Then, he begins to tell her his story.
- Ty's mom had him really young in Britain, and custody was eventually signed over to his dad, who took him to live in Australia on a farm. Things were pretty good for a while—he had a tutor and made friends with the farmhands, who taught him about working the land (and drinking).
- Eventually, though, stuff went bad when Ty's dad started working in the city as a stockbroker. He spent all of his money on drugs and alcohol and all of his time getting drunk and high; pretty soon, he stopped looking after Ty altogether.
- At this point, Ty turned into a wild child and started living off the land and eating lizards. He even killed one of his dad's calves once and ate it.
- Things with Ty's dad just kept getting worse, until finally, when Ty was about 11, he just disappeared one day. Ty lived alone on the farm for a year before someone came out and caught him.
- They took him to live in a children's home in the city and tried to craft an identity for him there, giving him a name (Tom) and having him work with a psychiatrist.
- Listening to all this, Gemma realizes she and Ty have something in common: Both of them were stolen from their homes. She asks Ty if kidnapping her was his way of getting back at them.
- Ty insists that he didn't "steal" Gemma, though; he "saved" her from her old life.
Section Break 32
- Not like this is anything new, but Gemma can't sleep, especially after hearing Ty's story. Oddly, it seems to have made her even madder—mad enough that she's trying to think of ways to kill Ty.
- When this doesn't help her get to sleep, she starts thinking about things she'd say to her parents if she were to see them. Most of the list involves apologizing for things, like breaking a vase and getting drunk.
- Then, she begins to dream. In the dream, Gemma is in the park and a stranger is following her. She tries to run away, but he moves faster and tells her to slow down.
- Up ahead, there's nowhere to go except into a pond. Gemma slips and falls on a piece of wood. When she looks up, she realizes the stranger is Ty, and he's begging her to come back to him. Instead, though, she jumps into the pond.
Section Break 33
- Gemma wakes up to a thudding sound on the porch. When she goes out to investigate, she finds Ty beating the poop out of a punching bag.
- So, apparently, on top of the whole kidnapping thing, he's gone all Rocky on her. Wow. Never a dull moment with this guy.
- Watching him terrifies Gemma because all she can imagine is him beating her instead of the punching bag.
- She thinks about the knife she has hidden in her room and how it's no match for Ty's physical strength. Heck, let's face it—the guy could probably take Rocky.
Section Break 34
- Back inside, Gemma tests the knife by cutting into her finger. Then, she carves more notches into the bedpost, indicating that she's been there 17 days.
Section Break 35
- When Gemma wakes up, Ty is in her room and tells her that they're going to see the Separates—the proper way this time, with him as tour guide.
- As they walk through the Separates, Ty tells Gemma some Aboriginal stories he heard from his dad's farmhands, like how you have to greet the rocks when you arrive or else they'll get mad and fall on you, and how desert walnuts talk when they're cooked. Okely-dokely …
- They go to the pond, and Ty asks if she wants to swim. Gemma is still terrified of his strength and is afraid of what he might do if she goes in.
- Despite this, Gemma can't stop herself from looking at him—the guy has a hot bod—but she tries to look at him in a way that won't make him realize she's checking him out.
Section Break 36
- Gemma has now been in the Land of Ty for 18 days. She wakes up to find a bunch of birds circling around the backyard and the Separates.
Section Break 37
- The next day, Ty takes Gemma to the outbuilding and says he has something to show her. After the semi-traumatic experience with the painting the last time, Gemma isn't psyched about this but goes anyway.
- Inside, Ty goes to a pile of rocks in a corner and pours liquid out of a flask onto them. He tells Gemma he's making paint; he uses leaves, berries, and flowers to make a thick, red paste.
- Once he's finished, things get kind of crazy—not that they weren't in the first place—and Ty starts painting tree bark-like designs on his legs.
- He asks Gemma if she really doesn't remember the first time they met, telling her it was on Easter at a park in London and she was with her parents.
- Gemma's parents brought a scooter for her to play with, but she discarded it and was instead talking to the imaginary families she believed lived inside the flowers.
- This really freaks Gemma out—she's never told anyone about the flower games.
- Then, she wandered into a bush and found Ty curled up drunk with a bottle of alcohol. He'd been listening to her stories and liked them.
- Gemma remembers all of this but refuses to believe that the tramp in the bushes was Ty. She says he looked old and crazy—still, though, part of her knows it's true.
- Ty says he gave Gemma a robin's egg. The next day, he found the nest the egg came from and left it outside her window.
- Gemma, too, remembers this and is terrified at having the pieces of where the mysterious bird's nest came from finally come together.
- She tells Ty he's a sick freak for being obsessed with a 10-year-old. When she tries to get away, though, Ty holds onto her and says she needs to hear the whole story.
- So, wait a minute—there's a part of the story that doesn't involve this guy being a major creep? We can't imagine what that could be.
