M A R C E L L A
Where the fuck did he go? How long was he going to be gone for? She wasn’t sure whether she should try anything. She wouldn’t get very far anyway and that wasn’t the plan. But John would get suspicious if she just did nothing. He knew she was a fighter; she wasn’t going to stop fighting for her freedom.
She would get out of the ropes she was tied up with but not through the door. Although it had to look like she was trying. She was done running in that manner. Her last escape had been her most thought-through escape she had, and it still hadn’t worked. No, her best course of action was to play the man. She was good at that. Manipulation. It was one of the few useful skills she had found she had a knack for and one of the few that was useful in the real world.
She had already played the child card, throwing around the fact that she was young and didn’t deserved to be caged forever. But it hadn’t worked. Now she needed the opposite.
She toyed with a few ideas and moves she could use that would seem like nothing to her but mean everything to him. He couldn’t know what she was up to. She feared he already did. She had to appear totally innocent whilst being a little devil.
She wasn’t experienced in this kind of manipulation. Seduction. She had never even tried before. She never had to. She had a couple of crushes on guys through her teenage years, but they were her father’s men, the only men she was allowed to be around, and most of them were monsters. Not the good kind.
Searching the room with her eyes, she tried to find anything that could help her set the scene. With quite a lot of wiggling and biting at the rope, it was coming loose and soon was off. She tried the door just in case it wasn’t the lock she heard. But she didn’t take him for a fool. It was just natural to try the obvious escape first.
“Why can’t you make this easy for me?” she muttered, rolling her eyes as she looked around. He hadn’t left anything behind for her to use so she’d have to use something the motel provided. She searched through the cupboards in the bathroom, and in the very bottom drawer, there laid a disgusting wash kit, perhaps left behind by some hookers by the fact that it was half-stuffed with various condoms.
And then she found the tweezers. She wasn’t sure if they could be used to jimmy the lock or maybe the vents. This was just for show. It didn’t need to work so she didn’t need to be disappointed when she failed. She would have to act like it though.
She sat at the edge of the bed and waited to hear the rustling of the hulk of the man that was her captor. She looked forward to seeing him again. She found him… exhilarating. And if he won and took her back, she would at least have her memories of a free life.
But was it all that good?
Perhaps she was better in captivity. Trouble followed her. But it couldn’t harm her in the safety of the mafia men in her life. Out in the open, anything could happen, and it did. She almost got attacked by those men in the alley, saved by her captor. She was kidnapped and almost locked away forever, saved by her captor. She had been responsible for Giuseppe’s death.
She hadn’t taken the appropriate time to mourn him. He was a father-figure to her, and she pushed her grieving aside amidst all chaos. She wanted to break down. She wanted to fall apart. And yet she kept herself together. She had to. Which was why she wouldn’t think about it. All she would focus on was her escape.
She would focus on him. John. The human hound. The only way to stop him coming at her was not to escape him, but to make him stop chasing her full stop. And there were two ways to do that. One she had almost done already, when she shot him accidentally. The other was her last way out. She didn’t have the stomach to kill someone for her freedom, and she wasn’t like her father. She was better than that.
But not above manipulation.
Her options were limited so she deemed it necessary.
When the shifting of a huge man was at the door, she got into position by the vent and then acted as though the tweezers could also be used as a weapon.
But the door didn’t get unlocked. No, it got smashed down. And it was at that moment she realized it wasn’t John. It was another man, a scary man, clad in black leather as most scary men were. Her eyes flickered to his gun, that was pointed right at her chest, anxiously. It was difficult not to.
“Where’s John Keller? Where’s that fucking asshole?” the man questioned, striding right up to her and shoving the barrel of the gun at her head.
She just stood there, wide-eyed. Her throat was dry, and she froze up like she had so many times. This was why she couldn’t stay in the criminal world. Because she always choked. Asides from when she was with John.
The guy wasn’t here for her, clearly. He was here for John. That gave her some relief. He wouldn’t hurt her until John got there and he could handle this one guy.
Or two… three. She spotted a couple more than that in the parking lot through her limited view behind the broad-chested man in front of her.
“I-I-I don’t know,” she stammered and mentally kicked herself.
“I know he’s here, you little slut. Tell me where that fucker is, now!” he demanded.
“He’s not here. I don’t know where he is,” she shrieked, her eyes welling up in fear. “If you told me what you wanted him for, I could help.”
“The only way you can help is for you to stop lying and tell me where that rat is,” he stated coldly.
Rat? Like a snitch? Did John snitch on someone? John was a bounty hunter. He found people in hiding yet he couldn’t hide from other people. Where even was this man?
The man grabbed her broken arm and tugged her out of the motel room. She was wearing John’s loose clothes, which perhaps made their relationship look like something it wasn’t to this thug.
“Who’s this? Where’s the fucking snitch?” a man colder than the brute holding her grunted, climbing off his motorbike and walking to them with a dominating power. Tattoos littered his body as they did for all of them. And all clad in leather. They were a biker gang. What the fuck was John doing messing with a biker gang?
The leader was right up close to her face, his eyes scanning it like she was some sort of report. And then he smirked.
“Young and pretty. That’s how that fucker likes it, huh? Can’t say I blame him,” he commented, his fingertips brushing her cheek gently. “Now, beautiful, where is he? Don’t make me ask again.”
“I don’t know. He just left. He didn’t tell me where he was going,” she replied. He grasped her jaw in his hand and squeezed it tightly, to the point where she believed it would leave bruises.
“I said don’t lie.”
“And I didn’t,” she argued with a profound confidence she knew she shouldn’t posses in the situation she was in. “I don’t know where he is, okay? Can you just let me go?”
They had gotten her out of that motel room. If they just let her go, she could run. And maybe they would kill John. And his death wouldn’t be on her.
There were two ways to get him off her back and she could only physically do one herself. But she could leave it to others to do the other way.
“Let you go? I need you to lure him out.”
“He’s coming back here to get me anyway at some point. All you need to do is hide and wait.” The number one rule was ‘no snitching’, but they weren’t the cops and she didn’t want to play the game. If she wanted the brutal work done for her, this might be the way.
“Is that right? Selling him out so easily? The young ones never do have any loyalty. No fucking spine.” He dropped her jaw and licked his lips slightly in a perverted way. His eyes raked her body whilst he leaned up against his bike, waiting.
That was all she had been doing. Waiting for him.
“Can I go?” she asked hopefully. The leader just scoffed and shook his head. But he didn’t say anything. She guessed she wasn’t going anywhere.
She was off in her own little world, somehow, after an hour or so. The bikers were all antsy, getting more restless by the second. She could see them begin to question her and this made her even more nervous.
“What do we have here?” The sound of John’s voice made a flood of relief wash right over her. He was there. He was going to save her.