Chapter one of my unnamed novel. A kidnapped girl, and a ...hero...?
|Her name is Aurora. Jet black hair surrounding stunning blue eyes and perfect heart-shaped ruby red lips on porcelain skin. A spoiled little rich girl; vapid and self-centered. I haven’t met her yet, but if you’ve met one then you’ve met them all. The esteemed upper class that looks down on people like me. People who actually have to work for a living. But, I do work for them and they pay well.
I stand in a dark alley; feel the hard concrete beneath my boots, feel the chill air in my lungs as I breathe deep. I need to focus. I have a job to do.
She was kidnapped a day ago. Probably would have been a high profile case, but my boss didn’t want the police involved. No press, either. That’s where I come in.
I had managed to track down her abductors to this building, an abandoned run-down old home in the bad part of town and near enough to the train yard that most noise gets drowned out. It was three stories tall with boarded up windows, mostly smog grey colored. It loomed menacingly over me as I approached it from the alley.
There were three men. Trying to get ransom money. How original. They have the exchange set up tomorrow night. That meant I had to be quick, catch them off guard and take them out. I imagine one of them is with the girl, the other two waiting and guarding.
I enter a back door into a narrow, dusty hallway. It’s dim, and I can hear two hushed voices coming from a lit room ahead and to my left. They both sound male, so I assume they’re part of the “bad guys” and not my damsel in distress. I don’t bother sneaking, choosing instead to charge straight in.
I catch the closest one by surprise, my left hand grabbing him over the mouth, twisting the head, right hand a comfortable grip on my favorite blade thrust quickly down behind his collarbone, severing his aorta and dropping him quick. He continues to gasp and seize on the floor, but I’m already moving to the next guy. He’s frozen. Briefly, but long enough for me to make my next move. Good, this will be easy. Step in close enough to feel his breath, he starts to react but it’s too late. My knife is already embedded in his kidney, and I hold him there as I stare into his eyes and watch the life fade out of him. I breathe in deep as he takes his last breath, and stifle the urge to giggle like a maniac. That would be unprofessional.
As he stops moving, I drop his lifeless body on the ground and wipe my knife on his jeans. The room stinks of coppery blood and acrid stomach acid, the polluted shit scent of open guts. Blood is covering my hand still. Normally, I’d go through his pockets for anything valuable, but I’ve got one more target. Warmth is still seeping down my left arm. I glance at it and see a small gash running across the back of my bicep. The bastard actually managed to get me. But I can’t feel it, not yet, so I turn back the way I came. I still haven’t found the girl.
I’m sure they would have thought they had the upper hand, two against one, but people tend to underestimate me. I'm a good 5'10: slightly taller than average for my home country of Spain, but not an intimidating number here in America. My 225-some lbs. of muscle certainly cut a more impressive figure. Oh, how I love a good surprise.
Well, sometimes. I wasn’t expecting one of them to actually get a cut on me.
To the right of the initial hallway is a set of stairs leading up. I hear more voices so that’s where I head. At the top of the stairwell, there are three doors down the hall. One opens into a bathroom and the other two are shut. I can’t make out where the voices are coming from, so I’ll draw them out. I shout down the hallway and wait. Not for long.
The far door begins to slowly open, and I grip the handle of my knife, ready for more blood.
After the quick fight in the hallway, I lean forward with my hands on my knees as the adrenaline rush starts to fade. My breath comes in heaving gasps, the air thick with the scent of blood. I check my arm. It’s not deep, but my head is spinning and I need to sit down. Clutching my arm against me, I find the nearest wall, then turn against it and slide down to the floor. I lean my head back with a deep breath.
“H-hello?” A soft voice calls out from the room. I stand slowly, and cautiously approach the open doorway.
Raven hair, a pretty face, and an hourglass figure in a silky blue dress. A diamond and pearl necklace hangs around her neck, pearls dangle delicately from her ears.
This must be the girl. Time to make my money.
Hands duct-taped tightly behind her, she sat on a metal folding chair. It was cold against her bare legs and creaked rustily whenever her weight shifted.
"H-hello...?" Her voice tentative, hearing the fighting in the hallway become quiet. Heavy footsteps came closer until a man she didn’t recognize appeared in the doorway. He had a head of short, messy, brown curls over tanned skin. His white button down shirt worn loosely buttoned over a black tee was splattered with fresh blood.
He slowly paced towards her, his eyes roaming over her. As he approached, she noticed the bloody knife gripped in his hand. She recoiled away from him, causing the chair to creak again and wobble dangerously. She stopped moving and held her breath; the stench of blood and sweat was heavy in her nostrils as he leaned over her.
“Who are you?” She asked, just a hint of fear in her voice, but he simply started to cut the bonds that held her hands, his deep brown eyes staring past her as he cut. "Are you going to take me home?" She rubbed at her sore wrists when her hands were free. Again, no response. She pursed her lips with consternation.
"Can you even understand me?" Now, her question was met with a hard stare.
"Ven conmigo." He grabbed her wrist and pulled her to her feet and out the door. She almost stumbled on the dead body as he pulled her over it; he turned to shoot her an annoyed glare, dropping his grip on her arm. She murmured an apology but he was already charging away from her. She hurried to keep up with him.
The air was dry and stuffy, she could see specks of dust floating in beams of yellow street light pouring through barred windows. She carefully picked her way through the rundown building, following the strange man down the stairs, around broken glass and pools of blood. The stench was worse downstairs, and she tried not to breathe it in or look where the smell was coming from. He remained silent the whole way, and she too nervous of this unknown yet clearly dangerous man to make any small talk.
The building wasn’t that large, and soon enough she found herself at an open door. She was relieved when they finally got outside. It was dark, with a chilly breeze in the air, but it was fresh air and she was glad for it. While he led her around to the back of the house where a beat-up looking car was waiting for them, she slowed in following him and came to a stop as he opened the passenger door for her.
They stared at each other for a moment; him impatient, and her uncertain. She wanted to run. She had nowhere to go. She didn’t think she could trust this man, yet she didn’t seem to have a choice.
I open the passenger door for her, and turn to see her stopped. I sigh impatiently and stare at her, watching me. Judging me. I just rescued you, bitch. Come on, the sooner we get out of here the sooner we won’t have to see each other again.
She looks hesitant. “I don’t even know your name.”
I sigh. “Lucas.”
She nods. “Aurora.”
She looks at me curiously. After a pause, “You will take me home?”
“Si, yes, I will take you home. Come, little one.” I try to sound pleasant and reassuring, but it comes out forced. “Here, I will let you call home now, I need to check in anyway.” I dial the number for my boss. It only rings once before a smooth, honeyed voice answers the phone.
“I trust you have good news, Mr. Guerrero.”
“I have her, sir.”
“Excellent. Stay low for the night and let me take care of the police. Bring her home tomorrow.”
“As you say, sir. She would like to speak to you.”
“Yes yes, put her on.” He sounds impatient. I wave Aurora to me and hand the phone over. I don’t listen in on their conversation, but she sounds relieved and happy. After she hangs up and hands the phone back to me, she’s more than happy to climb in my car.
“Thank you.” She offers me a relieved smile. I groan. How annoying.