- Ty tells Gemma that as he watched her grow up, he could tell her parents were pushing her into a traditional, bland life like theirs. He'd watched from the tree outside her window and various other places.
- Gemma freaks out and punches him in the gut. He keeps asking her if she was really happy there in the city with her parents and if she ever actually had the perfect life she imagines she did.
- He continues to paint, telling her that her parents were more interested in status symbols like art than they were about her.
- He tells her he knows a bunch of stuff she doesn't. Like, how he overheard her parents talking about how they wanted to move away and send Gemma to boarding school, and how Anna knew Gemma had a crush on Ben and didn't trust her.
- What really nails it, though, is that he knows about Josh Holmes—a creepy guy at school who was stalking Gemma. Ty tells her he knows how Josh felt about her and that if he ever tried anything, he'd kill him.
- Gemma freaks out again and starts telling Ty he needs to let her go because her parents know important people. Instead, though, he orders her to paint herself. Gemma responds by knocking over the paint.
- For a moment, Ty looks like he's going to attack her, but then he asks if she wants to go for a drive the next day and try to catch a camel. He leaves her alone in the outbuilding and goes back inside. A long time later, she comes in with him.
Section Break 38
- The next day, Ty makes good on his promise to go on a drive and catch a camel. Gemma has mixed feelings about it—if things work out right, this trip could be a chance to escape, but on the other hand, it could also turn out the way things usually do in horror movies.
- Gemma tries to con Ty into letting her stay behind, but he won't have any of it. He realizes that she still thinks he's going to try to kill her and tries again to convince her otherwise.
- Eventually, she gives in and gets in the car. When it starts, she finds herself covered with dust.
Section Break 39
- We probably don't need to tell you this, but driving in the car in the desert with Ty pretty much stinks. Every orifice of Gemma's body is full of dust, she has a headache, and—worst of all—the radio is broken. There's nothing worse than a road trip without tunes.
- Gemma asks Ty how long she's been there and says she thinks it's her 21st day. She soon regrets this, though, because Ty gets it into his head that they should celebrate.
- He starts driving through the desert like a maniac. Then, he tells Gemma to pull the hand brake, and the car goes up on its two back wheels while he laughs like crazy.
Section Break 40
- Two hours later, they're still driving, though Ty has calmed down a little and isn't driving like a madman. They pass more Australian vegetation and even see some kangaroos. Ty says he wants to eat one.
- Finally, Ty spots a group of camels in the distance and shows Gemma through binoculars. He tells Gemma they were originally brought over to build the railway but have since been abandoned.
- Ty decides to camp out where they are and see what the camels decide to do so they can continue with their plan to catch one. He gets out of the car, and Gemma notices the key still in the ignition.
- She begins thinking about what it would take for her to drive off and leave him there; she is about to try it when she sees a snake out the window looking at her.
- Ty is holding the snake. He says he found it by the tire and it's lucky they didn't run it over. Um, this guy has a really whack definition of luck. But we probably already knew that.
- Then, he suggests that Gemma keep it as a pet and take it home. Yeah, no way.
- Ty apologizes for scaring her with the snake, and they continue on their way.
Section Break 41
- Ty and Gemma stop the car in an oasis of green vegetation in the middle of the desert that she almost finds attractive to look at.
- They make a picnic there, and Ty gets out some sparkling wine to continue the celebration of her 21st day. Gemma begins to wonder if it's drugged and refuses to drink it.
- In the distance, the camels begin to arrive. Gemma makes an awkward comment about Ty being attractive like Superman.
- Changing the subject, she asks if he'll ever give her the car keys. Ty replies that she would get lost and die if he did.
Section Break 42
- Ty and Gemma continue their camel chase. Literally. Ty is literally chasing the camels with the car. This is either brilliant or really stupid—and we're about to find out which.
- Ty uses a pole with a noose on it to catch the camel around its neck. But, he makes Gemma drive, and she loses control of the car and it spins out.
Section Break 43
- Outside of the car, the camel is basically freaking out; she's kicking everything in sight. Ty sits on her to try to get her to calm down, but the poor camel keeps looking up ahead at her herd moving away from her.
- Ty ties up the camel and tries to put something around her neck. Then, she pukes on his head. Nice.
Section Break 44
- In case you were wondering, camel puke really stinks. Gemma spends a fair amount of the first paragraph telling us about all the horrible smells that combine to form the stench of camel puke. Then, the smell hits Gemma and she pukes. So basically, now the camel hunt has become a barf-o-rama.
- But, it's still not over yet. Gemma still has to ride back to the house in the heat with the puke stench and the camel tied to the back of the car.
Section Break 45
- Back at the ranch, Ty immediately starts trying to train the camel. It's not going well, though, and she's pretty stubborn and won't even respond when Gemma tries to lead her.
- Ty says that once she understands what they want her to do, she'll do it. Gemma wonders if that's how he sees her.
