Some of you may know our first story lost. There were for writers for that, but unfortunately, that fizzled. So I teamed up with the lovely Reneiro to Fontaine in with it, of sorts. It will be just us two doing this again, and writing what seems to be a part two! Please note. Contains some strong language and sexual references
Reneiro writes for 'Renzo'. And I still write for Leah.
Hope you enjoy!
My vision was blurred. I could see nothing but a few shadows. The room was dark, and smelt like a stale rain that had settled in dirty rocks. I could also smell what seemed like a distant fire, but I wasn't worried. It was like the smell had seeped into the air of this place. I wasn't cold. But I felt how cold the air was. It had no kindness in it, only an unforgiving bite that was unmistakeable.
We had to be underground. But I knew nothing more. Of course, that was all when I had just woken up. Now, everything was all too clear.
To my left is Daniel, Kayla next to him, and to my right Tyrone. We all look scuffed up, a spot of mud or dirt on some random bits of clothing, but Tyrone looks the worst. All of us were eventually taken out with chloroform Which has left all of us with a nasty headache.
But Tyrone was the toughest, he fought hard. His entire body is laced with bruises and layered in blood. His face has too many abrasions to count, and yet, he sits tall, and puffs his chest out with the same dignity he wears constantly.
Now that I can see clearly, I know that we are in a mine. Obviously it's not in use, it looks a bit outdated anyway. It's wood holding up the hollowed out clay is worn. And looks terribly unsafe. The entire shaft reeks of abandonment.
All four of us are lined up, our backs to the dead end of this shaft, two guards armed with the heaviest machinery known to man, keep watch. They wear no print, simply black cargo pants, and a tee shirt. Sine they are facing there backs towards me, I can see they harbour a smaller weapon tucked into their belt, and a knife in their boots. It's terribly unsettling. We were not to speak to each other, when Kayla tried to ask if we were all okay, she got a nasty slap to the face. We learnt out lesson.
I'm not exactly sure what we are waiting for. But whatever fate lies ahead, I hope it comes soon. I sweat even though the air nips at my skin, and my heart races constantly. The sick feeling in my stomach won't budge, and this damned headache. When Daniel saw silent tears rolling down my face, he managed to discreetly shift over to me, and rest his tied up arm on mine. If there is anything I could wish for now, is to have both my bothers arms around me in the reassuring hug he gives so kindly. Unfortunately, all of our hands and feet are bound.
I look to Tyrone, his dignity, still very much intact, blinds me. But when his eye meets mine, I can see exactly what he is hiding so well. Pain, anxiety, but most of all fear. The instant I see it set in, it is quickly gone when he replaces the fleeting moment of truth back with the façade of calmness when we hear foots steps down the hall. The soldiers, formerly flippant and casual in their stance. Now become formal, and affirmative, giving me an indication of who might be coming down this dark hallway. I strain my neck so my cheeks can rub my shoulder, erasing the tears from my face. I breath in, and hold my breath as a man stops in front of us. His teeth glistening in the light as he smiles devilishly.
I glared through them, four of them, all hung inherently from the wooden cave shaft. “Looky looky looky what the cat dragged in,” I started, “a few specimens”. The tick in my neck pleaded and I acted on it, tittering my neck at the impulse before slicking my neck right. I returned my gaze and scanned them, noting each. They sway like gusted moths against a flame. “Why, aren’t you a looker hun,” I hissed at the right most captive, stepping forward with an outreach to lift her chin up. Sliding my fingers against her jaw-line, my hand found its place behind her ear, and ultimately; her hair. Hauling it back, a spike of pain started on her face with her eyes meeting mine, lovely. “What? Don’t like it rough hun?”
No reply. I don’t like that, not at all. “The cat take your tongue as well? I wouldn’t blame it, I would’ve. More… space.” I let a laugh out, stopping it with a twitch. Her mouth finally opened, but instead of words, it was refuse. It hit below my eye and cascaded down my cheek, I caught it with the back of my hand, whirling it hard into her face. “Return to sender.” I mutter as she starts to bellow, with a faint cry of distressed woe. “What do you want-” with us, a voice would have finished if I didn’t lift my hand for silence. Moving over, my eyes lock with a boy’s, who quickly averts them after a second. “I wasn’t talking to you, I see no fucking reason why you should talk to me!” His eyes met the floor and then, my boots. “You have something to say pretty boy? Huh?” I said raising my voice. He tried to utter something but was halted when he was nudged by the next captive, I noted this.
Looking quizzically at both of them, I knew they had a connection, but couldn’t find the link. The tick pleaded again, but I fought it, wincing my teeth shut and chattering them. Back to the boy, I opened my mouth to speak, but my lungs began to screech like chanticleer, causing me to throw a rough cough. Brushing it off, I moved to the next captive, beautiful as well. “Aw, why so sad blondie? Everything’s going to be just… well, we’ll have to see.” An ecstasy suddenly overwhelmed my mind like an unpredicted and delicate thought, I was going to try something. Leaning forward, I clutched her around her hips, which sparked the attention of the boy. “You get your fucking hands off my sister, you fuck!” Sister… hmm, I should have guessed. I placed my hands under her shirt and raised it slightly, revealing some skin. He shook violently, lunging at me with a fuming, shattered roar, like waves on an unseen shore, his anger crashed.
“Don’t worry, I’m a gentleman.” I said stepping back and crossing my legs in a courtesy, slightly bowing with a hand raised as If I was holding a wine glass, and my other rested on my chest; a royal curtsy. Amused, I slicked over to the last of the rat pack; a man standing tall with his chest out as a shield that caught the stains of blood from his battle with my men. “And you… big, tough silent type. Heard you took out two of my men?” I voiced as I turned to my men for conformation, nodding. “It was Aimé, and uh… Rafael…” One of them said, timidly. “FUCK!” I yelled, startling everyone. I clutched my head and paced, returning to the man, face-to-face. “Rafael owed me money, and somebody’s gotta pay me!” I said, searching his pockets. All he had was a radio, frickin’ useless, “I can’t sell this, I don’t even know how to work it.” Discarding it in a corner, I stepped back, and questioned them all. “So, if we’re to get along, I’m goin’ to need your names.” No response. “I said what the FUCK IS YOUR NAMES!” I yelled stepping forward with a sidearm to one of their faces. “Uh… Kay-Kayla.” Switching over, I glared at the boy, who didn’t look until I placed the barrel onto his forehead. “It’s Dan, okay! Daniel.” He snarlingly said. “Was that so hard?” Sniffing, I moved to the blonde. “Leah” she quickly said, a sudden sense of fear hit her nerves like the chill of an icy wind. Finally, the silent one. “Well? What is your name?” I said tapping the sidearm on his forehead, a single sweat drop rolling down onto the barrel.
He didn’t reply, so I lowered the gun to my hip. “I’m gonna ask once again. What. Is. Your. Name.” He still didn’t reply, I hate people who can’t obey orders. Raising the gun slightly, I fired into his left knee. He felt a glacial spasm of agony, like the stab of a blade, and a numbness encompass his entire body. “Tyrone!” The blonde shouted. “Tyrone? Your name is Tyrone? Why didn’t you say that in the first place?” I unsheathed my machete from its holder strung on my back and slashed hard. Everyone gasped but was relieved when I swung for the rope. Tyrone hit the rocks painfully and stumbled onto his side, breathing heavily. I turned to Daniel. “Remember when you called me those very bad words?” I swung at his rope, and he hit the stones hard falling forward onto his knees. My fist met just under his chin, closing his mind. I turned to my men. “Gentlemen, would you kindly escort these two ruffians to the festivity area, we gotta throw a party for our new guests! Oh and clean his leg, he appears to be injured, how strange?” They nodded in unison, grabbing them and dragging them out of the mine. I turned to the girls, in their awkward poses. “You two wait here while the boys and I make a surprise… you’ll never forget. À tout à l'heure!” I said bowing as I followed my men out the shaft.
My stomach churned as I thought of the look Tyrone me gave me just a few minutes ago. I shouldn't have given that psychopath his name. After Demented shot Tyrone, and I wailed his name, though the quivering, so obvious pain. A fleeting look passed his eyes. One of disappointment, anger, and once again, that emotion I could never mistake. Fear. What's more, my mind burned with the image of my brother laying unconscious. No amount of blinking etched it.
"You shouldn't have spat at him. Now we are all in for it." I remarked to Kayla when the pain of the silence got to heavy for my heart.
"Are you serious? Because as I recall, he had it in for us the second we stepped on this bloody island! And I BELIEVE it was me who came up with that idea, oh wait, no, no, THAT WAS YOU!" Kayla's words grew until they became a shout. The echo filled what I am sure was every cavern in this mine.
"How could I have ever known that this would happen Kayla? And besides, I didn't WANT to come here! It was just an assignment!" I shouted back.
"One that you accepted! With no regard as to how I, or your bother felt about it! You always do this Leah. You reply on your own understanding for everything, and everyone else just has to conform to your bloody decisions .. Well you know what! I, not conforming any more, not you, or to them, or to anyone!" Her words pierced me like a blade of guilt. Mostly because everything she said was right. And the honesty in her eyes bled into mine, and brought fourth tears. Not only did I bring my own family and friends into this, but now an innocent bystander.
"Oi. If you two don't keep your mouth shut, I'll shut it for you." One of the guards said, as two knew ones walked in, along with my old friend demented. The one talking was Australian, his accent gave it away. I was just hoping Kayla wouldn't notic-
"What are you worried I'll attract the dingos? Better hide your babies then." It was a petty reply, one made up with almost no forethought. But the sarcasm in her tone was unmistakeable. And it hit the man hard. A look of slight amusement, but a prideful anger set in. He took furious steps towards her.
"You talk to much" He barely finished his sentence before backhanding her so hard she was knocked unconscious . I tried to have a anger in my eyes, but when his met mine, all I felt was fear. He laughed minimally, nothing compared to the one following. Demented face had gone red, and his eyes filled with gleeful tears. Through chuckles he said "Your friend is a cracker. What's her name again? Katlin? Katherine?" The way he said the names was smugly, but he remembers her name well, his intent is only to taunt me. It was such a small thing, and yet, I felt almost offended for my friend. He used his silly mind games well.
His eyes were truly outstanding. Bouncing shade of green burst around his pupil. Ordinarily I would find him quite attractive, a scruff about him that made him devilishly handsome. Unfortunately, I knew how his disgusting he was, and my stomached grew a black hole of nausea as I thought back to when his hands were on my hips. As if reading my thoughts, his next line takes me by surprise. He takes his hand up to his chin, smiles, and says "what? Did I catch your eye?" He moves his head from side to side as if on display. I don't respond to the ludicrous comment.
"You got to know our names, what's yours?" I say.
"Guess" he says with a smirk.
"Oh I already have a pet name for you, I just thought I would be polite and call you by what you enjoy. Since, from what I understand, that's where we are going next? A place we will enjoy?" I know exactly what he has I'm store for Kayla and I will be less than enjoyable. But, as if to win his acceptance, I went along with his game.
"Yes that's exactly what I have planed, smart little cookie." He says with a side smirk that only makes me want to puke. He stands up, and offers me his hand, with a look of innocence on his face. It then grows to a laugh, and he drops his hands. I of course couldn't grab his hand, because mine were tied up. His antagonising was working as I felt my eyes roll.
"HA. That never gets old" he says as he flicks his fingers toward me, and the guard behind him steps forwards and leans down to remove the rope tying me. He is still in a fit of laughter when I stand, and meet his level. "Funny" I murmur as I offer a weak smile wincing. The effect of this man was odd to say the least. I respected him none, and thought of him only as a snake like vile creature. Yet, I met his sarcastic level, as To win his acceptance. I had no idea why I felt a pressing need to please him. What was the most unusual, was that is was a short man. I towered over him, but yet, I felt small next to him. Of the guards I have seen, all have been tall, and intimidating. But nothing like demented. He had a way of commanding a room with his wicked smirk. He had no need for a physical advantage when he had such an edge with just his mind.
"Come then blondie this way" says the guard as he hauls me off, and the other carried Kayla over his shoulder.
"Where exactly are we going?" I say before I begin our march. Demented turns to me and smiles, touching his finger to my lips. "Somewhere, you will be paid the... Proper, attention to." He smirks as he takes his place a few feet in front of us and starts walking, as we follow. I feel my knees quiver.
