It’s the dead of night.
And we had lost sight of her.
It had been 30 minutes.
Anthony Black had indeed followed but lost them when we halted at the gas station. The moment we hit the road, I spotted five headlights behind us.
Like expected, Gabriella drove into another lane while the rest of us followed the main road. She told us that it would be wiser to act plan B before plan A even happened.
Which was, if the mobsters happened to knock us first, then there’s a good chance they wouldn’t notice the passenger wasn’t among us.
Gabriella was a safe distance between our vehicles and the mobsters, and she sided with other random cars to get her scent off the trail.
“Verna informed me that during the ride, she’d been holding a terrified feeling about Gabriella upon their first encounter. She didn’t even talk to her. I expected her to attack on all sides, but she kept quiet,” Troy whispered the moment we stepped out. I scoffed at first.
Well, she was a sassy thing and had been having this emo girl air all day. And Troy had mentioned earlier that she was hiding a face, but I won’t believe what I don’t see.
Few minutes ago, we rolled in and took our place beside a particular building and spotted her already parked. Verna leaned on her side of the car, and I could see she was uncomfortable being with Gabriella, who was currently busy doing something at the hood of her Jaguar.
I practically couldn’t see them. The vehicle was mute and dim; not a single headlight was on.
The only source shining in this dump was from the moon, and the city’s light reflecting against the sky with a few lamp posts nearby and proved to be useful. Other than that, it’s just the beacon of our cars.
“Finally!” Verna cried as she ran towards her friends after parking our cars beside Gabriella’s. “I was getting worried back there.”
“Don’t worry, sis. I can take care of us all,” Troy puffed as he used his hands to pound his chest, prompting everyone to laugh.
“You can’t even kill a fly, let alone them,” Antoinette pointed out loud along with Jace as I looked over at Zaza, who had decided to have a chat with the Gawan siblings.
I could see Gabriella was pissed about something as she kept glancing at her brother. So, I decided to jump in their space when I caught Zaza’s words; she talked like she swallowed a megaphone.
“I’m sorry you had to deal with my cousin earlier,” she apologized in front of my car’s headlights. “He can be such a dumbass, but seldomly.”
“Yeah, dumb enough to be here trying to save your asses,” I retorted, catching their attention as she snorted.
“See what I mean!” she cried, making Gabriella giggle. Oh, did she take down her serious acting now?
But before I could say it sarcastically to them, raucous motorcycles crashed down the road and were heard along with the sounds of tires drifting. Soon a bunch of them came into view as two jeeps followed in swiftly.
They circled, sending sand and pebbles that we had to shield ourselves. They soon chose to take their places directly opposite of us after their dramatic entrance.
We naturally became alert and secured the three girls behind us. Verna clutched Troy’s jacket tightly and stifled a low sob. The girl was scared to her bones.
I kept Zaza close to me, and the other boys positioned themselves casually in the front. I turned to check where Gabriella was but—she was gone!
I squinted again, and there were seriously no traces of where she went. My eyes couldn’t find her as I meekly scoured around the place; it was dark as shit behind us.
However, her car had remained. We could have heard the roar of her engine because it was eerily quiet out here.
Where the fuck was she then? I thought she’d take charge here like she promised!
A Jeep’s door suddenly pushed open and out stepped a dark silhouette. Three more doors unlocked, and more figures came marching to the front.
“Well, well. Now, doesn’t this bring memories,” the dark silhouette spoke and headed towards us with a smirk. “Pretty picture, aye?”
The lights from their vehicles suddenly shut out, just like Gabriella did, and I had my hunches on it.
I’ll ask her when I see that little imp.
He stopped right in front of Ivan and Jace. I could make out his amused lips in the moonlight. He stepped into the beams of our cars, and boy did Troy gulp.
He was a tall, muscular man, brown-haired and a stubble growing under his chin. His eyes, however, were the weirdest bits. They looked so cunning, but they were monolid. He almost reminded me of a coyote.
Plus, the guy looked like he could punch the lights out of someone.