Section Break 46
- Watching Ty lead the camel, Gemma finds memories of home coming back into her mind. And one of them is of him. For the first time, she acknowledges that she really has seen him before.
- He says it's because, as he said before, he was following her. He even took a job at the park as a groundskeeper so he could keep an eye on her and her friends.
- Gemma realizes that, back then, he had long hair and was always engrossed in his work in the flowerbeds.
- Angered by thoughts of his plot to kidnap her, Gemma tries to think about her family. This, however, leads her to thoughts of Josh—and one night in particular involving him.
- That night, she, Josh, Ben, and Anna had been drinking, and Ben and Anna started making out in front of them. Anna gave Gemma a look that clearly said, "Please leave now, my boyfriend and I want to get it on," so she did.
- Josh followed her, and eventually Gemma found herself lost with nowhere to turn but to him. Then, someone attacked Josh and pushed him away—as now Gemma realizes, the attacker was Ty.
- Ty tells her that it was that night that he decided to begin his plan to take her away and rescue her from her life at home.
Section Break 47
- Ty is trying to train the camel so they can use a saddle and ride her. He tells Gemma that he's taking small steps to get her used to being around him and that eventually she'll cooperate.
- The camel now follows him around, and it's obvious that he's broken something in her. Gemma sits in the grass and watches him.
- Ty comes and joins her on the grass, and for once, Gemma doesn't move away from him or flinch.
Section Break 48
- After a bit, Ty goes inside to get them some water. Gemma is still fixated on the story of him being the guy in the hoodie who rescued her from Josh that night. Part of her believes it, but the other part thinks it's too incredible that he would follow her and know everything about her.
- Gemma asks Ty how he ended up in Britain. He says it started when he got a letter from his mother asking him to come live with her. He also shows her a photograph of him as a baby with his mom, who looks shockingly like Gemma. Hello, Oedipus complex.
- Ty decided to go to Britain in search of his mom, but when he arrived at the address she gave him, the place was a dump and she was nowhere to be found.
- He kept calling around trying to find a number for her—but when he got one and called it, he reached an old-sounding woman who asked him if he had any money, then acted like she didn't know him when he said no.
- Ty has always wondered if the old woman he talked to was his mother and if she was just trying to leech off of him.
- Nonetheless, Ty kept searching for his mom, even though he didn't have any money and was there in the winter and had never seen snow. He didn't find his mom, but he did find Gemma.
- As a result of telling her all of this, Ty freaks out and runs out to the Separates and screams.
Section Break 49
- Gemma goes out to feed the chickens. The rooster tries to peck at her and won't let her feed him, and Ty appears from the bushes and says she has to pick him up when he does that.
- Ty tries to do this and ends up getting attacked by the rooster until his hands are bloodied. Gemma rather enjoys watching this.
Section Break 50
- Back inside, Ty asks Gemma to help him clean his wounds. She refuses, and he asks what he can do for her in return. Um, duh—the only thing she still wants is to leave.
- Gemma, however, cooperates and says she wants to know the story behind how he built the property they live on, including the water piping and the outbuildings.
- Ty tells her that he got the money in various ways. First, he stole, and then he started panhandling outside of McDonald's. Eventually, he got a job in the city, which later gave way to working for an escort service.
- He tells Gemma that all of the money he made is invested into this place and that he's never going to leave.
Section Break 51
- That night, Gemma has trouble sleeping again. She can hear Ty talking to himself, but he eventually stops and she wonders if he was having a dream.
Section Break 52
- The next morning, Gemma asks him to continue the story of how he got there by explaining how he got the equipment to build the property.
- Ty says he had a truck and confesses that there's a mine site nearby where he stored things. Gemma asks if they can go there, but he says no.
- She can't stop thinking about it, though, wondering if there could possibly be people there.
- While Ty goes outside, Gemma goes to the spare room and looks through books about Australian plant life, thinking she might be able to find some clues about where she is, but nothing turns up.
- There's an old sewing machine in the room. Gemma breaks the needle off, wondering if it could do enough damage to hurt someone. She puts it in her pocket when she hears Ty come in the house.
- Ty says his hands still hurt too much from the rooster encounter to do any work. He asks if she wants to go for a walk, and Gemma says yes, thinking that perhaps the walk might lead them to the mine site.
Section Break 53
- Ty takes a basket on their walk and begins collecting leaves. Still thinking that she might be able to use plants to identify where she is, Gemma asks what type of plant it is. Ty says it's saltbush, a plant that grows everywhere and has both medicinal and food purposes.
- He shows her other plants, explaining that in Australia, plants look dead as a survival tactic. He also tells weird stories about trees that are haunted by spirits.
- Gemma still has the needle in her pocket and is studying his face, trying to figure out a way to attack him with it.