I've got 'em hooked, like a moth to a flame; they don't know why they're going toward it, but they are forced to, compelled. The tick screamed out for my embrace and I comforted it, whirling my head to the side and right quickly. To lighten the mood, I tap James on the shoulder even though he's still fuming inside with hate.
"C'mon mate, lighten' up." I say in the shakiest Australian accent I can bare. "How's 'bout a song? You know, my favourite one." I turn to Leah, and smile, walking backward amongst the dark tundra of the mineshaft. "This one's by the late, great, Frank Sinatra blondie, you'll love it... you better." Clearing my throat whilst still keeping my backward pace, I begun my flawless sonnet I practice to lighten up my day.
"Fly me to the moon, and let me play among the stars. Let me see what spring is like, on Jupiter and Mars" As I'm singing, I click my fingers in time like a metronome, emulating Swoonatra perfectly. She seems surprised, as if she wouldn't believe someone like me could hit notes of that calibre. "In other words, hold my hand." I continue, extending my hand out to her, but she knew better, rolling her eyes. "In other words, baby, kiss me." I finished, puckering my lips and then smiling, poking my tongue out over my lip. I swirled around running my hand along the mine shaft's wall as we closed the gap between the end and the entrance. "Let me tell you something, Lisa:" I started, poking fun at her name, "We here at Huga, are free." She looked curiously at me when I tilted back to see her face.
"Free? How so." She said in jest.
"Like all animals, when we got here, we wanted to govern and exploit the resources around us. At first, we mostly hunted, fished and ate off the land, and wanted to hopefully return to Cuba after it became peaceful... but then something magical happened to this island." Her ear's clicked on, and she listened like a cushat dove that listens to its mate alone. "During the Enclosure days, when land was consolidated and hundreds of thousands of peasants were kicked off their ancestral lands, this island gained amnesty, thanks to the local tribe; these idiots voted to keep it protected and it worked out for us." She looked red, her cheeks of beauty blushed like rose-buds in the rain. She supported it too?
We met the mine entrance, and exited into the light, the acrid smoke billowing around us as we stepped into an enclosed area. Surrounding our camp was massive foliage, perfect cover, not even sunlight shown through the leaves and vines. The camp is wide enough for a baseball game and high enough to swing on a vine, if you're so inclined. "We've been here for many many years, generations even." I remarked proudly, "Welcome to the new Nassau! We are the modern corsairs that hung out on the coast of Brittany, the new pillagers of the Bahamas, the new pirates of these seas. The Nostra Piratae!" We walked through the area, with the men moving out of our way. They snarled and wooed the girls like savages at heart, like tigers chained from a meal.
"Fresh meat? I have dibs on the thigh!" One of them yelled over the commotion. Monkeys in makeshift cages whirled in a frenzy, a bottle of bootleg vodka hissed as it cracked on the floor, everyone was wild. "Don't worry, mi amore, they don't bite... well actually they do, some are cannibals." I said, grabbing her bound arms and pulling her in front of me, my hands on her shoulders. A look of terror encompassed her, she thought she was dinner, so I played on that.
"So, medium rare like usual James?" I smirked, winking to note him.
"Yeah Renz," he replied, "I like mine with a little blood." We got to the prison boat, now converted into a lovely bar for the boys, clearing everyone out, we grabbed some, "refreshments". I sat her on a box, where she sat timidly and darted her eyes around the area. "Beautiful, isn't it? This thing rode us out of Cuba, till we took it over of course." She seemed unsettled but willing to talk,
"That's nice but, uh.. where's my friends." Changing the subject, figures,
"Don't you mean, our friends?" Her face sunk with a scared look, like a rabbit’s driven right into the foxes lair.
As we sat down, Kayla seemed to become a bit more alert. Although I should be happy my friend is seemingly recovering from her blow, I know this only means trouble for me. The more alert she is, the more her mouth puts us in certain danger.
The man before me I'm slowly learning more and more about. Not because he's telling me, but simply because he to mentally fragile to keep back his emotions.
He relaxes back in his seat and smiles devilishly.
"So then, Tell me about yourself ladies." His statement intrigues me. He's not asking because he actually wants to know, he's to arrogant. But, he's not asking sarcastically. I find this interesting, Kayla finds this a point for defiance.
"We will never talk to you. You disgusting filthy mother fu-"
"Kayla!" I shout. "No need to cuss" I say innocently, "Renz" As his men call him, remarks at my words.
"Are you serious? Are you actually serious because-"
"We have caused them enough trouble." I say, dismissing her. "Two men down must be a hard price to pay." The comment, I so witty remarked sent Renz's boys crazy. James grab my hair, and presses a cold blade to my throat. I feel sweat on my upper lip forming, and my heart rate rising.
Damn it. I think I cant see Renz's face. The only reason I made my comment was to see what his reaction is.
"Ill kill her now boss." Says James with the knife to my throat, I hear Kayla sob.
"Oh James. Sit down and have a drink will you? You will burn your anger dry, and there will be none left for the boys."
As the man lowers my head, I see the look On Renz's face. His comment triggered an emotional reaction in my face as I picture my brothers face filling with fear as they pummel pain into his body, and I see Renz's grin. He sees the game I'm playing with him, and I guess he decided two can play.
"I want a beer." I say, looking him dead in the eyes. He laughs, and signals with two fingers for James to cut my ropes free, while I watch the bartender pour the beer. However, my vision is obstructed when I feel the blade pierce my wrist to a slice. the cut sends shivers of pain up my wrist. And it takes everything in me not to flinch.
"Whoops" James remarks. I immediately look to my hand, the wound is small. Not deep. It should be fine. I wipe the blood off on my pants and take a gulp of the beer in front of me. The bitter taste fills my senses.
"What a gentlemen you did prove to be." I say, with a smirk as I put the glass back on the counter. As awful as I gage this man to be. His eyes still remain the most interesting thing about him. Not only because of there unique colour. But the emotions he tries to mask. I watch him occasionally flick from amusement into a full blown hatred and anger, then, quickly change back. I've seen times he has expressed no restraint though, when he pulled the gun on Tyrone, and when he punched my brother out. The fact he is trying so hard to hide his anger from me, means only one thing.
He needs something from me.
"That song. You were singing. Fly me to the moon. I love that song." I retort. He studies me for a mere second, then turns his head to the right.
"Pretty little white girl like you hasn't even heard of jazz." He dismisses. I hold his gaze.
"I'm not the biggest fan of Frank. I much prefer Dean Martin." he quickly flicks his head to mine, and raises one eyebrow. "My personal favourite.. How does it go again..." I act as if I rack my brain, yet, I know the tune and words off by heart. I just wait for the perfect moment to release my melody. His eyes widen, waiting for me to begin the line.
"I really cant stay" I sing, in a perfect key. I internally cheer as I see his reaction. Pure shock. It takes a few seconds before he replies with the next line.
"But baby its cold outside."
"I've got to go away."
"But baby its cold outside."
After a while, he settles into the music, and closes his eyes as we sing. Its funny because, usually I would never sing in front of someone. But with him, I feel a sense of comfort. Everyone in this compound has some kind of mentality that even just looking at him will cause certain death. They part ways from him, and unless they are playing with his quirky sense of humour, they remain very formal. And above all, refrain from eye contact with him. But I cant seem to drag my eyes away from him. My stomach doesn't flutter as it first did when I thought of him. Now, my mind ticks as to what makes his tick. Where does the boundaries of his mind begin, but most of all. Where do they give in.
"Your a good singer." He compliments, a smirk escapes his lips.
"Why don't you two just get a room." Kayla rolls her eyes. I hand her my beer,
"I might just take that suggestion later." He says with a smirk. Kayla shoots me a look of remorse.
I only smile, hiding my disgust. "I actually do need some rest." I say casually. He examines me. Not quiet sure what to make of the statement. Eventually, he gives in.
"Fine. We will get the two of you a room." He says, waving his hand. His boys stand us both up.
"Thank you Renzo." I say, formally. His nonchalant demount is quickly replaced with anger. A burning rage.
"How do you know my name!" He screams, so loud the entire compound silences. I feel my mouth rise with bile, but I swallow it.
"I'm observant." I say with little information to follow on. He stands up and walks beside me. His strides are cool, trying to mask his obviously itching anger. He pulls his face right up close to mine, so his nose is almost touching my cheek, I tense my jaw.
"Don't forget Leah. I will, without a doubt kill you eventually." His words scare me. But I feel something else in my mind. A fogginess overcomes me. My eyes blur and my mind can think nothing but fear. I feel my hands tremble.
"Its just a matter of time. And that just depends on how much you end up pissing me off." He says, grabbing my cheek. As afraid as I am, my eyes start to close. Just before they do, I glace at my beer. Its spiked, it has to be.
"Don't play with me Leah. I will know. He whispers and he kisses my cheek firmly. My head hangs as my neck gives in. and my feet give in, my body rest's against James's. Before my mind slips into blackness I hear:
"And now! The men!" I hear Renzo's sadistic laugh, and the roar of his crowd.
I folded my arms across my chest, my eyes focused in the direction of the jungle ahead of us. I was leaned against our jeep, the trunk loaded down with layers upon layers of ammo, an assortment of guns, grenades, mines, and even a flame thrower. The Nostra dragged the men over, one flailing, the other pleated and trying to keep his leg off the ground. Tyrone's leg was treated with coagulated milk and honey, held in place by a muslin bandage, the usual. And Dan? Oh was he pissed to see me. I pointed at them both equally, clicking my mouth twice as I marked them, whistling as I pointed down a small ravine. My men knew what it meant, and they loved it. Rolling them down into the embankment, I yelled to them jokingly, "Gentlemen! I hope you enjoyed your stay with us." Both of their eyes darted around the dirt area they were dropped onto. I gave a careless shrug to them. They seemed confused, didn't I mention?
"Here, we believe in giving everyone a second chance," I began, glaring down on them, "...and we also love hunting!" Them escaping? That’s the least of my worries. "And we don't mean the four legged hunting either!" They clicked, they got it. "You know what, I'll think I'll give you a handout!" I reached for my back, unsheathing my machete and tossing it, the blade click-clanging on the stones. "You shouldn’t be worried about the damn animals, it’s them flesh hungry tribals on this island you should worry about!" They couldn't believe it, looking at each other. I gave a nod towards the back of my jeep, "See all that shit? Not for tigers, not for leopards, not even for the Komodoes. It’s for the frickin' Wakamanga." Placing my hands in my pockets, slightly leaning forward and squinting into the trees, i continued. "About a few miles that-ta-way, is your freedom, better hurry up though, the sun will be down in twenty." I turned to my men, all eager and hollering. "Men, get your guns! It's hunting season!"
Without hesitating, Tyrone dove on the machete, rolling along the rocks into a turn; bolting into the jungle. "You're a sick motherf-" Daniel started, cut off when he was whirled around and hauled by Tyrone. Whilst my men were fighting over who would arm the flame thrower, I instead, dove down into the ravine with only my sidearm. Keeping pace, I managed to take separate routes, and could hear them communicate. "Let's go, let's go!" Someone yelled as they slashed the brush, I had never heard that voice before... it was Tyrone. "Where are we going!" Daniel replied hurriedly, tired as twilight. "I don't know, Dan, just away from that madman." Madman... how cute. They reached a fallen tree perched over into more bush, sliding underneath. I vaulted it, landing hard on some branches; it made a hell of a sound, as lowde as bloweth wynde in helle. No doubt they heard it, and no doubt they were scared. I was close enough to hear their footsteps, the closest made a pitter patter sound, the other, a pat pat sound. Daniel was infront, Tyrone lagging behind him. Then, something surprising happened.
Daniel stood on a branch springload trap, but being agile he dove forward over it onto his chest, winding himself. Tyrone was not so lucky. The trap is designed for boar, which propels a branch into the animal, rendering it unconscious so it will still be fresh when gathered. I've stepped on a few in my day. "My shin!" Tyrone shouted, "It's, ow fuck!" To scare them, I pulled out my sidearm and fired in their direction, toying with them. Surprisingly, he got up quick, and half stepped after Daniel. Oh, it was hilarious, but no time to laugh. Running without thinking, they went off a small embankment into a stream. Stopping, knowing what was in the river, I doubled around the right side.
