Into the Darkness

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A New Threat

I stood over Dominic on the OR table. He really was gorgeous. I combed his dark hair over to the side with my fingers, making it slightly less messy than it was before. I took in all his features while I still could. His eyelashes were long enough to make any girl jealous. Faint freckles were spaced across his cheeks and his nose, almost unnoticeable until you were close enough to see them. His lips- oh his lips. They looked soft, yet hardened. They had just the right about of volume to them. It made him look irresistible. I couldn’t help myself. I placed my palm of my hand on his cheek, rubbing his face with the pad of my thumb.

“Oh, Dominic. What did a guy like you do to get into a mess like this?” I whispered. I closed my eyes, keeping my hand on Dominic’s face. All I could do now was wish. Oh how I wished things were different. I wished my life were different. I wished I hadn’t gone through the things I had. I wished I hadn’t had a gun pointed at my face on more than one occasion in my life. What did I ever do to deserve any of this? I thought of myself as a genuinely good person. I tried to volunteer when I could. I wanted to be a nurse to help people who had been in situations like me, not for the paycheck. Where the hell did my life go so wrong. As I let a small tear fall down my cheek a feel the touch of a warm hand on my ice-cold wrist.

“And… wha-what… did a guy like me do… to be so lucky… to have a beautiful girl be his nurse? “ a deep voice croaked out.

I opened my eyes and peered up at the handsome face now staring back at me. His vivid green eyes filled with sleep at he blinked it away attempting to focus on me. He was finally awake.

“Dominic?”

“The one and only.” His lips turned up at the corners causing small wrinkles to form on the edge of his eyes.

After Dominic’s heart went into V-Tach Dr. Marks and the surgical team did CPR for 15 minutes, throwing everything they could into him. After some time and by some miracle his heart regained normal rhythm and Dominic regained his pulse. Someone somewhere heard my repetitive prayers, or so I could only have hoped. Dr. Marks finished the surgery with flying colors. All three bullets were retrieved and everything was sutured up and every organ was where it should be, almost like new. Instead of moving Dominic to the recovery room, I told the team that I would take over post-op care and suggest we just stay in the OR. I was trying to avoid getting anyone else dragged into this mess. This way, if anyone pulled out a gun again, this time we would at least be behind closed doors.

“Look who finally decided to wake up, I thought you were going to sleep the whole night away. Let me go grab your brothers. They have been waiting so very impatiently.” I giggled a little at the end before remembering who stood in the hall waiting.

I took one last look at him before backing away from the table to get his siblings. His eyes were soft, and kind. My heart skipped a beat for a second as he looked at me, almost right through me. There was no doubt that he was attractive. But my subconscious was still nagging at me that there was something wrong.

“Boys, guess who finally decided to return to the land of the living. You can step in to to see him if you’d like.” As if I couldn’t have said the words any faster, both Marcello and Lorenzo flew through the doors to see for themselves. I leaned against the wall, folding my arms across my chest watching the reunion. I guess it didn’t really matter if you were some ‘big, bad, macho’ man, when your family member survives from multiple gunshot wounds, you turn a little soft. I thought I saw Lorenzo fighting off a few tears in relief. As for Marcello…

“Is that a smile I see Marcello? I didn’t think that was humanly possible. Especially after you held a sweet innocent girl against her will at gunpoint.” Shit there’s the attitude again. I tensed up waiting for his reaction.

“Marcello, you did what now?” Dominic said attempting to raise his voice and sit up quickly clenching his stomach in pain.

“Well, boss, someone had to make sure you lived and I didn’t contain the necessary medical skills for that job. That’s where our lovely little nurse here came into play.” Marcello made sure to say while shooting me a look that said ‘Really”. “Speaking of our little nurse, Addi would you do us a favor and step out for a second? The big boys need to have an adult conversation.”

Huh, what a surprise. Rude like the last four hours I had been dealing with him.

Dominic attempted to make up for his brother’s behavior and smiled back at me.

“Do you think you could be so kind and grab me another blanket and maybe something to drink? Oh and definitely some pain meds.” Dominic asked sweetly trying to hide the amount of pain he was in.