- She finally approaches him and presses the needle to the skin on his eyelid, threatening to push down. Ty starts laughing and thinks it's a joke, but Gemma continues demanding that he let her escape.
- Ty tells her this is impossible because—again—she'd die out there by herself.
- Gemma doesn't listen. With the needle still on his eye, she frisks him, looking for the keys.
- Finally, he pulls it away from his eye and tells her to go ahead and see how far she can get.
Section Break 54
- Gemma makes a run for the car, taking a minute to say goodbye to the camel. She tries to start the car and notices Ty running after her, shouting for her to stop.
- When the car finally gets going, he chases after her, yelling that she'll regret this. He tries to stop her by hurling plants and rocks at the car, but she keeps going.
- Does she regret leaving? We don't think so.
Section Break 55
- After some initial problems learning to drive in the sand, Gemma hits the road—if you can call a bunch of sand a road.
- Drive like the wind, girl.
Section Break 56
- Eventually, Gemma arrives at a cluster of sand dunes she could see from the tree in the Separates. She originally thought they looked like buildings—maybe even the mine site—but that's not the case.
- She has another problem, too: The car is sand-logged and having trouble moving. Eventually, it gets stuck.
- The busted car is the least of Gemma's problems, though. The deadly desert heat is searing down on her, making her dizzy and sick. She throws up in the sand and passes out.
Section Break 57
- When she comes to, Gemma checks the trunk for supplies. While she finds water, she doesn't find anything to help her fix the car. She tries to pick at a eucalyptus tree to get wood to help her level out the car (which really doesn't make a lot of sense) but only gets sap on her hands.
- Gemma climbs the sand dunes, trying to get the lay of the land, but it's pretty hopeless. All she sees is sand for miles—no buildings and no people.
- She decides to lie down in the sand and sleep.
Section Break 58
- When Gemma wakes up, the moon is out. It's huge out in the desert, and she stares at it for a bit before deciding to climb down and try the car again.
- For a second, it looks like the car is going to get out of its place in the sand, but it only falls back in. Gemma throws a much warranted temper tantrum and starts to cry.
Section Break 59
- Gemma tries to put vegetation and rocks under the wheels to get the car unstuck, but she eventually gives up and calls it a lost cause.
Section Break 60
- As uncomfortable as it's going to be, Gemma's only remaining option is to start walking until someone finds her. Given the heat, the sand, and the fact that she's sweaty and hasn't showered in over a day, this isn't exactly pleasant. On top of all that, she has to conserve her small supply of water.
- For a while, she gives up and sits in the sand and cries, but then she imagines her best friend, Anna, encouraging her to keep going.
- Finally, it gets so hot that Gemma starts ripping off her clothes and crawling through the sand naked until she just totally gives up and settles down into the sand.
Section Break 61
- Lying in the sand, Gemma dreams that she's in her room back home listening to a radio report about a record heat wave in London.
- She can smell her mother making coffee and calls for her, but she won't come and instead seems to just turn the radio up to drown her out.
- Then, she feels arms wrapping around her, taking her out of her bed and holding her.
- And with that, we're pretty sure we know what just happened.
Section Break 62
- Gemma wakes up in the cool darkness of her room back at Ty's place with washcloths all over her body. She can't believe it, but she's actually glad to be there and thanks Ty for bringing her back.
Section Break 63
- The next time she wakes up, Ty is trying to get her to drink some water. Her legs are elevated in the air with ropes, and he tells her she's been badly burned and he is trying to reduce the swelling.
- He brings her more cool cloths for her body, which is completely blistered. He tells her she's been back at the house for about a day and would have died if he hadn't found her when he did.
- Ty explains that he found her by following the car tracks, then her footprints. That's one advantage to being the only two people in a wilderness of sand—no other people to make tracks in the sand. He rode the camel to catch up to her, figuring she would eventually start making her way back to him.
Section Break 64
- The next day, Gemma feels a little better and can eat nuts and berries. She finds the knife she'd hidden in the bed and guesses at how many more notches to make for her count of how many days she's been there.
Section Break 65
- The next morning, Gemma goes outside and sits on the porch. She thinks about how once she'd hoped for a chance to escape, but it's gradually becoming real to her that being here is her life now.
- She speculates about how maybe someday, maybe years from now, she'll be found. But how long might that take?
- In the yard, Ty is handling the snake, trying to tame it. It tries to bite him, but he calms it and begins walking around the yard with it, then takes it with him into the outbuilding.
Section Break 66
- Gemma takes a nap in the living room, then wakes up and wanders toward the outbuilding where she last saw Ty. She finds a maze of boxes filled with different types of supplies and makes her way toward the back where she can hear movement.
- She discovers dozens of cabinets with scorpions, snakes, and other insects and predators locked up inside. Terrified, she moves away and starts looking at the boxes again. She finds one labeled "Alcohol" and takes a one-liter glass bottle of rum back to the house with her.