I looked to the opposite side, and there was a settlement in the distance, and as I looked closer, a man noticed the men in the stream! He shouted something and ran in the opposite direction. Shit, idiots ran right into a tribal village, I'll have to do something. Aiming, I fired into Tyrone's leg, again. He fell forward and turn onto his back. "Shit Dan, Ah!" he writhed. Daniel turned and grabbed onto him. "I'm not gunna leave you!" He yelled, shakily. "Just run!-" Tyrone started, but my men finally caught up, slowpokes. They sent a hail of gunfire in their direction. "JUST GO, GO!" Tyrone yelled, pushing him of him. "Got you motherfucker!" I yelled, jumping into the stream. Tyrone writhed and aimed his legs toward me as I dashed, but I dived onto him sending a fist into his brain, he was out. "We gottus a live one, boys!" I praised, ordering them to haul him back to camp. Seeing Daniel climb into the bush again I shouted at him. "You better stop or I'm gunna cut your sister into little fucking pieces!" He stopped, and raised his hands in surrender. "Yeah that's right, forget someone?" They grabbed him. "OK boys! Take 'em back to the mine!"
There was some time I was asleep. My mind and all. But for a while now, my mind has been moving at a pace unusual to me. But my body was heavy. I remember and old Greek legend Daniel used to tell me when I was younger, it was my favourite. He has always been such a brilliant story teller, his eyes would light up with power and passion as he would relay a tale that he has planed out to the letter. He would start the story off with "There was a mighty man named atlas. Stronger then all others. At first, He started as a kind man. But quickly, with time, and might and power made his head swell. He believed he was truly the best of all gods of the sky, and decided He was the best ruler." At this point in the story he pulled out all the stops to tell me the story so I could see it, taste it, smell it.
"He demanded a war. He pulled his army together and fought all who opposed him. Believing he was the strongest, he went into battle with no armour, and with no Weaponry. When he came across the mighty Zeus, he was no match for his lighting bolt. Zeus took out atlas's entire army it's just one Strike. But he did not kill atlas. As punishment for defying his rule, he made atlas carry the sky on the top of the worlds tallest mountain. He was sentenced to life carrying the weight of the Sky he tried to take over. Forever cursed carrying the weight failure." My arms and legs felt as if someone forced me to carry the weight of the sky, just like atlas. But wasn't just that, I had a connection to our captor that no one else had achieved. I know Tyrone wouldn't have spoken a word to the man... No matter what pain he put him though. And Daniel, he would only have violence to spit from his tongue. Kayla. Well let's face it, she blows every chance she has the second she opens her mouth. I'm the only one who seems to have the Ability, to relate to him on some level. And as soon as the others are aware of this. They will no doubt put getting out of here to be my job.
A job I am Ill equipped. Something tells me there is little reasoning with Renzo. The only language he understands is one of action and outburst of emotion.
When my body gives me enough leeway to at least open my eyes and move, I feel I am freed of my prison. Whatever they spiked me with was hell. I see much of what is to be expected. We are back in the mines. I have been laid on a bed in a small room. It's only about three meters long. It has one toilet in the front conner, a door which locks obviously from the outside with a small window, and two beds on opposite sides of the room. Kayla lays in one, fast asleep, and I lay here on the other. I look down and notice that I don't have a shirt on, my bra is intact, and I feel my legs to still notice the jeans. My eyes roll in disgust, I can only imagine the vile laughs as the men undressed me. Happily however, they had no patience to out my shirt back on, so I doubt they would have put my pants back on if infact they did remove them. This gives me a small sense of comfort. I didn't notice before now, but it is actually quite cold here. What before was near boiling point outside, is now freezing down in the mines. The bed I'm lying has two blankets. As does Kayla's. But it's not enough. My mind ticks though everything. They must be keeping us for something. As my mind only begins to search the possibilities, there is a commotion outside the door. I jump to my feet, and although they still don't have the steadiness I'm used to I can still walk. I rush to the door a little shakily. The door bursts open, and two guards carrying Tyrone and Daniel walk in while the third, James, walks behind them. My eye pops, and my heart pounds. Part of me wants to squeal that they are alive. But Im not so sure that is a good thing. Daniel is awake, but I see the blood smeared in his face, a look of panic mixed with exhaustion. Kayla is awake now, at Daniels side as he is set down on the bed by one of the guards. But Tyrone.
I've spent my whole life traveling the world, taking pictures of the most beautiful sights,and some of the most devastating visions. Tsunamis, fires, earthquake nothing compared the the devastation of Tyrone's body. His leg displayed visions of mutated muscles, and muddled insides. I wanted nothing but to puke, but I wanted nothing but to be by his side. Despite the pain, that must fill all his senses to the point of blackness. His eyes remain alert, and his body, still has an air of strength. He still maintains his physical composure, and seems as strong as before. I look to Kayla as she cradles Daniels head, who has now passed out. She only nods, alerting me that he is fine. And I need to pay attention to Tyrone. As I am rushing to him not sure as to what to do when I get there, a strong hand stops me, dead in the middle of the stomach. I can feel the purpose in his fingers as they put pressure on my bear stomach. He flips me around, and I meet James eyes. He has a look of sadistic pleasure in his eyes and he examines my body up and down, lingering on my chest.
"What do we have here" a toothy gin spreads on his face. And a bile raises in my throat. He pulls me closer, feeling the skin of my body. "Soft" he whispers. My body shivers in fear. And I close my eyes. I hear Tyrone yelling, screaming in the in the background. But it is all blocked out by my fear. The world has drowned out, and all I feel is mind numbing fear. The man grips my hips digging his filthy nails in my skin, and I feel it bleed. Kayla tries to run at him, but the two guards hold her back while they laugh.
Never have I longed for these words to come so much before I hear a strong, affirmative voice say:
The words are simple, but they immediately halts his grabbing of every part of me, and in a few seconds, he releases me. I breathe out, as I didn't quite notice I was not breathing. I flicker my eyes at the voice. I already know who's it belongs to. But I just needed to look at Renzo. He doesn't even catch my gaze, only looks James dead in the eye. "You. Are not to touch her." He says, taking a few steps forward. Again, not even straying a glance my way.
"C'mon boss." James says like a whiny kid. "You haven't gone soft have you?" What could have been mistaken for a common sentence. Was a challenge to Renzo. A challenge on his authority. I saw the flicker of anger in his eyes, but surprisingly, he suppresses it.
"I get all dibs on the prisoners." Renzo says plainly. A look of contempt in his eyes.
"Ahh. So it's that you have gone hard for her." James laughs and causally looks at me, again, glancing at my chest, "well. I can't blame you." He snickers, his eyes lingering on mine. I glance away, fear filing me.
"So you get it." Renzo laughs his eyes brightening in glee, my mind fills with confusion. No, he's here protecting me... Isn't he? James signals the two men to follow him out the door. But before he makes it, Renzo stops him.
"And James?" He says with a smile on his face. James turns around. And in one swift move, I see it. I see the anger he has been holding back released. He punches him with more force then I could have imagined, square in the eye. James is thrown to the floor, and I see drool spill from the mans mouth. My own drops open. Renzo then regains his composure, and leans down to him, his face just inches from James's.
"If you ever defy me again. I will kill you. I promise." He says with a smile. The two guards that carried the boys stand In awe, and when Renzo stands they help James up, and carry him out of the room. Once they are out the door, Renzo looks at me for a moment. I can't read his expression. Lines in his forehead, like he is studying me, but his jaw is locked.
"Thank you." I say shyly. I still feel James hands on me, his dreaded breath Piercing my neck. He says nothing. Instead he takes off his black tee shirt, revealing his near perfect chest. Ripped with abbs, and perfectly carved arms. He hands it to me, but with no kindness in his eyes, he leans into my ear, and touches my neck softly.
"None of this. Is for you." Then without looking at me again, only shooting Tyrone a smirk. He walks out of the room, and closes the door. I take a few second to recover from his words, and his touch that offered me no comfort at all, only a odd creeping feeling. Then I put his shirt on, grateful for the fabric that covers up my previously exposed body. Kayla walks to me and gives me the most faithful hug I have ever felt. It fills my body with warmth, and a sense of comfort. I close my eyes, and then pull back. I cup her jaw with my hand, staring into what beautiful eyes she owns.
"Please, take care of my brother." She only nods, giving my arms a squeeze and turning back to Daniel.
I turn to Tyrone who is staring at the door furiously. I walk to him, and he looks at me in the eye, "Are you okay? That was disgusting, is your hip okay? What did he say to you." He demands, with his jaw locked. His eyes pierce me. And no matter the pain, or position he is in. They have never looked more breathtaking.I stare at him for a few moments, before I clear my throat.
"Nothing." I say, sitting in the bed, sliding my fingers softly across his jaw. "I feel fine, Don't worry," I say. "How do you feel?" I ask, concern filling my tone, and I avert my eyes from his, to his leg, which just makes me gag.
"I'm fine,"he mumbles as he clenches his teeth. I try to see if It is still bleeding. There is so much blood I'm not even sure if the wound is still bleeding. Suddenly unwilling to surrender my own shirt again. I ask Tyrone for his.
"Your going to have to take it off yourself. I can't move. My body is stiffing." He says the statement with no concern. For some reasons, I feel a shy front uploading in my mind. I shouldn't, but my heart races of the thought of undressing him. I shake my head discreetly, erasing the thought from my mind. I rip the material from the front of his chest, reviling in one rough move his impeccable body, far surpassing renzos. His body is god like. Despite the blotches of blood here and there, and purple bruises laying some of his chest and the previous shot to the hip, which is barely visible unless I were to.. Lower, his jeans. He looks like something out of a magazine. His collar bone is noticeable, and it leads down to eight perfect ripples lining his abdomen, forming to a perfect v leading down to his- "Leah?" Tyrone raises his eyebrows. I realise I've been staring at him much to long.
"Right." I mumble under my breath as my fingers wrap around his abdomen so I can rip the shirt of, which I try not to enjoy. When finally, I can get his shirt off, and thankfully stop touching the top of his body, I wrap the shirt into a roll. And tie it tightly over his thigh.
I dedicate one of the blankets to his leg, and wrap it up tightly along with his hip. I chose one of the eight buckets of water they left, and pick up a few hand fulls to wash off some of the blood to make him comfortable. Last but not least I remove the sheet on the bed, so he is laying in something clean. Well. Not clean, but free of blood. I check on Daniel. Kayla has done similar. She is now asleep next to him resting her head in his shoulder, dried tears layer her face.
At this point Tyrone is near sleep. So I sit at the end of the bed staring at him, as I occasionally shiver. It's still cold, but I don't want to disturb him. He looks more exhausted then anyone I have ever seen. I still have no idea what evils Renzo has put these two though, but I know whatever it is, I will never quite understand the impact it had on them.
"Leah?" Tyrone says, opening his eyes slightly. I move closer to him, careful not to overstep his bounds. I know Tyrone is big on personal space, he made that clear when we first met. So I try not to annoy him.
"I don't want you to go." He says, coughing. I'm not quite sure what he means, "You need to stay here. I need you to stop this." His words become desperate. I only grab his hand, hoping it's not too far.
"It's okay" I say in a kind voice. Trying my best to fight back tears. He is fragile now, I see it. A wounded animal.
"Don't!" He tries to scream. But he fails, only letting out a slightly louder voice then he has been talking in. But I see the anger in his voice. I retract my hand and move back to the end of the bed.
"No no," he says in frustration.
"What do you want?" I say, frustrated. A tear escape his nearly closing eye,
"I want to protect you."
My mind clicks. It's a wake up call.
Tyrone has spent his life, protecting. Protecting his country by joining the army, protecting tourists by being their guard. Protecting his affections by hiding his emotions away. And now he wants to protect me. It's frustrates him that I'm relatively okay, and he can barely move. It frustrates him he can take on his usual roll. I sigh.
In order for me to make him feel better I need to surrender something to him. I take one deep breath in, and lay down next to him, and rest my head on his shoulder.
"Renzo scares me. I'm..." I stumble to say it "I'm not used to people out smarting me. He's smarter then me Tyrone. And I don't know how to fight it." He angles his neck, and looks at me. Examining me. I feel self conscious, I'm not used to giving so much of me away. But I resolve to show him how much of me as I can. "I'm scared Tyrone." My voice breaks. " I don't know what to do. And I don't want him to touch me, and I need someone." I cry, at first what was just an effort to make him feel better, now turns into sobs. Something I can't hold back. There's a few fearful moments when I think he's not going to respond. He just sits there and watches me while I sob. But he gives in, and offers himself to me. His strong arms surround me with warmth. He fits my chin on his shoulder, and holds me so close I can barely breath. The embrace of someone has never felt so right. I feel him take a deep breath, as if to smell my hair. I take it in, and try and compose myself, but he squeezes my back again, and I break down. Instead of hugging me now, he lets me go slightly, and Angles his body so that I am folded into his chest perfectly. His arms still wrap around me, but much more gently. I hear the sound of his breaths, in and out of his mouth. Breaths of relief. Never has there been a more comforting sound. He says nothing, just allows me to cry all the while running his impeccably strong hand across my back.