“Ah, Sure.”

I smile and nodded at the three men and stepped outside the door.

So what, now they trusted me to be alone and not run off? Something seemed off. I’ve knew it the minute they ran up to the ER doors. But now I was really started to get a first hand look at everything unfolding around me. The dynamin between the brothers seemed normal at first, until Marcello started speaking to his brother. It wasn’t like they were brothers at all but like- business partners? The darkness I had felt around each one of them individual made me have chills. But when all three of them were together it felt like death was watching over my shoulder waiting for its chance to prey on me.

I took a second leaning against the wall directly outside the room resting my head back and closing my eyes. I needed to get away from them. I knew that whatever the outcome was going to be for me, it wasn’t a positive one. Think Addi, think. I began weighing my options as I started to hear the muffled and hushed whispers of the ‘big boy’s conversation’..

“Boss, they’re on our tail. We need to leave here as soon as we can.”

“I know they are dumbass. I figured they would be. You practically left them a fucking trail of blood to follow.”

“You didn’t leave me much of a damn choice getting fucking shot by one of them.”

“Do you see who it was that shot you boss?”

“No, dickhead. Don’t you think I would have already fucking told you?”

“So what do you want to do now.”

“We need to get the hell out of here. I’ll be fine, just grab some extra bandages and help me to the car. But I want the girl. She’s coming with us.”

“She probably already ran off by now.”

“Does it look like I fucking care. I WANT THE GOD DAMN GIRL. She’s gorgeous and she can be useful to us.”

“Dom, our mole just texted. They’ve checked every other hospital. They are on their way here. We need to go, now!”

If I wanted to leave now was the time. I had no other choice I think I had done enough eavesdropping at that point to know that if I stayed anywhere near these men there really was no good ending for me. Whatever I just heard left me with more questions than answers. Who the hell are they running from? Dominic wants me? Why the hell does he want me? What does he mean I can be useful to them? I needed to stop hesitating. I need to leave now.

I started walking hastily towards the stairway trying to put as much distance between the brothers and myself as I could. I needed to find a way out or a place to hide where they wouldn’t find me. The hospital is large enough, right? It’s not the largest hospital in the world but it’s also not the smallest. Something tells me that no matter where I hide or where I went they will find me. I needed to run.

I continued to jog down the stairs, fast enough to work up a sweat but slow enough so I didn’t face plant it by tripping over my own two feet. I halted for split second when I heard voices. SHIT, they know I ran. Wait- is… are the voices coming from below me? My mind started racing of who it could be. Staff? It’s only three in the morning. It sounded like men, maybe three by the sound of the footsteps coming up the stairs. I started to panic. Did I go back up and risk going with Dominic, or did I continue my descent down? Why does this keep happening to me? Breathe Addi. If you go back up, Dominic will find you and take you. If you continue to keep going down who knows whom you’ll run into.

Before I even had the chance to make a decision, they stood right in front of me. Three men, one middle aged maybe in his 40’s, along with two others that were younger than man stading beside them. They looked to be maybe in their 30’s.

“Hey, you. Where’s Dominic?” The middle aged one shouted towards me. His hand rested on his hip, his jacket concealing something bulky just underneath it.

Play it cool Addi. Don’t say anything stupid. Hell just pretend to be stupid. “I’m sorry who? I don’t have any patients by that name. So, sorry. If you’ll excuse me gentlemen I have patients to attend to down stairs.” I sheepishly responded trying to sneak around the men.

Just when I thought I was in the clear the eldest man grabbed my wrist and pulled me back towards the corner of the stairwell. I could feel his grip bruising my fragile wrist already. Once he backed me in the corner completely, he spoke again.

“I’ll play nice one more time. Where the hell is Dominic?” He began reaching for my name badge flipping it around so the side with my picture and name came into view. “… Addi, such a beautiful name.”

“I’m sorry Sir, I don’t know-“

Before I could even finish my sentence the grey haired blue-eyed man seized my throat with his massive hands slamming me against the cold concrete wall placing his body just inches from mine. His crystal blue eyes seemingly going black as if he were possessed by something. The muscles of his jaw tensed. I could see them twitching in rage.

