Chapter Five - The Russian Accent
Okay, Eleanor... You can do this... All you need to do is wait for them to pass by without making yourself known. They’re already preoccupied with themselves: laughing and talking joyously amongst themselves; all will be alright.
All I could do was laugh at myself for that thought. Every time I’ve told myself that “everything will be alright” not always does it turn out as I’ve wanted it too. The last time I’ve been told that “everything will be alright” it ended with me surviving and my parents ending in a way that haunts my life and plagues my nightmares. I knew at that moment, without even thinking, that I was scratching my sides. My sides that left a memory of pain and tears.
I watched them intently as they walked within their “merry group.” It was hard to tell whether if I got up and left they would notice. However, I do know that if I were to be noticed and attacked, no one would dare risk their lives to save me. Even most of the authorities dare not to tempt them when they’re traveling in groups unless they outnumbered them. Even though I was located where most people enjoyed their nights, it was practically empty. It was like a modern ghost town, withering its secrets of the night away.
I only had one option left in this situation: I had to make sure that they’ve passed far enough so I can escape their senses. I watched their tall and menacing figures walk across from me as they went about their business without noticing me. Once they were far enough, I slowly brought myself up as I kept my eyes on them. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, but I couldn’t keep my eyes off them as I stayed put in my standing spot. I couldn’t move any more than just my chest heaving heavily as I started to think. I started to think that if I made even the smallest mistake, I could have been in the worst trouble ever.
Comparing the two and hearing rare gossip, the Irish Mob is the most reckless than the Russians. They are the ones who are reported on the news almost all the time on reports of shootings, murders, and drug trafficking. They are also the ones responsible for the deaths of my family and other members. It just seems like my family has a bad history of running into the Irish and not the Russians.
Finally, being able to compose myself, I began to back away while watching them. However, because of my recklessness and clumsiness, my foot caught onto the ledge of the sidewalk beneath me. I fell gracelessly onto the concrete with a small “hoof” and winced at the feeling of my skin scraping against the rock-hard surface. But all the blood drained from my face when I heard the camera crack against the cement and the sound of laughter disappeared.
Looking back, I noticed every one of their eyes widening at my disheveled appearance, but their expressions hardened when they noticed my old camera lazing about with me. The air around us was still, my breathing was paused, and the atmosphere held a pressure so hard, it could have been used for the sidewalk I was laying on. My gaze repeated its journey between the men themselves and the weapons they held within their tightening grip.
Slowly, hoping they wouldn’t notice, I tried reaching for my camera, but once my hand decided to move, all hell broke loose.
They started shouting in their foreign language from which I couldn’t understand, but I knew they were angry as I ripped the camera from the ground. Their cries of anger were outlived by a single word or name that was repeatedly shouted by the group.
“Ruari! Ná déan deargamadán asat féin!” (Don’t be a dumbass!)
“Ruari, get back here! Tá sí i gcríoch na Rúise anois!” (She’s in the Russian territory now!)
"nil! Tá ceamara i seilbh!” (No! She has a camera!)
Out of all the group of monsters that could have been chasing me, there was only one pair of footsteps I could make out. I didn’t have the heart to look behind me to see whom it was. I knew that if I did look back two things would happen:
- First, I would slow down.
- Second, I would undoubtedly trip over my feet again.
I was all alone, there was no one to save me. I was petrified. I was afraid. I could feel the disgusting tears streaming down my cheeks as my mind worked on overdrive. My emotions were everywhere. I was angry at myself for being so clumsy and idiotic for coming out. I could be with my grandmother right now. We could be watching a movie together.
I could imagine it all. My grandmother and I would be watching one of her favorites for the night as her treat. We’d probably be watching The Great Gatsby or The Green Mile. It’d be The Green Mile. Definitely The Green Mile... And in the middle of the movie where Percy is being assaulted by Wild Bill, I would hide my face away from the screen and my grandmother would caress my head for comfort. Then when John is healing Melinda, grandmother would fall asleep with her head laying comfortably on my shoulder as I finish the movie with tears in my eyes.