The last words to fill my head before I drift to sleep is "I'll protect you Leah,"
"And now! The men!" I hear Renzo's sadistic laugh, and the roar of his crowd.
Not many people know this, but, I'm terrified of water. Not just any water, mainly the seas. I know its silly, a self named pirate scared of its natural dwelling, scared as a jack-rabbit that has heard the howl of a wolf. A vast expanse of shadow underneath, and a fear of what might be in those shadows. Shadows, they visit me in my dreams. Dark but vivid, eerie but slightly real. Like being stuck in a never-ending loop; a lucid dream gone bad. My father is always first, cussing and degrading, my mother next, cold and unloving. No wonder I killed them. Do I consider myself rational? Yes. Do other people consider me to be rational? Well, when I'm not talking about dreams. When I talk about dreaming I might as well be an alien to others. But I'm just a simple man with a complex mind, simpler than the infancy of truth.
"Lorenzo!" A voice struck my conscious, was it real... or imagined? My mind shattered as if a shell had exploded inside. "Run, run faster brother!" I blinked, a weight fell over my back, an arm around my neck. Beneath my feet was the forgiving sands, a million stones of Earth massaging my feet all at once. The sand wedged itself up into my toenails, and dusted up in my toe-knuckle hair. It coated the bottom of my feet, like how the forest covered the mountains and valleys, like grasshoppers for their number. "C'mon c'mon!" The voice pleaded, giggling. "Così, così!" An arm pointed infront of me, and I couldn't resist its course. I was twelve again, a time of happiness, a time where my sister was still with me. "I'm running as fast as I can Elise!" My voice said, creaking under tiredness and puberty. I held her up with my arms, hooking her legs as she held me tightly around my neck, leaning over my shoulder. "We're going on an adventure!" She said happily. A twitch in the trees clicked me out of my flashback, it was a springload trap, as I remember; and did it hurt. I couldn't walk for a week.
Keep your senses sharp, even when you’re not looking for anything in particular, was something that I learned during that day. After my father, and my mother, my sister visited me. She was my one vice, my world, there was a time where I would do anything for my sister, I'd die for her. I feel Daniel's connection with his sister, the spark in his eyes I once shared with him. Oh she was a sob though, always considering herself the victim, getting me in trouble, wallowing in every perceived slight. Well, I would always torment her, but whats a boy to do on a island in the middle of nowhere?
"That short prick, where the bloody hell is he!" I heard, and I thought this would happen. "That Wog, I'll kill him!" Oh, James.
Without a word, I stepped out of my hut and into the centerfold of the camp. There stood a man fuming with rage, eyes of fire, one accompanied by swelling. He pointed at me, opening his mouth, but I cut him off. "Do you have any idea how rude you're being." This caught him off a bit but he retorted. "Listen here, mate, you'll give me a fair suck of the sav or else-" I saw him reach for his pistol, "Or else what! You'll kill me? You can't kill me! I MADE YOU". He raised his pistol up, his hand shaking. "I saved you from prison! I gave you all you wanted!" I grabbed his gun and placed it on my forehead, defiantly. "Who put this gun in your pocket? Who put this liquor in your gut? Who put this roof over your head?" My men had pulled their own weapons by now but I cut them down with a finger click, I don't need them. He blinked rapidly.
"You think you can kill me? PULL THE FUCKING TRIGGER!" I shouted, deafening the area. I upholstered my sidearm and brought it under his chin, pointing up. "CONE ON, WE'LL DIE TOGETHER!" Alone among the animals, humans are afraid of death. When we became afraid of death, we became... controllable. "In a way you can't kill me, James, 'cause I died many years ago when I was a child." A mixture of rage and confusion flustered on his face. "I'm gonna live till I die!"
"I'm sorry Renz, I-I..."
"You're angry, I know, and since you exhibited it, I won't kill you, but, we shall fight as equals and fate shall decide who is better." I flicked the safety cap on my sidearm, reupholstering it. He looked confused, but discarded his weapon as well. I dropped my holster belt, clutched my shirt from under my armpit, taking it off that way as it was fastest. James was bigger than me, by much, a near body builder, but it didn't faze me. It took him time to take his shirt off, him crossing his arms and pulling it upward, clumsy... noted. Back in Australia, and as a mercenary, too, he beat every man he fought first hand with wrestling. My father raised me on a good bit of work he'd learned from Kickboxing. "Lorenzo," he would say, "Nemico diviso, mezzo vinto.." Divide and conquer. Never attack the same place twice, aim for points of power, and strike to win. "...and if they are bigger than you? Smite their hips and thighs."
James, hands up and wide, approached. Hands down, I swung a half circle around him to his left, his body keeping in line with mine. Anger is a killing thing: it kills the man who angers, for each rage leaves him less than he had been before – it takes something from him. By being angry, you’re allowing yourself to lose control of your own mind and body. He lunged forward, I lunged back, he lunged forward, I lunged back. He lunged a third time, expecting the same reaction, but not expecting me to sidestep. James brushed past and I swung my shin into his knees, and oh did he tumble. He made a half-gassed attempt to catch his fall, hurting his pride more than anything. I'm open to the surroundings around me, I'm observant. Opportunity awaits those who seek it. As he used his hands to push himself up, I dashed and slid hard into his wrist, pulling it out from under him with my movement. His body was pulled forward sending his entire weight onto his face.
"And... adieu." James was out, and I didn't even break a sweat. To describe my position would be the death of me, so imagine someone casually laying back on a comfy sofa, arm propped to keep their head of the comfort. The slide brought dirt up my pants, but at least my face was intact; the same can't be said for James though, as he was hauled back to rest in the same cot he was in ten minutes ago. I lowered my shoulders to lay full on my back, before curling my legs up to my chest using them as a spring to launch my self into a standing point, the good ol' kip up. "Renzo! Renzo!" My men shouted, praising. "Easy guys, I put my pants on just like the rest of you, one leg at a time.. another round for everyone!" No doubt the fight would've been heard from the mines echo, but I couldn't care if I tried, besides, their too scared to try anything. I think.
I woke sounds of brute force impacting skin, along with dominance crushing another's pride. Whenever power and pride are involved I'm sure Renzo to be in the heart of it, sure enough a few seconds later, I hear victory cries of his name chanting down the shaft. The soldiers guarding or door left when the fight began, Daniel and kayla have been trying to wake me ever since. Whatever they spiked me with hours ago was strong if it still effected me.
"Leah. Get up, where escaping." The mad rush of emotions along with heavy breaths heated my blood. My vision clears and Tyrone is standing with Daniel by his side, gripping his waist. Tyrone's face screams pain, but he says nothing.
"What are we-" I mumble. Kayla crowds my face
"Leah, I need you to get up and follow us, were leaving." Finally these words spring me into thought.
"What? how did Renzo-" seems that no one will allow me to finsh my sentences these days.
"It doesn't matter about Renzo. We need to go." Daniel grunts grabbing my arm while still holding on to Tyrone's.
"No guys we can't do this. We can't go!" I say a little to loudly.
"Leah, now is no time to argue." Daniel says in a patronising tone. I stand, still a little wobbly on my feet, but I'm even surprised by the confidence in which I stand.
"We don't know the island well enough yet." Kayla frantically looks to Tyrone.
"And he can bearly stand, let alone get his bearings. Looks at him, you have pushed him to hard already!!" I say gripping his arm.
"I'm fine." He says gritting his teeth. His body betrays him, as if on cue he faints. Luckily both Daniel and I have a grip on him, and kayla lunges forward to catch his chest.
"See?" I say, as I glance down to his leg, which has now started bleeding again. Probably why he fainted. They both know I'm right, I can see it in their eyes, but I can also see a cutting desperation. One that makes them crazy, one that makes them loose all sense. Tyrone desperately needs to lay down. I sigh, and allow my cell mates to see the strength I'm faking well. I plead my eyes to them,
"look. I'm not saying I'm giving up on escape. I never will. I promise we will find a way to get out of here. But first we need to be healthy, and we need to know this mine better. We need to know these people better. To be able to get out of here, we can't just blindly trust luck. We need tactics. And tactics take time. Give me time." A tear escapes Kayla's eye, and Daniel looks down. "Give us time." I say, gesturing towards Tyrone. After a few seconds they nod, and Kayla wipes her eye. I sigh, and squeeze her arm. Daniel and I rest Tyrone on the bed, and Daniel looks away tears blinking. I have a desperate itch to be by Tyrone's side, but I grab my brothers arm And rush in for a hug, he grips on to me, and I hear a faint sob before he turns away and sits back in the bed. Kayla looks to me with a pout and joins him on the bed, her arm around his shoulders. I wish I could be there for him more, but Tyrone needs me right now. I sigh and unwrap his now bloody teeshirt, a make shift bandage. It needs to be cleaned, but I don't want to risk using any More water, I don't know how long it will be before they refill the buckets. Detecting my conflict, my bother takes off his shirt and hands it to me. I try not to be shocked when I see the blue that layers my brothers chest. Good god what the hell did Renzo do to them. I wrap up his leg, and clean what I can risk with water. It takes me nearly half an hour of fussing to decide that I had to stop and just let him rest peacefully, when I did. I sat on the floor, my back resting on the bed. Daniel now sleeps. When Kayla sees my position, she makes her way next to me, unfolding her self from Daniels embrace in which he fell asleep. Once she is sitting with me, she sighs and looks at the roof.
"I'm sorry," I turn to her for a few seconds.
"Why would you be sorry?" I ask.
"For what I said, in the mine. It was uncalled for." She says. I turn away,
"No Kayla, you don't have to be sorry. You were right anyways." I say now turning my head to the floor. My voice tired,
"No Leah. I was right in that you are self assured. But who am I to say being independent isn't a good thing? Leah, you saved us from what I now see was a really stupid descison today. We would all probably be dead. That was because you use your head and we couldn't. I've seen you with Renzo to. Your smart enough, leavel headed. You can do amazing things Leah. And all because you have taught yourself. I was wrong to call you up on it because it's the thing that will get us out of here." Her words are sincere, sincere as the look in her eyes when she grabs my hand. My best friend is kind, gentle, and beautiful. However her words scare me more then they comfort me. What I predicted is very well happening.
I'm now their hope of escape.
Three days pass and there has been no action. I haven't seen Renzo once, nor have I seen James. Happily might I add. The clan has put Kayla and I to good use. We have been outside a few times, each time for a few hours in a waterfall a ten minute walk from the mine. The men have decide because we are women, we have the job of cleaning there clothes. Not only have we stepped on to a tropical island where we are held prisoners, but also back in time to the nineteen fifties. The clothes are filthy, with stains ranging from blood and mud to... Other bodily fuilds. It's a less then enjoyable job, but one I don't mind so much. Everyday I learn a bit more about the six guards that accompany us. Apparently there is only meant to be four, two guard us to make sure we don't escape and two to carry the clothing for us. Apparently the other two decided two good looking women basking in a waterfall while doing there chores was to great a sight to miss. So they hang around.
Of the six, three of them talk to us, one in particular a lot. He's actually, dispute his gruelling appearance, mutely and unshaven, is a pretty nice guy. Around forty, Jack used to have two kids and a wife. When they died, he didn't see much reason to live. And decided he would end his life, that's when Renzo stepped in and offered him something to live for. A chance work for him and make money by his side. Jack saw Renzo as a friend, someone worth surviving for, and joined. The other two who like to chat are nick named tight and uptight. Two brothers who ran away from their parents at sixteen and lived on the streets before Renzo offered them a home here. Still young, they believe everyone is out to get them, and pare known as the conspiracy theorists of the group. Hence the nicknames.
From what it seems, everyone here has a personal story of how Renzo asked them to join, he chose each one single handedly, and gave them there position personally. Most had lost there family, if not disconnected from them. My mother a counsellor for the president himself, and my father a prime minster. I've learnt a lot about psychology, and leadership. It seems Renzo was a expert at these two. Knowing what to say and do to get these men to trust him. Funny though, they seemed to have formed little to no relationships with Eachother, apart from when they were drunk of course. Everyone seemed to have whole souled devotion to Renzo. As nice as they were, especially jack, who always treated us with respect, and helping us with our disgusting task. They all were being manipulated by Renzo, and the sad Part is it looks like no one knew it.
