Crossroads: Book 1

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Chapter 16

Mike


It wasn’t hard to find the house, nearly every student at the school has talked about this party. Stupid shitty parties, nothing good ever comes from these things. Sitting in my truck outside of some big-ass mansion, I’m trying to come up with reasons not to go inside. She’ll be in there, probably with Dorian with his skinny hands all over her. I don’t know if I want to see that.

For some reason, I feel gravitated towards this chick; it’s messing with my mind. She looked incredible in that dress. The blue highlighted her milky skin. Her hair was curled, and it felt like silk under my touch as I wrapped it around my finger. I could have lifted her right up on the counter at that point...

Hanging my head, I need to stop thinking of her like that. She is a job; it’s the only reason why I’m going in– I tell myself. I climb out of the truck then drag my ass into the overly gaudy - snot-nosed – ridiculous - good for nothing - ‘let’s flaunt our money like the bastards we are’ - dwelling place of some rich assholes with old money - mansion.

Entering the front door, a loud Usher song is booming throughout the place. The base is vibrating the walls making some of the paintings rattle. I immediately start scanning for Elena in the ocean of teens dancing, snorting coke, and playing drinking games. If I see her dancing with Skinny Fingers, I’ll do everything in my power to get her to dance with me instead. Perhaps get her out of here...have a little party of our own. Darvis would love that; I chuckle. No, Mike, ain’t gonna happen.

I don’t see her. A girl with light brown hair with red in her eyes gets in my way as she swings her arms around my neck. Oh, if I had a dime every time this happens...

“Hey handsome, wanna have some fun with meee?” she slurs, wasted; smells like she had a lot of tequila. Placing my hands over hers behind my neck, I guide her to the nearest empty chair to set her down.

“Not tonight, darlin’,” I say kindly, then continue my search for the one girl I came here for.

I stride down the hall and stop in every room; I still don’t see her. My patience is running thin. His car is outside – I know they’re here. Coming upon what seems like a rec room, I see D-bag slumped over on a red suede couch through a light fog of marijuana smoke. The pathetic skinny hands of his are hiding his face; Elena’s not in sight.

What the hell?

I march up to him. “Where’s Elena,” I try to stay calm, trying this new thing where I don’t overreact before knowing what is going on. That all changes as soon as I see his face. His eyes are bloodshot, from tears – I’m guessing. What happened to Elena? Anything could have happened to her.

His skinny hands run through his hair and down his face. “T-they...took her...” he croaks.

Red creeps into the corners of my eyes. Without thinking, I grab him by the neck then slam him into a nearby wall. He lets out a whine from the force – good.

“Where the fuck is Elena!” I shout in his face and slam him harder against the wall by his neck.

“Hey!” A voice bellows in our direction. Turning my head while holding Skinny Fingers against the barrier to the outside world, I glare at a guy. He could be a football player, but I can take him. “No fights are allowed in the house – take it outside,” he says. The urge to roll my eyes prevails.

“There’s not gonna be a fight. I just want to know what happened to the girl he was with,” I growl, then turn my attention back to Damian. He is wearing too much of a musky cologne that it burns my nose, though it doesn’t stop me from getting in his personal bubble.

“I’m sorry, man. I tried to stop them,” he shouts. His features are beginning to disappear through the red obscuring my vision.

I cut him off as I slam him into the surface once more - I’m sure there’s a dent there now. The football macho man is trying to gain my attention, only instead, he’s drawing a small crowd around us.

“Where is she!” I scream into his face, probably shot some saliva on him – bastard. By the look on his face, it isn’t anything good; I am pissed. There are faint pleas for me to let the kid go and leave the party.

“Upstairs!” he cries, his eyes screw shut. It’s enough information to almost knock me to my knees because upstairs is most likely where bedrooms are...

Anything could be happening to her.

Without another thought, I release him to stampede my way through the leeches of people for the stairs. Taking the white wooden steps two at a time, I reach the landing. There is grey carpet on the floor and artistic paintings on the walls, not a soul in sight in the corridor. The upstairs is completely deserted.

If anything has happened to her, I swear to God there will be blood to pay. I never should have let her come here. I should have just kissed her in that kitchen; if I had, then maybe she would have blown Dirtwad off to stay with me. Instead, I had to be an asshole when trying to force her into telling me what I wanted to hear.

Slam.

I bust open the first door I see at the top. Nothing.

Slam.

The second door, a couple having sex, yelling for me to get out.

Slam.

The third door – nothing.

Where the hell is she? My hands rake through my hair as I grab my scalp. I’m panicking.

“Mi!” I hear a cry. Going to the door across the hall, I kick it open.

It takes a moment to register what is happening. Elena is lying on a bed almost naked, extremely still, trying to call out for help above the pounding music. Soft cries of protest leave her while a tall man is in the middle of pulling her panties down. A shorter man is standing nearby, recording the whole damn thing on a phone.