I could see it now... It’s all perfect... I had it within my reach, but I didn’t take it...
Now, other than watching The Green Mile with my grandmother on our sofa that I bought with my own money, I was being chased to death by the Irish Mob.
While I was in my frantic state, I noticed my surroundings. I had to. I needed to know where I could escape to; where I could possibly escape from the Irish. There was a voice that was telling me to look ahead, but the problem was that I was. I was looking ahead and all I saw was a building; an all too familiar building. I could recognize this building miles away just from its size. It was The Inferno: the first club Kat took me to and where I met that man who seemed like a gentleman.
So, I ran. I ran towards the closed club that had absolutely no one inside. It looked desolate and empty from the outside. It was as if it was a “one-time” type of deal. Instead of two guards standing by the doors, there was only emptiness. Instead of blaring music blasting past the walls and doors, there was absolute silence. That’s all there was here. Silence. Not a bird in hearing distance and not a stray animal in sight. It was eerie and suffocating.
There were so many possibilities that could have happened. Two of them being either I tripped and managed to get myself caught, or the doors would be locked, like every other closed building, and have the same outcome: I’d get caught. But by a miracle only God could have given me when I pushed against the door bar, the door swung open in an instant. My senses gave rise to the newly found support I had on my side and the sudden adrenaline I had kicking before was pumping profusely through me like blood would if an artery was cut. I risked everything for this small chance and that risk was worth the take.
However, I wasn’t done for yet. Even though the door opened for me, it doesn’t mean it’ll stay closed for the danger that was still coming.
So, I kept running.
There were two things that caught my eye in that instance when I blasted through the door:
- One, the stairs that were blocked off by a chain that said, “NO ENTRY BEYOND THIS POINT.”
- Second, the door that only person authority could access.
Stairs equaled possibility of tripping; that’s a decision that isn’t worth taking. So, I went through the door that I had no idea of what was beyond.
I was taken back when I noticed the long hallway that had many branches of others, and the many doors that layered the walls. I noticed the downward slope as I continued running, figuring that I was going more underground; almost like a basement.
As I continued running, I could still notice the lone pair of footsteps that was running after me. I knew in my mind that this man was trained to kill, to capture anyone that is posing a threat to him and his association. However, that mindset was not settled in my heart. I couldn’t handle this like any professional. I was scared, frightened.
I heard a gunshot ring out in the abnormally large hallway, making a ringing in my ears start. But, what I felt most was the grazing of the bullet encountering my arm. A loud “yelp” escaped my throat as I continued running, but that option was proving to be fatal as I was only running in one direction.
I was coming close to the end of the hallway, so I took the only left turn there was, which was another hallway. But this wasn’t as long. This hallway was shorter, much shorter, than the hallway I was running through. And there was only one pair of French doors. On them was a plaque that held a foreign language that I couldn’t decipher from the desperation I was standing at. I couldn’t go back and there was nothing else to go forward to, so I dived after those French doors and secured the door behind me.
Once I was semi-safely inside, I blocked the door with one of the heavy, vintage styled chairs and frantically looked about the room for a hiding spot. The room was large and it held all the essentials I could only imagine a billionaire would have in their room: king sized bed, an expensive mahogany dresser, their own private bathroom, and other furniture that wasn’t needed inside a bedroom.
There were two doors: one of them hiding a bathroom and the other that was a closet. I looked back towards the bed and noticed that it had a large enough opening for me to fit through, but I didn’t have the advantages of surviving than I would if I was in a closet. I immediately reached for the closet door and noticed the many dress shirts that littered the closet and dark blazers. It was as if the person didn’t know what casual wear was.
I slammed the closet door shut and tried to think. For once, in this situation I was trapped in, I had to think logically. From noticing the Irish out on the street and to now, I was only running off adrenaline. No logic was left in the breeze; only instinct.