- One thing that's a little disconcerting is that she can't find Ty or the camel anywhere, and it's dark and she doesn't know how to turn on the generator. She lights one of the lamps and takes it to the living room.
- She sits there wondering if this is the moment he's going to kill her and is just outside waiting to make his move.
- Finally, she decides to stop being scared and goes back to her room, where she drinks the bottle of rum and passes out.
Section Break 67
- Ty shows up the next morning to find Gemma passed out on the bed, the rum spilled on the sheets around her. He said he had to go out and get something, and it took longer than he thought.
- Gemma freaks out and smashes the bottle against his chest.
- He just tells her he's going to fix her breakfast, though, and she goes back to sleep.
Section Break 68
- Later, Ty carries her out onto the porch and gives her some fruit to eat. He asks if she saw the creatures in the building and explains that they're there to keep them alive.
- He plans on using them to make antivenom for snakes. He'll collect their venom, inject it into the camel, then collect her antibodies. Apparently, the camel is immune to poisonous stuff.
- Then, things get weirder: He tells Gemma he needs to start desensitizing her to the venom. Obviously, this freaks her out, but Ty tells her there are risks living in the middle of nowhere just like in the city—it's just a different kind of poison.
Section Break 69
- After that, something changes: Ty starts being really nice to Gemma, making her the food she wants and fussing over her. It makes Gemma a little suspicious.
- While feeding the chickens, she says that he really must hate her—if he didn't, he'd take her somewhere and let her go.
- Ty tells Gemma that in six months, if she doesn't learn to appreciate nature and like living there, he'll take her back.
- Gemma, however, doesn't believe him; she thinks he'll eventually just do the same thing to another girl after she leaves. He tries to explain that he loves her, but we can all agree that kidnapping someone is a pretty sick definition of love.
- Gemma lashes out at him, saying he's seriously messed up, then goes off into the Separates.
Section Break 70
- That night, Ty seems quieter. After a quiet dinner, he tells her again that he was serious about taking her back after six months, so Gemma tries to negotiate to three and they eventually settle on four.
- The terms are as follows: Gemma won't try to escape again, and she'll go into the town without Ty to avoid implicating him in her disappearance.
Section Break 71
- Gemma is lying awake that night listening to the sound of the wind when she hears Ty scream and begin yelling words and making noises.
- She goes into his bedroom to see what's up and finds him in bed, sobbing in his sleep. She grabs him by the shoulders and tries to shake him awake—he cries out, "Please don't take me," and says he doesn't want to leave.
- Gemma tries to talk to him and tell him he's in the desert and there's no one there except him. He finally wakes up and realizes it's her and thanks her for coming in.
Section Break 72
- In bed, Ty tells Gemma he was dreaming about being dragged away from his dad's farm to the orphanage. He asks Gemma what she dreams about, and she says home.
- He asks her how she can love London so much; she tells him that she supposes people love what they're used to.
- Ty disagrees. He says people should love the things that need to be loved so they can save them.
Section Break 73
- Gemma wakes up the next morning and lets Ty sleep. She goes out and feeds the chickens, then spends some time petting the camel and talking to her.
- She tells the camel that after she leaves, Ty will keep her, then imitates the motions Ty uses to get her to sit down. They stare at each other face to face, and Gemma imagines riding her off into the sunset.
Section Break 74
- Ty spends the rest of the day in the shed where his painting is, and it's a long time before Gemma gets up the courage to go see him for the first time since his nightmare the night before.
- Inside, he's transforming the room into another painting of the land, with patterns that give texture to the walls. He says he wants to capture the land's beauty.
- Ty has also covered himself in sand and says he's going to be a part of the painting, too. He says to wait until sunset—that's when the whole thing will come alive. Gemma finds herself staring at both him and the room in awe.
Section Break 75
- Ty asks Gemma to go to the Separates and get him some leaves and moss and to come back at sunset.
- She walks back to the pool of water and finds herself relaxed and content, enjoying the environment. She finds the leaves Ty was talking about.
- On the way back, she stops to say hi to the chickens. The rooster bites off a chunk of one of the leaves, and she sits by their pen and listens to the sound of frogs beginning to make noise. At sunset, she goes back to the building.
Section Break 76
- Gemma walks into the painting shed to find the room sparkling and transformed, with Ty standing there naked, his whole body painted. He asks Gemma to paint patterns on his back with the milky residue from the leaves and the red paint he's made.
- She at first refuses, but he begs her to, telling her she needs to understand how she's part of the land. She finally agrees.
- When the sun sets, the room is illuminated, making Gemma feel like she's in the midst of a fire. They smoke cigarettes made out of leaves and watch the room glow. Gemma thinks it's more beautiful and real than the paintings she's seen her mother buy.
Section Break 77
- When the sun goes down, Gemma and Ty leave the painted building and go sit on the porch under the stars. Gemma seems to want to be alone, but Ty comes along anyway.