Red. It’s all I see. Before I know it, the phone is crushed beneath my boot. The short ass-wipe is on the ground from one punch to the face. Pulling the taller ass-wipe off from Elena, I straddle him. Punching him repeatedly in the face, I can feel his nose break. There’s a crunch in his jaw, his eye sockets are getting bruised, and there’s blood splattering. While thoroughly enjoying myself, I feel something hard hit me on the side of the head. Catching me off guard, I fall onto the man I’m straddling. Hands pull me off, causing me to roll on my back. Before the shorter one can get another punch in, I kick him in the gut. Letting out a gasp, he tumbles backward into the nightstand by Elena.

The taller one gets up off the ground to approach me. He’s stronger than he looks. He manages to take me back to the ground, straddling me, he gets one good punch in. I can taste the warm liquid metal in my mouth. He only gets one, though. The fist comes at me again; I grab it just in time and twist it while using the finger of my other hand to gouge his eye. As soon as he’s at the distance that I need him to be in - I knee him in the side of his ribs. Rising to my feet, the shorter douche stalks towards me, while the taller one is catching his breath and preparing to attack me once more.

Enough of this shit. I can do this dance all night, but I don’t think Elena has that kind of time. Pulling my Glock from my waistband, I cock it and aim it at them. This has their attention. They both reach for the waistband of their pants; bad luck must be on their side by the looks on their faces. Not carrying today – fuckers.

“Get the fuck out,” I growl with lividity. The need to get her out of here is urgent before someone notices there was a fight. There’s also the quandary of me pointing a gun at two unarmed idiots, ready to fire at any moment; it would be quite the scene if the cops are called – I don’t want to think about that.

The taller one with the eyebrow ring doesn’t like my authority. “Why should we?” he challenges.

“Boy, you don’t want to know. Get out.” He’s really testing me.

He pushes, “Why? Who the hell are you?” Motherfucker.

A smirk tugs at the corner of my lips while I pull the neckline of my shirt down, exposing the colors of my club. It clicks. Their eyes widen as they run out like little schoolgirls; it’s only a matter of time before they come back with friends. Pushing my Glock down the waistband of the back of my pants, I rush over to Elena.

“Mi...” she tries to say, while barely lifting her hand. Eyes are closed, she is limp and slurring her words. She is drugged. If she consumed a lot of alcohol prior to the drugs, it would be a long night.

My hands are shaking, hovering over her near-complete naked body; I don’t know what to do. She keeps murmuring something as tears flow steadily down.

Reaching out, I cup her face. “Elena? Baby, can you hear me? It’s Mike.”

“Mi...” she cracks while trying to lift her hand for me. Gathering the fact that she’s been tiredly calling my name makes me feel even more of an ass for letting her leave.

“I’m going to take you home now, okay?” Forcing myself to only glance at the cotton seams of her panties, I pinch the fabric just enough to pull them back up while concentrating my sights solely on her face. I gather her dress off the floor and notice it’s ripped, it wouldn’t cover her completely, so I take off my shirt. Gently, I lift her to maneuver my shirt over her head. I avert my eyes the whole time to focus on the blood from the fight, which is soaking into the white carpet. She deserves respect, and I’m giving it to her. Wrapping what’s left of the dress around her bottom, I scoop her up in my arms.

I carry her down the stairs as quickly as possible for the door. I hear a few people gasping and whispering. The only words I focus on are the ones falling from Elena’s pale chapped lips, “Mi...ke.”

“Yes, Kitten, it’s me. You’re safe now. I’m taking you home, babe you’ll be okay.” While I stride through the door and cross the yard, I hear comments from the seniors that aren’t wasted yet. They sound concerned; I tell them that she just drank too much as I pass by, hoping that it will erase their worries. Reaching my truck, I open the door while balancing most of her weight in one arm.

“Elena!” There’s that voice, shouting behind me.

“Elena – I’m so sorry! I-I tried to stop them, but I couldn’t. Elena, I’m so sorry!” Fucking Declan is groveling. I place her on the passenger side of my truck and buckle her in, then turn around. The shitfaced Declan has tears in his eyes. He looks sorry, but that doesn’t stop me.

“Ahh-ow!” Blood oozes from his nose.

“What the hell!” he exclaims, cradling his nose. I step closer to him as he steps back.

“She trusted you; you were her date. You were supposed to protect her. Look what happened to her.” I gesture towards the truck. “She is drugged, she was going to get raped, and you allowed it to fucking happen!” I roar.

“I’m sorry.” He sounds broken. I don’t give a shit.

“Sorry isn’t good enough, coward. Stay away from her. You hear me?” Pointing a finger at him, he drops his hands to his sides while I climb into my truck, more than ready to get this angel home.


