A heavy punch landed on my face, making me cry out in pain. Not once did I get into fights at school. I tried my best to stray away from any trouble. If only that idiot didn’t leave me while he was busy buying his damn cigarette, this wouldn’t have happened to me!
“Listen carefully, kid,” the man standing in front of me said, cracking his knuckles sullied with my blood. I remained seated on the wooden chair I was bounded to, disabling me from escaping this dingy, basement room with only a bulb hanging flimsy on the ceiling to light the whole place up. The smell of sweat and blood, mixed with what I assumed were drugs filled the air. It was nauseating. I would have puked if it wasn’t for the throbbing pain on my face. “All we want to know is where Vaccarino is.”
I struggled to look at them. My sight was already spinning, feeling my blood dripping from my nose. These people kidnapped me not even knowing who I am. I couldn’t blame them though. My family wasn’t in the same league as the Vaccarinos. Even if our families both started at the same time, his group managed to climb the hierarchy while we stayed on the bottom, accepting nothing but leftover jobs for the big shots.
No matter how much I hated and loathed the Vaccarinos for getting ahead of us, I had no intention of selling them out to their enemies. Our families were longtime partners and rivals for countless decades. I respected his father and how he treated me like I’m on his kids. He treated me better than my own and for that, I owed the Vaccarinos a lot.
“I don’t know!” I yelled, crying from frustration. I hated how scared and feeble I am. There’s too many of them. Even if I knew how to fight, there’s no way in hell I could defeat them.
Another heavy punch and it broke my nose. I whimpered, my sight getting darker. The pain was unbearable, but I didn’t want to faint. Who knows what would happen if I did? They had killed people in the past and they would do it now if I don’t give them what they wanted. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t sell the Vaccarinos. Not now, not ever.
I gritted my teeth. Caden’s stupid face appeared on my mind. His bright, emerald eyes that looked almost translucent when the sun hits it, his sharp nose and jaws, and his supple lips—fuck, am I really going to die? I didn’t want to die yet. I hadn’t even told him how much I—!
The door suddenly banged open, splinters flying in the air. The people inside gasped out loud, taking their weapons out to defend themselves. But before anyone could move, five bullet shots resonated in the room. My ears rang as bodies fell on the ground. Their faces were warped in a grotesque manner and I shrieked at the sight of a corpse in front of me.
“Oh, god! Oh my god, fuck!”
“Woah, calm down, Livi!”
I quickly recognized that deep and raspy voice. I lifted my head and it was indeed Caden who was walking towards me. I paled upon seeing the gun in his hand. “No…no!”
He dropped down to his knees, cupping my cheeks to stop me from screaming. “Hey, it’s me. It’s Ca—”
“What the hell just happened?! D-did you…did you kill those people?! Where am I?!”
Caden furrowed his eyebrows, pouting in worry. I saw him take his phone out. This idiot! He still had the nerve to call someone while I’m losing my mind over here?! True friend my ass!
“Hey, Mr. Saverio?” he said, mentioning my father’s name. He looked down at me before continuing, “is it alright to knock Livi down? He’s making a fuss.”
I was astonished by what he just said. “What?!”
Caden grinned. “Okay! Thanks! Don’t worry, I won’t hurt him that much.” He hung up the phone and I saw the change in his eyes. His cheerfulness and innocence were thrown out of the window and it was replaced by a sadistic smirk. “Clench your teeth, Livi.” Before I could cuss at him, his fist connected on my jaw. I was knocked out. My ears rang even more, and my sight finally blackened. Before I could lose consciousness, I heard Caden say, “it’s such a delight to see you bleeding, babe.”