Crash and Burn

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Chapter 5

A hard jostle woke me up, and I had to bite my tongue not to cry out in pain. Taking stock of my surroundings, I guessed that I hadn’t been out for very long.

I was being carried over the shoulder of one of the men, my hands and feet tied together with rope. My stab wounds hurt like a bitch, but at least it felt like they had taken the daggers out so my skin could start healing.

I was still woozy from the blood loss and blackness crept into the edges of my vision with every step the man took. There was no way I could get loose yet, so I had to bide my time.

I remained still despite the pain from my wounds, hoping not to alert them that I was awake.

After what seemed like hours, the three men finally stopped walking. Pain blackened my vision for a second as the man holding me set me on the ground, and it took everything in me to not cry out.

Fortunately, they weren’t too focused on me, thinking I was still passed out, and I heard them walk a few paces away.Opening my eyes cautiously, I took in as much of my surroundings as I could, trying to get my bearings.

From the looks of it, we were just outside of the town on the main road. The woods panned out on both sides of the road, and there were five cars being loaded. I was currently propped against the front tire of the lead car, and I had a good view of the others being loaded.

I watched as the men who had captured me walked off to get things prepared to head out, leaving me unsupervised for the most part since they must have still thought I was passed out.

Twisting my wrists, I tested the strengths of the ropes binding my hands, finding them too tight to break out of. No surprise there. Before I could figure out a way to get loose I heard the leader that had captured me order someone to watch me in case I woke up. Damn it.

Hearing footsteps come around the back of the car, I quickly closed my eyes so they would think I was still passed out.

“She’s still out boss,” I heard a man say from directly in front of me.

“Well with her healing she will be waking up soon so just keep an eye on her!” he yelled back.

“Alright, alright!” the man near me yelled back before murmuring under his breath, “stupid asshole.”

I heard footsteps coming closer, bracing for whatever he planned to do with me. I felt a finger dig into the stab wound in my side and I arched my back, clamping my teeth hard so as not to cry out in pain.

Opening my eyes, I looked straight into the eyes of the ugliest man I think I had ever seen. Seriously, with a face like that, I instantly felt bad for his mom.

“Wakey, wakey, little hunter. We’re about to leave,” he said, leaning in too close for comfort. Man, even his breath was rancid. “The Lord is gonna have so much fun with you. You won’t even be recognizable when he gets finished and you’ll be the perfect little minion. Good thing you have a high pain tolerance because he’s gonna fuck you up so good this will seem like nothing.”

Well, it was a good thing I had something to look forward to. I spit in the guy’s face, making him rear back and backhand me across the cheek. My headache became even worse, but I didn’t regret it for a second. The look on the guy’s face was priceless.

“Oh, you little bi-” he was cut off by the sound of yelling and fighting behind the line of cars, and instantly stood up to go assist.

Turning back to me, he gave me a few parting words. “You just wait, you bitch. When the Lord gets a hold of you you’re gonna wish you were never born.” Turning his back towards me, he took off towards the fighting, leaving me alone once again.

Not one to miss an opportunity, I mustered up all the strength I had to stand up, running my hands over to rune on my hip to manifest a small dagger.

I quickly cut the ropes binding me, but before I managed to get hidden in the woods, the sounds of fighting ceased. Curiosity got the better of me, and I quickly glanced around the vehicles to see what had happened, and what I saw took my breath away.

Standing over the bodies of my captors were three of the hottest men I think I had ever seen. Like, seriously, these men had to have been fallen angels. Maybe room 13 wasn’t all that unlucky after all.

My thoughts quickly crashed back down to reality when I remembered Elle. I had to find her now that I was free. She was probably worried sick and I couldn’t risk her coming after me and getting into trouble.

Turning back around, I began to limp over to the edge of the road, heading for the tree line. If I could get into the woods I’d be safe from prying eyes and I could make it back into the city.

“Hey! Stop! Who are you?” I heard from behind me.

Dammit. One of the angels must have seen me walking away. With all the blood I was wearing there was no way I could get away with the lie that I was just passing by, so I had to come up with something else, and quick.

“Um, I’m nobody.” Great one, Ad, just great. I was never really one for coming up with quick lies. That was Eleanor’s thing. But, I went with it.

Turning around, I got my first good look at the faces of my fallen angels. Holy hotness these guys were swoon-worthy.