Good thing I had enough sense to grab her keys when she forgot them while rushing out the door earlier. Otherwise, I would have had to take her to my place. Her dad wouldn’t like that.

Walking down the hall with her in my arms, I tell myself that I should probably call Detective Cobra, fill him in on this before he gets home.

Once in her room, I carefully place her on the bed, then struggle to remove her shoes. My long thick fingers are having a hell of a time trying to unbuckle the tiny satin straps around her small ankles. They finally slip off, and I sigh, pleased that I didn’t have to cut them out of impatience. I cover her up with her polyester sheets. She attempts to mumble something, but I can’t make it out; I reassure her she is safe and at home. Leaving her for a few minutes, I go on the search for a couple of buckets. With a buzzing in my pants, I remove the phone from my front pocket and look at the screen. It’s Detective Cobra. Perfect timing.

“Yeah,” I answer.

“Some cops I work with were called out at a house party. They say that someone who looked like you caused some problems and carried an unconscious blond girl out. Was that you? Did you do that? Is Elena okay?” His words are rushed, scared, and anxious.

“Yeah, it was me. She’s fine. I’m pretty sure she was drugged though – ” That comes out way too calm, I certainly don’t feel calm.

“What!?” he shouts, cutting me off. “Is she okay? Who drugged her?”

“By the looks of things, I got to her just in time,” I say while closing a cupboard that I was sure would have buckets stored in them. Where are those damn buckets?

“Just in time from what?” he asks.

Shit.

Taking a deep breath, I answer, “I believe she was going to get raped, but I got her out of there just in time – she’s safe, I swear.”

“What?! Who? I want names! Those sons of –”

This time, I cut him off, “She’s okay now. I don’t believe it got that far. She’s in her bed, safe and sound.” To bring him out of the zone he’s in for wanting to kill someone, in a rush, I add, “Where do you keep the buckets?”

“What?” he’s confused.

“Buckets. So when she throws up, it won’t be all over herself or the floor...”

“Try under the kitchen sink.” He sounds distant. “I’m on my way.”

Picking up the two buckets under the sink, I say, “I don’t think that’s a good idea - she’s not with it right now. She needs to rest. I’ll stay with her.” If he comes home, he will want to talk to her immediately; she is in no state to talk with anybody. She needs to sleep, vomit, sleep, and vomit some more.

Plus, if he comes home, that means I need to leave. I don’t want to leave.

We bicker about what is best for Elena; after a couple of minutes, he agrees just to come home as soon as his shift ends. Hanging up the phone, I stroll to her room and place the buckets on the floor next to her bed. It’s dark, so I turn on the lamp on her desk; my sweatshirt is folded up neatly with care. As I trace my fingers over it, I remember what she looked like wearing it only a few days ago...

“Ohhh,” I hear a groan, distracting me from the sweet memory. As soon as I make it to her side, I place the back of my hand on her forehead. She’s burning up. I leave her to find a washcloth in her bathroom and soak it with cold water. After placing the washcloth over her face, I try to find a glass in the kitchen to fill it with water.

“Elena, sweetie, you need to drink some water.” I kneel at the side of her bed and cup my arm behind her back to lift her enough so her lips can reach the glass I’m holding for her. Fortunately, she has enough strength to drink some shallow sips.

“Good girl,” I breathe. “I’ll give you more in a few minutes, okay?” Another sob leaves her; more tears find their way down her already tear-stained face. Moving from the floor, I sit next to her on the bed. I cup her face in my large hands and wipe away the tears with the pads of my thumbs.

“Shhh, Kitten. I won’t let anyone hurt you. You’re safe,” I try to comfort her. She’s probably re-living her assault, which is making me feel absolutely terrible. “I never should’ve let you leave the house. It’s all my fault, babe. I am so sorry.”

Her breathing turns into heaving. Removing my hands from her face, I help her up and over a bucket. She finally starts to chuck out the poison.

“That’s it. Good girl, let it out,” I encourage her. While holding her hair out of the way, her frame jerks from the rejection of whatever drug was put in her system. When she finishes, I take the washcloth I had for her forehead and wipe her mouth. She’s shaking, probably another side effect.

“I-I’m s-o s-sorry,” she sobs. If I weren’t so close to her, I probably wouldn’t have heard it. Gently, I rub my hands up and down her arms in an effort to settle her shaking body.

“It’s not your fault, okay,” I say, bleakly. She does not need to blame herself for this.

“I-I was so s-scared,” she weeps. At this point, I’m holding her close to my body, letting my heat warm her while continuing the friction on her arms. Her body has switched temperatures - she feels so cold now.

The heaving revisits, so I guide her over another bucket as she endures more vomiting. While encouraging her, I continue to hold back the soft, golden locks of her hair.

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