by Colleen K
Two chapters in the current WIP I'm working on. This is a first draft.
Jamie stood with her back pressed against a steel post in the center of the cavernous room. The only light in the room came from a single fixture overhead. It cast a small pool of light around her. The air was still, smelling like old paint, lacquer, and machine oil. A wave of shivers passed through her body. The room held little heat and the post at her back was like a block of ice. Her wrists, tied above her head up a length of rope, left just enough slack so she could stand. One wrist, wrapped in gauze, mocked her aborted escape try. A second length wrapped around both of her ankles. She tried to arch her back away from the coldness there, but all that accomplished was to force other parts of her body against it. She shivered again, a quiet sob escaping her.
"I was so close," she whispered into the room. She dropped her head, another sob racking her. She'd almost had her wrist free of the silver cuff that had chained her to the bed. Until Jackson Frost had decided to move her wherever here was. He'd called her a stupid bitch before releasing the cuffs she wore and wrapped up her wrist. Once wrapped, he'd drugged her again using a lighter dose this time. Panic had filled her seconds before everything went black. She'd come to in her current position, arms and wrists hurting from the dead weight that had been on them. She had no idea where she was or how long she’d been out.
After what could have been an hour or just minutes she heard a scraping sound from her left. Jamie twisted her head, catching a movement in the shadows. A figure came into view, dragging something. Jackson Frost. But what is he dragging? Floated through her mind, Oh my god, is that a body?
“Chris!” His name came out on a panicked crock. “No…no…no!” Her tear filled eyes followed Frost as he dragged a large body toward her, dropping it in front of where she stood tied. No! Please…not Chris. Please don’t let it be Chris! She cried silently. Her eyes took in the still form, bundled up in bulky outerwear, not registering for a minute the body’s size.
“No.” He sneered, kicking the body, so it rolled to its back. “It’s not Kringle.” Jamie’s eyes widened. It’s not Chris! Relief flashed through her mind for a second before she recognized who it was. She drew in a sharp breath, Oh my god!
“RUDY!” She gasped out straining to see if he was breathing. But the lack of light made it hard to tell if his chest moved under all the layers he wore. “Is he…please…tell me he’s not-“ her eyes came up to meet Frost’s pale cold blue gaze.
“Dead?” He finished for her. “No, he’s just drugged. I thought he’d make an excellent added incentive for Kringle when he arrives.” He looked, giving her a cold smile. “I used your phone to send him a picture of this one,” he nodded at Rudy’s form, “just in case you weren't incentive enough to get his ass here.” Without looking around, he snapped his fingers. The sound of shuffling feet grew in the shadows. Six huge, rough looking men came to a stop behind Frost. Faces blank, eyes empty and soulless, each one wore a thick metal collar around the neck.
"You see, sweet Jamie," His voice was low, husky, almost like a lover. "Kringle will show up expecting just me. What he'll find are my friends here." He spread his arms out, indicating the men. Jamie gasped.
"And if he doesn't come alone?" Jamie pressed herself into the cold steel pole at her back as Frost stepped close again.
“Ah…don’t worry, sweet Jamie.” He tangled one hand in her hair holding her head still. “He'll come alone. And once my friends have taken care of him, I'll show you how much pleasure a bit of pain can be.” He leaned into her, his lips teasing hers. His tongue stroked her sealed lips, seeking entry. Jamie opened her mouth and bit his lower lip hard enough to draw blood. He yanked his head away and stepped back. He licked his lower lip, the metallic taste of his blood making him growl.
"You bitch!" His eyes narrowed, "When this is over you will pay for that." Jamie closed her eyes, letting her head drop to her chest, and her whole body sagged against her restraints. A quiet sob followed her low moan. She was at the end of her endurance physically. While mentally she felt herself start to shut down.
Enough, whispered through her mind, No more. I can't...can't...please, no more.
Jackson Frost watched as his captive, his bait, slumped against the ropes that held her. If he had feelings, he might feel sorry for her. She wasn't bad looking in plush, curvy way. Not quite my type, he mused. He liked his women tall, thin, and blond. He'd use her to destroy Kringle and take back what belonged to him then get rid of her. Turning he looked over the men that stood before in.
"You," he pointed the man in the middle, "get yourself and the others out of sight. I want you all to spread out and wait until my command to attack." None of the men moved. I paid that fucking witch a butt load for those damn silver collars; Jackson frowned, their suppose make the damn shifters obey me. As one they broke rank, walking away until hidden from his view. Half turning, he glanced down at where Rudy, still laying unconscious on the floor.
"I should have gotten an extra one for you. How sweet would it have been to have you kill Kringle?" He frowned. "Fuck, now I'm talking to a nearly dead guy!" He looked over to where Jamie slumped, her arms straining over her head. He knew her arms had to hurt like hell but-
"Remember, there is pleasure in pain, sweet Jamie." His murmur drifted in the cold room.
