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Chapter 6

I went to bed earlier than usual just after a light soup. I had to force myself to swallow it. I was completely out of it after I’ve puked out the whole story. Charise had listened without ushering a word. Somehow, it has bothered me. She was the nervous type, not the silent attentive one. After a while, she had nodded. By then I was scared she might snap. But Charise when back to her desk with a pale face. When I tried to get her opinion, she had just said to stay away from creeps and to quit that stupid app. I agreed with her. By five, our boss had peeked into our work area with a huge smile.


“What are you still doing here? We are closing,” we both let out an awkward laugh, gathered our stuff, and walked out in silence. The boss waved us goodbye in the parking lot and was off happily to met his wife. When I turned to my car Charise caught my arm. Her hand was icy cold, eyes a little wide.


“Liam, be careful, ok,” she said in a shaky voice.


“What are you not telling me. It’s not like you to get all serious,” I pulled my arm back. She gave me a quick smile, tossed her luscious auburn curls away from her face. 


“Did I ever told you that one time…” she quickly looked over her shoulder. Then continued in a whisper. “That one time, I went to a sort of underground club. I got in through a friend. I can’t even mention her name. The top-secret type of acquaintance. She told me that those who usually attend are the super-rich and elites. She gave me her pass and promised I’ll have the best time of my life,” she looked up at me. What I saw in her eyes was unmistakable terror.


“What happened?” my voice a mere whisper.


“The place didn’t even have a name. But a massive guy at the door,” I watched her closely. She swallowed and then continued. “I-I met that guy. A real charm. Super hot. The kind you don’t meet on the street corner. Expensive aftershave, expensive three-piece suit. Lips to die for and the eyes. There was something about his eyes. He brought me a couple of drinks and…” she paused. Wrapped her arms around her as she shivered. I waited for her to continue, I didn’t want to push her but I was hooked. “I think I was a little drunk,” she laughed. “Cause I don’t remember when he pulled me in a private room. I don’t remember getting undressed. I-I just...I saw him leaning over me. And this haze. Also pain and pleasure. So intense I still get goosebumps just thinking about it,” she shuddered and shook her head. Her spooked eyes met mine. “I don’t know what he did to me. I ran out of there screaming. I was so scared,” she swallowed and her eyes welling up. There was such terror in them. “He...he tried to eat me,” she voice broke. “An animal,” she breath came out choppy.


“Hey,” I pulled her against me into a friendly hug. Her body was stiff and shaking. It reminded me of my own misadventure. 


“Please, be careful,” Charise murmured against my neck. 


“I’ll go straight to bed like a good boy,” I laughed. We remained into a tight embrace and then she recomposed herself. Gave me a weak smile. We waved each other goodbye and I did as I promised. But sleep wouldn’t come, it wasn’t a surprise with everything that happened this afternoon. I was sure I wasn’t crazy. I saw it on that monitor. It was my car. I reached to my nightstand and grabbed the dark fantasy novel I started three days ago. I have no idea why I kept going back to paranormal stories. Something about it felt familiar. But after my little adventure in that dark parking, I wasn’t so sure. I flipped through the pages, read a few lines but couldn’t concentrate on the plot at all. I pushed it back on the nightstand, switched off the lights, and rolled to my side. 


“Sleep, come please,” I prayed. I closed my eyes and thought of the hill overlooking a dark meadow bathed in the moonlight. A sense of serenity instantly wrapped around me. Why was it familiar? I knew I’ve never been there, never seen this scenery. But why was it…


“This is my safe place,” said a voice next to me. I sprung around and saw a silhouette cut against the myriad of stars blinking in that inky sky. Even though I couldn’t see his face, I knew it was him. 


“Is this a dream?” 


“Only if you want it” his voice a caress but it cut abruptly like a broken connection. Something rustled next to me. And the dream was gone. I was back in my room, in my bed, it was pitched black. But the window was wide open, curtains waving in the wind. I gasped. Did I leave it open? Before I could come up with an answer something moved in the shadows. Then the door split opened in a bang. A huge shape came bursting inside the room. The shadows took shape and dashed towards me. I struggled out of the covers but before I could reach for the lights it caught me. It knocked me against the wall. The air was forced out of my lungs. I opened my mouth to scream but a smelly cloth was shoved over my mouth. In seconds I was out.


I woke up with a terrible headache, I groaned and rolled to my side. My ribs were painful. What had happened. Was it a terrible nightmare? Soft whimpers pulled me back to reality.