“Nobody, huh?” I looked over to the brown-haired guy on the left, taking in his smirk. I dragged my gaze to take in his sculpted jaw, five o’clock shadow, full lips, and the greenest eyes I had ever seen. And man could you tell that this guy worked out. He was built like a tank and I instantly thought of how fun he would be to spar with.

“Then why were these men talking about taking you back to their Lord? They wouldn’t just take a nobody. And clearly, they were showing interest in you. Our sources said these men came here looking for someone. And then we find them leaving with you. Clearly, you must be something special. See, a nobody would not get that type of attention. So, who are you, really?” The one on the right talked that time.

Shit. I didn’t know they heard that. I was not ready to explain myself yet. Heck, I didn’t even know how to explain it all, and I definitely was not spilling my guts to strangers.

Dragging my gaze away from the man on the left, I looked to the guy who had just spoken. He was slightly taller than Mr. Body Builder over there, and a little leaner too. However, I could still see the muscle definition through his tight black shirt, and it took me a while to drag my gaze back up to his face.

He had short black hair with rich hazel eyes, but his inquisitive look was not good for me. He looked at me like a puzzle he wanted to solve, and there was no way I could let him have the information he was seeking.

“I could ask the same to you. I don’t know who the hell y’all are. All I know is y’all came crashing in here killing all these people. Yes, they were kidnappers, but that doesn’t make me feel much better. I don’t want to be the next on that list. I have no reason to tell y’all anything.” I said with more sass than I probably should have. I didn’t think I could handle another fight with the amount of blood I had already lost.

“Oh, but you do. See, when we got the call that there was an attack on this village, we went to check it out, only to find that these men were looking for something very specific. And they seemed very determined to take you. So, yes, you owe us an explanation as to why these men came all the way out here just for you and killed all those innocent people that it is our duty to protect.” The man in the middle spoke this time and he oozed authority.

He, too, had muscles everywhere, and was the tallest of the three, but only slightly. His brown hair was clean-cut and his brown eyes were staring straight at me with a look that was almost threatening.

“If it’s your duty to protect these people then you’re doing a shit job at it. Did you even see the state of that town before the attack? You might be over there with your fancy job and your hoards of money, but not all people are that lucky. Death is a daily thing in towns like this, so if it is really your job to protect those people then maybe y’all should actually try to once in a while.”

Oops. Probably shouldn’t have said that. These people looked powerful and it was definitely not in my best interest to pick a fight with them.

The man on the left gripped his sword a little tighter, and I instantly got into my defensive position. I winced as I shifted my weight, irritating the stab wounds on my legs. My breath was still coming in short gasps as my body tried to heal from the wound in my side, and honestly, I didn’t know how much longer I would stay conscious.

My wounds hadn’t stopped bleeding, although my healing had kicked in and slowed the flow down, and the headache was making my vision blurry. I probably had a concussion. Stupid ass kidnappers.

“You don’t want to fight us, princess,” the bodybuilder said mockingly. “You look a little fragile and I doubt you would last very long.”

I scoffed at him, making no move to back down. Suddenly, there was a rustling in the trees and another man came bursting out of the woods holding a mop of blonde hair. Man what was in the water. This guy must’ve been from the same place as the three in front of me because he, too, was built like a mother truckin’ tank.

His sandy blonde hair and blue eyes caught my attention instantly, but when I saw who he had in his grip my stomach sank all the way down to my toes.

“Found this one in the woods trying to sneak up on us. Damn quiet one she is. Almost got the drop on me.” The man said, holding Elle’s arms being her back with both arms.

I knew Elle could probably fight back a little more, so the fact that she wasn’t confused me. She wasn’t in that much of a bind but she was sheet white. Her face was a mask of calmness, but I could tell from one look in her eyes that she was having an inner meltdown.

Elle rarely ever lost her shit, so whatever she knew that I didn’t must have been big.

“Let her go,” I ground out, palming my dagger from earlier and getting ready to defend her and myself. After seeing Elle’s face, I knew we had to get out of here as fast as possible and if I had to fight my way out then so be it.

“I wouldn’t do that, girl.” I looked over to see the man holding Elle place a small blade against her throat and I instantly dropped my daggers.

“Okay. Fine. Take me, kill me, or do whatever you want with me. Just let her go.” I pleaded. I wouldn’t risk Elle’s life just to get free.