Tyrone was still unable to walk. But they brought in a tribal doctor for his leg. At first I was suspicious to let him in, after all. Why would they want to help Tyrone? But when the offer of medical help became available, no matter what the reason, I couldn't refuse it. The doctor spent close to an hour with him. I couldn't if I tried to describe to you what he did. All I know it Tyrone was given a mix of herbs and spices for him to swallow, and his leg was made a brace with leaves and sticks. I was given a supply of these to refresh every day. I wasn't sure how much this would help. It was not something I was used to, but Tyrone explained the time he spent in Iraq proved to him what these tribal medicines could do wonders and to trust them. So I did, not because I thought it would help. But i know what hope does to people.
Well, at least I know it's stronger then fear.
Daniel still not in great shape,was put to work doing what I guess is the clans equivalent to a handy man. He chopped wood some days, cleaned the bar they set up, fixed all the lights in the shafts ect. But we relish the time we spend together in the cell, we feel like a family. One that was shattered, tired, and stressed beyond belief. But, we are here. Tyrone even admitted to feeling better. Less pain, and he sits up on his own now, and sleeps a bit less.
This afternoon, the first in three days no one was called to do something. Daniel and Kayla saw the chance to get some sleep, but Tyrone and I stay awake and speak to each other alone , the first chance to do so in three days. No one has talked about the bed arrangements. When we first entered the room, it was no choice as to where to sleep, we just did. But now, we had the option to change so I was with my brother, and Kayla with Tyrone. But no one brought it up, we were content, so I didn't either,
Tyrone sat with his head propped up, resting on his hand, his arm forming a triangle shape. My head laid down on the pillow, I stare up at him.
"You look tired" he says softly, two fingers brushing away a stray hair on my face. He was right, catching my reflection in the water while washing cloths earlier this afternoon, I saw the dark circles forming under my eyes, and my skin Paling.
"I am" a heaviness coats my body these days.
"Maybe you should rest." I smile, it's a nice gesture. But he knows I would rather be awake.
"I'm okay. How do you feel?" I say, cupping his jaw gently. He smiles.
"Much better. Especially now." He reaches for my hand, and kisses the back of it. I don't see Tyrone like this much, when my brother is awake especially, he is almost cold towards me. I'm guessing in the times Kayla and I are gone, Daniel and him have had a few words. But out of prying eyes, I hear a gentleness in Tyrone's voice, and a softness in his eyes. The fact that I and only I are privy to this side of him, makes my heart race.
"Any new information?" He says, tracing the lines in my forehead.
"Not really. Im just getting to know some of the gang. Most of them are okay, a few psychopaths like James. No one actually likes James apparently." When I say his name Tyrone's face contorts. "Well I don't blame them," he says clenching his jaw. On the first night when James grabbed me Tyrone immediately hated him.
"How do they treat you?" Tyrone says, his eyes flashing with the memory.
"Okay, there are two guys that come with is every day to watch us. I'm not sure, maybe they get a kick out of it. That makes me uncomfortable." I say, wearily. He knows there is nothing he can say, so he simply breathes out and holds me tighter. His hand rests on my stomach. If feel heat on my stomachs growing. His fingers are long, extending to ribcage, I wish they would extend further. I close my eyes, and he kisses my jaw. I sigh and involuntary sound, that only makes him chuckle. I feel a blush of embarrassment, expecting him to turn away turned off. But he kisses under my eye this time, more gentle. His lips are softer then anyone's I've known. He has an assured ease about the way he moves. A confidence that is beyond attractive. Although we have not officially kissed yet, and not officially talked about how we feel. It would be hard for either if us to mistake what is happening here.
"How come you never make that sound me with me?" I hear Renzo's deep voice approach. Quickly Tyrone's eyes open, and his head tilts towards Renzo. He looks well rested, clean, and I can smell his strong colognes from a mile away because the shirt I'm wearing he gave me still faintly smells like it. He looks powerful. I see my chest rising and falling rapidly. Tyrone still hovers over me, but this time it's not in a sensual way. But more of a protection.
Renzo laughs and Imitates the sound my throat made just a few seconds ago with near perfection. I feel my cheeks burn, and Tyrone's jaw twitches above me.
"Oh don't be embarrassed darling. We all make sounds. I would be happy to share mine with you sometime." He winks, and the corners of his mouth jerk up. Tyrone sits up, with his back towards me, this time his hands grip my thighs in protection. His biceps flex and I feel the heat of hanger radiating off his body,
"Renzo." I say, placing my hand gently on Tyrone's shoulder. "What do you want?" I say, much more at ease then Tyrone.
"I want a lot of things. But right now, I want you to dress up for me." He says, rolling his wrists in the air as if displaying a magic trick. I'm confused by the comment, Tyrone snarls. By now Daniel is waking, and Kayla sits on the side of her bed.
"you two big bro" he remarks. Daniel tenses his jaw, but flips the blanket so he is now sitting next to Kayla.
"Well. I can dress up for you I suppose. But I warn you, I'm not into guys". Daniel jests. The comment that was, I'm guessing, supposed to send him into a insecure rage, only contorts laughter on his face. "Not today I'm afraid." He turns back to me,
"Well I haven't got all bloody day blonide, GET UP" he screams. Immediately I gently push Tyrone away from me, and stand up. Tyrone grabs my arm and looks at me with eyes of concern. He doesn't have to speak for me to know what he wants to ask,
"I have no choice," I reply simply, before regretfully turning away. I hear Tyrone make a noise that resembles "grr" Renzo leads Daniel and I out of the mine, about half way to wherever it is he is taking me, another guard comes to escort Daniel. And I'm now alone with Renzo. I walk behind him cautiously, watching his shoulder blades. His walk is cool and confidant, but being a former masseuse (I know. This officially makes me a hippy) I can tell when people hold tension in their body. The worse case of tension I ever saw was a post war veteran. He was fresh out of combat. His muscles were in good shape, but the tension in his body was like nothing I've ever seen before. And by the way Renzo's shoulder blades refuse to move around as much as they could, and the twitch in the top of his neck. I can tell his must be much worse then that.
"You know I could probably get rid of that twitch your neck does." I say, breaking the silence. He stops and turns to me, his cold eyes studying me.
"What?" He says.
"I was a massage therapist. I've had a few clients that had a tick like yours, it takes a bit of sessions, but at the very least, I could lessen it's impact if not get rid of it all together." I say, my heart beating a little faster.
"Let you near my neck? No way." He laughs.
"I won't hurt you. I wouldn't even know how." I say, and it's the truth,
"Okay, so let me get this straight. You want me, to lay naked on a bed. While you rub oil all over my body" his fingers trail down his chest in demonstration. "While you touch me and..." He chooses his words very carefully "relieve me of my stresses". Despite how incredibly dirty he made an innocent tension massage sound he was essentially correct.
"You scared?" I contort my voice to make it sound sensual. Sexy, if you will. Even I'm surprised. He examines me for a moment, looking me up and down, but it's not in the creepy way James did. His eyes don't linger on spots, more he observes the way my body curves. My mind imagines the places his body could fit mine. All of the sudden heat rushes to my face, and I glance down. And out the corner of my eye he smirks.
"Well. I might take you up on that very generous offer one time." He says, closing the subject. But he doesn't turn around, only lingers a few centimetres from the humble bumps of my chest brushing his, I clear my throat.
"So. Where are we going?" I say, his smile turns from seductive to common day. He turns back around and begins walking again, this time I join him by his side.
"Well, we like to play games with our guests, we find it lightens the mood." Okay. A comment that gives me no information but that he is planing to mess with me in some way or another.
"But before I explain the game to you, I would like you to get dressed up." He's green eyes warm to me, as he reaches a door that what was probably once a utility room for the mine. "In here I have some girls clothes I managed to dig up, and make up. I want you to wear what you feel comfortable in. And..." His lips brush against my ear as he leans in, and my body burns "excite me." Without another word he walks the opposite direction from the way we came, leaving me at the room. I breathe in, collecting myself. And walk into it.
Most of the clothes are much older, I'm talking nineteen twenties titanic kinda stuff. Howver their was at least a pair of jeans and a black singlet. A part of me wishes to wear the ball gown dresses. But, I'm guessing whatever it was we are doing it would be outside. In the dirt. And it would a shame to get them dirty. I walk over the the table with a tiny mirror. Im not sure where they got the make up from but there are a few shades of black and brown eye shadows. Some eye liner, foundation, and mascara. That is enough. I decide what ever it is we are doing I want to mean business. So I paint the most skilled fierce make up I can do. The wing of the liquid eye liner goes all the way to the end of my eye brows, and coats my eye.
As I step back and looked at what I've created, I am even surprised with what I see. The black under my eyes is gone, replaced with a glow of power. The jeans I ware conform to my legs, and the singlet exposes my collar bones. If I didn't know better I could have stepped right out of a combat magazine. I sit around for a few minutes waiting for someone to come get me, Renzo gave me no instruction as to what to do, so I just wait picking at my nails. Eventually, a guard I've never seen comes and escort me out of the mine, into the daylight. As they always do, my eyes are blinded as they take a few seconds to adjust. As I come out, there is a crowd gathered in a circle, and ten or so people lined up in a row in the middle of them. A few meters from them, is a create that Dylan stands on. He has changed to. He has changed into green cago pants, and a black tank top. His hands are tide behind his back, and he turns to me. As I approach the crowd, the guard leading me, The men erupted in cheers an wolf whistles, yelling obscenities towards me.
Yuck. I thought. I ignore them as my eyes settle on Renzo. Who stares at me with a devilish look. He takes a few strides towards me and gripes my arm gently.
"Well. This is a surprise." He says looking me up and down.
"I'm glad I meet your standards." I say, rolling my eyes, embarrassed that anyone saw him looking at me.
"Far above them. Actually." I'm not sure if I should be complimented, or insulted. Instead I just walk with him to the crate, and take my stance next to my brother giving him a comforting smile.
"Quiet men." Renzo says circling the crowd. In a second the cheers die down, and everyone silences. Still staring at me however, Renzo begins "We are here to play a game, you all know how it works. But I'll explain it to our guests." He says. He walks around the man formed ring.
"Essentially what we have here is our form of capture the flag. You siblings, will each lead a team of your choosing. You will both be set up at other ends of the forest, and using tactics and teamwork, you will lead the team though the forest to try to capture the others flag." sounded easy enough, and Daniel sighs relief. I know Renzo better then that. Trust This, Renzo would find no game entertaining unless involved sex or violence. I wait for the kick.
"Here's the kick." He says. "The game immediately ends, and the winners are decided on the spot. If one leader leaders manages to kill a team member from the other side. This is a more desirable prospect because the longer you spent out there, the most you are likely to be tracked by a tribe." I don't need anymore information to know that the local tribes diet consisted mostly of human flesh. Renzo eyes me and instead of turning away, I stare him right back. "Sounds fair enough," I say, Hiding my disgust. "Do we get weapons?" I ask. He laughs and walks up closer, "you do. All of your team gets one gun, and a choice between arrows and a sword." He says, he approaches the create, and stands on it, glancing between both of us.
"If you two try an rebel. Remember, I have our friends in the cell. And with a twitch of my wrist, there lives could be done with." It's a obvious warning not to screw with him. I'm not planing to, I just hope to god Daniel isn't either. After a few more seconds of intensity, his face lightens and he smiles.
"Pick your teams," he says as he jumps off the create and stands beside what I now count as ten people. A guard cuts the rope tying Daniels hands together releasing him. I examine the group, my eyes searching each one. Tight and uptight are among the ten, alone with jack, Renzo. And lucky for me. James. Who doesn't not look himself. His eye swollen, bruises layering him, he looks tired and exhausted. I can't say I'm sorry.
"Oh oh. Pick me, pick meeeeee," Renzo whines as he jumps up and down with a strain on his face, his teeth on display like a grill. I roll my eyes.
"Renzo." I say unenthusiastically. He turns to the others and puts his hand in his chest, mimicking shock, then walks over to me, and stands in front if the create. Thankfully, Daniel chooses James. He knows I couldn't bear to have him on my team.
The men who now make my team are, tight and uptight, jack, Renzo, myself, and some guy I don't know named Rivven. I choose a sword, as does Renzo, Riven and uptight. Tight and jack take the bow. All of us, as Renzo promised us we would have guns. Hand held ones that fit into the back of my jeans.