I looked at the clothes that were hung in front of me and a sudden idea came to me. I yanked one of the Blazers off the hanger and tied it around the door handle so I could keep it within my grip. I sat in the small corner the closet could provide and hold onto the jacket as if my life depended on it because it did...
I clenched my eyes shut, unnoticeably holding my breath, trying to hear if he was close. Even as time ticked by, my hands wouldn’t loosen from its death-defying grip nor would the burning sensation that was running through my arm prevent me from tensing my arm whenever it felt as if I was going to lose my grip.
“I hate that Percy,” grandma said as we were first introduced to him in The Green Mile.
I could hear the door being pounded against from outside...
“I know, grams...” I sighed, “Me too... Me too...”
Bang! And just like that, my best protection disappeared in a loud and sudden “Bang!”
“Lord God, if I am to die today, please, please, please take care of my grandmother and Kat. They will have no one left but you if I am to die,” I cried silently as I held onto the jacket as if it was my last hope, “Please forgive Kat’s actions on for what is to come... She will know no better... Please, God... I’m scared...”
I could feel the taunting feeling of my silver necklace of the cross sitting on my chest. The coldness stinging me; telling me that He is hearing, but the question was: was he listening?
The tears flowed like an unstoppable waterfall: forever flowing and never stopping. His footsteps slow, but loud to my ears as I sat quietly and listened. Even though I wanted to believe otherwise, I knew this was going to be it for me. This is where my debt will be paid. I was supposed to die alongside my parents, but God said, “No.” I just didn’t know that his “no” meant “temporarily no.”
I bit and sucked my lips to prevent me from screaming as I heard his footsteps draw closer towards the closet. Out of all the places he could have checked first, he chooses the closet... Something must really want me dead...
“Come out, fraochÚn beag,” his daunting Irish accent spoke through the barriers of the door, “before I grab you myself and make your death a living hell.” (Little whore.)
This time I couldn’t hold back the sob that rippled through my chest and throat.
I could see the figures of his feet blocking the light beneath the door. I sucked in as much breath as I could as another sob escaped my throat. My shoulders shook with much force as I realized what situation I was truly in came to through my heart, soul, and spirit. I was truly going to die...
I’m never going to continue my job as a Midnight Photographer. I’m never going to hear Kat’s ridiculous jokes ever again. I’m never going to eat my grandmother’s Special Sweet Rice that beats all other sweet rice. I’m never going to tell my grandmother that I love her ever again. I’m never going to meet the man of my dreams and marry, have children and watch them have children of their own, and I’m never going to die peacefully beside my husband as we wither away in nothing side by side; nothing would stop us from being together forever...
“You know what I’m going to do to you when I get you out of there?” his voice sounded so close, it was as if he was inside the closet with me, his lips just millimeters away from my ear, “I’m going to drag your pretty ass out by your hair and fuck you ’til you can’t stand. Then I’m going to choke the life out of you and become excited once more from seeing the light leaving your eyes. And darling... that’s only the beginning...”
I gripped the jacket tighter as ripples of sobs came tumbling, making me lose control once more. His voice was only a reminder of what was to come.
The door handle started to shake fiercely as I tried pulling on the jacket as much as possible. It was only by some miracle that he could barely open the door a smudge before it was slammed shut once more.
“God, please...” I pleaded desperately as I cried with clenched eyes, “I’m scared... Save me...”
"God?” his mocking voice came from behind the door, “There’s no living God that can help you now.”
The sentence that I never wanted to hear made my heart drop, causing me to just lightly release the tension of the jacket, but it was enough for him to rip the door open in my shocked state.
There’s no living God that can help you now. The words were repeated and repeated through my head. Nothing could distract me from those heart-wrenching words. Not when the monster grabbed a fistful of my hair and dragged me out like he said. Not when he threw me against the dressed and hiked my dress up and not when his hand cupped me forcefully where I cried out thoughtlessly.
A familiar touch of cold metal from his gun was pressed against my temple and my lips quivered in anticipation.
“Not one noise out of you or I end your life here and now,” his gruff voice blew against my hair.
