My entire body burns.
A fact I want to avoid at any cost. I suppose I should have been dead by the time he got to lash number fifty, by the time I only felt fire touching my battered skin but guess I’m borderline on the drug to care about what’s happening. Hell, I can’t even remember how many time has passed since the fucker left me hanging in here. I wouldn’t be able to tell even if I wanted to. My throat is dry as fuck, eyes swollen shut when he sucker-punched me to oblivion and hands are still bound to the bloody hook.
Even my hearing is on short.
“Psh! Psh! Hey, Snipper?”
“Fuck! You alive Snipper?” Xavier?
If I was my regular self I would have been surprised or relieved to see him on the floor next to my feet. But not alarmed. Not wondering if it’s a joke or I’m fucking hallucinating.
“Are you really here?” I ask hoping the answer is no. But he only gives me a deadpan look in return.
“Of fucking course, I’m here.” He scoffs spitting out the blood like me. “I only wanted some help but you assholes! All of you threw me at this asshole and now you have the nerve to ask if I’m here or not. Real mature, Snipper.”
I should be steady. Shouldn’t take his words but fuck if he can get away with talking shit. “You think we threw you to them? You were only meant to be transported out of Southside, nothing else. Not my fucking problem if you managed to piss off a drug cartel.”
“I wanted my club back!” His jaw clenches so hard that I’m afraid he’s going to break it. “I lost my club, my members, my business, my money. Of course, I was desperate! Desperate enough to recruit people for a new joined club. I mean Serpent Hell would have been a pretty damn cute name to exist, don’t you think?”
“I don’t know, Xavier.” A laugh tickles out of me. “I haven’t been that much in the clubhouse these days. Can’t help you with that.”
Lethal doesn’t know where we are. Grace still thinks Kitty is doing her dance classes in New York. Now if only Carter is smart or stupid enough to ask for help from the Serpent, which I doubt he will have the gut to do, we’re pretty much screwed.
“How’s Foxy?” He eyes narrow over the picture of Ceaser. “Did she look-”
“For you?” I cut him off. “At first she did. Then she just stopped.”
I don’t know why he doesn’t say anything back. This is the point I should be worried about. Xavier always has something to say.
“Where is this place?” If the drug doesn’t kill me, silence will. And I can’t have Kitty with them when that happens.
“Middle of nowhere.” His voice has that tinge of shame. For who though? “Look, I’m trying hard to stay sane after waking up naked and beaten almost to the death. In these couple weeks, I’ve been transferred to more places than I’d like to admit. This is the close I’ve come to hope that I can fucking get out of here.”
Get out of here? He flashes me a wicked grin. “You know, now that you’re here the Serpents would do anything to save you.”
Oh, the fucking irony. He’s hoping for a rescue party which is never coming.
I can’t stop the laugh. It has a dangerous effect on the fool on my feet. He looks confused, unsure of what’s going on. I remember-I remember all those nights. The drug not only left me a buzzing head, but also the painful memories in a silver plater. How fucking wonderful.
“Why the fuck are you laughing? Did they mess your head up or what?”
“Mess up my head!? I’m already messed up!” I’m shouting. Not at him though. My eyes are on the table where I can see a silhouette of that damned fucker. He laughs, I choke. He groans, I whimper.
“Lethal is coming, right?” He’s still onto that. Haha. Funny. Miserable fucker.
“He’s not coming. In fact, no Serpent knows where we are.” First blow. “You talked about that hope? It’s practically non-existent.”
“What? Repeat that again, Snipper. I think I heard that we are fucked.” He snarls, digging his nails down my legs. It burns but basically everything is.
“He’s not coming.”
The words make me tug once again. My muscles burn, the chain clinks heavily but no hope whatsoever.
“And you are still trying not to escape.” He scoffs shaking his head. “Please tell me there’s a plan somewhere in that head of yours?”
Plan? Oh, yes. I have one. A dangerous one in fact.
“That look better meant you have one,” Xavier answers his own question. Good for him. I wouldn’t be able to answer anyway. So, I close my eyes and wait. Wait until the door opens with a thud. And if Xavier knows us as better as I think, he’ll know the plan just fine.