“We know you’re in there, come on, out little pixie,”
“You know, someone’s been worried and needy lately,” another grinned in the dark.
“Ugh—you sick bastard!” Zaza abruptly spat as she presented a disgusted face. “Why can’t you fuckers leave her alone! She hasn’t done anything to piss you’ll- hey, get off me, Ander. Let me at em’!” I pinched Zaza with a glare as I prevented her from making a move, indicating her to shut up unless she wanted to get killed by me.
The weird-eyed guy chuckled as he folded his arms and stared at our little cluster. “We can see you, Vera. Why don’t you diligently deliver your pretty face out here,” he wagged a finger at her as if to beckon her to him. But she stayed put.
Troy and I observed as more men surrounded the first guy, all buffed and muscled with tattoos. I was wrong.
There were 10 of them.
However, I didn’t expect them to look—refined?
Some wore hoodies with the sleeves folded and tracksuits, while the others wore regular jeans. They looked like they were yanked fresh out of their offices.
Eh, what was I expecting from New York’s top gangsters?
My eyes shifted around, trying to see where Gabriella might’ve slipped away.
I heard a large gulp near me. The terrified face of Vera turned white as she stared in front. I looked towards the back and saw a figure almost 6′5 - an inch or two taller than the first man.
“Wait—that’s him?” Zaza and Antoinette gasped as Vera hid closer behind her brother. Troy and I hadn’t spoken so far as we created a barrier between the girls and them. I almost forgot Ivan and Jace, who had acted as our front liners. They, likewise, stood tall, and it made me suspect them for a second.
Their leader was still under the shadow, not showing himself. His henchmen were the ones carrying out the conversations.
“Ah! My two friends. You’ve grown a lot since I last saw you. Ivan, isn’t it?” the monolid guy asked.
“You know us, Fox. Quit the charades,” Ivan spoke in a bitter tone that I hadn’t known he possessed. I was surprised when he addressed the guy - I knew he looked like a Reynard!
“But, we haven’t seen you both in years...thanks to that sister of yours,” a deep voice smirked, referring to Ivan. It was him speaking.
I never met the guy in the flesh, but here he is.
“He’s charming,” a whisper or so was intended spoke out, and Verna wildly smacked my sister in the head.
“O-Oops, was I too loud?” she blushed and covered her mouth. Laughter could be heard from the other side and saw that the monolid man took a step forward. Jace and Ivan tensed as Troy pushed the girls back. I stepped forth with a warning look.
If Gabriella isn’t going to show up in the next few minutes, I would have no choice but to take over and make the first move.
“What game are we playing at, boys?” Fox asked, flashing a bright smile. “I’m slowly becoming tired of this, but I’m a patient person. I can wait all night if I have to.”
“Though this big guy can’t,” another person stated, and all eyes landed on him. He was about the same height as the fox man, but with shaggy blonde hair. “I’m Dutch, and my boss here hasn’t been in a generous mood for the past few weeks.” He pointed to Anthony, who sat casually at the hood of a jeep.
“Let’s hammer out here. I want to talk to her, that’s all. So even if I have to push aside the lot of you’ll to get to her, then that won’t be a problem,” Anthony stated with a stoic tone. Although I couldn’t make out his face, I could see his eyes scan its surrounding. “Is this all? I was expecting more tonight,” he scoffed. A nerve ticked on my jaw, and the familiar feeling to punch surfaced.
“Tsk, asshole,” Zaza breathed. I swear to God, if this kid doesn’t shut up, she’ll end up with more than a broken arm, not by me.
I was itching to ask Troy about the missing girl, but I hadn’t the chance as I didn’t want them to take the opportunity to attack us while we had our guard down.
One of the things I learned from the past.
Don’t even try to turn your back on an enemy.
But I took my risk as I hissed loudly at Troy, “Where is she?”
“I saw her slip away before they came, but I don’t know where she went!” he whispered-shout, eyes aimed ahead.
Fuck, we’re cornered!