- They look up at the stars and talk. At one point, Gemma finds herself wanting to kiss him. What? Just a reminder, this guy drugged and abducted her and is currently holding her hostage.
- Gemma, at least, recognizes that these are some really messed up things to be feeling.
- Ty tells her the story of a constellation in the sky called the Sisters—two beautiful women who had nature spring up behind them wherever they walked.
- One day, a spirit who had been watching them decided to take them as his wives. Since then, they've been running across the sky from him, and he can never quite catch them.
Section Break 78
- They continue lying under the stars. Ty asks Gemma if she can find London in the sky, and she imagines a constellation that looks something like Big Ben.
- This makes Gemma think about how back home, school would be getting ready to start again. She wonders if Anna and Ben have moved on and given up on her coming back.
- Gemma asks Ty if he would still take her if they were back in London and he knew the person she really was. He says yes, and that he'll never let go of her.
- Ty begins to tell her legends about the creation of the desert, and they eventually fall asleep together in the sand.
Section Break 79
- Gemma wakes up to find a message in the sand that Ty went out to catch a snake. She decides to try to find him and walks barefoot toward the Separates.
- Ty discovers Gemma among the boulders and asks where her boots are, and Gemma remembers that he's supposed to be out looking for a snake. Ty says that the snake isn't aggressive, and she'll be OK as long as she doesn't step in the sand and keeps an eye on where she walks.
- The snake and Ty have a standoff, each of them seeing who will move first. The snake, however, surprises him by going toward Gemma, who tries to move away.
- In an effort to escape the snake, she steps on him and he bites her foot before slithering off.
Section Break 80
- Ty tells Gemma to take off her shirt so he can use it as a tourniquet to stop the venom from going up her leg. He tells her she needs to tell him everything she feels physically in case he's not able to keep it contained.
- He carries her back to the house, telling her he won't let anything happen to her. As they travel back to the house, Gemma begins to get a headache and her leg starts to ache.
- This can't be good.
Section Break 81
- Back at the house, Ty gets Gemma a new t-shirt, making a joke about needing to concentrate on the situation. As a result, Gemma can't tell if the snakebite really is serious or if he's just joking to keep her from seeing how scared he is.
- Ty begins wrapping her leg, muttering to himself about how stupid he was to let her get bit.
- He tells her he stole antivenom from a research lab and goes to get the vials she saw him playing with in the kitchen.
- He hooks up an IV of antivenom and tells her they need to wait until the bag is used up and she starts feeling better. He keeps telling her to calm down, but it's getting harder to listen to him—Gemma is sure he's keeping the seriousness of the situation from her.
Section Break 82
- The clock is ticking, and Gemma isn't feeling better. In fact, she's getting worse. Ty puts in the last vial of antivenom that he has and seems to be trying to convince himself that it will be enough to stop the swelling.
- Unfortunately, the new container of antivenom doesn't work, either. Ty suspects that it's been too hot, and the heat has made the medicine ineffective. He says they have a choice—they can stay there and try some natural medicine that might help, or they can go back.
- Ty decides to take Gemma to the mine site where they have an airstrip and can help. He doesn't want to take her back, but he also doesn't want her to die.
Section Break 83
- As they get ready to leave, Ty gives Gemma a ring he made for her out of emerald, red, and gold gemstones. Then, he cuts the legs off the kitchen table and uses it to mount a bed for her on the camel.
- The plan is to take the camel to where they left the car and try to start it and then travel to the mine site. Understandably, Gemma is terrified of dying out in the desert.
Section Break 84
- Ty tells Gemma that this whole ordeal is going to hurt, which isn't exactly encouraging. He mounts her makeshift stretcher on the camel, and they begin the journey.
- Ty gives Gemma something bitter to chew on, and she eventually passes out. She dreams she's back home, walking down her street. She goes to her house and looks in her bedroom window, where she sees herself as a 10-year-old, terrified at what she sees in the window.
- Gemma tells her that it's okay and places a bird's nest on the windowsill. She realizes then that she is Ty putting the nest on the window but is also herself as a child looking out.
Section Break 85
- When Gemma wakes up, the camel is still moving, and she's hot and in pain and exhausted. Then, just when things couldn't get worse, they do: It starts pouring rain.
- Ty makes a shelter among some rocks and trees and continues to try to make Gemma comfortable, trying to get her to stay awake and talk to him.
- He tells her a story about rain—that in the desert, it's sacred, and when it rains, plants that haven't been seen for months come to life again.
Section Break 86
- It's still raining, but Ty seems to think they can't afford to stop any longer; he loads Gemma back onto the camel and starts traveling again.
- Gemma feels the rain on her face and finds it healing and comforting, like it's keeping her alive.
- Finally, they get to the car. Ty gets it started and carries her into the car, asking if she wants to say goodbye to the camel before he releases her back into the wild.