Turning, he walked toward the door he knew was across the room. Before he could get even half way there, a sound stopped him. He stood still, his head cocked to one side. There, he heard it again, the soft scrape of the door being pushed open slowly. A slow grin spread across his face. It was time. Everything he had planned for came down to this point in time.
"Kringle!" His voice was loud enough to carry to the six men hidden in the room. A figure moved at the edge of the darkness, stopping before coming fully into view. Jackson squinted trying to make out Kringle's features. He wanted to see the look on his enemy's face when he saw his mate broken and tied up like an animal. He wanted him to see his friend seemingly dead on the cold cement floor. No, he thought to himself, I NEED to see his face! Rattling coming from behind him had him spinning on his heels as Jamie's head shot up, a grim look on her face.
"No Chris!" she screamed, “It's a trap! He's not alone!"
"Bitch!" he snarled. Rushing back, he backhanded her, knocking her head to the side. She cried out in pain. A growl came from the figure in the shadows. Jackson spun taking a step toward forward to face Chris.
"She's right. I'm not alone." His laughter had a touch of madness in it. "I knew you would come alone; it would be unfair of you to bring anyone to help you. Everyone knows that the honorable Christen Kringle always plays fair." He motioned the figure of Chris to come out of the shadows. The figure didn't move. For a heartbeat, there was total silence.
"When my mate is threatened," Chris's voice was hard as it echoed through the room. It sounded like it came from every corner. "And my family, my friends are attacked; there is nothing fair in how I will fight for them."
The figure in the shadows stepped forward. He was a big man, tall and wide. Dressed in dark fatigues, they allowed him to blend with the surrounding darkness. Jackson took an involuntary half step back. Sig Olson stopped, extending his arm; he tossed two thick silver collars on the floor. They skidded to a stop just short of where Jackson stood. Within seconds four more, two from the left and two from the right, come flying from the darkness. He backed toward the post where Jamie was tied, his hand sliding into his front jeans pocket.
"I wouldn't do that, Jackson," Chris spoke from behind him.
He turned slowly, his hand still in his pocket, Jackson faced his enemy. Chris stood, legs braced apart, next to the empty post that had held his mate. Jackson’s eyebrows rose, realizing that Chris had freed Jamie without his hearing him do it. He licked his lips, his mind racing, trying to find an edge, something, anything, he could use or do to win this fight. His eyes darted to Rudy, lying motionless a few feet away on the floor. Stall, he thought to himself.
"How unfair of you Chris." His tone was sarcastic. "So it's you, and how many, against just me? Should I be flattered?" Now it was Chris's turn to laugh.
"No, it’s just you and me Jackson." He paused, "LIGHTS!" He yelled. Lights bloomed to life overhead and the cavernous room filled with bright light. "We are going to end this right here, right now." A note of steel had entered Chris's voice.
"Agreed." Jackson snarled. In one smooth motion, he slid his hand out of his pocket, flicking open a wicked looking knife and throwing it straight at Rudy’s unmoving body.
Chris sprang toward Rudy, dropping to one knee as the dagger flew toward the prone man. He grunted at the burning pain in his left shoulder where the knife had embedded itself. His senses sharpened, he felt the air quiver around himself as Jackson charged at him.
“Fuck!” He groaned, surging to stand upright. He dropped his good shoulder and barreled into the oncoming man's midsection. As he wrapped his arms around Jackson, Chris twisted his body, the action taking both men to the floor. He groaned as pain shoot through body from the knife wound. Jackson ended up under Chris, his head bouncing off of the floor with a muted thud. Both men were stunned for a heartbeat. Blood dripped onto Jackson's shirt from the knife buried in Chris's shoulder, soaking into his shirt.
Jackson recovered first, grabbing at the knife in Chris's shoulder and brutally yanking it out. Chris cursed under his breath, shuddering as pain shoot through him again. "Fucking asshole!" he grunted through clinched teeth. He rolled away just as Jackson swung the knife at his exposed back. Coming up on one knee, his right hand covering the stab wound in his shoulder, he tried to stop the bleeding. Eyes narrowed, he watched as the other man jumped to his feet, waving the knife in front of himself.
"Not so tough are you fucker?" Frost taunted his breathing rapid. Chris looked up from where knelt, one hand clutching his wound. The torn flesh under his hand tingled with warmth, slowing his blood loss and knitting sliced muscle and sinews back together. He grimaced at the slight stinging the healing created. He needed a minute or so before his shoulder would be healed enough to finish this. I need to keep him talking, he thought.