I walk over to the other side of the camp a few feet away from Daniels group who he is now briefing. I know I have a slim chance of winning with Daniel leading the other team. He is a body guard, and knows violence better then I do. But, not to brag. I am smarter, it gives me a step up.
"Okay. Gather round." I say to everyone. They join in a tightly woven circle.
"Jack and tight, are you any good with those arrows?" I say, they both smile and nod like maniacs. Luckily I've had time to observe these people, I know that tight is more action, more face paced. Which is good for an attack. But jack is patient.
"Jack, I want you to guard the flag from a nearby tree. Hide in it, don't A make a sound, and try not to be seen from anyone unless you are taking someone out . Along with you, there will be a ground patrol by Rivven . I need you to be more alert then anyone. Because they will see you first, and attack you before considering there is someone in the trees. At that point you need to trust Jack that he can get them before they get you. Allow yourself to be a distraction, and allow him to back you up. Think you can do that? the men look at eachother for a second, sizing eachother up.
"Yeah. We can" Rivven says, I nod.
"Tight, you mentioned you like climbing trees?" I say. He nods. "Your small, can you jump between trees?" I say, he just laughs "my specialty" he confirms.
"Good. You will be in another tree half way between the middle of the jungle and our flag when the game begins. As the game you need to scout. If somone is getting to close. And you have a clean shot. You ahead. But above all you remain invisible. We loose you. We loose our eyes. And along with that, you shoot at a group of more then one, your made, and your not safe. You have no back up. So don't risk you getting hurt for the game. Understand?" He nods in compliance.
"that leaves me and Renzo to be in attack. Renzo, what happened to those radios you found in Tyrone's bag." He crinkles his forehead and walks away to the mine, where he brings out two yellow radios. "Great." I say, I hand one to tight " you need to use this if you have useful scout information or if you need backup because you are made. Press this button to talk. And I will come find you, do you understand?" He nods slipping it in his pocket. "Are we all clear in what we need to do?" Everyone nods.
"Okay, look guys. This may not be the way your used to this game. But if we stick to our plan, there is a chance we could win this. But I don't want anyone to get hurt if it can be avoided. You all need to rely on eachother, a trust Eachother. There should be no casualties in this group if we all stick together. I may not know a lot about violence but I know about family. And we need to be a family. Do you understand?" The group cheers while I walk to the outside if the jungle to look at it. It's thick, and I know nothing about the lay out.
"I know the jungle like the back of my hand," Renzo says from beside me, I try to act like he didn't startle me,
"Good. Because I'm counting on you to guide me right." I say firmly.
"You really stepped up back there blonide." He says examining me.
"I had to. Part of the game right," I look to him. He only lifts his lips up slightly.
"We better win this. I got money on you to win." He says as he stalks back to the group. I sigh and I turn to look at Daniels group who all test the weight if there swords, and the strength of there bows.
Worry lines form in my forehead as I know I will have to kill one of them.
A wide smirk tucked itself across my face as the other men rushed into their own little positions, all neatly clad in cloth and covers. It beckoned, and I caressed the tick with a grunt and wrench, twisting my neck at a angle. I like my men, I really do, pulled them from all corners of the Caribbean; grew up with some too. First off, the teams are very rounded out, as I left the slobs and unfit to guard the women and children. Only the best of the best were brought, if they wanted to or not. "Could you give me a quick overview of our team, Renzo?" Leah questioned.
“First off, we have the twins on our coattails, both eager and ready for their third season. Found them cowering in our boat, picking our stolen goods for a healthy profit when we landed in Cuba. Without a home, and a lust for stealing, I brought them here six years ago, and they are naturally sound of the landscape, and extremely adept. Next, we have ol'Jacko the Deep. Spotted him on the streets of Saint Lucia, pitiful and suicidal. With my charms, and persuasion, I turned him from a widower to a smuggler. Lastly, and the newest member, is Riven. He was named after his extremely violent tendencies, Riven roughly meaning: "to tear apart into pieces", how lovely. Oh and you? You just suc-..."
Leah frowned, raising an eyebrow as she shifted her weight into a better stance. She opened her mouth but of course, I cut her down first. “"...-ceeded in my first little trial." She looked distraught and rolled her eyelids, her face scrunching up in disappointment. She stood for a few seconds, as I tried my best to douse a laugh. "That trial being?" Leah asked, firmly... confidently. I raised my hand infront of her face, shifting the index side to side. “Uh, uh, uhh... that's a secret, Blondie." I conceited, bumping her nose with my fingertip causing her to blink.
Leah inhaled and exhaled deeply, placing her hands on her hips as she turned away from me, her golden locks fluttering past my face, cheeky. "Listen," she started, "I’ll try to help you out, but you gotta help me too? I’m sure you can hold your own, but I don't know what will happen to me." She turned to look over her shoulder, raising her eyebrow once again. She pouted her bottom lip slightly, drooping her eyes, like a puppy. “Don't worry, I want something from you after this, anyway. Let's get this party started!"
I pointed to the boy manning the other team, eyes shaky but covered with.. pride? Hmm. That's a bit odd. “Best of luck ol'chap, may the best team win." I said, twirling my hand in the air twice, palm up after the motion. I snapped my fingers together quickly, leaving my middle finger dominant. “I'll take good, good care of your sister..." I continued, cascading my finger side to side with a smile that cut through his psyche, emotions flustering as he eyed between me and Leah attentively. I looked at her, catching her giving him an attentive, "I'll be fine" look. She seen me see her and she brushed it off, gulping. I wonder, she must be getting used to me.
“Begin!" I yelled, raising my hand at a slightly raised angle, clutching a flare gun. "What are you doing?" Leah asked stopping me. “Making it interesting, we don't want the locals missing the show." I replied. The flare spewed itself out of the barrel, expunging out of its casing and exploding, creating both an echo and a lovely colour. "We've not even been to our base yet!" Daniel shouted. “I'll give you ten minutes to get there and suit up!" I retorted wickedly. Intelligently, and not to draw unwanted attention, I fired at an angle which would keep the flare in the island's area, not alerting external sources. It made a spectacular display of light, with variegated plumes of fire scattering in all directions and then exulting as they dropped back to earth. Wave after wave of incandescent fury danced across the jungle. Then, with one last whimper, it was all over, and darkness returned again.
Taking initiative, Daniels team dashed frantically into the tundra, with Dan double taking before realizing what was happening again. “Run run, all charge at once!" I yelled as the last of Daniel's team usurped with the bushes. It was a trick to get their hearts racing, as they had their weapons at their base. We had a plan, and Leah looked confused at my command but figured it out. "Smart, they will be pressured, aye." She uttered. Nodding, I hopped backward-like on my legs, ultimately twisting into a jog. “Come along blondie!" I shouted. "We're cheating?" I heard her shout in muddle, then hear a sigh and her following. I dashed through some brush, ripping hard with my cutlass; the strokes unhampering our new path of righteousness.
After a few more stokes, we entered a grassed area with a few boulders covering our way. Quickly, I rebounded off one side of the rock, kicking my weight across to another astound, giving a final effort as I reached high and caught the boulders top. I strained a little, but hauled myself up onto my knees then stood up. My ears pecked at the sound of silence. I turned to Leah, who was distraught and amazed. She looked up and down the boulder, troubled. “What, need a hand?”. I joked. She nodded… Jesus… I dropped my cutlass to one side and lay down onto my chest, and hung my arm over for her. Toying with her, I stretched and withdrew my arm as she reached each time, taunting before becoming bored and grasping her arms. I gripped it with both hands, and she did also, hauling with my arms. Onto my knees, I pulled her forward roughly, too roughly. She flew into me with a force, and because I was on my knees, I was forced onto my back as she landed on me. We stayed in that position awkwardly.
“You planned this, huh, what are you? Some kind of creep?”
“Only if you insist… what about you, blondie?”
“What about me?”
“Why haven’t you moved.”
Leah looked into my eyes, piercingly, and I raised my head up off the ground. She placed her hands on my shoulders and pushed me back down. She stood up and to the side, brushing off as she walked past me. I sprung my legs back and up, landing on my feet quickly.
“Why are you so physical?” I said, stepping forward and placing my arms over her head, amorously, digging my chin into her shoulder. “Is it because I won’t hurt you back?” I finished, entwining my hands into a rear naked choke, minus the pressure. She angled her head slightly to respond.
“Are you saying you would hurt a woman?”
“I would never hurt… a lady.”
“I’m not a lady, and won’t be if you expect me to.”
“Then don’t expect me to act like a gentleman.”
Leah clutched my wrists and leaned back into me, testing to see if I would tighten, but I released her instead. She seemed stubborn but it seemed like she knew I wouldn’t. She turned and made eye contact, and I kept it.
“You want me, don’t you?”
“I haven’t decided yet, ‘cause if I want something… I take it."
“Yeah you do,” she started, crossing her arms, “I’m still alive, and with you…”
She circled me, assertively, placing her hand on my collar and felt around to my back.
“Sturdy shoulders…” she started, returning around to my front, her arm trailing onto my chest, squeezing.
“Firm chest, well defined…” she continued.
“Whatever you’re trying, it won’t work."
I stated, trying to hold my composure as a dormant drip of sweat glistened on my brow.
She half surrounded me, keeping eye contact. Her hand lingered on my lower back, and then hit.
“Tight butt… that means you have a powerful thrust, am I right?”
“I feel so… objectified.”
I muttered, as she slid back, fixing her hair from her face. I turned to her.
“So, do you or don’t you?” She said with a compelling smirk, my smirk.
I opened my mouth, but her belt emitted static and clicked. It was her radio, it was Tight.
“Lamento molestarlo, but I thought I would check up on you two, are you two okay?”
I griped the radio and clicked the button on the side ' Lamento molestarlo" It was a phrase I knew luckily. Jack says it to me all the time when we are washing the men's clothes. Loosely translated it means "Sorry to interrupt" Or "Sorry to bother you."
I reply "Renzo gave them ten minutes, its only been a few so we cant attack quite yet. Are you guys okay? Over." I say, as the white noise begins once my finger releases the button.
"Yeah, just checking. Over." I roll my eyes.
"Well don't check in again. This radio is for emergencies only. Here on out requesting radio silence." Tights voice was taken back when he radioed though.
"Go it. Over." I tucked in the radio into my belt again. I was about to turn when I felt Renzo breath my neck. "I wonder what we could do with a few extra minutes?" He whispers, I could just hear the smile playing on his lips. I tried not to blush.
Argh! I had a leg up on him a few minutes ago. It was hard to be seductive, I admit. It is just that Renzo doesn't respond to emotion. It's like he completely disregards it. So I'm left with only seduction. That at least, looks like it works on some level. I could see the volubility in his voice as we tangoed with our bodies. The dare I say... Longing?
I tried once more to regain my composure and to retain my control. I flipped my body over, and we were closer then what seemed was possible. His breath met mine, and his arms wrapped around my waist. His eye gleamed with something terrible, something dangerous. Something I found too attractive. Meaning to say some witty sexual comment, I was forced to give in. Damn it, he knew he had control over me again. I let my head fall, and stepped from his embrace. He smiled.
"Don't worry Blondie." He whispered. "It was impressive... While it lasted." He added. Before unwrapping himself from me, and jumping down the rocks in one swift move.
Damn it damn it damn it. I thought.
I climbed down the rocks much less gracefully. I met him down the bottom, avoiding his gaze as I trekked forward, puffing my chest out.
"How are you and muscles going?" He says, casually. So casually as if as few moments ago we weren't close to surrendering our bodies to one another. "Fine." I reply, my voice cold. "C'mon Blondie. Things must be getting pretty heated. Obviously you would have to be on top since he is legless and we-"
"Shut up." I shouted. I'm not sure where the outburst came from. But I started at him coldly for just a second, and turned back to the path I was weaving among the think foliage.
"Wow. Sensitive." He mumbles.
I'd say an hour or so had passed since renzo rudely began the game. As we make our way though the thick landscape, the air between renzo and I grows relaxed. As stressed out as I am that I am going to be eaten alive by cannibalistic tribesmen. Renzo has a psychotic way of cutting though peoples emotions. Light hearted jesting was his speciality, and it took a lot for me not to laugh at all of his jokes. Eventually, however, I join in. He inquires about Daniel a little.
"He's a bit simple you're brother, isn't he?" he says as slicks though a thick bright green plant. "Daniel is one of my favourite people on the planet. He is strong, and he is more protective then even my parents are of me. He has offered a lot of support to me over the years. But, I guess its not the sharpest crayon in the box. But for what he lacks in intelligence is makes up in strength." I say. It was a fair overview of my brother.