“Hey! Wake up!” The kick comes out of nowhere. The groan I so try hard to keep inside someone leaves my lips. Fuck.
“He can’t wake up, you asshole.” I can hear Xavier mutter. “I saw him pass out. At least give us some food if you want us to be alive to torture. I can even teach you one or two tricks of torture myself, no?”
Is it Ceaser or some of his lap dogs? I don’t know if the fucker believes it or not, but I can feel the hook undone, my legs collapsing in exhaustion. How many hours was I standing up like that? My head throb in pain and uncertainty. I need the energy to escape with both Kitty and Xavier. I’d leave the fucker just fine but then guilt will kill me wondering how Foxy will react if she knew. The things I do for the Serpents...
“Where are you taking us!?” Xavier for once sounds afraid. “Fuck! Open your damn mouth!”
“We have a surprise for you boys. But first, this young man needs to wake up. The dealers wouldn’t love fucking a dead weight.”
I shouldn’t have reacted. I should have just keep my mouth shut and act like I really passed out. But the moment the words fuck and dealers were in the same sentence, I just snapped. I don’t even have to look at Xavier to know that he realized that soon too. I struggle to understand how just my fist rises and slams down the fucker holding me. I don’t even see the gun in his hand. I don’t feel the pain when he misses the shot.
“Well, fuck!” I hear a curse above me before two hands are joined by another two. They punch again and again. Xavier takes the fucker’s hair in a tight grip and shoves it on the floor.
The sound feels heavier to me than my disoriented head. My legs wobble to just stand. Shouts erupt outside as if a thousand birds are chirping at the same time. Someone tugs me hard to...run?
I’m running. To where exactly?
“Fuck, Snipper! Run a little faster, are you?” Run. Escape. But Kitty...
“Stop.” The first time it doesn’t reach his ears. I’m panting out of breath when somehow I manage to shove his hands of me. “Stop!”
“What!? Do you want to stay and be a fucktoy!?” Xavier exclaims waving his hands. He’s angry and I’m pissed.
I just kill him. No dragging out. No long pain. I just handed him dead that easily. Ceaser...That fucker.
Before I can say anything, I see two men running to where we left Ceaser’s body. In a minute it will be a chaos. And if I don’t’ get to her, she will get burned in the process.
“Do you have the gun?” My hands are already reaching out to hold the shiny gun before he can answer. Years of practice comes easily when I aim at the shoulder and in a second a loud groan leaves the man’s lips.
“The fuck are you doing?” Xavier snarls looking at the wounded man. The fuck I am doing? I’m saving her. Literally and figuratively. Ceaser is dead and that only leaves Desmond. After that-
She’s free. And all mine.
“Where’s she?” I don’t know the man who asks. He’s too damn cold.
The asshole whimpers in pain and shakes his head laughing. “That bitch is dead.”
I can still feel her touch in my skin. She can’t be dead. S-She can’t be gone. My Kitty is stronger than that. Stronger than me even. So he doesn’t expect it when my fingers curl and shove through his face.
“Tell me where she is?” I repeat. His flesh flashes in red paint. Beautiful old pain.
Xavier just watches. He watches the me nobody other than she knows. The liar, the betrayer, the lover.
“S-She...Boss is taking her home.”
The words make me grin. Home sweet home. The clubhouse is home. Not a cartel’s definition of home.
“And where is this home?” Xavier asks scrawling. Maybe even he knows not to stop me.
A wisp of blood leaves his lips when he answers. “She’s been transported to Pedro Knight’s manor.”
Something is not right. And I understand too when Xavier curses. “Fuck! Pedro Knight. That fucker! By any chance, this Kitty is Gwen Knight?” My mouth open to protest. Xavier doesn’t know my Kitty. None of them do. “Oh shit! She is! He’s been looking for his daughter for years.”
Daughter? Gwen Knight...Pedro Knight.
I want to laugh. But I can’t. I can only half-groan in pain when he reveals just what I can lose if I don’t hurry.
“Desmond is taking her to Mexico.”