Chapter 8: STRIKE
No one opens the door to the gangster car for me, I’m made to open the door and stumble in myself. I manoeuver my restricted ankles as I struggle into the middle seat next to Serge who looks mildly uncomfortable about my presence yet again in their humble car.
“Sorry… wet darlin’,” Ace speaks from the front passenger seat as he leans over his sniper and gives my dropped panties a nice glance, before meeting my gaze, “Walkie-talkie dropped out when I made the shot,” he shrugs, sounding extremely insincere.
I just tremble, my skin uncomfortable from the acid raid. Jose is glaring at me from the drivers’ seat in the rear-view mirror while Serge literally sends out a bolt of electricity to Ace, jerking him back in his seat.
“Call the radio a walkie-talkie one more damn fucking time and I’ll do more than make your ass tingle,” Serge snarls at Ace, who’s blonde hair sticks up with the static.
He shivers on purpose in his seat, grinning at Serge, toying with him.
He mouths ‘walkie-talkie’ and Serge almost goes for the provocation but ends up glancing at my panties, getting momentarily distracted. My black, screwed up rain drenched underwear, for some reason, seems to relax Serge back into his seat.
“You’re lucky a lady’s in the car,” Serge growls at Ace, shocking me with his sudden choice of class. I had assumed him to be the most violent, especially from our last interaction.
I’m not relaxed for long when Dale slides in next to me, slamming the door shut.
“Get going, darling,” Dale smirks as he orders Jose to drive and in response Jose swears under his breath, shaking his head.
“Don’t call me darling, fucking king shit –” Jose snaps but is cut off.
“Drive and don’t talk back,” Serge puts an arm around the head rest and puts Jose in a serious chokehold, “You done whining like a little bitch?” Serge whispers, letting go, only after giving Jose a warning shock as well.
“I. Love. Us,” Ace has a hand to his heart, “Serge, you keep us so bonded.”
“You touching your chest and speaking of love? You’re like a schoolgirl in a man’s body,” Serge smirks.
“I love your honesty,” Ace winks at Serge and it drops the temporary smirk right of Serge’s face.
All the while, Dale puts an arm around my waist and pulls me onto his lap, not bothering to put on a seatbelt.
“Don’t pass out on me, kitten,” Dale mocks me as he settles me on his lap and I just raise two eyebrows at him. I was still shocked by my situation but I’m proud of myself that I still manage to find a slither of attitude.
“Where to, boss?” Jose asks from the front.
“Gage’s club, where do you think? Paige will be hosting the cards… we’ll be dealing the loyalty… and you’ll be breaking anyone’s neck that says otherwise,” Dale explains, like it’s simple.
In response, Serge is happily quiet, Ace nods while licking his lips in excitement and Jose continues to drive.
“Is your pet tagging along?” Serge asks, speaking out unexpectedly, he glances up to meet my eyes, as if wanting to get to know me.
“She’s coming with us, yes,” Dale holds me back into the door, with his arm around my waist, his hand on my hip and his other arm toying with my panties at my ankles. All the while, I’m trying to keep my heels away from Serge but also keep my thighs together so he can’t get too much of a good view.
“You like to gamble?” Ace asks me from the front, still watching on.
“Apparently, you do, with my life,” I snap, getting increasingly irate from the acid rain making my skin go red.
“Dale’s order, not mine,” Ace whispers, raising an eyebrow at me to watch my reaction.
My eyes do widen and I glance at Dale who I find extremely hard to read. He doesn’t show much emotion often.
Now, his gaze is running over my body while he assesses my condition.
“Pass me some water and your handkerchief,” Dale orders Ace and he holds out his hand over the arm rest. Ace rummages for a moment and passes over both items.
While I’m back against Dale’s arm and the door, I can lean back and I hope to find a way out of this situation. I’m thinking of grabbing the gun, in Dale’s pants. Maybe if my hands wandered… but no. Not yet.
I wait, while changing up my legs every now and then to accommodate Serge and myself.
“Relax,” Serge growls, annoyed at my constant fidgeting. He grips my ankles, making me freeze in fright that he might shock me. However, he simply shoves off my heels, winds down the window and chucks them out onto the road.