"Your parents?" Renzo inquired coolly. " Both my parents love me, but they have never really been around. Mother a lot more when we were kids, but when I was about 10 they split up, and had little to no time for us kids with their jobs and everything. Daniel spent a lot of time being my parents for me." I replied.
"What do they do that kept them so busy?" Renzo questioned, snaping a twig harsly on the ground.
" My mother is a councillor for the president himself, and my father is the head of department of state justice. Needless to say they have very little interest in my freelance photography and Daniels work as my body guard."
I'm happy renzo was asking a bit about me. Showed he had more interest in me then just sexually. Tyrone warned me not to give away to much information. But this was just overhaul. I was giving away no state secrets.
"I'm sorry." He says. I'm taken back for a few seconds and I turn around, inquiring of what he means.
"I'm sorry you're parents are like that. Mine weren't much better." He says, the emotions in his eyes was unmistakeable. I had a nagging thought he was playing me. But, I jumped at the chance to learn more about Mr. Mystery.
"What happened with them?" I questioned.
"They didn't have much of a concern for us kids. They eventually died." He says. But the last few words his voice catches. And a gleam of mirth flashes his face. A sadistic twinkle in his eyes. I'm not sure what he is hiding, but I'm sure it is something I would regret asking about. So instead I tenderly touch his arm.
"I'm sorry." I replied. I'm not sure if this is the right response, since he showed no sadness about the matter. He only looks at me curiously. He is about to say something when I hear a noise, it was only small, but it was enough to prick both the ears of Renzo and I. He is the first to react, swiftly turning to the side and drawing his gun at arms length, his shoulder resting on his lips. His muscles pulse in the strain, and his eyes scan the area pointedly. I react much slower, but draw the gun trying to match his stance. There is no movement but the natural breeze. My eyes still firmly set on an imaginary enemy, though clenched teeth I mutter out.
It is the first time I've ever seen Renzo professional. Not an outburst of anger, not a sexual joke, or even a power play. It is the first time I've seen him in his element.
It's entrancing. I realize my gaze has fallen on his, watching his stance, left leg in front of the other. His abdomen kept tense, and his jaw locked. His eyes drift to mine for a second, and he relaxes a little.
"What's next captain." And just like that, he is back to the usual psychopath. I clear my throat and look to a tall tree next to me. I haven't climbed a tree since I was a kid. I had a knack when I was smaller. Daniel used to have to pry me from the tops of trees that would tower above the pretensions neighbourhood we lived in with ice-cream. I remember once my mother screaming in tears as I was only nine at the time, and there was a furious storm brewing up ahead and I wouldn't come down.
The memory of my mother's terrified face repels the idea of climbing again.
"Any good at climbing?" I pointed to the tree, he looked it up and down, his neck straining.
"Ehh, I'm not one for heights." I nodded, and decided it had to be me.
"Okay. Ill go then." I say. "Hold my weapons, and keep watch for me. Ill see if I can find their flag, and see if there is any sign of the tribes." I say. I pass the gun to him, along with the sword. He hands me back the gun.
"Keep this. You might need it..." He says, "Boss". he adds.
I tuck it into the back of my pants and brush the hair out of my face. Before there is a branch I can reasonably grip on to pull myself up, there is about three meters of trunk. I so desperately want to be self sufficient. But there is no way I'm getting up this tree without help. I turn to renzo who stands with his hips to the side and folded arms with a smile.
"Renzo..." I say, he smiles wider.
"Yes Leah?" It is the first time he has used my name.
"I..." My pride gets in the way. "Say it..." He prompts. On the verge of laughter, instead his neck twitches.
I sigh. "Renzo. I need you're help." I say, rolling my eyes. His puts his hand to his chest and smiles.
"My pleasure." He takes a strong step towards me and kneels down. I step on his shoulder, and I feel the mass of weight below me when he stands. I grip the bark, and his hands cradle my ankles. They squirm, unsettled on his skin. He grips them tighter.
"I've got you." He says firmly, an I grip on to the bark tight, and both my knees land on the bark, scraping the material out.
His large hands cradle my butt, and I turn to him in shock. "Just helping." He winks, and I swear I can see his teeth gleam. I roll my eyes again, and flick my hair back while using every strength I have to pull myself up. Eventually, I make it. I perch myself up on the branch, and wipe my knees. The jeans have been cut though, and a scrape has drawn blood. I can live with it.
I see renzo swiftly grab his sword from its holster and stand attentive.
Somehow, this makes me smile. I continue climbing, ignoring the height in which I'm continuing to reach. The thrill I felt as a child quickly pulses though my veins. My heart thumps in my chest and my mouth widens into a grin when I reach the top. I stifle laughter as a dangerous thrill reaches my head. I tower above most trees. In the distance, I see the orange flag. Its maybe a six minute walk. Two people from Daniels team guard it. No sign of Daniel himself. As I turn to my left, I notice what seems to be tiny movement. I climb down a little lower so I surpass the top layer of foliage. My eyes grow wide and my body pulses with a different beat. One of panic.
Colures swiftly move though the green, pink, orange, blue. None of the colures the teams wore when we set out. Paint decorates black faces.
There is maybe 12 of them. All swiftly moving with what looks like machetes. I panic as I try to make my way down to renzo. I can't scream, it will alert them of our position. But before I get a chance to warn him. Renzo's gun goes off.
The is some kind of a shuffle and One gunman, from Daniels team battles renzo furiously. Renzos gun and sword remains on the foliage floor. I'm guessing in the struggle it was forced from his hand. Renzo is taking blows to the head, while the other man is taking furious blows to his neck and chest. Winding him.
I would shoot, but I don't have a clear shot and risk hitting Renzo. But there is already as hesitation to reach for my gun. Even the thought of firing the gun scares me.
As if the fear of the tribe isn't enough, and my teammate getting bashed (Not that he isn't holding his own) I notice a figure to my right. Black hair weaves it way though the foliage, and pops up in the corner of the clearing in which the boys bellow me are fighting. As his body tenses, panic floods my system I wave my arms in the air, and he catches my eyes. His eyes settle on me and I furiously shake my head, making cutting signals with hands to my throat. Daniel can't involved with this. Especially since the tribes man are seconds off us. As I try to stop him, the unstable branch below me snaps. And in a sudden, I'm winded on the floor. Air tries to reach my lungs, but the impact and shock of my system wont allow the lifesaving substance. Daniel rushes over to me, but before he can, renzo swiftly captures him from behind, and points the gun to his head. His face is red, and blood seeps from everywhere. Eventually my vision clears but the pain that burns though my bones is nothing short then unbearable. I stand unsettlingly. I reach for the gun at the back of my belt, as I notice the man renzo was battling squirming on the floor. He is alive, but clearly in to much pain to continue. To even stand.
"Leah, are you okay?" Renzo says desperately. Daniels face drips with sweat as renzo tightens his grip over his shoulders.
"The tribe." I struggle out, ignoring the pain. "There coming." I say, barely a whisper. Renzo faces grows serious.
"End the game" He says, his eyes shifting to the man on the floor. It takes me a few seconds before I realize his implication.
"I.. I cant Renzo." I say as my voice grows desperate. Renzo grits his teeth, and presses the gun on Daniels temple tighter. "We will all die. Unless you end this game Leah." He affirms.
"End the game! Call it off!" I scream desperately Renzo only shakes his head. I know I have only a few seconds before the tribes find us.
The world slows.
My heart races.
My body screams for me to stop, and my conscious pummels me in confusion. My head cries and my body quivers. The man lies on the floor, conscious enough to know I exist. And to know exactly what I need to do. He lays on his back, his eyes wide with panic. Black hair sticks to his forehead which is soaked with blood and sweat.
I wish I could close my eyes. But my mind needs the guilt to justify what i'm going to do.
My finger dances on the rigger, and with one tiny action, The mans stomach fills with blood. His face pales, and I see the torment and distress radiate from his eyes before he squints them shut.His body convulses from the impact of the shot fired, and his hands clutch his stomach from where the bullet penetrated. His scream fills my ears. I scream right back and turn my head away.
His body trembles and his teeth taste dirt as he cries.
Daniel makes his way to me at a quick pace. Before he can reach me, I scream at him.
"Go! Run! Go" Its all I can manage. He must see the fury and panic in my eyes. Because reluctantly, with tears in his eyes, He takes off in the opposite direction of the tribesmen. Renzo comes to me, rips the radio from my belt and tells the others to run. i only stare at the body in panic and terror. Renzo grips my arm. His gaze meeting mine. 'We need to go now." He says, aware of the danger of the incoming pact. My eyes produce tears in seconds, and I sob. Death isn't as instant as I wish, because the man withers in pain. I run to him, stumbling on the way, so I have to crawl to his withering body.
I cradle his face as his eyes pale blue eyes are wide with shock.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry." I sob.
"Leah! We need to go now." Renzo cries at me.
"I'm not leaving him!" I scream back. I don't know this man. And he doesn't know me. But he doesn't deserve to be on his own. And he most certainly doesn't deserve to be eaten by the tribe.
Renzo screams in frustration, looks back and fourth between me, the wounded man, and the incoming tribes man. He grunts heavily as he lifts the man in one swift move, and balances his over his shoulder. Renzo, eyes wide with alarm, forehead shining with sweat, motions me to follow him as we run.
We run for what seems like forever. All the while I sob awful, painful cries, and the man's life continues to fade from his eyes.
Hurriedly, we dashed through shrubbery, thorns slicing delicately. Crimson and spit drew across my shirt as I hauled Arturo, bent double over the dirt. The weight of his core was unbearable, but I hauled him by sheer devotion, his condition is terrible. He lay pouted across my right shoulder, his legs flailing behind as we traversed a boulder. Leah followed hastily, sobbing. Dish knees fearful and frantic, moved by willpower and panic. Arturo is very weak, the wound in his gut oozes to a leak, draught in agonizing pain and inaudible speak. Falling from his blood gushed mouth, no pleas of hope, only doubt. "Aiutami!" he mumbles, the desperation showing in his octave. This is not the reality of death he expected, but, nor does it spare unforeseen chimes anyway.
"What do we do?" Leah squawked as we ran with the snivelling in her voice prominent. "Renzo?"
"Shut it, just keep up!" I bashed. Why? I didn’t know what to do.
Daniel dashed infront, taking the full force of branches and receiving the scrapes openly. Adrenaline or fear, one is cessing the pain for the moment. I follow in his exact path, his blade clearing some of the way. We entered the dumping grounds, the place where the cannibals dump the unuseful bones of their prey. If their babies were beyond sickly, or had defects, they would toss them down too. Leah pointed at a tree, signalling the engravings. Nostalgia hit me as I remembered.
"Those markings, I…I’ve been here before?"
"Me too, but years ago."
I dropped Arturo to the side, his wound excruciating and wide. "Wait here, Arturo."
My hand slid over the bark of the tree, the old splinters etched in greeting me. Beads of cerise liquid ran down the flesh of my arm, glistening in the light as it oozed from harm. I raised my knee as my fingers rolled off the tree bark, retrieving a crude stiletto and raising it up onto the mark. The blade fit perfectly with the rough grazes.
My head feels heavy and I just want to lay it down to rest, but that won’t help. The pain throbs and pulses in my skull, not a sharp pain like a knife-inflicted wound, but more of a dull pounding with a hammer over...and over...and over again. My brain feels like it's on overdrive, but at the same time can't process properly. Images and ideas and plans and deadlines run through my head, but they're chasing each other round and round. My mind can't catch a single one, but gets pounded with all of them at the same time as they ricochet and slam into the walls of my head.
"Lorenzo!" Her voice resonated as I remembered, vividly. Lucidly. I found myself jiggering my stiletto into the treebark, the initial slices forming an oval.
"Renz! What are you drawing?" She queried. "I did a Starfishy!"
"Non sbirciare, sorella bella."
"I’m noooot." She lied, peeking around the trunk, her bronze hair trailing along the tree. Her tiny eyes peeping, that green colour that brings hope and life no matter what has happened. And when she lifted her tanned little face to mine, emerald shifted into the colour of deep ocean shimmering in the moonlight.
"It’s dark Lorenzo, padre sara preoccupato."
"I’m almost done, Sister, just one more…. Slice."
My hand jimmied back in forth in two areas, making separate circles. Then, I deepened the stiletto into the middle, dragging down roughly.
"There! It’s a skull and bones, like on grandpa’s flag!"