Through my screaming thoughts that begged for him to stop, I weighed out my choices. Either be raped and defiled or die now and quickly... Death sounded like a heavenly choice of the two.
With a smile plastered on my face as I stared at the wall beside me, I whispered out, “May God forgive you...”
Before I could even think of the decision I made, a loud ringing of a shot going off came from behind me, but it was too far away and painless to be from the monster’s gun. The pressure of the monster’s body against mine slid off me where it landed with a loud “thud” on the floor.
I slowly raised from my bent position over the dresser and stared blankly at the wall that was in front of me. My breath was caught in my throat and the tears wouldn’t recede as I continued to try to comprehend on what just happened. And that was the problem: I couldn’t think.
I was too absorbed in my own dark world, that I didn’t even hear the person behind me calling out to me. Even as their voice came closer, I was still in too much shock to even think. It wasn’t until their hand was planted on my shoulder did I shiver away from their touch and trip my way away from them.
I crawled away from the person as more sobs enveloped the room, but my movements froze when I noticed the familiar face that came to my rescue. Not in a million years would I forget his iconic scar and dazzling eyes that shined almost like the darkest parts of the sea.
In his tight grip of a fist was a pistol and his other fist clenched tightly to his side. His body was angled my way and his face was void of any emotion, but his eyes... His sea blue eyes revealed beneath the beneath. Everywhere were emotions rampaging like a herd of scared bison. But none of the emotions could hide the intimidating, pure rage that enveloped his eyes. It was as if I was witnessing the wrath of God myself.
"Tsvetok, are you hurt?” his strangled voice spoke to me in deep waves. It sounded as if he was trying to restrain himself. (Flower.)
I looked up at him through my swollen eyes and in awe. The more I looked at the more do I realize how much I was wrong. It wasn’t as if God sculpted him. It was as if he was God himself. God with a Russian accent...
"Tsvetok?” he whispered out with wariness layering his voice. (Flower.)
He took a sudden step towards me, but his quick movement triggered something within me to move away from him. He stopped at my own movement before staring into my own hazel orbs, as if he was trying to entrance me. After a couple of minutes passed by where all we heard was our own breathing, did he try taking another step forward, but this time his movements were slow and precise. His legs showing restriction as he kept on taking his steps slowly at my stilled figure. And just like last time, he was the one that came to me. This time, we weren’t in a bar filled with hormonal people that wanted nothing more than to party or to find a lucky partner for the night. This time, he saved me. This time, he was here for purely my own safety and nothing else.
Once he was standing just a few feet away from me did he crouch down, sitting on one knee. His eyes were still leveled with mine; never wavering towards a different direction, never leaving my own sight. His eyes never narrowed, his eyes never widened. They stayed in their perfect position where it was wide enough for me to grab onto his gaze and never want to let go. His gaze was calling just for me and me only, pulling me towards them.
His hand slowly reached out towards me, beckoning to come to him. What was once a shaky breath turned into a more stable and steady one as I continued to stare at the hand that beckoned me, welcomed me into its threshold. And surprisingly, I welcomed it...
Reaching out, I hesitantly crawled into the hand’s direction. I only stared into the deep-sea blue eyes that offered it, and as I wouldn’t, couldn’t look away, so didn’t he. His gaze was determined and predatory, almost like he knows that I would come. His stature was almost like a cheetah before it pounces: striking and leveled.
What was supposed to be an intimate, turned into one that almost sensual and suffocating. It was an atmosphere that made me suffer, but it was one that I surprisingly welcomed... As much as I was scared before, I wasn’t shocked that it did happen. From what I went through before, nothing doesn’t surprise me anymore... I needed the change of atmosphere for once in my life, even if it must be short-lived...
“Come to me...” his Russian accent cutting the edge of the atmosphere with intimacy and force. And so, I came to him. Once I was within his reach, his arms encased me, leaving me nowhere to escape. My only sanction was him now, in this moment and not anytime soon was he going to let me go.