“See, Addi. I don’t like liars. I can tell when people are lying to me. You, my sweet child have a fucking terrible poker face. Now I’m going to ask you this one more goddamn time. If you answer wrong, then it’s lights out. Fucking got it?” I nodded just barely while choking back tears from the fear. “It would be such a shame though, if I had to kill you. You’re a fucking stunning girl, it would be a waste of that body.” I wanted to vomit at his words. Or maybe it was from the fear. Or both? “Now, Addi. TELL ME WHERE THE FUCK DOMINIC IS.”

I tried to speak, but the words wouldn’t come out. His grip tightened around my throat as I struggled. My breaths struggled to make it down to my lungs. I grabbed onto his wrist trying to pry his grip away from my throat. It was no use he was stronger than I was. Black spots formed in my vision as my eyelids began to feel heavy. They started to close even though I was trying my hardest to fight to stay awake. Staying awake meant staying alive. All I could do was weakly point with my trembling hand up the stairs.

“Good, much better.” He stated calmly before slamming my head against the wall and letting his grip go from my throat.

I didn’t know which was worse, the now excruciating headache I just received or trying to catch my breath like a fish out of water. The headache, the headache was definitely worse. The room started to fade in and out. The black fuzzy spots from earlier now changed into little specks floating through my vision. I wanted to vomit. And was my hair wet? I took my hand to the back of my head and touched the tender spot bringing my hand back into view. This was great. This was just what I wanted, another thing to add to my already shitty night, a brand new head laceration. Was anything going to go right tonight?

“Now, my dear sweet child. Show us where he is.” He smiled sinisterly.

My hands dropped back to my side, wiping the blood onto my scrub pants. I looked down at my feet trying not to cry. When I didn’t move fast enough for his taste I felt a familiar cylinder push against my chest. Another gun.

“NOW!”

He grabbed my shoulder with his free hand and turned me to face up the stairs moving his gun from my chest to my back. I hurriedly ran up the two flights of stairs still struggling to catch my breath and adjust my vision. The men quickly behind me. I turned a corner and stopped.

“He’s in that room” I pointed sheepishly still looking at my feet.

“Thank you my dear child. Now stay outside while the big boys play. Kay? Don’t move until I’ve said otherwise.” He said looking down at me with a demeaning tone like I was some little girl and not a grown women.

The men rushed to the door parking themselves on either side of the frame. All three men withdrew a handgun from their belt lines holding it near their chest in prepration. I could hear one of them silently counted to three before one of the younger men kicked the door open. All I could hear besides the door slamming against the way was the eldest guy yell with furry,

“WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK? WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK IS THIS. WHERE THE HELL IS HE?”

I moved. I had to. I had to see what they were screaming about. And then I saw it. Empty. Dominic, Marcello and Lorenzo were all gone. All they left behind was disheveled blankets that lie on the table and bloody bandages that lay scattered on the cold floor.

The eldest man turned to face the door, seeing me. His jaw clenched once more. I could feel the rage radiating off of him in waves of steam. His face a bright red while his knuckles were bright white while he dug his fingernails into the palm of his hand attempting to settle his rage.

“WHERE. THE. FUCK. IS HE. ADDI?” He took brief pauses in between each word making sure he enunciated each word drilling into my head the anger he felt.

“I-I- he- he was here, all three of them. They were here I swear.”

The gun was now directed right at my face. Tears began pouring out of my eyes causing my vision to go completely blurry now. This was it. I knew it. My sorry, pathetic excuse of a life was going to be over before it truly began. I begged God. I prayed. Never in my life have I prayed as much as I have tonight. I looked up to see the man furious with rage. His eyes were piercing holes through me, his jaw clenched even tighter than before, baring his teeth like a wild dog, his knuckles turning white as he balled his free hand into a fist and clutched the handgun tight deciding when to take my life. Before I had the chance to say another word, my body erupted in pain. All I could feel was pain. And then, darkness consumed me.

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