It’s not that I can’t handle them, my sister was here, along with her friends, that’s the problem! Fudge - what should I do?
“Listen, we don’t have all night, so if you can just hand her over, I will return the lady tomorrow,” Anthony suggested to us. My palms began to sweat profoundly, along with my forehead.
Oh, he did not just-
“Excuse me? I’m her fucking brother dick head, now if you weren’t in your right head, you wouldn’t have just said that to me; pedophile pervert!” Troy fumed as he took a step forward. I mentally stared at the sky and sighed. Finally, the man grew some balls. “And if any of you were to hurt my sister, I swear, your fucking heads wouldn’t be connected to your shoulders.” It felt like we were playing live chess in human forms, and Verna was the King piece.
Everyone tensed as an unwelcomed silence took over.
It didn’t last long as Anthony leaped from his car and stood next to the Fox guy. “Did you hear that, boys!” he burst out loud and stepped into our light. Unlike the others, Anthony wore a semi-formal attire and towered over us. He was an inch taller than me, and had a clean bulk figure. His thick curls were dyed white, and had three piercings in his right ear; a shark bite piercing on the ends of his bottom lip, making him resemble a vampire. The pair of eyes atop high cheek bones were steely, calculative, and were trying to locate its prey. His thin lips faked a frowned. “They think I’ll beat her.”
“Then, why else are you after her?” Troy demanded. “She saved your sorry burro once, now leave her be!”
Anthony raised an eyebrow,” That’s true, boy. But didn’t she tell you?”
“Tell us what?” I joined in.
He chuckled, glancing at me briefly with a glint of mischief I understood too well. He knew me and wasn’t intimidated. Troy caught it as well. “Guess she’s too considerate to tell you, people.”
“And you’ve got a feathery dick,” Zaza snapped. Everyone’s eyes were quickly on her. I let out a low growl, and she merely shrugged.
“That’s a new but disturbing phrase you just said ya, little spitfire. Do you have any idea what you’re getting yourself into?” Fox chuckled as he glared at her. “I’d hold my tongue if I were you.”
“Do you know what I can do to you fools? I might cut your eyes balls out right now or, maybe I’m just a psychopath,” she commented back with a creepy smile, offending him. I sighed heavily.
What am I ever going to do with her?
“That’s the sole reason we call her the Vixen,” Jace smirked at Fox, who looked at her with a bewildered face that turned into an impressed grin. I was more than ready to yell at the damn idiot for dragging much attention to her.
My guts tell me to brace for something I’m not quite sure about, but I’m keeping my guards up. So far, they haven’t kept their concentration on me - but I stayed composed.
Ivan and Jace seemed calm — too comfy.
It was a bad idea to have agreed to this plan. My eyes glued to the two boys, and I badly wanted to ask where his sister ran off.
But we were too caught up in the situation that we failed to hear the sound of heavy tires surging quickly toward us. My heart raced for a new plan since I almost concluded that we might not have any choice but to force our way out of here if things got critical.
There was no way of negotiating shit in this weather. My mind was too preoccupied to recall that someone— who was supposed to be with us—wasn’t even present.
There was a light cough, and Anthony gave us an impatient look,” What’s your rebuttal? You’ve got n-”
“She won’t come with you, negotiation or not, she’s not a fucking object,” Troy interjected with a snarl. From the corner of my ear, I picked up a heated conversation. It was clear that Antoinette and Vera were having an argument and now wasn’t the fucking time for it.
I glanced at her and could hear Vera’s breathing heightened as she tried to look at Anthony’s murderous gaze. He was not thrilled about her brother interrupting him.
I clenched my hands, ready for any sign of a fight going to break when-
There came the familiar sound of rubber wheels.
I had to seize Troy’s shoulder and drag his ass back down before he could lunge at Anthony when a car stopped directly between us.
I had to internally kick him for his unplanned approach because he nearly brought up a fight Anthony had most likely anticipated to fall.
“Now, tell me, why on earth would you stop the air demon from claiming what’s his?” a feminine voice spoke.