“Why now Frost? And why you?” The blood flow had stopped altogether under his hand. He needed Frost’s attention away from his wounded shoulder. “Why not your father, or your grandfather?”
Jackson moved the knife from one hand to the other, his eyes darting from Chris to the shadows. He could feel eyes on him, watching, waiting. Focusing back on the enemy on the floor before him, Jackson gave a short, jeering laugh.
“My father?” He sneered, “My father was fucking fool. He didn’t have the balls to try to get anything back, not even my mother when she walked away from us.” His voice had taken on a maniacal tone “He was content sit on his ass and whine about his life instead of doing something about it.” His eyes narrowed as one corner of his mouth lifted in a small smile. “But my grandfather wasn’t as foolish, he did try to take it all back. He planned his attack down to the last detail. He had reams of notes, details; plans on how he was going to take down you father and take back the powers that were stolen from us.”
“No one ever attacked my father.” Chris was sure of that, he would have heard about it, wouldn’t he have?
Jackson chuckled coldly. “He never told you about my grandfather’s attack?” Chris froze, not wanting the other man to see how surprised he was by that question. His dad had never told him about this. “Grandfather waited until the power had passed to your father before-“
“That was stupid move.” Chris snorted. “Why didn’t he try before the power passed? After, my dad would have been too strong.” The tingling in his shoulder was lessening, a sign that he was almost healed. He analyzed his options in his head, only half listening to Jackson now. The only real option was to kill the bastard. Fuck, he thought, I’ve had enough with killing. He’d seen and done enough of it while his SEAL unit had been deployed to the Middle East. But it seemed he had no choice. He had to take down the threat that Jackson Frost posed.
“Ah but it wasn’t your father he went after, Kringle.” His pale blue eyes twinkled in unholy glee. “Gramp’s went after your mother.”
Chris’s attention returned to what the man was saying at the mention of his mother. He tensed his eyes narrowing. He came to his feet, his hand dropping to his side. The only trace of his stab wound was a bloody hole in his shirt. Lost in his glee at taunting Chris, Frost didn’t notice his healed wound.
“My mother? He went after my mother?”
“Yeah.” Jackson nodded, sure that he was in control of the situation and wanting to inflect as much mental and emotional damage as he could. “Gramps discovered that if you kill the chosen one’s mate, he died right along with her.” He laughed at the stunned look on Chris’s face. “Looks like your old man didn’t tell you that when he retired, huh?” After a pause, he scowled. “Gramps failed. He tried to grab your mom on Christmas Eve when your dad was off doing all that Christmas shit. He’d gone alone, thinking one little human woman wouldn’t be a problem. But he was wrong.”
“She kicked his ass?” Chris asked, watching as Jackson waved the knife around as he spoke. It was time to end this, now. “Your whole family is nothing but screw-ups, and ass clowns!” He taunted, knowing it sounded juvenile but hoping to provoke the man into attacking him. He still thought Chris wounded. There was a gasp and a movement as Jamie stepped into the fringes of the lighted space. Behind Jackson, he saw Olson standing behind her, his hands wrapped around her forearms, holding her in place. What the hell!, he frowned, I told Sig to get her out of here! Thinking Chris distracted, Jackson snarled, launching himself at the other man, knife held low in one hand.
Chris’s eyes snapped back to the oncoming man, sidestepping at the last second before impact. His fist shot out connecting with Frost’s midsection, doubling the man over. He pivoted on one foot, ready for the next attack. Frost straightened, knife still in hand, his face twisted in rage.
“Afraid to fight me, Kringle?” Jackson panted out. He smiled mockingly at Chris. “Once I finish you, I’ll have her,” he gestured with a flick of the knife to where Jamie stood. “She’ll be screaming before I’m done with her.” He licked his lips as if just the idea of making her scream was turning him on. “And then she’ll die.”
“Like hell you will fucker.” Chris stated his voice clam and deadly. Frost may have been a cold bastard, but now ice ran through Chris’s veins. “It’s time to end this.”
“Time to end you-“ Jackson barked, lunging forward before feinting to the left, knife held low. Trying to draw Chris in that direction to counter his move, leaving his other side open for attack. Chris bent his knees, ready for the assault. He sidestepped right, trying to block the blow aimed at his belly. The knife sliced through his t-black shirt, blood welling from the shallow scratch it had made.
Letting his momentum carry him past his opponent, Chris twisted, coming up behind Jackson. He hooked one arm around the man’s neck, yanking his head back until he started to choke. His other arm reached out, his hand grabbing the wrist that held the bloody knife. His grasp tightened until there was an audible crunch as the bones in Jackson’s wrist fractured. The knife dropped to the hard floor with a loud clang. With his air supply cutoff the only sound that came from Jackson was gasping moan.