His hold was crushing, yet it felt as if it was comforting. I never noticed how muscular he looked until now. Without his blazer that I last saw him in, he looked like a man of power: physically and mentally. But even now as he held me to his bosom, his eyes were still on mine; connecting I to him on a level that was beyond my imagination. Even though I only knew him for so short of a time, it felt as if that short amount of time was enough...
But, our moment of intimacy was short-lived, just like I thought. A loud and sudden groan enveloped my sense of hearing, freezing me to his chest.
“You...” I finally spoke, voice layered with uncertain emotions, “You didn’t kill him...”
“Of course, tsvetok,” his voice was filled with the slight emotion of laughter, “A man of his stature should be punished for his actions.” There were so many meanings behind those words. As he said them, his eyes turned darker than I thought possible, giving me a disturbing shiver down my spine. What I want to believe is that he was saying them for me, but there was something else... Something more sinister... (Flower.)
What felt like taking all the energy away from me, I turned away from his threatening gaze and just settled in contempt within his embrace. With my head on his broad chest, I closed my eyes and listened to our breathing, to his heartbeat. It was way too steady for my liking. It was as if he wasn’t afraid; as if he knew what to do. But I’m sure with all my being that he does know. It felt as if he knew everything about me. He knew my past. He knew my present. And he knew my future...
Through my distracting thoughts, I heard him murmur so quietly, that even I could barely make out, was my name. I heard him. His endearing voice saying it over and over like a chant, “Eleanor... Eleanor...”
I pulled away from his feature and stared up at him, trying to find his eyes, but it felt impossible as he stared ahead.
“How do you know my name?” I questioned him with slight uncertainty. Like I said before: it felt as if he knew everything.
“Eleanor Marie Maedric,” He said with credence, “that is your name. Do not be surprised or afraid of what I know, tsvetok.” Our eyes connected once more, but this time his emotions showed off one of frustration. As if he was displeased with something he knows of him. Before I could ask him about the little nickname he gave me, we were interrupted once more when I noticed the alarming figure at the doorway. (Flower.)
Noticing my freezing figure, he looked behind him with alarm with his hand going towards the pistol that was laid on the floor. However, he relaxed once his eyes laid on sight the man that looked all too familiar. He was the man that was with Kat when we came here the first time. He didn’t look different from before. His hair still gelled back, his suit still crisp and clean, and his figure as authoritative as once before. This time, his eyes were laid on us, but not questioning.
“Leonov,” my Savior’s voice acknowledging the man.
“Boss...” the man named ‘Leonov’ acknowledged back, “Who is this woman?”
Immediately my Savior stiffened at the question and grabbed for my body, bringing me closer to him. I knew the action didn’t go past Leonov, but he didn’t question it.
"Komu-to budet ne byt’ zatronuty ili vred v lyubom sluchaye. Yesli ona postradayet v lyubom sluchaye, ya, ne koleblyas’, chtoby ubit’ vas,” he asserted as his arm tightened its hold around me. (Someone whom will not be touched or harmed in any way. If she is harmed in any way, I will not hesitate to kill you)
"Samo soboy razumeyetsya, Boss,” Leonov spoke in fluent Russian as he gave a bow at the waist to him, with his arm crossed across his chest. (It goes without saying.)
My savior looked at Leonov with narrowed eyes before he gave a small release of breath, showing his approval. He looked back into my eyes as I stared back with utter confusion. I was clearly missing something, but it was clearly obvious that I wasn’t to know. My savior speaks fluent English, so he would have spoken in English if he wished for me to know.
I creased my eyebrows when I noticed that I was associating him with the title “Savior” or “my savior.”
“You know my name, yet I know nothing of yours...” I trailed off, hoping he’d catch the hint.
His eyes brightened in an almost sinister way before a smirk appeared on his lips, making me notice his two dimples that I seemed to have missed before.
“Ivan Dmitrievich, nezhnyy tsvetok,” my savior spoke with a distinct tone of his voice, “Welcome to the Russian Mafia.” (Delicate flower.)