“Hello?” my voice was hoarse. I barely recognized it. The sound continued. I rose up on one elbow and instantly regretted it. Breathing was painful. I held my side and crawled on my hands and knees to the sound. It was so dark I couldn’t see anything ahead. My heart was racing ready to burst. As I came closer, I could hear raspy breaths. It was someone else. There was someone else in the room. But it was not a terrifying presence. This person was as hurt as I am.


“Are you ok—?” I reached out my hand but someone grabbed my wrist.


“Don’t!” he warned. His grip was strong with light shaking. He let go and sighed, more like moaned. “I’m sorry,” just then the door creaked opened. I jumped. Two men were standing by the door with a grin. I then saw the bloody face of my captive companion. His long brown hair was black with dried blood. 


“You,” I whispered in recognition. The one who had been following me all day. What was going on? The two guys from my door grabbed us without care and shoved us outside. The sudden exposure to harsh light was blinding. A third man in an expensive suit, silver hair, piercing blue eyes waited for us. The two men pushed us on our knees. My stalker groaned from his many wounds. His white t-shirt was stained and slashed. With a closer look, he must be younger than me. But he was taller and wider. Beautiful tan skin and a handsome face hidden under the bruises.


“Strip, I need to make a spectacle for your master,” said the third man. Something was terribly wrong about him. He smelled dangerous. Just as Nightowl238. Deadly. What he said didn’t register. I had no idea what it meant.


His two henchmen tore into our clothes. I struggled and fight back. Screamed at them as he ripped my pajama bottom and my shirt off. My meager fight seemed to amuse them. I was terrified. My stalker bit and slashed at them but they slapped his hard across the face. He slammed into the floor and went still. While he was unconscious they easily stripped him. I tried hiding my nudity. I was never comfortable naked. Even less in public. The third man picked a collar from a table nearby and came towards me. I stepped back on shaky legs, the two henchmen watched with a smile. The wall behind cut all escape. My eyes dropped to the pile of torn clothes next to my feet. This was a nightmare, I’ll wake up soon. I squeezed my eyes and prayed. 


“If you are nice, it won’t hurt,” said the man with the collar. I froze, eyes popped open, I was instantly held by his gaze. I shivered. “Nice,” he smirked. He gently tight the collar around my neck. It was a velvet black one with a metal hook. He linked it with a long chain. I kept my hands over my groin. His eyes traveled over my body with a satisfying enjoyment. He glided his hand over my tattoo. A sword with red roses wrapped around it on my left hip that went down my thigh. I flinched.


“Nathaniel found a really nice one,” he commented then went to get the second collar. A leather one with spikes for the unconscious stalker. When he was done he turned back to me.


“He won’t be long. I’ve already sent the invitations,” his smile didn’t reach those killer eyes. There was a low groan and the sound distracted me from those eyes. The stalker was back. He was on all fours. In an unnatural pose. He moved closer to me like a cat, eyes locked on the third man, clearly the leader. The way his body movement was simply impossible. He didn’t seem to mind his nudity. He hissed at the man in the suit. His lips peeled back over sharp teeth. The stalker pressed his body against my leg. I could feel the vibration run up my body as he let out a low rumbling groan.


“Marvelous,” said the man in the suit as he clapped his hands together. “You two make a lovely pair,” he smiled, feeling not the least threatened by the stalker’s primal warnings.


“Should we go?” he leaned and grabbed the end of the chains connected to our collars and yanked over it. The force of the pull nearly made me fall headfirst. He was smiling but he was not kidding. I held on the front of my collar. I forgot about my nudity. It was cutting in my skin. If it was made from a different material it would have choked me. His pulling urged me to follow him along the corridor. My stalker friend struggled and tried to wiggle out of his restrain to no end. 


“Come, we don’t have time to waste,” his voice was merry. “They just arrived,” he announced. I was panting barely able to stand on my feet. I was scared, my heart about to burst. He peeked over this shoulder. Icy killer eyes full of nightmares. “You don’t want me to drag you there. You wouldn’t like it one bit,” I shivered and hurried behind him on shaky legs.


I didn’t know where I was going. I didn’t know why they kidnapped me. Who was that guy? What did I do to piss him off? But when the door opened to a large room with tall windows with lavish curtain draping to the floor...I knew why. Nightowl238 was lounging with his legs crossed on an L shape couch with several men standing behind him. His eyes were murderous.


Submitted: June 04, 2020

© Copyright 2022 Peter Both. All rights reserved.


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