Dale chuckles as I gape. Dale has watered the handkerchief and starts gently rubbing it along my cheeks, neck, shoulders and arms. His touch is tender and confuses me, and now he starts on my legs, distracting me.
He slowly rubs the cloth along my right calf, cleaning my skin thoroughly.
I try to ignore Dale’s hands so I look at Serge.
Once Serge is done ridding me of my heels, he leans back into his seat, still eyeing me off but more relaxed now that the heels are not poking into him.
“Be happy he isn’t taking off anything else, kitten,” Dale growls into my ear.
As he continues to clean, I can’t help but feel tiny, sitting on his lap. He was one giant mafia boss, which helped since his anti-power didn’t seem very threatening when I first thought about it.
It made me wander how he came to be in control of so many things.
Then I remember his choice of words.
He was a megalomaniac. Weren’t they control freaks? Or obsessed with power, or something? That’s probably why.
“You share your kittens?” I ask, confused, “You try to kill them, too?” I end up accusing him – which makes his three body guards go intensely quiet. I can feel their eyes on me and Dale, obviously waiting for his response.
His hand with the handkerchief rubs its way in circular motions up my knee and now much further up my thigh, while he holds my gaze with his unblinking purple gaze.
“Yes, kitten, I put out a kill order,” he shrugs, “You pissed me off.”
“Shhh,” he cuts me off with a bold shush, and I purse my lips but only because I’m holding back a million insults, “Let me finish. The radios were playing up, I said to make the shot if you ended up in James’ bed… it was just a test, really, I wasn’t sure if you’d actually end up in his bedroom… but you did, kitten – and that’s breaking the most important rule,” Dale explains so smoothly, he makes me think he couldn’t have possibly stuttered once in his life.
“Funny. I don’t remember any rules being laid out,” I answer, with attitude, but I can’t help it. I was already prone to it after the wine and their thug-vibes. It was rubbing off on me.
Oddly, in this moment, I’m having fun, despite my imminent death being literally a simple command around the corner.
“I’ll explain gladly, kitten,” Dale starts, “The only hands that touch you, are the hands that I say can touch you – that rule is important to me, and now it’s important to you,” Dale puts on a tone like he is educating a child.
His words also push something inside me, as he talks about me like I’m useable to many – and it pisses me off.
I raise a quick hand, aiming to slap him – and I do.
In fact I know he sees it coming but he chooses not to stop me.
My hand rests against his immovable cheek after hitting it and it hardly goes red. In fact, I’ve noticed his skin isn’t even the slightest bit pink from the acid rain, either. I continue to rest my palm on his cheek as he just watches me and I bite my lip as I try to claw a finger into his skin – unsuccessfully.
After a few moments of silence – everyone in the car laughs out loud at the same time.
Except Serge, he is just smirking.
“Harder, doll,” Serge encourages me but Dale finally stops me having fun. He grabs my wrist, slams it down between my legs and then raises his wet handkerchief to my open mouth. Before I know it, as I struggle backwards in shock, he’s shoved it in my open mouth. He keeps a firm hand over my lips so I can’t spit it out.
“You like the taste of that rain?” Dale asks me, with a raised brow and my eyes just go wide.
It tasted like sulfur. It was disgusting.
He doesn’t leave me gagged for long though, he takes his hand off and lets me spit out the handkerchief a moment later.
I go quiet and just glare at him, unconsciously laying a hand against Dale’s suit and resting a more comfortable foot into Serge’s leg.
“Try that again, kitten, and you know what will happen,” Dale growls at me while not even looking at me, as if I’m that unthreatening and uninteresting.
Instead, he is looking at the road ahead.
“Pollies, turn quickly, darling,” Dale teases Jose, who angrily turns the car so sharply, we all dramatically feel the G-force pulling us to the right.
“Too late, they saw us,” Ace speaks up, more seriously now, “Sergey boy, help a lady out… by lady I don’t mean Alyssa… I mean me,” Ace chuckles to himself while Serge simply ignores him with a roll of his eyes and gets ready.
A weird happiness hits my gut that Ace said my name like I was known well to him.
And I’m suddenly so intrigued by Serge.
I quickly forget about the aftertaste of sulfur in my mouth. I watch the back window roll down and Serge sticks a whole arm out. I see blue and red lights in the back window, but only for a moment.
