Clammy coldness wrapped around me as I made my way further down the alley. Something wasn’t right. The air became heavier in my lungs and the silence was deafening. Where were they? Had I come to the right place? Henry and Tiff had to be hiding behind one of the dumpsters down this craptastic path.
“Come on you guys. This isn’t funny one bit.” Something or someone scuttling past the end of the alley made me jump.
Maybe I could get them to come out if I acted like I knew they were hiding. “I hear you guys back there. Let’s go. This place is freaking me out.”
Nothing happened. Damn it. This better not be some sick joke. What if it was?
Wrapping my arms tight to my waist, I ventured further into the darkness. Scuffles to my right sent icy shivers down my already tense body. I stared into the area where the sound came from until my eyes made out a homeless woman in the shadows. The white of her eyes was all I could make out against her grimy skin.
“You shouldn’t be down here.” Her crusty whisper echoed in the darkness.
“I’m looking for my friends. A girl and a guy ran down here just a minute ago. Did you see which way they went?” I tightened my grip around my waist.
“No one has been down here tonight. And if you know what’s good for you, you should get out of here.” Her eyes darted to something behind me. “Go. Get out of here. Now!”
A deep clang against the dumpster resounded behind me. I spun around as a dark figure approached me.
“It seems to be my lucky night. I thought two was a twist of fate, but seeing you here. It appears I won the lottery.” A deep baritone voice came from the dark figure. “Do you like to have fun, little girl?”
Fun? No. Thank you. I turned and ran back toward the street. Heavy footsteps thudded against the ground behind me.
I ran harder than I’d ever run in my life. I didn’t even know if I was breathing or not. And I didn’t care. My legs sprinted toward the dim street ahead. The footsteps grew closer behind me. How was he faster than me? There was no way that was possible. My track record proved I could outrun any normal person on the street.
“Get back here,” His voice was smooth and playful. He had no difficulty keeping up with me as a laugh escaped his lips.
Every cell in my body was determined to get the hell out of here. I was only a couple strides away from the opening when his fingers dragged over my jacket. My feet lifted off the ground as he pulled me back toward him. With a strong grip on my shoulders, he whipped me around. Flailing left and right, I kicked and screamed like a pro, but his hands were super strong, like Hulk strong.
“You didn’t think you were going to get away that easily did you? I want to have some fun tonight and I think you do too.” His face was only inches from mine. No wrinkles or oddities scarred his white face. Hell, he looked like he could have been getting ready to go to the club. His teeth were gleaming white and his hair was gelled to perfection. All the girls would’ve been all over him.
“What do you want?” I screamed as I yanked my body back and forth hoping to get loose.
“I just want to take you to a party. You like parties, don’t you? Of course, you do. Everyone likes a rockin’ party.”
“No. I don’t want to go to a party. What I want is for you to let me go.” My foot slammed down on his.
His dark eyebrows lowered as his fingertips dug into my arms. “Be nice now. I don’t want to have to do something I’d regret.”
Working the little bit of saliva in my mouth, I pulled enough together to spit on him. With my mouth dry from running, I had little to work with. The wetness barely made it to his neck.
A huge smile crossed his face as he nodded slowly. “Oh, yeah, you and I are going to have a lot of fun.”
Voices and far off footsteps echoed from down the street.
“Help me!” I screamed as loud as I could.
He put both of my wrists in one hand and covered my mouth, his musky cologne enveloped my nostrils.
“Don’t be a bad girl, or I’ll have to hurt you.” He leaned into my ear. “And I don‘t want to hurt you.”
The skin from his palm grazed my teeth. Taking the bait, I bit down hard. A strong metallic flavor hit my tongue.
He yelped, pulling his hand from my teeth. “You little tramp.”
His bloody hand took a fistful of my hair. I yelped as I grasped his hand to loosen the tension of his fingers ripping hair from my scalp. It didn’t help much.
“You’ll never get away with this,” Blood spewed from my lips.
A deep laugh barked from his lungs. He wrenched my head back, lowering his cheek to rest against mine. “I beg to differ, little girl. This is your lucky night. You have just nominated yourself for the first class seat to hell. But don’t worry I’ll make sure you have the time of your life.”
My stomach curdled at the thought of what this guy considered to be a good time.
“Oh, are you speechless now?”
I tried to move, but his hold on my hair was too painful. I screamed for help again just before everything went black.