- He brings the camel to the car, and she leans her head in to say goodbye. Gemma finds herself suddenly concerned about how Ty will find her again.
- As Ty drives away, the camel chases the car until she can't anymore. Gemma says goodbye to her through the window.
Section Break 87
- Just riding in the car through the sand sends waves of pain through Gemma's muscles. In the distance, she hears Ty telling her they are almost there.
- Next thing she knows, Ty is looking at her from the driver's seat to tell her they've arrived at the mine site.
Section Break 88
- Ty forces Gemma to chew more of the bitter leaves, which help her stay awake. She's finding it more and more difficult to do this, though, like her body is getting ready to shut down.
- Ty takes her to someone who puts her on a table and jabs her with a needle. Suddenly, Gemma can breathe better.
Section Break 89
- They drive to a tarmac, and Ty carries Gemma onto a plane and lies her down. He starts talking to her and is crying.
- People continue putting masks over her face and putting needles in her, but Gemma keeps her eyes on Ty the whole flight, not wanting to be left alone.
Section Break 90
- When the plane lands, Gemma is loaded onto a stretcher and wheeled through sliding doors. Ty begins to cry, knowing it's time to say goodbye to her. He tries to tell her she'll be okay, but Gemma keeps shaking her head—she doesn't want him to go.
- Gemma grabs onto him and pulls him toward her, pulling his head down toward hers. Then, someone takes him away, and she's taken through more doors. Eventually, she blacks out.
Section Break 91
- Gemma can hear machines beeping and humming around her as well as the voices of doctors saying she's fading away.
Section Break 92
- Gemma wakes up alone in a hospital room that smells of chemicals and has no windows.
Section Break 93
- Gemma wakes up again to a woman touching her fingers. She asks where Ty is, but the woman tells her he's gone and she doesn't have to worry about him anymore. Her parents are coming soon.
Section Break 94
Section Break 95
- Gemma gets her period, which she hasn't had since before Ty took her. The nurse says that sometimes stress can make it stop.
Section Break 96
- Gemma falls asleep again. She wants to dream but doesn't.
Section Break 97
- From the hallway, Gemma hears her mother's voice, followed by a doctor telling her that Gemma has been in a coma caused by the snake venom and that she won't be herself for some time.
- Then, her parents, a doctor, and a cop are in the room. Her mom won't stop crying and her dad is smiling, which is weird because he never used to do that. Her mom tells Gemma she'll be OK but seems to be trying to convince herself of it.
- Gemma finds the whole thing too overwhelming—the lights are too bright, and too many people are talking.
Section Break 98
- Later, Gemma's mom comes back by herself and apologizes for the invasion of people earlier, saying it must have been too shocking after not having anyone around for so long except her captor. She can't say Ty's name.
- Gemma's mom tells her she doesn't know what happened to Gemma out there but that she understands it will be hard for her to readjust to her old life. She notices the ring on Gemma's finger and asks where she got it. Gemma lies and says she has always had it.
- Her mom tells her that Ty is in custody and that she doesn't have to worry about him anymore. Gemma will have to give a statement, and they'll be one step closer to getting him locked up for good.
- Gemma's mom calls Ty a monster, but Gemma tries to tell her he isn't one—which only freaks her mom out more.
Section Break 99
- Two cops show up the next day to talk to Gemma about what happened. They tell her they have Ty in custody and describe him.
- Gemma vomits into her bedpan.
Section Break 100
- You'd think that Gemma throwing up would be a sign that she really isn't interested in talking about this right now, but the cops continue to grill her anyway. They ask her whether Ty took her by force or made her use drugs.
- They show her pictures of different men and ask her to point out which photo is of Ty. It's easy. Gemma finds herself wanting to keep the picture.
- The parade of specialists continues as counselors and psychologists keep coming in and asking her if Ty ever molested her. They don't seem to believe her when she says no.
- One day, a psychiatrist comes in and starts talking about something called Stockholm syndrome, which is when someone held captive bonds emotionally with their captor as a survival mechanism. She says that until Gemma realizes that Ty did the wrong thing by taking her, she'll continue to talk to experts about this.
Section Break 101
- Reporters are now involved with this whole thing, which makes Gemma sick. Luckily, her parents have volunteered to referee the news media.
- While her parents are at a press conference one day, Gemma wanders through the hospital, disturbed by the fact that people are staring at her and seem to know who she is.
- She tries to go outside, but a nurse takes her by the arm and tells her she hasn't been discharged yet.
Section Break 102
- Gemma's mom returns later with a pile of news clippings about Gemma's disappearance. Looking at them is surreal, but Gemma seems most concerned with the fact that she doesn't like the photo her parents gave the media.
- One of the articles is about Ty's arraignment. There's a courtroom drawing of him, and the article says he entered a plea of not guilty.