A weird, sucking noise rumbles through the air. A loud buzz. It could be Serge’ reverse electricity that has just busted the police car behind us, or perhaps it was the music Jose has suddenly turned on in the car.
“You all talk too much,” Jose snarls.
“It’s called banter,” Ace pokes the end of the sniper to Jose’s head and he simply grabs the end of it and pulls it out of Ace’s grip – or tries to.
A tug of war starts and I can’t help but laugh out loud.
My laugh quickly stops the game and everyone goes quiet as the music starts pounding the bass.
“The lady’s having fun, turn it up, darling!” Dale calls out to Jose.
Ace beats the tattooed hand to the controls, blasting up the song.
I sit back, grinning to myself as I watch Ace bup around in the front while Jose drives like a maniac.
Serge rolls his eyes at everyone, eventually closing them. He can’t contain the small smile to his lips though. He enjoyed this. He just didn’t want to admit to it.
The music is so loud, no one can talk now. However, Dale catches me smiling and I quickly try to drop it as I glance at him.
I wasn’t meant to be having this much fun.
Dale is thinking it too and now he looks intrigued.
His hand around my back, bends until his fist curls around my hair, pulling my head back so he can lean in all the way.
He moves his hot lips to my ear, as if to kiss it – which is odd. But of course, he doesn’t kiss me. He just presses his lips against my ear so he can speak to me and I can still hear him over the music.
“Yes, I do share,” he growls low and I furrow my eyebrows.
I turn into him, until our faces are inches apart.
I can’t help myself, I feel their vibe creep under my skin, making me confident to also talk shit.
I move my cheek past his as I put my lips to his ear in return.
“First you want to murder me, then you want me, and now you want your friends to all have their way with me?” I ask, “You’re a real Lord of the Underworld, aren’t you? But do you have any class… Dale?”
His hand is still in my hair and he pulls me back when I have just started to insult him.
“Of course I have class,” Dale growls, just as the car pulls to a stop and the engine is switched off, along with the music.
I look around quickly, it looks like we’re in a black alley way at the back of a row of strip clubs.
“Class... really?” I ask, to double check with Dale, “My panties are around my ankles.”
“And that’s where they’ll be staying…” Dale grabs the door handle, but before he opens it he asks me, “You going to quieten down, be my girl on my arm and trust us to keep you safe at our side? Or do you want to play the damsel in distress…?” Dale lists me my options as Jose is the first to get out of the car, eager to break bones.
Serge chooses to finish for Dale with a word of advice.
“...be the damsel in distress and you’ll probably end up in the boot, doll,” he adds while passing me a raised brow, questioning my bravery.
I open my mouth to complain, starting to believe this was a nuts situation with just as nuts people – so maybe I should just give into the air they portrayed that was… drawing me in a bit.
“You see, now I’m curious to find out exactly how you boys plan on keeping me safe,” I answer smoothly and Dale licks his lips, smirking while the remaining body guards all pass each other a knowing look.
The look they share, fucks with me.
All at once, my air of feeling like I fit in, feeling like I was oddly having fun – vanishes.
Instead I’m flooded with natural anxiety and fear. I had to be careful. I had to be very, very careful.
This was fun and games for the moment only – it could turn dark any second and if that happened it’d be too late.
My mind fast forwards through to how this night could end; me raped and murdered.
My heart is thumping as Dale smirks. Serge and Ace both share in the look a bit longer than is necessary.
“Come on boys,” Dale speaks, finally breaking the silence, “Let’s go chase some loyalty.”
At least we’d be out of STRIKE; which is what I choose to refer to the car from now on.
I was glad that now I could be in an open and hopefully public space. This was my opportunity to get lost in a crowd. I was going to play along, pretend I was one of them, get them relaxed.
Then when I got the chance?
For my life, my dignity, my virginity – I’d run. As fast as I could to get the hell away from them and back to some form of safety. If there was ever such a thing as ‘safety’ anymore in my life after meeting Dale? I had a feeling safety was stripped from me forever. Unless I played into his hands and then escaped promptly after.
And if I was brave enough, perhaps I could escape with his ring.
But right now my priority wasn’t my mission; it was simply to get away with my life and the innocence they were yet to take.