Caught Between Two Thugs

By: Chamise

Chapter One

Essence Martin crawled slowly on the slick pavement. Blood dripped from her forehead, making small blots of red on the ground underneath her. Her vision was foggy. The moon shined bright in the night sky, but it didn’t help her to see where she was going. She could still hear the shouting and gunshots behind her, but everything seemed distant. Her head was pounding and her breath heaved in and out of her mouth. Feeling weak, she stopped moving, finally collapsing onto the pavement. Get up, get up! She repeated to herself but her body failed to move. Her muscles slowly tightened up with tension the more she laid still. A drop of water fell directly on her chin. She blinked her eyes, trying to clear the cobwebs from her vision but it only worsened. Then as if Mother Nature snapped her fingers, rain fell from the sky in an angry burst, drenching her. Her white shirt and jeans were soaked in minutes as she laid there not able to move.

A pair of footsteps sounded close by. Essence tried to jerk her head up but the world seemed to rotate around her.

“Help!” She gasped out, not able to find her voice. Essence held her hands up, trying to reach out to whoever was close by, trying to get their attention. The cobwebs in her vision weaved tighter together. Essence dropped her hand and slipped into oblivion just as a pair of strong arms wrapped around her.

Everything was still dark around her. She blinked her eyes, but that wasn’t the problem. Her eyes were wide open, but a black cloth was covering them. She was lying on her side still wrenched in pain. Essence went to get up but noticed she couldn’t move her feet. Feeling the binding she began to panic. When she tried to reach for the blindfold, she realized then her hands were bound too.

“What the fuck!” she shouted. Her mouth wasn’t covered. She started struggling on the ground trying somehow to get loose. Her head was pounding and she could feel a knot forming at the side of her head. She couldn’t remember exactly what was going on, and on top of that her heart pounding was loud in her ears.

“She’s awake.” She froze at the male voice that seemed inches away from her. Not knowing what else to do, Essence stiffened her body and paced her breathing. After a few seconds passed, she heard his footsteps walk all around her.

“Who are you?” she asked. “And where the hell am I? Do you know who I am?” Essence heard a door open and more footsteps followed. A calloused hand grabbed at her wrists. He forced her to stand and before even being able to think she was being shoved into a chair. Of course she started fighting back or at least trying to, but something came down hard on her face. She froze again, and the sting of the slap seemed to reverberate throughout her whole body.

“We know exactly who you are,” the male voice whispered in her ear. She remained frozen not knowing what to do. When a strong pair of footsteps entered the room, Essence stared straight into the blindfold, afraid to even move a muscle.

The footsteps got closer to her, and then she felt a presence in front of her. Taking a deep breath, she inhaled the scent of Old Spice, and something a little bit sweet.

“Essence Martin,” a different voice spoke, his tone slow and seductive. A bead of sweat trailed down her back and she almost had the urge to shiver. She knew that voice. Suddenly, the presence of someone in front of her disappeared.

“Why is her face red?!” That strong male voice punctured all the way to her core. Obviously this was a man of authority. There was silence, then few scuffles until someone finally spoke.

“She was fighting a lot, think she hurt herself,” one of the goons responded.

Essence gasped and struggled trying to find the words to express her anger. “Bullshit!” she shouted. “Someone slapped me!” She didn’t know why she had to clear that up, but she was not going to stand for being hit in the face. Essence jumped when she heard a loud thud and them something fell to the ground.

“Look!” she said. “I want out of here! Now untie me and let me go! I’m sure the last thing you want is King Smith as an enemy. So let me go!” There was a soft chuckle and then her blindfold was whipped off. Her mouth fell open as she came face to face with dark velvety eyes. His light beard wrapped around his whole chin and looked soft to the touch. Even though he was wearing a t-shirt and a pair of jeans, he still looked like the important man he was.

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