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Declan escapes his kidnappers - but will he live to tell the tale?
There are fears for the welfare of Declan Napier this week, when his kidnappers, Nick Thompson and Laura Davidson, demand an outrageous fortune for his safe return home. However, Declan's only hope for salvation may lie in his attempts to drive a wedge between his captors...
"Declan is an innocent pawn in Nick and Laura's crazy scheme," laughs James Sorensen, who plays the teen. "They want revenge on Paul for killing Laura's broter, Gus Cleary, and think that by kidnapping Declan, they can make him pay, since he's dating Declan's mum, Rebecca. The problem is, Paul doesn't have the kind of cash they're after!"
When Nick and Laura state their demands, the onus falls on Declan's older sibling, Oliver to raise the ransom. "Oliver's adoptive brother, Sebastian, wants to cut him out of the Barnes family fortune," reveals James. "Because of the trouble Declan's in, Oliver agrees to take a settlement. It means he has to sign away his rightful inheritance, but in the short term, he can help Declan." Meanwhile, Nick and Laura learn that the police are on their trail, so flee their hideout. "Up until this point, Declan's been kept in a caravan," James explains. "Now, Nick steals a car and they go on the run, with Declan tied up in the back.
"Nick gets really agressive," continues the actor. "He keeps telling Declan that he'll kill him if he puts a foot wrong. But Declan can see that Laura's having second thoughts, so tries to get inside her head, reminding her that he's done nothing to hurt her." Nick soon leaves Laura and Declan alone while he phones Paul to arrange an exchange. And with her conscience crippling her, Laura tells the lad to escape.
"While Nick's back is turned, Laura unties Declan and urges him to run away," says James. "Declan bolts, but Nick realises what's happened and chases after him. As Declan's running through the woods, his leg gets caught in something - suddenly, he's trapped!" While Laura persuades Nick to give up the search for Declan, she can't convince him to forget about their plot. Disguising Laura as Declan, they hope to grab the ransom money then flee. However, their plan backfires and the pair are arrested. But what of poor Declan, stranded in the bush?
"He's hurt, and it's getting cold as night falls," sighs James. "All he can do is pray that someone finds him before it's too late..."
This article originally appeared in Inside Soap magazine dated 25th January 2008