"Wow Renz, that’s so cool!"
"Lorenzo… Lorenzo… Lorenzo… Renzo… Renzo!"
All I want is silence and to be left alone, but voices surround me. They yell and shout at me... Knowing I will never get away from this hell, I push away the pain and try to ignore it screaming inside.
"What is it!" I yelled, cutting Leah’s voice in pieces.
His brow furrowed, his eyes squinting from a combination of stark and partial confusion. Rarely did anyone have the courage to speak to him so freely, much less on a disruptive note. I was scared a little, his tone deafening despite the predicament.
"Can't you see I'm busy!"
Renzo creaked his head back toward the markings, staring. Was he in a trance? Like Kayla? Maybe, but he didn't close his eyes or relax, it just happened. I don't know. I wipe my cheek and it burnt, I cried so much that by the time I had stopped, the salt from my tears had dried the areas of my eyes and face and my skin stung when I touched it. Danny surprised me with his touch, my shoulder quivering.
"Leah, its okay." he said softly and comfortingly, turning me toward him. "We'll make it out of this I promise." He could feel the dampness of my skin as he placed his hand upon my cheek. It stung. The warpaint streaked from my tears onto his fingers. I can't believe what I done, what I was forced to do.
"Io sono libero... kill me."
We all looked, even Renzo.
"Why is he still alive, Leah." he said with no hesitance in his voice, the sharp sound of a blade upon bark filling the silence. After a few strokes, he stopped with his ears pecked up.
"I don't know, I thought the game was over?"
Renzo raised up, twirling his blade back into his boot. He squints at me, clearly unimpressed by the blatant disregard of respect. Arms cross in a defensive gesture, fingers clenching in the vaguest from interest. It’s not like him to contain his anger, much less his composure.
"I thought I made it crystal, the game ends when someone on their side dies."
"I can't kill this man!" I said in the most hushed voice I could. The pitch breaking on the last note. "You end it."
I watched him reach into his back pocket and retrieve a revolver. Twirling it forward then back into a held position, he aimed it at Artuo. He then turned it at Daniel.
Daniel pushed me back a step, the veins in his arm flaring as he gripped on his revolver. His veins grew thicker, muscles tightened, and his teeth grew like little claws, his face becoming rough. Eyes poised at Renzo, he breathed in.
I've never seen Daniel in this state of anger before.
"Renzo? What are you doing?"
"Winning the game for us."
"Shoot your friend!"
"But, we're friends... whilst me and your brother here, not so much."
I froze, time fell slow. Tiny subliminal sounds we seldom hear, barraged my ear. A tiny creak of a revolver drum, the breath of Arturo, a bird call far in the distance. the creak of Daniel's leather gloves tightening, and the rustle of falling leaves.
"No please don't do this!" I said to them both." "I'll... I'll do it."
Smiling, he motioned at Daniel's gun, and Dan hesitated. I grabbed it from him, nodding. Renzo seemed hardly impressed. He san on the grass, legs crossed beneath him, where he began to scratch the back of his head with his beloved pistol. Formality and manners were things that cut his outline from his men, but I guess he was tired.
"Well, go ahead."
Suddenly everything went completely silent. I aimed at Arturo who was on the brink of consciousness, spouting a prayer of some sort. All movement around me slowed down to an excruciating pace. I could feel my pulse pounding through my body, and resonating on my finger. I began to sob. Even though I said I would, I could never kill. I felt arms around my shoulders that reached around to my hands. I thought it was Daniel as my eyes blurred from tears, but he spoke.
"We will do this together. So how are you Elise?" He said softly into my ears, confusing me. Elise?
"M-my name.. is Leah." I replied between tears.
"We are going to play a game, you American's love games huh? Wheels of fortune? Except no wheel, and no fortune."
"I don't see how that's anything like wheel of fortune..." I heard Daniel say.
"Would you like to play and find out?"
There was silence, and then he went on.
"Okay, drum roll please."
His hands tensed around mine, locking them in place. I tried to pull away, but he had my tightly. I cried and my eyes shut, trying to stop my vision.
"Hey, look straight at the people you kill. Don't take your eyes off them for a second. And don't ever forget them, because I promise that they won't forget you."
Those words chilled me to my heart, the thought of killing someone caressed my heart too.
Suddenly, the gun went off, and I writhed my way down and out of his grip. He still held me left hand around the gun, placing both his hands over it and squeezing the trigger again. And again. Six times. He kept clicking, and the gun clicked back out of bullets. He let out a heinous laugh. I managed to pull my hand out rigidly, tumbling a few feet before hitting into my brother. I cried into his shoulder, despite the sting in my face.
"Wow blondie! I give you one task and you excel at it! I think he died on the second shot, but you kept going! You overachiever you! Very greedy!"
The sound of the bullets drawn from the guns at a quickened pace was fierce enough to drown out the nonexistent screaming that happened in my mind. Enough to drown them in the sea of anger I express with every harsh word.
"I mean really Leah! I knew you had a dark side but holy f***!!" I scream. By now she has pushed herself from her brother but stands small her head down, shoulders hunched, blond hair occasionally giving in past her shoulders, accompanying the fall of her tears.
"You surprise even me!" My screaming is unreasonable and unessential. But it's time for her to experience some real emotions. The girl acts logical, the girl is sure she is intelligent enough to get though my head. But she is just as emotional as every other god damn person. She has no objectivity, no reason. She's too kind for her sense, and it's boring.
"Well c'mon Blondie! SAY SOMETHING!" I scream. My body jolts back and fourth, feet shifting from uncomfortable stance to uncomfortable stance. My mind jolts like a car starting with no gas. She says nothing, instead, Her neck rolls her head up so just her broken eyes meet mine. My face softens and my heart rises. I feel my chest sink as I see Elise's eyes pool deep tears. She stares at me a second longer, before she regretfully turns to her brother.
"Leah, let's go." He says, offering his hand. She stares at it a second, her chest rising slowly. Breaths controlled, as if harnessing winds of the earth.
"Twice now I have saved your sorry life. Go before I have to save it a third." Her snake like words fall from her mouth, vomiting on his confidence. His chest falls and his mouth opens.
"I won't leave you with him." He says, his eyes shifting from her to me.
"I think." She says taking furious steps forward. "It's clear, you have no Ability to protect me! Now leave! Go!" Her voice raising to unexplored gradation as she screams furious cries. He eventually turns and stalks away, back to the camp only a few steps away, where my men watch me. Leah waits there, looking at the ground, her back towards me.
Well, maybe she does have something to respect.
"What is this Renzo?" She asks tired. Her body facing me, her eyes just as piercing as the eyes I knew as my sisters. My arm quivers, and my neck twitches
"Renzo?" She again. When I don't answer again, she grows hot with anger.
"Answer me! What are you!" She screams, approaching me fast, avoiding all contact with the body of the man she killed. My boys must have noticed as they rush to drag him away. We wait in a furious gaze until they leave again, leaving only a pool of blood and unresolved tension.
"I don't remember announcing question time." I say, my composure building. Her eyes now far to angry to resemble the softness of my sisters.
"I don't care Renzo. I'm bloody sick of you dictating everything!" She screams at the top of her lungs. I grow weary of her complaining.
With a lack of self control and patience, I grab her chin, her soft skin ripping under my fingertips. My fist goes into her stomach as she coughs, winded. Her eyes green, the same shade as my sisters, show no remorse, or even fear. Only hatred. Is it possible I have broken her? Idealistic and fantasy orientated I brought her, realistic and cold she has become. Is it possible? Her childish crush for me has all but disappeared in this moment, replaced by an intense rage.
Savage tears leak from her eyes falling to my fingers.
"I'm to much trouble then I'm worth right?" She squeezes out of her lips which are crumpled by my fingers. My grip is tight, to tight, sure to be hurting her. But she flinches none, just holds my gaze. I lean down, only a little since I'm only slightly taller then her. My lips greet some of the most soft, full, delicious set of lips mine have ever met. Her beautiful mouth folds into mine perfectly, as my jaw works furiously to meet hers. She receives the manic effort willingly, slipping her exquisite tongue into my mouth, exploring freely. I match her, with a much more crazed determination to win the exchange. Her cheeks, soft, feel nothing like mine, chewed and tender.
Her fingers find there way to my chest, crumpling my shirt as she squeezes her hands tight, taking some of my skin with it. I welcome the pain, letting it fuel me. Her gesture of affection allow my hands to grip hips, My left a little lower, hooking her tight butt. I guide her pelvis into mine, and I feel her hip bones stick into my muscle as she hooks her hands on my belt, welcoming the closeness. My tongue works her's one last time before she violently pulls her mouth away from mine, gasping for breath. Her eyes remain closed, as her previously hollow breaths full with an untidy satisfaction.
"You will be very useful to me." I whisper, my hand gliding to her chest, clasping the side of her breasts, under her arms. She stares at me for one agonisingly all consumed moment, before she turns, untangling herself from the Web of passion we have made. I watch light footprints form on the muddy ground as she stalks away, her tight butt making not effort to impress me, accomplishing that all the same.
Chapter 14: LeahEdit
My footsteps are too loud in the silenced crowd. Around thirty blank stares train themselves on me, each with a different range of shock and awe, some, especially the ones of some of the younger's, with fear. A few meters away I feel Renzo's eyes also staring me down, but for a very different reason.
I could very well reason with myself that I kissed him for tactical purposes. Perhaps if he gains affection for me he will let me go, or at least the others. Perhaps this will give me the opportunity to get in his head.
But if any of that were true, why do I still feel his lips, even though they have been separated from mine for so long.
His lips tasted salty, from the sweat of the game, and tears of my anguish. He smelt of sweet fruit and musk. I still fell his muscles twitching under my hands, the contours of his strong chest bouncing in a rhythmical pattern matching the beats of his heart. The bludge tightening his jeans inquiring of my hips to draw ever closer, my hips responding accordingly.
Every person awaits my next sentence. A crucial one, that if I wish, could very much change the course of power here.
To my left, my brother looks at me with awe, and anger. I dare not look at him. I take a deep breath in an open my mouth to speak.
"Take him back to the cell." I say. My confidence wavers internally as the crowd doesn't react, only some stare at each other with unsteady stances. Each hesitant, indeterminate and indecisive body awaits instruction. I hear none come from Renzo, so I repeat mine, with much less confidence in my mind, but even more authority in my tone.
"Did you hear what I said?" I say to the two guards restraining my brothers arms. "I said. Take him to the bloody cell!" I scream, and I'm surprised when my voice sways none. A few mumbles are sent out before one of the guards holding my brother says.
I watch my brother and two guards walk into the darkness of the cave. As there feet no longer become visible, everyone still stares at me in wonderment.
"Take me to get changed." I say to Jack, who reacts immediately.
"Of course he mumbles, his hand outstretched to the cave. I follow him, making sure to take a quick look back To Renzo, who stand in the place my lips left his moments ago, only now they display a discreet smirk.
We enter the cave and I breathe a sigh of relief, as soon as he hears it, Jack offers his hand as support to the small of my back.
I nod to him, assuring him I'm okay.
We walks with me slowly, turning in paths I'm slowly becoming accustomed to.
"You handled that with more grace then I expected." He eventually says. Unlike most of the men here, I don't find Jack threatening. He although, I'm sure has had a share in some of the awful things done in this place, has a good heart.
"Thank you." I croak out, holding tears. We walk a bit more in silence.
"Renzo is pleased with you." He says. My neck snaps to him.
"How do you know?" I say.
"Well, he usually doesn't neck on with prisoners... Not by there choice anyways." I cringe.
"That means nothing." I lie.
"It does. He tests you Leah." He says.
"For what?" I say, stoping him, begging the answer to a question I wonder of the most. His eyes barley visible in this light stare at me.
"No one knows what Renzo is thinking. Your guess is as good as mine. But, I do know, he has kept you and your friends alive much longer then anyone expected. He has not taken you to his bed, or the other girl. He has not trained either of your friends as a soldier." Its an odd end to stop a sentence, but I'm guessing he knows no other information.
We reach the room I changed my clothes in before the battle.
"Leah, I must warn you." He says. "Usually after these games Renzo throws a big party for the victor." I force a small laugh.
"Any excuse for a party eh?" "Well this is Renzo we're talking about." He places his hand gently on my elbow. "You will be escorted by a guard to your room and a few hours later someone will take you to the festivities." He says. He kisses me kindly on the forehead, and turns round.
"Oh and. Good luck...Sir." He chuckles down the hall.