“Lachlan put the blade down,” the brown-haired man commanded. Only when the sandy-haired man completely lowered and sheathed his blade did I look towards the tall man in the middle of the pack. I nodded my head in thanks.

“We don’t want to harm either of you but we need to know who you are,” the man on the right began. “If those people are as determined to find you as it looked like, then this won’t be the last time they come for you. We can’t have you risking yourself and those around you like that.”

He sounded reasonable enough, and they had taken the blade from Elle’s neck, so I decided to cut them a little slack. “I don’t know why they are after me, but I’ll tell you everything I know if you just please let her go.”

The bodybuilder man scoffed and the man in the middle hit him upside the back of the head. “Quit, Roman. There’s no need to be rude. Innocent until proven guilty,” scolded the man in the middle, who must have served as their leader.

“Whatever Cal, you don’t even know her. For all we know she could be playing us all. No one disrespects the council heirs like that and gets away with it.”

Holy shit. I didn’t even register the rest of the conversation as my brain went into overdrive trying to find a way out of this situation.

The motherfucking council heirs?! Talk about a bad situation. There was no way I could let them figure out who I was. They would kill us, no doubt.

We shouldn’t even exist and there’s no way they would overlook the fact that we aren’t registered.

Shit shit shitty shit shit.

I was suddenly torn from my thoughts as a yell ripped from Elle “Leave us alone! Please! We don’t know why they want us! Just please, leave us alone. My sister is hurt. She needs to see a doctor and y’all are wasting precious time. Please, just let me get her to a doctor.” I looked over to see her suddenly writhing in Lachlan’s grip, trying every move she knew to try and wrench herself free from him and get to me. He suddenly gripped her wrist hard and she yelped in pain.

“Stop! You’re hurting her!” I yelled. My words were slightly slurred, but I still managed to stay standing and take a step closer to Elle, so I counted it as a win. Elle continued fighting until she was finally able to slam her head back into Lachlan’s nose, loosening his grip enough that she was able to break free and run over to me.

I breathed a sigh of relief as she got free, and as soon as she reached me I collapsed, unable to hold myself up any longer. Elle screamed, grabbing me in her arms and yelling for the guys to help me.

“No.” I croaked. Blood had started pooling on my lips once again and I cursed myself for overexerting my injuries. I must have torn the stab wound in my side when I went down and my healing was already working overdrive on the rest of my injuries.

“Shit! Guys, she’s bleeding bad,” one of the guys said, sounding worried.

“No shit, Sherlock! What did you think this was all over her clothes?!” Elle yelled at them.

“We didn’t know it was her blood! She was standing and she looked fine! How were we supposed to know she was hurt?” If I had the energy to laugh, I would have. Who would have thought I’d end up in this shitstorm? I swear it was because of that stupid room 13.

I felt hands roaming my body and I winced as one touched the stab wound in my side. “Holy shit, y’all. She’s got a giant wound on her side. How the hell was she even standing?” I saw sandy blonde hair out of the corner of my eye and guessed that Lachlan had been the one to find my stab wound.

“We have to get her to a healer, and fast,” another one of the guys began, stopping short when he saw the wounds on my legs. “Guys! She has two more! One on each leg. These are bleeding slower, but still, with these injuries, she shouldn’t have even been conscious, much less standing!”

Elle was suddenly torn from my side and I squirmed to try and reach her. Without the strength to stand, though, there wasn’t much I could do. Still, I called on any and all the runes I could to lend me strength and struggled to rise again.

“Quit moving! You’re going to tear them open again! Guys, how is she still struggling so much?” The voice came from behind me, but all I cared about was finding Elle.

“Get your filthy hands off me you asshole! That’s my sister!” Elle screeched. A grunt followed shortly after and I felt Elle return to my side.

“You’re gonna be fine, okay? You aren’t going anywhere. You’re too stubborn to die.” Hearing Elle’s voice, I calmed slightly, opening my mouth to try and tell her to get out of here.

“G-go” I croaked, coughing up blood before I could get out any more.

“Oh, you little piece of shit! If you think I’m leaving you right now you have a whole other thing coming!” Her words brought a smile to my face. I picked up a hurried conversation going on to the side, but I couldn’t decipher what was being said.

The last thing I remembered before I passed out was being lifted by a pair of muscular arms, still gripping Elle’s hand tightly as the blackness took me.

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