- Gemma's mom says that the plea clearly indicates that Ty is mentally unstable; there's a mountain of evidence against him proving that he took Gemma.
- Her mom asks if she wants to go back to London before the trial to see her friends and regroup, but Gemma says she just wants it to be over.
Section Break 103
- The plan is for Gemma and her parents to go back to London to prepare for Ty's trial.
- They change planes in Perth, where Ty is being held. On the way home, Gemma looks down from the air at the Australian landscape and realizes it's identical to Ty's paintings.
- She realizes that this has been the purpose of all his art—to show what the land looks like from a bird's eye view.
Section Break 104
- Apparently, someone leaked to the press that the family had to switch from the domestic to international terminal, and reporters are waiting. Gemma freaks out, and her mom ends up putting her coat over Gemma's head to shield her from the cameras.
- Gemma thinks about how Ty has turned her into an international celebrity—someone she never wanted to be.
- As they head into the terminal, Gemma panics at the thought of being taken out of Australia, from the same place where Ty is being held. She breaks from her parents and runs to hide in a bathroom and cry.
- Gemma tells her mom she can't go back. Her mom tells her she doesn't have to do anything she doesn't want to do.
- What's funny about this is that her mom doesn't sound like the person Ty described, the one who was going to send her away to school and abandon her. Could the doctors be right about him manipulating her to think a certain way?
Section Break 105
- Gemma's family gets a temporary apartment in the city. When they arrive, Gemma has a fit and starts smashing everything, including a lamp and a vase.
- She asks her parents if they were ever going to move away and send her to school. Her parents say that was never part of their plan, and in that moment, Gemma hates Ty for telling her that, for filling her head with confusing things.
- But, there's something else that doesn't make sense: All Gemma really wants is for Ty to be there with her. She wants his smell and his body. She knows she isn't supposed to, but she does.
- Her mother tries to tell her it's okay, but Gemma refuses to listen to her. She throws a fan against the wall.
Section Break 106
- The family stays in Perth and gets to keep the apartment, even with the smashed stuff. There is a month to go until the trial, and Gemma is overwhelmed by the thought that she and Ty are in the same city.
- Gemma kind of feels like she's in prison. The apartment complex is all gray, and she can't leave without reporters taking her picture.
- Some days, Dr. Donovan, the psychiatrist, comes to visit and help her process what she's feeling.
Section Break 107
- As it turns out, it was Dr. Donovan who suggested Gemma write about her experiences. Gemma decides to write her story as a letter to Ty.
- To keep everyone from thinking she has Stockholm syndrome, Gemma starts agreeing with all of the awful things people say about Ty. She writes the statement they want to hear and tries to forget everything.
- Except she can't. The truth is that being with Ty changed the way she sees the world, and there's no going back.
Section Break 108
- Gemma has been thinking a lot about the trial and how she will feel when she sees Ty again. She tries to make sense of his plan to bring her to Australia—whether there was any chance for it to work or whether something like what happened was inevitable.
- Either way, she can't get thoughts of the natural environment and the sensory details of Ty's property out of her mind. She still wears his ring and plans to hide it before the cops come to talk with her about the trial and what she's going to say.
- Gemma thinks about what's going to happen when she gets on the witness stand. There are two possible ways this could go, but only one way for it to start.
Section Break 109
- Gemma imagines the first possible future of the case. She'll arrive at the court, speak with the prosecutor, and then be called to the witness stand.
- She'll tell the court how she knows Ty—how he stalked her for years after coming to England looking for his mother, and then she'll describe being drugged and abducted from the airport.
- Then, she'll say what everyone wants her to say: Ty kidnapped her and is a monster. And Ty will go to jail.
Section Break 110
- She also imagines another outcome: She could tell the court about how for her entire childhood, Ty watched out for and looked after her, saving her from Josh's attack.
- She could also say that they became friends and fell in love, and that she asked him to run away with her. She imagines Ty smiling as she says that he knew the perfect place for them to go.
Section Break 111
- As she realizes the choice she has to make, Gemma's hands are shaking. She knows that as much as she wants to save Ty, she can't.
- What he did wasn't right, and she has to tell the truth because of that, so she will tell the court how terrified she was and the uncertainty of the whole thing.
- But, she'll also tell them about the kind, soft side of Ty that she saw in nature and with the camel, and how he gave up his life for her by staying on the plane when they took her away.
- She hopes that this part of her testimony will influence where they send Ty, or for how long. She hopes that when he gets out, he can choose to be the person she saw in Australia, the person that she knows he can be.
Section Break 112
- It's almost morning. Gemma knows she needs to stop writing to Ty, even if she doesn't want to.
Section Break 113
- It's time for Gemma to sleep, and she knows she's going to have a recurring dream that she hasn't written about yet in her letter.
- In the dream, she is in the Separates and plants the ring Ty gave her in the ground before watching the sunset. Then, she wakes up.